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.  

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.

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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


Recharge Your Life and Gain Balance

girl laying down

“The Lord God has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: He wakens morning by morning, He awakens My ear to hear as the learned.” Isaiah 50:4

Do you feel like when you take time out to rest, you feel like you’re wasting time? Your mind rushes. You may feel a bit of guilt mixed with a little hesitation?

Everyone needs to take a break to enjoy the simplicity of life. With so much to do in your daily schedule, taking time out can cause anxiety in itself. You may feel restless: tempted to reach for the cell phone to follow up on a project, text a friend, or check your email.

In today’s complex lifestyle, it is very easy to get caught up in constant motion. Even if you decide to unwind, you find your mind wandering, thinking, planning, solving, and even worrying about your next task or responsibility.

The pleasure of rest is lacking or even non-existent in today’s society. Most people do not even acknowledge Sundays as a day of rest anymore. It’s just one more day to squeeze some type of activity or work into their schedule, whether it’s shopping, cleaning, fixing, or some other project that needs to get done. Much like a foreign language, you simply do not understand the importance when your battery needs to be recharged. The whole concept is unimaginable, unrealistic, or unthinkable.

You may be juggling a long commute to work, looking for a job, taking care of kids, cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, and buying groceries. The list goes on and on. The challenge is not in doing but in the delegating. You must learn to free up some time for yourself. It’s not selfish. It’s necessary.

Your body will speak to you when you need to rest, but we must also listen to the signs and act accordingly. The pressure and demands of life can cause severe health issues down the road if you are not diligent in learning how to treat yourself with care.

When you take a break from the complexities of life, you gain productivity. You’re refreshed with a sense of energy and clarity. Simplicity is bliss. You may gain a new perspective, get a new idea, and even solve a problem.

You may feel like you’re missing out on something at first, but actually you’re taking back your life and regaining control and order. When you are rested, you perform better. You are also less irritated and handle problems with a clear head.

I’m reminded of the Bible story of Mary and Martha. One woman, Martha, worked hard for Jesus while he visited their home. While the other, Mary, rested at his feet and listened to him teach. Martha got upset that her sister offered no help. However, Jesus acknowledged Mary who rested. “Martha, Martha, you are careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. Luke 10:38-42

Taking a break is not a lazy or a bad thing, as long as there’s balance in your life. Spend time alone. Get enough sleep at night. Meditate. Watch birds or clouds. Sit in silence. Do nothing (not even think). It’s a challenge, I’m sure; but it will definitely recharge your spirit, especially if you make it a daily or weekly habit.

“And on the seventh day God ended His work which he made and he rested on the seventh day from all his work he has made.” Gen 2:2

 

 

 

The Act of Forgiveness

words of anger

“Let all bitterness, indignation, wrath, resentment, quarreling and slander be banished from you. Esphesians 4:31

Forgiveness is one of the hardest things to do when someone has hurt or mistreated you. Many people spend years being angry, resentful or even revengeful. Depending on how deep the pain or experience, it may take years to recover and release emotional, mental or psychological abuse.

Just because you forgive someone, does not mean you have to keep them close to you. I remember watching the Oprah Winfrey show years ago and she stated, “Once someone shows you their true colors the first time, believe them.” I thought that was a very powerful statement which I carry with me through life.

True character will eventually be exposed. People may try to mask their negative behaviors or attitudes, but it will eventually be revealed. If you don’t like the way someone treats you, you have a choice to remove yourself. You should also be cautious about who you choose to be in your circle. Negative attitudes and behaviors are contagious. Just like the saying goes, “Birds of a feather, flock together.” However, sometimes it is unavoidable to escape a negative person or environment. But, just because someone has done you wrong, does not justify treating them or others the same way. You are bigger than that situation or person.

Forgiveness is a process of letting go. It is by no means easy. It may even take years to overcome. Forgiveness may start in the mind, but it has to end in the heart. You can tell yourself that you forgive someone, but when you see them again or have to deal with them, negative emotions flair up. You truly know you have forgiven them when you can have peace in your heart, spirit and mind even if you never see them again.

When you live with unforgiveness, you are bound like a prisoner. Your emotions are locked up which can eventually lead to health problems and even terminal illnesses. Conditions of the heart is a real and serious thing. It can eventually destroy an individual, a marriage, family, a friendship, a work relationship or a community.

Jesus was the ultimate example of forgiveness. After being mocked and beaten, He hung on the cross and he said, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34

Jesus’s whole ministry is about love and forgiveness. Most people in the world feels that forgiveness is a sign of weakness. However, it is a true sign of strength. It takes more maturity, courage, wisdom, strength and power to forgive.

If Jesus can forgive us for all the things we continue to do on a continuous basis and we “as His children” are heirs to the kingdom, we have the ability and the power to forgive others. “He (Jesus) who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” I John 4:4

When you forgive, you are set free. And, “Who the Son sets free, is free indeed.” John 8:36

“Judge not and you shall not be judged, condemn not and you shall not be condemned, forgive and you shall be forgiven”  Luke 6:37

Overcoming the Odds

ball anc chain

“Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulation for you, which is your glory.” Esphesians 3:13

After watching “Good Morning America” this past Tuesday, I was inspired by the story of the three women who escaped such a horrific experience after being kidnapped, raped and abused as a child for many years and finally being set free in adulthood.

The powerful words that each of these women expressed was heartfelt and demonstrates the power of God to sustain you through all life’s hardships and circumstances.

“I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden. Behold, at that time, I will undo all that afflict thee and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out: and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame. At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the Lord.” Zephaniah 3:18-20.

Personally, I was inspired many years ago through my own trials and tribulations to start a blog to encourage others through God’s word. I can truly identify and relate to the words that was so deeply pronounced by these women.

“Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” 2 Corth 1:4

Their stories are built on the truth that God will carry us through many storms in life despite the situation or circumstance. Everything done in the dark comes to the light. Truth eventually will be revealed. Dirty laundry is being aired for a purpose, just as well as many stories also being exposed in today’s media of real life situations of Christians who are chosen to be a witness or spiritual warrior commissioned to reveal God’s character and truth.

Every word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him.” Proverbs 30:5

It takes boldness and courage to speak God’s word to so many who do not believe, do not understand or do not have a personal relationship with the Lord.

“Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunk in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love and for a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. Who died for us, that, whether; we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.” I Thessaonians 5:11 and 5:14-15.

It’s an exciting time for all those who have their spiritual eyes and ears open. It’s time for Christians to position themselves to be a lighthouse in a cold and dark world. “The night is far spent, the day is at hand; let us therefore cast off the works of darkness and let us put on the armour of light.” Romans 13:12

Additional References:

2 Corth 4:6:10

Ephesians 5:8-20

Ephesians 6:10-19

Prisoners of Hope

This poem was inspired by Zech 9:12 “Turn ye to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope even today do I declare that I will render double unto thee.”

A Strange Wind Blowing

My instinct, my spirit all-knowing

I saw trouble ahead of me

Like a tsunami, a raging sea

Crashing my reality

Breathe…release….

I want to be free

 

I prayed for strength

To overcome another day

Too many obstacles and challenges

Blocking my way

 

Just give me a chance

To unlock the chains

living like a prisoner

desperate to escape the pain

 

Give me the key

Stop the roaring sea

As I reflect on how

Things use to be

 

Moments of Bliss

Scratching things off

My wish list

Now, it’s all a mist

 

Hazy, lazy days

Trying to figure out

What bills to pay

Not to mention

No paydays

 

Praying for wisdom to understand

As I stood in silence

trying to figure out my life’s plan

 

Suddenly, something arose inside of me

The words of hope

Changed my mentality

 

The power of words

Can create life or death

I regained my authority and strength

Reclaimed the energy that was left

 

Hope in times of trouble

takes patience, endurance and tenacity

The key to create a new life

transforms our reality

 

If everyone made a change

One step at a time

what looks like a mountain

Would be easy to climb

 

© Copyright 2008 Yolanda Berry