Would you think I was totally off my rocker if I told you I have been thanking GOD for my trials???? I have not always, I used to kind of moan and sometimes scream, HELP ME!!!
But I recently read a book called the Thankful Principal by Marcia Day Brown and it is all about that and offers various testimonies on how it worked for the author. So I thought, why not. So I have begun and I also have started a bit of a journal to track this whole idea. I can say that there have been pretty significant changes, some big and some small where I am seeing positive impact.
It does say in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of GOD in Christ JESUS concerning you. NOTE: It does not say give thanks for the good times, give thanks for that raise at work, give thanks for your new grandchild, (you get it). NOPE, it says IN EVERYTHING…. I do not know about you, but to me that means EVERYTHING!
So, yes, I thank GOD for the bad, horrible, icky stuff along with the great and wonderful things and even those forgettable things in the middle. I am telling you to try it. It WILL change your heart, which will change your brain, which will change your attitude. You will notice, that things will happen, good things.
So, take a tumble with me and give it a try! I mean, how is whining and bitching working for you? Oh… and you will forget… but each time this is put in practice, it starts to feel natural and become a habit.
CAN'T WE ALL GET ALONG????
I am a hot-head. I often get into debates and heated arguments about my own set of beliefs. It is great that GOD created us all different, with our own personality fingerprint; none two alike. But with that along with our free will, we can act like total buffoons. I realized that sometimes I allow the way I think and believe supersede love. Let’s face it, we all have our passions.
But it occurred to me that my number one passion should be CHRIST. And in the cliché of “What Would Jesus Do” (WWJD); I must realize that I fall short on a daily basis of this concept. I can buy the t-shirt, and quote the quote but I am far from walking the walk. That is where forgiveness comes in.
Every single day, every single moment; we screw up. I get wrapped up in life, act accordingly and boy do I have a knack for messing things up. I stir the pot with my humanity and it brews up more trouble in a situation that could have been averted, had I paused and prayed.
GOD knows this. Isn’t it amazing that HE allows us be ourselves and still loves us. And we come to HIM on fallen knees to cry because “oh what a mess we made” (again) and he still wraps HIS arms around us and tells us he loves us anyway.
Love, it is said throughout the bible and portrayed differently than we may understand it. Here are a few examples:
"This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you." John 15:12
"For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
"For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another." 1 John 3:11
"This commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also." 1 John 4:21
"Above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins." 1 Peter 4:8
Nowhere does it say, love each other under these circumstances: (fill in the blank). JESUS showed this so many times in the bible but none so perfect as in John 13. Again in the famous “Love bears all things” verses shown in 1 Corinthians 13:7, we are shown how to love. Not once are we taught to hate each other. Can we disagree? OF course! Can we dislike the way someone lives their lives? Absolutely! Are we to hate? NO! NO! NO!
It is not an easy practice but none said the way of the LORD was easy. The door is narrow and those that travel through it are few. But those that are called and answer and live their lives in the SPIRIT will be blessed. Let me ask you this? IF you had your choice, would you want to live life loving and being loved?
I am sure the answer is yes…. So then practice loving. Not just the easy ones to love but the ones that get under your skin; a co-worker that is lazy, a boss that screams, a spouse that is less than devoted, a son that treats you poorly, a parent that asks too much, and the child that is defiant. I will tell you there is a little bit of us in all those we choose to hate. It is a choice…… choose love! Choose GOD!
OH my I could have had a V8!!!!
Running a business can be a tough one. So often I feel like people are “counting” on me. And if I fail, not only do I let them down but it could adversely affect their lives. With any business there are fluctuations and I watch my P’s & Q’s or should I say my P&L, and when the flow seems to go low, I get scared. I have so much evidence from the past many years that “it always works out”. Yet, there I go to that place in my head that starts my tummy fluttering and before I know it I am in a total tail-spin.
Then I remember, what a fool I am. This control does not belong to me!! I need a GOD gong in my head, you know like the V8 commercials, DUH!!!
All in all no matter what the circumstances look like on the surface, I do so need to remember that I am loved by a GOD who does not deal in those tangibles.
1 John 4:4 – 1 John 4:4 and I need to repeat this verse until it is so ingrained in me that I do not give any negative circumstance a second thought!
1 John 4:4 – But you belong to GOD, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the ONE who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
So, whatever you may be facing….. pray and praise cause you have overcome! GOD just wants us to acknowledge his son JESUS and that we give our lives over to HIM so that we may no longer live in chains. No more chains of stress, no more chains of frustration, no more chains of tomorrow, money, sickness – NOTTA!!!! What are you waiting for? Are you still there?? Are you doubting…. Ahhhhh, how is that life without JESUS working for you???
I am SOOOOO STRESSSED OUT!!!!
Do you ever get that feeling in the pit of your stomach? You know that gnawing feeling that is worst when things seem to be flying at you one after another. Life, that is life . I once heard that in order to have peace you must “live life on life’s terms”…… Well pardon me but I say BS (I do not think I need to elaborate on those two letters). Every single day when we wake up, we are at war. Not the kind of war with weapons (although sadly many of us are in that kind of war) but the one deep inside. My “gut” consistently tries to steal my peace, tranquility and joy. STRESSSSSSS – it will do that. Come on, we ALL deal with it in varying degrees. I could spend probably days listing things that steal joy and they are valid. BUT DO WE HAVE TO LIVE LIFE ON LIFE’S TERMS????? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!
So, when you just receive that electric shut off notice, or you just ran that profit and loss at work and it looks bleak, or you just got horrible health news, or you are sitting there battling temptation with a pill, needle or powder, or you are lonely … you get it….
Get that weapon (faith) and load it with the ammo (love) and protect yourself with the sheild. GOD.
Think of it as the Staples famous EASY BUTTON……. Pause….. Pray, OVERCOME!
Live life on life’s terms, I THINK NOT! Life often takes my JOY; I will live my life on GOD’S terms. GOD wants me to have everlasting joy!
So…… as you sit there with that problem suffocating you; STOP & PRAY! Do it again and again! GOD DOES NOT GIVE ANYONE ANYTHING that they cannot overcome!
HE BRINGS YOU TO IT – HE BRINGS YOU THROUGH IT!!!
Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands give me delight.
Today, I felt like I was at the end of one of those automatic ball throwers ducking so as not to be hit by the darn balls. I sometimes, heck who am I fooling, I always tend to carry everyone’s problems on my shoulders. GOD must adore that, huh! What a humble tumble! That is what today was. It was a “get down off your high horse” kind of day. A day where I need to know I do not have all the answers. Yep, a humble tumble day.
The hardest learning point for me is humility. I want to be the one who has the answers, be the help, solver of the problems…. You can now get up off the floor laughing…
Would you like to know why I do this? Because I feel that if I can do and help:
I do more “rinsing and repeating” in my life and realize I battle with that. I know that the evil one keeps me there but I also realize I have a CHOICE! I CAN call on the one who sustains me, instead of playing GOD, I can call GOD. Because overall, I know GOD is the perfect solution and I am a “mess-maker” without HIM. And all this and GOD loves me anyway….. WOW!!!
I am an ego centric schmuck with a GOD complex and I am admitting it to all my 2 readers BUT when I realize it, I REPENT and it is gone, just like that. JESUS erases it!
Humility…. A hard one for me, GOD teaches me and LOVES me in spite.
2 Chronicles 7:14 says a mouthful, I need to repeat it EVERY moment…
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
WHAT IS CONTROLLING YOU?
I realized that we all have so many “idols” in our lives. Things we put ahead of the important issues because they make us “feel good” temporarily. Money, drugs, coffee, sex, alcohol, gambling, working, and the list can go on. Rarely do any of these temporary fixes bring us any long term goodness, rather they mostly bring much agony and strife. Obviously there is balance in all and there are some items we need to survive.
One of my idols is money. I hate it sometimes because it causes a reliance on IT rather than GOD who provides it to me anyway. I am not happy to admit this. But if I am going to bear all to be real, then I would have to say that I definitely have issues with the almighty dollar. This leads me to having another idol, my job. Again, I need to work so that we can eat… but I tend to put so much into it, it steals time from my relationships, GOD and I become a slave to it.
Sometimes I will look at someone who is an alcoholic and point my finger but truly any of us who have any type of over dependency (idols) deal with the same effects. Maybe at times, I think that my idols are ok because the world does not put a stigma around it but I know in my heart of hearts that it is as bad as drugs, cigarettes and any of them. WHY because it separates me from GOD. Not because GOD separates from me, mind you, I am forgiven….
With the dependency on these idols comes a loss of freedom. Now do not let that temporary “ahhhhhhhhhhhh” that comes with these things fool you. Because it wears off in the morning and you are left a slave to getting more. I admire those that are dealing with addictions. They understand the raw nature of being chained and a slave to their substance. It is that primitiveness that keeps them on a fine line between traveling with the evil one and GOD. I pray for each one that GOD wins that battle. It just takes a willing heart and a tiny bit of faith.
With all of this, I come to this…. WE ALL do it. So before you look down on anyone REMEMBER, you too fight with an idol or two or more. Keeping it real, and keeping it humble is hard but it sure brings along immense freedom.
Colssians 3:5-6 That is why you must kill everything in you that belongs only to earthly life: fornication, impurity, guilty passion, evil desires and especially greed, which is the same thing as worshipping a false god. All this sort of behavior makes God angry.
Ask JESUS to come into your heart and release you. GOD can take your temptation from you, if you CHOOSE to give it to HIM. Free yourself, it is your choice, it is my choice. I have to constantly give it to JESUS and sometimes, these are so sinister, they sneak back up on me and I have to repent and ask for JESUS to release me from its hold again.
And you know what???? We have a loving GOD who is waiting to love us. We just have to open our arms to him. I am not worthy of that kind of love, none of us really are. BUT JESUS loves us anyway. We were created for love, about love and because of love. LOVE WILL WIN!
Order your steps…. Pray pray pray…. And be FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!
Funny thing happened on Sunday. The church sermon that day was “happiness”. How to have it and hold on to it through all things. I take notes on my iPhone each Sunday at church. This Sunday was no different. As I am typing on and on about how to be happy in all times, in all things and in all seasons; all of a sudden, I hit a button and my notes were gone…. ALL OF THEM!
My first reaction was to get angry and upset that I just lost ALL OF THAT WORK. Ironic huh? Then I realized what the speaker was saying and not only did I realize it but I had to put it in action.
GOD is so amazing that he teaches us how to handle life and keep our joy in all circumstances. I believe GOD also has a sense of humor….. THANK GOD for that, because I respond to seeing things in a humorous way much easier than a serious tone. SO, right there and then, GOD was showing me that I CAN hold onto my inner peace and joy in spite of what happens.
So I smiled, and started writing new notes.
This morning, I woke up not feeling well. I battle daily fatigue and pain and GOD has blessed me with many good days. Today, I had to remember again, that GOD also blesses me with the pain. Wait a minute before you start thinking “this girl is CRAAAAAAZZZZEEEEEEEE” and hear me out. I do believe that we need co-existing extremes in our lives. We need the rain with the sun, the storm and the rainbow, and yes peace and unrest, happiness and sadness. They go hand in hand. NOW, I do understand that in ALL things we can remain joyful. Does that mean we will? Probably not….. BUT does that mean we can, ABSOLUTELY!!! Keeping inner peace and joy is a choice and a habit.
DON’T SHUT ME OUT YET…… Faith, a tiny bit of faith that GOD is out there and ordering our steps will tell you that “Every little things gonna be alright” (thank you Bob Marley). Romans 8:28 verily says this….
Try this, next time life happens and something less than favorable flies at you head on – STOP! PRAY FOR PEACE! BREATHE! Let that thing go, truly let it go. It is in GOD’S hands. Allow yourself to feel the peace that the issue is handled. I do swear to you – if you do this enough…… you will have more peace in your life than not. (21 days of this will create this as a habit).
Perhaps this is what your typical reaction looks like (taken from my own reactions)……. $50 in the bank…… electric bill shut-off comes in and it is $75. (normal reaction – panic) Replace normal reaction with prayer! When you are praying…. See the issue turning out well. BREATHE! And now try this…. Smile… yes, I did just say that…. Smile! Chances are you will be able to think clearer and your solution will come from peace NOT panic and haste. AND THE SOLUTION WILL COME!!
I learned recently that Paul wrote the section of Philippians while in jail for two years chained to guards 24 hours a day and suffering unheard of suffering. Philippians is a great part of the bible that guides us how to be peaceful and happy in all times. It was written during suffering, probably way more suffering than we could ever imagine. Read it sometime… think of this man being tortured and chained while he is writing it. It will put your issues at rest.
This was a long post folks, I rambled a bit but I hope that today you experience joy and peace in all things! PRAISE GOD!