Rock Bottom – How To Get Through What You’re Going Through… Based on a devotional by Rick Warren

Rock Bottom – How To Get Through What You’re Going Through by Rick Warren

Write down you fears…We’ll revisit later…..

“ROCK BOTTOM” – explanation!!

What you “know” is what gets you through. If you don’t know the right things when the rough winds and tsunamis of life come, you’re going to destroyed! But if our lives are built on the rock solid, bedrock, truth of the bible, we know some unchanging truths.

What are some truths we know about God? (Omniscient, Merciful, Faithful, Loving, Sovereign, Immutable)

#1 – The Light at ROCK Bottom in the Dark Times

2 Cor 4:8-9 – We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.”

 

What are some signs you might be going through the “darkness”? (Divorce, finances, parenting struggles) Yep, those are IT!!! We can feel like we have hit ROCK BOTTOM!

 

Lets talk about “Rocks” for a minute. What do we use them for? (energy, Coal, building foundations, Paving roads, simply decorating a garden, marking a path so we keep on it) What are ROCKs capable of?

 

When I hit bottom and realize exactly the truth in the type of Rock its made of??? Well I guess it’s not all that bad if you know WHO your ROCK is?

 

To get to Rock bottom we had to go through the darkness….(See all those things mentioned before.)

 

Let me ask you this……

 

Did Jesus suffer? Was he sometimes lonely? Was he tempted to be discouraged? Was he misunderstood, betrayed and criticized unjustly? (He was created in our image to feel and experience life as we did)

 

After 3 years of daily discipleship, healing miracles, earth changing phenomenon, his closest companions still doubted him, hid from him, judged him, and ultimately betrayed him.

 

What did he do? I would have unfriended them on FB in a skinny minute! NO….He loved them anyway. Did he believe the lies and untruth… NO Jesus beat the suffering the loneliness the discouragement and the betrayal by speaking truth to himself. He said, “But I am not alone, for my Father is with me”… then basically turned to them all to say… Why don’t ya’ll hang out with me and I’ll pray to my Father on your behalf”…. Say what??? Again, Unfriend!!!

 

Of course! None of us are exempt from suffering, loneliness, discouragement, or unjust criticism, because God is developing within us the character of Christ, and, in order to do this, he must take us through all of the circumstances in life through which he took Christ. Well, Almost “ALL”! I have read the end of the book, and we were saved from one experience. J

 

So there will be tragedy, strife, disappointments, and broken hearts.

 

Does this mean God causes tragedies? No. God is good, and he will not cause evil or do evil. But God can use dark and stressful times for good. He’ll use them to teach us to trust him, to show us how to help others, and to draw us closer to other believers.

 

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 4:8b-9, “We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead” (NLT).

 

So, what should you do when you’re going through difficult times?

 

First, you refuse to be discouraged. Then, you remember God is with you. Finally, you rely on God’s protection and guidance.

 

We all go through difficult times. The difference for those who believe in Jesus and those who don’t, Well… Its HOPE! HOPE found at ROCK Bottom. With The ROCK of all ages!

 

#2 Don’t Give in to Your Fears

 

God is watching over you, so don’t listen to your fears. This is a choice. Trust God, and don’t give in to your fears.

 

2 Cor 1:10 – And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him and he will continue to rescue us.

 

God’s promise to believers is that, no matter what happens to us, he is working for our good if we love him and follow him. If you’re a believer, the Bible says all things are working together for good —WE GET CONFUSED RIGHT HERE!!!— not that all things are good but that they are working TOGETHER for good.

 

That means we can stop listening to our fears. There is no difficulty, dilemma, defeat, or disaster in the life of a believer that God can’t ultimately get some good out of. There is no need to fear the future.

 

STOP RIGHT HERE…. READ “YOUR FEAR”! ( The one you wrote down!, yes I told you to write one down, see top of this page!)

 

Your fears reveal where you do not trust God. Today, make a list of your fears, and ask God to help you identify why you have fear in those areas. Then, ask him to help you replace your fears with trust.

 

Now, this next step is important: EXPECT God to start helping you learn to trust him with each fear. THEN, watch to see how he helps you.

 

#3 Never Doubt the Light – God’s Rock solid Truth and his Character

 

We all need to take a spiritual truth vitamin DAILY so that you can summon that in dark times like LIGHT! Its like lighting that first candle when the power goes out unexpectedly. (picture the kids screaming “mommy/daddy”! Hehe) We all want that huge spotlight immediately. Boy patience is a hard lesson… Let’s leave that one right there.

 

Write down some Spiritual Truth Vitamins and keep it with you! Here are some examples:

  •  I will Fear no Evil for you are with me.
  • You will never leave or forsake me
  • If You are with me who can be against me
  • You know the plans you have for me, it is not to harm me but prosper me.

 

Regardless of your circumstances and how you feel, hang on to God’s unchanging character.

 

2 Corinthians 1:12 says, “Now that the worst is over, we’re pleased we can report that we’ve come out of this with conscience and faith intact, and can face the world — and even more importantly, face you with our heads held high. But it wasn’t by any fancy footwork on our part. It was God who kept us focused on him, uncompromised.”

 

Your circumstances cannot change the character of God. God’s grace is still in full force; he is still FOR you, even when you don’t feel it. GO PENNY!!! GO ANN, GO….. WE GOT THIS, TOGETHER.

 

Remind yourself what you know to be eternally true about God: He is GOOD, he LOVES ME, he is with ME, he knows what I’M going through, he cares, and he has a good plan for MY life. I aint gonna lie, I would love to know what he’s thinking sometimes. But, I have to TRUST!!!

 

Raymond Edman, one of Billy Graham’s mentors, once said, “Never doubt in the dark what God told you in the light.”

 

So, what has God told you in the light that you now doubt in the dark? Why do you think you doubt God now?

 

I have doubts and questions that I cannot answer every single day. I don’t know how a person can be a Christian and not have doubts from time to time. Faith requires doubt in order to be faith, right??? If you ever arrive at a place where all your doubts are gone and all your questions are answered, take a deep breath and relax because you’ve arrived in heaven.

 

Remember, your circumstances cannot change the character of God. Remember WHO HE IS!

 

 

#4 The Pain of Rock Bottom Often Reveals God’s Purpose

 

Your pain often reveals God’s purpose for you. God never wastes a hurt! If you’ve gone through a hurt, he wants you to help other people going through that same hurt. He wants you to share it. God can use the problems in your life to give you a ministry to others. In fact, the very thing you’re most ashamed of in your life and resent the most could become your greatest ministry in helping other people.

 

Let’s have a little comic relief here……So, if your life’s mistakes were a bumper sticker what would it say…. Don’t be shy!!!

  • Sarcasm… because beating my teenager is not a viable option
  • I was an honor student, I don’t know how THIS happened
  • Sometimes I wrestle with my demons, sometimes we just snuggle
  • JESUS LOVES YOU!!!!….I’m still trying!

Who can better help somebody going through a bankruptcy than somebody who went through a bankruptcy? Who can better help somebody struggling with an addiction than somebody who’s struggled with an addiction? Who can better help parents of a special needs child than parents who raised a special needs child? Who can better help somebody who’s lost a child than somebody who lost a child? The very thing you hate the most in your life is what God wants to use for good in your life. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 1, verses 4 and 6, “God comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things” (NLT). (We comfort others with the same comfort God himself has given to us) This is called redemptive suffering. Redemptive suffering is when you go through a problem or a pain for the benefit of others. This is what Jesus did. When Jesus died on the cross, he didn’t deserve to die. He went through that pain for your benefit so that you can be saved and go to Heaven. There are many different causes for the problems, pains, and suffering in your life. Sometimes the stuff that happens you bring on yourself. When you make stupid decisions, then it causes pain in your life. If you go out and overspend and buy things you can’t afford and presume on the future, and then you go deeply in debt and lose your house, you can’t say, “God, why did you let me lose my house?” You can’t blame God for your bad choices. But in some of your problems, you’re innocent. You’ve been hurt by the pain, stupidity, and sins of other people. And some of the pain in your life is for redemptive suffering. God often allows us to go through a problem so that we can then help others.

#5 The Power in Group Prayer at the feet of the ROCK brings us closer to the Cross,

 

Some people are so uncomfortable praying!

 

Rick Warren says, “If you have never prayed with other people start by praying out loud when you are alone.”

 

To get through what you’re going through, you need to recruit other people to pray for you.

 

This is very easy when you’re in a small group. When you’re going through a tough time and you’re not in a small group, you are unprotected. You don’t have the strength that people in a small group do because you don’t have people praying for you.

 

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 1:11, “You are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety” (NLT).

 

I’ll be honest with you: I don’t know how this works. But there is additional power in group prayer that is not there when you just pray for yourself. There is more power in group prayer than in the single power of you praying for yourself.

 

The Bible says, “If any two agree as touching anything it shall be done” and “Where two or more are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

 

NOW… Does that mean that we get the desired outcome of the prayer request every time we pray collectively?? NO! What does it do?? It brings us into the presence of the LORD in a fullness that is like no other. Let me ready that scripture to you again….“Where two or more are gathered in my name, there am “I” in the midst of them.”

 

This is why God refers to Heaven as a banquet and not a table to 2!! We can use collective prayer like a banquet feast. “pass the suffering, shame, regret, guilt, self-loathing”! Let the LORD take it from you as you pass it around the table to HIM – YOUR ROCK!

 

You need THIS power to get through what you’re going through. That’s why you need to be in a small group. That’s why you need to ask them to pray for you.

 

The Bible says in Galatians 6:2, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (NIV). What is the law of Christ? “Love your neighbor as yourself.” When you pray for other people, you are loving your neighbor as yourself. When they pray for you, they are loving you as themselves.

 

Last verse,

 

Acts 4:31

And when they had prayed, the place they gathered together was shaken! And they were all filled with the HOLY SPIRIT and began to speak the word of GOD with Boldness!

 

Thanks for joining me at my ROCK Bottom

Image result for rock bottom
Advertisements

Prayer.. why do we over-spiritualize it?

Why do we try to sound so “spiritual” and “religious” when we pray? I was very intimidated as a new believer when I heard people pray out loud. I thought I would have to take a class or find a book somewhere on how it was supposed to be done. The same people who prayed so eloquently are the ones who told me I need this intimate, personal relationship with Jesus! Well? How was I supposed to have a relationship like that if I have to speak in a manner that just wasn’t “ME”? 

Picture THIS! Your having a conversation with your Spouse or the most significant person in your life. And that person begins speaking very rehearsed and saying some of the same things they have heard others say, being very redundant and repetitive. Suddenly you would feel that your conversation was very impersonal! It would probably become very awkward. Now imagine that that same person never pauses to give you a chance to speak. They simply just keep making requests and going from one subject to the next. Doesn’t sound like a very intimate personal conversation to me. How about you? 

We are just people… human. We are missing the point of what prayer is and is not. Its a conversation between two individuals! Come to HIM, “as you are”, being who he created you to be.  You can’t fool God.  He knows who he created you to be and how he wired you! So, why try to impress him or come to him with all the religious Jib-Jab! Why not just talk to him just like you would your BFF? Why give a mere human that authenticity and not give it to your HOLY DADDY?  

I’m not trying to be irreverent or disrespectful towards God in all his glory and magisty! Yes, he is the Lord of lords and the King of kings. He’s so amazing that I could not look upon him with my human eyes. But in prayer, I come to him one on one, in the most intimate manner, and with the most precious and delicate topics. My prayers are often times filled with questions as well as request.  Often times I am talking to him randomly just as if he were on the other end of a phone conversation. I talk to him about the most  minute topics; such as what I’m going to wear to work that day, helping me eat better, and asking him to make that light turn green when I’m running late for work. In the midst of these topics I’m also discussing the state of my marriage, the health of my children, sickness of others and the madness in world around me! All the while, it’s not “here to”, “therefor”, “at the next appointed hour”, etc!  Now if that’s how you talk and that is your personality, have at it! And you will be blessed for doing so! But, it’s just not mine. I have found an incredible sense of closeness with my Jesus being just who he created me to be! I have a sense of humor and I share it with the Lord. I challenge you to consider sharing your true personality with the Lord. The very next time you pray, maybe it’s when you put this blog down, start a conversation with the man upstairs just being “YOU”! After all, it’s not something you’re hiding from him! He was the one that created you! 

James 4: 8-10 “Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.”

#TheKingsDaughterArmed

Penny

All twisted up inside??..Umm hmm. Me too!

Have you ever been in so much pain that your stomach just feels sick! One minute it’s not even on my mind, and then the next….in the blink of an eye, I feel part of my stomach flip right upside down, and there it is… The pain staring me in the face, and it’s got me by the throat! Pain has a way of twisting us up inside of making us do the unthinkable. It rears its head without prior notice. I do my best to stuff it down, swallow just a little more each day so that I can make it without a breakdown. Fake it till you make it, right? The secrets we keep have a way of bellowing its way to the surface.  Be careful with this! It’s a dangerous walk on a tight rope of life! All it takes is one distraction….and you slip, twisting and turning, spiraling in the most ungraceful fall! The enemy loves this environment… he lurks in the shadows watching and reveling in your spiritual clumsiness. He seeks to confuse and cloud your perspective, wanting you to only focus on your pain so that it’s all you see!

What causes this depth of pain and suffering…? Love!!… duh!. If you didn’t love prior to the pain then how can you be hurt? Ouch..Love always leaves a mark. When all we see is pain and the scares, we lose sight of God.  Boy that makes the Enemy really happy! Don’t lose sight of Jesus! Keep your mind’s eye fixed on Him when that pain takes hold in that paralyzing death grip.

Many of you know the story of Jesus walking on water. Just as Peter was walking out on the water after being called out by the Son of God, he started to turn his eyes to the storm raging around him. I can see in my mind the enemy lurking in the waves nearby, whispering doubt, fear and disaster into Peter’s ears! Now… indulge me! Picture yourself as Peter… and the storm of your personal life ragging around you. Can you hear Satan’s relentless reminders of your worthlessness and regret? Making you doubt your ability to walk on the water with obedient faith.  He’s a stinker isn’t he?? Little rascal….. He can be right there to make us doubt and begin to sink!  So, I’m trusting that you closed your eyes and pictured yourself right there in the chaos and misery! Now….Matthew 14:13 says, “Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.’You have so little faith’, he said ‘why did you doubt me’?” When Peter turned his eyes back on our Lord, he immediately rose back above the water and the Enemy fled at the sound of the amazing voice of my sweet Jesus! Did you feel the Lord reach out and grab hold?? Yes. The storm is still raging, but you won’t sink! It really is that simple! Just keep your eyes on Him! I promise it was YOU who let go, not Jesus!

Just as Jesus had compassion for the blind, He has compassion and mercy for you and I. You and I may feel spiritually “blind” in our storm. All we need to do is ask for sight. Let him lift his hand to our eyes, touch us, and heal our ability to see the path before us. Matthew 20:34 – “Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.” NOTE the last three words. “And followed Him.” If we don’t follow Jesus after he opens our eyes, we will continue to be “blind”. Trust Him. Follow Him.

Deuteronomy 31:8 – “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” So, there you have it! I will FOLLOW and let the Lord lift me out of the raging water of my pain. Keep my mind’s eye on Him! I won’t let go! And I’ll Follow! I’ll leave the rest to the Creator of the Cosmos!

#TheKingsDaughterArmed

Penny

Be Brave….

Joshua 1:9 – Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; Do not be discouraged.  For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

A few weeks ago I made some very important changes in my life. Now, if you know me you may not have looked and noticed anything specific about my physical appearance because all of these changes were absolutely internal. You see, me and Jesus, we got something straight! He told me it was all going to be OK! Yes, even in my broken mess, I’m going to be OK and I’m enough! I was on a women’s retreat with my church. We had been allotted some alone time with the Lord to reflect on “why” individually God had brought us there. And so, I set out on a slow walk to find a quiet place to reflect on whatever had brought me there.

Man, I was in such a bad place! I hated everything: My husband, being married, I hated my job, being busy all the time and never having any time for myself. I hated that I wasn’t perfect, and I couldn’t do everything that others expected of me! I was trying so hard to please everyone around me. Especially myself! I got lost in all of that! So lost that I forgot the ONE I was supposed to be striving to please! JESUS, my sweet Jesus!

And all of my rage, frustration, and depression I was feeling overwhelmed and incapable. A constant failure every day, never measuring up to the standard that others, along with myself had set as acceptable! I needed to be the perfect wife, good enough to attract the perfect husband! I needed to be the perfect mom, good enough for my kids to obey all of my rules and do all of their chores without being reminded! I needed to be lovable, enough that my stepchildren can see me for who I think I am, and not the bad guy! I mean?? If I was lovable, good enough, and respected then they would do all of that unprompted, right? Yeah it was all pretty much crashing down on me! I felt the walls of my world caving in slowly and the oxygen from the air I struggled to breathe thinning! Spiritually I was suffocating. I was looking to my husband, my children, stepchildren, anyone to get the spiritual air that I needed to survive!

And so, as I walked looking for that perfect little garden, the sweet little spot in the nice green grass, or pretty waterfall to sit beside in the mountains, I just couldn’t find rest until I came a bench across from an old dilapidated building surrounded by caution tape and big orange traffic cones, and signs that said condemned. As I finally plopped down on that bench feeling frustrated that all the pretty little spots were taken, I found a breath! Oh my sweet Jesus! It was your breath in my lungs! In just that quiet time and reflection with an open Bible, he met me there! I felt him show me that even though my life seemed to be surrounded and caution tape, and was not fit to be trodden upon, it had promise! The promise to be rebuilt! New, stronger, and better! I literally began to laugh out loud! I felt the rage and the frustration flow from my soul. I felt that peace that I’ve always longed for! Yeah you know the one that in the Bible verse that says, “Peace which passes all understanding”! That’s the one! I found it there on my little dilapidated bench and dangerous construction site. I stood and casually walked alongside my Jesus back to the meeting room. It was time to “Be Brave!”

For over a year I have felt a calling to share my thoughts and my experiences with other women. And for the past year I have run from that calling! No, my life is still not perfect, my husband and my children, my marriage, nothing is perfect. In fact it’s still a hot mess, but that PEACE! Man it sure does pass anything I’m able to understand. And I find it every day when I spend time with Jesus. From the day of that retreat until the day I started this blog I have been belly up to the table!! “The King and his Daughter – party of two!! Well…. now that you’re here, it’s the king and his daughter….and YOU – party of three! Feast on PEACE! Bon appétit!

#TheKingsDaughterArmed

Penny

18194189_10212684298365640_6123946999975260383_n

Your DADDY wants to talk to you…

Do you wonder if God speaks to us? If he REALLY “speaks” to YOU!? YES HE DOES….listen with the ears of your heart as you READ GODS WORD! Ok…. now half of y’all just closed my post or scrolled on past!! 

I know…I know… “I’m too busy”. “I’m too tired”. “The Bible is boring!” “I don’t like to read!” All of these are excuses that I gave myself! My infamous one, “By the time I remember, I am in the bed and I am way too tired!” If you just said any of those things…. then…truth is…your not listening to Him anyway. Why would He talk to you? Is He not worth it to you?  

Do you not long for His help? Do you not cry out at times for His guidance and wonder where He is? It takes 5 min or less…. if you don’t have 5 minutes for the Creator of EVERYTHING, then you don’t deserve to hear HIM in the first place. (sorry, Not sorry) Pic up your Bible y’all! Or get a “Bible App” And LISTEN to your Holy Daddy in the small voice that rises up in your soul! He speaks life!
It’s so easy! It really is! And….WOW does it feel good to do it. Think of the things you “find time” to read and do. Try to find time this week to read just a few verses! Some how? Some way? After you have read just a few sentences see it, be still, wait, and listen….. for that small voice that rises up in you! Sweet “Reader of my blog”….you just met my friend Jesus!

Romans 10:18 – But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” (we’re talking about the Bible here) 

And so the journey begins….

HIT THE “X”… OR NOT?

If you are looking for a “professional” blogger… Hit that “X” in the upper right hand corner of the webpage.

If you are looking for a “Perfect Christian”… Hit that “X” in the upper right hand corner of the webpage.

If you looking for a “All the answers to Life’s Trials”.. Hit that “X” in the upper right hand corner of the web page.

Now, if you are a sinner who just feels like a failure at times and in need of seeing that God doesn’t call the equipped but “Equips the Called”, keep reading, or better yet, follow my blogs from today forward and hear from a real-life sinner who just takes it one day at a time.  And sometimes, one sin at a time….

Hello!  My name is Penny and I am just like you! Normal…Nothing supernatural, nor am I a “profit” or anything remotely similar.  (The fact that I just laughed out loud at that statement should help you understand what I am “Not”.)  So Please!  Do not expect much other than a kindred soul, who loves her Holy Daddy and curls up on his lap occasionally to feel just how tiny, yet so significant I am to HIM! I will not debate with you about the existence of what I KNOW is REAL.  I will leave that to the ones who are called to do so… (If you need a referral, let me know! Ha ha ha!)

You can read about “me” in a tab I soon will create on this site, but for now, this is just a place for me to share my life, my struggles, my failures, my successes, and just my heart mostly.  So, Feel free to tune in from time to time to see what is going on in my world. You just might identify! I welcome the discussion and comments!

#KingsDaughterArmed

Penny

post

 

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑