Need favor? Got that.

the-sting-of-rejection-can-impact-our-souls-but-it-no-longer-has-a-hold-on-us-because-one-higher-than-everyone-and-everything-has-given-us-favor-1

Inspirational Thought of the Day:

The sting of rejection can impact our souls, but it no longer has a hold on us, because One higher than everyone and everything has given us favor.

Scripture of the Day:

Acts 10:34

“Then Peter started speaking: ‘I now truly understand that God does not show favoritism in dealing with people, 35 but in every nation the person who fears him and does what is right is welcomed before him.'”

I stood amongst the group of kids with a dread in my heart. As the team captains each took turns calling names, I knew I would be last. The lump in my throat would not go away, so I faked a smile and looked away in the distance, pretending I did not care. But I did.

That same feeling overcomes me in situations that arise where I am keenly aware that either someone wants my position or perhaps I am not wanted.

The sting of that rejection can still impact my soul, but it no longer has a hold on me, because One higher than everyone and everything has given me favor. Undeserved favor.I love the fact that our God does not show favoritism. He made and loves all people and His creation is beautiful. He does not look at our athletic build, our skin color, our external appearance at all. He is watching over our souls to see if any will look and see His worth, accept His salvation and live for Him.

Do you ever wish you could just make it to the top? Ever wonder why it is so hard to make progress? Or maybe you just want a level of acceptance that makes you feel like you belong. Favor from man is one of those things often coveted. We strive and we long for acceptance, but sometimes even more than that – to be the best.

Getting to the top of the mountain we are climbing seems impossible, but it would not be a worthy achievement if it were not for the rugged climb to get there. This competitive desire to be significant can become idolatry easily enough, but it can also become a catalyst to help us to live faithfully for God.

God chose us to be on His team, but the choice is up to us. We have the favor of God – if we fear Him and do what is right. This is not merit-based, but it is heart-based. We cannot fake living right – God sees it all. His favor does not mean we will not have any troubles. Living godly lives does not mean we will always get our way, either, but the favor of God upon us matters more than our wants.

Oh God! Who are we, that we should have Your favor? Help us to live in a way that honors and reveres You above all else. 

Day 29: Hope Discovered

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Inspirational Thought of the Day:

Those who “catch” this Reinvented Hope are on the hunt for it.

Scriptures of the Day:

Psalm 31:24

“Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.”

Hebrews 10:23

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”

Psalm 130:5

“I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.”

We are nearing the end of our journey exploring this new Hope Reinvented, which was found as we applied God’s precious word and promises through all the obstacles life has thrown at us.

Discovering this hope was not easy, but we can say that it was worth it, no matter what the cost – to gain this precious gift of a hope everlasting.

As we run this race and explore this life to see what our hope really is, we first have examined what it is not.

  • Reinvented hope is not in belongings or riches.
  • Reinvented hope is not in having a perfect life.
  • Reinvented hope is not in any person or thing.
  • Reinvented hope is not in any achievements I pursue or gain.
  • Reinvented hope is not in the avoidance of pain.
  • Reinvented hope is not in another man’s praise or acceptance.

Oddly enough, Reinvented hope is discovered when:

  • Rejection comes knocking on our door, causing us to run to our Father for lasting acceptance.
  • Illness comes, bringing suffering that humbles us and causes us to look for a hope beyond our pain.
  • Sorrow knocks on our door unexpectedly, jolting us into the reality that our hopes are no more.
  • When the pressures of this life build to an intense level – finances or relationships in turmoil – and cause us to find resolution.

It is in these desperate moments of life that we look up to our God and need something more. Aware that this life has not delivered what we had hoped, we come before God bankrupt with scarcely a hope at all. We battle through disillusionment and fight to finally obtain an authentic definition of what it means to walk side-by-side with our Creator and really place our hope and trust in Him.

I believe those who “catch” this hope are on the hunt for it. They don’t leave the race of this life, despite many discouraging “hope killers”. They are instead thrusting themselves forward with whatever strength they have left, and placing themselves in the mercies of God.

I am not much of a runner, but I run anyway. I have had to battle numerous autoimmune diseases and have many more days with pain than without. Pain has a way of making things feel impossible. Hope seems futile when just basic functioning is a challenge.

In the midst of some of my greatest pain, I have written love notes to my God that could not have been written had I not been brought to my knees. As I surrendered to the adjustments I had to make to be able to still be productive, a funny thing happened. I was surprised by gratitude and discovered a hope that was greater than when I had been well and I worshiped God in a way I had not before.

I still have to guard my health, but in His mercy God has placed many of my autoimmune diseases underneath my feet in remission. What a good God. But the lessons learned are even more precious to me than the healing He has brought. I will praise my God whether I am well or not, for in all of it, He is my hope and He will use it all for my good and His glory.

When we discover this hope, we need to be like the Psalmist and hold onto this Hope Reinvented with all our being. The storms of life ebb and flow, but God’s hope is constant throughout. As we wait for our ultimate redemption, His hope and His word are our strength and enablement to live a worthy life full of hope for His glory.

Oh God, I am overcome by Your goodness! Thank You for revealing this awesome hope we have in You! Help us to rely on You and not anything You created. Open our eyes when we are tempted to look to anything else other than You for our salvation.

I have a new song called, “You Are Worthy” coming out on November 4th, currently available on my ministry website. This song epitomizes to me a path to find joy. As we focus on God’s worth and character, our problems become smaller, we discover lasting hope and joy and are lost in worship of Him.

 

Mundane Monday: Count Your Blessings

Count your blessings

Inspirational Thought of the Day:

Don’t let the burdens of this life weigh you down – God will use them to lift you up!

Scriptures:

Psalm 68:19 “Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation.”

Psalm 103:2 “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.”

James 1:2-4 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

Psalm 103:10 “He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.”

From one thing to another, this day had Monday written all over it.  I thought about not posting today.  It was one of those days that I’d rather forget . . . until God gently whispered to me His encouragement through precious saints in my life.

While I pondered wearing the “rejection” or “failure” sticker today, my oldest daughter came and shared a post she wrote today about contentment.  God was using one who I had poured into to encourage me.  Then my son came next and shared an essay he wrote about how he hopes to be used by God to help others.  On and on it went, my children circling me and sharing one blessing after another, followed by my precious husband who, with a smile, wiped away my tears.  Wow.  Now what was I complaining about?

Trials and problems have a tendency to discourage and disillusion us if we let them, but God has a much better plan.  Taking our discomforts, insults, judgments and rejection as a tool for His glory and our good, He redeems it all.

Instead of regretting such problems or treatment, we can rejoice that God sees everything and always chooses to delight in us, giving us His amazing undeserved gift of salvation.

This life is hard.  Maybe today was a rough one for you, too.  Look around.  What blessings are right there in your midst, that has God accomplished in and through you that are often taken for granted?  He is indeed good – all the time – and our ever-present help in time of trouble.

Lord, thank You for encouraging us when we are hurt and prone to self-pity.  You are able to take what seemed pointless and give us a precious jewel in the midst.  You are our treasure, Lord, and You are enough.

A Season of Thankfulness: Day 10 – A Relational God

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Hebrews 2:11, 14, 15, 17

“For indeed he who makes holy and those being made holy all have the same origin, and so he is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, 14 Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, he likewise shared in their humanity, so that through death he could destroy the one who holds the power of death (that is, the devil), 15 and set free those who were held in slavery all their lives by their fear of death. 17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he could become a merciful and faithful high priest in things relating to God, to make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 For since he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted.”

Ever feel like people do not understand you or cannot relate to you?  As humans, we tend to let personality, skin color and culture divide us from understanding one another.  Narcissistically we identify with people who are like us, pridefully thinking we are the standard.  Not so with God.

How humbling it is to consider that the King over all chose to associate with those who were nowhere near His worth.  Not because we were like Him, but because He loved us.  He radically left His throne in Heaven to be like us in the flesh so we could understand and know Him more, to set us free from our bondage to sin and fear of death.

He could have chosen to just rule over us, could have left us in our sin.  But by relating with us, He made us forever Holy – covering our iniquities and unconditionally loving us.  This relationship between God and man is the most intimate relationship to be found.  There is no part of us that He does not know completely, no hint of inequality or favoritism, no rejection.  No head games, no sinful tendencies at all.  He is our safe harbor to which we can run to at all times.

He did not have to create us, did not need our fellowship; yet He delighted to draw us near to Himself to the point of His own death for our sake.  This relationship with God is not temporary or dependent upon close proximity.  It is eternal and has no end.  Forever we will know our God, the Lover of our souls.

Lord, thank You for choosing us to know You.  There is none like You.  Help us, oh God, to never stray and to draw ever nearer to You.  I love You, Lord!

Worshipful Wednesday: He Delights in You

Psalms 147:3, 6, 11, 14 (NET)

“He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. 6 The LORD lifts up the oppressed, but knocks the wicked to the ground. 11 The Lord takes delight in His faithful followers, and in those who wait for His loyal love.  14 He has made His people victorious and given all His loyal followers reason to praise – the Israelites, the people who are close to Him – praise the LORD!”

Psalm 149:4 (ISV)

“For the LORD is pleased with his people; he beautifies the afflicted with salvation.”

Zephaniah 3:17

“The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”

There is nothing so precious as the smile on a child’s face when that child knows they are delighted in.  Almost embarrassed from the expression of love surrounding them, the smile gives away their delight in the security of your love. In much the same way, a spouse can sense when they are adored – it makes the soul happy to be the source of someone else’s delight.

It is that part of our being that craves acceptance, wants to know we are pleasing, that yearns for a Daddy’s love, which only God can fill.  Much like Adam and Eve, we are easily deceived and tend to want to hide from God when we think we have not lived up to His expectations.  All the while He is saying, come to me – you who I love with an unconditional, everlasting love – and let me wash you and make you as white as snow.

Time and time again people will let us down.  But perhaps we are going to them for the acceptance that God can only give. It is painful to have to be so needful – we would rather be in the position of strength, giving to others.  But it is on the receiving end of such a love that we are truly able to give that love out to others, as well.

Are we weary, beaten down, feel like we can never experience the goodness of God?  Come.  He delights in you.  Do we feel the sting of rejection from others?  Come, He delights in you.  Do we hurt from afflictions of this fallen world – diseases, betrayal, failure?  Come, dear one.  He delights in you!

Tears well in my eyes when I consider His faithful love.  Never fading, always accepting.  Fully knowing, yet chasing after us to reveal His steadfast love to us.  As we are delighted in, so may we delight in Him.  Living like we are delighted in makes all the difference in the world.  Made in His image, secure in His love, we can delight in others, as well,

Lord, help us to rest in the knowledge of Your delight in us.  Heal wounds in Your children today all for Your glory.