So many of us get on with our lives and are completely oblivious to the deep hurt that others are experiencing. We might not know about it because people are great at hiding things. Or it might just be that we are too wrapped up in our own lives.
I’ve always been a bit of an introvert and I get when young people tell me that they just don’t feel that they belong. So many people today are struggling with rejection and find themselves in the depths of despair. Slowly but surely they feel that their grip is slipping and they find it harder and harder to hold on, and to keep going. If that’s you, you’re not alone. And you never will be.
I want you to know that things can never be so dark, that it can supersede light. Put your hand on your heart. What you feel there is purpose. Take a deep breathe. What you feel there is life. And when there is life, there is hope. And when there is hope, there is life. You are not done yet. You have been born for a time such as this.
Although this world is in a mess, there are still people who care. I am one of them. My life is a living testimony of someone who didn’t have an ounce of selfworth a while ago. Today, I know who I am and I know I am precious in the eyes of the One who’s opinion really matters – God. I know that doesn’t fix your circumstances. I know it doesn’t make everything right. But when you know that you are precious to God the Father, and that He has a true plan for your life, it gives you hope to keep going. And as you keep going, you begin growing. That soon transferes into confidence that allows you to look at yourself with eyes that are less condemning, and more accepting.
You are beautifully and wonderfully created. Go and live out what you have always been tentative to do. Because God has given you a spirit of boldness. After all you are a creation of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
“Look around! All that stuff used to be money. And all that money used to be time.”
The simple truth is, that the more we have, the easier it is to become trapped in our clutter. And before we even realise it, our material possessions begin to define who we are. As a result, we become so obsessed and possessive about our things, because we fear that if we lose what we have, we will also lose who we are.
Why is it, that one of the first questions we ask when we meet someone is, “What do you do for a living?” And more often than not, their answer will make us form a perception about that person. We need to remind ourselves that a car guard can be an amazing person of integrity and faith, whereas a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, can be ruthless and show no interest in a fellow human being. In fact, I have become great friends with Clifford, a car guard, since being back in South Africa. He has hardly any material possessions, yet he is filled with love and compassion. He loves God and choses to find his identity in Christ.
I have preached in countries where poverty is a major issue. But seeing it as a major issue is simply the way first world countries perceive it. Many people around the world who are poor, are actually far richer than billionairs out there. To begin with, they don’t have the fear of losing their stuff. They also have no way of finding their identity in things that they don’t have. My experience, is that they are so much more open to the Gospel, because there is not much holding them back. Maybe we can take a page out of their life story and apply it to ours.
Instead of thinking that we have it all worked out and that we need to pray for people in their poverty. We can rather ask them to pray for us in our prosperity. Because its not the material things that make us rich, but rather our relationship with Jesus Christ. The best thing we can do, is to find our identity in Him
Have an amazing day!
The more we choose to focus on gratitude, the less place we have in our lives for greed!
In a world where we are told to focus on material things, Christ is calling us to be different. He calls us to look at what really matters. Of what real consequence is all the stuff we accumulate on Earth? Why would we place so much value on material possessions, when all that it does, is lead to stress and anxiety? In all my travels, I have found that those who have the least, but have Christ, are the most content of all.
Can you say with me, “I am here, I am loved by God, God is good, and that’s enough.” When we choose to wake up each morning and thank God for a new day, that gratitude is set into motion. When we rather choose to thank Him for His grace, than thank Him for material things, that gratitude becomes so much stronger. Because things can disappear from our lives, but grace never will. In fact, it’s His grace that leads us home when we choose to follow Him.
It’s a choice, so we need to choose today what our attitude will be. Will it be to curse God for not giving us what we want. Or will it be to praise God for giving us so much more than what we could ever deserve. As for me and my household, we choose to live our lives in gratitude.
Have an amazing day.
When we focus on ourselves, being overwhelmed is a bad thing. When we focus on God, it is something amazing!
Anything with the word ‘over’ in front of it is not healthy. But that gets flipped on its head when it comes to understanding God’s greatness. When He opened His mouth, galaxies came into existence. When He spoke, light flew at astronomical speeds. God set the boundaries for the oceans, and they obey. His greatness is overwhelming.
‘Overwhelming’ turns into something beautiful when we look at the cross. The King, who has everything, chose to leave His holy throne. He gave up His perfect seat in heaven. He also gave up His life for you and me, in order to pay our debts. Why would He do that. The answer is a four-letter word – LOVE.
Why are we so easily impressed by ‘influencers’ and other random people who have all our attention, but care nothing for us? And why are we so oblivious to the greatness of God when He is the creator of all things and the giver of all life. He is the One who wants to know each one of us personally. We should take a moment and think about those questions. It might just flip the switch.
Let’s become overwhelmed by God’s love and greatness. And underwhelmed by mere mortals. Don’t get it the wrong way around.
An absolute must for each Christian to have, is a tenacious spirit. It’s what builds up reserves when things are going well. And it’s what needs to be plugged into, when life gets tough. Without a tenacious spirit, we are bound to allow our circumstances to control our effectiveness as Christians!
One of the most amazing creatures in nature, is the honey badger. Even when the deadliest of snakes tries to invade its territory, it doesn’t back down. It fights back without compromise. We need to be Christian Honey Badgers, tenaciously standing our ground against the attacks we face every day – attacks on the family; attacks on the church; attacks on our identity; and attacks through the lies from Satan!
Jesus himself said that in this world we will face troubles. But in order to be able to tenaciously deal with those troubles, we need the One who gives us peace that surpasses all understanding. We need a living relationship with Jesus Christ! We need to allow the Holy Spirit to fill every aspect of our lives. Only then, will we be able to rejoice in the face of adversity. And that’s what it means to have a tenacious spirit! When we, like Paul and Silas, can praise God when being treated unjustly, then we know we are on the right track.
Having a tenacious spirit means that we don’t allow our circumstances to rob our joy. Instead, we allow the Holy Spirit to point us back to the Cross. Because that’s where all our battles have already been won. That’s where all our sins have already been paid for. And that, my friends, is why we can have a tenacious attitude towards every trial that we face.
“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)
When we remind ourselves that God is enough, only then do we live a truly thankful life.
There are times when we feel sorry for ourselves because we believe that our lives are undeservedly tough and that we have been dealt an unfair hand. We even feel that God ‘owes’ us more. But here’s something we need to remember: God owes us nothing! He is God and we are the ones who owe Him everything.
Please understand that I am not downplaying anything about anyone who is going through a difficult time. Nobody wants to struggle. Nobody wants to go through life struggling to survive. And God is certainly not wishing those heartaches on us. But sometimes, it takes darkness for us to appreciate the light. It takes pain to appreciate the good times. It takes hard times to look up and recognise God.
And the best thing we can do when we are desperate, is to praise God. It might not be what we feel like doing. In fact, we might rather feel like cursing Him. But, by thanking God for the gift life during those times when we can’t see how we are going to take one more step, something shifts. We then begin to see what we have, instead of what we don’t.
Even if we have lost every single thing we own, and every single person we love, we can never lose God. He is always there waiting with open arms for us to come to Him. And when we do, we will begin to realise that the only thing that really matters, and the only thing of real value in this life, is knowing Him. Our life here on Earth is but a smidgen of eternity. Why then, are we so focused on our comfort here, when there’s an eternity to consider.
And by the way, when we are struggling, there are always people out there struggling more. God has called us to be part of the solution. He has called us to reach out and lessen their pain. By doing that, we also see less of what we are going through and develop more of God’s heart. So, for those who are going through a painful time, I am praying for you. I pray that you look up and know that God is enough. And by simply knowing Him, we are truly blessed.
Have an amazing day.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deut. 31:6
One of the reasons we choose not to step into the “Promised Land” that God has for us, is the fear of uncertainty. You see, when we take new ground, we willingly walk into unknown territory. It seems far easier to hold on to what’s familiar, than having to relinquish the control of what we know. But it’s time to show up.
Firstly, by showing up and taking that first step, we are stepping out of where the Enemy wants us to stay. If he could have his way, everyone would crawl back into the comfortable spaces and never venture anywhere else. It is there where no new ground is taken. In fact, it is there where we begin to lose ground, especially as Christians. So, it’s time to step out of that dangerous zone!
In addition to that, by showing up and moving in the direction God is calling us to, we are trusting Him to make a way. God sees our faith when we step out. He sees our attitude when we step up. And He sees our heart when we step into what He has for us. Even when the Enemy tries to drag us back, we must allow God to pull us forward. It’s time to step into God’s purpose for our lives.
I would rather walk with God in the unknown, than be without Him in any comfort zone.
Have an amazing day!
At times, we may feel lost and alone, but God always knows where we are, and He’s always with us.
I know! When we go through a wilderness in our lives, we don’t want to hear pep-talks about how good God is! All we can think is, “If God is so good, why doesn’t He do something about my situation?” Nobody wants to have a verse quoted to them when God doesn’t seem to care. But picture this.
Jesus is begging His Father to stop His murder from happening. But God does nothing. The human side of Jesus must have been thinking, “God, where are you? If You really care, and if You really love me, why don’t you do something?” But God is silent. And then it happens. He is beaten. He is spat upon. He is mocked. And The Father never steps in. And then, Jesus is murdered for nothing that He had done wrong! His words were even, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?”
God was always there. The fact that He never changed the circumstances didn’t mean that He didn’t care. There are things that happen in our lives that we can never grasp in that moment. But, like Jesus, we have to trust that God sees the bigger picture. Whatever may be happening in your life, God is there. However bad things may seem, God is still good.
God’s goodness isn’t compromised by the ‘badness’ of our situation we might be in. God’s goodness doesn’t disappear when the darkness of this world seems to envelop us. The fact that we are given the opportunity to accept Christ, so that we may have eternal life, is absolute proof of God’s goodness and His love for us. So, let’s stop allowing our circumstances to determine our idea of God’s goodness. Let’s cast our eyes to the cross. That’s where God’s goodness becomes clear.
Have an amazing weekend.
I often find myself wondering how the world has gone so crazy, so quickly. Things that make absolute no moral sense, are being sold to us as being kind, loving and accepting. And the scariest thing about it all, is that we are allowing ourselves to think the way the world does.
There’s something we need to understand. It is in our nature to be selfish. Human beings desire to be accepted and we seem to be willing to do anything, for people to like us. Even when that means we let go of what is right, and we grab on to what is popular. When we allow what’s happening outside of us, to change our moral compass, we are changing from the outside, in.
Clearly, that doesn’t mean we need to condemn people in the world who are simply acting on their need for acceptance. What we as Christians need to do, is to lead by example. We need to be the ones who don’t allow the water around our hulls, to leak into our boats, letting us sink into an ocean of immorality. We need to sail firmly, without leaks, and show the world that there is another way.
When we experience the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, we begin to understand that He is the only One who can save us from that dark ocean. With Him in our lives, there is no more need for acceptance from others. The desire might be there to please the world, but the need to do so is gone. Because Jesus’s acceptance is the only acceptance that counts.
When we realise that, we allow His Spirit to change us from the inside out. Our ‘life’ boat begins to span its beautiful sails in an otherwise, dark ocean. We then make it possible for the ‘dark waters’ around us, to see the beauty of a life impacted by Christ. Our minds and our hearts start focusing on eternal things. In so doing, we ‘sail’ with purpose, and there is no more ‘sailing’ blindly in life’s ocean. Our eyes have been opened to the things that really matter and we are directed by our ‘Lighthouse’ – Jesus Christ.
Have a wonderful day.