Seeking God in Solitary Moments

Resting in Gods Promises provides peace, security and strength to overcome life’s challenges.

What’s the difference between trust, faith and belief?

 

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Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. Psalm 20:7

Do you wonder if trust, faith or belief means the same thing?

Although they sound the same or at least very similar, these words are not the same. However, they are part of the same family, per say, and weaved together in various ways.

TRUST

  1. A reliance on the integrity, veracity or reliability of a person or thing.
  2. Something committed to one’s care for use or safekeeping.
  3. The state or position of one who has received an important charge.
  4. Confident expectation; hope
  5. In commerce, credit
  6. To rely upon; to commit to the care of another
  7. The property or thing held in trust as in relation subsisting between the holder and the property so held.
  8. A combination of business firms formed to control productions or prices of some commodity.

In the world, people rely on the trust of their spouse, friends, doctors, teachers and other people in their communities. They depend on their opinions, advice, judgments, criticism, and perspectives. They depend on their status, position and intellect.

For the most part, they are self-reliant and value the ideas and opinions of others. Some people may even listen to the instruction or opinion of others before following their own minds.

The problem with trusting others is that they may not always use wisdom and could lean you towards the wrong decision. You may not have clarity on the right answer or correct decision to make (depending on the situation).

When making sound decisions, you should have a peace within which can easily be found through the Holy Spirit. When you put your trust in Him. You will eventually experience change. At times, you will wait endlessly for divine guidance with no answers in sight but you must remain diligent despite the circumstances. There may be a lesson to be learned while waiting for direction.

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Idolatry is another issue that arises by trusting in material things. Money, houses, fame, and fortune are all forms of idolatry. You may even be addicted to your cell phone or the internet. Whatever you put before God, will become a form of idolatry.

As a person strives for more, they become dissatisfied with their life. They begin to compare and judge others. The birth of greed, jealousy, envy, and depression cradles the mind and soul as they continue to pursue fleshy passions or possessions.

The Lord is the only source of real and complete satisfaction. When people fail you or objects become old, lost, stolen or broken, Jesus is the one and only who satisfies and quenches the trust in a dry, parched world.

FAITH

  1. Belief without evidence.
  2. Confident trust
  3. Belief in God; the Bible
  4. A specific religion
  5. Anything given adherence or credence to a man’s political faith
  6. Allegiance

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In the Bible, it states, “Faith is the evidence hoped for the evidence of things not seen. Heb 11:1

In this culture, it seems foolish to believe in something that you cannot see. Have you ever heard the popular saying, “Seeing is believing?” This statement reinforces the belief of the natural realm or physical world while dismissing the reality of the spiritual one.

It’s not easy to believe in something you cannot see but everyone does it every day whether they realize it or not. The act of breathing is a form of faith. This simple yet necessary activity gives us life each and every day. Not one of us has ever seen oxygen but we know it exists.

The closest we ever got to see it is in the middle of winter when a puff of smoke comes out of your mouth or nostrils. The Lord also provides similar ways to reveal himself to us if we acknowledge His presence.

Another example is music. No one has ever seen music yet it exists. Although we hear it, we will never be able to see or touch it. Just like the Father, the Lord speaks to us within our spirit but we must be still enough to listen to the whisper of God.

BELIEF

1 The acceptance of something as true or actual

2. That which is believed true, as a creed

3.  Religious faith

4.  Confidence, trust

5.  An opinion

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The mere definition of belief opens up a Pandora’s box because there are so many belief systems in this world. So many opinions and perspectives of different cultures, ethnicities, races, religions, and regions. This aids in the chaos and confusion because everyone has their own opinions and what they feel is believed to be true.

The Lord loves us so much that He has given us freedom of choice. He does not force us, manipulate us or persuade us to believe in Him. He allows us free reign to seek Him or reject him.

Independence is a beautiful thing. However, when we depend solely on ourselves and the world system, it leads us to misery, deception, confusion, and frustration.

If you allowed a child, complete freedom to do what they wanted, they would self-destruct. They would probably eat all the candy, cookies or ice cream they wanted. Plus, they would watch TV or play video games all day and night and leave a mess in their rooms as well as the whole house.

Well, we are no different. We would choose all the pleasures of this world and ignore the consequences of our actions.

The Lord has defined certain principles and guidelines to abide by for our good. This is not to hurt us but to protect us. The Lord is a loving Father who guides us along life’s journey. There is a multitude of promises that align with the Lord’s instructions waiting for us. He is not waiting for the first chance we mess up so he can punish us if we do something wrong. He is full of compassion, grace, and mercy. However, you must be willing to cleanse your heart of all sin (repent) and walk as an example of Christ. The Lord has many gifts and treasures to enjoy on this earth as well as in heaven.

The Lord asks that you trust Him, walk in faith and believe in Him at all times.  Commit to His ways for His love endures forever.

Prayer

Lord, Thank you for being a loving Father. I honor and worship you in spirit and in truth. Help me to walk in your ways. When I mess up, let me be quick to correct my mistakes. I pray that you will give me a measure of faith that will shift all obstacles blocking my path. I rebuke all fear, self-doubt, addictions, temptation, anxiety or depression. Help me to trust in you alone. Reveal yourself to me in new ways and may I receive a fresh revelation. I believe your promises and I stand on your word in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

The Little Things in Life

And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew 18:3  King James Version (KJV)

When we think of the characteristics and qualities of a child, most people focus on the pure innocence and curiosity of a child. We think of the playful nature and free spirit that a child carries as well as their mischievous ways.

The Bible states that we must become as a child to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. What exactly does that mean?

We tend to lose the basic traits as we become adults through the process and experiences of life.

A child lives in the present moment. They often do not think about the past or worry about the future. They are focused on the present moment. In Matthew 6:25-34, it states that we should not worry about our life because if the Lord takes care of the birds he will take care of you (See below for scripture reference).

A child depends on their parents to care for them. They believe all their needs will be met. They seek security and acceptance. Unfortunately, in the world we live in today, their needs may fall short of being met however there is grace and protection over children. An adult will most likely step in to help, guide, nurture and protect a child that is in danger.

Just like our loving Father, the Lord will help, guide and protect us from harm. He will shield us from unknown dangers that we may not even be aware of at the time. Sometimes it seems as if our prayers are left unanswered but it’s the Lord’s will to protect us from all things that are not pleasing to Him or may cause us harm in the long run.

A child has a trusting heart. They don’t think that the world is out to get them. They are not concerned about all the extras and pressures that life brings. They do not seek power or status. They are contented with the simplicity that life offers. They find joy in the little things. They laugh and smile easily and cry when necessary. They’re not afraid to release emotions. They believe almost anything someone tells them but questions everything around them while they constantly try to figure out the world around them.

A child is quick to love others and does not harbor resentment or unforgiveness. Since they have no prior experiences, they do not fear of getting hurt emotionally. They easily open their hearts willingly through innocence and trust. They are not perverted or worldly. Their hands are clean as well as their hearts. They speak boldly which may even cause public embarrassment to others with the brutal honesty they give.

Overall, the reflection of a child’s nature is made of trust, love, peace and contentment. There are many other qualities that you may take notice of as you reflect on this message.

As you go about your week, take mental notes of the child-like qualities that the Lord has required for us to have and work towards transforming our rigid ways to mirror the characteristics of a child.

The wonders of life are enduring, wholesome and pure.

Psalms 131:2

Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.

Mark 10:15

15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

Matthew 7:13-14

  13 “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leads unto life and few there be that find it.”

Matthew 6:25-34

25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

29 And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

31 Therefore take no thought, saying, what shall we eat? Or, what shall we drink? Or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.

34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

How to Trust God in Difficult Times

“Blessed is the man that trusts in the Lord and whose hope is in the Lord.”  Jeremiah 17:7

 As we entered 2014, we also entered into one of the coldest weather conditions in U.S. history. Meteorologist explained this strange weather patterns as, “The Polar Vortex.”

It’s a very thought-provoking term, “Vortex” which is defined as a “Whirlwind” which includes a second definition meaning, “A condition that you can’t get out of.”

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Have you ever been in a situation or circumstance that you just don’t know how to escape? It’s like you’re wrapped in a spider’s web of confusion, fear, despair, isolation, discouragement,  hopelessness, depression, frustration, pain, or worry. You don’t have the answers and the future looks bleak. You have tried to consult friends, family possibly even professionals with no resolve.

It’s very hard to trust the Lord when you’re life has flipped upside down and turned inside out. It’s even harder if you don’t know God,  his promises, or His character. “That I may know Him, and the  power of his resurrection” Philippians 3:10

Your life may have exploded and you’re left to pick up the pieces. When facing challenges, it’s hard to focus on the positive or have an optimistic attitude. I’m not going to lie but it’s a struggle we all face. The only difference is those who have experienced the Lord and those who have not. People tend to believe in coincidences, luck, or happenstance without acknowledging the spiritual forces at work in their lives. We are living in very dangerous times in which it will require the power of God to overcome problems, situations, and circumstances.

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You may not feel like God is listening to your prayers but God is working behind the scenes. You may not understand why it is taking so long for your prayers to be answered but God is not under our time table or calendar. He is working things out according to His will and plan for your life. You were designed for a special purpose. The Lord wants a relationship with you not just sudden requests when things go wrong in your life. “And we know that all things work together for good to them  that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

The Lord allows certain things to happen in our lives to prepare us and shape us for His purpose. Of course, not all of the things we experience is God’s will, but He will turn things around for our good.  We must develop faith and patience in prayer and our daily lives. “That you be not slothful, but f    followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. And so, after he had  patiently endured, he obtained the promise.” Heb 6:12, 15

Back to the “Polar Vortex,” The snowstorms have caused major disasters, increased depression, stress, isolation, and unfortunately roadside deaths.

All activity was frozen for a period of time. People were either stuck in their homes or on the roads. Somehow, I feel God was slowing us down so we would do absolutely nothing so He could get our attention! We were stuck, isolated, and frustrated! But, we still did not pay attention. It was time to yield and cease all activity. However, we continued to go about our business and let the weather stress us out.

Once we release the stress of dealing with cold, miserable weather and other things that we can’t control, we will free ourselves of things that we simply can’t change. By coming to this acceptance, we enter into peace. In the process, seasons change, and flowers bloom. It’s through this process, we gradually come through whatever storm we may be dealing with in life. Unfortunately, the whole process may be postponed, delayed, or slowed down. Although it may be an inconvenience or an uncomfortable situation, we will get through it and obtain victory in the end.

Three Beneficial Things to Do When Facing Difficult Times

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1.    Elevate Your Thoughts

God wants us to align our thinking with His thoughts. The natural mind does not understand spiritual things. It is a constant battle to think on a higher plane because our world is so negative and evil. It’s so much easier to think negatively which immediately drains our energy. That’s why we should always be aware of our thoughts, actions, and environments.

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As soon as our thoughts begin to focus on fear, disbelief, doubt, or any other toxic emotion, we need to consciously change our thought patterns. It is very challenging to switch your thoughts when so many problems are staring you in the face. The advantage is knowing the Gospel and being able to draw from God’s promises and meditate on His word which is life and substance to your soul. Once we elevate our minds, we raise our energy level and begin to feel much better. It is a spiritual war that manifests in a physical realm. Often times, we use physical components to fight our spiritual or mental battles such as sleeping pills, medication, drugs, alcohol, or sex. We may even contemplate suicide as a means of escape.

2.    Take Care of Your Body

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We must take care of our bodies including eating healthier and exercising daily. Many people overlook the importance of a well-balanced diet.  However, diet plays a vital role in how we deal with stress and challenges in our lives. When we eat healthily, we have a clear mind. Our bodies are able to fight off disease and illness and even stress better. You can also take vitamins to supplement your diet such as B- complex vitamins which alleviate stress.  It’s best to consult your doctor for specific vitamin supplements based on your physical needs.

Another important factor is to get enough rest. When all else fails, go to sleep! Just make sure you have a balance. When we sleep, our stress levels go down. We are able to fight off illness, deal with problems, and make better decisions. We are less irritable and able to manage frustrations with ease. We are also able to control our emotions and we are much more productive in our daily lives.

“He who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us labor, therefore, to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” Hebrews 4:10–11

Unfortunately, Satan understands our weaknesses and attacks us when we are most vulnerable which often means we are lacking rest. When we are tired or weary, it disrupts our peace of mind. When we have inner peace, we are able to interact with others much better as well as have the ability for the Lord to direct us in our daily decisions. “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace.” I Corth 4:33

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God is actively at work at all times even while we are resting. The Lord never slumbers. “He will not suffer thy foot to be moved. He that keeps thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.” Psalm 121

3.    Seek Solitude in Prayer, Worship and Reading the Bible

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Most of all, this is the most obvious but required. We should have a set schedule to spend time with God. We should continue to seek  God in prayer. We must not give up hope.    We should pray without ceasing knowing that God will answer our prayers in perfect timing.

We must also continue to worship Him regardless of our situation.  It’s in the hardest struggles that our praise is strengthened. No matter what the situation looks like we must continue to be faithful in worship. There is always something to appreciate and be grateful for.

We should read the Bible on a regular schedule to keep our spirits strong and to encourage ourselves daily. Faith is by hearing and hearing is by the Word of God. We should surround ourselves with a body of believers who will encourage and support us. This will raise our spirits, as well as our thoughts and actions.

When we take care of our mind, body, and soul, it strengthens our spiritual well-being to hear from God. By developing and building trust in Him, it draws us closer to Him. When we begin to see how He delivers us out of our situations and circumstances, our trust and faith will be strengthened to overcome any obstacle that we face.

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope; And hope maketh not ashamed: because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Romans 5:3-5

Hope for the Hopeless

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I created this blog on the foundation of hope. Hope is a powerful word and even more powerful when put to action. When you have hope you have the courage to keep believing, keep going and keep striving. If you are still breathing, you still have hope. Things still have an opportunity to change for the better. It’s a matter of eliminating the negative thoughts and walking by faith despite your circumstances. You have to feed your mind with positive thoughts and surround yourself with people who will uplift your spirits. Sometimes it’s better to be by yourself than to be with someone who will tear you down or speak words of doubt or negativity.

Hope gives you imagination and allows you to work towards your goals. Hope is purpose and inspiration.

“I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for a hope and a future.” (Jer 29:11)

Hope keeps you moving in the right direction….

As we enter the Fall, lets shake off the negativity of life and prepare for a new season of promises. It starts with your thoughts. Just like the colored leaves and acorns fall off of trees, get rid of the old and prepare for the new things that life has to offer. You may not see the change happen immediately, but with time you will eventually see a transformation.

Live with hope and high expectation.