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Weekend Encouragement! 

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Morning Devotion: Strengthening yourself in the Lord. 

Peace is not the absence of challenges or pain. Peace is the presence of Jesus.” 

David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God,”~1 Samuel 30:6. 

The greatest weapon we have against disappointment, despair, unrest, distress, and spiritual attacks is relationship with God and reception of His word, love, comfort. 

There are dark nights in this life where no one will answer the phone to pray, no one will come sit with us, and no human being has the answer. These moments can be strengthening if we choose to use the tools God gave us. 

A person can drown in a small amount of water if they panic. Jesus responds to every storm, “Peace be still.” God did not say, “You will have no troubles, no pain, no heartache this side of heaven.” He did say, “In this world you will have trouble, yet take heart-I have overcome the world.” 

Learning to know God and cultivate intimacy with God in every day life prepares us for fierce storms with God. Having God’s word in us gives us a deep well to pull from when facing great challenges. What does His word say? What is true of God? Feelings try to hijack truth. Yet feelings are in no way an indication of truth. Feelings are fickle, unstable, and not to guide our lives. Feelings are indicators, not actual truth. 

Rather than jumping on the phone, our greatest weapon is going to God’s throne. “Here I am God. Life has presented some incredible challenges. I need you.” People can provide some relief yet none can do what God does. None can provide the solutions and wisdom or comfort of God. God is the strongest being on the planet. Our greatest strength lies in intimacy with God. 

Some, not all, of the most profound miracles in my life and encounters happened with just me and God. No one came to hold me, sit with me, love on me, care for me, pour out wisdom, or help me. It was me and God. Those moments taught me so much about who God is. I am thankful for community, my tribe, framily (friend family), and some support-yet they are not God. They are not all knowing, always present, their love is not perfect (nor is mine). God is God. He is our strength and our portion forever. 

My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever,”~Psalm 73:26. 

Favor is not a feeling. Sometimes favor looks like being thrown into a pit by your siblings, sold into slavery, thrown into prison, and being lied on like Joseph. Sometimes it looks like facing Goliath or being outnumbered like David. Sometimes it looks like the Garden of Gethsemane, betrayed by your people/closest friends like Jesus. 

Favor does not always look or feel good. It cannot be measured by the chapter we walk in on or are currently experiencing. Favor comes from God and He fulfills His word to work ALL things together for a greater good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes. Hold fast to truth over feelings or circumstances. 

Joseph, David, and Jesus gained Kingdoms! Do not give up in a temporary situation. Life here is temporary; heaven is eternal!

Papa for every hurting or discouraged person I ask for your incredible love, comfort, peace, and joy to saturate each heart. I ask for time alone with you and deeper intimacy with you. Any unhealthy emotions and thoughts to come into alignment with your truth. Lord may we find our strength in you and you alone. In Jesus powerful name. 

Love in Christ, 

Erin Lamb 

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2017 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Where’s God When Bad Things Happen (Part II)

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More Than Conquerors Romans 8:28, 31b-39

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

If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Can God stop all the bad things from happening in the world? The answer is God is Sovereign and can do what He pleases. He does not, however, force people to live holy. It’s unfortunate and good as well. How can I say it’s good? Glad you asked.God promises to work all things together for the good of those who love Him. Right now in this present world it does not always look good or feel good. From an outside perspective Jesus’ suffering and going to the cross seems cruel. It does not seem very loving of the Father to put His only Son in harm’s way, until you see the final picture. The crucifixion of Jesus leads many sons and daughters, who would be lost forever, into right relationship with Him. He gave His very best, and raised Jesus up to heavenly places. He gave Jesus the name above all names. Something amazing came from one man’s suffering. One man’s obedience, leads many to eternal life.

I don’t always understand in the moment why God allows certain things to happen. I don’t believe He causes the evil in the world, but He does not stop all the evil in the world. He is the One to turn to in times of suffering, not the One to avoid. God knows the depths of suffering. Jesus suffered and there’s no better person to cling to in all seasons of life. Our personal suffering may lead many to Christ. Though uncomfortable, it’s great if heaven is enlarged by our life story.

Closing Thoughts:

God will use everything for our eventual good. I can say that as someone who has suffered. When I turned the pain over to God, He gave me something better in return. He gave more of Himself. He is close to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18). He heals and restores. He comforts. He becomes a trusted a friend. When we choose Him in the midst of suffering instead of bitterness, hatred, and turning away from Him, we find beauty in the ashes. If I recounted all the tragedies of my life, you’d think I was insane for following God. What people don’t see is that God takes the ugly and makes it beautiful. He uses the bad for a greater purpose of good. He is just and fair. It doesn’t seem good in the midst of trials, but these afflictions are working out a greater glory for us (2 Corinthians 4:17). They are also giving us a testimony and building compassion in our hearts for others. A person who’s suffered, will normally reach out to another suffering person.

Father I pray healing over every person who is hurting. I ask for healed emotions, healed diseases, and freedom unlike anything they have experienced. Bless them richly, in Jesus name. Amen.

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Posted by on January 3, 2013 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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