Advent 2015: Born Is The King: Day 4

Jesus Is The True & Better Abraham

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Today's Text: Genesis 12:1-4, John 8:54-56, Galatians 3:6-14

Text: Genesis 12:1-4, John 8:54-56, Galatians 3:6-14

Leaving what is known for the unknown of new beginnings takes enormous inner strength and courage. As a newlywed, my husband and I left family and friends for the unknown of the West. We were terrified and expectant, sad and excited all in one breath as we moved across the country to begin a new life together. Perhaps you’ve experienced life-altering decisions like this, too.

What I’ve learned over the years is that God rarely calls us to comfort and convenience but instead to a life of faith and trust. Such is the story of Abraham and God’s everlasting promises to him and his descendants. It is a covenant deeply woven into the fabric of the Advent story.

When we meet Abram, before God changes his name to Abraham, he is living in the land of his people, where he has been for 70 years. But God appeared to Abram with instructions to leave—in faith—the comfort and safety of this familiar life. God promised to make Abram’s name great. The man who had yet to become a father would now father a great new nation—a nation marked by mercy and grace, a living illustration of the forgiveness and love of an everlasting God.

All that was required of Abram was to obey in faith.

Of all the promises God made to Abram, one was key: a son. The long-awaited promised son to an older barren woman and her faithful husband would become the seed of a family tree through which Jesus Christ was born to save all humanity. The first promised son was a foreshadowing of the second, when God would come to earth in flesh and blood to redeem mankind’s past, present, and future sins for a new beginning. Two baby boys, born 2000 years apart, would change the world.

That second baby boy, Jesus Christ, was the true and better Abraham. He, too, left the comfort and safety of His home with His Father. While Abraham’s obedience led generations to the Promised Land, Jesus’s obedience fulfilled the whole of God’s covenant of love to His people, so that we who have faith are also “Abraham’s sons,” heirs to the promise (Galatians 3:6-7). Like Abraham, we are invited to have faith not only in what we cannot see, but also in what has already been secured for us by our good and sovereign Father.

God’s sovereignty over Abraham’s story illuminates the ultimate love God has for us. Jesus is the Son of promise, and all of God’s promises to us are made possible through Him (2 Corinthians 1:20). New beginnings tell the story of grace, mercy, and forgiveness—gifts from a loving Father who is worthy of our faith, even when we cannot see what lies ahead.

Where is God calling us to new beginnings? Will we remain in the familiar or step out in faith?

May we obey His calling and trust that He will fill us with strength and courage, grace and peace, hope and joy—everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). These were the gifts given to Abraham, and they are the Advent gifts freely given to us through Jesus Christ. SRT-Advent15-instagram4

  • . HOWEVER, Woman B claimed she had never said antnihyg to A about my wife spreading the rumors and that she was simply concerned about her. She was sorry, apologized, but understood if my wife didn’t trust her as a friend. My wife was hurt, but choose to forgive woman B and move on and attempt to repair things with woman A.The next morning, woman B went to A and told her what my wife had done to her. Woman A was concerned about the accuracy of the information she was getting from B. Woman A asked her again if she was sure that what she had said at the party was true, including the party about my wife telling many different people and maliciously attempting to start the rumors. B said this was all true again, and that my wife was really upset with A and wanted to bring her down with what she said.A week later, my wife tried to talk to woman A to apologize for what was said. Woman A would not even look at my wife. She said she was done with her as a friend. She explained that woman B had come back to her to tell her she had been talking about her AGAIN, and she reiterated about the fact she had been spreading the rumors maliciously and my wife wanted to hurt woman A. None of this was true. Woman A called my wife a slew of fowl language in front of me, in front of dozens of her close friends and in front of many of my wife’s friends. She stated that she was lying because woman B had said these things to her twice, and that she wouldn’t lie.My wife is woman A’s boss. Woman A is letting this effect her work. Woman A has cut off all communication with my wife outside of work. Woman B is now completely avoiding my wife entirely as well as woman B’s husband, who is a close friend of mine.My wife forgave them both for what happened. Several weeks has passed. I have a hard time forgiving these people and wanted them to ever be back at our home. They were both very good friends of my wife’s and now she feels alone and isolated because her two best friends destroyed their friendship. I even lost a close friend. The collateral damage goes very deep, since these were mutual friends of almost everyone we know.My wife wants me to move on, but I have such a hard time with that. My wife was trying to do the biblically accurate thing to hold a fellow sister in christ accountable and her other sister in christ; who was not a new christian, but a strong one, threw it in her face. She broke her trust not once, but twice.I just think she doesn’t need to be friends with these people if this is how they treat their relationships. I don’t feel comfortable having them around my home if this is what they choose to do.What do you think?

  • I’m way behind on this and am new to the app. This passage really hit home for me! My husband and I moved from TX to IL this past fall for him to start grad school…we have a 1 year old girl and had just adopted a 12 year old boy with a very traumatic background….oh and I’m only 23 and my husband is 25. Yes, we’re crazy. But we wanted to be obedient to the Lords calling. The past three months have been the toughest of my life. We are actually planning to move back to TX to be closer to family where we will have enough support to survive. Even though it has been so tough it has also been so freeing to live in obedience. God is teaching us so much about His son and His unconditional love for us through our son.

    • Katie

      Sending up a prayer for you and your family. I’m sure even in this very tough time that you have learnt so much about God. I know He will have been close to you. Lots of love xx

    • Francesca Music

      Lord, shine Your light in the darkness and give strength, hope, and peace to Shell in Jesus’ name! Thank you, Father!

  • Anastasia

    I’m so behind on my readings! But this passage and truth hit me SO hard today. It’s so hard to trust the Lord when you don’t know what’s set out beyond that first step of obedience to trust Him to lead me into the uncomfortable. I grew up in a Russian cultural church and lately my heart has just been aching and craving for community, one that I don’t find in my church because of how different my heart feels toward life and God, whereas they see it more traditionally and culturally. I’ve been pondering on leaving this church for so long but just feel STUCK. It’s not so easy to leave, I help lead worship and leaving something like this is like leaving the entire culture behind. NOT okay. Reading this is so hard to process because I know and feel that God has so much more set out for me to enjoy in Him outside of these cultural boundaries, but leaving is so scary. I will definitely be praying for God to work this truth deep into me to the point of strength in knowing the wisest thing to do in my situation. Thank you so much for this passage!

    • sofia

      Sofia

      • sofia

        Why not both? I was also in your shoes a few years back. Currently I am still in ministry at my Russian church (I look at is as my “missionary” work). But also attend another American church, including bible study and a mom’s group. Best of both worlds :) but this is something God was calling me to do. If you ask with a pure heart, He will make the answer clear… and it might look very different from your own ideas.

  • Mm it’s such a good reminder that God’s callings are RARELY ones of comfort and convenience, but I will say that He offers rest. Rest is mandatory! I’m a missionary living in Swaziland, so I can totally relate to Sarai and Abram and the others of you who’ve commented. Living my dream is HARD! Because God didn’t plant a tiny dream or one that would only change a small corner. His dreams are HUGE and change-the-world-type, and sometimes they are very hard to live in. But I’ve read a book recently (fiction) but based on several women of extreme faith in Christ’s lineage. It AMAZES me how ONE woman. ONE step of obedience utterly shifts and roots the whole coming of Christ. What if any of those women had said no?!

    • Katie

      You’re right! I always think of Mary & Martha when I find myself saying something like “if I don’t do this then no one will”. There will always be work to do, even Jesus needed rest & time to himself.

  • My daughter is also named Rachel, as newlyweds her husband and moved 2 hours away to establish his career. The first 6 months she came “home” often. Over time God has brought new friends, new adventures and new purpose to her. I get to see grow and blossom in beautiful ways. I wouldn’t chose this direction for her, but knows what he doing. God bless you Rachel with all the goodness and excitement of new friendships as you trust God.

  • Rachel Tanedo

    As a new wife living far from my family I long to return home with my husband and live near my family and old friends. My heart aches because I often feel lonely and that I will never find relationships here or anywhere like I have back home…but reading this hit me hard! Like the author said “God rarely calls us to comfort and convenience.” That’s hard for me to hear and accept, but God is slowly softening my heart and helping me to trust Him- that his ways are so much higher than mine (Isaiah 55:8-9) I’m so thankful for how God is using this study in my life- it’s so challenging.

  • Fiancé and I have unexpected work transfer to Pennsylvania. This spoke to me loud and clear tonight.

  • I am way behind on this…but this hit me right in the feels. While in undergrad and grad school (to be a speech-language pathologist), I worked as the assistant Children’s Pastor at my church. During that time, I loved what I did, and thought about going into ministry, but even the youth pastor told me to stick with speech, it would provide much more security. (And as a “young” girl, I listened to my elders). This last year, at my current church, I was asked to be the Children’s Ministries Coordinator, part-time, and took the job. They have offered me full-time to start summer 2016. (When my contract for SLP is up), and I have decided to take it, but not without worry – How am I going to pay my school loans? As well as all of my “elders”, saying to stick with my well-paying, well-benefitted current position…But this devotion re-centered my heart…Reminded me that our Father, is a good Father. I believe He has called me to minister to the children of the Inland Empire, I believe that He has prepared me for such a time as this, and He will take care of me. Maybe not in ways I expect, but I will be taken care of. Thank you

    • Leslie

      It’s great that you decided to go for it! I’m getting to that point ,too. God is good!

  • Madeline

    I am preparing to study abroad in Barcelona for six months and have been struggling with pre-departure anxiety of leaving my family and being away from home for so long. This was the perfect devotional to trust in the Lord, for His plan is greater than anything I could ever dream of!

    • Taylor.Stebbings

      Hey Madeline… I am heading out to study abroad in Málaga, Spain in a few weeks for the semester and was very comforted but this devotional as I have been experiencing then same anxiety recently. You are not alone, sister!

      • Jessica young

        Beautiful ones who will be traveling abroad – I was in your shoes 17 years ago after college as I went to study design in the Netherlands. I travelled alone and lived in student housing where God paired me with one who taught me about Christ. That time in my life I truly met our Father. Have faith, God truly is right next to you! Open your hearts and minds for this wonderful journey you are so blessed to go on. Open your eyes and see the Angels God has placed along the way. So fun, God bless you and may this time in your life be for His glory!

  • Cindy Rust

    We are all so blessed to be a part of this community! I am not sure if this is true or not- but just maybe the ones who began SRT went through their own struggles with Father to get this devotional plan set in motion. And look how we are all being blessed through it! I do not mean to speak out of turn, but from my own experiences in walking with Him, good things come from the struggles we endure :) Cling tightly to our God ladies!!

  • Monisola

    Although I am several days late, reading through Galatians 3, had me thanking God for Jesus….there is no way I would have made it without Christ coming….I wouldn’t have been able to keep the law!

  • This speaks truth to me. Having faith gave me strength to make the biggest move of my life, moving to South Africa for the next four months to be with the man I love and will marry. Our international relationship has posed many difficulties, not only are we 10,000 miles apart, we are conquering many battles to even be able to marry. It is a journey, but one worth fighting for. God brought me to South Africa for many reasons, reasons of growth in my relationship with Him as well as my relationship with the love of my life. This endeavor is opening my eyes to many things, good and bad. I thank the Lord God for blessing me with this opportunity.

  • It was Jimmy Evans btw

  • Recently, my life has been difficult. Over the past few months I have been fighting panic attacks and severe anxiety which has made everyday things hard to do. Tomorrow I have a huge college determining test and I have been very anxious about it for a while. However after reading that I feel like God is calling me to step out of my comfort zone and have faith in him that he will protect my heart and mind tomorrow. I needed to read that.

    • Heather

      I am praying for you today!

    • Mara

      I was dealing with that also. However, after listening to many sermons by Robert Morris and Jimmy Edwards (? going off memory) I started speaking the word over myself. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Peace is your portion! Anxiety and fear? That’s the enemy’s portion! Say it aloud. Fear is not my portion, peace and a future are my portion. Joy is my portion, etc. And listen to Love vs Fear by Bill Johnson. Put on the whole armor of God! Again – I dealt with this for a year but God led me to overcome. Good teachings from others who have suffered the same afflictions led me to use the word of God over myself. Be blessed!!! The power is in you! Don’t believe the lie.

  • This devotion is a great reminder of what I haven’t been doing. I’ve been facing the hardest 3 years that I feel like I have faced in a long time. I haven’t searched for God in this time and I’ve felt so alone. It’s been a struggle to have faith and this is a great reminder of that. Prayers that I can have faith through the darkness. I’ve been carrying around this load alone for far too long.

    • Liz

      Alecia, I’m so glad that you are coming out of your isolation to embrace God’s desire to be WITH YOU and FOR YOU, which He is. I’m hoping that you have a good body of believers surrounding you as we are never to face our difficulties alone. I pray that our good & loving Father will come alongside you in a sweet, real, & tender way as you draw near. I love the scripture, “in bearing each other’s burdens we fulfill the law of Christ.” May some dear friends pull alongside with you. I know that in my trials & deep sufferings that my dear friends in Christ have carried me in my lack & weakness. Blessings to you sister!

  • I would love to follow along with this advent focus. Is there a way to subscribe for emails?

  • Kasey Summers

    A life of FAITH and TRUST. Lord, give me more of both of those. <3

  • God is so good and perfect with his timing, isn’t he? God has called us to move from California for Georgia next year. And now that the excitement of the clarity the Lord provided has began to fade, the sadness of what we are leaving to enter into a new beginning has set in. This whole week God has shown me signs and reminders to trust in him and step out in faith, and given me wisdom through this advent. I know what God has planned is great and wonderful. I know he is going to use us in some small yet hugely spectacular way, and I am so excited and grateful for that.

  • This was so timely for me today. We just moved to a new state last week and moving during the holidays is so hard and lonely. I know we moved in obedience to God’s leading but it doesn’t mean I don’t feel sadness at times. Today was especially rough! I’m grateful for the hope, grace, peace, and all the other priceless gifts Jesus grants us when we call on Him. He is the constant in all the newness around me.

  • Lisa Ince

    Thank you God for sending this devotional into my world. I am applying for a new job and although it doesn’t require me to move it is a massive leap of faith after spending my whole working life in one company. I wasn’t sure whether it was what God wanted me to do but when I read this today I felt it.
    “Where is God calling us to new beginnings? Will we step out in faith or stay in the familiar?” Thank you!!!! Xxx

  • Julie C.

    This really resonates with me. God has been leading me to new lands since I was 18. From college in a new state, to a job in a new city, to husband’s job in a new state, and now only God knows whats next! This past summer, my husband and I moved to Utah. Our journey to Utah has been the best experience for me, because God has shown me how faithful He truly is, how He has a greater plan for our lives than I could ever hope for, and that I can trust in Him no matter what may come my way. I have fallen in love with Utah, but now, God may be calling us to move again. My husband’s fellowship will end in a year, and now he is applying for jobs all around the country. I am thankful for this reminder that God keeps His promises, is sovereign over our lives, and that He is a faithful and loving Father. Praying for strength and courage, grace and peace, hope and joy in this season.

  • Morning! My husband and I have the opportunity to move across the country to help start a ministry. But that means leaving my family (everything that is familiar) I’ve been praying so hard because the last thing I want to do is make the wrong move because it’s a big scary thing!!!!! I’ve been waiting for someone to give me a clear cut sign that this is the way we should go. But God doesn’t always work like that does he? It’s simply based on faith and that God will bless us and provide. Ladies I certainly feel like an Abram right now, but I’m hoping to become an Abraham.

    • Annie Zentz

      I think this message is definitely speaking to you then!
      My husband and I just moved across the country in less than a month of planning, had to trust that it was Gods plan, and it definitely was! Things have been amazing since then. Just trust in him and do what’s best for your family. (: Good luck!

  • Sarah Gallagher

    Morning ladies, it’s crazy that I don’t know any of you yet I’m so moved by your boldness and faith in Christ to open up to strangers and ask us to pray with you. I’m so encouraged and inspired by y’all! I could use some prayers as well. My mother has been sober for over 8 years, and I’m so proud of her. Throughout my childhood she was in an out of rehab, and consistently a total basket case. She puts her entire worth into other men, which always disappoint her.

    Earlier this week, she got her heart totally broken again, and she’s not dealing with it well. I’m so terrified she’ll relapse. We talked/argued last night, and she seems to be doing better. But every time something like this happened in the past, she relapsed. I live in fear of when that will happen again. She told me that I need to replace my fear with faith- faith that God will lead her through this. I absolutely trust God has her, and that He is big enough to get her through this. But I’m not convinced she’s strong enough to get through it herself. And she has the Lord, but in the past she’s always defaulted to her old way of dealing with things, which was abusing alcohol and drugs. She hasn’t dealt with a situation like this since she got sober.

    Anyway, please pray that God increases my faith in her sobriety like Abraham! He was called to take a huge leap of faith, and I need to have more faith in my mother’s strength and ability to say “no” to her old coping habits. She’s been strong for so long, and she hasn’t given many reasons to indicate that she will relapse, but I’m scared because that’s how it always happened.

    Please pray that the Lord will reveal himself to her, and tell her that he is more than enough to heal her heartache and loneliness. Please pray that He reminds her in this time of healing that He will always be the better alternative than her old ways of living.

    Thank you!!!

    • Juliefay

      Wow Sarah! I am praying for you and your mom today. Praying that what has been impossible becomes possible as your mom deals with her heartbreak! A scripture comes to mind – he is near the broken-hearted! I encourage you to pray with your mom every day. Even do this devotional every day:) you need each other and the body of Christ around you. Share with your mom what you are also struggling with – and that you are in this battle together. No matter what- he has already won – and soon we shall see him – he will make all things new! He will help you now – and will continue His work until the day of completion:) I love ya!

    • Lauren E

      Praying and lifting you both up!

  • Praying with you!! I am believing for very similar things…. Standing with you!

  • Good morning ladies :) I just wanted to share how I have been in a season of wondering and waiting. I am 27, I have a great family and a great job and I am single. I always have this what’s next feeling., wondering if I should move or who”the one” will be. Today really opened my eyes and heart to TRUSTING IN WHAT I CANNOT SEE AND WHAT ALREADY HAS BEEN SECURED. so amazing, thank you SRT. GOD’s GOT THIS! ️XO ladies have a great day!

    • Stephanie

      This can be hard, but there is purpose in waiting. God has a plan for you. Praying with you!

    • Sarah Gallagher

      He does have this sister!!! I’m 28, and in a similar position. I’m in a crappy job and totally single. I wonder what the next step is too, but God knows our hearts and desires and what we’re capable of. There is something saved for us that is going to be much better than what we can even imagine ourselves. Praying for you this morning.

    • Molly J

      Same boat! Exactly! Let’s fix our eyes on Him :)

      • Bethany

        A lot of us are in the same boat aren’t we? :) 29. single.
        I am exploring a new opportunity that may take me to a completely different country. away from my family. away from the familiar. away from what I imagined my life to be.
        God is calling me to abandon the plans I have carefully crafted for myself and trust him with the desires of my heart that have yet to come to pass.
        What if this, what if that. TRUST GOD. What he did for Abraham he will do for me.
        I’m rejoicing in God’s timing of this reading. He always knows excactly what we need to hear and when. God is Soooo Good!

  • Praying with you and over you, Elaine. You are bold and brave and I admire your heart.

  • Praying for you Elaine!

  • Sisters in Christ, can I just confess to you all here in this tiny square? I’m praying some bold and impossible prayers on my knees tonight. I can’t see how these things I’m praying about could ever happen, but God can. He wants us to trust him and pray those hard prayers. He wants us to have faith that our impossible is his possible. I’m praying, and expecting and believing. Impossible prayers, like to be raised out of serious debt, and for Complete restoration for My daughter with severe developmental delays, and for our future… My goals and dreams are too ridiculous to list here. But not too ridiculous to PRAY to God for. May our boldness in faith bring Glory to God just as Abraham and Sarah did. In Jesus Name. Amen.
    I humbly ask you sisters, Please pray for us and with us. Thank you!

  • The topic of this devotion has been the theme of my life for a long time. Sometimes I try to embrace it and other times I avoid it (and God too). I spend so much energy trying to control my life in order to make it comfortable and easy, that I am now starting to realize that I’m missing out on actual life. A life of faith is not about comfort. Reading tonight that we have the gifts of strength, courage, grace, peace, hope, and joy was refreshing and encouraging.

  • Jordan Lynn Lopp

    I love the depths we are delving into in this study! So many parallels I’ve never thought of or heard of before. And how encouraging to comment, discuss, and share with fellow sisters in Christ! ❤️

  • Oh man, did today’s devotional ever hit home for me. I could use prayer: I feel like God may be calling into something new – a new season, possibly moving physically and also out of my comfort zone. I’m both excited and terrified by the prospect of that happening.

  • tara lynn

    Apart from Jesus, Abraham is easily my favourite person in the bible. Genesis 12: 1-4 just floors me every time. God tells Abraham to leave it all behind, without any details except to just…trust him. And Abraham just does it. No questions, no complaining…he just goes. I find that amazing. I want that kind of faith.
    The parallel with Jesus in this is just beautiful.
    This was lovely and much needed at the end of a long day. Thanks for that!

  • each day of this study is growing me in Him. it is truly a blessing! thanks SRT!

  • Abraham was granted an entire nation that would be marked by mercy and grace. I just imagine that knowing and trusting, having FAITH in what Jesus is doing could begin a generation of mercy and grace for my family, my children I don’t have yet, my grandchildren and so on. Even just for my immediate family! This challenges me to have FAITH in what lies ahead, even when I can not see it, simply because God. Is. Worthy.!!

  • I love the sentence that was put in bold. We are called to have faith not only in what we can’t see yet, but we are also called to have faith in those things which have already been secured for us. So many times I find myself with a head knowledge of ‘ok I’ve been saved, redeemed, forgiven; I am loved.’ But I don’t have a real heart knowledge and don’t apply it. I recently did a Bible study at my church and one of the weeks the leader said ‘we are forgiven and redeemed by God but we need to start living like we have been redeemed and accept that.’ God has fulfilled so many promises and has so much greatness in store for each of His children. I need to rest in those promises He has fulfilled. The promise of His salvation, His redemption, His freedom, His love. When I have faith that God has done all that for me, then I think I will have faith with whatever will come next. That bold sentence was convicting–I know I am His and that He has saved me from death and hell. Now to live in Him.

  • I just found out recently that I’m pregnant with my first. My husband and I are over the moon but I’m so nervous something will go wrong. This was comforting, “God rarely calls us to comfort and convenience but instead to a life of faith and trust.” I’m nervous and nauseous but I need to find strength through God’s grace.

    • Viviem

      Sarah, I read Isaiah 40:26 about a million times with both my beautiful girl & my angel baby. God calls every star by its name – not one of them is missing! Your baby already has a name & a purpose! Keep holding to God and Congratulations!!

    • Rbhough

      I felt the same way over 2 years ago when we found out I was pregnant with our first. A lot of friends prayers and support and constantly talking about the fear helped. It’s scary being pregnant. It’s out of your control and all in HIS. It’s humbling. And I never prayed more. I’m praying for you, your little one and your husband. Viviem is right. God already gave your baby a name and a purpose. And that’s an amazing God. Rejoice!

  • This is pretty cool. I’m dealing with some lame life circumstances (continually set back in life dreams by chronic bronchitis, super bad gum recession, and other annoyances, and I’m only in my 30s – and don’t smoke ). Still praying for the right dude to come along (never married), for better finances, that I can really be an art therapist and get through this masters degree for it . . . keep hoping for so many things as I feel the way our bodies fall apart. Grateful for God’s constancy and solace and solutions that only He can bring. Praying for continued hope, and to never lose His vision for me. ♡

  • LeslieAnnOlson

    Can someone at @shereadstruth help me. I recommended the advent book to my daughter, apparently the devotional portion is not in the book….is that correct? She is so disappointed that after spending $40 – it isn’t complete …. I’m hoping she got some type of production error. I attempted to email but got a bounce back saying the email address which is on your site isn’t valid ….. Feeling a little frustrated tonight. Please advise My email is leslieannolson@gmail.com

    • Jordan Lynn Lopp

      Leslie, I just checked out the book description on the SheReadsTruth website, and it says: “This Advent study journal is designed as a keepsake accompaniment to the “Born is the King” Advent study on the She Reads Truth app and SheReadsTruth.com.”

      I’m pretty sure the devotional is only on the app and website :(

  • So thankful for this community and SRT. This season, I feel like God is speaking to me on a deeper level and in specific areas of my life. This year He has really asked me to trust Him in new ways and completely lay things at his feet. Trusting also means waiting. I’m waiting for the right man to come along, and God has given me an incredible amount of hope for him! There’s such a tension between the hood that God gives us and God’s “not yet”. He is good and faithful! The contrasting of the OT and the NT is such a beautiful thing and means more to me than it has before. Bless you, ladies!

  • Thank you all. SRT is such an encouragement to me. This is my first live study. Makes me think of the song molding a masterpiece. So glad for this and the Lord’s leading. So thankful that he can take this broken vessel and use me for his glory.

  • It is so amazing to me how people in the OT could remain so faithful to a coming king. We await our king to return but we know from scriptures that IT IS FINISHED. Jesus is alive and will return one day.

    Also- always thankful to be encouraged by the truth that God rarely calls us to comfort and convenience but to a life of faith and trust. This is so counter culture but screams that GOD is in control. Not me… Regardless of how good or bad life is.

    • Kristin

      I agree, Sarah! We already know how it ends, but back then, they didn’t.

  • ShelleyC

    Completely enjoying this study. But I must say I am getting so much encouragement reading through all of the comments. To see women reaching out to each other and being convicted by the Word moves me to tears. Praying for each of you and for God to draw me closer to Himself.

  • Timing is everything! I have stepped out in faith this week by proposing a Bible study at my workplace. This is WAY out of my comfort range but something I have thought about for years. He will fill me with strength and courage, grace and peace, hope and joy……… Thank God for these two sons born so many years apart.

    • PaigeyMac

      Amen, Dana. I pray that God blesses your obedience and step of faith in starting a Bible study at your work. It is encouraging to me to read, see, and hear about my sisters in Christ being faithful witnesses in their workplaces. Much grace, hope, peace, and blessings to you, friend :)

    • Laura

      Praying over you now, Dana…Heavenly Father, I thank you for Dana’s obedience. Father, fill her with your strength, courage and boldness. Cover her in your love and grace. Holy Spirit, lead and guide her every word. May she feel Your presence as you lead her. We thank You that You go before us! Blessings on you!

  • Haileyblackmer

    I am in this very stage! In May I will be leaving the comfort of my parents home to attend a ceremony that will change my life forever! You got it ladies it’s my wedding day!! I am beyond excited, nervous, and blessed, however, it is big responsibility, to be a wife, and something completely new for both Wes and I! I am thankful, blessed, honored, and simply just happy that Wes is such a Godly man and that we both have Jesus Christ in our lives!

  • Mandie Maass

    Beautiful and right on time. I’ve left comfortable before, but this time it’s different. I’m reminded to trust and walk by faith knowing that every step made in obedience is a secure one.

  • Samantha

    I recently returned from a month long trip to Australia and have been feeling the pull to return since about week 3 into my trip. It has only intensified since I landed back on British soil and truly feel this need to set something into motion for the near future. Whether it be 6 months or a year, my current environment is and has been for a while (though I try to put the blinkers on) quite toxic and lonely. I’ve been back and forth between pros and cons – I have family that I can create a stable base around, I have a passion for the country and it feels like home. But I’m scared, terrified, afraid I’ll feel even more alone when I’m 9000 miles away from everything I know…

    But then…I read this devotional and particularly this sentence “What I’ve learned over the years is that God rarely calls us to comfort and convenience but instead to a life of faith and trust.” it reminded me of Habakkuk and the reason 2:3 is so dear to me. I think I might just be ready to step out in faith and make serious enquiries.
    So thankful for a Father who uses different mediums to really find me when I need Him most!

    • Haileyblackmer

      Praise The Lord Samantha I will be praying for you! And remember that where ever you are in life Jesus is always beside you, loving, supporting, and guiding you every step of the way!

    • Haileyblackmer

      Praise the lord Samantha! I will be praying for you ❤️

  • Kylie Erickson

    These first couple days of the Advent study have been beautifully written and life challenging. I am encouraged and inspired by the people of the Old Testament and their faith in the coming Messiah. So excited to be doing a SheReadsTruth study for the first time! Thank you for creating this beautiful community of women around the world!

  • Kara Lawler

    I completely identify with being called to the unfamiliar. My husband and I will be moving shortly to the north west because of his military assignment. Before that I will live out of a suitcase for four months, something I have never done in my life. I am excited! Like Abraham, I am called to have faith. And Abraham sets the example.

  • It amazes me how stories in the Bible are often foreshadows of things to come. God has everything perfectly orchestrated! I feel secure in His grace, love and mercy knowing His has all things in His hands!

    • Megan Shoe

      Agreed!!! This fall has been an emotional, stressful roller coaster for me, and I keep resting in the knowledge that God has it all together. I love the line from the song “Oceans” – “you’ve never failed, and you won’t stop now.” God holds all things – including you and me – in his hands!

  • Allyson Rae

    “What I’ve learned over the years is that God rarely calls us to comfort and convenience but instead to a life of faith and trust.” I REALLY needed to hear this today, as my family is currently in a difficult situation where we are being forced to leave our home, the only place we’ve ever lived in and known. So grateful to have stumbled upon this devotional.

    • She Reads Truth

      Praying with you, sweet friend. Asking God to continue to cover you in His peace and comfort.

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • This was amazing devotion to read this morning, as God is calling me into some scary and unknown places. Earlier this week, God spoke to my boyfriend and revealed that he was calling him into some new changes and it was not time for us to continue our relationship. This wasn’t what either of us expected, or wanted, to say the least. But he took a leap of faith and followed God, and I took a bold step in obedience and helped him to do the same. We know it’s not always about what we want, or about comfort. Pray that though we don’t know where God is taking us or why, that we will have boundless faith and peace that God is in control and has a plan. All we must do is say “yes”. Thankful for this opportunity to grow in faith and grow in obedience.

    • Kersti

      That is such a hard choice, but God will bless your obedience. All things work together for good for those who love God, and are called according to his purpose. Rom 8:28

      • Hope

        Thank you so much for your encouragement! This is such an amazing community, I am blown away by what God is doing here

    • Jasmine

      Praying for you and your boyfriend to have peace and grow during this time.

  • Ashley Barefield

    I’m a military wife and move every 3-4 years. Today’s devotional was such a reassurance of what God has planned for my life and Marriage.

    • Lindsay W.

      I’m also a military wife, and felt these words speaking to my heart today. We are coming up on another move this summer, and I’ve been praying for peace as we look ahead to the uncertainty of new relationships and places. Thankful we have a God that is constant and steady when so much of our world is not!

  • I am learning to completely let go and let God take control of every situation in my life. I am now struggling with pain and have become frustrated with the next step that I will need to take. Pray that I will trust and have faith in God that this is the right decision that has been made.

    • Toni

      Colette – I am with you – trying to learn to surrender. I will pray for you. Please pray for me.

    • C

      Colette and Toni, I too am struggling with letting go and letting God. I wasn’t prepared for life after college to be so difficult. I think I’m slowly starting to let God guide me, kicking and screaming and dragging my feet, but I will get there. You will too. Keeping you both in my prayers.

  • I struggle with unconditional trust. It must have something to do with my upbringing, because I have no idea why I have this struggle. I was raised with the notion that no one was going to do it for you, so I must do it myself. I have made progress with this issue, but still have a ways to go. Does anyone else struggle with this?

    • Toni

      Me! I know my childhood is a big reason, but I have major trust and control issues. At 46 God is loudly calling me to trust and surrender, but I struggle with how to do that.

    • Christina D.

      Jan and Toni I am with you both. To make things even more difficult for myself, somewhere along the way I started to take great pride in being able to do things all on my own. It’s inherent in our culture that there is value and pride in being independent, self made, self sufficient. This is 100% counterintuitive to a life of faith and trust. It seems in my life I go through cycles where I am able to trust in God but slowly that trust diminishes until I find myself totally overwhelmed by life because I am desperately trying to control and do everything on my own and in my own way. Then I find myself crying out to the Lord once more and I feel His gentle spirit reminding me that my control is really only an illusion. It’s so humbling. Every. Single. Time. I feel like this is something I will continue to grow in throughout my life and I feel thankful that He is faithful regardless. The older I get the more I grow in my ability to trust Him and the more time passes between those cycles. Right now the Lord is leading my family and I through a time of a lot of unknowns and for the first time in my life I have been overwhelmed by His peace rather than the unanswered questions. It’s still a choice for me daily to sit at His feet and trust His plan. Thank you both for sharing…you certainly aren’t the only ones struggling with trust. And today’s devotion was an encouragement. I am praying for you both (and myself!) that the Lord will continue to show Himself to us and we will see His faithfulness and promises fulfilled and that our trust will grow more than we even imagined.

      • Kiley

        Christina – thank you for sharing. Jan and Toni – I struggle with the same. But like the Scripture in our previous days has said, “where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more.” And like Christina said, He is faithful regardless. Let us all rest in that!

      • Toni

        Wow- thank you! Your words are so helpful. God keeps showing me that I can trust him, but I struggle to let go (to an allusion for sure!). Pride is a big one for me as well.

  • I have truly enjoyed the Advent Bible study so far. It is different than any other Christmas study that I have done, and I look forward to learning from the devotionals and YOU each day!

    Today gave me a sense of calm as my husband and I prepare for possible changes in our lives (largely in regards to a new job and a new place to make home). We have and continue to pray for God’s guidance that He will lead us to the right decision for our family.

    • She Reads Truth

      So glad you are here, friend! Praying with you and grateful to spend Advent with you.

      xoxo-Kaitlin

    • Christina D.

      CBear our family is in a nearly identical situation. I’m so thankful for the devotional today but also the SRT community where I can see others going through similar life changes. Praying that your family and mine are overwhelmed with God’s sovereignty during this time of transition and many unknowns.

  • This really resonated with me today. I am 34 and in a relationship I’m not sure is a forever fit. It’s hard to truly believe at this age that the “right guy” is still out there. I loved being reminded that God’s plan unfolds in God’s time, whatever our age may be, we just need to have faith and say “yes” to Him, even if we can’t see where the path takes us.

  • Caroline

    Today is my due date with baby girl #2. So excited, nervous, anxious, grateful… This was a wonderful reminder, I simply need to refocus my eyes on Him and trust! He will fill me with all the strength and courage, grace and peace, hope and joy that I need. I do not need to worry about “being enough” for my growing family because God has called me to this new beginning and will see me through! Hallelujah!

    • CBear

      Congratulations, Caroline! Wishing you and your family all the best as you anxiously await your bundle of joy:)

      • Caroline

        Thank you! Nervous about going through labor again, prayers appreciated ❤️

    • Colette

      This is wonderful, know that the Lord will carry you through and will never leave you. Congratulations.

  • Caroline @ In Due Time

    I am SO thankful of the example Abraham and Sarah set for us!! Their faith encourages me every day and reminds me to keep going! I am love that God is NO respecter of persons and what He did for them, He will do for us too! http://www.in-due-time.com

  • The foreshadowing of Christ’s coming in the Old Testament is so fascinating! God is the best author; who keeps us on our toes at all times! I think of so many televisions series and books that have enraptured my mind and heart with overarching themes and plots that tie together throughout seasons and series, and I have always LOVED that about stories. God’s story isn’ any different! As a matter of fact, he created literary plots and storylines and demonstrates this with His Word. Can I be as captivated by His story (Our story) as I am with fictional ones? Food for thought.

    • Amy

      Yes!! I love what we’re learning through this study about the way God has foreshadowed Christ’s coming from the very first words of the Bible. :-)

  • “God rarely calls us to comfort and convenience but instead to a life of faith and trust.” This has been the theme of my life these past years, and I needed this reminder today. Thank you for this!

  • “God rarely calls us to comfort and convenience but instead to a life of faith and trust.” This really hit home with me today. I know I’ve been moving my life in the right direction over the past few years, but it has definitely taken a leap of faith and courage. At times the changes have been totally nerve-wracking and at others it’s been pure joy. It gave me a sense of peace to read these words this morning and know that as long as I continue to listen to God’s plan, he’ll open all the right doors no matter how scary they may be to walk through!

    • Toni

      I felt that peace also, and heard the reminder in it as I hear God telling me me to give up control and learn to surrender to him and trust.

  • This really struck me today. My grandfather recently passed, and in my desperation I found myself reading a book of a man’s journey into the afterlife. Reading it, I felt nothing but dread and discomfort, and I put it down before I was even halfway through. The next day I read this. I think God was telling me to have faith and to find comfort in the Word, not to seek proof in other things. Blessed is the Word, the Lord, and all of His people!

    • Lauren

      Praying for peace for you, Lexie! I have definitely been there, seeking answers and affirmation about loved ones who have passed. The old hymn “Farther Along” has brought me a lot of peace during hard times such as this.

  • Courtney

    I love SRT. It’s been a part of my journey of growing more in love with my Father for 4+ years now. I look forward to advent every year.
    But this truly resonated with me because as a newlywed (10/3/15!!!) we left everyone we know & love in Texas to move to Colorado for my husband’s job. What a new beginning! It’s been hard. No doubt. But He continues to provide over & over again. I love this fresh look at new beginnings & the encouragement to step out in strength & courage, grace & peace, hope & joy because of Jesus. Thank you!

    • Jac

      Welcome to Colorado ;) and congrats on your marriage!!!

      God called me here 14 years ago! (Although at the time u had no idea it was him… Ha ha!) I hope he blesses you as he has blessed me!

    • Shannon H

      Welcome to Colorado! I too am in CO and remember the new beginning of getting married and leaving the familiar to venture into the new unfamiliar. Praying you find community soon! If you are in Co Springs, let me know!

    • Hannah B

      Thank you for you comment Courtney, my husband and I also recently got married, (October 3rd 2015 is a great wedding day :). Lately my husband has been feeling the pull and call to make our home somewhere outside of our state, and I have not been having it. It scares me silly thinking about all the unknowns moving brings with it. After today’s devotion and reading your comment, I am reminded of the bigger picture of it all. Thank you.

    • Cindy

      Welcome to Colorado, Courtney! You are not alone in having moved to a totally new area! In May, my husband and I moved from Oklahoma to a rural are outside of Canon City. My prayer is that you will find a group of women who surround you and support you with the love of our Savior. Although obeying in faith often takes us completely out of our comfort zone, our God provides grace that is sufficient and His plan is perfect! Praying that you feel the love of the Colorado sistership….even if it is flowing through electronic wavelengths!

  • I’ve long been a person of new beginnings, but am newer to the life of total faith. In my past I’ve started over time and again but never trusting God with WHAT to start next….well now I know. I know where I’m supposed to step out and trust and obey. I’ve been dragging my feet for some time, resistant to the idea that my obedience could change my future. But I’m not going to live on the sidelines anymore! He’s called us all to more than we can “see” but that’s faith living and that’s what I want. Today I’m praying for all of us to be filled with the good gifts — strength, courage, grace and peace, hope and joy — so we can carry out His plans for our lives and live a life of FAITH.

    This whole devotional I was thinking of the song “Called Me Higher” by All Sons & Daughters; here it is if anyone wants to hear:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CGDVlOKoOoE ❤️

    • Jac

      Thank you for pairing this song! It really helped this resonate with me on a deeper level!!

    • Kiley

      thank you for sharing Kylee! I am in a similar place in my life and it’s encouraging to know I’m not on this journey alone! I’ll be praying for you!

      • Kylee

        Oh you are definitely not alone — I’ll be praying for you too, Kiley!

  • Stephanie

    My husband and I are starting to think about having our first child. We aren’t officially trying, but aren’t preventing anything either. Last month in the two weeks of waiting to find out if I was pregnant, I really struggled with the not knowing. I acknowledge that God’s plan for growing our family is perfect and I want to submit to that fully, but I don’t know how to manage the day to day wondering (read: stressing).

    “May we obey His calling and trust that He will fill us with strength and courage, grace and peace, hope and joy—everything we need for life and godliness.”

  • Michelle of LA CA

    Thank you for this reading . I always love your photo too. I pass them to my prayer group .
    “May we obey His calling and trust that He will fill us with strength and courage, grace and peace, hope and joy—everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). ” Amen Amen

  • Continuing to give thanks for this study :) Jesus is my All. I lost my husband in June, I’m 37 and we have two young girls 11&4. God is calling me in a whole new way now. People need Jesus, they just do! Thanks again for this great comparison.

    • Olivia KGH Zdankiewicz

      I’m so sorry. You’re living my worst fear and my heart is breaking for you. The fact that you’re still seeking God is an amazing testament. Your girls have a wonderful and strong mama to be proud of. Praying for you this morning. Wish I could hug and cry with you through this screen.

    • Kylee

      Oh Jodi, I’m praying for you – what great courage you have, and such a strong heart!

  • Oh man I’m loving this Advent study! Particularly today’s. Seeing Jesus as the better Abraham….wow. I got to thinking that Jesus is also the better and complete Isaac. Isaac’s birth ensured the future of the nation of Israel. Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection ensures the past, present, and future for all who believe on His name. Seeing Jesus woven in all throughout the Old Testament is so moving.

    • Casey

      Good points – also God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son (Isaac) and Abraham was just about to do it when God stepped in and provided a ram instead. Perhaps this later led to God being willing to sacrifice His only son (Jesus).

      • Julia

        Yes! My husband and I were talking about that very point this morning.

  • Ruth Altier

    Learn to embrace change. Jesus doesn’t call us to a life of comfort. The more you resist it, the harder it becomes. It’s all about faith in His plan! He holds us in the palm of His hand, He can take care of even the biggest of struggles you face today! Trust and obey like Abraham!

    • Elaine

      Thank you for your words Ruth. They popped out to me as I scrolled through comments tonight. Xo

  • Ahlaischa

    Sister, I am in the same place of restlessness and looking for employment. Thank you for sharing your heart and letting other know that we’re not alone in our struggles! I’m praying for you, the same things I pray over myself. That God would grant a supernatural patience and peace during this transition time, that He would give you favor to find a job, and that ultimately He would be glorified even in this season of our lives. God bless!!

    • Diana Becker

      I am standing in Faith with you for both of you on these things. God has a position with YES written all over it for you both. He has a place to plant you so that you can find enjoyment and fulfillment even while he is stretching you and growing you in new ways. May this transitional season be met with anticipation for what God is bringing into your life. The same anticipation we feel about the birth of our Savior, the excitement surrounding Christmas, I pray that over both of this this morning. Joyful expectancy for what He is bringing into your life. ❤️

    • Stephanie

      God recently answered “yes” to a similar prayer I had for myself. I am praying that he would use your interim struggle as powerfully as he used mine, and that you will have everything you need. Blessings!

  • Pretty newly divorced, I went to graduate school overseas this past year. I returned home in August and have found it really hard to be back. Obviously, there are always comforts of home, but to be seeing all the same people and places that are associated with a life I once had is gut-wretching on a level. I have applied for over 30 jobs all over the US since September and have had no luck. I don’t think it’s wise to move without the security of a job, but I also feel restless and uncomfortable staying here. Everything reminds me of who I was and no longer can be. I know whether I stay or go, there will be a season of re-identifying myself. I just don’t sense any direction from God. I recognize that I have the gift of choice and free will. I know that no matter what decision I make, God will use me as I seek to glorify Him. But I wish there was some sort of sign of something. This morning I am craving for the Lord to speak as clearly to me as He did to Abraham. But I rest assured that God fills me with all that I need to navigate this piece of life that seems dark and uncertain. Lord, equip me with the courage to have steadfast faith in what I cannot see you doing.

    • Ahlaischa

      Sister, I am in the same place of restlessness and looking for employment. Thank you for sharing your heart and letting other know that we’re not alone in our struggles! I’m praying for you, the same things I pray over myself. That God would grant a supernatural patience and peace during this transition time, that He would give you favor to find a job, and that ultimately He would be glorified even in this season of our lives. God bless!!

    • Amanda Turnbo

      I have always known God to have a timely purpose for us. So when it is right for you to go somewhere.. It will happen! God is setting up something incredible for you!! There is a reason you are where you are!! I really hope you see full His plan soon!

  • It’s amazing how God puts obstacles in our live to force us to focus on him and what is important. A couple years ago I had a chance to move to Singapore for work. It was a great opportunity and I was so excited but no one else wanted to go. They reluctantly agreed to support me but literally the week I was there to sign the kids up for school I got a call in the middle of the night that my youngest daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. We cancelled the move to make sure we were close to family and friends for support . By Putting my focus on my daughter God forced me to get my priorities straight and as a result my faith and my family are so much stronger today.

  • What an amazing story and honestly learning moment… To read about how Abrahams son was merely a seed that led to Jesus, who would come to redeem us all literally blew my mind. It was a holy moment for me. We always knew our family line always lead back to Abraham but just to read that, in that way, it clicked so entirely different for me. What a beautiful story is the Word. Just wow.

  • Augh!! I don’t like change!! This seems to be all around me right now! Lord help me in this time of restlessness to always turn to you!

  • Obey in faith. I am so much more comfortable questioning, wondering, or pushing back. Controlling or leading-that is where I find strength. And this had led to lots and lots of anxiety. So, this Advent, I pray for just this-‘obey in faith’. God, I pray to obey, to seek You, to notice when flames of anxiety course upwards and to turn to you instead of myself. I pray to rest in the comfort of your love and peace.

  • My family and I emigrated from Poland 30 years ago. My parents were in their 30’s, and had left their already developed lives to escape the aftermath of communism so that we could have a better life (likely why I am so empathetic to the refugee issue, although the circumstances are much different). As my father nears retirement, the decision has been made that my parents will go back to Poland, and I as a single woman and only child will go with them. I made my decision on trust and knowing that all of our family is there, but that doesn’t change the fact that I am nervous as well. I will be leaving behind a comfortable life, including a job that I’ve come to love and friends who have showed me what it means to be accepted and loved. Still, I trust and lean on God. I know He has something for me. He has rescued me already from an empty life and led me to a career in serving others, and I believe this is just the beginning. I pray for patience and wisdom so that I may take this leap of faith like my parents did so many years ago.

    • AmyW

      Praying for you in this time of translation.

    • Bekah

      You have tremendous courage Joanna! I will pray for you as you make this big change.

    • Churchmouse

      Praying for you, Joanna. What a blessing you are to your parents as they transition to retirement and reconnect with family and the homeland they left so long ago. Your home is neither in the USA nor in Poland. Your home is in Christ Jesus and He dwells within you. He will give you the strength and courage as you journey. Blessings to you all

  • Comfort and convenience, faith and trust. Words that have transformed my life. The only way I can live is to put my hand in my heavenly Father’s hand and know that He leads and Guides me through this life. I would be utterly lost without the Lord. Today, I’m thankful for His constant love and grace in my life. Lifting my heart and my hands to You this morning Father. Thank You for loving me unconditionally. In Jesus Name! Amen.

  • Erika medders

    Captain by Hillsong is a song that came to mind as I was reading this. A great song to listen and reflect and worship to in accompany if I can recommend. “All my allegiance is rightfully yours…”
    Amen!

  • I have a son who has people telling him to move without a job, just pack up and come. But we have been praying for the Lord’s leading. If he were to say to me ” the Lord is leading me” I would with tears in my eyes help him to pack. To leave without this is foolish. The center of God’s will is my desire for each of my children and my self too

  • Heather Clement

    New beginnings. Life is full of them – mine has been anyway. Sometimes the fresh start is a turning back to the Lord after I’ve been so full of myself (and sin) that I couldn’t stand it anymore. Other times, God has allowed things to come into my life that I never would have chosen for myself… painful experiences that left me desperate and crying out to Him. Although these situations left me wounded and broken, He used them to draw me closer, to teach me to lean in to His heart, and to grow something in me that could never have lived before. After these trials, it’s almost as if a fire has ripped through my life, burning up everything in its path. Although it was hard and searing, the Father knew what He was doing.
    Here’s the thing about a controlled burn… it always serves a purpose. It can be used to reduce the invasion of unwanted plants and diseases. Native Americans used prescribed burns to maintain clearings and encourage the growth of plants for later harvest. Wildfires are destructive, but a carefully maintained fire – that has the power to bring forth unspeakable beauty.
    Because nothing can touch me that hasn’t first passed through the hands of my Father, there have been no wildfires in my life. Every second of those flames licking up at me has been carefully tended by the One who knows me best and loves me most. Even if it wasn’t easy to see at the time, what I considered to be devastation was truly preparing the way for a new beginning.
    Abraham understood better than anyone what it’s like to be called from everything that’s familiar into the unknown. “We live by faith, not by sight.” It’s a familiar and often quoted phrase… but living it? That’s another thing entirely. Will we walk forward in obedience, even as we are surrounded by soot and ash? I pray that we will, like Abraham… like Christ… have the courage to set one foot in front of the other on a charred path, knowing that He will bring beauty from the ashes. Know this today… even if you can’t trace God’s hand, you can trust His heart. You are not abandoned. Grab hold of your Father’s hand and your fresh start. He makes all things new.

    “But, as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him’” 1 Corinthians 2:9

    • Jessica

      Beautiful words Heather! I’ve never thought of the comparison between a controlled fire and wildfire and love that “nothing can touch us that hasn’t first passed through the hand of our Father.” Thank you for sharing!

      • Bree

        A beautiful post Heather. This spoke to me this morning. Thanks for sharing your heart :)

      • Kristin

        I also really liked that thought from Heather- the comparison of the two fires. Well said!

    • Heather (MNmomma)

      So very true Heather……I too have been brought thru the fires in my life. I think I was just suborn enough that it took some serious flames for me to really, truly – FINALLY listen…and live in faith.

    • Theresa

      Good morning! Total “food” for me today and mimics an entire conversation I was having with my husband last night about challenges and why?? us and why ?? now. Thank you!

    • Kate

      This really spoke to me this morning. I’ve been in a wildfire for too long trying to maintain it on my own. I need to let go and give it to God. Let him control the fire and take control for me. Leave my comfort zone of independence and allow him to give me the strength and faith I need to BE STILL. And also to allow him to lead me into the new charred path and give me the tools to build a more beautiful life in the light of God. Thank you for this.

    • Victoria

      Beautifully written! Thank you for sharing your wisdom!

  • God is taking my and husband and me to a foreign place in January. We will be traveling to Asia from the USA to pastor a church. Leaving behind family, parents, children and grandchildren will be hard but we are excited for the door God has opened. I appreciate your prayers as we begin this new journey and prayers for our families as we leave. We have never been so far away but we know this is Gods’s calling at this time in our lives. Thanks for your prayers.

    • Trinity

      He is faithful! How exciting to be stepping out in faith and INTO his will for your family. Praying peace that passes all understanding over you.

    • Heather (MNmomma)

      lifting you up this morning!

    • Churchmouse

      Adding my prayers to all the others! Will be waiting to hear all that God does through you and your husband there

    • Kylee

      How exciting, J!! Will be praying for peace & a smooth transition for you!

  • Awful spell check changed devos to Devils. How utterly inappropriate.

  • Thanks for sharing. Prayed for you and thought you would enjoy this excerpt from my other Devils this am. May you sense the joy of God’s relentless pursuit for your good, this holiday season!
    You serve a dissatisfied Redeemer.
    Your Redeemer is zealous for one goal—the final renewal of all things. Ultimate salvation from all that sin is and all that sin has broken is His unrelenting pursuit.
    Our problem is that we are all too easily satisfied. We’re satisfied with a little bit of theological knowledge, a degree of biblical literacy, occasional moments of ministry, and a measure of personal spiritual growth. We’re sadly satisfied with being a little bit better when God’s goal is that we be completely remolded into His image. So we quit pressing on because our Redeemer is pressing on. While He, in glorious dissatisfaction, still works to redeem us from us, we are out chasing other lovers. We begin to invest our time, energy, and hope in things that can never deliver.
    He will continue to unleash His power to accomplish redemption and He will not be satisfied until the last enemy is under His feet and the final kingdom has come. Yes, there is great and eternal hope for you in the dissatisfaction of your Redeemer.
    Excerpt: New Morning Mercies

  • Thanks for sharing this. I was thinking too of times when the Lord moved me to new lands, and didn’t tell me where I was going. All that was required of me was obedience.

  • rachel marie

    i’ve often wondered, if God called me to a foreign land to spread His Good News, would i jump up without hesitation and say “yes Lord!”. would i immediately obey, like old abraham? and then i think of our dear Jesus, who willingly stepped down from His place at the right hand of His Father, to come and live in a broken world. a place with sin so deep and dark that it was certainly most foreign to Him! He prayed in the garden before walking to His certain death, and asked His Father to remove the cup from Him, the symbol of God’s wrath and judgment on mankind, knowing He was taking on not only the physical agony of death on the cross, but also the spiritual agony of complete separation from His Father. but without skipping a beat, He prays on, “not my will, but Yours be done.” He willingly drank every last drop of that cup, for you and me. what obedience!

  • This brings me back to an important, but painful, season in my life. I know I’ve shared this in different ways before, but I’m led to share it again in this Advent season. Just last night I rec’d prayer requests over marriages in trouble and I know that sometimes the Holidays bring great pain with them. There was a time God was calling me to a move in my life, one of many, but I believe the most important. One greatly different than I knew I wanted. After years of trauma, tears and vasts amount of trying I struggled with wanting to reconcile my marriage. I had endured a marriage that was not remotely what I had dreamt I would have; countless amounts of separation in it’s midst, for many reasons. In the last separation, I had finally gotten to a point that I no longer believed I could sustain the relationship and had reconciled my heart to it. I was broken, hurt beyond words and every bit of angry and sad wrapped up in one. God came to me and made clear I was to drop my hurt and reconcile with the man that had been the root of great pain for me. Confused became the new norm for me and I fought it. I wrestled with my Father because I couldn’t comprehend putting myself in a place so risky….again. After months, I finally agreed and what was amazing is the changes God had made in my husband. There was still work to be done, but when I committed to letting go of my pain, giving it up, God didn’t rebuild something broken … He built something new. One by one, He picked up the old stones of pain, anger, distrust, & fear and polished them until they were unrecognizable. He placed them one by one in both of our hearts. He used the very things that broke us to build something amazing in us, for us! And as I type this that man sits across from me with a heart that is changed, a heart that is for God, a heart that has amazed me, with a love for me I was certain I’d never see. We are in our 21st year of marriage now and I am overwhelmed.

    Sometimes God calls us to things we are deathly afraid of, things that by societal terms or our own, make no sense. But our God is a God of great things; He is not a color in the lines kind of guy … He paints wild pictures and occasionally He’ll ask us to throw our own hand in the mix. It is easy to stand back from the canvas and hesitate. It is easy to stare at something blank and be overwhelmed by the unknown, by fear of making a mistake or destroying the masterpiece, but the incredible thing is that we have a Father who will take our hand and lead it. His hand guiding ours as we paint across the canvas of our life. And often when we think we are done, He’s going to ask us to dip that brush in the most wild of colors and throw it across our landscape and we just need to take a deep breath, close our eyes and go for it because our days don’t end without color … beautiful sunsets and sunrises don’t just happen … they are splashes of color to top off our days and in these moments of faith, God is just asking us to paint with Him, to allow Him to lead our brushes across our skies and show us profound beauty in His plans. Debbie Eaton nailed it with these words, “New beginnings tell the story of grace, mercy, and forgiveness—gifts from a loving Father who is worthy of our faith, even when we cannot see what lies ahead.” … Thankful that God holds the brush of my masterpiece, but incredibly grateful that He also allows me a grasp of that brush too and that He promises the picture, no matter what, will be amazing, it will be beautiful, it will be matchless, it will be glorious!!! ~ B

    • Missy CM

      B, I´m a recovering “color in the lines” girl. Thanks so much for using that word picture. I´ll be keeping my eyes open for those sweeping strokes…

    • lauren

      Thank you for this! I lol forward to your comment almost as much as the devotion content itself! You’re a wonderful writer and I am thankful you allow the Lord to lead your thoughts. This is a wonderful testimony!

    • Jenn

      Wow this really hits home. I am not married, but I believe I have met the man I am supposed to spend my life with. He has caused me so much pain and done so much damage and yet he is still around and I struggle with whether or not I could ever let him back in. Could I ever allow myself in that position again and actually marry a man who has caused me so much pain. I know deep down if it is Gods will, He can and will fix it. Thank you for sharing so I can see that even the impossible is in fact possible.

      • Holly

        Hi Jenn, I know it may seem brave for you to stick it out through a relationship, or maybe you feel obligated to finish what you started, but your description of this man certainly does not sound like marriage material. Husbands are called to be selfless, loving their wives like Christ loves the church (an extremely high calling). It seems as though someone who has already caused you “so much pain and done so much damage” is not ready or equipped to be yolked with someone else in marriage. I think it’s important to point out a distinction between your story and B’s story – she had already entered into a marriage covenant with this man, and she did the incredibly brave and difficult thing of reconciling that relationship – and I’m sure God was cheering her on, stirring her up, and equipping her the whole way. In God’s eyes, you have not entered into any type of committed relationship with this man, so your obligation to reconcile is no where near what B’s was (note, there is also a difference between forgiveness and reconciliation – for people who deeply hurt us, sometimes the safest thing to do is forgive, but not necessarily reconcile). Out of love for a fellow sister-in-Christ, I would caution you against pursuing marriage with this particular man, and I would encourage you that God has an incredible and perfect plan for your life – one that does not involve any type of “settling” for less or confusion. Sometimes God allows us to experience pain to refine us, but he certainly would not want us to make choices that lead us directly into a situation that hurts us. Praying for you.

      • ~ B ~

        Prayerful over your future Jenn! That God brings great clarity over it and that you feel with absolute confidence His plan for you! I couldn’t agree more with Holly’s comment. Remember that God desires a husband grounded in faith for you. If this man is to become that it should be prior to your choosing a covenant with him. It is so hard to go the route of a troubled spouse believing that God will change him and it affects every aspect of your life and choices. Sit back and let God lead you here. Prayerful over this man in your life as well. Love to you sister! ~ B

    • Lyle

      B, thank you for sharing this beautiful testimony about your new beginning. Our marriage has been restored as well, and I am burdened for how many couples are struggling. I totally agree that God doesn’t mend the broken but builds something new. At one key turning point in our story, my husband said, “you can’t change the past, but you can change the future.” Jesus came to give us hope in tomorrow. If we will just take one step out into the unknown, whatever it is He is calling us to, He will carry us one thousand miles into victory. I will never forget the joy of obedience when my husband and I decided to start fresh. I love your idea of God’s masterpiece that He is painting–that He can take the messy strokes that I have put in and turn it into something beautiful.

      • Christina D.

        “If we will just take one step out into the unknown, whatever it is He is calling us to, He will carry us one thousand miles into victory.” This brings tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing Lyle.

      • ~ B ~

        I love hearing other stories of restoration Lyle! It is so humbling to think back on those seasons. “He will carry us one thousand miles into victory” – – YES! It isn’t our own strength, it is entirely God’s. Thankful for you fellow marriage believers, prayerful that God continues to use you two and your story to bring others’ great hope! ~ B

    • heather (MNmomma)

      oh my B…..your words hit me powerfully this morning. Your testimony is so powerful…..saying a prayer of thanksgiving this morning for you and your husband. For your obedience….for your gift of sharing….thank you so much!!! I pray that I can follow where I am lead….that I allow Him to lead me, to paint my masterpiece to brilliance….xo

    • NM

      B, like you have experienced, I talk to my Father daily about reconciliation of a relationship that was at one time harmonious. At this Advent season, I am prayerfully seeking those gifts listed in 2Peter 1:3: strength & courage, grace & peace, hope& joy…gifts for a new beginning. As God guides my brush strokes, may He rekindle trust, and bring His beauty to re-establish the love in broken relationships, and bring GRACE to erase hurt and misunderstanding. I believe in His sovereign artistry, and cannot wait for the masterpiece that will be created from the brokenness! It will come as I hand the brush to Him. HIS work in our lives.

      • ~ B ~

        I LOVE your wording NM! Constant conversation with God is pivotal in knowing what He desires for us! Praying 2 Peter over you as well! ~ B

    • Jess

      Tears in my eyes as I read this. This is my prayer for my parent’s marriage! ❤️ God bless you for your witness x

      • ~ B ~

        Prayerful over your parent’s marriage this morning Jess! So thankful that they’ve a daughter so willing to lift them up. Through your prayers and love over them, great change can come! ~ B

    • Tina

      Thankful that God holds the brush of my masterpiece, but incredibly grateful that He also allows me a grasp of that brush too and that He promises the picture, no matter what, will be amazing, it will be beautiful, it will be matchless, it will be glorious!!! ~ ah -B, I just love that picture of God holding the brush, yet like a father teaching his child, allows you/me to hold the brush with him, to show you/me how, to guide us, to lead, for us to follow…..Thank you dear dear friend, for your testimony…there is nothing seemingly broken, that God cannot re- New…with a new beginning, that is seemingly hope -less, that He cannot HOPE- fill…with His love, Grace, mercy and forgiveness…
      Love you -B…Love to the family…xxx

    • Victoria

      Thank you, B, for your words and your wisdom. I, too, always look for your posts, as they resonate in my heart long after finishing the daily devotions. I am currently in a season of learning to trust my heart again in my marriage. Loved how you said that God hadn’t rebuilt something broken, but that He built something new…. praying for this kind of healing…. beautiful, matchless, and glorious!

  • God began a new chapter in my life this past year. I went along with it kicking and screaming and pouting and crying. I wonder if Abraham had moments when he did the same? I obeyed… I could have gone out and found another job. I could have pitched more of a fit. But I did as I felt I was led… Just with not a great attitude. Now I look back and am sad that I did not have more faith. I am still sad that this is the journey He led me on. But I now see that it was also a change i needed and I truly believe His plan for all of this is still so much greater than I can even comprehend right now. Things are starting to grow and change for the better… And that is only the beginning. God is so good. My trust is so little. I am glad he keeps nudging me in the right direction.

    • ~ B ~

      God is so good! Even when we go kicking and screaming … have I been there too! Love that he gently nudges us! ~ B

  • This really speaks to me today. I feel like God is calling me to something new. I have a vague idea but I don’t know exactly what, or where to begin. In many ways it seems impossible and it would mean leaving comfort behind. I’ve been a bit frustrated lately because I just want to know what to do, what God is saying, how to move forward, but this reassures me that he has a plan, he has it under control, I just need to trust him and he will show me at the right time and he will lead me. I want to use this time of Advent to wait before God and seek him and his will for the future.

    • ~ B ~

      In those seasons of quiet, when God isn’t saying what we want to hear, it can be so frustrating. Prayerful that in this season He directs your feet and keeps your eyes on Him. That when you worry or grow concerned He brings great peace over the process Carly. ~ B

    • Tina

      Tina F
      Carly B your words ring so true to me. If I had written this myself the words and sentiment would be exactly the same. Big change has occurred in my life this past year and I have felt like I am lost in the wilderness, crying out to God for direction, yet seeing none. I am trusting in Him and standing in God’s promises that he will now we leave me or forsake me. For someone who always feels she has to be in control this is challenging. I’ll be praying for you this Advent season that God will reveal His plan for your life. Blessings to you!

  • This, Debbie Eaton is just what I needed to hear….
    I totally heard all you said/ have written…God’s promise to Abraham. ..The first promised son that would be the lineage to the second promised son who would be the redeemer of our sins.. our Savior, our Hope…
    I heard ya…I did…but what hit me was the fact that Abraham was in his 70s when his life changed, when God made him aware of the purpose He had for him…and the future of mankind…
    I have often sat, wondering what, now my children have left home, my purpose is…For a long time, when my family was young, I believed my children were my life..They still are, don’t get me wrong… just I do not take care of them now..They make their own decisions, eat what they want..etc..I am obsolete..redundant. .
    So where does that leave me…In a pickle….because questions like..is this it? Was that my life..now empty and non descript. .no purpose, no reason…But God gave me ears to hear this morning, eyes to see your words Debbie Eaton. .and a heart to receive this message for me…that God’s plan for my life was not just to be a mother to my children, but there is more…much more..just wait…and in the waiting to trust Him, hold fast to Him to obey in faith…It is a lonely and seemingly empty life I live now to me, But God.., and with all I have believe this…has a plan, and although I cannot see right now the bigger picture of my tapestry. ..I know He is in control, whilst I hold fast to him…
    I wait in this advent ..waiting..period, trusting that He will fill me with strength and courage, grace and oh His peace, Hope and joy..For New beginnings are coming…
    I have tears now…New beginnings are coming…
    Thank you Lord God, thank you…
    Praying the Lord God turn His face to shine so brightly on you…hugs..xxx

    • Jess

      Tina, I too have been in a place where I’ve questioned my purpose in life. It helps me to remember that no matter what is happening around me, I can be of use to God by praying for others. As long as we are connected to our Heavenly Father, not a day goes by when we’re left without purpose. Prayer allows us to be warriors even on days when we can’t get out of bed.

      And of course, God can take the most mundane events of life and use them for His glory. Who knows when our small actions are actually serving a greater purpose! Even offering a smile to a stranger in the grocery store could be a way to shine His light.

      I have confidence that not only does God have great plans for your future, but there is also purpose in the present, in the waiting, and He’ll be with you every step of the way.

      And for what it’s worth, I think your reflections here have been an encouragement to all who read them, so it’s clear to me that God is doing great things through you even now in this darker hour.

      Hugs and blessings!

    • candacejo

      Oh what a blessing you are in this season of waiting!! Your ministry in the kitchen and your ministry here (the only two that I KNOW of) are vital and so important to the Kingdom. Does God have more? Yes, I believe He does too but in the middle of your in-betweens God is preparing you for the great adventure. Do not dismay dear friend, He is in control. ♥ Bookmark these posts to remind you! http://www.hopeinthehealing.com/2013/06/28/in-the-middle-of-your-in-betweens/ http://www.hopeinthehealing.com/2013/07/22/when-the-music-stops-2/

    • Stacey

      “But God” is what you wrote, dear Tina. Don’t all renewed stories all being with “but God”!? It’s your new chapter… So similar to Abraham’s!!

    • ~ B ~

      I think all too often the latter parts of our lives are greatly discounted by our hearts because of all that you said….but what I find is that there is so much knowledge and wisdom to gain from those who have gone before us…. like a Titus 2 woman, you are a leader. You bring great truth to the forefront for all of us and your story, your life reflect great hope for so many. Your heart is evident and I can’t wait to see what God continues to do with you because I know no matter your age or how your life seems, He’s got great plans! Much love for you T and many many hugs! ~ B

    • Liz

      Love this! And how true it is for so many life stages!

    • karen

      hi- five years ago everything seemed to be going fine- health, family home… approaching the sunset years! today- husband sick (iCU, death, forced retirement), lost our home, much uncertainty. I had to start over to support my family. I moved 1200 miles away to take a job that paid well- starting over at 55! no friends, no family. it seems like ages ago- I still wonder why- but I know that God is with me- has been with me- it’s His plan. I still feel -angry- I may be working for a very long time – I still wonder.. did Abram have doubts? did he wonder? And most of all I wait- for what is to come. I pray constantly.

    • Debbie

      I just want to say, Tina, you are right where the Lord wants you and you are making a difference around the world. I love SRT, and when I finish I look for your response because I am touch by you and others. God’s new beginnings are right here and in the now for you and me as we are given the gift of a new day. Each women or man that reads this sight is touched by God through each other and what you do here makes a difference. God is working out a life just how He wants, to make us useful to Him. Ahh Sweet baby Jesus, new beginnings.

      • Elisabeth Harkness

        Debbie, I know it’s been a year since you wrote this. I am praying for you. How are you now? Are you seeing God working in your life?

    • Churchmouse

      Oh Tina, do not underestimate the effect your postings have on so many. You are reaching next generations through your faith story and insight into His Word. Our children are adults also and thought we were heading into the empty nest years BUT GOD! He opened a door for me to lead a Bible study for young women that I never would have imagined I would do. And He’s given us the opportunity to watch our granddaughter while our daughter works as a teacher. So, another generation to influence with the love of our Savior! We pass the baton of Faith in a myriad of ways. Within our own families. In the ministries we each have. In our prayer closets. In our every day interactions with our neighbors, friends and acquaintances. In a post at SRT. Look again at Abraham. Oh what one can do when one is willing to trust and obey! You have much influence, Tina. You bless many. And I thank you and encourage you to continue. Press on dear sister. Love you

    • Jessica

      Hello! I also had to write to tell you, everyday after I read the devotional, I scroll down and say to myself, “where’s Tina!?” So, know you make a difference with every post. Much love, Jessica

    • Meagan S

      Tears rolling down my face now. Tina, your post makes me think about my own mother of 2 newly married daughters. I know she is feeling the same things you do. Too often I am impatient with her but today my heart is broken for her. I cry out for the Lord to place in her and in you a sweet contentment with your present state and a sweet expectancy for what the Lord has in store for you in the future. We serve an awesome God of new beginnings!

  • “Obey in faith” what a beautiful phrase!
    How often have you had someone say to you “oh it seems that God is testing you!” Now I know to reply that he is guiding me to obey in faith. He is calling me to a life of “faith and trust”. And with that faith and trust we receive the most amazing gifts. In every situation we are so blessed!

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