The Ultimate Love

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. – (John 3:16, NIV)

Yes, God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him would not be lost but have eternal life. – (John 3:16, ERV)

For this is how much God loved the world – He gave His one and only, unique Son as a gift. So now everyone who believes in Him will never perish but experience everlasting life. – (John 3:16, TPT)

 

Because God loved us, His created, so much, He sent His Son to make Himself tangible and approachable to all. Jesus made the way for all who choose to believe, to have life eternal in Him. This blessed assurance provides hope, peace, comfort and removes fear from all that lies ahead. No matter how tumultuous life can become, there is so much more waiting for us when our time here is done. Though we mourn loss of loved ones as we have to adjust to life without their tangible presence, we may also rejoice for those who know Him, as they enter into eternal glory. Additionally, when we know the Lord as well, goodbye is really just a “see you later.” One day, we will be reunited with those who have gone before us to be with the Lord. Imagine the celebration that will take place when we see Jesus face-to-face, and again join with loved ones who have gone ahead of us. May we rejoice in the incredible love that God has for each of us, as His Son showed us what He is like and how greatly He truly loves.

 

The ultimate love, Healed Hands Reach Out

Chooses truly see;

Past every flaw,

And looks to meet needs.

There’s no greater love,

Than God’s sacrifice;

A love undeserved,

Paid ultimate price.

A death undeserved,

In our place He chose;

Faced the darkest grave,

And third day, He rose.

He went on ahead,

To prepare a place;

For all who believe,

His welcome embrace.

May we look to God,

Ever seek His face;

Trust all that He is,

And unending grace.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that because You loved, we too, may come to know love. Thank You for the precious gift of Your Son, who made love tangible for all to see and understand. Forgive us for the times that we let go of hope and allow our struggles to define what we see. Teach us to trust You more, so that despite the hard things that we walk through and endure, there is everlasting hope to be held in You. Show us how to love those around us in a way that demonstrates Your love and provides hope for what is yet to come. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we thank You and praise You for our everlasting hope, and embrace the grace that You alone give. Amen.

 

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

 

In Your unfailing love you will lead the people You have redeemed. In Your strength You will guide them to Your holy dwelling. – Exodus 15:13

Courage to Overcome

“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)

 

Jesus let His followers know that a life of faithfulness to Him would not be free from trouble, but even in the throws of the most difficult circumstances, they would never be alone. Christ came and defeated death and darkness, so that we may have light and life in Him. No matter what we face in the present, our future holds the hope of eternal glory in His perfect presence. We can take courage no matter what we face, for Christ already came and conquered on our behalf. In Him, we are more than able to endure and overcome what lies before us, and reach that which awaits. His peace is available now, in spite of our circumstances, and His strength is provided as it is needed. May we seek Him and trust Him to be our peace and our strength, so that we may be brave in the face of trouble, knowing that He has already overcome all that we are facing.

 

Jesus has spoken,Bold in Battle

these words unto us;

that we shall find peace,

despite our chaos.

No matter what comes,

Jesus is our place;

where courage is found,

as He pours out grace.

All that we shall face,

He’s already done;

the victory His,

at the cross, He won.

So fear not the world,

and what it may throw;

for when we’re in Christ,

the outcome we know.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we have peace in You, no matter what troubles come our way. Thank You that we can be brave in the face of our trials and struggles, knowing that You have already overcome the world. Thank You that though we may walk through heartache and hard, our present situation is not our final destination. Forgive us for losing an eternal perspective as we go about our days, and help us to see things through Your lens. Teach us to trust You more, even in the hardest spaces. Lead us to love others in a way that provides perspective, strength and courage when they are stuck in the struggle too. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we receive Your peace that surpasses all understanding, no matter our circumstances, and fear not in the face of our trials as we remember that You have already overcome all that we are facing. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno 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. – Ephesians 2:4-5

The Scope of Suffering

Suffering is a natural part of our human existence. Sinful and broken people cause harm that results in adversity, as well as the mere existence of illness and disease that also provide places of pain, distress and hardship. We are not promised a life that is free from suffering, but rather we have hope and help for comfort and strength in the midst of our struggles, and the hope that is held in the promise of that which is yet to come.

In His kindness God called you to share in His eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation. – (1 Peter 5:10, NLT)

Hardship and suffering seem to be seasonal. We go through seasons of struggle and seasons of blessing. In our most challenging times, God affords us the opportunity to seek Him and find Him in ways that we never have before. When we do, we come to know His strength, power and presence, in a tangible way, and recognize the hope we hold in Him. Though the suffering and struggles are never pleasant, they are the spaces in which we grow most, and if we are willing, God can use our trials to touch and encourage the lives of others to draw them closer to Himself. May we recognize the kindness of God, even in the midst of our storms, as He has called us to share in His eternal glory forever. Let His love lead us, as He restores, supports and strengthens us, again setting our feet on His firm foundation so that we may walk wherever He calls.

The God of all grace,Hold My Heart

has called unto us;

to forever trust,

His own Son, Jesus.

For in suffering,

our hope is made known;

as we’re granted strength,

by God on the throne.

He stays by our side,

no matter how rough;

the battle we face,

our God is enough.

He’ll set our feet sure,

both firm and steadfast;

and our hope in Him,

forever shall last.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that despite the suffering and trials that all of us endure at one point or another, You are present and willing to strengthen us and be our help and our hope. Thank You too that though You do not bring the trials nor suffering, You use them to grow us closer to You. Thank You that You can use even our ugliest ashes to bring beauty, hope and strength to another. Forgive us for allowing fear or anxiousness to reign in the midst of suffering and trials. Teach us to place all of our hope in You, so that we would recognize that though the suffering is for a season, glory with You will be for all of eternity. Lead us to love others with an eternal perspective, so that our desire will be that each will come into a saving knowledge of who You are and how You love. May many choose to trust in You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to restore us, strengthen us and make us firm and steadfast for You, despite our trials. Amen.

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

Shout aloud and sing for joy. – Isaiah 12:6

Strength in Suffering

And the God of all grace, Who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. – (1 Peter 5:10, NIV)

 

Yes, you will suffer for a short time. But after that, God will make everything right. He will make you strong. He will support you and keep you from falling. He is the God who gives all grace. He chose you to share in His glory in Christ. That glory will continue forever. – (1 Peter 5:10, ERV)

 

Struggling and suffering are inevitable parts of dwelling in a broken world. Hurting people hurt people, and often bad things do happen to good people. This does not mean that we have somehow fallen from Christ’s favor, nor does it mean that we are receiving our punishment due; there are times when a struggle is allowed for a season so that we may grow to truly understand His strength and His grace in our lives. Every single time that I have gone through a trial of sorts, Christ has been present. His grace gave me the strength to keep moving forward, even when I wanted to retreat, and His love summoned me to cling to Him – He who is firm and steadfast, always. As I relied less on me and more on Jesus, my footing became more firm, and my resolve, ready and steadfast in He who does not change. His strength and hope restored what I’d feared might be lost, and His grace abounded all the more. He who has promised is faithful to fulfill His every word.

 

Though life becomes hard,Strength in Suffering

there’s suffering, pain;

we have hope in Christ,

His presence remains.

He will restore us,

make us strong, steadfast;

firm, as He’s faithful,

eternally lasts.

We have been chosen,

to share Christ’s glory;

let us stand in strength,

and tell His story.

Receive His great grace,

to us it abounds;

all who were once lost,

but now have been found.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the God of all grace. Thank You that even in our suffering, You remain present. Thank You that You are our strength and our firm foundation, and we may remain steadfast in the hope not only for today, but of our eternal glory that awaits in Christ. Forgive us for our lack of awareness of Your presence in the struggle, or for doubting Your faithfulness when suffering seems long. Teach us to trust You in all things and at all times, knowing that our struggles and suffering are only a short time, when compared to all of eternity in Your Holy presence. Let us live with an eternal perspective. May we live and love as if each day could be our last, and may our every word and deed point people straight to You. Let those who are looking be found in You. Be glorified as we trust You in both the blessings and the suffering. Amen.

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

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. – Job 8:21

Benefits of Suffering

Trials and troubles touch the lives of everyone, eventually. Often, when the struggles squeeze, people begin to wonder why. Though I know not all the answers, I appreciate the footnotes found for 2 Corinthians 4:17  that speak of the following benefits of our suffering: (1) They remind us of Christ’s suffering for us; (2) they keep us from pride; (3) they cause us to look beyond this brief life; (4) they prove our faith to others; and (5) they give God the opportunity to demonstrate His power.

 

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” – (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)

 

Not only should we recognize the opportunities presented in our suffering, but also on the One in whom we are to place our hope. Though the trial before us may seem insurmountable, if we hold an eternal perspective, we may hold fast to the hope that it will not last forever; and He Who is in us, is far greater than that which lies before us. Additionally, God can utilize our perseverance and persistent pressing into Him, to present the truth of who He is to others, in the midst of our trials. His faithfulness will be made evident to all who are around us, as we are dependent on Him.

 

When the troubles come,Benefits of Suffering

no need wonder why;

rather seek the Lord,

He will hear our cry.

He suffered for us,

our trials are known;

His presence remains,

for we are His own.

Trials fend off pride,

keep us seeking grace;

make known our own need,

to find the Lord’s face.

Reminders we’re not,

in our final home;

and our present pains,

make us long to go.

Our faithful pursuit,

of God in the press;

leads others to see,

the Lord’s tenderness.

So seek the unseen,

rather than what is;

for true treasure lies,

where we are called His.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You use every struggle and trial to grow us in Your grace, and demonstrate Your love and faithfulness to those around us. Forgive us for our lack of endurance and trust in the trials, and help us to persevere by Your Spirit, and be aware of Your presence, so that we may be a living testimony of Your faithfulness in both the trial and the times of peace. Teach us to be completely dependent on You, and show us how to fix our eyes on that which is unseen. Lead us to love as we are loved. May many be moved to follow You, as they see Your faithfulness in our lives. Be glorified as we faithfully follow You today, Lord, God. Amen.

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

Is anyone happy?  Let him sing songs of praise. – James 5:13

 

 

Unto Him

Unto HimHumble ourselves,

under the Lord’s hand;

He’ll lift us up,

at the time He’s planned.

Cast all our cares,

anxiousness to Him;

His care covers,

when all seems grim.

Be self-controlled,

forever alert;

foe of our soul,

wants us to get hurt.

Resist his lies,

stand firm in the faith;

we’re not alone,

in needing His grace.

Our Father, God,

who is full of grace;

calls us to Him,

and fuels our faith.

Though there is pain,

it’s just for a while;

we’ll be restored,

embraced as His child.

(Responding to I Peter 5:6-11)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though there is pain and suffering in this life, it is but a moment when compared to the eternal glory that is yet to come. Thank You that You strengthen and equip us to weather life’s storms, and You grant us the grace to keep seeking Your face. Forgive us for allowing the cares of this world to overwhelm us, and please help us to pass all of our burdens to You. May we walk in the weight of Your grace, and may our lives extend the very same goodness and grace we are given, to all whom we encounter. May many come to know You, as we convey the covering You have provided through Christ. Amen.

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

Strength in the Suffering

photo by Karen Holden

“And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” – I Peter 5:10

Though we may suffer for some time, our Heavenly Father, who is full of grace, sent His Son so that we might be restored in strength, in faith, and firmly established in our purpose; unwavering in our adherence to the Almighty.

Often, our seasons of suffering seem that they will sink our soul, yet it is in that very place of desperation, that His deity becomes most clearly displayed.  When we reach the end of ourselves, we begin to discover just how much more we have in Him.  His grace guides us and His goodness grants hope, even in the most dismal of circumstance.  Our purpose becomes plain, and He provides His help to remain on the path that is placed before us.

The greatest gift is in knowing that no matter how long our suffering lasts here, it is but a moment when compared to eternity in His glory.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in Your glorious grace, You promise to restore us and strengthen us so that we may stand firm and steadfast in You.  Please strengthen and encourage all who are in the midst of suffering, and grant them hope.  Teach us Lord, to tether our hearts to You in times of trial and in times of blessing.  May we stand steadfast and secure in You through every season, and may our strength in You encourage others to find the only hope that can truly be held, in You.  Let our light shine before men (and women), even in our seasons of suffering.  Amen.

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