I’ve been told that the curve ball is one of the hardest pitches to hit because the ball looks like it’s going to come across the plate at a certain spot and then at the last second it changes course. Life is the same way. We all hope and plan that our lives will go a certain route and then out of the blue, things change and we wind up in situations that we never thought we would be in. Christians are told to walk by faith and not by sight and if you keep that in mind along with the belief that Romans 8:28 is true in that all things will work together for our good, then you will learn over time how to hit the curve balls that come your way.
Unexpected events can either be a blessing or a curse depending on your attitude. If you are an optimist, you will embrace change and respond with the attitude that you have been given an opportunity to begin something new and different. If you are a pessimist, you will not take kindly to change and resist it and want everything to remain as it has always been. Changes are to make you better and not bitter. How will you ever know the extent of what you can do if you never risk doing something you have never done.
The Apostle Paul tells us that we are to forget those things that are behind us and to press forward to those things that are ahead of us. As 2013 draws to a close, no matter what your circumstances are right now, embrace the new year. The unfortunate things that happen to you do not define you. Your response to what happens in your life defines who you really are and if you have the Lord Jesus Christ with you, there is nothing you will be unable to do even if it means starting over. You might feel sorry for yourself because you are not in the place you want to be but if you open your eyes, you will see that you are in a better position that many. Be thankful for what you do have and realize that it is only by the grace of God that you are here today.
When life throws you a curve ball, hold on to God’s unchanging hands and believe in your heart that you will make it through. If you can’t see very far ahead of you right now, walk as far as you can see and trust that your heavenly Father will order your steps in His word. When life throws you a curve ball, stand firm in the batter’s box with your head held high and hit that ball out of the park!
There is a story about a man who decided that he needed God, so he finds the highest mountain and begins the long hard climb to the top. He wants very much to find God so that he can leave with God all of the pain and hardships that he has to deal with in the valley where he lives. Unknown to him, God is climbing down the other side of the mountain. God has left his home because man is not able to reach Him on their own. God wants to take away all of the pain that man is forced to live with and the only way for that to happen was for Him to come down the mountain. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but shall have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
This Christmas you will probably receive gifts you like and need and probably one or two gifts that you don’t really need. Our heavenly Father, has given each one of us the perfect gift. This gift was His Son, Jesus Christ. The gift of Jesus will not only enable you to successfully deal with all of the turmoil in this world, but once you accept God’s gift, you will also inherit eternal life and live with your Lord and Savior forever. The Bible says that ‘every good and perfect gift comes from above’ and Jesus is the perfect gift that should continuously be given out every day of the year.
Jesus, the perfect gift, will change your life and you will become someone who loves not only their family and friends, but also their enemies. God is love and His Son, Jesus, died on the cross for the sins of all mankind – not just some of us but all of us. What better gift to give to someone who is in the valley right now. Share Jesus with the people God has put in your life. The price has already been paid, so all you need to do is share this precious gift that is unlike any gift anyone will ever receive. It is a gift of love. It is the gift of redemption and salvation. It is the perfect gift. It has been given to you – now give it away.
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!
It’s been proven that when the human body becomes emotionally charged either through anger or fear, the body will produce chemicals that heighten our state of emotions and we have a greater source of strength than we have in a normal state. It’s the same in the spiritual world. The children of God have something in them that gives them the strength to either stand their ground under harsh circumstances and not give up or to fight an emeny that wants to defeat them by any means possible.
This something is already within you but it only manifests itself in a crisis. I’m sure you have experienced a time when you were able to do something you can’t explain when you were under an enormous amount of stress. As you reflect on it, you ask yourself “how did I make it through that?” You made it through because the spirit of God pushed you to a new level of faith and trust in God that caused you to not only endure, but to become a winner in every sense of the word.
It is important that you recognize that it is the power of God that gives you strength to push forward. You can do all things through Christ and you are never to take any of God’s glory. God was the one who made a way for you when there was no way. God was your bridge over troubled waters. God is your friend when everyone else has left you alone, and God is the one who will be with you not only when you leave this earth, but He will be with you throughout eternity.
By giving the world the gift of His only begotten Son, God has proven to us that He thinks you are worth saving. You might be in the middle of some very hard challenges, but yours is a fixed fight – you have already been declared the winner. Satan knows that he loses the big one so he does everything he can to steal your peace and your happiness while you are on this earth.
You will come out of this because no weapon formed against you shall prosper and every tongue that rises against you in judgment shall be condemned. That is the heritage of the servants of the Lord (Isaiah 54:17). If God be for you, tell me who can be against you?
If you are struggling with feelings that tell you that your life doesn’t matter or that no one really cares about you, I want you to know today that God knows all about you and He cares about your life and what you are going through. If you only knew just how much, you would be amazed.
It’s difficult to have a clear view of your life when you are right in the middle of life’s challenges trying to keep your head above water, but God wants you to have a view from the top. He wants you to know the love He has for you is real and once you accept His gift of love, you will never feel alone again.
God promised never to leave you alone. He has always been with you even before you were aware of His presence. He knows your thoughts and the intent of your heart. He knows your dreams and He knows your frustrations and He knows those things that you fear the most. He knows and He cares and that is why He has adopted you into His family. You have a place in the family of God that no one can ever take away from you. The most important thing you must remember is that every child of God is somebody – somebody that is so loved that He could not allow His child to become separated from Him. To prevent this, He made the greatest sacrifice love can make and that was to give us His only begotten Son to purchase your redemption so that you will forever be with Him.
Part of your story might include a time when you did things that you would not do today but it doesn’t matter. Your past is just that – it is past. Enjoy your walk with the Lord and know that you are loved and accepted just as you are. You belong to God and the miracle of it all is that God belongs to you!
Have you ever done something that you thought was special for someone only to have it ruined when you realized that they never thanked you for it? There is a story in the Bible about ten lepers who were healed by Jesus but only one came back to thank him. Even Jesus expected a thank you from them because he asked the one who did return ‘where are the nine’? The other nine took their healing for granted. I’m sure that they enjoyed the benefits of being able to return home to their family and friends, but they did not take the time to show their appreciation.
Don’t be guilty of not letting people know how grateful you are for the things that they do for you. Your show of gratitude will not only bless the person who did something for you, but it will also bless you because God will see your appreciation and will allow more blessings to come into your life because of your attitude. Saying ‘thank you’ is a sign of what’s in your heart and will keep you humble. Some people have a problem saying ‘thank you.’ Pride is a major hinderance to being grateful. If you think that you don’t owe anyone anything because you got what you got all by yourself, you are so wrong. No one makes it through this life on their own. If you think you have, you are forgetting about the one who prayed for you and the one who might have had to sacrifice a need of their own so you could have what you needed.
Honor God with your thankfulness. As you are blessed, bless others. Pass it on. Serve people, love people and always forgive people and most of all, always thank the One who created you, who is always with you and the One who is sustaining you each and every day. As the Psalmist said ‘let everything that has breathe praise the Lord.’