When Bad Things Happen

Flowers in Vase on Chair

Many people view trauma as God’s punishment (Hebrews 12:4-5). The truth is that, due to Jesus’ sacrifice, there is no penalty left for sin (Hebrews 10:26). Retribution is not necessary when we break God’s precepts (Hebrews 10:18), because Jesus’ blood already covers our sin (Hebrews 8:12).

 

Or we say trials are proof that God does not care. He allows bad things to happen to good people in order to deepen our intimacy with Him. Trials are just part of life on this sin-cursed globe, but we can have courage through them, because Jesus in us already overcame them (John 16:33).

 

God intervenes in life to redirect our path, to rescue us from miserable circumstances, to bless us beyond our wildest imagination, to build endurance into our character, to allow patience to perfect us (James 1:2-4), and to teach us gratitude.

 

God’s antidote for disaster is for us to sing praises to His name for what He is going to do, even when we do not see any possibilities (Hebrews 11:1-2). We rest in His love every morning, and praise Him for His faithfulness every night (Psalm 92:1-4).

 

God’s Word provides us with examples from other lives, as well as promises to us that God is trustworthy. Spending daily time in the scripture strengthens our faith and builds our trust in God alone. Fear and control are demolished on the Rock of Christ in us (Colossians 1:27-28).

 

The key to faith in trials is for us to hide in the cleft of the rock (Jeremiah 49:7-22), to snuggle deeper under His wings, to trust God in the unseen (2 Corinthians 4:18), and to focus on God’s eternal plan in it all (Psalm 91:1-4). We concentrate on what we do have and think positively about the future (Philippians 4:8-9).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You call us to come to You when we are weary and burdened, so that You can give us Your rest and comfort. We lay down our yoke, and join Jesus in Yours, because it is easy and light with Jesus helping us to carry it (Matthew 11:28-30). Then, we can sleep in peace and safety, regardless of the issues in life that we face (Psalm 4:8).

 

In quiet trust, we confess our willfulness to You that often causes our predicament, and You give us Your strength (Isaiah 30:15). Even when problems make no human sense at all, we are not anxious about anything, because we live in gratitude to You for Your provision through every trial, as we trust You for the outcome.

 

Thought for the Day:

God’s peace inundates every cell of our being, calms our troubled soul, and restores to us the joy of our salvation, as it guards our heart and mind in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7; Psalm 23

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Nobody’s Perfect

Fill the Frame Photography of Red Roses

 

No one is bad enough for God to give up on them, or good enough to earn God’s love (Ephesians 2:8-9). God already loves the whole world, and desires that not one single person will die in their sin to spend eternity separated from Him (John 3:16-18).

 

It is said that Noah’s Ark had enough room in it to house every person living in that area at that time. Yet, only Noah’s family chose to believe God and to get aboard the Ark. I think if I saw animals coming two-by-two of their own accord, it would make a Believer out of me.

 

God never sends judgment without first sending a warning. Noah preached for 120 years, and he spent a great deal of that time building the ark with his sons. Everyone had ample time to see His example, to repent of their ways, to believe God, and to get on board.

 

The same is true today (Matthew 24:37-51). People are eating and drinking, carry on with their life as usual, with little consciousness of God. Yet, He still loves them. Many others are trying to earn God’s love through self-effort; yet, that is not necessary.

 

When we confess our sins, and accept the sacrifice that Jesus paid for our redemption, we are set free from both sin and death. We start living in eternity at that moment. We are in this world, but not of this world anymore (John 15:19, 17:14-26; 1 John 2:15-17; Romans 12:2). We live for God instead.

 

God has loving plans for each one of us, which He formulated before we were ever born (Ephesians 2:10). Living in the center of God’s will for us is the happiest place on earth. We live, move and have our very existence in Him (Acts 17:28).

 

Humility and trust lead us to put our faith in the Lord’s way, timing, and will for our life. We love the Lord, our God, with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength (Matthew 22:37). We keep our mind focused on Him each moment of our day (Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

Prayer:

Father God, there is nothing that can separate us from Your love (Romans 8:31-39), except our own choices. You protect us from every principality and power in high places, but You give us a free will to make our own choices. Those choices are often contrary of Your wisdom and will for us. We start to reap from the poor choices we make, and our life goes downhill from there.

 

Remind us that You have our best interest in Your heart, that You care for us, and that You want to bless us beyond anything we can ever imagine (1 Peter 5:7; 1 Corinthians 2:9). We are so grateful for Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf and for Your plan of salvation to redeem our spirit, to sanctify our soul, and to glorify our body for eternity.

 

Thought for the Day:

We can pile our troubles on God’s capable shoulders, because He cares for us more than we can ever care about our self; He turns our hurts and trials into blessings; He loves us just the way we are, with all of our sins and peculiarities, without judgment and with the promise of a fulfilled future.

– Romans 8:1; Ephesians 3:16-19, Amplified Bible

Our Victory in Christ

Selective Focus Photo of Pink Gerbera Daisy Flower

 

Sin separates us from God, and grieves His Holy Spirit. This limits our ability to be used by God, and to form an intimate relationship with Him. We also lose the peace and joy available to us through salvation.

 

God no longer receives any joy from our behavior either. We crucify the Lord Jesus again by our choices. What a sobering thought that is. We know that this world, including its lusts, will pass away.

 

However, we have a personal guarantee from the Lord, that authentic Believers will abide throughout eternity (1 John 2:17). Therefore, it is in our best interest to refuse to sin. ; We change our focus to the victory won for us by Jesus’ death (Hebrews 6:6; 1 Corinthians 15:56-57).

 

Temptations often lure us into sin; but God promises to give us a way to escape that allurement (1 Corinthians 10:13). The more we give in to the attraction to unrighteousness, the easier it is to slip into sin again with the next enticement.

 

Jesus’ victory over sin and death actually enables us to counterattack temptation. The Holy Spirit also empowers us to resist temptation, and to walk in Jesus’ righteousness (Philippians 2:13). Let us never get comfortable with sin as normal behavior.

 

God’s promises, as well as His faithfulness to bring them to pass in our life, enables us to trust Him to provide us with all of our needs. Jesus walked through life in sinless perfection, and He abides in us by His Spirit to keep us holy as well.

 

Prayer:

Father God, You help us to resist every temptation that ever arises in our life. We want to be diligent in times of temptation to keep from falling into Satan’s trap to steal, kill and destroy us. We draw near to You, resist the devil, and he must flee from us (James 4:7-10). We pursue holiness through the desire and the power of Christ in us (Philippians 2:13).

 

We rely on You to prevent us from choosing to sin, and to help us choose righteous thoughts, words and deeds instead. Thank you for dwelling within us, and giving us the goal and ability to walk in sinless perfection, and to intimately dwell with You now and for eternity (Philippians 2:12-13; Matthew 5:48).

 

Thoughts for the Day:

Living in God’s ways is the only path through life that benefits us, and does not bring irrevocable harm to us; His plans do not harm us, and they give us a hopeful future. – Jeremiah 29:11

 

 

 

A Good Marriage – Open Communication

 

Selective Focus Photography of Pink Bougainvillea Flowers

 

For the zillionth time, you probably forgot the topic of your last fight with you spouse. Why did you disagree so vehemently? Why was it so important? What fueled your intense emotion and discord? Was it worth the consequences of your words and actions? Did it really matter anyway?

 

Most of time we would have to answer, “No.” Satan has a way of blowing things up in our mind until they seem to be immensely important – important enough to vent our annoyance, to wound our spouse, and to stick to our pride and refuse to compromise on some issue.

 

We fall for the devil’s lies every time, and reap what we sow, which is not really necessary. Unresolved conflicts mount up in our mind and turn into an insurmountable mountain of hurt feelings, wounded egos, lack of communication, neglect, abandonment, disappointments and misunderstandings.

 

There is always a third option. We never need to choose sides and stubbornly fight to the finish. Instead, we can chat together to find an agreeable solution. The more time we spend together, communicating over daily feelings and issues, the less we fight.

 

Sharing with each other, and actually listening to each other, showing concern and compassion for one another, etc. improves our bond of love. We actually look forward to seeing each other, and we make time to pray and to play together.

 

Prayer:

Father God, teach us how to love unconditionally, to nurture our love for one another, to make the time and to reserve the energy it takes to communicate and to enjoy each other’s company. Help us to simplify our life, reduce our stress, and spend quality time together.

 

Your Word reminds us that it is the little foxes (irritations, disagreements, hurts, slights, broken promises) that spoil the vine (Song of Solomon 2:15). Remind us that investing time in our relationship pays big dividends in the long run. Help us to discover shared ministry, interests, hobbies, and even making time to shop and cook together, so that we can increase our intimacy.

 

Thought for the Day:

Unresolved conflict festers like a splinter under our skin and eventually causes an infection in our relationship; seeking a counselor to help sort through our issues is worth the investment.

 

 

God is Our Provider

Purple Flower Bouquet on White Woven Chair

 

Even when we work for what we have, it ultimately all comes from God (1 Corinthians 4:7). He provides our job, health, and mental and emotional capacity to work for it; therefore, it all belongs to Him (Psalm 84:11).

 

God sends His blessings on thousands of generations of those who love Him (Exodus 20:5-6). It grieves God when we use His gifts for our own glory and motives (Proverbs 10:3); therefore, He prunes His children of negative fruit, so that we can bear even more fruit for Him (Romans 8:28-29, 32).

 
When our motivation in life is service to our King Jesus, we do not care about accolades from people, or the size of our bank account (Matthew 6:33). We trust God for each moment of our life, and He delights in blessing us (Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 4:19; Hebrews 11:6).

 

No one’s criticism diminishes our standing with God or our self, and no praise inflates our ego. We thank people for their encouraging praise and give the glory to God. We depend on God for everything, because apart from Him we can do nothing lasting (2 Corinthians 12:9).

We refuse to entertain anxiety over things pertaining to this world, remembering that, “God’s got this!” (Matthew 6:25-34). We can ask for what we need to accomplish His will for our life, and He provides it (2 Corinthians 9:8; Psalm 107:9).

 

God is able to do more for us than we could ever imagine, because His power is working in His Saints throughout every generation (Ephesians 3:20). He is our God, our rock of refuge, our shield of salvation, our fortress, our stronghold and our deliverer (Psalm 18:2).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You give us everything that we need to sustain us, as we serve You during our lifetime, and we lack no good thing (Psalm 14:10; Matthew 21:22). We did not choose You, but You chose us, and appointed us to bear fruit for Your Kingdom (John 15:6). Remind us to tithe into Your storehouse from our first fruits.

 

Then, You can open the windows of Heaven for us (Malachi 3:10). We knock and You miraculously open doors for us; we diligently seek, and we always find the answers that we need (Matthew 7:7-8). If we abide in You, and Your words abide in us, we can look to You to supply all of our needs (John 14:13-14, 26; 15:7).

 

Thought for the Day:

God gives us food in due season, satisfies our desires, and strengthens our inner being with His power through His Spirit, so that we can experience true intimacy with His Son who dwells in our heart through faith.

– Ephesians 3:16-17; 1 John 3:22; Psalm 145:15-16

 

 

Relinquishing All of Our Cares

Red Roses

 

Anger and unforgiveness often go hand-in-hand and wreak havoc in our body, soul and spirit. Chronic worry, fear, anxiety, etc. are sister emotions and are also harmful to our physical, emotional and spiritual health.

 

Vocational pressure, hyper-schedules, and expectations from our self or others, intensify these toxic emotions. We strive for success and end up in bondage to perfectionism. We make to-do lists that grow longer every day, which overwhelms us.

 

Shame from satanic lies and our sinful behavior is another toxic emotion. We compare our self with others and feel “less than”. Striving in our human power to overcome these issues drains us of energy needed for other things.

 

Resolving conflicts by communicating our feelings will reduce our anger. Forgiving others does not excuse them, but it removes us from living in bondage to their behavior. Coming to Christ for forgiveness of our sins also helps us to heal (Philippians 2:12-13).

 

God heals us from Satan’s lies, which greatly improves our health, peace and joy. Living in harmony with God’s Spirit, and detoxing our emotions and the chemical burden on our body, reduces the inflammation in our body, which causes most of our physical illnesses.

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Daily journaling our thoughts, troubles, worries, negative emotions, and concerns helps us to detoxify many of our negative emotions. Journaling aids us in reducing our stress level, worry and sleepless nights. It frees our soul of an unhealthy toxic burden.

 

We can accept our negative emotions instead of hiding them in our subconscious mind, or quietly nursing them. Feeling the emotions fully and asking God to help us to change our focus about the issue is very helpful in finding freedom from it.

 

Prayer:

Father God, when we lay awake with the acid of anxiety churning in our stomach, and worry controlling our thoughts, we are lacking in faith in Your faithfulness. Remind us that if we are fine in this one moment of time, regardless of what happened today, yesterday, or the threats of negative experiences tomorrow, we can let go of our cares by placing them in Your heart and capable hands (1 Peter 5:7).

 

You are more than proficient in resolving every issue in our life, as we bask in Your presence, praise You for Your blessings, thank You for what you did and do and will do for us, and trust You for each moment of our life. Remind us to trust in You with our whole heart, and not to depend on our human understanding, reasoning and talents.

 

Thought for the Day:

Worry is toxic and useless, but trusting in God brings added blessings to our life that we never imagined would happen; if we forcefully throw all of our anxiety into God’s hands to carry, His peace and joy immediately flood our soul and free us from all anxiety.

– 1 Peter 5:7

 

Salty Saints

Forest Surrounded by Yellow Leaves on Ground

 

Jesus pointed out two distinct ways that He wants us to live on this earth. One is as salt, and the other is as light. Our dark, depraved society truly needs both of them, and that is our commission from our King Jesus.

 

In fact, Jesus feels so strongly about this that He declares that if we are not fulfilling this purpose for our life, He will toss us out into the world, and we will get trampled by men (Matthew 5:13). What does it mean to be salt and light?

 

Well, light is easy to understand. Jesus is our Inner Light and the only way that people around us will not see it, is if we hide it under a covering (Matthew 5:16). As light, we brighten our little spot on the globe, as well as the lives of those we know around the earth.

 

Salt is harder to comprehend, unless we see what the purpose of salt is in our world. It is good on its own merit, but it makes everything else tastier and richer. It is possible to have too much salt, however; and that is when it affects us negatively.

 

First, salt is an antibacterial, and was used for centuries of time to protect food from rotting and causing illness. Salt impedes the decomposing process, and prolongs the usefulness of the product it preserves. We help to preserve those whom God is calling to Himself.

 

We also stand up for the rights of unborn children, the abused and the oppressed. We help others in their hard times, and we keep them encouraged as they face life’s wounds and set-backs. We are also examples to others of a healthy life in every area.

 

Secondly, salt improves the world around us. It brings out the flavor inherent in the food we eat, and in the lives of those we encounter every day – even if we do not know them. As salt, we enhance the flavors in the world around us.

 

Salt will even make things sweeter by contrast. As our relationship with Jesus grows more harmonious day-by-day, this agreeable flavor affects the world around us. Our Godly example is noticed by many, imitated by some, and an encouragement to others.

 

Prayer:

Father God, help us to brighten, enhance and flavor the microcosm of our world. Remind us to walk in Your Spirit’s direction for each moment of our day, so that we can help to preserve our society for goodness, sanctity and holiness. Teach us that, as light, people see our good works and give You the glory (Matthew 5:16).

 

Then, as salt, You use us to flavor the lives around us and help to preserve a Godly medicinal value in the rotting world in which we live. Allow all of our friends, relatives, associates and neighbors to be influenced by Your Christ in us. We want to walk in Your will and further Your Kingdom each moment of our day.

 

Thought for the Day:

We are salty Saints when we help to preserve and flavor the goodness in the world arounds us, and in our church family; we live at peace with one another, full of God’s compassion and graciousness, and we endeavor to answer questions and give a reason for the hope that abides within us.

– Colossians 4:6; Mark 9:50