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.

The Prayer Journals Facebook page provides prayer journal prompts and inspiration. Please join me there or on Twitter @prayerprompts.

God’s Blessings to You,
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Sheri

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A Courageous Heart

A couple of weeks ago I wrote on my blog, The Blogging Owl, my three new words to live by in 2020. I added three action verbs to existing words from 2018 and 2019 that will motivate me to get on with my purpose by using the talents God has gifted to me. My three action words are silence, commit and fulfill.

Living by faith means expecting the best.

As I look forward to a new year in the next few days, I look back in my prayer journals to see how God has blessed me throughout this past year. There are highs and lows in any given year and my brokenness – that which breaks my resistance and self-reliance in my journey to looking and living out God’s will for my life has and will not always be easy.

As I read through the pages of my prayer journals covering this past year (and those of past years), all that was intended was not accomplished. As I have drawn closer to God and getting to know him better, I have gotten to know my own identity better too. Knowing God and knowing myself better has helped me to define my responsibilities in all ways. It has helped me to silence self-doubt, commit to God’s control, readying myself to fulfilling His plan for my life.

When I listen to God and follow His will and not my own, I receive His very best for my life. Not only does God’s Word tell me so, but the pages of my prayer journals reflect how God has answered or still has me waiting for His best. When I fully reflect on this past year, I have experienced the greatest joy and unimaginable fulfillment when I lived out my responsibilities with my God-given talents. When I live this way, I no longer feel directionless and anxiety.

Three Verses

While I carry the entire Word of God with me today and into the New Year, I especially pray these three verses.

Psalm 31: 24 GW – Praying the Scripture:

“Be strong, all (I) who wait with the hope for the Lord and let your (my) heart be courageous.”

2 Corinthians 12:6-10 GW – Paul writes:

“If I ever wanted to brag, I wouldn’t be a fool. Instead, I would be telling the truth. But I’m going to spare you so that no one may think more of me than what he sees or hears about me, especially because of the excessive number of revelations that I’ve had.

Therefore, to keep me from becoming conceited, I am forced to deal with a recurring problem. That problem, Satan’s messenger, torments me to keep me from being conceited. I begged the Lord three times to take it away from me. But he told me: “My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.” So, I will brag even more about my weaknesses in order that Christ’s power will live in me. Therefore, I accept weakness, mistreatment, hardship, persecution, and difficulties suffered for Christ. It’s clear that when I’m weak, I’m strong.”

Romans 14:12 GW – Paul writes:

“All of us will have to give an account of ourselves to God.” 

Job 23

My Prayer

Dear Lord, where there was darkness in my life you have given it light. May that light continue to shine today and in the coming days so that only You will be reflected against the darkness of this world. I cling to all Your promises. As written in Isaiah 40: “You give strength to those who are tired and give strength to those who are weak… and the strength of those who wait on the Lord will be renewed. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and won’t become weary. They will walk and won’t grow tired.” The journey of looking and living out Your Will for my life has not been easy at times. I pray Lord, that you will renew and clarify within me the purpose you have planned for me. There is no faith without risk. Silence any fear and let my heart be courageous to fulfill the purpose you have given today and always. I pray this in Jesus’s name. Amen

May You have a Joyous New Year!

I encourage you to start your prayer journal today if you haven’t already done so. Prayer is the most important conversation you have each day. You will be amazed as you too look back and read the pages of your journal how you heard, felt and saw God’s presence in your life.

I am grateful that you have taken the time to read and follow The Prayer Journals blog. If you have specific prayer request, please email me at theprayerjournals.com@gmail.com. The Prayer Journals Facebook page provides prayer journal prompts and inspiration. Please join me there or on Twitter @prayerprompts.

Blessings on Your New Year!

Head shot 2019 - revised

Sheri

 

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