Get Real

 (Beginning August 1, the content of my blog will be completely different from the Girlfriends in God devotions. So if you are not signed up for my blog at www.localhost/sjold, please do it today…and invite all your friends. We’re going to have more give-a-ways, more personal interaction, and more inspiration than ever before! Now, on to today’s story!)

“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness,” (Lamentations 3:19-24 NIV).

Are we brave enough to be real and honest with God? We might as well be; He knows our hearts inside and out anyway. A. W. Tozer, in his book, The Knowledge of the Holy, wrote:

How unutterably sweet is the knowledge that our Heavenly Father knows us completely.  No talebearer can inform on us; or enemy can make an accusation stick; no forgotten skeleton can come tumbling out of some hidden closet to abash us and expose our past; no unsuspected weakness in our characters can come to light to turn God away from us, since He knew us utterly before we knew Him and called us to Himself in the full knowledge of everything that was against us.

God knew the real me before I even knew myself. David wrote[tweetherder],[tweetherder] “Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD” (Psalm 139:4 NIV). [tweetherder]Knowing what He knew and knows, it is a wonder that He even gives me the time of day. And to think, He gives us the time of our lives![/tweetherder]

Jeremiah was a mighty man of God who was not afraid to be real before His maker. He wrote:

“I am the man who has seen affliction because of the rod of His wrath. He has driven me and made me walk in darkness and not in light. Surely against me He has turned His hand repeatedly all the day. He has caused my flesh and my skin to waste away. He has broken my bones. He has besieged and encompassed me with bitterness and hardship. In dark places He has made me dwell, like those who have long been dead” (Lamentations 3:1-6 NASB).

Jeremiah was mad and he was mad at God. As far as he was concerned, God was the cause of all his problems. He felt trapped and afraid. He continued:

“He has walled me in so that I cannot go out; He has made my chain heavy. Even when I cry out and call for help, He shuts out my prayer. He has blocked my ways with hewn stone; He has made my paths crooked. He is to me like a bear lying in wait like a lion in secret places. He has turned aside my ways and torn me to pieces; He has made me desolate…So I say, ‘My strength has perished, and so has my hope from the Lord’” (vv.7-11,18 NASB).

Jeremiah was in a bad situation…mostly because he had a wrong perception of God. God did not make him to walk in darkness, cause his flesh to waste away, or break his bones. God had not encompassed him with bitterness or hardship. But Jeremiah had allowed his perception to be skewed by his circumstances.

Even though what Jeremiah had to say was incorrect and certainly painted a bad picture of God, he was able to be real about what he was feeling. Jeremiah did not feel the need to put on a holy mask before an all-knowing God. And you know what? God didn’t strike him dead for being real and saying what was on his heart.

Before we leave poor Jeremiah, let’s notice what happens at the end of his lament. He begins to remember all the times that God had been faithful.

“This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord’s loving kindnesses… are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I have hope in Him’” (vv. 21-22 NASB).

[tweetherder]Jeremiah cleaned the clutter out of his emotional closet and rediscovered the treasures he had forgotten were there.[/tweetherder]

His circumstances didn’t change. God didn’t change. But his attitude and perception of God changed and his emotions followed close behind.

We can learn two lessons from Jeremiah in this passage.

Number 1: We don’t need to be afraid to be real with God.

Number 2: When we’re disappointed with our circumstances, we need to remember all the times God has been faithful, and practice praise, gratitude and thanksgiving to get us out of our hissy fit.

Stop right now and offer up a prayer of praise to God for all the wonderful deeds He has performed in your life. The gift of eternal life would be a great place to start.

As an exercise of gratitude, leave a comment and tell me the date (year) you accepted God’s gift of salvation and made Jesus Lord of your life.

Want More?

Today’s devotion was adapted from my book: Your Scars are Beautiful to God: Finding Peace and Purpose in the Hurts of Your Life.  The Bible says, “Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story,” (Psalm 107:2). There is unspeakable joy that bubbles up when a child of God takes off her mask and is real with the world about all that God has done in her life. As a matter of fact, it is so powerful the devil will do everything he can to stop you from doing so. How I love Revelation 12:11, “They overcame him (the devil) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.” Let’s get real and overcome!

 

53 Responses to Get Real

  1. Marian July 18, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

    I was saved in 1988 as a small child and as a result of the these Girlfriends in God devotions, I have recommitted my life to the Lord as an adult. This experience has been amazing. Thank you for your devotions, they hit home every time. It is really like chatting with a girlfriend.

    • Sharon July 18, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

      Praise God!!!! We love doing life with you!

  2. T. G. July 18, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

    1992

  3. Joyce July 18, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

    February 1979, my marriage of almost 9 years broke up, my husband left me for someone else and my sister in law, led me to Jesus Christ and told me about how she had been born again the previous year.
    God is GOOD!

  4. Caroline Grossman July 18, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    I was 8 years of age and the year was 1977. Praise God that I am His child and He knows me full well. I was so encouraged by your devotion ths morning. Thank you!

  5. J July 18, 2013 at 3:13 pm #

    7th July 2007. The date of perfection….The date I said ‘yes’ for everyone to hear. I am so thankful that even though times have been tough, I can still say that He indeed is my true Love!

  6. Sue Jones July 18, 2013 at 3:13 pm #

    1975 It was senior year and my bbf took me to a Watchmen Concert. She wasn’t allowed since her parents thought she was getting into a cult! I accepted Jesus there and we are still bbf … in fact I’ll be 56 this year and I can say we have been friends for 55+ years! What a blessing she is too me!

  7. julie July 18, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

    recommitted and reborn may 18, 2013. he has forgiven me of many sins and i am dwelling in his mercy. with great gratitude i praise my God.

    • Sharon July 18, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

      Welcome to the family!

  8. Terry July 18, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

    It was New Year’s Eve 1997. My marriage had just imploded, my mom diagnosed with cancer and my job grew more stressful, all these things happening within weeks of each other. Through the grace of God or the nudging of the Holy Spirit, I answered a call to renew my commitment to Jesus that night at a midnight mass. I’ve been both blessed and challenged since then but I’ve never regretted responding to the call.

  9. Wee-Bin Lian July 18, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

    Know God since 1974 at entry into school – come to know Him personally as Saviour in 1984. Baptised then Married in 1994. Praise Him.

  10. Sharon Leasure July 18, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

    Hi Sharon, I have spent two years trying to get out of a cult and was able to do so in June. I brought myself to the cross and laid my life in the hands of Christ on May 9, 2013. My journey is hard but Gods grace is good.

    • Sharon July 18, 2013 at 5:29 pm #

      Sharon! That is wonderful. I am so glad that you are here and getting into God’s Word. This is a critical time for you to stay connected to God through His Word, prayer, and sisters in Christ who love you. I’m so proud of you!

  11. Hillary July 18, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

    2012. I’ve always believed in a higher being, but until the light went off last year, I had never truly accepted Jesus. And since then, God has been doing wonders in my life that I see, accept, and praise Him for. Even looking back, I see where He’s been in my life the whole time.

  12. Inge July 18, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

    July 15th 1973 God showed me what Jesus had done for me. I was born again that day.
    It is 40 years later now and I am so happy with His grace.. God is faithfull and GOOD !

  13. Patricia Sears July 19, 2013 at 12:52 am #

    1982

  14. Lydia July 19, 2013 at 1:35 am #

    Hi My name is Lydia and I recommitted my life to my Lord Jesus Christ on October 12, 2008. I am so grateful for all that He has done for me. I was divorced in 2005 and as the world says to get over one relationship was to replaced it with another relationship but I chose the wrong one, I got remarried in 2007 and was seperated from my 2nd husband in 2008. I was invited to attend church by a co worker and the relationship that I have been longing for all along I finally found one with my Savior Jesus. I am a single mother of a 15 year old girl, who knows the Lord but is struggle with the world but He holds us together; He is the love of my life and I dont know how I would get through this life without Him. Jesus thank you so much for loving me, even in days when I dont love myself and when I blame you for the poor choices that I have made. I LOVE YOU LORD.

  15. Cali July 19, 2013 at 2:36 am #

    November 21, 2003.

  16. Cali July 19, 2013 at 2:38 am #

    All the way from Costa Rica! 🙂

  17. KT July 19, 2013 at 4:20 am #

    1968 at a religious weekend retreat on a hillside with a bonfire and a wooden cross. I rededicated my life to Christ in 1990. I have been a nurse for 41 years. God uses me daily. My nursing is a true ministry! I am richly blessed!

  18. MaryJo July 19, 2013 at 4:39 am #

    I let Jesus in my heart in on March 8th, 1981. I remember that date because Pat, my “spiritual mom” told me it was important to remember it!! On March 9th of 2012 I was there to witness my “spiritual mom” passing on to be with the Lord!! She was just shy of 92 years old. What a blessing to see someone look so beautiful and at peace to meet God face to face!!

  19. Quenne July 19, 2013 at 5:35 am #

    Late 80’s

  20. Maureen July 19, 2013 at 6:25 am #

    Hi Sharon, greetings from Nairobi, Kenya. Accepted the LORD to rule and reign in my life 07/08/1995 and it’s a beautiful journey.

  21. Esther Ndegwa July 19, 2013 at 9:18 am #

    1972 when I was a young girl. Got married in 1986 in a holy matrimony by a born again christian man. My marriage got to the rocks and we got separated in October 1994. In these confusion and stressful moments of separation, I got myself mixed up and sometimes in the wrong company because those that were friends then all deserted me and looked at me as an enemy due to the influence of my husband. Life became so difficult and after some years i found myself not as strong in the Lord as i ought to be. I had drifted away from the Lord. I thank God for his mercies are new every morning and that he does not suffer his own to get lost. Through his mercies and grace, I was able to rededicate my life to him 2004. I thank God that I am now able to identify with him fully, and that he gave me new friends, and new fellowship where i can have my faith grow. I thank God for you sharon and for your many encouraging words that i have always read from you. It has helped me grow a lot. God bless you abundantly.

  22. Christine July 19, 2013 at 10:52 am #

    Thank you for a great first devotion! I have been doing “Girlfriends in God” for some time, and am blessed by it daily. I would sometime love to see a devotion about what happens when Christians chose to sin willfully and repeatedly. This became a hot topic recently at our lunch. Thank you

  23. Elizabeth oluseun July 19, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    I thank GOD for His faithfulness,Love,Presence,His wonderful deeds.I believe i made Jesus my Lord in sunday school as a child but i did again in 2000 as a teenager.tnx 4 d devotional,its so refreshg.

  24. Beverly July 19, 2013 at 11:54 am #

    I was saved in 1968 at the age of 9. I grew up in a Godly home where the Bible was read each morning with my parents before I went to school. I got married at 24 and had a very rocky start; was separated from my husband our first Christmas. On New Year’s Day he was saved! We have two children age 26 and 20. They were both saved when they were 9 also! I’m a blessed woman and thankful to God!!

  25. Nancy Beneteau July 19, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

    August 23, 2010 after many months of God’s attempts to get my attention and watching “How Great is Our God” by Louie Giglio. I surrendered. Nov 13, 2011 I was baptized. Never been the same since!

  26. Galila gil July 19, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

    I recieved Jesús as my savior on 1984 I got married with someone who went to church but was not comitment to God, and still married him now i been married him for 24 and 9 months i been in good times and bad times, he does’nt go to church but God has been so good to me even rigth now i am through a very dificult time. I have three wonderful child 23,20 and 15 God has been so good to me even when I have failed. Thanks a lot for your devotionals Sharon God bless you!!

  27. Brigitte July 19, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    I am on guard and will not allow myself to be drifted away from God

  28. Casey July 19, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

    August 8, 2012. This has been the best year of my life!!!

  29. Tina F. July 19, 2013 at 5:03 pm #

    I accepted the Lord as my personal Lord & Savior in 1983 as a young lady. Thank you Jesus for loving and guiding me. Your direction is the only direction I want to go towards. Where You go I shall go, In Jesus Name, AMEN!! 🙂

  30. Sherry July 19, 2013 at 5:03 pm #

    In 1971 at 15 years old, pregnant, newly married and knowing very liitle. Today, 42 years later I am still married to the same man, still in love with him and more in love with God every day!! God is SOOO Goood!!! I am so very blessed….

  31. Sherry July 19, 2013 at 5:03 pm #

    In 1971 at 15 years old, pregnant, newly married and knowing very liitle. Today, 42 years later I am still married to the same man, still in love with him and more in love with God every day!! God is SOOO Goood!!! I am so very blessed….

  32. DOUGLAS SIMMONS July 19, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

    I WAS SAVED WHILE ATTENDING A CHRISTIAN CAMP IN THE UNITED STAES CALLED PINE BUSH BIBLE CAMP AT THE AGE OF TEN YEARS OLD. I WAS LATER
    BAPTIZED AT FOURTEEN ON EASTER SUNDAY 1980.. DS

  33. SIMMONS July 19, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

    I WAS SAVED WHILE ATTENDING A CHRISTIAN CAMP IN THE UNITED STAES CALLED PINE BUSH BIBLE CAMP AT THE AGE OF TEN YEARS OLD. I WAS LATER
    BAPTIZED AT FOURTEEN ON EASTER SUNDAY 1980. I THANK GOD FOR HIS BLESSING S OVER T HE YEARS INCLUDING GETTING MARRIED AT AGE THIRTY TO FELICIA AND HAVING A SON NAMED JORDAN AT THIRTY-SIX.

    • Sharon July 19, 2013 at 6:15 pm #

      What an awesome story.

  34. Holly July 19, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

    I accepted the Lord fully the summer of 2011…I had been struggling through many toils. The Lord called me more than once but I was lucky enough to open my eyes and accept him at that time. I am extremely blessed that GOD saved me. Thank you, my father, thank you!

  35. Maureen Barnett July 19, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

    January 1999 in Asheville NC at an Amway Conference, they gave an altar call and my husband and I went forward and accepted Christ as our Savior best decision of our lives!

    • Sharon July 20, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

      That is so cool! I know someone else that became a Christian at an Amway conference during the Sunday morning service.

  36. Joal Broun July 19, 2013 at 10:24 pm #

    1980.

  37. Pamela Massaway July 19, 2013 at 11:41 pm #

    I accepted Christ on Mothers Day 1984 I was 9 years old. It took me a few weeks to finally make the decision and when I did it was awesome. My mom said that was the best gift anyone could give her. I’m now 37 and The Lord is my Rock and has helped me in so many situations there are so many times I felt like Jeremiah, I even asked God many times to get me out of the pit. God is so awesome!

  38. Gale July 20, 2013 at 5:20 am #

    1974 at summer camp. I rededicated my life in 2000 after a serious car accident.

  39. Delma July 20, 2013 at 10:12 am #

    February 2006

  40. Dorothy July 20, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    I accepted the Lord as my Savior as a teenager (1976), along with all my other friends. It wasn’t until 1996 that I truly understood what it meant to give my life to Christ and it wasn’t until June 26, 2013 that I understood what it meant to surrender my whole life to Him. Gwen Smith wrote in the july 19th message that “He is faithful, powerful and never wastes a hurt.” I am so glad He knows me inside and out and has used my hurts to glorify Him.

  41. theresa July 20, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

    May 2, 1987 – I had been crying out to God for a “real friend”. A girl I had grown up with invited me to her church, I felt an intense pull to go to her church. That morning, I arrived and as I walked through the door, I immediately felt arms giving me a hug though no one was there. The first song that was sung – “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”! What a loving God we have! He loves me so much, that at that time, He wanted to let me know that He was the friend I was looking for. He is so much more to me – My Savior and My King!

  42. Mari Anna Hashimoto July 20, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    July 12, 2003

  43. Teri D July 23, 2013 at 6:47 pm #

    Spring 1996 for real. I had accepted him when I was 13 and 18 as well, but I didn’t walk the walk. I was pregnant with my first child and God called me to him. I have been walking and serving with him ever since. I do get discourage, as I am now. Started a new position about 2 years ago. Working as a Realtor, and I have been working hard and I keep getting discouraged. I know God is faithful, and I know he is with me. Patience is not my strong suit! 🙂 I pray that my business will reflect God and his glory, and I want it to honor him. Please pray for his blessings.

  44. Mo July 24, 2013 at 4:13 am #

    I came to know Jesus in March of 1983 – during a divorce. I found out that I was separated from God by my sin and only Christ could make a way for me. He did! Praise God, He has been so very faithful to me – my good shepherd! You spoke to our church women’s retreat this past Spring – Thank you!! I love this current devotion on Jeremiah – God lovingkindnesses are new every morning. It is now morning!

  45. maria July 24, 2013 at 8:45 am #

    April 20, 2010. I had before when I was a child but dint really had much faith then, It was then when I got baptize again, that I gave my life completly to Christ.I grew up in a Catholic home. But really never read the Bible until 8yrs ago. Since then I have found peace. I am verey thankful to GOD for everything he has done in my life. Also thank you very much for your devotions, they have been a lot of encourangement. May GOD keep blessing you. Thank you again.

  46. Lisa July 25, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

    Today – July 25, 2013!!! He is here right now……no matter what comes!! Thank you Lord! My husband lot his job in December of 2012 and is still unemployed but God has been faithful even though it’s been tough. To God be the glory!

  47. Dianna August 8, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

    1985. I was 20 years old. I was ushered into the Lord by a group of wonderful women that are my age now that I called Old Ladies.

  48. michelle January 25, 2014 at 2:31 am #

    Hi Sharon got born again May 2009 .I have had a lot of ups and downs since then and see myself like Jeremiah most times .Thank you for this post really helped .My life was bad in the world but now I thank God who has delivered me and is with me always .

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