Stepping Up Week 4: A Fruitful Vine

We’re Stepping Up Through the Psalms of Ascent with Beth Moore as we just completed week four in our bible study workbooks. On day two of our study Beth Moore writes “In God’s economy, even those who mourn are blessed.” I thought over these words, realizing we often mourn more than the loss of a loved one’s life. We mourn our careers, health, homes, income and even having perfect children. Are we blessed for mourning these things too? Matthew 5:4 Message version says “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.” Ponder theses scripture words and let them rest in your heart, soul and mind. Filter the things you mourn….through scripture…and let the Holy Spirit lead your heart. Re-read Beth’s definition of blessedness in the last paragraph of page 99.

On page 102, Beth writes “When faced with a social or relational decision, I can find my answer pretty quickly by asking myself: what respects God most and reflects His ways? I encourage you to write this question on a 3×5 index card, laminate it, and carry it with you. Spend the remainder of the time between now and Easter Sunday, looking at the words  and using them to guide your decisions. Draw some images of fruit and vines on your index card, a reminder of your role in God’s Kingdom.

Prayer Requests

Our Prayer Wall has been filling up, so please print the page, place a copy in your workbook and pray for these women who are asking for your help. The best way to print the page is to copy and past the prayers into a Word document. If you have a prayer request for our prayer wall, please click here.

Beth Moore Quotes

  • God has kept us on a perpetual remodeling contract.
  • Anybody who claims the bible doesn’t say we’re blessed for obedience is out of their theological mind.
  • In God’s economy, even those who mourn are blessed.
  • Holding grudges is a malignancy of the soul that makes us miserable.
  • Learning to give is schooling in Joy.
  • Trying to be our own god is exhausting.
  • Nothing is weightier in the long haul than our own insatiable egos.
  • Matthew 28:19 is not called the Great Permission, its called the Great Commission.
  • Freedom never comes through disobedience.
  • Anything we’ve continued to battle from our youth is habitual enough to require Christ’s healing work.
  • The heart of prayer is communication and not just receiving what we ask.

This Week’s Scripture Verse

Continue memorize Psalm 121, write each verse on an index card and start memorize it as Beth recommend on page 22 of your workbook.

For Next Week

  • Read Week Five in the workbook
  • Listen to the Session Five Audio or Session Five Video (optional)

Group Discussion- Answer one question or as many as you like

  1. Has walking with God resulted in a change in your circumstances? If so, how? (page 99 )
  2. Share your testimony of how God brought you out of oppression and into a spacious place. (page 106 )
  3. Share a favorite moment from this week’s study.

Author Christine Abraham

Founder and Ministry Director of the Womens Bible Cafe™ since 2009, Christine has led 60+ online Bible Studies for women. She completed a Graduate of Biblical Studies from Liberty University. She's an inspired writer, Amazon Top Reviewer and Blogger at LifeVerse Books.com Follow on Facebook

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Join the discussion 65 Comments

  • Jennifer D says:

    3.Favorite Moments

    a) remembering our rich hertiage, its their for a reason.
    b) Psalm 127

  • Carin says:

    1.Has walking with God resulted in a change in my circumstances?

    It has changed HOW I react to my circumstances. I see a difference in how I react and just wait for God to do something or not do something. Past I would take the matter in my own hands and take it on myself (in a very ungodly way).

    2.Oppression into a spacious place

    As I reflect back in my life it seems my oppression has always been money related. I have seen God take me (prior to marriage) in a place that money was the only thing that mattered to me, then that changed. When I got married & money was always a mindful thing, we were then richly blessed beyond knowing what to do with the money coming in.. Currently, we totally rely on God to provide our needs. As the economy changed so did our financially situation. We somehow miraculously make it every month.

    3.Favorite Moment

    Page 94- Since we own a construction company I read this loud and clear and just LOVE it! My language!

    Christ specializes in home improvements. I am on a perpetual remodeling contract and will continue to have change order after change order. I will always be a “work in progress”. My signed completion notice will be when God takes me home….

  • Christine D says:

    1.Has walking with God resulted in a change in your circumstances? If so, how? (page 99 ) Yes, walking with God and getting closer to Him has saved my marriage. A few months ago,my marriage just hit a big rough spot, and I wasn’t sure if I could stay in it. I am not ready to go into major detail, but I will briefly describe it. My husband is not a believer and is addicted to something that is sinful. I didn’t know to the extent of his addiction until a few months ago. We would have fight after fight about it. I was ready to give up and leave. I was counseled by people in my church, and they were agreeing with me that I should leave. That maybe this would give him a wake up call. But, instead of listening to them, I turned to God. I prayed and listened. God was telling me to BE STILL and let Him work on my husband’s heart. I can’t change my husband, only He can. But, I can show my husband God by the way I act and treat people. So, I forgave my husband. I continue to pray for my husband. Things are by no means perfect. But, they are WAY better than they used to be. I am afraid of what would of happened if I didn’t listen to God, and listened to all the advice from other people.

    2.Share your testimony of how God brought you out of oppression and into a spacious place. (page 106 ) My childhood was filled with alcoholism and abuse. When I was a child, I couldn’t wait to grow up so that I could get out of that. Now that I am an adult, God has helped break that cycle in my family. My brother and I both are believers and have broken the family cycle of alcohoism and abuse. Sometimes I will hear my daughter say, “Mommy, I don’t want to turn 7 because I don’t want to get older and grow up.” It almost makes me cry because I felt the exact opposite at her age. I was being sexually abused at that age and couldn’t WAIT to grow up to get out of it! God has healed me, and it makes me happy that my daughter doesn’t have to go through what I did. God has delivered me! 🙂

  • Janet says:

    1.Has walking with God resulted in a change in your circumstances? If so, how? (page 99 ) Knowing how much he believes in me and that it allows me to believe in myself…

    2.Share your testimony of how God brought you out of oppression and into a spacious place. (page 106 )
    He has stayed with me or carried me throught the rough years when I felt I was all alone.

  • Pam, Louisiana says:

    1. God has worked tremendously in my life regarding my attitude. I couldn’t stand people who had the holier than thou attitude when we were in church. I steered clear from them and wondered how they could have such attitudes when God’s word says to love. Before I knew it, I started giving them back the attitude they were giving me. I was reading His Word one day and it hit me that I needed to be praying for them and asking God to help me to find a reason to like them. A little glory by glory I was learning to change my attitude. Sometimes even now I find my attitude resorting back and I try to catch it in time so that I can change it and show the love that God would want me to.

  • Anita Neufeld says:

    1.Walking with God has been a lifeline, he has held me the past 7 years, his wall of thorns (love that image!) has protected me and my children.
    2. The “fields of freedom” (Amy Grant)have always been a powerful image for me…more something to yearn for rather than feel at most times in my life. I realize, however, that much of my oppression is of my own making, allowing Satan to keep me in some of my sinful patterns. But in times of spiritual strength, I really feel Romans 5:2, “We find ourselves standing where we always HOPED we’d stand, out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise!” (the message)
    3.Share a favorite moment from this week’s study. This week, I realized that obedience can be catalyst for blessing, I tend to immerse myself in books, music, and talk hoping for some kind of God-mosis to happen to create change. I was eating the seed. I was reminded that with obedience… abundance!

  • Ms. Mephibosheth says:

    A question: Is it too late to join the Stepping Up study, please? I would LOVE to do this study but only just found this site today! I don’t mind “playing catch-up.”

    -Ms. M.

  • Becky says:

    1.Has walking with God resulted in a change in your circumstances? If so, how? (page 99 )Not so much in the physical circumstances many times, more in the peace He gives in the midst of the storm. I was diagnosed with breast cancer after I truly began studying God’s word daily and walking more closely with Him. In the midst of the cancer He gave me incredible peace.
    2.Share your testimony of how God brought you out of oppression and into a spacious place. (page 106 ) God has freed me to be me, as He delights in me. I do not have to conform to other peoples requirements. I still struggle with this sometimes but it is so much better than it once was.
    3.Share a favorite moment from this week’s study. As the first girl to be born in our family in over 50 years you might have thought I was privileged. Never. My Grandmother would look behind me to see if my brothers were coming in when I came in the door. You were either a male child or you had male children or you were not worth much. I longed for a son when I married. Such was not the case. When the Bible is read to me, God says – male children are a gift from God. . . what about our two girls? What about me? Beth’s addressing this issue was such a blessing. She has been a blessing to me for a long time, as the mother of two girls.

    • Christine says:

      “In the midst of the cancer He gave me incredible peace.” Thank you for sharing your testimony and being a witness for Jesus.

  • Sarah S. says:

    1. Has walking with God resulted in a change in your circumstances? If so, how? (page 99 )
    This was the biggest that struck me this week. First, my marriage. Several years ago… Seven now, I guess, my marriage was almost completely over. Had it not been for the love of godly friends, the advice of a godly therapist, and the healing that only God can provide, my husband and I would be just another divorce statistic. I am SO thankful that we now have almost 19 years of marriage and are in a better place than ever in our marriage. We are better able to withstand our CURRENT storm of living apart for job/ real estate reasons. Only God could do that.
    I also think about our finances. If not for the Lord, we would have continued on our way into mountains of debt, acquiring things as our gods. We don’t always have much at the end of the month, but we have no debt — and our children know what is truly valuable. I’ll be honest: I wish I could GIVE my kids more. But when I look around at what they see is valuable, I know that the Lord has protected us from worshipping our belongings — he has kept us from having enough money to worship our material possessions!! And He has seen to it that we have always had ‘enough’. And I have to ask for forgiveness FREQUENTLY for worrying that it won’t be ‘enough’…!

  • Teddie says:

    Has walking with God resulted in a change in your circumstances? If so, how? (page 99 ) Trust in the reality of life! I often become consumed with materialistic items and comparing myself to others. However, I have a great husband and even though we struggle at time, I am so lucky to have family and a partner who is a constant. I’ve given up on striving for materialistic things and realized that life is what you make it when walking with God!

    Share a favorite moment from this week’s study.
    When studying Psalm 129 and analyzing all of the things a bad person does…I quickly saw that I was like that (and still am to a degree). It is so easy to judge others and speak unkindly about them if they have disrespected you. I came to the realization that I can’t play their game…stay positive….and thrive in His word!

    • Christine says:

      Thank you for sharing this Teddie, it really shows how God is moving in your life as you read scripture. I was raised materialistic, so it was a generational stronghold I needed to break. Once I cut the cords of materialism, I found contentment in what the Lord provided me and not envy for what I did not have. It was refreshing and changed my perspective on my work, my family, my marriage and my relationships towards others. I am looking forward to the study of “No Other Gods” because I am certain the Lord will sift and filter more idols tucked away in the crevices of my heart. 🙂

  • Julie says:

    1. Has walking with God resulted in a change in your circumstances? If so, how? (page 99 )
    Yes, it has improved the way I interact with my children and family. I also feel closer to my husband, just being in God’s word more as he is, and going to Bible Study with him. The more I focus on God, the more peaceful I feel and the better I handle stressful situations that come up, whether it be dealing with my children when they are acting up, or coping with difficult situations with others. When I find myself obsessing and worrying about something or someone, I am more likely now to stop and give it to God. Sometimes I have to do that several times in a day, but I feel better knowing that I don’t have to worry about the situation because God can handle it.
    2. Share your testimony of how God brought you out of oppression and into a spacious place. (page 106 )
    God has always given me the strength and/or a reason to move on from a relationship in which I could not grow and He was not glorified. For example, the last serious relationship I was in before I got married was with a nonbeliever. I thought the relationship was going pretty well for a long time, but there were several times, looking back, that I was belittled. I also did things, while in that relationship, that God would not have been proud of. I was selfish. God was never brought up in that relationship, and, shortly after we broke up, I discovered that we had completely different beliefs. I feel like God created different situations which encouraged me to break free from that person after being involved with him for 4 years–He helped me to see that there were better things out there for me in life, but that I could not experience them while in that relationship. After the break-up, my sister told me that she did not like the way I was treated by the guy, and, only then, was I able to see what a true blessing it was that I was free of him.

    • Christine says:

      I’m sure the break-up was painful, yet you also saw in faith how the Lord led you into a relationship with a Godly man. What a blessing! Thank you for sharing Julie.

    • Sue Alice says:

      Julie,

      Thanks for sharing that, I know it was hard to do…..look on the bright side now you have a wonderful husband, and two great kids. Again thanks for doing this study. [[[HUGS}}}

  • Lauren says:

    1.Has walking with God resulted in a change in your circumstances? If so, how? (page 99 )
    He has blessed me beyond measure… and I think above all, He has changed my perspective. I still struggle with some situations, but I am truly learning to stop and pause and think about His reaction… most of the time =)
    2.Share your testimony of how God brought you out of oppression and into a spacious place. (page 106 )
    Just being able to see Him- in small things, being able to “breathe” and relax without feeling so uptight. Knowing that all things are in His hands and that I dont have to have an answer for everythign. I still have uptight moments, but thank God, they don’t last as long.
    3.Share a favorite moment from this week’s study.
    In Day 5, when Beth was citing from Exodus, something really hit me. It said, “but the more they oppressed them, the mroe they multiplied and spread.” This can be so true for us today. The more we are oppressed, the more we go through, if it we will just give it to God and let Him take control, we will only see blessings from it. Just as Joseph said, for what was meant for evil, God will make for good.

    • Christine says:

      We really do have freedom in Christ, here on earth. It’s in the details, and like you said, we have to look for it. Have you read the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp? She really focuses on this topic.

      • Sue Alice says:

        Lauren,

        Always glad to hear from you. It is good God handles the small things also, or we would be a wreck. Have a good week. What study are you going to do next?

        • Lauren says:

          Gonna try No Other Gods and Breaking Free both =)

          • Sue Alice says:

            YEAH!!!!!!! I am going to do both also, and one at church! Are we going to be busy or what????? [[[HUGS]]]

          • Lauren says:

            I know… my group at church is going to start one on Paul… so, yeah, busy. But the more we stay in the Word, the better we will be =)

  • Monica says:

    1.Has walking with God resulted in a change in your circumstances? If so, how?

    Yes, walking with God has strengthened my marriage and my bond with my children. My walk with God is empowering me to believe in myself because He believes in me.

    2.Share your testimony of how God brought you out of oppression and into a spacious place. (page 106 )

    God has brought me out of oppression into a spacious place by letting me know that He believes in me. I have always carried feelings of self doubt and low self esteem. Although I know that there are things that I am very good at, I have always had a way of belittling my accomplishments. I have recently come to a point in my life where I know that God has more for me. I am still trying to figure out exactly what “more” is, but the first step is knowing that there is more. I know that God is positioning me to be an awesome example of His work. My soul is leaping on the inside with excitement because I can’t wait to see what awesome things He has in store for me. I know that I will go through some trials and tribulations, but I also know that I will go through. For that, I am grateful.

    3.Share a favorite moment from this week’s study.

    I have two favorite moments from this week’s study. My first favorite moment from day one is knowing that God still specializes in home improvement. I am on a mission to allow Christ to be my custom builder and to do my best to follow the blueprint that He has for me. My second favorite moment was on day two when Beth gave us the description of blessedness. What an awesome thought to know that as long as I look to God in every matter and follow Him, I will be blessed.

    • Christine says:

      Great thought: “My walk with God is empowering me to believe in myself because He believes in me.”

      I wrote this on Beth Moore’s blog a few days ago, you may like it:

      Looking back, I see my life as a vehicle with two side mirrors. In one side mirror, all I saw was myself- my problems and my fear. I wore a hidden sackcloth of shame, that nobody could see except me. Hidden under my shame, I thought God could not see me either, so I did not draw near. The other side mirror is my mirror of trouble, deep life-changing moments that were not survivable without a strong God by my side. These were times when God made Himself visible to me, as a family member lay in intensive care undiagnosed, or a two-year old child was on death’s bed with leukemia in her blood, later to be placed in remission by her Heavenly Father. In one side mirror, I saw God. In the other side mirror, I saw myself. Through womens bible study (especially Beth Moore) I was able to realign my vision and look at the narrow path. I saw where God was leading me, how He was speaking to me, how much he loved me, and how still does, even with my shame. I heard His voice in the words of scripture, and knew my father saw me as His Daughter, beloved. He saw the child Jesus freed.

  • Sandy says:

    1 and 2 (1)Has walking with God resulted in a change in your circumstances? If so, how? (2)Share your testimony of how God brought you out of oppression and into a spacious place.

    God healed me from a childhood full of victimization. God taught me how to trust, how to love, how to step out even when I’m afraid, how to be a mom and a wife. He has blessed me with a Godly husband and, having been in a God-less and abusive marriage, I can’t imagine a greater gift! What a wonderful, loving Father He is!

  • Lisa H says:

    I have been avoiding these questions all day. Guess I really need to get them posted ….

    1. Has walking with God resulted in a change in your circumstances? If so, how? (page 99)
    I was brought up to be a verbal bully. Now I’m sure it wasn’t necessarily done “on purpose” for exactly that, but that is what the result was. Jesus changed that for me. Its funny too, cause I can see where I had no real confidence. It was all “fake”. How can you be a bully and have no confidence? And cry at absolutely everything. Unfortunately, this is still a button Satan can push. But, I recognize it and put a stop to it quick!

    2. Share your testimony of how God brought you out of oppression and into a spacious place. (page 106)
    I’m still working on this one. I didn’t even realize I was oppressed until I read this study. I always said I didn’t like it when people used their family as an excuse as to why they were like they are. I followed that with there is information out there that you can get that will make you a different person, a better person than your situation. You don’t have to use your family as an “excuse” for how you are.
    I praise God for putting that information in my face before I ended up where I am today. Because I had the new information, I just didn’t realize the oppression I was under. Even still, sometimes. But Jesus has truly been with me to help me get through it all, then He told me what it was. Now … on to the next step He has for me …

    3. Share a favorite moment from this week’s study.
    I’m not sure this can be called a “favorite”, but I marked it when I read it because I knew there would be a question I could add it. At the bottom of page 93 (day one) Beth says, “Perhaps your home has been like ours – built on human strength or the pitiful lack of it. Either approach turns out to be in vain. Maybe God wasn’t invited from the start to invade every part of your family life and you have suffered the consequences. Maybe you feel like much of your home is in shambles…”
    This was my whole life up until a few years ago … shambles … God wasn’t invited into our house. The liquor was, the language was, the abuse was, but not God. “I can do it by myself, I don’t need you” was an every day saying. Its like it was painted over the door so you saw it coming and going. I still suffer from this. Daily. I am very uncomfortable asking for help. I will help you in a second, but I won’t ask for any for myself. I didn’t even “type” anything about my life to anyone until the last year or so. God really pushed me into doing it. He is right though. I find myself noticing a bunch of stuff lately that I had repressed. Like my entire childhood, except a few situations. And I am writing more about it. Maybe it can be a favorite, even an uncomfortable one.

    Sending Peace & Blessings your way …

    • Christine says:

      You said “I didn’t even realize I was oppressed until I read this study.” God brings an awareness to the surface, and does it gently and with healing in mind. He wants to restore the brokenness we encountered in our childhood, and reveal the beauty He has gifted us as children in HIS Kingdom.

  • ariel says:

    1& 2. Has walking with God resulted in a change in your circumstances? – and brought me out of oprression and into a spacious place? Yes, I was raised in an alcoholic, abusive family – I was the only child and was severly beaten & sexually molested by my father. As a result, as a teenager I was very promiscous and looking desperately for someone to love me. I married a man I did not love as an escape from my home & lived for 24 years with a cold, verbally & emotionally abusive husband. I finally found the courage within myself to divorce him and God in His wonderful love & mercy, brought a man into my life who accepts me for who I am despite my past and feelings of low self-esteem & worthlessness. He is truly my soul mate and we rejoice together in our marriage of 13 years & thank & praise God for bringing each other into our lives. What actually brought me into this bible study is my son who is an alcoholic & in a very toxic marriage. My heart is broken for him and our precious granddaughter but I finally realized that only God can heal my broken heart and bring me His peace and joy. I know He is watching over my son and granddaughter & that He has a plan for them – I am trusting in Him that He will work in my son’s life. This bible study has brought me so much encouragement and hope and has brought me much closer than I have ever been to my Lord and Savior.
    3. My favorite moment from this week’s study was reading the scripture from Leviticus 19:16-18. “Do not nurse hatred in your heart for any of your relatives – do not seek revenge or bear a grudge.” This scripture was like an arrow into my heart – for years I have harbored hatred and unforgiveness in my heart towards my parents, both of who are now gone. I have felt a great deal of hatred towards my son’s wife who has been making his life a living Hell & wishing I could exact some form of revenge. These feelings have been like a cancer eating away at my faith in God and my heart. When I read this verse, I felt that God was telling me to let go of these feelings and lay them at the foot of His cross. It is so hard to let go but with the grace and strength of God I know that I can do this.

    • Christine says:

      What a beautiful story of redemption and restoration, thank you for sharing it with us Ariel. I hope you’ll be in the Breaking Free study with us, there are many personal references Beth Moore uses about her own childhood sexual abuse and how it kept her in bondage to strongholds.

  • Ann M. says:

    1. Has walking with God resulted in a change in your circumstances? If so, how? (page 99 ) Yes and No. Walking with God has definitely changed my attitude which has effected my contentment with my circumstances but outwardly my circumstances have not changed.
    2. Share your testimony of how God brought you out of oppression and into a spacious place. (page 106 )
    3. Share a favorite moment from this week’s study.

    • Christine says:

      Interesting answer Ann, and very honest too. Are you saying you’ve changed and your environment has not, or you’ve changed inside and are still acting like your old self in your behavior? I’m confused.

  • Sharon says:

    1 and 2 – I have quite a long story of sin in my life but there was goodness in me too I just did not let myself see it. I thought I deserved it all. I see many in this same position. God brought me here to my parents house after my marriage was over, my job ended and no friends. But you know what? In every circumstance Satan was there and very strongly. I had drug out every bit of oppression I had ever experience and made over and over the exact same prisons for myself. I became consumed with myself as well. At the end of it all God brought me here to my parents house at a time when I was much needed. The congregation I belong to is mostly seniors as well and there is always someone good and true in life these days. Someone who needs help. Someone who just needs another person to listen to them. I have been very blessed by God’s answer to prayers. Jeremiah 29:11 is my life verse – these are the plans he had for me, how to grow and prosper without fear of harm, and a hope and the future are all right here in abundance. I am thankful every day for what God has done for me.

    3.Share a favorite moment from this week’s study. Where Beth speaks about God in Isaiah 51:22. “His defense follows our hearts return to Him and our cry of need, even if our own idolatry, unbelief, or rebellion has led to our oppression. p.109

    This has been such a wonderful study and I look forward to Breaking Free as well.

    • Christine says:

      Thank you for your comments Sharon. You will actually see “visible prisons” in the Breaking Free study, identify the walls, and tear them down with Beth Moore. It’s a great study and I’m glad to known you will be in it and encouraging others as they grow in faith.

    • Lauren says:

      I love Jeremiah 29:11!

  • Stephanie G. says:

    To be honest I am struggling and have been for about the last three years. My marriage of 23 years ended and I lost the job that I had been at for 19 years in November of 2008. At first I kept asking; why Lord why. I thought I had done everything I was supposed to be doing I raised my children in God’s word, I was active in the church even sang in the choir and sang solos for special music. But obviously there were and I’m sure still are things that the Lord needed to sift through and weed out. Shortly before everything fell apart my husband had quit attending church with me so I would go and sit by myself. But when it all fell apart he started going again. I thought maybe God had really wanted him and not me and all that was happening was his way of getting him to attend again. Anyway, needless to say I fell away a bit. I failed! I failed my Lord and a lot of other people. Quite simply I was not able to withstand the trials and sifting that God allowed to come into my life. Perhaps, because I tried to do it on my own forgetting to look to Him for my help. I know that He has forgiven me but I have a very hard time forgiving myself. Before everything happened the Lord used me. I know He did! Through the music and the voice that the Lord gave me to sing and the poems that He allowed me to write, He used me to tell others about Him and his marvelous matchless love for them. I have not sung or written anything in over 4 years now and I’m not certain He will ever use me again. I can’t even begin to tell you how very sad that makes me. But I know even though we are forgiven there are always consequences for our actions. From time to time I still find myself feeling angry about all of the things my husband has done or tried to do through the whole thing. This study is helping me to realize that God is in control. He loves me and IS on my side. He will take care of everything. Where once I wanted my husband to pay for all he has done I don’t always feel that way anymore. I have to remember all of the Mercy the Lord has shown me. He has never given me what I deserve for the things I’ve done but has shown me his Mercy, forgiveness and Love. So that is what I wish for the man that was once my husband. Ok, Not always!!! I still have my bad days, but I am trying…..

    I’m back … and I realize that my Lord has never left my side, even when I didn’t really want him there. I will forever praise Him and thank Him for that and so much more! I pray every day that my Lord will see a use for me once again someday. But if he doesn’t I will still praise him, love him and serve him the very best I can wherever he puts me.

    • Christine says:

      It sounds like a season of sifting so God could bring you from the ashes of Isaiah 61:3. Be careful to discern between conviction from the Holy Spirit and condemnation from Satan. When they Holy Spirit speaks into your heart, you draw closer to God. When the devil condemns you for past mistakes and reminds you not to forgive yourself, then you are in a cloud of spiritual warfare. Fight back with scripture verses. You may want to read the book The Invisible War by Chip Ingram.

      I hope you will take the Breaking Free study with us. We will be looking at generational strongholds. In Breaking Free, I learned that I carried a stronghold of revenge…learned over many family generations. Once recognized, I was able to pray over it and the Holy Spirit convicted me of its presence in my actions. Another stronghold I saw was one of unforgiveness. Its a great study and even if you took it once before, I highly recommend it at this time in your life.

      We know Jesus did not allow nails to pierce his hands and feet, and He did not die on the cross, so we could sit in our sin. He died to RELEASE us from the past mistakes, and show how forgiving the Father is. Holding onto our past and not forgiving ourselves is actually a subtle form of pride- we unknowingly believe that our sins were so bad, we could never be forgiven. This is the work of Satan, the serpent with the tasty apple. Satan tempts us to believe our sins were beyond the ability of Jesus, and we never forgive ourselves. Satan tells you God can never use you again. You’re in a battle of condemnation.

      “You can’t win the battle if you don’t know you’re in it.” Chip Ingram
      “God’s grace is greater not only than all our sin, but also all our guilt.” Chip Ingram
      “You do not have to live where the condemnations of your heart take you.” Chip Ingram

    • Lauren says:

      Stephanie, We are all in the body of Christ and we all serve a purpose. Often times, we are allowed to go through things so we can influence others, by being compassionate, empathetic, and sharing our experiences. Hang tight to God and know that He will show you your purpose. He loves you.. he forgives you. Forgive yourself.

    • Anita Neufeld says:

      Try to remember that divorce is a slow healing process. I am about 7 years in now and I still find myself at times struggling! You are probably alot stronger than you give yourself credit for! Remember the “songs” of the psalms cover many emotions as Beth says, because God knows we need to express our pain and our praise! Like being stuck in the middle of a “time remembered” and a “time hoped for”! I was brought to tears by the promises in Jer 29… He has not forgotten!

  • Holly says:

    3… In the study of Psalm 126, I was just so encouraged to begin to understand that when I am battling through a trial or sadness in the future, if I DO sow the seed (instead of eating it) I will ultimately be shouting for joy at the blessings I will receive from God. I hope this thought becomes imbedded in me, so that when things are dark, God will be the light at the end of the tunnel…

    • Christine says:

      One of my favorite verses to remember this would be Deut 1:31 NIV “You saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.” We are on a journey, through fruitful seasons and through famine. During these seasons, we need to remember that God’s Word sprouts from our hearts and into His Kingdom. His Word carries us through.

  • Yvette says:

    1. Has walking with God resulted in a change in your circumstances? If so, how. well, before, I had to rely on my own strength. Now, I can look to the hills from which comes my help, my help comes from the Lord. quoting God’s word to my circumstances has made a huge difference in my life. There are times when I literally feel God removing the burden and I am so thankful!

    3. Share a favorite moment from this week’s study. Psalms 126 was truly a blessing to my spirit. Reflecting back on things God has done makes you put a smile on your face and uplifts you to know that He will see through what’s going on now like He has done before. (Verse 3) The LORD hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad. Amen

    • Christine says:

      I can practically hear you singing those words Yvette…. “the hills are alive with the God who helps me!” He is a Living God, something many people still do not know. People see Jesus in us, through the work of the Holy Spirit. Let your light shine!

  • Molly J says:

    Share a favorite moment from this week’s study.

    My time this week has just been so comforting. It helps that I’m off work and have lots of time to spend studying and really taking things to heart. I feel like I just want to stay in God’s Word all day! What a blessing it has been.

  • Maureen says:

    Has walking with God resulted in a change in your circumstances? If so, how? (page 99 ). My husband and I are from NJ and, in case you don’t know, it is a very expensive state and we were finding it impossible to buy a (small, modest) house in hopes of starting a family. We prayed and believed that God would bless our motive of wanting a place to raise a family with a stay at home parent, so we quit our jobs and picked up and moved to NC. We found jobs, bought a house and now have a 2 year old son (and my husband is the stay at home parent). I would not have had the courage to move if I didn’t trust that God would take care of me. In that way, God changed my circumstances.

    Share your testimony of how God brought you out of oppression and into a spacious place. (page 106 ). My oppression was of condemnation for not being perfect. I grew up being told that is something was not right, it was because I was doing something wrong/not living right. Once I met Jesus, I learned I was loved even though I was not perfect and further that things going wrong were not always my fault. That was freeing.

    Share a favorite moment from this week’s study. In Psalm 127 “Without the Lord, Frustration”. All I can say is AMEN to that!

  • Carolyn says:

    1. Has walking with God resulted in a change in your circumstances? If so, how? (page 99 )
    I feel stronger and happier at work. My prayer is for this goodness to spill over in to my life at home.
    2. Share your testimony of how God brought you out of oppression and into a spacious place. (page 106 )
    At work, he has given me peace. I feel more in control of my circumstances knowing that He is leading me as I make decisions.
    3. Share a favorite moment from this week’s study.
    I cherish the lesson I learned this week about invoking God whenever a decision needs to be made. I pray this becomes as habitual for me as brushing my teeth or taking a shower.

    • Christine says:

      Praying for the blessings to follow you from work, into your home and relationships.

      Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14 NIV

    • Sharon says:

      This is a daily thing to remember isn’t it? Each decision we make. Sometimes it is easy to try to make those on our own. I am with you in working toward making all my decisions His as a daily minute by minute walk.

    • Sue Alice says:

      Carolyn,

      My prayers are with you, may blessing flow to you.

  • Christine says:

    1. My daughter’s school teacher called on a Saturday morning. She shared her concern that my daughter was failing middle school and had no friends in a class with seven girls and eighteen boys. She offered to pray over my daughter. Over the weekend, my daughter had a huge rage regarding her homework and poor grades, and I prayed for God to keep her from failing middle school. I specifically prayed for her to be in a school with many kids and a group where she would fit in socially. She had been in private Christian Schools since she was three years old.

    On Tuesday, my concerned in-laws called me and inquired if I had found another school or registered her for Catholic School where “the nuns will take care of her.” I was considering it and had not taken any action. Fifteen minutes later, the phone rang again and it was the local Charter School. The woman on the phone says “a student just left our school and we have an opening for seventh grade, is your daughter still interested in attending the Charter School?”

    Immediately I knew God was working and remembered a dream I had over the weekend where a car was moved from a parking stall to make room for us. I said “yes, we’ll take the opening.” My daughter had been on the Charter School waiting list for three years. I looked at the registration forms and I had re-registered her on January 22, exactly one month from the day I received the call to enroll her.

    It was the work of God.

    There were over 40 kids on the lottery for the Charter school, and the lottery was still 3 weeks away. I have no idea why my daughter was selected from 40 kids who had entered the upcoming lottery. Her lot just “came up.”

    • Jackie says:

      God is always one step ahead of our needs, when we pray for the situation as you had, he shows us his glory in the situation. My son (who is now 26) also struggled through school. My main prayer during that rough road was for there to always be a Godly influencial person for him in the crossroads of his life, and God always had a teacher or a classmate or a counselor that was there to encourage him or that he looked up to and he made it.

    • Sharon says:

      Praise the Lord in His perfect timing! I love to hear these blessings!

    • Sue Alice says:

      We serve one AWSOME GOD!!!!! I will pray for her and that she will finally have found a school to call her own.

    • Carin says:

      Wow!What an amazing story!

  • Sue Alice says:

    1. Yes by making me more aware of when I am doing something wrong….when my temper,and anger get the best of me. Also when I CAN be the only one who is right. Than I stop and think all that Jesus had to endured and it makes me ashamed by the way I acted. This makes me want a closer walk with Him.

    2. When I ranaway from home as a rebellious teen, I was turning into a life of crime….stealing, lying, drinking; just about any thing I could do to get money, but one thing I can say no drugs and no prostitution (I was tempted). I did end up in jail overnight more times than I would like to admit to. This was a very dark place for me. I stayed in this place for over two years and NO ONE expect GOD knew where I was. I finally came home, and I can say the road was rocky and I church hopped for many years, and did not come to a spacious place until my Mom die in 1985. In all this I KNOW GOD was watching out for me and wanting for me to come back to HIM. He is so GRACIOUS.

    3. This week I did a lot of thinking and reflect on the past. Beth is so good at this, she just knows were to hit home went you need it.

    • Christine says:

      It sounds as if the Holy Spirit has been convicting you of anger and drawing you nearer to God. I think you are going to enjoy the Breaking Free study as Beth Moore helps us identify childhood strongholds and generational influences on our present walk of faith. I am blessed by your presence and your testimony and I look forward to learning more from you Sue. {{{HUGS}}}

      • Sue Alice says:

        Christine,

        Thanks so much as always for the kind words. It really was a a dark place in my life, one of many. I am looking forward to the “Breaking Free” study, I feel as if I learn alot about some things and finally find some answers. Thanks for doing it and all the studies you do. [[[HUGS]]]

    • Sharon says:

      Beth does speak directly to the heart doesn’t she. She has not missed once in each study I have done.

      Yours is a story of encouragement. Your testimony is a good one for so many out there.

    • Julie says:

      Wow, God has really brought you a long way!! I am so happy that He did! It has been a blessing to have met you and to have you as a friend.

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