What to do when it is so dark and hard to see?


Don’t lose hope! Don’t give in! Don’t give up! It’s time to persevere! Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds! Take hope when you face the troubles of this world! Allow the joy of the Lord to be your strength! Let your light shine! Just because the situation changed, it doesn’t mean the hope is gone! Just because the location changed, it doesn’t mean the love it gone! Just because you don’t know what to say, it doesn’t mean it is over!

As I was walking through the San Diego airport and heading to my gate a sign showed up that caught my attention. It made me think of David and his dancing as the ark was coming back into the city. It made me think of the incredible wedding I had gotten to be a part of just a few days earlier and the celebration that took place among family and friends. This was the sign I saw at the bottom of the escalator that I had to stop and take a picture of:

How do we get back to it when the enemy comes and tries to break things up? How do we clarity misunderstandings that cause conversation to clam up? How do we reset something that was going so well just moments before and then felt like the wheels fell off moments after landing? How do we put things back on track when life shows up again and starts pulling at you?


What to do when it is so dark and hard to see?


Today’s reading in God’s Word comes from:

  • Nehemiah 1
  • Nehemiah 2
  • Ezekiel 43
  • Acts 22:30
  • Acts 23:1-11
  • Revelation 16:1-16
  • Psalms 135

Do you realize it is OK to weep and mourn it? Do you realize it is OK to fast and pray about it? Do you realize it is OK to lift it up and trust God for it? Do you realize that you can trust God to rescue the situation? Do you realize that you can trust God to restore the situation? Will you list to God’s direction and obey His instructions? Pray that you will find success today and find favor!

Will you put on a mask to hide the reality? Will you try to pretend like everything is OK, even when it isn’t? Will you allow fear to rule your responses today or will you trust God to help you in and through the moment? Will you take a pause before giving answers in order to give a good answer that comes from God to heal the situation? Will you take a pause and pray for wisdom into how to answer?

Consider the words of God about asking…

7Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Matthew 7:7-8

God won’t send you alone even though He has given you His Word.

Are you willing to check it out for yourself so that you know the situation? Are you willing to check it out for yourself so that you can understand the situation? Are you willing to do something about it rather than only going based on emotions and feelings? Will you absorb what God has told you and shown you before you open up and take action? Will you trust God to help you succeed? Will you start to rebuild now that you are home?

Will you trust that in the midst of the darkness that God’s light will shine? Will you trust that in the midst of the darkness that God’s glory will shine?

While on vacation do you realize the battle hadn’t stopped? While on vacation do you realize that there is still a spiritual war taking place for the souls of the people around you? Do you realize that by coming back to your land, you have stepped back into the spiritual war zone you had left? Do you realize you may have come back filled and renewed that the enemy of your soul is looking for a way to tear it down, rob it from you, and destroy as much of it as possible?

We need to come back together and make it whole. We need to talk through the misunderstanding in order to restore and renew and refresh the truth, the love, and the relationship.

Will you stand your ground and stand for what you believe in? Even in the midst of the trouble?

Are you able to see the division or reason in the situation? Are you able to bring God’s Word into that situation in order to restore and bring things back under the cover of the Lord?

Receive today’s message from the Lord to Be encouraged! to Preach the Good News!

So let’s praise the Lord! Let’s praise those who serve the Lord! Let’s praise the Lord for He is good! Let’s praise the Lord for He is great! Let’s praise the Lord who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine! Let’s praise the Lord who endures forever! Let’s praise the Lord who is known in every generation! Let’s praise the Lord who gives justice to His people! Let’s praise the Lord who has compassion on His servants!


So where are you at today? Are you ready for forgiveness and peace? Are you ready for a hope and a future? Are you ready for a transformation where the old is gone and the new has come? Are you ready to being the journey of knowing right from wrong? Then let’s pray together to invite Jesus into your heart and your life so that His peace which surpasses all understanding can guide you and comfort you, protect your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. If this is the first time you have prayed to invite Jesus into your heart, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If this is a recommitment to Jesus, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If you are still questioning or seeking, don’t go it alone, feel free to leave me a comment so we can discuss it.

Let’s pray:

Prayer of Salvation

Love. Why do we love?


LOVE:

image

 

God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, not to condemn the world, but that the world would be saved.

 

Jesus loves us so much that He was willing to go all the way. All the way to being brutally beaten, unjustly charged, and wrongfully crucified on the cross so that we could be reconciled and forgiven by God.

 

God’s Word from 1 John 4 speaks the following:

Loving One Another

7Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. 8But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

9God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

11Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. 12No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.

13And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. 14Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15All who confess that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. 16We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.

God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.

18Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.19We love each other because he loved us first.

20If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? 21And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters.

1 John 4:7-21

 

Salvation isn’t about religion or rituals. Salvation is about relationship and revelation.

 

Look at Him. See everything He has done for you. Isn’t that love?

Consider what He says and promises. Is that better than our ways, higher than our ways, and filled with more love than our ways?

It isn’t because of what we can do for Him that we love, but because of all that He has done and is doing and will do in and through our lives by His love. He loved us first. He loves us more.

What are you focused on? What are you thinking about? Is it building you up or tearing you down?


Stay busy thinking about the right things and the devil won’t be able to fill your mind with the wrong things. Do you know what things to fill your thoughts with? TRUTH. HONORABLE things. Things that are RIGHT. Things that are PURE. Things that are LOVELY. Things that are ADMIRABLE. Things that are excellent and worthy of praise.


8And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Philippians 4:8


Don’t waste your mind on other things. There are so many things that are being broadcasted that will try to get you down and discouraged. There are so many things that are in print that won’t help you get up and out, but seem to be designed to keep you down and out. We have a choice what we will accept, what we will receive, and what we will let in. If it isn’t helpful and it isn’t useful then you probably shouldn’t be giving it the right to be in your mind. If it isn’t true and honoring, then it has no purpose except to get you off track. If it isn’t right and pure, then it a setup to tear you down. If it isn’t lovely and admirable, then it isn’t an example to be following and if you don’t want to be like that then you probably don’t want to allow it to take up your energy or time. If it is excellent and worthy of praise, then you should glorify God and praise Him for what He is and has done to make this happen.


Today’s Devotional: Your Life Won’t Change Until Your Thinking Changes

(Non-Bold or Indented, Italic words are copy/paste from the devotional by Joyce Meyers or other Bible verses)

Ever been in a part of your life where from the time you get up till the time you go to sleep you are thinking negative? Ever just put on a happy face, but on the inside every thought is negative and not encouraging you? People can tell, it isn’t the same “happy face” people were used to before and whatever is in your heart ends up being what is overflowing out of your mouth in what and how you say things. The worst part of it is that it continues the downward spiral and doesn’t help get you back on track. For some it takes hitting rock bottom before they are willing to look up and ask God for help. For some it takes a trigger or scare that is big enough that you stop and look and can hear what God is telling you to the point where you will do it. For me it was unforgiveness that created bitterness and frustration. Every day God would put on a song as I was driving home to try and get me to turn it around, but my response kept being “but God, you know what they did to me and You know how I was mistreated” and kept allowing the root to grow in me. This started to impact not only myself but those around me including my family. I am so thankful for my family as they encouraged and loved me through it all. The downward spiral continued for months up until my tax appointment day. When I looked at the paperwork before leaving home, I remember saying, God help me. In my case it was the jolt, the chock, the trigger, the scare that allowed me to be focused on God. Driving down the highway, a song came on the radio that God was able to use to start the change, start the transformation, and be able to start to clean house in my heart and in my head. The song was 7×70. As I started to cry, my heart breaking for having held back from the power of forgiveness and letting it go so that I could focus on what’s good. So I started to forgive them, all of them. As I was about half way to the off-ramp, the next thing that came into my mind was as you forgive others, I will forgive you. And the tears began again as I started to ask God to forgive me for having been stubborn and not having forgive people so much earlier as He had prompted. As I got to the off-ramp, it was gone. The anger and bitterness…GONE! The tears and sadness…GONE! The heavy weight on my shoulders…GONE! God gave me a trade-in, a trade-up. He took the weight of what was hard to bear and heavy to carry and replaced it with hope, love, truth, life, that are light and easy. I was able to trade my sorrow and my pain, my sickness and my shame for the joy of the Lord. He took care of it all and when I got home, I was a transformed husband and father, son and brother, employee and coworker. I praise God that He loves us so much that He won’t leave us where He finds us, but will walk with us, speak to us, never leaving us nor abandoning us. He is faithful and true and available for all those who will call on Him. I am now able to relate in ways I wouldn’t have been able to had I not walked through this. I am now able to speak lift and hope to others because I found a way up and a way out. I am not going to let the devil’s lies speak me down and get a foothold in my life that will keep me back or down from all that God has promised and planned for my life. I am hear to share with others. I am hear to listen to what others are dealing with. God has also provided me with the wisdom to freedom from the lies of the devil and they are love and forgiveness.

I am here if you want to talk too…

If you are stuck with negative thoughts. If you are sitting with thoughts where you end up looking like this picture where the devil is speaking garbage into one ear and that ends up being what you are focusing on, then it is time for a change. 

I have people who say if they see me flicking one of my shoulders, I am getting the devil’s negativity off my shoulder so I can listen to the truth of God from the other side.

There is a battle for your mind and your soul going on.

The Holy Spirit is speaking in a still quiet voice. We need to renew our minds.


1And so, dear brothers and sisters,I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Romans 12:1-2


God gives us a list of things we can and should be thinking about. It’s a good list to help us focus on things that will build us up rather than tear us down.


8And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Philippians 4:8


Throughout my journey I still had my morning time where God could and would speak to me. I even posted what He was telling me daily trusting that He would help me. Eventually I got to the place where I was willing to listen.

Today’s devotional by Joyce Meyer provides a challenge for anyone who wakes up every morning with negative thoughts…

I want to issue you a challenge. Instead of waking up in the morning and immediately thinking negative thoughts, I want you to pick a positive truth from scripture and focus on it everyday when you wake up. Let God’s Word grow in you and transform your mind. Fix your mind on good things and enjoy the godly changes it brings.

Prayer Starter:

God, I’m ready to change and live with the mind of Christ. Help me to only think about what is true, honorable, pure, lovely, kind, gracious, virtuous – whatever is of You.


Today’s Reading: Discipleship Journal’s Book-at-a-Time Reading Plan 


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for all that will be in it. I thank You Lord that I am able to serve You in Your house today. I praise You that I am able to serve with my wife in a way that will praise and glorify You. Help me Lord I pray to be focused and to accomplish all that You desire and plan for me today. Help me Lord to bring a place where people are able to come and enter into Your presence and glorify You. As I step up and step in to all You have for me today Lord, may in and through it all, You receive all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. And Lord may Your anointing be over the worship leaders, the preaching of the Word, and all those who are helping in supporting these efforts, in Jesus’ name. Amen.