RELEASING SUPERNATURAL CONTENTMENT

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Are you in a difficult situation that has been going on a long time? Have you been praying fervently, and you still have not received your breakthrough? Are you frustrated because your agenda has not yet been fulfilled? Know that restless frustration is not God’s will for you. He wants you to enter into His rest, no matter what is going on around you. He wants you to have patience and wait upon His will and timing. He wants you to stay internally peaceful and not be moved by what you experience externally. What is the answer? CONTENTMENT.

What is contentment? According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, contentment is “freedom from worry or restlessness:  peaceful satisfaction.” Paul said in Philippians 4:11-13, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. …I can do all this through [Christ] who gives me strength.” Therefore, he was free from worry and restlessness. He was peacefully satisfied because he readily received supernatural empowerment imparted through His relationship with the Lord. Contentment can only be obtained by supernatural means THROUGH Christ. Therefore, you must stay connected to the Savior in a meaningful way, if you want contentment. Discontent is a signal that you, the branch, have in some way disconnected yourself from the vine, Jesus Christ. We read in John 5:1-8:

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. …If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. …If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

When we are connected to Christ, we are empowered to bear fruit. What kind of fruit? The fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 relays, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” However, as we take inventory of the fruit of the Spirit, it’s evident that contentment is a combined expression of these spiritual characteristics:

  1. Love:  Contentment comes as a by-product of your love for God and willingness to accept His will for your life.
  2. Joy:  Contentment is undergirded by the joy you feel because you are aware of God’s presence and His divine orchestration of your circumstances.
  3. Peace:  Contentment is hallmarked by massive peace within your heart as you wait on the Lord for His best.
  4. Forbearance: Contentment exemplifies the ability to be patient, forbearing, and willing wait as long as it takes to ultimately get your breakthrough from God.
  5. Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, and Gentleness:  Contentment (which is characterized by a belief that God is working behind the scenes on your behalf) requires that you walk in love and forgiveness toward others so that you can have confidence that God hears your prayers.
  6. Self-control: Contentment requires that you exercise self-control so that you override the devil’s temptation to buck God’s authority and go out and get what you want (whether it’s His will or timing for you or not).

Therefore, the question is this: What do you need to do so that contentment, an expression of spiritual fruit, shows up supernaturally? Like any other fruit, the fruit of the Spirit has to be cultivated. Therefore, if you want contentment to be effortlessly borne within you, you must do the following:

  1. Realize that as a disciple of Jesus Christ, you are expected to bear the fruit of contentment.
  2. Refuse to engage in works of the flesh that lead to frustration, and be determined to only take action as led by the Holy Spirit.
  3. Stay connected to the vine of Jesus Christ through daily prayer (especially for contentment), fellowship, obedience, and repentance. 
  4. Receive “pruning” with the right perspective and attitude, counting it all joy when you go through trials and tests (James 1:1-2), and believing all things will work together for your good (Romans 8:28).
  5. Make sure that you continually feed and meditate on the Word daily to renew your mind, keep a fresh perspective, and keep yourself spiritually strong.
  6. Be grateful for what you have and express thankfulness to God in all things, realizing the fruit of peace and thankfulness go hand in hand (Colossians 3:15).

As you continue to do these things consistently, in due time, you will be astounded by how content you become. You will feel more peaceful and joyful than ever in spite of what is going on around you and how long you have been waiting for change. Remember, however, contentment is not void of a desire for change or action. It is simply a peaceful state of satisfaction while you are waiting for your change to come as you take Spirit-led action. And the best part is that you don’t have to “conjure” it up. When you make the right choices and trust the Lord, that’s when you will experience the supernatural growth of the fruit of the Spirit, and that’s how you will learn to be content in whatever state you find yourself.

How have you dealt with discontent in your life? Please leave a comment below.

 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth and The Exceptional Man: Love Poems and Inspirational Writings Celebrating Godly Men and Great RelationshipsClick here to find out ways you can help.

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DON’T LET THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT TURN INTO A SPIRIT OF GLUTTONY

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Everyone wants good health, right? But what are you willing to do to get it? As we go into the holidays, we have to be careful not to let the “holiday spirit” turn into a “spirit of gluttony” which will end up making us feel miserable and condemned. Even at Thanksgiving and Christmas, our bodies are still the temple of the Holy Spirit, and we need to let Him guide us in our eating during the holidays. He will tell you when enough is enough. A lot of times when the Spirit speaks, we will ignore Him, and then we feel bad, get results we don’t want, or get on the scale after the holidays and ask, “Why did I do that?” How do I know? Because I have been there and done that. This time, I want to do something different. How about you?

For example, I know that I have wheat gluten issues, therefore, as much as those buttered rolls and that macaroni and cheese will be calling my name, I must purpose in my heart on Christmas Day that I will not heavily indulge in eating those things. In times past, I have not resisted and ended up suffering the consequences. In order to feel my best, I really need to eat meat, vegetables, and fruit. Therefore, I need to think about what can I actually eat, and I must say “no” ahead of time to those things I know will be problems for me (again, after asking for the help of the Holy Spirit). You see, the reason that I am writing this is to put my word out there so that I will be more likely to eat like I am supposed to eat during the coming holiday season. We’ll see how it goes.

The truth of the matter is, we don’t have to overeat or eat things that we know will hurt us and use the holiday as an excuse to overindulge. Here are some things we can do to put safeguards on ourselves during the holidays:

  • Plan ahead. Before you get to the holiday dinner site, plan ahead and determine what you will eat and how much you will eat. Think it through in your mind. Most of the time, the holiday meal is pretty much the same from year to year, right? If you know the ham is too salty, and you have high blood pressure, then maybe you need to plan ahead to eat only a small piece or none at all. If you have diabetes, maybe you should only eat a sliver of the carrot cake or ask your host for a piece of fruit. I know it sounds crazy, but what is the Spirit saying to you? When it comes to holiday eating, if you want to feel good at the end of the day, moderation is a necessity.
  • Pray. Pray and bless the food before you eat, but also make a point to pray fervently before the big day for God to help you to eat in a way that will honor His temple during the holidays. The Word says the effective fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16). As the old saying goes, “Much prayer, much power; no prayer, no power.”
  • Stay accountable. Ask a friend or family member who will be present to keep you in check. Ask them to call you on the carpet about eating things you shouldn’t eat or putting too much on your plate. Sometimes you have to call for backup and use any means necessary to accomplish a goal. Also, when you put your word out there for others to hear, then you become more conscious of the choices you are making when you eat.
  • Make a decree. Make a positive confession and say, “I will eat in moderation this holiday season and feel great when I get up from the table.” Job 22:28 says, “You shall decree a thing and it shall be established unto you.” Romans 4:17 says, “Calleth those things that be not as though they were.” Even if you have never been able to eat moderately in the past during the holidays, who’s to say this year can’t be different? Speak what you want into existence.

These are some things that may help you to keep a covenant with yourself and allow you to be able to tell your family and friends, “I had a really good holiday. I am so thankful to God, and really proud of myself that I ate well.” But regardless of what happens, on Christmas Day and every day, we need to remember that Jesus was born to die for us so that we can walk free of condemnation regardless of whether our behavior is perfect or not. So if you “slip up,” know that you are still covered by the blood. But we should never use that grace as a license to go crazy just because it’s holiday time.

Do I have anybody out there who is willing to take my challenge? Leave a comment below about how you plan to honor God in your eating during the holidays. 

 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth and The Exceptional Man: Love Poems and Inspirational Writings Celebrating Godly Men and Great RelationshipsClick here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and subscribe to the email list.

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CAN GOD BE GLORIFIED THROUGH THE ELECTION OF DONALD J. TRUMP?

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I am so grieved about what is happening in our nation.  People have come out in droves to protest the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States.  It really wouldn’t matter who won the election because, right now, we are so divided as a country, I believe there would have been protests either way. Yes, things are really bad. But God sometimes lets situations deteriorate to a point where it looks like there is no hope so that when He comes in and fixes the problem, He can get more glory through a massive display of His power.

But regardless of how we voted or what our personal opinions are about the President Elect, Donald Trump won, the electoral college system worked in Trump’s favor, and “it is what it is.” The people have spoken, and more importantly, God has spoken. Psalm 75:6-7 says, “For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.”  The only reason Donald Trump won that race is because God allowed him to win. The pressing question in this historic moment is where do we go from here?

People of God, peace in our souls regarding this election outcome will come only when we look at this situation through spiritual lenses. We need to ask ourselves, “How might God be looking at this? What is His perspective?”  You can choose to view the circumstances through natural eyes, or you can choose to reject “sight walking” and use your eyes of faith to look into the spiritual realm. God is continuously making maneuvers  in the realm of the unseen that eventually manifest as the accomplishment of His divine will. That being said, let’s look at some ways God may use Donald Trump to bring Himself glory.

1. God can be glorified through a spiritual transformation in Donald Trump’s life facilitated by the Holy Spirit. At the end of the four-year term, once the Holy Spirit goes to work via the prayers of the saints, we could see him acting totally different than the person he was when he ran for president of the United States. Sure, his craziness, cyber bullying, the Access video, cursing, racist comments, lack of integrity, lack of respect for women, (and the list goes on and on) is offensive. But what if the Holy Spirit really got a hold of his heart and transformed him right before our very eyes in front of billions of people around the world as he serves in the White House?  God would get the glory because only He could make that happen.

Dr. James Dobson made the announcement that Trump has been led to Christ.  So what we are looking at is a baby Christian. All of the garbage of his past we have seen is under The Blood if He has truly given his life to Christ. As much as we don’t want to admit it, if He did have a true conversion experience (and only God knows his heart), His past sin has been wiped away.  The same thing God did for us in applying the Blood of Jesus to cleanse us of sin, has been done for Trump. Like it or not, He is the righteousness of God in Christ. The same way we had to grow up in God through a sanctification process, so does Donald Trump. If Johnny Lee Clary, former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, can become a Christian, God can save anyone. If God can convert the Apostle Paul, He can change anyone.

2. God can be glorified through the door being left open for Him to continue to make a positive difference in our nation. Through the outcome of this election, God gets the message, “We still want You in our society.” Taking prayer out of the schools told God, “We don’t want You.”  The Roe v. Wade decision said to God, “We don’t want You.”  The vote about same-sex marriage screamed to our God, “We don’t want You!”   As it stands now, at least the door is open for God to work because He is still included.

Keep in mind that the next sitting president will be responsible for filling that vacant Supreme Court justice seat left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. That is a critical choice, and if the wrong justice is placed, that would completely shut God out of our society once and for all. Once God is shut out, we are in trouble. Apparently, the people have communicated that we still need and want the Lord to be involved in the affairs of the United States. You see, when He is not involved, everything falls apart.  Colossians 1:17 says, “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” Therefore, if this country is to avoid a societal and spiritual collapse, God must be included in our affairs.

3. God can be glorified is by taking a person with no political experience and making him politically successful. It’s been said that Hillary Clinton was the most qualified candidate, and she definitely was. But I’ve heard it said that God doesn’t call the qualified; He qualifies the called. Stephen Furtick said, “Unqualified is one of God’s favorite qualifications.” So even though Trump has no political experience, the Holy Spirit is well able to use him to get His agenda accomplished.  President Barak Obama had minimal political experience, but he had some great accomplishments in office, although many of his opponents refuse to admit it. Therefore, if you have God’s anointing, political experience doesn’t matter.  After all, God says He will use the foolish things to confound the wise (I Corinthians 1:27).  God Himself can choose to anoint Mr. Trump and cause him to make a positive difference in the end.

We can all praise the Lord that the election is over and that God is still in the equation of our future as a country. We can finally exhale, but now the work begins. If we would see Donald Trump’s transformation via the Holy Spirit and the unification of this country, it will only happen if we as believers pray, and pray HARD.  II Chronicles 7:14 says, “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” We’ve got to pray, Saints! The Bible says the effective fervent prayer of the righteous avails much (James 5:16). Prayer is key. If we are going to see God be glorified, we as a people have got to obey our heavenly Father, pray earnestly for our nation and Mr. Trump, who will be our president, and flow with God’s plan as He unveils it.

In conclusion, there are many who are skeptical about whether our country can flourish under the leadership of Donald J. Trump. However, we must pray earnestly that He will be under the leadership and control of the Holy Spirit. In spite of all the negative press, I choose to view the future with optimism because my Father in Heaven is the biggest Optimist of all. He has an agenda, and He will execute that agenda through the President Elect. But again, the only reason Donald Trump is in office is because God has put him there. God has made His decision, and He can still get the glory out of all of this.

What are your thoughts about the election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of the United States? Leave a comment below.

 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth and The Exceptional Man: Love Poems and Inspirational Writings Celebrating Godly Men and Great RelationshipsClick here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and subscribe to the email list.

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WAYS TO WARD OFF OFFENSE

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Have you ever had someone you trusted betray you? Maybe you needed help and they weren’t there for you.  Now you have a wound in your soul you have to deal with, and you’re struggling with forgiveness issues. As I’m sure you well know, Jesus said that when a brother sins against you, you must forgive them seventy times seven (Matthew 18:22). Sometimes that’s very difficult, but here some thoughts to ponder that will help you to make the decision to forgive and continue moving toward your destiny:

It’s not about you. When someone betrays you, sins against you, or fails you in some way, you must realize it’s not about you. You really need to be thankful because they have just revealed something to you that you needed to know. Maybe they have a character flaw, but at least you now know that.  If they are not for you, you need to know that. Maybe they are in competition with you on some level. Thank God it’s been exposed so that you can plead the blood over yourself and make divine connections with people who God has ordained to help you to reach your destiny.  My point is this: don’t take it personally. What’s going on inside of them is the reason they have responded to you the way they have responded.

God’s plan cannot be thwarted. Whatever they did or did not do, you need to understand that God’s plan cannot be thwarted. (Job 42:2) God can use anyone He wants to get His plans accomplished in your life. That’s His prerogative because He’s sovereign. When you get mad because someone didn’t help you or betrayed you (or whatever it was they did), you are bucking against God’s decision to not use that person or His decision to use that person for another purpose you don’t yet understand. Maybe He wants to accomplish spiritual growth in you. Whatever the case may be, you need to know that God can use any means He chooses to get His plan accomplished in your life, and He can go around people who appear to not be cooperating with that plan.

That’s your cue to pray. When people offend you, sometimes it is just a communication that they are battling their own demons. They have issues that are driving them, and they may not even be aware of them. Therefore, hurtful behavior should be taken as your cue to pray. Hurting people need our prayers. They are probably wrestling with something that is bigger than they are capable of handling on their own. We all need people to pray for us at times. When someone has come against you in a negative way, the most loving thing you can do for them is pray.

The way you think about the situation will determine how profoundly it will affect you. When people sin against you with words or deeds and you get offended, many times, whatever it was that they did, in reality, does not really harm you emotionally unless you interpret it improperly.  It is the negative interpretation of the event that puts a wound in your soul. If Isaiah 54:17 states that “No weapon formed against you shall prosper,” and Luke 10:19 says, “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you,” then you can indeed live above the enemy’s onslaughts through people.  You simply must know who you are in Christ and be firmly rooted and grounded in regards to your worth and value. People’s words and deeds cannot hurt you when you refuse to allow the work of the enemy through them to define who you are. Romans 8:28 says that God will make sure that everything works for your good anyway.

So when someone in your life betrays you or did not respond in a way you expected, you don’t have to allow that to wound your soul and thwart your progress toward your destiny.  Your job is to forgive, love, bless, pray for, and do good to those who come against you according to the Word (Matthew 5:44). When you realize it’s not about you, that God’s plan cannot be thwarted, and think of the situation from the perspective of God’s Word, you can rise above their words and actions and fulfill God’s ultimate plan for your life.

How have you successfully handled an offense? What steps will you take to ward off offense in your life? Leave a comment below.

 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth and The Exceptional Man: Love Poems and Inspirational Writings Celebrating Godly Men and Great RelationshipsClick here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and subscribe to the email list.

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LESSONS LEARNED IN THE MIDST OF TRAGEDY

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I have something heavy on my heart to share today. Some of you may know, but many of you may not know, that recently I had a horrific tragedy happen in my life. I am a private person when it comes to my personal life, and for the most part, I don’t share personal life events on Facebook. As the Purposeful Poet, my goal is to encourage, uplift and inspire people to be their best for Christ. However, today I feel the Lord is leading me to share a painful portion of my journey with you, and I hope and pray that my testimony will help someone out there get through a difficult time in life or perhaps be set free in some way.

I want to tell you about my beloved, Steven Allen Williamson, Sr., one who  was very dear to me. We had known each other for almost 6 years. He was an excellent HVAC Technician, and we met when he came over to my house to fix my boiler which wasn’t working properly. We became best friends, and after being in a love relationship with him on and off for over five years, we finally got officially engaged on August 8, 2016. September 24, 2016, was supposed to be our wedding day, and I was to become Mrs. Stephen Allen Williamson, Sr. Unfortunately, the wedding never took place. My beloved fiancé died on September 7th of a massive heart attack two days before his 60th birthday and 17 days before our wedding day. I walked into his apartment only to find him lying on the bathroom floor cold and lifeless. I screamed, I cried, I prayed, I commanded life to come back into him, I tried to perform CPR, but he was already gone. He had passed away in the middle of the night. That traumatic scenario  will be indelibly etched into my memory for eternity.

On October 8, I journeyed to Pittsburgh, his hometown, for a memorial service with his family and friends from that area. This provided much-needed closure for me. We weren’t able to do the service here in Norfolk, Virginia, because of money and time constraints. In Pittsburgh, I was able to eulogize my beloved Steve at that service. Within that eulogy, one of my goals was to relay lessons that I had learned from this tragedy that has changed my life forever. When someone very close to you dies or even when your dream dies (my dream of doing married life with Steve died on that day), if you’ll remember the following thoughts you will fare much better in your healing process:

  1. When the bottom drops out, refuse to get mad at God. Sometimes when things don’t go your way, you may be tempted to get offended at God and withdraw. This is a huge mistake because in doing so, you cut yourself off from the very Person who can heal and restore you. Instead, do your level best to cling to God, receive His comfort and instructions for recalibrating your life and move confidently forward.
  2. When a loved one dies, focus on his or her highest good.  Normally we focus on ourselves and our pain. We ask , “What will I do?” “How will I carry on?” “What will become of me?” “Who will meet my needs?” However, love is not self-seeking (I Corinthians 13:5). Therefore you must seek to prioritize your focus upon the other person’s highest good and not your own pain and loss. Surely you must grieve, but at the end of the day, if that person died in Christ, and you want to keep your sanity, you must focus on his or her highest good. Shift you focus on the reward received by the one you dearly loved and let that bring you comfort. That’s what love does.
  3. Submit to the sovereignty and omniscience of God. We don’t always understand why things happen the way they do. God is sovereign and can do what He wants to do, whenever He wants to do it. He is omniscient and knows everything. Therefore, when you suffer a loss, you must understand that God knows things about the situation at hand to which you have not been made privy. Therefore, when you don’t understand what God is doing, you must shift to a mode of trusting God with everything within you based on the knowledge that He loves you and has your best interests at heart.
  4. Hold to people and things loosely. As a believer, you must give God permission to control the flow of people and things in and out of your life. If you refuse to do so, you are destined to suffer pain and disappointment as a result. Make sure that God is the center of your world and nothing and no one else. Refuse to make yourself vulnerable to the enemy, setting yourself up for the ultimate collapse of your world. When you commit idolatry, God is obligated to show you that He will not allow you to have other gods before Him (Exodus 20:3). However, when God remains at the center of your world, regardless of who or what comes or goes, you stand on a firm foundation and come what may, your life will indeed remain stable.

These were lessons I have learned through my painfully tragic situation, but what gives me comfort is knowing that Steve was in Christ, and he is now in the arms of Jesus. No more stress and struggle for my baby.  He is basking in the glory of God. I loved him very much, and I am so thankful to God for the time that we had together. Steve loved God. He loved and accepted me just as I was, and that in turn empowered me to love and accept myself. He was an excellent communicator, and he, in fact, taught me how to be a better communicator. Finally, he always made sure that I knew how much he honored, respected, and cherished me. I will be forever grateful to God for the time we had together. Our relationship was His gift to me. I have been forever changed by Steve’s presence and his departure from my life. May you rest in peace, My Love. May you rest in peace.

What lessons have you learned in the midst of tragedy? Please leave a comment below.

I’d love your help spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth and The Exceptional Man: Love Poems and Inspirational Writings Celebrating Godly Men and Great RelationshipsClick here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and subscribe to the email list.

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WHEN GOD SAYS NO

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Have you ever prayed for a long time for something that you really wanted and had your prayers go unanswered? You wondered why God didn’t show up for you. Maybe your disappointment caused you to be offended at God. The offense created a rift between you and your Creator, and your relationship with Him suffered or became distant. When we have issues with God of this nature, it opens the door for the enemy to wreak havoc our lives. Therefore, we must avoid this scenario at all costs.

Today, I want to give you another perspective about God’s “no’s” in life. However, first let me remind you of certain truths that I’m sure you know: 1) God loves you. In fact, God says in Jeremiah 31:3, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” That love is unconditional and perfect. 2) Regardless of what you go through or experience in this life, God is a good God, and He has your best interests at heart. Psalm 100:5 says, “For the Lord is good and his love endures forever.” Thus, when these concepts are firmly established in your heart and mind, you’ll be less likely to “kick against the goads” (as Jesus told Paul on the Damascus road) and see God as the enemy when you don’t get your way right away.

God loves to bless His children just like any other parent. He wants to say “yes” as much as possible. But sometimes, in His sovereignty and wisdom, He has to say no. It’s not that He doesn’t have what you ask. It’s not because He doesn’t want to give it to you because He’s stingy or wants to get on your nerves. Psalm 84:11 says, “No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Therefore, in order to keep our hearts free and unfettered, we need to keep the following thoughts in mind, recognizing that God has good reasons for refusing our requests:

  • God knows something you don’t know. God is omnipotent and omniscient and He sees the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). He knows everything about your situation, and you only know in part. Therefore, He may say no because of the information that He has not made available to you.
  • God has a timing for everything He does. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says there is a time for everything. If you have not received your blessing yet, perhaps God’s no is temporary. You simply must wait on God’s timing while He sets in order everything needed to deliver what you ask.
  • God always has something better in mind. Very often, when God says no, it’s only because He wants to bless you beyond your wildest dreams. He is a good, good Father, and if you keep a good, good attitude and trust Him, He will reveal His will in due time and exceed your expectations. He will show you His ability to “do exceedingly abundantly above all that [you] ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20).
  • God is preparing you to receive your request. Sometimes you may not be ready to receive what you ask for. If God granted the request now with you in your present state, perhaps you would ruin a good opportunity. God does not waste blessings. He may be withholding what you ask until you are positioned to receive the maximum impact of that blessing upon your life.
  • God wants to test you. Could it be that God may be withholding your blessing to allow you see where your heart is? If He doesn’t give you what you want right away, could it be that He wants to expose your motives? Perhaps He wants you to come to the place where you want Him for Who He is and not just what He can give you. God’s “no” may be the very thing He uses to mature you.
  • God wants you to learn a lesson. Sometimes God will let you stay in a mess longer than you would like so that you can learn the lesson the Holy Spirit wants to teach. Perhaps if He gave you what you asked without being sure you learned a lesson, you would repeat the same mistake over and over. Sometimes He uses a divine “no” to cause the consequences to be so grave that you will think twice before you make that choice again.

Let’s face it; we all have to go through times when God says no. You might be waiting right now for an answer. You may have received a “no.” The question is how will you respond? The challenge is to be mature enough to accept His decision and quickly move forward, trusting in His wisdom and omniscience.  That means there is no pouting, no melt down, and no cold shoulder towards God, but a simple acceptance of His sovereign will. When God says no and we peacefully acknowledge and accept His decision, we communicate to Him (and to the world), that Father truly knows best.

What has been your experience with God’s “no”?  How did you navigate through your disappointment? Please leave a comment below.

 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth and The Exceptional Man: Love Poems and Inspirational Writings Celebrating Godly Men and Great RelationshipsClick here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and subscribe to the email list.

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RELEASING THE JOY

portrait-of-a-happy-woman-by-anankkml

Jesus said He has given us everything we need that pertains to life and godliness (II Peter 1:3). As a believer, one of the things God has deposited into your born-again spirit so that you can live victoriously is JOY. Joy is such a beautiful thing because it’s a supernatural manifestation of the Holy Spirit Who resides within you. Joy gives you strength for living. Joy can get you through the most difficult of situations. Joy can cause unbelievers to be drawn into the Kingdom. Joy can be experienced regardless of what is going on in your life. The question is how do you release the joy? How can you tap into the joy within?

I recently saw Pastor Bobby Schuller on the Hour of Power television broadcast, and he stated that “joy is not passive,” but requires action. As you well know, taking Spirit-led action is paramount in many aspects of the Christian walk. Faith is an action. Faith without corresponding action is dead. Love is an action, not a feeling. Forgiveness takes action. Jesus commands you to love, bless, pray for and do good to the person who hurt you in spite of your feelings. Likewise, joy is released by taking ACTION.  In order for joy to manifest in your soul, you have to aggressively act in ways that will release it within. Passivity will keep the cap on the well of your joy.  Unfortunately, if your joy wanes, then your spiritual strength is sure to follow (Nehemiah 8:10). Therefore, it is very important that you be in control of your joy.

Normally, before God does something supernatural, He first requires action on our part. Before Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, He told the people to roll away the stone (John 11:38). Elijah told Naaman to dip in the Jordan river seven times before the power was released to heal the army commander of leprosy (II Kings 5:10). Moses had to lift his staff before the Red Sea parted (Exodus 14:16). Joy is no different. If you want the supernatural joy of the Lord to manifest, you must first DO something. Joy will not just fall on you. Releasing the joy requires a partnership between you and your God.

You see, many times when we are going through trials and tribulations, we forget to do the very things that will cause joy to manifest. The joy that Jesus died to give you will continue to lay dormant if you allow passivity to reign. Therefore, if you want to release the joy in your life in spite of your negative circumstances, here are seven Spirit-led actions you can take:

  1. Praise and Worship the Lord. God inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3). Therefore, worship ushers in the presence of the Lord, and  as Psalm 16:11 relays, in His presence there is fullness of joy. Therefore, if you want joy, bask in His presence through praise and worship.
  2. Forgive those who have hurt you. In Acts 13:50-52, Paul and Barnabas experienced persecution but were still filled with joy. Why? “They shook the dust off their feet” and refused to allow offenses to remain in their hearts against people who treated them badly. If you want the joy within released, you must forgive those who have hurt you.  Refuse to let offense shut off the well of joy that resides within you.
  3. Pray in Jesus’ name. Jesus said in John 16:24, “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” Thus, prayer is a powerful joy releaser for the following reasons: 1) prayer requires you to be aware of God’s presence; 2) prayer is fellowship with your best friend, and 3) having your prayers answered definitely brings joy.  Therefore, prayer is an action that you can take that is pregnant with the potential to release joy.
  4. Obey God’s voice. Obedience is also a key to maintaining joy. In Acts 5:29, the apostles were given strict orders by the Jewish leaders not to teach in the name of Jesus. However, Peter said, “We must obey God rather than man!” and they taught anyway. Later in verse 41, we read, “The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.” They obeyed God and joy was released in them supernaturally in spite of the persecution. When you obey God and go through difficulty, trust God with the outcome and expect supernatural joy to be released.
  5. Believe the Word. Romans 13:15 relays that joy and peace are realized through believing. Therefore, if you are joyless, it could be because your faith has waned in some way. Is the enemy of your soul deceiving you regarding God’s Word? Believe, and supernatural joy and peace will be the result.
  6. Shift your perspective. James 1:2-3 says, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.”  In other words, if you want the joy to be released, you have to focus on the advantages that God will afford you through your difficulty. Additionally, shifting your focus to what is good in your life (instead of constantly dwelling on the negative) and being grateful for what you have will release your inner joy as well.
  7. Engage in enjoyable activities. This may sound simple, but you may be joyless because you have failed to do what you enjoy. When your feelings go south, don’t just sit in a dark room with the curtains drawn. Do something you enjoy. Do something fun. Get a manicure. Watch a funny movie. Connect with a friend through a phone call or fellowship. Buy yourself some flowers.  Fight passivity with all that is within you, and take action!

Joy is a powerful inoculator against spiritual weakness (Nehemiah 8:10). Therefore, it’s imperative that you stay joyful. You may not be happy all the time because happiness depends on happenings. However, God has made provision for you to be continuously joyful. In fact, Paul says, “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice” (Philippians 4:4)! If there was not a way to accomplish the feat of having continuous joy, that verse would never have been included in God’s Word. Therefore, as a believer, you must do your part and take action to make sure a constant flow of joy wells up in you regardless of the trials and tribulations that come your way. The question is: what are your willing to DO to release the joy within?

What action will you take today to release joy in your heart and soul that will strengthen you for the battle you face? Please leave a comment below.

 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth and The Exceptional Man: Love Poems and Inspirational Writings Celebrating Godly Men and Great RelationshipsClick here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and subscribe to the email list.

Find me on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/TraceyLMoore2012

Follow me on Twitter:  @TraceyLMoore1

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles via http://www.freedigitalphotos.net