The Feels

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Feelings are the colors of the soul and a part of being human.

Feelings are a gift.

They are indicators and gauges, letting us know where we are emotionally and what is going on inside.

Feelings are not based on truths but perceptions. You can not base your life on them.

They are a gift for you to experience, not a guide for you to follow.

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

Isaiah‬ ‭26‬:‭4‬ NIV

Feelings will ebb and flow, change and shift but Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.

He is the truth you can build your life on and the guide for you to follow. He is the rock that will not be moved and the faithfulness that does not fail.

What you feel is valid and real. They are real feelings. Feel them, then look to Jesus and ask Him to show you what to do with them.

What feelings are you experiencing?

Do they line up with the truth of God’s Word?

What is Jesus guiding you to do today?

It’s the Holidays

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As we head into Thanksgiving Week and then Christmas right after, I want to remind you that the holidays can be wonderful and terrible at the same time.
As much as they create opportunities for new memories, they also bring reminders of old ones. Moments of joy and thanksgiving are often mixed with sadness and loss.
Jesus allowed himself to feel emotions, all of them. He mourned. He loved. He was thankful. He knew that there was time for all of them and that they often overlap.
Jesus knew that there is:
“a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,”
‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:4‬ ‭NIV‬‬
This year, give yourself permission to feel all the emotions this time brings. Walk with Jesus through them, acknowledge them, embrace them. Grieve if you need to.
When you take time to mourn, you make room in your heart.  Ungrieved losses of the past must be processed so that you can fully experience the moments of joy in the present.
Being a Christian doesn’t mean that you are always happy or only feel “good” emotions. It means that you choose to walk with Jesus through all the emotions that this time in your life brings.
Walking with Jesus during this time means you are more fully present in it than you have ever been before.
May you fully embrace and be fully embraced by Jesus as you experience this holiday season with Him by your side.

Impossibility

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In Exodus 14 the Israelites were stuck between the sea before them and their former slave masters coming to recapture them. It was an impossible situation.

“But Moses told the people,

‘Don’t be afraid.

Just stand still and watch the LORD rescue you today.

The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again.

The LORD himself will fight for you.

Just stay calm.”’

‭‭Exodus‬ ‭14:13-14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Hemmed in by the mountains on both sides,  they had no way out and no way forward. Their new found freedom seemed fleetingly short and ultimately doomed.

They knew that God had delivered them from slavery but little more. They had not been free long enough to learn how powerful He is. They didn’t know that He would fight for them, split the sea before them and rescue them from an impossible situation.

They did not know God…yet.

When you don’t want to go back but don’t know how you are going to go forward, trust God and:

1. Don’t be afraid (don’t let fear dictate your decisions).

2. Stand still and watch the LORD rescue you (stop trying to fix the situation yourself. Let God work).

The LORD Himself will fight for you. 

When going forward looks like an impossibility, God is not punishing you, He is teaching you more about Himself. 

Trust Him and watch what He is about to do.

How to Celebrate When You Are Not Feeling It.

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“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Just so you know, the day doesn’t get to choose if it is enjoyable or not, you do.

The “always” is there because you won’t always feel like rejoicing.

Some days test your patience, challenge your sanity and make you want to say bad words.

“Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:5-6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Instead of blowing up, bow down in prayer.

God is close- so close, you can lean on Him, talk to Him and ask for His help all day long.

“Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:7‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The peace of God does not depend on outward circumstances, other people’s choices or mistakes.

It comes from God and transcends all human understanding.

You can have the peace of God within you as the world goes crazy around you.

You don’t have to understand it to receive it.

Rejoice in the Lord always. Celebrate His love.

Enjoy it all as you walk with Jesus today, my friend.

Feelings and What To Do With Them

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Feelings are the colors of the soul and a part of being human.

Feelings are a gift.

They are indicators and gauges, letting us know where we are emotionally and what is going on inside.

Feelings are not based on truths but perceptions and you can not base your life on them.

They are a gift for you to experience, not a guide for you to follow.

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

Isaiah‬ ‭26‬:‭4‬ NIV

Feelings will ebb and flow, change and shift but Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.

He is the truth you can build your life on and the guide for you to follow. He is the rock that will not be moved and the faithfulness that does not fail.

What you feel is valid and real. They are real feelings. Feel them, then look to Jesus and ask Him to show you what to do with them.

What feelings are you experiencing?

Do they line up with the truth of God’s Word?

What is Jesus guiding you to do today?

So Close

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“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.””

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭91:1-2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

It can be exhausting to find rest.

If you look to a person to provide rest, a safe place to hide, a security in an insecure world – they will fail you because they are fallible human beings. At their best, they are as broken as you are and looking to you to find rest.

If you look to a job or career as a place of safety, security, or fulfillment you may have seasons of it but economies change, companies change and you change. They are at best a temporary place of financial security.

Even if you look to the church to be a place of rest, it can fail you because the church is made of people. The Word says to find rest in God, not the church. You go to church to learn, grow, give, serve, bless, be blessed and so on.

Go to Jesus for your salvation, your refuge, your direction, strength, peace and abundant life.

The church is only there to point you to Jesus.

The only true place of refuge, security, peace and rest is in the shadow of the Almighty God. What does that mean? It means that you stick close to God’s side. So close, in fact, you walk in His shadow.

Jesus came to show you how to live so close to the Father that you bask in the shadow of the Almighty. Then He made it possible to live this way by going to the cross.

Jesus cleared the way so you can walk this close with God.

He is your refuge.
He is your fortress.
He is your Father and you can trust Him.

He is your place of rest, not just when everything is going good but when everything is falling apart.

He is your refuge when you are tired of fighting the battle.

He is your fortress when the battle is too much to take.

My friend, whatever today brings – may you dwell in the shelter of the Most High God and stick so close that you live in the shadow of His love. 

Forgive Them

 

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Forgiveness is not a feeling. It is a choice to let God have it, hold it, and be responsible for itwhatever it is.

“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:13‬ ‭NLT‬‬

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 your heart.

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

And it will.

One day you will be able to remember what happened without reliving the pain.

“When we forgive an offense, we set a prisoner free, only to discover that we were that prisoner”.

– Freedom Groups, Week 7