Keep Pushing Forward

Pushing through the clouds….

As we enter 2023, the mantra remains the same for us all. Keep pushing forward in Jesus Christ, no matter the circumstances. Even when things are going well, there is a need to stay prayed up and focused on Jesus. There is an enemy who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy.

John 10:10 – “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”

Walking with Jesus gives us wisdom, courage and strength so that we are not blindsided. There are times when we are not aware that there is a force in the background in our lives trying to take us out.

Walking with God is about trusting Him and believing His Word for your life. His promises are yes and Amen. Look to the future through the Word of God.

Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,“ says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

This is one of my favorite Scriptures. If you have read a few of my posts, you will see that I refer to this Scripture often. Why? Because it gives me peace. It builds my trust in God. Through Jesus Christ, God has already proven that He loves us. If He has already given us eternal life, would He not even more be faithful to us to give us life more abundant?

John 10:10 – “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”

Repeating his Scripture, there are two sides to this coin. Jesus came to give us a better life here also. He didn’t say He came to erase every trial or every challenge. In growth, we have a better life. Growing in Him…in grace.

Seek Him…Walk with Him

Resignation Tendered

Whether there are sunny days or cloudy days or both together, God has everyday in His hands.

Happy New Year! to all my readers. Hope this year brings you peace; the peace of Jesus as well as all the blessings He has for you. My hope is even more in Jesus because He brought me into another year with health, sanity, family and friends as well as purpose.

I wanted to share with you something I read that reached out to me. Hence, the title of this post. This statement was shared in a devotional by Andrea Chatelain from YouVersion (Trust Me). The statement is not exact but the point was made. “I resign from the self-made post of control freak and trust God to lead no matter the consequences.” Each level we attain in this journey requires this commitment. My resignation is now tendered. God through Christ Jesus my Lord is my rock, my strength, my hope, and my life. Not saying I don’t miss the mark sometimes but I press on towards the hope of His calling.

This sentence hit home. As we continue on this journey, acceptance is required that we are not in control. Truly, good success comes from the Lord. Whether we are looking for success in our families, our marriages, our businesses or relationships in general. I read this yesterday, 01/01/23. It resonated so that I will have a reminder in several places. When things are not going as I plan, I will have reminders to adjust my perspective.

Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (NLT)

God truly wants the best for us. The hope and goal for 2023 is that this Scripture becomes even more of an anchor than it already is for me. My encouragement today is that you develop your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. As the past several years have gone by, we see the chaos the world brings. Personally, I will take the peace of Jesus since I am not in control of anything but my responses.

No matter how cloudy, He still knows. Trust Him!

John 14:27 – I am leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (NLT)

Blessed and prosperous New Year to all!

A Better Way

Evidence of Him

When you are attempting to do something and you try several different ways yet still unsuccessful, do you conclude that there must be a better way? As I continue to grow and mature, I realize that, for me, Jesus is the better way. This life journey is not easy. It has many twists and turns. After I accepted Jesus, I was still initially challenged. However, I decided_with full transparency_my way wasn’t working for me. I know that each of us have the choice of free will. God doesn’t force us to choose Jesus. He asks us to.

The choice is whether to surrender or not. Surrender. your will for His will. God does know that this is a challenge for us. His mercy and grace is there to help us make this choice. The last several years have definitely been a challenge for us all. They have been stressful. I have not been overly stressed, but blessed. I have been concerned, having no anxiety because I knew that God was in control. That is a freedom I keep.

This freedom of not trying to fix everything in my life and trusting God is truly liberating. He has everything in His hands. In concluding, I will note that I understand it is hard to believe in the deity that you cannot physically see. However, you see evidence of Him everywhere. The sun, moon, stars, nature are all a part of Him. The other note is that it takes faith to believe in God and believe God’s Word for your life.

Hebrews 11:1 – “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

As we close on 2022, evaluate where you are. If you need love, purpose, friendship, provision, protection, etc. choose Jesus Christ. God sent His only Son that we might have eternal life as well as life more abundantly here on earth. Everything may not seem differently immediately. However, God is true to His Word. His promises are real and true. Faithfulness is part of His character.

I pray that God will bless you all continually as we venture into the next year, 2023. Prayerfully, I hope that you choose Him for a better you and a better life. We were created to serve and glorify Him.

John 14:6 – “Jesus said to Him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”

Patient

Have Godly Patience

Continuing to expound on the Peace, Patience, and Presence post earlier this week, this post will expound on patience.

The definition for patience is “calm endurance of hardship, provocation, pain, delay, etc.”. This definition was found in the Reader’s Digest Oxford Complete Wordfinder. However, the definition I retrieved from the NLT Dictionary states that patience is “bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint; steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity; not hasty or impetuous.” This is a description of godly patience.

Have Godly Patience

That said, I would venture to say that being patient is not just about that you wait but how you wait. I used to think that because I understood the concept of waiting, apparently things were out of my control-otherwise no need to be patient-that I had godly patience. Not. I have since learned and accepted it is how I wait. Being patient or waiting is a necessity when you have no choice. However, not complaining, brooding, embracing emotions of anger, disappointment, etc. is godly patience. This is a description of how you wait.

Romans 2:4 – “Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you?” God gives us a real example of patience. He is giving us time to choose Him, to change our ways. God does not wish that anyone perish. We have to be humbled by God’s patience for us.

Our Confident Hope

Another verse that speaks to how we wait is Romans 12:12 – “Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep praying.” When in this posture, it is evidence of trusting God; knowing that He has everything under control. Not only that, we have patience with those who abuse us and misuse us. We know that vengeance belongs to the Lord. We don’t need to avenge ourselves. I believe the challenge with this perspective is that we want things handled right now. Or, not trusting that God will handle things and the people who hurt us will get away.

In light of the Scripture that we are to imitate God in everything we do because we are His dear children, we are to love. Love is patient.

Peace

Natural Beauty

Expounding on peace from my post on Monday, I want to encourage looking for the real and eternal peace, the peace of God. This peace is founded on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. John 14:27 – “I am, leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” NLT

Two of the critical elements of this peace from Jesus is trust and faith. You have to have faith in the words of Jesus and you have to trust that He keeps His word. When compared to the fragile and unstable peace of the world, this is the real thing. The peace of this world is not stable. Here today, gone tomorrow. The peace of God is never-changing and eternal. How can you question something unchanging and eternal?

Philippians 4:6-7 – “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” NLT

Real peace takes commitment to Christ. Reading the word of God daily keeps me focused on Jesus. My peace is based on reading and knowing His word; trusting that He keeps His word; and, that He will bring it to pass in His time. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You!” This is a promise from God and the promises of God are “Yes, and Amen”. He “will keep in perfect peace”. No question.

The Beauty of God in Nature

Are you looking for “real” peace?

Contentment

Contentment – a satisfied state; tranquil happiness

1 Timothy 6:6 – “Godliness with contentment is great gain.”

How satisfied are you with your life? I was thinking today and evaluating how I was feeling as I went through my day. I actually focused on what I was doing at any given moment in time. Retraining myself to do one thing at a time to get more enjoyment out of it. To do it well. Multi-tasking is way over-rated. The older I get, the better understanding I have of focusing on what is right in front of me. I can do one thing at a time with excellence or I can do several things simultaneously and not worth mentioning.

Today, I was content with my life and at peace with where I am. Two years ago, around this time of the year, I was wishing and hoping for changes. Many “on” days and many “off” days. I remember wanting things to be different. More consistent. I was confronted with the dissatisfaction that had hold of my heart. I will say that I am very glad that I didn’t stay in that place. I decided to just trust God and lay my desires at His feet.

Being content means being satisfied. I realized that as long as I was right with God, I would get what I needed. I can see that life can be so much more when we are satisfied; content with having the things that we need instead of every whim and fancy we think we want. Hebrews 13:5 – “Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.”

Nature’s Beauty

This post is talking about what will it take for more people to just be happy. I believe that gratitude is a major part of the contentment many of us need. That place where life is good. We have breath in our bodies, food to eat, a warm place to sleep, and clothes on our backs, etc.

What Does Courage Mean to You?

Courage means “the ability to disregard fear.” I got this definition from the Reader’s Digest Oxford Complete Wordfinder published in 1996. Twenty-six years ago. Still holds true today.

His Presence is always with us.

However, what does God say about courage.

Genesis 46:3-4 – 3) I am God, the God of your father,” the voice said. “Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make your family into a great nation. 4) I will go with you down to Egypt, and I will bring you back again. You will die in Egypt, but Joseph will be with you to close your eyes.”

God was speaking to Jacob. He was going to be with him during this major situation in his life. God promised to be with him. Jacob’s God was God. No matter what he went through, including death, God would be with him. We will all die someday. I would rather die with God than without Him.

Jesus reassured the disciples in John 16:33 – “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

There are so many Scriptures that encourage and direct us to be of good courage. I shared one Old Testament and one New testament Scripture because courage is necessary when we are going through, even unto death. There is a need to focus on more than what is just comfortable for us. In fulfilling God’s plans and purpose for our lives, there is a need for courage. Each of us, individually, must dive into the Scriptures for our own lives.

When we have the courage to stand on God’s word, our life is in His hands. God is not going to tell you to do something He is not prepared to carry you through. When we have surrendered to the Almighty God, there is nothing He cannot do in our lives.

Do you have the courage to surrender to Him? The gift of salvation is free. Moving forward on this journey can sometimes be a challenge, but you are not going alone. He tells us to be of good courage, trusting and relying on Him. Praise God! Hallelujah and Amen.

He Loves Me

TRUST HIM

Romans 8:28 – “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.”

As I sit and ponder this, I realize that there are many times the choices I make are not the best. However, the Scripture above tells me that even then, God is working out the good for our benefit. I do give God the praise and glory today because no matter what He loves me and is always looking to give me what’s good for me in spite of my humanity.

This Scripture also gives me rest. Not saying I want to make the wrong choices. When I do though, God is right there making sure by His protection that it works out for my good. This is not to say there won’t be consequences. They may very well be there. He is still right by my side to make sure that I get through them. The comfort of God’s love for me is everything.

God’s Hand

I would like to encourage you today. No matter what, God is with you. His word states that he will never leave you nor forsake you. Psalm 9:10 – “Those who know your name trust in You, for You, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for You.” David wrote a good portion of the Psalms. His relationship with God is an excellent example of what that means. David was not perfect. He was repentant and humble when he did make some bad choices. And, he did.

God lets us know that making wrong choices doesn’t remove His love for us. His word shows us by the testimony of those gone before us. Stay the course because you can’t do anything He doesn’t know about or isn’t aware of.

Nothing can separate us from the love of God. And thank God for that!

Even when the skies are troubled…

Romans 8:35-37

Verse 35 – “Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?

Verse 36 – “As the Scriptures say, “For Your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”

Verse 37 – “No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loves us.”

Surrender or Trust, or Both?

Flowing Water

Today, I want to talk about surrender. Surrendering to God is difficult, at best for most of us. Most of us don’t surrender until we come face to face with things being totally out of our control. Still surrender is challenging. Then, we realize we need to trust God whether we like it or not. We need to surrender.

High Above the Clouds

Is surrender about trust? Why is it so hard for us to surrender to God? Do you trust Him? Is it because He’s not physically tangible? You can’t reach out and touch Him like you can the person close to you that you love? Doubting Thomas. Remember him?

John 20:25 NLT – He said “I will not believe until I see the nail wounds in His hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”

Are the trees, the birds, the sky, the moon, the seasons not enough physical evidence? Even humanity? Why won’t you trust God with your heart? The One who created your heart. Is your resistance to surrender because you want to maintain control?

The Majesty of Clouds

Trust. What does that word really mean to you? The dictionary says it means a firm belief in the reliability or truth or strength, etc., of a person or a thing. The only real truth standing the test of time is God’s truth, His word. Trust also means a confident expectation. The word of God is the same yesterday, today and forever because it is truth. Truth does not change. Facts do. What other thing can you have a confident (trust) expectation in?