Turn up the volume of your praise and gratitude

About four years ago a friend of mine asked me what she could do to have a breakthrough in her life. She felt all dried up spiritually and her faith was getting weak. She wasn’t excited about the things of the Lord and she had lost her “God appetite.” She was just going through the motions with no hope of things getting better. I prayed for her. I prayed about her situation and I received a message that resonated with both of us. The message was that she needed to turn up the volume of her praise. She needed to go into praise mode more and to let it carry her to a higher place spiritually. I took that message personally as well and I put it into action. What unfolded in the days that followed was a new dimension in my relationship with the Lord. Turning up the volume of my praise allowed me to get closer to Him. It allowed me to embrace Him and to get connected with Him in a way that felt very special and very unique. I was very familiar with praise but I got a fresh revelation of the power of praise at that time. A few months later, I was in need of a spiritual boost and the message that came to me during prayer was to amplify my gratitude. Now, combining those two messages created a powerful formula. Turning up the volume of my praise and of my gratitude equals tapping into the heart of the Lord. Praise takes you where the Lord is and gratitude shows you who He is. Today I want to encourage you to turn up the volume of your praise and your gratitude. Increase them. Turn that dial and let your praise and gratitude be louder than fear and bitterness.

 

When my friend started praising more despite what was going on in her life, she saw a difference in the way she approached her situation. Fear decreased, her mood was good and her outlook on life was more positive. She looked forward to the praise sessions and she really got into them. What was happening was that she was getting into God’s atmosphere of peace and joy. The Spirit of the Lord hangs out in our praises. He is there when we exalt Jesus and His power taps us on the back and opens our eyes to a world of many possibilities. She found peace and joy at her fingertips when her hands were up toward the heavens as a sign or praise and adoration. She felt great during praise. She forgot about her problems. The more she did it, the less she heard the nagging from her problems. She found herself having more hope and giving more hope to people around her. God’s hope is contagious and she caught the bug that keeps on giving. If you need some encouragement or you need a little pick-me up, turn up the volume of your praise. It won’t feel normal if you are going through a tough time but it will diminish the power the problems have over your mind. It will help you renew your mind and think more like Christ. Be loud in your praise sessions. Be loud with your actions of praise. It doesn’t have to be music or songs, you can praise the Lord with your actions and with your attitude surrendered to Him. My friend became a “Praise before you worry” kind of person and I believe she still blasts the praises every day.

 

Turning up the volume of gratitude can come in very handy when frustration and bitterness try to get the best of you. They seep in and lead you straight down the path of negativity and keep you in a mental negative cell that you can’t get out of easily. They make you develop feelings that keep you from seeing God’s beauty and that prevent you from believing in His promises. The enemy wants you to be bitter and frustrated but gratitude removes the bitter look from your face and the frustration from your heart. Gratitude is an expression of faith. It is telling the Lord that you appreciate what He is doing even when you don’t see anything happening. Gratitude is the kind of attitude that rubs the enemy the wrong way. It is a form of praise and the enemy can’t stand praise. When you turn up the volume of your gratitude, the enemy will tell you that you are crazy and he will say that it doesn’t make sense. Now, remember. God’s wisdom is foolishness to the world and the enemy is the king of this world. Don’t pay attention to what he tells you. Thank the Lord for everything. Find things to be grateful for. Keep at it. Don’t put your guard down but be vigilant in gratitude and praise. When you focus on being grateful, you are not ignoring the pain and the troubles. You are rising above them and you are putting yourself in a position where they won’t have any effect on you. I have been there many times. I praised even when it hurt. I was grateful even when I felt cheated by life. Those moments were difficult but they quickly turned into opportunities to build up some faith muscles and to discover a new joy in the middle of chaos. Dear friend, turn up the volume of your praise and gratitude and you will see what the Lord does for you. Praise Him!

Suggested reading: Isaiah 25:1; Psalm 150:6; Acts 16:25

When the world says “No”, God says “Yes”

I have found out through the years that when the world says “No”, the Lord says “Yes.” I have been in many situations where things seemed bad and the world was telling me that they will never get better or it would take a miracle for things to change. I have had many rejections from the world. I have seen many closed doors. Some doors looked like they were open from a distance but they were shut in my face when I got closer to them. I have been told that I was a dreamer whose dreams were too far-fetched. I have experienced anxiety that wouldn’t settle for a while. However, I have also been told that nothing was impossible with God. That is what the Lord says. He says that He can do all things and the No of the world becomes a Yes with Him. For every rejection there has been acceptance from the Lord. He has taken me under His wing when I couldn’t fly and when my hope couldn’t take off. He says “Yes” with a smile when the world says “No” with a frown. Jesus came to save the world and to make the impossible possible. He put an end to death and He rose from the dead Himself as the Savior who can rise above anything and everything. Death couldn’t keep Him in the grave. Failure was not part of His vocabulary. It looked like everything was over when He hung on the cross but it was just the beginning. It was the beginning of “Yes, you can have life through Him” and “Yes, you are going to make it.” God says, “Yes, child I can do it. Yes, child you are going to have a breakthrough. Yes, child your time is coming. Yes, child My timing is always perfect.” Today I want to remind you that the Lord is saying Yes. He is saying “Yes, I can help you. Yes, I can heal you. Yes, I can bless you and Yes I am always with you.”

 

Collect all the No’s you have been given by life. Put them together in a prayer and offer them to the Lord. Cast your burdens on Him. Give Him all the rejections and all the closed doors. Don’t accept them. Don’t take No for an answer when the Lord says “Yes, I am the answer.” Keep on walking. Don’t let the rejections stall you. Don’t let the failures paralyze you. God has what you need and His Yes is more powerful than all the No’s of the world combined. His Yes can raise you from the dead situation you have been facing. Remember that nothing is impossible to the Lord. The lies of the enemy have been tormenting you for too long. This is not the end. Let God have the final say. He is almighty, loving and good all the time. Your current circumstances don’t dictate who God is. Speak up and express your faith over your circumstances. Show your situation that God is reigning over your life and you will get out of this mess thanks to Him. Let your words reflect the Yes from the Lord and weaken the No in your life. Don’t let the No take control of your mind and make you think that there is no way out. Jesus is the way out and He is taking you out of your trouble. Praise Him!!!

 

Closed doors can be very discouraging. Rejection letters from life can be disheartening. God has a welcome letter for you, friend. He has doors that are part of a new construction that is meant just for you. Those doors will not only be open for you but they will let you inside a house whose structure is solid and permanent. They will reinforce God’s love and demonstrate that nothing is impossible with Him. Something is going to happen that will make you forget all the pain and all the rejection. That first door God opens for you is going to seem unreal but it is all part of God’s reality. Stay in faith. Stay with hope. The No of the world is not stronger than the Yes from Heaven that has been with you the whole time. Tune in to the Yes and embrace it. Tell the Lord you trust and believe Him. Thank Him for His Yes. Praise Him for the Yes and stay in peace. You have nothing to worry about and nothing to fear when you say Yes to God’s Yes. Do something today that underlines God’s Yes in your life. Share the message of His Yes with someone. Find a creative way to illustrate His Yes in your life. I like to come up with songs for Jesus. Sing, dance, celebrate Jesus because He is saying Yes. Put the No’s behind. Be prepared for the No’s to come and be ready to reject them with your faith. When the world says “No”, God has a Yes for you. Glory to God!!!

Suggested reading: Genesis 18:14; Luke 1:37; Hebrews 6:18

Leaving the worry zone

This message is as much for me as it is for anyone reading it. The messages always are but this one really struck a chord with me. Worry is a big topic these days. It’s always a big topic but I feel like there has been an increase of worry in the world for many reasons. The pandemic that was thought to be decreasing is rising in this country. There is just a wave of uncertainty that keeps washing away the shores of hope. However, God is standing strong and He can help us ride the waves and stay safe on solid ground. Those seas that He once parted in our lives, will be split again. There is a dry land waiting for us and we are going to walk on it in the name of Jesus. As a matter of fact, some of us are already walking on it through faith. We have managed to keep the tide low and to walk peacefully on the land of peace and joy. Having peace and joy when the world is crumbling is truly an act from God.

 

I have had my fair share of worries and I keep visiting the place where worry is dominant. At times I have to work hard at leaving the worry zone. It’s like a war zone in our minds and we can keep fighting the fight of faith or we can succumb and give in to fear and worry. My goal is to leave the worry zone and stop returning to it for long periods of time. I think it’s inevitable for us to worry from time to time but I also know that the Holy Spirit can get us to a place where worry is not welcome and where peace prevails even when things are not going well at all. We all have a worry zone that changes size depending on what is going on in our lives and mostly depending on how we react to what is going on. The key is to hold on to the passport, as I like to call it, that gets us through the worry zone and that takes us out of that zone. The Word of God is an excellent passport because it helps you go through the worry zone and you come out of it intact thanks to the wisdom and the power of the Word. The Word will guide you through the worst situations. It will reduce stress and get rid of worry if you give it a chance. God will stamp your passport with seals of peace and faith. What He says is permanent. Those stamps are sealed by the blood of the Lamb and nothing can change them. Trust that He means to give you peace and He will.

 

The worry zone is where I used to live. I couldn’t escape it. It was my dwelling place. Once Jesus was part of my life and He became my Savior, worry started to lose control. Worry got kicked out a few times. I got used to leaving the worry zone and it felt amazing. I didn’t know I could spend time in a worry-free zone. I wasn’t familiar with peace. Worry was my abode but the Lord had something way better. How did I first leave the worry zone? When the light of the Word lit up my world, the worry zone looked dark and I decided to step away from it. Sometimes we need to see the light of the Lord, His love and His power and then we realize that what we are accustomed to is provided by darkness. Worry is not from God. There is no worry in Heaven, there is no worry in the presence of the Lord. The more I got into HIs presence and the less I stayed in the worry zone. I brought down the worry zone with songs of praise and worship.I read the Bible out loud so my mind could hear words of encouragement and words of peace. My mind, where worry loves to sit and get comfortable, became a place of serenity. I had to learn that worry shouldn’t be my default setting and then I seized the tools that moved me out of that negative zone.

 

Chip away at the worry zone. Demolish it with praise. Tear it down with prayers. Don’t stay there. Don’t get used to it. It’s not where the Lord wants you to be. There is so much more and God has that “ so much more” for you. Peace can set up a tent in the middle of the worst worry zone and eradicate the reign of worry. Invite Jesus into the worry zone. Give Him the best seat in the house and He will transform that zone into a haven of tranquility. His peace does surpass all understanding. I dive into it often. I get taken by it often. I get to let it overwhelm me often. The worry zone is a bad place to be. Recognize it and ask for help. The Lord will give you all the help you need to get out of that place. Hold on to Him!

Suggested reading: Isaiah 40:31; John 14:1; 1 Peter 3:14

 

God gives the victory

When I pray, I often hear the words “triumph” and “victory” but they are in the context of the cross. The Holy Spirit likes to emphasize what the victory on the cross means. I believe it is a very important message because that victory is still relevant today and I need to completely comprehend that. I used to think that I was triumphant and I produced the victory and that’s what mattered but the victory belongs to the Lord. Jesus did the work through the cross. I am not the one who won over death. I am not the victor here. He is and He makes that victory available to us. We can’t lose sight of what He did and we ought to give Him all the praise and glory for that. I misunderstood a lot of the messages preached about victory. My interpretation of the messages built up my ego. It’s not about me. It’s about Jesus. It’s always about Jesus. We take a big risk when we put more emphasis on the victory than on who won the victory. If we glorify the victory, we can easily attach it to us more than to the Lord. God gives us the victory but He owned it first and the creator of it is much more significant than the creation. Jesus is more paramount than the victory. If you are in Chris,t you do have the victory. You have victory over the world. You overcome the world because He overcame the world. Today I want to underline that our victory is in the Lord and He should get all the credit for what He did. The victory is already here. Our faith gives us access to it.

 

Understanding that the Lord’s victory over death is still relevant today is very good for our faith. Faith comes from what we hear and what we hear comes from the Word of God. The Word of God clearly states that Jesus won over death. He won over 2000 years ago but what He did back then is still present today. Our faith needs to get ahold of that truth and grow in it. Basing our faith on the truth that Jesus conquered death is a strong foundation. Why? Because death is the termination of life and Jesus terminated what stops us from having life. It is a lot simpler than it sounds. Death silences life and all that is in it. Jesus came to give life a voice. He came to be the spokesperson for Heaven. He was the voice that echoed Heaven and that made sure that life was spoken for. Death was conquered. What seemed to be impossible took place. Who would have imagined that death could be stopped when it was known for stopping everything? No one imagined that our biggest enemy could be taken down but that is what Jesus did when He died and rose from the dead. That victory will always be true and it will live on forever. Jesus has the victory and He is giving it to you today. Now, think of all the negative agents that come with death. Think of all the negative events that fall under the umbrella of death. All the bad circumstances and all the tough situations you will ever encounter are in the death category because they bring death to joy, peace, love and faith. Jesus conquered them all. Those difficult circumstances were not too hard for the Lord. He destroyed them. Embrace that truth. Have faith in Jesus “the death destroyer” and receive His victory by faith.

 

If you were to sit face to face with Jesus today and talk to Him about your problems, He would tell you that He conquered them and He would not want you to worry. You might ask Him why you are still going through a tough time. He would tell you that those things are bound to happen but be of good cheer because He has conquered the world. The victory bought on the cross belongs to you. Fix your eyes on Jesus. Listen to His words of encouragement. His words have not changed. He is still talking about victory, triumph, freedom and peace. Don’t get discouraged. The victory will come. It will happen. Stay encouraged. Remember that it is all coming from the Lord. You don’t have to win that victory. You have to win the fight of faith and keep believing. Jesus won’t let you down. He will give you the victory. It’s on its way. Continue to praise the Lord. Look at your problems in the eyes and tell them that the Lord overcame them and it’s only a question of time until you see the victory. Celebrate today the One who gives you the victory. He cannot be defeated!

Suggested reading: Deuteronomy 20:4; Ephesians 6:10; 1 John 5:4

The God who can change anything

How do you see God? Do you ever ask yourself that question? Do you ever have an inner conversation about who God is in your life? Is He the God who judges us? Is He the God who is far out there away from us? Is He a good and loving God who is always with us? Is He the God who can intervene in our lives? I used to see God as an entity that was too far to be reached. To me He didn’t get involved in our lives. He was too busy being God for the whole world so being God to me, little me, seemed too much to ask. God is a personal God. He is an intimate God. He is not too big for any of us. He is not far from any of us. He is interested in us and in the details of our lives. You see, before you accepted Jesus as your Savior, there were many things that needed to be changed in your life. Many parts of your life had to be ironed out with the power of God. There were too many wrinkles that just kept peace and joy from being smooth events in your life. There was too much of a fight to stand and to make it every day. Once you accepted the Lord, changes still needed to be made but at least you had a connection to the One who can change anything. God is about love and His love wants to change our lives completely. When you love someone, you want them to have what’s best all the time. Not just part of the time. My God loves me 24/7 and He blesses me 24/7. I block some of His blessings with the way I think and with lack of faith in some departments but I am actively working on it and the Holy Spirit has been helping me a great deal. Every morning I hear “Today is going to be an amazing day. The Lord is with you and He will assist you.” I repeat that out loud when I pray. It’s an everyday declaration. God assists us. How? When we trust Him, He can change anything. Anything that is going wrong He can change for the best. Today I want to remind you that the Lord can change anything. Your biggest headache can turn into the biggest triumph. With the Lord, you are triumphant. No obstacles can stand in the way of the Lord. No hurdles are too difficult and you are rightly entitled to the triumph and the victory provided by the Lord. God can change anything.

 

One thing that stood out after I got saved is how God was changing my heart. God can change anything and that change starts with us. I wasn’t all in and I was holding on to a lot from my old life so the changes in me took years to materialize. They are still happening today but at least I have put my guard down and I have allowed the Lord to do a work inside of me. There is a lot to be done and thanks to patience, I am riding along this amazing journey with hope in my heart and more serenity in my mind. God can change anything and He will changé the coldest hearts, the most stubborn attitudes and the most rebellious souls. It takes surrender and obedience. Two acts that can impact our lives in ways that are unimaginable. Sometimes all it takes is a prayer. A prayer asking the Lord to change us, to mold us and to make us more like Jesus. I have learned that being changed on the inside is much more important than having our circumstances changed. When the inside is more like Jesus, the outside is more manageable. When the inside is strong, the outside can’t get in. It’s our circumstances that often remove our peace, disturb our joy and crush our faith. God can change anything and the change should start inside you and me. Pray that the Lord gives you the strength and the courage to face the day.

 

God can change any circumstances. When you have grown through a transformation process on the inside, your situations are much easier to deal with. God gives you the patience to wait through the storms. You are long suffering and you can go through trials with praise and thanksgiving knowing that the best is yet to come. It will come. Good things will be part of your life soon. God can change today’s nightmares and melt them into dreams that are too good to be true and yet they are real. Your patience, added to your faith and love will result in changes of your circumstances. God will act in your favor. He will remove the mountains that are standing in your path. He will heal your sick circumstances and give your life new health. He will put the shame that has been haunting you to shame. He will destroy the plans that were meant to destroy you. He will perform miracles that will reveal the wine that has been sitting at the bottom of your cup of water. Under the plain is the supernatural. What seems to be commonplace has a silver lining that is far from being common when your trust is in the Lord. Don’t look at the surface that is all dusty. Look into the shiny depth of your blessings. They may not appear to your naked eye but your eyes of faith can see changes and blessings to come. God can change anything and you are about to see something you had never seen before. Stay strong. Stay in faith. Stay encouraged. God can change anything that is troubling you now. The best is yet to come!

Suggested reading: Malachi 3:6; Isaiah 43:19; 2 Peter 3:9

How to achieve spiritual growth

Through the years I have realized that there is always more with God. I am not just talking about getting more blessings. I am referring to learning more about God and expanding our spiritual sphere with Jesus in the middle. There is an expansion process that should be taking place. We should be enlarging our spiritual knowledge and understanding of the Lord. That expansion is a great way of approaching life with God. It is a life where there is abundance of growth and abundance of goodness and love. Growing in the knowledge of the Lord should be growing in love. Getting to know God is more than an intellectual exercise. It is a workout of the heart. As we get to know more of God, our hearts are trained to love more. God is love and as we develop spiritually our love should grow as well. We tend to remain in our comfort zone in the Lord and it is fine to spend some time there but after a while we need to come out of the comfort zone. We need to challenge our spiritual sphere and give God a bigger part of our lives. Our love should be enlarged. Our testimony should be bigger. The fruit of the Spirit should ripen in our lives. Our relationship with the Lord should grow. Our spiritual sphere can get to a larger size that encompasses more of God and less of us. Today I want to encourage you to expand your spiritual sphere and come out of your comfort zone. Challenge your heart. Defy your mind. Build up your spirit!

 

If I find myself in the same place I was a month ago spiritually, I know I have some work to do. The work is not necessarily hard but it requires commitment and dedication. I don’t work alone. I work with the Spirit of God. He has to be part of my spiritual sphere otherwise I am wasting spiritual space by trying to achieve something that my spirit alone can’t handle. Communion with the Spirit of Jesus is where I find the power to grow and the power to change. It is impossible to be in touch with the Spirit of God and not be altered in some way. When we spend time in the Word and we pray and celebrate Jesus, we manifest the Spirit of God in us and change always comes. Now, the Spirit takes us from glory to glory. We all go at our own pace and if we are in sync with the Lord, we get into a rhythm that agrees with His plan for our lives. God is never too fast and never too slow. He knows what’s best for us and He brings us along a great journey where growth is bound to happen. God gives more and we should be expecting more. Expecting more of Jesus in our lives. Expecting to become more like Jesus and having a bigger love for people and for God is the evidence that we are expanding our spiritual sphere. We can challenge ourselves to get more spiritual growth every day. Our spiritual sphere is like a bucket where drops of love and faith are added as we go until there is an overflow of the Lord and the bucket becomes a blessing to people around us.

 

My spiritual comfort zone was the place where I wasn’t pushed around too much. A place where I didn’t have to have too much faith and where it was pretty much status quo. Not too much happened and I didn’t have to take any spiritual risks such as having peace that surpasses all understanding or patience that was out of this world. I didn’t go out of my way to apply the Bible to my life. I was content with the Sunday service and prayers here and there. I was spiritually passive and that worked out for me. I was lukewarm is what I was. My spiritual sphere was small and I discovered it was expandable if I got to know the Lord better and if I made Him my priority. It became clear that my spiritual growth was going to depend on my proximity to God. By proximity I mean time spent in the Word, in prayer and in worship. Those three areas add layers to our spiritual sphere. God can make our spiritual lives vibrant places where beautiful things happen in the name of Jesus. The key is to surrender our spiritual sphere to the Lord. We ought to give up some of the worldly attractions that take away from the Lord. When we fill our spiritual sphere with world entertainment, we end up having holes in the area where there should be plugs put in by the Lord. The plug of hope, the plug of strength, the plug of joy and other plugs that God puts in place so that we are whole and we are filled with His Spirit. Spiritual growth comes from surrender and from obedience. There is always more with God. Aspire to grow in the Lord and to know His love better. The more you know, the more you will love!

Suggested reading: Jeremiah 9:23-24; John 17:3; Philippians 3:10

Thank God for patience

I appear to be a pretty patient person and I am for the most part but there are times when patience is a fruit that is not part of my fruit basket. Times when I keep looking at the clock for my next life event to happen. I wait and wait but I don’t wait patiently. My focus is too much on the waiting and I don’t enjoy myself. All I have to say is thank God for patience. When I get impatient, I turn things over to God. I need His patience. I need the fruit of the Spirit in my life. All of it. Not just faith, love, peace and joy. The fruit has a patience component that is crucial. I have dismissed it too many times but now I am making sure that I am watering the whole fruit and patience is part of that amazing package. Patience coming from God is supernatural and it surpasses all understanding just like His peace. It is when we plug into the Holy Spirit that we get access to this beautiful patience. The Holy Spirit dwells in us but if we ignore Him, He is dormant for lack of a better word. He is a gift from Jesus that we should unwrap and embrace. Have you ever received a gift, loved it and then let it sit on a shelf? That is what happens with the Holy Spirit at times. We love Him. We are grateful for Him but then we put Him on a shelf and go about our business without considering Him. In other instances we enjoy the Holy Spirit but we don’t get to know Him. We love the gift but we never read the manual so we don’t understand how to interact with the gift and what to do with it.

 

The Holy Spirit is a comforter, a counselor, a coach, a Jesus promoter and a fruit producer among other wonderful things. Today I am focusing on the fruit of the Spirit and I want to talk specifically about patience. God is a patient God. Imagine if He weren’t patient with us. We would never be changed. We would never be blessed. We would never be loved. Sin would separate us from the Lord forever but God sent His Son for us. He was patient enough to let the process happen for humanity even though people were and are rejecting Him. God was patient with Saul and then Paul was born. God is patient with every single of one of us. Someone could live his or her life in rebellion against the Lord and be saved five minutes before they die. God will wait a lifetime. God is in no rush. He doesn’t lose His temper and He doesn’t get out of control. My prayer is that we adopt His patience and we keep it in the middle of our hearts so it guides what we do, it influences how we deal with people and it gives spiritual fuel to our faith. Patience is needed when it comes to faith. Faith waits patiently.

 

It is hard to have faith without patience. Faith like I said, always waits and it is sure of the outcome. Faith allows you to be patient because it lets you know that God is in control and you know without a doubt that there is nothing to worry about. Patience doesn’t look at time as an issue. It sees time as being on our side. Patience savors the minutes that go by. Patience keeps you in the moment. It doesn’t project and it doesn’t live in the future. Patience loves today. Patience loves what the Lord is doing today. It doesn’t count the days and it doesn’t pay attention to all the signs that point in the wrong direction. When we are waiting for something, it’s easy to focus on the details that are imperfect in our lives. It’s easy to make a list of all the negative things that come to pass. Patience puts that list away and it takes out the list of blessings the Lord promises. Patience stays in the positive. It doesn’t associate with negativity at all. Patience says “Things might not look good now but with the Lord everything is going to be fine and I am enjoying my life today.”

 

When you take a bite at the apple of patience, you can’t stop eating it. Patience makes you feel great. It touches your soul and it blesses your spirit. God’s patience is phenomenal because it is stronger than irritation, chaos, anxiety and defiance. With the fruit of the Spirit we don’t defy God. We wait on Him. We love seeking His face. We get blessed internally and it shows on the outside. Patience gives us the strength to wait even when our minds tell us to start moving and to keep going when we shouldn’t. Patience suppresses panic and makes us pause and take a break. It is needed in prayer and meditation. When we pray and meditate on the Word, rushing around will never help us get to where we need to be. Patience is the power behind a good prayer life. It is the power that enables us to receive messages from God. It is the power that helps us love our neighbors. Love is patient. We should also direct God’s patience toward ourselves. Let’s be patient with ourselves. The fruit of the Spirit grows and we need to be patient with our own pace. God has given you and me patience. Let’s thank Him for that and let’s keep on nurturing the good fruit of the Spirit!

Suggested reading: Proverbs 15:18; Galatians 5:22; James 5:8

The restoration of God’s restoration

The mindset that many people have adopted these days is that things can’t get better and that a lot that has been broken can’t be fixed. There is a strong feeling that we can’t get out of the hole that this pandemic has dug in our lives. Hope has left the building and doubt is a permanent resident in many homes. All we can think about is how bad the situation is getting and there seems to be no end to the chaos. “How will this get fixed?” many are wondering. What will it take to get back to a normal life? Is there a way to go back to normal or are we heading toward a new normal that is dismal and discouraging? There is a way. There is hope. There is a truth that will make things right. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. He is the One who can and who will fix this. He knows the way to do it, He holds the truth that will set people free and He has the life that changes everything. What we all need is to restore our faith and our hope in God’s power of restoration. God is still the same. He is the God of miracles and the God of restoration. He will give us what we need and He will fix everything that is broken. Not just some things but everything when we believe. Today I want to encourage you to go back to where your faith once was or to reach the place where your faith sees restoration and reparation.

The word “reparation” usually refers to the making of amends for a wrong one has done by paying money or by helping someone to whom a wrong was done. God is in the business of reparations. When Jesus died and rose again, the biggest reparation was paid to the world. He made amends for the wrong the enemy did to the world and for the wrong sin did to humanity. He made things right with God and He helped every human being that will ever believe in Him. He fixed the biggest problem the world would ever face and His reparation is still true today. Whatever you are facing today can be fixed. It was fixed on the cross and now your faith can make it come to pass. Go back to the cross today. Go back to what Jesus did for you. Spend time in the Word, study it and meditate on it. Faith comes from hearing and hearing from the Word of God. Like many people nowadays what you hear is gloom and doom and your faith has been damaged by the terrible reports. Scary things are happening in the world but they don’t change the good news of the Gospel of Jesus. He came to set the captives free. He came to set you free. This is not the end. Jesus will put an end to this. Build your faith back up. Go up the hill of hope. Get out of the valley of desolation. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever!

God will restore what was taken from you and give you beauty for ashes, hope for every doubt that has been sown in your heart and peace for every storm of worry that is thundering in your mind. “Restoration” is a powerful process. God will restore your life to where it was before and more. You see, with the Lord there is always an increase. You go from glory to glory. This means that His restoration is better than the world’s restoration. When something is restored in the world, it goes back to the way it was before. With the Lord, the restoration goes to a higher level. Life is restored according to His standards and not according to the world’s standards. I remember that after I spent a time in the wilderness even though I had been saved, God’s encounter or re-encounter took me to another level. He gave me peace that I had never known before. He opened my heart to worshiping Him more than ever and He put a zeal in me that I didn’t know existed. God is going to bless you in ways you never knew were possible. Stay in faith. Get into the habit of declaring that God is restoring your life. Keep on praying and keep on praising. Your Sunday morning is coming. It won’t be Friday night forever. Stay encouraged. God’s restoration is about to impact your life. Praise Him!

Suggested reading: Amos 9:14; Isaiah 61:7; 1 Peter 5:10

10 nuggets of wisdom for your Saturday (Part 112)

Pray the funk away and let praise be the fragrance that keeps that funk away! Don’t let the negative feelings steal your joy!

During trying times and regular times the enemy will try to destroy you. He doesn’t take a break and he doesn’t care what time it is. However, God’s love is relentless. It is strong in all seasons. Rely on God’s love in good times and bad times.

When you stay joyful in the Lord that’s when you take advantage of His DNA in you. He is a joyful God. Express the joy of the Lord in you and you will express the Lord for everyone to see.

God will listen to you even when you don’t know what to say. Your unspoken prayers manifested through your tears are heard loud and clear.

You don’t depend on the world’s economy. You belong to the Kingdom of God. In His Kingdom there is no shortage of anything. God provides all the time, in good times and bad times. Be Kingdom-minded and not “world-limited.”

Let God prove you wrong. Let Him show your doubts and fears that they are unfounded. Let God prove Himself right in the middle of your darkest hour. God is the same yesterday, today and forever!

God’s goodness is running after you so let it catch you. Let it grab your mind. Let it touch your heart, let it make you walk with peace and confidence and run with zeal and joy.

Today you are going to make it. Today the blessings of the Lord are still going to accompany you wherever you are. Stay in faith. God is not going to let you down but He is going to lift you up as you lift up His name!

In times like these our lives’ purpose gets highlighted. It’s up to us to recognize the signs and get on board with our purpose.

There is a plan for protection and blessings that the Lord has for each one of us. It is served on a platter of love and it is consumed with the utensils of faith, hope and peace.

Suggested reading: Psalm 39:7; Romans 15:13; 1 Timothy 6:17

Praise God today more than ever

Praising the Lord should be at the same level all the time. We should be praising Him in good times and in bad times. If there is a time we might want to praise Him more it’s during the bad times. Praising Him is an act of faith and faith pleases God. Praising Him opens the doors to Heaven and brings the presence to the Lord into the scene. Your scene right now is most likely pretty dismal. With everything that is going on in the world, it would be hard not to feel stressed and discouraged. God sees your scene. God is familiar with your current scene. He knows how you are feeling and what you are going through. However, there are no scenes He can’t turn into peace. God can take the chaos you are experiencing and make it a peaceful scene. He can change you on the inside so you can deal better with the outside. The ugly scene that is before your very eyes every day will take time to be resolved but it doesn’t mean that you can’t go through it with peace. Praise is your best resort. It is what you and I need today.

 

You and I need to focus on the One who changes everything. Praise will change you so you can change the world around you. Praise will make you focus on Jesus so you can share Him with the world around you. Praise will heal you so you can help heal the world around you. Praise will give you strength so you can be strong for the people around you. Praise will increase your faith so you can deal with the world around you with blind faith. Praise will give God the glory so you can understand that you are nothing without Him. Praise will magnify Christ so the problems in your life can be minimized. Praise away today. I say praise and you won’t be defeated by the scene around you. Praise and magnify the Lord. Let Jesus be magnified today more than ever. Get going with the praise and the negativity will get out of your way. May Jesus be magnified. Everything is going to change for the best for you when you let Jesus be magnified. Let your praise be heard louder today more than ever before!

If there is one thing that stands out when we read the book of Psalms is that David was an amazing psalmist. He did not write all of psalms but most of them. His tone is sometimes sad, desperate, frightened but it is also joyful and full of praise. If you don’t know where to start with praise, start with the Psalms. Psalm 100 is a great praise Psalm. You will find some beautiful inspiration there. Praising the Lord is something that is in your heart as a Christian. You might be doing it regularly or you might need to learn how to unearth this gift in you but it is there. Praise is a weapon. It’s a weapon against the blues, against fear, against defeat, against discouragement. Many a times I have let myself become an instrument of praise when things were not going well in my life. I have given myself to praise like David the shepherd who was a psalmist. There are so many things that can defeat us and bring us down. There are so many opportunities for us to give up. It’s when things are tough that we have to get tougher and praise is a great way for us to get that tougher skin.

 

Like I said earlier, praise brings God onto the scene. Discouragement can be defeated by God. Anything negative and bad that you are going through can be defeated by God. When you praise, you give Him control. You let Him come in and do what He does best. First, He blesses you by changing your heart and putting hope in it and then He goes to work on your situation. There are better days ahead of you despite the epidemic and praise brings those better days to you today. In times like these you need to go to your refuge and get a refill of hope. Praise can get you there. You need to enter the Lord’s gates and stay in His house for a while. Praise can get you there. Decide today that you are going to praise instead of letting fear destroy your faith. These days can be challenging but the Lord is still with you. Praise will remind you of how present He is and how powerful He is. Praise Him and let doubt fall apart. Praise Him and let victory be in your heart and on your mind. Praise Him and He will reset your spirit. He has so much peace for you and He wants you to have it now. Let Christ be magnified today and tomorrow will look better than ever!

Suggested reading: Psalm 100; 1 Chronicles 16:23-31; Jeremiah 20:13