By Karen Sweeney-Ryall
seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature . . . 2 Peter 1: 3-4 NASB
Life is full of challenges. I have been through some very difficult circumstances including the death of my first husband, a rebellious pregnant teenage daughter, remarriage and blending a family, three miscarriages, two near death experiences from blood clots in my lungs and a traumatizing car accident and more. Beyond the crises and traumatic events, we each may deal with day to day stress, fatigue, relationship issues, financial struggles, rejection, anxiety and worry, health problems and other difficulties of daily life. We may feel worn down, defeated, and overwhelmed.
We can find strength and wisdom to survive and even thrive by focusing on Who God is and the many promises He has given to us. Sometimes this may require an intentional decision to pause from the responsibilities and reflect on God and His Word.
Busyness and fretting can impact our ability to see clearly. Our mind and spirit swirl with our thoughts, comments from others, what we hear on the news, conversations with family and friends. By stopping to spend time in prayer and reading scripture, our life can be impacted by its clarity and an encouraging awareness of God and His presence. Worship music also is a great way to change our focus to who God is and how much greater He is than the situation we are facing.
There are various ways to incorporate this in our life. One is to start our day by playing worship music while dressing and having breakfast. Hopefully, we can take a few moments to pray for our day, read a devotional or a scripture passage. It can make quite a difference in our attitude and well-being to begin by focusing on the truth of God’s Word. It is powerful to remember that He loves us, is watching over us, protects us and our family, provides for our needs and can equip us with whatever we need to do what He calls us to do. We can move through our day as a carrier of peace and truth.
We can model for our children by saying a prayer when we hop in the car for errands, school or work. We can play praise and worship music in the car to set the atmosphere and encourage our children of all ages to sing along. I will always delight in the memory of my young grand-daughter asking “Please put the Jesus music on, Gigi”. Our children can take turns saying grace before meals. When they tell us about a problem at school or worry they have, we can stop to pray and remind them that God cares about that, too, and can help them.
Whatever challenge we are facing, God has an attribute to handle it. He is not just our Savior; He is also our Restorer, Healer, Provider, Protector and source of wisdom, peace, comfort and strength. He has revealed aspects of His character throughout the Bible during encounters with people and His names were recorded. Jehovah Jireh- the Lord who provides (Genesis 22); Jehovah Rapha- the Lord who heals (Exodus 15); Jehovah Rohi- the Lord is my Shepherd (Psalm 23); and Jehovah-Shalom- the Lord is peace (Judges 6) are just a few examples.
God has also reminded us that He is faithful and keeps His promises. The rainbow was given as a sign of His covenant promise to man. Genesis 9:13 NLT says: “I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my covenant with you and with all the earth”. God also proclaimed many aspects of His character to Moses in Exodus 34:6: “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth”.
Each day as we face various struggles, disappointments, and obstacles, we can pick up our bible and find a scripture to stand on and believe. The Word of God is alive, powerful, true and does not return void. By reading it, meditating on it and declaring it, we build our own faith, turn our focus to who God is and what He promises and apply that truth to our situation.
Karen Sweeney-Ryall mentors women to live their dreams and fulfill the destiny designed for them by God. She is writing her first book, Revealing Your Treasures Hidden in Darkness and blogs at Becoming My Best Me. She speaks to women’s groups about our God-given unique identity, value, and calling and bringing beauty from the ashes of our difficult experiences.
Karen is an avid reader, loves the beach, nature, and travel, and enjoys her 4 children, 4 grandchildren, and one great- grandbaby. She works as a hospice bereavement coordinator and is active in women’s ministry and leadership at Living Hope Church.
Karen is a contributing writer at Real Women Ministries.
Connect with Karen at:
Facebook – Karen Sweeney-Ryall and Becoming My Best Me
Linkedin – Karen Sweeney-Ryall
Patty Nicholas says
A wonderful reminder to focus on who God is, on His character and his promises rather the on our circumstances. He truly is much bigger than anything we go through.
Beckie Lindsey says
What an amazing testimony of the faithfulness of God! Thank you for sharing your story and for ministering to many.
Paige Snedeker says
Thank you for sharing your struggles and your hope. The Word of God is truly powerful. Worship music is a huge encouragement for everyone, for me too even though I am Deaf. Such awesome reminders. Never give up.
Katy Kauffman says
Karen, you have been through so much. Thank you for this post that calls us to trust God. I love this line – “Whatever challenge we are facing, God has an attribute to handle it.” He can and will help us as we look to Him, no matter the length of a trial or the depth of pain we feel. Thank you for your testimony of faith!
Lauren Crews says
I love this. Wonderful words of wisdom