Tag Archives: strength

Persecution

Father, thank You for being with me…even when I’m  grumpy. Thank You for Your patience and the loving kindness extended to me. May You be my focus today. Amen.

1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 (<<click here)

Lord, You certainly experienced persecution (even to the point of death). Paul did, as well as, the Jewish Christians and the Thessalonians. But me?  Uh…no. I’m not putting a requisition in, by any means, but the term is thrown around a lot today. I realize that many of my brothers and sisters in the faith are laying their lives on the line and many may be ushered into Your presence even this day. (Lord, may Your strength and love fill believers in the Middle East and other areas of the world today.)

But persecution here? Uh…no. We may have had our toes stomped on but we have yet to be persecuted. Lord, I sincerely believe that if we did experience real persecution in our country that many would not have the stomach for it and would quickly desert the ranks.

I don’t know when it will happen or even if it will happen in my lifetime but persecution will come. And, Lord, if it does come while I still have breath, may I use every one of those breaths, to proclaim my faith in You. May I be filled with Your strength and love to the very last breath!

But, Jesus…as I sit here and ponder…I realize that regardless of persecution that I should be living that way now! I have no idea when my life here will be complete so I plead that You will give me the strength and love to live out my faith and to share that faith, each and every day! May I be true to You – Amen!

July 14th,  2015, Tues, 5:54

River of Life

Father, as I have sat here praying my heart goes out to the three ladies who are dealing with the loss of their beloved husbands within the past few days. Also, there are two who vigilantly are sitting by their spouse’s sides as they valiantly fight to overcome the after effects of strokes. Father, I place them in Your more than capable hand, touch each of them today, may they find comfort in Your loving arms. Amen.

Point of focus. That’s what You must be for us, Lord. Life is so full of things that try to overwhelm us. They seek to knock us over. We experience much over which we can despair. In the midst of it all friends and family rally round to support us – and we are so grateful they are there. But there are times when they cannot be there. The river of life continues to move along. Friends, family, and ourselves, we move on… but the pain, the loss cannot so easily be left behind.

You, Lord, are the only One who is always by our side, through the ebb and flow of the river of life, through all the ups and downs, You are right there with us.

May we see You through the struggle, through the heartache. May we fall upon You in our time of need, for You are there. Oh, Sovereign Lord, You are our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble. Grant unto us Your abundant mercy. May we find comfort and healing balm in Your sustaining grace. Amen.

Apr 24th, Mon, 6:29 am

Swept Up into Your Arms

When I call You, Father, that denotes that I am Your child…and there is no better place to be. Life is a big thing. It is full of good things. It is full of bad things. As a child needs a parent to navigate through all the good and the bad in life, I need You.

Prior to writing this morning, I have already processed many things, good and bad. I’ve read of people’s love for each other, the joy of welcoming children into this world and the anticipation of the same. I’ve also read of people’s disregard for the preciousness of life and the audacity they have of expressing that mentality to others…and unfortunately the pain that such words can bring.

As I sit here, I need You Father. Not to just to hold my hand or to pat me on the head but I feel the need to be swept up into Your arms and to bury my face in Your strong shoulder. To be held tight. To feel Your strength…and Your love…Your understanding…Your comfort. Those are the things we so often need. These are the things we crave.

So many of us go through life and we never experience these things. The last part of James 4:2 states,

“You do not have because you do not ask God.”

Father, I am asking and I want to encourage others to ask, as well. You are willing and You are more than able. You can meet every single one of our needs. You can strengthen us for the paths we must tread. And much of that strength is in knowing that You are by our side. May we never forget what a great and awesome Father we have. Amen.

Apr 5th, Wed, 6:44 am

Wings Like Eagles

Father, this morning I am weary. I have no one to blame but myself – up a little later than normal last night (and not really for any good reason). And I’ve allowed myself to get into a position where I have no reserve of journal entries upon which to rely. I have enjoyed the freshness of our time together but this morning it has caught up with me. I am bleary-eyed and worn. Normally, at this hour of the morning, I am fresh and ready for the new day – a little rough around the edges on this one.

Lord, I am glad you are far above me and my weakness. I am reminded (by You I am sure!) of a beautiful passage from the book of Isaiah, a wonderful prophet of old.

Isaiah 40:28-31 reads,

28 Have you never heard?
    Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
    No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
29 He gives power to the weak
    and strength to the powerless.
30 Even youths will become weak and tired,
    and young men will fall in exhaustion.
31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
    They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
    They will walk and not faint.

Even when we are irresponsible and silly in the way we use the time given us, Lord, when we trust in You, our strength is renewed. Your word tells me that I “will soar on wings like eagles.” I am reminded that when eagles soar they are not doing so in their own strength – they expend a fair amount of energy flapping their wings to the heights but once there they soar. They allow the thermal winds to sustain them.

Lord, may I allow you to sustain me this day. There are many more hours ahead of me, many things to accomplish, many people with whom to interact. And though I am bleary-eyed and worn, help me to rely on the One who “never grows weak or weary.” May I trust You to be the wind beneath my wings. Amen.

Mar 14th, Tue, 5:20 am

A Clogged Artery in the Body of Christ

Father, this has been a crazy week and I have missed coming together. I am grateful for Your presence and for the times we have had to converse. Help me, this week, to be able to spend more time with You, for when I do so my life is more solidly anchored in You.

2 Timothy 3:5 (<<click here)

“…act religious…reject the power…”

As I have read and worked through the first part of this chapter, Lord, this particular verse has brought to my mind images of someone who was maliciously religious – someone who was manipulative and deceitful. And that may be the case many times. But there are other applications. Looking back over my own life, I see myself as guilty, too. I sit here and I am trying to rationalize my actions – trying to set myself apart. But in many ways it is only a matter of degrees by which I can separate myself. I realize that there are those whose goal is to use religion as a means to power, wealth and control, including using You, Lord, only to achieve their agenda. But sin is sin, right?

I must admit that I struggle – we all struggle. I truly strive each and every day to seek Your face and to abide in Your will, Lord. But how many times have I attempted to accomplish that in my own strength…in essence rejecting Your power. Living that way is failure – it is defeat. In and of myself I will fall. Only when I trust in You, only when I live in Your strength and power can I be victorious.

It comes to mind, too, that in my own “power” I block myself off from what You can do through me- I block other people’s views of You by standing in their line of sight. I guess I’m sort of like a clogged artery in the body of Christ. Your love can get through some but I would let You clean me out, how much more of Your life giving blood could get through to those who so desperately need it.

Lord, I am sorry that I try to live in my own power too often. I acknowledge that You are at work in my life and that in later years of my life I am submitting myself more and more to Your power. I see Your hand at work. Draw me closer to Your side so that I can be used by You to accomplish Your will, to touch people for You. Amen.

Dec 6th, Sun, 6:13 am