Tag : strength
Tag : strength
“Lisa’s had lots of experience.” Someone had just complimented my writing skills and another followed it up with a comment inferring I was old, negating the compliment. It’s been a stretch full of jabs like that, both external from other people and internal—punches I’ve thrown at myself.
Maybe you understand what it’s like when it seems like the positive reinforcement has retreated into a back closet.
It’s safe to say we all go through low periods, and when we do, thoughts surface like I have no value. I am unattractive. I am not lovable. When these negative thoughts begin to take over our minds and the downward spirals commence, we need to ask some questions.
What is going on in my life?
Do I have an important “God appointment” on the horizon?
Have I gotten away from my daily spiritual medicine—Worship, the Word of God and Prayer?
In my case, when I go through these downer days, I generally have some important ministry dates on the calendar. The more speaking engagements, the greater the attack. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” The enemy of our souls wants to take us off our game so we are ineffective in our calling. His mission is to make us feel so bad about ourselves that we quit, and he’ll often use other people’s comments, or even silence, to bring us down.
We all have an Achilles heel—the place where we are most vulnerable—and he’s locked in on that target. Sometimes those making statements that needle us did not intend to do damage, but the enemy will twist what’s said and the derogatory whispers start: See, they think you’re worthless. You don’t belong. You are old. Why don’t you just hang it up?
When this happens to me, it may take a while, but I eventually realize that what is coming around the corner is going to be powerful. Otherwise, the devil wouldn’t be working so hard. I am going to be used to make a difference, and that when I am feeling weak, I must press into the strength that God provides.
Are you feeling a little south of center today? Then it’s time to get even lower, to your knees, and ask God to encourage you or to send one of His servants to provide a kind word. And while you’re down there, ask Him to help you to think rightly about yourself, and others. Today, I am humbly bowing along with you—seeking help from the One who loves us and provides for all our needs—Jesus. I am praying for both of us to feel an outpouring of His love, and to embrace the truth that we are beautiful daughters of God, as well as valuable to our heavenly Father.
“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God”
My head was spinning after yesterday’s three-hour Hebrew class. It was only the second lecture and I was thinking, I don’t know if I can do this. We were learning about Hebrew vowels and there are a lot of dots, dashes and rules you have to remember. I finally went to bed early with the thought, I’ll get up early and try this again tomorrow.
This experience reinforced that I cannot do this advanced schooling alone. No matter what any of us face we cannot do life alone.
But God must have seen what was ahead and knew I needed a little advance encouragement.
Last week at my first chapel at school, the speaker was the president of The King’s University, Dr. Jon Chastain. He gave a message about Joshua from the Bible and talked a lot about the strength that only come from God. When Moses died, the LORD told Joshua to “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). God knew Joshua would face many battles ahead in the Israelites’ efforts to conquer the Promised Land. Dr. Chastain then called God our “Better Half.” The first point of his message was that God gives us the strength to endure.
I remembered that point this morning, when I was not sure I could endure Hebrew. Then in my Bible reading this morning, Joshua 1:9 came up again, and for the life of me, when I started to write this blog, I couldn’t find it in any of my reading from this morning. It was as if God was supernaturally speaking during my quiet time, saying, You’re not strong enough, Lisa, but I am. I’m your better half.
I am realizing I’ve met my match in Hebrew, but I have a tutor who invented language, and I have to trust He’s going to provide the strength and the aptitude to learn it, because I’m called to do this.
In what aspect of your life do you need God’s strength right now?
Do you feel called to a task that supersedes your ability?
Is there a situation that has overwhelmed you?
Then move forward in faith and ask God to provide what you’re lacking. Well-known pastor Dr. Robert Jeffress defines faithfulness this way: “Consistently following God’s calling for your life and leaving the results to Him.”
We’re not alone.
Join us for our next POP Chat this Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Rosemary Legrand will be speaking about “Pursuing Patience” and Rachelle Fletcher will be our guest Worship Leader. It’s an amazing hour of Prayer, Worship, Teaching and Discussion. Sign up by clicking on the link. https://share.hsforms.com/15bHBupdrTBugXxD9Y8Q_MQ3jo4z
As coronavirus cases continue to surge across the globe, the state of our world can leave us feeling helpless. But that’s why we need to step up our prayers like never before. James 5:16 says, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” So if we believe the Bible, we have to believe that our intercession make a difference. We can win this battle through prayer.
This week, the Holy Spirit gave me a three-fold prayer that we can lift up every day. It’s easy to remember because everything starts with the letter “S.”
Pray for Strength- Isaiah 40:29 says in the New Living Translation that God “gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.” Then in Isaiah 41:10 the LORD encourages us again, “Don’t be afraid; for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Many of us might think we’re strong, but when we get broadsided by life, with the undercurrent stress of COVID-19 already present, whatever additionally attacks us can take us down. We have to have God’s strength already running through our veins. In 2 Corinthians 12:9–10 the Apostle Paul said that in the midst of the insults, distresses, persecutions and the difficulties he endured, when he was weak, Christ made him strong.
Pray for Strategy– Despite this dramatic change in the way we function, let’s ask God for a strategy to come through what’s going on, so we’ll still be standing when it ends. Our ministry has changed the way we do just about everything, and because I’ve asked the Lord for His strategy, he has also shifted my personal life in many ways, which includes a move into an additional area of expertise that will require more schooling. I would not have chosen this if I was living according to my plan, but I surrendered my plans to God. Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Isaiah 55:8–9 tells us that God may have a plan for our lives that is not even on our radar. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.
Listen in the Silence– This is when we ask, “What do you want to say to me during this Pandemic, Lord? What should I learn?” In Luke 5:16, it says that Jesus would often withdraw to desolate places to pray. He removed the noise so He could hear His Father’s voice more clearly. How do we hear God’s voice in the silence? It could be in the form of an impression on your spirit. It may be a gentle whisper of the Holy Spirit,, or possibly an audible whisper like the one that the prophet Elijah heard at Mt. Carmel (1 Kings 19:11–13). Try it! God still speaks today.
Ultimately, by praying and leaving this Pandemic in God’s hands, we tell Him that we trust Him—no matter what happens. When everything around us seems like it is crumbling, He provides an inexplicable stable foundation. Prayer is the answer to surviving the Pandemic.
And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you (Psalm 9:10).
Don’t miss our next POP Chat, this Wednesday, July 29th on ZOOM at 6:30 p.m.. Dr. Lynnette Simm will be teaching about “How to Find Your Peace” and Renee Rollins will lead our worship for this beautiful one-hour of fellowship. Here’s the link to sign up: https://share.hsforms.com/15bHBupdrTBugXxD9Y8Q_MQ3jo4z
I have gone back to reading a book I have been working on for awhile. Yes, unfortunately, I am a slow and distracted reader so I have four or five books I keep picking up when I have time to read. Yesterday, I picked up The Strength You Need: The Twelve Great Strength Passages of The Bible by Robert J. Morgan. I’m ashamed to say that I have had the book on my nightstand since 2017 and keep reading a bit and moving on, then back again. However, as I picked up the book yesterday, I realized God was calling me to each section at His perfectly timed moments. He brought me just what I needed for the events happening in my life.
As I reflected on my notes in 2017, I remember reading Chapter 1 on Deuteronomy 33:25, “Your strength will equal your days.” This came just as I had walked through cancer with my dearest friend Elle, as she moved to heaven after succumbing to the disease. The following year (2018) I see notes in Chapter 3, “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10), as I raced to the airport to fly to my oldest daughter because she was being admitted to the hospital for a collapsed lung. While the reason for our visit was scary, our time together was heartfelt, memorable, and created an unbreakable bond.
The notes from 2019 highlight Chapter 5. “In quietness and trust is your strength” (Isaiah 30:15). Those was the encouragement as I woefully dropped off my youngest to her first day of college and accompanied my mother to her cancer treatments.
God had perfectly timed each reading. Now, I did say I was a slow reader, but I have read a lot of other things in between. However, it is June of 2020 and I am just now picking up this book again. And wouldn’t you know it—another divine appointed reading. Chapter 8 is about the book of Habakkuk, specifically Habakkuk 3:19 which says, “The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of deer, He enables me to tread on the heights.” Morgan shared in his book how Habakkuk bemoaned to God wondering why His people were behaving so poorly and when it would all end. God replied that He had better get used to the horrible behavior because He wasn’t going to do anything to change it and, in fact, would be sending in a nation to take them captive! Habakkuk cried out again asking how could God let the worst of the worst come and to allow His people to be taken captive? He explained to God we are bad, but the enemy armies invading are worse! Regardless, Habakkuk said he would stay at his post.
God explained that by faith His people will be saved. They need to have trust that His plans are far greater than they could understand, and that evil will be judged. Habakkuk rejoices in the knowledge that God’s plan is divine and filled with love for His people. He then says that He will strengthen those who have faith and will give them feet as deer to handle the rough terrain until we reach our heights. He then writes a song of rejoicing!
God didn’t take the hard time away —He just promised to be there with Habakkuk (and us) during the hard times. In fact the hard times may get worse, but God had divine plans for each and every one of us; but most importantly, God wants us to trust Him and rely on Him, even when we don’t understand why times are so difficult.
Trust the Lord to help us maneuver through this trying time in history. Trust in the Lord to guide us and show us how we share His love within our families and communities.
We want to invite you to our next POP Chat, this Wednesday night from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Our guest worship leader will be Teresa Hammering and Lisa Burkhardt Worley will be teaching about “How to Have Unity.” We will also have a conversation about the subject so you don’t want to miss out! Here’s the link to register: https://share.hsforms.com/15bHBupdrTBugXxD9Y8Q_MQ3jo4z?utm_medium=email&_hsmi=89304151&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-8r8FWa_kFZcONxlsE2ffQ7UwrWi80D9kV7cShhbPCtoJU6G_84OxxMXOdyqUVM3SpAmUUVJ1uYGLCH76typbi-yn-wIA&utm_content=89304151&utm_source=hs_email
Do you feel like sending out a distress signal right now? Need a life raft?
The universal distress signal is S.O.S. It is Morse Code and not an acronym, but everyone knows what it means. Over the years, however, some people have turned it into an acronym: “SAVE OUR SHIP,” so if that’s the case, what is on your ship that you feel needs saving right now?
As we think about what needs saving, I want to offer some other acronyms for S.O.S.
SINK OR SWIM. In light of COVID-19, sometimes we feel like the world is sinking. Over the Memorial Day Weekend, I am here at my usual happy place, South Padre Island, but this time it’s a little unsettling walking around in a “masked” environment. I have to make a choice: Will I allow myself to sink emotionally because it’s different or will I choose to have a good time and swim? Swimming is always the better choice but it takes more effort.
Over the past few months, our ministry, Pearls of Promise, has been forced to cancel a Level-Up Conference, speaking engagements came to a halt, because of the “Shelter-at-Home” order, we could not gather as a team for our new television show, POP Talk. We also couldn’t do in-person radio interviews, and we felt like we were not teaching/encouraging our Pearls of Promise connections anymore. What to do? We had to make a choice. Sink Or Swim?
SEEK OUR STRATEGY. We chose to swim so this led to seeking a strategy and ultimately, the strategy or chess moves for our lives must come from God. Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
As the leader of this ministry, I overcame the initial shock of the hard stop brought on by COVID-19 by spending extended time in God’s presence. It was like I was a little child again, wearing holy floaties. How and where do you want us to swim, Lord? Do we simply float, or do you want us to keep moving forward in some way? And He was faithful to provide the strategy, just as He will provide a detailed plan for you in your life.
SEASON OF SLEEP. This is an acronym that we might not have thought about. Maybe the Lord is taking some things off your plate so you can relax, recharge and bask in His presence. Even though Pearls of Promise is still busy doing ministry, my days are still less hectic and contain more margin than ever before. The pace feels better and allows for a longer quiet time in the morning.
SEEK OUR SAVIOR. Jesus does not want us to sink. He wants us to work things out with Him at the center, and then desires for us to walk on the water, holding His hand so we don’t go under. He is the foundation in the midst of continued uncertainty.
I will close with one of my favorite passages from Psalm 40:1-2:
“I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”
SERVING OUR SAVIOR! Here’s the link to sign up for our POP Chat for this Wednesday, May 27 at 6:30 p.m. We hope you will sign up and join us for a powerful time online.