Tag Archives: encouragement

Seasons in life

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

We all undergo different seasons in life and at different times to others. In these seasons it could feel lonely because we may feel or believe that we are the only ones in this current situation. This could very well be true, to the degree of your surroundings at least, however the fact that our situation is unique and tailored to us at a specific time is proof that the Jesus himself is walking through the current situation with us. We may not be surrounded by people that understand completely how it feels to be in our situation but neither can you put your feet in someone else’s shoes due to the fact that everybody’s situation is different and has been predetermined by God before the beginning. “also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,” Ephesians 1:11.

Covetousness

<p value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">In this world we are given the illusion that we have been manufactured with an internal clock that determines the time of which certain situations are due to occur in your lives. Biologically this may be the case but ask yourself when has this limited God? I believe comparison robs us of the peace and contentment we could be experiencing in the unique time we may find ourselves. In <strong>Deuteronomy 20:17</strong> the Israelites were pre-warned to not covet anything that belonged to their neighbour;<em><strong> "You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."</strong></em> I believe that the reason behind this command is because God knew that as fleshly humans we would have the tendency to compare our situations, belongings or character with our neighbour, thus causing us to covet and robbing ourselves of happiness. Have you ever realised how someone may be happy with a salary until they realise that a colleague of the same level is getting paid more? This is robbery in its classic form, because we have failed to know that there may always be someone better looking, smarter or richer than we may be, but that doesn't take away the value of what we have in Christ.In this world we are given the illusion that we have been manufactured with an internal clock that determines the time of which certain situations are due to occur in your lives. Biologically this may be the case but ask yourself when has this limited God? I believe comparison robs us of the peace and contentment we could be experiencing in the unique time we may find ourselves. In Deuteronomy 20:17 the Israelites were pre-warned to not covet anything that belonged to their neighbour; “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” I believe that the reason behind this command is because God knew that as fleshly humans we would have the tendency to compare our situations, belongings or character with our neighbour, thus causing us to covet and robbing ourselves of happiness. Have you ever realised how someone may be happy with a salary until they realise that a colleague of the same level is getting paid more? This is robbery in its classic form, because we have failed to know that there may always be someone better looking, smarter or richer than we may be, but that doesn’t take away the value of what we have in Christ.

Learn to be content

Paul says in Philippians 4:11 that he had acquired contentment; “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” In this scripture I believe Paul is not saying to wallow in your situation, in fact he is saying learn from them and pray whilst you’re in the midst. He continues in verse 4:12 saying; “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Notice the word “learned” this tells me that this wasn’t always the case for him, that the fact that he is content in every situation could almost be described as a skill he had acquired. Words like these implies that this is something we can ask the Lord for in prayer. This reminds me of the bold father that had a son that was demon possessed, and he cried out to Jesus asking him to help him overcome his unbelief (Mark 9:24). He wasn’t ashamed to make such a request. We too as children of God can also ask to receive.

Blessings,

Nathalie

This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it

Lately the Lord has been laying on my heart to rejoice and be grateful in whatever situation I am in. This was further impressed on my heart by the book of Jeremiah of which I am currently reading. In Jeremiah 32:41 the Lord says “ I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul”. If you have read the prophecies that preceded this message from the Lord it could almost be described as a light in a very dark tunnel. The Israelites had sinned against the Lord and therefore incurred punishment, a very serious one at that. However in midst of the prophecy of recompense, God is instilling hope upon his people, that even though they are about to enter into turmoil, God is already speaking of his plans to bless and restore them.

How do we respond to a word from God

Now what did the Israelites do with this information? Well they ignored the prophecies. They were only interested in the false prophets that prophesied against Jeremiah and told them how the Lord will not bring judgement through the Babylonians, but will bless them instead. This brought to mind the scripture of 2 Timothy 4:3; “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear”. Is this not happening today? Do we really go church to hear both positive AND negative reports? Or do we actually just want to hear that God will bless us with a house, marriage and a great paying job. As believers we need to be able to accept the good as well as the bad, thus remaining in humility. Think of it this way if we were perfect we would have joined God in heaven by now. However the fact we are still here means that God is still working in us through his grace.

Faith = Endurance

How you respond to trouble determines your endurance. A mind governed by fear and anxiety will not last very long as this is a detriment to your own body. However a mind filled with hope no matter the situation not only demonstrates faith but also encourages God to act on your behalf. In Matthew 6:25-27 it says;  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? 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?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Here the Lord himself is not only telling us not to worry but telling us that “life” which is Christ, is more important in other words this world and everything in it will pass away but the word of God (which is Christ) will never pass away,(Matthew 24:25) (Isaiah 51:6) therefore focus on this. A question to ponder; why do we still struggle with this, could it be a trust issue?

“How you respond to trouble determines your endurance..”

Summary

In this post I have touched on a few points on our take as believers to situations that are constantly changing around us. And something to make us ponder on what we are actually anchoring ourselves to. I do this often to myself in questioning thoughts and feeling’s that may pass through my mind thus constantly pulling down strongholds and making it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4).

Blessings

Nathalie