WALKING IN VICTORY
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
I’m seeing something new and different in my life. My perspective is changing. My circumstances would warrant a brokenness and defeat. Yet, I awoke the other morning before my alarm went off. I heard the chirping of birds, a reminder of spring, of rebirth. How is this even possible? My husband is still in the hospital from the affects of two grand mal seizures. The road before me is unclear, and likely long. All reasons for me to feel overwhelmed, lost, forgotten, defeated. But I don’t feel any of those things. I have this incredible sense of peace and victory.
Beautiful, glorious victory. First Corinthians 15:57 says, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” A new day is dawning. A day with the promise of victory over the circumstances of life. I’ve said so many times that I could not imagine going through this without Jesus. And I absolutely know that He’s my navigator, my compass, my North Star. However there are times that I have attempted to control the outcome of something. Forcing my way, my will. It never ends well. But then I remember that I have victory though Jesus Christ.
My ah ha moment…let go and let God have His way. That’s how I can truly walk in victory. Deuteronomy 20:4 says, “For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”” Deuteronomy 20:4 NIV. It’s not a new thought, but today, today is different. Today I see God before me, slaying my enemies right before my eyes.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” Ephesians 6:10
God is mighty to save. After all, He saved me, a wretched sinner, from eternal damnation.
So, today is a new day. I am armed with God’s Word and a new perspective. Today is a gift, today is a promise. This means that even if God doesn’t answer my prayers, I will still, and always, put my faith and trust in Him. The miracle in all of this is having my heart renewed, having victory over my enemies, my sins and my circumstances. Today I am defined not by those things, but am wholly defined by Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.
WALKING IN VICTORY
By Debra Scowden
In the middle of a vicious storm,
Caught in the waves and raging seas.
When many feel lost and forlorn,
I’ll stand firm against the strong breeze.
For nothing in this world I live,
Can separate Jesus Christ from me.
His grace, love, peace- He freely gives,
I need only trust in good times and calamity.
The power of a torrential rain,
Can drown a weary soul.
No matter what, with God I’ll remain,
For its Him alone, all storms He controls.
The storms that surround us my friend,
Jesus, our savior is always by our side.
He’ll give us peace, we can depend,
And through the torrents he’ll safely guide.
To have this peace beyond our knowing,
Comes not by works, but deep abiding faith.
So great is His love, our faith keeps growing,
One day we’ll hear, “Well done, dear one.” He’ll saith.
With a new perspective, this gift and promise,
Look up to him all you who believe.
The waves of trouble by His word are made calmest
Because with Christ we wholly cleave.
DELIGHT AND PAIN
By Debra Scowden, 2017
Blessed is the one who walks in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the way of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:1-2
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.. Later on, however it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11
This journey called life can somedays be delightful, and other days be brutally painful. Days when we are mostly carefree. To days when it seems the weight of the entire world rests upon our shoulders. Broken, beaten-down, lost and feeling very alone. A family of four, yet so many days I feel alone. O people; pour out your heart before him.
This is one of those times. Feeling very alone. I struggle with self-doubt, poor self-esteem, low self-worth. It feels as though the people who know my situation most, avoid me. I feel like a leper. I started the other evening feeling blessed, strong in the Lord. Then I felt like I was being looked at with pity. “Oh, poor Debra, she has such a hard life.” Feeling like a leach to those in my life. Sucking life out of them, so much so that they don’t want to be around me. Feeling, feels, felt…the Bible says,
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9
It also says,
“Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.” Proverbs 28:26
Those feelings are, of course, lies. The enemy seeks out our weaknesses and takes hold of them doing his very best to squeeze the Lord completely out of our lives. But, God Almighty, El-Roi…The God who sees me and you, the One we are held by, is here to remind us of what He’s freely given. Forgiveness. Life eternal. Blessed. Love.
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 2:3
So how do we combat the lies, self-doubt, poor self-esteem and low self-worth? The way may not be easy. I know for a fact it’s not. I do know, however, that when we put our trust in Jesus, He will make the way easier.
“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4).
The one who is in the world, Satan, is the prince of this world. He’s cunning, sneaky, and works very hard to feed our self-doubt, poor self-esteem and low self-worth. Clever one. Yet, he is NO match for my Savior, Jesus Christ.
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-12 ESV.
These verses are exactly what my weary, broken, beaten-down, lost and lonely soul needs to hear, be reminded of, read and re-read. Proverbs 7:1-3 also reminds me…
”My son keep my words and treasure up my commands within you. Keep my commands and you will live; keep my teachings as the apple of your eye; bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.”
Another great reminder…
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.” 1 Peter 4:12-13 ESV
Whatever your fiery trials may be, remember to call upon Jesus, and you will, in the midst of the fire, know a peace that passes human understanding. You may still be surrounded by the flames, the temptation to give in the enemy. But, my friends, don’t. Instead,
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 ESV
“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah”. Psalms 62:1-2, 7-8 ESV
Wait quietly before God,
Your victory will come.
His promises are timeless and true.
Freedom assured from Satan’s thumb.
All your days the Lord Jesus foreknew.
Peace beyond our worldly comprehension,
A safe place to run, a fortress, our refuge.
Let your heart and your mind trust, rest,
As God’s living water o’er you deluge.
With Him you’ve conquered, no longer opprest.
All victory and honor come from God alone
His protection and strength none can fathom.
Wait quietly before God, he’ll light the way
His great power’ll save you from the chasm.
Far away from you, Satan will fearfully stay.
O dear God in Heaven, creator of all,
Let our hearts be forever grateful.
For no one or nothing from You can separate
When we trust upon You, and are ever praiseful.
And we quietly, faithfully, in victory, wait.
“He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside quiet waters.” Psalm 23:2 NIV
“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope.” Psalm 130:5 ESV
As I was finishing the writing of this post this morning, this song came on. Trust. The exact thing I need to remember to do.
May God richly bless you, may you always call on the name of Jesus, and may you always hear his still small voice.
In Christ’s love,
I’m glad I have a Savior who will never leave my side,
No matter what is happening, in Him I’ll safely abide.
It hurts, I’m frightened, the future’s unknown,
Yet, in confidence I’ll follow Jesus, grace He’s only shown.
I’m a wretch and I’m a sinner, I am broken yet not lost,
For my Jesus, precious Jesus, in death paid the ultimate cost.
When I cannot even fathom, nor see my human worth,
I need only look to Jesus and His precious virgin birth.
It is there in His story, a glorious life, sinless, He led,
That reveals to me a picture… His body, my sacrificial bread.
Jesus will be with me in the good times and in the bad,
In His word I am promised, in faith, my heart one day be glad.
My life’s story is not over, in some ways it’s just begun,
As I read God’s sweet love letter, to Him I faithfully run.
Be hope-filled, His word does tell me, with every page I turn,
It’s His freedom, and eternity, that my heart does only yearn.
So, if you my friend are weary, lost, and feel all alone,
May I lovingly encourage you-find Jesus and be known.
He will hold and tenderly comfort you, give you pure abiding love,
There is no one, no place or nothing that will fit you like this glove.
He’ll be patient, kind, not boastful, nor will He envy you,
His love’s not arrogant or rude, nor will He push you to do
Anything, ever; Free will God gives to move as you please,
His only requirement, faithfully believing, on bended knees.
You’ll be glad you have a Savior who will never leave your side,
No matter what is happening, in Him you’ll gladly abide.
When life hurts, or when you’re frightened; the future’s unknown,
In great confidence follow Jesus, grace He will always show.
I have a love hate relationship with snow. I love how it makes everything looks so beautiful and serene. I love how quiet everything is. Such amazing silence. I hate the affect the snow has on our day to day life. Appointments canceled, unable to attend our church surface and Wednesday night Bible Study (thankfully we can stream it.)
But the other day as I sat watching the snow fall from my living room chair, I also thought of my sin and my salvation. “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:7 (NIV)
To be washed and made whiter than snow. How is that even possible? Well, you see, Jesus is how. The Son of God, born or a virgin, lived a sinless life, died a dreadfully bloody death on the cross for my sins, and three days later rose from the grave. His death, once I accepted and believed in Him, made me white as snow. My sins are as far as the east is to the west.(Psalm 103:12 paraphrased.)
I love how He reminds me of His power and majesty in something as simple as a snow storm. I hope that you can see, even in the midst of a storm, how great and deep the Father’s love is for you.
I watch the snow fall to the ground,
It covers the world in white.
The big snowflakes make not a sound,
It’s beauty and grace, quiet a sight.
The world outside seems so pure,
Everything looks so fresh and clean.
It makes me feel so self-assured;
All life is simple as never been.
Yet in this beautiful, magical scene,
The Lord’s words do over shadow.
“Though your sins are scarlet (red),” unseen,
In Me, with Me, they’ll be white as snow.
Wait quietly, my friend, before God,
Like the silent falling snow.
And soon you’ll stand, in Him be awed,
In His beautiful presence, you will glow.
So watch the snow,
In your heart you’ll know,
Jesus’ perfect plan for you
To make you pure, afresh, anew.
The Son of Man will light the way,
Have faith and trust in His great plan.
And in the silence kneel and pray,
His perfect love is like a cozy afghan.
“Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
Who am I today?
What face will I show others?
Will it be my happy face? 😁
Or perhaps my pity face? 😔
Maybe I’ll wake up and show my “I’m just fine” face. 🤗
As I reflect on these questions I realize how often I “put on” a face that I want others to see. But not always one that’s honest. Sometimes the face I show may not be real, or truthful. So why do I pretend?
The putting on is where I go wrong. You see, I’m putting on from me, from my very limited perspective, tiny world view, instead of from the Source, the true covering – Jesus Christ.
“Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.” Romans 13:14
To put on Jesus Christ means even before I get out of bed, I need to give Him all that I am. The good, the bad and the ugly. Yet, so often I wake up and lie to myself and others. “Deliver me, O Lord, from lying lips, from a deceitful tongue.” Psalm 120:2 I don’t have to be perfect Polly, or sad Susie. I am called to be…a woman who lives and breathes and has her being with Jesus. I’m so thankful that even on my worst days I can be myself in His presence.
He (Jesus) is the vine, I am a branch,
I submit to Him my everything.
Let it all go like a huge avalanche;
In return He’ll rejoice, as I worship and sing.
Today’s worry’s He wants from me,
Tomorrow’s have not yet come.
So from vexation I am free;
Then I hear the musics thrum.
I’ll stay close to Jesus today,
He comforts the weak and weary.
I close my eyes, see His glory displayed,
His hope, I know is no theory.
In truth, with hope and great faith,
I lean on Jesus’ strength and power.
And attentively listen as God saith,
“Wait my precious, ‘tis not yet the hour.”
The face you see in me,
I pray shines Jesus greatly.
And with the angels we all agree,
Jesus Christ is the most stately.
Above the noise that’s all around,
I pray you’ll hear Him, too.
Your acknowledgement abound,
And your life is made anew.
So, who am I today? Today I chose to show and reflect Jesus. No matter what is happening in and around me. Inside I may feel frosty or perhaps a bit flat and out of sorts. Maybe inside I feel trapped. No matter those feelings – today I will chose to become less so that Jesus may become greater. (John 3:30 paraphrased.)
“Be mindful every minute of every hour of every day of the Lord’s presence.
In so doing you will be able to have a servants heart during
a busy and challenging season.” ~ Judy Slaughter
Today as I reflect on what I am thankful for, I cannot help but look back on this year. In many ways it feels as if time as stood still. Life seems to have come to a stop. The momentum we had in January and February, the plans we had, were interrupted on February 29th.
But as I have spent time praying and meditating since then, I can see the Lord’s hand in our lives in ways I had never experienced before. Sure, there have been challenging times in my life. Days, weeks and even years when I felt lost and alone. Praying for one thing or another. Yet, not until Scott’s stroke do I think I truly understood who God was, what He was, or how present He was in my life and that of my family’s. It may have felt as if life stopped, but it has moved in some pretty amazing ways.
At our women’s Bible study this past Tuesday, Judy said something for all of us to keep in mind during this holiday season. Yet, as I read it again and again, I am wholly convicted that it needs to be a way of life in all times. She said, “Be mindful every minute of every hour of every day of the Lord’s presence. In so doing you will be able to have a servants heart during a busy and challenging season.” Keep Jesus in the forefront of my mind…all of the time. I’ve not let that word picture leave me since then. Seeing Him right next to me. Am I saying, doing, speaking and behaving in such a way that Jesus would approve?
So today, as you go about preparing your home for Thanksgiving, be mindful of the Lord’s presence. I know I will.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you…for the very life you have given me, for my husband whom I love and cherish, for my beautiful daughters whom are a delight in my life, for my mom whose kindness and love never cease to fill me, for my sister and her beautiful family, for my friends near and far, I am so grateful for your support,, encouragement, prayers, hugs and love. Thank you Lord for the country. We live in, for the freedoms we enjoy, for the ultimate sacrifice of the men of women in our military. Jesus, I pray for all of them that their day would be reminder to give thanks; for those who don’t know You, I pray they would find You and follow You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Step out in faith,
Walk with Jesus the King.
Give thanks for all that you have;
And with your lips worship and sing.
What does today mean,
To you my dear family and friends?
I hope and I pray your hearts overflow,
As you give thanks with hands you lovingly extend.
Give thanks to the Lord,
For His perfect provisions and plan.
No matter what message the world conveys,
Always follow His lead, and be fishers of man.
I cannot imagine,
The journey Jesus took.
But the days of His glory to come,
Are beautifully inscribed in the Bible, His book.
So open the pages,
It doesn’t matter which one.
For they all show His truth and His life.
And so perfectly, how with His death, sin is finished its done.
“May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23
“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His faithful love endures forever.” Psalm 107:1