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?

 

 

 

The Desire’s of Our Heart

How often do you hear people say that God will give you the desires of your heart? I hear that all the time, especially from Christians. In fact, I even tweet that!! I truly believe that God gives us the desires of our heart. I believe He can place those desires and dreams in our heart as He directs us into the purpose and calling He has for our lives. I mean, the Bible even says He will do it! Psalm 37: 4 [NKJV] says, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” However, have you ever followed through and read the verse after? So often, people just stop at verse 4 and don’t follow through.

There are two things that Psalm 37:5 says that we should do in order for God to bring it to pass. 1. Commit our way to Him and 2. Trust in Him. Psalm 37:5 [NKJV] says, “Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.” To fully understand this verse more, I looked up the word commit and trust.

1. Commit:

According to Webster’s dictionary, commit means: to put in charge or trust; entrust. To break it down further, the word entrust means: to confer a trust on; to commit to another with confidence.

As someone who likes to plan things and be in control of my plans, I learned last year that is not always great. I had to learn that it is not my ways but God’s ways. I learned I had to let go of my plans that I was holding on to so tightly and let God be in control. I committed my way to the Lord. By saying, “Lord not my will but Your will,” oh my goodness, are His ways BETTER than my ways. What we think is good, God has something greater! I have always been a Christ follower and trusted the Lord to direct my steps. But, last year it really hit home the importance of letting God be in control. He will not take you places that you do not need to be. He will not give you more than you can handle. He will not set you up to fail. Instead, He wants what is best for you. He wants to bless you and for you to experience His goodness. He sets you on the path of righteousness. He directs your steps. God is not a mean God…He is just, faithful, and true. He has your best interest in mind. Believe me, if you thought your plans/ways were great…God’s plans/ways are even better!

2. Trust:

According to Webster’s dictionary, trust means: assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or trust of someone or something; one in which confidence is placed; dependence on something future or contingent: HOPE

“…trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.” What are your desires? What do you hope to accomplish with your life? What are your dreams? Trust the Lord that He will bring it pass. Trust in Him! Praying for something and then doubting it will come to pass is not trusting the Lord. Sometimes, it can be hard to trust. Especially if you have been hurt by others, it can be hard to trust other people. However, like I mentioned above, God will not set you up to fail. He has your best interest in mind. People will fail you but God will NEVER fail you. He loves you so much and has given you a future and a hope. He loves you so much that He gave His only begotten Son to die for you and take away your sins (John 3:16). God Almighty, the one who placed the stars in the sky, caused the planets to turn, who formed you in your mother’s womb…how can you not trust Him?

Commit your ways to the Lord, and trust, place hope and your confidence in Him. Believe and expect God to give you the desires of your heart. Expect God to do exceedingly and abundantly above ALL that you could think or imagine according Ephesians 3:20. God has an incredible purpose for your life. Whatever you are praying for, know that God hears your prayers. Never cease to dream big and expect God to do great things in your life.

I believe, the greatest hindrance to our desires/dreams, is putting our trust in people rather than God and accepting their words over His. God can place desires and dreams in your heart, but will you allow other’s to squander and squash it? When you are focused on God and what He has placed in your heart, rise above people’s negative comments and insecurities. Choose to believe what God says about you.

“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.” –Psalm 37:4-5

 

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You Are An Overcomer

Growing up, my parents taught me to keep my focus on Jesus. When circumstances and obstacles came my way, they encouraged me that Jesus was with me. When I was bullied, I strived to keep my focus straight ahead and remember that God has a purpose for my life. My life is truly a testimony of perseverance. I share my story of overcoming bullying in my book, “Bullied Yet Victorious: How I Overcame Fear with Faith.”

In times of struggles, we can either focus on the negative or look at how we can grow from it. During the time I was being bullied, it was a faith building time for me. It was a time where I chose to believe what God says about me and stand firm on His Word, trusting that God is with me. I relied on Him during my time of trouble. However, more importantly, God helped me to overcome. Whatever you are facing today, know that you can overcome too.

According to Webster’s Dictionary, overcome means: to get the better of; to prevail. To dig deeper, I looked up the meaning of prevail. Prevail means: to be victorious, triumph; to succeed, etc. How is it that we are overcomers? We are overcomers because of Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross for us. We don’t have to walk in this world alone. We don’t have to be fearful or face struggles alone, for He is with us wherever we go. John 10:10 says, “The thief does not come expect to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” We have life because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. God loved the world so much, He gave His only Begotten Son to die for us on our behalf. He bore our sins and shame. Even though we don’t deserve His mercy and grace, God’s mercies are made new every morning according to Lamentations 3:23. We are victorious because of Him. We don’t have to believe the labels people put on us; rather, we can believe what God says about us which is: blessed, precious, worthy, valuable, priceless, beautiful, smart, overcomers, and victorious.

You can prevail. You can overcome. You can triumph and succeed. Believe me, I have been there and here I am today encouraging you. Regardless the circumstances that surround you, you are victorious. God is with you and He will bring you through. Maybe you are worried about finances due to the economy…trust in Him that He will provide and bring you through. Maybe you received a negative doctor’s report…trust in Him that He will heal you. Or, maybe you are dealing with bullying at school…trust in Him that He is with you, even when you feel like you are alone. As a Christian, we are victorious because we have God Almighty on our side. I mean think about it, the Creator of the Universe has you in the palm of His hands. Is there anything too big for Him? Of course not! Therefore, your struggles, pain, hurt, obstacles, regret, circumstances…whatever you are dealing with, God can help you to triumph over your problems. He can bring you through!

Our world is so fast paced, it can seem overwhelming at times and lonely. But, know this, that you are not alone. If you are struggling today with loneliness, fear, bitterness, depression…you are not alone. God is with you, He hears your prayers and cries. I heard a pastor once say that God never wastes a hurt. He knows what you are going through and even when it seems tough, God will make all things work together for your good. He did for me! I was bullied and it hurt. However, I chose to stand firm on God’s Word and believe in Him that He would bring me through. This I know, my hurt was not wasted. God turned things around on my behalf. What the enemy meant for harm, God turned it around for my good. Now I get to share my story and testimony of God’s goodness and help others. Know today, that God is working on your behalf. He will make all things work together for your good. Stay faithful and hopeful, your brighter days are head. You are an overcomer!

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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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