Nov 26

A Confident Heart – Week 10

“Trust in the Lord God will ALL your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5

Hey ya’ll…so it’s Stephanie and I’m taking over Melissa’s blog for the week!!! Which I LOVE to do because I LOVE to hang out over here! Even more so after a week like last week when I was reminded of just how nasty life can be.

If you keep up with the Online Bible Studies Facebook page, you know that Melissa has spent the last few days with a friend of ours who has been very ill in the hospital. Being hundreds of miles away in Texas, I have felt helpless as there has been absolutely nothing I can do for that dear friend in the hospital, except pray. Why do I say this, “except pray”, like it is some sort of last resort rather than the best option? If I was there I would sit next to her. If I was there I would bring her coffee and milkshakes and read to her. I would stay with her so that she would not be alone and somehow all of these things seemed better than prayer.

I often question why I have to be so far away from her and other people I care about. I wonder if God doesn’t question the same thing…why am I so far away from Him? The difference is that I couldn’t get to my friend because she lives hundreds of miles away. But God, He is closer than my husband who sits right next to me. He lives inside of me, and yet at times I treat Him like He is somewhere up in the clouds.

How do we get to the point where we begin to treat God as our life breath rather than our final option? How do we learn to follow Him consistently? How do we come to the point where we trust Him with all of our heart and willingly choose to trust Him more than we trust ourselves? When will I get to the point where I don’t want to rescue my friend but rather lay her life in her Father’s hands knowing that is the best place for her to be?

When I think of literally trusting in God with all my heart, I imagine myself in a box surrounded by the walls of trust. There is no way to lean on my own understanding because every wall around is bathed in trusting Him. But some things don’t fit into my box. My friends hurting doesn’t fit into my trust God box because it doesn’t make sense to me. How could a God that loves her allow this to happen? This doesn’t look like love? It looks like hurt and sorrow and pain. I don’t understand. But God does.

What was not thought of, or known by me, is known by God. He knows the “why”, and my job is to trust. Trusting God in this world is like trying to stay dry in the pouring rain…it can only happen under shelter…the shelter of Him…otherwise it is impossible. But when we surround ourselves with Him, and abide in His promises we can see God’s promises beyond the pain. Our circumstances may not make sense, but God’s love is a truth we can trust.

This week as we explore Chapter 10 “I cannot follow God consistently” I hope you will keep two words in mind. The word “walk” and the word “heal”…two words that are essential to our journey with Christ. We must keep walking and He will keep healing…it won’t always be comfortable, but He will not let the pain exceed the purpose.

The week’s assignments are as follows:

Monday: Read Chapter 10…it has been my FAVORITE so far…although I do say this about every Chapter Renee has written!!!
Tuesday: Answer questions 1-2, and stop by Melissa’s blog for a post from me
Wednesday: Answer questions 3-4
Thursday: Answer questions 5-7, and stop by Melissa’s blog for a mystery surprise guest post
Friday: Review the chapter and questions if you would like to, and stop by Melissa’s blog for a vlog
Saturday: Rest!!!

Memory Verse: There are 2 options this week…

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1b

 
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight” Proverbs 3:5-6

 
It would be my honor to pray for you before you leave…
Dear Lord, thank you so much for my sweet, amazing, beautiful, beloved bible study sisters. Each and every day they inspire me and spur me forward to seeking more and more of you. Throughout the week help us to lean harder and harder into you. As we tear down walls made from hurt and shame, help us to build up walls of trust so that we may lean on you in any direction our circumstances take us. Equip us with peace, rest, love, and an understanding of your truth. Remind us that as we seek you more, come to know you more, and allow ourselves to be loved by you…we cannot help but follow you more and more consistently. Thank you for being always amazing. In Jesus Name I Pray, Amen.

Be loved this week dear sister…live loved…because you absolutely totally and perfectly loved by God.

Stephanie Clayton
http://www.stephanieclayton.org

Melissa

Comments

  1. Love this…perfect timing and just what I needed. Can’t believe I haven’t been doing this study with y’all :( I guess its better late than never :) Praying for your friend tonight…xoxo Shelly

    • Shelly, that is the beauty of the online study…you can do it anytime anywhere!!! Also, Renee Swope is offering an online study on her website starting in January….I have to say that this book is one of the best I have ever read…Renee’s writing is so annointed. Love you Shelly!!! Thank you for prayers!!!

  2. Wow Step, you did an awesome job, thank you because I really do feel as though God is so far away from me especially when bad things happen or things I don’t understand. God is with me and in me… I will always remember this.
    Love,
    Olayinka

    • Dear Lord, thank you for my sister Olayinka and her beautiful heart. Please help her to feel your presence n magnify her trust in you so that even when she can’t feel you she can know without a doubt that you are there. Equip her with peace love rest and a feeling of wholeness in you. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

  3. thank you Stephanie. I so needed to hear this, this morning. This week has been somewhat difficult for me. Lots of family dynamics, even through the holidays. It’s funny how you want people to be a certain way, to change, but they’re going to have to want it themselves before that happens. I have to trust that God will help and guide us along the right path. Being on vacation, I kinda slipped from reading my daily Jesus Calling and reflecting back on my studies, so this blog is perfect for me. God never leaves us. You’re right, he is inside of us, always with us. I missed my bible study this week, although I did catch up. Thanks for the words of wisdom. You all are truly God-sent!

    • Holidays can be so hard. Oftentimes we expect things from others that they simply cannot deliver and then we set ourselves up for disappointment. We just have to learn to love them where they are at even though they may be in the wrong…it’s the only way to keep them from robbing our joy…n We don’t want to let anyone steal our joy :) :)

  4. Michelle Stevens says:

    Stephanie,

    Thank you for this post! I really needed this with my sons 3rd birthday coming up as well as Christmas. Also keep me lifted up in prayer I have been having horrible headaches for the last three weeks as well as some of the women in my facebook prayer group.

    God Bless,

    Michelle

    • Dear lord, physical pain can put such a damper on our lives. Thank you that you are the one who can heal all wounds. Please provide some releif to my sisters so they can enjoy the joy that comes with celebrating your birth! In Jesus name, Amen.

  5. Jacqueline Chingawale says:

    Stephanie,

    Your encouragement is timely, one of my friends has just lost her husband and the first thing that comes to my mind, I wish I could be there to offer comfort her but I cannot because she is miles away. I can only pray to God to comfort her during this trying time.

    This morning in church, as I was praying, I heard the Lord say TRUST in me and its amazing how when God speaks, he teaches us how to do what He says. I believe Chapter 10 will teach me just that.

    Be blessed always.

    Jackie.

  6. Stephanie,
    Thank you for these meaningful words… they are reaching deep into the heart of me this morning. Especially this sentence that you shared, “How do we come to the point where we trust Him with all of our heart and willingly choose to trust Him more than we trust ourselves?” I have become so strong willed… it has become so deep in my nature to just keep pushing through, even when it takes all the joy out of my experience. I’m there right now. I’m 3 weeks away from graduation and all I want is to get it done. Get through it and get it over with. Where is the joy in that?

    I am really struggling to give it all to God… to trust Him in this season..I know this is because of past experiences in my life, where I have felt others let me down. What makes it even harder is that in this past year God has really changed my perceptions of some of those experiences, and yet I am still afraid to let go.

    I know He can save me. I know that. But it’s like I’m hanging on the edge of a cliff and if I reach my hand out for Him… I may still fall.. but I’m running out of my own strength and am going to fall anyway. As I am typing this, I realize that it is time to take a deep breath, focus on the love He has for me, and pry my fingers from the ledge, one by one, and reach out. That first memory verse tells me:

    “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1b
    I am His. He will not let me go.

    And that second memory verse:
    “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight” Proverbs 3:5-6
    This assures me that even if I don’t land where I think I ought to… I will still be safe with Him.

    I needed this soo much today. Thank you! I am going to go now and soak in His presence, loosen my grip, and give to Him thanks and praise for all He is doing for each of us through the gift of His word and the encouragement of each other within this study.

    Lord, thank you for this amazing study that brings us together in order to know and understand all that YOU are for us. I pray that You, our loving God, will provide the needs for all those involved in lifting up Stephanie and Melissa’s dear friend and those that surround her in love as they journey through this time together. Lord, I pray that no matter the circumstance that each one of us face today, that we are all are drawn closer to You, blanketed in Your comfort, Your peace and that we find time to dwell in Your Presence. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen!

  7. Anne Maxon says:

    Thank you Steph. thank you to you & Our Lord

  8. Stephanie thank you for the word of encouragemnet. I really need then right now. My marriage is under attack by the enemy and I know if I dont put my trust completly in our amazing Lord, it wont make it through this. It seems like since the ememy cant attack me like he use to ( me believing Im not good enough) and Im getting closer to God, he is doubleing the attacks and ways he attacks. Its time for me to jump off the cliff and into my saviors arms, cause I know he will always catch me.

    My payers are with you< melissa and your friend.

    Love ya all

  9. Carol Bruntlett says:

    Thank you Stephanie for this post I read it the other day but I came back to re-read and comment on it, I have been in a position lately that I have really leaned into God because my unemployment ran out in the beginning of Oct and no job when that ran out so I have really been relying and crying out to God to please provide for me to get a job , been to a few interviews but it seems like I keep. Knocking and getting turned away so Sometimes I am lke Go I am doing hat I am suppose to do but we are running down to bare wires here I need a job like 2 weeks ago , I know He will take care of me and He knows my needs but I feel like I am in the waiting and really that He has me where I can only turn to zhim and trust Him and He gives me little glimmers of hope here and there so I am trusting and I know eventually he will open up the right door for me . Thank you Stephanie you bless us women.
    Carol

    • J Sonia Edwards says:

      Carol, I empathize with you as I am in a similar situation, believing the Lord to provide a job over these paset four months. I join with you in praising Him for his provision and for helping us to wait on Him in praise even when the physical outlook looks gloomy. Let us trust in the Lord with all our hearts even for the financial provisiion that we and many of our sisters need. Amen.

      • Carol Bruntlett says:

        Thanks J Sonia
        We will trust the lord together I have been unemployed for 2 yrs now have never been unemployed that long and I have went thru pretty much all the savings that I have had so now I am living on nothing because I have no income coming in and I am trying my best to keep my faith and hope , so please pray for me as I will you
        Thanks Carol

  10. Linda willadsen says:

    I cannot beleive how much this study has helped me. I felt for the last couple of weeks like I was burnt out. I knew God was there but it was such that I could not do anything. sleeping if I was lucky 4 hours a day. I felt so worn out. then a funny thing happened I read chapter 11 and read chapter 12. This helped me out of the funk I was in. I realized Jesus was carrying me and protecting me from anything harmful. Jesus was there! Then I knew this was another part of being a confident heart. My heart belongs to Jesus and no one else.