Disappointed vs Discouraged

We eagerly waited for the New Year so we could put 2020 firmly in the rearview mirror. The first week of the New Year was met with anything but a relief from the coronavirus and political divisiveness. The reality of the evil embedded in this country continues to smack this country in the face to which we can no longer avoid the reckoning of our spirit.

“Peace if possible, truth at all costs.” Martin Luther

This post is not about debating the current political situation in the United States. It is about looking within our heart and determining our individual spiritual state in how we, individually and collectively, can move forward to a better future for each person.

“Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy.” Thomas Merton

Not every person wants another person to succeed unless of course their success mirrors their own version of living. It may be because they believe differently in mind, body, and spirit; they are of a different ethnicity or skin color; they identify differently than the gender they were given at birth; they believe some of greater rights than others; and others believe it is their responsibility to ‘convert’ others to the image they believe is in keeping with who they believe is the correct way to be and live.

Today’s Journal Entry

I am human. I am a work in progress. And in my humanity complicated by sin, I cannot always see objectively. I am striving to be holy being brought to the place where I can receive from God through faith in Jesus Christ, the forgiveness of my sins. I ask God to clear my sight that is clouded by biases and pride so I may truly be His holy worker.

1 Peter 1:15-16 (GW)
“But because the God who called (me) is holy, (I) must be holy in every aspect of (my) life. Scripture says, ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’”

What does it mean to be holy?

The power that God gives to me through faith in Jesus Christ is to love. To love one another is to love God who is holy.

1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 (GW)
“We pray that God our Father and the Lord Jesus will guide us to you. We also pray that the Lord will greatly increase your love for each other and for everyone else, just as we love you. Then he will strengthen you to be holy. Then you will be blameless in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all God’s holy people.”

Disappointed but not discouraged.

I can be disappointed in others. I can even be outraged in their beliefs and in their actions. But I have the power of love and prayer, and therefore, I am not discouraged. I must be persistent in prayer to ask for wisdom as Solomon did in 1 Kings 3:7-14 (GW):

“LORD my God, although I’m young and inexperienced, you’ve made me king in place of my father David. I am among your people whom you have chosen. They are too numerous to count or record. Give me a heart that listens so that I can judge your people and tell the difference between good and evil. After all, who can judge this great people of yours?”

The LORD was pleased that Solomon asked for this. God replied, “You’ve asked for this and not for a long life, or riches for yourself, or the death of your enemies. Instead, you have asked for understanding so that you can do what is right. So, I am going to do what you have asked. I am giving you a wise and understanding heart so that there will never be anyone like you. I am also giving you what you have not asked for—riches and honor—so that no other king will be like you if you live. And if you follow me and obey my laws and commands as your father David did, then I will also give you a long life.”

I believe that God can fortify and protect my thought processes far beyond where I can go. The same spirit that fed the life of Jesus Christ will feed the life of my spirit. If I am struggling with sin of any kind, I ask God to show me how grievous it is to Him and to look at it from His perspective. I cannot just be sorry without truly carrying out my repentance with action. I rely on God’s power and truth to overcome every temptation.

It is only after my own repentance that I can put into action the wisdom that God grants to me with a heart of understanding and love.

Dear God, Help me to treat others with grace and mercy You showed to me through Jesus Christ. Amen

Getting to know God

I have been writing in a journal since I was a young girl. I have kept a prayer journal over the last ten years to draw closer to God. Are you waiting for answers? Draw closer to God.

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God’s Blessings to You,
sheri-clear-glasses
Sheri

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The Worthless Prayer

In my last post, I wrote about our place of hurt. Our place of hurt is as individual as each of us. Its’ origins are varied as well.

It is easy to get stuck in the sinking sand of despair when any slight can take us back dwelling in our place of hurt. I remember a time in the summer of 2016 when I was utterly stuck in my place of hurt. Since the summer of 2009 after losing my career and executive title, I struggled to find a new career, even while establishing a contract landed a position finally that would put me back into the career that helped my family attain a comfortable lifestyle. A former colleague had referred me to a company I was very familiar with, the interview went well and the person who interviewed me said she was passing me onto the next step in the hiring process. In less than 24 hours later, I received a standard rejection notice by email.

Like a punch in the gut, all the air went out of my body. I was in total shock.

“I don’t understand, God!” I wailed internally. “I don’t know what else you want from me. I don’t know what else to do!”

The only way I can describe the despair was I felt hollow. I had nothing left to give.

Worthless

In that moment, my sense of unworthiness was at its’ peak. I told my husband, I don’t know what else I can do. After literally submitting hundreds of online resumes’, interviews that always held out promise, I was beyond being despondent.

I could not even begin to pray. I literally just didn’t have any words. I would look at the blank page in my prayer journal in the darkness of my despair and close the cover. Then I turned to reading God’s Word and I opened my prayer journal once again. Although I did not have the words, God certainly did. I began to re-write my favorite bible verses in my prayer journal and other verses I had learned through my daily devotional readings. Inspirational quotes from some of my favorite authors began to flash on my social media feeds that described their countless rejections. God was talking to me.

I prayed on God’s promises.

Shortly thereafter, I had an interview within an industry similar of my contracting business, but it would mean learning and starting something new all over again. I told my husband that if I didn’t get this job, I was done interviewing. I was giving up.

I simply prayed, “Dear Lord, help me to accept and trust in my future. Amen”

I was still in my car 30 minutes after finishing the interview when I received a telephone call from the human resources recruiter telling me I had the job if I wanted it. I gratefully accept the job.

The Worthless Prayer

Guess what? Within two years my position was eliminated along with almost 600 of my co-workers. The company had decided to exit the industry.

Was my prayer worthless?

You may have seen the same memes or inspirational devotions that I have that read, “God always answers prayers. His answer may be “yes,” “no” or “not yet.”

I do NOT believe that sentiment for one split second. I have since come to believe that God always says, “YES!”

God says, “Yes, I hear you.”

God says, “Yes, I love you.”

God says, “Yes, you ARE worthy.”

God says, “I did not sacrifice my son, Jesus Christ to say “no” or “maybe.” He died for you! If you only accept and trust your future to me.”

When I was re-writing God’s promises in my prayer journal, they were becoming etched into my heart. I knew God would provide me another employment opportunity.

Our Place of Hurt

When my colleagues and I were all standing in that conference room listening to the president of the company tell us about the decision to exit the industry, how the dissolution of the company would play out, and how long we would have our jobs I looked around the room and saw all those places of hurt in my colleagues’ faces. I had been in their shoes in the summer of 2009 and I prayed I would not put those shoes back on and walk in my own place of hurt again.

My place of hurt originated when I was a child and I have often visited that place of hurt. It’s difficult not to go to that place of unworthiness, but the more I trust God with my future, I don’t stay long in my place of hurt for very long and the visits become further and further apart. I pray my way out of it even when I don’t have the words.

I am worthy. God even gave me the words to pray – HIS words. His promises.

Within two weeks I would again begin a new another new career in a different industry. I didn’t even stay to collect my severance package.

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From the prayer journal

Dear Lord, teach me to trust the Spirit You have breathed into me. Give me grace to believe Your Word, which I am made me Your child. Help me to understand that I am worthy because I belong to You. Enable me to live without despair and accept again the new life of my Lord, Jesus Christ. Lead me in joy by teaching me to no longer build walls of fear that protect myself from coming to You in prayer even when my words will not come out.

Father, help me to live in that joy where others can see You in my faith and service to You wherever and in whatever capacity you place me.

I love You. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray, Amen

May I pray for you?

We all have our place of hurt. Wherever and whenever your place of hurt originated or if you visiting that place of hurt right now, just remember you are worthy.

The Prayer Journal’s blog is my personal spiritual journey in conjunction with writing my spiritual memoir.

Please reach out to The Prayer Journals if I can answer any questions about keeping a prayer journal of your own. A prayer journal is an intimate communication between you and God. You don’t have to be an articulate writer. Use your gifts to communicate with God by perhaps with your talent as an illustrator, a painter, a poet, a lyricist or creator of scrapbooks. God enjoys hearing from you. I know you will be blessed! I know I am!
I enjoy hearing from you too! I’m praying for you.

Blessings on your day,

Sheri

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