Are you discouraged? Do you feel like giving-up? You resolve to do better, only to slip back into your default. You are in good company. Look at what Paul said.
“I can say Merry Christmas, but I am not wishing anyone a Happy New Year.” My friend shocked me with her words. She continued, “I am so scared; I think God is punishing our nation and things are just going to keep getting worse.” Although I hadn’t heard it expressed exactly like that, I am hearing fear and panic in the words around me, especially from believers.
Good morning friends. Today is the first day of our May Memories series at Ask God Today Ministries. I hope you will be encouraged by the messages you read this month. Today we have Jayna Coppedge with us. Let’s all show Jayna some love in the comments. Have a wonderful month!
by Jayna Coppedge
When I was in my early 20’s I remember scrutinizing some great grandmas at church. I did not know my grandmas well and did not know my greats at all, so I was watching to learn. Instead of finding an example, I prayed, “Lord, please keep me from becoming a complaining old woman.”
God spoke very directly to me: “Then you have got to change your ways. You are what you practice; start being more positive today.”
I continued to look for the model to follow. Eventually I found her in Luke 1—Elizabeth, righteous, blameless, and childless.
by Anastacia Maness
Have you ever thought you could use more patience? Maybe you’ve said, “My patience is running out!” or “I’m losing my patience!”
Perhaps, like me, your patience has already run out. Then, my friend, you and I need a good helping of patience building.
How do we put on patience?
“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience.” (Romans 5:3, KJV)
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” (James 1:2-3, NKJV)
Here we go.
5 Steps to Building Patience
by Jayna Coppedge
I vacillate between dread, disgust, and fear when I listen to the world news. It appears that much of what I value is disappearing. I hurt as I see others suffering. I can relate to the prophet Isaiah, because God told him that Judah, his home, would be destroyed.
“Then I said, ‘For how long, Lord?’ And he answered: ‘Until the cities lie ruined and without inhabitant, until the houses are left deserted and the fields ruined and ravaged, until the Lord has sent everyone far away and the land is utterly forsaken.’” Isaiah 6:11, 12
God has not told me personally that my country will soon lie in ruins, but I no longer see Christian values reflected in my community. Gambling is thought to be the best source to fund our schools. Denominations appear to be ignoring portions of scriptures, letting culture define marriage. When it comes to stewarding our natural resources, Christians seem to be irresponsible. I am uneasy about the political, environmental, and economic future. Perhaps it is my age, the media, or the pricking of the Holy Spirit, but I grieve more. Yet my pain is nothing compared to what Isaiah describes.
“A dire vision has been shown to me: . . . At this my body is racked with pain, pangs seize me, like those of a woman in labor; I am staggered by what I hear, I am bewildered by what I see. My heart falters, fear makes me tremble; the twilight I longed for has become a horror to me.” Isaiah 21:2-4
Even so, the prophet of hope writes:
” The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come . . . to save you.’” Isaiah 35:1, 4 (more…)