Tag Archives: Hope

Happy Resurrection Sunday All! Jesus IS Risen!

Hey everyone, this #ResurrectionSunday (Easter), I want to share a worship song from Brian Littrell called Wish. The link is to a music video on YouTube of Brian singing how he wishes he had been there when Jesus was growing up, when He lay down His life for us, and is risen again. This song makes me cry every time because I actually imagine Jesus laying His will down at the garden where He prayed moments before being betrayed, asking the Father to please take the cup of grief from Him if possible, but not His (Jesus) will be done, but the Father’s will. (Luke 22:41-44)

He lay down His life for you and for me, and Brian paints a clear picture of Jesus’ life and betrayal that led to Him hanging on a cross, dying for us so we could be saved. And He is Risen TODAY, 3 days later, to reconcile us to God through Him, and also He gave us victory over death.

Take a moment and pray with me please: Heavenly Father, thank You for giving Your only Begotten Son, Jesus, to die for us. Jesus thank You for dying for me and for the whole world and being risen by the power of the Holy Spirit on this day over 2000 years ago to reconcile us to God and to conquer death once and for all for us. Thank You for bearing our sins and wounds and sicknesses so we could be healed by Your wounds, so the power of sin could be broken in our lives, and so we can live peaceful lives here on Earth and then spend eternity in Heaven with You and the Father.

And now I ask in Your Beloved Name for you to draw us all close to You and let those not saved take the steps to be saved, and let those of us who are saved be so close to Your heart that we will not be led astray. Forgive us all for all of our sins, cleanse us and create pure and undivided hearts in us, let us lean into Your faithful love and promises for protection, healing, and provision instead of giving in to any further panic the CV pandemic has caused all around the world, and like You withered the tree that would not give You a fig from the roots up, may You do the same with this virus and others like Cancer and Lupus, and Celiac Disease. Make it safe to give and receive hugs, kisses and other personal touches that allow us to feel the love others have for us, as well as Your love for us. Let Your love and light shine in our darkness and make all darkness disappear from our hearts, minds, and from our lives. Amen

Isaiah 53:5 tells us that “by His wounds you are healed.” If you need healing today, let what Jesus did for us on the cross over 2000 years ago, and his being risen back to life again open your hearts and minds to receive the healing Jesus wants to give you, and believe it is possible. It may not happen immediately, but You will notice a part of you healed whether physically, mentally and emotionally, or spiritually and let that give you hope that in His time, you will be fully healed. And ask Him what you are meant to learn or teach others through this pain and consider that God may be preparing to show His glory through You like in John 9 when Jesus healed a man blind from birth and told the disciples it was done (the man being born blind) for the glory of the Father. When His disciples and others saw the man being healed, everyone (including the man healed from his physical blindness) was amazed and people were praising God for the miracle they had witnessed. And the Pharisees wanted to know who had healed him and it was revealed eventually it was Jesus who did it and then He addressed the Pharisees about their spiritual blindness.

Now I admit, I am still asking God what the point of letting me be hit by a car but not bringing me Home to Heaven, but instead allowing me to suffer in immense chronic physical pain and anguish over it is. And someone spoke a healing prayer and did like a healing the way Peter did in the NT and I expected the healing to work. It worked a little bit for a brief time. I did what the man told me to do but I need to believe there is a reason it did not work and why I am not healed. It is possible that hurts from traumas in my past are stopping the healing from working, and God is working with me to heal from my past. So something good did come out of that healing prayer.

It is also possible to that people who are not focused on the negative or how things are now from a visual point if view could also look at me and marvel that I am still fighting the enemy daily to hold on to my faith and hope in Jesus, and be encouraged by it, and I am hoping that is true, so that my suffering can serve a positive purpose while I wait on God to be ready to fully heal me completely in every single way.

Brian ends his song Wish with the conviction (like he believes it without a doubt) that someday he WILL see Jesus and His mercy and grace, that he will see Jesus face-to-face. And the truth is, that when Jesus comes back, we will ALL see Him face to face. In the meantime, we live like Jesus (the best we can, with help from the Holy Spirit), believe His promises are for us, receive and accept His love and forgiveness for our sins in our hearts and love Him back with our whole being, and trust in His goodness and trust that He will heal the sick (including you if you need any form of healing), protect us from deadly plague and harm (read Psalms 91), and will provide us each with everything we need as we need it (Philippians 4:19). Have a blessed Resurrection Sunday everyone.

What Happens When You Magnify Your Fears Instead of God

What Happens When You Magnify Your Fears Instead of God

I have written about this subject before – of one’s fears being greater than faith in God, or not believing God exists at all, and even admitted to allowing fear to take over in my life in certain situations, but with all the craziness that has been going on lately with the Coronavirus, I feel a need to bring it up again. This is worse than when the Swine Flu broke out back in 2009, or even the idea of Y2K (the year 2,000) when people thought that on January 1, 2000, the computers all around the world would get confused and explode and that would be the end of the world! People are once again acting like the world is about to end and everyone could die from the Coronavirus.

Let me assure you, the chances of that happening are slim. I did some diligent research just to see why people were going crazy stocking up on Powerade Zero (has electrolytes without the sugar for proper hydration and also energy boosts), toilet paper, and just about everything else there is to stock up on for emergency situations. And I also wanted to know why Amazon Fresh was suddenly not delivering groceries, even to a shut-in like me who has limited mobility and cannot go to the grocery store for myself to get what I need. Thankfully, Instacart did not buy into the fear gripping people all around the world about this virus that is spreading to more and more people daily and I got what I needed when I needed it, with a couple of exceptions like my Powerade Zero which I am upset I did not get because I have always had problems with properly hydrating and it got worse after the car hit me back in December 2017.

Anyway, the results I found state that over 80% of the people who get infected with an upper respiratory infection (which is now being labeled as Coronavirus for some reason unknown to me, and also being called SARS 2. The original outbreak of SARS occurred in November of 2002) have a mild case they will not die from. And about 15% will get a more serious case of the virus, but will still live. Only 5% who contract the Coronavirus (also known as various different forms of an upper respiratory infection such as Pneumonia) will actually die. Did you get that everyone? Only 5% of those infected will die. Now I know that even 1 person dying is bad, especially when it is someone you know and someone you care deeply about, but it sounds to me like the risk of dying is about the same as before this outbreak started! I am fully aware that the number of serious cases, and also people getting the virus is increasing daily but panicking about it and acting like every human in the world is going to get it and die is not going to make the disease go away!

Do you want to stay safe from infection? Then cover your cough and sneeze, wash your hands with warm soap and water regularly – especially after touching a surface that is full of germs such as a door or countertop and what not and of course after going to the bathroom, it is a matter of proper hygiene here! And in addition to not spreading your germs when coughing and sneezing, do not go out in big crowds whenever it is possible, and if you are going to a medical place like a hospital or doctor office, or somewhere else people have been reported being sick, take some precautions like wearing a mask in addition to washing your hands with soap and warm water. Panic, however, is never going to solve anything. Panic makes problems worse and magnifies the issue(s), which makes problems worse than they are already and not ever any better.

Panic is a statement that you either do not believe God exists at all, or that you do not think God cares, or that you do not believe God has the power or ability to keep you safe or to work to help you solve the issue that is causing you such great panic. For non-believers and unbelievers, the case is that God does not exist at all so there is no supernatural force that is able to keep people safe. For believers who let panic settle in, either they are around other people who turn to panic and live in a constant state of panic and paranoia (which is the case for me at the moment sadly, and I will talk more about that a bit later on) and we all know other people’s emotions and mindsets have an impact on our own mindsets and emotions…or the believer does believe for everyone else but is having a hard time believing that God cares about them personally or is angry with them or some other reason that would prevent God from intervening and protecting, or possibly it is a combo of both since what people say and do affects others, and there are times when even the believer who has a great faith, when that believer does not see God moving in his or her life to change something for the better, that person believes God is angry with them or has abandoned them.

I admit that for me it is a combo of both. I am around people who are constantly angry, anxious, afraid, depressed, stressed to the point of burnout and exploding in anger, and sometimes outright paranoid and their minds immediately go to the “worst-case scenario” mentality about just about everything! And I am an empath who feels not just my own feelings deeply, but other’s emotions and frames of mind greatly as well and so it negatively affects me. And I have had a few traumatic things happen to me in my lifetime so far that range from being bullied as a kid and other forms of abuse I have suffered even in my teens and adult life thus far (and I am still bullied as an adult by other adults who should know better but do it anyway), my mom’s death back in June 2006, and the car hitting me while I was a pedestrian with the right of way trying to cross the street to the other side to get to Walmart. And then there are other things like “friends” who promise to be in my life forever abandoning me suddenly and without telling me why or giving me a chance to make whatever I may have done right with them, and family members being on the list of people who mistreat me even today. So believe me when I say I know that there are so many things and traumatic events that can make it difficult to believe God loves you, and unconditionally, and has never left or abandoned you and never will. I feel that way more than I care to admit. I am working on it with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit though, and I know that without God, there would be absolutely no hope whatsoever of things ever getting better for me or in this world in general either.

I understand that this is where non-believers and unbelievers are at right now with the Coronavirus spreading all over the world on a daily basis and I feel incredibly sad for them. My heart actually breaks for them, and not just because 2 of those people or more are related to me, but because I care. I am not heartless or mean. I can even understand why things may look hopeless and why it is hard to see light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. And I can also understand why other believers who know in their mind God loves them and that all Scripture from all 66 Books in the Bible are 100% Truth, are having a hard time believing it for themselves what God has promised for all who believe and are saved.

So what prompted me to write about this when it sounds like I understand why people are letting fear take over, which is magnifying the problem instead of magnifying God, who is greater than any disease/virus or problem any human will ever face? Well it began with my not being able to get a delivery for groceries I needed earlier this week. And then twice this week, including a few minutes before beginning writing on this blog, I overheard a conversation where 2 people are taking the panic over getting infected by the Coronavirus to the point where one is saying it is not safe to fly or go out in public places like the gym or the supermarket, and the other is talking about visiting but how can they visit for an indefinite amount of time when they only have a few days of medications left, and have so many other things to do in a planning stage of an extended visit to last for an unknown amount of time. The first person is saying that the way the person talking about travel plans to get there is safe since it is by car, but intending to return home by plane a week or even 2 weeks later is bad because things will be worse in a week or 2 because more people will be infected with the virus.

The hysteria and panic is more than I can bear because I do not see a logical reason for such a serious state of hysterics and panic! There is no earthquake, hurricane, tornado, or any form of natural disaster and we are not back in the days where the bubonic plague killed millions of people because there was not enough information on it and it was a strong and powerful contagious bacterial disease (the definition of the word plague) so why are people staying inside their homes, stocking up on everything they could ever possibly need to stay inside for super long periods of time? Doctors are aware of the symptoms of Coronavirus since it is not entirely new. There may be a new form of an already existing virus, or existing form of a type of virus such as Upper Respiratory Infections, but that does not mean that we are seeing round 2 of the bubonic plague and so I say this with faith in God, who is greater than even the deadliest of diseases that exist in the world today: God has the power and authority to kill the Coronavirus completely! The thing is, if people do not believe this to be true and give in to the panic and paranoia gripping so many people because of this viral infection, then what God can do is limited. For fellow believers, you already know from reading all 4 books that make up the Gospel, that Jesus was not able to perform too many miracles (and none in a couple of places) because of people’s unbelief, especially in his hometown where He had grown up as the carpenter’s son. It was not because Jesus did not want to perform miracles for His family and neighbors He had grown up with, but their unbelief that prevented it. There was 1 example where a father’s unbelief did not stop Jesus from healing the man’s son in Mark 9, but it helped that the man confessed his unbelief to Jesus and asked Him to help him overcome his unbelief. The father said “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” But not everyone has even a small measure of faith and admits any unbelief, or asks for help overcoming their unbelief in Jesus and what Jesus is able to do for any person who believes! And therein lies the problem we are facing right now. The problem is not the virus itself, but people’s frame of mind.

When a person panics over any problem that arises in their life or in someone else’s life and they focus on the problem and it “getting worse”, then sad to say, the problem will continue to get worse. Magnifying a problem makes it bigger than it was ever meant to beSo how about instead of magnifying the affects and effects of the Coronavirus and the possibility of it infecting one of us ourselves, or a loved one, we magnify our Mighty God we serve who cares deeply for everyone, including those who do not believe whether because something happened to them to make them stop believing (unbelievers) or because they never believed to begin with (non-believers) either due to lack of knowledge or because they heard about God but refuse to believe a God who allows sickness, death, pain, and separation, homelessness and other problems the world faces today to exist. What both these unbelievers and non-believers fail to understand is that these things, and all forms of evil, exist because we live in a fallen world that began when the serpent was able to entice Eve to take forbidden fruit from the one tree God asked/commanded both Adam and Eve never to eat from. The serpent enticed Eve, who in turn got her husband Adam to eat the forbidden fruit because instead of doing what God intended for Adam to do as husband (protect his wife and make sure she obeys God’s 1 rule), he figured if his wife was going to die, or at least get into serious trouble with God, he was going to stand by his woman and get into trouble too. Part of that is my opinion, but most of it is fact. Fact 1 is that the serpent knew Eve was insecure and he fed her insecurities and got her believing God had lied to her when He said if she or Adam ate fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that she would not surely die as God said they would, but said it out of jealousy so that she and Adam would not gain the knowledge of God. Eve was convinced and let her insecurities lead to the disobedience of grabbing 2 apples: 1 for her and 1 for Adam to eat. Fact 2, Adam ate the forbidden fruit because Eve did. And when they both ate the forbidden fruit, sin entered the world along with the ill effects such as disease, suffering, separation, and all other problems we face today including death. Adam and Eve gave up a problem-free and peaceful living in the garden of Eden when they sinned against God.

Imagine this: You live in the garden of Eden and have animals to take care of, healthy food (fruit and vegetables) to eat, fellowship with God face-to-face and you never had to worry about sickness, separation, death, or evil and only had one rule. Just one! The one rule is: do not eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or you will surely die. 1 tree is off-limits, but there are a ton of other trees that were not off-limits, and the water they drank was probably more pure than most water available in today’s world. Eve let insecurity entice her to sin against God, and Adam sinned because his wife did and it sounded to me like he did not want her getting into trouble alone, so he joined her in sinning against God. Of course, when confronted by God Himself, Eve pointed the finger of blame at the serpent and Adam blamed Eve instead of either of them taking responsibility for their own sinful actions. But that blame game came later, after God went searching for them and saw they had covered themselves and they admitted to feeling shame over being naked, when they realized they were after eating the forbidden fruit. I am actually not 100% certain why Adam decided to eat the forbidden fruit with Eve instead of standing up to protect her by telling the serpent to leave his wife alone and making sure she did not eat the forbidden fruit, especially since he had been alive longer than Eve and so had spent more time with God and knew that his obedience to God made fellowship with God both possible and enjoyable. But he did do it and both he and Eve suffered the consequences, and ever since we have also been suffering the consequences from their decision to commit the original sin against God.

What am I saying? I am saying that bad things happen either because a person sins against God and there are consequences to those sins, and other times it is someone else’s use of their free will to commit a sin against another person and against God, and other times it is because we live in a fallen world. I honestly believe that stuff like widespread of diseases like the Coronavirus happen because we live in a fallen world where sin exists, where disease and suffering exist, and other forms of evil. However, that does not have to be an “end game” for us. When we decide daily, and sometimes moment by moment or hour by hour, to fully believe that the 1 true God exists, cares deeply about you and all of mankind and also animals and all living things, has supernatural abilities and willingness to help and to heal, then we know that God will protect us, He will protect our loved ones, and just like Jesus spoke to that fig tree and told it that it would never bear fruit again and it withered from the roots up and died, that same power that withered up the whole fig tree from the roots up, can do the same thing to Coronavirus and all other viruses no matter how mild or deadly (or in-between) the infectious disease or illness is. God has the power, authority, and I believe the willingness for those who will accept these truths about God, to make the infectious disease die from the roots up and wither completely! God can heal those who are currently ill and still have breath in them, when it is His will, he can bring the dead back to life like He did back in Biblical times (even before the Gospels, back in Old Testament days), and can also keep those not infected yet safe from being infected by any deadly virus at all.

There is one thing that a fellow blogger friend of mine said in her own blog about Coronavirus she posted earlier this week that I agree with completely and would like to second her sentiments on: What if people used the amount of fervor and devotion to taking measures to stay safe from being infected by the Coronavirus to worship God and believe in His ability to help us recover from illness, and other circumstances that seem hopeless? What if we devoted the amount of time people are currently devoting to buying out supermarkets and other places you can get groceries and other possible necessities to protect from danger or be ready for an emergency to instead praying for God with the faith He hears and responds with yes when we pray for things in His will – which we know it is when what we pray for is in alignment with what He promises/what His word says, studying God’s Word daily with in-depth studies where we do not merely read what God’s Word says, but take time to learn the true meaning of the verses we are reading and how we can apply them to our lives today, worship with hymns and other songs and other forms of praise to God, fellowship with other believers so we can unite together as 1 in Christ and be stronger in our faith, and doing what we can (and receiving help from the Holy Spirit) to carry out God’s will and His purpose for our lives individually and together? What would that look like to you? How would the world begin to change for the better if we began by changing the things inside ourselves that need changing such as our tendencies to let fears and worries, anxiety, depression, doubt, unbelief, jealousy, and other ungodly emotions to dictate how we live our lives and the thoughts we think, the words we say or write or type, the actions we take, and also our attitudes and behavior? How would the world change for the better if we worked on turning fear into faith and hope anchored in Jesus, anxiety to peace coming from knowing God is in control and that He loves you and everyone else unconditionally, hate into love and kindness, unforgiveness into forgiveness, understanding, mercy, and grace, and led with the heart of compassion that led Jesus in His ministry on earth and always has since Adam and Eve, and always will for all eternity because God does not just display love towards us, God is love! And compassion, kindness, forgiveness, understanding, patience, mercy, and grace are all important aspects of what true, unconditional love looks like. We do not always recognize it because we are humans and make mistakes and we do not always show love, even when we do have unconditional love for another person we care deeply for. However, just because we humans have a problem showing unconditional love, does not mean it is a problem for God. And just because God does allow consequences for sins we commit against Him, does not mean God no longer loves us or has abandoned you or anyone else who sins against Him. The truth is everyone sins against God at some point because nobody is perfect, except for Jesus, our Lord and Savior, and there is only one Jesus in existence who is the Son of God, yet also fully human. Admitting to be a sinner against God is not a weakness or something to be ashamed of. It takes a great amount of strength to admit when you are wrong, and even more strength to willingly work on changing the things you need to change in yourself to be more like Christ and sin less. No one will ever accomplish never sinning against God, but it is possible to repent and to change your heart and your mindsets and to not willfully sin against God (or as much). God sees the heart and our frame of mind when we say or do anything, so He knows if there is an underlying problem such as hurt that needs to be healed in order for a person to stop committing the same sins over and over again, as unintentional as it is. God also knows when it is willful and definitely intentional, and if the reason comes from hurt or from evil/the enemy. God forgives all sins and all we need to do in order to accept His forgiveness is confess our sins and take actions to change our ways which is sincere repentance. The only unforgivable sin is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. All other sins can be forgiven, and are the moment we become aware of committing the sin and confess it to God and ask for the help of His Holy Spirit to repent completely. My apologies for getting slightly off-topic for a moment.

What I am trying to say is that when we believe that everything in Scripture is God-breathes and 100% true and accept all of God’s truth in our hearts in addition to our minds and live out our lives in accordance with knowing God’s Word is Truth, which means that God does love you and everyone else unconditionally and He still has the ability and willingness to heal, protect, and lead and guide anyone who believes Him and His truth completely, there is hope. There is hope for better times to come, there is hope for God to heal you or a loved one of whatever sickness, disease, wounds/injuries and pain you or a loved one suffers from, and there is hope for the seemingly impossible to happen including what appears to be a hopeless situation to suddenly do a complete 180! Sometimes God works quickly to bring about the healing or the positive change in someone’s circumstance, but other times He changes things more slowly, 1 step at a time. It is frustrating, believe me, I understand! But the same God who brought Lazarus back from the dead and raised His Son Jesus from the dead has the same power, authority, and willingness to bring back from the dead our hopes, dreams, relationships, health, finances, and anything else that appears to be “dead” to you (or to me). So dear readers of mine, if God has the ability to raise someone from the dead and bring them back to life, surely He has the ability to prevent an infectious disease from killing millions of people, and can protect you and your loved ones without you or anyone else giving in to the panic and hysteria that has been overcoming so many people all around the world. Panic is not going to prevent the bad thing you’re trying to prevent from happening to you or anyone else! In fact, what you believe will happen will eventually happen if you dwell on it too long!

However, if you go the other way and decide to put your full trust in God and make the conscious decision to believe God will protect you and your loved ones and devote your time, energy, attention, and efforts into receiving God’s love and forgiveness into your hearts, praying to God continually and without ceasing until the thing you are praying for in accordance with God’s will comes to pass in yours or your loved one’s life, praise God before the prayers are answered as well as afterwards (and give God the credit for answering your prayers), worship Him, study His word deeply, and fellowship with other sincere followers of Christ with unwavering faith, then there is no reason to panic, and you will notice God’s love and protection in your life and in the life of your loved ones. Believing God is good, that God loves you and all of your loved ones unconditionally, and is protecting you and your loved ones will lead to you experiencing and seeing the positive changes you seek, and the protection you continually pray for as well as other forms of provision God promises and that we ask for because of those promises He gave to us through His written Word. If what we focus our thoughts on eventually becomes a reality for us, what if instead of dwelling on the negative – such as the spreading of the Coronavirus, we fix our gaze/eyes on Jesus and we fix our thoughts on things that are true such as how loving and sovereign over all the LORD is? Do you believe it’s possible to see more of God’s goodness, unfailing love (Jeremiah 31:3a), faithfulness (see Hebrews 6:18 and also the Book of Psalms), protection, and other forms of provision from God if these are the things we fix our attention/minds on? I do! I believe that if we decide to take deep and calming breaths when we feel anxiety or panic arise inside, and remember God’s love and faithfulness from the past and believe that we will see more of God’s love and faithfulness in the present and in the future, then that is what we will see happening in our lives to us individually, and to the people in our lives we continue to pray for without ceasing just like we are told to in Scripture (Ephesians 6:18)Pick any of the 66 Books of the Bible, both Old Testament and New Testament and you will find verses filled with God’s love, mercy, grace, compassion, forgiveness, and supernatural abilities and willingness to turn around seemingly impossible situations. Matthew 19:26 says that “For humans, it is impossible. But all things are possible for God.” This means that it is possible for God to protect you from something that looks impossible to be protected from, and it is possible to overcome a situation that looks like you are stuck in for the rest of your life. You may not be able to turn the situation around by yourself, but with God, you can! The only thing God requires of you or me is to believe this truth, even when people and also our current circumstances seem to say “impossible.” It just so happens that impossible situations being turned around for the better are a specialty of the God (the 1 true God) that we serve! Right now the anxiety and panic people are experiencing and leading people to believe is a hopeless situation and doom is inevitable, and evidence in the form of more and more people being infected with a form of Coronavirus seems to back up the idea of doom being inevitable, but to the person who refuses to give in to anxiety, panic, or the thought of doom coming and “must protect myself and my family at all costs including staying inside with unlimited supplies for an indefinite stay inside our home”, there is hope! Whether or not you end up being infected, there is the hope of living to talk about it later on! For those of us who dare to believe that God loves us and will protect us, God can (and will) do one of three possible things for us: 1) prevent us from being infecting by Coronavirus on any level, 2) if we do get infected, He has the ability to heal us so it does not end in death, or 3) a person may become infected and be in the 5% of those who will die, but the promise in 1 Corinthians 15:54-57 will come to pass where death does not have the final say because you will be brought home to Heaven where you will wait in peace for the 2nd coming of Jesus and on the day Jesus does come back, and you’ve given your account of your life to Jesus and everyone else has as well, you will go spend eternity in Heaven with God, Jesus, and everyone else whom Christ will be bringing home with Him forever.

So how about this: believe God will protect you and/or heal you, and on the day when your time is up, He will bring you home so there is no need to worry about coming down with a deadly viral or bacterial infection because if it happens and you are right with God, you will be going home with Him. And until it is your time to die, God will protect you and will heal you of the physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional diseases that plague you and so many others in the world. And if God is willing to heal and protect you, and you believe He will protect your loved ones and heal them when you ask for these things in prayer in the name of Jesus to Him, then what reason is there to worry to the point of panic about something that might never happen? And remember the question Jesus asked in Matthew and in Luke: “Can any of you add a single moment (or some translations say years) to your life by worrying?…(then goes on to say) these thoughts dominate the minds of unbelievers (or non-believers/pagans). But your Heavenly Father already knows all of your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else and live righteously and He will give you everything you need.” These verses can be found in Matthew 6:27, 32-33, with verse 34 telling us that “Do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” And in the Book of Luke, these verses are found in Chapter 12 (of the Book of Luke): 25-26, 30-31 and verse 32 assures us that it gives God great pleasure to gives us the Kingdom (of God). What Luke was saying was that God takes delight in supplying our needs when our focus is on Him and on furthering His Kingdom, and trusting Him to supply our needs.

So ask of you, can panic over the possibility of you or a loved one add a moment or a year of life to you or your loved one? The answer is no! And if worry cannot accomplish that, then why let it turn into a full-blown panic over something that might never even happen? Let us then, focus on how much God loves us and our loved ones, let us focus on His faithfulness, on His protection, on His supernatural ability and willingness to heal and to change circumstances for the better and see what focusing on these things accomplishes! Mark 11:22-24 tells us Jesus said: “Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you the truth, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.” Let’s choose to believe we have God’s love, forgiveness, provision, protection, and healing and that the needs we have and ask for in prayer in accordance with God’s will and prayed in the name of Jesus (John 16:24), will be ours or will be given to the person we are praying for, when we believe that it will be when we are praying for it to be so. By doing this, we stop panic in its tracks before it can take root in our hearts, and we can enjoy the perfect peace that surpasses all understanding and transcends all circumstances (Philippians 4:7) in our minds and hearts, like Jesus promises us in John 14:27. He says this kind of peace cannot be found in the world, but is only available through Him. And He is offering you that kind of peace at this very moment! He offers this kind of peace to all of us who are willing to receive and accept it and let Him take care of our worries, cares, and problems once we have done what is within our power to do and we trust Jesus to do what we cannot do for ourselves or our loved ones.

The alternative is to be trapped inside your homes and buying out grocery stores and Amazon to get all supplies a person might ever need for an emergency situation and leave those who were not quick enough to get any of those supplies for themselves in more moderate quantities to meet their needs for the next week or so and then there are people who do not have toilet paper to wipe themselves with after they are done on the toilet, no soap to wash their hands with as needed, less food and healthy beverages to drink, and other supplies a person needs to survive day to day, week by week. And the truth is that for the person who believes God will supply those needs, a way will open up for those people to get their food, water, soap, toilet paper, medications, and other needs they have to get through the week or month, and so on. However, there will be people without important supplies such as food or medicine because of the panic that has overtaken too many people all around the world. Why would anyone willingly choose this for themselves or for anyone else?! I would rather decide to believe God will protect me, will heal me when it is His will to do so, and will provide my needs for me and keep me safe from harm or evil. For some people, I know it is not so much a choice because your emotions and thoughts control you (as I mentioned earlier, I admit to having these problems myself). However, when you have a moment of clarity where panic does not have a death grip on you, decide to trust that Jesus loves and cares for you and your loved ones and for everyone who has breath in them today (as well as caring for those who have died already), and that He will provide your needs as you need them, protect you, heal you in His time, and give other forms of His unfailing love and other displays of His faithfulness to you and your loved ones. And once you have had these thoughts about how much God loves you and your family and other loved ones, and about His faithfulness, kindness, and compassion along with His provision for you and loved ones in the past and that He can and will continue to do these things in the present and in the future, hold on to such thoughts and anchor the hope that comes with them to Jesus so that even if this hope is barely hanging on by a thread, because that thin thread is connected to Jesus, it will stand! And then the next time you feel anxiety or panic arising inside, take as many deep breaths as needed (breathing out the anxiety and panic, and in God’s peace and His promises), and remember God’s faithfulness and love He has for you and your family and other loved ones so that panic will not be able to get a stranglehold on you and take over as it has with people all over the world currently. And let us take this 1 step further and offer a prayer to God in the Beloved Name of His Son Jesus for these people gripped with fear and panic that God will intervene and turn their hearts and minds towards Him and have the ability to fix their thoughts on God and His love, protection, provision, and healing power He willingly bestows upon us and for them to believe He will supply these needs (including protection and healing) to them and their loved ones and receive the peace that transcends all circumstances and surpasses all understanding in their minds and hearts, in exchange for trusting God to take care of them and their loved ones, and bring working solutions that bring positive changes to their problems that do exist, and to any that will ever happen in the future because God is willing out of His love and faithfulness. Let us believe this for ourselves and for our loved ones, and then pray that those who do not see it right now because they are blinded by panic and Satan’s lies, for God to give them the (spiritual) sight to see God’s love, faithfulness, and willingness and ability to help, heal, protect, and provide for everyone, including themselves and their loved ones, and let’s ask this in Jesus’ name!

In conclusion, will you be choosing (when you are free to in a moment of clarity) to panic and let the panic take hold and lead to drastic measures such as cutting yourself off from the world and staying inside your home/bedroom, or will you dare to trust in God’s supernatural abilities and in His love and faithfulness and know that it is 100% true that God loves you, your loved ones, and everyone and is faithful to honor all of His promises, which means that those promises you have not seen for you or a loved one yet means it is not over yet, and God will honor His promises in His time, and build our faith in Him as we wait in expectant hope because you are that sure that God loves you, is always completely faithful, and will answer your prayers and supply you and your loved ones all of your needs as they are needed. And may I also encourage you to choose to believe that if God has not yet answered your prayer, either a scheme of Satan is delaying a quicker response as in the Book of Daniel Chapter 9 when he delayed the archangel Gabriel from answering Daniel’s prayer, or He is waiting so you or someone in your life can see when He does heal you or turn that difficult situation around with life-changing blessings and God will receive glory, and possibly even gain new believers as a result like when Jesus healed the blind man in John 9. In other words, God is either working to strengthen yours or someone else’s faith, or bring someone who previously did not believe to Him when they see the sickness that almost led to death suddenly be healed inside your body or theirs or someone else’s body, or when that difficult and seemingly hopeless situation suddenly turned around for you, them, or someone else. They will realize it could only have been God who did the healing or turned the situation around with a life-changing blessing, and will turn to God with sincerely repentant hearts and be saved (upon taking the necessary steps to be saved including confessing Jesus as the Son of God who is also fully human and as their Lord and Savior and being baptized – that is, fully submerged underwater as Jesus was when He was baptized, in the name of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit), and they will willingly give their whole hearts and lives to God and live the way Jesus taught us and instructs us even today through God’s Word, to live our lives. I understand all too well how hard that can be to believe sometimes, especially when it takes a long time before the healing takes places or that difficult circumstance turns around for the better, but the alternative is to give up hope and that is when panic, depression, doubt, unbelief, and other emotions not from God set inside our hearts, minds, and even our souls and spirits if we let them, and it will either take longer to see God’s healing or blessing that turns our situation around, or we will end up doing something permanent for a temporary problem. This is what the devil (Satan, also known as Lucifer, the fallen angel from Heaven who got jealous of God and wanted more followers than God and was then banished from living in Heaven ever again and all he can do now is visit when God allows him to) wants! Satan let his ego get him kicked out of Heaven for all eternity, and he wants to bring us down to an eternity in hell with him, where there will be eternal separation from God and everlasting anguish. I do not want that for me, for anyone I love or care about in any way (friends, family, etc.), or for anyone alive today with breath in them. I want what God told us through Peter in 2 Peter 3:9 about not being slow to keep His promises, but wanting everyone to be saved! I want us all to make it to Heaven for all eternity with God and for us all to know God’s love and experience His presence, love, joy, and peace now while we are among the living here on earth! I hope you will decide to believe and trust in God, so that the enemy’s plans for you do not have a chance at all! God has the final say, whether we believe it or not, so I am choosing today to believe it, and I hope you will too!

Unconditional Love Prevails Part 2_What to do While Waiting

A few years ago, I posted on here about unconditional love prevailing and listed the qualities of it, which come from 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. I also gave examples of what unconditional love is not, so that anyone experiencing any of the behaviors or things mentioned could see that it was not true love or meant to be and get out of the relationship and move on. Finally, I gave hope (which I hope actually gave my readers hope) that true love prevails and so if it is meant to be, it will find a way to be, when God says it is the right time. After re-reading my post, which by the way is already good as it is, I thought about it and now that I have learned some more from life experiences, I want to share it with you and hope that you can learn from my mistakes.

Unconditional Love Prevails Part 2_What to Do While Waiting

In addition to the advice given in the original post, I recommend writing a list of things you would like to grow in the “garden of your heart” and in the “garden of your true love’s heart” (spiritually, thinking as if what kind of flowers you would chose to put in a physical garden if you had one, but instead it is the qualities and anything else you want found in your heart like Jesus, faith, hope, love, joy, peace, faithfulness, desire to please God, etc.) and then pray for your heart and your true love’s heart to grow these things in the “garden” in your heart and in their heart. I read this in a book I read over the summer about what to do while waiting for your true love. It was addressed to women of God, but the advice can apply to either the man or the woman. It also said something about women not being the one to pursue the man because that is the man’s job and it can mess up the relationship. I didn’t even know I was doing it until it was too late. So please learn from my mistakes and do not make the same mistakes yourself ladies! And men, if you are in love with a woman, tell her and do everything you can (including praying to God about it and following His lead on what to do) to be with her, especially if you know she feels the same way and believe God led you to meeting her and bringing her into your life and she makes you feel good about yourself, treats you right, and tries to keep your relationship with Jesus alive and draw you closer to Him. The idea here is to be so busy with your relationship with the Lord that you have no time to worry about whether or not the person you are in love with and want to be with will ever straighten out, or realize you’re both meant to be together and if it will ever happen. And then the time will come when you are so close with the Lord that your faith will become strong and firm and you will trust Him to honor His promises and to love you faithfully and unfailingly. He is the example of how to treat others, whether in a romantic relationship, friendship, or any kind of relationship.  And remember, Jesus was never abusive in any way, so if someone is abusive whether verbally, mentally, physically, or in any way, then get out of that relationship now and pray for the person from afar, from a safe place and at a safe distance. Let Jesus be your example in all ways in every area of your life, and let Jesus be the center of your world. I admit, I am still learning this for myself, but if Jesus is your focus, then you will have the peace and joy only He can give, that He promises to us in John 14:27 and 15:11.

Whether you are the man or the woman, pray to God about the person you believe is your true love to find out if he or she is truly “the one” God is telling you He wants you to be with. If the answer is yes, then pray to God on what to do first (men). And women, pray to God that this man is first of all, a praying man and in a right relationship with the Lord, and secondly, that he be given the courage to pursue a relationship with you and reveal his feelings for you to you. Prayer and following God’s guidance on what to do and keeping Jesus first in your heart, in the center of your relationship, and in every area of your life will lead to the results you desire with your true love, and in life, because Jesus is number one and God’s plan is infinitely better than anything you could dream up or imagine. Remember God’s promise in Jeremiah 29:11 about His plan for your life. God is faithful and will honor His promise in the right time, and God sees the whole picture, so He will know when the right time is for the two of you to be together. In the meantime, you have a Lord and Savior – Jesus, who loved you so much He died for you to save you (1 John 3:16) and conquered death when He was resurrected 3 days later. And now He wants to shower you with His unconditional love for you. Spend time with Jesus in private Bible study daily, in prayer, in meditation (meditating on His love for you and also if you ask for something in prayer, He might answer when your mind is quiet), and any other way you can think of. Perhaps you can spend time with Jesus through worship music or hymns that praise Him or God or Both, so you are not just doing that at church on Sundays, but  every day, or as often as possible and as your priorities begin to become straight (in alignment with what God says our priority order ought to be, with Him and Jesus number 1), you may find time more frequently and possibly daily to add worship music, and dance if you like to dance. If not, then just praising the LORD through hymns and worship music will do your spirit and soul good, which will also be good for your physical health and emotional health.

Remember also, that your body is a temple to the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:19) Do not use any part of your body to sin against the Lord or the Holy Spirit. Premarital relations (doing anything God says are meant for married couples only to be doing) is a sin and it will have serious consequences, believe me. I have never done it, but someone else I know has and now everything is messed up beyond repair – that is, it is humanly impossible for things to ever work out, and it would take God’s desire for things to work out with this person and His supernatural abilities to work it out for it to happen. Do not let that happen to you. If it has in one way or another (if you or the other person has had premarital relations whether with each other or with another person), then pray to God about it. If it is the person God had written in His book for you to be with, then perhaps there is still a chance for things to turn around in the right time. But pray to God about it and listen to what He says about it and do what He tells you to do. It may be what I am suggesting: focusing on deepening and strengthening your relationship with Jesus and placing Him number 1 in your heart and keeping Him and God’s Kingdom number 1 in every area of your life.

Do not let depression drown you or anxiety keep you awake nights, for this leads nowhere and just makes you tired and miserable, and can make life extremely difficult, especially when it comes to getting things done that need doing and you are unable to do them because you are too tired or ill (physically) to do anything other than get out of bed to use the bathroom or get food and water. If this already sounds like you, do not worry because it is not too late to overcome your depression, anxiety, or both. Taking your focus off your situation/problems and refocusing your attention to Jesus and spending time with Him in various ways throughout the day every day will most certainly help. The more time you spend in God’s Word and with Jesus, the more His promises will be written in your heart, and you will learn more of both God’s and Jesus’ character and heart and you will find yourself taking more steps in faith (for faith without works – that is, without action – is dead, as the Apostle James wrote in James 2:14-26 with the key verses being 17 and 26), and as you take more steps in faith, your faith will grow. In time, your depression and anxiety will lessen greatly or may even go away completely, depending on God’s will for you and if there is a purpose for either the anxiety or depression that will strengthen your character and will enable you to help other people in similar situations as you or who also suffer from anxiety, depression, or both. if you need to, talk to a professional about it. There are Christian counselors you can see for depression, anxiety, or both, if talking about it would help you; or perhaps you can talk to your minister or Pastor about it privately. I also recommend keeping a journal of how you feel, what thoughts are created by how you feel or what you are thinking and how that makes you feel, and then open your Bible to the Scripture that talks about your situation and see what God says about it. He may lead you to 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 or to 1 John 3-4 or somewhere else entirely, depending what your focus is on and what He wants to reveal to you about it. Whatever verses He leads you to, write them down under your negative thoughts and feelings and then write down underneath the Verses you write down how you feel after reading those verses and saying them either out loud, or in your head. The idea being that we replace the lies we believe based on current circumstances or what Satan has whispered in our ears, or what other people have said, with the Truth. God’s point of view, no matter what the topic is, is always the Truth, and it is what we need to reprogram our minds to be focusing our thoughts on. God’s truth is what we ought to give great thought to throughout the day every day, and what we should be speaking over our lives and over the lives of others. If God placed the desire in your heart to be married and it hasn’t happened yet (or if it has but there are trials and tribulations in your marriage), then have faith in God that things will work out. Prayer offered in complete faith and sincerity has great power and produces wonderful results.  (James 5:16) And it is God who placed the desire in your heart to be married to the right person.

God promises in Psalms 37:4 Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you your heart’s desires.” This means that only He (the LORD) can fulfill us and complete us, and only He can give us true peace in our hearts, and satisfy our longings in our hearts. It means we find our worth in the LORD, who declares that we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalms 139:14 NIV) and that we are His masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10 NLT). We must first realize that it is Jesus Christ alone who completes us and whom we find our worth in, not in another person. If we rely on another person to complete us or for our happiness, then you will both (you and the person who hinge your happiness on) be miserable. You need to both be 2 separate whole people (made whole by Jesus Christ our Lord) coming together to join your lives together – when you get married, and be able to find joy and peace apart from one another. You are to add happiness, joy, love, and peace to one another’s lives, not be the only source of it. Listen: You are already whole and complete without another person whether a significant other or a family member or friend. Jesus completes you, Jesus makes you whole. You are worthy and valuable, and loved beyond measure by the One who created you (God) and by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (God’s Son). God and Jesus love you unconditionally and want you to always be filled with joy and peace, no matter what is going on in your life – even through trials and tribulations. So take delight in the LORD and then you will begin to see Him giving you the desires He placed in your heart.

No matter how many mistakes you or the other person made, if it is meant to be, then God will find a way to right the wrongs, and for the two of you to be together. The key is to go about living your life for Jesus, without stressing or worrying over whether or not you or the person you are in love with is the one you are meant to be with. When you focus your eyes on Jesus, and on following His instructions and commands for your life and live to please Him and God, then in the right time, which only God knows when that will be for the both of you, God will bring the person you are meant to be with into – or back into – your life and everything will work out as long as both of you keep Jesus number 1 in your hearts and in all areas of your life, including Him being at the center of your relationship with the person God wants you to spend the rest of your life with. Do not force things to happen, or it will backfire and you could lose the person, and if not forever, then at least it will take a whole lot longer for things to be worked out on both your end (in your heart and in your life, and in their heart and in their life) for the two of you to be together. You may need to let the person you love go for a while so that God can work in their heart and in their life to make them the man or woman God created them to be, for Him and for you. And you may need to work on your own spiritual walk too. Have faith in God that it will work out at the right time. Let Jesus be the anchor to your hope. Despite how things may look now, God promises in Romans 8:37 No, despite all these things (trouble, calamity, hunger, persecution, etc.) overwhelming victory is ours through Christ.” Overwhelming victory will be yours too, which means that true and unconditional love will prevail. In light of this, keep praying, keep deepening your relationship with the Lord and going further in your walk with Him, keep hoping, keep believing, and take actions in your life that back up your faith – even if that action is waiting patiently and building your relationship with Jesus and living your life without the other person for a while, until God makes the way for it to happen when the time is right for both you and your true love. There are days that will be harder than others, and then there will be days where faith, hope, and peace are easy for you when you begin to see the pattern of God’s faithfulness in your life. Persevere through it all and you will see things work out better than you could ever have hoped. It might not be exactly how you envisioned it would, or when, but God promises it will be worth the wait.

Note: This advice works for friendships and family members too. If you are at odds with, or in a fight with a friend or family member, pray for the person persistently and if there is any unforgiveness in your heart towards the person, pray for God to help you fully forgive the person (or yourself or both if necessary) and keep praying to forgive until you have let go of all the hurt and pain and are able to fully forgive. And keep praying for the other person to come to know the Lord (if they don’t, or if they do not have the truth about God or Jesus) and that thy will believe and accept the truth and Jesus into their hearts and take the necessary steps to enter a soul-saving relationship with the Lord (you can pray this for your true love as well as for family members, friends, and even enemies since God tells us to love and pray for our enemies). If the person you are fighting with, estranged from, or at odds with is meant to be a permanent part of your life, then things will work out and your relationship with one another and their relationship with the Lord will all be mended, restored, and strengthened.

Life’s Too Short

Alexis Malek

November 20, 2013

Life’s Too Short

There are people who get caught up in daily drama, complaining about someone annoying them, being stuck in traffic, bad day at work, or something else. There are people who have a knack for always finding something to complain about. Other people get caught up in their worries and get stressed out and miss out on God’s miracles within the difficulties they are going through and the one thing all of these people have in common is they forget that God is in control.That’s right, God is still on the throne and he is in control of your situation.

The death of a loved one should help put things into perspective for people and it is good when it does. However, not everyone who has lost someone close to them has realized they were being given a wake-up call to stop complaining and to stop worrying, and to stop focusing on their problems and turn their attention to praising God, being thankful they are still alive, and realizing that God is in control and that a change needs to be made in their lives so that when it is their turn to die, their life is not full of regrets or a long list of complaints and worrying that didn’t get them anywhere in life.

It sucks when you lose a loved one and your friends or other people in your life are focused on their drama and bring it to you when you are in the grieving process. It is selfish. If someone you care about (who is not related to you, since chances are if you are related then you feel the loss too) loses a loved one, then take time out from your drama and your “all about me” existence and be a good friendOffer condolences and be there quietly with them and give them a break from hearing about your senseless drama that won’t mean anything in 5-10 years from now. This is not to belittle anyone’s troubles or say all troubles people are facing are meaningless when put next to someone grieving over the loss of a loved one, but if it is something stupid like someone is getting on your nerves in some way and you feel the need to complain about it, stop it! Keep your complaints to yourself and be a good friend to your friend who is going through the loss of a loved one and remember what it was like when it was you who was grieving over the loss of someone you were close to. If you have never lost someone close to you, then you are seriously blessed and should thank God daily. Life is too short to always be complaining, worrying, stressing, or doing any combination of these things.

On the other hand, if something major is going on with you like you are having a hard time paying rent or you have an urgent need that only God can provide for you, then you should let your friends and loved ones know so that they can help you out directly if they can, or pray to God on your behalf if they are unable to help you directly. The earnest prayer of a righteous person offered with a sincere heart have powerful results. Remember that when Elijah prayed earnestly for it not to rain, no rain fell for 3 and 1/2 years (1 Kings 17-18 – in 17 Elijah prays for it not to rain and in chapter 18, we see that he prays for rain and God sends down rain).

It is important to know the difference between drama that should be kept to yourself and you should deal with and when it is something important that your loved ones should be informed of, and that you and your loved ones can help out with or need to be praying to God for solutions to. It shouldn’t even take the death of a loved one for you to know the difference. However, when a loved one does die, it should be a wake-up call for us to shift our perspective if all we do is complain, worry, stress, or any combination. If you are a genuine believer, unless you are new to the faith, you should know that God is in control. And for new believers, get this into your head and heart, that God is all powerful and is in control, and he has you in the palm of his hand. He will not let any of life’s situations crush you. In fact, in Psalm 145:14, God promises through King David, “The Lord helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads.” All of God’s promises are true and he keeps them all. God is faithful and incapable of breaking promises and incapable of lying so when he will do something, he will do it. God promises in Deuteronomy 31:8 to never leave us nor forsake us. It says, “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will never fail you nor abandon you.

Have you lost someone close to you? Did you take their death as a wake-up call to get your priorities in life straight and to make sure you are right with God? If not then you need to do both of these things and if you start with making yourself right with God, then he can show you what your priorities should be. God should always be number one in your life. When God is number one in your life, you are too busy praising him and thanking him for the amazing things he has done for you (including being alive) to be complaining about minor nuances or difficulties you are going through. When you are in praise mode, you are instead choosing to trust God to deliver you from your current difficulties into better times. It is hard when you lose someone you were very close to, but you cannot let their death end your relationship with God or make you angry with him. You must hold firmly to your faith and believe that you and everyone else affected by the person’s death will make it through and that the loved one you lost is in a better place without suffering or pain. You must continue to have faith that things will get better for you and your loved ones who are still alive.

It is important not to question God why they took your loved one away because you are questioning his authority. Trust that God had a good reason, if you don’t understand it. It could be he was saving your loved one from the evils of this world or taking them away from pain and suffering they were enduring due to illness. Maybe God needed to call them home to help him. Whatever the reason, though it may not be revealed to us in our lifetime, we have to trust that God did not do it to be mean, but had a very good reason for doing it. Life is too short to be angry with God for things you do not understand. If you are angry with God about something, then shift your perspective and lean on faith in God and trust that he had his reasons for whatever it is that happened and that he will bring you to better days when you refuse to give up and hold firmly to your faith and hope in him and in his faithful promises.

Life is too short to live life bitter, angry, hateful, stressed out, worried, and working yourself to death trying to make ends meat when God promises to provide all of your needs. If you are guilty of doing even one of these things, then take a moment to ask yourself a few of questions: 1) Will this matter in 1 year? in 5 years? in 10 years? 2) What would Jesus do in this situation? 3) What would God want me to do in this situation? 4) If I were to die tonight or tomorrow, is this how I want my life to end? Answer these questions openly and honestly in your mind and then decide that you will make the changes that need to be made and pray to God to help you make these changes and he will do so willingly. The apostle James tells us in James 1:5, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” However, in verse 6, James goes on to tell us to make sure we are asking with faith in God alone and that we are not divided by faith in God and the world. We need to have unwavering faith in God to receive what we ask for and what we need from God. Today let go of all bitterness, all unforgiveness, all hate, stress, worry, frustrations, and all of the bad stuff and place it all at Jesus’ feet in return for peace. The peace God offers cannot be found in this world, it is an inner peace of mind and heart. When you trust God with your worries and with your life, you can have this kind of peace from him. You are not alone in your struggles. God knows all, sees all, and hears all. God will bring you through all of the difficulties you will ever encounter in your life and each time you will come out better off than you were before the difficult time started. Today, if there is someone you’ve been holding a grudge against, decide to let it go and leave revenge to God. The apostle Paul warns us in Romans 12:19 not to take revenge but tells us God will pay them back. That also means that we should not hold a grudge because it will hurt you more than the other person and nothing gets solved by remaining angry and letting yourself suffer for something someone else did. You need to let it go and decide not to be angry anymore. Decide peace and joy are more important and trust God to take care of the situation once you have let forgiveness in. Spend each day as if the Lord could be coming back tonight or tomorrow or as if today is your final day on earth and live it (each day) giving your love to others, showing forgiveness, serving the Lord, helping others when you can and going to someone else who can help if you are unable to, and living in peace with God, with yourself, and with others. Not to say you should be morbid and think you will die at any time, but the truth is that it could be your time at any given time so hope that your day to go will not be anytime soon but that you can live a long, full, joyous, peaceful, prosperous life serving God and at the same time, live each day filled with joy, peace, and kindness towards others and with love in your heart.

Apologies for the ranting and if there was any harsh tones to any part of this blog, but reality can at times be harsh. We all need to face the truth today, while we are still alive and we need to live our lives in this truth. God’s word is truth and Jesus has set the standards by which we should be living our lives. May peace be with all of you and if any of you have recently suffered the loss of a loved one, may God bring you and your family and everyone else affected by this person’s death comfort, healing, peace, strength, restoration, and everything else you stand in need of, in Jesus’ name.

Don’t Give Up

Alexis Malek

August 29 2013

Don’t Give Up

We all have bad days. Days when we feel down or where our problems seem to just pile up on us and we feel about to collapse under them. It isn’t our circumstances that matter as much as our responses to them. We all have unfair things happen to us no matter how good a person we are. Your response to these situations is what really matters and will determine the quality of your life.

Some people turn to alcohol to drown their sorrows. Others turn to drugs or cigarettes (or both or all of the above). Then there are those who turn to comfort food. These are the top four things people seem to turn to when they have a bad day or are going through a difficult situation in their life. There are many other unhealthy things people turn to when their struggles seem to much for them but it would take too long to list them all.  The point is, these are all unhealthy habits that need to be broken. When you turn to alcohol, it can lead to alcoholism and you could end up hurting yourself or someone you care about or you could die, and the same with drugs. When you turn to cigarettes/nicotine, you could end up developing lung cancer or some other disease that could claim your life and make you leave loved ones behind too soon. Comfort foods when eaten in excess can also lead to health problems that could end your life at too early an age if you are not careful. There are healthier ways to get through your rough patches in life and bad days.

Find someone in your life whom you trust to talk to whether things are going well or badly for you. Someone who you can confide in and let out all of your feelings to and who will faithfully listen to you silently and comfort you in the way you need to be comforted whether it be with a hug, ears that listen, or a distraction (or a soundboard). If you cannot find someone to turn to in your times of need, write down your feelings in a private journal or use artistic expression (if you’re a painter, paint out your feelings; if you are someone who draws, draw them out!; If you are a poet or any other form of writer, write out your feelings and you can decide if anyone else can read those poems or private stories you create to let your feelings out; or whatever form of art you are good at, do it when you need to let your feelings out). If you feel you need a distraction, do something that brings you peace or joy or both and do it (as long as it is not something that could endanger your life. I mean something along the lines of knitting, listening to music, dancing, singing, watching TV or a movie, or going for a walk on the beach or somewhere peaceful).

A Big Bear Hug For You Hugging when sad

There is one option not mentioned yet and that is because not many people consider this option: turn to God. Give God all of your cares, worries, frustrations, sorrow, pain, hurt, aggravation, anger, doubt, fear, anxiety, whatever makes you miserable, and all the other negative and bad stuff. Lay it all at Jesus’ feet in exchange for peace, joy, love, and faith, confidence, and trust (in God). Dare to believe that God will right the wrongs and turn your situation around so that you end up better off than you were before. It is important never to give up on your dreams, on having a better life, or on being joyous (I say joy instead of happiness because happiness can be fleeting but joy can last forever). Never give up on people who bring you joy and happiness! Never give up, period!  Remember that your problems are only temporary, so don’t seek a permanent solution to a temporary problem! “Weeping may last through the night but joy comes with the morning.” (Psalm 30:5) Reading from the book of Psalms is also a good idea, no matter how you are feeling because they cover a multitude of emotions and situations (the authors of the Psalms). They will help you express your feelings to God when you don’t have the words to do so yourself and they also let you know that you are not alone. And know that you are never alone! God is always with you (or he can be if you will let him be)! He promises never to leave nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:8). When you have the right mindset (faith and focused on God and his faithful promises and believing he will honor them), then you can make it through any circumstances and you will come out the other side (of the situation) more prosperous and well-off.

Starting today, refuse to let any difficulties or circumstances bring you down. There is a time for grieving (when we lose a loved one) and crying (either when a loved one passes away or when someone has hurt you badly or you are in horrible physical pain), but there is also a time for rejoicing and staying calm and at peace. You are not being given these rotten circumstances because you are a bad person but as an opportunity to grow (particularly spiritually but also mentally and emotionally) and become stronger and the person you are meant to be. God created you to succeed in life and wants you to be full of peace, joy, love, kindness, faith, trust, confidence (that comes from him), and all the other good fruit that comes from knowing God (and having the Holy Spirit live inside of you). He wants you to have all of your necessities and the desires he placed in your heart. You need to stand firm in your faith when things get rough and it looks like there is no way out. When you lean on God and trust in him (and show your faith in action), God will hear your cries for help and he will rescue you.

If you don’t believe in God because you think “how could someone so full of goodness let bad things happen to good people?” or something along those lines, then it is time to get a clear picture on God. No one will ever get to understand God fully, but if you read the bible, which contains his word, you will gain understanding into all of his characteristics. He is not just an angry God, nor is he a wishy washy God. God is slow to get angry, filled with unfailing love, mercy, and forgiveness, and he is our rescuer and refuge in times of trouble. There are many more characteristics of God that you can read about in the Holy Bible. This is meant to be of encouragement to learn more about God so that you know that he exists, that he created the whole universe and its inhabitants, and that he is for us and loves all of his creation. There are many things in life God allows to happen to us that we will never understand, but God tells us through the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 55:8, “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.” God has a reason for everything he does and I personally have learned that instead of trying to figure out why he would let such an awful thing happen, to trust him to give us beauty for our ashes (Isiah 61:3). God can turn what was meant for your harm into something good that will work with the amazing plan he has for your life if you will let him. Trust in God’s timing and trust in him and his promises. God loves you unconditionally and longs to be good to you. So no matter what you are going through today, don’t give up or lose hope. Times of joy are coming!

Jesus hugging one of His children         Expression of Joy