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Rejoice and exult in hope; be steadfast and patient in suffering and tribulation; be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12
As Christians, many of us have the idea that everything in our lives should be perfect simply because we are Christians. But Jesus clearly warned us, "In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration!" (John 16:33 AMP).
Jesus said we would have to deal with worldly troubles. These things are a part of life that we must all face when we lay down our selfish desires to follow Him.
The apostle Paul wrote, "But [like a boxer] I buffet my body [handle it roughly, discipline it by hardships] and subdue it!"(1 Corinthians 9:27).
Paul is speaking here about self-discipline. Being self-disciplined means laying down our sinful desires and doing the right thing by God’s grace, no matter what the cost.
It’s not always easy. Dying to self will bring necessary suffering, but remember, even in the face of our suffering, there is hope, for Christ has overcome the world! And like Paul said, we can "rejoice and exult in hope; be steadfast and patient in suffering and tribulation; be constant in prayer."
by Joyce Meyer Youversion devotional
So many times we act one way on the outside, but we’re actually different on the inside. Because we have weaknesses, faults and fears, things that we think make us less likable or desirable, we’d rather hide them from other people. So we wear masks.
The danger of wearing a mask is that it misrepresents us. What other people see is a lie. It’s not who we are or who we were born to be. We can change the outside, but we can’t change who we really are deep down inside.
We need to realize that God loves us just the way we are right now, and His love for us will never diminish.
And there’s more good news. Second Corinthians 3:18 says that God is changing us and making us more like Himself and fixing the flaws we want to cover up.
Trust Him enough to take off your mask. You will find, as I have, that you are being changed, little by little, into the very image of your Lord.
2 Corinthians 3:18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
i want to live unmasked. live real.
there are certain people in my life that see more of me than others.
which i think is okay.
esp as some of the people that i want to see the real me are our mums group and housegroupies – so not reserved for bffs only
i want them to see the struggles and the victories
the flaws and the strengths
i am a real person
What makes a woman tender also reveals her vulnerabilities.
What makes a woman transparent also exposes her wounds.
What makes a woman authentic also uncovers her insecurities.
And there isn’t a woman alive who resists being revealed, exposed, and uncovered. But to establish real intimacy with another person, a friend, it will require pushing past this resistance — past the fear.
To be known is to risk being hurt.
Friendship is risky.
But friendship can be beautiful. Lysa Terkeurst
i can do all things
who gives me strength
who empowers me
who leads me
who connects me with people and circumstances
who directs me into lives
it is His wisdom
and His words
and His heart and His perspective i need
i feel so inadequate in the face of what i know and what i see
but i know that He sees the unseen and the invisible
and that He speaks the truth that brings freedom
and He has the power that brings life
so i lean on Him
i lean into Him
i keep my eyes fixed on Him and take confidence in the glimpses where i know He is at work in and through me
where tears fall and where hearts soften and mend
let the weak say, i am strong
Philippians 3:15 But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.
To overcome the past we have to FACE FORWARD into the FORGIVENESS OF GOD
If we are in Christ then our HISTORY does not establish our IDENTITY nor does it determine our DESTINY!
John Newton was a slave trader on the west coast of Africa. One day in a storm at sea he met Jesus Christ. He went back to England and became an Anglican clergyman. He wrote scores of hymns, one of which has become the modern popular song, “Amazing Grace.” This is what Christ can do for anyone who puts his trust in Him.
Joyce Meyer, who speaks to millions of people around the world each week was sexually abused as a child.
How we handle our history will determine where we go with the rest of our lives.
We can face forward into the forgiveness of God – His great mercy and grace covers the past and the mistakes we have made and brings very real, very tangible healing to the scars that the past creates.
About 5 years ago I really struggled with an issue from my past. I had made some really dumb choices that had some really big consequences. And then lied about it and called that just kinda airbrushing the truth. Anyway God was on my case. Like I said, God doesn’t want you to stay paralysed He wants you to walk forward into the future, but when that bungee cord is attached… boing… well I was experiencing some very God boings… He relentlessly kept on reminding me of this sin and “airbrushing” and I was plugging my ears and trying hard to ignore Him. Until I went to daughters camp and seriously, the whole message was for me. I don’t care if you got breakthrough there, it was all for me. And I sat up to about 1am talking to Annika and making a lot of snot and dealing with it. I nuked that bungy cord and got some healing. I let go of my history, faced forward into God’s forgiveness and made a choice to forgive myself and deal with the consequences. I left camp a different woman.
Sometimes it takes a one time encounter to bring change and healing.
Sometimes it is a process of walking through with someone, and with God, to talk through the issues and to align on minds with the truth of God’s Word.
Ask God to give you HIS perspective on your history – remember His perspective also says NOT GUILTY and I FORGIVE YOU – sometimes the greatest strengths we have and the greatest opportunities that open for us come out of our greatest battles and failings. Turn your test into a testimony.
Talk to someone. The enemy wants to keep you in your pain and regret, to keep you in the shadows but Jesus wants to bring you to His love and power and healing. Find someone you respect and who is wise and talk to them, confess to them, pray with them.
Prayer is so powerful because it joins the hearts of people on earth with the heart of God in heaven. When we pray, we connect with God, and He affects our daily lives beyond our comprehension.
I believe prayer is one of the greatest powers available in the entire universe. That may seem like a bold statement, but it’s true!
Prayer opens the door for God to work. It is the activity that you and I can engage in on earth when we need the power of heaven to come into our lives and bring wisdom, direction, encouragement or a miraculous breakthrough. Prayer connects us to the power of God, and that is why it is a greater force than anything else we can ever imagine. Even Jesus needed to pray and receive this power when He was on earth.
Only God’s power can bring peace, instill joy, grant wisdom, impart a sense of value and purpose to a person who doesn’t know what to do in life, and work every kind of miracle.
Do you want to see that power work in your life? Then make prayer a priority.
Have you ever heard the biblical phrase "pray without ceasing"? To many, that sounds daunting and impossible. How could anyone bow their head, kneel, and pray 24 hours a day?
If that’s what you think, it might be time to change your definition of prayer. Too often we view prayer as a very specific process that can only happen once we’ve gone to a private place and shut the entire world out.
But do you realize that even directing a thought toward God qualifies as silent prayer? It’s true! Prayer is communicating with God, so when the Bible says to "pray without ceasing" it means to always be open to communication with God. That could mean a two-hour prayer session, or it could be something as simple as being aware of His presence as you go throughout your day.
God has not made prayer complicated. He intends for prayer to be an integral part of our everyday lives. Today, change your definition of prayer, and you can experience the joy that comes from constant communication with the God who loves you.
i so understand this one. when my son was about one i was part of an awesome preaching course our church ran. but it seemed like everyone was gifted to be deep and theological or teacherish… and then there was me.
i have my own voice and style and usually like to *try* to be funny and just didnt think i was deep and theological.
but i had to get over that.
this was and is how God made me.
this is who i am.
i cant speak with the same eloquence that they did. i make strange noises and sound effects. i have used a power rangers youtube clip to illustrate a major point. i’m me.
and i’m reconciled with that now. in fact i try to embrace it.
because that is who i am and what i bring is what God wants to bring through my expression.
one of my housegroup girls gave me a great compliment the other day – about my preaching – but i wont repeat it here because it was so priceless and funny. but it reminded me, that if i dwelt on trying to compare myself to everyone else, and if i tried to modify my style and put myself in a box… well… not worth contemplating.
"Comparison is the thief of joy." -Theodore Roosevelt
We need to refrain from comparing ourselves to anyone else because God doesn’t want us to be frustrated and feel unworthy of the blessings He desires to give us.
Comparing our lives with other people’s lives is unfair, to them and to us. It’s unfair to them because if we become jealous of what they have, what they know, how they look, etc., we start to resent them. Then we can no longer appreciate them as the wonderful person God made them to be.
It’s unfair to us because it limits God’s plan for our lives. Comparison says to God, ‘I want to limit Your work in my life to this and nothing else. I just want to be like this other person.’
But God has an individual plan for each of us. His plan for you is greater than you could possibly imagine. Stop looking at His plans for others so you can walk in the plans He has for you and receive the blessings they bring.
Galatians 6:4 Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else,
@MatthewBarnett As long as you’re excited about tomorrow, yesterday’s failures will never overtake you.
@MatthewBarnett While going through a struggle never forget the promises you received early on that gave you so much hope.
@RickWarren The most powerful motivation for lasting in ministry is neither external nor internal, but eternal.
@amygroeschel May the Greater One within you remind you of the Greater Call. YOU are part of building the Kingdom!
@JarridWilson Sometimes, God has already given you the provision, you just need to change your perspective.
@JarridWilson Don’t waste your time comparing yourself the others. God made you distinctively different and beautifully created.
@SSligh “Dear Lord, please show me everything I need to understand about forgiveness and surrender.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert
@nickygumbel Be generous with encouragement. It is verbal sunshine. It costs nothing and it warms hearts.
@petrovmortovski Never doubt in the dark what God has shown u in the light.
@petrovmortovski Our desire for God grows from our decision to seek God – "I will earnestly seek you. My soul longs for you" – Psalm 63:1
@JoyceMeyer It is important to remember that doing things for God does not replace spending time with Him.
@leadHership I’m staying on your trail; I’m putting one foot In front of the other. I’m not giving up. (Psalm 17:5)
@gregfrench56 What I do today will determine who I am tomorrow.
@SyRogers1 God doesnt threaten & DEMAND I trust Him…Instead He INVITES: ‘Learn about Me’.The more I LEARN of Him, the more He EARNS my trust! Learn!
i’m passionate about people discovering who that God has created them to be – who He is making them to be and then just living it. I’m passionate about the call of God and how God empowers and gifts us uniquely to serve Him and build His Kingdom. that process of discovery can be difficult and frustrating for some, or organic and natural for others. so i loved reading the following by Joyce Meyer in the Youversion Devotional yesterday:
People ask me (Joyce Meyer) all the time how to discover and develop the gifts God has given them. Here are a few helpful steps that I’ve discovered:
1. Focus on the strengths God gave you. Concentrating on your strengths will help you fulfill the calling God has put on your life.
2. Exercise your gift. Find something you like to do and that you do well, and do it over and over again. Want to know what will happen? You will feel better about yourself because you won’t be constantly failing.
3. Have the courage to be different. Unhappiness comes when you try to be like everyone else rather than embracing the unique person that you are.
4. Learn to cope with criticism. Have enough confidence in who you are in Christ that you can listen to others and be open to change without feeling you have to agree with their viewpoint or attain their approval.
God has planted greatness in you. Let today be the beginning of a great adventure as you step into the gifts He’s given you.
1 Corinthians 12:11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.
The Lord your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.”
Dealing with emotions is a fact of life. As long as we live, we will experience a variety of emotional feelings and reactions, and we must not deny their existence or feel guilty because of them.
However, we do need to learn to manage our emotions. This is easier when we understand that we cannot trust them. In fact, they can be our greatest enemy. Satan uses our emotions against us to keep us from walking in the Spirit.
It is so important to know that the Lord our God who resides within each of us is mighty. His might within us enables us to overcome our emotions and be led by His unchangeable Word and Spirit instead of our unstable feelings and emotions.
Spiritual stability and emotional maturity don’t come naturally. You must desire it with all your heart and be determined to get it. When you make emotional stability a priority, God is more than willing to help you manage your emotions.
I encourage you to pursue that today. Enjoy emotional stability and a joyful, victorious life!
For the Lord corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves, and He punishes, even scourges, every son whom He accepts and welcomes to His heart and cherishes. Hebrews 12:6
I never want to be out of fellowship with the Lord. I must have Him to get through every single day of my life.
That’s why I’m so grateful for the conviction of the Holy Spirit. He lets me know if I’m doing something that grieves God or interferes with our fellowship. He convicts and convinces me of what is right.
God loves us even more than we love our own children, and in His love, He disciplines us. He tells us again and again when we’re on the wrong path. He may tell us fifteen different ways, trying to get our attention.
His message of convicting love is everywhere. He wants us to listen to Him because He loves us. But if we persist in our ways, He’ll withhold privileges and blessing from us because He wants us to grow up.
Remember, if you yield to conviction, it will lift you up and out of sin and lead you back to the heart of God. Let conviction lift you to a new level in God. Don’t resist it; receive it!
the good news is found in 1 john 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Every single day of our lives we need forgiveness. The Holy Spirit sets off the alarm in our spirits to recognize sin, and He gives us the power of the blood of Jesus to continuously cleanse us from sin and keep us in right standing with Him.
But if we are overcome with condemnation, we can be certain it is not from God. He sent Jesus to die for us, to pay the price for our sins. Jesus bore our sin and condemnation on the cross (see Isaiah 53).
When God breaks the yoke of sin from us, He removes the guilt too. He is faithful and just to forgive all our sins and to continually cleanse us from all unrighteousness (see 1 John 1:9).
The devil knows that condemnation and shame keep us from approaching God in prayer so we can receive forgiveness and enjoy intimate fellowship with Him.
Feeling bad about ourselves or believing that God is angry with us only separates us from His presence. He will never leave you, so don’t withdraw from Him because of condemnation. Receive His forgiveness and walk with Him.