Grace Yourself

Grace yourself with the love of God and he will fight your battles for you.

Armor of God

Recently, I had the opportunity to practice forgiveness.

Friends, typically, forgiveness is not a difficult thing for me to do. Honestly, I see forgiveness as a way to get on with my life and let the other person get on with their life.

Let me share a recent moment when I was able to practice forgiveness by allowing God to work in my life, to fight a battle on my behalf. Also, let me first say that I will share this story in a way that protects the person who is not here to defend herself. Giving to that endeavor, I will only share a small portion of the total event.

In a recent encounter with a new woman in my sphere, this woman characterized me to be someone I am definitely not. We were discussing a business matter, and because she disagreed with the information I supplied, she called me a liar! She said a few other things not worth mentioning, and, as if I were a leper, she requested that I stay as far away from her as possible. I told her I was hurt by what she was saying, but it didn’t matter to her. Of course, after that I complied with her wish to stay far away from her. To protect myself from further abuse, I blocked her number from my phone and blocked her from my social media sites. I did not really care to hear from or be around someone with that kind of demeanor. I am reminded of the time Jesus was persecuted. In Luke 23:34 (NIV), we read,

“Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

Luke 23:34 (NIV)

People can be so heartless. Evil abounds, but the Lord says He will fight our battles. And, I had to remember quickly that the Lord rescues His people from evil attacks. 2 Timothy 4:18 (NIV) reminds me of that.

“The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.”

2 Timothy 4:18 (NIV)

Evidence of the Lord’s word in 2 Timothy 4:28 came in the form of a gentleman who, knowing nothing about what was going on between the woman and me, was circumstantially placed in front of the woman. I see this gentleman as someone who was put in place to allow the woman to know that I was not lying after all. And, without provocation, and in a very organic conversation, the gentleman said to the woman, almost word-for-word, everything I had previously said to her. The gentleman’s words were validation that I was telling the truth. I learned of the gentleman’s involvement because the Lord made sure someone else was on the scene to witness and report back to me what had happened. The witness told me that after the gentleman said all that he said, the woman appeared to be in shock and at a loss for words. We don’t know what was on the woman’s mind, but the witness said it was as if she had received an epiphany of some sort.

Still, I have received no apology from the woman. Still, I must forgive the woman and pray that her life is filled with love and grace. Hanging on to what Jesus said, she knows not what she is doing.

Grace Yourself

By “Grace Yourself,” I mean align yourself with the Lord’s power. Adorn yourself with His Grace. His mighty angels are set aside for your protection. Yes, evil abounds, but we must remember that we do not have to fight our battles. When we let the Lord fight our battles, the battle is won.

Our only obligation is to stay faithful to the Lord. His lessons help us to remain calm in adversity as we rest in His love and care.

In the act of reverence and perseverance, my Lord asked me to forgive and move on beyond this event. As difficult as it was to forgive, as a faithful child of God, I had no other choice but to forgive the woman of her hurtful words. Whether she apologizes or not is immaterial.

We go through trials every day. And, there are times people put us into trials that we had no time to prepare for. I am here to say, let it go!

Friends, when someone does or says something to hurt you, I’m not going to lie. It hurts! I’ll tell you the truth right now. I was devastated when that woman said those hurtful words to me. No one had ever been that cruel to me in my whole life. I had a difficult time letting it go. But I am fortunate to have the most incredible friends in my life. When I found it difficult to let things go, my friends stepped in to remind me of God’s love and God’s ways. I am grateful for the friends I have on earth who know me and love me enough to steer me in the right direction at all times. I look forward to being with you all in God’s Kingdom.

Graced in the love of the Lord, I now feel refreshed and ready to enjoy life the way the Lord intends me to enjoy it.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

Let God fight your battles!

In His grace!

(c) Marlene C Bertrand, 2022

When the Truth Hurts

When the truth hurts, don’t run from it. Run toward the truth and learn to live in that truth.

My pastor is a spirit-led pastor. His sermons are based strictly on the word of God, and when he preaches, the congregation is sure to hear and feel the Holy Spirit directing them.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

Speaking of the Truth

I enjoy every sermon that my pastor delivers. I appreciate that I am being led by a man of God, a man who seeks wisdom from the word of God as it is written in the Bible. At the same time, I must tell you that there were times early on when the pastor would say something that smacked me right in the middle of the face. And, I would sit quietly in the pew, listening but agitated that the pastor would give reprimands from the pulpit.

Now, let me make it clear about one thing. The pastor never called me out by name; in fact, the ultimate truth is that the pastor never actually directed any of his sermons toward me. What I was hearing was the Holy Spirit convicting me through the pastor’s sermon.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

One time after one of the pastor’s sermons, I was feeling rather rebuked; I arrived home with my husband and finally told him that I didn’t like what the pastor had to say about such and such. I told him that I didn’t want to go back to a church where the pastor felt free to chastise from the pulpit.

I was surprised at my husband’s response because he said the same thing that someone had said to me many years ago when I was a very young girl. He looked me squarely in the eyes and said,

“Well, when the truth hurts, maybe you should examine your head and your heart. Because, if the pastor is delivering the word, then he is delivering the truth and if the truth hurts, you need to see what it is about the way you think or the way you feel about that subject.”

Bah bam! Hit in the face again!

My husband was right. He didn’t hold back any punches when he reminded me that when the truth hurts, I need to examine myself and determine what it is about me that I need to change. Running to another church to try to find a pastor whose “truth” doesn’t hurt would not solve the problem. And, not going to church at all would be the worse decision of all.

I listened to my husband who is uncannily wise about many things. I calmed down and realized I needed to learn what to do to change those things in me that kept me from being the wholesome Christian I desperately wanted to be. I needed to keep going to church and stay seated and continue to listen to the messages my pastor delivered until the change in me occurred. I needed to stay and hear every message until the truth didn’t hurt anymore.

Thankfully, my attitude changed; my heart changed; and I came to appreciate what the pastor says about everything. I trust his messages because I know his messages are messages that are directed from the Holy Spirit.

The Truth Will Set You Free

Yes, sometimes the truth hurts. But, sometimes it takes being hurt for us to realize we need to make a change in the way we think, the way we feel, and the things we do.

The truth will set you free from the bondage of a life filled with false hope. When the truth hurts, don’t run from it. Run toward the truth and learn to live in that truth. When we live a life based on truth, we live a life that is pleasing to our Lord. The truth will deliver a life filled with love as only our Heavenly Father can deliver.

May you live in truth.

Song of Hope

The following song is inspired by John 14. It is a song that relates to the fact that the Spirit of Truth lives inside of us, guiding us.

Title: Spirit of Truth
By:
Phil J. Riegler
©
Phil J Riegler Music June 26, 2014

The Spirit of Truth lives inside of us.

God’s Voice is His Word

Find the voice of God in His words.

Searching for God’s Voice

No matter how far along we are in our walk with God, we are human beings. Human beings are not perfect and so it is expected that no matter how hard we try, we are going to make mistakes, and it is expected that there are going to be days in our life when we struggle to stay on top of our little world. These are the days when we must grab a hold of the promises of God, remembering that we are God’s children. God said he would take care of his children, and recently I had an experience that showed me that God truly does take care of his children.

One day, not too long ago, I was feeling particularly down-hearted. It was going on three weeks that my computer had not been working, I was in a lot of physical pain, and I was being hit with many unexpected bills at a time when my money was not flowing in as expected. I tell you the truth; I was feeling really down and out that day.

Fortunately, I know that when I am feeling low, I need to go to the Lord for comfort.

My Daily Reader

My Daily Reader

I have a daily reader that sits on my desk. Normally, I read it every day, however I had not been reading it lately. But, on this day, I desperately needed to hear God’s voice and in my desperation I cried out loud to him,  “God, I need to hear your voice right now. I need to hear your voice.”

I picked up the reader which usually directs me to a scripture in the bible. I turned the reader to the page for that day and here is what I read,

“One of the most priceless gems you will find in God’s Word is His voice. That’s because He speaks to us through His Word as we read it or hear it. In fact, we can’t really learn to recognize God’s voice whispering to our soul if we are not first hearing Him speak to us in His Word.”

Ah ha! It hit me like a hammer… The Bible is God’s word! I knew immediately, it was a message from God. The reading had not mentioned a scripture, so I opened my bible to read whatever page fell open. To my amazement, it fell open to Deuteronomy 8. This is the chapter that talks about how the Israelite people failed to be humble and took God’s protection for granted. As they traveled through the desert, God fed them, clothed them, and gave them shelter. Still, they didn’t appreciate Him the way they should have.

After reading that story, I closed my bible and again, spoke out loud to God. “God,” I said, “That was a nice story, but how does that story relate to me? What is it that you are saying to ME?”

I sat quietly for a moment, wishing I could have received some sort of message from that story. Feeling sad that I had not deciphered God’s message to me, I figured I would start over and so I re-read the day’s message from my daily reader. As I read, my eyes locked onto the phrase, “…God’s Word is His voice.” I picked up my Bible again and this time the page opened up to Isaiah 46. I read verses 3-4. These words jumped out at me as if God was pointing his finger at me saying, “Woman, didn’t I tell you that I would take care of you?” Isaiah 46:3-4 reads:

“Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”

Isaiah 46:3-4

After reading that passage, I felt like I had heard God’s voice telling me not to worry about things. In that moment, I gave all of my troubles up to God. I asked him to handle everything. And, I tell you the truth, friends, since I let God have control of my life, things have been working out wonderfully. Even when it seems, in the moment, like something is not going to work out; I don’t worry about it because I know that at the end of the day, everything that needs to be handled will be handled.

The Lord, God is our voice of hope and His voice can be found in the Bible.

May you hear the voice of God this day and be blessed forever.

Song of Inspiration

The following song is very inspirational to me. It speaks of God’s voice being the voice of truth. We need not pay attention to the enemy who constantly tries to bring us down. But, listen to the word of God whose truth will strengthen us and set us free from the strife of life.

Song Title: Voice of Truth
Recorded by: Casting Crowns
Authors: Mark Hall, Steven Curtis Chapman
Publisher: Worship Together
Released:  2004