There are many Sunday's when I sit in church listening to our Pastor speak and it feels like God is shining a spotlight on me. As if I'm the only person sitting in the sanctuary listening to this message from Him, spoken directly to my heart. It fits my particular circumstances like a glove.
I wonder how many other people sit there on Sunday morning feeling the exact same way. Like God's message was crafted especially for them to hear and feel a certain stirring in their soul. You know, a small voice that says, "Hey you! Listen up!"
Yesterday, in church our Pastor spoke about being a person who overcomes.
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. ~1 John 5:1-3
Our Pastor's message in preaching this scripture was as follows:
1) As Christian's we are a part of God's family and He blesses us with an earthly family. Not just in our homes but also in our church. We are called to accept them (all of them) and love them, regardless of how quirky or different they may be.
2) We shouldn't just talk the talk of being a follower of Christ. We also need to walk the walk. This means we need to respond to God's calling and his commands with obedience. We need to live life as God's word teaches us to live.
3) Jesus never promised that living the Christian life would mean we'd be free from heartache, suffering, loss, or difficult times. He never said it would be easy. But when we are born of God (a part of His family) we change. God doesn't necessarily alter our circumstances, but He does change us on the inside, and in doing so we become stronger in character, in response, and in faith.
We become a person who overcomes.
When life is hard, we need to remember this truth. When we feel like we are going from one crisis to the next, we need to remember God has equipped us to overcome the circumstances we face.
I guess the reason this sermon really spoke to my heart is because for years my husband and I have gone from one crisis to another in our life. We've always emerged victoriously, but even after the crisis is behind us there is a sense of anxiety and concern over what the next big ordeal will be.
I like to call it our own version of post-traumatic stress.
God spoke to me powerfully yesterday.
I'm a part of His family. So is my husband.
So are you!
Therefore, it doesn't matter what tomorrow may bring. If and when the load becomes too much to bear, God the Father, will step in (like He always has before) to carry the burden for me. And while He's carrying me, He'll fill my soul with strength, courage, and a faith like I've never had before.
In Christ, I'm equipped to overcome anything.
With unending gratitude and giving God all the glory, I'm continuing to count my gifts this week:
#166 - The special mention I got in the recent edition of Women's Intuition magazine!!
#167 - Jesus. Thank you, Lord, for the most heart-wrenching, yet loving sacrifice of all.
#168 - Big ideas that begin to form into doable goals.
#169 - Payday! And being able to say, "It's payday today!" Still praying for the millions who are out of work because of this awful recession.
#170 - The way my beautiful daughters make me giggle. Where did they get such awesome personalities anyway?
#171 - So grateful for a family celebration in honor of my father-in-laws 75th birthday.
Have you started counting your gifts with me and so many others who are taking the Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts Joy Dare?
Share in the joy by commenting below with one of God's blessings poured over your life this day.
If you and your husband are experiencing a season of unemployment, please check out my book, UnEMPLOYED Faith. Dear friend, I've been there, and I hope you will find encouragement and inspiration in my story, as I share the deepest, most raw details and emotions of our long journey. I also offer 10 things you can do to cope with your emotionally draining season.
Choose today to clothe yourself in God's strength, as you persevere with your husband through this difficult time.