Guard Your Heart

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

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭4:23‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Some seasons are harder than others.

Sometimes it seems like having a hard heart is easier than feeling the pain of having a soft one.

But a heart is meant to feel, not be numb.

Your heart is made to process the pain.

When you harden your heart instead of processing the pain, you lock the pain inside with no way out. 

My friend, don’t harden your heart.

Push through the hard season but don’t do it by hardening your heart.

Guard your heart, grow your heart and fill your heart.

Don’t just get through today’s struggle, process it.

Feel it, embrace it and let it work all the way through and all the way out.

In Season or Out.

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Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.

2 Timothy‬ ‭4‬:‭2‬ NIV

There are seasons of life that you are where you are supposed to be and doing what you are supposed to be doing. You are “in” season. You are inspired, motivated and moving forward.

Then there are seasons when you feel downright out of it. You are not where you want to be and not doing what you think you should be doing. You are in an “out” season. You are discouraged, unmotivated and stuck.

The thing is, Jesus will use you in both seasons to reach out to people who need his love.

In fact, it is often the seasons that knock you to your knees that impact other people the most:

  • When the diagnosis doesn’t shake your faith. 
  • When you face a hard time but it doesn’t harden your heart.
  • When you are brave in the face of uncertainty and transparent as you lean on God for strength. 

Be prepared to walk with God in the good times and bad, easy seasons and hard ones because God is prepared to walk with you through it all.

If you are available, He will use you to minister to those around you.

God’s love is always in season, may you be filled with it today.

In the Midst 

  

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” ’ (‭Numbers‬ ‭6‬:‭24-26‬ NIV)

Blessed.
Your greatest blessings are often found in the midst of your greatest struggles.

Kept.
Because God is holding onto you.

Grace.
Not deserved or earned but lavished on you nonetheless.

Peace.
Peace that passes understanding and does not depend on outside circumstances. Peace that comes from taking refuge within God’s embrace and letting Him fight for you.

May your eyes be opened to the blessings you have, to the security of belonging to God, to the truth of His grace upon you and the filling of His peace within you.

Some Times 

  
When you have a relationship with God, it doesn’t mean everything is suddenly perfect. 

It means that you don’t walk alone. 

But I trust in you, Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hands” (Psalm 31:14-15a NIV).

Jesus will walk with you through all your times: good times, bad times or in-between times. Heart-wrenching times, peace-filled times, exhausting-times, and resting-times. 

Sometimes all in one day. 

Whatever your season of life, whatever time you are having, Jesus will walk with you through it. I don’t know about you but I am always relieved when I see He is with me. 

Whatever you are facing today, Know that Jesus is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. He will lead you through. 

Choose Joy

  

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4 NIV)

Rejoice is the theme of the book of Philippians, even though the circumstances with which it was written hold no reason for such a sentiment- Paul was in prison.

And that is the point.

Don’t rejoice because life is good, rejoice because God is good.

Don’t rejoice only when good things happen- God works thru all things.

Set your heart to celebrate Him and your mind to delight in Him everyday.

When you do, “your life and your things” look different to you even though they have not changed.

Rejoicing when there is nothing to rejoice about is a divine gift that will transform you. Take the gift and throw a party.

Choose joy.

Be Prepared

  

There are seasons of life that you are where you supposed to be and doing what your supposed to be doing. It is your “in” season. You are inspired, motivated and moving forward.

Then there are seasons when you feel down right out of it. You are not where you want to be and not doing what you think you should be doing. It is your “out” season. You are depressed, unmotivated and stuck.

The thing is that God will use both seasons and use you to reach out to people who need His love.

In fact, it is often the seasons knock you to your knees that impact other people the most.

Be prepared to be preach without words.

When the diagnosis doesn’t shake your faith. When you face hard time but it doesn’t harden your heart.
When you are brave in the face of uncertainty and transparent as you lean on God for strength.

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. (‭2 Timothy‬ ‭4‬:‭2‬ NIV)

Be prepared to walk with God in the good times and the bad, the easy times and the hard ones.

God is prepared to walk with you through every season and if you available, He will use them to bless you and bless those around you.

Insurmountable Obstacles

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Do you have an obstacle before you seems impossible to overcome?

When Jesus walked the earth the term
“mountain” was used in that day to mean an insurmountable problem.

““Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.” (Mark 11:22, 23 NIV)

God can overcome any obstacle, move any mountain, no matter how big and immovable it seems.

It is not difficult for Him and does not weaken His strength. He is not worried about it and does not stress over doing it.

However, He will not force Himself on you or bully you into giving Him permission to move. He will not pry your fingers off it or come into the situation uninvited.

But He will come in when you invite Him too and He will move when you give Him room.

Jesus did not say “have faith in yourself”, he said: “Have faith in God”.

Put your faith in God.

Speak to your mountains with that faith and watch God do the impossible and move the immoveable.

The Good Life

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Prosperity is as short-lived as a wildflower, so don’t ever count on it. You know that as soon as the sun rises, pouring down its scorching heat, the flower withers. Its petals wilt and, before you know it, that beautiful face is a barren stem. Well, that’s a picture of the “prosperous life.” At the very moment everyone is looking on in admiration, it fades away to nothing. (James 1:9-11 MSG)

God doesn’t want to have a life that looks good. He wants you to have a life that is good.

That means facing the challenges, sticking it out thru the hard stuff to learn the hard lessons.

The hard lessons are the ones that give us the truths (and strength) to live a good life:

Your identity is in Christ, not a title, a position or job.

Your worth is who you are, not what you have (or don’t have).

You are loved completely, endlessly and for all eternity because you have been embraced by God.

You were made for more than just an easy life. You have been made to live a God ordained, Christ centered, Holy Spirit powered good life.

When You Need To The Most

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Trusting God is the most difficult when you need to trust him the most.

When everything goes wrong.
When relationships falls apart.
When you or someone you love is sick.
When you are tired.
When you don’t see a way out.
When you feel attacked.
When you feel abandoned.
When you are talking to your complaining teenage son.

Why is it hard? I think it is because we have believed deep down that trusting God means he will make sure nothing bad happens. Somewhere along the line, we begin to see faith as insurance and God as a genie. As long as he does what I want and makes everything perfect- then I will trust him. And if I trust him, his definition of good will be the same as mine.

I trusted in the Lord when I said, “I am greatly afflicted”; (Psalm 116:10 NIV)

I love this verse because it shows us we can speak the truth AND trust God at the same time. And it is a truth shouted throughout Scripture: TRUST God in the midst of your hardest times.

It is when things fall apart and don’t “go our way” that we need to trust God the most. It is the life- line that gives us strength to go through the trial. It is admitting that we don’t have all the answers or know what is going to happen- but God does. And that although we don’t see how we are going to get through, we are trusting God that he will give us what we need to do it.

We are not promised a perfect life or a trial free one. We live in a broken world in bodies that are not made to live forever.

Our hope in God transcends this world and these bodies. God is not a genie for is to command but he is a father who loves his children. He doesn’t deny that life can be brutally difficult but rather promises that we don’t have to go through it alone.

Because when it is the hardest to trust God is when you need to the most.