TODAY’S INSPIRATION: AGE IS JUST A NUMBER!

When I say age is just a number, I’m not speaking physically or mentally, and certainly not by R Kelly standards. I am referring to God and how just like time, He does not have age limitations. In God’s eyes age is just a number. So we must not give up on people, or ourselves as we mature in age. Jesus began His ministry at about 30 years of age. God used Moses at 80! Even as we age we must continue to do God’s work. When living by the Word of God, age brings the wisdom that can help and guide others.

Age brings so much with it, experience, understanding, compassion, and patience. (God is still working in me on that one). It is up to us to age gracefully. It is our choice what we feed our bodies as well as our minds. I believe what we feed our mind is as important as what we feed our body. We should keep our mind fit just as we exercise to keep our body fit. It can take years to get rid of negativity or as some say stinking thinking!  Our mind is the battlefield that the enemy uses to disconnect us from God. He can not do that if we are in tuned with God. When we are connected with the Holy Spirit, we are renewed daily. So get ready. set. go! As long as we have the gift of life, there is much we can still do for God’s Kingdom. The advancement of God’s kingdom never stops. Always remember that you are still alive for a reason! Love and blessings!…

“And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life”
(1 Kings 5-14)

“Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph,the son of Heli,”  (Luke :23)

“So Moses and Aaron did just as the LORD had commanded them. Moses was eighty years old, and Aaron was eighty-three when they made their demands to Pharaoh. (Exodus 7:6-9)

“Abraham was now a very old man, and the LORD had blessed him in every way.”
( Genesis 24:1)

“Moses was 120 years old when he died, yet his eyesight was clear, and he was as strong as ever.” ( Deuteronomy 34:7)

“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.”
(1 Corinthians 3:16-17)

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
(Philippians 4:8)

“For this cause we faint not, but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16)

“But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. For they are transplanted to the LORD’s own house. They flourish in the courts of our God. Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green. They will declare, “The LORD is just! He is my rock! There is no evil in him!” (Psalm 92:12-14)

“Now that I am old and my hair is gray, don’t leave me, God. I must tell the next generation about your power and greatness. God, your goodness reaches far above the skies. You have done wonderful things. God, there is no one like you” (Psalm 71:18-19)

TODAY’S INSPIRATION: FAIL FORWARD!

Do not let what the world calls failure be the end of your story. Most successful people did not become that way without failing at least once. The key is to not give up and to keep moving forward. Pick yourself up and try again! We believers of Christ should know this better than anyone. The Word shows us that sometimes success only comes after major failure. Moses, Elijah, Paul, Peter, David, and Rehab all failed forward.
The truth is we can’t lose as long as we are walking with Jesus. Thanks to our God, we have the victory through Jesus Christ. When we walk with God, His power lives within us. Whatever circumstances, trials or tribulations we are facing, they are just names which are all under one greater name, Jesus Christ! When it’s your season, no giant can defeat you! No fire can burn you! No battle can turn you! No mountain can stop you! Keep moving forward!

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

TODAY’S INSPIRATION: HOW IS YOUR HEART?

How is your heart? I mean really, is it well? We know our heart is the organ in our chest that pumps the blood around our bodies. We know we need it to live physically. But do you know we need it to be well in order to live spiritually? The heart is a beautiful thing, it can be compassionate, understanding, life-giving and complex. It can be hurt, abused, and broken. God is love and the heart should be a symbol for love. But because it is subject to the flesh and a sinful world, it can be cold, calculating, and unfeeling. It can hurt others simply because it is hurting or broken. Scripture says for us to guard our hearts, but it also tells us that the heart can be deceitful. Hmmmm, deceitful is not good!

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)  

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23).  

The only way to guard our hearts and keep it from being deceitful is to surrender it to Jesus. When we give our hearts to God, we stop worrying about all that we can’t control. We slow down, we begin to trust, we let the small stuff roll off our backs. And it is ALL small stuff if you are focusing on the big picture, which is Jesus, the gift of Salvation, and our permanent home with Him. We know that our heart is in a safe place with Jesus, and we can find comfort knowing God will never break or leave it. God is love and the heart is where love begins. When our heart breaks for the things that breaks God’s heart, we do not reciprocate by breaking someone else’s heart. Instead, we still love them as God loves us when we break His heart.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” (Deuteronomy 6:5)

So, if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, have in the same love, being in full accord and of one mind, Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant that yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 2:1-30)

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (Samuel 16:7)  

“And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their King, of whom he testified and said, “I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.” (Acts 13:22)

I am thankful that God looks at the heart of man and not the flesh, because if the heart is right, God can help us change the flesh. If we make a genuine effort to strive for a “good” heart in all our interactions, even with our enemies, the Lord will hear our prayers. And when our hearts are troubled, Jesus will soothe our troubled heart. Love and Blessings…

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


TODAY’S INSPIRATION: ENCOURAGE YOURSELF!

Donald Lawrence sings a song called “Encourage Yourself.” The song says sometimes you have to encourage yourself. I’m feeling that today. I’m feeling a lot of things today which is why I have to encourage myself. I am so thankful that I no longer allow how I feel to determine my praise, worship, and thankfulness to God. Early this morning as I communed with God, I was reminded that we must stay humble, submitting our will to God’s will. We should ask for our specific needs according to His Word and keep praying persistently even when we don’t see the results right away. We must have hopeful expectations that God is going to show up, no matter how long it takes.  

The thing is when you don’t act or look like you feel, no one realizes that you are in need or hurting. I remember a song called, “The Tears of a Clown”. The lyrics say outside I’m smiling but inside I’m crying. No one sees silent tears, so they don’t know your pain. They say you are strong. The truth is you are human and just like any other human, you are weak in yourself. The strength they see comes from God. (2 Corinthians 12:9-12). So why would you need anyone else you may ask. Because the Word of God encourages us to encourage others. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul said ” what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29). Galatians 6:2 reads, “Carry each other’s burdens and so you will fulfill the law of Christ.” The first thing a strong person will say when asked how they are doing is I’m all right. I have learned to respond by saying ok and how are you really doing? How is your heart? What do you need? Because no matter how much we encourage our own self, the Bible reads, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17). Please check on your strong friends.

The good news is thank God for Jesus! He knows. He sees silent tears. He sees our heart and knows when it is hurting. Even when we don’t have the words to cry out, he hears our silent cries for help. And we can be confident that help is on the way. We may not know how, when, or where, but He will show up! And while we are waiting on Him, sometimes we have to encourage ourselves because the waiting can be hard. The pain is real, the hurt is real, whatever the situation or circumstances you may be going through is real. But God is realer. I don’t think realer is a word, but you get my point, God is bigger than anything we may be going through. And we that love the Lord know that He has proven time and time again that the wait is always worth it! I know He hears our prayers. I encourage you as I encourage myself to trust God. Love and Blessings…  

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 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 4:4-8)  

“Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” (Psalm 27:14)

TODAY’S INSPIRATION: FOCUS ON CHRIST…

When my relationship with Jesus was new, I was very sin conscious. I had to be this perfect Christian. I spent more time worrying about trying not to sin than I did focusing on Jesus. If I had any type of negative thoughts or actions, I beat myself up about it, even after asking God for forgiveness. The struggle was real! The struggle was real because we face temptation in some way every day. We need to focus on Christ and our power through Him to resist the temptations of life. As my relationship with Jesus grew, I began to be more Christ conscious. Satan loves it when we are sin conscious, it keeps our mind on him and sin. What I finally understood is that there is no trial, difficulty, challenge, or temptation that we face, Jesus cannot identify with. Jesus who was sinless was also tempted by satan. Jesus resisted sin with God’s Word, and He chose to do His Father’s will, as should we. The Good News is when we fall short (and we will) because of His love, Jesus paid the ultimate price for our sins; past, present and future. When we focus on His sacrifice and the price He paid, we are Christ-conscious, sinful thoughts and actions cannot be at the center of our mind, because our mind is so full of God.  

It’s like being on a diet, once we say the word diet, the struggle gets worst! All we think about is not eating, and then food becomes our main thought which makes us want to eat more! It works the same with sin. Developing our relationship with Christ and focusing on him is the key. When we focus on His goodness and His faithfulness, sin becomes less of an option. We just want to please Him! God is faithful. He will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear. Our Father will always provide a way out! We can rejoice in the fact that Jesus is our advocate. He is the reason that we can draw near to Father God and be in His presence. We can spend time with Him and meditate on His Word. Spending time with God helps align our desires with God’s desires for us. Do you want that family member saved? Do you want God to provide for you? Are you having trouble on the job? Do you want God to open a door to advance His kingdom? Do you want God to provide you with a spouse? Do you want to start your own business? Then get into position and spend time with Christ. As we draw near to Him, we experience His love, grace, and mercy, not judgment! Love and Blessings…

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:29)

“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)

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)  

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” (Philippians 2: 5-7)

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)

“There hath no temptation taken you, but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

“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)

TODAY’S INSPIRATION: FRUITS OF SUCCESS…

How do you define success? Everybody’s perception of success is not the same. Some look at how much money you have or how big your house may be. What type of car you drive or how many degrees are behind your name. Are you famous? Are you educated? How many followers do you have on social media? I could go on but I’m sure you get the point. This is how the world defines success. I’m so glad that Jesus does not define us by quantity but by quality! Jesus’s standard of success is not what we have but the quality of the fruit we bear.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

We are all the same, like trees, blowing in the wind. Everything we think we own can be blown away instantly like leaves in a strong storm. This may sound cliche, but I have never seen anyone take what they have here on earth with them, we all leave here as we came, with nothing. But if we live for Jesus, then we will leave with eternal life. Our life here is nothing compared to our permanent home with God. God will furnish a new heaven and a new earth for his saints, which are meant to exist permanently.  

“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.” (Revelation 21:1-4)

God wants us to live this temporary life abundantly. He will give us our hearts desires if they are aligned with His Word and His will. We can enjoy life here on earth by following the example of Jesus and showing love to others. We must be willing to seek God first and submit to His plan for our lives. We must produce good fruit. The fruit that pleases the heart of God is the fruit that reflects the character and work of Christ. For this to happen, we must deny ourselves in the same way that Jesus denied Himself. Instead of pursuing earthly status and comfort, we seek first the Kingdom of God. When you are producing good fruit, you are successful in God’s eyes. This is how our Father is glorified!

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Mathew 6:33)

“So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;” (Colossians 1:10)

The worlds standards of success can hinder the producing of fruit. Sometimes, God will intentionally prune away things and people from our lives, so that we can put Him first and no longer pursue material things or the acknowledgement of others. We are incapable of producing spiritual fruit in and of ourselves. We must constantly abide in Christ and draw our strength from Him.  

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” (John 15:16)

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 14:17)

We are to continually live a fruitful life to bring glory to God. The benefits are much more than materialistic or superficial things of this world can give us, we will receive an abundance of peace and joy! Love and Blessings…

TODAY’S INSPIRATION: GROWING THROUGH…

When I reflect back to my time in the wilderness, I don’t think about how challenging it was, I think on the lessons I learned. I learned every time we go through something, we grow through something. If we pay attention, the lessons we learn are valuable and the relationship we can develop with Christ Jesus while growing through is priceless! A relationship with Jesus can provide continuous nourishment in life’s storms. I am not talking about going to church every week or if your parents told you about God. I am talking about “knowing God” in a up close and personal way. I learned that I can be content in any situation when I am in touch with my Savior. I learned how to lean on Jesus when my strength is gone. I learned the only way to get through the storm is to go through it and to let Jesus lead the way. Sometimes it’s not about God stopping the storm, it’s about God changing you during the storm.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24)

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:11-13)

There may be days when you are on top of the world, and some days you may feel like the world is on top of you. God is not like people, with you in the good times and nowhere to be seen when things get rough. God is with us at all times, good days, and the not so good days. The issues of life can weigh heavy on our shoulders. Health issues, financial issues, children issues, job issues, family issues and relationship issues; they can occur one at a time or all of them at once. I remember during times like that my mother would say, “when it rains it pours or if it ain’t one thang it’s another.”  Sometimes the storm is so bad the enemy will have you doubting that God is powerful enough to calm it. He will have you thinking that it is impossible to have peace at a time like this. Oh. but. you. can. God’s peace is always possible, even when we are going through storm after storm. We can have God’s peace through any situation or circumstances. Jesus left peace with us. The Holy Spirit is alive and living within us. We just have to tap into it. I know when we get overwhelmed because of the chaos of life, it’s easy to forget that Jesus is standing in the middle of the storm with us. No matter what we are going through, He is there. And if He is there, so is peace. God is peace. He is there in the storms next to us ready and waiting for us to reach out to Him. The same Jesus that calmed the raging storms for the frightened disciples is the same Jesus today. That same Jesus reaches out to us in our storms to come to Him as He did Peter. He lives within us through the Holy Spirit. The question is will you be like Peter and step out the boat even if you are afraid?  

“Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)

“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever, the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” (John 14:15-31)

“Lord, if it’s you,”Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water, and came toward Jesus. (Matthew 14;28-29)

Turning to God means humbling ourselves and admitting that we cannot handle the situation in our own strength. This can be hard if you are the type of person who has to be in control. (I was) It means trusting God to handle it how He sees fit, knowing that He knows what is best for us. We have to put our faith in only Him and know He is with us in the valleys as well as the mountain tops. Oh yes sometimes we may cry, I shed many tears. But Jesus was always there to comfort me. Sometimes we may get upset, but the Holy Spirit will calm us. It is not easy to find peace in the mist of the storms, especially when they are coming at you like tornadoes. It takes the courage to keep moving forward even with tears in your eyes. God will give you the strength to make it another minute, another hour and then another day. He gives us what we need when we need it. The good news is each time you make it through; it strengthens you more and builds your resilience and faith. Someone said that faith is not faith until it has been tested. In difficult times, we may not understand life and its unfairness. When feeling overwhelmed for what we cannot understand, we must trust God as we grow through. Then we will have peace instead of anxiety and worry, no matter the circumstance. In Genesis 9, God sealed His promise with a rainbow in the sky. In the midst of the devastation from the flood of judgment, there was a beautiful rainbow in the sky symbolizing God’s gracious promise! God did not promise we will never experience storms, but He has promised He will be with us during them. P.S. (I also learned that the brightest rainbows appear after the darkest storm. Love and Blessings…

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” (1 Peter 5:6)

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:33-34)

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

“But those who trust in the Lord for help will find their strength renewed. They will rise on wings like eagles; they will run and not get weary; they will walk and not grow weak.” (Isaiah 40:31)

“To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.” (Isaiah 61:3)

TODAY’S INSPIRATION: UNSHAKABLE!

I remember my mother would say, “always start something the way you want to finish it. She would say you can’t start on shaky ground and expect it to hold up. At the time she was referring to relationships. I didn’t get it then, but now it makes sense. And not just relationships, it applies to all areas in our lives. The foundation matters! Especially when it comes to our faith. You don’t build a house and hope when the storm comes it will not fall, you build the house to withstand the storms. The same applies to our faith. You don’t wait until a crisis to call on Jesus, we must pray and stay close to Him before the crisis. It is better to stay ready than to have to get ready!  

“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.” (Matthew 7:24)

Jesus Christ frequently illustrated His teachings with parables. Jesus described two men who each built a house (Matthew 7:24-27). Jesus said one man was wise and the other was foolish. The man who made the better decision about where to build was a wise builder because he chose the rock as his foundation. I’m sure it was a challenge to build on rocky ground. It probably took some time, patience, and hard work. But the wise man believed it would be worth the effort. On the other hand, the foolish builder didn’t consider the foundation to be important. He may have thought it would take too long and building on the sandy soil would be easier. When a storm came, the house built into the rock survived the downpour, but the house on the sand was destroyed. Jesus stated, “And great was its fall.” Jesus was illustrating that we can live wisely or foolishly. It all depends on where we lay our foundation. How do we become unshakable in a world that’s shaking? It is important to build our spiritual foundation by having a relationship with Jesus. Jesus said that if we obey His word and follow Him, we will be like the wise builder. His teachings are sound principles about how to live successfully. Our only hope is in our Lord and Savior. We will be unshakable!

“I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house right on the ground, without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.” (Luke 6:47-49) NLT

We know that the Lord is not only our redeemer, but in Him we have a rock-solid foundation. He is our rock! Our foundation is strong when we have a relationship with Jesus and stand on His Word. Scripture tells us that no weapon formed against us will prosper. The world may be sinking, but we won’t sink with it when we are standing on solid ground. As followers of Christ, our spiritual foundation is vital to our life, both here on earth and in eternity. Jesus offers a solid foundation for our lives, our families, our friendships, our associates, and our future. In Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus tells us that those who hear His words AND do them are wise builders. He states that they have built their homes on rock-solid foundations. We are the house Jesus is referring to. The winds howl, the rains come, even floods come, but we will still stands firm. Jesus says that those who hear His words but fail to live by them are foolish builders. With a strong spiritual foundation, we can focus on what is really important, our relationship with Christ. This strong foundation can support us in creating a new vision to see what opportunities are ahead, rather than hanging on to our fears and anxieties about change and what the future may hold, because we know Who holds our future! Love and Blessings…

“The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” (Psalm 18:2)

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

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