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“What is impossible with man is possible with God.” Luke 18:27, NIV
This text shows how to do an “impossible” thing. Size up your problem, pray about it, do all you can about it. If it seems impossible, don’t give up, but affirm, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”
Keep relaxed. Don’t worry. Avoid getting panicky. Never think, “This can’t be done.” Declare, “It can be done, it is being done because God is doing it through me.” Affirm that the process is in operation. The final outcome may not be entirely what you now desire. But, handled in this manner, the solution will be what God wants it to be.
~ ~ Norman Vincent Peale
I can’t count how many times when my girls were little that our circumstances seemed impossible. Once of these circumstances life seemed quite dire. All we had to eat was hot cereal for all meals. We lived on grits, coco wheat, cream of wheat and oatmeal. I could buy these for .15 cents a box at the local scratch & dent. I went through nine cars in five years because it was cheaper to get another car than to fix whatever major problem was wrong. I can’t count how many times I broke down somewhere along the thirty minute country drive from home to the nearest town – with my girls, in the rain, heat, dark, and negative degree temps just to get to work. It’s been nearly twenty years now and when people say “I don’t know how you did it”. Well, neither do I. That’s when I took the passenger seat and let God do the driving. He made all things possible. We never went hungry, I was always able to get to work and my bills were always paid. How did I do it? It wasn’t me.
Reflect: When has God come through for you when all looked impossible? Journal your thoughts and give praise to Jesus. Post your journal entry in the comments if you feel comfortable.
|CS Lewis||God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.|
|Francois Fenelon||Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul; we may preserve it in the midst of the bitterest pain, if our will remains firm and submissive. Peace in this life springs from acquiescence to, not in an exemption from, suffering.|
|Robert J Sawyer||“Learning to ignore things is one of the great paths to inner peace.”|
|Joel Osteen||“God wants you to have a good life, a life filled with love, joy, peace, and fulfillment. That doesn’t mean it will always be easy, but it does mean that it will always be good.”|
|Joyce Meyer||Many people feel so pressured by the expectations of others that it causes them to be frustrated, miserable and confused about what they should do. But there is a way to live a simple, joy-filled, peaceful life, and the key is learning how to be led by the Holy Spirit, not the traditions or expectations of man.|
|Norman Vincent Peale||Be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet. Make all your friends feel there is something special in them. Look at the sunny side of everything. Think only the best, be as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.|
|Francois Fenelon||Resign every forbidden joy; restrain every wish that is not referred to God’s will; banish all eager desires, all anxiety; desire only the will of God; seek him alone and supremely, and you will find peace.|
|Thomas Watson||God sweetens outward pain with inward peace|
|Joel Osteen||“It’s vital that you accept yourself and learn to be happy with who God made you to be. If you want to truly enjoy your life, you must be at peace with yourself.”|
|Joyce Meyer||“ We don’t have to work at trying to get rid of every stressful situation. We need to learn how to embrace peace. ”|
|Norman Vincent Peale||“I truly believe that if we keep telling the Christmas story, singing the Christmas songs, and living the Christmas spirit, we can bring joy and happiness and peace to this world.”|
Often you hear people talking about Christmas it’s the magic of miracles. It’s a reminder of a time long ago when all was right in the world. The Christmas season is often portrayed as a magical time where anything can happen. So if Christmas’ magic could change lives what would change? What miracle would we want? What are the deepest desires of our hearts?
A few of the most common themes of Christmas magic include:
- Finding a soul mate
- Healing rift between friends
- To have an estranged spouse come home
- Physical and mental healing
- Financial peace
- Peace of mind
- Business success
- A child in the military to come home for Christmas
- For our dreams to come true
This list could go on and on as every person would have a different answer. But what is the thread that connects these themes?
Everyone has an idea of what life should be like and they believe that this is the one time of the year when prayers are answered, lives are restored, families reconciled and fairy tales comes true. There’s sadness in this season because the magic doesn’t hold up, the season passes and we’re left feeling more broken than before. I know this was true for me for many years. I have watched the Hallmark movies, gazed into the twinkle lights and found my nostalgic past in the beautiful reds and greens. I admit I was one of those who sought Christmases magic in this season. My wish was to find my estranged father of 45 years (read about my Hallmark Christmas).
But how many heartbroken souls are still out there, still waiting. Still watching the movies and hoping that happy ending will be theirs. That they too can have the miracle they’ve been secretly hoping for this Christmas season.
There is a magic in the idea of Christmas but it’s not found in the greenery, twinkle lights or holiday movies. There is a white knight out there that is willing and ready to rescue you and make all your dreams come true. Many celebrate Christmas as the birth of Jesus. But the season isn’t about a little baby but a grown man who fell to earth so that we may be restored. He came to fill our hearts with the magic of a little child.
The real miracle of the season is the miracle that happens in our hearts, the miracle that only Jesus can do. Christmas is about second chances, Jesus died to give us a second chance. It’s about reconciliation to our true father. It’s about letting go wrongs and love each other as Christ did for us.
This Christmas remember the miracle maker and ask him to make a miracle in your heart and mind by restoring and renewing all of you.
If you could have a Hallmark Christmas what would it be?
Next week: Quotes on a peaceful attitude.
We create situations that lead us into being nervous, high-strung and upset but we can also create situations that lead to a peaceful attitude. Peace results from a continuous flow from God through us and then back to God. This is the process for our renewal both mentally and physically. It’s impossible to have peace with an accelerated life because the faster we go the less flow there is from God. He’s not going to try to keep up with your pace. Most people today wouldn’t be comfortable moving at God’s slower pace.
Here are some ideas to help you create a more peaceful attitude:
- Fill your mind with a peaceful experience from your past then make a planned and deliberate excursion there in your mind. (I listen to music I heard on my journey, especially songs that remind me of when I was in the wilderness – deserts and mountains)
- Reduce your life’s tempo or pace. Norman Vincent Peale says that “many people are destroying their physical bodies by this pace, but what is even more tragic, they are tearing their minds and souls to shreds as well.” He wrote this in 1952 and today it’s only gotten worse. (this is a big challenge for me)
- Delegate authority, say no nicely and set up boundaries (another biggie for me, my family doesn’t understand the concept of a shut door)
- Develop the disciplines of silence and solitude
- Learn to live in the now because God only gives us enough grace for today
- Make the decision everyday to rejoice and be glad in that day
- Don’t strive to live without stress but aim to live in peace
- Be selective with how you spend your time and resist the temptation to procrastinate
- Modify your life, find ways to save time, avoid trouble and eliminate distractions
- Listen for the promptings of the Holy Spirit, He will guide you into peace
- Take on unseen partner in all your life’s endeavors – God
When you need peace concerning a decision you need to make try these steps:
- Think of your decision the first way…how do you feel. Is there peace, a knot in your stomach or nothing at all?
- Think of your decision in the alternative way… how do you feel. Is there peace, a knot in your stomach or nothing at all?
- The way you should turn is the way you find peace. If there’s no peace don’t do it, if you’re anxious run the other way, if you feel nothing at all pray asking the Holy Spirit for guidance.
- If you still can’t decide ask God to decide for you. Ask Jesus to create the conditions that either aid in your decision-making or to allow the decision to be made for you.
Many years ago I wanted to move. I found a bigger, warmer house. I loved the house and the price was much cheaper. It seemed to be an easy decision but I had no peace. I didn’t know why but I didn’t feel God in it. I just couldn’t make the decision, I had already made a verbal commitment and as a Christian I felt strongly about keeping my word. I prayed and asked Jesus to cause me to not get the house or I would believe my lack of peace was because of another reason. The next day the owner called and the deal fell through. I was relieved. I wouldn’t use this as your main way of decision-making but the Spirit is there to help in all of your ways and walk.
Practice the discipline of silence. Spend at least 15 minutes of absolute quiet everyday. Don’t talk, write, read, think or anything that engages your mind. Put your mind into neutral and let it coast.
Book on finding peace
The Book of Mayuri: Why We Can’t Have Peace and How We Can Have Peace by Osundara Mayuri
The Way of Serenity by Jonathan Morris
Finding Peace: God’s Promise of Life Free From Regret, Anxiety, and Fear by Charles F Stanley
Bible Verses on Peace
|Philippians 4:6 (ESV)||Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.|
|2 Thessalonians 3:16 (ESV)||Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.|
|John 16:33 (ESV)||I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”|
|Isaiah 26:3 (ESV)||You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.|
|1 Peter 5:7 (ESV)||Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.|
|Romans 12:18 (ESV)||If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.|
|Matthew 5:9 (ESV)||“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.|
|Hebrews 12:14 (ESV)||Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.|
|Romans 15:13 (ESV)||May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.|
|1 Corinthians 14:33 (ESV)||For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints|
|Psalm 4:8 (ESV)||In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.|
|Proverbs 16:7 (ESV)||When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.|
|Galatians 5:22 (ESV)||But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness|
|Romans 14:19 (ESV)||So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.|
|Colossians 3:15 (ESV)||And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.|
|Isaiah 32:17 (ESV)||And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.|
|James 3:18 (ESV)||And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.|
|Philippians 4:7 (ESV)||And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.|
|Romans 5:2 (ESV)||Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.|
|Job 22:21 (ESV)||Agree with God, and be at peace; thereby good will come to you.|
|Isaiah 9:6 (ESV)||and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.|
The Bible tells us in first Peter 3:11 to seek peace. We are to pursue peace within ourselves, with others and with God.
We lose peace when we…
- react to our emotions wrongly
- don’t use wisdom
- act out of random thoughts
- struggle with our own efforts
- don’t use God’s wisdom
Not enough silence and solitude will rob you of peace. We all need time alone to relax, reflect and unwind. We need to take time alone to heal. Our culture continually talks to us, the drawback of living contemporary society. Without quiet it’s hard to hear God’s voice.
“Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves”
We can’t follow another’s voice. Jesus said my sheep know my voice and they follow me. We can’t follow the voice of friends, family or the world. Any voice other than God can be used as a voice of deception by the enemy.
People who lack inner peace are often victims of self punishment. They have either committed a sin or been sinned against. What remains is a sense of guilt, shame, self unforgiveness and resentment. This affect the mind as well as the body.
“Many people suffer poor health not because of what they eat but from what is eating them”
Norman Vincent Peale
If there is no peace when we’re doing something or there’s no peace in a decision you need to make have the courage to stop. Colossians 3:15 tells us to let peace be the umpire in our hearts. Once you’ve lost your peace be determined to learn how you lost it and look for ways to get it back.
We lose our own peace by squandering power and energy through fuming and fretting. We must discipline ourselves to quietness. Be calm and let it go.
“Emotional ills turn in upon yourself, sapping your energy, reducing your efficiency, causing deterioration in your health. And of course they siphon off your happiness.”
Norman Vincent Peale
The more we allow God to rule in our lives the more peace we will have. We can never enjoy the kingdom without peace. An attitude of peace says I trust God. God sent his Son, the Prince of Peace, so that we could know his exceeding peace.
A Prayer for Peace
Thank you Jesus for coming down to us, our Prince of Peace, so that we can know the peace that surpasses understanding. Help me to live at peace with myself, with others and with you.
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Links to other Attitudes in this series
Introduction to Attitudes
|Lynn Austin||Decide to trust Him for one little thing today, and before you know it, you find out He’s so trustworthy you be putting your whole life in His hands.”|
|Charles R Swindoll||“We must cease striving and trust God to provide what He thinks is best and in whatever time He chooses to make it available. But this kind of trusting doesn’t come naturally. It’s a spiritual crisis of the will in which we must choose to exercise faith.”|
|Thaddeus of Vitovnica||“We have very little faith in the Lord, very little trust. If we trusted the Lord as much as we trust a friend when we ask him to do something for us, neither we as individuals nor our whole country would suffer so much.”|
|Jerry Bridges||“If we are going to learn to trust God in adversity, we must believe God will allow nothing to subvert His glory so He will allow nothing to spoil the good He is working out in us and for us.”|
|Coraline Buchanan||“…You say to God, “I have never seen you provide for me.” God says to you, “You have never trusted Me.”|
|Martin Luther||“Pray, and let God worry.”|
|Rachel Hamilton||“God loves you so much that he is willing to hold something from you for the perfect time!”|
|Emily Freeman||“When you can’t see God’s hand, trust His heart.”|
|Gary Rudz||“You can free your soul to fly each day, if you let God do the steering.”|
|Tammy L Kubasko||“Let go of what you think you know. Something amazing happens when you let God and trust.”|
|Mandy Hale||“The more you go with the flow of life and surrender the outcome to God, and the less you seek constant clarity, the more you will find that fabulous things start to show up in your life.”|
|Jerry Bridges||“Trust is not a passive state of mind. It is a vigorous act of the soul by which we choose to lay hold on the promises of God and cling to them despite the adversity that at times seeks to overwhelms us.”|
|Tom King||“It is when we are at our darkest hour, when we can see no evidence that God loves us or that he is even there to listen to our prayers, much less answer them…and yet, we still obey. It is then that the devil is reminded that his cause is lost.”|
|Wendy Blight||“I learned that within the confines of God’s story, nothing had been stolen from me, but rather everything was given to me. My life, which felt so out of control, was in reality in complete control – God’s control.”|
|Teresa of Avila||“. . . it is presumptuous in me to wish to choose my path, because I cannot tell which path is best for me. I must leave it to the Lord, Who knows me, to lead me by the path which is best for me, so that in all things His will may be done.”|
|Ann Voskamp||“The fear is suffocating, terrorizing, and I want the remedy, and it is trust. Trust is everything.”|
|Carter Conlon||“The end of ourselves is the beginning of God”|
|Paula Hendricks||“Trust God with your love life, and buckle up for the ride!”|
|Tricia Goyer||“Thank you for reminding me that the future is in God’s hands.'” “‘You’re welcome. And remember, wherever you go, in body and mind, you simply need to call out to God and He is there”|
When you put your trust in God he guides your mind so you don’t want what’s inharmonious with his will. What’s been impossible now becomes possible. Jesus said “Everything is possible for one who believes.” (Mark 9:23) Throw your heart into trusting God and the rest will follow.
How to develop trust in God:
- Have a childlike faith. Let go of grown up barriers that keep us from seeing God through our life-tainted eyes.
- Faith must grow. Must be watered and nurtured through reading the word and having a grateful heart.
- Defeat doubt by learning to expect God to answer. Memorize James 1:6-8. “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” Don’t let those negative thoughts creep into your head.
- Know God loves you. Meditate on his love. Recall the times God came through for you, times he showed his love. The more you know him the more you will trust him.
- Be willing to relinquish trusting yourself. Let God take the reins; let Him guide your steps. (Proverbs 16:9)
- Make it a habit. The more you practice faith and putting your trust in God the easier it will be.
- Acknowledge where attacks come from. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.(1 Peter 5:8)
Remember times you have trusted God and He came through for you. Write these down and carry with you to remind yourself of how trustworthy God is in times of doubt.
Bible verse on Trusting God:
|Luke 24:38 (ESV)||And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?|
|Psalm 56:3-4 (ESV)||When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?|
|Proverbs 3:5 (ESV)||Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.|
|Psalm 13:5 (ESV)||But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.|
|Isaiah 26:3-4 (ESV)||You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.|
|Psalm 31:14-18 (ESV)||But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!|
|James 1:6 (ESV)||But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.|
|Psalm 37:5 (ESV)||Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.|
|Psalm 91:2 (NIV)||I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.|
|John 14:27 (NIV)||Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.|
|Psalm 9:10 (ESV)||And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.|
|Matthew 21:21 (ESV)||And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen.|
|John 14:1 (NLT)||Do not let your heart be troubled. You have put your trust in God, put your trust in Me also.|
|Psalm 9:9 (NLT)||The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.|
|Nahum 1:7 (NLV)||The Lord is good, a safe place in times of trouble. And He knows those who come to Him to be safe.|
|Romans 15:13 (NIV)||May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.|
|Psalm 46:1 (NIV)||God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.|
|Proverbs 30:5||Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.|
He that trusts in his own heart is a fool:
but whoever walks wisely, he shall be delivered.
We’re called to trust God. True servants have a trusting heart. By trusting Him we show that we believe he loves us; that he wants only what is good for us. But so often we put our trust in everything else and wonder why our lives are a mess. We need to lean on Him for everything. Things not going right for you? Ask yourself “am I really trusting God”.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
(Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT)
To develop a trusting attitude you must know God and to do that you need to know what the bible says about him. You need to experience his power in your life. And you need to rely on the Holy Spirit to guide you.
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. (John 16:13 ESV)
If you struggle to trust him for your daily needs as well as difficult trials remember he wants your trust. He wants to know you believe in His love for you.
“…trusting God has become easy…for today anyway.” (Jubilee Journey, Day 94)
A Prayer for Trust
Father, show me that I can trust you, that you do have my good at heart. Show me where you have come through for me in the past.
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Links to other Attitudes in this series
Introduction to Attitudes
We are commanded to be humble. We can’t enter God’s kingdom without humility, not His kingdom here on earth or his heavenly kingdom. Humility is the key to have all you want in life. Humility is needed for forgiveness, answered prayers, and it opens door to blessings. It is the virtue we all need to seek after but pride prevents us from seeing that. It’s especially hard for those who are talented but eventually if you don’t depend on God he will take those away.
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. Romans 12:3 (NIV)
The price is higher than you might think and is hardest virtue to learn. What is the root of this difficulty? Pride. You can’t be full of yourself and obey God or live the life Jesus died for. Humility comes before exaltation; pride before destruction.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 1 Peter 5:6 (NIV)
**What are the characteristics of a humble person?
- They give credit where credit’s due
- They’re patient with the faults of others
- They are quick to forgive
- They are quick to repent
- They are lovers of peace
- They enjoy serving others
- They have a teachable spirit
- They ask for help when it’s needed
- They accept their weaknesses
- They have a thankful attitude
How many of these characteristics describe you?
There’s a lot of grace for the humble. When we give God glory we are able to rest and prosper in our souls. The walk of faith starts with humility, depending on God to show up. The attitude “I did it my way” will only leave you feeling exhausted. Once you “do it God’s way” you’ll know true peace.
You can choose the road of humility or wait and be humbled by God.
**Adapted from Norman Vincent Peale’s Power of Positive Thinking
A Prayer for Humility
Jesus, show me where I have a problem with pride so that I may humble myself before you.
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Links to other Attitudes in this series
Introduction to Attitudes
In September of 1986 my life took an unexpected turn that started me spiraling downward until one night in 1989 that would change my life. That night I sat on my couch and looked at my wrists and thought “I wonder which would hurt worse, cutting my wrists or pain of emptiness in my heart.” You see, in the two and a half years before I had lost everything. All hope was gone. Here only a few highlights that drove me to consider suicide:
- September 1986 – I had left my home and my job in Dallas and moved to Daleville, Indiana, my husband’s hometown, in hopes of a better life. Within a week he abandoned me and my 13-month old twin daughters. Adding to my loss he also left us with no home or belongings. We stayed with his mother for a few months.
- November 1986 – I was in an auto accident and lost my car. I finally moved into a place, a rundown trailer. It took two months for the owner to put in a front door. The place was so roach infested you couldn’t walk around in the dark and I had to wash my clean dishes before using them. This infestation came through a “new” stove – a stove with only one working burner and no working oven. And for the eight months we lived there the toilet didn’t work. Night after night I cried over the hopelessness of my situation.
- January 1987 – my dad had a series of small strokes. He was in the hospital for weeks. I had no phone and my husband’s family wasn’t cooperative in contacting me about his illness.
- Valentine’s Day 1987 – he asked me for a divorce so he could marry Diane.
- June 1987 – We moved back in with his mom but would move again a couple of months later because his dad would get drunk and come on to me.
- October 10, 1987 – I’m now living in a small trailer with my ex-sister-in-law and her daughter. We have no phone and live more than mile from any pay phones. I had called my mom in August for her birthday and she seemed very angry when I told her about the divorce. In my soul I knew something was wrong, I just couldn’t get her off my mind so I arranged for a babysitter and I was going to walk to the phone and call her Sunday morning, October 11th. Saturday evening my ex-mother-in-law came over and said “I’m so sorry”, she was crying. All I could think was my ex-husband was dead and I would have to pretend to feel bad. Then those fateful words came, “your mother died this morning.” That horrible phone call in August was the last conversation I had with my mom.
- October 12, 1987 – I was able to fly home to Massachusetts for the funeral. My aunt’s, my dad’s sisters, jumped all over me for not having called my mom sooner – guilt I would live with for 15 years.
- March 1988 – My grandmother called and told me my dad had an aneurism and needed surgery which had only five percent chance of success. My nightly crying over my mom dried up as I prepared for an extended stay back in Massachusetts. The surgery was a success and we returned to Indiana in May.
- July 19, 1988 – I became an orphan. My father died and I was even more desperately alone. Both mom and dad gone in less than a year.
- September 1988 – I suffered a knee injury and was barely able to walk.
- October 1988 – still living in Indiana, away from everything and everyone I knew I became desperately in need of replenishing my family so I became pregnant – no husband – just wanted a baby.
- January 1, 1989 – a new year and a new start? No. The pregnancy was ectopic. After nearly three months of the worst pain I ever experienced l lost my son and any chance of restoring my family or replacing my parents.
- February 1989 – my knee had become so bad that I was unable to walk or care for my girls. I had lost so much and so little had been restored. I had nothing but responsibility and heartache. I couldn’t care for myself let alone my daughters.
I had lost everything – all I owned, my job, my financial security, my health, my husband, my mother, my father, and the baby I was so desperately putting my hope in. But that’s the problem. I was putting my hope in sinking sand when I needed to put in upon the rock – Jesus.
As I was contemplating suicide I walked to the back of the trailer to the bathroom. On my way I passed my girls room. I looked at those sleeping little beauties and thought, “they already have an absentee dad, what will happen to them if I die?”
It was 11:00pm but I was determined to find help, anything to get me through the night. I called a friend long distance (this was back when it cost a lot for long distance and I was destitute). We talked and prayed for four hours. This was the best $45.00 I’ve ever spent. That was a lot in 1989.
The next day I scheduled the needed knee surgery and began to spend every quiet moment with God. Suicide has never been an option since. That was 25 years ago and so much has happened. I’ve had a few deep lows but over all I’ve had a wonderfully blessed life. I can’t imagine what would have happened to my family, my daughters and all the people I’ve helped since had I decided to take my life that night. I would have need seen my girls grow into such beautiful young women, I would have never influenced so many students, I would have never gone on my Jubilee Journey and met my father’s family and I would have never been at the birth of my grandson, never known that beautiful little boy. All I lost has been restored to the full and overflowing (John 10:10). And don’t think too negatively about my ex-husband. All is forgiven and I can say we are friends. To this day I count his mom and sister as my dearest friends. And he never did marry Diane.
No matter what the circumstance there is ALWAYS hope in Jesus. Find a way to the ROCK and there you will find hope. If you’re still alive it’s because God isn’t done with you yet, there is still a purpose and a hope (see Jeremiah 29:11)
“No matter how dead, no matter how impossible, no matter how hopeless – with Jesus nothing is too difficult, nothing is impossible and it’s NEVER too late”
~ ~ Jubilee Journey, Day 542
Next week: A Humble Attitude
|William Gurnall||Truly, hope is the saint’s covering, wherein he wraps himself, when he lays his body down to sleep in the grave: “My flesh,” saith David, “shall rest in hope.”|
|Anne Graham Lotz||“If God can bring blessing from the broken body of Jesus and glory from something that’s as obscene as the cross, He can bring blessing from my problems and my pain and my unanswered prayer. I just have to trust Him.”|
|Anne Lamott||“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: You don’t give up.”|
|William Law||“Pray, and let God worry.”|
|Catherine Marshall||“God is the only one who can make the valley of trouble a door of hope.”|
|Barbara Crafton||“[I]t’s never too late. You can’t screw up so badly that God can’t find something worth building in the wreckage, that life can’t assert its return when it is time.”|
|Rick Warren||“What gives me the most hope every day is God’s grace; knowing that his grace is going to give me the strength for whatever I face, knowing that nothing is a surprise to God.”|
|Billy Graham||“I’ve read the last page of the Bible. It’s all going to turn out all right.”|
|William Gurnall||Hope fills the afflicted soul with such inward joy and consolation, that it can laugh while tears are in the eye, sigh and sing all in a breath; it is called “the rejoicing of hope” (Hebrews 3:6).|
|Corrie Ten Boom||“Joy runs deeper than despair.”|
|Joyce Meyer||God gives us hopes and dreams for certain things to happen in our lives, but He doesn’t always allow us to see the exact timing of His plan.|
|Thelma Wells||“God does not always heal us instantly the way we think. He is not a jack-in-the-box God. But God is walking with me through this.”|
|Tom Bodett||“They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.”|
|Joel Osteen||“You’ve got to believe that God is in control of your life. It may be a tough time but you’ve got to believe that God has a reason for it and he’s going to make everything good.”|
|Alfred Tennyson||“Hope Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, Whispering ‘it will be happier”|
|Alexander Pope||“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.”|
|Pittacus Lore, from “I Am Number Four”||“When you have lost hope, you have lost everything. And when you think all is lost, when all is dire and bleak, there is always hope.”|
|Aristotle||“Hope is a waking dream.”|
|Dalai Lama XIV||No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.”|
|Epicurus||“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”|
|Joyce Meyer||Positive minds full of faith and hope produce positive lives.|
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. Ephesians 3:20
Today, remind yourself that nothing is too good to be true. Your great hopes can be realized. Your most wonderful dreams can come true. All that you really need, you can have. An incredible goodness is operating in your behalf.
If you are living a paltry life, resolve to stop it today. Expect great things to happen. Confidently receive God’s abundant blessings. Do not think lack. Instead think prosperity, abundance, the best of everything. God wants to give to you, His child, every good thing. Don’t hinder His generosity.
Thought Conditioners by Norman Vincent Peale
We all need hope in our lives. It’s necessary for our very existence. Here are some practical ways to build your hope in God.
Ten ideas for a more hopeful attitude
- Believe there is a solution for every situation
- Count your blessings. Just knowing all the good in your life can increase your hope
- Pray about what’s stealing your hope to bring clarity to your situation
- Take action on anything that’s in your power to change and rely on God for the rest
- Believe and seek God’s guidance
- Create a mood of worship
- Creative spiritual thinking has power to give strength to endure
- Meditate on any of the scripture below or other hopeful quotes
- Read the book of Ruth. A classic story of utter despair to glorious hope fulfilled
- Spend time with hopeful, positive people
Make a list of all your blessings. Give thanks to God for them. Use the list to remind yourself of God’s faithfulness and that He is your source of hope.
Books on hope
You’ll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent Times by Max Lucado
When the Going Gets Tough by Joe Stowell
Help Me I’m Alone by Joyce Meyer
Bible Verses on hope (ESV)
|Romans 5:5||And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.|
|Hebrews 6:19||We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain|
|Psalm 43:5||Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.|
|1 John 3:3||And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.|
|Psalm 33:22||Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.|
|Romans 8: 24||For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.|
|Psalm 71:14||But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more.|
|Psalm 39:7||“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.|
|Psalm 33:18||Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love|
|Romans 5:4||And endurance produces character, and character produces hope|
|Proverbs 13:12||Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.|
|Psalm 71:5||For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth.|
|Lamentations 3:24||“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”|
|Romans 15:13||May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.|
|Proverbs 10:28||The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish.|
|Romans 12:12||Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.|
|Hebrews 11:1||Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.|
I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
He himself will redeem Israel
from all their sins.
Psalm 130:5-8 (NIV)
Hope is a basic necessity of life because without hope there is no life. Hope gives us strength and joy. It fuels all the attitudes we’ve covered this year.
- We can’t be positive without hope.
- We won’t have confidence without hope.
- We can’t live contented without hope.
- Where is our patience with others when hope is gone?
- There is definitely no joy where there’s no hope.
- It’s hard to be kind to others with no hope in our hearts.
- All courage is lost when there is no hope.
- What do we have to be determined for when there is nothing to hope for.
But life here on planet Earth is often overwrought with problems which steal our joy and ultimately our hope…hope in life and hope in God. Everyone at one time or another will feel that urge to give up; like all hope is gone. Live long enough without hope and you may feel there is nothing left to live for. We either find hope, find a way to live without it, or take our own lives because the pain of giving up is far less than the pain of living one more day without hope. Perhaps you’re going through a trial or a season of trials that has drained your hope and strength. We all have unique challenges but everyone longs for hope, that light at the end of the tunnel; the promise that “it” will get better.
One example of hope is found in the life of the prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah wrote the book of Lamentations, a book of mourning, during the darkest times of Judah’s history. During Jerusalem’s destruction though Jeremiah wrote these words of hope and expectation that God would come through on his promises.
The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
therefore, I will hope in him!”
The Lord is good to those who depend on him,
to those who search for him.
Lamentations 3:22-25 (NLT)
Another example is found in the New Testament. The disciples were full of hope that their savior had come; that Jesus was the Messiah, so when he died so did their hope. What were they to do now that they had witnessed hope itself die on a cross. And can you imagine being Peter, having betrayed your best friend and king? Where do you go from there? These men lived an extraordinary life; how then do you go back to ordinary?
Jesus also experienced deep grief and sorrow, despair beyond belief. The words “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me” grip my heart with despair and loss of hope. Anyone who has experienced the “dark knight of the soul” can attest to a spiritual loss of hope. Financial loss, loss of health, loss of a dream, divorce, loss of a friend or family member or in my opinion, the most horrific loss – the loss of a child can all rip hope right out of our hearts. Paul’s words in Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” seem to frustrate rather than to give hope.
So often put our hope in the wrong places – in the world, in other people, in our abilities or finances – but all of that is like sinking sand. The only place we can find hope is in Jesus Christ. These words by Kutless tell us just where we need to go to find hope.
I lift my eyes up, unto the mountains
where does my help come from?
My help comes from You, maker of heaven
creator of the earth
oh how I need you Lord
You are my only hope
You’re my only prayer
so I will wait for You
to come and rescue me
to come and give me life
Lyrics from “I Lift My Eyes Up”
God is always hopeful; he never gives up on us even at our worst.
A Prayer for Hope
Thank you Jesus for being our inspiration and our source of hope. We thank you now for giving us the courage to see you and trust you in our most difficult times.
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Links to other Attitudes in this series
Introduction to Attitudes
The king told his followers a story to encourage them to pray and to never quit. He told them of a judge in a far off land that held no reverence for God or his people.
There was a woman in the town, a poor widow who was in need of justice. She petitioned the judge for justice from her antagonist. Each time he refused but eventually she wore him down. He thought “I may not care about what God or people think, I’ll see she gets justice so she’ll leave me alone.”
The king told them “if this unjust judge gave justice to the determined woman because she never gave up, doesn’t it show that God will do the same and more for those he loves? For those who seek him continually, crying out for justice and mercy. Would he continue to ignore their pleas? No! They will receive swift justice.
But will he find the faith of this poor widow in his followers ?
Adapted from Luke 18:1-8
Next Week: September’s Attitude: A Hopeful Attitude
Why don’t some people demonstrate the character of determination? Possibly laziness, selfishness, passiveness, “free-spirited”, lacking direction in your life or a lack of faith in what God can do through them?
But there are benefits to living with determination such as being able to complete tasks on time, being a person others can count on and being the person God planned for you to be and fulfilling His plan for you.
What can we do to live with more determination?
- Think on what God had called you to. For me I’m called to care for my adult daughters and grandson, I’m called to raise him to be a man after His heart, I’m called to teach and train him. I’m called to devote time to Jesus, my classes and Jubilee Journey. Think on what you need to do to accomplish what God has called you to.
- Spend time in prayer; seek the advice of the Holy Spirit in how to accomplish your callings. Ask for wisdom and you will receive. Wisdom to know what to do and when and to know when you’re trying to do too much.
- Change your mindset from I’ll try to I will. The “I try’s” will give you a way out and make it easy to not finish what you start, easier to give up.
Challenge yourself this week to find ways to be more determined then share with the rest of us what you’ve learned so we can learn too.
Books on Determination
Bible verses to encourage you to live more determined.
|ESV||1 Corinthians 9:24-27||Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.|
|ESV||James 1:22||Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.|
|ESV||Romans 5:3-5||More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.|
|ESV||Galatians 6:9||And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.|
|ESV||2 Timothy 2:12||If we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us;|
|ESV||2 Thessalonians 3:13||As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.|
|ESV||James 1:2-4||Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.|
|ESV||Ephesians 6:18||Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,|
|ESV||Philippians 1:6||And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.|
|NIV||Isaiah 40:31||But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.|
|ESV||Philippians 4:12-13||I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.|
|NIV||Ephesians 6:10-18||Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,|
|NIV||Matthew 7:7-8||Ask, Seek, Knock. Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.|
There have been times where I have needed to find courage deep within. The strength to go on alone when my husband left me with two 13-month olds; when my parents died; when I left my comfort zone to travel across the US, living in a minivan for two years; the courage to give up that life for one with less freedom but with more long-term rewards. Nothing great can happen without courage and God can’t use someone who doesn’t have the courage to get out of the boat. If you fear do as Joyce says “do it afraid”.
Find courage in remembering the past
But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” 1 Samuel 17:34-37 (NIV)
When life comes against you remember as David did: the lion and bear, those times when God brought you through and you will have courage as David did to go against your giants.
God shows up in our courage
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3:16-18 (NIV)
Courage comes from believing in the power of God over our circumstances. God will deliver.
Find courage in the examples of others
The bible is full of examples of courage. Abraham had the courage to leave his home and travel to a land only God knew. Paul had the courage to turn his back on everything he knew to follow Jesus and work with those who he had persecuted. Peter had the courage to leave his past behind, his denial of Jesus, to go on to be a leader to the new Christians. Tamar had the courage to trick her father-in-law to get pregnant; risking her life to get what was promised her. Rahab had the courage to betray her people to help the Israel overtake her city. Joshua found the courage to lead his people after Moses died. And the ultimate act of courage, to go to a cross to die a horrible death for us, in doing so Jesus reunited us with our true family and our true father. The list goes on and on and on and on and…
How does our heart grow in courage?
Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7 that God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power. We have the strength to face whatever situation we’re given. We need to step out and use it. Courage is like a muscle, it gets stronger with use. God gives us the courage to overcome if we step out and use it.
“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4 NIV).
Often fear keeps us from stepping out in courage: fear of failure, fear of what others think, fear of hard work, fear of the unknown. Courage requires that we step out in faith and trust Jesus will be there to lead us. God promises to give us what we need to do his will, even courage. (Joshua 1:9)
Give us courage to change what we can
Contentment in what we can’t
And the common sense to know the difference
A Prayer for Courage
Lord, helm me to have courage to do whatever I need to do to fulfill your will and bring you glory.
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Links to other Attitudes in this series
Introduction to Attitudes
Be encouraged and an encourager; think on these words to build a kinder attitude
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” ~ Plato
“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” ~ Desmond Tutu
“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” ~ Mark Twain
“Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.” ~ George Sand
“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” ~ Dalai Lama XIV
“Do yourself a favor and forgive anyone that has anything against you. Do it as an act of faith and trust God to change and heal your emotions. Pray for your enemies and never say another unkind thing about them. It is the only way you can move past the pain and begin to heal.” ~ Joyce Meyer
“Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution.” ~ Kahili Gibran
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” ~ Aesop
“Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping them up.” ~ Jesse Jackson
“The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful then a thousand heads bowing in prayer.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
“There is no religion without love, and people may talk as much as they like about their religion, but if it does not teach them to be good and kind to man and beast, it is all a sham.” ~ Anna Sewell
“Affirmations are our mental vitamins, providing the supplementary positive thoughts we need to balance the barrage of negative events and thoughts we experience daily.” ~ Tia Walker
“If I have to build a big company by mistreating other people then the Bible says WOE to me. I don’t know what that is, but I don’t want any of it.” ~ Joyce Meyer
“As we work to create light for others, we naturally light our own way.” ~ Mary Anne Radmacher
Don’t be lone wolf, isolated, you become too much inside yourself. Not feeling wanted results in frustration, aging, illness. Strive after popularity and you’ll never get it; for those who won’t receive you shake it off (Luke 9:5). Instead of worrying about what others may think, practice building the ego of those in your life. Build up as many as you can, unselfishly because you like them and see potential in them.
10 rules for valuing others **
- Remember their name
- Be comfortable with others
- Don’t let small things ruffle you
- Don’t be egotistical, a know it all
- When speaking have something of value to say
- Attempt to heal misunderstandings
- Practice liking people
- Congratulate others for their achievements
- Express sympathy, sorrow and disappointment in times of need
- Get a deep spiritual experience so you’ll have something to give others to help strengthen them
** Adapted from Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale
Interaction between people is vibration. Sending out prayers for another is amplifying vibrations in the universe between people and God. Prayer is a force inherent in spiritual universe. You transport from yourself to another a sense of love, help, and support.
The challenge is to pray for people as you pass them; at work, on a bus, in your car, shopping; whenever you see someone down. Notice the change in their demeanor. These are often called “flash prayers”, shooting blessings to those we pass. Kingdom of God is within you; use it, practice it, bless others with it (Luke 17:21).
Books on a caring and kind altitude
Reduce me to Love by Joyce Meyer
Secrets to Exceptional Living by Joyce Meyer
Why Do Christians Shoot Their Wounded? by Dwight L Carlson
Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs
The 5 love Languages by Gary Chapman
Bible Verses to mediate on to strengthen a caring attitude
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Matthew 5:43-48
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32
But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Luke 6:35
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. Romans 15:2
Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. 1 Peter 3:9
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant. 1 Corinthians 13:4
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, Colossians 3:12
‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Luke 10:27b
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Romans 12:15
Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor. Proverbs 21:21
Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. Romans 13:10
‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40 (NIV)
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Romans 12:9-13 (NIV)
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Romans 12:14-16
Learning to live deeper, living for others is just one character of a mature Christian. When we act in selfishness the enemy can use this to hurt others but we can overcome selfishness by learning how Christ cared for people. We will always be disappointed if we make others responsible for our own happiness so do things for people who can’t pay you back. This is our gift to God.
Don’t just care for people like you’d like to be cared for, they may have different needs. Don’t care for people how they want to be cared for, they may have low self-esteem and expect to be treated badly. Instead, care for people how Christ cares for them:
In your relationships with one another,
have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death
– even death on a cross!
Philippians 2:5-8 (NIV)
Good relationships are impossible without forgiveness and humility. Pride acts out vengeance and unforgiveness, a humble heart lays the offense in God’s hands. If you’re concerned that people who hurt you or offend you will get away with it – don’t be! God will take care of it. Unforgiveness will not only affect our relationship with the offender but also taint your relationship with others as well as our relationship with God. God can’t be in relationship with us if we aren’t willing to forgive.
How does the Lord show is kindness to us?
- Through his grace he shows kindness toward us in Jesus (Ephesians 2:7)
- His kindness isn’t based on what we do but on his mercy (Titus :5)
- His love is poured out into our hearts, enabling us to show kindness (Romans 5:5)
- His kindness is seen in his provision (Acts 14:17)
How are we to show kindness to others?
- Be affectionate and kind, showing no preference of one over another (Romans 12:10)
- Be compassionate and kind, showing forgiveness (Ephesians 4:32)
- Show tolerance with other’s weaknesses and build them up (Romans 15:1-2)
Jesus said it best:
For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
“Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’
Matthew 25:35-40 (NLT)
This is how we show kindness to others and therefore show kindness to Jesus. When our depth of loving kindness increases we draw closer to God and become more like him.
A Prayer to be more Caring
Lord Jesus, help me daily to live out your words “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”
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More Posts on a caring & kind attitude:
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Links to other Attitudes in this series
Introduction to Attitudes
Happiness is determined by our thoughts, we must drive off thoughts that depress or discourage. We simply must decide to do it, visualize yourself as filled with joy. I know all too well this is not an easy task but with the help of the Holy Spirit it is possible. We were meant to be over-comers and conquerors (1 John 5:4; Romans 8:37)
Ways to find greater joy:
• Keep your heart free from hate
• Keep your mind free from worry
• Live simply, expect little, give much
• Fill your life with love
Cure for unhappiness
Say out loud “this is the day god had made and I’ll rejoice in it” (Psalm 118:24), better yet, personalize it. Say:
“I believe I’m going to have a wonderful day. I believe I can successfully handle anything life throws at me today. God is with me and he’s going to see me through. I thank God for every good thing and I rejoice in all he’s done for me.”
Memorize one Thought Conditioner each day for forty days.
Books on Joy
Thought Conditioners by Norman Vincent Peale
Choose Joy by Kay Warren
Seven Things That Steal Your Joy: Overcoming the Obstacles to Your Happiness by Joyce Meyer
Verses on joy to meditate on
Rejoice always! ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16 (ESV)
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. ~ Proverbs 17:22 (ESV)
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. ~ Romans 15:13 (ESV)
Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength! ~ Nehemiah 8:10 (NLT)
Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. ~ Psalm 30:5b (ESV)
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. ~ Romans 12:12 (ESV)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness ~ Galatians 5:22 (ESV)
To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory. ~ Isaiah 61:3 (NIV)
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. ~ Psalm 118:24 (ESV)
May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy ~ Colossians 1:11 (ESV)
Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. ~ Philippians 4:4 (KJV)
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. ~ Romans 14:17 (ESV)
You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence. ~ Acts 2:28 (ESV)
Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! ~ Psalm 126:5 (ESV)
When the Lord brought back his exiles to Jerusalem,
it was like a dream!
We were filled with laughter,
and we sang for joy.
And the other nations said,
“What amazing things the Lord has done for them.”
Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us!
Restore our fortunes, Lord,
as streams renew the desert.
Those who plant in tears
will harvest with shouts of joy.
They weep as they go to plant their seed,
but they sing as they return with the harvest.
Psalm 126:1-6 (NIV)
God and laughter go together. God is joy…the joy of the lord is our strength.
This month we take a look at a Joyful Attitude and we move from attitudes of the mind to attitudes of the heart.
What is joy and what it’s not
We’re not talking about those with a joyful gene like my daughter, you know those annoyingly happy people. And we’re not talking about fake joy, a manufactured joy, those you equally want to smack upside their head (NCIS style). It’s not dependent on what’s going on, what’s happening (as in happy). We are talking about joy that comes from our restored relationship with God, like living a dream (v1). It is not the joy we find apart from God.
Living the Jubilee life is about restoration. We experience deep joy as if it were infused into our very cells. With joy comes laughter and not like laughing at joke, but from an easiness in the heart.
Why are we to be joyful?
The joy of the Lord is our strength. (Nehemiah 8:10) The enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy so that we lose our joy – no joy, no strength. Jesus came to give life in abundance – an abundance of joy that can only be found in him. (John 10:10). Without joy filling our hearts we cannot live and enjoy the life Christ so selflessly and painfully came to give us. Without joy we cannot show others what a life with Christ means for who would want to follow Christ if all his followers are wearing frowns. When we show our joy in the Lord to an unbelieving world even when our own world is falling apart to make them wonder and want.
A Prayer for Joy
Help us to remember Lord, that joy in You give us strength and to joy in all circumstances.
More posts on a joyful attitude
Links to other Attitudes in this series
Introduction to Attitudes
I came across the video “Bill Hybels: Coffee With God” in a blog I follow from Blueprint for Life. Juggling Kai, work and my household duties I’ve found I have little time for the things in life that are truly important. Number one on that list is time with God. It’s so easy to put God last when our time demands run amuck.
I found this video encouraging and I’m more determined to find time for God no matter what. Bill suggests that daily, consistent time with God is life-changing. We must find some way, some place, some time each day to sit quietly, reflect on God, read, worship and pray. I was accustomed to spending 2-3 hours a day with God and found it frustrating that my schedule no longer allows for that luxury; however, it’s not how much time but the quality and consistency of that time.
Another issue I’ve had is atmosphere (or place) of worship. I had become quite spoilt on my “Jubilee Journey”, just to be with God for hours in the most beautiful and peaceful places. I’m lucky if I find a rare moment of quiet now that I’m living with my daughters and grandson. There is no peace, no solitude. Bill says you can spend time with God anywhere, in a rocking chair looking out on a beautiful vista, in a booth in Burger King or in your car. Actually, at this time in my life I believe Burger King would be a better option than home…fewer distractions.
Why is this consistency important? Because the benefits of consistent morning time with God is that “his presence lingers after the meeting”, we think on him throughout our day.
If you have time check out the video. It’s about 9 minutes.