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Posts Tagged ‘Faith’

We have a task before us, a task to overcome the evil of this world. It is a tough job, as the challenges and temptations are constant. But we should persevere and not give in to the sound of that dark call. In the Name of Christ we shall be conquerors.

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plansjeremiah2911-1

Being desperate about life is something most of us have experienced at some point. While some of us may be lucky enough to perceive it as ‘just a bad day’, others may be living their lives in complete shadow. It is widely known that depression is one of the worst diseases of our time. A silent killer, sometimes referred to as ‘suicide’ or ‘heart attack’, but I’m not going to talk about depression from a counsellor’s point of view today. I’m just mentioning it so that you can understand the depth of despair some people face every day of their lives. I’m also mentioning it because I understand it, know it, yes, it is an old enemy. One I’ve been living with for 31 years. But that is ALSO not what I want to talk about, not really. Listen up, hear it comes….

The past few years have been particularly challenging. In 2009 I went off my meds and haven’t been using since. Needless to say, it’s been hard and I’ve had my ‘moments’ of deep, dark thoughts. Despite these ‘moments’, however, I’ve somehow managed to find the light every time. My secret? I’ve realized that, corny as it may sound, everything, even the bad in life, is part of a divine plan to build an authentic human being.

Let me tell you a story: in 2014 something really bad happened, something that someone did (or actually several people did several different things) to totally disrupt the peace and happiness in my life. I was angry, sad, confused and very depressed about what happened. I felt betrayed and couldn’t understand why such things can happen to someone who devoted a life to serve others. Why are people so mean? Why do bad things happen to good people? I’m sure you’ve asked that question yourself many times.

Despair

For a while I remained gloomy, filling my mind with thoughts of things that I don’t wish to repeat here and then, one evening, I read a piece in the Bible. It was from the book of Job 27:5-6: ‘Till I die I will not put away my integrity from me. To my righteousness I hold fast…’ I gave this some thought and realized that if Job could say something like that after all he’s been through, who am I to think differently? You see, things that happen to us and what others say about us, has a way of changing us, and usually not in a good way.

Let me explain it this way; I’ve always seen depression and depressive thoughts as a deep, dark well, a place in which other people, with their snide and hurtful remarks or events that bring sorrow and pain, can pull us. I say ‘pull’, because those people and events are already down there in the dark. We allow them, in our desperation, to keep us down there and to brainwash us in a way, making us like them. Filling our minds with dark thoughts and, when we try to get out of this well, they set traps like crumbling rocks or slippery walls, so that we keep on falling back down. They LOVE it when we’re down and when our thoughts are corrupted. We let it go, because we are just too glad to be accepted again, even if it is by the ‘bad’.  We lose our integrity, we betray ourselves and that is the mistake we make. We start believing that the ‘bad’ is right, that there really is no light and that we were wrong to think good things happen and that we can be who we are, trying to make the world a better place. We forget God’s promise in Matthew 28:20.

kagesa_matthew28-20

After I read the piece in Job, I sat myself down. It was time for a me to myself peptalk. I looked at my life, who I am, what I am and suddenly it was clear….the important thing was not what others have to say about me or what happened to me, the important thing was that I’ve survived and learned something from every single experience I’ve ever had. This depression, this darkness was changing me into something I did not want to be; I was becoming like the darkness itself! I was losing my integrity, betraying myself and the purpose of my life. In Jeremiah God says that He has a plan for each one of us, and it is not a plan that involves all this evil, this ‘bad’.  (Remember the image at the beginning of this post?) We forget, also that we do not have to fight alone.

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We lose ourselves trying to figure out ways of surviving life, we conform to the masses and to the demands of those who, in fact, hate us. Instead we should remember that everything really happens for a reason. Maybe not the reason we thought, but a reason nonetheless and that we were made in a certain way, with a certain purpose and our personality, our souls and our hearts tell us exactly what we should be. My heart has always been telling me to be compassionate, to look out for those who cannot stand up for themselves, to not hold a grudge, to hold on to my faith. How can I then allow depression, caused by events out of my control, to change the fundamental ‘me’? Yesterday my husband sent me the meme below and it really made me think about all these things again, because I am going through another dark battle now.

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We cannot allow evil to change us into something that goes against everything we stand for. Over the past few weeks I’ve been reading a lot about prophecies and the end of days and it concerns me that we’ve done so much to ‘belong’ in the dark world, yet we’ve done nothing to return to the light in which we were born. Do we not realize that the time is near for Jesus to return? Do we not understand that it can happen at any moment? Staying true to the person that God wants you to be, the person He created, must be the most important thing in our lives. All the other stuff, the hurtful words, the catastrophic events, the sorrow and pain mean NOTHING when we remain on the path planned for us. Staying true to the righteous me would mean that, come the rapture, I will be taken and not left behind. I will be ready.

Friends, don’t be fooled by those against you or the events that seem to hijack you at every turn. Remain loyal to yourself, to the creature that God made.  Allow yourself to have moments of depression if you have to, but never lose sight of the light. Don’t let the darkness change you. Listen to your inner voice, believe in yourself and in your purpose and KNOW, always know, that God is by your side wherever you go, in whatever you do, until the end of time.

IMAGE SOURCES:

Exodus 14:14 –  Timewarp Wife. 2013. [Date of Access:] 5 April 2016

Jeremiah 29:11Joe Quatrone jr.  2012.  [Date of Access:] 5 April 2016

Matthew 28:20Kagesa Files.  2012.   [Date of Access:] 5 April 2016.

Woman in DespairMy Carpal Tunnel.  2012.  [Date of Access:] 5 April 2016

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Via @BibleReasons

Isaiah 14:27

[Image found on Pinterest]

I refer to my earlier post about #Surrender. If anyone out there still wonders why we, as honest, good, people, people who believe ourselves to be religious and God-fearing, still suffer under severe troubles and challenges, read the excerpt below. Click here to read the full article.

‘I remember when I said why God, why this, and why that? God told me to wait for his timing. God has delivered me in the past, but when you are going through bad times all you’re thinking about is right now. I’ve seen God use trials to build me up, answer different prayers, open doors, help others, and I’ve seen many miracles where I knew it was only God who could have done this. While I was worrying, the Lord gave me comfort, encouragement, motivation, and he was working behind the scenes. If as believers we’re burdened by when our brothers and sisters suffer, imagine how God feels. Always remember that he loves you and he reminds us time after time in his word that he will never forsake us.

 

Here is what I have learned in my walk of faith. Be on guard because when you’re asking all these questions and questioning God, Satan will try to attack. He will say no he doesn’t love you. Look at those unbelievers who are not going through adversity, but you say Jesus Christ died for you, and yet you are going through the worst troubles of your life. Don’t let the devil give you fear.

Trials can lead into atheism. When your faith is little the devil can rip it out. Don’t let him put you in despair and bitterness towards God. Don’t ever forget the other times God has delivered you because he will do it again. The devil will try to say it was a coincidence, but with God there is no coincidence. Cry out to God. Block Satan off and always remember that we have victory in Christ…..’ Continue reading here.

The author continues to point out the reasons for our trials and, as you read it, like I did, you will notice that it is NOT really news to us….all these are things we’ve known already. The thing is, sometimes life can become so very dark, that we totally lose sight of the truth, the light and we wander aimlessly around, falling over obstacles, walking into walls. We forget which road points forward, to the light…because we are human. But this article really reminds us that, in times of trouble, we should keep our minds and hearts clear and open to the light, because by following the light, however dim it seems, one will find a way.

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Ref: @AlivetoGod #OpenBible @kingdomnomics @WorshipVideo

All to Jesus I Surrender - YouTube

My daily scripture, kindly sent by Andrew Roebert from Alive to God-ministries, arrived, as usual, in my inbox this morning. As always, for some reason, this specific lesson, this specific piece of scripture was a direct message to me….shows you, God never sleeps and He really knows our hearts. Have a quick read:

[Quoted via Alive to God Daily Scripture]

Psalm 63:8: ‘My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.

– We should hold onto the Lord as if our lives depend on it.

– His strong right hand will hold you securely.

– Our hearts and souls should follow hard after God. – He will support, undergird and lift you up.”

And, if that didn’t quite convince you….look what just landed in my inbox from my ”Kingdomnomics” subscription:

[Quoted via Kingdomnomics]

The Path to Personal Peace: Part 2

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:3–5, NKJV)

It is necessary to have the Spirit of God working in us because we are fighting principalities, authorities, powers, cosmic forces, and spiritual wickedness that seek to destroy us. A battle rages for the control of our mind. We know that whoever or whatever controls our mind controls us. Paul and other Bible greats give us the answer so we can begin to experience “…triumph in Christ… and the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” (2 Corinthians 2:14, NKJV) It takes mental discipline and practice to experience inner peace. First, we need to ask the Holy Spirit to control our mind to focus it properly: “So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.” (Romans 8:6, NLT) Note also, “You will keep the mind that is dependent on You in perfect peace, for it is trusting in You.” (Isaiah 26:3, HCSB)

Second, we need to bring every thought into captive obedience to Christ, as noted in today’s key verse. Third, we see must memorize and meditate on the Word of God: “Receive, please, instruction from His mouth, and lay up His words in your heart.” (Job 22:22, NKJV) Without the Word our mind does not have the “food” and “life” it needs for sowing to the Spirit. “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63, NKJV) “This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.” (Psalm 119:50, ESV) Fourth, we need the Lord to direct our heart toward him. Our flesh always gravitates toward focusing on the problem besetting us. But focusing on the problem provides no life; it only produces anxiety. Therefore, we need to ask God: “May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.” (2 Thessalonians 3:5, ESV) No wonder Job said he treasured God’s Word more than edible food! David, another great man who faced a lot of tribulation, said he valued God’s Word more than thousands of pieces of gold and silver. Jeremiah ate God’s Word so it could become his heart’s delight in the midst of tribulation. All of us would do well to emulate these Bible greats.”

Well? I rest my case…

Let me tell you where all this began……most of my followers, or those who actually read my silly ramblings in this blog, will know basically all the things I’ve mentioned about my life…good and bad, sad and happy, etc. I’m sure that all my troubles, pains, heartaches and worries are far less than most people in the world have to go through these days. But then, this is not really a competition….whether you are battling poverty, disease or war….trials and tribulations in this world have escalated to such an extent that most inhabitants of Mother Earth feel that there is simply no way out.

Incidents of suicide, drug abuse, alcoholism and any form of perversion that may provide some means of escape from the reality of this world’s horrors seem to grow by the day. Children as young as 7 or 8 years contemplate taking their own lives because (and I quote a close friend’s grade 2-child) ”I cannot take this bullying or this worry about schoolwork anymore.” This kid threatened to jump from the second storey of his primary school after a teacher scolded him for having trouble with math’s. We ask why…let me refer you to Timothy…

Timothy 3:3-5: ”But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.”

In my own life….wow….things are just NEVER letting up. We don’t live anymore, we survive….but, as I said, our situation, MY situation, is not at all unique. Things just keep on going so WRONG! My heart feels heavy just thinking about all the worries I have to deal with….and the constant question? Why is this happening to us! We are good people. We help others, we are not arrogant, we care, we raise our kids with Christian morals and values….so, why? Is our being so sure of our own ”purity” a form of pride? Point is, I just can’t take any more of this at all, I’ve had it….I mean, I’m nearly 50 years old and I can hardly remember the last time I felt lighthearted and happy, the last time I smiled with my soul. It seems that the past 30 years have rushed past, leaving debris of stress, worry, sadness, depression and hurt in its wake….there is NO reprieve, no rest….it just keeps on happening, all this…WRONG.

As I’m writing this, which I’m not doing in one session, it’s done between shopping-and school-runs…these ”bad” things are still happening. NOTHING works out, NOTHING is EVER just fine and life is a constant battle, heck, SMILING about it is a constant battle! Trying to keep a ”happy” face is really WORK! Just an hour ago something happened, a disappointment – I’ve depended on someone to help me with a very urgent memo (I’m sick, you see, and the medical aid needs a letter of motivation from my doctor before he can perform surgery that can help…I’ve been waiting for this since Wednesday.) Well, said memo wasn’t ready as promised, I will have to wait until Tuesday…when, of course, the doctor was supposed to do the operation, which he can’t anymore, because I have to get approval from my medical aid, which I can’t get…because I’m still waiting for his letter. One would think that, because I’m a cancer survivor and the doctor in question actually saved my life, he or his staff will have some kind of sympathy….NOTHING….and this is just one in thousand little things that keep on happening in my life. I just seem to never get a break!

I am really at my wit’s end here, people….I used to scream and shout and throw tantrums at God for allowing this to happen, but I simply don’t have the strength anymore. So, I’ve given up and, yes, believe it or not, I’ve given it to God…..it’s His problem now. He allowed things like this in my life, I guess He can fix it too. He says in His holy Word:

Philippians 4:6: ”Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

and

Matthew 6:25-34: ”Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”

and also this one,

Revelation 2:10: ”Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.”

I’m still worried and extremely unhappy, but at least I now have some kind of peace. I finally gave in, you see, I’ve finally understood that I’ve made a huge mistake in thinking I am strong and brave in fighting against all these odds stacked against me…..I’m just as human, as vulnerable, as weak, as the next person. I’ve never regarded myself alone in these battles, however, I’ve known all along that it was God who made me strong and brave and I did give Him thanks for that, but apparently it was not enough, now I can’t anymore…. I know how Job felt, and he had far less than I still have at the end…I still have my husband and children, for which I am eternally grateful. I’m not bitter, I’m just tired of fighting. My late father’s favorite scripture comes to mind (actually, it was what kept me going all these years):

Matthew 11:28-30: ”Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

My heart is filled with thanks for all the things I love in my life…my kids, my husband, my home, and the opportunity to still be able to pray without fear of annihilation. I thank the Lord for what He did for my kids, I just never thought of asking Him to do something for me….I just, kind of, battled on my own. Apart from that, I’ve come to realize that each one of us has an obligation to fulfill in order to become true followers of Jesus Christ, especially in these dark times. Earlier I mentioned that our ”purity” was, perhaps, a form of pride….giving all my worries and cares to God to sort out, also made room in my mind for contemplation of this thought. We are ”pure” by God’s grace alone, you know, we walk the straight and narrow only by faith. The fact that we are saved have nothing to do with US…yes, we can choose, but the fact that there is even a CHOICE is only because God decided to give us one, based on our acceptance of Jesus as our Savior. Staying on the path is possible ONLY IF WE BELIEVE that God can help us do so; NOT EVER by our own power. From the word go all my troubles should have been in the hands of God, I should never have attempted to try and solve all the problems on my own. Yes, I SAID that I did it by the power of God, but what did others believe? They looked at me and told me I’m so strong: ”You are always smiling,” or ”I can talk to you, because you have all the answers,” or ”You are SUCH a brave woman”. What did I do? I didn’t correct them…no way, I just ate up the compliments….pride, arrogance…. You see, you cannot even praise God if He doesn’t give you the power to do so….and NOTHING THAT WE DO OR ACCOMPLISH ON THIS EARTH comes from us, from our power. We have God IN us, AS us…it is time we recognize that and stop acting as if we, as human beings, are so special and wonderful and powerful….we are nothing.

These days I feel like nothing and it is starting to make sense to me now…..God made me nothing, I am nothing without God …without God I am just a lump of clay…and when the arrogance started piling up, God allowed Satan to break me down to nothing again….so that I can find my way back to Him and fulfill the purpose He has for me.

This purpose has been shown to me and I did tell you about it in an earlier post…..but the call has become something more, something that I simply have to answer. God will be with me, God will help me through these terrible times in my life…I have indeed given it all over to Him….He will sort it out….I surrender it all.

All to Jesus I Surrender – YouTube.

It is therefore with a heart of thanksgiving that I pray: I give up Lord, my life is now completely in Your hands, for I am SO tired and weary, I am battle-worn and, the thing is, You called me to be your warrior. How can I be Your warrior if I barely have the strength to get up in the morning? You chose me, Lord, to do Your work…..I need you now, more than ever before.

All to Jesus I Surrender - YouTube

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Via @ClubSTEPHENKING

Stephen King Quote

There was a time that horror only existed in books and movies. These days, horror is a part of everyday life. We read about it, see it on television, watch horrific YouTube images of beheadings, war, famine….you name it. This is old news and I have written about it in the past.

Today, as I scrolled down my Twitter timeline, it was business as usual….an airplane crash, a train wreck, a pile up on the freeway, riots, war, refugees, home invasions, shootings….never-ending stories of suffering. Finally I saw this quote from one of my favorite Stephen King novels……..and I thought to share it, because I really wonder how much more can the human race, the world, withstand; how much horror until we’ve learned the lesson – be kind to each other, care about our planet, care about a prosperous, peaceful future, reach out with a loving hand, NOT a gun or knife… In the sixties Joan Baez sang the song about the flowers…you remember that one? She sang: ”When will they ever learn,” yes, indeed, when will we learn.

There is so much good in the world and we try so desperately to live our lives in a good, honest way inbetween all the sorrow and pain. Every single day you find inspiration, tips on healthy living, wellbeing, how to combat stress, etc, etc…..yet, all that is just dealing with the symptoms, the healing superficial and often people treat change as a phase, a whim. You want to exercise, so you enroll in a gym, go once and then stop; you decide to be kinder to others, you do it for a few hours, then nearly bite someone’s head off for cutting in front of you at the supermarket check-out. The problem is, our subconscious are so overwhelmed by all the horror in the world, that  it finds it hard not to conform. It would take action, commitment, for us to change.

I’m a great believer in the ability of people to change for the better…maybe I’m naive, but frankly, I don’t care what people may think of my views. I am convinced that we brought all this horror upon ourselves, so we can indeed change it, we can make it better. We MUST change, we should stand up for goodness, our right to live peaceful lives and we must do so without force; violence begets violence. Change begins in the individual. You must make the choice. I know, for me, on the outside, only being a spectator of the horrors, it is easy to say these, seemingly empty, words but someone has to speak up and, or at least, try to show people the possibility of change.

It begins with me, I must commit myself to be kinder, more caring, accepting, respecting others for who they are. We are all different, and we should cherish the unique nature of each person, of each individual’s belief system, sexual orientation, gender and race. We are in the world, on this earth together…..together we must stand against the horror. Make the choice, let it begin in you, in me, now. Let us, once again, have some faith in the basic goodness of humankind. That is, after all what it boils down to, FAITH. Change may seem impossible, even to me, the ever-optimistic idiot, but with faith, anything is possible. We may think that we can, perhaps, bring about change in our own lives, but changing the minds of those against us, the people that cause all the horror and evil in the world, well….impossible. But with faith, don’t you think it is actually possible?

After all, faith is the one thing that, in my opinion, we lack in the world….we’ve stopped believing long ago. Have faith – faith in each other, faith in our ability to bring change, faith in the possibility that we can actually live in peace and harmony with one another, despite our differences, faith that we can change the heart of even the darkest, most evil person on earth…..stop looking with your eyes at the horrors, it will consume you, drive you insane….we cannot, as the quote above states, take it much longer. We are on the verge of become an insane world, so filled with misery that we cannot find our way in the darkness anymore. So, close your eyes for a moment to the horror, and look to the inside, YOUR soul, YOUR heart…..find that little seed of faith and let it grow…towards hope, towards change. Now look at the world from a different perspective and try to find the good things, the hopeful things around you, let THAT grow………who knows what you will be able to achieve.

Don’t tell me you can’t, at least, give it a shot. The alternative is bleak: stay ignorant, stay consumed by the world of horror and bear witness to mankind’s demise. Your choice…..have faith, or not….

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