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.


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.