Journal Entry ~ 10/12/17

13 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. 
14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and burst their bonds apart.  - Psalm 107:13-14

I’m always torn at the beginning of a new week in scripture. I’m sad to leave a passage I’ve studied for a week because it’s like leaving an old friend, and I’m just sure there is more to learn back there; but I’m always just as excited to begin a new passage because I know He has so much for me on the road ahead. 

This week, we’re focusing on Psalm 107:10-16, with versus 13-14 as our memory verses. Last week, we spent time in the desert with our wandering hearts, this week we will be in prison, looking at the chains that bind us there. In both, it is notable that we must come to the end our ourselves and cry out to the Lord in order for Him to deliver us from our distress. 

This passage is written specifically for those who are in captivity to some sin struggle. In some part of their life, these people are walking in darkness, they’re miserable, and often they don’t even know why. Pride blinds us to so much of the sin in our lives that we are often unaware how they’re  bound by their sin. Then, we’re taught in this passage that when we’re trapped in a sin, God will humble our hearts with labor to reveal the issue to us. He will make things hard for us. Ever have those days or those seasons where everything seems to go wrong?  It may be time to stop and consider why God is allowing life to be hard right now. You can be confident in a season of trials, especially those seasons of trials upon trials, that’s He is trying to reveal something to you. He’s trying to shine a light on those chains so you can see them and break free from them. He wants us to cry out to Him in those seasons, and He wants to free us from the chains that bind us. 

I’ve been in plenty of seasons where the trials come in plenty - in fact, most of the seasons of trials I’ve been in have come with trials upon trials...so many that I’ve come to expect more than one when a significant trial hits. Several years ago, I had a miscarriage that rocked my world, followed days later by a DCFS accusation that I sexually molested a child. A few short years later, I had not one, but two of my children wrecked by depression and hospitalized for suicidal thoughts, one in a long-term facility with addiction issues, within weeks of each other.  Right smack dab in the middle of that trial, my dad took his own life. This past year, SEVEN of my closest family members were hospitalized for various reasons. Seven people in  it as many months.  Now, I have cancer, and my husband just lost his job. And that’s just a list of the major trials I’ve been through, there are countless less significant trials I’ve endured in the same amount of time. Read through that list again - it would be easy to say none of those were the result of my doing, none of them are my fault. I could complain those are trials I’m was dragged into, they’re not for me. They’re for the people in my life who are walking through them, definitely not me.  I am a healthy person who always had healthy pregnancies, there was no reason to expect a miscarriage; and I certainly have never placed a precious child of God in a compromising position. I raised my boys in the most loving, God-centered home I was capable of at the time, and I had no control over my dad’s decision to end his life. I’m a rule follower so I take care of myself physically and I get regular mammograms, yet here I am; and my husband is one of the most dedicated, hard-working people I know. None of this is my fault. It would be so easy to dismiss many of the trials we experience as someone else’s problems or someone else’s fault. I didn’t bring any of this on myself, if they would just get their act together and do what they need to do, I wouldn’t even be in this trial.  Or maybe, Why am I even in this trial?  I’ve done nothing to deserve this. Oh, how the enemy whispered those things in my ear through every one of those struggles. But God.  In every single trial, God has revealed a sin issue to me - and not just one, but many. In every single one of them, I found a chain that needed to be broken.

We can choose to get bitter or get better in the trials He allows in our lives. If our response is that these trials are unfair and the result of other people’s action, if we can continue to blame other people for the trials that we’re in, if we continue to stomp our feet and complain how unfair our life has been and we’re the victim, we will become bitter. We all know someone who is bitter...they’re difficult people to be around because anger and resentment has taken over their lives and robbed them of any true joy or fulfillment. Our other option is to humble our hearts under the pressure of the labor God allows us in our lives. When we tenderize our hearts and listen, when we lean into the Comforter over the comforts the world offers, we get better. He changes us. It’s hard work uncovering those chains and breaking free from them, but oh! the freedom we find when He breaks the bonds. 


Press on ~ you are loved 💗

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