Tag Archives: Encouragement

Bring everything to the Lord

Maybe when you woke up this morning, you felt an underlying current of worry, nervousness, or unease. Maybe as the morning progressed, the feelings began to intensify. Maybe you didn’t even have a reason. Maybe you had many.

This morning I struggled with this – feeling like too much weight was on my shoulders and there were too many things on my to-do list. I even felt pressure for all that’s on my husband’s plate. As I left for work, I began to get frustrated and started getting angry at God that these feelings exist.

But the moment I went to open my mouth so my complaints could pour forth, I felt in my spirit that I needed to stop, and be wise with my words. I felt the Spirit remind me who it is I am about to complain to.

Who am I to get angry at God?

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So I closed my mouth, and righted my thinking. I know that God isn’t the cause of these feelings.

That’s when I was reminded of two passages in the Bible.

The first was Luke 10:38-42 (nlt), which says:

As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”

But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

I didn’t have my Bible with me in the car, but I remembered what Jesus said to Martha: My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her. I saw so much of myself in Martha this morning – worried and fretting over so many details. But I felt an invitation to just sit at Jesus’s feet and learn from him.

That’s when I was reminded of the second passage in Philipians 4:6-7 (nlt):

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

After that, what could I do but bring my worries to the Lord?

I spent the remainder of my drive pouring forth my worries to the Lord. I gave him everything…what was on my mind, why, and how it made me feel. I felt peace as I began to do so. I was reminded that God is powerful, and he cares for me.

Imagine this – Jesus himself walks up to you and says, why are you worried? Cast your cares on me. I care for you. I know the number of hairs on your head. I knit you together. You are mine. Find your refuge in me. I am powerful, mighty, and able to do above and beyond anything you could ever hope or imagine.

Instead of letting our hearts be overwhelmed, let’s try what Jesus says. Let’s not worry about anything, but bring everything to the Lord.

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
1 Peter 5:7 (nlt)

 

 

Relax a little

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:29-31

This morning I woke up tired of the rat-race. I’ve been feeling tired of always thinking, always boring forward, always concerned with the next thing. Work, events, task lists, get it all done quick quick quick…

I woke up and made my way to the living room with my coffee and sat in the dark, watching the stars – waiting for the sun to rise. All the while the words on my heart were, cease striving and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10 NLT).

The Lord invites us to a slower pace and to a life that is managed and directed by him. I believe that he’s not just to be our first priority, but our source.

He’s the one that needs to be our source of answers, direction, clarity, stability, energy, and willpower. He’s the one that needs to be our source of love, hope, and peace.

Today I feel lead to slow down and breathe. I feel the invitation to live each moment and be at peace with it. I feel like Jesus is whispering to my heart to be present with him and to let him go with me through whatever lies ahead.

Jesus gives us the option to lay it all at his feet and let him take the lead. I think he even prefers it when we slow down and hop in the back seat, surrendering to his leading and instruction. Doing it all on our own is exhausting. What God offers us is full of hope and life.

Read this verse again, slowly. I hope it’ll give you something to hold onto today.

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:29-31

Featured photo by Andrea Reiman on Unsplash

Get ready

The book of Ephesians closes out in chapter 6 with something very interesting. Paul tells us to, “be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God‘s armor so that you’ll be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

This makes me wonder, how many times during the day do we think about what’s going on around us spiritually? I’m guessing that for some of us it’s close to zero. Since it’s not something we can see or physically touch, it’s easy to forget that our enemies are not made of flesh and blood, but that there are evil rulers, authorities, and mighty powers at work in this dark world (as Paul puts it). I ended up putting this passage on my list of verses to memorize because it’s powerful to be reminded that there is more going on than my eyes can see.

But it’s not helpful just to be aware that more is going on, but to also know that the Lord has provided a way for us to stand firm and fight.

Paul tells us to be strong in the Lord and to put on all of God’s armor. The first thing to realize is that God’s armor isn’t like earthly armor. Physical fighting requires a person to acquire certain skills, build strength, and learn to think quick on their feet. But muscles and a cunning mind aren’t going to help us here. In order to be equipped in the spiritual battle, we need to be armed with spiritual things.

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Notice how every piece of this armor is from the Lord. This armor, this ability to stand firm and fight, has everything to do with God and his provision. Our belt is God’s truths. Our body armor is his righteousness. Our shoes are his peace. Our shield is having faith in his ways (not our ways). Our helmet is the salvation he offers us, and our sword is his Spirit.

One of the biggest parts we have to play in all this is where we’re putting our trust and how we’re prioritizing our time. How can we use the shield of faith if we’re looking to our own logic instead of God? How can we use the belt of truth if we don’t know what the truth is? How can we use the helmet of salvation if we aren’t trusting Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins?

If you need a practical step today, I would encourage you to take time each day for prayer and reading the bible. If you need a book to start in, try Romans. The best way we can start learning to fight is by going to his Word for that first piece of armor, the belt of truth. Only by going to his Word can we learn about God’s character, promises, love and sovereignty.

Place your trust in him today, and let him begin teaching you how to battle.

Scriptures referenced: Ephesians 6:10-17 NLT
Mountain Landscape Photo by Simon Matzinger on Unsplash