In the Middle

Thursday

Real-life.

You are made for it.

Real-life is filled with broken people, challenging circumstances, and difficult decisions.

It’s different than you thought it would be.

It’s harder than you expected.

It’s messy.

Real-life is where Jesus meets you.

He does not ask you to deny reality, He asks you to embrace it as He embraces you.

 Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.”

1 Peter 4:12-13 MSG

Stop striving to live a “perfect” life to please God. What pleases God the most is when you allow Him to work His grace and love into the middle of your very messy real life.

May you be empowered today to face the reality of your life and walk confidently in His unique, personal, powerful expression of grace and love for you in it.

Strength For Today

 

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“Give us today our daily bread.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Lord, give me what I need for today.

Not what I needed yesterday.

Not what I will need for tomorrow.

What I need today.

Today’s strength.

Today’s sustenance.

Today’s vision.

Today’s peace that passes understanding.

It might look different than I expect it to but it will do the job nonetheless.

You are amazing like that.

Thank you, Lord, for today’s provision, for today’s daily bread.

In Jesus Name, Amen.

Every Step You Take

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“Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. GOD, your God, is with you every step you take.”
Joshua‬ ‭1‬:‭9‬ MSG

You may be at a crossroads today.

You may be tired and worn out.

Maybe a bit discouraged and overwhelmed.

You know that the task before you is too big for you to do on your own.

God knows this too.

He doesn’t intend for you to do it on your own or by yourself.

He intends for you to move forward with Him.

To face the impossible challenge with Him.

To take the promised land back from the enemy and learn to live in it with Him.

So when you  are at this crossroad wondering if you should keep going forward or if you even have the strength to, hear these words from your Father in heaven:

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Joshua‬ ‭1‬:‭9‬ NIV

Should you move forward?

Yes
.

Can you?


Yes
.

Why?


Because you can do all things through Him who strengthens you. 

Tried and Tested

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“We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts.”
1 Thessalonians 2:4 NIV
When God “tests” your heart, it isn’t a test to pass or fail.
“The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart.”  ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭17:3‬ ‭NIV‬‬
It is a purifying of the soul.
The crucible is a vessel that can take extreme heat and not melt. It is used to melt the silver so that the impurities of the precious metal will rise to the top. Then the refiner will skim it off the top.
It is the same with your heart. The Great Refiner will use the hot fires of life to cause the impurities in your heart to be revealed so He can clear them out.
He will bring to the surface the things that are holding you back from loving freely, what is tripping you up in your relationships, what is sabotaging your peace.
Things that don’t belong there but have never been processed out.
Your job is to stay in His Hand, deal with what comes up (which almost always begins with repentance or forgiveness) and allow the healing balm of His love to make you new.
How is your heart? 
What is Jesus bringing up? 
What do you need to do with it?

Your Faith

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Your faith in God is more precious than the finest of gold. It will last longer than your job, your goals and your body.  It is the eternal life inside of you that sustains you through the trials of the temporary outside life.

“But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”

Job 23:10 NIV

When God tests your faith to purify it. To clarify it. To clean it from dross and impurities. He will use the smallest irritation or the greatest trial to do it. He does not send the trial but He will use it.

The same fire that destroys wood purifies gold.

God can use the very thing that you feel is destroying you to purify you.

He will use the disappointment you are experiencing to make the dross of your heart rise to the surface so He can skim it off.

You have a promise here that God knows where you are, what you are going through and He knows how to use it to do an important work for you.

You will come out of it shining.

Hold onto God during this season because He is most certainly holding onto you.

It’s Not That Kind of Test

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“We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts.”
1 Thessalonians 2:4 NIV
When God “tests” your heart, it isn’t a test to pass or fail. It is a purifying of the soul.
“The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart.”  ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭17:3‬ ‭NIV‬‬
The crucible is a vessel that can take extreme heat and not melt. It is used to melt the silver so that the impurities of the precious metal will rise to the top. Then the refiner will skim it off the top.
It is the same with your heart. The Great Refiner will use the hot fires of life to cause the impurities in your heart to be revealed so He can clear them out.
He will bring to the surface the things that are holding you back from loving freely, what is tripping you up in your relationships, what is sabotaging your peace.
Things that don’t belong there but have never been processed out.
Your job is to stay in His Hand, deal with what comes up (which almost always begins with repentance or forgiveness) and allow the healing balm of His love to make you new.
How is your heart? 
What is Jesus bringing up? 
What do you need to do with it?

Opposition vs. Opportunity 


The challenge you are facing is a gift. It is an opportunity with a divine purpose.

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”
‭‭James‬ ‭1:2-4‬ ‭MSG‬‬

God will use today’s challenges to give you the skills you need for tomorrow’s assignment.

Look to Jesus to guide you through it and help you navagate all the way to the other side of it. Don’t give up halfway through. Storms do not last forever but the lessons you could learn through them will.

It doesn’t matter where it’s coming from, God will use It to get you going in the right direction.

God will whatever opposition is coming at you as an opportunity to grow your faith and character. Let Him.

What is God using your current challenge to develop in you?