It has been so long since I have made any blog posts, and I have really missed it. Time has just flown by so quickly. I always have homework to do or something to study, and I am one of those people who is afraid that I am not doing something that I should. However, I have had so many things lately that I wish I could share but just haven't. Don't worry; I might write a book one day. (I had a class where we had to create a themed blog, but it had to be Wordpress, so I used it to share a few things that God was working in last semester)
God has been more evident to me this year than ever before in my life. I have felt Him speak and move in ways like never before. Part of this, I believe, is because I have been through some really tough stuff. This has been the hardest few months of my life in every way. A quote that has always stuck with me and has become so much more meaningful is "When God is all you have, you'll realize He's all you need." When you come to a place where you feel so down, discouraged, lonely, and hopeless, and you turn to God, He will be there for you. He always has, always is, and always will be. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Hebrews 13:8 When things are uncertain, we can know that He is the one thing that we can trust.
One of the main things that I have experienced this year is the power of prayer. It is indescribable. Prayer isn't just to praise God or to ask Him for things. It is a chance for us to be totally honest in ways that we wouldn't tell other people for shame, embarrassment, confusion, fear, or many other reasons. God understands when we don't know the words to say. He still loves us no matter what we have or haven't done. When we pray like this, it is humbling. It softens our hearts. When we truly mean what we pray, God is so responsive.
We can't just sit back and hope everything works out. We have to use this prayerful heart to also ask for help to be willing. We can't do it on our own, and God won't do everything for us. We have to work together. We have to ask God to show us what we need to do, give us the opportunities to make a difference, make the right choices, etc, and for Him to give us the eyes and heart to see the opportunities that He puts in our path...and then the willingness and courage to act on them! We must have faith to follow even when it is something we are not comfortable with. For things to change, things have to change. Things aren't easy, but when we act on something we feel God leading us to do, once we take those steps, we can feel Him there with us.
This isn't to say that we can pray all these selfish things that we want and if we really want them we will get them. No, this is humbly accepting that we are nothing without God and submitting our failures and hopes to Him so that He can use them to make us fully useful to bring Him glory. When God is at work, it brings a joy that has no comparison.
Day after day, I am amazed at how I am directly seeing God answer my prayers. Examples? I'd love to talk to you.
Speaking of prayer, a wonderful thing that I've been doing each day is a little devotion from the church I have been going to here in Nashville, Ethos. It is a one-month focus on prayer. I gotta tell you, it has been exactly on point, and God is responding big time.
I can't put words to describe all the amazing things that I feel coming from the Lord, but these are some verses that I want to share to go along with this. I hope it encourages you in whatever your situations may be. No struggle is too much for God. No matter where you are, what you're feeling, just go to God.
Let these words sink in and let your heart fill up.
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." Matthew 7:7
"If you believe, you will receive what you ask for in prayer." Matthew 21:22
"And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Father may be glorified...You may ask Me for anything in My name, and I will do it." John 14:13-14
"If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples." John 15:7-8
"...Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask for in My name...Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete." John 16:23-24
"This is the confidence that we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us." 1 John 5:14