Everything We Need {Verses of Hope}

Friday, October 31, 2014

There are mornings when I think I may not make it through the day without a gallon of coffee. There are days after an insomnia-filled night that I am convinced a nap is what is needed. Then there are hard days when I know I HAVE to talk through life with a friend. Days when teaching is so hard that I feel I must have a break or I will pull my hair out. But for all those things I think I need to make it through, God says I already have all I need: His divine power.

His divine power can gets us through the tough days. His power can help us navigate the grouchy co-worker or the screaming toddler. His power makes dealing with a teenager possible. His power gets us through grief when we feel our hearts might burst. All we need is His divine power.

But His power isn't just for us to get through the rough spots. II Peter 1:3 says it is all we need for godliness! Forget muddling through. We can have a higher goal of living with godliness in the midst of the messes. So many times I forget that I don't have to muster whatever I think I need to make it through. He does that for me. When I need to give grace to another He supplies it. When I need stamina He hands it over. When I feel I can't go on He gently pushes me forward. He is all I need to live this life and live it well. Our God gives us the power to do what we and a gallon of coffee can't: Live a life of godliness.

Need more hope? See these other "Verses of Hope".

The Things That Are Not {Verses of Hope}

Thursday, October 30, 2014

If I could write my story I would write it differently. I would make myself what I am not. I would be brave, outspoken, and trusting. I would not be the woman who wrings her hands with worry and try to defeat depression on a regular basis. I would not be the one who others have rejected, abused, or scorned. I would be the victor. I would write a fairy tale ending to my life and then live happily ever after.

My vision is warped. What I see, what I feel, and I think about my life is not how God sees me or my existence. When I see the anxiety-prone female staring me back in the mirror God see a person with more opportunities to trust her Savior. When I hate the depressed feelings that pull me down God envisions using His Word to pull me out. When I look at the rejection or abuse I suffered and feel I will never heal, God sees the healing I can't even detect.

God calls things that are not as though they were. We may see ourselves, our life situations, or others in one light, but His light is always shining brighter. He sees what we cannot. Let's put our hope in the One that perceives the hope in our stories long before we can. In the end there may be more "fairy tale" to our story than we ever imagined.

When God Sings {Verses of Hope}

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I have always wondered about how God sings. What does He sound like? What songs does He like? When does He sing? What does He sing about? However, I have never had to wonder where He sings. He sings over us.

The Creator of the universe sees us and sings! Why do we ever doubt we are loved? Why do we worry that God will not come through for us? How can we question the One that quiets us with His love and rejoices over us by singing? It boggles my mind that God would rejoice in me. That He would sing over me. Like a mother who sings to her child, God proclaims His love for us in the form of a song.

I still ponder what He sings as He stands over us. I still wonder what His voice sounds like. I still don't have the slightest idea of the type of the songs He loves to belt out. Yet, I am confident of this...He sings over me with delight and joy.

How could I ever doubt His love???

Life can be hard, but God has given us glimmers of hope in His Word. To read more "Verses of Hope", click here. 

The Grief God Sees {Verses of Hope}

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

There are times when I wonder if He even saw. Did He notice the pain being inflicted? Did He watch it go down before His eyes? And if He did, why didn't He do anything about it? It is in those times that I need to hear that He does see, He does ponder it, and then He takes it in hand.

God not only sees the grief we bear He takes it in hand. What does that mean? If you go back to other translations you come up with these ideas...

to requite it {avenge it}
to punish
to take the matter into your hands
to place under your control
to repay it

No matter the trouble or grief, God takes control of it. Our sorrows never go unnoticed. Even better, He does something about it. Yes, it happened. Yes, it hurt.  Yes, He was there. And yes, He is called to action by the sight of your pain. Because not only is He the God that see the hurt, He is the God who holds the hurt in His hands.

Are you grieving? Do you feel that somehow God missed your pain? That He doesn't see nor care? Put you hope in His hands. You can always run to Him in the hurt.

Need more verses to give you hope? Stop by and read more at "Verses of Hope".

Sufferings Worth the Glory {Verses of Hope}

Monday, October 27, 2014

There was nothing low key about Paul. He was vengeful, legalistic, and murderous. He was loving, self-sacrificing, and honorable. His life was a mixture of opposites. I am talking about the New Testament Paul. The one who started killing Christians only to turn up as one later. He makes some pretty outlandish statements throughout his writings. Statements that seem to contradict each other just like the story of his life, but the one that always amazes me the most is Romans 8:18. Why? Because Paul's "present sufferings" were beyond anything I will ever experience.

Just look at the short list {See 2 Corinthians 11}...

Exposed to death again and again
Flogged {forty lashes minus one} five times
Beaten with rods three times
Pelted with stones
Shipwrecked three times
Bitten by a snake
Locked up in prison

And yet, he knew whatever he suffered here was worth it in the view of eternity. The glory that would be revealed in him would far outweigh the heartache he endured. And you know? He was right! God used him to give us thirteen books in the New Testament {about 30% of the NT} and to spread the gospel throughout Europe and Asia Minor. We have Paul to thank for our own faith more than likely because of what he did and endured.

Every time I struggle I think of Paul. Not that my hardships are as bad as his, but I hold onto his words of hope. We have no idea where our sufferings will take us, who they will influence, and how they will change the world. Our hardships can be the very anchor for our hope. A hope that God will do amazing things through us.

This post belongs to the series, Verses of Hope. Check out the other posts in this series.

Jesus, Light of the World {Advent Resource}

Friday, October 24, 2014

Christmas can be a crazy time of the year! A season when we should focus on Christ and His coming can leave us drained and discouraged. All the lights and decorations can blind us to the real Light of the World. This Advent it is my goal to really focus on Him instead of the distractions of the season. This year I will be using a new resource that I am really excited about!


Have you ever prayed God's Word back to Him? When we don't have the words He has already provided them in Scripture.  Candace, over at His Mercy is New, has a plethora of resources on her blog about praying the Scriptures. This Christmas she has a new e-book out on praying the Scriptures through Advent.

The focus for each of the passages that Candace has selected are on light and how Jesus is our light. As I read through the verses she chose I was amazed at how much there really is in God's Word about the subject and how we can apply it to our lives. I love that she picked the conversion story of Saul/Paul to talk about how powerful God's light is in our lives. He has the power to change us like he did Saul. He has the power to work in our circumstances. Advent is about change. Christ's coming changed everything and made it possible for us to change. It is the hope we celebrate this season.

Each day (there are 31 total) you get a passage of Scripture to read, a short devotional, a prayer and a place to write your own prayer using the Scriptures you just read.  I love how Candace has laid it all out.  It can be as simple as reading through and then praying, and yet she also has extras at the beginning of the book. You get links to two Pinterest boards to help you with crafts, educational activities, and home decor related to the study.  There are also two gorgeous printables beautiful enough to frame. Candace also gives a list of ways to expand the study and go deeper.

This e-book would work great as a personal devotional, but it can also be used with kids or with the whole family. If you are looking for a way to focus on Christ this season I would highly recommend Candace's book.

Being Held Together {Verses of Hope}

Ever felt like you were having a hard time holding yourself together? Your life is falling apart and you are right there with it? I am an expert when it comes to not holding it together. A few years back I came across Colossians 1:17, and it gave me such peace! I don't need to hold myself, my circumstances, or my world together. He does that.

Life is not perfect when we keep it all together. In fact, it is in the falling apart that we learn more about who God is and to what lengths He can carry us. My relationship with Him has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years simply because life fell apart. The irony is that while life was falling apart He was slowly making me whole. Knitting me into someone new...tying up my loose ends to create beauty in my life.

Do you feel like your life is falling apart? Are you afraid you will never be able to collect all the pieces to put it back together? Do you think you will always be a scattered mess? He holds all things together and that includes you. Hand over to Him the pieces.  He will know what to do with them.

This post is a part of the series, "Verses of Hope" born out of my need to find hope in the hardness of life. To see all the posts, click here.