TODAY’S INSPIRATION: PRAISE IS WHAT WE DO…

WHEN WE GOING THROUGH!

Perhaps you are feeling discouraged and overwhelmed right now. Perhaps You think everything is going wrong and your life is a mess. You may be grieving for the loss of a loved one. Someone may have broken your heart. Your body may be in pain, and you are mentally drained. Finances are tight, and you are struggling from day to day. Someone somewhere is going through something. In Psalms 150:6, King David said, “Let everything that have breathe praise the Lord.” But praising God is the last thing you feel like doing. I encourage you do not let how you are feeling keep you from praising God who can change all of that and give you peace in the middle of whatever you may be going through.  

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12)

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. 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 4:6-7)

In the mist of our trials and tribulations we must make a conscious decision to praise God. Yes, even though the tears are flowing, praise Him anyhow! It is easy to praise and thank God when we are joyful, and we can see His blessings flowing. It is easy to praise Him when we see Him working in our lives. Faith is praising Him even when we don’t see or understand what God is doing. Faith is praising Him no matter how we feel, because we know God is always working on our behalf. Don’t allow the devil to make you think otherwise.

“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial, which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.” (1 Peter 4:12-19)

“With my mouth I will give great thanks to the lord; I will praise him in the midst of the throng.” (Psalm 109-30)

“But He answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.” (John 5:17)

Every day we go head to toe against the schemes of satan, he tries to manipulate our emotions and feelings so we can feel defeated. But we must remember that although we still battle, our victory has been accomplished. We are fighting from victory not for victory. When Jesus endured the cross and conquered the grave, we became soldiers whose ultimate conquest is assured! The battle looks different when you know you already won! It’s like the war Joshua was asked to fight, to claim the occupied Promised Land that God had already given, “The land is yours” God told him, “You own it, and My Word is the title deed. I promised it to Abraham; I will give it to you. But you must fight.” (Joshua 1). Joshua led the nation of Israel in some fierce battles, but Joshua owned the dirt everywhere he put his foot down. He had the deed. He was fighting not for victory; he was fighting from victory already made certain by God Himself. That is where we stand. Our battles are not against flesh and blood, but they are very real just the same. And just like Joshua we already won!

“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; (Ephesians 6:12-18)

“For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” (1 John 5:4)

We should praise God while going through and in the middle of any situation or circumstance. Jesus said there will be trials and tribulations in this world. He also said He had defeated them. We must focus on God and not the problems. During times of troubles, we must trust God’s hidden workings and exercise our faith. He promised that he would never leave or forsake us. We can thank Him for His unfailing love, and His faithfulness to deliver, protect and provide for us even if we don’t see it yet. We can praise Him for who He is. We can praise Him because we have the breath to do it! Let us praise the Lord, for He is good, and His mercy endures forever! Love and Blessings…

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:28-31)

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

“My mouth is filled with your praise, and with your glory all the day.” (Psalm 71:8)

TODAY’S INSPIRATION:SILENT SCREAMS…

Joni Hursey-Wingate

Have you ever experienced a nightmare and tried to scream and couldn’t? Well imagine living a daily horror where no one hears your cries. Situations may cause you to be wounded while the surface area remains intact. The body seems whole, but the heart is broken. There may be alarms signaling your distress, but you feel you are unable to be rescued. If you are tormented by grief, illness, betrayal, exasperation, or confusion then most likely you can identify with the concept of silent screams. Job 19:7 states, “Behold, I cry out of wrong, but I am not heard: I cry aloud, but there is no judgment.” The Lord is aware of the voice that is mute, and he hears the languishing while those in the midst are undeniably deaf. As the sad clown prepares for his awaiting audience, you too smear on the “happy face.” You seem functional while the screams are relentlessly shrilling yet soundly silent. Man is looking on the outward appearance while God sees your heart. Although the heart is sustaining a massive attack it continues to beat in systematic rhythm pumping the pain.

Issues of the heart often evoke erratic emotions. The mind, body and spirit are plagued with frantic feelings of despair. Now, one is more susceptible to sickness and disease. The brain is avidly anticipating a psychotic break while your spirit yearns for relief. This form of stress is quite serious and requires immediate attention. Visibly you are living while something so vital inside is dying. What will you do? Yes, professional help is indicated but only God is the sure cure. Remember as Christians we are to endure hardship as good soldiers (2 Timothy 2:3). Do you wonder why afflictions, mourning and weeping bring you closer to God? It may be challenging to comprehend why the Bible states a house of mourning is better than a house of mirth. Know when you are being poked with the pitchfork your character is being comprised. Think of a steak, the more it’s pierced it’s proven to be more tender and palatable. Likewise, we become pliable and prepared to fulfill God’s plan (Jeremiah 29:11). Broken Ones, realize the tougher the trial the greater the testimony. To whom much is given, much is required; so, are you really ready for the abundant blessings? Fun and laughter have its place; but the solemn are actually in position to receive God’s resonating promises.  

“Weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5). Understand your plight is seasonal. Although your “life crops” may seem drowned and flooded with rain; stay diligent in prepping the field. God is in control of your harvest. Beloved, cease from worrying; now rest and sleep as the nightmares of your silent screams are transformed into shouts of praise that cannot be internally contained.

Author: Joni Hursey-Wingate

I would like to thank my sister in Christ for allowing me to share. This is the month of Mental Health Awareness. Millions of people face the reality of living with depression. Studies have shown that people with depression are often judged and has some type of stigma attached to them. Which is why many suffer in silence. If you or anyone you know is silently screaming because of grief, abuse, pain, or whatever is killing you on the inside, I want you to know you can take your power back. God is our source for whatever we need or are going through, but He also provides resources for us to get the help we need. Don’t be afraid to talk with someone. You may say it’s just a little depression, but the enemy wants to keep us enslaved so he will take that “little depression” and keep you in a place of despair. You will be so focused on your pain that you cannot receive the promises that God has for you. If you cannot talk with a loved one for fear of hurting or worrying them, talk with a professional. Take. Your. Power. Back! Be encouraged. Love and Blessings…

Joni Hursey-Wingate

Beyond the Burden Counseling Services

4310 Indian River Rd., Suite 4 Chesapeake, VA 23325

(757) 773-9511

issuessolver@aol.com

TODAY’S INSPIRATION: THE ARTIST

THE ARTIST

There are not enough words to describe all that God is. If we take a moment to look around at His creations, we have to say He is a magnificent artist! It can be breathtaking to watch the sunsets, sunrises, rainbows, and beautiful flowers. You can even see all kinds of images in the clouds!However, we are God’s greatest creations. We are His masterpieces! A masterpiece is often a culmination of an artist’s skill and hard work. When God created us in His own image, He out did Himself!

“So, God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27)

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”(Ephesians 2:10)

Has someone told you that you are inadequate or not enough? Have you ever looked in the mirror and told yourself that you are average or that your life is worthless? The world defines us by what we look like, where we come from, our education and titles, and it may cause us to lose our identity sometimes. We forget who we are and whose we are. But we must remember to see ourselves as a result of God’s divine creation. We must see ourselves as God sees us. God says each one of us are fearfully and wonderfully made. We were created with great reverence, love, and respect to be unique and set apart! To state this truth does not make us vain, because to say anything different is criticizing God’s work. God does not make mistakes! When we believe we are worthless, not enough, or insignificant, we are not only criticizing ourselves, but we are also criticizing the God who made us! Diamonds are expensive because they are rare, but we are not rare, we are the only one that exists. Or will ever exist! That makes us priceless! We are each a priceless work of art.

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works wonderful; I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:13-14)

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. “(Psalms 139:14)

The amazing thing is He continues to work on and within us through the Holy Spirit. We are still a work in progress. The Bible says that God is the Potter, and we are the clay. When we are open to God’s will in our lives, He molds, transforms, and sanctifies us as we walk with Him. We are a masterpiece created by an amazing God, and in the process of being perfected by Jesus Christ! He will complete what He started! I choose not to believe what or who the world says I am, but who and what God’s Word says I am. Love and Blessings…  

“Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay; you are the potter;
   we are all the work of your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8)

“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)

TODAY’S INSPIRATION: THE ARTIST…

THE ARTIST

There are not enough words to describe all that God is. If we take a moment to look around at His creations, we have to say He is a magnificent artist! It can be breathtaking to watch the sunsets, sunrises, rainbows, and beautiful flowers. You can even see all kinds of images in the clouds! However, we are God’s greatest creations. We are His masterpieces! A masterpiece is often a culmination of an artist’s skill and hard work. When God created us in His own image, He out did Himself!

“So, God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27)

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”(Ephesians 2:10)

Has someone told you that you are inadequate or not enough? Have you ever looked in the mirror and told yourself that you are average or that your life is worthless? The world defines us by what we look like, where we come from, our education and titles, and it may cause us to lose our identity sometimes. We forget who we are and whose we are. But we must remember to see ourselves as a result of God’s divine creation. We must see ourselves as God sees us. God says each one of us are fearfully and wonderfully made. We were created with great reverence, love, and respect to be unique and set apart! To state this truth does not make us vain, because to say anything different is criticizing God’s work. God does not make mistakes! When we believe we are worthless, not enough, or insignificant, we are not only criticizing ourselves, but we are also criticizing the God who made us! Diamonds are expensive because they are rare, but we are not rare, we are the only one that exists. Or will ever exist! That makes us priceless! We are each a priceless work of art.

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works wonderful; I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:13-14) 

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. “(Psalms 139:14)

The amazing thing is He continues to work on and within us through the Holy Spirit. We are still a work in progress. The Bible says that God is the Potter, and we are the clay. When we are open to God’s will in our lives, He molds, transforms, and sanctifies us as we walk with Him. We are a masterpiece created by an amazing God, and in the process of being perfected by Jesus Christ! He will complete what He started! I choose not to believe what or who the world says I am, but who and what God’s Word says I am. Love and Blessings…  

“Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay; you are the potter;
   we are all the work of your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8)

“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)

TODAY’S INSPIRATION: DECEPTION

It used to be scary because I could see things or see right through a person when they were not being honest or holding back truths. In other words, lying. My mother told me I was born with an old soul and a gift from God. It has kept me out trouble for sure. But once I developed a personal relationship with Jesus, I am really learning how to use it. For instance, just because you know something, does not mean you have to say something. Sometimes it is just for you to know and prepare or protect yourself. Weather you have this gift or not, God’s truth will always prepare and protect you from deception.

 When you are deceived, you are believing a lie that you think is true and it becomes your reality. The only answer to deception is truth. And the only truth is God’s Word. His truth will set you free. Free from worry, anxiety, and depression. Free from panic and ignorance. Ask God for discernment, wisdom, and knowledge. Today more than ever, we need to pray for our spiritual eyes to be opened so we will not be deceived by false prophets, or the enemies lies! We must keep our gaze on God and only glance at the world which is full of deception. We can choose to walk hand in hand with Christ who will lead and guide us. When we do this no weapon formed against us will prosper! Love and Blessings…  

“As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately.“Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.” (Matthew 24:3-8)

“No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me,” Says the Lord.” (Isaiah 54:17)

TODAY’S INSPIRATION: “I AM NOT PERFECT”

When it comes to owning up to our weaknesses or sins, the phase, “I’m not perfect.” is very popular for some Christians. I am not judging because I too sometimes say I am not perfect, but then I do not pretend to be. It is true we are not perfect; scriptures says we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) Scriptures also says as believers we are to live in this world but not be of this world. (2 Corinthians 10:3) We know that is easier said than done. Paul said in Romans 7:15, “I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do, this I keep on doing.” If Paul, the saint, sinned, how are we supposed to be sinless? The struggle is real. As Christians, the law, sin, and death no longer have authority over us, but the sinful nature still dwells within us. It is a battle between the new spirit in us and our old sinful nature. This battle intensifies the closer we get to Christ. The enemy knows we are now covered by grace. The worst mistake we can make is to purposely use the “I am not perfect” as an excuse or to justify our sins, just to make ourselves feel better. When we do this, the enemy wins!

“Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” (Psalm 51:5)

“For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” (Galatians 5:17)

“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:8-10)

“What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means!” (Romans 6:15)

But there is hope! Jesus Christ has overcome sin. Jesus was fully human and fully God. Jesus says in the New Testament; “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt 5:48) Jesus said it, so we must strive to achieve it. We cannot achieve it by following celebrities, athletes, the rich, famous or things of this world. We must aim daily to follow the example of Christ, the only man who walked this earth free of sin. We are weak and born in sin, so we may fail many times trying to live the life the way Jesus taught us. But God! He never gives us a command without preparing a path for us to follow, to do what He has asked us to do. So, God sent His son who is our hope and salvation!

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

“He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.” (1 Peter 2:22)

“Therefore, you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:4-8)

 “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”(1 Corinthians 10:13) Glory be to God we do not have to fight the battle ourselves! He knew we could not do it ourselves, through our own effort. The thing is God knows we are sinful which is why He sent his son Jesus as “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation” (Col 1:15). Through his life of perfect obedience, his sacrificial death on the cross for our sins, and his resurrection from the dead, Jesus begins to restore the fullness of God’s image in us. When we mess up and fall short, Jesus is there showing us His mercy and grace. He is our advocate, so sin will not keep us from our Holy God. We must realize we dwell in God’s shelter, not because of our own righteousness, but in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. However, it would be a mistake to take Jesus’s mercy and grace for granted, using “I’m not perfect” as an excuse or to justify our sins. God’s intention for us is to have victory over sin. When we are tempted, He will always provide a way out for us. It is our choice to accept it. Believers are commanded to become in practice what we are in Christ, dead to sin and alive to God!

“Therefore, he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” (Hebrew 2:17-18)

“For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)

“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.” (1 John 2:1)

There is a difference between making an occasional mistake and staying in willful sin. Or repenting and asking for forgiveness all the same time planning in your mind your next trip with sin. No need to lie, our human senses love sin, sin can feel, sound, look, smell, and taste good! Why is it that everything that seem so good is a sin? The key word here is seem. That is the deception of the enemy. It must seem good for us to be tempted! If this sin is front and center in our minds and hearts, we are in trouble. The devil knows it. And most importantly God knows it. He knows our heart. And if we allow this sin to consume us, (when only He should consume us) we are moving ourselves further away from God. In the Bible there were times when God withdrew His protection and covering from some people. And they suffered the consequences for their sin and rebellion against Him. They chose to be disobedient and stay in sin. Jesus said that God wanted to gather them under His wing for protection, but they were not willing! As a result, there was death and destruction in Jerusalem. Understand this, God did not send the destruction, He removed His protection! It is clear that God was trying to deliver and protect His people from the destruction, but they would not listen to His warnings and were not willing to come to Him. And so, death and destruction came, not from God, but from the armies He was trying to deliver them from in the first place. I believe the same is happening today. God is trying to warn us about so many things that are not pleasing in His sight, but we continue to allow the enemy to use sin and disobedience as a tool to remove us from under God’s shield of protection. Thank God it does not have to be this way, because even if we are not strong enough to fight sin on our own and most times that is the case, there is Jesus, reaching out to give us the strength we need to get the victory we already have. Yes, we already have the victory over any sin because God said He would always give us a way out. Sin and rebellion will keep us from under God’s umbrella of protection, sin is a wall we build between God and us. So, when we slip and fall, we must not just say “I’m not perfect” and continue to sin. We must sincerely repent and get back under God’s shield of protection!

“Everything is permissible for me, but not all things are beneficial. Everything is permissible for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything [and brought under its power, allowing it to control me].” (1 Corinthians 6:12) AMP

“But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57)

“Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins have neither seen Him nor known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.” (1John 3:6-7)  “And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” (Romans 8:10)

“And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” (Romans 8:10)

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

When we have a relationship with Jesus, the Holy Spirit empower us to withstand the temptation to sin and Jesus will work to transform our hearts so that we will become more like Him in nature. In Jesus we need no longer be separated from God. We are not bound to our birth as sinners but can become children of God. One day we will be reunited with God in heaven and will be forever free of sin. Until that day, we must strive to be as Christ-like as possible in this walk of life. Love and Blessings…

“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” (John 1:12-13)

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

“Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelations 21:1-1-4)

TODAY’S INSPIRATIONAL: JOY TRUMPS!

Last night’s devotion on the joy of the Lord followed me to bed and this morning I woke thanking God again for this unspeakable joy. How did I ever live without it? I will tell you how, I lived with anxiety, fear, and pain. Those weapons of the enemy no longer reside in my space. At times they try and show up to visit, but they quickly leave because joy and peace has taken up residence. To God be the glory! Honestly, there are times that things of this world make me sad. My heart breaks for what breaks God’s heart. However, even though I am sympathetic to the things going on in the world, I am not moved by them. The Spirit moves me. My joy is spiritual, and it comes from God who I know is in control of every situation. Spiritual joy trumps physical happiness. Because happiness depends on something good happening. Spiritual joy is there regardless of what is happening within or around you. My joy comes from His Word. My joy comes from His truth. The world will not understand why you are joyous, why you are singing and dancing, why you are worshipping and praising God in the middle of a storm. You can be peaceful and joyous if you stand on His promises! It is the perfect opportunity to show the world who our God is and how He is working in our lives. How He wants to do the same in the lives of others. It is not just enough to sit back and keep from becoming like the world. We must let our light and joy shine so brightly that others will see it. And they will wonder how, what, where, and from whom does this joy come? It is the perfect opportunity to share how the joy of the Lord is priceless! Spiritual joy trump’s any happiness this world may offer! Love and blessings…

“No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light.” (Luke:8:16)

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” (Psalm 28:7)

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4)

“Also, that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced: for God had made them rejoice with great joy: the wives also and the children rejoiced: so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off.” (Neh. 12:43)

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

TODAY’S INSPIRATION: FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT!

There is a time in life when we have to decide to fight a battle or walk away in silence. Do I fight for a cause I believe in? Do I fight for what is right? We all know that exploiting the vulnerable is evil. Martin Luther King said, “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.” Jesus said, “Learn to do good: seek justice, correct oppression: bring justice to the fatherless, and plead the widow’s cause,” (Isaiah 1:17). If you stand silently by and watch injustice, then you are just as guilty. As believers the answer is simple. Our sense of justice is transfused to us by our Creator God. He is loving, kind, and merciful and He is also righteous, holy, and just.  

“Give justice to the weak and the fatherless: maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute,” (Psalm 82:3)

“Learn to do good: seek justice, correct oppression: bring justice to the fatherless, and please the widow’s cause,” (Isaiah 1:17)

“He has told you, O man, what is good: and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)

It is hard not to fight for something you believe in or for a loved one. To not fight for my son is like telling me not to breathe. To be honest if you really want to make me salty, mess with him! But glory be to God, I am learning that he is also God’s child, and He will fight for him much better than I ever could. I am still a work in progress, but I am learning to go to the Heavenly Father, who fights for us all. I have seen the results when I get on my knees and intercede for my son, (or anyone). God shows up and shows out! I am just saying prayer is a powerful weapon!  

“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16)

“No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall confute every tongue that rises against you in judgement. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the LORD.” (Isaiah 54:17)

“The Rock, His work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.” (Deuteronomy 32:4)

The hardest battles are those we cannot see, when it comes to spiritual warfare, we have to fight! We cannot sleep or be distracted when it comes to spiritual warfare. The Bible tells us we must be vigilant and sober. We must put on the whole armor of God. I say never take it off! We must look beyond the surface and ask God to open our spiritual eyes. The battle in the spiritual realm is ongoing and real. Satan is a master at deception. Beware when feelings and thoughts are not in harmony with the Word of God. Fighting is resisting the temptations of the enemy. Fighting is staying in tuned with God and His Word. Our weapon is the Word. Our greatest weapon is prayer. The Bible says resist the devil and he will flee. Just know the devil is not going to give up without a fight. God gave the land to the Israelites, but they still had to fight for it. And as long as they obeyed God, they were conquerors. The enemy will use your family, friends, or anyone else to get to you. He will try and separate you from your connection with the Lord. He knows that is where your strength lies. The good news is that Jesus has come and conquered. The war is already won in the heavens. The enemy has been defeated so we fight from victory, not for victory!

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

“Be sober, be vigilant: because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11-13)

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)

“For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. (1 John 5:4)

At the beginning I asked should we fight or not? When it comes to the enemy, yes, we wage war, being passive is not an option! Every battle that we face in the physical world is connected to the battles being waged in the invisible, spiritual world. This is why it is important to ask God to open our spiritual eyes. We must pray for discernment and wisdom. We have to recognize the enemy’s attacks which sometimes comes in pretty packages.  

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (James 1:5)

“And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.” (Philippians 1:9-10)

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

I did not ask should we judge, only God can do that. The question is should we stand up and fight against the injustices of this world. Should we stand up for what is right? And remember what is right to the world is not necessarily right in God’s eyes. If we want to take a stand, Jesus is our example of righteousness. Jesus demonstrates a beautiful example for us to follow in the New Testament as one who cared for the outcast and reached out with compassion to help those who were in need. Jesus pursued justice. He physically and spiritually rescued those in need. We can look at the life of Jesus and the mandate given throughout Scripture as our example on how we should live and what we should stand for. Micah 6:8 connects our faith with our actions, our care for those in need with our walk with God. We are called to act and confront evil, to care for the vulnerable, and to make right that which is wrong. What we must remember is to first seek God and His Word and to be led by the Holy Spirit. He will let us know whether to fight or stand still. We can’t stand up and fight for everybody but with faith we can stand up and fight for somebody! Love and Blessings…

“For you equipped me with strength for the battle; you made those who rise against me sink under me.” (Psalm 18:39)

“What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)

“But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. (1 Timothy 6:11-12)

TODAY’S INSPIRATION: BUT GOD SAYS…

If we focus on what is going on within us and around us in today’s world, we can feel anxiety and hopelessness. We can feel uncertainty about the future which can lead to worry and depression. But God says do not worry or be anxious about anything! The reality is these unprecedented times can make anyone concerned, even Christians. We can be concerned without being afraid. We can be informed but not scared. We are not moved by the world, but by God’s Word. Our focus should be on things above and not the things of this sinful world. Those of us who know Him and believe His Word, realize that there is no need to worry, because we know how the story ends. We should stay in His presence, pray, and prepare, while at the same time living the gift of life joyously and without fear. God says whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. God says, “You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.” (Psalm 5-6). It may seem as if the enemy has taken over and the world has gone crazy, people are doing and saying some crazy stuff. But God said in Revelations 1:11, “I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last.” Which means He is in control, so why should we worry? Scripture says, “He is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer: He is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:2). I take comfort in these words no matter what I hear, see, or feel. Because God said it and I trust Him. In Exodus 15:26, God said, “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought to the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.” We have a right to expect to walk in the blessings of God. Not because of anything we have done but because what Jesus did. Because of the blood He shed on the cross we have the right to live a life of joy, purpose, and abundance. This is not the time to be worried or anxious about what is going on in the world, but the time to seek God and His righteousness. God will protect his people from harm and no weapon formed against them will prosper. How do I know? Because He said so in Isaiah 54:14 and I stand on His promises! Love and Blessings…  

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)  

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Colossians 3)  

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 8:6-7)  

“Honor the Lord! You are his special people. No one who honors the Lord will ever be in need.” (Psalm 34:9)  

“No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the LORD. (Isaiah 54:17)  

“Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.” (Hebrews 10:36)


TODAY’S INSPIRATION: KEEP MOVING!

TODAY’S INSPIRATION: KEEP MOVING!
Fear can paralyze you, it can stop you dead in your tracks! We all have experienced fear, but those of us who keep moving in spite of the fear, get to experience the victory. Faith over fear is not just something we say, it is something we must do. Having faith means being active, not sitting back moaning or complaining about life,just waiting for a change to come. Faith is trusting God enough to step out on that faith. It means loving ourselves, believing in ourselves and using the transforming power of God to help us keep moving forward. Fear blinds us from the facts, fear keeps us angry and disempowered by grief. Fear keeps us focused on what might happen rather than on what will happen if we allow God to lead us into our God given purpose. If you don't know your purpose, no better time than now to seek God for answers. Once you know your purpose, don't let fear stop you. We have within us everything we need to overcome any of life's challenges. Keep moving! Love and Blessings...

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

"The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
Do not forsake othe work of your hands." (Psalm:138:8)

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremy 29:11)

"So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you."
(Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT)