Tag Archives: brokenness

From Oppression to Opportunity

FROM OPPRESSION TO OPPORTUNITY

By Carolyn Dale Newell

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33 NKJV

How do you prepare someone for the unthinkable? For several chapters, Jesus had been doing just that, exhorting His eleven disciples to handle what was about to transpire. Judas had already left to sell out Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.

Jesus knew His arrest, trial, and crucifixion would shatter and scatter the remaining disciples. As He summarized His discourse, Jesus gave the disciples and every Christian three promises in the above verse.

First, Jesus promises peace. His second promise assures us that as long as we live in this world, we will encounter tribulations, but there is one more promise. We can be encouraged because Jesus has overcome the world.

In the midst of every storm, we seek peace. Let the winds settle down. Forbid the waves to churn. Let our ships stop rocking. Wouldn’t it be cruel to be out in the Atlantic in the path of a hurricane? Becoming seasick would only worsen an already horrific situation. That’s a double whammy, and sometimes life throws them at us. Removing that nausea won’t make the howling storm go away, but you can handle it much better if you weren’t ill.

Enter divine peace. The peace of Jesus won’t make that cancer go away. Peace won’t remove the bills you cannot pay. Peace won’t heal that rocky relationship, nor mend your brokenness, but it keeps you steady in the storm.

The peace of Jesus will stabilize us. It will calm our anxieties. It will soothe our hearts and minds.

Even though we are guaranteed tribulations, we are promised peace. A peace the world cannot offer (Phil. 4:6-7).

Then, Jesus tells us to take heart. Trouble is coming, but don’t allow it to bring you down. Don’t allow the enemy to whisper doubt and fear in your ear. Jesus has overcome the world. Jesus was victorious over the cross, over the grave, and over Satan and his demonic forces. This is our victory cry.

Our oppression is really our opportunity to see God work.

Each storm we pass through is another reason to pray and observe the miracles of God. What will You do this time, Lord? Watching God work is amazing, but we cannot perceive His wonders until something is broken. That’s when we have a front row seat to watch the power of God move.

I don’t like the promise of squalls any more than you do, but since they are unavoidable, I prefer sailing through with peace. The unknown elements of any tempest can toss us about, but the perfect peace of Jesus keeps us tranquil.

Since I cannot prevent the howling winds, I can lift up my chin and be of good cheer. I get to watch the Master at work. What masterpiece will You unveil for us this time?

Lord, we praise You for giving us Your peace to handle the storms. Our thankful hearts glorify You because You have overcome the world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read John 16.

HIKING THE TRAIL

Looking at past storms, how has God blessed you through them? Remember that, especially through your next season of pain.

Copyright 2019 Carolyn Dale Newell.

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Sticks and Stones Can Break Bones But Words Can Shatter Me

STICKS AND STONES CAN BREAK BONES BUT WORDS CAN SHATTER ME

By Carolyn Dale Newell

 

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Psalm 147:3 NKJV

We have all done it. We have all said something in anger we wish we could take back. Quite likely, we all have been struck by those verbal bullets too. Words that wound and degrade. Name calling that pierces and stings.

I remember vividly as a legally blind child the name calling I received from my classmates. I was different, and I used large print books which were big. And also, different. Different puts a target on your back.

In retrospect, I see how that held me back as an adult. Ashamed to use anything in public to assist me. No magnifiers. No white cane.

Finally, God broke the bondage that held me captive for many years. I freely use my cane, my guide dog, and my iPhone with assistive apps in public now. I am no longer afraid to ask someone for help when I need it.

We can ignore the random darts that are thrown our way, but what about the constant pounding some people have to endure? Words like “stupid” or “good for nothing”. Statements like “Nobody will ever love you” or “You’ll never amount to anything”.

When possible, avoid these negative people. They are cruel, and they are probably trying to cover up their own insecurities.

Sometimes, there are situations when avoiding these type of people is impossible. It may be a parent, teacher, boss or some other authority figure.

A person can only endure so much verbal abuse before it breaks their self-confidence. They believe what they are being told about themselves. Then what?

Did you know God specializes in heart surgery? He loves to mend broken hearts, making them whole again. He binds up the wounds sharp words have ripped open. He is a Father who loves and cares for you. He wants you to come to Him like a little child telling Him everything. His love for you put His Own Son on Calvary’s cross to die in your place. Take your brokenness to God. The hurt caused by wounding words can be unbearable, but God’s healing will be unbelievable.

Heavenly Father, thank You for reminding me of Your great love. I bring You all the hurt and shame I have collected. I leave it with You, casting my cares on You because You care for me. Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Ephesians 1 and highlight the names and descriptions God uses for you.

HIKING THE TRAIL

Whether you are scarred by words from the past or you are dealing with them today, God really does care about your brokenness. Start seeing yourself in His eyes – A child of the king.