A Heart-Style of Thanksgiving

I love the Thanksgiving holiday, one of my favorite traditions is what my family does after the meal. We go around the table and express what and who we are thankful for.
(This post is reblog from a few years back. Sorry for not posting very often, but I do have a good reason! I’ve been consumed with working on my book, Thirsty Heart. And I have great news! The book and the Thirsty Heart Study Guide are in publication and will be ready for purchase in the next few months! Now back to the rest of the blog…)

God in his immeasurable goodness takes thanksgiving to the highest level. It’s not about a meal—it’s about thousands of meals. It’s not about gathering yearly, but gathering daily. Especially, it’s not about telling each other and God how thankful we are once a year, just as we’ve finished an abundant meal. 

Life lived in relationship with God is about having a thankful heart—daily—in good times and in bad. Essentially, thanksgiving is a heart-style as well as a lifestyle.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 truthfully tells us,

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Have you ever wondered what God’s will is for your life? Here’s your answer—give thanks.

Why does God want us to give thanks for everything? Why is this heart-style His will?

One attribute I adore about God is His infinite wisdom. God knows everything beginning to end. The reason He wants us to live a life of gratitude is because He knows and understands what thankfulness accomplishes in our heart and life.

My biggest revelation about living a heart-style of thanksgiving is the fact that thankfulness in hard times causes our heart to stay soft towards God. When we are thankful, there is no room to blame God.

A few years back my family, to put it mildly, experienced somewhat of a car crisis. I prayed for a newer car for quite a while—expecting God, my provider, to hear and answer my prayer. The answer was long in coming—really long in coming.

God showed me that I must thank Him for not having a car. Thank Him for the season—thank Him for His grace in this season—thank Him for being good and faithful, no matter what I’m going through or what my life looks like.

Prior to learning thankfulness in that season, I found myself questioning Him, whining, grumbling and yes, complaining about my car situation. He showed me was my heart attitude was one of blame towards Him, not only blame but one of unbelief. Ouch, this grieved me!

You see thankfulness causes our heart to be tender and trusting—of faith. Instead of irritably wondering what’s going on—when will God come through and worse why and how could He do such a thing, or allow such suffering in my life—which would be unbelief.

A heart-style of thanksgiving releases us in to the abundant life Jesus came to give us. (John 10:10) Gratitude is in essence putting on rose-colored glasses.

A heart-style of thanksgiving causes praise to abound in and through us, changing our perspective on life. It brings Philippians 4:11-12 to life;

I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation.

Not only does thanksgiving cause us not to blame God—changing our unbelief to faith, but it releases miracles and brings salvation. Even Jesus Himself gave thanks to God, and every time He did—the miraculous followed. (John 6:11, John11:41, Luke 22:17.19)

The foremost aspect of a heart-style of thanksgiving is the very fact that it brings us into a deeper relationship with God and His Son. In Philippians 4:11-12, Paul says He’s learned the secret of contentment—the secret is not thanksgiving—it’s Jesus. Thanksgiving paves the way to make Jesus what He should be in our lives—the main thing—Lord of all.

Please be encouraged to make thanksgiving your heart-style, therefore causing your heart to overflow with the Love of God—Jesus Himself.

ACCORDING TO YOUR FAITH

Do you ever get frustrated because you feel as if your prayers aren’t being answered?

Do you realize your prayers are answered according to your faith?

This revelation was a game changer for me. As you read this post, ask the Lord to give you a revelation of His Word regarding faith. In Matthew 9:28-30, two blind men came to Jesus for healing…

Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.” And their eyes were opened.

Arriving at the understanding that your prayers are answered according to your faith can be encouraging or discouraging. Encouraging, because you may only need to make a few minor tweaks to your faith, to have the kind needed to move mountains.

Discouraging because you see your lack of trust in Jesus, and that your prayers aren’t really being answered—do to your own lack of faith. And now you know, it’s up to you to take courage and fortify your faith.

If it discourages you, do not despair—God’s grace is here and it’s enough to get you where you need to be. If your faith is weak, please know that making the choice to strengthen your faith and believe beyond a shadow of a doubt in Jesus’ faithfulness, is the most important decision you can make. Do it today! (Click here Fully Convinced to read how to strengthen your faith.)

Basically you need to seek a change of heart, and change your perspective about Jesus and His Word. You have to determine to believe that He is trustworthy and absolutely faithful.

When I realized that my prayers were answered according to my faith I was going through a period of sickness and decided to write healing scriptures on the mirror in my bathroom. Every time I walked into my bathroom, I could see the words on my mirror and I would repeat them to myself, pray them over my body, and thank God for His healing. As I did so, Matthew 9:22 came to life, it says,

“Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.” At once the woman was made well.” (NASB) 

I began to understand that my faith is the key. Jesus’ power—His victory on the cross has already purchased the answers to our prayers. His power is available to everyone—our faith is what accesses it. All of a sudden I found more and more scripture that basically said the same thing—let it be done to you according to your faith and nothing is impossible for those who believe.

“Because you believed, it has happened.” Matthew 8:13

“Your faith has saved and healed you.” Mark 10:52

“”Your faith is great. Your request is granted.” And her daughter was instantly healed.” Matthew 15:28

“Oh, woman, your faith is something else. What you want is what you get!” Right then her daughter became well.” Matthew 15:28 (MSG)

How would you like Jesus to say to you “What you want is what you get?” It is completely possible!

This is so exciting!

Be encouraged to seek Him—seek to strengthen your faith today!

No Want

What would your world be like if you had no wants? Is it almost too hard to even imagine? But doesn’t a want free life sound inviting? Want, is so much a part of who we are—it’s part of our culture. But, it is not part of Gods culture.
Read for yourself…

Psalm 23:1 says

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.

Psalm 34:8,

Blessed is the man who trusts in Him. Fear the Lord, there is no want to those who fear Him. Those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.

Philippians 4:19

My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

In others words, We have no lack—no need.

This is a really bold statement. Think about it for a moment.

The gist of this truth is that when we fill our heart and soul with Jesus and allow Him to be our Shepherd—our Lord, then all our wants and needs are met—we are full. We do not want or need anything else. Jesus is enough.

I’m not just referring to spiritual needs. No, this kind of faith meets all needs, spiritual, mental, physical, financial and relational.

Often times when you read verses like these you tend to think. “Yes, one day, this will be my reality. One day, (hopefully soon) God will supply all my need.” Or “When God gives me what I want, then I shall not want”

The problem with this mindset is that it causes you to focus even more on your want and need. When the fact is God has already come through. Jesus—the cross—the empty grave, have come through and made a way for these scriptures to be your reality right now. Believing this truth causes you to put your focus where it should be—on Jesus.

People who live by the standard of culture, or their own human nature, do not believe unless they see. People who live by faith, believe before they see, and take the Bible at face value. Bible believers know that it is against Jesus’ character to lie or be unfaithful. Therefore, if His Word says I have no want, and all my needs are supplied, then they are. Regardless of circumstance.

This truth is made fluid by living with the understanding that Jesus is enough. Enough for what? Absolutely everything!

Either God’s Word is true, or it’s not.

Please be encouraged to live a life of no want, by taking God’s Word at face value.

Link to the song “I shall not want” http://youtu.be/VRnFVMn0uZw

Hebrews 11:1

The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see.

What Qualifies Us for Parenthood?

I’ve been pondering the art of motherhood, and really struggled to put words together that would bless and encourage Moms (and Dads) this Mothers/Fathers Day season.

Why the struggle? Well, if you know me at all, then you know I don’t like to sugar coat, and I tend to way over think things. So my brutally honest and over thought out approach to life didn’t seem to be a good way to write about parenthood on Mothers Day. (I know Mother’s Day has passed, I’ve been trying to write this blog for a week now!). Nonetheless I feel urged by the Lord, to write about the subject.

I don’t feel urged to write about parenthood because I’m an expert, just the opposite.

My 33 years of experience have mainly taught me that I don’t know much about parenting.

I’m sure this sounds strange. But truthfully I only really know two things about parenting. Can you see why I was conflicted in writing about this subject?

On Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest we only see the pretty part of parenting. Where people look like experts, with no real struggles.

The real issues of parenthood press us to the point where we realize we are not qualified for this role in life. Because truthfully we don’t know what the H (heck) we are doing!

If I were to put a Mom resume together, I could list a thousand amazing things and still not be qualified.

So what qualifies us?

Jesus.

Jesus is our resume.

The number one thing I know about parenting is this:  I am the most qualified, the most accomplished Mom when I realize how much I need Jesus—when I trust my kids to the work of grace—to the work of the cross.

In situations involving our children, my husband and I can talk, fret and discuss the issue for hours, and we always reach the same conclusion. And this is the second thing I know—that Jesus is enough.

Yes, all my years of parenting humbly bring me to the truth of these two conclusions.

1. Jesus, not my skills or knowledge qualifies me, and you, to be an excellent parent.

2. Jesus fills in every gap, His love, faithfulness, mercy and grace are enough for every parenting situation.

Please be encouraged to give yourself a breaklife is messy. We are all in process. It’s not about getting through life perfectly. It’s about relationship with Jesus—living in His grace and love. He does not expect perfection just submission. And when we realize only He can qualify us—the pressure is off—we find rest and freedom.

Following are a portion of lyrics from a song I love, titled Touch the Sky, by Hillsong United.

     My heart beating,
my soul breathing.
     I found my life when
I laid it down.
Upward falling,
spirit soaring.
I touch the sky when
my knees hit the ground.

Treasure these truths…

1. We find life and it’s answers for parenting, and any other situation, as we lay everything down.

2. In Jesus there are no mistakes, His grace causes us to only fall upward.

3. We reach our highest when we bow our lowest.

Link to the song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1RQciil7B0&sns=em

Here are some pics of my wonderful Mothers Day. We had a rooftop party, with good conversation, great food prepared by my kids and we might even of Danced! This is us on a good day. My kids are no where near perfect, but they are all masterpieces.

  My daughter beautifully set up the rooftop of her downtown Meridian apartment

 The cooks

 The gangs almost all here, my oldest son and his family didn’t make it    So cute

  The Boys explored

Most of the Forests are fearless

I got to dance with my sons and my husband  My baby!

  Baby Robin held by auntie Maddie, talking to uncle Trent

  The newlyweds

  Me and my love

  Robin and her Mama Kaila

 Five of my seven kids!

Thanks for reading!

De-Clutter Your Heart

It’s Spring (thank God) and time for Spring cleaning! Let us not be like the Pharisees who merely cleaned the outside of their cup (life), but let us take care to de-clutter the inside of our life as well.

The next portion of this blog is taken from my book Thirsty Heart, (which by the way, is almost out of the rewrite stage and is simultaneously being edited—it will be For Sale really soon!).

“The process of seeking God first and Him adding all things to us (Matt.6:33) is done by de-cluttering our heart and life. Removing the clutter that crowds our heart—the obstacles that keep us from living in close proximity to Jesus—junk that holds us back from a victorious, intimate life with Him—a life free of self and all the worries that accompany a selfish lifestyle.

This clutter includes bad heart attitudes, un-submitted self-will, emotionalism, unbelief, offences, un-forgiveness, pride, bitterness, judgments, mindsets, double minded-ness, self-limitations, self-disqualifications, labels, past failures, fears, independence (doing my own thing) and addictions, etcetera. It also may include other things such as relationships, activities and hobbies that are not necessarily sin but they do crowd our heart leaving little room for relationship with Jesus.

I like to illustrate removing the clutter with this story:
In my house when I’m not sure what to do with something, I usually (much to my husband’s dismay) put it in the garage. Out of sight out of mind right? Well almost.
When my kids were young we drove a huge dark grey suburban—it fit the whole family! In Idaho it’s best to park your car in the garage during winter—this way you do not have to scrape the frost off your windows every time you want to go somewhere. Well, our huge, old ranch style house had a little tiny one car garage. Our massive Suburban and all the clutter could not co-exist—there just was not enough room. In order to park in the garage, the junk needed to be cleared out. This meant we, my husband and I, (mainly my husband) were going to have to deal with this clutter—the stuff I did not want to deal with before—now had to be removed.

Are you starting to get the picture? God wants to fully occupy our heart—so we must make it vacant of all else.

We begin to de-clutter our heart and life by first choosing to live a lifestyle of submission to Jesus.

The word and concept of submission is usually something people oppose. It definitely brought conflict to my flesh! I like to call it the “S” word, because when people hear about it they treat it like a curse word—I know I did! But that was mainly because I misunderstood its true meaning and value. Don’t fret, if someone as strong-willed as I was, can learn to love submission you can too!”

Please be encouraged to take time to pray, asking God to show you any clutter in your heart, soul and life—then do a little spring cleaning!

To learn more about submission check these blogs out: The S Word and Submission as a Lifestyle

Ignore Almost Everything

True faith ignores everything . . . except God’s Word and its truth.

This one statement will change the way we do life.

I know you might be thinking this is so elementary, but that’s just the point—it’s so easy—so fundamental that we forget to make it the standard we choose to live by.

All day—every day, words and thoughts flood our mind, emotions and heart. I challenge you to consider this one thought and to make it your standard.

Standard? I understand this is a huge statement but if we intentionally apply this concept to our life everything will transform. The way we perceive God and our self, will take a turn, and we will begin to walk out the life Jesus died to give us (John 10:10).

Words like destiny and purpose will begin to have real meaning. We can stop listening to words from our past. Negative people and their opinions will fade. We will control our emotions—they will stop controlling us. Our heart will swell with possibilities and dreams—we will no longer just read about the impossible—but we will do the impossible.

Mark 4:37-41 recently arrested my heart. The story is—Jesus and the disciples (my catechism teacher used to call them the dirty dozen) anyway, they are on the ocean, in a boat and a horrible storm hits. The disciples are really scared and begin to panic. Jesus on the other hand is asleep, on a pillow, in the stern of the boat. In their anxiety they wake Him saying “Don’t you care that we are perishing?”

Who can relate to this story? I sure can! We get all worried and call out to Jesus . . . JESUS!! There’s a storm! Where are you???

Awesome, peaceful Jesus wakes up and says to the wind and sea “Peace be still.” The wind ceased its threats, and a great calm settled on them.

The disciples’ fear began to drain away and a new sort of fear arose—The Fear of the Lord—an awe, a wonder and the reality of who this amazing man—Jesus, really was. “Who can this be, even the wind and the sea obey Him!”

But that’s not the end of this story. No, Jesus now turns to the disciples and says “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” In other words “Why did you panic? After all you have seen me do—you still don’t believe? ”

I would have been thinking “No faith? Jesus—I turned to you, called on you to rebuke the storm” forgetting to mention I called to Him in panic!

In this faith strengthening journey, that I’m on, Jesus is making it clear—relationship is my base—calling on Jesus is always the bottom line. The shift that’s happening for me is realizing this relationship empowers me (and you) with faith and if we will choose not to waver—our possibilities are endless.

So instead of our first reaction to a storm being fear and calling on Jesus in worry, we can stand in the face of the storm and do business with it—this act of obedience is a display of our faith in who Jesus is. And it releases Him to do His part—calm the storm.

This is where ignoring everything but God’s Word comes in. We must ignore our feelings, disregard nay sayers, shut the mouth of the lying accuser and listen to Gods Word only.

We have been commanded to rebuke storms (hardships), speak to mountains (obstacles), and lay hands on the sick. And when we obey and do acts of faith such as these, we must expect the storms to calm, the mountain to be cast into the sea and the sick to be healed.

Power to impact the natural realm has been given to us—we do it by taking direct authority in the spiritual realm.

Simple.

Some of you might need a paradigm shift to live this way (I did), or maybe just a nudge to your faith—a reminder of your authority and position in Christ. Because Jesus overcame—we are over comers.  He’s victorious—we are victorious. Because Jesus was beat and crucified we are healed and saved.

Be encouraged today to strengthen your faith and to ignore everything except—God’s Word.

John 14:12
“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.

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Just Do It

When we read these words we think of Nike right? Did you know these words come straight from the Bible? Yep, 1 Chronicles 28:20

Be strong and of good courage, and do it, do not fear or be dismayed, for the LORD God—my God—will be with you. He will not leave you or forsake you

What has God asked you to do?

Whatever it is, He is saying don’t be afraid, be full of courage and just Do It! I Am with you—I love you, I believe in you. I will strengthen you—sustain you, I’ll never leave you and if I Am for you who could ever stand against you?

If you don’t feel strong or courageous remember in your weakness, as you lean into Him, His grace is sufficient.

What’s more—God wants to make you great. True fact stated in 1 Chronicles 29:12

Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.

God is no respecter of persons if His Word says; it is in His hand to make great and strengthen all—then that means you!

So go ahead don’t hesitate, ask God to strengthen you and make you great!

Just a word of encouragement today, to accept God’s gifts of strength and courage. Just Do It—be all He has created you to be! (or at least start to move in that direction!)

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Limitless Possibilities

Have you ever felt bound by limitations or impossibilities? How would your life change if you had no restrictions, boundaries or obstacles to your faith?

 

I’m in this state of bobbing in and out of a very important—life changing truth.

And I have this suspicion the forces of hell are pretty worried! Because once this truth takes hold—there is no stopping me!

This truth is the fact that nothing is impossible for those who believe.

The concept of the word possible means to have a knowing inside of you that you have the ability to act and the power to accomplish anything you set your heart and soul to do. Think about this—ponder it—say it over to yourself out loud a few times—Nothing is impossible for those who believe!

The truth of these words grip me and when I’m in it’s grasp—all is clear and I know I’m invincible! I get this overwhelming excitement that says I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and I begin to marvel at all the limitless possibilities for someone who lives, knows and owns this truth. My heart and soul soar with expectation! I celebrate—the sky is the limit!!!

Then suddenly with out notice my head goes under. It’s as if one moment my head is above water and the next my ankles are yanked and down I go into the muddy waters of a different kind of being overwhelmed—the dreaded one that lays all your life situations out before you and whispers the word “impossible”.

The struggle is real.

But I know how the story ends—I win! You win!

I am victorious, you are victorious. I can do all things, you can do all things. Nothing is impossible for those who believe!

Galatians 2:20 tells us
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

This is our reality. Christ conquered sin, death, hell, sickness, poverty, fear, doubt, worry—you name it He conquered it! And that same power is in us, if we will only believe. (Ephesians 1:18-19 & Romans 8:11)

Think of all the possibilities.

If you are like me your next question will be—how? How do I live this truth out?

By faith.

At this point of the struggle, I know what the battle is all about. It’s a fight for my purpose—therefore it’s a fight for my faith.

I know there is great purpose and destiny for my life and for yours. I also understand that if we can absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt, believe this about our life then we will accomplish all God created us for—we will accomplish the impossible. That’s why faith is the answer to the how question, that’s why it’s a struggle for our faith.

The devil wants to keep us living average lives—wandering aimlessly—no doubt, but I hate status quo—I wasn’t created to be average—what about you?

Faith closes the gap between promise and fulfillment. There is a great promise on our life and every promise prospers in God’s hand. If we are anchored in relationship with Christ the possibilities are limitless.

When I think about the struggle—the bobbing in and out of the water. I kind of get excited knowing it’s temporary. Each time my head emerges I stay up longer and the longer I stay up, the more this truth becomes my reality.

But how does faith close the gap between promise and fulfillment—how do we stay above the enemies plan to keep us under?

Matthew 17:20 says if we have faith—in Jesus—the size of a mustard seed nothing will be impossible for us. Romans 12:3 says everyone has a measure [a seed] of faith resident within them. Romans 10:17 informs us faith comes alive by hearing the word of God.

We all know seeds only grow if planted. We must take the measure—the seed within and apply it—we start by setting our heart, will, mind and emotions to trust God. We nurture the planted seed with God’s Word and further acts of faith.

Be encouraged to let your faith out of the box of impossibilities, dare to believe that nothing is impossible for committed believers who understand their authority and know the truth of Gods Word—all things are possible for you!

Mark 9:23 “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

17:20 “Jesus said to them, ‘Because of your unbelief; for assuredly I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, move from here to there and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you'”

Matthew 19:26 “And looking at them Jesus said to them, ‘With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'”

Luke 1:37 “For nothing will be impossible with God.”

Don’t Waste the Wait

Does anyone enjoy waiting?

When was the last time you waited and un-sarcastically gave thanks for it?

We live in a microwave quick—give it to me now society. Our culture has trained us not to wait. But have you ever noticed how unavoidable waiting is?

In this journey of strengthening my faith I have come to a huge reality, which you can read about in my last blog The Real Story (click to read). This reality is faith closes the gap between promise and fulfillment. Once the lights go on and we grasp this reality—we are likened to a blind person receiving their sight—everything takes on a new perspective. The blinders have fallen off and we realize all things are possible!

Then we come up against “The Wait” that beautiful time in between promise and fulfillment.

Ugh.

I was going to title this blog post “Hating the Waiting” but decided to be more positive.

On that note I want to encourage us in our waiting. Since waiting is inescapable we must come to the conclusion God is in it and not waste our wait but instead view it as the valuable treasure it is.

I understand how challenging this is—so why not rise to the occasion? Let us resolve within ourselves to hold waiting in high esteem, to recognize its value and absorb its truth.

One truth about the wait is—it will affect us—either positively or negatively—with this in mind, let us allow the wait to etch beauty on our heart, soul and life.

We start first by asking God to change our heart in regard to waiting. Seeking a heart change will help us to not fight the process. Fighting the waiting process opens many doors—namely bitterness and unbelief.

Secondly, we need to ask God what He wants to accomplish in us during the waiting period. We do not wait in a void—no, waiting is proactive. If we don’t know the purpose for the wait we will wander and grow disillusioned.

The waiting process requires patience. Not always our favorite—I know. The best way I’ve found to acquire patience is to get more of the Holy Spirit. Since patience is a fruit of the spirit—the more we are filled—the greater our fruit.

Another requirement in waiting is we must take care not to misuse our time in the process by tossing and turning in worry. The definitions for the word worry are horrific! Listen to this—to torment with cares, devour, to harass by repeated biting. That’s lovely, or how about this one—to seize by the throat with teeth and shake or mangle. YIKES! I know that one! No wonder the Bible tells us not to worry!

Here are some truths about waiting that will help us in not wasting the wait:

  • Waiting does not change the truth about God—He is still faithful
  • There’s beauty in the waiting process—you just need to look for it
  • Waiting brings change—let it change you for the better
  • No matter what season we are in—waiting will play a part
  • Embrace the wait—it’ll ease the pain
  • Waiting is not an interruption to God’s will—don’t try to avoid it
  • Waiting diminishes self-absorption—we find it’s not all about us
  • Waiting brings a greater dependency on God—we stop trying to do life our way
  • In waiting we find rest—worrying our prayers to God can end
  • Breakthrough is on the other side of the wait—don’t give up
  • Waiting will draw us closer or drive us further from God—choose wisely
  • Waiting reveals our heart attitude—adjust your heart appropriately

How to find beauty in the wait:

  • Stay thankful—don’t grumble and complain (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
  • Worship God—He is always worthy (Psalm 42:11)
  • Stay in the Word—believe it’s truth (Romans 4:20)
  • Speak truth—life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21)
  • Expect God to be true to His character—He can be nothing but faithful (Numbers 23:19)
  • Take every thought captive—don’t agree with the devils lies and accusations (2 Corinthians 10:5)
  • Wait on God as a waiter waits on those he’s serving—serve God and others (Romans 12:10-11)
  • Pray—don’t worry (Philippians 4:6-7)
  • Strengthen your faith—don’t wavier in unbelief (Romans 4:20)
  • Hold tight to God’s promises—be fully convinced He’s faithful to accomplish all He’s promised you (Romans 4:21)

Waiting is not necessarily a trial but it does test our faith in God, and weighs our dependency on Him. Our main objective in waiting (and any other situation in life) should be to know God more—to snuggle in under the shadow of His wing, resting in the truth that He is all we need.

Whatever waiting process you may be in, please do not let it steal your faith. Be encouraged to surrender to it—allowing yourself to find God in it.

The Real Story

This is a little embarrassing to admit—but what the heck it’s the truth!
I’ve been a Jesus professing person for over three decades now, and I have just embraced the Real Story about Christianity.

This truth is . . . are you ready for it? It’s so simple . . . but here it is . . . The Cross paid for it all.
What?—you may be asking. This is elementary you may be thinking. Christianity 101—Right?

All true.

I have always believed a portion of this truth, but the totality of it recently arrested and impacted my heart and soul, changing my life.

I believe because of how hard my life has been—I would not allow myself to fully believe the Real Story about The Cross—too many trust issues—too fearful.

Fractional faith was my biggest enemy. I had no doubts about the power of The Cross to heal deep brokenness of my heart and soul.

That’s my story—this is what I preach—Jesus healed all my brokenness. For those of you who don’t know, I was fatherless and abused—from there came promiscuous behavior which led to heartbreak and two abortions—more brokenness. Unfaithfulness and betrayal have marked me—my marriage bottomed out many times. Important relationships failed—leaving deep wounds. Death was my companion with three miscarriages, the death of my two year old daughter and only brother. This was my life.

But Jesus healed all my brokenness. The heartache I’ve experience because of all those things is gone—healed. My heart is now full and whole and I am no longer identified by my past. Faithful Jesus healed it all.

I have no trouble believing He could and will heal brokenness. But when it came to health, finances and blessings I had a really hard time believing I could be blessed by God with good fortune in most areas of my life. And I settled never really expecting much more from God.

Why? Didn’t I read the Bible or hear the sermons, grasp the teachings or read the books and blogs about it? Yes I did, but my faith for those things was weak.

About 20 months ago I began to feel as if something was missing and I knew God was stirring me to greater faith.

I have by no means arrived, but I can say, I now truly believe The Cross paid for everything. I used to read passages of scripture such as Isaiah 51:1-3

Look to Abraham your father, And to Sarah who bore you; For I called him alone, And blessed him and increased him. For the Lord will comfort Zion, He will comfort all her waste places; He will make her wilderness like Eden, And her desert like the garden of the Lord; Joy and gladness will be found in it, Thanksgiving and the voice of melody.

And say yes, I believe that one day this will happen for me. I now read Isaiah 51 and absolutely believe Jesus is the fulfillment of this Word and this is my reality right now. Not when I see it or feel it, but right now I am blessed and increased just like Abraham and Sarah. And today He has comforted every waste place, and turned every desert into the Garden of Eden. Thanksgiving and joy are present now—because of what Jesus did on The Cross for me.

1 Peter 2:24 and Isaiah 53:5 were some of the other scriptures that I chose to ignore because I relied more on my feelings than the truth of the Word.

But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.

What used to plague me about believing this way was that I did not feel blessed or increased, I did not feel healed.

What changed?
Have I turned into a “name it, claim it” weirdo? Or have I gone overboard into the “extreme grace” camp? No. What’s changed is my faith and expectation in God’s faithfulness.
There has been a shift in my belief system—it’s the love, grace and mercy of God to transform my heart in such a way that’s brought immense hope, freedom and joy to my life.

I had this constant question in my heart that I would ask God (I believe God put it there to stir me) the question was; “What closes the gap between promise and fulfillment? I read a lot of promises in the Bible but I do not see a lot of fulfillment in my life.” I had to be honest. God was not offended with my question but was eager to answer.

The answer to this nagging question—the Real Story—is summed up in one word.

Faith.

Faith closes the gap between promise and fulfillment.

Do we really believe what God’s Word says? Will we stop weighing His Word against our circumstances and feelings?

If we will, then we’ll be able to walk in the truth and fulfillment of His Word right now. God’s Word is not a story of what might happen—no, it’s a book filled with prophecy of what would happen and a book of truth about what did happen.

What keeps us from living in the fulfillment of His promises in our life? The real story here is also one word.

Fear.

This makes perfect sense—the opposite of faith is fear.

Instead of being afraid, worried and doubtful, I am choosing to believe—to expect—to have hope—to trust God—to take His Word at face value. To stand on His Word without wavering being fully convinced that what He has promised He IS ABLE to perform.

If you can, grasp this analogy: Some wealthy benefactor has purchased a fully furnished mansion for you—it’s yours, all you have to do is live in it. But instead you choose to pitch a tent on the front lawn, just admiring it from a far—never entering in.

Doesn’t that sound ridiculous?
It’s the same with believing the Word of God. We can admire it and tip toe around it, but unless we step into it with full faith we will never own its promises.

Please be encouraged to join me in this amazing journey of greater faith. To read the Word of God and take it at face value—believing He is the same yesterday today and forever, He is not a man that He would lie and every Word—every promise is yours if you will only believe.