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Overcoming Difficult Trials

Archive for the tag “Christian Encouragement”

5 Star Book Review for FACING TRIALS Devotional

_Facing Trials 3 (1)

I just had to share this wonderful book review for my book, FACING TRIALS: THOUGHTS FOR MEDITATION. It is such a blessing to write words of hope and comfort for others going through difficult times.

I need book reviews for my third book, Facing Adversity. Send me a message via my FB author site and I’ll give you a free eBook in exchange for a book review. https://www.facebook.com/cherylzelenkaauthor

“5.0 out of 5 starsWonderful Encouragement and Comfort!!
ByJulie Danielsonon February 16, 2016
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase

I found this book to be so helpful and comforting! I have been through a lot of trials over the past few years and it does start to wear down my hope. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do or what Scriptures to meditate on. This book solves that problem and is so full of wonderful encouragement!

I really liked that the book is broken down into sections regarding things that could be bothering one. Whatever you find yourself struggling with, this book probably has the help you need. There are twenty chapters and some of the titles are, “Facing Trials”, “Broken”, “Endurance and Perseverance”, and “Healing”. Each chapter gives instruction, encouragement and wisdom to help us deal with the situations we may find ourselves in or that we’re trying to get past. There are Scriptures for each chapter to meditate on and put in our hearts.

I highlighted so much of this book! I found the wisdom and comfort of this book so wonderful! It has helped me to heal in so many ways and it will definitely be a book I refer back to time and again when I’m feeling the need to get that comfort I need. The book is very Biblical and definitely pointed me back time and again to God’s Word. I really loved this book and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Peace: The Absence of Fear

*6

“You have to remember, fear is not real. It is a product of the thoughts you create. Don’t misunderstand me. Danger is very real. But fear is a choice.” ~Anonymous

“The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace.”   Psalm 29:11 (NKJV)

“And he said, “O man greatly beloved, fear not! Peace be to you; be strong, yes, be strong!” So when he spoke to me I was strengthened, and said, “Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.”   Daniel 10:19 (NKJV)

When fear is present, peace is absent. Fear will always rob our peace of mind, weaken our resolve, disturb our rest, and cause us to question the righteous power of God. Fear is an emotion that will hinder our walk with Christ unless we learn to face our adversity with trust, trust that God is in control.

In Isaiah 26:3 we read how God keeps those whose minds are steadfastly transfixed on Him in perfect peace. When we take all our thoughts captive and trust God with our well being, fear will depart. Placing our faith in His power will remove insecurities, wobbly uncertainty, and unstable thoughts or decisions.

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)

Because God knit each one of us together, He understands our nature and individual weaknesses. He lovingly calls out, “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV). It is His desire for us to rest in His peace. God longs to give us rest. Faith requires trust, and peace is the fruit of that trust.

In Isaiah 9:6, Jesus is called the “Prince of Peace.” When He walked the earth as the Son of Man, He told that we would have to face tribulation. But He also told us to be of good cheer since He had conquered the grave. This fact alone should produce peace in our hearts. The battle has already been won. Eternal peace is our guarantee, but peace while we are still yet earthbound is also available. In fact, we are told to pursue it!

“Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.”   Psalm 34:14 (NKJV)

How then do we pursue peace? Through Christ and Christ alone! Through supplication and humble petitions we enter the very throne room of God. While in His very presence, we interface with a mediator who intercedes on our behalf both day and night, for He never sleeps. By knocking on His door and seeking Him out, He gladly agrees to fellowship and dine with us. While in His presence, He will fill us with hope, inexpressible joy, and comforting peace. Trusting in His love for us produces peace.

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”   John 14:27 (NKJV)

Psalm 23 mentions how God provides peace for those walking through “the valley of the shadow of death.” By focusing our eyes on Him, not concentrating on our difficult circumstances, He leads us through green pastures and beside still waters. Who doesn’t want to rest in such a place?

When we walk by the Spirit of God, the fruit of the Spirit shall become even more evident in our lives. Peace, not fear is a component of this fruit. We must crucify our flesh, “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Romans 8:6 (NKJV). By doing this, God blesses His people with a quiet mind and contentment.

“God incarnate is the end of fear; and the heart that realizes that He is in the midst… will be quiet in the middle of alarm.” ~ F.B Meyer

“Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.”   2 Thessalonians 3:16 (NKJV)

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”   Psalm 23:1-6 (NKJ)

“A great many people are trying to make peace, but that has already been done. God has not left it for us to do; all we have to do is to enter into it.” ~D.L. Moody

 

Fear: The Absence of Peace

Replaces Fear w:Peace TL

When fear is present, peace is absent. Fear robs our peace of mind, weakens our resolve, disturbs our rest, and even causes us to question the presence of God. Fear is an emotion that will hinder our walks with Christ unless we learn to face it and overcome it with the grace of God.

In Isaiah 26:3 we read how God keeps those whose minds are steadfastly transfixed on Him in perfect peace. When we take all thoughts captive and trust God with our well being, fear departs. Our faith in His power will remove our insecurities, wobbly uncertainty, and unstable nervousness.

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)

Because God knit each one of us together, He understands our nature and individual weaknesses. He lovingly calls out, “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV). It is His desire for us to rest in His peace. God longs to give us rest. Faith requires trust, and peace is the fruit of that trust in God.

Jesus is called the “Prince of Peace” in Isaiah 9:6. When He walked the earth as the Son of Man, He told us that in this world we will have tribulation. But He also told us to be of good cheer since He had conquered the grave. This fact alone should produce peace in our hearts. The battle has already been won. Eternal peace is our guarantee, but peace while on still on earth is also available. In fact, we are told to pursue it!

“Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.” Psalm 34:14 (NKJV)

How then do we pursue peace? Through Christ and Christ alone! With supplication and petitions we enter the very throne room of God and while in His very presence, we witness a mediator who intercedes on our behalf both day and night, for He never sleeps. By knocking on His door and seeking Him out, He will accept our offer of fellowship and dine with us. While in His company, He fills us with a hope, inexpressible joy, and comforting peace. Trusting in His love for us produces peace.

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 (NKJV)

Psalm 23 speaks of how God provides peace even when we are walking through the valley of the shadow of death. With our eyes focused on Him, not concentrating on our problems, He leads us beside still waters and makes us lie down in green pastures for a peaceful rest.

When we walk in the Spirit of God, the fruit of the Spirit will be very evident in our lives. Peace, not fear is a component of this fruit. We must crucify our flesh, “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Romans 8:6 (NKJV). By doing this, God blesses His people with peace.

“God incarnate is the end of fear; and the heart that realizes that He is in the midst… will be quiet in the middle of alarm.” ~ F.B Meyer

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

“Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.” 2 Thessalonians 3:16 (NKJV)

“And he said, “O man greatly beloved, fear not! Peace be to you; be strong, yes, be strong!” So when he spoke to me I was strengthened, and said, “Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.” Daniel 10:19 (NKJV)

“The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace.” Psalm 29:11 (NKJV)

“It is good to remind ourselves that the will of God comes from the heart of God and that we need not be afraid.” ~Warren Wiersbe

A Gentle Answer Turns Away Anger

Gentle Answer

When anger rises within you, consider the power found within a softly spoken word. An enemy who is hard of hearing and unable to hear shouts of fury will strive to hear a whisper. Although you may FEEL like yelling out your complaints, you will get more notice and consideration if you avoid harsh words and an unfriendly tone.

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”                  Proverbs 15:1 (NIV)

“A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.” Proverbs 15:18 (NIV)

Using a gentle answer in the midst of an irritating situation, problem, or quarrel will propel you forward in your attempt to remedy a matter of contention. Angry words and a loud reply only serve to stir up conflict and cause delays to possible solutions. One who has the self-control to remain patient and calm during an argument is wise and perceptive.

“Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.”                  Proverbs 29:11 (NIV)

If emotions are on the rise and anger is in the picture, you can be sure that “FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE” is close at hand. Saying something you will regret later is very probable if you let your feelings rule a situation. It is a fool who speaks words without considering their long-term affect.

Is it easy to calm yourself and speak words of love when you are angry? No.

Is it a sign of maturity when you think before you speak? Yes.

Is maintaining inner peace while addressing conflict a sign that the fruit of the spirit is evident in your life?  Yes.

Can you take back hurtful words once they have been uttered and pitched? No.

Can forgiveness follow harshly spoken words? Yes.

Did Jesus use patience and soft answers with His disciples? Yes.

Is the saying, “Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never harm me” true? No, Not at all!

We are called to love. We are told to witness with gentleness and respect. Speaking with unkind words or a tone of voice that sends shivers down the back is not love. Love speaks the truth but it is always patient and kind.

“If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how canhe love God whom he has not seen?” 1 John 4:20 (NKJV)

The next time you find yourself in an argument, pretend you are looking in a mirror. Observe your face. Would your expression put someone on the defensive? Can you see love and honesty in your eyes? How would you react if you were talking to a person wearing this face?

Words can be destructive or life giving, toxic or encouraging. They have the power to bind up or set free. What will your words serve up today, misery and heartache or exultation and delight?

“The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18 (NIV)

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”                        Galatians 5:22 (NKJV)

Provisions of God

Provisions

What comfort there is in knowing that our God will provide for our every need!!  It is a safety net I gladly accept.  He will feed the poor and help us through every adversity.  We merely need to pray and wait for Him to work.  Answered prayers are answered in His time and in His way.  Therefore, have faith and trust He will provide.  It is a promise! 

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:19 (ESV) 

Paul writes in Philippians 4:11 that contentment occurs when we learn to be satisfied with every situation and circumstance.  How is it then that God promises to provide for our needs and yet Paul speaks of being hungry?  God provided many trials for Paul to test his faith and love for Him. God’s provision was a supernatural strength that enabled Paul to withstand the hardships.

I will abundantly bless her provision; I will satisfy her poor with bread.”  Psalm 132:15 (NKJV) 

If you are experiencing financial hardship, there will be provision.  He will feed you and clothe you.  He may be putting you through a test of humility, but there is the encouragement that says humility comes before honor. 

When we are in the middle of a trial and issues are whipping around us like debris in a tornado, it is hard to calm our anxieties.  Even so, make an effort to breathe and ask God to quiet your anxious thoughts.  When you can take even a minute to petition the Father help is on the way. 

The enemy likes using chaos and fear to devastate us, so fight back!!  The children of God are not to be lukewarm.  Put on the armor of Christ so that you can be Christ minded and identify the lies of the enemy.  Ephesians 6:10 commands us to “Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.”  The word STAND is written four times in verses 6:11-14 of Ephesians.  When a word is repeated that many times we ought to make a note of it and do what it commands.

I urge you to stand against your worries and frets today.  I encourage you to stand on the promises of God, including the one stating He will provide for you needs and give you strength.  No adversity or test is sent your way that cannot be overcome with the provisions of your Father. 

I am not saying this because I am in need, for 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 all this through Him who gives me strength.”   Philippians 4:11-13 (NIV) 

Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds?”  Luke 12:25 (NKJV) 

Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you’”  Hebrews 13:5 (NAS)

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

 

God Knows What We Can Handle

Suffer

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”  Romans 8:28 (NIV) 

It may seem like AFFLICTION is your middle name, but thank goodness it isn’t DESPAIR or FORSAKEN. 

Difficult times will often cause Christians to look up to the heavens and question whether God has forgotten the frailty of all mankind.  Graciously, God forgives such moments of arrogance, and yet He must be saddened by our lack of faith.  We injure our Lord when we question His love for us, forgetting the cross His Son endured for our sakes. 

From the dust of the earth He made Adam, and He will never forget how His hands formed us.  He knows what each one of His children can manage.  We may be afflicted on all fronts, but it is not His desire to see us crushed beyond repair.  God is waiting for us at the finish line of our spiritual journey.  He longs for the day when we have finish the race set before us, the one He predestined us to run. 

Isaiah 42:3 describes Jesus as “a reed bruised but not broken.”   However, we are not the sinless Son of man, so there may be a need for some brokenness in our lives.  The necessary breaking I speak of would be the self-reliance and self-will we humans stubbornly cling to, and claim as our right to practice.  This attitude is not aligned with God’s desire and design for us.  He wants us to rely on Him for everything.  He is the great provider,  Jehovah Jireh.  He freely gives us wisdom, strength, love, hope, and all good things.  All we have to do is send up our prayer request in faith, without doubting, and it will be given with His blessings and love. 

Painful situations and circumstances may have you perplexed. Confusion is not our Lord’s intention.  Therefore, we are to petition our God when such moments arise and ask for direction, wisdom, guidance, and revelation answers to our questions. It will do you no good to pretend you are an ostrich by sticking your head in a hole and hoping life will correct itself, without any effort on your part.  

Our life on earth is a race.  All races require effort and active participation.  In fact, our spiritual race is an obstacle race.  We must hurdle roadblocks, landmines, and encumbrances of many kinds.  Although runners may trip and fall, they get back up in order to cross the finish line.  They can’t get discouraged and throw in the towel, if they want the reward and prize found at the finish line.  They must endure the discomfort of the race in order to claim their prize.  We too, when struck down by trials and suffering, must keep our eyes on our prize, eternal life with God!

Our salvation is a free gift, given by grace through our predestined faith in God.   However, our maturity in Christ comes with a cost.  The sanctification process is what requires our effort and attention.  We will all be heated in the fiery furnace of afflictions and trials.  This is how our sin rises to the surface and catches our attention.  With the gift of free will, we can choose to repent and cast off our exposed sin, or we can choose to acknowledge its existence and allow it to remain in our hearts. Ignoring sin and allowing it to remain in our lives will slow down or even stop the sanctification process. 

Each one of us has a specific race to run.  We have been given the freedom to run our course however we choose.  Our pace, how many times we trip, and whether we stay down and let others pass us by will determine what we take with us into the Kingdom of God.  With each struggle there are lessons to learn and wisdom to attain.  If we sit and remain down after a fall, we will have fewer opportunities to learn the many mysteries God hopes to share with His children. 

A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out.
In faithfulness He will bring forth justice.” Isaiah 42:3 (NIV)

FaceBook Author Site Full Of Quick Encouragement

Build each other up
If you are in need of some quick daily encouragement please visit my FB Author page at https://www.facebook.com/cherylzelenkaauthor

Psalm 91

Ps 91 Image

Safety of Abiding in the Presence of God

 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.

Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you.
Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, the young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.

“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation.”

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+91&version=NKJV

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