I am loving the new Bible study, A Confident Heart, that I am teaching at my church. What a fabulous group of ladies who are truly hungry to learn about God. This past Sunday night our lesson was about painful experiences in our past and how those experiences can change the way that we view God. When we are in the midst of a difficult situation it can be very hard to view God as loving or view His plans as good. I shared my testimony with the group regarding the 10 year period of infertility that we went through. I experienced some really hard years, especially in the middle of the journey, where I was mad at God for "withholding" a child from me. I deeply regret that I didn't just trust God's timetable for my life and rest in the fact that He DOES love me unconditionally and that He did have my ultimate good in mind. I wish I could go back and just enjoy those years...enjoy my time with Gene...rather than being so focused on the one thing that I didn't have. As you know, time is something that we can't get back.
I have already had many ladies share some really hard things with me...past abortions, multiple miscarriages, sexually abuse during childhood, being abandoned by a parent, multiple divorces, etc. I am praying for these ladies as they dig into God's Word this week and possibly make a timeline of their lives (an optional homework assignment), asking God to help them process the painful times in their lives through the lens of the Holy Spirit. I want every woman to know that God uses every single thing in our lives for His sovereign plan. He will redeem every thing that touches our lives for His ultimate glory. We cannot go back and change our past, but we can definately surrender all of our hurt feelings, our regret, our confusion, and our questions to a Holy God. As we do that, He begins to change us from the inside out, making us a "firm planting" (Isaiah 61:3) for the Lord that displays His glory to a lost world.
Over the past week, I have also had several ladies say that they are having trouble with their daily SOAP Bible study and that they would like some help understanding how the daily verses apply to our study....so I am going to try to blog as often as I can, sharing the daily verse and the applications that I see. I am hesitant to do this because God can use the verse differently in each person's life. If you are a part of the Bible study group, don't wait on my response to the verse...try to do it on your own, praying for God to show you something very personal...then, let's compare notes. Hopefully this will help those of you who might be having some trouble.
Today's verse was John 8:12
"Then Jesus spoke again to them saying, 'I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life.' "
The world is full of sin or darkness but Jesus is the light that illuminates our path. He brings light to mankind. His light allows me to see myself as I really am...a sinner in need of a Savior. Because of Jesus I can avoid walking blindly and falling into sin. He lights my path so I can see how to live. He guides me each and every day...step by step...moment by moment.
I am so thankful that I get to live in this marvelous light and that I get to spend my life pointing others to the light as well! Serving in ministry is such a privilege.
Until next time...