Sunday Devotional: Pushing Past the Hardships



Hardships often prepare ordinary people for
extraordinary destiny.
-C.S. Lewis

We're often told that nothing worth keeping in life comes easy. If we want something, we have to work hard for it. Becoming a marathon runner often means losing your pinkie toenail. Ouch! While staying the course, the runner will feel aches and pains over their whole body, and could quit at any time and stop the pain, but to be a true marathon runner means staying in the race.

That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, 
who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.
Command and teach these things. 
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, 
but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 
Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture,
to preaching and to teaching. 
Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy 
when the body of elders laid their hands on you.  
Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, 
so that everyone may see your progress. 
Watch your life and doctrine closely. 
Persevere in them, because if you do, 
you will save both yourself and your hearers.(1 Timothy 4:10-16)

In order to stay the course, we have to make up our minds and set it. Persevere, watch closely, be diligent, devout ourselves. It's all about keeping our focus on God and the end goal... freedom. If we waver and can't make up our minds, then we'll consider quitting an option. Once quitting is not an option, that's when we'll see the fruits of our labor. 

The last six miles are the hardest in a marathon, when you've already got twenty miles behind you and you only have six left, many people find that's when the doubts come in on whether they can finish it or not. If we quit when we're almost at the end of our goal, we'll have to start over again at mile one next time, and pushing past those last six miles won't be any easier than this time.

If we worry that we can't do this, we need to see things God's way. We need to remember that we're already a winner. When trouble comes our way, we have to remember that God sees how this ends, and we've already won.

But thanks be to God, 
who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession 
and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. (2 Corinthians 2:14)

He always leads us in triumph... always. 

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you 
will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philipians 1:6)

Even if we keep messing things up, He won't give up on us. He picked us because He saw us as winners, so expect Him to keep at us until we become exactly what He knows we can be... victorious. More than conquerors.

We've got this.

He believes in us.

Our turn to believe in Him and push past whatever hardships are standing in our way and keep striving until we reach the finish line.

New Release and Giveaway!

Hi Everybody!

My latest devotional, Living a Life You Love, released March 1 on Kindle (in the Kindle Unlimited program temporarily). The cover is by the lovely Marisa-Rose Shor of Cover Me Darling, and the formatting for the paperback was done by the ever awesome Marcy Rachel Designs.

I just got back the proof copies and they are FABULOUS.

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Sunday Devotional Blog: But I want it now!


Don’t be impatient for the Lord to act!
 Keep traveling steadily along his pathway and in due season 
he will honor you with every blessing, 
and you will see the wicked destroyed.
(Psalm 37:34 TLB)

I'm broken.

At 42 years old, I feel like I've been broken for so long that I'm beyond repair. But God promises me that there is nothing about me that He cannot change.


and provide for those who grieve in Zion-- 
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, 
the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise
 instead of a spirit of despair. (Isaiah 61:3 NIV)

Although there are times when He heals things miraculously and instantly, most of the time, He does not. Sometimes, we have to reap what we sow. Sometimes, we have to feel the pain of the sin that caused us to get into the predicament we're in and then rely completely on His strength and His timing to help us out of it. 

I cannot rush a broken bone's healing any more than I can rush this process of healing for myself.

Impatience is too much like unbelief. If we feel ourselves loathing God's timing, we start to doubt that He really has what is best for us in His mind. We start do doubt that He cares. And if He doesn't care, than why should we? Satan feeds us this line of lies because he wants for us to GIVE UP. It's too difficult, too painful to endure. Satan wants us to choose the easy way now because he knows that things will get harder for us in the future if we do.

You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood
 in your fighting against sin (Hebrews 12:4 NAS)

Sure, the struggle is hard. The fight is real. When we're battling against our demons, we feel the pain and suffering that comes with it, but we do not bleed. We do not die physically. The battle we are engaging in is not against flesh and blood. 

"Truly, truly, I say to you, 
unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, 
it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." (John 12:24 ESV)

And we are called to die to the flesh in order to live. Those people who have overcome their sins and been healed are much more alive than this broken version of me. There are so many things that my sin has robbed from me. If we take an honest look at whether our sins and addictions are worth the cost, I think we can wholeheartedly say that it is worth the little bit of suffering now for the joy we receive later.

Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5b NIV)

The night can seem like such a long time that we begin to wonder if the morning will ever come. But we need to remember that we're not alone in the night - we have a guide. He has better night vision than we do, and is guiding us along this tough trial. He won't let us stumble and hurt ourselves worse. We only need to hold His hand. Also we need to keep believing, keep the faith, and keep watching while we wait for the signs that the morning is coming. Listen for the birds that start singing before dawn. Watch for the first vestiges of light that prove the morning is on the way. We'll see God even more clearly in the morning than we do in the night right now. He's promised that the morning will come, we just need to trust Him and believe it.

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