A Heart of Stone

Last night, I watched a man of God walk boldly into the streets of Portland, Oregon to evangelize and preach the gospel to a crowd at the Black Live Movement protest. He was sharing the word of God and preaching the message of love.

I watched with anxiety and great sadness on how the people rejected the gospel with such disrespect, anger, rage and disregard. They rejected, scoffed, and mocked him as he continued to preach the gospel.

The people blocked him from going any further into the crowd and told him to leave the area. I actually feared for his safety. As I reflected on what I witnessed through an online video, I’m reminded of how much Jesus had to endure as he walked through crowds of people who rejected his message as he traveled, preached and healed in the midst of persecution.

Unfortunately, not much has changed since then. Since we live in a fallen world, it’s too be expected, but it’s still very upsetting to see others reject a pure, genuine love. It’s an unconditional, agape love that the world is desperately searching so hard to find in people, places or things. I also realize how many people really don’t understand what love really is.

Love is a word thrown around very loosely in society, which has no substance, foundation or value. The world, in general, is void of love. 

Plain and simple, the devil is the master of confusion and the lawlessness experienced in this country is a reflection of the culture which honors and validates acts of disobedience, sin, pride and arrogance.

The world seems to be spinning out of control and erupts in chaos but God is still in control despite how we may think or feel at the present moment.

Sadly enough, society mirrors the disorder, injustice, pain, abuse and hatred that is not a stranger to the history of America.

If you look at a stone, it is unmovable and nothing can penetrate it. Depending on the size, it may be very heavy, but whether it’s a pebble, rock, stone or mountain, it’s made of the same substance. Nothing can pierce it.

After years of pain, anguish, frustration, anger and bitterness, a heart becomes hardened from life experiences, poor choices and decisions and bad situations or circumstances. Things may have happened unwillingly in your life which is not your fault but you’ve suffered the consequences, behaviors or decisions of someone else’s actions. Life is a painful journey and none of us escape life without heartache and pain. The only one who can heal the deep wounds, sickness or disease is Jesus Christ.

Ezk 36:26

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.

The Only Answer is Love

Every problem we are facing today relates to love. It’s the dominant force in life and without it humanity cannot survive.

The Lord values family and marriage. There’s a domino effect that starts in the home. The breakdown of the family has disrupted society, our communities and our nation. Whether your home is dysfunctional or operates under oppression, generational curses, domestic violence, teaches racism and bigotry in your household or have a lack of positive role models in your family, it allows children to run astray without discipline or guidance.

Prov 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

The severe neglect or abandonment of a child leads them down a road of mental, emotional or psychological anguish. As young adults, they fall prey into the world and tend to gravitate towards gang membership, crime, cults, corrupt organizations and abusive relationships. They search for anything to fill the void. Alcohol and drugs mask the pain but does not cure the original offense they faced as a child or along the path of adulthood.

The cycle continues as an adult but the devil is a liar. You can break the cycle of abuse, addiction, or rejection. You are not an outcast. You are not a failure. You are worthy. You are treasured. You are valued. You are loved.

The world is starving for love but doesn’t know or understand what love truly is, what it means or if it truly exists. The world has a perverted or distorted view or perspective on the meaning of love.

I Corth 6:19

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

It’s so disheartening to personally experience the love of God and then to witness so many people disregard or reject the truth of the gospel. The only one who saves you from the pain, discouragement, depression, anger or bitterness that you are trying to escape is Jesus. While others thrive in evil thoughts, bondages, and deeds of wickedness. The Lord is gracious and merciful to all those who desire a change of heart and mind.

What Does Love Look Like?

When you have love for yourself and others, you will not mistreat yourself or dishonor others. You will have self-control and walk with the fruits of the spirit.  You will have a desire to please God at all times. You will have integrity, morals and values that represent a Christ-like character. Even when you’re in private, you will have a desire to please the Lord while understanding that your priority is to honor the Lord regardless of your environment or surroundings. You will not be intimidated or influenced by others views or opinions. You will be truly set free from mental chains, bondage’s and worldly mindsets. This can only be accomplished through a heart transformation by the Holy Spirit. No prophet, preacher or teacher has the power to change your heart.

Acts 4:12

12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

You must come to terms with your sins and have an honest desire in your heart to open your heart to receive Christ.

Your ego, arrogance, lust of the flesh, pride, and rebellion will continue to lock you out of a relationship with the Lord but Jesus does not discriminate.

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Matt 7:7-8

Rev 3:20

20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

A Nation Divided Will Not Stand

When our society can no longer appreciate and value diversity of races, ethnicity and cultures as well as the opinions, beliefs and values other than our own, we will continue to bandage the lacerations of a culture that magnifies and gratifies sin, arrogance, and injustice.

When we can no longer communicate, listen or understand each other, we will thrive on distasteful behaviors, mentalities and attitudes influenced by the world system that is embedded in our music, entertainment, work culture and social norms.

When everyone has their own agenda and fighting for their own dominance and voices to be heard, we will continue to struggle with greed, power, wealth and fame for our own selfish motives and purposes.

It’s all rooted in fear. The only voice that stands is the voice of Jesus which is the foundation of love, peace and compassion.

When you know better, you do better. Every voice is screaming right now but be watchful and consider your ways and actions. Is it a reflection of love, joy, peace and compassion? We must be able to respect each other’s opinions without judgement, anger, animosity or disrespect.

Get out of your comfort zone. Lend an ear to people who don’t sound like you do. Share your story. Release your fears and negative emotions. Embrace courage and strength and mostly, focus on spreading love and compassion in a hurting, dark world.

Bible References:

Scriptures on Love

I Corth 13

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Scriptures on Salvation

John 14:6

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 10:10

Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy, but God came to give you a life more abundantly.

John 3:16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

Scriptures on Communication

Col 4:6

Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

Luke 19:40

40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.

Scriptures on Servanthood

Rom 6:18

18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

1 Corth 7:22

22 For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant.

Matt 5:10

10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Rooted in Christ for His Glory

And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” Gen 3:22

Strong leadership starts in the church and filters into all spheres of society. Pastors and leaders must not only confront the issues of racism and hatred but the sins of lust and adultery, covetousness, jealousy and greed in their congregations. Saints must learn how to war against Jezebel and religious spirits as well as rebuke every appearance of evil.

We cannot continue to water down the gospel to what people want to hear and accept. We have to stand on God’s laws and his promises. We must crucify our flesh and develop a spirit of righteousness and holiness governed by the power of the Holy Spirit.

It starts with preaching the true love of Christ. Unfortunately, injustice and equality have been overlooked in the church but we can no longer ignore such issues as race or compromise the truth of the gospel by avoiding topics of sin, repentance and the gift of salvation.

Everybody is seeking their own status, power, influence and authority instead of preaching the true Gospel.

Let us not be swayed by the wiles of the devil’s devices, distractions and diversions. Time is short. We cannot continue to play church as usual. Souls are at stake in this last hour. It is midnight in America and around the globe. The decisions and changes we make now will shift the atmosphere to destroy some of the deception and chaos erupting in our cities.

18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matt 16:18

Biblical prophecy will be fulfilled so we must reach as many souls as possible for the end time harvest.

The people have lost their way but the church has lost their way as well. We must rise up to shine the light of Christ in all that we say and do. We are made in God’s image and must walk in our true identity in Christ as a reflection of his love.

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. Eph 4:14

The responsibility lies on our shoulders as a body of believers. Let us resist the ways of the world and adapt the ways of Jesus to be salt and light in a world that does not desire the flavor of truth. Do not quench the Holy Spirit. Let us pray for one another and allow the Holy Spirit to lead us now and forever more.


Related Scriptures

Jer 23:1-2

Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the Lord.

Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord.

Jer 23:11-12

For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the Lord.

12 Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the Lord.

Jer 23:32

Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” says the Lord, “and tell them, and cause My people to err by their lies and by their recklessness. Yet I did not send them or command them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all,” says the Lord.

Jer 48:10

Cursed be he that doeth the work of the Lord deceitfully.

Luke 19:46

46 Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.

1 Thessalonians 5:19-25

Quench not the Spirit.

20 Despise not prophesyings.

21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

25 Brethren, pray for us.

Hosea 4:1-3

Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel: for the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.

By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood.

Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away.

Hosea 4:6-7

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame.

Hosea 6:1

Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.

Hosea 6:6

For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

Matthew 13:24-30

The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares

24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”

Matt 25:32-46

32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Heb 6:4-6

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,

And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,

If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

Seeking God in Solitary Moments

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

Food for Your Soul: Filling Your Heart with the Word of God

Breakfast, food
Each day, we must also focus our attention on feeding our spirit with the Gospel. It provides the daily nutrients we need like faith, trust, integrity, grace, forgiveness and a host of other ingredients needed in life.

One of my favorite meals is breakfast. I look forward to melted butter and drizzled maple syrup over cinnamon and nutmeg pancakes or a loaded omelet with cheddar cheese, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, and spinach. Of course, hazelnut coffee is my prerequisite and my daily motivator.

As much as I enjoy breakfast, I definitely need to eat lunch and dinner which provides me with extra energy, strength and substance to fuel me for the rest of the day.

Each day, we must also focus our attention on feeding our spirit with the Gospel. It provides the daily nutrients we need like faith, trust, integrity, grace, forgiveness, and a host of other ingredients needed in life.

The living word satisfies all of our needs and desires. It calms our fears and worries and provides us with solutions on how to tackle our obstacles and challenges.

When you’re filled with the Spirit of God, your cup overflows with His goodness, mercy and grace. Healing and deliverance is yours. The power of the word ignites your heart and mind.

The word of God provides the strength you need to overcome every obstacle, confront and destroy every enemy, break the yoke of bondage and stand in the midst of chaos and confusion with an unexplainable peace.

The word of God is a shield of protection. It covers us through sickness and disease, and attacks from anxiety, fear, stress, and depression.

To go through this year without the proper tools and strategies to move every mountain of hindrance, cease every storm of tribulation and overthrow the Pharaoh of captivity and bondage in your life would be detrimental and even catastrophic.

Let us position ourselves in daily prayer, repentance, and worship. Draw near to Jesus and He will draw near to you. It all starts with reading and meditating on the Word.

It’s time to stop running towards people, places and things to fill a void in your life. Choose a life that satisfies. It’s food for your soul.


Related Scriptures:

Matt 5:6

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Eph: 6:10-17

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Romans 14:17

17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

Rom 14:19-20

19 Let us, therefore, follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for that man who eateth with offense.

Heb 4:12

12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Matters of the Heart

Several churches have become motivational powerhouses, however, they’re missing the mark on the message of Salvation.  The church, the body of Christ, has become a form of entertainment. Reality TV shows, superstar singing, shouting, dancing, and dramatic prophesying have all been incorporated into worship which makes it hard to tell what is real from what is not real.

Some people are attending church every Sunday but their hearts are not being truly transformed. Others are calling themselves Christians without having Godly character, a Godly lifestyle, or a personal relationship with Jesus.

Being a Christian today is like wearing a “title” on your chest like Superman or like wearing a badge or bumper sticker that shouts, “I’m a Christian!” But, what does that mean if you’re sleeping with your best friend’s husband, using the church to network for business or chasing women in the church?

The world on the outside looking in is even more confused because they have don’t have an understanding of the spiritual world much more how to discern the Spirit of God.

They’re looking at the church to be an example of what it means to be a Christian. Often times, no one can tell the difference because believers are conforming to the secular world at rapid speed.

Some preachers are preaching hate instead of love. Others are confirming same-sex marriage. Others are passive with heterosexual partners living together. The statistics in the divorce rates within the church is outrageous. There is just so much confusion about what religion, faith, and spirituality really mean.

The reverence for God is quickly diminishing. Morals and values are in the toilet. However, there is a remnant of believers that are thirsty for righteousness and the presence of the Holy Spirit.

As Christians, we are not to live like the world lives, but we are to set the example and live clean and sanctified lives.

The only way to do this is to be transformed by the Holy Spirit. Yes, we can change some things in our lives and make better choices and decisions but to be truly transformed, it takes the power of the Holy Spirit.

No one will ever be perfect, including me, but that’s why Jesus died for our sins. When we repent, we are acknowledging and declaring our weaknesses and faults and wrongdoings to the Lord. We do not have to have to carry guilt, shame, or condemnation in our hearts, but we are releasing everything attached to sin to God. He carries our burdens, troubles, and worries.

Even though we release all our problems to the Lord, it doesn’t mean it magically gets easier. Actually not to sugar coat anything, all hell breaks loose in our lives. You will still have to walk through tests, trials, and uncomfortable situations. However, the Lord will reveal his love, mercy, grace, power, healing, and faithfulness.

When we acknowledge Christ as our Lord and Savior. We confess and understand that Christ died for our sins and that Christ is the Son of God which was created in the image of man.

We ask the Lord to come into our hearts and transform us. It’s much more than just mouth service. You must have a deep yearning, desire, and surrender to God to change your heart. That’s where the transformation takes place – in the heart.

Your heart is where your desire and passion reside. “Out of the heart, the abundance speaks.” Luke 6:45 The core of a man is his heart. Sometimes decisions are made from the heart. The heart carries emotions and feelings. However, the mind is equally powerful and can override the heart. The mind carries logic, memory, intelligence, and consciousness.

If your heart is clean, you will have a desire to please God. It all stems from the issues of the heart. However, the mind is not an island. It also needs to be transformed. Our mind controls our thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and behavior.

When we align our thoughts with God’s thoughts, all doubt, fear, discouragement, and negative thinking has to go! The Lord will give us the ability to discern situations and people, guard our minds, provide focus and clarity, and help us make wise decisions. We will also have a teachable spirit.

When we surrender our thoughts to the Lord, He gives us the authority to overcome attacks from the enemy in our minds that plagues us with worldly concerns. We know the difference between right and wrong and have accountability for our actions while maintaining grace under pressure.

We are not to judge others at all, but we are to live by God’s laws.

There are many questions to ponder on in your spiritual journey.  Have you surrendered your life to Christ? Have you backslidden? Do you have integrity? Do you forgive others without holding grudges? Do you gossip? Do you complain? Have you changed your language to represent the love of Christ? Are you jealous? Are you kind to others?

It’s time to step up and lead by example. Walk like Jesus. Even if you stumble or fall, He will catch you and will not let you go. Take the first step. It’s not an easy walk, but He promises it will be worth it.

John 8:24King James Version (KJV)

24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

Romans 3:23King James Version (KJV)

23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Hebrews 11:6King James Version (KJV)

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

John 15:10King James Version (KJV)

10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

1 Corinthians 13:1King James Version (KJV)

13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

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.”

depressed man

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.

praying hands

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

girl praying

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.

words of anger

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

black girl jogging

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

girl laying down

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