Peace in the Middle of Chaos

“For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

If this Christmas you are looking for love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness and more, look to God.

He has them for you.

All you have to do is ask.

He will give them to you.

This Christmas season, instead of replaying past moments or trying to create perfect moments in the present, let each moment be what it will be.

Enjoy the imperfections of this day and those to come.

Know that everything “being perfect” will not create the feeling of fulfillment you are looking for.

It won’t give you the peace you seek.

That only comes from God and is available regardless of what is happening around you.

Friend, my prayer for you today is that you will be filled with the Holy Spirit and the Heavenly Peace that God gives to help you as you walk among the complicated chaos of the humans around you.

Amen.

Beyond Measure

God loves you beyond measure.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”‭‭ ROMANS‬ ‭5:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

You Are Loved.

You are loved today, tomorrow and will be loved every day until your death and then beyond into eternity.

Nothing can separate you from God’s love. 

Not fear.

Not shame.

Not worry.

Not finances.

Not circumstances.

Not the rules of men.

Because of Jesus you can live in the glorious freedom of being a cherished child of God.

Are you?

On Being Grateful

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”    

Romans‬ ‭1‬:‭21‬ NIV

There are two things that will keep your thinking clear and your hearts filled with God’s divine love today giving God glory and giving God thanks.

You can know God and still get stuck in a mental tornado of worry and fear.

When you make gratitude and worship your daily bread and fortifying your spiritual life with His Word, He becomes the calm in the midst of the storm and the eye of the tornado.

He becomes the safe place you can run to and rest untouched by the winds of trial whipping around you.

Jesus defeated all sin and rose from the grave unleashing His power for you. His triumph secures your freedom from all fear.

It is the difference between enduring and embracing your life. In the middle of trials and stress, it is choosing to be present and aware of God’s goodness.

It is focusing on what you have instead of dwelling on what you are afraid of losing.

What are you grateful for today?

I am thankful for you.

On Being Brave

You don’t have to be brave unless you are facing something that requires it.

Being brave means that you are facing something that requires more than a step of faith, it requires a walk of faith.

It means not making your decisions based on what is but on what can be. 

Being brave means getting up every morning and keeping your word when you don’t want to. Stating your boundaries and holding to them even when you don’t feel like it. Trusting God for the impossible.

Choosing to believe the truth instead of giving into the lies.

That is being brave.

“I’ll be with you. I won’t give up on you; I won’t leave you. Strength! Courage!”

Joshua 1:9 MSG

Keep going.
Keep believing.
Be brave.

On Understanding

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;” 
Proverbs 3:5 NIV

Your understanding is made of what you know, what you have learned, what you have been taught and tucked into your back pocket as experience. In the other pocket, you have stuffed the disappointments, the failures, and the fears of how other people’s choices will impact your life.

It is easy and natural to lean on what you know and on what you understand.

I want to challenge you to let go of what you know and lean on what God knows. What He sees.

You only know what is happening to you and can see only what is before you. He sees the whole picture and every person involved now or in the future. God knows what is really going on and nothing is hidden from Him.

Instead of spending your energy worrying about what you can’t control or stressing about what you can’t do, run to God.

Wrap yourself up in the truth of His unfailing love for you and hide there.

While you are there, take a moment to ask Him to show you His understanding of the situation, to see it from His perspective.

Lean hard into His love, His faithfulness, and ask for His wisdom for today.

Do the next right thing and leave the rest to Him.

Take it one day at a time and He will guide you.

He will show you how to walk forward one step at a time according to His truth.

The Rock You Can Stand On

“Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.”

Isaiah‬ ‭26‬:‭4‬ NIV

Maybe today you are feeling sad and overwhelmed.

That is okay.

What you are facing is hard and what you have lost is significant.

Bring your feelings to Jesus.

Pour them out at His feet.

Cry when you need to and allow yourself space to grieve.

Feelings will ebb and flow but I want to remind you that Jesus’ love for you is unchangeable.

His love is the truth you can build your life on and the guide for you to follow.

It is the rock that will not be moved and a faithfulness that will not end.

What you are facing may be difficult but remember that with God all things are possible.

Feel your feelings and trust God.

He is the trustworthy Rock you can stand on when the storm around you rages.

Let It Go

God doesn’t deny that bad things happen or that people will take advantage of you but He also doesn’t abandon you to it either.

Jesus said, “And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff.  Live generously.”

Matthew 5:38-42 MSG

You are not meant to carry the heavy load of resentment or regret.

Jesus is saying that when someone takes advantage of you, give them what you have and move on with your life.  Don’t keep reliving the unfair treatment you received (and can’t change).

Let it go. 

Forgive them.

In this way, you will be living in the abundance of God’s love instead of the famine of your past hurts.

Forgiveness is vital to your soul and it is a journey Jesus wants to walk with you through.

It is vital because you are valuable.

What resentment or regret is weighing you down?

What grudge is poisoning your soul?

Bring them all to Jesus and lay each one at the foot of the cross.

Then, take a deep breath and allow Him to fill the newly evacuated space with the cleansing power of His love.

At your darkest

But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.” 1 Timothy 1:16 NIV

If you are feeling like the worst of sinners right now, run to Jesus.

He came for you.

His arms are wide open.

He has more patience for you than you have for yourself.

He has forgiveness in His grasp and is ready to graciously pour it out to you.

He does not expect you to be perfect. 

He expects you to let His love heal you when you are at your darkest.

Trust God

Trust in the Lord and do good;”  ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭37:3‬ ‭NLT

The word trust in Hebrew means to lean on and be boldly confident in.

You are made to be boldly confident in your Creator.

He not only sees what could happen right now, but He also sees what could happen in the future.

Trust Him.

He is in it for the long game and loves you relentlessly.

Trust God and don’t be idle.

Get moving.

Make a plan.

Be proactive.

Be productive and creative right where you are, as you wait.

Don’t be so focused on what you can’t see about the future that you miss what you can do now.

Focus your energy on being present today and fully committed to embracing the small moments of wonder and joy that Jesus has already set up for you to experience.

Take a Deep Breath and Calm Down

“Do not fret.” ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭37:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

This is a command, not a suggestion. 

Why?  Because fretting or incessant worrying steals your focus, burns up your energy and leaves you with a crispy attitude. 

The word for fret is “charah” in Hebrew. 

It is a word picture to burn something until it is charred. 

It means to be kindled with a spark of anxiety or worry then whip it up into an inner frenzy.

It means feeding worry until it is a voracious fire in your soul that burns long and hot. 

What is the best thing to do when a spark of fear ignites a frenzy of anxiety? 

Take a deep breathe and quiet down before God. Don’t worry about what others are doing or not doing and ask God to do what you can not do.

“Quiet down before God, be prayerful before him. Don’t bother with those who climb the ladder, who elbow their way to the top.  Bridle your anger, trash your wrath, cool your pipes—it only makes things worse.”

Psalm 37:7-8 MSG