“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.” Psalm 43:5 NKJV
We try to avoid reaching the point of mental and spiritual exhaustion, but sometimes life sends us one thing right after another and knocks us off our feet. It sucks the energy out of us, and it’s all we can do to simply muster the strength to whisper, “Lord I am tired and weary!” For those reasons, I hope this prayer will help you find rest. This is for all who are worn out from this life.
Heavenly Father, I’m tired. How long can this go on? I’m struggling. I’m weary. Normally I come to you with praise and thankfulness, but right now my mind is so exhausted that I can’t begin to find the words to pray. All I know is that I feel like I’m drowning. I’m overwhelmed. My strength needs to be renewed. Refresh my mind. Give me the perspective You want me to have. Help me to see Your hand at work in this situation. Show me how to rest in You fully. I know that I don’t have enough strength and fortitude, but You do. Your strength is made perfect in my weakness. With You, I am strong. Please make that very real to me right now. Help me remember that I’m a cherished child of the King of Kings. Still this storm. Calm my mind. Heal me of my weariness. Gently lead me out from under this heavy fog I’m in right now. This is hard and I need You. Jesus, be my Prince of peace. Answer my prayers, Lord, for I know You can. You are ABLE!!!
In Your holy Name, which is above all names, amen.
What is something you are thankful for this Thanksgiving season? Perhaps your family members, your pets, your job, things such as this? As you ponder on that question, I want to share with you something I am thankful for. Our dear Lord put it on my heart to express to you my gratitude for God-given friendships.
True friends are difficult to find. So much so that you cannot find them; they are given to you. Do you know who gives them to you? Our Creator and Sustainer, God almighty, presents them to us. They often stick closer than family, and even know you better. They pray bigger things for you than which you pray for yourself. They believe for you when your faith is weak. They make space and time for you when life falls apart, and they rejoice with you when all is well. Most importantly, true friends remind you in every season Who and What is most important above all else. This Christian relationship is a gem, because it helps us cling to our greatest Treasure: Jesus Christ. Jesus is our Bread of Life, our Living Water, our Light, our Resurrection, our very Life. The greatest danger to our souls is that we might abandon abiding in Him, following Him, and finding our joy in Him. Therefore, the best gift a friend can give is a commitment to fight for our joy in and communion with Christ.
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
Companionship always furthers joy, in my experience. Some of my most dear memories in life are of those spent with a friend. But of all the joys of life, God is the greatest! We were made for Him — to enjoy Him and center our hearts and lives on Him. And like any other delight, our delight in God will be the fullest when we share it with other people. Godly friends help us enjoy our Father by enjoying Him with us.
I want to be honest with you. True, godly pals expose the sin that is keeping us from growing closer to God. Sin deceives us. Our spiritual enemies use it as an attempt to darken our understanding and make us foolish. To the very extent that we may be walking in sin and convinced that we are obeying God. This is why we desperately need friends. We need them to lovingly show us our sin. We need friends to help us see our blind spots. We need them to speak with brutal honesty (Matthew 18:15) and tender compassion (Galatians 6:1), telling us the truth about ourselves even when we don’t want to hear it (Ephesians 4:15). Comrades like this are such an undeserved, rare gift.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” James 1:17
“True friendship knows no distance.” You may have heard this saying before. I have come to know personally that it is quite true. With certain people, the miles between you really don’t matter all that much. There’s a certain spiritual depth about close friendships that transcends time and space. The miles between you don’t affect you too much, although you do ache to see each other in person. Not the time zones or differences, not the way one wakes up earlier while the other sleeps, or how their two schedules hardly overlap. Because even in the complications, the two hearts are forever tied. True friendship knows no fear. God did not give us the spirit of fear! Not when it comes to standing beside one another, fighting against your enemies together. Not when it comes to people standing in the way. Not when it comes to truly being there, to never letting either one feel like they’re alone. Even when life gets complicated, it remains strong, because of the One in us giving us His strength.
Do you remember David and Jonathan? The friendship of Prince Jonathan and Israel’s future king, David, is one of the most amazing friendships ever recorded, in my humble opinion. After David defeats Goliath, Jonathan is drawn to him. He makes a covenant with David, stripping himself of his robe and armor – his privilege and position – and hands it all to David. He loves David “as himself” (twice mentioned in 1 Samuel 18:1-3). In this way, he is an example of the Bible’s greatest commands: to love the Lord your God wholeheartedly and to love your neighbor as yourself. Jonathan is committing himself totally to his friend David, who does the same, and he had evidently befriended him when David served in King Saul’s court and whom he recognized as God’s anointed future king of Israel. The former is astounding when you think of what the latter meant. Without knowing what would happen in the years to come, Jonathan willingly confers his right to the throne to his friend. What remarkable, self-sacrificing love! David never forgot his vow to Jonathan and honored him by composing “The Song of the Bow” and instructing all the children of Israel to learn it. After Jonathan’s death, David also took in Jonathan’s disabled son as part of his own family. The true friendship between Jonathan and David is a shining example of Christ-like love and loyalty.
“I knew that when I met you an adventure was going to happen.” Winnie the Pooh
I pray you have a friend such as this. If you don’t, I hope one day you will. But also, be reminded that Christ is the best friend any of us can ever have. Still, I thank God for the “Jonathan” in my life. She is a blessing that I hope I never take for granted, not even once. Our precious bond offers solace during hard times and laugh til-your-face-hurts gladness during other times. There are so many things I could say, but all I really want to say right now is this: my heart is full. Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!
Let me introduce myself. My name is Hannah. Sky is a very dear, close friend of mine and she has so generously invited me to be a co-blogger along with her here on Love Never Fails. To begin, allow me to tell you a little about myself. I’m a Kansas girl, born and raised in Wichita. I’m from a family of seven, my parents, my four brothers, and myself. I am 28 years old. I was born into a Christian household, I have known about Jesus my whole life, but I didn’t really come to know Him for myself until I was a teenager. I love Him with all my heart and I pray that my love for Him will continue to grow over the course of my life. And I pray that your love for Him will also continue to grow. If you don’t know Him or love Him, I again pray that you will come to know Him and love Him shortly.
Actually, today I would like to speak about growth, and I want to do that by mentioning a familiar name, Moses.
“Moses grew and became a man. One day he visited his people, the Hebrews. He saw…” (Exodus 2:11), besides being a part of the great account of God delivering Israel out of bondage from Egypt, it gives us some glimpses into the character of Moses, the meaning of maturing and the little miracles that play into the big ones. Hence, “Moses grew…” It’s almost ironic, but Moses did not come out of the womb, nor was he drawn out of the river, equipped to fulfill God’s plan for him. Moses grew. That is probably the best thing that can be said about any of us – not that we have become – but that we are continually becoming. Growth is a sign of life, and if Jesus said that He came that we might have it, then it must be a good thing.
Moses’ growth did not happen as we might think: after becoming a man, he would still experience anger, worry, fear, and all those things we’d rather outgrow and not feel anymore. These flaws, these sins, along the way make it difficult to measure growth, and that difficulty makes it tempting to give up. But to give up – to refuse to grow – is to perish in a way. “…and became a man. One day he visited his people…” The mature person is one who is ready to see themselves in a context bigger than themselves. Many of us believe that we need to find ourselves – a notion that may be true in a limited sort of way. Many of us think that we must define or invent ourselves – possibly equally true but in an even more limited way. When Moses visited his people he was beginning to accept himself, not as the Egyptian prince he once was, but as the heir to something far greater than a crown made by human hands. He was beginning to accept himself as being a part of a people, a “chosen people” (1 Peter 2:9). The identity given to him by the palace could never give him what someone truly needs – a sense of who we are. Only God can do that. Only our Heavenly Father could ever give us a true identity and purpose.
“He saw…” When Moses saw, he had come to a place where he was able to set aside his own constructed world and enter into the one that existed independently of his plans for himself. What he saw in Egypt would be stretched by what he would come to see in Midian, but here was the beginning of what would end with his view of the promised land. He reached that place where God wanted him.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, to proclaim the virtues of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” – 1 Peter 2:9
I want to tell you something that Sky, my now fellow blogger and best friend, once told me. It is related to this example of Moses. She said, “Imagine your heart within you having roots. It is within that secret place of the heart where God is. We need to make sure our roots are growing deeply into Him and His Word. We need to be deeply rooted in Him and make sure there is nothing that is weakening our root system.” Moses became deeply rooted in the Lord over time. Everything God did in his life went hand in hand. Also, just as everything in scripture goes hand in hand, so they do in our lives as well today.
God is doing good things, amazing things! Do you see this? We are temples of a Being far greater than ourselves, temples being brought to life. Though we may not understand the process, our Builder does. We are His workmanship and the place where He lives. I have no doubt that “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). Therefore, I encourage you, to keep on growing. Though you – like Moses, myself , and everyone for that matter – have flaws. It’s okay to have flaws. If we didn’t have any flaws, then we wouldn’t need to grow. But we do. I hope that you will learn that you are a part of a chosen people, and I also hope you recognize that the Lord is indeed good, and that He loves you. Thank you for reading. God bless you!