Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Soak Up the Truth... Let Go of the Lie!

Grade school can be a good place to plant the seeds of insecurity & it only gets worse in Jr. High & High School.  But there were so many kids in my class in grade school that could read super fast.  I was always a slow, thorough reader… I liked to soak up every word, picture it in my mind & understand it.  I remember there use to be this reading program in school called SRA… not sure what that stood for.  You would have to read a little story & then answer questions about it.  There were different levels that were represented by different colors.  The “exceptional” readers would make it to the final color stages by the end of the school year.  I don’t remember how the color stages went, but I think I never made it past “brown” or “tan!” And then when I would have to read out loud in class, I would freak out because of being so shy. Do you know what I mean… I could hear my own voice & every word I would read I knew the other kids could hear the lack of confidence in my voice! 

Fast forward to adulthood… I always said I really don’t like to read.  But recently I was shown this statement was not true… it had to do with a lie I was still believing about myself.  I realized the reason for that statement was actually because I felt like an inadequate reader in school.

Here is the truth… I do like to read when it is an interesting book or a style of writing I enjoy.  The truth is I am a good reader… just because I am not a fast reader does not make me less than!  The truth is God made me this way to soak up words… He has placed this love of words in me & my heart’s desire for the words I am able to string together to be words He can use to touch someone’s heart!  I have always found it strange that I love to write when I don’t like to read, but this morning God showed me the truth… I do like to read, but the lie I believed about myself was keeping me from knowing that!

It is amazing how something that we might have been told about ourselves as a child can still be impacting us to this day!  In my mind those things are just silly things that don’t mean anything, but in my heart those “silly” things have done great damage.  Do you have any of those “silly” things that still are causing you to believe a lie about yourself?  You know when we believe things that are contrary to what God says about us… it is hurtful to God!?  He created each of us as a magnificent masterpiece!  Ask God to point out those areas in your heart so you do not have to live with those lies any longer.

Who does God say you are?  My Bible is full of little notes that are placed loosely through the pages… a couple years ago when I was going through a difficult time my hubby wrote me a note on a scrap piece of paper that says, “Carin is complete in Him… Papa makes her completely adequate for life, godliness and ALL He calls her to do!” These scriptures were written on the bottom: Colossians 2:9-10, 2 Peter 1:3, 2 Corinthians 9:8… check out those verses… we all need the reminder from time to time!

Take the time to read Psalms139… such a wonderful reminder of how our Heavenly Father watches, guides, & knows us completely!

"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10

Rejoicing in Truth!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Blessing revisited!

The writing to follow is something I wrote a few years ago, but God just placed it on my heart to share again,
but this time on Coffee Cup Corner. I really hope you will share your thoughts/feelings here to help others through your experiences. That is the kind of place I want this blog to be.

How do you look at burdens, disappointments, illness? Do you ever feel sometimes that as a believer you should not ever see yourself as being burdened?  Can you see the good in burdens that we may face?  I know I started with a lot of questions… where do I find the answers? 

When I started thinking and praying about writing this devotional, I had no idea where God was going to take me.  The words “burden” and “blessing” kept coming to my mind.  In fact I had previously posted something on my other blog titled “Burden or Blessing” not realizing that this was the place God wanted me to go for this devotional.  The first verse that comes to my mind when I think of burden is:

“Cast your burden on the LORD,
 And He shall sustain you; 
         He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” - Psalm 55:22 

No matter what we may be going through God is always there to carry our load if we will just give it to Him.  How can a burden be turned into a blessing or better yet how do I let God turn a burden into a blessing in my heart and life?  When the dreams and plans we may have for our lives just don’t go the way we think they should… how do we take that burden, that disappointment, that hurt and let God work His miracle to turn it into a blessing.  It just amazes me to see how God can take ashes and make something new out of them. 

For years I carried a burden with me.  It was so personal and I “suffered” in silence most of the time, but anyone that really knew me knew it was always there.  I felt at times it became my identity… the burden of never being able to have a baby.  Many, many tests were done, but still no real reason for the infertility… no reason for the emptiness… no reason for the loss… no reason why I couldn’t give my husband a child.   For a long time I kept asking why God would allow such a thing to be a part of MY life… I always have done my best to live for Him… why did I have to carry this burden when I wanted to be a mom so badly?  I got plenty of answers from so many people, but I never really got the answer I was looking for from God.   

I would often think of Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”

I know I was born with the desire in my heart to be a mother.  I also know God gave me that desire.  Then why when I was “delighting myself in the Lord” was He not giving me the desires of my heart?

I never did receive an answer to that exact question, but what I did receive was that if I had a willing heart to trust that God knows best, He can change the desires of my heart. He can relieve the burden of the loss of my dreams.  And yes, He can even turn this burden into a blessing

You might ask where is the blessing.  The blessing comes from me surrendering my desires to His way in my life.  Psalm 37:5 goes on to say, Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.” 

That is a promise from God… a God who never changes (Hebrews 13:8)… a God who never lies (Hebrews 6:18)… a God who will never let me go. (Isaiah 41:13)  It may not be my plan but it is God’s plan.  This is a favorite quote that relates to this, “It is dangerous to mistake my wishes for God’s will.”

Satan hates it when we can find the blessing in the burden. One of our enemy’s greatest weapons is discouragement… if I allow him to take that burden and add his lies and deception, then he has got me right where he wants me. He will use discouragement and discontentment to turn my heart away from God and all the blessings God has for me.

How do I combat when Satan wants to bring up that hurt and try to turn it back into a burden?  I praise & worship God.  I am not saying it is always easy, but I do know that God has already won the victory and I am so thankful I am on the winning side.

These are a few verses that help me praise God in those difficult moments.  I pray you will meditate on them and that you find comfort for whatever burden you may be carrying today.

"I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps.  He has put a new song in my mouth— Praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the LORD.” - Psalm 40:1-3 

“Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the LORD.” - Psalm 31:24

“The LORD will give strength to His people; the LORD will bless His people with peace.” - Psalm 29:11 

“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him.” - Psalm 28:7 

I pray that through God’s leading I will be used to be a blessing to someone today. Giving God all the glory, in Jesus’ Name.

Questions to ask yourself:

Has there been a time in your life when you thanked God for a burden?

Share how God has turned a burden into a blessing in your life.

What do you do to get through those difficult moments?

Rejoicing in Truth!