What is Real?
By Holly Good, She Speaks Graduate

“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”
James 1:12 (NIV)


Has your trust ever been shattered by someone you love? Recently I was faced with a very unsettling situation. I was shocked when I learned of hidden sin that had spun its way into the life of someone I care about deeply.

For weeks, I pleaded with God on my knees for an explanation, for understanding, for clarity. My sense of reality had been threatened and betrayed. I desperately cried out, “What is real Lord; tell me what is real. Because what I thought was real may not be.”

I went to bed one night trying to make peace with the fact that maybe I was never supposed to understand this devastating circumstance. I had many questions, but few answers. I had many thoughts, but few explanations. When I awoke the next morning, during my quiet time, the Lord gently began to reveal some answers to my wounded heart.

I was reminded of my need for Him – my never-ending, all-consuming need for Him. Too often I find myself taking my eyes off Him and attempting to live difficult situations in my own strength. I was profoundly challenged by Colossians 3:1-2, “Since then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (NIV). Unfortunately, my focus had completely shifted to myself and my questions. And apart from God, my focus had become distorted.

I was reminded that I needed to continue to seek the Lord and patiently wait for what He had in store. Like Paul with his thorn, I too began to beg the Lord to take this hurt away. Make it disappear, Lord. “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’” (2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV). By admitting my frailty, God was able to affirm His strength in me.

And finally, He pointed me to what is real. He gently reminded me that He is real. My God is real. Though on this earth I will face many stressful situations, many disappointments, and many hurts, I know that my God is real and He will never leave me. I once again found loving comfort in the words from Moses to Joshua in Deuteronomy 31:8, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” (NIV). I knew I had to completely depend on God and believe in His goodness.

My assignment in this difficult circumstance was clear. The Lord was asking me to continue to pray, believe, trust, seek, wait, and focus on Him and Him alone. I am so thankful that nothing will ever separate me from His unfailing love. And THAT my friend is real.

Dear Lord, thank you for the life lessons you will teach me each day. Give me renewed strength as a wife and mother. Help me to continue to desire you and to seek you through each situation I will face. I want to completely depend on you God. I love you Lord, and I trust you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
A Love Worth Giving, by Max Lucado

Because, Worship CD by Gwen Smith

She Speaks Conference June 2008 in Charlotte, NC

Do You Know Jesus?

Application Steps:
Pray often.

Pray honestly on your knees as you seek the Lord in times of trial and persecution.

Read your Bible and ask God to reveal to you what He wants you to learn.

Reflections:
What have you been learning through this particular issue?

Have you recorded your thoughts, prayers, emotions, struggles, and victories in a journal?

Have you experienced growth in your spiritual life as a result of a tragic circumstance? Can you help others going through similar situations?

Remember that God is real and that He loves you completely.

Power Verses:

Romans 5:3, “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance.” (NIV)

John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (NIV)

Joshua 1:5, “No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. (NIV)


12 Comments:

Blogger Sister Honey Bunch said...

I just wanted to say thank you for a great devotion today.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this the Holly that works with Lysa? I loved your devo Holly!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is a fabulous devotion! thank you for sharing... it has enriched my "power up time" this morning... Thank you!

Blogger Renee Swope said...

Yes, this was written by the Holly that works with Lysa. Isnt' she just an amazing woman. What would we do without her!!

AWESOME devo Holly!

Hugs,
Renee

Blogger Mama Mia said...

It's so amazing how God will speak to me through the scriptures, sermons and even devotionals. This one addresses the very issue I am dealing with right now.

I am recovering from a hurt and disappointment of betrayal by someone I had started to care about. It has been so hard to wrap my mind around "what was real?" and "what was it all a lie?". I was so convinced this person was what I wanted and needed in my life and I now realize that I started to take my eyes off Christ.

I've had so many questions and begged God to make me understand why he allowed me to go through yet another devasting emotional hurt, but as a result, I have grown stronger and wiser. I can see even more clearer the love that God has for me.

In my lowest moment of despair, He pointed me to a passage of scriptures I had never read before - Lamentations 3:16-26.

This situation and how God has healed my broken heart (once again) has given more peace and hope knowing that God loves me unconditionally and is totally real and faithful to me!

Blogger Tia said...

I have been betrayed by someone I cared about deeply also. Over the weekend, I found out a lot of lies that were hidden and I have realized through reading this devotional that I had my eyes off of Christ. I was trying to do things on my own and I was trusting in my own plans, rather than totally trusting in God. I am so thankful that God has not left me and he has forgiven me. I believe that this pain was the only way that God could get my attention back on him. As C.S. Lewis said, "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world." This was exactly what he did for me.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I greatly appreciated the prayer at the end and it hit so close to where I am in life right now. With my husband currently in residency working long hours and me home with two little ones, the prayer and devotion were right on!

Blogger Key said...

Holly,
GOD bless you! Thank you for writing this devotion. And thank you for all you've done for the youth at Southbrook. We love you!
Key
Matthew 25:21

Blogger Van said...

Holly, You are amazing spreading your talent all over the place and now encouraging us to look beyond betrayals and painful circumstances to the One Who is Real. Thanks for the reminder - God alone is the lifter of my head.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really needed this post. Thank you for your thoughtfulness, honesty, and strict reminder to yet again, go to Him. God bless! ~em

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This devotion was very helpful to me today. Thank you.

thank you so much!!!
this is where i have been for the past 2 months. i have questioned what, if anything, was real - and what was just a means to an end, in my marriage. thanks to the prayers of my wonderful sisters in Christ (the prayer team there at Prov31), He pulled me back from the brink, and is restoring my relationship with my husband.
He also has shown me that i can ONLY trust in Him, and should never doubt that He has been with me, and will continue to be - no matter where, on this globe, i find myself.
thank you for this affirmation.

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