Don’t Give Up

Have you ever been told that you cannot achieve anything? Have bullies told you that you are a loser and worthless? Have people mocked your dreams and tried to stop you from bringing your dreams to reality? Or, have you allowed fear of failure or fear of rejection stop you from moving forward?

I have!

Bullies have called me names, told me I was a loser. People who were supposed to be my “friends” mocked my dreams and what I wanted to achieve. I have allowed fear of rejection to stop me in my tracks. But, not anymore! It doesn’t matter what people say about me. Greater is He who is in me, than he who is in the world-1 John 4:4. No longer will I be sitting on the sidelines, but I am getting on the field, ready to play the game. I am ready to do what God has called me to do.

The same thing goes for you. Greater is He who is in you, than he who is in the world. It is time to stop sitting on the sidelines, being a benchwarmer…it is time to get on the field and be all God created YOU to be. It is time to look at the opponent (the enemy) straight in the eye, and tell him to get behind you because you are moving forward with full force, not looking back. With God on your side, who can stop you? What may seem impossible to you, is possible with Him! You are meant for so much more.

Sure, getting on the field will be challenging at first. When you walk in the calling God has for you, it is great and exciting, but nerve-racking at the same time because of the unknown. That is why we have faith and trust that God will work out all things on our behalf. Romans 8:28 [NKJV] says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God…” In junior high and high school, I played basketball. I remember the first time I got on the basketball court facing our school’s rival. I was excited to be one of the 5 starters, but I was nervous at the same time. I was usually the one who started the game. I thought, “What if I mess up?” “What if I knock the ball out of bounds?” “What if I get hurt?” Then, the referee blew his whistle, I looked up at the ball, jumping as high as I could to slap the ball to my teammate…those first 10 seconds, I was a nervous wreck…but once the game got started, I loved it.

I believe that is the same with all of us. We are excited to do what God has called us to do, and sure it can be challenging; but, we don’t have to let it stop us. God would not lead us somewhere that would bring us harm. He would not put us in a situation we cannot get out of. God would not make us do something if we could not handle it. What kind of father would do that to his child? The Bible says in Psalm 84:11 [NKJV], “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”

Never allow fear to stop you in your tracks. Don’t allow the naysayers, the critics, the judgers, the bullies, the hypocrites stop you from achieving your dreams. I truly believe that Jesus’ return is so near, closer than we think. Let that be your motivation to do what God has called you do. Let that be your motivation to accomplish all that you can. Don’t hide your talents and gifts from the world because of what people said about you. Jesus mentioned in a parable about the master giving his servants talents (Matthew 25:14-29). As the master left, he gave each servant a certain amount of talents. They didn’t know when the master would return. When the master returned, he asked the servants what they did with their talents. Two of them invested their talents and the third one buried it in fear, not investing at all. Woe to the third servant! Don’t be like that servant, hiding the gifts and talents that God has deposited inside of you. You are capable because God will give you the strength to achieve it.

I am preaching to myself too! There have been times where I have let fear stop me, but I am dusting the dirt off my shoes and I am going ahead full force, walking on that field! Regardless how many rejections, no’s, judgments thrown my way…I will not stop! We would not have Disney World if Walt Disney gave up because of the multiple “no’s” he received. We would not have “I Love Lucy” if Lucille Ball quit theater because she was told she lacked talent. We would not have Physics if Albert Einstein accepted his teachers calling him stupid. Do you get my point? Don’t give up. Ever. You are here for such a time as this. You are God’s masterpiece created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them-Ephesians 2:10. God has great things in store for you that you cannot imagine. 1 Corinthians 2:9 [NKJV] says, “But as it is written: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those love Him.” God has great things prepared just for you!

Will you join me on the field?

 

 

 

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Tormentors Have No Hold On You

Sunday morning before leaving the house to go to church, I was sitting at the kitchen table sipping on coffee and reading the Bible on my phone. While waiting for my parents to finish getting ready for church, I had time to read Psalm 56. As I was reading the passage, I noticed that Psalm 56 was titled “Prayer for Relief from Tormentors.” In case you are wondering what translation I read, I read from the NKJV. When reading Psalm 56, it made me realize just how applicable this passage is today.

“Be merciful to me, O God, for man would swallow me up, fighting all day he oppresses me. My enemies would hound me all day, for there are many who fight against me, O Most High. Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in God (I will praise His word), in God I have put my trust, I will not fear. What can flesh do to me? All day they twist my words; all their thoughts are against me for evil. They gather together, they hide, they mark my steps, when they lie in wait for my life…In God (I will praise His word), in the Lord (I will praise His word), in God I have put my trust, I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Psalm 56:1-6, 10-11 [NKJV]

King David was crying out to God, asking Him to deliver him from his tormentors. Even though there were people after David and they wanted to take his life, he remained confident in the Lord. When reading this passage, it reminded me of bullying. Do not bullies hound their victims all day, twist their words, think evil toward the victim, mark their steps, and gather together? If you are dealing with bullying, I believe you can learn something valuable from this passage. Or, if you are dealing with difficult people in your life, maybe you can benefit from this too.

Regardless of what the people were doing, saying, or planning to do toward David, he kept his faith in God. Even though the circumstances around him appeared overwhelming, David kept an attitude of praise and trust. David praised God’s word.

Often times, it is easy to talk about the problem. And yes, when bullying occurs it is good to talk about it. But, have faith and trust in the Lord. David trusted that God would bring him through. Do you trust God to bring you through too? I have heard the saying that when a door closes, continue to praise God in the hallway until the right door opens. I believe the same thing should happen even when life isn’t too peachy. Praise God and thank Him that you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. Praise Him and read His word…get to know what God says about you. What God says about you is far more valuable and precious than what bullies say about you.

David kept his focus on God. In the good times and the bad times, David praised God and kept his focus on Him. Are you praising God in the good and the bad times? Are you keeping your focus on Him? I know that this is easier said than done, believe me, I know. It is so easy to get caught up in the moment and focus on the problem, rather than focusing on God. However, overtime, I learned that I don’t need to tell God how big my problems are but to tell my problems how big my God is. Don’t think one moment that God doesn’t care or has time for you. He shows no partiality. Whatever you are facing, He wants you to know that He is there for you every step of the way and to call out to Him. He wants to hear from you and trust in Him. What does trust mean? According to Webster Dictionary, trust means: firm belief in the honesty, reliability, etc. of another; faith; confident expectation. People fail all the time and it can be so hard to trust people. However, isn’t it reassuring to know that God will NEVER fail us? We can trust on the reliability of God. Why? Because He is the Creator. He created you and has a purpose for you according to Jeremiah 29:11. He has wonderfully and fearfully made you according to Psalm 139. He has sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for your sins. Why would you not want to trust Him?

Whatever you are facing today, remember to be like King David. Regardless what you are going through, praise God and trust in Him. When people go after you, twist your words, mark your steps, or gather together to plot against you…remember, God is greater. Keep your focus on Him because tormentors have no hold on you!

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Fear Not!

There are times in life where we face fear. Whether it is fear of failure, rejection, perfectionism, life, etc…we have all faced it. Maybe you are dealing with fear right now. Today, I want to encourage you not to be fearful. 2 Timothy 1:7 [NKJV] says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” How comforting is that?

Lately, I have noticed on my Twitter feed numerous Tweeters who have been dealing with fear. I, myself, have been overcoming fear lately too…the fear of failure and rejection. I want to share with you all that regardless what fear you are facing, you can overcome it. The enemy likes to create fear in us which causes us to stop in our tracks. It can prevent us from moving forward in the direction God has for us. FEAR means False Evidence Appearing Real. Don’t allow fear to stop you, rather keep persevering and moving forward. I read one time that the words “do not fear” is in the Bible 365 times. Do you know what that means? There are 365 days in 1 year, and each day God is saying, “Do not fear.” When we focus on Him and how much He has blessed us, there is no room to think about fear. Instead of dwelling on the fear and letting it magnify in our minds, we need to hand the Lord our concerns and trust that He will make a way. One of the greatest things we can do during tough times is to praise and honor Him, regardless of the storm we are in.

In the Bible, a great example of someone who faced fear was Peter. I am sure you probably have heard of the story of the disciples being in a boat and caught in a terrible wind storm. The winds blew, waves crashing, and they saw someone walking on water. The disciples panicked thinking it was a ghost. Jesus told the disciples to be of a good cheer because it was Him. To make sure this person walking on water was really Jesus, Peter wanted Jesus to command him out of the boat. Jesus called Peter out of the boat. Peter kept his eyes on Jesus, and when he crawled out of the boat, he was walking on water too. However, the moment he took his eyes off of Jesus, he panicked and became fearful…sinking in the water.

“Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear.  But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.  But when he saw that the wind was boisterous,he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.” ~Matthew 14:25-33 [NKJV]

What created fear in Peter? The winds and waves. He took his focus off of Jesus and began to focus on the fear. I can imagine Jesus being so gracious, smiling at Peter as he reached down to pull him out of the water. I believe the same thing for us, Jesus smiling and pulling us out of our situation saying, “I will help you, why do you doubt?” Fear is something everyone faces in their life, but it is what we do with it that matters. Are you going to dwell on the fear or keep your focus on Jesus?

If you are dealing with fear, replace those fearful thoughts with God’s Word. What does the Bible say about the situation? God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strength you, yes I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”  How comforting that God is for us and is with us. “Fear not, for I am with you.” God, the Creator of the Universe, is with you. Remember, you are a blessing and victorious. Fear not!

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