Monday, February 6, 2023

It's Always Something

 

By Andrea Merrell


In the world you will have tribulation;

but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.

John 16:33 NKJV


It’s inevitable. You finish washing the dishes, putting everything away, and wiping down the counters, and there it is … the unnoticed dirty glass.
 

All the Christmas decorations are packed away for another year. You’re feeling pretty good about it until you notice that one wreath still hanging on the door. 


All the bills are paid for the month—or so you thought—and here comes another. Or you’re finally recovering from ailments that have plagued you for months only to have something else pop up that requires attention. Frustrating.


Yes, it’s always something. Seems we never get caught up, let alone ahead.


What I’ve learned over the years—and am still learning—is to stop letting that one other something throw me into a tailspin.


Jesus said while we are in this world we will have tribulation. We might think that only applies to major events or a crisis in our life, but the Message puts it this way: In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.


The good news is God already knows about all these difficulties and frustrations we face, and He’s always ready to help us through what we consider as negative and turn it into a positive. Once we experience His goodness, we can expectantly look for more—love, joy, peace, wisdom, knowledge, understanding, strength, favor … the list goes on and on.


Because with God, it’s always something. And it’s always something good.

 

Photo by Julien L on Unsplash



Tuesday, January 31, 2023

The Lord's Army

 

By Andrea Merrell


Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.

Ephesians 6:10 NIV


Vacation Bible School was one of the highlights of my childhood. VBS provided games, crafts, snacks, and Bible stories. But one of my favorite moments came when we marched like little soldiers into the sanctuary holding both the American and Christian flag.

We sang “Onward Christian Soldiers” and "I’m in the Lord’s Army.” I knew every word by heart, but they had little meaning for me at the time. We even talked about putting on God’s armor and what each piece stood for, but again, it just seemed like a nice story.

Now, as an adult, I’m thankful for the foundation built in those early days. As I look back on those songs and Scriptures, I see how relevant they are for daily living.

One writer says we, as Christians, are at war—whether we realize it or not. The Bible is filled with words such as fight, be strong, battle, weapons of warfare, and enemies. But we also see words such as victorious, conqueror, and overcomer.

The war is real, and it rages all around us. It is a spiritual battle, not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers. Against the rulers of darkness and wickedness.

The good news is God has given us everything we need for this battle. We have His very own armor to cover and protect us—along with the precious blood of Jesus. And we have the sword of the Spirit—the powerful, life-giving Word of God—to defeat every scheme and attack of the Enemy.

Welcome to the Lord’s army, fellow soldier. Fight the good fight of faith, and remember that no matter what happens in this life, we win.


 Photo by phil thep on Unsplash




Monday, January 23, 2023

When the Door Closes

By Andrea Merrell

 

What He opens, no one can close; and what He closes, 

no one can open.

Revelation 3:7 NLT

 

When God closes a door, He opens a window. We’ve all heard it. Maybe we’ve even said it. Sadly, many people think it’s in the Bible (you know, right next to cleanliness is next to godliness).

The truth is when God closes a door, there’s a reason. It might be for our protection, or He might have something much better planned for us. And He never wants us to bypass His plan by crawling through a window.

I’ve had many doors close in my life that I thought would be open forever. Good people, good situations, good opportunities. But God had something better in store. When those doors first closed, it felt as if I were being punished while losing what I thought was important. But the doors that opened afterward led to special people and even better situations and opportunities.

God has an excellent plan and purpose for each of us. When we give our hearts and lives to Him, He will guide us and keep us on the right path. When He closes a door, we should never stand there and whine or try to break it down. That simply means it’s time to move on and find out what He has in store.

God’s way is always best, and His timing is always perfect. Trust Him.


 Photo by Sheldon Kennedy on Unsplash


TWEETABLE

When God closes a door, don’t stand there and whine or try to break it down. Move on and find out what better thing He has in store. via @AndreaMerrell (Click to tweet.) 

Monday, January 16, 2023

Confident Humility

 

By Andrea Merrell

Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved.
In quietness and confidence is your strength.

Isaiah 30:15 NLT

 

Confident humility. I read these words in a Facebook post recently. Sounds like an oxymoron, right?

Think about it for a minute. Many shy away from being confident because they view it as arrogance, while they see humility as being weak, a doormat. But when you put the two together, what do you have?

The character of Jesus.

Jesus humbled Himself, gave up His heavenly privileges, and left His deity behind to come to earth as a human. To walk among us as a servant. To live a selfless life of obedience.

Yet Jesus walked in complete confidence, knowing who He was and that He was sent to do the will of the Father. He never doubted or second-guessed His mission and never allowed Himself to be ruled by His flesh or sidetracked by His emotions.

Can we do the same? Absolutely. The Bible tells us to humble ourselves. To offer ourselves as living sacrifices. To not think more highly of ourselves than we should. To put others first. To deny ourselves and follow Him.

But we’re also called to approach God’s throne with confident assurance. To be bold and strong. To put on His armor so we can stand against the attacks of the Enemy. To walk in the power of His might. To be overcomers.

The Bible says, in quietness and confidence is your strength.

That’s confident humility.


Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Stuart Miles.


TWEETABLE

Jesus displayed both confidence and humility, and we are called to do the same. via @Andrea Merrell (Click to tweet.)

Monday, January 9, 2023

Stop Worrying About the Future

 

By Andrea Merrell

Refuse to worry about tomorrow.

Matthew 6:34 TPT


It’s a bad habit I’m having a hard time breaking. Instead of focusing on one day at a time, I find myself constantly thinking (and worrying) about tomorrow and all that could go wrong.


What if our savings account runs out?

What if my health fails?

What if I lose my husband?

What will happen to my grandchildren? 

What if …



Those are subjects the Enemy wants us to dwell on so we will live in fearful trepidation of what lies ahead. But in Jesus Calling, Sarah Young writes:


Sit quietly with Me, letting all your fears and worries bubble up to the surface of your consciousness. There, in the Light of My Presence, the bubbles pop and disappear. However, some fears surface over and over again, especially fear of the future. You tend to project yourself mentally into the next day, week, month, year, decade, and you visualize yourself coping badly in those times. What you are seeing is a false image because it doesn’t include Me. Those gloomy times that you  imagine will not come to pass since My Presence will be with you at all times.


When a false-oriented worry assails you, capture it and disarm it by suffusing the Light of My Presence into that mental image. Say to yourself, “Jesus will be with me then and there. With His help I can cope.” Then come home to the present moment where you an enjoy peace in My presence. ~ Jesus


When we belong to Jesus, our future is in His hands. That’s good news because we don’t have to worry about it.


Are you trusting Him for all your tomorrows?


Photo by Kayla Koss on Unsplash


TWEETABLE

When we belong to Jesus, our future is in His hands. That’s good news because we don’t have to worry about it. via @AndreaMerrell (Click to tweet.)