Stand against fear and worry

Fear and worry are two things that most of us experience on a fairly regular basis. With everything that is going on in the world, it’s easy to worry and to dread the future. When we don’t have control, we panic and worry. When we think of what’s coming and we don’t know how we are going to deal with the future, we panic and we worry. Worry is one of those things that slides into our minds and our hearts without a problem. We don’t have to work hard at being worried. It’s in our DNA. I came into contact with a lot more fear before I had an encounter with the Lord. I had been saved but I didn’t have a connection with Jesus. I was always worried about everything. I could find the tiniest thing and worry about it. I had a very active mind where overthinking was alive and well.

I am a quiet person by nature and I don’t like noise. However, there was a constant party going on on the inside and it was never a good party. Worry and fear celebrated each other a lot and they fed off of each other. The chaos and the commotion on the inside were out of control at times and yet I was saved and believed in Jesus. Then I found out that the Lord had a lot to say about fear and He has a recurring message that notifies us not to be afraid and not to fear. He doesn’t want us to worry about anything. It makes sense. Worry and fear are the opposite of faith and without faith we can’t please God. Without faith we can’t reach God and we can’t live the life that He bought for us on the cross. Every time we worry, we put holes in our faith and we hurt our spiritual makeup.

I worry a lot less now. I still have inner conflicts where my faith battles the fears but faith wins a lot more now. One of the best things that has happened to me has been the personalized encouraging messages I have been receiving mostly during morning prayers. The Lord tells me almost every single day not to worry. He knows me well and He always knows what’s coming ahead and His encouragement is to not lose hope and not lose faith because there is no reason to worry. It doesn’t matter how bad things look, worry is not something we should adhere to and embrace. When worry gets a hold of us, we need to get a hold of the truth and push it against worry.

God’s truth is much more powerful than the lies of the enemy and worry and fear are lies of the enemy that we buy into. They have been normalized and they even give us some comfort at times because after all it is only human to be afraid. Our God is above all human feelings and experiences and Jesus died so that we could live free from fear and worry among other things. He didn’t “just” die for our sins and trespasses. He conquered death and all of its allies. You can be sure that fear and worry are death’s allies and so they were defeated. Today I want to encourage you to take a stand against fear and worry. Don’t let them win against your faith. You can do this in Jesus’ name!

When you read passages of the Bible that deal with fear and worry, you get an impartation of hope. I find all these passages to be very inspiring and very helpful. I have memorized a few of them and they give me the boost I need when worry comes into my life. I refuse to see worry and fear as parts of my life. I don’t have fear and I don’t have worry. I have Jesus and the enemy will try his best to remove that connection from my life so he sends worry and fear. I don’t welcome them. I face them with the power of Jesus and I rebuke them. Don’t believe that you have fear and worry. Don’t think that they are a natural part of you that you should acknowledge. They don’t belong in you. They need to be confronted with boldness.

Next time fear and worry come and sit on your lap, don’t let them settle in. Speak against them. Declare that you have faith in Jesus. Declare that you have Jesus. You have no reason to worry and fear. You have the solution to all fears, worries and doubts. You are well-equipped and armed. Use the Word of God. Pray against fear and worry. Stay in praise mode as often as you can. Praise eradicates fear because it focuses on Jesus. Remember that Jesus took care of fear and worry on the cross. Receive His freedom and His deliverance. Stand against fear and worry. God will assist you and He will get you through those negative feelings. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!
Suggested reading: Psalm 34:4-5; Isaiah 41:13; Luke 14:27

The power of self-control

Yesterday I watched a video on YouTube about a young entrepreneur who has had his own restaurant for 5 years. In his video, he talks about his struggles and his achievements and he says that the one thing that has helped him was finding out the power of self-control. He described how he had to deal with difficult customers when he first started and he lost his cool a few times. One he realized that self-control was a must, he was able to deal with many situations and overcome the emotions that had basically ruined his day so many times. Self-control is one of the fruits of the Spirit. It is not something I usually talk about but I know it is something I need to focus on more and develop in my life. I don’t lose control often but just like anyone else I go through phases.

The Holy Spirit produces fruit in our lives if we let Him. He produces love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Self-control is last on the list but it doesn’t mean it is not important. Self-control is defined as the ability to control oneself, in particular one’s emotions and desires, usually in difficult situations. God wants us to have self-control because He wants our emotions to be kept in check and our desires to align with His. Do you lack self-control? God has the power of self-control at His disposal and He wants you to tap into it. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you. Don’t let the desires that are against God’s will dominate you. The Holy Spirit will produce good fruit in Him. Leave it to God to do something great in you.

The fruit of the Spirit has to do with what is inside of us. It touches parts of us that are unseen at first. It affects our emotions, our feelings and even our thinking. The fruit of the Spirit is powerful. It starts with love. With God, everything starts with love. Love is the foundation and the base we should always operate from. We should also think of God as the God of love and know that all He does is out of love. When we have that mindset, we can get to know God better and we are definitely on the right track. God has love for every single one of us and because of His love, we are worthy of having a relationship with Him and of receiving from Him. You and I are entitled to receiving the fruit of the Spirit.

First we have to acknowledge the Lord in all our ways and embrace His Spirit and the fruit He can grow in us. Submission is key. Submit to the Spirit of God and the fruit will grow. There is no way you can yield to the Holy Spirit and not experience the power of His traits in your life. He will always rub off on you when you seek Him and accept Him. A yielded spirit is a spirit that can receive from God and that can have the wonderful fruit of His Spirit on the inside and on display. People will notice the fruit of the Spirit in your life and it will be a blessing to them as well. Self-control is a great blessing that promotes peace and serenity. It will give you the power to conquer anger and frustration among other emotions.

I remember a time when I was getting very upset with my students. I can’t recall exactly what they did or what they said but I know I felt anger rising inside of me. I was going to let them have it. I am not the kind of person who loses his temper easily but that day I was getting very mad. All of a sudden I felt something pressing down the anger and repressing it. It wasn’t so much that it was getting repressed. It appeared that something was pushing it down and destroying it inside of me. There was no doubt that the Holy Spirit was doing something in me. I had been praying a lot and spending a lot of time in communion with the Spirit of God. His fruit was ripening in my life and that experience showed me how self-control can take over when we are yielded to the Spirit. It was as if my mind were getting mad but my spirit was telling my mind to calm down and the Spirit of God won that battle easily.

It takes submission like I said and continued engagement with God and with His Spirit. This manifestation of the Spirit of God happens a lot when we are in constant touch with God and we let Him be our priority. We need to be filled with His Spirit and get lots of refills along the way. One dose of the Spirit of God can only last for so long. You can have self-control, friend. Be in communion with the Lord on a regular basis and don’t resist His Spirit. Give Him free rein in your heart and in your mind. He will give you amazing fruit. The power of self-control will help you every day and you will be able to overcome strong emotions. Resist the devil and he will flee. Self-control from God is how you can resist the enemy. Stay strong in the Lord! May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Proverbs 25:27-28; Galatians 5:22-23; 1 Timothy 3:2-3

God is standing by your door

God is at the door. Do you ever think of that? I often imagine myself at the door of the Lord knocking and waiting for Him to let me in. Every time I pray or every time I just talk to Him I am standing at His door. The good thing is that His door is always open and my knock is just a formality. It is just a reminder that I need to knock, I need to pray, I need to turn to Him. He doesn’t make it complicated or ritualistic. He is right there smiling and welcoming me every single time. If you have a hard time connecting with God, I would suggest you remember that every time you knock, He answers. He said it Himself in His Word. He is not distant and He is never ignoring you. He might not answer the door the way you think He should but He always does. He always replies and He always takes care of our requests when we stay in faith. The act of knocking on His door is an act of faith. When I pray, I know for sure that He is listening. I don’t have to make up a formula or come up with a special password to hear back from Him. All I need is faith in His reply and trust that He is always available. As a kid I would think that God was too busy to bother with me. Friend, that is a lie. He is attentive and He is willing.

Now, going back to my initial statement. God is at the door. He is at the door of our lives. I read in Revelation that He is standing at the door waiting for people to let Him in. It is not just about us being let into His world, it is very much about us let Him come into our lives. His entrance into our lives should be a daily thing. We tend to answer His knock on Sunday but then the other days of the week, we don’t hear the knock because we are too busy with our lives. God is not the God of Sunday. He is the God of every single day. I made the mistake to limit my time with God to Sundays. I had great Sundays. My spirit was fed on Sunday. I had peace and joy and I felt like I could face anything on Sunday. Come Sunday night, the Monday morning blues started settling in and my defenses were down. God was nowhere to be found. I focused on Monday and the rest of the week more than I did on my Savior. Before I knew it, I had closed the door and told God I was too busy to be with Him. Little did I know that He was standing there asking me to give Him the time of day. When I changed my ways and answered the door all the time, my relationship with Him changed drastically.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with Me.”* What an amazing invitation we can give the Lord! We can invite Him and make Him the host. We can invite Him and spend the day with Him. Imagine eating with the Lord every day. You can. Open the door. Open your Bible. Open your prayer session. Open your heart to Him. That is the key. The key is in your heart. By the door to your heart is where Jesus is standing. He is waiting for you to acknowledge Him. He is always speaking to us. His Spirit is always talking to us but it’s up to us to pay attention and to give in to His love and to His protection. God wants to have an intimate relationship with us every single day. His knock on our door is gentle so we need to settle down and listen carefully. I like to get into meditative prayers. They help me settle down and hear the beautiful voice of the Holy Spirit. Once I have welcomed the Lord, I sit at His table and listen to what He has to say. Friend, my prayer for you today is that you answer the door and let Jesus into your heart every day. It is truly what you need. More than anything else. Eat with Him as He feeds you His Word. Stay connected to Him. Enjoy Him! May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!


Suggested reading: Matthew 7:7; Luke 13:25; Revelation 3:20

Winning the battle of the mind

What we listen to ends up creating a framework in our minds. The more we listen to the same things, the more of a hold they have on our thinking. If we listen to negative banter all the time, we will develop a negative mindset. Negative banter comes in the form of what we actually hear out loud and in the form of the thoughts that pop into our heads. This is why we have to guard our minds and be careful what we let in. I learned that I had been too passive when it came to my thinking and it ultimately affected my belief system. I believed in God but my mind had holes in it. Holes that allowed negative thinking to seep in and to plug in the missing parts with negative parts. We have to be a lot more active in our heads. Thank God, the Lord gives us weapons to use against negative thinking. He knows the importance of what we hear and what we let grow in our minds. He clearly says in His Word that we should renew our minds. I know His encouragement is extremely crucial. God loves our faith. If our faith is tampered with and it is lacking substance, it is not solid and it is not the kind of faith that is pleasing to God. He wants us to have blind faith or total faith in Him. That kind of faith comes from hearing the message of the Bible over and over again and trusting it. We ought to make it a part of our thinking and it has to be engrained in us. The number one tool against negative thinking is positive listening. Positive listening based in the Lord. When we listen to the Word of God and we meditate on it, we go through the process of positive listening. It is active listening. Listening here is not just hearing and forgetting about what we hear. Positive active listening is listening to the Word of God, dwelling on it and giving it a chance to become a part of us. Then the Word invades our belief system and it stays inside of us.

Today I want to encourage you to watch what you listen to and make sure that the Word of God is a priority in your life. Friend, it will help you fight the negative thoughts the enemy wants you to dive into. He desires for you to drown in his oven of mental confusion. He is the king of overthinking and he uses that technique to weaken our faith and to isolate us from God. Overthinking doesn’t find constructive solutions and it keeps us in a mental jail that has no way out. Overthinking creates horrible realities that did not exist in the first place. Overthinking gives us faith in the negative and it sows deep seeds of doubt in us. It takes advantage of the fragile state of mind it promotes and uses that fertile soil of doubt for more doubt to grow. If you are battling overthinking now, distract yourself. Get out of that mindset by imposing another mindset on top of it. That mindset should be the mindset of the Lord. Get into the Word. Read encouraging passages that you have highlighted. Tear down the obsessive thinking by injecting the light of the Lord. God’s Word is a powerful light that can remove negativity. Be resilient. Keep going into the Word. Dig deep and find the strength you need. It is there for you. God will give you the power to overcome what is eating you inside. Trust Him. He will do that for you. He has what it takes. It is in His Word and it can destroy the strongholds of the enemy. The Word of God is so amazing and so strong. Stick with it and you will see a big change in your thinking. It will happen for you.

The Holy Spirit is a great ally. He will assist you in your fight against negative thinking. He will remind you of the love of the Lord and how much He takes care of you. This battle is already won. Now, you can get over the bad thinking. Get into partnership with the Spirit of God and arm yourself with His Word. Ask Him to guide you on this journey to a more positive way of thinking. The Holy Spirit always magnifies Jesus and that is a great way to conquer negative thinking. Stay focused on Jesus. Let your adoration of His majesty be a daily occurrence. Worship and praise Him more. Friend, it does work! It makes a huge difference in your mind. Praises are the gates of Heaven showing up at the threshold of your mind willing to come in and to transform you. I love getting lost in praise and worship. I come out of those beautiful sessions altered. My mind is more positive and my faith is intensified. However, I have to keep doing it. One praise session a week is not enough. Negativity doesn’t take a break so we shouldn’t take a break either. Let’s be active worshippers who listen to the Word of God as much as possible. Let’s work with the Spirit of God. Let’s be receptive to His guidance and let’s stay close to Jesus. We will win the battle of the mind when we fill our minds with the Lord. We can do this! We can win the battle of the mind in the name of Jesus! May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!
Suggested reading: Romans 12:12; 2 Corinthians 1:22; 1 Peter 1:13

Don’t give up

When God encourages us and He tells us not to give up, He truly means it. I hear that encouragement a lot in the depth of my spirit. Sometimes it sounds louder than other times but it always comes from the heart of the Lord and I love hearing it. When I am told not to give up, I meditate on those words and scan my life using the filter of the words “Don’t give up.” Where in my life should I not give up? Everywhere! I should not give up anywhere in my life. Giving up is what the enemy wants us to do. He is the king of discouragement and he doesn’t want to see any of us reach our full potential in the Lord. God has put great things in us. He has given us talents and gifts and the greatest gifts of all is the gift of Jesus. With Jesus in our lives, we have no reason to give up. Yet we lose hope very easily because the enemy convinces us and tells us that we might as well give up. He talks about God as a small god who can’t do much for us. Have you ever thought about that? Have you ever thought about how the devil talks about God to us and we buy into the lies? What we get in our heads is not always from God. I would say it is often from the enemy or from our own minds. God sits in there somewhere and we have to unearth Him and let Him dominate out thoughts. In the middle of words of despair and discouragement, the Lord tells us, “Don’t give up, child. You are going to make it. You have Me. You have nothing to worry about.” Those powerful words will always be true and today I want to remind you that you don’t have to give up because you have the One who can make anything happen. Stand the course. God is your ally.

God being our ally is such a great encouragement. The enemy and his friends are many but our One God can squash them all. I like to remind myself that the Creator of the universe, the One who was raised from the dead and who conquered death is my ally. He is my Father, my friend and my number one companion. I am never alone because God is with me. I am never alone and I am always surrounded by the best of the best, Jesus Himself. Your best friend is on your side telling you not to give up. He is not just suggesting it. He is telling you that you can’t give up. You have all the power from Heaven backing you up so you can’t give up. You could choose to give up but you would do yourself a major disservice by ignoring God’s encouragement. Like I said His encouragement is not void and it is not in vain. He knows that your potential is extraordinary and if you hold on tight and you keep going, something very good is going to come out of your effort. You are going to be able to accomplish whatever you are endeavoring to do now and more. There is no limit to what you can do in the name of Jesus. Don’t give up! The name above all names is giving you license to win. God is on the throne as we speak and He is on the throne when you are doing well and when you want to give up. He is unchangeable but He can change you!

When you are ready to give up, give your concerns and your worries to the Lord. He will assist you and He will transform you. He is an expert at creating faith warriors who go to battle and who stand strong. You are one of those faith warriors. That is how God sees you. He wants you to see His reflection in you. Him being in you allows you to do the impossible. You are going to make it without a doubt. You just might need a reminder from time to time but the song is still the same. The Lord is still singing over you saying how much He loves you and how much you can do through Him. Giving up is not in His vocabulary. When Jesus faced the grave, He kept going until He did what needed to be done so that you and I could conquer life every time problems might arise. Your idea of giving up is certainly a problem but you can defeat it. Rest assured that God will see you through it all. If you want to give up because you don’t see the end in sight, refocus your vision and position your mind on Jesus. He is the end in sight. He is the solution to every problem. He is the peace for every turmoil and the joy for every sorrow. Great days are coming ahead. Don’t give up. You will see that God has been faithful the whole time and you don’t have to worry about a thing. Stay encouraged! May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!
Suggested reading: 1 Corinthians 9:24; James 1:12 2 Timothy 4:7

God’s light

When I got eye surgery, my life completely changed. I went from having to wear contacts or glasses all the time to be being able to see all the time without any assistance. It was like night and day. I never thought that I could ever see that clearly without glasses. It was as if I had stepped into a new dimension. Everything looked so real and so true. It is hard to explain but what I can say is that it was one of the best moments of my life in terms of transformation. However, the best moment of my life, hands down, was when I got saved. It was a similar experience but on a much higher level. I went from being spiritually blind to being able to see the light. I had lived in darkness for a while. I had had glimpses of hope and glimpses of who the Lord was all about but those glimpses didn’t compare to the real thing. They were nice previews that gave me a reason to pursue Jesus. Those insights into who the Lord was were like contacts and lenses that allowed me to see the truth for a short time. When I got saved, the light became permanent and I was able to see what I had been missing my whole life. The light of the Lord is such a powerful tool in our lives and we should never underestimate it. We should cherish God’s light and His truth and keep walking in it with our spiritual eyes wide open.

The Word of God is a lamp into our feet. His Word is the lamp that can guide us into all things. We can never stay in the dark when we follow the lamp of the Lord. We should actually spend a lot of time in His Word so we can be enlightened and filled with wisdom. The amount of darkness that is in the world is huge and we need to work against so many principalities and powers. The power to counteract those evil forces is only found in the Lord and His Word gives us instructions on how to stay in His light and how to avoid the traps of darkness. When I read the Word of God, it is like a light is turned on and I can see into some of the mysteries of God. This happens when I read and study the Word prayerfully. When I get in sync with the Spirit of God, His Word comes alive and I dive into the wonderful world of our Savior. I love spending time in the Word especially when the world is so chaotic. I find peace and I find joy when I am in the Word. I strongly encourage you to make it a habit to turn on the light of the Lord and to stay under the rays of His great love. His light will refresh you and invigorate you. It will open your eyes and it will close the doors to the darkness that tries to mislead you. God’s light is the truth that you need to be set free so embrace His light, embrace His Word.

When someone turns on a light, darkness scatters. Some people would say that darkness disappears and I love that idea as well. God, the light, can make your darkness disappear when you turn on His light. Your enemies, your fears and your doubts will scatter when you turn on the light of the Lord. How do you turn it on? Like I mentioned earlier, the Word of God is the light you need and being familiar with it is crucial. Making sure that the Word of God has an important part in your life is extremely helpful. Jesus brings light and He is the light so daily communion with Him also allows you to turn on the light that will always set you free. Jesus will not only give you insights into who He is and how He made you but He will teach you how to live a fulfilling life in Him. He is the light that keeps on giving more light so don’t expect Him to ever be extinguished in your life. He is always on. You might have to adjust how you connect with Him but He is always on and always ready to shine in your life. He is like that permanent contact lens that enables you to see clearly at all times. Jesus will help you deal with all forms of spiritual blindness so stick to Him and stay close to Him. He is the best light you will ever find. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!
Suggested reading:Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 6:23; 2 Peter 1:19

When history exceeds itself

People say that history repeats itself when something takes place more than once. It can be a good event or a bad event. I am learning that with God history not only repeats itself but it can exceed itself. When we try to develop faith or to be strong in our faith, it is important to remember what God did for us in the past. We don’t have to dwell in the past but we can revisit some of the victories and breakthroughs we have experienced thanks to the Lord. Those great memories should stay alive in our hearts and serve as a platform for faith for great things to come. We can use those great memories and build our faith on them because our God is faithful and if He did it before, He will do it again. Not only will He do it again but He will do great things and better things. Think of the Lord as the One who makes sure that you go from glory to glory and He will move Heaven and earth for you to be blessed. Once I understood that God wanted me to be blessed all the time, I became more confident in the relationship I had with Him. He is a good, good God who gives good, good things. History with God is a sequence of blessings, revelations, enlightenment and triumphs. I am so glad that I am doing this life with Jesus and He is writing my history one blessing at a time, one breakthrough at a time, one boost a time. Today I want to reiterate that God can repeat history in your life and exceed it. He can do great things in your life that will exceed all your expectations. Enjoy the journey and adore your daily companion. Jesus is the best companion you can have!

Do you ever see your life as a series of events made of ups and downs? The good news is that God is in control and He watches over you. He takes the time to make your life the best time ever when you rely on Him. When you trust Him and you depend on Him, He makes all things new and He gives you great things to remember Him by. I can’t count the number of times the Lord has intervened in my life. He has come out of nowhere more than once. He has blessed me in ways that I can’t understand and I can’t explain. He has taken me out of bad situations and He has saved my life more than once. I ought to remember all of His goodness and keep count of His blessings. They truly give me a spiritual boost and they are a great inspiration to others. God has rebuilt my history. I was heading the wrong path. I was lost and I wasn’t sure where I was going. I had no hope and I had tons of problems. My life was out of control at times and I had no idea what was going on. When Jesus is not your Savior, things can spin out of control. When Jesus is your Savior, you still go through valleys and challenges but He puts His own spin on your life and changes things for the better. My history is His story and I couldn’t be any more grateful. 

I like to think of the Lord as the One who exceeds what I expect. He is way bigger than all my trials and He will remain as powerful tomorrow as He is today and as He was yesterday. He is the same with you. He is going to change your life in ways you couldn’t imagine. He is going to bless you more and more so stay in faith. Keep strong and believe that your God is going to write amazing chapters in the story of your life. He has powerful plans for your life. Not just good plans but powerful ones. Plans that defy all understanding. Meditate on that and let that truth become reality in you. You are going to experience God in a miraculous way when you faith in His powerful ability to bless you more than anyone can. He is above anything that is good in this world. He is better than this world. Think of that. Think of the best things in this world and remember that God is better than all of them combined. Expect great things. Expect our great God to show up and bless you. Have a “great God mentality.” May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!
Suggested reading: Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8; Ephesians 3:20

10 nuggets of wisdom for your Saturday (Part 181)

Seek the Lord with all your heart. Wait patiently before Him. He will speak to you. He will engage with you. Enjoy His wisdom and cherish His presence. He will never leave you!

You will always find protection with the Lord. He is your shield and your fortress. Don’t fear and don’t worry. You are in good hands, in God’s hands. Trust that He is protecting you wherever you go!

Even when you feel sick and lousy, God is strong and mighty. Get your strength from Him. Focus on His power over your sickness. Hang on to the Lord in the middle of your tough moments. He heals all wounds. Stay strong. God is about to do something great for you!

The Lord will make today better. You don’t have to wait until tomorrow to experience peace and joy. Clap your hands and celebrate Jesus and you will have a better day. Praise the Lord and He will open the gates of Heaven today. Lift up the Lord and enjoy today!

Purposefully invite the Holy Spirit into your day every day. Make Him the host of your day. Revolve around Him and be sure to give Him first place all the time. The Holy Spirit will help you conquer the day when you let Him be the biggest part of your day!

Live in union with Jesus so much that your circumstances are not conditioned by your emotions. Let Him be the condition that moderates your actions and your decisions.

God will give you peace that surpasses all understanding. It will take you by surprise and it will show you that God is still in control. Ask for His peace and expect. It will remove all anxiety, fear and doubts!

You are going to make it. God will make sure of it. Your current trials are not too big for God. You are going to get through all tribulations and difficulties in the name of Jesus. Stay in faith. Great blessings are coming!

Fear not! God is with you. Do not worry about anything because the Lord can take care of everything. Destroy your doubts with the power of the Word of God. Fear not! God will always protect you!

It doesn’t matter if you don’t know how God is going to provide. Just trust that He can and He will. He is the provider who is faithful and who is true to His Word. Put all your faith in Jesus. He will never let you down!

Suggested reading: Proverbs 3:5-6; Psalm 37:4-5; Isaiah 12:2

Hope in the Lord

The hope that is in God is out of this world. Our Lord and Savior Jesus is out of this world so when we turn to Him and we trust Him we should expect to have experiences out of this world. I don’t believe that Jesus is only found in such experiences but we should be open to them. Hope! God’s hope like I said is out of this world. When we connect with it and we engage with it, our hope is exponentially bigger than the hope of the world. We don’t hope in the things of the world, things that will disappear and that are fickle. We hope in the Lord who will never die and never disappear. We hope in the creator of the universe, the One who can do all things. Hope in the Lord is hope is the impossible made possible. It’s hope in what people don’t believe can happen. When things are not going well and we see no way out, hope in the Lord sees many ways out. It shows you that there are multiple  opportunities for blessings and for joy. Hope in the Lord takes our problems and transform them into experiences where we get to know the glory of God a little more. Every problem gets us inches closer to the glory of God. We get to see God in action. Hope in the Lord brings God into the scene and gives Him control over what seemed to be an issue. Hope in the Lord deals with every issue that arises and puts it down. Hope in the Lord is hope in the very best life has to offer and more specifically the very best the Lord has to offer in this life.

Today you are invited to hold on to hope in the Lord. Today you are encouraged to find the courage that comes from hope in the Lord. Today you are shown that there is always hope in Jesus and His hope is unparalleled. Hope in the Lord will get you through anything so hope in Him. Give up on the things of the world you have been putting your hope in. Stare at Jesus and expect Him to get you to your destination. Every journey with Him is phenomenal and it doesn’t ignore obstacles but it is not bothered by them. When you have hope in the Lord it doesn’t mean that you won’t have problems and that the enemy will leave you alone. Hope in the Lord rises above the attacks of the enemy and it gives you power to face trials and tribulations. Hope is more than a wish. It is a foundation in the Almighty God and you can’t be shaken when you stand on Him. His hope is more powerful than any doubt, any fear and anything negative you might feel. Hope in the Lord is not a feeling and it not an emotion. It is real and strong and it changes your thinking and your state of being. His hope removes the emotions that try to bring you down. His hope crushes the feelings that try to drag you down.

Hope in the Lord is hope in His Word. It is trusting that His Word is supreme and that it has authority over your life. You have hope in the Gospel and you believe that Jesus came to give good news, to save the lost and to mend the broken-hearted. Hope in the Word of God is hope in miracles, in love, in joy, in faith, in patience and in all the great attributes of the Holy Spirit. Hope in the Lord is hope in the Holy Spirit. It is having a relationship with the Holy Spirit and letting Him show you Jesus and give you a heart of praise for Jesus. Hope in the Lord will lead you to praise and worship Him even in the worst situations. Hope in the Lord doesn’t care about your circumstances. It cares about Jesus and how amazing and good He is. We all need hope. We all need Jesus and having hope in Jesus is having the best solutions, the best outlook on life and the best assurance in the world. The world will make you waver and fear but the Lord will make you hope and stand strong. God will fill you with hope and joy when you rely on Him in everything so rely on His hope. Rest in Him and let Him take care of everything. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Romans 12:12; Romans 15:4; 2 Corinthians 4:18

No complaints

There are a lot of challenges on social media. Some of them I don’t really understand. I guess they are really entertaining for some people who get a kick out of them. Some challenges are quite interesting and they bring a lot to the people who take them. I like to challenge myself. I don’t do it in a competition against others but I challenge myself against myself. I have started praying for direction about some challenges that I should take for my spiritual growth. The one the Holy Spirit suggested recently was the “no complaint” challenge. The Lord inspired me to spend a week without complaining about anything. He put it in my heart to be complaint-free for a whole week in my actions and in my words. The goal is for that week to eventually turn into a month and to turn this whole thing into a lifestyle. A life with no complaints is a life well-lived to the glory of God. We complain so much. Complaining is part of our DNA and it comes naturally to a lot of us. Complaints take on different forms and they are hard to perceive at times. We don’t call complaining by its right name when it is so ingrained in us. God wants us to be honest with ourselves and to call a spade a spade. Today I want to invite you to take the “no complaint” challenge with me. Decide that from now on you will pay attention to your complaining and you will work on eliminating it from your life. It is a process and it takes work and effort but it produces great fruit. Jesus calls us not to complain but to rejoice in all things and to keep a grateful heart.

The other day after my morning prayer, I went over the things I needed to take care of that day. I had quite a few errands to run and a meeting to attend. Then the invigorating thought that I had nothing to complain about came to mind. I had a lot to do but in reality none of it was bad. None of it made my life difficult. None of it made me miserable unless I chose to be miserable. None of if was negative in itself. It might have been tedious but a lot of people would love to have the tedious tasks I had. I needed to see them as blessings and not as annoyances. I was blessed to be so busy. I was blessed to have a full schedule. The Lord was whispering to my heart that I had nothing to complain about. I could choose to complain but if I did I would be choosing to do something that the Lord doesn’t want me to do. I would be going against His will and I would be magnifying my flesh instead of letting my spirit take over. My spirit wants to embrace the fruit of the Spirit because I am saved. Your spirit, friend, wants to feed on the fruit of the Spirit and express those wonderful nine traits. Love is at the top of the (spiritual) fruit pyramid. Love doesn’t complain. Love doesn’t focus on what’s wrong. Love sees the good and rejoices over the goodness of the Lord even when things are not going well. Love rejects complaining and that is what I need to adopt in my life. The love attitude is everything!

The “no complaint” challenge consists in simply not complaining about anything. Complaints can be verbal or physical. Our bodies know how to express complaints very well. Look around and observe people and you will notice how body language speaks negatively very easily. The “no complaint” challenge encourages us to not speak about anything negatively and to no complain about anything including small little things. We can do it. We can make sure we don’t say anything that puts the Lord down. Complaining is actually undermining the Lord. When we complain we tell Him what He gives us is not good enough. We tell Him the people in our lives are not good enough. The Bible tells us to watch what we say and to not give way to negative talk. Complaining is negative talk. You might feel better when you complain but it hurts you more than you know spiritually. It creates holes in the fruit of the Spirit that are trying to grow in your life. You end up with half of the apple of love and half of the strawberry of patience so to speak. Our fruit in the Lord should be complete and negativity causes things to decay and fall apart in no time. Complaining is a sport for some of us and we ought to give it up and take on more positive challenges. Love is the best challenge we can take on and when we walk in love we definitely walk in God’s will. Spend the next week focusing on what you say and banish complaints from your life. You will see some very positive changes every day. Stay positive. Stay with Jesus. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!
Suggested reading: Ephesians 4:29; Philippians 2:1-18; James 5:9