2 Corinthians 12:9
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness…
This is a verse that many of us have heard and read many times but while driving to work one morning the Holy Spirit brought it to my mind in a special way. It was one of those days where I felt weary, one of those days where I was wondering what God was up to, how he was going to come through and what His specific plans were for me with several situations I have going on. As I drove I heard Him speak to my heart and say, “I need you to be strong and you can be strong because I am your strength.” When I heard this my whole perspective begin to change. I thought to myself…Wow, God needs me!
I often cry out to God for help and tell him how much I need him and what I need him to do. This is good because he tells us in his Word to make our requests known to him with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6), but in that moment when he said I need you to be strong I realized just how much God needed me. Joy begin to fill my heart and by the time I arrived at work I had a big smile on my face not only because God needed me to help fulfill His purposes but also because I was reminded He would give me the strength to do whatever He needed me to do. Nehemiah 8:10 tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength!
I hope that you will find joy knowing that God needs you to help fulfill his purpose here on Earth and in your weary moments be reminded that when you are in Christ you are a part of his plan and he has a special purpose for your life. No matter what you may be going through his grace is sufficient for you. You can be strong because he is your strength.
How amazing it is to know that you are our strength and you need us your children to help fulfill your plans and purposes here on Earth. Help us to bring all our worries and concerns to you no matter how small but as we do that help us to also remember that you need us and that you are counting on us to live our lives in a way that will bring glory to you each day. You sent your Son to die on the cross for our sins so that we could not only spend eternity with you one day but so that we could help shine your light into this dark world. Thank you so much for the joy and the strenght you give us!
In the name of Jesus,
He restores my soul…
I recently had an incident where I could not remember the pass code for my cell phone. It was very discouraging but I had somehow drew a blank and just could not remember. So I prayed to God and asked Him to help me remember. After several hours of trying and having my phone be disabled, I decided that I would just have to go the dreaded route of using the recovery feature. The problem with this recovery feature according to the instructions is that all my data would be lost to include, pictures, notes, contacts, etc. and my phone would be reset to all the factory settings. But miraculously, as I went through the recovery process and my phone begin to exhibit signs of life again I begin to see my old information popping up and was given the chance to set up a new pass code! Once the process was complete everything I thought I would lose was still there. I was so thankful and excited! Instead of me losing my information as I thought I would, God intervened and my phone was restored to the state it was in went I first got locked out. I didn’t lose one single thing.
As I went through this frustrating incident, the Lord taught me some things. 1) Sometimes as we go through things and dread or fear the worst, God already knows the end result and has worked things out for our good (Romans 8:28). We just need to trust Him. 2) Sometimes God may not answer our prayers the exact way we want (such as me remembering my pass code) but the way He chooses to answer is always best and can show us something new about how he works in our lives. If I had just remembered my old pass code I would have missed out on seeing his restoration in this situation 3) When we honor God, He loves to restore us when we lose things. He is always working to give us more than what we even expect (Ephesians 3:20). The Lord definitely gave me more than I expected in this situation and I am truly thankful!
Thank you for being the restorer of our souls. Thank you for working things together for good in our lives. Please teach us to trust you in all situations even the little things in life that can hurt us or cause great frustration. Teach us to pray instead of worry. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
Proverbs 17:9 (NIV)
He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates friends.
Learning to forgive others when they offend us is an important key to developing and maintaining healthy relationships. Part of learning to forgive includes learning to not bring up the mistakes others have made or “not repeating the matter”. But as always Jesus set a great example by what He did (and still does) for us. Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you”. I remember a little over 2 years ago I told the Lord I wanted to have better relationships with people. I asked Him what I could do to accomplish this. Over the next couple of days, God spoke to my heart and He said two specific things to me. 1) He told me to read the Bible 2) He told me to apologize to a particular person with whom I had had a “not so great” relationship with in the past. Well I was really excited about starting to spend more time in God’s Word, but the second thing was a lot more difficult to do. However I wanted to honor God’s request, so I obeyed. The interesting thing about this situation is that I was not even upset with the person anymore and the person wasn’t upset with me because it had been a lot of years since the offense occurred. But there was still always that vague feeling in my heart that the person “owed me” an apology. That’s one thing about God; He knows exactly what is in our hearts. We can’t hide anything from the all-knowing God. But taking this step of obedience was well worth it! It brought me a lot of freedom and the person was very grateful and even offered me an apology in return. I also began to see a lot of positive changes within our relationship, and over the months God has allowed me to meet some really nice people and establish more friendships.
This experience was a great lesson for me in humility and allowed me to see that even though the person had faults…I did too! I was also able to repent for the pride that had been hiding out in my heart. In our human nature we tend to think when there is a conflict, it’s someone else’s fault. But with God’s help we can learn to examine ourselves before we start examining other people. We can’t control others anyway, but when we are in Christ we have the Spirit of self control (Galatians 5:22-23) so we can learn to control ourselves and do what’s right. When God created us, He gave us a desire to be connected to others and learning to forgive will help us keep those connections strong.