JOY THROUGH TRIALS

© Tee-Tee Barnes Photography, 2014
 
JOY THROUGH PAIN
(James 1)

There is joy in the making
and joy in the taking
when trials come and go,
There is joy in the burden
and joy in the uncertain
when faith sits at its lowest.
There is joy in the heart ache
and joy in the heart break
when there’s no where else to turn,
There is joy in the loss
and joy in the cost
when we lay it all at His feet.

Because faith brings patience when we endure the trials
when we suffer the depth of the pit,
God will be our Provider, Sustainer and Helper
when in wisdom we ask of Him.
Don’t lose heart-though you may at the start-
let your faith be renewed in the Lord,
You will receive the joy only He can provide
and strength when at your weakest to stand firm.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©23 July 2014
Revised ©27 July 2014
All Rights Reserved

© Tee-Tee Barnes Photography, 2014
 
James 1:2-8 (NKJV):  My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,  knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.  If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to himBut let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Romans 5:3-5 (NKJV):   And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseveranceand perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

 

 
 
© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges 2014  

A JOURNEY’S PRAYER

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” 
 Deuteronomy 31:6 (NKJV)

24 Years ago this week my family (dad, mom, brother, sister and I) moved from San Diego, California to a little town called Hickory, North Carolina. I was 18 years young at the time. I had just graduated from high school with  no drivers license, no job, no car….basically, I had no choice. I had to come. It was a huge change! I left all of my friends behind and the life I knew. It was a very sad time in my life. 
Here is a picture of our U-Haul truck towing one of our many vehicles. My Uncle C.J.  and Aunt Betty came to help us move. It was a lonnnngggg trip! 

 We made it safely to North Carolina a week later. I cannot say I’ve ever fallen in love with this state but it can be a nice place to live. I think my heart will always be in California. I lived there all of my growing up years.
The night before we left I wrote the following poem and I remember my mom reading it the next morning with tears in her eyes saying how much she loved it. She would hold onto it forever. 
A JOURNEY’S PRAYER

We are on our way
We’ve just begun
The trip is long
But the work is done.
Now we will rest
Our journey to begin
A world unknown
Awaits us in the end.
“Dear God,” we pray,
“Be with us today,
Guide our eyes and our hearts
Throughout each day.
Give us wisdom, and courage, too
To face each challenge as well as the new.
Be with us now,
Take our hands,
Lead us onward…
Amen.”

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©16, July 1990 All Rights Reserved

So here’s my prayer for you. No matter what journey you are on today or tomorrow, I pray that God will guide your eyes and your heart in wisdom with courage to face each challenge and each new thing that comes into your life. I know your journey may be a rough one right now, I pray God will use it to His glory and for the good that He promises it will be. For those who are enjoying the journey they are on now, I pray you will stay close to God even in the good times so that when the hard times come you will know He is there with you always. He’ll never leave you, never forsake you, and He’ll never let go of your hand. Amen. 

© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2014

IT IS WELL

A PARAPHRASE OF THE CLASSIC HYMN: IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL
By Marcie Bridges

© Tee-Tee Barnes Photography, 2014
And he said:“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there.

The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21 (NKJV)

**When peace, like a river, attendeth my way – – When everything is going well and right

When sorrows like sea billows roll; – – When life has taken its heaviest toll

Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say – –
                   No matter what is going on in my life You have taught me this one thing

It is well, it is well, with my soul! – – All is alright, With You by my side, 
                                                                                                    My soul is at peace.

©Tee-Tee Barnes Photography, 2014

It is well – – Thank You Lord!
With my soul – – With my whole being
It is well, It is well – – I rest in You, I trust in You,
With my soul! – – With my whole heart, soul and mind
                             With all I am, all I have
                              My inmost being.

© Karen Murphy Photography, 2014  

Thank You LORD that no matter what has come into our lives, whether because of something we have done, or someone else has thrown us into a pit, we can rest in You and we can find peace in our inmost being. I praise You LORD that one day the clouds will part, and You will call us home and we will have no more sorrow, no more pain, no more sin. Until then LORD, may we find within us the words to say, BLESSED BE YOUR NAME IT – IS WELL WITH MY SOUL.  
The Gaither’s Sing It is Well With My Soul with David Phelps soloing:
** Lyrics “It is Well With My Soul” by Horatio G. Spafford, Circa 1873, Public Domain

© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2014

SEASONED WORDS

Are your words inviting or repulsive?
SEASONED WORDS

Lord
let my words be seasoned
with grace
mercy
love
not of hate
bitterness
strife

Lord
let my words be Yours
of truth
joy
peace
not of envy
jealousy
gossip

Lord
let my words be slow
full o f wisdom
guidance
understanding
not of quickness
judgement
defilement

Lord
let my words be swift
to forgiveness
kindness
blessing
not full of rebuke
cruelty
curses

Lord
let my words be seasoned
with the fruits
of Your Spirit
in all
love, joy, peace
patience, kindness, goodness
faithfulness, gentleness,
self-control
that others will not see me
but only
You.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
 ©1 July 2014, All Rights Reserved

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Proverbs 15:1 tells us, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh words stirs up anger.”  

Oh what a mess our tongues and words can do when we don’t use caution! Over the past few weeks this idea of our words being acceptable to God has been brought up from several different people and things I’ve read on the Internet and definitely through God’s own Word. A friend of mine pointed out the verse in Psalms 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O LORD, my strength and my redeemer” and I got to thinking about what that verse really says. It does NOT say to just let what we think and feel be acceptable to God, but also our words. This concept is reiterated in Colossians 4:6, “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”

Did you catch that? Seasoned with grace, seasoned with salt! James 1:19 warns us to be “swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath”. Take a moment before you say something to think about what you are saying and ask yourself, “How will what I’m about to say affect this person and our relationship?” Be slow to speak words of discouragement, cursing, gossip, bitterness or strife.

The Psalms and Proverbs also give us the wisdom of keeping a guard over our tongues because by guarding what we say, or thinking before speaking, we keep ourselves from evil!

Proverbs 21:23 “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue Keeps his soul from troubles.”

Psalm 34:13-14 “Keep your tongue from evil, And your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.”

And finally, use the fruit of the Spirit to help you with your attitudes, actions and words: Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

O LORD! LET THE WORDS OF OUR MOUTHS AND THE MEDITATION OF OUR HEARTS BE ACCEPTABLE TO YOU!
 

*All Scripture from the NKJV
© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2014