Hope in Tribulation


water falls near green trees


Our trials have far-reaching effects; some that we never realized could happen, and some we will never know about until we get to heaven. Our attitude in them and through them will inspire other people in their walk with the Lord (Philippians 1:14).


Trials are not really obstacles, but opportunities to have faith in God’s faithfulness, and to uncover the seed for a miracle, which He plants within each issue that we face. They are truly blessings in disguise.


Our new life in Christ is a bed full of sweet smelling roses, but each stem of our walk is full of prickly thorns. Jesus exhorted us to expect tribulation in this world, but to be encouraged, because His presence in us helps us to overcome.


Jesus already overcame the world (John 16:33). His power and wisdom see us through every negative incident. Even Job received multiple blessings that far surpassed the horrid trials that he experienced.


The dear apostle Paul suffered shipwreck, beatings, jail cells, pursuit by persecutors who wanted to end his life, abuse, etc. (2 Corinthians 11:24-25). Paul endured his troubles by changing his focus from his miserable conditions to God’s promises (Romans 8:18).


Paul learned the secret of rejoicing through His tribulation. He even sang praises to God while chained in a Roman prison (Acts 16:16-40). His faith in and love for God barely waivered in the face of debilitating difficulties. He learned abiding contentment (Philippians 4:11-12).



Father God, Your Word teaches us that after Satan attempted to sift Peter like wheat, he would be able to strengthen the church by his testimony and the lessons he learned (Luke 22:31-32). Thank You for helping us to shift our focus from our trial to our testimony. We all know people whose lives are a witness to Your power in spite of their troubles.


Help us to change our attitude and our focus from the events in our life to Your provision in spite of them. We do not want our faith in You or our love for You to waiver in the face of difficulties. Teach us not to be discouraged when we encounter difficulties, because You use complications to test our faith, to strengthen us for future trials, and to prove that Your grace is sufficient to sustain us (2 Corinthians 12:9).


Thought for the Day:

Some people mistakenly believe that God promises never to give us more trials than we can bear (1 Corinthians 10:12-13); however, this promise actually refers to temptations; God will allow us to experience overwhelming trials that force us to run to Him for our deliverance (John 16:33).


A Good Marriage – Magnifying God’s Love

white rose enclosed photograph


In a good marriage, we stop majoring on the minor details of our individuality, and we encourage each other’s strengths, uniqueness and differences. It does not really matter how we squeeze the toothpaste, hammer a nail, hang the toilet paper, stack the dishwasher, fold the clothes, set the table, etc.


In major decisions, we always need to discuss our options together, pray together for God’s will for us in the situation, search the Bible for Godly wisdom, and make mutually satisfying choices. This always avoids conflicts, hurt feelings, fears and insecurities.


We take into account our individual preference, viewpoints and opinions and make choices together that bring fulfillment to both of us. This habit takes away the need for “control,” because it diminishes our individual concerns, anxiety, uncertainty, dread, unhappiness, etc. as it provides security, unity and cooperation.


A quick, humble and sincere apology for hurts we cause and inappropriate language, attitudes or behavior that we may have used is very healing in a marriage. Even if we do not think that we did anything wrong, we can always show empathy for our spouse’s feelings by expressing our sorrow for inadvertently hurting their feelings, letting them down, failing to be supportive, etc.


Rather than holding a grudge, or putting emotional and physical distance between us, screaming, or giving him/her the cold shoulder, we ask God for the ability to show unconditional love, concern and compassion for each other.


When hurt and disappointment mount up in our relationship, they drive a wedge between us, limit our ability to love and to feel loved, and need healing to restore unity and to increase intimacy. God is able to help us to find a mutually satisfying alternative, He abides within us, and He never, ever leaves or abandons us.



Father God, allow us to live as a magnifying glass through which others can see You magnified. Remind us that You abide within us; and we can step aside and allow You to love others through us, even when they wound or frustrate us. This way the devil does not get a foothold in the door of our relationship and magnify our differences, or cause us to complain about or advertise our mate’s faults to others.


Remind us that part of Your purpose in our life is to make us more like Jesus – to have His mind, character and nature, which replace our faults and weaknesses. Help us to be a reflection of You in our marriage and to the world around us. Teach us to be quick to forgive and to act in loving and kind ways, rather than in a vindictive, resentful and angry manner. When this is impossible to do in our own strength, remind us to come to You on our knees to receive Your Spirit’s wisdom, guidance and power to be Your vessel of love.


Thought for the Day:

When we choose to obey God in life and in our marriage, our whole outlook, attitude, emotions, and viewpoint will change toward our spouse and our world; this will allow us to serve as a vessel of honor for the Lord, and to reap God’s blessings in every area of our life.


Spirit-led Emotions

full moon behind a tree silhouettes


God gave us our emotions. They are not a fault, a weakness, or an abnormality. They are healthy and important to us all. Our emotions usually come from our thoughts. Some people bury their emotions and lose touch with this vital part of our self.


Therefore, we are wise to consider our thoughts and emotions throughout the day. We can feel them, find the source of them, and pray about what to do about them. God helps us not to react in negative emotions, gives us wisdom to find the root source of our feelings, and helps us to resolve any issues that need solving.


Impulsive reactions to our thoughts and emotions may wound our self, our loved ones, or irritate those in authority over us. Rather than to react with a negative emotion, we wisely think about how we are feeling, discover the source, and seek God’s purpose through them.


We may be neglecting our self in some area, responding from past trauma through them, or hiding behind them in order to protect our self from future abuse. Then, we over-react, attempt to control the situation, and/or build walls around our responses and continue to neglect our own needs.


When confronted with a decision or asked for our opinion, especially if we feel negative emotions rise up in our soul, we do not have to respond instantly. We can say that we are going to pray about our answer before we give it.


This gives us time to journal our feelings and thoughts, chat with our mentor, and consult the Lord for His direction (Proverbs 3:5-6) in order to respond in His peace rather than with our negative emotions. We can pray about how we feel, and ask God to show us the reason that we automatically responded that way.


When we return to the conversation, we are able to calmly express how we think, as well as how we feel, and then to express what we believe is God’s direction for us in this circumstance. If this disagrees with what the other person feels that God is directing him/her to do, we can pray together about a third alternative agreeable to both of us.



Father God, give us responses to express in love with other individuals with whom we are interacting. We want to respond, rather than to react, so that we can foster good will toward one another rather than to hurt each other’s feelings. Help us to stay calm, even when we feel nothing but turmoil within.


Remind us that this will enable us to kindly express the thoughts stirring up our negative emotions and to work together to find that third alternative in which we both feel Your peace. Teach us how to show respect for each other’s humanity, and to consider one another’s needs. We want to walk in Your will for us and to glorify You in everything that we think, say and do.


Thought for the Day:

We can avoid compulsive behavior reactions, and our penchant to spew destructive words and actions by giving our self time to individually pray about our thoughts and feelings, and then to pray together about God’s solution and resolution to the issues that we face.


We Go Out with Joy

bird's eye view of grassland beside mountain


God’s Word declares that if we fail to praise Him, even the rocks will cry out in their awesome wonder of our amazing Lord (Luke 19:40). God’s loving devotion never departs from us, and His covenant of peace is never broken, because of His constant compassion for us (Isaiah 54:10).


Nature understands that He is Lord and it honors Him. He can bring down the mightiest of trees and dry up the greenest tree; but He also makes little trees grow tall and causes withered trees to flourish (Ezekiel 17:24).


When the pastures are full of herds and the heartland is bright with grain, they shout and sing in triumph because of all their splendor that He provides (Psalm 65:13, 96:12). The heavens and earth praise Him, even all the creatures in the seas (Psalm 69:34).


We have so much for which to praise God. We are often moved to shout out loud with the depths of the earth as well as breaking into singing like the mountains and forests and trees, because the Lord redeems us and continually reveals His glory to us (Isaiah 44:23).


God comforts His people, and has compassion on the afflicted (Isaiah 49:13, 52:9). Joy and gladness overwhelm us, and sorrow and discouragement flee from our soul (Isaiah 51:11). Therefore, we sing His praises during each moment of our day, and we look forward to eternity to praise His name continually.



Father God, there is no end to Your blessings on this earth; and there will be even more benefits for us once You take Your rightful throne as King of kings and Lord of lords. You rejoice over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17), and we are the apple of Your eye (Psalm 17:8; Zachariah 2:8). You never fail to provide for our needs, protect us in afflictions, and procure for us all that we need to live as victors in this life.


Give us the courage to break forth into songs, as nature does, whenever You give us one of Your astonishing gifts, or when we remember who You are, and what You have done and continue to do for us each moment of our day. You inhabit our praise (Psalm 22:3); and, as Your Spirit’s temple (1 Corinthians 6:19), we go out with Your joy and are led forth with Your peace (Isaiah 55:12).


Thought for the Day:

The wilderness and the land is glad, and the desert rejoices and blossoms like a rose, blooming in joy at the glory of the Lord and the splendor of our God; the rivers clap their hands and the mountains echo together in their joy; God calls us to rejoice with shouts of praise to Him as well.

– Isaiah 35:1-2; Psalm 98:8, 105:43


The Benefits of a Surrendered Life

photo of three butterflies pollinating on purple petaled flowers


God set eternity in the human heart. We all instinctively know there is a “forever” ahead of us. Yet, none of us can fathom the abundance that God actually has in store for us. As authentic Believers, we gradually view our lifetime from His vantage point.


We see the people in our life as our mission field. Our family, neighbors, friends, workmates, associates, and even the check-out people at the retail store or those waiting on us at the restaurant are hand-chosen by God for us to influence for His Kingdom.


Dying to our self is not detestable when we know it results in joy and peace now, and acquires more future treasures for us in Heaven for eternity. In our old life we surrendered to sin, but now we have a new Master, and submission to Him truly sets us free (Romans 6:16-18).


We relinquish our right, as Jesus did, to prove that we are innocent. We do not assume the attitude of a martyr, but we obey the Spirit’s promptings, knowing that God has better things in store for us as we walk in His plans for our life  (Hebrews 12:2; Ephesians 2:10).


The concept Paul tried to convey to the Philippians is not that “I” can do all things “for” Christ. It is that Christ can do all things in me and through me. The surrendered life is one of joy, peace, fulfillment and abundance, which defy all human reasoning.


This allows the more challenging moments of surrender to flow more easily. When God calls us to submit to His greater will, we readily offer our life to Him. If we walk through life in obedience to the Holy Spirit, we reap blessings that never end.



Father God, You make all things beautiful in the fullness of Your time (Ecclesiastes 3:11). You established Christ’s throne in this universe before You even created the cosmos (Psalm 90:2, 93:2). He will live with and rule over all those with a contrite and humble spirit (Isaiah 57:15).


Help us now to grow in Your grace and in the knowledge of You and Your ways (2 Peter 3:18). We delight in standing up for You, as well as in blessing Your name from eternity to eternity (1 Chronicles 16:36). We rejoice in the fact that Your faithful love for us, who are humbled by Your presence in our life, fills each moment of our day (Psalm 103:17).


Thought for the Day:

We shall not stand in shame in God’s holy presence, because He redeemed us with His everlasting salvation; He is the only God and our Savior who deserves all glory, majesty, power, and authority before all time and for all eternity.

– Isaiah 45:17; Jude 1:25



God’s Divine Appointments for Our Day

selective focus photography of purple and white petaled flower

During one of our snuggle times, my husband and I discovered a peculiar similarity that we did not realize that we shared. We both dislike using Times New Roman lettering in my blogging and His sermon prep … and … now, we both prefer Verdana, although we used to both prefer Tahoma.


With all of the various type settings, what are the chances that we would both dislike and prefer the same style, and even change styles to the same ones? A small fact, but heart-warming nonetheless. We smiled a little brighter and snuggled a little deeper after realizing this truth.


He also plans his three sermons for the week, and I write my five devotions for my blog, often with the same topic, verses and/or lessons and revelations on the same Biblical passages without even knowing what the other has written. We often tease that we read each other’s mind, but I think this just might be true.


In our busyness, we humans often fail to discover similarities that we also share with Jesus. Our schedules are full of foolishness, about which we fail to consult the Lord (Proverbs 3:5-6). This prevents us from walking in His perfect plan for our life (Ephesians 2:10). Yet, God is always waiting to speak to us in the midst of our to-do lists.


God sent Jesus to earth to destroy the works of the devil, and to take back dominion of the earth from him that used to belong to Adam and Eve prior to their willful sin (1 John 3:8). He had to leave His home in the glories of Heaven, and endure the suffering of this sin-filled earth for our sake (Philippians 2:5-8).


For three years before His crucifixion, Jesus spent His days healing the sick, casting out demons, instructing his disciples, feeding the multitudes, playing with the little children, ministering to the misguided souls around Him, showing compassion on the bereaved, etc.


Jesus told His disciples that His food – His substance for His life – was to do the will of our Father God (John 4:34). Do we see, in our life, this same focus that Jesus had? If not, then we can follow Jesus example to get there.


Jesus spent enormous amounts of time in our Father’s presence, listening to God’s direction and obeying His will, and we can too. Jesus called us to a ministry of greater works (John 14:12), and we can walk in them through the guidance of King Jesus by His Holy Spirit.



Father God, remind us to listen to Your direction for us each moment of our day (Proverbs 3:5-6), so that we will accomplish the works that You created for us to do before we were even born (Psalm 139; Ephesians 2:10). Subjects of Your divine appointments for our life are people in the retail store that we feel drawn to speak to, those waiting in an office in the chair close to ours or even across the room, people who move into our neighborhood or community, the stranger who visits our church worship service, etc.


Teach us that our plans for our day are never as important as Your direction for our moments of time. We accomplish so much more of our required tasks when we do them in Your order rather than in our own. Help us to realize that we can trust in and rely on You as our source, security, direction and empowerment every moment of every day.


Thought for the Day:

Jesus took every opportunity of divine guidance to change His world around Him; if we spend more time walking in the Spirit, we would encounter more divine appointments in our life as well, and we would discover those around us whom we have more in common with than we realize.


Healing During Grief

shallow focus photography of purple carnation flowers


During our lifetime, we may experience the loss of relationships, cherished pets, important material possessions, health, financial gains, etc. and it is important to allow our soul to mourn each one. This may take time, but it is vitally important and should not be hurried.


Attempting to ignore our pain in grief, multiplies our sorrow. We hide it away in our soul, but it resurfaces at times when we least expect it. Therefore, it is better for us to face our sorrow, fear, loneliness, etc. and to realize that these are normal reactions to loss that we all experience.


God is always in the midst of us during our sorrows. There is no disgrace is our reaction to loss. We all grieve in different ways because of our personality and our ability to cope with negative circumstances. If we experience reoccurring loss in our life, it is especially important to allow our self to grieve those injuries as they occur.


Sadness is often overwhelming at first, but it is part of the process of grieving that brings healing. Expressing our grief to a mentor, counselor, or writing about the events and our feelings in our journal gives us the opportunity to eventually improve our outlook and to recover an even greater measure of peace and joy in our life.


Crying is never a sign of weakness, and we do not have to hold in our tears in order to be strong for others. In fact, we are a better example to them, and we help them to heal from their grief by showing them that there is no humiliation in shedding our tears.


Expressing how we truly feel is helpful both to us and to other people. Unless we allow our sorrow to consume us, tears are temporary and necessary, because they wash away the grief in our soul, and we eventually experience hope and enjoy life once more (Psalm 30:5).



Father God, thank You for walking with us through the valleys we experience during times of loss. Help us to allow them to last as long as they need to in order for us to heal. We can have the faith to know that as we trust You with the next chapter of our life, that our grief will diminish and be less intense. Please strengthen our inner being to face our fears and to allow You to reshape our expectations of life.


Remind us that searching Your Word for verses pertaining to faith and comfort will help us to face our fears, and guide and encourage us on our journey toward healing. We rely on Your power and compassion to provide for all of our mental, emotional, physical, financial and spiritual needs both now and throughout our life. We trust in You with our whole heart, and we know without a doubt that You will comfort us in our grief.


Thought for the Day:

Healing Verses to Live By


Psalm 30:5 …“Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.” NKJV


Psalm 94:18-19… “Your mercy, O LORD, will hold me up. In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.” NKJV


Psalm 34:19… “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.” NKJV


Joshua 1:5… “No one will be able to oppose you as long as you live, for I will be with you just as I was with Moses; I will not abandon you or fail to help you. “ TLB


Matthew 6:34… “So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.” TLB


2 Thessalonians 2:16-17… “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.” NKJV


Jeremiah 29:11-13… “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 You will find me when you seek me, if you look for me in earnest.” TLB


Psalm 62:5-8… “My soul, wait silently for God alone,

For my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance. O my God, my soul is cast down within me; Therefore, I will remember You.” NKJV


Psalm 9:9-11 …“The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble.  And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You. Sing praises to the LORD, who dwells in Zion! Declare His deeds among the people.” NKJV


Psalm 27:5-6…“For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore, I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.” NKJV


1 Peter 5:6-9… “If you will humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, in his good time he will lift you up. 7 Let him have all your worries and cares, for he is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you. 8 Be careful – watch out for attacks from Satan, your great enemy. He prowls around like a hungry, roaring lion, looking for some victim to tear apart. 9 Stand firm when he attacks. Trust the Lord; and remember that other Christians all around the world are going through these sufferings too.” TLB




Christ’s Life within Us

brown wooden walkway near beach during daytime


What we spend the bulk of our time on is what has our attention, and part of our heart. We often fill our “free” time with video games, watching YouTube documentaries and television, surfing the internet for things to buy, chatting with friends, pursuing our hobbies, etc.


We do not see any value in focusing our attention on God’s Word, His Kingdom, and the will of our King of kings, Jesus Christ. We give God one hour a week in a corporate worship service, and maybe Sunday School, or a mid-week Bible Study as well.


We rarely read the Bible at home, listen to sermons online, spend time praising God from the depth of our heart, read books with Biblical themes, etc. Yet, these sources are ways that the Holy Spirit can enlighten us, and that we can mature spiritually.


We see no reason to take the time to pursue spiritual opportunities, because we have what we consider, other more interesting activities to fill our time. We do not want to be guilty of becoming “spooky spiritual” or being “so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good.”


However, the key to a fulfilled life is to incorporate spiritual pursuits into the earthly demands that fill our time. We do not need to choose one or the other, because we are capable of doing both at the same time. For instance, we listen to Christian music as we cook a meal or do our chores or carpool the children, or we can read our Bible app while we wait in line or for an appointment.


We are able to share with others what God is doing in our life, watch Christian movies with our children one night a week or more, and carve out time each day to spend in prayer with our spouse. Just prior to falling asleep, we nestle into the couch with a cup of hot tea while we spend time with our favorite devotional author.


We are prepared to approach the Lord prior to making any decisions or commencing any project during the day, all the while praying without ceasing as we walk in the Spirit while following the required schedule on our calendar. Consulting God through each of these events saves us time and frustration, as it opens doors for divine appointments.


This spiritual focus allows us to experience the power of Christ in and through our life. He lives the Christian life for us during the activities in which He inspires us to participate (Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 2:12-13). We walk in the Spirit and we stop fulfilling the desires of our flesh (Galatians 5:15-25).



Father God, we want You to manifest Your power during every situation of every one of our days. We rely on You, we trust in You, and we are developing faith in Your faithfulness. Remind us that we are crucified with Christ, and that we no longer live our life, but Christ lives in and through us. We live by the faith of Christ in us, because He loves us and gave Himself for us (Galatians 2:20).


Help us to see the reality of the fact that we are temples in which Your Holy Spirit dwells (2 Corinthians 6:16; Romans 8:9-11). The extent to which we surrender to Your will in our life is the degree to which You are able to use us for Your Kingdom and glory. Thank You for filling us with Christ’s divine nature, Your Holy Spirit’s power and guidance, and Your love and joy and peace through every trial that we ever experience.


Thought for the Day:

As we adopt God’s plan for us as our way of life, we will decrease as Christ increases within us; we focus on what He focused on, we live simple and uncluttered lives as He did, and we diminish the carnal life and desires in our heart by cooperating with Him as He makes us into a new creation.

– 1 John 2:6; Ephesians 4:22-24