It’s not easy…

The scripture below is an excerpt from a letter that was written by the apostle Paul to the church in Philippi. He talks about being content in the midst of bad situations. In fact, a lot of the letters he wrote were written from a jail cell. My friends, let us consider what was transpiring. From within an extremely negative environment, was being produced some of the most positive and significant writings known to mankind. This is an excellent example of good in a bad situation. 

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Philippians 4:12 

It’s not easy to find the good in a bad situation.What we must remember is, that things could always be worse. It’s in those moments of adversity, that we find out how closely we walk with and rely on God. 

Sometimes God will allow these situations to occur to point us back to Him, or even show us a life lesson we would have ordinarily missed. These are the times when we must trust God. The feeling of not having enough or even panic may come, but we must remember that those are just emotions. We should not be led by our emotions, but allow our faith to steer us.

Trouble will come and problems will arise, but we must always remember to rely on our God. He loves us and is with us. He promised that He would never leave us even in the midst of trouble. No matter how bad it gets, there is a rainbow in the midst of it. My friends, be encouraged today and know that things will get better. Remember your footsteps are being ordered by the Lord. 


Will You Make the Exchange?

Let me get real with you this morning when we have worry, doubt, and fear clutched tightly in our hands and our hearts are ruled by anxiety, God wants to say something to us of this effect, “Let go of your burdens and give them to me. I will put in your hands that are now empty and open…Joy, Peace, and Freedom.” All we need to do is give God our burdens and He will give us rest. He will give us joy, a fullness of indescribable joy we have not known before. 

Come to Me,  all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

From my own experience, I can tell you it will not happen if we keep holding on. We have to let go of one to gain the other. I know what He has to offer is so much more than what we are holding on to, and I know this because I have walked that road before.

The joy I now have is because I finally made the exchange. When I grew weary and tired of my burdens, I finally trusted and obeyed My Father’s voice. I finally let go and I was amazed.

I don’t ever want to walk that road again. The road that says it is too hard to let go. If you want to walk in joy, make the exchange. Open your hands to Him, let go, and place your burdens in His hands. Soon you will know what it is to walk in His peace and joy. Soon you won’t be weary under the load of burdens you were carrying on your own.

It starts with a step of faith and a heart of trust and emptying your hands of the burdens God asks you to lay in His hands. Will you make the exchange?

God’s Word is true and His promises are real!!

Our old nature sometimes clouds our ability to clearly see the truth; and yes, some of God’s truths can be hard to accept and actually put into practice. But, we either believe His words and begin to take steps to apply them in our life, or we do not believe and call God a liar by the way we live. I pray you choose to believe His words and promises are true. 

“Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made Him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about His Son.” 1 John 5:10

It may be a difficult process, but we must confront our beliefs and begin to make them real. When we face a trial and don’t know which direction to turn, do we believe the words, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6)? Do we really believe that as we trust Him, He will remove the confusion and guide our steps?

When our circumstances seem out of control, do we believe “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him” (Romans 8:28)? Do we really believe that as we continue to love Him, God works for the good in ALL things, regardless of our understanding? And when we feel alone, do we really believe God’s promise to always be near; “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

How about the promise of being content (Philippians 4:12), or being given the peace of Jesus (John 14:27), or the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23); can we really “do everything through Him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13)? Parents, have we given up hope for our children or do we believe, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6)?

God’s Word is true and His promises are real!! Let’s praise Him all the rest of our days and let our lives demonstrate we REALLY know and believe. Let’s make sure our actions and decisions, fears and anxieties, hopes and dreams, are governed by truth and NOT based on calling God a liar.

Hold On!

Does God appears to be silent in your trouble? I guess the answer to this question would depend on who you ask. The answer would definitely depend on your relationship with God or without God. David, in his time of pain and suffering from the hands of his enemies, complains to God about what appears to be God’s absence during his time of trouble. In David’s  eyes, God appeared to be standing afar off in stillness , watching him suffer and doing nothing about it. In other words, David felt deserted by God, which caused Him to believe that God was out of reach or inaccessible in his time of trouble, so he thought.David’s concern did not seem to be so much about his troubles, but God’s presence in his  time of trouble. 

 “Why, Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? Psalm 10:1

If we could be honest for a moment, I am sure we all can agree that at one point or another in all of our lives, we too have felt as if God was not present with us in our times of trouble. I believe that there are many things in life that presents itself as an opportunity to burden or weigh people down. I am sure when God appears to be silence, the opportunity called “doubt” is one of those distractions that weighs down heaven on the minds of many.

Regardless of what you may be going through on today or what thoughts that may be running through your mind that are contrary to God’s Word, God declares  today that He is your very present help in the time of trouble in Psalm 46:1  Perhaps you are dealing with, unanswered prayers, a wayward child, an unsaved loved one, a financial issue, employment issues, temptation, persecution, rejection, a wounded past, a family member that has gone astray, a divorce, a death or even a long term medical condition.

Whatever your situation is on today, when you pray, you must believe that God hears and answers prayer. Sometimes, God appearance of silence could be His answer. I believe that sometimes our prayers are not answered the way we look for them to be answered is because God can do more through us and in us by not answering our prayers the way we want Him to. There is a work taking place on the inside of us as we wait on God for answers to our prayers.

It is in the wait where our faith is being built, our trust in God is being built, our character is being built, our hearts and ears are learning to be more in tuned to God voice through His Holy Spirit because we are listening in a more desperate way than we would have if we did not have a problem.  Sometimes God’s answers are delayed for reasons beyond our knowledge. But remember, God’s delay is not God’s denial!

What you must remember when God appears to be silent is that God’s grace is sufficient for you. In the darkest hour of your life when your troubles seems to be so great and God appears to be silent, you cannot give up on God, even if you are tempted to. Who else can you turn to for the help you need?  Who is greater than our God? No one! When God appears to be silent in your trouble, “HOLD ON”! God promises to never leave you nor forsake you.

Restoration is not possible, its promised!!!!!

“I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten…..” ~ Joel 2:25

God is in the business of restoration. He is faithful to recompense you for everything you have lost when you trust Him. God can make up for wasted time. He specializes in redeeming rough seasons in our lives.
You may have had some disappointments or unfair things happen in your life; but instead of dwelling on the past and living in defeat, choose to focus on His promises because God wants to restore everything that’s been stolen from your life. He wants to restore your joy, your peace, your health, and your finances. But here’s the key: you have to have a vision for it. You have to get your hopes up and decide to get your thoughts and words going in the right direction.
Today, choose to focus on the future and release past hurts through forgiveness. Draw a line in the sand and say, “I am a child of the Most High God, and I’m not going to live my life negative and defeated. This is a new day, and I’m taking back what belongs to me!” That’s having a restoration mentality!