Miracle money

I need to share a testimony about something that happened this week. This has been a summer of bills and a summer of stretching myself. I had an unexpected $900 bill for repairs on my AC unit. I also had a few other expenses that took me by surprise. I was a bit down about my finances but the Lord has provided. One thing I am learning is that He is faithful and when He says He will provide for us, He truly does. He is showing me that I have nothing to worry about and I should never doubt His power to provide. It has been a true walk of faith. I got to the point where I felt like I had to count every penny to make sure I had enough money to cover all my bills. I started the summer wondering how I was going to be able to afford everything and the Lord kept telling me during my prayer time that I should not fear. He kept reminding me that I am His and He is taking care of me. It is not easy to believe that when the bills are piling up and your bank account is dwindling. However, faith is a beautiful thing and when we stay strong in faith, God does the impossible. God still performs miracles today and I am getting lessons on that truth. The Lord has put a song in my heart. A song that exalts Him and that deals with my confidence in His ability to provide for me. It is a song of hope and a song of thanksgiving. I sing it when money is present and I sing it when money is scarce. The goal is to never change my tune and to keep singing about His faithfulness.

The Bible says, “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”* I take this verse to heart and I declare it over my life. He blesses us, friend, abundantly so that we have all we need. I needed my bills to be paid. I needed money for my everyday needs. He takes care of our needs so we can do His work, so we can do good work for Him. This has been a strong message in my heart for over a year. It’s the message about focusing on God and seeking His kingdom first and everything else will be added unto us. A few days ago during prayer time, I received that message again. It was very encouraging. There was nothing about not worrying. It was all about focusing on Jesus and trusting that He is my provider. I loved that message and I carried it with me all day long. After work I picked up the mail. I saw there was a letter from my mortgage company. I thought “Oh what is it now?” Something in me told me to open the letter because it was important. I wanted to wait until the weekend to open it. To my surprise the letter contained a check. It was a check for over $1500. The letter said that the mortgage company had made a mistake when I refinanced over 2 years ago. Over 2 years ago! I couldn’t believe it. I cried. My reaction was to cry with gratitude and thanksgiving. I just couldn’t believe it.

That miracle money like I like to call it was a wink from Heaven. The Lord was winking and smiling at me. He had orchestrated the whole thing and He was blessing me with something I really needed. I was flabbergasted. God is the God of surprises. I had not seen it coming. All I was declaring was that He was going to provide and I tried my best to embrace that truth. It was a miracle. For me it was a great miracle. I thanked Him most of the evening. I was so touched by His amazing gesture. God does things like that to remind us that He is in control and we have nothing to fear. What should we do with those miracles? They can serve us as reminders and they should be shared so that others can be encouraged. His message still remained that my focus should be on Him and not on His provisions. Money will come when you trust the Lord. Miracle money will show up in your mailbox when you trust the Lord. I hope you were encouraged by this testimony. Don’t lose hope. God is the God of miracles and He will not let you down. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Hebrews 13:5; 2 Corinthians 9:8*; 2 Peter 1:3


Into the ring of fire

When trials and tribulations are all around you, you might feel like you are in a ring of fire. You might feel like everything is burning around you and you have. No way of getting out. You might think that all the good things in your life are going up in flames. Have you ever been in that ring of fire? I am pretty sure that the answer is yes. I have been in that fire many times and the truth is that I am going to be there again. I am not being pessimistic. I am quoting the Bible. In Psalm 34:19, we are told that “Many are the afflictions of the righteous.” Jesus Himself said that in this life we would have many tribulations. We are righteous and we are children of God and we are not immune to problems. That ring of fire is real but it doesn’t mean that we are going to burn up. It doesn’t mean that there won’t be relief and we won’t come out of it.

What we need to do is bring Jesus into that ring of fire. You are probably thinking that Jesus is always with us and He is but our faith has to reach out to Him and help us connect to Him. Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers him from them all. It is because we believe that the Lord delivers us. We can easily load up our thinking with all sorts of negative thoughts that distance us from Jesus who is right there with us. We can easily go with the fire and let our hope burn and crash. We have to bring Jesus into that ring of fire and declare that our Lord won’t let us burn. Our Lord is going to deliver us from that fire and we are going to make it. Jesus said that He had conquered the world. That is the truth we need to bring into that fire. That is the wind of change we should expect.

When the three Hebrews were in the fire, the Lord was with them. They didn’t burn. They didn’t perish. There were four people in the fire and not three. Friend, you are not alone in the fire. There are two of you. You are in the ring of fire with the Lord. Bring praise into that ring of fire. Start dancing in the fire. Start celebrating Jesus. There is no better place than wherever you are to celebrate the Lord. Lift up your hands in the middle of the fire. Sing praises and give thanks to the Lord even in the fire. That ring of fire will go away. The fire will stop burning. Your problems will get resolved. You are not going to be in that ring of fire forever but be sure to bring all your A game into it. By “A game” I mean the powerful combination of prayer, praise and thanksgiving. Don’t be intimidated by the fire. Hold on to Jesus in the fire. Hold on to the promise that the Lord is your refuge and an ever present help in times of trouble. That ring of fire is a time of trouble. The Lord is protecting you. Stay strong. Stay in faith. You are going to come out of the fire. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Psalm 34:17; 2 Corinthians 4:17; 1 Peter 4:12-13

What gets in the way

When I was praying the other day I said, “Jesus I don’t want to get in Your way. I don’t want to stand against Your will and interfere with my stubbornness.” Just like anyone I can be stubborn. I can do things my way and feel good about it. I am done thinking that I know best and doing it all my own way. I don’t want my ego and my own thoughts to get in the way of what Jesus is doing in my life. During that same prayer I also received an encouraging message. The Holy Spirit stressed something very important. He said that Jesus’ love is unshakable. It is irreversible and it is unconditional. It is something I knew but I was interested by how the Lord responded to my prayer. I told I didn’t want to get in the way and I was carrying a lot of guilt and shame. I feel bad when I mess up. I repent and give it to the Lord but that time was different. I was under the impression that I had been too much into my own ways and I had been putting a major obstacle in God’s way. The truth is that I am not that powerful. I can’t bend God’s plan and change it. I had a lot of guilt because when I get in the way, my mind tells me that I am doing something wrong and very bad. The enemy wants us to feel guilty and to feel shame. There is power in repenting and in turning away from our sinful ways but we will always sin. Knowing that doesn’t give us a license to sin but it offers a realization and an awareness of our weaknesses and our limitations. Are you feeling like you are getting in God’s way? Are you feeling like your sins are keeping you away from God? He has an unshakable love for you and that is where you should start.

Your mind can easily get in the way of your faith and of your growth. It happens to all of us. It doesn’t mean that we are committing the unforgivable sin. It is good to be aware of it. After awareness should come repentance. We can repent when we doubt and when we entertain thoughts that discredit the Lord. Then we should ask the Lord for help. We should trust that His Spirit can help us change our ways. This is true for all sins and for all thoughts that are not of God. I am learning that if I hold on to thoughts that are not of God, that are not pure and holy, I pollute my faith. I disfigure my faith. I stain it with thoughts that are not supposed to live in my mind. Those thoughts don’t serve me and they will never help me. The more I keep them, the more they hurt my spiritual life. What we think we end up saying and doing. Faith comes from hearing and hearing should come from the Word of God. We hear our thoughts at times and if we keep listening to them we will develop faith in them. I would rather listen to the Word of Jesus than to the thoughts that are poisonous. I never thought that holding on to those thoughts would be so bad but it makes sense. Check your thoughts and you will see that negative thoughts make your life miserable but when you embrace God’s Word and it becomes part of your thinking, your faith grows. Know that negative thoughts and your own thoughts can get in the way and should be dealt with.

Our own thinking, negative thoughts and our sins can get in the way of so much of God’s goodness. Part of it is because of the guilt and shame attached to them like I explained. Another part of it is when we exalt ourselves above God. When we believe that we know it all and we can handle everything. I am guilty of that mindset but I am learning to put all my trust in Jesus and it gets easier every day. When something happens, I tend to turn to Jesus right away. Before that I would turn to my own thoughts and let them marinate for a while. I would take those thoughts and add them to what other people thought of my situation and create a chaotic situation. We all have things that get in the way. Let’s focus on finding out what they are so we can deal with them with the assistance of the Holy Spirit. What gets in the way for you might be different from what gets in the way for me but the Lord can take care of everything. It should never be our way or the highway but God’s way or no other way. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Ephesians 1:7;  Ephesians 4:32; 1 John 1:9

Put it in God’s hands

Put it in God’s hands. What’s keeping you up at night. Put it in God’s hands. What’s eating you up inside. Put it in God’s hands. What’s giving you a headache. Put it in God’s hands. What’s causing you to shake and fear. Put it in God’s hands. Put every situation in God’s hands. Put every circumstance in God’s hands. Put every day in God’s hands. Trust God with everything. Don’t go about your life without turning it to God. You can’t do it alone. You are not supposed to do it all alone. God is with you. His hands are upon you and He asked you in His Word to trust Him in everything. When you put things in God’s hands, He takes them and He does what He knows best. What He knows best is to do what’s best for you and to bless you. He is waiting for you to put it all in His hands. Turn to Him today. Turn to Him tomorrow. Turn to Him when you are scared and turn to Him when you are happy. Even good days need to be turned over to the Lord. Put everything that you can think of in God’s hands and everything will go according to His plan.

It took me a while to learn to turn things to God. I used to look all around until I found a fix or solution that seemed good to me. What I didn’t know is that sometimes the best the world has to offer is the worst thing we can accept. I don’t want to take what the world has to give me knowing that God has way better. I don’t want to accept the world’s advice when I know that the Lord is full of wisdom and peace. I went through a time when I wanted to turn things to God and I didn’t know how and I didn’t know why. I just knew that something was missing and that I wasn’t doing the right thing. It’s after having some great times in the Word and with the Lord that I realized that I was holding on to too much. I needed to let go and let God do His thing. I needed to let go and give faith a chance to connect me with the Lord of lords. I need to turn everything over to God and sleep soundly with no worries in the world. I needed to talk to God more and to learn to listen to His reassuring words. I found out that His voice was softer than the softest spots in the world. I found out that He was willing and able to take my burdens and give me peace.

Putting it all in God’s hands means starting the day with the right attitude. The attitude that says that God is almighty and all loving and He can handle everything in your life. First thing in the morning is a great time to put things in God’s hands. Trust Him with every part of your day. Talk to Him about your day and listen to what He has to say. Very often I hear that I should not worry and I should not fear when I am in prayer in the morning. I hear that God is in control. I get a deluge of encouragement and the love that flows through me is beautiful. I was telling my friend yesterday that I loved the Lord so much. What I didn’t explain to her was that I said that as a “thank-you” to Him. I was thanking Him for His encouragement and His daily motivation. It was right before I was going to work and I received some very uplifting words. I was slightly under the weather but I put my day in His hands. I refused to go through the day as a victim of how I was feeling. I went into the day knowing that the Lord had me in the palm of His hand because I had put my day in His hands. Keep putting things in God’s hands all day long. He can handle it all. Make it a habit and you will see the kind of lifestyle you will develop for His glory. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Nahum 1:7-8; Psalm 138:7; 1 Peter 5:7

You can make someone happy today

As believers we are vessels. We are vessels of the Lord. Vessels that receive from the Lord and vessels that pour into others. We are not meant to keep what God gives us all to ourselves. We are meant to be “pourers” and “distributors.” God so loved the world that He gave His only Son. God gave. We are His followers and giving is in our DNA and it should be a reflex. It should be a way of life and a habit that never gets old. I spent a long time waiting to receive and to get from God without thinking about giving. I felt like I had had so many bad events in my life that after a while it was my turn to get some good news and to be blessed. I saw myself as a recipient of God’s love and nothing else. 

The problem was that God never intended for me to keep all that He was giving me. I missed the mark. I got confused. I misunderstood love. Love is selfless. Love is kind and love is giving. You and I have a lot to give. You and I have the power to make others happy, to encourage them and to bless them. We ought to use that power and walk in it knowing that Jesus is our provider and anyone and everyone can benefit from receiving from Him. We are the vessels that can make things happen for others. We are the vessels that contain the love, the joy and the peace that this world needs. We can make someone happy. We can make someone experience love. We can pour into lives all around us. There is someone around you that needs the Jesus who lives in you.

Greater is the Lord that lives in us than the enemy that lives in the world. Greater is the love that lives in us than the hate that lives in the world. Jesus is more powerful than anything that is negative in this world. We have the love and the power that it takes to make a difference in our world. What we need to do is to be aware of the love in ius. We need to be aware of Jesus in us. It is easy to ignore Him and to go about our day without thinking about the love, the truth and the light that dwells in us. We can’t give what we don’t know we have. Some of us are powerhouses of the Lord on Sunday and then we are “empty vessel minded” the rest of the week when in reality we are containers of the Lord. 

We need to change our perspective and our perception of the Lord. We have Him all the time but if we don’t put faith in that truth, it will not do us any good. I want to encourage you to remind yourself that you are a child and that His love is in you. It is there to bless you and to bless others. You have what it takes to touch someone with God’s love and to make someone’s day by pouring into their lives what Jesus has given you. Think about the fruit of the Spirit. It is there and it can be shared. Give the fruit to the people in your life who are hungry for love, thirsty for a cup of peace and longing for joy.

I am learning that it is primordial for me to let the love of the Lord and all the other fruit of the Spirit grow in me. Joy is my strength and I cultivate it and let it blossom. It is a fruit that can sow seeds of happiness wherever I go. In my daily interactions with people, I see a strong need for peace and for joy. People are craving peace. People need a break from the worry and the suffering. People need a moment. People need a moment with Jesus and you and I can give them that moment. We don’t need to get on our soapbox and preach with words they won’t understand. We can preach with our actions. Our time is a great sermon. When we give people the gift of time and attention, we show them love. The Holy Spirit knows how to make everyone happy and how to give people joy. 

My suggestion is that you pray daily and ask the Spirit of the Lord to guide you and to reveal to you how you can make someone happy today. Listen to His beautiful whispers and go with what He says. There is someone close to you who hasn’t smiled in a while and you have the power to make him or her smile again. There is someone close to you who has never seen love in action and you have the power to minister love to them. Everyone you know has some type of need and the Lord knows how to meet that need. You can help. All you need is an open and willing heart and Jesus will do the rest. You can make someone happy today so don’t underestimate what the Lord has put in you. It is powerful and it will change someone’s day for the better. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: John 15:12; 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8; 1 Peter 4:8

Blessed are those who persevere

Yesterday was one of those days when I had a lot going on and I could feel the enemy was trying to derail me and to steal my joy. I had started the day with prayer, praise and gratitude so I was pretty much ready for anything. My joy tank was pretty full but that never stops the enemy from trying to poke holes in my tank. I had a very busy day at work and I was dealing with sinus issues. I felt lousy at one point but I refused to throw in the towel and to give the enemy the satisfaction he was waiting for. When I was sitting at my desk in the morning,  I asked the Lord to give me a verse that would help me. He gave me James 1:12. I don’t have that many verses memorized so I wasn’t sure what the verse was about but I looked it up. It reads “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” I was floored. I couldn’t believe it. It was exactly what I needed to hear. “The words “blessed,” “persevere,” “test,” “crown of life,” and “promised” stood out to me. God was telling me that I was blessed because I persevered through this test and the crown of life was promised to me. I didn’t read it as “I would be blessed if…” I was doing it. There was no “if”. I grabbed that truth and made it my reality. That verse gave me a lot of energy. I prayed under my breath and I thanked the Lord for giving me the strength to persevere. I was not willing to give up. I felt bad but I knew that my feelings did not matter. What mattered was that the Lord always keeps His promises. I did my part and He certainly did His.

We are children of a living and mighty God. That is great news. We have a Savior who blesses us. You and I are blessed. We are blessed because we have Jesus and we are blessed because He keeps His word and He never fails us. I took James 1:12 to heart and I made it a point to persevere throughout the day. I had a very good day according to the Lord. God showed up in a fantastic way. Not only did He give me the help I needed to accomplish my tasks but He put a pep in my step. Everything that I had to do was like a step toward the finish line and I did it all with gusto and with great joy. You see, Jesus can give us joy even when we are supposed to be sad according to the world’s standards. My interaction with people was marked by moments of joy that I shared and I encouraged a few people who were desperate to hear a word of motivation or to see a smile. God can use us any time. He can use us when we are doing well and He can use us when we are down in the dumps when we let Him. The key is to let Him. The key is to accept to be used by Him and to follow Him. Perseverance means steadily imitating and following Christ. Perseverance is about staying in faith and keeping our hopes up in all circumstances. I had a great opportunity to persevere yesterday and I am glad I had the experience. It is in testing times that the glory of the Lord is revealed. If everything was always nice and dandy, we would never witness the Lord’s ability to bless us and to save us. He saved me from a day that could have been a disaster.

My day in itself didn’t get better. My attitude and my approach got better and they made everything seem achievable. There was more than one test of my faith but I had the best teacher in the house and He pointed out ways that I could pass the tests. The most important lesson He gave me was to stay calm. He told me to take a step back and let Him move me forward by being calm in His presence. I did that. I closed my eyes and thanked Him for His peace. His peace got intense and it curbed the panic that was attempting to get inside me. When we keep going and we persevere, there are blessings that come along and they are amazing gifts from the Lord. If your back is against the wall and you are overwhelmed today, persevere. Don’t give up. Keep going. Blessings are coming and you are going to develop a great attitude of faith. God has a crown of life for you, a reward. Your perseverance is not in vain. You are doing the right thing. The promise of a better day will not be broken. Stay the course. Things are going to get a lot better in Jesus’ name! May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: James 1:12; 1 Peter 5:10; Revelation 2:10

Limited God

God is almighty and all-powerful. There is nothing He can’t do and there is no one bigger and stronger than Him. To Him belong greatness and power. He is full of love and full of hope. You will never meet anyone more loving than the Lord. You will never meet anyone more hopeful than the Lord. Nothing is impossible to God and His love is the biggest love in the universe and yet we don’t get to know Him well. We have a limited version of God and unless we spend time in the Word and work on our faith, we will know a limited God. That is not the real God. That is not the true representation of God. When we get saved, our spirits are born again but our minds are the same.

We get to know God through our limited and non-renewed minds. It’s something I had not thought about when I first became a Christian. I saw some of the great things Jesus could do. I read the Bible and marveled at the Lord’s majesty but I had a limited and a small God mentality. It took me years before I started working on my vision of God. He is so merciful that I had many glimpses of His greatness. Every glimpse helped. Every glimpse made Him a little bigger. Today I am here to encourage you to work on your vision of God and to let Him grow in your mind and in your heart. You might have a big God now but He can always get bigger so to speak.

The Bible says that without faith we can’t please God. Like I said before, God is full of love. If we don’t have faith He doesn’t hate us and He is not disappointed in us but faith connects us to Him. Faith is what allows us to know God and to see Him. Now, there is a spectrum of faith. Our faith can be a mustard seed or it can be the size of a mountain and anything in between. A mustard seed of faith is enough. We can’t get discouraged if we have little faith because God can work with what we have. With the mustard seed of faith we can see the impossible take place in our lives. We have to keep working on it. We ought to use that mustard seed and expand it so that our vision of God gets bigger. A small God won’t get us far. A vision of a small God won’t get us far. Let me share what helped me with my vision of God.

The Word of God tells us that God is omnipresent. He is everywhere all the time. I meditated on that for a while. I read in Romans chapter 8 that nothing could separate us from God’s love. That blew my mind. It means that I could be stuck at the bottom of the ocean and God would still be there. I thought of the worst places I could imagine and realized that God would be there with me. There is nowhere in the world that you and I could be without God. There are no situations where we are without God. He is that powerful. He is that big. I have traveled to a few countries on different continents and God was there every time. He is so big. He has no limitations so we need to take the limits off of God in our thinking.

Think about the great things the Lord did in the Bible and the things He has done in your life. Focus on His greatness by thinking of His amazing accomplishments. Think about His miracles. Don’t consider them as things of the past. His miracles are still available today. God is as big today as He was when He parted the Red Sea for the Israelites when they were led by Moses. He is still as big as when He turned water into wine. He still as big as when He did something for you that took you by surprise. Your last breakthrough was not the end of your blessings. It was just a part of a continuation of miracles that will keep happening as you fine tune your vision of God.

Expect great things. Expect miracles. Expect your big God to do the impossible. Expect positive and breathtaking changes in your life. Expect the God of miracles to be your God. He is. You just need to embrace that truth and to keep it alive in your spirit and in your mind. Don’t limit God because of some personal experiences that have gone wrong. Expand God and stretch your mind. Wherever you are, God is with you. Whatever you are going through, God is with you. The almighty God of the Bible is your God. Enjoy Him! May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: 1 Chronicles 29:11; Jeremiah 32:27; Luke 1:37

Not today and not tomorrow

I have a very active imagination just like anyone else. My mind can go to places that don’t make sense. I can create strange realities that are far from the truth. The enemy takes one thought, puts it into our heads and lets us build lies that tear us apart. He does that to control us and to intimidate us. We can see the present as the worst time in our lives if we give in to his lies. We can predict a miserable future if we let his lies take root in our minds. The mind is a battlefield and as long as we are here on earth, it will be a battleground that we will have to deal with. We can’t be passive thinkers. We can’t be listeners of lies. We can’t be tossed around by lies. Overthinking is a weapon used by the enemy that depletes us of our faith. It gnaws at our beliefs and it makes holes in the blanket of hope that the Lord gives us when we accept Him as our Savior. The enemy is after our thoughts because he knows that they can build us up or destroy us and they can alienate us from God. What can we do to win this battle? We have to remember that the battle doesn’t ever end but we have an ally that makes us win. The Holy Spirit is the best ally in the battle of the mind. He points us in the right direction and He gives us the ammunition we need to be more than conquerors. We can take a stand and tell the enemy “Not today and not tomorrow.” We are not going to succumb to his lies today and not tomorrow.

Staying in the present is a very powerful practice because it gives us access to the goodness of God. There is a lot of good around us and in us. God has put blessings in our lives that we can’t recognize when we can’t stay in the present. God is with us right now in the present and when our minds run a thousand miles an hour, we can easily miss God and end up in obscure places where there is no hope. God is hope and hope is right here, right now. It is not coming tomorrow. It is not just part of the past. Hope is here to stay. Staying in the present and focusing on the Lord is a great way to stay in faith and to stay with hope. Why would we want to move away from hope? We do it all the time without knowing it. Do you ever take the time to look at your life and observe what is going on now? Do you take the time to count your blessings and to appreciate the love of God today? I believe that if we took a moment to marvel at the Lord and to exalt Him now, we would see the beauty that’s in our lives and how blessed we are. God said He would never leave us nor forsake. That is true for now. He won’t leave us now and He won’t leave us tomorrow.

Doubt and fear often project a sad future. When we think about what’s to come and we believe that we will have to fend for ourselves, the future doesn’t look too bright. When we meditate on the fact that we don’t know what the future holds, we can be very miserable. God holds the future and He knows what He is going to do in the future and He doesn’t want us to worry about it one bit. With the Lord, our future is bright and we shouldn’t make it dark by having negative thoughts about things we have no control over. What can we do about tomorrow? We can trust God about tomorrow and stay in peace today. We can praise and celebrate the Lord today because He has our future in His hand. When the enemy dumps bad thoughts in our minds, we should tell him “Don’t touch my tomorrow. It belongs to the Lord and He has a great plan for it.” Don’t let your thoughts get the best of the future that is meant to be a blessing to you. Your thoughts are powerful so be sure they stay positive. Today is not going to be bad. Tomorrow is not going to be bad. Bad things may happen today and tomorrow but the Lord is with you and He will make all things better. Stay encouraged. You are with the best of the best. Jesus Christ is the best of the best and He always gives good things. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Matthew 6:34; John 14:27; Hebrews 10:23

Let God sing the lyrics of the song of your life

What does the soundtrack of your life sound like? Have you thought about it? If your life were a song, what song would it be? What would be the lyrics? Music has always had a strong impact on my life and I used to let it direct my moods and my emotions. I would play certain songs intentionally so I would feel a particular way. I would also let music amplify the way I felt at times. When I was down, you could be sure that I didn’t play happy music but I would waltz around with sad music in the background. That sad background noise never helped. It damaged my spirit more than I knew and it created a “comfortable space” that was hurting me. Have you ever found refuge in a wounded place? Have you ever felt better when you allowed yourself to be down abs vulnerable? It is not God’s best for us. His songs are not depressing and His lyrics are always positive.

God doesn’t intend for us to sing sad songs or negative songs. A song could have a beautiful melody and be a negative song at the same time. Think about the lyrics. Think about how the song makes you feel. Our soul can be easily swayed by music and words. Words can harm and words can heal. Words can lift up our spirits and words can bring us down. Words give life and words give death. It’s important that we choose words of life. The Bible contains the most amazing words of life and hope. Jesus has words for each one of us. His words heal, help, build up, lift us up, bless us and express His love for us. Today I want to encourage you to go with the words of the Lord. Know that He sings over you and choose His lyrics over the lyrics of condemnation, fear, sorrow, destruction, worry and death.

Any words that promote negativity should be avoided. I am not saying that we shouldn’t listen to music at all. I am focusing on the words that we hear in the world and in our minds. We can’t shut off the world and we can’t control the words that run through our heads most of the time. What we can do is reject them. There is some tug of war going on in our heads. The negative is pulling on one side and the positive is pulling on the other side. What we accept and adopt is crucial. We can side with the positive and let go of the negative. The key is to fill our minds with the positive words of the Lord. That is why it is primordial to study the Word of God and stay fixed on Him. The Holy Spirit will always assist us when we decide to follow God’s Word.

Read the Word of God as the love letter that it is meant to be. Read it as the love song that was written for you. The Lord sings over you and He covers you with lyrics from Heaven. His songs are extremely uplifting and encouraging. He sings about how He will never leave you nor forsake you. He sings about His love for you and how His Son died for you. God is in love with you and He desires the very best for you. Buy into His lyrics. Make them your own. Sing His songs over your life. Speak His Word over your life. Resist the enemy and he will flee. Resist the negativity and it will flee. Do it with the songs of the Lord in His Word. You will see that the Holy Spirit will give you new melodies that will make every day a beautiful song to God’s glory! Let God sing the lyrics of the song of your life!

Suggested reading: Zephaniah 3:17; John 13:25; James 4:7

Hope in dark times

Two days ago a bit part of the east coast was hit by a big storm. When the storm go to where I live, it traveled through the area in the form of a tornado that brought some very strong winds. As a result, many of us lost power. No lights, no running water and limited internet access on my phone. It made me think of what a comfortable life I have and I felt convicted not to complain and not to feel sorry for myself. Life could be a lot worse and many people live in very terrible conditions. It would have been very easy for me to fall into a pit of self-pity and despair but the Holy Spirit kept reminding me to count my blessings. Did I want to count my blessings when I was sitting in the dark that night? No. My flesh was rebelling and telling me how unfair life was. My spirit was complying and saying “Praise the Lord. He turns things around.” It was dark. It felt sad. It was unsettling but there was hope. In the middle of dark times there is a light of hope. I have mentioned it before and I was so glad I could experience. Why? Because things got darker and darker. Yesterday I found out that we could be without power for 7 to 10 days. My flesh frowned but my spirit smiled. Not because of the bad news but because even when there is bad news the Lord is still there. I got to experience that supernatural peace against. I can’t put it in words but it manifested and showed up like a drop from Heaven. A drop that refreshed my forehead when all I was feeling was fever and angst. God’s peace is a tranquilizer that puts us on a wave of joy. It makes us ride the waves and see the shore and look forward for good things to come that we can’t see. His peace is a faith agent that promotes faith.

Dark times are so overwhelming but they are not the end. I refused to call it quits and to give up. There is just too much goodness of God to go around that I couldn’t just give up. Hope stood in the middle of that dark room and sang. It sang a song that can make anyone jump with joy. That is what the Lord does. He makes you sing and dance in the middle of your nightmares. He pushes the bad dreams away and makes room for the dreams and visions He has for you. Hope is what He will always have for you. I am here to encourage you today to look for God’s hope and don’t let the dark times intimidate you. I know how they feel but I also know that nothing, absolutely nothing can stand between the Lord and us. Hope is the bridge that gets us to where God is. It shortens the distance that is produced by the fear and the worries from the dark times. The darkness of the night was so prevalent two nights ago. It was very symbolic. I literally sat in darkness. I had no idea what was coming next. I thought I would get an alert that said the power would be restored within 24 hours. That alert never came. What came was an opportunity to stand strong or to fall down hard. Just like anyone else I don’t like to fall and I push back. I push back with faith and o decided to look at hope in its glory in the middle of the room. My Bible happened to be on my coffee table in the middle of the room. That is where my Hope was.

Keep hope in the middle. Keep hope in the center and let everything else revolve around it. When you do, hope will dictate how you should react to everything around you. Hope will say, “Carry me. Put me on like a backpack and don’t let go.” Carry the light weight of hope. When you run into difficulties, open your backpack and take out the power of hope. When you hold hope in your hand, you can’t help but have peace for the future. Hope from the Lord will give you a boost. Thank Him for Hope even when you don’t see it. It will become more apparent to you. You will understand that hope can turn anything around. It starts with your thinking and it fills your heart with faith. It may be dark right now but hope is still in the room. Don’t give up. Pray. Then pray again and continue to pray. Don’t get discouraged. Something big is coming and it will change your situation. Jesus brought hope into the world and it never left. Hope is with you. Stay in faith!

Suggested reading: Romans 15:13; Hebrews 11:1; 1 Peter 1:3