And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
I find that certain words generate different emotions in me. For example, the word “mountains” brings feelings of peacefulness while the word “crowds” makes me feel stressed. These are both based on experiences. With this being said, I was reading a daily devotional that had the word “adversity” in the title. I admit to you that I could feel my guard going up. My mind was beginning to form questions for God about my near future. I can’t say that I’m fond of the word ‘adversity,’ because I am not!
I do appreciate that a devotional shares what God is teaching the author, and I can learn much from it, too. But I believe that God wants to speak to each of us through His Word daily. And with my reaction to the title... not to mention the entire devotion, I quickly realized that I needed to hear a fresh word from the Lord to help my thoughts line up with His will for me.
We know that we are going to face adversity in this life. 1 Peter 4:12a reminds us, “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you.”
Today, are you struggling in your marriage? Are their difficult relationships in your life that overwhelm your thoughts? Are you wondering how the bills are going to be paid? Is your character being questioned? Are you being verbally attacked for your faith, or do you find some people choosing to keep you at a distance due to your firm stance on the Bible?
The apostle Paul helps us navigate these times of adversity... as he experienced more difficulties than most of us. He shares in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”
Paul goes on to say in 2 Corinthians 4:11, “For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.”
Later in the passage Paul described our mortal bodies as jars of clay. According to 2 Timothy 2:20, clay was used for common purposes. God desires to fill us with Himself, putting divine treasure in jars of clay. Why? As stated in 2 Corinthians 4:7, “to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”
To be clear, Paul is saying that because of the power of God at work in his fragile body, he is: hard pressed but NOT crushed, perplexed but NOT in despair, persecuted but NOT abandoned, and struck down but NOT destroyed.
Paul is testifying of God’s love and faithfulness.
May the meditation of our hearts be Philippians 4:19, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”
And may the prayer of our hearts be that we can look at adversity as an opportunity to allow the life of Jesus to manifest itself in each of us.
"No matter how difficult something may be, I must say, 'Lord, I am delighted to obey You in this.'" -Oswald Chambers
Weekly Memory Verse
My precious husband, Bill, and I have been planted in Fort Myers, Florida for almost 35 years. As a newly married couple, God most graciously had placed people in both of our jobs to share Christ with us. Its hard to believe it has been almost 34 years since we asked Jesus into our hearts! Bill and I have been blessed with four children, 3 daughters, then a son. These blessings came quickly, all within 6 years!! During these years I'm so thankful I was able to be part of women's ministry classes at our church, helping me to grow in my walk with Him. Then came the day when I was asked that question that stretched me way outside of my comfort zone...will you teach a class? Its hard to believe that I have now been teaching more than 20 years. Bill and I love to travel, most of the time going to visit our 9 grandchildren, oh ya, and their parents! I also love reading, walking and hanging out with some very special young moms in Beloved that bless my socks off!
Julie is a Kansas girl who resides in sunny Southwest Florida. She's been married to her husband Sean for 23 years and they share two boys ages 21 & 17. She enjoys baking and biking, but her absolute favorite thing is snow skiing which is a little difficult to do in a sandy 80 degree land.
She became a follower of Christ at age 10. She loves studying and teaching God's Word. She has a passion for encouraging moms to love and follow Jesus.
Beth grew up in a loving home; however, in her early 20s she faced a very lonely time. During that time, she cried out to God and asked “If You are real, please show yourself to me!” God met her where she was and she trusted in the Lord Jesus at that time. Her life verse and desire is “no matter what happens, to conduct herself in a manner worthy of the gospel.” Philippians 1:27
Beth now resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband Larry. The Lord has blessed them by blending their family of five children. They currently have eight grandchildren and are hoping that there will be more grandchildren in the future.
Donna accepted Jesus as her Savior at the age of nine and has been amazed at God’s goodness and faithfulness throughout her life. She has been blessed to have had many mentors through each season of life, who have shown her what trusting God looks like. Donna and her husband, Bryan, make their home in central Arkansas. They have five grown children and are grandparents to wonderful grandchildren. Donna enjoys spending time with her family, laughing with friends (usually over coffee), going for long walks with her husband, and reading a good book (which may also be accompanied by a cup of coffee).
Sarah is a true Florida Cracker. She was born and raised in Southwest Florida. At the age of 6, Sarah accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior, and she hasn't looked back since. Hebrews 13:8 is one of her favorite verses, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Eating delicious desserts, spending time with her family and friends, and teaching people about Jesus are a few of the things she enjoys to do in her spare time.
Sarah has been married to her best friend and husband, Brandon, for 7 years. They have been blessed with one beautiful, determined son, Asher, who keeps them on their toes. Sarah and her family live in the Tampa area. They love exploring their community together, family hugs, and eating pizza whenever possible.
Katie Flint just recently moved back home to Fort Myers, Florida with her husband, Ryan and two children, Collins and Madden. At the age of 5, Katie accepted Jesus Christ to be the Lord and Savior of her life, after attending Vacation Bible School. Through each phase of her life, God has shown her that He alone is trustworthy. The verse that has been her life source is Psalm 46:10- “Be still and know that I am God.”
She is a stay-at-home mom and enjoys exercising and baking. She has been married to her husband Ryan for almost 9 years, who is her high school sweetheart. They enjoy trying new restaurants, family trips to the beach, and relaxing at home.
Marsha grew up in a small rural town in upstate New York. In 2006, after finishing college, she moved to sunny SW Florida where she met her, now husband, Shawn. Together they enjoy spending family time with their two fun-loving toddler boys Zachariah and Kairos.
Marsha enjoys living an active lifestyle, which is helpful, considering that her favorite hobby is baking.
Though she attended church as a child, Marsha was not saved until adulthood when her eyes were finally opened to the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.
Since being saved, God has placed a loving burden on her heart to share the truth about God’s healing grace with those who may feel like forgiveness is not possible for them.