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

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Truth or Convenience?

A few days later Felix and his wife, Drusilla, who was Jewish, sent for Paul and listened to him talk about a life of believing in Jesus Christ. As Paul continued to insist on right relations with God and his people, about a life of moral discipline and the coming Judgment, Felix felt things getting a little too close for comfort and dismissed him. “That’s enough for today. I’ll call you back when it’s convenient.”      

(Acts 24:24-25 MSG emphasis added)

People today would rather hear what sounds good rather than what will benefit them and help them grow. Sadly, telling the truth in this day and age is more like a sin than lying. Wanting to hear what always feels good does more damage than hearing the heartbreaking truth. We can only grow when we know the error of our ways and only hearing the truth will do this. People draw back when the truth is spoken. They withdraw from people, places (church), activities (Bible reading), and God when confronted. We love convenience too much to the point where we are in jeopardy of Godly living. We want to interpret and twist facts to help benefit our individual agendas. We actually stifle our own growth by doing these things. In today’s scripture, Paul was trying to explain to Felix how to live right before God and his people, discipline, and God’s soon coming judgment. Paul was sent away until a more convenient time because what Paul was telling him was hitting the wrong cords for Felix. When we do things like this, we are setting ourselves up to live a life of deception. Everything will not always be easy, and it surely won’t always feel good, but we’ll never grow in God if we don’t hear the hardcore truth daily. The more we run from the truth, the more the devil can use and deceive us. Ultimately, this sets us up to live a life of bondage.  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

Once Upon a Time

God overlooks it as long as you don’t know any better—but that time is past. The unknown is now known, and he’s calling for a radical life-change. (Acts 17:30 MSG)

Every person inherently has a childish nature no matter their age. When we don’t get what we want we can revert to childish ways. Before you knew the behavior was wrong, it was acceptable, so to speak, but when you accepted Jesus as your Lord, and the Bible became your foundation for everything that you do, your behavior must change. No longer is it acceptable to tell everyone off who doesn’t do what you want them to, or harbor bitterness and resentment to show your disapproval and the like. Pity parties, pouting, shutting everyone out is no longer acceptable. It’s time to grow up and put away childish ways. You cannot change on your own so you will need the Holy Spirit’s help to convict you of all childish behavior.  Continue reading

Get Focused

goal-11

Then the LORD answered me, “Write the vision. Make it clear on tablets so that anyone can read it quickly.

Habakkuk 2:2 GW

How many times do you plan to do something and then get sidetracked by life, procrastination, work, kids, other tasks, etc.  In reality, no one plans to start something never intending to finish it—that would just be a waste of time and energy. God said to write the vision down and make it plain so anyone can see it—namely you.  When something is in front of you, it’s quite hard not to work towards it because it just stares at you day after day, and it will continue to do so until you make steps towards completing that goal or task. Having it in plain view helps to remind you every day that there is always something to do.   Continue reading

Clean House

let-it-go

Get rid of your bitterness, hot tempers, anger, loud quarreling, cursing, and hatred.

Ephesians 4:31 GW (emphasis added)

It’s a new year and it’s time for new beginnings and a new perspective. It’s time for Christians to start wanting more for themselves and wanting more out of life. God didn’t intend for us to have barely making it, mediocre lives because in John 10:10 He says, “I came so they might have and enjoy their lives.” Living in God’s fullness has a lot to do with our attitudes and perspectives on life and our circumstances. We need to stop blaming God for what we think isn’t happening or going right, and look within to see the part that we are playing in it. If we are mature enough to do so, we will find that the problem lies with us, and there are some changes that need to be made.  Continue reading