Tuesday, April 9, 2013

From Fear to Faith: How to Overcome


Fear says, “I cannot handle this situation.”
Faith says, “God can.”

Years ago, when I was learning how to mountain bike I was afraid to go down super big hills with rocky terrain. I was afraid of falling. I wanted to go slowly down the hill—to maintain control and feel more in control. However, my friend (who was an experienced mountain biker) said, “Speed is your friend,” and urged me to go faster.  

Faster? It sounded counterintuitive. Perched at the top or a hill strewn with rocks of all sizes, I paused. I prayed and I decided to trust him.  

As I went down the hill on my bike, the speed actually helped me to glide across the rocky path in a whole new way. I was scared and excited. It was exhilarating! 

Fear comes into our lives in many ways. Perhaps your fears are holding you back from what you truly want. Or, they are keeping you in bondage—not free.  

Fear says, “I cannot handle this situation.” Faith says, “God can.”  

When you release your grasp and let go of how you think things should be, they begin to change. Surrender is a powerful thing. Giving your fears to God, and allowing him to transform them into faith—faith that He will come through for you even though you can’t see now how it’s all going to work out. 

He is your strong protector, wise helper and total healer. He is stronger than any force that tries to come against you. God whispers, “Will you trust me?” Will you believe I will take care of all your needs and calm your fears?   

It starts by remembering what God has done in the past—for you and for others. Recall how He has seen you through before, and believe that He will again. Ask the Him to help you do what you cannot. 

Remember you are not alone. The Lord is with you always and He will fight for you.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

When You Feel Like Giving Up: 5 Helpful Ways to Get Through Hard Times



Life can be hard. How do you press on when you’re emotionally or physically drained? When times are tough, and when you feel like giving up, here are five vital things to help you persevere with God’s strength:  

1) Cast your cares. Don't take on burdens you were never meant to bear—like worry, fear and doubt. They’ll weigh you down and hinder you from being effective. Instead, give God your fears; surrender trying to do it all on your own to Him. Psalm 55:22 says, “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”  

2) Believe that God will help you. Did you know that God not only loves you—and He LIKES you? But some people find it hard to believe God will actually help them, and the weight of the world on their shoulders is crushing. They think He doesn’t care, or He’s too busy being CEO of the entire universe to be concerned about their unhappy life. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, God loves you. And he likes you. Despite your feelings of insecurity, inadequacy or other emotion you’re ashamed of, God is all about loving you. You are not alone; help is available and it’s a prayer away.  

3) Press on in prayer. Prayer is the foundation upon which everything else is built in your life. It the most important thing you can do. Talk to God about your situation, because He is the one who has the power to change it.
4) Send in reinforcements. Sometimes you need backup. It’s amazing what happens when you receive support in prayer from friends and family members who are willing to pray for you and with you. When you don’t know what to pray, when you’re spent emotionally or physically, or, like Moses, when you need someone to “hold up your arms” (to support you), the prayers of others on your behalf can give you a boost to keep going.  

5) Take action. Taking one small step can lead to another and another and it builds momentum, and things begin to change. You will not be in this hard place forever. God will help you through. Unlike others who may have let you down, God keeps His promises. When you take action in prayer, He moves on your behalf.  

There are still purposes to be fulfilled—lives to touch, things to accomplish, and character to be formed on the inside. Press on, pray on, with holy tenacity, holding on to hope that one day—maybe soon—the check will come, the job will be yours, or the house will be filled with a child’s laughter. 

Whatever it is you long for, tell God your heart’s desires and He will answer.
Whether it’s a “yes,” “no,” or “wait,” know that the One who loves you most is working all things together for His good purposes. We may not always understand or like it, but we can know with certainty that one day everything will be made right.

Today, we pray and trust Him.