Thursday, July 18, 2013

HOPE for when we feel we have failed...

Greetings!  This particular writing is part of course I am taking.  But discouragement is so common, I thought perhaps one of you might be blessed by this or have a friend you would like to share it with.  That 'silly' saying of 'If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it' conveys a not so silly truth; we disappoint ourselves but He always loves us perfectly!
Dear friend,

My heart aches with your pain and discouragement.  It does devastate us to feel we have disappointed the One we love so very much.  Can you see your heartache as the very sign that speaks to your love?  The Spirit searches the heart; He knows your sincere sorrow and repentance.  Are you remembering that Jesus died for us while we were yet actively rebelling—totally ignoring and rejecting Him?  That same love envelopes us even when we fail Him after salvation.  I know you know all the facts, walk with me, though, through their beauty and let His words be a balm to your soul.

 God loved—and loves—us too much to leave us on our own; He did not entrust our deliverance to personal effort.  He knows we’re made of dust and we fail in our flesh.  He loves us anyway.  When you trusted Christ for salvation, you accepted God’s preferred destination for you: eternally, irrevocably positioned in Jesus Christ.  He has never seen you anywhere else but IN Christ…covered by the blood with sins forgiven. 

No one is without hope because God is the God of Hope—not before salvation, nor after.  He has promised never to leave or forsake us, even when we fall into sin.  He does not despise a wounded heart.  Your sin has pierced your own heart and now that sin is your opportunity to humbly let it remind you of His unbelievable grace and mercy.  The same grace & mercy that saved you will sustain you.

Remember Romans.  Paul gave us wonderful, deep instruction on this on-going battle in EVERY Christian.  None of us is immune— in this life— from the possibility of falling.  The very fact that you are distressed is evidence of His work within you.  And His Work is the only Hope of Glory for any.  We are justified by faith in His Work and we must live in faith of His Work.  Your heartbreak is real and though saddened the Father, He knew all about it before Christ went to the Cross.  Now you must allow that love to fill you to overflowing and take that message to others.  Do not allow the gift to be in vain.  Live the truth, honey, so others will know they can too.  THAT is the hope we all need.

One of my favorite verses is found deep in the Old Testament where God promises Israel He will restore the years of blight.  When we understand the depths of His goodness and power, we begin to walk with greater confidence and faith.  Deny the enemy the victory in this sin.  Allow God to love you—and then tell everyone you see how great is our God! 

Loving and praying (with the Spirit and Jesus) for His Light to heal and guide,

Your sister IN Christ, Billie Jo

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Changing patterns!

Battling weight issues has taught me much over the years.  It has helped me learn to focus on the purposes of God, dig through emotional responses and lately, identify hidden processes that affect my health.  The truth is, though, I find the spiritual analogies far more interesting than the physical world realities.  Recently I discovered some hidden processes that relate to diabetes and the job of insulin.  It fascinated me to consider the ways my body responds to habitual behaviors—and I began to explore the concept.  If you happen to be diabetic and want those tidbits, just email me.  But for the greater truths I found inside the struggle, come along!

Discovering the hidden processes excites me because that is the first step to understanding them.  Understanding paves the way to individual growth.  We are not at the mercy of our habits, our family inheritances or our culture.  As Christians privileged to have the very Spirit of God dwelling in the center of our being, we can exercise dominion over all that!  Our spirits are meant to reign—not our physical bodies, lusts, habits or even generational curses.

 Heartaches, anger, and earthly battles seek to direct our thoughts, emotions and even actions.  Those feelings and actions become habits that can dig trenches of pain into our souls.  Just as repeated times of elevated insulin convince our bodies this is the ‘new normal,’ poor habitual responses to trouble eat at our souls.  Efforts to escape the pain without treating underlying issues bring more destruction.  A change of diet and activity reverses negative trends but long-standing patterns often necessitate a multi-faceted approach.  

The Spirit, aided by tools such as the Word, other Christians, and circumstances, shines the Light of God into our troubles to show the way through them.  As we walk in the ways of the Word (in faith of His goodness), we become reflectors of His light instead of reactors to the world.  We enjoy the peace of His presence and the victory of faith.  His Light begins a healing process in our dark places.  It may not change the actual circumstances but the pain eases as Christ enters the suffering with us.  The love we absorb from Him then flows into our world bringing healing to others.