Take your Eyes off the Situation, instead look through the eyes of Hope!

With God’s Spirit working in us and through us as followers we can get through what we’re going through. The apostle Paul says this is the very time we can learn to trust Jesus: “Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am” (Philippians 4:13 MSG). If we want to make a significant contribution to the Kingdom of God, we cannot sidestep the difficult seasons of life.  Getting through what you’re going through requires a shift. Instead of asking, “Why me?” ask, “What do I do with this, God?” I hope you have an amazing day as you take your eyes off the situation and instead look through the eyes of Hope in Jesus. Love you all. 

 “We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:89

Sometimes adversity seems to be a constant companion. It can cause us to begin to feel the trouble we are facing is never ending. It’s not easy, to look past the current circumstance and see the lasting benefits, born in the midst of the incredibly painful times in our lives. We see instead, shattered dreams; a broken trust; a lonely life; tears instead of laughter and a future that does not seem so very bright.

 

If we could for a moment, take our eyes off the situation and instead look through the eyes of hope, to see that in the midst of it all, God is performing some of His best work ever. We will find comfort, as His hands embrace us, and begin to discover true joy and peace in the center of it all. We will see that the pain and heartbreak do not serve to destroy, but to strengthen our faith, build great character and cause us to become firmly rooted. There is not one of us that have all the answers, but we can certainly trust in the One who does. God is loving and good, all the time. He doesn’t make mistakes and He is never unkind.

 

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Embrace the hope and joy of Christ!

No matter what occurs in our spiritual delivery, we must continue on. The Bible encourages us that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. What God is preparing for those who love him is beyond comprehension. It is truly worthwhile to endure the pain. For joy comes in the morning. Have a wonderful Christ-centered day. I love you all. 

“A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.” John 16:21

Life is filled with both joy and pain. Although we would prefer to exclude the pain, both have their proper place in our lives. We work hard to avoid pain, yet somehow the discomfort captures our attention, resulting in change and a new appreciation for the good things in our lives. We do have a choice to either embrace all of life with joy, or give into the pain and go down with the ship. With Christ directing our lives there is no wall too tall to scale, now river too wide to cross, and no mountain too high to climb. 

While we may not understand the road we are traveling and why, we can choose our state of mind as we travel it. We can embrace the hope and joy of Christ Jesus regardless how intense the pain, knowing that it will pass and be forgotten when the blessings of God come flooding in on the other side. With Christ, we never have to face life alone; we don’t have to be overcome by the stresses and discomfort of life; nor sink in the discouragement and despair that may be surrounding us. We can grasp His hand and rise above it, allowing His strength to bring us through. 

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Cast all your anxiety….on Him.

​“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.” 1 Peter 5:7

In my quiet time I was led to mediate on this passage and share it with you. There is an enemy of our souls and his goal is to devour us. God tells us to be alert. Take note when you are being consumed by something. Scripture tells us the enemy of our soul comes to kill, steal and destroy and we are to be watchful. Being consumed by fear, worry, a particular temptation or the pressures of the day will, at best, steal from you and rob you of peace in your soul and joy in the moment. At worst it can destroy health and relationships and your fellowship with the God who wants to help you. So what do you do when you realize something is just eating you up? You resist as the scripture says. How do you resist? You begin to see worry as a call to prayer, inviting God into your circumstance to direct you and give you wisdom. You resist worry through prayer. (Philippians 4:6) You resist fear through Scripture, knowing God has said that He has not given us the spirit of fear. (2 Timothy 1:7) You stand firm in your faith knowing that the consuming downward spiral you find yourself in is not your Heavenly Father’s plan for you.
Lean hard on God. Know He cares about you. Throw your cares into His lap and stand firm in the promises of your faith. He will carry you. He will enable you to face the challenge without being consumed by it. Pour out your worries, fears, concerns and burdens in verbal or written prayer to God. Release them from your heart. Believe the promises of God as you stand firm in your faith.

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He is the Resurrection and the life!

There is such Hope in these words in this passage below. Live, not because of what we have achieved or even because of our failures, but live because of faith in Jesus. Knowing that our lives are not limited because of any earthly circumstance. Have a wonderful as you live by Faith in God. Love you all in Christ.

.. .Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;  and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” ….John 11:25-26

Every day is an opportunity to begin again. If yesterday was the pits (for whatever reason), today you can start again. You can turn in a new direction. You can view a problem or your present circumstances with a new perspective. You can even lay the burden down into the hands of our Savior. If the burden you carry is heavy and destructive, it is for God to carry because He said His burdens are light (Matthew 11:30). 

There will be pain and suffering in this life. Those are characteristics of this world. Whether disease, mudslides, terrible random accidents and crimes, this world is a place where suffering permeates the lives of us all. Without the knowledge and faith in God’s promises, we would be overwhelmed and beaten down by the pain in so many lives. This does not mean that we understand the “why’s” of it all nor do I have a definitive answer as to God’s plan in all of it. What I do know is that God is here in all circumstances and He is faithful to hold and comfort me and carry me through every day.

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God is our Refuge is always Near!

Our soul can easily go to places of refuge that lack real peace, protection and refreshment. Worry is one of the suitors of our soul. What if lose my job? What if my friend doesn’t understand? What if my health doesn’t allow me to work long enough to care for my family? Like a confused dog, worry causes us to chase our tail in circles only leading to dizziness and confusion as the outcome. Worry is a weak refuge, but trust in God trumps worry’s waste of time. He is our strong tower that towers over our fears. 

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”  Psalm 46:1

Self reliance is another refuge that bids our attention when times are hard. Our soul seeks to hide behind our hard work and determination, instead of dependance on our heavenly Father. Our frantic pace forgets to go to God for His rest, wisdom and resources. Unless we fight for an unhurried rhythm of work, we run right past our ever-present help–our heavenly Father. Our energy alone leaves us exhausted and lonely, but the Lord’s refuge replenishes and reminds us of His personal support. The refuge of self-reliance lacks the Lord’s loving help and creativity. 

We must be wise to remember it’s not about us but God. Our refuge is in Him. Self pity gives way to death of self and life in Christ. We look outwardly to help others, when inwardly we’ve been helped by the Lord. He is accessible and available to strengthen our souls.

How is your soul?  Does it feel scattered, because so many people are pulling on you? Smothered by your own unrealistic expectations or covered by Christ? Fortunately in each moment of the day, no matter how loud and loony, we can by faith create a sanctuary for our soul. We may close our office or bathroom door so we can close our eyes and look to the Lord in prayer. Perhaps we take a walk, so we can walk with our Savior and be empowered by His presence. God is our refuge always near.

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God will never give us more than HE can handle!

People always say “God will never give us more than we can handle” However, that is a worldly belief, not a biblical one. The confusion most likely originates from 1 Corinthians 10:31 which says,”No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” There is nowhere in the Bible where God says He won’t give us more than we can handle. As this verse mentions temptations, not burdens. In this verse, Paul is saying that we will never be ‘tempted’ beyond what we can stand up against in God’s strength, not that we will never feel burdened beyond what we can handle.  


What happens is instead of actively expecting God to step into our situations, we passively try to shoulder all the burdens, and eventually begin to feel weak and overwhelmed. We forget to seek God out in the big and the small situations.

We may even find ourselves questioning God about all that He is allowing us to endure, and wondering if just maybe He did give us more than we could handle. My friends, the truth is, He probably has. The old saying that says He won’t do that is merely a myth.

All throughout the Bible we read of regular people who were handed seemingly impossible burdens to bear but instead of trying to handle life on their own, they drew closer to God, fully relying on Him for direction and deliverance. We read stories of how God gave each individual more they could handle on their own and then filled them with strength and capability every step of the way.

Just like the characters in scripture, God longs for us to depend on Him when we are feeling overwhelmed with life and burdened by more than we can handle. He wants us to spend time with Him so we can be filled with what we need to get through each day.

When our load seems too heavy to carry, it might be that God is not only waiting for us to recognize that we can’t handle it on our own, but also hoping that our desperation will build our spiritual appetite so much so that we wake up starving every morning.

No matter what life hands us, just know that God will never give us more than HE can handle. We can’t do it all, but He can.

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God is our Comforter, Sustainer, and Lord!

Only His gracious presence and tender blessings can bring consolation and comfort to our restless and discouraged souls. So let’s turn to Him, honestly confessing both our sins and our sorrows. Let’s ask Him to take our anxiety away and restore to us the passion, the joy, and the confidence of our salvation. Have a wonderful day in His presence. Love you all. 

 “When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.” Psalm 94:19 

God created us for peace and joy. But doubt is a reality we all face. Uncertainly, apprehension, distrust and confusion are part of our everyday life. None of us are unscathed. Life is full of uncertainty , but God has made us resilient. His presence and power gives us the comfort and strength we need to bounce back from doubt and painful emotions. The Psalmist says it plainly. When doubt fills our mind, God’s comfort gives us renewed hope and cheer. Today, come to God. Lean on Him. Tell Him your concerns, worries, fears and nagging doubts. Pour your heart out to Him. He cares and He will comfort you. He will bring you back to hope and joy.

If you’re confused, and are filled with doubt, remember He will never let you go – ever! I would ask you to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit, lean not on your own understanding. He works through others in your predicament whom He will send to assist you, He will give a vision or a Word to another which will guide you, He will speak into your heart and guide you in that way – He will lead you – rest assured! He is not a God of disorder, He is a God who has those who love Him with all their heart and have enough faith and trust in Him that He will do what He has promised in His Word, close to His heart and in His mighty hand! Don’t give up – ever!

Come to God today with all your doubts, fears and concerns. See your self before Him. Does He care? Will He make a difference? Sense the doubt in your heart. But in your mind, come closer to Christ. See His face, See His nail scarred hands. Sense His heart full of love for you. Give Him your doubts and misgivings. Today, know deep in your heart that Christ is alive and He wants to fill you with all the hope and joy you can hold.

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