The spiritual struggles within all of us often stir up baffling contradictions of simultaneous love and hate. But at every point in our faith journey, we can find concrete encouragement and explicit instructions in God’s Word on how to overcome our battles and learn to love the Lord with all our hearts, minds, and souls. Perspective isn’t just in the mind. It’s a battle plan for a victory already won.
Ownership is an optical illusion that tricks us into believing that we are in control of what only God can give. But when we allow God to take the lead, we can rest in the assurance that He alone is responsible for the outcomes of anything we do. Our minds can be at peace in the off hours because the Owner of all things is still at work.
Most of us have a very hard time “feeling” the hope of heaven when we’re down in the pits of the daily grind. But when we learn how to put it into practice, hope -- and all its benefits -- is within us continually because of the Spirit of Christ. Rather than a lens for how we view the world, hope becomes a companion, changing not what we see, but who we are.
God designed our souls to crave a Garden experience with Him on a daily basis. The problem is that most of us have either forgotten how to get to the Garden, are afraid of allowing ourselves to go there, or simply don’t make it a priority. We have yet to realize that only in the Garden with Jesus can we experience the wonder of being simultaneously on the mountaintop while walking through the valleys of life.
When change arrives, it always brings with it a life lesson. It forces us to make a choice -- we can pivot in trust toward hope or turn in fear toward bitterness. Trust will teach us the lesson and usher us into a new level of strength. Fear will blind us to the truth and force us to repeat the lesson again and again. In a world that is becoming more and more time-starved, high-pressured, and completely impersonal, we can be a steadfast, but gentle resistance against the cultural grain and help others in times of struggle, change, and pain.
We cannot exhaust God's newness anymore than we can reach the end of His love for us. The resolutions we should keep have nothing to do with a new year but have everything to do with the daily renewal of our love for Jesus. When we’re committed to that, every day has the potential for greatness.
How much love does it take for a king to leave his splendor in order to wrap himself in the rags of common humanity? One minute Jesus was walking on streets of gold and the next he was beginning a long journey on a dusty road to a destination called Calvary. Jesus chose sacrificial love to the point of death for the joy of being with us. This Christmas, discover the kind of joy that leaves you changed, not just happy. When we allow the Spirit of Christ to complete His work in us, we become Christmas miracles ourselves.
When life takes a turn we could've never imagined, God calls us to trust Him regardless of baffling circumstances. Joseph gives us a powerful example of obeying God even when the path ahead demands that we walk through darkness. If we love God, then we will trust God. And in order to trust, we must continually obey.
During the Advent season, many people have only a superficial understanding of one of the most pivotal characters in the Christmas story — Mary. She had the most important ingredient for God to use her to usher in the greatest event in human history — humility. Like yeast added to dough, humility is the ingredient that triggers spiritual greatness for God’s glory. All the raw ingredients can be inside a person, but without humility, even the best combination of traits will fall short of God’s plan.
There’s not a person on this planet who doesn’t make mountains out of molehills when it comes to doing things they dread. But God can turn any pile of misery into magnificence if we seek His glory and not our own. Here are five steps we can take to glorify Him even in the most arduous tasks and annoying situations.