Posts Tagged ‘midst’

At the End of the Day

Oct 11

by Victoria Robinson

Some days just don’t start out well at all … some weeks just don’t start out well … some years just don’t start out well. In our lives it is important to focus on the “end of the day”. Whether that is literally a twenty-four hour day, less than a day, or many days. In the midst of tumultuous times we can lose hope. Yet we must always stand on the scriptural truth that what is important is how we finish—not how we start, or even how long success takes. In the suspenseful saga of Queen Esther we see a wonderful ending to the Jews “day”, “Before the end of the day, King Xerxes gave Esther everything that had belonged to Haman, the enemy of the Jews.”

This story had its beginnings years before the victorious ending. One could say the roots of this story began during the reign of King Saul. The villain in Queen Esther’s story, Haman, was a descendant of King Agag whom King Saul was told to annihilate. Instead of obeying God, Saul killed all the Amalekites, but allowed King Agag to live. Some theologians believe that this could be the reason Haman wanted to destroy the Jews. Saul’s obedience to God might have prevented what the Jews were facing in the days of Queen Esther. But alas, it is important to keep in mind that no matter what or who caused your “day” to start badly, the ending can turn out good as long as your trust is in God. Just like the Jews who fasted and prayed for God to deliver them from the hands of the evil Haman, so also you must seek God and place your trust in Him.

King Solomon gave us wise counsel when he said, “The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.”

Better is the end of a thing than the beginning. Since a true appraisal of any enterprise can only be made from the vantage point of its completion, the end is, the Preacher of wisdom reminds us, better than the beginning. However, the end is frequently arrived at very slowly, and the man who would find profit in this life must be a patient man.
 KJV Bible Commentary

Girlfriends, how is your “day” going to end? No one except our Lord can truly answer that, but are you trusting Him for the outcome no matter what you are facing? The apostle Paul faced many difficult days and yet he knew what counted was how well his “day” ended. In the book of First Timothy he stated, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would hold firmly onto the hand of our heavenly Father and wait patiently for the “end of the day”.

Before the end of the day, King Xerxes gave Esther everything that had belonged to Haman, the enemy of the Jews. Esther told the king that Mordecai was her cousin. So the king made Mordecai one of his highest officials and gave him the royal ring that Haman had worn. Then Esther put Mordecai in charge of Haman’s property. ~ Esther 8:1-2 CEV
 
When Haman saw that Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor, he was enraged. Yet having learned who Mordecai’s people were, he scorned the idea of killing only Mordecai. Instead Haman looked for a way to destroy all Mordecai’s people, the Jews, throughout the whole kingdom of Xerxes. … Then Haman said to King Xerxes, “There is a certain people dispersed and scattered among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom whose customs are different from those of all other people and who do not obey the king’s laws; it is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them. If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them, and I will put ten thousand talents of silver into the royal treasury for the men who carry out this business.” So the king took his signet ring from his finger and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. “Keep the money,” the king said to Haman, “and do with the people as you please.” ~ Esther 3:5-6,8-11 NIV
 
Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’” … Then Saul attacked the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to Shur, to the east of Egypt. He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword. But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs—everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed. Then the word of the LORD came to Samuel: “I am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” Samuel was troubled, and he cried out to the LORD all that night. ~ 1 Samuel 15:3,7-11 NIV
 
The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride. ~ Ecclesiastes 7:8 NIV
 
For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. ~ 2 Timothy 4:6-8 NIV

An Upside to Your Downside

Jul 26

An Upside to Your Downside 072611by Victoria Robinson

Is it possible to find an upside to your downside? As hard as it can be to understand, the answer lies in a familiar passage that sometimes we love to hate. The apostle Paul said, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” In the midst of dealing with a downside in your life, it can actually hurt to hear those well-worn words. Still, the truth is the truth and there is an upside to what you are going through.

When the apostle Paul who wrote those words of encouragement was suffering through a downside, he focused on the upside. After being beaten and imprisoned we see him praising God. Suddenly the upside of his situation appears! The jailer who was imprisoning him is about to kill himself when Paul stops him. Then the jailer responds, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” The truly great upside to this story was that the jailer became filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family. And yet to come was that Paul and his companion Silas were released from jail.

Girlfriends, are you focusing on the upside of what the Lord is doing through your problems or are you wallowing in the misery brought about by your downside? The agony of your troubles can cloud your vision unless you stay focused on the unchanging truth of the Word of God. Joseph viewed the lengthy downside he experienced after his brothers sold him into slavery as an upside. He said, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.” His focus was on the purposes the Lord had in mind and not the suffering of the downside he had suffered through.

Dearest girlfriends, when we are tempted to focus on the downside of our circumstances, let us trust that our heavenly Father has a wonderful upside He is going to bring about.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. ~ Romans 8:28 NIV

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose. The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family. When it was daylight, the magistrates sent their officers to the jailer with the order: “Release those men.” The jailer told Paul, “The magistrates have ordered that you and Silas be released. Now you can leave. Go in peace.” ~ Acts 16:25-36 NIV

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. ~ Genesis 50:20 NASB

H ♥ O ♥ P ♥ E

Jul 02

HOPE 070211by Victoria Robinson

Girlfriends, there is nothing sadder than having a heart filled with hopelessness. In order to have hope we must, “Hold Onto Promises Eternally”. This is how the patriarch Abraham had hope. In fact the book of Hebrews shows us he held onto promises he would only see in eternity, “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance.”

Job, a godly man found himself in despair and said, “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and are spent without hope.” As his days progress we see the hand of the Lord bringing deliverance to Job. Just as this once hopeless man does indeed live to see better days, so can you and I.

Alexander Pope, the eighteenth century poet penned these wonderful words that resonate with God’s truth.

Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never Is, but always To be blest:
The soul, uneasy and confin’d from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
Alexander Pope

When we find ourselves dealing with a hopeless heart the remedy is to delve deeply into the promises our heavenly Father has given us and focus on His truths. One example of hope was given to us by the apostle Paul on the darkest subject we must deal with—death. He said, “I want you to know what will happen to the Christians who have died so you will not be full of sorrow like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus comes, God will bring back with Jesus all the Christians who have died.” This promise gives us hope to hold onto in the midst of grief. Another wonderful promise was given to us by our Lord himself when he said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

Girlfriends, is there hopelessness in your heart? If so, what is troubling you? Rest assured that whatever it is, the Word of God has promises to hold tightly onto. An excellent resource to search the Word of God is biblegateway.com. You can do a word search on any topic and find hope.

Dearest girlfriends, let us have hope as we hold onto our heavenly father’s promises eternally.

And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and I will surely multiply you.” And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise. ~ Hebrews 6:11-15 NASB 

All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. … ~ Hebrews 11:13 NIV

My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, And are spent without hope. ~ Job 7:6 NIV

And now, brothers and sisters, I want you to know what will happen to the Christians who have died so you will not be full of sorrow like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus comes, God will bring back with Jesus all the Christians who have died. ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 NLT 

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. ~ Matthew 5:4 NIV 
 
Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. ~ 2 Corinthians 3:12 NIV
 
For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. ~ Romans 8:24-25 NIV
 
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. ~ Hebrews 10:23 NIV

Your Clouds Are the Dust of His Feet

Mar 15

by Victoria Robinson

The storms of your life come with clouds. The prophet Nahum said, “His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet.” The Lord is there in the midst of your storm clouds.

The Word of God is filled with instances where the Lord is present in clouds. When we are enduring the storm clouds of life it is important to recognize His presence. Girlfriends, He is right there to bring you safely through whatever troubles you are experiencing. Trust in Him when the clouds are so dense you cannot see what your future holds. Nahum goes on to say, “The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him …”

Dearest girlfriends, let us trust in His presence during the storms of life.

… His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet. ~ Nahum 1:3 NIV
 
The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him … ~ Nahum 1:7 NIV 
 
Then the LORD appeared at the Tent in a pillar of cloud, and the cloud stood over the entrance to the Tent. ~ Deuteronomy 31:15 NIV

The Ugliness of Pain

Mar 03

by Victoria Robinson

Have you ever seen a woman who no matter how beautiful her clothes, hairdo, and makeup are is just plain ugly? This ugliness stems from the pain of her inner self. She has been hurt deeply and is scared, bitter, or is just writhing in pain. Such appears to be the case with a woman named Naomi we find in the book of Ruth. She was so bitter that she changed her name and said, “Don’t call me Naomi, … Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty.” It is interesting to note the name Naomi means “my delight” while Mara means “bitter”. This woman went from delightful to bitter. One can only imagine the ugliness of perhaps a haggard and drawn face this poor woman might have had. Just what brought Naomi to this point? She was left alone in an ungodly foreign country where her husband and sons died.

Contrast the story of Naomi with that of a precious friend of mine, Nancy, who recently became a widow. The beauty of Nancy shined through at her husband’s funeral. I watched as she raised her hands in praise to God for His goodness even at a difficult time. Her beauty continued to glorify God as she had planned the entire funeral to bring salvation to the lost who were in attendance. This is a memory of a beautiful woman I shall forever cherish.

Later in the book of Ruth we see Naomi as a beautiful woman who had gotten beyond her pain. Her friends said, “Praise be to the LORD, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.”

Understandably in the midst of our darkest days, we may never look in the mirror and see a beautiful woman outwardly. Yet even during these trials, others can see our inner beauty if our hearts are in right standing with our Lord. Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would seek the inner beauty only godliness can give us.

So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, “Can this be Naomi?” “Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The LORD has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.” ~ Ruth 1:19-21 NIV
 
The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the LORD, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.” ~ Ruth 4:14-15 NIV
 
See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. ~ Hebrews 12:15 NIV
 
But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. ~ James 3:14-16 NIV
 
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. … ~ 1 Peter 3:3-5 NIV

Savoring Sweet Moments

Nov 25

by Victoria Robinson

Today is a great day to look for the sweet moments our heavenly Father so graciously gives us. Even in the midst of trials, God has not left us without something sweet to hold onto. Though it might not seem like much, when you do find even one sweet moment, it is of utmost importance to hold on tightly and savor the sweetness among the bitterness of your difficulties.

Sweet moments are a literal expression of our heavenly Father’s love for us. The littlest of niceties can bring the most wonderful thoughts and encouragement just when we need it the most. Whatever you are facing, your heavenly Father has and is providing sweet moments to help alleviate the discomfort you may be experiencing.

When Jesus reminded His disciples He would be going away, it must have been difficult for them to grasp and hold onto the sweet moments they had together. Girlfriends, there were so many wonderful experiences they had together, yet when Jesus died the grief was enormous. Still, they had so much goodness to savor. There were healings, financial miracles, provisions for an unplanned feast for five thousand, even raising people from the dead! If you are pondering your sweet moments, maybe they seem trivial compared to all the disciples had seen. But God gives each of us what we need when we need it. Even the smallest provision in our lives is just as sweet to savor as a feast for five thousand. One loaf of bread in time of need is just as wonderful as all the bread the disciples had served the impromptu guests.

It really comes down to looking for the goodness of our heavenly Father no matter how imperfect your life may be. Dearest girlfriends, let us hold onto the sweet moments our heavenly Father lavishes on us in times of need.

… and we are always happy, even in times of suffering. ~ 2 Corinthians 6:10 CEV
 
When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future. ~ Ecclesiastes 7:14 NIV
 
Dear children, how brief are these moments before I must go away and leave you! … ~ John 13:33
 
God makes everything happen at the right time. Yet none of us can ever fully understand all he has done, and he puts questions in our minds about the past and the future. I know the best thing we can do is to always enjoy life, because God’s gift to us is the happiness we get from our food and drink and from the work we do. ~ Ecclesiastes 3:11-13 CEV