Things will get better

Things are going to get better. With God, things can only get better. They might not get better the way you want them to get better but they will. The key is to put everything in God’s hands. The key is to let the Lord be the Lord of your life, your whole life. Hand Him everything. Not just what’s easy to give up but every area of your life including the ones that seem impossible to heal. Don’t hold on to the parts you think you can fix. God wants your whole life and He can help you with everything. I used to save some situations for myself. I used to handle some situations on my own and it never turned out great. Now I hand it all over to the Lord. I am still learning but it has been a great process. There is nothing that the Lord can’t restore and there is nothing that He can’t improve or heal. Once I had that truth locked in my head, I kept meditating on it until it became a part of my daily thinking and my daily expectations. The biggest expectation we should have is that God is going to save the day and to make things more than ok. Today you might need to hear that things are going to get better because you have the Lord. You might need to hear that God is still in control and your situation is in good hands. Give up control. Give in to God and He will bless you more than you know.

How do you give God control of everything? Take everything to the Lord in prayer. Every day. Give Him the day. Put the whole day in His hands in prayer. Start your day with prayer and declare every day that God is in control and that you refuse to take matters into your own hands because His hands are holding you and your life. He is not just in charge of you. He is in charge of your life as long as you give Him permission. He won’t budge in and interfere with your plans. He is merciful but He wants you to make the decision to rely on Him. I know it’s tricky because He is not visible. You don’t see Him but He truly is more real than anyone you know and He is more reliable. You can trust God. You can count on His faithfulness. His promises are eternal. He will protect you, shield you and love you forever. If today is bad, know that tomorrow or the day after will be much better because the Lord will make sure that He makes all things right in your life. Trust Him. Pray about it and give Him your worst situations.

When I give a tough situation to the Lord in prayer, I sense a release and hope. There is always hope when I turn to Jesus. He is always smiling with hope and with power to change anything. I have found that prayer touches me and it helps me receive peace. It gives me strength and it gives me a boost. I see myself putting things in God’s hands and I know I don’t need to carry any of it. The next step is for me to stay strong and to keep letting go and letting God take control. I have to pray more than once very often. I don’t keep asking Him. I keep saying that He is taking care of my situation and that He is handling everything for me. It is such a powerful declaration and I invite you to make that declaration all the time. Don’t keep begging for a solution but keeping thanking Him because He is the solution. I also work on being patient and on enjoying life while I wait. Knowing that Jesus is working behind the scenes helps a lot. Things are going to get better. God will make sure of it. Rely on Him. There is no situation He can’t turn around and there is nothing that can stop Him from giving you the joy and the peace you deserve. Stay strong in the Lord. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Exodus 15:2; Isaiah 41:10; Luke 12:25-26

The fear of the Lord

“The fear of God is the beginning of all wisdom.”* How many times have I read that verse? As a kid I thought the verse referred to actually fearing God and being afraid of Him. I was so confused. How could being afraid of God make me more wise? Then I studied the verse and I learned that the fear of God is submission to God. When we honor Him, respect Him and put Him first, we gain wisdom. Honor and respect are forms of submission. Respecting God is the perfect foundation for wisdom. Respecting Him and getting to know Him results in insight, good judgment and understanding of all things about God and life. There are so many mysteries in life and we can’t get to understand life and to grow in the knowledge of God unless we fear Him. I love how fearing God can also be translated as obeying God and having reverence for Him. The Holy Spirit plays a major role in the acquisition of wisdom. He is the giver of all wisdom and we can’t respect the Lord without respecting His Spirit. If you are trying to learn more about God and to become wiser, honor the Spirit of Jesus. Have reverence for His Spirit. Put the Holy Spirit on a pedestal and respect Him. The Word of God is inspired by His Spirit. You and I can find the wisdom we need when we spend time in the Word and time with the Spirit.

How can we respect the Holy Spirit? One thing that is very clear about the Holy Spirit is that He always points at Jesus. He always leads us to honor Jesus and to lift Him up. I was on the train the other day and I felt a worship party on the inside of me. I call a worship party an inner celebration when I hear songs of praise or when I actually praise the Lord deep down. Sometimes music starts on the inside and if I follow the lead of the movement of the Holy Spirit, I have a great celebration in me. Jesus is lifted up and it is a beautiful experience. On the train I had a great Jesus moment. I forgot what was around me and I sang about Jesus and to Jesus. It wasn’t out loud. It was all in my spirit and I was filled with intense peace. It was a wonderful time and just thinking of it, I can still feel the joy. I let the Holy Spirit take over and I had that celebration despite what was going on in my head. That is how you respect the Holy Spirit by giving Him free reign and doing something that glorifies Jesus. From those great moments, you will gain wisdom. You will learn more about the Father and about the Son. I find that praise and worship give me a burst of messages and information. There is an impartation that takes place when I worship Jesus. Something happens in my spirit and my mind gets renewed.

Submission is key and submitting to the Word of God is a powerful instance of fearing the Lord. When I don’t spend time in the Word for a while, I feel a void. I need my spirit to be fine tuned and I am not all there. We can’t live without the Word of God but I see that a lot of us never open our Bibles. We can’t blame God for “being distant” when we don’t take the time to get close to Him. He is never far. We are the ones who step away from Him by focusing more on the world. The authority of the Word of God should be part of our daily indulgence. We indulge in social media more than we engage with the Word of God. The wisdom of the Word of God is more precious than any gold in the world and it is more helpful than any advice we can get from social influencers. The nuggets of wisdom we glean from the Word of God are life-changing. They help us live the life of abundance that Jesus promised us. We can’t live wisely without the wisdom of the Word. The Holy Spirit doesn’t contradict the Word and if we don’t know the Word well, we won’t be able to recognize the voice of the Holy Spirit. Let’s fear the Lord wholeheartedly by respecting Him and honoring Him every day. Let’s connect with His Spirit and let’s spend time in His Word. Let’s praise Him and celebrate Him. Wisdom will ensue and the knowledge of the things of the Lord will impact our lives in a very positive way. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Proverbs 9:10*; 1 Corinthians 10:31; 1 Peter 2:17

Believing in God

Believing in God is the best thing that has happened to me. It has been a great adventure with ups and downs but the ups make up for the downs all the time. I am learning a lot and I will be a student for life but one thing I am understanding more and more is that the Lord is active in our lives as much as we let Him be active. It has to do with faith and trust and with how close we are to Him. Being close to Jesus never meant believing in God before. Believing in God was more a ritualistic religion with many do’s and don’t’ stand. I was under the impression that God was a ruler who was far from us and I had to watch everything I said and I did. I was walking on eggshells with God. This is something I can’t imagine now. I can’t imagine tiptoeing around my God. I can’t hide from Him or be quiet around Him. Believing in God to me now means celebrating Him and being in contact with Him all day long.

God is always in the background and in the foreground. I put work into my relationship with Him and I make an effort to stay in sync with His Spirit. Believing in God to me is knowing that the Holy Spirit lives in me, it’s embracing Him and getting to know Jesus better through Him. I can’t conceive believing in God without the Holy Spirit. He is a fervent and active agent who promotes and magnifies Jesus. A life with God without the Holy Spirit is not satisfying. I have been there and I did not enjoy God. Today I want to encourage you to revisit what believing in God means to you. I want to encourage you to make sure that the Holy Spirit is a big part of the equation and Jesus is at the center of it all. I also want to encourage you to tear down the walls of traditions and beliefs that might present God as a far away God that you have to adore from a distance. Believing in God is being close to your Savior and striving to know Him the best you can.

Believing in God is not something laborious and strenuous. Like I pointed it earlier, it’s not always easy but it is the best thing that could happen to you. I am talking about believing in God and having an encounter with Jesus. That is what changed my vision of God and my connection with Him. Encountering Jesus takes on many forms but every form is orchestrated by His Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the key ingredient in our faith. He is the salt of the earth much more than we are and He is the fruit that makes life so much sweeter and better. Jesus sent His Spirit as a gift to us. Now, some people value humans more than the Holy Spirit and give them roles that appear to be superior than the Spirit of Jesus. Those people count on “those special humans” to connect them to God. We don’t need a go-between to reach the Lord.

Jesus is the bridge and the way. His Spirit makes Him more real and more accessible to us and that is where we should start. If you want to believe in God more, develop a relationship with the Holy Spirit. You can do that through daily communion and daily prayers. You don’t have to wait for Sunday to find the Spirit of God at the altar. He is present ever single day waiting for you to come to the altar and to worship Him. He is your liaison to the Father. He dwells in you. He is part of you and He desires to speak to you and through you. He is the One who motivates you to pray and to do all things that are about Jesus and that make you move forward spiritually. His fruit is amazing and He will always influence you in a positive way so that His fruit ripens in you.

Believing in God is your weapon against the enemy. Research what believing in God entails. Research in the Bible and find out what you can trust the Lord will do and who He is. It is interesting to see that we don’t believe in God fully because we don’t know Him well enough. We can only believe what we know. It sounds basic but it is a deep revelation. Our faith can only be as big as what we know. Faith is knowing God is active without a doubt. It is believing God is God but how much of God we understand does matter when it comes to faith. Imagine you have been trusting God for years. You are saved and you love the Lord.

Now, if someone asks you who God is to you and what you believe in. If you don’t spend time in the Word of God and if you don’t pray regularly, you will have a small God to talk about. You won’t be able to give specifics to the person who asked you. God is impossible to fully know and understand but we ought to be on the road to discovering Him more and more. Believing God is believing in His love that is out of His world and His miracles and powers. Those are just a few things we can believe in. Get to know God for yourself. Redefine your beliefs and sharpen your understanding of God. Rely on His Spirit daily and you will make great strides. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Psalm 56:3-4; Proverbs 29:25; 1 Thessalonians 2:13

Jesus is always the way

When I was praying yesterday morning, I kept hearing deep down inside that there is always a way with Jesus. I meditated on that amazing truth. It is a truth we should hold ah so anything that might happen to us. When we think about the cross and what Jesus accomplished, we can’t help but know that He did the impossible. He died on that cross and then He conquered death. Death is the ultimate trial or tribulation. It is the biggest problem and Jesus destroyed it. Anything that happens to us that is negative falls under the umbrella of death. There is a spectrum of problems from something as simple as losing keys to something as huge as a fatality. That bad spectrum was defeated on the cross. No matter how big or small your problem is, there is always a way with Jesus. Jesus is the way. Insert Him into your problems and He will add solutions to your life. I impose my solution to my circumstances. I impose my Jesus to my circumstances. He always makes a way!

Jesus is the way-maker. He makes a way out of nothing. He can create solutions that you never thought existed. He does the impossible like I always say. Don’t think that your problem will be impossible to solve. Agree with Jesus. He believes and He knows that when He came back from the dead, He took care of every problem that will ever arise on earth. Your current problems are no exception to that rule. Think of the Jesus rule. His rule states that all issues and problems have to come under the control of the Lord and that His blood conquered all. He controlled all problems when He defeated death. His resurrection power makes a way in the darkest valleys and in the most hopeless situations. The Lord is trying to get your attention today. He is reminding you that He is your way out. Don’t lose heart. The way-maker will have the final say. Let Him make His way into your dilemma and you will experience peace, victory and relief. It’s not over until The way has come your way!

Have you noticed how in very dark rooms the light can make its way through and shine a glimmer of hope? It doesn’t have to be a lot of light. A little bit is enough to bring back hope. Jesus makes His way into dark situations and all you have to do is hold on to hope. Hold on to that little light knowing that more light is coming. Hold on to that little light and have the confidence that as your faith grows so will that light. Stay in faith while the light makes its way in. Follow the light. Go to its source. Its source is Jesus. He is the One you should stare at and not your problems. I understand it is easier said than done but it does work. Jesus is the way when there seems to be no way. Be relentless and keep hoping for the way out. Be determined to stay in faith because God’s way is the best way. Jesus is the way, the truth and the light. He is going to do something incredible in your life. He is making way for great things to take place in your life. Stay encouraged! May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: John 10:9; John 14:6; Acts 4:12

God can’t change

They say that the only thing that is constant is change. I say that the only One who is constant is God. Think about that as the new week begins. Things will change this week. You can expect that. You can expect changes accompanied by challenges and you can also expect good and positive shifts. We can’t predict what’s going to happen but we can predict that God will be the same. Isn’t that reassuring? God is consistent and He is true to Himself. He is faithful to His Word and faithful to who He is. I love to meditate on that truth. I love to defy the changes in my life and the challenges I encounter by professing that my God never changes.

Things can get difficult and hard but my God is always good and powerful. If you need a boost this week, remember that God will never change. Remember that you can always have hope and great expectations because you have God. You might have problems but you also have God. Let me say that again. You might have problems now but you also have a God who can solve all problems. Your problems are never bigger than your God. The negative changes in your life are never more powerful than your constant and amazing God. God is going to change your situations, friend. Don’t let your circumstances change how you see God. Let Him change how you see your circumstances.

The counsel of the Lord stands forever, The plans of His heart to all generations.*” Another translation of this verse says that God’s plans are firm. God’s plans for your life are firm, friend. Nothing can move them. Nothing can change them. There are no difficult situations that can change God’s firm plans. God’s intentions for your are extremely good and they are firm. Praise the Lord whose plans are unchanged. Praise the Lord who never wavers and who never fails. Your faith gives you access to His blessings. His blessings are available to you every single day, 24/7. They are ready to touch your life now. God’s blessings are firm and they are life changing.

Expect great changes in your life even when things shift in a bad way. God’s consistent love will impress the negative changes in your life and remove them. The plans of God’s heart will defeat the enemy’s plans. Say it out loud. When you are in a pickle, talk about the One whose power changes everything. The Lord said Himself that He doesn’t change. Our minds change Him. Our experiences give us the wrong picture of Him. He is good all the time. I tell myself that God is good all the time. Making that declaration is a reflex for me and it helps a lot. I say it whenever I get a chance and I say it when something bad happens. It allows me to renew my mind and to exalt the Lord who never changes.

God is not human, that He should lie, not a human being, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?” (Numbers 23:19). God will never change His mind about you. He said He would love you and protect you and that will always be the case. God has made His mind up about you and in His mind you are wonderfully and fearfully made. In His mind you are worth dying for. In His mind you were saved by His blood and you are under His covenant. In His mind there is nothing He can’t do for you. In His mind there is always hope for you. In His mind there is always power to change your life. Find out what He says about you in His Word and trust that everything He said still stands. God is not human. Think about that. He is above all humans and He is always, always the same God. Go into this week with the confidence that your God will be able to change anything that might go wrong this week. Stay in faith! May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Psalm 33:11*; Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8

Limited God

God is almighty and all-powerful. There is nothing He can’t do and there is no one bigger and stronger than Him. To Him belong greatness and power. He is full of love and full of hope. You will never meet anyone more loving than the Lord. You will never meet anyone more hopeful than the Lord. Nothing is impossible to God and His love is the biggest love in the universe and yet we don’t get to know Him well. We have a limited version of God and unless we spend time in the Word and work on our faith, we will know a limited God. That is not the real God. That is not the true representation of God. When we get saved, our spirits are born again but our minds are the same.

We get to know God through our limited and non-renewed minds. It’s something I had not thought about when I first became a Christian. I saw some of the great things Jesus could do. I read the Bible and marveled at the Lord’s majesty but I had a limited and a small God mentality. It took me years before I started working on my vision of God. He is so merciful that I had many glimpses of His greatness. Every glimpse helped. Every glimpse made Him a little bigger. Today I am here to encourage you to work on your vision of God and to let Him grow in your mind and in your heart. You might have a big God now but He can always get bigger so to speak.

The Bible says that without faith we can’t please God. Like I said before, God is full of love. If we don’t have faith He doesn’t hate us and He is not disappointed in us but faith connects us to Him. Faith is what allows us to know God and to see Him. Now, there is a spectrum of faith. Our faith can be a mustard seed or it can be the size of a mountain and anything in between. A mustard seed of faith is enough. We can’t get discouraged if we have little faith because God can work with what we have. With the mustard seed of faith we can see the impossible take place in our lives. We have to keep working on it. We ought to use that mustard seed and expand it so that our vision of God gets bigger. A small God won’t get us far. A vision of a small God won’t get us far. Let me share what helped me with my vision of God.

The Word of God tells us that God is omnipresent. He is everywhere all the time. I meditated on that for a while. I read in Romans chapter 8 that nothing could separate us from God’s love. That blew my mind. It means that I could be stuck at the bottom of the ocean and God would still be there. I thought of the worst places I could imagine and realized that God would be there with me. There is nowhere in the world that you and I could be without God. There are no situations where we are without God. He is that powerful. He is that big. I have traveled to a few countries on different continents and God was there every time. He is so big. He has no limitations so we need to take the limits off of God in our thinking.

Think about the great things the Lord did in the Bible and the things He has done in your life. Focus on His greatness by thinking of His amazing accomplishments. Think about His miracles. Don’t consider them as things of the past. His miracles are still available today. God is as big today as He was when He parted the Red Sea for the Israelites when they were led by Moses. He is still as big as when He turned water into wine. He still as big as when He did something for you that took you by surprise. Your last breakthrough was not the end of your blessings. It was just a part of a continuation of miracles that will keep happening as you fine tune your vision of God.

Expect great things. Expect miracles. Expect your big God to do the impossible. Expect positive and breathtaking changes in your life. Expect the God of miracles to be your God. He is. You just need to embrace that truth and to keep it alive in your spirit and in your mind. Don’t limit God because of some personal experiences that have gone wrong. Expand God and stretch your mind. Wherever you are, God is with you. Whatever you are going through, God is with you. The almighty God of the Bible is your God. Enjoy Him! May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: 1 Chronicles 29:11; Jeremiah 32:27; Luke 1:37

10 nuggets of wisdom for your Saturday (Part 178)

Life can tear you down but the Lord will restore you. He will build you back up and make you strong again. He will make you a powerhouse of hope when you stay in faith. Stay encouraged! The Lord will give you back what was stolen and more!

You don’t have to face life alone. God is with you all the time. He will get you through every trial and every tribulation. He will give you peace, fill you up with joy and showing His love when no one cares. Life with God is so much better!

The key is in your worship. The answer is in your worship. The power is in your worship. Hope is in your worship. Faith is in your worship. Peace is in your worship. In every circumstance, worship the Lord. In bad times and good times, worship the Lord!

God is your strength. He is your fortress. Find refuge in Him. He is your shield. He is your protector. Don’t shy away from Him when things get tough. Go to Him and He will protect you and comfort you!

Without Jesus you can’t go anywhere. With Jesus you can go everywhere. Choose His path. Choose His direction. He is the way, the truth and the life!

Remind yourself of the goodness of God. He has upheld you this far. He has blessed you and you have made it thanks to Him. You are going to make it. You are going to be more than ok. God’s goodness has not changed!

Don’t choose the world over Jesus. Meditate on that recommendation and see what it means in your life. Jesus should be number one in every area of your life.

Wait on the Lord and stay in faith. Wait for Him to act and to bless you. He will intervene at the right time. He will help you in ways that you couldn’t imagine existed. Wait on the Lord and stay in faith. Stay encouraged! Your breakthrough is coming!

Don’t forget God on your best days. He is there all the time. On good and bad days, God is God. Talk to Him every day. Celebrate Him every day. Love Him every day!

The good news of the Gospel is about Jesus and you. He died for you. He rose from the dead for you. He provided salvation for you. He gave His Spirit to you so you know how to navigate this new life in Him. Trust the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus’ perfect gift to you!

Suggested reading: John 14:20; Romans 8:10; Colossians 1:27

10 nuggets of wisdom for your Saturday (Part 177)

Scratch the bad future your mind is drawing in your head. Jesus has a better plan. Jesus always has better for you. Let His plan draw your future as you trust that His plan will prevail.

The words of wisdom from the Lord are more powerful than the words of advice of the world. His wisdom is a light. The world walks in darkness. Trust the light of wisdom. It will make a way through the darkness.

Engage with the Holy Spirit. Be actively in communication with Him. Interact with Him daily. Become best friends with Him. Acknowledge Him in all you do. Embrace the Spirit of Jesus!

There is a love that never dies. There is a love that died and came back from the dead. There is a love that fuels faith and that amplifies the power of the fruit of the Spirit. There is a love that resurrects what’s dead and that gives life to hope when all seems love. That love is the love of the Father. Thank God for His love!

When you realize that you can be a blessing and a servant to others, your life perspective changes completely. You are called to bless and serve others in the name of Jesus. You can be a great blessing and you can serve beautifully when you know that the Lord is using you to do great things for others.

Keep trusting God. You are not hoping in vain. He has a breakthrough for you. He has an answer for you. He has a solution for you. Stay in faith. Stay strong. Something great is coming to you!

The enemy doesn’t take a break and he doesn’t go on vacation. However, the Lord goes before you and He has made reservations for the events to come. Trust that He is in charge and He is with you 24/7!

There is no limit to what the Lord can do in your life. Expect great things. Reach out for Heaven and welcome blessings and peace into your life every day. Stay in faith! God will do the impossible.

No one can stop your blessings from finding their way to you. Nothin can stop God’s blessings. Hold on to that truth. Stay hopeful. The blessings of the Lord will always come to you!

People look for answers their whole lives. If you have Jesus you have all the answers. He will always show you what to do, what to say and what to think. Hang on to the answer to all the questions in the world. Hang on to Jesus!

Suggested reading: Mark 9:35; John 10:28-30; 1 John 4:15

God’s will be done

Yesterday I found out that I didn’t get the promotion I was hoping for. A lot of signs had pointed in the right direction. People had been supporting me. I gave a presentation that was described as being excellent and yet things didn’t go my way. At first I was very disappointed and shocked. I was confused. I asked the Lord why this was happening and the reality of it all is that those things do happen. Life doesn’t always go our way. Even with the Lord on our side, it’s not our way that matters. It’s not about our will but it’s about His will. His will be done. I trust Him. I believe in Him. He is my Savior. Jesus is my Lord. However, it doesn’t mean that my will will prevail because He is my Lord. I don’t have the power to overtake His will and make my will reign. Every time we think things should go a certain way and they don’t, we have to take a step back and realize that it is just not God’s will. I felt like I lost something. I felt like I lost a battle. I felt shortchanged. I felt betrayed. By whom? By my own feelings and emotions. They can rule my mind and my will. Emotions are never good indicators of what’s to come or of what should happen in our lives. They don’t work well with faith. We can’t base our faith on our feelings. Faith is spiritual. Feelings are of the flesh. God is spirit and He is led by the flesh. My flesh was definitely in conflict with my spirit. My flesh is in conflict with God’s will. I had to take a step back and look at the bigger picture, God’s picture, God’s will. Hours after I found out the news, I was able to pray and say “Lord, Your will be done.”

God’s will is always good. Do you ever think about that? We say that God is good but we don’t often mention that His will is good. Sometimes we don’t agree with His will and we rebel and believe that things should happen differently. Just because something doesn’t make sense to us and it defies all logic doesn’t mean that it is wrong or bad. God protects us from many things. We will never find out what some of these things are but we ought to trust that God’s will is the best and what we don’t get at times is a blessing in disguise. We could be praying for a particular job and not get it. God could be protecting us from something in that job. There could be many reasons why He doesn’t want us to get that job. It can feel horrible and depressing but we have to put all our trust in the One whose will is perfect. God’s will for your life, friend, is perfect. It may jive with the world’s standards and the world’s expectations but it is perfect. If you are hoping for a job, there is a right job for you and God will make it happen for you. Have great expectations that are God’s expectations. His expectations are part of His will. Thank Him for His will.

May God’s will be done in your life. His will is powerful and it will take place. When you focus on the Lord and you develop faith in Him, you are not taken aback by some of the things that happen to you even if they are earth shattering. Storms and earthquakes have a way of confusing us and of making us feel like we are stepping outside of God’s will and the enemy is taking over. The enemy always attacks but he can’t win against God’s will. Good things come to those who wait patiently in the name of Jesus. Know that God’s will will win no matter how bad things are now. His will is going to give you the breakthrough that you need. His will is going to leave a beautiful mark on your life. His will is that you are saved. Not only that you are saved because Jesus is your savior but He also wants you to be saved from the turmoil of life. You are going to be more than ok. May God’s will be done in your life. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Matthew 6:10; John 7:17; 1 Timothy 2:4

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