I used to think this was odd. I wondered, "How can we be blessed if we are mourning?" Then God helped me understand that our times of pain are actually perfect opportunities to receive and experience His supernatural comfort.
What does it mean to be led by the Holy Spirit? Some may refer to it as being filled with…or sensitive to…or anointed by the Spirit. It probably sounds really spiritual. But being led by the Spirit is actually a very practical part of living the Christian life. Simply put, to be led by the Holy Spirit just means to be obedient to Him.
I love how the Holy Spirit works in our lives. He is always ready and willing to help us grow and change. But He's a gentleman…He patiently and gently guides us into truth. And the fact is no matter how much we try to be or do what's good and right, we can never produce the lasting fruit we're hoping for in our lives without His help.
When we accepted Christ as our Savior, the Holy Spirit came to dwell on the inside of us. You could say that God gave us each a piece of Himself. That means a lot more than we can imagine, because He brought with Him all the power, the peace and the presence of God. He came to live in us and have constant fellowship with us.
God loves you and He has a plan for your life. You are a wonderful creation made by God and you have a unique purpose to fulfill in this world. Ephesians 2:10 (AMP) says that as Christians, "we are God's [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]."
I went to church for years and never heard about the devil. It's not fun talking about him, and I don't ever want to put too much focus on him. But the truth is, we have an enemy. First Peter 5:8 says, "…That enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour." It's important for us to believe in the power and authority we have in Christ over our enemy so we can have the great life God wants us to have.
It was an amazing revelation when I discovered that not only is God powerful, but He wants to fill us with His power. God doesn't promise us a problem-free life, but He does promise to give us the strength and ability to do what He's calling us to do if we will love Him, put our trust in Him, and lean on Him.
Happiness and Humility are two words that don't seem to fit together. They essentially feel like opposites because it hurts to submit to authority and go through humbling situations and seasons of life. But humility really does bring us happiness! I'll tell you why.
Faithfulness is a character trait we all want other people to have. We want our spouse to be faithful to us in good times and bad. We want the guy who's repairing our roof to do a good job and get it finished on time. And we want our children to obey us not just to get gifts or special privileges, but because they trust us and believe we want the best for them.
Peace is a gift God gives us, and it grows in us just like fruit grows on trees – with time and nurturing. As we work with the Holy Spirit to develop the fruit of peace in our life, He teaches us how to deal with our frustrations in a completely different way. One thing I learned is that it wasn't my circumstances that made me upset, it was how I responded to them.
No matter what our age, we need to have a dream for our life. We need to have something to look forward to and work toward. And if we will trust God and do our part, we can see our dreams come to pass – even if they've been shattered and we need to begin again. That doesn't mean things will always go the way we think they will, and it won't always be easy. But when we're determined to be faithful and diligent to do what God is calling us to do, He'll always give us the grace and strength to keep going.
Have you ever started a project and not finished it? Or put a dream on hold because other things got in the way? I think we've all experienced these frustrations at some point in our life. The truth is sometimes starting is the easy part. However, with God's help we can finish whatever we start because the Bible says, "With God all things are possible"
We've all experienced times in our life when we've been tempted to give up. Maybe you tried something once and it didn't work out the way you expected it to. It's easy to get discouraged, but God doesn't want us to get stuck in a moment in our lives when things didn't work out the way we planned. He wants us to keep going so we can fulfill His purpose and truly enjoy our lives.
Instead of being afraid of new things, you and I ought to be excited about the new challenges and opportunities that God brings into our lives. Even when everybody else tells us it's impossible, if we will step out in faith like Joshua and follow God, He will give us the grace to go forward.
One of the greatest gifts the Lord has given us is the power to choose. In fact, every day, we are faced with hundreds of decisions. We decide whether or not to get out of bed, what we'll eat, what we'll do, what we will think about, and what we will say. We make decisions about everything from how we style our hair…to how we will react to more serious situations at work or at home.
If our spiritual arteries are clogged, the life of Christ cannot flow freely in us – or to others through us. But learning to control our emotions and maintain a pure heart toward God will help increase His power in our lives. We have the ability to follow our feelings or to exercise our will.
No one can guard your heart but you. That is why I believe it is essential to spend time with God, studying His Word yourself, and learning how to be led by the Holy Spirit. What is in your heart will eventually show in your actions and the way you live your life, therefore, the question is what will you allow into your heart?
We can so easily get in the habit of doing life, just going through the motions, even when doing "Christian things," and not realize that something has crept into our heart. Some of those things not only affect us, but they can hurt or hinder others as well. The longer an issue, or heart condition, is left unattended the deeper its roots go. Then it becomes harder and harder to deal with. But the good news is, we can prevent that with God's help.
There's a story about a little boy who was very poor and needed shoes. He was standing in front of a shoe store, barefoot and shivering with cold. A woman approached him and asked him why he was standing there, looking through the window. He told her, "Well, ma'am, I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes." The woman took the boy into the store, washed his dirty, bare feet and put new socks and shoes on them. The boy was so touched by her compassion that he asked her, "Ma'am, are you God's wife?" He assumed if she showed him that kind of love, she must be related to God.
I've discovered that the best way—the only way—you can have a happy, powerful life is to get your mind off yourself and do something for someone else. Helping people, being a blessing and adding value to other people's lives is what it means to walk in love and follow the example of Jesus.
We live in a society that drives people to selfishness. So much of the advertising we see and hear influences us to want more and more and to never be satisfied with what we have. But the more selfish and self-centered we are, the less power we have to do good and help others.
Do you spend time worrying about things in life that are beyond your control? Are you constantly trying to figure situations out? If that's you, I want to let you know that you can rest in God and trust Him to fight your battles for you.
The most important thing we can do as Christians is love God and love people. But before we can love anyone, we have to receive God's love. Because you can't give away something you don't have.
What are you thinking about? Do you ever think about what you're thinking about? Do you know that you can choose your thoughts? That might seem like a strange thing to say, but the truth is, many people don't realize they can choose what they think about. And it's important for us to choose our thoughts carefully because our thoughts have a lot to do with our perspectives and attitudes.
God has great plans for our lives, and He wants to use us to do great things for Him. But before He can put us in a position to use our gifts and talents in our fullest potential, we have to learn how to be stable, reliable and in control of our emotions.