Archive - March 2016

8 Scriptures for when you feel alone

Have you ever felt alone? Have you ever carried a burden that you felt no one else would understand? Have you ever longed for some understanding soul to come along and lift your spirits?

I’m sure we all have at some point.

I know I have.

As members of the body of christ, we are supposed to be there for each other. We are supposed to bear one another’s burdens.

But sometimes we drop the ball. Sometimes our lives are crazy and our sisters in Christ get lost in the shuffle.

Sometimes we are the ones who get lost. Maybe marriage difficulties have left us feeling isolated from our husbands. What if the burden is one we don’t feel we can share?

Sometimes it’s no ones fault, we just feel stranded.

What are we supposed to do then?

We turn to God. Where we should have turned in the first place. When David was distressed, he encouraged himself in the Lord his God. (1 Samuel 30:6) We can follow his example.

Here are eight scriptures for those times when you feel alone in this world.

Sometimes even our closest friends can hurt us. Sometimes we hurt them. In any human interaction there is the possibility, even the probability, that we will be hurt and left feeling alone.

1. Proverbs‬ ‭18:24‬ ‭

“there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”‭‭

Sometimes even our closest friends can hurt us. Sometimes we hurt them. In any human interaction there is the possibility, even the probability, that we will be hurt and left feeling alone. 

But our Savior will never let us down. He will never leave us feeling alone. If we keep our eyes on Him, we will always have someone in our corner.

2. ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭13:5‬ ‭

“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

‭‭‭‭It’s easy look around and us at others who appear to have lots of friends, a perfect marriage, or large support group rallying around them, and feel we’re missing out. But no ones life is perfect, and looking at what others have will only leave us more dissatisfied.

Just as no one else’s life is perfect, ours is rarely as bleak as we think. If  we stop focusing on what we don’t have, and focus on what we do have, we’ll probably find we already have what we need.

3. Matthew‬ ‭28:20

“lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

When your world feels like it’s falling apart and you have nowhere to turn, The Savior is there. He never left you, not for one minute. And He never will.

Ever second of every day He walks with us. He experiences all of our joys and sorrows. He sees every tear, and knows every pain. He’s not turned off by our brokenness.

He longs for us to turn our brokenness over to Him, and let Him fill in the cracks and change it into something beautiful.

4. ‭‭‭‭Psalms‬ ‭37:25

“I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”

Friend, are you a child of God? If so, then you are one of the righteous, and you will never be forsaken. You will never be forgotten.

The entire world may turn its back on us, with or without cause, but our Heavenly Father never will. Not matter how we disappoint Him, He will always welcome us with open arms.

5. 2 Corinthians‬ ‭4:8-9‬

“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;”

Our enemy wants us to believe that we have been abandoned. He loves it when we believe everyone has turned their backs on us, and start feeling sorry for ourselves. Even if it’s only one person that we think has abandoned us, the devil celebrates when we let it get us down in the dumps.

Even if our dearest friend really has walked away, God will be there to fill the void if we let Him. He will not forsake us.

6. 1 Corinthians‬ ‭3:9

“For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” (Emphasis added)

The moment we become children of God, He begins a work in us. Molding and shaping us until we are a perfect reflection of Christ. If we’re not growing and changing, then we’re dead. Growth is nessasary for life, and whatever God allows in our lives is intended to grow us. Even the loneliness.

He doesn’t intend for us to walk those roads alone. The work is a joint effort. He wants our cooperation, and promises His presence.

He wants to work in us, through us, and with us. He won’t let us go it alone.

7. ‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:35, 38-39

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

No matter what this world, and our enemy throw at us, we can never be separated from God’s love. It’s not possible.

He has given us a promise that He will never leave us. It’s up to us to believe that promise. Cling to it. Cherish it. Holding onto this promise might just mean the difference between persevering in our work for the Kingdom, and quitting it all.

When we remember who is fighting for us, we can endure any hardship. We can survive any storm, and even thrive in the midst of it.

8. Philippians 4:19

“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Emphasis added)

This isn’t one we normally associate with companionship. Normally we think of more tangible needs, like food, clothing, and shelter, and those certainly apply, but this verse says all our needs. Not just the easy ones.

The needs we think only another human being can meet, He can supply those too.

Yes, God uses others to meet our needs. But if we’re constantly wanting someone to meet our needs, we can never be the one He uses to meet the needs of others.

We miss out twice this way. We miss the peace and comfort only God can give, and we miss the blessing of being used by God to bless someone else.

Our God is truly our everything. No human being can supply what only God can. We need to go to Him to have our tanks filled. Only when we’re trusting Him for our every need, can we become all that He wants us to be.

Did some of these surprise you? Do you have any you would add? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Let me know in the comments what I left out!

I’m Linking up at A Little R & R and Grace & Truth


 

Confessions Of A Recovering Politics Junky

Once upon a time I was really into politics. The radio or television was on some news channel pretty much the whole day, and I would spend large amounts of time reading news sites online. I thought about politics all the time.

My mind was constantly churning with thoughts of all that was wrong in world, and what would fix it. Of course I had the answers, if only anyone would listen. (Ahem)

One election cycle several years ago, I remember becoming so emotionally invested in the election and in my preferred candidate that I had a physical reaction when that candidate dropped out.

It occurred to later that maybe this wasn’t good. Staying informed is one thing, but I had taken it to an unhealthy level.

So I quit it all.

I stopped turning on the radio, and the television. I stopped checking all those news sites. I stopped obsessing.

I still manage to keep more or less up to speed with what’s going on in the world, but I don’t spend hours a day on it.

That said, this current election cycle is driving me bonkers. I really just want to go to sleep and wake up it find it all over with. While I do tend to be impatient, there’s more to it than that.

It seems almost impossible to avoid being bombarded with vast amounts of information. A lot of which is frankly contradictory. It feels like an impossible task to wade through all of it to find the truth.

And people are becoming emotionally invested. They say they feel betrayed. They’re tired of broken promises, and the “establishment” running things. Who or whatever the “establishment” may be.

Of course there are lots of people lining up to tell us who Jesus would vote for. Or who he wouldn’t vote for.

I’ve thought about that question too.

Now I’m just thinking out loud here, which I know is dangerous, but the more I think about it, the more I think Jesus wouldn’t vote for anyone.

I don’t think He would tell us not to vote, but getting involved in politics just wasn’t what He was here for. He told us as much.

If Jesus had come to earth in the United States in 2016, I have no doubt that His followers, especially Peter, would expect Him to run for president. His answer now would be the same as was then, when He tried to prepare His disciples for the cross and Peter protested, still thinking Christ had come to save Israel from Roman rule.

But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. Matthew 16:23

Harsh words, don’t you think?

While I don’t believe Jesus would tell His followers who to vote for, or who not to vote for, I do think He would ask us some very pointed questions. One of them would be, “Why did you chose that person to vote for?”

Not in an attempt to point us to the right candidate, but to help us understand our own motivations. Because the “why” in this case might matter more the “who.”

What is driving us? What are we looking for? In whom are we ultimately putting our trust?

So many of us seem to be looking for a Messiah. Someone who will save this country from the evils of crony capitalism, the gay rights agenda, social injustice, or any number of other bogymen. They’re sure changing the occupant of the White House will fix everything that’s wrong.

Except the man in the White House didn’t cause all of our nations problems.

The occupant of the White House is only a reflection of who we have become as a nation. It doesn’t matter whether we agree with him or not. If we feel that some of the things he has done are contrary to the Word of God, and reflect badly on our nation, we have only ourselves to blame. Not because we voted for him, or because we sat out the election, but because we haven’t been the salt and light that we are supposed to be.

We’ve been too busy pursuing our own agendas. We’ve been savoring the things of men rather than the things of God.

Along the way we’ve put our trust in our leaders instead of God. And now we feel betrayed. Is it any wonder? Our fellow human beings will always let us down. They will lie to us and make promises they have no intention of keeping. Even the most trustworthy ones can make sincere promises that they find out later they can’t keep.

But the problem isn’t the men we vote for, as much as us putting our trust in the wrong place to begin with.

Several years ago our pastor made a statement while he was preaching on Psalm twenty-three that has stuck with me. He said, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want… another shepherd.”Another Shepherd

We’ve wanted another shepherd for a long time now. We keep looking to men for the answers to the problems only The Savior can solve. We believe their lies because they say what we want to hear.

I think sometimes our over reliance on worldly leadership is a rejection of God’s leadership. 

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t vote or participate in our democratic processes. I think we should participate. The right to elect our leader is a privilege most people around the world don’t have

But we should be careful about putting too much of our hopes in those we elect. We shouldn’t become emotionally invested the way I did when my stomach churned because my favorite dropped out. And we shouldn’t put all of the responsibility for the state of the nation on their shoulders.

No one forces us to live the way we do, and the right to proclaim the Gospel freely is also a privilege a lot of the rest of the world doesn’t have. We shouldn’t take it for granted or neglect it with disuse.

Once upon a time, the nation of Israel wanted another shepherd too. They had their choice and they chose Saul. I imagine at least some of them felt betrayed.

I’m linking this up at Tell It To Me Tuesday and Grace & Truth

One election cycle several years ago, I remember becoming so emotionally invested in the election and in my preferred candidate that I had a physical reaction when that candidate dropped out.

 

 

Surviving Spiritual Growing Pains

There’s lots of construction going on where I live. There are two new shopping centers going in and an intersection being completely redone. It seems like everywhere I go I’m met with disheveled roads, ugly mounds of dirt, and traffic cones.

And honestly I’m kind of sick of it.

Yes, I will be happy to have the new stores, but the construction is getting on my nerves. I just want it done. I would rather not have the new stores than put up with months of construction. I want those stores to be finished and the roads paved right now.

I’m beginning to realize I’m that way in my spiritual life as well.

I would rather stay where I am now than go through whatever it takes to get to where God wants me to be. I want the transformation He has planned for me to instant. I don’t want to put up with the construction and traffic cones making things inconvenient.

I’m not one hundred percent certain, but I’m pretty sure that makes me a brat.

Possibly even a snot nosed brat.

But here’s the thing, growth isn’t possible without some disruption. And sometimes that means growing pains. As much as I’d like to think that I have “arrived,” I still have a lot of growing to do.

There’s a remodeling going on in me. Walls are being torn down, and light being shed on long hidden problem areas. Sometimes cleaning up the rotten places is painful.

 

When we come to Christ, we are instantly transformed from children of darkness to children of light. But becoming a perfect reflection of our Savior takes a lifetime.

Not even the apostle Paul considered himself to have arrived. He said in Philippians:

“Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect:” Philippians 3:12

When we come to Christ, we are instantly transformed from children of darkness to children of light. But becoming a perfect reflection of our Savior takes a lifetime.

From the moment we put our lives in God’s hands we become a construction zone. He is constantly molding and shaping us into the image of Christ. Sometimes that process can be painful and messy.

But he stays with us. He’s there every step of the way, to guide us and nurture us.

The process requires trust that our Heavenly Father wants only what is best for us.

Not necessarily our material best, but our eternal best.

What we think is for our best may not really be. Kind of like when our kids want to eat cake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Our father knows better than we do what we need.

The things we ask God to rescue us from, may just be the things we need to become a perfect reflection of Christ.

He knows where we need to grow and change. He knows all of the wall walls that need tearing down and rough places smoothed over.

The more problem areas are repaired, and the more complete our restoration, the more like Christ we become.

If we resist the process takes longer. And we can quench the Holy Spirit and halt it all together. (1 Thessalonians 5:19)

He doesn’t force change on us any more than He forced salvation on us. 

We have to choose to set aside our willfulness and pride, and choose to take part in the work of grace. Then we must daily surrender to His continued work in our lives.

We have to surrender our lives into the hands of Him that is able to keep us from falling, and present us faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. (Jude 1:24)

 

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