Hi y’all! I didn’t mean to take a little blogging break. We had our gospel meeting last week, and I didn’t have any extra time to write. Then, with the horrible events in Boston and Texas, nothing I would have posted would have been that important.
We live in a fallen world, and there will always be evil. Things happen that we don’t understand. While our hearts are heavy, we know we have a Heavenly Father who will never leave us if we cling to Him. Our job is to be a light to this dark world.
This verse gives me so much comfort. I repeat it to myself frequently on stormy days, and I thought of it again several times last week.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27
I am thankful for God and His love, goodness, and peace!
I took my last dose of anti-anxiety medicine in late October. It was a hard decision, but I felt good about it. I was doing great, and I felt like I didn’t need it as much as I definitely did post-tornado. The transition went well, and I didn’t notice much of a difference. I was taking a very low dose anyway. There were a few days in late November where I felt like I might need to start taking it again, but I made it through that rough patch medicine free. I say all this just to give some background info for this post.
Over the past month and a half, I’ve felt the anxiety creep back in to my life. Sleepless nights full of worry, being nervous in large groups, short moments where I feel a little panicked, stomach problems, headaches, and just generally feeling stressed have all been unwelcome guests. I’m tired, but I try so hard not to complain. I think it has just come with the territory of busy days and stressful times. One positive thing about the past few years is that I know myself now and I know I can handle this. I don’t want this to be my excuse not to do what I need and want to do. This week, I made a new promise to myself.
The truth is, I have a very blessed life. I have such a good support system in my family and friends. There are people in my life who would do anything for me. I know this. I also know that I have a Heavenly Father who is also on my side. I’ve been confessing for years that I don’t pray enough. I have good intentions, but I never take steps to change. Lately though I’ve been working to improve my prayer life, and it’s been a good thing. My new promise to myself is this, I’m going to stop being self-centered by thinking I can do this on my own. I’m going to lean on the Lord. When anxious feelings come, I know what to do. I’m just going to keep praying. I’m going to spend time in His Word. I’m going to take care of myself. You know what? I already feel a little better.
There may be a time in the future when I need a little bit of help from the medicine again. For now, I’m just going to keep praying through it.
“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah ” (Psalm 62:5-8 ESV)
I guess you could say these verses of mine weren’t favorites of mine until yesterday. I had another verse in mind, but found this passage instead when I was searching for verses with the word trust. There’s so much darkness in the world today. I need the reminder to put my trust in Him. No recession or tax increase or immorality or loss of liberty can shake our foundation when we trust in the Lord. I would rather trust in Him than things of this world!
And they were to stand every morning, thanking and praising the Lord, and likewise at evening, (1 Chronicles 23:30 ESV)
I will praise the name of God with a song;
I will magnify him with thanksgiving. (Psalm 69:30 ESV)
Oh come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
For the Lord is a great God,
and a great King above all gods. (Psalm 95:1-3 ESV)
do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6 ESV)
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, (1 Timothy 2:1 ESV)
We can’t separate our gratitude from God, because He is the source of all our blessings!
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God”(Galatians 4:4-7 ESV)
Adoption is a subject that is still often on my mind. I don’t talk much about it because it seems such a long way in our future. Sometimes I stop what I’m doing and say a quick prayer for birth mothers and agencies, and children waiting for a home.
Adoption is close to my heart because of M, but I also am adopted. As a Christian, I am a child of God. And that’s a wonderful thing!
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:4-8 ESV)
As Christians, we have to have the attitude of a servant. We are all servants. Having the mindset of looking out for the best interests of others rather than ourselves is how we can follow Christ’s example. I want to be a better servant of Christ today!
Have a wonderful Wednesday!
It’s been a while since I have written a faith post. Today I thought I would post about something that has been mulling it around in my head lately. I recently finished a personal topical Bible study on the word “abide”. I love the search on the YouVersion app because it gives results that relate to a concept even if the verse doesn’t contain the exact word you searched for. Anyway, I leaned and gained so much from this study.
The word abide has several different meanings. As a verb, abide means “to endure”. Other definitions given by Webster’s are “to remain stable or fixed in a state” and “continue in a place”.
What does it mean to abide in Christ? As Christians, we must abide in Him. Jesus is speaking in John 15:4 when He says “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” (John 15:4 ESV). We cannot be productive, fruitful Christians without abiding in Christ. We must continue in Christ. To abide in Christ, we abide in His love. This truth is spoken by Jesus later in the same chapter. John 15:9 says “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.”
Abiding in Christ is a relationship. We can’t just say we are in Christ. We have to keep His commandments. 1 John 3:24a says “Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him.” So to continue in this relationship we have to keep on obeying God, loving Him, and loving our neighbor.
I’m going to end this post with a verse that shows what a blessing it is that we can have a relationship with Christ. We can have confidence and assurance. I know I’m not worthy, and I’m thankful for His grace and love. There is nowhere I would rather be than abiding in Christ!
“And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.”(1 John 2:28 ESV)
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1, 2 ESV)
To me, these two verses lay out our greatest and most important challenge as Christians. The “great cloud of witnesses” refers to all the faithful men and women listed in chapter 11 which has come to be known as “the hall of faith”. These faithful people served God and endured to the end. That’s what we are challenged to do.
I have so many things I want to accomplish in this life. Goals are great to have, but if I don’t have this as my main goal, I am missing the point. These verses make me want to get to work and run with endurance!
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 (ESV)
After Papaw Bud passed away, my dad gave my sister and I each one of his Bibles. Daddy wrote out this verse on a piece of paper he stuck inside the Bible for me. Since then, it has been my favorite verse in the New Testament. It’s the first piece of Scripture that comes to mind when I try to repeat scriptures in my head. The 146 in my WordPress username and my Twitter account (@bethp146) is for 14:6 of this verse. In fact, I love the entire chapter.
To me, the verse is a reminder that to have a relationship with God, we must come through Christ. That’s what I strive to have – a relationship with our Heavenly Father. Jesus is everything to and for us. His is the path we must walk and it’s His footsteps we must follow.
“With what shall I come before the Lord,
and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:6-8 ESV)”
What God requires:
1. Do justice
2. Love kindness
3. Walk humbly with Him
These are all things that should be easy to do. Yet life, temptations, and human nature all hinder us from this sometimes. I love this passage because it spells out in black and white how I should be living. It’s a wonderful reminder!