Keep Your Eyes on God ~ not your difficulties

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Eyes on God

“Then Peter called to him: ‘Sir, if it is really you, tell me to come over to you, walking on the water.’ ‘All right,’ the Lord said, ‘come along!’ So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he looked around at the high waves, he was terrified and began to sink. ‘Save me, Lord!’ he shouted.”

Matthew 14:28 – 30 TLB

We may not walk on water, but we do walk through periods of tumultuous circumstances in life. If we focus on the swirling waves of difficulties surrounding us, we can easily feel like we are being swallowed up by the surge of life’s problems.

Peter experienced a rather unusual example of God’s power when he went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. His faith in Jesus gave him the courage to throw his leg over the side of the boat and step out into the stormy sea.  However, his faith wavered when he realized what he was doing. Once he took his eyes off Jesus and focused on the crushing waves around him, he began to sink.

Like Peter, we often start out with great intentions. We may be “prayed up” and filled with holy confidence before we begin to face the day. But once we wade into the undulating sea of life, our faith begins to falter, and we sink in despair. We feel ill-equipped to navigate the storms that batter us. Yet this doesn’t mean that we have failed. When Peter’s faith faltered, he immediately reached out to Jesus. In his time of greatest fear, he called on his Savior to rescue him.

When you are afraid of the troubles that swirl around you, keep your eyes on Jesus’ power rather than your own inadequacies. Call out to Him for help, and He will rescue you from the stormy seas.

“We have to pray with our eyes on God ~ not on the difficulties.” ~ Oswald Chambers

“Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said “why did you doubt?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “truly you are the Son of God.”

Matthew 14:31-33

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Just Be Held

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“The Eternal God is your shelter; He holds you up in His everlasting arms.”

Deuteronomy 33:27a (VOICE)


Just Be Held ~ A beautiful message to remind us that God will never let go, no matter what.

“Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place. Not a tear is wasted, in time you’ll understand. He’s painting beauty from the ashes; Your life is in HIS hands.” ~ Just be held. (Casting Crowns)

Rock Bottom

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Rock Bottom

“He reached down and drew me from the deep, dark hole where I was stranded, mired in the muck and the clay.

With a gentle hand, He pulled me out to set me down safely on a warm rock;

He held me until I was steady enough to continue the journey again.”

Psalm 40:2 (VOICE)

Have you ever been so low that “up” is the only way out? If you find yourself in a situation like that today, remember that God is the ROCK in your bedrock. No matter how deeply mired you are in life’s muck and the clay, He is right there beside you ~ ready to take your hand in His and lift you to higher ground. He sees each teardrop that streams down your cheeks and hears your cries for help. His love is greater than anything you are going through.

So go ahead and reach out to God’s gentle grasp. He will pull you out of that dark hole where you find yourself stranded, and set you down safely on a firm foundation. He will hold you there, wrapped in His divine embrace, until you are steady enough to continue on your journey again. In your weakness, He will be your strength.

Take comfort in knowing that He is the Rock at the bottom of your pit!

“The Lord is my Rock, my Fortress, and my Savior; my God is my Rock in whom I find protection. He is my Shield, the Power that saves me, and my Place of Safety.” Psalm 18:2 (NLT)

Your Lines of Purpose

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Mountain Climber

“The lines of purpose in your lives never grow slack,

tightly tied as they are to your future in heaven,

kept taut by Hope.”

Colossians 1:4 MSG

Purpose: the object toward which you strive or the reason for which you exist; it is your aim or your goal.

Where are your “lines of purpose” tied?

Are they tied tightly to your future in heaven? Or are they tied to your bank account balance or to a-certainsomeone? Or your ideal image or weight?

If I were climbing a mountain using ropes, I would want to be sure that my ropes were tightly anchored to something secure. I want the same to be true of my purpose in life. How tragic it would be to realize that my reason for existing was anchored to something temporal and fading rather than something eternal! Colossians 1:4 reminds us that our lines of purpose should be tightly tied to our future in heaven ~ never growing slack ~ kept taut by Hope.

What are you striving for today? What is your main goal in life? God created you with a grand purpose, and you are uniquely qualified to fulfill a certain mission in His divine plan. Have you asked the Creator to reveal that purpose to you? You’re never too old or too young to secure your lines of purpose in His kingdom. May yours be tightly tied to your future in heaven.

I Am…and so are YOU

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Butterfly in Hands

“But by the Grace of God, 

I am what I am…”

1 Corinthians 15:10

I am…

I keep a list in my journal which I have entitled “I am…” I add to the list as I read God’s word and come across verses that remind me of who “I am” as a child of God. Sometimes during my quiet time, especially when I am feeling less than significant, I turn to the list and read aloud, taking time to grasp the meaning of each phrase as it pertains to my relationship with my Heavenly Father. No circumstance will ever change the way He feels about me. By reminding myself of who I am in Christ, I am encouraged, inspired and energized to begin my day living out the divine purpose for which I was created.

…and so are YOU!

The beauty of the list is that it is not unique to me. Anyone who is a child of God is included in these promises. He cares about EACH of His children the same way. Below are a few items on the list. Read them out loud to yourself as His child, taking time to absorb the significance of each phrase. Before you read each phrase, repeat the words, “I am…” to personalize them to your relationship with your Heavenly Father. These promises capture a glimpse of the essence of how God feels about you, and they are all found in His word.

                        “I am…”

  • Created for a unique and special purpose
  • Fearfully and Wonderfully made
  • A unique workmanship hand crafted by God
  • A precious and treasured possession of my Heavenly Father
  • Valuable
  • Forgiven
  • Secure in Him
  • A Child of the King of Kings
  • Ransomed, Redeemed and Saved by Grace
  • Shielded and Protected by God and His Angels
  • Bought with a price
  • Accepted in His Son
  • Surrounded by God
  • Engraved upon His hand
  • The apple of His eye
  • Quieted and Comforted With His Love
  • Rejoiced over with joyful singing
  • The one in whom God takes Great Delight
  • Chosen by the God of the Universe
  • Gently Led by God
  • Loved Eternally by my Heavenly Father

“See I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;” Isaiah 49:16

All Welcome

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St Anns Church

“I bow before You, looking to Your holy temple, and praise Your name, for Your unfailing love and Your truth; for You have placed Your name and Your word over all things and all times.” Psalm 138:2 (VOICE)

As my family rounded a corner on a winding coastal road in Maine, we came upon this inviting sea-side chapel. We were drawn to its entrance by a sign out front that said “All Welcome.” It wasn’t a Sunday, but the front door of the church was standing wide open, welcoming inside anyone who wanted to enter. The church, built with sea-washed stones, has been standing in this spot for over 125 years, creating a symbol of unwavering permanence ~ just like God’s unfailing love and truth.

While walking around the exterior of the church, I imagined all the extremes in climate that this little building had weathered through decades of time ~ from tempestuous tropical storms and hurricanes, to the massive nor’easters and piles of snowdrift during the harsh New England winters. Yet through it all, this enduring chapel has survived. As we passed through the front door of the church, we immediately felt a sense of peace. The effect that this little place of worship had upon us was awe-inspiring. We wanted to bask in the reverent atmosphere and linger in the presence of God.

And just like the front door of this stone church, God’s arms are open wide, welcoming anyone to come inside. You don’t have to enter a sea-side chapel to experience His peace. His unfailing love and truth are for everyone. He is our Rock in whom we can take refuge. You can linger in the presence of God right where you are today. No matter the phase in life you are going through at this moment, remind yourself that God has placed HIs name “over all things and all times.” He’s there in your most joyous moments as well as the dark and grungy times; your seasons of elation, as well as frustration; your mountain-top experiences and your deep-in-the-valley periods; your days of good health and those of pain and suffering. And through it all His unwavering truth and unfailing love are constant. Step inside and experience His peace…All are Welcome!

“The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble, And He knows those who take refuge in Him.” Nahum 1:7

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Be a Rainbow in Someone’s Cloud

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“What a wonderful God we have—He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of every mercy,and the One who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials. And why does He do this? So that when others are troubled, needing our sympathy and encouragement, we can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given us.”

2 Corinthians 1:3 – 4 (TLB)

God is the Father of Compassion and the God of all Comfort. When we go through trials and heartache, He comforts and strengthens us. But that’s not where it ends.

Like one-the-job-training, when we experience difficult circumstances, we become uniquely equipped to help others who might be experiencing similar hardships. While some might see failure and loss, God sees divine qualifications to be used mightily for blessing others. Our painful struggles give us a vocabulary to encourage and support other people who are going through the same things, and our despair allows us to empathize with their difficulties. When you view life’s anguish through God’s perspective, your miseries can be turned into your ministry.

Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud today!

“Think of the kindness you wish others would show you; do the same for them.”

Luke 6:31 (VOICE)