Faith, Hope and Encouragement, God's Promises

From Process to Promise

“Process” is one of those words that may get us some “ughs” or eye rolls because it usually means there is a “wait” to get to something we want. I’ll be the first to admit that I have definitely had those reactions myself a time or two but one thing I have learned in my journey with the Lord is that the process, though wearying at times, is very much necessary.

The word process is defined by Webster’s dictionary as “a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end”. Meaning you don’t just go from A to Z, there is usually something that has to happen in the middle.

Galatians 6:9 is often used in relation to giving but the Lord has used it for many years to encourage me through many “waiting” seasons in my life.

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.

Galatians 6:9 NLT

Wow, what good news! God has not forgotten about us in the process! It has a purpose!

Even as I was writing this blog, the Holy Spirit showed me things I had not realized before.

The number 7 is pretty significant to God. It symbolizes perfection or completion. I don’t think it is a coincidence that the words “process” and “promise” both have 7 letters. The Holy Spirit showed me that it takes a “process” to get to the “promise” which ultimately leads to the perfection/completion. How awesome is that!

Now, let’s talk about butterflies. Beautiful to look at right? Well, that beauty doesn’t just happen overnight. There is a process that butterflies go through to end up as the beautiful winged creatures we enjoy. And part of that process includes the not so pretty “cocoon stage”.  Many people think of this as a “resting” stage but there’s actually not much resting going on. There is actually a radical transformation taking place. Once it has done all its forming and changing the adult butterfly emerges.

Just like with the butterfly, God can do a lot in us during our “cocoon” phase. The times where to others it doesn’t look like much is happening and seems we are even in a “holding” pattern are sometimes where we experience some of the greatest growth in our lives.

I know from personal experience that there are times where we want something so badly and think we are ready but really, we are not.

When I was in my mid to late twenties, I thought I was so ready to get married. It seemed to always be on my mind. I would go through the “when God when” every time one of my friends got engaged. The older I got, the harder it was. That is, until I truly submitted the desire to the Lord and allowed Him to take me through HIS process. It was in this process where I was able to heal from past bad relationships, wrong mindsets and truly learn from Him. I learned who I was in Christ, which completely shifted my thinking and expectations when it came to godly relationships. It was in this process where I learned what it meant to be a godly wife. I also learned what HE desired me to have in a husband and I trusted Him with it.  So, at 36 years old, I married my husband and best friend…the long-awaited promise was fulfilled and in March 2022 we celebrated 8 years of marriage. Had I not allowed myself to go through this process with the Lord I could have missed out on His best for me and God’s best IS ALWAYS WORTH THE WAIT!

Let this worship song encourage you, God is faithful!

Additional encouragement from Scripture:

But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day! Habakkuk 2:3 TLB

For because of our faith, he has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to actually becoming all that God has had in mind for us to be. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us—they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady. Romans 5:2-4 TLB

Faith, Hope and Encouragement, God's Promises

Praising Him in the “Valley”

Photo by Bahman Adlou on Unsplash

Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. ~Hebrews 13:15 NKJV

I’m not exactly sure how as Christians, we ever got it in our minds that our lives would be so convenient and trouble-free. The Word of God teaches us the complete opposite of this: John 16:33 says “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” However, we should not be discouraged because Jesus clearly told us that in Him, we would have peace and also reassured us He had already overcome the world.

We go through seasons in our lives. There are times where things tend to go a little smoother and then there are times where we may see difficulty around every corner. We have what we may call our “mountaintop” times…times where things are great, we get that promotion, we get the raise, we get the house, etc. But then there are times when things aren’t so great…the what we can call “valley” times. The low and even sometimes very dark times. Times where we may lose the job, lose the house or get a bad report.

This is the definition of valley according to Merriam-Webster 1. a. an elongate depression of the earth’s surface usually between ranges of hills or mountains. 2. a low point or condition; 3. hollow, depression. Now, isn’t that interesting? A valley is considered a depression. Most of us understand the word “depressed”. That word is generally equated with sadness, discouragement and even hopelessness. This is certainly where we can end up if we do not learn how to walk through our “valley” seasons with the Lord and the truth of God’s Word.

In these valley seasons our flesh will want to isolate and retreat inward. This is the very LAST thing we should do. We have to dig deep and fight against that feeling. Our feelings (emotions) are very fickle. We can not rely on them. We must rely on the Truth…the very thing we know that does not change…THE WORD OF GOD!

We have a very powerful weapon at our disposal. The weapon of PRAISE! And one of the things I have learned in my life about praise is that it is the most powerful when you release it in the midst of the most difficult times in your life. We cannot wait until our circumstances are good to praise God. God deserves our praise at ALL TIMES. But it is a choice. We have to do it by faith, because we most certainly will not feel like it, and that is kind of the point. Even though our circumstances may not change I can assure you from personal experience that something IN YOU will change. God is always faithful and His Word is clear, “So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT

I want to encourage you to dig into the Truths of God’s Word. Do not wait until you are in the “valley” seasons of life to see what God’s Word says. Get the Word in you now, because difficult times will come and when that pressure comes, what is in you will come out-good or bad. We want to make sure what comes out is the Word of God, for us, as well as for those around us who will need it too!

Be encouraged by these Truths:

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips. — Psalm 34:1

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. — 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. — Ephesians 5:20

Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples! — 1 Chronicles 16:8

Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. — James 5:13

He alone is your God, the only one who is worthy of your praise, the one who has done these mighty miracles that you have seen with your own eyes. — Deuteronomy 10:21

Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. — Psalm 100:4

I also recommend having a good fight song. If you do not have one, I have included the link to one that I love. Fight on warrior!

Faith, Hope and Encouragement, God's Promises

Is Your Heart Sick?

Hope deferred makes the heart sick; but when dreams come true at last, there is life and joy.

Proverbs 13:12 TLB

Hope deferred makes the heart sick…what does that really mean anyway? I really never thought much about it until I began walking through the “waiting” seasons in my life and now I can see what the scripture means. The word defer means to put off, or postpone. When it comes to something we want no one really wants to hear the word “defer”, right?

We have this promise from God and we are holding onto it with all we have…we have our hope at the highest level and we are walking and talking in faith…but, we have yet to obtain the thing we are hoping for. So, now what…we keep trusting and hoping but over time something tends to happen. Uh oh, it’s that “sick heart” thing. Times of doubt and discouragement begin to set in. We can experience a roller coaster of emotions; I know I have.

The questions begin swirling around in our heads…I mean, “did I really hear from the Lord”? “Did He really say that”? If He did, “why is it taking so long”? “Am I not in faith”? “Did I do something wrong”? This is where the enemy does some of his best work. He has been at this from the beginning of time starting with Adam and Eve and he has not changed! He loves to get us to question God and what He has said to us.

Since we live in such an instant gratification society it is easy to allow those same expectations to bleed over into our “faith world”. We have to remember that God’s timing is not ours and many times it is more about the preparation and the process than it is about us obtaining what we are hoping for. God is not a man that He would lie but His ways are not our ways so we won’t always understand how He plans to bring the promises to pass in our lives. Our part is to pray, trust Him and obey what He says.

For me, I have been living this scripture for the last few years. I have a promise in the Word of God for my family. My husband and I have been believing God for a baby for 7 years. God has confirmed to me on multiple occasions that He is bringing this promise to pass yet and still we walked through four miscarriages. Each and every time we were in faith, speaking the Word and believed the outcome would be different yet sadly we ended up with the same result…hope deferred. BUT GOD! Each and every time the precious Holy Spirit was right there, encouraging me to stay in hope and trust God’s timing.

We have to actively guard against doubt and discouragement. We have to choose to stay in hope and not give up on what God has promised. But at the end of the day, it is our choice. We can choose to let our emotions rule us or we can trust what God has said and stand on the Word of God which is a sure foundation. So, let’s be encouraged. He will never fail!!

Scriptures for encouragement in the seasons of waiting:

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. Psalm 27:14

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9

And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. Hebrews 6:15

I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. Psalm 130:5