For the last several months, actually year and a half, joy is not something I would say has been a benchmark in my life or the life of my family. At least, by the world’s standard, “joy” has eluded us. The world’s definition of joy equates, really, to happiness. In fact, the Miriam-Webster dictionary defines it this way, “the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires.” I know as a Christian that happiness in this life is not my end goal, but even for Christians I think we can still get caught up in measuring our “joy” by how happy we are. Then, we may even begin to assess our walk with God, by our degree of happiness. If we are not happy, our walk must be off. Am I alone here?
I ran into a friend recently and we got to discussing the topic of fear as it related to a decision she was trying to make. This is a subject that I believe I’ve earned a PhD or some extremely high honors in! I once lived as though I was mastering the art of letting fear dictate my life decisions. This is still an ongoing struggle for me, one that I am now working to conquer and not submit to, but I want to share some things I have learned about the ever familiar nuisance of FEAR.
We often pray “Lord, let Your will be done.” As Christian women, when making life decisions or in pursuing our dreams we want to make sure that it’s His will that prevails.
But with all life’s possibilities and options, how can we really know what’s God’s will and what’s not?
If you are in the midst of making decisions and you are seeking God’s will, here are some things to think about...
In Romans 12:2, Paul said that the way believers are transformed is through the renewing of the mind. He says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
What does renewing our minds mean?
First off, before we talk about the benefits of the renewed minds, we need to ask what does it mean to renew one’s mind?
In the NLT translation of Romans 12:2, it says “ Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” Renewing your mind simply means changing the way you think.
When we say the word weakness, it always feels like it’s a negative thing. Whether it has to do with our business, career, or our personal life-- we don’t want weakness. This is why most self-help books focus on increasing our strength and doing away with our weaknesses. Our “strengths” have the power to change the course of our lives and to benefit us. If we do will talk about weaknesses it’s surely to figure out how to turn them into strengths and overcome them.
This is how the world views it: Weakness is not something to be proud of, it must be turned into something else.
But what does the Bible say about our weaknesses? How does God deal with them?
Being a Christian doesn’t start and end when we accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, and christianity is more than just a title, it’s living out what you believe. This is why Jesus called people to follow Him, He wants someone to take the journey with Him, He called us to walk with Him and live for Him. Yes, good works aren't the basis for our salvation, but our salvation should bear fruit.
We have been justified before God when we put our faith in Jesus but after that comes sanctification...
You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. (John 14:14)
Whenever I read the Bible, I often notice how big miracles have started with a prayer. In 1 Kings 18, we see how the prophet Elijah asked God to prove that He is the LORD in front of the people who believed in Baal (a false god during their time), by sending fire from heaven, and God did it. Not only that, God also answered Elijah’s prayer to send rain after a prolonged drought during their time. In Joshua 10, God answered Joshua’s prayer to let the sun stand still so they can defeat the armies of five Amorite kings.
Maybe you are thinking that all of those things were only possible back then. But the thing is, God doesn’t change!
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