I know it has been a couple of weeks since I last posted something new. It has been a rough couple of weeks but I’m back. With that being said, this month’s theme is fear. This week I’d like to talk about the fear of the struggle.
When God has called you to do something, it can be exciting and scary but because it’s God and nothing is impossible for Him, you do it. You don’t think about all of the hard work and the struggles that you’ll face trying to do it until rejection hits. You shake off the first rejection, the second and even the third but when the tenth rejection hits you start to pause and rethink things. Every new battle leaves you a bit weaker and it starts chipping away at your courage. You think, I can’t take not one more beat down. You’re officially afraid of the struggle. You don’t know if the next battle or the next heartbreak will be the one to do you in.
Of course you can’t admit this to anyone. Christians aren’t supposed to waver in their faith and be afraid. After all, we walk by faith and not by sight. We’re supposed to call things that be not into existence. What will people think if you show your weakness?
The thing is, we are weak. It’s Christ within us that makes us strong. It’s Jesus that we must refocus on. If God promised something, He will do it. We just have to keep pressing forward. Yes, the struggle is real and it hurts but you will survive this.
“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ.” Philippians 3:13-14 NIV
Lord, You knew me before I came into this world. You knew that I would sin and rebel against You. But in spite of the heartache You knew I would cause, You still gave me life. You loved me so much that You sent Your Son to take my place to suffer the punishment that was meant for me. He laid down His life just so that I could have a chance to spend eternity with You.
Over the years, You carefully watched over me and provided for me. You patiently waited for me to turn my heart towards You. When I decided to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior, You, along with all the angels and saints in heaven rejoiced. You forgave me and welcomed me into Your family. Now, I can hold my head up high because I no longer have the weight of my sin holding me down. I’m no longer ashamed of my past, it has now become my testimony.
Thank You, Lord. May the works of Your love be completed inside of me.
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” John 15:12 NIV
When I comfort a friend in pain, you might say that I’m walking in love. If my enemy is in pain and although, I don’t rejoice in their pain, I do nothing to stop it, am I still walking in love? What if I help a stranger in need but I just shake my head when I see my abuser in need, is that walking in love? How about if I see my brother or sister heading for an eternity in heal and I tell them about salvation through Christ, that’s walking in love, right? However, if a person who has stolen from me is headed towards an eternity in hell and I just say that I forgive them but I never pray for their soul or I refuse to tell them about Jesus Christ, would I still be walking in love?
Jesus is our example of love. He walked in love every single day. He didn’t refuse to help those who were considered outcasts. He died for those who loved Him and hated Him. If I am to follow His example I must truly walk in love even when it hurts or it seems unfair. Limping along just isn’t good enough because walking in love could mean someone’s soul.
“If I speak in the tongues of man and angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” 1 Corinthians 13:1 NIV
“I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Psalm 34:1 KJV
Even though it hurts right now, I will praise You, Lord. My eyes may be so full of tears that I can’t see but I will still give You the glory. I may be so scared and worried that I can speak but I will still lift my hands. I may be so weak from fighting that I can’t dance before You but I will bow down to honor You. My praise is not dependent on my circumstance. I praise You because I love You. I praise You because of who You are. You are the Creator of this world, yet Your eye is still on me, so much so that You know the exact number of hairs on my head. I praise You because You love me in the midst of my troubles. You are always by my side.
How can I not praise You, Lord? You are the source of my strength, my peace and my joy. You are God Almighty. There is no one greater than You.
“I live and breathe God, if things aren’t going will, hear this and be happy.” Psalm 34:2 MSG
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Joshua 1:5 NIV
Your Heavenly Father is with you. He sees your struggles. He knows your pain. Even when you hurt so bad that you try to hide from Him and the world, He is still there. Even when you’re angry with Him because you think that He is the source of your pain, He still loves you. He will never leave your side. He never goes back on His promises. There is no where that His arms can’t reach you. He is only a call away, even if it hurts too much to speak, He can hear your thoughts.
Stop leaning on your own understanding and trust Him. Have you forgotten about the last time He delivered you? Remember how He turned what was meant to harm you into something that prospered you. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He has an endless supply of comfort and strength. There is no good thing that He will ever withhold from His children.
“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.” Genesis 28:15 NIV
“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.” Matthew 5:3 MSG
You have big problems in your life. You’re feeling overwhelmed, confused, frustrated and lost. Some of you may even be feeling as if you are at the end of your rope and if you don’t get some relief immediately, you will not make it. I ask you, how long are you willing to allow your circumstances to beat you down? How long will you allow yourself to remain stressed out? Have you truly forgotten who your Heavenly Father is?
Let me remind you that your Heavenly Father is God Almighy. He created the universe. He is the same God that led the Israelites into freedom. He is the same God that parted the Red Sea so that they could flee from pharoah’s army. He is the same God that protected Daniel in the lion’s den. He is the same God that heals sickness. He is the same God that sent His Son to die for you. He is the same God that rose Jesus from the dead. He is the same God that loves you. He is the same God that sees your struggle and has compassion for you.
His hand is waiting to lift you up but instead of reaching for His hand, you ignore it. You grab a hold of the very things that have been tearing you down. Do you really believe that He is unable to help you or are you too prideful to ask for His help? Do you refuse to go to him because you doubt or do you think you are unworthy of his help?
Please, listen to me, God is big enough, powerful enough and He loves you enough to see you through whatever you’re dealing with today. The same God that knows exactly how many hairs you have on your head is the same God that is patiently waiting for your call. When He hears his children cry out to Him for help, He moves swiftly. He will not allow his children to be bullied. He will give you strength, wisdom and favor. You don’t have to know how He will do it, you just have to trust Him and believe that He will provide whatever you need, when you need it. Stop magnifying your problems and recognize that God is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all that you could ever imagine or think.
“With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.” Psalm 18:29 NIV
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.” Psalm 28:7 NIV
“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out the workers into his harvest field.” Matthew 9:37 NIV
Do you ever murmur and complain about the things that God calls you to do? Do you put it off because sometimes what He’s calling you to do seems so small that it’s not worth the inconvenience? Before you procrastinate doing something that God has called you to do, ask yourself if your delayed reaction will cause an answer to someone’s prayer be delayed. Ask yourself if you will be responsible for someone else to stumble.
If you put off praying for someone or something that God has put on your heart, will it mean that someone’s suffering will be prolonged? If you put off giving away something that you never use, will someone who truly needs it go without? If I hold off on giving to a charity that has touched me spirit, will it mean that someone will starve? If I don’t give someone an encouraging word, will that mean that someone will give up on life? If I decide to wait to tell someone about Jesus, will that mean that someone will spend an eternity in hell?
When God calls us to do something it is to fill a need. We are his arms, his hands, his legs and his feet on earth. We are not to just focus on ourselves. We are supposed to be following his example and loving others. Loving others means being inconvenienced sometimes. It means stepping out of our comfort zones. It means sacrificing. Someone is praying for a miracle and God maybe calling you to be that miracle. Don’t ignore his call. It is an honor and a blessing to be used by God.
“If anyone causes one of these little ones-those who believe in me-to stumble, it wuold be better for them to have a large millstone hang around their neck and to be drowned in the sea.” Matthew 18:6 NIV
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Step back, take a deep breath and listen closely. You can not go through trials and tribulations by yourself. You were never meant to go through them alone. The Lord did not mean for you lean on your own understanding. You were meant to lean on and trust in Him.
You were shocked and confused when the storm hit but God is never shocked. He saw what was coming well in advance. He’s not surprised when illness strikes, when a job is lost, when a family member is struggling with an addiction or when a financial crisis hits. He knew when it was going to happen and how to fix it.
Stop praying and asking God to deliver you and then pushing Him aside. Miracles can’t happen without Him and they can’t happen if your faith is placed in yourself and not in Him. Step aside and let God take the lead. He will open doors that you never knew existed. He will move and leave skeptics speechless. You are never alone. Don’t let your pride, fear, doubt or yourself stop you from receiving your breakthrough.
“Now this I know: The Lord gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand.” Psalm 20:6
“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” Psalm 139:7 NIV
God is with you. People will oftentimes say this to bring comfort to someone in time of need. However, these are not just mere words of comfort, God really is with you, always.
Yes, He is with you when you’re hurting. He is with you when you’re in danger and He’s with you when you are stressed out. He is with you when the sun is shining and everything is going your way too.
Sometimes, we forget that He’s also with us when we complain, when we gossip, when we judge others without knowing the full story. He’s with us when we’re angry and refuse to forgive. He’s with us when we turn our backs on someone in need. He’s even with us when we’re somewhere we’re not supposed to be, with someone we’re not supposed to be with and doing something we’re not supposed to be doing.
Thankfully, nothing we do ever shocks God. He knows us better than we know ourselves. We also have a merciful God. We are able to come to him to not only comfort us when we’re hurting but to ask for forgiveness and receive His forgiveness through his Son Christ Jesus.
God is with you. He loves you. He doesn’t want you to ever be afraid to come to Him for whatever you need. You are never alone.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 NIV
“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Matthew 21:22 NIV
To the ones I let go,
First of all, we were never friends. All you did was cause me misery, sickness and a lot of sleepless nights. Faith finally helped me realize that I didn’t have to put up with you any longer. I could have better friends like Joy, Mercy and Love. Now, when people see me, they see them and they want to be around me. I’m no longer bringing others down. I’m proud to say that I am now encouraging others to let go of their worries, anger, guilt shame and depression. There is enough faith, joy, mercy and love to go around.
I know you were confused when I casted you away. My Heavenly Father, also known as, El Shaddai-God Almighty, told me to cast you into His hands. He is more than capable of taking care of you. I will not be telling him that I miss you because I don’t want you back. I’d be lying if I said that I was sad about that. You were all burdens that I was never meant to carry.
“With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” Mark 10:27 NIV