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Posts tagged ‘circumstances’

Finding My Joy Again

My joy was gone for about two to three weeks. Not on a vacation. It has been completely non-existent. I didn’t check my personal emails. I went to bed with a heaviness that often resulted in me being woken up in the middle of the night, unable to go back to sleep because of a pounding heart beat.

That feeling of dread often carried over into the morning. I had things I needed to be working on, but I had ZERO desire to do anything.

How did this happen? I’ll tell you. It resulted from me carrying things I had no business carrying. Matthew 6:25-27 reminds us not to worry saying, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?  Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”

I knew my joy was gone. I hated the way I felt. If my mind and emotions were not in turmoil, I was just in limbo. I wasn’t doing anything to move forward. I KNEW I needed to pray, but I couldn’t. I would read a few Scriptures in the Bible just to get some peace…for the moment. Sometimes I would start quoting the Word with power and authority, but end up in tears.

I KNEW I needed to confess the Word over myself. I knew it, but the circumstances and overwhelming feelings were just too much. I would try to work on things and I would just go in circles, never really accomplishing anything.

I’d had people pray for me. The feelings would lift. Then, my mouth would get me into trouble. It’s like I had an overwhelming urge to say the wrong thing whenever something happened. I am usually never continually negative, but it seemed like nothing was right. I couldn’t write because I didn’t have anything to say. The words weren’t hanging out in my mind. They simply weren’t there.

Finally, I called a friend. I talked to her for five minutes, only sharing a little of what I was feeling. She started praying for me and God showed her almost everything…even things I had thought!

I slept better that night, but the next day was a struggle. Finally, my mom said, “Something’s got to give.” “I know,” I said. “You won’t pray. You used to listen to the Word. I don’t know what you do now.”

“It’s not that I quit listening all together. The sound of anything irritated me. I irritated myself.

Mama and I committed to start praying in tongues thirty minutes every morning. If I couldn’t do it all right then, I took Mama’s advice and prayed when I could, even if that meant just a few minutes at a time.

After a few days, weightiness and heaviness that had been so prevalent lifted. I felt lighter. I wasn’t as irritated. Before I got the breakthrough, each day I had to look for something to be happy about.

When my nephew and cousin came over, I made myself get excited and do silly faces. I told Mama I felt fake doing that, but she said, “Sometimes, you have to fake it until you make it.”

If things seem bad right now, they won’t stay that way. LIFT UP YOUR HEAD! Turn your eyes to Jesus! I promise you He’s there. The enemy wants to convince you that he’s won this round. He wants you to stay down. I am encouraging you to GET UP! With God, all things are possible! All you have to do is make a choice to let God be God! He’s got this!

~ Madison Sanders

Image Credit: Happy Buttercups Lesley Cutts via freeimages.com

God’s Sight

I would definitely say I’m one of those people who prides themselves on how well they pay attention to detail. But, every now and then I might miss something.

Several months ago, I go to start my car, but it won’t start. So, I go look at what I think the problem is, and sure enough a potentially bad problem has occurred. I fix it and try to start it up, No Bueno! I figure, “Maybe the potentially bad problem already started messing things up or maybe it’s just the battery”.

Nevertheless I decide I’m going to take care of both to be on the safe side. Over a two-day period I replace the old parts with new ones, and have the battery tested. Turns out the battery was bad! For about a year a random battery had been sitting in my garage. I still don’t know where it came from, but it was just the kind I needed for this car.

But it doesn’t end there. After I fixed and replaced all the damaged parts and the battery, I try to crank it. The car still won’t start. My only thought is, “I know this battery is good. Maybe it just needs a jump to get it going.” I pull a car up next to it and hook the cables up to battery. I go through the passenger’s side door to try and crank it one last time. As I reach over I put my hand down and notice the gear shift wasn’t all the way in park! HAHA! All I could do was laugh! But in that laughter I was seriously thanking God that I didn’t notice that earlier Because I would have never noticed the problem inside the engine.

In this situation only He knows what all He kept me from. I could have been in an accident or that bad battery might have died on me at a critical time. The list goes on and on. But at minimum the engine certainly would have been destroyed. The fact that He had that random car battery sitting in my garage knowing I’d need it now shows me this.

God can see so far beyond what we can see, so we might be better off trusting His eyes more than we trust ours. Instead of us looking at situations and saying, “This is what I need, this is when I need it, and this is how I need it.” Trust God.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding.” ~ Proverbs 3:5

~ Jevallye’ Beverly

Image Credit: Starting the car © Bev Lloyd-Roberts LRPS via freeimages.com

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Knock, Knock

 

Can you imagine this? A woman is getting ready to turn on her oven. She is a widow with a small child. There is no income and no job. She has found a trial size bag of corn meal and enough oil to cook it. There will be no more food after this. There is a famine in the land.

There comes a knock on the door. A stranger is standing there. He asks for water. Before she can get it, he tells her to fix him some bread first. Your child is sitting at the table, waiting to be fed.  This is a modern-day picture of the story we find happening in 1 Kings, chapter 17. The woman had no way of knowing who this stranger was, or what he was able to do for her. Nevertheless, she does as he said.

As a mother, I couldn’t have blamed her if she had sent him away. In fact, in the story, she tells Elijah that she and her son are going to eat this last meal and die. She saw starvation as their future. God had told Elijah that he had already spoken to this woman and told her to take care of him. What did she think when she heard this? Did she just push it out of her mind? I mean, God would know of her poor conditions. God could have sent his servant anywhere to be cared for. He could have instructed him to go where there was an abundance of food.  But God had a bigger plan.

Because she did as he said, she saw a miracle. The meal and oil kept reproducing and she and her son were never without food again. But there is more to the story. God had an even bigger miracle in store. The Bible does not tell us what this woman’s name was. I think it may be because what she did is more important than who she was.  True faith is when we act on evidence of things not seen.  Later on in the story, the son becomes very ill. The Bible says that his breath left him. I don’t know about you, but to me that means he died. Because of her obedience and sacrifice earlier, her son was healed.

Obedience and walking in faith is just as important for us.  How many promises, dreams and worse have died because we let our frustrations, fear, or circumstances rob our faith?  If this woman had not stretched her faith, the outcome could have been tragic.  I learn from this account the importance of hearing Gods voice. I also realize that to walk in faith when it isn’t easy to do so opens the door for miracles in my life.  Knock, knock. Who’s there?

~Connie Robinson

Image Credit: Knock, Knock © Ricardo Santeugini via freeimages.com

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Power in Words

 

When we look at the woman with the issue of blood many get caught up in her touching Jesus’ garment and being healed. Some thinking that it was because even Jesus clothes were anointed, others realizing that as Jesus said in Matthew 9:22 (NKJV) that her faith made her well.

How can we tell where her faith was? The answer is in Matthew 9:21, which states, “For she SAID to herself, “If I only may touch his garment, I shall be made well.”

Another example we see is in Matthew 8:5-8, “Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.”

And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” The centurion answered and SAID, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed.” Verse 13 Jesus says, “…as you believed let it be done for you…” The common factor in these two healings are they both SAID what they were believing for. So wouldn’t you say words are important?

Believers wonder why they have no power. They wonder why they can speak, pray, believe, and have what they feel is faith in situations but nothing changes. They speak to situations and circumstances, but at every turn they encounter a little demon that puts a beating on them. What other outcome should we expect when we constantly spew out words and sayings we don’t mean like I could just die right now. Then we try to flip a switch and want power to come immediately after we speak. Death and life are in the power of our tongue. To access the power that God has placed on the inside of us, we have to speak life. Stop talking about your friend. Stop saying he’s stupid and will never be anything.

Our only offensive weapon we have is our words, through the Word of God (our sword). We’ve all been guilty of not paying attention to what we say. We should not be like children tossed to and fro. The Word of God is always powerful, but God can’t bless the wrong words. If we would get to the place that we stop letting our words be so empty, we would be able to cause some real change.

~ Jevallye’ Beverly

Image Credit: Sword of the Spirit © Ryan Leong via freeimages.com

– See more at: http://www.gatewaybelievers.com/blog/hows-your-sword-looking#sthash.mxIGAasI.dpuf

Change

In science, there are two types of changes that can take place. These changes are physical and chemical changes. Water goes through a physical change when we boil it, freeze it, and melt it. It never changes what it is. When baking a cake, you put in your flour, butter, sugar, eggs, and cocoa. The ingredients are mixed up and poured in a baking dish. Then it is placed in the oven and comes out a totally different product. God has been dealing with me about the change.

We all have those years that you do not ever want to repeat. Two years ago, my year started with two surgeries in January that were six days apart. Dealing with the side effects of the anesthesia for several weeks was hard. Then mom had brain surgery in May and TI’s in June. There were severe issues at work. All of this on top of college for my doctoral degree. My focus was transferring from where it needed to be to my circumstances. I was like the water, making what I thought were the changes I needed, moving from one form to another.

Only I realized that I was just taking a different form, I was not changing. I was still overwhelmed, fearful, anxious, depressed, oppressed, suicidal, and a conglomerate of other emotions. I realized that I needed to go through a chemical change. When we take the ingredients: Prayer, God’s Word, worship, and stir them all together, you create something from the inside out. The bubbles are taken out. The ingredients mesh together to create something fantastic to see and be a part of. Going through an outward, physical change is not a bad thing but for real, lasting change to occur, you need to take the ingredients for change and work them together to become the masterpiece that God has created you to be.

~Ronda Sullivan

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What Voice are You Listening To?

When the trials of life come, voices are there. Questions come. “What if this happens? Do you know God is faithful?”

The next voice might be a factual voice. “You are in pain. This hurts. That hurts.”

Then, the voice of fear comes. “This is bad. Don’t you see that this is a bad situation?”

The only thing you can do is answer with the Word. God is greater than anything I face, but I can’t stay silent when the enemy bombards my mind. As believers, the Bible is our sword. Find a Scripture that applies to your situation and stand on it. Let God’s Word be in front of you always. It has to be embedded in your heart before you can effectively wage an attack against the enemy.

Ephesians 6:13-18 says, “Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare.”

I am thankful for the confidence I have in God. In times of trouble, I can’t rely on myself and what I think I know. If I want to win, I have no choice but to lean on God and trust in Him.

To trust means to have a firm belief in the ability or strength of someone. Even when it looks like all of the circumstances are stacked against me, it’s a great feeling to know someone who is far more capable than me.

If I have spent time with God, I will be able to hear His voice loud and clear above any confusion from other voices. His Word will guide me through the storm if I will heed His instructions.

I refuse to give into fear, worry, or anxiety over any situation. Sure, I have to battle those voices, but I am learning to be quick to say, “No, I know what God’s Word says! He has never left me or forsaken me. I don’t care how long it takes for my miracle because I KNOW that God watches over His Word to perform it!”

That is how my faith is stirred up. If you are in a battle and weighed down by the cares of this life, give it God. He’s got you! Stop listening to negative people. Take authority over those bad thoughts. It is possible to live a life of victory IF you will tune your ear to His voice!

~ Madison Sanders

Image Credit: Listen to the music 1 © Bartek Ambrozik via freeimages.com

– See more at: http://www.gatewaybelievers.com/articles/what-voice-are-you-listening#sthash.maUmSOKn.dpuf

One More Time

water-skiing-1356609I remember as a teenager we would all go to the lake to go boating and skiing. I watched as the grownups learned to ski, and I knew that’s what I wanted to do, too.

My day finally came to learn to ski and daddy told me to hold on and pull up when the rope got tight. I tried and wasn’t successful.

My daddy would always just laugh every time I fell. It made me so mad! I cried each and every time that I failed.

Every time he would laugh it just spurred me on to keep getting up. On the inside of me I was saying, “I will get up.” All along I was getting stronger mentally, emotionally, and physically.

One day, I finally got up on my skis for a few minutes.

Deep inside of me I knew if I could get up once it was just a matter of time before I stood up and mastered the art of skiing.

In our everyday battles we must keeping getting up one more time. In due season we will reap if we faint not. When it seems like you’ve lost all hope, you are getting stronger. When it seems like your circumstances aren’t changing, they will because you are trusting in God’s grace to continue the fight.

The enemy of the world would like to keep us down, but he can’t. God is bigger. He can and will do more than we could ask or think according to His Word.

~Isaiah 40:31 “But the people who trust the Lord will become strong again. They will be able to rise up as an eagle in the sky. They will run without needing rest. They will walk without becoming tired.”

Get up one more time and watch God show out on your behalf!

~Tammy Sanders

Image Credit  Water Skiing © Maree Waldhuter Via freeimages.com

– See more at: http://www.gatewaybelievers.com/articles/one-more-time#sthash.i3EO0JpN.dpuf

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