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Despair to Hope

Psalms 27:13 I would have despaired  unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

 

I really wanted one. I was so ready for one. Everyone had one but me. Even the guy that I had a crush had one. I was hurt that he wanted someone else not me. I wanted to have a Christian boyfriend. I cried out a lot for a boyfriend. I finally had gotten tired of waiting so I went on eharmony to find the man that I had hope to marry. I had a secret I was desperate when I met him and for a while I thought that he was my last hope. I did everything I could to try and keep him around.

 

Desperate means to be upset because having little or no hope. Have you ever been in a situation where you were very desperate for something to happen. That you would do anything to make it happen? What were the results of the situation? Did you end up even in a worst situation? Did things become better? Often times when you are desperate the situation does not turn out as good. It is the certain truth for me.

 

It was as well for David. He was in a desperate situation. He was running for his life. He did not have a place or friendship with other nations to keep him safe. The only person he could count on was the LORD. That is why in Psalms 27:13 he wrote: I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Despaired in this version is very similar to the definition of desperate. Despair mean to no longer have any hope or belief that a situation will improve or change. Remember desperate means having little or no hope. One is right on the edge and the other is to give up completely.

 

When I was dating my eharmony guy again I was in despair in truth desperate I did not think that I could do any better. I wanted it so much that if this relationship did not make it what is the point of trying for another relationship. In truth it was not a good relationship for either of us. At that time we both were in despair because we wanted someone but tried to make the other into the person that we wanted them to be.

 

Despair comes because we stop believing in the goodness of the LORD. We begin to believe the lie that nothing is going to change. We begin to believe the lie that God is not hearing our prayers. Finally we begin to believe the lie that God does not want to do good for us just allow us to keep suffering. In truth that is what they are just lies. God does want good for you in the land of the living. He is not withholding any good thing from you. He just does not want anything to spoil, he desires to having ready in his timing.

 

I am learning to combat despair with truth and promises. I have to stand on the truth of God’s word. I have to stand on his promises. If you never heard this before and it is mentioned twice in the bible GOD IS NOT MAN THAT HE SHOULD LIE, THAT HE SHOULD BREAK HIS PROMISES. God is not human. Humans we lie and cheat and make desperate moves. God does not. That is where I have to stand. That is where you should stand. Out of every promise in the bible, out of every truth in the bible. This is the truth and promise to stand and understand that God is not man that he should lie. God does not lie to us. The voices, thoughts of you are this or this is not going to happen are the lies. They are not from God. Why listen to them. Those voices, thoughts are trying to take your hope away. God does not take hope away.
God is a hope giver. He brings you hope every day. Look to him and know that his promises are true and they will come to past soon. See His goodness in everything that you do today. 

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Hello, Are you There?

John 16:12 There is so much more I want to tell you but you can’t bear it right now.

I am a person that likes to be in the know. In truth I hate surprises very much unless you are giving me a gift.  As I don’t like surprises and love to be in the know that is why I often ask God what is my next move, when are you going to move, why are you moving in such a slow pace. I usually may get an answer I don’t want to hear, or I may hear wait, no, not right now. What usually drives me crazy is when I get complete silence. I often say to God but aren’t you my guide, aren’t you suppose to tell me what is ahead so I don’t fall completely. Often God will reply yes I am but are you really ready for the next step? God knows the plans for our life and what the next step should be when we are ready.

Jesus was with his disciples before he was to be taken to be killed. He had been speaking in parable speech for three years when he referred to his death. Now he was speaking very plainly telling them what’s about to happen after he is gone.  In John 16:12 Jesus says; There is much more I want to tell you but you can’t bear it now. Meaning I wish I could tell you everything but you cannot handle it at this moment, but when you are ready the Spirit of Truth will reveal to you the next step. That is exactly what God is doing when you think he is not speaking or moving. He knows how much you can handle and what you cannot handle in a specific moment. He desires for you to be ready in a timing that he knows.

Often I get frustrated when I do not know what is about to happen, or which direction I need to go. I even get frustrated or down hearted when all I get is either just receive encouragement or no answer. Yes I throw a temper tantrum at God. Just like Job did. After God questioned Job. Job finally realize what God was doing when he says I know that you can do all things that no plan of yours can be thwarted (Job 42:1). This came after everything was taken from him, when his friends try to explain it was Job own sin. When God questioned him like that he finally understood God plan. It was at that point Job was ready.  When Jesus revealed the plan to the disciples they were in a state of readiness. When God revealed to Abraham Sarah about the child she would bear they were in a state of readiness in God’s opinion. God knew that the next generation of Israelites would trust him and when Moses died the Israelites were in a state of readiness.

When you do get a silent answer or no answer from God, it is not because he does not hear you it’s just not the time yet.  Instead of giving up tune in what God is doing. Maybe you are seeking the Lord in what you should be doing for the rest of your life. God is being quiet but not really maybe he is opening job doors for you (not the lifetime of a job) but something to do in the meantime, or even you start to notice because of your free time you are able to help others or even just resting. Maybe you are seeking the Lord on the desire to be married. God is being quiet but not really, maybe he is showing you that you need to work on some issues, maybe he is just encouraging you in this moment right now that being single is okay. Maybe you are seeking God on saving your marriage or child. God is being quiet but not really. Maybe he is saying that he is working on the other person heart just wait, at the same time working on your heart, as for your child maybe he is saying not now I need to a work in your child’s life, so he is just encouraging you to pray for your child. Here is the point God is never quiet, he is working in ways we can’t see or fathom. He wants your trust.

Can you trust that in the right time he will reveal the next step? Can you trust that you can take a step of faith/trust? Can you wait for the answer instead of trying to move ahead of what his plans are for you?

Slippery Slop

During the time when I had to walk to work, there was this shortcut. The shortcut took a couple of minutes off and avoided a small climb up to the church. There was a problem with this shortcut, it was between two blackberry bushes and when it rained the path was slippery. One day I was running late and I guess I didn’t pay attention to how slick this path was! I started to go up, next thing you know I’m sliding down! Yes you guessed it, I slipped kneed first and got my clothes muddy. After that incident the church put down some bark in case other people took this shortcut. What this reminds me of is the slippery slope of sin.

Sin comes in when we want to do things our own way, in other words be very selfish and throw God out of the door so to speak. What we don’t realize at the time that with some sins that other sins will follow and you are this slippery slope without knowing how to get out of it. For example a sexual sin, let’s say that you are in adultery. The sins that follow is lying, and stealing. Then you are caught and the next thought is how did I end up here.

In Psalms 40:1-2 it says: I waited patiently for the LORD to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord. When we are struggling with a sin, or an aftermath of a sin that was devastating to you, the first thing you do is call out to the Lord. When you call out he will turn to the cry and pick you up from the mud the slippery slop. He will steady you. The result will be as he begins to steady you he will place a new song in your heart to the point where you will praise him. The bonus the people who knew and saw what you were going through will be amazed for some will turn their life over to Christ. However, I’m not saying that you should go out and sin to bring someone to the Lord, Paul addresses this point in Romans 6:1. What I am saying if you are free from the sin that had entangled you, guilt and shame does not belong to you, this verse is a promise to you. I’m going to break it down even further.

Turning to the Lord, means turning from your sin. When I was in sexual sin with an ex-boyfriend, I knew spiritually that I was separated from God. I didn’t have hope in him at all. When things started to spiral out of control, meaning that I was in despair, the Lord came. I called out to him. He showed up. When the Lord shows up it will always be in a mighty way, but it takes you to call out to him. It takes you to be repent heart and repent from your sin. The key factor is you and your heart. He can’t move with you repenting.

When the Lord shows up, he will steady you. Also when the Lord is steadying you, Satan is right there to knock you off your feet again, using various weapons but the first weapon is guilt. When God has forgiven you, he remembers your sin no more. The guilt comes from Satan accusing you and reminding you of what you have done. How can God steady you, if you are ready to be knocked down again? There is freedom in God forgiveness, and we always don’t feel it. Satan often reminds me of my past mistake to the point where I want to cry, so I’m ready to go be knocked down. Yet when I find myself leaning on God, delighting in him, and taking full authority Satan flees from me. In a way you have to stand up and fight. You have to remind Satan that he has no authority in your life. For who the Son has set free is free indeed! To gain this freedom, to gain the authority you have to be leaning, steadying yourself into the Lord. You can do it because he has forgiven you and he does not hold your sin into your face.

As you find yourself becoming stronger you go into praise. You praise God for what you have been through even though it was hurtful. In a way you are into thanksgiving. You called out to God, and you see what he can do. I have seen couples in which a partner had lied almost tore the marriage apart. Yet when they both lean first into God, before leaning into each other, thus a new song arises. Many have told me, even though they hated to walk through that circumstance they are thankful for going through it because it has made them stronger with God first, and then their marriage. As I’m walking through forgiveness of myself and what I did, I find myself becoming stronger in the Lord, and surprisingly thanking God for going through it! Now the song that I am singing is one of hope and reconciliation.

After going through the sin trial people will take notice of what the Lord has done, and be amazed. They will wonder how did you go through that and still come out with your head straight. You will tell them and they will see God! Even someone else who maybe going through the same thing will have hope.

Sin is a slippery slope. I’m so thankful that the Lord is there ready to pick us up, dust us off. There is one key thing, don’t go down that path again. I can assure you that even though there is bark dust on that muddy path, I never went through it again. I took the hill. When you turn from your sin you don’t go back as you know and remember the devastation it caused and the separation from you and the Lord.

 

Prayer:

Who the Son has set free is free indeed. Thank you Lord that I am free from my past mistake, and my current mistakes. Thank you for freeing me from my guilt. I lean into you.

 

Dare to Hope

One day as I was on the phone crying to my cousin Tasha, because my relationship with Bob was over, I kept asking why God would allow this to happen to me. I thought I was faithful to God. As I cried out my heart to my cousin, she reminded me that we all go through trials and a time of testing, and this was mine. I couldn’t believe it I mean couldn’t God had chosen something else to test me on not this heartbreak. As I was thinking about this as we converse, she shared with me what had happened between her and God when she went through the heartbreak of adultery by her husband. During that time God gave her Lamentations 3:22-23 and how she had to stand on that every day. After I had gotten off the phone with her, the verses just played over and over in my head. I finally stopped what I was doing, and read Lamentations 3:22-23.

As I read I started to read I started to feel better as my tears were drying up. Then my eyes fell on verse 18 which says; “I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss.” I could just identify with that verse so much that my heart did a little leap. I knew that I wouldn’t forget this time because of how the heartbreak happened, and yet at the same time, I knew I was grieving over a loss of a dream that was never meant to be. I thought that Bob and I  would get married, at least that what I was hoping. I was devastated to learn he was seeing someone else and that he wanted to marry her. I saw my dream about this guy shattered, and I had no hope that there was going to be someone out there for me because this is who I had wanted at that time.

I continued to read in verse 20; “Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this…” I paused, yet I still dare to hope when I remember this. It was like a boom from heaven just came down on me when I realized that I could dare to hope? What does that mean? How did it apply to what I was feeling right there in that moment. Yet at the same time I was comforted by that thought, “Yet, I still dare to hope.”

In these situations or any difficult situation you can do one of two things, turn to God or run from God. In Lamentations 3 Jeremiah was heartbroken over the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple even though he knew it was coming. To witness it first hand, was a heartbreaking situation. Jeremiah knew that he could either sink into his depression or turn to God. He chose to turn to God, in verses 22-23 he continues to say this “The faithful love of the LORDS never cease. His mercies are new every morning.” He dared to hope in the faithfulness of the LORD. He dared to hope in the faithful love of the LORD. He found his joy in remembering the faithfulness, the mercies of the LORD.

When I started to look at the heartbreak was a sign of God’s faithfulness and protectiveness to me, my perspective started to change very slowly. I turned to God with my hopelessness. I turned to God with my broken heart. As I did that, He started to change me for the better because he was mendingme. Now I can say with confidence that I still dare to hope when I remember this awful time. I’m remembering his faithfulness to me. I’m remembering his comforting truths. I’m remembering his mercy. I’m remembering his truth. I can still dare to hope that he is a faithful God keeping his promises to me, especially about marriage.

As you are walking through a trial that is looking bleak, and you are hurting inside you can:

Dare to hope in God’s faithfulness

Dare to hope that God has a plan for you

Dare to hope that there is hope in God

Dare to hope that He will never leave you or forsake you

Dare to hope in His great love for you

You can dare to hope because as it says in Romans 5:5 and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Prayer:

Lord thank you that you never leave me nor forsake me. That you are walking with me during this trial/situation. I pray that I can find joy in you, that I find hope in you.

In Jesus name amen.

Lamentations 3:18, 20-23New Living Translation (NLT)

18 I cry out, “My splendor is gone!
Everything I had hoped for from the Lord is lost!”

20 I will never forget this awful time,
as I grieve over my loss.
21 Yet I still dare to hope
when I remember this:

22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
23 Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.

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There is Hope

Can I say it? I kept getting the dreaded question that seems that everyone just kept asking. What do you hope for 2015 or How was 2014 for you? Well if I said I hope 2015 won’t be like 2014 then people who didn’t know how 2014 was  for me wanted more information and I wasn’t about to give it to them. If I said it was a hard year and I’m just glad that it’s over again more curiosity just made me want to cringe actually just made me want to cry. I felt like instead of it being a year of promise it was a year of disappointments, pruning, heartbreak, heart ache, discouragement, just a year of suffering. I often shouted to the Lord where is the promise you promise Lord because I don’t see it.  I had pockets of promises shining like a rainbow on a cloudy day. I had a hard time seeing what God’s plan was for me. Truth is I still want to know what the next steps are. I feel like the disciples after Christ’s death.

After Christ’s death the disciples were discouraged and disappointed. I bet they were trying to figure out where they got it wrong. How were they so blinded by a false Messiah? They were just heartbroken. They knew that sooner or later they may have to face the Jewish council and their families but wasn’t ready to deal with that yet. They had no hope.

In Matthew 28 :5-7 When Mary Magdalene and the other Mary go and visit the tomb and the angel of the Lord appears to them telling them that Jesus is risen that his body is not there. Well they run to go tell the disciples, even more in verse 9 Jesus met them and said hello! Then we know what happens from there the disciples saw him, there was some doubt but joy came and hope was restored.

Have you ever been there? You were in a promising situation only to have it vanish from right underneath you? I bet you felt like the disciples disappointed and discouraged, maybe even hurt, felt like you had no hope anymore. Maybe it’s not a promising situation maybe it just something that you didn’t see coming (losing a job, a cheating spouse, a pregnant child) and you feel alone.  Then hope arrives.

When things look bleak and the situation looks impossible. Hope arrives like a bird swooping down. It may come down unexpectedly but it comes just at the right time. There will be hope for you in the situation that you are facing. God maybe quiet right now but He doesn’t stay that way for long. He will reach out to you. Don’t lose hope. Things may look bleak right now. Things definitely looked bleak for the disciples and the other followers of Christ but He came through with his promise of rising again and with it brought hope. If He came through for them, He will come through for you.

I pray that 2015 will be a year of hope and that you see Christ in a way that you never seen Him before. Stand on His word where Hope is found.

Unbreak My Heart

When I was 13 Unbreak my Heart by Toni Braxton was released. I knew the song forward and backwards, belting out the song in my bedroom. Little did I know the true meaning behind the song until I went through a period of heartbreak!

My fave line in the song is take back the sad word goodbye, bring back the joy in my life, don’t leave me here with these tears. I realized how much I wanted those words to be true in my life lately. I didn’t want to feel the pain in my heart. I wanted to smile, I wanted to laugh. I wanted to stop crying. I wanted to stop wishing him back in my life.

Finally I was in a moment where I could either run to God or run away from God. I chose to run to God, but my running to God was to ask God to bring him back because I couldn’t stand this pain in my heart anymore. How much more will I have to bear, was my often cry to God. God in his great wisdom didn’t bring him back but he started to show me where the pain was lying in my heart, and what I was actually doing with the pain.

A wise woman said to me that we usually ask God to cover the pain with something else instead of asking God to fill the pain with more of him.  It was right there in that moment that I realized that I was asking God to cover my pain with another relationship, or bring back the person. Already I was covering my pain with being a work alcoholic. I was covering my pain by being so spiritual with others. I was covering my pain with everything else but God. God did not want me to cover my pain with anything else but Him.

It was hard because I was so sick all the time. It was hard because I didn’t believe that God could take away the stabbing pain in my heart. It was hard because the pain was the only thing left I could feel. Slowly as I bowed my knees I asked God to cover my pain with more of him, the achiness stopped. The sharp pain in my heart stopped I just felt peace. I did at that moment anyway, but every time I started to ache, every time I felt the tears come into my eyes I whispered please cover me, and instantly I was feeling better.

I wish I can say that writing this out that I’m feeling 100% healed. I wish I could say that I have this all figured out, the truth of the matter is that I’m not. I’m in a process of being healed. I’m in a process of letting go. I’m in a process of forgiving. It’s a long road that I don’t know how long I will be on but I know one thing I’m not alone. Jeremiah wrote this in Laminations 3:19-20; The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss.

I think I will never forget this awful time (can’t I’ve wrote too much in my journal). But I can rejoice when I think on this from Lamination 3:21-22; Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. That’s where I’m finding my hope and my healing.

The guy can’t come back and unbreak my heart. My heart won’t become unbroken by this. Instead my heart will become whole and healed under the Mighty Hand of God.

Beware of Who You Date and Marry

Last night I had a dream. In this dream a friend of mines was joking about having a future ex-wife with another friend of ours. We were just nodding. The dream flashed to their dating and the problems that were in the dating life, and especially a big one the girl wasn’t a Christian but he was a strong follower of Christ. As I woke up I quickly started to pray.

I see friends around me at a high rate marrying non-believers, believing that in time and with their help that they can change or make their spouse into a believer. Sadly these kinds of thought patterns usually fail into the believer either moving away from the church or a divorce. I believe that the church today is silent when it comes to this issue. It’s like we are afraid to call them out!

In 2 Corinthians 6:14 Paul writes that we are not to yoke ourselves to unbelievers because what do we have in common, righteousness vs. wickedness, light vs. darkness. I know what you are thinking at this point what if the person is really good for me and is a good person?  The person maybe good, but think about how does the person influence you  in your life, are you away from church, do you argue about going to church or church events, do you feel a disconnect between you and God? If you are you just proved this scripture what do you have in common spiritually? You won’t be able to worship God together or raise your children in a Godly environment. What do you have in common?

Let me flip the coin for a second what if the person is spiritually curious, goes to church, have Christian friends, etc. The answer is wait and seek The Lord! This is a very thin line. The other day I came across a couple story in Nigeria. The woman Bella was a Christian and one day after she finished her schooling she fasted and prayed and asked God what kind of man should she marry. The next day a friend of hers Danyo called but on their second date she found out that he was a Muslim. She immediately informed him that they could not date any longer and dropped him. That night God came to her and said continued dating him for he will come into salvation. She did as the Lord instructed her to do. Two years later nothing changed, she had people abandoned her because of who she was dating but because of the situation she was more on her knees and her relationship with God grew so beautifully. Well, one day Danyo asked Bella father for her hand in marriage, he said no. Bella knew a decision was to be made, she went to God and asked was I to marry before his salvation or after. Well immediately after she finished praying her mother called and said God just told me to tell you that you are not to marry Danyo until he is saved but that his salvation is close in hand. Well it happened about two or something later he became a Christian. One thing to mention Danyo was curious about Christianity because of Bella submission to the Lord won him over.

Now before you jump the boat and say see we can. There are a couple of things you need to realize. One Bella had an instruction and a promise from God that Danyo would become a follower and they would marry. Bella didn’t continue to date Danyo on her own but rather with God’s help. Two she continued to ask God and follow his instruction, his word and did not move ahead of him, she truly sought God out for an answer. Three she waited for the fulfillment of God’s promise and when she wanted to move ahead she asked first! Basically throughout her story God was there leading and guiding her she did not take a step or move away from God, she was obedient and faithful. Her reward wasn’t just a husband but a deep personal relationship she developed with God.

What about you? Will you wait for God’s leading in your relationship or will you jump ahead of him? That’s the heart of the matter. We can meet great people and have fun but because of loneliness, desperation, the thrill of meeting the “one” that we can jump ahead of God. When he says wait, we run! If he says drop the person but we hang on is it good for us?

I’ve entitled this Beware of who you Date and Marry, because we have stop following the leading of God and follow our own desires. The divorce rate is up in the Christian Community and this is one of the reasons. WE have stopped listening to what God says in this area in a rush to be married or have sex. God cares for each single aspect of our lives this does include who we should marry.  WE have stop asking and move with our feelings or guts, or believe that God leaves us to figure it out on our own. I have an announcement from the Father I’M STILL SPEAKING TO YOU! YOU ARE JUST NOT LISTENING TO ME!

There is the heart of the matter! We are not asking Him, we are not realizing that He is speaking; we are not listening to him; we are just being disobedient to what He has said for countless generations. I know many people who twist the verse from 2 Corinthians saying it’s not about marriage. It is talking about marriage, but there are other places in the bible where it says don’t marry foreigners. I know that a lot of people who use that for the argument against interracial marriage but that’s another twist. See foreigners did not worship God, they worshipped idols (Baal, Ra etc.) and God knew if they did intermarry that the people would stop worshipping him, look at Solomon and his many wives as an example.  Speaking of examples look at Ruth and Rahab foreign women who worshiped and follow God and who married into the Israelites. He permitted it because they followed Him!

Here is the warning is this; if you date without express permission from God a non-believer and marry there will be trouble in your marriage and most likely will end in divorce.

God cares for you and loves you, and wants you to be happy. He is looking out for your best interest, so trust in Him!