All posts tagged: struggle

Into Rich Fulfillment: The Journey of Change

“…We went through fire and through water; But You brought us out to rich fulfillment.” ~PSALM 66:12b Trials are something that the Lord in His grace and tender mercies toward us, His beloved children, assured us we would all endure. He tells us this truth many times over in His Word, not only to assure as that we will face the process, but to encourage us that we will make it through each and every one of them and that if we hold on to Him in faith, we will come out into richness. But why the trials? Let’s be honest, none of us looks forward to struggle or resistance. The very thought of doing so goes against our human nature. But there is beauty and benefit within the struggle. Just like when one decides to pursue a healthier lifestyle, that transition is often a struggle, to say the least. Changing one’s diet, making a point to walk more, to take the stairs instead of the elevator, to go to the gym and actually lift …

The Triumph of Transition: The Glory in Going From One Dimension to the Next

“It’s not all easy, but I think it’s all awesome.” ~KRIS LANGHAM I am pretty certain if anyone sat down and told a caterpillar the work that it was going to take not only for it to transform into a butterfly but just to able to break free of the future environment that would keep it safe–which would also soon become the very thing that would potentially hold them back and captive–that they would rethink the whole metamorphosis thing and likely stick to a flight-less existence. But then…maybe not. I think the guaranteed results of flying would be too much to resist. Nevertheless, transformation takes time and transition. Being able to fly is a right that comes from gaining power and strength from the struggle found in the process born of transition itself. If a caterpillar never struggled to break free of its cocoon–the place that once was its protection while in transition–it would never have the strength to take to the skies. There are dreams and greatness in each of us, but to see …

He Remains Faithful: Trusting Christ Beyond the Winter

“If we have died with Him, we will also live with Him. If we persevere, we will also rule with Him. If we disown Him, He will also disown us. IF WE ARE FAITHLESS HE REMAINS FAITHFUL, FOR HE CANNOT DISOWN HIMSELF.” ~II TIMOTHY 2:12-13 Today, I just want to encourage you all in the love of our Savior and Shepherd, Christ Jesus. Although we are just shy over a month and a half into the new year and decade, many of us are still in the winter of our lives and we see nothing but the frozen images of what life used to be and the scattered images of what we hope it to be. But we are unable to see with our natural eye what soon will be. And because of that truth, we need to remain in Trust, knowing that Christ Jesus is indeed working on our behalf, perfecting what He began in and for us (PHILIPPIANS 1:6) even though we may not see it, feel it, or hear it. For just …

Taking Hold of Greatness: Being Willing to Take Steps Backward

“Sometimes doing great work requires taking several steps backward.”         ~CANDICE COATES I don’t know of a single human being throughout the span of time who has not desired some level of success and greatness. I am not talking about the greatness that world conquers sought, the empty success that only leaves you with an insatiable high for more in all the wrong ways, the kind that leaves victims wounded, and bloodied in your wake. I am talking about the great work of authentic meaning and self-expression. I am talking about that work that comes from an honest and sincere heart, that one that you can whisper to God with a smile and say, “We did good, eh?” Be it your art, your writing, your marriage, your conquering of the daily grind whereas you force yourself to say, “This is the day the Lord has made, and I will rejoice and be glad in it! I will do well today no matter the odds, no matter the discomfort.” This is the great work I …

Seeing Through the Fog of Fear

*Revised from January 6, 2014 “If you are willing to go where God leads, He will see you through the journey.” ~PASTOR JESSE DUPLANTIS Writing is what I love. Sharing is what I love. Creating is what I love. However even in the face of things we love there can at times be a cloud of fog that blinds our direction. We start off heading one way with excitement and hope, and somewhere down the road, we end up choking on the fog of fear. For many years I battled with the foggy fear of failure. I knew that I was capable as a writer and storyteller. I knew I had many great stories to tell, but I had stumbled on the stones that said, “What if you don’t tell the story right?” or “What if you mess up that really expensive piece of cotton rag artist paper you just purchased?” The fear was paralyzing. It kept me still and inactive in my creativity for far too many years. I wished I had pushed through …

Change Your Mind: Choose Your Own Adventure pt 1

“…I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life…” ~DEUTERONOMY 30:19b Remember back in the day when you were in elementary school and you got to go to the school library and pick out a few books to take home and read? Back when I was a child, that was one of the highlights of the week, going to the school library, and nothing brought more joy than getting my hands on the latest Choose Your Own Adventure novel. Those books were fantastic in that within the limitations of maybe one-hundred and thirty or so pages of medium-sized print, seemed to be an infinite amount of unique stories that came to life simply by skipping from one section of the book to another. Choose your own adventure. To see what happens if Sally falls in the well, skip to page sixty-four. To have Sally leap over the well to safety, go to page fifty-seven, to see what happens next from here, keep reading. Some of these stories always had the same …

A word on Contentment

“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”    ~HEBREWS 13:5 Be content. The statement can be seen as a command or a verbalized form of permission. Be happy. Be wise. Be joyful. Be content. One of the biggest mountains that I face is the mountain whose shadow attempts to cast its darkness upon my garden of contentment. Lack of contentment, for me and I am certain many if not all of you, comes from the need to “do more.” I seem to be in a constant state of growth as I divorce myself from this out ‘need’, but there are a few straggly roots that are still present in my heart. The need to do more makes me measure and count and compare, as if my life is on some scale. And we all know that comparison kills. This attitude and mid-set, like that mountain, stands in opposition to my faith. …It is a hard …

My Favorite Read by Briana Lassiter: Encouraged in the Wait

This weeks summer favorite is an article from 2016, titled, ENCOURAGED IN THE WAIT by Candice Coates. I (Briana) had just met Candice and when I saw this post of hers on Facebook, I was in a deep waiting/suffering period and it resonated deeply as I sat and cried over the reminders of the truth about God that my tired heart desperately needed. As I read it over today, I find myself in a waiting period again, and the truths about God are still true, and His comfort is still as powerful as it was the first time I read it. And as Candice wrote, “Our Heavenly Father loves us beyond measure so much so that He would never forget us nor forsake us, especially not when we are distressed. Just as a parent is moved by the cries of their child so too is our Heavenly Father moved by ours.” I hope you are blessed with the encouragement you need today for your own wait as you read this summer favorite! By Briana Lassiter …

Wrestling with Unbelief: The Strengthening of Faith

Wrestling with unbelief and doubt is nothing that we should be ashamed of. In all actuality, it is something that we should celebrate with joy. Why? Because it is a clear sign that we have enough faith on the level in our faith-walk that we are currently pressing in to press for more than what we have. We are wrestling with the limit of now until we breakthrough to greater levels of belief. We wrestle because we believe! If we were hope-less people, we would cease to ask God for more. We cease to ask the Lord to strengthen us to overcome the unbelief that is being exposed. The simple truth is that we pray for what we have hope for and what does the Word of God say about hope: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” ~HEBREWS 11:1 Our faith pushes us to pray for what we have hope for and what we hope for is more faith, especially in the area He is calling …

A Tale as Old as Time: Revelation in Relationship by Charlie Louthen

I think it’s important to share that I did not want to write this article. I literally tried twice to disqualify myself to Candice and to myself numerous times. But Papa (Christ Jesus) continuously tugged at my heart to do it. Why was I so resistant? I narrowed it down to one reason. Fear. Why was I afraid? 1. How do you write something on a topic so deeply personal like a hard break-up with care and consideration for the other party involved when you were hurt by their actions? 2. How do you help others with forgiveness when you are not fully healed? I prayed for days on these two questions and got wise counsel from close friends. In the end, the answer was simple. Truth and grace. The truth is sometimes God will give you exactly what you want so that He can show you what you really need. This is biblically accurate. He gave the Israelites a king when they begged Him for it. He even told them all the horrible things …