Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~God Never Wastes A Hurt~ June 22, 2015

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“God uses adversity in this life to strengthen your faith.

“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. (1Peter 1:6 NIV)

God never wastes a hurt.” ~from sermon “The best of times in the worst of times” Pastor Chad Dunford

It was that last line that comforted me, like a warm hug offered at just the right moment. Read it again and let it resonate, God never wastes a hurt.

I often encourage my kids to refrain from using words like “always” and “never” because of what they imply. To say someone never does such-in-such means, “at no time in the past or future; on no occasion; not ever.” Quite definitive language, wouldn’t you say? Now insert that definition into the aforementioned promise:

God, at no time in the past or future; on no occasion; not ever, wastes a hurt.

Wow.

God does not cause us pain and suffering, it is the result of living in a fallen world. And yet His Word assures us that we will never walk through any tribulation on our own.

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18 ESV)

Even when we sit alone, certain that no one cares about the tears that stain the carpet….

“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” (Psalm 56:8 NLT)

Just when we allow ourselves to believe that it will always be this way…..

 “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3 ESV)

God can take your mourning and turn it into dancing. He can take that hurt that is pressing in on every side and use it to mold and strengthen you and glorify His name. When you think all hope is lost, take comfort in knowing:IMG_8085

God, at no time in the past or future; on no occasion; not ever, wastes a hurt.

 

~Warning Signs~ August 2, 2013

grace over sinWednesday night during Bible study, our Pastor made a great analogy that I will attempt to paraphrase & expand on because it really made me think.

I’m sure you all have at some point in your life seen an athlete ruin his or her career because they didn’t take off the necessary time to recover from an injury.  The quarterback who takes a nasty hit to the head sending his brain bouncing around like a pinball in an arcade game but refuses to be benched.  Next thing you know he’s facing early retirement due to extensive brain damage.  What about the track star who feels a constant pain in her calf muscle but is so determined to win that she pushes herself even harder hoping the pain will work itself out.  She tears the muscle and is forced to quit the one thing she truly loves.  Or maybe it’s a pitcher who twisted his knee into an unnatural position but he fears he’ll be replaced by the rookie who’s been drooling over his spot all season long so he lies about just how bad it hurts.  The very next pitch, he totally blows out his knee, never to take the mound again.

The thing about physical pain is that it serves as a flashing red sign that you may need to slow it down, take a rest or have that “thing” checked out!

You may be starting to wonder when the analogy comes into play…well here it is.  Just as physical discomfort serves as a warning sign to an athlete that something could be seriously wrong, guilt is the warning sign that something is wrong in your spiritual life.  Say what now?

If you are in the middle of doing, watching or saying something and you get this awful twinge of guilt, that’s a pretty good indicator that you need to cease and desist immediately!  Sure you could push those guilty feelings down and make excuse upon excuse to yourself as to why you are justified in your actions, but can you afford the long-term damage that will cause?  For just as the athlete who ignores their body’s warning system toys with the possibility of a career ending injury, the person who refuses to listen to the Holy Spirit when it brings conviction takes the chance of blowing their eternal reward.

I know there isn’t a one of us who is free from sin.  We all are susceptible to different weaknesses and the enemy knows each and every one, but so does God.  And He has equipped us with all we need to battle our sinful cravings.  If you find yourself in a situation where you suddenly feel the need to look over your shoulder to make sure no one is watching, don’t ignore that feeling of guilt.  Capture it, repent before God and ask for His help to overcome your fleshly desires.

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

(Philippians 4:8 NLT)

 

~Overwhelming Victory (&Football)~ April 30, 2013

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boystackle

My 2 boys going for a tackle!

I am a football fan.  It would probably be fairly accurate to say that I am a full fledged fanatic.  I love the game at every level.  I’m the wild woman in the stands at my sons little league games; the intent listener during the radio broadcast of Friday Night Football; the screaming lunatic who unleashes all sorts of fury at the ref on television when my team is down in the 4th.

So when our small town high school team traveled to the state championship game last fall, this chic was over the moon!  They were the least likely to win, (at least according to their opponents).  It was a nail-biter of a game, but our guys came out on top.  Despite the obstacles they faced: fighting off the nay-sayers, pushing past physical pain, sacrificing of their time & talent; overwhelming victory was theirs for the taking.

Not unlike my hometown football team, we are often the underdogs in this life.  We face trial after excruciating trial that leads us to doubt that a victory will ever be within our reach, especially one of overwhelming proportions.  We are pressed on every side by our burdens.  We in-turn allow ourselves to believe that these low-points in our lives are evidence that God has removed His hand from us.  We ask ourselves, how can a god who loves me permit these hardships?

Think of the people in your life whom you love.  Are those relationships free from difficulty and pain?  I highly doubt that they are.  Are the problems that you encounter with your loved ones caused by an absence of care and affection?  While it may sometimes be the case, most of the time it isn’t a lack of love that brings about trouble but life in general.  This also is true of our Lord and Savior.  He loves us with an everlasting love.  He keeps a watchful eye on His children and never allows us more than we are able to handle.  He isn’t sitting on his throne in heaven strategically placing hurdles in our path at an attempt to trip us up.  That is the work of our enemy, the evil one who works relentlessly at setting traps for us, hoping to steal our peace.    But as the above verse states, we have the promise of an overwhelming victory.  Another way of saying the same thing would be: a crushing defeat over our adversaries.  It is not a battle that can be won within our own abilities.  However, with Christ, who loved us enough to die for us, no feat is too great.

The next time you are faced with a challenge that seems impossible to move past, call upon the Lord and He will answer you.  Take heart in the words of 2 Corinthians 4, verses 8-10, from The Message

We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus’ sake, which makes Jesus’ life all the more evident in us.”