Pastor: Steven Furtick
•Be renewed according to your new reality
•God patiently awaits our maturity to develop as we wait upon his assistance or promises
•God provides the resources before assigning the tasks
•God establishes parameters to allow us to enjoy our blessings within a protected/protective boundary
•We entrust our blessings and gifts to God in order to prevent the development of trust in our provisions
•Jesus, the angel mentioned in Exodus, was sent ahead of us to guard us and lead us to the promised place (heaven)
•God protects us along the way, but we tend to see it, not as it occurs, but after it has been complete
•God can solely protect us as we are in motion, not while we are ensnared or without movement
•God cannot dispatch his assistance for an assignment which you are not present for
•Do not waste your angel in refusing to accomplish your assigned task
We don’t know it unless we practice it.
I heard this quote in a sermon, and I believe it is incredibly important in our relationship with God.
We don’t know love unless we practice it.
The thing is, God is love. If we practice love, we know love. Therefore, we have better understanding of who God is.
“You reap what you sow.”
Another term that can be used for this is the effort put in is the reward received. It’s like a good form of karma.
“What goes around, comes around.”
A smile given is a smile received. My favorite version of this saying is an actual, true story.
My mother went into a drive through at Starbucks. She was single with me and my sister and was rather broke. A gentlemen in the car in front of her paid for her Starbucks, and we were all so thankful! The next time this happened, my mother paid for the person behind her and that person paid for the person behind her and the chain continued almost all day! Kindness given is kindness received (usually/eventually).
However, if one is in a position where they are constantly kind and receive harsh treatment or abuse, it is okay to leave such a situation. It is self-respect, not giving up on that person!
Throughout life, we will undoubtedly encounter people who irritate us. Sometimes, we aren’t even sure of the reason why, but it is a battle to maintain a kind spirit when one is annoyed. I have a simple fix: I remind myself constantly that “Jesus died for them, too” and slowly it reshapes my perspective. My challenge for you is to remember that simple sentence and repeat it when tempted to react out of irritation.
Have you discovered your purpose? I often watch and observe those surrounding me, noticing their occupations and talents, their desires, goals, and successes. Everybody craves success regarding their actions. An accomplished goal is a job well done. But where does purpose fit into the puzzle of life?
Successes and victories should gradually build up to our purpose. Were I to have the purpose of founding an orphanage, financial success is required. However, not everybody does “big” things. Not everybody is a Bill Gates or Billy Graham. Your purpose does not require “big” things. It is using what your talent and gifts. Use what you have been granted to glorify God, doing it to the best of your ability.
Not everybody does “big” things in that they achieve huge goals or achievements, but everybody contains a gift or talent or few. Mine is encouragement and gentleness, as well as worship. Not everybody has visible gifts, such as art or sports. Some might be gifted similarly to me. It does not matter. Everybody is uniquely crafted with a special purpose obtained through the usage of our talents and gifts.
Today, God revealed to me a portion of his heart toward us that I wish to share, but I admit, I am having a difficult time describing my thought process, so bear with me, please!
- I was anxious because I could not feel the presence of God
- I confessed this was a result of feeling guilt and shame for my transgressions
- I said I wished to be in heaven and feel near to God… without ceasing
To which God replied:
- You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:13)
- Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1)
- The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17)
(Notice how he conquered each fear or negative feeling with scripture)
Then, he explained that, if he delights in us now, how much more so is he excited about us going to heaven to be with him? A lot! And if he really wants us to be fulfilled in heaven, with him, then how important must our purpose on Earth be if he is waiting until a specific day for us to die? Very! I found this to be quite encouraging, and hope you do also!
I have struggled with depression for my entire existence. However, my teenage years were discovered to be the most suicidal, for I was attempting to decide who I desired to be and that which I wished would happen or occur in my future. I was often confused about my desires and wishes and left with little hope. I felt hopeless. I was despairing.
Rarely was I alone in my house, but when I was, I would lie in bed and sob, contemplating suicide, longing for a reason to live. I knew I was broken and hurting. The pain resulting from years of abuse was evident. But I did not know God was present in my suffering until one particular afternoon, when I cried out to God.
I questioned why I was forsaken to a life of pain and misery and why I was suffering so intensely. I explained to God I was tempted to end my life. It was then that my heart was stilled and I felt a huge burden lifted from my shoulders as he said, “Have faith, Little One, for I am coming to bring you home and restore your broken heart.” It was these words which aided me in surviving my depression.
I have a hope. My hope rests with and is in Jesus, who provides comfort and love in times of trouble. He will return to rescue me from all distress, but honestly, he is, in spirit, right here with me at this moment and during times of suffering. So I will have faith that he cares for my pain and wishes to heal me, in his own, perfect time.