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Holding Tight to Permanent: Day 2

The Truest Truth

by

Today's Text: Hebrews 11, Psalm 107:1-9

Text: Hebrews 11:1-40, Psalm 107:1-9

My family fell apart after school on a Wednesday afternoon. That Sunday, in a new town, I woke up in a sleeping bag on a stranger’s floor. My mom, sister, and I went to a new church. And even though I hadn’t exactly met Jesus yet, this was the day I met my Boaz. My lowercase-r redeemer in more than a lot of ways.

I can’t bring to memory much about that Sunday morning. I remember the 1st grade Sunday school room with tables pushed together and metal folding chairs around them in the musty basement of an old, new-to-me, church. I remember our very tall teacher and his small, kind wife and the salt-and-pepper hair on both of their heads. They tried their best to keep a room full of enthusiastic seven-year-olds quiet. Most of all, I remember the wild blue eyes and curly blonde hair of the most unruly little boy I’d ever seen. He was the ringleader of the noisy bunch, and he fascinated me.

That image of Blue Eyes standing on his chair and waving his arms in excitement over who-knows-what will forever be burned in my memory as the moment I met my future husband. Of course, I didn’t know it at the time. I probably thought I was meeting my nemesis. Everything I loved about order was the opposite of him. He was loud, and I felt quiet. Everyone was looking at him, and I’m not sure anyone even noticed me. I didn’t know it that seven-year-old Sunday morning, but Blue Eyes would never stop being a part of my life from that moment on.

There is truth (our present circumstance), and there is truer truth (the history of God’s unwavering, faithful, covenant relationship with His people). Call it the “grand scheme of things” if you like, but I believe we make a big mistake when we trust God only based on what He’s done for us today, or even in our own lifetime.

If a telescope zooms our gaze in on one particular thing, God’s Word is like a wide angle lens that shouts, “Remember! God is THIS BIG! He is a God of the big-picture!” When we’re busy dialing in on legitimately important things like jobs and health and deadlines, it can do us a lot of good to remember what God did at creation, and what He promised Abraham. Remember how He kept His hand on Joseph, bringing Israel into Egypt and eventual slavery, then delivering them from slavery at the hand of Moses. All the while He promised on every page that an even bigger plan was unfolding!

This is what the Bible does. This is why we read Truth.

It’s okay to study God’s hand in our present circumstances. It’s good and appropriate to move that telescope around to see what other people are dealing with too. But opening God’s Word and studying His character is like lifting our eyes from the viewfinder long enough to remember that the God who calls us His people has been hanging the stars in the heavens since time began.

Just as He was faithful then, He will be faithful now.

The above is an excerpt from Chapter 1 of the book She Reads Truth: Holding Tight to Permanent in a World That’s Passing Away, written by Raechel Myers and Amanda Bible Williams. Find She Reads Truth, the book, on Amazon or anywhere books are sold.

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  • Alissa Fisher

    I needed these words today to ground me again in God’s faithfulness

  • So refreshing to be reminded that our faith is not dependent on what is seen, or even our experience, but that it is possible, like those who came before us, to have faith to live in God’s promises without necessarily experiencing the fullness of this in our earthly life. I thank God that faith is a gift from Him and I pray that God would help my faith in Him to flourish even through difficult and challenging times, just like it did for the apostles.

  • How wonderful to have a God who was faithful then and is continuing to be faithful. A great reminder to look at the bigger picture and continue to walk in faithfulness with our Lord.

  • Emily Taylor

    I have never really read the book of Hebrews, but that insert of chapter 11 was eye opening! Too often I forget how big the picture is, and how big my God is! He has helped so many who relied on faith and faith alone. Next step: to take a step back and try and see the big picture!

  • Brooklin

    How humbling it is to not put our God in a box based off of our own circumstances. Thankful for a God who is able to be greater than the limits I place on Him

  • How quickly I am apt to forget how mighty God, how He is the faithful one. There are a few things I feel like God is stirring in me, but I must not rush either. I must obey. Lord help me remember you are the one who provides all things in perfect timing!

  • an amazing way to start my day – God is speaking to me today!! love this

  • A timely reminder to look at the history of His faithfulness in my life and in history as I wait on His timing to increase our family from 2 to 3. He is the God who opens wombs and delivers His children into the land that He has promised.

  • As a mom of three under 5 and one a brand new baby less than 2 weeks old, I find my eyes constantly on my immediate future. Sometimes it’s all I can do to get up and make breakfast and start the day. I need this big picture perspective and I also need to believe that he daily grind with little children is also a sacred calling for me right now.

    • Hannah

      I am with you there in all of it. The big picture is important to remember for us moms of littles.

  • I just found this app today and I feel so blessed. God’s Word is always right on time. In the midst of making school decisions for my child.

  • Thank you for this! Needing God in a big way in my life. Praying he hears me :/

    • Liz

      Hey Kelley! Just wanted to say that God always hears you! He loves you and is listening intently to every word you lift up to him. He is there for you always, even when you feel alone or abandoned. He won’t abandon you, no matter how big the storm. He answers every prayer, sometimes the answer is “not yet”, or “of course!”, or “I know you can’t see it, but I’m doing something great through this hard time.” I hope this encourages you and I’ll be praying for you to feel him deeply in your life.

  • With four kids my life is crazy. And I often find myself laser focused on just putting one foot in front of the other: making dinner, pickups from practice, dropoffs at youth group, bathtimes for littles, and errands, errands, errands. It’s so important to zoom out. To recognize that I need not get too carried away in the details because God has a bigger plan. Not just for the son I fervently pray for who gets into fights at school and makes poor grades, not just for the family I nurture and worry about the individual relationships we all have with our Father, but also for our community, our nation, our beautiful and glorious planet full of God’s children. He is an awesome God! I struggle with four but my Father loves BILLIONS! Glory to God!

  • Studying His character is lifting our eyes from the telescope!!

  • Lifting our eyes ! ❤️

  • Cristina

    Live by faith, not by sight.

  • I love the verse that points out that the men and women of great faith “did not receive what was promised” in their lifetime, but that they will and we will when the Lord says it is time. So encouraging to remember that our circumstances are not an accurate measure of our faithfulness or of God’s blessings to us. He’s got it all taken care of, we just can’t see it yet!

  • I simply love this devotional and I am thankful to start a journey that will lift me to a better place.

  • I just join in!!! I am excited about this Journey with she reads truth! ❤

  • As I struggle with work situations I know and give it to God as His plan may not be mine but it’s HIS plan that will persevere!

  • Arianna ♡ Acevedo

    that was so pretty

  • Joanna Carroll

    God had a plan for every person and those who trusted in him despite distress, pain and suffering were given gifts in heaven and were called Faithful. I want to follow Christ, follow his words, and live in no fear just as others did

  • Kate Spitzer

    Today, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer that has metastasized to her liver and spine. She is 50. My husband and I are 25. I have a brother-in-law who is 16. They don’t believe in God like my husband and I do. This is just what I needed to read today.

  • I FOUND IT HARD TO HAVE FAITH BUT READING THIS MESSAGE TODAY HAS SHOWED ME TO JUST BELIEVE AND TRUST GOD THROUGH IT ALL HE WILL BE THERE EVEN IF I DONT THINK HE IS HE IS THERE JUST GOD TO LET GO AND LET GOD THANKS FOR THIS I HOPE TO LEARN MORE AND BE VERY CLOSE TO MY LORD THE ONE WHO COUNTS THE MOST.

  • victoria lock

    I’ve been struggling with faith and i find it difficult to let go of all the worldly things

  • “It’s okay to study God’s hand in our present circumstances. It’s good and appropriate to move that telescope around to see what other people are dealing with too. But opening God’s Word and studying His character is like lifting our eyes from the viewfinder long enough to remember that the God who calls us His people has been hanging the stars in the heavens since time began. ”

    Love this!!! ⬆️

  • Jasmine Hypolite

    Same God back then, Same God right now. He is ever faithful. Everything we go through shows us something new (that we should know already) that we didn’t know about God. He is giving you the proof for you to trust in Him only.

  • “There is truth (our present circumstance), and there is truer truth (the history of God’s unwavering, faithful, covenant relationship with His people). Call it the “grand scheme of things” if you like, but I believe we make a big mistake when we trust God only based on what He’s done for us today, or even in our own lifetime.”

    This is why I read truth. It is a truer truth than my present hurts and struggles. God’s character…faithful then and faithful now.

    • Esperanza

      It seems like your response to this came out of my heart and was typed by your hand. My name is Bethany too…I know my name tag says Esperanza, but that’s because my middle name is Hope (and Esperanza is hope in Spanish). For some reason it was just very uplifting to read a comment that echoed my heart from someone with the same name. Thank you.

  • ❤✨

  • I just came back to my Savior after a divorce. I am having a very very hard time staying faithful and trusting in him. please pray for me.

  • Diarah Ivette

    ❤️

  • Niecy Smith

    This really helped me today, with putting more trust in my savior. Sometimes I get so caught up in wanting my husband to fulfill all my emotional needs.” We’ve been together since I was 15″. I failed to allow Jesus in in , in detrimental times and at low points of my life or whenever my husband fell in sin, my world would be shaken. But the strength of my faith needs to be in him who is the creator of all things, not in fallen men. This year I vow to fight more on my needs and not in my mind.

    • Marissa Payne

      I feel the exact same way and have been struggling with this as well! How has your journey been coming along and do you have any advice to help me out as I am fairly new to my walk with the Lord?

  • wow!!! I love this so much :) thank you

  • I have had a problem with faith. I always get nervous that maybe I am not doing the right thing in the mean time. Like maybe I need to do something different, try something new. My goal is to be still and watch him work. God has NEVER failed me. I have more victories than struggles. This was a great read. Today I am pushing to have more faith in every aspect of my life. God is love.

  • Hebrew keeps repeating “By faith…” this happened (God did great things, God was with them) and I felt God was just sprinkling that all over me especially in this time of feeling hopeless. My husband and I both decided to lay down what was possible for our lives and both go into seminary and we knew what we were walking into but sometimes you don’t really see it until you’re in that present situation. Finances aren’t as stable, community has to be completely rebuilt from scratch, we moved into a completely new state and left or whole family and friends there. It’s funny how this was perfectly timed. It was “by faith” that all things happened. God makes things happen and that really is the only thing I can lean on in all things I do.

  • I struggle with trusting his plan over my own. I have problems with letting go and letting God. It’s difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel when darkness has been the only thing surrounding you. But when I said yes to Jesus, I remember that feeling. You know THE feeling. And it was like my view on everything was changed for the better. My faith, to this day, isn’t perfect and like I said I struggle with laying my life completely in his hands, but when I think of that moment it makes it easier.

    • Kayla

      I completely relate to everything you said. Even when you feel like the whole world is against you, you always have a sense of security knowing that none of it matters because you have God on your side. I struggle with being in the world and the faith at the same time but I always come back here. Back to God.

  • wow… don’t quit now!!! keep trying, believing…Have faith

  • Faith is all it takes!!

  • Sara Smith

    Wow. Just wow!
    Been struggling a lot lately with trusting in His plan for my life. Most of the time I’m caught up in the future, what will I do, where will I go, etc. This is exactly what I needed to hear from Him.
    Thank you Lord for your faithfulness. Help me to trust in Your plan for my life as those before me have trusted You!

  • What a great study. This continues to be one of my favorites, so encouraging!

  • Joanna Carroll

    very encouraging to see how faithful he was to the fore fathers in the bible. and sometimes hard to believe that god would be able to do something like that in me. But I need to believe god’s word and know that if I follow him I can see Gods glory in my life as he proves faithful

  • I read the NIV version of Hebrews 11 and the word “faith” is mentioned 27 times… I’ve been struggling so much with giving complete control of my life and the lives of my children over to God. This is 27 reminders in one chapter of what God did and continues to do for His children; I need to remember to see beyond me.

    • Carol Rinke

      Your comment was meaningful to me, Melanie–27 reminders to have faith.

  • Kelsey Mitchum

    This changed my perspective in a way I think I too easily forget in my day to day

  • “The God who calls us His people has been hanging the stars in the sky since the beginning of time” — YES and amen. May we be humbled enough to see beyond our circumstances and worship the God of the Big Picture for everything He’s done.

  • dang… “There is truth (our present circumstance), and there is truer truth (the history of God’s unwavering, faithful, covenant relationship with His people). Call it the “grand scheme of things” if you like, but I believe we make a big mistake when we trust God only based on what He’s done for us today, or even in our own lifetime.”

    I always base my trust in Jesus on what I have seen him do… but in reality, his gospel story and his word is enough for me to trust him in everything and beyond!

  • Ps 107:9 was my favorite. My soul longs to be closer than ever to Jesus. I asked him many times to stir my heart and he has definitely answered. Now I need to ask him to do it for my husband.
    And the faith scriptures are so needed when thinking about the future of our country

    • Kylee

      Agreed, we are really living in faith as a country now that no matter who is in office, the commander in Chief has a plan greater than any one of us can fathom! Faith!

  • thank you for sharing…made my morning easier. God bless you all

  • So good

  • My happiness is not circumstantial. That is what our Savior is teaching me. Reading the countless stories of the Bible that show faithful disciples to Jesus that did not reap earthly rewards, but were rewarded with a heavenly eternity with Him reminds me of this. Praise Emmanuel.

  • Tiffany Crane

    Faith is reaching into nothing, and pulling out something.

  • India Hall

    9 For he satisfies the longing soul,
    and the hungry soul he fills with good things. This fed my spirit today. I find myself longing for things not manifested in my life yet. Yet I know that God is faithful. I know that I can always stand on the truth of His promises. I know that with faith as big as a mustard seed, all will be well.

  • “Today I will trust you with the confidence of man who’s never known defeat, and I’ll try my best to just forget that that man isn’t me.”
    Beautiful to hear that trust does not equal circumstance. This is something I will need to remind myself constantly.

  • so many riches are in Scripture. OT and NT pairing is perfect and exquisite. I savored each word. such fulfillment in the Scriptures. ♡

  • I believe this reading has shown me there are areas in my life that I must put all my faith and trust in the Father. He is faithful, He does love me and he does care about every aspect of my life. He just wants my trust, my belief in Him that he can and will do all things as he has promised. I need to remove myself from the equation completely. Life is not up to me to figure out but trust in God and know that he will handle everything when I surrender FULLY to HIM!

  • Todays reading reminded me of a song on the radio a while ago”Thank you, for giiving life to me” MY life story is filled with sweet touches from the Lord through rocky times. My chikdrens SS teacher shared the gospel with them and brought us all to the Lord!This was during the hardest of times in my marriage. The Lord had led us to a new community,I had a grandma who believed and encouraged me to take our girls to SS. There was a good church down the road from where we moved. It became our haven while I grew stronger in my faith. Gods love for me has carried me,blessed me and healed me.
    Wherever you are at this morning dear sister is right where God wants you to be to start trading in fear and doubt for trusting and obeying what He is showing you to do next. HE IS FAITHFUL!

  • Melissa Harvey

    This reading was a great reminder to me to have major faith. A lot our changes are happening for my family and Ive been a little nervous about them lately. This was a great reminder to have faith in the Lord because his plan is unveiling as we go.

  • And the people said “Amen!!” Our God is good.

  • “Just as he was faithful then he will be faithful now.” What a beautiful reminder to slow down and seek truth through his word and seek him every day. We are gracefully redeemed and treasured by our King.

  • Hebrews 11: 32-44
    Take my breath away
    I know that the Lord my God, the Creator who is so great that my fleshly being would crumble and perish at the sight of Him, does all the same for me.

    For He satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things. (Psalm 107: 8-9)
    And that’s a promise!

  • For me, it’s so easy to see what God has done and is continuing to do in my life and my world. But I also see how only viewing God’s work in my present day really narrows my view on how big and power God really is, this is a great reminder!

  • “…we make a big mistake when we trust God only based on what He’s done for us today, or even in our own lifetime.”

    “Remember! God is THIS BIG! He is a God of the big-picture!”

    Such sweet reminders…

  • I really needed this word today. As a “new” mom with a 13 month old who still feels like I can’t get the hang of this, and that my body and my life are still not my own I was beginning to doubt that I would ever feel comfortable again. God is so much bigger than our circumstances and much more consistent. Thank you for the reminder to turn my eyes away from me and on to Him.

    • Blessed

      You are not alone. Even women who have been moms for 18 years find it hard to get a hang of. Motherhood is a long, hard, BEAUTIFUL journey. Take it all one day at a time. You are doing an incredible job! He knew you could do it ❤️

  • This is me! Thank you for putting into words how I feel about my life!

  • Amen

  • Thank you all for your prayers and support!! Your words mean so much to me.

  • Mekaella…praying LIFE into your sister’s heart and decision. Encourage her to slow down…think about her future and the future of the child she carries who is unique and precious. Do a search for a Pregnancy Resource Center in your area and encourage her to have her pregnancy confirmed and an ultrasound, if she is willing. She needs love and soft-spoken encouragement. She needs to see that she has other options and that there is hope for another way. She has nothing to lose by breathing and taking the time to sit and talk it through with someone who can help her sort through all of her options. All of her choices are hard right now. Be an encourager and pray…we will pray with you.

  • Think..the bigger picture

  • He is always faithful. I went through a very unfaithful relationship recently. In which God showed me many things about myself I needed to fix. Confidence. Filling myself up with His word and His promises instead of putting my hope in someone. He had to throw me to the wolves because he knew I’d come back leading the pack so to speak. It’s been an emotional and a spiritual warfare. Like the third monkey trying to get onto the ark. I’ve fought and clawed my way out of the hurt, the disappointment, the unlove as I like to call it and back to the center of me. Which is my faith.

    • Jessica

      Your story describes my whole 2016. Like you, I was in the lowest of places, feeling unloved, confused, broken like never before …but this time (it’s happened before), I chose to examine myself and dive into the word and draw near to God. If you seek Him, you will find Him…and oh my, how I’ve found Him!
      I discovered the meaning of finding joy in my sufferings. It was awful to go thru, but because I turned TO the Lord, I am closer to Him than ever before, I have true peace and joy in my heart and I am stronger emotionally than I could have ever imagined. God truly is so good!

  • This is my first time using this app and it has already been so good to me. I recently found out that my sister is pregnant…and planning her second abortion. She knows the truth but is not currently seeking the Truth. This passage was everything I needed tonight. Knowing that He will be faithful to my prayers and His plan supersedes my understanding. I have asked my sister to consider having the baby and letting me raise the child. Her heart is so hard she refuses to entertain any idea that isn’t abortion… but I remember the disciples , the men of God who were made a new creation -even given a new name- and I pray that He would be faithful to her in her choice, that he would be faithful to me in my understanding and that she would be made a new creation in Him. And mostly, that His will be done. Please pray!

    • Bethany

      Mekaella, I am encouraged by your persistence and faith in praying for your sister and this child, and by your heart to save them both. I will pray for you and your sister as you navigate these tricky waters.

    • Sarah S

      I will pray for your sister’s heart to be soft! Thank you for sharing this burden.

    • Ashley

      Praying for your sister and the sweet baby inside her!

    • Angelita

      Heavenly Father soften her sister’s heart and protect this unborn child. I pray this young woman gives her heart to you as her Lord and Savior and you bind her wounds and heal her heart. May you give Mekaella your peace that surpassing all understanding and may your Holy Spirit guide her with the right words to say in love. In Jesus name Amen.

    • Blessed

      This hits so close to home for me. I encourage you to keep being persistent with your sister, but to come from a place of love and support. I love that you offered to keep her child. She probably can’t fathom going through the pregnancy and then giving the child up. Just keep pushing. The result from having an abortion is completely devastating beyond words. I am going to continuously pray for her. She is so blessed to have you as her sister.

  • WOW. these never fail to hit me right where I need it. I recently went through something pretty trying that lasted a few grueling weeks. It was resolved in the end as though nothing had ever happened. I was frustrated through it all and was telling my friend that usually I could get through rough patches by thinking it would be useful somehow in the future, but that this time I couldn’t imagine how it would just by the nature of the thing. This hit me hard, I needed to zoom out. Maybe I’ll see the usefulness of this, but maybe I won’t. Abraham didn’t see the fulfillment if all the promises, but they were fulfilled. We sometimes lament over seemingly unanswered prayers, but perhaps they are being answered in ways we will never know.

  • Elizabeth

    So so good to step out of my world and remember how BIG God is… ugh so wonderful ❤

  • This part of the Bible reminds me of the common saying “everything happens for a reason”. Everything God does in our lives is for a higher purpose, and if we trust Him, He will lead us to our rainbows.

  • Kasey Summers

    God is always in control and He is always trustworthy!!

  • This is such an important thing to remember. Patience is key. Trust is key.

  • I love that saying “truer truth”
    It’s what I’m holding on to tonight
    While my heart wrenches with fear for my future, and wants to drown me in desperate seas … I cling to who God is and who I am to Him

    • Anna

      You’ve perfectly expressed how I too feel in this moment and I appreciate you inspiring me to cling to God as well.

  • “an act in faith” oh how God blesses an act in faith. Look at the history of what He has done!… In history long past. .. In our own lives. .. Such hope for the now. . And the future, from our faithful creator. .. truly amazing grace. Thank you Lord!

  • Jenna Stephan

    My version says “that their faith and our faith would come together to make one completed whole, their lives of faith not complete apart from ours.” This is inspiring to me. Our name is up with the greats, honored by God. He holds us just like He held them. As we are going through our walk, let us remember and draw strength from God and those who walked with Him before us.

    • Rachel

      Wow. Thank you for this! That version made things so clear for me. It is easy to look back at those stories with a bit of jealousy and despair thinking we could never be like the greats. But our stories are just as important as theirs. This brought things together for me. I think in my mind I had separated the world of the Bible from the world we live in today, but it’s one and the same and God is just as faithful now as he was then!

  • Faith they all had faith. It’s not always easy to have faith in the things unseen. When I feel like this, I must stop and take it all in. Reflect how He has revealed himself to me in the past and remember He is always there. He is true all the time.

  • Jess Gardiner

    The most incredible part for me about the faith chapter is that if you read the OT accounts of these people, the details show a lot of failure, sin and doubting along the way. I used to wonder why Hebrews gave such a glamorous account of them. And then I heard a wonderful quote that said, “It’s not the quality or strength of our faith, but the object of our faith that commends us before God.” The weakest, most fragile faith in Christ, is stronger than the mightiest confidence in another!!! Maybe this is how faith commends us before God. Maybe He sees us in a Hebrews faith chapter light. His own Son’s blood covers all the failure and sin, so that He can proudly zoom out and say, “These are my KIDS!!!! LOOK at what they have done through faith in me!”

    • Naomi LaBoo

      Wow! That really hit me!❤

    • Cherylin Birkholz

      WoW! love love these thoughts! God sees me, even me! And looks past everything ive done and sees me as his perfect child as i choose to trust & believe him in my faith…beautiful reminder, thank you!

  • Jessie Ereddia

    I spent a good while studying Hebrews 11 this morning, reading through commentaries and pulling apart every little verse, because I felt like there was something about faith in these verses I needed to hear. And then I read verses 15 and 16 about how these heroes of faith could have returned to their homelands, aka their past, if they had really tried, but they instead chose to continue forward, believing that God had greater things in store. This spoke to me because of the temptations around every corner for me to return to my past of materialism, insecurity and vanity. Especially around this time of the year, I find myself longing for more and more “stuff”, thinking it can satisfy me. But the truth that I need to hold onto today is that HE is enough and that this earth was never meant to be my home. My step of faith must be to keep my eyes ahead, not looking at what other people have or what I wish I could have. Hoping this encourages someone today who is also battling these thoughts and desires ❤️

    • Kristin Sarai

      Thank you for sharing! I’m right there with you! Walking by faith is believing that what is offered in Christ and His ways(as indicated by scripture), is way better than whatever my flesh is craving that is in opposition to God. And Hebrews 11 reminds of that there is a sweet reward in that!

    • Ivy

      Yes, Jessica!! There is so much MORE than what we see!!

    • Ivy

      “It’s okay to study God’s hand in our present circumstances. It’s good and appropriate to move that telescope around to see what other people are dealing with too. But opening God’s Word and studying His character is like lifting our eyes from the viewfinder long enough to remember that the God who calls us His people has been hanging the stars in the heavens since time began. ”

      THIS got me! I wrote it down. Oh how often we should step back and REMEMBER that our God is BIG…that there is a bigger picture at work than what we know and see. God I pray that we may step confidently into this viewpoint in the face of distracting, up-close, possibly threatening, issues

  • I’ve been asking the Lord to help me be a remember-er. Since the beginning of the Advent season. HE is Faithful.♡

  • Anna Stroud

    I love how the author of Hebrews calls us to draw near to God and remember that He rewards those who seek Him. Sometimes I feel like my plans are just going haywire. “I’m not doing enough,” I think to myself. “If only I could move more and faster!” Oh soul, may you be still and have faith that your due diligence is enough. Business does not make me more valuable! Don’t believe that lie ladies. Faith is HARD: it is counter cultural like Noah and unknown like Abraham. In both cases their eyes were set on their Savior. To gaze upon the glory of the Lord. Be still my soul. Abraham was willing to give up his only son. Am I willing to surrender and lay me down on the altar? Do I trust that my God will be faithful to His promises? I long to be like Moses who treasured the things of God’s Kingdom over the trinkets of this world. Time and again God is faithful to His people amid chaos and fear. He redeems then even they don’t feel or see it. He makes us weak when we are strong.

    • churchmouse

      Yes! Identify your “Isaac” and be willing to lay him down on the altar. Trust and obey. Easier said than done but required of a disciple.

  • Kate Amaezechi

    to think what the saints went through for this faith that I toss so lightly to the ground. May my faith increase and strengthen, and throw aside doubts and bitterness that have entangled me.

  • This study and scripture reading is timely for me as well. My husband is in the middle of a very lengthy hiring process for a job. This is after a long year and a half of door after door being shut. A year and a half of living in my grandparents basement, which we though was a temporary thing. I’ve also recently discovered I’m 7 weeks pregnant with a baby we’ve been praying for for over a year. All of the unknowns and uncertainties came down hard on me this morning as I sat and cried for an hour about how I can’t simply live with the unknown any longer (Is he going to get the job? Will he start in a month, 3 months, 9 months, a year? Do we stay with my grandparents a little longer or do we need to find a place to rent temporarily because the baby will be born before he starts his new job?) Today’s reading was a reminder that I just need to continue trusting in God and having faith that his timing is perfect.

    • Stacy

      Hi Sarah, your comment made my cry this morning. My husband and I are in the same situation. He has been looking for a job over a year now (with a couple interviews this week)! and I am 13 weeks pregnant with our first, after trying for a little over a year. I will be praying for you in this time of waiting, patience and trust in our God, it is hard. Isaiah 64:4 Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.

  • “Just as he was faithful then, He’ll be faithful now.”
    Oh I needed this today. God is asking me to do a big and scary thing (in my mind anyway) and I’d felt pretty faint at the idea. But God is with me; He was faithful in the past, and He will be faithful now and forever.

  • As I read Hebrews 11, I started thinking about who the names would be if it were written to reflect our present time. Whose names would be included in the hall of faith for our generation?

    Does this passage stir something deep within each of you? It’s Scripture such as Hebrews 11 that stirs within in me the desire to lay everything out for the Lord. I feel as if it is almost a battlecry for the Christian faith. No matter what God calls us to, in the end, whether we live or die, He is faithful.

    One of my favorite songs that echoes this sentiment is by Sara Groves and is called “When the Saints”. Here’s an excerpt from it:
    “I think of Paul and Silas in the prison yard
    I hear their song of freedom rising to the stars
    And when the Saints go marching in
    I want to be one of them…

    I see the long quiet walk along the Underground Railroad
    I see the slave awakening to the value of her soul
    I see the young missionary and the angry spear
    I see his family returning with no trace of fear
    I see the long hard shadows of Calcutta nights
    I see the sisters standing by the dying man’s side…”

    Sisters, I want to be one of them. I hope each of you know how God can so greatly use you wherever you are. We are the hands and feet of Christ in a broken world. Let us go forth today and into 2017 knowing that our God who parted seas, who gave children to the barren, who raised the dead to life, He can still do all of these things. He is able so let us be willing!

    Love to you all.

    PS- Here’s the Sara Groves song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYLdHL41Oic

  • “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” – Hebrews 11:8

    This verse jumped out at me today because this year has been one of uncertainty for me. Years ago I said this was the year I would get married, get a house, etc. And up until January of this year I was holding onto that carefully planned out plan. But that’s the thing – it was MY plan. Instead, God began to reveal to me that I wasn’t ready for marriage yet; there was still work to be done in me. I began to seek Him more intentionally through daily Bible study and prayer a few months after that and He began to transform my mind and heart.

    In June, my boyfriend revealed to me that he is struggling with depression. When I look back, I don’t know how I missed the signs because they were pretty clear. I had already begun sharing about my spiritual journey with him and I continued to do so and to pray for him. I knew he had been raised as a Christian and accepted Christ at a young age (like me), but he hadn’t spent much time studying God’s word since his teenage years. I don’t believe that someone can “lose salvation” but I do believe what the parable of the sower and the seed teaches – that we can let go of the seed implanted in us by not pursuing a relationship with God after accepting Him. So I prayed that God would reveal to my boyfriend whether he was really a Christian or not and that He would use this time in His life to transform him. And I continued to share scripture with him and encourage him. In August, on a night where God worked through circumstances in an incredible way, I led my boyfriend through the sinner’s prayer by his request. I was in awe of God that night and how He answered my prayers and thought that this was the big turn in the tough road – surely things would get better… only for my boyfriend to lose his job a few weeks later.

    So here I am, almost a year after God revealed to my heart that my plans for this year were not His, feeling more uncertain than ever about the future and where I’m going. Although this isn’t where I thought I would be, I know God’s hand has been guiding me and have to remind myself that maybe, like Esther, I am here right now for such a time as this. I continue to pray for my boyfriend’s healing and his spiritual growth, but some days I let doubt take over and forget that God is bigger than depression.

    I am sorry for this epistle today, but if you have made it this far, please lift my boyfriend up in prayer today. Pray that he will seek God in the midst of all of this, that God will continue to equip me to share His love and Truth with him, that doors would open for my boyfriend to receive professional help (he has made the effort, only to never hear back from the doctor and now he has no insurance, so that is another concern), and that God would lead him to the right job.

    • DebbieinAZ

      Praying for you and your boyfriend right now. Hang in there, God has a plan.

    • Emily

      Praying for you and your boyfriend.

    • Brianna

      Praying for you and your boyfriend. You are most definitely being used for such a time as this. As for the professional help your boyfriend needs, have y’all looked into counseling services offered by your church or churches in your area? I know the larger churches in my town have on site counselors who are there to help.

      • Rose

        Wow wow wow
        This is my exact situation right now and how awesome it is that God used your words and wisdom to speak directly to me. You are not alone in this. I’ll be praying for you.

      • Kristi

        Thank you so much for the suggestion. We live in two different towns right now. I am in a super small town and my church does not offer anything like that. However, my boyfriend moved to a bigger town for his work and recently joined a really great church there that I do believe offers some sort of counseling. Because he is new to the church, I don’t think he is going to be comfortable seeking counseling there yet, but it is something I will be praying about.

    • Brittany A.

      God has given me the word “purposeful” for this new year. I tell you this because I want you to always remember that EVERYTHING is purposeful. There is no hurt that He isn’t using in some way. Also, I’m learning that on earth I may NEVER see the purpose of many things that happen, but that still doesn’t mean he didn’t use them in either my situation or in another’s. You are purposeful, your boyfriend is purposeful and this situation is purposeful. Trust that he is working all things for your good and His glory <3

    • churchmouse

      Praying for your boyfriend, for the lifting of the depression and a new and better job. Praying too that he has a good counselor and that you can be a part of the process.

  • Heather Dehaan

    My mom just past away on Christmas day after a 9 month journey with cancer. This speaks to me because as painful as it is to loose one of my best friends, I need to be reminded to see Gods goodness in this. She no longer struggles. She no longer worries. She is no longer ill, she is no longer afraid. Mom is with Jesus. Forever. What more could I want from this happy ending? My prayer I’d when the waves of grief come crashing in that my mind focuses on remembering Gods plan in this and continue to see his grace and goodness and continue to develop this in me. I’m really enjoying this new series and getting back to daily time in His word.

    • Ashley Flores

      My heart is with you. Christmas without my mother is never easier from year to year. This year I actually went to the cemetery for the first time in a long time. I will be praying for your strength and be prepared to feel His comfort like never before.

    • Ash

      Lifting you & your family up in prayer this morning!

    • ~ B ~

      Heather, I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet mother. I don’t have adequate words for you in your grief but I will be prayerful that you are surrounded by God’s peace in it and the knowledge of the things you speak. I know the waves of grief you mention and will be holding you up in this season.

    • LWJ

      Having lost my precious father ten years ago, I can relate to what you might be feeling right now. I do want to encourage you that though it may not seem this way now, it can become easier. My holidays look different than they once did but I can find joy in them and I believe you can as well. Time does not heal, but God does over a period of time as you press into Him. My dad told me this before he passed away about losing his own mother…”I’m not sad every day but there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about her”. Those words encouraged me as I remembered him saying them to me. And it has become true for me too. A day came when I didn’t feel overwhelming sadness or grief and God in His kindness continued to minister to me and heal my broken heart. Prayers for you and your family. I just wanted you to know there is hope and you can come to a place where you are not in as much pain as you feel now.

    • Brandi

      Sending love and prayers of His peace and comfort for you!

    • Alexis

      I know how it feels to lose a mom to cancer; I lost mine almost 7 years ago. I am praying for your heart. As one of the ladies said, time does not heal; God does. It does get easier and the day will come where you are not overcome with sadness and grief. But, allow yourself to feel that grief and that pain. God will be beside you through all of it and provide comfort.

    • churchmouse

      Praying for you and your family. How precious though that her faith legacy will live on in you

    • She Reads Truth

      Heather, I’m so sorry for your loss. Asking God to hold you especially close in the coming days. Love to you, friend.

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • Oh how important it is to have eternal perspective!

  • Our narrow vision paralyzes us. This I understand well. When we are facing a circumstance that is uncomfortable for frightening it is so easy to forget God’s truths. Every ounce of us reeling with panic or concern and like trying to juggle balls in roller skates on the bow of a precarious raft, we run through and craft plans or outcomes in our heads instead of centering our thoughts and hearts to the one who has already manufactured it all. Christmas morning, the only toy my son received, required a little assembly … my husband and I went to work. One of us had the directions and the other opted to wing it … one of us had an easier time than the other (who shall remane nameless) and after a few choices words the one who had gone rogue reverted to the instructions, which resulted in a quick, “Ah, that makes so much more sense” …. The designer of that toy knew how it was to work and no matter how hard we thought it should go one way, it was meant to go another. Once we realized the crafter’s plans were perfect, things went much smoother and my son was free to play.

    We tend to do this all the time. We don’t like how something is turning out so we try to manipulate it to fit the picture we had in mind, only making it worse. I know I’ve shared it before, but our move here to Cincinnati, comes to mind for me. That was certainly a time my focus was in a box. Like that on the back of my camera, my vision was pin perfect, on myself and low and behold, once I listened to my Father, I was quickly reminded He would never take me anywhere He wasn’t already in. I was reminded of the Avalon song, “I don’t want to go”. That song played over in my head in a season prior that was incredibly difficult and it came back up then to remind me that my manufacturing a different move would be going a direction that wasn’t in line with God’s will for me and so I went … tearfully, but I went. And now, four years, nearly to the day, later I, and my family, after years of moving and many cities crossed off, couldn’t be more pleased. God had designed amazing things to come in this place for us, and they are still coming. My mind continues to thank Him for His grace and mercy over me and for providing what I’ve always wanted in a city I never wanted to be in. His design for us is so much greater than anything we orchestrate, once we rememeber that He is FOR us, we can settle our dueling hearts and lower our fighting fists and find peace because “our hearts need to be where He is” …

    • Gloria

      I love that, thank you for sharing that reminder! God is the Author of our lives, we need to daily surrender to Him rather than waste our time trying to make life go our own way

    • C Gunckel

      Thank you B

    • churchmouse

      Manipulation is so very unattractive. And so very wearying. Yes, B, less fighting and stomping of my feet and more of “Thy will be done.” Thanks for your reminder.

    • Cynthia

      We lived in Cincinnati for nearly 10 years. We loved it! What a blessing to be where God places you!

    • Lacie

      So true. So good. Thank you, Lord.

  • There is truth (our present circumstance), and there is truer truth (the history of God’s unwavering, faithful, covenant relationship with His people). WOW, just WOW!!!

  • The Hall of Faith is one of my absolute FAVORITE passages in the Bible!!! Just seeing how God takes such messy people and unfortunate situations and uses them for His glory never ceases to amaze and astonish me… Such encouragement for every single day- the ups as well as the downs. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  • I too used to see God’s work in the present moment. Often forgetting his bigger picture. This message was a great reminder for me to pause and remember God has a bigger plan in the works. Having faith and trusting him is my goal in 2017 and beyond.

  • Sarah Ahmed

    Lord your word is not only for our very present circumstances but spans eternity. Thank you Jesus

  • Perfect reading to start this day. I’ve been very confused on what will happen next that I can’t seem to focus . I pray each day for wisdom and to continue my faith for the unseen. I’ve been in an on/off relationship with a man for a while now. This man has commitment issues, trust issues, insecurities, among other things. I’ve prayed about him always. Part of me wants to stay tonkeep fighting hoping for a change. But part has this little thing in my heart that says he is not the one God has for me — but maybe if I try a little harder he might realize I am the one for him. It has been a sad weekend for me. On Sat this man calls me to tell me he needs a break and for us to talk again on Monday. I was devastated, how can you do this now? On Christmas Eve?! Millions of thought go thru my head, I just got a job to move in with me since he lives about 1.5 away from me. I need so much clarity at this point… do I still take the job? Do I move in? Do I take the job and not move in? Do I not take the job? And stay stuck in my current job that I pray to get out of? Do I go back to the same relationship?
    Monday this man calls me to tell me that he has been very upset and want to talk. I honestly can’t forgive this, This is a never ending routine. I just didn’t think he would do it on a special weekend. And he did.
    I know asked for some space because I need this time with God to reconnect and get guidance.

    • Sarah Ahmed

      Jenni, praying for you now in this time of heartache. My only words of wisdom is that in singleness we have the opportunity to see a potential partners red flags and walk away. Once we are married, we must work through many things (but not all things as our convictions permit) as we are now permanently joined to another. Remember you are more precious to God than gold or silver, more beautiful than diamonds or rubies.

    • Cristy

      Jenni – I have found in these tough decisions, it’s not that we don’t know what to do. It’s that it’s not the answer we want. If God has said he is not the one for you, be obedient to your God. Trust His plan for your life. It’s always better than our own.

    • ~ B ~

      Oh Jenni, I am and will be prayerful over your heart and walk in this. I would like to echo Sarah’s well spoken advice. If single and these “red flags” appear, it is a great opportunity to see it for what it is, marriage changes things. And I speak from experience on this, as my husband had similar tendencies when we were dating and like you I kept hoping “if I tried a little harder he might realize” …. that bled into our marriage in a big way and for fourteen plus years we, I, was miserable. So incredibly hard and so much terrible pain that I knew I’d made a mistake in my approach. See, the thing is, his behavior isn’t about you sweet sister, it is his and his alone. Nothing you do is going to make him realize. There is pain that he must contend with and only God can change him. It is ok for you to think about your needs, your desires and your long term goals. And it is ok for you to walk away. God’s design for relationship is perfect and we murk it up with our worries and fears, it’s meant to be clear. That said, it doesn’t mean God can’t or won’t meet your guy. That is the only thing that changed my husband, a very personal relationship with Jesus. One developed on his own and not orchestrated by me, so I had to get out of the way for him to hear from God.

      Please know who you are; you are a beloved child of God and like any Father, He desires good things for you, not confusion. Confusion isn’t from Him remotely. You are worthy of great things, of a love that is designed by the Maker Himself, He doesn’t want you accepting less.

      I am so sorry you are going through this, you will surely be on my heart in the days to come. Love to you! ~ B

    • Cindy

      Jenni, if you have ever asked God to show you open or closed doors, what would they look like?
      My husband and I almost bought a house once. We had been shopping and praying about new housing for two and a half years. We ended up a mere $1000 apart in price with the sellers and neither of us would budge. As much as we thought we wanted it we were also pretty sure we had God’s confirmation on our offering price. So it slipped away from us. Six weeks later during a tennis game we heard of a house that was being put up for sale. We have now raised five kids over the past 25 years here in this great house. Trust God that He knows what breaks your heart and that He is a God who grants the desires of your heart. Ps. 37.

    • Cindy

      Are you sure he isn’t married?

      • Jenni

        He is not married. I’ve known him since I was 28, now I’m 33 and we have still have this on and off. God has been talking to me now more than ever and it’s getting clear each day what my next journey is.

    • Robin

      Moving in together would not be anything God would bless! And like Cindy questioned, are you sure he isn’t married? Nothing feels right in what you have written and I feel that deep down you know that and by laying it out in writing here, it is our responsibility to warn you, our sister! I pray that truth would be revealed to you in a mighty way!

    • Autumn

      Praying that the a lord will give you wisdom and clarity. The heartache and troubles you have endured up to this point may be your answer. He may not always give us the answer we want, but He always works things for our good and walks with us every step of the way.

    • churchmouse

      This relationship at this stage should not be this hard. Ask yourself why this is. Why are you trying so hard to change him? If he had insight into his issues, wouldn’t he be trying to change himself? Has he sought counseling? This break up, regardless of its timing, sounds like it is a gift to you both – for you to reevaluate what your priorities are and for him to sort himself out. I’m praying you each can find a healthy, mutually supportive, God-centered relationship.

    • Christine Marie

      Jenni,

      A few months ago I was in a relationship that I knew wasn’t right. The crazy thing is…this guy was great. He treated me like gold, was so good to me, loved the Lord, and was my best friend. However, the whole time we were dating, I sensed that something wasn’t right. Several years ago God spoke to me very clearly when I was dating another man, “you must fall in love with me before anyone else”. I dated anyway, and ended up heartbroken, and dated again, and the same thing happened. And then with this last guy, he was everything I had ever wanted in another person, and my heartbreak was the greatest of all when we broke up. I write this because I have struggled my whole life

      • Christine Marie

        Accidentally hit post before I was finished! Anyway was saying that I have been looking for love and fulfillment from people my whole life and God all along was saying, “choose Me, I will satisfy you and fill you.” I was staying in a relationship I knew wasn’t right and almost even married him, because he seemed too good to let go, but I have since sensed God saying “why would you settle for good when you can have the best?” So I am trusting in God that He has a future and a plan. His ways are higher than my ways and His thoughts higher than my thoughts. God wants us to know our worth. He doesn’t want us to settle. Our identity is in Him. We are beautiful and valued and loved because He says we are. We must first find our identity and contentment in Him. That is what I am striving for. Praying for you Jenni. Take this opportunity to follow God with your whole heart. See what He has for you. Trust that He has something far greater than what you have planned for yourself.

      • Jenni

        Christine- thank you thank you thank you for sharing your story and for your uplifting words. I am so blessed to have found this group. I love you very much already. Your words have changed the way I see a lot of things. May God continue to bless you

      • Christine Marie

        Thank you ladies I’m blessed to have found this group as well!

  • I have just written a whole load and lost it…story of my life..!

    Hebrews 11, the Faith chapter…another of my favourite in the Bible…,

    I’m going to trust that what I wrote was between God and I, and that I needed to write my God a love letter on my trust and faith in Him…
    Holding on to you Lord, and your Word today and in the coming days…to be sure, in faith of the things hoped for, and certain of the things I cannot see… Lord, I will give you thanks, for your goodness, your steadfast Love that endures for always…Thank you Lord God…Thank you…

    Happy day after Boxing day, praying God turn His face to shine on you and yours…hugs..xxx

    • Julie

      Tina, your comments always make me smile. Blessings to you today!

    • candacejo

      That makes me sad :( but I agree, maybe it was just for you and your God. We enjoy any and all that you post! ♥

    • ~ B ~

      Love you T! I hope you have had a great Holiday season. Know that your every word, is one we look forward to! God works through you in all things, even the words lost. Love to you!

    • churchmouse

      Tina, whatever you bring to the table here is a feast for my soul! Whether you offer a first draft or a later version, it is sure to uplift and enrich my life. Thank you for being so faithful!

  • churchmouse

    Yes. I raise my hand here to acknowledge that my view is often myopic instead of wide – angle. What enlarges my vision is to look back over my prayer journal. There are a ton of requests and I add more daily. It can be overwhelming if that was all I saw. But also in my prayer journal are a ton of answered prayers. Some entered long ago (and, truth be told, nearly forgotten) but only answered recently. Some answered the same day the prayer was uttered. How and when is God’s business. I. Just. Pray. He. Answers. My prayer journal helps me open my eyes to trust that He is working for the long haul. Yes, Raechel, it is indeed the “truer truth.”

    • Ash

      I was just reading through my prayer journal last night. It’s awesome to see how God proves faithful in my own life over the months. And that’s just in my life! The greatness of God’s provision and promises cannot be contained in the boarders of what I can see. How amazing is that?

    • Lacie

      Yes ❤

  • Thank you for the reminder of God’s perfect plan! Just think that at age 7 He was orchestrating His plan for your life as He has done for all His children. Believing that, I have to believe that He is busy working out His purposes in my life and the lives of those I love. Also, as a children’s leader in our church I am encouraged to remember to encourage our Sunday School teachers as they impact the lives of the sweethearts (and maybe not so sweet) they teach and prepare to teach each week.

  • Christina Bowles

    Thank you for this, I often times forget that this little life is not all there is! Time to turn that telescope and look at the big picture. ❤

  • Tricia Cavanaugh

    Amen

  • “1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

    What strong words. Faith is something that is ever wavering for me. I often struggle with creeping doubts and self consciousness. Oh lord oh lord I pray that you bless my sisters and I here with unwavering faith in you and the spirit to live boldly in representation of you.

  • “By an act of faith…” oh man God knows his people that repetition is needed! Even when it doesn’t hit until re-reading it to focus my mind. It’s that act of faith I need to put myself out there and it’s that faithful prayer that keeps me from turtle-ing back in! People have gone through so much and I’m most consumed by what they might say or thing of me… Lord I confess this and need your help to take that act of faith in full force! All for you lord, all for you! Amen!

  • Katie Hager

    It’s just after midnight and I can’t sleep because I am stressing about my present circumstances. I decided to see if the Day 2 scripture was posted to help ease my mind. Our God is so good. His loves for us endures yesterday, today and tomorrow. This is exactly what I needed tonight, a reminder that our God good and great!

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