Tag Archives: trust

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.

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On a challenging day

image

This journal page was simply made using a fantastic picture I came across in a catalogue. I identified with the person pushing a bike uphill, and on a day that felt like an uphill struggle, I felt God reminded me of this verse which encouraged me greatly. The verse was written out on plain white paper using a stencil, cut out in strips and stuck on the page.

Tip: I like to keep a selection of cut out magazine images in a small box, and will sometimes spend a happy hour just ripping up a pile of old magazines to use later. Sometimes when looking at a verse, God will remind me of a particular image I’ll go and find to use in my journal. Other times, I may have a ‘prayerful rummage’ through the images and often find God draws me towards a picture, and then reminds me of a verse.

Hebrews 13:5

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,

‘Never will I leave you;
    never will I forsake you.’

Deuteronomy 31:6

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.’

I know we all have days like these. Where they start out well, or at least well intended, and the busy sets in, and the flow starts to go, and the ‘to do’ list gets buried under a pile of stuff. When the unexpected needs to be responded to. When things start to go a bit wrong, then a lot wrong. When mistakes are made, communication gets lost along the way and tensions can rise. Usually not over anything significant, just stuff.

There are days when it feels like an uphill struggle. And you can’t wait til bedtime, because God’s mercies are new every morning and you’ll get a fresh day tomorrow. Which HAS to be better than this one.

Thankfully on difficult days like these, God is still good.

And I can remind myself that His love remains, and endures, and cannot be shaken even when I am in the middle of chaos. He is always close by, watching and waiting for us to turn and ask for help. The tiniest whisper of a thought ‘Father, what should I do?’ can bring peace.

When I lean on Him in the midst of the challenging bits, I can find peace. I can ask Him for wisdom, and He helps me find a way through it all.

These two verses remind me to be content, because He is with me; and to not be afraid or live in fear, because He is with me. Found in both the Old and New Testaments, this is a promise of God that is relevant today and every day. He is our Immanuel, God with us!

Sometimes we may ask, why does God allow things to go wrong, and for days that are, frankly, a bit of a disaster (to be melodramatic) why can’t things just go smoothly and swimmingly all the time, we’d all be so much happier without all this rubbish to deal with!

But, what good would that do us? To sit in comfort, to take things easy? We would stay in our comfort zones, never venturing out, never challenging ourselves to take on the truth of the Word of God and APPLY it to our lives. We would miss the opportunity to GROW, to LEARN and to BECOME TRANSFORMED.

Children learn how to do things, how to become mature and independent, by doing things. By trying. By watching. Asking. Copying. By making mistakes.

I am a child of God and need to learn from Him by leaning on Him, in the tough times. This is what builds and forms my character, so that I can become more like Jesus.

I don’t always feel like I’m being transformed, as my failures and mistakes are a constant reminder that, in actual fact, I can’t do this. It’s impossible. I’ve never been brave enough to buy and wear a WWJD bracelet –  ‘What would Jesus do?’ Honestly much of the time I don’t really have a clue what Jesus would do, so I just give it my best shot and hope and pray that He guides me, covers me and prevents me from making too much of a mess of things, and yet somehow when I do this He always makes it good. Maybe that’s how we learn to trust. When we see Him doing just that.

His grace is sufficient.

Far better to walk through difficult days with God at our sides, than to walk through this without Him.

Heavenly Father, thank you that You are with me, at all times. You will never leave me or forsake me. Thank you that I can lean on you through the difficult times, and that Your arms are strong enough to hold me close and carry me.  

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Finally: If you are going through difficult times right now, I hope and pray that you will be encouraged today. And know you are not alone, don’t be afraid to ask for prayer and/or practical help from family, friends and your church. We are part of God’s family and are here to support one another. God bless you – may you know that He will never leave you or forsake you, today and every day.

Rejoice in the Lord!

Rejoice

Art Journal Note:

For this page I wanted to use an image I found from a magazine, a photo of a lady looking upwards. But I decided that rather than just glue the image in, just for a change I’d have a go at drawing it instead. To make it easier for me, I traced the outline of the image first, transferred the image onto the art journal page and then added the details and coloured and shaded with colouring pencils, and finally added the text.

Tip: tracing paper is simply fabulous and can help you to get started when transferring images, or arranging lettering etc. I use it the old fashioned way I learnt in primary school, by drawing over the back in a soft pencil and then transferring the image by going over the lines (right side up) once more. Some people put a sheet of newspaper underneath instead to transfer some of the ink, I’ve not tried that yet (maybe next time!).

REJOICE!

Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again, Rejoice!

Philippians 4 v 4

This verse is both an encouragement and a command to us. In the Bible, ‘Rejoicing in the Lord’ is mentioned on numerous occasions. When God speaks, we should listen. But when He says something more than once, I think we really need to pay attention!

God knows it does us good, more than we can know, when we rejoice in Him.

And here in this particular verse, Paul says it again to make sure the message gets through.

We can choose to ‘Rejoice in the Lord’, or we can choose not to. It requires a concious decision. No matter how we feel or what we are walking through.

It can be much easier for us to ‘Rejoice in the Lord’ when things are going well. It’s often easier to be thankful and to celebrate God’s goodness then.

Or is it? Isn’t there sometimes a danger of complacency? When I look back at some of the ‘green pastures’ times in my life there are some occasions when I have drifted, begun to grow luke-warm in my passion for God, and my faith has stagnated somewhat. There have been times when I may have perhaps rejoiced in my circumstances rather than in my God. I am only now just beginning to realise the depth of joy that can be found in thanking and praising God in all things, and in continuing to seek Him fully in all seasons.

Of course ‘Rejoicing in the Lord always’ can be a very real challenge for us when things are tough. When we walk through difficulties our natural response often finds it much easier to sink under the weight of our circumstances, but instead God calls us to choose to place our hope in Him. To trust Him. It’s when we do this that our faith grows, and we can find peace and joy.

Joy is essential to our lives, physically, mentally and spiritually. God knows this, as He designed us in His image.

“In your presence is fullness of joy.”

Psalm 16 v 11

Let’s remember that our joy can be fully found in His presence.

So maybe our state of joy is less about our situations and more about just being in His presence. Because no matter what we are going through He is there with us. Isn’t that something for us to rejoice about – that we are not alone?

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Our situations and circumstances may change but He stays the same and can be completely trusted in every season of life. His love endures forever.

“being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 1 v 6

Therefore we can rejoice in the Lord – I’ll say it again – rejoice! No matter what. Always.

Heavenly Father, thank you that in You, I can rejoice! And I will say it again – I rejoice in You! No matter what I have gone through, no matter what I am walking through right now, and no matter what my future holds, I put my trust in You. For You are totally trustworthy and I know that as I dwell in the shelter of the shadow of your wing, I can find fullness of joy in Your presence. 

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.

He will sustain you

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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.