God’s Strength, Peace and Power in Middle of Hardship

Winner of give-away will receive- two kitchen hand towels w/ wooden spoons (decoration sewn on by our daughter Hannah, a $15 Panera gift card and a Starbucks VIA Brew 12 pack. I’ll do the drawing Wednesday at 10 AM EST. Check back to see if you won!

If you’re visiting me today because you read the Encouragement for Today devotion…Welcome! I’m so glad you stopped by. You can find the devotion at http://www.proverbs31.org/devotions/hardest-days-god-uses-them-good-2012-12/.

Hardships are never welcome, especially at the holidays. Why can’t we just push pause on all sickness, death, money problems and tragedy at Christmas?  Right?

However, God promises us that when we go through the waters, they won’t overtake us. When we walk through the fire, we won’t be burned (Isaiah 43:2-3). Even when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we will fear no evil, for He is with us and comforts us.

None of us would choose to walk through hardship. I’ll be the first to plead, “Please, not me Lord!” But I can tell you this first hand: When and if you must journey through it, He surely will see you out, and it will not overcome you. Keep your eyes on Him. You must!

I have lived to witness Him heal, deliver, restore and provide supernaturally in and through tragic events.  Many times it is the very circumstances that I didn’t want that God used as a vehicle to do His most miraculous works.

God warned us that bad things would happen to good and bad people. We live in a fallen world. But He, God, is in the business of working all things for the good of those who love Him—even the worst of hardships (read book of Job)

I don’t know what’s going on in your life. But this I know: The eyes of the Lord run to and fro over the whole earth looking for those whose hearts are loyal to Him so that He might show Himself strong on their behalf.

Don’t lose hope or let despair consume your thoughts when terrible things happen. Jesus left the portals of Glory to be born in a lowly manger. He lived His whole life as a living testimony for how we should live. He died and rose again so that we can have access to unimaginable strength, peace, and power in middle of it all.

Let’s pray for the families who lost their loved ones in the school shooting this past week. My heart is broken for them. God’s heart is broken for them.

I wish I could pray for each of you living through hardship right now.  Let’s do this…Would you leave a one word prayer request below, and let’s pray for each other today?

I’m going to do a drawing from all who leave a comment. The winner will get a $15 Panera gift card, a Starbucks VIA Ready Brew 12 pack, two kitchen hand towels and two wooden spoons (stitching on towels done by our daughter Hannah) May Christ bless you!

Last Christmas Dale’s heart stopped the day after our car accident. The next day he was released from the hospital in perfect condition. God healed him! Every day I thank God for his life, it is precious to me. I pray for those who have lost loved ones. To read the whole story go to http://sharonglasgow.com/2012/06/death-brings-life-to-5000-people/

Our friend Chris (blue shirt) had cancer four years ago and lost her job. It was December, she moved in with us . She’s not only cancer free now, she’s healthier than anyone I know and she’s become our family–my sister. She is a writer, a worship leader, an amazing friend. . . and she lives here! How amazing is our God?!!
Four years ago this November our first grandchild, Grace died.  Thanksgiving and Christmas were devastating to say the least that year–with empty arms we wept. I am overcome with gratitude to God that He has blessed us with two more grandchildren since then.  I pray for those still waiting for their Christmas table to be filled with babies and children.http://sharonglasgow.com/2012/11/he-restored-us-after-our-loss/

Enter a one word prayer need in comments below to enter -Winner of give-away receives- two kitchen hand towels w/ wooden spoons (decoration sewn on by our daughter Hannah, a $15 Panera gift card and a Starbucks VIA Brew 12 pack. I’ll do the drawing Wednesday at 10 AM EST. Check back to see if you won!

For more on hardships http://sharonglasgow.com/2012/09/when-hell-seems-to-come-against-you-be-an-overcomer/

He came to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3     and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.

4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. 5 Strangers will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards. 6 And you will be called priests of the Lord, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast.

7 Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.

8 “For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery and wrongdoing. In my faithfulness I will reward my people and make an everlasting covenant with them. 9 Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the Lord has blessed.”

10 I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.” Isaiah 61NIV

Comments

  1. Charlotte Adjepon-Yamoah says:

    Dear Sharon,
    Can we pray for my friend Massarata Dosso who lost her mother yesterday.
    May the Lord be with her this time

    • Yes, Charlotte- we will pray for Massarata Dosso! Blessings!

    • Angela says:

      My b’day is CHRISTmas eve so in the a.m.went to finish packing the car from the prev.nite….and my glass was broken and all the gifts for my family and 2 friends were gone…incl.2 bibles in the 6 bags…..whew! Unemployed and have a masters, not married, so much unloveliness praying for a wonderful godly church family and for the 3 young men(I have a witness)who destroyed to steal…pray for their salvation & repentance!

      • Oh Angela!! How terrible!! I am so very sorry!! Lord, God we ask that you will bring these three young men to repentance and salvation. Lord, bless Angela with provisions, peace, protection and supernatural abundance in Jesus’ Name Amen! I will continue to pray for you Angela!! Love, Sharon

      • Anonymous says:

        Send me your address and I will send you some money to replace some of the
        Things which were stolen. My email address
        Is Linda@lehigh.edu.

        Give me an idea of how much it will
        Take to replace what was stolen.

        Linda from Bethlehem pa

  2. Marie says:

    PEACE

  3. Penny says:

    Providence! Thanks and God bless.

  4. Kristin says:

    Salvation.

  5. Joyce C. says:

    Surgery

  6. Teresa says:

    Health

  7. Donna says:

    spirit

  8. Linda says:

    Remember to take the time to REACH OUT to someone who is going through hard times.
    Not just during Christmas…. Why not make this your New Year’s Resolution. Sometimes New Year’s Resolutions are centered on US…OURSELVES. Why not center your New Year’s Resolution on someone who needs you…this Christmas…in the year 2013! That’s what I’m going to do!

    If there is someone on this list who needs another Christian women to pray for them now…next year…please reply back to me on e-mail.

  9. Sherrie says:

    His

  10. restoration

  11. Amy Kennedy says:

    Perseverance

  12. Teresa says:

    Relationship

  13. wisdom

    Precious friend…I can’t just share one word…this has spoken so deeply to me. You wrote: “I don’t know what’s going on in your life. But this I know: The eyes of the Lord run to and fro over the whole earth looking for those whose hearts are loyal to Him so that He might show Himself strong on their behalf.” Oh Sharon…that has been my prayer over this past week…Lord, show Yourself strong on behalf of our family. He is doing unbelievable things!

    Mom’s broken back and fractured pelvis is healing and hopefully today or tomorrow she will be moved to the rehab floor at the hospital. The Lord has completely surrounded her with Christian people in the hospital…her room-mate’s care-giver who we affectionately already call, “Aunt Bun”; the cleaning lady Maggie; the paramedic Dave; the Salvation Army caroler Louise, etc… Mom’s Dr at the hospital couldn’t be nicer. Not only is she a thorough, caring Dr., she is beyond delightful. In the tragedy of mom’s fall we are seeing so many blessings. Even the original, unexpected, additional diagnosis of ovarian cancer has been miraculously declared gone after more testing. We have seen God’s hand everywhere!

    Then, there’s my dad at home who requires 24/7 care, but again, the Lord is providing. My oldest sister was able to take time away from work, and although she is his primary caregiver at this time, others are volunteering to relieve her for periods of time throughout the day so that I can spend my days at the hospital with mom. Meals are being delivered and God is looking after the details through the “waters”.

    Our biggest concern right now is dad. He needs round the clock care and some decisions need to be made. (Mom and dad have still been in their own home and mom was dad’s caregiver.) We are seeking the Lord’s wisdom in the meetings scheduled this week. Oh, I wish I could share all the ways the Lord has spoken specifically to me concerning dad…Sharon…God is so personal, tender, and caring. I love Him so much!

    Sorry for writing so much, but the Lord’s goodness in the middle of tragedy is so evident. Although I could be in a state of panic with all the “unknowns” ahead, as well as trying to get ready for Christmas, the Lord is my peace. Thank you for reminding me He will continue to give strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow. God is faithful.

    Blessings,
    Joy

  14. Breinny says:

    Hi Sharon! I came to your blog this morning after reading the P31 devotional you wrote. I came, not to be entered into the drawing, but to find out more about the mission of bringing clean water to people as you mention in the story. I thought perhaps I’d find a link or something to the mission, but I can’t seem to find anything. Can you please direct me? Thank you! And thank you for lifting us up during this season — it seems adversity is rampant this Christmas, and remembering that God’s hand is in it all is so important. We can’t have the joy and peace He wants for us without it!

  15. Thank you for blessing us today with your devotion on P31 and here! What a powerful, uplifting message at just the perfect time. I’ve seen God use sadness and trials in my own life for the glory of His kingdom and to turn my eyes upon Him for strength. Our infertility and miscarriages brought me to my knees but to a relationship with Christ I never had. I pray as my ministry grows this year that I’ll be able to provide encouragement for others walking this road.

    And the passing of three parents this year has given me a powerful understanding and heart for those experiencing loss of elderly parents and cancer related illness. My mother’s passing also changed the lives of three Compassion International children forever as friends wanted to continue her legacy of caring for others.

    Thank you again for giving us that start to a new day, a new week with the beautiful reminder that, while we may not understand on this side of heaven, God using everything for His kingdom.

    Merry Christmas, Michelle

  16. allison says:

    direction

  17. I was so moved by your post that I wrote a long response…but it has disappeared! Hello, Monday. I just wanted to thank you for inspiring us on a day when we need to remember God uses everything…in my life it has been infertility and miscarriages, the passing of three parents in a year, cancer, pain…they have all been used for His glory. I pray today we turn our eyes on God, that we can heal, live in peace and hope.

    Thank you for blessing us with your story and a glimpse at your sweet, loving family!
    Michelle

  18. Discouragement.

  19. Emily says:

    Obedience

  20. Please pray for our youngest son to “return” to knowing Jesus once again. Pray for his purity and a righteous life. Thank-you.

  21. Karen Bennett says:

    Every word is true Sharon – God is with us at all times but sometimes chooses to reveal himself in mighty ways, unexpected and overflowing in the midst of hardship or great emotional trials. We do need to keep our eyes on him but also need to remember to let the Body of Christ know when we are going through these hardships. Once out of pride, or some kind of God test we chose to keep our burdens to ourselves and a very dear friend found out. She gently let our church body know our needs and we were showered with blessings and gifts and monetary needs were fulfilled by our local church. Through that event God showed me that we need to swallow pride and be transparent at times so that others have the opportunity to let God use them. There are times when we can draw closer to God and in the eye of the hurricane, he will hold us and sometimes he will reveal his power and love in unexpected ways. I do enjoy your blog and anticipate how God will reveal himself through you!

  22. Salvation

  23. Healing

  24. Aiden

  25. Charlotte Askew says:

    Please pray for provisions for myself and my husband for the next 5 months when we will go back to work for 5 months. We are seniors, live on a very small social security and haven’t been able to find a job to sustain us for this period. During this time of having no job, God impressed my call to ministry, acutally for 7 months he has been impressing this upon me. I now go to a nursing home, (that he led me to), and play games; read to or just sit and hold hands and talk to some of the residents. So many in this nursing home have no family or friends. I crochet so I make them small prizes.

    I could just use one word……provisions

  26. Health

  27. Janice says:

    Forgiveness…….

  28. Mary M says:

    Wisdom

  29. Our children

  30. Jackie says:

    compassion

  31. Melissa Barnes says:

    My marriage and our world. We must bring all to God.

  32. Tammy Anderson says:

    Perspective…

    Your encouraging words this morning have reminded me to “fix my eyes on Jesus” this holiday season. Thank you, Sharon.

  33. Stephanie says:

    praying for those who find themselves in unexpected financial difficulties this season.

  34. Strength, and health

  35. Grace

  36. Comforter…

  37. Mary Lou says:

    Peace.

    But I have to share a story and give God praise for a miracle He performed in my daughter’s life Saturday night. Rachel has had her license for only about 6 weeks, and she was involved in a rather minor accident. No one was injured, praise God! The firefighters and medics who arrived on the scene were wonderful. They spoke to her as if she were their own scared 16 year old daughter. Another lady involved in the accident was quick to tell me and the police officer that my daughter was not at fault in any way. She used her signal light. There was some conversation at the scene about a tour bus that came up on the accident, but it wasn’t until the next day that I realized what a miracle God had truly performed. A friend’s husband was following the tour bus as it came upon the accident scene. He knew the bus couldn’t stop and braced himself for a tragedy. He just knew something terrible was about to happen. That tour bus drove across the uneven, grassy median; traveled southbound in the northbound lanes for a short distance; and then crossed back over the grassy median. If that tour bus driver hadn’t taken evasive action, he would have slammed into 3 vehicles, possibly as the drivers, including my precious daughter, were exiting their vehicles. If there had been oncoming traffic in those northbound lanes, the tour bus driver would not have been able to take that evasive action. And I still marvel that a top-heavy bus crossed an uneven median twice at a fairly high rate of speed without turning over. It had to be the protective hand of my God! And with tears in my eyes and thanksgiving in my heart, I’m typing these words to give Him all the honor and the glory and the praise for what He did on that stretch of Route 13 on Saturday night.

  38. Heaven

  39. Linda U says:

    Your post today is a beautiful reminder of how our amazing and loving God and father works out ALL things ultimately for our good and His glory! In the face of many challenges, 3 children, and spouse away from The Lord, elderly parents who are not doing well, and a host of other challenges it is good to be reminded……..thank you.

  40. Angela S says:

    It’s such an encouragement to hear testimonies of how God has used hard things to work out good in the lives of people on this earth. We can also remember the testimonies of those in the Bible, like Daniel in the lion’s den. God was glorified through the hard and scary circumstances at that time in Daniel’s life. Also, Joseph is a wonderful example of how God can work beyond the sinfulness of men to establish His providential purposes. Joseph told his brothers, “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.” God works on a totally different plane than what we can understand. We don’t think the same way He does. Isaiah 55:9 says, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Sometimes is easy to get bogged down with discouraging thoughts such as, “God why are you letting this happen to me?” and, “Why did you lead me down this path only to be hurt the way I am?” But God promises that He’s working out everything for good (Romans 8:28). That may mean that we lose something, or that we have to change our plans, but ultimately, we are not missing out on ANY of God’s blessings! I love the third verse of Be Still My Soul. It says:

    Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
    And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
    Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
    Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
    Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
    From His own fullness all He takes away.

    Anything that may seem like a void in my life, can be filled completely with Jesus Christ himself. He is my rock. He will never fail me. He will never leave me alone. He will always listen to me when I cry out.

    I was in a serious relationship for about a year. Everything seemed to be going well. We were doing our best to live out our relationship in submission to God – with Him at the center. We loved each other very much, and it seemed as if it was the perfect match. We were planning on getting married. But then, for reasons I don’t understand, his parents decided that they would no longer give their blessing on our relationship. We had to break it off.

    Through all of this hardship, God has not left me. He has provided all the comfort I need. There have been moments when I felt like I could NOT go on. But God ALWAYS supplied the grace I needed. He has always taken care of me, and He always will! I can see now that if this had not have happened, I would never have drawn to God as much as I have now. I was not depending on Him the way He wants me to. I now know that I need Him like air. And whatever He wants for my life, that’s what I want, and that’s what is best. It’s so wonderful to be able to rest in the arms of God. He is faithful and trustworthy.

  41. Holly says:

    Healing Been a rough year 4 family members died (all in 80s & 90s but hard to lose them all at once – though know will see them all again) & 2 friends (cancer). However 2 others are in remmision from cancer! Physical healing as well (2 1/2 years of bilateral hip pain still undiagnosed).

    Thanks so much for your devotion & post. They were just what I needed today!

  42. PEACE & HOPE! Thanks for the encouraging words, All our souls are trying to find encouragement. THANKS!!!

  43. Cindy H says:

    Wisdom
    Refreshment
    Calm

    Sorry, I couldn’t stop with just one :)

  44. Ronnie says:

    Assurance

    I teach and some of the children needed to hear that they were safe. ( middle school )

  45. Denise says:

    Healing and Restoration

  46. Cure

    (for my 2 year old, whose body is failing him, due to duchenne muscular dystrophy)

  47. Susan K says:

    Priorities

  48. Karen Simpson says:

    Love

  49. Tammy Beyer says:

    finances and family

  50. 1 Corinthians 13:8 says:

    My twin sister Jeanine

  51. I loved this post.. well anything you post sharon! And you :-)
    My word.. provision!

    and I have to say Glory for all the miracles God has done this year
    love you

  52. Diane Fetter says:

    The families that lost loved ones on Friday in the school shooting.

  53. Robin says:

    Pray for my job. It just feels like the devil is trying to hurt my worksite and the fabulous men and women with whom I work. Pray for my mom (Freda) in the nursing home, that she can find peace and contentment in her present situation. Thanks so much!!

  54. jane wilson says:

    Newtown, Connecticut!!!

  55. Kathy says:

    Provision

  56. Peggy Clement says:

    Parenting

  57. Baby

  58. Peace.

  59. Anne Lewis says:

    Please pray for a friend, Rita Goodson, who was in a motorcycle accident over 3 months ago and suffered brain damage. She came out of the coma 6 weeks ago but is not talking and not very responsive. Pray for God to heal her. She was a vivacious and caring middle school teacher.

    • I have a dear friend who was in a terrible accident this past July. She had brain injury as well and was in a comma for a long time. She just got out of hospital Oct 31. She still needs prayer. She is just beginning to say words and is doing more and more things every day. I’ll pray for Rita. God can heal!
      Love, Sharon

  60. Lori Price says:

    Restorstion

  61. Karen G. says:

    Let’s pray for revival. As we watch the events unfold in CT. our hearts are broken, our world is dark, sensational, cold. Let us pray for our children and that they might turn their hearts to the One who will ALWAYS be there for them. Not their social media, violent video games, unhealthy websites but to being outside to enjoy God’s beautiful creation, reading, putting a puzzle together. Let us pray for many mentors who will model Christian character. Let’s just pray!
    Blessings and Merry Christmas

  62. Joy!
    I read Encouragement for Today and your blog, Sharon, and was blessed by the reminder that we are strengthened through Jesus, our Savior. That through all that has happened, God does not forsake us and that brings us Joy! And that through prayer we can be healed. Bless you and yours this Christmas.

  63. Bobbie says:

    Thank you so much for directing me here!

    Mine is:
    FOCUS

  64. Mercy

  65. Emma Gilham says:

    Please pray for my marraige. I have experienced Gods presence with me. I have never evr before sensed peace, strength and contentment in a decision that I had made. Had no doubts that I would be okay.
    I moved out for a week to get clarity of what I should do. While living at my friends home. I felt a sense of peace that I have never experienced before.
    I felt complete like I did not need the material things of the world. That all I need to do was perform the work that God put me here to do.
    So many doors opened for me that week. My appointments etc flowed smoothly.
    The world seemed so bright and renewed.
    I was living in a dark world before this. A marraige that is very lonely and empty.
    I am back home now and I see things a whole lot differently.
    Pray for my two daughters and my marraige.

    • Lori Price says:

      Dear Emma, May God richly bless you and your marriage. I understand do much of what you are saying dear sister because my husband and I have been separated 6 yrs in May. At first all I wanted was a divorce and I couldn’t get it fast enough, but evidently God had other plans for me. I was a Christian who did not have a deep, abiding relationship with her Savior. But God was at work in my life even when I was totally unaware. Praise God !! He rescued me from my pit and started healing my broken places and I praise Him! I. held off on the divorce and have been seeking restoration for my marriage ever since even though my husband has had other women in his life this whole time. I’m not sure how my story ends but I have a relationship with my Lord that I might have missed otherwise so I look at it as a great gift. Let Jesus heal all your brokenness and give Him all the Glory and you will be in Good Hands. Nail-scarred hands! Blessings to you and your family. Love , Lori

    • Lord God give Emma Your wisdom, strength and ability to do what you lead her to do. Bless her, continue to give her peace and joy and assurance of her future. Bless her daughters, protect them and draw them to You Jesus. Thank You! In Jesus’ name amen! Love, Sharon

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