There will always be hope

One thing that has been very noticeable since I have been walking with the Lord is that there is always hope. Hope pops up at the most unexpected times. It always comes around. It shows up and gives life a new meaning. Before that I was so used to misfortune and “bad luck” that followed me everywhere. They gave life a bad taste and they tainted everything in dark colors. Now with the Lord, hope covers the gamut of the colors of life, of a good life. Jesus is full of hope. Jesus is hope. He delivers hope all the time. He is the bearer of good news. He came to bring good news and to remind us that as long as we are walking with Him, hope will be part of the beautiful equation that sums up our relationship with Him. When Jesus died on the cross, hope died but it rose again. Jesus is alive and so is hope. If you know Jesus as your Savior, you know hope as well. Just look at Him and you will look at the living picture of hope. Jesus is the King of hope and the enemy is the king of despair. A king tends to rule with what he believes in. The enemy rules with fear, intimidation, doubt and despair. His weapon of choice is robbery. He does his best to rob us of our joy and our hope. He is so good at it that we can get to the point where we believe that there is absolutely no hope. He makes dark and gloom “realities” look so real that hope and faith vanish under a pile of bad circumstances. Today I want to be the spokesperson for the ultimate bearer of good news. I want to remind you of the hope that the Lord bought for us.

 

 
When I read the story of Lazarus and how he died but Jesus brought him back to life, I can’t help but marvel at the power of hope. Hope seemed lost. Lazarus’ family thought Jesus should go there right away before Lazarus died. Jesus waited a few days, Lazarus died and in the natural nothing could be done. Then Jesus, the God of hope, showed up. He came into the situation with a totally different set of eyes and a completely different approach. He looked at everything with the eyes of hope. He approached the situation with a heart full of hope. To Him there was no doubt that Lazarus would live even though he had died. Talk about believing in the impossible! Lazarus had been dead for four days. He had been buried. There was nothing more final than that. Yet Jesus had said that his sickness would not end in death and He believed it with great hope. When you are full of hope, nothing can stop you.

 

 
There will always be negative thoughts that will whisper in your ears and say that your situation is dead and you can’t bring anything back to life. The enemy will always try to have a funeral with no hope of resurrection. He will get you to join in and focus on the burial when the Lord is trying to get you to see the resurrection at hand. Hope is alive. It never dies. You need to change your focus and see it for what it is. It is Jesus. Jesus is not dead. He is alive and well. The hope of the Lord will shelter you from disappointment if you let it grow in you and live in you. Jesus still has the same message today. His message is that there is still hope. Nothing has changed for Him and we can be confident that it won’t change. No matter what comes our way, hope will come along with us. Hope will always show up and bless us. Hope is a wonderful blessing from God that we should cherish and nourish. If you have God’s hope you have everything. Hold on to God! Hold on to hope!

Suggested reading: Isaiah 40:31; Romans 5:5; Colossians 1:27

 

Picture: https://mostphrases.blogspot.com/2017/07/a-new-day-quotes-2017.html

Advertisements

You and God

There has been a big push in the Church for many years now to talk about our connection with God as a relationship and not as a religion. Do you ever stop and think about what your relationship with God looks like? Is it a committed relationship? Is it a developed relationship? Is it a part-time relationship? Is it a dysfunctional relationship? Is it one-sided? Relationships can be a lot of work but it is work that is worth it. In the case of our relationship with God, the work to be done is on our side. God has His side of the relationship covered. His covenant with us is clear to Him. His love for us is well-defined in His heart. Now it is our turn to catch up to His love. It is our turn to grow in the knowledge of Him and to develop those love feelings for Him. Will we ever be caught up? I don’t believe so but our goal here is to get to know Him the best we can. Isn’t it what makes a good relationship? Intimacy and closeness are key and communication is primordial. I see you and God as a beautiful love story that is unfolding every day. God knows all the chapters ahead of time and He is showing them to you one page at a time, one day at a time. Are you willing to engage in a committed relationship with Him? I know I want to with every fiber of my being and the quest I am on is both invigorating and humbling. Think about you and God. Put God first. Let this great story be about God and you. My wish is that you get to know Him more and more each day and that you continue to be impacted by His love.

God is smiling at you every day and every night. He is staring at you with love and passion. He loves you more than you will ever know. I tend to think that one of our prayers should be to ask God to increase our capacity to understand Him more and for Him to give us the ability to expand our vision of Him. I want my mind to be expanded. I want my mind to be stretched to a bigger dimension where it is easy to comprehend the Lord. I want my spirit to be widened so it can contain more love for Him and more faith to follow Him and trust Him. I want my relationship with the Lord to change me and transform me so I can be a better and bigger recipient of His Spirit. This relationship is about trust and it is about growth on our part. That growth can happen faster if we have a strong sense of dependency on the Lord. Trust makes a big difference.


Trust allows relationships to work
. I know a few people who have separated because they couldn’t trust their spouse and it is sad. God trusts that we can be the best we can be. He trusts that we are good children and He knows what we are capable of. As a loving Father He sees the incredible potential in us and He wants us to see ourselves the way He sees us. We ought to trust in His love for us. When someone loves someone else, they want the very best for them and they are protective of them. God is exactly that way with us. He wants the very best for us and He is protective. Look at Jesus’ relationship with the Father and you will see a unique example and a fascinating model for us. It is the model we should follow. Talking to God all the time. Turning to Him first. Seeking His face. Isolating ourselves to just be with Him. Exalting Him. Making Him our number one priority and relying on Him in all things. Remember your story with God is a love story. God holds the narrative if you let Him. You have a role to play. Get closer to Him as much as you can. Work on your side of the relationship. He has taken care of His side. Enjoy your connection with Him!

Suggested reading: Deuteronomy 4:32; Genesis 2:7; Hebrews 13:20-21

 

Picture: https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/beautiful-sky-with-mountains-in-the-distance_978432.htm

Wear your identity with pride

A while ago I wrote a message about wearing the badge of our identity in Christ. Yesterday during a meeting I was holding on to my work badge. I wear it around my neck and for some reason just hanging on to it yesterday made me feel important. It is just a badge but it shows who I am at work and it gives me an identity there. When someone from the outside visits my place of work, they know who I am, what my title is right away thanks to the badge. I still believe that as a follower of Christ, we all have a spiritual badge around our necks that proves who we are in Him. It is a badge that describes our identity and our role in the body of Christ.

The enemy doesn’t want us to understand who we are in Christ. The enemy is the king of confusion and he does his best for us to have a wrong perception of who we are. He wants us to minimize our visions of the Lord in us. He knows that we have an authority through Jesus that gives us access to our heavenly inheritance and that is a threat to him. You and I are a menace to the devil but as long as we are not aware of that part of our identity we won’t live out the life Christ died for. Today I want to remind you about the badge of Christ around your neck. Wear it with pride. Flash it in the opposition’s face. Hang on to it. Your identity in Christ is a gift you should treasure but first you need to identify it!

I don’t need my badge at work to tell me who I am. I need it for others to see who I am most of the time. It is just a reminder for me and it is an indicator for others. My spiritual badge reminds me of whom I belong to and it indicates to others that I am a child of God and that Jesus is my Savior. It is up to me to wear that badge or to hide it in my pocket. I made the decision to wear it a while ago but first I had to decipher exactly what it said. I took the time to find out what my identity in Christ entailed. I suggest you do the same in case you are not completely sure. It is a good exercise and it is very helpful. We can let the world define us, we can let the enemy paint a wrong portrait of us or we can learn our identity through the Spirit of God. Who God says you are matters more than the picture the world has drawn of you.

Our identity in Christ is massive. It is not limited to a short definition. The most important part of it is that we are who we are because of love. It all started with the Lord’s love. My spiritual badge is red because of the blood of Christ on the cross. It is also in the shape of a heart because it symbolizes the Love that was once on a cross and that came back from the dead so that I would have life in abundance. As a child of God, I am entitled to this abundant life and I cherish the red seal of love that is stamped on my badge forever. The Lord created you and me. We are born again into Him and we should realize that our lives are in Him. Our movements both physical and spiritual are through Him. We have more authority than we think. Our prayers are music to God’s ears and they are like the sound of nails on a black board in the enemy’s ears. Partner with the Holy Spirit to be able to see your badge in Christ clearly. As it becomes more obvious to you so will your authority be more evident to the enemy. Wearing your spiritual badge all the time signifies wearing God all the time. Wear Him with pride. Flash Him in the face of adversity. Hold on to the Lord. Let Him shape your identity through His Spirit. You are who God says you are!

Suggested reading: John 1:12: Ephesians 1:5; Colossians 2:9-10

Picture: https://dslrguru.co.uk/2014/05/19/create-great-photographs-with-these-excellent-ideas-2/

Stay encouraged

“Stay encouraged” is one of my favorite sayings. It implies that the person that is talked to is already encouraged and can stay encouraged. The Lord loves to encourage all of us all the time. His Spirit is all about encouragement and it transpires in His Word and in our interactions with Him. God would never tell us to get discouraged or to give up no matter what we are facing. When it looks impossible, He doesn’t shy away or jump ship. He stays right there with us and what He has to tell us is filled with love, encouragement and motivation. Today if you are facing difficulties, I want to let you know that the Lord is telling you to stay encouraged and keep going. It is not a tall order. It is not an impossible mission. He wants you to be encouraged because He is providing for you. Your part is to stay the course and hold on tight to Him. His part is to get you through the trials and bless you along the way as He showers you with love. Stay encouraged, friend. God hasn’t said His final word about your situation. He is rewriting the script of your current chapter as you stay in faith. Your faith is erasing the enemy’s writing. Look for God’s handwriting on the next pages of your season. Know that your courage during this time is going to produce outcomes of God-size proportions!

 

 
It is important to have faith in the fact that God doesn’t expect us to do things that are not possible to us. He gives us the wherewithal to achieve what we need. He provides the resources and the support. When He tells us not to fear and not to worry, He has a support system in place for us to live worry-free and without fear. He has a spiritual infrastructure that allows us to tear down worry and fear. This system consists mainly of prayer and praise. I talk about them often because the Bible mentions them a lot and I know firsthand how amazing they truly are. It’s with prayer and thanksgiving that we can chase away fear and worry. It’s with prayer and thanksgiving that we can let the courage that is in us rise up and come to the surface. When we believe in the Lord, we are given godly traits that include courage. You and I have God-given courage in us and it’s time we believed it and used it.

 

 
You have the courage you need to keep going, friend. You might need to tap into it and let it come to life. God gives life. He is life. Rely on Him for the courage. He is going to give life to the courage in you. Ask Him to jumpstart it. Do your part by talking to Him. Get in your prayer room and let it all out. Sing praises. Read the Word. Thank Jesus for the Holy Spirit. The Lord will comfort you and encourage you. This week is going to be phenomenal as you stay encouraged and you don’t let your circumstances defeat you. Let the Lord in you defeat your circumstances because no matter what, remember that greater is the One in you than the devil that is in this world. If you are having a hard time finding the courage you need, stir yourself up by holding on to the promise that God in you is bigger than the difficulties of this world. Prepare yourself to overcome and not to be overwhelmed. God is with you and He is going to stay with you all week so stay encouraged!

Suggested reading: Deuteronomy 31:6; Isaiah 40:31; Ephesians 6:10

Picture: https://nature.desktopnexus.com/wallpaper/729334

God keeps His Word

God is faithful. He is not like men. He always keeps his word. The goal for us it to know His Word so we are aware of His promises because He won’t break them. What good is it to believe that God is faithful if we don’t truly know what that means? There are the obvious facts about God that we tend to remember but His promises cover quite a span of truths. He made the promise to save the world and Jesus came to fulfill that promise. From that amazing promise comes an array of subcategories that fall under the umbrella of salvation. Salvation is not for later. It is for now. If you believe that Jesus is your Savior, you are living in salvation today. The question is, do you know what salvation entails? Do you know what promises are attached to salvation today? If you do what it takes to learn more about salvation, you will learn more about the promises that the Lord won’t break. He is faithful and He abides by His Word. He is so faithful that He actually is The Word. Today I want to remind you that God is faithful and true. He never breaks His promises. He embodies His truths but being His Word and He won’t let His Word come back to Him empty when we use it.

 

 
A promise is a sort of agreement between different parties. On one side there is the one who makes the promise and on the other side the people who will benefit from that promise or who will be impacted by that promise. When God makes a promise, He is on one side but He comes to our side as well. He comes to our side to help us and assist us in our quest for believing His promises. When we trust His promises and use His Word, we can see incredible things happen because He said that His Word would not come back to Him empty. When you use God’s Word and you confess it, you are on God’s side. You stand with Him on the promise. You will receive the benefit of the promise after reviving it by confessing it. Let me explain this further.

 

 
Let’s take one of God’s promises. For instance, God said He would never leave us nor forsake us. He made that promise and whoever believes in it will be the recipient of that promise. Now when a believer trusts the promise and confesses it, God stands with the believer because the believer is using the Word of God and God and His Word are One. When you remind the Lord of what He said in His Word, you are on God’s side. You absorb His Word and you make it yours. You identify with that truth and by confessing it, you are sending it back to God and He must honor His Word. His Word won’t go back to Him empty. It will be fulfilled and He is faithful so He will do what He promised He would. God is faithful so use His Word and see how He brings it to pass. Rely on His faithfulness. He can’t deny Himself!

Suggested reading: Isaiah 55:11; 1 Corinthians 1:9; 2 Timothy 2:13

 

Picture: https://www.shutterbug.com/content/photographing-beautiful-skies

10 nuggets of wisdom for your Saturday (Part 51)

Shave worry off of your life. Do not let it dominate your mind and your heart. Shave it off with the razor of the Word of God. Shave it with the blade of praise and worship. Shave it off with the power of prayer and thanksgiving!

The Holy Spirit is the coach who doesn’t want you to sit on the bench of life. He wants you in the ring of life. He wants you in the action so you can learn how gentle and peaceful He is while standing with you in the ring of fire and chaos.

Sometimes waiting on God feels like you are waiting for a bus that will never come. You have not missed the bus. You are not too late and you are not too early. The bus will come. Check God’s schedule and put yours away. His bus always comes at the right “God-time.”

Everything the Lord sets on the table before you is tasty and delicious. If you are being served a sour and bitter meal, it’s not from the Lord. Learn to recognize the difference between God’s sweetness and the devil’s bitterness. God’s food for your life doesn’t have a bad after-taste. It’s good all the time!

Don’t let God’s vision of His plan for your life scare you. Embark on that vision and let it impact your heart, your mind and your soul. Let God’s vision be your vision. Share God’s mind. Your heart will get excited and your soul will be delighted.

If you are looking for a sign from God, look in His Word first. He will enlighten your mind so your heart can see the signs and wonders He has for you. See them in your mind and believe them with your heart!

Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice. He paid the price so that you and I don’t have to keep enduring the cost of a life lived without God.

Plant the seed of love. Plant the seed of joy. Plant the seed of hope. Plant the seed of faith. Plant the seed of peace. Plant the seeds of the fruit of the Spirit and your harvest will be bountiful!

Don’t trust yourself when you are exhausted. Your body is not receptive to much. Don’t trust yourself when your spirit is exhausted. Your spirit is not receptive to much. Don’t trust yourself when you are disconnected from God. Your mind is somewhere it shouldn’t be.

Difficulties, trials and tests can bury your joy. Unearth the joy from underneath with words of thanksgiving and praise. They will bring your joy back to life and they will bury your worries and fears.

Suggested reading: Psalm 9:9-10; Isaiah 26:3-4; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Hang in there!

Every time you get discouraged, the Lord says, “Hang in there, you can make it.” Every time you lose hope, the Lord says, “I am hope, hold on to Me.” Every time you feel sad, the Lord says “Turn to Me for joy. I have genuine joy that can erase all pain.” Every time something goes wrong, the Lord says, “I will right your wrongs and reshape your problems into blessings.” Every time bad things happen, the Lord talks to us but it might be very hard to hear Him. I mentioned blockers a few days ago and sadness, discouragement and depression are major blockers that keep us from hearing God’s voice. God is never silent and He is never far but the blockers mess up our (spiritual) senses and get us distracted. Distraction is what the enemy wants because he can’t stand it when we are focused on the Lord. If you are enduring tests and trials right now, keep in mind that they are distractions the enemy is using to steal your joy which is your strength, to damage your faith and to decrease your level of hope. All those tragic events that are happening don’t mean that the Lord is gone or that He is not encouraging you to stay strong. He doesn’t change. I want to encourage you today to persevere and keep going. I am sorry to think that you might be having a hard time these days but I am hopeful that you can find the strength to make it and the peace to face all the tribulations with the Lord’s assistance.

 
God is on your side. He is on every side of you. When I pray, I like to thank Him for being on my left and on my right, above me, below me, in front of me and behind me. I like to cover every corner of my being with His presence when I pray. It is the reality of our lives with Him. He is all around us and all over us through His Spirit. You are not facing anything alone. You have great backup and great support. The Spirit of Jesus is all around you to help you and assist you. What does it take to see Him manifested? It takes a mustard seed of faith. That tiny seed can ignite the power that will change your situation. Use your faith to get the power started. Use your faith to get the power flowing into your situation. The power of God will go to work in your favor as you stay in faith. It doesn’t take much to produce a lot with God. Hold on to that seed firmly with your hands of hope.

 
There is a great reward from persevering. Not only does it allow us to develop bigger faith but it also brings forth amazing results that positively impact our spiritual being. Faith is needed to be in touch with God and to know God. Imagine what having more faith does to that connection with God. More faith means we know Him better and we get closer to Him. Your trial today can catapult you into drawing nearer to God if you remain in faith through it all. Consider your tribulations as stepping stones. In the natural, there are stones that hurt your feet. When you go to the Château of Versailles, you have to step on cobblestones that are not pleasant to your feet but lead you to a very beautiful place. Your problems today are the cobblestones that will lead you to a beautiful place if you keep going. Use the Holy Spirit as your crutch so you can still stand up while walking on the painful stones. Just remember that your perseverance won’t go unnoticed. You will get the breakthrough you have been waiting for. “Hang in there, you can make it” says the Lord.

Suggested reading: Romans 12:12; Colossians 1:11-12; James 1:12

 

Picture: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/465348573968958665/?lp=true