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CHRIST’S BOOT CAMP: Training Ground for a Victorious Life

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You’re waiting at the station for the bus to take you to boot camp. You’re nervous, scared; not knowing what to expect. You’re leaving an awful lot behind. Will all this be worth it?

Did I scare some of you in my last blog—that if you believe in Jesus as your Savior you’re in Christ’s army? I hope it was enough just to get you moving toward training ground instead of turning yellow and running.

You need not fear! Your Commander will equip you with the basics of Christian living so that you can win your battles. His training includes your whole being of body, soul, and spirit.

At Christ’s training camp you will get physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually in shape. That is key to living a victorious life in and for Christ. Your goal is to get and stay in shape so that you can have energy and stamina for serving your General. You will learn:

  • To think correctly with God’s truths (Rom 12:2).
  • The disciplines of Christian living: reading and studying God’s Manual—rules and regulations, instructions, basic info about the system (God’s ways), and communicating with your Commander (prayer).
  • To overcome fear of the enemy.
  • To please your Commander in chief by learning who He is (character).
  • Teamwork
  • The importance of the chain of command and obedience.
  • The consequences of disobedience

At boot camp you will get equipped with defensive gear and maneuvers. You will also be given your only, but very powerful, offensive weapon—the Word of God (Eph 6:17).

At first glance this weapon doesn’t look like much, but the weapons with which we fight are not of this physical world, but spiritual (2 Cor 10:4). You will learn how to use each specific piece of arsenal (truth) to obliterate each specific tool and lie of the enemy.

You will learn to recognize the enemy’s tactics and devious schemes.

The truth that your enemy is a defeated foe; that he has already lost the war at Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection will be drilled repeatedly into your head.

Victory is assured. Consequently you will have great confidence, courage, perseverance, endurance, hope, and joy.

Although tough, training will be worth it!

As an extra bonus, a sense of comradery will develop as you work together with your fellow soldiers for the same purpose.

Where is the nearest training camp for you?

  • It’s right in your living room as your Sergeant (Holy Spirit) teaches you His Instruction Manual.
  • It’s in the local Bible-based church.
  • It’s in small group Bible studies and fellowship meetings.
  • It’s on the radio and internet where others teach the truths of God.
  • It’s in biblically sound books, magazines, and blogs. 

May I highly recommend that you find a sister/brother in Christ to guide you—a discipler or mentor, especially if you:

  • Are newly enlisted.
  • Have never had basic training.
  • Are not experiencing the abundant life.

Ask God to bring a trainer into your life; ask Him to teach you. He wants you to get the foundational knowledge and understanding necessary to live a victorious life. But unlike the army, He won’t draft you in or force you to go to boot camp or even yell at you like a sergeant!

If you need assistance in finding a discipler or mentor feel free to contact me.

Until next time, my friends, learn all you can so you can live victoriously in Christ—you’re fighting a defeated foe!

 

Originally published 7/24/19

 

Struggling as a Christian is NORMAL—We Are in a BATTLE!

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Do you ever struggle? With repeated sin issues, with desiring to change a bad habit or to follow through with your resolutions—only to fail again? What in the world is going on?

We’re at war with the enemy of God and our souls!

I think many of us believe that there shouldn’t be a struggle once we’ve decided to change or move forward in an area. If we’re growing in Christ and making progress why do we still have difficulty? BECAUSE:

  • We still have a sinful nature exerting its influence.
  • The world is still pulling on us.

                              And

  • The evil one is still trying to discourage us.

You and I need to sink this truth deep into our minds and hearts:

There will always be a struggle, a battle, in this fallen world!

Only in heaven will there be no more sin. Satan and his demons will be locked up in hell; unbelievers and their unredeemed sinful souls with them. And our sinful natures will be totally gone—no longer there to grieve the heart of our dear Savior! I can’t wait!!!

It’s natural for us to want the battle to be over. I get so tired of fighting.

“I don’t want to be in a battle! I don’t want to fight anymore!” says the little girl in me; stomping her foot.

But I don’t have a choice! Neither do you. The enemy of our souls is not giving up until he’s locked up.

Deceiving us to believe there shouldn’t be a struggle is one of his tactics.

He wants us to get discouraged; making us think we can never change—“What’s the use?” —and give up.

We need to become more aware of his conniving insidious schemes. We need to learn his tactics so we can be on guard against them. As Paul said, “…In order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.” (2 Cor 2:11)

Satan has already lost the war. He was defeated on the cross by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Don’t let him win those one-on-one skirmishes with you. Don’t fight the devil alone either—he is too strong for you. Call in your Commander in chief, Jesus.

He rescued me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me and were too strong for me. (Ps 18:17)*

Don’t let Satan steal your joy, peace—your abundant life.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (Jn 10:10)

Fight for it with Christ’s power. Victory is assured! Don’t live from a defeated point of view! But realize that you are indeed in a battle—if you’re a Christian—like it or not.

 

Originally published July 10, 2019

THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide

*Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

I’ll Always Be an Emotional YO-YO and How I Deal with It

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I have to face it! I’ll always be an emotional yo-yo—up and down in what I’m feeling. I want to stay high or at least even-keeled, happy, and always at peace. But that’s an unrealistic goal for me—at least in this fallen world. I must learn to deal with it.

Maybe some of you are like me? (Perhaps we should form our own Yo-yo’s Anonymous group!)

I don’t like being so easily moved by my feelings. Nevertheless, that is the way God created me, and my Maker doesn’t make mistakes. Understanding my makeup was my first step in dealing with it—God’s way. I used to see my emotionality as a curse. Now I am wiser; my perspective has changed. The reality:

 It is both a strength and a weakness.

I am passionate, enthusiastic, and motivated. I get a lot of things done. I love and feel deeply. I am sensitive. I experience great joys and excitement.

Yet I easily get discouraged, hurt, disappointed, and flustered. Impatience is one of my biggest enemies. Depression comes knocking often. “Scaredy cat” is my middle name.

I could use my makeup as an excuse; rationalizing away poor responses. I could have a big pity party when I fail and stay in a defeated pit, or become prideful with success. I could retreat into my shell when hurt. I could make joy my ultimate goal and repeatedly flop.

OR

I can admit, accept and submit my tendencies for God’s purposes.

I can’t change what I feel, but I can change what I do.

I can respond by letting truth lead me instead of my emotions.

Without an awareness or admission of my propensities, I remain unguarded; vulnerable to satanic attack. Satan used to have a field day with me. Now I am aware of his conniving schemes (2 Cor 2:11). I truly don’t have to let my emotions control me; making me sin and reducing my impact for God’s Kingdom!

But I cannot do this on my own! I need the power of God and gratefully it is available (2 Cor 10:4-5, 2 Pet 1:3-4).

Under God’s control these tendencies can be used for His glory; under my control, they result in “yo-yoness.”

I am learning how to better manage my emotional state. My highs are still high, occur more frequently and last longer. My lows are not as low (usually), happen less often, and are shorter—IF I choose to submit myself to God and abide in Him consistently.

I am definitely more emotionally stable now. I have had significant victory in Christ over my emotions. But to think it’ll ever come naturally for me—that’s a pipe dream. I will always have to put out major effort—even fight—so as to not be overwhelmed and consumed by my feelings. I will always be a yoyo. But that’s ok because God loves me just the way He made me.

What are your propensities? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Do some prayerful soul searching. You may not be an emotional yoyo, but be honest with who you are. Accept it and allow God to use your makeup for His glory. It is a much better way to live!

My friends, I originally published this blog in 2016. It’s content is so pertinent to the message of He’s So Worth It Ministries that I had to resurface it.

If you are an emotional person and have trouble in dealing with your feelings, may I encourage you to let me help you? I am going full force with offering emotions workshops and seminars. They have helped many women and I believe God wants me to help more of you. Please visit my How to Handle Your Emotions God’s Way page for more information.  

Increased Capacity: The Wonderful Cycle of Knowing God

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You’re sitting there, overwhelmed with the presence of God. You’re singing praises, utterly grateful for God’s love and the saving of your soul. “How can it ever get better than this?!” You feel so complete, contented, and loved.

Then something else happens. God comes through once again in a miraculous way, answers an impossible prayer, or meets a need in a profound personal way. I call them “God Touches” where you experience a “tangible” moment with your Maker.

And those feelings of “How can it get any better than this!?” return.

How is this possible? After all, God said, “I, the LORD do not change” (Mal 3:6).

I have 3 ideas for you to ponder.

1. God doesn’t change, but we do.

God doesn’t get better, but our perception of God does—provided we get our knowledge of Him from His Word. Our view of God becomes clearer as we peer intently into God’s beautiful revelation of Himself. God wants to be known in increasing measure. As we grow in knowledge and understanding of God’s truths and apply them, we will experience more and more of Him—and all that He embodies. Since God is good, and everything about Him is good we will naturally experience greater, sweeter, and “gooder” times with our Savior.

2. Our capacity to enjoy and know God increases.

Unlike our bodies, our new nature is not finite. As our new nature grows, there is more “room” for God in our hearts. There is a greater capability to understand the God of the universe.

And just in case you don’t know—you feed your new nature by eating (taking in) and digesting (processing, applying and obeying) God’s wholesome Word. Nurture that new divine nature within you; starve the old nature, and watch your intimacy with an infinite God flourish.

3. Irony

The other cool thing about all this is that although we are completely satisfied during these times of sweet communion with God, there’s still a hunger for more. This compels us to go back again and again; to seek Him in newer ways, newer understandings, and newer commissions. (Jer 29:13-14).

What should our response be to all this?

Utter gratitude, humility, and worship.

What a privilege it is to be able to commune with such a holy awesome God!

Pass it on.

We are not to hoard all His wonderful love and revelation. We are to share His love more and more with others.

May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else…. (1 Thess 3:12)

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight…. (Phil 1:9)

Shout it out from the rooftops! “Behold your God! Let me tell you about my beautiful Savior who wants to be your God and Savior as well!”

As you expand your knowledge and understanding of God and His ways and obey Him, your capacity for love and intimacy with Him will grow—guaranteed!

What else would we expect from an infinite God who abounds in love? Still, I’m amazed every time it happens, and the wonderful cycle continues.

 

All Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible: New International Version®. NIV. ® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

CHRIST’S BOOT CAMP: Training Ground for a Victorious Life

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You’re waiting at the station for the bus to take you to boot camp. You’re nervous, scared; not knowing what to expect. You’re leaving an awful lot behind. Will all this be worth it?

Did I scare some of you in my last blog—that if you believe in Jesus as your Savior you’re in Christ’s army? I hope it was enough just to get you moving toward training ground instead of turning yellow and running.

You need not fear! Your Commander will equip you with the basics of Christian living so that you can win your battles. His training includes your whole being of body, soul, and spirit.

At Christ’s training camp you will get physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually in shape. That is key to living a victorious life in and for Christ. Your goal is to get and stay in shape so that you can have energy and stamina for serving your General. You will learn:

  • To think correctly with God’s truths (Rom 12:2).
  • The disciplines of Christian living: reading and studying God’s Manual—rules and regulations, instructions, basic info about the system (God’s ways), and communicating with your Commander (prayer).
  • To overcome fear of the enemy.
  • To please your Commander in chief by learning who He is (character).
  • Teamwork
  • The importance of the chain of command and obedience.
  • The consequences of disobedience

At boot camp you will get equipped with defensive gear and maneuvers. You will also be given your only, but very powerful, offensive weapon—the Word of God (Eph 6:17).

At first glance this weapon doesn’t look like much, but the weapons with which we fight are not of this physical world, but spiritual (2 Cor 10:4). You will learn how to use each specific piece of arsenal (truth) to obliterate each specific tool and lie of the enemy.

You will learn to recognize the enemy’s tactics and devious schemes.

The truth that your enemy is a defeated foe; that he has already lost the war at Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection will be drilled repeatedly into your head.

Victory is assured. Consequently you will have great confidence, courage, perseverance, endurance, hope, and joy.

Although tough, training will be worth it!

As an extra bonus, a sense of comradery will develop as you work together with your fellow soldiers for the same purpose.

Where is the nearest training camp for you?

  • It’s right in your living room as your Sergeant (Holy Spirit) teaches you His Instruction Manual.
  • It’s in the local Bible-based church.
  • It’s in small group Bible studies and fellowship meetings.
  • It’s on the radio and internet where others teach the truths of God.
  • It’s in biblically sound books, magazines, and blogs. 

May I highly recommend that you find a sister/brother in Christ to guide you—a discipler or mentor, especially if you:

  • Are newly enlisted.
  • Have never had basic training.
  • Are not experiencing the abundant life.

Ask God to bring a trainer into your life; ask Him to teach you. He wants you to get the foundational knowledge and understanding necessary to live a victorious life. But unlike the army, He won’t draft you in or force you to go to boot camp or yell at you like a sergeant!

 

If you need assistance in finding a discipler/mentor feel free to contact me.

Until next time, my friends, learn all you can so you can live victoriously in Christ—you’re fighting a defeated foe!

 

Are You Struggling as a Christian? Satan’s Tactic Revealed

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Do you ever struggle? With repeated sin issues, with desiring to change a bad habit or to follow through with your resolutions—only to fail again? What in the world is going on?

We’re at war with the enemy of God and our souls!

I think many of us believe that there shouldn’t be a struggle once we’ve decided to change or move forward in an area. If we’re growing in Christ and making progress why do we still have difficulty? BECAUSE:

  • We still have a sinful nature exerting its influence.
  • The world is still pulling on us.

                              And

  • The evil one is still trying to discourage us.

You and I need to sink this truth deep into our minds and hearts:

There will always be a struggle, a battle, in this fallen world!

Only in heaven will there be no more sin. Satan and his demons will be locked up in hell; unbelievers and their unredeemed sinful souls with them. And our sinful natures will be totally gone—no longer there to grieve the heart of our dear Savior! I can’t wait!!!

It’s natural for us to want the battle to be over. I get so tired of fighting.

“I don’t want to be in a battle! I don’t want to fight anymore!” says the little girl in me; stomping her foot.

But I don’t have a choice! Neither do you. The enemy of our souls is not giving up until he’s locked up.

Deceiving us to believe there shouldn’t be a struggle is one of his tactics.

He wants us to get discouraged; making us think we can never change—“What’s the use?” —and give up.

We need to become more aware of his conniving insidious schemes. We need to learn his tactics so we can be on guard against them. As Paul said, “…In order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.” (2 Cor 2:11)

Satan has already lost the war. He was defeated on the cross by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Don’t let him win those one-on-one skirmishes with you. Don’t fight the devil alone either—he is too strong for you. Call in your Commander in chief, Jesus.

He rescued me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me and were too strong for me. (Ps 18:17)*

Don’t let Satan steal your joy, peace—your abundant life.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (Jn 10:10)

Fight for it with Christ’s power. Victory is assured! Don’t live from a defeated point of view! But realize that you are indeed in a battle—if you’re a Christian—like it or not.

 

THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide

*Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

5 Steps in How to Actually Deal with Pain

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Pain. It’s a BIG topic. Dealing with it can be difficult. However, the Lord has shown us that we do not have to be overcome by the hardships of life.

As I said last time, in order to deal with our pain properly we need to be

Open-minded, Open-handed, and Open-hearted

Now with this open attitude, you can use the proven method below to process through your pain.

1. Go to God

God cannot heal you from afar. Avoiding the issue only prolongs and intensifies your pain. Don’t delay. Personally, I know I cannot handle my suffering in a godly way without Him. I am bound to sin if I try doing it in my own strength. (Remember: our goal is not to sin in our suffering.)

2. Write down what’s going on and how you are feeling.

Emotions cloud our judgments—take it from this emotional yoyo. While it is true that verbalizing to God or someone helps immensely in processing through difficulties, I have found writing it down goes a step beyond. This is a much under-utilized tool.

There are many good reasons to putting pen and paper into action.

  • It’s a way to get your inner thoughts and feelings outside of yourself.
  • It releases pent up feelings and stress.
  • It declutters the mind.

Scripting sorts and itemizes the problem or situation. As you look at each point, now isolated, you can evaluate and think things through more clearly.

  • Helps you determine your tendencies
  • Leaves a record for future use

3. Don’t deny but determine the why of your pain.

Think about the reason(s) behind your pain, and write them down as well. Now that they are separated onto paper you can deal with them individually, rather than with an utterly entangled frustrating mess.

Each one can be talked through with the Lord. As you do this, you will see each one for what they really are. 

  • If your feeling is based on false or wrong perceptions, you can replace it with God’s truth.
  • If your feeling is based on truth, you can ask God how to respond and for the power to carry it out.
  • If you’re unsure whether your feeling is based on truth or not, search the Scriptures. Ask the Lord for discernment.  

Let the Holy Spirit guide you in this self-evaluation. He wants you to know the truth.

4. Make a list of the good that could possibly result from your pain.

Remember to think long-term here, with the big picture in mind. (See this blog for help). Consider what’s at stake, and how your response would impact others eternally.

5. Surrender your feelings

No matter what you are feeling, lay it down on the altar. Better feelings will follow! Allow the Lord to heal your wounds. Let Him correct any wrong thinking and crucify any wrong attitudes. Then follow through on anything God tells you.

For example, if He asks you to forgive an extreme hurt, then choose to lay your resentment aside and trust Him for the enabling power to forgive.

 

My friends, I have used this process time and time again—in dealing with grief, betrayal of a friend, physical agony, disappointments, and so on. This works because it is based on the truth of Scripture. Just remember to give God time to do His divine work!

From the most severe agony to the littlest frustrations of life, God wants you to deal with pain His way—by drawing near to Him with an open yielded heart so that He can heal and comfort you in a way that only He can.

And when you draw close to God, God will draw close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and let your hearts be filled with God alone to make them pure and true to him. (James 4:8)

Living Bible (TLB) The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Engulfed by Or Riding through Life’s Challenges—YOU CHOOSE

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If the LORD had not been on our side…the flood would have engulfed us, the torrent would have swept over us, the raging waters would have swept us away. (Ps 124:1, 4-5)

I love to hike and I love word pictures—as you are probably aware of by now if you’ve been reading my blogs. Recently I went to enjoy the highest waterfalls in Maryland—Swallow Falls. It’s a series of beautiful cascades—which were gushing at the time due to the extremely rainy weather we’ve had. I saw 3 kayakers go through one of the cascades. Then I saw 3 others literally under the highest one, a waterfall of 52 feet.

Those waterfalls reminded me that life’s trials are often like that. Sometimes they are just a trickle; other times they are full and raging. Hardships in this life are inevitable. But we have a choice in how we deal with them. We can allow ourselves to be engulfed, consumed, and swept under, or we can go through them “enjoying” the ride.

God’s grace is what enables us to make the better choice.

It was really cool watching those kayakers make it through those falls unscathed. There was definitely a lot of danger; a real possibility that they could get hurt. I’m sure it was thrilling for them though. You can watch the video here.

But observing the 3 deluged under the torrential falls was nerve-racking. And in my opinion—idiotic. (Although these guys seemed to enjoy their location, I’m sure they wouldn’t have if it was Niagara Falls!)

Watching others go through difficulties, especially horrific ones, makes us wonder if they are going to make it. We feel the same way when we are the ones in the midst of raging waters.

Some people are pulled under, flooded with the pain of it all; immobilized.

Others come out the other end praising God for how He got them through. That’s exciting to watch! They probably weren’t thrilled during the trial. But afterward, in looking back, they saw what God had done; amazed that they weren’t consumed. They knew they couldn’t have made it through without God. I’m sure many of you know exactly what I mean.

On the night after my husband’s passing, as I was preparing for bed, I distinctly remember telling God that if He wasn’t real, that if He didn’t help me, I wasn’t going to make it!

But I did not drown in the grief of losing my soulmate. Rather God’s miraculous power has enabled me to kayak through life—even through very tumultuous waters. And He has given me joy through it. Life can be a thrilling adventure with Christ!

I have many other examples of God’s deliverance, as I’m sure you do. We need to remember these incredible rescues by our very faithful God because—

there are more raging rapids up ahead and others are watching.

Until next time, my friends, I would love to hear of one of your rescue stories. Would you please post it in the comments?

Oh no! Wait! I think I hear a roaring sound up ahead. What will you do through your next (or current) set of rapids?

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you…. (Is 43:2)

 

All Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible: New International Version®. NIV. ® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

WHOSE am I? Rights—What Rights?

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“Oh no! Not again!” I thought when a chronic health issue resurfaced recently. I was disappointed and dismayed. And I certainly had a hard time giving thanks in it, even though I am right in the middle of teaching a class on Choosing GratitudeWhen my health issue didn’t improve right away, it was even harder to be grateful.

I’ve been here before—disappointed and discouraged, which often leads to me to complain. Perhaps you’ve been there too. I know it’s displeasing to God, but it’s so hard to stop.

Finally, when I got serious about it—and tired of being miserable—I repented. At that moment God showed me why I was having such a hard time being grateful.

I was simply holding onto my “right” to be disappointed.

However, I have no rights. I gave the right to live life my way when I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. He bought me with His precious blood—all of me. I am His now.

God has pointed out to me many times in the past that it’s okay to be disappointed as long as I don’t become discontented. I have no right to complain.

He has shown me that I don’t have to like or understand why He has allowed a “negative” circumstance, but only to accept it as part of His plan. I have no right to be angry. I have no right to resist or fight God in it. I’m not saying it’s wrong to struggle. It does take time to process and work through difficulties. Even Jesus struggled in the Garden of Gethsemane.

But God wants us to work toward a “Not my will, but Your will” mentality.

It’s so easy to think that we deserve blessings from God (=no hardships)—especially in our prosperity-minded culture; especially if we are walking with the Lord. But like it or not—you don’t deserve a break today! Sorry, McDonalds and L’Oreal! God does bless us in many ways, but

He does not owe us anything. We are the ones who owe Him!

He is the holy Creator, the One in control. He has ALL the rights to everything. Yet amazingly God does give us some rights through Jesus.

Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. (Jn 1:12, emphasis added)

Being His child includes the right to:

  • Personally interact and relate with Him.
  • Protection, provision, and patience from a loving heavenly Parent.
  • Go to Him in our time of need (Heb 4:16).
  • Share an inheritance in His Kingdom with others belonging to Him (Col 1:12).
  • Escape forever misery in hell to forever bliss in heaven.

The list could go on and on.

When we think of it this way, that we belong to the God of the universe with all these benefits, it’s really not that hard to surrender to His ways.

So when you think you’re not getting your “just” due, don’t get upset (or at least don’t stay there). Rather humble yourself to the Lover and Rescuer of your soul. Be grateful that God didn’t give you what you (and all mankind) truly deserve—hell. Instead, through His sacrificial love, He gives us mercy and grace. He gives us a way through Jesus Christ to be His child—forever cherished from this moment on.

Until next time my friends, in my negative situation, I have a choice to make. In your negative situation, you have a choice to make. I’ve made mine. What will yours be?

 

Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide. 

Go Ahead—Think About It; Only Do It with God!

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It’s 3 a.m. You can’t get back to sleep. That “issue” keeps invading your mind. You’ve prayed, given it to the Lord, chosen to trust Him, yet your mind is bombarded with the replay of that negative situation or a myriad of what if’s. “Am I sinning?” now runs through your mind, adding to your pain. What’s a child of the King to do?

When you are besieged with a relentless problem here are several things you that will help you.

Understand that God understands.

He is well aware of each of your weaknesses and frailties. He knows what makes you tick—He made you.

For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust. (Ps 103:14)

God wants you to bring those pressing issues to Him.

God cares and will not cast you out, no matter how many times you take a matter to Him. I am convinced that it pleases Him when we take our worries and concerns to Him.

The resurfacing is not necessarily a sin.

Your inability to stop thinking about something may be due to a lack of trust in God, but maybe not. If it is, then tell the Father you are sorry for not trusting Him. Ask Him to help you not worry (= repentance). Then accept His forgiveness, and refuse to allow guilt to add to your distress.

However, the constant resurfacing of an issue could be due other reasons:

  • It’s part of the human condition. If the situation is unresolved and important, of course it’s going to keep coming up. Pressing matters do that. We want and need answers/direction. Don’t beat yourself up for that! Self-flagellation never accomplishes anything.
  • God Himself could be bringing up the matter so that you will face and deal with it. Just be sure to include Him as you process it.
  • Perhaps it’s God’s way to help you get to the root cause of a besetting sin.
  • Maybe He’s burdening your heart to pray for the other person(s) involved in the situation.
  • Possibly He’s continually bringing it up because you need to do something.
  • God may simply be drawing you closer to Him, reminding you of your desperate need of His divine assistance.

Taking our problems to God isn’t meant to be a onetime event. “Here God. I give it to You. Now wave your magic wand and make it go away!” God doesn’t expect you to come to terms with difficulties immediately. Recall that even Jesus agonized in the garden before His crucifixion.

I wish I had understood these things when I was a younger Christian. I would have saved myself from countless hours of pain and discouragement. Now I know better. And so do you!

Go to your Father with those nagging problems. Confess as needed, plead for His peace, love, comfort, and guidance—whatever you need. He will give it to you, His precious daughter, if you ask for it sincerely desiring to obey. Thank Him for His mercy and patience as you work together with Him in this “impossible” situation. He will not be angry or impatient with you as you go to Him as a needy, helpless child again and again and again. As long as it takes.

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Mat 11:18)

Photo by Jiří Wagner on Unsplash

New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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