WeepingintoDancing

Overcoming Difficult Trials

Archive for the tag “Bible”

Good Reasons To Memorize Bible Verses

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(http://memorizethebible.com/#chapter-1)

When you’re put on the spot, what will you say? Will you say, let me check my smart phone or iPad? Let me find that scripture on my computer?

Knowing God’s word = spiritual power and authority (Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12)

Renews your mind and changes your way of thinking — permanent change in your life and conduct (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2-3).

Follows the example of Jesus Christ (Matthew 4:1-10).

You are equipped to use Scripture in real life situations (Acts 2:16-21, 25-28; 3:22-23; 13:40-41, 47).

Makes God’s Word the foundation of your life (Deuteronomy 6:6-8).

Integrates God’s guidance with your mind (Psalm 119:24, 105).

Allows confidence in witnessing (Isaiah 55:11).

Conquer temptation (Matthew 4:1-10) and to gain victory over sin (Psalm 119:9-11).

Pray the Bible by connecting your prayer with scripture (Acts 4:24-31).
Teach, counsel, encourage, and build others in the Body of Christ (Colossians 3:16).

Mediate on God’s Word (Psalm 119:15-16, 97).

Keeps God’s Word immediately available for comfort (Psalm 119:52).

Keeps God’s Word ready to refresh or revive (Psalm 119:93).

Maintains spiritual life stability (Psalm 37:31; 40:8).

Gives you the truth and, in times of need, you are ready to answer others about your hope (Proverbs 22:17-21; 1 Peter 3:15).

God’s Unfolding Plan For Our Life

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God’s plan for our life is one that continuously unfolds. Minute-by-minute, day-by-day, and step-by-step He guides, all the while unfolding His glorious intentions. His wonderful blueprint for our lives was designed before we were even born. Every detail was considered when He assigned our mission, duty, responsibility, and occupation (s). He created and set circumstances into place that would refine our gifts and engage our specific attributes. Always, ALWAYS is our service for His glory and the blessing of His people. Moses is a wonderful example of this fact.

“Then the Lord said to Moses,  “Tell the Israelites to turn back and encamp near Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. They are to encamp by the sea, directly opposite Baal Zephon.  Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.’  And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for Myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.” So the Israelites did this.” Exodus 14:1-4 (NKJV)

Pharaoh and his army pursued the Israelites, and overtook them as they camped by the sea.As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord.” Exodus 14:10 (NKJV)

The Israelites later turned on Moses and questioned why they ever followed him into the desert. They were prepared to return to Egypt and once again become slaves. Their faith in God’s power was weak and they saw no way out of their trap. The Red Sea was an apparent roadblock, but God would use that roadblock for His glory. Nothing is impossible for God! On that day the Israelites witnessed another incredible miracle of God’s provision and faithfulness as they walked on dry land, through the Red Sea, to safety.

Do you see how God’s plan unfolded? God gave Moses directions, telling him to encamp by the sea. God also told Moses that Pharaoh would pursue the Israelites. Furthermore, God revealed that He would gain glory for Himself through Pharaoh’s assault. But God did not tell Moses the Israelites would panic and turn on him. God often unfolds His plan measure-by-measure. He tells us enough to get us moving in the right direction but then, there are tests of obedience and faith that He intertwines in our journey.

Moses obediently camped by the sea and was not surprised by the appearance of the Egyptian army. Trusting God would faithfully deliver His people, Moses did not allow the Red Sea to become an obstacle. He remembered God said, “But I will gain glory for Myself through Pharaoh and all his army,” and so the parting of the Red Sea fulfilled this prophesy.

God wants us to depend on Him daily. Moses did not have directions for the next week or month. He took one day at a time. He had to train his ear to LISTEN for God’s voice.

Now consider the apostles. Their lives were a continuous unfolding. After Jesus rose from the dead, He told His friends to go back to the city and wait for the Holy Spirit.

I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24:49 (NIV)

Jesus did not tell them what the promise would look like. He gave them only the directions they needed, go back to the city and wait. Obediently, they waited in the city for the promise to be clothed with heavenly power. Once the Holy Spirit arrived, they learned to discern His leading. They healed many in the name of Jesus, spread the gospel, established churches, and wrote words of encouragement that are now known as the LIVING Word of God.

Jesus told Peter to “Feed my sheep.” He did not give Peter detailed instructions on how to accomplish this request, but He did equip him. Every apostle went out and shared the good news. Apostles were persecuted for their faith, unfolded as part of their Christian race. God taught them to be content in times of plenty and times of want. They gave Him continuous praise as they knew He was ever present and in control.

Other examples of walking with God and trusting Him to unfold His plan include Abraham: Leave you homeland

Now the Lord had said to Abram: ‘Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you.  I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ ” Genesis 12:1-3 (NKJV)

Joshua: March around Jericho

Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in. Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.” Joshua 6:1-5

God has a purpose and service for each one of us. Maybe it is in the prayer closet. We might not see the fruit of our labor, but the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Prayers are ALWAYS answered in God’s time and for His glory. God unfolds how to pray and who to pray for by using the Holy Spirit to direct us while on our knees.

We are all called to share the Good News. We must look for the opportunity and trust God to give us the wisdom and knowledge to share His love. Maybe we will help a stranger and God will unfold the best way to witness. A neighbor might need of a ride somewhere and you hear God say, “Drive!” After you obey this unusual request, God might unfold His real purpose for your service. Every day unfolds new mysteries of God’s love for us.

Wait on God to fulfill His promises. Wait for the Savior to unfold His plan for your life. He is equipping you now for what lies in the future. Patiently wait and remember that God looks for willing servants who say, “Lord, send me!”

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8 (NIV)

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10153044654302949&fref=nf

“Today I know that such memories are the key not to the past, but to the future. I know that the experiences of our lives, when we let God use them, become the mysterious and perfect preparation for the work He will give us to do. ”                        ~ Corrie ten Boom

“Have you been asking God what He is going to do? He will never tell you. God does not tell you what He is going to do; He reveals to you who He is.”                                  ~Oswald Chambers

Go To The Bible For Instruction

Instruction Manual:Bible

Dear God,

Thank You for placing the Holy Spirit within us, He is our helper. Teach us to discern His voice and follow His lead. Thank You for providing us with the LIVING Word. Each  jot and tittle within the Bible has a purpose and use. Prompt us to seek guidance from the “instruction manual” You provided, BEFORE seeking counsel from man. Teach us to go to the FATHER when life is confusing or when we are overwhelmed with the cares of the world. Then, grant us the self-control to patiently wait and listen for an answer to our petition, or further instructions. Learning to depend on You requires faith. We believe… help us in our disbelief.

“For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:18-19 (NKJV)

“The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God.”    ~ A.W. Tozer

Trials Are Full Of Hidden Blessings

 

*Joseph

When a trial comes your way, do you groan and think of it as an ordeal to muddle through? Is your first reaction fear and dread, or do you see each new struggle with more positive eyes? The love of Jesus can shed light on your difficulties and bring about a change in your perspective. Trials are actually opportunities chock full of hidden blessings.

“Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure.”  – Anonymous

Consider the story of Joseph. He was betrayed by his brothers and sold into slavery. He was forced to live in a foreign land without family.

“Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. And Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him down there.  The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.  And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand.  So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority.”  Genesis 39:1-4 (NKJV)

One might think Joseph had suffered enough by this time and that God would continue to bless him in the home of Potiphar. Maybe Joseph was content with his position as his master’s overseer. But God had bigger plans for Joseph, a bigger house for him to oversee, so He continued to test and refine him.

Joseph caught the eye of Potiphar’s wife, who aggressively pursued him and asked for sexual favors. Unwilling to lie with her, he ran from temptation. Because of Joseph’s righteousness and unwillingness to sin, he found himself in the middle of a new trial. Although He had been kidnapped, made to live as a slave in a foreign land, was absent from all family support, he was sent to prison …. But the Lord’s favor followed him.

“So it was, when his master heard the words which his wife spoke to him, saying, ‘Your servant did to me after this manner,’ that his anger was aroused. Then Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were confined. And he was there in the prison. 

But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing. The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s authority,because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper.” Genesis 39:19-23 (NKJV)

So once again Joseph found himself in a position of leadership and authority with responsibilities he never asked for or expected. God was using difficult circumstances to sharpen the spiritual gifts within Joseph. Leadership requires the ability to gain the trust of others. Adversity will try to rob us of our hope but Joseph persevered. He gained wisdom from living through his struggles, and because of his perseverance and faith, he later became a man many would follow and respect.

After some time in prison, Pharaoh called Joseph to his throne room to interpret a troublesome dream. The Lord provided Joseph with insight and was given the Pharaoh’s favor. After years of slavery and prison life, Joseph was given the unexpected honor of overseeing the Pharaoh’s entire house. He was only 30 years old.

Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.”  And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” Genesis 41:39-40 (NKJV)

The Pharaoh’s dream spoke of 7 years of feast and 7 years of famine. Joseph was placed in charge of collecting grain and storing it for the lean years ahead.

Joseph married and had children. He saw how God had blessed him but there were even more blessings to come. The drought was affecting his homeland and his brothers went to Egypt seeking resources. Joseph recognized them and was able to help. God restored his family relationships and also blessed him with position, wealth, and honor.

The Word calls a man blessed, if he can remain steadfast under a trial (Js.1:12). By withstanding the test in front of him he will receive the crown of life. This crown is promised to those who love God. It is rewarded to believers who endure suffering and remain faithful to God, even to the point of death. There are eternal rewards for remaining steadfast in faith.

We do not know all the twists and turns in our spiritual journey but God does, and He has a very good plan on how to use us. Joseph did not know the reasons for all his trouble but he remained faithful. As a child, the Lord gave Joseph a hint of his future position but never any details. Through tests and much suffering, God refined Joseph into a man of integrity and faith.

Why not take your present adversity and consider it as a stepping-stone to a hidden blessing from God? It took God some time to prepare Joseph for his position. Your refinement will take time too. Have faith in your Lord. There are blessings in each day and in your future. Above all, glorify God in good times and bad times, just like Joseph.

“I can do all things through Christ[ who strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you willhave tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NKJV)

“Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” James 1:12 (NKJV)

“Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Revelation 2:10 (NKJV)

“The remarkable thing is, we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.” ~ Chuck Swindoll

http://christian-quotes.ochristian.com/Attitude-Quotes/

Recent Book Review On Amazon: 5 Stars!

*Divine Interuptions take 2

Be sure to check out my newest book review on Amazon. It’s for DIVINE INTERRUPTIONS: A BIBLE STUDY THROUGH THE BOOK OF JOB

“Divine Interruptions is a wonderfully crafted study through the book of Job and based on the author’s own personal life experiences. Cheryl Zelenka has done an excellent job in the writing of this book and the result is a Bible study that is both thought provoking and painfully honest as she takes us step by step through her trials, diagnosis, surgery, recovery….and rebirth! I really like the format and layout of the book which breaks the book of Job down into bite-size nuggets that makes it easy for you to read and digest. There are ten chapters with five days of studies for each one….this makes it easy to pick back up if you get “divinely interrupted” during your study. I also like the use of other scriptures throughout the book to support and enhance your understanding of the triumph you can have over trials and suffering in your own life. The study guide is a great tool and gives you ample space to answer the questions in each section as well as put down your own thoughts and feelings as you work through the book. I would highly recommend Divine Interruptions for anyone who is searching for either a personal or small group Bible study. Great job, Cheryl!!!!”

http://www.amazon.com/Divine-Interruptions-Bible-Study-Through/dp/1495446352/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1399706561&sr=8-1&keywords=CHERYL+ZELENKA

The Kindle Version Of My Bible Study Is Just $2.99

**Bk Cover Front & Back

My new book DIVINE INTERRUPTIONS: A BIBLE STUDY THROUGH THE BOOK OF JOB is now available on Amazon. You can purchase the Kindle version for just $2.99 and the Paperback is discounted for a short time for only $9.85… normally it’s $12.95. You save $3.10!!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1495446352?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwgoodco-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1495446352&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

A Leader’s Guide will be available in a few days. If your church is looking for a serious and in depth study, or if you want to lead your own small group, please consider my study.

Read a review for this newly released book….

“Because this Bible Study is written from a unique ‘first person’ perspective it will minister to so many who are in the throes of depression or know someone who is. Cheryl’s real life experiences shout the glory of God’s work in bringing her through the devastation of having a brain tumor to becoming a writer to encourage others in God’s love. I love the Scriptures and the challenges of the questions. Great for a small group or to do on your own. Get this Bible study and watch God work in your life!”

Book Review for Divine Interruptions: A Bible Study Through The Book Of Job

Please sign up for my giveaway on GoodReads!!

Book Review
Greg rated it 5 of 5 stars
Divine Interruptions is a well written Bible study based on the book of Job. Suitable for single study as well as in a group Bible study or small group setting.

The book of Job deals with adversity and Cheryl is no stranger to this herself. Each chapter begins with a personal glimpse into Cheryl’s own painful trial having dealt with a brain tumor. Cheryl skillfully leads us through Job’s trials using key verses from Job and other related books of the Bible, as well as presenting thought evoking questions.

Key take-away: We can see through this study in the book of Job and Cheryl’s own personal trial and subsequent victory over it the way through. No matter the trial or problem we face or the depth of our pain, we need to trust in God realizing that His grace is enough. Both Job and Cheryl faced serious issues and through the grace of God both came through whole once again.    ~Greg Holt Publisher The Olive Branch Report(less)

https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard

*Divine Interuptions take 2

 

My Bible Study On The Book Of Job Will Soon Be On Amazon!

*Divine Interuptions take 2
I’ve been busy writing the discussion questions for my next book, Divine Interruptions: A Bible Study Through The Book Of Job. It will be available (Black/White image, Color Copy, and a Leader Guide) the first week of March on Amazon.

If you have been through a struggle or trial, the Book of Job has many wonderful life applications. I hope you check it out!

Here is a sample of the Bible study. Let me know what you think!

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Table of Contents: 

Chapter 1 The Trial p. 7

Chapter 2 Treasures, Trust, and Tests p. 16

Chapter 3 Sister-Friends p. 25

Chapter 4 Laughter, Joy, and Praise p. 39

Chapter 5 God’s Power and Control p. 50

Chapter 6 Persecution, Prayer, and Vindication p. 62

Chapter 7 Waiting On New Wrapping Paper p. 76

Chapter 8 Don’t Look Back: Second Chances Are A Blessing P.90

Chapter 9 Who Can Understand the Mind of God? P. 103

Chapter 10 My Great Defender Who Delivers and Restores p.115

About the Author p. 123

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THE TRIAL

Chapter One

DAY ONE

LIFE lessons are so challenging!

God never promised us an easy life, but it’s not all darkness and suffering. We have a choice to see things with a positive mind set. Recognizing the negativity in our thinking is the first step toward a perspective transformation. This is a big step in the healing process, and usually produces Christian growth and greater spiritual maturity.

I never asked for a near death experience, but God knew what it would take to get my attention. I believe He wanted to move me out of my comfortable and routine existance, since I wasn’t depending on His DAILY provisions. Spiritually stagnant believers are in danger of becoming lukewarm. Thankfully, God had more works of service for me to accomplish, so He intervened.

Death was sent to knock on my door, but God would not give it permission to turn the doorknob. The sole purpose of sending this dark shadow my way was to get my attention, and alert those around me. Through an illness, God rekindled my desire to live a life entirely sold out for Him, with no compromise.

There is much more to my story but for now check out Day Two

DAY TWO

1) Read Job Chapter One

A hurricane blew into Job’s life. Job lost wealth, children and health.

*Write down your personal experiences that might mirror Job’s losses.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
2) Read Job 1:1 * List the two personality traits attributed to Job.

a)__________________________ b) ___________________________

3) What did he practice? _______________________________________ 

4) Look up “fear” in a concordance (I like Strongs). I like this online site

http://www.blueletterbible.org/study/misc/name_god.cfm

Write down Verse 1:1 and then rewrite this verse using the correct context meaning of fear.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
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DAY FIVE

Abba,

I know that all I have belongs to You. Freely You give good gifts to Your children, and freely You may take. Please loosen the iron grip I hold, for ….. go to http://facingtrials.com for more of the exerpt.

 

Divine Interruptions: A Bible Study Through the Book of Job

Dear One,

The second book I wrote is a devotional called Facing Trials: Thoughts for Meditation. It is now available for purchase on West Bow Press and Amazon. However, the very first book I wrote is a Bible Study. It took much longer to revise (even though the content was written in just five days). Only now  have I sent it off to the publishing company. Divine Interruptions: A Bible Study Through The Book of Job should be available  on Amazon by the end of February or in early March.

I am considering several book covers and I would love to hear your input. I want the cover to impart a feeling of being uprooted and the promise of a new start. Please let me know your top three picks. I want the book cover to give a potential reader some kind of reaction…. enough of a reaction to pick it up and look at the Table of Contents. I tell of my struggle with clinical depression and  brain surgery, aligning the lessons in Job to my personal trial. It is a 10 chapter study and one I believe the Holy Spirit will use to encourage and inspire many others.

Please shoot me a comment and list your top three favorites. (Ex #4, #2, #1)  THANKS!!

Tree/Rose #1, Single Tree in Ground #2, Man w/Roots #3, Winged Tree Uprooted #4, Robed Man Holding Tree #5, Hands Hold Tree in Blue Mist #6

Rose:Tree:BirdsJob TreeMan TreeUprooted Winged TreeJesus Holding Tree TS

#1

Billy Graham’s Next Message

images

Dear One,

I greatly respect Billy Graham and hope you tune in to his message on November 7th.

http://www.watchbillygraham.com/?SOURCE=BY13BANL1

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