God always delivers

I have a nasty habit of stressing out and then feeling peace after God has made His move. I don’t trust Him as I should. I praise Him after the situation passes, but I don’t praise Him before or during the situation.

God offers the best rest possible. He covers us with His feathers through the storm. He is a sturdy rock of foundation. The waves cannot toss Him. We are safe in Him.

I can breathe and live in God’s peace all the time. I just have to choose it and believe in His power. I don’t have to work myself up over every little or big thing. God has ultimate control. Nothing slips past Him. He made the highest mountain. Mountains are no match for Him.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, mountains are no match for me, or you, either. Praise God!

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I’m worth it and so are you.

It has taken me years to realize that I am worth it. I grew up in church, Sunday school, and vacation Bible study, so I’ve known that Jesus thought I was worth dying for. What I didn’t learn was that I need to also find myself worthy.

I struggle with depression and anxiety. Sometimes I have to fight my way out of negative thinking.  I have to fight to leave the house. Sometimes I have to fight to do so many things. I have to convince myself that I am worth the effort.

A therapist once told me that if I can’t find 10-15 minutes a day to show love to myself, I must not think I am worthy of love. Many times I do not think I am worthy of love, at least not love from myself.

Maybe it’s easier to believe that God can love me than it is for me to believe that the person in the mirror can love me. God is more familiar with my flaws than I am.

When it comes to how I treat myself, I am my worst critic. I am my worst judge. I am quick to condemn and I hold grudges. I am not good at forgiving myself. Sometimes I feel like I need to keep it all bottled up to prevent a massive emotional spill.

What I need is that release. I need to give it to God. I need to let go. The work to fight for myself may get easier over time, if I don’t give up. The release may be scary, but it will feel better when it’s over and Jesus will be holding my hand the entire time.

Survive and Advance?

I struggle with finding joy in the moment. I am getting better at letting go of the past, but I settle for just surviving the present in hopes that the future will be better and brighter.

I can battle my way through. I can push my head above water. Why can’t I rest? Why can’t I float? What battle am I constantly fighting?

Through Christ, God grants me peace beyond all understanding. God is not only in the past and future. He is in the present. What am I doing?

Am I ungrateful for the present? Am I lacking in faith to feel God in the present moment? Am I afraid to accept God for who He is in the present moment? I know I need to ask for forgiveness. Thank God that He knows what’s going on, even if I don’t.

Right now I have pinned my hopes on tomorrow being better, but what’s so bad about today?

I need to let go, but of what? I know I can’t control the past or future, so why have I convinced myself that I have some control over the present?

Lord, please forgive me for not trusting You at all times. Please open my heart, eyes, and minds to see You more clearly at all times. Help me to seek You and feel You at all times. Help me to let go of my own hand and grab onto Yours. In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

Trying to leave the cave

I am trying to get better at resisting temptation. I’m not just talking about temptation as the world considers, like Las Vegas-style temptation. I am talking about the temptation to give up hope. The temptation to settle into anxiety and despair.

I am trying to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5). I am trying to pause and breathe with every event, be it big or small.

I am trying to remember to tell myself that God is in control. I am trying to remember to tell myself that it is not my responsibility to save the world. Jesus did that. I am trying to appreciate each moment as a chance to learn something. I am trying to see each moment as a moment in God’s hands. I am trying to remind myself that I am safe.

Is this easy? Not for me. I struggle. I am so good at being depressed and anxious that I feel strange being happy and joyful. I am used to living my life expecting something bad or worse to happen. I am used to carrying a heavy heart and mind. I’ve become comfortable in the darkness.

When the light peers in, I shy away. It doesn’t feel good, because I haven’t allowed myself to see it as a good thing. I talk myself out of hope. I have trained myself to love the dark.

It is scary trying to come out of the cave I built for myself. I need to do it, but I also feel a need to squint my eyes away from the light.

 

 

Right on time

I subscribe to emails from www.alldevotion.com. Today’s message was right on time and perfect.

“Today God wants us to know that you are to trust yourself.
If you do not, then you will forever be looking to others to prove your own merit to you, and you will never be satisfied. You will always be asking others what to do and at the same time resenting their help. Trust in yourself starts with being ok with the consequences of your decisions.”

This morning, I was late walking my dog because I needed to spend a few more minutes with God. I spend so much time and energy concerned with what others think of me, even people I don’t know. Whenever I make a mistake, I feel like the entire world is spending their time and energy ridiculing me. I am desperate for everyone to like me and to approval of me.

I seek approval from the world. I seek guidance from the world. God is my backup plan.

Man that is so backwards!

I need to trust myself, meaning I need to trust in who God created and called me to be. I need to rest in the assurance that the battle is His and not mine. I can let go of the shackles I place on myself. Those shackles are formed of what I think the world expects from me. I am constantly trying to prove myself to the world. I don’t need the world’s approval to validate me or my worth. Christ already determined that. I am priceless in Christ.

When I rest in God, I am free. Jesus takes my yoke from me. This isn’t just past tense. He continues to life my burdens. I am free.

I can breathe. When I sin, I can ask for forgiveness and repent. I don’t have to repeat it over and over again in my mind, weighing myself down. I can stand assured that no matter the consequences, God will not give me more than I can handle. He will be there for me.

I can stand in assurance that even if other people don’t like me or agree with me, I will be ok. I have God. There is no need to stop everything to try to figure out how to please them. I can continue living the life God has for me. I can move on, in victory.

This doesn’t mean I should just go about sinning whenever and where-ever. It means that I am a child of God and that there is still hope for me. Christ paid the ultimate penalty and I am able to live victoriously over temptations and sins.

The weight on my chest is gone. My spiritual lungs are clear. They are breathing deeply and inhaling joy and peace. They are exhaling troubles and burdens. Praise God!

 

Focus

I like to think that I am good at multi-tasking. The truth is that I’m not. Today that was demonstrated to me while I was driving over to my parents’ house to visit. While I was driving, my dog started vomiting in the back seat. I had to keep my eyes on the road to protect everyone on the road, but I kept looking back to see if she was ok. I couldn’t do both things at once. I had to choose. When I got to my parents’ house. I went to check on her and cleaned the back seat. Nothing good would have come if I had gotten into an accident, especially if someone else had been involved.

This reminds me that I have to choose God. I have to constantly choose God. God is the safest and surest option. Choosing to ignore God or choosing to move Him down my list of priorities is a danger to myself and others.

Lord, please forgive me for not making You the first choice in my life. Please forgive me for considering other options. Thank You for Your mercy and for keeping me and others safe from my poor choices. Holy Spirit, help me to truly, wholly and completely focus on God and His Will. All praises to Your Holy name! In Jesus’ name, amen.

“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.” ― Stephen R. Covey

“The will of God is not something you add to your life. It’s a course you choose. You either line yourself up with the Son of God…or you capitulate to the principle which governs the rest of the world.” ― Elisabeth Elliot

“What you stay focused on will grow.” ― Roy T. Bennett