In the news today we can find several stories about the wars going on in other nations. The nation of Israel is fighting a war with the rebels in Gaza. The nation of Ukraine is fighting pro-Russian rebels. Afghanistan and Iraq are figting civil wars just to name a few. The war that I want to call attention to today is the battle going on in the minds of many Christians. This battle is between faith and doubt, and the side that wins will be the side that is fed the most.
At times, the challenges of life can cause even the strongest Believer to stop for a moment and question whether or not God will answer their prayers. This opens the door for the enemy to feed on this negatism and he will then flood your mind with all kinds of thoughts that can lead to loss of hope. That is Satan’s goal – to aggravate the Believer to the point that they lose hope in God. Losing hope in other people is one thing, but to lose hope in God is fatal. Pain can drive a person to the end of their rope, be it physical, mental or spiritual, but once you are traveling down this road, you are certain that God doesn’t care about you or what you are going through. Being in this position is sad and the only way out is to reach out to another fellow brother or sister in the Lord who will lead you back to your heavenly Father.
A mind that is certain; a mind that is sure; a mind that is confident and full of faith puts the troubles of this world and particularly those in your life in the right perspective. Faith gives the Believers options that cannot be seen by someone whose mind is full of doubt. Faith drives you to God instead of away from God. Faith causes you to remember the goodness of God and how God has been faithful to you in the past. Faith causes you to experience the presence of God and embrace His love and positions you for healing. Faith gives you hope and propels you to open the Word of God and find the answers you are seeking.
The spirit of God changes night into day; it turns mourning into dancing and it restores peace where there was chaos and confusion. Just as night and day cannot exist in the same place at the same time, faith and doubt cannot co-exist. You must choose one and turn away from the other but it has to be settled in your mind first. Your mind is the key because your mind will direct your next step whether good or bad. Your mind will either hold you steady and allow God to perfect those things that concern you or your mind will cause you to become anxious, fearful and doubt who God is.
Let me ask you a question. What’s on your mind today?
Scripture tells us that there were many places that Jesus Christ would not perform miracles because of unbelief. When He went to Jairus house to heal his daughter, the people were grieving for her even though Jesus told them that she was not dead but only sleeping. They laughed at Him, so He put them out and took only her parents and His disciples with Him when He went into her room and touched her and she was healed. In the city of Bethsaida, Jesus remarked that if He had done what He did in any other city, the people there would have immediately repented, but in Bethsaida the people were untouched. Unbelief puts up a wall that prevents Jesus from doing what He loves to do and that is heal and restore people to wholeness and salvation.
Without faith it is impossible to please God and that is why Christians need to check theirselves to determine where their level of faith is. If you are asking God to do a miracle in your life, be sure you have no doubt of His ability to do that very thing, and it is important that you surround yourselves with people of like faith. Do not let the lack of faith of another individual cause your faith to decrease. If you need to separate yourself from people, do not hesitate to do so – your miracle depends upon it!
God wants us to encourage each other at all times. If you get to a state that you can’t pray or don’t know what to pray for, reach out to a brother or sister in the faith and allow them to minister to you. We all will have challenges come our way in one form or another and that is when a fellow believer can speak into your life and help you get through your storm. The Bible tells us that the just shall live by faith. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17). Christians must walk by faith and not by sight if they are to be an overcomer. Because of Jesus Christ, we will have the victory if we keep the faith.
Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Fight the good fight of faith daily and when you see your Lord and Savior face to face, may you hear the words “well done thy good and faithful servant.”
The Bible tells us that with God all things are possible. Yet, many Christians have yet to get that down deep in their hearts. It’s easy to assume that if it looks impossible, then nothing can change that. However, once you add God into the mix of that impossible situation, everything changes. What is impossible with man is possible with God.
Impossible situations are divine opportunities. When your abilities end, that is when you must ask your heavenly Father for help and you will see Him prove His faithfulness to you as He has done for so many others. Your responsibility is to believe, trust and obey and then leave the details up to God. God will perfect everything that concerns you but if you do not have the faith then you have lost out on seeing a miracle take place. God created this world out of nothing by just speaking into the darkness. God divided the Red Sea so that Moses and the children of Israel could walk across it on dry ground. Jesus Christ fed 5,000 with just two fish and five loaves of bread. Jesus called Lazarus to come out of the tomb and he came forth still wrapped in his burial clothes. The Lord rose on the third day after his crucifixion.
Job told God “I know that you can do everything.” It’s important that you believe that as well. Get rid of the “I can’t” or “it’s not possible” mentality and embrace the “all things are possible” belief system. The bottom line is based on your level of faith. Jesus told us that is we have faith the size of a mustard seed, we can say to a moutain ‘move’ and it will move. Mustard seed size faith is not very much but if that is all it takes to move a mountain in your life, imagine how far mature faith will take you.
Turn over the impossible situation you are facing in your life to God and in faith speak to that mountain to move and watch how God will interrupt, invade, or turn everything around for you. It might look impossible but it really isn’t – not from God’s point of view!
Scripture tells us that no matter what our circumstances might be, we should be content. That statement might appear to be impossible given that some people are dealing with poverty, sickness, divorce, joblessness and even death. Those kinds of situations can easily rob us of our joy. Yet, Believers do have the ability to find contentment in life because God is the strength of their heart (Psalm 73:26).
Contentment is the secret of living a successful life, but a life without God cannot, and will not, offer the level of peace that every one seeks. Over the course of your journey with God, you will find that God is with you at all times. Thus, you will never feel alone Repeatedly, you will find that God will make a way for you when there seems to be no way. God will guide you and perfect the things that concern you, so much so that your love for Him will evolve into the most precious thing in your life. You will find that His mercies are new every morning. Therefore, you will have hope in the midst of the storms that come your way.
Contentment is not based on material possessions or on any relationship. Contentment is an attitude of the heart that causes you to live a life in humility and thankfulness for every blessing God has bestowed upon you. You realize that every good and perfect gift comes from above and because of the Lord Jesus Christ, the greatest gift is the gift of salvation and the pardon of your sins. That fullness of that gift will be given to you when your transition from this life into eternal life with your heavenly Father. Salvation is available to every one and the best part of salvation is it is free. You need only to confess the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God and believe that He died and rose again and He will give you the power of the Spirit of God to be an overcomer and not be overcome by worldly values.
Contentment is learned over a lifetime. It is a skill that will serve you well, and it will show the world that you possess something powerful that they do not. Contentment is real and worth achieving. So learn it and put it into practice.
The Bible tells us that when we are happy we are to sing praises. It’s a wonder that God had to remind us to do that. We have no problem seeking God when we are going through difficult times. Unfortunately, people forget to seek God when they are not facing trouble. Why most there be a need before praise?
King David showed us what it should be like when we are in a time of peace and rest from trouble. He danced before the Lord with all of his might. He laid aside his title and position and gave Almighty God the glory and honor that He is due. Rejoicing should be as much a part of our lives as prayer. Many people pray only when they have to; but prayer is not to be considered a spare wheel. Prayer is the steering wheel that guides us every day of our lives. Prayer and praise is the fuel that carries us through the good times and the hard times, and our relationship with our heavenly Father should be consistent and not on again – off again according to what emotional state we find ourselves in. Ask yourself how you would feel if you had a friend that only contacted you when they needed something from you. It would break your heart and we should not treat God in the same manner.
Purpose in your heart that you will praise God continuously and not let circumstances dictate your praise. God deserves to be honored and glorified solely because of who He is and not only for what He does for you. God is holy and worthy of all praise!
To every man who has children, or who serves in the role as a ‘father’ figure in someone’s life – Happy Father’s Day!
Mothers have their special place in their children’s lives, but fathers are just as important and have an enormous influence on their children’s lives as well. Statistics prove that a child who does not have a father or father figure in their lives during their developing years,can be hindered in their maturity as an adult. Fathers have a purpose and a place in the home that cannot de denied and should be recognized.
If you are in a home with a father and feel loved, safe and secure, you are truly blessed, but many people live far different lives. Some children are abused in one way or another and do not know what the love of a father is. If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, it is not too late to know the love of a Father. God’s love for His children is unconditional and ever-lasting. Even when we sin and come short of the glory of God, God does not give up on us. He allows us to make our choices but He also allows us to suffer the consequences of our mistakes just like any good father does. God knows all about every one of us and He wants us to live a life that is safe and secure.
Thank God today if you have a wonderful father who is there for you. Give thanks if your father did his best to raise you and make you the person who you are today but he is no longer here with you. If you are looking for a father to love you, to guide you and to protect you, look to Jesus. Ask Him into your heart today and let His Father become your Father and He will fill that hole in your heart with a love that cannot be compared to anything you have ever known.
The Bible tells us that God has a plan for every one of us. His plan is not an evil one but it will bring us peace, and if we have the patience and courage to follow His plan, we will find the success and happiness that has been ear marked just for us.
Being in the will of God, and staying there, is a life long process whereby we totally surrender our will to the will of God. We will have to master the art of obedience and refrain from getting ahead of God. God knows everything about us. He even knows the number of hairs on our head. That alone should give us the confidence to persevere especially during the difficult times in our lives.
It’s amazing to know that of all the millions of people who have lived on this earth before this time and the millions living now and those yet to come, all are unique. No two people are alike and God’s plan for our lives has been designed with our specific personalities and gifts in mind. No one can steal the future God has for you. Each person has a path that was pre-destined. Scripture tells us that even while we were in our mother’s womb God knew us. God knows our strengths and weaknesses. God knows our past and our future. It is up to us to find out from our heavenly Father what His plan is for us. Don’t assume you know. Take the time to ask and as promised, when we seek God with all of our heart, we will find Him.
Live your life on purpose. Live with a dream that honors God and commit your ways to Him and He shall direct your path. Together, you and God are a team of two that will accomplish whatever you set your heart on.
When Jonah disobeyed God by not going to Nineveh and got on a boat going to Tarshish, God showed His displeasure by causing a great storm to arise. Jonah knew immediately that he was the cause of the storm so he shared his story with the others on the boat and told them that he was running from the presence of God. Jonah instructed the men to throw him over-board. As soon as he was thrown over-board the ranging storm ceased and calmness prevailed. God caused a whale to open his mouth and consume Jonah. God put Jonah in a position where he had the time to think about the mistake he had made. Jonah then spent three days inside the whale but the end result was Jonah repented and did what God had previously told him to do.
One of the hardest things we must learn to do is to surrender our will to the will of God. When we do, we receive the strength to do what God has asked us to do and the end result will be peace and calmness in our lives. It is a blessing to trust that whatever God tells you to do, it is the best thing for everyone involved. You will not have peace until you align your will to God’s. Fear prevents a lot of people from obeying the commandments of God but obedience is what gets God’s attention. We honor God when we submit to His will. There is no place where you can run away from God or get beyond His reach. It is best to let faith conquer your feelings and allow God to take control.
Jonah found that being in the will of God brings calmness. No one should live a life of turmoil. Trust God enough to submit and surrender and you will have the abundant life that Jesus Christ promised.
If you saw a friend on the side of the road with a flat tire, you would not hesitate to pull over and assist them. You would help them take the old tire off and put on the new tire. You would not just look at them and drive by. That is your friend and you would do whatever it took to get them back on the road.
Certain life events can slow anyone down and even cause them to stop and not be able to go any further. That is where you come in. Everbody is going somewhere on our journey through life and God wants you to help those who need it. You never know when you will be the one in need. It’s a sin not to help if you have it in your power to help someone else. A word of encouragement, providing a meal to a family in need, mowing a neighbor’s lawn or just calling someone up just to say ‘hello’ will go a long way to impact the life of someone who needs a friend today. We are all so busy and many of us do not even slow down long enough to see a brother or sister in need. We are so self-centered that nothing else matters but what we are going through.
Lend a hand to someone; let them know that you are willing to pull over and help them get back on the road. The Bible tells us that what we have done to the least we have done to our Lord Jesus Christ. Become the hands and feet of Jesus. You may be the light that opens their heart to receive the greatest gift of all – eternal life. We are known by our love for one another. Make a difference and remember what you sow, you will also reap.
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
It’s not easy to let go and accept the things we can’t change, and sometimes it’s even harder to change the things that need to be changed; and harder yet, is to have the wisdom to be able to distinguish between the two. Wisdom is the key to living a successful life and if you don’t have it, the good news is all you need to do is ask God for it. God will not hold back. He has promised that if you ask for wisdom, He will give it to you. The Bible tells us that wisdom from above is pure, peaceable, gentle, full of mercy. You know when you have wisdom. Some people describe it as that gut feeling you have deep inside that is directing you on what you should or should not do. It’s been said that wisdom is a lifetime of listening when you would rather have been talking.
Wisdom begins with prayer. When challenges come in your life, the first person you should talk to is God. God not only hears your prayers but He will answer your prayers. God will speak to you through a word from another person you trust. God will also make sure you hear a certain sermon, or song that will minister to your soul and you will immediately recognize that it was not just coincidence. Pray daily. Make God a part of your personal life every day and ask Him to get involved in everything you are involved in and you will feel His presence because He is faithful.
Often, God makes us wait and it is not an easy thing to wait upon the Lord. It is difficult but it is also rewarding. Waiting is not a waste of time. It is for your benefit. Know that God is working behind the scenes not only on the matters that concern you but He is also working on you. Over time, you will discover that the things that use to bother you no longer bother you. You will discover that your compassion for others has grown. You are able to see the little things going on all around you and it is all making you into a gentle and loving person.
Wisdom will also help you to accept what God allows to happen in your life. In this life we will have trouble so says the Word of God. You cannot get angry at God because He let trouble come your way. Wisdom will help you to understand all things will work together for your good. Your part in trouble is to be faithful to God and trust Him. Surrender everything to Him and know that God has not stopped loving you, but it is because He loves you, He will turn things around for your good. When you are able to say as a child of God “not my will but your will be done” you have obtained wisdom that will enable you to live a victorious life.
God wants you to be happy and fulfilled and the only way to do that is to have wisdom, pray, learn to wait on God and to accept what God allows into your life. Then, you will be able to accept the things you cannot change; change the things you can and be able to know the difference.