Pain can be overwhelming, and emotions can heighten our belief that we can’t conquer the beast. No matter what life brings we have to turn our eyes to Jesus. Fix our minds on what Jesus says about us.
I just want to let you know there’s only love at the cross of Christ! So no matter what you’re going through Jesus waits to love you.
Shame is the devil’s tool to keep you from God‘s purpose in your life. It is a huge wall that the enemy tries to put between you and your Savior Jesus!
Isaiah 61:1-3 NLT The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, for the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.  He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the LORD’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.  To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.
There’s only love in the heart of Jesus! Sometimes circumstances beyond our control, our own personal choices, can lead to experiences that try to destroy us. But God wants to break through all of that. And He wants you to come to the Father!
A friend shared this song by Zach Williams, the “Heart of God”. Someone I love is struggling right now, however, the message of God‘s promises in the song is true. So go to the arms of God!
Isaiah 61:8-9 NLT “For I, the LORD, love justice. I hate robbery and wrongdoing. I will faithfully reward my people for their suffering and make an everlasting covenant with them.  Their descendants will be recognized and honored among the nations. Everyone will realize that they are a people the LORD has blessed.”
Pain is an opportunity for growth in God! I shared this concept with a few friends lately.
Pain can draw us to our Savior or fear over pain can cause us to look over our shoulder and run from the Savior. The molding of our character burns and can scar us.
Daniel 3 shares the story of three young men who refused to bow down before a king. They trusted God over any threats by man. God protected them from a fiery furnace and death. As a result, the King and others turned their lives over to God.
Daniel 3:16-18 CEV The three men replied, “Your Majesty, we don’t need to defend ourselves.  The God we worship can save us from you and your flaming furnace.  But even if he doesn’t, we still won’t worship your gods and the gold statue you have set up.”
These young men placed their hope in the One True God!! We can choose the same course. Trust God in your pain to be refined as gold into the treasure He already knows you to be.
Psalm 25:1-8 MSG My head is high, GOD, held high; I’m looking to you, GOD; No hangdog skulking for me.  I’ve thrown in my lot with you; You won’t embarrass me, will you? Or let my enemies get the best of me? Don’t embarrass any of us Who went out on a limb for you. It’s the traitors who should be humiliated.  Show me how you work, GOD; School me in your ways.  Take me by the hand; Lead me down the path of truth. You are my Savior, aren’t you?  Mark the milestones of your mercy and love, GOD; Rebuild the ancient landmarks!  Forget that I sowed wild oats; Mark me with your sign of love. Plan only the best for me, GOD!  GOD is fair and just; He corrects the misdirected, Sends them in the right direction.
The gods of this world: materialism, social status, economic wealth, can’t compare to the peace found in trusting our Creator God with our futures. In this time of uncertainty, world instability, financial chaos, relational strife. There is only one real choice, Jesus.
This mindset may not make sense to our human mind however, as I talked with a dear Sister in Christ yesterday, Jesus is the only Peace to be found. He has never changed from the time of Daniel.
Let the supernatural peace of God take hold of your heart and mind. Micah 4:11-13 the Message version, practically jumped off the page. Hold onto the promises of God.
Holy Spirit fuel our steps!!!🔥💜
Micah 4:11-13 MSG But for right now, they’re ganged up against you, many godless peoples, saying, “Kick her when she’s down! Violate her! We want to see Zion grovel in the dirt.” These blasphemers have no idea what GOD is thinking and doing in this. They don’t know that this is the making of GOD’s people, that they are wheat being threshed, gold being refined.  On your feet, Daughter of Zion! Be threshed of chaff, be refined of dross. I’m remaking you into a people invincible, into God’s juggernaut to crush the godless peoples. You’ll bring their plunder as holy offerings to GOD, their wealth to the Master of the earth.
How are you using your words, blessing or cursing? It matters to God how we treat those He places along our path. No one is perfect not one of us!
My current self reflection is: are my words encouraging, speaking truth in love or in frustration, snarky, unthinking babble?
What is my main purpose when speaking is to be right or to cause more destruction to someone who is struggling? Have you ever thought about how your words impact people in your sphere?
Matthew 12:34-37 NLT  You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.  A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart.  And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak.  The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.”
Do you want to acquit or condemn another person who is created by God? Gossip or slander tears down, it does not build up, even in asking prayer for someone. Go to God with concerns, He knows the details of His children. There are times you feel prompted to share your struggles, the Lord will guide you to safe, Loving, Godly brothers and sisters in Christ.
Titus 3:1-2 NLT  Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good.  They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone.
Do you want to be known as the quarrelsome, judgmental Christian or a gentle, humble servant of Jesus? If you are a parent, our kids watch how we use our tongues. Troubles come when we speak without thinking. I am guilty of this character flaw. It’s as if my tongue has a mind of its own. James is a solid book of the Bible, here are a few pearls of wisdom I turn to often.
James 1:2-12,26 NLT  Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.  For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.  If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.  But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.  Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.  Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.  Believers who are poor have something to boast about, for God has honored them.  And those who are rich should boast that God has humbled them. They will fade away like a little flower in the field.  The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements.  God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.  If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.
Reread James 1:26: If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and our religion is worthless. Wow, that hurts, it is a conviction in your heart meant to bring a pause, and lead you to repent, ask forgiveness from Jesus and for help to break this flaw, in the Name of Jesus. We can’t do this on our own, our flesh gets the credit for impulse control issues. We need to grow in self control, a fruit of the spirit!!
Galatians 5:22-25 NLT  But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.  Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.
Those who parent, mentor, or feel the call to share wisdom with others are called to a higher standard. Their loyalty must be in God alone. We live in a world with trial and daily we get the opportunity to hone our faith in Jesus. We must be humble and seek the Lord for all things, too.
James 3:1-10,13,17-18 NLT  Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly.  Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.  We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth.  And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong.  In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire.  And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.  People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish,  but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison.  Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God.  And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!  If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.  But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.  And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.
The tongue can bless or curse. Do you want to start a forest fire? Our tongue and words can be restless and evil, especially when you are Hangry. I remind myself to evaluate for H.A.L.T.: Hungry, Angry,Lonely,Tired. Even still, there is no excuse for lack of self control.
On my own, I may not be gentle, peace loving, or willing to yield to another. But with accountability of fellow believers in Christ, time in stillness speaking with my best friend, Jesus and asking Him to help me change character flaws, I am hopeful of healthy communications. Grateful to those who speak truth over my circumstances so I can grow in Christ and in community of His people.
I want to be known as a peacemaker and an example of a fruit bearing Christian, how about you? It is a new day, start to tame your tongue and may the words we speak be pleasing to God and encourage others.
Psalm 19:14 NLT  May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
What a time to be alive? So much going on in the lives of Christian friends and those who haven’t found Jesus yet. We can face anything with Jesus.
He tells us to trust Him. In my own human mind, it seems like weakness to need anyone, let alone Jesus, who I can’t see. Yet, faith comes without seeing, it is believing in Jesus even when we do not know the future. Current times make us feel fear yet Jesus calls us to faith in Him.
Faith comes when we choose to trust Jesus over fear. Thomas was the disciple who expressed doubt to Jesus; when Jesus appeared to his disciples after he died on the cross. Jesus reminded Thomas that he knew Jesus before and after His resurrection. Jesus understood Thomas’ doubt as natural for a human. Amazing, He understands our doubt too!!!
I do not know what fires are erupting in your life personally. Globally, we can see increased hopelessness and depravity along with more mental health issues. It breaks my heart to hear of the depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts at epidemic levels in young adults and teens.
John 20: 26-31 is a beautiful reminder of the heart of Jesus. Jesus understood the emotional, spiritual, and physical needs of his friends; the disciples. He didn’t judge, He loved them and spoke peace to them.
John 20: 26 - 31
26 Eight days later, his disciples were again in the room. This time Thomas
was with them. Jesus came through the locked doors, stood among them,
and said, “Peace to you.”
27 Then he focused his attention on Thomas. “Take your finger and examine my
hands. Take your hand and stick it in my side. Don’t be unbelieving. Believe.”
28 Thomas said, “My Master! My God!”
29 Jesus said, “So, you believe because you’ve seen with your own eyes. Even
better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing.”
30-31 Jesus provided far more God-revealing signs than are written down
in this book. These are written down so you will believe that Jesus is the
Messiah, the Son of God, and in the act of believing, have real and eternal
life in the way he personally revealed it.
Jordan St. Cyr, sings a meaningful song about ” Fires”, Jesus wants to walk us through fires and be renewed to His grace, mercy, and love. There is no other place to go, no idol, no addiction no other person can provide. This video reminds me that our instruction to our family, children, even our friends shares timeless wisdom to endure. He wants to walk with you.