Mornings with Jesus are back! A little later than usual this season, but better late than never!
Recently, I walked through some difficult seasons of wrestling, and in one of those seasons, the following verse and passage really spoke to my heart. I hope it does the same to you. And well, who doesn't love some Cinnamon Caramel Hot Chocolate? Check out the recipe below!
So go make your favorite hot chocolate, grab a blanket, curl up in your favorite spot, and keep reading for a little faith encouragement this morning.
The Passage: Hebrews 12:11
"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."
Our prayers move the heart of God.
Did you know that?
Sometimes those prayers come after a difficult season, not before. Some of those prayers are born out of poor decisions we have made, out of trials we are suffering, out of circumstances that bring us back to the Lord or circumstances that shed light on sin. Prayers that bloom out of important lessons. Training that brings us strength. Training that grows peace in the very depths of our soul. Training that builds faith that could not be built quite the same under other circumstances.
These prayers not only move the heart of God. They change us.
And there is not one of us that cannot be changed.
Yes, discipline, training, trials, they are painful, oftentimes VERY painful. But what happens when we turn to a Mighty God out of our own stubborness and willfulness, or out of a painful is situation, is change. A change that glorifies our Father, our Creator, our Teacher.
Let's look at Manessah, in 2 Chronicles 33, who became king when he was 12 and did evil in the eyes of the Lord. I think it is probably safe to say that our list of transgressions aren't quite like his....
- he erected altars to the pagan idol Baal
- he bowed down and worshiped the starry hosts and actually built temples to them in the Lord's temple
- he rebuilt the high places that his father had demolished
- he sacrificed his own children in the fire
- he practiced divination and witchcraft
- he led the people of Judah astray...so much so, that they ended up doing more evil than the nations that went up against the Israelites - you know, the nations God destroyed.
Now, we might not be sacrificing our children or practicing witchcraft, but we certainly do sin at times, often we can have our own "idols", and sometimes we can be like Manasseh in this regard:
When God spoke to Manasseh and the people of Judah, they didn't listen.
Sometimes we don't listen either.
So, what did God do? He brought up Assyria against them. The commanders took Mannessah prisoner. They put a hook in his nose. They shackled him. They took him to Babylon.
And there in his captivity and his distress, Manasseh sought God's favor. The Bible tells us Manasseh humbled himself before God and prayed.
And his prayers moved the heart of God.
Manasseh's prayers, a man who murdered his own children, who openly and defiantly brought idols into the Lord's temple, who led God's people to become worse and worse...those prayers moved the heart of God.
And Manasseh changed.
He was eventually brought back to Jerusalem. He then got rid of all the foreign gods, removed the idols from the temple, rebuilt the wall, restored the altar of the Lord, began offering fellowship and thank offerings, and told Judah to serve the Lord.
Trials, suffering, discipline, they all lead Manasseh to seek God, humble himself, and pray. They do the same for us. And in those seasons, those times, our prayers - though sometimes we may feel they go unheard- DO move the heart of God. Those prayers, prayed through humility, start to change US. And we then begin to take down our own idols, we restore fellowship with Jesus, we start to rebuild our faith, we become thankful, and we start to serve the Lord with our whole hearts.
Yes, no discipline seems pleasant at the time, but it does produce a harvest. A harvest that brings righteousness and peace for those who allow themselves to be trained by it.
Whatever season your in, whatever trials you are facing, whatever suffering is knocking at your door, whether it is discipline or something that has just happened to you, there is a lesson that can be born out of it all. Will you allow the training to begin? Will you allow it to humble you? Will you fall to your knees in prayer?
Today, let's take a moment to reflect and move the heart of God with our prayers.
Check out the recipe below!
Cinnamon Caramel Hot Chocolate
- your favorite cup of hot chocolate
- ground cinnamon
- caramel sauce
-chocolate chips (milk or dark chocolate), if desired
-marshmallows, if desired
1. Make your cup of hot chocolate the way you that you usually do.
2. Add a pinch of ground cinnamon, a spoonful (or two) of caramel sauce, and 1/8 cup of milk chocolate (or dark chocolate) chips if you want a richer chocolate taste.
3. Mix well and heat if not already hot
4. Add a cinnamon stick.
5. Top with marshmallows and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon if desired.
6. Sip and enjoy!
Your can find more Mornings With Jesus here:
Wife. Mother. Writer. Photographer. Child of God. Encouraging others in faith through a lens of grace and seeing beauty in the ashes.
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