Stand Firm and Love Well

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love. – (1 Corinthians 16:13-14, NIV)

Listen, stay alert, stand tall in the faith, be courageous, and be strong. Let love prevail in your life, words, and actions. – (1 Corinthians 16:13-14, VOICE)

Remember to stay alert and hold firmly to all that you believe. Be mighty and full of courage. Let love and kindness be the motivation behind all that you do. – (1 Corinthians 16:13-14, TPT)

 

With so many ideas and influences bombarding us day in and day out, it is critical that we guard our hearts and minds, and know with certainty, what we believe. It takes courage and strength to remain strong in our convictions, yet when we remember, above all, to allow love to lead in every part of our being – our life, our words and our actions, there are less often challenges to the faith on which we stand. Because I know what I believe and try to allow love to be my motivation behind all that I say and do, I have had amazing, peaceful and kind conversations with friends that hold opposing viewpoints to my own. We do not need to view the world the same way to choose to love, and love and kindness do not soften the strength of one’s faith. May we listen and be aware of what influences are surrounding us so that we can have courage to stand strong in our faith. Above all, let love and kindness be the motivation behind all that we do.

 

We need to listen,

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Photo by Dee Jones of Open Door Photography ❤

Choose to be aware;

Know well our beliefs,

And cover with prayer.

In strength, choose to stand,

By faith, for what’s true;

Take courage in Christ,

He’s always with you.

Let love and kindness,

Above all, prevail;

In word, deed and life,

Love shall never fail.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your word and Your Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us in what is good and true. Thank You that You not only call us to be strong and courageous in our faith, but You equip and empower us to do so. Thank You that the greatest call we are given is to love You and love people. Forgive us for the things that have not demonstrated love to You or to Your created. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would rely on You to be our Source and Supply. Show us how to love those around us with our words, deeds and the very life we lead. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we stand firm in our faith and lead lives of love. Amen.

 

 

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

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. – Proverbs 3:3

Confident in Hope

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. – (Hebrews 11:1, NIV)

Faith is what makes real the things we hope for. It is proof of what we cannot see. – (Hebrews 11:1, ERV)

What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead. – (Hebrews 11:1, TLB)

 

Faith is trusting in the unseen and holding hope in that which is not yet fully known. Marriage is an excellent example of faith in action. We may know our spouse-to-be quite well, yet rarely are they fully known as we enter into the very relationship that God has ordained. It takes two people who have confident hope in a lifetime together, as well as the commitment to trust in God and each other for all that lies ahead. When our hope is in God and the good things that He has in store for us, we find assurance in that which is yet to come. Though I know there is no “perfect” nor easy existence with one another, I have confident hope that when two people are pursuing God’s best for themselves and one another, that His grace will be the glue that holds hope steady in each heart. May we ever seek the Lord and have faith in who He is and all that He has in store for those who place their hope in Him.

 

Faith’s the foundation,

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Photos by Dee Jones of Open Door Photography. ❤

On which we can stand;

As we seek the Lord,

And all He commands.

For confident hope,

In all that’s unseen;

Exemplifies faith,

And what God’s grace means.

Though we cannot see,

All that lies ahead;

When we trust in God,

Faith rises and spreads.

The Lord is faithful,

In what we can’t see;

Choose confident hope,

Through trust and belief.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can have confident hope in that which we cannot yet see, for You are faithful to all who believe. Forgive us for doubting the good that You have in store for us, and help us to hold firmly in faith all that You are and all that lies ahead. Teach us to trust You more, in our relationships with You and one another. Show us how to love confidently and fearlessly, the way that You intended, so that many may be encouraged and find faith where it has been absent. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we hold confident hope in You and trust in that which is yet to come. Amen.

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

 

Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. – Psalm 31:24

All for Good

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)

We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan. – (Romans 8:28, VOICE)

So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are His loves who have been called to fulfill His designed purpose. – (Romans 8:28, TPT)

 

I don’t know that I can even count the number of times that what I perceived as something awful, (and at the time, perhaps it was) that God, in His infinite goodness and grace, ultimately used it for good. Each time that I have had to walk through the hard or horrible that life brings, as I sought God and relied on Him, He provided what I needed to navigate the season, and later used the experience for something positive. At times the benefit has been personal growth and the discovery of His strength in times of my own weakness, yet still other times, He has turned my experience into a tool by which I am able to honestly speak to others going through similar, as I can share of His faithfulness that brought me through. God is good, and He has a plan and a purpose for each of us. When we choose to trust in Him, He leads us through life by the light of His love, even when we are in spaces of darkness. May we ever seek the Lord and His plan, as He is good and is the only One who can bring beauty from our ashes.

 

With all certainty, His Passion for Our Peace

I truly can say;

God works all for good,

When we seek His way.

Though life’s not easy,

And despair may come;

The Lord is faithful,

’til each day is done.

He walks beside us,

And shows us the way;

Grants us renewed strength,

Fresh start for each day.

We can be certain,

He’ll use all for good;

If we choose to trust,

Hope our livelihood.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we trust You, You ultimately work all things for good in our lives. Thank You that even when we cannot see how that is possible, You are moving and making it so. Forgive us for our fearfulness and doubt. Teach us to trust Your hand in all things, as You are far greater than anything that we face. Show us how to love those around us in a way that encourages, strengthens and builds faith. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to orchestrate everything in our lives toward something good, as only You can do. Amen.

 

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

 

They will celebrate Your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of Your righteousness. – Psalm 145:7

Keep Me Close

I cling to You; Your strong right hand holds me securely. – (Psalm 63:8, NLT)

I stay close to You, and You hold me with Your powerful arm. – (Psalm 63:8, ERV)

My soul clings to You; Your right hand reaches down and holds me up. – (Psalm 63:8, VOICE)

 

I find myself in a season where so many facets of my life are new and unknown. As I tread into territory that I have never traversed before, I am overwhelmingly grateful for the certainty and security that I know in Christ. Much of the new that lies before me is exciting and holds great promise, yet without God, I would be in a constant state of overload in my own uncertainty as to how I need to navigate each next step as it arrives. In Christ, I can rest assured that He goes before me, remains with me, and will hold me up through each next step of this journey that is unfolding in front of me. My soul will ever cling to Christ, as He is where my hope and strength is found. May we ever stay close to the Lord, as He will uphold us with His mighty hand.

 

My soul clings to You, Healed Hands Reach Out

O Lord God above;

As You take my hand,

Uphold me in love.

As I cling to You,

My strength is assured;

For Your strong right hand,

Holds me up secure.

O Lord, in all things,

Keep me close to You;

No matter what comes,

Your grace sees me through.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we cling to You, You hold us up with Your mighty hands. Thank You that no matter how uncertain things seem all around us, our hope in You is secure forever. Forgive us for allowing what we see before us to give fear or anxiety a foothold. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would cling to You in faith, knowing that You will hold us secure, regardless of what we see. Show us how to love those around us in a way that encourages and builds others up, especially in the spaces where they feel the most uncertain. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we cling to You and praise You for holding us secure with Your mighty hands. Amen.

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

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad. – 1 Chronicles 16:31

 

Assurance of Hope

Faith is the assurance of things you have hoped for, the absolute conviction that there are realities you’ve never seen. – (Hebrews 11:1, VOICE)

Faith is what makes real the things we hope for. It is proof of what we cannot see. – (Hebrews 11:1, ERV)

Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. – (Hebrews 11:1, NLT)

 

Faith fuels hope. It is the very gift that God places within us to be assured of that which we cannot see. The faith within us grants us the desire to dare to dream and the certainty to hold fast to the hope that is yet to come. God gives us hopes and dreams; faith from Him fuels them to fruition. May we have faith in He who gives us hope, and trust in that which we cannot see.

 

The fuel for hope,Be Transformed 1

comes from faith God gives;

our desire to dream,

and reason to live.

God gives us these things,

and asks us to trust;

in His faithfulness,

for His ways are just.

Let our hearts pursue,

that to which we’re called;

by faith, let us hope,

with grace, be enthralled.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we trust in You, You grant us the assurance of that which we hope for in You. Though we have not seen You, we know that You are, as You give us the faith to see with our hearts, what our eyes cannot yet consume. Forgive us for our lack of faith, as there is evidence of You and Your goodness all around us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would hold fast to the hope that is found in You alone. Show us how to love others in such a way, that they too would come to find a forever faith in You. Be glorified O God, as we recognize the reality of the hope we have in You. Amen.

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

Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; …my hope is in You all day long. – Psalm 25:4-5

Hope in What is Unseen

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. – (Hebrews 11:1)

 

Perhaps that is why the term “leap of faith” is so often used. In order to demonstrate our faith, our certainty in what we do not see, we must move forward into the great unknown. Inevitably, this sort of movement can be likened to leaping headlong off of the edge of a cliff, uncertain of what lies below. Is it warm and inviting water, meant to refresh and renew our souls, or is it jagged cliffs, ready to destroy all that remains? This is where the being sure of what we hope for is absolutely necessary. If we are not certain that God is good, and that His plans are for our ultimate good in His kingdom, our faith falters and we cannot be certain of what we do not see. It becomes far easier to rely on what our eyes take in, rather than the truth that is being whispered within the walls of our hearts. May we turn to Christ in trust, allowing Him to grow our faith so that we are sure of what we hope for, and certain of that which we do not see.

 

How to be certain,Hope in What is Unseen

of what is unknown;

is found when we hope,

in Christ’s love that’s shown.

For His evidence,

wherever we look;

from heaven to earth,

written in His book.

We must make the choice,

to hope and be sure;

for though He’s unseen,

the Lord’s way is clear.

Allow faith to rise,

choose nurture and grow;

ever seek the truth,

and His way we’ll know.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can have faith, being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see because of Your ongoing, unchanging love for all. Thank You that Your faithfulness has been the same throughout the ages, and that Your love for us is so great, that You laid down Your very life so that we might live. Forgive us for our uncertainty in the unseen, and give us Your eyes to see the hope that lies before us, even when our own minds and hearts cannot begin to conceive anything hopeful ahead. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they too may find faith to hope in what is unseen. Be glorified O God, as we are sure of what we hope for, and certain of that which we do not yet see. Amen.

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

When times are good, be happy. – Ecclesiastes 7:14

Courage for Change

In life, we are assured there will be change. Seasons change, people change, and circumstances change. Our certainty is found in Christ. As the Lord calls us into new seasons, it is easy for fear to creep in. Though change is inevitable, it is a space of uncertainty, and anything unknown tends to bring uneasiness. God does not call us into the new and then just expect us to give it a go on our own. He promises to be present, and provides what we need, as we need it, to successfully navigate the new. The same words God gave to Joshua and the Israelites as they were preparing to enter the new of the promised land, are still applicable to each of us today as we walk in obedience to all that God is asking of us.

 

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – (Joshua 1:9)

 

May we rise up in His strength and courage, overcoming fear and discouragement, as we hold fast to the promise that God will remain with us wherever we go.

 

Be of good courage,Courage for Change

in seasons of change;

for God has promised,

our hope He’s made plain.

No matter what comes,

or where we need go;

Christ will be present,

this truth we can know.

Be strong without fear,

for He is our strength;

He’ll go where we go,

each height, depth and length.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You grant us strength and courage to overcome fear and discouragement, and You remain with us wherever we go. Thank You that You are faithful to Your promises, and Your love endures forever. Forgive us for allowing fear and discouragement to dull us to Your presence, and teach us to trust You more, so that we will be ever aware of Your nearness, regardless of our circumstances. Lead us to love others with the same relentlessness that You love each of us. May many come into a saving relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we rise up in strength and courage and go forward without fear, as we face every change that comes our way. Amen.

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

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine upon us. – Psalm 67:1

Hope by Faith

“But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope.” – (Galatians 5:5)

By faith, is in total trust of He who is worthy of our trust, despite that which we cannot see.

To eagerly await is a hopeful anticipation of what has not yet come.  It is an excited certainty that God is who He says He is, and that He will do what He has said He will do.

Through the Spirit, is the only way that we are capable of having faith in that which we cannot see.  God imparts to us, His Holy Spirit, Who assures us of His presence, His promises, and the hope to which we can hold.

Righteousness, is being right before God.  We are considered righteous from the moment we invite Jesus to be the Lord of our life, and shall be called righteous on our final day as we stand before Him, as we choose to live our lives unto Him.

For which we hope, is all that is held in Him.  His promises, His presence, His unending love, and a future forever with Him – these are the things to which we can cling, as He is our hope to hold.

By faith we place,Hope by Faith

our total trust;

despite what’s seen,

He is our must.

To wait in hope,

with certainty;

for all that’s now,

and yet to be.

By His Spirit,

is how we see;

He grants us faith,

to just believe.

When He is Lord,

we’re called righteous;

not by our strength,

but through Jesus.

All of our hope,

His promises;

unending love,

thank You, Jesus.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son to set us free.  Thank You Jesus, for the sacrifice that You made, so that we could have hope and faith, and be considered righteous before You.  Thank You for sending Your Holy Spirit, so that we have help and a constant companion to remind us of our hope.  Forgive us for losing sight of the hope that we hold in You, and help us to hold fast to the promises You have given, regardless of what is going on around us.  Grant us Your grace and Your eyes to see beyond what is right in front of us, so that we may look to our ultimate destination.  Teach us to trust You in all things and at all times, and may we love You with all that we are, so that in turn, we love other well.  Use our lives to touch hearts and transform communities, and help those who are searching, to find a lasting relationship with You.  Be exalted, O God.  Amen.

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

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; …write them on the tablet of your heart.

– Proverbs 3:3

Treasures to Hold

Just over three months ago, a very dear friend of mine breathed her last breath.  She had fought long and hard, a battle that would have caused many to quit, yet never in the nine years of the invasion of that devastating disease, did Anne even once, allow cancer to define her.  She knew with all certainty that she was above all, a child of God.  Her faith in our Heavenly Father did not waiver, regardless of what the doctors had told her.

Her perseverance and unwavering faith, are two of the things that I most admired about Anne.  So often, she would extend encouragement to those who were providing her medical care.  Laughter and light-hearted banter were common during many of her appointments.  The verse that brought her great comfort in her final days was 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” For she had indeed fought and finished in firm faith.

A dear friend asked me how I might remember Anne this Christmas.  I was a bit taken aback, as avoidance has been my coping mechanism of choice.  However, it is nearly impossible to navigate this season without reminders of my dear friend, as we have had many outings in this most blessed of seasons gone by.  As we spoke, I realized that perhaps part of me had avoided actual shopping in stores for gifts this year, as that is something that Anne and I have done together many times over the past few years.

I do not yet know if I am meant to do anything in particular to remember Anne, but I do know that I am to embrace her memory – the gift of friendship that I was given in her – and to be grateful for the example she set in perseverance and faith, and for the assurance that I have, knowing that she fought the good fight and is home, where I will one day see her again.

My heart will now hold,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

memories so dear;

treasures of friendship,

hope that is secure.

The faithful fighter,

no more needs to fight;

now in heaven’s hold,

our Savior’s delight.

I will remember,

the blessings I’ve known;

modeled endurance,

such steadfast faith shown.

Thank You, Lord Jesus,

for Your gifts of grace;

may we be steadfast,

secure in our faith.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the gifts that You give us in friends.  Thank You for the blessings that they bring, be it for a season or for a lifetime.  Thank You for the lessons that we learn from one another, when we are securely rooted in You.  Forgive us for not facing painful or sorrowful things, and help us to embrace each of the experiences that You bring, trusting that You have a purpose and a plan to use each experience for our ultimate good.  Teach us to persevere when things are difficult, and to have a faith that is unwavering, even when all seems to be shaking around us.  May our confidence and security in You, be a living testimony to all who are around us.  May many come to call You King this Christmas.  Be our hope and our help, Lord God.  Amen.

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