Unchangeable goodness 

God is good and He is good all the time. I want to focus today on the goodness of God and on its unchanging nature. I need to make a quick analogy first. “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder” and “Good and bad are in the eyes of the spiritual beholder.” If something is good but our eyes are covered, we will not see the goodness in front of us and we could even deem it as bad. There are times when someone is being good to us but the interference of our mind keeps us from seeing the good and it can even push us to reject that person and to think that he or she is bad. Don’t we treat the Lord that way at times? Don’t we get in our way so much that we can’t see the goodness of God? Our mind and our perspective can mask the beauty we behold and depict it as an ugly picture when in reality there is great splendor in front of us. Friend, today I am here to remind you that the goodness of God doesn’t change. It doesn’t go away and it never ever turns into ugliness. God is good all the time and it’s time we opened our eyes to His fidelity. 

When things are going well it’s easy for us to proclaim that God is good. When there is money in the bank, when the kids are behaving, when the family is healthy and when happiness is here, we can shout that God is good. Now when the going gets tough, claiming God’s goodness gets tougher. “Why am I going through all this if God is good?” is what we wonder. “If God is truly good, how come I am in so much pain?” we ponder late at night. Good days and bad days don’t make God good. Blessings don’t make God good and trials don’t make Him a bad God. God is good regardless. He is good by nature. There is nothing in this world that can alter the goodness of God. God has more love for all human beings that have ever walked the earth than you and I can ever understand. The magnitude of His goodness is overwhelmingly big. Next time something bad happens to you or to someone you know, make a statement. Simply state that “God is good regardless.” 

Our circumstances don’t define God. God defines our circumstances. This means that God has something to say about every situation we will encounter. What He has to say is always filled with hope and He always sees the good in everything. If you are going through financial difficulties, God says that He loves you so much that He will supply your needs according to His unlimited riches. God says that He is so good that He is going to do something beautiful for you so stay in faith because He’s about to show up and show off. Your medical bills don’t change God’s goodness. Pain and sorrow don’t change God’s goodness. Trials and tribulations don’t change God’s goodness. The fight you had with a friend doesn’t change God’s goodness. God’s goodness on the other hand changes everything. Friend, be encouraged today and remember that God is good and that His goodness is going to impact your circumstances in a positive way. When God’s goodness is allowed to come on the scene, the world’s badness needs to give in. You have the power to allow God’s goodness in your life but staying in faith. Trust that God is good and don’t listen to anyone or anything that says the opposite. Unchangeable goodness is what it’s all about with God!

Suggested reading: Psalm 119:68; Mark 10:18; Matthew 19:17

What you shouldn’t recycle 

Yesterday was the last day of school and the amount of papers that was thrown away was out of this world. You could see recycling piling up and heaps of paper everywhere. Recycling is good. I recycle all the time. As I was driving home I kept thinking about how we sometimes recycle things in our lives. The problem is that at times we try to recycle things that the Lord wants us to throw away. He is ready to replace them with better things but we cling on to them and we try to use them again when in reality they have already served their purpose. I am not just talking about material things but I am also referring to relationships or habits that we need to get rid of. When we accept the Lord or when we have an encounter with Him, we are not the same. The impact of the Lord on our lives is transformative and uplifting. However, our old thoughts and our old patterns need to be thrown away. It’s easy to cling on to our old ways but in order to make progress in our Christian walk, the spiritual recycle bin is for good things and the negative things go to the spiritual trash can. 

Spiritual growth is a long process that requires work and help from the Holy Spirit. It implies being admonished by the Lord and having our eyes opened to the truth so we can reach a higher level of clarity and confidence in the Lord. When the Holy Spirit opens your eyes, you might have to let go of what He is showing you. You might have to give up old baggage that only weighs you down spiritually. I suggest you pray to receive the enlightenment you need to see where a change is needed. We can easily become hoarders. We pile up things without sorting them out. We keep the good, the bad and the ugly and if we have little discernment, we keep it all in one place when it should all be separated. We should have a pile of what we should keep and a pile of what we need to throw away. Separating ourselves from the needless burdens requires a clean break from them. There is no need for recycling the bad and trying to use it again in a different form. 

Let’s say a woman named Stephanie was in a toxic relationship. When Stephanie accepted the Lord, she tried to stay in that abusive relationship claiming she could change the man. God showed her that it was time to move away from that man because He had someone else that was the right match for her. She kept on going back to him using the recycling approach. “He was good once so he can be good again” was her reasoning. After a while Stephanie starts losing her faith because the man keeps hurting her. In the meantime the Lord has been whispering that she shouldn’t recycle but she should let Him replace the man. This is just a fictitious example but you get my point. We all have toxic relationships with certain people or with certain practices or habits that we need to throw away and not recycle. Addictive behaviors shouldn’t be recycled and traded for other addictive behaviors that seem less harmful. God can help us in all situations. Recycle positive thoughts. Recycle love. Recycle the good and let go of the bad. God has something better for you. Trust Him!

Suggested reading: Romans 12:2; Philippians 4:8; Ephesians 4:22-32

The victory is yours 

I remember the first time I heard “The victory is yours” in a Christian context. I was confused because up to that point being a Christian to me was about piety, humility and living with minimal resources. I believed that we had to give and give and never expect to get anything and especially not victory. I didn’t understand that there was a battle either. Now I know what the victory entails and I know it belongs to you and me. We have the victory in Jesus. Let’s get up and rise as victors. Let’s refuse to be defeated and let’s endorse our title of victory. Jesus won the battles for us. It is done. It is ours and we need to accept it. Some people give up and accept loss too easily. We are meant to embrace victory easily even when it looks like we are not winning. The Lord bought the victory on the Cross and we need to take that as the only truth. I am tired of the lies of the enemy. I am tired of my mind showing me a false picture when the reality of the Lord is the only one that should count. Do you need victory today? Do you need to overcome something today? Most of us would say “Yes.” Well today is my turn to tell you that the victory is yours. I am making this statement in faith and I am basing it on the Word of God. Accept it, claim it and enjoy it!

For the Lord your God is going with you! He will fight for you against your enemies, and He will give you victory!” (Deuteronomy 20:4 NLT). This verse from the Old Testament is definitely still valid now. Since Jesus came and accomplished what was needed on the Cross, the truth in this verse is now amplified. It is on steroids because Jesus boosted everything. Your victory is even greater nowadays. The Lord fought the battles for you and He won them all. The enemies mentioned here are not people but problems, diseases, trials, afflictions and anything else the enemy can send your way. There are no mountains too high for the Lord and no problem is too complicated for Him. He knows how to solve every one of them whether we see a solution or not. It doesn’t depend on us. The victory comes from Him. Sit back and let Him do His thing. Do your thing and have faith. God has seen bigger battles than yours today and He always wins!

There is a victory waiting for you. There is a victory with your name on it. As a child of God, you are entitled to it. Thank the Lord for the victory in advance. Praise Him and claim that victory. It belongs to you. The problem you are facing today is not yours to keep or yours to endure. God has already provided success and a perfect win. Enjoy the victory. This means that you should enjoy life and all the good things the Lord has to offer even if your problem seems to still be present. Your victory is dominant and not your problem. Invade the problem with the victory promised by the Lord. Speak against the problem and speak encouraging words of total triumph. I like to think about how our powerful words destroy our negative circumstances. Let’s keep it up and voice the victory at all times. God will bring it to pass. Do not worry. Stay in faith. I have been there many times and He hasn’t let me down. He won’t let you down either. Our God is a good God and He makes things happen. Hang in there. The victory is yours!

Suggested reading: Proverbs 21:31; Ephesians 6:13; James 1

When frustration comes 

Last night I was very frustrated. I can actually say that I was irritated. Nothing seemed to help. Scriptures, positive quotes and encouragement from a friend didn’t help. I found myself stuck and I just stayed there in all my human splendor without turning to God right away. All I wanted to say what that I knew all that stuff. I wanted to say that I “wrote the book” and I could recite every page word for word. “I understand that. I know it’s true but it’s not cutting it right now” is what came out of my mouth. I do believe that at times it is important to comprehend our vulnerability and to be reminded how our dependence on God. I felt lost and empty. I felt like there was no point for me to push harder because pushing in my own strength was not going to help. It was as if I was trying to make ends meet but I was the one standing on both ends of my needs. We can’t try to take care of everything on our own and expect great results. I did come back to my senses. I did come back to my “Jesus senses” and I decided to pray. When people say prayer is the answer, they are not kidding. When the Bible says “pray in all situations” it is no joke. Prayer is what did it for me. Let me explain what happened. 

The frustration showed up after I tried to deal with a situation that I couldn’t control. I wasn’t getting my way so I felt angry and sad. Yes, I was sad but the truth is I had no reason to feel that way because the number one reason why I even live and breathe every day wasn’t part of the equation. I was trying to solve a Math problem without the right rationale, without the correct elements for the perfect solution. Friend, when we don’t consider God as the main factor for all our dividends, we end up getting ourselves into trouble. Having negative feelings that we sustain is being in trouble. I shouldn’t have gone there but I did. I am no Superman. I am no superhero and I certain can’t be “Super” without the Lord. He is the peace that I need, the power that backs me up and the love that keeps me going. A minute with Him is a thousand times better than a hundred years without Him. 

In the face of frustration, prayer gave me the comfort I had longed for. Prayer brought my superhero to the scene. Prayer opened the doors and kept them wide open for me to enter into the presence of the Almighty. Prayer put me in touch with the supernatural hand of God and it made me aware of His presence. You see, we often need to collide with the supernatural nature of God so we can be put back in our place so to speak. I am not trying to sound pejorative but I am saying that God’s supernatural nature helps us get back on track when we need it. It is the supernatural that wiped away the frustration and replaced the irritation with enthusiasm. Friend, during those moments of prayer I let myself go and I got carried away in the Lord’s love. Nothing was doing the job except for our wonderful Savior. He knows what we need and He knows how to give it to us. If you are feeling frustrated today and nothing seems to help, turn to the Master helper. Put your pride aside and open yourself to receiving peace again. All it takes is a few simple words of submission and surrender. Offer some words from the heart and let God do the rest. When frustration rises, God will rise to the occasion. Remember that He is God Almighty. His help is not paralleled by human help. His ways are way above our ways. Don’t expect a human response from our supernatural God. Supernatural is who He is!

Suggested reading: Matthew 28:18; Luke 1:37; Ephesians 3:16

Standing firm against giants

I post my messages daily on several social platforms. Lately I have been heavily criticized by people who hate my messages about God and who can’t stand the encouragement because they don’t believe in hope and they think that love is overrated. It’s a form of bullying since it is repeated verbal harassment. However, I won’t change my stand and I won’t stop writing. There is too much that needs to be said and violent words lose their meaning when they are met by the love that is so undermined by people with no interest in the Lord. Jesus was criticized and persecuted so it is only normal that if we follow in His footsteps we will encounter a lot of the same. The ugliness that can be presented by certain people can be destabilizing but we are to remember that God loves them just as much as He loves us. We are all the same in His eyes and it’s negative powers in the heavenlies we have to contend with and not people. Today I want to encourage you to stand firm and not let anyone bully you and make you feel small because you are not. In God’s eyes you are a giant of the Lord. People might come at you like a fierce Goliath but whenever there is a giant there is also a David in you. Let the David in you rise up!

I love the image of David facing Goliath. It is a very inspiring story about faith and power. It is good news that no matter what giants we face, we have the ability to defend ourselves and to resist them thanks to the Lord. The Goliaths of life can be bad circumstances, criticism from people, trials, ordeals and anything else that’s negative. The David in you is the power that the Lord placed in you to help you and to protect you. David loved his God. David relied on God more than on anyone else. You and I have the same support system. You and I can depend on God in everything and we can expect Him to defeat our enemies. People are not the enemies. We are not meant to fight against people but we need to resist the enemy and he will flee. We need to stay strong through the storms he sends our way and let God do His thing. God is our vindicator. He will get us through anything and He will fight all of our battles if we let Him. The Goliath in front of you has no chance of winning. The bullying that’s looming over you will not get the best of you. Speak love against those harsh words and speak victory. Love is the most efficient weapon of them all. Jesus is love. Use Him as your best weapon. You have a winning arsenal!

When David conquered Goliath, Jesus had not come yet. Now imagine how even more powerful you are after the Lord came and took care of everything for you on the Cross. Your rivalry was destroyed on the Cross of Calvary but it wants you to think otherwise. It doesn’t matter what people say. It doesn’t matter how much people hate you and criticize you. You know you are living in the truth. Let the naysayers be naysayers. Deal with them with love. You will open many blind eyes that way but if you retaliate with anger you will justify their blindness. The light of the world is in you. Spread His light. Spread His message of love. Don’t get weary and don’t give up. You are doing the right thing. You are doing what you are supposed to be doing. Don’t let the ugly sayings of the world taint the beauty of the truth of the Lord. “Greater is the Lord that is in you than the enemy that is in this world” (1 John 4:4). Make this your motto. Chain it around your heart and wrap it around your mind. Stand firm against the bullying. God is on your side. You have nothing to worry about!

Suggested reading: Romans 8:31; Romans 8:37; 1 John 5:4

Things are going to be better than you think 

When I think about my life before I knew the Lord and my life now, it’s like night and day. I used to have very little hope and no faith in the future. Worry was a habit and fear was a daily companion. I am not saying that I don’t worry anymore. It happens to all of us. I don’t spend hours digging a hole into the land of despair. I am more stable now on solid ground. When my mind goes wild and it tries to imagine the worst case scenario, the Holy Spirit tells me “It’s going to be a lot better than you think.” Today it is my turn to say that to you. I heard it from the most trustworthy source and I am passing it on to you. Friend, if you stay in faith, there is no way that things can’t get better. It might take longer than you wish but it’s going to be a lot better than you think. 

People make promises all the time and they sometimes break them. The good thing about the Lord is that He can’t break His promises. What He says He will do, He will do indeed. He promised you and me a good future. Our future is bright if we stay in faith and continue to believe in Him. We can’t avoid ups and downs but the ups will be way stronger than the downs when we follow the Lord. If you are like me, you think about the future and you base it at times on how things happened in the past. What I have learned with the Lord is that our past doesn’t determine our future. The bad things that took place in your life, friend, are no indication of what is coming. If we could only get to the point where we knew that for a fact we would have a more peaceful mind. I want to get there and I want this week to be the week where “It’s going to be a lot better than I think” is a permanent fixture on the walls of my life. 

How are things going to turn out? We can ask the world or we can ask the Lord. The world will have many answers. Most of them will tend not to be too optimistic. The Lord will have one central answer. His answer can take on different forms but they will all point in the same direction. In John 15:7 He says “If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” Let’s the words of hope of the Lord be our words. Let’s proclaim that it’s going to be better than we think because He can do exceedingly more than we expect. God is in control. He has lined up some amazing blessings. Some will come very soon and some will come later but they will come. It’s not going to be as horrible as your head can foresee it. It’s going to be better than you think so hold on to your faith. Don’t lose hope. God knows what He’s doing!

Suggested reading: Romans 4:21; 2 Corinthians 9:8; Ephesians 3:20

It will work out for the best 

Yesterday I had a 4 pm training session at the gym. I had not brought a change of clothes with me to work so I had to stop by my house. When I got home I found a notice from FedEx saying that a package was waiting for me at the post office. Because of my busy schedule, I figured I wouldn’t be able to go to the post office until the end of next week. As I was ready to leave my house, my trainer texted and said that something had come up and he had to cancel our session. This allowed me to go to the post office and get the package that I had been waiting for patiently. The other interesting thing is that I had received a letter from my bank and I had been wanting to call them to talk about refinancing my house. I had time to call them as well and an hour later I was pre-approved. Everything worked out nicely. The Lord told me deep down inside that this is exactly how He operates. He makes sure that all things work out for our best. What happened yesterday was on a small or medium scale but He takes care of the big things as well. If only we could look at the big picture and see that God paints it all for us, we would have a different perspective on life. God is the maker and we are the clay. Today I want you to think of God as the master painter in charge of painting all the details of your life. The big and small ones. If you stay in faith you will be introduced to marvelous and beautiful paintings and you will understand that God is working on your behalf even when things are not going well. 

I’ve always liked the idea of “a big picture.” The big picture of our lives reveals our purpose and why we are here. My conviction is that I am here to serve the Lord and I live for Him. Am I always aware of it? No. Should I be? Yes, definitely. That is my journey and my destination. When I look at the big picture, I can’t see it all. That’s why they call it the big picture. It is so big that we can’t see all of its features. The best thing to do with this big picture is to trust the Lord. We need to rely on Him and believe that He has everything figured out. We don’t and even when we think we do, the picture is so big that we miss some of it. I like to proclaim that God knows what He is doing. The post office, the gym session being canceled and the call to the bank are just a small example but all of these details working together to form the perfect line-up for my afternoon were God ordained. What boggles my mind is that the Lord had planned this a long time ago. Even before I was born. Friend, God knows all the details of what you want and what you need. He knows you better than you know yourself and He knows what will happen to you. He is never shocked by the bad breaks. Trust Him. He can change a bad break into a blessed opportunity. 

Looking back I can see how God’s hand has been busy taking care of me and my loved ones. I trust that it is important to recognize it and to thank Him for everything He does for us. It is good to be aware and to be appreciative. I once asked Him to open my eyes to what He does so I wouldn’t miss a thing. It is a good prayer to say. How many times has God intervened but our mind was too cluttered to understand it? God has some great plans for your life. Plans to bless you and to lift you up. He is in charge. Rely on Him. Make Him your source and your resource. He longs to be in a partnership with you and shower you with love. Let go of the paint brushes. Let Him do what He does best. Keep praying. Keep praising. Stay strong in the Lord. It will all work out for the best. The Lord will make sure it does!

Suggested reading: Romans 8:28; 1 Peter 5:10; James 1:3-4