October 26, 2017

Persevere


Something disappointed me recently…and I asked God to protect my heart and to not let it discourage me. 

And He did protect my heart. I fell asleep with that prayer on my lips and I woke up much lighter of heart and genuinely carefree. I felt the victory of not succumbing to disappointment’s strong sway. The new and welcome lightness in my heart made me laugh aloud and I said to myself, “It is like there is a shield around me, and He is protecting my heart, I feel it! I shouldn’t feel this good after experiencing that kind of rejection, but I do feel good. I know this is the Lord meeting my need, encouraging me as only He can!” 

How grateful I was for this answer to prayer! In the past I had not always won this battle over disappointment, but God was teaching me through each experience of disappointment, discouragement, and rejection that I should not let it stop me. I shouldn’t let these negative circumstances cause me to be defeated.

With each encounter I have learned a little bit more and I certainly know that it isn’t wise to let disappointment become a dark cloud that follows you around. Don’t let it become a repeating message in your mind like a broken record skipping over the same spot.

The important issue with disappointment is to not let it stop you. Don’t let it bruise your ego too much. Don’t let it make you doubt that you are capable.

There is some good that can come out of disappointment and that is looking deep inside ourselves and finding the will to go on anyway. Accept it and move forward. It also helps to realize, disappointment happens to all of us. Rising above disappointment is a valuable life lesson we all face at one time or another, and sometimes, many times over!

Will disappointment tear us down and wear us out or, will we become stronger through endurance and learn that disappointment is a life experience that helps us grow? Choosing to overcome disappointment will build strong character and strong hearts, bringing a healthy balance in our lives that will help us cope with all that life holds. 

When disappointment knocks you down, perseverance will pick you up - if you choose to endure. 

Romans 5:3-4
And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 


© 2017 by Kathy Cheek. All Rights Reserved.
Devotions from the Heart

October 25, 2017

Blue Skies and Cloudy Days


Blue skies and abundant sunshine - that is my kind of day. When the skies are cloudy and gray, I must remind myself…the sun is still shining right where it was yesterday when skies were blue.

The sun is still there on the other side of those gray clouds. God perfectly placed it there ninety three million miles from earth just where it needs to be to sustain life on this planet. The sun has not moved.

So is God, still shining, still working, still doing what He does. Don’t forget that on your cloudy days, He is still there!

Of course we prefer blue skies and sunshine. Of course we love a more visible evidence of His presence and working in our lives.

Here is the truth, for our faith to stretch and grow we must believe He is still there even though there are days when the clouds may appear to block our view.

This is so important to understand. God is still with us on the days when the skies are not blue. There is not a cloud that can dim the brightness of the sun, or cloud or storm that can lessen the power of our God. 

What is the cloud or storm in your life? Health issues, financial matters, marital problems, family problems, trust issues, fear? We are incapable of moving those clouds one inch for the sun to come shining through again.

But we can move the clouds of fog in our mind that make us feel like He has moved away from us. We must choose to push them away with the truth of God’s Word that He goes with us and never leaves us, whether it is blue skies or a cloudy day.


“For the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” ~ Deuteronomy 31:6 


© 2017 by Kathy Cheek. All Rights Reserved.
Devotions from the Heart

October 22, 2017

Do We Want Control...or Freedom?


Control. I hear this word too often in discussions as I sit in circles of chairs or sit around tables in Bible studies, and the other word I am hearing too often is perfection. Yet, from the same group, the same mouths, I hear these other words…anxiety, stress, fear, and exhaustion.

I don't understand it. How can we ever think we have control? Why do we demand it and think we must have it? Why does it dominate our thinking when we absolutely do not control anything? Maybe we think we do—but we don't. And if we think we do, it is only a matter of time until we find out, we certainly do not. Eventually a set of circumstances will occur in our lives that will have us throwing up our hands in helplessness and we will know only God can help us now. 

Only God has control. He is a Sovereign God. He is perfection.

We can let go of what we have thought was control, and we can stop striving for unattainable perfection, and we can be free. When we let go and turn it all over to Him, we gain freedom in return. When we walk in freedom, which is a result of fully trusting Him—the anxiety and fear will not control us.

It is hard to live in freedom when we hold so tightly in our grip that which God wants us to release to Him. Why is it so hard to let go? God has a hold of it...far better than we do. Why not trust? Why not yield fully to Him?

Does all of that control bring anything besides control? Are we going to allow control to... control us? Control, or freedom. We can’t have both, they will not co-exist.

Let’s choose freedom and fully trusting God and not ourselves.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.


© 2017 by Kathy Cheek. All Rights Reserved.
Devotions from the Heart