It is so important to remember to give thanks to our Lord, even if our emotions tell us to do otherwise. 

For such a long time, I thought my emotions were otherwise. I started to be influenced by my boyfriend, who is, at times, one of the most logical people I know. However, instead of battling between which is best for the world (as both can be disadvantageous), the best we can do is try our best to be open to God’s way of thinking, to His way of feeling. If we are even open to just the idea of it, we can invite in the Holy Spirit and have our mental, emotional, and spiritual states flourish. Sure, we will have resistance coming from Satan and our Earthly desires and petty clinginess, but nothing is outside God’s power. His love will conquer all.

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Joy, Faith, & Prayers

There is such beauty in God’s promises. There’s such joy in following God’s Word that is far greater and fuller than any happiness we could attain. You can be happy with God, but there’s a difference between joy and happiness. I believe the difference is this: when you’re happy, your spirit is smiling. When you’re joyful, your soul is smiling and feeling content. There were lots of times during my episodes of depression when I felt joyful, but not happy.

I can say that it makes me joyful to pray for people. It makes me joyful to know I can pray for them. I know my prayers aren’t in vain. I know God hears them and hears your prayers, too. He does have reasons for not always giving us something we pray for, but since it’s God, we can trust for the best from Him. We can pray differently and diligently, and most of all, we can have faith. God calls us to have charity, to pray for others, but He calls us to have faith more. Sometimes, it’s hard to have faith, so sometimes my prayers feel a little empty. So I struggle in that moment to align my intentions with God’s, but it doesn’t always work. I then pray that God grant my request anyway, because He loves His people and other people shouldn’t have to suffer because of my flaws. I ask Him for help. This is a way to have faith.

Thanking Him for helping you is a way to find faith, and growing in faith is a way to experience joy.

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.” Romans 15:13

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–” Ephesians 2:8

“16 <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-29621A" data-link="(A)” style=”font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: top;”>Rejoice always, 17 <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-29622B" data-link="(B)” style=”font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: top;”>pray without ceasing, 18 <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-29623C" data-link="(C)” style=”font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: top;”>give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Joy, Faith, & Prayers

Hoping Again

I have to stop and thank the Lord for allowing me to have hope again. I love and love and live and love, and inevitably get hurt along the way, but I suppose anything done in the name of Christ is worth doing. His love and will will prevail. (sorry that was one of those weird sentences)

Even waiting for God  (“blessed are those who wait on the Lord”) and the hurt our imaginations give us during that time are worth it, all for Christ. Sometimes, God has other plans for us, and those plans dash our hopes. However, if our hearts remain open, then we will be more in tune with God’s Holy Will.

Having your heart open means to have a softened heart, which means to love the Lord your God. It doesn’t mean to allow yourself to be hurt over and over, it means to have your heart in accordance with God’s intentions. Of course, we will get hurt along the way, but the peace of God will be felt all the more strongly if our hearts are open, meaning softer rebounds, quicker rebounds, and hopefully immeasurable gratitude.

No matter what God’s plan is, no matter how you get hurt along the way, turn back to Him, open your heart to Him, and you will experience a peace you wouldn’t know otherwise.

“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.”

Hoping Again

I wish I had  lot of money. I wish I could help my parents into a comfortable retirement, send my nieces to college, get everyone the vitamins they need, get lasic eye surgery so I don’t need glasses again, be ok for a while on car insurance, etc….

I wish money wouldn’t matter to me, but it does. I know that parts of this world require money, and that’s why I care. That, and, like every kid, I’m not inclined to live with my parents forever.

I have to stop and ask myself why I’ve been wishing I had more money. The want this time was triggered and I guess not really controlled by someone on tv who owned a ranch that was bigger than Rhode Island. Like, dang, people. Before, I read an article about what extremely rich people thought was normal but wasn’t. It’s so unfair.

But I have to remind myself that life isn’t fair, because Jesus sacrificed everything for us. He came to Earth in physical form as a human. He chose to be given birth to, have to eat and defecate and work and sweat like any other human. He chose to acknowledge all the wealth of the Spirit instead of Earthly things. I’m very fortunate to follow a God (the One God) who cares enough about His creations to give us eternal life, who will answer my prayers and get onto me for caring so much about money,

for worrying.

Thank you, Lord, for being You and for loving me. I need You and Your direction and mercies, always.

Faith

I must admit, this specific post is spontaneous, and what I say isn’t really at all planned out ahead of time. However, I have learned a lot about faith and sharing my understanding seems like a good idea.

Faith can come in different ways.

It can be knowing that God is good and having your mind tell you to trust in Him, even when your emotions don’t listen.

Or, it can be trusting God with your feelings and knowing He is Lord in your heart, even when the words in your mind don’t agree, and even with a small bit of fear hanging around you.

Recently, I came across a verse with a definition from Hebrews 11:1:

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

I have the last part down. Having confidence in what I hope for is another thing. It’s hard for me. I always think, “Well, what if it’s not in God’s plan?” Or “Well, what if He wants me to do something differently or doesn’t grant me whatever wish because I can’t seem to focus, or because I haven’t been giving Him my all?” The only thing I can really do in these times is remember how much He loves us, and me, and remember that if He wants it, it’ll happen. I struggle with the fact that I have not lead a righteous life, and I don’t really know how. I say my prayers, I try to keep the commandments, but I often mess up. Somewhere in the Bible, it says that the prayers of the righteous will be granted, but that’s not me.

I guess it’s good to remember that there’s nothing we can do to deserve His grace or mercy, even if we minimize our sin and do our best to lead a Godly life. Even righteous people fall short of the glory of God. Even righteous people need forgiveness.

Still, it’s nice to aim for more confidence. I think a lack of confidence comes from looking at myself, instead of looking at the Lord.

It’s important to know your God, and having a lack of confidence like I mentioned is, at the heart of it, a result of not knowing Him, of sometimes not having a clear definition of who and what He is. I really need to get to know Him more.

What I know now is that God is Love. God is Goodness. God is Grace and Mercy. God is the Perfect Father. God is Eternal. God is Christ Our Savior.

Sometimes, I don’t know this, or I forget. It’s something I constantly have to relearn.

To be a child of God means to make mistakes over and over, just like a child does, but to go back to Him, and be embraced in His always open arms. Doing the same mistakes over and over is very childlike, and God constantly telling me not to do stuff is very parent-like. However, unlike our earthly parents, God is Perfect. Take that to mean what you will.

I encourage you to repeatedly get to know the Lord your God. It will help in so many different ways that you probably haven’t known have needed help.

God loves you and He always will.

 

 

 

 

Faith