God’s Attributes (the longer list)

I have struggled with my image of God through the years. When I began to study the Bible, it completely changed my view of God. I hope that reflecting often on some of these verses will encourage you and help you to see God in a new light.

P.S. For anyone who may be feeling a little impatient or rushed, there is a short version of the list available 🙂 Anyways, onto the list…

God is gentle
A bruised reed he will not break, a dimly burning wick, He will not quench.
-Isaiah 42:3″

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
-Matthew 11:28-30

He cares about you
“Cast all your anxieties and worries on God for he cares for you.”
-1 Peter 5:7

“He is not slow about His promise as some count slowness but rather is forbearing towards you, not wishing that any would perish but that all would reach repentance and be saved
-2 Peter 3:9

Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.
-Isaiah 49:15-16

He listens
Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!
– Psalm 116:2

He delights in you
“For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
-Zephaniah 3:17

He gives generously
My peace I give to you, my peace I leave with you, not as the world gives do I give to you. Don’t let your heart be troubled or afraid.
-John 14:27

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
-Romans 8:31-32

Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.
-Matthew 7:7

My God shall supply all your needs according to His glorious riches in Jesus Christ.
-Philippians 4:19

Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.
-Psalm 37:3-4

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.
-1 Corinthians 2:9

He likes to reward people
Without faith it is impossible to please Him. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who diligently seek him.
-Hebrews 11:6

Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.
-Matthew 6:19-20

Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do, whether we are slaves or free.
-Ephesians 6:8

Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.
-Luke 6:38

He rescues
For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
– Colossians 1:13-14

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
-Psalm 34:18

For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
-John 3:16

He shall deliver you from the snare of the enemy.
-Psalm 91:3

I will rescue you for my sake—yes, for my own sake. I will not let my reputation be tarnished and I will not share my glory with idols!
-Isaiah 48:11

He understands what we’re going through
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
-Hebrews 4:14-16

He (Christ) was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
– Isaiah 53:3a

He cares about our sorrows
You keep track of all my sorrows.. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.
-Psalm 56:8

He gives us strength and power
Why then do you complain that the Lord doesn’t know your troubles or care if you suffer injustice? Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard? The Lord is the everlasting God; he created all the world. He never grows tired or weary. No one understands his thoughts. He strengthens those who are weak and tired. Even those who are young grow weak; young people can fall exhausted. But those who trust in the Lord for help will find their strength renewed. They will rise on wings like eagles  they will run and not get weary; they will walk and not grow weak.
-Isaiah 40:27-31

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
-Philippians 4:13

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.
-2 Corinthians 12:9

He wants to heal us
But he (Christ) was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.
– Isaiah 53:5

He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.
-Psalm 147:3

He wants to bring us hope
I have come so you may have life and have it to the full.
-John 10:10

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
-Jeremiah 29:11

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
-John 8:12

He has even more hope for us in heaven
In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.
-1 Peter 5:10

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have troubles. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.
-John 16:33

Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home.If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you. When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.
-John 14:1-3

For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!
-2 Corinthians 4:17

He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.
-Revelation 21:4

He is a friend
A man who has friends must be a friend, but there is a friend who stays nearer than a brother.
-Proverbs 18:24

So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.
-Romans 5:11

He is a teacher and a guide
The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.
-Psalm 32:8

Lean not on your own understanding but acknowledge Him in all your ways and He shall make your paths straight.
-Proverbs 3:6

This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow.
-Isaiah 48:17

He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths,bringing honor to his name.
-Psalm 23:3

He is compassionate
It is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassions fail not.
-Lamentations 3:22

O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help.
-Psalm 86:5

Sing for joy, O heavens! Rejoice, O earth! Burst into song, O mountains! For the Lord has comforted his people and will have compassion on them in their suffering.
-Isaiah 49:13

He comforts
As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you.
-Isaiah 66:13

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
-2 Corinthians 1:3-4

“I, yes I, am the one who comforts you. So why are you afraid of mere humans, who wither like the grass and disappear?
-Isaiah 51:12

He wants to help us through troubles
God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.
-Psalm 46:1

Cast your burdens on the Lord and He shall sustain you.
-Psalm 55:22a

I have cared for you from the time you were born. I am your God and will take care of you until you are old and your hair is gray. I made you and will care for you; I will give you help and rescue you.
-Isaiah 46:3b-4

Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place,  it won’t be a dead end—Because I am God, your personal God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
-Isaiah 43:1-3

Overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loves us.
-Romans 8:37

He is close
I will dwell in the midst of you, says the Lord.
-Zechariah 2:10b

God has always been your defense; his eternal arms are your support.
-Deuteronomy 33:27

For I hold you by your right hand—I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.
-Isaiah 41:13

Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
-Psalm 23:4

He gives rest
My presence shall go with you and I will give you rest.
-Exodus 33:14

The Lord shall give you rest from your sorrow.
-Isaiah 14:3a

He makes me lie down in green pastures, He restores my soul.
-Psalm 23:2

There is no mission impossible with God
With humans it is impossible, but with God, nothing is impossible.
-Luke 1:37

I am the LORD, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me?
-Jeremiah 32:27

His ways are beyond our wildest imagination
My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.”And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.
-Isaiah 55:8-9

He gives us the commandments because He cares. He doesn’t want us to have unnecessary troubles of our own making.
Oh, that you had listened to my commands! Then you would have had peace flowing like a gentle river and righteousness rolling over you like waves in the sea.
-Isaiah 48:18

“But no, my people wouldn’t listen. Israel did not want me around. So I let them follow their own stubborn desires, living according to their own ideas. Oh, dear people, will you listen to me now? Israel, will you follow my ways? I’ll make short work of your enemies, give your foes the back of my hand. I’ll send the God-haters cringing like dogs, never to be heard from again. But, you will feast on my fresh-baked bread spread with butter and rock-pure honey.”
-Psalm 81:11-16

Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the LORD.
-Psalm 119:1

Many blessings.
If you have any verses to add to this list, feel free to comment.

Our True Identity

I’ve really struggled with low self esteem. Maybe you can relate. I went through the typical teenage akward stage complete with acne, braces and skin as white as Casper the friendly ghost’s. Any unkind comment I heard, I believed and, if someone said I was pretty, I managed to quickly forget that. I’ve now turned 29 several times and I still struggle with feeling like the “ugly duckling”

A kind minister spoke with me about our identity in Christ. Thankfully, the Lord does not see us as we see ourselves. We’re unbelievably valuable to Him, so much so that He was willing to suffer so that we could be healed and become whole.  (See Isaiah 53)

Here’s some of the verses that the pastor gave me and some that I liked as well. I hope they bless you and I would encourage anyone struggling with low self esteem to read the Bible and find passages that encourage you. Words are so powerful, what we think about day after day can have a profound effect on how we feel about ourselves.

We are God’s Works of Art

I will give thanks to you because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made. Your works are miraculous, and my soul is fully aware of this.
-Psalm 139:14

“For you are God’s masterpiece, created in Jesus Christ for good works which God prepared beforehand to be your way of life.”
-Ephesians 2:10

We are God’s Friends

So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.
– Romans 5:11

I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.
-John 15:15

We are Chosen

He chose us before the foundation of the world to be holy and without fault in His eyes.
-Ephesians 1:4

God has identified us as His own, putting His seal on us, guaranteeing we will be saved on the day of redemption. Therefore, we should not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way we live.
-Ephesians 4:30

We are a New Creation

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.
-2 Corinthians 5:17-21

We have a new nature to put on. We are created to be like God, truly righteous and holy. Therefore, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.
-Ephesians 4:23-24

We are Valuable

We are the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in us and was given to us by God. We do not belong to ourselves, God bought us with a high price.
-1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Yet it was our weaknesses Christ carried; it was our sorrows that weighed Him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.
-Isaiah 53:4-5

We are God’s Children

God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.
-Ephesians 1:5

We once had no identity as people, now we are God’s children. We once had received no mercy, now we have received God’s mercy.
-1 Peter 2:10

We are Lights in this Dark World

We were once full of darkness, but now have light from the Lord. So, live as people of the light.
-Ephesians 5:8

In that way, you can prove yourselves to be without blame. You are God’s children and no one can talk against you, even in a sin-loving and sin-sick world. You are to shine as lights among the sinful people of this world.
-Philippians 2:15

We Have the Mind of Christ

For, “Who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.
-1 Corinthians 2:16

We are Strong Because of God

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
-Philippians 4:13

We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure.This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.
-2 Corinthians 4:7

We are Supermodels in God’s Eyes

Listen to me, O royal daughter; take to heart what I say. Forget the people of the past. For your royal husband delights in your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord.
-Psalm 45:10-11

You’re the handsomest of men; every word from your lips is sheer grace, and God has blessed you.
-Psalm 45:2

We are Victorious

We belong to God, we have already won the victory because He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world.
-1 John 4:4

Overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loves us.
-Romans 8:37

We are Citizens of Heaven

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.
-Philippians 3:20

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory
-.Colossians 3:1-4

There is a morning coming

The Penance of David, Psalm 51

The Penance of David, Psalm 51 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many times in the Psalms, David cried out expressing his honest emotions. He expressed depression and frustration. Even though he was the king of Israel, he had troubles and cried many tears. He even spent many years hiding and running for his life. He knew what it was like to mess up and fail greatly. But, after all the suffering, he found hope.

In Psalm 30:5, 11, 12 David wrote

For His (God’s) anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.

You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.
You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,

that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!

I’ve often felt discouraged, depressed and disheartened. It’s easy to feel when things go wrong that God is angry with me, that things are hopeless. Many times, David’s situations were pretty bleak and he did some things that could have made God very angry forever. If God can forgive David and turn his weeping into joy, God can do the same for you and me.

Blessings.

Cervical Dysplasia and God’s Grace

Image courtesy of sxc.huWhen I first found out that I had severe cervical dysplasia and needed surgery to prevent it from turning to cancer. I was shocked and scared. I had been celibate for several years and have only slept with one man my entire life – my ex-husband. I didn’t realize how common HPV was and I wasn’t expecting to suddenly have any problems with my celibate lifestyle!

As I was preparing for the upcoming surgery, I opened up my Bible and read Isaiah 43:

Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

Shortly after that, a friend happened to e-mail me and ask how I was and through talking, I found out that she was dealing with something sort of similar. We were able to support each other through our struggles. Some wonderful people prayed for me and I made it through the surgery with no complications. I was back to work the next day. My doctor assured me that she got it all and this worked 90% of the time to keep the dysplasia away.

Six months later, I found out that the dysplasia had returned and was severe once again. I was discouraged. I began to wonder if I did something wrong. Did I not get enough sleep? Did I not eat enough vegetables? Is God angry with me? At age 31, I had a hysterectomy to prevent cervical cancer.

I asked God why this was happening to me. I heard a message on the christian radio station, reminding me that life is like embroidery. It may look like a mess on one side, but when you turn it over, it’s something beautiful. Right now, I’m not going to be able to totally understand everything, but it will ok. In fact, it will be something beautiful someday.

The most important thing I take away from going through heartache and pain is that Jesus Christ CHOSE to be wounded so that we could be healed. (See Isaiah 53). He carried our sicknesses and our weaknesses. He went through incredible suffering on the cross so we could be whole. Whenever I start to feel discouraged like God doesn’t care or he’s angry with me, I just need to look at what Jesus was willing to put Himself through to heal me. Whatever happens with our bodies on earth, we will be fully healed and whole in Heaven for sure.

I hope you have been encouraged and blessed. If you want to read more about Christ and being assured of a spot in Heaven, please visit Path to Heaven.

Comfort in the Face of Rejection

ImageI’ve dealt with quite a bit of rejection. It hurts and the really scary thing is I started to believe every unkind word that was ever said to me. Yet I managed to disregard the compliments. That can lead to incredible darkness and depression, trust me. When I see it in other people, it seems so unnecessary and pointless. There’s too many wonderful people out there who feel like freaks because someone else needed to cut them down to make themselves feel better and they bought every lie. 

Other people are not the keeper of the truth. They are just human beings faced with the same inadequacies and heartaches we all go through. I was reading Isaiah 51 in the Bible again today, and if you are struggling with rejection and hurtful comments, this if a great chapter to read.

It comforts me immensely because it puts rejection and scorn in their proper perspective. It says that we don’t have to be afraid of other people’s insults because they’re going to pass away, but God’s righteousness will last and his salvation will go on forever. (Isaiah 51:7-8)

It goes on to say that our current sadness will disappear and we will be filled with joy forever. Then God compassionately reminds us that He, Himself, is the one who comforts us, so we don’t need to be afraid of mere humans who wither like the grass and disappear. (Isaiah 51:11-12)

When we’re feeling alone, when others have rejected or abandoned us, God is still there. Thankfully, He comes to us with open arms even when we’re at our lowest, when we’ve turned our backs on Him and when we’ve done horrible things. He sees us as people of incredible value. 

To read more about your value in God’s eyes, visit “Our True Identity

To read more about beginning a relationship with the God
who’s ready to forgive you, visit “The Path to Heaven

Get back up…again

Image courtesy of sxc.huSometimes I get frustrated when I fall back into the same bad habits over and over again. I’m not alone. Even Saint Paul struggled. In his letter to the Romans, he wrote, “I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.” (Romans 7:19). Saint Paul made an incredible positive impact on the world – not because he never failed – but because he kept getting back up.

There’s times when I feel discouraged. I don’t feel like trying yet again. What keeps me going is knowing that God still has not given up on me. He loves us. He chose us and He will NEVER throw us away. (Isaiah 41:9).

We do not walk through these struggles alone. In Isaiah 41:10, God promised, “Don’t be afraid for I am with you. don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”

Never forget that God’s hand is victorious. Since He is helping us, we WILL be victorious.

Here’s the best part. Not only does God forgive us and help us win this struggle. He also still wants to bless us – even after we’ve failed again. He longs to give us water in our valleys and deserts. He wants to satisfy our parched thirst and plant trees in the midst of our barren deserts (Isaiah 41:17-19).

Get back up once again and keep it up as many times as it takes. The Lord Himself is rooting for you, helping you claim the victory and the blessings.

Blessings.

A big part of claiming God’s forgiveness and blessings comes through a relationship with Christ. Visit the Path to Heaven to read more.


The God who sees you

I was touched reading the story of Hagar in the book of Genesis. Hagar was taken captive as Sarah and Abraham’s slave girl. In that day, when a couple couldn’t have children, it was the custom for the husband to sleep with the slave. The resulting child was considered the “heir” of the childless couple. Since Sarah and Abraham were childless, Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham as “his wife”. Hagar became pregnant and started lording it over Sarah. This angered Sarah so much that she started being cruel to Hagar. When Hagar couldn’t take it anymore, she ran away.

Hagar found herself pregnant and alone in the middle of the wilderness. There was no one to care what happened to her and her unborn child. Until God stepped in. An angel of the Lord came and told Hagar that she was going to have a son named “Ishmael (which means ‘God hears’), for the Lord has heard your cry of distress.” (Genesis 16:11).

The angel then asked her to go back to Sarah and Abraham. Somehow, they all managed to live together for many more years and Hagar and her son were fed and clothed. Eventually, however Sarah ends up throwing Hagar out of the house and she finds herself wandering in the wilderness once again with her now teenage son. Abraham does give them food and water, but when they run out, Hagar bursts into tears because she’s afraid her son is going to die.

Then, God comes to her once again and asks,

“Hagar, what’s wrong? Do not be afraid! God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Go to him and comfort him, for I will make a great nation from his descendants.”  Then God opened Hagar’s eyes, and she saw a well full of water. She quickly filled her water container and gave the boy a drink. (Genesis 21:17-19)

When no one else was around to care or help, God saw. God cared. The situation Hagar was in was crappy. She should never have been sold in to slavery. Sarah could have and should have treated her better. Sometimes, unfortunately, really sucky things happen in this life. The temptation I have often fallen into is to get angry at God for allowing bad things to happen. When I’m hurting, it can easily start to feel like God doesn’t care. That’s why I like this story so much.

If God sees Hagar’s situation and is willing to give her water in the middle of the wilderness, He is certainly aware of our situations. In fact, in Psalms 31:7 it says “I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul.” 

If you’re facing some kind of trial and it feels like God doesn’t care about you, please hold onto hope. God sees you, He hears your cries of distress and He still cares. You’re not alone. Don’t give up. You will get through this and it may be that someday, you will be the angel who will help others who are feeling all alone.

Blessings.


The Struggle to Forgive

When I got divorced. I felt rejected and unlovable and my future didn’t feel very bright. Honestly, feeling so unlovable and depressed made it hard not to feel somewhat bitter and resentful about my circumstances. I was angry with my ex and angry with God. I would listen to people talk about forgiveness and I would cry. And not just a few tears. I would really cry for a long time, wishing I could let go of the ongoing story in my mind about how my ex hurt me and feel truly free.

I don’t think about it as much anymore. The main reason I kept bringing it up in my mind over and over again is because I BELIEVED the negative things my ex said about me. Going over the painful story of what happened in my mind was my way of trying to disprove what my ex said about me. I wanted to believe I was a person who was lovable and valuable and normal but kept thinking – what if the things he said are true? What if I really am abnormal? Would everyone reject me?

The thing is as much as the comments hurt, they don’t have to define who I am. I can choose to remember what the Lord says about me instead of believing the crap other humans say. Christ thought I was valuable enough to suffer and die for. He feels the same way about you.  (To learn more about what the Bible says about how God sees you, read Our True Identity)


Seeing a Glimmer of Hope

Another reason I had so much trouble letting go of the past was the hopelessness I felt. Like life was dark and I’d never feel happiness again.

One day at church, I heard a pastor talk about the story of Joseph in the Bible (Genesis 37-50). Joseph was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers and then thrown in prison because his slavemaster’s wife falsely accused him of rape. He was in prison for years. He had every reason to be resentful of his circumstances! But he wasn’t. After many years, he was released and became governor of all of Egypt. A famine came and Joseph’s intervention saved thousands of lives. Including the lives of his brothers who sold him into slavery in the first place. Instead of retaliating against his brothers, Joseph talked kindly with them and gave them the food they needed. He told them “What you meant to harm me, God meant for good to save the lives of many people.”  

THAT is the key. It is horrible the way people hurt each other in this fallen world. But, that is NOT the ending. Whatever others do to harm us, there will come a day when something good will be brought out of it. No matter how dark it feels right now, you won’t feel hopeless forever.

If you are struggling to forgive someone, please don’t give up. It’s hard, I know. It can feel like you want to let go and just can’t. It’s common to feel that way. It can take time for your feelings to line up with your actions and your will. Keep praying for those who hurt you, keep trying to let it go, keep reminding yourself of your value, keep holding onto hope. Eventually, your feelings will change for the better, but it will take persistent effort. You’ve been hurt enough already, please don’t hurt yourself even more by going over what happened again and again in your mind like I did.

Knowing that Christ suffered to forgive and heal me can also encourage me to keep going in the struggle to forgive. To read more about that, please click here.

Beating the Blues

I wanted to share an exercise that can be helpful for easing blue moods. I got this from a sermon at my church. Don’t worry though, I’m not going to write a novel with this post or beat you over the head with the gospel. (However, if you would like to be beaten upside the head with the gospel, please let me know, I’d be happy to help you out with that). Anyway, since this is the cliff notes version of the exercise, click this link if you want the full version.  I literally go through this exercise with a pen and paper, focusing on  the following four things:

1) Focus on God’s Promise

Many Bibles have a topical index that can be helpful in finding verses that speak to your specific situation. If you don’t have a Bible, http://www.biblegateway.com is a great free way to read the Bible online and it contains a keyword search. Spend some time thinking on that verse and focusing on that promise rather than on the circumstances or on your feelings.

2) Focus on God’s Presence

Even when you dont feel His presence, He is there. It doesnt change the reality of His Word. Focus on the fact that God is with you. I find it helpful to imagine him holding my hand and putting his arm around me. There’s scriptures that vividly describe God’s presence with us.

For I hold you by your right hand— I, the LORD your God. And I say to you,  ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you. -Isaiah 41:13

The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you.
– Deuteronomy 33:27a

But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength so that I might preach the Good News in its entirety for all the Gentiles to hear. – 2 Timothy 4:17

3) Focus on God’s Purpose

I say, How can I accomplish Gods purpose in this adversity I find myself in? Here in this dark period, this winter period of my life, how can Gods purposes still be accomplished in me? What is He trying to teach me? What is He trying to show me? What can I learn? How can I grow? How can I use what Ive learned for Him in this winter period of my life? Asking these questions sounded like a lot of work to me at first. But, I get tired of the alternative (worrying, wallowing).

4) Focus on God’s Power

Remember, you won’t always be suffering through this situation. We’re promised that the problems we’re going through now are nothing compared to the joy awaiting us in Heaven (2 Corinthians 4:17Romans 8). There will come a day when we’re glad we grew and served God, because that brings rewards that last. (James 1:2-4Luke 6:38). The Lord promises to rescue us and bring us safely home to Him. His power will ultimately triumph over this situation.

Yes, and the Lord will deliver me from every evil attack and will bring me safely into his heavenly Kingdom. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen.
-2 Timothy 4:18

I hope that going through this exercise makes a difference in how you feel and that it gives you a fresh perspective. I wish you many blessings.

*Note: if you suffer from clinical depression, please don’t feel bad if you need to take a pill or go to counseling. 

I found some comfort and hope when Christ found me. To learn more about beginning a relationship with God and going to Heaven, please visit The Path to Heaven.

Not Yet Home

This world is not our home. I am grateful for that. There will come a  day when we don’t have to deal with illness, car problems, work stress, layoffs or irritating people. Our real home is in heavenn. Knowing this can dramatically change our perspective.

Sure, I get discouraged by troubles. But, keeping in mind that earthly problems are only temporary brings me fresh hope. An it gets me thinking about what I should do wihile I’m here on earth.

Two things strike me as important – my relationship with God and doing good to others.

The really cool thing is that other people aren’t the only ones who benefit when we do good things. Scripture promises that we ourselves will be rewarded for every good thing we do.

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  – Luke 6:38

And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.”
– Matthew 10:42

Rich rewards are also promised for those who seek God.

And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
– Hebrews 11:6

I found God when I heard about what Christ had went through for us at the cross. To read more about that visit Path to Heaven

To be honest, I frequently struggle with earthly problems distracting me. Writing this article has reminded me that I need to focus on what is truly important. I hope this inspires you o refocus on the things in your life that truly matter.

Many blessings.