What is your go to stress relief when plans change, or your prayers seem to go unanswered? Where do you turn when doubt creeps in or someone says something hurtful? If I’m being honest, too often I turn to social media where I can just turn my mind off and scrollllllll along until I’m ready to face the situation. Or I can fall into the trap of turning to others, not for Godly council but for validation.
A friend of mine once suggested that I make a Pinterest board of uplifting & encouraging verses that I could turn to when I just want to scroll. It serves a dual purpose, it allows me to just tune out for a while, but also reminds me that God has EVERYTHING under control, even when it seems out of my control. It makes it so much easier to get into the word, even when I really don’t feel like it. You can check out my “words to live by” Pinterest board here.
Over the past few years, when my patience is being tried and I feel like I am at the end of my rope, I have continually turned to a few key verses. There are SO many good ones but these are my go-to’s.
The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm. -Exodus 14:14 (NLT)
The NIV version words it “Just BE STILL.” How great of a reminder is this when it feel like our prayers aren’t being heard, when we start to think that WE need to fix the situation we are facing on our own. The other morning in our Sunday School class I realized something. We were asked why is it so hard for us to turn to God when he is right there waiting for us? If you’re like me you too easily revert back to that “I can do it myself” mentality. You know who else has that mentality? Kids! Think back to when you were growing up, how many times were you told that you needed to learn to do things on your own? If you’re a parent now, you probably have muttered similar words in the past few hours. We are raised thinking we need to do things on our own & that we shouldn’t have to ask for help. Obviously that is true for a lot of things, but God is always there ready and willing to help us, we just have to re-learn how to ask!
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” -Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT)
I remember when JC first hurt his back, and our plans seemed to be going up in smoke, I got mad. I kinda yelled at God asking “WHY?” Didn’t the Bible say that God wasn’t supposed to give us more then we could handle? It wasn’t until I dusted off my Bible and realized that he never says that. He says that we don’t have to carry our burdens, not that he won’t give them to us. He says that we can find rest in him, he has it under control. He wants us to lean on him, to bring our problems to him, to trust in HIM!
Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. -Romans 12:12
So if we’re trying to teach ourselves to ask God for help, we’re taking our troubles and our hardships to him so that he will lighten the load, what comes next? The dreaded “p word,” PATIENCE. Don’t run away! Y’all I have “Love is patient” tattooed on my foot as a reminder because patience and me have never been BFF’s. I get it, thinking of hardships and needing to be patient is no fun. I saw someone post a while back that we shouldn’t pray for patience but rather, perseverance! How true is that? I have joked that you shouldn’t pray for patience because God might break your husband’s back, but this crazy roller coaster we have called life the past 4 years has taught me so much and honestly, I wouldn’t trade it. Cling to your HOPE, drop to your knees and PRAY, God will give you the perseverance you need, just ask.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” -Jeremiah 29:11
You can’t have a go-to list of verses when you need encouragement and not have Jeremiah 29:11 on it! I’m pretty sure that’s an official rule somewhere. Seriously though, hindsight is 20-20 and I can see at every twist and turn how God was paving the way for the blessings we have now. When we were walking that road though, all I saw was then next sharp turn coming up ahead. Its so hard to not become fixated on everything that is going wrong. This verse serves as the perfect reminder that God has a plan, its a good plan, its for us, we’re not going to want to miss it. Y’all I cannot wait to share a little more of how I have seen Jeremiah 29:11 in our own story. But that will be a post for another day…
Have you ever had a Jeremiah 29 moment? Do you have a go-to verse that you turn to during hard times? I’d love it if you’d share with us.