Friday, September 14, 2018

Finding Joy

I am currently studying the book of Ecclesiastes and it is so amazing everything that I have learned.  If you want to hear the studies, you can check out our podcast and listen to chapters 1-3 as of today and we will be adding a new chapter each week until we finish.

But today I wanted to share something truly amazing that I believe will help so many of you.  Did you know that God expects us to have joy in all circumstances?  Even when things aren't going our way.  Well, it's true.  And this is really hard.  When life is beating on you, it can be a great challenge to keep your joy.  But in Ecclesiastes 3:12-13, it says this very thing.  Basically, God's people will find meaning and joy in life when they cheerfully accept it from the hand of God.

What are you going through today?  Are you "cheerfully accepting it from the hand of God" or are you losing hope, downtrodden, and just plain miserable?  Jesus came that we may have and enjoy everyday life (John 10:10 AMP).  God guides us in multiple places in His word that if we truly believe in Him, we can get through anything with joy and praise.  We can accept what is happening and know that it is for God's glory and our good.

I challenge you today to pray this prayer - "God, I'm not okay with what I am going through, but I am going to trust you 100%.  I trust that you are going to take this situation and use it for your glory.  God, help me to cheerfully accept my situation because without you, it is impossible.  I give it all to you God.  Give me the strength and wisdom to find and keep my joy in this challenging situation.  In Jesus's name I pray, Amen!"

God loves you and He has not forsaken you.  There is a reason you are going through what He is allowing.  Trust Him and know that whatever the reason is, it is for your good and the good of His message.  We pray over you today.  We love you and pray that you have a blessed week, no matter your circumstances.  Find your joy through Jesus!

Friday, August 18, 2017

What To Expect When You Are Expecting

So, you send up your prayer to God - what do you do next?  Do you continue to worry and stress?  Or do you believe and look around for the blessings that God brings you everyday?

"In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly."  Psalm 5:3 (NIV)

David knew what to do.  He sent his prayers up and then went about the day expecting great things to happen.  Maybe it wouldn't be exactly what he was praying for but he went around expecting God's best - which is usually better than our request anyway!  

So what are you expecting?   Are you expecting awesome, big things in your life?  Or are you expecting the same thing as always?  God wants to give you His best, but He also wants you to expect the best from Him.  When you pray for something, but don't really believe it will happen, you are saying that you don't believe God will do it.  If your son/daughter asked you to do something and then went around speaking it as though it was, you would want to do it for them.  But if your son/daughter asked you to do something and then went around being negative and complaining, you might be less inclined to do it.  Well, that is how God is with His children.

"But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord."  James 1:6-7 (NIV)

One of my many mantras is "Believe and you shall receive."  I started this when my daughter first started not believing in Santa.  I told her that if she didn't believe, she wouldn't receive.  Now, of course, this was all about the stuff we get at Christmas time, but I found this to be true in my walk with God.  If I pray for things, but somewhere in the back of my mind I'm thinking "I'll never have/get that.", there is a good chance I won't, simply because I doubted.

So, I'll ask again - what are you expecting?  When you pray, expect the best - expect God's best.  Sometimes, God's best is not what we want, but it is what is best for us.  Believe God's promise when He says, "For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to  harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"  Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)  Walk around everyday like David, knowing God's love and living in it.  Expect the unexpected!

Have a blessed week!  Love to you all!! ~Debbi

Sunday, August 13, 2017

F2F - Fear to Faith

What do you do when your circumstances are unbearable?  What if you received a diagnosis that was life changing or even worse life threatening?  What if your spouse suddenly left you?  What if you suddenly lost your job?

"I trembled inside when I heard this; my lips quivered with fear. My legs gave way beneath me, and I shook in terror. I will wait quietly for the coming day when disaster will strike the people who invade us. Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights."  Habakkuk 3:16-19 (NLT)

The prophet Habakkuk found himself in a terrible situation that was out of his control and in the natural brought fear.  In the midst of his catastrophe, however, Habakkuk decided - made an on purpose choice - to turn to God and release his fear to Him.  This can actually be a very challenging thing for me.  To be honest, I have been struggling with this for a few weeks now.  We have a situation that has the potential to not end well.  However, truthfully, there is really nothing I can do about it.  And that is extremely hard for me as I tend to have a controlling personality.  I spend hours trying to figure out how to change it or fix it, but every time God speaks to me and tells me I can't.  It is truly out of my control.  And when I try to control it, I end up hurting myself by stressing, hurting my relationships by not being the loving wife, mother and friend I should be and hurting God because I am not giving it to Him.  Cast you care! 

When you find yourself in a situation like Habakkuk where everything around you seems to be falling apart, do what he did - rejoice in the Lord.  Remember that God wants only the best for you and if for some reason your problem does have a bad outcome, know that God has something better for you if you just put your trust in Him.  God loves you.  He never, ever leaves you or forsakes you.  So even in the midst of your circumstances, praise Him, thank Him and give Him your situation.  The Lord is your strength - stop turning to everyone else for the strength you need and look up!  God has got you - now and forever!

"Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)