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How to Find Joy and Peace

Matthew 10:30-31 says, “And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows,” (NLT). The Lord doesn’t care so much about our accomplishments. He created each and every one of us to be unique and special. He values even our hair—whether it’s a lot or only a little! God loves me. God loves you. He loved you when you were only a child, with mud on your nose and peanut butter in your hair. He loved you when you succeeded and when you failed. His love is completely unconditional.

Take a moment to think about that truth. You don’t have to prove anything to God. He just loves you because you exist. God loved you before you were born. He loved you before you even knew Him. He loved you when you were lost in your sins and He came to take care of that! You don’t have to look a certain way or do a certain thing to earn His love. He loves you and He values you, more than you can ever fathom. Even when you mess up and fall flat on your face, He still loves you. Believe this truth. It will set you free.

Our world teaches that the only person you can really trust in is yourself. Unfortunately, that’s a lie. For one thing, the Bible teaches that you cannot trust yourself at all. Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way which seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but at the end of it is the way of death,” (AMP). We, left to our own devices, are headed for destruction, death, and hell. However, Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take,” (NLT).

Sometimes, it’s really hard to trust anyone else, especially if you’ve been hurt in the past. Trusting in God can seem extremely difficult because of the simple fact that you can’t see Him or touch Him. However, anyone and everyone can EXPERIENCE God anywhere, anytime.

The great thing about Jesus (God) is He never lies and He always keeps His promises. He is completely reliable and absolutely faithful. If He said it, that settles it! Every promise written in the Bible is for you and me. The Bible was written not just for a few people, but for the entire world. Jesus does not force Himself on people; He simply offers Himself and His Spirit. He wants to walk with you. He wants a relationship with you. Matthew 11: 28-30 says, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly,” (MSG).

I’ve heard it preached that the Lord wants to show you what a real Sabbath is. If you are living a life of perpetual fatigue, perhaps you are carrying around too many burdens. Jesus wants you to have a life that is light. He wants to show you a better, more joyful way to live. When we finally let go of our worries and believe the truth that God can handle our lives better than we can, suddenly we sleep better. We awake refreshed and energized. And joy quietly fills us. It’s there, exactly where it’s supposed to be, felt freely and fully.

Remember Psalm 37:4? It says, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart,” (AMP). This means that if you will walk with the Lord, He will make your dreams come true.

Excerpted from my book Allowing Joy Into Your Life coming soon.

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Posted by on July 20, 2012 in encouraging posts, Excerpts

 

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Building Walls of Faith

Have you ever been hurt? I know I have. It seems the defense mechanism of choice is to build a wall, so you can’t get hurt again. The problem with walls is what do you allow in? And, what are you keeping out?

In prayer this morning, I realized that those walls are actually good things–when used properly. Instead of building walls of FEAR and keeping everyone and everything out, we need to build walls of FAITH. Let our Lord be our help and our hope. Let Him be our rearguard. Hide ourselves under His wings. Use that shield of Faith!

Instead of building walls because we don’t want to be hurt again or just simply don’t want to have to deal with things, we need to build walls in our lives to glorify the Lord. In fact, we need to work together with Jesus to build those walls–of faith, love, protection, hope, and joy!

When we set out to build walls by ourselves, they become defensive and keep out those who love us. These kinds of walls prevent us from becoming the people who our Lord desires us to be. Another problem with building walls by ourselves is that there are often holes in them that Satan’s fiery darts can get through, thus making us even more alone, and more miserable.

Recently, I’ve been purposefully allowing the Lord time every day to just love me. It’s not an ego thing, rather, it’s a reality thing. There’s no pride, just love. I can tell you that it is making all the difference in the world. Because I am getting a greater grasp of God’s love for me, I can give more and greater love to the people around me. The other night, as we sang ‘I’m not ashamed of You’, I realized that He was not ashamed of me. It’s so easy to have super high expectations of ourselves to the point that we think God is going to reject us, when just the opposite is true. He loves us with an everlasting love. He loves us in spite of ourselves. We know we’re not perfect and so does He. The thing is, He has the power to change us, if we’ll let Him. He doesn’t condemn, He loves and transforms.

Rom 8:1-2 “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death,” (KJV).

When we build walls of Faith with Jesus, rather than walls of Fear all by ourselves, we are set free. God’s kingdom has come into our lives and it keeps getting bigger. Those walls protect us and free us to create and build and do all those great things the Lord wants us to do. And, we get to do all this with Him and those precious people around us. We are fulfilled and energized to do more than we ever thought possible. We get to live the way we were meant to live, bold, joyful, hopeful, and fulfilled.

What has the Lord spoken to you about recently? How has He ministered to your heart? Let me know in the comment section below! 🙂

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2012 in encouraging posts

 

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