Take Heart, God Is All You Need

 

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I wonder how many of you have lost heart.  I wonder how many days, weeks, or even years you have felt tired, weary, depressed, discouraged, and ready to give up.   That is exactly what it means to “lose heart.”

If you haven’t experienced this kind of trouble, you will.  It’s inevitable.  No one is exempt!

But friends I’m here to remind you tonight of some good, good news.  God’s beautiful word says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:33).

Jesus clearly tell us, “take heart.”  If you’ve lost heart, why don’t you make the choice to take it back.

Don’t lose heart throughout your trial.  If you have no one and nothing to look to, keep looking up and stay connected to God.

You never know God is all you need, until He’s all you have.

 

 

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The Word Alive

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This weekend my friends and I attended our first ever Word Alive Women’s Conference with Lysa TerKeurst and what a weekend it was!  These past 2 days have been nothing short of life changing.  There is something to be said about sitting alongside women with similar stories and with the same hunger to hear the truth that only God’s word provides.

Lysa TerKeurst was full of wisdom and love.  She showed much humility when she shared some personal struggles she experienced the past three years and I felt a connection. I believe we all did!

First day of the conference we were handed a small interactive booklet where we wrote our own personal notes as Lysa made the bible come alive.  And as she quoted scripture, she also provided beautiful stories and healing words that penetrated our souls.  So, I’d like to end this post with an encouraging story she shared with all of us.  I pray it encourages all of you as well.

Let me set the stage for you.  In Mark 14: 32-36 Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane located at the base of the mount of olives among the olive trees.  In this verse, Jesus had been betrayed by Peter and in verse 34 Jesus says, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.”  Back then, Jesus was experiencing the same sorrow we experience here on earth today.

So, what is it about the olive tree?

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First, the olive tree must have both the brutal winds from the east and the refreshing winds from the west in order to produce its fruit.  In other words, it must have both good (refreshing winds) and bad (brutal winds).

And the same is true with us.

Next, once the fruit emerges, you can’t instantly pluck the fruit because at that point the fruit is bitter and hard. It needs time.

And the same is true with us.

Lastly, what’s most valuable about the olive tree is not the fruit, but rather it’s the oil it produces.  The interesting thing is that in order to extract the oil, the olive must first be pressed and crushed, and pressed and crushed until finally the oil is produced.

And the same is true with us.

Could it be that much like the olive tree, we too can be pressed and crushed on all sides by life’s circumstances?  And much like the olive tree, when we endure the pressure, when we endure the pressing and the crushing, something so much more beautiful and valuable will emerge.

Friends, don’t be discouraged by life’s pressing and crushing forces, for if you endure, in time, a new and beautiful “you” will emerge!

The Secret to Contentment

 

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Contentment is feeling or showing satisfaction with one’s possessions, status, or situation.

But contentment can be an elusive pursuit.  We go after things we think will make us happy only to find out it didn’t work.  These days contentment is hard to come by.  Many of us are in a continual race, chasing after bigger and better material possessions.  For some, nothing is ever good enough, living under the assumption that when they attain that thing they want, they will be happy.

But happiness doesn’t come from things. True contentment is an inner sense of peace that comes from being right with God and knowing that He is in control of ALL that happens to us. It means looking up with every situation.

Paul’s words in the bible teaches it best.  While sitting in a prison cell with nothing to call his own he knew the secret to being content.

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”

 Philippians 4:11-12

Let’s strive to know God in the ways Paul did, then we will know contentment.

Not Even Now . . .

In those times when your future seems uncertain.

And when life surprises you with great unknowns.

Not even now are you defeated,

Not even now are you alone.

In those times when victory seems impossible,

And things don’t seem to go your way.

Not even now are you abandoned,

Not even now are you ignored.

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In those times when life seems too hard to bear,

And you feel your world is caving in.

Not even now does God not see me,

Not even now does He not know.