It is Well With My Soul

It is Well with My Soul. SmellingCoffee.com

Sweet friends~ thank you for your kind words, prayer, and concern.  I don’t mean to worry you.  Truly, it is well with my soul, and I sincerely pray that you can say the same thing, no matter what is going on around you.  Life is full of daily opportunities to build those faith muscles, isn’t it?

I’ll be a bit more honest with you about my faith struggle last week… as I’ve continued to process everything, I think it really boiled down to a disappointment  – dare I admit to being so spoiled and say it… in God???  Ugh… I cringe even typing it. But wouldn’t we all admit that from time to time we struggle with that feeling?  Weariness in fighting back some battle at the gate in prayer, watching and waiting and not yet seeing the results that one KNOWS God CAN deliver… which makes fertile ground for the enemy to slink right in and plant seeds of doubt in God’s care, concern, and faithfulness… even though we KNOW those things remain true about God, despite what our eyes might be currently seeing?  That old enemy and I had a fight over God’s faithfulness last week.  By the way, the Lord and I won, and I now have a few stronger muscles built and ready for the next time my trust in God is challenged. Praise Jesus! 😉

I think that’s the point of allowing us to fight these faith battles in the first place.  Yes? As long as we live in this dying and sinful world as sinners saved by Grace, we will have to fight to keep our eyes and hearts centered on what God says is true about Himself and His promises.  In fact, that’s the definition of faith in Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].”  Hebrews 11:6 goes on to tell us that it is impossible to please God without faith.  So, of course the enemy would want to try to do everything he can to steal, kill, and destroy our trust in God and His goodness and love toward us!

When I think about someone building faith-muscles, and God using that person’s faith to spur on so many others, I can’t help but think about Horatio Spafford who wrote the beautiful old hymn, “It is Well With My Soul.”  Do you know the story behind the writing of this hymn?

 

Horatio Spafford (1828-1888) was a wealthy Chicago lawyer with a thriving legal practice, a beautiful home, a wife, four daughters and a son. He was also a devout Christian and faithful student of the Scriptures. His circle of friends included Dwight L. Moody, Ira Sankey and various other well-known Christians of the day.

At the very height of his financial and professional success, Horatio and his wife Anna suffered the tragic loss of their young son. Shortly thereafter on October 8, 1871, the Great Chicago Fire destroyed almost every real estate investment that Spafford had.

In 1873, Spafford scheduled a boat trip to Europe in order to give his wife and daughters a much needed vacation and time to recover from the tragedy. He also went to join Moody and Sankey on an evangelistic campaign in England. Spafford sent his wife and daughters ahead of him while he remained in Chicago to take care of some unexpected last minute business. Several days later he received notice that his family’s ship had encountered a collision. All four of his daughters drowned; only his wife had survived.

With a heavy heart, Spafford boarded a boat that would take him to his grieving Anna in England. It was on this trip that he penned those now famous words, When sorrow like sea billows roll; it is well, it is well with my soul..   

from Sharefaith.com  

Oh my friends, I’m praying that the Lord will use the beautiful words of this hymn, the cry of a man of God who determined to trust, even in the midst of huge losses (that make my little battles seem like swatting at mosquitoes) to lift and encourage your heart to cry out… It is well, it is well, with my soul.


It is Well With My Soul

Horatio G. Spafford, 1873

  1. When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
    When sorrows like sea billows roll;
    Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
    It is well, it is well with my soul.

    • Refrain:
      It is well with my soul,
      It is well, it is well with my soul.
  2. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
    Let this blest assurance control,
    That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
    And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
  3. My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—
    My sin, not in part but the whole,
    Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
  4. For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
    If Jordan above me shall roll,
    No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
    Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
  5. But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
    The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
    Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
    Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!
  6. And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
    The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
    The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
    Even so, it is well with my soul.

 

A men, and praise the Lord!
signature

 

When I Find My Faith on Shaky Ground

When Faith is on Shaky Ground. SmellingCoffee.com

Over all, trusting the Lord has not been a terribly difficult thing for me to do in my life. With deep gratitude I realize that I’ve had people around me that were worthy of keeping my trust, so it has been a natural thing to believe that my Heavenly Father is who He says He is: Faithful, Trustworthy, and True to His Word.

Before my dad died, one of the last things he said to me was that he believed that God had given me the gift of faith and an extra special ability to trust and believe God in the face of adversity. I have clung to that. I have clung to God. His faithfulness. His miraculous deeds He has worked on our behalf all of our lives. I watched God provide manna for my family growing up, and for my current family today. We have all we need plus more. God has been (and IS still) faithful, true, trustworthy.

But lately… I’ve been in a spiritual battle between knowing this and living it out in my mind – as in, I’m having to continually counsel my heart in the TRUTH that God is Faithful!   And when I stop counseling my heart of this truth, my deceptive heart (Jeremiah 17:9-10) begins to believe that He has let us down in some way… Even though I KNOW this is a lie! (See Hebrews 13:5-6)

It’s crazy, but true, and only my husband knows that I’ve been battling this. I wouldn’t even type the words out loud right now unless God was leading me to share them, because I’m sensing that I’m not the only one with this struggle. Honestly, tears are streaming down my cheeks as I write this… I love the Lord so much, and I KNOW without a doubt that He loves me/us more than I can fathom… and I DO trust Him with and in everything. So, why am I having such a difficult time this week in this battle between faith and sight?

Actually, for me, I can list several reasons each in the spiritual, physical, and emotional realms that I personally believe are coming together at this moment to create my perfect storm. You may be able to do this in your life, too. Or not. Either way, one thing I DO know is that we can NOT go around with our faith shaken! We just can’t.

 

How to fight Shaken Faith. SmellingCoffee.com

 

When my (your) “Shield of Faith” is shaken and dropped, we become wide-open targets for the enemy’s destroying, flaming arrows (Ephesians 6:16)!

Psalm 13 is where I’ve been with the Lord over the past few days:

1. How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?

How long will You hide Your face from me?

2 How long must I take counsel in my soul,

Having sorrow in my heart day after day?

How long will my enemy exalt himself and triumph over me?

Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;

Give light (life) to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,

And my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”

And my adversaries will rejoice when I am shaken.

But I have trusted and relied on and been confident in Your lovingkindness and faithfulness;

My heart shall rejoice and delight in Your salvation.

I will sing to the Lord,

Because He has dealt bountifully with me.

Psalm 13  (Amp, 15)

So what are we to do if we have Shaken Faith?

Psalm 13: 5-6 holds the answer: Be confident in God’s lovingkindness and faithfulness. That confidence in God’s faithfulness will propel the cycle of rejoicing in the Truth that God loves us eternally and has has already saved us for Himself, leading us to sing praises to Him about that… which will turn our focuses off of ourselves and back on to Him, and then we will humbly realize that He has dealt bountifully with us.

Here’s the truth:

Today, somebody will get to rejoice. Either the enemy will rejoice over us and how we have given in to shaken faith…

OR

we can choose to rejoice in the Lord and in His lovingkindness and salvation.

There’s no other option.  Period.

 

But how do we get from Shaken Faith to Rejoicing?

One way:

We are to run as fast as we can back to God’s Word. Any way we can get it – and cling to it as if it is breath and life… because it is!

Read God’s counsel in Proverbs 4:20-23 (NLT)


My child, pay attention to what I say.

    Listen carefully to my words.

Don’t lose sight of them.

    Let them penetrate deep into your heart,

for they bring life to those who find them,

    and healing to their whole body.

Guard your heart above all else,

    for it determines the course of your life.

Proverbs 4:20-23

 

 

 

Psalm 119 is full of verses promising renewal and reviving of life through God’s Word. Below are just a few of these breath-giving verses. Are there any that represent the cry of your heart right now?

“My soul dissolves because of grief; Renew and strengthen me according to the promises of Your word.”     Psalm 119:28

“According to Your steadfast love refresh me and give me life, so that I may keep and obey the testimony of Your mouth.”      Psalm 119:88

“I am greatly afflicted; renew and revive me giving me life, O Lord, according to Your word.”      Psalm 119:107

“Hear my voice according to Your steadfast lovingkindness; O Lord, renew and refresh me according to Your ordinances.”      Psalm 119:149

“Consider how I love Your precepts; revive me and give me life, O Lord, according to Your lovingkindness.”      Psalm 110:159

 

For the last few days this is what I’ve been doing – running to the Word, looking for renewal and life, over and over again. It’s like breathing – Just as 0ne breath doesn’t sustain life, neither does one dose of Scripture sustain the shaken. So I’ve written some enemy-fighting-faith-building verses on my hand, some I put on notecards to carry around with me. I took a picture to have some on my phone, and some I posted around my house. I’m fixing it so that wherever I turn, there the Word is, and there I’ll breathe it in, and my soul is being revived. I’ve learned that’s called “counseling your own heart with Gods Word.” Look at what Jeremiah said about taking in God’s Word:

“Your words were found and I ate them,

And Your words became a joy to me and the delight of my heart;

For I have been called by Your name,

O Lord God of hosts.”

Jeremiah 15:16

 

If you don’t know how to find God’s Word to help you counsel your heart, here are several quick ways that work for me:

1. Do a Google search for “verse about _________” and write in whatever you are struggling with. Lots of options will pop up on the page. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to what you need. Then look up the verse(s) in BibleGateway.com. Or most likely a verse listed in Biblehub.com will be one of your search returns. Head there. Scroll through the various translations of that verse, then read the brief devotion/explanation at the bottom of the page. Look to the right of the page for similar verses and continue your verse search there.

 

2.  Go to ReviveOurHearts.com and type your needed topic in the search bar. Nancy DeMoss Woglemuth has a wealth of scripture-based material to point you to God’s Word and counsel through it. Caution: don’t lose time reading someone else’s words before you go to God’s Word. Get His Word first, then go back and read what Nancy and her guests have to share.

 

My friends, from time to time we will all experience what is known as “the dark night of the soul.” The beautiful thing is that we don’t have to live in that place. The SON will rise as we continue to press in to Him and cling to His Words as we counsel our hearts to trust the Lord.

I found a Smelling Coffee TV episode I did a few years back on “The Dark Night of the Soul” and God used this to speak into my life just this morning. If you have time, maybe it will be a word of encouragement for you, too. You can see it (or just listen to it) here.

(If you can’t see the embedded image, click here.)  ((And if you CAN see it, it’s not too flattering a screen shot, is it? haha!))

SmellingCoffee.com:divider

So today my friends… Let’s Lift up our eyes to the Lord (Psalm 121), Eat up the Words of the Lord (*Jeremiah 15:16), and  Armor up (*Ephesians 6:10-17) so God can Firm up our Shield of Faith that extinguishes all of the flaming arrows of the evil one!

He {God} only is my rock and my salvation;

My fortress and my defense, I will not be shaken or discouraged.

On God my salvation and my glory rest;

He is my rock of [unyielding] strength, my refuge is in God.

Trust [confidently] in Him at all times, O people;

Psalm 62:6-8 (Amp)

With love and prayers~

signature

 

PS: Don’t want to miss another Smelling Coffee blog post? Just enter your address below.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

(Be sure to check your inbox for a note from me and to verify your email address.) No spam, I promise… Only encouraging words of Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place. 🙂

 

When the Headlines Grow Horrid

What to do when the headlines grow horrid. SmellingCoffee.com

The headlines… Every day lately it’s been something worse, hasn’t it?!  All over the globe, it’s overwhelming. Unimaginable. Heart breaking.  Gut wrenching.  Tragic.  Forever life altering.  Fear producing.  Peace stealing.

Is there any hope for rest from violence, terror, anger?  What are we to do?   What are we to think about all of this?  So many opinions are blasted across our screens… who is right? How do we process all we are seeing, hearing, experiencing… and make sense of it all in light of who we are as Children of The One True God?

I don’t dare pretend to have all of the answers, but as I’m listening to the news and praying for those latest victims of terror and violence tonight, there are two things the Lord is leading me to share:

1.  We must constantly remind ourselves that this world is NOT our permanent dwelling place.  It’s not our home.  We have to emulate people of faith who have gone before us, and live in this world as a contributing visitor, but not as a resident whose be all and end all is in this earth and all of our stuff here.

While we interact, work, raise our families, play, and serve the Lord, we must do so with the heavenly-sighted mindset of Abraham, who “was waiting expectantly and constantly looking forward to the city [an eternal heavenly city] whose architect and builder is God” Heb. 11:10

 

2.  When we want to run away from it all, we must run to the right place.

Years ago, the country music group, Lady Antebellum, had a beautiful hit called “Run to You.”  Every time I hear it I can’t help but think of what a great praise offering that song would be to sing of the Lord.  (I substituted the word “baby” with a few names of God). Read it below in light of your own circumstances or the current headlines and see what you think:

 

 

Run to You –
Written by Dave Haywood / Charles Kelley / Hillary Scott / Tom Douglas

I run from hate 
I run from prejudice
I run from pessimists
But I run too late
I run my life
Or is it running me
Run from my past
I run too fast
Or too slow it seems
When lies become the truth
That’s when I run to you

Chorus:

This world keeps spinning faster
Into a new disaster so I run to you
I run to you {Father}
And when it all starts coming undone
{Daddy} you’re the only one I run to
I run to you

 

I love that!  But I love these words even more…

 

The name of the LORD

is a strong tower;

the righteous run to it

and are protected.

Proverbs 18:10

Do you need a place to run to?  Need a place of protection in this season of your life?  Need a place of safety when everywhere you turn seems too overwhelming?  You have an open invitation to Run to your Daddy through the names of the Lord.  

You can find the names of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit throughout Scripture.  Especially in the Psalms, we find the names and characteristics of our God listed in almost every chapter.  A clue in finding them:  Look for phrases that start with “The Lord ___” or “God is ___” or “The Lord/God does ___”.  And usually when the Psalmist is talking TO God and says “You” or “Your”, a characteristic of the Lord follows.

Keep a running list   {no pun intended :-)} on a piece of paper tucked in your Bible.  That way, when you find one, you can quickly write it down.

This site has 928 names of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit found in scripture, listed in alphabetical order.  Nine hundred and twenty eight!!!  That’s a huge treasure and tower!!!

If you need a special place of protection and comfort in the Lord, I encourage you to search the Scriptures for Who He is that you can run into and find safety.  Use this linked list.  Print it, tuck it in your Bible, and RUN to the Word (and your list of God’s names) when you are stressed, fearful, lonely, depressed, overwhelmed, sad, waiting, and even joyful!

Because… this is the promise in Psalm 9:10:

Those who know your name
trust in you,
for you, O LORD,
do not abandon those who search for you.
Psalm 9:10 (NLT)

 

My friends, when our world keeps spinning faster… May the Lord catch you as you run to your Father – a Strong Tower… and keep you safe.

Blessings of the Lord upon you, and may He comfort us all as we run back to Him~

Proverbs 18.10 SmellingCoffee.com

signature

 

PS: Don’t want to miss another Smelling Coffee blog post? Just enter your address below.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

(Be sure to check your inbox for a note from me and to verify your email address.) No spam, I promise… Only encouraging words of Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place. 🙂

 

You are Invited… and I hope you’ll come! :-) {Plus some added-on encouragement for today}

Ladies' Event: Sundae with Heidi. SmellingCoffee.com

Hi friends~  I have just a quick minute to hop on here and remind our FBC Cleveland family (and to extend an invitation to anyone nearby) to join our ladies on Sunday afternoon for a FUN event you won’t want to miss!   “Sundae with Heidi.”  We’ll build Ice Cream Sundaes with all the toppings, and […]

[Continue reading...]

Throwback Thursday: A Super-Quick Post on How to Have Your Spirits Lifted

Throwback Thursday. The best of SmellingCoffee.com

I was looking through some old posts when the title of this one caught my eye.  Oh, what a blessing it was to read again and be reminded of this KEY to a lifted countenance!!!  I’m smiling after being watered by this Word, and trust that the Lord will use it to rain down a […]

[Continue reading...]

How to Handle Father’s Day – And the Many Emotions it Brings

How to Handle Father's Day and the Many Emotions it Brings. SmellingCoffee.com

First of all, I want to wish my dear husband and the father of our children, James Walker, a Happy Father’s Day!  He and Abigail are in Africa on a mission trip right now, and are loving it! In fact, come to think of it, in the 19 years that James has been a dad, […]

[Continue reading...]

The Orlando Shooting and What I Had to Confess

The Orlando Shooting and My Confession. SmellingCoffee.com

I’m deeply sorry that this was true of me, but feel very strongly that the Lord is leading me to bear it out on this blog, so I’m going to open up my ugly… trusting that God will use it to help someone else process through theirs. When I heard about the terrible shooting in […]

[Continue reading...]

A Few Favorite Finds: Some Super {& FREE} Online Resources

Favorite Finds - things worth passing along. SmellingCoffee.com

Hi everyone~  How are YOU???  In Walker world, it’s now considered “Summer.”  Yay!! 😉  We are all breathing a little easier now that the emotional days of the past month have waned. I have something to confess.  And please – I’m not saying this for you to feel sorry for me – just so that […]

[Continue reading...]