Knowing Hope in the Heartache

“Pain is the most unchosen catalyst to an authentic faith journey” Choosing Real by Bekah Jane Pogue
It is often easy to go through the motions in our faith-walks until pain comes into our lives and we know deep desperation in our hearts. Pain truly is the catalyst that sends us crying out to our Lord, begging Him to meet us, to help us, and to heal us.

Recently, there have been many deaths within my family and circle of friends. There also has been much serious illness touching the lives of loved ones. It has been a time to dig deep into the Lord’s truths to search for promises that bring the light of hope in dark times. It also has been a time of searching for the right words to say to those experiencing the loss of someone dear, or experiencing great pain in sickness.

As I laid in bed this morning, the room darkening curtains making it pretty near black, I thought to myself how much the room was just like a hopeless heart. My heart will remain hopeless, just as the room remains dark without the curtains being opened. The room brightens with the light of open curtains and my heart receives hope as it takes in the Light of Truth from God’s Word.

God’s Word is a light for the darkness and it is hope for the despairing heart. He can meet us in that dark place. He met me in the pain of my deep debilitating depression, in the grieving of losses of loved ones, in the heartbreak of the gradual ripping away of my dad suffering with Alzheimer’s, and through many other times of despair.

Knowing the hope from the Light of the Word of the Lord made all the difference in the world throughout those times. And knowing this great hope gives me a responsibility to share it. Because of what the Lord has allowed in my life I can share my pain and His compassion. I can be open about how He reached into the dark places of my heart and brightened the blackness with hope. I can reveal how He opened my eyes to the realization that my neediness, pain, and fear are all avenues to learning deeper intimacy with Him. These painful paths all led me to know Him in new ways and more deeply. They led me to learn different facets of His love and His character. And growing in knowing more led me to trusting Him more.

Who do you know who is grieving, going through a difficult time, in physical pain, or emotional turmoil? Consider how you can share the Light of hope we have in Jesus and His Word. Bring light into darkness and hope into despair.

It seems that just going along in life when everything is rolling smooth, we fail to learn to trust. We, too often, depend on ourselves, our own strength, and our own wisdom. So, the Lord allows pain to intrude in order to help us grow in intimacy with Him.

Truly His ways are higher than my ways. I would do it differently. I would prefer to avoid the pain, but my Heavenly Father knows what is best and He is teaching me to depend on Him. He is teaching me to know hope in the midst of heartache.

Is the hope found in Him brightening your heart today? I pray that you will know the light of His truth, the hope it brings, the comfort of His presence, and the warmth of His love.

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Prayer as Demonstrated in the Bible

The importance of prayer was instilled in me from little on. As a young girl my Opah taught me much about Jesus. We lived by my grandparents. Each Sunday evening my brother and I would have “church” with them. My Opah would be the “pastor”, Omah would be the congregation, and my brother and I were the choir. We would always sing, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” A beautiful hymn outlining the truths about the importance of prayer.

Now when I think of my prayer life, my joys and struggles in praying, my mind returns to these precious moments. Opah taught me so much. He demonstrated so much about Jesus and life in Him. As an adult I now look to the Lord and His Word for help in prayer, but often wish that Opah was still here to guide me when I am struggling.

The Bible is filled with prayers demonstrating ways we can pray. It gives many examples of how others prayed. I would like to share a few examples of the different kinds of prayer, there is so much to learn in God’s Word.

Many of our prayers fall under the umbrella of petitions, sometimes this type of prayer is referred to as supplication, these terms refer to the times we cry out to the Lord with our needs. We may petition the Lord about anything; our finances, our health, for our protections when we travel, or about difficulties in our workplace, the opportunities are endless.

David shares his prayers throughout the Psalms. Psalm 3 is an example of him petitioning the Lord for deliverance. David is in the middle of a very stressful situation He is feeling as if everyone is against him. There are times in our lives when we feel exactly the same way, whether it is in the workplace or in our homes, or maybe just in dealing with inner conflict about an issue. David knew the Lord was on his side and he needed the Lord to help him through and out. He felt pummeled by his enemies. We may have human enemies but many of our emotions can seem like enemies. Guilt, greed, anger, and jealousy can entangle our hearts and destroy our peace and joy. We then may need to call out to the Lord for deliverance in these situations as well, petitioning the Lord for His help.

When we are not praying for ourselves, we often are praying on behalf of others. We see the needs of family and friends. We see problems in our world; problems of persecution, wars, human trafficking, abuse, and other injustices. When we look in the Bible, one of the most beautiful examples of intercession is found in John 17 when Jesus cries out to His Father on our behalf. He prayer for his disciples and ultimately, for us. It is such a beautiful prayer of love. Intercession is truly a prayer of love for another, there is nothing more important that we can do than cry out to God on another’s behalf. Paul also give us many examples of intercession, for example He speaks of his prayer for the people in the church of Ephesus in Ephesians 1:15-23. He prays for their spiritual growth. He asks that the eyes of their hearts be enlightened so that they will know the hope of God’s calling. You can’t go wrong interceding for someone’s spiritual growth, what could be more important to the Lord than that.

Another kind of prayer we see demonstrated in the Bible is the prayer of thanksgiving. In Psalm 138 we read the words of David giving thanks for the Lord’s favor. He thanks God for His loving-kindness, His truth, and His answers to prayer. He gives thanks for the confidence and strength that the Lord gave him in life, for fulfilled promises, for deliverance, and so much more. David has seen the hand of the Lord at work in his life and he is grateful for so much. We too have many reasons to give thanks. I think that we often neglect sharing our gratitude with the Lord, and in doing so we often miss out on the joy that can fill our hearts because of such a prayer.

Similar to this are the prayers of worship and praise. Hannah prays such a prayer in 1 Samuel 2:1-10. Hannah  rejoices in the Lord because of Who He is and what He has done. She is filled with worship and praise because after a time of infertility the Lord has answered her prayers and blessed her with a child.

When we see the reality of God’s goodness in our lives or recognize the gift of answered prayer we too may go to the Lord as Hannah did with words of worship and praise.

The last type of prayer that I want to mention is that of confession. David gives us a beautiful example of a prayer of confession in Psalm 51. He wrote this after he sinned with Bathsheba. You can read about his sin in 1 Samuel 11. David realizes his sin of committing adultery after the prophet Nathan confronts him. David then pours out his heart to the Lord in Psalm 51. He prays for God to have mercy and compassion on him. He asks that the Lord would blot out his sins (transgressions). He admits that he has sinned against the Lord by doing evil in His sight. He asks for cleansing and restoration. David desires to praise the Lord again. He wants his heart to be right before the Lord and his realtionship with Him restored.

When we personally find ourselves realizing that we have grieved the Lord with our sin, we too need to bring that sin before the Lord in confession. 1 John 1:9 tells us, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Confession restores our relationship, broken by sin, with the Lord.

There are many reason to come before the Lord, to cry out to Him, these are only a few examples. These prayers give us words to express our feelings and needs. They can encourage us in praying when we are at a loss for what to say or when we feel stuck. Each of these prayers are expressed by real people going through real struggle, recognizing heartfelt needs, or responding to God’s intervention. We can relate to their heart cries, and our heart have cries of their own that we can bring before the Lord.

When prayer is a struggle we can find hope and help in God’s Word. The Lord often uses His Word to prick my heart to help me realize a personal prayer-need of my own or to realize the need of another. The Lord wants to hear from us. He wants to meet us in our neediness, in our desperation, as well as in our rejoicing and praise. Jesus is our loving Friend. The hymn I use to sing in my grand parents living room tells it all.

“What a friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear!

What a privilege to carry Everything to God in prayer.

O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear.

All because we do not carry, Everything to God in prayer.”

(written by Joseph M. Scriven)

What a privilege it is to take our needs to God in prayer. I am so grateful for these beautiful scriptural examples that serve as a guide when I struggle in my prayer life. I hope that you have found encouragement for your prayer needs also. Truly what a privilege we have to take our concerns to the Creator God of this Universe.

Lord, I Need You, I’m Depressed

Sadness is a part of life. It is often related to or can be attributed to life circumstances, disappointments, or losses. But there are time of deep sadness or even depression that can really knock you down.

I went through a very deep depression a number of years ago. It was a time of darkness and hopelessness. I was out of work for 11 months. I felt like I was drowning, and I couldn’t find my way out.

When we deal with depression we have varying responses as to how we get help, or even if we get help. I met with a Christian counselor and she helped me work through some issues that were affecting me. I also went on medications to help me with my depression, anxiety, and sleep issues.

The more I knew about the emotional pain from which my depression stemmed, the more I felt like I knew exactly what I needed to have happen in my life so that I could go on. It was a heart neediness that I needed help with. There was a deep emptiness, a hurt endured, a need unmet, but, my first response was not to call out to the Lord. I thought that I knew what I needed and I tried to manipulate getting the need met on my own terms.

It took a number of months of suffering before the Lord made it clear to me that I was praying for Him to work in my solution in my predetermined way rather than coming to Him for healing according to His wisdom. I prayed that the Lord would work it all out according to my plan.

When I finally accepted that truth of my sin and confessed it, I chose to ask Him to heal me His way. It was then that I saw Him work in my heart and life. It was amazing how He showed me His love for me and helped to grow my trust in Him.

He used the medications, the counselor, and the doctor to help me through, but He is absolutely the One who healed my heart. He knew I needed to trust Him with my neediness. in the deepest of ways. He knew I needed a deeply intimate relationship with Him more than I needed anything else.

O Lord I need you!

Elijah went through a period of depression. It is recorded in 1 Kings 19 in the BIble. Elijah had just experienced God’s miraculous, supernatural power in response to his prayer. And the next thing we read is how Elijah is filled with fear. He is exhausted, he is depressed, and he wants to dies.

Elijah had been running because his life was being threatened. One day he knows the hope of God’s power and suddenly he can only feel the gloom of despair. The Bible doesn’t explain how Elijah gets from that mountaintop joy of a miracle to the place of defeat and despair. But the Lord is there too. Elijah tells the Lord that he just wants to die. And, God meets him in that place.

I think when we are feeling so depressed we often just want the pain to be gone. And sometimes the pain is so excruciating we just want to die.

The Lord knew Elijah’s need and met him there. We too can cry out to the Lord in our neediness. The Lord know our needs. He knew that Elijah felt lonely and scared. He knew that Elijah was exhausted and in need of food and water. And the Lord met those needs.

The Lord also knew that Elijah needed to know the Lord in a new way. I think that the Lord allows us to hit rock bottom so that we can look up with new eyes of neediness to see Him again. It is in those wilderness places of life when we feel no hope that the Lord wants us to see Him as all we need.

Elijah had just seen the Lord send fire down from heaven. Elijah had prayed and trusted that the Lord would answer and prove Himself as True God. Yet when Jezebel threatened his life he crumbled.

I know one thing I realized about my faith in my depression mostly after my depression is that the Lord wanted me to grow in my trust of Him. He wanted me to share the depths of my neediness with Him and depend on Him in it to care for me and satisfy me.

God is a personal God who is able to do amazing and miraculous things in this world. yet we so easily forget that He is that same able God in our personal wilderness of depression.

Yes, He has given us doctors, counselors, medications, and books that we can turn to for help. But He desires us to bring even our deepest neediness to Him. Nothing is too hard for Him. He wants to personally show us His glory. He wants to whisper hope in His still, small voice into our brokenness.

The Lord is able to take the deepest hurt and emotional pain and bring healing. He is able to use whatever we have gone through for His glory. He is able to satisfy our hearts with His love and with His perfect plans for our lives. When you cry, “Lord, I need you,” you can expect Him to show up and work in that hurting place. It may not be an overnight fix, but He will hold you in the pain and bring you to a place of new hope. We can always depend on and trust in HIm!

 

 

Lord, I Need You: I’m Helpless

Helpless. Desperate.

There are times in life when we just feel as if there is nothing we can do. We can’t fix or change the situation and life seems impossible.

There is a great story about a situation that seemed impossible to King Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 2. He was feeling desperate. The Moabites, Ammonites, and some of the Meunites were coming to fight against him in Jerusalem. There was a vast number coming and they were getting closer. There was no time to prepare and this left the King feeling very helpless, it seemed that there was nothing that he could do.

Have there been times in your life when it felt like everything was coming down on you? Maybe you feel like that right now. You see it coming, and it seems that there is absolutely nothing you can do. King Jehoshaphat had these vast armies coming at him and he wasn’t able to prepare.

  • Maybe you have an overwhelming number of expenses hanging over your head and you don’t know where the money will come from to pay all of the bills.
  • Maybe it’s cancer that is spreading or some other illness warring on a loved one’s body or your body and you are left feeling helpless.
  • Or maybe it’s your adult son or daughter who has made  wrong choices and now faces court sentencing that will soon mean a prison term.

Whatever it is you are not able to fix it or change it. What do you do in such a desperate situation? Kin Jehoshaphat chose to seek the Lord and then he proclaimed a fast for all those joining him. Many gathered before him and he stood up and prayed.

He begins his prayer by recalling how the Lord has met them in their troubles, in their needs, and in their helplessness before. Have you seen God at work meeting you in previous times of difficulty?

King Jehoshaphat tells the Lord that no matter what kind of disaster comes upon them, they will stand before Him and cry to Him in their distress. They know where their help comes from. They know that the Lord will hear and will answer. It has been their experience with the Lord to see Him work on their behalf and they come to Him in faith. King Jehoshaphat’s confidence is fully in the Lord’s ability, he knows that he himself is helpless.

The king went on in his prayer telling the Lord of their previous dealings with these who were about to come against them. He reminds the Lord that He had not allowed them to be invaded, but these armies were coming to drive them out of the land that the Lord had given them. King Jehoshaphat asks the Lord if He wouldn’t bring judgment upon these armies because Israel is powerless before such a vast number of warriors.

And then, there is this key phrase in the king’s prayer. He tells the Lord, “We do not know what to do, but we look to You.” Wow, that is a prayer of helplessness. The feasible options have run out for us, there is nothing we can do. That is what the King is telling the Lord, he is saying I now am helpless in this situation, but I know You are able, so “we look to You.”

When we come to that place of helplessness, we can place all of our hope and trust in the Lord and look for Him to act. Are you in that place, helpless, there is nothing more that you can do? Don’t give up, keep reading because our great God is amazing.

So, the story doesn’t end there, God hears and speaks to one in the crowd by His Spirit. The Spirit tells them not to be afraid, and not to be discouraged, because the battle is not theirs, it is the Lord’s. Can you feel the peace wash over you?

Think about your situation the one that has left you feeling helpless. The battle against evil is not ours. The battle against the sin in this world is not ours. Satan has come to deceive and destroy. He has come to discourage and send you into despair. Satan does not want you to find hope in God. But the Lord has told us the Truth, “Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4). We only need to call on Jesus and the enemy will flee.

The Lord goes on to tell the Israelites exactly what to do, they must walk in faith knowing that “YAHWEH is with them.” God’s with us too, Immanuel literally means, “God with us.”  We have His presence, and access to His power.

Now you may be thinking, yes, but I prayed for this person who was dying in hopes that the Lord would save her life, but she died. And my friend’s son has been in prison for years, despite our prayers for his freedom. I know we often cannot understand the ways of the Lord.

The point of seeking Him is that in our helplessness there is no one else to go to that has the power to change things but Him. He is the one that can lead us, comfort us, and make His presence known to us in the midst of the situation. He is truly our Hope in our helplessness.

King Jehoshaphat listened to the Lord’s instruction through His Spirit, and followed His directions. They went out to the battlefield singing and praising God. Yes, in their helplessness and in their desperation, in the midst of this impossible situation, they trusted God and sang praises to His name.

They knew God’s faithfulness, and the Lord worked on their behalf setting an ambush against their enemies. Those that came to war against Israel ended up destroying each other. Israel found the place where the war was to take place covered in corpses.

And as if that wasn’t good enough, King Jehoshaphat and the people gathered the plunder. They were busy for three days gathering the abundance of goods and valuables. They found so much that they count even carry it all. The fourth day they spent praising God. They went back to the temple to worship the One who helped them in their helplessness.

We often strive in every and any way we can think of to make the situation work or at last to get it to seem better, we try everything humanly possible. And sadly enough, we often forget to even seek the Lord in our helplessness.

What situation in your life is leaving you feeling helpless right now? Have you tried everything? Are you discouraged and ready to give up? When we come to a place of desperation, let’s remember King Jehoshaphat’s prayer, “We do not know what to do but we look to You.” Truly, the Lord has the answer. And take time to recount to the Lord His amazing faithfulness as you cry out to Him in your desperation and helplessness.

I will be honest, there are times that I don’t think that His way is best. I have it all figured out and want it to go my way. But EVERY single time He works it out for His glory and I can tell you that He satisfies my heart through it. His ways are perfect. His way may not be easy, it may lead us through wilderness places, but He will meet us in them and hold us in His love.

His loving presence is what I need all of the time, and He is the One I will look to in my helplessness. What about you? Will you go to Him and cry out, Lord I need You!?

 

 

Lord, I Need You … I’m Exhausted

Matthew 11:28-30 NIV “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Jeremiah 31:25 NIV “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.

Psalm 62:5 “Yes, my soul, find rest in God, your hope comes from him.”

I have known the feelings of exhaustion during various times in my life, but the time that stands out the most is during the period of time when my dad’s Alzheimer’s continued to worsen. He didn’t know his yard, his home, or even where his bedroom was. It was difficult for him to remember a simple direction. His health condition had altered his whole demeanor. He had become short-tempered and easily angered. He didn’t understand what was happening. I guess he may have been fearful inside but was unable to communicate that, so it all came out in frustration. He needed us to be loving and patient, helpful, yet allowing him to keep his dignity. 

I was frequently running back and forth to my parents trying to be there for mom, so that she could get out of the house, and trying to help dad find some enjoyment in life. This was exhausting as I was working, I had a home to take care of, and a husband who was being neglected.

LORD, I NEED YOU!

Matthew 11:28-30 tells us to come to Him when we are weary and burdened. The Lord calls us to bring out weariness to Him and to find rest in Him. He tells us in Isaiah 40:31 “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength…”

Whether you are physically, spiritually, mentally exhausted, or all three, your strength can be renewed. The Lord gives strength to the weary. He wants us to find our hope in HIm.

We live in a fallen world, our natural human strength gives out, but the Lord is able to meet us in that, He has an inexhaustible storehouse of resources at His fingertips. He knows that the pressures of life weigh heavy on us. Sometimes our burdens are too big to carry. We end up feeling as though we are ready to give up.

I screamed “I don’t want to do this anymore, it is too hard, it’s too much.” My tears fell. I didn’t know how I was going to make it through this time, but the Lord knew.

A number of years ago, a girlfriend and I attended a Dallas Holm’s concert at a church in a town about 25 miles from where we live. Dallas and his wife. Linda, sang and shared. The part of that amazing concert that sticks in my mind most, is not the beautiful music we heard, but something Dallas shared. He explained that at that time his wife was going through cancer. They had been crying out to the Lord, and one day as Linda prayed the Lord impressed on her heart Isaiah 45:3.  “I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.”  (KJV)

“Treasures of darkness” are the gifts of a loving God, who knows where you are and what you are going through. I would have written Dad’s story completely differently, editing out Dad’s disease and the torment of Alzheimer’s. I would have written his story so that it wouldn’t have ended with him in a nursing home. It wouldn’t have seemed so overwhelming and exhausting if I would have made his life plan.

But, I am not God, and I don’t have the powers to make life as I desire. Instead, I had to go through this rough journey with Dad, and it was difficult, and we didn’t know the way. But the Lord did give me “treasures” in the darkness of this difficult time. He taught me amazing truths about His love, and how to love others, about His wisdom and how He was at work. The darkness was a place I didn’t want to be, I wanted the easy comforts of life, where I could enjoy energy and relaxation. I didn’t want to live in stress, in fear, and feel so vulnerable to the unknown. I didn’t want to be running constantly trying to be available in so many ways. I didn’t want to see all of the pain, or feel it. 

I must say, I didn’t see the Lord gifting me with these treasures during that time, I think I was too bleary-eyed. Sad and tired. But, now I look back, and I have to smile, my God was there holding me up, giving me strength. He helped me to feel His love for me, and He helped me demonstrate His love. He was there teaching me that I am not alone when I needed Him most. He was there teaching me that I couldl count on him, rely on Him, and depend on Him. He is trustworthy. He supported me and strengthened me to do what I needed to do. And above all, His name was glorified in it all.

Yes, I was exhausted, and I felt at the end of my rope. I cried hot tears, it wasn’t easy. But He gave me precious treasures that I can hold in my heart forever, and He showed me that He is my Eternal Hope and Strength for this life.

The Lord replenished my strength as I spent time with Dad. At times, I would catch a gleam in Dad’s eye when he found success at doing something. Or at other times he would tease me or laugh at something that amused him. My heart would be encouraged to find Dad,  as I knew him,  still in there. My dad had an amazing sense of humor.

The psalmist writes in Psalm 138:3 “As soon as I pray you answer me, you encourage me by giving me strength.” The Lord answers our prayers in ways that help us know Him more. If I had had the power to rewrite Dad’s life story, I would have missed out on some very beautiful treasures from the Lord, and now I can say that I am glad that the story was written the way it was. It was God’s way, and He always knows best. It wasn’t the easy or painless way, but it was the perfect way.

Lord, I need you! The song still brings me to tears as I remember, bittersweet memories. My heart prays that our exhaustion and desperation may always bring us to recognize our need for the Lord so that we can find the hope and strength He has for us.

God is Gracious

What does the graciousness of God mean to you?

The word gracious means to show kindness to those who are inferior, and to be filled with compassion. Grace is defined as unmerited favor. These words are a perfect description of who God is and how He has acted and continues to act towards us.

God’s grace towards us is a result of His unconditional love. Our Heavenly Father loves us, His children, as a parent does their own child. A parent desires the best for their child, and the Lord desires His best for us.

The Lord shows us His grace through His gift of redemption to us. He offers us forgiveness and eternal life through Jesus’ death and resurrection. The Lord has demonstrated His grace throughout the Bible.

In the Old Testament, we learn this about our God and His graciousness:

Joel 2:13 “And rend your heart and not your garments. Now return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and compassionate. Slow to anger, abounding in loving-kindness, And relenting of evil.”

Joel is telling the people don’t just tear our clothes in grief, but tear your hearts. Your sin should make you that sad. He wants the people to recognize what they have left when they turned their back on God. He is speaking to us too, we also turn our backs on the Lord and we also need to repent.

Psalm 145:8 “The Lord is gracious and merciful; Slow to anger and great in loving-kindness.”

Psalm 116:5 “Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; Yes, our God is compassionate.”

The Psalmists in these two Psalms is describing the God each one has come to know.

Isaiah 30:15 “Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you, For the Lord is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.”

Isaiah is explaining to the Israelites, who have been very rebellious, that although God hates their evil ways, He is actually waiting to be gracious and compassionate to them. God loves His people that much. God desires so much to show us compassion and grace, He waits while we walk the path of sin, He waits for us to turn back to Him so He can demonstrate His love to us. His heart longs to do that. Can we even comprehend a love such as this?

In the New Testament, we find:

Romans 5:1-2 “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.” 

Paul explains in Romans that we have justification through our faith, we have been declared just or righteous, we, who believe, have been acquitted. And because of that we are no longer at war with God as we had been when we lived in sinfulness. But, now we stand in grace and can boast of the hope we have in this amazing grace. We have been declared right before God. God knows that we still sin, but he has robed us in Christ’s righteousness. 

Ephesians 2:8-10 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from ourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good words, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Paul goes on to explain that none of this is about us, it is nothing that we have done, it is all God’s gift to us. We cannot take credit for any of it.

Titus 2:11 “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,”

Jesus came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10). He came to earth for all of us, we all are in need of a Savior. He came to seek and save those lost in a sinful life, That describes mankind. He came to bring hope to sinners.

We recently celebrated Easter or sometimes called Resurrection Sunday by believers.

 We celebrate this holiday because:

  • Through faith in Him we have the hope of heaven.
  • Through faith in Him we have Eternal life.
  • Through faith in Him we have access to God (our Heavenly Father).
  • Through faith in Him we have forgiveness of sins.

Grace, Grace, God’s Grace, greater than all our sins. All of these are ours through faith in Jesus. Do you want to learn more about God’s grace? My posts for the month of May will center around the grace of God, topics such as the sufficiency of His grace, the equality we find at the foot of the cross, and the throne of grace that He invites us to. I also want to dig into some illustrations of His grace found in Scripture.

Our hope rests in the grace that Jesus has bought for us on the cross through His death and resurrection. Do you have that hope? I look forward to sharing with you about all we have through Jesus. Let’s find refreshment for our souls in God’s word, in His Truths, and in His promises. Without His grace we are left in the hopelessness of our sinful state.

Abundance out of Brokenness

Is there abundance out of brokenness? Can you wrap your mind around that?

It is a bit mind-boggling to say the least. This concept is not typically what we think of when we think of being broken. Brokenness is usually equated with emptiness, despair, helplessness, hopelessness, feelings of overwhelm, grieving, and on and on. There doesn’t seem to be any light for a path to abundance.

Yet, Ann Voskamp says that brokenness is a “daring path to abundant life.” It is all about risk, Ann describes it as “vulnerable communion.” Sharing our brokenness, embracing our brokenness, giving away our broken pieces is the road to finding true abundance.

The abundant life is promised to the believer in John 10:10, Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy, I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.Jesus came so that we as believers may have abundant life. Satan, the devil comes to take it away, to bring death, and for the purpose of destruction. We are dead to God’s gift of abundant life before we come to know Christ. When we are “dead in our sins”, we are not even aware of that fact of our deadness.

But we have been called to hope in Christ. Praise God for His amazing grace. Jesus came and took our brokenness, He took away our sins, He took it all to the cross, He died for us. Jesus came to bind up and to heal (Psalm 147:3). He takes us in all of our brokenness, in our sin-sickness, in our hopelessness and fear, and leads us to abundance.

Oftentimes, people hear the words “abundant life” and think of riches, and money, wealth. When Jesus promises abundant life, He is promising satisfaction in Himself. We are satisfied in knowing Him, in His love, in the peace He brings, and in the comfort He gives.

We can take our own personal brokenness and share it with others, and in the humility of recognizing our need for Christ, and in the knowledge of our pain, we can point others to Christ. Instead of turning inward, instead of hiding, we can share how we know pain within, we can find a commonality of brokenness in our lives, and find hope in the one Who came to heal us, the one Who robes us in His righteousness. We are covered in Jesus righteousness, and in that there is hope, the hope is because of His unfailing mercy and grace for us.

We can give out of what we find in Jesus. We can live broken open and poured out as we live our lives in Christlikeness because of what Jesus has done for us. And as we pour out our lives into the lives of others, we again and again go back to the Lord to be filled and refilled. It is in our emptiness that we realize our need and desperation for the hope we can only find in Him.

We all are broken, broken by sin, broken by pain, broken by grief, and it is when we stop covering it up, hiding it away and let our woundedness be the opening where we let others in to love us and let our wounded places be pressed into the woundedness of Christ that we find abundance. We find abundance, meaning we find full satisfaction in Jesus and the richness that comes in knowing the love, acceptance, and belonging we can only have in true communion.

Are you on that path to abundance?

Are you finding satisfaction in Jesus in the midst of your personal brokenness?

Are you sharing your brokenness with others and sharing what you have found in the Lord with them as well?

We can find true abundance as we know our brokenness, share our brokenness, and know the Lord in all of it.