May 28

Hidden Joy~Week 1

Here is where our journey begins.  If you do not have your book yet, do not be discouraged. You can easily catch up. We are taking this study at a doable pace.

The assignments given each week (posted on Sundays) are suggestions. You can, of course, alter them to better suit your schedule and need. That’s the beauty of an online study.

I want to acknowledge that I know for many of you this will be the most difficult thing you’ve done. Participating in this study seems risky. Why go there?  Why revisit the painful events of the past?  Let me assure you that author, Wendy Blight, our team at Proverbs 31 Ministries, our conference call guests, and I all know this won’t be easy. But, hear me on this. You deserve the best. You can have a life filled with hope.  You are not supposed to be a victim forever. You can be free.

I used to think when people said they had found Jesus and now their life was soooo awesome and free, that it was simple. Just ask Christ into your life, spend some time  with God, go to church, maybe even get involved in a Bible study to stay on track and the rewards would come.  I found out it wasn’t so easy. I couldn’t just go down a checklist to assure my security in life. So what was missing and why was it so hard?  How come others had their freedom in Christ, but I couldn’t have mine?  I was trying hard. I was being just as good as they were.

What I discovered is exactly what the Bible tells us. Make note that the Bible never says life will be easy. In fact, Jesus tells us just the opposite.

John 16:33-“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

We are clearly told by Jesus, we will have trouble.  But he doesn’t want us to stay there.  In another passage, He says this:

John 14:1-Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.” (believe=trust)

John 14:27- “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Yes, we will have trouble, but our hearts don’t have to stay there. God is the answer. Jesus is the answer.  We have peace through Jesus.  He offers it, but we have to take it. We have to believe it’s true. We have to DECIDE that it’s possible.  It’s a daily choice. We can’t just say, “Oh I decide”  and then skip along our merry way. The hauntings will come back. Nightmares. Triggers of the past. People who remind us. We have to decide that we believe with God it’s possible. Not easy, but possible.

Matthew 19:26- Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Decide to believe that Isaiah 43:18-19 is for you:

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

God is doing a new thing in your life, starting now. Don’t look back with doubt and fear. Look  ahead with hope, believing and deciding this is for you.  You are worth it. You are.

Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” (Isaiah 43:1b)

God is calling you, summoning you by name. I imagine, this is what He’s saying to you.

“_____________(fill in your name here) do not fear. It’s time to let go of fear. You belong to Me. I will keep you safe. I will be your shelter. I have taken care of it. Trust Me and let Me lead you.  Joy, hope and healing are waiting for you, but I need you to commit to Me. I need you to trust Me. I will meet You where you are, but I need you to meet Me too. Are you ready? Let’s go.”

Let’s Go.

(You may want to print the rest of this post. Many hang it on their fridge, place it in their study book or Bible, or keep it at their workspace. It contains the entire first week of assignments.)

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Words of the week:

Fear

Decide

 

Many of us are ruled by fear. It paralyzes us. It keeps us from moving forward. We are scared and afraid. And we have good reason!  Take a deep breath my sweet friend.  Let’s all hold hands in cyber space.  Join together.  Eyes up. Lift them up to the Lord. If our eyes are on Jesus, then they aren’t on our fear. Let’s decide to trust.  Let’s decide to believe.  We can do it. We have God. We have each other. Let’s encourage and pray for one another.  Here we go.

Sunday– Read this post of assignments.  Make sure you have a place to read and study. Have your supplies ready. A few suggestions: pen, highlighters, journal or notebook, Bible, and of course your copy of Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner.  Read back over the verses in this post.  Record at the front of your journal/notebook these verses. Read them often to remind yourself of what God’s Word says. Use these verses to combat any negative or defeating thoughts in your head.

Monday– Read the sections of Hidden Joy, titled “With Gratitude…” and “Our Journey BEGINS.” After reading, record in your journal your thoughts about proceeding through this study. What do you hope to gain through this study?  What are your doubts about going through this study?  Fears?  What is your goal?  Record a prayer for yourself. Write honestly to God. Be real, no masks, no hiding.  If you are willing, share your prayer for yourself on Melissa’s blog today, but if you want to keep it between you and God, that’s totally fine too!  It’s good to pray for yourself. Don’t ever feel selfish about doing that.  In John17, Jesus prays for himself, His disciples, then for future believers.  He begins with Himself. If it’s good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for us!

Tuesday– Read chapter 1 which, honestly, is hard to read.  Wendy tells the story of her rape. She doesn’t hold back, she shares this for what it was. And she shares her doubts and fears. She shares the ugliness and loss of  life as she knows it in her experience.  As you read, use your highlighter to highlight things that stick out in your mind or you may want to return to later.  Write a prayer for your sisters who are also in this study with you.  Share the prayer on Melissa’s blog if you wish. It sure will be encouraging to read all those prayers for each other!

Wednesday– After reading chapter 1 yesterday, we are still left with Wendy hopeless.  Can you relate to that?  Still feeling hopeless?  Well, this is where the study gets good!  Turn to “Reflection and Study” section of your book on p. 177.  Today, complete the questions for chapter 1 on p. 178-179.  Record your answers in your journal.  Read Wendy’s prayer for our journey together on p. 179. Read it aloud. Decide to believe this prayer for you…for all of us.

Thursday and Friday– Catch up days.  Check Melissa’s blog for a new post or maybe a Vlog. (Video blog)

Saturday– This is Melissa’s day of rest.  There will be no post on this day.  She is somewhere having a fun day doing something she enjoys :)  She’s not working today.  Make sure you do this at least once a week too!

If you are on Facebook, make sure to check out my Online Bible Studies Facebook Page.  Here’s the link:   http://www.facebook.com/MelissaTaylorsOnlineBibleStudies

There is information, encouragement, Scripture, and discussion about this study going on 24/7!   Please join us!

Check this blog Sunday, June 5th for the next week’s assignments!

Much Love and Loads of Prayers and Blessings to Each of You <3

Melissa

Comments

  1. I realize I am very late in getting to the first weeks assignment but I am trying to get caught up before Sunday. I didn’t get my book until Tuesday and, unfortunately, have been busy with family things that I really needed to be there for… I have been amazed at some of these posts.

    For some reason, the Lord has really been dealing with me the last few days about healing my broken past instead of just sweeping it under the rug and pretending it didn’t happen. Just a day or two ago, I was listening to another woman speak about how she thought all her struggles with trying to figure out who God was as a Father stemmed from her father never being around. And the tears started… My earthly father was never present in my life. And by never, I mean just that – never. I spent one night with him in 16 years before he died. One night and a dozen conversations does not a relationship make!

    Anyway, I am really hoping for some emotional healing. Things happened to me as a little girl that I have always just ignored. I walked away from God and stayed away for 20 years. During that time, I lived a very sinful life. I have done things that I never thought I would do. I have made terrible decisions that I have had to live with every day of my life. It is time to deal wtih them and put them in the past. I am not expecting it to be easy and am not looking forward to it at all.

    My prayer is this:
    Father, I ask you to be with each woman that is participating in this Bible study. They are all – WE are all – hurting and looking for answers. Be with each one of us. Guide us. Direct us. Show us the way through the tangled web of our past hurts. Heal us, Father. Bring emotional healing to us. We need You, Lord. We need you today, right this very minute. Wrap us in Your loving arms as only You can do. Assure us that, no matter what the circumstances of our lives, no matter what brought us to this point today, You love us. Help each and every one of us to accept that love. In Your name we pray, Amen.”

    Thank you for this study…..

  2. Mary Wingard says:

    So, this weekend I received my book and read the first chapter. So trying to catch up with you all, but wow… what a tough chapter. Honestly, My prayer for this study is to gain more freedom from the pains of my past abuse as a little child. To continue to heal my heart and my mind as well from those hurts and negative things I have held onto for so long. My hope is that God will use my pain, for good… and I know He will! :) I am realizing my hope and faith is growing as I am seeking out the freedom I have in Christ and freedom from my past! Praying for you all!

    Mary

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