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Biblical stories of eighteen New Testament women who Jesus encouraged, empowered, and loved.

When a Woman meets Jesus, BookHow could a man who had no wife, no children, no home, no job, no money, and wandered the hills of Judea with twelve men relate to women of his time, much less women in the 21st century?

That's the question that led author, Dorothy Valcárcel, to search for biblical women whose lives intersected with Jesus. As she explored the lives of every woman Jesus met, she discovered that they faced many of the same challenges women encounter today.

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Welcome to Transformation Garden

We are delighted that you have come to the Garden where you will find an oasis in your busy day.  Whether you wish to share a prayer request or gain encouragement from the study of God's Word in our daily devotionals, we want you to know that this is a place where you will find supportive friendship. No  matter what load you have  today, it is our prayer that here in the Garden, you will find an environment of love and caring that brings comfort to your heart.

Devotional Week 30, 2017 Tuesday

Week 30 Tuesday

July 25, 2017

Today's Text and Thought of Encouragement:

“Blessed is the man who trusts Me, God.

The woman who sticks with God.

They’re like trees replanted in Eden,

putting down roots near the rivers – –

never a worry through the hottest

of summers, never dropping a leaf."

Jeremiah 17:7, 8

The Message Bible

 

 

Hope in the Lord

 

“Creator God

we look at the sea, who's tide unfailingly ebbs and flows

the times governed by the moon;

we look at the sun, rising each morning heralding the day

setting each evening shepherding in the night;

the circle of seasons continues despite our misuse of the planet.

 

Creator God

forgive our faithlessness

please help us to trust in You.

 

Loving Jesus, You spent Your short life giving hope

to those You healed

to those who mourned

to those who were rejected.

You gave Your life and death, that we may have hoped today

hope for ourselves

hope for each other

hope for the world.

Hope that this life is not the end, but the beginning of life in Your kingdom – – starting now.

 

Loving Christ

in the times when we feel hopeless

please help us to find our hope in You.

 

Embracing Spirit

fill us with Your peace and power

that our lives may shine with the reflected love of Jesus;

even as our hope is in Him,

so may His hope be in us

to bring joy and light

into the corner of the world in which we live."

Heather Johnston

(Scotland)

 

 

Today's Study Text:

 

 “I will satisfy the weary soul, I will replenish every sorrowful soul."

Jeremiah 31:25

Amplified Bible

 

 EXPLORATION

 

 “Restoration for a Weary Soul”

 

 “When you come to the bottom, you find God.”

Neville Talbot

 

Have I given my “heavy-heart” to Jesus?

 

Do I trust Jesus to replace my despair with His delight?

 

INSPIRATION

 

“I am walking toward a bright light and the nearer I get the brighter it is."

D. L. Moody

 

 

            Not long ago, I began to read a new translation of the written works of John of the Cross called Dark Night of the Soul. In the biography of his life that introduces his words, author Mirabari Starr describes the conditions that surrounded some of the words penned by John:

 

At the ago of thirty-five, (John) was captured…taken and interrogated and tortured…He was imprisoned in a tiny dark closet that had previously served as a toilet. He was brought out only to be flogged in the center of the dining commons while others watched…he suffered virtual starvation…he endured brutal cold…in the summer, the heat was stifling and his clothes began to rot on his body. At first he took comfort in his quiet interior connection to God, but over time the divine presence began to fade and John could not help but wonder if (God) had abandoned him. He was Jonah languishing in the belly of the whale.”

 

            Now, we don’t all suffer beatings and imprisonment, but I think it is safe to say that each one of us, at one time or another in our lives, has felt as though we were faced with our own “dark night of the soul.”

 

            There are times when due to illness, of a physical or mental nature, no light seems to pierce the darkness that encompasses us. As we stumble around, reaching out to grasp a helping hand, I’m certain each of us has let out a plaintive cry, “Where are you God when I need You most?”

 

            I have faced several times in my life when walls of darkness seemed to be closing in on me. It has been at these desperate moments when all I’ve seen were the clouds – not the sunlight – that I have been deeply encouraged by the Scripture. For God in His word doesn’t just leave a record of the happy-ever-after stories. He also shares the words of humans who hit emotional walls in their lives – and all I can say is: “Thank you, God, for telling the whole story!”

 

            One of the individuals in the Bible who faced many times of depression and despair was the Psalmist David. If we read through the Psalms, there are times when David wrote some very scary and desperate words. He got angry, upset, joyous, and depressed. Just in case you think I may be overstating his emotions, I want to share Psalm 143 with you:

 

A David Psalm

 

“Listen to this prayer of mine, God; pay attention to what I’m asking. Answer me – you’re famous for your answers! Do what’s right for me…

 

The enemy hunted me down; he kicked me and stomped me within an inch of my life.

He put me in a black hole, buried me like a corpse in that dungeon.

I sat there in despair, my spirit draining away, my heart heavy, like lead.

I remembered the old days, went over all you’ve done, pondered the ways you’ve worked.

Stretched out my hands to you, as thirsty for you as a desert thirsty for rain.

 

Hurry with your answer, God! I’m nearly at the end of my rope.

Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit.

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.

Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.

Rescue me from my enemies, O Lord, for I hide myself in you.

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.

 

For your name’s sakes, O Lord, preserve my life; in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.”

The Message and

New International Version

 

            It’s very apparent – David had hit a wall. His emotions were in tatters. His joy had turned to despair. He was a discouraged, depressed man who was at the end of his rope. And so he decided to go to the one place we are always welcome – he went to God. Obviously this isn’t the first time David found himself in the pit of depression. Earlier in Psalm 42: 11 he asks this question of himself, “Why are you cast down, O my soul?” And here’s the solution he came to: “Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”

 

            In those dark times, when the fog of depression and despair settles upon us like a heavy blank – our only hope – the only dependable, never failing hope that will never leave us is God. If you are facing those dark clouds now, may God’s strong arms surround you and lift you from the pit of discouragement.

 

“Despondency may shake our faith and weaken the most steadfast will, but God understands and He still pities and loves us…Nothing is apparently more helpless, yet really more invincible, than the soul that feels its nothingness yet relies wholly on God.”

E. White

 

AFFIRMATIONS

 

“Ok, so Lord…here’s the deal:

I get sad and frightened and stupid and (depressed) once in a while.

Right now, for instance.

I know it doesn’t last.

I know I will feel better soon.

I know it’s all in my hormones and synapses and brain chemistry.

I know that at times like this I believe lies about myself and everybody else…

And I have trouble believing in You…

Except that then the angels gather.

Someone writes.

Someone calls.

Someone brings me an extra grocery bag for my flowers so they

don’t freeze before I get them in the car.

Someone rents a funny movie for me.

Someone understands how I feel and demands my best work anyway.

Someone keeps loving me no matter what.

The evidence all points to You being right there helping me through it

so that maybe I can be smart and happy next week.

I’m grateful I am.

But, Jesus, I’ve been working so hard to love my family

and do my job and my music

and not let anybody down who depends on me.

I’m not only sad and frightened and stupid and (depressed)…

I’m also really really really tired.

I’m sorry.

Help.”

Holly Jo Turnquist Fischer

 

 

“My soul melts from heaviness;

Strengthen me according to Your word.”

Psalm 119: 28

 

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me…

To console those who mourn…

To give them beauty for ashes,

The oil of joy for mourning,

The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.”

Isaiah 61: 1, 2

New King James Version

 

 

Your friend,

 

Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
Dorothy@Transformationgarden.com


 

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