The Lord Hears YOU!

In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.
Psalm 5:3

sunset beach

Life is a journey. A journey through the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful. In the midst of fear and among the constant threat of death, David continued to sing and glorify the Lord. This was not because he saw the end to the storm, and at many times did not see a way out of the darkness that surrounded him. No, he sang and glorified the Lord for he knew that the Lord would sustain him, uphold him in his right hand, protect him when he was vulnerable, fill him when he was hungry, and guide him when he was lost. He praised God because he trusted God to keep hold of him through the storm and bring him out with life and love abounding!

Wherever you are today, I challenge you to seek God, listen to his voice, and praise him even when you don’t feel like it. Despite the circumstances, God is leading you to a future filled with hope (Jeremiah 29:11). He is with you now and will be with you always, a light to your path, leading you to mercy, grace, forgiveness, healing, and righteousness. Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you (James 4:7-8, Hebrews 10:22-25). Be still and know he is God and praise him continually (Psalm 46:10, Hebrews 13:15).


Rest my friends in the peace that is beyond understanding and walk in the light, especially when darkness surrounds, for there is where God will meet you! Blessings and love as you continue your journey with God! ❤

You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land where there is no water.
I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.
I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night.
Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.
Psalm 63:1-8

Life is not Perfect!

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.
…A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
~ Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 4


Life is not Perfect!

The pain and heartache
They come and they go
Cutting deep
Wounding the soul

Burdens too much to carry
Spirit weighed down
Living in the here and now
Sorrow abounds

Life is not perfect
Nor was it meant to be
A precursor of something better
A realm yet unseen

The heart it beckons
The spirit it yearns
The soul cries out
This world it spurns

Hope lies beyond
High in the heavens above
A continuous fount of life
God’s river of love

Loving arms of comfort
Sweet prayers from thine lips
Peace for the moment
Grief stands eclipsed

Through mercy and grace
The pain subsides
Where once heartache dwelled
Now joy resides

Pray (Say a Prayer ~ Veridia)

Rejoice always;
pray without ceasing;
in everything give thanks;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18 ~

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions
with all kinds of prayers and requests.
With this in mind,
be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Pray also for me, that whenever I speak,
words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel,
for which I am an ambassador in chains.
Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
~ Ephesians 6:18-20 ~

Do not be anxious about anything,
but in every situation,
by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.
~ Philippians 4:6 ~

Just be Held ~ Casting Crowns

And this I pray,
that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment,
so that you may approve the things that are excellent,
in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ;
having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ,
to the glory and praise of God.
~ Philippians 1:9-11


When everything is chaotic and the storms rage, keep your eyes on the Cross, knowing God has a plan for good, for hope and for a future! Surrender what you cannot control and let God move in your life and the lives of those you love

I give you my son Lord, I surrender him to you, trusting that you will strengthen and protect him from the evil one. I give him to you for he is not my child, but Yours! I am letting go…letting you hold me, asking you to hold my boy as he becomes the man you created him to be.

Finding His Faith Midst the World!

Train a child up in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not turn from it.
Proverbs 22:6

I have only one child and he is my pride and joy. My life is so full with him in it and I am delighted that he is becoming his own man. He is 15, with 16 approaching quickly, and desiring to assert his independence more so now than ever before.

I have been divorced for over 13 years, and though I have a great relationship with his father and we keep our son as the central focus, I am still a single mom without a dad in the house! My son has been brought up in church with me and has just recently proclaimed that he does not want to go to church anymore. The reasons are varied, and I have been praying greatly about this as there is a delicate balance to encouraging him to go to church, thus continuing to build his foundation in Christ, and to making him go to church, which would cause bitterness and resentment about church and create fights weekly in our home. Yes, I am the mom, and yes, I can “make” him go, but that does not foster his faith and his journey; it merely sets the stage for warfare in our home. After much prayer, God has made it abundantly clear that my son is NOT mine, he is GOD’S! In that one resonating statement, God is asking me to let go, and let him lead my son, which I will admit is hard. This is not hard because of my lack of trust in God, but because I know the journey will be hard, painful, and difficult for me to watch. After all, who wants to see their only child, or any child suffer in order to find a deep and meaningful relationship with God?

With all that said, herein lies my struggle: how do I continue to build on the foundation that has been built thus far without appearing critical and nagging, but at the same time holding true to my convictions and Scripture?

For example, just today, I came home from church and he was watching a show called “The League” which I must say leaves little to be desired and leaves nothing to the imagination. I sat, watched with him and then began a discussion about pornography, as that was blatantly displayed in this episode both visibly and verbally. I reminded him that it was inappropriate to watch this show as it promotes porn. His response, “How is it promoting porn?” My statement back to him was that by showing pornography and making it a normal part of these people’s lives (both married and single), the show was promoting it, saying it is okay for men and women to watch and discuss pornography. He then stated that it was something normal guys do. My response was that in the real world, a normal guy, a gentleman and Godly man would not find pornography normal, but in the show it makes it appear thus, to which he responded that he was done discussing it and going to go work out. So here I sit, wondering how to walk the line of showing him God and reminding him of God’s expectations in scripture to becoming a nagging, hypocritical, holier than thou mom (not that I see myself that way, but that is quickly becoming my son’s perception!)

I am reaching out to you all as brothers and sisters in Christ to find out what has and has not worked for you and your family when it comes to raising a child up in the way he or she should go. I know every child encounters a battle within to find his or her own faith, and I know that battle is different for everyone and can occur at varied times in life for each person. My son is there now, and I want, no, I desire with a great passion for him to grow and blossom in his walk with God and to become the man God created him to be. With the world screaming that what was once wrong (morally and Biblically speaking) is now right, I am finding myself in the midst of his battle, in the middle of the battle for my son’s soul!

I am really curious and would like some thoughts from my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ! Prayers are also welcomed as I know the power of prayer can availeth much! Encouraging personal testimonies, things that have and haven’t worked when reaching your teen. Anything will help!

Yours sincerely! With love and blessings from a God that I know can work ALL things for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose!

Serve the Lord — Help Me!!

“If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve:
whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River,
or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house,
we will serve the LORD.”
Joshua 24:15

Serve the Lord — My Prayer

Help me Lord to seek You daily
Lead me in the paths of righteousness
Restore to me what has been lost in the day to day
I do not desire the chaos of this life
I want you and only you Lord

Help me lead my son in the way he should go
Give me words to share your love and fill his heart
May I show him your light through all I do and say
I ask you to build his heart on Your foundation
I desire only for him to serve you and you alone Lord

Help me Lord to witness to all whom you place in my life
May my actions speak louder than my words
Let my home be a beacon of your truth in every way
I want only to provide a safe haven for all who enter
I yearn to serve you and you only Lord

Help me Lord to stand strong in faith
Shower me with your wisdom and your grace
Use me Lord to build your Kingdom here on Earth
I eagerly hope to be refined and grown into your image
I aspire to be more like you and only you Lord

My Prayer!

I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.
Psalm 40:1-3


My Prayer

Give me strength to stand for what is right
Boldness to speak my mind
Love that I may share
Patience to even care

Fill my heart with You Lord
Expose me to Your truth
Help me find my way through the lies
To see clearly through Your eyes

Cleanse my mind of bitterness
Release me from my pride
Cover me with never-ending grace
Lead me to victory in this war-torn race

Set my feet upon Your firm foundation
Settle my heart and soul with Your love
Provide a shelter from the miry storms
Keep me safe from deception and harm

Cover my soul with your grace
That I may share your truth with others
Sharing Your love that abounds
Bringing peace that surrounds

Prayer – Part 2


The Lord’s Prayer is a most wonderful example of how we are to pray to God, our Father in Heaven. Let me begin by saying Christ did not provide the Lord’s Prayer as an example for us to simply express in a rote manner, over and over, with no meaning or thought to what each word signifies (Matthew 6:7). The Lord’s Prayer is an example that will help us to truly enter deep, thoughtful, and meaningful prayer time with God. Though we are to pray continually as discussed in Prayer –Part One, it is important to remember that we must spend quality time with God as well. Just as we spend time with our friends to develop deeper connections, so too we must spend quality time with God to grow in our relationship with him and to receive from him all the blessings he has in store.
With that said, let’s take a look at the Lord’s Prayer and dig deeper into the picture Christ is providing us of how to pray to such an awesome God.

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

The prayer begins with “Our Father in Heaven”. This is to remind us that God is our Father, our provider, our preserver of life (Matthew 6:28-33, 23:9, 1 Peter 1:17). He is the Parent of all of Creation, including us! We have been adopted into God’s family, heirs to kingdom of heaven, when we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior (Romans 8:14-17).

The second line is “hallowed be Your name”. Hallowed means holy. We are to greet our Father in heaven with reverent fear, knowing that he is holy. He is to be celebrated, venerated, and receive honor that is due him. To be holy means to be pure, sacred, and to be entitled to the act of worship. Our God is holy and worthy of our worship and devotion. (Leviticus 11:44, Isaiah 5:16, 43:3).


“Your kingdom come” has two differing understandings in the Christian realm, but both are interconnected. The first is in reference to the spiritual condition of an individual, an inner kingdom within the heart, mind, and soul of the believer. When we ask for God’s kingdom to come upon us as believers, we are in essence asking him to reign in our lives, making us more like Christ and less dependent on ourselves and our own devices. The second understanding of this portion of passage is in reference to the actual Day of the Lord’s return. As Christians, we are petitioning God to bring Christ’s second coming swiftly so that his reign is complete and we are all reunited with Him in glory and splendor.(Matthew 3:2, 4:17)

kingdom come

“Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” refers again to two things as well. First, we are asking that his will be done in our lives. That he fill us with his purpose and set our feet on his path for us. We are also seeking for God to reveal his law, his will to us that we may respond in obedient love. Second, we are asking for God to make things here on earth the way they will be in heaven, bringing his plan of salvation into the lives of all mankind, thereby ushering in his kingdom and fulfilling his promise to those who love him and give themselves to him. (Luke 22:42, Acts 21:14)

heaven earth 3

Jesus continues saying, “Give us this day our daily bread.” This verse in the prayer denotes our reliance on God to supply all our needs. There are two types of needs we have: those that are physical and of this world and those that are spiritual, beyond what we can see, taste, feel, smell, and hear. God provided the physical needs of food and water for the people of Egypt daily, so too will he meet all our needs, therefore sustaining our life. When Christ was tempted by Satan in the desert, Satan told him to turn the stones into bread to sustain him. Christ replied with this simple, yet powerful statement, “Man cannot live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the word of God” (Matthew 4:4, Deuteronomy 8:3). This brings us to the spiritual needs. We must read, listen to, and meditate on the words of God if we are to be fed and sustained spiritually. To take this verse one step further, and dig a little deeper, you will notice that Christ prays that the LORD give US our daily bread, not singular at all. The word us is often used, especially in the new testament, to denote family or the family of Christ. Part of the digestion and sustenance through the word of God is prayer. Jesus was praying for his family, for us, that we be provided for in all ways concerning our life—both spiritual and physical. We need to also pray for our families that they are provided for and their needs met. (Ruth 1:6, Proverbs 30:8, Isaiah 33:16, Luke 11:3)

daily bread 1

“Forgive us or trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”. There is so much here to dissect, though it appears so simple. Trespass is a newer translation of the original word “debt” that was used in earlier versions of scripture. Debt was not used in the literal sense of pecuniary or monetary value, but rather in the spiritual and heartfelt sense. As scripture states we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and therefore we need his forgiveness in order to be washed pure and made holy and acceptable in his sight (Psalm 51:2-7, 2 Corinthians 5:21). He will indeed punish every sinner without the blood of Christ to wash them clean (Matthew 26:28, Ephesians 1:7, 1 John 1:7). Now that we have established that we do indeed need God’s forgiveness to obtain a place of righteousness in his kingdom, we now can examine the second half of this verse—“as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

Scripture is very clear that we are to forgive others in order for us to receive God’s forgiveness. That is right, I went there! The family member who abused you, the coworker who steps on you to get ahead, the neighbor who won’t help to cover the cost of the privacy fence you share, the friend who lied to you and betrayed you. That is right; you are called to forgive them! Just as we are required to love, we are required to forgive…both are hard to do in the flesh, but with God all things are possible (Mark 10:27, 14:36, Matthew 19:26). Take a moment to read Matthew 18:21-35—the parable of the unmerciful servant. In this story Christ very clearly displays the need for forgiveness (Matthew 6:14-15, Mark 11:26, Luke 6:37). When we forgive we are releasing our right to revenge the wrong done to us. With that, we release our anger, frustration, hurt, pain, bitterness, and resentment–all the things that keep us from growing and developing a deeper relationship with God. If we cannot forgive from the heart, then we have assurance that God will not forgive us. So, when you pray for our Father in heaven to forgive your trespasses as you forgive those who trespass against you, make sure it is from the heart and that you perhaps also ask God for the strength to forgive others and surrender the wrongs done to you.

forgive 3

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from all evil.” Before diving into this section of the Lord’s Prayer there is one critical thing we must remember—God tempts no man (James 1:13). David in Psalm 141:4 states “Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works with the workers of iniquity, and do not let me eat of their delicacies.” In both David’s and Christ’s prayer, they are asking the LORD God to deter them from, to keep them away from tempting things. To take this verse to another level, it is important to realize that the word temptation does not refer to sinful things per se.

In Greek, the word temptation refers to trail, affliction, calamity, testing, probation, anything that tests our virtue. Satan will tempt us to fall in more ways than one, and it can be through the trials and tribulations that we encounter. Our prayer here is for the Lord to bring us through the trials and calamities without allowing them to overtake us. It is also a request for God to deliver us from the traps and snares Satan puts before us, to protect us from Satan’s evil schemes.

Is it wrong for us to ask God to save us from suffering…of course not! Even Christ asked that God “take this cup from me, if it be Your will” (Luke 22:42). The key phrase being, “if it be Your will.” Though we may not like the “cup” God allows in our lives, we ultimately have to surrender to his will, trusting that he will bring us out of the afflictions and testing stronger, more faithful, and more like Christ. (Luke 22;40, John 17:15, 1 Corinthians 10:13, 2 Thessalonians 3:3, 2 Timothy 4:18, 2 Peter 2:9, Matthew 4:1, 13:19, 1 John 2:13-14, 3;12)


“For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory”. This part of the prayer illustriously display who God is in our lives. When we acknowledge his kingdom, we are accepting the reign and dominion of Gods control. When we pray for the power of God we are admitting we are weak and cannot navigate this world in our own power. We are also confessing that all things are possible with God. The glory of god is the honor and praise we give God. As one author wrote, “Approaching him with these feelings, our prayers will be answered; our devotions will ascend like incense, and the lifting up of our hands will be like the evening sacrifice.” God gives us his best and he deserves all of our honor, respect, praise, and all else we have to give. (1 Chronicles 29:11, Psalm 22:28)

The Lord’s Prayer is indeed a powerful prayer, if you truly understand what it means. With an open heart and a yearning soul, you do not need to pray the Lord’s Prayer with vain repetition without feeling, reverence, or meaning as the hypocrites did in Matthew 6:5-14. Instead you can take this example of prayer from Christ and make it your own, surrendering to him your heart, mind and soul, letting him bless you with peace, love, and understanding, drawing closer to him through grace and mercy that is released through sincere prayer.


Pray with your heart and let God move in your life in ways you have never known before.

With love and hope for a renewed prayer life.

Related Articles:

Heirs of the Kingdom – Part 2

Prayer – Part 1


1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 pray without ceasing

Luke 18:1 ought to pray and not lose heart

James 5:13 -6 13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses[e] to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

Each of us has friends that we share our lives with, that we open up to, and turn to for support, encouragement, and love. We talk to them at least once a day, if not more sometimes when life is a little rough and the storms are blowing through. We call, we text, we Facebook them, we twitter and chat with them. We send emails and call them. To maintain a friendship, or any relationship for that matter, we have to communicate with them, reach out to them, and be willing to sacrifice other things to spend time with them. Why then do we expect to have a meaningful relationship with God if we aren’t willing to communicate with him? How can we expect to hear God’s advice for our lives, or find comfort in his love, or find support from his words if we are not seeking it? Just as we seek to spend time with our friends and deepen our relationships with them, so too we must spend time with God seeking to deepen our relationship with him.

How do we communicate with God? How do we draw closer to him? The answer is easy…through prayer. The word pray is a simple four letter word with a life application challenge. God calls us as Christians to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18) and to pray and not lose heart (Luke 18:1). How often do you pray? How connected are you in your walk with God? Do you feel distant from God, wondering where he is in the daily struggle of life? Well, if you lack prayer, then you will most certainly lack the assurance that he is there with you! You will not know his plan for your life nor receive comfort and support if you don’t seek it out. You have to pray! It is imperative for the Christian life to succeed.

So, how do we pray? Scripture provides numerous examples of prayer from David, Moses, the disciples and Jesus. Most all of Psalms is David’s prayer to God. Prayers for forgiveness, prayers for guidance and protection, prayers for discernment, prayers for peace and understanding, wisdom and favor. David prayed for it all! Moses prayed for protection and guidance, for strength to lead the people out of Egypt. The disciples prayed for the church, for fellow believers, for endurance to run the race of this life and reach the eternal prize. Prayer is given all throughout scripture, but Jesus set the example for us as believers. He took time to be alone with God, not short little bursts of prayer when he woke up and before he went to bed, but hours and at times days to pray and talk with God.

When scripture tells us to pray without ceasing, it does not mean that we are to be on our knees 24/7 forgetting about all the other responsibilities and obligations we have to do each day. No! It means that we are simply including God in all that we do. Of course, we are to take time to pray and meditate on his word and its meaning in our lives, which will require devotion and sacrifice. However, to pray continually, means that we are bringing God with us into all areas of daily life, deliberately and conscientiously.

When we face a nagging coworker and need patience, we pray in our heart and mind that God will help us deal with that person at that moment. When we need strength to accomplish a task that is laid before us, we need to conscientiously ask God to help us get it done. When we struggle with a temptation that brings us to the edge of sinning, we need to stop and ask God to show us the way out. Praying continually means talking with God throughout your day about all the things that happen in your day. These include, but are not limited to your fears, your weaknesses, your joys, your accomplishments, your job, the annoying neighbor, the button pushing child.

Jesus gives us an example of how to pray in Matthew 6:5-15.
“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.

“Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

If we dig deeper into the Lord’s prayer, as it is affectionately referred to, we will find the ability to pray with substance and meaning (See note: Prayer – Part Two).

May you ask, seek, and knock at the door to God’s throne and may he meet all of your needs in his glory and for his honor (Matthew 7:7-8, Luke 11:9-10).

Growing Pains

As another crazy, yet blessed year comes to a close, I find myself glancing back at what I have accomplished, how far I have come, and how much I have grown. I think it is truly amazing how God uses all things to bring growth and glory in my life, and in the lives of all his children (including you!).

This past year, like so many before it, has seen its share of pain and anguish: the death of my father, my uncle, and a close friend, family chaos and fighting (which often sadly occurs when death comes), broken relationship and a shattered heart, an unexpected move, and financial strain. Yet, oddly enough, this year brought beauty, healing, love, and provision through it all.

You see, despite the pain and suffering, God was in it all, working his will, his plan, his glory through all of it. Pain and suffering is a normal part of life and an integral part of spiritual growth.

John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.

Hebrews 5:5-8 So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest, but He who said to Him, “YOU ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU”; just as He says also in another passage, “YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK.” In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.

Jesus Christ Himself was not exempt from the pain and suffering of this world. Pain and suffering in your life is one way that God prunes you, building you up and making you stronger. Much like a great work out at the gym, there is often pain afterward (even during the workout as you push yourself), but the results are wonderful in the long run if you keep working out and building up muscles that increase your strength. Another example is the olive tree. A farmer must cut (or prune) the branches back in order for the tree to produce a more abundant crop the next season. If it is not pruned, it grows unkempt, producing less fruit, and therefore yielding less profit for the farmer.

John 15:1-3 I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.

You and I are the branches on the tree of life, and if we are not pruned, we tend to not bear the fruit of righteousness, purity, or holiness. We become weak, wild, and unkempt, losing sight of what we are here for–to produce fruit that brings honor and glory to the Lord, bringing others into his kingdom, showing the light of God for all to see.

Pain and suffering in this life are also motivators for growth. When you get stuck in the mundane routines of life–work, family, home, friends, etc., it is easy to get comfortable and not change or stretch outside of your comfort zone. Going back to the workout example, if you keep doing the same exercise routine day in and day out, you will see results, but eventually they will plateau and your workout routine will be only for maintaining, rather than continued strengthening. Even weight loss will fade if the workout routine stays the same. You have to change things up to see continued results, to build more muscle mass, to thin out more, and to tone consistently.

Spiritual growth is similar. If church and scripture become mundane routines, the same thing day in and day out, you will get stuck, your spiritual growth will plateau. God wants your spiritual growth to excel, to continue to grow each and every day. This means that you have to be forced out of your comfort zone sometimes, and often the only way to get you to do that is through pain and suffering. When life is grand, going smoothly, and you have no worries or stress, God tends to be put on the back seat. Ever notice that your prayer life and devotional time picks up a great deal when there is pain, suffering, trials, or tribulations in your life. That is because during those times, your reliance on God is stronger and more evident. You can’t fix things, make them better, or change them, and thus you seek God, seek His will, His discernment and wisdom to handle all that you are facing. You may even reach out to others in your community–church, work, home, neighborhood–for help and guidance.

Often during the most painful times in our lives, we are forced to take responsibility for our failures and learn how to adapt and change so as to not make the same mistakes next time. Other times, we are confronted with requests that take us out of our cushy comfortable place to become a witness and light for God. It may be that you are asked to forgive someone who has hurt or betrayed you. Perhaps you are being called to share your pain with someone in order to show the glory of God as he brings you through it. Maybe the pain in your life is building perseverance, patience, or other spiritual fruits in your own life. Whatever it may by, God is using the pain and suffering to motivate change and growth in your life.

James 1:2-4 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

James 5:11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

Romans 5:3-5 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

1 Peter 1:6-7 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ

Though I faced my share of pain and suffering in 2014, I can look back on each and every moment and see God’s mighty hand at work through the entire event. Through the deaths that came into my life, I was able to find courage and strength to do what was right midst the chaos and family fighting. Though my heart was broken and a relationship ruined, I was given comfort and wisdom midst the storm, making a few of the toughest decisions of my life, which ultimately brought peace to me and my son. Even through the financial difficulties, God changed my view of budgeting, helping me save more than I have before. In the moments of pain and suffering, I didn’t always see his mighty hand at work, but looking back on the year, it is evident he was with me, guiding, building, refining, and growing me into the woman of God he designed.

So, my friends, fret not when you are facing pain, trials, tribulations, or suffering, for in time, God will produce an abundance of fruit, helping you change the old patterns of life, enabling you to grow spiritually! With that said, I look forward to another year and what may come–the good, the bad, and the ugly! Bring it on, for with God, we can all rest assured that good will come, hope will be renewed, and the future will be bright.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

God bless and keep you in the coming year and always! May you rejoice midst the pain and suffering, knowing that God is working all things for your good! He is with you always and forever, and will never leave you nor forsake you, providing all you need to face all that comes your way.

In Christ’s Love ❤