Life Overwhelming

In John 10:10, Jesus stated that He had come so we could have life and have it abundantly.  Of course, the words of Jesus are total truth, but there are time in which it seems I have life overwhelming rather than life abundantly.  How about you?

Even at its best, life is unpredictable.  We never know what unexpected circumstances will arise needing our attention.  However, even when it is not great, life comes from God, and there are always aspects for which we can be thankful.

A Horrible Day

Often, we have one of those days that just seems off somehow.  Nothing happened that we could not handle, but it just seemed that a few limits had been pushed.  Some days, you and I can be out of sorts and not be sure of the cause.  Jesus is still Lord even on those days.  His grace is sufficient on those “off” days.  Furthermore, He cares about those off days, and we are free to bring them to Him asking for grace.

life 2Unfortunately, there are days that are just horrible no matter how you look at them.  Various circumstances or events can be the cause.  A bad report from a doctor, the death of a friend or loved one, the loss of a job, receiving divorce papers, or a variety of other negative events can change our lives in nearly a split second.  Jesus is still Lord in these times and circumstances.  He is in control.  Of course, knowing He is in control can lead to questions.  How can a loving God allow these things to happen?

No matter how overwhelming life becomes, we can still go to Jesus for healing and restoration.  Even if the circumstances are not that horrible, we can still go to Him and allow Him to take our frustrations.  There is nothing too big or too small for His care.

Dealing with the Overwhelming

There is no perfect, cut and dried answer that I can give you as to ways you can deal with life when it becomes too much.  All I know is that I have learned in every circumstance to go directly to God in prayer.  When I fail to do this, I usually end up taking matters into my own hands.  As a result, a mess of my own making usually occurs.

When life is overwhelming and problems seem to come at you in droves, it can be tempting to take matters into your own hands.  It can be tempting to make rash decisions that bring temporary relief.  1 Corinthians 10:13 reminds us that all temptations we face are common to other people.  In other words, other people have been where you are.  We are also reminded that God provides ways of escape through temptation.  As a result, you can run to Him when you are tempted to allow daily life to awaken every negative emotion you possess.  Mercy Seat 2

If you have had an unusually horrible day, or, if you have simply had an irritating day, go to the Lord and ask Him to help you learn from the experience.  If you are facing grief, find someone to talk with who can help you through the process.  God gave other people to help carry our burdens.  Ask those God has placed in your life for help, then, when the time comes, be willing to be of help to others.

Stubborn Versus Teachable (An Excerpt from “Overcomer”)

Have you ever been around a stubborn person? Perhaps you have obstinate tendencies yourself. I have experienced both. I have been around people who refuse instruction of any type, and I have been that stubborn person. The irony has been that I get so exasperated when dealing with an extremely stubborn person yet I conveniently forget that I can be obstinate in my own right. Neither scenario is pleasant.

Sadly, many people who are stubborn simply cannot see that flaw in themselves yet they can detect it in another person. Human nature can be hypocritical, but I will not go there since we discussed hypocrisy in the previous chapter.

Determination Is Needed

Joy 3Everyone needs determination to stand steadfast and avoid deceit from the enemy. Determination and stubbornness are different although the line can be fine. Determination is the God-given will to grow spiritually with the drive needed to press through challenges and difficult situations. Stubbornness is being unteachable and never willing to learn anything new because you are set in your ways.
When I was a child, I was very head-strong and willful. I was determined to have my own way and was convinced that no one could tell me what to do. How wrong I was! I am sure I helped contribute to gray hair for my mother’s head, but the Lord gave her the determination she needed to guide me to the correct my path. My grandmother told my mother that some of my willfulness was good because it would keep me from allowing people to take advantage of me. I believe this gave my mother some peace about my strong personality.

Flexibility Is a Must

Even if you have stubborn tendencies, you can remain teachable and flexible to the degree that God can mold you. That is where the deliverance lies for the stubborn person. Fortunately, when I gave my life to the Lord, my zeal to live to give Him glory helped me to see where obstinance could hinder my relationship with Him. I began to realize that I would have to crucify the flesh in that area of my life. If you struggle in this same area, you will begin to experience freedom when you realize that you must be pliable and moldable to God. We are not winning by remaining stubborn when we need to yield.belief featured image

When we yield to stubbornness, we have a strong tendency to believe we know everything and have nothing to learn from other people. That is a dangerous place to be in our lives! We block God’s hand from moving on our behalf as well as hindering our relationships with others.
Certainly, I am not saying that we should become doormats for other people and allow them to dictate our lives. We just need to remain flexible, asking the Holy Spirit to guide us as to when we need to stand firm on an issue or be humble. It is a great challenge for the strong personality type, but we can do all things through Christ.

Upcoming Bible Class

On December 31, 2018, I will be leading a Bible class on a Facebook group.  The topic is “Emotional Eating”, and, along with the Bible, Barb Raveling’s study Freedom from Emotional Eating will be the resource.

If you are interested in taking this course, please click here and request to join the group.

You will need to purchase Barb’s study, Freedom From Emotional Eating, available on Amazon in both kindle and paperback format.  Either choice is inexpensive.  Click here to purchase the study.

 

Just Ask

Are you unsure of the direction you need to take in a certain area of your life?  Do you need to know the best way to deal with a difficult person or situation?  There are a great number of situations in which we find ourselves that require divine wisdom from God.  The solutions to our problems are not always obvious.  Often, they require that we hear from the Holy Spirit.

If You Lack Wisdom

James 1:4 states that if anyone lacks wisdom, all that needs to be done is ask God.  There is a condition.  We must ask in faith without wavering.  In a previous post, I discussed wavering.  We all waver in faith from time to time.  Read that post if you need encouragement and help for a wavering mind.  Once you have your mind set, ask God.  He will not withhold what you need.  As a matter of fact, Psalm 84:11 declares that the Lord withholds no good thing from those who walk uprightly.

Just Ask Blog
Image Via Pexels by Nitin Arya

Wisdom is a good thing, and it is a necessity to walk successfully in this life.  God will not withhold wisdom from you.  As for the part about walking uprightly, no one is perfect, but if you are placing your trust in Christ and walking daily with Him, then you are walking uprightly.  You will not be perfect, but you will not be living in a state of sin.

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

After you have asked for wisdom, you must wait. Sometimes the answer comes quickly.  Most of the time, it comes rather slowly.

In my own personal experience, I have found that when I am waiting for God to show me what direction I need to take, or what I need to do about a given situation, the answer often comes when I am not even thinking about what I am needing.  For example, I have spent time praying about wisdom and for God to show me clear direction.  I have gone about my business to have the answer come to me when I was cleaning house or working on another task.

If you are waiting for God to show you direction in your life, do not give up.  He will guide you. Often, when you do not know what should be done, it means you should do nothing until you hear from God.  Now, I understand that some situations need an immediate answer.  I believe God will bring the answer as needed.  It is important that you seek Him everyday, and ask Him to prepare you for anything unexpected.  Then, when a need arises, God will show you the answer.

How God Speaks

Just Ask Blog 2When I mention that God speaks to me, I do not mean that I hear Him in an audible voice.  There are several ways I hear from God.  He speaks through His word.  That is why we need to read and study the Bible on a regular basis.  Another way He speaks is a knowing that you will have in your spirit (that is the only way I know to describe it).  He will speak through other people.  When He speaks through someone else, it is usually a confirmation of what you already know.  This is not always the case, but your spirit will bear witness if a word from someone else is from God.

In my own life, I have been seeking God for an answer to my own health issues.  He has been speaking to me for a while, but I was certain that I was not hearing from Him.  Finally, I got it.  The very answer I had been refusing was the one He had for me.  Suffice it to say, I have great joy and peace now that I have surrendered that to him.  (I will share more about this in the future.)

What about you?  Is your situation far from needing a cut and dry answer?  Our God has the answers that go beyond what is obvious.  Keep asking Him!  He will give clear direction.

By Faith

What is faith?  According to Hebrews 11:1, the definition of faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  The phrase “the evidence of things not seen” is an interesting one. Evidence that is not seen sounds impossible, yet, faith pushes us on to believe what is impossible.

Faith Based on What is Not Seen

FaithIn Hebrews 11, many people from the Bible are used as examples of great faith.  They believed the impossible although no physical signs were available to back up what they believed.  Many of the people mentioned in the famous faith chapter were persecuted for their faith.  They believed in a God they could not see with their eyes nor touch with their hands.  They believed what He told them.

God requires us as modern-day believers to walk by faith just as the patriarchs, prophets, and others did thousands of years ago.  Habakkuk 2:4 reminds us that the just will live by faith, and this is quoted in Hebrews 10:38, just before the beginning of the faith chapter.  We are not to be moved by what we see and feel around us.  We are to be moved by faith in God.

Does Faith Ever Doubt?

The people mentioned in Hebrews 11 were not perfect.  They were human beings just like you and me.  There were moments of doubt.  Abraham and Sarah were an elderly couple who were past the age of having children.  To doubt that they could have a child would seem logical.  Sarah even laughed when she overheard an angel speaking to Abraham concerning the promised child.

What about Noah?  He was building an ark and telling people that rain was coming in a world that had never seen rain.  People found Noah amusing, yet, Noah continued, by faith, to do what he knew God had said.

There is a great deal of other people mentioned in the faith chapter.  Some were tortured, imprisoned, or persecuted in some other manner because they believed what God said over what they saw, or what other people told them.  Although they were people of great faith, they were still human.  Doubt came.  What made their faith great?  They did not entertain doubt when it came to visit.

What About Your Faith?

Do you find it challenging to live by faith?  Does it make you nervous when God requires you to step out on what you do not see with your eyes, but only what He has spoken to you in your spirit?  Do you ever experience doubt then condemn yourself for it?Faith 2

You are human.  You can pick up and walk by faith even after having tremendous doubt.  Peter, one of the disciples of Jesus, did.  He denied Christ three times, yet, after the resurrection and empowerment of the Holy Spirit, he was able to preach the gospel and die for his faith.

When your faith is weak, confess it to God.  In Mark 9:24, a man was very honest with Jesus.  The man told Jesus that he believed, but he then asked Jesus to help his unbelief.  What a strange request!  However, it applies to you and me.  When doubt comes in, ask God to help you with your unbelief.

Another way to strengthen your faith is through the Word of God.  Romans 10:17 says that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.  Bible reading and Bible study is a great way to combat doubt.

Life happens to us all.  There are devastating circumstances that test our faith.  Disappointments come and go.  Yet, we are still required to live by faith.  Like any other biblical characteristic, faith must be built and cultivated.  We all have some degree of faith, or it would not be possible to be saved.  It is just necessary to keep building that faith because it does get weak from time to time.

 

What about you?  Are you able to live by faith?  Does doubt try to overwhelm you?  You can overcome that doubt by building yourself up in the faith through study of the Word.

What Does the Bible Say About Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is simply being aware of something.  This could consist of a great variety of issues or situations.  One could mindful of eating.  Another could be mindful of words spoken.  Someone else could be mindful of friendships.  The list could go on.

The Word Speaks of Being Mindful

Only you can change your thinking.Although mindfulness has been attributed to aspects of Buddhism, God’s Word has plenty to say on the subject.  For example, Psalm 19:14 (MEV) states the following: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”  If a thought has been meditated upon in the heart, it had to pass through the mind first.  God is concerned with what we think about and our awareness concerning various areas of our lives.

In Psalm 8:4, David asks, “Who is man that You are mindful of him?”  This indicates that God was mindful of us.  In other words, He had a strong awareness of us.  His focus was on us.  If God is mindful of us, shouldn’t we be mindful of Him?  Isaiah 26:3 states that God will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are on Him.

Mindfulness that is achieved God’s way brings peace and joy.  If the mind is not focused on what it ought to be, we lose peace, and we tend to wander from the Lord.  Being mindful of the things we focus on raises awareness which can bring the change we need if we allow it.

How to be Mindful

Now that the meaning of mindfulness is understood, the next step is to figure out how to be mindful.  Being mindful is a choice.  It is simple, yet, not easy.  Colossians 3:2 states that we are to set our minds on things above.  If I set an object somewhere, it means I need to pick it up from one place to set it at the desired destination.  To set your mind means you might have to move your thinking from one direction to another.  Mindfulness is work.  To begin with, your thoughts will try to drift back to the place from which you brought them.  After consistent renewing of the mind (Romans 12:2), you will find that the process becomes simpler.  We can never stop renewing our minds, or being mindful, but the battle is not as intense the more we practice the process.Mind

Consider your thoughts and ways.  Ask the Lord to direct you to the areas of your life in which you need to be more mindful.  This will look different for everyone because our struggles are not all the same.  Once He reveals an area in which you need to be more mindful, surrender that area to Him, and allow Him to help you redirect your thinking.

 

What about you?  What does mindfulness mean to you?  Are there areas of you life in which you need to be more mindful?

Something for You

Overcomer is available in both the Kindle version and paperback.  The Kindle version is only $2.99.  The paperback is $11.99.  I am posting a link below for you to either download the Kindle book, or order a paperback.

In addition to the Amazon link, I am posting a link to my E-shop in which I have some freebies, and I am offering my course “History of Bible Translations” at a very low cost.  The PDF files are available for $7.00, and the videos are available for $7.00.  The total cost of the course was originally $20.00, so you would be getting the entire course for $14.00.  You can download the videos and PDF’s and complete the course at your own pace.

Other links are posted as well.

https://www.amazon.com/Allison-Mitchell/e/B07HLR234Q/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

https://341637.e-junkie.com/?_source=admin

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLpCzSoLEZeZPH3heypKIHA?view_as=subscriber

https://allisonambermitche.wixsite.com/allisonambermitchell

 

His Grace Is Sufficient

Most Christians are familiar with the scripture that says God’s grace is sufficient for His people.  We have either quoted the scripture that is accompanied by the Apostle Paul speaking of Christ being strong in Paul’s weakness, or, we have heard other people teach on the subject.  All of this is well and good, but far too often, we become so familiar with a scripture that we overlook a fresh glimpse we could get from it.

Strength in Weakness

In 2 Corinthians 12:9, Paul received the reply about God’s sufficient grace after asking God to remove his thorn in the flesh.  As a matter of fact, Paul approached God concerning this issue three times.  How many times have you asked God to remove your “thorn” or that which causes you pain, discomfort, grief, or irritation?Amazing Grace is More than Enough for me!

God’s answer was not what most of us would expect.  He told Paul that, not only was His grace all that was needed, but He also told Paul that His power was made perfect in weakness.  Despite the sting to his flesh, Paul chose to rejoice in his problems because he knew the power of Christ was resting on him.  What if God is telling you that His grace is all you need?  Does that bring a twinge of disappointment?  Although I completely understand feeling less than thrilled, I must tell you that God is right.  His grace is sufficient—it is all we need.

Grace gives us the power we need to overcome sin.  Grace brings us through the impossible.  The grace of God is what will bring us face to face with our God when this life is over.  When we finally discover the power of grace, we should rejoice when God reminds us that His grace is sufficient.

Can You Take Pleasure in Weakness?

I admit it sounds a bit strange to say that you can take pleasure in weakness, but that is exactly what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:10.  Because grace is just what he needs, Paul can rejoice.  Not because he is weak, but because God is able to bring glory from Paul’s weaknesses.  That is why you should rejoice.  God can bring a message to others through your struggles.  He will give you all you need to get through the challenges and impossible situations you face.

Weakness Made PerfectOf course, that does not mean we are horrible human beings when we feel disappointed or grieved.  Those are natural human feelings.  What it does mean is that, although we might be grieved, we can place our hope and trust in God.  Joy and peace come soon after.

What Was Paul’s Thorn in the Flesh?

Although many have speculated over the source of Paul’s thorn in the flesh, we truly do not know.  Some have suggested that Paul was blind.  Others have suggested that he had epilepsy. Perhaps his thorn was not so much a physical issue as it was an emotional issue.  It could be any of the issues mentioned, yet, it could be none.  No matter the issue, God had what Paul needed.

Whatever your thorn is, God has what you need.  There is no sickness nor any other affliction greater than the God we serve.  He is able to bring you out on the other side as a victor!  Although it is not easy, cooperating with Him in the process is vital.

 

What about you?  What is afflicting or grieving you?  God has what you need.  He has an all-sufficient grace that never fails.

To purchase “Overcomer”: https://www.amazon.com/Allison-Mitchell/e/B07HLR234Q/ref=dbs_p_ebk_rwt_abau

For other products and resources: https://341637.e-junkie.com/?_source=admin

 

Encourage Yourself

Are you feeling discouraged lately?  Maybe you feel let down by people you are close with, or, perhaps your circumstances in life never seem to get better.  If anything, life seems to take a decline into the worst possible scenarios.  Truth is, I have faced those times, and, often, I still see those days.  Everyone gets discouraged.  The question is: what will you do about it?

 

David Encouraged Himself in the Lord

Encourage yourself!King David, the author of many of the Psalms in the Bible, had to encourage himself in the Lord. David was anointed by the prophet, Samuel, to be King over Israel, but he did not immediately step into that position.  Before becoming King, David went through many battles, many of them with Saul, who was King at the time David was anointed.

Saul was extremely jealous of David and attempted to kill him.  David remained on the run from Saul for a long period of time.  In 1 Samuel 30, David and his men came to Ziklag to discover the place had been burned, and all the people in Ziklag had been taken captive, including David’s wives.

The men with David were grieved.  In their grief, they lashed out at David.  They even threatened to stone him.  Needless to say, David felt extremely distressed.  However, he found something inside him that caused him to encourage himself in the Lord.  Victory came soon after.  The captives were rescued then, soon, David became King.

 

How You Can Encourage Yourself

Like David, you might be going through one battle after another.  It might seem that everyone is lashing out at you due to their own grief.  You might be waiting on some type of breakthrough or promise of God to come to pass just as David had to wait for a time before stepping into the position God promised him.

Throughout the Psalms written by David, he would express his true feelings to the Lord, but then he would praise God.  One way of lifting a heavy spirit is to praise God.  It is a challenge, at first.  Soon, you will feel better.  You can speak praise or sing praise. Praise defeats discouragement

Another way to encourage yourself is to reach out to someone else who is hurting.  Sometimes, forgetting about yourself for a while and focusing on others will put your problems into perspective.  Often, I have found that when I pray for someone else or reach out to another person, my situation will be resolved.

Finally, it is important to find scriptures of encouragement for your situation.  Reading the Psalms or other uplifting scriptures will breath life into your situation.  Speak those scriptures out loud, and you will notice what power the Word of God has.  After all, the Word is living and active (Hebrews 4:12-13).

What about you?  If you are discouraged, what steps will you take to encourage yourself in the Lord?  You do not have to remain in a pit of discouragement!