Tag: Perseverance

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.

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.

Determination in the Denial

Determination

Today I was reading in John 21:1-25.   Where Jesus appears to the disciples after they’ve been out fishing all night.  (Let’s be honest they were probably exhausted, discouraged and a little more than disappointed because they hadn’t caught a thing.)  As I was reading this passage I couldn’t help but put myself in their shoes.

I think it’s important for us to take a step back and recognize that they had no idea that Jesus was going to meet them along the shore early that morning and provide exactly what they needed.  In their case it was fish.  For us it might be a career choice, financial stability, a relationship, a marriage.  No matter what it is we can be sure of this:  In the midst of our self-doubt and denial, He will give us exactly what we need just like he did for Peter and the disciples when he told them to cast their nets out. (v. 6)

I’m going to challenge us to once again be determined in our denial.  And, by determined I mean, having the faith to believe that He will call us to do that which He has equipped us.  (I don’t know about you, but I know that if I would’ve been with Peter and his buddies when Jesus told them to cast their nets out again, for a second I would be just a little bit- doubtful.)  If we’re honest with ourselves we’ve all reached that point somewhere along the line.

It’s amazing to me that Peter and his buddies decided to step out and be brave despite their doubts.  In my devotional today from She Reads Truth, Rebekah Lyons said “Despite Peter’s denial, his place in the kingdom never changed.  Jesus’ plan and purpose for him remained the same.”

All I could do was just say to the Lord, “You really have a sense of humor!”  Trust me, if you could’ve heard my conversation with Him this morning you would understand.  The truth is, I love writing.  More than anything in the world and it is honestly what I feel He has called me to do with my life and career: To write words of encouragement and hope for Jesus Christ, so that everyone around me will understand what He’s done for you and me.  Writing these blogs bring me so much joy.  It’s indescribable.  I feel like I fall in love with Him all over again when I write.  I’m so grateful for this gift.

Now, it’s your turn.

What is the gift He has given you?

What is the thing that you dream of doing in the future, but you’re scared to think it could ever come true?

Believe it or not, God in His sovereignty has placed passions and desires in our hearts that we can use to glorify Him. (Ephesians 2:10)  I promise you He has gifted you even if you don’t realize it.  It’s in you because He planted it.  He asks us to be patient as He reveals it to us in His timing.  (By the way, when I started this blog my senior year of high school I never could’ve imagined the beautiful blessings that would flow from it.)  Then, we water the desire or passion He’s shown us with acts of diligence, obedience and sincere worship.

The rest is up to Him.

All we have to do is cast our net out one more time.

You’ll be amazed and abundantly blessed by what you catch.

 

©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.


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