Jesus sat down, called the twelve disciples to come around him, and said to them, if anyone wants to be first, he must be content to be last and become servant to all.” – Mark 9:35, TPT
Oftentimes when people talk of greatness it is all about what they have achieved in their business, school, sport, etc. But for God greatness comes from within and is manifested through actions in support of others. Greatness is not about personal accomplishments but contributions you personally make to the lives of others. We are great when we volunteer at the church, school, homeless shelter, serving family/friends, or simply giving a hand at work when it is not your job. True greatness is found in humility, and service to the smallest and lowliest.
Dear God, please help me to become more humbled and willing to serve others.
“In every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18, AMP
The COVID-19 pandemic has created pandemonium in the hearts and minds of many. From the loss of family, friends, jobs, and other opportunities to the conflicting news about how to deal with the coronavirus has left many in a state of despair. Many people are struggling to see how things could get better. But remember that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord. Knowing this you must focus your mind on the things you have to be thankful for despite of calamities.
Instead of looking at the dilemmas make note of what is going right. Remember the battle is in the mind and you have the power to program it the way you want. When you choose to think on all the reasons you have to be thankful this will not only change your mood but can restore your hopefulness.
God wants you to be free from fear, doubt and worry. Moreover, you have grace from God to face and overcome anything. You must fight daily against the battle in your mind to keep out the negative thoughts. This is done best by taking the time to remind yourself about all the things for which you are thankful.
Thank you, God, for a mind of thankfulness!
“You don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong – you want only what will give you pleasure.” – James 4:2-3, NLV
So, humble yourself before God. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.” – James 4:7-8 & 10, NLV
Steve Harvey a famed comedian talks often about his journey through life, including homelessness, multiple divorces and total loss of everything, except for his faith. He says that through everything the one person he could count on was God. He did not have any friends to call when things were down or up, as such he learned to seek God for everything always.
Oftentimes, women we tend to look to other girlfriends when we are faced with troubles. While this can be comforting it can also be troublesome. Girlfriends, parents, family or other friends in general do not know what God has for you. Therefore, they may misguide you which may lead to feelings or actions that are inconsistent with the ways of God. Moreover, God wants us to look to him for when you are troubled. God wants us to cry out and seek wisdom directly from the Lord.
Remember King Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 9) and how he responded to the news of the large army that was coming against him and the people. He did not say let me call a friend of mine or my mother. No, he called the people together and ask them to join him in fasting and praying to seek the wisdom of God over that very serious matter.
Be reminded G.I.R.L.F.R.I.E.N.D.S, God wants us to do the same. While we are here to support each other, God needs us to know that we should seek Him first and always.
“Blessed [with spiritual security] is the man who believes and trusts in and relies on the Lord And whose hope and confident expectation is in the Lord. For he will be [nourished] like a tree planted by the waters, That spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear the heat when it comes; But its leaves will be green and moist. And it will not be anxious and concerned in a year of drought Nor stop bearing fruit.” – Jeremiah 17:7-8, AMP
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the lives of so many, leaving them to wonder if they will ever recover from the loss of family, friends, money, work, etc. Your experiences may have caused you to wonder why trouble has befallen you, or where is God amidst the challenge. Like Job, I would encourage you to cry out to God and trust that God will answer. When Job asked God, why? God answered reminding Job that He is in control. Job was comforted in hearing from God because it helped him to understand that God is bigger than all his troubles.
It is natural to feel some anxiety and worry about difficulties when they arise. However, as believers we have the spiritual power to rise above those emotions that make you feel helpless. Regardless of what you are facing and how bad it may feel, remind yourself that God, the Creator of the entire universe is bigger and more powerful than any problem you have.
“I am the sprouting vine and you’re my branches. As you live in union with me as your source, fruitfulness will stream from within you—but when you live separated from me you are powerless. If a person is separated from me, he is discarded; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire to be burned. But if you live in life-union with me and if my words live powerful] within you—then you can ask whatever you desire, and it will be done. When your lives bear abundant fruit, you demonstrate that you are my mature disciples who glorify my Father!” – John 15:5-8, TPT
Prior to attending law school, I had made yet another commitment to always serve God. When I graduated from law school, I did not get the job I wanted. This was a first. Then to make matters worse I went to God with my woes asking why he had allowed this to happen to me. After all, I had worked extremely hard to overcome many obstacles. Then about five (5) months later I realized that my plans to make a difference in life by practicing law was not in sync with the steps God had chosen for me. And I was then reminded of Proverbs 16:9 – “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.”
Here, God was not only calling me but had chosen me to make a difference, albeit the way in which I would do it was altogether different than I had envisioned for myself. God had gifted me to do ministry/teaching/writing, the kind of work where I could serve God completely with my life. Unfortunately, I did not realize this at the time, as I was relying upon my own understanding and refused to change course. I was a little like Jonah, minus being thrown into the belly of a whale. God directed my steps and I rejected them. As a result, it would take me more than a decade to recognize that I had come to a crossroad and had to decide whether I was going to serve God or my own feelings and wants.
Finally, I have arrived at the place where I am passionately committed to serving God in every capacity. Moreover, I know now that I cannot produce the fruits of God’s spirit unless I truly stand firm on His principles. If you find yourself in a predicament where your faith is being challenged, stand firm, remain steadfast and no matter what do not waiver. When you do this, you will be deeply intertwined with God and shall receive all your hearts desires.
“Refuse to worry about tomorrow, but deal with each challenge that comes your way, one day at a time. Tomorrow will take care of itself.” – Matthew 6:34, TPT
Whether you created a situation that has become stressful or something worrisome caught you by surprise - loss of employment and reduction of finances, loss of relative or romantic breakup, diagnosed with a serious illness or you cannot fulfill a work obligation, whatever the case the result is the same – you have anxiety, stress and worry.
Additionally, you feel confused and very uncertain about the next steps to take. You are in a bad relationship (love or work), yet you are afraid to leave without knowing for sure that you have another love interest or employment (business) opportunity in hand. When we become anxious and worry, we are leaning unto our own understanding. When we are consumed with looking at things and perceiving from the natural eye it is hard to have Faith.
We were not created to live in fear. Therefore, the Bible tells us to acknowledge the cares we have and give them to God. Then place our complete faith and trust in God, including our hearts and finances.
When we stop living according to our feelings and exercise our faith we will see change in all areas of life. For instance, that job you thought you had to hold on to, faith will give you the courage to leave without certainty of where you will land, only knowing that it was the right thing to do. More importantly, the worry you had of how you would make it without working for two (2) months, will dissipate as you see your faith produce all you need and more.
No matter what the issue is or why you may experience anxiety, let it go. Be reminded that “all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord.” (Romans 8:28) Remember that the Lord said: “in that coming day no weapon turned against you will succeed. You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you. For these are benefits for those who are servants of God.” (Isaiah 54:17, NLT). Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow and how things will work out. Instead go about each day knowing that nothing or no one coming against you shall stop the plan God has for you to have a great life.
“My grace is always more than enough for you, and my power finds its full expression through your weakness. So, I will celebrate my weakness, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me. So I’m not defeated by my weakness, but delighted! For when I feel my weakness and endure mistreatment - when I'm surrounded with troubles on every side and face persecution because of my love for Christ - I am made yet stronger. For my weakness becomes a portal to God's power.
- 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, TPT
A short poem on Resilience
When you think you cannot go any further – You can!
The storms come - famines, fires, floods and deadly winds.
They hit you so hard that you figure it must be the end.
While bent over, way down near the ground,
you remember to hold tight to your faith so you will abound.
Your faith in hand, nothing you face will stop God’s plan.
Then you will see that your bounce back makes you more resilient than the strongest palm tree.
Sometimes things may seem to hard or even impossible to face, be reminded that with Faith all things are possible. If your mind is becoming overwhelmed with anxiety, fear or worry, remember these words from God – I will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:16). I am your God, I will always with you! (Isaiah 41:10)
For His divine power has bestowed on us [absolutely] everything necessary for [a dynamic spiritual] life and godliness, through [d]true and personal knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.
For this very reason, applying your diligence [to the divine promises, make every effort] in [exercising] your faith to, develop moral excellence, and in moral excellence, knowledge (insight, understanding), - 2 Peter 1:3&5
I had no idea that the circumstances under which I was born and the conditions for which I grew would have an impact on my ability to achieve my dreams. It would take me well in to my thirties before I began to understand that I had deeply rooted anger, pain and resentment for the struggles I had to face. Unbeknownst to me these hidden demons were precluding me from discovering my identity and silently acquiescing to the labels placed upon me at birth. As a result, I was unable to live the spiritual life God had planned for me. I was unable to give and receive the love I desired greatly. Then, during one of the most painful places in my life, a friend came to me and caused me to seek God and discover myself.
When I began to realize where I had been and that it did not define me, I started the process of dying to self. The false identity began fading away and I became motivated to be free and realized that I had the strength and courage to live by faith and in moral excellence.
No matter where you are or what you have been through, please know that God is with you and has given you everything you need to become your best self.
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