Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Not Allowing External Circumstances to Change our Hope

The recession of 2008 hit a lot of people really hard. The stock market crashed, the real estate market plummeted, and many people lost their jobs. During a time like that, it can be hard to maintain unwavering hope, especially when feeling unsure and unsteady.

But during a time such as this, hope, faith, and trust that things will be ok are important things to never lose sight of. We need to stand strong in our faith, and trust in ourselves as well. God will give us the strength we need at the times we need it the most.

Resist temptation to give in to impure thoughts during this time, such as negativity, cynicism, and gossip, as this will only hinder perseverance. Save your strength to pray, and make sure to focus on the positives as much as possible.

It is during tough times, that our strength and perseverance are made stronger.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Taking our Thoughts Captive

With a new career, a move, a new lifestyle, and financial strain, it has been more difficult than I thought it would be to maintain a pure and positive attitude. I've found that it stems from my thoughts. I've found myself doubting where I've been called, feeling unworthy, and unsure. However, God has shown me how important it is to take those thoughts captive. With reading and some time, God has shown me to not allow negative thoughts to place me in an ill-fitting position; nor should I continue to dwell on them and allow harmful thoughts to impact me in a way that God does not have for me. 

Philippians 4:8 states to focus on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. God knows how our thoughts can distract our path and what we believe. God wants us to focus on good, and not allow our thoughts to break us. Focus on God's truth and what is right and pure. I've found it helpful to acknowledge when those thoughts enter, pray about them, and if they are causing fear, knowing they are not right for me. I know that God will give me peace about a decision, rather than fear. 
. . . whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or worthy of praise – think about these things.  Philippians 4:8

Set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on worldly things.  Colossians 3:1-2

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Trusting God

During both happy and tough seasons, it's important to rely on God and trust in Him fully. I thought that each day I was trusting in God completely and wholeheartedly, but when it comes to the things I really hold tightly to, I realized I have not been fully relinquishing control of them to God.

When I get really nervous or tense, or even scared and fearful I crumble when it comes to trusting fully. This became so clear to me yesterday, when I found myself shaking and fearful of failure in a situation that was both uncomfortable but necessary. I desperately wanted to succeed and found myself trying to play out all the facts in my mind of how I could be successful and how I could manipulate the situation to work out how I wanted. Until I realized, that I was shaking and so fearful because I couldn't fully let the situation and outcome go, and trust God. 

I learned so much about myself this week. In situations where I am unsure and lacking confidence in myself, I need to remember how much God cares and is with me, just as He is with you. Allow His will to be done in your life, and trust Him. Allow God to amaze you, as He did with me. He calmed me, brought me back to center, and allowed me to find deep peace outside the situation that was causing me fear. 

I'm learning each day to let go a little more, even when I think I fully have, I have to push myself because when it comes to the little things that are holding us back, they have to be dealt with in order for God to keep moving us forward in the direction He needs us. 

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.  

Monday, May 23, 2016

Walking with God to Overcome Faults that Trip You Up

I've been going through a season where I'm learning a lot, and have had to come face to face with things I need to improve on. It's tough when it feels like you're being picked on, and you feel very convicted about things that have been said or done. But I am so thankful that God is showing me these things because I wouldn't be able to change without it.

I am currently reading a devotional about pain, that mentions if we didn't feel pain sometimes we wouldn't change; and we also wouldn't value the happy times as much. So in these tough moments when I'm feeling convicted and in the hard process of taking baby steps to allow God to help me overcome some character traits, I am allowing God to help me to be more loving to others in every area of my life. 

Have you shared those same frustrations of getting upset with someone, and allowing your words to come out very harshly on them? Do you get irritated, discouraged, or upset easily? Judge others?

God has been showing me these thoughts and actions I've been taking, but with prayer and asking Him to teach me, I am seeing small steps towards overcoming these, and other things, so I can love others the way God wants and needs me to, unconditionally.

Forgiveness has also been a huge part of the process. Being able to fully let go and forgive others  for past hurts and fully forgive myself- this allows for God's healing to take place, and for you to draw nearer to Him. I've learned that when there are things in the middle, they may block the fullness of His presence and your time with Him

Acts 3:19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

What is Real Happiness According to Scripture?

God created us in His image, and God created happiness. For more information on Happiness, read The Happiness Dare by Jennifer Dukes Lee. 

Read more about it on my Anchor for My Hope's Reading at: http://anchorformyhopereading.blogspot.com

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
John 16:24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Being Honest With Love and Kindness

Ephesians 4:1-2 "to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." 
Ephesians 4:15 "Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ."

God instructs us to love others, to encourage, and uplift them. To bear their burdens with them; to share in emotions with them. Telling the Truth in Love can be difficult, but being honest is important, as we shouldn't sweep away our feelings, especially if it's something that's important in the long term. If done with kindness and honesty, it can be very effective for the relationship. 

We make sure our support doesn't come from a place of judgement but out of love for God and the person we care about.

Here are some ways to be honest with Kindness and Love:
1. Understand the situation from the other person's perspective as well so you can see the whole picture of honesty. 
2. Show humility but also be honest with how you are really feeling; don't tuck it away.
3. Share what you need to in a loving, nonjudgmental, and caring way that is based on scriptural truths
4. Express that you care about this person, and say what you need to in a kind, encouraging way.

Most importantly, remain hopeful in the situation, pray about it, and share your honest feelings (keeping both sides in perspective), while always showing kindness. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

When Discouragement is Real


 Life can be very beautiful and very wonderful, and amazing. Life can also get hard, and complicated, and messy. We get hurt and our hearts broken when people and the world lets us down.  It can also be crushing when you try to reach out to others for help in a tough season, and they don't respond in the way you hoped they would to provide support and encouragement. It's important to remain hopeful; keep reaching out, stay positive, and look towards the bright side of the situation, as much as possible. Keep listening for guidance from God, and listen to others, as God can definitely speak through them too. The world is a broken place and it rarely offers the kind of peace we are looking for; it rarely fills the hole we are looking to fill. This emptiness can only be found truly in Christ.

In these tough moments and seasons, it's important to remember who we are and how much God loves us and He is with us fully in it all. God uses pain to bring about something new-  Isaiah 66:9. We can also be thankful in the things God shows us and what He has already blessed us with.

When life lets you down, it's an opportunity for you to press in to God so you can feel His love and reassurance that He is there no matter what. Let God fill you when you feel empty and sad. Let Him be your constant anchor when you feel unsure during a stormy season. Pray about what is on your mind and let Him speak to you. Give thanks. Know that God works all things out for good, and for those who love him- Romans 8:28