The final chapter of our Honeycomb Collection is here! Can you believe it? It’s a bittersweet cross over the finish line as these past couple of months has been a journey of reflection and studying the deeper meanings of this collection’s 13 words. The Lord was ever so clear in His direction for this line when He originally put it on my heart, and your response to it has surpassed what I could have ever dared to ask or dream of. God has done a miraculous, healing work in my life over the past year and I am so thankful you have allowed me to be genuine in my faults and shown me grace in my vulnerability of what the Lord has been faithful to carry me through. So, that being said, thank you.
Knowing that hard and fiery times are just a chapter, not the whole book, of your life brings great encouragement and confidence as we look to the future. As a family, we are now entering a long hard-fought-for season of peace, hope and daily new mercies. God truly does turn tragedy to triumph and sadness to praise. Only the Lord Himself could turn ashes into beauty and our hopeless situation into a testimony of praise and glory to Himself!
“This I call to mind and therefore 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 His faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:21-23)
Sweet friends, family and mentors have made this verse the banner over my life these last few years—its been prayed over our home, family, life, marriage and children. It promises hope, life, revival, mercy, compassion, grace upon grace, forgiveness, unfailing love and faithfulness of a God who never walks away when the going gets tough. Come and taste the sweetness of His forgiveness, His healing, the delight of experiencing amazing grace and how light it feels to walk in freedom by obeying His Word! Anxiety ceases, peace overtakes, joy abounds!
It’s not just the shining star moments that make us who we are, rather it is the most difficult and trying times that refine and create in us true beauty, depth, character, fruitful lives, healed joyous hearts and perseverance worth more than gold. Some of the most gorgeous parts of our hearts and soul come from the challenging times. I’m a firm believer that we haven’t really believed God until we’ve attempted something that can’t be done in the power of our own flesh. God has more in store for you than you can ever imagine— dream big, pray big and believe big. We do not serve a small God.
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man
and makes flesh his strength,
whose heart turns away from the Lord.
He is like a shrub in the desert,
and shall not see any good come.
He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness,
in an uninhabited salt land.
But blessed is the man who hopes in the Lord,
whose trust is in the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
-- Jeremiah 17:5-8
These two trees have the same drought-filled circumstances yet have drastically different results. So the question that really matters is not how do you avoid suffering or hard times, but where do you go for your source of “water”? We cannot get water, hydration or nourishment from ourselves. This parable encourages me so much, because we can choose to bear green leaves even in a season of severe drought/hardships. Praise the Lord we have a hope outside of ourselves— available to us new every single morning! I am so thankful the Lord is there to bear our burdens, carry our anxieties and give us “peace that passes all understanding” in all times (Philippians 4:7). I pray you experience Him in all seasons! There’s so much hope waiting for you! Rest in theses truths spoken over you by the Name above All Names!
“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a HOPE and a future!” (Jeremiah 29:11)
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have also obtained access by faith - into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:1-5).
In Mark 6, Jesus is described in a powerful story of a horrific storm that had overtaken the disciples’ boat. From shore, Jesus sees His men in trouble—fearful and being tossed by the crashing waves and ceaseless wind. It is a frightening scene to imagine, but you see that Jesus doesn’t stay on shore and say a prayer for them from there in safety. No, He dives into the chaos and walks out on to the water to meet them where they are. That is defiant hope and a stunning picture of what the Lord God Almighty does for each of us! He not only goes before us, He stands beside us, and He comes behind us! He is for us! We may not have seen the glory if there hadn't been the storm. He doesn't just watch over you; He is with you, next to you, in the boat, and in the storm with you while the winds are fierce and the squalls are still crashing. You are not alone. Only true peace ever comes from His presence, not from ease of our circumstances.
When you are far beyond your strength and ability, He shows up, His power is made perfect in our admitted weakness and humility. Forgive us Lord when the eyes of our heart are fixed on the wind and the waves rather than on You.
“Whenever you feel an overriding sense of unrest inside or overwhelming distress in your relationships, the enemy is somewhere in the middle, stirring it up. Anywhere peace is lacking, you can be sure he’s at work. A life without peace is simply unprotected, crippled, unable to move forward, hindered from maturing and developing in a healthy fashion. A backdrop of commotion is the best place for the peace of God to be put on display – our God can and will anchor your soul, tethering it to the security of His gospel, and the good news of His beloved Son. Our salvation, however, is not just about going to heaven and escaping hell. Those are certainly the most extraordinary benefits of our relationship with Jesus, but if our concept of salvation ends there; we’re selling it short. Peace with God establishes our relationship with Him, and as a result, we can experience the peace of God.” (Priscilla Shirer, The Armor of God)
He is faithful to never leave the work of His hands. God not only meets our deepest need to be saved by the blood of Jesus, but He commits Himself to the long-term process of our heart change and life transformation! He isn't just satisfied that we have been restored to Him through our salvation; His work in the here and now is about redemption—working in us through our circumstances so that we may become more like Him!
“Be confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion!" Philippians 1:6
“Hope is not a thing, not a location, not a situation, not an experience. Hope is a person. Hope that will never, ever disappoint us can only be found in one place. It is not to be found in certain things. It is in fact a person, Jesus. Whether you’ve realized it or not, He is what your hoping heart is searching for, because what you’ve really been searching for is life, real heart-changing, heart satisfying life –- life to the fullest, life abundant. People can love and respect you, but they can’t give you life. Situations can make your life easier, but they can’t give you life. Locations can bring some change to your life, but they can’t give you life. Achievements can be temporarily satisfying, but they can’t give you life. True lasting hope is never found horizontally. It’s only ever found vertically, at the feet of the Messiah, the One who IS hope!” (Paul David Tripp)
Some challenging questions for you:
- Do you put your hope in the Lord only in the good times?
- Where do you run in hard times? Man or the Lord?
- Where do you get your “water” from?
- What does the fruit of your life contain?
- What does your heart demonstrate to others?
- If others are watching, what will they see?
- Is the fruit of your life full of anger, resentment, unforgiveness, entitlement, pride and judgement?
- OR is it full of love, joy, peace, wholeness, healing, forgiveness and compassion?
- Do the words that come out of your moth provoke quarrels and squabbles? Or do they soothe and heal?
I ask these not to discourage, but rather to get us thinking and to do some honest soul-searching. There is great hope that awaits us.
“I told you these things so that you have peace. In this world you will have trouble, but be brave, I have overcome the world!” John 16:33
“The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace.” Psalm 29:11
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.” Psalm 46:1-3
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord Himself, is the Rock eternal.” Isaiah 26:3-4
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint!” Isaiah 40:31
“I am the LORD, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me?” Jeremiah 32:27
“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The rules of the Lord are true and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold; they are sweeter than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.” Psalm 19:7-10
You can bet that the God who put the stars in the sky can pull you out of your detour, pain and difficulties. If He hasn't yet, you're there for a reason - press in and don't miss it - He will takes you places you didn't want to go so He can accomplish in you what you couldn't achieve on your own! You are on a path that leads to peace, healing, forgiveness, hope, restoration, nourished relationships, abundant and whole ways of living. Stop limiting yourself and the fullness of what God has for you by making what you have done or what others have done to you the focus of your life. God has more planned for you than you can even imagine!
“Now glory be to God, by His mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even DREAM of — infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes.” Ephesians 3:20
For God to be able to deliver on all His promises He makes us, He has to be completely sovereign and have total rule over all things, places, relationships and circumstances. We can't acknowledge one truth with out acknowledging the other. They are completely connected. Regardless of what life does to you or what you do to your own life! Without this foundational concept, the Bible is a book of interesting stories and helpful principles, but it is devoid of any power to fix what sin has broken.
"Sometimes when we finally give up trying to discover all the answers to the whys in our lives and decide to trust a sovereign God, unexpected peace washes over us like a summer rain," she says. "We sometimes lack peace in far less strenuous circumstances because we are not as desperate or as likely to turn them over to God." (Beth Moore)
He wants our entire lives to be surrendered to him—no compartments, no set asides, no hidden closets. He loves us too much to let us get away with that. He is worthy of it all! He comes for us - sometimes through refining, painful and insufferable seasons. God is vested in you.
“The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; your love oh Lord endures forever." He never leaves the work of His hands. Psalm 138:8
Our prayer is that you continue to give the Honeycomb Collection as gifts to yourself, sisters, mothers, friends in your life who are in need of love, hope and encouragement! These are powerful words we can pray and speak over our sister’s life and over her circumstances. As we engrave your pieces, we pray this truth washes over you as well: “I have engraved you on the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 49:16)!
Let us choose to be women of Godly encouragement, the building up of and not tearing down of one another, prayer and peace warriors, pouring into each other, ministering to, discipling, mentoring, loving on, being a light in a dark place like a City on a Hill. I’m not sure there’s a louder testimony than to live like this—to rejoice in one another’s seasons of celebrations and suffer alongside those who are in the depths of the valley of despair. The Bible tells us very clearly how to do both! It’s beautiful when the Body of Christ works as it was designed–full of unity, peace and compassion.
As we enter in to this holiday season, here’s to knowing who you are in Christ Jesus, what you have available to you in His Mighty Name, when you need Him you know where to find Him, where He is at all times is right next to you and why He has come back for you over and over is because of His endless and all-consuming love for you…His Beloved!
Come as you are to a beautiful and plentiful season of true and lasting hope, peace and new mercies,