Are you living in the past, dwelling on what was, or accepting what is? Are you longing for a time that no longer exists, or are you learning to face and embrace a reality that does? Jesus wants to heal our yesterdays so that we can embrace today and look forward to tomorrow. Will you let Him? Will you melt in His arms and receive His love and healing? I’ve found the only way He can put my life back together is if I’m willing to break…to break free from my anger, my discouragement, and my fear. The Bible says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” (Psalm 51:17, ESV) God is waiting to heal you on the other side of a broken and desperate prayer.
100% Answered Prayers
Do you feel like your prayers aren’t being answered? What percentage of prayers initiated by God are answered? 100%! What percentage of prayers initiated by me are answered? None. Hmm? Sounds like there’s a pattern here. The Bible promises, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” (1 John 5:14-15, NIV) God has already figured out what is best for every part of your life. Trust Him! Stop asking God to do things that are in your heart, and start asking Him to do what’s on His heart. It’s the only guaranteed way to get all of your prayers answered.
Things That Never Happen
An old man was asked what had robbed him most of his joy in his lifetime. He responded, “Things that never happened!” It’s been said that 99% of the things we worry about never take place. What’s your strategy for living? Most people say being “happy and healthy” is their greatest desire in life. So here are three strategies for a healthy life: Don’t worry: God loves you unconditionally (John 13:1). Don’t give up: God will never abandon you (Psalm 139:10), and don’t fear: God will be with you until the end (Revelation 1:17). That’s how God wants us to live. The Bible says, “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him” (2 Peter 1:3b, NKJV). God has given us everything we need for life and godliness, and how we live shows whom we are trusting in.
How To Live
Jesus is the perfect Person to study if you want to know how to live. When the disciples were filled with dread, Jesus was already dead to Himself. When they were overwhelmed with fear, Jesus was overflowing with faith. Whatever fills us, will either seduce us or satisfy us. Whatever overwhelms us, will either wash us or worry us. Jesus said, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:33. NLT) We each take on the attributes of whatever we focus on. If I’m seeking God’s Kingdom and not trying to build my own little empire, then my life will be filled with the fruit of God’s Kingdom which is His love, His joy and His peace.
What Do You Want Jesus To Do?
When a blind man named Bartimaeus was yelling, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Some of those around him said, “Be quiet!” But Jesus said, “Come here! What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:46-52) This could be a funny question to ask a blind man. “Who me? Oh, I’ve always wanted to be rich and famous!” But it was a real question. What we ask for is an indication of what’s most important to us! If the first person you want to see is Jesus, He will heal your sight. If the first person you want to follow is Jesus, He’ll give you a fresh start. The question is what do you want? Where is your faith? That’s where God wants to meet you today. And it is there you will receive what you need if you had every option.
Have you noticed an increase in the amount of persecution of Christians? Jesus predicted it. He said, “…everyone will hate you because of your allegiance to me. But those who endure to the end will be saved.” (Mark 13:13) If you came from a strict Muslim or Hindu family, you might be rejected by your family and martyred for choosing Jesus. In China, if your church isn’t a state-sponsored church it might be closed down like one of the 1,500 churches destroyed or shut down since November of 2000. It has been estimated that 45 million Christians have been killed for their faith since the Day of Pentecost. Paul the Apostle wrote, “Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. (Hebrews 13:3, NIV)
Why Is Jesus Coming To You?
When Jesus made His triumphant entrance into Jerusalem, it was only a week before His crucifixion. His disciples thought He was going there to rule and reign on Earth. He was actually going to Jerusalem to die, in order to reign in Heaven. Frankly, none of us have any idea what Jesus is coming to do in our lives. He was coming to Jerusalem looking for a fight, not for fans. He said, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34, NIV) A lot of us want God to bring peace to our lives. He will, and that’s a promise, but first He has to bring a sword; to cut away what is dead. The resurrection can’t come before the crucifixion.
Facing Our Mountains
Are you facing a mountain in your life, something bigger than you can handle? We all are! Jesus said, “Have faith in God…whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.’” (Mark 11:22-23, ESV) That expression, “Have faith in God” in the original language, means “Have God’s faith!” Have God’s faith to overcome insurmountable problems. Jesus was saying, “As we believe, God can overcome any obstacle.” It was not a promise to the multitudes, but to His disciples. It was a commitment to those who were committed to Him. If you are committed to Jesus, never ever doubt that He is committed to you.
Forgive First When You Pray
What’s the first thing we should do when we pray? Jesus said, “…when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” (Mark 11:25, NLT) Jesus was saying the greatest obstacle to getting your prayers answered is unforgiveness. Our forgiving others opens the door for God to forgive us. The hardness in our hearts shuts him out. If we have stubborn, unforgiving hearts, it calls into question if we have ever received or appreciated God’s forgiveness. Forgiveness; deep down it’s what we all know we need. It’s why Jesus came, and when we receive it, we’ll want to give it to others. I am so grateful God has forgiven me that I want to live my life forgiving others.
Are you questioning God? I’ve found if have a question for Him it often means He first had a question for me. At one point leaders asked Jesus by whose authority did He drive the merchants out of the temple? He answered their question with His own question, “Did John’s authority to baptize come from heaven, or was it merely human?” (Matthew 21:25, NLT) Because these leaders refused to answer His question He wouldn’t answer theirs either. Jesus wasn’t trying to trap them. He was trying to transform them. Never doubt God is for you, and that He demonstrates His love and commitment by focusing on our greatest need. It’s always difficult to face the truth, but it’s the only path with a good future. Today, if you want God to answer your questions, accept what he is trying to reveal to you.
Are you feeling down? God knows what that’s like. No one has ever been more down than Jesus. He suffered more than anyone who ever lived. Jesus was brutalized in front of His mother, smothered with the sins of the world and dying for each one of them. Jesus knows what it’s like to be down, but not out. He was tempted in every area we have been, but never gave in to sin. He’s the God of the comeback, and if you’ll let Him, He’ll champion your comeback as well. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.” (Hebrews 4:15, NIV)
Dismantled To Get Gold
Do you feel like your life is being dismantled; pulled apart and in pieces? It might surprise you that the end result will be golden. The temple in Jerusalem was covered on the outside with gold plates that were so brilliant when the sun shone on them it was blinding. Jesus predicted its destruction. Forty years later, Jerusalem was leveled, including the Temple, which was set on fire. The gold then melted between the cracks of the large stones It had to be dismantled in order for the Romans to get to it. I find this sequence surprising similar to what takes place in us. The fires of adversity ultimately allow the gold in our lives to recede to a place where Christ can only recover it through careful deconstruction. If you allow Him to do this delicate work, you will find there is treasure inside.