Tag Archives: Strength

He will Sustain You

sustain

In my Journaling Bible, before creating this ‘Geode’ page, I prepared the page first using one coat of Dina Wakely Clear Gesso, dried with a craft heat gun. It just helps to make the page a bit stronger and helps to avoid bleedthrough of colour and pens to the other side.
To create this page I used Inktense pencils, which are so rich in colour and are watersoluble, they are a delight to work with – so much fun! After drawing the outline of the geode lightly with a pencil, I used the pencils to add colour, and used a waterbrush to make the colours come to life and to blend them a bit. I then dried with a heat gun.  

Next I used a clear embossing pen to mark where I wanted the glittery bits, and sprinkled some sparkly embossing powder over the top, shook off the excess and used the heat gun to melt and fix the embossing powder in place. Finally I added some extra glittery highlights with a Gellyroll ‘Moonlight’ pen. This photo probably doesn’t show just how sparkly this page is in real life! 

Cast your cares on the Lord & He will sustain you. He will never let the righteous be shaken.

Psalm 55 v 22

What’s bothering you?

What’s on your mind, what might you be struggling with?

I wonder what you may be carrying around, finding it hard to let go of? Does it feel like a great big rock on your back? Or more like a pocketful of pebbles?

Geodes look like ugly bits of rock from the outside, yet inside are beautiful, colourful crystals, formed as a result of pressure, heat and time (millions of years!). They can come in many different colours, shapes and sizes – I think they are really beautiful.

geode-purple

He has made everything beautiful in its time.

Ecclesiastes 3 v 11

God is making something beautiful out of our troubles. It might not look like it, or feel like it. We may not understand it. And we may not even see it in our lifetime.

How wonderful that we can ‘cast’ our cares and burdens onto Him, this can mean to literally throw them and fling them up to Him!

It’s about surrendering.

His power is made perfect in our weakness. When we relinquish control (often of things we can’t control anyway!) and surrender all to Him, we find strength in Him. I have found this to be true, time and again.

Let’s keep on trusting Him, handing over our cares to Him. And God will sustain us & give us the strength we need to keep going, to keep serving, to keep loving. He won’t let us fall.

Heavenly Father, thank you that we can throw all our cares and burdens onto You, for you care for us and will never let us fall. Help us to keep our eyes fixed on You, and to live our lives in surrender to Your mighty power that gives us all the strength we need. 

We look to you amid the desperation of some situations that may weigh heavy on our hearts, and we believe and trust that you are making something beautiful. 

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Look to the LORD

 

imageArt Journal Note:

For this page I used a simple beautiful picture from my rummage box of magazine clippings. I think the ‘stack of cosy blankets’ image came from a department store catalogue originally.  To me, this image speaks of that cosyness and comfort that you can feel inside when you are fully relying on God’s strength.

I often like to rip around the edges of the images I use when making a collage, as it gives a soft edge and adds movement and interest.

I used my favourite White Uniball Signo broad gel pen to do the lettering. I did outline the letters first in pencil but decided to erase them before going in with the pen, as I wasn’t sure if the pencil would show through the white ink.  So I did the wording freehand in the end, though I had a rough idea of where the lettering would go.

TIP: make sure you let artwork dry properly in your journal to avoid smudges – some inks take a while to fully dry, especially gel pens! 

Give thanks to the LORD, proclaim his name;

make known among the nations what he has done.

Sing to him, sing praise to him;

tell of all his wonderful acts.

Glory in his holy name;

let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.

Look to the LORD and his strength;

seek his face always.

Psalm 105 v 1-4

This Psalm opens with wonderful words of thanks and praise! And an encouragement to everyone to rejoice in all that God has done for them. The psalmist goes on to tell the story of how God rescued his people from Egypt and brought them into the promised land, listing miracle after miracle, as a testimony of all that God has done for his people.

The key verse that spoke to me was to look to the LORD and his strength. We simply cannot go though life in our own strength, it’s impossible. At some point, from time to time we all come to the end of ourselves and feel that we just cannot cope with all that life is bringing us. Things get too much, burdens weigh heavy and however strong we are, we crumble. Whether inside, or outside. Some of us are better at hiding this than others, but the truth is this, that we all struggle.

This Psalm encourages us is that it is perfectly possible to live this life in the strength that God Himself can bring us.

How? All we need to do is to look to the LORD. Change our focus from us, to Him. We can do this by remembering who God is and what He has done for us, and giving him thanks and praise.

This helps to change our perspective and makes it easier for us to trust God with our present situations and difficulties, and to feel at peace about what the future will hold.

I only know this because I have lived it. One specific experience that I have walked through was incredibly challenging and painful, yet through that time I just tried to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus. In my mind I could see myself clinging on for dear life to the mast of the ship in the storm – in fact I had chained myself to the ship’s mast! I wasn’t going anywhere without Him. I just knew He would see me through.

And He did. And still does!

Like many people, I have the tendency to forget, so this blog post is a reminder to me and hopefully an encouragement to you.

Jesus said:

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

Matthew 11 v 28-29

John Otberg puts it this way, in his book, ‘Soulkeeping’:

“The soul was not made for an easy life.

The soul was made for an easy yoke.”

You can find strength in the LORD when you look to Him. Can I encourage you to seek His face? Talk to Him, lean on Him, and you will find Him there, at your place of brokenness, ready with His strength.

Father, thank you that you have always been faithful to me. You have never left me, even when I have come to the end of myself, you have always been there ready to give me your strength. Help me to remember all that you have done for me. And to remember that I can fully trust you to see me through whatever I am facing, whether good or bad, seasons of growth or struggle.

Father my heart says, ‘Seek his face’. Your face, O LORD I will seek.

In Jesus’ name, 

Amen

Confidently Lean on Him

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Art Journal Note:

This background is painted with acrylic paint, I left a few sections with less paint on just to break up the page a bit. The verse is written with a couple of calligraphy pens (felt tip versions) and then I’ve just doodled a bit around the edges to create some patterns.

I love this verse, and have only recently discovered it in the Amplified version which brings it to life for me in a new way:

The Lord is my Strength and my [impenetrable] Shield; my heart trusts in, relies on, and confidently leans on Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song will I praise Him.

Psalm 28 verse 7

I find it really helpful and powerful to read this verse – aloud if possible.

It tells a simple story of how to live by faith.

There’s something uplifting about stating:

  • Who God is – ‘the Lord is my strength and impenetrable Shield’
  • How I respond to who God is – ‘my heart trusts in, relies on and confidently leans on Him’
  • How God responds to me – ‘and I am helped’
  • How I then respond to God’s help – ‘my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song will I praise Him.’

This verse speaks of the deep personal relationship we have with God, and is a helpful reminder to us on how to live our lives fully in His strength and under His protection.

Heavenly Father, thank you that you are my Strength and impenetrable Shield, I can trust in You, rely on You and confidently lean on You. Thank you that you help me and fill me with joy. I will praise you and give you all the glory for who You are, and for all You have done for me. 

In Jesus name, 

Amen.

Be my Rock of Refuge

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Art Journal Note:

For this page I was inspired by this lovely picture ripped out from a clothes catalogue, which was a perfect match for this verse. I stuck the picture in, and as the sky in the picture was a bit grey I painted it blue with some acrylic paint to liven up the page a bit. I also added some die-cut flower shapes I had, and wrote the verse on with a black pen.

Tip: you don’t have to just use brushes when painting! When adding the blue acrylic paint to this picture, I used an old plastic store points card, applied the paint along one edge and swiped it across the paper. It gives a lovely different, smooth effect.

Be my rock of refuge,

to which I can always go.

Psalm 71 v 3

I love this verse, which is a heart cry to God, that we want to be able to always run to Him. I love this image I found of the woman resting in the dip in the rock, it just speaks of how we can always hide ourselves in God, tuck ourselves away in His love and rest in his strength.

I’ve been reminded of this wonderful hymn, the words are rich with truth and relevance to our daily lives:

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

Heavenly Father, thank you that I can always go to You, at any time, any place, in any situation – and You are always there for me. You are my constant, never changing, never failing place of security, protection and safety that I can run to. I love to rest in You, and hide myself in You.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand. Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go.

In Jesus name, Amen.

He will sustain you

IMG_0723

Art Journal Note:

For this page, I created a background by experimenting with slightly scrunched coloured tissue papers glued onto some card, which I then decided was far too bright and in a bold move decided to paint with black acrylics over the top. I really liked the end result! All much too dark and bumpy to write on, so the text is written out separately and cut & stuck on instead. 

“Cast your cares upon the LORD and he will sustain you;

he will never let the righteous fall.

But as for me, I trust in you.”

Psalm 55 v 22-23

These verses give us a timely reminder to cast our cares on the LORD. When we turn our worries and the things that weigh us down over to God, He gives us strength and renews us with His peace.

I was praying this morning about how lost I would feel without God, and how grateful I am to be able to come to Him with all that’s going on in my life and the world we live in. And I had a new depth of insight towards those who don’t yet know Him, and how do they cope with life?

We have this enormous privilege of being able to share our lives with God. When we hold it all before Him, lay it all out and cast it all towards Him, He is faithful and can be leaned on, trusted and can catch us and hold us close. He gives us strength for each moment, like manna – just enough for now (no leftovers allowed!).

Heavenly Father, thank you that I can come to you through Jesus my Saviour and lay all my concerns at the foot of the cross. Help me to leave them there, and not pick them all up again! I stand on your Word that you will sustain me.

As for me, I trust in You.

In Jesus Name, Amen.