worry

Conversations with Jesus ~ Thomas

Prayer

@creationswap/jenniferpowell

Inspired by Rev 7:9-12

By Cheryl Harrison

John 20:29: “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

In the midst of grief and fear, a small group of people hid behind locked doors.  Unseen enemies lurked in the darkness awaiting the opportunity to sow seeds of doubt.  One seed of doubt can weaken the focus of an uncertain heart, and since things did not happen the way Thomas expected, his heart was fertile ground.

The disciples were overjoyed when Jesus appeared.  But, Thomas, who was not present when Jesus came, refused to believe the truth. He proclaimed, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”

One week later, Jesus returned to visit his doubting disciple.  This time, Thomas was present, and Jesus spoke directly to him. “Put your finger here; see my hands.  Reach out your hand and put it into my side.  Stop doubting and believe.”  Jesus knew how to alleviate Thomas’ unbelief and chose to reveal Himself in a way that Thomas could understand.

Only God can move us from unbelief to faith.  Unlike Thomas, we haven’t seen Jesus with our own eyes, nor have we touched his wounds.  But, as promised, there is a blessing for those who believe without seeing.  We walk by faith and not by sight, trusting the Lord will reveal himself to us in ways we can understand.

Today’s writer has a passion to write for the Lord that she cannot escape.  She lives in Texas, USA.  Contact

Living Above Your Circumstances

Acknowledge Him

@creationswap/ Meliza Celeridad

By Irma Green

Psalm 34:17, 19 – The righteous cry out and the Lord hears and delivers them out of all of their troubles.  Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

The  Bible tells us that, if we go to God with our problems, He will take care of them.  it tells us that God will deliver us out of ALL of them.  It did not say that we would NOT have any problems or that we would have a FEW problems – the Bible says we will have MANY, but that God will deliver us from ALL OF THEM.  The Bible does not tell us that we will not have problems; it tells us how to REACT in the midst of them.

Psalm 34:18 – The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart.

That is why we are urged to call on the name of the Lord when we are in trouble.  God’s eyes sees your need.  God’s ears hear your prayers and God is near you when your heart is broken.  Scripture tells us, He is our strength in time of trouble.  He says “Come unto Me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest.

Psalm 40:1, 2 – “I waited patiently for the Lord; and He heard my cry.  He also brought me out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay and set my feet upon a rock.”

What a change takes place when we wait on the Lord.  When we wait on Him, he takes us from a pit to a highway; from miry clay to a rock; from crying to singing.  And tells us, “everything will be alright.”

The Bible tells us to “wait on the lord and be of good cheer.”  It tells us to wait on the Lord and be of good cheer in whatever it is we are going through.  The Bible tells us to “delight in the Lord and He will give us the desire of our heart.”  It tells us that if we seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness all the things we need will be added to us.  It tells us not to grow weary in well doing because in due season we will reap if we do not give up.

It tells us to run and not be weary, to walk and not faint.  It says, “fear not, I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.  For I, the Lord your God will hold your right hand saying to you, ‘fear not, I will help you'”

Psalm 34:1 – I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”

No matter how impossible your circumstances may seem; no matter how high those mountains in your life appear to be, no matter how impossible that dream in your heart seem to be, if you will sincerely praise God, He will move into that situation and change it.

Nahum 1:7 – The Lord is good.   When trouble comes, He is the place to go.  And He knows everyone who trust in Him.

Don’t let your eyes get fixed on the problems or circumstances you are facing, because with God’s help you can go around any obstacle and you can overcome any problem.

Matthew 11:28 – Come unto me, all you that labor and are heaven laden and I will give you rest.

Come unto Me the Lord says, and I will give you rest.  Rest from your trials.  Rest from your cares.  Rest from your sorrows.

Psalm 23:5 – You prepare a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.

When God helps us, He does not do it in secret.  He does it in the open, where all, including our enemies can see.

Proverbs 3:5 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart: and lean not unto your own understanding.

Don’t try to understand or try to figure out how God’s going to help you – just trust Him to do so.  We hinder God when we try to help Him solve our problems.  IF WE COULD DO IT – WHY DID WE ASK HIM?

Rev. K. Irma Green, retired pastor; Motivational Speaker/Bible Teacher/Biblical Life Coach
irmagreen8@aol.com

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com <a href=”http://www.faithwriters.com”>CHRISTIAN WRITER</a>

The Hunt for God’s Blessings

Blessed

@creationswap/chrismanfre

By: Pastor Whited

I received an e-mail the other day and made me think of how do I handle life’s difficult times?
So, right now we are in hunting season and everyone is excited to hopefully hunt the BIG BUCK or Turkey but I started to think of how much prep time we put into preparing for the hunt: Get the right equipment,clothes, scouting, tree stands, doe urine , and hotel rooms for those who really are wimps! But we put a lot of time and energy into preparing for the hunt.

But today I am going to talk about a different type of hunting. The hunt for God’s blessing!

The bible give us all kinds of examples but I love Paul’s stories: 2 Corinthians 11:16-31

New International Version (NIV)
Paul Boasts About His Sufferings
16 I repeat: Let no one take me for a fool. But if you do, then tolerate me just as you would a fool, so that I may do a little boasting. 17 In this self-confident boasting I am not talking as the Lord would, but as a fool. 18 Since many are boasting in the way the world does, I too will boast. 19 You gladly put up with fools since you are so wise! 20 In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or puts on airs or slaps you in the face. 21 To my shame I admit that we were too weak for that!
Whatever anyone else dares to boast about—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast about. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham’s descendants? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?
30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever, knows that I am not lying
We see all these things that Paul went through and yet we see him say: “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain…having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better” (Philip. 1:21-23). In these words we see the entire substance of the apostle’s life and what he looked to beyond this life. Everything that Paul did revolved around his Lord whom he served. He knew that his Lord promises salvation that cannot be hindered by death, but is only brought closer by it. Thus, death was viewed as a valuable thing.
Are you hunting for all the blessing in your life or are you becoming bitter instead of better? The battles of this life are to be expected but it is how we deal with them that makes the difference. Are you digging deep to find the blessing in life’s difficult times?  Let’s look at one more example:

Matthew 14:22-33

New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Walks on the Water

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Cross references:

  1. Matthew 14:22 : 14:22-33pp — Mk 6:45-51; Jn 6:16-21
  2. Matthew 14:22 : 14:34-36pp — Mk 6:53-56
  3. Matthew 14:23 : S Lk 3:21
  4. Matthew 14:26 : Lk 24:37
  5. Matthew 14:27 : Mt 9:2; Ac 23:11
  6. Matthew 14:27 : Da 10:12; Mt 17:7; 28:10; Lk 1:13, 30; 2:10; Ac 18:9; 23:11; Rev 1:17
  7. Matthew 14:31 : S Mt 6:30
  8. Matthew 14:33 : Ps 2:7; S Mt 4:3

We see Christ walk on water to the disciples in the storm when their  world was being rocked and wondering what to do, then they LOOKED for Jesus and he came to them in the storm and as soon as Peter got his mind off the storm and fixed on Jesus then he was no longer worrying about the storm he wanted to walk out to meet Christ and was given the ability to do so by the faith in Christ Jesus, but as soon as Peter’s faith got weak and he lost the focus on Jesus then the storm became the focus again and he began to sink, but Christ still did not give up on him, Jesus then climbed in the boat with them and when Jesus entered into their presents then the storm completely calmed.

Today I challenge you the next time you find yourself in a storm, remember that there is a blessing to be found we just have to be willing to hunt for it. Are willing to go hunting for your blessing today during this Thanksgiving time? Look around at truly view what you have to be thankful for in your life right now.

I was going through a rough time at work and I got consumed by the situation, it was the main focus and I was just freaking out, wondering what I was going to do. So I called one of my friends and asked his advice and as I talked to him he started ask me some questions: How is your family? How is your finances? Do you have money in your pocket? Is your mom and Dad still alive? Do you have your health? Could you get another job if you had too? Do you have a car? Do you have friends? Do you have a house? Do you have a church family? Do you have salvation?

At first I did not want to discuss any of that; I had a problem and that is what I called him about, not to ask me a bunch of questions.
But then he stated; “ you got a lot to be THANKFUL for don’t you?” A lot of time in the big scheme of things these storms are not as big as we think they are.

Have you allowed your storm to get so big that you can’t see Jesus on the other side telling you that he can walk on top of every storm that life hands you but you have to willing to seek me first.

I hope each of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day and allow yourself to be filled with Joy knowing Jesus is in control of every storm and give him the Thanks for the blessing he is going to give you during this difficult time .  Become a hunter of blessing !

Please feel free to pass this along to anyone who you believe needs to hear the message. God Bless!

Are you making yourself sick?

 

Pain

artwork@creationswap/charityparker

Psalm 38:3 (NIV)

Because of your wrath there is no health in my body;
    there is no soundness in my bones because of my sin.

How are you feeling today? Are you sick in body, mind or soul? If so, look up and talk to God. Look inside yourself and see if there are any resentments, anger, fears, worries or doubts that you are harboring towards others or yourself. Really look at how you are feeling and be honest with yourself.

Every single day we must turn our problems over to God’s hands. We must forgive everybody and every situation that has hurt us – including ourselves. If you don’t know how to start then go to God in prayer, ask him to show you and to take the burdens from you. We must walk in faith.

When we hold on to negative emotions we make our mind sick-  then our bodies become sick – this sickness shows up in high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and numerous other illness. Most illness is a result of long –term wrong thinking, which causes us to make wrong decisions – like eating the wrong food, smoking, drinking, not exercising, lashing out at people, over-work, and so many more bad habits we fall into and accept as part of who we are – this is not true. We are so much more than our habits; we are children of God with a purpose on this earth to serve Him. When you give into negative emotions, you kneel at the devil’s feet – you lose your faith. Your faith is what helps you overcome all things, so this it is crucial it is not lost.

1 Samuel 16:12 (NIV)

12 So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features.

Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.” 

Equip yourself well so that you may fight off negativity each day. Use the Word of God as you defense against these negative emotions. The Bible is full of weapons we must learn to use – these weapons are in the form of words – His WORD is our SWORD. There is a bible verse for every situation you are going through. We must release negative emotions as soon as we are aware of them. Life will never be fair or free of trouble. Our troubles make us strong, they force us to turn to God for help, and he wants our dependence to be on Him – not on the world. The more troubles we have, the more He is trying to get our attention. He is asking us to turn to Him and let Him take them from us. So be obedient, let go and be free.

Study the scriptures daily, pray often; find a church family for support, and you will be prepared for your troubles before they happen. You will be amazed how quickly they dissipate when your weapons are at the ready beforehand. Keep faith in God, he will not fail you. Life may not always go your way, but one day you will look back and realize that God had a plan for you and that’s the reason you had to go through the hard times – He needs you to be strong enough to carry out His mission for you. Stay strong in Christ and be healthy and happy.

By: Arlene Price

1 Samuel 25:6 (NIV)

Say to him: ‘Long life to you! Good health to you and your household! And good health to all that is yours!

Do you have Faith or do you Doubt? – By Henry Miranda

doubt640x380

Photo compliments of:©CreationSwap/Thomas Roberts

Hebrews 11:1-2 (NKJV)
1  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2  For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.
These are some scriptures on doubt:
Matthew 21:21   James 1: 6  1 Timothy 2: 8  Jude 1: 22   Mark 11:23
Matthew 14: 31  Romans 14: 23  Psalm 86: 2   Matthew 28: 17

Faith is belief with strong conviction; firm belief in something for which there may be no tangible proof; complete trust in or devotion to. Faith is the opposite of doubt. Faith is possibly the single-most important element of the Christian life. Hebrews 11:6 states, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” (NIV)

Faith is believing God without a waiver, without doubting and without questioning what He says. It is taking God at His Word and believing that what He has promised He is able to deliver. It is believing not only that He is able, but that He will do it. It is the act of counting those things that “be not as though they were” (Rom. 4:17). Faith is also the absolute conviction that what God has promised and what we have asked according to His Word is already done. It is “the substance of things hoped for” and the first payment on things that we desire from God (Heb. 11:1-3).

Doubt is to be uncertain about something you consider questionable or unlikely, and hesitate to believe. There are many Christians who have doubt or dealing with doubt.

Not only can you be a Christian and still have some doubts, but Doubting is a common experience among Christians.  You can hardly be a Christian without doubting at times. After all, if doubting was not possible, faith would not be possible either.

Doubting does not mean that your faith stops. It means you are trying to understand your faith at a deeper level. Rather than being afraid of doubts, we should allow doubt to take us into a deeper experience of faith and growth in our Christian walk. Doubts about God can enter our Christian life at any time, but that doesn’t mean we have a weak relationship with God.

The problem is that we want something tangible we can see or touch. But
God is spiritual and often so is the work God is doing in our life. No matter how many times God has intervened and rescued us in the past, we quickly forget. Then we want a sign that He’s involved in our lives again. That’s just the way we are as human beings. Like the apostle Thomas, “seeing is believing” for us.

Doubt is something all Christians experience. When bad things happen to us, we wonder why God isn’t there. When people ask us questions about God that we can’t answer, doubt rears its ugly head. How do we overcome doubt and believe in what we can’t see?

It’s first important to understand what causes us as Christian to doubt. And that would be Satan the primary enemy of God. (Genesis 3:1-6) Just as God, work in a spiritual realm to draw us near to Him, Satan and his demons work to drag us away from God. One of their weapons is doubt and they love to plant seeds of doubt in our mind. When we doubt the existence of God, the power of God, the love of God or the sacrifice of Christ, we give the enemy a foothold in our minds.

Once Satan has a foothold, he has an invitation to work away at our mind. We’ve given him permission to do so by agreeing with him that there is cause for doubt. At this point, we have a choice, to go on agreeing and be pulled away from God or to seek help in pulling out the seeds of doubt. We don’t give up our feelings of doubt right away; we rescind the invitation that we gave to Satan by our agreement with him. Once we decide to seek the truth, we regain control of our minds and can pursue those things that would reassure us in our faith.

Related to doubt, but not quite the same is the state of unbelief. Doubt says, “I don’t think that can happen.” Unbelief says, “No way can that happen.”

Zacharias is an example of unbelief. The angel Gabriel appeared to him and told him that his wife would conceive, even though she was beyond childbearing years. (Luke 1:18-20) He refused to believe even with an angel standing in front of him! Unbelief is what doubt grows into. Somewhere within Zacharias was a preconceived notion that there are limits to what God can do. When confronted with a miracle, the seeds of doubt bloomed in Zacharias’ mind.

This point is important because we never know what God has planned for us. What if He comes to you with a miracle someday and you lose out because your seeds of doubt bloom into unbelief? We must always guard against doubt. All around us is testimony to the power of God. The intricately delicate world that is our habitat and the amazing bodies that we live in testify to a Creator every day.

Satan is not to be trusted. His warfare is not going to be carried on in an honest, reliable fashion. Satan loves to take advantage of us. He lays snares for us. He uses his wiles, and his devices are very clever.

Active living faith is necessary in order to get answers to prayer. We must learn to use this kind of faith in God. We must learn to fight the good fight of faith and lay hold of God and His Word. We are surrounded by an unbelieving world and we live in an atmosphere of doubts. Demons, fallen angels, and evil men have lived for centuries in unbelief and wickedness creating currents of doubt and mistrust that are very subtle and deceiving to those who desire to have faith. True faith is having complete confidence in Christ at all times no matter what is going on in your life.

2 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJV)
7  For we walk by faith, not by sight.

Faith causes you to know in your heart before you see with your eyes. “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” Faith in Jesus Christ calls for total reliance on Him even when things don’t make sense to us. A blind person has to have faith. He must believe that his guide will not lead him into any dangerous situations. He can’t see he must depend on whoever leads him. To have faith is to believe in something or someone, to fully trust, to be so confident that you base your actions on what you believe. To have faith is to be fully convinced of the truthfulness and reliability of that in which you believe.

Faith in God is having the kind of trust and confidence in God and in Christ that leads you to commit your whole soul to Him as Saviour (Justifier, Cleanser, Healer, and Deliverer) and Lord (Master, King) of our lives. Faith is a tough thing.  Sometimes it’s really hard to trust God, but that’s what He wants.  He asks us to be totally dependent on Him. God is waiting for us to follow the examples in the Bible, acknowledge that we can’t do it alone, and put everything in His hands.  Easier said than done? Perhaps, Worth it?  Always.

You first have to learn how to put complete trust in God, then faith will follow.

God is in control of everything in heaven and on the earth. You must have complete trust and complete faith in Jesus Christ. Faith in the Lord leads to a complete conversion. You have to have faith to be able to face tomorrow with confidence. Confidence that you will get that job that is faith. Sometimes, all we need is to be reminded of what faith really is.

God has given us the ability to choose and decide. Sometimes we are bound to be tested and God again assures us in 1 Cor 10:13 that He will never let us be tempted beyond what we can take. All in all, with the great challenges that we must all undergo, we can be victory and emerge as stronger men and women of God. We never need to go looking for trials and tribulations, they will find us. But when faced with them, God gives us strength to overcome.

Great and motivating faith is based in trusting the Lord Jesus Christ and His ever willing desire to meet our needs. We are called to look to Jesus, the originator and perfecter of our faith, who bears witness to us of the faithfulness of God All who believe (and remain) in Christ will certainly be saved (John 6:37, 40; 10:27, 28; Rom. 8:1).provided, that he does not fall away from God and become apostate.

True faith will always bring results if one will intelligently seek to know what God says and base his faith upon the Word of God

About the Author:
I now live in San Bernardino, California, graduated from La Puente high school in 1963 and became a Christian in 1984. From there I went on to do four years of community college. After 20 years of being a Christian, I completed four years of Bible College and earned a Bachelor of Christian Ministry

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com <a href=”http://www.faithwriters.com”>CHRISTIAN WRITER</a>

Faith Dissolves Worry

Let Go & Let God

Photo courtesy of:@creationswap.com/danielsauceda

Philippians 4:6-7 New Life Version (NLV)

Do not worry. Learn to pray about everything. Give thanks to God as you ask Him for what you need. The peace of God is much greater than the human mind can understand. This peace will keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

So many people worry about so much they can not control. Worry will not make it better, it will not make it go away, it will only harm your health and your spirit. That’s why God wants us to turn our worries over to Him and let Him work out the solution. It sounds so simple, but it’s a hard thing to do. You want to “fix” the situation so bad yourself that you find yourself dwelling on whatever is worry you continuously. Instead we should be praying without ceasing, instead we should release those worries to God by stating “Lord, I can not do it alone, I need you to take this burden from me and let it be your will that determines the outcome.” or “I release (name the worry) to your loving care Lord.” However you want to say it as long as you let Him know you are releasing it to Him to handle and you have faith that He will work it out the best way for all involved.

Remember you are only human, you can’t know everything about a situation – but God does know everything. He knows His plan and he wants you to call on Him to strengthen you and to have enough faith to believe in His work. This doesn’t mean He will work a situation out exactly the way you want it, in fact He probably will do something totally different from what you expected, yet it will be the best for all concerned.

So walk in faith and turn your worries over to God. He will comfort you and work out your difficulties.

Psalms 56:3    When I am afraid, I trust in you.

Author: Arlene Price ©2013