12 Habits of Happy Couples

I asked various married Christian couples to share their marital secrets. I’ve summed up their responses into 12 habits of happy couples.

12 HABITS OF HAPPY COUPLES
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Valentine’s is almost here and I’ve spent eight wonderful years with my amazing Valentine. This year, as we approach that special love day, I approached ten Christian couples for the secrets to their life-long marriages. Two of the couples have been married for more than fifty years while others are in the twenty and thirty year range.

It would seem that as simple as some of these notions are, it’s hard to live them out everyday. So in honor of love day, I thought it would really great to share some pearls of wisdom from the couples I admire. A special thanks to all of them who participated! I’ve left out actual quotes and names because several insisted that God only was to receive the glory for their long marriages. I loved that. According to them here are 12 habits of happy couples.

1. They Put God First

You’ve heard it said many times that putting God at the center of your marriage, but I have found it to be a profound and nurturing command in marriage. When God’s will is above your own, when you are in pursuit of holiness, you will do things that would otherwise be impossible. Your choices look very different when you are looking to please God over man or even yourself. Forgiveness even in the midst of betrayal becomes possible. Couples who are grounded in the covenant they made with God don’t give themselves an out every time there is a roadblock or speed bump. They will attempt to work it out at all costs.

2. They Have Boundaries

In the past, I’ve written about setting healthy boundaries in your marriage. Boundaries are so important when you are dealing with families who do things differently and even with friends who might persuade either spouse. So I wasn’t surprised when several couples listed setting boundaries as one of the most effective ways to guard a marriage.

There are all kinds of boundaries that you can set in your marriage, but I think some of the most important on how you will worship, how you will interact with members of the opposite sex, what is permissible in the bedroom and rules for fighting fairly. Boundaries are not away to control or manipulate your spouse. Nor should they be a way to play “gotcha.” Rather, they should create an understanding between you and your spouse about what is permissible and what is not.

3. They Effectively Communicate Their Feelings

Many people think that discussing things that bother us will create even more tension. The truth is, in the short term, it may, but bottling up unforgiveness or anger normally only leads to deep resentment. Nevertheless, we should bring up grivences and perceived slights quickly, but constructively. Constructive conversations normally involves several things:

  • Avoid using accusatory language
  • Avoid name-calling, curse words, and other degrading language
  • Resist the urge to assign motives. (We have a tendency to believe the best of ourselves, but the worst of others.)
  • Be specific and avoid generalizations and sweeping, blanket statements
  • Attack the problem and not the person
  • Avoid passing blame or justifying
  • If things get too heated, agree to take a time out and revisit later
Hanna Skelley of Unsplash

4. They Listen

This might sound super basic, but one of the women I talked to said something interesting. “During an argument, most people aren’t really listening. They are just waiting for their turn to speak,” this mom of four explained. The comment actually caused me to look at my own behavior. During emotional discussions we so often want to be heard but don’t always give our spouse the same consideration. Rather, we are just waiting for them to finish so we can hammer our point a little more. If we truly want peace in our marriage, if we really want to resolve some of the arguments that are robbing our marriage of joy, we first must be come better listeners.

Our spouse’s points are just as valid as our own. I’d also add that listening doesn’t just have to be during arguments. Sometimes, it is in the everyday. Here are just a few helpful hints on how to become a better listener. I know that I’ve noticed if someone feels like they weren’t heard, the issue will often get brought back up again.

  • Turn off or put down devices when your spouse speaks to you
  • Resist the urge to argue in your head while they speak
  • Recognize changes in tone and body language
  • Ask questions when something is unclear (reserve questions for when they are done speaking)
  • Confirm with, “if I’m hearing you correctly…”
  • Resist interuppting
  • Keep eye contact

5. They Give Up The Right to Be Right All the Time

Did you know that the most common reason for divorces aside from infidelity is arguing. Irreconcilable differences. Marriages, even good ones, have very real conflict. You will often hear people say ” we weren’t compatible.” Newsflash: no two people are totally compatible. Even though we may share things in common, we will always still have stark differences and those differences prompt arguments.

Our ego and pride often gets in the way of our resolving conflict. There are very serious problems in marriage, but many times we can get into a habit of being disagreeable. Annoyances can build up and we can find ourselves in petty squabbles over the manutia of life.

6. They Are Willing

Willingness is often understated and yet it is so important in a marriage. In my own marriage, my husband is one of the most willing people I’ve ever met. He was always willing to get up with the kids in the middle of the night. When my parents were stranded, he was willing to go across town to get them. He was willing to wait up all night for my niece until she got home safely. He is willing to work long hours, to make sacrifices, to do whatever is needed or asked of him. Be willing just means living with the attitude of a servant.

Our own Lord was quite willing. I think of all the times he could have chosen not to. He was willing to become man for our sake. Willing to eat with tax collectors, talk to Samaritans and sinners when no one else would. We know he was willing to be interrupted in the middle of teaching (Matthew 9:18-26) and we know that when the children interrupted him the disciples rebuked them, but Jesus was willing to stop and visit with them. (Matthew 19:13-15). Jesus was willing to be tortured, humiliated and crucified for the sake of sinners.

Being willing means we are willing to be inconvenienced, willing to serve, willing to sacrifice. It means that we are flexible (not stubborn), agreeable, and gracious. We have a tremendous opportunity for our spouse to come to know the love of Christ when we model this attribute.

7. They Are Kind and Gentle

Kindness is often underrated, but kindness is one of the pillars of love, the other being patience. When you are kind, you are choosing to be agreeable. Kindness causes us to look for ways to serve and meet the needs of our spouse. Additionally, kindness causes us to be gentle. Even if you have to rebuke your spouse, kindness chooses to say the words of correction with love and gentleness. Kindness chooses to offer mercy and forgiveness along with any form of correction. Both gentleness and kindness are fruits of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22-23) and therefore available to us for the asking. It should be a daily request of ours in prayer that the Holy Spirit transform and conform our hearts with these attributes of the Holy Ghost. In 2 Timothy, we are reminded that we should be actively pursuing kindness alongside holiness (2 Timothy 6:11-12).

12 Habits of happy couples
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8. They Invest In Their Spouse

When we invest our time, effort, money, and energy into something, it naturally becomes more important to us. It is harder to give up on something in which we are deeply invested. In fact, the more we have invested, the harder it is to walk away. This is why it is important to invest in your marriage and in your spouse. Sometimes investing in your marriage is the giving or devoting of yourself such as your time. For example, investing may at times require you to put aside TV time in order to spend quality time with your spouse. It can mean listening when you’d rather zonk out for the night or it can even mean working with your partner to follow their dreams or deepest pursuits.

When you invest in your spouse, you are choosing to be a participating partner in their growth and wellbeing. So long as it aligns with our Christian world view, invest in the dreams, ambitions, interests and most importantly, their spiritual life.

9. They Forgive

Oh, friend, this is such a biggie. If there is one thing I have learned in marriage and one thing that was said by these awesome couples, it’s that forgiveness needs to take center stage in your marriage. Your spouse will repeatedly fail you, disappoint you, and even betray you. It is not a matter of if your spouse will hurt you, but rather, when. Why would someone who loves you, hurt you? As Christians, we know the answer to this. Sin nature. Scripture reminds us that we are all conceived in iniquity (Psalm 51:5).

Forgiveness is hard. There is a feeling that by forgiving someone (and not staying mad) you are sending the message it isn’t a big deal or that you are letting someone off the hook. Let’s be clear. Forgiveness is actually between you and God. Unforgiveness drives a wedge between us and the Lord and we become the unforgiving servant that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 18:21-35. As much as your spouse has wronged you, you have still wrong God more. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, we can forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.

Forgiveness isn’t a single act. It’s an attitude.

10. They Seek Godly Counsel

Fighting and disagreements are inevitable and sometimes there is so much hurt and unforgiveness that our marriage feels stymied. I have learned that going to families often causes more conflict. Our families are likely to take the side of their blood relatives and may even be blinded by loyalty. I’m actually in favor of leaving families out of marital problems almost entirely for another reason. As loving spouses, we should strive to protect our spouse’s reputation. I believe that Christ-like love should work to cover faults (not expose them) in the same way that the blood of Christ covers ours (Romans 4:7). When we go to family members with catastrophic trials, it may cause our family’s opinion of our spouse to be damaged beyond repair. For that reason, I suggest seeking Godly counsel elsewhere.

There will be times where Godly counsel is needed and I can’t tell you how priceless it is to have someone rich in the love of Christ, who can shepherd the two of you through the storms that arise in marriage. Godly counsel will also lovingly rebuke you if correction is needed. Many churches offer pastoral counseling, but even if yours doesn’t, a pastor, church elder, spiritual mentor, or someone else in your church community may be a good source of advice.

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,

But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.

Proverbs 12:15

11. They Make Time for Sex and Physical Affection

We live in an age where many things are bidding for our attention. We are busy and tired and devices have really made it difficult. Kids, jobs, errands, responsibilities are all clamoring for our attention. Additionally, today’s modern family faces an even bigger problem. Around the dinner table, it’s common to find members of the family engaged with a device rather than each other. Did you know there is actually a word for it? Psychologists call it “phubbing,” – subbing your phone for another human being.

Now devices have even affected marital relations. Take a look at this image below from photographer Eric Pickersgill. he took a series of images showing people engaged in everyday actions except he removed the devices from the hand’s of the subjects. we look like mindless zombies. Worse, we look disconnected from each other relationally. Research has shown that sex gets cut in half when phones are in the bedroom. I’m guessing TVs also increase that statistic.

My mother used to have a saying, “the devil will do everything in his power to get you into bed before you are married and everything to keep you out of it once you’re married.” God created an amazing bonding experience for a married couple when he created sex. A husband and wife can never be more physically close than the act of sex and sexual intimacy is the catalyst for all kinds of other emotional intimacy. They go hand in hand. Wives, we must make ourselves available to our husbands. Husbands, sex is a wonderful way to make your spouse feel beautiful and treasured. In order to have a good marriage, we must treat sex as a priority. Do it and do it often! French kiss. Cuddle. Tease. Flirt. Do it all, but be mindful and deliberate about it! Sometimes we will even have to do it when we don’t really feel like it.

Eric Pickersgill
Photo Credit: Eric Pickersgill, linked through Bored Panda

12. They Pray Together

When things happen in life, when there is cause for celebration or grief, prayer should be our first response. In my own marriage, we’ve gone through all kinds of ups and downs. Miscarriage, job losses, mental illness, financial woes, spiritual depression. Praying together, inviting God into your marriage, is life-changing. If you are going to be married for a lifetime, you’ll go through everything under the sun. Now this may look like the first topic we covered – putting God first and you are right. We are making a circle. Beginning and ending with God and our relationship with him.

it’s not enough to have the same beliefs or even the same convictions, although that is important. We must also pray together and pray for one another. Pray for your spouse to become more like Christ and pray for yourself to become more like Christ. Ask God to bless your spouse, reveal himself to your spouse, and guide your spouse. Then pray together. Read the Word together. Go to church together. Fellowship with other believers together, but grow in Christ with each other. Not just when times are rough, but continually. Always.

I’m not sharing anything you don’t know. These 12 Habits of happy couples, are just good reminders. Sometimes we need to stop and recalibrate. It’s my sincerest hope that today, you will think about what you can do to nature your marriage. In the comments below, let me know how I can pray for you and don’t forget to share this post on Facebook!

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How Jeremiah 29:11 Changed My Life

Do you have a life verse? Today I am sharing how Jeremiah 29:11 changed my life and how I’ve grown as a Christian with it.

How Jeremiah 29:11 changed my life
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All of us have a particular scripture that has spoken to us at a particular time. Today I am going to share how Jeremiah 29:11 changed my life. When I was much younger, I was much younger in my Christian walk. I felt like life wasn’t going the way I had envisioned it. I will be totally honest. At that time, I had just started to really read the Bible. It’s embarrassing that I was a Christian all my life and yet had never really read The Word on my own at that point. So when I found the verse, naturally I simply applied it to my life at the time.

I assumed God was promising me that all my dreams would come true. (Insert facepalm here). To make a long story short, I was praying for a Godly husband and children but could not find a suitable mate. That verse gave me hope for the next three years as I pursued a deeper relationship with God. In the end, God was indeed faithful and gave me a man whose goodness surprises me to this day. But is that the meaning of the verse?

As comforting as the verse was to me, I misunderstood it. The verse is not really about what God can do for you. Today the verse has taken on a very different meaning. Perhaps a more correct meaning. In fact. I dare say it changed my life and how I view God’s plan for my life.

The Book of Jeremiah

First, let’s take a look at what is happening in Scripture. Jeremiah was a priest and prophet who served for more than 40 years. He had a difficult life and his message of repentance was not well received. Jeremiah first became a prophet during the reign of Josiah, the last faithful king of Judah. The book of Lamentations was written during Jeremiah’s grief over Josiah. In the two decades following Josiah’s death, Judah would collapse into moral, social, financial, political, and spiritual decay. (Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah were also prophets during this time in scripture.) The country would also change hands through various kings.

In chapters eleven through twenty-eight, Jeremiah warns the people of God’s holy wrath. He forewarns that if they do not repent, they will suffer and God will not hear their cries for help. Instead, God will let them endure the full consequence of their sin. Jerusalem is overthrown by Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar and they are put into slavery. This suffering in slavery would eventually remind them of their need for God.

As you can imagine this message did not go over well. People, by nature, cling to their sin. Jeremiah suffered terrible persecution, was beaten, mocked, and even imprisoned. But I digress. Chapter 29 begins with a letter to his people from Jerusalem who are now exiled in Babylon. The letter opens with Jeremiah quoting what God has told him. In verse five, God says to build houses, make families, have children, and multiply. God is essentially telling them to settle in and to plan for a long stay in Babylon. In verse seven, God tells them to make the best of their stay and to work for the welfare of the city. Then He tells them that they will spend seventy years there and once completed, He promises to send them home. Then God leaves them with this hope:

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

Like any loving father, discipline is done out of love. God is teaching His people a lesson. “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all of your heart.” (v. 12-13). In these verses, God promises to eventually answer their prayers for restoration. But even more amazing is that God promises when we seek Him with all of our hearts, He reveals Himself to us. What a promise. Throughout scripture, God invites us to know Him and He promises we will find Him!

The Message

This verse is often misunderstood and even misused. I admit that in my young Christianity, I misunderstood it too. So now that we know what is going on in scripture, there are some takeaways to consider.

It’s Not About Fleshly Things

I sometimes see this verse used to insinuate that God’s plan (or following God) means we will never have trouble or that God will ALWAYS give us the outcome we want. That’s not exactly what this verse is saying, although it can sound that way if we read it out of context without knowing what’s happening in scripture.

As we see in the book of Jeremiah and other parts of scripture, God often permits trouble and struggle in our life so that we rely on Him alone. He also allows it in order to refine the faithful. It is not God’s promise for wealth, perfect health, or other fleshly things. Rather it is God’s promise that He has planned your life. He is in full control of it! Every problem, every storm is completely planned and in His capable hands. This should give us a lot of comfort and peace. The kind of peace that no matter what happens to us, God has permitted it, God is with us, and that it will ultimately be for our good. (See also Romans 8:28).

What are God’s Plans for Our Life

So what exactly is “our good?” There are many times when God will work circumstances out in our desired outcome. There are many times he intervenes and works out our problems after a season of trial. However, we should remember that God is most concerned with our salvation and holiness. Simply put, God is in the business of saving souls.

A Look at Paul

That means that God’s plans can look very different from ours. Let’s stop for a moment and take a look at the book of Romans. In the Epistle, Paul is in Corinth and he is writing to coverts in Rome. Paul opens the letter explaining that he has tried many times to come to Rome but that he has been prevented from going (Rom 1:13). You can read about those circumstances to which he is referring in the book of Acts. This is where it gets interesting!

God has created circumstances that had actually prevented Paul from going to teach Christians in Rome. It is possible that Paul was perplexed about why God prevented him? After all, he was intending to do God’s work there. Why prevent him? Yet, God’s plan is often so much greater than we can imagine. By preventing Paul from going, Paul would write a letter to the Romans. 2,000 years later, we are reading the letter. Paul intended to save hundreds maybe even thousands in Rome. God saved millions over two millennia around the globe. God’s ways are much higher than ours. It’s important to note God did eventually permit Paul to go to Rome, but when he did, it was as a prisoner, and after being bitten by a poisonous snake, and being shipwrecked!

How Jeremiah 29:11 changed my life
Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash

God’s Great Plan For Us

And it is that very thing that has really opened my eyes. God had a good plan for Paul’s life. God’s good plan for Paul included being lost at sea, being robbed, beaten with rods, shipwrecked, hunger, thirst, imprisonment, and eventually being beheaded all for the glory of God. God’s plan for Peter’s life included being crucified upside down. God’s plan for John’s life spared him martyrdom but included being exiled and dying as an enemy of the state for not participating in emperor worship. Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego were thrown into a furnace. Daniel was a prisoner in chains. And Joseph… thrown in a pit and sold into slavery.

God’s good plan for our life is all about glorifying Him and furthering His kingdom and even in the worst-case scenario – martyrdom – He will make something good out of it. Coming to the realization that God’s plan for my life can include everything up to and including martyrdom, changed my life and it changed how I viewed my everyday struggles.

Make the Best of Your Season

I think it’s also important to note that God tells his people to stay busy, build a life, and raise a family while they are waiting to be returned home. God even tells them to invest in the welfare of the city where they are enslaved! Now in this particular instance, God tells them exactly how long they will be exiled. We, unfortunately, don’t know how long our seasons of trial will last. But the example we can take from this is that even when we are in limbo or a season of trial or hardship, we should still try to live a fruitful life that honors God.

How Jeremiah 29:11 Changed My Life

I have grown as a Christian with this beautiful verse. It was my very first verse where God spoke to me through The Word and I am certain when I take my dying breath, it will be one of my last thoughts. It has taught me that God and His plans are sovereign over my life and that God’s plan for me is good no matter what happens.

What are your favorite verses and why do they speak to you? Tell me in the comments. Be sure to share this post with a friend and don’t forget to subscribe before you leave. You may also be interested in some additional scripture reading, Depression and Grief.

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15 Comforting Scriptures for Miscarriage

I know the pain of miscarriage, but the holy scriptures offer us comfort in our time of grief, confusion, and disappointment. Here are 15 comforting scriptures for miscarriage.

15 comforting scriptures for miscarriage

Nothing prepares you for losing a baby. I was totally unprepared for miscarriage when my husband and I decided to start trying for a baby. I spent so much time daydreaming of tiny toes and tender moments. I never considered that my pregnancy could end tragically. Pregnancy is, after all, such a natural process for a woman.

I did have my own fears though. You see, years before in my twenties, I had an ovarian tumor. The tumor caused me to have emergency surgery and I ended up losing one of my ovaries. As I aged into my middle thirties, I prepared myself for what I thought was inevitable. I anticipated that it would be very hard to get pregnant. I anticipated months of trying without any luck.

So when I got pregnant during the first month of trying, my husband and I were overjoyed. I don’t know that I’ve ever been so excited in my life. We started making plans immediately. I was in such disbelief, that I went to urgent care to confirm my pregnancy because my OBGYN couldn’t see me until week ten. The pregnancy bolted my faith. I felt so close to the Lord who was creating life inside me. It was the first time I really saw the ministry and God’s glory in motherhood.

Tragedy and Grief

I was so excited when we finally went to the doctor. I was going to hear my child’s heartbeat and see them in a sonogram. My husband stood by my side as the doctor searched across my belly. She pointed out the amniotic sac then grew quiet. My heart sank as I realized that something was wrong. There was no sound. No flutter.

She told me she thought maybe I had my period date wrong. The fetus is harder for the sonogram to detect when it’s younger than eight weeks. In fact, many times it can’t be detected until eight weeks. So she made us wait and come back in two weeks. Those two weeks were unimaginably hard. I sobbed into my husband’s chest as he awkwardly tried to comfort me. We both knew what this meant. At some point, our baby had stopped growing. Stopped living. I had to watch my pregnancy symptoms slowly fade. My breasts no longer hurt. The nausea went away completely.

We went back in two weeks and the doctor was able to confirm the heartbeat was gone. I held it together as the doctor explained that I could either have a D&C or miscarry naturally. I opted to miscarry naturally, It took an entire month before the cramping and bleeding started. I wept bitterly on my bed when I realized what was happening. After two days of contractions, the miscarriage was over, but my grief was just beginning.

Deeper In Grief

My husband and I decided to immediately get back on the horse and to our surprise, we got pregnant again the first month we started trying. Except for this time I experienced no joy. Only fear. My parents and husband assured me another miscarriage wasn’t likely and that I should enjoy the pregnancy. But several weeks into my first trimester I miscarried again.

Oh, friend. Those were dark days. The grief. The disappointment. Fear. It was the perfect opportunity for the enemy to attack me and that is exactly what he did. I heard some horrible thoughts in those moments. I was tempted to believe it was my fault. That something was inherently wrong with me. Even that I was unworthy of being a mother. Satan is, after all, the accuser (Rev 12:10), and he will absolutely try to kick you when you are down. He will lie to you. It is in his nature (John 8:44).

When I began to sink into deep depression, grief, and confusion, I turned to God’s holy word and it comforted me. So today, I’m sharing those verses with you today. Not long after my second miscarriage, I got pregnant with my oldest son, my rainbow baby. I’ll save that experience for another time. I still think of my two babies Gabriel and Daphne and I always will. Even though they are not with us, they are a part of my family and a part of my heart. If you are struggling with grief from miscarriage, please let me know in the comments and I’ll add you to my prayer list. You aren’t alone, mama. I know how you feel. Half of my children are in heaven. I hope these 15 comforting scriptures for miscarriage being help assuage your grief.

15 Comforting Scriptures for Miscarriage

Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once again.

Psalm 71:20-23

He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken.

isaiah 25:8

So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.

john 16:22
1 corinthians 15:26

You have recorded my troubles. You have kept a list of my tears. Aren’t they in your records?

Psalm 56:8

For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.

2 corinthians 7:10

For the Lord will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men.

Lamentations 3:31-33
15 comforting scriptures for miscarriage

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”

1 Peter 5:10

For You created my inmost being; You knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

psalm 139:13-14
15 comforting scriptures for miscarriage

Therefore we do not lose heart. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

revelation 21:4

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

john 14:27

Before, I close, let me say that I understand your pain. Your baby will not be forgotten. As with all grief, there is no right or wrong way to grieve, nor is there any appropriate time frame to grieve. Regardless of what week you lost your baby, give yourself full permission to grieve. Also, don’t let anyone minimize your pain if you lost your child in early pregnancy. Let your sorrow wash over you while allowing the scriptures to comfort you. Meaningful grieving is the path to acceptance and healing.

Until then my thoughts and prayers are with you. If you’d like me to pray for you, you can leave a prayer request in the comments or you can message me privately if you prefer.

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Lenten Journal Prompts

Spend time before Easter Sunday reflecting on your relationship with Christ with these 40 Lenten Journal Prompts.

Lenten journal prompts
Photo by Mary Lentz

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Welcome friend. Today, I’m sharing 40 Lenten prompts. Lent is typically acknowledged by Catholics as the 40 days before Easter in the church’s liturgical calendar. For example, in the Catholic church, this is a time to give alms and we fast on Fridays (abstain from meat) to align ourself with sacrifice. This small sacrifice serves as a reminder of what Christ did for us.

I think this goes beyond doctrinal differences of Christians. The forty days before Easter is also a good time to reflect on the health of your relationship with God.

Journaling

I love journaling. I’ve been doing it for years and really feel like it’s a beneficial tool of introspection. First, journalling helps document where you are emotionally and spiritually at a given time. Next, it serves as a timeline, gracefully depicting an arc of your emotional growth. Once you become accustomed to journaling, I know it will become a great tool for self-therapy.

Additionally, if you’d like more ideas for journaling, please read my other posts:

All you need to get started is a notebook and pen. If you hate writing, don’t worry. There are plenty of digital options these days. Day One, for example, is a great digital diary that even allows you to post photos with your writing and is available in the cloud for all your devices.

Lenten Journal Prompts

  1. How can you help your spouse become closer to God?
  2. What do you feel God wants you to change?
  3. How can you help your children become closer to God.
  4. Describe a recent situation where God was clearly present.
  5. What verse gives you comfort in hard times and why?
  6. How can you better serve God?
  7. What do you need to leave at the cross?
  8. Who or what needs forgiving?
  9. For what are you asking God?
  10. With what do you need patience?
  11. Name three things you are grateful for this week.
  12. About what are you most fearful?
  13. What does the cross mean to you?
  14. What mysteries do you wish you knew?
  15. Delight in the Lord and give praise.
  16. How can you better serve others?
  17. Which bible character inspires you most and why?
  18. How can you be a better steward with money?
  19. Describe a prayer God has answered recently.
  20. Which deceased friend or family member are you still grieving? Which bible verse give you the most comfort?
  21. Who do you find hard to love and how can you pray for them?
  22. How can you become more humble?
  23. Have you ever evangelized? How did you feel doing it?
  24. What is your favorite verse in scripture and why?
  25. How can you make time for more prayer?
  26. Of the gifts of the spirit, which do you most like to possess and why?
  27. Describe a time God answered your prayer in a better way.
  28. In what situation do you need to praise God instead of complain? Why do you find it so hard?
  29. We all have a role to play in God’s world. What do you think your purpose is?
  30. The enemy loves to attack our joy and hope. Where do you feel like you’re being attacked and how will you fight back?
  31. Give thanksgiving.
  32. What does “following Christ” mean to you?
  33. When you reflect on your life, what hard time are you most grateful for?
  34. When do you feel God most distant?
  35. Why do you love God?
  36. From what do you need healing?
  37. Write a prayer for your enemy (I know this is a hard one).
  38. Confess something to God.
  39. For what God-given gifts are you most grateful?
  40. How do you think God sees you?

Before You Leave

I hope these forty lenten journal prompts help you understand your relationship with Christ better. Lastly, don’t forget to pin this post, so you can use this year after year.

At least once a month, I post a Christian themed post, usually rooted in Bible study. Finally, I invite you to join me by subscribing to my blog so you never miss a post. Thanks for reading.

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25 Christmas Journal Prompts

Christmas evokes a a wealth of emotions. Today, I’m sharing 25 Christmas Journal Prompts to discover how you feel about the holiday season

25 Christmas journal prompts

Christmas is a special time of year. But for many people, it brings a myriad of emotions – some happy and some not so happy. The holiday blues is a real thing and they can leave us pining for those we’ve lost in death. We may mourn old traditions that are no longer continued. Or we may have a renewed love for the season as we watch Christmas magic overtake our children’s hearts. Sometimes you may feel all the above. Today, I encourage you to go through the list of 25 Christmas journal prompts and discover how you feel about the holiday season.

25 Christmas Journal Prompts

  1. What is your favorite childhood memory about Christmas?
  2. Did you believe in Santa? Was that a good or bad experience?
  3. What does Christmas mean to you?
  4. What does your ideal/perfect Christmas look like?
  5. If money were no object, what would you want for Christmas?
  6. What is the most special Christmas gift someone has given you?
  7. Who do you miss most around Christmas?
  8. Do you make goals for the New Year? What are some of the goals you have right now?
  9. Describe how your family celebrates Christmas.
  10. What Christmas traditions in your family do you love most? How will you ensure those traditions continue?
  11. What things make you feel most connected to others at Christmas?
  12. How will you spread Christmas cheer this year?
  13. What is your favorite holiday movie and why do you love it?
  14. Is there anything that makes you sad around Christmas? Why?
  15. Some people feel blue around the holidays. What can you do to combat those feelings?
  16. What is your favorite memory of your childhood home at Christmas?
  17. Describe something you love to do on cold winter nights?
  18. How do you feel about the commercialism around Christmas?
  19. Write a Christmas story.
  20. For what are you most grateful at Christmastime?
  21. What is most stressful at Christmas? What can you do to make it better?
  22. Describe what you love most about Winter.
  23. How can you be a more giving person during the holidays?
  24. What has changed since the beginning of this year?
  25. How was God faithful to me this year?

Be sure to visit my other posts for more journaling ideas:

Christian Journal Prompts

Looking for a new way to spend some spiritual quiet time? Try these Christian journal prompts to help explore your Christian walk.

christian journal prompts

Spiritual Journaling

Hello friend. I hope you’re having an awesome day. Today, I’m sharing some Christian journal prompts that I hope will help you fine tune your relationship with Christ. These are some of the topics I’ve written about in my own journal this past year.

I like to think of Christian journal prompts as a personal assessment about your spiritual life. So many times we are just trodding along not even realizing they we are off track somewhere. Using these journal prompts help me to stop and evaluate just where I am on my spiritual walk.

I will add one disclosure though. The Bible should be your guide through this. My degree is in Psychology and journaling can often be associated with that because Psychology is all about finding answers within yourself. But that isn’t what I’m promoting. I’m asking you to listen for God’s voice with scripture as your guide. Personally, I like to pray before I do spiritual journaling. Ask God to reveal His will for your life and ask Him to impart wisdom.

Christian Journal Prompts

  • Describe a time in your life where God has rescued you. Do you believe He’ll do it again?
  • Write a scripture that brings you peace. What is God saying to you?
  • Describe a time where you believed God spoke to you.
  • Write a prayer of surrender to God.
  • How can you be bold and courageous for the Lord.
  • Be still. What is God telling you now?
  • How can you serve God better?
  • How can you be a light to others in a dark world?
  • Describe a time when God used a bad situation for your good.
  • What do you feel God is asking you to change?
  • What do you imagine heaven will be like?
  • When do you feel most distant from God?
  • How are you hurting others with your pride?
  • Ecclesiastes tells us there is a season for everything. What season are you in right now?
  • Write out the lyrics of a Christian song or hymn that brings you joy.
  • Write a scripture that brings you joy. How can you apply it to your life?
  • Describe a blessing that happened this week.
  • Write a Psalm of worship to God.
  • Do you find it hard to apologize? If so, why?
  • The bible specifically speaks of joy, not happiness. In what way are they different?
  • Are you self-righteous about something? What can you do about it?
  • What are the character attributes you think a Christian should have?
  • When you get offended by something how does your pride react?
  • Pick a bible character. What can we learn from his/her life?
  • What do you need to confess to God?
  • Write a letter of forgiveness to an enemy.
  • Is there something that you haven’t forgiven yourself for? How can you receive the healing of the Lord?
  • Write 5 scripture verses that make you feel strong and courageous.
  • What does forgiveness look like?
  • If you are struggling though something, what do you think God wants to you to learn?
  • List all the needs God is currently meeting.
  • What do you love most about your church family?
  • What does God say about pride (see the scriptures)?
  • Describe someone in your life who exemplifies humility.
  • What are your God-given gifts and talents? How can you use them to advance the Kingdom?
  • Who or what do you need to forgive?

Before You Go

Don’t forget to PIN this post for later. Also, take a look at some of my other scripture related posts.

Decisions, Sacrifice, and Jobs

Did you miss me? I took two weeks away from writing on this blog to catch up on some much needed rest. I’m guessing most of you didn’t even realize I was gone! That’s okay. I needed a break. If you’ve been following along, you know my husband recently left his job of seven years. They closed his field office here in San Antonio and we’ve been job hunting for eight months. Let me tell you, the process has been stressful.

There have been tears, prayers (e.g. begging and bargaining with God) and dashed hopes. There was several highly desirable jobs we wanted, but didn’t get. There were several jobs we were offered but the pay and circumstances were just plain deflating. I had naysayers and critics who thought we were fools for waiting (and for turning down perfectly good jobs). I had friends who were always reaching out and praying over us. I can’t express my gratitude enough for the support. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster!

We Finally Have a Job

We were really hoping to get a job with a local refinery here. We’ve tried every way to make that work, but they just weren’t fully sold on hiring my perfectly-qualified husband for the senior manger role he desired. Alas, we have an offer that gives us a huge pay bump. There is just one catch… it’s in Austin.

First, let me start off by saying that I am completely and deeply grateful for this opportunity. God has opened some huge doors here and he has blessed us exponentially in this situation. However, Austin was never on the map for us and we are shocked by the housing market there. Let’s just say, San Antonio is far more affordable. So much so, we are considering commuting from San Antonio instead of moving.

Moving

We love our house and we are so happy here with what we have. We are still early in our house search, but we’ve yet to find anything that is even remotely comparable for the price.

If we stay, as I anticipate we will, it will come with immense sacrifice. It will mean a ninety minute commute each way for my husband, but he’ll have every other Friday off. It means we can stay close to our family and don’t have to leave the church family we love dearly. It means we don’t have to uproot our children from their home.

My oldest son is so reliant upon routine and structure. It brings him so much security. He loves his room and his house. His memories are here. Our memories are here. We built this beautiful house ourselves. I love it so much, it would probably take something immensely better for me to consider giving it up. So far, I haven’t seen it – at least not without spending unGodly amounts of money.

We’re going to see how this works out. Thankfully, we don’t have to make a decision on moving immediately. We have some time to let this play out. if the commute becomes too big of a burden, we’ll seriously consider moving.

A Big Thank You

From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank everyone who has prayed over us in this hard season. There are some (you know who you are) that reached out every couple of weeks and let me cry on your shoulder. Others gave me hope when I was clean out of it! I won’t forget that. I know our actions confused a lot of people – especially when we said “no” to certain jobs, but thank the Lord we were never in a desperate position. We could afford to wait for the right opportunity and God has come through. It may not be exactly how we expected (it rarely is), but we’re certain God had a hand in all of it.

Plans For the Future

With Dan’s long commute, it means longer hours – and that equates to even longer days as a stay-at-home-mom. May I be honest? I’ve been struggling the last twelve months as a stay-at-home mom. I’ve felt lonely, bored, and disinterested. I wasn’t always like that. I was very happy for a long time because I was a part of a mom’s group. It felt like a big family. But I rarely participate in that group anymore. First, some friends have moved on as their children have grown. Secondly, the group has a very different vibe these days. Then a falling out with a “friend” left me feeling uncomfortable about returning and participating. I’ve tried out a few other different groups, but never felt chemistry. I’m very conflicted about where to go from here. I’m not sure where my place is or where God is guiding me. I do know that I need to find a my new mom tribe! I’m just not sure who or what that is.

Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we enter the new season God has for us.

Scripture Reading: Courage

Courage is faith in action. We are called to step out in faith, regardless of opposition. Please join me for August Scripture Reading: Courage.

scripture reading courage
Photo Courtesy of Unsplash by Guillaume Briard

I need courage. I’m terrified at failing at this blog. Deep down, I wonder if I’m tough enough to handle all the crazy curveballs parenthood throws. Did I ever mention that my marriage to Dan is actually my second marriage? Yup, my first marriage failed after he left me for another woman. I get sick to my stomach if I entertain the possibility of this one ever failing. Here is another big secret – I’m in the market for new mom tribe, but too scared to actually go out and make friends. Right now, my husband is unemployed and I don’t work. God has promised us a job and we are trusting in him to provide. I need courage.

Don’t we all need a little courage? We all have things that we either too scared to set out and do or situations that leave us cowered in a corner. We need courage. Well, we’re blessed because Christ provides it. The bible is full of examples of courage.

Joshua & Caleb

One of my favorite stories about courage in the bible is about Joshua and Caleb, two of the twelve spies sent to scout the promise land. Here we find the people of Israel, they’ve been led out of Egypt and finally they found themselves at the threshold of their new home. The spies came back with a report and proof of plentifulness of the land. “We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is the fruit.” There was just one catch. The current inhabitants were formidable and giant. “We were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so were in their sight.”

That was all the people of Israel needed to hear. They immediately became despondent and began to whine and complain. After all they had suffered they were overwhelmed by the thought of having another obstacle in front of them. Even though God had promised to give them the land and victory, the Israelites began to rebel. Only Joshua and Caleb remained faithful – and God was watching.

No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you.; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors.

God ordered that all the non-believers over the age of twenty to remain in the wilderness. Those over twenty, along with Joshua and Caleb were permitted to enter. The disobedience of the Israelites cost them their promised land.

Choose Courage

I like to think of courage as the physical manifestation of faith. In other words, courage is faith in action. Throughout scripture God encourages us to “fear not” and ” be courageous.” He tells us “do not be discouraged.” Courage is how we obey those commands. Courage is not the absence of fear. It is feeling fear and doing it anyway.

Faith is a choice. We choose to either take God at his word or disbelieve him. God never lies. So when he says he will not leave or forsake us, we can count on that. If he promises a victory, he will ensure a win. When he promises to provide, we won’t go hungry.

Peter and John

After the death of Christ, the apostles continued performing miracles in the name of Jesus. John and Peter are subsequently arrested and brought before the Sanhedrin, the very council of holy men responsible for crucifying Christ. First they are interrogated. Then the Sanhedrin forbade them from healing in the name of Jesus Christ. In holy courage, Peter and John stand up against the council and stand in faith refusing to stop. The Sanhedrin, faced with the healed man and a growing crowd of support for Peter and John, agree to release the apostles. As a Christian, you can expect to be told to stay silent or reject the teachings of Christ.

Of all heroes in scripture, I find Paul the most inspiring. Paul faced numerous threats of imprisonment (Acts 20:23, 21:11) and death (Acts 20:3, 23:12-14) and refused to yield. In fact, Paul wrote about half the New Testament imprisoned, surrounded by a sewer. During his imprisonment he even dared to evangelize to his captors (Acts 23:1-10, 24:21-26, 26:32, 28:30-31). Regardless of circumstances, he reminds us we are “more than conquerors.” This kind of steadfast courage is not generated by the flesh, but rather manifested by the Holy Spirit.

Pray everyday for God to bless you with holy courage.

Courage & Conviction

Don’t think that persecution was only in the time of Christ. Christians today are facing immense opposition. The world (society at large) will always try to promote and normalize sin. Christians should not only remain obedient to God’s word, but to continue to speak light into the world. However, this is both unwelcome and unpopular. Christians can expect to ridiculed, humiliated, ostracized, and mocked for our beliefs. In these moments, we will have to find holy courage to remain convicted. Jesus told us that most of the world is fleshly and on a path to destruction. Doing the right thing is a lonely road. Most of the world, won’t agree with you.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)

When we endure humiliation or persecution for His sake, we should remember that we have the great reward of heaven. Earthly persecution is temporary.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for righteousness sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:10

Scripture Reading: Courage

Pin For Later

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Scripture Reading Jealousy and Comparison

No one wants to admit they are jealous, but if you’re battling to happy in the successes of others, this is for you. Join me for scripture reading Jealousy and Comparison.

scripture reading jealousy and comparison

Hello friend. This month’s scripture reading is going to be centered around jealousy and comparison. I think this is a neglected topic, specifically in modern Christianity, so let’s talk about it.

What is Jealousy and Envy

Envy, jealousy and comparison are feelings rooted in insecurity, greed, and pride. Jealousy is the feeling of being replaced or outshined by a rival. Envy is the coveting or discontentment by another’s possessions, circumstances, or qualities. Both of them keep us from realizing our own potential.

Social media, for example, is a great catalyst for feelings of envy. It provides us an intimate glimpse into someone’s private life. We see their vacations, fun events, new houses, new jobs, and even romantic relationships. It’s easy to start comparing your life against someone else’s. Perhaps a friend’s life seems more exciting than yours. Maybe someone seems to be surrounded by countless friends or maybe a neighbor or coworker always seems to have financial blessings.

By the way, if you feel that social media causes these feelings to arise, I suggest quick amputation either temporarily or permanently. For help on quitting social media see my two posts Living Without Likes: How I Broke Up With Facebook and Social Media Detox.

I’m Not That Jealous

Many of us don’t think of ourselves as overly jealous, but here are some basic questions you might ask if you feel there is a problem. (Excerpt from the book Mind Over Emotions by Les Carter)

  • Do you work hard to come out looking good in situations?
  • Do you tend to be status conscious?
  • Do you need a lot of recognition for achievements?
  • Do you find it hard to pay compliments to others?
  • Do you base your self image on your performance?
  • Do you have hidden feelings of inferiority?
  • Do you complain about unfair treatment?
  • Are you willing to pass on negative rumors about a successful person?

Overcoming Jealousy

Remember Your Identity in Christ

Earlier this year, I shared a scripture reading post, Identity in Christ. Knowing who you are in Christ really does solve a lot of life’s problems. Jealousy and often spark feelings of insecurity and inferiority. The way we fight that is to remember what scripture says about us. I encourage you to read my post if you are wrangling with self-worth issues. Root yourself in the God’s loving view of you.

Stay Grateful

The deeper my relationship with Christ, the more I understand the need for gratitude. It really is the remedy for lots of our problems. We limit the power comparison has over us when we focus on our own blessings. Yes, they are blessed, but so are you! If you are keeping score and trying to balance blessings on a scale, you will be eternally frustrated. Furthermore, I’ve learned to realize that many times the blessings of others pour into my life as well.

Envy is the art of counting the other fellow’s blessings instead of your own.

Harold Coffin

Perhaps you have a friend who is talented at party planning. Maybe you’ve even asked her to teach you, but you can’t seem to do it with the same ease and creativity as she does. You can be envious of her gift or you can be grateful that you have access to her talents and imagination when you need party planning help. A perspective of gratitude is a great cure for envy.

Develop an Attitude of Abundance

Envy ensues when you feel an imbalance of success, gifts, or talents. This perceived disproportion causes feelings of insecurity and fear – as if there are only so many blessings to go around. For instance, sibling rivalry is the feeling of being overshadowed by a sibling. It can create feelings of scarcity when it comes to the love of a parent (e.g. if my mom loves my sister there will be less love for me).

Therefore, we must retrain our minds to have an attitude of abundance. There is such a thing as “healthy competition.” My dad used to say, “there is always room for one more hamburger stand.” “Competition” isn’t something to fear. There is always more where that came from! That’s because God owns it all. He is the one who bestows gifts, blessings, and talents and he never runs empty. There is never a need to be jealous once you realize that God has a future full of blessings for you (Jeremiah 29:11). I promise you this…he will never run out of favor.

Also, in 2 Corinthians (v. 9-8) Paul reminds us the reason behind abundant blessings – not for our glory, but for HIS. So that we “will abound in every good work.” Finally, we’re also told in Ecclesiastes (3:1-8) and Deuteronomy (28:12) that we go through seasons of blessings and droughts.

abundance

Ask God To Remove It

The first thing I recommend doing when these feelings spring up is to confess it. Tell God how you feel and why you are struggling with it. Confession is powerful because secrets control us. They become a stronghold. The enemy would love nothing more that to see you fester in resentment. Reject it and ask God to help you work through those feelings. Also, ask him to help you recognize the blessings he’s already given you and to give you an attitude of gratitude.

If you should desire to be like anyone, let it be Christ and not other sinners and imperfect people (Proverbs 23:17).

Scripture Reading Jealousy and Comparison

Thank you for joining me for Scripture Reading Jealousy and Comparison. Don’t forget to PIN this post for later. Also, take a look at my earlier Scripture Reading Topics:

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Trusting God In Tough Times

Trusting God in tough times is hard, but I’m here to share some hope on how to keep your focus on the Lord and his blessings that are coming your way.

Trusting God in Tough times
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Trusting God in tough times is one of the hardest things we will have to overcome as Christians. Worry is a symptom from doubting God. If we believe that he will sort out of problems and make good on his promises, there is no reason to worry. If we believe he is omnipotent and has control over all circumstances, we shouldn’t grapple with trust. And yet…we do.

A Hitch While Getting Hitched

When I was getting married, my husband wanted a cookie cake as his groom’s cake. I tried ordering it advance, but the store told me the soonest I could order it would be two days in advance. So, I went down to order it two days before my wedding. I asked for a cookie cake with a Collegiate block ‘O’ written in Scarlett and grey. The man behind the counter just stared blankly at me as I continued describing it. I even drew it out on a piece of paper. He then said, it might not be him that makes it and he had no idea how to leave the drawing for the next person. I left frustrated and in tears.

I called my maid of honor and started crying. With all the things I had to do for the wedding over the next 48 hours, I was totally stressed over the potential of disappointing my new husband over a groom’s cake. I sobbed. She listened. Then she said calmly, “I don’t want you to worry about this anymore. I will take care of it. Even if I have to bake it myself, it will be there. Enjoy your wedding and don’t worry about this anymore.”

Ensuing Peace

I can’t even begin to describe how I felt. The burden had been lifted and I totally believed with all my heart that she would fix it. I trusted her to make it right. And…I stopped worrying about it. Sure enough, on my wedding day, there was a huge cookie cake, decorated with the block O, sitting there right next to my tiered wedding cake.

I realize this could have ended differently. But my point is the peace I felt knowing it was her problem and not mine anymore. This should be the same peace we feel when we shift our problems over for God to deal with.

I get it. Our problems are often bigger than a wedding cake. We suffer life altering things like divorce, death, chronic illnesses, job loss, and financial woes. I get it – but so does God. Scripture calls him compassionate. He knows what you’re facing and he is compassionate towards you.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tested in every way as we are yet without sin.

Hebrews 4:15

Why We Can’t Find Peace

We can’t see God face to face and that causes us to wrestle with faith. Even the disciples struggled to believe after witnessing miracles of Christ. Remember Peter on the water? When Jesus called him to walk on water with him he started to sink. Why? He started to doubt.

Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?

Matthew 14:31

It is in our very nature to doubt. We’ve got serious trust issues! This is why it is so important to recount the times God has come to your rescue. I keep a prayer journal (war binder) with all my answered prayers. It proves to me that God is listening – or more to the point, that he cares an answers prayers.

Trusting God in Tough Times

Set Your Mind on Higher Things

Too often we tend to dwell on what is wrong, rather than what is right. This is why Paul reminds us in Philippians 4:8 to purposely reset our minds.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.

Philippians 4:8
perfect peace

The Psalmist echoes Paul. He tells us how to trust in one simple sentence – by turning your thoughts often to the Lord. That means when doubt and worry start to creep in, you immediately turn to God for reassurance. His promises in scripture is the reassurance he has left for us. We deliberately need to choose to think of good things instead of our problems. The more you worry, the more your fear will grow.

Gratitude

One thing is certain, after this problem, you will face another. Such is life. There will always be something about which to grumble and complain. Again, focusing on what is good, will make you feel better – and there is always something for which to be grateful. Gratitude grows contentment and joy. Spend time praising God and I promise you’ll feel better. I love reading the Psalms. The Psalmist laments and cries out to God about his troubles, but then immediately praises God for being God. He encourages himself in the Lord, our savior. Magnify God, not your problems.

In every circumstance give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

There won’t always be someone to cheer you up or encourage you. It might be the friend, spouse, or parent, with which you have trouble. You can’t rely on imperfect people to be your “well.” Draw from the well that never runs dry! Learn to encourage yourself in God’s goodness.

Shift Responsibility

You are limited. God is limitless. He is both powerful and mighty. He can take on any mess. Make it his problem to fix. Let him shoulder the burden of working out the kinks. I promise you, you won’t be disappointed. When you know every mystery in the universe and control all circumstances, our problems aren’t a surprise. Wreckage and ruble is easy to clean up when you’re the creator of the entire world.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Matthew 11:28-30

A yoke is a wooden beam fastened to oxen (one older, one younger), to pull heavy weight in pairs. If the young oxen tires, the older one will bear most of the weight. Jesus invites you to share your heavy burden with him. Fasten yourself to him and let him take on the weight of your troubles. To him it is easy and light to bear. Also, the analogy of the yoke does not promise the burden will disappear, rather we are to walk in step with him and he will carry us through.

I will both lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, Lord, make me live in safety.

Psalm 4:8

In Conclusion

If you are struggling with trust, faith, or anxiety or worry, I encourage you to read my other posts:

Thank you for taking the time to read Trusting God in Tough Times, with me. If you are going through a hard time and are burdened with worry I’d like to pray over you.

Lord, thank you for inviting us to share our burden with you. Please help my friend, who is struggling with believing that things will get better. Bless them with the gift of faith and trust. Assuage their anxiety and worry and help them cast their care onto you and you alone. Thank you for always showing us compassion and mercy. Even though we don’t understand why this happening, we give thanks to you and know you are working it out for our good. Amen.

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