Posts Tagged ‘sorrow’

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

A Polite Conversation With Him

Jan 07

A Polite Conversation With Him 010712 2by Victoria Robinson

What in the world does learning how to use etiquette in conversation and learning how to converse with our heavenly Father have in common? Actually, quite a bit. Conversations with Him are what we think of as prayer. In the 1896 etiquette book, The Secret of a Happy Home, Christian author, Marion Harland, speaks of the satisfaction in telling one’s woes and sorrows to an interested listener.

“Undoubtedly there is a momentary satisfaction in telling one’s woes and sorrows to an interested listener. When the auditor is a friend, and a trusted friend, whose sympathy is genuine and whose discretion is vast, there is a comfort beyond description in unburdening one’s soul.”

Marion Harland, The Secret of a Happy Home 1896

Fortunately every one of us has a trusted friend we can unburden our souls to. King Solomon told us, “… there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” The friend  he is referring to is Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Our Lord and Savior gave us detailed instructions on having a polite conversation in prayer with our heavenly Father. He told us, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.”

“Some people are always bored. May it not be because they look at everything animate and inanimate from a selfish standpoint, with the query in their minds, “How does that affect me?” The old definition of a bore as “a person who talks so much of himself that he gives you no chance to of yourself,” may apply not only to the bore, but to the bored. When you find yourself wearied and uninterested, be honest enough to examine yourself calmly, and see if the reason is not because your vis-a-vis is not talking about anything which interests you especially. Should he turn the conversation upon your favorite occupation or pastime, or even upon your personal likes and dislikes (which, by the way, might be an infinite bore to him), would he not at once become entertaining?”
Marion Harland, The Secret of a Happy Home 1896

Listening to the other person is an important key to polite conversation. Nobody enjoys chatting with a boorish person who only is concerned with prattling on about themselves. Your heavenly Father is not interested in having a one-way conversation with you. Besides, if you are not listening during your prayer, you cannot possibly attain His wisdom for your requests. Conversing with our heavenly Father must always include listening. In her 1860 book, The Ladies’ Book of Etiquette and Manual of Politeness, Florence Hartley gives us instruction on the importance of listening while conversing.

“It seems paradoxical to observe that the art of listening well forms a part of the duty of conversation. To give up the whole of your attention to the person who addresses himself to you, is sometimes a heavy tax, but it is one which we must pay for the privileges of social life, and an early practice will render it an almost involuntary act of good breeding; whilst consideration for others will give this little sacrifice a merit and a charm.”
Florence Hartley, The Ladies’ Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness 1860

Genuine praise is another important aspect of good conversation. Marion Harland gives an excellent example of developing the habit of praising the one you are talking with.

“Ten girls whom I know formed a society for the repression of unkind criticism. The members themselves to try, as far as in them lay, to speak kindly of people when it was possible for them to do so, and when impossible to say nothing. At first it was hard, for self-conceit would intrude, and it is hard for one girl to praise another who dislikes her. Little by little the tiny seed of effort grew into a habit of kindly speech.”
Marion Harland, The Secret of a Happy Home 1896

This story is reminiscent of the hardness that can develop in our hearts and hinder us from praising our heavenly Father during prayer. The enemy of your soul will always point out why God is not worthy to be praised. A direct contradiction to the Scriptures! The psalmist tells us, “I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies.”

Just as Marion Harland reminds us that no true lady complains while conversing with others, neither should we bring our request to the Lord in a complaining manner.

“But if you do not feel this, for politeness’ sake refrain from making your listener supremely uncomfortable by your complaints. No true lady will so far forget her innate ladyhood as to be guilty of this rudeness.”
Marion Harland, The Secret of a Happy Home 1896

An extremely descriptive picture of the perils of complaining while praying are found in the book of Numbers. The Israelites were whining about not having meat and my oh my did they ever get their request granted! The Lord said, “The LORD heard you when you wailed, “If only we had meat to eat! We were better off in Egypt!” Now the LORD will give you meat, and you will eat it. You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, ten or twenty days, but for a whole month—until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it—because you have rejected the LORD, who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?”’”

Polite conversation sometimes involves forgiveness. The person chatting with you may say something offensive and it is important for you to overlook the words that have wounded your heart. The Lord instructed us that prayer also involves forgiveness. In the book of Matthew, Jesus told us, “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Our prayers will be hindered if we approach God and have unforgiveness towards others.

Dearest girlfriends, let us endeavor to develop polite conversation when we pray.

Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. … ~ Psalm 55:22 NLT 

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you. ~ 1 Peter 5:7 NLT
 
If you are having trouble, you should pray. … ~ James 5:13 CEV
 
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. ~ Proverbs 18:24 NIV
 
I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies. ~ Psalm 18:3 NKJV
 
“Tell the people: ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow, when you will eat meat. The LORD heard you when you wailed, “If only we had meat to eat! We were better off in Egypt!” Now the LORD will give you meat, and you will eat it. You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, ten or twenty days, but for a whole month—until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it—because you have rejected the LORD, who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?”’” ~ Numbers 11:18-20 NIV
 
A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult. ~ Proverbs 12:16 NIV
 
And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. “This, then, is how you should pray: ”‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ~ Matthew 6:7-13 NIV
You can read these antique etiquette books from the library of Girlfriend’s Café by clicking on the links below.
 The Secret of a Happy Home
The Ladies’ Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness

The Day the Laughter Died

Jan 05

by Victoria Robinson

Some would say that April 26, 1989 is the day the laughter died. That is the day that the greatest comedienne of all time died. Lucille Ball who spent her life bringing laughter to millions was silenced. My dearest friend Cyndee and I have spent numerous hours laughing while watching I Love Lucy. Who could resist laughing as Lucy and Ethel frantically gobble handfuls of chocolate candy to hide their failure on their new job venture. What about that hilarious expression on Lucy’s face when her boss says, “Speed it up a little!”? But alas, our lives are not always filled with laughter. Life has a way of turning laughter into mourning.

The Bible gives us many examples of times the laughter died. One such was when Sarah had given birth to Isaac. On this joyous day she said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” Interestingly the name Isaac is Yitschaq in Hebrew which means “he laughs”. Yet, there would come a day when Sarah would find herself not laughing.  A great feast was held when Isaac was weaned. The truth is Sarah’s distress on this particular day was the result of sin. Sarah had refused to wait on the promise of God to have a child and took matters into her own hands. Subsequently Hagar gave birth to Abraham’s first son, Ishmael. At the feast, Sarah observed Ishmael mocking her son Isaac. Like any mother, this upset her.

Girlfriends, has your laughter died? There are many reasons we  find ourselves not laughing. One is quite simply sin. If this is why your laughter has ceased, then immediate repentance will bring joy to your heart and times of laughter to return.

 Another reason is that our heavenly Father allows difficulties to come into our life in order for His greater purposes to be accomplished. Such is the case of the many hardships Joseph had to endure in the book of Genesis. If this is the reason you have no laughter, then accepting God’s greater plan for your life will bring you joy. Last year in the short span of a week I had three friends lose their husbands. All these ladies have accepted Jesus Christ into their lives and have the comfort only He can provide. However, understandably this was a period in their lives with very little laughter.

The enemy of your soul also wants to steal your laughter. Sometimes he will even convince you of a lie. For instance, “God is not going to bring you through a difficult time.” The only way to prevent Satan from absconding with your laughter is shielding yourself with the Word. The book of Ephesians tells us to take up the shield of faith, with which we can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. The word faith in the original Greek is pistis which means conviction of the truth. The way to have conviction of the truth is to immerse yourself in the Word of God.

Laughter is an important gift our heavenly Father has given us. The Word of God tells us laughter can even bring healing to our bodies.
 
While we must recognize the truth that King Solomon told us so long ago—there is a time to weep and a time to laugh, let us examine our hearts to see if and why the laughter has died. If repentance is needed then, let us have a change of heart and watch the laughter return. If we are walking through divinely appointed hardships, let us rejoice in the fact that our heavenly Father knows what is best for us. If we are believing lies Satan is telling us, let us put on the shield of conviction of the truth of the Word of God.
 

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would allow the laughter to return to our hearts and enjoy the life God has chosen for us.

Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.” The child grew and was weaned, and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a great feast. But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.” ~ Genesis 21:5-10 NIV
 
But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. ~ Genesis 50:19-20 NIV
  
So give yourselves humbly to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. And when you draw close to God, God will draw close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and let your hearts be filled with God alone to make them pure and true to him. Let there be tears for the wrong things you have done. Let there be sorrow and sincere grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Then when you realize your worthlessness before the Lord, he will lift you up, encourage and help you. ~ James 7:7-10 TLB
 
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. ~ Ephesians 6:16 NIV
 
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. ~ Proverbs 17:22 NIV
  

a time to weep and a time to laugh … ~ Ecclesiastes 3:4 NIV
 
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. ~ Proverbs 31:25 NIV
 
… Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. ~ Luke 6:21 NIV

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

Overcoming Youthful Indiscretions

Jun 22

by Victoria Robinson

Girlfriends, from time to time the enemy of our souls will bring accusations to us about our past indiscretions. Shame, discouragement and even depression can result which is exactly the outcome Satan is striving for. While his striving is ultimately in vain, we must not allow these accusations to overtake us. The Word of God so beautifully states wonderful truths to retort back to the enemy and bring comfort to our hearts.

The psalmist was agonizing over his past indiscretions when he said, “Overlook my youthful sins, O Lord! Look at me instead through eyes of mercy and forgiveness, through eyes of everlasting love and kindness.” His request was accurately in line with the will of our Lord. The book of Isaiah makes a comforting promise in this regard. It says, “Fear not; you will no longer live in shame. The shame of your youth … will be remembered no more …” This truth directly contradicts the accusations of the enemy.

The importance of repentance is the key that will free us of our past indiscretions. The apostle Paul said, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” If you have not repented of your sins the pain you are experiencing is a worldly sorrow. To walk in no regrets requires forgiveness. The apostle John encourages us with these words, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Dearest girlfriends, let us overcome our past indiscretions with a repentant heart and the assurance of our heavenly Father’s compassionate forgiveness.

Overlook my youthful sins, O Lord! Look at me instead through eyes of mercy and forgiveness, through eyes of everlasting love and kindness. ~  Psalm 25:6-7 TLB
 
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. ~ Psalm 103:8-14 NIV
 
“Fear not; you will no longer live in shame. The shame of your youth and the sorrows of widowhood will be remembered no more, for your Creator will be your husband. The Lord Almighty is his name! He is your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, the God of all the earth. For the Lord has called you back from your grief—as though you were a young wife abandoned by her husband,” says your God. “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with great compassion I will take you back. In a moment of anger I turned my face away for a little while. But with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,” says the Lord, your Redeemer. ~ Isaiah 54:4-8 NLT
 
“I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins. ~ Isaiah 43:25 NKJV
 
Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. ~ 2 Corinthians 7:10 NIV
 
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. ~ 1 John 1:9 NIV
 
Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens,“It has happened at last—the salvation and power and kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ! For the Accuser has been thrown down to earth—the one who accused our brothers and sisters before our God day and night. And they have defeated him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of their testimony. … ~ Revelation 12:10-11 NLT

The Pain of Disappointment

Jun 10

by Victoria Robinson

The prophet Jeremiah once inquired of God, “I am badly injured and in constant pain. Are you going to disappoint me, like a stream that goes dry in the heat of summer?” There can be great pain when we are disappointed. Consider some of the people before us who had to deal with disappointment.

  • Naomi experienced the disappointment of losing her husband and sons and even changed her name to Mara which means bitter.
  • Amongst tremendous other woes, Job had to endure the disappointment of fair-weather friends.
  • The widow living in Zarephath who had tended to Elijah’s needs, and whose son became ill and died.

Strangely enough the Word of God clearly states, “For the Scriptures tell us that no one who believes in Christ will ever be disappointed.” So how in the world does this truth come together with the pain of disappointment we see over and over in the Scriptures? Needless to say, all Scriptures need to be looked at in light of the entire Bible. While there certainly will be disappointments, the final outcome of our lives can be victorious. Every example of disappointment listed above does have a great ending.

Clearly all of our disappointments towards God are a result of not accepting His will. There is however another form of disappointment that can actually be good. That is when we are disappointed in our own sinful actions and turn to our heavenly Father in repentance. Make no mistake that sorrow without repentance does us no good. The apostle Paul said, “For God can use sorrow in our lives to help us turn away from sin and seek salvation. We will never regret that kind of sorrow. But sorrow without repentance is the kind that results in death.”

Dearest girlfriends, lets us place our trust in our heavenly Father when we are faced with the pain of disappointment.

I am badly injured and in constant pain. Are you going to disappoint me, like a stream that goes dry in the heat of summer? ~ Jeremiah 15:18 CEV

For the Scriptures tell us that no one who believes in Christ will ever be disappointed. ~ Romans 10:11 TLB

“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 1:20-21 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

… But they were disappointed, just as I am with you. Only one look at my suffering, and you run away scared. ~ Job 6:20-21 CEV

After Job had prayed for his three friends, the Lord made Job twice as rich as he had been before. Then Job gave a feast for his brothers and sisters and for his old friends. They expressed their sorrow for the suffering the Lord had brought on him, and they each gave Job some silver and a gold ring. The Lord now blessed Job more than ever … ~ Job 42:10-12 CEV 

Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?” ~ 1 Kings 17:17-18 NIV 
 
“Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. Then he cried out to the LORD, “O LORD my God, have you brought tragedy also upon this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?” Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried to the LORD, “O LORD my God, let this boy’s life return to him!” The LORD heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived. Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!”  ~ 1 Kings 17:19-23 NIV
 
For God can use sorrow in our lives to help us turn away from sin and seek salvation. We will never regret that kind of sorrow. But sorrow without repentance is the kind that results in death. ~ 2 Corinthians 7:10 NLT

And so the Lord says, “I’m laying a firm foundation for the city of Zion. It’s a valuable cornerstone proven to be trustworthy; no one who trusts it will ever be disappointed. ~ Isaiah 26:16 CEV

… Then you will know that I am the LORD; those who hope in me will not be disappointed. ~ Isaiah 49:23 NIV

How Long Will This Be Going On?

Jun 07

by Victoria Robinson

Girlfriends, do you feel forgotten by the Lord? Have you been waiting so long your heart is just aching? We know the psalmist experienced this because these words overflowed from his heart, “How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?”

In His divine wisdom our heavenly Father does not always divulge the day and time our sorrows will come to an end. When the pain does not make sense we must hold fast to trusting His love for us and knowing we are safest in His arms.

Another aspect can be seen in the fortieth psalm—that when our deliverance comes many will see and fear and put their trust in God. This elevates our waiting to a whole new level. The truth is God will use our suffering to draw others to Him. Needless to say, our behavior during difficulties is either a positive or negative reflection of our heavenly Father.

Dearest girlfriends, let us wait patiently on the Lord and know for certain He hears our cries and will care for us.

How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? ~ Psalm 13:1-2 NIV
 
Relent, O LORD! How long will it be? Have compassion on your servants. Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble. May your deeds be shown to your servants, your splendor to their children. May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands. ~ Psalm 90:13-17 NIV
 
I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD. ~ Psalm 40:1-3 NIV

Gloating Is A Boomerang!

Mar 04

by Victoria Robinson

The temptation to gloat can be powerful and yet our heavenly Father has warned us of the dangers of doing so. The surest cure for gloating is to pray great things for our enemies. After all one would never gloat over a friend! Job is an excellent example who could certainly have gloated over the wrong assumptions his friends had made about him. Can’t you just see the temptation to gloat when the Lord rebuked them for their bad behavior. He actually could have forgone gloating only because Proverbs tells us, “Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice, or the LORD will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from him.” Seems like a sweet reward for behaving correctly doesn’t it? Yet our friend Job instead prayed for his friends. Imagine that—after all the abuse he suffered at the hands of his fair-weather friends he sees the blessings of loving them unconditionally! Not only did the Lord have mercy on Job’s friends, He also blessed Job abundantly.

Love does not inflict sorrow upon others, nor does it gloat over the difficulties others are experiencing. Such gloating displeases the Lord, who returns in boomerang fashion the evil intents upon the head of the perpetrator. — KJV Bible Commentary

Dearest girlfriends, let us never gloat over the troubles or missteps of others, instead choosing to pray God’s best for them.

Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice, or the LORD will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from him. ~ Proverbs 24:17-18 NIV
 
He who mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker; whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished. ~ Proverbs 17:5 NIV
 
After the LORD had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.” So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did what the LORD told them; and the LORD accepted Job’s prayer. After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before ~ Job 42:7-10 NIV 
 
If I have rejoiced at my enemy’s misfortune or gloated over the trouble that came to him— I have not allowed my mouth to sin by invoking a curse against his life— ~ Job 31:29-30 NIV
 
Woe to you for making your neighboring lands reel and stagger like drunkards beneath your blows, and then gloating over their nakedness and shame. Soon your own glory will be replaced by shame. Drink down God’s judgment on yourselves. Stagger and fall! ~ Habakkuk 2:15-16 TLB
 
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV

Embrace Today!

Jan 07

by Victoria Robinson

Girlfriends, fashion experts tell us to dress for the body we have today. Sometimes this is a painful thought as most of us do not feel perfect and would rather wait to embrace the body we imagine having someday, instead of the one we have today. When it comes to our life, we need to be able to embrace our today instead of waiting for the life we imagine having someday. Even with all the imperfections in our lives, our heavenly Father has given us this day to enjoy.

Do you accept your “lot in life” as King Solomon put it? If so, he said you will not need to look back with sorrow on your past. Are you frittering away all your todays waiting on a better life. If so, embrace today by giving your heavenly Father thanks for all He has done for you. Recognize that He is aware of all your circumstances and cares for you.

Dearest girlfriends, whatever today brings, I pray we would embrace the life our heavenly Father has given us.

… 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. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. ~ Philippians 4:11-13 NIV

… To enjoy your work and to accept your lot in life—that is indeed a gift from God. The person who does that will not need to look back with sorrow on his past, for God gives him joy. ~ Ecclesiastes 5:19-20 TLB
 
So I saw that there is nothing better for a man than to enjoy his work, because that is his lot. For who can bring him to see what will happen after him? ~ Ecclesiastes 3:22 NIV
 
Be joyful always; … give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16,18 NIV
 
However many years a man may live, let him enjoy them all. ~ Ecclesiastes 11:8 NIV

Pour It Out!

Dec 24

by Victoria Robinson

Girlfriends, have you ever been so distraught that you cried bitterly and could not even utter words? I know I have. There was a woman named Hannah who found herself in this situation. She was barren and sad because she wanted a son so bad that her anguish was overwhelming. She appeared so distraught that Eli, the priest at the Tabernacle, thought she was drunk and told her to pour out her wine. Instead she told him she was pouring out her heart to the Lord. This is quite simply the best medicine for a sorrowful heart.

If you are hurting today, please know you are not alone. Your heavenly Father is with you and would love to hold you as you pour out your anguish to Him.  Hannah had a glorious ending to a difficult story as the Lord heard her cries of anguish and gave her a son.

Dearest girlfriends, pour out your hearts to the Lord today and allow Him to care for your deepest needs.

Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord. And she made this vow: “O Lord Almighty, if you will look down upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. … As she was praying to the Lord, Eli watched her. Seeing her lips moving but hearing no sound, he thought she had been drinking. “Must you come here drunk?” he demanded. “Throw away your wine!” “Oh no, sir!” she replied, “I’m not drunk! But I am very sad, and I was pouring out my heart to the Lord. Please don’t think I am a wicked woman! For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow.”“In that case,” Eli said, “cheer up! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him.” “Oh, thank you, sir!” she exclaimed. Then she went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad. ~ 1 Samuel 1:10-18 NLT
 
But you, O Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, and the one who lifts my head high. I cried out to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy mountain. ~ Psalm 3:3-4 NLT
 
But in my distress I cried out to the Lord; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry reached his ears. ~ Psalm 18:6 NLT
 
Unless the Lord had helped me, I would soon have died. I cried out, “I’m slipping!” and your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer. ~ Psalm 94:17-19 NLT
 
My heart is in anguish. The terror of death overpowers me. Fear and trembling overwhelm me. I can’t stop shaking.  Oh, how I wish I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and rest! I would fly far away to the quiet of the wilderness. … Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. ~ Psalm 55:4-7,22 NLT