God’s blessings are here

The other morning before I started praying I was thinking that there were blessings coming into my life. It was a reassuring thought to say the least. Then I got into prayer and I kept hearing that the blessings of the Lord were here. I heard it over and over again. God has a different perspective and a different reality. It is His reality that has to become ours. That time in prayer helped me change my perspective.

In my mind I was going to be blessed soon and some of my problems were going to go  away. In God’s mind I was blessed and my problems had been taken care of on the cross. There was no reason to fear and no reason to panic. There was no reason to think that good things were on their way because good things were already here. They might not all manifest at once but the blessings of the Lord are here. 

The Word of God tells us that we are blessed. If Jesus is our Savior and we stay in faith, we are blessed. In the Old Testament we are told, “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.”* This verse is in the present tense. The believer is blessed. The believer who puts his/her trust in the Lord is blessed. What does being blessed mean?

One of the common definitions of being blessed by God is receiving good things from God. His blessings are bestowed upon us. Now, His blessings are not just material things. His blessings come in the form of peace, joy, hope, faith and other spiritual elements. We get heavenly blessings from the Lord. His salvation is a tremendous blessing. We ought to think in terms of eternal life when we think of blessings and not just in terms of earthly blessings. Those earthly blessings are good gifts from God of course and they matter but let’s also focus on the spiritual and on how our souls are blessed.

When I was praying, the Lord gave me a list of the blessings that were already here. He started with the basics. Those basic blessings are easy to forget. Blessings such as food on the table, a place to live, transportation, family and friends. We ought to cherish them all and thank the Lord for them. I can’t say that I am not blessed and I will be blessed in the future. No. The Lord said that I was blessed and I praise Him for His blessings. Friend, you are surrounded by beautiful blessings. Your heart is filled with blessings because Jesus is in you through His Spirit. Focus on the spiritual blessings. Focus on what’s here. More will come.

“Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.”** There are many blessings that come from listening to the Word of God and being a doer of the Word. God intends for us to heed His Word and to follow His lead. When we do, blessings follow us wherever we go. There is a trail of blessings behind us that also blesses people around us. We are blessed so we can bless others. Think of the blessings in your life today and see how they are impacting other people’s lives positively.

2 Corinthians 9:8 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.” God is able to bless you abundantly, friend. He is doing it today. Your faith allows Him to bless you each and every day. Stay in faith. Keep praising the Lord. Keep praising Him. Keep thanking Him. The blessings of the Lord are with you! May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: *Jeremiah 17:7-8; **Proverbs 16:20;  Matthew 5:6

10 nuggets of wisdom for your Saturday (Part 230)

Follow God’s lead. Follow His Word. Follow His truth. God will never steer you in the wrong direction. Trust Him!

God is listening. He is hearing your prayers. He is hearing your heart. He is hearing your pain. Keep talking to Him but be sure to listen. He has answers for you!

The God of endless solutions has a solution for you today. It might not look like anything you have heard about before but it will bless you, help you and strengthen you.

Through the good and the bad, rejoice and thank the Lord because His goodness never ends. You are going to make it. Jesus is always with you through the good and the bad.

Bad situations don’t mean that God has lost the battle. Jesus won. Jesus paid the price. Your win will come through. Stay in faith. Your bad situations won’t last forever but God’s love will!

The Lord has something up His sleeve that the enemy can’t see. Jesus is going to surprise you with a blessing out of nowhere and you will be blessed everywhere! Stay encouraged!

When things overwhelm me, prayer helps me. When things stress me out, praise helps me. When life hurts me, Jesus’ love heals me. When life is unfair, Jesus is always fair!

Depression and despair are not too strong for God. Help is on the way. Keep praying and trusting. You are going to come out of this. God is your ally and He will get over whatever is bothering you now! Stay encouraged!

God is not going to fail you. He is going to bleach you, carry you and help you. He is interested in giving you peace, joy and victory in every area of your life. Rely on Him all the time!

Don’t be afraid of the randomness of life. It can be unpredictable but the Lord knows everything and nothing ever surprises Him. He’s got your back through everything that will ever happen to you!

Suggested reading: Proverbs 8:17; Hebrews 13:5; 1 John 1:9

God is predictable

Life is random but God is predictable. God stays true to His Word so you and I can have the assurance that He will always be good and He will always be there for us. Jesus performed a lot of miracles when He walked the earth. That is what people expected of Him. Big crowds would gather expecting to hear Him speak and to see Him heal the sick. People lived for that. People had hope in that. People knew Jesus as the healer and the miracle worker. People loved Him and wanted to get close to Him. People went to meet Jesus and they had a clear idea of what would happen. He was predictable. He is the Son of God who could do the impossible. Where people had faith in Him, Jesus was able to do wonders and to perform outstanding miracles. How do you see Him today? Is He a miracle worker? Is He predictable? Is He true to His Word? Some people would argue and say that you never know what God is going to do. I agree with that truth. He can heal and bless us in ways that are unknown to us but He is predictable because He will always bless us when we stay in Him. We can predict a good outcome. We can predict that there will be blessings and there will be a breakthrough.

You can’t predict how God will do it but you can predict that He will do it and He will do something for you. Develop that mindset. Think of the God who always comes through and who always blesses you. Believe that it is true all the time. No matter what happens to you, the Lord your God will save the day. I remember a time when I had very little money. I was starting my job but I needed money to keep me afloat. I spent a lot of time in prayer and praise. My praise and prayer sessions were the best part of my day. They still are but at the time they were new to me and I was in awe. I discovered that the Lord inhabited my praises and I loved those encounters with Jesus. Like I said, I still enjoy them. I just remember that time as being the start of a new life, a new journey, a new beginning and  a new connection with Jesus. I learned that I could always expect God to come through. His love and His goodness became predictable. He helped me with my financial situation and He did things for me that I didn’t think were possible. He came through and blessed me in many ways, His own ways but I had predicted He would do something great. 

I am relearning that it is very important to read the Word of God for many reasons and one of them is because we can get to know the Lord better. We can understand what to expect from God better when we are familiar with His Word. We get a nice picture of our predictable God. The less of the Word we have in us, the more the enemy can get in and spread lies about the Lord and what to expect. We need to hear from the Lord directly about who He is and stop creating scenarios that don’t do Him justice. Every day we can thank the Lord because He is predictable. We can thank Him for loving us, blessing us and being with us all the time. My advice to you is that you grow in the knowledge of God’s love and you get to understand what His predictable nature is all about. One thing that the Lord made clear is that He can do exceedingly more than we can expect and that should be our expectation. We should cherish the truth that God is predictable in that He will always do exceedingly more than we can imagine. Expect God to be God in all circumstances. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Ephesians 3:20; James 1:17; 2 Corinthians 9:8

When you feel like it’s the end of the road

When you feel like it’s the end of the road and you have nowhere else to go, think twice. Think about what the Lord has in store for you. He is not limited by what seems like dead ends. He is working on something new for you. He will create a path for you and will make a way where there is no way. The end of the road is often the start of a new journey with the Lord. When all seems to end, let God take over and get you going into a new place and into a new direction. I have been faced by many dead ends. I have seen the end of the tunnel and nothing else was before me. The tunnel ended and my hope ended with it. I couldn’t see anything good ahead. I couldn’t imagine getting out of this bad place. Nothing is worse than a place where there is no hope and nothing good to look forward to. When you are at that place you can’t do much and you are stuck. I got stuck at the end of the road many times but the Lord always saved the day and He made a way.

You might have heard this before many times but let me repeat it. The Lord your God can always make a way. He is an expert at making a way when there appears to be no way. He is the ultimate creator and He can make something out of nothing. The end of the road where you are right now is not your final destination. There is more beyond what you can see. There is a new path and a new road. Take the new road by faith. Take steps of faith. Move, walk, go God’s way. Follow His road. Take a leap of faith. I know that the road is not in front of you when you look at it with your natural eyes. All you can see is your problems, your difficulties and your trials. They all form the end of the road. They all mark the end of hope but on that other side of that road, there is the impossible made possible. There is a whole world of blessings and opportunities out there that God has planned for you.

It is when you decide that what Jesus says in His Word is more important than what you see in this world that you can see the extension of the road. The end of the road is a world reality but God’s reality is that there is more and He hasn’t said His final word. I pray that the Holy Spirit will open your eyes to the Lord’s reality so that you never lose hope when all seems lost. I pray that you discover the many roads that the Lord has for you beyond the end of your road. He has valleys and hills for you to explore that are behind the trials and tribulations you are faced with today. This is not the end. This is the end of your misery and the start of a road back to joy, hope and peace. Things are going to change for the better. Things will change if you put everything in God’s hands. I am excited about what the Lord is preparing for you. Don’t give up hope. Keep going. The dead end is going to open up to a new road before you know it. May God bless you and protect and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Galatians 6:8; Colossians 1:27; Philippians 1:6

Fight back with the Word of God

We are bombarded with fear, with hopelessness and with discouragement every day. They come at us like rapid fire and they can really destabilize that. I used to think that because I was saved I was stronger than anything the enemy could send my way. I used to think that all I had to do was be there and just take on anything and not be derailed. I thought that being saved and knowing that I was saved was enough. Then I kept being attacked by the enemy and his evil agents. One thing after another would happen and each time those bad events would take a toll on my faith. I was saved but obviously knowing it in my head was not enough. I need something more. I need a weapon. I need a tactic. I need to counterattack and stand strong. What I found out was that the Word of God was all the ammunition I needed. I found out that I could fight back with the Word of God and win. 

The Bible tells us that faith comes from hearing and hearing from the Word of God. When I took the Word of God as my weapon of choice, my faith increased. My faith in what Jesus could do grew stronger. The Word of God was exactly what I had been missing. Before that I had read the Word from time to time but I never meditated on it. Meditation on the Word allows it to develop in us and bear good fruit. It gives birth to faith in our hearts and it gives it wings. Wings that can take us to higher places of hope. I found that the Word of God was my weapon of hope and no negativity could stand in its way when I held on to it. Today, friend, I want to encourage you to fight against the fear, the hopelessness and the discouragement in the world with the Word of God. Watch the news and you will be left with a great feeling of loss, failure and fear. Open the Word of God and you will be left with hope and the assurance that God has your back and you have nothing to worry about.

This fight of faith is real and like I said, the Word of God is the best tool we can use to fight and win. Everything we need every day is in the Word. The hope, the peace, the joy and the love we need are in the Word. The boost and the motivation we need are in the Word. All these amazing things in the Word enable us to fight back when we are assailed by the vicious agents of the enemy. If you are going through financial difficulties, you are attacked by fear, despair and lack. These three evil agents can’t win against the Word of God so take out the Word and start prayerfully meditating on it. Meditate on it until you get a seed of faith in your spirit. Pray and read the Word. You will be armed with enough power to fight back. Take a stand of faith by staying in the Word. You don’t have to let negative thoughts win you over. You don’t have to go along with the bad news and the bad feelings and emotions. Arm yourself with the Word of God every day and fight back. There is something in it for you today. There will be something in it for you tomorrow. You can fight back every day. Don’t give up. God has all you need and more. You are going to make it. Stay in faith! May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Hebrews 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; James 1:22

Whom shall you fear?

“The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear?”* declared David. David had a close relationship with God and He knew who God was very well. He knew that God was His light. He is a light that dissipates darkness. No darkness can win against God. No acts of the opposition and no acts of the enemy can win against David’s light. His light is more powerful than anything evil and it can show the way even where there seems to be no way. A light is hope, joy, peace and delight. David knew that His God was all that and more and He trusted Him all the time and in every situation. Friend, the Lord is your light and your salvation. Whom shall you fear? There is nothing to fear and no one to fear. Wherever you go, whatever you do, the Lord is your light and your salvation. You are going to be saved from any danger and you are going to make it through any circumstances.

The Lord is your light. Things can get very dark when problems pile up. Hope can take on a different shade and disappear before your very eyes. Difficulties come with a fair amount of gloom and doom and the light at the end of the tunnel is hard to see. However, it is in those dark moments that we need to remember that the Lord is our light and He is making every good thing shine when we turn to Him. You always have your light with you. Don’t hide Him under a bushel. I know it is hard to not put God into a small box and not forget about Him when things are dark. I have put the Lord in a box many times when things were not going well in my life. I took that box and put it away so to speak. I couldn’t look at God. I couldn’t call on God. I couldn’t think of God. The darkness was so intense that it clouded my vision and my judgment and the light of the Lord was out of sight. Jesus is better than a flashlight. He can change darkness into light in a flash better than anything and anyone.

If you are in the darkness now and hope is not in sight, turn on the light. Turn on the light of the Lord. All you have to do is tell Jesus that you are lost. Tell Him that you are in the dark and you can’t seem to see your way out. Tell Him that you are out of touch with hope and with joy and you need to be saved from your situation. You need to be taken out of the darkness and put back into the light. He will open the way for something better and something new. He will enlighten you and His love will shine all over you. One short prayer. One plea from the heart. One tear, one cry from the depth of your soul is all it takes. God hears what is deep inside of you even when you don’t have the words. He wants you to rely on Him and to see Him as the light and the salvation that He is. He is telling you today and every day that you have nothing to worry about and nothing to fear.

The Lord is your salvation. You are saved. You are blessed. You are going to get through this dark moment and come out victorious. You are going to find peace again and joy is coming back for sure. Your salvation guarantees it. Your salvation has secured it. You are saved. You are saved today and every day. Every day you are blessed. Every day the blood of Jesus covers you. Every day there is a way out of your problems and His name is Jesus, your salvation. Every day nothing is too hard for your salvation. Every day Jesus can do the impossible. Every day you are favored so next time the devil tries to intimidate you, remind him who your light and salvation is. You don’t have to live in fear. You don’t have to fear the enemy because Jesus is your salvation. Stand tall. Keep looking at your light. Hold on to your salvation. You have nothing to fear and nothing to worry about. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Psalm 27:1*; Psalm 118:6; Hebrews 13:6

Through good times and bad times

Through good and bad times God is with you. It is easier to believe that God is there when everything is going well . Through good times we are confident that God is present and we have faith and hope. We are filled with happy feelings and our emotions are in check. Through bad times, God seems far. We lose sight of Him and we don’t understand why He has abandoned us. We focus on the pain and on the problem easily. We feel left out and we feel rejected by joy and peace. We overthink and we get stuck in this endless cycle of negativity and despair. We can get very hopeless through bad times. Bad times have a way of turning off the light of hope that we believed would never go away. 

During the bad times, the enemy’s ugliness is on display and we can get to a place where we are defeated. Bad times are the enemy’s glorious days. He brags about his power and his hold on our lives. It doesn’t have to be that way. We don’t have to buy his lies. We don’t have to follow his lead in our minds. We don’t have to give up and give in. We don’t have to listen to him. Through bad times, God is still with us. Through bad times the Word of God doesn’t change. Through bad times we can still have good times.

The Bible invites us to rejoice all the time. The Bible tells us to thank God in all circumstances. That includes bad times. We can rejoice in bad times. We can be thankful for what we have even if it’s little. The Lord wouldn’t tell us to rejoice in hard times if it were impossible. Friend, the God of the good times is still God in the bad times. Your bad times won’t get the best of you. Jesus is the best One in your life and He will make those bad times better. If you are going through bad times today, take a minute and pray. Take a minute and praise. 

Take a minute and be thankful. Take a minute and declare Jesus King over your life. That is a major key. Jesus is still Lord during the bad times. We have to impress that upon our minds and let that truth blossom and bear fruit in our lives. The bad times can seem like they will last forever but the Lord will put a stop to the madness. He is with you and He is for you. It doesn’t matter who is against you. Jesus is your protector, your healer, your defender and your Savior through good times and through bad times.

Today doesn’t change who Jesus is. Today doesn’t strip the Lord of His ability to bless you and to help you. Times change but the Lord’s faithfulness doesn’t. Get back to where you have no doubt that the Lord is still sovereign. Go up the ladder of faith today. Those bad times are stepping stones and with your faith you will not only overcome them but you will crush them with hope and joy. Faith is very powerful. Even a tiny seed of faith can produce miracles. Declare that you have enough faith today despite how you are feeling. It is not about how you feel. 

It’s about what God says and He says that your mustard seed of faith is sufficient. Take that seed and plant it in every part of your life. Plant it in the areas where everything is fine and plant it in the areas where things are not going well. Faith will grow through the weeds of distress and through the bushes of hope. Jesus is the author of your faith. Trust the author and let Him write the story He has for you. In His story you make it through the bad times and you are able to stay hopeful and to have joy and peace through those miserable times.

God is good today and He will be good tomorrow. His love and blessings for you are always around you. You are highly blessed and highly favored. Bad breaks happen to all of us but they don’t determine our standing with God and they don’t dictate how many blessings we are allowed to receive. God determined that a long time ago and He decided that since Jesus is our Savior, we can rejoice and be glad every day. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: 2 Corinthians 6:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:16; Philippians 4:4

Chasing after Jesus

Friend, God is after your heart. He is chasing you in a beautiful and gentle way. He is not going to force you to trust Him and follow Him but He will make His love known. He loves you with a pure and powerful love and He enjoys spending time with you all the time. Whether you know Him or you don’t, He knows you and He knows everything about you. He wants the very best for you so that is why He is after you. Do you chase Him? Do you pursue Him? Are you after His heart? Are you chasing Him or are you chasing what He can give you?

I used to see God as a genie. I used to follow God because of what I could get out of Him. I used to believe that God would prosper me and bless me so I had to go after His blessings and the prosperity He had to offer. I was more interested in what I could gain from Him than who He was. I was running after the wrong things. I was very good at it but I was wrong in my pursuit. I loved God but I loved His blessings more. I can admit that now. Back then I was too blind to see that Jesus is who we should pursue. My mind was set on the wrong goals and the wrong aspirations. Knowing Jesus was not my priority. Then everything changed.

The Lord showed me that I should pursue Him and go after His heart. The Lord showed me that He was a loving, kind and just God whose character I wasn’t too familiar with. Knowing what someone can do is important but knowing who the person is in getting a higher level of intimacy. God calls us to be more intimate with Him. He calls us to be followers of His heart, imitators of His ways and chasers of His character. We should chase after His traits and adopt them. We should adore Him and revere Him for who He is. He is worth our time. He is worth our pursuit. He is the One we should follow wholeheartedly.

What can we know about God? There is too much to know. We will never know everything but there is quite a bit we can get to know thanks to His Word. I am learning that the more time I spend in the Word of God, the clearer His voice gets. The more time I spend in prayer, the closer I get to know. Prayer is one way we can use to get to know the Lord’s heart better. Prayer is talking to God and listening to God. When we pray, we chase after His heart and we make ourselves available to listen to His love and to His ways.

Chase after the Lord. Run after His heart. Pursue His ways. Go after His mind so you can share His mind. Trust that He wants to be as close to you as possible. He loves it when you spend time with Him. Chase after the things of the Lord and the Lord will become more real to you. Don’t run after fortune and blessings. They will come. They will follow you wherever you go when you always follow Jesus wherever you are. Seek His kingdom and all other things will be added unto you. Jesus is the best pursuit. He is the goal. He is the best objective. He deserves your time and your devotion. Go after Him and you will look more like Him. Keep going and keep seeking. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you.

Suggested reading: Matthew 6:33; Luke 12:31; Romans 14:17

10 nuggets of wisdom for your Saturday (Part 229)

Let the fragrance of your love for Jesus fill up the room. Make everything smell like His peace, His joy and His love through your actions and your words!

Starting the day with a storm doesn’t mean the day won’t end with the sun. The Son of God will make the sun shine again. Stay encouraged!

Worry is not from God. When you worry, you side with the enemy whether you know it or not. You accept defeat and you ignore the power of God.

The results and the outcome are God’s job. Your job is to stay in faith during the process. You are not in charge of the outcome. You are in charge of your faith before the outcome.

Jesus is the solution of all solutions. Nothing is too hard for Him to solve. He is the key to every mystery and the answer to all our prayers. Let’s fix our eyes on the One who can fix anything!

When things don’t go your way, go God’s way. Pray and you will go God’s way. Praise and you will go God’s way. Give thanks and you will go God’s way. Stay in the Word and you will go God’s way.

Everything you need, God’s got it. There is nothing you can’t find in Jesus. He has it all so trust Him in all you do.

Fear depicts a bad picture of tomorrow. Fear tells you that you won’t manage tomorrow so you might as well be miserable today. Faith sees hope in tomorrow. Faith says that God will save tomorrow so you can be at peace today.

God is great. God is amazing. God loves you. God blesses you. Nothing can change that about God. Nothing can stop God from loving you and blessing you! Keep that in mind!

Don’t give up! God is going to help you. Don’t get discouraged. Jesus, the King of hope is with you and He won’t leave you. Things are going to get better for you!

Suggested reading: Psalm 47:1; James 1:2-3; 1 Peter 1:8-9

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