7 Steps Toward Regaining Your Strength

But God is my strength. Oh, what a promise! I’m writing devotionals this month on scriptures that use the phrase, “BUT GOD”. It’s been an awesome journey. You can follow along by subscribing in the pop-up.

god is my strength

I’m ten years and going into my journey with chronic pain. (Read my story here) Not far into this journey, God brought this scripture to life for me. This verse sounds good when you are healthy and living well, but have a turn of events, and this verse comes alive.

Some would be tempted to turn away from God when struck with struggles that seem too hard to bear. But I found greater hope in God because of my pain.

David said, “My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees.”

Psalm 119:71

I laid flat on my back for over a month. And after that, I was only moving about because of the large doses of steroids I was taking until receiving my diagnosis. I spent much of that time reading the scriptures and falling more deeply in love with my Lord.

Indeed I found that God was the only thing I needed. He was and is my strength and my song.

Taste and see that the Lord is good!

Psalm 34:8

Steps Toward Gaining Your Strength

regaining yoru strength
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Accept Your Weakness

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 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. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:8-10


Just like Paul, I had several conversations with God about removing my pain. And, just like Paul, God said, “I am enough”. We talked many times about my busy-ness “for Him” and how I had forgotten to let Him lead in my ministry. He asked me, “If I take away your pain, do you think you would keep your eyes on Me?” Truthfully, I had to admit, probably not.

Seek God

Beautiful girls and strong young men will grow faint in that day, thirsting for the Lord’s word.

Amos 8:13


But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say,
‘People do not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Matthew 4:4


I found I now had plenty of time to read and I spent much of this time reading the Word of God. That summer I signed up for a study of Psalm 119. Psalm 119 is all about the importance of God’s Word. This verse spoke out clearly to me,

It was good for me to be afflicted so that I could learn your statutes.

Psalm 119:71

Take Refuge in Him – Rest

28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

Matt 11:28-30

My pain and suffering gave me a chance to rest. I needed it desperately. And through it, I was given His rest.


Hope in the Lord

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.

    They will soar high on wings like eagles.

run and not grow weary.

    They will walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31 –

This was always one of my favorite verses. Perhaps because I struggled with fatigue long before we ever realized there was a health problem. But this verse became, even more, real to me as I struggled with my illness. My hope in Him alone has given me the strength to live each day

Look for Joy

And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”

Nehemiah 8:10

We often think that the blessings of life are the good things like family, success, lots of stuff. But I have learned that if we take advantage of the troubled times, they become blessings in disguise because they draw us closer to God.

Not too far into this journey with pain, I was introduced to Ann Voskamp and her story with depression. Someone challenged her to start making a list of 1000 blessings. In accepting this challenge she journaled each day at least three blessings she found from God. Soon her depression had taken a back seat to joy.

It’s true, you know, laughter is good medicine. When we start focusing on all the good God has done for us, we find joy in the journey, even when it’s a hard journey.

Laughter is Good MEdicine

Prayer

King David said, “On the day I called, You answered me; You emboldened me and strengthened my soul.”

Psalm 138:3.

They say that talking about it is very therapeutic. Now if only we would realize that if we talked to the Lord about it and listened to His answers we could probably save ourselves a lot of money spent on counselors.


Philippians 4:6-7 says Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Praise God

The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. This is my God, and I will praise him— my father’s God, and I will exalt him!

Exodus 15:2; Psalm 59:17;

O my Strength, to you I sing praises, for you, O God, are my refuge, the God who shows me unfailing love.

Psalm 59:17;

I know sometimes, it is very difficult to praise God. Our words seem to just get stuck in your throat. But trust me, praising God and singing to Him will lift your spirits. If you can’t do it, at least play some praise music and turn it up. Soon you will find yourself singing along.

Connect with Others

Then Judas and Silas, both being prophets, spoke at length to the believers, encouraging and strengthening their faith.

Acts 15:32

There is nothing better than connecting with other believers. That is why we are instructed to come together to worship.

And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

Hebrews 10:25


Meeting together is difficult in the midst of this pandemic; however, most of us have cell phones and internet access. Be sure you are regularly attending church and visiting with fellow believers. There are thousands of opportunities to participate in worship if your own church doesn’t offer its services online. My husband and I have really enjoyed the preaching of Greg Laurie at Harvest at Home.

On top of that, connect individually with fellow believers to encourage one another. If you are lonely, for heaven’s sake, pick up your phone and call someone. They might need some encouragement from you and in the process, you will find yourself encouraged and strengthened.

My blog has connected me with so many believers and also believers that suffer from chronic illness. I have met some wonderful friends and we encourage one another regularly. You may not have a blog, but we have so many social media opportunities. Get on one of them and start commenting on every else’s posts. I’ll list some groups on Facebook that uplift me.

Strengthened in Christ,

Mandy

Facebook Groups that Encourage


Making Plans.. But God

There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.
We may throw the dice, but the Lord determines how they fall.
Proverbs 16:25, 33

making plans But God

I want to remind you at this point that these are proverbs. That is, they are wise sayings that are typically true. It’s not a hard and fast rule; just usually the way the chips fall.
On the other hand, we can trust that God is in control. In this same chapter, verse 33 states, “We may throw the dice, but the Lord determines how they fall.”

We Can Be Affected by Others’ Bad Decisions

making plans

God is watching, but He has also given all of us free will. The decisions of others around us can cause our plans to go sour. We are always affected by the waves others are making.
Let me say this: It is always best to seek the will of the Father cause He’s got your back. Even when things go wrong, He sees the whole picture and He can work even better things out because of our troubles. (Romans 8:28)
As an example, let’s look at Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego. (Daniel 3) They followed what was right in God’s eyes. They would not bow down to the King’s idol; therefore, they were thrown into the furnace. A Very Hot Furnace, mind you. But God definitely had their backs. There He was right in the middle of the furnace with them. And when the king had them removed from the furnace they didn’t even smell of smoke. The King was so amazed that He worshiped the One True God. (at least for a while)

Sometimes It’s Our Own Fault

There’s this problem of self-righteousness. That is, we actually think we are following God’s plan but we have been deceived by Satan. It “seems” like the right thing to do. But in truth, we are justifying our viewpoint as “the right thing” when we are actually going against God’s plan.

Consider Saul (later Paul, the great missionary). He was educated by Gamaliel, an expert in Jewish law. He knew the letter of the law and was considered a great teacher of the law. Before his conversion, He thought the members of The Way were apostates. He was commissioned to go about and arrest them or even kill them. He was at the stoning of Stephen approving the event.

It important for us to examine our hearts carefully to be sure that we have not twisted the law of God. Studying His Word daily with prayer is the most effective way to keep our focus on God’s plan and not our own ideas of what is right.


How Do Be Sure We Aren’t Self-Righteous?

Stay in the Word – Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

Prayer – James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.


Be Careful How You Live –

Ephesians 5:15-20 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish but understand what the Lord’s will is.


Be Filled with The Holy Spirit – 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit,

Fellowship with Oher Believers (accountability) – 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord,


Praise God – 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Making Plans with God!

Mandy

Want to read more like this?

This is one of many devotions on the theme, BUT GOD. Most can only be read by subscription; however, Read another on this blog, Life Disappoints… But God or Sign up with the pop up for But God Devos!


life disappoints

Life Disappoints – But God

Have You Been Disappointed?

Life disappoints but I’m here to tell you that God is our shelter, our peace, our defense, our salvation, our light, and so much more.

I’ve had many disappointing times in my life. But they didn’t get me down. At least not for long. You may be feeling disappointed right now. Maybe you have lost a loved one, lost your job, missed an opportunity, been mistreated, or lied to. I want to tell you there is hope.

life disappoints
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Many men and women of the Bible were disappointed in their lives. To name a few… Joseph, Hannah, David. but God had a plan for their lives. I have been wanting to study verses in the Bible that state, “But God….”.

I recently wrote about the astounding confidence of the apostles. Their fear was turned into confidence when the Holy Spirit came on them. We can know the same confidence.

“God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”

Hebrews 13:5-6

Over the next month, I will be writing about a verse that turns our sorrows into life. Let’s start with Psalm 34. (emphasis is mine below) Take note of all the goodness of God mentioned just in this one chapter. I believe it will turn your disappointment into praise.

Psalm 34

Of David. When he pretended to be insane before Abimelek, who drove him away, and he left.

I will extol the Lord at all times;
    his praise will always be on my lips.
I will glory in the Lord;
    let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the Lord with me;
    let us exalt his name together.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
    he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
    their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
    he saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
    and he delivers them.

Taste and see that the Lord is good;
    blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
    for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
    but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
11 Come, my children, listen to me;
    I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Whoever of you loves life
    and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil
    and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good;
    seek peace and pursue it.

15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
    and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
    to blot out their name from the earth.

17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
    he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

19 The righteous person may have many troubles,
    but the Lord delivers him from them all;
20 he protects all his bones,
    not one of them will be broken.

21 Evil will slay the wicked;
    the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Lord will rescue his servants;
    no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

Friend, this world can throw a lot of disappointments your way. Don’t let them get you off track. Look to God. He knows all about you. He knows the past, present, and future. Depend on Him today and every day. He is in control.

Trusting Him;

Mandy

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