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Life Builder Seminars is a women's Ministry utilizing seminars and conferences to equip and empower women for life.
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The Power of Doing Good

16 Apr 2015, Posted by admin in Weekly Encouragement

Written By Judy Smith

When I was a child, children were strictly disciplined. My grandparents told me constantly to be good. When I misbehaved or disobeyed, I was punished, which taught me not to do that again. It was constantly drilled into my head: don’t lie, steal, curse, treat others badly, or disobey my elders. This was all good.woman meditation on the beach

Did that make me good? Not really. Even though I didn’t do those things for fear of punishment, under my breath I cursed and I was often tempted to sin. I was only “being good” because I was afraid that nobody would want me if I misbehaved. Being good was a way to protect myself from rejection.

 My heart was deceitfully wicked.

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitfully wicked above all things.

Psalms 139:23 …search me and know my heart.

Matthew 5:8 …blessed are the pure in heart.

 So I spent my life desiring to be good in my heart. I tried to fight the sin nature in my flesh, but it never worked. I was not born again and I didn’t know God’s Word. In 1971 I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior and began to devour the Word of God. I knew He said that I was forgiven, but it took time for me to learn to forgive myself. After I received Jesus, I desired His goodness in my life, and I was doing good from my heart. I found myself loving people, I even loved my enemies. Acts 10:38 NIV …how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with Him. After I was baptized with the Holy Spirit, I later had another experience, where in prayer and worship, I was baptized in the love of God. Since then love people so much, even my enemies. I want from the depths of my heart to do good. I hate sin and I hate evil. I don’t want to wrong anyone.

 I firmly believe that when we have problems, we should not worry. We should continue doing the things we know to do. If we have commitments, we must be sure to keep them. Do not get so caught up with your problems that you don’t keep your commitments or do good. Psalms 37:3 says that we should trust in the Lord and do good, and we will feed on His faithfulness. I am so thankful for God’s faithfulness. I have discovered that if I continue to study of God’s Word, continue praying, keep my commitments, and continue helping others, I experience breakthrough much faster. Helping while I am hurting is actually very powerful. We need to give back what we have been given. Love is the greatest gift of God. It is essential according to 1 Corinthians 13:1-3. Jesus was compelled by love to choose to bear our sins on His body, on the cross. What greater love is there? Hebrews 6:10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. 1 John 3:16-18 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.  But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed [works] and in truth.

Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary while doing good for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart. The desire you have to serve God comes from Him. Philippians 2:13 NLT God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him. Whether it is because of thankfulness for your salvation, the desire for others to know Him, or through His call for you to live for Him – all of these are evidence of God working in you! Do not question whether you are strong enough, good looking enough, smart enough, or talented enough to do good for Him. And do not fret over your faults or weaknesses. He will provide you with everything you need, and He will do amazing good things through you. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say. There is nothing more fulfilling or empowering than doing good. Dear Father God, thank you for my desire to do good and serve you. I praise You for giving me the power to do whatever You call me do. Make me sensitive to the needs of others. Praise You Jesus!

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Are You Thriving?

02 Apr 2015, Posted by admin in Weekly Encouragement

Written By Victoria Aguila

I wanted to talk a little about what it means to THRIVE.

According to Webster Dictionary, the word THRIVE means, to grow or develop successfully;  to grow vigorously;   to gain in wealth or possessions (prosper);  to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances. My favorite definition was, “to grow vigorously”.  In this season, that is my goal, to grow vigorously, to grow radically. Any growth, however, is good growth. Even if I am growing in small increments, growth is growth BUT let’s ponder on THRIVING.

In Proverbs 11:28, (NIV) the scripture tells us that “those who trust in their riches will fall, but Succeedthe righteous will THRIVE like a green leaf.”  We must always trust in the Lord and His riches and glory, not our own. We must remain righteous in the eyes of God (not man) so that we can THRIVE like a green leaf.  When I think of a green leaf, I think of watered, refreshed, liveliness, growth. What about you?

Jeremiah 17:7-8 gives us a great description of a growing tree with green leaves and compares this to a man who trusts in the Lord. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD And whose trust is the LORD. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit.” This portion of scripture is so rich. As we trust in the Lord, we will be blessed and we will be like that tree that is firmly planted by the water and our roots go deep into the fresh wet soil and our leaves remain green and fresh and alive and growing and we will not stop growing fruit.

Psalm 1 is a great chapter. I would recommend reading through it. I enjoy reading the VOICE version but of course you read it in any translation that speaks to you. Psalm 1:3 Voice says this: You are like a tree, planted by flowing, cool streams of water that never run dry. Your fruit ripens in its time;  your leaves never fade or curl in the summer sun. No matter what you do, you prosper. I would say these scriptures depict THRIVING.  “The righteous will THRIVE like a green leaf.” (Proverbs 11:28).  So that means to me, like a leaf that is watered, like a leaf that is alive, like a leaf that is growing.  Let us plant our roots by the streams of Living Water. Water our leaves with the Word of God that refreshes our spirit and progress towards our goal of continued growth. We cannot wither away or dry up but THRIVE both despite and because of our circumstances.

Don’t strive trying to reach perfection; thrive in the preparation.  If we are striving (simply making the effort) then we probably won’t achieve the result BUT if we are thriving, we ARE progressing and prospering, and reaching success.

 Maybe today you find yourself withering away or as if you have dried up. Maybe you are feeling the thirst for the Living Water to refresh your leaves once again. I have been there!  It’s a good thing if we are able to discern that we are withering away or drying up and in need of drawing closer to the stream of Living Water to get refreshed and renewed.  We must continue to Thrive. Ask yourself if you are you THRIVING or withering away and then let’s make the necessary changes to be back in alignment and THRIVE.

Let’s pray:  God we praise your mighty name and we thank you for who You are. I ask you to increase our thirst for Your Living Water. I pray that you will refresh each and every one of us. As we draw near to you, we thank you that our roots are going deeper and our leaves are getting greener and we are growing in this season.  Thank you for the grace and the mercy that you have for us and thank you for your love that draws us to the Sweet Sweet Stream.  Be magnified Oh Lord. In Jesus name I pray Amen.

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How Much?

27 Mar 2015, Posted by admin in Weekly Encouragement

Written By:Remaliah Evans

If you ever wondered who shops at midnight during the Christmas season- it’s me. The stores are peaceful, there are no lines, and the deals are great. But if the price is not clear then I have to know how much? I’ve gone to the register thinking, “oh this little cardigan can’t possibly be that much,” and ended up putting the cardigan back because it IS that much. I ask how much when I am shopping and I also ask myself how much when I am planning and making decisions. Jesus said, “ForAchieve against student holding book which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it.” I count the cost by asking how much? I want to be a professional writer so I asked myself, what’s that going to take? Originally I told myself that I would do whatever it takes. The problem with “whatever it takes” is that this phrase does not clearly define a plan of action.

 Years passed and I gained writing experience but the book remains unwritten, and I am not a professional writer. So then I asked myself, why am I not writing? I was not writing because I did not make it a priority and I did not set aside time to write. I was too busy. I recently heard a story about a minister who knew that he was supposed to write a prophetic book about the coming decade. Well, he waited so long to write the book, that the decade passed! He was not twiddling his thumbs for ten years; he was raising his family, leading a church, counseling, and living life. Yet, the fact remains: he did not make time to write the book. The demands of family, work, ministry, school, and relationships never end, and there are often unexpected events that require our attention. Nonetheless, we make time for what is most important. We start work a few hours early so that we can go to our kid’s 3:00 game. We set aside time to spend with friends, and we make time for church.

So what about that dream in your heart? Have you counted the cost of that dream? Counting the cost will tell you what you value and how much that dream means to you.  How much time are you willing to invest? How much will you let go of? What will you say no to? How long will you prepare and train? Are you willing to make mistakes and be embarrassed during the learning process? Will you risk having your ideas or work rejected? Are you willing to leave your comfort zone?

 I love my comfort zone; it’s warm and cozy, safe, and less stressful. It’s also eerily idle. There is no growth there. As cozy as it is, it’s time to leave the comfort zone. A person can only sleep in for so long before they finally get out of bed and do something. When we begin to understand how much something will cost us, we can then make an informed decision and plan accordingly. Sometimes the cost is too high, and many times the cost is well worth it.

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Do I Have True Peace?

19 Mar 2015, Posted by admin in Weekly Encouragement

Written By Judy Smith

2 Corinthians 5:18 CEV God…sent Christ to make peace between Himself and us, and He has given us the work of making peace between Himself and others. Peace starts with us receiving His forgiveness. An important truth is that God accepts you. This acceptance began in heaven with His desire to have a relationship with you. He provided the way to have that relationship through Jesus, and the communication that keeps the relationship healthy through His Holy Spirit. God made woman meditation on the beachit possible for you to be united with Him in peace.2 Corinthians 5:19 CEV God was in Christ; offering peace and forgiveness to the people of this world. And He has given us the work of sharing His message about peace.

We cannot have true peace without believing that He has truly forgiven us, and then the way to peace is making the decision to walk in love and forgiveness toward others. John 14:27 CEV My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid.The world defines peace as an absence of troubles or conflict. The world says that we achieve peace by our abundance of strength. “Be tough, suck it up, calm down. “ These tactics are wrong because the absence of problems or being strong do not automatically bring you peace.

You don’t have to be tough or trouble-free in order to have peace. God gives you peace in the midst of the storm. God gives you peace during your troubles, sorrows, grief, and when you’re tired and weak; even when you fail.When we are stressed and troubled, we can call out to Him in faith, trust in Him, and He will send His peace. God gives us perfect unfaltering peace through the protective power of the Holy Spirit. Rest calmly in His presence. Lay your troubles and concerns at His feet, and He will keep you in perfect peace. Isaiah 26:3

Philippians  4:7 And the peace of God that passes all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Come on now; lay it all at His feet. Rest calmly in the strength of God. Let Him put His loving arms around you. Listen to His heartbeat. Peace peace, be still. Psalms 29:11NKV The Lord will give strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace.

Dear Father God, thank you for the awesome peace you give to those who trust in you. I will not be afraid knowing you protect me and watch over me. You are Jehovah Jireh, my provider. You are Jehovah Shalom my peace, and so much more! Praise You Jesus! Thank you!

Now take a deep breath, and breathe in in your peace.

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Making Changes

05 Mar 2015, Posted by admin in Weekly Encouragement

Written by: Lynn Waters

 On New Year’s we make decisions to lose weight and make changes in our lives. In Spring we make plans and clean our homes thoroughly. I always can’t wait to do my Spring Cleaning. I make lists of things I need to do for each room, and then check them off when I have accomplished them. Some of us go through our clothes and get rid of things we can’t wear any more or don’t like. Some even rearrange their closets. We all have things we do to change our surroundings.

 What if we did the same things with our lives? We can look at our lives and decide what we want to change. Do we Young surprised woman searching for clothing in a closetlike our job or do we dislike going there every day? If we don’t like it, what do we want to do to change it? Do we
need to take classes and get a degree? My nephew is doing that, online. He doesn’t even have to travel to attend class. He left the job that he no longer enjoyed because his wife was transferred, and he was happy to do this. Now that he is earning his degree, he is able to and then planning to look for a job in their new location. What other changes can we make to in our lives? Some of us have a lot of credit card debt because we spend more than we make. It would benefit us to look at why we spend this money and decide what we are going to do about it.

If we have bad habits that are not good for us we can look at them and decide which healthy habits we want develop, while we do away with the bad habits. Myself, I decided to eat healthier and to lose weight. Not just go on a diet, because most dieters regain the weight. I decided to change my eating habits. This is harder, but I know by doing this I will lose weight, probably slower, but I will keep off the weight because of these healthier eating habits. I also decided to a spend time reading the Bible daily, and to pray more. Maybe you have a lot of clothes, but nothing to wear. Look at what people around you are wearing. It used to be that you never wore black and brown together, but people are doing that today. Also, people wear things that don’t exactly match. I’ve noticed women that wear a big necklace that doesn’t match anything they have on. I have expanded my wardrobe by wearing different items and scarves, which are very in right now. If you go through your wardrobe you will find out that with 10 items of clothing you can create a month’s worth of wardrobe.

 I went on a trip and planned my clothes so that I could wear most of them with each other. I had the smallest suitcase of everyone on the trip and they didn’t see how I could do it.  But I had planned.  I had a pair of pants and a skirt that were the same color. Then I had tops that were different, but went with the skirt and the pants.  Plus I had some clothes that were not paired with these so I looked like I had more in my wardrobe. I spent three weeks wearing these clothes and felt quite well dressed. Many of us have a large wardrobe, but only wear a small part of it. Look at the items you don’t wear and decide what you can wear with it. If nothing works, get rid of it. We can look at our lives, just like we look at our closet, and decide what stays and what goes. It is good to look at our lives and make changes.

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Worry is Worthless

26 Feb 2015, Posted by admin in Weekly Encouragement

Written By: Judy Smith

I was the champion of worry. I was raised by my grandparents on a very poor farm and I didn’t that know I was poor until I started school. When that realization hit me, it produced many negative feelings in my life. I was already very insecure and afraid of what was going to happen to me. Fear came flowing into me and I began to worry about everything. This continued throughout my adult life.

 After being saved the Lord did a great work of healing and deliverance in my life. Fear went, and the Young woman with shopping walking up stairspattern of worry slowly left as my faith in God grew. Faith came in and worry went out.

 Philippians 4:5-9 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy- meditate on these things.” If we do this, there won’t be room for worry.

 FACTS ABOUT WORRY

40% of the things people worry about never happen.

30% of our worries are related to past maters, which Are now beyond our control.

12% of our worries have to do with our health, even when we are not actually ill.

10% of our worries are about friends and neighbors, and are not based on evidence or fact.

Only 8% of our worries have basis in reality, which means that more than 90% of the things we worry about never may never occur.

 There are three areas of a Christian prayer life. 1) The prayer area in which “nothing” is written because the Bible says be anxious for nothing. 2) The prayer area with the word “everything” because the Bible says, in everything let your requests be made known to God. And 3) is the thanksgiving area where we are thankful to God. When we live within those three areas, we overcome worry. Matthew 6:25 Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you drink; not about your body; what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?

 Worry is worthless! Live in God’s peace. John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

 Once we realize that we are struggling with something and we feel upset, we need to start praying and immediately turn the situation over to God, thankful that He will provide according to His will and offer us peace. You and I are not called to a life of frustration and struggle. Jesus came so we could have righteousness, joy, and peace!

 Seek His face. Let Him displace worry from the center of your being. Let Him shower peace into the pool of your mind. His nature is to bless, so we must receive with thanksgiving. It is not His will that we function alone. Include Him in all your moments.  Psalms 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

“Sometimes the Lord calms the storm; sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.” Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths. I used to sing of praise that went like this: If I know the Lord is taking care of me, what do I have to worry about? And if I know the Lord is going to see me through, why don’t I sing and shout! Glory Hallelujah Praise His Name. Jesus you are forever taking care of me, what do I have to worry about hmmmmmm? What do I have to worry about!

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The Life

19 Feb 2015, Posted by admin in Weekly Encouragement

Written By: Remaliah Evans

The difference between the life I want and the life I have is this: the life I want is all about what I want, it is not about what I need.

How many times have we seen people that seem to have everything? The fulfilling career or ministry, the perfect home, an adoring husband, and their kids are angelic beings. They have the education, and success is their way of life. Yet, they are not happy. We think to ourselves how can Patty Perfect have everything and not be happy?

Well, we do not know if they are dealing with depression, an eating disorder, or an addiction. We do not know if they are workaholics, alcoholics, or suicidal. They are unhappy because they are searching and/or trying to cope to no avail. When we have the things that we thought would bring us joy and fulfillment, but we do not have an intimate relationship with Jesus, we become painfully aware that something is missing, something just isn’t right.

What’s missing? What’s not right? When Jesus is not a part of our daily lives we are missing Looking out the windowunconditional love, we are missing acceptance, and we are missing peace. What’s not right is that we have no one to heal our heart and no one to make us whole. And so we search for someone to love us unconditionally. We eat, escape, exercise excessively, or smoke to relieve the pain. All the while Jesus stands at the door of our heart and knocks.

Jesus is knocking and we are distracted by what we want, distracted by the myriad of people and commitments that vie for our attention, distracted because we are searching for something to dull the pain and meet the need. But the “something” is a Someone. The One we search for is Jesus; He is the way, the truth, and the life. He is the lover our souls. He is our advocate. He is our healer. He is our intercessor. He is our Father. And He stands at the door of our heart and knocks.

Then we open the door and we let Him into the living room. But Lord, please don’t go into my room until I can clean it up. Oh and the closet, um, I’ll… there’s no need go in there. Here’s the thing: the Lord already knows what is in our room and in the closet. John 3:17 says that Jesus was not sent to condemn us, He was sent to save us. It is safe to let Him into the dark places of our lives and submit those areas to Him. Jesus brings truth, forgiveness, healing, and peace.

Our relationship with Jesus should grow after we accept Him as Lord and Savior. Colossians 2:6-7 Amplified Version reads “As you have therefore received Christ, even Jesus the Lord, so walk (regulate your lives and conduct yourselves) in union with and conformity to Him. Have the roots of your being firmly and deeply planted in Him, fixed and founded in Him, being continually built up in Him…” We need this constant connection to Christ, we have been created to walk with and abide in Christ, and when we don’t, we feel the void.

 As I make my list of what I want for my life, God faithfully reminds me to seek Him. I can be the best-selling author, wealthy, married in a mansion and driving my McLaren, but if I have no walk with Jesus, I would not know joy or peace because I would be missing the One I need.

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Not Alone

12 Feb 2015, Posted by admin in Weekly Encouragement

Written By Remaliah Evans

I’m single and I take full advantage of my singlehood. I never have to rush home, worry about dinner, coordinate schedules with the hubby, or try to help my kids with homework that I don’t understand. However I do look forward to the time when my life does include these activities. In the meantime, I’m single and most days I’m fine being single…..  until Valentine’s Day rolls around. The minute I see the Valentine’s Day aisle at Wal-Mart, (which is now fully stocked by December 26th!)  and the never-ending commercials pushing flowers, jewelry, and heart-shaped fruit, I start rolling my eyes. Here we go, the season where I am reminded that I am alone. As tempting as it may be to throw the woe-is-me-cause-I’m-single pity party, I’m all pity partied out from Valentine heartValentine’s Days pasts. Plus, it turns out, I am not alone.  At times I feel alone because it seems I am the only person I know without special plans for plans for Valentine’s Day, and I wanted to get married, like, yesterday. But I am trusting God with my life and for His plans because He understands me, He delights in every detail of my life, (Psalm 37:23 NLT) and He is always with me. (Joshua 1:9)

 I am not alone because the Holy Spirit is with me all the time and He is my comforter and ever-present help. The Holy Spirit even shows up to my pity parties! He does not join the party of course, but He encourages me and reminds of the Word and the promises that God has for my life. The times when I’m crying my eyes out about failures, shattered dreams, or a broken heart, He has been there. Not only has He been there but He has healed my broken hearts. There was one particular heartbreak that caught me off guard. I think because I did not realize how much I cared about this person until it was over. So when the relationship ended I told God, “I don’t know how many times I can I have my heartbroken.” And He responded, “I heal your broken heart and each time that it has been broken, I have made it stronger.” Wow. I was stunned and comforted. My natural propensity and defense mechanism was to try not to feel anything. Despite this, God has been healing my heart, helping me to forgive, and teaching me how to love. Jesus came to bind up the brokenhearted. (Isaiah 61:1)

When I am still and I listen to the Holy Spirit, loneliness and heartache begin to dissipate because I am in the presence of the One who knows me better than I know myself, the One who knows what I’m going to say before I say it, and the One who FIRST loved me. If wanting to be married is important to you, then it is important to God. If restoring your marriage is your heart’s cry, this is important to God. Luke 12:27 tells us that the hairs on our head are numbered. If God cares about the number of hairs on your head then surely He cares about our relationships. He loves you! I urge you to seek Him and hear his heart and direction for you; you will be encouraged.

 God did not design you to be alone. Hence your relationships with Him, family, and friends. If you look at the people in your life, chances are that you will find God has blessed you with at least one or two people who love you and support you. It may be your husband, friend, mom, dad, sister, brother, pastor, teacher, or mentor. So don’t believe the lie that you are alone. Embrace and appreciate those who love you, and love them back. Let’s not be so consumed with who loves us and who doesn’t, that we forget to love as Christ loves us.

 Romans 12:15 says to rejoice with those who rejoice. This is some good advice because 1) we all know how it feels to be so excited you think you might actually pop… and then you tell someone your good news and they just burst your bubble. Let’s not be that bubble-bursting person. 2) We also know how good it feels to share good news, and the person you shared with is genuinely as excited and happy as we are. It feels great! I believe that this is another way to give love. Rejoicing with those who rejoice increases our own joy and keeps us connected to others. It also reminds us that we are not alone.

 As we approach this Valentine’s Day let’s celebrate each other, and let’s celebrate God’s unfailing love.

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Written By Judy Smith

It Is A Mater of Focus. Do we focus on the adversity to the point where we are obsessed with it and imagine the worst, or do we choose to focus on what we are learning in and through this adversity? We must look to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, as instructed in Hebrews 12:2.

We must focus on the right things. Whatever we focus on becomes magnified in our minds. The more we Happy woman standing on long road at sunsetthink and talk about our problems, the larger they become. Let’s be wise and meditate on God’s Word and His promises for our lives, and continually thank Him for these promises and all that He has done.

“I thank you Father that you are bigger than my problems, trials, and uncertainties. You are good and my heart is filled with thanksgiving for you and your love.” He turns our mourning into dancing, Hallelujah! Do not look at the outward appearance of the adversity, but ask the Lord to give you spiritual eyes to see what He is doing. Then wait for His perfect timing. Look at the final outcome of Job’s life. Job 8:21 “…He will once again fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.”

I have journaled often for the past 35 years, and through journaling I have seen that His answers are always prophetic and right on. I am going to share with you His encouraging message to me from about ten years ago, when my husband suffered a severe heart attack that left him with only 25% of his heart function. I had little hope of having my husband much longer; but now, ten years later he is still with us and he now has 45% of his heart function. God is faithful! We can trust Him in all things.

Here is what God said to me during that difficult time, ten years ago: “Strive to trust Me in more and more areas of your life. Anything that tends to make you anxious is a growth opportunity. Instead of running away from these challenges, embrace them and be eager to gain all the blessings hidden in the difficulties. If you believe that I am sovereign over every aspect of your life, it is possible to trust Me in all situations. Don’t waste energy regretting the way things are, or thinking about what might have been. Start at the present moment, accepting things exactly as they are and search for My way in the midst of your circumstances. Trust is like a staff you can lean on as you journey uphill with Me. If you are trusting in Me consistently, the staff will bear as much of your weight as needed. Lean on trust, and be confident in Me with all your heart and mind.”

O my Friends, with every challenge in my life I fall more and more in love with Jesus. He may not answer as quickly as I want Him to, but He always answers for my good and His Glory. Remember: This too shall pass.

A few encouraging verses:

2 Corinthians 4:17-18 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Psalm 75:1 We praise you, God, we praise you, for your Name is near; people tell of your wonderful deeds.

Psalm 92:1 It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High

Psalm 95:2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.

Psalm 100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

Psalm 30:11 You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.

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7 ways to make the best out of adversity

Written By Judy Smith

Adversity can be defined as a misfortune, a state of hardship, or difficult circumstances. It seems everyone I talk to is in some sort of adverse situation. A spirit of hopelessness is in their conversation. People are just getting worn out with life. They are tired; Christian and non-Christian.

I am very well acquainted with adversity, but I have learned how to have victory over it, and in it. So let’s see if we can look at adversity with new eyes. No longer does adversity make me lose my joy or grow weary. The devil is a lie and he tries to destroy our faith, hope, and peace of mind. The Apostle Paul is a beautiful example of living in victory through adversity. He saw adversity as opportunity. In Philippians 1:12 Paul says, “But I wanted you to know brethren, that the things which happen to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel.” He learned how to use his suffering, and the way that he conducted himself, to witness for Christ and bring Glory to God!

In 2 Corinthians 12:10 Paul says, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecution, in distresses, Happy woman standing on long road at sunsetfor Christ sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” He knew how to think well and have a right attitude.

1.       Paul found that adversity can promote the progress of the gospel. Paul’s circumstances removed barriers to the advancement of the gospel.

2.       Adversity provides opportunities for witnessing. In Philippians 1:13 Paul was chained to a Roman guard 24 hours a day. What an opportunity to witness to a captive audience. For the two years of his imprisonment, Paul preached the gospel to the Roman guards, and anyone else that he had the opportunity to speak to.

3.       Adversity produces courage in fellow believers. Paul said in Philippians 1:14 “… and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains are much more bold to speak the word without fear. They saw Paul’s courage and it witnessed to them.

4.       Adversity proves the character of our friendships. In Philippians 1:15-18 we see that Paul’s goal was to deliver his message in a manner that would cause people to follow to Christ.

5.       Adversity brings growth in our lives. Philippians 1:19-20 and Acts 12:5 illustrate that God works through both prayers of friends and through our personal determination. In spite of his imprisonment, Paul has an attitude of eager expectation.

6.       Adversity purifies our motives. In Philippians 1:21 Paul evaluates all of his experiences through his life’s purpose as he states “to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

7.       Adversity prepares us to see life and death in perspective. (see Philippians 1:22-26) Life offers the most opportunity to serve the Lord more fully, while death offers the blessing of finally and completely knowing Jesus. We can’t lose!

 Now that we have seen Paul’s principles for adversity, let’s see how we can fare adversity and have victory over it in our everyday life! Of course the most important thing is being in the Word every day and finding scripture about the type of adversity we are facing, and then praying the Word over our situation. In our prayer time, we must ask the Lord to show us what we are to learn in the situation, and what we need to change in ourselves or within our life.

 We need to be faithful and involved in a church, and have the prayers and encouragement of brothers and sisters in Christ. It never seems to fail that the messages, preached during that period of time bring us encouragement, teaching, and wise counsel. Worship and praise lift the oppression and fear that come with adversity. God indwells the praises of His children. We are to offer up a sacrifice of praise; whether we feel like it or not. Ask the Lord for wisdom, understanding, discernment, and revelation, and guidance every day; and never forget: this too shall pass! Romans 12:12 Rejoice in hope; be patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer.

 When we hear the news of problems in the world, when we face challenges that seem overwhelming, when we have problems that don’t seem to have solutions, we can feel hopeless. No matter how dark or depressing our circumstances, we can hope in God because 1 Corinthians 13:13 states that hope remains. In Acts 16 and Paul and Silas sat in stocks in a Philippian jail. They could have been in despair, but instead they sung praises to God. I have learned to do the same. I no longer lose my hope or my joy. Jesus is the source of hope. If we have hope we can be filled with joy and peace no matter is going on. Rejoice in the hope that God has given you. Proverbs 3:5-6 says that when we trust in the Lord with all our heart and do not lean on our own understanding, but in all our ways we acknowledge Him, He will make our paths straight.

 
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