Tag Archives: God

Week # 28 1 John 5:14-15

1 John 5:14 -151 John 5:14 -15
English: World English Bible - WEB

14 This is the boldness which we have toward him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he listens to us. 15 And if we know that he listens to us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions which we have asked of him.

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“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us— whatever we ask we know that we have what we asked of him.”

He hears your heartbeat.  He will keep it beating to the rhythm of his will for our lives.

Will we trust him?

Will we believe him?

Will we ask him?

 

 

For deeper reflection read this related post The Journey Continues.

 

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring”. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23Proverbs 4:23
English: World English Bible - WEB

23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it is the wellspring of life.

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“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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Week # 24 Psalm 56:3

Fear has the power to grip us to the point of making us believe we are powerless.  Our response to fearful situations reveals our power level and our level of vision clarity  provided by our life lenses that we learned at over the past two weeks.  I know this all too well.  I vividly remember the day I was gripped by fear in a way I had never experienced.

It was a beautiful Summer day in Germany, we woke up that July morning to news of fresh snow fall on the mountain we would be exploring, the Zugspitze.  We took the train up the mountain with great anticipation of the fun and beauty that was before us.  The train alone was exciting for the kids, who were 10, 7re 10, 7
English: World English Bible - WEB

7 The anger of Yahweh was kindled against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the children of Ammon.

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,and 6 years old at the time.   They were excited to see snow since we had just moved to Germany from the state of Georgia.  We were not disappointed.  Everyone was able to walk in the snow and through snowballs, it was joyous.  Then my husband spotted his reason for making the journey— the summit.  He wanted to climb the rock face and touch the cross at the summit.  I gladly supported him.   The children and I remained on the safety of the observation deck where we could enjoy the view as Daddy made his climb and take pictures to record his triumphant accomplishment.  He returned to us so excited and he wanted to take our oldest with him.  Reluctantly, I let her go.  I was trying to convince myself to trust that this was a good decision.  I’m married to a natural risk taker and adventure seeker, unlike myself, and our measure of safe is determined on far different scales.

So against my better judgment off she went with her Daddy.  She returned safely and full of smiles.  Her excitement was contagious so of course her little sister and brother would not be left behind.  One by one they went, with each one it became much harder for me to watch as they climbed the rusty ladder leading to the summit rock face.  My fear grew as I noted the safety precautions that other local families had been using as they climbed.  They linked everyone together with ropes and wore helmets.  I struggled to believe this was still a good idea and began to let fear cloud my vision. I could see my petite 6 year old stretching to reach each bar until she climbed onto the rock face.  Then she took hold of an iron rope that served as protection from falling off the edge.  It started about her waist level as she moved closer to the summit her arm stretched  higher and higher until it was fully above her head holding on.  My heart raced, I was pacing, and gripping my son and daughters hands very tightly.  Then, she let go of the rope.  Now making her way holding only her Daddy’s hand.  At this point I was struggling to verbally encourage myself that it was going to be okay.  She might be on the edge of a mountain summit but she was going to be just fine.  Right Lord, just fine, you are going to keep her safe?  And He did she returned to me full of smiles and excitement that she did it!  She was a big girl!

Then it was time for me to release my baby boy to this adventure.  You would think at this point my trust would have been greater since there were two successfully completed trips.  Rather than trust my husband and the Lord I continued to look through my clouded lenses of fear. The view of what I believed to be true— this was dangerous and my husband is not recognizing the serious hazards he is exposing our children too without any safety equipment.   I just knew the other side was even more dangerous than the side I could see.  I wanted to have control but I wasn’t in control.

Zugspitze summit

That is when it happened.  He crested the top of the ladder and stood up on the rock face.  As he took each step on the mountain, I found myself pulling my girls closer to me and the wall of safety behind us.  I became glued to the wall and forced my daughter to do the same not letting them move to watch them climb.  In my mind somehow this was keeping the situation under control.  I was gripped with fear.  I was acting irrationally.  Tears were swelling in my eyes and I felt breathless.  I was angry that my husband would do this to me.  Why was he willfully putting our children is such a dangerous situation?  My oldest remembers trying to assure me and tell me it was safe up there.  What was keeping me from hearing her and from believing her?  Fear.

Looking back I can see that I was living in low battery mode since we were busy moving overseas and trying to get some exploring done as a family before my husband’s unit deployed.  I was fortunate to have a few moments to myself let alone find time for a regular quiet time and my prayer life was sporadic as well.  My focus was not on my daily relationship with the Lord leading to my blurry vision that opened the door to fear.  I missed out on experiencing the exhilarating moment of the Zugspitze summit as a family because I forgot to recharge my night vision goggles(NVG’s) and they lost there power.  If I had them powered up they would have helped me look at life from God’s perspective—-to live life unafraid of mere mortals.  A  life lived with God in focus and the world slightly blurred.

If I only would have had my NVG’s powered up then I would have been able to view the truth my daughters were trying to help me see.  I was so gripped by fear I wouldn’t let myself even consider what they were telling me.  As I held them tight against the wall they were trying to encourage me— saying: “It’s safe Mommy.  You can’t see it from here but it is flat up top with lots of room to walk and the view is really cool.”

Being bound by fear left me closed off from the truth that was right in front of me.  It is very scary to think I was open to such paralyzing fear.  It truly wasn’t until months  later that I realized how I had masked the truth of the situation.  I was sure that I was the only one with the truth.  How could I be wrong?  But I was very wrong.  That situation opened my eyes to some very serious trust issues I had.   I thought I trusted God, but did I fully trust Him with everything?  I thought I trusted my husband, but did I truly trust him with our children?  The truth remains, only when we are fully trusting and believing in God’s sovereignty  are we able to walk through the darkness of this world unafraid, cross the tightropes of life with balance, and climb to the mountain summits with confidence and courage.

Let’s live our lives abundantly on full power with our “spiritual heart full of love for God and His people, and a trusting daily relationship with Him.”   Remembering to recharge and “strap on our NVG’s to help us clearly see the Lord at work and keep trusting that He does and will work all things for good” when we wander into the fearful places of life.  Fear has no grip in a heart and mind that trust God to work all things for good.  Let’s practice our self defense moves—- powered up with trust in God with clear vision allowing us to avoid and escape the assault of fear.  We will reverently fear the Lord alone because “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”(Proverbs 1:7Proverbs 1:7
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7 The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge; But the foolish despise wisdom and instruction.

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) and the “fear of man will prove to be a snare”(Proverbs 29:25Proverbs 29:25
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25 The fear of man proves to be a snare, But whoever puts his trust in Yahweh is kept safe.

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).

What will we chose today trust or fear according to Psalm 56: 3-4Psalm 56: 3-4
English: World English Bible - WEB

3 When I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. 4 In God, I praise his word. In God, I put my trust. I will not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?

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?

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring”. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23Proverbs 4:23
English: World English Bible - WEB

23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it is the wellspring of life.

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“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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Week #22 Romans 8:28

Pause with me this Memorial weekend to remember those in our Military that have died sacrificially in service for our nation’s freedom and the protection of those in pursuit of freedom.  I’m personally very thankful for the bravery and sacrifice of our fallen Heroes and their precious loved ones left to carry forward their legacy.  May we never forget their sacrifice as we live lives with honor and integrity in the freedom we have been given.

Am I the only one challenged by the statement by Paul that “in all things” the Lord works for the good of his people?   Really, all things in my life from the crazy, hurtful, disobedient, lovely, confusing, and …… he uses them all for good?  When I run into word challenges within scripture like this weeks, all and good, it leads me to dig deeper.  I will either do a word study, looking into the original language or compare translations.  I decided that we will look at this verse in multiple Bible translations to make sure we don’t lose or miss any truth that Paul is passing on to us.  So take a moment and read through the following translations and make not of common phrases and truth that runs through and we will meet again on the other side.

New International Version

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

King James Version

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

New Living Translation

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

New American Standard Bible

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

The Message

Verses 26-28 “Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along.  If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t mater. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans.  He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God.  That is why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”

Did you see it?  I think it is pretty evident that Paul truly meant “all things” in God’s hands will be worked out into good for those who love him.  Does that settle it in your mind?  Or are you still challenged?  Let’s dig a little deeper because we are looking at this concept of truth with the backdrop of what is happening in our own lives and this world.  Part of my backdrop today is the aftermath of the Manchester Terrorist attack on their precious children.  How does that work out for good?  I don’t know!  I don’t understand it!   But I do know that when I don’t know and I don’t know how or what to pray the Lord has provided his Spirit to help me and pray for me, so that in the Lord’s timing and way I will find peace and even sometimes understanding.

Have you ever been encouraged that the Spirit was filling in your prayer gaps? Just incase you can’t recall a time I want to share a precious experience of a sweet friend who was facing many “why God experiences”.  In the middle of her circumstances she found herself one Sunday without her dear husband who had to remain home as he continued to recover for a series of unexpected and complicated surgeries.  Once again she was missing him by her side. Then, to prick at her heart even more it was announced that we would be celebrating communion.  She found herself overcome with the desire for her husband to be able to celebrate it too.  From the quietness of her heart she cried out her wish.  As she recalls it was just a thought— not a prayer.   She knew he would be missing it as he watched the service live from home.  Following church she gathered her children and they headed home.  As they shared lunch she shared with her husband her wish that he could have celebrated communion with her today.  With a big smile, he said “I did!”  She was speechless.  Then came the question, “but how can that be?”  Through his grin he shared with the family how their neighbor, a minister, stopped by to visit with him and serve him communion.  And he said, “If that wasn’t amazing enough he was serving me at the same time as you were having it at church.  I could see it on the screen behind him!”  She was overjoyed and full of amazement that the Lord would answer her wish.  Let’s just say when she shared her experience with me her face was beaming with gratitude and joy.  There was not doubt that she was refreshed by the Lord’s goodness and love He had showered over her family.    Sometimes we get to see and experience the good in all things and other times we continue to persevere believing that God has something good He is still working on.

Does her answered wish encourage you like it does me?  I’m so thankful for friends of the faith that share their faith builder moments with me.   I hope you have a few family or friends like this.  If not, pray and ask Him for some and keep your eyes open because the Lord will answer your prayer.  He didn’t design us to walk alone but in relationship with Him and fellow believers.

Each of us are responding to the truth Paul shared in Romans 8:28Romans 8:28
English: World English Bible - WEB

28 We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.

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through  different lenses of life based on two factors:  1. Our spiritual heart condition. 2. Our trust relationship with God.    If either of these factors are out of focus our experiences in life will also be out of focus according to how God sees them. Whether we are in a season of why God experiences like my friend, where are you God experiences, or wow God experiences, we have opportunity to look at them with clarity, confusion, or despair.    Clarity comes from looking through clear lenses of a spiritual heart full of love for God and His people and a trusting daily relationship with Him too.  It’s kind of like Night Vision Goggles(NVG).  When we find ourself in the darkness of this world we need to strap on our NVG’s to help us clearly see the Lord at work and keep trusting that He does and will work all things for good!

Let me know how you see the Lord working in your life this week!

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring”. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23Proverbs 4:23
English: World English Bible - WEB

23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it is the wellspring of life.

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“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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Week # 20 Matthew 28:19 -20

Theses words of Jesus found in Matthew 28:19-20Matthew 28:19-20
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19 Therefore go, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I commanded you. Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

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are referred to as “The Great Commission”.  Jesus spoke these words to his disciples after His death and resurrection.  If we break down the verse for  simple memory and instruction purposes “The Great Commission” calls us: to Go, to Make and to Teach all nations as disciples who obey all Jesus has commanded.

What is our daily response to our call as Jesus’ followers to go, to make and to teach?

Maybe some of these responses cross your mind when you hear this question.  Who me?  You want me to go and to make others into followers of Christ, and  then to teach them to obey?  But I’m not a trained evangelist.  That doesn’t fall in line with my calling or my gifting.  I too can relate to these questions and the feeling of being unqualified.  So I want to encourage you and remind you that you are qualified to reach your world, one interaction at a time.

We are qualified for this kingdom work because of who we are in Christ and the renewing power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  We can move forward in confidence because Jesus reminds us in Matthew 28:20Matthew 28:20
English: World English Bible - WEB

20 teaching them to observe all things that I commanded you. Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

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that He is with us always.  Like we focused on last week to keep our “eyes on how big and faithful the Lord is” in relation to our circumstances in life which gives us the ability to see any of our obstacles in their “proper perspective, small in the hands of God.”

Let’s take time this week to honestly ask the Lord to show us how He has uniquely and individually equipped us to Go, to Make, and to Teach others about the love and hope found in Jesus our Savior.  We don’t need to be afraid because He is with us always and forever.  Let’s start today with intentionally living our lives to tell the story of the change the Lord has brought to our lives and being “prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have(1 Peter 3:151 Peter 3:15
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15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts; and always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks you a reason concerning the hope that is in you, with humility and fear:

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).”

We each have a story that someone needs to hear.  A story of our changed lives in Christ.  A story of relationship, freedom, love, forgiveness, healing, release, adoption, belonging, courage, rescue, and ……

What is the theme of your story in Christ?

Pleases join the conversation and share your word.

Mine is relationship!

Be encouraged as you go to the Lord by this Big Daddy Weave song (click here)

“If I Told You My Story“!

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring”. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23Proverbs 4:23
English: World English Bible - WEB

23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it is the wellspring of life.

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“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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Week # 19 James 1: 2-3

James 1: 2-3James 1: 2-3
English: World English Bible - WEB

2 Count it all joy, my brothers The word for “brothers” here and where context allows may also be correctly translated “brothers and sisters” or “siblings.”, when you fall into various temptations, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

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“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”

Life + Trials = Pure Joy

How does that add up?  According to the world we live in it doesn’t.  Why would the writer of James even think to suggest pure joy as our response to facing trials that test our faith?  If you have time to read James 1:1-27James 1:1-27
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The Letter from James 1 1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are in the Dispersion: Greetings. 2 Count it all joy, my brothers The word for “brothers” here and where context allows may also be correctly translated “brothers and sisters” or “siblings.”, when you fall into various temptations, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 Let endurance have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach; and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, without any doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven by the wind and tossed. 7 For let that man not think that he will receive anything from the Lord. 8 He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. 9 But let the brother in humble circumstances glory in his high position; 10 and the rich, in that he is made humble, because like the flower in the grass, he will pass away. 11 For the sun arises with the scorching wind, and withers the grass, and the flower in it falls, and the beauty of its appearance perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in his pursuits. 12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation, for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord promised to those who love him. 13 Let no man say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God,” for God can’t be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each one is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then the lust, when it has conceived, bears sin; and the sin, when it is full grown, brings forth death. 16 Don’t be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, nor turning shadow. 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures. 19 So, then, my beloved brothers, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man doesn’t produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore, putting away all filthiness and overflowing of wickedness, receive with humility the implanted word, which is able to save your souls or, preserve your life.. 22 But be doers of the word, and not only hearers, deluding your own selves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man beholding his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he sees himself, and goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law, the law of freedom, and continues, not being a hearer who forgets but a doer of the work, this man will be blessed in what he does. 26 If anyone among you thinks himself to be religious while he doesn’t bridle his tongue, but deceives his heart, this man’s religion is worthless. 27 Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

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you will discover that James recognizes the benefit of the different trials in our life as a way of producing God focused perseverance that will achieve three things; mature us in our faith, make us complete in Christ, and  receivers of the crown of life prepared for those who love the Lord.  Our challenges in life have kingdom purpose even when we can’t see clearly while in the  testing of our faith.  Let’s not miss out on the benefits found in persevering through faith in Christ.

Would you agree that life is full of many kinds of trials?  You might be in the middle of one right now and thinking to yourself this concept is crazy.  I’m supposed to be joyful in this!  You don’t know what is going on in my life…..God can’t really expect me to be joyful!   Your right I don’t know what you are experiencing and I pray that you will find peace and joy in the Lord as we continue to explore this counter-culture call to seek after pure joy even in our storms.

What does it look like to either face a storm that is brewing or walk through a storm with pure joy?  I have a dear friend who I have had the privilege of watching and at times walking with her through a hurricane of life’s trials with her children.  I compare it to a hurricane because the intensity would change based on the winds and how close or far away she was from the eye of the storm.  When I first met her I was drawn to her warm smile and fun and relaxed attitude toward life.  There wasn’t any immediate outward appearance of distress.  She was joyful.  When I became aware of the intensity of her trials with her children I was taken off guard.  It was evident that the Lord was her strength and peace as she weathered the hurricane that was trying to destroy her family.  This storm hit land fall when one of her children began making a few bad choices in friends then it led down a path of disappearances, destruction of property, detention centers, and the waves and storm surge created from those events crashed down on the relationships within the family.   Just as she was able to get up to assess the damages from one wave the next child started  down their own destructive path.  As the storm howled and beat on her family she fought to subdue the storm of emotions within her own heart.  Why God? What did I do?  How did I fail?  Why won’t they stop?  Where are you God?  I should have……  Why didn’t I…….  How can I go on…..  Her only peace was found in her quiet time with the Lord and it was there that she found her pure joy in him that strengthens her as her storm rages on.  Her joyful verse is Nehemiah 8:10Nehemiah 8:10
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10 Then he said to them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions to him for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Don't be grieved; for the joy of Yahweh is your strength.

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b “And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

My dear friend has been an inspiration to me to choose the pure joy of Christ to strengthen me and sustain me through my own trials in life.  She continues to preserver through what feels like a never-ending storm.  Her faith and trust in the Lord keep her anchored.  Her joy encourages others to trust and builds their faith and their love for the Lord.  She has defiantly kept her lamp lit and shinning brightly through her storm.  I’m so thankful for her light shining into my life and leading me to the strength of the Lord.

Many times the trials of life leave us feeling alone and in the dark.  When that happens we can turn the light on and strengthen our faith by remembering to turn to the truth of God’s word for encouragement.  Psalm 119: 105Psalm 119: 105
English: World English Bible - WEB

NUN 105 Your word is a lamp to my feet, And a light for my path.

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reminds us that the word of the Lord is a lamp that shines on our path as we walk with the Lord through life.  So if we choose to keep our eyes on how big and faithful the Lord is then our circumstances will return to their proper perspective, small in the hands of God.  We are then able to consider life and it’s challenges through the lens of pure joy.  Don’t let your light burn out stay connected to the light of the world and our faith builder, Christ, and preserver as you shine brightly for him.  Does this mean we will be beaming with a smile all the time as we weather our storms?  No, it means that we can remain steady in the storm, anchored in our hope, able to trust we are secure in our heavenly Father’s care and able to be real with those who genuinely seek to come along side us.  When we are steady in our relationship with Christ it shines through when we find it hard to smile.

Even in the storms of life a rainbow can emerge if  His light is shining through the rain or the tears.  Keep a look out for His rainbows in your life!

Life + Trials = Pure Joy~ Make it true in your life!

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring”. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23Proverbs 4:23
English: World English Bible - WEB

23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it is the wellspring of life.

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“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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Week #18 Colossians 3:17

Living a life with a thankful harvest!

Colossians 3:17Colossians 3:17
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17 Whatever you do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father, through him.

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” And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Do all things for Christ with thanksgiving.  So what does that look like in our lives?  This thought made me pause to take inventory of the things I have said and done today.  Would my inventory reveal a Christ focused motivation weaving throughout my interactions and activities?   What would your personal inventory reveal today?

Here are the basic results of my inventory(On a scale of 1 – 10 with 10 equal to all Christ focused).

Spoken Word Related Inventory:

  • My prayers~ 7
  • My family ~ 5
  • My friends ~ 5
  • My texts ~ 3
  • My dogs ~ 3

My honest inventory revealed that I have room for improvement.  I recognized that some of my words were spoken after I actually paused to choose wisely my tone, my words, and my motivation.  The times I did this I actually considered if my words were representing the Lord well.  I have to admit the sad truth is I spoke on my own accord most of the time.

Deeds Related Inventory:

  • My prayers and devotion ~6
  • My workout~ 6
  • My meal prep and consumption ~ 4
  • My house cleaning ~ 3
  • My flowerbed weeding ~ 7

No surprise my deeds matched my spoken word.  I’m left with the realization that I’m not purposeful in my doing daily life for Christ.  Even when I sit down to do prayers and devotion I struggle with complete focus on Christ.  During my inventory this question spoke softly to my heart~ “But even in your devotion time is your motivation and attention ALL on Christ with thankfulness?”  The honest answer is no.  There are times when I am more focused on what I want Christ to do for me than on strengthening my relationship with Christ in prayer and his word.  So is it possible to “do all things for Christ with thanksgiving”?  This side of heaven there is a slim possibility to do all things Christ focused, but each day provides another opportunity for improvement.  Our ability to gain ground in this struggle depends on our cooperation in God’s sanctification process(2 Thessalonians 2:13-172 Thessalonians 2:13-17
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13 But we are bound to always give thanks to God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief in the truth; 14 to which he called you through our Gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brothers, stand firm, and hold the traditions which you were taught by us, whether by word, or by letter. 16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish you in every good work and word.

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).  Notice it isn’t dependent on us trying harder.  It is God’s process that he leads us through.   Our part is trusting and obeying him day by day.

Sanctification is the process where the Lord teaches us and empowers us to become like Christ as his witness to the world.  The Holy Spirit, which we each receive as believers in Jesus, is our teacher(John 14:26John 14:26
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26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and will remind you of all that I said to you.

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) and our power source(Acts 1:8Acts 1:8
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8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. You will be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth.”

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) that helps us bear fruit that blossoms through the things we say and do for Christ with thanksgiving.  This is living life by the Spirit.  Which is what the Apostle Paul was talking about in Galatians 5: 13Galatians 5: 13
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13 For you, brothers, were called for freedom. Only don’t use your freedom for gain to the flesh, but through love be servants to one another.

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– 26.  When we stay in step with the Holy Spirits teaching and walk in his power we live for Christ not ourself and the evidence is our changed lives that are full of Christ’s love~ the fruit of the Spirt and thankfulness.

Galatians 5:22-24Galatians 5:22-24
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22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts.

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“The fruit of the Spirit love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.” 

How inviting is our fruit basket today?  If we are living in step with the Spirit our fruit will be fresh and inviting.  If we do ALL things for Christ with a thankful heart.  Then, others will be nourished by the abundant fruit produced in our life by the Spirit working through us.  Our attitude of thankfulness is what helps to keep our fruit fresh.   If we are full of thanksgiving we recognize that the purpose of producing fruit in and through our words and deeds is to glorify God who makes it all possible.

What are you thankful for today?

Are you living your life with a thankful harvest?

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring”. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23Proverbs 4:23
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23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it is the wellspring of life.

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“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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Week # 17 Psalm 103:11-12

His love crescendos with his forgiveness of his people; those who fear him.  Our minds struggle to comprehend the vastness of the universe and the complexity of the heavens so no wonder we are left awe struck by the love of God for us.  I personally wander between the solid foundation of my belief in the Lord’s love for me and a slippery foundation muddied by my worldly doubts.  It is my thoughts that take me between the two and make me feel unworthy, undesirable, and unlovable to anyone let alone the King of Kings.  Maybe you can relate to having some of these feeling too.  What are we to do in the times of our life when we question if God really loves us or even wants us?

I have learned over the years that my feelings and emotions are not effective measurements of reality.  More times than I would like to admit my feelings and emotions have guided me to the wrong conclusion and clouded my judgement.  So I’m striving to become better at recognizing my emotional tendencies.  With the intent that I will then choose to redirect myself by asking “what is the truth in this situation?” and looking for the truth.  Often times my search begins with a little prayer to help me focus on seeking the truth over seeking to feel better in my situation.  Philippians 4:8Philippians 4:8
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8 Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think about these things.

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is a verse I turn to many times for redirection.  It is a great reminder for when we are feeling anxious or confused.  It tells us to think on things that are true, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy.   So when I catch myself questioning my worth to God I have to think on the truth of these two questions:

 Why do I think I’m unworthy?

 What has he told me about his love for me?

Answering these questions will set us back on our solid foundation with God. In most circumstances our feeling of unworthiness stem from some form of sin, confusing circumstances, or painful situation in life.   What is the truth about either of these possibilities?  Are they the answer to the first question?— Why do I think I’m unworthy?

  • Sin:  1 John 1:91 John 1:9
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    9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us the sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

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    “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
  • Confusing Circumstances:  Romans 8:28Romans 8:28
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    28 We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.

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    ” And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
  • Painful Situation in Life:  Hebrew 12: 7-8  & 11 :  7- “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children.  For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—- and everyone undergoes discipline— then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.”   11- “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

Each of these foundational truths of how the Lord interacts with his people will help bring clarity to our situation and remind us of the truth of Christ’s love.  This weeks verse describes his love as being “as high as the heavens are above the earth”.  So that brings to question just how far is that? According to a quick google search I found the following distances, at www.space.com, to get our minds going:

  • Earth to the Moon- 238,900 Miles
  • Earth to the Sun- 92.96 Million Miles
  • Earth to  the Andromedia Galaxy- 2.537 Million Light Years

Wow!  Let that sink in!  Just from those figures we should be able to say that the truth is ~ God is out of this world crazy in love with us!  So why do we struggle so much with believing him?   I believe it is because the Lord has an enemy, one of his own beloved creations, satan a fallen angel, who doesn’t want us to believe in God’s love for us.  When we believe and are secure in the depth of God’s love for us the enemy loses his power over us.  Satan will do all he can to minimize our relationship with Christ so he works overtime in the department of clouding our view of the truth about the Lord’s love and forgiveness.  He promotes his lies to get us to buy into his accusations against us leaving us feeling condemned and helpless.  Many times we are left feeling unworthy of  forgiveness from ourselves let alone from God.  That is when we need to address the second question— What has he told me about his love for me?

All throughout scripture the Lord has revealed through his people that his love is enduring and never ending.   Just last week we celebrated Easter the ultimate display of sacrificial forever love.  So what is your answer to this second question?  How do you know he loves you?  One of the many truths that comes to my mind is Romans 8: 31-39Romans 8: 31-39
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31 What then shall we say about these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who didn’t spare his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how would he not also with him freely give us all things? 33 Who could bring a charge against God’s chosen ones? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, yes rather, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Could oppression, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Even as it is written, “For your sake we are killed all day long. We were accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” 37 No, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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.  This amazing section of scripture is entitled “More Than Conquerors” in my Bible.  It is spells out these truths of our relationship of love and forgiveness with the Lord.

Who is the one who condemns?

No one, because Jesus intercedes for us.

Who shall separate us from the love of God?

No one and no circumstances, because we are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us.

His love is higher than the nearest galaxy, 2.537 Million Light years, for you and his forgiveness stretches farther than the east is from the west,24,874 miles, on earth alone.  Will you receive it today and for all eternity?

 

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring”. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23Proverbs 4:23
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23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it is the wellspring of life.

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“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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Week #16 Wisdom Builder He has risen!

Happy Easter!  Celebrating the resurrection of our amazing Savior Jesus Christ!!  He is Risen!!!

Love, forgiveness, kindness, and compassion were expressed with unmatchable sacrifice through the life, shed blood, and resurrection of Jesus.  This week we are encouraged to live our life alive in Christ by extending his love to with the world around us.  Ephesians 4:32Ephesians 4:32
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32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God also in Christ forgave you.

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inspires us to be kind and compassionate and forgive as the Lord forgave us.   Sacrificial love shown through kindness, compassion, and forgiveness draw others to Christ.  Why?  The very thought of forgiving and not making someone pay for the wrong they have done is counter to our human nature.  Choosing to be kind and compassionate to others who are not responding or treating you the same demands sacrifice and a love that is deeper and richer than the superficial love regularly experienced.    

I find my greatest challenges lie within my family relationships because it is too easy for me to revert to my selfish thinking and internally demand they should treat me differently.   Can you relate?  It’s a struggle that challenges my witness daily.  I’m so thankful that my Savior is perfect in all of his ways and loves me and forgives me through all my faults and failures.

This week let’s be kind and compassionate to others for Jesus just because he loves us so much more than anyone in this world ever can.  God is love and he is alive so we can love others sacrificially  with his love.

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring”. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23Proverbs 4:23
English: World English Bible - WEB

23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it is the wellspring of life.

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“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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Week #15 Wisdom Builder John 3:16-17

What is the most extravagant expression of love you have given or have witnessed another show? I posed this question to my family as we were traveling for spring break this week. I love the responses. My son spoke up first and said the movie 50 First Dates”, a romantic comedy where a man choses to love a woman who he has to remind is his wife every morning. Then my husband chimed in with “Team Hoyt” ; a father and his disabled son who did the ironman competition.  Each of those examples of love expressed with visible selfless sacrifice is inspiring. I don’t know about you but they leave me feeling lacking in my own expression of love throughout my life. How about you?

This week we are reflecting on John 3:16-17John 3:16-17
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16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him.

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as we begin the Passion Week leading up to Easter Sunday. These verses carry a familiarity for most in the Christian faith, but John 3:17John 3:17
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17 For God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him.

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has had less attention so I’d like us to reflect on theses verses as a pair to fully embrace their message of God’s love.

What comes to your mind when you think of God’s love? I find it difficult to put into words a worthy description 1 Corinthians 13:4-131 Corinthians 13:4-13
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4 Love is patient and is kind; love doesn’t envy. Love doesn’t brag, is not proud, 5 doesn’t behave itself inappropriately, doesn’t seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil; 6 doesn’t rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will be done away with. Where there are various languages, they will cease. Where there is knowledge, it will be done away with. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; 10 but when that which is complete has come, then that which is partial will be done away with. 11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child. Now that I have become a man, I have put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, even as I was also fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, and love remain—these three. The greatest of these is love.

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is a wonderful place to start: God is patient, kind, always protects, always trusts, always hopes, rejoices in truth, always perseveres and never fails.   He truly is selfless and has our best interests in mind. He knows each of us even better than we know ourselves and expresses his love for us individually in unique ways.   Much like how we express our love for our loved ones in unique ways based on our relationship and knowledge of their needs and desires.

Consider these thoughts of love. Love exists within each of us to be expressed and received within our relationships. Why, where, and how is love expressed?   We express love because we have or desire a relationship with a person of value in our life. We seek to add value to the relationship by meeting a need or desire for the person or persons based on our observation. Then we act on our desire to express our love by doing what we have determined will best fill the need with our best intentions that requires some level of sacrifice.  For God it was separation and the ultimate excruciating suffering of his one and only son.  In “50 First Dates” it caused a very self absorbed man to chose to stop living his life for himself and live it for the woman he was going to date the rest of his life.  Each placed the needs of another before their own.

Is love always received and perceived as it was lovingly expressed?   Unfortunately no it is not because we live in a mixed up world. Have you ever tried to express love through action or words only to feel it was not received? I have and it didn’t feel very good.

I think of that sinking feeling when I reflect on John 3:16-17John 3:16-17
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16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him.

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. These verses share God’s extravagant expression of love for the whole world with the purpose of bringing salvation, from the perishing of this sinful world, and eternal life in his kingdom.   Only to have many refuse to receive the precious gift as it was intended; in love and free of judgment. So we aren’t the only ones who have experienced our expression of love rejected, God has too.

Why do people have difficulty receiving love? What does it mean to receive love? I think when we are on the receiving end of another persons love sometimes it is clouded by our life experiences, our beliefs, and our current emotional state.   All of these things affect our ability to recognize a loving expression as one of love. We might have a clouded view and miss it completely.  If we can’t recognize a loving sacrifice on our behalf we are unable to fully receive the love given.

My hope is that each of us can confidently say they have received the love of God through believing in his extravagant loving sacrifice. He gave his one and only son to meet the whole world’s need of redemption from the curse of sin. He sent his precious son to save the world by receiving the punishment of God for sin of the whole world on the cross as the atoning sacrifice done in love not condemning but reconciling the world to it’s creator.   All God asks for is for us to receive his love by recognizing his son Jesus as our Savior so we can experience the intended benefits of relationship with him and eternal life.   Let’s make this week one of expressing appreciation for our God’s extravagant love~ giving us his son Jesus Christ!

How are you preparing to celebrate Easter?

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~PrincessSherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring”. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23Proverbs 4:23
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23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it is the wellspring of life.

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“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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Week # 13 Wisdom Builder Isaiah 26:3-4

How often do you experience perfect peace?  We live in a world that moves at a breathtaking pace that leaves many at the end of the day feeling further behind than when it began.   This weeks  “Wisdom Wellspring” verse Isaiah 26:3-4Isaiah 26:3-4
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3 You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you; because he trusts in you. 4 Trust in Yahweh forever; for in Yah, Yahweh, is an everlasting Rock.

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reminds us that perfect peace is found in our mindset, not necessarily the circumstances of life.    Take a moment and read the verse out loud and make note of who will receive perfect peace and who provides it.

Those whose minds are steadfast” God keeps in perfect peace.   What is the key to a steadfast mind?  According to Isaiah the key is trust in the Lord.  So if we really do trust in the Lord, why do we spend so much time feeling anxious for the day and our future?  We are failing to use the key to peace and a steadfast mind.  We don’t believe enough in the Lord to trust him with everything.

Guilty as charged!  I have to admit the times I am not at peace are completely linked to the times I’m not trusting God with every area of my life.  It’s hard because it isn’t natural to let go and trust.  But when I withhold my trust it reveals an area of unbelief or lack of faith in my Rock.  Can you relate to this struggle to believe and trust?

Currently our family is in a big trust season.  Many Military families can relate.  It is the waiting period just before my husband will be told where our family will move next.  Sometimes we are given options ahead of time and others we just know it’s coming.  Over the many years of this process and fretting over the what if’s, when’s, and how’s that start to race through your mind when you don’t have control we have a solid belief that God is always in control.  Our confidence in God grew through the experience of looking for how God’s purposes for each location drew us closer to him.  We now are able to have a steadfast mind securely trusting in the Lord to put us exactly where he can use us for his purposes.  It has taken many moves to build our faith and trust in this area of life but I can honestly say the Lord is keeping us at perfect peace as we wait and trust him for the outcome.I don’t know what you are experiencing in your life right now but I hope you find encouragement to trust in God like Jesus did during his time on earth.

As I reflect on this verse I keep being reminded of the story in Mark 4:35 -41Mark 4:35 -41
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35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let’s go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the multitude, they took him with them, even as he was, in the boat. Other small boats were also with him. 37 There arose a great wind storm, and the waves beat into the boat, so much that the boat was already filled. 38 He himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion, and they woke him up, and told him, “Teacher, don’t you care that we are dying?” 39 He awoke, and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” The wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? How is it that you have no faith?” 41 They were greatly afraid, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

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(hover over the scripture reference to read it) where Jesus calms the storm for the disciples.  Take a moment to read it as a refresher.

Who made the decision to travel across the lake?  Jesus did.  Why do you think the disciples and Jesus were having opposite experiences on the stormy waters?  I believe Jesus was trusting his Father completely to watch over him as he rested through the storm and the disciples minds were not steadfast so they were easily overcome with fear based on their visible circumstances.  Oh how I desire to have a steadfast mind like Christ in all my circumstances of life.  What was his response to the panicked cry of the disciples?   His response was one of perfect peace.  He didn’t respond to their emotional babble rather he spoke to the situation in the power the Lord gave him- “ Quiet! Be still!”  Then he questioned the fearful and faithless response of the men.

Like the disciples we too are in a daily battle for a steadfast mind.  The original Hebrew word for steadfast provides a visual picture of a laid siege or depending on protection.  So if we think of our trust in the Lord being the key to secure the laid siege in our mind— the belief in the sovereign power of God in all our circumstances.  We are locking into God’s perfect peace.   Isaiah says God will keep us in perfect peace when we are locked into trusting him.  The hebrew word for keep speaks to watching and guarding.  It even describes the meaning of keep as to guard with a military camp within as a protection from penetration.  This is a very exciting visual.  Can you see it taking form in your heart?

Our faith comes from God who gives us the ability to believe in Christ our Savior.  An individuals belief and acceptance of Christ puts us in a new position of peace with God(Romans 5:1-2Romans 5:1-2
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5 1 Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; 2 through whom we also have our access by faith into this grace in which we stand. We rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

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).  That leads to a personal faith increasing our belief and trust in the Lord’s sovereignty.   Which then reinforces our protective siege of God’s truth in our heart and mind.  We secure our steadfast mind with the key of trusting the Lord.  When we trust on the Lord and not ourself then God is able to complete his work.  He will keep us in perfect peace by his guard within~ our peace with God himself our eternal Rock!

Do you trust in the eternal Rock to provide you with perfect peace?  If you are struggling today with answering with an honest “yes” then take a moment to reflect on what Jesus meant in John 14:27John 14:27
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27 Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, give I to you. Don’t let your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful.

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when he spoke of peace.  He was not leaving and giving peace as the world defines it.  An absence of war or fighting.  The peace Jesus refers to is the peace experienced in closeness with God and the security provided by him that creates an atmosphere of tranquillity beginning within.  He is all about transcending the limited experiences of this world.  If that isn’t enough then consider the symbolism of the Hebrew word for Rock in Isaiah 26:4Isaiah 26:4
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4 Trust in Yahweh forever; for in Yah, Yahweh, is an everlasting Rock.

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.  Begin by imagining a steep cliff that is used for a personal refuge.  It is a place that symbolizes one of  security and defense.  That are provided because it is known to be inaccessible and it’s foundation is immoveable.  That is what God is for you~ your refuge, your security, your defense, your immovable foundation, and your eternal perfect peace!

Will you trust the eternal Rock with your today, tomorrows, and eternity?

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring“. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23Proverbs 4:23
English: World English Bible - WEB

23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it is the wellspring of life.

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“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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