Tuesday, July 12, 2011

promises in darkness

This week I've been blogging about a recent time I felt discouraged and how God has delivered me out of that darkness.  Since it's not a new thing for me but something I continually trust Him to do....I have a set of index cards that have some of my favorite promises for the darkness.  He is so faithful to restore joy and pull me out of whatever mess I'm in!  Today I just want to share some fun upbeat songs and scriptures that have helped me! If you are struggling in some area now, I encourage you to call out to Jesus!! He is the one who will rescue you-He loves you and has a plan for your life!

This song has the words of Philippians 4:13 in a catchy tune!  Great words to remember and believe when I'm down and it doesn't feel like I can do anything. 

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure because you will not abandon me! Psalm 16:9

But you are a shield around me, O Lord, you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.  Psalm 3:3

I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.  Psalm 27:13-14

Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.  For you, oh Lord have delivered my soul from death, my eyes form tears, my feet from stumbling.  Psalm 116:7-8  (This one makes me want to dance and shout!!!)

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my saviour and my God.  Psalm 42:5 (This one reminds me that even the psalmist had down days, but trusted in God!)

This song has the words of  1 John 4:4.  God is greater than any darkness I may face!

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.  The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.  Habakkuk 3:18-19

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.  Psalm 94:19

Though you have made me see troubles many and bitter, you will restore my life again...my lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you! Psalm 71:20,23

You have made known to me the path of life!  You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasure at your right hand.  Psalm 16:11

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.  Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble.  Psalm 90:14-15

I sought the Lord and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.  Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.  Psalm 34:4-5

This song just makes me move!

Thank you Lord for your word!  It's pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the sweet to the mind and healing to the body (Prov 16:24).  Thank you Lord for your faithful promises and for always demonstrating your love in our lives.  Lord I pray that you would use your Word to encourage every reader of this blog today! Let us look to Jesus quickly when life seems tough, the faster we turn to him the faster He helps us!  In Jesus name, Amen. 

 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

There are obviously MANY more encouraging and uplifting scriptures.  I know for me, when I am down I sometimes don't have the desire to search for them-that's why I have written them out on cards.  Some of the verses are found in Beth Moore's Praying God's Word -a wonderful resource for many areas!  If you have a favorite verse that always encourages you....please leave it in the comments for other readers to be encouraged!  Thanks for reading today:)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Into the Light

In the last post, I admitted to feelings of darkness.  My heart is learning to echo the words of Paul -Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:9  Since I have shared about my weaknesses, in this post I want to share what God has taught me and how His word has brought me into the Light!

And I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, Who calls you by your name.Isaiah 45:3 AMP

This verse just popped out to me!!! There are treasures of darkness...things I can learn when I feel down and discouraged? YES!!! Knowing this promise makes a season of darkness have a purpose.  It brings to life Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  Something good will come out of a season of darkness when I cling to the ONE who knows me in that darkness and wants to bring me into His marvelous light. 

He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom
and broke away their chains.
Psalm 107:14 (are you singing my chains are gone:)?)

The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.
Isaiah 9:2

Jesus is that light!  His words confirm this in John 12:46 I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. I don't have to stay in darkness when I look to Jesus!!

the LORD turns my darkness into light.
2 Samuel 22:29

Light shines in the darkness for the upright.
He is gracious, compassionate, and righteous.
Psalm 112:4 HCSB

Who among you fears the LORD
and obeys the word of his servant?
Let him who walks in the dark,
who has no light,
trust in the name of the LORD
and rely on his God.
Isaiah 50:10

What I need to learn in the darkness is summed up in Isaiah 50:10....to trust God.  Why shouldn't I?  His promises are precious and He is good!

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves Colossians 1:13

Thank you Lord for bringing me into your marvelous light!  I know there may be another day or season of darkness-when it comes, strengthen my heart and remind me that you are light and I have precious promises in You!  Oh Lord, I know that there are many people who feel the heaviness of darkness as I have.  Lord shine your light on them and break their chains!! You LORD are my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in YOU, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to YOU in song (Psalm 28:7)
Come back tomorrow...I'm working on another post about the light!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Out of Darkness

I don't know why it's hard to admit when I feel sad.  I don't like to say I'm feeling down or discouraged or depressed.  I think I run from those feelings because of my family's health history.  I know that Jesus has set me free and I will not suffer from bipolar as my momma did....He showed me that promise years ago (He has made me a new creation and healed me!!).  I guess when I have any negative feelings my mind starts the downward spiral and I start to doubt His promises.  What if I do end up unable to function...living in my bed and leaving my children to fend for themselves-what if I do end up like my mom??? That is a big lie that the enemy uses in my life when I have negative emotions.

So...I'm admitting it...I have been in darkness off and on for a few weeks.  It's so hard because it seems like it's over and then is comes back! I spend time with my healer and feel the joy of His presence and then life happens and I feel like I'm on that negative spiral AGAIN!  I end up feeling condemned for my thoughts and emotions ...especially if there's 'nothing wrong'-when life looks good and there is not something I can blame  for my emotions. I have to remember that Jesus said we will have trouble in this world (John 16:33) so I don't need to condemn myself for my feelings and emotions...just deal with them as they come.  If I remember the second part of the verse-to take heart because He has overcome the world-then I will remember that He will get me through these negative emotions.

According to Psalm 139, it doesn't do me any good to try to ignore or deny the feelings of darkness, He knows.  I don't have to hide from God or try to be happy in my own power-God already knows what I am thinking and feeling.  I can be honest with Him and face the darkness because He is LIGHT!!
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
Psalm 139:12

You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning;
my God turns my darkness into light.
Psalm 18:28

Do not gloat over me, my enemy!
Though I have fallen, I will rise.
Though I sit in darkness,
the LORD will be my light.
Micah 7:8

I read the chapter about negative emotions in Stormie Omartian's book Praying Through the Deeper Issues of Marriage.  It talks about the feelings of being disconnected and distant and the habit of focusing on the negative side of things.  This chapter also has some great Bible verses that really spoke to me about this darkness. This quote explains how I've felt:
You can still have the light of the Lord Within you and yet have the darkness of oppression settle on you and invade your life like an enemy encroaching on the territory of your being.  (A few pages later) Negative emotions are not something you have to live with.  In fact, you must do whatever is necessary to get rid of them.  They not only hurt you, they hurt your spouse and children as well.  God has given you a way out of them thought the power of prayer, praise, His Word, His presence, and His love.
I have seen the truth of Stormie's words that it hurts others.  I have noticed that when I am feeling down and thinking negatively-I'm usually focused on myself.  If I'm only thinking about myself, I am not able to be a good friend or pay attention to the needs of others.  I think this is one reason the enemy wants to keep me feeling darkness. 

Do not hand over the life of your dove to wild beasts;
do not forget the lives of your afflicted people forever.
Have regard for your covenant,
because haunts of violence fill the dark places of the land.
Do not let the oppressed retreat in disgrace;
may the poor and needy praise your name.
Psalm 74:20-21

I sought the LORD, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
Psalm 34:45-5

He is calling me out of darkness!!! He answers me...I will look to him and be radiant, not full of shame!! Thank You Jesus!!!!

There is so much I've learned in the last few weeks (in fact I've been working on this post for almost a week now).  I think I will find time to continue this week blogging about light and  some other verses that have helped when I've been down.  Thanks for reading:)
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