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

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

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

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

You deserve God’s best

God is no respecter of people. Think about what that implies. Think about what it means for you and for every single person you know. It means that you and everyone you know will always be considered the same way by God. He doesn’t love your neighbor more than He loves you. He doesn’t love you more than non believers. I think that is where we miss it. We think that because we are saved, God loves us more than people who don’t have a relationship with Him. If we kept in mind that we are all the same in God’s eyes, we can avoid conflicts, discrimination and judgment. Now, since God is no respecter of people, you can rest assured that the blessings and the love He had for people in the Bible are also available to you. God will open the  Red Sea for you. God will open your blind spiritual eyes for you. Gold will turn your water into wine. God will heal you.

God will set you free. God will give you hope and a future. God will fill you with His Spirit. God will perform miracles for you and through you. You are one of His disciples. You are one of His people. It’s up to you to see yourself the way He sees you. It’s up to you to walk in faith and to trust that you are loved and adored as much as anyone else the Lord loves. Peter in the Bible is not more special to God than you are. You are as loved by God as Paul was. You are as favored by God as David was. Jesus made it all possible so now you have to make it acceptable. Accept it for yourself and embrace that truth. You are loved by God and you are highly favored and blessed. Live your life knowing that you are as blessed as anyone Jesus touched when He was on earth.

“Mercy triumphs over judgement”* God is full of mercy and His mercy is for you. He is merciful all the time. This allows you to trust that when you sin and when you go astray, God will always take you back so to speak and His mercy will cover you. You and I are not perfect and we will never be perfect but we are made perfect by the Lord. His blood was shed for our sins and He took care of all our iniquities and trespasses. I am telling you today that you deserve God’s best because of His mercy so you need to get over the fear of not being good enough. You need to take those negative thoughts and throw them away because they won’t help you and they won’t lead you into the truth.

You are loved by God all the time and even if you do something wrong, you can be forgiven. Even when you do something wrong, God still loves you. It doesn’t mean that you should keep sinning. It just shows that you can repent, receive forgiveness and move on. You can move on to a place where you know that God’s blessings for you are perfectly lined up for you. They are in His pipeline and when the timing is right, they will bless your life in a powerful way. You deserve what God wants for you and what He wants is a life of abundance and a life where you are loved and highly favored.

When I read the great deeds and the great miracles of the Lord in the Bible, I can’t help but be in awe. I used to look at His miracles as things of the past. Now I understand that the blessings of the Lord are part of our lives and with faith we can access them. I am also aware of God’s unchanging love for all of us. I put myself on the same level as any people in the Bible. I am part of the Lord’s family and His love for me is the same love He had for David or Moses for instance. When you approach God that way, you are comforted and you realize that you deserve what God has. There is no one greater than you other than Jesus. Everyone else is in the same category. The category of the people God loves. It is a huge category that includes every single person who has walked the earth and you are in that group. You will stay in that group and you were always meant to be in that group.

Now, the difference between you and a non-believer is that you have eternal life and you are blessed with a wonderful relationship with Jesus. Think about all the believers in the Bible and think of what God did for them. He can do the same for you. Most of the time your faith needs to activate the hand of God and other times His mercy and grace are sufficient. They are always sufficient but faith is something you should always work on and develop. Today I want you to celebrate the Lord because He is no respecter of persons and He will do for you the amazing things He did in the Bible and more. Stay in faith. Stay encouraged. You deserve God’s best! May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you.

Suggested reading: Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11; James 2:13*

10 nuggets of wisdom for your Saturday (Part 174)

There is a light at the end of the tunnel but look around and you will see that the light of the Lord is inside the tunnel. When you are going through dark times, the Lord is with you. Don’t be scared. Don’t get discouraged. God’s light is protecting you in the tunnel!

God wants you to take your time. Don’t rush. Don’t run too fast. Stay at His comfortable pace. Learn as you walk side by side with the One who loves and adores you. God’s timing is the best. Let Him be your time keeper!

God is going to do something amazing for you. He is going to turn your rain of sadness into a bright summer day of joy. God has you in the plan of His hand and He is going to change everything around you for the best. He will change your heart as well in the process! Stay encouraged!

Just because you can’t handle it doesn’t mean that God can’t handle it. Give Him the wheel. Let Him take care of you and of your situation.

You might be down today but hope is on the way. The Lord is ready to pick you up and take you places. You are not going to stay in this state of misery. With the Lord, you are headed to a place of bliss where you will be more than happy!

Jesus is the One who can change your life forever. When you attach your life to His life, you can’t fail. You can’t lose. Jesus is the victory that never leaves you. He fought for your life and won all the battles. Live your life for the One who gives you the best life!

Love will heal your broken heart. Jesus is love. He will heal your broken heart. Healing is coming. Hold on tight to promise of a better tomorrow. Jesus is with you today preparing you for a better future. Don’t lose hope!

Rest in the Lord. He will give you all you need and more. Rely on Him. Rest in the palm of His hand. You are in good hands. You have nothing to worry about!

God is for you. He is not just for other people. He will take care of you. He is boy just taking care of other people. He is on your side and He will get you to the other side of your problem. Stay encouraged!

Suggested reading: Jeremiah 30:17; Isaiah 38:16-17; Psalm 147:3