Monday, June 13, 2011

Choosing to Believe (again)

Sometimes we meet people for a reason and a season.

I work Sundays. That means I miss church. But fortunately for me, another Christian who works in my adjoining office brings in her gospel music and I listen sing the inspiring words. Good for us, we are the only two in there.

Yesterday, we had one of those conversations. The kind  you know God has orchestrated. This woman went through a terrible financial time but is coming out on the other side. I'm not sure how her words started but somewhere in this conversation, the Lord tugged at my heart.

Maybe it was when she said she declared God's victory over her struggles during her battle. She let go of her doubts and believed that God had a better plan for her and she would get there.

 I thought about my own spiritual condition. Yeah, doubt after doubt rules my days. I was good for the first year after my husband lost his job but at the beginning of year four, I sometimes think maybe this is what life will be for us. Forever. I've given up on God's promises. I'm not claiming victory over the trials that are tormenting us.

Because it's hard.And because it is easier to give up.

Someone on my last post commented that I had to trust my readers. So today I am by writing this.

I'm declaring that God has already won this battle in my life and I am choosing to believe it today. And tomorrow. And the next. When I fall again, (oh I will) I want to be able to come back to this post and be reminded of my words.

So how's your spiritual meter today? Are you declaring him the Victor in all things?

49 comments:

Lin Floyd said...

it's a difficult transition, a trial of your faith-sounds like you're on the winning team with God! Fears are not easy to overcome.

Karen Lange said...

It is easier to give up, isn't it? And that's exactly what the enemy wants us to do. If for no other reason, we shouldn't quit b/c of that. I'm reminded of the words in Psalm 27:13. Thanks, Terri, for sharing this today. I needed it. :)
Blessings and hugs,
Karen

Diane said...

It is easier to doubt and to give up. That's why it's so important to have others lifting you up when you have those moments of doubt and sadness. The victory IS coming friend. :O)

Jan Cline said...

We all go through those times of doubt and paralyzing thoughts. Recently I was reminded of the story of the 4 lepers in II Kings 7:3-11. It's a story that encouraged me to put action to my faith - even if my faith isn't very big. God goes ahead of us to scatter the enemy and prepare a place for us.
Blessings my friend.

Lisa Jordan said...

2009 and 2010 were challenging years for us. I declared 2011 as the year of hope. I've had many moments of doubts, but God's promises have pushed away those doubts.

Jennifer Shirk said...

My pastor spoke about trials and hardship last Sunday. Yes, I am declaring him Victor. That doesn't mean it's easy, but it is comforting.

Rosslyn Elliott said...

Hold on to the hope! Our church is going through a really tough time this year, and we have to do the same thing.

ginny said...

Your words are encouraging to me. I claim victory over my situation in Jesus' Name!

Alleluiabelle said...

Oh I am so with you my friend in this fleshly world but I DO BELIEVE and I AM CLAIMING VICTORY in our struggles which have been years in the violent storms of life. It seems like it will never end, but you know what...I have learned so much through it all and I have become stronger in my belief and faith. I have grown stronger spiritually. Yes, there are many many times when I want to give up, but...the Lord is here with me every step of the way...just a breath away...just a whisper away and has been carrying me(us) for ever so long. He is the lifter of my head and wipes away every tear.

You have been and continue to be such an inspiration and encouragement to me.

I love you my friend and my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Hugs,
Alleluiabelle

Joanne Sher said...

I've been there - but you know that. I'm grabbing on to that promise and claiming it - for both of us.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Its so easy to give up hope, isn't it Terri. I don't know why I have pegged you as a survivor, someone who will ultimately triumph and put all these things behind her.

These trials will bring out elements in your writing that will make readers gasp and connect with your stories in a BIG way. Mark my words, Terri.

My best writing happens when I am feeling low.

Loree Huebner said...

You are so blessed, Terri.

When it seems that you can no longer go on...when you almost give up...when you can no longer believe in God's promises...when you can no longer pray - you have readers, friends, and family who stand in the gap and pray for you. That's why you are able to find the strength to claim victory today.

How awesome!

Patti said...

They say the Lord will never give you a trial you can't handle and that you can always learn something from your hardships, but usually I pray to learn my lesson sooner than later so the trial can be done. Hang in there and keep your trust in God.

Jeanette Levellie said...

Oh, honey, I am so happy for you, and so agreeing with you for VICTORY in your life!

Hang on. Light will come. You are on the right track.

I love you,

Jen

Susan said...

Hello Terri: I've been tested so many times----with lots of irons in the fire---that today my spiritual meter is pretty strong, I'd say. Thanks be to God. I DO declare Him Victor in all my trials and tribulations. Keeping eyes on the rock, when everything is falling apart around you, is no small feat.

But He ALWAYS evens the score and brings us through the fire. Grab on hard to His hand and let Him walk you through it. There is much light on the other side and "joy cometh in the morning." Perhaps, for you and your hubs, it's sooner than later. Four years is a long time and God knows it. Then again, His time is different from ours.

Hang in there, Terri. He's right there with you, by your side. Susan

Teresa aka Journaling Woman said...

I think it's easier to be weak than to be strong. And it is about the choices.

Just don't forget that from everlasting to everlasting He is God. He never changes.

Nancy said...

Terri, that is an awesome declaration. I'm with you. I pray for you and I have troubles, too. I just have to stand on the Victory in Jesus like you are doing. I do not doubt that this is a turning point for you. When you slip, like you say you will and like I do, just sing one of those praise songs. Do the oppsite of how you feel. Soon you will have the victory again.

Jill said...

Uh, probably not. Thanks for the reminder.

Keli Gwyn said...

I've found that during my darkest days is when I'm most able to experience the Light. May you sense God's presence in a mighty way as you seek to glorify Him in the midst of this challenging time, Terri.

Hugs to you, my friend.

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

Romans 4:17 as it is written: "I have made you a father of many nations." He is out father in the sight of God, in whom he believed - the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.

This scripture give me great hope during the time when I can not see the good or when I am focused on the negative. God see the things in this world as they are or as they will be in the future...I pray this one over my prodigal all the time. But it is applicable for all situations in life.

Blessings
R

Sarah Forgrave said...

Oh boy, it is a choice, isn't it? That simple statement convicts me.

Linda O'Connell said...

As children bring their broken toys with tears for us to mend,
I brought my brokwn dreams to God because he was my friend. but the instead of leaving Him in peace to work alone, I hung around and tried to help with ways that were my own. At last I snatched them back and cried, "How can you be so slow?"
"My child," He said,"what could I do? You never did let go."
Anonymous but oh so true!

Carmen said...

Hi Terri. I left a long comment with your last post, but somehow lost it as I went to submit it. Sigh. Anyway, it very much went along with Rachna's comment on this post. You are more than an overcomer through Him. It just takes us some time to get it right (and if you're me, then also for each situation we encounter). You're right on time with God - and yes, He definitely has a plan, the right plan for you. Keep trusting and believing my friend. You will make it through the storm.

Trisha said...

Consider the lilies, and then you will know, the song goes, just a song, but words taken from the Holy text; all we have is not really ours, but on loan from an Almighty God. The Apostle Paul said it best, when he spoke of being content in any situation.
2nd. Corinthians 12/9 says: My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness............

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

This has been a very rough summer season for us thus far (for a great many reasons). Like you, I've had a re-awakening of sorts over the weekend. I'm trusting God for a better today!

peace~elaine

Retired English Teacher said...

I am trusting that He is the victor over the grave. If He has won that victory, and He has, then I can trust my life to Him while I am alive. He is our provider.

Sassy Granny ... said...

I spent several days last week with our pastor friend Greg and his wife Lori. He is, at 41, dying of a Lou Gehrig's type terminal illness. I expected there would be tears; LOTS of tears. But what I found instead blew me away: a couple comparing this life struggle they're facing to a gift, siting the following verses from Hebrews 5:32-40:

"And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.

These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect." Hebrews 5:32-40

I needed to hear that; and I was utterly spellbound as they confessed their utter hope in God, knowing the world isn't worthy of anyone who suffers (for whatever reason), for righteousness' sake. The world's not worthy of them, or us, or you, my friend.

We ARE more than conquerors!

Hugs,
Kathleen

Christine said...

I'm starting the prayer right now, Terri.

It's been 2 years, 3 months for us, with no full-time job, just three part-time jobs for low pay. Some days I wonder--how many more lessons can we learn, Father?

But maybe after awhile, it isn't so much what we learn, but what others learn as they watch us go through a trial. Maybe unsaved people. Maybe people with new, untested faith.

I don't know Terri. We just have to keep asking Him for our daily bread. Daily. Bread. Not what we'll eat tomorrow, or enjoy tomorrow. Just the manna for today. That's true faith, and not having any provision for tomorrow on our own, is the only way to learn manna-faith.

Love to you.

Sally said...

Terri, you commented on this post of mine, back when: http://livelearnwithsally.blogspot.com/2011/01/be-not-afraid.html

I have called on those words many times these past six months and found peace within each situation. God has been faithful as I have struggled to "be not afraid." Keeping you in my prayers.

Sista In Arms Lxx said...

Just what I needed to read, thank you
Lxx

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

Very touching. There have been times in my life when I have felt abandoned, but after the crisis has passed I can look back and see that I was being guided. Hang in there. It will get better.

D. U. Okonkwo said...

You're doing the right thing by declaring God's victory, Terri. I can tell you from my own experience that it's during the tough times God uses us to prepare us for the work He wants to do in our lives. I also know that how we see God affects His ability to work in our lives. Keep confessing the particular scripture that shoes victory. 'God works all things together for good for those who love him and are called according to his puprose.' Romas 8:28.

Nehha N Josshi said...

You have held your faith intact for so many years. He must be already working things out for you. He loves you:)

Lynn said...

Our church message this past month has been from Habukuk who questions God's actions. And God said, hang on 'cause the Babylons are coming and it is going to get worse! Whoa...not a very up-lifting message but, then again it is. No matter our circumstances He is, and you are. We don't know the big picture plans, the battles that have to happen for restoration and, wow, that is frustrating!! I am happy to read you are claiming Victory! Your faith inspires me.

Tana Adams said...

Half the battle of becoming a writer is knowing that you'll get there. You must believe. He has plans to prosper you and not to harm you.

BTW, you were on NAthan's blog!!!! YOu are sooooo cool!!! =) And good answer BTW. ;)

Margo Berendsen said...

Amen, sister! Yay for our victorious God! I absolutely believe He is victorious and yet it really is hard sometimes to apply that belief to our ongoing struggles, things we've been waiting for years on. I'm so thankful that you share these things on your blog. I need to hear stories of other Christians struggling and perserving, it helps me keep my head up because it brings me back to God.

It was fun to see your name & comment on Nathan Bransford's blog!

Lauren F. Boyd said...

It is hard sometimes on the spiritual journey - I know and agree with you. We are struggling with a townhouse that we cannot sell and being SO ready to move on with our lives.

Keep the faith. We're sure trying to and knowing that there IS a plan greater than ours (we're just ready to know what it is, HAHA!)

Lauren F. Boyd said...

And thanks for "friending" me on FB and commenting on my blog! I appreciate it!

Deb Shucka said...

I am so happy you had that conversation. It sure sounds like an answer to prayer. Thank you for the reminder that victory has already been won for us. As I prepare to bury my mom and then to return to a job I'd hoped to be finished with, and still finish my book - I need to remember.

Stacy Henrie said...

Querying and trying to find an agent right now has been a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows, but I'm trying to trust God and His will and timing. I love how so often He helps us through other people! Great post!

Jessica Nelson said...

Woohoo! Awesome attitude, Terri! So what kind of job do you have? I didn't realize you'd started a new one.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Good for you, Terri! Just Believe and God will be there.

I often hold onto things until God gives me a good kick upside the heart and I finally realize what I'm doing. Then I surrender.

Julie Musil said...

True, giving up is easier, but that's not who you are. And isn't it comforting to know we don't go through these hardships alone? He is with you, Terri, and He will see you through to the other side.

Crystal Monae said...

Have a victory plan and then give God the glory.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Yay, Terri! I'm glad you've turned a corner.

My pastor spoke about this very thing today. He used the text about the man at the pool of Bethesda. This guy had been lame for 38 years, but in one moment Jesus changed that scenario.

Big Hug,
Susan :)

Ann Best said...

Thanks for stopping by and commenting on the lovely poem my daughter found to pay tribute to her gay father. I had many, many bad times in the marriage like you're going through now: the doubts, the feeling that God wasn't listening, and lots of financial woes. Reflecting back, I think that I wasn't hearing Him tell me that we have to go through the furnace of affliction, not around it. We can't have crucial experience without having it. God is testing our mettle. Sometimes God says no for a reason. No to physical healing, to financial security, whatever. But I know He's aware of every single one of His children. I know that things WILL work out, in His own due time, not ours. Through it all, I know how important it is to KEEP THE FAITH. My daughter and I sometimes miss church lately because our meetings this year begin at 9 o'clock. But when we go we feel such peace. I wish you could go each Sunday. In these cases, we have to find ways to feel God on the Sabbath. Your friend bringing in gospel music is wonderful. I like what you say: "sometimes we meet people for a reason and a season." This is SO true!
Ann Best, Memoir Author

TIMMYTHEROBOT said...

Giving up is always easier but hold on to your beliefs even in the face of trying times. Remember, this life is just a test.

Lynda R Young said...

oh wow, this comes at a brilliant time for me. I'm also allowing doubts to crash in. But you are so right, God IS our Victor in ALL things.
Blessings,
Lyn

Cheryl Klarich said...

I love your honesty, Terri.
Prayers of agreement are with you.
I needed this too!