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April 17, 2014

The Shattered Reflection

Powerful Story of How God can Work in Our Lives

It was a peaceful evening. I was reflecting back on my life before Christ. As pictures passed through my memory bank it seemed as if those memories of hurt, pain, rejection, fear and insecurity belonged to a neighbor or perhaps the stranger that I had met on the street somewhere. I would look at myself in the mirror and all I would see was a scared, unattractive young girl desiring to be loved. I looked deep into my childhood memory bank and realized where it had originated from. I am going to share a piece of my journey starting from my childhood.
My parents split when I was 5 years old. The morning of my father’s departure I felt abandoned and alone. I loved HIM very much. My mother, on the other hand, was there physically but not emotionally. She never knew how to love me, she never told me “I love you” verbally; she would only write it in a birthday card. So that set the course for my rebellion and search for love.

As I entered my early teens I went from relationship to relationship. Then anger and rage set in. At this point my mother was so desperately searching for her own love that her boyfriends came first. I was always asking myself “Why can’t anyone love me? Why am I not good enough? And staring_out_windowif I do this, will this boy love me?” Eventually my father got saved and I was introduced to Jesus Christ. I was so caught up in my own pain that I could not receive God’s love. I felt that I was unlovable and not worthy of anything. Then I met my husband and I felt a sense of security and that I finally found someone that could fill my emptiness. How wrong I was… At that point I entered Egypt and remained a slave to physical and emotional abuse for 13 years. I continued to spiral down until I found myself in depression. My self- image and self- esteem was on empty.

Till one day on a Saturday morning I called out to God…I was on my knees in the living room floor with tears pouring down my face like a river. I cried out “OK God… I am tired of doing things on my own…If you are real…then change me, change this situation that I am in. I can’t do this anymore. The power of God came rushing down that very second like a flood. I felt his love saturate me. As I got up from the living room floor a few hours later, I felt hope and life arise in me. I saw the world bright and promising. I knew that God had done something in me and that He was indeed real. Romans 10:13… those that call upon the name of the lord shall be saved

The Lord began to send me mentors and strong women of God to help me through the valley, and eventually I left Egypt. My long journey of inner healing began. My life began to transform AND my mindsets began to shift and break off. Romans 12:2 be transformed by the renewing of your mind. One day I woke up and went to wash my face, as I was standing there I looked in the mirror and I saw my beauty. I saw love, I saw compassion, I saw worthiness. I saw Jesus….My poor self-image had been shattered. This set a new course in my life. Though I am still on my road of healing and deliverance, I thank God I am no longer where I use to be. The day that I reached out to Christ, is the day I died. And today I am resurrected with Christ.

 

Written by Desiree Hernandez. If you’d like to reach Desiree, you can contact her here.
 
 

April 10, 2014

Mercy

Thank God for Mercy

 

Earlier today my friend sent me a picture of someone’s profile from Instagram. It said “God 1st” and then a whole bunch of other ungodly things followed. And before I could blink, I had already cast judgment. “That’s a hot mess”, “God first my behind”, and a few other things ran through my mind. And no sooner had I thought them I was convicted.

Who am I to judge her or anyone else? What makes my walk any better than hers? So I don’t drink, but I clearly am quick to judge. So I don’t go to bars and clubs, but I definitely listen to some ungodly music.

So I go to church every Sunday and Wednesday, but I check my phone at least three times a service. Mygrateful point to all this is that just like that girl, I am far from perfect. I fall short of who and what God wants me to be on daily basis. I think (and sometimes even say) mean things when I have to deal with traffic. I don’t pray or read my Bible how I should. Yet, God loves me anyway. He’s merciful anyway. He’s a God of grace anyway.

It’s so easy for us to know how OTHER Christians should behave, but we fail to focus on our own behaviors. NONE OF US WILL GET IT RIGHT. If we were able to live sinless, righteous lives, Jesus wouldn’t have had to endure the cross. BUT HE DID.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think this gives any of us the right to abuse God’s mercy and grace, and the salvation freely given to us. I don’t think we should walk around doing any and everything because we know God will love us anyway. 

We need to take a close look at ourselves. Recognize where we are and how we can get closer to where God wants us to be. Look at the condition of our heart and ask God to heal us if we carry bitterness and pain. And thank God for His mercy and grace. If we are going to cast stones, we need to cast them towards ourselves

Written by Amber Boggs. If you’d like to contact Amber, you can reach her here.
 
 

April 3, 2014

You are Not Alone

An Abundant Life of Fellowship

When we experience traumatic or difficult times we tend to believe that no one understands us or what we are going through. We keep our troubles and our struggles to our self and we believe that we are alone. Fortunately, we are not alone. Ecclesiastes 1:9 says that nothing is new under the sun. I think that means that no matter what I am going through, someone has had an identical or similar experience. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 reminds us that two are better than one: Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.

We were not designed to walk life out alone. The moment we believe we are alone is the very same moment that hope begins to fade, because we innately know that we are better together.lbs_frontimage1

Look at Elijah the prophet in 1 Kings 18 and 19. He had just called down fire from heaven, converted an entire city into believing in God again, and his prayers ended a three year drought. But when Jezebel vowed to kill him he instantly believed that he was the last-standing prophet. Elijah was not the sole prophet and he was not the only prophet fearing for his life. He had recently met Obadiah and Obadiah told Elijah that he had hidden and fed 100 prophets to protect them from Jezebel. Yet in the midst of the trauma and fear Elijah convinced himself that he was alone. Twice he tells God “I, even I only, am left,” and he asks God to end his life. God reminded Elijah that there were 7,000 people that had not worshipped Baal. God reminded Elijah that he was not alone and instructed him to go anoint Elisha. Elisha remained with Elijah until the very end and Elisha faithfully assisted him even when Elijah tried to get rid of him. Elijah was never alone again.

When I start to feel that I am alone I get dramatic, self-pity sets in, and hope dissipates. Recently, I was freaking out and on the verge of a breakdown because I realized I was not good at maintaining relationships or expressing love. This little epiphany snowballed into: “how can I call myself a Christian if I can’t love? No wonder I’m not good at sales, I will never be a good minister because I’m clearly not a people person, I’m going to be horrible wife, I won’t be able to make a difference, no wonder no one understands me, why can’t I be like sister sunshine.” For two weeks straight these poisonous thoughts plagued me. Guess what? There was no one to encourage me because I refused to confide in anyone. I had convinced myself that I was the only person with this problem and that no one would understand. God could not encourage me because I was too busy trying to convince Him to choose someone else.

Then, by the grace of God, a friend of mine was vulnerable with me regarding her personal goals. Because she was transparent, when she asked how I was doing I decided not to give the standard “busy” or “good.” I told her that I was freaking out because I was horrible at maintaining relationships. To my surprise she shared that she and few friends had been talking about wanting to build stronger relationships. Then she offered to help me improve my relationship building skills. Suddenly the burden was lifted because I knew that I was not the only one struggling in this area and I had help. Immediately light rays of hope dispelled the darkness of doubt and loneliness.

As the young people say “the struggle is real.” But you can overcome the struggle faster with God, and with the people He has placed in your life. You are not alone.
 
Written by Remaliah Evans. If you would like to reach out to Remaliah, you can contact her here.
 
 

March 27, 2014

Loving Our Enemies

How to live Free

You can be the nicest person on the face of the planet and there will still be someone who hates you, is jealous of you, or just wants to see you suffer. It’s happened since the beginning of time, and it will be this way until the end of time. (Sorry if that sounds grim). But the fact of the matter is, Jesus was (and still is) pretty darn amazing! He taught love, encouraged peace, spoke life, healed folks. I mean, come on, what more could you ask for! AND LOOK WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM! Despite all His goodness, He ended up on the cross because he had enemies. People hated Him, hated what He represented, and hated the message He spread. Their hate for Him is why He was crucified. Did you catch that I said, THEIR hate for Him, not the other way around?woman praying silhoutte
Jesus wasn’t crucified because of how he felt toward His enemies. He wasn’t crucified because He was trying to inflict pain and suffering upon anyone. He was crucified because hate was deeply rooted in the hearts of His enemies, and they wanted nothing more than to see Him dead.

Fast forward to present day. On our best days we are nothing like Jesus, yet we still have enemies. Saved or unsaved, Christian or Buddhist, white, black, or purple, WE HAVE ENEMIES. So how do we deal with them? 

*DRUMROLL PLEASE* 

PRAY FOR THEM! That’s right, I said it. Pray for your enemies! When people speak curses over you, SPEAK BLESSINGS! (Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Luke 6:28 NIV)
When the are hateful towards you, WALK IN LOVE! (And live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:2 NIV) When people persecute you, PRAY GOD IS MERCIFUL ON THEM! I could go on and on, but I’m sure you get the point. When we allow ourselves to be consumed with hate, we become hostages. We’re prisoners of hate because we become so focused on our enemies that little else is of importance. We want to know what they’re doing so we can do it better. Where they’re going so we can go someone better. Who they’re friend are so we can make sure our friends are better. That’s not living!

 As crazy as it sounds, there really are benefits to praying for our enemies. Try it and watch how quickly you become set free!

Written by Amber Boggs. If you would like to contact Amber, you can reach her here.
 
 

March 20, 2014

Marriage and Respect

This month marks 5 years of marriage for me and my Mr.  So when I was give then opportunity to write about marriage and having God in our marriage, my Spirit  just leaped.  I knew this was God sent.

What God impressed on me to share is on RESPECT I will now give a disclaimer before I go any further: I have NOT mastered this area, so allow me to be candid.  I will be honest about certain struggles. It is not an easy thing to open up.

I have to admit I am guilty of only sharing our positive, happy, smiley photos and stories on social media.  Not so much to paint a picture perfect marriage but I don’t like to do rant posts or share my dirty laundry. However I am going to step out in faith and be transparent for the purpose of offering hope to hurting wives and to help bring THE LIGHT to struggling marriages.
Now let me say that what I do share on my social media is the truth and as real as can be however there are certain times when it’s not all pretty, all the time. I am really hoping this is normal. Most times are all smiles with Mr. Aguila.  He is a truly amazing, God sent husband.  He is so patient, so loving and so thoughtful quite the opposite of me.

So moving along and on to RESPECT which means to esteem; the state of being admired; thoughtfulness. Ephesians 5:31-33 instructs us and is titled in the New Living Translation version, Spirit-Guided Relationships: Wives and Husbands As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

While doing my research I found the word deference as a synonym for respect. Deference means respect:  polite respect; especially putting ANOTHER person’s interest FIRST.

We must follow Philippians 2:309-woman-talking-when-man-isnt-listening-1

I like this version. Philippians 2:3 The Voice  Don’t let selfishness and prideful agendas take over. Embrace true humility, and lift your heads to extend love to others.

And this one..Philippians 2:3 New King James Version (NKJV) 3Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
We are now one with our spouses.  We are not better than them or deserve more or entitled to more we actually should honor and respect each other ABOVE ourselves.
Romans 12:10 instructs us in the New International Version (NIV)  Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. These two scriptures are speaking against selfishness and showing us not to be self-seeking.  It is not all about us.  We did not get married to put the pressure on our spouses to make us and keep us happy.  We must always allow God to be our joy and happiness.  “The Joy of the Lord to be our strength.”  The bible does not say the joy that comes from my spouse.  God must take center stage in our marriages.

If we can love with that First Corinthians 13 kind of love than respect will begin to show up and show off but many of us wives know that it is not always easy, easy to be patient, or meek or kind or selfless.  I know for me it’s not and there are times when I am not patient and if I miss one then I miss them all because when I am not selfless I am not patient and I am not kind and I am not meek.  I get frustrated and start being disrespectful and yelling at my husband all because I didn’t get what I wanted.  Our bickering is over the smallest dumbest things but if Mrs. Aguila doesn’t get what she want, everyone will know.  Lately Mr. Aguila has been bringing my crazy outburst to my attention and lets not talk about all the rolling of the eyes, the sighs and the whatevers I throw in from time to time. That is all disrespectful.

We must see respect as a noun plus a verb.  Respect is not just something we know, it has to be something we show.  It requires action on our part.  A daily decision to put into action that First Corinthian Chapter Thirteen love which will pull out that respect we are instructed to have for our husbands.

Maybe you feel your husband doesn’t deserve your respect or that you don’t have to submit to him.  If you feel that way then try being obedient to the word of God, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ as Ephesians 5:21 tells us.  Most times I feel as if I don’t deserve my husband’s love to be honest.  This is one of my struggles and being open and transparent before God and being accountable is a great start for change.

Matthew 6:33 in the New Living Translation says, “Seek the kingdom of God above ALL else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”  I do believe that this is not only material stuff but it includes wisdom and respect and above all else love.  These are all also things we need.

Written By Victoria Aguila.

For more from Victoria Aguila, please visit http://faithhopeandtreasures.blogspot.com/
 
 

March 13, 2014

They Are Listening

I would like to share a few words of encouragement with mothers who think that the words they share with their children, who may not be walking with the Lord yet, are falling by the wayside. I’ve been guilty of believing that the words I shared with my son were falling to the ground because I was looking at his actions. Until one day God showed me otherwise.

My daughter has had an illness for about six years. As a mother, you just want to fix everything. I prayed, gathered information about the illness, and waited for an answer. All the while I was very frustrated because I could not fix the problem. I would pray and leave it in the Lord’s hands, then go right back and pick it up again. The vacillating began tobeach take a toll on me, but I could not see it.

One day, my son invited me to lunch. As we sat down we began to talk. He asked me how my daughter, his sister, was. All of a sudden I began to cry. With tears running down my cheeks, those words “how is she” seemed to cut deeply in my heart. I felt like someone who had been defeated because the enemy was right there to say: where is your God? Then my son said something that only the Holy Spirit could put in his mouth because he did not know how I felt. He said, “Mom, why are you carrying the burden? Are you not supposed to give it to Jesus? You always tell me to cast my burdens on Him because He cares for me? Then that is what YOU need to do.” Right there in that restaurant, God lifted my burden and I was freed from that heavy weight.

Today, not a lot has changed with my daughter’s condition, but the healing manifestation is on the way. In the meantime I am rejoicing in the Lord because I know that when we speak the word of God, His word makes an impact, even when we cannot see it. They are listening.
 
Written By Sheila Duran. If you would like to contact Sheila, you can reach her here.
 
 

March 6, 2014

Renew Me

There is a song I’ve loved since the first time I heard it, called “Renew Me”, by Martha Munizzi. My favorite part of the song says,

Don’t cast me away from Your Presence. staring_out_window

Renew a right spirit within me.

For my heart is broken before You.

I bow down before You in worship.

These words are a variation that come from Psalm 51 and were written by David after he had committed adultery with Bathsheba. It is a Psalm of repentance in which David is asking the Lord for mercy. He is seeking God that he may be purified. He is acknowledging his sin, but also asking God to make him clean once again. In Psalm 51:10-11 (NKJV) David asks,

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,

And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

11 Do not cast me away from Your presence,

And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

Throughout the song, Martha Munizzi sings the words, “let this be your prayer”. When I first heard those words in the song, I thought of them as just that: words. They were merely a convenient little ad-lib that helped the song flow smoothly. However, eventually this song became one of the one’s I would play during prayer. It was then that, “let this be your prayer” became more than just an ad-lib. It was an urging to really pray to God for renewal. It was a challenge to not just ask God for “blanket mercy” that covered all my sins, but to really acknowledge them. To stop pretending that there weren’t things that in my heart shouldn’t be there.

For me, praying about those things that darkened and hardened my heart was painful. So, I did the only logical thing in my mind there was to do and avoided it. I figured, God already knows, so there’s no need to state the obvious. It was one thing to know the sins in my heart, but another to actually talk to God and pray about them. It was as if not speaking it made them have less of an impact, made them seem smaller than what they really were.

I think at some point we all fell that way about one thing or another. We use the whole, “God knows my heart” as a crutch to sometimes not say what needs to be said. I know I sure did! It took me a long time to realize how bound I was allowing myself to be by the things I wouldn’t say. I was asking God to give me a clean heart and renew my spirit, but holding on to the very things I needed to let go. I was unintentionally keeping myself in bondage.

Part of James 5:16 (NKJV) says, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” The New Living Translation says, “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” Whatever translation you look at, the point in the same: it’s our earnest prayers, the prayers that come from deep within our hearts that are powerful. Those things we are hesitant to say need to be released. Don’t let the lies of the enemy convince you that you should be too ashamed to pray about certain things. Don’t let those lies keep you in bondage.

Yes, it is absolutely true that God already knows and sees all, but there is freedom in praying earnestly. There’s authority in praying earnestly. There’s an invitation for God to enter in and work when we pray earnestly.

 

Written by Amber Boggs. If you would like to reach Amber, you can contact her here.

 
 

February 27, 2014

Don’t Shoot the Messenger

I’ve heard the words, “but don’t shoot the messenger”, tacked on to unsolicited “information” or “advice” more times than I care to count. Nearly every time it’s been said to me I’ve walked away thinking, “Well, why can’t I shoot the messenger this one time, God? I don’t even need to shoot them, just let me shake a bit of sense into them!” Because let’s face it, the “messenger” tends to come only to kick up dust and ruffle feathers. Why else would they need to ask not to be shot? You never hear anyone say, “Sandy and I were talking about how much we love your new haircut, but don’t shoot the messenger!” or, “The bosses upstairs were saying you’re doing great in your new position, but don’t shoot the messenger!” No one thinks to say those words when they are paying you a compliment or sharing good news.

I can admit I’ve been the messenger a time or two (or three) and that phrase only left my mouth when I was saying something that didn’t need to be said. Psalm 52:2-4 (NIV) says, 2“You who practice deceit, your tongue plots destruction; it is like a sharpened razor. 3 You love evil rather than good, falsehood rather than speaking the truth. 4 You love every harmful word, you deceitful tongue!” More often than not, deceit is present long before the words confidencehave left the messenger’s mouth. Deceit doesn’t begin with the words that are being spoken; it starts with telling yourself that you’re being the messenger because you mean well. Personally, every time I used that excuse, I knew it was just that, an excuse to say what I wanted to say without a second thought.

Here’s the thing about saying whatever we want to say, whenever we want to say it: we will be held accountable. Proverbs 18:21 (NLT) tells us, “21The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” Every thing we do, or in this case say, has consequences. The question we have to ask ourselves is what consequences are our tongues causing us to reap? Are we speaking any and every thought that comes to mind without concern of whom we could be affecting? Are we aware that our carelessly spoken words will not be forgotten on Judgment Day (Matthew 12:36-37 New Century Version)? That same scripture says, “some of your words will prove you guilty.” We have to ask ourselves, what will I be found guilty of? Did I walk around causing strife? Was my pleasure in speaking words that tore people down?

Even now, knowing what God’s Word says about gossip and idle talk, I still have to bite my tongue sometimes. I have to remind myself that it’s not my place to teach the messenger a lesson. I also have to remind myself of the many times I was the messenger and someone could have taught me a lesson! Psalm 39:1 (NIV) says, 1I said, “I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth while in the presence of the wicked.” David wrote this psalm as he remembered the covenants he made with God. He promised to be mindful of all he does and says, even when tempted by sin. Like David, we have to remember the promises we have made to God. Even though it is so easy to react and respond to wickedness, we can’t.

We can’t “fight fire with fire” by speaking death to those that speak death to us. Ephesians 4:29 (NIV) “29Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” I believe these are some of the most basic instructions we could ask for. I put emphasis where I did to serve as a reminder to myself and others that our words are meant to edify one another. We’re meant to speak life and encouragement, to strengthen each other’s faith (1 Thessalonians 3:2-3). And in those moments when you find yourself slipping into the role of messenger, pray about it! Read these scriptures and the many others that give instructions as to how we should speak. Last but not least, pray for the messengers! Pray they are blessed and have peace. Pray they have healing and joy. Pray that whatever drives them to embrace being the bearer of bad news is broken and that they are free.

 

This week’s blog was written by Amber Boggs. If you’d like to contact Amber, you can email her here.

 
 

February 13, 2014

More Than I Can Handle

Over the past few weeks in speaking with friends that are going through difficult situations, I have heard this saying repeatedly: “God will never give you more than you can handle.” On one particular day while driving home from work, I was speaking to a dear friend of mine who has endured many hardships, trials and losses this past year. Finishing up our conversation, my friend was praising the Lord and giving him glory. Her last comment was “but its ok, the word says, ‘God will never give me more than I can handle.’” Hearing it this time was different; it did not settle in my spirit.

You know that feeling you get deep down in your gut that lingers? Well, that is the feeling I had. I asked myself, “Where did that phrase come from?” I could not recall reading that in the Bible. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. Now, “God allowing us to be tempted beyond what we can bear” is far different from “God will never give you more than you can handle.” I understand the intended purpose of this statement is to bring encouragement and comfort. However this statement also places the burden and weight on the individual and their ability to “handle it.”

The truth is: in this life, we are going to encounter many trials and tribulations that are more than we can handle. There are things that are far too great for us to bear relying on our natural strength. It is in these times that we need to come to a full dependency on God and cry out to him. In him, we are able to endure. The Apostle Paul confirms this in 2 Corinthians 1:9 Paul said, “For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead”. In John 16:33 the Lord tells us “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”fashionable-woman-thinkingHow does one handle the death and or near death experiences of loved ones, crisis with their children, extreme financial difficulties, separation or divorce in their own strength? How about when these tragedies are occurring simultaneously, and for extended periods of time? It’s impossible! The Lord brought to my remembrance the early years of my walk of faith when I was experiencing all of the trials I just mentioned, and it was a four year stretch! On my own, I made messes. I myself was a mess! I was stressed, depressed, and I was filled with fear, anxiety and despair.

I heard the Lord say to me that the enemy had released an arsenal on me. Immediately the Lord gave me Deuteronomy 20:1 “When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the Lord your God is with you, who brought you up from the land of Egypt. Deuteronomy 20:4 for the Lord your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you. It was then that it became so real to me that I was not alone. I did not have to “handle it” on my own. God goes with me; He fights for me to save me!

It made me think of Peter in Luke 22:3 And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” I took comfort in knowing that the Lord himself, is interceding for me that my faith in him would not fail. It is through faith that God gives us the power to affect circumstances. It is faith in knowing that with God all things are possible, that the greater one lives and dwells on the inside of us and that the Holy Spirit is our helper. It is faith in knowing that he is our strength and our shield, AND when our hearts trust in him we are helped. The word tells us that his strength is made perfect in our weakness. It is not by our might, nor by power, but by his spirit says the Lord God almighty that I can come to him when I am weary and burdened, and he will give me rest. I can cast my cares upon Him because He cares for me. And as crazy as this may sound: every trial and hardship endured is worth it, so that we may strengthen our brethren.

 

Written by Becky Huston. If you would like to contact Becky, you can reach her here.
 
 

February 6, 2014

What is Faith?

Last year I went through very difficult times with my family and with my daughter’s school. I did not know what to do aside from pray and fast. Then God spoke to me and said, “Faith”. After I heard him say that word, I said “that’s right”. I needed to surrender everything to Him and believe that He would take care of my family and the school crisis. I extended my faith in God and watched Him take care of both situations. Faith in God has brought me closer to Him. I am seeing circumstances change because I trust and believe that He is moving on my behalf. I had to keep trusting and believing God when the problems were not resolved right away. Faith grows when we trust God to get us through.

What is Faith? Hebrews 11:1 explains that faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. I have learned that faith is believing, hoping in, embracing and seizing the Truth.  Faith in God is incredible because God is reliable. Faith releases the blessings of God and brings Him onto the scene. Faith is believing the truth of God’s word and His promises. When I was first saved, my family would tell me to have faith and I would always reply “I have faith.” I was certain that woman_faith_arms_upbecause I believed in God, He was going to answer my prayers. Many years passed and nothing seemed to change, so I asked God why everything was the same. He answered, “You have little faith. You are like Peter”.  Matthew 14:28-31 “Lord, if it’s you” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” He said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. When Peter saw the wind, he was afraid. As he was beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

I started out in faith. I believed God. My focus on was on Him. Yet, like Peter, my focus shifted to the wind. I became focused on my problems, which caused fear and doubt because I was more aware of the problems than I was of God and His promises. Then I started to believe the lies of the enemy: “those promises are not for you, God does not care, your faith is not working, God is not going to help you”.

I have been through trials in my lifetime and my faith has kept me from sinking. There were times that I wanted to give up, however, I remembered that my faith was in God.  God often reminds me to trust Him and not doubt Him or His promises. We serve a Mighty God and I am so thankful for Him and what He has done in my life.

I believe that this year God is requiring us to walk into new things, and we will need faith to do this. Ladies, I encourage you to step out into new things with God. Receive His truth, believing, hoping, and embracing everything God has for you! EXTEND YOUR FAITH TODAY!

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6

 

This post was written by Deborah Flores. If you would like to reach Deborah, please send us a message at admin@lifebuilderseminars.com.