P31 Devo, Restoration, Online Bible Study, and a GIVEAWAY!!!!

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Hey friends from Proverbs 31 Devotions! I am so glad to meet you. Today in my devotion I wrote about how I violated the marriage trust in a big way. There are a few things I want to share with you as follow up to that devotion…

1. I still struggle with the financial mistakes I made. In fact, just yesterday I faced a financial issue that could have been easily resolved had I maintained my credit. It’s a constant battle. I have asked the Lord for forgiveness, been honest with my husband, and repented of my sins, but at times, I still have to face real world consequences. So what can you do when you have turned from your sin, been honest about your mistakes, and yet consequences continue to bombard you? You make a choice. A choice to either continue moving forward with the Lord, or a choice to feel shameful and fall back into old patterns. One choice leads to growth and restoration, the other leads to pain and suffering. Consequences will come…but with the Lord we have the power to choose continued victory over sin and shame.

2. COMPLETE restoration is COMPLETELY possible. How? Through the loving continued grace of Christ Jesus. It is His job to bind up the brokenhearted and bandage the wounded places. I have prepared this video clip to share with you about the power of restoration and the importance of being still and waiting on the Lord.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UdmatE2ymQ?list=UUmybDd2nnGNI0h5XX8wfZXg]

3. You do not have to do life alone. Turning from sin, repenting from sin, and allowing Christ to work redemption in your life and in your marriage can be a stressful process! During these difficult times in our marriage my husband and I spent time with Christian mentors ~ learning from them and praying with them. You might consider joining a small group or Bible study at your church, or perhaps seeking out a Christian couple to mentor you and your spouse.

In addition, I invite you to be part of an awesome Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study where we will be working through Tracie Miles book “Stressed-Less Living”. Online study is flexible and wonderful for women with busy schedules.

To find out more about the study and sign up, click here.

As part of the study, there is an option to participate in a Conference Call series. During the series you will hear from the author of the book, Tracie Miles, as well as other inspiring and dynamic guests. You do not want to miss out on these calls. Many women say they are their favorite part of Online Bible Study!

Click here to learn more about the Conference Call series.

And now the best part…a huge giveaway!!!!!

I would be honored to hear from you!

How has involvement in Biblical community (having a mentor, being involved in Bible Study, participating in a small group, etc.) helped you through a stressful time? Or how do you think you might benefit from involvement with Biblical community?

Leave a comment answering this question by Friday at 9:00 PM CST and you will be entered to win a prize package containing a free copy of the book “Stressed-Less Living” and a free Stressed-Less Living Conference Call Series! I will be giving away 2 packages and will announce the winner Saturday on this blog!

Blessings and Hugs to you sweet sisters! The Online Bible Study starts April 7th!  I very much hope and look forward to you joining me!!!! Love and hugs!!!! Steph

The temptation in the wait…

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Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. Psalm 37:7 NLT

It seems no one had to spend more time waiting in the Bible than the Israelites. Forty years in the desert, that would test anyone’s patience. And I never forget the story of when Moses went atop Mount Sinai to get the 10 commandments, and the people got tired of waiting. They became frustrated and decided rather than wait on the God who had delivered them from captivity; they would build a golden calf to worship.

It seems silly looking back on it. Who would rather build a golden calf to worship than worship the God who parted the Red Sea? It seemed silly until I realize that I do it to. I get tired of waiting on deliverance. And when I do get tired, I choose to fall upon my own devices. When I cannot see His deliverance directly at hand, I am tempted to fall captive to sin.

I’ve done it more times than I care to count, sinned because I cannot see. I didn’t see God providing for me financially, so I lied to my husband and racked up thousands of dollars in credit card debt. I didn’t feel the Lord’s presence immediately after my rape. It still hurt, and it hurt too bad. So I chose to have more pre-marital sexual relationships hoping that the pain would go away. I didn’t like the way my marriage was turning out, so I chose to yell at my husband and threaten Him with divorce. Satan lied to me and filled my mind with things like “you just married the wrong person” – “you don’t deserve to live like this, get out of this marriage and find someone else” – “your husband is not right for you or your kids, leave him”. And the sad part is, I almost gave into Satan’s lies yet again. He offered me an instant fix. He offered the opportunity to leave. He told me that leaving would alleviate my suffering instantly. I wouldn’t have to wait if I chose his way.

The things is, Satan – sin, offers us what looks like “easy” way out. The bad thing is, that easy way out ALWAYS ends in suffering. If I had left my husband, I would have robbed myself of the blessing Christ has given us through the restoration of our marriage. I would have looked for love again and again, looking for the “perfect” man, and never being able to find him. However, God offers us temporary suffering, but in the end He gives everlasting freedom. Yes, I suffered during difficult parts of my marriage. It was hard. I hurt my husband and he hurt me. But we suffered though, we stuck to the covenant we had promised before The Lord, and because of that He has offered us unbelievable blessing.

So what do we do then? We become more aware of the temptation to sin during the wait. This is perhaps when temptation comes on the strongest. Satan is an opportunist who acts upon our impatience and desire to see things happen now. We don’t want to wait on The Lord, so satan steps in and offers us on the spot remedies. Remedies that look good at the time but always end in suffering. Suffering that thwarts the Lord’s blessing directly. He steps in and steers us in a direction so that our eyes are no longer fixed on our Lord and Savior.

We must be careful of what we are tempted to do. Especially those of us who tend to struggle with depression. I have met many women in suicidal places that are tempted by what satan offers them – an instant way out through taking their own life. He acts and plays on hopeless feelings, inability to see the Lord directly acting on our behalf, and our impatience to wait on the Lord to deliver us from suffering. And it’s not fair. But satan doesn’t play fair. He plays dirty. As Psalm 37:7 says, we must be still and wait patiently for the Lord, and do not worry ourselves with the evil plans others seem to fall victim to. The Lord is our Savior. It is His will to save us from suffering. It may not be simple, or quick, or in the way we imagine or expect – but when we wait patiently on Him we find His rescue is beyond what we could ever ask or imagine. Deeper and wider than we ever thought possible. Wait for Him. Trust His rescue. Do not take the easy way out. Keep your eyes focused on the Lord, on His Word, even when you feel blind, and serve Him by trusting Him in the wait.