TAKING CARE OF YOUR SPIRITUAL HEALTH
You can think certain ways on purpose that will add power to your life. Do you know that you can stress yourself out by the way you think?
Joyce and Dr. Robin Lanford share the importance of our thoughts in connection to our physical and emotional health.
Do you know how prayer changes things? Do you underestimate the power of prayer? Jesus gave clear instructions on how we’re to pray and we have the Holy Spirit as our conduit. Prayer changes things because we are having an intimate conversation with our Heavenly Father! Through our prayer, we unleash the power of the Holy Spirit which is our conduit and the source of power in prayer.
By Joyce Meyer
These days there are far too many things going on in the world that can easily overwhelm us with fear, anger or anxiety.
Each of us has probably experienced some new challenges, frustrations and even loss while dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. Just listen to the news for a few minutes. Sickness...poverty...unemployment - the stress of problems and injustices is all around us, both in the world and within our own daily lives.
Every day we can have a lot of thoughts that cause worry and concern, about small or big issues. The question is, how can we find peace and make it through?
I remember one morning I was with someone who was very quiet and not interested in talking with me at all, and my thoughts went something like this: I don't think she likes me very much. As I thought that, I felt like I needed to do something to fix the situation, but I didn't know where to even begin.
You see, when we try to do things that we have no idea how to do, it always creates stress, concern, worry and sometimes fear. Are there things in your life that you feel responsible to "fix", but you have no idea what to do? If so, you can do what I did that morning and pray, committing the situation to God and trusting Him to "fix it". As soon as I did that, my peace of mind returned.
Shortly after that, I heard from one of my children and I could tell they weren't doing well emotionally. I asked if I could help at all, but they said no, and immediately my thought was, I wonder what's wrong?
Did they argue with someone? What happened? I had my stress backpack loaded up and was ready to carry it all day when I remembered that I could release it to God-the only One who knew what was wrong and what to do about it.
I prayed and asked God to help them see how blessed they are and be thankful instead of sad. Soon after that prayer I received a text: "I feel much better now. I love you!"
We may experience many things like this each day. And its' no wonder people are stressed-out unless they know how to trust God and cast their cares on Him. God wants to help us, but as long as we continue trying to do it all ourselves, He won't force His help on us. I lived this way for many years, but I'm so grateful that I've learned the best way to handle my cares.
PRAYER LEADS TO RESTFUL THINKING
Prayer is an amazing privilege, and it's simply having a conversation with God. We can talk to Him about absolutely anything, and He cares about every single detail in our lives. I want to encourage you to let God share your day by talking with Him about everything. I urge you not to see it as just a religious activity or duty we need to perform. Prayer is our way of letting God into every aspect of our lives, including the ones that attempt to steal our peace and cause us anxiety.
It's also vitally important for us to think about what we're thinking about so we can line up our thoughts with God's promises to us in His Word. If the thoughts in your mind are ones of worry and anxiety, you can choose to think about something else.
God's Word teaches us to cast down wrong thoughts, bringing all of them into captivity to the obedience of Christ (see 2 Corinthians 10:5). I find that talking to Jesus all throughout the day about all that I do and any concern I have is one of the best ways to control the direction of my mindset as I am looking to Him.
Our goal as believers in Christ is to follow His example in everything we do. So a good question to ask ourselves is: "What would Jesus think when He had a situation that we'd classify as a "trouble"? We have many examples in the Bible of how He handled difficult situations, and in each case, He made the choice to trust His Father in heaven.
Even when He was on the cross and felt that He'd been abandoned, He said, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit" (Luke 23:46). This was the most difficult time of His life and yet, in the midst of terrible pain and suffering, He trusted God!
The Bible also gives an account of Jesus being in a boat when a huge storm arose. The disciples became frantic, but He was in the stern of the boat - asleep! When they woke Him up and expressed
their fear, Jesus said, "Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith and confidence [in Me]?" (Mark 4:40 AMP).
The truth is God expects us to trust Him. And we would all be wise to learn to choose Him whenever we're tempted to worry. After all, why be miserable when we don't have to be?
LET GO AND SHARE THE LOAD
God often offers us help by providing others to help share our load in life. Dave and I have two sons who work with us in the ministry, and God has provided them to help us by sharing the load of managing it. It was difficult at first for us to let go of things we'd previously been in charge of and commit them to our sons. But making this decisions has given us great rest in our souls.
There are so many things we no longer have to think about because our sons think about them for us. I am free to teach, write, pray, study, and do my television show. Our sons are partnering with us in the ministry and although we still work hard, we are not overburdened and overloaded. We aren't pressed down with worry and concern. Our minds are at rest!
PARTNERSHIP THAT BRINGS PEACE
Having a relationship with God that is a partnership is a major key to a life of peace and joy. He wants to partner with us in everything we do, and when we let Him do so, our minds can be at rest. 1 Corinthians 1:9 (AMP) says it this way: God is faithful [He is reliable, trustworthy and ever true to His promise - He can be depended on], and through Him you were called into fellowship with His Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
A relationship with God is about so much more than fulfilling a bunch of rules and obligations, like going to church once a week, giving some money in the offering and perhaps doing a few good deeds. Those are all good things to do, but we miss out on the rich, wonderful partnership we are offered through faith in Christ if we don't learn how to trust Him and "do life" with Him.
The bottom line is this: God gives us amazing abilities, and expects us to use them while trusting in Him. He is also ready to handle the things we can't do. I like to say it this way: Trust God to help you do your best, and trust Him to do the rest. I urge you to place your trust in Him today and enjoy the peace that only He can give in every situation.
LIVING BY FAITH
THREE SIMPLE STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TODAY
BY JOYCE MEYER
What is faith? And what does it look like to actually live by faith? These are important questions, because we receive and experience the blessings God has for us through faith.
Hebrews 11:1 says, Faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen...(AMP).
Whether we realize it or not, every single one of us operates in faith on a daily basis. For example, when you sit down in a chair, you generally don't worry that it's going to collapse. You have faith that the chair will hold you.
In the same way, God wants us to "simply" put our faith in Him. When we have problem, He wants us to sit and relax in the arms of Jesus and say, "I'm asking you to take care of this, and I'm believing you will."
Here are three practical ways you can put your faith into action today:
1. RELEASE YOUR FAITH THROUGH WHAT YOU PRAY.
Prayer is the greatest privilege we have! It's amazing that we can personally communicate with Almighty God, the Creator of the universe. That means we can talk to Him and He hears us and that He wants to talk to us.
One of the main ways we hear from God is through His Word, which is why it's critically important to study the Bible. As we do, we experience greater revelation of who God is, how He loves us, and what He wants to do in our lives. We learn how to pray for the things He wants to give us...the kind of life Jesus died for us to have.
There are many things you can freely receive any time you pray. Here are a few...
- God's healing, refreshing presence (Psalm 147:3; Jeremiah 31:25).
- His gift of supernatural peace (John 14:27; Philippians 4:6-7).
- Wisdom to make right decisions (James 1:5).
- The strength to do what you need to do (Philippians 4:13).
Romans 1:17 says, For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed - a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."
In other words, the gospel of Christ not only give us the bold confidence to believe for our salvation, it helps us trust God for the good things He wants to give us each day.
- The love of God and the good plans He has for your life (John 3:16; 1 John 4:9-10; Jeremiah 29:11).
Make it your number one priority to know and trust in God's Word. And pray with bold assurance that you will receive every good thing He has for you.
2. RELEASE YOUR FAITH THROUGH WHAT YOU SAY.
One of the most important lessons the Lord has ever taught me is, if we want His will for our lives, then our words need to agree with His Word. So, after we pray for a specific need, it's so important to follow up our prayers with words of faith.
Even when it looks like nothing is happening, choose to say what God says. For example, I like to say, "God has a great plan for my life, and I believe something good is going to happen to me and through me today. This is the day that the Lord has made and I am going to enjoy it!" (See Jeremiah 29:11; Psalm 139:17).
Every time we declare what God says about us, we release our faith and get in agreement with Him. And when we say what God says, and do what God says to do, then we can have everything God says we can have.
3. RELEASE YOUR FAITH THROUGH WHAT YOU DO.
I think when we need a breakthrough, there is often something God is asking us to do in faith before He allows us to receive it.
For example, God gave Abraham some pretty serious instructions. He told him to leave his home, leave his country and go to a place that God would show him. And I believe that if Abraham hadn't followed God's instructions in faith, we wouldn't be telling his story today.
God will always do His part. So, I encourage you to do your part and do whatever God puts in your heart to do.
When life gets difficult and you feel like giving up, just take it one day at a time. But continue to do what God asks of you in His Word by faith. Embrace Galatians 6:9 as God's personal encouragement to you that if you don't give up, you will reap a harvest of blessings.
Joyce Meyer @ www.joycemeyer.org
DLM Christian Lifestyle