Category Archives: Trials

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}

How to Endure the Hardship You Are Facing

How to Endure the Hardship You Are Facing. Keys to victorious faith. Inspirational blog

I speak to people every day in person and through the internet who are facing situations they do not feel they can endure. The problem is most of the time Christians seem shocked at the trials they face. Their most asked question is why?  You must understand when you face a trial (and you will) that you must keep focused on the end of your challenge, not on the challenge itself. Your joy will be complete, the book of James instructs you, as you overcome your situation. You must hold on to your faith and not doubt the promises God has already give you! You will have victory IF you do not give up!

James instructs us that genuine faith transforms lives. We are to put our faith into action when we are faced with a trial. It’s easy to say we have faith until the “rubber meets the road” so to speak. Then the truth comes out. James gave us great tools to help us  face our trials and tribulations head on. The book of James is our how-to book, or let’s say our 4 step program to obtaining victory!

Step 1: You must remain faithful to the end no matter how hard your trial is.

Our true character is revealed when pressure is applied. We must see each trial as an opportunity to grow into the person God wants us to be. How many times have you stood at an altar in prayer and said, “God use me, I want to be a vessel for you, change me God.” Then the minute a trial comes we are rebuking every devil within a mile, when all the time it is God doing exactly what you have asked for – He IS using you, He is using this trial to work in you things He needs. And He is working out of you things He does not need; so “you” don’t get in the way! Now before you are ready to stop reading hold on there is a  great reward when you choose not to give up during your difficult times – you will lack NOTHING in the end! (James 1:4).

Step 2: As you stand strong and endure you WILL become stronger instead of weaker.

James says you must remain positive (righteous) during difficult times; he says you must “Consider it wholly joyful” (James 1:2). As you begin to remain positive and focus on the end and not the wind from the storm around you, you will begin to gain strength (James 1:3).  Let’s face it trials are not fun and they are hard. But as we endure the trial we will become a stronger person. Athletes who only want to compete against the weaker opponents may win trophies, but they are not getting any better as an athlete. A strong opponent is what makes them stronger and do better. So as we remain faithful to the end we will be stronger and better when it is all over!

Step 3. You must seek God and godly wisdom.

By seeking God you will be given the ability to make right choices during these trials (James 1:5). Difficulties will come but when you are faced with them you must without a doubt expect God to guide you through all your situations (James 1:6-8). He has already given you in His Word every answer you need. You must take the time to seek out what He has given you and stand on it. You must use the Word of God to determine how you will react. Notice verse 6 “it must be in faith that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting).” This verse is talking about YOU! You must not waver, hesitate or doubt! You ask in faith and believe God WILL come through for you! Then you will be rewarded for maintaining your faith through your trial (James 1:12).

Step 4. Above all you ARE a conqueror through Christ Jesus! You are His prized possession and you will be given the strength to endure.

You are a gift from God through Jesus Christ. He keeps His promises and He wants you to enjoy life as you endure your difficulties (James 1:16-18). There are going to be trials and tribulations, temptations, and fear. But as we successfully overcome these adversities we become mature and of strong character. We must pray for wisdom as we endure. When we can finally embrace our human weakness and rely on God’s strength to overcome our trials and tribulations, God’s strength becomes our strength.

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

Who is Responsible For Your Situation?

A great blog full of inspiration

Have you thought about how you REALLY belong to Christ? I mean REALLY belong to Him. Think of this – if you are a parent then your child is yours. You are responsible for that child. You must make sure they have a roof over their head, food in their stomachs, clothes on their backs and shoes on their feet. Pretty straight forward stuff here – even without a manual to tell us, we know we must be their protector, caretaker, and breadwinner!

Now think about this; you were purchased with a price. Jesus paid for you according to 1 Corinthians 6:20 “You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]…” So if you were paid for, you no longer belong to yourself, you no longer are your responsibility – you are now the responsibility of Jesus! He is your Lord and the word Lord means breadwinner, caretaker, and protector! What else could you need! He is saying to us, “I want you to trust me, I want you to have full confidence in me. I want you to know that I am your wisdom and I am your ability. I can make you wiser than your enemies. I can make you a master over all your circumstances!”

2 Corinthians 3: 4-5 is written especially for you and I, “Such is the reliance and confidence that we have through Christ toward and with reference to God. Not that we are fit (qualified and sufficient in ability) of ourselves to form personal judgments or to claim or count anything as coming from us, but our power and ability and sufficiency are from God.” We have His ability in our day-to-day lives – we have it in our homes, our work, our relationships, our finances, our health; whatever we need we can access HIS ability, God’s ability belongs to US and our Heavenly Father is watching over us in order to meet every need in every situation we have. Our job is to trust Him and believe He can and will!

We must not allow fear and doubt about our day-to-day lives rise up and defeat us. Psalm 27:1 declares “Jehovah is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?” That word light means wisdom. Jehovah God is my wisdom – you need to declare that out loud right now – Jehovah God IS my wisdom whom shall I be afraid of!

No matter what condition you are in right now there is hope. Where are you physically, spiritually, mentally, or financially? No matter what the natural is shouting – you shout louder that your helper is at hand, your strength is God’s strength, your ability is God’s ability and it is all yours for the taking! Declare loudly Psalm 56:9 ” This I know, that God is for me. In God have I put my trust, I will not be afraid; What can man do unto me?”

{Need more help? Help! I’m Alone with My Mind; A Guide To Gaining Victory Over Your Thoughts}

Facing Our Doubts

How to face doubts. Keys to victorious faith inspirational blog

Have you ever thought about what we would do if Jesus walked as a man on the earth today and He performed the miracles that we read about in the Bible?

Many of Jesus’ followers were eye witnesses to the amazing miracles Jesus worked in His life while he was 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 believe that most of us today would probably doubt just as most of them did.

Today Twitter would be full of tweets, blogs would be over run with accusations, and the TV news shows would continue to sow seeds of doubt and discord and tell of the lies and tricks of this man named Jesus.  However, in the face of our doubts, no matter how strong or cynical, Jesus is still the miracle worker today as He was then. He is still the one who today heals, frees, and even raises those from the dead!

The question is:
Do we trust that He can do anything in our lives today?
Do we trust that He can and will provide our every need?
Do we trust He can open blinded eyes in the spirit realm and in the natural?
Do we trust He can and will do the miraculous?
In John chapter 11 we read the story of Martha and Lazarus. Martha had spent a lot of time with Jesus; He had been at her home on many occasions and yet she doubted that He could bring back her brother Lazarus once he was dead and in the grave. She had no confidence in this man Jesus whom she knew well. She had doubt that she would see Lazarus rise up from the dead and walk out of the tomb he had been in for 4 days. In verse 24 Martha says to Jesus “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”  She first believed if Jesus was there her brother would not have died, but now he had, and even though she believed Jesus was the son of God, it never occurs to her that he can raise Lazarus from the dead. Or if it did occur to her she did not believe it could happen. It had been 4 whole days that he was lying dead in the tomb. How could Jesus bring him back now?  She allowed her grief and her five sense realm to dictate to her what her belief should be.

What is your situation and your five senses telling you or leading you to believe about a situation you are in?  Martha knew in the natural that Lazarus had been dead too long; too long she thought for even Jesus to do anything about it. A little side note to notice; even though Jesus knew she had doubts, Jesus still called to Lazarus to come forth, and right before Martha’s doubting eyes she watched Lazarus walked out of the tomb alive and well!  I love that- He had compassion on them all – He has compassion on us too. Martha, Mary, and all those who were there mourning with them all saw the power of Jesus. Many of them had heard or seen his power before, yet they did not believe He could do the impossible.

We are like this; we see God do many miraculous things in our lives, yet when we face our hardest trial we do not think He can come through. Martha and Mary both told Jesus if He had been there Lazarus would not have died – they had faith for that, however, they did not ever once believe He could just return life back to Lazarus dead body. And we do the same thing, we can believe God can do one thing but not another.

Doubt according to the dictionary means: “To be uncertain about; consider questionable or unlikely; hesitate to believe. To distrust, to fear; be apprehensive about.” Jesus instructed us over an over in His Word to believe, only believe. Mark 11:24, “What things so ever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”  Mark 11:23, “For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.”

All throughout the Old and New Testament we hear story after story of those who believed God gave them what they trusted Him for. Jesus asked us to only believe He could. When we believe He can, He honors that belief; and that is a key element to victory over your situation! When we choose to believe and not doubt we will see a breakthrough! We cannot let 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. We are to only trust Him. That’s what He wants to know – do we trust Him?

Do we believe He is the same Jesus who walked the earth and raised Lazarus from the dead? Is He the same?  Yes! Hebrews 13:8 says “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.” What He did then, He can and will do now, but we have a part to play – we must trust Him by believing He can and will!

{Know someone facing a trial? The Drying Pot; And The Refining Fires Necessary To Become a Vessel Used By God}

How To Slay Your Giants

How To Slay Your Giants. Christian Women Blog

Almost everyone can say they have heard the story of the young shepherd boy David who against all odds fought the Philistine giant Goliath and wins {1 Samuel 17}. As children it is one of the first stories you learn about in Sunday School. I would dare say it is probably one of the most recognized stories in the Bible. Why is this particular story so retold compared to lets say the story of the 40 Jews who had plotted to kill Paul in an ambush {Acts 23}? Like so many stories written in the Word these are stories of strength, trusting God, and determination.

The story of David and Goliath, like so many others, is a story of overcoming doubt and trusting God against all odds. Forty days and nights Goliath, the Philistine giant, came before the Israelite army and caused them to run away in fright. Goliath shouted challenges and threats to the people of Israel over and over, sending fear thought the army – all the way up the ranks; reaching even King Saul. The constant badgering from this mighty giant caused them to doubt their abilities, run away full of fear, and hey refused to stand up and fight. Then onto the scene walks a young boy who’s job is to tend sheep and bring food to his brothers who are there in battle! Most of those present that day saw Goliath as a giant ready to take them out, with no way they could defeat him. David however, saw a mere mortal man who was defying his God; whom he loved so much. In the natural realm the odds were stacked against him, however David knew God and how faithful He was. His faith in God and God’s abilities gave David the courage to fight. David trusted God because God had shown himself faithful to David in the past.

David could have had several thoughts: 1) “God has been there and helped me against all odds before when I came against a lion and a bear and took them out.” Or even 2) “Goliath was too big of a target to miss, so why not!” I believe when others saw a giant too big to fight; David saw a target too big to miss!

We all at some point in our life come against “giant” odds. Those battles that seem too big for us. However, we are given this wonderful account of David’s life so we can choose how to react.

All the accounts written in the Word of God are true. Not fables, but true accounts of normal ordinary people like you and I. They faced giants, trials, setbacks, and discouraging situations just like we do. However, our giant does not come with a shield and a sword, it can be sickness, debt, sorrow, fear, etc. We may feel as if we are overwhelmed by our doubts. But like David we must remember:

1) God has done it before and He can and will do it again. He is able to help you and bring you out no matter what the odds are!

2) God is bigger no matter the size of our “giant target!” He is bigger than any problem, sickness, disease, or debt you face!

We have a choice, we can choose to run in fear. We can pace and worry about how, when, and why. Or we can do as David did and trust our God; knowing He will never leave us and never forsake us.

“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” {Hebrews 13:5-6}

Through our constant faith in Him – like David had, we too, will be able to overcome and slay our “giant!”

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