It Could Be Worse!

Do you ever have a bad day?  I mean one of those:  “I should not have got out of bed today” days?  We all wish that we never had to have those days, but if you live life long enough, you will have more than your share of those days!  I think that when you are working hard to live the right life of a Christ follower, that you might even have more of those days than most, because we can’t respond to the world and it’s challenges in just any ole way that we want to!

This morning I was reading in Isaiah 43:2 and it says:  “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.  When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.”

Notice it does not say that we won’t get wet.  It does not say that we won’t face some pressure and current from life.  It does not say that we can avoid the fire of life.  In fact it implies that as we walk through life, we will have to walk through water, the current and the fire!  It does not say”if” you pass through, but “when” you pass through!  If we are living and breathing and walking through life, then we are going to have to walk through some though stuff!

It does say that we can pass through the waters, current and fire!  We don’t have to stay in the tough times.  You and I can choose to give up and set up camp in the frustrations and disappointments of life, or we can choose to walk on through these times to the something better that God has on the other side!

When the waters of frustration, disappointment and discouragement begin to rise in your life – remember that you are not alone!  God has promised that He is with you and He will never leave you, nor forsake you!  God does not give up on you, so please do not give up on yourself or Him!

When your frustrations, dissappointments and discouragements grow into a raging river – remember that God is in control and He will not allow it to overflow you!  When you can’t keep you head above water, God will be there to give you the helping hand that you need!  Just make sure that you are willing to reach up and take His hand of help!

There will be times of fire, when our lives and our motives are tested.  This is never any fun, but as we stay faithful to our Creator and keep on walking through by trusting in Him, He will not allow the fire to burn us or the flame from that fire to scorch us!  It’s pretty cool that we can walk through the fire with God and come out on the other side not even smelling like smoke!

There is no promise that life will always be easy and I am glad, because if it was easy, there would probably be no growth or real meaning.  And while it is never any fun going through the though stuff, I thank God that we don’t have to go through it by ourselves.  It could be worse, if God were not with us, but He is and that encourages me to keep on walking through whatever life might throw my way!

What Are You Thinking About?

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praise worthy – meditate on these things.     (Philippians 4:6-8)     

This was the Scripture from my devotional reading this morning.  It is a very familar passage that I decided to share with a family member and then thought that the blog world might enjoy being reminded of some of it’s very meaningful thoughts.  No matter where you are in your life journey, it is always good to be reminded!  Here are just a few of my thoughts:

1.)  God tells me to be anxious for nothing.  I can’t be anxious for nothing, so what’s the point of being anxious?  (There is not one!  So stop worrying already!)     

2.)  In everything and for everything (good & bad) I am to pray with an attitude of thankfulness!

     -If I am truly trusting God with my life, then whatever happens is a part of His plan and even though it may seem bad to me at the moment, ultimately God is going to use it for my good and blessing.  I need to make sure that I keep a thankful attitude and spirit!  (Easier said than done, but necessary!)

     -With that spirit, I can bring my request to Him and know that He hears me and He will respond according to His awesome plan!

3.)  When I get the thankful spirit right – I have the peace of God, which I can’t even begin to understand or explain!

     -This peace guards my heart and mind from the attack of the enemy and the opinions and attitudes of others!     

4.)  My mind guarded and kept safe by the peace of God should meditate (think on) things that build up!               

     -The things that build up are:

-Things that are true, not that we think might be true!

-Things that are noble, not things that tear up and tear down!

-Things that are just, not opinions, ideas and worldly trash!

-Things that are pure, not unholy and unspiritual = a little poop in the brownie mix spoils the whole batch!

-Things that are lovely, not things that corrupt love and the good life!

-Things that are of good report, not false!  (Focus on the positive and the negatives will be taken care of!)

-Things that are virtueous, not things that tear down, but things that build up!

-Things that are praise worthy, not things that take away from our blessing and God’s glory!

5.)  The Devil and the world want to fill my mind with things that will tear me down and apart!                                         

     -If it tears down, is not true, unjust, mean spirited, takes me away from God and His purpose, distorts, makes ugly, is negative, bad for me and bad for others, then I need to make sure that I don’t waste my energy on giving it any attention!

     -I will not let the devil or other negative people win!  They cannot have me, my mind, my heart my spirit or my life.

     -They lose, God wins and we are blessed!

Watch Your Mouth!

When I was younger growing up, I heard on more than one occasion:  “You better watch your mouth!”  I learned very quickly that you did not want to talk back to my Momma!  Most of us have heard that one statement at some point or another in our lives.  And now that I am a parent, I have even caught myself saying that exact same phrase:  “You better watch your mouth!”  It’s actually kinda funny when you think about it – because we really can’t watch our mouth, because our mouth is right under our eyes.  As a matter of fact just a moment ago I tried to watch my mouth and I could not do it.  I did get a glimpse of my lips, but that was about it.  (It’s amazing what will spend our time trying to figure out!)

 While we can’t physically watch our mouths – unless we used a mirror, but I digress!  We can mentally watch our mouths and we need to be doing a much better job than we are doing.  In fact, when I stop and think about it for just a minute…  People that profess to be Christians are some of the mouthiest people I know.  We run our mouths in all directions, at all speeds about everything that we can think about and usually for no good reason at all!

Just recently I have had the opportunity to watch and see how a person running their mouth in the wrong way can hurt, tear down and mess up the plans of God’s Kingdom!  Most everyone can be happy, growing and pleased with the direction of their life and God’s church.  But let one knuckle-head not watching their mouth come in and start running it and then even happy, growing and pleased people will begin to question all that they know is good!  I honestly am beginning to believe that more harm has come to churches and Christians from the mouths of people that say that they are caring Christians, than from Satan and a whole host of demons!

Satan can just sit back and relax and all of his demons can go to the beach, because church folks who claim to be Christians are doing a pretty good job at tearing up the church and tearing down fellow Believers!  Another saying I used to hear:  “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all!”  That’s some real good advice!  Remember:  If you are not building up – then you must be tearing down!

If we are going to beat the Devil and win some victories for God’s Kingdom we might need to practice one more of those phrases we heard growing up:  SHUT YOUR MOUTH!  Watch your mouth and if you are having a hard time watching it, then just shut it!  Please – thank you!

Amazed By Grace!

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