Anonymous asked: I don't know if you're still doing this blog, I certainly hope so, but... I'm really depressed about something that really isn't even a big deal, but I'm REALLY depressed about it. I can't really enjoy anything until this is taken care of. But, God's not helping me. There are times when I'll get a little better, but, then it comes right back. God said he'd help me, but I pray and pray, and I feel like he's not even listening. It scares me. Because I don't want to feel like this anymore.
You have to trust in Him. Trust in His plan. Trust that whatever you are struggling with, it’s happening for a reason. Maybe God needs to use this certain trial to mold you or change your heart. But I do know that God is faithful. Always. So although it might not feel like it at the moment, have faith in Him. Don’t let Satan tell you those lies that God isn’t helping you, because God is always there for you. God loves you so much, He’s always listening. You just have to trust in His plan, trust in His purpose. You might not like what you’re going through, but look what Jesus went through. He died an awful death for us. Because He trusted in His father. He defeated the grave. God loves you, He did all of that for you. Keep turning your eyes upon Him. Keep praying. It will get better, when you trust that whatever is happening is happening for a purpose. Have faith and trust in your Creator who loves you unconditionally.
God bless <3
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18
Many of us can probably remember when we were kids, if we said a bad word, our mother threatened to wash our mouths out with soap. Well, if “fear” is a dirty, four-letter word, then faith in God’s love is the soap!
I’m not talking about wimpy faith. I’m talking about a powerful faith in God’s unconditional, unlimited, unwavering, perfect love for us.
First John 4:18 teaches that understanding God’s love for us will deliver us from our fears. Now this doesn’t mean we won’t ever feel fear, but faith in God and His love will enable us to ‘do it afraid’ if we have to.
God wants you to know that He is with you. He will lead and guide you, so you can put your confidence and faith in Him!
Remember, His love is perfect, even when we aren’t. He isn’t going to love us any more or less because of our mistakes. Isn’t it good to know that God loves you right where you are? Doesn’t that thought just kind of boost your faith and take your fear down a notch?
You and I are going to feel afraid now and then. When we do, we can get our focus back on God and know that He will lead us through any situation we face.
It’s the perfect love of God, not perfect us, that casts out fear every single time.
Dear Heavenly Father, only Your love can cast out my fear, so I put my faith in You. I know that Your presence is with me and that You will lead me through any fearful situation I face. I will go where you lead me, Lord.
If you’ve been in the world very long, you’ve learned that there are very few days that go exactly the way we’d like them to go. Thankfully, God is never going to put us in a situation without giving us the ability to be in it with joy. I believe God gives us His special grace for every situation. Here’s how I like to define grace: God’s power to help us do whatever it is we need to do. You can have that power today, but you have to receive it, and the only way to receive it is by faith. Romans 12:3 says that “God has allotted to each a measure of faith.”
Ask yourself today, “What am I doing with my faith?” Are you putting your faith in yourself, or in others, or in your circumstances? That’s not living in grace, that’s just living by your own strength and works. And it won’t get the job done!
But when you release your faith and trust God to do what you can’t do, you’re putting your faith in Him. Then grace, God’s power, will come through the channel of faith and will enable you to do things that will amaze you and others.
Here’s my longer definition of grace; It’s God’s power coming to us freely, meaning it doesn’t cost us anything other than just putting our faith in God, enabling us to do with each what we could never do on our own with any amount of struggle or effort.
Put your faith in God. He wants to give you His grace today.
Lord, we know life won’t always go our way, but we trust in You. By faith, we receive Your grace, the power You have freely given to help us walk through any situations we come across.
“Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.” -Proverbs 29:18
What is the dream that God’s placed in your heart? I’m not asking if you have one, I already know it’s there because God gives all of us dreams.
I’ve seen people do all kinds of things to their dreams. Some people bury them so deep in their hearts in order to protect them from the criticism of others. Some people set them out of sight so they don’t have to think about them anymore. And some people finally just give up on their dreams because it hurts too much to hold on.
If your dream needs a jump-start there are two things I want you to remember. First, you need to get a vision that’s clear. And second, you must keep your vision in front of you at all times.
But having a vision doesn’t mean that it will instantly appear. God’s as interested in the process of vision as He is in the end result.
The apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:11-13 that he had learned how to be content and satisfied to the point where he was not disturbed by whatever state he was in. In other words, he never allowed himself to get upset with where he was at the moment, he was always looking forward to where he could be.
That means you, like Paul, need to find a balance between contentment and ambition. Here’s the key: Learn to enjoy where you are on the way to where you’re going.
When you have a dream or a vision, you have to keep it in front of you. If it helps, write it down. And remember, God will help you live the dream. He’s given you, step-by-step, one day at a time.
Lord I pray for those of us who want to quit. Help us to believe you have a great plan for each of our lives, I pray that we will trust you to help us live out that dream.
Are we living our lives in such a radical way that it actually points someone to God?
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, adn the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” -Matthew 7:24-28
Both of them experience a storm. Both want to live a life that makes a difference. WIll you live out your faith or not? Will you be the wise man or the foolish man? The only difference between these two men is what a person did with what they heard.
Jesus never spoke just to amaze people. He never spoke to get more followers. He never spoke for recognition. Jesus spoke with purpose. He spoke to accomplish something. God speaks to activate us. He speaks to set things in motion. He speaks to create change. The words of the Bible are meant to be lived.
It is the doing that makes the difference. When you live out his words you begin to take on a whole new identity. And you begin to become the man/woman that God created you to be. God’s desires for us grow in that big faith. That bulletproof faith. A big faith only occurs when you live it out. Your faith grows when you take action upon it.
“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” -Romans 10:17
Our faith starts by hearing and grows by doing. Until you put yourself in a position where you need God to come through, your faith will not grow.
“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” -Philippians 4:13
If you are a follower of Jesus Christ…you have everything you need to be in a thriving relationship with God.
Your faith will not get big until you start to do something with it. Live it out. It’s the doing that makes the difference. Salvation comes through Jesus and only through Jesus. But satisfaction is different. That cause is bigger than ourselves, that is something you fight for. That is something you work for.
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” -James 1:22
God is more concerned with your life than your status update.
Challenge yourself. Read Matthew 5,6,&7. Let God show you what areas in your life this needs to be applied…and do it.
-Pastor at Grace Community Church, Goshen
Over Mark 2:1-12
Jesus is our highest priest, someone who builds a bridge to God.
He came to connect us to the Father.
While in Capernaum, Jesus was performing miracles. The people were drawn to him because of these miracles he was performing. If some guy was performing miracles right in front of your eyes, wouldn’t you want to go see? I know I would. People would be crowding around, coming from all over. Just as it was in Mark 2.
Verse 5 shows a shift, in the men’s emotions who brought the paralytic through the roof and also the paralytic most likely. He didn’t want their sins to be forgiven, he wanted to be healed!
For most of us, the majority of our conversations with God are about what we need, instead of confessing our sin.
It’s easy to say your sins are forgive because how do you know if they are or not? You don’t know, on the other hand, physical healing is something you know immediately.
Jesus set this up, in the passage. If he can tell someone to take up their mat and walk then he can tell them their sins are forgiven. Because he has the power to forgive sins, and in the long run that is what these people needed, they needed Jesus. However, they didn’t trust that He was the Son of God.
Which is why this passage shows so much importance.
If Jesus heals someone and he can prove it, then maybe they should pay attention to the rest of the stuff he says. Jesus is trying to connect people back to God. They needed to know about God and His love. Jesus came to this world to connect us back to the Father. He’s the only priest we will ever need.
Jesus sets them up. He wants them to know he has the authority to forgive sins. Which is why he said that before he healed him.
After Jesus healed the man, no one praised him because he washed the man of his sin, they only praised him for the physical healing.. which was temporary.
We know what’s important now, Jesus knows what was important. That is what He wants us to learn. Don’t miss the importance of Him. Yes he performed miracles, but physical only happens on earth. When he heals us of our sins, that is eternal. Jesus wanted the man to realize that, he fixed the man’s temporary problem, but he cured his permanent problem.
Miracles: If we believe in what God can do for us, then our faith becomes based on what God can do for you. But that’s just a temporary fix. We’re happy with him when we are happy. But when we’re angry we aren’t. If we aren’t careful we get into this Christian idea of “karma” but that’s not what it is about. If that is the case, then your faith will become shattered when anything bad happens.
That is a danger thing called religion, a system.
That’s not what our faith should be about.
You might not believe in God for that exact reason, “I needed God to show up when (something bad happened)”
So what happens when your prayers aren’t answered, where does your faith go?
If your faith is based on what Jesus did or did not do, then your faith isn’t there.
This is what our faith should be based on:
Not just the death, but the resurrection. Jesus’s death didn’t stop there, when Jesus rose again he conquered sin, death and the grace once and for all. Let your faith be based on that. Not just because Jesus died for us but the fact that he conquered sin and death. Victoriously he rose. And he said he would do that. Just like he said he would heal this man and his sins were forgiven.
Jesus came back. Because of His resurrection, we can become confident in our faith.
Confident that Jesus is who he says he is, and that Jesus will do what he says he will do. Faith is confidence in Jesus. He never promised us that the more faith we have the easier it will be. But he says that in this world we will have trouble, he doesn’t stop there, he tells us to take heart because he has overcome the world!
If we ever try to lean our faith on anything other than Jesus and what He did than our faith will fall apart. Don’t let your faith depend on what God does for us, but what He’s already done for us.
No matter what happens to you in this life, you can remember this..God loves you. If you trust him your sins are forgiven. No matter what happens, believe that God loves you and your sins are forgiven.
Hebrews 4:14: Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.
When the hard times come, where is your faith rooted?
wheniamweakiamstrong asked: I don't understand what this is saying.... “Most of us use ‘I’m waiting for God to reveal His calling on my life’ as a means of avoiding action. Did you hear God calling you to sit in front of the television yesterday? Or to go on your last vacation? Or exercise this morning? Probably not, but you still did it. The point isn’t that vacations or exercise are wrong, but that we are quick to rationalize our entertainment and priorities yet are slow to commit to serving God" -Francis Chan
I love Francis Chan, he’s spectacular! But my interpretation of this is: God has a purpose for every single one of us, whether we choose to live that purpose out is our choice. We can choose to follow God or to live by our earthly desires and live in sin. So when we decide to follow God that means taking action. Don’t wait for God to bring our calling to our doorstep we have to take initiative and find it. We have to serve wholeheartedly instead of spending hours in front of the television. Most of us commit to the Lord, but put other priorities first which isn’t right. We need to put Him first, before everything else. So I think he’s saying don’t use that phrase as an excuse. Because it’s pointless. If we choose to live our life for the Lord, and live our lives according to His purpose, then we need to take action. Don’t put it off, fully commit ourselves to the Lord. And make sure our priorities are in line.
Hope this helped! God bless :)
A shy person shrinks back from may things that she could confront. There are many things she would like to say or do, but she’s paralyzed by fear. I believe we must learn to step out into things and find out what God has for us in life. A more timid approach may protect individuals from making mistakes, but the result is that they spend their lives wondering “what could have been.” Bold people, on the other hand, make more mistakes, but they recover and eventually find what is right and fulfilling for them.
Making mistakes is not the end of the world. We can recover from most mistakes. But one of the few mistakes we cannot recover from is the mistake of never being willing to make one in the first place! God works through our faith, not our fear. Don’t sit on the sidelines of life wishing you were doing the things you see other people doing. Take action and make the most of life!
Prayer for today: Lord, I put my trust in You and look forward to moving into new areas of life. I will not sit on the sidelines any longer. Amen.
“If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into the land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” Numbers 14:8-9
Anonymous asked: i hope this isnt a trivial or silly question, but i could really use some guidance. i have been really depressed these past few months and i have become someone i am not proud of. i have self harmed, acted out, and i am really ashamed of my actions. i have prayed over and over for God to help me through this but i feel like nothing ever changes, i found myself doubting God's existence recently too. how do you suggest i reignite my faith and end my battle with depression?
Hi dear, It’s not a silly question whatsoever! Very prominent problem to a lot of people. I wish I had an answer to tell you that would give you everything you need but I don’t because there isn’t one answer. And quite frankly, I haven’t even learned how to overcome my own depression. But these are a few things I’ve learned. God gives us what we can handle. He is a loving God and wants us to depend on Him in these struggles. Reigniting your faith and also ending depression are two things that both will not come overnight. Some people might disagree with me on the reigniting your faith part of that, but here’s why I believe that. Faith is your belief in God. Like you said you’re having doubts of God’s existence. That takes time to build because it’s a relationship. It takes nine months to truly know a person on earth. God wants a true relationship with us. The kind where we love Him and He loves us. That takes consistency, sacrifice, & love. Sometimes God isn’t going to answer your prayers overnight, or even in a few months. Why? Because changing your situation isn’t His answer yet. Instead of changing the situation you’re in, God sometimes chooses to change the person in the situation. He has a plan, and knows you can handle it. But it most likely requires His help.
Here’s my link for other depression & struggles with faith questions I’ve answered: It might help a little more!!
I wish I could give you the right answer to solve all your problems, but I can’t. This is what my heart keeps coming to, go to God.
Live for Him, depend on Him. Pray to Him, continuously. Pray for His will to be done, whatever it may be! Devote yourself to Him. Study His word. Spend time with Him. Reach out to others and show them to Him. It’s possible, don’t give up!
<3 God bless!
“Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” Romans 5:1-5 (NLT)