Category Archives: Belief

Peace To Deal With Our Present and Courage To Deal With Our Future

Peace To Deal With Our Present and Courage To Deal With Our FutureIt’s not a surprise to hear we live in a world of turmoil. Wars are being fought all over the world, news reports tell us of shootings, failing economy, and natural disasters. Even as you listen to the news, or even get your news off of Twitter as I do, you hear of so much tragedy. How do we find real peace and walk in peace each day in the midst of such chaos? It all goes back to the words of Jesus; living the Red Letter Lifestyle of His words in John 16:33. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” What is important to know, is that these very words Jesus spoke, came just a few hours before He Himself would be crucified; rocking the very foundations of the lives of the disciples who had come not only to follow Him, but to love Him. They would soon see that the Messiah they had hoped for and believed in, would die a horrible death. This also meant that they would live in fear for their own lives. Jesus spoke these words because He knew that the world was at odds with the purposes of God. But the good news is that both then and now Jesus offers us peace. His very own peace! “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27). He wants you and I to have His peace!

But how do we have peace to deal with our present situation and courage to deal with our future in unsettling times? By putting first things first- gaining peace with God. You can’t have the peace of God until you have peace with God. The fact is that outside of Christ you are not a child of God. That is the lot of all who do not accept Jesus Christ, or refuse to accept His offer of eternal life which He purchased on the cross for everyone! Jesus said we can be God’s child– He wants you as His child, and He sent Jesus into this world to make that happen.

How to live in the peace of God:

1. Understand God is sovereign.

As we give God our lives, He is in control from beginning to the end, and we must remember His plans will succeed. Jesus said that He has already overcome the world in His death. He conquered sin and its power, then He went on to conquer death and its power in His resurrection! He has also given us His Living Word – The Bible. The Bible allows us to find direction and comfort in Him and His promises; and these promises cannot be thwarted by anyone! Understanding He ALONE is sovereign goes a long way to help you live in His peace. Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

2. Pray

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

We are also instructed to “pray without ceasing” which means to continue to be in an attitude of prayer throughout the day. God hears you and He moves on behalf of His people. He is not deaf to your concerns and prayers. I once read that the average person has more than two hundred negative thoughts a day! We have worries, jealousies, insecurities, and the list goes on! It has been reported that those who are depressed have as many as six hundred negative thoughts running around every day! We may not be able to eliminate all the troublesome things that go on in our lives, but we can learn to stop invasions in our mind and have victory over our thoughts! (Read my latest book: Help! I’m Alone With My Mind! A Guide To Having Victory Over Your Thoughts!”)

One of the best ways to reduce the negative thoughts invading your mind is to turn them into prayers. It is important that we also pray according to God’s Will. What is His Will? The Bible! When faced with a concern we are to find scripture to cover our situation in prayer; according to what God has already promised us. Instead of, “God help I am broke!” You pray according to the Bible – “Father you know that I am in need of money right now, but I trust you Lord and I confess your Word that You are my provider and I trust in you Father to look over your Word that you said and to perform it! I thank you that you are supplying even now.” When we spend time praising and thanking Him for the answer before it comes- not just our concerns, we find peace in the fact that God is active in our situation and peace will flood our minds. Look at Daniel 9:23 and what the angel of God said to Daniel about the fact he was praying, “The moment you began praying, a command was given.” Now look at Isaiah 65:24 “I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!” God doesn’t have to check his Facebook inbox or text messages to see when we send up a prayer to Him. He hears immediately and He immediately answers, however those prayers are not always revealed for us immediately in the natural for many different reasons. But take comfort in knowing God hears us and answers us, and it is our responsibility to trust Him and His Word and wait for the manifestation of the answer!

3. Fix your mind; Having a Biblical Mindset

Ecclesiastes 5:1 (Amp.) “Keep your foot, give your mind to what you are doing.” We are to listen to the voice of God. How? By prayer and reading His Word. Then we will be able to give our mind to Him instead of our worries. People who adopt a Biblical mindset and who are Christ-centered and focused on others can live in peace. Why? Because the world’s value systems do not determine your outlook or outcomes – the promises of the Bible does! That’s not to say that you will never be affected by this world. But by having a Biblical mindset you choose to believe the Bible is true and correct in all it teaches. When you are faced with a time of unsettling, pick up your Bible and read. I like to start with the book of Psalms. I read them aloud as prayers to God. Soon I feel His presence and I feel the weights of worry lifting. Then find scripture to cover your present situation. {Coming Soon my newest book on how to do this: I’m A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer!}  Above all you are to think on what God instructs you to think on – not what the world is dishing out. Philippians 4:8 gives us specific instructions, “Whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].” Then look at verse 7, “And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

4. Keep Moving!

I know when disaster hits we feel like we just can’t continue to get up again and again. I know we wonder why we even bother with moving ahead. Remember God is still God no matter what we see with our eyes and hear on the news. We have a future and a hope the Bible promises us, so we should look to the future. But as we do that, let’s look at Proverbs 16:9, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” We are not to plan for the future in despair, but rather to plan with the Lord’s purposes in mind. 1 Corinthians 9:24, “Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!” Run to win it says! That means keep on running and don’t stop no matter what, and it also says YOU WIN when you keep running! Glory!

5. Live in anticipation!

God’s Promises help us get through the grind of day-to-day living. The best way to have peace is to read those promises on a daily basis. You’ll be surprised what God has for you in there. One of my favorites is Lamentations 3:22-23, “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” God’s faithfulness is always in play, and I thank Him for that. We can live in anticipation that His Word is true and it never fails. If He promised it to you it is yours now! God gave you peace and He promises to never leave you or forsake you. That is something to be thankful for! Live your life in anticipation of what He is going to do in you and for you! You are His child! He loves you!

Peace to deal with your present circumstance and to face your future does not have to be overwhelming-IF we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us into the greatest peace of all- Jesus’ very own peace! John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

 

    1. God desires for you to walk in victory in all areas of your life; including your mind. He has made a way for you through His Word. you will learn how to take your thoughts captive and step into the full peace of God – No matter your situation! Get your copy

 “Help! I’m Alone With My Mind. A Guide To Having Victory Over Your Thoughts”

God said Go; But I Like it HERE!

How many times do we want to be used of God yet we are afraid to step out when He gives us certain instructions? He tells us to “go ye into all the world.” He even told Abram to get up and go. Go is a word which moves us to action. I’m even venturing to say the word “go” may also sound something like “remove,” “stop,” or “let go.” God commanded Abram “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you.” (Genesis 12:1). Abram obeyed God for a promise of greater blessing. God tells us to “go” however, in order for us to go we must leave some places, people, and maybe even some things! God did not ask Abram to go, remove, and let go of his father’s family and what he currently had just to keep things from him. God had a better plan and better purpose for his life. Think of this: because of his obedience to God’s command the nation of Israel came from Abram AND Jesus Christ came through Abram’s family tree! Can you imagine that kind of call on your life! When given the command Abram had a choice between setting out for parts unknown or staying right where he was – where the comfort level was just fine! He was faced with a choice of security or uncertainty. All he really had to go on was God’s command and promise to bless him.

You and I my friend are faced with exactly the same thoughts and feelings Abram had! He was just as human as we are, with the same thoughts, fears, and emotions. Abram had no idea the effect his obedience would play on this earth – even today! YOU have no idea what God is asking you to do which will effect others  – even years down the road! We must realize that if we allow our comfort zone to lead us we will miss what God has for us – as well as for others! Remember God will never ask you to do something you can’t d0. You might not want to do it or even know how to do it; but if He asks you to do something or remove someone out of your life, or even go somewhere, He has already put in you the ability to do what He requests!

I know our comfort zone and fear keep us from doing what we are asked to do. Even when we are asked to let go of someone or something. This fear is our flesh rearing it’s ugly head. But remember God wants you to use what He has already given you. He created you – so just use what you have. Push through the fear and watch Him take over once you step out in faith. The woman in Luke 7:38 was memorialized by Jesus HIMSELF  in Mark 14:9! He said she would be remembered, why? Because she did an amazing feat? Because she lead millions to the Lord? Because she went into a foreign country and served? NO! Jesus said she would be remembered and discussed wherever the Good News is preached because  “She has done what she could…” ( verse 8 ). Your Heavenly Father is not asking you to do any more than you can. Will you have to face some fears and get out of your comfort zone – yes! Settle it in your heart that you will do what God asks you to do, no matter what your flesh, family, friends, or circumstances are telling you! I am sure Abram’s family had some opinions when he was going away. Can you hear them? “Where are you going Abram, what will you do?” To Abram’s reply, “I have no idea, God just said go!” Can you hear the family arguments there? I think a family meeting was called don’t you! What about the woman with the alabaster box? The disciples of Jesus; the very ones who should be encouraging others and helping them “do what they can” were criticizing her for what she was doing! (Mark 14: 4-5). Does this sound like some people of the church today? Someone is serving how they can and that’s not enough or the right way?

You have a plan and a purpose in which God wants to use YOU! He wants to ask YOU to do what you can for Him, so His work can get done. You do have a choice my friend on what to do. Abram had a choice and so did the woman with the precious oil. The question remains will you get uncomfortable and push past the fear and nay-sayers? Will you say “Yes Lord here I am!” He is not asking you to do anything that He has not already set up and equipped you to do. He will not let you slip, fall, or fail (Psalm 55:22). Why would He? He needs you! Are you willing to do what you can and allow Him to do the rest? Ask Him now what He desires of you and then rely on The Holy Spirit to help you do what you can!

{Want more devotions? I’m A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer; Declaring the Word of God and Taking Back What the Devil Stole from Me!}

Seasons of Change

Sandra Hersey Key To Victorious FaithJust like we have seasonal changes in the natural we also have seasons of change in our walk with God. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” Though seasons in our life change – God’s truth remains; His Word will not pass away. When God speaks it is sealed in Heaven; we can be sure of it, we can depend on Him!

One of the greatest obstacles Christians face is when they do not recognize the season they are in.

If a Christian is in a spiritual winter season and becomes nervous because there does not seem to be any fruit appearing in their life, they may commit to new ministries in order to force themselves to produce fruit. No matter how hard they try, they won’t produce fruit until God produces it in them. But what is worse is sometimes they blame God for the lack of fruit! I can not tell you how many times I’ve heard “I did everything right but God did not come through.”
God does not fail; we fail to recognize our seasons and we fail to work with God in what He is doing in our life.

Just like the natural seasons we go through; we go through spiritual seasons as well.

During our Spiritual Springtime we are to look for the leading of God in new activities and ventures into new opportunities. In our Spiritual Summer we need to take the time for spiritual development and fruit bearing. During our Spiritual Fall we may be feeling a need to return to the basics of our relationship with God, or a new commitment to the spiritual disciplines of fasting, praying, solitude, individual worship, and devotion; things which in themselves seem to produce little fruit but are essential for our Christian walk. Lastly, there is winter – Spiritual Winter is the most uncomfortable time for many Christians. In our society we tend to value people based on how much they produce. This “work equals value” culture is not godly and it is wrong to applaud people who are over committed as much as it is wrong to applaud people who are under committed.

God values people – not works and we should too. Spiritual winter is like the Sabbath rest. God instructed people to keep the rest holy to God and reflect on the things which God had done for them. God says in Leviticus 23:27 we must “deny” (NIV) or “afflict” (KJV) ourselves when observing the Sabbath. What should we deny? Whatever keeps our minds from reflecting on God’s good deeds and keeping a holy attitude before Him.

As you work unto the Lord and most importantly once you work or rest according to the season you are currently in, you will maximize your spiritual growth and your production of spiritual fruit. Some may feel they do not know how to hear God concerning the season they are in, however, John 2:20 plainly declares ALL believers have an anointing from God which provides them with insight of God’s will for their lives. Our responsibility is to spend time in prayer and even fasting to seek Him for His will in the season we are in.

What Spiritual Season are you in right now? Seek Him and act accordingly.

Joy vs Happiness. What is the Difference?

Joy vs happiness. What is the difference?Joy vs Happiness. What is the difference?Remember the song “Don’t worry be happy!” Or when the bright yellow smiley faces were everywhere and bumper stickers proclaimed every possible source for happiness insisting to us “Happiness is being married,” “Happiness is being single,” or  “Happiness is being (fill in the blank)!”

Happiness my friend is fleeting. As the word implies – happiness is associated with happenstance, happenings, luck or good fortune. It boils down to our circumstances being favorable – then we feel we are happy; if circumstances don’t seem to stack in our favor then unhappiness moves in sending our emotions reeling. To experience happiness we think we must feel good emotionally. Some will even try to convince us that happiness is a journey. We all are aware it is impossible to be happy when we rely on our emotions. So how do we handle our emotions when we want peace but our circumstances are not favorable?

The Lord is both our source and the object of our joy. Knowing Him brings joy that transcends all of our temporal circumstances. Nehemiah 8:10 gives us assurance by boldly declaring “The joy of the Lord is our strength.” We can rely on His joy to strengthen us through whatever trial we are facing. So many of us are facing intense trials where we have to stand and fight off the enemy yet we feel we have no fight left in us sometimes. This my friend is the time to rely on God’s joy to give you the strength you need to endure.

Joy is directly related to God. Joy, in contrast to happiness, is the firm unshakable confidence that all is well no matter what our circumstances are telling us. Joy is every believers gift from God. It is the fruit which the Holy Spirit produces within us according to Galatians 5:22. It is a characteristic of God Himself.

We all face trials in our lives however these trials need not rob us of our joy. James 1:2 says we should be joyful when we encounter various trials because these trials produce spiritual endurance and maturity. They also prove our faith is genuine. According to Peter a proven faith is the source of great joy (1 Peter 1:6-8).

Let’s look at Habakkuk 3:17: “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crops fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls…” My goodness these are some intense problems here my friend! Now hold on look at what he says next…

“YET!!!!!!!!” (emphasis mine because you have to get this!!!!) Though it all seems to be falling apart he is not going to surrender, he is not going to let his emotions determine whether he is happy. He says, “Yet I will REJOICE IN THE LORD, I will be JOYFUL IN GOD MY SAVIOR” (v. 18). He is going to choose to REJOICE because, “The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights” (v. 19). Habakkuk was a man who decide he was NOT going to allow his circumstance to determine his state of mind. He was going to be strengthened by the Lord’s joy and he was in no way going to stay defeated. His circumstance could have allowed him to be unhappy and defeated, but he chose to allow the joy of the Lord to help him to rise up out of his circumstance and move on! The difference between the person who chooses to stay in defeat and unhappiness – and the person who is victorious, by relying on the Lord’s joy, is the one who will come out of their storm quicker.

I’m not saying you are not going to have problems or that hard times won’t come along and take the wind out of your sail. However we have the choice in how we are going to react. We live in a world corrupted by sin and filled with turmoil. But your hope is in a living God – not in this dying world. He is more than “able to keep you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy” (Jude 24). That is our assurance – eternal joy; a joy which comes from trusting the Lord in the MIDST of the storm. And while we wait on this earth until Jesus returns we must not neglect His Word, despise the trials we face, or even lose sight of our eternal reward. These are all key ingredients of our present joy. Happiness is fleeting however the joy of the Lord is eternal.

{Some of this content is from my book, Help! I’m Alone With My Mind; A Guide To Having Victory Over Your Thoughts!}

How to Sing for Joy When You Have No Joy

How to Sing for Joy When You Have No JoyEach morning I start my time of prayer with Psalms and Proverbs before my devotional. For me Psalms is a way for me to express to God all I want to say.  I read the verses out loud as prayers to Him and add my own prayers along side. Then I move on to the Proverb of the day, if the date is the 2nd I read Proverbs 2 and turn it also into a prayer.

Today I kept coming to verse after verse which read “sing for joy.” Then I started to think about storms raging in my life and then I thought of you and what you might be facing right now. The Holy Spirit prompted me to remind both myself and you that we must sing for joy when facing obstacles which want to overtake us!

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. And these fruit are the very characteristics of God. He has given us joy however it is our responsibility to exercise this characteristic and make it grow. We must use this fruit of joy during the times when we are not feeling too much joy. How do we exercise this joy? Well one way is to sing for it! Look at Isaiah 12:

2 Behold, God, my salvation! I will trust and not be afraid, for the Lord God is my strength and song; yes, He has become my salvation.

3Therefore with joy will you draw water from the wells of salvation.

4And in that day you will say, Give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name and by means of His name [in solemn entreaty]; declare and make known His deeds among the peoples of the earth, proclaim that His name is exalted!

5Sing praises to the Lord, for He has done excellent things [gloriously]; let this be made known to all the earth.

6Cry aloud and shout joyfully, you women and inhabitants of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

We have reasons to sing for joy:

1. God is our salvation – verses 2-3

“With joy shall you draw water from the wells of salvation.”

For us Jesus is like the river which flows from the infinite divine nature – the one true God.  He is for us the only source, the inexhaustible source. The apostle Paul said it this way: “…They drank from the Rock which followed them, and that Rock was Christ.” (I Cor. 10:4)

The well was also the meeting-place in those hot lands where the shepherds came in from the fields and the maidens came from the tents and they met in the cool of the evening. I can envision laughter and talk was all around. Joy ringing out as they spoke of the day. So joyful is the heart of those whose soul is filled and feasted with God – our salvation.

II. God is our strength verses 4-5

We may recall God’s triumph for the Israelites over the Egyptians at the Red Sea; then Moses and Miriam led the Israelites into singing the praises of God and exalted His mighty strength (Exodus 15:2). The prophet Isaiah called upon Judah to do the same. Let’s move beyond Egypt and beyond the nation of Judah to our own deliverance in Christ.

We must focus on and be grateful for His mighty deeds and sing for joy. We must know that He is strong enough to handle all of our challenges in our lives – no matter what they are!  Notice also, that His mighty Name and deeds are to be proclaimed to all nations. We may not be called to a world-wide ministry to proclaim to other nations the goodness of God, but we should however never lose sight of the fact that God is the God of the whole world and He can and will move on our behalf! And we proclaim His mighty deeds and Name to our little corner of the world – our family and friends!

Unfortunately what happens is no matter how much scripture we can quote or how long we have been a child of God, we don’t really and truly believe deep down that God can help our difficult situation or even wants to help us! I’m not talking about our easy fixes – we believe He can fix those. I am talking about the really hard ones. The ones that are raging so strong we feel as if we are not going to be able to hold on much longer! Now let’s be honest here. We can sing for joy and walk in faith when it’s all good! But let the earth start shifting under our faith walk and bam! We start wondering what’s going on- and the longer this journey goes the less our faith and singing gets. We start buying into the lie of the enemy that we must have done something wrong which angered our Heavenly Father. God loves you and I so much He only wants what is good for us. Scripture after scripture tells of His goodness and His wonderful promises to us! But do we really, entirely, and wholeheartedly believe that when we are in the midst of raging storm?

Are we supposed to go through hard times as Christians? Of course we are! We were never promised a perfect walk. Walking by faith is having faith when it’s tough to see the victory; but you know it’s there! Singing for joy is not having the joy because of the natural circumstances but we sing praises to our Lord and Savior and exercise that joy while we are feeling defeated – hence; singing FOR the joy!

We must stop thinking our trouble is a sign that we are in sin or that God is unhappy with us! We must realize when we face times of trouble that we must dig our heels in deep – deep into the living Word of God and stand on it. We must lift up our voice and pretend we are the next American Idol and sing to the top of our lungs with songs of praise to our God who loves us no matter what! Sing my beloved friend – sing FOR the joy in the midst of your trial and feels His peace cover you!

{Know someone who is facing hard times? The Drying Pot; And The Refining Fires Necessary To Become A Vessel Used By God}