Bethany's BlogWords of Encouragement

When You Need Directions

Have you ever felt lost in your life, with no sense of direction, or fulfillment?  Maybe a feeling of emptiness and waywardness?  I have.  And, I spent several years trying to fill those places with useless activities in hopes of finding a solution.  For me, I was searching for something, but didn't really know what it was. There was an internal clawing inside my heart and soul that would never let up, but only led me in a spiral of senseless circles, until I surrendered.

In Isaiah 58:11 of the Passion Translation I was reminded of my senseless journey, and how God scooped me up and brought me direction and refreshment.  Listen to what this verse says, it's really amazing:

"Yahweh will always guide you where to go and what to do. He will fill you with refreshment even when you are in a dry, difficult place. He will continually restore strength to you, so you will flourish like a well-watered garden and like an ever-flowing, trustworthy spring of blessing."

So, he promises to guide his people where to go and what to do.  He is promising direction.  When I think about how treacherous the path of life can sometimes be, these words feel very good to me, I want a guide.  I am thankful for this promise.  I've lived without claiming it, I don't want to go there again.  Have you asked Jesus to be your Guide today, have you claimed this heavenly promise as your very own?

He will take our emptiness and fill us with refreshment! And, when we start to weaken again, he will give us more strength, so we are able to thrive, and because we are thriving we will be a blessing!  

Who wouldn't want this?  This is like winning the lottery every day, except better.  Those dry, difficult places can be very long and painful. I've been in many of them. God does meet us there, and hold us tenderly with his nourishment, and he does bring us to the other side of the pain.  

Today, may the God of direction be in everything we do and say. When difficulty overtakes us, let us call out to him for his continual strength to pour through us and restore us in the thriving, abundant blessings he created us to be! 

When Love Leads

We all want to be loved. Right? God is love and He pursues us with a passion that is fierce and crazy.  Yet, some of us run from him.  Some of us grab on to other loves that fill us up emotionally or physically, and we just ignore God all together.  Or, we get so wrapped up in each other that we don't see God at all.  We just see issues, problems, stuff, and we begin to wonder where God is, then life is full of questions only.  Doubt creeps in and overules our thoughts of faith, and that dampens our sense of love.

Without love, there is no freedom.

Some may have eloquence, but if there is no love it sounds like a rusty creaky gate or if one speaks God's Word with power but without love,  there is nothing.  I could give all I have to the poor and still not love them, it's meaningless.

"Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. Love doesn't strut, doesn't have a swelled head, doesn't force itself on others, isn't always 'me first'  doesn't fly off the handle, doesn't keep score of the sins of others, doesn't revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts uo with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end."  ! Corinthinans 13:4-7

That's a tall order! God has NOT given up on you or me. He has forgiven us for the times we have given up.  He cares so much for us that he gave his life, and he continues to forgive us when we are selfish with our  life. God doesn't push his way through, he is a Gentleman.  He gently reminds us with his soft voice that we are not the center of the universe! God is truth, he sees us at our best and he looks for the best.  He isn't looking back at what any of us have done, but keeping an eye on what he knows we will do in love!

When You Need a Promise

 

 

This morning I read Isaiah 49, the entire chapter spoke to my heart.  Immediately, it starts out with this: Yehweh called me as his own before I was born and named me while I was still in my mother's womb. He gives me words that pierce and penetrate. He hid me and protected me in the shadow of his hand. 

I love the image of God naming me before I was even born, the idea of him tenderly looking upon me while I was in the womb of my mother and whispering the name He chose for me.  He doesn't stop there, He continues to whisper words like Loved, Chosen, Beautiful, and my Daughter.... He tells me, while I am in the womb, that whatever happens on earth this is who I am to him, and he will keep me in the shadow of his hand.

Futher along in the chapter I am reminded of how I sometimes feel when trials overwhelm me and I feel abandon by this very God that whispered such treasures in my ear: Yehweh has forsaken me. My Lord has forgotten me-I'm all alone.  

Yehweh responds, "But how could a loving mother forget her nursing child and not deeply love the one she bore? Even if there is a mother who forgets her child, I could never, no never, forget you. Can't you see? I have carved your name on the palms of my hands!"

And so it is, He does not forget who we are, he does not stop loving you!

God is solid, loyal, faithful.  How many friends do you have that would actually tatoo your name on their hand?  He has made a covenant with us to stay through thick and thin, from beginning to end. Listen to this:

I will never disappoint those who entwine their hearts with mine.

To me, that is an amazing promise. Whose heart is yours entwined with today?

Where Do You Hide?

As a child I use to hide under the dining room table on top of the chairs, but as I got older I realized that I had not chosen a very good hiding place and I simply began to hide within my mind. It was far more effective and creative! But, then, as I grew closer to Jesus and His desires I realized that hiding within my mind was not His way and was not truthful, and thus began the process of letting go of being my own hiding place and running to Him as a place to hide.

In Psalms 32 this morning I read about God being my hiding place: "You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance." verse 7

As I hide in Jesus,  He keeps me from the troubles of this world, and while I am with Him, He surrounds me with courage. He gives strength. He provides refuge. A place to breathe and receive living water. Renewal, revival, courage,  hope, and perseverance.

I like that I have a place to hide, it feels safe. Being in the arms of God, Captured in His Hands, feels safe to me. I need to hide there, away from trouble. I need to know that when I venture out into our world, I am hidden IN Christ. He has me covered, delivered, saved, redeemed, renewed, and loved!

Where do you hide when you need refuge?

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