Our Strength and Peace

The Lord gives His people strength; the Lord blesses His people with peace. – (Psalm 29:11, HCSB)

May the Lord make His people strong. May the Lord bless His people with peace. – (Psalm 29:11, ERV)

God makes His people strong. God gives His people peace. – (Psalm 29:11, MSG)

I don’t know about you, but I am in a space where God’s strength and peace are necessary for my survival. It has been an incredibly long and challenging school year thus far, and this final stretch prior to our winter break always feels long. Yesterday, I began the day with a fresh spring in my step and peace in my heart after a bit of extra time to rest over the long weekend, and the recognition that there would only be three weeks until a much-needed, longer break. However, by the time we were a few minutes into first period, I felt as if the strength had been sapped and the peace removed. God is with me always, it is just far more difficult to see and feel His presence when things feel tumultuous. Today is a new day. I have hope that things will improve, and the peace in knowing we are a day closer to the holidays. He is good, and I will trust anew for His strength and peace to reign. May we ever seek the Lord for strength and peace, for He is faithful to be near in all things and at all times.

The Lord grants us strength,

To rise and press on;

And provides His peace,

When the days seem long.

Ever He is near,

To love and uphold;

Fill us with new hope,

For His love is bold.

Lead us, Lord Jesus,

With strength and resolve;

Grace to keep going,

As worry dissolves.

No matter our day,

You are always good;

Please fill us anew,

True peace understood.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our strength and our peace, always. Thank You that Your loving kindness is not dependent on our circumstances or what we do or do not do, but rather You are available to all who come to You. Forgive us for our fears and frustrations that zap our strength and steal our peace. Teach us to turn to You for all that we need, for You are faithful always. Lead us to love those around us well, so that we too may extend strength and peace in places where both are difficult to find. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to be our strength and peace as we navigate each new day. Amen.

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

He said, “Don’t be afraid, you who are treasured by God. Peace to you; be very strong!” As He spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Let my Lord speak, for You have strengthened me.” – Daniel 10:19

Strengthened With Power

May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy. – (Colossians 1:11, HCSB)

(We pray) that God will strengthen you with His own great power, so that you will be patient and not give up when trouble comes. Then you will be happy. – (Colossians 1:11, ERV)

And we pray that you would be energized with all His explosive power from the realm of His magnificent glory, filling you with great hope. – (Colossians 1:11,TPT)

I am so thankful that it is Friday, as the few weeks leading up to Thanksgiving seem especially long. To be energized and filled with hope is the prayer I have for myself and all those around me. Joy comes as we persevere, even when things are difficult. May we ever seek the Lord to strengthen and empower us with patient endurance so that we press on with great hope. 

O Lord, as we come,

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Seeking You for strength;

Lead us and guide us,

Grow patience at length.

Grant us endurance,

To keep pressing on;

Be the strength we need,

When we don’t feel strong.

Through perseverance,

We come to know joy;

You graciously give,

With You our hearts join.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we seek You, You strengthen us with Your power so that we have strength and resolve to persevere and discover the joy found in Your heavenly hope. Forgive us for our discouragement when we are depleted. Teach us to turn to You to strengthen and lead us in Your love. Show us how to love those around us well, so that they too may be strengthened in You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You and rely on You to supply all that we need. Amen.

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

But You, Lord, don’t be far away. My Strength, come quickly to help me. – Psalm 22:19

Approach Boldly

Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time. – (Hebrews 4:16, HCSB)

With Jesus as our high priest, we can feel free to come before God’s throne where there is grace. There we receive mercy and kindness to help us when we need it. – (Hebrews 4:16, ERV)

So now we draw near freely and boldly to where grace is enthroned, to receive mercy’s kiss and discover the grace we urgently need to strengthen us in our time of weakness. – (Hebrews 4:16, TPT)

This morning, the need for grace is great, as I am running on four hours of sleep. Our dogs do not understand daylight savings time, nor do they have any concern for whether or not I get enough sleep. Thankfully, I can come before God and ask for help to function and do what I need to do, and can praise Him for the time to nap that will be available this afternoon. It seems trivial, but God cares about every aspect of our lives, including our need for sleep. I am grateful that this is still a weekend, and trust that He will provide what I need to feel refreshed and ready for the week ahead. May we ever seek the Lord, our High Priest, whom we can approach boldly to receive mercy and kindness and help whenever we need it.

Sweet sleeping puppies,

All has become calm;

The Lord’s loving grace,

Is a healing balm.

No matter our need,

Both the great and small;

The Lord, He hears us,

And cares about all.

So, look to the Lord,

Seek Him and His grace;

Loving Provider,

Who hears us, always.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You see and hear and know our needs. Thank You that You care about all things, great and small. Thank You that we can come to You for anything and You hear us. Forgive us for thinking that our needs are trivial or not what You care about. Teach us to present all to You and give You praise for Your ongoing faithfulness. Show us how to love those around us well. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we boldly approach Your throne, trusting that You are good and faithful to meet our needs. Amen.

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

For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came from God. – John 16:27

Power to Press On

For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment. – (2 Timothy 1:7, HCSB)

The Spirit God gave us does not make us afraid. His Spirit is a source of power and love and self-control. – (2 Timothy 1:7, ERV)

You see, God did not give us a cowardly spirit but a powerful, loving, and disciplined spirit. – (2 Timothy 1:7, VOICE)

God’s Spirit is the Provider of every good and perfect gift. The struggle, however, is when our circumstances make us question what we know is the truth. His power, love and sound judgment are greater than anything and everything that we face. He is good, even when our circumstances are not. Here, in the midst of struggle, we need His nearness and grace to remind us to rise up in all that He has placed within us so that we can be who He has created us to be. May we ever seek the Lord to remind us of all that He’s placed within us by His power and His grace so that we can navigate each new day in His power, love and self-discipline.

Fear is not from God,

For He is our strength;

Great Overcomer,

Who goes to great lengths.

No height is too high,

Nor depth that’s too low;

He comes as we call,

And makes His grace known.

Power to press on,

When we have no more;

Love and His wisdom,

The hope to endure.

Lord, please come closer,

Remind us again;

Of Your great goodness,

That ushers hope in.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have not given us a spirit of fear, but rather one of power, love and self-control. Thank You that You begin where our strength ends, and You are present to help and uphold us. Forgive us for our fears and frustrations in the midst of struggle. Teach us to turn in trust to You, for You supply all that we need to continue moving forward in all that we are called to do and become. Show us how to love those around us well, so they too may be strengthened and encouraged in You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You in all things and trust You to supply all that we need to press on. Amen.

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

Yet He saved them because of His Name, to make His power known. – Psalm 106:8

The Throne of Grace

Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time. – (Hebrews 4:16, HCSB)

With Jesus as our high priest, we can feel free to come before God’s throne where there is grace. There we receive mercy and kindness to help us when we need it. – (Hebrews 4:16, ERV)

So now we draw near freely and boldly to where grace is enthroned, to receive mercy’s kiss and discover the grace we urgently need to strengthen us in our time of weakness. – (Hebrews 4 :16, TPT)

By Friday, I feel like I have finally reached the doorway to the throne of grace, as a break is at long last, in reach. However, I know that I can approach God anytime, for He is willing and ready to provide all that we need whenever we ask. It is interesting how much more we become aware of our need for God in times of difficulty and trials. He is good, and His mercy, kindness and help are always available to the seeking. This morning, as I prepare for the day, I again approach God to supply all that I need to navigate well. Each day is new, as are His mercies each morning. May we be intentional to come before the throne of grace to receive all that we need to persevere.

We have a high priest,

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Who is ever near;

His heart is for us,

His grace is made clear.

He grants us His strength,

When we have no more;

He leads us to peace,

Through His open door.

Show us, dear Jesus,

Your mercy anew;

Grant us peace and strength,

To live and love true.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we have an open invitation to approach Your throne of grace to receive all that we need. Thank You that You are loving and kind, and that You supply all that is needed as we come to You. Forgive us for thinking that we have to navigate on our own, or somehow power through things that are not ours to walk through alone. Teach us to seek and rely on You in all things and at all times. Show us how to love like You so that we may extend mercy and grace where it is needed most. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we continue to come before You to be our strength and supply. Amen.

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

Indeed, we have all received grace after grace from His fullness. – John 1:16

Hope in Hard Spaces

“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 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)

Even though this verse is committed to memory and planted securely in my heart, there is something to be said about seeing it in print and bringing it to the surface of my heart and mind. God’s timing is perfect. He knows what we need, and when we need it most. I have not been in a good space the last few weeks, in particular, the last few days, as I am struggling with believing my purpose is found in the classroom. After more than a year and a half away from a “normal” classroom routine, kids are struggling to “do school” and I am challenged more than ever before to figure out how to help kids learn and grow when they choose distraction and avoidance rather than to try. I knew I was meant to be a teacher from a very early age. Clearly God purposed and prepared me for the position, yet after twenty-five years, I have been questioning everything. His plans for me are good, and include a future and a hope. On the roughest days, I have to remember and trust Him for the truth of His promises. May we ever seek the Lord, who has good plans for us all, and has a future and a hope that He is preparing for each of us.

Each life with a plan,

Purpose to fulfill;

Crafted with intent,

With strengths and with skills.

Let not obstacles,

Deter His intent;

For challenges come,

And strength’s heaven sent.

When things go awry,

Choose trust in what’s true;

Fresh hope, a future,

Are waiting for you.

Help us rise in faith,

To trust in what’s true;

Better is coming,

O Lord, bring it soon.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our hope and our future. Thank You that You have created each of us with a plan and with purpose. Forgive us for our fears and doubts when we become overwhelmed with the here and now. Teach us to lean into You to be our strength and our anchor through every storm. Show us how to love those around us well so that they may recognize the hope and future that lies before them is good. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You for creating us each with a plan and purpose, and for being our hope both now and forevermore. Amen.

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

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

His Love is Sound

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. – (Philippians 4:6, NIV)

Don’t worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks for what you have. – (Philippians 4:6, ERV)

Don’t be anxious about things; instead, pray. Pray about everything. He longs to hear your requests, so talk to God about your needs and be thankful for what has come. – (Philippians 4:6, VOICE)

God is so faithful to hear us when we present our requests in prayer. This school year has been really challenging thus far, and though I pray generally, my best day this past week came after praying specifically for individual students by name. I don’t know if it was a shift in them, me, or both, but whatever it was, there was a tangible difference that day. This reminds me that I have to call on Him and ask specifically for what I need. He is faithful to answer, even when we do not see immediate results. What I do know is that God can use all things for good, so I have to press in and continue to trust that I am in the right place for such a time as this, even when I am overwhelmed and exhausted. This morning, I am thankful for the extra day of rest, as on this particular state in-service day, I have no training that I am required to attend. Instead, I now have the opportunity to pay a much needed visit to my mom, who lives a few hours away. God is good, and today I will pray and ask Him for all that I need and give Him thanks for the abundant blessings that He has poured out in my life. May we ever seek the Lord and pray our petitions to Him, for He hears and acts on behalf of His people who call on Him.

When anxiousness comes,

Choose call on the Lord;

Let Him know your needs,

His grace He’ll outpour.

Peace in our chaos,

The calm to each storm;

Love that surrounds us,

And hope that transforms.

Goodness and mercy,

In Him may be found;

Each time we seek Him,

For His love is sound.

Give thanks for blessings,

The good that abounds;

Seek Him in struggle,

In Him hope is found.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we seek You and present our prayers before You, You hear our hearts and move on our behalf. Thank You for the abundant blessings that You continually pour out, as You surround us with community and provide hope, help and rest when we need it most. Forgive us for our anxiousness that we hold. Teach us to place all in Your hands. Show us anew each day, that You are the answer to all that we need. Lead us to love those around us as You intended. May many come into a lasting relationship with You as You make Your goodness known. Be glorified O God, as we present our prayers before You and pour out our praise in thanksgiving for who You are and how You love. Amen.

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

But God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. – Psalm 66:19

Humbly Choose Love

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. – (Ephesians 4:2, NIV)

Always be humble and gentle. Be patient and accept each other with love. – (Ephesians 4:2, ERV)

With tender humility and quiet patience, always demonstrate gentleness and generous love toward one another, especially toward those who may try your patience. – (Ephesians 4:2, TPT)

By Friday, weariness begins to creep in for many of us. This reminder is timely, as being tired often reduces resilience for the things that challenge our patience. When I think of the kindness and gentleness of God, I am humbled at His patience with me. Knowing that I am the recipient of His patience and acceptance with unconditional love compels me to seek to do the same. It is a never-ending work in progress, for the ugly of our own humanity is at odds with the kindness and goodness of God within. As we are intentional to seek the Lord to fill us and lead us, our gentleness and patience grow for those around us. The Lord’s lens of love transforms how we view others, and in turn, how we interact. May we ever pursue the Lord and His perfect love so that we may be gentle, patient and accept one another in love.

Humbly may we seek,

The love of the Lord;

That’s poured out to us,

By Him we adore.

As love leads the way,

We learn to be kind;

Gentle and patient,

His goodness in mind.

Help us be patient,

With great gentleness;

Good unto others,

Grace, love and kindness.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are gentle, patient and kind, ever loving us with goodness and grace. Thank You that You call us to do the same, as You lovingly equip us with all that we need to love like You. Forgive us for every word, thought and deed that has not demonstrated humility, gentleness, patience or love. Teach us to trust and rely on You to lead us well. Show us how to love those around us as You do, especially those who challenge our patience. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to live a life of love. Amen.

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

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. – Micah 6:8

To Love One Another

For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” – (Galatians 5:14, NIV)

The whole law is made complete in this one command: “Love your neighbor the same as you love yourself.” – (Galatians 5:14, ERV)

For all the law can be summarized in one grand statement: “Demonstrate love to your neighbor, even as you care for and love yourself.” – (Galatians 5:14, TPT)

“Love your neighbor as yourself” is a loaded statement. If we truly love our neighbors as we desire to be loved, then we are on the right track. We are not always great at loving as God intended, for we forget or lose sight of the things that define love. In 1 Corinthians 13, love is defined through telling us what love is, and what it is not. Love is patient, kind, protective, trusting, trustworthy, hopeful and perseveres. Love does not envy, boast, dishonor, anger easily, hold grudges, celebrate evil, and is not selfish. When we are patient with those around us, we are showing love. As we choose to extend kindness to others, we are living out love. Protecting those around us who cannot protect themselves is love. Choosing to assume positive intent and being trustworthy are also ways we can show love. Each time we extend hope and choose to persevere, despite obstacles, love is being made tangible to those around us. Will we get this right every time we interact with those around us? No, but the more we choose to operate in love the more we are loving our neighbors as God intended. May we ever seek the Lord to lead us in a life of choosing to love well.

To love is to see,

What others might need;

Helping, equipping,

So each may succeed.

To love each other,

As Christ has loved us;

Through choices we make,

Chance to show Jesus.

Lord, help us to show,

What love truly means;

As we love others,

Help Your heart be seen.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You not only command us to love each other, but You show us what it means to do so. Forgive us for every word, thought and deed that has not displayed the love that You call us to give. Help us to seek and rely on You to lead us to love well. Show us how to love each person we encounter where they are at. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to love others as You intended. Amen.

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

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Rejoice in the Rain

…Rejoice in the Lord your God, for He has given you the autumn rains because He is faithful. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains as before. – (Joel 2:23, NIV)

…Be joyful in the Lord your God. He is good and will give you rain. He will send the early rains and the late rains as before. – (Joel 2:23, ERV)

…Shout with joy and happiness in the Eternal, your God; the drought is over; He has sent the early autumn rain as a sign of His faithfulness. He has poured down heavy rain, autumn and spring as before. – (Joel 2:23, VOICE)

After a blustery weekend, it is good to be reminded that the rains are actually evidence of God’s faithfulness. I know in our area, the rains were needed as our reservoirs have dropped quite low after an unusually warm and dry summer. Though I prefer sunny days, it is good to see the grass turning green again as the leaves show off their lovely fall transformation. So often what we need is not necessarily what we think we want. However, God knows. He has His very best in mind for us. Often our circumstances, schedules and pauses are exactly what we need to grow and thrive as He intended. May we ever embrace the rains that come, and rejoice in the faithfulness of our Heavenly Father.

May we choose rejoice,

No matter what comes;

For after the rain,

Again comes the sun.

All has a purpose,

To nourish and grow;

God shows faithfulness,

Makes His goodness known.

In rainy seasons,

Choose soak in His love;

He replenishes,

Leads our hearts above.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your goodness and grace. Thank You that You bring various seasons to nourish and soften the soil of our hearts. Thank You that all can be used for good as we place it in Your hands. Forgive us for our frustration and grumbling with the seemingly dreary days. Show us the beauty that comes from the darker days. Lead us to love those around us well, so that the goodness of Your love is evident to all. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise Your for the growth and new life that comes from the rainy days and for the strength and new growth that You place in us. Amen.

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

Rejoice always. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16