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1 Peter 4:12 Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.

When believers go through tough times, the first thing some of us want to do is question if we’ve done something wrong. We’ll question if we’re being punished because we were unkind to someone. We’ll question if we spoke something negative over our lives that caused this chaos. We’ll question if it’s because we didn’t pray long enough. On top of that, you’ll have other believers co-signing with these thoughts.
Stop the questions!!!  

Sometimes we can create negative events in our lives with our mouths or reap what we sow, but other times it’s just life. It’s not strange or abnormal for believers to face difficulties. In fact, Jesus said in this life we’ll have tribulation (John 16:33). Trials are associated with life.

If we handle these trials correctly, meaning, we remain in faith, meditate on God’s word, and maintain our thoughts to agree with God’s will, we’ll come out stronger than ever. Go through trials knowing victory is guaranteed.

Jonah 2:9 but as for me, I will sacrifice to you with a voice of thanksgiving. I will fulfill what I have vowed. Salvation belongs to the Lord.

In our lowest moments, we may be tired, angry, hurt, stressed, or confused. The last thing our flesh wants to do is praise and thank God. Our flesh wants to sit and sulk. But our flesh shouldn’t be running our lives. Our spirits, which are connected to God (for those who are born-again), should be governing our lives. And as we can see from Jonah’s life, we should offer a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.

In Jonah’s lowest moments, he offered a sacrifice of thanksgiving. He didn’t want to give thanks, but he sacrificed how he felt and did it anyway. He didn’t know how his life would turn out, but even facing death, he praised and thanked God. Through his praise and repentance, God gave him a second chance.

When we’re feeling down, begin to praise God. Our praise will remind us Who we’re relying on.

Jonah 2:1 (CEV) From inside the fish, Jonah prayed to the Lord his God: 2 When I was in trouble, Lord, I prayed to you, and you listened to me. From deep in the world of the dead, I begged for your help, and you answered my prayer.

In our lowest moments, when we’re down and out after days, months, or years of disobedience, we can pray to God and He’ll hear us. We don’t have to wait for an invitation or an alter call. We can come to God where we are (jail, homeless, in divorce court, etc.).

The devil is quick to tell us that God wants nothing to do with us, but he’s a liar. God is always available. He’ll accept us back with all our baggage, hang-ups, and unholy ways. He just wants us to return to Him.

If you ever find yourself in a bad spot, don’t forget to call on the Lord. Next, listen to His voice and do what He says. He’s there and waiting on you.

Psalm 118:24 This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.

Regardless of what’s going on in our lives, we must make an intentional decision to have a good day. We may have to focus on commonly overlooked things like breath in our lungs, employment, or a beautiful sunset to be excited, but if that’s what’s going to cause us to have a good day, let’s do it.

In the morning, there are two reasons to be excited about another day.

1. We can be excited about what we can do for God.
When our focus is to please God, we can get excited every morning to see what we can do to make Him happy. He may tell us to compliment someone, call someone we haven’t talked to in a long time or give to a ministry or charity. When we obey His instructions, we can pat ourselves on the back because we pleased God.

2. We can be excited about what God’s going to do for us.
Throughout the day, we should be in expectation of God doing something for us. We may finally get that call for that job we’ve been wanting, get a promotion, or finally find that perfect house. Again, it may not always be major, but getting to work without getting into an accident or our children coming home without colds or viruses are reasons to glorify God.

Let’s change our mindset and perspective and have a good day.       

James 2:8 You will do all right, if you obey the most important law in the Scriptures. It is the law that commands us to love others as much as we love ourselves. 9 But if you treat some people better than others, you have done wrong, and the Scriptures teach that you have sinned.

The man on the corner begging for money should be treated no differently than the richest man in the world. The star quarterback of your favorite team is no better than the janitor who cleans the stadium. The drug addict should be respected just like the police officer.

As believers, we’re called to love and treat everyone equally. Just because one person has more money or fame than another doesn’t mean we should treat them differently. Each person deservers honor.

There’s a temptation to show favoritism because we think about what they can do for us. We think about how it makes us look to be seen with that person or what we can gain by being with the “in crowd.” If we’re not mindful, we’ll have an attitude of if someone can’t do anything for us, they’re beneath us.

Don’t let the wealth or notoriety of another person go to your head. Everyone deserves to be equally loved and respected.

Jonah 1:3 But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord. He went down to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket and went on board, hoping to escape from the Lord by sailing to Tarshish.

God has called everyone to do something. That something God called us to do may not be popular or financially lucrative on the surface. That something may take a lot of effort or seem burdensome. Because that something may not seem amazing in our minds, we run.

Some of us run to something that’s going to make us popular or rich. Others run to something that seems secure (job security). We can run and ignore His calling, but there may be consequences. Running from God’s calling may make our lives more complicated. We may experience multiple layoffs, unfulfillment, demotions, or stress.

Don’t add unwarranted trouble in your life.
1. Seek God on what He’s called you to do.
2. Look past the effort, finances, and popularity and obey God.
3. As you obey, trust that He’ll provide fulfillment and give you everything you desire.

Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

If a person spends a lot of time and money buying and listening to music, anyone can see that their heart is focused on music. If a person spends a lot of time and money searching for and buying expensive sneakers, we can determine their heart is geared towards fashion or appearances. If a person has a bar stocked with a variety of alcohol choices, we can see that person is into drinking.

On the other hand, if a person doesn’t spend their time and money on music, shoes, and alcohol, we can conclude that person is not interested in those things.  

The same is true with God. With God, a person can say how much they love and appreciate Him, but they or anyone else can see how true that is by how much time and money they spend on Him. A lot of time and money means a great deal of appreciation towards God. A little time and money mean you appreciate other things above God.  

Our time and money expose our hearts. If you say you really love and appreciate God, then give Him quality time and the money He requested (tithes and offering).

A green elephant. A Green elephant. A GREEN Elephant A green Elephant. A Green Elephant. A GREEN ELEPHANT.  

As you read the sentences above, you probably imagined a green elephant. Thinking about a green elephant is harmless, but the devil continuously throws harmful thoughts in our minds throughout the day. His thoughts are harmful because his goal is to get us to worry, stress, and not trust God. It may be thoughts about the same subject or a variety of subjects. He’ll throw one thought after another.

The Devil: Your child is sick. What if it’s something severe? What if it never gets better? What if the sickness spreads to a sibling?

When the devil bombards our minds thoughts of worry, we need to capture those thoughts and declare the truth of God’s word.

Us: My child is healed. I decree divine health over my child. I cast my cares about my child’s health on God. My child is healed.

Don’t allow the devil’s seeds of worry to grow in your mind. Uproot his thoughts and replace them with the word of God.

2 Corinthians 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Luke 4:13 Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time. 14 Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region.

After we’ve fasted, we shouldn’t have a sigh of relief and go back to our normal way of living. Like Jesus, we should be empowered by the Holy Ghost.

If you read the entire chapter of Luke 4, you’ll see after Jesus fasted, He taught with authority, He avoided being killed prematurely, He cleansed people of demons, and He healed the sick.

We have this same power too (John 14:12). After we’ve fasted, we should have better clarity and revelation on God’s word and what God wants us to do. We should be healing the sick and we should be speaking over situations and events in our lives with faith-filled authority.

Our flesh may be craving to go back to our normal routine, but our spirits should be ready to take over the world for the glory of God.

and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves.
I Thessalonians 5:13 NKJV

With so much division in the world, believers should stand out. We should be at peace with everyone even though we may have different political beliefs, different skin color, different lifestyle choices, and different ideas.

Unfortunately, everyone who calls themselves believers are not at peace with others. Why? Like everyone else in the world, believers too must grow up and mature.

It takes God to be at peace with everyone. We can’t have this kind of peace in our own strength. We obtain this peace by receiving it by faith. If God said we can be at peace with everyone, receive it. Secondly, we must feed on the word of God instead of feeding on the news, social media opinions, etc. Finally, we must activate the God kind of love. When we make the decision to love someone else, peace has to follow.

Let’s be the difference makers in society by being at peace with everyone. We may not agree with everything someone else is doing, but we can still be at peace with them.

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