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

God can do it

A few weeks ago I was talking to my boss about all the things I had to accomplish that day. She told me she would help me and take care one of my errands. She said “I can do it for you.” I was shocked and I politely turned down the offer. The errand had nothing to do with work. I really appreciated her help and it made me think about how when we turn to God with our list of errands and things we have to take care of He tells us “I can do it for you.” He can do all things and nothing is too big for Him. This message has been recurring in my writing because it is crucial for the body of Christ. We need to understand that whatever we need, God can do it for us. He knows best. He always knows what is best for us. Our goal is to get on the same page and to accept that what God is telling us we need is truly what we should embrace. A lot of what God desires for us can be found in His Word. Other things can be discovered through a precious relationship with the Spirit of Jesus. The Lord can give us dreams based on His Word and on what should take place in our lives. Once He puts the dreams in our hearts, He also tells us that He can do it for us. He can always do it but at times we miss that message. We get the dream but we don’t hear the promise that goes with it or we don’t trust in the provision behind the dream. God would never give us a dream without backing it up with His ability to make the dream come true. Today I want to encourage you to find out what God wants for you and to believe that He can do it. Declare it every day. Tell your mind and your spirit that whatever God promises, He can do it for you. Believe that no hurdles are too big for God and He can do the impossible for you.

When you get up in the morning and you are in prayer, remind yourself that the Lord is telling you “I can do it for you.” Whatever is going to come your way that day is not intimidating to God. If obstacles arise, God still says that He can get you out of your problems and you will overcome the obstacles. Let His powerfully declaration be the promise that stays with you all day. Life will tell you all sorts of things that go against what the Lord says. The enemy will lie to you and tell you that you can’t make it and that you will drown in your problems. That is not true. You always have Someone who tells you that He can do it for you. When you are faced with a laundry lists of things that need to be taken care of, give the list to the Lord. Put everything in His hands. Let Him give you a hand. Give it to Him in prayer. Give it to Him with the hands of faith. He will gladly take it off your hands. Show Him that you can’t make it without Him. Tell Him how you depend on Him and you know that He is almighty and nothing is too difficult for Him. Look ahead with hope. Look ahead without the heaviness of fear. Look ahead with faith in God. Enjoy the now with hope as well. What you need to accomplish today will get done in the name of Jesus.

If you are not convinced that you will be able to deal with the problems that will crawl into your life this week, don’t panic. You know what to do and you know what to say. You know that God can do it. Now it’s time you put that truth into practice. Prepare yourself by warming up your heart with the promise of the Lord. The more you run it through your mind and let it drop into your heart, the more confidence you will have in God’s power. He is so powerful. Do we think about that enough? He needs to be big in us. We need to remind ourselves that greater is the One who is in us than the devil that is in this world. Jesus in you is greater. Jesus in you is better. Jesus in you can do all things. It’s not your ability. It’s His. It’s His power and it is His promise. Rest assured that He keeps His word. He can do it for you, friend. He won’t let you down. God can do everything you think can’t be done. Everything that the world presents to you as impossible is not a challenge for your Lord. Keep that in mind. You will need that encouragement more than once. Trust God. He will always deliver. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!
Suggested reading: Genesis 18:14; Hebrews 6:18; Titus 1:2

Pray about it

How many times have we said “I will pray about it” but we actually didn’t? How many times have we said “I am praying for you” and we are actually not? That empty promise was a pet peeve of mine. I disliked saying I was going to pray without being true to my word. I rectified that behavior a few years ago. I made up my mind and decided that I would always mean it when I said it. If I didn’t mean it, I wouldn’t say it. That change was great. It improved my prayer life and it got me closer to the Lord. He wants us to mean what we say especially when it comes to Him and to spiritual matters. Our words have power and they should be used wisely. Saying that we are going to pray and we don’t know it is not spiritually uplifting and it doesn’t take us anywhere far in our prayer life. It is like making empty promises.

Saying we will pray sounds great. It sounds holy. It comforts people. It comforts us but it hurts us at the same time. Why? Because we believe in it. We sometimes believe that saying it is good enough but that is not what the Lords expects from us. He wants us to speak and use our words with honor and boldness. Imagine all the prayers we would say if we actually prayed every time we said we would! It is not too late. You and I can talk about praying and actually do it. We can pray about anything and everything. The Bible tells us to pray all the time. We should be praying without ceasing. Are you going through a tough time right now? Do you have financial needs? Are you at a loss about what to do with your life? Pray about it. Tell yourself you will and do it. Pray!

About 8 years ago, I was talking to a friend who strongly encouraged me to pray. She told me that prayer is everything because sustained prayer is an established relationship with Jesus and there is nothing better in our lives than having that relationship. It is more vital than we know. Prayer is more vital than we know. When I first read in the Bible about praying without ceasing, I felt a lot of pressure. I used to find prayer burdensome and the idea of people being prayer warriors was intimidating to me. I thought I could never become a prayer warrior. Prayer was a short recitation that was very robotic and that didn’t carry any weight. Then I set time aside to praise the Lord. Those praise sessions would always lead to prayer.

Prayer quickly became my favorite thing. It was a lot more colorful than the grey skies that it used to protect in my mind. Prayer was a great conversation with God that made me feel closer to Him and that made me feel better in general. One of the messages I kept getting during prayer was to pray about anything. The Holy Spirit always invites us to pray. He doesn’t desire for us to be passive. He wants us to take action and to be bold in prayer. No matter what happens to us, we should pray about it. We should go past the stage where we are mesmerized by our bad circumstances. It is normal to contemplate our trials and tribulations but we shouldn’t give them the power to prevent us from praying.

My message to you today is a loud and clear “Pray about it.” Whatever you have going on, don’t despair. Pray. You can’t give up before you pray about it and give it to the Lord. When you do, He will take over and help you through it all. Pray about your needs and pray about other people’s needs. Mean your “I will pray for you.” Don’t make a spectacle about it but let people know you are genuinely praying for them. Fill your prayers with people’s requests. Just pray for people to be blessed. If you don’t know what to pray about, pray for blessings.

Pray for your family and friends to experience breakthroughs. Pray for people to know Jesus. Pray about big things and about small things. As long as you pray, you are doing God’s will. Mean what you say and say what you mean and pray. Your prayers are heard. Your prayers sound beautiful to the Lord. Your prayers can be great conversations with the Lord. Someone out there needs your prayers. Your prayers can change your world. Pray, friend and don’t get tired of praying. Great things can happen when you actually pray. May God love you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Matthew 6:9-13; Matthew 26:40-41; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

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

When you have thousands of problems

When Jesus fed thousand of people, He took the five loaves of bread and two fish that the disciples had and multiplied them. He took very little and made it into something big. There was a need. Thousands of people who had come to see Jesus were hungry. There seemed to be no way to feed them. Five loaves and two fish was not going to get them far. The situation seemed impossible but it wasn’t impossible to Jesus. You see, Jesus never saw anything as impossible. He was never scared of anything and He was never discouraged by any situation. Jesus is still the same today. He still doesn’t get intimidated by any situation and He still believes that nothing is impossible. Now, you may have very little to give the Lord. You may have a need that can’t be covered by five loaves of bread. You may have many situations that feel like thousands of situations that you have to deal with. I know that when I have problems they sometimes appear to be like a mountain of trials and I can’t handle them all or I can’t see the end of my problems. It doesn’t mean that all is lost. What I do is give the Lord my five loaves and He takes care of my “thousands of problems.”

Giving the five loaves of bread and the two fish to the Lord was an act of faith. The Lord asked the disciples to give them what they had. They had little but they listened to Him. He took the bread, look to Heaven, gave thanks and there was more than enough bread and fish to feed thousands of people. Today you might need to do what the disciples did and express your faith to the Lord. Your five loaves of bread and two fish could be anything the Lord is asking you to give Him. Do it in faith. He might be telling you to give Him the sacrifice of praise. He might be asking you to hold on to hope despite everything that is going on. He is not asking for much and He knows what to do with what you give Him. Think about your act of faith. In many cases it is just a prayer with hope. All the Lord wants you to do is trust Him. Give Him your loaves in faith and show Him that you understand He is knowledgeable and He will take care of all your problems. He is faithful and He does everything right. I once had what felt like a thousand problems and my One Lord was more than enough. He prevailed. He got me through everything beautifully. Don’t get disheartened by your thousand problems. Jesus can multiple your blessings easily.

Jesus can perform great miracles and He can heal anything. See your problems as ailments and believe He can heal them all. Think about your needs. Think about your thousand needs. Jesus will use your little faith and He will meet all your needs and more. He will give you an abundance that will surpass your understanding. There is a multiplication of blessings that is going to take place in your life. Your faith is enough. Keep pushing through. Keep believing. Jesus is going to make a way. All your problems won’t last. They won’t be able to destroy you. God is going to bless you through this difficult period. Keep your eyes on Him. Watch Him multiple the blessings and the solutions. He has solutions for all your problems and more. He is going to feed your situations and give them good things. Don’t despair. The Lord is on your side and He is going to help you for sure. Stay in faith. Give the Lord your five loaves and your two fish. He will multiple your blessings. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Matthew 13:14-21; Matthew 16:8-9; John 6:1-14

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

Freedom in the Lord

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”* Freedom in Christ is something that we Christians are entitled to but we often don’t live in His freedom. There is so much bondage in the Church. There are yokes that keep believers hostage. We have not fully understood the extent of the freedom that belongs to us in Jesus. I remember when I first got saved I felt a certain freedom that I didn’t understand. My spirit was born again and free but I didn’t know what that meant. Freedom in the Lord is something that should be taught more in the Church. We as believers ought to learn about the freedom of the Lord and live it out.

This verse from Galatians tells us that we were set free in the Lord but it also says that we are susceptible to being under bondage, under a yoke. It doesn’t say that we can easily hold on to the freedom in the Lord and we never have to worry about any kind of bondage. The enemy goes around with bags of destruction and he hands out pockets of oppression to everyone including believers. It is when we are not aware of the authority we have in Jesus that we become victims of those yokes. I have talked to friends in Christian circles who were struggling with addictions and other forms of oppressions. It can happen to any of us. What should we do to stay free and to fend off the yokes of the enemy? Today I want to encourage you to stay in the Lord and to let Him fill you up to the point where every bondage is squeezed out of your system. I am going to talk about what Jesus said Himself about the situation and go over His solutions.

In Galatians 5:1, two words stand out; Stand firm. These words imply that we have to do our part. We get freedom from the Lord and it is an amazing gift but we have to work at staying free and work at being strong against the attacks of the enemy. The enemy knows us well. He knows where it hurts and he knows what makes us weak. He uses our weaknesses and makes us feel terrible because he focuses on what hurts and magnifies it. The burden that came with not being saved can be duplicated in our lives under the form of bondage and yoke. It doesn’t mean that we lose our salvation. It just means that our life in Christ is dented by oppression. We don’t get to enjoy the freedom in the Lord. The yokes show up as dark spots on the canvas of our lives.

When we get saved, we are given a clean slate and we are given the promise of an abundant life in the Lord. The enemy doesn’t stop working against us just because we are saved. On the contrary, he makes sure we don’t enjoy our lives in Christ. He doesn’t want Christians to embrace the “Christ part” of their salvation. Salvation without Christ is dull. People can be saved and never interact with Christ. It is sad but it happens. If the enemy can keep us under bondage, he will separate us from Christ little by little. “The yoke of slavery” symbolizes the yoke of the enemy who kept us captive before we had Christ in our lives. We are told to stand firm and we can stand firm when we stay in the Lord and we follow Him no matter what. We can stand firm when we exercise our authority in Christ. There is power and authority in the name of Jesus and we can win against the attacks of the enemy when we keep using the name of Jesus with hope and faith.

Jesus told us to stay in Him. He explained that He is the vine and we are the branches. From Him come all power and authority. When you let Jesus be your source and be your King, there is no room for the enemy. Jesus in you, the hope of glory. Jesus in you will push the enemy out. Resist the devil and he will flee. Resist the devil and his yoke over you won’t be strong anymore. Resist the devil and make Jesus the Lord of your life. Submit yourself to the Lord. Let Him be your number one. Praise Him. Worship Him. Tell Him you are nothing without Him.

Submit to God wholeheartedly. See Him as the head that He is. He is the vine. He gives you life, you, the branch. Without the vine, you can’t be a strong branch. Without the vine, your spirit can’t be fed. Without the vine, you don’t have what it takes to conquer yokes, bondages and addictions. Jesus will help you. Jesus will set you free every time you remain in Him and let Him do what He does best. You will keep your freedom when you exalt the King of freedom. Don’t despair. Don’t lose heart. Stand firm and know that He is God. May God bless you and protect you and remember that the Lord will always love you!

Suggested reading: John 15:5; John 15:7; Galatians 5:1*