31 Days: Soak in Truth

Our faith atrophies without it. Our perspective gets skewed without it. Our hearts are manipulated without it.

We need Truth. Bible study isn’t about checking off a box on our to-do lists (oh, how easily it becomes that). It’s about filling ourselves up with Truth so that we won’t be so easily filled up with the ickiness of this world. It’s about drawing near to our Lord, our only hope for the grace to grow.

When Bible study begins to feel like a legalistic must-do, I remind myself that I need it. On my own, I don’t know up from down. I need God’s wisdom. I like to think of it as marinating my mind in Truth–covering myself in it, letting it seep into all the dark crevices, being flavored by it through and through.

This practical step is pretty simple: dig into God’s Word. Read it prayerfully. It will keep everything in proper focus.

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31 Days: When Contentment is Hard

Sometimes life seems to be drowning us. It’s too heavy, too much, too painful, too dark. Too inescapable.

What happens to contentment in those times? How do you maintain deeply rooted joy in the face of depression, tragedy, unchangeable circumstances?

  1. Stay on your knees. Pray through it. There was a time when my prayers were mostly, “God get me through this moment. Just get me through this moment and then the next one.” He did.
  2. Get practical help. Support from others, medical attention, counseling, whatever might related to your situation.
  3. Persevere in hope. God will not leave you there. He will not leave you.

God walks us through seasons, and some of them are difficult, even excruciating. Remember in those times that He hasn’t changed, and there is always hope in that.

31 Days: Community

I would be okay hibernating with my books and my thoughts for weeks at a time. In fact, sometimes socializing just feels like work to me. However, I am convinced that God created us for community. It’s all over Scripture; just read through Acts and Paul’s letters to the early church. We are made to do life together, and our faith is made to thrive in fellowship.

Have you ever considered what the existence of the Trinity means in relation to us being created in the image of God? God’s existence as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit shows us the importance of relationship. God is relationship, and we are made in His image. When we lack community, we won’t be fully content.

The depth of that didn’t strike me until recently, and it changed me. I gritted my teeth, swallowed my anxiety, and started showing up–going to women’s group, teaching vacation Bible school. I had conversations that went beyond small talk and allowed myself to be vulnerable. Then I did something truly scary–I bought a ticket to the Influence Conference even though I didn’t know a soul attending. This week I’ll immerse myself in that new faith community.

Find a faith family and invest yourself in them. Find ways to take part in the physical community you live in, too. For all the discomfort it may bring at times, it will help foster joy in your life.