The past couple of months have been a bumpy ride for me. I’ve had a lot of health issues that not only make me feel bad physically, but wear on my faith. The worst problem I’ve had has been low blood pressure. I’ve actually passed out in my wheelchair a couple of times. If my blood pressure drops, it is necessary for me to lean back in my wheelchair so my feet are above my heart. Sometimes my pressure will correct itself within a few minutes. But sometimes the whole day is wasted over nonstop periods of dizziness and headaches.
It’s been a while since I’ve made a post. Frankly, I didn’t feel like I had anything positive to say so I just kept quiet. I am finally coming around as God has been moving my heart into a more faithful direction.
I have been going through a dark time for a few months now. The way I’ve been coping is by watching TV, spending too much time on Facebook, reading the news to the point of depression, and anything else that could render my mind useless. Of course this is not the right way to handle my life! I started studying the book of James this week and remembered this post. It’s funny how our own words can come back to help us to help us at just the right time.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:2 – 4 (NIV)
Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds. My favorite word in this passage is pure. We are not just talking about regular old joy, here. We’re not talking about the kind of giddy joy that comes from situational events such as getting an A+ on a paper, getting a good review at work, or becoming infatuated with someone new. We are talking about joy that has been refined by fire and is completely unblemished. Joy that comes from going through difficult trials and yet still praises God. This is the joy that’s not watered-down or tarnished by…
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John 16: 33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
I love all of John chapter 16. I can so relate to the disciples feelings of fear, grief, and confusion. First Jesus tells them they may be put to death. Then he tells them he has to leave them, and yet they shouldn’t worry, because they will be receiving an Advocate. I’m sure they were wondering, what is an Advocate? Then he tells them again that he will leave them and they will be filled with grief. But later, he tells them he will return to them and they will rejoice. At the end of all these seemingly contradictory statements, he basically says to them: I’ve got this! In me you will have peace! Take heart!
I want prosperity. Like most of you, I didn’t win the lottery so I’m not talking about that type of prosperity. I’m talking about the inner prosperity that only comes from God. The type that can be realized through perseverance. Through prayer. Through steadfastness of faith. Through holding on when you feel like the odds are stacked against you.
I often question whether or not I should be so open and vulnerable about my spiritual struggles. It seems like the things that I write are so dismal and depressing. And yet I always feel compelled to say out loud the Scriptures that have moved me – that have literally shaken me – back into the light of our Savior. Which leads me to this next post.
The desert. An area so arid that no life form can exist. No water. No vegetation. No hope. Have you been there? Are you there now? I can relate. It’s a time when you feel so emotionally drained that you’re bent over. Wilted. Sagging under the weight of the world.