Be Encouraged


This scripture is one of hundreds of favorites! It is a reminder that our Heavenly Father does not miss a thing. Just as He chose Israel, we are also told we are chosen. He has a purpose and plan for every one of our lives but when difficulties and trials come along we can forget. Sometimes we will wonder; does God see what’s happening? Does He hear our cries? At times it may feel God is far off and distant; He is not! Sometimes when He is silent we can wonder if God is still near; He is! More times than not when I feel any of these, the truth is I am tired or impatient. I want things to happen in my timing rather than in God’s timing. I want to know what I don’t know about the situation. I just want the difficulty to be over.

Thankfully, God knows our hearts. He also knows we are humans and we have weaknesses. Psalm 3:14 reminds us, “For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.” His Word also reminds us that even when we are faithless; He is faithful. Paul told us in 1 Coriinthians 12 that God’s grace is sufficient and in our weaknesses, He is strong! Jeremiah 29:11 and the verses following are a great reminder that our Father knows us; He loves us. God has good plans for us and for our future! He’s not sitting up there idle even when it might seem that way to those of us down here. His timing is perfect and God is always working things out behind the scenes. Romans 8:28 tells us that God works all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Notice it did not say all good things but that all things (even the bad things) can be worked for our good and His glory.

We will always have trials and troubles as long as we walk this earth BUT God is able to help us whatever comes into our path, if we are patient and allow Him to work. In the end, He will redeem it and use if for our good and His glory. Does that mean we will like what we sometimes must walk through? No! What it means is we will not have to walk through it alone and He can and will redeem it and use it to refine us into a better person in the long run. It may not be in our time frame, but it will happen in His perfect timing. I can say with complete honesty, every trail I have struggled with (in hindsight) has worked to make me who I am today. There have been many struggles that I just wanted to go away. There have been great, seemingly senseless losses of loved ones. There have been trials that if you’d asked me then my remark would have been, “I will not survive this!” Do I want to repeat them? NO! I can say with all certainty and confidence looking back on those times that I NEVER walked alone even when it felt as though I did. God never abandoned me even if it felt like it. Lastly, everyone of those experiences have culminated in who I am today and have solidified my faith; taught me to face my fears; and given me hope to go forward and walk this path no matter what the world or the enemy throws my way!

Our God is faithful! He will never leave or forsake His child! Feelings lie and say He has, but He will not!



I just love this  picture. It is so peaceful and relaxing! It brings back incredible memories of a great trip with some very amazing people. Yet when I really think about our trip and how wonderful it was, basking in the memories, I have forgotten the whole truth about those days. Our trip was not only for fun but was packed with so much more.
We had a itinerary that was fast paced and filled with lots of learning aside from wonderful sights, historical and spiritual facts that left our minds buzzing.
The last few weeks I have been feeling the need to take some time away, possibly a sabbatical of sorts. Just some time for God and me away from the day-to-day rush of life and all its distractions and busyness. Looking back on photos from the trip today that I just “happened” to run across brought back some wonderful memories.That in itself was a great blessing but it also brought a revelation! As nice as it is to run away for a time of rest and revelation or rest and recuperation, that is not really what we are called to do. Please don’t misunderstand, there is nothing wrong with those times of refreshing. However, we can experience them even in the midst of even the most hectic of days just like we did on our trip. Most days we were on the go 12 hours plus coming back, getting cleaned up, dinner and after dinner walks, laundry, etc. Still, God found many occasions to speak through the Holy Spirit, through our fellow sojourners; our guides; through nature and even the rain;and through the Land of the Bible. I also thought of the mighty rushing waters in Dan, one of the headwaters of the Jordan river. Here was one of the most peaceful places that I have ever experienced, yet the rushing waters were thunderous and the loudest I have ever heard. Still His still small voice was there and very audible.
As the day wore on, I was listening to a friend as she was speaking of how sometimes when we are working in a small or tight place, we must de-clutter and make room, then the work can actually take place! Another friend wisely said today, not knowing about my journey down memory lane or dreams of a retreat, “it is God, not the place where we are that is important”. Bottom line, God is always speaking to us either through His Word, His Holy Spirit, through the words of others. The million dollar question, will we daily de-clutter and listen?