As of late, when asked how I am doing, my response is, “all is well because God is good!”
Yes, I agree, life can be tough, and problems are real.
Bills need to get paid
Hearts get broken
BUT GOD IS STILL GOD, AND HE IS GOOD SO ALL IS WELL!
This statement is not a dismissal or denial of the difficulties that life brings. Instead, it is a choice to magnify God over my difficulties and to remind myself that all things will work together for my good. Why is it so easy for us to focus on the negative things around us while dismissing the overwhelming evidence of God’s goodness that is constantly before us? This morning, I opened my bedroom blinds and was in awe of the beautiful sunset that greeted me. I had to pause and take it all in. What I saw confirmed Psalm 19, “the heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.”
We have a choice. We can begin our day focusing on our problems and the business that awaits us, or we can pause to acknowledge the goodness of God. You don’t have to look very far to see it, creation testifies of His goodness. I see and acknowledge it, so I will continue to say and live in the reality that, “all is well because God is good!” What declaration rooted in truth are you making today?
I recently read, Sands of Forgiveness. It is a very thought provoking, well written book that pulls you in from the beginning. I completed the book last night and could not help but to reflect on what I read. I encourage you to get a copy of this book, it is well worth it. The following are my reflections.
Many choose to hold on to scars from the past. The pain endured from previous experience is worn as a badge of honor instead of being released. Stories of hurtful words spoken over us is on constant replay. We find ways to bring up how others hurt us in most of our conversations. If we don’t have an audience, we retreat to our minds with the same agonizing stories.
Unresolved pain distorts our vision. We can no longer see God for who He is or ourselves for who He made us. It is easy to accuse God or even question His goodness when pain is the blanket, we choose to insulate ourselves with. We allow the pain to redefine our identity. Sometimes we have operated in that false identity for so long that we forget who we really are.
We cannot erase the hurtful words or evil actions done toward us, but we can control our response. They may have tried to change our name to worthless, stupid, ugly, etc. but they should not be given the power to change who we were created to be. Reliving the past is a great way to remain in chains. Freedom is not based on my external circumstances, but it is more of an inward reality.
We have the authority to reject the lies, release the offense and move forward in our destiny. Remaining stuck in our past pain is not the only option! It is wise to make the choice to move forward, and when we do the grace of God meets us in powerful ways.
Reflection Questions: Have you settled on believing the lies and wallowing in the pain from the past? Do you often relive past pain in your conversations? I encourage you to bring it to Jesus.
Psalm 34:18 (NIV)The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
I have known for a long time that writing books was a part of my purpose. I would start and then stop. I would either get distracted or discouraged. I finally made up my mind to sit and focus and write my first book but there was one problem, I didn’t know where to start. Which book do I write fist? The week I was praying and asking God for clarity was the week that a sweet friend invited me to a service at a local church. At that service, the Lord prophetically used the speaker to answer my prayer. I came home energized and encouraged. The Lord helped me to see that the material for my first book had already been written and it was just a matter of editing it and putting it in book form. I hit some bumps along the way, but I was determined to complete what I started. When I got serious, God sent me the help that I needed to complete it…and I really needed help! One of my biggest sources of help came from the author of this award winning book.
I am so happy to announce that as of this week, my first book, “Lessons Learned Along the Way: A 40 Day Devotional,” has been released. I took the content that I wrote for my 40-day reflection before my 40th birthday and created a devotion with reflection questions and scriptures for meditation. You can find it on Amazon in both kindle and paperback form. If you choose to purchase it and are blessed by what you read, I invite you to leave a review on Amazon so that others would be encouraged to get it as well. This is indeed a dream realized!
Reflection Question: Is there something God has called you to do but you have put it to the side? Do you need clarity on how to pursue that purpose? I encourage you to earnestly seek the Lord and respond in obedience to His directives!
We live in a culture where greed and the abundance of material things are promoted. However, as of late, the minimalism movement is of interest to many. Why is that? Could it be that people are finding out that material things don’t bring lasting satisfaction? I was watching a video on minimalism by a Christian youtuber and she made a powerful statement. In reference to minimalism she said that it was the “giving away of stuff to find that more!” That statement hit me to my core because it is so easy to misdiagnose what we need more of. Therefore, some continue to grasp for joy in material things, but it is all in vein. The only “more” that can truly satisfy is Jesus! In the moment, material things are great to have but they quickly lose their luster. However, a relationship with Jesus fills us to satisfaction, again and again.
Take inventory of your actions and your priorities. What is the “more” you have been seeking after? Is it more of Jesus? Or is it more of this world and its possessions?
John 6:35 NIV
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
1 Timothy 6:6 NLT
Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.
God often calls us to do things that scare us or make us uncomfortable. Previously I abandoned some of my God given assignments because they were hard. We have assumed that the call of God is easy. This is often not the case. You don’t believe me?
Ask Moses how he felt standing before Pharaoh repeatedly.
Ask David how he felt running from Saul, the one occupying the position God called David to.
Ask Esther how she felt standing before the King, risking her life because she had not been summoned.
And my favorite, ask Jesus how He felt in the Garden of Gethsemane agonizing because he felt the weight of what was before Him.
In this season, I am stepping out and doing specific things I’m called to, and quite honestly it is difficult. Being stretched is uncomfortable. But I am learning that God is more concerned with my obedience than He is with my comfort. And while it is difficult, I am seeing His grace show up as I move in obedience.
Have you been putting off what God has called you to do because it is difficult? Are you waiting for it to make sense and become easy? I encourage to move in faith and obedience and the grace of God will meet you in the hard.
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
We fight from a place of defeat when we don’t know our identity and we are then unaware of what is rightfully ours. We must first know who we are, what we possess, and then fight accordingly! 1 John 3:1-2 and Ephesians 1:5 both remind us that we are children of God. As children of God, victory is our inheritance. Deuteronomy 20:4 says, “For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” If we walked in that reality, our response to the attack of the enemy would be so different. We would fight from a stance of victory and not one of fear and defeat. We would put down our carnal weapons and instead put on the armor of God and face the battle with confidence. Think about it, what do we have to fear if God is with us in the battle? Reflect on all the battles before you, how have you been approaching them? Be reminded of who you are and fight knowing the victory is already yours!