When life gets tense, remember these 3 things

When Life Gets Tense Remember These 3 Things

When life gets tense, remember these 3 things

It is really hard not to let circumstances around us in life make us upset.

We feel we aren’t treated fairly or get upset with someone when they make a comment on social media. We see presidential debates, we have disagreements, we have differing views and it can become wearing. We often look at others actions or words and become upset because it’s not what we think or believe. Maybe this is you or maybe not, but I know at times I have struggled with not letting the outside influence my heart and my relationship with God.

Whether it’s something that comes up at work or within family, we are sure to come across unpleasant situations.

It can be in the form of personal attacks or verbal arguments, disagreements with co-workers or friends on social media… you name it. We can easily let these situations start to influence our heart, our relationship with God and those around us.
 

The Lord has continued to bring three very important reminders to me when I am struggling with these things.

ONE:  God calls me to a pure heart

The Lord continues to remind me to keep my heart pure when it comes to matters that tend to make me upset or feel wronged. It doesn’t do any good to focus on someone else’s views or comments when I have no control over it. When we have a pure heart, we draw closer to God. The Bible says in Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for that shall see God.”

TWO:  God calls me to prayer

Instead of feeling angry towards another person or situation, I am called to pray for those things. If someone has wronged me, pray. If people don’t see the political world how I see it, pray. Don’t pray for the things I want, but the things God wants to come out of situations or how he wants to work in someone’s life. Matthew 5:44 tells us to Love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.
 
THREE: God calls me to love
 
The last reminder is to love. Luke 6:27 says “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who persecute you.” First, we have to hear, second is to love and third is do good. Let us come together before God and ask him to help us love those around us. Not the easy to love, but those that need to see the true love of God.
 
Resist allowing the world’s opinions and pressures influence your heart and relationship with God. Let’s put our trust in God alone – our firm foundation that cannot be shaken. Be encouraged through this song and make it your prayer today.
 

 
Author:
Ryan Bivins, Worship Leader
 
 

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What Are You Choosing Today?

Each and every day, we get to choose which path our day is going to follow.
 
We can choose to be positive and look at the day with excitement and enthusiasm… or we can be a negative, pessimistic person and look at the things we need to get done with a negative perspective.

We get to choose how our day will start and end.
What a privilege and challenge at the same time.

Psalm 143: 8
Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.

When we put our trust in Him and listen to what He wants us to do in life, our path seems to take on a positive vibe even when things don’t go our way. It’s not always an easy path to find – but once you do – it is well worth it.

 
Lately, I have tried to make a conscious decision to start my day with a positive attitude.
Does that happen every day? Absolutely not. Do I make it my goal? Yes.
 
Over the past few years I have been dealing with chronic back pain to which no treatments have been successful. There have been so many ups and downs and even though I believed and trusted God would take care of me, I still struggled. It wasn’t until after a recent treatment that made me worse than before, did I realize that I needed to change my prayer life.
 
While driving to church, I heard a song by Natalie Grant. The chorus to “More than Anything” really hit me hard:
Help me want the healer more than the healing
Help me want the savior more than the saving
Help me want the giver more than the giving
Oh help me want you Jesus, more than anything
 
In my mind and prayers over the years, I would ask for healing in His time.
As patient as I thought I was being, I realized I needed to change my mindset of what God was teaching me about himself.
When I decided to turn my wants and physical needs to more of a relationship-prayer life –
focused on learning more about the heart of God – did I come to this realization:

Each day is a gift from God.
I need to live in the moment of where I am right now.
I need to want the HEALER more than the healing.

 
Don’t get me wrong, it is absolutely okay to pray for physical healing – He wants us to pray for it.
But He also wants us to focus more our relationship and the discovery of who He is.
What an amazing God we serve that he tells us in Isaiah 46:4-13
I am your God and will take care of you until you are old and your hair is gray. I made you and will care for you; I will give you help and rescue you. “To whom will you compare me?” says the Lord. “Is there anyone else like me?

 

Matthew 6:26-27
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
 
So who are we as Christians to worry about tomorrow (or dwell on our aches and pains) when he promises He will take care of us.
We can remind ourselves of this daily and choose to be a positive, optimistic person – choosing to have faith in God’s great love for us.
 

Choose today to be positive and joyful. Choose relationship. Choose discovery of Him.

 
Author:
Faith Kids Ministry, Faith Assembly

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Fasting and Prayer

It is January, which for our church is the month we set aside as a time to pray and fast.
I have to admit something. Last year when Pastor Jon asked us to join in with him as a church, I was a little reluctant.
 
With the fasting part- not the prayer part.
 
However, now I can say during that period of time…
 
I personally was drawn closer to the Lord
I was able to join my church family in seeking God’s direction for our church
I was able to seek God’s direction for my life in the months to come
This year I feel better prepared spiritually, mentally, and emotionally to move into a period of fasting.
 
Consider these questions as we pray and fast this month:
 
Is fasting necessary for today?
Jesus Himself encouraged his followers to fast.
Matthew 9:15 says, “The time will come when the Bridegroom will be taken away from them; then they will fast.”
 
What kind of attitude should we have when we fast and pray?
I believe we need to have a humble heart and open hands when we fast.
The fast is directed to God (not man), bringing humility and openness to His guidance.
 
What is the benefit of fasting?
The spiritual discipline of fasting can be a tool God uses to…
Draw us closer to God, causing a deeper in relationship with Jesus
Convicts us of areas in our lives that perhaps have too large of a hold on us
Makes us aware of unhealthy life patterns that need addressing
Brings about humble confession
Shows us what He has for us as a church, renews personal and congregational vision
And so much more…
II Corinthians 4:16 says, “though outwardly I am wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
Now grant you, I do not think that I am wasting away, but I can say I am being renewed day by day!”
Amen!
 
As we enter into fasting and praying together,
let’s seek God’s face for direction, encouragement, and a desire for a deeper love for Him during this time.
 
Let’s come together and support each other.
May God bless you all greatly as we seek and serve Him together.
 
Author: 
Ken Drew, Elder at Faith Assembly

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Prayers for Our Children (With a Little Help From Paul)

Parents tend to pray for their children,
no matter what religion they may or may not profess.
I’ve met parents of dozens of different nationalities,
religions and philosophical backgrounds.
One thing we all have in common is deep concern for our children.
 
It’s interesting that somewhere along the way, it seems to be innate that our concern for them often turns to prayer for them.
It often seems it’s the God of the Bible and Christianity that parents turn to even if they haven’t had a personal history believing in Him.
 
In Ephesians 1: 15-23, Paul is praying for the Ephesian believers.
The following points warm my heart when thinking in terms of praying for our children:
That God would give them a spirit of wisdom and revelation in their knowledge of Him.
(vs. 17)
That the eyes of their hearts would be opened so that they’d know the hope of His calling of them.
(vs. 18)
That they’d know the surpassing greatness of His power toward those who believe in Him.
(vs. 19)
 
That these things are done in their lives by the same power and strength that God used to raise Jesus from the dead. (vs. 19 – 20)
 
It would seem to be a parent’s job to lay awake at night with concern for our kids.
Let me encourage you to turn those moments into praying moments.
Borrowing Paul’s prayer when we pray for our children elevates what we’re praying for them;
from the circumstances of their lives, to the condition of their lives.
 
And, perhaps God’s involvement in their lives is not a matter of mere religion,
but an actual relationship as we pray they’d come to really know Him.
 
What’s more, you may be surprised how praying this prayer will change your life as well.
After all, God knows that change starts with us. 
 
Pastor Jon is Lead Pastor at Faith Assembly

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