Overwhelmed by God

Overwhelmed by God

Dear one, are you weary and overcome with emotion in your current situation? You are not alone!

We will all be overwhelmed; it’s inevitable. We will have seasons of busyness, times of trouble, and days of doubt. Yet, in God’s grace and mercy, He gives us a choice, an important choice that affects everything else in our life.

We can choose what will overwhelm us…the world or our Lord!

We can be overwhelmed by the world.

This leads to stress, worry, fear, anxiety, busyness, health problems, chaos and death–every negative, painful emotion we can have.

OR

We can be overwhelmed by God!

This leads us to peace, joy, and everlasting strength; calm, serenity, and tranquility–every good and perfect gift that our Father offers.

Let’s choose our loving Father!

~*~

Are you overwhelmed? Are your current circumstances more than you can handle on your own? Do you just feel weary and worn down?

There is comfort and peace in Christ! He is bigger than the problem and more powerful than the circumstance. He is with you and wants to give you rest.

Find peace in Him and trust His timing. Let Him replace your weariness with strength, your doubts with awe of Him, your fear with faith, and your turmoil with His perfect peace~be overwhelmed by Him!

Overwhelmed by God

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Prayer at HIS feet

Lord, as I am overwhelmed and overcome…let me be overwhelmed and overcome only by You! Help me keep the problems of this world, and my temporary struggles in perspective. Teach me to see everything through Your eyes and from Your eternal vantage point. Strengthen me to remember You are my strength, my protector, my very present help in times of trouble.

~*~

You are loved, my friend, and you are never alone. I pray you are abundantly blessed and encouraged today.

If this post has blessed you, please share it and encourage someone else!

Blessings,

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God is So Much More than “Good”

“Good times”, “That’s good”, “It’s all good”… we use the word “good” in many, many ways.  We say a movie was good, our kids are good, we fight the good fight, and we even say God is good!

So, what is “good” really?  It is the opposite of bad; the absence of evil.  So yes, most definitely God is good!  But…He is so much more!  God is my Creator, Sustainer, Provider, Savior…my absolute everything.  Yes, He is good, but oh, He is so much more!

God is Love.
God loves us with a deeper, more intimate love than we are even able to understand.  He knew us, chose us, and loved us before we were even created. Jesus left heaven and descended to earth to die, knowing He would be beaten, tortured, spit at, and made fun of–the King of Kings allowed us to make fun of Him while He was saving us because He loves us that much!  Thank You Jesus! Yes, God is love!

God is awesome.
All creation–every sunset, every wildflower, every bird of the air, and every creature on earth–is created to worship God.  He fills us with awe (or should) and His glory is more than we can imagine.

God is holy.
He is holy, righteous, and perfect.  And, He commands us, “…be holy, for I am Holy.” (1 Peter 1:16). He has given us His Word to protect us, guide us, and lead us to a holy life and into His Presence.  It is our honor and delight to follow His commands and seek to live a holy life that gives Him glory and honor.

God is righteous.
He knows everything about everything and He is our righteous judge.  And to all who follow Him and love Him, He even gives us a prize!  He will award His faithful, those who love and look for Jesus’ return, with a beautiful crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8).  We certainly don’t deserve it, but He is our Abba Father, and He gives incredible and wonderful gifts to His children.  And we aren’t meant to keep this crown, we will one day place it at the feet of Jesus, who is the only one truly worthy to ever wear a crown!

God is all powerful.
He is bigger and more powerful than…well, everything!  He is stronger than our fear.  He controls the tides, the seasons, There is no authority except from God (Romans 13:1) and His power is complete and unfathomable.

God is infinite.
He has no beginning and no end.  He has always been, always is, and always will be.  And He has created us as eternal beings too.  We have a beginning, but He has created us to live forever with Him in perfection, in holiness, and in His presence.  When we choose Jesus, we will spend the rest of forever with Him in joy, peace, and rest.  No more tears, no pain, no sorrow–just pure joy in His presence!

Yes, God is good.  But He is so much more!

 

 

 
Thank You Lord for loving me.  I am unworthy, but because of Jesus, I am washed clean, redeemed, renewed, and declared holy.  Thank You Jesus for taking my place on the cross and giving me new life in You.  You make all things new, and I love You.  Create in me a clean heart today and teach me to follow You with intense passion, putting You above all else!  In Jesus’ powerful name, amen!
God is more than we can ever imagine or describe.  What would you add to this list?  Leave a comment below and share what God has done or is doing in your life–right now, Who is God to you?  Also, I would love to pray for you.  You can leave a prayer request or shout His praises!

Linked with Five-Minute-Friday

photo credit: balance2_1928 via photopin (license)

Heavenly Confidence

Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; 
though war arise against me, yet I will be confident. (Psalm 27:3)


Confidence, true soul-deep, unshakeable confidence, comes from God.  We can create a sense of earthly confidence, smugness, put on a confident air, but genuine, stand-strong, no matter what, confidence is a gift from our Father when we stand in His protection.

Many of us aren’t often surrounded by armies we can see.  But, the Bible tells us in Ephesians 6, our true battle is not against flesh and blood.  Our enemy is unseen, but his attacks are felt.

Thankfully, our weapons are not of this world and we do not need to live in fear.  We can “Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.” (Eph. 6:10).  

In the ever-shifting, growing turmoil in the world around us, we can yet live in peace; we can share the love of Christ with those around us because in Him, we are confident of His great protection and love and we need not fear. 

So today, if worry or fear begin to creep in, raise up your Shield of faith and start swinging your Sword of the Spirit (God’s Word) and remember Who you belong to.  Stand strong and confident in the knowledge that our God is stronger than he who is in the world!

Father, strengthen me to stand strong today in You. Give me a new and deeper understanding of Your Word and help me see Your protection surrounding me.  Widen my view beyond myself and help me share Your love with those around me today.  In the name of Jesus, amen!



Jesus Peace


Peace… what a beautiful word!  It brings to mind moments of calm and tranquility, serenity and beauty—and of course, peace and quiet!  It is truly a beautiful word and even more beautiful feeling—yet one that can be elusive at times. 
In Christ, we can have true peace, lasting peace, even in the middle of a fierce battle or storm raging around us, when our most natural reaction would be fear and chaos—we can be filled with indescribable peace deeper and greater than anything we can understand–Jesus Peace!
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”  (John 14:27).  He has given me His peace!
What does it mean to have the peace of Jesus? 
·        It means that when the storm is raging, I can still be calm.
·        When my world seems to be caving in, I can be strong.
·        When nothing around me makes sense, I can rest in my knowledge of Him who is my rock and higher then me.
·        No matter what—I can have peace!
The world does not give selflessly or freely.  Nothing in this world is truly free without a hidden cost or expected return or favor.  Jesus, though does not give as the world gives!  He has given us peace that cannot be earned or bought and its not meant to be borrowed—it is meant to fill us and sustain us and carry us through every storm. 
We can ignore His peace though.  In the same verse, He warns us not to lose our peace.  He says, “do not let your heart be troubled nor let it be fearful”—I have some control over how much peace I feel–the peace is there but I can miss it if I let myself be troubled!  

How do I keep from being troubled or fearful?  My focus must be on the peace-giver!  Just as He grabbed Peter and kept him from sinking, His hand is outreached to me (and you) and He offers peace—real, lasting, powerful peace!
Grab His hand today and let Him hold you and guide you through whatever this day brings and never let go!  Enjoy the peace He gives and He will carry you through the roughest, scariest waters!

Father, thank You for the peace You have given us through Your Son, Jesus!  Fill me today with Your perfect peace and help me stand strong against the waves, the wind and whatever would try to steal it.  Keep my focus on You as You lead and guide me today in the name of Jesus, amen! 

God’s Farmer


On first glance, this verse would be easy to dismiss as irrelevant…but God is showing me how critical and relevant it is– right now, today!  This verse jumped off the page for me today and really got me thinking about what it means to work the land.  Farmers must break up the hard soil, plant quality seeds, water and nourish the growing seed and baby plant, and then weed diligently to keep the plant healthy and protect it from the weeds that would steal its nutrients and destroy it.

Even though I’m not a farmer and I have no physical land to work, this verse is convicting and challenging because I do have my “land” and I have responsibilities to tend to those things God has put in my care…and the people! 

I want to have a teachable spirit and make a difference for God’s Kingdom!  So I must work and make sure the “land” of my heart (my thoughts, my attitudes, my words and actions, etc) is not getting hard and crusty.  I want my heart and my life to be soft and ready for whatever God has for me!

I want to be filled with truth and knowledge and reflect the glory of God!  So I must work to fill my life with only good quality seed-the Word and truth of God!  I must choose wisely the seed that is planted inside my heart and make sure it is holy and true.

I want to overflow with the love and power of the Holy Spirit!  So I must work to constantly surrender my wishes and desires and give Him complete Sovereignty in my life.  I must allow the Holy Spirit to fill me and renew me from the inside as I spend time in prayer and the Word.  Only God can change me–He will do the heavy lifting, but I must surrender my load!

I want to grow strong and healthy in the Lord and I want to make a difference in His Kingdom!  I want to fulfill His call on my life, I want to finish well and someday hear “well done”!  So I must work to continually pull the “weeds” from my life–those things that would distract me and lead me toward worthless pursuits.  Even “good” things become worthless if they lead me away from my God!  

So, today I realize I am a farmer in God’s Kingdom and my land is me.  I can’t sit back and rest or I will wither and brown and the weeds will overtake me.  I must work in order to see the glorious fruit that is to come!  I also realize that as a mom, a wife, a friend–every title in my life–I am a farmer to those I love and those I am called to love, which is everyone I meet!   Jesus told me (and you) to love others as He loves–so I must work!

  
Lord, God, help me focus on the things that matter today and not be distracted by worthless pursuits. Strengthen me to work diligently at the tasks You lay before me and may You be glorified by everything I do and say today. And tonight, when this day is over, may I have made a difference for Your Kingdom! In the mighty name of Jesus, Amen!


Linked to Thought Provoking Thursday

The Gift of Purpose

Have you ever felt useless or unimportant?  Ever felt like you don’t matter?


We all have–you are not alone.  This tactic of the enemy is a common one, but it’s a lie–a trick–an attempt to weaken us and make us ineffective.  We all have had at least a moment of being unsure of where we fit in or what our purpose is–but feeling worthless is an absolute and complete lie we don’t have to accept!

You have purpose–You were hand-crafted and meticulously designed with a deeper and greater love than we can even comprehend!  You are loved, cherished, and treasured–God rejoices and signs over you! (Zephaniah 3:17)

Ever believer has a unique and perfectly designed plan from our Creator and we are priceless and an irreplaceable part of His Kingdom.  From the largest, loudest mouthpiece to the smallest supporting ligament, each and every one of us matter and we are important–not just as a group, but me, you, and every single individual person–we matter!

Don’t let the enemy steal one second of your peace and joy–rest in the assuredness and strength of God and let Him show you how much you are loved.  Serve Him with gladness and let Him lead you and guide you to your perfectly designed place in His Kingdom–you are needed and necessary and incredibly loved!  


Heavenly Father, please guide us to our purpose.  Flood our lives with Your love, Your perfect peace and Your complete joy as we serve You and Your people.  Show each one of us where we belong and teach us to use our gifts for Your glory!  Lord, use me as You build up Your body and help me attain the full measure of the fullness of Christ!  In His name, Amen!



To equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.  Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.  From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.  (Ephesians 4:12-16)

Resurrection Power

I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 1:19-20)


Easter week is a special time to focus on Christ and remember what He went through and suffered for us, as well as a wonderful time to rejoice over His resurrection!  We celebrate Jesus and remember that because of His great sacrifice and resurrection, we are forgiven, we are washed clean, and we are declared righteous—not because of anything we have done or could ever do, but simply as a gift to reunite us with our Creator and make us holy—thank You Jesus!


I want to understand the incredible greatness of God’s power–this same power that raised Christ and is available to every believer.  I want to live with this power working in me and through me!  Inside every believer, we have an endless supply of life changing, world changing, death defying power, and yet we so often live in defeat and despair because we allow the Spirit to become dormant and quiet inside us, drowned out by the noise of this world.  The Holy Spirit must be so frustrated with me and with so many other believers as we wallow in silly, changeable things rather than take up our sword of the Spirit, armed with truth and knowledge and faith and fight!  Fight for our mental health, our physical health, our friends and family who are lost and hurting, and a dying world!  It is so much easier and comfortable to live in my tiny world and never look up and out—but God is calling every believer to a world changing, life changing faith and strength in Him and I don’t want to miss it!

So I’m wondering, where is the power to change lives and change the world that we see in the New Testament?  Those believers were simple people, fishermen and women who were scared, normal people until the power of Jesus’ resurrection!  Filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, the same power that raised Christ from the dead, they changed the world!  And this power is still available to us today.  It hasn’t diminished or changed–our desire and our focus has!  Where is the hunger for God’s word and a desire to be changed by it?  Where is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit so great that thousands of lives are changed in a moment and then the revolution spreads throughout the world and changes it?   
The life changing, resurrecting, lift giving power is available but we have to live it and use it!  We can’t just play church and go about our lives in a comfortable fog, ignoring the pain and hopelessness around us—every single person who calls themselves “Christian” MUST begin to actually follow, mimic, look like, sound like, and imitate Christ and be changed from the inside out! 
The Holy Spirit is in us and the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is in us!  He is here and waiting for us to jump in and be part of something amazing and world changing—it is time to stop bickering among ourselves inside beautiful stained glass sanctuaries and pristine fellowship halls that keep the hurting world out.  POWER is found in the Holy Spirit and the world needs Him—needs to see Him in us and needs to feel that love!
God is a God of abundance, but too often I wallow in mediocrity.  God is a God of love, yet too often I sink to irritation and annoyance.  God is a God of peace, yet too often I am in turmoil with worry and fear.  God is a God of forgiveness, yet too often I squirm in guilt and self condemnation.  NO MORE!  My God is bigger and stronger and more powerful than anything this world or the enemy can throw at me and I refuse to live a moment longer accepting anything less than His unequaled, unending, limitless power reigning in me! 

So this Easter week, as I remember the sacrifice and celebrate the resurrection, my prayer for myself and every other believer is that we would be completely changed and so incredibly full of the Spirit that we simply can’t be stopped!  That we would unite as the Body of Christ, His beautiful bride, and show a hurting, dying world that there is hope, love, healing, forgiveness and an eternal joy that only comes through Christ Jesus! And He is coming back for His bride!

Lord Jesus, help me live with Your power in my life.  May Your love and peace be so evident and strong in me that others see it too.  Empower me and equip me to not only be changed, but to create change around me and may Your Word go forth and thousands upon thousands be transformed by You!  Fill me and transform me Holy Spirit and use me to Your glory!!

Happy Resurrection!

No Matter What…

No Matter What…
·         I will choose to praise God!  
He has never let me down and even in the struggles and in the pain, I know He loves me and will comfort me, protect me, and He loves me!  So even in the darkest, scariest times, I will praise Him- not because life is easy, but because He is worthy!
·         I will love God!  
He loved me enough to send His son to die in my place before I even knew Him- so no matter what is going on around me today, I will love Him.
·         I will love Others!
I will share the love of God with others because God loves me and His word tells me to!  So even when I am hurting, even when I’m scared, even when I don’t want, in His strength, I will love those around me!
  •          I will choose to rejoice in today!

This is the day that the LORD has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it! (Psalm 118:24).  I do not rejoice because my life is easy or only on the days that I “feel” happy, but I will rejoice because God is love and God is giving me the opportunity today to rejoice- so I choose to rejoice!
In seasons of blessing it is easy to forget how much God cares and how much I need Him.  In seasons of waiting, God renews my strength and my wisdom; and in seasons of trial, God comforts me and brings peace beyond human understanding—and in all things, no matter what, I will choose to trust Him and praise Him because He is faithful, He is trustworthy, and He is worthy to be praised! 

Father, thank You for loving me even before I knew You.  Thank You for always being my refuge, my comfort, and my rock.  Help me and strengthen me to serve You, trust You, and praise You no matter what my daily circumstances are!  In Jesus’ name, amen!

Trusting in the Darkness

I usually enjoy summer storms and love listening to the rain, but the other night brought severe thunderstorms with intense cracks of lightning, floor-shaking thunder booms, and sheets of raining pelting the house. Thankfully we were safely home and not out driving in it, but we were home alone since my husband is traveling for work. 

The boys and I watched the storm through the windows with interest and excitement until the lights began to flicker. We raced for flashlights and candles before the lights went out putting us in complete darkness. The only light available came from the almost constant lightning and the only noise was the thunder. 

Suddenly, everything became completely still and eerily silent. And I became very aware that we were seemingly alone with no help. No electricity, no lights, no Internet or telephone, no way to anyone for help other than our cell phones, which already had low batteries.
Thankfully the storm calmed, but we were still in the dark and I was very aware of being alone.  Before panic could take root and our imaginations could get too far with the infinite list of what-ifs, we turned to the only true source of comfort and security- the One true source of help- God who is our very present help in trouble!  

God gently reminded me that I was not alone and that I am never alone. My Heavenly Father brought such sweet peace and comfort and all fear of being alone left me, and anyone who knows me well, knows what a big deal that is! The boys and I had a fun time just talking for a little while and then we decided to go to bed early since it was dark anyway. 

We took our main source of light with us (because He never leaves us!)  and also our flashlights and calmly and without fear, laid down to sleep, trusting God to keep us safe. Within just a few short minutes, the power came on and we knew the storm was over! 

God is so gracious and loving to us! He is a Holy God and could condemn us eternally for our sin- each and every one- yet He gives us a way to be washed clean and forgiven. And He doesn’t stop there! Once we accept His gift of life, He continues to bless us with more than we can ever ask for or even imagine- peace in the storm, joy in the pain, and strength to face every moment with courage and victory! 
My faith grew deeper that night and I am thankful God allowed the storm and the power to go out so that I could trust Him and lean on Him completely! I am also grateful He let the power come back on! 🙂

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deut. 31:6)

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deut. 31:8)

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave younever will I forsake you.”  (Hebrews 13:5)


Finding Contentment

Finding Contentment
 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:11-13)
I can do all things through Him who gives me strength!
I believe this. I know this. I trust this. Yet, I have not yet learned to be content in all circumstances as Paul did. I’m working on it, and I have moments, but I am still far from contentment in ALL circumstances.
I do have moments of pure contentment and they are very sweet. When my thoughts stay focused on my blessings and the things that truly matter I can’t help but feel content. I treasure my husband of 18 years and we are very much in love. We have 2 amazing boys who are becoming strong young men of integrity and most importantly they love the Lord.  We are healthy, we are together, and we are happy. We are abundantly blessed and I would not change a single detail. When I focus on these blessings, I feel nothing but glorious contentment and joy.
Unfortunately, I don’t dwell there. I give in to thoughts of discontent and dissatisfaction about insignificant things that do not matter and I begin thinking about what we don’t have. I start obsessing about needing something new, wondering what might be better, or how to fix or improve what we have. I start projects around the house with good intentions only to become distracted by another project that must be done and done right now. This leads to a trail of unfinished projects and wastefulness. And it is all just stuff. Our so called “treasures” where “moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal (Matthew 6:19)
  
We have countless books and homeschool curriculums lining our shelves, un-touched and un-read; boxes of pictures waiting for their special place in a frame or scrapbook; craft boxes full of fun and unusual creations waiting to be made; rooms only half decorated or not decorated at all; even moving boxes yet to be unpacked despite the fact we have been in our home for 10 months—all unfinished simply because another idea came to mind that “needed” my attention and screamed to be started.
So what’s the difference between the contented moments and the chaos? How do I end this cycle of discontent and unfinished projects? 
·       First, I must let Christ take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) and allow Him to prioritize my thoughts, my plans, and my activities. I must stop before allowing myself to become consumed with an idea and ask Him, “Is this Your plan for me?”  If yes, then I can trust Him to lead and guide me. If no, then I will have His help in bringing me peace and re-directing my thoughts.
·       I must learn to pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17).  I have the power that raised Christ from the dead living in me, the Spirit of the One True God, the Creator, the Almighty. He made me and I can trust Him to take care of me and my needs!
·       I must learn, as Paul did, that “I can do ALL things in Christ” but I don’t have to do them all at once!  I am called to do all things to the best of my ability, as working for the Lord, not men (Colossians 3:23) and If I am to do my best to God’s glory, I can’t do everything.
·       Thankfulness. This is huge! I cannot be unhappy or discontent if I am literally counting my blessings and grateful for each one. 
·       The biggest difference? Where I choose to focus my thoughts. If I am focused on Christ, on loving Him and loving others, then I feel complete contentment. When my thoughts drift downward off Christ and selfishly onto myself, I become selfish and consumed with selfish things.  
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all  comprehension,will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:6-8)

Father, You have given us every good and perfect gift, more than we need or could ask for. You offer the gift of eternal life, unsurpassed joy and peace beyond what we can comprehend even in the most painful circumstances. Thank You for teaching us how to find true contentment in living out these simple truths. Please strengthen us to put them to use daily and stay focused on You! In the name of Jesus, AMEN.