Brighter Days are Coming

Brighter Days are Coming

Some of my friends and family members are in a storm right now or are walking through a valley wondering how to get out. They’re feeling down, hurt, angry and confused, and tomorrow’s outcome is uncertain. It hurts me to see them hurting, but if I’m honest, I can certainly relate because I too have days when I feel as though I am in a valley.

When we are in dark places dealing with conflict and struggle, we just want resolution and clarity so that we can see through the mess and feel secure or safe again.

When we are in these low places, that is when we must seek God the most. Our dark days are for a season, they will not last forever if we seek the Lord. Through God’s strength we can overcome. It may be hard to see it now, but brighter days are ahead when you allow God in and let him lead.

God uses our dark places to prepare and grow us. Although we feel like we are alone in the dark, we are not. God’s love will always find us in our darkest places and in our deepest pain.

In the Bible, God used Esther to help free his people. She was an orphan who felt abandoned and unworthy, but God still had purpose for her. She was appointed the queen of Persia. As queen she was faced with a tough decision that could cost the lives of both her and her people, the Jews. But she chose to risk her own life to tell her husband the king, about his Persian official Harmon’s evil plan to destroy all Jews, which included her his wife and Mordecai, her uncle who once saved his life. She revealed to her husband the king for the very first time that she and her uncle were both Jewish. She took this risk knowing that it was against the law to come before the king uninvited, accepting that it could result in her own death.

Through the book of Esther in the Bible, We learn that although God does not always seem present, he is always there with his people in their darkness and will never abandon them. It shows us God’s commitment to redeem his people. It also shows us that God appointed Esther in her position, “for such a time as this”, meaning God accomplished his purpose through Esther during that appointed time.

God also used Paul through darkness. He made Paul blind for three days and allowed him to sit unable to see, wondering whether he had lost his sight forever. Sitting in that dark place changed him and he found breakthrough.

Paul needed to loose his sight in order to stop viewing things in his old ways, otherwise, he would have never seen God in a new light. When he changed the way he viewed Christ, his sight was restored. Paul went from being a man who chased wealth and power into a man of faith. Had he not been put through darkness he would have never become a follower of Christ nor one of the 12 Apostles, spreading the gospel of Christ.

Acts 9:18 — Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized.

When we are sitting in darkness it does not mean that we will stay there. God is at work behind the scenes. He uses darkness to get our attention, transform us and re-direct us.

So if you’re in a place feeling down, lonely, depressed, overwhelmed or struggling and are wondering why life is going the way it is for you, have faith and trust that God has a plan and brighter days are coming!

This song has been replay in my car for the past two weeks. It has kept me encouraged and uplifted and I pray that it will do the same for you!

Father God, We thank you that you are a God of redemption and that you give second chances to us. Father, tonight there are many people that are hurting, and in need of solutions to the struggles and issues that life has brought them. Lord, you are our savior and our deliverer. I pray tonight that you would reveal yourself to all who are hurting and in a dark place. Father God, meet them right there in their darkness and show them love in the mist of their pain. Transform their hearts oh God, and set a fire in their soul so that they would thirst and hunger to know you and draw closer to you on a daily basis. Father, we know that we were all created with a plan and a purpose and that you turn around what the enemy has meant for evil. You turn all evil and all bad things around for the good of those who love you. Father God, show up for your people and hear their cries Lord Jesus. I pray for the conviction of the Holy Spirit to fall upon them and that they would repent and seek to live a life chasing after your love only. This world is a dark place Father, change hearts, Lord Jesus brake chains, and cause your people to surrender to the life they were meant to live. You are a God of love, I pray that all those hurting will see the light that you are shining into their darkness and reach out for your unfailing love. In Jesus mighty name I pray, Amen

Growing with you,

Sandy

Following Christ, One Failure at a Time

Following Christ, One Failure at a Time

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” - Matthew 11:28-30 MSG

I get tired. I get angry at myself for failing God and end up feeling like I’m a failure to him. I think to myself, here we go again. I made another mistake, I let him down. I gave into my flesh and said the wrong thing to someone who got to me. I regret the way I handled that situation, why didn’t I stop and think first? I lost at the challenge that I was faced with, why am I so weak? That was a test from God, why didn’t I realize it?!

Why is it so hard to live in obedience sometimes?

Let’s think of our children, toddler age for example… When they’re off in their own little worlds of curiosity caught up in exploratory fun, are they set out to disappoint us? Are they even thinking of us? When we find them covered in paint on the kitchen floor or find our walls full of the art they drew, do you think it was easy for them to stop and think on how mom or dad will react? When they are throwing a tantrum because they are upset that they can’t have their way or get what they want, are we loving them any less?

No matter how many mistakes they make or how many messes they leave for us to clean up, our love for them doesn’t decrease. Depending on our own mood that day we may get a bit frustrated, but we clean up the mess they made, maybe put them in time out as a consequence and lecture them as to why they are not to do it again. But, we don’t see them as a failure. They are still our children who are our pride and joy whom we love endlessly.

God loves us just the same. We are all his children. He cleans up our messes, allows consequences in hopes that we will learn from our mistakes, and he loves us still. He knows mistakes teach us and grow us in our calling. He desires for us to learn from mistakes so that we can become who he created us to be. He could never see us as a failure.

So today, if you’ve made a mistake, don’t think less of yourself and don’t give up. Don’t believe the lies of the enemy. You are not a failure for making a mistake, the Lord knew that would happen. Continue to follow Jesus and know that you will make another mistake, and more than likely more will follow after that one. And he will still be there loving you through it.

God’s desire is that we repent and draw close to him when we fall short. Just as we teach our children to apologize when they do something wrong, Jesus wants us to come to him and do the same. Admit that we fell short and that we will try to do better in the future. Just as us parents know our little ones will make many mistakes as they grow, God knows the same of us. He knows we live in a fallen world and therefore we can never be perfect.

He doesn’t care what we did or how many times we have made that same mistake. He loves us unconditionally & just wants us to repent and call on him. Nothing is too big or too small for God. He is there always with arms wide open pursuing us to come home.

“But me he caught—reached all the way from sky to sea; he pulled me out Of that ocean of hate, that enemy chaos, the void in which I was drowning. They hit me when I was down, but God stuck by me. He stood me up on a wide-open field; I stood there saved—surprised to be loved! God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before him. When I got my act together, he gave me a fresh start. Now I’m alert to God’s ways; I don’t take God for granted. Every day I review the ways he works; I try not to miss a trick. I feel put back together, and I’m watching my step. God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.” - Psalms 18:16-24 MSG

Father God, We thank you for loving us unconditionally and being there with open arms no matter how many times we fall short. We thank you that no matter what we do your how many times we do it, you will always welcome us back into your loving arms. Father, it is so hard for us to remember not to carry the weight of shame when we mess up or do things that are not pleasing to you. Remind us, Father God, that you desire to be the strength in our weaknesses. Remind us, Oh God, that you have a calling over every single one of our lives. Help us to see that no matter what mistakes we make you do not want us to turn away, and you desire for us to draw closer to you. Holy Spirit, when we are going through struggles and hard times draw us in and bring us deeper into praising our Savior. Reminder us Lord never to run, but instead to fall at your feet and submit to you so that we may be covered in your unfailing love. Lord, we thank you for never giving up on us. We love you & we honor you Oh God. In Jesus name, Amen

Growing with you, Sandy

A Critical Spirit

A Critical Spirit

via Daily Prompt: Critical

crit·i·cal
adjective
1. expressing adverse or disapproving comments or judgments.

When you are critical of someone or something you tend to be expressing your disapproval or judgement on something they did or said. When I go onto social media lately, it seems that critical comments and posts are the norm. I see battles and arguments over politics and religion daily now. It seems as though everyone is out to prove that someone else is wrong. What happened to respecting others? Does respect even exist anymore?

Many are being quick to speak and put others down and react out of emotion.  This is not always good or healthy.  As a mother, I do my best to teach my daughter to think before speaking or posting on social media. I believe that our words [and posts] are a reflection of our character. While I don’t live my life based on what others think of me, I live trying to be mindful of the way my words or comments make others feel. Of course I am human so I too have made the mistake of blurting something out that I have regretted after the fact, but I do my best to be cautious with my words and statements.

Words should be used to build other up, not break them down.

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