IF JUST ONE MORE THING HAPPENS.....
Before I say anything else, I want to praise the Name of the Lord, for He is greatly to be praised! He is mighty, loving, true, and faithful, and I might also like to add trustworthy. It is by His hand that we are fed, encouraged, corrected, and caressed. Nothing that happens surprises Him! He is the air I breathe, the song I sing, the light unto my path, the door through which I walk, and the King before whom I bow. Because of His goodness, He teaches me and opens my eyes to the truths of His character and how to ascertain the believer’s walk. He puts nothing on me that I cannot bear because He provides a way of escape. That escape is to trust Him to handle whatever He decides to put me through, so that I will rely solely on Him and discover more about His love toward me and more about His character. He is always there for me and provides for just what I need even when I’m ready to throw my hands up or toss in the towel! Great is His faithfulness unto me.
"No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man;
and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able,
but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also,
so that you will be able to endure it."
1 Corinthians 10:13
As you may know, Kathy and I are preparing for the Restore Retreat, which happens this weekend. Our theme for this retreat is entitled, “The Gift of Abiding in Christ.” Can I tell you that I have learned more about abiding over the last couple of months and even MORE this week?! I have found myself screaming out, “If just one more thing happens…!” Well, it did and it does! And each time, after I calm down, I realize that I am facing spiritual warfare! Kathy and I both are really in battle and need your prayers!
There have been an abundance of occurrences and I will not go into detail about them, but I will tell you that there have been great sicknesses, issues with jobs, technology malfunctions, high jacked time, fatigue, sleep deprivation, purchasing issues, and geeezzz…this is just a few things off of the top of my head! We both are experiencing the depth of what it means to truly abide in Christ. So much so, I told Kathy that our next retreat was going to be about laughter, joy, and fun…. It seems God always teaches and lets us experience us our theme before we teach it to others! Honestly speaking though, I really am thankful because it draws me closer to the breast of Jesus.
“Most Christians believe that praising God and being thankful is good; however, many think it is optional, something to do after they have served the Lord in other ways. Some Christians only praise God when their circumstances are good and they have a reason to thank Him. The truth is that praising God is not an option. Praise has a powerful effect on the believer, the devil, and on God. It is our highest calling.” ~A. Womack
How does praise affect the believer? When we praise God, we are acknowledging that it is not our own efforts that produce blessings and praising Him helps keeps us humble. By focusing on your problems instead of praising God, you become self-centered and prideful. Praise forces you to get your attention on God and off your problems.
Praising Jesus during difficult times is a sacrifice. But there is also power in praise!
"By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually,
that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name" (Heb. 13:15)
This week I was encouraged and gently admonished by a friend. Of course the Holy Spirit used her words to bring about conviction to my heart. I had been focusing on my “handicaps” instead of focusing on God. I had forgotten to praise and see the grace He was offering me! I was feeling quite overwhelmed, throwing my hands up, and shouting… “IF JUST ONE MORE THING…” I really did have moments of deep breathing, more prayer, asking for help, asking for prayer, and seeking consultation, but I had exceeded my peak of frustration. My friend gently reminded me of my blog from weeks ago…F.E.A.R. Forget Everything And Rest! I should ABIDE and rest in the Lord. She reminded me that God’s grace is sufficient and then she shared a very long list of what she is also facing and like me with feelings of poor competency, lack of time, and simply… my humanity…weaknesses! She reminded me of this scripture verse:
“My grace is all you need.
My power works best in weakness.”
“So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses,
so that the power of Christ can work through me.
That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses,
and in the insults, hardships, persecutions,
and troubles that I suffer for Christ.
For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corin. 12:9,10
My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
After reading that again…I was able to see the gift that He was offering me. Grace!
Praise is another gift…not only to the Father, but in the power of praise itself.
Praise, sends the devil running and we are freed! Remember Paul and Silas?! Also, read the story of the children of Judah in 2 Chronicles 20:22 to discover how the power of praise works and The Lord does the fighting for you.
I know it’s not always easy to praise in the midst of trials, broken heartedness, or frustrations, but I do know this…You feel a ton better because your focus is on the Lord and not on your circumstance! He provides a way of escape. Jesus prays for us and He provides His Holy Spirit to minister to us. There is a heavenly host battling for us during our weariness and our weakness.
Today, I’m hiding beneath the shelter of His wings. I am praising Him for His goodness and loving ways toward me. And when JUST ONE MORE THING comes my way, I will say of the Lord, His grace is sufficient and He is merciful. I will abide in His hands, close to His breast, and a stay just a whisper away!
Please lift up in prayer, Kathy and me as we continue to prepare for the weekend; and also the women who will be attending this retreat, for I am sure they are likewise in battle. God is planning great things in the lives of these women and us because the evidence of spiritual warfare is tremendous! To God be the Glory!
Abiding & giving praise,
Resources: My friend, R.Robvais and Andrew Womack
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