Love God Love People by Danny Gokey

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Facing Rejection with Humility

 

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

It seems everyone has dealt with rejection at one time or another in their lives. Rejection comes in many forms. It may be when you tried to make a friend in elementary school, but was teased and laughed at instead. In high school, you may have wanted to go to the prom with a boy or girl that you had a crush on, only to find out that they already had a date or had no interest in you. Even in adulthood, there’s all kinds of rejection stemming from interviewing for a job to being declined for a loan for that beautiful home you dreamed of.

No matter how rejection finds you, the emotions that follow are real. The one person who suffered rejection was Jesus Christ. Throughout his ministry, he was taunted, scorned and rejected. He could not even provide miracles in his hometown of Nazareth because they would not accept him or his teaching. He was kicked out of the synagogue while speaking, yet he did not walk with a scornful heart.

Rejection is a hard pill to swallow and can lead to other issues if you’re constantly rejected by others. It can stripe you from your self-esteem and confidence leaving you to feel like you’re not good enough or it can be the root of jealousy when you start to compare yourself to others. When you have suffered betrayal, insecurity, frustration and fear, it tends to overwhelm your emotional state.

 

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Rejection does not feel good, but when you know and understand that there is a process in pain and that the Lord is establishing and guiding your footsteps, as well as shaping your character, it shines a new perspective on such negative feelings.

Here is just a few benefits of rejection:

  • Builds character
  • Develops thicker skin and makes you stronger
  • Provides safety and protection from unseen danger or harm
  • Teaches you how to accept rejection and move on
  • Pushes you to greatness by developing yourself on a personal, spiritual, emotional, mental and physical level
  • Increases patience
  • Motivates and pushes you to try harder

When you feel rejected, understand that there is a loving God who created you and loves you unconditionally. It’s often hard to grasp his love at times because we live in a physical world, but we are made up of spiritual DNA and also battle with things we cannot visually grasp. Our battle is not with flesh and blood but with spiritual things in high places. (Eph 6:10-17)

Don’t allow rejection to destroy who you are. Speak words of encouragement to yourself and to others. Build a support group of positive, nurturing friends who will inspire and motivate you. However, make sure can motivate and encourage yourself. Work on yourself every day.

Learn a new hobby or participate in your community. Attend a conference or seminar to learn something new. Keep growing. Don’t take rejection personally. Stand tall in your abilities, talents and gifts. Just keep it moving. When you know who you are in Christ, you will not be swayed by the opinions of others and the pressures of the world.

 

Prayer

Lord, we receive your unconditional love. Heal our hearts from the pain of rejection. Let us not look to the world for our worth, but to you who created us in your image. You hold all the power in your hands.

In Jesus name, Amen

 

In the Secret Place

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Photo Credit:  www.pixabay.com

When a woman gets an ultrasound, it is an exciting moment for the mom-to-be.  For the first time, she experiences the formation of a miracle and watches the movements of her child inside her womb.

The child is enclosed in a protective shell and is shielded from the outside world, yet comfortable in the natural environment which is the only world known of. All their needs are met and they continue to grow and develop until the designated time of birth.

During labor, a mother and child experiences discomfort, struggles and difficulties; but through pain, sweat and tears, the child is exposed to the world in which they must adapt, learn, develop and grow in a whole new environment.

As children of God, we are also protected and shielded from unknown dangers. Even though we live in a fallen world, we are held in the palm of His hands. Despite the attacks that come against us in the natural or spiritual realm, we are victorious!

Unseen dangers lurk all around us, yet the Lord provides his protection, love, mercy, grace, peace, guidance and security. His arms of protection surrounds us and will forever protect us from harm. We are cradled just like a newborn in His loving care. Although we are not exempt from difficulties, hardship and loss, we are overcomers by the Blood of the Lamb. No matter what you may experience in this world, you have a God that loves you and will watch over you.

Our position is to enter into the secret place. In the secret place, there is peace. There is wisdom. There is power. There is strength upon His wings. Welcome His presence with praise. Wherever your prayer closet may be, enter in the secret place with reverence and admiration. There may be a tornado swirling around you, but you can find peace in the eye of the storm. Command, “Peace be still.” Use your authority in God’s word to fight every battle.

Prayer

Lord, I (we) welcome you and praise your Holy name. I (we) thank you for your love, guidance and protection. Thank you for watching over my (our) family and friends. I (we) pray that you will open the hearts of those who are lost.  Protect our country and this nation and may you bless the world leaders with wisdom and guidance. I (we) ask that you will lead me (us) through victory and that I (we) may turn (my) our heart(s) to you in repentance. Renew my (our) mind(s) so that I (we) can be who you called me (us) to be.

In Jesus Name, Amen.

Psalm 91

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

Surely he will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
    and see the punishment of the wicked.

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
    and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
    no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
    you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 “Because he[b] loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”

The Labyrinth of Life

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16 I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
    along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
    and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do;
    I will not forsake them.

Isaiah 42:16

Do you feel that you’re on a road to nowhere? That life has pushed you down a twisted path that is based on poor choices and decisions and uncontrolled circumstances determined by external sources?

The more effort you put into your life, the more energy is sucked out of you. No matter what you try to do seems to work. Even though you may feel like you will never get to your destination, your life is constantly being diverted and misdirected. From dead ends, left turns and wrong turns that lead to right turns, it’s like a labyrinth of frustration, confusion, aggravation, not to mention stress. You may feel like a rat on a wheel, running to nowhere.

Just because you can’t see a way out, doesn’t mean there isn’t one. The forced direction that you experience, may possibly be how the Lord orders and directs your steps. With each twist and turn, the Lord is guiding your steps to the purpose and plan he has for your life. Who said life was easy? It’s not a direct shot even for the best of us. Some people may have less turns than others, yet we will hopefully end up exactly where we need to be.

Before you make a decision, you should always check your spirit. Do you have peace about your decision? Does something feel off? Do you feel nervous, tension or afraid?

The Holy Spirit guides you with a sense of peace. He offers wisdom and guidance. Do not ignore your intuition. That is the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Fear can be very tricky because it can be a warning sign prior to danger, but it can also be a false alarm from satan himself. Either way, fear is not of God and you must learn to test the spirit prior to making any decision.

No matter where you are on your journey, keep on moving. God is not the master of confusion and He did not create you for failure. If you get tired and weary along the way, take a break or just pause for a minute (praise break), recharge your battery (meditate on scriptures) and walk in faith (prayer).

The Lord has the ultimate blueprint and knows what He’s doing even if you don’t. He has the ultimate global positioning system (GPS). Let Him lead the way because He will never lead you wrong. “He will lead you by the still waters.” Psalm 23:2

 But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.  Proverbs 4:18

 

 

Embracing New Beginnings

 

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Photo Credit:  commons.wikimedia.org

 22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.  23 They are new every morning;
    great is thy faithfulness.  Lam 3:22-23

As we enter a new year, it is refreshing to start again. When the sun rises, it promises us a new day to anticipate and expect positive changes in our lives.  We gain enthusiasm and motivation to begin new projects, set new goals and even finish tasks that we didn’t quite finish last year.

On the other hand, you may wake up in discouragement, resentment, regret, worry or fear. You may not have the excitement or motivation to even get out of bed. You just want to pull the covers over your head and hide from the world because you just don’t want to deal with all the crap that life brings your way. It may feel it’s pointless to begin again because you have not seen the fruits of your labor or experienced laughter, happiness or joy in a long time. In every problem, there is an opportunity. We must see our problems with spiritual eyes.  In the Bible it states, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalms 30:5

Whatever season you may be experiencing, you must remember that it is only for a season. The uncomfortable situation or circumstance you’re facing is not impossible with God. The foundation of the Word of God promises us that we are overcomers despite all the challenges and obstacles we face.

Subconsciously, it feels like the month of January seems to set off how well the year will turn out. We must constantly put our thoughts and perspectives in check. We may get anxious about what we will encounter in the New Year. It’s very easy to lean towards negativity, self-doubt and fear. Our mindset must be elevated so we can produce and achieve those anticipated goals, visions and dreams that we hold in hearts. We should enter a new year with clarity and a peaceful spirit.  We can set the pace with our ability to control our thoughts. “Take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ Jesus.” 2 Corth 10:5

It all begins with the choices we make each day. We must follow through in obedience. We should listen to instructions, take heed to suggestions and receive wise counsel when needed. The smallest steps can make a big difference in the final outcome. Do we allow the weather to determine our mood? Or, do we allow negative people affect our whole day? We have power over our emotions and behavior with what we allow to influence our lives. If you didn’t like how your year went last year or the year before, you can analyze what went wrong and try to change it.

Some things that happen to us is out of our control, but we can look forward with hope knowing that nothing in life remains the same. As long as we hold onto hope, we can overcome. “Let us glory in tribulation also knowing that tribulation works patience; and patience, experience, and experience hope: And hope makes us not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Romans 5:3-5

One more thing we should consider, we should not be overwhelmed with all the demands in life.  Live in the moment. Live on purpose. Sometimes we just need to slow down. The constant flow of instant gratification and instant information at our fingertips destroys our ability to wait. We must learn patience. Learn to do what we can with the time that is given to us. We must learn to be good stewards of our time. “Be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” Heb 6:12

Cheers to new beginnings!

 

Additional Scripture References:

2 Peter 1:4-11

Isaiah 43:19

Lam 3

 

Wings of Freedom

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Photo Credit: laur720.deviantart.com

 

“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.” Psalm 100:1-2

As we step into 2015, we hold great expectation and goals for the New Year. We anticipate change whether good or bad, but either way we go forward with hope or anxiety entering into the unknown.

As we confess our resolutions, plans and goals, we may feel overwhelmed, yet hopeful of what is to come. However, we often put a time limit on success. When we don’t meet those expectations, we experience disappoint and we feel like a failure.

We live in a time-based society. We are consumed by hectic schedules and unrealistic demands. The Lord is not limited to time. He orchestrates our lives according to His intricate plan for our lives. He plants the right connections, family, friends, enemies, challenges, obstacles, struggles and experiences in our lives for a purpose. Some people are just for a season while others are rooted in our lives for longevity. “Each experience is not a result of luck or coincidence. It is the result of His divine plan. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jer 29:11.

The ups, as well as the downs, are part of our development and growth process. It doesn’t take much to praise God in the easy times. However, when we are locked into bondage, it is hard to trust, praise, read the Bible and rest in the Lord.

We all have different prisons: A failed marriage, a friend or family member who has committed suicide or has died in a tragic accident, depression, drugs or alcohol addictions, poverty, job loss, a natural disaster aftermath or terminal illness. We struggle with our identities:  Low confidence, self-esteem issues, jealousy, competitiveness, egos and status. We may even be in a good place in life, but still feel like we can’t breathe; stuck in routine and trapped in mediocrity.

All of our life issues sends us on an emotional rollercoaster ride that is rooted in fear, anxieties, abuse, torment, confusion, isolation, procrastination, temptation, sadness and discouragement.

When we have negative feelings and experiences, it sucks our energy dry. We are stagnate and idle. We are unable to focus or can’t seem to move forward.

The best thing to do when you have moments of despair is to praise the Lord no matter how hard it may be. I know this sounds crazy, but it’s true.

However, if you are dealing with serious issues such as a chemical substance or physical, verbal, emotional or sexual abuse, you will need to seek rehab and/or counseling immediately.

All throughout the Bible, music is emphasized. The whole chapter of Psalms exhorts the Lord. The Lord inhabits the praises of His people. It is the best way to get God’s attention. This is a form of worship and communication with God that builds relationship not only in the good times but in the worst of times.

Satan’s desire is to shut our mouth in prayer and worship. His whole goal is to steal our joy, hope, faith and truth. He wars with us to establish lies into our minds and hearts. However, where God is present the devil can’t reside. Where there is light, darkness is obliterated.

Do you ever notice when you listen to music you start to feel better when you’re down? Music speaks to our soul. It is powerful force. It stirs up emotions. When we listen to worship music it lifts our spirit. It encourages and inspires us. It gives us hope to go on. When you sing to the Lord, you open your heart to Him. You rejoice in his love, grace and mercy. Even through pain, you begin the healing process.

It’s not about how we feel inside when we are singing or listening to music, but it’s because of who God is that makes worship so special and powerful. When you magnify Him, your problems become smaller and you enlarge His territory to work in your life. Your focus in now on the solution and not the problem.

Whatever trouble or prison you may be in, open your mouth and shout unto the Lord for He is worthy to be praised. “Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song.” Psalm 95:2

We are transformed by His power. He has kept us under the safety of His wings. We are released from whatever is holding us back once we renew our minds and align our thoughts with God’s thoughts. This is a season of action and redemption. Accept no limitations as we move forward in faith with high expectation in this New Year.

In 2015, receive God’s promises and blessings for you and your family.

Singing praises to the King, we are set free, in Jesus Name.

“And at midnight, Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundation of the prison were shaken and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bands were loosed.” Acts 16:25-26.

“Thou has turned my mourning into dancing thou has put off my sackcloth and girded me with gladness.” Psalm 30:11

The Greatest Christmas Presence

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Photo Credit: Christmasstockimages.com

During this season, we are busy preparing for the biggest day of the year: Baking cookies, stringing lights on the tree, attending Christmas parties, going shopping and wrapping presents.

Christmas can also be a very depressing and lonely time of the year for many. While family and friends gather together, many are left alone. Others are left without gifts, food or shelter. Others may have lost a loved one and Christmas is just not the same anymore.  It can crush someone’s spirit when they don’t feel joy and cannot celebrate as other’s do.

Jesus cares. It’s through Him that we share His same spirit to help and assist one another in life. A kind word, a hug, a listening ear, a warm touch or simply a smile can heal unspoken wounds or silent tears.

Jesus is with you in the most desperate of times. His name, “Emmanuel” means God with us. Yes, we may ignore his presence when everything is going great in our lives, but He never leaves us regardless if we acknowledge him or not. He patiently waits for us to come to Him. He is patient and kind and loves us more than we will ever know.

Through all the exciting festivities, I challenge you to take time out during the holiday season to focus on the reason for the season which is the birth of Christ. The Lord sent His Son for our salvation which is the greatest gift in the world. His presence is forever with us. We are part of His heavenly family once we acknowledge Him and accept Him into our hearts as our Lord and Savior.

I-pads, tablets, iphones, the latest video games or flat screen TV’s will never compare. Jesus is the greatest Christmas presence ever known.

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immaneul.” Isaiah 7:14

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”  Luke 2:14