Joy Despite Circumstances

Summary:

Today was a day where many trials were overcome with the help of God.  It felt like everything went “wrong”, but trials continue to remind me of the importance of us resting in our true identity in Christ!

Today was my first day back at work from Christmas as a canvasser with a pro life organization. The temperature was below zero.

Not a problem! Gloves…check. long johns… check. thermal wear… check. I’m ready to go!

Until I get to the vehicle and the car won’t start.

With help from family, was able to go to an appointment that was hoping to have. However, it took too long for the appointment because I had a doctor’s appointment because I am overcoming a cold (No, God did not give me the cold!)

As I went to get the prescription filled, the insurance coverage didn’t cover the medication. Whatever!

Finally, there was a sense of normalcy at work.  Then later I had a challenging talk with someone that would have crippled me in the past. I felt God’s power rising up in me!

In the evening was able to jumpstart the car, and drive off to a church event only to find out it wasn’t being held! So I got back to the car and the vehicle wouldn’t start again!

At this point I could do nothing but laugh and have peace!

I could tell my mind was being renewed.  James 1: 2-4 says,

Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace].  And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing.

Instead of resenting the trials, I am learning to embrace them. It’s part of our identity in Christ that says we  are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37).

Long story short, in the past any one of these events could have caused me to drift, but as God continues to mature us, we not only win, we overwhelmingly win!

And when multiple trials get thrown at you and you keep on going, that’s an excellent sign that breakthrough is near!

Prayer:

Father, thank you for the amazing Dad that you are! We are so grateful! In Jesus name, I release healing and restoration every readers  mind and every part of us Restore us to our true identity of being more than conquerors. Also, in Jesus name, I release God’s provision to help everyone overcome challenges. Holy Spirit continue to help strengthen our inner beings with endurance to run the race you have for each of us. Amen.

Application and comments:

How do you rejoice when trials come your way? Please share about it in the comments below.

You Cannot Outgive God’s Love!

Summary: Have you ever wanted something in life, but maybe seemed too big to ask? God loves to answer those prayers! Do not let, doubt or feeling of unworthy stop you!

I remember when my brother went to college he had received a nice scholarship to go to the University of Detroit Mercy.

I also remember my dad being grateful, but asked for more.  A simple phone call turned into an extra $8,000 in scholarship money.

James 4:2-3 says, 

You do not have because you do not ask.You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.

I wonder how often this has been my thought.  I am grateful for what God has given me, but I know there is more out there.

Earlier today, I was resting in declaring God’s faith, hope and love to the world in a 1,000x measure. I began thinking, “Is this too much?”

I felt God say, “You cannot out give my love Marc.”

How encouraging!

I will always be learning, but a key to experience more of God is be a blessing to others. God did not intend to give you a gift to keep to your self.

When I give back to the Kingdom of Heaven financially, I like to do as soon it comes in. It helps me recognize the money is not mine, but God’s.

A similar principle with spiritual gifts applies. When I receive a spiritual gift, I am learning to give it away as soon as I can.

This promotes a humility and not pride.

Prayer: Abba Father, thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you have given me so I can be a blessing to others. Holy Spirit, I pray you stir in every reader a desire to be a blessing to others and teach them how to do so. In Jesus name! Amen!

Application and Comments: How can you be a blessing to others? I would love to hear about it in the comments below!

 

 

Not Getting Ahead of God

Recently, I felt there were many changes to make in my life. This is true, but seemed so overwhelming. I didn’t know where to begin. I felt the Lord impressed on me to focus 3 things, (Serving at church, Taking medicine and working).

A huge sigh of relief. He wasn’t asking me to do it all at once!

There have been times in the past where I would make many changes at once that I would start off with the best intentions, but fall miserably.

I have noticed so much more peace in my life as I partner with God in doing what He wants and not more. That’s wisdom!“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)

It reminds me of my old running days. I recall a marathon I was running with a 3:10 pace group. We were all having fun and encouraging one another. Around mile 18, I felt like I was doing fantastic. So I ran ahead of the group. A few miles later, I slowed to a walk. Shortly after, I watched the 3:10 pace group whiz by me.  I still finished the race, but stumbled to the finish line about 12 minutes slower.

How often has this been the case in my relationship with God? A lot.

Me: “I am feeling pretty good, let me run ahead of Your timing on things.

God: “There’s grace for that, but it isn’t my best.”

In the past, would I run ahead and fall miserably. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25) 

I sense I am entering a season of relying on grace still, but an emphasis on truth. What would God do in this situation?

For example, I was sitting surfing the web when I saw the dishwasher was done at my parents house. Here is the dialogue that ensued:

Me: “I’ll do it later”

God: “It’s best to do it now.”

Me: “Give me ten minutes”

Holy Spirit/Dr. Charles Stanley sermon: “Partial obedience is still disobedience!”

Laughing and stomping, I got up and just did it! Thanks Dr. Stanley!

As I laid in bed that evening, I felt God molding my heart to be obedient to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Truly amazing! Can I not, O house of Israel, deal with you as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel. (Jeremiah 18:6)

So my question for you today is, “What is God asking you to do that you are putting off?”

Suffering is not always from the enemy, but also not doing what God is asking us to do.

My encouragement is to take a step of obedience, stay in His Word, and do not procrastinate. It will help to walk in step with God.

Prayer: Father, Thank you for the Grace you continue to give in our lives. I pray that as we make changes in our lives to be more like Jesus, that the Holy Spirit encourages us along the way. In Jesus name. Amen.