We often hear the phrase, “When one door closes, another opens,” but this encouraging phrase is not from the Bible, or at least directly. For many of us, that phrase is said regarding a loss of job, or a failed relationship. Often we say this to make it a point that better things may exist in the future, but we fail to realize that those doors closing may not just be a door closed, but instead it is setting us up to an amazing place we could not have orchestrated better ourselves even if we had perfect foresight.  

With my recent court issues, never had I imagined my loss of employment would have been setting me up for a perfect situation. Initially I was scared thinking that losing the job would look unfavorably upon me in the court’s eyes, but in just a few short days, I had gained new employment and with a pay raise at that!

Even more amazingly, I was working at the same employer as my father, so I could carpool to work. With the restricted license I had as an outcome of the court case for a few months, this surely did make life easier. I could not have had the foresight of this having be orchestrated in such a way for my benefit! What had been such a bad situation at a horrible time, I not see it was a huge blessing from the Lord!

When things do not go has you planned, trust the Lord, and know that things are for our good–we simply do not understand why yet. 

 

Acts 16:11-40 NASB

11 So putting out to sea from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and on the day following to Neapolis; 12 and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia, a Roman colony; and we were staying in this city for some days. 13 And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to a riverside, where we were supposing that there would be a place of prayer; and we sat down and began speaking to the women who had assembled. 14 A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul. 15 And when she and her household had been baptized, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us. 16 It happened that as we were going to the place of prayer, a slave-girl having a spirit of divination met us, who was bringing her masters much profit by fortune-telling. 17 Following after Paul and us, she kept crying out, saying, “These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation.” 18 She continued doing this for many days. But Paul was greatly annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!” And it came out at that very moment. 19 But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market place before the authorities, 20 and when they had brought them to the chief magistrates, they said, “These men are throwing our city into confusion, being Jews, 21 and are proclaiming customs which it is not lawful for us to accept or to observe, being Romans.” 22 The crowd rose up together against them, and the chief magistrates tore their robes off them and proceeded to order them to be beaten with rods. 23 When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely; 24 and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. 25 But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; 26 and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. 27 When the jailer awoke and saw the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!” 29 And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house. 33 And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household. 34 And he brought them into his house and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household. 35 Now when day came, the chief magistrates sent their policemen, saying, “Release those men.” 36 And the jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, “The chief magistrates have sent to release you. Therefore come out now and go in peace.” 37 But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us in public without trial, men who are Romans, and have thrown us into prison; and now are they sending us away secretly? No indeed! But let them come themselves and bring us out.” 38 The policemen reported these words to the chief magistrates. They were afraid when they heard that they were Romans, 39 and they came and appealed to them, and when they had brought them out, they kept begging them to leave the city. 40 They went out of the prison and entered the house of Lydia, and when they saw the brethren, they encouraged them and departed.

 

O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

1 Chronicles 16:34 NASB

 

But consider the joy of those corrected by God! Do not despise the chastening of the Almighty when you sin. For though he wounds, he also bandages. He strikes, but his hands also heal. He will rescue you again and again so that no evil can touch you.

Job 5:17-19 NLT-r

 

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7 NASB

 

 

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well
It is well

So let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name

“It Is Well” Bethel Music

 

 

Blessed be the LORD, Because He has heard the voice of my supplication. The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.

Psalms 28:6-7 NASB

Happy Thanksgiving! I am so happy to be here writing this today! I’m thankful I have a great family and the Lord has blessed me with so much. This year has truly taught me to be thankful and to trust in the Lord for everything.

This year started off very rocky for me after getting in issues due to past decisions I made that got me in trouble with the law, but the Lord helped me straighten out quickly and get myself on the correct path again. Since I came back to Christ, things were much better–my depression lifted as did my anxiety. I was blessed with a new job and despite several moves my wife and I had to make, we are very happy now. The sudden changes we had to make time after time were things that I would never have chosen to make, but it helped me learn to trust God and be cheerful for what I have. He always provides what we need at the perfect time. 

This past Monday, I had my final court appearance and the Lord was so good to me! I could not have imagined the support that my family and friends that showed up to support me. Lawyers from other cases were perplexed why the court room was full of people! I truly was blessed and will never be able to repay each and every person for how thankful I am to have them in my life. The Lord made everything work in my favor so that I was not sent to prison after having been caught growing marijuana for personal use. In Virginia, there is no law distinguishing personal use and distribution, so I was facing 1-10 years solely for cultivating the plants. I thought I needed those plants due to migraines, depression, and anxiety. The Lord blessed me by removing them from my life and healing my ailments so I no longer “needed” it. By relying on the Lord alone I was healed completely!

While I admit, at times it was hard for me to keep trusting all would work out, I continued to trust the Lord for he always provided what I needed. I knew he would make the right outcome occur and I because of that, all would be okay. For somebody that used to have sever anxiety, it was hard to see my family as worried as they were for me, but I reassured them all would be okay and accept any outcome for it would be God’s will. While his spirit indicated I would not go to prison, I was prepared for either outcome for I knew I had to trust him, for he would provide. 

So this year, I am thankful at a whole new level for the Lord has truly provided what I needed each and every time I had a need. He has removed what needed to be removed. He has healed what needed healing. He brought my family close together once again, and given me absolutely wonderful people in my life. I am thankful for the church I attend now, reconnecting with my old youth pastor from when I was in high school, the small groups I attend (especially the leaders of them), and the mentors placed in my life. 

No matter what you have or do not have, be content with what the Lord has provided. Be thankful for all the blessings he has provided and take nothing for granted. Everything can be lost in an instant, so cherish the life our Lord has provided each and every one of us. 

God is good all the time. 

All the time, God is good. 

 

 

Have you ever thought to yourself when things don’t go as you envisioned, “What am I going to do now?‘” We all have probably thought that at least a few times, or for others many times. I fit in the second group, and you may too. Being human, we tend to first seek only what is tangible or in our control. We like to plan things, and those plans are designed to work. When those plans do not work out, our heart starts pounding. Anxiety rears its ugly head once again.

For some, these feelings really start as we near adulthood as we start to realize high school is almost over and we are soon needing to do what “adults do” like pay bills and feed yourself. For others it starts earlier or later, but  the one thing I that is universal, the older you get, the more likely these thoughts of “What do I do now?” Some of us may have planned to go to university, and out of the number that plan on going to a particular school, how many of us actually ended up where we envisioned? If you were one of the few lucky ones, perhaps worry was delayed for the time being until exams came up. Perhaps you already had anxiety thinking, “What if I do not get in to _________?”

Perhaps you are somebody that had no desire to go to school any longer, and that’s perfectly fine, but that means you probably thought earlier on, “Where am going to work. I can’t pay bills on a minimum wage. I don’t feel like an adult. I’m not ready…” Perhaps none of these thoughts entered your head. What about one of those days where you are running late for work and you are stuck in traffic? Don’t you wish that you could be like Moses and part the sea of cars to allow you to get to work on time? Maybe you are young and taking a pregnancy test because you are worried that you might be pregnant and you don’t know what you are going to tell your parents? Don’t you wish you could control these things? Have you ever thought that, “If it rains, it’s going to ruin my outdoor wedding plans,” that you have been planning for months in advance?

What if I told you we need not worry, and all things will work out? I’m not saying they will work out how you expect, but they will indeed work out according to God’s plans. Our Lord is perfect, and so are his plans, so why worry if his perfect plans work out the way he wants them to work out for you? Why do you feel so upset you are no longer in control like you thought you were? Has God’s plan made you become anxious? Why? He created you and through Jesus Christ, you have eternal life. Why are you so afraid? 

Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for He chose us in advance, and He makes everything work out according to His plan.

Ephesians 1:11

That’s right. God has a plan for you, and he’ll make it work out. There’s no need to worry such as you are. I’m not trying to make light of your temporary suffering that you may be experiencing, but find comfort that our amazing Lord has all under control! Sure, our lives take unexpected turns, and yes, you will worry sometimes about that uncertainty we have at times, but stop worrying so much. We are children of God, and he’s a perfect parent that will protect us and ensure that we protected. He cares so much about you that he revealed us in human form through Jesus Christ, his son, who paid the price for ALL OUR SINS so that we may have eternal life! 

“For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him. “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in Him. But anyone who does not believe in Him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.”

John 3:16-21

Like David, find comfort that our Lord is there to protect us like a shepherd protects their flock from the dangerous of the wilderness. When we rely of Him, we always succeed in fulfilling His plans.

But you, O LORD, are a shield around me; You are my glory, the One who holds my head high. I cried out to the LORD, and He answered me from His holy mountain. Interlude I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the LORD was watching over me. I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround me on every side.

Psalm 3:3-6

Stop worrying so much! Lighten your baggage you carry! Let the Lord carry those bags for you for we were not designed to carry so many.

“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. “

Matthew 6:34

Worry about today, not tomorrow. Stop worrying about things that do not matter yet! The Lord will provide so that all is in place to see that his plans are carried out. Rely on his perfection, not your imperfection!

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Look, I’m going to rain down food from heaven for you. Each day the people can go out and pick up as much food as they need for that day. I will test them in this to see whether or not they will follow My instructions.

Exodus 16:4

Stop carrying that heavy burden of worry and uncertainty. Stop feeling lonely. Stop feeling hopeless and helpless. Stop feeling that the world is out to get you. Stop all of these things for there is comfort as our Father will be our comfort. Our Father will see that things work out. Our Father will bless us. Our Father is perfect in his timing, so why rely on your perception of what timing is perfect in your own mind? How about you for a moment realize that we are on His time–His perfect time. Realize he’s always there for you and never forsakes us. He is our source of true comfort!

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.

2 Corinthians 1:3

 

Life is full of unpredictable events, circumstances, and other general issues that come with living. There’s so many amazing things that happen, but there is certainly a negative side too that occurs. Everybody’s life has different events and turns it may take, but we all feel the pain. While not always true, generally we forget the good that comes with it all too quickly and give the majority of our energy to deep reflection of the less than desirable issues that arise.  

 

We worry far too much about the what if’s of the future and spend less time thanking our father for the good he has already given us. Life is a miracle that we should be grateful daily, but instead we curse it for the fears and uncertainty that we face. It need not be this way for the one that gave us life will provide all that we need. He says this to us, but we do not trust that our creator can do so. Why? Do you forget that the word of God is like no other, and that he always keeps his promise? Have you allowed yourself to become so jaded by human imperfection to think that God’s perfection has the same flaws of lies, half-truths, and failure to follow through?

The thing you should want most is God’s kingdom and doing what God wants. Then all these other things you need will be given to you. So don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will have its own worries. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6:33-34

It is said that a mother will defend her young with their life. Do you forget that the creator of all life will provide comfort and protection for us? We are the Lord’s sheep, and he is our shepherd. He provides us with food to eat as we need it and protects us from danger. Trust in him in all your needs.

A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Psalm 23:1-6

 The Lord created all, but we forget this and try to be our own strength to combat the struggles we face. But why? Why can you not just trust in him? Change that thinking and your life will become easier. We are not designed to rely on ourselves as our source of help.

A Song of Ascents. I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.

Psalm 121:1-8

Sadly it’s far too easy for us to only turn to the Lord when we are at our lowest points–our most needy times of desperation. Give the Lord your attention in times of excess abundance and in times of lacking. Give the Lord your attention in times of joy and times of despair. Always turn to the Lord. Praise him in both the good and the bad for he is worthy. When there’s pain in your life, be joyous there’s a God worth worshiping no matter what. 

Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High, and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me. 

Psalm 50:14-15

Remember that even in Job’s great losses, he still worshiped the Lord. 

Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.

Job 1:20-22

Sure life can feel rough at times, but remember, these times of trouble are not even a drop of water in the entire ocean! We have eternal happiness with the Lord through the grace he gives us. Do not give up for the tough times are short. Through Jesus Christ, our King, we will prevail over death. 

 

Trigger Warning: This post might challenge your current view of how a Christian should act.

 

True Fact: Jesus did not say go make more churches. Jesus gave us a command, and it was to MAKE DISCIPLES

And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:18-20

For some reason, there seems to be a generalized idea that either we are supposed to, as Christians, be radical or be apathetic in our beliefs. The reality is both views of how a Christian should act are not what our Lord told us to be like. Yahweh commands us to not be lukewarm in our faith instead,

I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth!

Revelation 3:15-16

While Christians do not need to be radical like ISIS acts, we are to show people the way to be a Christian through our actions and teaching others. When we do this, we make disciples, and they do the same. The reality is that through discipleship, Jesus taught 12 men the way and we all exist as Christians many years later because of that work. 

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.

Matthew 5:13-17

Historically, when salt was made wet, it would leech out from the rest of the salt and over time, it would only leave the impurities of the salt. This salt has lost it’s saltiness. What is left over is no longer useful. Ask any person that’s been on a a restricted diet, when salt is not in food, it’s easy to taste the lack of it. A small amount added is like an amazing treat, for just a small amount is needed for the flavor. We Christians can revolutionize the world even if we are small in number, just as a small amount of salt revolutionizes that meal that is salt-less. Like a lamp in a dark room, even a small amount of light shines throughout. Our actions in our good works and our beliefs that we follow are seen throughout the non-Christian world. 

in a documentary movie, The God Who Wasn’t There, one quote always stands out to me, but not as the creator of the film intended,

“Unless this book is wrong. And if this book is wrong, what the hell is moderate Christianity? Jesus was only sort of the Son of God? He only somewhat rose from the dead? Your eternal soul is at stake, but you shouldn’t make a big deal out of it? Moderate Christianity makes no sense.”

That atheist has a good point–we shouldn’t be moderate. God said for us not to be moderate. What does that even mean though? Jesus was not revolutionary by forcing all to do as he said, but his revolutionary ways were through how he acted. He showed love for us. The stakes are high, so act accordingly. If you call yourself a Christian, then truly try to follow Christ’s lead. We all fall short of achieving his perfection, but that doesn’t mean stop trying! Do worry about the secular preconceptions of what a Christian is, but instead be like Christ. 

 

So this guy comes up to me and says, “what’s the vision? What’s the big idea?”
I open my mouth and words come out like this…
The vision?
The vision is JESUS – obsessively, dangerously, undeniably Jesus.
The vision is an army of young people.
You see bones? I see an army. And they are FREE from materialism.
They laugh at 9-5 little prisons. They could eat caviar on Monday and crusts on Tuesday. They wouldn’t even notice. They know the meaning of the Matrix, the way the west was won.
They are mobile like the wind, they belong to the nations. They need no passport. People write their addresses in pencil and wonder at their strange existence.
They are free yet they are slaves of the hurting and
dirty and dying.
What is the vision?
The vision is holiness that hurts the eyes. It makes children laugh and adults angry. It gave up the game of minimum integrity long ago to reach for the stars. It scorns the good and strains for the best. It is dangerously pure.
Light flickers from every secret motive, every private conversation. It loves people away from their suicide leaps, their Satan games. This is an army that will lay down its life for the cause. A million times a day its soldiers choose to lose that they might one day win the great ‘Well done’ of faithful sons and daughters.
Such heroes are as radical on Monday morning as Sunday night. They don’t need fame from names. Instead they grin quietly upwards and hear the crowds chanting
again and again:
“COME ON!”
And this is the sound of the underground. The whisper of history in the making. Foundations shaking. Revolutionaries dreaming once again. Mystery is scheming in whispers. Conspiracy is breathing. This is the sound of the underground
And the army is discipl(in)ed. Young people who beat their bodies into submission.
Every soldier would take a bullet for his comrade at arms. The tattoo on their back boasts “for me to live is Christ and to die is gain”
Sacrifice fuels the fire of victory in their upward eyes. Winners. Martyrs. Who can stop them? Can hormones hold them back? Can failure succeed? Can fear scare them or death kill them?
And the generation prays like a dying man with groans beyond talking, with warrior cries, sulphuric tears and with great barrow loads of laughter!
Waiting. Watching: 24 – 7 – 365.
Whatever it takes they will give: Breaking the rules. Shaking mediocrity from its cosy little hide. Laying down their rights and their precious little wrongs, laughing at labels, fasting essentials. The advertisers cannot mould them. Hollywood cannot hold them. Peer-pressure is powerless to shake their resolve at late night parties before the cockerel cries.
They are incredibly cool, dangerously attractive inside.
On the outside? They hardly care. They wear clothes like costumes to communicate and celebrate but never to hide. Would they surrender their image or their popularity? They would lay down their very lives – swap seats with the man on death row – guilty as hell. A throne for an electric chair.
With blood and sweat and many tears, with sleepless nights and fruitless days, they pray as if it all depends on God and live as if it all depends on them.
Their DNA chooses JESUS. (He breathes out, they breathe in.) Their subconscious sings. They had a blood transfusion with Jesus. Their words make demons scream in shopping centres.
Don’t you hear them coming? Herald the weirdo’s! Summon the losers and the freaks. Here come the frightened and forgotten with fire in their eyes. They walk tall and trees applaud, skyscrapers bow, mountains are dwarfed by these children of another dimension.
Their prayers summon the hounds of heaven and invoke the ancient dream of Eden.
And this vision will be. It will come to pass; it will come easily; it will come soon. How do I know? Because this is the longing of creation itself, the groaning of the Spirit, the very dream of God. My tomorrow is his today. My distant hope is his 3D. And my feeble, whispered, faithless prayer invokes a thunderous, resounding, bone-shaking great ‘Amen!’ from countless angels, from heroes of the faith, from Christ himself. And he is the original dreamer, the ultimate winner.
Guaranteed.

-Red Moon Rising The Vision

Life offers us storms that we have no choice to escape, but we do have one choice to make–not to fear the storm! “Learn from history or history will repeat its self,” is a common quote many know from an early age.  It’s well known, but so many times never heeded. The fact is, if we review history, we will see how not to react, or how we should react, and there’s a perfect example of how to do just that. 

 

They went to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said,

“Sit here while I go and pray.”

He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He became deeply troubled and distressed. He told them,

“My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with Me.”

He went on a little farther and fell to the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting Him might pass Him by.

“Abba, Father,”

He cried out,

“everything is possible for You. Please take this cup of suffering away from Me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not Mine.”

Then He returned and found the disciples asleep. He said to Peter,

“Simon, are you asleep? Couldn’t you watch with Me even one hour? Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

Then Jesus left them again and prayed the same prayer as before. When He returned to them again, He found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open. And they didn’t know what to say. When He returned to them the third time, He said,

“Go ahead and sleep. Have your rest. But no—the time has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Up, let’s be going. Look, My betrayer is here!” 

Mark 14:32-42

Jesus prayed that his imminent death would not have to occur. He was afraid. The one perfect man knew he was about to feel the full wrath of God to pay for our sins so that we, those that deserve the wrath, may live in eternal life with the Lord. To further compound this feeling of dread, he had never been separated from his father, but he knew he would soon experience that pain until his death occurred. Despite this coming reality, he was willing to suffer if he had to. 

Like a child, he asked his father to save him, but there was no saving. When we face storms, we forget many times that God is still there for us, unlike Jesus. God’s wrath was incoming like a semi-truck for him and he was afraid. He did not run away, but instead prayed and faced his fears. He asked the others to pray for him, and he did not just pray once, not twice, but over and over. He did not ask his disciples to pray that the event not happen, but instead to pray for himself to be strong through the ordeal. 

When we face storms, be like Jesus and pray to your Father. He will not forsaken us.

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with My victorious right hand.

Isiah 41:10

When you face a storm, fear not, but instead trust that your Father will save you. Stop worrying about worst-case-scenarios. Worrying is a waste of energy that you should be using for God instead. While nobody ever said life was going to be easy, the Lord gives us strength. Rely on Him and not your own self. Only if you learn this lesson will life become easier for we separate ourselves from Him when we fail to rely on His strength. You might not have strength so pray for it. Ask others to pray for your strength. Prayer is a mighty tool we fail to utilize as much as we should, both in good times and the bad. Rely on Him, not yourself! Your true strength comes from Him.

“If you have not accepted God’s forgiveness, you are doomed to fear. Nothing can deliver you from the gnawing realization that you have disregarded your Maker and disobeyed his instruction. No pill, pep talk, psychiatrist, or possession can set the sinner’s heart at ease. You may deaden the fear, but you can’t remove it. Only God’s grace can.”

-Max Lucado, “Fearless”

 

 

Lifting weights at a gym, running, cycling, rock climbing, sky diving, skateboarding, driving fast, playing sports, binge drinking, eating contests, hiking, or whatever it is that you do, we as humans like to push ourselves to our limits. Whether it’s for the better or worse, we do things to ourselves to gain more happiness, good feelings, or self-reward. We trust ourselves to be able to do this and the pain we suffer doing so, we rejoice in the pain we go through as that’s the proof of how strong or good we are. We have so much trust in this flesh that we are made of or the things we as people have built, but why? We live in an age of people with trust issues, but we put so much trust in the self and our things.

Why is it that so much trust is put in things that die, break, and inevitably will deteriorate? When life becomes a terrible storm, rejoice not in the trust of yourself, but by our rock, the Lord! Trust in the one thing that is truly the only thing you can trust always. Family is great, but family is only flesh that will die as all things will, but trust in the Lord for the eternal life and salvation for that will last forever. Stop fooling yourself to trust in things that always fail eventually, and trust the pillars that can keep your life anchored firmly. Rejoice in the hardships the Lord gets you through as you do when you push yourself to your limits. While one you control and become proud of for you did more or better, rejoice more in the one you do not control and praise the Lord for when you make it through the storm! Use logic and realize that he is the only one that can truly be trusted!

The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.

Psalm 18:2

 

Even when we try to draw near to the Lord, our sin always holds back. When you let yourself do things that do not feed the spirit, out sinful flesh is fed, and that chasm between us and the Lord widens. I do not judge others for their choices for that is not man’s role; however, I can say that when you are having trouble drawing near, that’s because you have a bondage that is keeping you enslaved elsewhere.

If you drink, maybe the enemy uses that to hold on to you. Maybe you are homosexuals, but have a great marriage. I say be proud of the marriage, but it is true that that lifestyle comes with difficulties–God did not intend that for any of us. It’s unnecessary to not be proud of your accomplishments. In doing good, but even our good is not good enough.

We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind.

Isaiah 64:6 NLTS

While pride can be counter-productive to the spirit, I want you to know that there’s no reason to be depressed. You must find happiness in the things that are positive attributes about yourself.

Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor.

Proverbs 29:23 NLTS

Don’t say you are good for the things you’ve done, but only by God’s grace and the payment Jesus paid are we good. Do not be full of yourself in self-envy. Be happy for your better traits and work on the others. Be happy that by grace, you are saved, but no you do not need to hate yourself. God loves you, so love yourself. Just do not take that too far to where you think you are truly good. We are not truly good, for God is the only one that is truly good.

“Why do you call Me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good.

Mark 10:18

I know this sounds contradictory, but I have my reasons for why I say these things. As many of of us Christians draw nearer to God, we become depressed that we see imperfections in ourselves and we forget to be happy. Sometimes we start to even hate ourselves because we keep faltering, but that’s bad to do. We have far too many imperfections and shortcomings–like it’s said all our good deeds are dirty rags in the eyes of the Lord, so it’s easy to feel like nothing more than a dirty rag. Only through God’s strength can we change our ways. Let God put on your heart the things he wants you to change, but stop judging yourself so much. Just let things be and take one day at a time. With a positive attitude, we can find happiness in our small accomplishments and our continuing small changes will build to bigger ones.  I’m not saying your sin is okay, but instead I am saying God already knows you were and are a sinner. He desires for you to change, but we will never be fully successful in the endeavor.

We do not need to make excuses for our sins, but we also do not need to belittle our attempts to be better people. Enjoy the small accomplishments for they will add up. Let God make those changes in you for you will only succeed by relying on his power. I know somebody is going to read this and think that I am somebody that is trying to teach others sin is okay, and if you do think that, you have missed the message. I want us all to stop sinning, but the Bible says we will fail.

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.

Romans 3:23

I just know the amount of hurt people have and that’s not what God wishes for us. If we start living our lives like he desires, we will lose that hurt that we feel for going against his desires, but along with that, if we lived by his desires, there’d be less judgment too.