Love, Joy, Hope, And Peace Continues After Christmas For The Believer

red lighted candle
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How was Christmas day for you? I know it can be a hard time for some. Apologies for such a negative intro to this post. Truth be told, I have mixed feelings about the season; for the bad feelings, my reasons are threefold; firstly, some of you may know that I lost my son, Tom Luke, over three and a half years ago, and I wonder what he would be up to now. And, It’s hard not to feel robbed of my son’s life, he should be here with us, with me (his mum), dad, and baby sister. Secondly, I’ve always been an introvert, so having to come out of my warm and cozy shell, to visit people, is not easy. Lastly, having worked in retail for many years, I know all too well the ugly, rude, and downright horrible side of the season.

What I do love about Christmas is that it’s a time of hope. The music can be annoying (primarily if you work with the public). But, there is a joy and expectation of goodness contained within the music. Thankfully, as followers of Jesus, joy, and hope aren’t missing from our lives, simply because the Yuletide is over. We also have peace and love because of what Christ has done for us, consider what the Lord says in this verse. “I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27

I love how Jesus communicates to us that the peace the world has to offer is nothing like the peace He gives us. Another verse that I cherish and think of often, and, again speaks of peace, not of this earth is Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

When I reflect on the person I was before getting saved, I can’t help but be thankful to the Lord for what He has accomplished in my life, He continues to renew me every day. Consider the fruit of the Holy Spirit as depicted in Galatians 5: 22-26

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other”.

We can walk in step with the Spirit and bear the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control, we can show goodwill towards others because Jesus has dealt with our sins on the cross. We can have this all year round, and not just on Christmas, we are very privileged people.

I hope that you continue to make the most of the celebrations, God bless,

Lisa

 

 

 

 

 

When Life Is Hard As A Christian, Here’s What You Can Do

photo of person walking on deserted island
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As a follower of Jesus, your journey, through life, in this broken world, will be challenging, demoralizing, and confusing at times. We are to be in the world but not of the world, and getting the balance right can be difficult.

The values of this world are not the same as God’s values, sadly, those of this world, believe that to be successful in life, they have to rely on their own strength, and step on others if necessary; bullying is Commonplace, love has grown cold, and the Bible indeed says that “the love of money is the root of all evil.” As God’s people, like Christ, we are to be the light of the world, that does not mean that we’re going to be loved, accepted, or listened to. People will not readily accept the gospel, we will be mocked, lose friendships, family, and even worse, yet, we are called to endure all things (1Cor 13:7)

sunset love lake resort
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If You Feel Like A Stranger In This World As A Christian, Count It All Joy 

Speaking from personal experience, I often feel like a stranger in my own land, I feel like I just don’t belong, and it used to bother me. But, since my walk with the Lord has increased over the years, I count it all joy, for I know that the “joy of the Lord is my strength” (Nehemiah 8:10) and I know “that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11) and this gives me so much hope and peace when I encounter trials.

One of the things I love about being a Christian is that I no longer have to feel accepted by the world. I don’t care who likes me or who doesn’t like me, and, I know that even if everybody in the world rejected me, God still loves me and He sent his only begotten son to die for me on a cross, I have the greatest love of all – I have Jesus.

scenic view of mountains under cloudy sky
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Learn To Relinquish Control And Give It To Jesus

I genuinely believe that the expression “soldiering on” is about Christians, as God’s people, we are to be an army and be prepared for the spiritual battles that lie ahead. Our training can involve enduring the wilderness, we can often feel helpless, not spiritual. But I really believe in those times, God is trying to show us that we cannot rely upon ourselves. The whole point of this exercise is to reveal our weak state, to learn to relinquish control, and to transfer the trust we have in ourselves over to Him.

Remember That God Is Always Faithful

I am so thankful that my God is always faithful, I know that I stand on solid ground with His promises. I hope that anyone who reads my blog will take something away from it and that in some small way, it will be an encouragement to anyone who doesn’t feel like they have what it takes to stand firm, nobody has what it takes, and thankfully it’s not about us, it’s about Christ, He gives us strength.

 

God bless,

Lisa

When The Intentions Of Others Are Not Good, What Can You Do As A Christian?

If you have ever had to be on the receiving end of snarky remarks and passive-aggressive behaviors, you know how hurtful and discouraging it can be. Whatever you do, don’t believe for one minute that it comes from a place of love, or that the person means well. The person more than likely doesn’t mean well and is intentional about trying to tear you down with not-so-subtle jabs.

These people make you feel like your opinion doesn’t matter, that they are all-knowing and wise, you must live your life to please them. They are critical about your life choices on parenting, work, study, friendships, and so on, you’ll never do anything right, according to them. This type of bullying can quickly be done by those closest to you, who gas-light you by trying to convince you that they only have good intentions as if it’s just a loving concern for your life.

They do not have good intentions, acknowledge this negativity towards you for what it is; it’s a way for the person to get in your head and control you, it’s emotional abuse – the bible warns us about the hearts of men…

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

Luke 6:45 speaks of what is truly in the heart of sinful man…

“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”

This type of negativity is a sin. Don’t make excuses for the person, and whatever you do, do not take ownership of it. Leave the toxicity where it belongs – squarely with the wrongdoer and lean into the Lord. He will take care of the situation if you put your trust in him.

Do not retaliate, if standing up for yourself is not an option, keep your distance and spend time with God, He will renew your strength and…

 “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good”(Romans12:21)

Pray for them, and pray for yourself that you do not turn out like them.

Remember that snarks and childish, passive-aggressive behavior has no place in God’s kingdom. Godly people encourage others and build them up.