Tag Archives: Christian Living

Joy is Here

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(This is in NLT, not Amplified. I’m sorry.)

This is a hard season for many.

I feel deeply the weight and heaviness of sin, brokenness, and the overall hurt of living in a fallen body in a fallen world with other fallen humans.

But the pain isn’t meaningless.
The weight won’t crush us.
The fire won’t burn us.
The flood won’t drown us.
The despair won’t destroy us.
The enemy doesn’t have the final say.

Our champion reigns.
Hope is here.
Glory is coming.
Joy is to be had.
Freedom is ours.
Victory is here.

Fix your gaze.
The true and better Aslan is on the move.

“You who fear the Lord, praise Him!
All you offspring of Jacob, glorify Him,
and stand in awe of Him, all you offspring of Israel!
For He has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted,
and He has not hidden His face from him,
but has heard, when he cried to Him.”
-Psalm 22:23-24

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A Thanksgiving Prayer from Valley of Vision

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O Source of all good,

What shall I render to Thee for the gift of gifts,
Thine own dear Son, begotten, not created,
my Redeemer, proxy, surety, substitute,
His self-emptying incomprehensible,
His infinity of love beyond the heart’s grasp.

Herein is wonder of wonders:
He came below to raise me above,
was born like me that I might become like Him.

Herein is love;
when I cannot rise to Him He draws near on
wings of grace,
to raise me to Himself.

Herein is power;
when Deity and humanity were infinitely apart
He united them in indissoluble unity,
the uncreated and the created.

Herein is wisdom;
when I was undone, with no will to return to Him,
and no intellect to devise recovery,
He came, God-incarnate, to save me
to the uttermost,
as man to die my death,
to shed satisfying blood on my behalf,
to work out a perfect righteousness for me.

O God, take me in spirit to the watchful shepherds,
and enlarge my mind;
let me hear good tidings of great joy,
and hearing, believe, rejoice, praise, adore,
my conscience bathed in an ocean of repose,
my eyes uplifted to a reconciled Father;
place me with ox, ass, camel, goat,
to look with them upon my Redeemer’s face,
and in Him account myself delivered from sin;
let me with Simeon clasp the new-born child
to my heart,
embrace Him with undying faith,
exulting that He is mine and I am His.

In Him Thou hast given me so much
that heaven can give no more.

-The Gift of Gifts, Valley of Vision

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God Will Give You More Than You Can Handle

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“It’s all too much,” I cried into my coffee. “I can’t do it. I’m not enough.”

Sitting in that quiet coffee shop, reality hit with force.

Every day is filled with one reminder after another that I am not sufficient. I am not enough for my small group girls; I am not enough for my best friend; I am not enough for my parents; I am not enough for counseling others; I am not enough to teach the Word of God; I am not enough for the church; I am not enough to write helpfully; I am not enough to consider marriage or parenting or anything else God calls me to.

I am not enough.

Do you feel it too?

Do you feel strained by the seemingly endless litany of tasks before you, the weight of burdens in community and ministry, and the demand to do and be it all without cracking under pressure?

During those times I’ve heard well-meaning people say, “Yeah, what you’re going through is hard, but God won’t give you more than you can handle.”

The problem with that and Mother Teresa’s famous quote—“I know God won’t give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish He didn’t trust me so much”—is that it’s not Scriptural.

And anything meant to be a comfort becomes a confine when it isn’t based on Scripture.

What if Scripture actually says God intentionally gives us more than we can handle?

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Six Quotes on Weakness

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I’ve never felt complete and total weakness more than in the last year. 

And that’s only intensified in the last three weeks.

At times, that weakness has led to introspection, waterfalls of fear, running from everyone and everything, building walls, shutting down, depression, despair, and grasping for control.

At other times, that weakness has served as a beat up taxi into which I climb and let drive me to the throne of grace and into the arms of the Strong One whose sufficiency shines against the bleakness of my lack and covers me with blankets of mercy and security.

One of the things I’ve learned? Comfort in weakness is always found at Calvary.

May the following quotes lead you there.

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Charles Spurgeon on Heartbreak

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“There are many sorts of broken hearts, and Christ is good at healing them all…

The patients of the great Physician are those whose hearts are broken through sorrow.
Hearts are broken through disappointment.
Hearts are broken through bereavement.
Hearts are broken in ten thousand ways, for this is a heart-breaking world; and Christ is good at healing all manner of heart-breaks.”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, “Christ’s Hospital: A Sermon on Psalm 147:3,” originally published in Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 38 (1892)


This sermon has been especially helpful for me today. I promise it will not be a waste of your time to read it: https://www.spurgeongems.org/vols37-39/chs2260.pdf 

“Do not despair, dear heart, but come to the Lord with all your jagged wounds, black bruises, and running sores. He alone can heal, and He delights to do it. It is our Lord’s office to bind up the brokenhearted, and He is gloriously at home at it.”
-Charles Spurgeon

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Submitting Fully + Joyfully

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His eyes and tone were filled with compassion.

“You just need to submit fully,” he said to me. “And do it joyfully; not just going through the motions and saying you’re submitting when you’re not.”

I nodded and barely looked him in the eyes.

“Really, you just need to fully submit,” he said again. “It will be so good when you do.”

He was living in the victory. He was on the high ground. He was living out Hebrews 11:24-26. You could see it all over him. He was radiating the peace of God and it was beautiful. Why was I scared of it?

“I want to be where you are,” I told him. “But I’m not there.”

What kept me from being there? What was holding me back from full and joyful surrender to the authority placed over me and ultimately to the Lord?

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Redeeming the Home

Two years ago, 26 year old me was sitting in her favorite booth in Panera when she journaled the following prayer:

Lord, I really want my own house. I want to make a home and get to know my neighbors and have get togethers to reach them with love and the Gospel. I want to have a library and a cute kitchen and slumber parties with my small group girls. I want my home to be a place where people are well loved, well fed, and well treasured. A place where people feel safe, accepted, welcomed, and warm. Where they receive cookies, gratitude, encouragement, love, and the Gospel. Where they can come to relax, to be quiet, to talk, to praise, to read, to cry, to laugh, to sing.

I want a home.
A home not just for me but for my girls,
other women,
our church,
visiting missionaries,
the community.

Lord, in Your time, would You give me a home? A semi-nice one, not for luxury but so more people can squeeze in and be squeezed by Love?

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Abiding in the Flames

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How do you surrender when you want a certain outcome?

How do you submit when you don’t understand?
How do you lean in when you want to run?
How do you push on when you want to fall back?
How do you fight when you have no strength?
How do you abide in the flames?

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Worship in the Dust

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O dear friend, when thy grief presses thee to the very dust, worship there!

If that spot has come to be thy Gethsemane, then present there thy ‘strong crying and tears’ unto thy God. Remember David’s words, ‘Ye people, pour out your hearts,’ — but do not stop there, finish the quotation, — ‘Ye people, pour out your hearts before Him.’ Turn the vessel upside down; it is a good thing to empty it, for this grief may ferment into something more sour. Turn the vessel upside down, and let every drop run out; but let it be before the Lord. ‘Ye people, pour out your hearts before Him: God is a refuge for us.’

When you are bowed down beneath a heavy burden of sorrow, then take to worshipping the Lord, and especially to that kind of worshipping which lies in adoring God, and in making a full surrender of yourself to the divine will.

-Charles Spurgeon

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Sovereign Over Us

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God’s character.

It’s what comes under attack in every battle, trial, and temptation.
And in those same battles, trials, and temptations, it’s our chief weapon.

I’m learning that in the heat of battle, when my mind wants to go into a spin cycle of what-ifs or when I’m tempted to either defend myself or run in self-protection, what I need most is to preach to myself (or have others preach to me) God’s character. I need to remember who is on the throne (spoiler: not me) and designing every circumstance of my life according to His exact (and good) specifications.

The following song has helped over the last few days with directing my heart “to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ” (2 Thessalonians 3:5).

Maybe it will help direct yours there too.

Praise for a God who is working in our waiting, teaching us to trust beyond our understanding, and displaying His flawless faithfulness at every turn.

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