Help in the Heaviness

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we are able to give them the same comfort God has given us. – (2 Corinthians 1:4, NLT) 

He comforts us every time we have trouble so that when others have trouble, we can comfort them with the same comfort God gives us. – (2 Corinthians 1:4, ERV) 

He consoles us as we endure the pain and hardship of life so that we may draw from His comfort and share it with others in their own struggles. – (2 Corinthians 1:4, VOICE) 

 

There are times that the weight of loss or struggle or hardships around us, find a way of seeping into our soul, causing sorrow to set heavy on our heart. Yesterday, as we heard the devastating news that a former student from our school, a boy who was in my own boys’ grade and classes, died Tuesday night, from gunshot wounds. Though I did not ever have him as a student, I did teach his younger sister and currently teach his younger brother. As I hesitantly pulled out an old yearbook to place a face with the name, the weight of the grief rested heavily through the recognition of the familiar smiling face of the young man. My own experience with loss has taught me that time eases the pain, however, that is likely little comfort for those closest to him who are only beginning to process the permanence of this tragic loss. I pray that God would surround each hurting heart with the comfort needed most, and that every need would be provided as they navigate this devastating reality. May we all be extra kind and compassionate in this season, as heavy hearts are hidden among us. 

 

God of all comfort, Being Made New

We call on Your Name; 

To hold heavy hearts, 

Love well through the pain. 

Lord, will You show us, 

What we’re meant to do; 

To extend Your grace, 

Help see others through. 

Show us how to love, 

Others through their pain; 

Let us be Your light, 

That through all remains. 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good, even when the circumstances that surround us are not. Thank You that You see every heartache, and You hear every prayer. Thank You that You comfort us the way our hearts need it most. Forgive us for avoiding painful places that we see in others, rather than being present to offer comfort, just as You have comforted us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would know how to be present in heaviness, and how to comfort those who are hurting. Show us how to love those dealing with loss in practical and tangible ways. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, the ultimate Comforter. Be glorified O God, as we seek Your comfort to share with others, and thank You for the comfort that You continue to provide for us all. Amen.

 

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

 

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. – Revelation 21:4

He Won’t Take It Back

For God’s gifts and His call can never be withdrawn. – (Romans 11:29, NLT)

God never changes His mind about the people He calls. He never decides to take back the blessings He has given them. – (Romans 11:29, ERV)

You see, when God gives a grace gift and issues a call to a people, He does not change His mind and take it back. – (Romans 11:29, VOICE)

 

When God calls us and equips us to do that which we are designed to do, He does not change His mind and ask us to change direction. As broken and fallible humans, we often interpret difficulties we face as either a change in His plan, or a removal of His equipping us to do that which we thought we had been called to do. God is not like man that He changes His mind. What He calls us to, He empowers and equips us to do – despite hardship and adversity. Our charge is to persevere and continue to trust Him, even when all that surrounds us no longer seems to make sense. His plans and His ways are far higher and greater than our own, so it doesn’t matter what we see, but rather what we believe that is essential. May we rise up and trust the Lord in all that He has called us to do; for He is for us and He will not remove the gifts that He has given to go forward, nor will He change His mind about us being a part of His plan.

 

The Lord is gracious,

Thankful for Love that Endures

Vandy Massey Watercolor

Gifts given are good;

Granted for purpose,

His call, understood.

To all we are called,

He also equips;

Gives us what we need,

Trust relationship.

He’ll never take back,

Nor choose change His mind;

For what the Lord gives,

We always shall find.

Blessings flow freely,

Of His love and grace;

As we keep moving,

In this lifelong race.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are not like mankind – for You are not fickle nor foolish, and You do not change Your mind. Thank You that when You call us, You equip us, and You do not withdraw either the call nor the gifts granted to move forward, regardless of our decision to stand. Forgive us for our foolishness that would doubt You and the calling and gifts that You place in each of us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would continue to move confidently in the direction to which You have called, trusting that You will walk beside us, lead and guide us, no matter what surrounds us or stands before us. Show us how to love others in the same way that we are loved by You, as Your loving kindness grants us the courage and strength necessary to keep moving in the direction to which we have been called. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust the steadfastness of all that You are and all that You give, as You remain the same both now and forever. 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

 

Comforted to Comfort Others

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. – (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, NLT)

May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be blessed! He is the compassionate Father and God of all comfort. He’s  the one who comforts us in all our trouble so that we can comfort other people who are in every kind of trouble. We offer the same comfort that we ourselves received from God. – (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, CEB)

All praise goes to God, Father of our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One. He is the Father of compassion, the God of all comfort. He consoles us as we endure the pain and hardship of life so that we may draw from His comfort and share it with others in their own struggles. – (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, VOICE)

 

God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, deserves all of our praise. He is compassionate and merciful, and provides the comfort that we need in our times of trouble, so that we can turn around and do the same for others whom we see in similar situations. The very love and kindness that God has provided us, rises up and flows from us, when we encounter those experiencing similar struggles. God is the God of paying it forward. We can love because He first loved us. Let our hearts give praise to our God of all comfort and compassion, and may we go forth, extending the same comfort to others that we have received from Him.

 

All praise to the Lord,Faith and Hope in Action

from whom comfort flows;

Compassionate One,

He sees and He knows.

We need not choose fear,

when trouble finds us;

for the Lord is near,

He hears each request.

As He brings comfort,

our hearts come to know;

His peace to pass on,

His grace overflows.

May we too extend,

comfort and His grace;

hope to the troubled,

so all seek His face.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our merciful God, who is the source of all comfort and compassion. Thank You that You meet us in our troubles, and bring us peace where it is lacking. Thank You that Your comfort granted to us, gives us the capacity to go and do the same for others in similar situations. Forgive us for not looking beyond ourselves in the midst of difficulties. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would always be listening to Your leading, as You so often use the very thing which we are going through to help encourage another in a similar situation. Show us how to give Your comfort to the hurting. May many come into a lasting relationship with You – the ultimate Comforter. Be glorified O God, as we praise You for who You are, and share from the overflow of the good that You give to us. 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

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

Remembering His Faithfulness

I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all Your works and consider what your hands have done. – (Psalm 143:5)

David faced some seriously discouraging circumstances. More than once, he had to flee for his very life, despite knowing that God had called him to be king. Despite the dismay at the detours, David chose to direct his heart and mind to the displays of faithfulness that the Lord had demonstrated for the many generations that had gone before him. He knew that God was faithful, and that His word was true. Rather than fixing his eyes on the hardships that he could see, David chose to meditate on all that God had done before, trusting that He would be faithful to continue to keep His promises as He had done so faithfully, for the many generations that had gone before him.

We are called to do the very same thing in the face of adversity. It is our choice to either focus on the problem, or on He who is faithful to hear our every prayer, and be present beside us, every step of the way. When we slow down and remember all the ways in which He has been faithful to us already, it is easier to meditate on the truth of His word, and what He has promised He will do. God is good, and His love endures forever. We need not allow our hearts to be overcome with fret or fear, but rather we ought to meditate on His works and the wonder of all that He has done. May we keep our hearts and minds fixed on Christ and the truth of who He is, so that we always remember what He has done, and where we are ultimately headed.

Remember the times,Break Camp and Move Out

that God has come through;

provided answers,

shown us what to do.

When there was a need,

our God did provide;

unexpectedly,

a whisper replied.

The Lord’s gentle hand,

as someone came near;

His comfort granted,

to our silent tears.

A ray of sunlight,

after raging rain;

hope we can cling to,

He makes our path plain.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are and have always been faithful. Thank You that You remain the same: yesterday, today and forever. Thank You that we can look to the past to remember Your faithfulness throughout the ages, when we are discouraged about today. Thank You that when we look to all that You have done, You restore our hope for both today and forever, as You are unchanging and abounding in love. Forgive us for forgetting to stop and meditate on all of Your works, as when we consider all that You have done, we cannot help but be hopeful. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would slow down and take time to consider all that You have done for us, even in the midst of our greatest trials, as You never leave us nor forsake us. Lead us to love others in such a way, that we might be an extension of Your hands and heart to those who need Your tangible touch. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we remember all that You have done, and go forth in confidence, knowing that Your faithfulness will last forever. Amen.

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

The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. – Psalm 145:8

No Separation

Yesterday, as I stood on the outer edge of a sea of people dressed in blue, I was deeply moved with each name that was shouted out for whom that participant would be running to remember. Name after name was called out, signifying a life taken too soon. For every name called, a family no longer had their son or daughter, sister or brother, husband or wife, mom or dad, to come home to and in whom to find comfort. Trouble and hardship had likely been the companion of so many of those wearing blue, yet each stood tall, proudly calling out the name of the loved one whom they were there to remember. As we bowed our heads in silence, followed by a time of corporate prayer, I was in awe of how great His love is for those who seek Him, and how close a community can become in the face of adversity.

 

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. – (Romans 8:35 & 37)

 

Four separate families who had lost loved ones in the past year, fired the cannon prior to the start of our race. The first shot was to honor the fallen; the next, for those still fighting; the third, for the families; and finally, the last blast, was to signal the beginning of our run. All along the route, there were flags and photos of soldiers who had been killed in the line of duty. Despite the somber scene as we passed the pictures, joy was on the faces of the folks in blue. It appeared that hope has been restored, and that they do indeed, know that they are more than conquerors in Him.

 

No matter what comes,No Separation

what trial we face;

we’re never too far,

to receive God’s grace.

His arms are outstretched,

we need only run;

toward Him, He’s waiting,

gracious Holy One.No Separation 2

When we are in Him,

He’ll use all for good;

the ugly, the raw,

what’s misunderstood.

Hold onto all hope,

for He never fails;

conquerors in Christ,

His love shall prevail.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that there is nothing nor anyone who can separate us from Your love. Thank You that in You, we are more than conquerors. Thank You that though we will face trials and troubles in this life, we need not fear, for You will be with us. Forgive us for our fearfulness, and help us to hold fast to our hope in You. Keep our eyes from fixing on the problems and challenges, and instead, help us to focus fully on You. Let us love as You love us, and live as the conquerors You have created us to be. May many come to know the power present in a life invested in You. Be glorified, O God, in all that we say and 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

Where Hope is Held

Is there hardship, despair?

image by Joakim Kraemer

image by Joakim Kraemer

Does life seem beyond hope?

Do struggles keep growing?

At the end of your rope?

When we find our own end,

and have no more to give,

this is where we find God,

who raises us to live.

Mighty Deliverer,

the Granter of true strength;

Designer of our days,

Who determines their length.

May we all rest assured,

and place all hope in Him.

He is our Warrior,

Who will lead us to win.

For true victory comes,

not from treasures on earth;

but in our held promise,

received at second birth.

(Responding to 2 Corinthians 1:8-10)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are alive and active and always by our side.  Thank You that though we often find ourselves in situations or circumstances too weighty and difficult for us to take on in our own strength, with You, we have help and hope to overcome even the seemingly impossible.  Forgive us for being slow to turn to You and may we be dependant on You in all things and at all times.  May the help and hope that You provide be shared as an encouragement to those in need of You in such a way, that they are drawn into a lasting relationship with You.  All honor and glory to You, God.  Amen.

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