Tag: Hope

Hannah: A Woman of Prayer and Persistence

hannah-blog

Persistence is certainly one tough pill to swallow.  I’ve personally wrestled with it in seasons of doubt and insecurity.   I also believe persistence is something we need on a daily basis, whether we know it or not.  I wanted to see what the Bible had to say in the department of persistence.  I was so abundantly blessed by what God showed me: A woman named Hannah in 1 Samuel 1:1-27.  Before we jump in, I want to share some of my struggle of persistence with you, so you can better understand how deeply I was impacted by Hannah’s story of prayer and persistence…


Sometimes our deepest struggles are the ones God uses to deepen our relationship with Him.  When I started taking classes at my local community college, I was required to take several remedial math classes before I could move on to the ones that counted toward my degree.  For starters, I am not a fan of math whatsoever. I had to take FIVE of these remedial classes, which were only supposed to last six weeks.  Six weeks isn’t too bad.  I remember thinking to myself.

I didn’t know this at the time, but those first six weeks would have to be endured five more times before I was eligible to move on to the other four classes I needed. Looking back, God taught me so much during those weeks that I feel I would’ve missed otherwise.

Things such as trust and persistence. These things can bring us such peace and hope if we let them.  I think Hannah understood each of these more than most of us.


Hannah’s struggle was real.

From the beginning of the passage we see that there was a man named Elkanah, who had two wives: Hannah and Peninnah.  What immediately stuck out to me as I was reading was the way verse two ends:

“Elkanah had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah did not.”

1 Samuel 1:2 NLT

I had two main observations that I took away from reading that verse.  First, Hannah had battled feelings of guilt and insecurity because she had no children to give her husband.

My circumstances are different and I don’t want to assign any false thoughts to her, but I can totally identify with Hannah in that season. In our weakest moments, Satan loves to whisper those discouraging lies to us.  I don’t want false thoughts to Hannah, but I’m fairly certain she heard her share of whispers from the Enemy.

Since we know her struggle was real let’s see how she dealt with it…


“The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.”

Hebrews 11:1-2 MSG

Having faith is something that seems impossible in the eyes of the world. We know that God doesn’t operate like the world, thankfully.  I believe Hannah had a lot of faith. She knew that faith grows exponentially through prayer.

In the second chapter of her story, we find Hannah on her face and brokenhearted before her Savior:

Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord. 11 And she made this vow: “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut.[e]

1 Samuel 1:10-11 NLT

God had shown me something awesome about prayer over the years.  Years ago, when I was in the midst of a very dry season, the Lord in His love spoke to my heart.  He said, “Andrea, I’m willing to give you these things.  I just need you to be brave enough and trust the way I will fulfill your heart’s desires.”

I think Hannah came to a similar realization as she poured out her heart before the Lord.  Although she wasn’t sure how God would answer her prayer for a child, Hannah knew God would answer her prayer.

I can almost hear the sincerity and gut-wrenching honesty in Hannah’s voice when I read the second half of verse 11: …” Then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut.[e]

God definitely honors our prayers and the sincere honesty we pour into them.


Our prayers never go unanswered and neither did Hannah’s prayer for a son.  In the second half of 1 Samuel 1, we see where Samuel is born.

The entire family got up early the next morning and went to worship the Lord once more. Then they returned home to Ramah. When Elkanah slept with Hannah, the Lord remembered her plea, 20 and in due time she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel,[f] for she said, “I asked the Lord for him.”

1 Samuel 1:19-20 NLT

 My favorite part of this verse is when Scripture says, … the Lord remembered her plea,  and in due time she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel,[f] for she said, “I asked the Lord for him.”  This is evidence of what our faith can do. We just have to be willing to trust Him and in doing so understand that He only wants what is best for us as His sons and daughters.

God continued to place His favor on Samuel for the rest of Samuel’s days because He is forever faithful.


God’s favor rested on Samuel as he was raised up to become a great prophet for the nation of Israel.

Toward the end of 1 Samuel 1, Hannah takes young Samuel to the tabernacle to dedicate him to the Lord. (v. 24-28)

Verses 26 and 27 are so soothing to my aching soul on those days when I feel like my prayers are going unanswered:

Sir, do you remember me?” Hannah asked. “I am the very woman who stood here several years ago praying to the Lord. I asked the Lord to give me this boy, and he has granted my request.”

1 Samuel 1:26-27 NLT


There are three things I believe we can take away from Hannah’s example:

  1. Persistence grows through prayer.
  2. We can never lose faith.
  3. God definitely honors our prayers and the sincere honesty we pour into them.

One last thing: I believe with all my heart that God included Hannah’s story along with so many others in His word, so that we would be able to look back on their examples and be even more persistent in following Jesus.

© 2016. Andrea Pierce. All Rights Reserved

Dear Future Husband

22

This is my letter to my future husband:

I want you to know that I’ve prayed for you since I was a little girl playing dress up and dreaming of the guy I would marry.  I have no idea where, when, or how we’ll meet, but it’ll be in God’s perfect timing.  I’m so grateful for you.  For the man of God you are.  Most of all, I’m grateful to God for bringing us together in the way only He could.  Thanks for loving, caring, guiding me through this thing called life.  There’s no doubt you’re the one God created just for me!  You are truly the answer to my prayers and my tender heart.

Love,

Your Future Wife


This past week has been all kinds of crazy.   And this sporadic post is evidence of the craziness yet again.

More importantly, I recently finished reading “Uninvited” by Lysa TerKeurst and I cannot even begin to explain to you how much that book has meant to me and what a profound impact it’s had on my relationship with Jesus.  The book deals specifically with rejection.  The subtitle will always ring loud and clear in the deepest parts of my soul: ”Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out and Lonely.”  I’ll never forget how much the word lonely resonated with me the day I received my copy of the book.

We’ve all been there, haven’t we?  In a lonely place.  Or perhaps we have lived through a season of loneliness.  In His infinite grace and compassion the Lord has been dealing with and walking me through this issue of feeling alone.

When in the midst of a lonely season, we must remember these three things:

  1. We Aren’t Alone (Isaiah 41:10)
  2. Loneliness Doesn’t Define Us (1 Samuel 12:22)
  3. He is Truly Everything We Need (2 Peter 1:3)

Several months ago, I wrote about God’s perspective of being single. That post was such a healing message from God to me that I so desperately needed.  (Spoiler alert: this message will be similar, yet altogether different.  Hang in there with me and I promise you’ll gain a fresh perspective.)  First, let me clarify by saying and acknowledging that I’m certainly not an expert on loneliness. That being said, I write about what I struggle with and this just happens to be my current struggle.  Second, I believe with every fiber of my being that God’s word offers such healing and resurrection to the raw and vulnerable chapters of our story. But, we have to allow God to change and mold our hearts to be more like His.

Lastly, I want to give us the opportunity to consult Scripture as it deals with loneliness.

Isaiah 41 starts out with God reminding the people exactly who He is, yet again. As I was reading I couldn’t help but put myself in the shoes of Israel’s people.  They knew God.  Believed God.  And they even trusted Him.  Until they would get discontented and disillusioned by the chaos going on around them.  (Sound familiar?)  What I love most about Isaiah (and God) is the fact is that they don’t leave us hanging on the edge of harsh words.  When we get to verse ten, we hear God’s sweet promise:

 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
    Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
    I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

Isaiah 41:10 NLT

Essentially, this verse has become my mantra here recently. Just like the Israelites knew, believed and even trusted Him, they needed a swift reminder.  And so do That’s exactly what God’s promises are: Reminders of who He truly is for us to grab hold of and proclaim over our lives every single day.


When you’re in the midst of a lonely season it can be very easy to get distracted and disillusioned by the lies of the Enemy. That’s what was happening to God’s people in Isaiah 41 and it happens to you and I today.  Personally, for me Satan loves to allow me to doubt and question God’s unfailing love for me.  This is especially true for my present and future relationships. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard Satan whisper “If God really loved you, you would have a boyfriend right now.” Or worse “You’re so stupid for thinking anyone would ever want to marry a girl in a wheelchair.”  

Oh friend, how badly these lies sting my soul. They make everything within in me scream out in pain. The whispers you hear are probably different from mine, but they are there.  Let me reach out, grab your hand, and proclaim 1 Samuel 12:22 over you:

The Lord will not abandon his people, because that would dishonor his great name. For it has pleased the Lord to make you his very own people.

1 Samuel 12:22 NLT


God is truly all we need. I know, I know the world thinks that statement is so cliché.  They’re wrong.  We are created in the image of the God who spoke the planet into existence, so why do we doubt Him? As a matter of fact, God knows what we need before we do.  We are reminded of that in Matthew 6:8. Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him! (NLT)  God knows everything about me.  He knows who I will marry and how many kids we’ll have.  I don’t know for sure, but I’m fairly confident my future husband will be just as passionate about Jesus as I am.   We will grow in our love for God and each other.

When I think about the fact that God will pick my husband for me it frees me.  I’m free from the doubt and fear of the future.  It’s not my responsibility to worry about him, it’s my responsibility to pray for him daily.

By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.

2 Peter 1:3 NLT

Don’t Underestimate Your God Given Potential

Gideon Blog

It’s one thing to speak an encouraging word to someone in passing, but it’s another to call their God given potential out before they can see it in themselves.  I’m so grateful for the people in my life who have called me to courage before I even knew what was coming.  They saw the potential God has for me and were brave enough to tell me about it.

I think we can start calling others to courage by not underestimating the potential God has given us.


Growing up in church I had always known that God had a plan for my life even though I couldn’t exactly bring myself to trust His word and believe what God says about me.

Gideon was someone who witnessed God’s courageous calling for his life firsthand.  In Judges 6:11-16, we see Gideon’s story begin to unfold.

Then the angel of the LORD came and sat beneath the great tree at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash of the clan of Abiezer. Gideon son of Joash was threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress to hide the grain from the Midianites. The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the LORD is with you!” “Sir,” Gideon replied, “if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The LORD brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the LORD has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.” Then the LORD turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!” “But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!” The LORD said to him, “I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.”    

Judges 6:11-16 NLT

I love Gideon because I see so much of myself in him.  He was taken by surprise when the angel appeared in verse twelve calling him a “mighty hero.”  As I was praying in preparation to write this message I couldn’t help but think of all the times where I’ve been surprised by what God has called me to do.  I can totally relate to Gideon’s current perspective of the situation.  We’ve all had times where we feel weak and unequipped to fulfill the calling God has given us.

God knew Gideon was going to be a bit surprised by his calling that’s why He sent the angel to declare that truth over him.  God does the same thing for you and I.


I’ve walked through many seasons of life where I have known and sensed the Sprit pulling me in a certain direction.  As much as I trusted Him there was still a  tiny part of me that was doubtful.  Feelings of insecurity and insignificance flourish in our moments of self-doubt.  Satan adores our weakest moments.  I don’t want to assign false thoughts to Gideon in any way, but I can just imagine those feelings of doubt were starting to weave their way into Gideon’s mind when he replies with Judges 6:15:

“But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!”

I can’t even tell you how many times I have told God this same thing.  It starts when those feelings of insecurity and insignificance flourish in self-doubt.

In verse sixteen, the Lord says to Gideon:

The Lord said to him, “I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.”  I just LOVE that this was God’s response to Gideon because that’s His response to me in the midst of my self-doubt.

P.S. The rest of Gideon’s story is amazing in the way he trusts God to defend his army against the Midianites!  Check it out in Judges 7!

I want to close by reminding you of three key points we can learn from Gideon’s story:

  1. We must not underestimate the powerful potential God has given us.
  2. Trust His calling in your life even when it catches you by surprise.
  3. Feelings of doubt and insecurity flourish in moments of self-doubt.

The Comparison Struggle

Comparison Blog

Comparison is something that has plagued humanity since before the world began.  The lie that we must compare ourselves to others in order to feel significant is from Satan himself and not God.  God created every person on this planet different for a reason.  We’re unique and those imperfections are what make us beautiful.  It’s in our moments of weakness that God’s glory becomes even more radiant!

I wanted to look at three realities in Scripture that deal with the comparison struggle:

  • Adam and Eve
  • Abram and Sarai
  • Satan wanting to be better than God

Adam and Eve was the first people to ever face the comparison struggle. We watch as she is the first to fall victim to the the lies from Satan. (Genesis 3:1-24)  In verses 4 through 6, she becomes convinced by Satan to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  She thinks she will be like God by eating the fruit in verse six.

4You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. 5“God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”

6The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.

Genesis 3:4-6 NLT


Can you identify with the comparison struggle?

It’s no coincidence that the comparison struggle can be traced all the way back to Genesis. God put it there to remind us that He knows what a battle comparison can be in our lives.  Since I’m being brutally honest with you here, there have been times where I have faced the very same struggle with comparing myself to those around me.  It can start out so subtly until I feel God speaking to my heart saying, “Andrea, stop comparing yourself to her.  I created you to be yourself and no one else.  If I would’ve wanted everyone to be the same, you would be that way.”

In those moments that I stop and fall to my knees.  I’ve read the story of Adam and Eve a thousand times, but not until recently did I realize that both of them were facing the comparison struggle long before you and I existed.  They bought into Satan’s lie that by eating that piece of fruit, they could be like God. (v. 6)


I’ve always learned so much from Abram and Sarai. (who later becomes Sarah in Genesis 17) They loved God and wanted to follow Him, yet they had a tendency to get very impatient with God.  Ever been there? It’s a REAL battle.

The lives of Abram and Sarai is a prime example of comparison leading to pride. Sarai knew that God would be faithful to His promise of numerous descendants. (Genesis 15:1-6) However, she was growing impatient with God again. How do we know this? Sarah started comparing herself to Hagar because she was jealous of her.

We see this coming to fruition Genesis 16 through “The Birth of Ishmael” as it’s entitled in my Bible. Looking back on Abram and Sarai’s story along with Adam and Eve, it shouldn’t be surprising that comparison will always lead to jealousy in our hearts.  I think what I love most about Abram and Sarai’s story is that despite all their mistakes, God kept His word and remained faithful to the promises He had made. We need to be reminded of that very truth on a daily basis.

The grass withers and the flowers fade,
    but the word of our God stands forever.”

Isaiah 40:8 NLT


I had always heard that Satan had been thrown out of Heaven because he wanted to be greater than God. However, I’ve recently realized that Satan not only wanted to be like God, but he wanted to be greater than God himself! This conclusion astounds me.  No wonder Satan uses the comparison trap on us because he’s just hoping we’ll bite the bait of being jealous of others.

  
12 
“How you are fallen from heaven,
O shining star, son of the morning!
You have been thrown down to the earth,
you who destroyed the nations of the world.
13 For you said to yourself,
‘I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars.
I will preside on the mountain of the gods
far away in the north.[e]
14 I will climb to the highest heavens
and be like the Most High.’

Isaiah 14:12-14 NLT

These words in Isaiah are evidence that comparison and jealousy always come as a package deal. Make no mistake that comparing ourselves to others is a sin, whether we realize it at the time or not.

Although comparison may appear subtle at first, we’re essentially telling God that we aren’t content with the way He created us. Talk about a fresh perspective on the struggle of comparison! I felt such a deep desire from the Spirit to write about comparison this week because it’s something that He has really been convicting me of and speaking to me about.


The good news is that with Jesus we have HOPE. He knows we are going to struggle and sin while in the flesh.  Of this we can be sure: God loves us through it all, just as He did for the people in Scripture.  His love for us never changes and He is always faithful.

© Andrea Pierce. 2016. All Rights Reserved.

Peace, Hope and Joy

Peace hope joy

The English language was created to help us communicate efficiently with the people around us.  Which, is certainly amazing if you ask me.  What intrigues me most about our language is the fact that we can use adjectives to be even more descriptive with our words. They help us understand what a word is made of by describing it. You get the point, right? Adjectives serve the same purpose when they describe the nature and character of God.

(Disclaimer: There are MANY more adjectives that can be used to describe God, but if I wrote about all of them we would be here all day!)  Now let’s look at three examples:

  1. Peace
  2. Hope
  3. Joy

We know that all of these adjectives describe God, but exactly what do they say about His character? Let’s find out! (Note: I looked each of these up using the Dictionary/Concordance in my Bible.)


Peace: “A state of tranquility or quiet; a pact or agreement between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity; harmony in personal relations, especially with God; a state of security or order within a community; freedom from disquieting thoughts or emotions.” I know that was a lengthy definition, but I love how clearly it’s worded.  The part of the definition that resonates with me the most is where it speaks of being in harmony, especially with God. If you’re in harmony with Him then your heart is most likely where it needs to be.  If not, that should be your first clue to examine the condition of your spirit.

Look at those who are honest and good, for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace.” Psalm 37:37


Hope

For starters, I really feel like we need to establish a decent definition of true hope.  That word gets thrown around so much in our culture today but what does it really mean?  Hope: “Confident trust with the expectation of fulfillment.”  Wow.  It astounds me every time I read it.  I want that hope in my life because it’s eternal and I know that God always keeps His promises to us.  He is the reason we can have hope and I will be forever grateful for the hope I have in Him alone.

“Rejoice in our confident hope.  Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.” Romans 12:12


 Joy

“The emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune.”  I agree with this definition as it refers to the well-being of a person because that only comes from Christ. However, I also believe joy can be found in the darkest situations of our lives as well.  We can look back on the dark times and remember to live a Romans 5:3-5 life-one of suffering, perseverance, character and hope.   Personal confession: If I’m being honest with you right now, I never would’ve thought that I would be the person writing these precious words about the Attributes of God. I spent many years not living the Romans 5 kind of life.  I thank God daily for changing my perspective and for making me more like Him.  That’s why I’m so passionate about sharing peace, hope and joy with those around me.

“And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!” Nehemiah 8:10


Since God lives in us through the Holy Spirit, his attributes become ours in the sense that we’re made in His image. (Genesis 1:27)  When I look at my life through the lens of living in peace with Christ it changes things for me. Peace, Hope and Joy become even more alive to me and life itself is so much greater than anything I could ever imagine.

©Andrea Pierce. 2016. All Rights Reserved.

The Promises Outweigh the Problems

The Promises

Have you ever wondered how God looks at the reality of time?  I know I have.  When I was younger I just had the understanding in my head that He sees time as we do.  Truthfully, God sees time in a different light and this shouldn’t be surprising considering that He spoke the entire universe into existence.  (Genesis 1:1-31) Although I’ll never fully understand God’s concept of time until I meet Him one day, there are two (upon many) promises from His word that I cling to down here while living in my temporary home:

  1. “Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.  So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can.”

Ecclesiastes 3:11-12 NLT

  1. “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

 

I can look back on my life over these past twenty years and see where each of these faithful promises have proven themselves to be true time and time again.  I promise you you’ll be able to see it in your life, too.  All we have to is “trace his hand of faithfulness” as Lysa Terkeurst says.  All the while it has taken me these last twenty years to understand that I needed to be clinging to the promises of His word rather than the “problems” of this world.  Don’t misunderstand me here.  I’m not trying to make light of the things we face here in the flesh. They are real. The years of pain, frustration and anger they cause is even more real.

Let me step out into a moment of personal confession with you.

Being born with a physical disability is far from easy.  It comes with its own set of challenges, or “overgrowth” as I’ve heard it called just like anything else we are given in this life.  The older I get the more God is showing me that it’s less about the overgrowth, as it the promises I’m using to hack away at the thick weeds of doubt, insecurity, anger, depression, anxiety and selflessness that the Enemy has built up around me for years in seasons of my life as a way to keep me defeated in my relationship with Jesus.

Now, I’ll be brave with you and ask, What problems have you clung to instead of promises?  Has the overgrowth started to creep its way into your life?  Trust me.  I know the feeling.  I know what it feels like to have to sacrifice some elements of independence just to make it day. by. day.  It’s so tiring and sometimes it takes every ounce of strength I have to send the “I’m ready to get up” text to my girls every morning.

What I love about my weakest moments is that’s when I feel God’s strength the most.  When I don’t have any left and I can’t see past the overgrowth covering my eyes.  The same is true for you.  There are promises written in His word just. for. you.  Just as Ecclesiastes tells us, “…God has made everything beautiful for its own time…”  You may not be able to fully comprehend His promises right away, or peek through the overgrowth, but in His timing you will.

It’s up to you: What will you be clinging to?  The promises or the problems?

I hope it’s the promises.

 

©Andrea Pierce. 2016. All Rights Reserved.

He Makes the Impossible Possible

He Makes the Impossible Possible

In our lives here on earth most of us (if we’re honest) would say that we are faced or have been faced with one or both of the following situations:

The possible (An area or circumstance in our lives that has the potential to change.)

The Impossible (An area or circumstance that we’re incapable of changing through our own ability, something that is totally out of our control.)

Truthfully, no matter where we might find ourselves God is there.  He tells us in his word repeatedly “Don’t be afraid” or “I am with you.”  (Hebrews 13:5)

Let me be the first to tell you I see more and more of myself in the Israelites.  They were God’s chosen people and so are we.  They truly desired and honored to follow God even though they had quite a few bumps along the way.  The same is true for you and I.  God sovereignly reminded me of the struggle between the possible and impossible this week as I was reading in Zechariah 8.  It’s entitled “Promised Blessings for Jerusalem” in my Bible.

Throughout earlier chapters of Zechariah, he put great emphasis on the message of guilt and repentance for God’s people.   (Just to catch you up to speed: The Israelites had a really bad habit of going through cycles of sin and guilt which always led them back to God’s gracious repentance.  Their story sounds a lot like ours, doesn’t it?)

By the time we reach the eighth chapter we discover that the Israelites have once again caught a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak.  In spite of the mistakes they’ve made God offers them hope in the forms of blessings.  Let’s take a look at the first eight verses of the passage together.

Then another message came to me from the Lord of Heaven’s Armies: “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: My love for Mount Zion is passionate and strong; I am consumed with passion for Jerusalem! “And now the Lord says: I am returning to Mount Zion, and I will live in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the Faithful City; the mountain of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will be called the Holy Mountain.  “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Once again old men and women will walk Jerusalem’s streets with their canes and will sit together in the city squares.  And the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls at play. “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: All this may seem impossible to you now, a small remnant of God’s people. But is it impossible for me? says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.  “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: You can be sure that I will rescue my people from the east and from the west.  I will bring them home again to live safely in Jerusalem. They will be my people, and I will be faithful and just toward them as their God.

I love this passage of scripture so much because it beautifully distinguishes the possible and impossible.  Verse six is indicative of the truth that nothing is impossible for Him! (Luke 1:37) If you look at the way impossible is spelled, it’s as though God is saying to us, “I’m possible!”  In other words, we’re able to face the seasons of doubt, fear, insecurity ONLY through Him.  (Just to clarify I heard the thing about the way impossible is spelled from Lysa Terkeurst, one of my many heroes of Jesus.  I didn’t come up with it myself!)

The biggest thing I took away from this chapter in Zechariah with the Israelites was that we may not be able to change that certain situation or circumstance we’re in but God can in the same way He lovingly drew the people back to himself.

I’m living proof of this truth myself.  Yes, life gets immensely difficult at times but there is nothing we can’t accomplish through His strength!

My question for you today is will you believe God in the moment of the impossible?

I know I will.

I pray you will, too.

©Andrea Pierce. 2016. All Rights Reserved.

A Holy Hope

a holy hope  When we hear the word hope in the world today it’s most often associated with the things we can’t see.  Interestingly, Meriam-Webster defines hope as a transitive verb meaning “to desire with expectation of fulfillment.”  The second definition is “to expect with confidence.” (Meriam-Webster, 2015) The more I continue growing in Christ, the more I’ve come to the conclusion that the worldly definition of hope and what God says about hope sometimes tend to contradict one another.  You see, even though the world wants us to be hopeful in the life it can become very easy to hold on to the hope but lose the “expectation of fulfillment” as the definition states.  So, the next obvious question to ask here is what are you and I placing our hope in?  If your answer isn’t Jesus, I would strongly encourage to consider changing it because although God desires for us to have hope while we’re here on earth, that hope shouldn’t come from the things of this world, it should come from Jesus Christ.

If you have any doubts about what I’m saying let me encourage you to read a passage from Luke’s gospel.  In Chapter eight (v. 43-48) we read the story of a woman who has suffered from bleeding for quite a few years.  Although it’s unclear how many years she had been suffering I can only imagine how worn she must have been from her circumstances.  If we’re honest everyone is probably worn to a certain extent because that’s just how this life is. Furthermore, what I admire most this lady is the fact that she wasn’t placing her hope in the world, but she placed it in Jesus.  She believed and knew that He was the only one who could totally heal her because her faith allowed her to see beyond her physical circumstances and the current reality before her.  In the last three verses of her story (46-48) we witness he faith turning into action when she actually touched Jesus.  But Jesus said, “Someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.”  When the woman realized that she could not stay hidden, she began to tremble and fell to her knees in front of him. The whole crowd heard her explain why she had touched him and that she had been immediately healed. “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”  I want to have the faith of this woman.  A faith where absolutely nothing can separate me from Him including a disability!

I would’ve given anything to have seen the look on her face as she stared into the eyes of her Creator as she was healed.  How exciting!  There are a few verses from Romans that I would like to leave with you about having faith in Christ and it’s my hope and prayer you’ll be encouraged by these words today!

 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Romans 5:3-5 (New Living Translation)

©Andrea Pierce. 2016. All Rights Reserved.

The Incapable Possibilities

trust2 Some “seasons” in life can feel seemingly impossible to endure.  Since we’re being truthful it really is if we are only choosing to rely on our own strength.  However, if we choose to rely and trust in God’s strength, the outcome is quite the opposite.  Luke 1:37 says it all: “Nothing, you see, is impossible with God!” (The Message) Recently, I’ve been faced with situations that I feel like there’s no way I can do what He calls me to and truthfully I can’t if I’m only relying on myself, or the people around me.

In keeping with the theme of possibility through Christ, I always like to refer back to the story of David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17).  This experience in the Bible is yet another prime example of what it means to rely on God’s strength and not our own.  Even as a teenager David knew that he was incapable of defeating Goliath by himself and he recognized his need for God’s strength.  The reality is: David trusted God to help him. Let me ask you this:  Have you ever truly experienced what it means to trust Him and the peace that can only come from Him alone?   Personal confession: It wasn’t until several years ago that I encountered the reality of totally trusting Him in every aspect in my life.  Until that point I had become so full of bitterness and discontentment toward the Lord that I couldn’t possibly trust him wholeheartedly and in every circumstance.  Once I was convicted of the bitterness and shortcomings through the Spirit, I was able to be unblended by Jesus, in the sense that I understood in that very moment I was faced with two choices- To trust or not to trust.  Upon recognition of this the choice was simple:  I’m going to continually trust in Jesus Christ for everything I need until the day I meet Him.  Will you be doing the same?

The bottom line is this: We were put on this earth to reflect Him and bring even more glory to him through the lives we live.  Besides, we are the Light of the World!

“Commit your actions to the LORD, and your plans will succeed.”

Proverbs 16:3 NLT

©Andrea Pierce. 2016. All Rights Reserved.

This song is a great summary of what trusting God is all about and I would encourage you to really focus on the lyrics and the message they’re proclaiming!


Hit Counter provided by iphone 5