Tag Archives: troubles

Word of God Speak – How to Focus on the Unseen

Word of God Speak – How to Focus on the Unseen

I have been thoroughly enjoying looking at a verse a week, finding ways to memorize it and thinking about what it means to my life.

The verses I have used so far are about what God’s Word is telling me about His Word. I thought since my blog is called Growing through God’s Word, and these posts are called Word of God Speak, I would focus first on those verses that tell us directly about His Word.

Last week’s verse was found at Isaiah 40:8.

The grass withers, and flowers fade, but the Word of our God stands for ever.

That’s a promise from God. Hallelujah. God is the only enduring reality in this world.

2-Corinthians-4-17-18

What is time? Temporary while we are here. Eternal with God.

This week I am looking at 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 – a longer passage, but I think it is important to learn it as a whole.

S – Say the Scripture out loud:

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far out weighs them. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

I also read the Scripture in other Bible versions. I liked the Good News in particular because it says that what can be seen only lasts for a TIME, and what cannot be seen lasts FOREVER.

And this small and temporary trouble we suffer will bring us a tremendous and eternal glory, much greater than the trouble.  For we fix our attention, not on things that are seen, but on things that are unseen. What can be seen lasts only for a time, but what cannot be seen lasts forever.

I – Interpretation. Using dictionaries, and footnotes and commentaries find out as much as you can about when, where, how and why this was written.

When I first read it I thought, “Oh my this carries on exactly after last week’s verse – the withering and fading of things in this life and the assurance of God’s Word being eternal.

Paul is talking about our temporary bodies – compared to our eternal ones. We are treasures in jars of clay. Sometimes I know that only too well. – Joints, and muscles can ache, I forget things, I get sick etc. etc.

Here are a few extra Scriptures to read:

Psalm 30:5 For his anger lasts only a moment,
    but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
    but rejoicing comes in the morning.

Romans 8:18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

1 Peter 1:6, 7 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.

2 Corinthians 5:7For we live by faith, not by sight.

Romans 8:24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?

Hebrews 11:1Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

I liked this commentary by John W. Ritenbaugh

We Christians have this treasure in earthen vessels. If we submit to God’s discipline—expending ourselves and yielding to God in the little things day by day—we will see our conviction grow. Then, if people call us into account, we will not be worried because we know absolutely—because we have lived it. This is the kind of faith God wants us to have.

 

M – Make a list of thoughts and questions.

I was taught to believe in what I saw – and told that what I saw was real. And not to look to the spiritual. Put your faith in concrete stuff. Thus, my imagination was curtailed. Science, math were triumphed. Literature was allowed – but creating fictional characters and thinking beyond what I could see and hear – that wasn’t encouraged. Even in university my courses in anthropology confused my faith. Sociology also didn’t help. And self-help books and authors only confused me more.

Now I have come full circle. Now I have actually heard things that some would say are not real.

I listen and watch for God to speak and show me His way.

I pray for circumstances to meet people and to help them. I’ve seen miracles, I’ve seen signs.

I believe in the Holy Spirit
I believe I can hear God’s Voice
I believe in Jesus, that He died, was resurrected and lives again
I believe He will come again
I believe in the Everlasting.

I know this world is but a vapour. Kingdoms rise and fall. But God’s Word will stand forever. I will NOT be shaken.

P – Prayer time. Don’t forget to LISTEN to God’s voice. Sometimes we chatter so much we forget to listen.

L – Life Application – what did I hear from God today?

I had a good long quiet time. I just love being still before the Lord. I have been reading AW Tozer and the attributes of God in his book, The Knowledge of the Holy.

I kept hearing assurances of God’s faithfulness.

Words came: He faileth not, great is Thy faithfulness, through summer and winter seasons.

Forever He is faithful, Forever He is strong, Forever He is with us, Forever and ever.

I’m fixing my eyes on Jesus. That’s what brings hope, strength, and passion for the day.

I will live with the UNSEEN.
I will be with God
I will hold fast to His Word
God does not change.

E – Exit with a prayer

To my unfailing, forever God, I will stand on Your Word. You are forever faithful. I will study. I will memorize your Word. I will put You first. I thank You for Your unendingness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tweetable:

I know this world is but a vapour. Kingdoms rise and fall. But God’s Word will stand forever. (click to tweet)

Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss a post. See the side panel to subscribe.

Also sign up for my newsletter – monthly or not so monthly (I promise not to fill your inbox). Recipes, life, paintings, updates on my writing. A free devotional with signup.

TODAY IS OUR WORD OF GOD SPEAK COMMUNITY SIGN UP

Please add your posts following the instructions below. Don’t forget to show my icon or name and link in your posts. Here is my new picture. The link to use is http://www.janiscox.com/category/word-of-god-speak/Word-of-God-SpeakMake sure your posts are about God working in your life.

 

 

[inlinkz_linkup id=584207 mode=1]

#UTCOP – How We Can Pray When We are Weary

How We Can Pray When We are Weary

by Jen Cudmore

How-Can-we-pray-when-we-are-weary

Photo from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The first half of this year, even though I prayed about all my commitments, I took on too much. Between working full time, writing a novel, keeping up on my blog, and writing blogs for 4 other sites, I struggled to take care of my home, husband, and children. To say the least, I was exhausted.

My only hope was to rely on the strength of my God.

The Bible says that we should not grow weary of doing good (Gal 6:9) and that His strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Cor 12:9).

I was so overwhelmed, I wasn’t sure how I could carry on.

Here is a prayer I wrote for myself during that tough season.

“God, You said I could cast all my cares on you (1 Pet 5:7) because You do not grow weary – I can rely on You for strength. I cannot do this on my own, but You are able to keep me from falling (Jude v24). You will sustain me.

Help me not to fear or become dismayed, for You are my God & You will strengthen me. You uphold me with Your righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10). Remind me to lift my eyes up because my help comes from You, Maker of Heaven & Earth. You will not let my foot slip; You are ever vigilant. (Psalm 121:1-3)

Help me remember that my troubles are only for this moment & if I believe in faith & persevere, I will achieve an eternal glory. I don’t want to focus on the temporary things in life. Help me to fix my eyes on what is not seen because that is eternal. (2 Cor 4:17-18).

 “O God, Hear my prayer! I cry to You for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for You are my safe refuge…Let me live forever in Your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter of Your wings!” – Psalm 61:1-4

Tweetable:

A prayer to uplift weary hearts by Jen Cudmore. (tweet this)

He carries us when we are tired and weak – pray this prayer. (tweet this)

Jen Cudmore

Jen Creek small

Jen grew up on the Columbia River Gorge and currently lives in Alaska with her husband, two children, two boxers, and two cats. Her goal is to write novels that encourage women to look for positive qualities in a life partner, and to foster an environment of real romance, rather than fantasy, as they grow old with their spouse. For more, visit her website at http://www.jencudmore.com/. You can also find her on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Goodreads.

 

#UTCOP – A Month of Prayer – Praying Through Poetry

Praying Through Poetry

by Joy Lenton

 

Praying-Through-Poetry

Thanks to Ladyheart at morgue file for the image.

Father,

There’s so much grief and pain in our hearts
in a world where lives are torn apart
With war and conflict on every side
we need a safe place, shelter to hide

Men, women, children in captivity
Please provide a way for them to be free
With broken hearts and wounded souls
we need your touch to make us whole

Physically, mentally, we need release
from anxiety, shame, into your peace
When all feels dark and black as night
reveal your presence shining bright

Amen

Tweetable:

Pray with us this month. Join #UTCOP for a month of prayer. (Tweet this)

 

Joy's-bio-photo-web

Joy is a grace-dweller and storyteller who weaves words out of the fabric of her days. Her desire is to seek the poetic in the prosaic and look for the eternal in the temporal.

As an M.E and chronic illness sufferer, who is also recovering from a painful past, she writes with a heart for the hurting and to support and encourage others who are struggling with life and faith issues.

She is  a member of the Association of Christian Writers and Fellowship of Christian bloggers.

You can connect with her at her blogs, ‘Words of Joy’ or ‘Poetry Joy’, and on TwitterFacebookGoogle + or Pinterest.

BLOWN AWAY

Blown Away

by T. L. Wiens

wind storm

It’s 9 pm, March 20, 2013. I look out the window towards the south and see strange rolling clouds on the horizon.

A shiver runs through me and I begin to pray for protection.

Moments later, the phone rings. My husband is trapped on a road and has been informed that no one is coming to help him until morning.

A blizzard has been raging all day but this winter, that’s become normal. How come something within me isn’t at ease? My two daughters and I head to bed all just a bit nervous.

Two am, I’m awakened by my eldest daughter walking around. She’s scared because her wall is flexing in the wind. The dining room window has jumped its track. We try to figure out what’s going on outside but we can’t see.

2:22 am, we hear a deafening roar followed by the distinct sound of nails being ripped out of the wood, boards cracking and giving away and there’s a bright flash. The floor ripples beneath our feet. The furnace covers explode against the wall. My daughter is only a couple of feet away when it happens but the noise around us is so loud she doesn’t even hear it. My other daughter wanders out of her room, her face white with fear.

The house is creaking, boards are slamming in the wind. The house might not make it but is going outside any safer? We decide it is. As we’re heading out the door, my eldest daughter notices smoke filling the living room. The reservoir of our grain stove is on fire. I guess the back draft from the wind must have pushed the flames back. She douses it with water. We head out to sit in the truck and do what? There’s not much we can do but do our best to stay warm. With the wind chill, it’s -20˚ C.

I know the power inside the house is connected to the now missing section of the roof. My eldest daughter and I need to get it turned off at the power box. She steps away from the sheltered area near the truck and I watch her blow down the driveway, unprepared for the force of the wind. She fights her way back to me and the two of us face the wind together. The house is so dark.

I’d been praying since two am but it all felt so futile. Eight years earlier, we lost our house to a fire. Why was this happening again? My daughter started to sing an old hymn. The words comforted me.

God had taken us through tough times before. We’d be fine.

But the way the truck is shaking doesn’t feel safe. We move to our fifth wheel trailer that’s nestled in a snow bank, bringing our dogs inside for warmth.

March 21, 2013, the wind is still howling. My husband is still stranded. I feel so helpless. The house is still standing but the wind is still blowing and more damage will occur if we don’t do something. Thankfully, I’m able to get a hold of a friend. He manages to get to our house. After tying down the roof, he helps us get enough power going to run the heaters he’s brought with him.

I’m able to put out the call for prayer.

How do you describe what happens when people pray for you? I went from standing in this huge storm that enveloped me both mentally and physically to being in the eye of the storm where all is calm.

Prayer is like a shield of love around you and
no matter what physical travesty you face, you’ll be okay. 
(tweet this)

March 22, 2013, my husband rolls onto the yard. My son had arrived half an hour earlier. With the help of another friend, they begin repairing the roof. By evening, the plywood is in place. Six inches of snow fall but thanks to the help, it’s not in our attic.

Saturday, my son in-law, who is a electrician arrives. By Sunday afternoon, all power is restored. Amazingly, all of my houseplants survived, even my seedlings. Why did God choose to protect them? I don’t know but I know His hand was on them.

People often ask why God allows bad things to happen.

I’m not going to say it’s fun but it is an awesome privilege
to experience the power of God.

You can’t fully appreciate who He is without some adversity where you know it’s not you holding things together.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35-39, NIV).

Tammy Wiens

Tammy lives in Saskatchewan with her husband. They have four children. She enjoys gardening, walks along the beach and being on the farm. She has a passion for her faith, studying the Bible and prayer.

She has published two books; Where a Little Rain Comes Down and Making the Bitter Sweet. A short story, “May’s First Christmas” appeared in Christmas Chaos, a collection of stories about Christmas experiences that don’t make the fronts of Christmas cards. “Careful What You Whisper” is another short story about Tammy’s experiences after breaking her back. It can be found in A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider. Visit T. L. Wiens for more information about Tammy’s books and workshops.

PRAYER IN TIMES OF DIVINE CHAOS

Prayer in Times of Divine Chaos

by Judith Lawrence

In the book, Entering the Castle, by Caroline Myss, subtitled An Inner Path to God and your Soul, the author speaks of chaos as an organic expression of the divine. She says that divine chaos cannot be stopped, manipulated, postponed, or bargained with.

It sweeps into your life, taking charge of your life path and redirecting you according to its own plan—not yours. …There is a divine purpose that moves in tandem with every event in your life, painful and joyful.” P. 135/136

When some unforeseen, unpleasant event comes into our lives, wreaking havoc in our ordinary and planned life, and causing chaos and unexplained trials, our first instinct is to ask God to take it all away, make it better, and remove our pain and anguish. But we need to remember that out of divine chaos new life can emerge.

In Genesis, chapter one, we are told that out of chaos God formed the planet earth and brought life, plant, animal, and human, to the earth.

If divine chaos arrives in our lives, new spiritual life and growth can be the outcome when we ask God to guide us in God’s holy path.

In order for this to happen, we need to ask God, not to remove our difficulties but to give us guidance as to how best to cooperate with the divine chaos so that we can make the most out of the new life that God wants to bring to us.

Judith Lawrence

Judith is a Professional member of The Word Guild and author of two non-fiction books, Prayer Companion: A Treasury of Personal Meditation, and Glorious Autumn Days: Meditations for the Wisdom Years, as well as one book of mystical poetry, Grapes from the Vine. Judith writes a monthly meditation, which can be found on her website: www.judithlawrence.ca.  Judith’s latest spiritual book, Highway of Holiness: Soul Journey is now available. You can purchase it through Wipf and Stock Publishers.