I’ve been having a really stressful week. It’s been one thing after another. So I really needed to read this article today. I wanted to share it in case it might help someone else who is struggling this week as well. 😊
This is a devotional that I had written in 2019 and submitted to Compel Training as a part of their devotional writing contest. It wasn’t selected, so I decided that I would share it to my blog, which you can read at the link below.
But, I also have an ESV Interleaved Bible and decided that I wanted to print it off and put it in my Bible as a reminder of the first time I ever wrote and submitted a devotional for a writing contest. It was a fun learning experience and I’m hoping with practice that I can be able to write more in the future. 😁
The following post is actually from my old Myspace blog archives. It was originally dated 2/22/09 and it came up in my Facebook memories today from when I first joined and I was transferring posts over into notes, which Facebook has gotten rid of.
Yesterday, on my way to work, this song was playing on KLOVE and I had stopped at a stop light. I had just finished hearing the second verse of the song and when looked up, I happened to see a ‘heart-shaped’ cloud in the sky. I thought it was too cool and wish I had my camera. I had the biggest smile on my face and knew that it was a sign from God that He was with me and that He loved me.
You see, I had been praying for several weeks for God’s guidance in several areas of my life – spiritual (particularly church) & personal – and after seeing this yesterday morning, I knew God was listening to my prayers.
I’m not a perfect person in any since and I’ve made many mistakes in my life. I’m currently single and have been for over 4 years now. I used to think that there may be something wrong with me, or that I’m just too shy to catch anyone’s attention. But, in a way, I’m glad for this ‘season’ of singleness that God has blessed me with. I’ve been able to accomplish things in my personal life that I probably would not have been able to otherwise.
As far as my spiritual life is going, I felt like I was just going through the motions, but I wasn’t feeling connected. I would attend church weekly and be ‘involved’ in church activity, but I didn’t have that connection with God like I knew I should/wanted. Also, lots of personal issues in the church as well, which I prefer not to discuss right now, maybe later, when the Lord lets me know the timing is right.
These past few weeks, God has really been testing my faith and I knew it had been an answer to my prayers…
When we decide to prayerfully ask Him for something, I believe He wants to know if we really want His help or not. There’s been plenty of times when I’ve prayed for stuff in the past and I’ve received it and have not been thankful and faithful to God in my prayer and spiritual life. It often seems that when things are going great, we forget Who it was that helped us in the first place.
My earnest prayer is that He would give me some guidance on what His will is for my life. And, He has been definitely guiding me within this past week or so. I still don’t know the whole answer, but I’m trusting Him and believing that His will is always better than what I want.
It never ceases to amaze me the ways that God uses to get our attention when we are truly seeking His will. He is more than willing to make Himself known to us if we are truly paying attention.
Within this past week, it seemed like every devotion that I’ve received in my emails has dealt, one way or another, with what I’m going through. I recently found some Christian blogs, that further led me to 2 great books by Lysa Terkearst from Proverbs 31 ministries dealing with faith and God’s will, that I’m currently reading. I’ve also heard a particular song played several times a day on KLOVE that deals with this particular subject – Here I Am by the Christian group Downhere.
I wanted to share this with you because I felt the Holy Spirit leading me to and thought that it might help someone else out there who may be struggling or dealing with some issues of faith or knowing that God is with you during your times of need. I’ve also included the video to the song that I mentioned below.
The following is a devotional is a contest entry I entered for Compel Training. The topic was on stress, worry and trusting God in the hard places of life. There were over 600 entries and only 40 were chosen. I wasn’t picked, but I really enjoyed the process and got some good feedback from a few close friends and family members. So, I wanted to share it here on my blog and hopefully encourage someone else who may be worried and praying about something. Keep praying. Keep asking. I’ve heard it said that God is no respecter of persons. What he does for one, He can do for another. 🙂
Anxiety took over my mind as a pile of bills sat before me and I wondered how I was going to pay them. I was living paycheck to paycheck and struggling to make ends meet. Not only that but my car was due for maintenance and I needed to pay my taxes and renew my registration.
Normally in the past when I was in a financial bind, I could call on my grandmother and she would usually lend me a hand. To which I am very grateful and blessed to have someone like that in my life. But I was in a season where God was trying to teach me to rely on him as my source and not my family.
So, I prayed over my bills and specifically asked God to either increase my income or to send money another way. I released the situation into God’s hands, trusting that He would provide.
During this time, I stayed faithful in paying my tithes. I could have easily quit doing that and used the money towards my debts or my car, but I didn’t. This is where my true test of faith was coming into action.
About a month later, God answered my prayer. Not only with enough money to take care of my bills and car, but also in the specific way I asked. I found out that I would be getting a bonus and pay increase at work. Then, unexpectedly, I got a $100 refund on a security deposit from my phone company. Praise God!
This situation of trusting God was a huge leap of faith and it got me thinking of the story of Abraham and Isaac. Abraham was asked to sacrifice his promised son Isaac, and without question or hesitation, Abraham took his son to be sacrificed. When God saw his obedience, he stopped him from sacrificing his son, and provided a ram instead. Abraham called the place Jehovah-Jireh, “the lord will provide” (Genesis 22:14)
One thing I’ve learned in my 30-year journey with God is that He can’t use what we don’t release to him. We can either pray & release our concerns to God trusting that he knows best. Or we can cling onto them with clinched fists trying to solve them on our own thinking we know better.
Letting go is hard, but if we truly know the one whom we are releasing our concerns to then it makes loosening our grip easier. Abraham trusted God because he knew him as faithful. However, if we don’t believe that God is faithful to keep His promises, then we will struggle to be obedient when we are asked to do that which we think we cannot.
In order to build that trust, we must spend time getting to know Him better and learning about His character. Then once we’ve found him faithful in one area of our lives, we know that he will be faithful in other areas as well.
I receive a daily devotional from the Purpose Driven website. Today’s devotion was on Resisting Disouragement. The key verse was:
“So don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time” (Galatians 6:9 NLT)
In the devotion he says:
Ask yourself these questions:
• How do I handle failure? • When things don’t go my way, do I get grumpy? • When things don’t go my way, do I get frustrated? • When things don’t go my way, do I start complaining? • Do I finish what I start? • How would I rate on persistence?
If you’re discouraged, don’t give up without a fight. Nothing worthwhile ever happens without endurance and energy.
I wanted to share this because I know there are many times when I am grumpy, especially first thing in the morning. Either I’ll be running late, I can’t find something, or I’ve forgotten something. So, by the time I get ready to head out the door, I just want to give up and start the day over. Usually, for me, it seems that if I’ve already had a bad morning, it makes for a really bad day.
I also tend to complain or get frustrated easily, which is what happend to me yesterday because I couldn’t get my work done. It was so noisy and I couldn’t concentrate. Finally, when it finally calmed down & I could concentrate on my work, I’d got upset because someone would want to talk or ask me a question. I wasn’t mean or angry with them, but I’m sure they noticed, by the tone of my voice, that I was a little upset and frustrated. I eventually had to take a break so I could calm my nerves.
There have also been many times that I’ve tried starting a specific project and would easily get frustrated when things aren’t going the way I want them to. I’ve wanted to give up many times, but I’ve noticed from past experience that things don’t always go as planned, but as long I don’t give up and keep trying, things will usually work itself out. Sometimes even better than I had first planned.
If you’d like to read the full devotional, I’ve shared the link below.