Posts Tagged ‘sadness’

Mountain Climbing

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When you think you can’t go on, keep going anyway. It’s when the night seems darkest, that the dawn is closest. You will make it through. Lean on His everlasting arms, and there’s nothing that can take you under. You will be ok. You will smile again. Don’t give up, look up!

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“..I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.” – Philippians 4:12b-13

Onward and upward,

Sarah

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Count it All Joy!

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Sometimes it takes a whole lot of determination to embrace new seasons in life. I do ok for a bit and then, BAM, find myself in tears. Oops! Refocus, Sarah!

The enemy is always on the prowl, looking for an open door, window, or crack in the foundation. I find, for myself, that if I notice the enemy creeping in, I have to quickly push him out and seal up the area he slithered into. Then I have to get back to praising! If I don’t, I only find myself in worse shape.

The Word says we are to count it all joy when we are tried and tested, for the trying of our faith will work patience in our souls.

I realize tears are ok. They cleanse us! And as one my fellow bloggers wrote (I’m paraphrasing), “It’s ok to cry, Jesus cried!” It’s not the crying that’s the problem, it’s the reason behind it that may be the problem. Are we crying and wallowing in self pity for that which we’ve lost? Or, are we shedding tears while acknowledging the feelings associated with the situation, but choosing to consider the trial a joy – Knowing that the fruit of overcoming these trials will far outweigh any temporary sadness.

The Lord turns everything for the good of those who love Him. So we can be confident that there is no trial or season that we go through where He won’t find a way to bring good out of it. And, remember, you’re not in this thing alone, ask Him for help!

No matter what comes my way, I’m going to continue to count it all joy. Because, at the end of my days, I want to be able to say I enjoyed life, even when it wasn’t easy. That I chose to see the best in every situation, and trust in His faithfulness.

Don’t give up, friends. Victory is around the corner. Keep on keepin on!

James 1:2-8
New King James Version (NKJV)
Profiting from Trials

2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

A link to one of my favorite songs:

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=gIPMllUV12o&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DgIPMllUV12o

Blessings,

Sarah

I Hate Goodbyes

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I hate goodbyes. I mean really hate them.

As another school year closes, it’s inevitable, goodbyes are on the horizon. Seniors in high school are moving on to become freshmen in college. And, dang it, they so often want to explore other states! What’s so wrong with staying home? I suppose we all have to spread our wings, and follow the Lord’s leading, wherever that may be.

This year we will be sending off one of our dearest friends who has become family. She’s leaving to go to college in another state. I’m not sure if my arms will allow me to let her go when she gives me that last hug. But, surely, someone will pry me loose, and tell me to get a grip. I’ll swallow the lump in my throat, force a smile, say goodbye, and walk away. And as soon as I shut the truck door, all snot and tears will break out! I just don’t want it to end. Things will never be the same. But..things never are. And that doesn’t have to be a bad thing!

Life is change, growth is optional. I’m so glad she’s choosing to grow, instead of staying somewhere she knows she isn’t meant to be right now. All the same, I am thankful that our goodbye with our friend isn’t forever, it’s just a “see you soon!” 🙂

On the other hand, my feisty old Gramma will be turning 100 soon. She’s forgetting a lot of things now, as is expected, she’s almost 100! But, she’s forgetting things about me, too. And it hurts so much. I know she wants to go home to Jesus. But, I hate to think of life without her in it.

Anyway, if you’re saying goodbye for a little while, or goodbye until Heaven..just know that there’s someone you never have to say goodbye to. Yep, you guessed it, Jesus. He sticks closer than a brother, and will never, ever leave us. In that, I take great comfort. He knows every pain, every moment of sadness, and every tear that falls. And He will be with us as we say goodbye to those we love.

Here’s a video (link) that always comes to mind when I have to say goodbye:

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=Uxnhv2ChbxI&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DUxnhv2ChbxI

Blessings,

Sarah

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JESUS WILL BRING YOU HOME – MAY 23, 2011
By: http://www.wels.net
Daily devotion from John 14:1-3.

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. – John 14:1-3

Do you like saying goodbye, especially saying goodbye to someone you dearly love? As Jesus spoke to his disciples on the night before he died, he knew that his words were, to a large degree, words of farewell. But even as he spoke his farewell, he also wanted to comfort his disciples. They were going to see him again!

Jesus was leaving to prepare a place for them. He was then going to return and bring his disciples to be with him. When the apostle John later in life looked back on that evening, he understood how Jesus went about preparing this place for his disciples. John stood at the cross as Jesus washed away the sin of the world. He made the inhabitants of the Father’s house clean by forgiving their sin. Forty days later Jesus ascended into heaven where he waits to bring his disciples home as he rules all things for the good of those who love him.

That doesn’t mean it’s easy to wait for Jesus to return. We find ourselves confronted with troubles each day. Past sins have a way of haunting us. New sins have a way of attacking us. Despair can sink into our lives as we wait for Jesus to fulfill his promise to take us home.

Jesus knows that our hearts become troubled, that our trust at times wavers, that we may wonder if he is ever going to come back and take us home with him. So he gives us these words of comfort and encouragement. Our Savior remembers his promise and will fulfill it. As he came the first time to rescue us from the destruction of sin and death, we are assured that he is faithful and will come back and bring us to his heavenly home where we will never again have to say goodbye.

Prayer:
Dearest Jesus, you promised that you were going to prepare a place for me. Come quickly, that I may join you in your Father’s house. Amen.

Music to Your Ears

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I wanted to share a video with you today. (I can’t figure out how to embed the video, so I will just put the link in below.) It’s sung by Fernando Ortega, with a reading throughout by Anne Graham Lotz. It is so inspirational, and comforting. Put the rest of life on pause for a few minutes, and allow yourself to really listen to the words she’s speaking, you won’t be sorry! It’s helped me countless times over the years.

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=-8i460c3ejw&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D-8i460c3ejw

Have a great day!!

Blessings,

Sarah

Cancel the Pity Party

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The pity party is on my nerve. I think it’s high time we all stop complaining, and start giving praise.

Yes, life gets hard.

But who do you serve?

If you serve The Lord God Almighty, you have reason to praise in every situation. He’s a GOOD God, and will turn every evil thing into good for those who love Him. That’s a great reason to praise! He didn’t bring your hard times, the devil did! Personal choices may have even played a roll. But He is not to blame. He desires good for you. His plans for you are good, and not involving destruction! So stop feeling sorry, and start praisin Him!

It’s time to stop giving our attention to the enemy, and singing his filthy praises. Whenever we complain, we sing the enemy’s praises. YUCK! We’ve got to get out of constantly dwelling on ourselves and our trials, and instead get our eyes on helping others, and being a light in this world.

So, today, lets all commit to seeing how long we can go without complaining or thinking of ourselves. Maybe even keep a tally of how many times throughout the day we catch ourselves in “self pity”. Counteract those thoughts by instead doing something for someone else. For example, if you catch yourself feeling “so sorry” or “so upset” about something, counteract that feeling of pity by sending a note of encouragement to someone!

In other news, I won’t be able to post again until next week. So let me encourage you to enjoy this week to congratulate yourself when you notice growth, and don’t give up on yourself when you miss a step. Just keep on keepin on, brothers and sisters!

We’ll chat soon..

Sarah

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Today’s devo selection:

Saying ‘No’ To Self-Pity
By: J.M. Farro

“The bread of idleness (gossip, discontent, and self-pity) she (the virtuous woman) will not eat.” – Proverbs 31:27 AMP

I recently went through some difficulties that got me so discouraged that I found myself wrestling with feelings of self-pity. Years ago, I might have played some sad songs and cried my eyes out, deriving a sort of perverse satisfaction from my misery. But this time, I prayed and asked the Lord to help me resist these negative emotions. That’s when He reminded me about some teaching I heard years ago about self-pity. I once heard a godly man say, “God is concerned about your hurt, but He doesn’t want YOU concerned about it.” This man went on to say that the reason self-pity is so destructive is that pride is at the root of it, and it causes us to focus too much on ourselves. I looked “self-pity” up in the dictionary and found the following definition: “A self-indulgent dwelling on one’s own sorrows or misfortunes.”

Psychiatrists have an interesting name for people who habitually indulge in self-pity–it’s “injustice collector.” These are the folks who are constantly dwelling on their hurts and hardships – whether real or imagined – and they enjoy thinking about them and talking about them. They lovingly collect and number each and every offense that others commit against them, and they search out people who will sympathize with them and commiserate with them. All this keeps the focus on themselves, which is what they want most. But this isn’t God’s way. He instructs us to walk in the God-kind of love, which is “not self-seeking,” and which “keeps no record of wrongs.” (1 Corinthians 13:5 NIV) This is not to say that we should ignore or deny when we’re being mistreated, but that we should take constructive action to see that we’re treated with proper respect, or remove ourselves from harm’s way, rather than sit idly by, feeling sorry for ourselves.

Self-pity isn’t just nonproductive – it’s destructive. It can lead to bitterness, unforgiveness, and resentment. It doesn’t bring people together – it divides them. And these are some of the reasons why Satan works so hard to get us to focus on our wounds, rather than the cure – which is the love and wisdom of God. Throughout the pages of the Bible, God tells us again and again that He wants us to bring our hurts and sorrows to Him, so that HE can comfort us. He not only wants to be our Comforter, but our Vindicator. (Psalm 135:14) If we’ll let Him, He will defend us and fight our battles for us, leading us to victory every time. He tells us in His Word: “I, the Lord, love justice. I hate robbery and wrongdoing. I will faithfully reward my people for their suffering…” (Isaiah 61:8 NLT)

A good antidote for self-pity is forgiveness. As we forgive those who offend us, we can let go of our negative emotions and ill-feelings toward others, and we can receive the comfort and healing that can only come from God. Scripture says: “In all their suffering He also suffered, and He personally rescued them. In His love and mercy, He redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them through all the years.” (Isaiah 63:9 NLT) God hurts when we hurt, and He wants to be our Deliverer. But we can block His efforts to comfort and rescue us when we insist on holding on to our feelings of resentment, bitterness, and unforgiveness. As we choose to forgive, we open the door to God’s involvement, and all the blessings and provisions that entails. Another good antidote for self-pity is thankfulness. The Bible says: “Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 AMP) No matter what is going on in our lives, we always have reason to give thanks to God and praise Him. Nothing is more offensive to God than our dwelling on our misfortunes and losses, and neglecting to recognize and enumerate all of the blessings He bestows on us daily.

Helen Keller said, “Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything good in the world.” We have been chosen by God, not just to live eternally with Him in heaven, but to make a difference for Him while we’re still here on earth. Let’s not allow self-pity to neutralize all the good we can do in this world in the name of Jesus.

Prayer:
Lord, please alert me whenever I begin to feel sorry for myself. Keep me from being overly-sensitive and self-absorbed, and teach me to bring all of my hurts and hardships straight to You. When I do, heal and comfort me the way that only You can. Give me the grace I need to forgive others quickly and thoroughly, and to praise You in all things. Thank You that as I resist self-pity in the power of Your Spirit, I will be rewarded by a gracious and grateful God!

Forgiveness Brings Freedom

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You can be shackle-free! Start the path to forgiveness today. You will be glad you did!

I pray blessings and peace over you today as you embark on this new journey. Freedom in Him is here for the taking!

– Sarah

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Today’s devotional selection:

A Place of Forgiveness
By Suzie Eller

” … Keep your eyes open to this Temple night and day, this place of which you said, ‘My name will be honored there,’ and listen to the prayers that I pray at this place. Listen from your home in heaven and when you hear, forgive.” 1 Kings 8:28-30 (MSG)

Claire sat on the floor with a wad of tissues in her hand. Her husband had left her three days earlier for someone else.

Sitting there crying, in her brokenness she sensed God whisper, “Pray for him.”

Fists clinched, she shook them at the ceiling. “It’s too soon, God. If You love me, You won’t ask this of me. You are focusing on the wrong person. He’s the one who should be kneeling and asking for forgiveness.”

In 1 Kings 8, we find the story of God’s temple being built, a temple where God’s presence would dwell. It took seven years, a labor force of over 130,000 and King Solomon’s leadership to complete the temple. It was built with cypress, olive wood and cedar, and inside the doors were overlaid in gold. When the temple was completed, Solomon stood in awe as God’s presence filled it (verse 10), and he began to pray.

He could have asked God for many things. That the temple be a place of power where his kingdom would shine. That his enemies, and those of his father, King David, would be slain. That the sinful man would walk through the doors and be condemned for his sins.

Instead he asked that God’s Name be honored in the temple, and the magnificent structure would be a place of forgiveness.

Scripture declares that we are His temple. Three days after discovering her husband’s secrets Claire hadn’t eaten. She hadn’t slept. Her temple was crumbling.

By asking her to forgive so soon, God wasn’t showing a lack of compassion over her pain or her husband’s abandonment, but a sign that He knew her well. By asking her to forgive, God was asking for a place to move into the demolished areas of her life.

Forgiving would allow Him to fill her with His presence, putting His Name there forever, no matter what her situation.

Daily, Claire walked intentionally in her relationship with God, reading the Bible, talking honestly with Him, listening to worship music. This became her sanctuary as she went through the most challenging parts of an unwanted divorce. The more she nurtured her heart and His presence inside of her, the less room there was for sadness, grief, anger, and loss.

And then the day came. She knelt on the carpet and she told God, “I forgive him,” and she meant it.

A deeper meaning to the word forgive is “to abide” or “to set free.” Claire experienced both of these as she made room within her heart, mind and soul for God’s presence and forgiveness to dwell.

It’s been nearly a year. She is still beginning each day with God and inviting Him to fill her up with Himself. Moments of joy now surprise her just as grief once did.

Dear Lord, I knew instinctively that one day You would ask me to forgive, but today I understand why. You want to move in to the demolished areas of my life and let Your presence shine. Help me to begin to forgive with Your help. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

The Ministry Opportunity in Heartbreak

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If you’re struggling today, know that my love and prayers are with you. The sun will shine on you again, this isn’t the end of your story. Look up!

Blessings and love,

Sarah

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In Love’s Service, Only Broken Hearts Will Do
Written By Sheila Schuller Coleman

“(Jesus) answered: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” -Luke 10:27 (NIV)

I have heard my father say throughout my lifetime, “In love’s service only broken hearts will do.” In other words, we can only empathize with others who are going through heartbreaking times if we have had our hearts broken, too. We can empathize, we can be sensitive, we can truly understand – or stand under them and hold them up while they are going through their heartbreak.

So very many people today are going through heartbreaking times. And they need someone to lean on – someone to stand under them – understand what they are going through. They do not want someone who has had an easy life, who has not walked in their shoes. They want someone who truly knows how they feel – someone who has been there – lived to tell about it.

What is your heartbreak? That heartbreak is your ministry. God did not allow you to go through it just to get through it – He helped you go through it – He helped you grow through it – so you can stand under others who are now going through something similar.

Your divine purpose is to use your broken heart in love’s service. You are uniquely qualified to provide loving service to others who are going through the same heartbreak. In so doing, your heart will become stronger at the broken places – you’ll heal even more as you reach out and love, and someone will make it through – because you were willing to let God use you!

* * *

Prayer:

Lord, I didn’t want this heartbreak. But I can’t turn back the clock. I can, however, choose how I will react to it. I can resent You. Or, I can trust You to use it to help others. My heart has been broken. Show me the person You want to heal through my heartbreak. Amen.

* * *

Reflection:

What is your heartbreak? How can God use it in love’s service to help others?

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