Why God Sends Us Afflictions

***I’ve been busy writing something pretty special, so just to keep my blog updated with content I’m going to share some of my personal journal entries. I hope you enjoy.***

Lately, I’ve found myself getting frustrated with Scriptures. Yesterday, I posted on social media how the Bible is a treasure. While sitting here today the Holy Spirit. reminded me of that saying. The thing is I know there are innumerable treasures to be found in Scriptures, often I just don’t want to dig. Sigh. I’ve been mostly reading the NT epistles and the book of Psalm. I find there is treasure above ground with this books/sections. Ugh. I can’t be a lazy Bible reader. I was reading the Book of Job, Elihu statements about God. A lot of the gospel in that. A lot of God’s redeeming power toward the Saints.

He delivers the afflicted by their affliction and opens their ear by adversity Job 36:16

God uses what we would rather not experience, to save us. I can’t help but think about the affliction God so sovereignly planned for me. Eczema. I couldn’t explain away these splotches, or no cream could save me. I used to be so itchy I couldn’t sleep at night. I remember I had joined a Reddit board of eczema-sufferers and poured through a lot of posts. I was seeking a remedy. Well, one day a young lady posted she’d been meditating on healing Bible verses. And, while I wasn’t interested in the Bible, out of desperation I was like ‘sign me up.’ Then, I found how people believed unrepressed anger could manifest itself in various diseases, including eczema. And, I was ANGRY. I was angry at God for allowing my Mom to die. I had stuff pent up on the inside of me that happened when I was in Elementary school. I always thought it’s better to keep it inside than to be confrontational about anything. I thought I was BETTER than those who ranted and raved. I thought anger was ugly and I wanted to avoid it COMPLETELY.

Most of those people recommended therapy and all sorts of new age things. I’m not saying therapy isn’t helpful, it is. But, as a Christian, I now know that He is the remedy. He remedied my skin that felt like it was on fire. He remedied repressed anger, that I didn’t have enough time, money or skills to deal with or compartmentalize. My spirit was like a stuffed closet, full of mostly anger. All the advice I saw online was for me to attempt to pull stuff out, and put it in neater. Only God could have rid me of repressed anger.

So, I know God will use the most difficult times in our lives to open our eyes, draw us near and to save us. No one likes suffering, but it’s the best remedy. We need to be saved from the pit, we need to draw near to God and we need for God to open our eyes. And, I hope not to speak as if suffering is behind me. We will leave it behind us for good when we enter heaven’s gates.

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Grace


“On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the Lord had closed her womb. And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb. So it went on year by year. As often as she went up to the house of the Lord, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat.”‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭1:4-7‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I was going to make this blog about Hannah and her godly traits. But, as I was journaling and inwardly rolling my eyes because of Penninah. I was reminded of grace.

I read these stories in the Bible, and I bring myself into context. I would be Hannah, and I imagine Penninah to be some popular girl in school; who I secretly admired, but yet openly was rejected by. So, I found myself inwardly doing what Hannah wouldn’t do at that table, every year. Then, the Holy Spirit tapped me on my shoulder and whispered ‘grace’.

Penninah was an unloved woman, it (v.5) doesn’t read that Elkanah loved Hannah more than Penninah; it reads ‘he loved her’. So, we can assume that though he had two wives, his love was devout and not divided.

I’m sure that much like Leah (Gen 29:32), Penninah assumed that having multiple sons and daughters would make Elkanah divide his devotion. But, to no avail. The Holy Spirit had to remind me that there are two hurting women at that table. Hannah had her husband’s love but wanted a child. Penninah had the children but wanted the love of her husband.

And, while Penninah was no angel, and did what was unpleasing in the sight of the Lord; she too was a woman troubled in spirit. Penninah should have followed Hannah and poured her soul out to the Lord. Instead, she looked forward to inflicting her hurt on another woman.

Prayer: Lord, may we be people who show grace towards the hurting who in return hurt us. May we as your vessels empty ourselves at your feet. Lord, we thank you that you are a God who hears unheard prayers. We thank you that we can always come to you, and in the solace of your Presence will you change our countenance. I thank you for loving the accused and the accuser.I pray that as you are making us into the image of your own Son, we will love like He does. I pray that we wouldn’t hold on to old wounds but allow you to heal them. For we know there is still balm in Gilead. I say this prayer in Jesus name. Amen

Your Comfort Zone is a Snare.

Lately, I’ve been dealing with God calling me out from my comfort zone. Also, how I’ve been hiding behind my ‘shyness’. While, I am a quiet introvert, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I have excused myself from socialization because, ‘I’m shy.’ And, coming to terms with the fact that my purpose isn’t going to fall into my lap. I know God wants me to take some physical steps in faith. I’m also coming to understand that all I’ve ever prayed for, is right outside of my comfort zone. All of these realizations, in one week. Sigh!

The one thing that has helped me this week is worship. I could spend a whole day just sitting in a corner, trying to understand all of this. I could beat myself up, faint, and lose heart. Or, I could worship God. Focusing on ourselves produces the fruit of hopelessness or pride and selfishness; while focusing on God produces the fruit of peace, joy, and wisdom. In those moments of worshipping and meditating on who God is, He has met with me. God assures me and gives me insight. “Comfort is a snare”, I heard myself saying.

Still, I’ve jumped back and forth between fear and excitement. Back and forth between this being a display of God’s love for me and wondering about my future. I know with ten steps away from my comfort zone, I’ll wonder why I’ve been so afraid.

I’ve referred to my attempts at socialization as ‘awkward’. Which, is negative altogether; since I was mostly referring to myself. It’s not that they are awkward, they just made me uncomfortable. Yet, I’ve always longed for meaningful relationships but, I convinced myself that I could do without them. It took building my relationship with God and enjoying fellowship with Him; for me to even value people and relationships. But, I know that even being in the company of friends’ can’t compare to being in His presence.

God has brought me a far way in seven months. I know God is foremost interested in our fruit-bearing and making us into the image of His Son. So, this absolutely is a display of His love for me. God wants far better for us than for us to be snared. God absolutely challenges me, every day. There isn’t a dull day with God.

This post is sort of all over the place. But, I thank you for your support.

How has God challenged you lately? Share in the comments!

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I love you, but God loves you more!

You Are Not Alone

 

I think where Satan can be triumphant, is when we believe that we are alone. When we think we are the only one being buffeted.(2 Cor 12:7) When we believe that we’re the only child of God, going through hardships. When he convinces us we are the only disciple counting the cost.

As if somehow, God is doing excellent things (engagements, babies, graduation, books, speaking engagements, etc..) in the lives of every saint- except you. The enemy really wants you to doubt God’s goodness! Or that we aren’t good enough to be used by Him.

You are not alone! I just experienced an attack that resulted in tears. I was on my knees pouring my heart out to God, telling Him all the lies I believed. And, how I feel that I know too much Scripture; to be here, feeling defeated yet again. How I should be able to defeat him, with the Word. Yet, I find myself not casting his lies down. Nor do I compare them with the truth.

God reminded me that I don’t need to sit and believe his lies, but I could call out for Him. I could run and hide in his pavilion.

God is breaking me down- I was (BC) so hell-bent on being self-sufficient. This desire stems from me losing half of my intermediate family (Mom +Bro). Since it’s just me and my Dad; and he’s not in good health. I felt that I would be alone and that I would have to know how to handle things on my own. Although I thought I was over this, it’s shown up again.

But, let me assure you; this Christian life isn’t easy. But, I know that it’s worth it. I know we have the ability to see anyone (who just happens to be wearing clean clothes) and think, ‘their life is probably better than mines’. Well, that’s a lie. And, it robs us of our God-given joy. We are all a mess! We are a mess God chose to set His heart on. We are a mess that is awakened with new mercies and we are covered by His grace.

You are not alone! This is hard stuff, pursuing holiness in a wicked world.You are not alone! Leaving behind what the world taught you, to cling to God’s word as the only truth. You are not alone! Sometimes..just sometimes you miss your old self and your old life. You are not alone! You’ve thought about quitting this ‘Jesus-stuff’. You are not alone! 

So, be of good courage, my brother or sister. God has not forsaken you, and He doesn’t have the ability to. You are in good hands, and you are so loved. Think about it! God will do whatever is necessary, for you to spend eternity with Him. You are so valuable, and the body of Christ needs you. Be prayerful, rely on Jesus, and He will lead you from everlasting to everlasting.

Let’s be transparent in the comments. What was a really hard part of this month for you- concerning your walk with Christ? Please, share & like. Follow me on Instagram and Twitter. And, pick up a cool tee from my SHOP. Thank You.

 

Good-Bye Fear

 

I’ve lived most of my life in fear. Fear of the known, unknown and the eventual. I feared what was there, and what was never there. Fear crippled and paralyzed, and made me anxious about what didn’t even exist. Before I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior, fear was my lord. And, sometimes the habits I’ve had for 30 years plus, creep back in. The thing that fear is really good at, is preventing me from obeying God. And, I just can’t have that; so good-bye fear.

The enemy really had his fun with me before Christ (B.C.). There are some nights where he’d bring up some news clip I had seen earlier in the day about a break-in, rape or murder; just before I went to bed. I’d lay in bed (I lived alone, at that time) waiting for the sun to rise. Even driving to a place I’d never been to, and had to rely on Google Maps; induced anxiety. This is only a few examples, there are many more.

And, apart from my enemy; I allowed fear to keep me from experiencing so many things. I didn’t attend high school dances or prom; because of fear. I allowed fear (of socialization) to keep me from meeting and getting to know people. I allowed fear to keep me from too many experiences to count.

While I’m not regretful in a sense; because God is more than faithful. And, I know I will have more chances and opportunities to do most of the things I missed out on.

I allowed fear to have dominion over my life, and I’m willing to accept my fault for that very thing. But, with that said, I’m no longer going to give a willing ear to fear. I’m not going to listen to the enemy’s ‘what if’s’ anymore. I’m not going to allow fear to move me aside from the path of my destiny. I’m not allowing fear to keep me from sharing the Gospel (offline). I’m not allowing fear to keep me from meeting my brethren, and allowing them to pour into me, and me to pour into them.

The point of this post is to solidify my departure from fea and to rest in God’s power. I pray for myself, and anyone who has given power to fear; that every day we will say ‘even if I’m afraid, God is with me’.

I love you, but God loves you more!

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The New Way I Study My Bible

I’ve been consistently pursuing the truth found in Scriptures for six months. I can’t begin to even tell you how it’s changed my life. The Bible has changed me, and the way I perceive all things. Yet, I still have this thirst for the unadulterated truth of the Word. In previous times I depended heavily on the helps in my study Bible. And, even Bible commentaries. And, while there is nothing wrong with that; I feel the reason commentators came to certain conclusions about Word, is because they took their time in Scriptures. Sometimes my thirst for the truth will bring me to a place where I only want to understand; and not to patiently take my time. Honestly, sometimes I have preconceived notions about what I’m reading. Which in turns make the Bible read, what I have already believed.

Looks like chicken scratch, but at least I’m learning

I have vowed and prayed that I would like to see God clearer. And, not add on to who He is, and what His word says about Him.

That brings me to my new method, Inductive Bible Study (IBS). My Pastor briefly mentioned that’s how he studies the Word. I had seen it around on the Internet, but it seemed complicated. Well, actually it’s not that complicated at all!

Studying my Bible this way, makes me focus verse-by-verse. It’s a very interactive way of study that calls for marking or highlighting names, places, or actions. You literally lift up every word, looking for the meaning of the verse. I’ve found it takes more time than I’m used to. But, at least I’m fully understanding everything!

And, while there is so much more to IBS than I can hope to explain; I’m going to leave you some links* so you can look into this for yourselves.

The question of the day: How do you study your Bible? And, out of all your studying what verse, passage or truth has stayed with you to this day? Leave me a comment so we can chat!

I love you, but God loves you more!

Walking by Faith (& my shop)

Having an online shop was something I never thought I would do. And, while is not uncommon it’s something that never crossed my mind. Until the Holy Spirit suggested it to me. I was fearful and doubting who would even be interested in buying something I sold. But eventually, I made up my mind that God was more than trustworthy. And, that He knows what’s best for me.This is the beginning of me walking by faith, and not by sight.

This is a huge thing for me, it’s the first fruit of my communion with God. This is really happening! This shop is also God’s way of answering one of my prayers. God is so faithful. I feel so humbled by this opportunity.

…’I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.” Isaiah 46:11 (ESV)

I also want to encourage anyone who’s been afraid when God’s revealed a part of his purpose for your life. Do it! Write that book, article, song or screenplay. Open that company, charity, or school. If God told you to do it, know that He will do it! Trust Him!

I want to first thank you for the likes and follows on my previous posts, it means so much to me. I would really appreciate your support in this endeavor. Check out my shop in your free time.

I love you, but God loves you more!