Tag Archives: believe

Greater Through the Storm

13 Aug

Maybe you’ve heard the saying “you’re either in a storm, approaching a storm, or coming out of a storm.”

No matter which point you’re at today, if Jesus is at the helm, great things are in store for you. When Jesus is the Lord of Your life, you are in the palm of your Creator’s hand. He is completely aware of every detail of your life and He wants to do great things through you, in trial and in triumph (I Peter 5:7, Psalm 55:2).

However, you must remember that His thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are higher than ours. His definition of greatness is not always the same as ours, and His path to greatness often includes storms, fires, and floods—troubles and obstacles that we’d prefer to skip over and land in heaven.

If, at this moment, you are saying, “How can anything great come out of this horrible experience? You have no clue of what I’m going through!,” you are absolutely correct. I don’t.

But even if I can’t truly understand what you’re going through, I do know that God does (Psalm 139).

During my stormy times as a single parent, struggling to raise two “we know more than you do!” children, I constantly found myself saying “Lord I can’t do this!”  Then, one day, the Lord moved upon my heart and changed my speech.  I began to say, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians  4:13)

My new confession didn’t stop the storms, but it lessened the strength of the waves. My faith and hope in the Lord strengthened and steadied my stance. I became overwhelmed by the Lord’s faithfulness instead of by the storms. (Mark 4:37–41)

What are you confessing during the storm? Your words have the power to strengthen the storm or to strengthen you (Proverbs 18:21).

The truth is, in your trial you have been given the power and the opportunity to abound in joy and peace as you hope in the Lord (Romans 15:13, Psalm 42:11, Psalm 71:14). Let the storm move you closer to Him, for He is your ever-present help in the time of trouble (Psalm 46). Trust that the Lord is using the storm to position you for the greater things He has in store for you (I Corinthians 2:9), and hold on (Luke 8:23)!

It Ain’t What It Is!

4 Jul

Lately I’ve noticed the phrase, “it is what it is” being constantly used among people from all walks of life. Within that toxic phrase lies another statement that says, this situation will not and can not get better; therefore I accept it for what it is.

I can almost hear Jesus interrupting those conversations with the question “where is YOUR faith?” Jesus actually sacrificed His life on the cross, redeeming us from an “it is what it is lifestyle”.

“Now” our faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Yes, everyone experiences trying circumstances, but we who believe in Jesus don’t allow the circumstances to overtake us as the end all and be all. Our faith in our sovereign Lord always keeps us only a prayer away from divine intervention in every situation.

We have an enemy of our souls, who is also known as Satan. His intention is to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). One of his basic tactics simply involves helping us to focus upon what we see and accepting that as our final reality. We buy into his plan when we go with our natural senses, accepting things as they appear to be.

Jesus came that we might have life more abundantly (John 10:10). We access that abundant life as we trust in Jesus despite what we see.

Instead of saying “it’ is what it is” let’s keep in mind that Jesus Christ is Lord of all, and expect miracles. May we exercise our faith by praying and also doing our part to bring about positive change in our own situations and in the lives of others. “The just shall live by faith” (Hebrews 10:38). With faith, it ain’t what it is!

Further reading: II Corinthians 4:18, Romans 8:24, Hebrews 3:6

All or Nothing

18 Jun

Today we are bombarded with countless choices. This constant decision-making keeps our minds actively planning, anticipating, and, worst of all, stressed.

 

This stress impacts us beyond what we might have imagined. According to Mayo Clinic.org, “stress that is left unchecked can contribute to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.”

 

Yet the remedy that combats stress is freely available to all who will receive it. The cure, which is found in God’s word, instructs us simply to be anxious or stressed about…NOTHING. Not our families, not our finances, not the future, not our health, NOTHING.

 

Instead, in everything…in everything… in EVERYTHING— our families, our finances, the future, even our health—in everything: “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.” (Philippians 4:6 MSG).

 

Maybe you’re saying to yourself, “doesn’t God already know my concerns?” Yes, He does. However, as you release your worries to Him, He works everything, everything…everything, out for your good.

 

“Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” (Philippians 4:7 MSG).

 

So, it’s all or nothing. We can either choose to worry about EVERYTHING, or release it, in thanks and trust to God, and worry about…NOTHING.

Which Voice?

24 Apr

Today, everyone has something to say. Whether the words are through pictures on Instagram, music on YouTube, rants on Facebook, or phone texts, people are speaking like never before.

Social media has opened a door of personal reveals that even provides the introvert with an opportunity to let it all out. Amidst all the messages coming your way, which voice are you listening to? Which voice captures your attention most?

There is another voice whispering in the midst of it all. This voice tells us which way to go, brings strength when we’re weak, and peace during the storms. (Isaiah 30:21, Isaiah 32:8, Isaiah 40:31, Mark 4:39). But can we hear it in the mix of all the noise? The main way God speaks is through His word, the Bible, although He does speak through people as well. ( II Timothy 3:16,17 II Samuel 23:2).

In 1 Kings 19:9, Elijah heard the voice of God while he was in a cave. God asked “what are you doing here Elijah?” In verse 13, God asked the same question, “What are you doing here Elijah?” In Genesis 3:9, God asked Adam a similar question, “Where are you?”

Both Elijah and Adam had listened to the wrong voice. Elijah falsely believed that Jezebel was more powerful than God, and Adam believed that it was okay to follow Eve’s directions instead of God’s.

If God were to ask today “Where are you”, what would your response be? Hopefully it would be, Im right here listening to You as I trust and obey Your word.

May we be captivated by Your word God, not by the world of busyness that surrounds us. It’s Your word that brings direction, strength, and hope. Other voices tend to lead us away from You. Speak Lord. Your servants are listening.

Do You Believe?

25 Mar

Easter, also known as Resurrection Sunday, is just around the bend. Some are planning to serve special meals, while others are purchasing special clothes and baskets for children. But how do you really feel about Easter?

It’s ok to be honest with yourself. Do you believe that Jesus was crucified for the sins of the world, was buried, and rose again on the third day?

After Jesus rose from the grave, he appeared to the disciples. He showed them His hands and His sides. The disciples were glad that they were blessed to see Jesus alive again!

However, a disciple by the name of Thomas, wasn’t with the disciples when Jesus’ visitation took place. When Thomas later arrived on the scene, the disciples told him about their time time with Jesus. Thomas said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”” John‬ ‭20:25‬ ‭NKJV‬

Imagine the shock the disciples felt. Here was their very own bother, doubting that what they said was true about Jesus. Thomas was courageous. Some of us might have doubted too and not spoken up, but Thomas was honest. Thomas was in need of a personal experience.

Eight days later Jesus appeared in the place where the disciples were assembled. It was as though He came just for Thomas. “Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” ‭‭John‬ ‭20:26-29‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Just as Jesus reappeared for Thomas, He can do the same for you. You may not see Him physically walk through your door. He may even use another person to speak to you. While reading the Bible, you may sense His presence. Sometimes Jesus ministers to us through songs. He knows how to meet you where you are in a personal way.

This Easter, don’t let your doubt dissuade you from having a personal resurrection experience. Yes Jesus died for you. Yes Jesus wants you to know Him and experience abundant, eternal life. Yes Jesus loves you. Confess how you feel about Him, and ask Jesus to meet you where you are.

Thomas and the disciples believed because they saw Jesus and touched his hands and his side. Blessed are you and I, and we, who have not seen the physical manifestation of Jesus, and yet have believed!

Try Again

9 Mar

The Bible shares a story in which the disciples fished all night. Despite their expertise as fishermen, they didn’t catch a thing. Jesus appeared on the scene and told the disciples “cast your net on the right side of the ship, and you shall find” (John 21:6).

Although the fishermen might have been frustrated by their plight, at Jesus’ command they tried again. ” So they cast and were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish”.

Why were the disciples able to accomplish in minutes, what they were unable to do all night long? The source of the command made all the difference.

When Jesus told the disciples to try again, creation obeyed. The fish waited on the right side of the boat for the net to draw them in.

Is there anything in your life that you’re feeling compelled to try again? Like the disciples, it may be something that you’re good at, yet in the past you came up empty.

Don’t give up. Commit your plan to the Lord in prayer. As you pray, expect that you will receive answers. After praying, you may find that now is the time to try again!
(Psalm 37:5, Proverbs 16:3).

What’s Your Story?

28 Jan

There are people today who believe that they are just too bad to be good.
The truth is, they are right. We are all too bad to be good.

We all have a story that includes sin.There is none righteous, no not one.
We have all sinned by saying and doing things that were not right; things
that we know were just wrong. This includes the most loving, gentle
person you know. (Romans 3:10)

Nevertheless, there’s a place for you and your story. It doesn’t matter how
bad your story is. Even those with the worst stories are welcome. Where
can you go and be forgiven, delivered, and restored?  It’s the place of
trusting  Jesus as the one who loves you more than anyone ever could.
He loves you so much that he died to take your sin away, giving
you an opportunity to change your story. (John 3:16, Romans 4:25)

Do you know that Jesus was accused of hanging out with sinners? He didn’t
shy away from those who accused Him. “Jesus answered and said to them,
Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.
I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
‭Luke‬ ‭5:31-32‬ ‭

Notice that Jesus didn’t leave people in the same condition as He found
them. As the physician, He healed the sin sick by calling them to repentance.
As you come to this new place of trusting Jesus, you are made anew.
II Corinthians 5:17

So what’s holding you back from coming to Jesus? What’s your story?
If being bad was your excuse, you just read that Jesus hung out with
sinners. Remember, He came to heal the sick. His healing replaces our sin
with His righteousness, and gives us beauty for ashes.
II Corinthians 5:21, Isaiah 61:1-3

Invite Jesus to come into your heart today. You may not see tomorrow.
Trusting Jesus changes your today, as well as your eternal destination.
He longs to give you rest in His finished work on the cross for your sin.
He longs to give you freedom and rest, changing your story. “Today,
if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts.”  ‭Hebrews‬ ‭4:7‬ ‭NKJV‬‬