Strength and Joy

I am not a strong person but I am not powerless. I am often afraid and can be discouraged yet I am not defeated. Seems I am a contradiction of terms but it all makes sense when you know my Lord.

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

Isa 42:10 nlt

Sometimes I allow the negatives of fear and discouragement to step in and take up space in my heart. Usually, this happens when I don’t get enough sleep, don’t eat healthy meals, or spend too much time with unhappy people who drag me down with their anger andcat-564202_640 frustrations. When negatives are unchecked I feel heavy and tired, unbalanced and confused. However, I know how to have my peace and well-being restored. I talk to Jesus.

My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Ps 73:26 niv

Without Jesus life is filled with negatives. With Him, life is filled with positives.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 
Eph 6:10 niv

He is my strength and my joy.

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

 

 

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Come and Talk

Prayer is many things but it is not a monologue. Sometimes there are many gathered together to pray but there is never less than two involved in any prayer. Whenever there is prayer happening there is always at least two, the person praying and God. The wondrous thing is that God wants to talk with us.

My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
And my heart responds, “LORD, I am coming.”
Ps 27:8 nlt

grey-crowned-crane-540657_640Yes, Jesus says “Come and talk with me.” He wants to have a conversation. What is a conversation?  It is the interchange of thoughts, ideas, and information between persons. In a conversation, one person talks and the other listens then the one listening responds to what was said. It’s a give and take, a sharing. When we pray we talk to Jesus, He listens.

LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble;
You will strengthen their hearts. You will listen carefully,
Ps 10:17 hcs

Then it is our turn to listen. There are times when Jesus seems to shout, we hear Him loud and clear. Though I have found that most often He speaks quietly and we have to listen closely. And there are those times when He is silent. Those occasions can be frustrating and can make us feel He has just walked away. But He never walks away.

I waited patiently for the LORD,
and He turned to me and heard my cry for help.
Ps 40:1 hcs

The Lord always hears us and always responds but we sometimes have to wait for His response. This is not what I want when I pray. I don’t like waiting I want answers now! And that often leads to more talking…on my part. He listens and answers in His perfect timing. Waiting patiently for Jesus to speak tends to be difficult for me but I have learned that waiting prepares us for the gift He has been waiting to give us. He waits to reveal His gift until we are ready to receive it.

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.
Ro 8:28 nlt

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

Cast It Away

Anxiety is a problem for me. These days I can usually control it but that wasn’t always so. There was a time when I was nearly paralyzed by worry and fear. Anxiety was an invader in my life that was defeating me. I still have to be on guard against this enemy.

I have learned to recognize when anxiety is on the edges of my life. If I allow it, it will cover me like a heavy blanket. An important defense against worry or anxiety is to be aware of what triggers it and to be prepared to take action. For me, the main triggers are not getting enough rest, not eating healthy, and not getting any exercise.  Sometimes I let my guard down and as with most enemies, it will surprise me and that heavy blanket will be thrown over me and weigh me down.

When this happens and  I get passed feeling sorry for myself I know what I need to do. It’s time, past time, to talk to Jesus. Prayer is the best defense against any enemy. Still, it has taken me a long time to learn that part of prayer is letting Jesus do His thing. When we take our burdens to Him and put them at His feet that is where we are to leave them.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
1 Pet 5:7 niv

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To cast something is to throw, hurl, fling it. It means to throw it off or away. Which is what we do when we pray for the Lord to take our worries and fears. But if you are like me you like to clean up after yourself. So what do I do? After praying and casting my cares on the Lord I pack them up nice and tidy and keep them in the back of my mind. I am getting better at leaving the heavy blanket with Jesus and moving on free of the burden for I now understand;

The LORD is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid?
The LORD is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?
Ps 27:1 nlt

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

Image:pixabay

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yield, part 2

My word for 2017 is yield. In Yield, part 1 I wrote about yielding as in surrendering or submitting. Today I will write about another definition of yield:

to produce or provide something as a result of time, effort, or work;
receive benefits, profit, or interest;
to reap or harvest

When we work for an employer we get paid for our labor and often we receive added benefits like insurance, retirement benefits, paid holidays or sick days, and vacations. To get the benefits we must work and satisfy our employer. We are required to surrender our time and wants and do our best to serve the person or company we work for if we don’t we lose the rewards.

The Lord expects us to work:

For six days, work is to be done,
but the seventh day shall be your holy day,
a day of sabbath rest to the LORD.
Ex 35:2a niv

May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;
establish the work of our hands for us–
yes, establish the work of our hands.
Ps 90:17 niv

When we invest our money we do so hoping to profit from the investment. Putting money into a savings account gives us interest on the money we put into the account.

The Lord wants us to work without complaint or stubbornness. He wants us to have good attitudes about what we do and who we work for. He has benefits for us. We will profit and be rewarded. When we do as the Lord tells us we will receive the benefits He has promised us for our faithfulness and perseverance,  surrender and submission.

Work willingly at whatever you do,
as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.
Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward,
and that the Master you are serving is Christ.
Col 3:23-24 nlt

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good.
At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing
if we don’t give up.
Gal 6:9 nlt

girl-1064659_640So, the word yield has rewards that come with it. Of course, I have to work and yield, surrender and submit to God before the rewards are realized. And that’s a struggle for me. This is going to be an interesting year. One that is going to see a lot of talks with Jesus that will have me debating, complaining, arguing, and sometimes in tears. I know He can take it but not too sure about me.

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

Thorns and Strength

In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul tells us he had visions and revelations from the Lord. He doesn’t say what the visions and revelations were only that they were so astounding they cannot be expressed in words and no human is allowed to tell.(1-4) Then he tells us he was given a thorn in the flesh to keep him from becoming proud. (7b) He begged the Lord to take it away but the Lord said,”My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” Paul then tells us he is glad to boast of his weakness so the power of Christ can work through him.(8-9)) Paul learned when he was weak, then he was strong.(10b)

I am nothing like Paul. I have never been given visions or revelations, there is nothing about the Lord I am not allowed to talk about, but I have a thorn in the flesh that keeps me thorny-dragon-387217_640from becoming proud.  It’s not a disease, it won’t kill me. It is just a physical anomaly that can be painful but usually just bothersome and sometimes embarrassing. No one can tell anything is different about me by looking at me but there are times it is obvious I feel unwell. And unlike Paul, I continually ask to have this “thorn” taken from me, not just three times but over and over. I know I am weak and during a bad spell, I don’t feel the power of Christ resting on me. Oh, how I want to be like Paul!

There are times that I stand strong and weather the storm but there are as many times I am weak and I just go home, lock the door, and feel sorry for myself. I am blessed to know Jesus and He doesn’t leave me alone in my self-pity. He reminds me;

A joyful heart is good medicine. But a broken spirit dries up the bones.
Prov 17:22 nas

Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me.
He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.
Ps 103:2-3

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Isa 26:3

I don’t write this for sympathy or to make myself sound like I am so good and holy.  I write it to encourage you.  I think we all have a thorn of some sort. It may be physical, mental, emotional; caused by disease, an accident, trauma, circumstances, financial or family problems, whatever is chronic or continuous. My hope is that you will know that you are not alone. There are many who are hurting and none need be alone. Call on Jesus, He is never too busy to take your call, there is never a busy signal, you will never be put on hold, and never disconnected. Talk to Jesus and all will be well with your soul.

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

All scripture unless otherwise noted
from New Living Translation
Image:pixabay