I believe it is in our greatest weakness when we humble ourselves before the Lord that He shows forth His most magnificent strength. I am astounded and so thankful to the Lord that in this very trying season of my life that He is pouring into and through me His Holy Spirit and powerful messages to share with you my friends.
Just yesterday, I learned that a brother in the Lord on death row whom I have met and greatly respect given his wholehearted commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ commented with kindness and encouragement on my latest book Totally Devoted.
I am totally broken & crushed right now with my recent loss compounded with some other challenges, and I THANK THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY that the beauty in all this is not merely that He is drawing me closer and closer to Himself and continually growing me, but that He is continuing to use me to help people worldwide to find and forever follow Him. TO THE LORD BE EVERY SINGLE OUNCE OF GLORY.
Below please find today’s TWO MESSAGES.
love & blessings,
My Friend’s Big Victory
One day a beautiful sister in the Lord I know whom I had been privileged to sow the Lord’s love and Word and encouragement into for some time was exhilarated to share with me an enormous victory. In her work, she is often on the receiving end of complaints, nastiness, meanness, and even outright verbal abuse. On that particular day, she had received some news about a local tragedy that had broken her heart, had already been mistreated by a customer at work, and then on top of it all had been treated poorly by another customer. But this is exactly when her victory came!
See, instead of feeling sorry for herself, losing her temper, lashing out at the person, being hurt and bitter, bad-mouthing the person afterward, and harboring vengeful thoughts, she chose to be loving, kind, merciful, and forgiving. I couldn’t help but tell her how proud I was of her for the big victory and reminded her to give the Lord the glory for answering her prayer that she would walk in His love.
I had seen her in her workplace time and again do as I had done for years. She, like I had for so long, had resorted to self-pity, complaining, negativity, vengeful thoughts, bitterness, moaning and groaning, impatience, irritability, and outright anger and lashing out in return. But just as the Lord has been working on me over the years to learn to love and forgive, He was now answering her desire to learn how to love as He commands us to do.
What a privilege and joy it was to see her thankfulness for doing what was right instead of continuing to do what was wrong. What a blessing it was to see the fruit of the Lord’s work in her, and what an inspiration it was for me to continue on learning how to love with the love of Christ in a world that is so very much lacking it.
I hope you are encouraged by this little testimony, and that the following verses will be a blessing to you and a challenge to grow in loving the Lord with all your heart – and in loving others as yourself no matter how they act.
Glory to the Lord for teaching us His ways, AMEN!
“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:44-48
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” Matthew 5:38-39
“Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21
Facing Struggles, Being Still
One day I got a message from my Pelican Sister. Let me explain. She had been a stranger at the hotel where I was staying and responded to my compliment about her outfit by going to the store and buying me a gift of a matching little bag and pants with pink pelicans on them. Now a month or so later she emailed me to tell me she was sorry for my tragic and unexpected loss of my beloved and precious paralyzed ministry dog Mr. Simeon. She had been led to give me this well-known Bible verse:
“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalms 46:10
But why this verse? Made no sense in the context of my struggle and loss, did it? What did it have to do with my situation? At first I couldn’t see. Then the Holy Spirit opened my eyes and illuminated in my heart two powerful instructions for me in my struggle I am compelled to share with you to consider when you face your own struggles.
* SPEND TIME BEING STILL IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD ALMIGHTY. When we’re struggling, hurting, heartbroken, facing trials, feel like giving up, feel hopeless, feel weak, feel forgotten, are lonely, are grieving, or anything else whereby we’re in great need of love, help, hope, comfort, encouragement, friendship, company, support, wisdom, care, direction, healing of our hearts, cleansing, strength, mercy, etc., we should fight any compulsion we may have to run away and hide by our lonesome and give up and drown in our sorrows and struggles. Instead, we should enter into the secret place, the hiding place, the refuge, the fortress, the shelter of the Lord and be still before Him. We should open and pour out our hearts to Him, cry out and pray to Him, seek Him, read the Bible, listen for the voice of His Holy Spirit who lives inside His followers speak to our hearts, commune with Him, praise and worship and sing to Him, experience and enjoy His almighty blessed presence, and receive all He gives to us of His love, care, comfort, wisdom, strength, instructions, etc. We should come away from the craziness and busyness of this ever-darkening world and be still in the light and mercy and grace of His most amazing most wonderful healing glorious loving merciful presence.
* TRUST IN THE LORD AND IN HIS WILL, WAYS, PLANS, PURPOSE, AND TIMING WHICH ARE ALWAYS BEST AND PERFECT. Without going into detail, I was extraordinarily upset about the circumstances, timing, details, etc. of the loss of my sweet dog and was a combination of heartbroken, crushed, angry, bitter at one point, hurt, down, and pridefully questioning God. In Psalm 46:10, the Lord makes abundantly clear He is sovereign, all-powerful, and bigger and greater than anything or anyone in the universe. Instead of fighting the Lord and His will and what had transpired, I needed to humble myself before Him, repent for any and all ways in which I had questioned and doubted Him, been angry at Him, been bitter toward Him, and lashed out at Him, and place my trust in Him going forward. I needed to trust He would reveal His reasons for His will and timing if He desired or not reveal them to me if He in His wisdom chose not to do so. My trust needed to be in the Lord, and I needed in the midst of it all to be thankful to the Lord for who He is, for His love, grace, and mercy, for His countless blessings, and on and on. Trust. Repentance. Thanksgiving. For the Lord will be exalted and magnified above all the earth. He will be glorified forevermore! Oh, despite the pain, despite the sorrow, despite my struggle, hallelujah to the Lord! Oh, yes, hallelujah to God almighty!
The Lord had used my Pelican Sister to bring to light the exact message I needed in my great struggle and trial.
BE STILL IN THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD AND TRUST IN HIM.
Hoping and trusting the Lord will use this message to encourage you when you face your own life’s trials.
With love in Him, Lara
p.s. I didn’t even notice until I finished writing this that this is the 46th message in the book I am currently writing. How beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful is the Lord! Amen!