Posts Tagged ‘misery’

I Wanna Say I’m Sorry

Jun 28

by Victoria Robinson

The words, “I wanna say I’m sorry.” hold a special place in my heart. I have a precious young lady God has placed in my life and though she is now all “grown up” at six years old, when she was younger and would find herself stuck in the corner of the hallway of her home in a timeout, she would utter those sweet words. At times though, it would take some time facing the wall with no toys to play with for her heart to decide to line up with God’s heart. However short or long she waited, she would inevitably have a big smile on her face as she embraced the freedom a right heart brings.

When my heart is not right with God, I am stuck in that same prison my little friend found herself in. With a frown on my face, misery in my heart, and an unwillingness to say to God, “I wanna say I’m sorry.” my life just does not improve.

In the book of Numbers we see an example of a man named Balaam who suffered a crushed foot because of his refusal to have a right heart. Balaam had been summoned by the Moabite king Balak to curse the Israelites before they entered Canaan. Because of a greedy heart, he agreed to commit this evil act. God was clearly not pleased with him and even used a donkey to not only crush his foot, but to literally speak to him. Oh, if only Balaam would have said to God that he was sorry before his foot was maimed!

Along with saying you’re sorry, it is also essential to follow God’s plan. If you are truly sorry then obedience will follow. Just as my little friend would find herself right back in the corner if her behavior did not change, we will find ourselves back in trouble. In the book of Deuteronomy we see a perfect of example of this. The Israelites had chosen not to trust God and go up and take the land He promised them. Upon hearing Moses rebuke of their evil behavior they promptly decided to say they were sorry. However, as soon as they repented, they did not follow God’s advice. They told Moses they would now go take the land despite Moses warning them they would be killed. The Amorites who lived in those hills came out against them and chased them like a swarm of bees and beat them down from Seir all the way to Hormah. So, if you have told God you’re sorry, do not try to solve your problems, but allow Him to show you His plan.

Dearest girlfriends, do you need to stop right now and say to God, “I wanna say I’m sorry.”? If so, this is a perfect time to release yourself from an uncomfortable spiritual prison and walk in the freedom  that only He can give.

… yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and … Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. ~ 2 Corinthians 7:9-10 NIV 

Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure. ~ Ecclesiastes 7:3-4 NIV

Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab. But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the LORD stood in the road to oppose him. Balaam was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand, she turned off the road into a field. Balaam beat her to get her back on the road. Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path between two vineyards, with walls on both sides. When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she pressed close to the wall, crushing Balaam’s foot against it. So he beat her again. Then the angel of the LORD moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat her with his staff. Then the LORD opened the donkey’s mouth, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?” Balaam answered the donkey, “You have made a fool of me! If I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.”  The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?” “No,” he said. Then the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown. The angel of the LORD asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me. The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If she had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared her.” Balaam said to the angel of the LORD, “I have sinned. I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now if you are displeased, I will go back.”  ~ Numbers 22:21-34 NIV 

Then I said to you, “Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the desert. In spite of this, you did not trust in the LORD your God, who went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by night and in a cloud by day, to search out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go. When the LORD heard what you said, he was angry and solemnly swore: “Not a man of this evil generation shall see the good land I swore to give your forefathers, except Caleb son of Jephunneh. He will see it, and I will give him and his descendants the land he set his feet on, because he followed the LORD wholeheartedly.” … Then you replied, “We have sinned against the LORD. We will go up and fight, as the LORD our God commanded us.” So every one of you put on his weapons, thinking it easy to go up into the hill country. But the LORD said to me, “Tell them, ‘Do not go up and fight, because I will not be with you. You will be defeated by your enemies.’” So I told you, but you would not listen. You rebelled against the LORD’s command and in your arrogance you marched up into the hill country. The Amorites who lived in those hills came out against you; they chased you like a swarm of bees and beat you down from Seir all the way to Hormah.  ~ Deuteronomy 1:29-36,41-43 NIV 

… I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds. ~ Acts 26:20 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

The Power of Desperation

May 03

by Victoria Robinson

Desperation can drive us either toward good or evil. Sadly, it can cause one to resort to evil in order to get what they want. Such is the case of a depraved man named Shechem who was so desperate to marry Jacob’s daughter, Dinah. First, his desperation led him to defile her. He then agreed to have him and his men become circumcised in hopes of marrying the object of his lust. Finally his evil ways cost him his life. A very sad story of a desperate man.

However, the power of desperation can also lead us to victory as we draw near to our heavenly Father for help. Such is the story of a man named Jairus whose daughter was seriously ill and before Jesus could even get to her, she died. Yet due to the love and graciousness of our Lord, this is not the final outcome. This precious little girl is revived by our Lord. But wait, there is so much more to this story. Right smack in the middle of all this another desperate person is seeking help from the Lord. Right after Jairus pleads for the Lord to heal his daughter, a desperate woman who had been hemorrhaging for twelve years and had endured painful treatments by many physicians and spent all her money only to continue in misery touched Jesus’ garment. This poor woman’s years of suffering and worry ended in a single act of desperation. Without even being able to communicate her needs to Jesus, she was instantly healed!

Dearest girlfriends, allow your desperation to draw you near to your heavenly Father and receive the great help only He can give!

Then Shechem addressed Dinah’s father and brothers. “Please be kind to me, and let me have her as my wife,” he begged. “I will give whatever you require. No matter what dowry or gift you demand, I will pay it—only give me the girl as my wife.” But Dinah’s brothers deceived Shechem and Hamor because of what Shechem had done to their sister. They said to them, “We couldn’t possibly allow this, because you aren’t circumcised. It would be a disgrace for her to marry a man like you! But here is a solution. If every man among you will be circumcised like we are, we will intermarry with you and live here and unite with you to become one people. Otherwise we will take her and be on our way.” Hamor and Shechem gladly agreed, and Shechem lost no time in acting on this request, for he wanted Dinah desperately. Shechem was a highly respected member of his family, and he appeared with his father before the town leaders to present this proposal. “Those men are our friends,” they said. “Let’s invite them to live here among us and ply their trade. For the land is large enough to hold them, and we can intermarry with them. But they will consider staying here only on one condition. Every one of us men must be circumcised, just as they are. But if we do this, all their flocks and possessions will become ours. Come, let’s agree to this so they will settle here among us.” So all the men agreed and were circumcised. But three days later, when their wounds were still sore, two of Dinah’s brothers, Simeon and Levi, took their swords, entered the town without opposition, and slaughtered every man there, including Hamor and Shechem. They rescued Dinah from Shechem’s house and returned to their camp. Then all of Jacob’s sons plundered the town because their sister had been defiled there. ~ Genesis 34:11-27 NLT
 
When Jesus went back across to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him on the shore. A leader of the local synagogue, whose name was Jairus, came and fell down before him, pleading with him to heal his little daughter. “She is about to die,” he said in desperation. “Please come and place your hands on her; heal her so she can live.” Jesus went with him, and the crowd thronged behind. And there was a woman in the crowd who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal from many doctors through the years and had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she was worse. She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched the fringe of his robe. For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his clothing, I will be healed.” Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel that she had been healed! Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” His disciples said to him, “All this crowd is pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ” But he kept on looking around to see who had done it. Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and told him what she had done. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. You have been healed.” While he was still speaking to her, messengers arrived from Jairus’s home with the message, “Your daughter is dead. There’s no use troubling the Teacher now.” But Jesus ignored their comments and said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just trust me.” Then Jesus stopped the crowd and wouldn’t let anyone go with him except Peter and James and John. When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw the commotion and the weeping and wailing. He went inside and spoke to the people. “Why all this weeping and commotion?” he asked. “The child isn’t dead; she is only asleep.” The crowd laughed at him, but he told them all to go outside. Then he took the girl’s father and mother and his three disciples into the room where the girl was lying. Holding her hand, he said to her, “Get up, little girl!” And the girl, who was twelve years old, immediately stood up and walked around! Her parents were absolutely overwhelmed. ~ Mark 5:21-42 NLT

Who’s Responsible?

Feb 27

by Victoria Robinson

Who’s responsible? Our dear ancestor Sarai tried to blame her husband for her misery. Yet as we back up in the story we see it was actually Sarai’s idea that started her misery. When Sarai grew impatient waiting on God to give her a child, she concocted a disastrous plan. She told her husband Abram to go sleep with her maidservant Hagar. After he did and Hagar became pregnant, Sarai’s  idea that gave birth to sin blossomed into full-blown misery for all involved. Now Sarai tells Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering.”

Really girlfriends??? Do we really believe Sarai? Should she not have realized she was responsible for her own conduct? Yes, there were plenty of guilty parties involved, but the point of this is we are responsible for our own conduct. We are to conduct our lives with the awareness of God’s truth. The apostle Paul said, “For we are each responsible for our own conduct.” The prophet Jeremiah said this about our own conduct, “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.” Notice he does not say we would be judged according to our neighbor’s deeds.

It is always easy to look around for someone else to blame for our problems instead of looking inward and examining our own hearts. Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would conduct ourselves responsibly.

Be sure to do what you should, for then you will enjoy the personal satisfaction of having done your work well, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct. ~ Galatians 6:4-5 NLT
  
Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my servant in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the LORD judge between you and me.” ~ Genesis 16:5 NIV
 
Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Abram agreed to what Sarai said. ~ Genesis 16:1-2 NIV
 
 “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.” ~ Jeremiah 17:10 NIV

I am a friend like __________.

Feb 22

by Victoria Robinson

Among King David’s close friends, there are two that stand out. One was Jonathan and the other Ahithophel. On the one hand he had a faithful friend in Jonathan. On the other hand he had a faithless friend in Ahithophel.

Johnathan was the son of Saul who had become jealous of David and sought to destroy him. Jonathan faithfully watched out for his friend David. After the death of Jonathan, David penned these words, “I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women.”

Then we have the unfortunate betrayal of Ahithophel who was David’s counselor who turned against him and sided with Absalom. Later when Ahithophel saw he had no longer any influence, and accordingly he at once left the camp of Absalom and returned to Giloh. There in his misery, he hanged himself. David also penned some words about this faithless friend, “Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.”

So, are you a faithful friend like Jonathan or are you a faithless friend like Ahithophel? If you filled in the blank above, which of David’s friend’s names would you put? Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would honor our heavenly Father by always being faithful in our friendships.

Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the LORD, saying, ‘The LORD is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.’” … ~ 1 Samuel 20:42 NIV
 
How the mighty have fallen in battle! Jonathan lies slain on your heights. I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women. ~ 2 Samuel 1:25-26 NIV
 
While Absalom was offering sacrifices, he also sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, to come from Giloh, his hometown. And so the conspiracy gained strength, and Absalom’s following kept on increasing. ~ 2 Samuel 15:12 NIV
 
Now David had been told, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” So David prayed, “O LORD, turn Ahithophel’s counsel into foolishness.” ~ 2 Samuel 15:31 NIV
  
Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me. ~ Psalm 41:9 NIV
 
A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray. ~ Proverbs 12:26 NIV
 
A friend loves at all times … ~ Proverbs 17:17 NIV

Has Your Betrayer Come?

Jan 20

by Victoria Robinson

Girlfriends, have you ever experienced betrayal? The pain hurts sooo bad! Betrayal is such an ugly sin. As we all know, our Lord and Savior experienced the ultimate betrayal. In the book of Mark, Jesus said the dreaded words, “Here comes my betrayer!” He knew all along this was going to happen. Unlike Jesus, the betrayals in your life have most likely happened unannounced. After the shock subsides, you are left with agonizing pain. The pain in turn has the potential to produce in you a bitter heart. Once this happens, you are now taking on the ugliness of your betrayer.

Just like Jesus, your betrayer has possibly come from those closest to you which might make the thought of forgiveness unimaginable. Yet it is important to stop the cycle of misery by forgiving your betrayer. Think of it as giving yourself a betrayal makeover. Trust me girlfriends, your beauty will shine like your Lord and Savior!

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would deal with betrayal in a godly manner and allow the forgiveness of our heavenly Father to flow through us.

… Here comes my betrayer! ~ Mark 14:42 NIV
 
Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. ~ John 6:64 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

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. ~ Colossians 3:13 NIV