I felt anything but encouraged when I came across a Bible verse I used to love. Reading it again salted an old wound of disappointment that grew deeper rather than heal over.
But God loves us too much not to paint gold linings in our storm clouds.
The day before feeling this fresh sting, I heard some encouraging words regarding triumphant things that happen during hardships when we’re tapped into Scriptures:
- We grow wiser.
- We grow stronger.
- We grow closer to God.
Trials train our faith much like workouts strengthen athletes.
As I pondered this, my gratitude grew. I’m grateful God allowed me to experience several storms in a row. Honestly, I’ve never been more dependent–more connected–to the Lord than I am now.
Are you curious what verse used to be a favorite? Here it is:
May he give you the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed.
Psalm 20:4 NIV
I may not have the desires of my heart; however, God has more of my heart than He did before. This means I desire His will for me. That’s a win-win.
I may not have succeeded in many of my plans; however, God has replaced my plans with His plans.
… but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
Psalm 20:7 NIV
If we trust God when He replaces our plans with His plans, we’re blessed with peace and joy.
A simple example of this is when I heeded the Spirit’s nudge to accept my husband’s offer to head out of town with him for the day. It meant I needed to trust I would meet a deadline while doing so.
Sure enough, because my husband was at home while I finished the project, he was able to fix a problem I encountered. If I had said no to his invitation, he would have gone to work instead, and I wouldn’t have met my deadline because I don’t have the tech savvy to figure out computer glitches.
My husband fixed the glitch, and we went to see Butterfly World. Bonus.
I’m glad I didn’t ignore that verse. I’m glad I gave it a chance to defend itself.
I’m glad God never gives up on us.
We lean not upon our strength
For desires and plans to succeed
But we trust in God alone
In whom we hope and believe
We lean not upon mankind
For our hope to be fulfilled
But we dare to rest in God
Whose power reigneth still.
As you can see from all the butterflies, I had fun.
I post six days a week to my Facebook page. If you enjoy this blog, you’ll love the short things I share @WendyL.Mac I’d love it if you liked it and followed it. If you’re keen about my page, make sure you click the “See First” option. Otherwise it won’t show up much in your feed.
Bonus Blessings ~ Wendy Mac
I’m nosy-to-know what gold linings you’ve discovered during a storm?
10 thoughts on “Butterflies and Encouragement for Your Faith”
Your messages always inspire me and encourage me. Thank you Wendy.
Thank you, dear Melissa. <3
Thank you for this sweet reminder Wendy. During health challenges in our family, my prayers for healing have not always been answered the way I’ve hoped. But, I’ve seen God use these struggles in some unexpected ways—bettering relationships, softening hearts, and generating new purpose, resolve, wisdom. He continually demonstrates his goodness in the hardships of my life. What better reminder of this than the transformed butterfly?! Thank you for always sharing your heart, my friend.
Thank you, dear Jamie. Amen to the blessing of God’s “unexpected ways.” Yes, the gold of His goodness is always available for us to notice and praise. <3
I love these verses, Wendy, and the pictures make the message so much richer! Thanks for the reminder of His continual love and presence.
Thank you, dear Sherry. Blessed are they who remember His loving Presence is forever. <3
Sister Wendy; one of my favorites is Psalm 37:4, but I usually always quote before and after that verse: Psalm 37:3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.
When I was a much younger man, I listened to a lot of preaching back in the 70’s and 80’s that promised so much being a “King’s kid” and as I was praying one day, the Lord started speaking to me about His PERFECT Love that He has for me, but also for each of us individually. I was drawn to these Scriptures and like the proverbial light-bulb going off in my head, I saw this Scripture in a whole new light! When we Trust in Him, Dwell in Him, Feed on Him, and Delight ourselves in Him, and Commit our ways to His, then the desires that you have in your heart are the ones that HE places there. They aren’t what we want in this world, they are what He wants for each of us!!!
But we have to follow the right path to get those desires. Trust, Delight, Commit, etc. This opened up a WHOLE lot of other Scriptures to me once I was able to see this awesome spiritual principle. So Sis, this message of yours, just reconfirms and re-ignites the wondrous marvel of serving such an Almighty God and yet such a Loving and Compassionate Heavenly Father!! Thank You and God bless as you CONTINUE to Bless Him and each of us!
Thank you, Pastor Roland. Yes, you’re spot on about the need for us to only “feed on Him.” Nothing our flesh or the world tells us to seek will satisfy us.
I’m glad God takes the time to direct us to the “right path to get … desires.”
Psalm 37:4 was the verse my husband and I used as our wedding one. It’s perfect. When we delight in God first, then we’re delighted in and delightful to our marriage partner. God is good–always. Blessings, dear brother.
Lovely sharing,Wendy. Great encouraging message…. ❤
Thank you, dear Iris. <3 Blessings on your week.