Consider it pure joy

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so you can be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4). Who would think that it is a good idea to consider it pure joy when we face trials? I think we tend to consider it pure torture when we face trials but the Lord doesn’t see it that way. His recommendation is to maintain joy in the midst of trials. He says we should hold on to joy even when things are rocky and chaotic. His joy is our strength and if we remain joyful in the hard times, we will have the power we need to stay strong. Nothing is better than having what it takes to face anything that comes our way. With Jesus we always have what it takes and He has put joy in our hearts so that we can stand tall when the enemy wants us to be small and diminished. Joy increases our potential to face the day. Fear and doubt decrease our ability to deal with life. When they are high, life seems impossible to bear. When we adhere to negative thoughts, we turn up the volume of defeat and failure. When we tap into the joy of the Lord, we turn up the volume of victory and triumph. Today I want to reiterate what the Lord says and encourage you to count it all joy. Don’t get excited because you are suffering. Get excited that you are going to make it through the trials and you are going to get some nice faith muscles.

Trials can be debilitating. A trial is a test, a problem or a difficulty. Problems make us wonder and they make us doubt. Difficulties stall us and make us wonder how we are going to make it. Tests just make us anxious and they hurt our faith. Now, we are not supposed to see trials as the end all be all. We have to think about what we have to deal with the trials and more specifically who we have on our side. The Lord is the solver of all trials. He is the deal breaker. Life deals us a bad hand sometimes and the Lord breaks that deal. He makes things right. He restores and repairs. We can choose to keep our eyes on the deal breaker or we can choose to let the deal break us. We all get dealt some bad cards but the Lord holds us in the palm of His hand and He holds the cards that give us access to a better life, to a better situation and to a better tomorrow. Don’t let the trials of life control your emotions and your feelings. You are going to make it through them thanks to the Lord. Keep thinking about it. Keep thinking of victory and not failure. Keep thinking triumph and not defeat. Keep thinking that it is going to get better and not that it is going to get worse. It could get worse before it gets better but with the Lord, it will get better. Your goal, friend, is to hang in there and keep persevering in faith. The more you do it, the stronger your faith will be. The rewards that come from having a strong faith are endless. You will be able to handle anything the enemy throws at you. Nothing will be impossible to you because of the greater One who lives in you!

Staying joyful when things are bad is ground for more joy. The Lord sees us and He gives us more joy. His joy can multiply and it can bring on even more strength. I remember a time when I had no idea how I was going to make it. I was about to embark on a new journey with a new job and I moved to a new place. I didn’t have much money. I was still a student. It didn’t look like it was wise to look for a place to live and to make a move to another part of the state. I did it all in faith. I didn’t give up on the dream the Lord had put in my heart. He had told me I would be an educator and I would have a choice of where I would like to work. I had tried years before and failed miserably. However, the dream came back stronger and I couldn’t ignore it. I went with it. I applied for two jobs and I was offered both jobs. It was up to me to decide which one I wanted. I prayed about it. The Lord pointed out which one I should choose. I trusted Him. I walked in faith. I turned down one of the jobs and the one I chose actually paid $10,000 more than the other one. I have been working there for over ten years now and I have enjoyed every single day. This job has been a blessing. Everything came together. The Lord provided amazingly when I had nothing. I stayed joyful even when I had little money. He took care of it. His joy gave me the strength to make it. That difficult experience allowed me to grow in my faith and to always expect that the Lord would come through for me. Consider it pure joy, friend even when it makes no sense and when you feel like crying. You are building faith muscles. Stay strong! May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Romans 1:17; James 1:12; 1 Peter 1:6-8

10 nuggets of wisdom for your Saturday (Part 175)

Doubt will try to rob you of your faith. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Keep Him at the core of your beliefs. Seek His face daily. Talk to Him daily. Praise Him daily. Read His Word daily and you will be winning against doubt daily!

God is good all the time not just part of the time. His love for us is a full time ministry. He does not stop ministering to us with His love. He is God 24/7. Remember that next time you are going through a tough season. God is the same year round!

When life gives you lemons, react with the fruit of the Spirit. Stay calm. Keep walking in love. Tap into God’s joy. Embrace His peace. Wait patiently. Life will get better and sweeter in Jesus’ name!

God has big plans for your life. There is a big picture that has many parts to it. Get a bigger picture of the big picture by getting into the Word of God. You will gain a better understanding of the picture perfect life God has for you!

Your present suffering doesn’t compare with the blessings that are coming your way. God will make a way. There is no way that He won’t make tomorrow a better day. Hang in there. Stay encouraged! God is preparing something amazing for you!

God will remind you that He doesn’t change but He can change everything. He will remind you that life can be full of bad surprises but He has conquered the world and He will turn things around for you. Trust the Lord that changes things for the better! Trust Jesus!

The end of the road is sometimes the start of a new path with the Lord. If you feel like this is the end, remember that with the Lord there are new beginnings. Your new beginnings are here. God is taking you in a new and better direction.

Every minute spent with God in the privacy of your prayer room is a precious and powerful minute. Your prayer room is mobile. It goes with you everywhere you go. Pray anywhere. Talk to God anywhere. Stay in faith anywhere. Be blessed anywhere!

The Lord is your defender. He wins your battles for you. He always goes before you. Trust that He is always taking care of you. Trust that He is defending you even when the battle is hard.

Rest in the Lord. Relax in the arms of the Father. Don’t go too fast. Take the time to enjoy your life in Christ. Walk at the Lord’s pace and you receive peace that surpasses all understanding.

Suggested reading: Psalm 121:1-8; Romans 16:20; Philippians 4:9

Your breakthrough is coming

Your breakthrough is coming. Don’t get discouraged. Don’t give up. Don’t throw in the towel. God has something for you that is going to bless you in ways you never thought were possible. Stick with your faith. Stick with God. Stick with the truth. Stick with the Word of God. Bury yourself in the Word when the world tries to bury you under a pile of torment and fear. Don’t let your mind be filled with doubt. You can do this. Not because you are special on your own but because the Lord your God is special. He makes you special and He makes you more than a conqueror. You are a warrior of the Lord. You are a strong child of God. You are a roaring lion. That is how God sees you. That is how He made you. Let out a roar of victory in the name of Jesus. You have Jesus. You won’t fail. You have Jesus and He has a breakthrough for you. Your time will come. Your blessed time will come. Hang in there a little longer. Keep your hopes up a little longer. Walk in faith and walk in love. Don’t ever get tired of walking the walk and talking the talk. Your breakthrough is part of God’s plan for your life and it is going to be just what you need. God has not abandoned you and He has not forgotten you. Great things are coming. The best if yet to come. Get excited. The Lord Almighty will do for you what no one else can do and nothing is going to stop Him.

Have you ever had to wait a long time for something good to happen? Have you ever had to stay strong longer than you thought you could? It happens to me all the time. I see the promises of the Lord in His Word and I claim them. I claim His blessings and I wait. I claim His blessings and I suffer in silence. I claim His blessings and I give up but the Lord doesn’t give up on me. When my head is down and I can’t keep up with the changes that occur in my life, the Lord reminds me that He doesn’t change but He changes everything. He shows me that there is always hope. God talks about hope. He talks about how anything is possible with Him. He doesn’t want us to lose heart. He is the source of all hope and courage and when we lean on Him, we can face anything. Friend, you can face anything today and you can hold on until your breakthrough comes. Think about what Jesus is saying in His Word and what His Spirit is telling you. He is saying that there is a breakthrough coming your way. It might not look like it today but it’s in the pipeline. It has been launched and it will reach you in due time. This great blessing that is in your future is going to break through your present trials and your present tribulations. God is going to make things easier for you.

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.”* There is an abundance of goodness around you because God is always around you. Your faith gives you access to that abundance and the breakthrough that you need is part of that abundance. I once thought that I didn’t have what it took to receive from God. All I had to know was that God loved me. I was worthy of the abundance of His love and so are you. We are all worthy of God’s love and we are all worthy of His breakthroughs. They are meant to give us freedom and liberty. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom and His Spirit is in you. Access the breakthroughs of the Lord by putting your faith on the line so to speak. Dare to believe. Dare to keep standing. Dare to follow Jesus no matter what. It will always lead you to a breakthrough and to a blessing. You are not going to be stuck in your current predicament forever. The Lord is going to bless you and to renew your mind through the power of what will have happened to you. You are going to experience a breakthrough that will give you a boost and that will strengthen your faith. That is what God does. Don’t let today’s pain reinforce yesterday’s heartache and rob you of the joy of tomorrow. Keep the faith. Keep on going. Your breakthrough is coming. Celebrate and praise the Lord today! Tomorrow is going to be way better than yesterday. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Isaiah 54:17; John 8:32; *2 Corinthians 9:8

God will make a way for you

I have seen God intervene in my life on many occasions. He is still active and blessing me in ways that blow my mind. One thing that has become very clear to me in the last 10 years is that God makes a way where there is no way. When all seems impossible, He shows up and transforms my situation. He has an amazing ability to change my circumstances for the better. He is an expert at doing the most extraordinary things. He has a giant heart that beats for all humanity and His love creates miracles in our lives. He parts the seas of difficulty and paves the way for greatness and goodness. God is one of a kind and He deserves our highest praises. Today I want to remind you that God will make a way for you. I want to encourage you to stay in faith and to expect God to do the impossible in your life. He can do it and He will do it. Stay strong. Stay encouraged. You are not waiting in vain. Wait patiently and in faith. Something very amazing will take place in your life when you least expect it. God is making a way for your breakthrough. It’s coming. It’s not impossible!

God will make a way for you. Think about the most incredible thing God has done. He saved humanity through His Son. The ultimate sacrifice happened and opened the door to salvation for anyone who believes. It seemed like something that could never happen but yet He made it possible. God made a way for salvation to enter the world. God made a way for peace to come. God made a way for love to show up. God made a way for joy to be available. God made a way for miracles to be real and not just a fantasy. God made a way for your life to change forever. God made a way for you to have the power to defeat the enemy in your life. God made a way for you to receive the fruit of His Spirit and to grow in the knowledge of His love. God made a way for everything that is pure and noble. God made a way for the impossible to go away. God made a way for you to be more than a conqueror in this life. God made a way for whatever you will ever need.

Today you might be stuck on a road with no way through the hurdles that are right in front of you. Things might be looking impossible. You might have run out of faith and run out of options. Now, God has an unlimited supply of options. If you can’t go straight, He will take you through His detours and make a way in the middle of chaos. He will open a path for you even though there are obstacles on the way. No obstacle is impossible for Him to remove. The way might be blocked but He can unblock anything. He can undo any situation and solve any problems. You are going to make it through the craziness of this world. Life events are not going to be able to stop you because the Lord will go before you and He will make a way for you. Trust that He can part the way and let you walk on a safe and secure land. The enemy has placed land mines on your way but the angels of the Lord are going to disarm them. You have the most powerful Lord in the universe and He has an army of angels that will minister to you when you need help. Keep your faith in the God who makes a way. Something very good is coming your way. Hold on to your faith. Don’t lose hope. God is going to make a way for you to get out of the trials and tribulations that have been blocking your path. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Isaiah 40:3; Isaiah 43:19; Romans 8:31

God will carry you

About three years ago I wrote a nugget of wisdom that I like to revive from time to time. It says “The Lord has carried you this far. He’s not going to drop you. Your problems and circumstances are not too heavy for Him. He can handle all the weight the enemy is adding to your life.” I feel so much comfort when I read it. The Lord carries me every day. That is how I see Him and that is what I expect Him to do. He takes care of me and He holds me all the time. There isn’t a day when He doesn’t carry me. He makes sure that I don’t get hurt and that I don’t get damaged. Accidents happen and bad things take place but it doesn’t mean that the Lord stops carrying me. It is because He carries me that I am resilient and I refuse to give up. I can get discouraged at times. It is part of being human but the Lord doesn’t let me go down the rabbit hole of hopelessness. His hope pushes me forward and it wakes me up from the nightmare that the enemy wants me to accept as my life. Things get better. Things change. Things improve because the Lord carries me. Today I want to remind you that the Lord is carrying you right now. He will carry you tomorrow and He will continue to hold you and to assist you. You can expect His hand to be over you and to protect you. Don’t get distracted by the bad breaks. They can be very bad but they don’t stand a chance against the goodness of God. Have courage. Stay strong. The Lord will carry you and get you to the finish line.

Even if you are going through a valley of trials and tribulations today, the Lord is still carrying you. He has gotten you this far and He is not ready to let you down. He can’t. It’s not in His nature. God will give you the means to make it through the worst times. He is so powerful that nothing can get in His way and nothing is too difficult for Him. Take comfort in His love for you. You are protected and you are loved. God will make sure that you can make it to your destination. It may take a long time but it will happen. Stand strong in His might. Stay strong and hold on to the truth. The truth is that you are surrounded by the Lord and He is with you all the time. Don’t look left and right. Look at the Lord straight ahead of you. He is taking care of what’s on your left and what’s on your right. Think about how a little child is carried around by her father. She has no fear. She feels secure. She knows she is in good hands. She recognizes that she is in a safe zone in her father’s arms. You are in a safe zone in your Father’s arms. Know that you are shielded. Say it to yourself. Declare God’s protection over your life. Declare His power and His protection. You are in the best hands there is. God carries you all the time despite your awareness of His goodness. Make His goodness real in your life by talking about it and by thanking Him for carrying you.

Your problems are not too heavy for the Lord. He can hold them in His hand and crush them. Today decide to see your problems as the elements of the enemy that can’t destroy the peace in you. Refuse to back down and enjoy the power of God’s hand in your life. God is not only carrying you but He is giving you the power to carry on when things go sour. When the tribulations are so intense, He gives you the ability to keep walking and to keep going. When the sadness is too much to bear, He reminds you that He bore your sorrow on the Cross. The Lord carried you on that cross. He had you in His mind and He had you in His heart. He carried your burdens and He put an end to the misery. Don’t accept misery and sadness. Don’t give them a space in your life. You are above them thanks to the power of the Lord. God is carrying you and holding you way up high about the darts of the enemy. No matter what you are going through right now, God is still carrying you and you are going to make it. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Isaiah 46:4; Philippians 4:13; 1 Peter 5:7

Permanent Jesus

“Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever” is one of the scriptures I rely on the most. It makes me look at Him as the eternal Savior that He is and He has never changed and will never change. This has some major implications for my faith. My faith has to be in a Jesus who He is love, who performs miracles, who is the King of Peace and who saved the world. He is bigger than what my little mind can fathom. He is a huge Savior. He is not on a human level. I feel like my life goal is to know Him as much as I can and to be aware of the fact that He never changes. I call Him “Permanent Jesus” because He also never leaves me. He is a permanent fixture in my life. His presence is permanent and His traits are permanent. If you were to paint a picture of my life, Jesus would be in the background. I hope He would be noticed the most in the depiction of my life. His love is permanent and His power is permanent. Life changes. Circumstances change but Jesus will never ever change. Please let that sink in. Meditate on that truth. Permanent Jesus is the One you need and He is the true Lord. When you turn to Him, you turn to the Lord of the Bible. The God of miracles. The Lord of the impossible. The One who incarnates love and the One who never abandons His people. Your God is here to stay. The evil in this world might be rampant since the devil is the king of this world but Jesus is bigger than the devil and His goodness will always triumph over evil. His permanent victory should be added to what you can expect in your life. Expect the best and expect victory all the time!

My life used to be a series of failures, tests and trials. Trouble and suffering were pretty permanent. I couldn’t erase them and I didn’t know anything better. “Permanent evil” was a daily visitor in my life. The evil of this world was a natural occurrence in my life. Once you get saved and you are on the other side, you can’t help but feel bad for those who know evil as the permanent fixture in their lives. We are to show the world that there is more to this life than oppression and disappointment. There is a permanent love that transforms everything and that gives a new meaning to life. That love is Jesus and He is unmovable. Once you understand that He doesn’t change and He doesn’t leave, you are equipped with a truth that keeps you strong and that keeps you going even when things are tough. You are backed by the Creator of the universe. You are surrounded by His presence. You are filled with His Spirit. You are protected by His angels. You were saved by His blood. Your life is defined by Him. What a wonderful thing it is! Declare that your life is defined by Him and that you are blessed by the permanent Savior who never fails and who never lets you down. Jesus will add good days to your life. He will take all the bad days you had before Him and replace them with blessed days that will exceed your expectations. 

Jesus is permanent. What does this mean for you? It means that you have access to a fountain of love and hope that never runs dry. It means that even when the world seems to have won, God is still in control. It means that you have an advantage over evil. You have goodness on your side and God’s goodness always wins. Today I want you to remember that no matter what you are going through, the Lord is not leaving you. I know that circumstances can look impossible. I know that things can get very bad but even when they are, Jesus is still very good. His goodness is going to crush your bad situations and bring peace and joy again. Hold on to the One who stays and celebrate that He loves you and nothing and no one can separate you from His love. “Permanent Jesus’ ‘ is rejoicing over you and that won’t change. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:5 Hebrews 13:8

Embrace God’s love

God loves you. God adores you. God cares about you. God watches over you. God wants you to know Him. God wants you to know His love. God wants you to get closer to Him. God wants you. God wants you to be the person He has called you to be. That person is someone who knows God. Someone who adores God and someone who has an intimate relationship with Him. God loves you so much that He has plans for you that are way better than any plans you could have for your life. God loves you so much that He gave Jesus for you so there would be a bridge between Him and you. He desires for you to know the bridge and to take that bridge every day. Walk on the promise of a better life. Walk on the path that takes you to the kingdom every day. Walk in the power of the kingdom of God. Learn who you are in the kingdom of God. Learn that you belong in the kingdom and you are blessed. Learn that all this is for now and not for later. Jesus is your Savior today. He won’t be your Savior just in Heaven. He is your God and He can make Heaven collide with earth every day of your life. You can have daily encounters with the kingdom in this life. That is what happens when you are aware of your relationship with the Lord. The impossible is always possible. Blessings run after you. You walk with the Lord side by side. Joy, love, peace, faith, patience and strength are part of your daily bread. You eat them every day and they give your spiritual spine the power to stand in the truth of the Gospel of Jesus. Jesus is with you today and you are meant to grow in the knowledge of His love every single day. I want to encourage you today to push forward and learn that God loves you and your life in Him is so much better than the life you imagined for yourself. Embrace God’s love and your life will never be the same.

It’s hard to open up to love when you are not used to being loved. Love speaks. Love acts. Love manifests itself. Love protects. Love heals. Love sets you free. Love gives you wings. Love helps. Love covers you. Love protects you. Love encourages you. Love transforms you. Love empowers you. Love sees you through. Love blesses you. Love shields you. Love listens to you. Love talks to you. Love smiles at you. Love nourishes you. Love makes everything possible. Love doesn’t give up and it doesn’t give up on you. Love has faith. Love fuels the power of faith. Love stays. Love remains. Love doesn’t change. Love doesn’t leave. Love doesn’t judge. Love doesn’t discriminate. Love doesn’t laugh at you. Love doesn’t abandon you. Love doesn’t hold back. Love doesn’t hide. Love doesn’t lie. Love just loves you. No questions asked. Love touches you and it modifies you as it grows you. Love will never leave you the way it found you. God’s love does all the things I have just mentioned. His love is powerful. It is the most powerful force in the universe and it is directed to you. God’s love is for you. It is not for the chosen few. It is not selective and restrictive. God’s love is part of your heritage. Just because you are human you deserve God’s love. You don’t need a special ticket to be admitted into the arena of God’s love. You have always been in His arena. You need to take the next step and embrace this love that will change your life for the better.

You might be well acquainted with God’s love but remember that God is always extending His arm of love to you and His arm is very long. You can’t know how big His love is, so there will always be room to learn more and to embrace more. Don’t let the lies of the enemy stop you from welcoming more of God’s love. God forgives you. God knows you. God understands you. Let Him show you how much He values you and adores you. Reach out and grab His love. Declare every day that you are loved. When I was driving yesterday, I kept repeating “Thank You Lord that You love me. Thank You Lord that You adore me.” The power of those words make the whole experience so real to me. I encourage myself by using words that the Lord uses in His Word. I remind myself that He died for me. He died for my sins. That is huge!. There is no greater love and that love is for me. It is for you as well. Embrace His love by making those strong declarations about His love that is so unique and so true. You will never be able to find God’s love among people. His love can manifest through people but His perfect and holy love is only found in Him. You might have never known the special love that comes from parents. There might be a void in your life. However, God’s love can fill that void and give you a lot more. If you have never known love until now, there is hope. God’s love is for you today no matter what you have been through. His love heals so it will heal your heart, your mind and your soul. Accept His love. You might need to tell Him when you pray that you accept His love. It is a great thing to say. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Isaiah 54:10; John 3:16; 1 John 4:9-11

God’s encouraging Word

I love motivational and encouraging messages and the best ones I get are from the Lord. If you ever need a boost, go to the Lord. Go to Him and receive what He has for you by faith. God speaks in his Word and He has all the encouragement we will ever need. When I pray for encouragement, I expect to receive exactly what I am asking for and the Lord always delivers. Today I want to share three verses that have inspired me and encouraged me. I know them by heart but every time I look at them or I meditate on them, something new comes to mind and I find the specific encouragement I need at that very moment. God is extremely precise and specific and He has a word for every situation and for every circumstance. There is nothing that can happen to you that is not covered in the Word of God. There is nothing that can take place in your life that the Lord can’t handle. There is nothing the enemy can do that the Lord won’t reverse or control. When you turn to God for encouragement, remember that you are turning to the One who can do the impossible. Not only is He the king of wisdom, He is also the king of miracles. In His Word you are being encouraged by the One who turned water into wine and who opened the seas for His people to walk on dry land. You are being encouraged by the One who healed the blind and who can mend any broken heart. When you ask God for motivation, don’t expect Him to give you just a small push forward. He can propel you to new heights and make you fly over all your troubles. The three verses I am going to share today have made me fly way above many trials and tribulations.

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.”* I use the name of the Lord all the time when I pray. I use the name of the Lord all the time when I praise and I also use the name of the Lord all the time when I rebuke the enemy and I stand my ground. The Lord’s name is a tower. We can find refuge in His name. We can find a safe place and a haven of peace in His name. His name is above all names. We can speak His name in our lives over anything that tries to get in the way of our peace. The name of Jesus changes things. His name brings down strongholds and protects us against the forces of darkness. The enemy has strongholds that mimic the Lord’s tower. His strongholds seem indestructible. The name of the Lord is indestructible but the enemy’s towers can be torn down by the name of Jesus. If you are in need of encouragement, use the name of Jesus in all you do. See how it blesses you and it stops the enemy in its track.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”** We have all been in the valley of the shadow of death. You might be there now. That valley is like the pit of hell where there is no room to breathe and no hope to hold on to. However, there is good news in the valley. The Lord is with us in the valley. He won’t leave us there. He won’t let the enemy hurt us in the valley. Walk with God in the valley, friend. Don’t pay attention to the darkness around you. Focus on the light of the Lord inside you. The valley might be dark but the hope of Jesus is brighter than the sun. There is always hope in the valley of death. His name is Jesus. Don’t fear evil. The destroyer of evil is by your side. Remind the enemy that Jesus defeated him. Remind him of the cross and brandish your victory in Jesus. The valley can be deep but the Lord’s love for you is deeper. You will come out of the valley in the name of Jesus!

Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.’”*** This verse has given me so much encouragement through the years. I was so used to the impossible being impossible in my younger years. I didn’t know that miracles were available to me. I didn’t think I deserved miracles. Then I found out that the Lord loved me so much that He had died for me and His resurrection power allowed miracles to happen in my life. All I needed was to embrace His love and give Him permission to do the impossible in my life by living in faith. Faith allows miracles to come into our lives. The Lord is the performer of miracles and our faith is the facilitator of miracles. With God nothing is ever impossible. Keep that verse in front of your eyes. Let it challenge your circumstances. Let it defeat doubts and fears. God is going to do amazing things in your life. Expect the impossible. Expect miracles. Expect the extraordinary. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Proverbs 18:10*;  Psalm 23:4**; Mark 10:27***

Great is His faithfulness

Another week and another chance to see how faithful our Lord is. I love that God is always faithful. It is something that I celebrate every day but at times there is some resistance in my head. Sometimes I go down the wrong path of thinking and my mind tries to tell me that God is going to fail me and He won’t be faithful. I have been in situations where I couldn’t see God’s faithfulness. The problem was that I was trying to see it with my eyes and I was looking for it around me. God is faithful no matter what. He stands on His throne in His glory and nothing can change that His faithfulness sits on His throne with Him. He promised to bless us and to never leave us. His love is faithful and it stays with us. If Jesus is your Savior, His faithfulness will accompany you all the days of your life. Because it is such a powerful truth, you can expect the enemy to do his best to demonstrate that God’s faithfulness is overrated. The devil is the king of lies and deceit. He will never hold the truth. Remember that. Even when things look bad and hopeless, God’s faithfulness is intact. The enemy will play up the bad things that are happening to you so you can believe that God can’t get you out of your problems.

God’s faithfulness is a guarantee and when we stay in faith and we keep standing despite the adversity, we will see the glory of God shine and His faithfulness will be evident. God said that He will protect us and that is always true. His protection is all around you, friend. Keep that in mind and keep saying that to yourself. You might be in some type of danger now but God’s protection is greater and stronger than anything you are facing. His protection will get you through anything. Not just a few circumstances but all of them. Praise Him for His faithful protection. Declare His protection over your life. Declare that God cares and that He watches over you faithfully. God promised He would send a Savior. He said He would send Someone who would cover all our sins and save us from eternal death. He kept His promise. He sent His Son. His Son came to earth and fulfilled the promise even though there were many attempts to end His life prematurely. When He was on the cross, it looked like death had won but God had not changed His promise. He had not altered what He was going to accomplish and Jesus conquered death. The promise stood strong and it is still alive today. God’s promises are all still alive and your trials and tribulations can’t control them. Tell the Lord you are ready to see His promises fulfilled in your life today.

One of God’s biggest promises is that He loves us. He is faithful with that promise and He keeps on loving us even when we keep on messing up. His faithful love is packaged in His mercy and grace. Think about how merciful the Lord has been and how His grace has carried you. I can quote many instances when God’s grace has saved my life. My whole life is a testimony to God’s grace and faithfulness. I am thankful for His faithfulness. I am inviting you today to expect God to be faithful and to add that truth to your daily declarations of faith. Remind yourself and your circumstances that God is always faithful. Start the week with that promise on your lips and in your mind. Let your heart be filled with the promise and stay strong no matter what comes your way. You will experience God’s faithfulness. Don’t get discouraged. God is always good and always faithful. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Deuteronomy 7:9; Psalm 33:4; 2 Thessalonians 3:3

Forgive yourself

I was watching tv the other day and during a show someone said “Forgive yourself. Those two words resonated in my heart and then the Holy Spirit took over and delivered a message. Forgiving oneself is not easy. It is often thought a necessary step to finding peace. It is a concept that is used in many psychological practices but it is even more profound than we imagine. The Lord said we should love others as ourselves. We should forgive others. That is part of loving others. Now the question is, how much do we love ourselves? We are supposed to love others as ourselves. We can love others based on how much we love ourselves. If we don’t love ourselves much, we won’t be able to love others too much as well. We can think we can but deep down we are not capable of showing a lot of love. For a while I never knew that I needed to love myself. It is so crucial and it is so healing. 

When I got saved, I found out that Jesus loved me and He had died for me. I was touched by this amazing love and I didn’t know what to do with it. I let it be for a while until I had to dig deeper into His love. We can’t fully experience a good Christian life until we have embraced God’s love. When we embrace His love, we are made aware of how much we should love ourselves because God loves us and He has the best tastes in the universe. He loves you and me and everyone you will ever meet in your life. You and I are worthy of love. We are worthy of God’s love. Think about that! There is a lot to love about ourselves and God can show us where to begin to love ourselves. For me it started at the cross. I saw that the cross, this extraordinary representation of love was meant for me. I died at the cross with the Lord. My sins and my iniquities died on the cross. Love hung on that cross for me and I can’t take that lightly. I can’t take the ultimate sacrifice for granted and I felt a need to receive that love and to hold on to it. Jesus is love and He is my Savior. Love saved me. Love touched me so I can touch others with love. 

I decided to take the steps to loving myself because of what the Lord revealed to me. I also realized that the more I would love myself, the more I could love others. Then I discovered that I had to forgive myself if I were to forgive others. When I pray, I ask for forgiveness every day. I also forgive those who have hurt me and I pray for them. The Holy Spirit taught me to be good to myself and to forgive myself. I used to get so mad at myself for some of the things I did. I missed it like they say, all the time. I am human and being saved and filled with the Spirit doesn’t mean that I will not make mistakes and that I will not sin. I once heard someone say that because he was saved he was sinless. That really bothered me. He was basically saying that he was Jesus and there is only one Jesus. No one is exempt from sinning. Forgiveness is a beautiful demonstration of love. Forgiveness is a part of the language of love. Forgiveness is a manifestation of God’s love toward us and if we believe that God forgives us when we ask Him, we ought to forgive ourselves as well. Directing God’s love to ourselves is not being conceited. It’s being a good follower and doer of the Word. 

My prayer is that you get to a point where you can forgive yourself every day. Pray about it. Ask God to help you with the process. You will experience a freedom you had never had before. Forgive yourself as the Lord forgave you. Forgive yourself daily. Don’t give yourself permission to sin daily but forgive yourself and ask the Holy Spirit to help you with whatever you are struggling with. Be gentle with yourself. We can be our worst critics. The Lord is not criticizing you and putting you down. He loves you. He sings all over you and rejoices over you. Thank Him for His love and focus on how powerful it is. Forgive yourself and stay in faith. Unforgiveness can hinder your faith because it hurts your love walk and you need to walk in love in order to walk in faith. Love is the most important force in your life and you have enough of it for others and for yourself. May God bless you and protect you and remember that God will always love you!

Suggested reading: Matthew 6:14; Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13