4/3/06

Encouragement for Today

 

“Confidence in CHAOS”

Zoe Elmore, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

 

Key Verse:

Jeremiah 17:7-8, “Blessed are those who trust in the Lord, They are like a tree planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green and they go right on producing delicious fruit.” (NIV) 

 

Devotion:

I’m sure we all have our own definition of chaos. The North American dictionary defines “chaos” as “a state of complete disorder and confusion.”   I have friends whose morning routine of getting their families dressed, fed and out the door on time is an example of chaos. Maybe your work environment qualifies as chaos, or perhaps entertaining your grandchildren would more accurately define chaos for you. Whatever your definition, I’d like to change our perspective on the word “chaos.”

 

Over the last two years my family has experienced: my husband’s job being eliminated; my 94-year-old mother-in-law falling and caring for her while her wrist mended; my dad suffering a massive stroke and being partially paralyzed, in diapers and feeding tubes; our oldest son having 10 tumors that needed to be removed; our youngest son going off to college; having a young man live in our home for six months, and I, myself, spending seven months working for a major cosmetic company while being subjected to public humiliation and filthy language while standing in 3-inch heels on cement floors for nine hours a day.

 

However – in the midst of all of these things the Lord challenged me to look at chaos from a new perspective.   He gave me an acronym for CHAOS:

  Christ’s

  Hope

  Amidst

  Our

  Suffering

 

You may be asking yourself what is Christ’s hope, and why should that be important to me?   From what I have experienced, I can tell you that changing my perspective on the word chaos gave me the strength and focus to experience the peace, presence, provision and power of Christ like never before. Instead of whining and complaining about my circumstances, I discovered five character traits of a confident woman experiencing C.H.A.O.S.

 

(1) Her foundation is based on God’s Word.

(2) She applies God’s Word in her life daily.

(3) She bears and shares her fruit.

(4) She waits patiently.

(5) She lives her life with purpose.

 

As I put these five character traits into practice, I’m able to see beyond the present suffering to the bigger picture. That bigger picture in this life is not about me; but about Christ living in me to the extent that others see the reflection of Him as I walk through times of triumph as well as times of suffering.

 

Since Christ is in the midst of my suffering, He makes it possible for me to walk through any circumstance with confidence - confidence that everything He brings into my life is for my good and His glory. I have the confidence that He will never leave me or forsake me. I have the confidence that nothing can ever separate from the love of Christ. With this confidence I can walk through suffering, while bearing spiritual fruit.

 

A confident life in the midst of suffering does not go unnoticed. Others will ask about the source of your confidence, and what a perfect opportunity to share the goodness of the One who enables you to bear much fruit!

 

God wants to transform our lives into a reflection of Him so that we can impact the people in our lives for His eternal purposes, and sometimes God chooses suffering to accomplish that purpose.

 

So if your life is in a state of complete disorder and confusion, I invite you to look at chaos from God’s perspective. Begin to apply the five character traits of a confident woman, and then hold onto your pretty-princess-shoes! You are about to experience the peace, presence, provision and power of Christ like never before.

 

My Prayer for Today:

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your promise to be with me, and for Your enabling power to walk through this life with confidence. Help me to keep my eyes focused on You and Your glory. May I be one who bears and shares spiritual fruit so that others may experience Your peace, presence, provision and power. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

 

Application Steps:

Change your perspective on chaos.

 

Commit yourself to developing the five character traits of a confident woman.

 

Ask the Lord to give you opportunities to bear and share the spiritual fruit in your life.

 

Reflection Points:

Is the foundation of your life based on God’s Word and are you applying that Word in your life daily?

 

How can you demonstrate to others that you are a confident woman even in times of suffering?

 

Power Verses:

 

Isaiah 41:13, “For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand, and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you.’” (NIV)

 

Colossians 1:16–17, “For by him all things were created, things in heaven and on the earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authority, all things were created by him.   He is before all things and in him all things hold together.” (NIV)

 

Ephesians 2:10, “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (NIV)

 

Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” (NIV)

 

Psalm 40:1-3: “I waited patiently for the Lord. He turned to me and heard my cry.

He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire. He set my feet on a rock.  And He gave me a FIRM place to stand. He put a new song in my heart, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and hear and put their trust in the Lord.” (NIV)

 

Additional Resources:

Breathe, by Keri Wyatt Kent

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_breathe.htm

 

Running on Empty, by Arron Chambers

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_runningEmpty.htm

 

Intimate Moments with God, by select authors

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_intimateMoments.htm