Jesus is Our Peace

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world!” – (John 16:33, NIV)

“I have told you these things so that you can have peace in Me. In this world you will have troubles. But be brave! I have defeated the world!” – (John 16:33, ERV)

“I have told you these things so that you will be whole and at peace. In this world, you will be plagued with times of trouble, but you need not fear; I have triumphed over this corrupt world order.” – (John 16:33, VOICE)

No matter what comes our way, we can know and experience peace in Jesus. He already knew that we would face the troubles that come from a broken world, yet He endured them all on the cross and knows every trial and challenge that will come our way. Jesus, in His infinite love, has promised to be present to help and be our peace. The peace that comes from Jesus is not simply the absence of war, but is an overwhelming, all-encompassing, assurance that He is with us and for us, and because of that, calm comes and covers our entire countenance, no matter what is going on around us. True peace is internal, not external. May we ever seek the Lord to be our peace, no matter what we face or find ourselves in, for He is good and has promised to be present to be our peace.

Jesus has promised,

To be near, bring peace;

Calm in His presence,

Love’s blessed release.

It does not depend,

On our circumstance;

It is internal,

Not random nor chance.

For the peace of God,

Goes beyond what’s known;

Soothing to the core;

As His love is shown.

Even in chaos,

The peace of God comes;

Lays hold of our heart,

As His will be done.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to not only experience the world, be in the world and overcome the world, but so that we would have One that already knows and understands everything we face, and can provide the peace we need to keep moving forward. Thank You Jesus, that Your perfect peace is not dependent on what is going on around us, for it is Your goodness, going on inside us. Forgive us for not slowing down to recognize the peace that is present in You. Teach us to turn our heart to You, so that we may know and experience Your perfect peace in all things and at all times. Show us how to love those around us in ways that share the peace that our hearts experience in Your presence, so that they too, may know the peace that comes from You alone. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to be our peace in all things and at all times. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7

Jesus is Our Refuge in Suffering

Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from Him. Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken. – (Psalm 62:1-2, NIV)

I must calm down and turn to God; only He can rescue me. He is my Rock, the only one who can save me. He is my high place of safety, where no army can defeat me. – (Psalm 62:1-2, ERV)

God, the One and only – I’ll wait as long as He says. Everything I need comes from Him, so why not? He’s solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, an impregnable castle: I’m set for life. – (Psalm 62:1-2, MSG)

Though I have not been suffering, I have been navigating uncharted territory through this whole skin cancer ordeal. From biopsy of the unknown to a bigger biopsy to determine nature of what had become known, to the confirmation that my new normal will include a medical team to watch diligently, to make certain that what was surgically removed, will not return. In the coming weeks, I have two appointments with two different oncologists, and an appointment with a dermatologist. Again, I am not in a space of suffering, but I am in a space of uncertainty of the unknown. God has been faithful to be ever near as I have walked through two biopsies and two surgeries that followed. I can trust Him to be faithful to remain near as we navigate all that lies ahead. Thankfully, His peace has been present and He is helping keep fear at bay. Yes, the not knowing makes me uneasy, but the certainty in knowing that He will be with me grants the courage to keep pressing forward without allowing the unknowns to monopolize my thoughts. Also, He has provided financially, as being double-covered with medical insurance has kept the bills that have come to a minimum. The Message says it well, as it states, “He’s the solid rock under my feet, and breathing room for my soul…” May we ever seek the Lord in our uncertainty, suffering or sorrows, for He is our refuge and the One on whom we can depend.

Present through trials,

God is ever near;

Foundation to stand,

As He calms each fear.

Forever our hope,

Our place of refuge;

Comfort Provider,

Love that each day’s new.

Help us rise up, Lord,

Our strength comes from You;

All thanks and our praise,

Are unto You, due.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our help and our hope, and that You are our refuge in suffering. Thank You that You promise to be present through every trial as we call on You to be near. Forgive us for our fears and doubts, for in all things, the ultimate outcome is forever with You. Teach us to have an eternal perspective and to trust in You to be our strength and peace. Lead us to love those around us in ways that promote peace, pray for healing and wholeness, and bring hope to spaces that hope is lacking. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to be our comfort and praise You for Your unending faithfulness that we know is true. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

But I will sing of Your strength, in the morning I will sing of Your love; for You are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. – Psalm 59:16

Jesus is our Deliverer

This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. – (1 John 4:2-4, NIV)

This is how you can recognize God’s Spirit. One spirit says, “I believe that Jesus is the Messiah who came to earth and became a man.” That Spirit is from God. Another spirit refuses to say this about Jesus. That spirit is not from God. This is the spirit of the enemy of Christ. You have heard that the enemy of Christ is coming, and now he is already in the world. My dear children, you belong to God, so you have already defeated these false prophets. That’s because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. – (1 John 4:2-4, ERV)

Here’s how you test for the genuine Spirit of God. Everyone who confesses openly his faith in Jesus Christ – the Son of God, who came as an actual flesh-and-blood person – comes from God and belongs to God. And everyone who refuses to confess faith in Jesus has nothing in common with God. This is the spirit of the antichrist that you heard was coming. Well, here it is, sooner than we thought! My dear children, you come from God and belong to God. You have already won a big victory over those false teachers, for the Spirit in you is far stronger than anything in the world. – (1 John 4:2-4, MSG)

When we know God, and trust in the truth of who He is and how He loves, we need not fear the people and things that will try to come against us. Our confession of who Jesus is and how He lived, died, and rose again, is our protection against anyone or anything that would try to draw us away. Jesus, who dwells in the hearts of all who have invited Him in, is greater than anything that might come against us. We need not fear those who will come against us, but rather we can trust in God and rest secure in His Name, for it is only through Him that we have hope for both now and eternity. God is good and His plans are good. May we ever seek the Lord to show us more and more of Him so that we can clearly recognize what is not from Him. His heart, love, and character do not change, as He remains the same: yesterday, today, and forever.

All that choose confess,

That Jesus is Lord;

Align with the truth,

Gifts that God affords.

Yet those who do not,

Acknowledge Jesus;

Are not for our good,

And are most grievous.

So, look to the Lord,

And pursue what’s true;

Trust in His goodness,

For He’ll see us through.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You show us how to know what is good and true and a gift from You, and what is not. Thank You that You dwell in us and speak to our hearts. Forgive us for the times that we have not listened to Your leading. Teach us to ever trust in You. Show us how to walk in Your wisdom and grace, so that we might be clear evidence that You are our deliverer. Lead us to love those around us in ways that extend hope and peace and promise. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to be our Deliverer and the One in whom we place all our trust. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. – Ephesians 2:4-5

*If you are following along and participating in the 21 Days of Fasting and Prayer, please forgive my mix-up. I accidently did tomorrow’s study today. I will post on today’s study tomorrow. 🙂

Love and Comfort

May Your unfailing love be my comfort, according to Your promise to Your servant. – (Psalm 119:76, NIV)

Now comfort me with Your faithful love, as You promised. – (Psalm 119:76, ERV)

Now let Your unfailing love be my comfort, in keeping with Your promise to Your servant. – (Psalm 119:76, VOICE)

Yesterday, God was so faithful to be near me as I had my first surgical procedure done. What could have been many steps, layers, and hours, was instead completed in one deep cut and an hour and a half. His peace was with me, even in discomfort, and last night, I slept well. As I am up this morning before surgery number two, I am amazed that I have no pain at all; granted, I am merely sitting and unable to have my usual coffee, but in the just sitting with Thor beside me, I am good. I am grateful that today’s process involves sedation, as I should not remember nor feel anything. My hope and prayers are that the healing process is quick and tolerable, as we will be traveling in a few days to spend a bit of time with my mom, sister, and family. I am holding to the promise that God will continue to be my comfort and grant me strength and peace to be able to enjoy the time together. His promises are true, and His faithfulness knows no end, so I am holding closely all that He says in my heart and mind. May we ever seek the Lord to be our comfort, for His unfailing love remains present with us.

O God, You are good,

No matter what comes;

Your promises true,

The Most Holy One.

You are our comfort,

Our true place of peace;

Most generously,

Your love is released.

You are the goodness,

Throughout all our days;

The hope we can hold,

Both now and always.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your unfailing love is our comfort and peace. Thank You that You are faithful to go before us, remain with us, and make Your nearness known. Forgive us for allowing our fears to find a foothold rather than trust You completely. Teach us to cling to You, our anchor, through all that comes our way. Show us how to love those around us like You do, so that we may share the same comfort and love that we are given. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we hold fast to Your promises and receive Your overwhelming love. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

I will be glad and rejoice in Your love, for You saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul. – Psalm 31:7

The Light of Hope

You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in Your word. – (Psalm 119:114, NIV)

Hide me and protect me. I trust what You say. – (Psalm 119:114, ERV)

You are my hiding place and my shield of protection; I hope in Your word. – (Psalm 119:114, VOICE)

The dictionary definition of hope is: the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. (dictionary.com) However, for those who hope in Jesus, the word means so much more. When we place our hope in God and His word, it is the blessed assurance that we know God is with us, and are confident that no matter what is going on now, our future is certain in Christ. There is comfort, joy and peace when we place our hope in the Lord and His word. Throughout scriptures, we are reminded that God’s goodness triumphs over all that would feel like it is against us. Ultimately, Jesus provides our every reason to have hope forever. He took all of our sin, shame, hurts, heartaches and fears with Him to the cross. Jesus has felt what we feel, and knows how to contend for us. When we trust in Him and place our hope in His goodness and love, we not only know and experience it here, but we have the blessed assurance that we will spend eternity with Him in the place He has prepared for us. This is the reason that the Christmas season is one that is filled with hope, for Jesus arrived as the hope of the world that had been promised long before. His arrival was hope realized, and His life and love have shown us not only what we have now, but all that is yet to come. May we ever seek the Lord to remind us of the hope we have in Him, and celebrate the blessed assurance that came into the world when Christ was born.

The Light of the world,

Came down unto us;

The hope realized,

Was found in Jesus.

Our safety and help,

Both now and to be;

Blessed assurance,

For you and for me.

Our true hope is found,

Sweet security;

Comfort in knowing,

Love eternally.

No matter what comes,

Hope in God is true;

He’s present to help,

And carry us through.

His light will lead us,

Our anchor through storms;

Good everlasting,

The Hope that transforms.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to show us what hope truly means. Thank You that You are our hope in the here and now, and the blessed assurance we have in forever with You. Forgive us for forgetting that hope is not a feeling, but rather it is the knowing that is deeply rooted in our souls that reminds us that we are not home yet. Show us how to love those around us in ways that demonstrate and pass on what hope really means. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we place our hope in You and trust in the blessed assurance that we have through knowing You and spending time in Your word. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

“While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” – John 9:5

Protective Plumage

He will cover you with His feathers; you will take refuge under His wings. His faithfulness will be a protective shield. – (Psalm 91:4, HCSB)

You can go to Him for protection. He will cover you like a bird spreading its wings over its babies. You can trust Him to surround and protect you like a shield. – (Psalm 91:4, ERV)

Like a bird protecting its young, God will cover you with His feathers, will protect you under His great wings; His faithfulness will form a shield around you, a rock-solid wall to protect you. – (Psalm 91:4, VOICE)

Feathers provide protection, warmth, and the structure to support flight. The imagery of being covered with God’s feathers is one that feels gentle and strong, supportive and freeing, as protection and warmth are things that make us feel secure enough to spread our wings and take flight. Being surrounded by His wings provides a safe, warm space where we can rest and take refuge in Him. In this season, as the busy and unexpected challenges arise, it is so good to know that we have a safe space where we are covered, protected, and supported so that we can keep moving forward. May we ever seek the Lord to cover us with His wings, as He surrounds us like a shield and teaches us to take flight.

We are protected,

Surrounded, kept warm;

A shield about us,

Through all of life’s storms.

Covered by strong wings,

To rest and delight;

Renewed and strengthened,

So we may take flight.

To soar each season,

We find ourselves in;

And rise in His strength,

Despite where we’ve been.

Lean into His wings,

Both gentle and strong;

Secure and stable,

By grace we belong.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You cover us with Your strong and gentle wings, and You protect and encourage, through all that life brings. Forgive us for our fears and doubts when we lose sight of Your nearness. Teach us to lean into You and to rest in the hollow of Your wings. Show us how to love those around us with similar gentleness, protection and strength. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to cover us with Your wings. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Keep me safe, my God, for in You I take refuge. – Psalm 16:1

In All Things Praise

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. – (Colossians 3:17, NIV)

Everything you say and everything you do should be done for Jesus your Lord. And in all you do, give thanks to God the Father through Jesus. – (Colossians 3:17, ERV)

Surely, no matter what you are doing (speaking, writing or working), do it all in the name of Jesus our Master, sending thanks through Him to God our Father. – (Colossians 3:17, VOICE)

This verse, paired with what I know and love about the Psalms, remind me that it is okay to struggle with and lament what is going on, yet we must ultimately fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. David was a man after God’s own heart, and he questioned, lamented and cried out to God, yet ever kept perspective on who God is and gave Him the thanks that belongs to God alone. Right now, I am still reeling a bit from the prognosis I received from the specialist on Wednesday. I am still grateful that the carcinoma was discovered sooner than later, yet I am very much dreading the process of the prescribed procedure. It is not the pain I fear, but rather my body’s reaction to the process. God is good, and He will supply all that I need, however, my humanity is not looking forward to any of it, and the specialist’s insistence that I be fast-tracked to have the surgery sooner than later, adds a bit of angst as well. This is the space that I can pause and remember God’s incredible faithfulness in my life thus far, and His kindness to provide a long weekend to process and prepare my heart before heading back into the work week. Additionally, there is just enough activity sprinkled in, that I will not have too much time to dwell on what lies ahead. There is time to rest, to spend time with my loved ones, to cuddle my dogs extra often, to coach my gymnasts as they are working on building routines, and to celebrate the retirement of one of our dearest friends. I am missing my mom and sister terribly this holiday weekend, but know that I can joyfully anticipate time together at Christmas. May we ever fix our eyes on Jesus, our Help and our Hope in all things, and give Him all of our praise for His faithfulness throughout all of our days.

O Lord, in all things,

Will You help me praise;

Your great faithfulness,

Throughout all my days.

Each day You are good,

Even when life’s not;

You share our burdens,

Each time that You’re sought.

Thank You for kindness,

For goodness and grace;

For hope and Your help,

On difficult days.

Thank You, Lord Jesus,

That You’re good always;

And Your faithfulness,

Is reason to praise.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good, faithful, loving and kind, and the Provider of all that we need each day. Thank You that no matter what lies ahead, we have You to walk beside us and to carry us when we can walk no further. Forgive us for our fears of the unknown, for You are known in all, even when what lies ahead is not. Teach us to trust You more each day, and lead us to live out each day trusting in Your unfailing love that never leaves us. Show us how to love, encourage and support those around us in ways that make Your love tangible and Your goodness evident. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we choose to praise You throughout all of our days. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

I will sing the Lord’s praise, for He has been good to me. – Psalm 13:6

Full of Joy and Thanks

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. – (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NIV)

Always be full of joy. Never stop praying. Whatever happens, always be thankful. This is how God wants you to live in Christ Jesus. – (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, ERV)

Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. – (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, MSG)

Always be full of joy is the version that is most easily grasped. This does not mean we must always be happy, but rather it means that we carry the joy of the Lord within us wherever we go, no matter what is going on around us or in us. His joy is not dependent on circumstances. To never stop praying is our reminder to be in constant communication with Christ. God knows us better than we know ourselves, and when we communicate with Him, He reveals more of Himself and who He has created us to be. Gratitude is a practice that most of us could use more of in our lives. To be grateful does not mean that we are necessarily thanking God for our circumstances, but rather that we are thanking Him for being with us, walking beside us, and leading us in the ways that we are meant to go. His heart is for us to belong completely to Him. As we do, we understand who we are in Him, and how He is calling us to live. May we ever seek the Lord to grow us more and more in His joy as we continually pray to Him and give Him all of our gratitude.

Hold closely to joy,

Planted deep within;

All hope in the Lord,

Is what shines light in.

As we keep praying,

Love and thanks do grow;

For His heart’s for us,

He’s where good’s made known.

In faith, keep praying,

Keep trusting in Him;

His love overwhelms,

As we let Him in.

May we give God thanks,

In each circumstance;

For His sweet presence,

And the strength to stand.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are always good and in Whom we find joy and peace, strength and hope, no matter what our circumstances include. Thank You that You are available to be with us whenever we call on Your Name. Forgive us for the times that we have allowed what surrounds us to impact our joy and gratitude in You. Teach us to remember that our joy is found in You, and that as we are in ongoing communication with You, our joy grows more and more. Show us how to love those around us with peace, patience, goodness and kindness that point hearts to You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we hold the joy You deposit in our hearts, pray to You as if it is the air that we breathe, and give You all of our gratitude each day. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am in. – Philippians 4:11

Good Plans

“For I know the plans I have for you” – this is the Lord’s declaration – “plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” – (Jeremiah 29:11, HCSB)

“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 a hope and a future.” – (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)

“I say this because I know the plans that I have for you.” This message is from the Lord. “I have good plans for you. I don’t plan to hurt you. I plan to give you hope and a good future.” – (Jeremiah 29:11, ERV)

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Eternal, “plans for peace, not evil, to give you a future and hope – never forget that.” – (Jeremiah 29:11, VOICE) 

God is good and is faithful to fulfill His promises. He has good plans for us that include a hope and a future. The Lord is our protector and our source, and we can trust in Him to be who He says He is. May we ever seek God and place our trust in Him, for He is our hope and our future is found in Him.

Our future’s secure,

When we trust in Him;

Our hope, Protector,

Our Father and friend.

His plans are for good,

Full of love and peace;

His presence, promised,

Where grace is released.

Choose turn to the Lord,

By faith, trust in Him;

His love is assured,

And hope enters in.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have plans for each of us. Plans that include a hope and a future. Thank You that this is not just for us as children or young adults, but rather is true throughout our lifetime. Thank You that Your capacity to bring change and make things new, knows no end. Forgive us for feeling as if this is all there is. Thank You that in You, there is always more – more to learn, more growth, more love, more hope. Teach us to trust in You in all things and at all times. Show us how to love those around us in ways that convey hope and peace and Your perfect love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust our future in Your hands, and are assured that Your plans for us are good. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Surely Your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. – Psalm 23:6

You Steady Me

Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong and do not fear; Your God will come…” – (Isaiah 35:3-4a, NIV)

Make the weak arms strong again. Strengthen the weak knees. People are afraid and confused. Say to them, “Be strong! Don’t be afraid!” Look, your God will come…” – (Isaiah 35:3-4a, ERV)

Energize the limp hands, strengthen the rubbery knees. Tell fearful souls, “Courage! Take heart! God is here, right here, on His way to put things right and redress all wrongs. He’s on His way! He’ll save you!” – (Isaiah 35:3-4, MSG)

Yesterday, in the practice of simply being still to listen, the words, “I will steady you,” kept echoing in my heart. When the winds blow and the waves rock the boat in treacherous seas, He who can simply speak the words, “Be still,” will steady what’s rocking in me. God is the anchor that holds us secure, and the One who will steady us when our world feels shaken. He is faithful to strengthen us in spaces where strength is gone, and His presence chases away fear. The Lord is the one who comes and makes things right, even when it feels that there is no way. May we ever seek the Lord to steady us and supply the strength that we need, for He is faithful to meet us anew each day.

The Lord is faithful,

The anchor within;

He’s steady and strong,

And He brings calm in.

When storms surround us,

We can rest assured;

He is our anchor,

That keeps us secure.

Secure in His love,

Covered by His grace;

Built up in His strength,

As we seek His face.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You steady us when storms surround us, and You are the anchor that keeps us secure. Forgive us for our fears and frustrations when the storms of life seem to surround us. Teach us to trust in You to be our help and our hope, for You are our Rock in whom we can find shelter and peace, even in the midst of great storms. Show us how to love those around us in ways that share Your steadiness and security, so that peace permeates every place it is lacking. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to steady us through every storm, and to be our strength throughout each new day. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure… – Hebrews 6:19a