Tag: Strength

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.

Childlike Faith for Adults: How Do We Regain It?

trust blog

As a kid, I had several heroes or heroines that I admired.  The Disney princesses are a great example because I wanted to be just like them one day.  I’m sure we could all identify with doing the same thing if we looked back at the childhood we lived.

What I find intriguing about the modeling phase of childhood is this: No thing or person could ever convince you that you couldn’t be like that person you deeply admire.  You see, I feel like as people get older and the world keeps its firm grip of distraction on us and as a result we begin to lose that invincible spirit or childlike faith we once had.  We should carry the same attitude of deep admiration and appreaciation as adults when following hard after Jesus’ example.

The question is how do you and I regain that childlike faith and spirit as adults?  I have wrestled with that question for quite some time now and I think we can start by thinking about what we admire most about God?  We do this with our friends all the time.  We want to get to know them and their character.

 

Several weeks ago, I posed the following question on social media, What quality or qualities do you admire most about God?”

The response I received was quite overwhelming.  I couldn’t believe the amount of comments there were and how well they related to one another.  The top three responses will be discussed and we’ll also talk about how each of them describe God for who He is.


God is always ready and willing to listen to us.  He is never surprised by anything and we have total confidence in Him.  Meaning, whatever we tell Him will always stay between He and I.

He will not let you stumble;
the one who watches over you will not slumber.
Indeed, he who watches over Israel
    never slumbers or sleeps.
  Psalm 121:3-4 NLT

What a great comfort to know that nothing will ever take God by surprise. He knows what’s going to happen long before we do.  I am eternally grateful that God is one in control of everything, so we don’t have to be.


God’s love for us is immeasurable. We really can’t imagine how much He loves us.  I mean He gave us a pretty good idea by sending His one and only son (Jesus) to die on the cross for the sins of humanity. (John 3:16) Someone who loves me enough to die for me is someone worth believing in-no matter the cost.

Long ago the Lord said to Israel:
“I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love.
    With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself. 

 Jeremiah 31:3 NLT

God’s love for us is everlasting. There’s nothing we can ever do or say to escape the grip of His love.  This verse reminds us that the love of God is always present.  In addition, Mercy also coexists with God’s love. My Bible defines mercy as, “a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion; withholding of the judgement or punishment our sins deserve.” (Jesus Centered Bible 2015) God’s mercies for us are unending, just like His love.


I love the fact that I can’t keep anything from God because He knows everything about me before I even knew myself. Don’t get me wrong, it has a cost.  There are always consequences for our sins.  However, that doesn’t alter God’s love and mercy for us in any way.  He loves us fully and completely in spite of our messy imperfections.

Jonah’s Story is a beautiful example of this. At some point today, take a minute to read his story in the first three chapters of Jonah.  (Side note: The chapters are fairly short, so it should be an easy read.)  Jonah knew what it felt like to hide from God and he also recognized the beauty of repentance and freedom in Christ. Through his experience, he learned that God is already there, waiting for us on the other side of the adventure.  We can’t hide anything from God because He knows what we’re going to do before we do.

But, God in His mercy chooses to love us and use us for His glory anyway! How cool is that?!  That’s something I deeply admire about God.


Let’s take what we’ve discovered and apply it to the original question: How do you and I regain that childlike faith and spirit as adults?  Remember these three things:

  • God Can Be Trusted (Psalms 121:3-4)
  • His Mercy and Love is Unconditional (Jeremiah 31:3)
  • God Already Knows (Jonah 1, 2 and 3)

I hope and pray that God uses these words to encourage and guide you today. He has certainly blown me away in the things He has revealed to me while writing this!

©2016. Andrea Pierce. 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.

The True Vine

The True Vine  I was awestruck today by the power of God’s Word particularly in John 15.  It’s entitled “Jesus, the True Vine” in my Bible.  I have always known and heard that as Christians we are called to bear fruit in our daily lives since we’re rooted in Jesus, who is the vine.  As I read through the passage the truth and reality of it hit me instantly.  There are two crucial questions I believe we should ask ourselves when reading this passage:

  1. Am I truly living my life connected to the grapevine as Jesus describes? (Deuteronomy 7:9)
  2. Is there evidence of His fruit in my life and in the lives of those around me?

What I love most about the way Jesus taught is the sheer simplicity of the parables.  They’re so simple and applicable.  There’s no doubt in my mind that Jesus was intentional about making them this way- They are meant to be understood.

Keeping the questions I asked you earlier at the forefront of our minds, let’s discover this passage together.  Right away we know two things to be true: (1) Jesus is the grapevine and (2) God is the gardener.  Next, Jesus tells us that God (the gardener) cuts off every branch that doesn’t bear fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.  I’m just telling you, this second verse seriously amazes and leaves without words.  I can’t think of a greater banner or mantra to hang over your life than that. right. there. J Our hearts should and need to be open to the Gardener’s pruning.  I tend to be a pretty rational thinker so I like to think of the “pruning” in terms of the situations or circumstances that we don’t understand about our own lives.

I’m gonna get real, real honest here by saying that I believe I’m experiencing God’s gracious pruning through having Cerebral Palsy.  That’s what hit me the most from this passage today.  It has given me even more opportunities to bear fruit in this life than I could have ever imagined otherwise!  He’s given me friendships and relationships with very dear people through the pruning process and that’s something I’m eternally grateful for.  I know, I know the pruning looks different for each of us but this I know:  He has a purpose and plan behind the situation we’re facing but nonetheless, the end result is to bear fruit.  And, trust me, if we are truly connected to the grapevine (Jesus) our lives will be abundantly fruitful!  Why?  Because we are rooted in the True Vine.

Let me encourage you to once again take a step back and look at your life.  If we’re not rooted in Him then we cannot be fruitful. (John 15:4 New Living Translation) We all have to start somewhere.  Just as a garden doesn’t become immediately mature, our relationship with Christ doesn’t either.  He’s not asking us to get a head start he just wants us to START.

 

Let’s start planting our roots

NOW.

 

©Andrea Pierce. 2016. All Rights Reserved.

Why Do We Doubt?

Why Do We Doubt  This morning I was reading in Matthew 14.  It’s where Peter walks on the water and although I’ve read about that countless times before this time it was altogether different.

 

Today, God spoke to me and asked me why I doubt Him? (v. 31) Truth is, I really don’t know why I doubt him so often.  I believe that our culture today has become so consumed by self-independence along with instant gratification that we’ve allowed these attitudes to seep into our relationship with Christ.

 

And, for what reason?! I think the answer is this: The world we live in these days has begun to instill false truths in our minds about Jesus’ true character.  Interestingly, the Enemy’s scheme of using false truths against God’s people started long ago.  (Genesis 3:1-15)  It happened the minute Eve chose to obey Satan’s instructions instead of God’s.  From that moment on humanity became marred by sin.  So you see, Satan has been playing the same mind games on God’s people for thousands of years.

 

In Jesus’ words, “Don’t be afraid,” “Take courage, I am here!” (Matthew 14:27) These are the words He so intimately speaks to our hearts when we’re in the midst of a storm where the wind and waves are too much for us to handle on our own.   Despite the circumstances we face in this life Jesus will always be there to grab us when we start sinking into the sea.  Isn’t that a glorious reality to remember every day?   This morning as God revealed this to me it definitely left me speechless and in awe of Him!

 

Understanding this glorious reality means that Satan’s mind games and doubtful thoughts don’t stand a chance against my mind.  I am so incredibly grateful for the miracle God gave me several summers ago even though it wasn’t a physical one.  God allowed the Spirit to come into my heart and chip away at everything that didn’t reflect Him.  My miracle was a renewed mind, heart and soul!

 

I’m glad Peter found the courage to step out of the boat because I’ll step out in faith as well.  If every Christian in the world did the same Satan would most likely run out of fiery arrows to throw at us!   I want to send him running back to where he belongs.  Lastly, I challenge you to join me in stepping out of the boat no matter how intimidating the waves might be.

©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!


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