swamp

Joy No Matter What

AlumFlwrJames 1:2-4(NKJV)
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

It’s hard to be happy in trials, but it’s not hard to have joy in your trials! The Bible tells us to count it all joy when we fall into trials. How? It’s simple. Allow God’s spirit to be what leads you in life and know that it’s working to make you a better child of God! If God’s spirit is leading our lives, the Bible tells us that we will not walk in the flesh, and if we aren’t walking in flesh we are walking in spirit. That is the key!

Galatians 5:16(KJV)
16This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

When we walk in the Spirit, we produce the fruit (singular) of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22-23(KJV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Notice it says “fruit” not “fruits” That means the fruit is singular. You cannot pick and choose which you will have this or that day. If you have the FRUIT of the Spirit, you have them all. That means, you can have JOY every day no matter what you are going through (as well as all the other characteristics of the FRUIT of the Spirit) as long as you have a Spirit Led life.

Make God the center of your life and your life will be better than you could have ever imagined. Yes trials will be there, but you will find joy in the midst of them.

Have a blessed and JOYFUL day!

swamp

Thought for the Day

Stop Complaining!

tiger-lily

No one said life would be easy, and complaining will only make you feel more helpless to do anything about it. Instead, remember what God has done in your life and make an effort to be cheerful no matter what. You can always go to God with your needs, but why not spend some time just thanking Him. You will notice a shift in your outlook on life.I like how The Message Bible puts this into perspective.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 The Message (MSG)
16-18 Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.

swamp

God Is ALWAYS With Us

Listen here or Read Below
 

| Open Player in New Window

Have you ever felt that God was nowhere to be found? You called on him and you didn’t hear anything?

I have felt that way before. If we are honest, I bet we all have, even the most spiritual of us. If we are not careful, the devil can twist that feeling and doubt and cause us to fall away. Before we give in to that feeling of doubt and rejection, stop and ask yourself what did God have to say about leaving us?

In Hebrews 13:5 KJV God tells us
5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

And Matthew also tells us in 28:20 KJV
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

See that? God will never leave us. He is always there when we don’t feel Him. He said He will be with us always even unto the end of the world.

We all go through these times. Our reaction is what makes the difference. I have heard well-known evangelists express they even have gone through these times. I have also found and heard testimony that when individuals like you and I have felt that way, and felt God was far from them, they were used to minister to someone mightily! Even in department stores. Remember, no matter what, God promised to be with us. He will always hear our cries.

Psalm 34:15 says
15 The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.

Whether we feel Him or not, God is beside us, He hears us and loves us. Don’t give up!

swamp

Hope In Our Trials

Listen Here or read below
 

| Open Player in New Window

We Can Find Hope in our Trials.

Sometimes we find ourselves stuck in a trial that seems to be going on forever. Maybe it goes on for months or even years.

The Bible tells us in Romans 5:1-4 (KJV)
1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope

Many times in my trials, I don’t see God or what work He is doing during this time, but the important thing I need to remember during those times, is that God is still by my side working even though I feel like He is a million miles away. He will be my strength though I feel like I have none, my victory when I feel totally defeated and my hope when I feel like I can’t go on.
This scripture tells us that something does come out of those trials that we all dread.
I like how this scripture reads in the Amplified Bible.

3 Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance.
4 And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of [a]character (approved faith and [b]tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] [c]joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.

I will build endurance going through, trusting and depending on God during my trials. Eventually, my character will change for the better and I will have that hope that only can come through trusting God. God gives us victory and tramples down our enemies (Psalm 60:12)

Yes it is hard, especially after a long period of time, but once we come out on the other side of that trial, it will be worth it and we will see the changes and the testimony that comes out of it. Keep holding on to Jesus! He is the hope!

swamp

Thought For The Day

B&W light

Trials and tests  are part of a Christian walk.  They are not God’s punishment for us. The only time you should begin to really worry is when you stop having trials and tests.  Yes, it may be your mountain top time, but normally we do not plateau forever on a mountain top.  If you are on a long plateau it might be time to check yourself.

swamp

What is in the Heart Will Come Out

IMG_0942

Mathew 15:18-19:

18But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.

19For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

What is in your heart? Happiness, love, fear, hate, anger, comfort, grace, mercy, lust, bad thoughts, contentment, maybe even revenge? 

Have you ever truly thought about the condition of your heart spiritually? What prognosis or diagnosis would your spiritual “Doctor” give you if He looked into your heart right now? 

For some, you can honestly say, “I have a heart full of love and peace,” while others might cringe once they begin to examine themselves. We can only fool others for a short period before the true content of our hearts comes pouring out, and we cannot fool God at all, for He sees straight into our heart. Being born into sin does present hurdles in our lives as Christians, but God gave us His Spirit and His Spirit gives us the strength we need to jump those hurdles. At times, when we take our eyes off Jesus and our feet somehow get caught on one of those hurdles, we fall. What causes us to take our eyes off Jesus? Are we spending time with Him like we should?

Have you ever wondered why it is that we seem to speak nothing but negative words at times? I am about ninety-nine percent sure that if we would each take a look at ourselves when we notice we are speaking negative or acting in an unfriendly manner, that we will find we have not spent much time with God or in His word for a period of time (whether short or long.) 

If we are feeling energetic, peaceful and our joy is overflowing even when tough circumstances creep up, will probably notice that we have spent some time with God or in His word of late. 

What we need to do is understand this; when we spend time with God and in His word, it penetrates our hearts and His attributes and words begin to flow from our mouth and show in our actions.   This is true for whatever we spend our time in. If we never allow God in our hearts, and we fill ourselves with things of this world, what do you think will show up in our words and actions? Ponder that for a couple of minutes.   

The point I am trying to make is that we should try to spend some time each day talking to God, reading a couple of devotionals and/or some scripture. We will soon see a difference in ourselves if we do.

swamp

Our Strong Tower

 

snow

We go through many seasons in life, and sometimes we become “weather worn.” Those seasons that leave their mark on us are the seasons that draw us closer to God, to depend more on Him. Many times, we feel that we are being ripped apart by the gusting wind or frozen solid during the bitter and blustery blizzard. That is when we need to run to our strong tower! Call on the name of Jesus! The season may not leave, but peace will definitely come!

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

swamp

The Lord Hears

 tree(1)

Psalm 34:6-8

6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles

7 The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.

8 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

God is always listening…. just keep your hope & trust in Him and hold on!  He knows what is best for each of us, and what we need to shape our lives.  He is our Potter, forming us to what He wants us to be! It’s easy to forget that once we are in the midst of a trial, that is why getting into the word of God is essential to our Spiritual lives, that’s the only way we can make it. When you read scriptures like the above scripture, you realize "Hey, God is listening…"

swamp

Thought for the Day

IMG_0240(2)

II Corinthians 4:7
7But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
8
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9
Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
10
Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
11
For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh

With God we can handle anything, as long as we trust in Him and His love for us.

 

swamp

Thought for the Day

IMG_3869

Psalm 31:23-24 (The Message)
 23 Love God, all you saints;
      God takes care of all who stay close to him,
   But he pays back in full
      those arrogant enough to go it alone.
 24 Be brave. Be strong. Don’t give up.
      Expect God to get here soon.

If we stay Close to God and love Him, He will take care of us.  If we try to go it alone, without God we have to deal with the consequences of our actions.  So, Don’t  give up!  Keep depending on God! Stay strong in God!