November 4, 2020

Have you ever struggled to find hope when trials were frequent or lasted a long time? Did it feel like you were getting worn down or almost breaking? That may sound a bit dramatic, but I think it is accurate. We have all had heartbreak and tragedy that felt like it would break us. To make matters worse, trials often come unexpectedly, which cause us the maximum amount of struggling and shock. We are taken aback, wondering how to get by. We shouldn’t be so shocked though, I suppose…

Jesus tells us to EXPECT trials. In John 16:33 (NKJV), He is talking to the disciples. Knowing that soon He will be taken away to endure His own trial, the cross, He prepares them to live without Him for awhile. I find it touching that He is concerned for others first and Himself last. He said,

“These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But, be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.”

Jesus doesn’t say, “Hey guys, just a heads up…watch out for tribulation. Do the best you can with it while I am gone. How I hear it is, “There WILL be trials , but keep smiling because I have , rather I AM the answer.”… peace! That is a reason to smile!

Right after He told the disciples they would be okay, He lifted His eyes to Heaven, and said aloud, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son that Your Son may also glorify You.” John 17:1

Jesus was going into His own tribulation, so what did He do? Talk to His Father and let the Father know He was ready to glorify Him. If that isn’t a model of perfect alignment with God’s will. I don’t know what is. God’s love and plan are perfect for us, even if they include trials, and they will. As Jesus did, let us pray that God is glorified.

Dear Father,

You know what suffering is. You, on purpose, planned for Your son to die for us. When I have trials, will you nudge me and remind me to look up as Jesus did? If I do that first, I have the best chance of acting in a way that glorifies You. I know that this world is only temporary. I want to glorify You in it somehow. I know I can do it with Your peace and love. Thank You for Jesus and the Holy Spirit to guide and direct me too. You are almighty God and I am humbled to be able to even say or write Your name. I love you, God. Thanks for loving me. Amen

Homework , if you want it…In your new journal… List the last three trials you remember and how you handled them. Then find three verses about peace and write them down. I will do this too! If we expect trials and know they can have a good , Godly purpose, we are one step ahead of the enemy:)

Love and prayers…Tina

Destined for Greatness

November 3, 2020

Destiny is such a lofty word. It is used to refer to our beloved spouse,(He is my destiny.) our excitement of reaching a high goal, (It is my destiny to get the promotion) or perhaps the fulfillment of reaching a dream or purpose in life.(I am destined for success.) Destiny refers to things that are “meant to be.” What we wish our destiny to be, we go after.

If we value things that the world values, we see our destiny as being rich, popular or famous perhaps. If we hold the Bible’s values, not so much. Does that mean we cannot have wealth or material goods? No, of course not, but we must put God’s interest before those interests. It may mean that we remember our blessings are meant to be shared with others and we hold loosely to things of earth. Our real treasure is in Heaven.

What a wonderful Father we have! He has a plan for each of us that includes spending all of eternity with Him. Our greatest treasure, Jesus, will be there! That changes everything. Our aims, purposes and destiny stem from our desire to do the will of God, not to please ourselves. Our motives are based on His purposes., not our plans.

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. Proverbs 19:21

It’s so easy to get side-tracked and start chasing our destiny without checking in with God first. We like to be in control and we want things how we want them. Personally, reading God’s word every day is the only way I can stay focused on who is ultimately in charge of my life. It isn’t me. He gives breath and life and things I can’t give myself. God reminds me to focus on HIS plan, His destiny for me. That always brings a smile:)

Dear Father,

I want You in control of my life, not me. Sometimes, I take the reins from You because I want my will to be done. Without even realizing it sometimes, I have left You out of important decisions. I am sorry. You know we are human and will do that, so thank You for Your grace that covers us. You know better. Please help me do better. You are GOD! Thy will be done as You see fit. You are my King forever. Amen

Homework…if you want to… Journal your Bible reading. Don’t plan it out perfectly. Just have a pen and paper always with your Bible. Take simple notes about things that help and inspire you. You can write one line or ten. Just let God’s Word speak to you. His word changes our destiny. Be well, friends:)

Love and prayers…..Tina

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