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Family Christian

  • Written Affirmation

    Posted on July 13, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    Hiram king of Tyre replied by letter to Solomon: ‘Because the Lord loves his people, he has made you their king’” (2 Chronicles 2:11).

    The written word is a life-changing medium of communication that never goes out of style. For example, Holy Scripture has been passed down throughout history. It relates God’s heart and encourages people. Verbal communication can get lost over time, but the written word has the opportunity to persevere. So why not reach out and affirm with personal notes?

    Yes, it takes time to arrange thoughts and piece sentences together, but what a fantastic way to show others you love and care about them. You say that you care when you take the time to write how you feel about someone. Maybe it is just a ten-minute handwritten note or a one-hour handwritten letter; either way, love on paper lasts. It is a gift that keeps giving.

    God has written His love letter to you through the medium of the Bible. He has modeled the way. Indeed, people desperately need affirmation and care. Every day life has the tendency to suck energy and hope from people, but we have the noble task of infusing courage and life through the written word. You do not have to be a gifted writer to write.

    You simply need the heart; God will lead your hand. If your penmanship is unintelligible, use a keyboard. You have no excuse. The occasion may be someone’s birthday (spiritual or physical), a job promotion, a school graduation, a thank you, a sickness, a death, a wedding anniversary, or for no special reason but to say, “I am thinking about you.”

    How does it make you feel when you receive an unexpected note of encouragement? Someone writes to affirm you as a mom, father, husband, wife, grandparent, Bible teacher, homemaker, friend, or a mentor. You probably feel undeserving; yet you are filled with gratitude. When you receive written affirmation, pay it forward to someone else.

    Perhaps each time you receive an e-mail, note, or letter of affirmation, send one on to another needy soul. This is a gift that keeps on giving. Truth is stored in our hearts and minds with the ability to flush out lies of unworthiness and discouragement. It is not unusual for someone to physically file away written affirmation, only to taste its meaty morsels in future days of loneliness. Encouraging words transfer courage for living.

    Written encouragement is a balm for the wounded heart and food for the hungry soul. It never loses its luster and effectiveness. It is always there to draw on. Especially reach out to those who are snared by sin. Instead of ignoring or judging the fallen as they wallow in the consequences of their bad choices, affirm them. Take the time to write out who they are in Christ and what God thinks about them—children of God, chosen by Him, His workmanship in Christ, and joint-heirs with Jesus!

    Written affirmation is not a test where you are graded for grammar, spelling, and style. Rather, it is a tool in the hand of God that offers hope, peace, love, and encouragement to His children. Share your heart with pen and paper, and the Lord will love through you.

    I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).

    Prayer: What types of written words from others affirm me? On what occasion can I write to encourage friends and family?

    Related Readings: Psalm 102:18; John 20:31; Hebrews 13:22; 1 John 1:4

    Post/Tweet: Written encouragement is a balm for the wounded heart and food for the hungry soul. #wrritenaffirmation

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

  • Excel in Education

    Posted on July 12, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom. Daniel 1:20

     

    Education is an excuse to influence others for the things of God. It is creditability for Christ. Learning is leveraged to point people to the Lord. Yes, followers of Jesus are wise to be inspired and instructed in faith based living. The Holy Spirit enlightens eager minds to mine out and discover wisdom and understanding in Holy Scripture. Ignorance takes no effort, but a reputable education requires diligence and humility. Christians should strive to be at the top of their class.

     

    Informal education may be your only option; if so, stay in a structured process of learning. Harness the internet by accessing resources and classes that compel you to grow and become better in your walk with Christ, your vocation and your roles in life. Organize your reading around your passion and gifts. Learn from writers like Andrew Murray, A.W. Tozer, Alexander Maclaren, Teresa of Avila, Matthew Henry and historian Paul Johnson. Read publications like the Wall Street Journal, Christian History, Relevant, The Economist, Christianity Today and HBR.

     

    Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning. Proverbs 9:9

     

    Furthermore, take advantage of formal education opportunities. Steward well the time and money necessary to advance your knowledge in an institutional setting. Learn how to ask insightful questions. College and graduate school are opportunities to create disciplines in reading and study that carry you throughout your career. When you slow down in your senior years, speed up your mental exercise. A mind that stays fresh and alive keeps the body alive.

     

    Lastly, learn to love the Lord with your mind by focused attention on comprehension and application, not just on the acquisition of information. Apply what you already know, so the Holy Spirit has liberty to reveal what you don’t know. Prayer and meditation is an incubator for the Spirit to warm you up to the ways of God. Stay mindful, humility is your protection from taking pride in your knowledge. You are the smartest when you give all credit to your Savior Jesus!

     

    I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw. Proverbs 24:32

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, teach me in Your ways and show me ways to be a lifetime learner.

    Related Readings: Psalms 119:71-73; ; Isaiah 26:9; Matthew 11:29; John 6:45; Acts 18:24

    Post/Tweet today: Apply what you already know, so the Holy Spirit has liberty to reveal what you don’t know. #HolySpirit

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

  • Healing Your Marriage

    Posted on July 12, 2013 by Stephanie Clayton

    Stephanie

    "Jesus answered her, 'If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.'" John 4:10 (NIV)

    I try so hard, and for what? I get nothing in return.

    Things will never change. I have been praying for years. I'm ready to give up.

    Maybe I just married the wrong person. Why do I have to stay in a marriage when I am miserable?

    I just want him to notice me ...

    These are the cries of a burned out, emotionally drained wife. How do I know? Because I have been there.

    The first eight years of my marriage were rough. My husband and I were young and had a difficult time making decisions and just doing life together. He wanted one thing and I wanted another. Would we ever see eye-to-eye? Would he be able to meet my needs? Desperately desiring happiness, I began to resent him rather than dealing with the actual root of my sadness and lack of fulfillment ... which was my past.

    I entered our marriage with a great deal of hurt from my past that I refused to deal with. Unrealistically, I expected when I got married, this hurt would disappear. But it didn't. It hung on. And I became bitter toward my husband for not being enough to right the wrongs in my life.

    But the truth is, it wasn't my husband's responsibility to be my cure-all. Even if he had tried, no one and no thing on earth could have fixed the hurt or filled my emptiness. No, I had to find my healing and hope in something else. The answer to my dissatisfaction was found in John 4 in the story of another unhappy woman.

    One day this woman, who had been married five times and was now living with another man, went to draw water from a well. There she met Jesus. Seeing clear through her hurt and pain, and recognizing her heart's desire to be loved, Jesus shared this life-changing truth with her:

    "'If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water. ... Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst'" (vs. 10, 14a).

    Jesus invited her into a relationship with Him. Not because He wanted to take the place of any husband or man in her life, but because He wanted to take a higher position within her heart. He offered to be her all-satisfying Savior.

    Jesus invited this heart-parched woman to drink from Him and be refreshed, cheered, revived, comforted, and so much more. He assured her that in Him, she would never thirst again.

    So often we look to our husbands (or other people, positions, or possessions) with unrealistic expectations, wanting them to offer what only Christ can: perfect healing, unending love, and sufficient validation.

    But every marriage has its seasons. There will be times when you feel deeply fulfilled, and there will be times you may feel stark, barren and empty. That is why it is important to look to Christ alone for your value and fulfillment. He is your only Savior.

    How do you do this? Get to know Him, just like you did your husband when you were dating! Study the Bible, pray and spend time alone with God daily. Replace thoughts of unworthiness, doubt or belittling with truth you find in Scripture.

    With time, God healed our marriage. It took me going to counseling to deal with my past and a godly man to mentor my husband. As we began to find personal satisfaction in our individual relationships with Christ, we simultaneously began to grow closer to each other. The first step to restoring our marriage, though, was accepting the Lord's exclusive invitation to drink the water only He provides.

    Will you accept it today too? He's offering you living water. Let's drink deep and allow the healing to begin.

    Father, thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, to have a relationship with me. Help me seek Him and find my satisfaction in Him alone. As that happens, please heal me and my marriage. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    A Confident Heart by Renee Swope will help you find the soul-satisfying love and assurance your heart longs for!

     

    Reflect and Respond:
    Take an honest assessment: do you expect your husband to make the pain from your past better, to fulfill you and to be your source of happiness?

    Take time today to get to know Jesus by studying Scripture and praying.

    Power Verse:
    Isaiah 55:1, "Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price." (ESV)

    © 2013 by Stephanie Clayton. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org

  • Wise Beyond Youth

    Posted on July 11, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds. Daniel 1:17

     

    Youth is not just a passive pass through into adulthood. It is an opportunity to be a world changer and not a world gamer. God gives the young He can trust His knowledge and understanding to impact the culture for Christ. Like Daniel and his friends, the eternal energy and enthusiasm of those with less experience is an opportunity to experience God! A tidal wave of spiritual transformation is ready to be unleashed by the Spirit in the tender hearts of young trusting souls.

     

    What has the Lord laid on your heart that is outrageous to the status quo? What is your big idea that requires the humility of teachability, the grace of prayer, the discipline of focus and patient persistence? Wherever God has for you, be your best and always think big for His glory. It is an insult to our Lord to limp through life, as if we had no support from our Savior. Ask Jesus for wisdom beyond your youth. Use technology and your relational equity to connect others to God.

     

    For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you.We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives. Colossians 1:9

    Furthermore, let’s release those who have yet to grace the age of thirty to engage the grace of God in a gigantic way. Help their dreams and visions come true by investing prayer and money in their ideas. Mentor them to be servants of the Most High and lovers of the most lowly. Encourage their hearts, challenge their minds, starve their egos and feed their faith. If we hold back those hungry for God, we may hinder holy outcomes. Yes, lift up the youth to believe big!

     

    Above all, train and encourage your children in the ways of the Lord. As they get older keep pouring prayers and God’s principles into their lives. When they are married invest in their marriage by sponsoring them to attend a marriage retreat or intensive. Give them the tools, resources and relationships to be wise beyond their years. When God blesses them with children invest time and God’s word in your grand babies. Ask the Lord to make them wise in their youth!

     

    Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:30-31

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, use me to empower youth to be everything You’ve called them to be.

    Related Readings: Esther 2:8; Psalm 89:19; Ecclesiastes 4:13; 2 Corinthians 4:1; Hebrews 12:1-3

    Post/Tweet today: Youth: encourage their hearts, challenge their minds, starve their egos and feed their faith. #youth

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

  • Aaron Shust to Perform Concert of New Album Online

    Posted on July 11, 2013 by Family Christian

    Aaron Shust’s highly anticipated new album, Morning Rises, releases July 16, and in support of the project Shust will perform an online concert through Stageit.  The 30-minute show begins at 7:00 pm CDT and will feature an intimate, acoustic performance of the songs on the album, including the new single, God Of Brilliant Lights. All proceeds from tickets and tips will be donated to Family Christian Ministries' James Fund that is dedicated to meeting the needs of orphans and widows around the world.  Tickets may be purchased by clicking here.

    Shust will be appearing on FOXNews.com/Live's “Spirited Debate” tomorrow, July 12th, at 1:20 pm EDT to discuss his new album. The interview will be via Skype as Shust is traveling for a week long promo tour that includes such radio stations as, WMHK/Columbia, SC; WAFJ/Augusta, GA; WLFJ/His Radio/Simpsonville, SC; WAY-FM/Huntsville, AL and The Fish/Nashville, TN. While in Nashville, Shust will tape an online performance for FOX 17/TN Mornings, perform on WSMV’s More at Midday, and will do interviews with World Christian Broadcasting and One One 7TV.

  • Laura Story - God of Every Story

    Posted on July 11, 2013 by Family Christian


    Talented worship leader and songwriter Laura Story is best known for her inspirational hit “Blessings” and co-writing “Indescribable,” a Chris Tomlin anthem. With only two albums to her credit, she’s already an award winner several times over. “Blessings” was certified Digital Gold and nabbed a 2012 Billboard Music Award, GRAMMY® and helped Laura to four Dove Award wins.

    Now, with her third studio album, God of Every Story, Laura returns to that deep place of vulnerability before the Lord and honesty with herself. Award- winning producer Ed Cash helmed the deeply personal project, and their shared Carolina roots led to the incorporation of acoustic and epic instruments into this worshipful pop album.

    Lyrically, God of Every Story draws from Laura’s own life. Her husband’s brain tumor early in their marriage led the young family down a painful path she wouldn’t have chosen, but one that deepened her faith and her music. The resulting songs show God’s love and grace intersecting with real life. The album is a wonderful reminder that despite our questions or circumstances, we continue to praise Him because we know He is the keeper of the stars.

    Listen to a snippet of Laura's new single here

    "It was hard to know where to start after my last album. The song Blessings started as a diary entry and God blew us away by using it in the lives of so many around the world. And as I began to write for my new project "God of Every Story", I went back to that deep place of vulnerability before the Lord, and honesty -- with myself. The path God has led our family down is not one I would have chosen for myself. It has been much harder than I had envisioned, yet it has required deeper faith than I ever thought myself capable of. And that's what God of every story is really about: It’s trusting that the same God who orchestrates the rising and the setting of the sun each day pays the same attention to every detail of my life. It’s believing that at the end of the day, we will look back on this amazing God story that is my life and view it as a beautiful sunset, where the blues and reds, the laughter and tears, all meld together to show the faithfulness of God in a way that makes us stand in applause."

    "God of Every Story" is a collection of songs about where God's love and grace intersect with our real life situations. It’s about God working all things together for good and love always winning. It’s a celebration of God's faithfulness, even when we don't always understand His plan this side of heaven. Yet we praise Him because He is the keeper of the stars, the One who holds all things together and always, always, deserves our worship.

    One of my favorite things about making this record was the privilege of working with Ed Cash. Ed and I met when I was a sophomore in college and being both from the Carolinas, we love exploring how acoustic and more folky instruments can be used in contemporary Christian music. Ed did a great job both pulling from my roots as well as stretching me to new places creatively.

    - Laura Story

  • Saying Yes to God

    Posted on July 11, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa

    "Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel ..." Ephesians 6:19 (NIV)

    Have you ever had one of those amazing thoughts of something you want to do? Your heart beats wildly for a few minutes—or even a few days—and you think to yourself, I'm going to do this!

    But then the reasons you can't start coming. They suit up, start marching, and aim their weapons of discouragement right at your heart. In the end, that amazing thought becomes a fleeting thought.

    And you think to yourself, yeah, it was a dumb idea. Then, as quickly as the stir of passion started, it fades. Too many of us live in the depressing, washed-out shades of a thousand faded passions that might have been.

    Because we're afraid.

    We'd rather stay safe and under the radar than go big and possibly flop.

    But every now and then someone rare comes along. They would rather die than say, "I wish I would have ..." Instead, they grit their teeth, lift their raw souls to God, and scream above all the naysayers, "I will! With God, I will!"

    That's my pastor.

    I have never seen someone so willing to FEARLESSLY make known the mystery of the gospel. He walks, talks, eats, sleeps, and breathes Ephesians 6:19, "Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel ..."

    My pastor had a crazy thought fly into his brain to do an old-school revival for 12 nights in a row. A revival that wouldn't be about one church and one preacher, but would be about THE CHURCH with many preachers. One that would be all about getting the hope of Jesus to the masses.

    It was a good idea. But it was a crazy idea. What about the expense? What if it burned out the staff? Would people really show up for all 12 nights? So many questions begged the idea to just fade away.

    But my pastor didn't let it fade. He didn't let it die. He ignited it. Not because he didn't feel the pull of fear, but rather because he pressed into God and chose to be unafraid.

    This crazy thought turned into an amazing reality—a full-blown revival. Twelve straight nights. Twelve amazing messages. Twelve passionate preachers. One awe-inspiring purpose—to fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.

    My husband and I had the privilege to attend much of this revival in person. And though I'm a woman of many words, I can't possibly begin to describe what God did.

    There was an igniting of souls that happened and extended all across the globe. People came to know Jesus. People got baptized. People found hope again. And people saw what can happen when one person dares to say, "I'm going to say yes to God's wild invitation. I'm going to do this!"

    You may be thinking, my yes can't affect others like this. I don't have that kind of influence. But we cannot even begin to understand the plans God has for us. There is always a far-reaching ripple effect when a woman says yes to God. We don't have to see the spread of the influence to know it's there. The power of saying yes to God is beyond anything we could ever imagine.

    Dear Lord, thank You for the examples of great men and women You have placed in our lives. May we humble ourselves as we learn from their courage to say yes to Your call. Give me the strength and courage necessary to take that next step in Your will for me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    For more encouragement on your journey of walking in obedience check out Lysa TerKeurst's new book, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God Devotional, releasing August 1! Click here to pre-order your copy.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Think of an example of someone who has chosen to say yes to God no matter what the cost.

    What can you learn from their example of faith and radical obedience?

    Power Verses:
    2 Corinthians 1:20-22, "Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God's Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident. God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting his Yes within us. By his Spirit he has stamped us with his eternal pledge—a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete." (MSG)

    © 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org

  • Trial Period

    Posted on July 10, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Daniel 1:12

     

    People can be skeptical about the sincerity of some Christians. They still simmer over a bad church experience perhaps being put on the spot, even embarrassed by well meaning worshipers. Perhaps they were wounded by the unintended consequences of Christ followers who were insensitive to the insecurities of the guest to their church. Needless to say, they are cautious about making any kind commitment related to faith. They want to try before they buy.

     

    Therefore, we are wise as followers of Jesus to build bridges to unbelievers. We can create environments for them to experience our acceptance and the truth from God’s word. Dinner in our home, an exploratory Bible study at church or a fun event with other friends gives seekers a glimpse of God’s grace. Yes, those who have yet to taste the grace and forgiveness of Jesus are testing us to see if we will live out what we believe. Love gives us high marks from the marginal.

     

    Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8

     

    Furthermore, you can prayerfully invite non-Christians to taste and see that the Lord is good. Give them an appetizer of encouragement in Holy Scripture before you ask them to digest a doctrine or two. Be careful not to choke a friend who is hungry for God with too much truth. Indeed, the Lord works with everyone at their own tempo. We may have a wonderful plan for their life, but Jesus has the best plan for them. Give your friends and family space to experience faith at their pace.

     

    Lastly, have you experienced the Lord in a personal relationship with Christ? If not, seriously consider embarking on this journey with Jesus. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead your heart in the way of wisdom. Your spiritual growth is a process of tests and trials. Don’t give up on God, rather use  trial periods to live out the truth of your convictions. Trial periods are for the lost and saved. Yes, God works through trial periods to prove Himself worthy of utter abandonment to Himself!

     

    I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. Proverbs 4:11

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me grace to enter into a trial period and go deeper with You.

    Related Readings: Hebrews 6:5; James 1:2-3; 1 Peter 2:3; Revelation 2:10

    Post/Tweet today: Don’t give up on God, rather use trial periods to live out the truth of your convictions. #tests

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

  • Dara Maclean - New Album - Wanted

    Posted on July 10, 2013 by Family Christian

    Dara Maclean is scheduled to release her sophomore album, Wanted, on September 24. The album’s title track and lead single grabbed early attention jumping seven spots at radio to No. 30 on NCA chart this past week. Produced by Paul Mabury (All Sons & Daughters, Hillsong, Meredith Andrews), Wanted is the eagerly-awaited follow-up to Maclean’s debut album, You Got My Attention.

    For Maclean, both a passionate artist and advocate for the International Justice Mission, an organization that is pioneering the fight against human trafficking, this album is much more than just a compilation of songs. “This album is for those broken, the lost and the ones in need of rescue. It’s for me and it’s for them, whether ‘they’ are next door or half way across the world. This record is a reminder that through God’s grace and redemption, He has made us good enough, He sees us as ‘blameless.’ We’ve been forgiven and we can find the peace, satisfaction and rest we’re looking for in Him,” said Maclean. “This record is my mouthpiece to raise the volume of the already screaming heartbeat of the Father, crying ‘Set My People Free.’ When life hits in the hardest ways, and you need peace and you need an answer, let’s take Him at His word and together learn about truth, discover sustaining hope and put all of our trust in the only answer, God.”

    “She genuinely cares for people and has a story to tell; she genuinely wants to see people changed,” said Mabury. “I heard a girl singing at the beginning…now I hear a woman singing.”

    Sonically, Wanted reveals Maclean’s musical upbringing and love for powerful, soul-steeped vocalists from Etta James to Lauryn Hill.  This influence can be seen throughout the album that infuses her soaring vocals with modern pop and soul melodies thanks to the help of multi-talented producer Mabury. “Paul knows the world of worship and he’s a songwriter, a producer and one of the best drummers that I’ve heard,” said Maclean. “He is also extremely well-versed in the music that moves me. He has this backbone of soul and took the time to ‘get me’ and wanted to make music that was true to that.”

    During the past two years Maclean, who embraces song writing equally as much as being a vocalist, wrote heavily in preparation for this album. She co-wrote each of the 12 tracks on Wanted and loved getting to write with some of her favorites including Paul Mabury, Jason Ingram (Brandon Heath, Bebo Norman), Dave Barnes (Blake Shelton, Bebo Norman) and Cindy Morgan (Amy Grant, Mark Schultz).

  • When You're Angry at God

    Posted on July 10, 2013 by Micca Campbell

    Micca

    "LORD my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me." Psalms 30:2 (NIV)

    As I waited for my husband to return from surgery, I began to worry. It was taking longer than the doctor had said it would. Since over 80% of my husband's body had been burned during the house fire, I feared the surgery would be too much for him.

    My worst fears were confirmed when the doctor walked into the waiting room, still in his surgical clothes, and knelt down beside my chair. My heart began to pound as he explained that my husband had gone into cardiac arrest and though they were trying everything they could to resuscitate, they feared they had lost him. Immediately, I cried out for God to save him.

    I still remember my desperate plea: God, I realize if my husband lives he most likely won't keep his arms. I understand what that means. He'll never hold me again or play ball with our son. But I don't care, God. Please let him live!

    As the clock ticked down, there was no response. After some time, it finally hit me: he had already left me.

    After the funeral was over and the people were gone, I realized I was alone, a new mother, and a 21-year-old widow. I was very angry God had allowed for things to turn out this way.

    One desperate night, when the pain was more than I could stand, I cried out, Why, God? Why did You take him away from me? Oh, God. I need to know, why!

    Have you ever been angry with God?

    We've all made requests to God that didn't turn out like we had hoped. When that happens, it's easy to become confused about Him. We start to wonder if He heard us or just said "No" to our prayer. What we are certain of is the anger we feel toward the Lord's ways.

    It's important to express our upset emotions to the Lord. But we have to view our circumstances through the lens of God's grace: everything He does is without fault and is always right. Look at Psalm 30:2, "LORD my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me." Rather than ignoring our pain or not sharing our anger with God (which is silly because He already knows), we should confess our anger and seek His healing.

    When I was completely honest with God that night, what happened next took me by surprise: God showed up!

    I can only explain it like this. Just as a mother runs to her screaming child, God, the Father, ran to me—His child. I didn't see Him with my eyes or touch Him with my hands, but I knew He was with me. It comforted me. This encounter with God became a turning point in my healing. I realized God understood my frailties and feelings ... and He was big enough to handle them.

    If you're angry with God, tell Him. Lay your heart open before God. Acknowledge that even while you don't understand what's happened, you trust He can make everything work out.

    It took me a while to see how my circumstances could be used for God's glory and my good. I didn't get my husband back, but I did get a closer relationship with God. A few years later, I re-married, had two more beautiful children, and began a ministry of comfort. God also healed my heart from the pain of loss and the scars anger left.

    I'm glad I was honest with God when I cried out in anger to Him. You will be too.

    Dear Lord, there is so much hurt and anger inside of me. I'm tired of living this way. I'm giving it to You to heal my hurt. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    This devotion was taken from Micca Campbell's book, An Untroubled Heart; Finding a Faith That is Stronger than All My Fears.

    Find refreshing hope and healing in the new NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women, filled with God's truth and 366 devotions by the Proverbs 31 Ministries team.

    Reflect and Respond:
    How do you feel when God doesn't respond the way you hope? Are you ready to share those feelings with God? Why or why not?

    Power Verse:
    Psalms 46:1, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." (ESV)

    © 2013 by Micca Campbell. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org

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