Category: Faith

Here you will find inspiration and encouragement from the Word of God.

His Encouragement: Isaiah 48:17

His Encouragement: Isaiah 48:17

A cheery and warm welcome, dearest friends, to His Encouragement: Biblical Inspiration for Your Thursday. Every Thursday, a few blogging friends and I will each bring you a Bible passage and a little hope-filled discussion. We pray that these Thursday posts help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you. We also welcome you to join the conversation by commenting with your thoughts. God bless!

Today’s Encouragement

“This is what the Lord says—
    your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“I am the Lord your God,
    who teaches you what is good for you
    and leads you along the paths you should follow.

Isaiah 48:17, NLT

When you don’t know what to do or where to go, trust in the Lord to guide you. He knows what is best for us and will lead, if we ask Him to.

About five years ago, I wrote all about growing your faith while waiting on God. Wait on the Lord. Waiting is one of life’s most difficult challenges.

Perhaps you are waiting on the Lord to work in our life right now. It could be guidance with which college to attend, what degree to pursue, what career to enter, where to re-locate, or what man or woman to marry. It could be help with broken relationships, financial issues, or devastating health problems.

During the waiting time, we may struggle with a wide range of high and low feelings; confidence in the Lord and then discouragement when He seems to be quiet.

So what do we do? Do we give up? Give in? God forbid!

Waiting is never easy, but there is always a reason. Even though we cannot see it while we are in the present, the Lord knows exactly what we need and when. If we look back over those times in our lives where we thought the Lord was not answering our prayers — when the waiting seemed to be unbearable — we are able to see the Lord’s hand guiding us through. That alone should give us courage to push onward and endure any future that awaits.

In the here and now, though, we need to trust that the Lord, “who teaches you what is good for you”, will “lead you along the paths you should follow.”

Isaiah 48:17 overlaid on a forest.

Now it is your turn! How does today’s verse encourage you? What verse or passage is blessing you today?

 

Be sure to also visit my fellow bloggers and read their encouragement for your Thursday as well:

Are you a blogger? If you would like to join us every Thursday, please contact Trisha or Nicole.

His Encouragement: 2 Thessalonians 3:16

His Encouragement: 2 Thessalonians 3:16

A cheery and warm welcome, dearest friends, to His Encouragement: Biblical Inspiration for Your Thursday. Every Thursday, a few blogging friends and I will each bring you a Bible passage and a little hope-filled discussion. We pray that these Thursday posts help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you. We also welcome you to join the conversation by commenting with your thoughts. God bless!

Today’s Encouragement

“Now the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.” — 2 Thessalonians 3:16, KJV

It is hard when you cry out to the Lord and it seems as if — at least for the moment — the Lord is slow in answering your plea. It can be discouraging and confusing, especially if you are in the midst of a turbulent trial.

Earlier this week, we received the official confirmation regarding my mom’s health crisis. It is, indeed, advanced Stage IV Breast Cancer that has metastasized to bones in her spine. The doctors were grim, implying without actually saying it, that really all they can do at this late stage is to make Mom as “comfortable” as possible.

My mom just turned 57 in March. Six months ago, she was living a vibrant, active life. She loves to go hiking with my dad, and not short little things but long hikes along the various desert trails within an hour’s drive of the Phoenix metropolitan area. She is also healthy and has been living a well-balanced plant-based diet since 2010. Two years ago, she completed certification to be a wellness coach and a very prestigious plant-based cooking course.

She is a godly woman and very active in her church: director of the Pathfinders Club, juniors Sabbath School teacher, playing the flute for a small ensemble, and singing in the choir. Over the years, she has given one-on-one Bible studies and she has lead out in powerful prayer sessions. She and my dad together are the spiritual rock of our family.

There is no history of cancer of any kind in our family. Heart problems… sure. Dementia… Yeah. Cancer? Nope. Not a trace. The last three weeks since Mom’s visit to the ER has been a whirlwind. We have prayed like we have never prayed before, and we trust the Lord completely.

But there is still the heart-wrenching question: “Why, God? Why?”

Sometimes we might find ourselves asking the same question the disciples asked Jesus: “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Only, in our case, it goes more like: “Lord, who sinned that s/he has developed cancer?”

And I imagine the Lord Jesus looking at us with sad eyes and saying: “No one specifically sinned. Cancer is a symptom of a world contaminated with sin. This is not how it was intended to be.”

It is not fair. Cancer is never fair. It is not fair that a friend’s precious six-year-old is battling an aggressive form of a rare cancer. It is not fair that another friend’s dad has stage III cancer. It is not fair that my husband lost a childhood friend to this horrid disease in their mid-twenties. There is hardly a person today who has not known someone or knows someone who knows someone who has been touched by it.

If you are struggling with a devastating diagnosis, of yourself or a loved one, I know what it is like to cry your heart out to the Lord and feel that He is not answering or, even worse, His answer is “No, my precious one.”

We cannot see with the eyes of God. We do not know the end from the beginning. He is more than able to heal, but perhaps there is something much greater than us going on. A bigger picture that only God can see.

And it hurts. Yes. It is tears your heart up into pieces. You may say: “Lord, I just don’t understand.” And there will be things this side of heaven we will not understand.

But know that in the midst of your storm — even if the answer to your prayers is the dreaded “no” — the Lord offers a peace. This peace does not mean it does not hurt. This peace does not mean you won’t cry and grieve. This peace means that even so, Lord Jesus, I trust in You.

Beloved, may you have this peace. The Lord be with you.

May the Lord give you peace at all times and in all ways. 2 Thessalonians 3:16.

Now it is your turn! How does today’s verse encourage you? What verse or passage is blessing you today?

 

Be sure to also visit my fellow bloggers and read their encouragement for your Thursday as well:

Are you a blogger? If you would like to join us every Thursday, please contact Trisha or Nicole.

His Encouragement: Psalm 46:1

His Encouragement: Psalm 46:1

A cheery and warm welcome, dearest friends, to His Encouragement: Biblical Inspiration for Your Thursday. Every Thursday, a few blogging friends and I will each bring you a Bible passage and a little hope-filled discussion. We pray that these Thursday posts help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you. We also welcome you to join the conversation by commenting with your thoughts. God bless!

Today’s Encouragement

God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present help in trouble.” — Psalm 46:1, ESV

Have you ever had those weeks where it seems everything happens all at once? Have you received bad news? Are you overwhelmed? No matter what you are facing right now, whatever your struggles are, remember two things:

  1. It is okay to cry. Even just a casual reading through the Psalms show that crying is a way our hearts and minds help process difficulties. In Psalm 639:3, David wrote: “I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God.”
  2. Turn to God for help. But in our sorrow, confusion, depression, pain, etc. we should to be crying out to the Lord. Psalm 46:1, today’s verse of encouragement, says: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

Throughout the Scriptures, we are encouraged to turn to the Lord in our times of need, and with His strength and might, we can do anything! (Philippians 4:13, Mark 10:27)

I have learned in my own experiences that the more I fixate on the problem, the more anxiety I feel until I become overwhelmed. However, if I “let go and let God” take over, everything falls into place. Perhaps not as quickly as I would like, perhaps not even in the way I would like, but the Lord always knows best. So even during my most difficult times, I am learning to trust in Him and His plan. And when I am not sure what His plan is, I praise the Lord for the blessings He provides in the midst of the storm.

Now it is your turn! How does today’s verse encourage you? What verse or passage is blessing you today?

 

Be sure to also visit my fellow bloggers and read their encouragement for your Thursday as well:

Are you a blogger? If you would like to join us every Thursday, please contact Trisha or Nicole.

His Encouragement: Psalm 30:4-5

His Encouragement: Psalm 30:4-5

A cheery and warm welcome, dearest friends, to His Encouragement: Biblical Inspiration for Your Thursday. Every Thursday, a few blogging friends and I will each bring you a Bible verse and a little hope-filled discussion. We pray that these Thursday posts help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you. We also welcome you to join the conversation by commenting with your thoughts. God bless!

Today’s Encouragement

“Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” — Psalm 30:4-5, ESV

Have you ever had a week in which your entire world was turned upside down? Where the events of your days feel surreal, like a nightmare that you just want to wake up from? That is what my family is experiencing right now. Just this last Saturday, my mom was diagnosed with metastatic disease of the spine. It is most likely Stage IV Breast Cancer with metastasis to the spine, though we would need more thorough tests to confirm. It provided answers to some of the questions that we had, especially after my mom injured her back in December and the pain kept getting worse instead of better, but it was definitely not the answer we were praying for.

It is times like this that our trust in God is tested. We may not be able to understand the why, but we know our God is greater than cancer. He is the great Physician, the Almighty Creator. He is ABLE to heal! More than able. And that is our earnest prayer.

But sometimes in His wisdom and mercy the answer is “no”. So (like the three Hebrews said before Nebuchadnezzar) if not, we continue to trust Him and take solace in the blessed hope of Christ’s return. I chose today’s verse for my own broken heart. “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” I have done a lot of crying the last few days, but I know that no matter what happens, we WILL be rejoicing. “Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name.”

My family is doing all we can to raise the funds to provide my mom with an alternative, more holistic treatment option. You can learn more at Help Lynne fight cancer. We are asking all our family, friends, and connections to join us April 25-29 in giving just $10 one time to help us reach the goal we need so she can start the treatment.

Most importantly, we are asking for prayers. Prayers for healing. Prayers for pain management. Prayers for sleep. Prayers for comfort.

It is times like these that our faith is tested, because we often cannot see the why. However, no matter the outcome, we have to decided to trust in the Lord. We do not grieve as the world grieves, because we believe that Jesus died and rose again, conquering death and the grave, and He will return victorious. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) And that there will be a future with no more sorrow, no more tears, no more pain. (Revelation 21:4) So if you, too, are processing world-shattering news, there is hope, a blessed hope. Cling to it, cling to the Lord, and He will help you overcome.

My mom, my sisters, my niece, and me at Thanksgiving last year.

Now it is your turn! How does today’s verse encourage you? What verse or passage is blessing you today?

 

Be sure to also visit my fellow bloggers and read their encouragement for your Thursday as well:

Are you a blogger? If you would like to join us every Thursday, please contact Trisha or Nicole.

His Encouragement: Psalm 27:14

His Encouragement: Psalm 27:14

A cheery and warm welcome, dearest friends, to His Encouragement: Biblical Inspiration for Your Thursday. Every Thursday, a few blogging friends and I will each bring you a Bible verse and a little hope-filled discussion. We pray that these Thursday posts help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you. We also welcome you to join the conversation by commenting with your thoughts. God bless!

Today’s Thursday Encouragement

Wait on the LordBe of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” — Psalm 27:14, NKJV

Waiting is hard!

Waiting is one of life’s most difficult challenges. Impatience is a common thread in the history of humanity, and in today’s fast-paced society addicted to instant gratification, waiting even just a little bit has become agonizing. Remember back in the 1990s when you had to wait for the Internet connection to dial up or for websites to take 3-ish minutes to load? Now we grow impatient if a website takes more than 30 seconds to load!

We often grow tired of waiting. It is much easier to either give up whatever it was we were waiting for or try to get the result we wanted ourselves. Then what happens when we have to wait an hour, a day, a week, a month, a year or more for something?

Unfortunately, the expectation of instant gratification can weasel its way into our spiritual life as well. Impatience in spiritual matters can pose a threat to our faith and our trust in the Lord. The longer we wait, the greater the opportunity for our courage and conviction to waver. The human heart, after all, is a frail thing. Yet, throughout the Scriptures, we are reminded: “Wait on the Lord.”

But have you ever had to wait? Are you waiting now? Perhaps you are currently waiting for an answer to a fervent prayer regarding a big decision for your life and your family. Maybe you or a loved one are facing a health crisis and it seems your prayers for healing are going unnoticed. It could be that you are feeling alone, unheard, abandoned. Don’t be discouraged! Let’s read the second half of Psalm 27:14 together: “And He [the Lord] shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!”

Even when it seems God is silent, He is never far away from us and He knows better than we do. We need to trust in Him and He will give us the strength to pull through the dreadful period of waiting. The answers will come, but in His time. Not ours.

Now it is your turn! How does today’s verse encourage you? What verse or passage is blessing you today?

 

Be sure to also visit my fellow bloggers and read their encouragement for your Thursday as well:

Are you a blogger? If you would like to join us every Thursday, please contact Trisha or Nicole.

His Encouragement: Jeremiah 31:25

His Encouragement: Jeremiah 31:25

A cheery and warm welcome, dearest friends, to His Encouragement: Biblical Inspiration for Your Thursday. Every Thursday, a few blogging friends and I will each bring you a Bible verse and a little hope-filled discussion. We pray that these Thursday posts help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you. We also welcome you to join the conversation by commenting with your thoughts. God bless!

Today’s Thursday Encouragement

“For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.” — Jeremiah 31:25, ESV

I was exhausted. Our second child is now nine weeks old, but the first five weeks were challenging beyond my expectations. He was a fussy newborn, at times unconsolable, and he had his days and nights all mixed up. On top of that, a short time after he was born, his big brother began getting his molars. For almost a month, if one was not crying at night, the other one was. I had never been so sleep deprived. I barely was able to get 2-3 hours of sleep a night, and even that was interrupted sleep! (Five minutes here, ten minutes there, etc.)

My mom can relate. In December, she injured her back badly, and while on a walk around her neighborhood in January, she was bitten by a dog on her leg. Trying to relieve one injury and ease aching muscles caused the back pain to worsen. Since then, she has been in severe pain every day. Often unable to sit or lay down, she, too, gets less than three hours of sleep most nights.

Anyone who has experienced severe sleep deprivation over days and weeks (or even months!) understands firsthand that it is not good for our bodies or our minds. Not only are we physically wiped out, but our minds start… doing unusual things. We also start behaving like a completely different person, a stranger, whose emotions are hard to control. Some of us may even start thinking things we never would have thought if we were well rested or without pain.

It can be very hard when you yourself or someone you love is in severe pain over an extended period of time. Sometimes it might feel like you (or they) are going through this experience all alone. Perhaps you (or they) even begin to question their faith. We may not be able to see or understand why the Lord allowed our situation; however, we should not give up faith or hope. Even during these hard times, the Lord promises to always be with us. The Lord has promised: “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”

Let us grab hold and claim that promise!

 

Jeremiah 31:25 super-imposed over a calming waterfall.

Now it is your turn! How does today’s verse encourage you? What verse or passage is blessing you today?

 

Be sure to also visit my fellow bloggers and read their encouragement for your Thursday as well:

Are you a blogger? If you would like to join us every Thursday, please contact Trisha or Nicole.

His Encouragement: John 16:33

His Encouragement: John 16:33

A cheery and warm welcome, dearest friends, to His Encouragement: Biblical Inspiration for Your Thursday. Every Thursday, a few blogging friends and I will each bring you a Bible verse and a little hope-filled discussion. We pray that these Thursday posts help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you. We also welcome you to join the conversation by commenting with your thoughts. God bless!

Today’s Thursday Encouragement

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” — John 16:33, ESV

These words were spoken by Jesus to His disciples only a short time before His arrest and subsequent execution. He was trying to prepare them for what was going to happen and give them the encouragement they would need to get through perhaps the darkest time in their lives. Even though He had warned them, the disciples had no idea that soon their Rabbi, their teacher, their leader — the man whom they believed was the long awaited Messiah — would be betrayed into the hands of the Jewish religious leaders by one of their own and die a horrible death upon a Roman cross.

Surely, as the disciples later hid themselves fearing for their own lives (John 20:19), they must have felt a very deep hopelessness coupled with sorrow and confusion. They had believed that as the Messiah Jesus would have eventually become king of Israel and somehow ousted the Romans from the land. They did not yet comprehend Jesus’ true mission. Those hours and days between His arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane and His resurrection, they must have been at their lowest point.

And it was for that time specifically that Jesus said these comforting words: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.” Everything He said and everything He did was intended to teach His followers important lessons, from which they would find peace. You, too, can find peace and comfort in the words of Jesus Christ. No matter what your tribulation is, you can have “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7) precisely because Jesus has overcome this world through His death and resurrection.

So, beloved, take heart! Do not give up hope. May you be encouraged with the peace of God.

John 16:33 overlayed on a photograph of a desert landscape

Now it is your turn! What verse or passage is blessing you today?

 

Be sure to also visit my fellow bloggers and read their encouragement for your Thursday:

His Encouragement: Galatians 5:22-23

His Encouragement: Galatians 5:22-23

A cheery and warm welcome, dearest friends, to His Encouragement: Biblical Inspiration for Your Thursday. Every Thursday, a few blogging friends and I will each bring you a Bible verse and a little hope-filled discussion. We pray that these Thursday posts help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you. We also welcome you to join the conversation by commenting with your thoughts. God bless!

Today’s Thursday Encouragement

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” — Galatians 5:22-23, ESV

Today’s encouragement comes from two verses that you probably are familiar with. Our fallen human nature means that living a Christ-like life is foreign to us and not something we can do on our own.

In fact, earlier in Galatians 5, the apostle Paul talks about the “works of the flesh” and even lists many. He says: “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these.” And then he adds: “I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21)

But immediately after pointing out our sins and our inclination towards these “works of the flesh”, he gives us hope by sharing the fruit of the Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” (vs 22-23) Notice that the word fruit is singular, not plural. I heard it said once that you cannot pick and choose which characteristics you want. You cannot say: “Well, I have love and faithfulness, but I don’t need self-control or patience.”

No, the fruit of the Spirit is a packaged deal. Through the daily surrendering of ourselves to the Lord, His Spirit will transform our characters into being more like Christ. As we grow to be more like Christ, our lives will bear His “fruit”. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control — the fruit of the Spirit — will become more evident in our lives and be a witness to those around us.

So if you find yourself struggling, take heart! As Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23, ESV) Leave the works of the flesh behind and ask, in earnest prayer, for the Holy Spirit to make you more like Christ.

Now it is your turn! What verse or passage is blessing you today?

 

Be sure to also visit my fellow bloggers and read their encouragement for your Thursday:

His Encouragement: Psalm 71:3

His Encouragement: Psalm 71:3

A cheery and warm welcome, dearest friends, to His Encouragement: Biblical Inspiration for Your Thursday. Every Thursday, a few blogging friends and I will each bring you a Bible verse and a little hope-filled discussion. We pray that these Thursday posts help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you. We also welcome you to join the conversation by commenting with your thoughts. God bless!

Today’s Thursday Encouragement

Be to me a rock of refuge,
    to which I may continually come;
you have given the command to save me,
    for you are my rock and my fortress.
Psalm 71:3, ESV


Image: It Is Written

This verse is a beautiful reminder of God’s love and care for us, especially during the difficult times. The imagery of a strong fortress is used here to represent the ideal relationship between us and God. What is a refuge? A place of protection or safety. What is a strong fortress? It is a place intended for individuals to retreat to during enemy attacks. The Lord wants to be our refuge, our fortress, the place we turn to in a crisis.

Whether you are stressed, frantically busy, lonely, exhausted, worried, brokenhearted, or whatever you may be going through today, may you find comfort in knowing that God wants to be your “rock of refuge” and your “fortress” if you let Him.

Now it is your turn! What verse or passage is blessing you today?

 

Be sure to also visit my fellow bloggers and read their encouragement for your Thursday:

His Encouragement: 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

His Encouragement: 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

A cheery and warm welcome, dearest friends, to His Encouragement: Biblical Inspiration for Your Thursday. Every Thursday, a few blogging friends and I will each bring you a Bible verse and a little hope-filled discussion. We pray that these Thursday posts help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you. We also welcome you to join the conversation by commenting with your thoughts. God bless!

Today’s Thursday Encouragement

Praised be God, Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, compassionate Father, God of all encouragement and comfort; who encourages us in all our trials, so that we can encourage others in whatever trials they may be undergoing with the encouragement we ourselves have received from God.” — 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, CJB

 

This last month has been challenging and the last few days have been especially hard, mostly due to lack of sleep but also a few other stressful circumstances have contributed. Perhaps you, too, have been having a rough go of it lately or maybe you have experienced such a time in your past. It can be difficult when we are in the midst of our trials to see the bright side of things, but we should never forget that our God is a God of encouragement and comfort. We can always turn to Him!

When I am troubled, I find comfort in the passage of 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. Not only does it remind us of God love for us, but it also encourages us to use our experiences, our trials, to help others who might be going through a similar challenge or trial. Did you know that shifting your focus away from yourself and on to others helps your brain to break the cycle of negativity? I am not saying you should not think about your situation or give yourself the care that you need, but sometimes we can find ourselves dwelling too much on the negative aspects of whatever circumstance we find ourselves in. If we constantly dwell on the bad things, soon our minds will only notice the bad things and all good things and blessings will be lost sight of, forgotten, ignored. By praising God for all of his mercies and blessings, even in the darkest of times, we make a choice to not become obsessed with the bad things.

So praise the Lord for all of the blessings He has poured out upon you and find a way to use your trials to bless and comfort someone else.

Now it is your turn! What verse or passage is blessing you today?

 

Be sure to also visit my fellow bloggers and read their encouragement for your Thursday: