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

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Feelings Can Mislead Decisions

Feelings can often lead you down a road that you don't want to be. They may misguide you in a lot of ways. Feelings are great for an initial direction and God gave us feelings and emotions so we can experience life fully. However, we shouldn't be using feelings and emotions as our main guide, as they can cause a person's foundation to be unstable where God wants your foundation to be firm and based on Truth-what God says in scripture. 

Emotional-based feelings often make you feel extremes (happy and sad) and can make you feel disoriented and directionless. They can leave you confused and may keep you from often making wise choices. They can come from lies that we tell ourselves or lies that we have heard from others. The heart can be deceiving (The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9)

The most important thing is to pray and stay founded in Truth- what God says in His Word. Don't be mislead by your emotions and destructive thoughts that you change paths from where God wants you to be. The most important thing is to pray, and what you receive God's peace on is the direction you should aim for. 

As humans, we tend to base each day on our feelings, and our feelings can change so easily based on so many different things; our feelings are fickle!

Instead, base your daily life on who God tells us we are, which is loved and cherished, and blessed. Be grateful and thankful for the blessings God has given us each day. Remind ourselves that things aren't based on feelings, they are based on God-given truths.

John 8:44 Our enemy, the devil, wants to control us, and his target is our will. The main way he tries to influence our will is through lying to us. He’s a liar and the “father of lies” .

John 3:20 For whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.  

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Bring Your Requests to the Lord

God is gracious, generous, and giving; and He also wants to do something amazing in your life everyday, you just need to be open to receiving and seeing it. 

Isaiah 30:18 says: “Therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you…. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him….”

Pray to Him and ask boldly of the things you are needing and hoping for; having faith and love for our God who provides. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

In Tough Circumstances, Remember to Trust God

When everything is going right, it's easy to smile and be happy. When things are tough, and aren't going as expected or how we would like things to go, it gets tough and can often become a struggle inside ourselves.

Maybe we expect certain outcomes or set expectations for what we think it should look like, but sometimes God wants us to be on a different path than the one we have for ourselves. 

In these trying times, I try to remember that God has a plan, He wants what is good for us, and in that moment of realizing that, I have to press in to Him and trust that He will protect me, and make my paths straight.

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Friday, March 18, 2016

Making Great Decisions in Difficult Situations

When I'm having a hard time making decisions on things that aren't a big deal, I'm not trusting and leaning in to God fully. 

Situations may appear to be difficult, and decisions needing to be made are causing pressure, and these combined cause anxiety and apprehension. This isn't necessary. Instead press into God and trust that the decision you make will be the right one. If the options available don't seem fair or right, lean into the options you have in front of you, and seek God's peace in those options. God will guide you towards the decision He thinks is best for you. Keep listening, praying, and trusting.

When making a decision, make sure it's pointing towards the path that God wants you on; if you're not sure, let it be the decision that gives you the most peace, the one that most closely points you towards God. 

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.