Prepare and Trust

Do your best, prepare for the worst – then trust God to bring victory. – (Proverbs 21:31, MSG)

Go ahead and prepare for conflict, but victory comes from God. – (Proverbs 21:31, TLB)

 

When we know a trial or struggle stands before us, we are called to rise up and do what we can do. However, ultimately, we must trust God to provide the strength and success in whatever we are facing, as He is the Rock on which we can stand. May we rise up and ready our hearts for whatever lies before us, trusting that God is our victor, and He has the very best for us as we forge forward in faith.

 

The battles will come,Healed Hands Reach Out

Of this, rest assured;

But do not lose heart,

Success is secured.

For we need not fret,

In the heat of mess;

If we trust the Lord,

And give it our best.

Whatever we lack,

The Lord has and more;

So rise up in faith,

See what is in store.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You meet us in our need, no matter what we are facing. Thank You that You call us to prepare for the worst and trust for the best. Thank You that in all things, You are present with us, seeing us through. Forgive us for our lack of faith when we cannot clearly see evidence of Your hands. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek You in every moment of each day, knowing that You are with us and for us.  Show us how to love and support those that You place in our path so that they might see You through our words and deeds. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we prepare and trust in the goodness of You. Amen.

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

You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence. – Acts 2:28

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Peace to Health

A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body. – (Proverbs 14:30a, NLT)

A serene heart can add years to one’s life. – (Proverbs 14:30a, VOICE)

Peace of mind makes the body healthy. – (Proverbs 14:30a, ERV)

A sound mind makes for a robust body. – (Proverbs 14:30a, MSG)

 

Our head, heart and body are all intricately interwoven by our Maker. When one is not well, the other two are affected also. It is no wonder that peace is so often mentioned in the Bible, for when our heart is at peace, our mind and body follow.

I have experienced seasons in my own life, where peace was seriously lacking. Though I sought and loved the Lord, my mind and heart were wrestling to grasp His peace in my surroundings. The unrest actually took a terrible toll on my body, and it got to the point that I had to make a change for my health – physically, emotionally and spiritually. When I moved in obedience to that which I had been called – the space that delivered me from the chaos to a place of peace – I suddenly found peace again. Not only was peace restored to my heart and mind, but my body began to be restored as well. With a renewed sense of His peace, it was well with my soul.

This is not to say that I have perfected finding His peace amidst the chaos. However, I have seen and know how faithful our Father is to meet us in the middle of our mess if we are only willing to allow Him entry. As we choose to walk in obedience, the direction to which we are called, His peace permeates our existence, regardless of what surrounds us. May we allow the Lord to be the peace of our hearts and minds, so that we may know the beauty that His presence brings to all things – body, mind and soul.

 

The God of all peace,

He Sees and Attends to His Created

Wants our hearts to know;

That in Him we’ll find,

Calm where chaos flows.

When the Lord’s peace comes,

Our health is restored;

Heart, body and mind,

Come let us adore.

We need choose listen,

And then opt obey;

For His perfect peace,

In love, lights our way.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You, we find peace. Thank You that when we have peace in our hearts, our bodies and minds know peace too. Thank You that our health and wellness are found in You, not in our surroundings. Thank You that even in times of great chaos, we can have peace in Your presence. Forgive us for our anxiousness that sits idle, rather than reaches out to You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would look to You and listen to Your direction, as You are faithful to lead us to Your place of peace, regardless of the wreckage around us. Show us how to love those around us who are desperate for Your peace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You – the Prince of Peace. Be glorified O God, as we allow Your peace to permeate our bodies, minds and souls, no matter our circumstances or surroundings. Amen.

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

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23

Love Leads to Safety

He led me to a place of safety; He rescued me because He delights in me. – (2 Samuel 22:20, NLT)
God is gracious and He longs to lead us to spaces of security and safety. He rescues us from our chaos and brings order, because He delights in us. It does not always mean that He removes us from the mess we are in, but He does calm the storm within. However, when where we are is a place that is unsafe and unfit for our well-being, He will provide a way out, and lead us to a place of safety. Because we are His children in whom He delights, it is His joy to rescue us and keep us safe. It is never His desire to see us stuck in circumstances that are destructive, and He will lead us to safety if we are willing to listen to His voice. May we open our ears and hearts to all that He has for us, so that we do not remain in the spaces where we were never meant to stay.

When we find ourselves,Compassion in Confrontations

where we should not be;

we have to listen,

for God sets us free.

Christ shows us the way,

where safety is found;

He rescues in love,

from where we are bound.

We are His delight,

which is why He saves;

each of us hand made,

in Him, we’re made brave.

Rise up and be bold,

fear not as He leads;

for His ways are good,

and He meets our needs.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You lead us to places of safety, and that You rescue us because You delight in us. Thank You that though we find ourselves in destructive circumstances, You don’t leave us there to suffer in silence. Thank You that You desire to bring us out of such spaces and into the shadow of Your wings. Forgive us for turning a deaf ear to what You are calling us to do, or for being too fearful to move where You are leading us to go. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will rise up and follow wherever You call, knowing that You lead us to places of safety and that You give good gifts to Your children in whom You delight. Lead us to love others well, so that they may feel You kindness and grace through us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to lead us to places of safety because we are Your delight. Amen.

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

Surely 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

Just Be Held

The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. – (Zephaniah 3:17)

 

God really is that loving, kind and gracious to us. I am in awe of how he meets us with His love, and touches our hearts so personally. Even when we are overwhelmed by our circumstances or surroundings, the Lord is present, and moving. He delights in us, even in our despair, and only He truly knows how to bring calm to our internal storms.

 

The other day had been a quite tumultuous day for me. I was feeling completely overwhelmed by life’s circumstances, and had just received yet another blow. As I was driving to meet a friend to work out, a song came on the radio that I had not ever really heard before. I am not certain if I had not heard the song before, or if I had somehow missed the actual lyrics, but that day, God completely captured my attention with the words. Each verse seemed to hit straight to my heart, and by the time the chorus came, I knew that God was using this song to speak to me in the moment. The song is “Just Be Held” by Casting Crowns. The lines of the chorus that were such a poignant reminder: “So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away, you’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held, your worlds not falling apart, its falling into place, I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held, Just be held, just be held.” (Click the highlighted title if you would like to hear it too.)

 

It is easy to forget that He delights in us, and will quiet us with His love, and He rejoices over us with singing, when everything seems to be falling apart. He has a plan and a purpose for each of us, no matter how things appear. Even when things seem like they are a complete disaster, often it is a space of rebuilding, before something really remarkable is ready to begin. Our job is to trust, and to know that He is with us, and that God is mighty to save. He is more than able in all situations, we have to be willing to be obedient, and at times that includes completely letting go, and just being held…

 

At times life is hard,Just Be Held

and hope seems so far;

but God’s always near,

wherever we are.

So mighty to save,

we are His delight;

He sings over us,

through the darkest night.

His love will bring calm,

where no peace is known;

surrender to Him,

let His strength be shown.

For often our mess,

the struggle and strain;

is what He will use,

for our greatest gain.

Out of the ashes,

His beauty shall rise;

in Christ all made new,

our hope realized.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are with us and that You are mighty to save. Thank You that You take great delight in us, and that You quiet us with Your love and rejoice over us with singing. Thank You that You take us when we are in a space of chaos, and bring calm. Thank You that we can come to You, throw up our arms in surrender, and just be held. Forgive us for fighting when You are calling us to surrender. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would know when to press on, and when to release what we are so fiercely holding into Your hands. Lead us to love others with Your kindness and grace, and may many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we surrender the things that we are not meant to hold, and simply allow You to hold onto us. Amen.

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

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. – Psalm 34:8

Messes Made Magnificent

Despite the mountains we may climb, the obstacles we must overcome, and the unforeseen circumstances that we find ourselves facing – God is still God, and He will use every trial to grow greater good within us.

 

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)

 

God takes our mess and makes it something magnificent within us. He uses our most broken places to reach, help and heal others who are stuck in the very same sort of space. He is gentle and kind, and loves to lead those who call on His Name, to walk on the path that fulfills their purpose. May we hold fast to the truth that God is good, no matter what comes our way, and trust that He will use ALL things for ultimate good.

 

Let faith rise in us,Chosen With Purpose

no matter what comes;

for we know our hope,

is held in the Son.

Despite obstacles,

and trials we face;

the Lord is still good,

and provides His grace.

More amazing still,

is how God will use;

our greatest disgrace,

to grow something new.

No trial for naught,

for God will surely show;

how He helped and loved,

strengthened us to grow.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that despite the pain and heartache associated with life’s trials, You promise to use ALL things for the good of those who love You. Thank You that You are good and that Your promises are eternal. Thank You that as trials come, we learn to lean on You. Forgive us for our fearfulness and lack of faith, and teach us to trust You more, so that we will remember that You are our true Source of strength in every storm. Lead us to love others in such a way, that we would be willing to share the encouragement of how You loved us well in the same sort of struggle that they are standing in. May many come to place their forever hope in You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to work ALL things for the good of those who love You. Amen.

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

God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me. – Genesis 21:6

Take Time to Remember

When trials come our way, we have two choices: fix our eyes on the problem, or set our sights on He who is the solution. As we opt to choose the latter, He brings to memory examples of His former faithfulness. In remembering that which He has done before, our faith is strengthened, and we are better equipped for the battle before us.

 

I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember Your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all Your works and consider all Your mighty deeds. – (Psalm 77:11-12)

 

Not only is the Bible full of examples of His faithfulness throughout the ages, but there are many instances in my own life to draw from as well. I simply must choose to stop and remember His deeds, and consider all that He has done in my life and in the lives of those around me. As I recall His mighty works, I am strengthened and encouraged for the fight before me, and know that I am not alone. The Lord will never leave us nor forsake us, and His love endures forever. May we take pause today to remember His deeds, and meditate on His mighty works so that we may be encouraged for whatever lies ahead.

 

Remember the deeds,Beside Still Waters

of our faithful Lord;

all that He has done,

the strength He affords.

May we meditate,

on His faithfulness;

for He is the One,

who cleans up our mess.

Where chaos has reigned,

the Lord has brought peace;

where hearts were captive,

He has brought release.

Healing in sickness,

provision for need;

love for the hopeless,

so faithful, indeed.

Be now encouraged,

for He is enough;

the Lord is with you,

through easy and tough.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have given us so many examples of Your faithfulness through provision, power, presence and mighty miracles, that we need only open Your word or think about moments in our own lives to consider Your mighty deeds. Thank You that when life becomes difficult, we can fix our eyes on You, and remember Your former faithfulness to find encouragement for our present circumstance. Forgive us for allowing our focus to fixate only on what lies before us, and teach us to trust You more, so that we may be strengthened and encouraged by You. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they too may consider all of Your mighty miracles and find a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified as we remember and meditate on the mighty works of Your hand. Amen.

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

Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. – 2 Corinthians 3:5

Intimately Known

Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than the sparrows. – (Luke 12:7)

 

“Our true value is God’s estimate of our worth, not our peers’. Other people evaluate and categorize us according to how we perform, what we achieve, and how we look. but God cares for us, as He does for all of His creatures, because we belong to Him. So we can face life without fear.” – (NIV footnotes for Luke 12:7)

 

We each are valued by God, not for what we have or have not done, but because we are His. He loves us to life, and sent His only Son to conquer death so that we might live. All that we have done, He knows, yet He still loves us the same. May we go forth in His great love, and love too, in His holy Name.

 

Intimately known,Intimately Known

and still loved the same;

of infinite worth,

in Christ’s holy Name.

Of whom shall we fear,

with God on our side;

Spirit ever near,

in us, He resides.

His love isn’t earned,

we can’t do a thing;

to make Him love more,

grace-filled offering.

He wants us to come,

to Him, as we are;

give Him everything,

our soul, mind and heart.

Our small gift of self,

He can truly bless;

beauty from ashes,

glory from our mess.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we are known and loved by You. Thank You that with You, we need not be afraid. Forgive us for our fears, and help us to hold fast to the truth of Your power and presence in our lives. Teach us to trust You in all things and at all times, knowing that regardless of what we see, You are present, and You are in control. You have gone before us and You are by our side. Help us to go forth in love, as You so richly love us. May many come to know Your care and covering as we share of all that You have done in our lives. Be glorified, O God, as we seek to serve You in all that we say and do. Amen.

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

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. – 2 Corinthians 1:3

Ceasing Seclusion

“Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him. – (Luke 8:38-39)

 

In this portion of the eighth chapter of Luke, the account of Jesus sending the demons out of a man into a herd of pigs is being retold. The man had been demon-possessed for many years, not living in a house, nor wearing clothes. He had lived in the tombs in his broken chains, stuck in solitude. When Jesus came along, life as he had known it, forever changed. Jesus restored his right mind and gave him his dignity back. As the demons fled, the man recognized the power and goodness of God, and begged to go with Jesus. However, God had a different plan for the man. This man would be an extraordinary witness to God’s power in his own hometown, as all had seen and known of the man’s previous state. Seeing the man clothed and in his right mind, would be a story that only he could share to help open doors in the hearts of the people in his hometown, so they might hear all that God had to offer. When Jesus asked him to stay, despite his likely disappointment, he obeyed.

 

God has done much for us as well. Are we willing to go where He calls? For some, He may ask us to go, yet for others, we may be asked to stay. Wherever we are, we have a story to share. We all have moments where we can recall when Christ came near, and our hearts were forever changed. What is your story that you will share for His glory? May we go forth wherever You call, and share all that You ask.

 

May we pass on,Peace He Brings

all that God has done;

make known His heart,

most glorious One.

He takes our mess,

however we come;

washes us clean,

in light of the Son.

The heart of stone,

we once had before;

He makes tender,

as He loves us more.

By His great grace,

we too, may give love;

He fills us up,

with more than enough.

Let us go forth,

wherever He calls;

love as He loves,

beyond our own walls.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do the miraculous in us, so that we can move mightily in Your strength. Thank You that You call us to tell of what You have done, be it near or far. Thank You that we each have a story to tell. Forgive us for our fearfulness and doubt, and help us to discover the power that You have placed in our voice when we are faithful to speak on Your behalf. Teach us to trust You more, and lead us to love well, all whom You have placed on our path. Let the lost be found, and may many come to know You as their Savior and King. Be glorified, O God, as we go where You call and do as You ask. Amen.

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

Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. – 2 Corinthians 3:5

Abide

Abide. What a beautiful, yet at times, elusive word. To remain, continue, stay, or even await, in the context of Christ, is the place my heart hides best. A dear friend has found herself in a space where her only instruction from the Lord is to simply, ABIDE. Since first hearing, I often think about how I am meant to abide as well. My discovery, is that to abide is a daily decision to walk with Him – in His grace, His love and His peace. It does not necessarily come naturally, but rather is rooted in choice after choice after choice.

 

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vines, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. – (John 15:4, NKJV)

 

For anything good to come out of us, we must be firmly rooted and established in Christ. May our lives be so intertwined with His, that we cannot help but bear good fruit that lasts. All glory and honor to Him, now and forevermore.

 

Come all you weary,

for He’ll grant us rest;Darkness into Light

come all you broken,

He’ll repair our mess.

As we choose to come,

be still and abide;

allow Him access,

to darkness we hide.

For His light’s greater,

than our dark despair;

healing and wholeness,

He grants us, right there.

Throw out what hinders,

with hearts open wide;

He’s faithful always,

as we choose abide.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we abide in You, You abide in us too. Thank You that You are faithful always, and that Your mercies are new every morning. Thank You that as we abide in You, You grow us and strengthen us, so that we may be utilized to touch lives on Your behalf. Thank You that You take us as we are, and turn our past struggles into stories of Your faithfulness to share. Forgive us for our fears and frustrations as we face the fire, and grant us Your eyes to see and Your strength to endure. May we live and love in Your strength as we opt to abide in You, and may many lives be changed as they come to know the truth. Be glorified, O God, as we abide. Amen.

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

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. – 2 Corinthians 1:3

Set Free

For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. – (Romans 3:23-34)

 

Sin is any and every word, thought and deed that goes against what God has intended for us. Unkind thoughts toward another separate us from God just as much as murder. According to His word, ALL sin cuts us off from our holy God, leading to death. However, because of what Jesus chose to do on the cross, ALL can be forgiven.

 

God judges us through the lens of His Son, Jesus; and we are therefore justified, declared NOT GUILTY, as every charge against us has been nailed to the cross that He already bore. As we ask for forgiveness, God removes our sin and wipes our record clean, as if we have never sinned. What a joy His justification is to all who believe!

 

Redemption is a reference to being set free from slavery. For all who are in Christ, that is exactly what has been done. Christ has redeemed us from a life enslaved to sin, and set us free to follow Him; to live a life in the light of His glorious grace.

 

Miserable mess,Set Free

until we are found;

lost and all alone,

by sin we were bound.

Then one lovely day,

in a moment’s time;

we met our Savior,

Who forgave our crime.

He took each poor choice,

and cast it away;

came into our hearts,

where He’s promised stay.

All guilt was removed,

now covered with grace;

granted a new start,

for each day to face.

May my life bring praise,

in all that I do;

each word, thought and deed,

grant glory to You.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that despite our short-comings and our sinfulness, You love. Thank You for sending Your Son to take our place, as He justified and redeemed us from all that kept us from You. Jesus, thank You for carrying the horrendous weight of our burdens, so that we could enter into an eternal relationship with You. Forgive us for holding ourselves or anyone else to a standard other than that which You set before us, and help us to forgive, as we too are forgiven. May many come to know the joy of being justified and redeemed through Your salvation, and may we extend Your love and grace to all whom we encounter. Be glorified as we live, love and forgive, as You have done for us. Amen.

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

Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, You who have done great things. 

Who, O God, is like You? – Psalm 71:19