Week 5 of The Way Through The Darkness

Week 5 of The Way Through The Darkness

Welcome to Week 5 of our 7-week study!  In case you missed it, here’s the link to the free printable PDF document containing all the weeks including this one.

If you’re just joining us, I strongly recommend you start with Week 1 HERE.  I included some helpful study hints in the Week 1 post that I haven’t repeated since then in order to keep these posts as short as possible.  I value your time and I don’t want to take more than necessary so you have more time to sit at Jesus’ feet.  (You may click the link HERE to go to my series of posts on discovering what it means to sit at His feet.)

Week 5: Waiting in the Word

Brief Thought for the Week:

Can you believe this is already week 5? My heart’s desire is that you have been able to make the time to join us on this 7-week journey and that through reading scripture you’re beginning to see an end to the darkness. We’re headed into His marvelous light together! So now, I really want to hear from you!  Is there something you’re struggling with that you’d like help with? What would help you the most?  I have a couple of ideas I’m praying about for future posts, but I’d like to hear from you!  Whether you just joined us or have been with us for months, I value your input.

This week we will read about waiting. When we wait on God, marvelous things happen:

  • He brings us up out of the muck and mire of the pit of destruction and sets us firmly on The Rock of our salvation … He alone is our salvation!

    dsc_1319
    Photo by REVWRM from Whit’s End blog
  • Also, our hearts are encouraged.
  • Our souls find rest.
  • We are strengthened.

I know, waiting is a challenge and very often uncomfortable,  but we are told in our heavenly Father’s Word that we will be blessed when we do!  Cry out to Him and wait patiently.  He is faithful.

Next week’s topic is “Delighting Daily.”

~ Just keep shining, Cindyeliora

“I pray thatthe eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power”. (Ephesians 1:18-19)

The Way Through The Darkness Week 5

Day 1: Out of Miry Clay

Reading:  Psalm 40:1-3

I waited patiently for the Lord;

And He inclined to me and heard my cry.

He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay,

And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.

He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;

Many will see and fear

And will trust in the Lord. (NASB)

Reflection:

What does today’s subtopic mean to me?

How does this verse from scripture help me?

Response:

What is my first thought in response to this?

What is God saying?

What action should I take?

I want to remember ____________________ .

My response to God ____________________ .

 

Day 2: On God I Wait

Reading: Psalm 25:4-5

Make me to know your ways, O Lord;

    teach me your paths.

Lead me in your truth and teach me,

    for you are the God of my salvation;

    for you I wait all the day long.

Reflection:

What does today’s subtopic mean to me?

How does this verse from scripture help me?

Response:

What is my first thought in response to this?

What is God saying?

What action should I take?

I want to remember ____________________ .

My response to God ____________________ .

 

Day 3: Wait Silently

Reading: Psalm 62:1-2, 5-8

For God alone my soul waits in silence;

    from him comes my salvation.

He alone is my rock and my salvation,

    my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken…

….For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,

    for my hope is from him.

He only is my rock and my salvation,

    my fortress; I shall not be shaken.

On God rests my salvation and my glory;

    my mighty rock, my refuge is God.

Reflection:

What does today’s subtopic mean to me?

How does this verse from scripture help me?

Response:

What is my first thought in response to this?

What is God saying?

What action should I take?

I want to remember ____________________ .

My response to God ____________________ .

 

Day 4: Hearts Encouraged

Reading: Psalm 27:14

Wait for the Lord;

    be strong, and let your heart take courage;

    wait for the Lord!

Reflection:

What does today’s subtopic mean to me?

How does this verse from scripture help me?

Response:

What is my first thought in response to this?

What is God saying?

What action should I take?

I want to remember ____________________ .

My response to God ____________________ .

 

Day 5: Strength Renewed

Reading: Isaiah 40:29-31

He gives power to the faint,

    and to him who has no might he increases strength.

Even youths shall faint and be weary,

    and young men shall fall exhausted;

but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;

    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;

they shall run and not be weary;

    they shall walk and not faint.

Reflection:

What does today’s subtopic mean to me?

How does this verse from scripture help me?

Response:

What is my first thought in response to this?

What is God saying?

What action should I take?

I want to remember ____________________ .

My response to God ____________________ .

 

Day 6: Rest in God

Reading: Matthew 11:28-30

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Reflection:

What does today’s subtopic mean to me?

How does this verse from scripture help me?

Response:

What is my first thought in response to this?

What is God saying?

What action should I take?

I want to remember ____________________ .

My response to God ____________________ .

 

Day 7: My Soul Waits

Reading: Psalm 33:20-21

Our soul waits for the Lord;

    he is our help and our shield.

For our heart is glad in him,

    because we trust in his holy name.

Reflection:

What does today’s subtopic mean to me?

How does this verse from scripture help me?

Response:

What is my first thought in response to this?

What is God saying?

What action should I take?

I want to remember ____________________ .

My response to God ____________________ .

 

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved

Scripture quotations marked NASB are taken from the NASB.

Week 4 of The Way Through The Darkness

Week 4 of The Way Through The Darkness

Welcome to Week 4 of our 7-week study!  In case you missed it, here’s the link to the free printable PDF document containing all the weeks including this one.

If you’re just joining us, I strongly recommend you start with Week 1 HERE.  I included some helpful study hints in the Week 1 post that I haven’t repeated since then in order to keep these posts as short as possible.  I value your time and I don’t want to take more than necessary so you have more time to sit at Jesus’ feet.  (You may click the link HERE to go to my series of posts on discovering what it means to sit at His feet.)

Week 4: Casting Cares

Brief Thought for the Week:

This week we’re going to read a little of what Scripture says about anxiety, depression, and fear.  We’re also going to read that God sustains us, cares for us, gives us His peace, and leads us into His presence where there is joy everlasting!  I’m very excited about what God’s Word will accomplish in your life this week!

I would like to start with a very brief little word study of the two words that are this week’s topic.  The word “care” comes from an original language word that is sometimes translated as anxieties, fears or concerns. Let’s look quickly at the word “cast” first. It is the word used in Luke 19:35 to describe how the disciples’ coats were placed on the donkey on which Jesus rode into Jerusalem.  This word is the same one used in I Peter 5:7 which we’ll be reading on Day 4 this week.

And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. (Luke 19:35, KJV)

The New American Standard Bible translates the word “garments” as “coats.”  So once their coats were cast upon or thrown (NKJV) upon the donkey, they were no longer on them, right?  If it’s on the donkey, it’s not on you!  So, when you read later about casting your cares, remember this word picture.  Your cares are no longer on you once you’ve cast them.  Now, your cares include anything that causes concern in your heart, in your mind, and for any amount of time.  Turn it all over to Him! God wants to carry them for you just like a beast of burden carries a heavy load.  Matthew 11:28 below is a promise, so let’s commit this week to trust His promise!

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Next week’s topic is “Waiting in the Word.”  I know that I sure don’t like it, but sometimes we just have to wait!  😉

~ Just keep shining, Cindyeliora

“I pray thatthe eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power”. (Ephesians 1:18-19)

The Way Through The Darkness Week 4

 

Day 1: Cast Anxiety

Reading: Proverbs 12:25

Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression,
But a good word makes it glad.

Reflection:

What does today’s subtopic mean to me?

How does this verse from scripture help me?

Response:

What is my first thought in response to this?

What is God saying?

What action should I take?

I want to remember ____________________ .

My response to God ____________________ .

 

Day 2: Redeemed Fear Not

Reading: Isaiah 43:1-3

But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I gave Egypt for your ransom,
Ethiopia and Seba in your place.

Reflection:

What does today’s subtopic mean to me?

How does this verse from scripture help me?

Response:

What is my first thought in response to this?

What is God saying?

What action should I take?

I want to remember ____________________ .

My response to God ____________________ .

 

Day 3: God Will Sustain

Reading: Psalm 55:22

Cast your burden on the Lord,
And He shall sustain you;
He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

Reflection:

What does today’s subtopic mean to me?

How does this verse from scripture help me?

Response:

What is my first thought in response to this?

What is God saying?

What action should I take?

I want to remember ____________________ .

My response to God ____________________ .

 

Day 4: God Cares

Reading: I Peter 5:6-7

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Reflection:

What does today’s subtopic mean to me?

How does this verse from scripture help me?

Response:

What is my first thought in response to this?

What is God saying?

What action should I take?

I want to remember ____________________ .

My response to God ____________________ .

 

Day 5: Peace of God

Reading: Philippians 4:6-7

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Reflection:

What does today’s subtopic mean to me?

How does this verse from scripture help me?

Response:

What is my first thought in response to this?

What is God saying?

What action should I take?

I want to remember ____________________ .

My response to God ____________________ .

 

Day 6: Lead Me

Reading: Psalm 139:23-24

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.

Reflection:

What does today’s subtopic mean to me?

How does this verse from scripture help me?

Response:

What is my first thought in response to this?

What is God saying?

What action should I take?

I want to remember ____________________ .

My response to God ____________________ .

 

Day 7: Joy in God’s Presence

Reading: Psalm 16:11

You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Reflection:

What does today’s subtopic mean to me?

How does this verse from scripture help me?

Response:

What is my first thought in response to this?

What is God saying?

What action should I take?

I want to remember ____________________ .

My response to God ____________________ .

 

New King James Version (NKJV) Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

King James Version (KJV) Public Domain

 

Week 1 of The Way Through The Darkness

Week 1 of The Way Through The Darkness

So glad to see you today!  To make it easier to follow along with this week’s study, I created a printable list.  So, not only is it colorful (fitting for the season), but it’s free!  Just click HERE to get it.  Then come on back and start the study.

 

Week 1: Feeding on Faithfulness

Brief Thought for the Week:  The suggested scripture readings for each day are listed below, but first just a few thoughts on this week’s topic.  

Taken literally, faithful means to be full of faith of course, but can God be full of faith? What would He be full of faith in? This by itself is a difficult concept for our limited human minds to comprehend, so let’s look at Webster’s definition. Webster’s defines faithful as being steadfast in affection or allegiance and includes in its list of synonyms: loyal, conscientious, binding, constant. This helps because we can more easily understand God as being affectionate, conscientious, and constant rather than full of faith. What examples of God’s faithfulness might help us with this concept? Psalm 89 is a wonderful example of God’s faithfulness; verses 33 and 34 say,

Nevertheless My lovingkindness I will not utterly take from him,Nor allow My faithfulness to fail.My covenant I will not break,Nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips.

Not only does this verse illustrate God’s faithfulness beautifully, but it establishes that His word can also be trusted! God’s word is binding and constant. Psalm 119:89 and 90 add to this:

Forever, O LORD,

Your word is settled in heaven.

Your faithfulness endures to all generations;

You established the earth, and it abides.

His faithfulness endures to your generation! Pause and think about that!

Blessed be the LORD, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised. There has not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised through His servant Moses. (1 Kings 8:56)

This moment, right now, would be a good time to pause again and feed on God’s love and faithfulness. It’s warm, sweet and filling.  Ultimately satisfying.  I truly hope you enjoy feeding this week on God’s faithfulness!

 

Day 1: God is Faithful

Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:13

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

After reading each day’s scripture, I would like to suggest you ask yourself just two quick questions and contemplate your answers. Some people like to keep a journal so they can write these down and review later.  

Reflection:

What does today’s subtopic mean to me?  (Example: What does it mean to me to be faithful?

How does this verse from scripture help me? (Example: How does having an escape help me to face temptation?)

Next, you might want to use the prompts below to meditate on today’s verse for a few more moments.

Response:

What is my first thought in response to this?

What is God saying?

What action should I take?

I want to remember ____________________ .

My response to God ____________________ .

 

Day 2: Faithful to Forgive

Reading: 1 John 1:8-10

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

Reflection:

What does today’s subtopic mean to me?  (Example: Describe how God has been faithful to you.)

How does this verse from scripture help me? (Example: What do I learn about my responsibility in receiving the forgiveness of God?)

Response:

What is my first thought in response to this?

What is God saying?

What action should I take?

I want to remember ____________________ .

My response to God ____________________ .

 

Day 3: Pillar and Cloud

Reading: Nehemiah 9:19

Yet in Your manifold mercies

You did not forsake them in the wilderness.

The pillar of the cloud did not depart from them by day,

To lead them on the road;

Nor the pillar of fire by night,

To show them light,

And the way they should go.

Reflection:

What does today’s subtopic mean to me?  (Example: How did God show His faithfulness in the wilderness?)

How does this verse from scripture help me? (Example: Does this scripture build my faith for God’s faithfulness in my own life?)

Response:

What is my first thought in response to this?

What is God saying?

What action should I take?

I want to remember ____________________ .

My response to God ____________________ .

 

Day 4: Shepherd Through Valley

Reading: Psalm 23:1-4

The LORD is my shepherd;

I shall not want.

He makes me to like down in green pastures;

He leads me beside the still waters.

He restores my soul;

He leads me in the paths of righteousness

For His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death

I will fear no evil;

For You are with me;

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

Reflection:

What does today’s subtopic mean to me?  (Example: How did God show His faithfulness in the wilderness?)

How does this verse from scripture help me? (Example: Does this scripture build my faith for God’s faithfulness in my own life?)

Response:

What is my first thought in response to this?

What is God saying?

What action should I take?

I want to remember ____________________ .

My response to God ____________________ .

 

Day 5: Near to Broken Hearts

Readings: Psalm 34:18 Psalm 51:10-12, 17

Psalm 34:18

The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart,

And saves such as have a contrite spirit.

Psalm 51:10-13, 17

Create in me a clean heart, O God,

And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me away from Your presence,

And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,

And uphold me with Your generous Spirit.

 

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,

A broken and contrite heart –

These, O God, You will not despise.

Reflection:

What does today’s subtopic mean to me?

How does this verse from scripture help me?

Response:

What is my first thought in response to this?

What is God saying?

What action should I take?

I want to remember ____________________ .

My response to God ____________________ .

 

Day 6: Orders Steps

Readings: Psalm 37:23-24 & Proverbs 3:5-6

Psalm 37:23-24

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD,

And He delights in his way.

Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;

For the LORD upholds him with His hand.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the LORD with all your heart,

And lean not on your own understanding;

In all your ways acknowledge Him,

And He shall direct your paths.

Reflection:

What does today’s subtopic mean to me?

How does this verse from scripture help me?

Response:

What is my first thought in response to this?

What is God saying?

What action should I take?

I want to remember ____________________ .

My response to God ____________________ .

 

Day 7: Faithful to Stay

Reading: Hebrews 13:5-6

Let your conduct be without covetousness, and be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

So we boldly say:

The LORD is my helper;

I will not fear.

What can man do to me?”

Reflection:

What does today’s subtopic mean to me?

How does this verse from scripture help me?

Response:

What is my first thought in response to this?

What is God saying?

What action should I take?

I want to remember ____________________ .

My response to God ____________________ .

 

Next week’s topic is “Seeking the Light.”  See you soon!

If you liked this post, please share it on social media!  If you didn’t already get the free printable list just click HERE to get it.  🙂

 

New King James Version (NKJV) Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

“Faithful.” Merriam-Webster.com. Accessed April 9, 2017. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/faithful.

The Way Through the Darkness

The Way Through the Darkness

She cautiously opened the envelope while pondering, why not an email?  With great hesitancy, she drew a deep breath, sighed and began to read.  And then she knew. This was not just any letter.  Through the tears caused by the bitter words she still knew this was a desperate cry for love, but how could she get past the pain they were stirring up?  Again!  The words on the page shot like arrows through her heart just like the words spoken and written multiple times before.  As though warning of an approaching storm, the fog of despair began rolling in.  The letter writer had repeatedly committed storm-inducing acts that caused great turmoil and left a wake of emotional pain during her childhood.  And now this letter!  “Why?” her mind screamed within her.  Then, becoming acutely aware of the fog, “Why do I have to keep fighting off this darkness?”

How to Find The Way Through The DarknessPhoto credit: “The Fog Autumn Park Dark Tree Way”(https://pixabay.com/en/the-fog-autumn-park-dark-tree-way-1578408/) by 2737316 (https://pixabay.com/en/users/2737316-2737316/) is licensed under CC0 (https://www.tldrlegal.com/l/cc0-1.0).

Have you found yourself in a fog?  Are you or someone you love looking for a way out of the darkness you find yourselves in? Perhaps you’re depressed, have lost direction in life, the enjoyment of life has faded, you were just diagnosed with cancer, or have lost a loved one. Any of these circumstances, and many others not listed, can bring you to a place where life seems devoid of color, where emotions seem flat and dull and your body feels heavily burdened.

Today we’re starting out on a detour from the previous series of posts because recently I’ve come under spiritual attack and I believe this is an experience God wants me to share with you. Now trust me, I’m not going to get into the specifics of the who and what!  What I would like to do is give you just a tiny bit of generalized background.  

Click here to come along with us!

When I’m attacked emotionally, the weapons the enemy uses on me most often are anger and despair.  

I have had several bouts with major depression throughout my nearly 60 years in this life and have endured the agony of hopeless despair.  I’ve personally experienced the dark pit, that miry clay, and I’ve found the best way to fight back is with the sword of the Spirit.  In fact, it’s the only way I’ve found to be victorious over the darkness.

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:17, NASB).

The best Biblical illustration I have found is Jesus using scripture against the enemy when he was tempted in the desert.  I’d like to highlight that He said, “It is written” three different times in Matthew chapter 4, verses 4, 7 and 10.  Since we know Jesus didn’t succumb to the tempter, He set the example of using it as a successful weapon!

The apostle John tells us about the Word in his gospel, beginning in the first verse:

In the beginning the Word already existed.

   The Word was with God,

   and the Word was God.

He existed in the beginning with God.

God created everything through him,

   and nothing was created except through him.

The Word gave life to everything that was created,

   and his life brought light to everyone.

The light shines in the darkness,

and the darkness can never extinguish it.

So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.  (John 1:1-5 & 14, NLT)

The passage above shows us that Jesus is the Word.  We could write this using the mathematical formula:

Jesus = Word.  

Now I know math might not be your thing, but I find it interesting God has had us learning in the last few posts about sitting at Jesus’ feet and spending time in the Word!

In the passage above (specifically verse 5) we are also given a wonderful promise that darkness will never extinguish light!

Then, a little later in John’s gospel, we are told by Jesus Himself that He is the light of the world.

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” (John 8:12, NLT)

To write this using another mathematical equation would look like this:

Jesus = Light.

The Bible also tells us in John 14:6,

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (NLT)

In other words, Jesus is the way to God and eternal life. A third mathematical formula is:

Jesus = Way.

Putting all these equations together we get:

Way = Light = Word = Jesus.

Since Way = Light = Word = Jesus, we can see that the way through the darkness into the light is Jesus, the Word of God.

Sometimes God will remove us from dark circumstances, but more often than not, He leads us “through the valley of the shadow of death” (from Psalm 23:4, NKJV, emphasis mine).

I’d like to pause just a moment to say that if you haven’t told Jesus you need Him and His forgiveness and that you want Him to be Lord over your life, I urge you to do that now. He’s been lovingly waiting for you.

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. (Revelation 3:20, NASB)

Jesus Christ, Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah), the Son of God, is our way out of the darkness.  I believe that God intends for us to take a journey in the light of His Word through these stages:

Week 1 – Feeding on Faithfulness

Week 2 – Seeking the Light

Week 3 – Hoping in Trustworthiness

Week 4 – Casting Cares

Week 5 – Waiting in the Word

Week 6 – Delighting Daily

Week 7 – Serving Unselfishly

If you know anyone who is walking in a fog, fighting off the darkness or if God places someone on your heart to share this with, please share!  And then join me as we head out of the darkness and into His marvelous light in my upcoming 49-day devotional series, “The Way Through The Darkness!”

Click here to come along with us!

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9, NKJV)

Until next time,

~ Just keep shining, Cindyeliora

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. (Eph. 1:18-19, NASB)

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.

New King James Version (NKJV) Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

New Living Translation (NLT) Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.