A Solid Reminder When Things Appear Dark

Are you in a DARK place today? Is your current season full of endless negativity?
We’ve all been there.
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I want to share an ENCOURAGEMENT with you that jumped out at me this morning during my Bible Intake time.

Mark 7:37 REMINDED me that ‘He (Jesus) has done all things well.’
And specifically the HAS DONE part. Meaning, in the past. He’s been there before for you and done well on your behalf.

So he’ll continue to DO WELL for you today…and tomorrow…and the next day!
Today, take a moment to THANK HIM for things he’s done well in your past, and then to TRUST HIM that he’ll be with you in the same way TODAY.

 

Have a very blessed Sunday!

 

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What To Run To And From

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A quote by Erwin McManus from the final day reading of The Way of the Warrior devotion on Youversion.
Sometimes we need to run. Toward or away, but running is action. Away from fear, negativity, and unhealthy influences. And toward hope, love, and real community.
Now, regarding people we need in our lives…let’s define ‘need.’ Need isn’t the same as want, or even demand. The people we really need in our lives can be defined this way. We need those who honestly care about what’s best for us and who will journey with us.

 

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Would You Take a Selfie With God?

No matter how old you get, I think you’ll agree that none of us will ever forget the friendships we had in High School. Those were formative years of our adolescence. And if you were anything like me, you had different friendships.

Yeah, you know what I’m talking about!

I had 2-3 friends that my parents didn’t care for. They would strongly encourage me to stay clear of them. “That guy’s bad news, Brent” they would say. “They’re going to just get you into trouble.”

Generally speaking, they were wrong. One friend, however, they were dead right on with…..but that’s a different blog post ūüôā

I digress.

Have you ever viewed God as a friend? You know, like the friends you associated with in school? Well, this thought entered my mind recently and I ended up mulling over it a while.

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Whether you already have a relationship with God or not, I think this concept of the Creator of the Universe actually wanting to have a real friendship with you and I is difficult to grasp. I mean….he’s God! But he still calls us ‘friends.’

Anyway, the more I thought about it I determined that there really are two types of friend that God offers to us. See what you think.

Friend #1 – That friend you have a lot in common with. You have so much fun just being together and in each other‚Äôs company. It doesn’t even matter what you’re doing. You really look forward to spending time together. This is the friend you’ve taken selfies with in about HALF of your Instagram feed.
Friend #2 – The person you work to build a relationship with because of what you can gain from them. Maybe because of who they know, what they have, or the position they hold. This friendship is not the kind that just evolves naturally. It requires initiative, but the investment is worth it!
I would argue that there are aspects of both in God. The longer we know him and spend real time with him, the more comfortable we become. The more we learn that he really is very relational.
Additionally, I’d be willing to bet that God would take the most epic selfie! (we just might have to edit the brightness down afterward)

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You Cannot Google-Search God

Well, not God himself…but his greatness. ¬†Check this out.

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
    and his greatness is unsearchable.  (Psalm 145:3) 

Have you ever searched the internet for a specific website or topic, and you just get this page error? ¬†Well, the same thing occurs if you attempt to Google search ‘God’s Greatness.’

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Unsearchable: a primitive root meaning to be nothing or not exist.

When the Psalmist claims that God’s greatness is unsearchable, he literally means that the ability to gain full, comprehensive understanding of all that defines the greatness of God does not exist! ¬†You and I can scratch the surface of that understanding and we can experience a portion of that greatness in our own lives and story. ¬†But to search and find all of his greatness? ¬†My friend, it’s just not possible.

Why?

Simply because his greatness is so vast and astounding that our finite mortal brains cannot contain it.  It would be like trying to save 5 terabytes of valuable family photos on a 1 gigabyte flash drive.  It would be impossible!

So, why is this a good thing? ¬†I’ll answer that with a question. ¬†Do you want to serve and worship a god who has limits? ¬†One who you can easily define and contain inside a box?

I didn’t think so ūüôā

I’ll leave you with this final thought. ¬†Just because God’s greatness is unsearchable does not mean we should not attempt the search anyway. ¬†The journey to searching the greatness of God leads to a clearer understanding of the ‘HEART’ of God. ¬†The only way to discover new things about God’s heart is to enter into the abyss of the unsearched.

 

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3 Things To Do In The Middle Of Your Troubles

If you’re anything like me, when I have trouble or stress in my life all I want to do is eat, complain, and remain as inactive as possible. ¬†Hey, I’m just being honest. ¬†Can you relate?

Lately, God has been leading me into a particular season of prayer. ¬†It’s been one of seeking his heart and hearing his voice. ¬† Life hasn’t necessarily been full of trouble or difficulty recently, but it has presented a lot of busyness. ¬†And if you’re like me, busyness has the tendency to distract. ¬†Auto-pilot becomes a natural and sub-conscious state of being.

When we come to realize that we are in this ‘funk,’ three key actions will aid to reset our priorities and improve our spiritual mental capacity.

Romans 12:12 reminds you and I to “Rejoice in hope,¬†be patient in tribulation,¬†be constant in prayer.”

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Here’s what we can take away from this one powerful verse.

  1. Rejoice in hope – That’s right, we have real hope in the promises of God. ¬†His word is reliable. ¬†And whether we can feel him actively involved in our circumstances or not, we can be reassured in the hope that we really do ‘know’ that he is.
  2. Be patient in tribulation – In our pain, misery, and distress we can easily allow ourselves to become anxious. ¬†But God’s word instructs us to be patient. ¬†For me, this is a kind reminder that life comes in seasons. ¬†They all come and go. ¬†Sure, some last longer than others. ¬†But patience allows us to chill out while God is doing his thing. ¬†He’s not oblivious to your current state of life. ¬†Release your stress to him and trust.
  3. Be constant in prayer – ‘Constant’…meditation is what comes to mind here. ¬†Prayer doesn’t always have to be kneeling in a dark closet (I’m not sure I’ve ever even done this). ¬†I would suggest that ‘constant in prayer’ simply means to remain in a state of continual awareness of God’s involvement in our lives throughout the day. ¬†My prayer life totally changed once I learned how to remain mindful of God’s presence around me throughout my entire day…AND once I learned the habit of talking with him in the midst of that presence.

So, try this today.  Write it down.  Ask a friend or spouse to join in this quest with you.  Claim your joy in the hope we have in God, move patiently through the season you are in, and saturate your days in prayer.

Comments, prayer requests, and questions are welcome below.

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Why You’re Being Attacked

Does God’s Spirit ever hit you on the head when you are reading the Bible or a good devotional? ¬†Well, that happened to me today. ¬†And this quote particularly stuck out to me.

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There’s a reason you are being attacked. ¬†(If you’re not, go encourage someone who is) ¬†You are blessed and favored by our Father in Heaven. ¬†And the enemy…well, he comes after the blessed and favored.

By this I know that you delight in me: my enemy will not shout in triumph over me.  But you have upheld me because of my integrity, and set me in your presence forever. РPsalm 41:11-12

Yes…God does delight in YOU! ¬†Keep your eyes laser-focused on Him and maintain your integrity. ¬†The only power/influence the enemy has over you is what you give him. ¬†We have already won because He already has the victory.

This is as much a reminder to myself as for anyone, but I thought I’d pass it on to you as well. ¬†Hang tight….your current struggle is not without purpose and Jesus IS walking with you every step of the way.

 

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3 Things To Do While Sitting In Darkness

We’ve all been there before. ¬†Those events or periods of life that feel like you’re sitting all alone in a pitch dark room.

Maybe you’re there today. ¬†Personally, I’ve been in and out of that room for the past 5 months.

So what do we do when we’re in that place?

Here are some words from the prophet, Micah…

When I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me.  |  Micah 7:8b

Light

When you’ve been in a dark place, a light can be very welcoming. ¬†It can also expose things around us for what they are, changing our perception of what we assumed they were in the dark.

3¬†suggestions on what we can do when we’re in those dark places.

Look | Expect it to arrive. ¬†Constantly be on the lookout for that LIGHT. ¬†Because if we’re not watching for it, we are likely to miss it initially because we have our face in out hands stuck in our misery. ¬†We can enjoy the relief that come with the light sooner if we are searching and expecting it.

Hope | Can you get a sense for the hope Micah has in his words? ¬†“The Lord will be a light to me.” ¬†He does not say, ‘is.’ ¬†He’s fully expecting something that is not yet the case. ¬†Likewise, you and I need to have something to look foreword to while we sit in that cold, dark place.

Know | This is where faith and a good portion of spiritual maturity come in. ¬†Micah KNEW the Lord was eventually going to shine light on his situation. ¬†He also knew that he had to work on his own STUFF in the meantime. ¬†Sometimes we find ourselves in this dark room because of actions or choices WE have made. ¬†But…sometimes we’re there because of things OTHERS¬†have done.

Today, I’m in that dark place. ¬†God, however, is shining a flood light around me. ¬†Even though there is darkness right now, his light is allowing me to stay active, see Him, and remain focused on finding the EXIT DOOR.

How about you? ¬†Where are you today? ¬†I’d love to journey with you. ¬†Leave a comment below.

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