Cheri's Blog

Praying Through Times of Testing

Times of testing

Praying Through Times of Testing

Sometimes you can read a chapter or a passage of verses in the Bible that feels like the person writing is sitting near you, telling you a story. That’s how Psalm 66 lands on me. It’s conversational as if the writer is talking to an actual person, and he’s telling the account passionately in just a few words. In these moments we have together, I want to pick up on that passion by sharing his words with you, and then use them as a framework for a prayer you and I can pray through times of testing.

Psalm 66:5-12

Come and see what God has done:
he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.
6He turned the sea into dry land;
they passed through the river on foot.
There did we rejoice in him,
7who rules by his might forever,
whose eyes keep watch on the nations—
let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah

8Bless our God, O peoples;
let the sound of his praise be heard,
 Psalm 66:5-8

The Invitation

The first section calls the friend or audience to come in close. He wants you to see with your mind and heart what God has accomplished. No. They were not there to experience the wonders described, but they have been the benefactors. They didn’t watch the people cross the Red Sea, but they are a part of the community that came from that legacy.

Because of what God has done (that which we did not see but can experience the effects) the writer drawer on the listener to raise her eyes upward. Stop and praise the Lord in a manner He can hear it from you.  Then he gives us some reasons that are not locked away in a history book or grandpa’s storytime.

9who has kept our soul among the living
and has not let our feet slip.

God has kept you alive.

Think of all your near misses. Do any come to mind? Personally, I have experienced more than enough to legitimize this point. I’ve walked away from a plane crash in was in, car accidents, and tornadoes. From what I understand, as an infant, I wasn’t expected to make it out of the hospital alive. I’m sure you can think of similar accounts. The bottom line is this: If you are breathing, it’s on purpose for a purpose. Girl, Praise God!

Then our writer does something you and I don’t always like to reflect upon or raise our hands in the air to celebrate.

10For you, O God, have tested us;
you have tried us as silver is tried.
11You brought us into the net;
you laid a crushing burden on our backs;
12you let men ride over our heads;
we went through fire and through water;

God uses tests, nets, and enemies

According to Scripture, there are times in our lives when God tests us. He brings us “into the net.” Not that He leads us into situations so that we will fail or will be destroyed, but He will allow circumstances, difficulties, bad guys, and impossible situations access to us without intervening. In other words, God allows adversity that has been at times, unbearable, varied, and seemingly constant–just one thing after another, on purpose.

I wouldn’t do it His way. You and I might even say, we don’t like His way. It’s been awful at times. Crushing. Painful. And difficult. Yet, the Psalmist is not finished:

yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.

Times of TestingYes, we go through the times of testing, but He does not leave us there in the net, or in the storm, fire, or dying under the weight of it all. I don’t believe the Psalmist is saying there is a particular location on this planet this side of heaven that is absent of drama, problem-free, with no more nets. But there is abundance in reliance on Jesus through the mess, looking upward at Him through the difficulties rather than focusing on what doesn’t last and cannot save. And it’s right here for us to use as we pray.

This one is a prayer that helps turn our eyes upward, speaking these things back to God in gratitude. If we are in the middle of the difficulties, buried under the weight, we can pray for Him to be true to this word. Also, we can pray for this victory and the presence of God over someone else, which is what I am about to do for you.

A Prayer for Times of Testing

Lord Jesus,she prays

In this moment, I bless your Name. Thank you for the mighty works you have done to get us here today, praying, and able to know your Word freely. More specifically, I thank you for the life of my friend reading. For Your perfect purposes You have preserved her. Help her live in complete assurance and freedom. There is no accident, coincidence, or mistake that You have provided for her presence, her abilities, her availabilities, and her positioning.

We know that to ready her, equip her, and to show her to Whom she belongs, You have tested and will test her. In fact, You may be testing her now, allowing her to experience untold difficulties, strains and struggles we cannot alleviate. So Lord, I ask that you give her the strength to rely on You. Help her to see through to the end, keeping her eyes looking upward, and not be given to discouragement. Give her eyes to see beyong the testing toward Your abundance–whatever that looks like from Your perspective.

In the glorious and unmatched name of Jesus.

Amen

Have you received my FREE gift to you? Get 3 resources to help you experience more of God in your everyday life with practical helps for living out what really matters.

FREE STIRRING FAITH BUNDLE

Get my FREE gift to you to help you experience more of God in your everyday life. You will receive two beautiful e-books (Awakening Hope, a 21-Day devotional, 7 Fundamentals for Navigating Relationships, and my Bible Reading Plan for a working strategy for reading the Bible month by month, day by day. You will also begin receiving more resources, news, and encouragement from me while gaining access to the Strange Library -- all of the resources I offer to members of the She Yearns Community without cost. Get your FREE gift today!

We respect your privacy.

Don’t forget to check out the latest FREE reading plan available from YouVersion?

She has over TWENTY different reading plans for you to choose from. Just click on the images below to check it out:

The Journey Toward Waiting WellConquering Chaos

If you like She Prays for battling fear you will like finding light

You can meet Cheri on the She Yearns blog for more truth-saturated, Gospel-centered encouragement like this:

 when to quit

 

How to Pray for a Fearless Trust

fearless trust cover

Firm and Fearless Trust

by Cheri Strange

Welcome to the She Prays, spotlighting Scripture and praying it over you, for your strengthening and encouragement. Today we are looking at how to pray for a fearless trust. I found myself sitting down this week, with burdens not my own, but yours, hers, and beyond. I needed to know how to trust when all the pieces don’t fit and I am tempted to do mental acrobatics trying to figure it all out on my own.

I’m a serious person. (In fact, recently a woman at a conference felt like I was too focused and serious, making her way to me to pray in a heavenly language over my “problem.”) I accepted it. Maybe there is hope for humor development after all.

Still, I live in the deep places. It’s not that I like living in all the mental mire and heaviness. It’s just, that I can’t get past the practical. When the bottom falls out of your life, Who or what can you and I depend upon? Maybe you come to the crux of the matter by receiving a diagnosis so challenging, that it sucks the air out of your lungs. The job you depend upon is taken away by a failing economy. The relationship is facing destruction, or the losses or injustices you have experienced exceed what you can endure. These moments are when our theology matters.

Who are we going to trust in these kinds of places?

Oh sure, God is good, and trusting Him makes sense when all is right with the world. But what about in the gritty deep places of disappointment, loss, loneliness, and the seasons when nothing makes sense? My serious take on life does not result because I’m a sour Sally, but because I believe the words of Jesus.

In this world, you will have trouble…John 16:33

Trouble in the world is not something we will likely escape. In fact, it is to be expected. If we don’t have a faith that can hold up when the world shuts down, when we can’t get the things we need, when we are forced into difficult situations and so many other unknowns, what foundation will we have? I’m aiming for one that believes the second part of what Jesus promises is equally true.

In this world you will have trouble.

But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Yes. Jesus assures us will have trouble. Without escape, we will need to deal with the serious and heavy at some point. At the same time, Jesus declares He has overcome the world. Not he will later, he might, he has a good shot at it, the odds are in his favor, but He has. The foundation and surety of Jesus are what we stand upon. Nothing less. We can trust Him for all of our unknowns.

Trusting God where we are, even if we find ourselves submerged in the hard ugly stuff is possible because He is already there. Positioned. Ready. Waiting. But you and I often forget this truth because of the enormity of the trouble upon us. That’s when we need God’s Word handy. The book of Psalms is the perfect place for finding the words that reflect our needs.

fearless trust storiesPsalms for a Fearless Trust

For the righteous will never be moved;
he will be remembered forever.
He is not afraid of bad news;
his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.
His heart is steady; he will not be afraid,
until he looks in triumph on his adversaries. Psalm 112:6-8

Arming ourselves with these verses we can preach to ourselves on days when life is candy canes and cotton candy, as well as when we don’t know how our feet will stand.

The Psalmist is calling us to be, first of all, unmoved. He is calling us not only to be immovable but to be unafraid of bad news. (Not that bad news doesn’t come, but you and I are not to be afraid of it.) This woman’s heart is firm because, instead of focusing on her surroundings and allowing “What if’s” to dominate her day, she is trusting in the Lord.

It’s not firm because she has plenty of money in the bank and her job is secure, or because her health is guaranteed. No. This powerful segment is all about the ugly. It’s as if he is saying, “If the bottom were to fall out of your life—this is the faith needed to get through victoriously.”  The woman who does this— would be one firmly planted, knowing exactly in whom she trusted. She would know Jesus was worthy of her total reliance.

In this serious predicament, the woman who believes the Word of God about God, possesses a steady heart. Her heart is not racing in fear or dread. She’s not riled up over the world coming to a stop, or all of her dreams falling apart. She will not be afraid until there is victory over the foe–invisible or otherwise.

Transforming your outlook

These three verses can transform our entire outlook if we will believe them about our own situations and believe the One on Whom we can rely. Take these verses and use them. Preach to yourself this weekend. When you find yourself afraid, pull these out. When you and I are unsettled, we can go to these words of God. Then remember to pray them back to God, for he is listening. He is already taking action on your behalf and mine, remaining ever faithful.

she prays

Prayer for a Firm and Fearless Trust

Lord,

In these moments I ask that you make yourself known to my friend. That you will make her faith immovable no matter what comes at her. I pray that you protect her mind and her heart against fear and in many different ways reassure her of your trustworthiness and dependability for her life.

Give her a firm trust in You. Settle her heart in her unsettled time, in a way that is completely unnatural so much so that people will know that it must be because of You. Make your name Great in her life.

As the Psalmist once again asks for you to make him unafraid, I request the same of my friend here. I don’t know how to give it to her or what she should do, but we trust you. Give her nothing short of a firm and fearless trust in You.

In the glorious and unmatched name of Jesus.

Amen

Have you received my FREE gift to you? Get 3 resources to help you experience more of God in your everyday life with practical helps for living out what really matters.

FREE STIRRING FAITH BUNDLE

Get my FREE gift to you to help you experience more of God in your everyday life. You will receive two beautiful e-books (Awakening Hope, a 21-Day devotional, 7 Fundamentals for Navigating Relationships, and my Bible Reading Plan for a working strategy for reading the Bible month by month, day by day. You will also begin receiving more resources, news, and encouragement from me while gaining access to the Strange Library -- all of the resources I offer to members of the She Yearns Community without cost. Get your FREE gift today!

We respect your privacy.

Don’t forget to check out the latest FREE reading plan available from YouVersion?

She has over TWENTY different reading plans for you to choose from. Just click on the images below to check it out:

The Journey Toward Waiting WellConquering Chaos

If you like She Prays for battling fear you will like finding light

Be sure to check out the Stirring Faith Podcast, where you will find encouraging episodes like this one:

If you like Truths Jesus Taught you will like finding light

 

 

 

 

 

You can meet Cheri on the She Yearns blog for more truth-saturated, Gospel-centered encouragement like this:

 when to quit

 

Shattering Doubt

Shattering Doubt

Shattering Doubt

She Prays on Friday

Last week I met with a group of precious souls gathered because they believe God has or is calling them to write a particular message to a particular audience. Writing is a solitary endeavor. Most days it feels like you are trying to be something you are not. Other days it seems you have made up the calling in your own egomaniacal brain. Getting together with others who question, even doubt, God’s ability to use them is comforting.

Without knowing what God is speaking into your life or any real details, I can imagine you know these doubts. Maybe you are struggling with a child, feeling like you are not a good mom. It could be you feel inadequate at your job, fearing someone might discover your deficiencies and fire you any day. So many of us keep this type of mental drama spinning, filling us with questions and hesitancy. It’s in these emotional predicaments I find Psalm 138 so instructive.

Shattering Doubt with Scripture

 

The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands. Psalm 138:8 ESV

 

The LORD will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O LORD, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands. KJV

 

These verses are filled with declaration, promise, and faithfulness. David is expressing at least three things in these verses:

  • David first declares what God will do.
  • He explains why he can say God will do the first thing.
  • Finally, David prays, asking God to be true to these realities.

The first thing we should notice is who is directing this ship.

The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me;

David is not the captain of his ship. At the onset, David declares who is in charge—and it’s not him. Neither are you in charge of our own ship. It’s not your employer, the coaches on your child’s sports team, your doctor, or any other entity that seems to hold sway over your life.

The Problem of Doubt

Most of the time our problem is us. We lead. David makes clear he cannot orchestrate his life to turn out the way he wants. If you know his history, the man tried directing his own life, and it was a colossal disaster. He stole someone else’s wife, got her pregnant, and had her husband killed. Of course, he got caught. Then the child died. The whole selfish and sin-filled season left David looking like a loser for years. There was a loss of dignity, respect, and at one time, the kingdom.

The Solution for Doubt

This man knows a thing or two about what he declares here. David’s way is not better. The LORD will fulfill His purpose for him. God will. Not David. At the same time, David knows something you and I often forget. You can be a total screw-up and a disappointment to everyone and yourself while still experiencing this promise.

The LORD Will. . .

Consider his certainty. David states this as an absolutely surefire deal. The LORD will. He will. David does not hesitate with “God might, but I’m not sure because I’m a loser.” He does not record how God is able but likely not with him. Instead, he knows what you and I often forget. Even in the midst of our failures and screw-ups, the LORD will. This is the assured faith we need in what is not seen or deserved.

The LORD Will for You. . .

The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me. It’s not an impersonal gesture like the gift bags given to every conference participant when you check in at registration. You and the other thousand participants enjoy the same free stickers, schedule, a pen, and cheap water bottles. Everybody gets the same thing. It’s not personal.

This is not how God works.

The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; (ESV)

What an ever-so-personal promise.

Shattering Doubt with Promises

I love how the KJV and the Amplified versions record it:

The LORD will perfect that which concerns me.

There are a lot of things which concern me, yet—it’s still just me. And it’s still just you. God is concerned about that which concerns you.

David is as sure of God’s concern and devotion to him, personally, as part of His character.

. . .your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever.

This sticking-to-you-like glue, never to be shaken off kind of love that will not end is steadfast. Forget what you have done or can’t do. He loves you. There is mercy enough. David has tried God in this and lived to tell tales. Ugly ones. Let us not forget this man was a real person who knew and experienced what you and I can know and experience. The love of the Lord toward you—as a person—will not ever end.

A Final Plea to Shatter Doubt

Shattering DoubtBecause of these realities, David is drawn to plead with God.

Do not forsake the work of your hands.

You would think David would be so convinced of God’s ability, based on the preceding lines, there would be no need for direct petition here. What is this plea about? The Bible doesn’t say. What we can recognize are patterns. David has a habit of walking us through an internal process—some necessary inner work of getting his heart ready to act.

David first states the known. God is personally invested in your present and future for everlasting good because of His commitment to His own. This understanding is backed up because of God’s steadfast love for His people. Therefore, David injects a let us not leave anything on the table type plea. In other words, “Lord, do it in spite of my shortcomings and lack.” It’s a plea based on His character, calling God to crush any doubt to which he is clinging being faithful to Who He is and what He promises.

What an incredible prayer to use in our own lives today.

A Prayer for God to Fulfill His Purpose in You

Lord,

Thank You for investing in that which concerns my friend. I thank You for Your commitment to her. Right now, I ask what David asks: Fulfill Your purpose for her wherever she is. Perfect what concerns her in her family, her relationships, in ministry or in work. You lead.

Because of Your love for her, show this friend Your mercy to use her brokenness. Demonstrate Your character in her life. Work wonders in and through her. Yes! Fulfill your purposes for her life. For what she cannot yet see or understand, I pray for clarity. Inherent in these verses is the possibility of doubt and  discouragement. Therefore, renew her sense of trust and action, looking to You to move out diligently until she sees the fulfillment of what You have called her to in this season. For all this we thank you. In the glorious and powerfully able Name of Jesus,

Amen

For His Glory,

You can download these four prints today to accompany The Journey for Waiting Well, gain access to all of Cheri’s free resources, AND begin receiving regular encouragement in your inbox.

Yes, I'd love to receive encouraging e-mails from Cheri
When you sign up, you will receive 4, 5x5 Waiting Well digital printables. I look forward to meeting you inside the community! 

Cheri
We respect your privacy.

Don’t forget to check out the latest FREE reading plan available from YouVersion?

She has over TWENTY different reading plans for you to choose from. Just click on the images below to check it out:

The Journey Toward Waiting WellConquering Chaos

If you like She Prays for battling fear you will like finding light

Be sure to check out the Stirring Faith Podcast, where you will find encouraging episodes like this one:

If you like Truths Jesus Taught you will like finding light

 

 

 

 

 

You can meet Cheri on the She Yearns blog for more truth-saturated, Gospel-centered encouragement like this:

 when to quit

 

The Source of All Comfort

source of all comfort

The Source of All Comfort

by Cheri Strange

Not long ago, I met some new friends because we were sharing the platform to tell our stories about how loneliness has impacted our lives. We were going to share the couch and testify to how God has liberated us from the bondage of it looking at it from our own perspectives and experiences. Their stories were moving. Even tragic at times. All cried when we heard them for the first time. We each had been living different lives, some single, others married, some without children, others with, well a lot, but it became clear there was a common theme: God is the source of all comfort when the days are dark.

Between our first meeting and actually sitting on that stage, one of our own in this ministry and a dear friend experienced her own calamity and will bury family members unexpectantly. Another dear friend said goodbye to her father on this planet the following day. And those are the things I know about in my circle.

These women are living out 2 Corinthian 2:3-4 from the marrow of their bones.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

We knew God as the source of all comfort

We knew it like our own pajamas. But none of us wanted to know it or to have the ability to comfort others based on our experiences. No one wants the testimony that requires us to need this kind of comfort. Not one of us wants the know-how to be able to give it to someone else in need.

Once in an interview, I heard Steven C. Chapman’s wife put words to this sentiment. The interview came after losing their five-year-old daughter, Maria, in a tragic accident. She said that people would say things like, “God has a plan,” “Just remember, ‘All things work together for good,’” and “Just think of all the people you will be able to help.” Her response was spot on. She said that she knows and that she gets all that. “I JUST WANT HER BACK.”

On the couch

On the couch beside me sat a powerhouse of a woman who lost her spouse in a calamity none of us would sign up for. She said something similar. In essence, she said, “I want my old life back. I don’t want to be on this couch.” She quoted these verses from 2 Corinthians and talked about how she didn’t want to be able to do this for people. But God absolutely showed up for her, as The source of all comfort when comfort seemed unreachable–just like He promised. In her worst unimaginable reality, God demonstrated Himself to be who He says He is: The God of All Comfort. The God who has been there at every turn.

I don’t know what you are facing or will face tomorrow. Regardless, we need to know Who He is. The God of the Bible is the God of all comfort, the God of all sympathy. He is THE SOURCE of every comfort we need. Unequivocably, He just is.

He is the Source of Every Comfort

God of all comfortWe may not want to need Him to be this for us, but aren’t we thankful He is this kind of God?

These verses come to us as a prayer. A prayer that looks squarely into the deep neediness of the human condition, aiming it to the only One who can meet such need. And that would be enough. The request, then, continues, as if to say, “Lord, don’t make all this awfulness of what we must endure be for nothing. Use it. Use it to serve another who is going through what we have gone through. Let the journey be a testimony to who You are, and what You can do in our worst situations.”

Because this is a prayer, I want to pray it over you—the one who needs to be reminded of The Only True Source of Comfort that exists. The one who can do more than we ask and meet our neediness.

A Prayer for the Source of All Comfort

she praysLord God, I come to You right now thanking you for being what no one else can be, and for doing what no one else can do. I pray for my friend reading that she might begin to understand and know you as the Father of sympathy. That you will be for her, the God Who is the Source of every comfort, every consolation, and every encouragement.

I ask that you will encourage her, comfort her, console her in every trouble or calamity or affliction she may be experiencing or will in the future. And that when you have done so, give her the strength and wisdom to take what she has received  and give it to those who  desperately need it. Heal us to see those around us who need Your comfort, Lord, and move us to act on your behalf.

In the Name of Jesus, and For Your Glory, Amen.

For His Glory,

You can download these four prints today to accompany The Journey for Waiting Well, gain access to all of Cheri’s free resources, AND begin receiving regular encouragement in your inbox.

Yes, I'd love to receive encouraging e-mails from Cheri
When you sign up, you will receive 4, 5x5 Waiting Well digital printables. I look forward to meeting you inside the community! 

Cheri
We respect your privacy.

Don’t forget to check out the latest FREE reading plan available from YouVersion?

She has over TWENTY different reading plans for you to choose from. Just click on the images below to check it out:

The Journey Toward Waiting WellConquering Chaos

If you like She Prays for battling fear you will like finding light

Be sure to check out the Stirring Faith Podcast, where you will find encouraging episodes like this one:

If you like Truths Jesus Taught you will like finding light

 

 

 

 

 

You can meet Cheri on the She Yearns blog for more truth-saturated, Gospel-centered encouragement like this:

 when to quit

Responding to Times of Trouble

times of trouble

Responding to Times of Trouble

Welcome to the She Prays on Friday edition, spotlighting Scripture and praying it over you. My aim is for your strengthening and equipping making this the most encouraging FIVE MINUTES of your day.

This week I am celebrating my thirtieth wedding anniversary. That man and I have been through some stuff across the years. There have been moments I would not trade for anything. Lots of them, and for these, I am ever grateful. There is no one on the planet I would prefer to do life with. But as you can imagine, married life has not always been a string of blissful days and nights. Yet, as I look back on our history together, the difficulties have been necessary to make us into the people we are today. And a right response to the times of trouble, various trials, and difficulties, as I look back, is gratitude.

Trouble and Blessing

Your life and mine can reflect this same combination of trouble mixed with blessing. Can you think of a time when it seemed everything was wrong or there was no way out? But God was present, showing Himself faithful. Or maybe you can recall a time when you were in a bad spot (emotionally, or physically) and you felt His presence or His working in the midst of the badness, walking you through the mess? On the other side, you can now recognize how your God has been with you, to strengthen you, mold you, prune what needs to go away, and refine you by means you and I likely would not choose.

These seasons or situations often leave us more fervent and faithful, equipped with a faith we didn’t have before. You and I come to know more of God, His character, and presence in our lives we would otherwise miss. What, then, should be our response to this sort of testing?

What Should be our Response for Times of Trouble?

Consider Psalm 66:5-12. It’s as if the Psalmist is writing to another person, like the dialogue you and I experience today. He is passionate and succinct, using just a few words. So, in these moments we have together, I want to pick up on that passion, sharing these words with you, for our prayer and your encouragement.

Scripture for Responding to Trouble

Come and see what God has done:
he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.
He turned the sea into dry land;
they passed through the river on foot.
There did we rejoice in him,
who rules by his might forever,
whose eyes keep watch on the nations—
let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah

Bless our God, O peoples;
let the sound of his praise be heard,
who has kept our soul among the living
and has not let our feet slip.
For you, O God, have tested us;
you have tried us as silver is tried.
And you brought us into the net;
Laying a crushing burden on our backs;
you let men ride over our heads;
we went through fire and through water;
yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance. Psalm 66:5-12

A Right Response to Times of Trouble

Come and see what God has done:
he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man. (vs. 5)

From the outset, the writer beckons the audience in close, to see with their minds and hearts what God has accomplished in their midst. They were not there to experience these wonders – but they have been the benefactors. These didn’t see the people cross the Red Sea or walk across it themselves, but they are a part of the community that came from that legacy.

Then he brings the situation closer to home, helping the hearer raise her eyes upward. Bless God and let Him hear your praises. Then he gives us some reasons that are not locked away in a history book or grandpa’s storytime.

who has kept our soul among the living
and has not let our feet slip. (Vs. 9)

Praise God for keeping you alive

Think of all your near misses with calamity and death. Personally, I’ve walked away from a plane crash, a few car accidents, and tornadoes. From what I understand, I wasn’t even supposed to make it out of the hospital alive as an infant. I’m sure you can think of similar accounts. If you are breathing, it’s on purpose for a purpose. Girl, Praise God!

Praise God for the Testing

The Psalmist moves to something you and I don’t always like to reflect upon or raise our hands in the air to celebrate: the hard good.

For you, O God, have tested us; And you have tried us as silver is tried.
You brought us into the net, laying a crushing burden on our backs;
you let men ride over our heads, we went through fire and through water; (vs. 9-12)

times of trouble storiesIn other words

In other words, the writer expresses how God has put them through adversity. Trouble that has been at times, unbearable, varied, and seemingly constant, like one hard thing after another. I wouldn’t have done it His way. I might even say, “I don’t like His way.” It’s been awful at times. Crushing, painful, and difficult. Problems and predicaments out of our control, like fire and water. Let’s not skip over it and pretend it never happened.

This is not a complaint. We know this because of verse 12.

Yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.

I don’t believe the Psalmist is pointing to a particular location on this planet absent of drama, problem-free, with no more nets. He knows these things are necessary. Through the experiences, there is abundance. Reliance on Jesus through the mess–looking upward rather than focusing on what doesn’t last is the key. It’s a change in focus to look beyond the test.

This one is a prayer that turns our eyes upward, speaking these things back to God. And if we are in the middle of difficulties, we can ask Him to be true to this word. We can also pray this right response to times of trouble over someone else, which is what I aim to do for you.

Praying a Right Response in Times of Trouble

she praysLord,

Today, at this moment, I bless your Name. I thank you for the mighty works you have done to get us here today – praying and able to know your Word freely. More specifically, I thank you for the life of my friend listening. For your perfect purposes, you have preserved her. Help her live in complete assurance and freedom – There is no accident, coincidence, or mistake that you have provided for her presence, her abilities, her availabilities, and her positioning.

And to more ready her and equip her – to show her to Whom she belongs – you have tested her. And You may be testing her now – allowing her to experience untold difficulties, strains, and struggles we cannot alleviate. Right now, Lord, I pray that you give her the strength to rely on You, to see through to the end,  to keep her eyes bend upward, to not give up or give in to discouragement–but to see on beyond the trouble toward Your abundance whatever that looks like from Your perspective.

In the glorious and unmatched name of Jesus.

Amen

For His Glory,

You can download these four prints today to accompany The Journey for Waiting Well, gain access to all of Cheri’s free resources, AND begin receiving regular encouragement in your inbox.

Yes, I'd love to receive encouraging e-mails from Cheri
When you sign up, you will receive 4, 5x5 Waiting Well digital printables. I look forward to meeting you inside the community! 

Cheri
We respect your privacy.

Don’t forget to check out the latest FREE reading plan available from YouVersion?

She has over TWENTY different reading plans for you to choose from. Just click on the images below to check it out:

The Journey Toward Waiting WellConquering Chaos

If you like She Prays for battling fear you will like finding light

Be sure to check out the Stirring Faith Podcast, where you will find encouraging episodes like this one:

If you like Truths Jesus Taught you will like finding light

 

 

 

 

 

You can meet Cheri on the She Yearns blog for more truth-saturated, Gospel-centered encouragement like this:

 when to quit

FREE Stirring Faith Bundle

I want to give you 3 free resources filled with practical help for living out what matters most. Sign up to get my regular emails with more encouragement, insights, and resources to help stir more desire for God in your everyday life. 


We respect your privacy.