Through the Fire

And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land. Zech 13:2

We are truly living in perilous and challenging times. As we stand in the fire of adversity, trials, persecution, and affliction, the Lord stands in the midst of us in the heat of turbulence.

Zech 13:7-9 Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones. And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.

In the last days, we must continue to build our character to be able to withstand the persecution and adversity coming upon the Body of Christ.

Do not let the current climate environment, condition or circumstances intimidate or scare you. Remember who you are in Christ. Remember what He has brought you through during your wilderness season.

You serve a mighty God who is the creator of Heaven and earth. The Lord will never leave you or forsake you.

Regardless of gossip, slander, jealousy, envy, hatred, anger, shame, embarrassment or ridicule, the Lord has proven himself faithful in the wilderness. Through the wilderness, you learned how to fight the enemy. You were raised up in a boot camp for such a time as this.

Do not allow your focus to become blurred by the confusion of the time. You have an arsenal of admonition which is the Word of God. You can take down every attack of the enemy with the power of prayer, entering the courts with thanksgiving with praise and worship, studying the Bible and by the word of your testimony.

Never underestimate the God you serve. In the midst of the fire, the Father is training you for battle and shielding you from being scorched. You will be able to withstand the heat and pressure of spiritual warfare.

Isaiah 43:2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

I am reminded of the days when smoking was allowed in public spaces. I would always hate when I came home and smelled like cigarette smoke. The cigarette smoke lingered on my clothes until they were washed.

As a child of God, we stand in the midst of the fire and we are not coming out smelling like smoke. We will not look like what we have been through. The Lord is our sustained hope and protector. He will shield us from the fiery darts of the enemy.


In the Fiery Furnace

fire flame
27 And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them Dan 3:27

Dan 3:17-30

If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. 19 Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated. 20 And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. 21 Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. 22 Therefore because the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flames of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. 23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. 24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. 25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. 26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire. 27 And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them. 28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God. 29 Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort. 30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon.


Confidence in Your Christ-Centered Identity

When you understand your identity in Christ, you realize your supernatural power and authority is a reflection of Jesus Christ. He provides you with the confidence to face opposition and persecution.

You have stability to dwell in uncomfortable environments or deal with difficult people Jesus provides the wisdom to maneuver the plans, schemes and plots of the enemy. His shield of protection covers every dart – whether words or actions from the enemy. You are not concerned about what people think or say but what the Lord has spoken, shown you and delivered you from. Allow the Holy Spirit to work through you.

The Character of Christ

Jesus was not timid, weak or quiet. He was a man who challenged the Pharisees with only one question that had them puzzled and confused.


Luke 20:1-8

And it came to pass, that on one of those days, as he taught the people in the temple, and preached the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes came upon him with the elders, And spake unto him, saying, Tell us, by what authority doest thou these things? or who is he that gave thee this authority? And he answered and said unto them, I will also ask you one thing; and answer me: The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then believed ye him not? But and if we say, Of men; all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet. And they answered, that they could not tell whence it was. And Jesus said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.


He overthrew the tables and destroyed the temple when he found out they turned the church into a den of thieves instead of a house of prayer. Matt 21:12

Jesus was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. Isaiah 53:7


There are three words that come to mind when going through adversity.

The Patience in Longevity

When you are going through any trial in life, you need to embrace the patience in longevity. It’s a season of uncomfortable testing of your character that shapes and molds you while you face difficult situations and circumstances.

It is in time to draw close to the Lord in solitude. It’s a time to draw close in communications prayer with the Lord. It’s not the time to manipulate the problem that is blocking your way but to stand in the midst of the fire where the Lord performs His perfect work in you despite how you may feel.

His timing is not our own so you cannot rush the process of growth. You must learn to grasp the power of longevity ad focus on building your faith in God. Whether it be three months, six months or ten or twenty years, you have to keep your eyes focused on the Lord and learn as much as possible about Jesus during the season of testing and throughout your entire life.

The Pressure of Persistence

When you’re in the fire, you must apply the pressure of persistence. There will be resistance but when you constantly complain or murmur it only prolongs the trial.

When you apply the pressure of persistence, you strengthen the core of your inner man. You push forward regardless of your emotions. You may feel like giving up at times but if will fuel yourself with hope, you will find the strength to move forward. Without hope you fall short into despair and discouragement.

When you reflect on how the Lord delivered you from past situations, it provides you with the hope and faith to keep moving forward and you are less likely to focus on your current situation because you have a Godly assurance that God is working everything out for your highest good.

You may not understand why you may be going through it at the time, but in due season it will be revealed and it will all make sense.

The Grit of Endurance

Withstanding the fire of affliction for a long season produces the enormity of endurance. As a child of God, this is a training ground for the persecution coming upon the saints of the Body of Christ. As the temperature rises, you will need to have strength to endure the mocking, ridicule, hatred, judgement and slander. Are you afraid to stand alone? Do you appease men or appease God?


And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king. Dan 1:5

But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. Dan 1:8

15 And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat. Dan 1:15


During any trial, the enemy uses schemes, plots and devices to cause confusion and division. He is a lover of death and destruction. He is very crafty and uses trickery but he is not creative. He will use the same attacks repeatedly to wear out the saints.

The Father is the only creator. The Lord is creative with all-knowing omniscient power. The Lord stands with you in the fiery trial of testing. The strength lies within resting in the Lord. It’s allowing the Lord to work through you and to continue filling your spirit with the Word of God. Praise is a weapon that surrounds your atmosphere with the Power of God. It cleanses the demonic forces of depression, sadness, despair, confusion and fear.

When you wait on the Lord, He is working behind the scenes so continue with prayer which is the ultimate relationship needed to endure the testing of your faith.

Whatever we may face in the coming days or months – disease and pestilence, war and human injustice, spiritual warfare, economic collapse, famine and persecution, we must not lose heart in our trials. We will be strengthened in the Lord if we do not grow weary in the faith.

The breath of the Lord will be the wind that carries the Body of Christ to perform His purposes and plans in the earth until he returns.

Endure. Endure. Endure…until the end.

Prayer for Strength and Power

Father, thank you Lord for being the head of my life. For standing with me in the fiery furnace of life and protecting and shielding me from the evil one who strives against my soul. Lord, be my defender and provide the strength, hope, and faith to endure the attacks of the enemy. You said in your word that you give me the power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy and nothing will by any means harm me. You hold all power in your hands. I receive the same power through the Lord Jesus Christ to crush the head of the enemy under my feet with all authority and power. I give you all praises and glory to the King of Kings and the Lords of Lords. I seal this prayer in the precious Blood of Jesus.

In Jesus Name, Amen.

Bible References

Psalm 91:1-2

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

Eph 3:20

20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

I Corth 2:5

That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

Phil 4:8

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.

Phil 4:13

13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Gal 4:29

29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.

I Thess 2:4

But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.

I Thess 5:14

14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

I Thess 1:4-5

Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.

For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

2 Corth 4:6-17

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

11 For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.

13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;

14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

Deut 6:17-18

17 Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath commanded thee.

18 And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the Lord: that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers.

Deut 9:7

Remember, and forget not, how thou provokedst the Lord thy God to wrath in the wilderness: from the day that thou didst depart out of the land of Egypt, until ye came unto this place, ye have been rebellious against the Lord.

Deut 6:12-15

12 Then beware lest thou forget the Lord, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

13 Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.

14 Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you;

15 (For the Lord thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the Lord thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.

Deut 6:18

18 And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the Lord: that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers.

Deut 6:21

21 Then thou shalt say unto thy son, We were Pharaoh’s bondmen in Egypt; and the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand:

Deut 1:30

30 The Lord your God which goeth before you, he shall fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes;

Romans 16:20

20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

Exodus 15:3-4

The Lord is a man of war: the Lord is his name.

Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea.

Exodus 15:8-11

The Lord is a man of war: the Lord is his name.

Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea.

Exodus 14:14

14 The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

Book of Philemon v. 21

21 Having confidence in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say.

Eph 1:21-23

21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Isaiah 55:11

11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Break Free From Bondage

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Gal 5:1

It was never God’s intention for His people to live in bondage. However, we live in a fallen and sinful world. Without the cross through the sacrifice of Jesus, we would not have the opportunity to receive eternal life through salvation.

Through that one selfless act that Jesus did, we are set free.

Whatever has you wrapped up in bondage, there is a way out through deliverance.

The Lord wants you free from addiction, free from poverty, healed from sickness, released from your mental, emotional or psychological prisons and released from guilt, shame, and condemnation.

You don’t live there anymore. There is a place called grace and mercy. It’s full of compassion and love. You can’t get lost on the way there because Jesus will meet you exactly where you are.

You may have traveled a long, hard road with many detours along the way but God is faithful and just. He waits patiently at the door waiting to embrace you, teach you and bless you with His abundant promises for your life.

The Lord’s ways are sure. His path is straight. Nothing is too hard for Him to handle.

There will be tests of your faith, lessons to be learned and transitions in life that are unexpected. The ultimate plan is in God’s hands. Are you willing to surrender? Are you ready to pick up your cross and follow him?

Just take one step of faith. He is waiting at the door for your arrival.  

The Ultimate Betrayal

Jesus carrying the Cross
He opened not His mouth.

At one time or another, all of us have experienced some form of betrayal. Betrayal comes in so many forms: Gossip, cheating, lying, and treason to name a few. Whether it was a spouse, friend, co-worker, or family member, the pain can run so deep that it may seem you will never heal again.

The ultimate betrayal was found in the life of Jesus Christ. There are several accounts of betrayal he experienced from the people closest to him; to the absolute stranger who despised him. He was persecuted, betrayed, mocked, and murdered all for the sake of His ultimate purpose and sacrifice to die for our sins and to save the lost.

What should our reaction be when faced with betrayal? We should look to Jesus as the model of forgiveness. One example was in Luke 22:34. “And he said, I tell you, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny thou that knows me.

You may have experienced this situation at one time or another.  You spot someone in a room or familiar place that you know. You could be at the grocery store, shopping mall, or social event and someone you know sees you across the room but instead of a smile or wave, they just turn their head like they don’t even know you. 

This is just a minor example of how you may feel when someone doesn’t acknowledge your presence for whatever reason. Either way, it doesn’t feel good. Can you imagine how Jesus felt? The one closest to him denied him three times! There is nothing worse than a two-faced person. You may also question your relationship with that person even if they are only a co-worker, neighbor, or acquaintance. It’s a breach of faith in hopes of building a friendship or business relationship.

Another prime example was in Luke 22:48. “But, Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrays thou the Son of Man with a kiss?” Flattery is often buried under deceit. Sometimes the sweetest person is disguised as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. You shouldn’t be suspicious of every kind and loving gesture but action speaks louder than words. As the saying goes, “Keep your friends close but your enemies closer.”

The ultimate betrayal was in Mark 10:33-34. “Behold, we go to Jerusalem and the Son of Man shall be delivered unto the chief priests and unto the scribes; and they should condemn him to death and shall deliver him to the Gentiles: And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him and the third day he shall rise again.

Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice for our sins out of his love and forgiveness. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.  For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.John 3: 16-21

There is only one account in the Bible that I’m aware of that God does not forgive. In Mark 3:29 it states, But he who blasphemes or mocks against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation.”

Forgiveness is not easy. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to forgive yourself. It is also a life-long process. The act of forgiveness releases us from the negative emotions that hold us in bondage to the person who hurt us. However, if you happen to be on the other side of forgiveness, a sincere apology is the least you can give to the person you hurt. Empathy, patience, and understanding will have to be worked through in each issue of any relationship.

Forgiveness is not something that can be taught. It is the most difficult thing to overcome in the flesh. Memories play over and over in your mind which makes it hard to let go. However, the quicker you can let go of the pain, the faster you can move on. You may never forget, but you can forgive.

The best thing you can do is to acknowledge your pain, accept what you’ve experienced, and walk in patience because it takes time depending on the level of deception attached to the pain. It’s much like the grieving process of a lost loved one.

Forgiveness also doesn’t mean you have to subject yourself to the same trifling people, situations, or circumstances. It means you can release the animosity, anger, pain, or guilt and open your heart to receive peace, grace, healing, and freedom from every emotion that’s imprisoned you.

The act of forgiveness is the ministry of Jesus. It is the foundation, and cornerstone of the Gospel. It is also found in your heart despite the difficulties, challenges, and disappointments you face in life. You are set free. Don’t let another hour, day, week, month, or year go by. Make the decision to forgive today.

“And whenever you stand to pray, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. Mark 11:25

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The Master Blueprint of New Life, New Seasons & New Beginnings

Plan, scrabble, game plan
What’s the game plan for this season?

The world does not need to make new resolutions. We need real solutions. Now, I’m not saying to scratch your goals. Of course, we should all have aspirations in our daily lives, but how do we reach our objectives without a concrete plan? Instead of goal setting, we should possibly be focused on intricate planning, drafting, and charting our course of direction.

Within any plan, there is a process of preparation. Preparation is best achieved through small, attainable steps that are realistic to ensure finishing or completing a task or project.

We become so overwhelmed with our schedules and plans that by the end of the year, we are exhausted, frustrated, or disappointed because we didn’t accomplish what we set out to do. Sometimes it doesn’t even take until the end of the year, our goals begin to fizzle in the first quarter of the year.

In order to prepare, you should consider:

  • De-cluttering your landscape:  Clearing out your spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional space. It includes eliminating toxic substances, relationships, negative thinking, and speaking which are strongholds that keep you in bondage.
  • Getting things in order: Taking time to organize, restructure, rearrange, or rework whatever plan you have in mind. Remember, don’t look at the overall picture, but keeping your eyes on Jesus while we continue to take small, mindful steps forward.
  • Researching, studying, and learning new concepts: Whatever you desire to achieve, learn as much as you can so you are well prepared to handle unexpected challenges that come your way. You should also allow extra time for unforeseen obstacles and difficulties. We all make mistakes, so don’t beat yourself up, but make sure you learn from each experience which is a building block to success. You’re allowed to start over. Each day is a new beginning. You must have consistency and continue to strive for excellence. Nothing can be accomplished without focus, endurance, and resilience. “Study yourself to be approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Tim 2:15
  • Praying for direction and guidance: You should incorporate a lifestyle of prayer, meditation, and fasting. Make sure you include the Lord in every area of your plans. Let this be top priority.  “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you.” Matt 6:33 The Lord directs and orders your steps. “The word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
  • Seeking wisdom from wise counsel and building a support system: Choose a friend, partner or family member who is positive and shares the same interests or goals that you desire to attain.
  • Shifting perspectives: Analyze the full picture, keep an open mind and generate new ideas.

It’s much harder to achieve goals on your own merit. Scripture states, When a man falls, the other man picks him up.” and “If one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12

Having a community of like-minded people, helps you focus and work towards a plan, goal or solution. When you face opposition, just remember that God is the Creator and ultimate master builder. He holds the blueprints and the master plan of your life.

When things don’t go exactly as planned, seek Him for clarity, peace, wisdom and strength. “He will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory.” Philippians 4:19

The Lord promises that you will finish well and finish strong. In the end, you will be able to proclaim, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7

 

Related Scriptures:

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. “Jer 29:11

And in the days of these kings, shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.  Dan 2:44

 

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Facing Rejection with Humility

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

It seems everyone has dealt with rejection at one time or another in their lives. Rejection comes in many forms. It may be when you tried to make a friend in elementary school, but was teased and laughed at instead. In high school, you may have wanted to go to the prom with a boy or girl that you had a crush on, only to find out that they already had a date or had no interest in you. Even in adulthood, there are all kinds of rejection stemming from interviewing for a job to being declined for a loan for that beautiful home you dreamed of.

No matter how rejection finds you, the emotions that follow are real. The one person who suffered rejection was Jesus Christ. Throughout his ministry, he was taunted, scorned, and rejected. He could not even provide miracles in his hometown of Nazareth because they would not accept him or his teaching. He was kicked out of the synagogue while speaking, yet he did not walk with a scornful heart.

Rejection is a hard pill to swallow and can lead to other issues if you’re constantly rejected by others. It can stripe you from your self-esteem and confidence leaving you to feel like you’re not good enough or it can be the root of jealousy when you start to compare yourself to others. When you have suffered betrayal, insecurity, frustration, and fear, it tends to overwhelm your emotional state.

depression-1252577_640_edited

Rejection does not feel good, but when you know and understand that there is a process in pain and that the Lord is establishing and guiding your footsteps, as well as shaping your character, it shines a new perspective on such negative feelings.

Here is just a few benefits of rejection:

  • Builds character
  • Develops thicker skin and makes you stronger
  • Provides safety and protection from unseen danger or harm
  • Teaches you how to accept rejection and move on
  • Pushes you to greatness by developing yourself on a personal, spiritual, emotional, mental and physical level
  • Increases patience
  • Motivates and pushes you to try harder

When you feel rejected, understand that there is a loving God who created you and loves you unconditionally. It’s often hard to grasp his love at times because we live in a physical world, but we are made up of spiritual DNA and also battle with things we cannot visually grasp. Our battle is not with flesh and blood but with spiritual things in high places. (Eph 6:10-17)

Don’t allow rejection to destroy who you are. Speak words of encouragement to yourself and to others. Build a support group of positive, nurturing friends who will inspire and motivate you. However, make sure can motivate and encourage yourself. Work on yourself every day.

Learn a new hobby or participate in your community. To attend a conference or seminar to learn something new. Keep growing. Don’t take rejection personally. Stand tall in your abilities, talents, and gifts. Just keep it moving. When you know who you are in Christ, you will not be swayed by the opinions of others and the pressures of the world.

Prayer

Lord, we receive your unconditional love. Heal our hearts from the pain of rejection. Let us not look to the world for our worth, but to you who created us in your image. You hold all the power in your hands. Thank you for your love and the freedom to be me.

In Jesus name, Amen


Pick up Your Cross

When we reflect upon the Resurrection, we celebrate the triumph of Jesus overcoming the grave and sitting at the right hand of the Father in Heaven. We celebrate His victory and all He has done for our Salvation. He is alive and lives in our hearts and we await for His return. He will reign upon the earth as He did once before.

As followers of Christ, we must remain steadfast knowing that we should walk as Jesus and live as an example.  We should pick up our cross daily and follow Him. Mark 10:21

What exactly does that mean? Jesus requested the apostles to leave all they had to follow Him. In the New Testament, Jesus speaks of giving up everything to follow Him. He commanded to give riches and treasures to the poor and to put Him first in every area of our life. In Mark 10:25, Jesus said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God.”

Jesus want to know your heart is pure and that you can be content in all circumstances. Nothing should stand in the way of relationship with Him.  Of course, our Father gives us good pleasures, but He wants us to delight in Him. He wants us to honor and obey Him. He does not want us to be persuaded or enticed by glitz, glamour, fame and fortune.  Neither does He desire the church to become a den of thieves.

Picking up your cross also means to be obedient to what the Lord ask you to do.  When we follow and surrender to Jesus, we desire to please Him. He will also fulfill the desires of our heart. “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” John 15:7

Moses answered the call to lead the Israelites through the wilderness to the promise land. Joseph was obedient to endure betrayal and be thrown into a pit, despite the jealousy of his brothers, and still blessed them in spite of their evil ways towards him. Jeremiah was obedient to prophesy over disobedience in the land.

It is not always easy to be obedient to the Lord. In many cases, it can be tough. However, the Lord supplies everything you need to overcome the challenges, obstacles and surprises life brings. God is not looking for perfect people. He calls the misfits, the outsiders, the prideful, the unqualified, and the sinful.  Mark 2:13-17

When we pick up our cross, we are not carrying the burdens of life on our shoulders. This may be a misinterpretation of what the verse means and easily misunderstood. Jesus already paid the price for the penalty of sin for all of us. He carries our burdens. The greatest love of all flows from the heart of Jesus. By no means, we are to believe that we are to carry the cross like Christ did. Our works or deeds on earth does not open the doors to heaven. Salvation does. That is the whole reason Christ died for us. Without the crucifixion of Christ, there would be no sacrifice. Nevertheless, our works will be rewarded once we enter into the Kingdom. “Through faith and patience we will inherit the promises.” Heb 6:12

All that you search for in this world is null and void and does not satisfy. Jesus said, “I am the bread of life: He that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” John 6:35

Pick up your cross and follow Him daily. Be a disciple of Christ.  Share the Gospel. Uplift and encourage others. Ask for wisdom, discernment and understanding and walk as examples of Christ.

Just a few things to think about…

What can you do to welcome others who have a different lifestyle than you or do not have the same faith or values that you have? How do you react or respond to stress, worry, doubt or fear? How do you act when you’re angry, tired or frustrated? What can you do differently when emotions take over? How do you lead by example in the workplace? How do you share your testimony with others when they don’t know Christ?

You’re welcome to leave your comments. Thanks for your support.

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Additional Scripture References:

Matt 7:9-11

Phil 4:19

Heb 6:10

 John 18  and  John 19

 I Peter 1:3-9

 Romans 3:23-25

 I Corth 15:13-28

The Labyrinth of Life

 16 I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do;  I will not forsake them.  Isaiah 42:16

Do you feel that you’re on a road to nowhere? That life has pushed you down a twisted path that is based on poor choices and decisions and uncontrolled circumstances determined by external sources?

The more effort you put into your life, the more energy is sucked out of you. No matter what you try to do seems to work. Even though you may feel like you will never get to your destination, your life is constantly being diverted and misdirected. From dead ends, left turns and wrong turns that lead to right turns, it’s like a labyrinth of frustration, confusion, aggravation, not to mention stress. You may feel like a rat on a wheel, running to nowhere.

Just because you can’t see a way out, doesn’t mean there isn’t one. The forced direction that you experience, may possibly be how the Lord orders and directs your steps. With each twist and turn, the Lord is guiding your steps to the purpose and plan he has for your life. Who said life was easy? It’s not a direct shot even for the best of us. Some people may have fewer turns than others, yet we will hopefully end up exactly where we need to be.

Before you make a decision, you should always check your spirit. Do you have peace with your decision? Does something feel off? Do you feel nervous, tense, or afraid?

The Holy Spirit guides you with a sense of peace. He offers wisdom and guidance. Do not ignore your intuition. That is the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Fear can be very tricky because it can be a warning sign prior to danger, but it can also be a false alarm from satan himself. Either way, fear is not of God and you must learn to test the spirit prior to making any decision.

No matter where you are on your journey, keep on moving. God is not the master of confusion and He did not create you for failure. If you get tired and weary along the way, take a break or just pause for a minute (praise break), recharge your battery (meditate on scriptures), and walk-in faith (prayer).

The Lord has the ultimate blueprint and knows what He’s doing even if you don’t. He has the ultimate global positioning system (GPS). Let Him lead the way because He will never lead you wrong. “He will lead you by the still waters.” Psalm 23:2

 But the path of the just is like the shining sun, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.  Proverbs 4:18