Discouragement and Remembering God Is on Our Side

I have been overwhelmed with discouragement at all the hatred against people who are different than we are, division even between Christians, and violence against other people and establishments. We can so easily get caught up in all the chaos and find ourselves being more judgmental than prayerful. Where is all the love and compassion Jesus gives us and desires for us to do likewise?

Are we forgetting our mission? To know Jesus and make Him known? To grow and act more like Jesus? To love like Jesus?

I forget this mission, too. My heart gets so consumed with fretting about what will further happen in the coming days and years. All those “what-ifs” clog up my mind and distort my focus.

But this morning, God used a blogging friend’s post to reorient my perspective and calm my heart:

What if God were not on my side?

“It probably won’t alter your situation, but there’s a very good chance that those eight words will calm your heart and reorient your perspective, right then and there. In these uncertain times, that can make all the difference in the world.”

Lois Flowers – How to Calm the Anxious What-ifs

“What if the LORD
had not been on our side?
Answer, O Israel!”
Psalm 124:1 (GNT) 

As that Psalm continues, we have the answer that without Him we would be swallowed up alive. My faltering heart gained strength as I remembered that God is always on our side, holding our hand when we’re afraid, girding us up with hope and giving us courage to take the next step forward, helping us to trust Him no matter what happens in the future on this earth.

The Lord is with me; 
I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?

Psalm 118:6

With this truth in our hearts and minds, we can step forward more like Jesus would. With healing words instead of hurting words. With love instead of hate. With compassion instead of judgment.

“We can’t heal the world today.
But we can begin with
a voice of compassion,
a heart of love,
and an act of kindness.”

Mary Davis

“There’s no other name so sweet as Jesus.
No one ever cared so much for me.
As to shed His precious blood to save me
No one ever cared so much for me
When I see Him face to face up in glory
I will marvel at His nail scarred feet.
And I’ll thank Him for the pain He suffered
Because, He cared so much for me.
There’s no one who cares like Jesus
There’s no friend so precious to me
Who would carry, carry your cross to Calvary
No one ever cared so much for me
There’s no one who cares like Jesus
There’s no friend so precious to me
Who would carry, carry your cross, to Calvary
No one ever cared so much for me
No one ever cared so much for me”

Replacing Negative Criticism With God’s Truth

 

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never harm me!” As kids, we often chanted this whenever someone called us a name. Is it true? No way!

Negative words can cut us deeply and can stick in our hearts and minds like stuck records throughout our lives. They can hide in a corner of our minds and affect us in ways we don’t even realize. They can empty us of our security in who we really are. We start basing our value on what others say instead of who God says we are.

“You’re not good enough… You’re dumb… You’re worthless…” Words that make us feel like we’ll never amount to much. Words that strip us of our self-worth and prevent us from fulfilling our God-given potential. Constant drips that wear away our courage to do things we really CAN do.

In a blog post I read last week – What To Do When Criticism Cuts Deep – Michele Cushatt points us to some valuable truths that have helped her. I’ll share three of them here:

“Because I no longer delegate
the power to determine my value.”

“Who I am is rooted in who Jesus says I am.
And the hard work He’s already done,
without any effort on my part
to earn it or deserve it.” 

“I am loved,
without condition or prerequisite.
God sees me as I am,
and loves me anyway.
It’s that simple.” 

I’m so sorry if you have been hurt by words. It can be tough to shut off that persistent negative voice, can’t it? Here is God’s Truth to replace negative criticism that taunts us. 

“In His Eyes”
by 1 Girl Nation

“So you’re different
Let them say you are
Cause you’re the vision
Of the Father’s heart
In the Father’s heart
When the world has told you lies
You are priceless in His eyes”

May we open our hearts
for God to pour in His Truth!
And may that Truth overflow
into all our words and
actions towards others!

Truths For When Life Doesn’t Make Sense

I didn’t get a post written last week as my emotions felt too raw and needed some processing.

Yesterday I came across an old post. Within it were some truths that encouraged my heart. I’m sharing them again with you, praying they will give you hope through whatever storm of life you are in.

God is God. We are not. We don’t need to make sense out of everything. Someday we will fully understand the bigger picture of all this.

Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now
what I am doing, but someday you will.”
John 13:7 NLT

The events and circumstances that perplex us can lead us into a deeper faith in God. They help us to rely more heavily on God and His promises. They refine us to be more like Jesus.

“But He knows the way that I take
[and He pays attention to it].
When He has tried me, I will come forth
as [refined] gold [pure and luminous].
Job 23:10 AMP

Bad things happen when people who are given choices choose evil. That doesn’t mean God doesn’t love us or doesn’t care. No evil will separate us from His love.

“No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory
is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing
can ever separate us from God’s love.
Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,
neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—
not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.
No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed,
nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from
the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:37-39

God has the power to protect us from evil, but sometimes He chooses to allow us to break, so we can be led deeper into the brokenness He suffered for us. The more we connect with His brokenness, the more He can use our brokenness to help others who are broken.

“As for you, you meant evil against me,
but God meant it for good,
to bring it about that many people
should be kept alive, as they are today.”
Genesis 50:20

No matter what happens, God’s plans and thoughts are for our good, not for evil. He gives us a future and a hope in Him.

“For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’
says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not
for disaster to give you a future and a hope.”
Jeremiah 29:11 AMP

 The sufferings we go through here are nothing compared to the glory hereafter.

“For I consider [from the standpoint of faith]
that the sufferings of the present life
are not worthy to be compared with the glory
that is about to be revealed to us and in us!”
Romans 8:18 AMP

“Look Up Child”
by Lauren Daigle

“Where are You now
When darkness seems to win
Where are You now
When the world is crumbling…”