Archive for the ‘stress’ Category

A flare can be used to either highlight your position to anyone who sees the flare, alerting them that you are in need of assistance. A flare can also be a sudden burst of bright flame or light, which can be used to give those that see it, direction to safety.

Ever tried to find your way in the pitch darkness?

Ever stumbled along in the darkness just wishing that you’d find some sort of guiding light to help you find your way?

In each of those situations, wouldn’t it be great to get some sort of light on our current situation, so that you can be guided to safety? In many ways God can be that ‘flare’ that we need in times of trouble, as if we put our trust firmly in him, no matter what we’re going through, God will be with us, and will guide us through those tough times.

So next time you see a flare or a beacon of light shining brightly, think of God – Is He shining a flare to help you find your way? Are you following?

The couple of weeks ago, we spent most of a day going through desks and cupboards clearing out things that were no longer needed. This is the second time within a reasonably short period of time that we’ve done this. However we still found that many of the documents we’d kept the last time because we thought they were still required, were now not needed or of any use anymore.

This got me thinking about my own life and the past hurts and sorrows which I’m still hanging onto, even although I tell myself they don’t matter anymore. The only way to truly clear out those past hurts from our lives is to take them to God and leave them with him.

I’m sure we wouldn’t want to have to carry a huge pile of documents around with us all day every day if they were no longer useful, so why carry around hurts and disappointment each day which can eat away at us, when if we give them to God, our load will be lightened.

Truth be told by Matthew West

Lie number 1 – you’re supposed to have it all together
And when they ask how you’re doing
Just smile and tell them “never better”

Lie number 2 – everybody’s life is perfect except yours
So keep your messes and your wounds
And your secrets safe with you behind closed doors

Truth be told
The truth is rarely told

I say, “I’m fine, yeah I’m fine oh I’m fine, hey I’m fine”
But I’m not
I’m broken

And when it’s out of control I say it’s under control
But it’s not
And you know it

I don’t know why it’s so hard to admit it
When being honest is the only way to fix it
There’s no failure, no fall
There’s no sin you don’t already know
So let the truth be told

There’s a sign on the door saying “come as you are” but I doubt it
If we lived like it was true every Sunday morning pew would be crowded
But didn’t you say the church should look more like a hospital
A safe place for the sick and the sinner and and sick and the scarred and the prodigal

Truth be told
The truth is rarely told
Am I the only one who says…

Can I really stand here unashamed
And know that you love for me won’t change?
Oh God If that’s really true
Then let the truth be told

Wow! Powerful words aren’t they. For me however they are words I can completely relate to.

I’ve lost count a long time ago how many times when asked if I was ok, I’ve replied that I was fine, when inside I’m trying so hard to keep it together in public.

I also know that it often appears as if others have a fantastic life and have no problems or challenges, so I wish I was them. However I know that in reality they are doing just the same as me, putting a brave face on their life when in public, telling everyone they too are fine.

The words of the song that struck me most were these

I don’t know why it’s so hard to admit it
When being honest is the only way to fix it
There’s no failure, no fall
There’s no sin you don’t already know
So let the truth be told

Yes, it’s hard to admit when we’re struggling, but it really does help to be honest with yourself and will God. He already knows what’s troubling you so won’t judge you. You simply need to tell Him, and He will be there for you always.

 

Have you ever been told you’re not good enough, or that you’re a nobody? It hurts doesn’t it?

Imagine you are continually told those things by someone who others think love you or care for you, by someone who should have your best interests at heart.

You’re never alone and you really do matter!

The song Fear is a liar by Zach Williams was co-written by Jonathan Smith. Zach stated that “Fear is a Liar” is a declaration of encouragement and some scriptural reality that he wanted to communicate to fans.  He explained what the song for about

We were calling out the devil for who he is, and reminding him that he was a liar, and that he has already been defeated. That was the idea for that song. I wanted something that people would relate to, and find hope in.

For anybody who was struggling with fear or going through something, I hope this song gives them hope, to call the devil out.

So if you’re frightened or scared, don’t give up, turn to God because he does care about you.

Fear Is a Liar

When he told you you’re not good enough
When he told you you’re not right
When he told you you’re not strong enough
To put up a good fight
When he told you you’re not worthy
When he told you you’re not loved
When he told you you’re not beautiful
That you’ll never be enough

Fear he is a liar
He will take your breath
Stop you in your steps
Fear he is a liar
He will rob your rest
Steal your happiness
Cast your fear in the fire
Cause fear he is a liar

When he told you were troubled
You’ll forever be alone
When he told you you should run away
You’ll never find a home
When he told you you were dirty
And you should be ashamed
When he told you you could be the one
That grace could never change

Fear he is a liar
He will take your breath
Stop you in your steps
Fear he is a liar
He will rob your rest
Steal your happiness
Cast your fear in the fire
Cause fear he is a liar

Let Your fire fall and cast out all my fears
Let Your fire fall Your love is all I feel

Fear he is a liar
He will take your breath
Stop you in your steps
Fear he is a liar
He will rob your rest
Steal your happiness
Cast your fear in the fire
Cause fear he is a liar

Darkness can be terrifying at times, particularly when you’re in unfamiliar surroundings. You can’t see what dangers lie ahead, and have no idea whether there’s even a path in front of you or not.

Those same feelings apply when we’re facing tough times in our life – The darkness may not be physical darkness in these circumstances, but it still feels like a darkness because of our mood or our emotional state.

Those of us who believe in God are not immune from feeling ‘the darkness descend’ around their lives at times. That’s because, we are still human, we still go through the same life events and circumstances that everyone else does. The only difference is that we believe what the picture above tells us, that God guides us through every day of our lives, even those when we feel like we’re sinking into the darkness, are no-one cares.

It’s during those times that no matter how much we think God has abandoned or deserted us, we must continue to be faithful to God, as he is always faithful to us. He promised never to leave us, and God always keeps his promises. We just need to have faith.

When you’re amazed by something, you want to tell everyone about it, don’t you?

So why is it, for many Christians, they keep their faith very much to themselves, and don’t take opportunities that present themselves, to share God’s love with others?

I want to tell everyone about God, and what he can do for them. That is in part, why I started blogging, although I never really intended to blog every day, and I certainly didn’t intend my blog to be about my faith. However God obviously had different plans, and has directed me to share more about my faith and my love for God through my blog, than I would ever do face to face with anyone.

Yes I blog about more than just God and my faith, but to me, that shows I’m human, and am more than just someone who blindly follows God. I’ve faced some major challenges in my life, some I’ve shared with you over the years, others are too personal for that. But through each of them, I’ve come out the other side with my faith intact, and in fact with my faith stronger than ever.

That’s why I want to repay God for his unconditional love for me, by telling others of his love. I want to ‘shout’ about his love for me, and for you. I’d encourage you to to ‘shout’ about your faith.

It always fascinated when I was young, why God chose David to fight the Goliath. After all David was just a young boy and Goliath was a giant – Surely there were others better equipped, with more training to face Goliath?

When you actually look into it though, before fight Goliath, David actually fought a lion and a bear. Those previous battles were designed to train, prepare and build David’s confidence, so he was ready for his battle with Goliath.

Compare that with your own life – I know it’s unlikely we’ve had to fight a lion, a bear or a giant, but we do each face huge challenges in our lives. At the time those challenges may seem insurmountable and we may question why we have to face them. However just like David, each difficulty we face today is designed teach and train us for whatever battles or difficulties we may face tomorrow.

Why do we do the things we do
How can we sing when there seems no reason to
How do we smile when there’s not much to smile about
When the world is down who are we to stand and shout
They wonder why we do the things we do

These are questions I’ve often pondered. Questions which really only have one answer…

This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. ~ John 3:16 (The message)

 

It’s all because of this
It’s all because of this
We’ve tasted love, tasted hope, tasted holiness

Yesterday I spoke about how we should never doubt God’s love for us, especially when we are going through difficult times in our life.

So, with that in mind, how much do we need God?

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You

God, you’re such a safe and powerful place to find refuge!
You’re a proven help in time of trouble—
more than enough and always available whenever I need you.

Psalm 46:1 (The Passion Translation)

Don’t ever doubt that He’s not there for you, or that He doesn’t care about what you’re walking through. He loves you more than you could ever imagine, and promises to be with you, always.

Jesus.

The One who sets us free.

Lord, I Need You by Matt Maher

Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
And without You I fall apart
You’re the One that guides my heart

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

Where sin runs deep Your grace is more
Where grace is found is where You are
And where You are, Lord, I am free
Holiness is Christ in me

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
You’re my one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

So teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way
And when I cannot stand I’ll fall on You
Jesus, You’re my hope and stay

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
You’re my one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

You’re my one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You
My Jesus, Lord I need you

Let’s be honest, it can be really difficult at times to believe God is still listening to your prayers. And even more difficult to believe he will answer them when he doesn’t answer them when or how you want.

When we go through difficult times in our life, that’s when we trust God more than ever. However because we are human, we do doubt him, and doubt his plans for us.

I love the song Don’t Doubt Him Now, not just the beautiful melody, but also because I can really relate the words. The message is clear, don’t doubt him now, instead trust in God’s love and turn your care to gladness.

Don’t doubt Him now
Don’t lift your heart to sorrow
Though all around seems in such disarray
God’s love is sure, sustaining through tomorrow
Dispelling doubt that only brings despair
Don’t doubt Him now, don’t doubt Him now.

Trust in God’s love to turn your care to gladness
Prove for yourself the merits of His grace
Find in His strength the will to shake off sadness
Discover too the warmth of His embrace
Trust in God’s love, don’t doubt Him now.

Your faith in Him will gladden every morning
The days ahead will more His goodness show
Your heart with trust fulfils the Father’s longings
And in return His love He will bestow
Have faith in Him, don’t doubt Him now.