Category Archives: Trials

Playing the What If Game; How to stop worry head on

word_peace_in_sand_187143Worry, anxiety, and stress can lead us down an unhealthy path. Yes, our emotions of worry, anxiety, stress and the ever present “What if” game can cause us to be sick in our bodies. God has created our bodies so perfectly; they are designed to cope with stress in a fight or flight reaction, however, distress is another subject all together. Distress can lead to headaches,  stomach upset, blood pressure rising, chest pain, and even problems sleeping. Research also suggests that stress also can bring on or even worsen certain symptoms or diseases. Our minds are so powerful it can effect our bodies.

I have played one too many times in my life the “What if” game. What if I can’t pay this bill, what if cancer comes back, what if my child goes off the deep end. This list can get long and overwhelming, consuming our thoughts, and moving on to effecting our bodies. Even Abraham played the what if game in Genesis 12:12 when he worried about the Egyptians stealing his life and killing him. Abraham worried and did not trust God. Abraham found it easier to trust God in the far-off promises God had made to him rather than trust God for his right-now needs. When we worry we are doing the same thing as Abraham.

So how do we stop playing the what if game? How do we stop the worry and start trusting God?

For me there are very practical ways to do this. Start by making a list of all the what if’s you have running around in your head. Then take the time to confess these to God. Philippians 4:4-6 instructs us, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” 

There are a few things I want you to notice here:

1. We are to rejoice and not be anxious about anything! I know that is hard sometimes but think about the times God has come through for you in the past. He is going to come through again and again for you! We must trust Him and take Him at His word to us. We must read the Word of God as literal to us;  it was left for us as our instruction manual! Do we rejoice about a bad doctors report? No! But we do rejoice in the God who is our Father, who loves us, and will lead us and comfort us. That is something to rejoice in!We are to trust Him. I know it can be scary, I too had that dreaded doctors report over 6 years ago, but I knew that I knew, that God was not going to leave me and I could trust Him! It instructs us to rejoice in the Lord, it does not say rejoice in the report given by the doctor.

2. These verses tell us the Lord is near! That is how I faced the word cancer, I knew the Lord was near to me and His Name was higher than the word spoken to me by the doctor! God is near you, He longs to be near you. 1 Corinthians 16:23

3. Notice the verse instructs us in EVERY situation we are to trust, rejoice, and not be anxious. Every means just that…..EVERY. No matter what is happening, every single situation in our life we are to behave as these verses instruct: to rejoice in the Lord, not be anxious, know God is near, pray, be thankful, and tell God our requests.

4. We are to make requests of God through Prayer and Petitions. Petitions are requests we make to God. Prayer is communication we have with God. The note I want you to see here is we are to let God know our requests or even concerns. That is why I instructed you above to write things down. Now you do not have to write it down to be biblical, I am just suggesting to write them down. Then when you have them down spend the time talking with God about those thoughts and even your feelings on them. Guess what, God is not going to be angry when you tell Him you are angry or upset. He knows already. And just like we would not be upset at a child coming to us expressing their concerns He is not going to be mad either. So express to Him. THEN pray, pray for Him to take the problem, and actually give it to Him and do not take it back from Him. Know when you place it in His hands it is His to fix now, not yours. Which leads us to……..

5. Thanksgiving. Thank Him in advance for it being done. Even though you do not see it different in the natural know He is working on it and He is taking care of it. Know just like the last time He came through, He will do it again! He will move Heaven and Earth for you; His child. Trust and be thankful for all He is doing just for you.

One final note: when we do as instructed in Philippians 4:4-6, verse 7 tells us what will happen – “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Wow God will flood us with His peace, a peace we do not even understand or comprehend. And when we do what is instructed in verses 4-6 He promises His peace will guard our hearts and our minds in Jesus! Jesus is standing guard over our hearts and minds through the amazing peace of God.

Look at the Living Bible translation of verse 7, I love this: “If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.”

Now take a deep breath and think of His peace and allow your heart and your mind to be quiet and rest in Jesus’ protection. ~

    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”

Praying for this nation; How to pray during times of trouble.

Everywhere we turn we hear of some horrible event taking place lately. Shootings, natural disasters, and so much more. We can ask where is God? What is going on? I say we need to pray! Pray for our nation, pray for our town, our families – pray. And another thing to add to prayer is remembering that Jesus instructed us to love one another. {1 John 3:23}.

As Christians we must also remember we have weapons to combat the enemy, one is  – The Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. Jesus used this spiritual weapon when tempted by Satan in the desert. Each time Satan attempted to deliver a blow, Jesus blocked the attack with the Word of God by quoting scripture. We are to do what Jesus did, so we should be combating the enemy with God’s word just as Jesus did.

Praying the Word is using your Sword and defeating the enemy! Today I am giving an example of a prayer to pray over this nation. Let’s take up our Sword and wield it over our nation and over one another…

1 Timothy 2:1…………Heavenly Father, I give thanks for our government and this nation.

1 Timothy 2:2………..I pray for all men and women having authority over us in any way.
Proverbs 1:23……….Pour out Your Spirit upon them and make Your Word known to them.
Psalm 25:21………..Cause them to be men and women of integrity, obedient concerning us,
1 Timothy 2:2………..that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty.
Proverbs 2:10……….Let wisdom enter their hearts, and let knowledge be pleasant to them.
Proverbs 2:11……….Let discretion preserve them and understanding keep them,
Proverbs 2:12……….to deliver them from the way of evil and from evil men.
Psalm 1:1……….Make their hearts and ears attentive to godly counsel,
2 Chronicles 20:32………doing what is right in your sight.
Proverbs 2:21……….Let the upright dwell in our government.
Hebrews 12:27……….Cause there to be a shaking in all areas.
Proverbs 2:21……….Let those complete and blameless before You stay.
Proverbs 2:22……….and cut off the wicked. Let the unfaithful be rooted out.
1 Corinthians 4:5…………Bring to light what is hidden in darkness,
1 Corinthians 4:5…………and expose the secret aims of the hearts.
Revelation 2:5………….Let this nation remember from where they have fallen,
Revelation 2:5………….repenting, and returning to doing their first works,
1 Chronicles 22:19……..setting their hearts and their souls to seek the Lord,
2 Chronicles 7:14……….humbling themselves, praying, and turning from their wicked ways.
2 Chronicles 7:14……….Then hear them, O Lord, and forgive their sins and heal our land.
Acts 26:18……..Open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light.
Hebrews 3:13………..Soften the hearts that are hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
Psalm 107:20……….Deliver them from their destructions.
2 Peter 3:9…………Father, You have been longsuffering toward us,
2 Peter 3:9…………not willing that any should perish,
2 Peter 3:9…………but that all should come to repentance.
Isaiah 49:22………..Raise up a standard in this nation.
Zechariah 10:1……….Cause the rains of Your Spirit to flood this land
Habakuk 3:2………….and revive Your work in the midst of us.
Isaiah 59:16………..Raise up intercessors for this nation
2 Corinthians 10:4……….to pull down strongholds over this land.
Isaiah 40:5…………And let the glory of the Lord be revealed!

Holy Father, we thank You for blessing our country. Thank You for honoring our prayers as a nation and extending Your mercy toward us. Thank You for protecting our borders. Your Word is true and we can trust everything that You do. You lavish it on those who come to You for protection, blessing them before the watching world.

In Jesus Name we pray. Amen!

{Learn how to pray the Word of God and use the Sword of the Spirit in my book “I’m A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer! Declaring the Word of God and Taking Back What the Devil Has Stolen From Me!”

How to Trust God When It’s Just Too Hard

how-to-trust-god-when-it-is-too-hardHave you ever been at a place in your life where you were just too scared to look back and too scared to look ahead at the same time? I have been in that place before and it is one of the hardest places to be in. What I have learned is when my faith seems too frozen to move, I must ask myself one question..”Do I trust God right now?” Trust – such a simple word, yet such a hard word too.

The word trust means, “firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.” Let’s break down the word and relate it to God. Trust in the firm belief that God is reliable, that God is truthful, that God has ability in your situation and that God has the strength. When we use this definition about a person we may not believe each of these points of reliable, truth, ability, or strength. But with God He is all of those things and more. Of course that is easy to say and believe until you are hit in the face of being too scared to look back and too scared to look ahead at the same time.

I can remember going into a new year and being scared of it. So much had happened to my family that I felt like I could not take one more bit of bad news. This is when I learned also that the firm growing of my faith in believing God for impossible things of the past had landed me right where I was in my life. All those struggles of faith had been a boot camp so to speak for the raging war I had found myself currently in. And while fiery darts were flying all around me my feet just could not turn around or move forward. I asked myself how was I going to trust God when all of this was just too hard? How do I obey the Word of God which clearly instructs us to, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” – Proverbs 3:5-6.

In the midst of my struggles I could not understand the lessons but now looking back I see exactly what those valuable lessons from God were and I am passing them on to you:

  1. Your pain matters to God and you must know that God is with you and He is for you. “For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13
  2. Allow God to fight for you- “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” Exodus 14:14
  3. You really do not know God is all you really need until God is all you have.”Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
  4. The pain is not just an interruption in your life; the very pain that hurts so much, is the very thing God will use to show you He is trustworthy. Psalm 62:5-8
  5. Remember Jesus took away the only true suffering which can destroy you – being cast away from God. That cannot happen. Focus on the fact that whatever you are facing cannot destroy you. “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes”Ephesians 1:4

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

What is God’s Will for Me?

What is God's will for me?What is God’s will for my life? It is a question I have asked myself and I am sure you have asked yourself the same. For me, if I am not careful it can become an obsession; the very weight of it and all the question marks can become overwhelming. But why? I guess because I, like you, want to make sure I am in His Will and my Father in Heaven is pleased with me. I do want to hear “Well done thy good and faithful servant” one day!

As I seek Him I have come to a new revelation which has helped set me free – God’s will is not a problem for ME to solve! Now before the lynch mob appears let’s look at the one place where all answers are found – The Bible.

The Word of God tells us plainly that His grace does not depend on our performance. We can do nothing to earn his grace; it is done for us. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” {Ephesians 2: 8-9}

And even though we tend to want to figure out exactly what God wants us to do in that moment, God’s Word says His faithfulness does not depend on what we know; our wisdom does not count here, it is His faithfulness that counts. “The LORD’S loving kindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.” {Lamentations 3:22-24}

Our promise from God is that no matter how our life looks His steadfastness and goodness trumps whatever is going on! No matter what it looks like; His love for you and I endures FOREVER towards us!! {Rest in Psalm 136 for a moment}

We tend to get caught up in what is going on; and I know things get messy and get scary and get hard. Trust me I KNOW! Yet, His love towards you and I endures. And because His love endures and because His grace does not depend on our performance, and because His faithfulness to help us does not depend on what we know – we can rest in this: His will is not so much a path we are to walk on as it is a way of walking. How we walk with Him matters. So how are we to walk out our daily messy lives you ask? Simple; We are to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing. Give thanks in all circumstances. This is God’s will for us in Christ Jesus.” {1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18}

That’s it! We can rest assured that when we continue to pray and give thanks, even in the hard stuff, we are in His Will. Praying though a hard situation sounds something like, “God I trust you, I do not necessarily  understand, but I trust you. Help me to stand even when I feel I have stood  a long time. I love you Father and I simply trust you in this.”

Now you can rest in knowing you are in His Will. Continue to declare His goodness: even when it does not look too good on the outside. Remember, even diamonds got off to a rough start, then a ton of pressure had to be applied to make a beautiful stone. Pressure is not fun I know – but the reward is. And I know this; God rewards trust {Check out these scriptures on trusting God}. Now rest in knowing that as you trust Him you are in His will!

[Read more on trusting God in tough times]

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

 

Facing Doubts

How to face doubts. Keys to victorious faith. Inspirational blogMany of Jesus’ followers were eye witnesses to the amazing miracles Jesus worked in His life here on the earth. They watched firsthand as Jesus turned water into wine, restored sight to the blind, healed infirmities and brought the dead back to life.

I think about Martha who had spent a lot of time with Jesus; He had been at her home on many occasions and yet she doubted that He could perform such a miracle when Jesus called Lazarus to rise from the dead and walk out of the tomb {John 11}! She allowed her grief and her five-sense realm to dictate to her what her belief should be. She knew in the natural that Lazarus had been dead too long; too long for even Jesus to do anything about – or so she thought. Yet even though Jesus knew she had doubts, Jesus called to Lazarus to come forth and right before Martha’s unbelieving eyes she watched Lazarus walked out of the tomb alive and well!

I believe most of us would probably doubt as well. Twitter would be full of tweets, blogs would be over run with accusations and news TV shows would continue to sow seeds of doubt and discord among the nations of the lies and tricks of this man named Jesus. We would have trouble believing that such a miracle could really happen. However, in the face of our doubts, no matter how strong or cynical, Jesus is still the miracle worker. He is still the one who today heals, frees and even raises those from the dead!

Do we trust He can do anything in our lives today? Do we trust He can and will provide our every need? Do we trust He can open blinded eyes in the natural and in the spirit realm? Do we trust He can and will do even the miraculous?

We cannot allow our doubts keep us from experiencing Jesus’ life changing power. We must trust Him and stand back and watch him work in our lives and in the lives of those around us. Only trust Him, only trust Him, only trust Him now!

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

Shaken or Shaped – Your Choice!

Shaped or shaken over a situation. The choice is yours. God is a faithful God; He has promised you, in His Word, He would never leave you and never forsake you {Deuteronomy 31:6}. His Word is truth. As you look around, the times you are facing are tough. If you watch the news, you will hear story after story revealing the tough times you are in. You girlfriend, have walked through tough times in your life, I know. However, God is a good God. He is a faithful God!

It is written in Deuteronomy 33:25, “…and as your day, so shall your strength, your rest and security, be.” Notice, it says your days will be strengthened. You will have rest and security. The words, “And as your day” refers to the times you are in – your day in history now. Your days will be tough at times; the Word has told you that. However, when you set your mind, your heart, your lips, and your feet, on Him and His Word, you shall be strengthened! God is always there supporting you and sustaining you – no matter what!

Vance Havner said “Sometimes your medicine bottle has on it, “Shake well before using.” That is what God has to do with some of His people. He has to shake them well before they are ever usable.” Look at your past. Look at where God has already brought you through! You may be in the midst of a storm right now, but you can get through it. In the past, if this storm had been in your life, you could not have stood up against it, but, because of what you have already gone through, you can walk through this storm stronger! God strengthened you in the last storm to prepare you for this storm. He is strengthening you in this storm to prepare you for the future! His future for you is good! You can – because you already have! You already have been through and came out the other side victoriously! Do you face storms? Then you will have strength! Do you have burdens? Then you will have strength! You will have strength, rest, and security in the hand of the Almighty God. He HAS strengthened you for this time, and He IS strengthening you for the future!

The storms, which come into your life, can either shake you or shape you. The choice is yours.

{Excerpt taken from Sandra’s 40 Day Devotional “I’m a Sword Wielding Devil Slayer!” Now Available}

I'm A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer

The Wait Is Over!

I'm A Sword Wielding Devil SlayerFinally the wait is over! Women have asked me sooooooooo many times when my newest book would arrive and it has – just in time for Christmas! I thought as a sneak peek I would give you the Introduction of this 40 day devotional after the tease – so here goes the tease:

“Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet.” Ephesians 6:13-18 (Message Translation)

The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. Jesus used this spiritual weapon when tempted by Satan in the desert. Each time Satan attempted to deliver a blow, Jesus blocked the attack with the Word of God by quoting scripture.

Using a sword is something that takes time and practice. A soldier must practice using his sword to defeat his enemy. In order to use your Sword, you must also practice and use it. That means being in the Word every day and knowing what is says.

This 40 day devotional will teach you how to pierce through the lies and deceptions of the enemy. Jesus knew the Word of God and was able to defend and attack the devil by using the scriptures to attack and drive His enemy away. You, girlfriend, will learn to do that too!

It’s time to take back all the enemy has stolen from you by putting on your stilettos and crushing the enemy’s head! You must keep him where God has already destined him to be – under your feet!

So unsheathe the Sword of God, girlfriend, and wield it over your life and stop the enemy and his invasions!

Introduction:

You, wonderful lady, were born for such a time as this! Do you realize that? You are valuable and necessary to God! As you take the time with your Heavenly Father, He is going to give you answers to questions you have been asking. You are about to learn how to take the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. You are going to wield it over your life and see the enemy run! Do not doubt the value of what you have in your hands; your Sword; God’s Word! Ephesians 6:17 says, “And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God.” The word “wield” according to the Merriam’s Dictionary means, “To handle {a tool} effectively, to exert one’s authority.” According to Charles B. Williams, The New Testament: A Translation in the Language of the People, verse 17 here in Ephesians is explaining the Spirit is the subject or agent of the verbal action. And, Hebrews 4:12 says the Sword of the Spirit is a two-edged sword – The Greek translation says a two mouthed sword. {Now stay with me here, I said a huge mouth full to show you something exciting!} A two mouthed sword means, you speaking out the Word of God on one side, and the Spirit of God speaking out on the other! Do you get it? As you speak out the Word of God over your life, the Spirit Himself speaks out the Word of God over your life as well! You are speaking or wielding, and He is wielding as well, as Ephesians 6:17 says! Girlfriend, if you missed that back up and read it again to get a revelation on this now before you go any further! This understanding is what will help change your life! {I’ll wait for you- go ahead, read it again!}
Notice also, a sword is an unmistakable weapon and can be used as a tool for offense and defense. While you are on the offense you speak out the Word of God {wield it} which will cause you to win. When you are on the defense you declare the Word of God out {wield it} to keep the enemy from scoring! Remember, this is no ordinary Sword! This Sword is made of the Spirit {Holy Spirit} and the Word {Bible}. In spiritual warfare the battles are fought with words. Words packed and backed up with the Spirit of God, as you declare them over your life! That is how you wield your Sword!
Over the next forty days you are going to learn just how to take the Promises God has given you and take back all the Devil has stolen from you! Why forty days you ask? The number forty is very important to God, obviously. There are at least ten instances in the Old Testament and New Testament where the number forty occurs. This may have been in years or days.
It rained forty days and forty nights on Noah and his family. The flood waters covered the earth for forty days and forty nights. After forty days the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. When Joseph’s father Jacob died he mourned him for forty days.  Moses was on top of Mt. Sinai for forty days and forty nights with God. For forty years the children of Israel wandered in the desert. Forty days and forty nights the giant Goliath defied the armies of the Lord. Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights after the Holy Spirit came on Him; before starting His earthly ministry. And Jesus was seen on the earth for forty days after His crucifixion. The number forty represents to us, whether it is days, months, or years, a period of tests, trials, and chastisement {not judgment}, and, hallelujah, it ends with a period of restoration, revival, or renewal! {Are you excited about restoration, revival, and renewal? I am!} It is a time for you, mighty woman, to draw closer to God and to stand on His Word! You will begin to cultivate a deeper relationship as you spend intimate time with Him. You will grow and He will give you fresh anointing. God will develop your patience and He will show you His protection and give you supernatural direction from Him.
You will learn how to take the Word of God – The Sword of the Spirit, and to wield it over your family, finances, health, mind, and relationships – your entire life!
At the end of each day there is a section named, “Wield your Sword” where you will declare out the Word of God. Feel free to add to any of the declarations you want to add, but remember, you wield by speaking out loud God’s Word. So girlfriend, for the next forty days you will learn to wield God’s promises and take back what the Devil has stolen from you!
Look at this verse in Ephesians 6 in the Message translation, “Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet!”
Girlfriend, you will be on your feet as a stiletto wearing, Sword wielding devil slayer! And if you do not wear stilettos that is OK, just be a flip-flop wearing, sword wielding devil slayer! Either way, girlfriend, shoes or no shoes, YOU will be standing on your feet victorious and YOU will stop the enemy! ~ Exert from I’m A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer book

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