Has anything ever shaken or reignited fears you thought were in your past?
Maybe it’s another affair or an addiction relapse. Or perhaps you received a devastating report from a child’s teacher or your doctor after you hoped a permanent corner had been turned. Maybe what has you shaking with fear isn’t what’s within your home but in today’s headlines. The pandemic and political tension re-escalated your anxiety and wound you tight to new levels of worry.
I recently had the opportunity to share about an old fear that impacted my new days. A few years ago, random, suspicious fires were being started in garages throughout my neighborhood. Sleep doesn’t come easy when your bedroom is above a garage!
Just when we started to relax — with no fire for 17 days — fire trucks, police cars and soul-splitting sirens filled our street.
It was 2:30 a.m. when new flames, only five doors down, reignited old fears.
(Full Proverbs 31 devotion here.)
A number of readers wondered about the rest of the story. Who started the fires? Did they stop? Was the person ever caught?
Sorry to have left you hanging, friend!
Here’s the rest of the story….
Thankfully, after weeks of sleepless nights, the police caught the arsonist red-handed before anyone was hurt.
Here’s a brief excerpt from a Wood TV 8 news article:
“A Silent Observer tip after a fire on Grand Rapid’s northeast side put investigators on the trail of the suspect. News 8 confirmed through family members that the suspect is 23-year-old Joseph McIntyre. Police have been following the suspect practically 24/7 according to one investigator. They busted him about 2:15 a.m. Sunday near the latest fire scene. After an interview that went on for about four hours, one investigator told News 8, ‘He’s made statements that have tied him to all of the fires. No one has been injured, but there were some close calls.'”
After weeks of fear breathing down our necks, we all slept much better when the arsonist was behind bars.
As we followed this young man’s trial in the news, it was tragic to hear of the pain and trauma that was a part of the very fabric of this young man’s life. I’m certainly not excusing his actions, but my heart hurts for this young man and the abuse he experienced most of his life.
Although Joseph’s defense claimed he was insane when setting the fires, a jury found him guilty on all charges.
May God reveal Himself to this young man, and may he get help––emotionally, physically, and spiritually––while he is behind bars.
`For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ (Matthew 25:35-36)
All these years later, I still clasp a bracelet on my right wrist as a reminder of God’s unbreakable promise: The world may shake, but I will not. God is with me, He is for me, and I am loved.
Friend, so are you!
Our world will always quake, and fear will always be a liar.
But you can stand certain in all the uncertainties and unshakeable in our shaking world as you remember truth. You need not fear when you choose to see that God is near. With Him at your right hand, you will not be shaken!
P.S. Huge thanks to GEMS for their sponsorship of today’s devotion. Looking for an Easter gift for your girl? GEMS is excited to introduce their BRAND NEW ShineBrightly Activity Box for girls!
Your #ShineBrightlyBox will be full of independent DIY crafts and recipes, faith-filled devotions, and everything FUN in between! Light up your girl’s life with this Celebrate Easter-themed activity box: https://gemsgc.org/shinebrightlybox
Quantity is limited. Order your ShineBrightly box today!
I’m super excited to extend a special, FREE, red-hot invitation for YOU!
If you’re tired of being pulled into a swirling, lukewarm routine of life that keeps you from experiencing God’s best, I have an online Bible study for you —Red Hot Faith.
Join me online as we take an exciting journey to the land of the Bible to explore the early church of Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22). The people in that church struggled with trying to “juggle it all” and easily got sidetracked by their self-sufficient, self-absorbed “kingdom of me” lifestyle. Yikes.
- Turn up the heat on lukewarm living, and ignite a sizzling faith life
- Recognize patterns, habits, and attitudes that seek to steal or replace passion for God
- Replace negative self-talk with new “nametags” of Truth
- Discover meaning and purpose in the mundane, messy, and everyday moments of life
- Implement new easy strategies and tips for fueling the fire of your faith
And the best part?
You can participate from the comforts of your own home (even in your pj’s if you want), any time, any day. Woo Hoo!
WHO: All women are invited!
Whether you are a seasoned believer, new to Bible study, or still trying to figure this whole “Jesus thing” out—you are welcome!
Also, if you have already participated in a Red Hot Faith study at your church/small group, we would still love to have you join us for the online community! Share with us what God has been teaching you through Red Hot Faith.
WHEN: March 8, 2021 – May 3, 2021
Beginning March 8th, a new Red Hot Faith video lesson will be uploaded on our private FB group page. Watch the video teaching anytime during the week that works best for you. (Each video lesson is approximately 20-25 minutes long.)
You can also join the community on Facebook for red-hot discussion, encouragement, prayer support, and tons of free printables and resources.
There will also be a fun “Chat with Cindy” each Monday night at 8 PM ET.
Follow along in the Red Hot Faith Participant’s Guide, and complete the “short and sweet” homework section during the week. (You can complete the homework in 45-60 minutes total. It won’t overwhelm you this spring. Promise!).
If you want to go deeper, you can purchase a Participant’s Guide here.
WHY: Spring can be a full/busy season, but we do not have to take time off from firing up our faith!
My publisher (Discovery House) has worked hard behind the scenes to provide for FREE all of the weekly videos to best serve women during this busy time of year. (Thanks, Discovery House!) I can’t wait to see what God has planned!
HOW DO I SIGN UP:
- Register for the study here.
- Purchase a copy of the Bible study book from Amazon, GEMS, or your favorite local Christian bookstore.
- Join the private Facebook group (search: Red Hot Faith Online Bible Study). This is where you will experience community! Introduce yourself, say hello, and check back often for connection questions, free printables, and access to the Red Hot Faith video teachings.
- Mark your calendar for the kick-off gathering on Monday, March 8th! You’ll meet at 8 PM ET via Facebook LIVE on the private Facebook page with author Cindy Bultema and her best friend Julie Richardson.
- Get ready to how to turn up the heat and fuel the fire of your faith.
Who do you know who has mentioned they could benefit from a Spring Bible study? Or is wrestling with lukewarm living or fizzled out faith? Why not prayerfully invite them to join you?
You can also copy and paste the provided descriptions into your Twitter and Facebook status updates! This will help get the ball rolling and let your friends know they are invited too!
Copy and Paste this to Twitter –> Excited to be part of the @CindyBultema1 #RedHotFaith Online Study starting 3/8. Come join the fun!
Copy and Paste this to Facebook –> Let’s fire up our faith! Join the @CindyBultema for an Online Study for #RedHotFaith starting 3/8. All are invited! https://bit.ly/3kRSq9P
5. Pray. Please join us in praying God would use this opportunity to draw many hearts towards Him! It’s all for Jesus. All of it.
Whew! What a lot of information! Please, please let me know if you have any questions. If you are wondering anything, my guess is others are too. Please ask your questions in this comment section and I promise to reply to all.
Sweet friends, I hope you will join us this spring for Red Hot Faith! Let’s ask God to reignite our hearts and minds with fresh faith, passion and purpose! Woo Hoo!
Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*! I thank God for YOU!
If we were sitting knee to knee or through a screen with our favorite beverages in hand, how many cups do you think we would consume as we shared all the stresses and messes that have impacted our lives since the pandemic?
Can I keep it real? I may need to measure my coffee intake by pots instead of cups!
Friend, my sense is almost every part of our life has been turned upside down in some way. Most of us don’t even get groceries in the same way anymore! However, notice I shared “almost every part” has been impacted, but not everything. Because the Bible is clear about one thing that cannot be shaken—no matter the circumstances, challenges, COVID-19, or a chaotic culture. God’s Kingdom is unshakeable, always.
I love the powerful promise found in Hebrews 12:28:
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.
We are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken! This is the capital “T” Truth that provides strength and stability to us on even our hardest and most confusing of days. Since God’s promises are unbreakable, our stand can be unshakeable. And we’ve been called to live as ambassadors of an Unshakeable Kingdom while living in the midst of a shakeable world.
Sister, the shakes and quakes will come. It’s clear. God doesn’t promise that they won’t. In fact, He says the opposite. Seasons of shaking should not be surprising.
Now please know I’m not trying to minimize the impact of the shaking. I think we’re all ready for a breather, but I am saying, based on the authority of God’s Word, we don’t need to be fearful or without hope. We can worship Him with joy. Because in Christ, our foundation is secure. We are part of God’s Unshakeable Kingdom.
As we reflect on the 2020 pandemic and look forward with big questions about 2021, it may not look like what any of us would have planned. But since God’s promises are unbreakable, our stand can be unshakeable. Though we are isolated, He promises that nothing can separate us from Him. In the challenges, He gives courage and confidence that He is enough and we are loved.
Friend, is there a fear that has left you stuck instead of standing on truth? In what area of your life do you feel more shaky than secure?
May God give you eyes of faith to see Him, even in –– especially in –– the shakes and quakes of this shakeable world.
Friend, you are receiving a Kingdom that cannot be shaken. Be thankful, and worship your Unshakeable, Awesome God with reverence and awe.
You are loved!
P.S. Need a fresh infusion of faith in the hard season? Join us for Red Hot Faith ’21 online beginning this March 8, 2021. All women are welcome. Details here.