OK, Raise Your Hand

Raise it that is, if you are ready to wave goodbye to 2016 and welcome to 2017.  Whether this past year was really good for you, or really bad, or even just somewhere in between, isn’t it a good feeling to be able to just put the year behind us, and start afresh?

Some people are all about making resolutions and setting goals for the New year.  That can be very helpful. We need to have some idea of the direction we want to go.    There’s something about a whole new year stretching out in front of you like a blank slate.  Anything is possible.  

I know the thing I have heard  most  from people, the last couple weeks, is that they can’t wait for 2016 to be over.  It has been a challenging year for many people. Yet, when we wake up tomorrow morning  to 2017, inevitably we will still have some of the same problems we had when we went to bed in 2016.  We will still see mistakes we made in this past year.  We will still remember the bad things that happened, and the people we lost.  Having a new year doesn’t change any of that.  But to me, its the kind of thing where in your mind you can turn a page and say OK, that was last year.  Its done.  It’s a new year.

Of course, we don’t have to wait for a new year to get a fresh start.  We can and should start fresh each day with new hopes and dreams and resolve.  Each night we should leave any anger or unforgiveness behind so we aren’t bogged down in it before we even start the day.  Lamentations 3:22-23 tells us “The faithful love of the Lord never ends!  His mercies never cease.  Great is his faithfulness;  his mercies begin afresh each morning.”  

Having a fresh new year in front of you is a little like the first day of school.  New notebooks, new pencils that whole  feeling of what will this year bring?  Hopefulness.  

Probably one of the most quoted verses about hope is Isaiah 40:31 “But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] Will gain new strength and renew their power;  They will lift up their wings [and rise up close to God] like eagles [rising toward the sun]; They will run and not become weary, They will walk and not grow tired.” I’m sure I’m not alone in saying this is what I hope for in a new year.  

A new chance to wait on the Lord.  To trust in Him.  To be so close that I can hear His voice and follow, knowing that it’s His plan for my life, not my own.  And this verse also promises that while I am waiting I will gain new strength.  Not strength I have to work to gain on my own.   Isaiah 40:29  tells us “He gives strength to the weary,  And to him who has no might He increases power.”  I could use some of that.  How about you?  

No matter where you find yourself at the end of this year (or this day) even if your year was a “Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad  Year”  there is always hope.   We can’t get back those things we have lost, or undo things we wish we hadn’t done.  But what  we can do is to put our trust in the Lord.  We know that He has good plans for us.  “Plans to prosper us and not to harm us.  Plans to give us hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).  We know He’s working things out for us , Romans 8:28 “ And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

Some of you had a really great year and you’re sorry to see 2016 go.  Perhaps you got married, had a baby, started a ministry or got a new job.  We Praise God with you!  For some 2016 was a year you never want to repeat, and you wouldn’t wish the likes of it on your worst enemy.  We weep with you and pray for you and we praise God.  No matter how each of our years went, there is one thing we all have in common.  We all have a new year ahead.  New beginnings.  And not one of us knows what the new year will hold for us.  So together we can trust, and we can pray.  And we can walk forward into the new year with hope.  

I pray that 2017 would be a blessed year for each and every one of you.  That you would be closer to God than you have ever been.  May God’s peace surround you, and His joy fill you all of the year.  

What Are You Putting Your Faith In?

Have you ever thought about that? What is it you think you can always count on?  Is it your job?  Your money?  Perhaps your talent, your fame, your looks, or your brain.  Maybe you set your faith on other people?

As I was standing in line at the store yesterday I was perusing a magazine that had a list of all the celebrities who have died so far in 2016.  There were actors, singers, politicians, writers and so on.  All of those on the list had fame to some degree.  Most had talent of some kind.  Many had money or were quite intelligent.  Even with all that, I pray for their sake that those things were not what they put their ultimate faith in.  Because despite all the things they may have had in their lives, it didn’t keep them from dying.  

If you’ve been around for a while you learn a few things.  Looks fade,fame is fleeting, situations change, jobs end and people can disappoint you.  If those are the things you’ve set your faith on, and they fail, where does that leave you?  Sometimes broke, alone, bitter or disillusioned. Confused perhaps.   Some get angry at God, because they thought their life was always going to stay the way it was, and when it doesn’t they  God gets the blame.  

There is only one person to put your faith in.  That’s Jesus.  Jesus came to earth as a baby, then died on the cross as a man.  When He rose from the grave he defeated death.  If you choose to believe and receive those facts and give your life to Jesus then, when you die, you will have everlasting life with Him.  

That does not mean that once you do that, your life here will always be a peachy-keen,  bed of roses life all the time.  Jesus said in John 16:33 “ These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”  Our lives may not always be the way we want them to be.  But if we have Jesus He gives us what we need to get through our situation.  And, He promises us he will never leave us or forsake us.  He’s walking through it with us.  

Our lives can change in the blink of an eye.  Sometimes we go along with the same old, same old for days and months and years.  Then, suddenly everything in our lives can change.  For better or for worse. Usually without much notice.   Things in the world are changing faster than we can even hope to keep up with.  

With the new year coming up maybe its time to take some time out and ask ourselves these questions.  Where am I putting my faith?  What do I believe to be true?  Whom or what am I trusting?  If not Jesus, why not?  He’s always there.  Waiting on you to answer His knock and let Him into your life.  What are you waiting for?  

We Have Already Received The Best Gift

This time of year can be so hectic.  You tell yourself at the beginning of the Christmas season, that this year you will slow down and take time to enjoy it. At least, I do.  Maybe you do too.   I say I will take time to reflect on what Christmas really means.  Then, oftentimes your best intentions get lost in the busyness of the season, and before you know it Christmas is over.  

I don’t know what happens to the time and how it all rushes past so quickly.  Each year it seems to go faster and faster.   I love to listen to  the lyrics to the song “I Need A Silent Night” by Amy Grant.  It really speaks to all the busyness and craziness that goes on.  It seems like each year gets a little more over the top.  Decorating, shopping, expectations etc.  If we’re not careful, we can start to feel like we need to do more, buy more, and be more, or it simply won’t be good enough.  

Don’t get me wrong.  I love to do all those things we do for Christmas.  I love presents as much as the next person.  I love to give presents, and I like to get presents too.  What’s not to like?  But how did that become the main focus of the season, and what have we done with Jesus?

Lets hit the rewind button and go back a couple thousand years to talk about a truly crazy busy time.  Mary and Joseph were betrothed, and Mary was pregnant with Jesus.  The Bible doesn’t really tell us what they were doing at this time but I’m assuming like couples today when they are expecting they prepare things for the new baby.  Then boom!  An order come out from Caesar Augustus that he wants a census, and they are required to go to Bethlehem because Joseph is of the house of David.  

Imagine their thoughts.  From what I have read it was probably anywhere from 70 to 90 miles.  With Mary pregnant.  On the back of a donkey.  If you have ever been pregnant you know how uncomfortable it can be just to sit anywhere at the end of your pregnancy; Never mind days on the back of a donkey.  Being bounced up and down like a sack of flour. 

Not really something you would choose to do.  I wonder what Joseph’s thoughts were about taking his highly pregnant betrothed on a journey such as this.  Did they bring baby things in case the baby was born while they were gone?  Diapers?  Baby clothes?  We don’t know.  We do know there were no hospitals or Urgent Care’s along the way where she could have stopped to give birth.  

Finally, they reach their destination only to find there are no rooms to be had. No checking the internet for local hotels either. Like most of us, I was always taught that Jesus was born in a stable.  I have also heard it was a cave or a barn. Another thought I read recently, is that it was likely a downstairs room of a private house, where animals were often brought in at night.  We just don’t know for sure.  We do know it wasn’t a Hilton. Or a birthing room, where you can take a hot shower after delivering. There was likely not a lot of privacy or room service. No ice chips to suck on, or nurses tending to your needs.   That must have been a crazy time.  

In comparison it puts all our running around in a different perspective.  I imagine that if you were to research when gift giving started to celebrate Christmas, that gifts were given to represent the gifts that the Magi brought to Jesus.  He did not receive an Xbox or a stuffed animal or in fact any kind of toy or baby item at all.  Gold, frankincense and myrrh.  There’s another whole story involved in theories on why those particular gifts.  Check it out for yourself.  

So how did it turn into the craziness that we have now?  Black Friday, stores open 24 hours, people getting run over in the rush to be first in line to get the deals.  Grown ups fighting for toys so their child will get the latest gadget.  Craziness.

Meanwhile, in towns and cities and schools across the nation there are those who try and erase all mention of Jesus, and the whole reason we celebrate Christmas to begin with.   Christ-mas.  He was born as a gift to us.  The best gift we could ever hope to receive.  Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” 

Of all the presents that will be exchanged this year, not one of them will last forever.  By next year we probably won’t remember most of them.  But the gift of Jesus being born is still being talked about more than 2,000 years after the fact.  And it will be talked about through all of eternity.  

In these next few days as we celebrate, may we make time to slow down, and remember what we are really celebrating.  Maybe take time to read in Luke 2 the story of Jesus’s birth.  Give thanks to God for the gift of Jesus and for all the other blessings in our lives.  Let go of some things that you think you “have” to do that stress you out. Enjoy the company of friends and loved ones.  Celebrate the season before it’s gone.

I pray you all Have a a blessed and Merry Christ-mas!

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Be Deliberate About Joy

Earlier this week, I was reading some comments a friend had posted about joy.  She was saying how she planned to be deliberate on having joy this year, and how in times past, her  joy had been stolen.  That got me to thinking about joy.  I was thinking how true that was, in my own life, as well, and I’m sure for many others also.  

Joy can be elusive.  And fleeting when we do find it. It can be something we may not experience often, and yet we should.  If we have the Holy Spirit living in us, then we should have the fruit of the Spirit, one of which is joy.  God’s kind of joy is not something we can make ourselves “feel”, true joy  is from the Lord.  We see in Romans 15:13 Paul is praying for the church in Rome, for this very thing. ” May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

If we already have this joy in us, but we aren’t experiencing it, then perhaps it’s something we have to learn to exercise and practice walking in.  When the Bible tells us to have something or to do something there is always a reason for it.  Joy is like our secret weapon. It is for our benefit.   We just need to learn how to use it.

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Often, when we think of joy, we think it’s something we have when everything in our life is going well, and we are really, really happy.  If that were true, then I would think that joy would come just every now and then.  Because  most of us  are dealing with something a fair amount of the time. Not always big things but just issues.  Whether its personal relationships,family, finances, health issues, job issues or loss. And even if we aren’t going through something, usually we have at least a couple people close to us who are dealing with something.   Life happens and things happen all the time.

When you Google what’s the difference between joy and happiness, you get a lot of opinions. Some say they are the same, some say they are different.  Yes, they can be synonymous for the same thing sometimes, but I think they can be very different also.  Happiness, to me, I think, depends more on our circumstances.  God’s kind of joy is something that we can have even in the midst of our circumstances.  

Maybe you are thinking to yourself, what does she know?  If she had my life she would know there is nothing to be joyful about.  And I would understand perfectly how you could say that.  But one thing I can say.   I don’t have all the answers on this one.  A lot of people would probably say the same thing.   I think many people struggle with joy. Some might even say they don’t even know what the joy of the Lord means.   

But how I think and feel about joy and what I know to be true, are two different things.  I know how hard it is to have joy when you are going through a hard place.  But I also know that it is possible, and if we can learn to walk in that joy, it will be our strength and help us to get through whatever we are dealing with.  

Walking in God’s joy is a choice.  It’s something we need to practice, and to learn to walk in, believing that its already ours.  It’s no different than learning to walk in love.  It’s something that we need to commit to, and learn to do more and more each day.  We may not be perfect at it at first, but it will get easier with practice.   

In the book of Philippians,  Paul is writing to the congregation from prison.  Anything we read about prisons in that time period, shows them to be awful, terrible places.  And yet, he wasn’t complaining about his situation, or saying  “why me” but he was urging the people to “rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say rejoice”! Phil 4:4.  In the book of Habakkuk, we see Habakkuk making the choice to choose joy.  “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.  The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feel like deer’s feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills”.  Habakkuk 3:18-19.  

You notice he said I WILL rejoice and I WILL joy in the God of my salvation.  It was a choice.  The same as in Psalm 118:24  “This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.”  Its a choice.  Maybe the day ahead will not be good.  But we can still choose to rejoice in it.  

The joy of the Lord is something that we exercise by faith.  We joy in knowing that this is not our home, and everything that happens here is only temporary.  We joy in knowing what Jesus did for us, and we joy in our salvation.  We joy as we trust God, knowing that He has a plan for our lives, and knowing that He will never leave us or forsake us.  And we joy in knowing that we will be with Him one day. 

If Jesus could go to the cross for us, with all that entailed, because of the joy that was set before Him; then surely we can believe to have joy in the midst of our trials.  James 1:2- says “ My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,  knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

Does this mean that knowing all this, it will always be easy to walk in the joy of the Lord?  No.  It just means that by faith we do know its possible and we can do it.  

I have decided to be like my wise friend. This year, I will be more deliberate about joy.  I will be more aware of how the enemy constantly works to steal my joy.  I don’t have to allow him to do that!  It’s not his joy to steal.  It belongs to me.  

I commit to learn more about joy.  There are at least 192 mentions of the word joy in the Bible.  That’s a good place to start!   I would like to learn to shout for joy and have “great” joy.  And have joy like 1 Peter 1:8 “ Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.”  Joy unspeakable.  Imagine what that would be like?   If we could walk in the joy of the Lord, even in the midst of circumstances, what a witness to the world that would be!

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Do Not Be Deceived

There is a reason there are so many scriptures in the Bible about being deceived.  It’s because  we can be deceived, and we need to be on guard.  People try and deceive us all the time.  Look at the people who are deceived every day, by internet scams of promises of wealth, or a new body in 30 days.  Or phone scams, like the IRS is looking for the money you owe.  There are more people out there trying to deceive us than we know of.  

I don’t know about you, but I have been deceived a time or two, by things that sounded so good when your read about them, but turned out to be not so good. Being deceived in these natural areas can be a hard lesson, but its being deceived spiritually that we should be more concerned about.  

We would all like to think we could never be deceived.  But, according to the Bible; we can be deceived .  Not only can we be deceived by others, but we can also deceive ourselves. We do it all the time.  It usually doesn’t start out with a huge deception that we buy into all at once.  Its a little by little thing.  We say, oh it doesn’t matter, its just a little white lie.  Or, nobody is going to find out. Or, the company has a whole box of this or that, it won’t matter if I take some home. Or, it doesn’t matter if I watch that show, or look at those questionable sites online.  After all, its not real, it won’t affect me.  And so it begins.  

The Bible has a lot to say about being deceived, and deceiving yourself.    1 Corinthians 3:18 talks about deceiving yourself.  “ Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise”.   And “Galatians 6:3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves”.  Or, here’s a good one, if you are telling yourself what you are doing isn’t wrong, even when you know, down deep that it isn’t.  1 John 1:8 “ If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us”.

Deception is not new.  It has been going on since Eve was deceived by the serpent in the Garden of Eden.  The worst part of that story, to me, is not that they were deceived into eating the fruit, and being disobedient, though that was bad enough.  It was that they allowed Satan to deceive them into thinking that God had lied to them.  God.  Their Father and Creator who had given them everything they needed.  Who loved them, and shared fellowship with them.  In one moment of deception they allowed themselves to be deceived into believing that God was withholding things from them.  That He was not a good father.  

Doesn’t the enemy use the same deception today?  How often do you hear God getting the blame for the bad things that happen in our lives?  Even though the Bible clearly tells us in 1 Peter 5:8 that its our enemy who walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.  

We see  in James 1:16:17 “Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.  God does not cause the bad things that happen in our lives.  Yet, somehow He still gets blamed sometimes.

We are told in the scriptures that in the last days many will try and deceive us.   Such as Luke 21:8  “And He said: “Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time has drawn near.’ Therefore do not go after them”.  Or,  Matthew 24:24 “ For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect”.

So if we know that we can deceive ourselves, and we can be deceived by others, what can we do to make sure that it doesn’t happen?  

First, we have to make sure that we stay close to God.  We have to have a personal relationship with Him and with Jesus.  When we do, we have Holy Spirit living inside us to be our helper.  We have to spend time in God’s Word, and know what it says so that if we hear something contrary to the Word, we can recognize it for the lie that it is.  No matter how good something sounds, if it doesn’t agree with the Word, its deception.  God’s Word is always true.  We should also  be open to correction. We can ask Holy Spirit to show us any areas where we might be being deceived.  Then, we need to be willing to repent, and turn from the deception.  

It is possible to not be deceived.  Otherwise it wouldn’t say so many times in the Word to “take heed you not be deceived” or “see that you are not deceived”.  Our part is to be ever watchful and not believe everything we hear or see.  

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Searching For The Christmas Spirit

I can’t believe it’s so close to Christmas.  Talk about time flying.  Usually, its somewhere around this time of year that I, and probably some of you, start to think; hey it doesn’t seem much like Christmas.  Often, I don’t think we even know what it is that we are looking for.  Or, exactly what it is, that it seems we are missing.

If I asked a bunch of people what the Christmas spirit feels like, we would all have different answers.  I think partly it would depend on when and where we grew up. Or how we celebrated Christmas as a child. Maybe what we enjoyed about Christmas or any happy memories we might have.

If you grew up where there was snow you might think; it doesn’t feel like Christmas if there is no snow on the ground.  Or, we think, we just need to get the tree, and put up the lights. Or listen to carols, make cookies, drink hot chocolate, see Santa, go to the mall or all those things we think we have to do,  for it to feel like Christmas.  Sometimes, even when we have all those things; it still feels like something is missing.  

I don’t have all the answers.  Often I think we are trying to recreate something that can never be re-created. We have changed.  Circumstances have changed. We can’t go back in time to what we remember.  

I think the Christmas spirit is more a heart thing.  I don’t have a lot of vivid Christmas memories from when I was young.  And I know that all our Christmas’s were not perfect.  There was stress on my parents back then, just like there is stress on all of us now.  

When I do think about Christmas, and the feeling of Christmas when I was growing up, there are a few memories that stand out.  My dad reading to us on Christmas Eve.  My grandmothers coming to Christmas dinner.  Walking to the drugstore one dark snowy night to get a Christmas gift for my parents. The crunching snow, the feel and smell of the air.  Visiting relatives.  Standing outside my grandmothers house one cold snowy Christmas eve.  Looking at her lights and the stars and just sensing the presence of God-though I doubt I even knew what it was at that time in my life.  

We were not wealthy.  We didn’t receive huge amounts of gifts.  Maybe a couple of toys,  some clothes, and a stocking of course.  It wasn’t the gifts, or the amount of money that was spent.  It wasn’t that we went all out decorating like Chevy Chase on Christmas Vacation.  In fact,  I don’t recall ever even using outdoor lights.  It wasn’t extravagant parties.  It was family and friends taking time to spend time together.  It seemed like a much simpler time.  Easier to find that Christmas spirit.  Maybe we just remember things that way.  Maybe my parents if I could ask them, would disagree and say it was too busy of a time for them too.  

All these things that we work so hard to get done, gifts that we buy and wrap and send, are all so fleeting.  We likely won’t even remember most of it next year.  Maybe we could just take some time to slow down, and just pay attention to what’s around us.  Give someone a hug.  Take a long walk.  Do something for someone in need.  Play with a child.  Put away our watch and our cell phones and tablets and just….live.  Seek God.  Thank Him daily and often.  Sing carols at the top of our lungs just because we can. Look at Christmas through the eyes of a child.  With wonder, and excitement.

Maybe, just maybe, if we do that,  when we aren’t looking, we might find ourselves enjoying this time and truly celebrating Christmas.  No matter whether it fits our preconceived ideas of how it should be, or not.  

Ask your parents, or your grandparents, or older children if you have them, what their favorite Christmas memories are.  Though some of it may be special gifts that they received, chances are many of them will say the same things I did.  Special times with those we hold dear.  

 There’s really only one thing we need to have joy at Christmas.  Luke 2: 10-12: “ Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

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Hang Onto Those Promises

Are you standing on a promise that you believe you received from God?  Then you need to wrestle that thing to the ground and don’t let it go! No matter what your circumstances look like, hold on!   Whether it is a promise you took from the Bible or a word that someone gave you, or maybe you were prayed for, perhaps for your healing, or another need, and you believe that you received it from God; don’t let that promise go!

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 In Numbers 23:19 we see this: “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent.  Has He said, and will He not do?  Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good”?  

It doesn’t matter if you can’t see it yet in the natural.  If you know in your spirit that it is true, then it will come to pass, if you don’t give up.  It will be in God’s timing.  Not ours.  Sure, we maybe we think, I want it now!  I know I do.  However,  I also know from experience that trying to make things happen in our timing, and in our own strength, can go very wrong.

Often we have to see it and believe it in our spirits before we see it in the natural.  Of course, this only holds true if what you are believing for lines up with the Word.  If you are believing for something that doesn’t line up with God’s Word, then that promise is not from the Lord!

Waiting can be hard.  In this fast food society we don’t like to wait.  But when we see our answer coming to pass, it’s all worth it.  I know you’ve heard this comparison before; it’s like when you are having a baby.  You find out you are pregnant and you are so excited. You start making plans.  But, you still have to go through the nine months of waiting.  Then, right before the baby is born, you have a lot of pain and struggle to go through.  Then one day, the baby arrives, and you forget the months of waiting and the pain and toil.  Your awaited blessing far outshines what you went through. 

What we don’t always see, are the things that the Lord is working on, in the background, before our promise manifests.  God desires the best for us, and He does not want us to settle for anything less than what He has planned.  

I recall one time we were putting our house on the market, and  moving to another state.  We had an event that was going to be going on, about 5 months from that time, and I had a lot of planning and other things to do before then.  I felt sure I would be able to do everything from our new location, and so; I wanted to sell our house right away.  Long story short, the house didn’t sell right away.  I stressed about it for months; trying to keep things picked up, waiting for the buyer to come, wondering what the delay was.   Meanwhile, we were able to plan the event, got things in order, and had quality time with family.  What I couldn’t see at that time was God’s mercy in the whole process.  I was able to be where I needed to be, doing what I needed to get done.  When the house did sell, it was at the perfect time, and our new home was available where God wanted us to be.  Had I done it in my own time, and in my own way I’m quite sure it would not have worked out anywhere near as well.  

One of the hardest things for me, and for many of us I think, while we are believing for our answer, is to not  get distracted.  It can be very easy to start looking at what you can see with your natural eyes and take your eyes off of God’s promises.  Even more important than not getting distracted, is being sure you don’t begin to doubt.  James 1:6-8 says “ But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.  For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;  he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

When we begin to doubt, we are listening to someone other than the Lord.  Those whispers that you hear in your mind like, you must be crazy that’s not going to happen, or God didn’t really promise that, or God doesn’t want you to have that or I guess you weren’t really healed; those whispers are not from God.  We need to be so careful not to let those thoughts and words, take over our minds, or come out of our mouths.  

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Lastly, if you feel yourself wavering, or having trouble believing, I would encourage you to get someone to believe with you.  There is power in agreement.  Matthew 18:19 tells us “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”  Its  encouraging to know that someone is believing with you and praying for you.  You do the same for them!  When we are praying and believing for someone else, it helps us to take the focus off ourselves, and our issues, and focus on God’s promises.  

When our hearts and minds are focused on God, and His Word, and His promises, we know we can count on Mark 9:23.   Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”