Tag Archives: struggle

Dead to Sin

Father, I need more of Your help this morning. I praise You for Your touch earlier but I am dependent upon You to get me through the rest of this day. You are the solid rock upon which I build my life. I know I will not fail if my eyes are kept on You. Thank You, Father.

1 Peter 2:21-25 (<<click here)

Lord, we don’t like anything that makes us uncomfortable but this life is full of struggle and pain. Many things come our way that we have no control over. There are times, too, when we bring suffering upon ourselves – we sin and often it is just because we do things that are not too bright. But as my study Bible* points out we often suffer but that’s not what Peter is speaking of here.

Using Christ as the ultimate example, he is speaking of suffering for doing good. Christ did not sin. He led a life of service and love. Even when he was confrontational with the religious leaders of his day, it was not done out of hate but out of love. He was trying to wake them up – trying to bring them from the darkness into light.

So, You Lord, were sinless but just because You did everything right that didn’t mean You could avoid suffering for the good You did. And no one could have blamed You if You had struck out in retaliation or revenge. You surely had the power to do so…but You didn’t. You left the judging to Your Father – who always does so fairly. Regardless of the pain, You did what needed to be done – You carried our sins to the cross – every single one of them. So that, as Peter says “we can be dead to sin and live for what is right.”

Lord, help me to die to sin and to “live for what is right.” It will not always be sunshine and roses but You will be with me all along the way, for You have already traveled the path and You will not forsake me. Amen.

Dec 13th, Tues, 5:25 am

*New Living Translation Life Application Bible

Reality Check

Thank You, Father, for a very productive day yesterday. My body is protesting some but it was well worth the effort. Please place Your hand upon my shoulder today, I welcome Your guidance and direction. Amen.

Lord, You pulled me to a Puritan prayer today…and it spoke to me. What it had to say wasn’t pretty but it is true too frequently in my life. Thankfully it isn’t as applicable today but it has been very much so…and not that long ago. It is comforting to know that I am not alone, others struggle, too. It is encouraging to know, too, that we can be “more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:31-39

I read through the prayer twice and then prayed through it myself. It is well worth sharing…

YET I SIN

Eternal Father,
Thou art good beyond all thought,
But I am vile, wretched, miserable, blind;
My lips are ready to confess,
     but my heart is slow to feel,
     and my ways reluctant to amend.
I bring my soul to thee;
     break it, wound it, bend it, mould it.
Unmask to me sin’s deformity,
     that I may hate it, abhor it, flee from it.
My faculties have been a weapon of revolt against thee;
     as a rebel I have misused my strength,
     and served the foul adversary of thy kingdom.
Give me grace to bewail my insensate* folly,
Grant me to know that the way of transgressors is hard,
                                      that evil paths are wretched paths,
                                      that to depart from thee is to lose all good.
I have seen the purity and beauty of thy perfect law,
                        the happiness of those in whose heart it reigns,
                        the calm dignity of the walk to which it calls,
                             yet I daily violate and contemn** its precepts.
Thy loving Spirit strives within me,
                                   brings me Scripture warnings,
                                   speaks in startling providences,
                                   allures by secret whispers,
                                        yet I choose devices and desires to my own hurt,
                                             impiously resent, grieve,
                                                  and provoke him to abandon me.

All these sins I mourn,lament, and for them cry pardon.
Work in me more profound and abiding repentance;
Give me the fullness of a godly grief that trembles and fears,
     yet ever trusts and loves,
     which is ever powerful, and ever confident;
Grant that through the tears of repentance I may see more clearly
     the brightness and glories of the saving cross.

Amen…so be it.

Nov 18th, Fri, 6:33 am

A couple of words I had to look up
*insensatewithout sense, understanding, or judgment; foolish.
**contemnto treat or regard with disdain, scorn, or contempt.

DEATH…It’s Not the End

Father, yesterday I came and sat with You but didn’t write.  I have done that many times before to pray or go over a sermon. But yesterday that wasn’t totally my mindset. I prayed some, but probably more before I got out of bed. I just couldn’t get motivated. Some days are tougher than others to get going. May I take advantage of the time we have – it is precious and well worth my investment.

Death…Lord, though followers of You realize it has no power over us – even though we celebrate the fact that it is but a threshold we must cross to eternal life with You – it is still something that brings us heartache and pain this side of eternity.

For those crossing over that threshold, the heartache and pain end with that final breath for those who love You. Instantaneously they are cut off from the frailties of these earthen vessels in which we spend our allotted time on this world of Your creation and they find themselves joyfully in Your presence.

Yes, their struggle is done…but ours continues. We cling to the indisputable truth of the circumstances in which we find ourselves…but we are left to pick up the pieces of our lives that are now not as whole as they once were.

Yes, Lord, we are left with a void. We must carry on, we must continue to move forward. And we will fill that void. Nothing can replace our loved one’s presence in our lives but we will fill the void. May we not fill it with bitterness and anger. May it not be full of depression and grief. It will be a gradual process but, Lord, I would pray that we would fill it with You. May Your living water flush out the bad and fill it with the holy. May the precious memories of our loved ones be enhanced by the hope we have in You. Help us to fully grasp the fact that this is not the end, but that it is just one more step to that great and glorious day when all those who have put their faith in You will be together for all eternity – no more pain, no more tears, no more separation. And most importantly together with You! Amen.

Oct 13th, Thurs, 6:25 am

In Over My Head

What can I say, Father, yesterday was surely not one of my best days. But I am truly grateful for Your love. May my fortitude be strengthened as I carry on in following You. I find that strength only in You. And I cling to the fact that You will never leave me nor forsake me. Hebrews 13:5; Deuteronomy 31:6

Okay, I was going to move on to the next verse in James 4 but, Lord, You are leading me to share. That is not an easy thing to do but obedience is a major factor in our relationship…so here goes!

Yesterday I ______________. I don’t need to fill in the blank because every one of us can fill in the blank with something with which we struggle spiritually. We all have things we fight against, things that we can stand strong against day after day… as long as we walk close to You, Lord. Without You, we are done for. We cannot stand.

But there are times (and I am so grateful for Your strength in my life that those times are few and far between)… there are times when we sneak in little self-indulgence – just a glimpse, just sticking a toe into the very utmost edge of the lake. We’re not jumping; we’re not even just wading in a little – just the toe. Usually, we come to our spiritual senses and we ask forgiveness for the “toe” incident after we have scampered far, far away from the water’s edge. But on occasion, the lapping of the water on the shore lures us far too quickly to stick our toe in once again.

Your words of caution can be heard but we allow the lapping of the water to drown our Your words. The toe becomes an ankle, the ankle becomes a knee and then we’re in over our heads…ugh!

But here’s the part I want to stress. We all get in over our own heads. We painfully realize our sin (for that’s what it is!) but we can’t let it erase all the progress we’ve made up to that point!

Lord, you never leave us nor forsake us. Your hand is extended even as we are looking up to the surface. You want us to grasp Your hand. You want to pull us out. You want us to be overcomers. You don’t want us to fail. Your heart’s desire is to see us thrive!

Lord, help me to listen. Help me to obey. Help me to stay close to Your side. And help me to keep my toes from the water.

Sept 29th, Thurs, 7:00 am

Endurance

image

Father, thank You for your loving patience. You’ve helped me conquer so many things in my life but You well know that I am far from perfect. Every time something comes up that needs to be addressed, may I yield to You. Help me to lay it at Your feet – it does me no good to ignore the need for Your touch and to think I can take care of it on my own. This day I submit to Your continued Lordship over my life. Amen – so be it.

Hebrews 12:2-4 (<<click here)

Endurance… Lord, Your life amongst us was truly a living example of endurance. But even with that before us, many of us struggle. It just seems so much easier to give up and throw in the towel when the going gets tough.

Many things in life bring us great joy and fulfillment – marriage, family, kids, work, church, homes, yards and this list goes on. But they can also bring us great heartache, stress and fatigue. So many things are worth our investments of time and energy. We just have to endure.

Karen and I have spent this last couple of days edging around flower beds and mulching. It is a lot of hard work! It’s hot. It’s dirty. Our bodies have protested quite a bit. It’s not been easy but it has been well worth the effort!

This summer we will celebrate 30 years of wedded bliss. Has it always been easy? No. Has it ever crossed our minds to give up? Maybe. But we didn’t and, oh, my, it has surely been well worth the effort!

I have walked with the Lord now for most of my life. I have had many challenges and struggles. I have failed and fallen, more times than I can recall. But, Lord, You have been rock solid. You’ve never given up on me. You stood with me through thick and thin. You have called me to endure. I have, only because of You, and it has truly been worth it all. Thank You, Lord, for Your loving patience. You are my inspiration. Praise Your Holy Name!

June 1st, Wed, 6:20 am