Wednesday, February 15, 2017

We Believe He's Greater

I’ve gone through days where I thought I was the only one who had struggles. I was the only one who had doubts and the only one who went through burdensome situations.
But it’s not just me. It’s all of us at one point or another. We can’t stop the trials that come our way—it’s life. Jesus says, “In this world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 When we’re in the middle of those struggles, it feels like we’re in a deep pit, surrounded and covered by heavy weights of discouragement.
So how do we live in the valley? To go further, how do we live to our full potential on the mountaintop?
There are seven things that God has taught me to do whenever these horrible situations arise. I pray you would put them into action so you may experience the fullness of life.

7 Principles to Follow and Trust In 
for whatever situations life throws at you

1.    Remember, God has a plan.
Since the beginning of eternity, God has known what would and will happen in each of our lives. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
God doesn’t allow things to happen that are out of His will. He “works all things according to the counsel of His will” (Ephesians 1:11). Nothing slips or is a surprise to Him.
Remember Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good, to them that love God and are called according to His purpose.”

2.    Keep a Heaven Perspective.
Now what does a “Heaven Perspective” mean? Keeping a heaven perspective means that when the overwhelming situations occur, you take a step back and realize that God’s in control.
Live your life in light of the cross. Our thoughts and actions should coincide with the life of Christ. Would Jesus be overwhelmed or stressed if He was in your situation? No. And neither should we.
Casting Crown’s song “Just Be Held” says, “If your eyes are on the storm, you wonder if I love you still. But if your eyes are on the cross, you know I always have and I always will.”

3.    Don’t Worry!
Earlier this year, I was planning on doing a devotional in front of everyone in choir. I worried over it, but God gently said, “Just give it to Me.” I did, and the devotional went smoother than I could have imagined! The next day, I went to the dermatologist. Long story short, there was a high possibility that I needed a shot in my neck. My first impulse was worry. But God said again, “Don’t you remember yesterday? There’s no need to worry. Give it to Me.” Hesitantly, I did, and turns out, I didn’t need that shot!
Recently, I was reading a book, and while I had the head knowledge of God being in control, the book spoke directly to me saying, “My issues and my trials are nothing to You.” They are NOTHING to our big God. Why should we worry?

4.    Live as a Child of Promise.
A child of promise holds onto God’s promises found in His Word. You can only know God’s promises if you read the Bible regularly.
One of the many promises that I’ve held onto is Psalm 32:8 The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” 
When I don’t know what my future holds, I can trust in Him because He promises to guide me.
Circle them, write them down, do whatever it takes so that you automatically run to God’s Word first in difficult situations.

5.    Choose Thankfulness… Always.
Ephesians 5:4 says that you should not let filthiness or foolishness or even crude joking come out of your mouth, but instead, let it be thankfulness. That challenged me. As I was trying to replace unnecessary words with thankfulness, I read Psalm 50. God’s talking to us, and He’s saying that while the animal sacrifices are good, there’s something better—thankfulness.
“But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God.” Psalm 50:23
Think about it—thankfulness is our sacrifice to our totally worthy God! Daily, give Him thanks… about everything.

6.    Use it as an Opportunity to Learn a Lesson.
Through this difficult issue, God may be trying to speak to you and teach you a lesson. Slow down, breathe, and listen. As a practice to see how God works in the big issues, take time to see how God works in the small things. God can speak through anything. We need to listen to His still small voice with an acceptant heart.

7.    Above All, Understand Who God Is.
Your view of God will determine if you choose thankfulness or choose not to worry.
You can only understand who God is by living with Him by your side and reading about Him in His Word.
By spending time with Him, you’ll learn that He is faithful. He is our Rescuer, our Protection, our Healer, and so much more!
You’ll learn that He is greater. Greater than all the pain, toils, and struggles we go through. Know Him, and you can face any trial life sends your way.

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