Heavenly Confidence

Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; 
though war arise against me, yet I will be confident. (Psalm 27:3)


Confidence, true soul-deep, unshakeable confidence, comes from God.  We can create a sense of earthly confidence, smugness, put on a confident air, but genuine, stand-strong, no matter what, confidence is a gift from our Father when we stand in His protection.

Many of us aren’t often surrounded by armies we can see.  But, the Bible tells us in Ephesians 6, our true battle is not against flesh and blood.  Our enemy is unseen, but his attacks are felt.

Thankfully, our weapons are not of this world and we do not need to live in fear.  We can “Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.” (Eph. 6:10).  

In the ever-shifting, growing turmoil in the world around us, we can yet live in peace; we can share the love of Christ with those around us because in Him, we are confident of His great protection and love and we need not fear. 

So today, if worry or fear begin to creep in, raise up your Shield of faith and start swinging your Sword of the Spirit (God’s Word) and remember Who you belong to.  Stand strong and confident in the knowledge that our God is stronger than he who is in the world!

Father, strengthen me to stand strong today in You. Give me a new and deeper understanding of Your Word and help me see Your protection surrounding me.  Widen my view beyond myself and help me share Your love with those around me today.  In the name of Jesus, amen!



Jesus Peace


Peace… what a beautiful word!  It brings to mind moments of calm and tranquility, serenity and beauty—and of course, peace and quiet!  It is truly a beautiful word and even more beautiful feeling—yet one that can be elusive at times. 
In Christ, we can have true peace, lasting peace, even in the middle of a fierce battle or storm raging around us, when our most natural reaction would be fear and chaos—we can be filled with indescribable peace deeper and greater than anything we can understand–Jesus Peace!
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”  (John 14:27).  He has given me His peace!
What does it mean to have the peace of Jesus? 
·        It means that when the storm is raging, I can still be calm.
·        When my world seems to be caving in, I can be strong.
·        When nothing around me makes sense, I can rest in my knowledge of Him who is my rock and higher then me.
·        No matter what—I can have peace!
The world does not give selflessly or freely.  Nothing in this world is truly free without a hidden cost or expected return or favor.  Jesus, though does not give as the world gives!  He has given us peace that cannot be earned or bought and its not meant to be borrowed—it is meant to fill us and sustain us and carry us through every storm. 
We can ignore His peace though.  In the same verse, He warns us not to lose our peace.  He says, “do not let your heart be troubled nor let it be fearful”—I have some control over how much peace I feel–the peace is there but I can miss it if I let myself be troubled!  

How do I keep from being troubled or fearful?  My focus must be on the peace-giver!  Just as He grabbed Peter and kept him from sinking, His hand is outreached to me (and you) and He offers peace—real, lasting, powerful peace!
Grab His hand today and let Him hold you and guide you through whatever this day brings and never let go!  Enjoy the peace He gives and He will carry you through the roughest, scariest waters!

Father, thank You for the peace You have given us through Your Son, Jesus!  Fill me today with Your perfect peace and help me stand strong against the waves, the wind and whatever would try to steal it.  Keep my focus on You as You lead and guide me today in the name of Jesus, amen! 

Enjoying the Light




He redeemed my soul from going down to the pit, and I will live to
enjoy the light. 
(Job 33:28)

 

 
I  have been in the pit and I will not go back! 
I will live to enjoy the light!!

 

In 2011, my son was healed after a challenging time of life threatening medical issues.  We witnessed true miracles and at the amazement of doctors and nurses, he recovered and came home and we rejoiced!  However, when the answer to our prayers came and true miraculous healing was given, rejoicing and relief was followed by a very dark, deep pit that almost engulfed me.

Once home, life went “back to normal” –my husband went back to work and family returned home—life as usual resumed.  But what should have been a time of rejoicing and praise was marred by my inability to re-join normal everyday life.  I had “shut down” during the hospital stays and near death experiences in ICU and had been going purely on adrenaline and auto-pilot.  God’s strength had sustained me, but now I was home and I didn’t know how to fix what was now broken in me. 

Thankfully, God lifted me not only out of that pit but took me high above it to a place of peace and rest in Him and I have been learning to enjoy the precious gift of every moment of life.  He has deepened my faith and taught me to trust Him in much more deeper ways than I could ever have imagined!   

 It has not been easy though and I am now dealing with my own health issues due to fibromyalgia, and the ugly pit of depression is trying to rear its ugly head.  Each and every day is a battle to focus on the positive and to allow God to continue holding me and teaching me through this– and this is a battle I must and will win!  The grace of Christ truly is sufficient, and in my weakness I am made stronger through my dependence on Him– and for that I am so incredibly grateful!

 We have known all along that since the doctors didn’t know what caused his previous medical problems, there was always the possibility that something could happen again.   A few weeks ago, just after Thanksgiving, my son again faced life-threatening medical issues and spent 5 days in the hospital.  But thankfully, through God’s grace and the selfless gift of blood donors, he is home and getting stronger by the day! 

The doctors still do not know for sure what is going on in his body and we are trusting that God will give his doctors wisdom and lead them in the right direction.  Thankfully, they do think they know the cause of his internal bleeding, have stopped it and think they know how to make sure it doesn’t happen again and for that we praise God!  While the doctors don’t know the outcome, we know God does and He will sustain us and uplift us with His mighty hand!!

I know this without doubt or fear because I’ve already felt it and seen it!  I know that no matter what, God is in control and will work all things for good.  So while I know we have more tests and unknown trials ahead, I can stand strong knowing God is already there and He is shining His light on my path-He will direct my steps and allow me to not only see but to enjoy the beautiful, warmth of His light!
 
I realize I have a choice.  I can focus on the fear, worry, anxiety, and doubt.  I can allow my thoughts to take me to a dark place feeling lost and alone–but those are lies and there is a much better option!  I can choose to silence the enemy and believe the words of my God who has been so faithful and has always been there for me- His Word reveals just how close He is and gives glimpses of the amazing light that is available for me– I CHOOSE LIGHT! 

 
I will walk in the light that gives me strength, the light that gives me hope, and the light that gives life–and I will not just walk- I will dance and live to enjoy the light!  Not because my circumstances have changed, but because Jesus, who holds my hand and never leaves me, says I can!  The enemy will try and pull me back toward that dark pit, but I refuse to go.  I refuse to listen to lies when I have the perfect truth to cling to–that is clinging to me and will never let me go!!

I pray for so many others who are facing pain and trials and approaching this Christmas with a heavy heart- I pray we will all learn to trust Jesus a little more and learn to live to enjoy the light! I pray for comfort and peace for every hurting heart!!

 Thank You Jesus for always holding me close even when I am fearful, you are there.  Help me walk, skip and dance in the light every moment of every day and help me enjoy Your light–enjoy You!  I don’t just get to see in the light-I get to enjoy it! Thank You!! Teach me to enjoy Your light!  As the sun warms my face may Your light warm my soul!  I love You Jesus, I need You Jesus, and I thank You Jesus that You are my light!

Trusting in the Darkness

I usually enjoy summer storms and love listening to the rain, but the other night brought severe thunderstorms with intense cracks of lightning, floor-shaking thunder booms, and sheets of raining pelting the house. Thankfully we were safely home and not out driving in it, but we were home alone since my husband is traveling for work. 

The boys and I watched the storm through the windows with interest and excitement until the lights began to flicker. We raced for flashlights and candles before the lights went out putting us in complete darkness. The only light available came from the almost constant lightning and the only noise was the thunder. 

Suddenly, everything became completely still and eerily silent. And I became very aware that we were seemingly alone with no help. No electricity, no lights, no Internet or telephone, no way to anyone for help other than our cell phones, which already had low batteries.
Thankfully the storm calmed, but we were still in the dark and I was very aware of being alone.  Before panic could take root and our imaginations could get too far with the infinite list of what-ifs, we turned to the only true source of comfort and security- the One true source of help- God who is our very present help in trouble!  

God gently reminded me that I was not alone and that I am never alone. My Heavenly Father brought such sweet peace and comfort and all fear of being alone left me, and anyone who knows me well, knows what a big deal that is! The boys and I had a fun time just talking for a little while and then we decided to go to bed early since it was dark anyway. 

We took our main source of light with us (because He never leaves us!)  and also our flashlights and calmly and without fear, laid down to sleep, trusting God to keep us safe. Within just a few short minutes, the power came on and we knew the storm was over! 

God is so gracious and loving to us! He is a Holy God and could condemn us eternally for our sin- each and every one- yet He gives us a way to be washed clean and forgiven. And He doesn’t stop there! Once we accept His gift of life, He continues to bless us with more than we can ever ask for or even imagine- peace in the storm, joy in the pain, and strength to face every moment with courage and victory! 
My faith grew deeper that night and I am thankful God allowed the storm and the power to go out so that I could trust Him and lean on Him completely! I am also grateful He let the power come back on! 🙂

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deut. 31:6)

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deut. 31:8)

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave younever will I forsake you.”  (Hebrews 13:5)