God is My Strength!

Psalm 73:26
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Isaiah 12:2 
Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.
I am writing this following my surgery yesterday. It would be easy for me to grumble/complain but I know where my strength comes from. God makes all things possible. I need to recognize my limitations and not overdo. God is my strength and my salvation. He gives me the ability to refrain from using my pain and discomfort as an excuse to be unkind or ugly to anyone else. As I was going into the operating room, I had a moment of anxiety but I reminded myself that I put myself in His hands. He is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. With His help, may I not mistreat others badly because I am not well or recovering from surgery. I am responsible to take care of myself so that I heal better and I am less tempted to say something that I would later regret.
When you are faced with an illness or recovering from surgery remember that God is your strength and healer too.
My prayer: Dear Father in heaven, You are my strength and portion. I thank You for a successful surgery and I pray for Your healing as I recover. To You be all glory and honor.  I also prayer for those  who are need of Your healing touch. Amen.
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Grumble Vs. Victory in Jesus!

Troubles Can Work Good in Us or They Can Be An Excuse.
2 Corinthians 4:17 (NIV)
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  

Why is it that often believers use their troubles as an excuse to mistreat others? I did this when I was younger until one day I realized that it was wrong to mistreat others because I was not feeling good. When Moses lead his people out of Egypt they grumbled and complained often. It seemed like that there was nothing that would keep them happy for long. God gave them manna and quail. He provided water. Yet, they grumbled and wished that they have never left Egypt. I am not much different but I am trying to rely on God as my helper to overcome my grumbling ways. When I do not feel well is when I am most prone to grumble or complain. It is all a matter of perspective. I have to stop and think about others who have it harder than I do and realize the cost Jesus paid for my sins. I can turn to the scriptures to be reminded of God’s goodness and He will sustain me.
Psalm 54:4 (NIV)
 Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.
Psalm 55:22 (NIV)
Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.
Everything that happens in my life serves a purpose. Will I grumble or reach out to God in prayer for His amazing grace to help me? Grumbling does me no good and it does not encourage others nor does it make me good company. For the glory that it is meant to achieve in my life far outweighs all the trouble. When I consider Jesus as He went through the trails and crucifixion, who am I too complain?  He scorned the shame of the cross and was obedient unto death. All things are possible with God. He has the power to help me to bear my cross.

So are you a grumbler or do you desire victory in Jesus? When are you most prone to grumble?
My Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, forgive me when I grumble or complain. Help my to seek You and Your strength and grace. May I not forget what Jesus suffered on my behalf. Amen
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What Am I Thankful For?

Difficult Times and Difficult People
Why?

I saw a post recently on Facebook that said, ‘When God wants you to grow, He makes you uncomfortable.’ There have been many times in the first part of this year that have made me uncomfortable. To be honest, I have not accepted them too well. It has only been in hindsight that I have come to appreciate those times. God has been ever faithful and has seen me through them with me fussing and fuming along the way. The outcome has always been worth the trial and the uncomfortableness. If only I could learn to recognize what God is doing and trust in Him more to work things out for my good. I have to admit that I can be someone else’s difficult person for I am not a perfect saint by any means. The verse that comes to my mind is Philippians 2:12-13,
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
 
Yes, God does have a purpose for everything. He has made each person on purpose for a purpose. Whether or not we acknowledge this is up to each person. So I give thanks for those times when I am challenged by a difficult time and/or difficult person. When I take time to seek Him, He will show me His plan and help me to make the right choice of action or give the right reply. May I not forget the times that He has proven Himself faithful, trustworthy, and true to His promises.

Have you ever stopped to think that in your difficult moments that God has something for you to learn from it all?
 
My Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, I give You thanks that You love me enough to encourage me to grow. Forgive me for the times that I have complained. Help me to learn that You are working all things out for my good. Be with those who are in their difficult times and cause them to see Your hand in it all. Amen.
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Gratitude for Lessons Learned!

Psalm 118:1
Oh, give thanks to the Lord for He is good;
For His steadfast love endures forever!
James 1:2-4
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
 I am thankful that I waited on the Lord and sought Him when faced with a difficult decision. I am thankful for the strength He gave me to stand by my decision and for the clarity of mind this morning. God helped me to see past the emotions involved to get to the practical side of things. By nature, I do not like to give cause for another person to be unhappy but I have to be true to myself and honest. I cannot placate another person because it does not benefit them. It inhibits their ability to practice self control. I am learning that everything that comes my way; God has a purpose in it. It is up to me to exercise the emotional muscle that God has helped me to develop. If I do not, then I lose ground and no one is the better for it. God does work all things together for my good which is to build my character to be like Jesus. Yesterday, when faced with a struggle I chose to spend time with God apart from distractions like TV, computer, or food. What peace came to my soul afterwards! I do believe that this is what God has been trying to get me to do all along and to trust Him with the outcome. For it is better to trust in God than to put my trust in man. What a lesson! My obedience was rewarded with peace and a sound mind.
My challenge for you is the next time you are faced with a difficult situation; take it to the Lord and spend time alone with Him. Where do you turn when you need help?
My prayer: Dear Father in heaven, I praise Your Holy Name! For You are true to Your Word. Thank for you for giving Your peace and clarity of thinking. I trust You to work it out to Your glory. Amen.
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Thankfulness in ALL Circumstances

I Still Have Not Got This Right!
James 1:2-3 (AMP)
Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations.

Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.
 But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.
Colossians 3:15 (AMP)
 15 And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].
I have to admit that I am not good at this. Yet, I know according to James that I should consider it joy whenever I encounter various trails and temptations because it has its purpose of developing godly character. After all how does one get good at something? Practice! There again I am not good at practice. I must admit that I want a shortcut to the change in my character. This is not how God would have it.
Looking at Colossians 3:15, above, I am to let the peace (soul harmony) that comes from Christ rule (act as umpire) in my heart to aid me in the questions that arise in me. And be thankful. I do want to grow in my faith and my character to be more like Christ. With growth, there will be pain and/or discomfort. With God all things are possible.
All in all, I am thankful that God loves me enough to do what is necessary to help rid me of poor character traits. I am thankful that He gives me the needed strength and promises to comfort me and never leave me nor forsake me. I give thanks reluctantly for those times of trials and temptations. With His help, I can get my attitude right when it comes to hardships. After all hardship is a pathway to peace. Therefore, I rejoice in my recent trial for God is in control and will use it for His purpose. By His grace, I can allow it work its purpose and practice what He has taught me.

My Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, forgive me for not giving You thanks in all circumstances. Thank you for helping to see that You have a purpose in all my situations. Let Your peace rule in my heart. Not my will be done but Your will be done. Amen.
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Dealing with Disappoinment

Not My Favorite Topic But…
Nevertheless It Happens

Yesterday, I had to work through some disappointment over a request that was turned down. It was not easy for I wanted to resort to old patterns which were passive-aggressive. I struggled with various feelings and talked myself out of the old habits because I knew that they would not accomplish anything. I fumed and I cried. Then I came to the realization that 
1. I set my expectations too high, 
2. I thought too highly of myself, like I deserved it, and 
3. I had the right to be angry.

Well, this morning with time to think it over. God brought to my mind Philippians 2:3-4, Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Who am I to think that I was so special that my request had to be met? It turned out that my request could not be met due to schedule conflict. It was not a rejection.
Next, He brought to mind Luke 6:31, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Would I want someone to mistreat me over something that I could not do for them? Of course not, I would hope the other person would understand. Therefore, I should not mistreat others when I am disappointed.
Thirdly, I can be angry but I am not to sin nor let the sun go down on my anger (Ephesians 4:26-27). Thankfully, I had let my husband know that I was disappointed and before going to bed last night my anger had subsided. God graciously gave me another option to look into to reach my goal. Philippians 4:19 reads,  And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Working through my feelings and letting God know how I felt and asking Him to help me work it all out, I have come out stronger and I am not resentful over it. Again, God’s Word has been my resource to help me in my daily life.
May you be encouraged to look to God’s Word for answers that you are looking for.
My prayer: Dear Father in heaven, forgive me for thinking too highly of myself. Thank You for Your Word that has lead me to see the error in my ways. Inspire me to do better and  to seek You first in all that I do. Amen.
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