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Posts Tagged ‘Encouragement’

Here’s a song that I just LOVE from Laura Story ~ Blessings

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things.

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
But long that we’d have the faith to believe.

‘Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home,

‘Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise?

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A trial, an illness, financial problems, family problems, or during any situation in life. Regardless of the situation, we can cling to these truths:

*God’s love for me is unchanging.

*God’s purpose for me is Christ-likeness.

*God’s Word is my final answer.

*God’s grace is sufficient for me.

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Here’s a wonderful song, originally performed by Point of Grace, but the ladies in this video do an excellent job with this song as well…….

No matter what you’re facing in life, this song is a reminder that God is right there every step of the way.

So, turn your speakers up and relax for a minute or two while you get a blessing from this song:

You Never Walk Alone

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Here’s a great song from Mercy Me. Very short, but very powerful…..we all have trials, problems, and burdens, but this song sums it up for the Christian……we can keep smiling and going on with life because of what we have in Christ.

“All Because Of This”

Why do we do the things we do?
How can we sing when there seems no reason to?
How do we smile when there’s not much to smile about?
When the world is down who are we to stand and shout?
They wonder why we do the things we do.

It’s all because of this-
It’s all because of this-
We’ve tasted love, tasted hope, tasted holiness.

And they wonder why, we do the things we do.

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And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD.  And behold the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind and earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.  I Kings 19:11-12

Have you ever heard the still small voice?  Sometimes I think we pray for things and we expect God to show us the answer in a BIG way.  We pray for and sometimes we don’t get the answer we want, or we get the answer we wanted, but things didn’t unfold the way WE thought they should  so we sit there and say “OK  God, I think you’re showing me that I should go in this direction, but if that’s not what you want, show me.”  Even though God has already shown us what He wants us to do.    I think that sometimes we expect a bolt of lightning or an earthquake as a confirmation of what God wants, and sometimes He does show us things that way, but we have to learn to hear, listen to, and obey that still small voice.  That’s how God speaks to us. 

I’m trying to get better at listening to it, I really am.  When I was praying about being self employed, I talked to God about it for OVER A YEAR.  It went something like this……

Me:  “God, I would really like to be self employed.  You know that I need more time with Grace, You know that I need to lower my stress level,  You know that I need more piano students to do it, God, please show me if this is Your will.”

God:  I just sent you 2 more piano students.  Can’t you see this is the direction I’m leading you in?

Me:  Thank you LORD for the 2 piano students you just sent me.  Please show me if teaching piano full time is your will for me.

God:  Beth, I keep sending you more piano students, how much more clear can I make myself?

Me:  God, I REALLY want to quit my job.  I just can’t do this anymore.  Please show me your will.

God:  Beth, it’s time for you to quit your job and just trust in Me, I will take care of you.  I’ve called you to be a mom, and I want to you fill that role, I will take care of the rest.

Me: But God, what about my bills?  I can’t just quit my job, let go of a steady paycheck and hope that it will all work out…….God SHOW ME WHAT YOU WANT ME TO DO.

God:  Beth, you prayed specifically for 3 new students this month, and I gave you 3 new students this month……can I make myself any clearer?  I will supply your needs.  Just obey.

I remember when I finally listened and OBEYED that voice.  God gave me so much peace about finances and where my future students would come from.  Now, 6 months later, I’m kicking myself for not listening to Him sooner.

How many times have you heard the still small voice, obeyed and been amazed as you see the hand of God work?  One time, God told me 3 times one morning to call a friend of mine who I hadn’t talked to in awhile.  When I finally picked up the phone and called her, she was almost in tears, she was having a very rough day and need to talk to someone.  God knew that and He used me (even though I didn’t obey until the 3rd time I was told.) to be a blessing to her.

One time, I was driving and the still small voice told me to change lanes.  I kept driving and again came the thought, “change lanes”  I changed lanes and not even 10 seconds later, the car that was where I would have been was rear ended. 

There are many times that the still small voice speaks to us.  It says “smile at that lady as you walk past her.”  It says “call Mary and see how her day is going.”   It says “Pray for John.”  It says “Take the longer way to work today.”  It says “be nice to her even though she’s rough around the edges.”  It says “let the lady behind you get in line to check out first.”  Most importantly, it says “trust me, and obey.”

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Tonight as I was putting Grace to bed, she asked if she could have her Bible in bed with her.  She usually takes a book to bed with her and looks at the pages as she’s falling asleep. (The hall light is on so she can see without hurting her eyes.)  I said, “No honey, let’s leave your Bible on the shelf so you can take it with you to Sunday School tomorrow.”  “But Mom…..” Grace started whining “I just want to see what the Lord has to say.”  I chuckled to myself when she said this.  It was so sweet and innocent.  “OK, but don’t take it out of the cover.” I said as I handed her Bible to her. 

I replayed her words in my mind and I realized that I haven’t shared a favorite scripture verse with you in awhile.  I have so many favorites, I especially like the Psalms.  King David is so transparent with us as he writes.  Here is the passage I’d like to share with you.

Psalm 61:2 “From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.  (I added the italics for emphasis.)

David, the King of Israel was not afraid to admit that at times he gets overwhelmed (If I had to live David’s life, I would have been more than overwhelmed……) But his secret is that he cries out to God when his heart is overwhelmed and goes to the Rock that is higher than he is.

David gives up and stops trying to do everything on his own and fix everything the way that he thinks it should be, he realizes that God is higher and bigger than he is and has a much better plan than we as humans could ever have.

This reminds me of the old hymn, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”  one line of the song says “Oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.” 

Sometimes because of our human nature, we try to do things on our own and we resort to prayer after we’ve tried everything else.  I am always amazed when this happens in my life.  I leave God out, make a mess of things and ask Him to fix it.  I am amazed that He does fix it for me even though I should have gone to Him FIRST, and things end up so much better than I had imagined in the first place. 

I’ve been trying to remind myself to take things to God BEFORE they become a problem and BEFORE I try to do anything to resolve the situation myself…..when I remember to pray FIRST, things go much smoother.

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It’s a fact of life.  People fail us.  Friends, family, spouses, boyfriends, best friends.  Some people don’t mean to let you down, other people let people down intentionally.  Whether it’s making a promise they didn’t keep (and maybe, it was a promise they never intended to keep.), not doing something they said they would do for you, saying something hurtful, not being the person they portrayed themselves to be…..and the list goes on and on.

Sometimes, people “let us down” because we have unrealistic expectations for them…..so when they don’t “do” or “say” what we expect them to, we get upset about it.  I’ve learned that If people are letting me down because of my expectations for them……(what I want them to do or say in a particular situation.) I need to stop it and let them be who they are and take things one step at a time.  That usually takes care of things on my end.

Sometimes, people let us down intentionally.  These are the people who pretend to be your “friend.”  They act like they are there for you…..they volunteer to do things for you……”Oh, let me come over on Saturday morning and help you paint that room.”  They never show up and then they don’t answer their phone.  You brush it off and then the next time you see them, you say “I thought you were going to come over on Saturday….You should stop by and see how my living room turned out…..”  and they say “oh, yeah, sorry about that.  My Aunt was in town and we went to San Fransisco for the day.”  You forgive them, move on and a few weeks later, they make another promise they don’t keep or say something hurtful to you…….Does this sound familiar to you?  I’ve had a few of these “friends” in the last few years.  When I sense a pattern like this, I’ve learned not to expect them to do what they said they would do and I consider it a “bonus” if they really do follow through. 🙂

I’m big on not looking at surface issues, and trying to find the root cause.  So, I try to analyze the situation and if they keep coming up with off the wall reasons why they weren’t able to meet for lunch, or come to Grace’s birthday party, or start saying hurtful things to Grace and I, then I stop initiating contact with people like this.  This type of situation came up not long ago……a woman I knew that would always say things like “I’m so glad we’re friends” started saying some very hateful and hurtful things to me and about Grace and I to other people……”What is wrong with her?”  I asked my mom…..”Why is she picking on Grace of all people?”

Mom’s answer:

She’s jealous…….”She’s JEALOUS?” I ask.  “WHY would anyone be jealous of US?”  I ask.

What I’ve come to realize is that sometimes, people look at who we are today and they wish they were that person, or wish they had your blessings so they become jealous.  They think….she has such a good attitude, her baby is so sweet……she’s a single mom, how can she drive such a nice car?  I wish I had a job like her’s.  I wish I could play the piano like that (OK, these are my mom’s words, not mine 🙂 ) It seems like everything goes right for her…….everyone likes her…..and they start getting jealous. 

(OK, these are my words now) What I don’t understand is that people don’t think of what I had to go through to be where I am today.  I honestly believe that if I hadn’t been in an abusive relationship, I would still be floating through life, taking every day for granted. 

When we go through tough times, it’s up to us to become better people because of them.  Do people see my blessings and wish they were in my shoes?  Why is that? Do they want the trials and the hard times that brought me to these blessings and who I am today, or do they just want the blessings?  Life is a growing process for everyone,but a true friend cries with you during your sorrow and rejoices with you when you receive blessings…..they don’t get upset because good things happen to you or because you come out of a bad spot in life and even better person. 

Here’s the lesson I’ve learned from all of this:  Surround yourself with true friends, positive people, and people who want to see you reach your goals……don’t spend your time and energy with people who are trying to drag you down.

People will let you down in life, but you know what?  I’ve found that no matter what, God doesn’t let us down.  He’s always there for us 24/7, He’s always ready to forgive, and He always wants good things for His children.

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