"Walking in the way and the love of the Lord"
by Joyce Meyer
You shall not need to fight in this battle; take your positions, stand still, and see the deliverance of the Lord [Who is] with you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Fear not nor be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you. 2 Chronicles 20:17
All of us face various kinds of battles in our lives. No one escapes problems and challenges, which we often call “the storms of life.” The good news is that God already knows what He will do when we face difficulties. He has a plan to bring us victory. Second Chronicles 20 tells us that we do not need to fight our own battles because our battles belong to the Lord, not to us. All we need to do is take our positions and remain in them until our breakthroughs come.
What is that position? I believe it is worshipping God.
Unless we have a strong faith in God, anytime a storm comes into our lives, the first thing that happens is that we lose our peace and begin to feel fear. Our enemy, Satan, injects “what if” thoughts into our heads, and we often begin to think we will have the worst possible outcome.
As soon as this happens, we should realize what’s going on: The enemy is trying to keep us from going forward in God’s will and experiencing His good plans for our lives. God wants us to be totally free from fear. He doesn’t want us to live in torment, and He doesn’t want fear to stop us from confidently doing what He leads us to do.
When we have a deep understanding of God’s perfect, unconditional love for us, we realize He will always take care of everything that concerns us. That knowledge eventually delivers us from fear. As we gain experience with God and see that He always takes care of us and provides what we need, we begin to relax.
There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love's complete perfection]. 1 John 4:18
God moves on our behalf when we focus on Him instead of our fears. Thoughts or feelings of fear are nothing more than the enemy’s attempt to distract us from God and His will for our lives. We may feel fear at various times in our lives, but we can trust God. And if we need to do something, even though we feel afraid, we can do it.
This “do it afraid” theory is something God began teaching me years ago. I saw that when He told Joshua to “fear not” (see Joshua 8:1), He was actually warning him that fear would try to stop him from moving ahead with God’s plan for his life; instead of letting fear control him, he needed to be strong and full of courage and to keep going forward. He needed to fight and win the battle against fear so he could experience the victory of fulfilling God’s plan and enjoy everything God had for him.
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
When we feel fear or begin to have fearful thoughts, the first thing we should do is pray. I often say, “Pray about everything and fear nothing.” We should set ourselves to seek God until we know we have overcome our fears mentally and emotionally. As we seek God, we are focusing on Him instead of our fears. We worship Him for Who He is and express our appreciation for the good He has done, is doing, and will continue to do.
God has new opportunities and great things in store for us. To receive them, we will need to take extra steps of faith. That often means doing things we don’t feel like doing or may not even think will work. Our trust and reverence for God must be greater than what we think, want, or feel.
The enemy brings all kinds of storms into our lives. He also tries to use fear in many different forms to keep us from experiencing everything God has for us. Even though we may feel fear, we need to focus our attention on God. He has a battle plan for us, and He will give us courage and faith to receive the peace, victories and blessings He has for us.
If our lives are filled with plenty of praise for God’s mighty acts and worship for Who God is, we will see Him fight our battles for us and we will experience joyful victories.
“...Seek me and live.”
(Amos 5:4, NIV)
Joel Osteen is such an uplifting pastor. He is always preaching about the gifts and graces that Our Lord has in store for us. All we have to do is claim those gifts and graces in His name!! I have heard some people say that don't agree with his preaching, because there is crosses we must carry. I don't agree, I believe Joel Osteen is helping spread the message of hope and love. Will we have crosses to carry? Yes of course we will. But we should all strive to carry that cross with acceptance and not to fall into self pity.
Matthew 10:38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
Is it easy? Of course not. But that is why we seek Him. Because only with Him will we have abundant life. Once we accept that cross, pick it up and ask Our Lord to help us in carrying it, it is in that moment that you will find peace. In that moment you will find joy! I do believe that Our Lord wants us to feel peace and joy here in this world. He doesn't want us walking around feeling sorry for ourselves. He wants us to experience abundant life. He wants us dancing! He wants us to share His love with everyone we encounter! He wants every part of our life to shine! (even while we carry that cross)
As Joel Osteen, said "He wants your relationships to be vibrant and alive. He wants your dreams to be alive. He wants your body, heart and mind to be alive and full of vitality. God is the source of all life, and when you seek Him, you will find Him, and the result will be everlasting life."
So pick up that cross and smile. Smile because you know that God has got you and is guiding you every step of the way. Seek God and allow him to guide you. Allow him to love you. Forgive yourself or others and let go! Have hope, have faith, and live your life to the fullest! Dream big! Claim that dream with Our Lord! Remember our biggest dream is probably but a little seed to Our Lord. Let Him give you this abundant life. Enjoy every moment and share this newfound joy with others!
Here is a little prayer by Joel Osteen, “Father, thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, so that I can have abundant life, both now and in eternity. I humbly come before You, giving You all that I am. I ask for Your hand of blessing and guidance in everything I do. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you… —John 14:27
There are times in our lives when our peace is based simply on our own ignorance. But when we are awakened to the realities of life, true inner peace is impossible unless it is received from Jesus. When our Lord speaks peace, He creates peace, because the words that He speaks are always “spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). Have I ever received what Jesus speaks? “…My peace I give to you…”— a peace that comes from looking into His face and fully understanding and receiving His quiet contentment.
Are you severely troubled right now? Are you afraid and confused by the waves and the turbulence God sovereignly allows to enter your life? Have you left no stone of your faith unturned, yet still not found any well of peace, joy, or comfort? Does your life seem completely barren to you? Then look up and receive the quiet contentment of the Lord Jesus. Reflecting His peace is proof that you are right with God, because you are exhibiting the freedom to turn your mind to Him. If you are not right with God, you can never turn your mind anywhere but on yourself. Allowing anything to hide the face of Jesus Christ from you either causes you to become troubled or gives you a false sense of security.
With regard to the problem that is pressing in on you right now, are you “looking unto Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2) and receiving peace from Him? If so, He will be a gracious blessing of peace exhibited in and through you. But if you only try to worry your way out of the problem, you destroy His effectiveness in you, and you deserve whatever you get. We become troubled because we have not been taking Him into account. When a person confers with Jesus Christ, the confusion stops, because there is no confusion in Him. Lay everything out before Him, and when you are faced with difficulty, bereavement, and sorrow, listen to Him say, “Let not your heart be troubled…” (John 14:27)
The word reminds me that sometimes, God just wants us to be still and have faith In Him.
When there’s a problem, or if there is something we want to do, we usually do not rest until the problem is resolved or we have completed what we want to do. Even if we cannot solve it, we do the best we can and do something about the situation. We want things solved at once, and we do what we can do achieve it. However, in today’s reading, we see that sometimes God wants us to be still.
They say that silent waters run deep. In the faith aspect, I believe that a silent and still heart, especially in times of trouble, is a sign of deep and great faith in God.
When the Israelites were being chased by the soldiers, they felt they would die already. However, as we say, if God brings you to it, he will bring you through it. God called the people out of the slavery in Egypt, and even if they felt they were hopeless and powerless against the soldiers and chariots, God is more powerful. No power in this world can stop God’s plans for our lives. God divided the sea and allowed the people to pass. Impossible situations give God the opportunity to do great miracles.
The LORD himself will fight for you; you have only to keep still.
There are a lot of times we feel helpless. We already did everything we could, but situations do not seem to improve. It sometimes seem hopeless. However, we should take comfort in today’s word, in today’s promise. God is loving, faithful and powerful. We just need to have faith in Him, and allow him to fight for us.
May we be comforted and inspired to still do the best that we could, but ultimately leave the rest up to God, having full faith in his plans, his power and his love.
Thank you for today. Thank you for another day to live. thank you for another week. Thank you for all the blessings. Thank you for the reminders. Lord, I am sorry for the times I lose faith in you. sorry for doubting you. sorry for the times I panic and think that everything is up to me. Help me build and strengthen my faith in you. help me trust in you, especially during seemingly hopeless situations. I just lift up everything to you. I know that as I do my best to live right and live for you, you will continue to bless and protect me. amen.
Hebrews 12:4-7, 11-15
Psalms 103:1-2, 13-14, 17-18a
At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain,
yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness. (Hebrews 12:11)
There been times when I thought I couldn’t last for long.
But now I think I’m able to carry on.
A change gon’ come.
Oh yes it will. (Sam Cooke)
Suffering can fall on us like a thief in the night: cancer spreads, jobs are cut, the drought worsens, depression returns. In this long night, existence is pared down to essentials. We grip the rock and try to hold on. In darkness our prayer is a cry of the heart. As light returns, we are not the same. A change has come. God is nearer and compassion is more real. There is goodness arising from our loss. I give thanks for my new heart open to the world.
Sometimes suffering is chosen. The 600 persons who first stepped onto the bridge in Selma, Alabama, 50 years ago to march to the state capital to secure voting rights saw the police massed for an assault. They “resisted to the point of shedding blood.” In his memoir, John Lewis recalls Bloody Sunday and the discipline arising from taking action and from time spent in jail. He learned faith in the spirit that moves in history and faith in their enemies’ capacity for change. The long struggles for justice teach patience and to “strive for peace with everyone.”
It is tempting to see suffering as punishment. Thomas Aquinas rejects this notion. To suffer is evil and we must seek to relieve it whenever possible. But suffering is not separable from human existence. To seek perfection and fully embrace his humanity even Jesus suffers. Returning to his village, his spirit droops in the face of sarcasm and doubt. His carping neighbors refuse to listen and readjust their expectations. From the “bitter root” of cynicism nothing grows. Without faith, our vision narrows; we speak but “our feet do not move.” As we open to love, the isolation ebbs. In the company of God and others, we become real.
When his wealthy parents surrounded him with pleasures, the young man was depressed. When the painted windows opened and he saw the four sights--persons aging, sick, poor, and dying--he learned compassion. The Buddha is always smiling.
Suffering creates glory. Yet so often we are unhappy in our suffering. Not a glimmer of God’s love, comfort and glory penetrates our hearts. But our heavenly Father, who is love, knows what will comfort us. He urges us not to bear our cross like a slave who is forced to, but out of love for Jesus. When we bear it trusting in the Father’s love and committed to His will, then our cross will begin to shine. We will become happy and we, too, will shine in His love.
From Father of Comfort by Basilea Schlink
2 Corinthians 4:17
This bible verse says it all!! May we turn to scripture to hear the words of comfort and guidance. This scripture helped me as I was going through a difficult time. I would read this scripture daily, I even had it posted on my desk at work. As I would read this every day even two or three times a day, I would feel the peace of Our Lord around me. I would know that Our Lord had me and my situation and I would be okay. Was it easy to read and believe? Yes it was easy to read and believe. Was it easy to read and trust? Yes it was easy to read and trust. Did it make me not worry about my situation? No, the human in me made me worry, the human in me made me scared. My faith in me gave me peace, my faith in me gave me comfort. This faith is what I held onto. Each day got easier, each day became more peaceful. I couldn't have done it without Our Lord and hearing his word in scripture. I couldn't have done it without trusting and knowing that Our Lord is taking care of me. I couldn't have done it without prayer time and quiet time with the Lord. Our Lord was my best friend. He listened to me, He comforted me, He guided me and He gave me words to counsel me. Our Lord is there for each of us, He is there to listen, He is there to comfort, He is there to guide and He is there to counsel.
Turn to Him
Trust in Him.
He Loves You!!!
Labels: bible verse, bible verse reflection, faith, faith in Our Lord, god, Gods comfort,Gods peace, jesus, Roman 15:13, trust in God, trust in Jesus
"Joseph her husband, an upright man unwilling to expose her to the law, decided to divorce her quietly." —Matthew 1:19
Joseph planned to divorce Mary and, therefore, Jesus. This Christmas, we also may be tempted to divorce Jesus indirectly, and thereby miss out on Christmas. Throughout history, there have been more innkeepers and Herods at Christmas than wise men and shepherds. Even now, few are at the side of Jesus in the manger. Most of the world continues to ignore the Christ of Christmas.
Joseph would have rejected Jesus if he had not made a super act of faith and accepted Mary as his wife under overwhelming circumstances. Often for us, the key to Christmas is to have the faith, like Joseph, to accept a spouse, parent, child, brother, or sister in the Lord under difficult circumstances. The Lord commands us: "Accept one another, then, as Christ accepted you, for the glory of God" (Rm 15:7).
To meet Jesus this Christmas, accept:
To meet Christ this Christmas, be like Christ Who has always kept His promise: "No one who comes will I ever reject" (Jn 6:37).
Prayer: Father, thank You for accepting and convicting me by the Spirit (Jn 16:8).
Promise: "In His days Judah shall be saved, Israel shall dwell in security." —Jer 23:6
Praise: "O sacred Lord of ancient Israel, Who showed Yourself to Moses in the burning bush, Who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: come, stretch out Your mighty hand to set us free."
By: Blessed Mother Teresa
Suffering has to come because if you look at the cross, he has got his head bending down—he wants to kiss you—and he has both hands open wide—he wants to embrace you. He has his heart opened wide to receive you. Then when you feel miserable inside, look at the cross and you will know what is happening. Suffering, pain, sorrow, humiliation, feelings of loneliness, are nothing but the kiss of Jesus, a sign that you have come so close that he can kiss you. Do you understand, brothers, sisters, or whoever you may be? Suffering, pain, humiliation—this is the kiss of Jesus. At times you come so close to Jesus on the cross that he can kiss you. I once told this to a lady who was suffering very much. She answered, “Tell Jesus not to kiss me—to stop kissing me.” That suffering has to come that came in the life of Our Lady, that came in the life of Jesus—it has to come in our life also. Only never put on a long face. Suffering is gift from God. It is between you and Jesus alone inside….
When we watch our children going through hard times, struggling, hurting, fighting addictions of all kinds and suffering with any pain or illness, our faith in our prayers is tested. We have covered them in prayer for all those firsts in their lives. First day of school, spending the night away, riding a bike and then the driving and dating. And though we know prayer is the answer for everything we struggle with, waiting becomes so very hard where are children are involved. Our prayer seems dry. But what we may forget in those dry times is that God knows our faithfulness. He has seen our trust in him from the beginning. And it is that trust that will move us and our children along the path of faith.
Yes,sometimes life is difficult and painful. And although we may not feel his presence, his help is always there, ready and waiting, dry prayer or not. We just have to remember to take shelter in him daily. “He is my refuge, a Rock where no enemy can reach me. O my people trust Him all the time. Pour out your longings before Him, for He can help!”
If we trust and believe in Our Lord Jesus Christ, we will find peace for today, strength for tomorrow and hope for a brighter future for our children.
Remember as Our Blessed Mother often tells us in her Medjugorje messages, Pray...Pray...Pray.
My Utmost for His Highest
Daily devotionals by Oswald Chambers
. . . I am with you to deliver you,’ says the Lord --Jeremiah 1:8
God promised Jeremiah that He would deliver him personally— “. . . your life shall be as a prize to you . . .” (Jeremiah 39:18). That is all God promises His children. Wherever God sends us, He will guard our lives. Our personal property and possessions are to be a matter of indifference to us, and our hold on these things should be very loose. If this is not the case, we will have panic, heartache, and distress. Having the proper outlook is evidence of the deeply rooted belief in the overshadowing of God’s personal deliverance.
The Sermon on the Mount indicates that when we are on a mission for Jesus Christ, there is no time to stand up for ourselves. Jesus says, in effect, “Don’t worry about whether or not you are being treated justly.” Looking for justice is actually a sign that we have been diverted from our devotion to Him. Never look for justice in this world, but never cease to give it. If we look for justice, we will only begin to complain and to indulge ourselves in the discontent of self-pity, as if to say, “Why should I be treated like this?” If we are devoted to Jesus Christ, we have nothing to do with what we encounter, whether it is just or unjust. In essence, Jesus says, “Continue steadily on with what I have told you to do, and I will guard your life. If you try to guard it yourself, you remove yourself from My deliverance.” Even the most devout among us become atheistic in this regard— we do not believe Him. We put our common sense on the throne and then attach God’s name to it. We do lean to our own understanding, instead of trusting God with all our hearts (see Proverbs 3:5-6).
The First Gaze
Monday, June 30, 2014
I am just like you. My immediate response to most situations is with reactions of attachment, defensiveness, judgment, control, and analysis. I am better at calculating than contemplating.
Let’s admit that we all start there. The False Self seems to have the “first gaze” at almost everything.
The first gaze is seldom compassionate. It is too busy weighing and feeling itself: “How will this affect me?” or “How can I get back in control of this situation?” This leads us to an implosion, a self-preoccupation that cannot enter into communion with the other or the moment. In other words, we first feel our feelings before we can relate to the situation and emotion of the other. Only after God has taught us how to live “undefended,” can we immediately stand with and for the other, and in the present moment. It takes lots of practice.
On my better days, when I am “open, undefended, and immediately present,” as Gerald May says, I can sometimes begin with a contemplative mind and heart. Often I can get there later and even end there, but it is usually a second gaze. The True Self seems to always be ridden and blinded by the defensive needs of the False Self. It is an hour-by-hour battle, at least for me. I can see why all spiritual traditions insist on daily prayer, in fact, morning, midday, evening, and before we go to bed, too! Otherwise, I can assume that I am back in the cruise control of small and personal self-interest, the pitiable and fragile “Richard self.”
Adapted from “Contemplation and Compassion: The Second Gaze”
(article by Fr. Richard available free on CAC website)
Gateway to Silence:
May I see with eyes of compassion.
“Do not be afraid.” We have read these words in the bible many times. We sing it in our songs. We hear our family and friends tell us not to worry. But we go on our fearful way, thinking our worry will solve the problem and then our fears will be gone with the wind.
We know in our hearts that Jesus is taking care of us. But why can't we get our thoughts to go along with our hearts? Why should that be hard? And the answer is in our humanity. Our weakness. We are tempted away from God and fall so easily into being lost in our questions. So we spend our time worrying, wasting our time and days. Worrying doesn't help anything, it just takes us away from Jesus. Worrying takes us out of the presence of God in the now and leads us nowhere.
I want you to remember something. Jesus is holding your hand. Just like Isaiah 41:13 says, 'I am holding you by your right hand – I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, do not be afraid. I am here to help you.'
Those are the words we need to live by. God is with us at all times, holding our hand. When we are worrying, we are letting go of Jesus' hand and saying, “Hold on Jesus. I am going to sit here alone for awhile. I need to figure this out.” Why would we want to make the choice to let go of Jesus' hand? Why would we want to tell Jesus to hang on a minute, while we worry about something we cannot change at that moment. Why would we let go of the loving hand of Jesus.
He has a wonderful plan for us. Part of that plan is allowing our Father to take care of us, allowing Him to hold us by the hand. In our most difficult times, when we do not feel God's presence and feel abandoned, those are the moments we need to hold on fast. Don't let go! Talk with Jesus, pray with Jesus and trust in Jesus. “Do not be afraid.”
By: Mary Maddox
Prayerful Path/Mary Maddox
Saint James, pray for us that we may be willing to leave everything to follow Jesus as you did. Help us to become special friends of Jesus as you were. Amen