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Faith in Hard Times 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

Faith in Hard Times 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

Learning to have faith in hard times is one of the most important lessons in any Christian’s life. In this short devotion, we’ll uncover the meaning of 2 Corinthians 4:8-9. And find inspiration and encouragement for faith during hard times.

How do you keep your faith in hard times?

Some days are hard to get through, and I’ve had quite a few of those days lately. We all face tough times. Maybe it’s the little things that add up and drive us crazy. Or maybe we are facing much bigger problems in life. Either way, we can take comfort in God’s promises. He is faithful! And He will show us how to have faith in hard times.

What is the meaning of 2 Corinthians 4:8-9?

God has continued to place this verse from 2 Corinthians 4 in front of me over the past few months. I have been facing a rather large trial in my life and the words that Paul wrote, speak volumes to me.

We’ll start this devotion by reading this scripture together…

We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed-

  2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NKJV

 

Each of the situations Paul describes in this Bible verse affects us all at some point in our lives. So, let’s take a closer look at this verse and break it down together.

hard-pressed but not crushed…

When I think of being hard-pressed, I imagine being in a trash compactor. The walls are closing in on me and soon I’ll be pressed into a small little box. It’s a feeling of being trapped.

Hard-ships will come in life but with God’s help, we can face them. We may be hard pressed, but He will not allow us to be trapped or crushed by life’s troubles.

perplexed but not in despair…

Have you ever felt so overwhelmed that you just didn’t know what to do next?

I think we’ve all been there. Life can seem so complicated and confusing. There is so much to do and so many things that demand our attention. Sometimes it feels like there is no way out.

Maybe you are dealing with the grief of losing a loved one or struggling at work. Whatever your circumstance, I pray that you will be encouraged. You have a Heavenly Father who loves you. You don’t have to be in despair because God is in control and we can rely on Him fully to see us through these trials.

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persecuted but not forsaken…

There are different ways to be persecuted. It can literally mean that someone is trying to hurt you physically, or it can be in the form of a verbal attack. It can also be a general feeling that people don’t like you because of your beliefs. I know in my life I have felt this kind of persecution, sometimes even from people I’m close to. I have been questioned about my faith in Jesus on many occasions. I think questions are a great way to open up a discussion about Jesus, but when that discussion turns ugly, it can be a daunting task to keep it together and not lash out. In these times, I try to remember that I’m in good company. The Bible tells us that every Christian will face some kind of persecution. But the great news is that God promises to never forsake us! We can have complete confidence that He will never leave us!

Read More: Will You Stand Firm in the Faith? 1 Corinthians 16:13

struck down but not destroyed…

Life is hard! Really hard. Sometimes things don’t work out the way we planned and reality hits us hard. When a huge emergency pops up in life, it’s easy to feel like we’ve been struck down. But we are only temporarily knocked down, not knocked out. God is there to pick us up, dust us off and send us back out into the world again. We haven’t been destroyed, we have become stronger.

Trusting God in Hard Times

I have been in each and every one of these situations.

I’ve been hard pressed, perplexed, persecuted, and struck down. I have felt despair and sometimes it has overtaken me completely.

But God has not forgotten me or left me alone to face these trials by myself.

He has shown me His love and He has fulfilled His promise to see me through it every step of the way. And I’m so grateful God has continued to put this verse in front of me over and over again. Every time I read it, I find the strength to face the trials of life and to have faith during hard times.

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Keeping Faith in God During Hard Times

Bad times come and go. But learning to keep the faith in the most difficult situations is what the Apostle Paul teaches us through this scripture.

And God wants to take all of the pain and sadness we find along the way and show us how to keep the faith. With His love and encouragement on our side, we can find hope for tomorrow and strength for today!

This is my prayer for you… whatever trial you’re facing right now, you’ll know you are never crushed, in despair, forsaken, or destroyed. God understands life is hard. So, He has given you the promise inside this verse from 2 Corinthians 4. He loves you, He is with you, and He will get you through it!

All you need is a little faith in hard times.

Bible Verse Art Now Faith by Master’s Hand Collection

Bible Verse Art Now Faith by Master's Hand Collection

Faith Filled Christian Art by Master’s Hand Collection…

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By |2021-09-19T16:11:25-05:00August 24th, 2021|Faith|6 Comments

Power of Prayer – James 5:16

Power of Prayer James 5:16 Why is prayer so powerful?

Prayer is powerful! And the power of prayer is real and tangible. As real as anything we can see or touch. It is a source of strength that we, as Christians, can tap into at any time, day or night. This verse from James 5:16 sums up this incredible power perfectly.

The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

                                                               James 5:16

 

As I was researching, I came across some articles that claimed the power of prayer is a mysterious force. Honestly, I just don’t believe that. Prayer is not a mystery that we can’t comprehend. Like most things pertaining to God, it is simple and easy to understand.

So, if prayer is not a mysterious force, what is it? And why is prayer so powerful?

Prayer is our direct line to God. When we call on Him, He hears us and He answers. It’s simple, maybe too simple for some people. Maybe they want it to be mysterious and complicated for some reason that is beyond me. But I believe in a God who loves me and wants to hear from me as much as I want to hear from Him. And I believe in the power of prayer too.

Prayer has the power to make things happen. Not because of our own strength, but because we have been declared righteous through faith in Jesus. He alone is the reason that our prayers have power!

 

What does James 5:16 mean?

For the answer let’s look at an example of the power of prayer in action in the next scripture…

Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.

                                                              James 5:17-18

Elijah believed in God and therefore was a righteous man. He prayed for the rain to be withheld and the Lord answered him. Then he prayed for the rain to come, and the Lord answered again.

Through his faith, Elijah shows us the meaning of fervent prayer and how it avails much. He didn’t just say a little prayer every now and then. He prayed continually and earnestly that God would keep the rain from falling. Then he prayed for the Lord to bring the rain. In both circumstances, the Lord heard and answered Elijah’s prayers. (You can read more about Elijah in 1 Kings)

And because we are righteous in God’s eyes, our prayers are effective and powerful tools too. We just need to practice the same kind of faithful and consistent prayer that Elijah did. Then the results will be undeniable.

Prayer has the power to make things happen. Not because of our own strength, but because we have been declared righteous through faith in Jesus. #Prayer #FaithClick To Tweet

Is there real power in prayer?

The answer is a simple yes. But for us to see the power of prayer in our lives we must first believe in it and have faith in God. This is where the real power comes from… our faith.

Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, Be removed and be cast into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

                                                             Mark 11:24

 

With His words here in Mark 11:24, Jesus emphasized believing in the power of prayer and having faith that God will not only hear our prayer but answer it also.

Sometimes we pray but we don’t really believe that anything will actually happen. Or we pray and think that our problems are too big, too small, too whatever for God. We have a “wing and a prayer” mentality. Kind of like luck or happenstance. Maybe our prayers are heard and maybe they’re not.

But what Jesus is talking about here is the condition of our hearts. Do we really believe deep down inside that God will hear our prayers? Do we have faith God will answer us? Because if we want to see the power of prayer, we must truly believe in our hearts that He will.

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Beyond just believing, we can have confidence in the power of prayer. Here’s an open invitation from God to us…

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

                                                            Hebrews 4:16

 

Prayer is not a last resort. Even though we may see it that way sometimes. When something bad happens, we try to fix it on our own and only turn to praying once we have failed. (Believe me, I’m guilty of this sometimes too!)

But prayer is not our last hope. Instead, it is our greatest offense and our best option in all circumstances. No matter what is going on in our lives, good or bad, God wants to hear about it. There is no need to worry about if it’s okay to pray or how our prayers will be received. We can boldly take all of our problems right to God’s throne of grace in our time of need.

Learn more with these inspirational the power of prayer verses.

In my life, I have seen the power of prayer many times. But never more than when my mom had cancer. The doctors gave her about three months to live, however, God gave us three more years together. And I have no doubt that it was the power of prayer at work. So many people were praying for my mom. Our family and friends, two whole churches, even people we didn’t know. They were all praying for her.

And guess what… God heard their prayers. He listened and He cared. He knew that our family was in need and He didn’t let us down. It was during this time that God allowed me to experience the power of prayer firsthand. I could see how prayer is the solution to all of life’s problems and how we can have complete confidence in taking everything to God in prayer.

So, you see, understanding the power of prayer is not a mysterious thing. We are simply having a conversation with a loving and faithful God.

Isn’t it amazing to know that the Creator of the universe, the One who spoke the world into motion wants to speak to you? God loves you and He wants to hear from you.

Today, I pray you will claim the power of prayer, find encouragement and strength in it, and see the undeniable results in your life.

Now is the time to declare I believe in the power of prayer!

Get started with these Bible Study and Prayer Journals available on Amazon!

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Benefits of Winter – Psalm 74:17

Benefits of Winter Psalm 74:17 devotional

Why did God create Winter?

In this Psalm 74:17 devotional, we’ll answer this question and discover the Benefits of Winter, our God-given time of rest.

The dark days of winter are here. The beauty of the fall leaves is over, and the barren trees are all that is left behind.

I’ve been watching the coverage of the snowstorms on the news and my heart goes out to everyone who is struggling through yet another winter storm.

Although we haven’t had the extreme weather here in Arkansas others are experiencing, I know how difficult it can be.

Some of the hard ice storms we’ve endured in the past are still fresh in my memory.

A few years ago, my mom was fighting cancer and we had to get her to St. Louis for an important treatment.

But the problem was we were in the middle of one of the worst ice storms in recent history. My dad, brother, and I spent most of the day shoveling snow, putting towels and kitty litter under the tires trying desperately to get the car uncovered and unstuck so we could leave before the next wave of snow came down. It was exhausting!

During these times it’s easy to forget the reason why God made winter.

When we’re shoveling snow, driving to work on sheets of ice, or battling a cold or the flu, the benefits of winter can get lost in the struggle just to get through it.

But God did create this season and He had a reason for it.

What is the biblical meaning of Winter?

Let’s read this Bible verse from Psalm 74 and find the biblical meaning of this glorious winter season!

You have set all the borders of the earth;

You have made summer and winter.

                                         Psalm 74:17 NKJV

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In the beginning, God established the borders and limits of nature for our benefit. He made a beautiful creation for us to live on when He created the earth.

And it is not a coincidence that He created the four seasons. Because each season has a purpose in maintaining our environment. And winter is an important part of God’s plan to preserve the earth for our use.

This verse from Psalm 74, describes this plan perfectly and shows us God’s sovereignty over all of creation.

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Benefits of Winter for Nature

 

Even though we may not see it while we’re shoving snow from the sidewalk or scraping ice off of our windshield, God’s blessings pour down on us during this critical time in nature.

And each of the things listed in this Bible verse from Isaiah 55, bless us in ways we can only see once winter has ended.

 

For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,

And do not return there,

But water the earth,

And make it bring forth and bud,

That it may give seed to the sower

And bread to the eater.

                                          Isaiah 55:10 NKJV

 

Just as our bodies need rest, so does the earth.

God, in His infinite wisdom, has given us and all of nature this time to rest and prepare for the coming spring.

The falling snow replenishes our water supply and keeps the trees alive during this dormant time. The frost protects the soil and keeps the seeds preserved for springtime planting.

Some of the animals are hibernating, while others have migrated to warmer climates. Giving them a time to rest and recuperate from the long summer months.

In truth, I’m hibernating a little bit this year too. I’m recovering from an injury and falling on the slippery ice is not my idea of a good time. So, I’ll use this cold snap to rest my body and refresh my spirit as I look forward to the coming spring.

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Spiritual Benefits of Cold Weather

This scripture from Isaiah 55 also has a bigger meaning we should address. Following these words about the Winter season the prophet wrote this…

It is the same with my word.
I send it out, and it always produces fruit.
It will accomplish all I want it to,
and it will prosper everywhere I send it.

                                    Isaiah 55:11 NLT

 

Just as the barren trees will once again produce fruit, the Word of God will prosper and never return void.

As we look at the benefits of winter, this is an important lesson for us.

Because the spiritual benefits of cold weather far outweigh anything going on in nature.

Building upon our faith by reading the Bible and praying should always be our priority. And winter, our God-given time of rest, is the perfect time to reconnect with God’s Word and store it in our hearts!

So, I plan to spend a great deal of my time this Winter reading the Bible and preparing my heart for the spiritual springtime ahead. My hope and prayer are that you will do the same.

May you be blessed by the truth of God’s Word and see the Benefits of Winter in your life today!

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How to Overcome Doubt – Matthew 14:31

How to Overcome Doubt Matthew 14:31

Doubt is a dirty word in Christian circles. It’s something we don’t talk about just in case the pastor is listening. And we pretend we don’t feel it because we think our friends will look down on us if we admit it. So, in this devotional, we’ll read the words of Jesus from Matthew 14:3,1 and learn how to overcome doubt.

What is the meaning of Matthew 14:31?

Let’s read this scripture together…

 

O you of little faith, why did you doubt?

                                                   Matthew 14:31 NKJV

The truth is… No matter how long we’ve been Christians, or how strongly we feel about our faith in God, we all have doubt. Every single one of us.

I have doubt, and I bet you do too.

Having doubt doesn’t mean we’re bad or that we don’t love Jesus. It just means we’re human. Because it’s human nature to doubt what we can’t see.

We think if we can’t touch it or hold it in our hand, then maybe it’s not real. Sometimes doubt is just a fleeting thought. It comes to us in an instant and leaves just as quickly. But other times doubt lingers. It plays tricks with our minds, tears us apart on the inside, and robs us of our joy.

What causes doubt?

Before we go into how to overcome doubt, let’s look at where it comes from. If we can understand the source of our doubt, we can easily quiet it when it comes calling.

#1 Satan

All Christians have an enemy in Satan. He seeks to destroy us. And doubt is one of the many tactics he uses against us.

He will search for a way into our lives to achieve his goal of utterly demolishing us. And once he has found a way in, He is relentless in his attack.

He slinks in, like the snake he is and puts doubt in our minds leaving us feeling hopeless. Then he’ll slink off again to look for some other poor soul to terrorize.

But we don’t need to fear Satan or listen to his lies. Jesus has already defeated him. However, we do need to be mindful of his plan to place doubt in our hearts and minds and learn to recognize his devious actions.

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#2 Outside Sources

We are called to live in the world but not of it. But sometimes living in the world leaves us vulnerable to doubt. These outside sources are the things of this world that distract us from God’s plan. They could be the people we surround ourselves with, the things we read or watch on TV, social media, etc. Anything we put into our minds can cause doubt to form if we allow it to influence our thoughts and beliefs.

#3 Ourselves

Sometimes our doubt is much closer to home than we would like it to be. At times, we can be our own worst enemy. Our view of ourselves can leave us feeling like we’re not good enough or that we’re a failure. These negative thoughts can cause doubt to creep into our minds if we allow them to take hold.

How to Overcome Doubt in Faith

God, in His infinite wisdom, knows the innermost workings of our minds. He knows we have doubt and He knows we wonder where He is when everything goes wrong in our lives. He understands our hearts and He has not left us alone to face doubt on our own. We can recognize what causes doubt and quickly overcome it with one simple God-given tool…our Faith!

 

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

                                                   Hebrews 11:1 NKJV

Faith is the gift of God, given to us to help in the times we face doubt and unbelief. It is the evidence of the things we can’t see but know in our hearts to be true.

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How do you overcome doubt?

In Matthew 14:31, Jesus said to the disciples, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”  But what does this simple scripture means?

The disciples had been with Jesus, and they saw Him perform miracle after miracle. They had the unique opportunity of being an eyewitness to the ministry of the Savior. And they still had doubt!

At some point, each of us made the decision to give our lives to Christ because the Holy Spirit showed us the truth of who Jesus is.

Unlike the disciples, we have not physically witnessed the miracles of Jesus. But we know for a fact God is real and Jesus is the Son of God because of our faith.

And even though We may not be able to reach out and touch God or witness the miracles of Jesus with our own eyes, but we can see what He has done in our lives, around us, and for us.

We have seen the hand of God at work. This is the evidence of our faith Hebrews 11 talks about. And our salvation through Jesus at work.

If we look around we will see God’s goodness surrounding us. And when doubt enters our minds, we can remember those times when we were so close to God it did feel like we could touch Him.

How to Overcome Doubt Biblically

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

                                                     Romans 10:17 KJV

We have the most powerful weapon on earth at our disposal, God’s Word. Faith comes by hearing the word of God and understanding the truth within it. We can grow our faith by reading the Bible and storing it in our hearts. When we become firmly grounded in God’s truth, doubt will no longer have a hold on us. Instead of allowing doubt to destroy us, we can simply turn to the Scriptures and lean on the promises of God to get us through. Because God’s word is real!

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Prayer to Overcome Doubt and Unbelief

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord I believe, help my unbelief!”

                                                      Mark 9:24

This is a prayer of a man who had doubt in his heart but still wanted to believe. It’s an honest and heartbreaking cry to the only One who could help him in his suffering.

We all know how this man felt because we’ve been there, on our knees begging God to help us in our pain and unbelief.

But when doubt creeps in, we have a direct line to God. We can shoot up a prayer to Him in a second and ask Him for strength and guidance.

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

                                                    James 5:16 NIV

Our prayers are not effective because we have great faith or because we are faithful to God. They are effective only because we are righteous through our belief in Jesus.

This is our promise from God… He is always faithful to us, and He will hear our prayers when we call out to Him.

How to Overcome Doubt as a Christian

Yes, we all have doubt, but doubt doesn’t have to keep us from experiencing the loving touch of God’s hand in our lives.

It’s okay to have questions. And it’s okay to ask God to help us when we doubt.

But we cannot afford to let doubt penetrate our minds and our souls. We must recognize it for what it is and stop it in its tracks.

Our faith is the tool that helps us to overcome our doubt and seek God’s face in times of need. Each of the Bible verses in this devotional teaches us how to overcome doubt in God and persevere in times of unbelief.

And this final Bible verse tells us where to find hope for such times…

For You are my hope, O Lord God;
You are my trust from my youth.

                                         Psalm 71:5 NKJV

 

So today, I pray each of us will turn away from doubt, seek hope in God, and grow our faith in Jesus.

May God bless you! And help you through times of doubt and unbelief!

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More Inspiring Bible Verses about God’s Hands

More Inspiring Bible Verses about God's Hands

Previously, we looked at some Inspiring Bible verses about God’s Hands. If you missed it, you’re welcome to read it first and then come back. There are so many verses about the hand of God in the Bible, honestly, it was hard for me to pick just a few. So today, I’d like to share More Inspiring Bible Verses about God’s Hands.

As we talked about before, hands are a constant in my life. They play an important part in my Bible Verse Art. Each piece begins with a word that reminds me of who God is. From there I place pictures of hands into the art to spell out that unique word in American Sign Language. Without these pictures, my art wouldn’t exist.

And these pictures wouldn’t exist without the person posing for them. They’re my father’s hands and that makes them extra special to me. Plus, he thinks it’s kinda funny being a hand model. 😊  He didn’t see that one coming.

My father’s hands have done so many things for me over the years. When I was young, his hand took mine as we walked down the sidewalk together, keeping me close and protected. Later, his hands held me up and kept my head above water while I learned to swim in my grandparent’s backyard pool. During the terrible teen years, his hand grabbed the steering wheel and kept me from veering into oncoming traffic as he taught me how to drive. (Whew, thanks for that one, Dad!) And now as an adult, his hands are still there guiding me. Hey, they’re even in my artwork! If you asked him about these things, he’d say he was just doing what dads do, loving and supporting their kids as they make their way through life.

Yes, A father’s hands do so many things. And our Heavenly Father’s hands are no different. In times of trouble, the hands of God take care of us and give us shelter. When we feel down, defeated, or all alone, they comfort us. When we don’t know what comes next, they mold and shape us into our future selves. And when we feel weak, they offer us the strength to keep going. Why? Because that’s what our loving Heavenly Father does. His hands are there for us through all of life’s ups and downs. Nothing is too big for Him to handle. And nothing is too small for Him to notice.

As you read these Hand of God scriptures, look closing at what God has to say to you. Can you see His hands in your life? I hope so. And I pray that you will find comfort and encouragement in God’s hands today.

God’s Healing Hands

And He has made My mouth like a sharp sword;
In the shadow of His hand He has hidden Me,
And made Me a polished shaft;
In His quiver He has hidden Me.”

                              Isaiah 49:2

 

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

                             1 Peter 5:6-7

 

For I considered all this in my heart, so that I could declare it all: that the righteous and the wise and their works are in the hand of God.

                             Ecclesiastes 9:1

 

My times are in Your hand;
Deliver me from the hand of my enemies,
And from those who persecute me.

                             Psalm 31:5

Lord’s hands in the creation

 

I have made the earth, And created man on it. I—My hands—stretched out the heavens, And all their host I have commanded.

                                Isaiah 45:12


I am He, I am the First,
I am also the Last.
Indeed My hand has laid the foundation of the earth,
And My right hand has stretched out the heavens;
When I call to them,
They stand up together.

                                Isaiah 48:12-13

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Potter and Clay scripture

 

O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?” says the Lord. “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel!

                                Jeremiah 18:6

 

But now, O Lord, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.

                                Isaiah 64:8

 

The precious sons of Zion, Valuable as fine gold, How they are regarded as clay pots, The work of the hands of the potter!

                               Lamentations 4:2

 

 

Jesus at the right hand of God

through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.

                                1 Peter 3:22

 

The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”

                                Psalm 110:1

 

But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”

                                Acts 7:55

 

In God’s Hand

And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.

                                 John 10:28-29

 

As you can see, the Lord’s hands can be seen in every part of our lives! And when I created Master’s Hand Collection a few years ago, the message God wanted me to convey was crystal clear. His hands are always at work in our lives. So, I pray through sharing more inspiring Bible verses about God’s hands you will see Him at work in your life and say… Lord, it’s in your hands.

Did any of these scriptures stand out to you?

My favorite is the potter and clay Bible verse from Isaiah 64:8. It always reminds me that I’m a work in progress and God is still molding me into the person I’ll become.

Please leave me a comment below and let me know which scripture spoke to you and why. I love hearing from you and sharing the journey to seeing God’s hand together.

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By |2021-08-17T19:16:45-05:00August 16th, 2021|Bible Verses, God's hand|2 Comments

7 Simple Ways to See God’s Hand in Your Life

7 Simple Ways to See God's Hand in Your Life Free Devotional

There’s an anonymous quote I love. It says… Those who leave everything in God’s hand will eventually see God’s hand in everything.” That’s such a beautiful sentiment and one I can completely get behind.

Because the truth is, the more we look for God in our lives, the more we see Him. He is always at work behind the scenes, molding and shaping us into the people He wants us to become. And He is always protecting and loving us no matter what challenges we face.

More quotes about God’s hands.

Take a moment to imagine what it would be like to see God’s hand in your life.

What does His hand look like in your mind’s eye? Would it change your everyday life if you could see His hand clearer?

We’re all searching for God’s hand. Because at our core we know He is the answer to the problems we face every day. And we know if we could just figure out how to see His hand, our lives would turn around and be changed forever.

You’ve probably heard someone say,” I saw God’s hand in my life!”. It’s a phrase that comes up often in Christian circles, in conversations with other believers, or in testimonies given at church.

But what exactly does it mean to see God’s hand in your life? Is this something you’re supposed to look for? Or is it already there?

So, in our quest to find God’s hand, I decided to write a devotional…

7 Simple Ways to See God’s Hand in Your Life is completely free to download and written to help YOU find God’s hand in YOUR life. In this Bible Study, we’ll explore and answer the burning question, how can I see God’s hand in my life today? As we work our way through this short (and free 😊) Bible Study, we’ll look at six simple ways to see God’s hand in our lives.

#1 Walk Hand in Hand with God

A new beginning starts on day 1! To see God’s hand, take hold of it and learn to walk hand in hand with Him.

#2 Inscribed on His Hand

Day 2 is all about God’s deep and unwavering affection for us. This lesson will reveal the true nature of our relationship with Him.

 

Free Devotional 7 Simple Ways to See God's Hand in Your Life

 

#3 Protected Under a Mighty Hand

As we discussed before, the struggles we face are real. And the burdens and worry of life are never far away. But on day 3 we’ll discover the answer to life’s troubles and the perfect place to be when they hit us hard.

 

#4 A Generous Hand

God’s generosity is immeasurable! And His hand goes above and beyond to provide all we need. This is the truth we’ll explore on day 4.

 

#5 The Strength of God’s Hand

We all have times when we feel weak. But at our lowest, we have the strength of God’s hand to rely on. Day 5 offers us hope for our weakest moments.

 

#6 Secure in His Hand

It’s human nature to seek safety. On day 6 we’ll talk about where real security comes. I’ll give you one guess… That’s right, it’s God’s hand!

 

#7 is a Life Changer!

You won’t want to miss this special lesson on day #7. It will change everything you thought you knew about your relationship with Jesus!

I hope you’ll resist the temptation to jump ahead because each of the six lessons leads up to this life-changing truth!

Yah! Jazz hands! High fives! And a big thumbs up! 😊

Seeing God’s hand in everything is a hallmark of Christian life. His hand tells us the story of who He is and how He reaches out to us in our struggles. It’s an image of the divine interaction between God and His people. And it’s God’s characteristics, His very nature, that are on display when we feel His healing touch. And just like the anonymous quote above tells us… The more we leave our problems in God’s hand, the more we’ll see Him working in our lives!

So, if you’re ready, let’s get started on 7 Simple Ways to See God’s Hand in Your Life…

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By |2021-08-17T12:39:33-05:00August 15th, 2021|God's hand|2 Comments

Living Water – John 4:10

Living Water John 4:10 What is living water? And what is the main point of John 4:10? Find out three tips to quench spiritual thirst.

What is living water? And what is the main point of John 4:10?

Let’s start with water itself.

Water is essential for our physical well-being. Without this critical element, life couldn’t exist.

And there’s no better example of this than the summer heat.

This summer seems to have flown by fast. But soaring temperatures are still in the forecast, at least for a little while longer. So, as the mercury continues to rise, we naturally look for ways to keep the heat at bay.

We all know the drill…stay inside with the AC on whenever possible, wear sunscreen when we go outside, and most importantly drink plenty of water.

If we don’t, we just might find ourselves lacking the proper hydration and in need of some serious relief.

When the sun beats down, we long for this cool relief water provides. A long dip in cool streams of blue water, or a sip of refreshing ice-cold water. They remind us to replenish our bodies with this life-giving liquid.

But as the end of summer approaches, our thoughts turn to the obligations the coming fall season will bring. Our lives are about to heat up in a different way with a new school year, work, family and friends, church activities and so much more. Honestly, it’s a lot to handle. With each new thing we add to our list, we pour a little more water out of our figurative cup.

Before we know it, we’re caught in the day-to-day grind and feeling spiritually thirsty with a cup that has run completely dry. We become depleted and crave spiritual refreshment. Or as the psalmist so beautifully wrote in these Bible verses about spiritual thirst…

 

My soul longs for You like a thirsty land.  Psalm 143:6

and

 

As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.  Psalm 42:1

These two scriptures speak so eloquently to the craving of a thirsty soul, searching for what will restore and renew.

So, the question becomes… Where do you find Living Water?

The good news is, we don’t have to look far to find living water in our lives every day. Here are three tips to quench spiritual thirst when life gets too hot.

 

#1 Jesus is the Living Water so let’s go directly to the Source.

 

“If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” 

“Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again;  but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

                                                          John 4:10; 13-14

Close to where I live, there’s a quaint little town called Eureka Springs. It’s a beautiful place located in the majestic Ozark Mountains. It began as a place of refuge for the sick. People in Victorian times believed the many natural springs in the area had healing properties and would go directly to the water source to be healed. Today, the springs are still flowing, they’re a force of nature that can’t be stopped. And people still flock to the town to bathe in their natural waters.

This is how I see Jesus, He is the source of living water in our lives. He has the power to heal whatever ails us. And He is like one of these natural springs. An unending flow of living water springing up, and a force of nature that can’t be stopped.

The deep spiritual thirst inside of us can only be quenched by knowing Him. So, He offers us the gift of living water which is eternal life. And it’s not just a little drip every now and then. Through Jesus we have an unlimited amount of living water springing up directly from the source, flowing through us, and ready to give a drink to the thirsty parts of our soul whenever we need it.

Free Devotional 7 Simple Ways to See God's Hand in Your Life

#2 Draw from the wells of salvation.

Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

                                                            Isaiah 12:3

 

Digging a well is no small feat. You’ve got to get in there and dig down, deeper and deeper until you find the water shelf where the fresh water lies. But once you hit pay dirt, the well is there for you to draw from every day without fail.

When our lives become like a barren wasteland, we thirst for the joy of our salvation. And sometimes we have to dig down deep to find it.

But the wells of salvation have already been dug for us, all we have to do is draw the water from them. There, deep in the wells of salvation, we’ll find joy and relief from the arid landscape of our lives. So, draw from the wells and refresh your thirsty soul today.

#3 Drink from the Rivers of Living Water.

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

                                                          John 7:37-38

As we already talked about, our physical bodies need drinking water every day to survive. Without it we become thirsty and parched. Then, we get cranky and cotton-mouthed. If enough passes by without this crucial element, eventually, we’ll die. That kind of thirst is a terrible thing. And in the middle of a crisis like that, nothing could possibly taste better than a tall, ice-cold glass of water.

As much as our bodies need water to survive, our spiritual selves need living water every day to flourish too. Without this critical element, we’ll wither away.

But we don’t have to thirst spiritually because our belief in the Son of the living God creates rivers of living water that flow out of our hearts.

Faith is the key to keeping our cups full. In the midst of our thirst, Jesus calls out to us, “come to Me and drink.” There is no need to thirst or want. He is there ready to pour living water into our empty cup and fill it full to the brim, renewing our spirits and refreshing our minds.

Is the summer heat making you thirsty, tired or even a little burned out? Are you wondering, where do you find Living Water to quench your thirsty soul?

Jesus said… I am the Living Water. So, go to the Source, draw from the wells, and find streams of living water flowing freely from your heart!

I truly hope and pray you will be blessed by the truth of who He is and by these scriptures as you drink the Living Water of Jesus today!

Have a happy and safe rest of the summer!

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When you purchase any Master’s Hand Collection item, 10 percent of all proceeds are donated to deaf ministries around the world. THANK YOU for helping to spread the gospel to this under served community.

May God bless you greatly!

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By |2021-08-16T13:02:01-05:00August 15th, 2021|Christian Life, Jesus|6 Comments

15 Essential Bible Verses about Hope

15 Essential Bible Verses about Hope

These Essential Bible Verses about Hope give us strength and courage to get through the hard times. And they comfort and us when we need healing and peace.

But before we get to the hopeful Bible verses, let’s take a moment to think about what hope actually is.

Because hope is a word that gets thrown around a lot.

What is hope?

We hope when we get to Walmart there’ll be a parking spot close to the door.

We hope we’ll find a twenty-dollar bill on the ground as we walk into the store.

And we hope the bakery will have that pastry we like so much.

These small hopes get us through the day.

But when life takes a turn for the worst, that one little word, hope, becomes essential to our well-being. It means the difference between spiraling down into despair or putting one foot in front of the other and pressing on.

Hope in the Bible

The hope we have as Christians is very different from what the rest of the world has. Their hope relies on wishful thinking and whatever strength they can muster up inside of themselves.

While they’re wrestling to find hope deep within, we don’t have to. Because our hope comes from a completely different source, and it doesn’t have anything to do with wishful thinking.

This is the hope we’re going to read about in just a moment, the hope in the Bible.

Where does real hope come from?

Our hope comes directly from God and His strength, not our own! And the most essential part of finding hope is understanding who He is.

God is faithful to fulfill His promises! He will never let us down! And when we put our trust in Him, we can expect hope to rise to the surface no matter what circumstance we’re facing.

Yes, there will be days when we’re feeling a little less than hopeful, but we can turn to the scriptures and be reminded of God’s strength, His faithfulness, and His special kind of hope!

Today in this short devotional, we’re looking at 15+ Essential Bible Verses about Hope. Each one is a powerful promise that will fill you with hope as you store them in your heart for safekeeping.

So, let’s read these scriptures on hope together…

Free Devotional 7 Simple Ways to See God's Hand in Your Life

Inspirational Words of Hope from the Bible

 

Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in the Lord his God,

                                                  Psalm 146:5

 

“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!”

                                                 Lamentations 3:24

 

For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

                                                 Romans 8:24-25

 Read More: How to Abound in Hope Romans 15:13

God of Hope

 

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

                                                 Romans 15:13

 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

                                                1 Peter 1:3

 

who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

                                                1 Peter 1:21

 

And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

                                                1 John 3:3

 

 

Bible Verses about Hope and Strength

 

Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the Lord.

                                                    Psalm 21:34

 

but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

                                                 Isaiah 40:31 NIV

 

Be strong and take heart,
all you who hope in the Lord.

                                              Psalm 31:24 NIV

 

Bible Verses about Hope in Hard Times

 

rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer

                                                   Romans 12:12 NKJV

 

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

                                                   Hebrews 10:23

 

Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance.

                                                    Psalm 42:5

 

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

                                                  Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

 

Read More: Why Should We Love One Another? 1 John 4:7

Bible Verses about Love and Hope

 

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

 

                                                  Romans 5:5

 

For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.

                                                  Romans 15:4

 

Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;

                                               1 Thessalonians 1:3 KJV

 

 

Bible Verses about Hope and Trust

 

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord.

                                                Jeremiah 17:7

 

For You are my hope, O Lord God; You are my trust from my youth.

                                                Psalm 71:5

 

 

Faith Hope and Love Verse

 

And now these three remain faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

                                              1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV

 

 

When hope seems like a lost cause, these 15+ Essential Bible Verses about Hope will carry you through to the other side. I pray you will store them in your heart, put your trust in God, and see hope rise!

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By |2021-09-27T12:16:25-05:00August 13th, 2021|Bible Verses, Hope|0 Comments

Will You Stand Firm in the Faith? – 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Will You Stand Firm in the Faith? 1 Corinthians 16:13

Will you stand firm in the faith even when it’s hard? And how do you stand strong in your faith when the world is against everything you believe?

I think we can all agree it’s easy to be a Christian on Sunday. We go to church where we’re surrounded by other people who believe as we do. We sing and worship together, and we listen to the sermon to find inspiration for the week ahead.

The challenge comes when we leave that church building. Waiting for us outside those doors is a world filled with people who oppose our beliefs and want us to be silent.

In their eyes, it’s okay if we believe our silly little thoughts as long as we don’t talk about them or try to persuade anyone else to believe them.

Have you ever had someone tell you that you shouldn’t talk about your faith? I know I have! And it always takes me by surprise.

Yes, they want us to be silent. But our faith is bigger than them and it’s bigger than us too.

Bible verse about standing up for what is right

This quote from Jesus says “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32.

We have the truth because we have Jesus. We know who we serve, and we know what has been done for us.

So, it’s our job and our privilege to share our faith with the people around us. To stand up for what we believe in and tell them the good news so they can have the same assurance of freedom in the Lord Jesus Christ that we have.

Here’s what the Apostle Paul had to say in 1 Corinthians 16:13 about this challenge every Christian faces.

Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love.

                                                   1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NKJV

This is an inspirational Bible verse about standing up for what you believe in. And within this scripture, there are five distinct commands to follow. Let’s explore each one together and discover the meaning of stand firm in the faith.

#1 Watch

As women, we are taught to watch what is going on around us when we’re in a public place.

Our parents teach us when we are young girls not to talk to strangers. When we get a little older, we’re told not to park our car in a dark parking structure or next to a van. They say don’t go on long walks alone in a neighborhood park or on a blind date with someone we just met online.

We’re taught all of this to keep us safe from someone who may want to harm us physically. But this command, “Watch” is directed at our spiritual wellbeing.

Because there are people out there who are against our faith. And they would like nothing more than to cause us to doubt our beliefs. So, we should take this warning seriously. Be watchful and on alert. Be aware of who we surround ourselves with. And be mindful of what their agenda may be.

Free Devotional 7 Simple Ways to See God's Hand in Your Life

#2 Stand Fast

As we just talked about, there are unsaved people out there who would like nothing more than to put doubt in our minds.

But there is another, more dangerous enemy to be on guard against. They are false teachers who sow confusion, not just in other religions, but within our own too.

These false teachers have a watered-down view of Christianity, or what I like to call the “rose-colored glasses” version of the Bible.

And they are not doing us any favors by misleading us about what the Bible says!

It is up to us to know what the Bible teaches and to stand fast in our faith, or as the NIV translation of the Bible puts it, stand firm in the faith.

I love that word, “firm”. It makes me think about Jesus being my firm foundation and the rock that I can stand on no matter what circumstance I face.

I hope when you hear the word firm, you have a similar image in your mind. Because our faith is built on the firm foundation and truth of Jesus Christ.

Our job here on earth is to stand fast in the faith. We are responsible for knowing the truth of God’s word for ourselves, understanding what is in it, and not allow false teachers to lead us astray.

Read More: Jesus is Our Firm Foundation

#3 Be Brave

It’s never fun to be called out and have to defend yourself. I get it, and I feel the same way. I don’t like confrontation either, it’s awkward and uncomfortable.

But we live in a world where our faith will be tested. We will be challenged, and we will be asked questions.

So when this happens, we have to be brave enough to face the challenge head-on. We can be ready with an answer and be willing to share our faith with an unbelieving world because we know the truth of God’s Word.

#4 Be Strong

Our society tells us that we are supposed to be politically correct. We shouldn’t say anything that might offend someone else. If we don’t agree, then we should just be polite and keep our mouths shut.

But God has not called Christians to be silent, He has called us to be strong.

Instead of silence, we should speak openly and plainly about our faith with those people who hold different beliefs and have questions about ours.

And we should be mindful that our words are always grounded in Biblical truth. If they are, then we should be strong enough to speak these truths with confidence knowing that God’s Word never returns void. (Isaiah 55:11)

#5 With Love

The four previous commands are forceful, maybe more forceful than we feel we should be sometimes.

But our Christian love for other people is the most important part of this equation.

Love is what binds us together and our love for the unsaved should be what motivates us to share our faith.

God doesn’t ask us to be judgmental or to beat people over the head with a Bible. Our kindness and love for our fellow man will go a lot farther than browbeating them ever could.

God wants us to show His love to an unbelieving world so that when they look at us, they can see Him.

Together we can show the love of Christ to those who need Him the most. With our love, we can be the beacon of light that shines the way to Jesus.

Read More: Why Should We Love One Another?

Sundays are a great day for us to get fired up for Jesus, and connect with other Christians. But our challenge is to live our life for Jesus every day of the week. When we do the benefits of standing firm in the Lord will speak for themselves.

The quote, actions speak louder than words, is very true. And our actions are important because the world is watching us.

What will they see? Someone who loves them with the love of Christ? Someone who is standing firm in the faith every day? Or are we just casual Christians going to church on Sunday and living our lives as we see fit the rest of the week?

I hope I am not that person. And my prayer is that I will be able to stand fast in my faith when challenged, have love for those people God puts in my life, and share the truth of Jesus with them.

How about you? Will you stand firm in your faith? Have the courage to live for Jesus every day? And share His love with those around you?

I pray you will join me in taking up this challenge to live for Jesus and stand firm in the faith every day of the week!

As always, May God bless you!

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2 Older Comments. (These comments cannot be replied to, but you are welcome to leave your thoughts in the Comments section below.)

Sandra J.

10/27/2017 05:41:29 pm

Hi, I’m your neighbor at #FaithonFire and a first time visitor. I so appreciate this meditation from Scripture. Beautiful thoughts, beautiful verse! Blessings!

Connie from Master’s Hand Collection

10/28/2017 09:17:41 am

Hi Sandra! I’m so glad you could stop by. Thank you for the encouraging comment. May God bless you!

By |2021-08-31T17:32:49-05:00August 9th, 2021|Christian Life, Faith|0 Comments

What does Taste and See that the Lord is good mean? Psalm 34:8

What does taste and see that the Lord is good mean? Find out with this taste and see scripture from Psalm 34:8

We experience the world through our senses. They give us the ability to understand our surroundings and enjoy life. This taste and see scripture from Psalm 34:8 gives us an exciting invitation to experience the goodness of God through two of our God-given senses…

 

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;

Blessed is the man who trusts in Him.

                                         Psalm 34:8

What does Taste and See that the Lord is good mean?

The sense of taste has the power to take us to unseen places. Sometimes, it’s a faraway locale or a dream vacation in the making. And other times it’s back in time to a special memory of sharing a meal with loved ones.

I love to watch those TV shows about cooking. You know the ones where the host describes what their food tastes like for the viewing audience. The sweetness of a strawberry shortcake, how the spongy cake mingles with the buttery cream and rich berries. The flaky crust and gooey, warm filling of a tart cherry pie. Or a spicy, hot enchilada. The way the flavors burst in your mouth and fill your taste buds with pleasure!

And I love to taste the flavors of my childhood. My Granny made the most scrumptious chicken and dumplings and the most delicious biscuits and gravy imaginable! With each yummy bite, I’m transported to a different time and place. Happy memories of my family gathered around the table, laughing and living life together fill my soul while I’m filling my tummy.

But the sense of taste isn’t something you can learn from someone else. It’s something you must experience for yourself. You can listen all day long to someone describe the flavors, but to taste them, you have to actually put the food in your mouth and eat it.

Taste and See the Goodness of the Lord

In the same way that we can taste our favorite foods and savor them, we can also enjoy God’s goodness. But this taste and see scripture teaches us, if want the goodness of the Lord in our life, we need to be intentional about it. Once we’ve developed a relationship with God by feeding our minds with His Word and by putting our trust in Him, we’ll experience the fullness of God’s blessings toward us.

But tasting God’s goodness is just the beginning! Because…

Free Devotional 7 Simple Ways to See God's Hand in Your Life

Seeing is Believing

The experience of tasting leads us to seeing. And seeing is believing. If we believe in our hearts that God is good, then our eyes will be open to seeing His goodness on display in our lives every day.

God has given each of us many blessings. Through the simple things like getting us to and from work safely every day, to the big earth-shattering moments where life takes an unexpected turn, the goodness of God never changes.

And we’re able to see God’s blessings just like we can see the beauty of a sunset with its brilliant colors fading into each other. The vast ocean with its sandy beach. A babbling brook, cool and blue. Or a rolling hillside, lush and green. Think of all of the amazing sights God has created for us to see!

 

God is good

God is good all the time! And the outcome of both tasting and seeing, is believing in the goodness of God. Through both the good and bad times, God shows His true colors by blessing us with mercy and compassion. Because He is good, we are able to taste and see His goodness surrounding us when we need Him the most. He loves us and wants to share His goodness with us.

So, if you want to see the goodness of God and His and blessings, just taste and see them for yourself today!

P.S. If you need a little more inspiration… This taste and see song always shows me a glimpse of God’s goodness!

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By |2021-08-08T18:57:43-05:00August 8th, 2021|Christian Life, Summer|7 Comments