Misery Loves Company

By Georgia (Jo) Kent
 
“Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt.” Psalms 35:4
 
In this life, we will face a number of injustices. Some that we bring down on ourselves. Some from the sin and wickedness in the world and even some from within the family of God. God places people in our lives for a variety of reasons. Some we may know only in passing and some we will become very good friends with.  Some people have insecurities and bring conflict  into our relationships. Some may be guilty of reading negativity in everything that others say to them. They may invent drama to fill their emotional release. This war with our mind is insecurities often caused by unsettled issues from our past. We have to learn how to avoid playing mind games with you own circumstances.
 
“The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” Proverbs 12:26
 
God commands us to love one another. However, sometimes that requires loving from a distance. Not everyone that we meet is compatible with our personalities. One thing I’ve learned is that not everybody is going to like us. No matter how saved and loving we are, there is always going to be someone who will dislike us for any number of reasons. And yes, sometimes these people are the people we care the most about, people that we call our friends. This doesn’t necessarily mean that anyone is wrong or bad…just bad for each other. If you can not bring out the best in a friendship then you are probably going to bring out the worst.
 
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.” Psalms 1:41 NIV
 
Pray for the people in your life that hurt you. Learn to love these people from a distance. Through God’s grace, one day you will realize that the hurt will start to fade away and begin to be replaced with love. Surrender all your concerns to God. Show grace and accept grace. If you find yourself in an un-healthy relationship, remember this…God often removes people from our lives to protect us. Think about that before you run after them!
 
Father, Help us to recognize which people are healthy in our lives and which ones to let go of. Reveal those who pretend to love us. Remove those who love to hate us, and protect us from those who wish to harm us. Help us to learn to love each other in our shared space. In Jesus Name.’ Amen.
 
Sweet Blessings

Letting Go Of Anger

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32

Anger is not inherently evil. It is what we do in our anger that makes all the difference. Hurt pride, self-pity, failure, jealousy, resentment, rejection, bitterness are all the fruits of anger. Unbridled anger can be such a damaging emotion to you and to others. Harboring anger often allows you to lose control of your emotions. Never let anger turn into hatred or bitterness. If you do, you will be far away from God’s will. You may not be able to change your situation, but, you can change yourself. Anger can devastate marriages, separate children and parents, and poison close relationships. That’s why the apostle Paul encouraged believers to deal with anger quickly—before it could take a toll on their lives.

“In your anger do not sin”; Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4:26-27

Like a sore festering on our bodies, so is unforgivness in our hearts. Anger leaves a gaping wound in our heart. Instead of attending to it, we leave it open. We want the world to see what was done to us. We have the need to vindicate our anger. Each time we look at what made us angry, our anger grows. Anger can destroy us from without and within. It can simmer quietly for years inside of us or quickly turn into uncontrollable rage. In almost every circumstance when we allow our emotions to grow into anger we lash out at others who have insulted or injured us. Then we are guilty of doing the very same thing that they did to us that caused our own anger to explode and we are left feeling worse then we felt before we exploded.

“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4: 32

Our world is full of injustice, hurt, and rejection. People cut us off on the highway, betray our confidence hurt our feelings and harm those we love. It’s impossible for us to avoid all the causes of anger. Letting Anger go can only happen from a growing a mature relationship with Christ. How you handle anger is directly related to how you understand your relationship with Christ. We can choose to respond to this powerful emotion in a way that will honor the Lord. When the Holy Spirit enables you to extend forgiveness to others, you will enjoy the supernatural peace and joy that God desires for all His children. Remember this important point; God uses people and circumstances to improve your character. So, make the most of your harsh circumstances, and surrender yourselves to Christ as Lord.

Lord, you are the Creator of our emotions and we turn them over to You. When we are angry, give us the desire to rise above self, and give us the strength and grace to forgive. In your precious name, Amen.”

Sweet Blessings

Counting Our Sins

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” Hebrews 4:13

I know God is displeased when we deliberately sin, but sometimes, we sin without even realizing it, not just by doing something wrong, but by failing to do something right. We may ignore someone who needs our help or encouragement, for example, or we may fail to pray for them or overlook their needs. So Is God displeased even when we don’t realize we have sinned? The answer is yes, because all sin is wrong in His eyes, and even if we don’t acknowledge it as sin, God sees it and knows that we have sinned. The Bible seems to indicate that there are degrees to sin, that some are more detestable to God than others. However, when it comes to the eternal consequences of sin, they are all the same, every sin, every act of rebellion.

“There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him:haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.” Proverbs 6:16-19

“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” Isaiah 59:2

We need to understand why God is displeased when we sin. He knows that whenever we sin, we are hurting ourselves, as well as others. He hates sin because it’s contrary to his perfect and holy nature. Therefore He hates anything that separates us from his perfect love. Know that God is aware and caring even when those bad things come your way. Sometimes you have done everything right when things go wrong. Stop beating yourself up when you know you have been obedient. It is merely God’s test to see if you will continue to be obedient to him. Ask God, through his Holy Spirit to help you to recognize the sin in your life. Remember…God hates sin but he does not hate the sinner!

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” Psalm 51:10

Sweet Blessings

Grace To Forgive

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“For if you forgive others when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15

Do you need to forgive someone? Is lack of forgiveness keeping you from serving God today? Forgiveness is not a feeling, it’s not forgetting, it’s not pretending you weren’t hurt, it’s not trusting the person again, it’s not even reconciliation. Forgiveness is a decision that you make to obey God. No one, not even God can make you forgive someone. If you can’t forgive you’ll be controlled by the person you aren’t willing to forgive. You must decide to give up your right to hurt the person back. To forgive those who hurt you because God has forgiven you for the hurts that you have caused him.

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32

Forgiveness is not easy but it’s also not optional, the Lord commands it. We are all called to forgive as our Father in Heaven forgives. Forgiveness is not initially about the person who wronged us, it’s about us. If we will not forgive someone who hurt us, we start to change on the inside. We grow in anger and resentment. Forgiveness is a process, it takes time, but it is an act of grace that reflects God’s treatment to us. When we forgive, we release God to work directly on the person the hurt us.

“Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” Colossians 3:13

If you are having difficulty forgiving someone today, take a moment and examine your reasons. Are you having difficulty because they have not apologized and show no signs of changing their behavior? Remember that your forgiveness is about you, not about them. Are you struggling because you are still so angry and hurt? The pain will not subside until you make the choice to forgive. You will know when you have truly forgiven when the love of God can flow through you to the person who wronged you…when you are free from the pain, anger and hatred towards that person and experiencing God’s peace in your heart.

‘To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.’

Sweet Blessings