How to Eliminate Stress Part 9: Change Your Perspective

When the fig tree does not bud, and there are no grapes on the vines; when the olive trees do not produce, and the fields yield no crops; when the sheep disappear from the pen, and there are no cattle in the stalls, I will rejoice because of the Lord; I will be happy because of the God who delivers me!  

Habakkuk 3:17-18 MSG

How you view things in life is very important, especially as a Christian. The world will point out everything that is wrong, but it is up to us to see the good, especially in our own circumstances. I’m going to translate verse 17 of today’s scripture in modern language in terms of how life can try to get us down:

Though my bills keep pouring in and my bank account is in the negative;

Though my workload at my job is overwhelming and people are testing my patience;

Though my enemies are plotting against me and my health is declining;  Continue reading

If He Did It Before, He’ll Do It Again!

“… ‘The LORD who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.’”

1 Samuel 17:37 NIV

So often we forget what God has done in our lives when we find ourselves in a bind. We tend to only focus on why He isn’t working right then instead of remembering how He has come through for us in the past. God is always working whether you feel it or not. It’s times like these when you have to get out of your head and focus on what you know. Instead of giving into the pressure of what your circumstance may look like, think, “If God brought me out before, He can surely do it right now.” I even challenge you to add “God I am expecting you to deliver me.” In dire times, you need to focus on the solution (God) and not the problem. God is bigger than any problem that you can ever have.  Continue reading

How to Eliminate Stress Part 8: Tackle Financial Debt

“The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get”

Proverbs 21:20 NLT

A lot of people’s stress comes from money problems, which can lead to stress in other areas of their lives. Some of our financial difficulties come from the demands of life, but honestly, most of the problems stem from not budgeting, living beyond our means, and not controlling our fleshly desires. We put a lot of unnecessary stress on ourselves for these very reasons. It really boils down to not wanting to do what the Bible says regarding money and wanting to spend whatever you want to spend. If you have this mentality you’ll have stress your whole life.  Continue reading

This Too Shall Pass

it will get betterEven when walking through the dark valley of death I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me, guarding, guiding all the way.

Psalms 23:4 TLB

 

There are times when life gets the best of us and we just want to throw in the towel. Sometimes our circumstances just seem to never end or get better. Everything that happens in life happens for a reason. James 1:2-3 states that our trials are meant to test our patience, bring us into perfection, and to help us grow spiritually. Today’s scripture shows that the Psalmist is going through a very trying time, but the key is he is walking “through” it.  He did not say that he was stuck in it, but because He is focused on God, he knows that with God, the only option is to get through it victoriously. We have a tendency to say, “I’m going through it right now,” but if Jesus is on your side, thank God you’re going through with Him.  Just imagine people who do not have Jesus on their side. They’re in their mess without Him, if they make it out at all. God will always be with us and guide us through anything that we encounter. His Word and His promises are our comfort. We can be happy in the midst of turmoil because God is our refuge.   Continue reading

Always at Work

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But Jesus replied, ‘My Father is always working, and so am I.  (John 5:17 NLT)

Everything you will need in life is already provided for you. Your Heavenly Father knows what you need to get through each day. When you pray to God with your needs, you are releasing your faith for Him to start working on your behalf. Jesus says that because His Father is always working, then He, too, is always working also. When you pray for something and it comes to pass, that wasn’t God working right then. He was working from the beginning and you are seeing the results of His work when the prayer is finally answered. When “you” try to make things work, you put a halt on God’s progress. Once you’ve prayed, you’ve sent your request to God and He begins to work immediately. Even when the devil tries to make you believe that God isn’t working, open your mouth and say,”I believe that God is working on my situation right now.” I  love the saying “When you see the least and you feel the least, that’s when God is often doing the most.” The best part about praying is that once you’ve prayed, you can let go of your care and enjoy your life while God works on it.  Continue reading

It’s Just Not Fair

the-passion-of-the-christ-jesus-on-cross

We all have had a “woe is me” story at some point in our lives where we just don’t get why bad things keep happening to us. We can get so absorbed in “us” that we forget to take our eyes off of what really matters. This particular blog will be a reality check for some because no matter what you’re going through, it doesn’t compare to what has already been done for you through the death of Jesus Christ.  Continue reading

So You Think You Have it Bad?

One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting at the oldest brother’s house, a messenger arrived at Job’s home with this news: “Your oxen were plowing, with the donkeys feeding beside them, when the Sabeans raided us. They stole all the animals and killed all the farmhands. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.” While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with this news: “The fire of God has fallen from heaven and burned up your sheep and all the shepherds. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.” While he was still speaking, a third messenger arrived with this news: “Three bands of Chaldean raiders have stolen your camels and killed your servants. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”  While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with this news: “Your sons and daughters were feasting in their oldest brother’s home. Suddenly, a powerful wind swept in from the wilderness and hit the house on all sides. The house collapsed, and all your children are dead. I am the only one who escaped to tell you”

Job 1:13-19 NLT (emphasis added)

Some of us have so many things going on in our lives that we think, “can things get any worse?” Well, it surely happened to Job, and he was a righteous man of God. I put emphasis on certain parts of the above passage of scripture for a reason. Job was eating with his family and messengers came four different times to give him bad news, and all of which were devastating. This was clearly an attack of the devil to try to take him out (see Job 1:6-12). We throw our hands up in despair and complain over one little iota of bad news or one unpleasant circumstance, but Job received bad news of four different events in the same day, back to back. If you notice, it says “while he (the messenger) were still speaking” other messengers were still coming to deliver more bad news. I can just see Job’s face as this was happening. And to top it off, if you think this was bad, Satan, after delivering that blow to Job, went as far as to strike again and attack his body with boils (see Job 2:1-7). If you think you have it bad now, maybe you need to study the book of Job because he surely was dealt a bad hand by the enemy all at once.   Continue reading

How to Spiritually Change Your Circumstances (Conclusion): Be a Blessing to Someone Else

blessingBy everything I did, I showed how you should work to help everyone who is weak. Remember that our Lord Jesus said, “More blessings come from giving than from receiving.” (Acts 20:35 CEV)

I already know what you’re thinking, “I have my own problems. How am I going to help someone else?” I totally get it in the natural sense, but what God asks us to do is for our own good. When we do what pleases Him, there’s a shift in the spiritual realm. When you are focused on “you” and “your problems” you get into what the Bible calls “works of the flesh,” trying to devise ways on how “you” can take care of it, which in reality makes the situation worse. You may have had an instance where you had a situation and someone came to you with their problem, and without even being conscious of it, you were able to help them, but for the life of you “you” can’t figure yours out. That’s how God works… you help someone else and He in turn helps you. When you help others, you’re out of the way for God to be able to work freely without you interrupting His plans.

There is actually a physical joy that occurs in your body and in your spirit when you help someone else. You end up taking your mind off yourself for the benefit of someone else. The Good News Translation of Acts 10:35 says … “‘There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.’” I have witnessed this personally. In the midst of troubles that I’ve had, God wouldn’t let me handle my situation, but He anointed me to help someone else and I was blessed beyond measure in return. To witness the joy of someone else because of what God was able to do through me brings a joy that’s indescribable. Notice that I said… “what God was able to do through me.” In and of myself, in the midst of a trial, I’m a mess, but it’s through weakness that God makes us strong (see 1 Corinthians 12:9). The best part of helping others in time of need is that it is pleasing to God and He rewards us for it. This is probably the number one principle in getting your circumstances to change spiritually.   Continue reading

How to Spiritually Change Your Circumstances Part 9: Trust in God Alone

trustIt is better to trust in the Lord than to depend on people (Psalms 118:8 GNT).

When you are in a bind, who is the first person you go to for help? What is your first response in the situation? The quicker that you realize that God is the only one who can handle your problems, the stronger your patience in trials and your trust in God will get. Now, God can use people to get your miracle to you, but you must realize is that it’s God working through the person on your behalf. Always acknowledge that any miracle or breakthrough that you get comes from God and God alone because He is good and He cares for you.  Continue reading

How to Spiritually Change Your Circumstances Part 8: Be Content & Thankful

contentment

I am not telling you this because I need anything. I have learned to be satisfied with the things I have and with everything that happens.  I know how to live when I am poor, and I know how to live when I have plenty. I have learned the secret of being happy at any time in everything that happens, when I have enough to eat and when I go hungry, when I have more than I need and when I do not have enough. (Philippians 4:11-12 NCV)

One of the hardest things to do in the natural is to voice how “thankful” you are in the midst of a trial. To be honest, that’s the last thing your flesh wants to do, but this is why Galatians 5:16 says to walk habitually in the Spirit so you will not gratify the desires of your flesh.  Not only is voicing thankfulness difficult, trying to be content with the circumstance is even harder to do. People misconstrue the meaning of contentment. It doesn’t mean that you do not want better in life and you don’t want things to change; it just means that you are determined to be happy in your current state until God changes it. Contentment actually means, according to the Webster’s Dictionary of American Language 1828 Edition, “Rest or quietness of the mind in the present condition; satisfaction which holds the mind in peace, restraining complaint, opposition, or further desire, and often implying a moderate degree of happiness.” When you are content you are not disturbed by bad news or negative changes in your circumstances. You aren’t complaining, grumbling, and having pity parties. You are happy in the storm because you know you are coming out victorious. I like what Joyce Meyer says “Be happy where you are on the way to where you’re going.” This is contentment in its simplest form.    Continue reading