It’s a wonderful thing that God has done for us to be able to look at a negative thing in a positive way and actually say, “You cannot defeat me because God is on my side.”
This is a guest post.
You may think it’s a little bit strange to say this, but I think we need to learn to appreciate our trials a lot more than we do because they’re what make us grow and mature in godly character.
You see, in hard times, we tend to experience more of His nearness and power in our lives. It’s in those times that we really come to know Him.
Complaining actually opens a door for the devil. We need to learn to thank God in everything.
Don’t go to lunch with someone and spend the whole time talking about your problems. Remember, recall and recount the good things God is doing in your life.
Talk about your Red Sea moments. Remember the manna He gave you last week. Remember the resurrections you’ve had in your life. The Bible says to fix your mind on those things that are worthy of praise (see Philippians 4:8). Remember those things. Talk about those things.
I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy to do. It’s much easier to make excuses and feel sorry for yourself because things will happen to you that don’t seem fair. The key is to keep saying, “I trust You, God, and I believe You will work it all out for my good.”
Talk about your blessings and not your problems..
Faithfulness! What does that word mean to you? It might mean trust, loyalty, closeness, truth or maybe perseverance. Sure, all of those words encompass the meaning of faithfulness but I believe that the true foundation of the word is belief; a belief in something greater than I can see or comprehend. How many times can you go back and recollect times when you displayed pure faithfulness in God and believed he had your best interest in mind? Those times when you thought all was lost and there was no hope left. Only later did you see his plan unfold and he revealed to you the areas of growth and weeding that had to take place. Areas you didn’t even know about but God could see. Do you ever remember saying to your children or remember having been told as a kid, “This is going to hurt you more than me” whenever you were about to get disciplined? As the kid you’re thinking “yeah right! On what planet are you from?” But it’s true. And how much truer is it for our loving Father in heaven? Do you think he enjoys seeing you go through pain and anguish? No. He designed us to walk side by side with him in the Garden of Eden. I love this verse in Exodus 34:6, “The Lord passed in front of Moses and said, “I am the Lord. The Lord is a God who shows mercy, who is kind, who doesn’t become angry quickly, who has great love and faithfulness.”
Again, how often do you think about those times God pulled you through those scary, hard, dark, uncertain times? When you publicly declare that Jesus is the Lord and Savior of your life you better make sure you have your chin straps and mouthpieces ready because it’s about to turn into all-out war. But guess what, (Spoiler Alert) the war is already won! It was won 2,000 years ago on an old rugged cross and an empty grave. Do you have faith that that is the case? Do you have faith that God has your best interest in mind? If not go back and remember those times God showed faithfulness to you.
I know this isn’t ground breaking information and that I am stating the obvious, but I think it’s the obvious that we overlook and tend to just go through the motions with. We, and more notably men, want to over-complicate things to make ourselves feel more important or smarter than everyone else. That wasn’t God’s design. He made Christian living simple. Notice I said simple and not easy, because Christian living is not a walk in the park. But guess who is walking with you step for step in full faith that you will come out of this stronger than ever? Jesus… “The Lord is a God…who has great love and faithfulness.”
Do you know how incredible blessed you are? There are so many little things that we take for granted. The fact that you can read this means you are not one of the 774 million people in the world who can’t read or write a single world (statisticbrain.com). Can you imagine going through life without being able to read texts, emails, or a book to your children? Let alone trying to find a good paying job to support your family.
The phone or computer you are reading this on also puts you in a distinguish category 99% of the world would kill for. Did you know the median average income worldwide is $10,000 (Gallup)? There are some of us that spend that much in a month or two between our mortgage, transport, feeding, etc…. Imagine trying to feed your family on that for an entire year.
Please don’t feel bad for being blessed, that’s not what I am trying to get at. There is nothing wrong with accumulating wealth and living a comfortable life style, it’s a gift from God. Where we need to be careful is that we don’t get too comfortable and begin to feel we are entitled to a certain life style or certain things.
Luke 12:48 tells us “…From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded. And from the one trusted with much, much more will be expected.” Are you treating your possessions like they are Gods and asking him what you should do with them? The bible tells us we are stewards on Gods behalf. He has given you a house, car, a good bank account, children, a nice house, etc… Do you feel like you have done a good job managing these items for God? If there was a big board meeting with God and he asked how his portfolio was doing he put you in charge of, what would your presentation look like? Would there be pictures of you whining and crying because you didn’t get the Lariat package on your new whip? Or would there be pictures of you using your new whip to help someone at church move their mom into the nursing home?
Everyone likes nice things and wants a comfortable life style. But let me remind you that Christian living is not an easy and cushy life style. I had a hard time with this once I rededicated my life to Christ. I instantly thought that blessing would shower down upon me and life would just be gravy. When things didn’t turn out that way I became mad and frustrated that I wasn’t receiving what Iwanted. Through various avenues God showed me I was wrong for feeling and thinking this way and issued me a challenge. Every night when I would pray I was to say one thing I was thankful for no matter how big or small I thought it was. The other side of it was that I couldn’t repeat the same item I was thankful for within a 30 day time frame.
I want to issue the same challenge to you and your family. Whether you thank God during your prayers, journaling, devotions, or whenever, take time to tell God what you are thankful for that he gave you. God loves a thankful heart because not only does it show a loving devotion to him but also a faith/surrendering that he has control over your life. And I can speak from personal experience that this challenge will change your perspective on life in a huge positive way.
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Guest post from Readers Digest.
Both the hummingbird and the vulture fly over our nation’s deserts. All vultures see is rotting meat, because that is what they look for. They thrive on that diet. But hummingbirds ignore the smelly flesh of dead animals. Instead, they look for the colorful blossoms of desert plants. The vultures live on what was. They live on the past. They fill themselves with what is dead and gone. But hummingbirds live on what is. They seek new life. They fill themselves with freshness and life. Each bird finds what it is looking for. We all do.
The difference between the vulture and the hummingbird is a lot like that difference between worry and hope. Like the vulture, worry feeds on things that have no life: negativity, pessimism, fear, anxiety. It’s an ugly way to live, savaging for sustenance among dead and dying things. But hope is different. Like the hummingbird, hope is beautiful. Hope seeks new life, feeding on what is fresh and new.
As a child of God, it is your right to enjoy your life, but in order to do that, you will need to choose to be positive, looking for what is fresh and new. Being positive means you are actively looking for good things. You’re constantly believing and searching for the good things God has for you, not looking for or anticipating the next disaster.
It’s not enough to just get rid of negativity- that’s just the beginning. You have the opportunity to get rid of negativity and then embrace a positive outlook of life!
NB: The difference between the vulture and the hummingbird is a lot like the difference between worry and hope. Remember that..
In order to get God’s perspective, you may need to develop some new routines in your daily life- new habits. Hearing the word “Habits” will give you a perception of something bad. Because bad habits get most of the attention these days. But you can develop good habits too. Most notably, you can make hope a hanit. Hope can be something you develop over time until it just becomes a natural disposition.
An attitude of expectancy- looking, longing, and anticipating that God is going to do something great- isn’t something that will always come naturally to you. This is a Mindset of hope that you’re going to have to intentionally develop until it becomes an habit. One of the ways to do this is to remind yourself to be expectant of good things. Probably putting a sign all over your home, car, or office isn’t a bad idea.
I believe in employing all methods necessary when am working on developing a new habit. Good habits leaves no room for bad ones, so if we have a habit of hope, there will be no room in our mind and heart for hopelessness, discouragement, and despair.
Habbabuk 2:2 says:
And the Lord answered me and said, write the vision and engrave it so plainly upon tablets that everyone who passes may (be able to) read (it easily and quickly) as he hastens by.
Write your vision down. It doesnt have to be anything long or elaborate. You could make small signs that can be read “easily and quickly” as you and your family hasten by. Think of how much more hopeful you would be if…
- When you get up to brush your teeth, there is a sign on the bathroom mirror that reads: “Hope is important. Don’t forget to believe God is going to do something great in your life today.”
- When you walk down the hall, there’s a sign that reads: “Hope is the happy anticipation of good. Get happy. God has good things in store.”
- When you go into the kitchen to make breakfast, there is a sign above the gas or stove that reads: “Gey excited, God is cooking up something amazing today.”
- When you get in the car to go to work, take the kids to school, or meet a friend for a cup of coffee or lunch, there is a sign that reads: “Get your Hope’s up. God is with you today, and He delights in being good to you.”
I don’t know about you, but have decided to get my hopes each day! If you want to live a life of hope, do whatever it takes. There are a lot of things during your day that try to steal your hope. Decide you’re going to outnumber the “hope stealers” with reminders of hope. Plaster then everywhere! This is especially important if you have had a tendency to be negative or depressed, or if you are going through a particularly difficult time.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him – Hebrews 11: 6
Ever since I was a little boy, I have been enamored with sports. I have spent a significant portion of my time on earth playing and watching sports. My favorite sports to watch are those that involves my football club playing, wrestling, and basketball. Actually the last game between The Golden states Warriors and The Toronto Raptors was a wide screen viewing with friends.
This game was supposed to have been an easy win for the Toronto Raptors, but it was not easy at all. In fact, the game was not decided until the final play. It was an up-and-down emotional roller coaster. One minute I was jumping up and down in excitement, and the next I was so frustrated that I had to pray just to keep from having an outburst of anger. As I sat there fighting through my emotions and wondering why I get so stressed watching these games, the Lord took the opportunity to teach me something.
In that moment, it dawned on me that I was never nearly as nervous or emotional while playing sports as I now get watching them. I have played in games where my team won by a substantial margin and games where my team lost badly. I have played in games that came down to the last play or the final inning, and in several of those games I was entrusted to take the final shot or throw the final pitch. I can’t remember one of those moments when I was as nervous or frustrated as I sometimes become now just WATCHING other people play.
What God impressed upon me is that I wasn’t as nervous when I was playing, because I had some control of the outcome. It doesn’t require faith when we have control of a situation. We all feel a little bit better when we have our hand on the ball, and we at least get to try to affect the outcome. However, in those moments when things are completely out of our control and we have no say in the outcome, we feel helpless. It is in those moments that we have to trust God the most.
The bottom line is that, as human beings, we want control. We want there to be a formula that, if we follow it, will result in life working out in accordance with what we think we deserve. But faith is defined as “confidence in what we HOPE for and assurance about what we DO NOT see.” That definition does not say, “confidence in what we KNOW FOR CERTAIN is coming and assurance about what we have already seen.”
There are parents who work diligently to raise up their children in a Godly way, only to watch those children make poor decisions that negatively affect their lives. There are devout followers of Christ who obey his commands, and what they receive in return is rejection and persecution from the world around them. There are loving and caring people who devote their lives to serving others, who still have to deal with loss and disappointment in their own lives. In all of these situations, it takes complete and utter faith to maintain trust in God, and to not venture down our own path where we have the majority of control. It takes faith in the midst of the struggle to lift our hands towards heaven and to say, “Nevertheless, not my will but yours be done.” It is one thing to trust God when we are still clinging desperately to our ledge of control, but it is quite another to have faith when we let go and feel like we are free falling towards the ground without a parachute.
I would be willing to bet that there are people reading this who have reached a point of desperation. There are people who have received poor news about their health, people whose marriage feels like it’s collapsing before their eyes, people who have lost loved ones, and so many more unfortunate circumstances of life that are outside of our control. Our natural tendency might be to just give up and quit, to throw in the towel on the good fight of faith. However, I want to pass on some good news today. It’s always those moments that we depend on Him the most in which God’s presence and grace are the most tangible in our lives. Throughout scripture we see people with their backs against the wall, who feel like there is no way out, and then God shows up in mighty ways. If you are going through a tough time right now, it’s not time to give up. It is time to press in. It is time to lift your hands up to God in faith and say, “Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done.” Your circumstances may have forced you to a place where you had to let go of that ledge and trust God. The good news is that you can, because He loves you and cares for you!
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You have to spend time with God daily, having a personal relationship with Him.
Watch as Joyce Meyer explains this biblical truth below..
The key to having abundant life in Christ is living by God’s grace through faith. Because grace is His power working in us, enabling us to do whatever we need to do in life.
When we try to do everything in our own strength and leave God out of the equation, we just get worn-out and frustrated by our mistakes and failures. But when we lean on God, we actually enter into His rest and can enjoy our lives, no matter what our circumstances may be.
Hebrews 4:9-11 says, So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest…
Now the rest of God is not a rest from work—it’s a rest in work. It’s partnering with God to do what He is calling you to do by His grace, and leaving the part you can’t do in His hands, trusting Him to do it. Hebrews 4:3 says it this way: For we who have believed enter that rest… So we start by believing.
Trying vs. Trusting
When I’m trying to believe, I haven’t entered God’s rest. But when I do believe, I have complete rest in Him. Living by faith is not a struggle—it’s rest. And you can enter into God’s rest in every area of your life.
I’ve discovered that the stress in my life is caused by the way I approach my circumstances and the attitude I have toward them. It was a turning point for me when I realized that the world will probably never change, but I could learn how to change the way I go about handling situations that are challenging.
One key to this is knowing that as believers in Christ, we are partners with God—we have a part, and He has a part in everything He calls us to do. When we don’t do the part we can do and we try to do His part instead, that’s when we live stressed-out with worry, fear, anxiety, frustration, no peace and no joy.
The reason this happens sometimes is because we think God needs our help. We meditate on the problem—rolling it over and over in our mind, worrying, trying to figure out how things should work out. It’s like we’re telling God, “I kind of think You need my help, and I’m not sure You can take care of this situation, Lord.”
We need to realize that worrying is useless! It’s like sitting in a rocking chair, rocking all day, wearing yourself out and getting nowhere. Trusting God means we give up worrying, reasoning, and anxiety and we enter into His rest with simple childlike faith—we live by grace through faith!
Many people have gifts and talents and are called to do great things for God. Yet He hasn’t said, “Go,” because they’re still learning how to be stable, dependable, reliable, not easily shaken, and in control of their emotions.
As Christians, we need to live the life that we claim to represent so that our gifts and talents can be released―not just for our own sake, but for the good of those around us.
I am so glad that I’m married to an understanding woman. Of all the things my wife has brought to my life, I am so grateful to her for teaching me the value of silent and stability.
Stop Making Excuses
I could get up each morning thinking I was going to have a great day, and then something would set me off. Then by 9 a.m., the rest of my day was totally ruined! But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can control ourselves, but until we believe that, nothing is going to change.
The first thing we must do is stop making excuses, like “I can’t help it. I’m just an emotional person. If you had to put up with what I have to put up with, you’d throw tantrums too!” God is never going to tell you to do something you can’t do without His help. And you can accomplish much if you learn to control your emotions.
If You Have Peace, You Have Power
Whether you like it or not, you’re in a spiritual war. Your enemy, Satan, comes against you in many ways, and he’s going to fight against you. So you need to know how to stand against him.
Philippians 1:28 (AMPC) says, “And do not [for a moment] be frightened or intimidated in anything by your opponents and adversaries, for such [constancy and fearlessness] will be a clear sign (proof and seal) to them of [their impending] destruction, but [a sure token and evidence] of your deliverance and salvation, and that from God.”
This scripture is saying that God and the devil are watching us. If we remain peaceful, the devil knows that he can’t upset us and we’re just not going to give in. But it’s also a sign to God that our trust is truly in Him.
No matter how much you say you trust God, if you’re upset all the time, then you’re not really trusting Him. And as long as you’re trying to take care of yourself, God will just stand back and say, “Let Me know when you’re ready for Me to jump in and help.”
Keeping Your Peace Brings Maturity
You and I have the privilege not only to believe in Christ but to endure a little bit of suffering while we’re waiting for His deliverance because it’s the hard times in our life that bring maturity. Every day that you stay firm in your faith and you don’t get your breakthrough, you’re growing spiritually that day.
Jesus said, “In the world, you will have tribulation.” The purpose of having faith isn’t to avoid problems but to get through them with peace and stability.
If the only time you can praise God is in the Promised Land, you have a problem. You need to praise Him in the wilderness. Actually, if you don’t praise God in the wilderness, you’ll never get to the Promised Land. We all have to do the right thing when it’s hard, when we don’t feel like doing it. That’s when we grow. (See
Exodus 14:13-14 )
Be determined to trust God. No matter what happens, hold your peace; remain at rest; keep an attitude of praise and thanksgiving; do what you can do; and keep on saying, “God is fighting for me.”
Credit: Joyce Meyer
Hey guys! As you start your day, don’t forget to involve God in all your activities. Check the tips below..
1. *Beauty* is not a guarantee to marriage
2. *Falling Sick* does not mean you are about to die.
3. *Getting rich* is not the definition of prosperity.
4 *Building a nice house* is not enjoying luxury.
5. *Sleeping on an expensive bed* does not bring you sound sleep.
6. *Driving a new car* is not a guarantee that you gonna reach where you going.
7. *Wearing expensive clothes* does not guarantee smartness.
8. *Owning a family doctor* does not guarantee permanent health.
9. *Being highly educated* is not a sign of wisdom.
10. *Marrying a rich guy* does not guarantee happy marriage.
11. *Winning an argument* does not mean that you were correct.
12. *Whatever is done without the merit of Heaven* is fake and temporal.
13 *He who builds without God* is building for nothing; & he who *watches over a city* without God, watches in vain.
14. *Not everything is possible with man but everything is possible with God.*
15 *Be wise and learn to Involve God* in everything you do.
*Kindly Bless Someone Else today* and be blessed back by God.
Orange juice comes out because it is an orange and that’s what’s inside. Let’s assume that this orange isn’t an orange, but it’s you and someone squeezes you, puts pressure on you, says something you don’t like, offend you, and out of you comes anger, hatred, bitterness, fear and so on.
The answer, as indicated by late Dr. Wayne Dyer, is because that’s what’s inside. It is one of the greatest lesson of life! The question is what comes out when life squeezes you? When someone hurts or offends you? If anger, pain and fear come out of you, it’s because that’s what’s inside. It doesn’t matter who does the squeezing , what comes out inside of you is a choice!
When someone puts the pressure on you and out of you comes anything other than love, it’s because that’s what you have allowed to be inside through daily word meditation. Don’t forget Jesus dwells in your inside and that means all his characteristics virtues, traits such as holiness, power, humility, love, authority, courage, boldness, and wisdom now dwells on your inside. Your duty is to allow Him to live through you daily no matter the problem.
When life squeezes you, the light and glory of God will flow out because Christ is in you!
N:B: Happiness keeps you sweet, trials keep yo strong, sorrows keep you human! Failures keep you humble! And God keeps you going!
Killers of Happiness
Regretting the past
Worrying about the future
Comparing yourself to others
Unforgiveness and not letting go
Complaining on the battle front
Planning to quit
Your reaction to events
In summary of everything, look good and positive during trials and challenging times.
This question was thrown to me over the weekend by a group of friends. I was able to defend myself and my faith but it inspired me to research more on the word “Radical” relating to “Christianity”. The word radical as applied to human behaviour, which can be either positive or negative, depending on one’s point of view. For the purpose of this post, we will define radical as “one expressing strict adherence to a world view that is at extreme odds with the cultural norm”.
If normal is in the middle, then a radical would be a person at either end of the spectrum. For example, Mother Teresa (God rests her soul) could be considered a radical in her extreme self-denial and ministry to the poorest of the poor. But Saddam Hussein, General Idiamin, General Sani Abacha, and other tyrants the world has ever known were also radicals in their violent enforcement of religious and political agenda. Both are considered extreme by societies as “normal”.
Whether or not Christians should be radicals depending on how the word is defined. Many people in history have used the name of Jesus Christ to inflict terror, persecution, and genocide upon those with religious differences. That form of radicalism was never condoned by Jesus who was Himself a radical. His message of love, forgiveness, and mercy was at direct odds with the accepted views of the day. He refused to fight back when attacked to allow Peter to defend Him with violence (Mathew 26:51-52), or to condemn the woman caught in adultery (John 8:4-11). Those were all radical acts for that time and culture. One reason some people turned away from Christ was that His requirement of giving up everything for His sake was simply too radical (Luke 18:22-23).
The decision to follow Christ is itself a call to radical living. Jesus said that “anyone who wants to follow me must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me (Luke 9:23). The command is at extreme odds with our flesh’s desire to please itself (Roman’s 7:21-23). It challenges worldly wisdom, which preaches self-fulfilment as our highest aim (1 John 2:15-17). The cross is a radical symbol, and declaring Jesus as Lord of our lives involves a dethroning of self and a complete abandonment to His will. We must be willing to go where He leads, do what He says, and love Him more than life itself (Mathew 10:37-38). The lifestyle changes that follow such a commitment are considered radical by those who fall within the world’s definition of normal.
The antisocial atrocities that are often synonymous with radicalism are in direct opposition to radical Christianity. Those who incite violence and persecution in the name of Christ are not radicals at all, but enemies of the cross. Because following Jesus is in direct conflict with the “norm”, then “to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phillipians 1:21) could be considered a radical way of life.
I challenge you today to live a radical life of obedience to the Bible instead of seeking to fit into our culture. It’s unfortunate that believing and following Christ is considered radical. It should be the normal way Christians should live everyday.
- Your greatest success in life is the easiest success you can ever have.
- It comes by making the greatest decision of life: which is choosing to spend eternity with God in heaven.
- The success is impossible by your efforts (can never come by your good works).
- It’s very easy because “God has cancelled your ticket to hell. Hell is no more your destination”.
- Simply believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead and say with your mouth that Jesus is my Lord and you will have the greatest success ever *assurance of spending eternity with God).
- Life outside Christ is full of crisis.