Build Your Trust in God

by Kim McDougal

trust

photo by (c) Helene Souza

If there were a 7-step process of what to do to trust in God and automatically you would begin to trust Him no matter what, life would be much simpler. But you and I know life doesn’t work that way. Trusting in someone is a process. Just like when you first meet someone…would you immediately trust them with the keys to your car? No. It takes time to build that kind of relationship. We invest years into many of our friendships to get to a point where we can really be ourselves around our friends.

And building a relationship with God is no different, it takes time and effort. We don’t just read today’s scripture and poof, we trust indefinitely. Everyday has its own set of issues and we have to choose to trust the Lord as each day passes. The good news is that He isn’t fickle nor will He time us as we’re working on trusting Him more. He is patient with us and as we grow closer to Him, it becomes easier to build trust in Him.

You may ask, why should we trust God? My answer is simple. If you don’t trust God, you will trust in something. And God is the only one who does not change, will not betray you or I, will not leave us especially when we need Him the most, does not break promises, and we can never be separated from Him. There is a lasting peace and joy when you know you can trust Him, we feel that with some of our friends now don’t we? Well, think of God being 10 times what our beloved friends or relatives are…The Lord is the safest place I know and I’m choosing Him to trust in today. How about you? Will you begin today to build trust in God? He will be your refuge and no matter what, you can trust Him.

Advertisements

Is Your Faith Bigger Then Your Fear

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“And all the things you ask in prayer, having faith, you will receive.” Matthew 21:22

Have you ever been paralyzed by fear and had no hope except to depend on your faith in God? When I was a little girl I had a paralyzing fear of the dark. In my innocent youth, I had no way of knowing that through Jesus, I held the power to overcome my fears. I know now that we have many choices in this life, one is whether we will choose to live by faith or live in fear. Faith and fear are complete opposites. They cannot reign in the same heart. While fear cowers, faith stands. While fear frets, faith prays. While fear looks within, faith looks to Jesus. While fear despairs, faith hopes.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

Fear is a negative faith and it is based on doubting that God is still in control of things. Negative faith suggests that our situation has gotten too big for even God to Control. The positive road is ‘faith’ and the negative road is ‘fear’. The problem is that we can’t be on two roads at the same time. God does not want us to be shackled by the chains of fear. He wants us to live in the powerful freedom of faith.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

To have the strength to counter fear, you have to be filled up on the truth, God’s written word promises us, for every fear there is a biblical promise that counters that lie. Write down every fear that you hold in your heart and find the biblical answer to that fear, claim these promises daily. You will begin to grow in faith Instead of being driven by worry and fear. Walking in faith pleases God and gets results. You will begin to experience peace, joy and spiritual victory. Soon your faith will be bigger then your fear.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27

Father, I ask that you give us all the power to have faith to over come our fears. That we may take comfort in knowing that you are only a whisper away. We thank you for never leaving us or forsaking us when we need you the most. Amen

Sweet Blessings

Let Go and Let God

by Kim McDougal

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33 KJV

I’m writing this as much for myself as I am for all our readers. You may even know my moving to Oregon story and, if so just bear with me as I explain why I’m telling it again. Last night as I was praying, I realized that I had really experienced trauma that spanned close to five years. And I’ll explain what I mean later in this post.

Trauma comes in different ways: surviving a criminal attack, losing a loved one, divorce, physical/mental/sexual abuse, natural disaster, loss of income, war, health problems definitely qualifies as traumatic. But there are other events that fall under trauma too like: breakdown in a relationship with family, disappointments in life, problems on the job, not knowing our purpose, and many others. The thing is that we don’t always understand that when we go through traumatic experiences we MUST give our trauma to God. We must tell Him how we feel, give Him our tears, fears, anger, frustration, even confusion. He never minds us asking Him “Why”? Now, He may give a reason or He may not. I think of Job who didn’t know what was going on in Heaven at the time, but He just kept trusting God that there was a good reason for his suffering and at the end he was definitely rewarded. But, do you think he went on after that feeling like a victim? I’d like to think NOT!

Getting over bad experiences is hard for us humans. Our nerves are affected, we don’t quite see life the same way anymore. The past few years in Florida was incredibly hard for my husband and I. We lost our income after the economy decline. After that, a host of problems ensued:

  1. We got behind on the rent to the point of threat of eviction and we couldn’t pay our bills;
  2. Received threatening letters and calls that our truck would be repossessed;
  3. We didn’t have enough work coming in and;
  4. Hubby had severe health issues on top of all this.

We still tithed what money came in and we prayed and went to church. But I will tell you, it was hard to keep our head up everyday. We never knew from day to day if it would be the last day before we would become homeless. Then it seemed to get worse because of the neighbors we had. The cops were called nearly every night because of their fights and tearing up their apartment. This happened so often that we couldn’t sleep well. My nerves were shot.

We finally got our break to move away cross country and so we did. But, when we got to our new place, new neighbors moved in next door and guess what? Fights, loud music, screaming and cursing, banging on the walls, and a whole lot more that I won’t mention. I could be working at my desk when all of a sudden the neighbor screams out the window or hits the wall, there was no peace. This was trauma we were experiencing. We’d go for walks just to get away. What’s worse is that there was no help from the landlords, they simply didn’t care and refused to do anything about the neighbors. I heard the enemy whisper in my ear: “Here you go again!, why did you come out here to experience the same thing you just moved away from?” And at that moment, I was so weak in my spirit that I didn’t answer. Three months after that, God would deliver and move us to a much quieter and beautiful apartment.

Then our downstairs neighbor recently moves and someone else comes in and we heard banging noises from her place last night just before bedtime. She looks very much like the kind of neighbors we’ve been trying to dodge. Now…I know not to judge a book by its cover. Also, isn’t she allowed a couple of days to get her furniture moved in so it stands to reason we might hear some noise until she is settled in, but you get where I’m going?

Trauma speaks to us that when we see anything even remotely like what we’ve been through we instantly think we’re about to get hurt again. Our guard is up, our nerves panic, and we are frantic! I was last night, after having such a great day. So I prayed. God spoke. “You’ve experience trauma with bad neighbors before, with bad living conditions, but that is not the way it is. Let Go and Let God.” This means I have to let go of bad past experiences. We have been delivered from that. Our income is better, our bills are paid, we can sleep at night now. The car has been paid off, God delivered us from a bad neighborhood, He gave us a wonderful, supportive church with a new church family. All this He has done for us to have that peace we so desire. It’s up to me now to resist the devil when he comes a calling to try to tell me we’re about to go through the bad all over again.

I’ve got good news for you if you’re struggling to get past trauma:

  1. First of all, the devil is liar. He’ll never tell you the truth about you or your situation so immediately tell him to get behind you in Jesus name.
  2. Quote your favorite scripture out loud, tell yourself you are a conqueror in Christ Jesus. The word makes the enemy mad and he will flee!
  3. God said: in this world we would experience troubles but to be of good cheer for He has overcome this world.
  4. We are deeply loved by our God and troubles don’t last always.
  5. When we get through trauma, it is because God was there strengthening us and sustaining us to have the victory.
  6. God is BIGGER than anything and anyone we face! He’s not in Heaven making it up as He goes along, He knows the end from the beginning.
  7. If you draw close to God, He will draw close to you. We will NEVER be separated from God again!
  8. The Lord has promised NEVER to leave you comfortless! He wants your grief and pain so that He can replace it with peace, acceptance, love, hope, and joy!
  9. God has prepared a place in Heaven after this life is over that we’re going to be with Him forever and none of this pain will exist there!
  10. God loves you and I and nothing we go through is in vain, nothing! We are rewarded by Him for sticking with Him in times of troubles.

I know what trauma feels like, BUT I know what deliverance feels like too and I choose deliverance. What will you choose today, trauma or victory?

“Father God, for every brother or sister that has or is going through bad times, I know you know all about it. I know you are the great comforter and I ask that you would help them right now. Lift them up in a way that they can give their fear, anger, and confusion over to you. Comfort them right now and let them know they are so loved by you. Help them to let go of the trauma and let you heal them inside out. Rebuke the devourer on their behalf so that the trauma can no longer taunt or torture them again. We love you Lord and thank you for delivering us, we will praise you forever, in Jesus name, Amen.”

Grace Covers Scars

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Most of us today were either born into pain or lived through pain that has scarred us deep within our soul. Some of us have learned to mask this pain and others have lived very dysfunctional lives because of it. We all have scars, though some of us are facing them and some of us are hiding from them. No matter who you are, there is a past pain in your life. God would like to use it for his good. In order to do that, we have to be willing to allow him to redeem the hurt, cover the scar with his grace and mercy, and then step out and use it for his glory.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8

Getting past our pain is a crucial step toward living a victorious life. God cannot fill hearts and hands that still clutch the pain of the past. Walk straight ahead into the love and transforming power of God. Trusting that He has already covered your past. It means trusting Him daily with the details of your life. He will bless your today’s and reinforce your tomorrows. He is the only One who can truly help you put the past behind and press on toward the future.

“God always gives you all the grace you need. So you will only have to suffer for a little while. Then God himself will build you up again. He will make you strong and steady. And he has chosen you to share in his eternal glory because you belong to Christ.” 1 Peter 5:10

Find joy in what you do for yourself and for others. Putting our past behind is constant motion but so is pressing on. We can’t go back and change the circumstances in our past that have marked us, but God can take those scars and turn them into something beautiful. As you embark on this journey, allow God to expose all your hidden scars. Invite Him to heal and restore you, so that you can enjoy the freedom of abundant living. Fall in love with Jesus. Loving Him will turn all your past pain that scars into a present beautiful memory filled with grace.

“Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” 2 Peter 1:2

Sweet Blessings

Choosing My Inheritance

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2

One morning as I was reading my bible study, I read these words in Samuel; “Has not the Lord anointed you ruler over his inheritance” But instead of “He” I saw the word as “Me” I thought just how gracious God is that he has given me the power to control my own inheritance in Heaven. If someone told you that you could have anything that you wanted in this life, all the wealth, homes, vacations, cars and toys, and all you had to do was except Christ as your personal Savior, be a good person with a pure heart, help others and, be kind, wouldn’t you think that you must have just won the lottery? There’s just one problem… All these riches end with our death. Only Heaven is for eternity.

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1Corinthians 2:9

Think about this…Heaven is a place of matchless beauty and blessings. Our Father has prepared mansions for us and there filled with great treasure for us? John described Heaven as an entire city of transparent gold with walls made of precious jewels with twelve gates made of single pearls. The streets are made out of pure gold. There will be neither tears nor the sound of crying. The leaves of the tree of life will guarantee our health. It will be place of fellowship and a place of joy. We will stand with angels, walk with friends, sit down in the company of Abraham, Isaiah and David and talk with Paul and Adam. The whole city is lighted by the glory of God. There will be no power shortages, for God is all powerful, no bumping into things in the dark; no sleepless nights. Nor will there be bills, hospitals, bank accounts. In fact, In Heaven we will have no complaints, no lying, no hate, no fear and no crime.

“Look, I am Coming Soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds.” Revelation 22:12

There aren’t any riches on this earth to compare to the riches waiting for us in Heaven. God gives everyone of us the ability to control our own inheritance. By receiving Christ as our Savior we inherit eternal life. If we believe, we are a citizen of Heaven. We are to let Christ reign in our lives now, but our full spiritual inheritance includes being with Christ and reigning with Him throughout eternity.

Jesus said, “He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” John 5:24

Sweet Blessings

Dealing With Insecurities

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; many will see and fear and will trust in the LORD.” Psalm 40:1-5

Today’s women are desperately insecure. Self-hatred, self-abuse, and self-destruction have become the norm among the female camp. And sadly, women in the church are struggling just as much as their non-Christian counterparts. Insecurity grows out of a persistent sense of being unaccepted.

Are you crippled with insecurities? Often we are trying to sift through the ashes of marriage problems, financial challenges, health issues, or relationship issues. Maybe our insecurities have caused us to behave badly and say something wrong, done something stupid or acted in a way that we knew was inappropriate, and we hurt someone else in the process. All these things can cause a good amount of emotional torment. Insecurity is a bitter friend. It targets the core of our being and keeps us from having a pure heart.

“…so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.” Ephesians 2:5

This is the time that we need to “stand firm” in our belief that God’s power is working in us. That we trust our heavenly Father for His immediate help in our life with all of our insecurities. We need to look upward to God. He knows right where you are, He loves you and He knows your heart. Invite the Holy Spirit to lead your decisions and emotions today. Call on His wisdom and listen for the whispers of His truth. If you have struggled with insecurity, know this simple truth: Your value and significance does not come from man, it comes from the Lord. He sees you as beautiful, well-equipped, chosen, significant, valuable and irreplaceable.

“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:25-26

Sweet Blessings

Pressing Pause

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” Ephesians 3:17-18

Sometimes I get so busy and caught up in looking ahead and preparing for things to come that I miss what the Lord wants me to hear right now. There are times in our lives that we need to ‘press pause’ for further instruction while remaining in our present circumstance. We need to be still and focus on God. To choose to be still and quiet our hearts. The Psalmists says “I have stilled and quieted my soul.” Psalms 131:2} This pause doesn’t mean that we are to wait for events to work out as we want, but, for God’s will to be done. Pressing pause leads us to the season of sowing. Jesus frequently taught on the principles of sowing and reaping.

“A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,” Ecclesiastics 3:2

It’s usually during those busiest times in our lives that warrants a pause and reflection. This is when we need to look for spiritual refreshment. Life is like a garden. We reap what we sow. I like to invision my life as a garden. Sowing brings a gentle, calm rhythm to the daily chaos of life. It teaches me that every step is important, vital and has potential. Sowing brings me a spirit of patience and peace.

“Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.” Ecclesiastes 11:6

The greatness of God is everywhere. Most of all, his greatness is in us. So many times he comforts us, helps us, protects us and guides us. He is always there with us through each crisis, not merely watching but actively and lovingly taking care of us. He has sprinkled treasures in our lives, gifts just waiting to be noticed. Be still and embrace each moment. Learn what Gods will for your life is and where your treasures are by…Press Pause.

“In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” Isaiah 30:15

Sweet Blessings

Sweet Rest

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

Have you ever noticed that, when you are going through a major trial or a stressful time in your life that it always seems to get worse in the middle of the night? I can’t tell you the number of times over the years I find myself waking up in the middle of the night and my mind starts flitting from one thought to another. There’s never a shortage of issues and concerns! And, of course, the thoughts are rarely about the positive things in your life. It’s usually about the darkest and gloomiest things that you remember as you lay there trembling, fretting, and worrying! This is the time that we need god’s tangible presence to comfort our fears.

“Weeping may endure for the night but joy comes in the morning.” Psalms 30:5

During those long unsettled hours during the middle of the night when you lay there and all the sad and fearful things start creeping into your thoughts, remember, this is the times when God promises in Hebrews 13:5 “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Try turning on a quiet sermon or some peaceful praise and worshipful music that will take the focus of your mind off your fears and put it on to God. Write your thoughts down on paper; sometimes this helps you to face each fear, one at a time. Open your bible and read and study the encouraging word. God uses all of these things to brighten your heart, relax your mind, and light up the darkness. “You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.” Psalms 18:28 This is one of those uplifting Bible verses that is like a big HUG. God is a healer of every issue that we have. He relieves us from fear and worry and he doesn’t judge or cast blames, He understands and comforts us.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

Remember this…The storm always settles into quiet, the darkest dusk always leads to dawn, The long and bleak winter always melts to springtime, and the tide always turns. Hold on.

“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12:7

Sweet Blessings

Upside Down

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness” Isaiah 5:20

Everything that is a lie begins and ends with Satan. We live in a world that pits good against evil, right against wrong. Today, young parents ask themselves…How do we teach our children right from wrong when the world that we live in seems so upside down? Most of us grew up in a world that was thoughtful, polite, kind, and generous and yes, simple. Today we face a complicated world that we can barely recognize. A society filled with selfishness, greed, sexual perversion, corruption and dishonesty. We are living today in the same days of the great flood. Matthew 24:37 tells us “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the son of man be.”

“The Lord saw how great mans wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So the Lord said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth-men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air-for I am grieved that I have made them.” Genesis 6:5-7

Life as my generation has known, is in the past. We now face a difficult and challenging road ahead. It would be a difficult task today to raise children in such a corrupt society. With little or no support from the powers that be. A challenge that we parents must be spiritually prepared for. It is more vital today then ever before that we have a personal relationship with Christ.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today, are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lay down and when you get up” Deuteronomy 6:4-7

“Rise up during the night and cry out. Pour out your hearts like water to the Lord. Lift up your hands to him in prayer, pleading for your children.” Lamentations 2:19

As christian parents, we must oppose the tide of evil. Living our lives as a reflection of God’s kingdom. Today, It’s so necessary to stay in Gods word more then ever before. God, in his infinite grace is the one steadfast truth that we can hold onto. In a world which is uncertain, and constantly changing, God does not change. He remains the same. We have the promise of eternal life with our Lord. Are you in need of hope today? Choose to remember God’s faithfulness, love, and mercy, despite the despair and destruction around you.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” Psalm 46:1-3

Sweet Blessings

Jesus is My Friend

by Kim McDougal

“Are not two [a]little sparrows sold for a penny? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s leave (consent) and notice. But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, then; you are of more value than many sparrows.” – Matthew 10:29-31 (AMP)

WOW!, the Lord knows how many hairs are left on my head and how many came out onto my brush! I’ve met many people in my almost 50 years’ lifetime and none have ever known me as deeply as Jesus does. He’s not just the Creator of the Universe and all that’s in it, He calls me His friend. There are times when I truly need a friend to talk to that will listen to me…let me air out my frustration or let me cry and Jesus lets me do this. He doesn’t use my weaknesses against me, He doesn’t keep score of my blunders, He doesn’t throw it back in my face, and He never tires of hearing from me. He lets me be me and I’m safe with Him. Sometimes, you can’t reach your earthly friends when you’re in a crisis. You may get their answering machine, or a busy signal, dropped call, no email reply, etc. Truly, there are just those times when you get to the point that the Lord is the only one to talk to and the only one you need to hear from.

Fact is, God sees us as important to Him. He loves for us to talk to Him everyday as we do each other. Our friendship with Him is even more important than any relationship we have on earth. He made us for fellowship with Him and He’s the only one that can truly fill the void left by sin in our lives. I feel lost if I go through several hours and I haven’t prayed. I have to stop what I’m doing and talk to My Friend. Do you feel alone? Are you lonely at times? Talk to the Lord. Tell Him what’s on your heart. Pour out your concerns to Him, just getting things off the chest makes a huge difference. The enemy would love to weigh you down with all kinds of problems, but your Friend Jesus wants you to give Him your weights so you can live in freedom. There’s nothing He can’t handle. He’s not in Heaven trying to figure it all out as He goes along. He knows the ending from the beginning and He has always had a plan for you and me. Let’s get even more closer to Him today. Jesus is your Friend.

Father God, I thank you this morning that you are truly our friend,
The one forever that all of us can depend,
You wipe away our tears, forgives us of our sin,
The enemy pounces, but in the end we win.

Help us Lord to talk to you day to day,
Listen to our cares and every word we say,
For there is no one anywhere so pure and so true,
No one that loves us so complete the way you do.

We are in such need of more and more of your touch,
You always give of yourself to us so much,
And there is no way to thank you than to offer you praise,
Worship, love, our arms we raise.

You are the one who knows us inside and out,
You know what our life is all about,
We may feel that our problems have no end,
But that’s when you come in to bind and to mend.

In you, we are complete,
And one day soon, we will all meet,

 But while we’re here, we’ll remember you are our friend.
In Jesus’ mighty name, AMEN.
– Kim McDougal