(1 Peter 4:12- Dear friends, don’t be bewildered or surprised when you go through the fiery trials ahead, for this is no strange, unusual thing that is going to happen to you.) Instead of asking “why is this happening to me?” ask yourself “When has God not worked it out for my good?” No matter what you go through God is there to comfort and encourage you. He’s been your help before and He won’t stop now. He will get the glory out of your trial and you’ll have another testimony to share about His faithfulness.
As I think about God I can’t help but to praise His name. It’s not just about what He’s done for me but who He is. He’s the God of creation, the One who saved mankind, the ransom for my life and the list goes on. It’s a privilege to praise the Lord. If creation sings His praises so will I.
In this life, you will face trials and tribulations. You may have bills due and wonder how you’re going to pay them, you may have got laid off and are in need of a job or your car may be having issues. Regardless of what you’re going through, your problems aren’t too hard for God to fix. Every problem is an opportunity to trust Him. (Jeremiah 32:27- I am the Lord, the God of all mankind; is there anything too hard for me?)
When’s the last time you spent quality time with God? When’s the last time you sat at His feet and listened to what He had to say? Did you know He looks forward to spending time with you every day? You are the object of His love and when you love someone you desire to spend time with them. You may be a college student, work a full-time job or even be a stay at home mom but you should set time aside to spend with God. Don’t let the busyness of everyday life distract you from what’s most important.
(John 14:18- No, I will not abandon you or leave you as orphans in the storm—I will come to you.) When you go through a storm, you won’t be abandoned because Jesus will come to you. In Matthew 14 a storm arose when Jesus commanded the disciples to cross to the other side. Jesus came to them walking on water in the midst of the raging wind and heavy seas. (Matthew 14:27- But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”) The storm didn’t immediately go away when Jesus came but He reassured them that they didn’t need to worry. Sometimes a storm will arise in your life when transitioning into a new season but Jesus promises He won’t abandon you.
Serving God doesn’t mean there are no problems, but the difference between believers and the rest of the world is that we have hope. Our hope is in God that He’ll get us through whatever we’re facing. (Psalm 34:19- The righteous person faces many troubles, but the LORD comes to the rescue each time
When you’re going through something sometimes the last thing you want to hear is “read your Bible, pray or worship”. When your emotions have the best of you that’s exactly what you don’t want to do. I want to encourage you to do it anyway because it always works.
Many of the people in the Bible that God used didn’t think much of themselves. Many of them were just ordinary people before they had an encounter with God. One encounter with Him can change your life because He uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things.
Following Jesus requires complete surrender. One must completely give up their own will and subject their thoughts, ideas, and deeds to His will for their life. Most people don’t like the idea of surrendering because it means they’re no longer in charge.
When God says something you can count on it. His Word is as reliable as He is. (Isaiah 55:11- So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me void (useless, without result), Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.)
I’m so grateful Jesus didn’t leave us here to figure things out on our own and sent the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has many roles, one of them being our advocate. An advocate is a pleader in a court of law; a lawyer. He’s our lawyer that speaks in our defense because we don’t always know what to say. (Luke 12:11- for the Holy Spirit will give you the right words even as you are standing there.”) Jesus wanted the disciples to know that they didn’t have to be concerned about what to say when they were arrested and brought to trial.
(Luke 22:32- 34- but I have pleaded in prayer for you that your faith should not completely fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen and build up the faith of your brothers. ”Simon said, “Lord, I am ready to go to jail with you, and even to die with you.” But Jesus said, “Peter, let me tell you something. Between now and tomorrow morning when the rooster crows, you will deny me three times, declaring that you don’t even know me.”) In this same chapter Jesus is arrested and as Peter follows Jesus at a distance people begin to recognize him. Every time someone claims that he knows Jesus he denies it. (Luke 22:61-62- At that moment Jesus turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered what He had said—“Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny me three times.” And Peter walked out of the courtyard, crying bitterly.)
(Acts 2:44-46- And all the believers met together constantly and shared everything with each other, selling their possessions and dividing with those in need. They worshiped together regularly at the Temple each day, met in small groups in homes for Communion, and shared their meals with great joy and thankfulness) The early church was in constant fellowship. Fellowship is a friendly association, especially with people who share one's interests. They understood the importance of being around like-minded believers. It’s more than just going to church on Sunday’s and turning to your neighbor and saying “hey sister, hey brother”.
Has God ever called you to do something and you begin to think of all the reasons why you can’t do it? I’ll be honest and admit that I’ve done it before. For some reason fear creeps in and you start to believe its lies. I once heard someone say that fear is (False Evidence Appearing Real). Fear and faith are similar, the only difference is that fear is faith in the wrong direction. Put your faith in the right direction and believe that you can do what God has called you to do. Don’t be fearful, remember that God never called a perfect person, if that was the case He wouldn’t call anyone.
The girl I was before I gave my life to Christ and the woman I am now are two completely different people. Although we have the same name, I’m not that girl anymore. She was an alcoholic, pothead, college dropout and wasn’t satisfied with life. She knew there was something missing but she didn’t know what it was. One day she had an encounter with Jesus and finally realized that He was the missing puzzle piece to her life. She realized that He was the only One who could fill the void she had.
One encounter with God will change your life. I remember mine like it was yesterday. I didn’t just wake up one day and say “today’s the day I’m going give my life to Christ” I was taking a shower one day and God spoke to me through my heart and said “Your name is in the Book of Life and I have a place in heaven for you.” Deep down I longed to live for God, but I was so deep in sin. After that encounter I knew I had to change, so I prayed for God to deliver me from the sins I was struggling with and help me no longer desire to do them. A month later I surrendered all and accepted Him as Lord and Savior.
I’m sure we all have a favorite season. I love warm weather and I’m excited that it’ll be Spring soon but Summer is my favorite. Although I’m not really a fan of the cold I know that change is good. (Ecclesiastes 3:1- There is a right time for everything:) Whether you’re moving to a new place, starting a new job, getting married, etc, don’t be afraid of going into a new season, embrace it.
I’m sure you’ve had a moment where it feels like your world is crashing down around you, when your entire outlook, circumstances, or lifestyle are negatively affected or altered by things happening in your life. When this happens there are two choices you can make: believe things will never get better or choose to have faith even when it feels like your life is falling apart. Things may not change right away but faith changes your attitude and how you view your circumstances. “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
(Luke 9:23- Jesus said to all of His followers, “If you truly desire to be my disciple, you must disown your life completely, embrace my ‘cross’ as your own, and surrender to my ways.) Surrender is to completely give up your own will and subject your thoughts, ideas, and deeds to the will and teachings of God. Jesus is the perfect example of surrender. (Hebrews 10:7- Then I said, ‘See, I have come to do your will, to lay down my life, just as the Scriptures said that I would.’”) He came from heaven to earth, to do God’s will, by laying down His life, so that those who are spiritually dead could have eternal life. (John 17:4- I have glorified you on the earth by faithfully doing everything you’ve told me to do.)
Self-esteem reflects an individual's overall subjective emotional evaluation of their own worth. Growing up I felt like I didn’t fit in and measure up to society’s view of beauty. For a very long time, I based my worth according to their standards and I had low self esteem. When I gave my life to Christ my perspective of myself began to change. I realized that God’s Word is the opposite of society’s standards. His Word says that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and that I’m made in His image. Society says that I have to look a certain way to be beautiful. When I started seeing myself the way God sees me, my attitude towards myself changed.