If you find yourself feeling squeezed and trampled on, it probably means that God is making grape juice, and He is about to give you a new wineskin that can hold that new wine. However, this is not the time to whine.
If you are feeling pressed and crushed, God is probably pressing out new oil for your lamp. Submit to the process. It’s OK to say “Ouch!” a lot in between the shouts of “Praise the Lord! Thank you, Jesus!” Continue reading “Squeezed, Pressed, and Crushed”
I know you do not understand what is happening right now or why.It leaves you feeling unsettled.You may even feel as though you have failed.Please know nothing is further from the truth.You have not failed. In fact, you have surpassed My expectations for the duration of this long season.Continue reading “Trust Me (A Letter from the Father)”
Daniel 3 tells details the account of King Nebuchadnezzar and the three Jewish men Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. The men reported to the king for refusing to bow and worship the king’s idols as he had commanded.Continue reading “Faith in the Fire”
I know you are struggling right now—struggling to hear My voice, struggling to read My Word, and struggling to pray.You feel far removed from Me, but I know exactly where you are.I.See. You.I see your pain and your heartache. Continue reading “Greatest Love Story”
And that’s not all. We also celebrate in seasons of suffering because we know that when we suffer we develop endurance, which shapes our characters. When our characters are refined, we learn what it means to hope and anticipate God’s goodness. And hope will never fail to satisfy our deepest need because the Holy Spirit that was given to us has flooded our hearts with God’s love.
Luke 22:42 (TPT) Father, if you are willing, take this cup of agony away from me. But no matter what, your will must be mine.
This life will be full of trials and tribulations; embrace them as you encounter them. Our Heavenly Father has equipped you with all that you need to go “through” whatever you’re facing. Throughout Scripture, they prayed for God to help them get through it. Continue reading “Mightier”
Genesis 1:27 (NKJV) So God created man in His [own] image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
In the opening of Genesis, we are told that humanity has been made in the image or shadow of God—in Hebrew, tselem (Strong’s H6754). Something that I have frequently meditated on is what this term tselem means. This meditation most often happens when I’m going through trials and tribulations. During these times when my soul is grieved, and I’m searching for the righteous path through the chaos of life, I will hear my Heavenly Father’s still small voice saying, “Come back into My shadow.” I‘ve come to understand that He means this is several ways.
Firstly, He is reminding me that it is only under His shade—tsêl (Strong’s 6738)—that we have any hope of finding real comfort and peace. Sometimes if we are not careful, life’s difficulties can chase us out of our hiding place in God instead of remaining in Him. Nothing in the world can refresh and sustain us better than our Source. In the heat of trials, when I pause to listen for His voice, I can tell that I have unintentionally moved out of His shadow. It is like standing outside on an incredibly hot day and completely avoiding the shade of a nearby tree. While the shade doesn’t compare to air conditioning, I would be a fool not to abide there when left with no other choice. Plus, there is sweet fruit from the tree that revives and sustains me.
Secondly, I know that by calling me to come back into His shadow, the Father is also referring to His image. One can say that, during troubles, we are tempted to lose our mind—or lose the mind of Christ. We can quickly forget who we are and the vows we have made to His covenant. Trials always require a response from us, but what will our response be? Will we let the trials disconnect us from our Source, leaving us with only the resources of our flesh? Or will we continue to abide and bear the fruits of the Spirit while under pressure—love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control? We have a choice in difficulties even when we may feel like we don’t.
When trials come—and as our Savior told us, they certain will come—they become an opportunity for God to build His character into us. The more we yield to the process and are mindful of the point of the difficulties, the more we will have access to the life-giving flow of the Holy Spirit. And the more of God’s Spirit that we are able to receive, the more we are able to accurately hear His voice and reflect His image in the earth—in both good times and bad.
Galatians 5:22-24 (TPT) But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions:
joy that overflows,
peace that subdues,
patience that endures,
kindness in action,
a life full of virtue,
faith that prevails,
gentleness of heart, and
strength of spirit.
Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.
Jesus leads us into a place of radical grace where we are able to celebrate the hope of experiencing God’s glory. And that’s not all. We also celebrate in seasons of suffering because we know that when we suffer we develop endurance, which shapes our characters. When our characters are refined, we learn what it means to hope and anticipate God’s goodness.
Romans 5:2 (VOICE) Jesus leads us into a place of radical grace where we are able to celebrate the hope of experiencing God’s glory.
Beloved, rest in My radical grace which was freely given to you. Cling fast to hope in seasons of testing, and know My grace is sufficient for all that is before you. I AM faithful, and I AM good. Trust in My mercy as you rely on My grace, for I will see you through.
Trust Me to be glorified even in the greatest trials, for I give beauty for ashes and joy for mourning, so rest in Me. Hope in Me. Cling fast, and trust My radical grace to see you through.
Romans 5:3-4 (VOICE) …We also celebrate in seasons of suffering because we know that when we suffer we develop endurance, which shapes our characters…
Beloved, embrace trials with joy knowing growth comes in its midst. Refuse to be reluctant and drag the unpleasantness out, but rather trust your heart to My care. Take hold of My hand, for I will see you through.
Allow Me to develop your character. For like a diamond formed under intense pressure, so tribulations can bring forth shining beauty in you if you cling to Me in the process. So rise to the challenge. Be strengthened and beautified through the hardships that come. Beloved, hide yourself in Me.
Romans 5:4 (VOICE) …When our characters are refined, we learn what it means to hope and anticipate God’s goodness.
Beloved, refuse to lose hope – even if the trials seem endless. Trust, and be rooted in faith, for you know who I AM, and you know My character, so anticipate My goodness. For I AM a good Father, and I love My children.
Let hope become your weapon, and make praise your battle cry. May My Word be your foundation, and may My Spirit lead you on. I AM the King of victory, and My heirs align with Me. So refuse to settle for anything less than My divine peace, for it is your legacy.