Thursday, June 16, 2011

SOAP journal - part 2

Today I read 1 Samuel chapters 1-6

1 Samuel 3:18
18 So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. Then Eli said, “He is the LORD; let him do what is good in his eyes.”
Samuel has just had a vision that Eli, his father, will indeed see the wrath of God. He is told that all of his descendants will die young, yet he graciously accepts his punishment for his sins against God simply saying, "Let him do what is good in his eyes." He trusts that even though it is not what he wishes for himself and his family, that God is forever doing only what is necessary for the greatest good to come about.
Similar to yesterday's application, I see that God will use unpleasant things in our lives to bring about a change. He alone knows what the future holds and what each disappointment, difficulty, and struggle will do for us all in the long run. I need to remember that even though I may be in a low point in my life and wonder why God would allow this to happen to me, to my family, I have to trust that God would not bring me to it if He didn't plan to bring me out of it.
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for the faith you have in me to overcome these difficult times. Please continue to hold me in your hands and give me the serenity to feel your peace in my life when times get difficult. Amen.

SOAP journaling

A friend of mine posted a scripture from her daily devotional on Facebook that many of us responded to.  Some asked what devotional she was using and others suggested their own devotionals. One person suggested the Life Journal and SOAP journal.  She sent a link that got me interested and I went in search of more links on SOAP journaling!  These are the ones I found helpful... 

Escentually, SOAP journaling is a way to delve deeper into your daily Bible Reading.  You choose your passage (or read one that is provided for you), ask that God let one scripture in particular speak to you), then get to journaling.
Copy down the specific verse(s) that spoke to you
What did this verse say to you?  What was God trying to tell us/you?
How can you apply this knowledge to your life?
Pray for God to help you use this scripture in your life.

Because I am using the The Daily Bible: In Chronological Order 365 Daily Readings, it is difficult to always say exactly what passages I have read each day as the authors have "cut and pasted" from the different scriptures to put the events in chronological order. I love this Bible as a way to read through the Bible in a year. It is helping me put a new perspective on all of the Bible stories and when they took place. Therefore, instead of telling what the chapters/verses I have read, I'll have to instead tell you the stories.

Today I read several stories because I am quite a bit behind in my daily readings. I have had a tumultuous few months and have not been as vigilant on my reading as I should have been. Hopefully I can improve that by journaling.

So, yesterday, I started my first SOAP journal.

I read about the stories of Jephthah (Judges 10 - 12), Ruth and Naomi (Ruth 1-4), Sampson the Strong Man (Judges 13-16), Micah and the Danites (Judges 17- 18), and Civil War with Benjamin (Judges 19 -21).

S - Scripture:
The scripture that most spoke to me in all of this reading is Judges 14:1-4
1 Samson went down to Timnah and saw there a young Philistine woman. 2 When he returned, he said to his father and mother, “I have seen a Philistine woman in Timnah; now get her for me as my wife.”
3 His father and mother replied, “Isn’t there an acceptable woman among your relatives or among all our people? Must you go to the uncircumcised Philistines to get a wife?”
But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me. She’s the right one for me.” 4 (His parents did not know that this was from the LORD, who was seeking an occasion to confront the Philistines; for at that time they were ruling over Israel.)
Even though his parents probably didn't like the idea of Sampson marrying a Philistine woman, they trusted that God was at work in his life. They trusted the feeling that Sampson had that told him this woman was the one. Even though she later turned out to betray him, it was all in God's plan.
I'm having a difficult time in my own marriage right now and many people in my life (including many strong Christian friends/family members) are yelling "DIVORCE!" saying that I even have Biblical back-up supporting that decision. However, in my heart of hearts, I don't believe that God is ready for me to give up on this union just yet. It is difficult to go against what those who love me believe to be the best course of action, but I have to believe that, like with Sampson, God may use a difficult and trying experience to make a greater change for the positive in my life as well as that of my husband.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the fantastic things you are doing in my life. Please grant me the wisdom to see the path that you have set forth for me and the strength and courage to travel along it. Soften the hearts of those who would stand in the way of Your will in my life and lead them to know your wonderful grace as well. Amen.