God’s Love Doesn’t Hurt

A very good friend of mine has recently endured a tremendous amount of turmoil by the person she was in love with. Because his intention was to injure her at all costs, she feels completely broken, bewildered, afraid, and alone. This is truly not the way God wants His sons and daughters to live. He sent His only begotten Son to set us free, and a life of liberty is our right through the Lord Jesus Christ. God wants the best for us, and it isn’t His will that we’re punished by anyone. He doesn’t want us suffering any kind of abuse; emotional, mental, verbal, or physical. Love does not abuse.

1John 4:8(NLT) tells us, “But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” Our Heavenly Father is the definitive authority on love because He IS love. He knows how love should feel and what it can do. There’s no greater power in the earth than His love. He tells us in 1Corinthians 13 that we can know all His secrets and mysteries, but if we don’t have His love in our hearts, we won’t amount to anything. This is all we need to know about how important love is. It’s the way God intended life to be lived. We’re His kids, and He wants us to love others the way that He loves us.

God informs us so much about His love in His Word because He doesn’t want us to be ignorant about it. John 10:10 makes it clear that we have an enemy, the devil, and he is a thief, murderer, deceiver, and destroyer. Subtle deception is one of the tools in his arsenal; he’s a counterfeiter, adept at tricking us into believing that something false is the real thing. This happens quite a bit in our love relationships. It’s natural to want to give love and receive it in return. Sometimes we allow this need to be fed by a person that can’t reciprocate love in a healthy way. We make this mistake because we haven’t learned enough about God’s love from His Word. We haven’t made His standard the one by which we recognize and understand love.

My friend says that she will never love again, but it isn’t clear that what she felt for her abuser was indeed love, at least not the kind that comes from Heavenly Father. 1Thessalonians 5:5 (NLT) tells us, “For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night.” God’s love brings us into the light, so that we are not bamboozled by the enemy. His love opens our eyes to what real and true love is.

When we learn to love God’s way, we don’t have to be afraid of loving anyone, because 1John 4:18 tells us that God’s love will cast out fear. We begin to walk in the rich truth of this verse as we study and meditate on God’s Word. The more we know about His love, the more the indwelling Holy Spirit will help us to mature and grow into the people that God wants us to be. The Holy Spirit does this work within us as we commit ourselves to love God’s way.

1Corinthians 13:4-5(NLT) tells us, “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.” Love does not hurt. It encourages, inspires and motivates the giver and the receiver to love more. This is what we should learn from the example of Jesus Christ. Through his life, ministry, and sacrifice, we see the Father’s heart. He wants us to know that there’s a difference between love and fear, so that we can choose to give and receive His brand of love and walk in the freedom and wisdom that it gives. ■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“God’s Love Doesn’t Hurt” written by Kyrenee  for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2017. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

 

Making A Change

When is it convenient to make a change? Most of us would answer “Never!” But a fact of life is that nothing stays the same. Many of us are seemingly deluged with an avalanche of problems. One of the reasons for this is that the engine of life moves vigorously forward, but we get stuck in neutral. It’s why the word ‘destiny’ is such an important one. Change for change’s sake may bring about some positive things, but change for the sake of walking in one’s destiny is literally altering the trajectory of a person’s life. God has planted the wake-up calls for this kind of change in our everyday lives. We need to make sure that our eyes are wide open so that we don’t miss them.

When it comes to making a change in our personal lives, there are two primary areas that are involved, our mindset and actions. We have a way of thinking that we’ve cultivated over our lifetimes, so our thoughts stem from a mindset developed through experiences and influences that have impacted us. If we’re keeping it real with ourselves, some of this is faulty programming. It leads to making poor decisions, wrong choices, and bad judgement calls. It isn’t always easy to admit this, but there can be no growth without an acknowledgement of error, and a desire to become better and stronger individuals.

1Thessalonians 5:5(NLT) tells us, “For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night.” Darkness is synonymous with ignorance, and ignorance is not God’s Will for His kids. Many times, in His Word He makes it plain that He doesn’t want His people to be ignorant, and in Hosea 4:6, He tells us the reason why. He said that His people are destroyed because they lack knowledge. Many of us are asleep, and the devil will try to keep us this way. He doesn’t want us to be awaken to the enlightenment of Christ, because when we are, the lights come on and we begin to understand who God has made us. That’s when we really become dynamos for God’s Kingdom, and the enemy wants to stop this at all costs.

Through the Apostle Paul, God tells us in Ephesians 4:22(NIV), “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;” This is how we embrace the person that God wants us to be. We have to take off some old stuff and make room, so that we can put on the new and better stuff. This is the process of an elevated life. We can’t be the same people we were two years ago, two months ago, or two weeks ago. We’re to always grow and abound in Christ. This means that there are going to be those lightbulb moments when we realize that we’ve got some junk in our trunks, and we need to deal with it because it’s weighing us down and keeping us from the blessings God wants us to have.

You may not realize the things that you need to change, but the Holy Spirit is God’s gift living on the inside of you; he knows exactly what you need to change. You see, when we become stuck in the same routine, the same toxic relationships, the same drama, the same set of circumstances day in and day out, our vision becomes very limited. In a way, we are blinded by sameness, and we begin to think and act based on our limited view.  Proverbs 23:7 (KJV) tells us “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” If we think about life without the benefit of believing in destiny and newness, we begin to draw to us the things we don’t want instead of what we want.

Many of us bypass the astounding wisdom revealed by Heavenly Father in Proverbs 23:7, but that is a big mistake. Heavenly Father created us in His own image. He is a creative God and we are a creative people. He has given us the incredible gift to change our circumstances by changing the way that we think and act. We’re not going to change every negative thing about ourselves in our lifetimes, but to the extent that we are not fulfilling our destinies in Christ and not accessing the life God intends for us, we need to draw closer to Him and make ‘change’ one our new best friends. Again, we may not know what we need to change about ourselves. We may not know what is blocking us from moving forward and going higher in Christ, but God knows, and if we’ll ask, He’ll tell us. ■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

“Making A Change” written by Fran for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2017. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

 

 

When A Dark Cloud Looms

Isaiah 26:3(NKJV) tells us, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” This verse is packed full with luscious truth. Not only does our God offer us His perfect peace, but He will keep us anchored in it if we #1) stay our minds on Him, and #2) trust in His ability and willingness to bless us. It is important to also understand that perfect peace is peace that is perfect. Nothing in this world can keep God’s perfect peace from encompassing total and complete tranquility. It’s both inner and outward peace; it’s peace under any and every circumstance. It’s a peace that defies conditions, and through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, God offers His peace to us freely.

As we look at the condition of the world, with all its corruption and dishonesty, we meet people every day that are bewildered and disillusioned. Their state of mind is the exact opposite of peace. They are filled with anxiety and fear, and many of them are depressed. It’s as if they are living under a dark cloud that follows them everywhere. This is not the kind of life that God intended for His people. He wants us to be happy and blessed. In Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT), God tells us, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

A dark cloud is an emotional state of being that causes a person to feel discouraged and hopeless. It makes you feel bad all the time. It weighs us down, and it can also cloud our judgement, and distort how we view ourselves and others. Many people that feel this way begin to look at their conditions and circumstances as the driving force that keeps this cloud looming over their heads, but the Lord Jesus Christ gives us another way. His way will help us to dissipate this cloud into thin air.

In John 14:26-27, Jesus Christ tells us, “26 But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. 27 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.” We place a lot of pressure on ourselves to put on a happy face when deep down we feel like we’re drowning in sorrow. The reality is that you and I are sometimes unable to muster the courage to dissipate those dark clouds and stand strong amid all the strife and struggles of life. This is why Jesus Christ made the gift of Holy Spirit available to us.

Because of Christ, we have God’s Spirit dwelling on the inside of us. Galatians 5:16 tells us to walk by the Spirit, and then we won’t feed those things that pull us down. 2 Corinthians 5:7 tells us how to walk by the Spirit. It tells us to walk by faith, and not by sight. So, as spiritual children made in the image of our Heavenly Father, we must learn to walk in a way that isn’t dependent on what we can perceive with our emotions and five senses. God calls on us to walk by trusting Him, by believing what He says in His Word.

In Ephesians 4:23, God also tells us to be renewed in the spirit of our minds. To renew something is to make it new again. Our minds were not designed to be filled with darkness. They were created by God to hold the knowledge of Him and His Word. Our minds were created to be filled with light, and Ephesians 5:8 tells us to “Walk as children of light.” So our minds should match the reality of what we are in Christ!

God is not going to come inside our heads and empty out our bad thoughts and swipe the slate of our emotions clean. He has commanded us to trust Him, and to believe His Word regardless of what our conditions and circumstances look like. Faith wouldn’t be faith if it didn’t require us to trust in what we cannot see. The Spiritual realm is invisible to our physical eyes, yet, it is more real than what we can see. 2 Corinthians 4:18 (NLT) tells us, “So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”

Faith requires that we shift our focus, so that our intention is on changing our minds rather than allowing our emotions to dictate how we feel and act. Our hearts and minds must line up with the thoughts, behaviors, and attitudes of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is how we introduce his light! It’s not an arduous task, but a glorious one, because putting on the mind of Christ allows us to forever rest in God’s peace. In John 14:27, Jesus Christ tells us not to be afraid or troubled, because our God is all powerful, and He loves us. We are never defeated by our conditions and circumstances. When we truly trust our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, he will move those dark clouds, and his love will cover our lives with light. ■

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“When A Dark Cloud Looms” written by Fran for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2017. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!