Tag Archives: virtues

Striving for a Virtuous Life

4 Dec

With this series coming to a close this month, it’s made me look back on all the topics we’ve covered and contemplate how I have grown in each of them. I have not done near as well as I had intended but any growth is GOOD forward movement that I will be proud of. Here is a quick run-down of how I feel I did on each one of them:

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(if you want to read the original posts, each title links up to them!)

Authenticity – to a degree, I have tried to be more ME. To not pull up the mask to hide the pain – physical or emotional. This might seem silly, but even going somewhere/letting others come over without me having makeup on (or even attempting something other than re-ponytailing (is that a word?) my crazy hair is a part of being ME more.

Hospitality – I love it when people come over. but i will admit to getting super nervous when it comes to the actual hosting duties. My OH enjoys hosting so I let him take over typically. But i’ve been trying to get over the jitters!

Hope – not so well –I have been very up and down this year. My down times have gone hand in hand with the severity of my physical pain. This year plus has been the most difficult in the way of emotions out of the past decade of chronic pain.

Faithfulness– Uhhhmm, I suppose the answer is the same as above.The bedrock of my faith is still strong and secure, but there have been more moments of questioning details of faith as I’m slowly transitioning to the Messianic Jewish life.

Wholesome Speech – I feel like I’ve grown in this when speaking to others, but have for sure gone backwards when talking to myself.

Listening– Yes and no….. I am trying to listen more to what isn’t said sometimes than I used to. As well as asking more questions to find out where people really are.

Expectations – sitting here thinking about it, I suppose my struggles in hope and faithfulness spread a bit to here as well. My longing to be healed by now has periodically made it difficult to see the blessings He has given to me.

Protection – I needed this reminder this morning! He is my Protector!

Modesty – this has been something I haven’t struggled with too much in years. the struggle tends to be more of ‘this dress/top is so cute but i’m tired of having to layer everything in my closet!’ than anything else.

Thank you for coming along with me on this series, I hope that you have learned and grown from it. I know that I want to do another series next year but I don’t have any idea what it will cover yet! Or even whether it’ll be faith-based. If you have any ideas, do share!

Blessings,

Laura

Striving for a Virtuous Life – Protection

8 Oct

Welcome readers!

Several weeks ago I asked a friend what one word she would use to describe the guy in her life. After a fun discussion, I started thinking of my own answer to that. How would I describe my OH? I really think this question could be answered, quite honestly, several different ways. Depending on the season of life, or perhaps even the type of day we’ve had. But, in this season of our lives, my one word would be this: Protector. He shields me as much as he can from people’s harsh words or actions. Takes care of me when my body is battering me black and blue. Encourages me emotionally when I am hurt/frustrated/can’t take the pain anymore, etc. Thinking of how he has taken on this role for me got me to thinking of how my Heavenly Father does the same thing, on a higher scale of course! He knows me better than my OH ever will, better than I ever will as well. He knows what I need to be protected from and what I need to go through in order to grow.

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What better protectors can a girl have? One in heaven and one here on earth.

If you would like, feel free to check out the other studies – Virtue , Hope , faithfulness, hospitality, authenticity and wholesome speechexpectations and listening. There is no specific order for this study! A few ‘boring’ things before we get started – I will get all my meanings from dictionary.reference.com unless otherwise stated. For my verses, I will be using my Complete Jewish Bible, unless otherwise stated.

Protect :

  • to defend or guard from attack, invasion, loss, annoyance, insult, etc…
  • cover or shield from injury or danger
  • to provide

synonyms: screen, shelter, defend. (support, maintain)

The 1st verse shows what love is:

1 Cor. 13:4-7,13 ” Love is patient and kind, not jealous, not boastful, not proud, rude or selfish, not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not gloat over other people’s sins but takes its delight in the truth.  Love always bears up, always trusts, always hopes, always endures.But for now, three things last trust, hope, love; and the greatest of these is love.”

The rest of the verses are showing how God protects us : what words stand out to you of how He protects us in each verse?

Rom. 8:28 -“Furthermore, we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called in accordance with his purpose”

~everything works for His good. Even if we can’t see it!

Ps. 138:7 -“You keep me alive when surrounded by danger; you put out your hand when my enemies rage; with your right hand you save me.”

~keep alive, save, fulfill promises, right hand* , preserve, delivers

Ps. 91:1-4 -“You who live in the shelter of ‘Elyon, who spend your nights in the shadow of Shaddai,  who say to ADONAI, “My refuge! My fortress! My God, in whom I trust!”  he will rescue you from the trap of the hunter and from the plague of calamities;  he will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his truth is a shield and protection.”

~rescue, refuge, shield and protection, fortress

Ps. 121 -“If I raise my eyes to the hills, from where will my help come?  My help comes from ADONAI, the maker of heaven and earth.  He will not let your foot slip -your guardian is not asleep.  No, the guardian of Isra’el never slumbers or sleeps. ADONAI is your guardian; at your right hand ADONAI provides you with shade  the sun can’t strike you during the day or even the moon at night.  ADONAI will guard you against all harm; he will guard your life.  ADONAI will guard your coming and going from now on and forever.”

~help, guardian, provider, shade/shadow, right hand* , preserve

2 Cor 4:8-9 -“We have all kinds of troubles, but we are not crushed; we are perplexed, yet not in despair;  persecuted, yet not abandoned; knocked down, yet not destroyed.”

~protection through everything,

Here is a quote from T.D. Jakes  :”That thing that is not coming to you may seem good. But either the timing is wrong, or from His position He can see that the future of it is bleak. I have always believed that people who thank God only for delivering them from what happened are just scraping the surface of praise. The real praise comes when you start thanking Him for what could have happened but didn’t because of His swift grace!”

Obviously, knowing God’s protection of us can help us  through our hard times – that we are not alone and that eventually, the trial will end. And even when we are in the trial, we are to praise Him. But, as we are all too human, even having this knowledge does not mean that we will not doubt His plan. Just this week, when I had to leave an event early because of a vicious migraine that had me crying all the way home, I cried out to God that in that moment, my faith was so weak. What’s important is to move on from that moment, continue talking with Him and studying His word.

*right hand = Jesus Christ sits at the right hand of God, making intercession for us ; messiah, equal portion, honor, power,

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Do you have a time in your life that you know for a fact it was His protection that got you through? I’d love to hear about it!

I hope you have enjoyed this study with me and as I said above, do check out the other studies in this series – Virtue , Hope , faithfulness, hospitality, authenticity and wholesome speechexpectations and listening.

Striving for a Virtuous Life – Listening

9 Sep

I have been thinking and praying over the topic for this month’s Virtue series. A few days ago, a word stuck in my mind – Listening. As a society we don’t listen anymore – not an active listening that shows respect, interest and value in what the other person is saying. That fact has been touted for years, so i’m sure that it doesn’t surprise you , but have you (we) done anything to improve our own habit of not-really-paying-attention? Now, I don’t know if you thought this when you read that but I pictured cell phones. Don’t worry, I’m not going to go on a tangent about how we need to turn our phones off and pay attention to our lives – we really do need to though – for that is just another aspect that has helped us in this downward spiral that people as a whole have been on for generations.

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Just last night I was telling my OH how I have some relatives who, when sitting down to dinner, they wait until all are ready and then begin and no one leaves the table until everyone has finished. Being the slowest eater at almost every table, I appreciate this small courtesy.

What does that have to do with listening? Well, I linked it in this way – being willing to wait until everyone is done at the table before leaving shows respect to each one there. In the same way, actively listening to those around you shows the same respect, but perhaps in a higher way.

How many arguments/disagreements have you had because one of you didn’t truly listen to what the other said? Sometimes it is because our own way of thinking got in the way, “they said this so they must have meant this.” and so  begins the hurt and frustration and lashing out. When they were actually trying to give a compliment, ask gently for something or so on. Our past experiences, even going so far as to our childhood, affect how we hear. Do you have trigger words? I once sat down with my OH and wrote down the words that instantly cause our stress levels to shoot up – I had a decent sized list sad to say, while he had only one. Which, in some ways, is worse I believe, depending on the word. But it can be just a simple choice of words that can make me irrationally mad. But by knowing those trigger words, I am able to recognize them and mentally take a step back – often avoiding an argument. I highly recommend anyone doing this quick process – it helps you know yourself better and inproves your listening skills.

If you would like, feel free to check out the other studies – Virtue , Hope , faithfulness, hospitality, authenticity and wholesome speech and expectations. There is no specific order for this study! A few ‘boring’ things before we get started – I will get all my meanings from dictionary.reference.com unless otherwise stated. For my verses, I will be using my Complete Jewish Bible, unless otherwise stated.

Listening:

  •  to give attention with the ear; attend closely for the purpose of hearing; give ear.
  • to pay attention; heed; obey (often followed by to)
  • to wait attentively for a sound (usually followed by for)

to God:

James 1:22 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”

Matt 7:24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”

Prov 16:20 “Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is he who trusts in the LORD.”

Deut 13:4 “It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.”

Each one of these verses speaks on doing, not just hearing His word. Now, this being a study on listening, how does this apply? LISTEN to His word in the way that it reaches your heart and mind, not just your ears. Hear His commands so deeply that they turn to actions. If we do this, we will be blessed – not in the way of the world, but in God’s way. We will grow in His wisdom.

Luke 12:3 “What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.”

This goes hand in hand with a quote I recently ran across, and promptly wrote on a sticky note , “2 things to remember in life: Take care of your thoughts when you’re alone   and Your words when you’re with people.”

To others:

Prov 18:13 “He who answers before listening– that is his folly and his shame.”

Prov 18:2 ” A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.”

Prov 10:19 “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.”

If we are actively listening, it is rather difficult to be talk,talk, talking. The first verse convicts me a little for I know how guilty I am of this, even if it is only inwardly where I stop listening in order to get my answer ready. And how often I realize too late that my answer no longer fits with what they were saying! Exactly what the verse says is what happens – shame, embarrassment. If we learn to listen all the way through what the person says, we will understand them better and will gain wisdom over time.

Titus 3:2 “to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.”

James 1:26 “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.”

By keeping our mouth closed, and our ears open, we show that our faith is true. We show respect for others and humility. If we do not – the opposite is true.

Prov 17:27 ” A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.”

James 1:19 ” My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,”

The Proverbs verse reminds me of a character in one of the novels I recently read – he was known as a man of God, a man of wisdom. He knew God’s word, he knew to wait on the Lord for what to say. Even knowing he was not real, I longed to talk with him. Don’t laugh! I longed to be close to someone so in tune with the Lord and His word. The verse in James is often quoted for a reason – if we followed these instructions more closely, our relationship with the Lord, and with those around us,would be much deeper  – and our example as believers would be so much more impactful.

A pretty printable for you:

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Active Listening is a trait I want to cultivate in my life continually and  I pray that it is something everyone strives for,

Laura

I hope you have enjoyed this study with me and as I said above, do check out the other studies in this series – Virtue , Hope , faithfulness, hospitality, authenticity and wholesome speech and expectations.

Striving for a Virtuous Life – Hospitality

6 Apr

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While looking up verses for this month’s installment, I was surprised at how many there were! Makes you figure, if it is mentioned so many times all throughout the Bible, it must be something important that we should be focusing on! To open our home to guests and strangers -all with the same manner – open, gracious, friendly. By sharing what we have – which is all a blessing from God – we please Him and bless others!

It is so very easy to let the daily things of life get in the way of sharing our home, sharing our Lord with others but I really want to focus on it more now that we have a home just made for entertaining in! Yes, we did it in our last home but being as small (and lacking a dining table!) as it was,  it was a bit tight! We have already had more guests here in the last 5 months than I would have thought and I love it!

Before my OH and I even got married, we discussed how we wanted to have a welcoming home. One where people felt comfortable coming to for fun, or as a place to escape the trials of life for a while. I feel like we are off to a good start on this.

If you would like, feel free to check out the other studies – Virtue , Hope   and faithfulness. There is no specific order for this study! A few ‘boring’ things before we get started – I will get all my meanings from dictionary.reference.com unless otherwise stated. For my verses, I will be using my Complete Jewish Bible, unless otherwise stated.

Hospitality –

  • The friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers
  • The quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, gracious way

synonyms – warmth, cordiality, geniality, friendliness

Prov 31: 20 “She reaches out to embrace the poor and opens her arms to the needy”

I always picture a loving, smiling woman stretching out her arms, and embracing the hurting one with tenderness and strength.

Rom. 12:13 “Share what you have with God’s people, and practice hospitality.”

1 Pet. 4:9-11 ” Welcome one another into your homes without grumbling. As each one has received some spiritual gift, he should use it to serve others, like good managers of God’s many-sided grace – . . . if someone serves, let him do so out of strength that God supplies; so that in everything God may be glorified through Yeshua the Messiah – to Him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen.”

the words that stand out to me are ‘ without grumbling’. ‘out of strength’ and ‘God may be glorified’.  I tend to forget that welcoming people in to my home to rest, eat and talk with , is a unique way to glorify God! It is a way to show His unending, unconditional love for all of us.

Lev. 19:34 ” Rather, treat the foreigner staying with you like the native-born among you – you are to love him as yourself, for you were foreigners in the land of Egypt; I am Adonai your God.”

Matt. 25:40 ” The King will say to them, “Yes! I tell you that whenever you did these things for one of the least important of these brothers of mine, you did them for me!”

Col. 3:23-24 “Whatever work you do, put yourself into it, as those who are serving not merely other people, but the Lord. Remember that as your reward, you will receive the inheritance from the Lord. You are slaving for the Lord, for the Messiah.”

Heb. 13:2 ” but don’t forget to be friendly to outsiders; for in so doing, some people, without knowing it, have entertained angels.”

A few examples of hospitality:

Gen 24:31 “Come on in!’ he said’ you whom Adonai has blessed! Why are you standing outside when I have made room in the house and prepared a place for the camels?”

I just love that not only did Lavan make room for Abraham’s servant, he made sure that his camels would be taken care of as well.

Acts 16:34 ” After that, he brought them up to his house and set food in front of them; and he and his entire household celebrated their having come to trust in God”

Job 31:32 ” No stranger had to sleep in the street; I kept my house open to the traveler.”

and here are a few more if you’d like to look them up!!

1 Tim.5:10

Titus 1:8

3 John 1: 5-8

I am reading the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery right now and how they term it is ‘having your latch-key out’ for so and so. Honestly, doing a google search doesn’t really help explain exactly what a latch key is, but i take it to mean that, for that person, the door to your home is never locked. If only we could have that philosophy these days, within reason of course, we are also to be smart in who we allow into our homes and lives.

And, as always, here are a few printables for you to put up about your house! (one for fancy printers, one for basic – like ours! )

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What are ways that you show hospitality? Is it something you feel is a strength in your own life? 

~Laura

Striving for a Virtuous Life – Faithfulness

10 Mar

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I do hope you all are enjoying this study on growing wholesome virtues in our lives. What with all the things that we all wrote down at the beginning of the year – ‘lose weight. learn ____. read more. spend less. go back to college.’ whatever they were, I hope that growing in our faith at least made it in our mental list of dreams for this year. I want to be a woman of God in every role I have: a wife that treats her husband as God has called her to – with respect, submission and love – a friend that is compassionate and speaks truth into others’ lives, a sister that is there for her siblings whether it be a listening ear or encouragement that is needed, and a daughter that can now minister to her parents in love, respect and honor for all they have done for her. Looking back at February, I was able to note that I had ended the month much more hopeful than I had started it. The beginning of the month marked a time that I was really struggling mentally with this chronic illness that has stunted my life so much – and yet, is it not still a full life? I look around me at the people in my life and know that, despite not being able to accomplish all I would like to, I am a very blessed woman. And with that realization, came the reminder that He does indeed love me and want what is best for me. This pain that is slowly devastating my body does not diminish that in the slightest. By thinking these things, and a lot of daily prayer, I ended February with a great deal more hope in my heart than at the beginning.

If you would like, feel free to check out the first two studies – Virtue and Hope – and then check back in here! This month’s study will be a little different, because I want to focus on what faithfulness in our lives looks like and God’s faithfulness to us. A few ‘boring’ things before we get started – I will get all my meanings from dictionary.reference.com unless otherwise stated. For my verses, I will be using my Complete Jewish Bible, unless otherwise stated.

So please, grab your Bible and join me!

Faithful :

  • strict or thorough in the face of duty
  • true to one’s word, promises, vows, etc
  • steady in allegiance or affection; loyal; constant
  • reliable, trusted or believed
  • adhering or true to a fact, a standard or an original; accurate
  • full of faith, believing

Synonyms : ” True. Devoted. Staunch. Faithful, constant, loyal imply qualities of stability, devotion and dependability. Faithful implies long-continued and steadfast devotion to whatever one is bound to by pledge, duty or obligation. Constant suggests firmness and steadfastness in attachment. Loyal implies unswerving allegiance.”

1 Samuel 12:24 “Only fear Adonai and serve Him faithfully with all your heart; for think what great things He has done for you!” 

First, I want to clear up the word ‘fear‘ in this verse. It is not to be taken in the ‘scared’ sense of the word, but rather in the ‘reverential awe’ sense. So to re-word it ‘ Be in reverent awe of Adonai ‘ – for me, that makes what the writer is saying come alive more. Don’t be complacent toward Him, be in AWE of Him. Serve Him faithfully.  Serve Him loyally, constantly, steadily. Not as one willy-nilly, but as one who is full of faith in Adonai.

Prov. 3:3,5 ” Do not let grace and truth leave you – bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart… Trust Adonai with all your heart; do not rely on your own understanding.”

What I get from this verse is to be intentional about keeping grace and truth in your life. Don’t ‘hope’ that they stay- for if you do that, they certainly won’t. What is around your neck cannot go far from you, and what you have written on your heart will stay as well – be sure that what God has spoken to you through His word will always be with you.

Heb. 10:23 “Let us continue holding fast to the hope we acknowledge, without wavering;  for the One who made the promise is trustworthy.”

Continue holding fast = faithfulness. Without wavering = Steady-constant-loyal. And what reason are we given for remaining faithful? Because our God, Adonai, is trustworthy. Want to know what the meaning of trustworthy is? Deserving of trust or confidence; dependable; reliable. Now, seeing some repetition to the meaning of faithful, I’d say trustworthy is close to saying the same thing as ‘He is faithful’. Knowing that someone is faithful to what he has promised, makes it a whole lot easier to carry out your part of the bargain, doesn’t it? Now, this is my example for this: you have plans to meet a friend for coffee say. But you’re tired, you’ve had a bad week and all you want to do is curl up on the couch and watch Pride and Prejudice. If your friend is one that you know will show up at the coffee shop when you planned, it is a lot easier to tell the couch to wait a few hours and go,  than it is if the friend is one that tends to not remember when you’ve made plans, or shows up an hour late. We all have at least one of those friends, so I’m sure you can relate to this example. Isn’t it amazing how with just knowing if the person is trustworthy, or faithful, to do what they said they would, your priorities can change? You might still be tired, but you know you will have a good time because you both have set aside this time to meet together. 

Deut. 6:5 -6 “And you are to love Adonai your God with all your heart, all your being and all your resources. These words, which I am ordering you today, are to be on your heart.”

The word ‘faithfulness’ doesn’t show up in these verses, but it is so fully described. Love Him with all you are and all that you can be. The following verses show how they are to be in every aspect of your life – sitting, laying down, working, teaching your children, etc. Our commitment to Him is to pervade every aspect of our lives. I know that we’ve all heard ‘give everything to Him’, but how hard it truly is! For me, these past months, I have held onto my pain as a thing to grasp in my frustration. But giving it to Him is so sweet, so freeing. Even in my chronic illness, I will be faithful , constant, loyal to Him.

Here are some verses sharing how God is faithful to us:

Eph. 2:8 “For you have been delivered by grace through trusting, and even this is not your accomplishment but God’s gift.”

Rom. 10:9 “that if you acknowledge publicly with your mouth that Yeshua is Lord and trust in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be delivered.” 

I love what is required to be delivered. Trusting.  Plus, did you see any ‘but if you are a ___ you will not be delivered?’ no, i didn’t either. Whoever trusts in Him will be delivered. He will be saved. What wonderful love, and what faithfulness that He keeps His promise here.

1 John 1:9 “If we acknowledge our sins, then, since He is trustworthy and just, He will forgive them and purify us from all wrongdoing.”

Acknowledging our sin can be difficult – simply because of pride. Deep down, we all know what we have done wrong, what things we struggle with, but it’s admitting them – out loud or just inwardly to to Adonai – and asking for forgiveness, that is difficult. But how sweet the reward! He will forgive us and make us clean again. Hallelujah.

Psalms 119:89-90 “Your word continues forever, Adonai, firmly fixed in heaven; your faithfulness through all generations; you established the earth, and it stands.”

Psalm 91:4 ” He will cover you with his pinions, and under His wings you will find refuge;  His truth is a shield and protection.”

I like how these two verses go together – He is firmly fixed in heaven, and as such, His protection of us is a sure thing. There will be no ‘walking away’ or disappointing us. Ever. Adonai is the epitome of faithfulness.

2 Tim. 2:13 ” If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot disown himself.” 

Titus 3:4-6 “But when the kindness and love for mankind of God our Deliverer was revealed, He delivered us. It was not on the ground of any righteous deeds we had done, but on the ground of His own mercy. He did it by means of the mikveh (bath/cleansing) of rebirth and the renewal brought about by the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit), whom He poured out on us generously through Yeshua the Messiah, our Deliverer.”

Hallelujah. Our God is faithful, He forgives us, He cleanses us and He gave us a helper as we travel along our path in this life. And coupled with that, He tells us how to live so that we may have full, blessed lives.

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Above is a printable for you so you can have a simple reminder of His faithfulness.

Thank you so much for joining me in this series, blessings,

Laura

Striving For a Virtuous Life – Hope

9 Feb

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Welcome again to this monthly series that is all about focusing on growing virtues of a godly woman. Last month’s was on virtue and you can read it here. A few ‘boring’ things before we get started – I will get all my meanings from dictionary.reference.com unless otherwise stated. For my verses, I will be using my Complete Jewish Bible, unless otherwise stated.  There, I think that covers it. So let’s dive right in!

Hope

  • the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best
  • to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence
  • to believe, desire or trust
  • to place trust

Here are a few synonyms – expectancy, longing

1 Peter 1:3-6 “Praised be God, Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, who, in keeping with his great mercy, has caused us, through the resurrection of Yeshua the Messiah from the dead, to be born again to a living hope, to an inheritance that cannot decay, spoil or fade, kept safe for you in heaven. Meanwhile, through trusting, you are being protected by God’s power for a deliverance ready to be revealed at the Last Time. Rejoice in this, even though for a little while you may have to experience grief in various trials.”

My commentary (Jewish New Testament Commentary) shares the Greek word for ‘born again’ , that can also be rendered ‘born from above’. I really like this different wording of it, ‘born from above’. We all know we were born once from our mothers, but to be born from above gives me a mental image of that moment when my sins were forgiven. And then he reminds us that as we trust, we are protected forever. That protection does not mean that life will be easy-peasy, a ‘bowl full of cherries’  or whatever idiom you want to use. Our salvation does not come with a guarantee of everything going our way, in fact we are promised quite the opposite. But I do love the last sentence. “Rejoice in this….” We are to go through our sufferings rejoicing. Now, I can tell you that I have not been rejoicing lately. More like whimpering, honestly. But if I have this hope in His great mercy, in the inheritance – should I not be focusing instead on that?

Romans 5:2-5 “Also through him and on the ground of our trust, we have gained access to this grace in which we stand;  so let us boast about the hope of experiencing God’s glory. But not only that, let us also boast in our troubles; because we know that trouble produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope; and this hope does not let us down, because God’s love for us has already been poured out in our hearts through the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) who has been given to us.”

‘let us boast in our troubles’ – now, how many of us really think ‘yay!!! troubles! trials!’ ha, now that’s not really what he’s calling us to do, now is it? it’s changing our regular attitude of focusing on the difficulties, and instead on our Savior. For look at what we get as a result of relying on God  – endurance, character and hope!

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 “This is why we do not lose courage. Though our outer self is heading for decay, our inner self is being renewed daily. For our light and transient troubles are achieving for us an everlasting glory whose weight is beyond description. We concentrate not on what is seen but on what is not seen, since things seen are temporary, but things not seen are eternal.” 

I really love this verse. Go ahead and read the first two sentences again. Courage. Renewed daily.  Yes! Yes! I had to look up transient and here’s the meaning – lasting for a short time, impermanent. Keep your focus on what is eternal, on what truly matters, for on that there is an ‘everlasting glory’.

Psalms 3:2 – 6 “Adonai, how many enemies I have! How countless are those attacking me; how countless are those who say of me, ‘There is no salvation for him in God’. But you, Adonai, are a shield for me; you are my glory, you lift my head high. With my voice I call out to Adonai, and he answers me from his holy hill. I lie down and sleep, then wake up again, because Adonai sustains me.” 

He is our shield. Our glory. He lifts up our head and he answers us. He sustains us. He is the reason to have hope.

Here are 2 printables for you – let me know if they don’t work!

God bless,

Laura

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