God is Responsible for My Joy

Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

When we are in the midst of a trial or life seems to overwhelm us, it is hard to find peace and joy.

When our heart hurts we tend to focus on the pain not the joy of the Lord.  Sounds a little crazy, but if we continually focus on the negative, the pain, that is what we will see and ultimately we become bitter and withdraw.  When we choose to focus on the positive, things that have gone well, then that is what we will see and this leads to healing and reconciliation . Think of it like a self fulfilling prophecy, when I focus on the negative I will stay hurt and isolated, when I focus on the positive, I can begin to find hope for joy and peace.  None of the latter is possible without the help of the Holy Spirit because my nature wants to stay wounded and broken, but God’s Spirit in me wants joy and peace.  Allow God to consume your hurt, pain, and sorrow so that you can begin to find healing.

Father in Heaven, thank you for sending your Spirit to dwell with me and breathe life into my hurting soul.  Father there are so many times I just want to curl up into a ball and nvever face the world again, but I know that is not your plan for my life.  Remind me Father that I cannot forgive anyone on my own therefore I cannot find peace and joy on my own.  I need you to guide me through my pain and my sorrow to find joy and peace.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen

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Secure In Christ

Pslam 30:6-7 “When I felt secure, I said, ’I will never be shaken.’ O LORD, when you favored me, you made my mountain stand firm; but when you hid your face, I was dismayed.”

As we go through life we are faced with constant battles and challenges.  When we focus on our circumstances, taking our eyes off God, we stumble and fall.  With our eyes focused and fixed on God we have a strength we do not and cannot understand.   Through good and bad times if we keep our eyes fixed heavenward we have strength that can only come from above.  Life is going to challenge you and bring you to your knees at times.  When it does remember that you have the strength to make it through just keep your eyes focused on God because He will guide you.

Father, thank you for your grace, mercy, and strength.  You have been my guide throught difficult times.  You have been my strength when life was falling apart.  You have given me hope when all seemed lost.  Thank you for helping me stand firm, and remind me to keep my eyes on You and I am on the mountain because You are the reason I make it to the top.  In Jesus Precious Name, Amen

God’s Fruit or Life’s Pains

2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

The Lord is the Spirit and the Holy Spirit lives in you.  So, this means you are free.

We are not free from hurt, pain, illnesses, or even abuse.  We are free to come to the Lord with all our hurts, confusion, and afflictions.  God hears our cry and because we have the Spirit we have the Lord.  Find comfort in knowing that, no matter what you face, you are NEVER alone.

If we look at this a different way;  we have the Spirit, which means,  we also have the fruits that come with the Holy Spirit.  We don’t have to focus on our pain and brokenness.  Life is going to throw horrible and painful things our way but, through it all we can choose to focus on the pain or the fruit.  Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”  I don’t know about you but, focusing on God’s fruit is much better than focusing on the hurts in life.

Father, thank you for the reminder that you are always with me and ready to offer Your fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Lord, life seems to get so crazy sometimes and the hurts cloud my ability to see You and everything Your relationship has to offer.  As I go through my day, help me to see You in everything that I do.  Give me the wisdom that comes with knowing You.   In Jesus’ Name, Amen

My Plans God’s Steps

Proverbs 16:9 “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”

We have all been there, we have everything planned out perfectly and then… our entire plan is derailed, changes course, or blows up in our face.

Even the most well thought out and perfect plans in life will be derailed if they are not part of God’s plan for your life.  We can continually fight against God and His plan for our lives, but eventually He brings us to our knees iif we are out of His will.  Sometimes He goes to drastic measures to get our attention.

We can be stubborn like Johna or compliant like Mary, Jesus mother, either way God is drawing us to him for a better life. So, while you are making your plans, pray.  Pray you hear God’s voice.  Pray for decernment.  Pray for wisdom.   Pray for guidance.  Pray for healing.  Wherever you are or what ever yu are dealing with God is guiding your steps; trust Him.

Father, thank your for guiding my steps in good and bad times.  Father, I know that I make plans for my life that do not always line up with Your steps for me.  I try to force You to clear a path because it is what I want for my life.  Fathe help me to trust You path because Your path is perfect. Lord, open my ears to hear Your voice as it calls me in the right direction.  Lord, when my anxiety goes up or my plans fall apart, call to me and open my ears to hear You in the midst of my confusion. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Forgiveness Brings Healing

2 Corinthians 2:10-11 “If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him.  And what I have forgiven – if there was anything to forgive – I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for you sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us.  For we are not unaware of his schemes.”

When we think about forgiveness we often think that this means the person who wronged us is “off the hook”.  What we are forgetting is that forgiveness is not about them, it is about us.  When we hold unforgivenss we are only hutting oursleves and giving power over to the darkness, that is pain.  That pain holds us captive and we become filled with darkness, pain, and negitivity.  This is the opposite of what Christ wants for our lives.

Forgivening someone for hurting you is not easy and, to be honest, you cannot forigive on your own.  Only throught the power and work of God can you even think about forgivenss.  There is healing in seeking Christ in the midst of your pain.  You may have to forgive this person everyday.  That is ok beause God knows it is not easy.  Every time you turn your pain over to God more healing will come until it is but a memory that holds no power over you.  So, begin Your journey of healing and freedom in forgiveness.

Father, I know I hold unforgivenss in my heart.  I come to you seeking healing from past hurts.  Help me Lord release the pain caused by another.  Help me to release the hold their sins have over me.  Help me release it so I can live at the  full life you have for me.  Whenever the pain washes over me, prompt me to come to you and release that pain at your feet.  Give me strength to walk the path to freedom in Your presence and grace.  In Jesus’ Name, I pray, Amen

Let Go and Live for ME

Psalm 55:22 “Cast our cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.”

What is holding you back in life?  What is keeping you from becoming and doing your hearts desire?

For most of us it is fear.  We are afraid of failing, of being rejected, or simply falling flat on our face.  Have you ever considered what happens because you don’t try?  Think for a moment about the impact you could make on the lives of others if your truly followed God’s plan for your life.

Life is a challenge, but it is also a blessing filled with adventure.  We have all been a victim of circumstances, where other’s sins have hurt us.  When we stop living beause of someone else, we continually give them power over our lives.  No one said it would be easy to overcome our fears and release the wrong that has been done to us, but imagine a life where you are living your dreams and the plan God has for your life.   The thought of that alone should  bring a smile to your face.

Father, I hear your word and I know it says not to fear yet, I am still afraid.  Father, I am afraid of rejection, loneliness, and failing.   I also believe that I am afraid of no pleasing You.  I am afraid of falling short of Your plan.  Then I am reminded to cast all that on You because You are in control and You love me.  Help me Father to begin the process of releasing my fears to you and to truly trust You with everything that I am and everything I have.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Rejoice in Trials

1 Peter 4:12-13 “Dear friends, do not be suprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange we’re happening to you.  But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.”.

We live in a broken world and trials are just part of life. Some of these trials are a result of our actions and others are a result of others poor choices. In 1 Peter we are asked to rejoice in our trials. When we are in the midst of our trials it is difficult to rejoice, but I do know that when we go through our trials we have a Heavenly Father that walks with us. This is a reason to rejoice. He is your guide in times of trouble and He is greater than anything you can go through. Lean on Him, for He cares for you.

Father in Heaven, thank you for the trials in my life because they have broughtt me closer to You.  As I continue to live, I seek Your swisdom as I face each new challenge.  I ask that You would continue to strengthen me and guide me. Remind me that I am Your child and should allow Your grace to flow through me.  When I am afraid, comfort me.  When I am afraid, hold me.  When I feel unworthy, call me Your child.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Holy Sprit is Christ In You

1 Peter 4:1-2 “Therfore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin.  As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.”

It is so hard to wrap our mind around the fact that Christ faced the same challenges we face today, in regard to sin, yet, He did not sin.

We try to justify our sin by blaming others.  We say things like, “They made me so mad.”, “I had no choice, they said or did  _________.”  Jesus never blamed anyone for His actions.  He was beaten, spit on, rejected, and betrayed by his friend.  Through all of this, He never blamed or committed a sin.  Yes, He was both God and man.  The God part of Him was His lifeline to living sin free, while the man part of him allowed Him to feel what we feel.

When you accept Chirist as your savior, the power of God lives in you.  This power is the Holy Spirit and when you choose to listen, will be your guide through the trials of life.

Father, thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to live in me.  Help me to listen to this still small voice which allows me to have a lifeline straight to You.  When I sin, help me to take responsibility for my actions and not blame others for my wrong doing.  I am responsible for my actions and I want my actions to reflect You.  Help me to glorify You.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Inward Beauty and A Quite Spirit

1 Peter 3:3-4 “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment…Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

In our culture we seem to mistake a quite soul as a “push over” or “weak”.  When in reality it takes strength to just listen and not condemn others for their actions and words.  When we show self-control and allow our gentle spirit to shine we are actually following God’s plan. James 1:19 “My dear brothers and sister, take note of this:  Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,”  This reminds me of the saying, “Slow and steady wins the race.”  We are often quick to jump to conclusion or allow our feelings to influence what others are saying rather than allow The Spirit to guide us.

Father, it is so difficult sometimes to listen to Your quiet Spirit within me.  I am often quick to speak or become offended.  Help me Father to filter out “the junk” of this world and just learn to love the people you have placed in my life.  You are a The author of everything and I trust You. Allow the beauty within to shine because that comes from You.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Submit Even When it is Hard

1 Peter 2:18 “Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.”

Every moment of every day we are faced with decisions.  From the moment we wake up: do I get up or press snooze, what do I wear, or what will I eat?  These are all simple questions and not very difficult to answer.  The bigger question for your day: Who will I serve, God or man?

When we serve God, even in the midst of trial and pain, we bring glory to our Heavenly Father.  We have peace throughout our day.  Even when we suffer we need to remember that Christ suffered for you and me when He did not deserve it. This is the example we are to follow.  Love one another even when loving that person is hard, forgive one another as Christ has forgiven you, and shine in the midst of darkness. 

Holy and gracious Father, I ask for Your kingdom to come and regin over my life today.  As I face decisions of every kind I want to seek You and Your will for my life.  Give me the wisdom to make decisions that will bring glory and honor to You.  Wash me clean of unforgiveness and pain, bring healing to my brokenness.  You Lord are my strength and comfort; my guide in times of trouble.  Cover me with Your love and protection this day, In Jesus’ Name, Amen