Read His Words Before Ours!
2 Corinthians 1:3-7
One of the beautiful things about Gracefully Truthful is the vulnerability required to write each Journey studies. From the beginning, we have strived for authenticity, as our desire has been for other women to know we are walking the reality of the Journeys we write.
Rarely do I write from distant experience,
I write what the Lord is revealing in my heart moment by moment.
It is messy, I cry many tears as I write,
and I trust that the Lord will somehow use my scattered words to bring Him glory.
With that transparency I tell you, sisters, I am walking through an incredibly dark valley.
My future is uncertain.
My dreams are shattered.
My heart is broken.
In the midst of this valley, the Psalms has brought comfort, putting into words prayers I haven’t known how to pray. I’ve spent days sitting in one Psalm drawing as much truth and comfort from it as I can hold before moving onto the next.
It is beautiful to see how the Bible has so many dimensions!
The same verses I clung to as a little girl learning the Lord is my shepherd, are the same verses God used to makes me lie down in green pastures.
Today, those same verses remind me I will never walk alone.
The Bible never changes.
But I change.
Because of that, the Bible will always be relevant.
God spoke through Psalm 6, meeting me exactly where I am.
But His word is ready to meet each of us in every circumstance
because His Spirit makes it come alive!
Women trying to conceive can pray these words back to the Lord.
Mamas grieving loss can read these words as the Spirit ministers directly to their souls.
Soldiers may feel as if this psalm was written just for them, finding solace in His rescue.
God’s Word is relatable, bringing us life!
His Word is for each of us!
“Be gracious to me, Lord, for I am weak;
heal me, Lord, for my bones are shaking;
my whole being is shaken with terror.
And you, Lord—how long?”
My heart echoes amen and amen.
And countless hearts down through the centuries do the same.
Our beings shake.
Be gracious, Lord!
And Lord?! How Long??
The older I get, the more I realize how incredibly messy life is.
Even in the beautiful seasons, there will always be trials to face.
Every single person reading this page has faced a trial of some kind,
so we can all draw comfort from His Word.
“Save me for the sake of your steadfast love!”
Oh sisters, how weak I have felt in this valley!
How deeply I’ve begged, “Save me for the sake of your steadfast love!”
I’ve never experienced the shaking of my bones quite like I have lately.
Often, I find myself crying out to God,
“How long? How long will this season last? Surely this valley can’t be any deeper?”
Are you weary from your groaning?
Is your pillow drenched every night?
Do you wait until your kids are in bed, then let the tears flow?
Do you hold them in for as many days as you can, until they just burst while you’re driving?
Take comfort in this, Dear One, the Lord sees every single tear that falls.
He catches those tears in a bottle (Psalm 56:8); He knows the source of those tears.
He knows the heartache, the grief, the loss, the suffering, the anger, the disappointment.
Are your eyes swollen from grief?
Does your head throb from the overwhelming thoughts running through it?
Does your body ache from exhaustion as you long to sleep just one night without the interruption of horrible dreams or racing thoughts?
Does your jaw hurt because of the constant clenching?
He knows each thought, each dream, and your aching body. (Matthew 11:28-29)
He longs to give you rest.
As I sat in my counseling session sharing with my therapist the anger I was feeling, he explained that my grief will come like the tide, sometimes it will roll in and come further up on the shore before descending back down, but like the tide, it will surely come.
The beauty of grieving, he explained, is that I am able to understand even more deeply the devastation caused by sin, and therefore, grasp the need for a Savior even more than I ever have before.
But I do not have to walk through grief alone.
As I enter into a new phase of grief I can bring it to the Lord,
transparently asking Him to walk with me.
The Lord has heard the sound of my weeping!
He hasn’t turned a deaf ear to my pain.
He hasn’t blocked out my mourning or allowed it to become like white noise mixing with the sounds of weeping across the globe.
He has heard each individual cry.
Yours. Mine. Your neighbor’s. Your child’s. The hungry child in Honduras.
The mourning father in Guam. Each and every wail is heard by the Lord.
And the Lord accepts my prayer.
Not only has He heard.
He listens. He accepts.
I look forward to the day I can write a Journey like this from the other side.
But I’m not there yet, and I won’t be for a while.
So, I sit in the peace that is offered in Psalm 6 and throughout the rest of Scripture.
The Lord knows my pain. He knows my tears.
He knows exactly how long this season will last.
And He will walk with me every step of the way.
This Bible study is property of Gracefully Truthful, where it was first published. For studies like this one, check out GracefullyTruthful.com!
Read His Words Before Ours!
Jesus deserves our worship.
He deserves our praise.
As I worshipped God just last Sunday, He revealed Himself to me in new and intimate ways.
He called me to offer something I wasn’t sure I could offer.
But when I did,
it led to an encounter with God I’ve never quite experienced before.
As I worshiped in song, I sang because I knew the reality of all He’s done for me before.
I sang because I know what He will do for me in the future.
I sang because I have walked through dark valleys, and I know He has never left my side.
Jesus paid it all for me, and because of that, I owe Him my everything.
But what if I wasn’t feeling those things?
What if I’m walking through a valley and I feel incredibly alone?
What if I can’t remember what He’s done for me in the past?
Does He still deserve my worship even then?
EVEN THEN Jesus deserves our worship and our praise.
EVEN WHEN we are in the middle of the valley of the shadow of death….
EVEN IF He doesn’t answer our prayers like we want….
He still deserves my worship.
Why worship God when we don’t feel like it?
Paul shares why Jesus not only deserves our worship,
but will one day receive everyone’s worship.
Philippians 2:6-11 is a hymn written, not necessarily by Paul, but reiterated by him as it was circulated and sung throughout the early church.
Imagine yourself there with me.
A small house, packed with 15-20 bodies. Jews and Gentiles, slave and free, women, men, and children. All declaring the beauty of Christ together as one body!
Voices raise, a simple, repetitive tune takes shape, and truth is preached as hearts are knit together by the incredible beauty of the Lord Jesus!
“Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus,
Who, existing in the form of God,
did not consider equality with God
as something to be exploited.”
He didn’t need equality with God, because Jesus IS God.
He was God in the beginning and He is God even now.
The divinity has always been His.
“Instead, he emptied himself
By assuming the form of a servant,
Taking on the likeness of humanity.”
Jesus willingly emptied Himself of His exalted position and laid aside His divine privileges to become a human being. A human! And while we are created in His image, we are completely incomparable to God. The humility and love it took to lower Himself from dwelling as God to dwelling with humanity is utterly incomprehensible.
Jesus didn’t just become a human, He came as a servant.
The Lord came down to serve those which ought to be serving Him.
“And when he had come as a man,
He humbled himself by becoming obedient
To the point of death –
Even to death on a cross.”
Jesus Christ, who IS God, humbled Himself enough to become man, then humbled Himself even more to become obedient to all that was required of Him. Though Jesus retained His divinity even as He walked this earth, He didn’t rely on His divine powers to save Him, make His load easier, or remove Himself from the grip of death. No, He WILLINGLY died.
Jesus didn’t die quickly. He didn’t quietly pass away in His sleep. He died a death reserved for foreigners and slaves, a death that was torturous and degrading.
As God of all, He never had to die, but He chose it.
“For this reason God highly exalted Him
And gave Him the name
That is above every name,
So that at the name of Jesus
Every knee will bow -”
Because of Jesus’ great humility, His obedience, and His choosing to die sacrificially, God exalted His name above all names. Salvation is found in His name alone!
His Name holds all authority for all eternity.
“In heaven and on earth
And under the earth
And every tongue will confess
That Jesus Christ is Lord,
To the glory of God the Father.”
When time has ended, and the final battle between God and His archenemy Satan has been won, every knee will bow.
Every angel, every woman, every child, every man, every demon,
all will declare that Jesus Christ is the Lord!
Not all will be saved for eternity, that window will have passed, but all will recognize His rule and reign as King of Kings!
All will sing His praises!
And all of this ultimately brings God glory!
So, my dear sisters, why do we worship even when we don’t feel like it?
EVEN WHEN we doubt God’s goodness?
We worship because Jesus is Lord.
We worship Him EVEN THEN because we will all bow before Him one day,
whether we choose to give our lives to Him now or not.
Let your worship be rooted in the truth of Christ’s character, not your fleeting feelings.
Because the One you worship is LORD of all!
If this Sunday you don’t feel like you can worship Him
because of the valley He has walked with you through,
or because of the way He has provided for you,
worship Him simply because HE IS GOD.
He deserves our praise EVEN WHEN.
This Bible study is property of Gracefully Truthful and was first published there as well. For more studies like this one, visit GracefullyTruthful.com!
From Bible studies to blogs, articles to musings of the heart, Kendra's writings are unbarred and raw - exactly how she speaks.