Week Nine/Day One: “The Steadfast Mind…A View of the Old”

 

isaiah263This week we get to go over a very powerful ‘ground’….the mind!
The mind is the battlefield that satan desires to overtake. Even if he knows he can’t have your heart, he will go for your mind because there can be nothing more grievous than a Christian with a defeated mind. And if he can get to your mind, he knows, sooner or later, the resolve of your heart will weaken.

 

Beth states that In-depth study and deliberate “APPLICATION” of truth is not just helpful but an absolute necessity for those who choose liberty.

Trusting God is more than just mere knowledge of scripture…it is putting our hearts in His hands and allowing Him to take control, trusting in His love and goodness, faithfulness and wisdom above all else. It is believing Him when He says “I know the Plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and NOT to harm you, plans for a future and a GOOD end. 

Today’s Treasure is one of my all time favorite ‘daily’ scriptures. It is one of those key scriptures that I have learned to not only repeat but to ‘practice’ on a daily basis…and guess what ladies…..it works!!

“You will keep in perfect peace whose mind is steadfast, because he ‘trusts’ in you.” – Isaiah 26:3

Principal Question:
What can happen to those who have knowledge of God but don’t think it worthwhile to retain it?

Personal Question:
By any chance, are you still waiting to see the first signs of fruit from a previous valley? Can you think of ways God could use the lapse of time to bring forth an even greater harvest?

Enjoy your study. And have a PEACE FILLED and STEADFAST day!

 

Week Eight/Day One: “God’s Unfailing Love…Finding Unfailing Love”

Welcome to Week Eight/Day One: God’s Unfailing Love!

"What a person desires is unfailing love..." - Proverbs 19:22

“What a person desires is unfailing love…” – Proverbs 19:22

 

Wow…can you believe it?

We’ve only got two more weeks of the study to go? How tempting has it been to just give up and quit?
Has everything that can be shaken been done ‘shook up’???
More painful than outside circumstances is when your inside circumstance is rocked, shaken, dug up, plowed through and you’re left feeling so raw and wonder why am I doing this again???

 

 

And then there’s this:

Today’s Treasure:
“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, YET my unfailing love for you will NOT be shaken nor my covenant of Peace be removed, says the Lord who has ‘compassion’ on you.” – Isaiah 54:10though the mountains be shaken

That word compassion is the Hebrew word for ‘racham‘ meaning: ‘to soothe, to cherish, to love deeply like parents; to be compassionate, tender..”.  God is not rearing us to be independent of Him. He’s not rearing us to leave home.  God is rearing us to ‘come home’!!!

Proverbs 19:22  tells us What a person desires is Unfailing Love…”

The Hebrew word for desire comes from the word ‘avah’ meaning ‘to covet, greatly desire.’  This verse puts that which we long for most into a capsule phrase for us.  Every human being strongly desires, covets in others, and longs for unfailing love.

Principal Question:
What does Proverbs 20:6 suggest about unfailing love?

Personal Question:
How would you explain the difference between God’s love and human love, even at its best? Offer several examples of how God’s love differs.

Only in the light of God’s unfathomable ways and infinitely high thoughts can we fully appreciate the bedrock of God’s love. Kings will rise and fall, but His love endures forever. Sometimes we’ll be healed from physical afflictions and sometimes we won’t. But His love endures forever.  The heavens and earth will pass away.  But His love endures forever!

Can anyone or anything separate us from that kind of love?

Romans 8:37-39 says:

No! in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, 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.

What a LOVE! He never lets us go. This scripture is the answer to the greatest psychological need! If we don’t allow God’s truth to take up full residence in our hearts, the we may learn ‘just enough’ to move out of one prison into another.  He is not only the answer to one thousand needs, He is the answer to a thousand ‘wants’. He is the fulfillment of our chief desire in all of life.
Whether we’ve recognized it or not, what we desire most is ‘unfailing love’.
Whether we acknowledge it or not, there is only one source….God’s love.  It will never let us go!

Romans 8_38-39

 

 

Week Seven/Day Four: “The Potter and the Clay…God’s Rule is Right”

Welcome to Week Seven/Day Four: “The Potter and the Clay”
Day 4: “God’s Rule is Right”

God’s right to rule is one of two principle truths that actually serve as the foundation for our obedience to do the difficult things that our flesh and survival/fighting reflexes so desperately do NOT want to do.

The other principle truth is the focus of our lesson today….God’s Rule is ‘Right’.

As creatures, we will be mastered; the question is, Who will be our master?

Today’s lesson touches on a very key and ‘painful’ point: obedience to authority.
How do I do that when I’ve been violated, abused, mistreated, betrayed by those in authority over my life….

How about you? Have you ever felt like a cowering prisoner? Have you ever felt like you would never be released?

Isaiah 51:14 says, “The cowering prisoners will soon be set free.” 

God knows our struggles. He knows every authority problem we have. He knows the times our trust has been betrayed. Like a father cupping his rebellious child’s face in his strong hands, He says, “Listen to me…Hear me…I, even I, am He who comforts you…I am the Lord your God.”  (Isaiah 51:1,7,12,15)

Do not allow the enemy, our accuser, another success at using your past record against you.

But my salvation will last forever, my righteousness will never fail" - Isaiah 55:6

But my salvation will last forever, my righteousness will never fail” – Isaiah 55:6

“My primary motivation for pursuing the obedient life is an “absolute belief that the One who has a right to rule is also the One whose rule is right”.

Obey and see that you can trust God!

Principal Question:
Because the Lord is so compassionate, what can He do with the ruins,
deserts and wastelands of His children’s lives? (Isa. 51:3)

Personal Question:
Do you also have authority problems? If so, how have you become aware of them? How can you begin to change so that you can be set free?

Week Seven/Day Three: “The Potter and the Clay…God’s Right to Rule”

Welcome to Week Seven/Day Three: The Potter and the Clay

Today’s Treasure:
“I am God, and there is no other. I am God, and there is none like me.” – Isaiah 46:9

"I am God and there is no other. I am God, and there is none like me." - Isaiah 46:9

“I am God and there is no other. I am God, and there is none like me.” – Isaiah 46:9

Day 3: God’s Right to Rule. This week’s focus is Obedience.

First let’s start by stating what obedience is “not”.
Obedience does not mean sinlessness but confession and repentance.
Obedience is not arriving at a perpetual state of Godliness but perpetually following hard after God. Obedience is not living miserably by a set of laws but inviting the Spirit of God to flow freely through us so the power to be victorious comes from God and not us.

Obedience is learning to love and treasure God’s Word and see it as our safety.
Liberty was ours the moment we received Christ as Savior, but if our internal gift of salvation is not released externally through obedience, we may never experience it to the fullest.

So, how does this concept of Liberty in God work?
1. First step is to acknowledge God’s Right to Rule. The Lord is the one and only possessor of true liberty.

2. The second step toward freedom is receiving Christ as Savior, thereby receiving His liberating Spirit. Freedom and Lordship are inseparable partners in the life of the believer.
Our freedom never leaves the bounds of His Spirit. Our liberation is expressed as a reality only in the places of our lives where the free Spirit of God is released. We are free when, and only when, HE is in control.

3. The third step toward freedom is yielding to the authority of God.
We are filled with the Spirit as we yield to His Lordship. Although the Spirit of the Lord is always in us, He floods only the parts of our lives where He is in Authority.

“Have you ever noticed that you can experience freedom in one area of your life while you are still in bondage in another?”

Sometimes we allow God to have full authority in one area while refusing Him another. The answer to liberty is withholding NO part of our lives from His authority.

Principle Question:
What is God’s will according to John 6:39-40?

Personal Question:
Have you ever noticed that you can experience freedom in one part of your life while you are still in bondage in another? If so, describe a time when you were free in one area while bound in another.
Christ’s ultimate purpose in His earthly life was to do the will of the Father. As an earthly vessel, Jesus had to completely trust His Father’s will. Although rejection, suffering, and shame were part of His experience, Christ accepted His God-given ministry at every difficult turn because He trusted His Father’s heart and poured out His life for His Father’s goal.

Christ was committed to God’s right to rule and was convinced that God’s rule is right.

Sometimes, what we need to cure our fat egos is a strong dose of “God”!

Long before a certain visionary ‘discovered’ the earth was round, God sat enthroned above the circle of the earth. Long before men were so ‘enlightened’, God formed the light and the darkness. Long before the first billion dollars were invested in exploring space, God’s own hands stretched out the heavens. Long before there was a ‘beginning’, God had already planned the end.

God is God. He is the center of the universe (not us!).

Without the Potter, clay is just dirt.  “The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being – Gen. 2:7

We seek to please Him. He seeks to perfect us…and life works!….Not without pain but with purpose.

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Freedom!

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Freedom!

Week Seven/Day Two: “The Potter and the Clay…Broken Pottery”

Welcome to Week Seven/Day Two: The Potter and the Clay

Day Two: “Broken Pottery”

Today’s Treasure:
“This sin will become for you like a high wall, cracked and bulging, that collapses suddenly, in an instant. It will break in pieces like pottery.”
– Isaiah 30:13-14

Yesterday’s lesson introduced what I believe and have learned to be a cornerstone scripture to enjoying the freedom of Christ….Not merely listening, reading or even quoting the Word but actually ‘doing’ what it says.

” Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror24 and, after looking at himself, goes james122away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.” – James 1:22-25

Beth says: “We don’t just want to glance in the ‘mirror’ of scripture, walk away and forget what we ‘saw’. If we study and claim God’s Word but don’t obey it, we will not experience the liberty the Holy Spirit can bring.” And she is so right. We want to look at it ‘intently’ and continue ‘in it’, not forgetting what we’ve heard, but “doing it”. THEN….we will be able to walk in freedom and be blessed in what we do.

After reflecting on the four phrases that characterize rebellion in yesterday’s lesson, Beth adds two more:
5. A rebellious child of God depends on deceit (Isa. 30:12)
The Hebrew word for depended is “shaman”, to support oneself, lean against.” Note the paired phrases in Isaiah 30:12:
‘relied on oppression’ and ‘depended on deceit’.  Reliance and dependence. Oppression and deceit. They are interdependent and interconnected.

Any time we attach ourselves or seek safety in a fraudulent savior, we have to depend on lies to support the habit.Isaiah 30:12-14

Satan uses unhealthy attachments to things or people. The biggest crutch of all is deceit. Satan’s lies keep us walking in our chains.

6.A rebellious child of God runs from the real answers (Isa 30:15-17)

Have you ever experienced a season when you knew what would rescue you but you ran from it?

Our human nature is to run when we’re in trouble. Yet, the figurative walls of protection around our lives will crumble like pottery broken to pieces because clay that insist on acting like the Potter will inevitably end up in pieces.

Principal Question:
What happens if we continue in rebellion, rejecting God’s Word, relying on oppression, and depending on deceit?

Personal Question:
Have you sometimes experienced defeat because you refused to calm yourself in the presence of God and trust Him?

God’s Compassion demands that He reaches out to us even in our rebellion, but His righteousness demands that He bring painful chastisement if we don’t grab His reaching hand and return to Him wholeheartedly. Let’s take a look at verse 15.

“This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance (returning) and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.” – Isaiah 30:15

Let’s break down the key words in this scripture so that we can get a deeper understanding of what God is offering us.

1. Returning/Repentance: The word ‘returning’ more accurately translates the Hebrew shuwbah (retirement, withdrawal, conversion).Repentance includes not only turning away from sin but turning to God.
2. Rest: The Hebrew word for rest is nachath defined as ‘lighting down’ (rest, quietness, letting down (as His arm of judgement).
3. Salvation: The Hebrew word for salvation here is Yasha which means to be spacious, ample, broad.
The significance of ample space in Hebrew is applied to liberty, deliverance from dangers and distresses.

The two primary elements of victory in this verse are “Quietness and Trust”.
4. Quietness: The original word for quietness is shaqat meaning ‘to lie quietly, be undisturbed’…to calm.
5. Trust: The exact Hebrew word translated trust in this verse is bitchah meaning ‘nothing more that one can do’.
6. Strength:The Hebrew word for strength here implies victory.

To be offered all this and yet, the scripture ends with….”and you would have none of this”
Oh, Lord, we surely are a stubborn and stiff-necked people!

Yes, God still loves cracked pots but let’s not wait until we’re in ‘pieces’ to return and Trust!

isaiah30-151

 

 

 

 

Week Seven/Day One: “The Potter and the Clay…Upside Down”

How does liberty in Christ become a reality? In one word: Obedience! Obedience to God’s Word.

Rightly responding to the Word of God is our ticket to freedom.
We want God to somehow wave a wand over us and magically remove every hinderance without requiring anything of us.
God desires to change us from the inside out…renewing our minds, starving our self-destructive tendencies, ad teaching us to form new habits.

Isaiah_29_16_by_sketchydreamer“You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, “He did not make me? Can the pot say of the potter, “He knows nothing?” – Isaiah 29:16

Liberty and Authority will always go hand in hand.

The book of Isaiah has more to say about authority, rule and uniqueness of God than virtually any book of the Bible.
Over and over in this book, God perfectly underscores the same three principles”
1. He has the right to rule

2. He sets a high price for rebellion

3. He pours out safety and blessing for obedience.

Synonyms for the word rebellion are defiant and disobedient. The Hebrew definition uses the English synonym ‘refractory’ which means pig-headed, obstinate, stubborn, resisting authority.

The vivid portrait of a rebel in Isaiah 30:8-21 helps us recognize rebellion when it wells up in us.
1. A rebellious child of God doesn’t act like a child of God (Isa 30:9)
The original word for deceitful in this verse is kechash which means ‘not acting like sons’…giving a false impression of who you are.

2. A rebellious child of God isn’t willing to listen to the Lord’s instruction. (Isa. 30:9).
The Hebrew word for listen is ‘shame’ meaning ‘to give undivided listening attention’.  Rebellious people don’t want to listen.
God will never tell us something to defeat us. He wants us to live like the overcomers that we are.
3. A rebellious child prefers pleasant illusions over truth (Isa 30:10-11).
If enjoying flattery puts a noose around our necks, then seeking flattery hangs us!

4. A rebellious child of God relies on oppression (vs. 12)
The word ‘relied’ in verse 12 is the Hebrew word ‘batach’ meaning ‘to attach oneself’ to trust, confide in, feel safe.’

The Hebrew word ‘oppression’  (osheq) indicates oppression by means of fraud or extortion…a thing ‘deceitfully gotten’.
The word attachment in this context differs from healthy relationships with things or people.  A toxic emotional cocktail is a relationship made up of someone who has an unhealthy need to be taken care of and someone who has an unhealthy need to care-take.  But, In Christ, we find the freedom to be safely exposed.

God’s authority doesn’t imprison…it Sets Free!

"This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength"  - Isaiah 30:15

“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength”
– Isaiah 30:15

Week Six/Day Five: “Beauty from Ashes…To Live Happily Ever After”

Week Six/Day Five: “Beauty from Ashes…To Live Happily Ever After”

Every little girl has dreams and if she trusts Christ with all her heart, nothing can disable God from surpassing a childhood reach with a divine reality! God surpasses our dreams when we reach past our personal plans and agendas to grab the hand of Christ and walk the path HE chose for us. Those occasional grand moments we share with Christ when two will converge as one are glimpses of Glory.

Our thoughts today will center on the fourth dream as of almost every little girl….to live happily ever after.

“Living happily ever after wasn’t original with Cinderella.
It began with God.” – Beth Moore

Can you think of a time when you were convinced you would never experience gladness again…but because of Christ, you did?
In today’s lesson, we’ll see the three descriptions:  Blessed, Joy and Happiness.
Believe it or not, happy really is a biblical word! We just need to be wise and distinguish it from two other closely associated words in scripture.

1. Blessed: Greek word = makarios (John 13:3-17)
Possessing the favor of God, that sate of being marked by the fullness of God.
Can you think of a time when you sensed the fullness and favor of God but would not characterize the time as happy?

2. Joy: Greek word = chara (John 15:1-11)
Rejoicing and experiencing a depth of joy. Its sister word is charis which means Grace.
Biblical joy can come from the sheer awareness of the grace of God.

3. Happiness: Hebrew word = ‘esher (Proverbs 3:13)
Blessed with the force of an ‘interjection’ as in ‘exclamation point’!
Happiness has a emphasis on it!

Today’s Treasure: “Come and share your master’s happiness!” – Matthew 25:21

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ - Matthew 25:21

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ – Matthew 25:21

Principal Question:
What result did Christ guarantee if His followers put into practice what He demonstrated to them?

Personal Question:
How about you? Can you think of a time when you sensed the fullness and favor of God but would not characterize the time as happy? Explain.

 

Week Six/Day Four: “Beauty from Ashes…To Be Fruitful

"Sing O barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst forth into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband, says the Lord." - Isaiah 54:1

“Sing O barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst forth into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband, says the Lord.” – Isaiah 54:1

Welcome to Week Six/Day Four of our study together.
Today’s lesson will focus on “Being Fruitful”, the third of four dreams Beth pointed out that every little girl shares.

As she summarizes the story of Tamar that we learned at the opening of this week’s lesson, Beth exhorts us to remember:
The enemy doesn’t just sow shame through obvious abuses but also works in very subtle ways. The childhood dream discussed today is one of satan’s counterfeits to sow shame. No one has the right to call anything or anyone unclean ‘that God has ALREADY made clean.

“Nothing anyone can do to you can make you unclean. The only thing that tarnishes us is our own sin, and we are one simple prayer of repentance away from purity at all times.”

Because we are created to be fruitful, infertility offers fertile soil for satan to sow shame.
Today we look at four points based on that train of thought.
1. Barrenness does not implies sinfulness. 
Read Luke 1:5-7
2. Hearts not surrendered to God can seldom be trusted.
Until we surrender our hopes and dreams to Christ, we really have little way of knowing what would fulfill us.

3. God created every life to be fruitful.
God-given dreams are the realm from which God can bring an even greater reality to being fruitful and multiplying.

4. I believe our girls dreams to have babies represent even more than the obvious.                                                         They represent a desire to have fruitful lives, to invest ourselves in something that matters. Something that affects. Something that grows.

Today’s Treasure Scripture:
“Sing, O barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband,’ says the Lord.” – Isaiah 54:1

Principal Question:
How could a barren woman have more ‘children’ than a married woman who actually gave birth?

Personal Question:
Have you ever received something you desperately wanted but still felt an unsatisfied longing you couldn’t identify? If so, explain.

If God chose you to have physical children, prepare yourself! They will grow up. Then, it’s time to enlarge your tent and invest in spiritual children! If God chose for you never to have physical children, He’s calling you to a far bigger family!

Once we fall in love with Christ, we are so taken with His Beauty, we want children who look just like Him. That’s spiritual motherhood in a nutshell: Raising spiritual sons and daughters who look just like their Father. What could be more important?

Week Six/Day One: “Beauty from Ashes…Ashes instead of honor”

“Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the ornamented robe she was wearing. She put her hand on her head and went away, weeping aloud as she went.” – 2 Samuel 13:19

Tamar had just been raped by her half brother. Her other brother warned her to keep silent and not speak of the shameful dishonor.  Her father knew, was outraged yet did nothing to rectify the wrongdoing.  The silence she was forced to keep and the ‘silence’ of her father’s protective action empowered the shame that overtook her and brought her desolation.

Tamar is the only woman recorded in the bible to have covered herself in ashes.  Ashes symbolized mourning. Ancient Hebrews commonly wore sackcloth and ashes as a symbol of grief. The uncomfortable sackcloth reminded the individual of the call to grief, while ashes showed the mortality of man.
In ancient days people repented with demonstrations of sorrow. Yet, today, we all tend to be more comfortable when we each keep our repentance to ourselves. But, squelching deep emotions only stores them up in explosive containers.

Tamar was the daughter of the King, yet she lived like a desolate woman. She lived the rest of her life believing she could never be restored. Consider how much like Tamar we are in this generation. Those of us who have received Christ are literally daughters of royalty. Those of us who have been individually and personally victimized know the desolation Tamar experienced.

"...so what does she do with these internal scars? His aggravated DNA that poisoned her womb, dug her self-esteem into an emotional tomb...."

“…so what does she do with these internal scars? His aggravated DNA that poisoned her womb, dug her self-esteem into an emotional tomb….”

Read an excerpt from a spoken word of one of God’s daughters as she grappled with the pain of brokenness and shame:

“…So what does she do with these internal scars? His aggravated forced DNA that poisoned her womb…dug her self-esteem into an emotional tomb.  Through this reflection, she sees nothing but disgust and torment. His dirty fingerprints that rudely came but never went.  That devilish grin of certainty as he said, “you’ll never win.” Alone with nothing but labels to identify her presence. “Lord, what I born to be a victim as my primary existence?….”

Satan desires to have women in a stronghold of exploitation, sexploitation, distortion and desolation. He knows how effective and influential we can be so he works through society to convince us we are so much less than we are.

Principal Question: (Read 2 Samuel 13: 1-22)
In what ways did Tamar symbolize and express her grief?

Personal Question:
What is your personal opinion regarding the advice Absalom gave Tamar?

The spoken word above continues to relate the journey from brokenness to restoration, of beauty from ashes, from lost to found….

"A priceless jewel which she was too blind to see. Just as by HIS stripes we are healed, by her pain---her purpose became real. Her tears became words; Her shame became strength. The words to speak and the strength to fight...."

“A priceless jewel which she was too blind to see. Just as by HIS stripes we are healed, by her pain—her purpose became real. Her tears became words; Her shame became strength. The words to speak and the strength to fight….”

“What she sees in this reflection, all in all, is now a failed human. BUT beyond her naked eye…lies this flawless masterpiece. A priceless jewel which she was too blind to see….No longer is she recognized as victim of abuse and rape. But is now given recognition for humiliation she once couldn’t escape. In THIS reflection what she saw as trash, He predicted as Treasure
Scars she thought made her valueless, gave her price beyond all measures.

Little girl lost…at highest costs…TRANSFORMED…into a renewed…FIERCE WOMAN FOUND.

What she once saw as flawed, she now appreciates as perfection.
Because what was intended for evil has become…Her Purposed Reflection
~ Kristen Soto, Founder, Fierce Woman Found Ministries, Inc.

 

The quality of our lives usually grows from what and who we believe we are. You can rest assured that our God is also furious when women are abused and mistreated. The difference is that we can trust HIM to do something about it…His Way. His Time.

"The bride, a princess, looks glorious in her golden gown. In her beautiful robes, she is led to the king, accompanied by her bridesmaids. What a joyful and enthusiastic procession as they enter the king’s palace!"  - Psalm 45:13-15

“The bride, a princess, looks glorious in her golden gown. In her beautiful robes, she is led to the king, accompanied by her bridesmaids. What a joyful and enthusiastic procession as they enter the king’s palace!”
– Psalm 45:13-15

 

Week Five/Day Five: “Binding Up the Brokenhearted…Hearts broken by Loss”

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.'”- John 11:25

Have you ever experienced a ‘season of loss’? A time when there seems to be loss after loss after loss? A loved one dies, a job is lost, long time friends are no longer to be found….wave after wave of heartbreak and pain? I personally have come through a desert of loss, a long and hard winter and as I sit here and read Beth Moore’s lesson for today, I can literally insert my name at the end. I too learned, most of all, that my season of loss was a season of letting go. And through it all, it is God and Only God that sustains us.

Beth writes it this way:
“The emotion that served as the common denominator is “Grief”.  And God finally opened my eyes to see that grief was not inappropriate.  Each of my experiences represented a kind of death.  Life involves change. Change involves loss. Loss involves death of one kind or another. 2 Corinthians 4:11 says, “For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body.”

Here are three fresh breaths of life for those times when we experience the death of someone or something we cherish:
1. Christ never allows the hearts of His own to be shattered without excellent reasons and eternal purposes.
God is NOT an abusive God! Our Father would never allow our hearts to break for trivial reasons.
The most debilitating loss for a Christian is not the loss of a loved one, but the loss of faith. Has the enemy turned any of your losses into bondage by causing you to lose faith?

2.Christ never allows any illness to end in death for a Christian.
Death seems so final, but death is never the end of anyone’s life in Christ.  Neither does it have to be the death of the loved one left behind. We shall see our loved ones again!

3. Any kind of death is an invitation to resurrection life to the believer.
Our Savior is the God of Resurrection Life! Nothing is more natural than grief after a devastating loss. When our hearts have been shattered by loss, we have an opportunity to welcome a supernatural power to our lives. It doesn’t come any other way. That is the power to live again when we’d really rather die. It is a power to displays the life of Christ in us like no other because it defies the odds.  God becomes the only explanation for our emotional survival and revival.

When our hearts are hemorrhaging with grief and loss, never forget that Christ binds and compresses it with a nail-scarred had. Life will never be the same, but we have an invitation from Christ to rise to a new life….a more compassionate life, a wiser life, a more productive life.

By any chance, have you been among the living dead?  The stone’s been rolled away. Resurrection life awaits you. Will you continue to sit in a dark tomb or will you walk into the light of resurrection life.

Principal Question:
How could the loss of faith turn into a form of bondage?

Personal Question:
Has the enemy turned any of your losses into bondage? If so how?