Verse of the Day

"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

Today's Devotional Thought

May 06, 2015 by Rachel Piferi


Where Grace Abounds

When we started this website nearly 6 years ago, our intention was to blog our thoughts and journeys with the Lord in hopes that it would encourage you all on your journeys with Jesus. We have been through a lot of life in the last 6 years and we have seen the Lord work in amazing ways. We have been to the depths of the valley and we have crested the mountain tops. And through it all, we have grown to know Jesus more.

I can look back over the past 6 years and recall the lessons that the Lord was teaching me in different seasons. And I can see how his hand has worked in so many situations and how his grace has infused the furthermost corners of my heart and mind.

Tonight (I am actually writing this on Wednesday evening to post for Thursday), I am trying desperately to put my thoughts on paper (or on screen) for you because I just feel that my heart is bursting with a new lesson from him. I am writing with eyes that are very tired from the day and a mind that is racing in a few different directions. I have just returned from church where my husband & I led our Wednesday evening youth meeting. Oh how I love those teenagers - they bring so much life and energy and excitement to my walk with Jesus. I am spurred on by their excitement because I want so much to bring them experiences that will help them develop their blossoming understanding of who Jesus is and what it means to follow him. I am energized and exhausted by them all at the same time (and anyone who leads in youth ministry knows what I mean).

I am particularly tired today because I spent the day (before youth ministry tonight) with my youngest daughter as she had a routine kidney check-up. These appointments are a regular part of our year and include general monitoring of her kidney function & growth, as well as a dreaded blood test. My daughter (who is only 6 years old) dreads these appointments because of the blood draws and will fixate on them for days before they happen. To help her not "dread" them, I decided about a year ago that I was going to make them fun and exciting and a day that she and I can spend having fun and enjoying each other. So today, after her appointment in the morning, we went to the mall and went to a movie and then finished our day with her first-ever pedicure. It was a wonderful day, but taxing none the less.

In the appointment, her doctor spent some time talking about her current kidney function and what she suspects she could see happen in the next couple of years. She explained to me the development of the kidneys and how as she develops and grows, her kidneys will be under increased demand and it is possible that they will not be able to keep up with her growth. And, according to her doctor, this is something that we could be 2-3 years from seeing.

"Of course, no one really knows what the future holds," she said.

That statement stayed with me all day. And, it is a very true statement. In every situation of life, in fact. No human knows what the future holds for any of our lives.

And I don't know about you, but for me, that is a daily test of faith for me.

In fact, the way I see it, when you have no way of knowing what you're going to be asked to walk through and all you can do is wait to see what will happen, you have only two options:

1. Worry and play the "what if" game


2. Fill your mind with the Truth of God's Word and fix your eyes on the One who does know the future and promises to hold your hand through it.

And can I tell you, ever since the doctor gave me this 2-3 year "what if" today, I have been battling between those two options. My mind has been a warzone where the two camps of worry and belief have been battling for residence.

I recently heard Beth Moore say, "The Lord Jesus Christ saved my soul and His Word saved my mind." And girlfriends, that's some truth there. His Word is the only thing I have found that saves my mind from worry, regret, anxiety, rumination, shame, and defeat overtaking my mind.

And it's a battle.

A daily battle.

I don't know what you may be going through right now that has your mind tempted to focus on worry, regret, anxiety, shame, or any number of negative things, but may I encourage you to choose to fill your mind with the Truth of God's Word and not dwell on the former. May I encourage you to focus on the One who holds the future and holds your hand at the same time. The One who promises to never leave you or forsake you. The One who promises you a hope and a future. The one who promises to use all things for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.

The One who said, "Yes, in this world you will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

As long as we live on this Earth, we will be in battle. And we must put our armor on and stand firm on the promises of God's Word. We must swing our Swords of the Spirit and stand behind our Shields of Faith.

Do not let your mind fall into worry.

Instead, suit up, and choose to fight for Truth. Choose to believe.

Please know that I have said a prayer for all those who will read these words and may feel too tired to fight. For those who may feel that their situations are too dire or too hopeless to feel any good could come out of them. For those who quite simply don't feel like they can endure the journey they are on and feel that they simply do not have the strength it requires to fight on.

For those who have stopped believing.

Please know that I have prayed for you. Please know that I know the journey of uncertainty and a chronic condition and I know the battle that rages as you choose to fix your eyes on Jesus, choose to focus on good, and choose to not focus on the waves of the potential bad that could occur.

And I have learned more than anything that His grace abounds in the deepest waters of life. Just when you think you can't do it and think you just can't walk on those deep waters of life, his grace sustains you. As you fix your eyes above the waves and squarely on Jesus.

As I close, I want to share with you a song that speaks to my soul in this season of life. I pray it speaks to yours as well. And I pray that through it you feel the presence and strength of the Lord to thrive in those deepest waters where your feet may fail.

Grace and peace to you all this morning. May His grace fill the corners of your mind and heart as you grow to trust him more and more. And through that trust, may you rest in His embrace today.

Memorize this verse today:

"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

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