“Throne the World Promises”

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The world system has made certain promises to you, that at some subconscious level you may be starting to believe, I’m here to remind you that it’s but a fleeting happiness, a passing conquest; a lie! 

My excitement died down quite swiftly when I perceived this article will end up unmasking my vulnerabilities; it’s definitely more personal than I would like… 

Have you ever cleaned out your garage or a closet and been shocked by what you found? An old leather jacket or class ring, a favorite toy from when you were a kid, or a piece of clothing that you saved up your own money to buy?

Things that were once your most treasured possessions have been reduced to something in a box that you probably never use or even think of. The promises of the world are like these things – they seem so awesome and life-giving when you first believe them and they may even make you happy for a little while, but eventually, they get worn out, irrelevant and you have no use for them! 

Instead, God’s Word points us to put our hope in something much longer lasting – promises that come directly from the Lord and are eternal.

2 Cor. 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Think and talk about a time when you have been or may be tempted to believe the world’s promises instead of God’s. I could name a few; money or more toys will make you happy, being on the winning team is what matters most, attend a particular school for self worth, bleach a little, a little filter for that comment “You are so beautiful”, instagram followers and likes for elite validation, lying will keep you out of trouble, follow five steps and become successful,  oh and the common among the youth; I want that dream house, car and ultimately get married by age twenty-five. Did that strike a nerve? Well it did for me.

We are all accustomed to promises. We are also accustomed to seeing them made and broken. Anyone who has lived for a number of years would certainly never lay claim to having kept every promise made. There are many reasons why this is true. Sometimes we forget, sometimes we are negligent, and sometimes it may be due to circumstances beyond our control.

A brokenhearted young lady will often ask, “But you promised to marry me?!!”. And the answer comes back: “Yes, but I changed my mind”. People do change their mind, and do break their promises.

What about the promises of God? How certain are they? 

Heb. 6:17 & 18 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us

The Apostle Paul, in writing about the promises of God to Abraham, addressed the church at Rome with these words:

For the promise that he should be heir of the world, was not to Abraham or his seed through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith . . . therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed” (Romans 4:13, 16). God’s promise to Abraham was first spelled out in Genesis Chapter 12. It was repeated in Chapter 22. Verse 18 reads: “And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice“.

Now a promise is of no more value than is the ability of the one who makes it to carry through. It also includes willingness to do so. I’d know this for a fact based on the trajectory of my life. The unexpected loss of my dad truly opened up a portal for the world’s promises — Compromise a little Elinam; Take this short cut and still have the life and the existence your dad promised. The world is always there to pitch a promise! 

Then there were corporate dreams? Choosing to be Joe Mettle’s Personal assistant over other juicy career options and offers, all in the bid to attain the excellency of thr promises of God assure — Purpose. There is purpose in each and every one of God’s promises, and by extension peace! The world pitches to us a form of temporal pleasure and false fulfilment that has no bearing to the reason God put us here in the first place! It satisfies for a moment – then leaves us emptier than before and hooked on to it’s opioids! 

The contour of Jesus’ life, while living on earth, was shaped by his trust in the power of the promises of God. When Jesus said: “I am that bread of life“, John 6:48, “I am the light of the world“, John 8:12, “I am the resurrection and the life.” John 11:25, He did so fully realizing that He had been empowered with this right by the Father who had promised to raise Him from the grave. There were more than 500 brethren at one time who bore witness to the fulfillment of this promise according to I Corinthians 15:1-6.

You and I are not the Savior of the world, but we are meant to live and thrive in His service. Understanding our own scriptural “promises” is key to fully embodying our God given potential.

While we live in a sinful world that is fraught with conditional promises and relationships. Sometimes even those closest to us let us down. Despite this reality, our greatest need is to be loved unconditionally. We want to be loved with a perfect, sacrificial, forever kind of love in spite of our faults by someone who knows us intimately. Further, we want to be supported and inspired by that love to not only become better people, but to also leave lasting impressions on this earth.

God provides us with that as no one else can. That’s what theologians have meant over the years by saying that we have a God-shaped hole in our heart; there’s a space we were created with that only God can fill. And the love we were made to need is strong and unshakable. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). That love claims you by faith. Wherever you are feeling unloved today, drink it in.

Our world knows brokenness and sin, but God knows hope and restoration. One of my favorite verses in scripture is Jeremiah 29:11, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm

you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” God’s plan for your life includes hope and a prosperous future, or one in which you thrive. Psalm 103 lists many ways that God wants to bless you. The psalmist exclaims, “Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” God is invested in your well-being and working toward your renewal, wholeness, and healing daily.

In addition to blessing us, God has big dreams for our lives and beckons us to follow. Obedience often requires faith and risk, but God will delight in your dependence on him and always be there to support you.

You have special strength available to you through faith. The best resource that’s available to you is the power of Christ. If you are facing an uphill battle, repeat this verse to yourself frequently: “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). God will never call you to a place and leave you unattended. Be assured that the God who has numbered the hairs on your head is fighting for you. His favor will surround you like a shield (Psalm 5:12).

You have an insurmountable ally in our God — for if God is for you, who can be against you (Romans 8:31)? When you boldly claim this truth with expectation, you give God the space and invitation to show his glory.

So Just like an oak tree doesn’t start like a tree, it start as an acorn, you should see an acorn it looks nothing like the tree, your partner may not be where he/she is supposed to be, maybe your career is not where it is supposed to be, maybe your finances(salary) is not where it is supposed to be — but just because all that hasn’t reached the peak of success, does not mean you shouldn’t earnestly contend to reach the expected end as Jeremiah calls it (Jeremiah 29:11).  Trusting God that it is going to end right.

“It takes time to be excellent” You can’t be a winner overnight…there’s a process.

So God is saying I am with you, I will not leave you nor forsake you; it does not mean He is excusing you from the process. So you just lost that job and God is saying “I am with you as I was with Moses” you failed that exam He says “I am with you” His presence is in the normal days we think are irrelevant. His presence is with you yet He still has to train you to get rid of all the irrelevant things that doesn’t conform to the purpose(plan) He has for you, He still has to prune your heart and sensibilities “Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands” (Deutronomy 8:2) . Hence the wilderness is supposed to toughen you up for the coming Glory.

Where am I getting with this? Excellence is not always harder, it just sometimes takes longer. Excellence is a way of thinking, being and doing life that is mindful of what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, how it needs to be done and even why it needs to be done.

Whatever is worth doing is worth doing right and through a process. “Right doesn’t go to wrong, wrong comes to Right”

And He said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.“(Exodus 33:14)

His Presence is in the Process.

Could you imagine better “promises” for your life? This is who the Bible says you are. My prayer is that our lives are a continual celebration of these promises.

Play “Spot the Lie” as you drive around this week, focusing specifically on the world’s promises vs. God’s promises. Whether it’s billboards, talking about movies or shows you’ve watched, or thinking about each of your destinations, where do you see the world trying to convince you that you should put your hope in temporary promises? What truth from God can you use to combat those lies?

Believe that excellence takes time while you wait on the fruition of God’s promises concerning your life.

Stay blessed!

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All there is…

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Destiny is a point in our life’s journey where the reason we were born finally takes shape. Our eyes are opened to our potential, and our ears are tuned in to the whisper of our purpose.

“Naomi said, ‘Look, your sister-in-law has returned to her people and her gods. Return with her!’ But Ruth said, ‘Do not urge me to leave you or to turn back from following you. For wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you stay, I will stay. Your people shall be my people and your God my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD do thus to me, and worse, if anything but death separates you and me!’” (Ruth 1:15-17)

I believe with every fiber of my being that God has ordered and predetermined our paths according to His loving-kindness.

Destiny thrives when our wills align with what God has already established and ordained. Ruth demonstrated this powerful shift when she stated that she would not return to her people, but she would travel on with Naomi to another culture and people, no matter the outcome. She knew that God was calling her higher, and she answered with a steady, “I will go” (Ruth 1:16).

Even in extreme hardship the Lord is calling us to make sound decisions, and often decisions in seasons like this are destiny shapers. The next decision you make can lead you on a lengthy detour, or it could lead you on the fast track to reap your God-ordained harvest.

Burdened with great grief at the loss of both her husband and two sons, Naomi’s opportunities in a foreign land were greatly limited. At that time in Middle Eastern culture, an aging, poor widow had limited options for survival with no family around to support her. She had to think fast about her survival. She was not willing to sit in Moab, have a pity party, and waste away. With whatever strength she could muster, she returned to the land of promise and provision. 

If we are going to fulfill our destinies, we must strengthen our inner man in Him. We must rely on the Holy Spirit to defeat any opposition, whether external, such as limiting beliefs put on us by friends and family, or internal, such as our own fears, insecurities, and inferiorities. We must build ourselves up on the foundation of our most holy faith (Jude 20).

We cannot allow the enemy to defeat our inner sense of destiny. We must conquer and press into our destinies.

But though we speak in this manner, we are persuaded of better things for you, things that accompany salvation, for God is not unjust so as to forget your work and labor of love that you have shown for His name, in that you have ministered to the saints and continue ministering. We desire that every one of you show the same diligence for the full assurance of hope to the end, so that you may not be lazy, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (Hebrews 6:9-12)

What if Ruth had given in to her grief? What if, when she got to Bethlehem, she stayed home with Naomi? What if she allowed depression to lead to laziness and procrastination? Sometimes when we nurse our trauma and broken places too long and do not get ministry and deliverance, we end up manifesting things that sabotage our success. Diligence is the precious possession of a wise person; a diligent woman is one who “recognizes opportunities and seizes them” (Prov. 12:27). You cannot just see something out in the distance that may be possible. You have to be willing to get up and go see about it.

Women with the Ruth anointing are diligent, faithful, patient, and hardworking, looking to the promises of God set before them. No matter what is happening in their lives, they do not shut down; they get to work. They do not give in to a lazy and slothful spirit. They know what to do to keep themselves full of hope and assurance.

Diligence stretches the limits of your faithfulness to God. When God sees your diligence in the small things, He will surely make you ruler of much, just as He did for Ruth.

“I DON’T OWN THE RIGHT TO ANY OF THE IMAGES ABOVE”

Happy blessed birthday Elinam, with all there is, you are just becoming… RUTH. Magnify the Lord with me. Extremely grateful.

Stay blessed always!

When it’s Hard to Hope…

Sometimes it’s hard to hope for a miracle — it’s hard to believe in what God says when your reality seems so starkly dark, blurred, completely different. By nature, God is a promiser. He’s made a ton of them to His children.

A promise is the assurance that God gives to His people so they can walk by faith(hope) while they wait for Him to work. 

The Christian life would be easy now if the space in time is small between when you claim God’s promises and when you receive what He promised. Read it one day and get it the next. Wouldn’t that be great!? 

But life’s not like that.

The hard part is in the waiting between the promise and the answer; and even harder, when the waiting comes with uncertainties. 

Where’s this going? Where am I going to end up? What’s my future look like?

The reality is, we just don’t know and it’s this not-knowing that crushes us. We doubt because we don’t know. We worry and despair because we don’t know. We falter and sometimes fail – all because we don’t know. If only we knew how this trial was going to play out, we would be OK. But we don’t.

I can take a bad day. I can take a bad month. I can even take a bad year, if I have to, as long as I know how it will end up. For some of you it’s a health crisis. For another, it’s a question about your big moment. For someone else, it’s a restlessness in your soul. We all have areas of uncertainty where we need to hold on to what God has said. His promises are what we cling to while we wait for Him to work. Our Hope is in God. He knows what He has promised, He can’t lie, and He can’t forget. He will deliver on time, all the time.

Who else can make promises like that?

We see reflections of this same struggle in the Bible: Abraham and Sarah waiting for a son, Joseph waiting in prison, Moses waiting to reach the Promise Land, David waiting to be appointed king … or Jesus waiting for His ministry to begin.

How did they endure years of waiting?

11 It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed[b] that God would keep his promise (Hebrews 11:11) NLT

Another version says “She considered him faithful who had made the promise.” – (Hebrews 11:11) NIV

No matter the situation you find yourself in, you must choose to focus on the good, be hopeful. Focus on what is going right in your life. The devil often uses everything that is going wrong in our lives to make it seem like God is not working. But God is always at work in the lives of His Children. 

Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.” (Psalms 121:4)  

We serve a God that does not sleep. He does not miss a thing. Even while you are sleeping or waiting for your miracle and your enemies are awake doing mischief. God is up working the night shift on your behalf. He is fighting on your behalf. Despite what you may be facing today, examine the hand of God in your life. Don’t get me wrong, not everything in my life is going well but I am determined to Hold on to Hope.

Sometimes it helps to reflect on where God has brought you from. You’ve come along way; You’re still alive. You were sick he healed you. You were jobless but you have a good job now. It helps to count your blessings. Don’t allow other people’s progress in life to cause what God is doing for you to go unnoticed. We’re all different and move at a different pace. Be patient with yourself and stop being so hard on yourself. You are doing great, and God is greater than your struggle!

“Hold on to Hope of His faithfulness”

Stay Blessed, Always!

“ARE YOU FOR ME OR AGAINST ME?”

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We’ve all been there at one point or another — standing in the formidable shadow of difficult situations that refuse to budge, while fear whispers in our ear about the inevitability of our defeat. One of the many reasons I’m so thankful for God’s Word. Because tucked into its pages, we find story after story of people who can help us learn in the midst of our battles. People who show us what it means — to look to and solely depend upon the Lord.

“Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, ‘Are you for us or for our enemies?’” Joshua 5:13 (NIV)

Take Joshua, for example. If ever someone might feel overwhelmed at a situation totally out of their control, his experience facing Jericho was it.

Not only did the wall surrounding Jericho look invincible, but there was also the issue of Israel’s army lacking proper weapons for tackling such an impressively guarded city. You can’t exactly pull down walls with arrows and spears. That’s a job for battering rams and catapults — items noticeably missing from their arsenal.

But they had come too far to turn back. And the people of Israel were counting on Joshua to lead them into this land promised by God.

With all these facts and details weighing on him, Joshua is suddenly confronted by a man with a drawn sword. Scripture reveals this is no mere human. This is the commander of the Lord’s army — God’s presence in human form. And this is no everyday occurrence either. It is an incredible encounter.

Seeing the man is ready for battle, Joshua asks, Are you for us or for our enemies?(Joshua 5:13) Wrapped in this honest question I sense hesitancy in Joshua — a peek inside his thought life — doubt — and a need for reassurance. Such an honest question, but it makes me believe perhaps Joshua isn’t walking in complete confidence and assurance. If he were, he wouldn’t have asked. But he did.

This is where we assume that, of course, God’s presence will answer, “Joshua, I am with you, for you and on your side!” But that would be assuming wrongly.

When asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?” the presence of God replies, “Neither, but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come” (Joshua 5:14a). Joshua falls face down in humility and reverence — asking what message the Lord has for him, His servant. (Joshua 5:14b)

I wonder what kind of message Joshua was expecting, even longing for. Perhaps one overflowing with war strategies or perhaps “Joshua you will definitely win this battle” . But instead of detailed plans, Joshua receives a call to worship. He’s told to remove his sandals, for the ground is holy. (Joshua 5:15)

It’s an invitation and a reminder for Joshua to worship the One who’s not only big enough to handle the impending battle, but also loving enough to address the doubt, fear and insecurity running through Joshua’s mind. And as Joshua slips off his sandals, I’m reminded of what I need in the face of my own seemingly insurmountable situations: I need to worry less and worship more…

When I’m desperate for God to give me all the details…

When I’m wishing He would give me the tiniest peek at His plans …

When I’m starting to wonder if He’s for me or against me…

I need to pause, lift my eyes to the One willing to meet me in the midst of my fears, and worship Him. Worshiping not only because it honors Him, but because it also changes me.

Honor the LORD for the glory of his name. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.” (Psalm 29:2)

Worship might not be the first thing that comes to mind when we feel overwhelmed, but it truly is powerful. It reminds our trembling hearts and shaky knees that our God is mighty, our God is loving and our God is a more-than-able God. It both quiets us and strengthens us — perfectly preparing our hearts and minds for whatever battles lie ahead.

I don’t know what “walls” you’re facing in your life right now, friend. I don’t know how overwhelming and daunting they seem. But I do know the perfect battle plan for each and every one of us…

Worry less. Worship more.  Trust our God to lead us into victory.

Prayer

Father Lord, thank You for reminding me that the best way to prepare my heart and mind for battle is to simply and humbly worship You. So today, as I lay my fears down at Your feet, I lift my hands up to You in worship. You are worthy of my trust. You are worthy of my praise. Today and every day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Stay Blessed Always!

WAILER? TRY PREVAILING…

…Life is not characterized by any challenges, no battles, it is totally amazing,  — I am sure this very moment you’re wondering “what could she possibly be taking about? Of course life is challenging and I am currently fighting some battles”. Well you’re right, I am not about to lie or create the impression that life is all rosy without battles. Challenges are inevitable in life,  fact established and mind you battles are a feature of a every believer’s life — meaning the very day you decided to accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour you signed on for the battles as well — it’s a full package. 

I’d like to share some lessons I learnt from a book I read a couple of months ago authored by Rev. Eastwood Anaba titled “WAILERS And PREVAILERS”

Perhaps you and I have some thing in common — you’ve been hit left right and center by so many challenges or maybe you’re still fighting some of these battles ( from the chapter one of this book, Rev. Eastwood calls these challenges and battles “The Amalekites”). The bible refers to David as “a man after God’s own heart” but in this same bible has records of the battles and wars that King David had to fight — one of these challenges times, while David and his men were at war, The Amalekites invaded his camp at Ziklag, burned it with fire and took people and wealth away…(1 Samuel 30:1-6)

 When David and his men reached Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep. David’s two wives had been captured—Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel. David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God. (1Samuel 30:3-6)

Sometimes we may be going about our normal businesses then “the Amalekites” invade our territories uninvited (sickness, sin, failure, poverty, demonic attacks, death etc). Maybe you are like David’s men who only weeps aloud until you have no strength to weep rather than being like David who found strength in the Lord. David wept with his men but after a while the prevailers among them stirred themselves up and pursued the enemy whiles the wailers continued licking their wounds. The prevailers followed David’s leadership and courageously went on to recover everything they had lost…(1 Samuel 30:6-10 17,18)

“What if we all prevailed from life’s battles instead of wailing? I’m guessing we will be surrounded by so many strong men and women. Do you watch cartoons? if yes then I’m sure you’ve seen superman, captain planet, spider man and and other super hero movies. I realized they all have one thing in common — they are prevailers, in the sense that no matter the challenge or villain they were faced with, there was a side to them that wanted to prevail rather than wail about attacks.

Here are a few tips to help you become a prevailer and not a wailer

Lets see the definition of a wailer and a prevailer.

  1. WAILER – to wail is to make a prolonged high-pitch cry of pain, grief and anger. Those who wail are wailers.
  2.  PREVAILER – to prevail is to prove more powerful than an opposing force. those who prevail are prevailers. (both definitions from Rev. Eastwood)
  •  Prevailers are strong on their knees, while wailers are loudly vocal. So weeping during a challenge isn’t wrong but the prevailer weeps differently by adding prayer where as the wailer just wails and complain about their situation . If you’ve read my previous post I’m sure you know by now that I am a cry baby but here’s what I do when a challenge overwhelms me, I weep and worship at the same time. I remember one incident back in school in a friend’s room I hid behind the curtains in my friend’s room and wept and while I did that I whispered “It hurts. Nevertheless You are my God, please help me Lord”. It takes time to pray before you act but you gain this time by prevailing over your situation quickly. Those who fail to pray, fail to prevail. Enquire from God through prayer.

 

  • Prevailers encourage themselves — Hope. They find motivation within themselves. Remember David encouraged himself in the Lord instead playing the blame game that his men enjoyed. Encouragement is not external but internal grace. Prevailers don’t leave the responsibility of recovering from a setback to others. They have a strong relationship with God and in times of affliction, He is the closest source of strength to them. (Psalm 34:19,20) You don’t need people to stand by you when God stands by you. A crowd is not always advantageous in warfare.

 

  • Prevailers are not stationary, neither do they retreat, unlike wailers who tend to be stagnant and give up after one setback. They advanced towards the opposition and demand what’s theirs. David pursued the Amalekites after inquiring  and getting direction from God. David was used to pursuing assailants and demanding what was his. He demonstrated this attribute when he pursued the lion and bear and took his sheep from them (1 Samuel 17:34-36). “The Amalekites” (enemy) will not voluntarily bring back what they steal from you — you have to pursue, attack them and take back what they have stolen from you.

 

  • Prevailers have an overtaking strength. If you don’t give up and quit like a timid wailer God will empower you to overtake your “Amalekites” just like He did for David. David started from behind but he caught up with the Amalekites. You must destroy the enemy before recovering what is yours — if not he will come back and steal again. Prevailers always recover everything they lost just like David did — Prevailers don’t consider losses to be permanent — they believe in restoration.

To bring some clarity, let’s do the math, because apparently Heaven and Earth balance their equations differently.

  • By the Rules of Earth (Human and satanic) Equation;

Weeping + Complaining + Give Up + blaming others + Suicide = Wailer (Powerless Defeated)

  • By the rules of Heaven ( Jesus and God) Equation;

Faith + Prayer + Enquire of The Lord + Press On + Hope + Recovery = Prevailer (Unlimited Power and Victory)

A prevailer is known by the outcome of His or Her challenges, not by what happens during the process. The Psalmist said the end of the upright person is peace. Mark the perfect man and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace (Psalm 37:37)

If you dwell on the righteousness of Christ, you will prevail. Wailers are defeated partly because of the guilt they bear. The devil accuses them of wrongdoing and weakens their confidence. without confidence no one can become a prevailer. You are a prevailer. No matter what you are going through right now, the end of your story is predictable — You will Prevail. – Rev. Eastwood Anaba

 

It is my prayer that our Lord Jesus will continue to grant us grace and strength to become prevailers and not wailers… Amen.

Stay Blessed Always!

STRENGTH IN BEING AUTHENTIC 

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I came across the trunk I used in senior high school a while back —  It didn’t take long for me to discover a box from my childhood, and there on the top was my little, pink diary. It felt like I was going on an adventure(my little excursion) to the past. Surprisingly I was excited about going through the pages filled with —  naive, painful, confusing, childish and happy memories.

Did you have a secret diary growing up? If so, I’m a bit curious about what you kept in yours — if you’d find in yours what I found in mine: a girl struggling not to worry about what others thought of her.

Here are some of my swirling thoughts:

October 26: Right now, I don’t like boys! I don’t think much about boys. I may act like it, but I don’t. Boys are bad news…

November 15: Why did those girls from the other class give me that look when I entered the dinning hall. Perhaps there was something wrong with my uniform. Should I confront them? What if they deny it?

March 27: I missed class today I just didn’t want to leave the dormitory. 

April 9Today, nothing much happened. I don’t know how my friend got me in this mess ( paring me up with a guy I don’t even know saying you need to act like a big girl else you’ll end up alone).  I don’t know what to do. Lord, please get me out of this mess! 

April 12: I broke up with Him. Gosh I don’t know if I should be sad or glad I did. Well I feel better, now that I don’t have to pretend to like someone I was paired up with.

What a struggle! Although that trouble seemed trivial, there were other times I wrote about frustrated feelings with friends and family, and confusion about what to do. 

Do you know what the real issue was with many of my problems? I was fearful of people. With little or no confidence at all — Sigh.

I wasn’t sure of the girl I was, or the girl I wanted to be. I often found myself acting all sorts of ways so I could be the person I thought my friends and family wanted, instead of being aunthentic – true to myself. Growing up, I’ve come to understand more of the truth in God’s Word. He has shown me I don’t have to spin like the Tilt O’ Whirl at an amusement park — trying to be everything to everybody. I don’t have to get on that emotional and exhausting ride. Gradually becoming more and more brave every day to be the one He’s created me to be.

Ephesians 4:14 tells us: Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth” 

Paul is teaching us that we don’t have to believe all the things people say about God. We need to believe what God says about Himself in His Word. That is where truth can be found.

The same is true when we spin this way and that, believing things that aren’t true about ourselves, then trying to be someone we’re not. It makes us shaky inside — insecure. God can give us the strength, bravery and confidence we need to believe who He says we are. And as we become mature in our faith and self-worth, we can then help others, such as our friends, colleagues and even our children (someday), as they grow into adulthood. God can help them, too, so their lives don’t feel constantly pushed one way and then the other. He has the power to make us all brave. God can give you the courage to be the true you if you keep trusting in Him.

Dear Jesus, I don’t want to do what I think is right; I want to do what You say is right. Help me learn to be stable and true to myself most importantly You. Help me to be brave and ask You for wisdom instead of feeling like I’m constantly being pushed around by people and by my ever-changing emotions. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

But he must ask in faith, without doubting, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” (James 1:6)— We must have faith and believe in who God says we are unlike the chameleon who ends up taking so many different skin colors in a day just to feel accepted by the environment.

Be Authentic. There’s strength in being you.

Stay blessed!

 

Do You Feel Forsaken By God?

Image result for a picture of someone who feels forsaken

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46)

I was reading a blog post about how we sometimes feel forsaken by God and I could relate to it so much. From the above scripture, we can hear the anguish in Christ’s cry from the cross. Are you at that point where you feel God is far from your situation?

I have felt that kind of despair in my own life. Though God will never literally forsake me, I have felt forsaken, abandoned, betrayed by those I loved. I have questioned where God was in my pain — I have wondered what good could ever come from my suffering. Because of the cross, we who have felt that pain, who live with unanswered questions and sleepless nights, can unreservedly rejoice at Easter. Out of the worst evil imaginable, the sinless Son of God on the cross, God brought about the greatest good ever known.

FEELING FORSAKEN

Easter is a stunning reminder of Genesis 50:20, that what man means for evil, God means for good. In my own life, through the lens of Scripture, I can see that God has brought the greatest good out of the hardest events. But I say that in retrospect. At the time, none of my suffering felt even vaguely positive.

Sobbing by my dad’s casket was devastating. Suffering from my first heartbreak, dealing with abuse, getting rejected, trailing that paper,not getting that scholarship, not getting that admission, hearing the doctor give that diagnoses about my back, and then watching it happen, was agonizing I could go on and on but…

None of those trials felt redemptive. None of them could be celebrated. None of them even made sense. I never could have imagined that God would bring something beautiful out of my pain. I felt that my pain was deforming me. That I would forever be marred by it. I was sure my best years were behind me — before “this” happened. When I laughed easily and often. When I wasn’t burdened with the memories of all that had gone before.

PAIN DEEPENS US

And yet somehow, even in those horrifying trials, God was doing something. Something extraordinary. Something I could not have planned or foreseen. He was doing something in me that could not have happened any other way. It was strange and beautiful — wonderful and unexpected — the handiwork of God.

Out of the most crushing pain and terrible despair, God was bringing glorious triumph.

Instead of deforming me, my pain strangely deepened me. It increased my capacity for God. And for joy. It made me see the world through different eyes. Eyes of faith and not eyes of hopelessness. It helped me recognize that what I was going through was just a snapshot in time. One day my life will be totally transformed.

DOES EVIL WIN?

While my circumstances will undoubtedly change one day, what changes most profoundly in my suffering is me. The very struggles that I thought would break me are what God used to purposefully shape me.

That shaping did not happen instantaneously. It took time and trust. At first it seemed like nothing was happening — nothing but disillusionment and defeat. It honestly felt like Satan was wrecking my life.

Similarly, to the disciples on that terrifying Friday, it must have seemed like Satan was victorious. Their Savior was crucified. Their dreams were dead. Their hopes had unraveled. Maybe evil really had won.

And then everything was silent for two long days. It may have seemed like nothing was happening — nothing but disillusionment and defeat. But in the wisdom of God, when life looked darkest, it gave way to the dawning of the purest, most brilliant light.

GOD MEANT IT FOR GOOD

Easter Sunday reminds me that God’s perspective is infinitely greater than mine. Much of what is really happening is unseen. While it may look otherwise in the moment, Satan will never be victorious and evil cannot win. God always has the last word.

What Satan means for evil, God means for good. Always.

So if you feel forsaken and have no idea where to turn or what to do, trust that God is using that very struggle. If life looks like a hopeless mess and every day is a fight to survive, trust that God will one day gloriously prevail. And when he has, when you are on the other side, trust that God will have done an incomparable work in your soul.

Then you will have learned how to rely, truly rely, on God who brings beauty from ashes — brokenness. Your life and walk with him will be more beautiful than you ever imagined. And somehow, through your pain, you will be transformed. And when you are, when you see how God has changed you, you will never want to go back to the way you were before.

Take comfort in your pain that the Father did not exempt Jesus from the test of being allowed to “feel” forsaken. It’s key to understand that God didn’t cause it – God allowed it — for our redemption (our good)

Yes – there may be some “questionable times” where you may have quit … but jump back in the battle of trust and keep on fighting!  Jesus will never quit helping you fight your cross battle.  He didn’t die for you to lose.  He died to make certain you would stay enlisted in His army of overcomers. 

You will understand that nothing can thwart God’s plans for you. What now appears to be evil will result in your eternal joy. 

I pray the staggering triumph of Easter falls afresh on you in Jesus Name. Amen

He is RISEN henceArise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.” (Isaiah 60:1)

Stay Blessed!