It could hardly be called a ”battle”. At least not at first. Marching around in circles in full armor for six days looking like they were confused. Then, after doing that one more day, blowing on horns and then yelling. It seemed like more of a parade than a battle. And then something amazing happened. The mighty wall fell. Just like that. Crumbled. And then the real battle began as the city inside the wall was completely destroyed. All the people, cattle, sheep, and donkeys. Not a single person was left alive with the exception of a prostitute and her family. The loss of an entire city in such a brief and violent way was the way that God handled the sin of the city of Jericho in Joshua 6. The chapter starts with God telling Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men.” This was before anything even happened! He knew what would follow. God then gives some of the strangest instructions we might have ever read for an army. But Joshua knew that this great loss of men, women, and children was going to lead to something that was greater than his understanding.
Sometimes loss or defeat seem confusing and overwhelming. We see it everyday if we watch the news or tune into social media. We read of earthquakes, fires, murder, war, and other attrocities that happen. Sometimes these things seem so far away. Other times they hit close to home. There is not a person in this world that hasn’t faced loss in one form or another. For me, the greatest loss that I have faced was loss of knowing who I am. For years, I just went through the motions of church.
It was religion, not worship.
It was habit, not holy.
I am certainly not saying that I am perfect and in tune with what God wants me to do all the time. I still wander away from time to time and have to find my way back. But the time I am talking about was different. I was at a complete loss to know how to even approach God’s throne or call myself his daughter. For a while I convinced myself that I didn’t care and that it didn’t matter, but it did. And certainly from the outside, no one would have known how deep my loss went. But one day, my wall fell. Just like the wall in Jericho. The only survivor was the little girl inside that Jesus had been calling too. As sinful as Rahab the prostitute. As devastated as if my entire world had just been burned to the ground. And to be honest, just like Jericho, I couldn’t even put up a fight. When Jesus breaks open that rock hard heart there is no resisting his spirit. (Hallelujah!)
After Joshua and his army had finished with the broken city of Jericho, we read in Joshua 6:27, “So the Lord was with Joshua, and his fame spread throughout the land.” I am sure that was pretty awesome. To be famous throughout the land. But I don’t think that is why Joshua obeyed God. It had to do with the expansion of God’s kingdom, His people, and His plan. The same can be said for us. When we are willing to take the loss of self and surrender to Him, we get to be involved in an expansion of His kingdom. What better work could there be?
That kingdom expansion can include your spouse who might not have a strong faith, your children, your parents, your friends, and your co-workers. It can also include the tired barista you just ordered coffee from, or the depressed cashier at the grocery store, or the homeless family huddled together at the intersection. God’s expansion doesn’t always look clear and make sense to us. Just like Joshua, we are told that HE has already won and we are to obey. We have to be in tune with the spirit and ready to listen to the seemingly insane instructions from him.
You want me to WHAT? I am not so sure God. I don’t know what to say. You are in good company, sister. Neither did Moses. (Exodus 3:10-14)
But God, I have never done that before! I don’t know how to! Guess what? Neither did Mary when she was told she was going to give birth to and raise the Messiah. (Matthew 1:18-25)
But if I do that, Lord, won’t I get in trouble or lose friends? His disciples left EVERYTHING and followed him in a moment. I can imagine they had trouble and loss based on that decision. (Matthew 4:18-20)
God calls us to lose ourselves so that he can expand His kingdom, His love, and His salvation in this broken world. That prostitute that watched the loss of her entire city? God used her for expansion. She became part of the bloodline that we trace to Jesus. That broken girl that thought she could never find her way back to the throne? She is still allowing God to work. But she knows now that loss leads to amazing expansion in Him and she is excited to see what He is calling her to do in the future.
Friends, allow yourself to be lost in Him so that he can expand your vision to include His. His way is so much better.
Written By: Angie Reese
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Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
It’s interesting how, when I think of transition, there was a time when I know my mind would have envisioned a mama, prone and sweating, working hard to cooperate with her body to go through the necessary stages of bringing forth life.
In later years, I would have focused upon the transitions of my children from nursing to weaning, diapers to potty training, beginning homeschooling, learning to read. Driving, dating, learning, growing, each with their own struggles, heartaches, challenges, and obstacles to overcome along the way. Some offered by us, some by God, some just by life.
In this season transition looks like a nest emptied one little bird at a time, college tuition payments and wedding planning. Young adults learning to live on their own, make their own decisions, pave their own way as they are led not just by the ones who love them, but by the One that loves them most.
As a Mama, I look over the last 20 years of transition in my children that have led to transformation.
Give me just a second as I take off my glasses and wipe my eyes…what a journey we have taken together.
What a privilege it has been for me to care for these precious ones the Father has entrusted me with. What a challenge it has been for me to learn to transition into being the Mama of young adults who waits to be asked what she thinks rather than offering freely…who looks forward to time that is free to spend together… who is no longer the #1 human in their life…. transition indeed.
It’s beautiful and painful and difficult and joy-filled and hard.
I can’t help but wonder as my Heavenly Father looks back over our journey together, His and mine… if He doesn’t experience some of the same in His Father heart.
We have journeyed together through all the transitions that have transformed me from a fearful, doubting, angry child in a woman’s body to a still-in-process woman of God confident of her Father’s unwavering love, acceptance, and forgiveness.
Give me just a second as I take off my glasses and wipe my eyes…what a journey we have taken together.
When I consider my own journey, it’s been more fluid and less defined than those transitions I previously mention. In fact, the only clearly defined moment I can discern is the one in which I invited Jesus Christ into my life to be my Lord and Savior, my friend and King, my Beloved.
Every remaining transition has been more of an ebb and flow. Moments where truth revealed meets with a human heart that sometimes has chosen to bow right away and sometimes has not…. There are those transitions that take longer than others. Regardless of how long each transition has taken there are similarities among them all. Each transition initiated by my Abba Father has always begun with TRUTH.
The eyes of my heart being opened to the truth of His Word. A Holy-Spirit inspired awareness of where the evidence of my life poured out stands in contradiction to His Word of Truth. A first step to take beginning the aligning of my life with His Truth. A leaning on and relying upon His strength rather than my own to assist in the walking out of that step.
When I am stuck, this is the process that gets me unstuck. It’s just a matter of my own willingness to yield to the process of transition for the purpose of transformation.
What I know is this. Our Heavenly Father never sets us up for failure.
He is faithful and kind in the way that He has only ever presented truth He knew I was ready to not only hear, but to act on. He has never called me higher to a place He did not already know that I, through Him in me, could reach. After all, what kind of a good, good Father would offer expectations to us that we were not capable of reaching?
And although even in this very moment there are transitions taking place to continue to lead to that ultimate transformation of looking, acting and thinking like my Savior, He always sees me, and you, through eyes of faith, love and in hopeful expectation on continuing to become who we were created to be all along.
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Guest Contributor: Tanya Glanzman
A Graduate from Liberty University, Tanya Glanzman, LPC is passionate about helping others live the life of freedom, joy and peace Christ died for them to have. She works with a variety of populations and issues, specializing in women’s trauma recovery. As a survivor of traumatic childhood abuse, her heart is that every woman would know God as the Healer, Redeemer and Restorer He desires to be for them. She speaks and writes as My Father’s Daughter, offering hope and encouragement wrapped in grace filled truth, with the mission that every woman would know what it truly means to be a Daughter of the King.
Her first book, My Father’s Daughter, Embracing your identity as a Daughter of The King, was released in 2020.
Have you ever felt stuck? Not really sure where you are going or what you are supposed to be doing? Maybe, you have a vision of the end point or have a particular goal in mind. I did. I had been given the vision. This incredibly, scary, intimidating, only God-capable, impossible on my own vision.
I see this incredible end point that is so strong and real it is almost tangible. At any given moment I could reach out and grab it. It is both exciting and terrifying at the same time. Anytime I think about it, there is an energy and excitement deep in my spirit like I have never felt before. When I think about it, everything in me says YES! This is it! This is what I was made for!
And at the same time with every passing month, year, season it is almost as if my shoulders slouch farther and farther toward the ground as if carrying a heavy weight. The weight of this dream seeming harder and harder and further and further to reach. Instead of me coming closer to the goal, the goal is moving father and farther away from where I am. “I cannot do this, what am I thinking.” “There is no way.” “Some dreams aren’t meant to come true.” “Who do you think you are?”
And it was with that last lie of the enemy that I snap out of all of it.
I know who I am. I am who I AM says that I am.
I am treasured.
I am His vessel.
I am His child.
I had a pretty spectacular role model when it comes to displaying the love of the Father. I always knew in my knower that I was loved unconditionally by my father. I think that is one of the reasons why I am able to believe scripture so easily when it says,
If you, imperfect as you are, know how to lovingly take care of your children and give them what’s best, how much more ready is your heavenly Father to give wonderful gifts to those who ask Him?”
I know my Father’s heart. I know He is waiting for me to succeed not to fail. I know that if the vision, dream, goal, achievement that I am seeing or looking for was given by Him, He will make a way, and I absolutely have a part to play in making that a reality.
Ok. Now we have come full circle. Let’s catch up. I (we) have a goal, dream, vision (fill in your blank here). We doubt and listen to the enemies lies. We snap back out of it, realizing that NOTHING is impossible for God and when we ask in His will He does not hold back.
I think that we as women are really good at talking our way around things sometimes. “I can’t do that now because I have to much to do already.” “I will work on this when things slow down.” “I will start when I find THE one.” “I will get active about this when the kids are in school.” “No, when they're out of school and living on their own.”…
Have you ever been guilty of procrastination? I have.
I have these really wonderful ladies in my life, let’s call them God-Mother, they mentor me and speak to any and every part of my life in a very real way. Recently I was asked about my dream, my plans for the future and what it looked like, sounded like and felt like.
After digging for a very short while we came to realize that even though this plan was believed to be so tangible, I really had no idea what it was… or even how to figure it out.
The flood-gates opened.
Ever hear that saying “If your aiming for nowhere, nowhere is where you will end up.”?
Well I’m not going nowhere any more.
Want to know how I got unstuck? Want to know if it will help you? (Yes, it can and will)
I asked questions. First, I asked those kind-hearted, truth spewing God-Mothers of mine.
I am both embarrassed and thankful for my first question, you ready for it?
“What are the questions I should be asking?”
I think I shocked one of my Mothers when I asked that question. It was honest though. I didn’t even have a starting point. I felt overwhelmed and somehow just expected that one day God would drop this crazy dream into a reality and it would simply be placed in my lap, no work necessary on my part to receive it. Ok. Ok. I knew that that was not a reality, and still that is how I treated this incredible dream.
As humans we have been trained for so long to show, or speak what we know out of pride that I believe some of us (many of us) have lost the art of the question. We get so caught up in making sure that people know that we are smart and sensitive and kind and strong that it becomes so easy for us to lose sight of what really matters. I have some loving ladies in my tribe though and we have begun helping each other to re-train our minds to dig deeper with questions.
So that’s where I started…
We came up with a list of questions that I would later go home with and sit down with Holy Spirit and do some frame work and vision casting.
I sat down, ready with paper and pen and prayed and read and asked God to open my eyes and ears and heart to what He was trying to speak to me. As I imagined I wrote everything down. And IT WAS AMAZING! He actually showed up!
My paper started like this…
Write down what you see?
Who’s the audience?
What would a typical day look like?
What would the audience output be?
What is one active step I can take right now?
My paper ended covered in notes. All because of those starter questions. Some of those questions are a little more pointed toward my dream, but they helped me to find a new starting point. Before I was stuck. Paralyzed by what I expected to happen. I keep hearing in my head the phrase from Big Hero 6, “Look for a new angle.” In the movie the young heroes are literally stuck, about to lose and someone yells out “Look for a new angle!” and their mindsets change. They are able to pause for a moment, ask a question of themselves, and shift their thinking and get out of their trouble and later defeat the villain.
Sometimes all we need is a new perspective. If you're stuck this morning, in any area of your life, I would just like to invite you to sit with your Father God, who always wants to give you good gifts and ask Him questions. AND, expect answers. Did you know that He actually wants to talk to you? That’s why He sent His Son after all.
Maybe you have a dream that is not quite reachable on your own. Or maybe you have no idea and you are stuck thinking this is as good as it gets.
Sit down. Ask Father God “What do You see for me?”
It doesn’t matter what you ask. There are no wrong questions when you talk with the one who loves you most. He is not looking for you to have all the answers. He is just looking for you to come. He is looking for you to just ask. He wants to talk with you today.
Love you sis,
Written bY: Alexandria Brown
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For more from Alexandria, visit her website at www.alexandriabrown.org.
How do I get unstuck and move forward into the next thing?
I asked my 8 year old son his thoughts on this the other night. I mentioned I needed to sit down and do some writing and he asked, “Oh for that pretty and wise thing?”
“Yes,” I said. “I’m supposed to write on stuck and transition. How to get unstuck and move forward into a new thing, the next thing, or whatever God wants to move you into… do you have any thoughts on that?”
Honestly, I thought he would just shrug it off or, more likely, be a little confused because, to be perfectly transparent, I was a little confused. How do I write about this? How do we get unstuck anyway? I feel stuck right now and I’m not sure how to move forward here. Maybe I was just asking for amusement, because who asks an 8 year old for life advice? Apparently me...
“Sometimes, when you’re stuck, late at night, the Lord speaks like thunder. Ya know, mom?”
“Has the Lord ever spoken to you like thunder, Jude?”
“What did He say?”
“You don’t remember, mom?”
I racked my brain and couldn’t remember a time he described hearing God’s voice like thunder.
“Refresh my memory, buddy boy.”
“God said to me, ‘You’ll be with me forever.’”
Now I did remember. That was the night Judah gave his life to Jesus. We were sitting on my bed asking God to speak to Him and practicing listening to God’s voice together. I remember Judah said the Lord told him that he’d be with God forever and that he knew that meant he needed to give his life to Jesus. We had daddy come upstairs, we talked about salvation again, and Judah said he was ready this time. We prayed together. Judah shared his heart with Jesus and asked the Lord to save him from his sins and told Him he’d follow him forever. Jude was baptized that weekend.
“I remember that, buddy! That’s when you gave your life to Jesus, right? I didn’t know the Lord sounded like thunder though.”
“It was thunder alright, but a different kind of thunder than I’ve ever heard before and I KNEW it was Jesus speaking to me.”
“And that’s when you got ‘unstuck’?”
My eyes started to well up. My 8 year old gets it deep in his soul… something that I often forget or struggle to understand at all.
Are you stuck tonight, sweet friend? Unsure how to move forward or get out of what you are in?
Jesus is calling you out of that “stuck” place now. And the only way to get unstuck is to hear and obey the voice of the Lord, just like Judah who was intentionally listening for Jesus that night when the Lord spoke like thunder in his heart and he immediately obeyed.
“You’ll be with me forever.”
Jesus was calling him by his future - not his past and not his present. Jesus was calling out Judah’s destiny and inviting him into that reality.
Push pause right here.
Are you getting what I’m saying? We can’t get unstuck without the voice of the Lord calling us out into HIS reality.
How many men and women in the Bible have been given new names, new futures, new destinies?
Gideon was the least of his family who was the least in their tribe who was the least of all the tribes of Israel. He was hiding from his enemies when God called him out of that place. How did God do that? “The Lord is with you, o Mighty Man of Valor” Gideon wasn’t a warrior! He wasn’t a champion! He was a nobody from a nobody family in a nobody tribe in Israel who were all under constant attack and oppression from other nations. God called him out of hiding from his enemies and oppressors and into conquering his enemies and a new freedom for his nation! He was called into his glorious destiny… God’s reality!
Moses was hanging out with sheep after running away from his past sins when God called him out of the wilderness and sent him back home. God entrusted to this murderer and abandoner the salvation of his entire nation from the powerful Egyptians. God was calling him out of running and into his glorious destiny… God’s reality!
Saul was joyfully ordering and watching the killing of the followers of Jesus when God entered in! He called him out of the business of death and into the business of life. He even renamed Saul (which means “desired”) to Paul (which means “small/humble” and “released from sin” <--What?!? Let's dig into that another time). God called him out of sin and into his glorious destiny… God’s reality!
I could do this all day. There are names upon names upon names of people in scripture who were called out of whatever situation they were stuck in and into God’s reality through an encounter with Jesus.
If you are stuck today, you need an encounter with Jesus. Take time, right now, don’t wait a minute longer, to actively listen for Jesus’ voice. You are guaranteed to hear the voice of the Lord if you open up your bible and read. Quit talking and just listen.
He has heard your cries for help, sweet friend. He has caught every single one of those tears you’ve cried and bottled them up. He has laid beside you as you lay awake at night worrying. He has wrapped his arms around you while you felt utterly alone. He hasn’t missed one single moment of your “stuck-ness”. He’s been here through it all, but sweet friend, he is ready for you to move on. It’s time to quit crying out and start quieting down to hear the voice of the Lord calling you out.
Take some time right now before you finish this article. Don’t short change yourself. Do the work and see the life-change. Push pause here and go listen to Jesus.
Are you back now? What did he say?
How can you obey right now? Do you need to make a phone call? Go do it! Do you need to be baptized? Call your pastor or a friend and get baptized! Do you need to (insert blank here)? DO IT!
You want to get unstuck? It’s time to obey, sister. God is calling you out of where you’re at and into his glorious destiny for you… HIS reality! He isn’t calling you by your past. He’s calling you by your future. Remember: Gideon wasn’t a mighty man of valor until after Jesus declared that over him. What is the Lord declaring over you today? Now it’s time to walk in obedience.
As I tell my kids, “Listen and obey. Right away. All the way. Happy way.”
I love you, sister. I’m in your corner cheering you on! Let me know how I can pray for you today and I will do that: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by: Lyndsay Terry
Man, seasons of transition can be so difficult, right?
It's like our bodies can pick up physically what is so uncomfortable and stretching in the spiritual. Even as I type this, even after weeks of working through this discomfort of transition, I still have this ball of tension in my stomach.
I'm feeling a little stuck, if I'm honest. I've been sitting with the Lord here lately, working through a lot of feelings. And He is so tender and patient and full of mercy as He even reveals things to me I hadn't even realized.
But I just can't seem to ready myself to move.
I don't know what your transition looks like, or what you feel stuck in today, but here's something my husband and I are praying over: after almost four years of homeschooling and 7 years of me not working out of the home and staying home with my babies, the Lord may have us send them to school, public or private. All four will be school age and as silly as it may sound, I have spent my entire adult life home in some capacity with these kiddos. And I am really struggling with moving on.
I have a lot of questions and they're not even necessarily about my children: Was I faithful in this season home with them? Did I prepare them well enough? What about me? What will this next season look like for me? What will it require of me?
I'm comfortable here.
But am I really?
Because I think when God is preparing to transition us, He gifts us with the vision to notice that suddenly, things have changed. There's been a shift. And it doesn't feel wrong, but it does feel more difficult. It feels like more effort is being exerted in order to maintain the status quo.
So are we willing to posture ourselves in one of humility and surrender to the Lord?
Are we willing to lay down this season that is familiar and comfortable and what we know for the unknown?
Do we trust that Jesus knows what lies ahead of us and it is for our good?
Do we believe that He is faithful to prepare and equip us for wherever He is sending us?
Whatever it is that you're transitioning into or out of, sweet sister, you can believe right here and right now that Jesus sees all of the thoughts and questions and protests that run through your mind. In fact, He may reveal them to you Himself.
So let's start here.
What are you afraid of? Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what it is that has you hesitant to move forward. And after you have identified and worked through this fear with the Lord, release it to Him. Lay it at His feet. Where you're going, this fear can't come.
What are you grateful for? Recount how Jesus has been so incredibly and impossibly good in this season, because no matter what it looks like circumstantially, He is and always was the good in it. Bless His precious and glorious name. Pour out thanksgiving before Him!
Is there anything you need to release? Could it be that in order for you to receive what He wants to give you, you need to lay something down first? Ask Him and be obedient to release your grip on what may be good but is not His best.
And now, my pretty and wise friend, don't look back.
No matter how different and scary and demanding the road ahead of you may appear, do not let your gaze turn back to the old season.
Do not long for the old when what Jesus has for you is the new thing He is doing.
Do not falter and do not grow weary, sweet friend.
Do not turn back.
Where you're going is not back there.
What He has for you is not back there.
It is forward.
I know that what Jesus has in store for us through this transition is worth trading in whatever we hold dear. May we have eyes to see every bit of good that lies ahead. And may we see in brand new ways that He is good and able and worthy and how ridiculously lavish His love for us is.
His desire for you is good.
His plans for you are good.
He is good.
I can't wait to hear about all of the good this new, unknown and unfathomable season holds for you.
Above all, I can't wait to hear about how you see Jesus in it and through it.
King Jesus, ready us. Ready our hearts. Our desire is You. Where You are, we want to be. May we follow You all our days, Lord. Amen.
WRITTEN BY: OLIVIA CALDWELL
Jesus said we would all experience trials, yet he went on to tell us not to worry because He had overcome the world. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NIV). How do we hold on to hope when trials come and we don’t see a way out?
When trials come, and we know they will, the most important thing we can do is to switch our focus off our troubles and onto the Lord, the source of hope and healing. Instead of allowing our thoughts to be filled with worry, fear and anxiety, spending time in God’s word will give us peace that makes no sense in our worldly circumstances. Stand on the truths found in these 10 Bible Verses for hope and healing. Write them down. Place them around your house so you can be reminded of God’s promises for healing.
My doctor looked at me with compassionate eyes before looking in my file and then ultimately asking, “What made you finally come in?”
“I couldn’t take the pain anymore. I tried to endure and it was more than I could handle on my own. I had tried everything I knew to do and it wasn’t enough,” I replied, wondering if he would chastise me for waiting so long before seeking medical attention.
Even as I said it, I thought about how often I’m like that with God: trying to do things on my own before ultimately turning to Him for help when nothing I do makes the situation any better. So often we try to do things in our own way and our own strength, when God wants to give us His plan and His strength.
There is a reason God warns us not to depend on our own understanding—He knows better than we do.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take”
“I’m sure you suspect what might be going on here,” he suggested, with one knowing eyebrow raised.
“I do, but in this situation, I’ll let you be the doctor and I’ll be the patient for a change.”
He sent me for tests and then for more tests. Even then the results were inconclusive and left us with multiple differential diagnoses—none of which were good.
“I want to send you for another consult, STAT. I know you’ll be tempted to worry about this over the weekend, but I don’t want you to go there,” he cautioned.
Pain is a funny thing. It can take a normally strong person and drain every ounce of strength from you, leaving you weak and vulnerable.
Pain can make you question everything you know to be true, and doubt what you would previously swear by.
Pain can make you withdraw from your social network and from God, or reach out in need of help.
Gratefully, he took my condition and my pain seriously, and cautioned me not to let my thoughts run amuck on the playground of worry, fear, and anxiety because that is exactly where the enemy wanted me to go.
I knew what the differential diagnoses were, and I didn’t like them.
A friend wisely reminded me, “Doctors diagnose and help treat us. Surgeons operate. GOD heals!” He is our healer and He still heals today.
That was where my focus needed to be—on our source of hope and healing. As long as God is on His throne, hope prevails!
I had a choice to make: I could let my thoughts go down the rabbit trail with worry, fear, and anxiety, or I could spend time in the word, focused on scripture for hope and healing, stand on the truths in those scriptures, and determine to trust God with whatever we faced.
A Prayer for Trusting God to Heal
“Lord, I know this doesn’t take you by surprise. And I know that you are bigger than any diagnosis that looms. You are Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals. You have not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and sound mind, so I choose right now to use my sound mind to trust you to heal whatever it is we are dealing with. I thank you for this current trial because I know you use the trials in our life to strengthen our faith. Use this even now, Lord, for my good and for your glory. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”
After asking close friends to agree with me in prayer, I spent the next several hours in the Word, trusting the promises of God, declaring scripture for hope and healing out loud and claiming them for myself.
When you need healing, spend time in God’s word. Stand on the truths found in these 10 #BibleVerses for #hope and healing. Write them down. Place them around your house so you can be reminded of God’s promises for healing. #faith
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10 Bible Verses for Hope and Healing
If you or someone you love is in need of help, hope, or healing, I encourage you to declare these promises of God out loud and claim them for yourself as well. God’s word is alive and active, and it will not return void until it has accomplished what it was sent out to accomplish.
1. Jeremiah 17:14
“Heal me, LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise” (Jeremiah 17:14 NIV).
2. James 5:14-15
“Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven” (James 5:14-15).
3. Jeremiah 30:17
“But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the LORD” (Jeremiah 30:17).
4. Jeremiah 33:6
“Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security” (Jeremiah 33:6).
5. 3 John 1:2
“Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit” (3 John 1:2).
6. Exodus 23:25
“Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you” (Exodus 23:25).
7. Isaiah 53:5
“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).
8. Isaiah 41:10
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
9. Isaiah 40:29
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak” (Isaiah 40:29).
10. Psalm 30:2
“LORD my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me” (Psalm 30:2)
When you are in pain, instead of allowing your thoughts to be filled with worry, fear and anxiety, spend time in God’s word. Stand on the truths found in these 10 #BibleVerses for #hope and healing. #faith
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A Prayer for Healing
May I pray for you?
I pray for the one reading these words right now. I don’t know what they are facing, but you do. Whether they are in need of physical healing, emotional healing, relationship healing, financial healing, or something else, Lord we trust you to be their healer. You are Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals. You are the Great Physician, our redeemer and restorer. Restore everything to perfect order, Lord. Work all things together for their good and for your glory. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Guest Contributor: Dr. Michelle Bengtson
For more hope, stay connected with Dr. Bengtson at:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DrMBengtson (@DrMBengtson)
Emil Brunner has said, “What oxygen is to the lungs, such is hope to the meaning of life.” Hope. It’s what we all need. Without hope, what reason would we have to live?
Why do we crave it so desperately? In short, in a world that is so uncertain, we want control. We crave certainty and predictability. The problem with that is that it’s inconsistent with faith. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1 KJV).
The thing that God wants more than anything from us is for us to believe in Him, have faith in Him, trust Him, despite our circumstances, despite what we see. Keeping our faith means putting our hope in a God who never lies and always keeps His promises. It means choosing to believe, choosing to put our trust in Him, choosing to hope despite what we see or experience.
Scripture tells us in John 16:33 (NIV), “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” We all experience trials and difficulties: medical diagnoses, job loss, estranged relationships, financial despair, failed marriages, and so much more. Hopelessness gives us no reason to continue fighting, no reason to live.
In this world, we tend to use the word “hope” when what we really mean is “wishful thinking.” It’s the kind of hope that anticipates something that may or may never happen; things that we long for: “I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow;” “I hope my team wins the game;” “I hope we can get together soon;” “I hope I’m not late for work.”
This kind of “hope” suggests something that has the potential to be but offers no guarantees. It’s really akin to tossing a coin. That kind of hope is fleeting and unsatisfactory. It does nothing to abate our worry, fear, anxiety, discouragement, or despair, and often leaves us sitting on pins and needles.
That’s not the hope that God offers. Scripture tells us, “Your word is my source of hope” (Psalm 119:114). Those who have a relationship with God are offered a hope that means certainty because we know the God who never fails, never lies, and never breaks His promises.
As we read God’s holy Word, one thing that offers a hope that does not fail is one little word: will. Every time God says, “I will…” it always happens. When He told Abraham that He would bless him and multiply his descendants, it happened. When He told Moses He would harden Pharoah’s heart, He did. When He said He would bless the house of Israel, He did. When He said He would provide a Savior to rescue us, it happened.
During life’s most difficult times, when we need to hold onto something certain at a time when uncertainty rules, we need only look at the promises God has given us, in order for us to have hope:
During those times that we are tempted to feel hopeless, we must realize that is because we are putting our trust in people or things that are uncertain and may let us down. Instead, when we will put our hope, our faith, and our trust in God, we know that He will not disappoint. God never fails and never disappoints. We can trust in God, our hope in Him, with rock-solid certainty.
We want to connect with you and encourage you this week - Click here to join us over in the Sisterhood Conversation group as we dive into hope this month!
GUEST CONTRIBUTOR: DR. MICHELLE BENGTSON
Dr. Michelle Bengtson is an international speaker, and the author of the bestselling, award winning “Hope Prevails: Insights From A Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression” and the award winning companion “Hope Prevails Bible Study” and the recently released “Breaking Anxiety’s Grip: How to Reclaim the Peace God Promises” (Sept 2019). She has been a board certified clinical neuropsychologist for more than twenty years. This doctor knows pain and despair firsthand and combines her professional expertise and personal experience with her faith to help others be all God created them to be. Using sound practical tools, she affirms worth and encourages faith. Dr. Bengtson offers hope as a key to unlock joy and relief—even in the middle of the storm. She and her husband of thirty-two years have two teenage sons and reside in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. She blogs regularly on her own site: http://www.DrMichelleBengtson.com and is on most social media platforms. She is also a host of the award-winning podcast, “Your Hope-Filled Perspective with Dr. Michelle Bengtson” at https://apple.co/2madPRo
For more hope, stay connected with Dr. Bengtson at:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DrMBengtson (@DrMBengtson)
We all hope for things. We hope our sports team will win. We hope we will get a certain present for our birthday (come on pony!). We hope we will get a good grade on the test. We hope that things will get better. We hope all day, every day without even really thinking about it. But what happens when worry creeps in more than hope? When anxiety starts to reign in our lives?
In Romans 15:13 God is referred to as “The God of hope”. The whole verse is quite beautiful.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
Lately I have been struggling with truly feeling hopeful. Between quarantine, COVID scares, dissention in our country, concerns about friends in other countries, debates about vaccines, my oldest child being across the country, deadlines, emails….the list of things to be UNhopeful about is long and heavy.
This is NOT a helpful way of thinking though. God wants to fill us with joy and peace. He wants the Holy Spirit to help us abound in hope. Abound! That word isn’t used much these days. It means to have something in large amounts. He wants us to have large amounts of hope. And not the hope like we have for the pony we wanted for our birthday when we were six. Real sustaining, soul lifting, eternal, Godly hope.
In Psalm 42:5 King David talks about a time when this kind of hope was hard for him.
“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation”
He was feeling pretty crummy and reminded himself, and us, that we are to place our hope in God. So, let me get this straight. If I put my hope in God, then in turn God is going to turn around and fill me with hope, joy, and peace with my belief? That sounds like a pretty good deal to me. Here are 3 reminders I have found help me push through those moments...days...weeks...when hope seems to elude me.
1. Remember that God is not going to leave you.
In our children’s worship time this is something we are teaching them. It is a simple concept but certainly a hopeful one. To hear a room full of school age children shouting “God will not leave me - no matter what!” brings a smile to my face.
Deuteronomy 31:8 “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
2. God is here to help us when we struggle.
I love the mental image of God as a father holding our hand and helping us up when we fall. As a mother of a 2 ½ year old, I can say that a large part of my daughter’s time is spent getting up after falling down. Sometimes she pops right back up, but sometimes she needs a little help and comfort. We are just like that. God sometimes needs to pick us up, dust us off, give us a hug, and set us back on our feet.
Psalm 121:1-2 “I lift my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”
3. When we stop hoping in God, we can always turn around and start over again as forgiven daughters.
I can’t stay mad at my girls for long. Sometimes we argue it out. Sometimes we cry it out. Sometimes we laugh about it. We always move past it though with the beauty of forgiveness. God does that same thing for us. When we forget to put our hope in him like we are supposed to, he just waits for us to come around. Christ is our ultimate example of this.
Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Sisters, keep hoping. Keep hoping that things will get better. Keep hoping for Christ to come back. Keep hoping for the peace and beauty and perfection of God’s presence in Heaven. Keep hoping for your spouse and your children. It is one of the wonderful things that set us apart as believers. Hope is a beautiful and wonderful gift that God has given us. He wants us to believe in him and to fill us with it.
WRITTEN BY: Angie Reese
Fasting. The Lord has been saying that word to me over and over for a couple of months now. I haven’t known exactly what to do with it. Obviously I should fast, but from what? And for why? I struggled for awhile because I was concerned about my motivations behind agreeing to a fast. Is it because I just wanted to feel better? To lose a few pounds? Why was I really choosing to fast? What was I hoping to achieve with this fast? If the answer didn’t have some spiritual element to it, I was concerned I was just choosing to fast for selfish reasons. And yet… “FASTING” still rang loud and clear in my head and heart and I just knew it was the Lord.
Just last week, I had a friend invite me and some other people to do a 40-day fast together… from sugar.
If God had not already been saying “fast” to me, I would have said, “no thank you” to that invitation! Y’all. We just wrapped up the holidays which means I just wrapped up about 5 pounds on my person after all the lazing around, cookies, pies, and sweets. And soda… oh mercy. I need a soda once a day to survive the chaos that is my life.
That last sentence right there is why I knew that I needed THIS fast.
“I need a soda once a day to survive the chaos that is my life.”
I hit my limit and then I run to caffeine and carbonation to sustain me instead of Jesus. That hurts to admit, but it’s just plain true. Stop right here and ask yourself, “Where do you run when you hit your limit near the end of the day?” I’m not talking when your world falls apart, it’s easy to run to Jesus for the really big things, but what about the small things that we try to handle on our own? What do you need to help you handle it? What is your “soda”?
My eyes have been opened by one small sentence uttered in the corner of my mind as I read the introduction to the book guiding our fast. “I need a soda once a day to survive the chaos that is my life.” I can’t even handle a single day of my life without some sort of help. And to be truthful, soda may help for a moment, but it’s hurting me in so many other ways.
Sore and achy muscles.
Anxiety and irritation.
Trying to fill Jesus’ role in my life.
OUCH. That last one is painful, but I was confronted with that truth. I am turning to a sugary can of carbonation that is only hurting me in the long-run instead of the Living Water who only ever brings good into my life.
Why am I not just turning to Jesus? How did I get here?
Thinking about the fast coming up, I started to get very afraid of failure. “There’s no way I’ll be able to abstain from sugar for 40 days, I can hardly make it a day!” “Wow. How weak am I? I am afraid of putting down sugar for a few weeks.” “You’re just a fatty.” “You will fail at this.” “Other people know you’re fasting so they are all going to watch you fail because you cannot do this.”
Notice how the thoughts in my head went from me voicing my fears to the enemy making accusations?
When we allow fear-filled thoughts to swirl around in our minds, we open the door for the enemy to come and torture us. We start thinking his thoughts about us. We start believing lies about us and about God’s heart for us.
What happens when we take those fear-filled thoughts and questions and present them to the Lord instead of ruminating on them ourselves? He gives us hope for uncertainty.
I wrote in my journal all the reasons why I knew I was going to fail at this fast. All the reasons I was afraid to do this fast. I didn’t just confess these things to myself, I was confessing them to God. What happened next began a change in me… I gave him all my fears and uncertainties and in return, he handed me hope. My thoughts changed from questions and doubts to hopes and dreams.
What if this crippling anxiety eases up as I quit turning to sugar and turn to Jesus?
What if my body quits aching as I turn to Jesus over sugar?
What if my kids see a difference in me throughout the day?
What if my husband sees my attitude change?
What if our home is filled with more peace and joy… just because I let go of sugar and grabbed hold of Jesus?
What if I gain infinitely more than I lose in the next 40 days?
What if people see more of Jesus in me after this?
What if I hear His voice more clearly?
What if I crave his presence and am filled to overflowing?
What if I’m a new person on the other side of this?
Maybe you aren’t planning a fast. Maybe you’re thinking about one now! Go through this exercise written below and then allow the Lord to bring to your attention whatever your next step should be. Just take some time today to ask yourself, “What am I turning to instead of Jesus just to make it through the day?” If you’re like me, after answering that question and then thinking about giving it up… your mind may start swirling with fear. Maybe you don’t need to even answer that question for fear to start swirling. You may be walking through deep waters right now and are already filled with fear and uncertainty.
Whatever you’re going through, don’t allow the enemy to terrorize your thought-life by dwelling on uncertainty and fear. You don’t have to pretend those thoughts don’t exist. Burying our thoughts and emotions that are negative or uncomfortable doesn’t actually get rid of them. They’ll crop up in other ways. We can’t escape those things this side of heaven. You can’t just wish them away… you have to take them to the throne room. Those fears, questions, pains, sorrows… those all belong at the feet of Jesus, not stuffed in a forgotten corner of your mind or dark crevice of your heart. Share them with the Lord and allow him to give you hope in place of your uncertainty. Trade your sorrows for joy, your uncertainty for peace, and your fear for hope.
Here’s the take-away:
WRITTEN BY: Lyndsay Terry
Read more from Lyndsay @ www.lyndsayterry.com
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I am tired today.
I am tired of division.
Tired of injustice.
Tired of malice and bitterness.
Tired of fear.
I am tired of grief, all around me and spilling up out of me when I least expect it.
I am tired of uncertainty.
I am tired of corruption.
I am tired of deception.
I am tired of feeling like I don't even know the next right thing to do sometimes. Does anyone know what the 'right' or 'best' thing truly is, anyway?
I am just tired and overwhelmed and in desperate need of rest. True rest.
I'm lamenting all of these things while scrubbing mud off of a white tile floor and suddenly think again of the Israelites.
Delivered from bondage and slavery in the most astounding and miraculous and unimaginable of ways and then ushered right into the wilderness. Truly living from glory to glory. Daily manna that is gracious and supernatural in and of itself, yet the miracle of it lost day after day, week after week. A people chosen by God Almighty, spared and under His great and all-encompassing provision. A people keenly aware of the character of their God, of His mercy and faithfulness and of the sheer terror of His might and power. A people at the same time weary of hardship.
My mind wanders to several weeks ago, during a different kind of lamenting and pining for my own perception and idea of rest, when the Lord set His Word right in front of me: Hebrews 4, titled 'The Promised Rest'.
The promise to enter his rest remains, says the Word of the Lord. But we are exhorted to be diligent to enter into God's rest. John Piper writes,
"Be diligent! Pay close attention to what you’ve heard (Hebrews 2:1); don’t neglect your great salvation (Hebrews 2:3); consider Jesus (Hebrews 3:1); do not harden your hearts (Hebrews 3:8); take care against an unbelieving heart (Hebrews 3:12); exhort one another every day against the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:14); and fear the unbelief that will keep you from your promised rest (Hebrews 4:1)."
We are to be diligent, especially when we come up against hardship, to not fall into the same pattern of disobedience, to not harden our hearts "as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness." (Heb 3:8)
We are warned against unbelief.
And sister, this has been real heavy on my heart in recent months. When we are feeling hit from all sides, surrounded and stuck, with not a clue as to how to come through; when what lies before us seems formidable and overpowering and oppressive; and sometimes when we are simply weary, unbelief creeps in.
We are sometimes like the Israelites, standing at the edge of the Promised Land, trembling at the massive Nephilim and feeling like grasshoppers. (Numbers 13)
And we cry out, "How?"
And I say to you, sweet sister, this is okay.
This is even good.
As long as we remember.
Remember that we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses.
I exhort you to boldly approach the throne of grace, to throw yourselves at the feet of our great high priest who has been tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin, so that you may receive mercy and find grace to help you in your time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16)
Bring him all of your doubts and fears and yes, even your unbelief. Weep and mourn and repent. Lay out the circumstances that have your heart troubled before Him and ask Him, "How?"
We must keep our hearts soft in this way. In order for His truth to penetrate our hearts, they must not be hardened. If we want to receive His help and
rest in our time of need, then our hearts need to be permeable and open to receive.
So we lay it all at the feet of Jesus and we say, "This belongs to you, King Jesus. I know You are good. I know You are able. I believe. Help my unbelief"
"Here's my heart, Lord. Speak what is true."
Over and over again, friend, pray.
"Believe His promises and sing His praise." (Psalm 106)
Remember. Remember the relentless love of God. Remember how:
"He rescued them many times,
but they continued to rebel deliberately
and were beaten down by their iniquity."
"When he heard their cry,
he took note of their distress,
remembered his covenant with them,
and relented according to the abundance
of his faithful love." (Psalm 106:43-45)
Take care that you do not exchange His glory for lesser things, that you are not seized with craving in the wilderness. Take care that you do not forget God your Savior, who has done great things and wondrous works. Take care that you do not retain grumbling in your heart. (Psalm 106:13-14, 20-22, 25)
"Today if you hear his voice
do not harden your hearts."
Today, His rest awaits you, beloved.
It is promised.
Make every effort to enter in.
WRITTEN BY: OLIVIA CALDWELL
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