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Posts Tagged ‘struggling with faith’

 

Each of them drew strength from the other. We might have done the same if our lives had been stripped of our closest companions, comfort, and convenience.

Poverty and starvation loomed in the future and, desperate, the women were forced to leave the home they’d shared with those who now lay shrouded in graveclothes—the men who once offered love and protection.

Some of you might relate to the Old Testament figures of Naomi and Ruth. Perhaps you’ve been widowed or dealt with the pain of divorce. Maybe you know the struggles of an empty bank account and bare cupboard. The heartache of an empty womb or the imprint of soil wedged beneath your knees as you weep at your child’s graveside.

Emotional pain can drive us to become someone we never imagined we might become; a person coddling and stroking feelings that only grow more intense and hurtful unless given over to the truth of scripture.

In Naomi’s case, bitterness toward God consumed her life and impacted her faith. She said, “…the Almighty  has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.” (Ruth 1:21 NKJV)

I empathize with this dear lady. I’m not much different. In fact, seven years ago I’d repackaged her words as, “Why me, God? Why my children?”

I once walked in Naomi’s bitter shoes, blaming God for the assaults the enemy sent my direction through various avenues. But there is a way to rediscover hope in a season of suffering. Like Ruth, who affirmed her commitment to both her mother-in-law and God, we can cling to our faith.

Ruth was a remarkable young woman. She’d suffered the same circumstances as her mother-in-law but approached them differently. Rather than blame-shifting or abandoning either her new family or her budding faith, she doubled-down on commitment. Ruth famously said, “Your people will be my people and your God my God.” (Ruth 1:16 NKJ)

She might have returned to the comforts and familiarity of family and to the gods she’d worshipped as a child. Instead, Ruth chose the companionship of a grieving woman, a land filled with people who considered her an enemy, and a God who would bless her bloodline for her faithfulness.

Though it may be tattered or worn thin, He is able to increase even a mustard seed faith (Matthew 17:20) and grow beauty through hardship and perseverance.

When we walk through a season of suffering, we have a choice. Will we choose bitterness or faith?

 

A prayer if you’re struggling with faith today-

Father,

Life has been so difficult and my spirit is grieved. Some days, I feel as though my faith lies in tatters and I’m not sure it will ever recover. I know you “have plans to give me a hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11) and I ask you to help me believe that will mend what is broken and restore what has been stolen. Give me a mustard seed faith, Lord, to trust you in all circumstances and root out any bitterness or other emotion that dishonors you.

In the powerful name of Christ, Amen

 

Peace and grace,

Tammy

P. S. I often linkup with these other wonderful bloggers.

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsMandy and MicheleKingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup

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BROKENHEARTED.png

My world spun off its axis when a precious one revealed the trauma buried in his past. Pushing hard against the faith I’d clung to throughout my own embattled childhood and youth, I wrestled with God. I laid my heart bare, unflinchingly honest in my anger and despair.

What kind of God allows children to be devoured by this world? Could I even trust Him? Even more than that–did I want to?

Typically Polly Anna-esque , I almost felt my heart grow cold and hard. Hope drained from my life like color from an old photograph and everywhere I looked I saw the potential for loss, pain, and suffering.

It could be that doubt has swallowed hope; even your faith seems as though it may be distinguished.#hoperestored#Christredeemsthepain#novictoryfortheenemey Click To Tweet

Maybe you’re in a situation that has raised similar questions in your own mind. It could be that doubt has swallowed hope and you’re just existing moment to moment; bitterness twisting your thoughts until even your faith seems as though it might be distinguished.

Will you choose truth or be deceived into despondency?#havecourage#battleready Click To Tweet

This is the point at which you must make a decision. Will you choose truth or be deceived into despondency by this corrupt world? Will you invite Christ to redeem your pain or allow the “thief who comes to steal, kill, and destroy” to derail your faith?

For months I wavered between one choice and the other. I struggled, wept, and screamed in anger; alternately searching scripture for words of comfort and then refusing to attend church.

I decided I wouldn't allow the deceiver an easy victory.#Jesuswins#hopeinChrist Click To Tweet

Finally, I decided. I decided I wouldn’t allow the deceiver an easy victory.

Turning to the truth bound up in the pages of my Bible, I poured over its promises and was reminded again and again of God’s faithfulness. While this world hasn’t been set right yet, it will be. Jesus’ return is sure and His justice and mercy will prevail. And, even more, we have the eternal hope of heaven; a place free of tear and trials and overflowing with the laughter and celebration of the restored and redeemed.

He is with us each step of the way; penning hope throughout until we reach our eternal happily ever after.#weknowtheendofthestory#thesetroublesaremomentary#heknowstheplansforus Click To Tweet

If you are in the midst of a battle and flanked by disillusionment and doubt, can I encourage you to turn to Christ? He won’t condemn you for your doubt, but will gather you in His arms as your tears spill like prayers in His presence. He’s waiting already, pleading and praying on your behalf.

“Who then is left to condemn us? Certainly not Jesus, the Anointed One! For he gave his life for us, and even more than that, he has conquered death and is now risen, exalted, and enthroned by God at his right hand. So how could he possibly condemn us since he is continually praying for our triumph?” (Romans 8:34 TPB)

Oh, friend, trust that He has more for you than what you’re experiencing right now. Jesus never claimed our lives would be easy, but as we move page by page through the story of our lives He is with us each step of the way; penning hope throughout until we reach our eternal happily ever after.

 

Peace and grace,

Tammy

I often link up with the following: LMMLinkupPorch StoriesTea and Word Tuesday, Blogger Voices NetworkTea and Word Tuesdays, Worth Beyond Rubies Wednesday, Let’s Have Coffee, Soaring With Him, Purposeful Faith, Encouraging Word WednesdaySitting Among FriendsImparting GraceDestination InspirationTune in ThursdayHeart EncouragementFaith and Friends, Faith on Fire, anitaojeda, Dance with Jesushttps://www.rachelmarielee.com/  www.instaencouragements.com, Fresh Market Friday, Grace and Truth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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He will direct your steps and lead you to a new land of promise..png

Three years of loss, heartache, and impossible circumstances dropped me in the middle of a wasteland experience. The questions we ask when we’re distraught, grieving and disillusioned scrawled across tear-stained journal pages and erupted from the depths of my soul when I prayed.

 If God is sovereign, how can this have happened? Didn’t he hear my prayers? Why didn’t He do something?

More frightening to me than any of my doubts about God’s power and faithfulness was the on-going, internal battle that waged in my mind.

I felt as though my faith had faded into the nothingness of the wasteland in which I wandered and, oh, how I longed for an oasis.Just one drink to quench my need for Living Water.#wildernessliving#hope#letsgetrealseries Click To Tweet

I felt as though my faith had faded into the nothingness of the wasteland in which I wandered and, oh, how I longed for an oasis. Just one drink to quench my need for Living Water. One drop of hope to lead me through the dry and dusty no-man’s land into the arms of heaven.

Unusually cynical, I only attended church at my husband’s coaxing. My prayers ranged from desperate pleas for deliverance to angry, honest diatribes and scripture seemed as barren as my spirit.

Can you relate? Have you ever been lost in your own wilderness, certain of nothing but your own unbelief?  Have you trekked aimlessly through the badlands of Fear or Doubt? Wandered in the wilds of Trial or Tribulation?

You might be in that place now, blaming your lack of faith for failing to feel God’s presence. Almost certain the Hope Giver has turned away from your prayers or grown weary of your petitions.

If He can guide and provide for a nation of people wandering for forty years, He will direct your steps and lead you to a new land of promise.#keepthefaith#choosehope#letsgetrealseries Click To Tweet

But, your wilderness days will end just as mine did. Cling to that hope, Friend. If He can guide and provide for a nation of people wandering aimlessly for forty years in the Negev desert, He will direct your steps and lead you to a new land of promise where you’ll hear his voice. Feel His presence. Remember His great love for you.

One day soon, you’ll look back on the days when you’d thought faith had died and realize He’d nurtured it instead. You’ll rejoice, claiming Hosea 13:5 as your own. “He cared for me in the wilderness, in the land of drought.”

Mint Save the Date Wedding Postcard

Promised Land Prayer Card Printable

 

Blessings, Tammy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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