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We chose a name, for our baby boy to be, that means in Hebrew: Jehovah has heard, thankful, and praising God with up raised hands.

We found so much joy in naming the little life growing in my womb once we found out that we were having a baby boy. Jaden Paul Povolni would be the name of our son. That was over eighteen years ago.

What a gift to name children and proclaim the goodness of God over their future.
God not only gives us the privilege of naming our children, but He asks us to name and proclaim who He is in and over our lives.

“…he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”  “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.” Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am”’(Matthew 16:13-15)?

Have you ever felt the tension that squeezes in at the back of your neck and creates pressure around your whole head as stress builds?

Me too.

Life’s circumstances can press and push us up against a wall, or force us in a direction that was never a part of our agenda. 

Just as we think it’s shifting for the better, our stability can shatter. We find ourselves looking for answers. We see life transitioning and we are once again in need of a savior.

Maybe for the first time, or for the two hundredth and first time God is asking us, “Who do you say that I am?” 

Not what do you see, but, “Who do you SAY that I am?”

It’s easy to proclaim His greatness when life is going our way. It’s easy to love our children, or others and speak of their bright future when their behavior matches our expectations. 

Can we proclaim by faith and trust in who God is and what He can do when our life is NOT aligning with our dreams? This is honestly when we need to speak of His greatness and proclaim His truth over our situations the most.

We seem to never have an issue talking about the battles we’re facing. The facts and cracks that are evident.

“The Lord is my Shepherd (my savior); I have everything I need” (Psalm 23:1). 

I close my eyes and say it again and again. 

“The Lord is my Shepherd; I have everything I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength.” (Psalm 23:1-3).

No where are we assured that our circumstances will turn in our favor, just the way we think they should, every time.

Trials come. 

Life is NOT promised to be easy. People are given a free will, and yet, God’s promises for us do not change because the hearts of people around us do.

Only God knows the “green meadows” and “peaceful streams” that will restore each of us and yet, WE want to choose them. We will reach these places only by following our Heavenly Father obediently. With God all things are possible, even joy in the midst of the storm, when we rest in His leading.

We are not called to easy, we are called to faith. Faith in a God who loves us more than we can comprehend.

“He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name” (Psalm 23:3).

Our minds are powerful tools. If we don’t learn to repeat God’s word, which is ALL powerful, our thoughts will lead us to believe worse case scenarios. Then it’s tempting to put more faith in our fears, or our own limping plans than God’s unlimited power.

“He renews my strength” (Psalm 23:3). 


Thank you Lord for renewing my strength, for dissipating the stress and tension, for reminding me you are in control, and that I am not alone. 

You are my savior. The weight of this situation is yours to carry, not mine to sink beneath. 

Thank you for upholding me.

Thank you for lifting the load as I release it once again into your hands.

Thank you for remaining close beside me and for being the lifter of my head. Thank you for upholding me and those I love by your mighty right hand. 

In Jesus Name, Amen.

It’s not all wrong to go there. We can have faith, believe for miracles, and face the facts too. God works in unconventional ways, it’s not our place to limit His reach and put Him in a box telling Him how He can solve our dilemmas. 

The things we see as devastating, should we have to walk that road – even those things – He can turn into a mighty pillar of strength and tenacity in our lives.

We may be facing difficult circumstances. We may face decisions we never signed up to be put in a position to make.

“Even when I walk through the dark valley of death, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me” (Psalm 23:4).

We can find ourselves not liking the way He saves us from ourselves. The seasons of our lives that God uses to chip off self reliance and open new pathways of complete dependency on Him.

Oh, how we want to do it on our own and avoid vulnerability. We want to have it all together, move forward, and leave this painful stuff behind.

If we do it our way, we may never discover the most valuable treasures God so desires to gift us right where we are.

“Even when I walk through the dark valley of death (whatever kinds of deaths we are facing: sickness, financial stress, relationship loss, life transitions, people’s decisions, overwhelming circumstances), I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me” (Psalm 23:4).

Don’t discount the greatness of God. 

He can remove the dreaded outcome completely, transform it into our biggest gift, or give us the power and grace to withstand it. 

He chooses. His intentions for us are for good!

Only God knows what will cause the precious diamond He’s forming in us to emerge in beauty, strength, clarity, and tremendous worth.

“You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies (right where I didn’t want to be). You welcome me as a guest, anointing my head with oil” (Psalm 23:5).

He graces us to make it through what we think we cannot. He helps us to recognize priorities, to lay down extra burdens, and to give our energy to what He is calling us to in this present season, not “our” list of demands. 

He will give us rest. He will renew our strength. He will restore.

“My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:5-6).

Say it with me friend, let’s proclaim His greatness over our present and our future:

“I am trusting God. The Lord is my Shepherd; I have everything I need. He is leading me to rest in Him as I am learning to lay down the weights of what I cannot control. I am taking my Heavenly Father’s hand, and following Him so that my strength can be renewed moment by moment. 

He will not lead me astray. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. 

The shadows of darkness, even darkness itself, will not conquer me! I will not be afraid, for God is close beside me. His rod and staff protect and comfort me. 

Even when I find myself facing the worst kinds of enemies, you are there preparing a feast and you welcome me as your guest, anointing my head with oil. Your hospitality, warmth, and love comfort my soul.

My cup overflows with blessings as you never leave me. Your faithfulness and love endures forever and ever. Thank you Lord that I can trust in you.”

“Future generations will also serve him. Our children will hear about the wonders of the Lord. His righteous acts will be told to those yet unborn. They will hear about everything he has done” (Psalms 23:30-31).

Tension is released as we proclaim and name our futures based upon the God who holds them.

“I am confident I will see the LORD’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13). It may look different than we envision, but we will see it!

As we laser focus our hearts eye on the God who creates planets, heals and transforms hearts, and empowers us to stand steadfast through what we thought we could not survive—we will find peace, joy, and an unwavering hope. 

“Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being.

Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. 

And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven” (Matthew 16:16-19).

As we proclaim and name who God is, no matter what “others” say, He proclaims and names who we are and what He will do through us. 

He hands us keys to His Kingdom.

He speaks over our future.

He names us not for who we are, but for who we are becoming in Him.

We too, name our children not for who they are in the present moment, but for who they are becoming by faith.

We set their future in the right direction. 

We speak LIFE over them no matter what “others” or the enemy of their soul says. 

Let’s not stop proclaiming and naming who God is and what He can do, in our lives and in the lives of those we influence. 

God is not limited by our limitations, but He is limited by what we won’t name and proclaim and believe. He responds even to the tiniest bit of faith.

Lift your eyes precious one. The Lord is your Shepherd. He has you everything you need.

With much love and grace,

Joelle Povolni

P.S. If this has encouraged you, I think you will love this post, I Know That I Know.

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