November 21, 2017

JOY

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You know when you have a lack of joy in your life.  I would say right now is such a time for me.  I am desperately in need of some joy.  Joy gives you true motivation to sanely make it through each day.  It’s what makes it easier to get out of bed. It is closely related to hope and peace.  If you are not at peace then it is hard maintain joy and hope.

My pastor says you choose joy. I believe this is true. Which means that the lack of joy I am experiencing right now is my own doing.  However, I’m lacking the motivation to do anything about my current situation.  You could say that I am weary—I’m tired and I just want a break from life.

Romans 15:13 is my prayer.

“Maythe God of hope fill {me} with all joy and peace as {I} trust in Him,
so that {I} may overflow with hope by the power of His Holy Spirit.”

See how closely related joy, peace, and hope are?  Joy, hope and peace are all things that are only possible when we keep our eyes firmly focused on God.  And even though sometimes we may get weary of doing right and good, pushing forward through our feelings is the way to go.  The Bible clearly tells us…

“Let us not become weary in doing good,
for at the proper time we will reap a harvest
if we do not give up.”
Galatians 6:9

My pastor says, do what you do know to do when you don’t know what to do.  And above all honesty helps…honesty and friends.

I Will Not Be Moved

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I have been the wayward child, I have acted out
I have questioned sovereignty and had my share of doubts
And though sometimes my prayers feel like they’re bouncing off the sky
The hand I hold won’t let me go
and is the reason why…

I will stumble, I will fall down
But I will not be moved
I will make mistakes, I will face heartache
But I will not be moved
On Christ the Solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
I will not be moved

Bitterness has plagued my heart many times before
My life has been like broken glass, and I have kept the score
of all my shattered dreams and though it seemed
that I was far too gone
My brokenness helped me to see it’s grace I’m standing on

I will stumble, I will fall down
But I will not be moved
I will make mistakes, I will face heartache
But I will not be moved
On Christ the Solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
I will not be moved

And the chaos in my life has been a badge I’ve worn
And though I have been torn
I will not be moved

I will not be moved
I will make mistakes, I will face heartache
But I will not be moved
On Christ the Solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
I will not be moved

Singer / Songwriter: Natalie Grant
 *   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   * 

What does it mean to be solid in your faith?

The definition of the word solid is “…firm and stable”.  How can we be firm and stable—solid— in our faith when the storms of life are threatening to take us down? Although not the easy path the answer is a simple one—it is a choice.

When life seems out of control and you don’t feel as though you are going to get through it, you have to choose to trust in God. He promises to get us through the storms and, if we don’t give up or lose hope, we will see the victory in the end.

A solid faith is not based on circumstances.  It is trust and hope in God in the midst of the circumstances…refusing to be moved from that place.  I trust in You, Lord, for You are faithful!!!

Although most of my circumstances have not been pleasant (and many I would not have chosen), God has been faithful. In each and every one, I have experienced Him in such a powerful way and learned lessons I would not have otherwise learned. When something comes my way, I am always looking for those blessings in disguise along with what God wants me to learn through it.

Anyone who listens to My teaching and follows it is wise,
like a person who builds a house on solid rock.
Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise
and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.
But anyone who hears My teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish,
like a person who builds a house on sand.
When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house,
it will collapse with a mighty crash.
Matthew 7: 24-27 NLT

We must be building our lives on Christ the Solid Rock and refusing to be moved when the storms of life come.  Otherwise we are on sinking sand…and there goes our hope and our strength.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
Proverbs 13:12 ESV

Let us become a tree of life as we choose to put our hope in Him.

And let us not grow weary of doing good,
for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Let us choose not to become weary
Galatians 6:9 ESV

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Oh Father, life is hard—there is no doubt about it.  But You have told us to take heart because You have overcome the world.  May we choose to put our hope and trust in You and not grow weary and give up!  If we continue to fight the good fight, we will be victorious.  Thank You for that promise…in Jesus’ name, amen.

16 Day Love Challenge: Chapter 1 – Patience

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To Walk or Stay

I have a friend who is struggling with a situation in her life. The enemy is trying his best to steal, kill, and destroy all that she has. In the midst of this, God is reaching out to her and asking if she will walk in patience with Him. Will she give Him the time needed to turn this around?

We understand patience when the context is to be patient with our loved ones or others. But to be patient with God for the purpose of giving Him time to turn our situation around—this is asking a lot of a person, especially when they are looking back as a witness on the destruction of something that was once so promising.

I wonder if this post has found you in a place where God is asking you the same question: “Do you have the strength (patience) to turn to Me and let Me walk you through this?”

One of the most powerful things I have learned in my walk with God is that my trials tend to unmask my weaknesses. Once my weaknesses are revealed, I am left with a decision to make.

Will I walk away from the person and the situation or can I stand still and let God work to save my relationship?

In my pain and anger, I feel walking away would be the easy decision. After all, I have been hurt by this person and have a right to walk away. Entangled in my thoughts of leaving, I hear God’s voice softly speak to my heart.

The thing I LOVE about God is the fact that He is not demanding. He understands the hurt we have been through. He gets that our hearts can only take so much. So He gently asks us, “Will you walk away or can you stand still and wait for Me to turn your situation around?” James tells us why we should consider God’s request:

This you know, my beloved brethren. But let everyone be quick to hear,
slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man
does not achieve the righteousness of God.
James 1:19-20

Our anger (though understandable) will not achieve the righteousness God is looking for. He wants to develop Righteousness in our character and will use our trial as the vehicle to use when we are willing. Standing still means we are willing to not only be patient with Him, it says we are willing to recognize our weaknesses and walk through them -one by one.

Facing our unrighteousness can be tough. Sometimes this reveals where we are wrong in the situation. Facing ourselves means we are putting a Holy mirror in front of us. God’s Holiness reveals the areas we need to change. But God gives strength to those who are willing to be patient with Him…

But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31

God’s Word tells us that if we will wait on the Lord, He will renew our strength. We will mount up with wings like eagles. God spoke to my heart once again as I read this verse. Mounting up with wings is a promise to those of us who choose to walk in patience with Him to the end. The wings represent flight, or an easy flow of things. Once we overcome one of our weaknesses, the road ahead will be so much easier to navigate. Our character is strengthened and our relationship has the chance to turn around, as God is now able to use us as His vessels.

To the one who is reading this post and facing a trial of your own, I ask you the question: Will you walk or will you stand?  I pray you will choose to stand and let God turn your situation around.

* * * * * * *

Here are a few more verses to further encourage you:

And let us not lose heart in doing good,
for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary.
Galatians 6:9

And we urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly,
encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all men.
1 Thessalonians 5:14

Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;
Do not fret, it leads only to evildoing.
For evildoers will be cut off,
But those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land.
Psalms 37:7-9

Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.
Psalm 46:10

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk
in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,
with all humility and gentleness, with patience,
showing forbearance to one another in love,
Ephesians 4:1-2

Ten Ways to Stick to an Exercise Program – #7 Progress Slowly and Be Patient

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Why does it happen every year?  Those New Year “Resolutioners” who start a new exercise regiment only to quit before spring arrives.  Research shows 60% of people who start an exercise program drop out within the first 6 months or even less. In my opinion, there are three reasons why people quit so quickly.

  1. They attempt too much too fast.
  2. Their schedule cannot handle that big of a change.
  3. They are not patient and want to see quick results.

When it all becomes overwhelming without seeing the desired results, they throw in the towel.  To stick to an Exercise Program past the first six weeks, you have to progress slowly and be patient.

HOW IS YOUR PATIENCE?

Patience. Who really likes that word?  I have to be honest; patience is not my best attribute.  When things are not going my way, my natural tendency is to become aggravated and quit.  However, when I think about the qualities of Jesus, I can’t help but think about how patient He is with me.  Where would I be if Jesus gave up on me so quickly?  He believes in me and knows what I can accomplish through Him.  Despite my weakness and failures, He never gives up on me.

What if you had the same patience with yourself that Christ has with you?  What could you accomplish? Could having patience with yourself be a way for you to stick to an exercise program and make it a habit? What would happen if you did not give up so quickly?

Galatians 6:9 says:

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

 I WANT IT NOW

I definitely like living in a world where we can get almost anything, quickly.  When I  make up my mind that I want something my philosophy is “why drag out the process.” I have even said this to God when praying for certain things in my life.  🙂  Thankfully, He knew that I needed to progress slowly and not add too much to my plate at one time.  There were things He needed to teach me that would take time.  He knows every time how much I can handle at each stage of my life.

It is the same with exercise.  Killing yourself trying to get quick results is not the way to develop healthy habits that will lead to a consistent exercise program.  A new program must be designed with the right program at this stage of your life.

Don’t give up on yourself.  Results happen when you are consistent.  When you decide to be patient and progress slowly, you will find it is easier to stick to an exercise program.

In Good Health,

Crystal