Tag Archive | peace

Faith facts

Hi friends, it’s been one of those weeks! Suddenly so many things seem to be in turmoil and as a friend of mine said..the enemy is good at making even things that are blessings seem to be curses! When we face challenges, we may feel discouraged, we may feel overwhelmed but we must never ever let go of faith. Faith helps us meet life’s circumstances with certainty and affirmation that God has supreme control of the outcome..so let’s look at eight encouraging faith facts. I pray that this short study will encourage you as it has me.

1. Faith is the shield that protects us from the potentially damaging effects of the various onslaughts we face. Depression, anger, fear and anxiety come as a natural response to oppressive circumstances but we can flip the switch, pick up the shield of faith and push them back! Better yet, don’t ever put it down! Be always ready!2. Faithfulness is a fruit of the Spirit. You see it’s not about sheer willpower, if the Spirit of God lives in you Faith is already there ready for use! Oranges can’t come from apple trees. You’ve got faith!!!3. Faith must be nourished. How? By focusing on God’s word. If your soul is aching or burdened.. read and internalize faith-building scriptures each day. Doing this along with prayer, worship and fellowship..will be like medicine to remedy our aching souls. Ro 10:174. Workout your faith!! Exercise and build your faith muscles during hard times. Our actions should speak to the fact that we have faith. Don’t let apathy move in. Get up and work in Faith! No money for that big project yet? Start small with what you have. With prayer and faith, work your mustard seed and watch God grow it into a tree!5. Faith attracts God! While you’re dealing with a seemingly insurmountable task or challenge..work at it with all your heart towards God. God loves to see faith and He rewards it! 6. In the end you will shine!!! So work with endurance! Work through it knowing that whatever happens, God will bring you through as beautiful and refined like gold. Don’t let discouragement and depression win.  Job 23:107. Our faith is valuable! So much more than just temporal, so much more than just something to help us cope with circumstances this side of heaven. It is so valuable that it has eternal weight and glory! 

8. Faith leads us into to godly rest where even though we work, we do not strive to make things happen or to bring about the outcome we desire! When we believe, we can rest. Rest in the fact that God has this! He will provide, He will see that the outcome is for good. As the word says, let us make every effort to enter His rest! Faith leads us to rest! Heb 4I don’t know what you’re facing but God wants you to know that He sees and honors your faith. So be encouraged, surrender the outcome to God and raise up your shield of faith! Have a great weekend.

By Carol-angel Jackson

(Click photos for photo sources)

In Christ alone!!!

  
Life is so beautiful! Yes, there are peaks and valleys, losses and gains and often many hard knocks. These experiences may try to lead us down a path of worry and fear..but when we wrap it all up in Christ, we can win over worry and have perfect peace. 
Here are four common road blocks that can cause us to stumble and how we can kick them to the curb through the power of Christ in us!

The waiting game –

You may be praying for healing for yourself, a loved one or a relationship. Financial breakthrough may be long in coming. A business idea or a dream you have may not yet be fulfilled..and it’s been yearrrrrs. Or maybe you don’t think you are making sufficient progress in your Christian walk. 

Sometimes it feels as if nothing is happening but take heart..Christ is always working and He always finishes what he starts. He is the Alpha and Omega, He’s at the beginning and sees things through to the end so we need not worry when things seem to be at a standstill. We can lay hold of peace knowing that Christ in us began a good work and He will be faithful to complete it!

Lack –

Don’t look at what you don’t have in the natural..set your spiritual eyes on all that you have in Christ!!! 

The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hands John 3:35 

When we are in Christ we have all things because He has all things. We can have access to His all-sufficiency through prayer and relationship with Him. Let’s read His words daily and let them sink into our hearts..then ask according to His word and see great things happen!!!

John 15:7(NKJV) If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

Relationship difficultiesProv 16:7 The Message (MSG) When God approves of your life, even your enemies will end up shaking your hand.

Don’t you just love this promise? When we dwell in Christ and seek to do His will daily, God will make even our enemies live at peace with us. Many of us can testify to this!! God is a peace-maker. He can either change that spouse or difficult boss or relative..or change us, giving us such love for them that they are converted by our love. Christ in us is the one who at the height of His pain said ..”Father forgive them.” As we do His will, He will bring peace to our relationships!! 

Fear of the unknown –

Regardless of what our past experiences have been…when we are in Christ we can settle in ourselves that everything that comes our way is filtered through Christ first. We are completely hidden in Him and covered in His love, wisdom and power. While we physically live in this world, we dwell in Christ’s world! He holds, keeps and shields us!

Colossians 3:1-4 (NKJV) If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 

So let’s do a little word maths here?  Being in Christ = perfect love = no fear = perfect peace! 

Whether or not you’re a huge maths brain, that equation is one we can all definitely grasp!!!  So if you’re stuck in a pit of fear and worry we want to invite you to pursue these truth with us daily.

Let’s pray together: Lord I ask you to dwell in me so that all that you are and all that you have is mine! I want to dwell in your perfect love which casts out all fear. I want to win over worry and have your perfect peace so that others may see you in me and be changed, glorifying our Father in heaven. In Jesus’ name..Amen!

Click to enjoy this beautiful worship song In Christ Alone
Have a great week everyone!

By Carol-angel Jackson & Adrian Reid.

Rejoice In The Now

2014-03-17 13.05.42

Before – The Mess

IMG_20150125_085934

After – The End Product

Recently I was looking at pictures my husband and I had taken when we were doing some construction at our house. The same rooms that we now sit in and enjoy, once did not exist. More so, I was reminded of the process to get from nothing to something. There was the preparation and the first brick. There was mess, unpainted walls, no ceiling, no windows and it seemed as though the construction would never end. Sometimes it is difficult to imagine that there is life outside of the mess. Even when the physical building was finished, it had to be cleaned out, tiled and painted.  Now it is just a part of life. Every time I open the door, I don’t think back to when it was just a former shell and a mess. I know that it was but it does not occupy my thoughts. I simply marvel at what exists now.

“I—yes, I alone—will blot out your sins for my own sake
and will never think of them again.

Isaiah 43:25 (NLT)

 “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.

Isaiah 43:25 (NIV)

How is it possible for God to remember no more when it seems our messes and processes are always before us? How do we get to a place where we understand that God marvels at what exists in us now and He does not dwell on what it took to get us here? This applies to life before salvation and also to the  mistake we made yesterday. Life does not happen in a straight, smooth line and we will make mistakes along the way but His forgiveness is given freely and it is complete. Even when we do not forgive ourselves.

Peter denied Christ. Three times. After declaring his allegiance. Even after he had foreknowledge of the situation and was sure it would not happen. Peter was ashamed and in tears. (Matt 28:27)

I don’t know if on the day of Pentecost as Peter stood and addressed thousands, if he was thinking back on his previous mistakes and wondering why he was now in this position.  You see, God did not base his future on what had happened in the past. Peter’s purpose could have been circumvented had he decided that his mistake was too great to recover from and that he would no longer try.  Peter was a mainstay in the early church.  (Matt 16:18)

Hands up if you have EVER been in the midst of a self-made mess. Have you given it to God to clean it out, fix it up and marvel at what exists now?

and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.

Isaiah 61:3 (NIV)

Live in the beauty that is God’s restoration.  Regrets can blind us and cause us not to appreciate what has been given to us. If all I thought about the new construction was how it used to be, I would not be able to appreciate what it is now.

Leave the past where it is. It cannot be changed and it was a part of the process.

Know Him as a forgiving God, whether you are looking at your mess or someone else’s

Have a great week sisters. Bask in His love and live in His joy.

Marisse Cropper

Lead me to the Rock

2015/01/img_1271.jpg

Ps 61:2 From the end of the earth will I cry unto Thee when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

This week was tough, in fact it’s been a rough season. Sometimes it seems as if there is no end to bad news and you have to be determined to find the good. Then there are those days where everything collides, the physical, mental and emotional and it almost seems too much to bear.

My heart goes out to all the families and the whole nation of St. Vincent, rocked by the terrible bus tragedy this past week, in which 7 children died. My heart aches for a longtime school friend whose family was also struck by tragedy around the same time in St. Lucia..very few things compare in magnitude to losing loved ones and as a parent of two children who are my heart, I couldn’t imagine what it would feel like to lose both of my boys at the same time..as has happened to parents in both of these situations.

Jesus said in John 16:33 (NKJV) – These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

I love this verse because of the truth it expounds…a truth that sets us free. Having tribulation doesn’t in any way negate the truth that we can have peace and that we can be of good cheer..because Jesus HAS overcome!!! They are all in the same promise. So the same way we can expect that there will be tribulation, we can expect peace and cheerfulness.

These do not come easily. The human nature is prone to worry, despair and our hearts can faint under the weight of tribulation, loss, sad news, dissapointments and world crises. We MUST go to the ROCK that is higher. His perspective is elevated, His ways are higher, He is over this world and has overcome it!!

As Matthew Henry’s Commentary states..”To the rock on the top of which I shall be set further out of the reach of my troubles, and nearer the serene and quiet region, than I can be by any power or wisdom of my own.” God’s power and promise are a rock that is higher than we. This rock is Christ; those are safe that are in him. We cannot get upon this rock unless God by his power lead us. I will put thee in the cleft of the rock, Exod. 33:22. We should therefore by faith and prayer put ourselves under the divine management, that we may be taken under the divine protection.”

When we run to Him and embrace His life, His perspective, His strength and comfort..our hearts are truly lifted.

I pray today for those families, I pray for my own family and I pray for yours that in these difficult times, we will have true peace and joy that comes from knowing Christ and meditating on the truth of His word. As we meditate..may it change our minds, our hearts and our language.

As my good friend said to me today..we must speak life into situations…though they may be bad..it is not the end, it’s NEVER hopeless.

Be encouraged my sisters!!
Listen to “Still” by Hillsong

By Carol-angel Jackson

Two or Three

20140719-192450-69890600.jpg
(photo credit: http://www.theignorantfishermen.com)

Matthew 18:20 (NKJV)
20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

God loves to dwell in the midst of the unity and togetherness of His people and His Spirit joins believers together despite age, gender, social class or ethnicity. Even if we’ve never met before, there’s that bond of peace that connects us as brothers and sisters.

My eyes were opened to this so amazingly again as recently I was asked by a friend in ministry to accommodate a friend of theirs as they travelled through Barbados on business.

Although we had never met before the fellowship I experienced with this lady was so wonderful and refreshing that it was unmistakably evident that God’s Spirit works between His people..even though we may be “strangers” in the flesh. In Christ however, we aren’t strangers because of that common bond and link. The very same Spirit that dwells in her is in me also.

He used her to minister to me and remind me of His promises and as we prayed together one evening we sensed the presence of the Spirit of God so powerfully that all we could do was worship Him.

I want to encourage you today not to forsake fellowshipping together with God’s people. Whether you meet at church or in each other’s homes, or in the coffee shop..meet together and pray and watch the Spirit of God move in your midst. Be open to God and His unconventional ways as He is not restricted to moving within the four walls of a church building. He can move powerfully among us anywhere we meet in our twos or threes.

Have a blessed weekend!

By Carol-Angel Jackson

Today and Tomorrow

Encouragement for today.

Matthew 6:25-34
New International Version (NIV)
Do Not Worry

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

What is a woman made to be?

945302_87026756[1](2)

Galatians 3:26-29

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. NKJV

Part 1- The Ranking of a Woman of God

Let’s remove the illusions, coverings and lies that are placed on what a woman should be- the things that our present society tells her would make her happy.

When God looks at his creation, He looks at ‘one’.  Yes, God has designed us physically different from men but our hearts are to be no different.  The man of God’s heart and the woman of God’s heart ought to long for, desire, run after, believe and live the same things- and those things are the ways, laws, principles and commands of God.  The scripture says no male or female because God is looking at our hearts. 

Since it’s the heart that’s the focus of God, then we have to understand that a woman of God is made to be one who has a heart that loves God’s commands, walks in His principles and is obedient to them.  This obedience to God can be seen in the way we submit to the ranking or positioning God has put us into.

While we are to have the same heart as a man of God, that does not toss out the reality that God is a God of order and has placed women in a position within His creation. The same way God gave order to the heavens, earth and all that is in them He gave order to the placement of a woman. The woman was put in an order within the creation- after the man.

Gen 2:20-22 But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him. 21 And the Lord caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. NKJV

This is why God gave us the body as an example.  When we look at our bodies, we see that it has many parts but operates still as one unit.  As the whole body is called to function under one head and work together, so too is the ‘woman of God’ called to work under the authority that is over her. If she is married, she gives that authority to her husband, who comes under the authority of God.  If the woman is young and not married she comes under the authority of her father, who comes under the authority of God.  If a woman leaves her father’s house of her own free will, or she is a widow or divorced, she comes under the authority of God, Himself. 

Despite the circumstance, throughout her life, a woman of God is to operate under God’s authority as she submits to the authority He has placed over her.  Knowing this order helps us as women or daughters of God not to get frustrated but operate with wisdom, knowledge and understanding.

I remember when I first got married and the reality hit me that I could no longer decide to do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it.  It was a time of learning to respect and honor the authority of my husband who had been given by God.  Then just as I was getting that aspect under wraps, I got pregnant and entered into a new era of submitting to my husband’s decisions towards our children.  Sometimes I did not totally agree with a disciplinary measure but in submitting and learning to accept that he is the head of our family helped me greatly. The fact that it would always turn out that he was correct in his assessment of the situation did not hurt either.  I think that knowing that my husband is a man of God who wants the best for his family really made it easy for me to submit to him.

Anytime I felt strongly about a position he took and that it needed adjusting in some way, there was always a place for private conversation where my husband would listen to me and take my concerns seriously to the point of adjusting his position or helping me see how to adjust mine.  This is one of the things I love about my husband- he always listens to what I have to say.  In this way we’ve never had quarrels or big outbursts.  Following the order God has set brings peace, joy, clarity and productivity.

How has submitting to the order of God helped you grow as a woman of God? Leave us a comment below – we would love to know your thoughts and experiences!

Next week we will look more specifically at the characteristics God desires for us women to have.

By Tammy S. Williams