Is It Well With My Soul?

wall-hanging

I was perusing through a department store trying to escape my emotions. Honestly, I wanted to feel numb, even for just a moment. I slowly walked through each aisle capturing words on decorative wall hangings. One of them caused me to take a long pause. It read, “It is well with my soul.” I asked myself if that was true for me. The answer was no. No, it was not well with my soul. Life had been feeling difficult. Goals out of reach. Loneliness and depression setting in. Things happening out of my control. I wanted it all to be well with my soul, but it was not something I could magically make happen. As I continued my perusing I found myself surrounded by words of encouragement on these wall hangings.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me…

Love bears all things…

Amazing grace…

God is good…

Faith…

I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you…

Choose joy…

Be still and know…

You get the picture. I chuckled because I was not in a Christian store! Here I was surrounded by God’s Word causing me to think and address some of my emotions.

Have you ever felt things were not well with your soul?

Have you ever felt your purpose or goals were out of reach?

Have you ever felt confused by your emotions?

Me too!

I know that God is not a God of confusion, but of peace. (1 Corinthians 14:33) When I find my joy gone, and my soul in a drought, I go back to His Word. His Word always speaks clarity to what I am struggling with.

Back at home from the store, I began my daily reading in Deuteronomy and God brought to light something so simple and yet profound. It is found in chapter 30:11,14

“For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach. But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it.”

Let that word wash (or spoken from my true southern dialect “warsh”) over you for a moment. Read it again.

Now, receive this next truth that only God can accomplish. (Deuteronomy 31:8)

“The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you.

He will be with you.

He will not fail you or forsake you.

Do not fear or be dismayed.”

If what His Word says is true, and I believe it is, then why does it ‘feel’ like it is not? It is because our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12

The enemy (Satan) wanted me to be numb. He wanted me to not address what I was experiencing. But God wanted the opposite for me. God surrounded me with His truths, His promises, His commands, and drew me into His Word in Deuteronomy. He was pursuing me, letting me know that things can be well with my soul. I needed to focus and acknowledge that He is sovereign, He goes before me and yet never leaves me, and what He is desiring me to do is not too difficult.

What He is desiring you to do is not too difficult!

We can trust that if God has planned it, He will do it. (Isaiah 46:11b)

Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass. (1 Thessalonians 5:24)

It can be well with our souls no matter the battle we are in. There is no storm that He cannot calm, nor any depth of despair He cannot pull us from. Let praise be on our lips for His word is in our hearts, and ever so near to us. As we trust Him with what we are trying to escape, He will work all things out for the good.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Exchanging Weakness for Strength

Exchange PictureIf you are anything like me, then you have an area in your life that you would consider a weakness.  Maybe you are shy and tremble at the thought of meeting someone new. Perhaps you want to “throw up” at the mere thought of public speaking! Maybe you break out in hives or have an anxiety attack when you consider confronting someone for an offense.  Maybe instead of these things, you run to the fridge, turning to food for comfort.  If, by chance, you can relate to any of these things…BE ENCOURAGED, because you are not alone.  Every woman I know has some form of weakness or insecurity that they live with…that WE live with! We beat ourselves up at the recurring drumbeat of the voice of defeat.  You know the voice.  It calls to you, “You will never overcome!  You will always fail! You cannot measure up! Just who do you think you are any way for thinking you could ever…”

The voice of defeat comes from “the enemy.” We even KNOW THAT in our mind, but we choose to believe the enemy’s rhetoric because it’s easier than believing the “truth.” In many ways, it is comfortable and feels true because we cannot imagine seeing ourselves differently!

When feelings and truth are in conflict, God tells us to choose truth! “Take every thought captive!” He says (2 Corinthians 10:5). Why? Because the truth is that our feelings can lie to us.

Given the choice, this is not how I want to live my life. I desire more freedom in life and I want my faith to be bigger than my fears! I want to live out the purpose God intends for me to. I choose to live a life of joy and fulfillment.  I believe in and pursue the abundant life Jesus speaks of.

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.  I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)

To experience abundant life, I must acknowledge two of the enemy’s tactics: He lies and deceives. (John 8:44,).  He has been lying to me for way too long in my life and perhaps in your life too! One of my greatest weaknesses is to “writing” and “communicating” in general.  Writing articles like this makes ME want to throw up…knowing that you may be reading it! Truly! I’m considering having a “barf bag” next to me before I push the “publish” button.  So why do it? Why bother writing like this and risking discovery that the enemy’s lies might be true? Because I have realized that the enemy’s lies and devilish desire to keep me defeated in this area of my life are PROOF that the OPPOSITE is true! God MUST be just beyond my decision to believe, waiting to shower on me ABUNDANT LIFE if I only choose to believe Him for the truth.  He is waiting for me to choose the voice of truth over the voice of defeat. He is waiting for my willingness to exchange my weakness for His strength because in His strength I can overcome.

“…My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.  …when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9,10e)

My goodness! That Scripture is far easier to read than to live out! However, if I truly want more…more out of life…more of Jesus’ power manifested in me…then I must be willing to press through and do the hard thing! I must choose to believe Him. I must choose to live out what I say I believe! I must choose to rely on God’s grace to perfect my weaknesses…by His power and in His strength. Therefore, when I am weak, then I am strong.

I am ready and willing to exchange my weakness for His strength because, in doing so, my actions point directly back to Him! He becomes GREATER! So, it is time to become more; More than your failures and insecurities.  Be set free to experience the abundant life that God designed for you. Pack up those “lies and deceptions.” Exchange them for God’s strength and truth.  Ship them off with no return address and no receipt required! Then, get up and do it again…tomorrow.