Your Heart

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Some seasons are harder than others.

In some seasons it seems like having a hard heart is easier than feeling the pain of it.

It is not.

Your heart is made to process the pain. When you harden your heart instead of processing the pain it is like locking the pain inside with no way out.

Don’t harden your heart.

Don’t give up.

Push through the hard parts but don’t lose your heart.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭4:23‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Guard it, grow it, fill it.

Don’t just get through your present struggle, process it all the way through. Feel it, embrace the pain and let it work all the way through and all the way out.

Take care of your heart.

Clean it out.

Pull up the weeds of bitterness and resentment and if needed, ask Jesus to do heart surgery.

How is your heart?

Challenge & Change

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God will use today’s challenges to give you the skills you need for tomorrow’s assignment.

Look to Jesus to guide you through it and help you navigate all the way to the other side of it. Don’t give up halfway through. Storms do not last forever but the lessons you could learn from them will.

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”
‭‭James‬ ‭1:2-4‬ ‭MSG‬‬

It doesn’t matter where it’s coming from, God will use It to get you going in the right direction.

God will use whatever opposition is coming at you as an opportunity to grow your faith and character.

Let Him.

What is God using your current challenge to develop in you?

Change

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Change doesn’t occur without courage.

It takes a special kind of stubbornness to start a new thing in your life, to change the course of it. A stubbornness to keep going against the odds and swim against the current.

Life in Christ means that you are being called upon to be a pioneer. He is calling you to be the first in your family to stay married, to break the cycle of unhealthy habits or to break the cycle of emotional or physical abuse.

But you need to stick it out, staying with God’s plan so you’ll be there for the promised completion. It won’t be long now, he’s on the way; he’ll show up most any minute. But anyone who is right with me thrives on loyal trust; if he cuts and runs, I won’t be very happy. But we’re not quitters who lose out. Oh, no! We’ll stay with it and survive, trusting all the way.”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭10:32-39‬ ‭MSG‬‬

God is asking you to be a change-maker and to be stubborn about it.

Be stubborn about your goals but flexible about your methods. Jesus never did a miracle the same way. Each one was different and unique.

Be creative, use what God has given you and fight for the change you need in your life.

Change worth having is worth fighting for.

Go ahead – be stubborn and courageous today.

Hold On

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I want to encourage you today that no matter how dark the situation is, believe that God can do something in it anyway.

I want to challenge you to dare to trust Him in the desert – there is a promised land and you are on your way to it.

My prayer for you is that like Abraham you will decide to live today not based on what you can’t do but on what God can do through you. His power sustaining you to walk, to love, to care and to be fully alive even though you may feel mostly dead inside.

“Abraham was first named ‘father’ and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing.

When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said he would do.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭4:17-18‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Long before Abraham saw the fruit of the promise, he believed God anyway. Though everything in his life seemed to indicate otherwise, he lived his life, every day, not looking at the impossibility of the promise but in the possibility of God.

I am sure that there were times that Abraham barely believed. I know that there were days that he was only holding on to a bare thread of hope…but he held on.

Hold on, my friend, you may only have a thread of hope, but in Christ, that thread is stronger than what you face and will hold against that which you fear.

I know you don’t see how it will happen but God does.

Hold on.

Stay

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If where you are is boring, stay there.

If where you are is overwhelming, stay there.

If where you are is fun, stay there.

If where you are is challenging, stay there.

Stay where God has called you to be.

He will give you the strength to stand the monotony, wisdom to navigate the stress, clarity to get the most out of the fun and vision to conquer the challenge.

“Friends, stay where you were called to be. God is there. Hold the high ground with him at your side.” 1 Corinthians‬ ‭7‬:‭24‬ MSG

Look to God for your identity, your purpose and the strength to live it out.

Hold the high ground.
Stay where you are.

How To Break the Power of the Past

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The best way to break the power of the past is to forgive.

Forgiveness is not a feeling it is a choice. A choice to let God have it, hold it, and be responsible for it- whatever it is. 

Forgiveness is taking the power away from them and giving it back to God. 

You don’t have to trust them to forgive them. Forgiveness is not about restoring trust in them, it is about trusting God with them. 

They don’t have to be sorry in order for you to forgive them. They don’t even have to know that you have released them to God.

What you do have to do is make the choice.

And every day after, continue to make the choice until the feeling lines up with the decision.

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  

Colossians 3:13 NIV

Forgiveness is not about trust, it is about freedom.

What is keeping you from forgiving them?

What are you afraid of?

What does Jesus say about it?

You are Made to be Free

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“My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare.”
Psalm 25:15 NIV
There is a point in your life when you realize that God is the only one who can release you from a snare.
A small but strong string of hurt, fear or unforgiveness that has wrapped around your heart and is tripping you up or holding you back.
It might have been set by someone else by action or word or it may have been something you inadvertently set for yourself: an inner vow to never trust again or never ask for help because you got rejected last time you did.
It’s frustrating.
It can almost become crippling.
Here is the thing: 
The one who hurt you, can’t heal you.    
You think that the words “I’m sorry” will heal you but they will not.
You don’t need an apology to be whole, you need Jesus to make you whole.
He is the only one who can heal your heart. He made it, will remake it and will continue to bring up the little snares that need to be healed because they hold you back from who you are created to be.
Who are you looking at to make you whole?
If they are anywhere else but Jesus, you will be disappointed and frustrated.
Look to the Lord to release you from the snare that is holding you back today.
What is that snare?
What is Jesus asking you to do about it?