Why I will never give up!

It is very easy to lose hope in the world we live in and when hope fades our faith that things will get better soon slips away too.

Depression and hopelessness abound and at times you can feel the despair pressing down.

If only we could find a light bright enough to shine through the darkness so we could find our way.

Jobs are lost, marriages fail, people we love die, lack of finances derail all our plans, life doesn’t feel like a friendly place to be anymore.

If only we could sense the light despite all the darkness that surrounds us.

We need some faith and hope.

Let’s start here.

Hebrews 11:1– Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see…….

Perhaps Corrie Ten Boom says it best. Faith is like radar that sees through the fog.

In 2 Corinthians we are told we walk by faith and not by sight.

Two words describe faith, sure and certain.

Faith is the opposite of doubt. Faith is the very strongest conviction that God is who He says He is. Faith is believing that God will do what He says He will do.

Finally, faith is the basis of our redemption and the way in which we are justified by God.

Faith is trusting Him and Him alone for all that we need.

Faith is the foundation of God’s message to us, faith gives us reason to hope.

Isaiah 40:31 -But those who hope in the Lord

will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

they will run and not grow weary,

they will walk and not be faint.

We all know that living in this world means there will be ups and downs. We will have to walk through tough times. It is a given.

Hoping in the Lord gives us a lifeline.He will renew our strength.

To hope is to expect that His strength will get us through those tough times. Through Him, we will soar on wings like eagles, run and not grow weary.

To hope in our Lord is to trust in Him, to wait for His answers, and to expect Him to bring something beneficial to our future. We can walk forward in hope and not grow weary.

When hope and faith are lined up, we are free to love completely and we are free to accept completely the perfect love of our Father.

1 Corinthians 13:13 – and now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

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Defeated Christians? Is that really our problem?

 
Christian life is so difficult to live. The question of the day revolves around “How do we live the Christian life when most days we feel frustrated and defeated? Cynicism, disappointment and hopelessness are very present companions.

Paul, in Romans 7:15 says it well. For that which I am doing, I do not understand for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.

Well if that doesn’t sum up life in a nutshell I don’t know what does. It seems we have a problem that is keeping us from experiencing the serenity and freedom that we read about so often in the Bible.

We state our problems as any one of a number of things. My spouse, my family, my job, my friends, an addiction, you get the picture and you can fill in with your own list of problems that are robbing you of your life.

I think however, that we are deceiving ourselves if we settle on blaming external factors for our dissatisfaction with life.

I love this quote.

“Your problem is that you don’t know what your problem is. You think your problem is your problem, but that’s not the problem at all. Your problem is not your problem and THAT’S YOUR MAIN PROBLEM.”

Say what??

The real problem is that we must come to the understanding that the Christian life is not difficult to live, it is downright impossible. There is only one way to live the Christian life and that is to trust Jesus to be your life and live His life through you.

We cannot get our needs met apart from Jesus. I know it may seem that we do………..for awhile. But Jesus is our Provider of life,

 IN EVERYTHING.

Even God’s name Jehovah Jireh means “the Lord our provider, or the Lord will provide. He is our source for whatever it is that we need.

Can you trust your life and your problems to someone who is all knowing, who is everywhere all at once and who is all powerful? Can you say the same of anyone you are trusting now?

You can trust God with your problem, he is your shelter, refuge and hiding place. He is the one who comforts and heals. He is our source of wisdom. There is not one single thing you need that God cannot provide. He can do it all!

More than that, He wants to do it all. He has a plan for you.

Meditate on this verse today.

“And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4: 19

Dottie

…………and so I ride

They Are Watching

Their eyes are on us. They are watching our every move.

There are two groups I can think of. One is those who are not believers and watching our every move so when we fail they can point fingers and use it against God and us. There are also those around us who are hungry for and need God. These people are watching how we act and often imitate what we do because they see us as “good Christians” and want what we have.

My question is what about when we have a bad day, what about when every single thing that can go wrong, does? Not every day here on this earth is paradise; in fact most days are not.

No pressure.

Sometimes (more often than not) my behavior reminds me of what Paul said in Romans. I don’t understand what I do and the things I know I should not be doing…………..I do anyway. There are times that the more I try to be good, the harder it seems and the less it happens.

The thing is living in the world we do, we are going to have tough times. As Christians we have to live by a different standard and very definitely a higher standard.

Without a doubt, it is hard.

When we meet a new acquaintance and they want to know where to go in our town and what to do, how do we answer? We tell them about the best restaurants, the stores that have the most fashionable clothes and good prices, the best fishing hole, an awesome shooting range, the coffee shop with the out of this world coffee, good contractors, dentists, doctors etc.  How often do we mention the church options and invite them to ours, the meaningful new bible study you attend, a family of Christian people who enjoy the same hobby (motorcyclists in my case J)

When we (Christians or not) find ourselves in a position where we vehemently disagree with our neighbors, coworkers, churchgoers, the person next to us in the checkout line, we become warriors of the most brazen sort. Maybe we should become warriors of the prayer sort.

When someone we do not like falls upon hard times, we think to ourselves, well, well, look who finally got what they deserve. Before getting too righteous we should be remembering that we got something precious we did not deserve, do our foes not deserve the same from us?

When we sense the Holy Spirit nudging us to call a friend, take a meal, send a card, share a prayer or stop the person walking by and give them a hug, but we don’t because time is short. You may have just missed the only chance that person has today for comfort and support. You certainly have missed a chance to show that Jesus Christ lives in you.

When we do what is right but not necessarily easy, others notice, a seed is planted and respect grows. When we do what is right maybe a heart is softened just enough to start seeking that which they see in us. When we do what is right God’s Kingdom grows and angels rejoice.

Dottie

……………….and so I ride

 

 

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We are more than the sum of the trouble we are going through.

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I think that a lot of the times we tend to define ourselves according to our troubles.

We are victims, we are picked on, we are divorced, widowed, addicts, unemployed and unworthy,  you get the picture. We look at ourselves as if who we are is measured by what we are going through.

If we are living on this earth, we are going to have trials and tribulations.  If we look at ourselves solely as the sum of our troubles is it any wonder that everyone else soon does the same? As long as we are defining ourselves in terms of our troubles we will never be free from them.

There is one big thing that we tend to forget I think.

No matter what we are going through we are still God’s child. No matter how stormy the weather or how choppy the seas, we still have our destiny. God’s presence does not depend on whether we are living in pleasant or turbulent times.

So yes we might be living through any amount of trouble but we must never forget we are so much more than all that.

We are also healed, loved, raised up, redeemed, His workmanship, justified, worthy, purchased by the blood of the Lamb. We are clothed with the righteousness of Jesus.

Endure, stay in the fight for our Life coach is always with us.

He is with us no matter the circumstances, “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go” Genesis 28:15

We already possess all we could ever need. No matter what Satan has laid down for us, no matter the storm that is raging around us. We still have our destiny. God prepared it, Jesus assured we would receive it.

If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. (2 Tim. 2:12)

Dottie

…………………………………and so I ride

I do believe Lord, help me not to doubt

Mark 9:24

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We trust God but we live in the real world. We live in a world governed by laws where if you don’t like the law you find a loophole.  What is good, right, moral and ethical varies from person to person or maybe that would be better stated as what is good, right, moral and ethical varies from situation to situation depending on what you want the outcome to be. Hard to hear, yes, hard to read, yes, is it true? More often than we would expect.

Living in the world such as it is, is it any wonder that we have a hard time defining trustworthy? It is darned hard to find a completely trustworthy person, business, or most anything these days, not impossible but mighty hard because it is easy to justify almost any behavior in the world we live in.

Bit by bit, life step by life step our faith in others is harder and harder to justify and doubt, skepticism and disbelief become a way of life instead of an uncommon event.

So what happens? I think it is pretty common for us to frame our broken faith with doubt. Yes, we say, God I trust you, take my life and make it yours. However, how often are we saying to ourselves at the same time “I’m pretty sure that even you God are going to let me down too.” If you are like me, you don’t doubt that God is capable of miracles, you just doubt that He will work them for you.

Go ahead, admit it, you can’t fool God because whether we admit it or not, He knows the truth of your heart.

Trust Him. TRUST- To trust is to place your confidence in something or someone. Psalm 56:3-4 “ When I am afraid, I will trust in you, In God, WHOM I TRUST; I will not be afraid.

We are left with three little words that have as much impact as we allow them to. Read that sentence again.

FAITH–HOPE-LOVE

FAITH

Let’s start with Hebrews 11:6 “and without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him. Live in confidence and conviction with the knowledge of God that you possess.

Remember that we have been saved by God’s grace, through our faith. We are not saved by anything we are capable of doing, it is a gift from our Father. Faith won’t grow like the money we stuff into our bank accounts and compound interest daily, faith has to be renewed daily with diligence and determination.

HOPE

To hope is to desire something with CONFIDENT expectation of its fulfillment. Col 1:27…………..Christ in you, the hope of glory. Christ lives in you, you can take that to the bank, to those who believe in Christ, He does not hide himself from you, if you go to Him, He is there.

LOVE is strong affection, desire and devotion. 1 Cor 13:13” and now these three remain; faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. If love is unselfish service to others, if that is what it takes to show the world that we care…………I think that Christ showed us He loved us, unselfishly and undoubtedly.

As the Life Application Bible so aptly puts it, “when faith and hope are in line, you are free to love completely because you understand just how much God loves us”

The remedy for doubt is faith, hope and love. AMEN!

Dottie

…………….and so I ride

Why me God?

Why me? God…………where did you get the idea my shoulders are SO big? Days turn into weeks that turn into months that turn into the roughest year you have ever lived through. We love to whine, we love to dig into our misery and we are pretty good at letting a moment of discontent become a way of life.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that at times life can absolutely reek. There are days you wonder if you can do this one more minute.

It is a wonderful thing when we can step back and realize that a satisfying, rich and fulfilling life is really nothing like our society defines it. Who do you know that is rich and miserable, smart, popular and good looking and still feels empty and alone? Many roads to satisfaction are full of detours as we try to find understanding of what true happiness really is.

Somehow we get the notion that true happiness is only possible if all areas of our lives line up with some pre-conceived notion that society has told us is the correct formula. So we go back to the list of our lives, maybe if we look at it again we will find the feeling of contentment that eludes us. We check off money, career, family, friends, no conflicts, no anxiety………….until we get to the bottom of our list and although on paper it appears we have it all, we are still searching for something to fill that void inside us.

Your road will continue to be marked with detours and your list will be never ending until we realize that we are trying to define a truly happy life apart from God, there is no such thing. Oh sure you can be happy without God, for a while. Happiness will continue to play hide and seek with us when the definition we use is actually scripted by the devil.

Finding true happiness involves looking in the right places, or maybe it just means opening our eyes to see what has been in front of us the whole time.

There is a reason there have been more songs written about him than any other, more books written about him than any other. There is a reason that life apart from God is no life at all. Our God, He really is an Awesome God.

Dottie

…………….and so I ride