I have learned…..



I have learned…….

Three little words packed with so much hope.


Paul wrote those words (Phil 4:11-12). Paul learned.

Paul wrote numerous books in the Bible. He didn’t just write a blog or an article or a book that was once on the bestseller list. No, he wrote God-breathed books in the Bible. And he tells us in Philippians that “he learned”.

Paul learned….

If he learned to be content that gives me hope. He learned to be content and so can I.

What was Paul’s secret?

I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content—whether well fed or hungry, whether abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.(Phil 4:11-13)

It was through the strength he received from Jesus that he was able to learn to be content in any circumstance. He wrote these words as a thank you to the Philippians for their generous gift to him while he was imprisoned. Although, he was thankful, he stresses his self-sufficiency in Christ. Paul was content because of his relationship with Christ. That’s all he needed. He says, “I have learned” not “I am”. When I read that I just get so excited. That tells me, he didn’t always know this truth. He didn’t always have this mind set. That tells me that all these things I struggle with, can be overcome. Pulling from the strength I too have through Christ, I can learn.

Before Paul’ s conversion he was a scary dude. He persecuted Christians. It doesn’t get much worse than that. Yet, Paul became a mighty warrior of Christ following his conversion. Paul focused on what he was supposed to do and not what he had or his circumstances.

Regardless of our circumstances, like Paul, if we keep our focus on what God wants us to do, we too can learn to be content. We can learn to have a self-sufficiency in Christ. We can learn that as long as we have a relationship with Christ, nothing can shake us. We can learn contentment, we can learn to have peace, we can learn not to fret and worry. We can relax and give ourselves a break knowing that we don’t have to know it all now. We don’t have to have it all figured out overnight. But, if we try to see life through the lens of God, empowered by His strength, we too can do anything.  We can learn to accept our circumstances and handle anything that comes our way. Yes, anything!

I have learned…….

Three little words packed with so much hope.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the hope found in Your Word. Help me Lord to see life from your point of view. I pray that you will help me to learn to be content in whatever circumstance I find myself. Help me to pull from the strength available to me through Your Son. Help me to come to you first when I find myself unable to handle a situation or find myself feeling ungrateful or wishing my circumstances were different. Help me today father to accept my circumstances with thanksgiving.

God Gave Me Coffee

Image result for no coffee

I don’t like coffee. I’ve tried many times to make myself like it. The smell draws me in. I think I can do it this time. And then no, I just can’t do it. Just the sound of the name Caramel Macchiato makes me drool. But nonetheless, I don’t like the taste. I think it would be cool to be a coffee drinker. But I’m a Diet Coke kinda girl.  If the waitress brings me coffee, I’m sending it back.

How often do we tell God we don’t want what he gave us? How often do we tell Him He got our order wrong?

Jesus gives us the perfect example of how we should respond to situations when God gives us something we didn’t order. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus knew what he was about to face on the cross. He prayed for his father to take his suffering away. But then he says, “nevertheless, not My will but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42). He accepted his Father’s will which was always his focus.

“Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42)

Well, wouldn’t you know it, God gave me coffee the other day and I wanted to send it back. I was faced with a particularly difficult and somewhat frightening circumstance. Metaphorically speaking, I wanted to send that coffee back. I wanted to take that cup and throw it across the room. I wanted to pour out my portion and smash the cup. Then I remembered Jesus’ example. I was reminded that God had given me this particular circumstance. I had a choice to make. I could pour it out and resist. I could run in fear. Or, I could take that cup thankfully and ask that He give me guidance, wisdom and grace to handle the circumstance. I could thank Him for the coffee and drink it. I did just that and received a blessing in return. God gave me exactly what I needed to handle that particular circumstance and my faith grew in the process.

Are you dealing with something today that makes you feel like God got your order wrong? Do you ever want to just smash your cup or throw it across the room?

We all have a choice. We can refuse our portion and rebel or we can surrender our lives to God and accept our portion in faith.

Heavenly Father, thank you for difficult circumstances that help me grow and become ever more close to and dependent on You. Forgive me when I refuse my portion ungratefully. Help me to accept my portion knowing that Your Word says that ALL things, even the bad things are meant for my good; to help me become more like Christ (Romans 8:28-29). I ask that you give me the guidance and wisdom and grace to handle my portion even when it’s something I didn’t order.


Can we talk about coping? For years I searched for ways to cope with life. I read quite a few books searching for the magic one that would help me cope. There’s lots of them out there promising the magic recipe on how to cope with just about anything: death, stress, anxiety, pregnancy, divorce, bullying, eating disorders, diverticulitis. You name it, there’s a book on how to cope with it.  My favorite would have to be “How to Cope When You Are Surrounded by Idiots”. That made me laugh. I may have to read that one just for fun.

But seriously…….I think coping is overrated. Coping means resigning yourself to something and dealing with it or managing it effectively. Can I just tell you the good news? God doesn’t say trust me I’ll help you deal with it; I’ll help you manage that fear. No no no!!! Our God is bigger than that. In fact, I’ve never read the word “cope” in the Bible; not even once. No, God’s Word says things like “conquer”, “deliver” and overcome”.

 “The righteous cry out and the Lord DELIVERS them from ALL of their troubles”. (Psalms 34:17)

To “deliver” means to save, rescue or set free from. He doesn’t just help us deal with our troubles, He sets us free from them- ALL of them. I don’t know about you but I’m all about that!!

Jesus tells us that He has overcome the world! (John 16:33) I love that statement, “I have overcome the world”. God, through the sacrifice of His son, OVERCAME the world. He conquered, beat, defeated this world. All of the evil in this world has already been defeated. God is not about just coping. He’s a God who conquers, delivers and overcomes.

We need only to look to our Father in Heaven in times of struggle. He is our source of help. He is there for us at all times. (Ps 121) Yes, there are many books that can help us cope with our problems but only the Bible can lead us to the one who can deliver us from them- the One who has already conquered them.

So today I surrender my struggles and say “No” to coping and “Yes” to “Overcoming” and “Deliverance”.

Heavenly Father, my pain is real. Life is hard. My fear is real. Life is scary. Lord, help me to overcome the pain and fear of the world and get up and do what you would have me do today; learn what you would have me to learn. Remind me of your constant presence and your promises to deliver me from my struggles. Give me strength when I am weak. Help me smile when I am down. Remind me to look above to you and to your word for my source of help.

If you are struggling with something today, I hope you will say this prayer or one like it. I pray that you will ask the One who overcame the world to help you overcome your struggles.

I’ve listed a few more scriptures of how God tells us in His Word that He will do more than just help you manage your struggles. See if you can find more.

“I sought the Lord and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears” Ps 34:4

“Because whatever has been born of God conquers the world. This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith” 1 John 5:4

“And the Lord shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in Him” Ps 37:40