Have you ever received bad news? I think we all have, it seems to be one of those things that is just part of life, something’s are just inedible. As I’ve matured in the Lord I’ve learned that it’s so important to pay attention to ourselves and how we receive not so good news, in other words how we react and how it makes us feel. We’re humans with feelings I think God understands that, so it’s not bad to feel a negative feeling, it’s how long you linger in that feeling and how you get out of it. For me, when I used to hear bad news I would just sink into the floor, whether small or big it was just something I couldn’t bare, I was raised to just let emotions fly and do whatever they wanted even to the point of letting them take over my entire being.
Now, I don’t live in that fear, the fear of the unknown, of not having control, of not having the solution, I live in a place of peace, a place where when trials arise I don’t sink into the floor, instead I arise as well, and My Creator with me. It’s so important to examine ourselves and take time to reflect on those times when our faith shrinks just a little and how to be able to make it rise above it all, the only way is through His word. Read and re-read if you must all the promises He has made and remember how faithful He is, how much He loves you and He will never forsake you. Trials will come that’s for sure, we have an enemy that never tires of inflicting pain, BUT we have an amazing God who stands before us, behinds us and all around us. Praise God. So, now take time, reflect on where you live, In panic of the uncertainty or peace in God’s will.
Father God, I come to you and just surrender all that fear that makes my mind race into thoughts that are against what you have proclaimed for me. I ask for your forgiveness if there is something that I am missing because I am too busy to get into your word. Lord I ask that you guide me and give me wisdom so that I may live in your peace when trials come. Lord I trust you, I love you and I always want to be in your will. In Jesus name Amen.
Did the title throw you off a little? Well, let me elaborate. Many years ago before I was saved, I had a sort of spiritual awakening for a lack of a better term. I knew about God but I didn’t like religion and so I called myself spiritual. Yes, spiritual, what does that even mean? Now it seems a bit silly when I think about it. I guess, what I was trying to say was that I didn’t like religion, I didn’t want to be labeled a Christian, I didn’t want to follow anyone’s specific rules or guidelines to get closer to God. More specifically, I knew what some Christian based churches taught, which was baptism, fasting, praying, reading the bible and being part of a community, most of those things I mentioned I wasn’t willing to do, nor compromise about it. I literally prayed to God and said, I won’t get baptized and I won’t be part of a community where I have to serve or talk to anyone ( immature me), of course that only seemed to pull me farther apart from my purpose. Forward to present time, I’ve been baptized twice (once in the actual Jordan river) and have found an amazing community of people in my church that have welcome me in a way that I can’t explain with words but know in my heart was God sent. In my ” spiritual awakening” I had a long list of the things I didn’t want to do to get closer to God or to have peace in my heart and life, I had to many limitations and restrictions for God, all those things were walls that I had built myself to protect myself from the what if’s in my head, what if God isn’t real, what if the people at church hurt me, or lie to me, what if I’m not worthy or what If I open up and become vulnerable and I get taken advantage in my weakness. With all those walls, all those restrictions, all those conditions, getting closer to God and finding my purpose in this world was never going to work. So, I got lost in many religions, reading books, finding temples, yoga, magic, buddhism, healing myself affirmations, books on how to help myself find peace and all sorts of other stuff that only worked temporarily and when it went away left me feeling even worse. Where am I going with this, you can read all the self help books, all the autobiographies, you can do all the yoga and breathing exercises you want, WITHOUT GOD, IT WONT WORK! By no means am I saying reading self help books are bad, what I am saying (because it happened to me) is that the only way to start truly healing is to let your walls down, ask God to show you the truth. If Jesus is the your foundation, if God isnt number one in your life, and If you still have many conditions, you will never be truly happy. This life doesn’t work without God. Think about it, is there an area of your life where you just can’t seem to have peace in? Is there a wall? A condition you’re putting God? I know you want peace, I know you want to feel loved, appreciated, valued, noticed, I know you want to succeed, be fruitful, be blessed to be a blessing, I know you want to find your purpose, but I’m afraid it just won’t work without God. In my personal journey to findings who in was, I found that I can never walk this life again without my creator. I encourage you to let those walls fall and to just let God guide you into His will, let us pray.
My most amazing creator, my loving Father in heaven, I come to you, scared of the unknown, afraid of what you might reveal to me, afraid of getting hurt, afraid that I am not worthy, afraid that I don’t have enough faith, overwhelmed by this place I’m in because no matter how much I try to control or manipulate those things around me it just doesn’t bring peace. I am lost, I am drowning in a sea of hopelessness and I know that I am stubborn and I ask for forgiveness, I can’t do this alone anymore, I know that anything in my life will not work if you’re not involved. So, I’m inviting you into my life, into my heart, that you may search me and find within me not only that unwillingness to give my life completely to you but anything else that is keeping me from fulfilling my true purpose in your will and cast it out so that I may be delivered into your wonderful freedom and love. I am yours, and I know that without you, it just won’t work. In Jesus name Amen.
The rage. Do you know it? I do. I don’t engage anymore with it, but how I used to linger and sulk in it. I remember as a teenager once my little brother said to me while I was having a fit and rage against my mom, that I reminded him of the hulk. I remember so clearly thinking, wow, that’s how much rage comes out of me. To tell you the truth that continued for many, many years, anything would set me off. I had no control, there was no balance of my emotions specially when it came to anger. Yes, of course I was a teenager and the raging hormones and all that but what about later in life? As a Adult I had to finally be honest with myself and find a solution, I tried mediation, reading books about peace, buddhism, angels, crystals, anything that had the word peace I was trying. Needless to say, all those things seemed to work for a while and then vanish like if they never existed in my life, back then I wasn’t saved and I didn’t know better, it wasn’t until I bended knee and called out for the creator of all things when He started showing me through His word and getting to know who Jesus was that I started to think that I might have a chance. There are three things you must know: 1. The only one who can help is God. 2. Surrendering will activate your faith. 3. Alignment with God’s will bring peace.
How do you start: 1. Make time for God, praying, meditating, worshipping. 2. Read the bible. His word. If you need an answer seek it in His word. 3. Repent and Give thanks to God in the worst and best times.
Lord, I boldly come to you now with a humble heart, please forgive me for anything that I have done to keep you from doing your will in my life. I am here now with an open heart and a willing Spirit. Lord create an emotional balance within me and let me flow in your serenity. When my anger starts to rise Lord I ask you to cover me in your compassion, Father I lift up every emotion to you, be my guide so that I may know how to react to others actions. I want to be slow to anger. Let everything I do and say be a reflection of what you are. In Jesus name Amen.
Have you ever pushed time with God for later because you weren’t “feeling it” or plain simply didn’t want to do it because you were doing something else that was distracting you? I didn’t want or felt like reading my devotional sometime last week, I was putting it aside and I opened the bible twice and said later but then in my spirit I didn’t feel right so I stopped what I was doing and just started with my devotional and wow, God wanted to tell me something that strengthen me in the moment and I really didn’t know it until then that I need that strenghting. After, I read the Bible verse for today as I’m reading the bible in a year, and God also had so much love to share with me as I read along and not only for me but he also put some people in my heart that I must share with. When I was done, I felt so loved by Him and so humbled, I also felt a little shame that I was putting Him to the side when all he wanted was to share with me His strength and love. Needless to say that I’m sure the people God put in my heart to share as well felt the same love. So, I say don’t set God aside, don’t dismiss Him, don’t make Him wait for you, when He calls embrace Him. Don’t bring disorder to your consistency of putting time for Him aside intentionally. God loves us so much and He knows us so well, Hrs trying to give us wisdom at all times before something happens and we find ourselves disoriented. Like me, you may be in need of comfort without even knowing it because you’re trying to distract yourself from your worry. Stop. Take that moment even if it’s to sit still, He will show up. If not now, when?
Lord, please forgive me for letting myself be distracted by other things instead of intentionally making time for you. Forgive me for embracing the wonderful time that you give us when I pray. Holy Spirit, make me more sensitive to your presence and be my guide that I may never stray too far from the Lord. I give you this time, my love, my heart, everything. Thank you for your forgiveness and your unconditional love. In Jesus name Amen.
Who or what do you have above Jesus’ name? Have you ever stopped to meditate on this question? It’s pretty straight forward, God tells us that Jesus’ name is above every other name, He exalted Him (Philippians 2:9). Back to the question, in other words, what is that thing that takes over you into a place of uncertainty or even to a place of sin, it can also be a who, someone that brings temptation or doubt into you heart where God’s promises are suppose to lay. We all at one point or another have to recognize that even when our relationship with God is at its best, there are times when we tend to find ourselves in this place of putting our anger, sadness, worry, resentment, lack of faith, relationships, lack of provision, busyness, ego, selfishness, and so on and so on, above Jesus’ name, when what we should be doing at all times is putting Jesus above everything and everyone. They way to do that is to simply open your bible and start declaring those promises that God has already instilled in your heart. God is willing, Are you willing to set everything and everyone aside for Him?
Heavenly Father, I come to you today with a humble heart, that you may search me and reveal to me those things that can easily separate Me from you, cleanse my heart, renew my spirit, let my mouth proclaim those promises that you have already decreed over me, anoint me and set me aside, continue to be that light that I reflect in this world. Sometimes Lord I get ahead if myself, I let my feeling take over and sometimes I let people in that take your place, Please Lord, forgive me. Jesus I want you to be my focus always. Holy Spirit thank you for the conviction, for the guidance. I lift your name up Jesus, I put you above every other name, above my situations, above my illness, above my resentment, above my anger, above my worry, above anything and anyone that wants to hinde me. Jesus I love you, Jesus thank you. In your name I pray Amen.
When the doctors told me that fibromyalgia was the culprit behind the pain I had in my body, I felt so confused about the promises God had for me and what I was going through as they were contradicting themselves. The pain would only get worse as time passed to the point where I used a cane and also got shots in my heels for pain which were as painful and would only last about a week. I could barely walk and I was at times in full depression. What didn’t help was that there was a person who was always reminding me of all the things I couldn’t do and wouldn’t be able to do, it was fraustrating but I kept reminding myself that God can snap his fingers and make me whole whenever it was His will. Deep down I knew He would one day, three years later here I am, no cane, no pain. It took a lot of faith and what kept me from feeling disappointed and discouraged and ultimately disabled was that I knew the God I served, I knew His promises and where to find them, I knew that He had plans for me. Even in the times where I found myself depressed and so lost I called on Jesus. I didn’t know why or when it would get better, all I knew was that God said it would, but before it did there were things I had to do. One, completely trust in God no matter what I was seeing, hearing or feeling. Two, I had to read his promises over and over. Three, I had to bless those who contradicted anything that God had already affirmed. No matter what you’re going through, I am here to tell you that God is faithful and His will be done in His time and it’ll be worth it! Keep your eyes on Jesus and keep moving forward, when resistance comes it just means you’re closer to the miracle!
My Faithful Wonderful Father, thank you for always being there for me when I need you. Thank you for taking care of me and never letting go. Thank you in advance for the healing that you bring my heart and my body as well as my Soul and mind. Lord thank you for showing me patience and faith in you is worth more than anything on this earth. I give it all to you Lord, In Jesus name Amen.
In the valley I can still hear your whisper in the gentle pass of the winds, In the valley I can still see your grace in the shadows that shield me from the sun, In the valley I can still feel your mercy in the sand that comforts me while I rest, In the valley I can still feel your love in the beauty of emptiness, In the valley I can still see your greatness at night when the stars shine upon me. In the valley I know that you are still mine but more than that I know that I am still yours. In the valley I know that I may seem to walk alone but your presence will not leave my side. In the valley things are unclear and uncertain but faith in you has still not been shaken. In the valley where at times my heart hardens and I have no compassion, you still show me forgiveness. In this valley where I am only passing through you are my compass. I’m this valley where it hurts, you are my comfort. In this valley where I can’t see during the sand storms my faith in you leads the way. In this valley, I will be refined by you. In this valley, I still trust you.
Lord, I pray for anyone who is in the valley right now. I pray that they see you and feel you as they are passing through. I pray that in this time they find you as comfort. I pray Lord that you pick that one that falls with your righteous right hand. Lord I pray that they dwell under your mighty shadow. Lord I pray for clarity and peace. And I thank you for when the journey ends. Lord walk with us, In Jesus name Amen.
Every time I feel alone and helpless the Holy Spirit reminds me that I am not. It’s been difficult at times with my health, it can get lonely sometimes and to be honest I tend to withdraw in moments when I feel like no one can possibly understand what I’m feeling physically. Today I had a great reminder, From where does my help come from? Does it come from any human being around me or does it come from myself? No matter how much pain I’m in the answer will always be the same, Truly my help comes from above. All I need to do is call out the name of the one who has already healed me, the one who has set me free, the one who comforts me in my time of need and the one I rejoice in when I’m afflicted because of Him. What a Beautiful name it is, the name of Jesus.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. I call on you, the name above all names, the one who does on the cross for my healing, my sins, my shortcomings. I call on the one who I know is my comfort and my defender. I need you, it’s simple, there’s nothing else that I can say that you don’t already know. Right now in this moment I just praise your name to the Heavens. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. Thank you, King of Kings!
Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled.
Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
Have you been to the garden of Gethsemane? Have you prayed like Jesus prayed at the garden? I have. Many times.
This whole chapter has so many little treasures that we can take for ourselves and store as wisdom in our hearts but I want to focus today on how Jesus’ priority was to pray, not only that but the urgency Hee had to make sure that His disciples knew that praying with Him was essential. Jesus teaches us what to do when we’re in a place of sorrow and trouble. First, He lets us know not to be alone, as He Himself took two disciples with Him as He instructed them to sit while He went “over there”. I remember one night I was in a place of sorrow and trouble and I didn’t know what to do, (this was a very long time ago before I was saved) and I remember asking God for help at that time as best as I could with the little knowledge I had but what I remember also is that I showed up at one of my dearest friends house and I sat on her couch and all I did was cry as she sat across from me and we didn’t say a word to each other. To know that in her heart she was also praying and being there for me in the only way she knew how was such comfort. I think Jesus was telling us that there will be times when we need to reach out for our own good as well as to be models to those who love Him as well. Second, we shouldn’t be afraid to ask God to help us in anyway. Jesus boldly asked God to remove that which was causing Him great sorrow to the point of death. Jesus knew that God was ever so capable and it wasn’t in vain to ask, at the same time He knew that as long as it was God’s will no matter what it would be, He wouldn’t be alone. Just recently, a few times I may add in my times of pain while in recovery of surgery I’ve made a similar prayer, “God take this pain away but let your will be done”, knowing that even IF he didn’t somehow he would also give peace to my heart and spirit. Lastly, I just want to encourage you to come before our God, cry out to Him in all your sorrow, your trouble and let Him take control of that which makes your heart ache.
Lord, sometimes in the midst of sorrow and trouble and pain we get so blinded by what our flesh feels and it seems almost unbearable but I ask you Lord that you hear my cry and that no matter what it is you bring down your will into my heart. Abba, I receive you and whatever plans you have for my life and I do not worry because I know you see me. Here I am, Lord help me in my need. Thank you in advance for being so faithful and so willing always. In Jesus name Amen.
Jonah 1:17 Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
Jonah 2:1-9 From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. He said: “In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry. You hurled me into the depths, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me. I said, ‘I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple.’ The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head. To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you, Lord my God, brought my life up from the pit. “When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. “Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them. But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’ ”
Ephesians.3:20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us
James 4:10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
I can’t even fathom sometimes how truly great God is and how willing and for us He continues to faithfully be towards us even in the times when we reject Him. I was thinking about how some of us use so much energy to run the opposite way of God, when it’s so much easier to just flow in His grace. Makes me wonder what Jonah was thinking or feeling that would make him so bitter towards God. I wonder if he prayed and didn’t like God’s respond, or if the responsibility of being a prophet was too much, or if he had a loss and couldn’t find the why, maybe he was just simply tired. One thing was clear though, He didn’t like that God showed mercy towards his enemies (makes me wonder if Jonah ever thought why them and not me). Whatever was going on his heart was definitely affecting his relationship with God, yet God went after him trying to show Jonah the forgiveness He brings to us even when we don’t deserve it. Three days and three nights Jonah was in the whales belly and I wonder if he was in the whale that long because it took him that long to make that bold prayer (even though it wasn’t ideal, leave that for another time). Surrending is never easy, I know I’ve surrendered even when I still felt like I was treated unfairly, like a bratty child with a parent. Nevertheless, like Jonah, I know the God who created me, created the seas and the dry land, a merciful, forgiving, a true Savior of my life, therefore, I knew that surrendering and humbling myself was the way to go. I want to ask you something. How long will you stay in the belly of the whale? How long will you sulk? How long will it take for you to surrender? How many times will God have to show you how much He loves you? Oh! Our God is ever so willing. Willing to say yes to whatever we ask in agreement with His will. I tell you, whatever that “thing” is that stands between you and God, bring it to the throne, lay it down, surrender it, bitterness, disappointment, sadness, loss, anger, jealousy, betrayal, hate, arrogance, pride, whatever it is, I urge you not to waste anymore time and let God start healing your heart from all that overtakes it and brings you to a place of uncertainty and bitterness. Don’t let pride rob you of what already belongs to you. God wants to show you His great mercy and grace, shower you with love and favor. Make that prayer, surrender.
Father God, I came boldly to surrender all that I’m feeling and it isn’t all good and positive but I know that you are the only one that can change a heart. I don’t want to run from you anymore, I don’t want to have bitterness in my heart, I surrender my ego, my pride, my all to you who knows me like no one else and who loves me unconditionally, you who forgives without condemnation. I accept your word, your love, your forgiveness, your grace. Thank you for showing me mercy and most of all for allowing me to surrender over and over. Holy Spirit be my guide in the Lord’s path, shine the light in the way I should go that I may never be lost. Thank you Abba. In Jesus name Amen.