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Lord, Stand Beside Me—Jeremiah 20:11

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 19:1-20:18, Daniel 1:1-21

Heavenly Father, I love the visual this verse imprints on my mind.

 

But the Lord stands beside me like a great warrior.
Before him my persecutors will stumble.
They cannot defeat me.
They will fail and be thoroughly humiliated.
Their dishonor will never be forgotten. —Jeremiah 20:11

 Lord, thank You for standing beside me in life’s battles.

Thank you for this promise:

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you. —Deuteronomy 31:8

Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Daniel 2:1-3:30, Jeremiah 7:1-8:3

Lord, Haven’t I Had Enough Pain Already?—Jeremiah 45:3-5

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 25:15-38, Jeremiah 36:1-32, Jeremiah 45:1-46:28

 

Heavenly Father, Your Word is the greatest gift You gave us other than Your Son. How does my time with You in Your Word ALWAYS speak to where I am and ALWAYS encourage me? I don’t understand HOW it happens but I KNOW it does.

I spoke words very similar to these yesterday:

You have said, ‘I am overwhelmed with trouble! Haven’t I had enough pain already? And now the Lord has added more! I am worn out from sighing and can find no rest.’ —Jeremiah 45:3

Lord, as I read Your message to Baruch I tried to figure out how it could apply to my life…

“Baruch, this is what the Lord says: ‘I will destroy this nation that I built. I will uproot what I planted. Are you seeking great things for yourself? Don’t do it! I will bring great disaster upon all these people; but I will give you your life as a reward wherever you go. I, the Lord, have spoken!’” —Jeremiah 45:4-5

These are the thoughts running through my head:

  • My life isn’t just about me, my wants, desires, comfort and needs. There’s a bigger plan (Don’t seek great things for myself).
  • If I keep my eyes on You, my life will be a reward for the trouble and pain

Jesus, I know there’s a purpose for the pain. I’ve seen it happen over and over in my life. Seeing You use my pain and suffering to “work all things together for my good” (Romans 8:28) has been a reward for the tough times but they’re still tough times.

Yes, I’m overwhelmed.

Yes, there’s been a lot of pain.

Yes, I’m worn out.

Yes, I need some rest.

BUT

Lord, I see this life through a pin-hole. You see the beginning, middle and the end. I KNOW You know what You’re doing. Knowing that everything about my life has a purpose, including the pain—especially the pain, gives eternal meaning to each day. Sounds like the “The Purpose Driven Life to me!

Lord, it’s a new day! Let’s do it!

I trust You.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 19:1-20:18, Daniel 1:1-21

Lord, Forgive Me For Making My Strength My God—Habakkuk 1:11

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Habakkuk 1:1–3:19, Zephaniah 1:1-2:7

Heavenly Father, Your Word amazes me everyday! Habakkuk was prophesying about the Babylonians but this could be said of any human being. Lord, it could be said of me.

 

They sweep past like the wind
and are gone.
But they are deeply guilty,
for their own strength is their god.” —Habakkuk 1:11

Lord, I grew up in an environment where strength was praised and emotions, sensitivity, and weakness were shamed. Thankfully You’ve helped me to mellow through the years but my natural tendency is to see strength as the end goal of life’s tough times.

The last two years have been a really tough. A few months ago I went to the doctor and after several visits he determined my brain hormones where out of whack and prescribed an anti-depressant.

Lord, I remember writing in my journal, “Lord, I don’t want to take an anti-depressant. I’ve done everything I can think of to get better and it’s not working so I’m going to do my best to see this medicine as a blessing from You rather than lack of faith.”

But what I was really thinking was …a blessing from You, not ME appearing weak.

Holy Spirit, that day You said very loudly to me, “DAUGHTER, YOU ARE WEAK!”

Lord, forgive me for making my strength my God.

I must come face-to-face with my weakness before I can be strong.

That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. —2 Corinthians 12:10

Lord, I AM WEAK. I will not survive life’s tough times, if You don’t come to my rescue.

For I can do everything through Christ,who gives me strength. —Philippians 4:13

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Zephaniah 2:8-3:20, 2 Chronicles 35:20-27, 2 Kings 23:29-30, Jeremiah 47:1-48:47

Lord, Why Do Good People Die Before Their Time? —Isaiah 57:1-2

 

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Isaiah 52:13- 57:21

Heavenly Father, so much about this life doesn’t make sense. Evil, suffering, death—there is no formula to follow. The evil live long lives, the good die prematurely. Pain and suffering happen to those who try so hard to avoid it and people who live on the edge and flirt with death seem to flourish.

Lord, I’ve served You and read Your Word long enough to know that there is no “one answer” to life’s hard questions. You are God and only You know “why” things happen but this scripture gives me insight and comfort. It shows me Your heart. It lets me know You are looking out for Your children’s best interest.

Good people pass away;
the godly often die before their time.
But no one seems to care or wonder why.
No one seems to understand
that God is protecting them from the evil to come.
For those who follow godly paths
will rest in peace when they die. —Isaiah 57:1-2

I’ve had people I love die “before their time.” I still shake my head in disbelief knowing they’re gone from this world. “It doesn’t make sense,” or “God doesn’t make sense” is the thought that crosses our minds. The longer I live and the more evil I see, the more I start to understand that it’s not You who doesn’t make sense, it’s living in this world that doesn’t make sense.

Father, once again I’m reminded that I see life through a pin-hole and You see and know it all. It all comes down to trust. Do I trust You to do what’s best for me and the people I love?

Lord…

I don’t always trust You.

I want to trust You.

I need to trust You.

If I can’t trust You, who can I trust.

I’m trying to trust You.

I have moments of trusting You.

I’m learning to trust to more everyday!

Lord, help me to trust You when life doesn’t make sense.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Isaiah 58:1-63:14

Lord, Lift Up Those Who Are Weighted Down—Psalm 146:8

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Psalm 136, Psalms, 146-150

Heavenly Father, so many feel like the weight of the world is on their shoulders.

But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper,
whose hope is in the Lord their God.
He made heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them.
He keeps every promise forever.
He gives justice to the oppressed
and food to the hungry.
The Lord frees the prisoners.
The Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are weighed down.
The Lord loves the godly.
The Lord protects the foreigners among us.
He cares for the orphans and widows,
but he frustrates the plans of the wicked. —Psalm 146:5-9

Lord, I have felt this way many times. Thank for promising to lift us up. Most of the time when I feel like “everything is on me” it’s because I think it’s my responsibility to fix everything and everybody. Jesus, I give the issues, challenges, and people to You that are weighing me down. I release them into Your care. I trust You with the outcome. Help me to see my world through Your eyes. Holy Spirit, show me my part in each day’s challenges and help me to keep my hands off everything else.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!


©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Isaiah 18:1-23:18

Lord, Thank You for Helping Me in the Valleys—Psalm 121:2

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Psalms 120-121, 123, Psalms 125-126

Heavenly Father, I’ve read this Psalm many times and probably memorized a couple of these verses in Vacation Bible School as a kid, but today it became more personal. This picture describes this season of my life.

I love the mountains, not as much as the beaches where I live, but the mountains are my favorite place to visit. When I visit the mountains I feel very small and God seems very big. The valleys are what make the mountains so majestic. The contrasting highs and lows give the mountains their beauty and character.

The mountain-valley metaphor is used by Christians all the time. David mentioned the valley of the shadow of death in Psalm 23. My goal has always been to get out of the valley as soon as possible. I saw the lowest places in life as places to pass through not set up housekeeping.

Lord, one of the biggest lessons I have learned in my 50+ years of life is about seasons. We all have mountain and valley experiences. Sometimes we quickly hike through a valley but sometimes our way out is blocked so we have to find a way to survive in the valley. We need help.

I look up to the mountains—
does my help come from there?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth!
He will not let you stumble;
the one who watches over you will not slumber.
Indeed, he who watches over Israel
never slumbers or sleeps.
The Lord himself watches over you!
The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
The sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon at night.
The Lord keeps you from all harm
and watches over your life.
The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,
both now and forever.  —Psalm 121

Lord, sometimes You rescue us from the valleys but sometimes You stay awake all night and watch over and protect us in our  valley seasons.

Heavenly Father, when I look at this picture and think about my latest valley, it makes me smile.  I believe the cabin represents Your constant care and protection for me during my time in the valley. Thank You for helping me in the valleys.

I Love You, Lord!

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 


©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading Psalms 128-130, 132, Psalms 134-135

Lord, Thank You for Answering My Cries —Psalm 99:6

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Psalm 98-100, Psalms 102, 104

Heavenly Father, I’m no Moses, Aaron, or Samuel but I know Your hear me and answer me when I cry out for help.

Moses and Aaron were among his priests;
Samuel also called on his name.
They cried to the Lord for help,
and he answered them. —Psalm 99:6

Do I always feel Your presence?

Do You always answer how I would like?

Do You answer when I would like?

Do You always say “yes” to my requests?

No, no, no and no.

But You have promised to never leave me alone when life isn’t going my way (Matthew 28:20) and to use these times for my good and Your Glory (Romans 8:28).

Lord, I don’t believe this just because Your Word says so, I’ve seen it happen over and over in my life.

I trust You.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Psalms 105-106

Lord, I’m Weary and Worn Out—Proverbs 30:1

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Proverbs 30:1-31:31

Heavenly Father, everyday I’m amazed at how relevant and applicable Your Word is to my life. You really understand the highs and lows of human beings. Thank You for keeping it real.

I am weary, O God; I am weary and worn out, O God. I am too stupid to be human, and I lack common sense. I have not mastered human wisdom, nor do I know the Holy One. —Proverbs 30:1-3

I have felt every emotion in these verses many times in my life.

  • weary
  • worn out
  • stupid
  • lacking common sense
  • lacking wisdom
  • not knowing You

Thankfully, the more time I spend with You, the more I know You but the rest of these feelings show themselves more than I would like.

Lord, right now I’m tired, weary and worn out. It’s been a hard season and I’m physically and emotionally spent. I know You’ve given me the strength and health to make it each day. I’m thankful. My time with You is what keeps me going.

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“Lord, I know that You can give me rest so I cry out with all I have left. Let me see redemption win, let me know the struggle ends. I’m worn.”

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Psalms 42-46

Lord, Show Me When to Sing—Proverbs 25:20

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Proverbs 25:1-29:27

Heavenly Father, this year I have discovered the power of vinegar. Drinking a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar each day has cured my acid reflux. Vinegar has so many uses and I use a lot of it in my house but I certainly don’t want it poured on an open wound. It burns like crazy on a little scratch, so I’m sure it would set me on fire if poured on a serious wound.

Singing cheerful songs to a person with a heavy heart is like taking someone’s coat in cold weather or pouring vinegar in a wound. —Proverbs 25:20

Lord, how many times have I poured vinegar on someone’s wounds by trivializing their pain with clichés or offering canned advice. You told us through Solomon in Ecclesiastes 3:1-9, there’s a season for everything.  Sometimes, a person needs to cry, grieve, and be sad. No, this can’t go on forever, but moving through the grieving process is a healthy thing and it should not be rushed.

Jesus, help me to realize that a sincere “I’m sorry,” means more than MY words of wisdom.

Lord, comfort those who have a heavy heart today.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Proverbs 30:1-31:31

Lord, My Heart is Willing, But I’m Too Busy—2 Chronicles 29:31

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Chronicles 29:3-31:21

Heavenly Father, I’m taking a bit of liberty with this scripture today. It’s really about offerings but when I saw the words “all whose hearts were willing” my brain immediately thought, “Lord, there are so many desperate needs around me. People who just need a call, visit, their dishes washed, or a meal delivered. I want to help them. I’m willing, but I’m so busy. I just don’t have time.”

Then Hezekiah declared, “Now that you have consecrated yourselves to the Lord, bring your sacrifices and thanksgiving offerings to the Temple of the Lord.” So the people brought their sacrifices and thanksgiving offerings, and all whose hearts were willing brought burnt offerings, too.  —2 Chronicles 29:31

Maybe, this verse is more accurate than I thought. When I give to others it is definitely an offering of worship and many times it’s a sacrifice. I think the sacrifice word is the problem. In 2014, in America, sacrifice is a dirty word. We want our lives to be easy, comfortable, and all about us.

Lord, the enemy of our soul uses our fast paced and self-centered culture to keep us so busy with me, my, and mine that we “don’t have time” to care about anyone else. As Christians we expect the “church” or some social organization to care for the needs of the hurting because that’s why we pay our tithes or taxes. We’d rather just throw money at it and feel like we’d done our part.

We have been deceived into thinking that benevolence or caring for others in their time of need is a spiritual gift, some have it and some don’t. I know everyone doesn’t enjoy cooking or visiting people in the hospital but when the day comes when I’m the one in need and no one has the time or the desire to reach out to me, I see things from a completely different perspective.

Lord, I know from personal experience that the quality of the meal or the eloquence of someone’s words is the last thing on my mind when I’m in need. The ONLY thing I’m thinking when someone shows up to check on me or bring a meal is, THEY STOPPED THE CRAZINESS OF THEIR WORLD TO CARE ABOUT ME!!!

Jesus, continue to convict me of this need in my circle of influence. Help me to realize a meal from the deli at Publix means just as much as slow-cooked meal from home. Remind me that a 5 minute visit can mean the world to someone. Show me what I need to stop in my life so I can be Your hands and feet to the hurting world.

Lord, use me as Your representative today.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Proverbs 25:1-29:27

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