Through Every Season

Author: Jennifer Coleman (Page 1 of 37)

Where is Your Hope?

I have a few confessions to make.

I loved this Facebook meme for the end of 2020.

The general consensus that this has been a bad year and that everyone just wants it over has been hard on me. Not that I thought that this was a particularly good year or that many of the changes that this year brought haven’t been hard on me or that I don’t want to see this year end. 

IT’S THAT THE EAGERNESS IS MISPLACED.

The hype at the end of last year about how great 2020 was going to be really bothered me as well.

You see, in December 2012, when Joel died, I learned not to put my hope in a year. 

Many years earlier, God gave me a verse for my kids that became my prayer and hope:

All your children shall be taught by the LORD Himself, and great shall be the peace of your children. – Isaiah 54:13

I prayed that they would be taught by the LORD Himself. I prayed daily that they would love the Lord and serve Him with all their hearts. My goal in homeschooling them was to teach them to be led by Holy Spirit. They are really great kids, hard workers. Ages 26-32 now. They love the Lord, are incredibly smart. The Lord Himself has truly been their teacher.

On a Wednesday night in November of 2012, someone in our church had our oldest and youngest sons stand up and spoke Jeremiah 29:11 over them: 

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope.”

The promise felt a little out of place. I thought, “Of course, God’s plans are good.” We were overflowing with hope. All three boys were living at home while working their way through college. My daughter was preparing to graduate from homeschooling. Everything was good. 

Then that awful day in December came. Joel died. My hope was shattered and I lost all sense of what hope was. No one can live without hope. I needed a different kind of hope, a more trustworthy hope.

I had never thought about how that wonderful verse in Jeremiah 29:11 was spoken to a people also promised 70 years of captivity. They would never see their kids graduate from college and live a long prosperous life this side of Heaven either. 

How did they live? What was their hope? I had to search the scriptures diligently with all my heart to learn what biblical hope really is. 

I learned to love verses that I had skipped over before. I held onto them for dear life. Job and Joseph and Paul and Jesus became my best friends. They had suffered long and hard. They understood.

Our hope was never meant to be in a year. It’s not meant to be placed in the things or people of this world. Yes, God has good plans for us. Yes, He wants to prosper us. But our treasures are not earthly treasures where moth and rust corrupt. They are Heavenly. They are eternal.

I had to learn to live this way:

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. Set your minds on the things above, not the things on the earth. For you have died, and your life has been hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life may be revealed, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Colossians 3:1-4

I had to learn perseverance: 

So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you will become mature and well developed, not deficient in any way. – James 1:4

For a long time, I had to trust that perseverance would produce the hope I’d lost:

Not only that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us. Romans 5:3-5

I had to believe that my suffering was temporary and achieving a greater glory:

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  – 2 Corinthians 4:17  

I had to learn to trust that God’s grace would be sufficient for whatever the new year would bring:

Each time He said, “My grace is sufficient for you: for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

I had to learn to aline my hope with our heroes of faith: 

All these people died in faith, without having received the things they were promised. However, they saw them and welcomed them from afar. And they acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.

Now those who say such things show that they are seeking a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them. Hebrews 11:13- 16

I had to learn to think soberly about this life and rest my hope FULLY on Christ and His return: 

Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, rest all your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. – 1 Peter 1:13

My hope has grown eager and secure because it is no longer in temporary things.  

But you, beloved, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, eagerly waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you eternal life. Jude 1:20-21 

How is your hope?
Is it misplaced?
Or is it only in our eternal hope in Jesus?

In His love,

Jenny Coleman
GriefShare facilitator at Redland Hills Church

We are starting two GriefShare groups this Spring.

Anyone grieving a death of a friend or loved one:
Sundays at 3 PM starting January 17th

Bereaved parents:
Wednesdays at 6 PM starting January 13th

Ask for details or find one by zip code near you at GriefShare.org

Struggling with Suffering

My favorite verses have become the ones where Jesus struggled with suffering… because through them I know I am not alone, I am not abandoned, I am chosen, I am loved.

He took with Him Peter, James, and John, and began to be deeply troubled and distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is consumed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch.” – Mark 14:33-34

Jesus gave into the sorrow.. He allowed it to consume Him to the point of death. And turned to “Abba, Father,” to Him who “all things are possible for.”

His friends… fell asleep.

He prayed the same thing again.. and again. – God never tires of hearing our prayers.

Until a few weeks ago, I believed this was the only time Jesus gave into His sorrow. However I recently realized that the trouble Jesus felt and tears He cried at Lazarus’ tomb are connected to the trouble and deep sorrow at the garden of Gethsemane. In the chapter following Lazarus’ resurrection Jesus told Philip and Andrew:

“Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? No, it is for this purpose that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify Your name!’ … After Jesus had spoken these things, He went away and was hidden from them.” – John 12:27-28, 36

It’s okay to struggle… to be troubled… again and again… as you face your sorrow and turn to the Father, submitted to His will and longing for Him to be glorified. And it’s okay to disappear from the crowds. Jesus did more than once. 

It’s also okay not to feel all better even when the comfort comes directly from Heaven:

Then an angel from Heaven appeared to Him and strengthened Him. And in His anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground. – Luke 22:43-44 

His sweat became like drops of blood while earnestly praying in anguish AFTER an angel from Heaven appeared and strengthened Him. Heaven’s comfort didn’t make everything okay. It didn’t take away the suffering. It appeared and strengthened Him in the midst of it.

During the days of Jesus’ earthly life, He offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the One who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverence. – Hebrews 5:7 

We are heard because of our reverence. Loud cries and tears do not disqualify us. They are not a sign of a lack of faith. We pray to the One who is able but not always willing to save us and our loved ones from physical death. Suffering and being separated from those we love causes anguish. Even Jesus asked why:

“My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?”

We are not alone. We are not abandoned. We are chosen. We are loved.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. – Colossians 3:12 

You’re Invited

I was pouring out some pent up emotions (and tears) in prayer on my walk the other day. I noticed I’d been trying to live bootstraps pulled up, marching forward right over my heart. I know that is not the Father’s heart towards me, so I decided to declare the truth to my heart by praying through Psalm 23. When I came to “my cup runs over,” I “looked” inside my cup. It was empty. A tear plopped into my empty cup..

How are you? Are you taking your cares to the Shepherd of your soul? Are you speaking truth to your heart? Are you seeing Jesus rightly? Are you taking time to sit at the table He has prepared for you in the presence of your enemies? Are you allowing Him to fill your cup?

I asked the Lord, what had He prepared for me? What was at the table? Why was my cup dry? These verses came to mind:

And He took the bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body, given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way, after supper He took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is poured out for you. – Luke 22:19-20

Jesus humbled Himself, suffered and died that we might eat and drink of Him. He is the sacrifice prepared for us in the midst of our enemies.

“I am the living bread that came down from Heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And this bread, which I will give for the life of the world, is My flesh.” – John 6:51

On the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood up and called out in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said: ‘Streams of living water will flow from within him.” – John 7:37-38

Jesus is our Spring of Salvation; a flowing source of salvation that the thirsty can return to again and again.

Isaiah 12:2-3
Surely God is my salvation;
I will trust and not be afraid.
For the LORD GOD is my strength and my song,
and He also has become my salvation.
With joy you will draw water from the springs of salvation.

Jesus’ sacrifice and invitation to come eat and drink of Him is very good news to those who are thirsty and willing to come. Will you draw water with joy from our Spring of Salvation with me?

May you feel His loving embrace this Christmas,

Jenny

Choosing Where My Triggered Thoughts Take Me

I drove by a yard decorated with plastic tombstones for Halloween this week. It was hard on my heart.

It triggered thoughts of death, darkness, and the deep pain of losing someone you dearly love.

Innocent pastimes like Clue, the Mafia party game, and Murder Mystery Dinners are no longer innocent or mysterious for me. I do still really enjoy seeing kids’ creativity and joy in dressing up in some of the nicer Halloween costumes and I’ve already bought glow bracelets, temporary monster tattoos, candy and tracks to pass out to the neighborhood kids.

I dreaded the drive back home past the play cemetery the other night. Then flenched when I saw it a second time and I prayed for those I know who are hurting this season. I acknowledged in my heart that the decorations aren’t going to get any brighter as the years go by and determined that I needed change what seeing death celebrated triggers in me.

I asked myself, “What thoughts can I connect to tombstones that would help heal my battered soul?” My heart answered, “The death of death! The day God swallows up death forever! The day we will celebrate Jesus’ victory over death, our last enemy! The day God will tenderly wipe away every tear from our eyes!” Oh, how I long for that day!

I compiled a list of “Death Swallowed in Victory” verses to help my heart in those triggered moments. Training my mind and renewing my heart will take a while, but I know Jesus gives beauty for ashes. I included a photo above showing how I use Google Keep to keep lists like it in my phone. Sharing it here for those like me who may need the brighter thoughts they inspire:

Revelation 21:4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

Isaiah 25:8 He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. For Yahweh has spoken.

Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Isaiah 60:20 Your sun will no longer set, and your moon will not wane; for Yahweh will be your everlasting light, and the days of your sorrow will be over.

Revelation 7:17 For the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd. He will lead them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

2 Corinthians 5:1 Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is dismantled, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.

John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will still live, even if he dies; and every one who is living and is a believer in me will never, never die. Do you believe this?”

1 Corinthians 15:54-56 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come to pass: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”

Psalm 16:7-11
I will bless Yahweh, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.

I have set Yahweh always before me.
Because He is at my right hand,
I will not be moved.

No wonder my heart is glad
and my glory rejoices;
my body also rests in safety.

For You will not abandon
my soul among the dead,
nor allow your faithful one to see decay.

You cause me to know the path to life;
fill me with joy in Your presence,
everlasting delight at Your right hand.

Much love and grace,

Jenny

Tears Answered in Jesus

My tears have been my food day and night,
while they say to me all the day long,
“Where is your God?” – Psalm 42:3 ESV

What do your tears say to you? What questions do they ask? What do you do with them? Do you swallow them down or pour them out?

We have cried many tears since the death of our 20 year old son. The first question our tears asked was, “Does God understand how much this hurts?”

Maybe your tears ask with the psalmist, “Where is God?” or maybe they ask:
“Does He hear our prayers?”
“Does God see?”
“Does He care?”
“Did I do something wrong?”

The psalmist turns from swallowing bitter tears to pouring them out before God while repeatedly encouraging himself to “Hope in God” (Psalms 42:5, 11).

Shortly after losing our son, Joel, a clear choice presented itself to us:

a) We could turn away from God, swallow our bitter tears and go to a very dark place or…
b) We could turn to God, pour out our bitter sorrow and encourage ourselves to hope in Him.

This was a choice we had to make many times over; often within a single day.

As we continued to turn to God with our bitter sorrow and place our hope in Him, our tears were answered with God’s love shown to us in Jesus.

In Jesus, we see the sacrificial love of the Father for us (John 3:16).
In Jesus, we see God’s care for the very hairs on our heads (Luke 12:7).
In Jesus, we see Him weeping alongside us at the grave of those we love (John 11:35).
In Jesus, we see Him carry all our sorrows (Isaiah 53:4).
In Jesus, we see Him providing forgiveness for our sins at the cross (Luke 23:34).
In Jesus, we see our Resurrection and Life (John 11:25).
In Jesus, we see our Eternal Salvation (Hebrews 5:9).

In Jesus, we have the promise, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:3).

In Jesus, we have a “firm and secure” hope as an “anchor for our soul” (Hebrew 6:19).

We know that God understands how much this hurts because we see Jesus during the days of His earthly life offering “up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the One who could save Him from death” (Hebrews 5:7).

We know that God hears our prayers, because this same “Christ Jesus who died–more than that, who was raised to life–is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us” (Romans 8:34).

What will you do with your tears? Will you turn with us and pour out your bitter sorrow to God, commit to encourage yourself to hope in Him, and allow His lovingkindness in Jesus to answer your tears?

Much love,

Jenny

Reasons Not to Seek a Medium or Spiritists

When you are suffering or have lost someone you dearly love, there can be a temptation to desperately grasp at any means of comfort. God may feel distant, inaccessible, or we may honestly not be on speaking terms with Him. Seeking a medium or spiritists may sound like a good idea, but the reality is that it can be devastatingly dangerous. What we need when our hearts are broken is nothing short of a miracle. We need the comfort that only God can give.

God is not distant or inaccessible. Jesus died on the cross so that nothing can ever separate us from His love again. All we have to do is ask and He will come to our rescue.

I am not saying that our journey through suffering to comfort will be quick or easy, but if we will continually turn our hearts to God, He will be faithful to meet us and minister to us as only He can.

I was so blessed a few years ago when I read a Kim Nolywaika’s “Eight Reasons Why I Will Not See a Psychic Medium” that I wanted to write a similar post of my own. I hope this line of thought helps you as it has me. Kim’s post can be found on her blog at: https://youcantrusthim.com/2017/03/09/eight-reasons-why-i-will-not-see-a-psychic-medium/

Download my page of reasons below as a pdf here.

In His love,

Jenny Coleman

Trust the Engineer

It can get really dark on this fallen planet, but those who trust in Jesus are only traveling through.
The darkness is not our destination.
Eventually, if we trust our Heavenly Engineer and don’t jump off, we will find that He is the Everlasting Light at the end of our tunnel.

 

Your sun will no longer set, and your moon will not wane; for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and the days of your sorrow will cease. – Isaiah 60:20

But those who wait upon the LORD will renew their strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, yet our inner self is being renewed day by day. – 2 Corinthians 4:16

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. – James 1:12

All these people died in faith, without having received the things they were promised. However, they saw them and welcomed them from afar. And they acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. – Hebrews 11:13

I ask that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know the hope of His calling, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and the surpassing greatness of His power to us who believe. – Ephesians 1:18-19

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. -2 Corinthians 4:6

Love and grace,

Jenny

Heavenly Intercessors and Witnesses: Encouragement to Run and Pray

I recently learned that my friend, Donna, joined the great cloud of witnesses, who cheer for us. She promised to tell Joel funny stories from when we were little when she got there. Her friendship was such a gift.

Three precious women, who have prayed for and often encouraged me, have joined that cloud of witnesses in the last nine months. Their prayers and witness continue to encourage me now. I was praying this morning for their families and others who are grieving and leaning into these verses:

Romans 8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know how we ought to pray, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans too deep for words. 27 And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God…

34 Who is there to condemn us? For Christ Jesus, who died, and more than that was raised to life, is at the right hand of God—and He is interceding for us.

I lean hard because I am weak and often don’t know how I ought to pray, but long to join Jesus and Holy Spirit in their intercession for us even when only groans too deep for words can suffice.

Jesus, consumed with zeal for His house, drove money changers out of the temple and declared:

“My house will be called a house of prayer.” (John 2, Matthew 21)

I imagine that He is consumed with that same zeal for His heavenly house and that intercession is a central part of what goes on in Heaven.

My dear friend, Terri, commented below, “Hebrews 7:25 He always lives to make intercession for us. I had to read that verse over and over to really believe I was reading it right! He lives to intercede for us. What a wonderful Truth in God’s word!”

Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them.

Yes! He lives to intercede for us! Holy Spirit is interceding, Jesus, the Central Focus of Heaven, lives to intercede for us and is zealous that His house be called a house of prayer.

Our loved ones in Heaven have seen Jesus. They have seen His face, His great heart of love, His longing, His zeal, and have become like Him. I imagine that they are consumed with His zeal and His longing. I imagine that they have joined Jesus and Holy Spirit in interceding for us, asking that we would be strengthened in our faith, that we would know the width, length, height and depth of His love, be encouraged by their witness and His faithful promises to us.

In Luke 15:10, Jesus tells us,

“In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

“There is rejoicing in the presence of the angels.”

Who is in the presence of the angels rejoicing?

In this chapter, Jesus tells us stories of a shepherd searching for a lost lamb, a woman scouring for a lost silver coin and a father running toward his returning prodigal son.

He is telling us how valuable we are in God’s eyes. He wants us to know how our Good Shepherd searches for us and how our Father in Heaven watches, waits and longs for our repentance. He is showing us how when we turn towards home, He runs towards us with hugs and kisses, joyfully puts us on His shoulders and calls His friends, neighbors, servants and sons together and says, “Rejoice with me!”

22b “‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.”

“…there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels.”

Knowing that Jesus lives to intercede for us, and God longs for and rejoices with heavenly intercessors and witnesses over my repentance makes me want to run hard and well toward Home with my eyes fixed on Jesus for the joy set before me:

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off every encumbrance and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with endurance the race set out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

I am so thankful that God so loved me that sent His Son, Jesus, to seek and save me. I am so thankful for the opportunity and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge. I am so thankful for the prayers and witnesses of Jesus, Holy Spirit, friends and family, and of saints around the world and in Heaven. I am so thankful for our firm and secure Anchor of Hope and the encouragement to run. I am so thankful that the Spirit Himself intercedes for us when we don’t know how we ought to pray with groans too deep for words and according to the will of God.

Rejoice in hope, endure distress, devoted to prayer. Romans 12:12

With love and intercessory groans,

Jenny

2018 A Year of Focusing on God’s Love (Truths I must recite to my own heart daily.)

I have a habit of spending the last several weeks of the year in prayer asking the Lord for direction for the new year. Last year He answered, “Whatever 2018 brings, focus on My love for you.”

Although the first part of His answer was full of reminiscent premonition, He gave me the grace to trust and obey. I’m so thankful. Some long, hard days and weeks were made bearable by the transformative grace of focusing on His love. There were a few days where I lost focus. He was faithful, so faithful, to redirect me back to His love. [PDF of verses on God’s love here.]

Suffering calls into question God’s motives and authority. It begs the same questions that the serpent asked Eve in the garden: Did God really say? Is what He said true? What is He keeping from you? What are His secret intentions?

How do we turn these questions over on their head?

We choose to view our circumstances in faith through the lens of His great love by skillfully wielding His Word. Like night vision goggles, His Word pierces the darkness and collects the hidden rays of Light and Truth.

Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. (Lamentations 3:21-22 NLT)

God loves us. There is no shadow of turning in Him. Jesus is proof of His love. If we ever doubt His love for us, we can look at Love come down in the flesh suffering the cross for us. He loves us all the way from Heaven to earth and back. His arms are stretched wide bidding us to make our home and find our rest in His love.

He saw us, knew us and called us to Himself before He formed us. Before the foundation of the world, God knew that having us for His own treasured possession would cost Him the life of His only begotten Son and counted us worth it.

Christmas is Immanuel, God with us. Nothing can separate us from His love. Our High Priest understands our weakness, knows that we are dust, made Himself nothing, took on servanthood and became obedient to a terrible, shameful death on the cross. The same God that determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds with His love.

He is the Good Samaritan who sees us suffering on the side of the road and is moved by compassion to save us. Unlike all others who turn away and pass by on the other side, He runs to us, pours Himself out for us, clothes us with His own robe of righteousness and seals us with His promised Holy Spirit.

He has set His love on us. We are the joy for which He endured the cross, the apple of His eye, His promised bride. Nothing touches us that doesn’t touch Him. His wings are our refuge. He sees our tossing and turning through the night and collects our tears in His bottle. Nothing can snatch us out of His hand.

In all their suffering He also suffered,
and He personally rescued them.
In His love and mercy He redeemed them.
He lifted them up and carried them through all the years. (Isaiah 63:9)

In this fallen world, suffering is the price of love. The cross is proof that God sometimes allows what He hates in order to accomplish what He loves. God works all things together for the good of those who love Him. His intention is to conform us into the image of His Son who suffered and died for us.

We endure suffering and become more than conquerors through Him who loved us by fixing our eyes on Jesus as our highest joy and great reward. We know that though weeping endures for a night, joy comes in the morning. One day soon all pain, sorrow, morning and death will end. He will personally wipe away our tears and give us a great and glorious inheritance. These truths are a buckler for us through our suffering. We pray daily for others to know and rely on them.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Cor. 4:16-18)

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (Romans 8:16-18)

I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:10-11)

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial that has come upon you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed at the revelation of His glory. (1 Peter 4:12-13)

For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His footsteps. (1 Peter 2:21)

Praying that this year will be a year of transformative grace as you delve in deep into the truth of His love for you.

I collected a list of 100+ verses to help me meditate on God’s love and posted it as a PDF for you here.

Jenny

Even the Prickly Ones

One way I meditate on the Word is by illustrating verses with watercolor. I included succulents with this verse because it feels prickly to me. The idea that God is sovereign and had my life planned out before I existed both comforts and frustrates me. I don’t always like His plans, but if I could control everything, what would the repercussions be? How many things would I mess up?

I am comforted when I remember that God is good and loves me so much that He gave His own Son for me. He has all my moments planned out, even the prickliest ones. He will walk me through them step by step. I can rest in His competence, trust and obey.

My vision is poor. His is perfect. I can’t understand all He does or allows, but I can trust that He is a Master Redeemer. He does all things well. In Heaven, my faith will become sight and I will be awed by His glory.

Much love,

Jenny

« Older posts

© 2021 Finding Joy in Him

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑