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Endurance for the Journey, Featured, Words of Endurance

Those who sow in tears
will reap with songs of joy.
He who goes out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with him.
PSALM 126:5-6 (NIV)



What a promise! Think of it. When you sow in tears, you will enjoy a marvelous and abundant return on your investment. But, you may be thinking, when have I ever gone out weeping, carrying seed to sow?


If you have ever reached through an invisible wall of pain to embrace God with willful thanks, you have sown in tears. If you’ve ever been rejected by a dear one and yet turned the other cheek in love, you have sown in tears. If you have patiently endured physical affliction, or responded in love through a difficult marriage, then Psalm 126:5-6 could be your life verse. When you hurt physically or emotionally, it’s hard to muster a patient or godly response. Pain has a way of screaming for our undivided attention. But when you either offer a sacrifice of praise to God in the midst of your hurt, or respond in faith to a heartbreak of hardship, you are sowing in tears. Take heart, for one day God will reward you with sheaves of joy – all because you were faithful through tears.

Joni Eareckson Tada



Weeping may last through the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
PSALM 30:5 (NLT)



On the journey with you,
Jan & Dave Dravecky

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Endurance for the Journey, Featured, Words of Endurance

For the word of the Lord is right and true;
He is faithful in all He does.
PSALM 33:4 (NIV)



Mark Psalm 33:4 down in red and underline it in bold! When everything in our world is falling apart, when the earth gives way and we feel as if we are falling into a bottomless pit, we must turn our minds to this promise. We can count on His Word to be true. It won’t lead us astray or give us false hope or empty promises.


When tragedy comes our way, sometimes we question God’s goodness, his faithfulness to us. It is then that Psalm 33:4 stands straight and tall and shouts into the teeth of the wind, “He is faithful in all he does.”


God doesn’t take a break from faithfulness. He doesn’t lapse into moral laziness. He doesn’t do anything halfway. As the NIV Dictionary of the Bible reminds us, “He is always constant and true, faithful in keeping His promises, and unchangeable in His ethical nature.” What a promise to cling to!



Yet I still dare to hope
when I remember this:
The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
His mercies begin afresh each morning.
LAMENTATIONS 3:21-23



On the journey with you,
Dave Dravecky

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Endurance for the Journey, Featured, Words of Endurance

Who are you, a mere human being,
to argue with God?
Should the thing that was created
Say to the one who created it,
“Why have you made me like this?”
ROMANS 9:20 (NLT)



From the moment you and I become children of God, our Father is constantly molding and shaping us according to His own plans. Some of that molding and shaping we may not like. We may be tempted to ask indignantly, “What are you making?” or “Why did you make me like this?”


We’re especially prone to ask questions like that after we’ve been placed in the oven. Clay isn’t pottery until it’s fired in a kiln, but time spent in the oven is no fun.


But God knows all this. He is both our Father and our Potter, and He is constantly at work forming us into a new creation. And even though some of His pottery seems to shatter into shards, in His hands even broken pottery can be made into something new and whole and beautiful. Our job is to work with Him.



And yet, O Lord you are our Father.
We are the clay, and you are the potter.
We all are formed by your hand.
ISAIAH 64:8 (NLT)



On the journey with you,
Dave Dravecky

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Endurance for the Journey, Featured, Words of Endurance

The Lord your God has blessed you
in all the work of your hands.
He has watched over your journey
through this vast desert.
These forty years the Lord your God
has been with you,
and you have not lacked anything.
DEUTERONOMY 2:7 (NIV)



Whether you are an Israelite wandering in the desert or a twenty-first century Christian struggling through difficult circumstances, this is a comforting thought: “The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast desert. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything.”


Even though God was disciplining the Israelites for their disobedience, even though their arrival in the promised land was postponed. God did not abandon them. He wanted them to learn to have confidence in His love for them and His providence in spite of the difficulties they encountered.


If you find yourself falling short of your desired goals, if you seem to “spin your wheels” rather than move ahead, if you seem to be experiencing a time of testing or discipline, think about what God told the Israelites as they wandered in the desert for forty years. And know the He is also with you today.



For God has said,
“I will never fail you.
I will never abandon you.
So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper,
so I will have no fear.”
HEBREWS 13:5-6 (NLT)


On the journey with you,
Dave & Jan Dravecky

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Endurance for the Journey, Featured, Words of Endurance

Each time he said,
“My grace is all you need.
My power works best in weakness.”
So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses,
so that the power of Christ can work through me.
For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 CORINTHIANS 12:9,10 (NLT)



The weaker we feel, the harder we lean on God. And the harder we lean, the stronger we grow. You couldn’t really describe that as “extraordinary stamina,” as some would say of those who suffer, nor is it a “testimony to human courage,” as those same people would say.


Hear me please: Human stamina and courage have nothing to do with it! It is human weakness God delights in using. Weakness should deepen our dependence upon Christ for strength. Lean on Jesus. Lean hard! When you do, you’ll find yourself growing stronger than you ever dreamed possible.
Joni Eareckson Tada



For I can do everything through Christ,
who gives me strength.
PHILIPPIANS 4:13 (NLT)



On the journey with you,
Jan & Dave Dravecky

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Featured, Words of Endurance

A Note of Encouragement

I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
EXODUS 16:4-5 (NIV)



God wants us to come to Him, even with fumbling words and an unsure heart. He’s given us the cries, the prayers of others in the Bible and his Son’s guiding words on prayer to help us when prayer becomes difficult – as He knew it would.


How greatly He desires that we come to Him. How much He longs to be a Father to His children – especially when they are hurting.


If you are struggling with prayer, ask God for help! We have no power to maintain our spiritual life on our own. We need God’s help … even to pray. And it’s okay to ask Him for help.



The Lord is my strength and shield.
I trust Him with all my heart.
He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.
I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.
PSALM 28:7 (NLT)



On the journey with you,
Jan & Dave Dravecky

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Purpose in Suffering?, Words of Endurance

We can rejoice, too,
when we run into problems and trials,
for we know that they help us develop endurance.
And endurance develops strength of character,
and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.
And this hope will not lead to disappointment.
ROMANS 5:3-5 (NLT)



The connection between pain and spiritual strength is made repeatedly in Scripture. It is no accident, for example, that the wonder words “strong, firm and steadfast” in 1 Peter 5:10 appear in the context of “after you have suffered a little while.”


God’s indispensable means of making us strong – whether physically or spiritually – is suffering. We may not like it, we may fight it, and we may try to squirm away from it, but it’s a fact – immovable, unwavering and rock solid.



And the God of all grace,
who called you to his eternal glory in Christ,
after you have suffered a little while,
will himself restore you and
make you strong, firm and steadfast.
1 PETER 5:10 (NIV)



On the journey with you,
Jan & Dave Dravecky

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On the Journey Together, Words of Endurance

Friends love through all kinds
of weather, and families stick together
in all kinds of trouble.
Proverbs 17:17 (The Message)



Don’t face your valley alone! You have a heavenly Father who loves you and cares for you deeply. Ask Him to find the supportive friendships, the family you need. Then don’t overlook the surprising help that might arrive! He may use long-lost relatives, neighbors, a support group, your local church, a very old (or very new) friend to provide comfort and encouragement in unlooked for ways.


But the most important friend is the Lord. The Bible describes Him as one who “is close to the brokenhearted” (Psalm 34:18) and the “friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). So invite Him into your home. Make room! Allow Him to fill your heart with peace, grace, mercy and love. Because He has promised to …



“… never leave you or forsake you.”
Joshua 1:5 (NIV)



On the journey with you,
Dave Dravecky

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Counsel, Words of Endurance

Then Moses said to the Lord,
“If your Presence does not go with us,
do not send us up from here.”
EXODUS 33:15 (NIV)



If there’s one thing I learned in the wilderness of adversity, it’s how desperately we need God’s guidance. When Jan and I were in the wilderness, we struggled daily to get our bearings. That’s not an easy thing to do when you’re surrounded with empty horizons, deceptive images and shifting sands.


As we stumbled our way through this trackless desert, we encountered plenty of people who pointed out directions. The only problem was that we had people pointing in so many directions, we didn’t know which way was up. Which doctor do you believe? Whose advice do you take? Which direction do you go?


I understand why Moses didn’t want to head out into the desert without God’s presence as a guide. It’s too easy to get lost, to run out of provisions, to wander into dangerous canyons, to head toward a mirage. The road map through the wilderness is not one that is read, it is one that is held. It is the hand of God.



I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
If I go to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave, you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.
JOHN 13:34-35 (NLT)



On the journey with you,
Dave Dravecky

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Trust, Words of Endurance

Read Exodus 22



I often hear suffering people say they don’t pray about “the minor stuff,” the minutia of burdens that don’t make the front page of conversation. When I ask them why, the answer is always the same. It goes something like this: “God has bigger problems to take care of. He isn’t interested in my little worries and issues …”



My reaction is quick, intense and to the point: “SAYS WHO?” The God of Exodus 21:27 is concerned about missing teeth! The God of Exodus 22:5 has an opinion about grazing rights! In Exodus 22:6 He warns potential pyromaniacs that they could be held liable for damages caused by their dangerous obsession. He goes on to address wounded livestock, borrowing from neighbors and missing garments. You can’t get much more minor than that!



Believing that God doesn’t care about our every burden is like a parent saying to a child. “Only come to me when your injuries require hospitalization. I don’t do slivers, night mares or missing dolls.” If God isn’t interested in every detail of my life, why else would He number every hair on my head?



What is the price of two sparrows – one copper coin?
But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground
without your Father knowing it.
And the very hairs on our head are all numbered.
So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God
than a whole flock of sparrows
MATTHEW 10:29-31 (NLT)


On the journey with you,
Dave Dravecky

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