Joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer

I was reading the book of Romans the other day when I came across that passage that talks about love in chapter 12. It talks about brotherly love and honoring one another but it also attaches spiritual fervor to love. Love is very spiritual and it is the strongest spiritual power there is. We often think about faith as being powerful and it is but it needs love to function properly. Everything we do needs love. Love should be the foundation and the base in everything and for everything. It should be the common denominator in all the equations of life. Our spiritual walk, our walk with the Lord should be tainted by love. We should be wearing the shoes of love. They will take us to amazing destinations where people will be blessed and where Jesus will be magnified. 

When we stay strong in the Lord, we stay strong because of love. When we are patient in the Lord, we are patient because of love. When we pray and praise, we are doing it because of love. Love gives meaning to everything and it is the fuel for everything. Today I want to remind you that God’s love will give you wings and it will always allow you to fly above your circumstances and to function properly in your Christian walk. Like the Bible says, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer.” God’s love will give you the ability to do all that.

Be joyful in hope. Hope brings joy and God’s love will give you that hope. You can be assured that His love is there to bless you and to protect and you should base your hope on that. Don’t let the hate of the world rob you of God’s love that gives hope. Stay hopeful because love will get you through anything. His love is like a wall around you that will block the negativity and that will stop the hurdles from making you fall. Have hope because you have the love that changed the world. When love was on that cross, it saw you and it sacrificed itself for you so you could have hope forever. Rejoice today. Be glad. Be thankful for God’s love. Your hope in the Lord will never be in vain. Let the joy of the Lord fill your heart and give you the boost to keep hoping and believing. Be joyful in hope no matter what is going on in your life because Love is standing by you and will get you through anything.

Be patient in affliction. When you have the hope of the Lord in you, you can stay strong through the worst ordeals. Hope backed up by love can give you the power to stay patient when things go wrong. You get the strength to stand your ground and to keep going. Affliction occurs at some point.. What we need is a defense mechanism against it and God can equip us with patience when we trust Him. Hope, love and patience are a triple threat to the enemy. They nullify the hold he has on our minds and on our faith. The enemy would rather see us collapse and give up. He also hates it when we continue to walk in love during affliction. He despises hope in the Lord and he is extremely impatient. Arm yourself with patience in affliction by holding on to God’s love and by keeping your eyes on Jesus.

Faithful in prayer. Prayer hopes in the Lord and it is confident that because of His love, He hears us. Patience will allow you to keep praying. Be faithful in prayer. Don’t slow down and don’t stop praying. Prayer changes things. Prayer changes you. Love, hope, patience and prayer will do wonders for you. Use love as the reason why you pray every day. You do it because God loves you and because His love in you leads you to pray for others. Have hope and know that your prayers are being heard. The Lord is faithful and He knows your heart. You can have joy, hope, patience and be prayerful because Love is on your side and it prompts you to stay in faith. Stay strong today and every day. The Lord will never leave you nor forsake you!

Suggested reading: Romans 12:12; Romans 15;13; Hebrews 10:36

What would God say about your situation?

Have you ever wondered what you would tell God if you could sit down with Him and have a face-to-face conversation? I have thought about that many times. I even had a list of questions prepared that I would rehearse in my head. There was a time when I was very desperate for answers. I said to myself that if I had the chance to sit down with Him, I would show Him my list of needs and ask Him why nothing had been done about it. I was ready to tell God what to do instead of listening to what He had to say. I would show Him my bills and go over some situations that affected me and my loved ones. I would basically tell Him that it was impossible to fix some parts of my life. I was approaching the whole thing the wrong way. Was I expecting Him to say “Yeah, you are right. Things are pretty bad and I can’t fix them”? He would never say that but because doubt was grabbing me by the head, I had some crazy thoughts of a defeated God. God cannot be defeated. God can fix anything. God can restore anything but doubt changes the narrative and makes it hard for us to see God for who He is. If God were to appear today and have a conversation with me, He would talk to me with love and faith. He would not change what He had to say based on my circumstances. He wouldn’t change His promises and who He is just because I was having a hard time. He is true to His Word, He doesn’t waver and He doesn’t panic. I was panicking but that didn’t mean He was as well. Everything the Lord would share with me would be from His Word, straight from His heart and laced in love.

 

What would God tell you today regarding your current circumstances? He would first tell you how much He loves you. He would put you at ease by just being Himself and He is love. Every word that would come out of His mouth would be dipped in love and wrapped in peace. God would tell you how He sent His only Son to die for you and He would go over the biggest miracle that has ever happened. He would tell you that the resurrection was enough for you. He would enumerate all the situations that were covered by the blood and it would take more days than they are in a year for Him to go over the whole list. He would reassure you and comfort you. He would hug you so tight that your life would be imprinted with this hug of love forever. He would smile and tell you to be of good cheer because He had conquered the world. You would probably focus on your problems and you would want to bring them up one by one. I know I would but He would show you that His grace was sufficient and that there is absolutely nothing to worry about.

 

God would show you that you have life in abundance through His Son. He would tell you about “the Jesus life.” The life you should be living now. He would bring awareness to the life that was bought for you on the Cross. It’s a life where Jesus is the priority, where everything revolves around Him and where peace is sovereign. I strongly believe that He would say exactly what you need to hear. If you are really wondering what He would share with you, open your Bible. Pray for the Holy Spirit to direct you to what the Lord has to tell you right now. You will be amazed at what is revealed to you. I did that. I prayed to have my one-on-one conversation with the Lord. Those intimate conversations happen every day now. They start my day, they pop in at different times during the day and they end my day. I spend a good amount of time in the Word of God so I can be more open to what the Lord has to say. The comfort and the encouragement that are placed in my spirit by His Spirit, are the blessings that keep me going. I know what the Lord is telling me today. It’s up to me to listen and to accept it. Friend, whatever you are facing now is not impossible for God. Whatever you are facing in your head can be resolved by the peace of the Lord. Whatever questions you have now are answered in the Word of God. God is consistent and He won’t change His tune depending on the severity of your circumstances. Be at peace. He has a breakthrough for you and He is speaking to you now, telling you how His love and mercy will get you through the day. Stay encouraged!

Suggested reading: Exodus 14:14; John 3:16; James 4:7

Let God be the biggest One in the room

I am a teacher and the classroom is my world. I see many things in terms of a classroom. I see the world as a classroom. It is a place where life grows, where we learn, where we make mistakes, where we are encouraged, where we are happy, we are scared, we laugh, we cry, we do life together. The classroom is my playground and it’s my battlefield. I feel very comfortable in it and I can do what I need to do to help students move forward and gain knowledge. It is a battlefield where I have to fight against certain behaviors, ideas, situations. Not against people but against principalities that are at play every day. When I am in front of 25 students, I am in front of 25 different lives. They may appear to be the same but they have their own sets of struggles, joys, challenges, triumphs and trials. With 25 lives come 25 sets of complications. We are a complicated species and when I think I start to understand what man is all about, something comes up that throws my theories out the window. I do love the classroom and I do love to teach and learn. I will also be a student in life.

The other day I was praying and I saw a classroom with many kids being disruptive and unruly. It was complete chaos. It was a very bad situation. Thank God things don’t get that out of hand in real life but I guess it feels that way at times. The Lord was showing me life as a classroom and His Spirit said deep down inside “Let God be the biggest One in the room.” It was a lesson on letting God being our focus even when things are chaotic and out of control. When we can’t control what’s going on, we can control how we react to the situation. The best reaction is to keep our eyes on Jesus. Letting Him take up most of the space in the room of life is key. How do you react when your life is falling apart and negative thoughts are screaming like little kids in the classroom of life? What do you do to get peace again in the middle of a chaotic situation? Do you walk out the door and ignore the noise in the classroom? We can’t walk out on life and give up. With the Lord on our side this should not be an option. Let’s always focus on Jesus. Let’s make Him the biggest One in the room and we will get a better perspective. We will also acquire the strength to get through anything.


That vision of God in the classroom was very powerful and very comforting.
Things were flying in the room, pens, pencils, chairs and tables. It was a horrible scene, especially for a teacher but God was there. The Lord was there standing as peaceful as can be. I saw Him the way I always see Him. I saw His presence. I saw His smile. I saw his peace. His peace pierced me and I was glued to it. God is always calm. In every situation He has peace and He can give us peace in every circumstance. The classroom was a battleground with so much going on in it yet He was at peace. When life is a battlefield and things are flying all over the place, we ought to pray and seek the Lord’s face. We should get into our quiet place and wait until His peace invades our space and it becomes bigger than our problems and our thoughts. I have a ritual that I follow when my life is chaotic. I withdraw from the world and I enter the Lord’s world. Praise gives me an entry way into the Kingdom. Praise removes all the negative thoughts that have been preventing me from getting in the “God zone.” Once I am there I pray and focus on Him until I hear from Him.

 

Seeking God’s face is a beautiful practice that should truly become a habit. I find that when I am tired, it is harder for me to “find Him.” He is always there but sometimes my mind goes everywhere but where the Lord is. When I can’t find the peace, when I can’t find His touch, I look around. My classroom has posters with some encouraging phrases on them. When I look around for peace during the trials of life, I look at the spiritual posters in the classroom of my life. I look at the Scriptures and I read them repeatedly. I meditate on them. It is a great way to get grounded and to find peace again. It also allows me to see God has the biggest One in the room. Life can be challenging but the Lord will also challenge our challenges with His love when we trust Him. Let’s make Him the biggest One in the classroom of our lives and we will always triumph!

 

Suggested reading: Jeremiah 29:13; Psalm 19:14; Colossians 3:1