Both Are Guaranteed…

I love how the Psalmist doesn’t say “if I walk through the darkest valley” or anything close to that… No, he says WHEN he does because we all know that dark times come. That’s a guarantee that is very clear all throughout the Bible.

There seems to be this weird concept within Christianity that most believe protect us from dark times, but the reality is that more dark times come. When we proclaim Christ as our Lord we become Satan’s enemy. When we proclaim God as our standard of living, we become the world’s enemy.

Time & time again we find ourselves in a position of darkness. That life just isn’t going good, bills are adding up, stresses of relationships are getting more complex, the boss at work is a jerk, your friends are flakes, etc… there are an abundance of things that we all have to worry about on a daily basis & at times they can seem overwhelming.

BUT if we fix our eyes on the author and perfecter of our faith we can have renewed hope. Jesus dealt with so very much on earth. Yes, it’s easy to overlook Jesus because He is the son of God, BUT He still lived 30 years on this earth as a normal man. Working, living, surviving, etc… when he was 30 his ministry life officially kicked off, but for 30 long years he lived life just like we all do.

Troubles in life will come but even more so God is right there with you. He is right by your side, intimately involved in every aspect of our lives. In the moment we can’t always see the hand of God at work BUT when we take a moment to look back we can see His fingerprints all over our lives….

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Do You Though?

Self reflection is a huge part of my routine. I am always doing my best to improve myself & self reflection works wonders. It’s so simple but yet so dang effective! Even if it’s only 5 minutes, or a few moments throughout the day.

After praying over this verse & post for this morning I will say that I was challenged by this verse. Simply because when I asked myself if I truly believe love is the greatest my immediate response was, “Of Course!”

I wasn’t satisfied with it though. I sat here & really dug deep to answer the question repeating in my head, “Do you though?” Of course it’s easy to express love to those we care about & often times it’s pretty easy to express a level of love to strangers, BUT what about those that aren’t easy to love?

Is love still the greatest? Do you really believe it? Do you though? Maybe it’s that co-worker, the ex, that old friend, that family member, etc… if you believe that love is the greatest thing, than we should still be extending it to them. It may look drastically different, but at the core of our hearts we should still be able to love them, why?

Because Jesus does.

Really look into your heart today & ask God to reveal any areas that may not be in tune with Him. Don’t just answer challenging questions with quick responses. Really sit & ask yourself the hard questions. After that, respond, repent if needed & get to work.

Waymaker…

I love this verse for so many reasons! It is by far one of the most comforting verses in the Bible, but also such a reality check.

He is our way maker, promise keeper, miracle worker, light in the darkness, good good Father & so much more. Although the conditions in our life may change everyday, that does not mean that He does!

Yes, life can suck. But God takes the “suck” in life & uses it for far greater. God takes the “hurts” in our hearts & turns them into passion. God uses the things that this world has tried to use and break us to empower His love on earth.

Time and time again I have found myself on my knees while God mends my heart. I do not wait for some “perfect” state before I worship. No, I come to Him broken & beaten. I come before the way making, promise keeping, miracle working Father who loves me dearly. The one who loves you deeply.

Wherever you are at in life, it does not change the fact that God loves you.

No matter how dark life may get, He is the light. No matter if you do not see a way, He is a way maker. Life changes, He doesn’t.

Way-maker.

Miracle worker.

Promise keeper.

Light in the darkness.

That’s our God. That’s our Father. That’s our hope.

Do You Really?

This was the main question that came to mind when I was praying about this post this morning… I know it’s easy to say we trust in God, but is that something we truly believe deep down? Do you really?

I’ll admit it’s not always the truth. Deep down I know I can trust God, but there are times that there are doubts, fears, anxiety, etc… I don’t think it’s a “terrible” thing to struggle with these things. The truth is, it’s walking in complete blindness to the areas of distrusts, doubts, fears, anxiety, etc… without truly being able to acknowledge them that is dangerous.

Yesterday one of the Pastors spoke on being a multi-cultural Church and one of the things he mentioned was that we must acknowledge the differences. I think that same principle must apply to our spiritual lives as well. For God to truly work on our hearts, we must first acknowledge the areas we have fallen short. When we can learn to acknowledge where we fall short, we can then repent & allow our hearts to change.

Break the chains of American Christianity that make you feel like you have to act like you have it all together. It’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to admit your short comings. It’s okay…

Count The Cost…

I remember sitting at a bench when I took this picture. Just in complete awe of the amazing talent that helped build this place. The incredible amount of talent that God gave each & every person who built such beautiful architecture.

How from the very beginning they counted the cost, did all the blue prints, put a team together & executed the plan.

Often times I think we need to do this in our lives. We need to sit down & let the creativity of God flow from our hearts into the plans He gives us. We need to pray through what it costs to make the dream a reality. We need to outline our goals & figure out how God needs us to get there. We need to pray for God to surround us with people to help execute His plan and finally… We need to execute.

God has given us all desires deep down in our hearts. Things that truly light our hearts on fire. An idea or vision of something AMAZING that seems way toooo good to be true. Many of us have experienced it, but very few take the next steps in the process…

For me. I’m learning how to count the costs & allow God to remove things from my life that don’t truly matter. I’ve allowed God to continue to make me get out of my comfort zone & I am going through the process of being obedient regardless of my feelings… it’s incredible.

We are all saved by our faith in Jesus, but one day we will present an offering to His Kingdom for what we’ve done on earth. I want to give it all. I want to take the 10 “talents” God gives me & return back to Him 20.

What about you?

The Bigger Picture…

We serve a God that is constantly aware of the bigger picture in our lives & the lives of those around us… Peter is writing about Jesus’ return, but this verse shows so many characteristics of our Father!

He is patient, loving, kind & faithful.

Patient- The fact that God does desire for us to be in heaven with Him! He sent His son to die in our place because God desires us to be in heaven with Him, BUT He still isn’t finished with this world yet. There are still more to be saved. He is willing to post pone the immediate satisfaction of having all of us in heaven with Him because there are still people who haven’t had the chance to love Him!

Loving- It’s simple. God denies Himself each & everyday because of His love for humanity. Because of His love for ALL! He is so loving that He patiently waits for more to hear the message of Jesus so that they may have the chance to repent & he added into the family.

Kind- The fact that He patiently waits, in love, shows us how kind He is as a God. He gives us life in abundance while we are on earth to hold us over until we get to heaven! He answers prayers in due time, He performs miracles through us all & He continues to be kind to us even when we continue to rebel.

Faithful- It isn’t finished & God will remain faithful to His promises for humanity. God knows what He is doing and He isn’t holding anything back from us. He is pouring it all out to us each & everyday.

This is the Father that loves us. This is the God that strengthens us. This is the friend that comforts us…

Trust Issues…

There is a sad trend within a lot of us that can hinder us from fully embracing all the promises in the Bible. Truth is, a lot of us have developed trust issues with God because of what others have done to us & we do not even know it!

It took a few years for me to realize how deep my trust issues truly went! I loved the idea of trusting in God & I did my best to trust Him BUT there were certain areas where I wasn’t trusting Him.

Even to this day I constantly wrestle with fully trusting God in all the areas of my life! Which is sad & so freaking silly! I mean if there is one person that can be trusted to provide its Him! That’s where it took some deep prayer & conviction to show these areas where I lacked the faith for God to move…

I know we have all been hurt, betrayed, abandoned, abused (in some way), neglected & disappointed by someone we truly love(d). Where we have to fight is the aspect of understanding that God is nothing like the person who hurt you… He cares WAY more than any human can. So trust Him.

With your finances. With your relationships, family, friends. With your career. So on & so forth… He wants you to fully trust Him and have peace in the different seasons in your life. Our seasons may change, but God never does.