Tag Archives: trust

How to Overcome Obstacles

“And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.”
                                                                                                Colossians 1:10-12

Obstacles.

For as long as I can remember, encountering obstacles would make me crumple up in despair. Without attempting to overcome the blockade, I would remain trapped back where my dream originally began.

Not very productive, I know. 

So yesterday, while strolling along the Chattachoochee river and sipping on Haitian coffee, I wasn’t at all surprised when the Lord began to speak to me about this specific issue – my inability to consistently overcome obstacles. Instead of shying away from this holy and paternal insight on my life, I chose to meet Him with enthusiasm and wonder. I wanted to discover how this behavior could be overcome. No longer did I want to regret my yet unrealized dreams.

And this is where it all begins, beloved. With the desire to change.

What is an obstacle?

According to Websters, obstacles are defined as something that impedes (delays) progress or achievement; a barrier, a hindrance, or a blocking.

Even this definition alone makes me annoyed.

But, I challenge you to take a look at what some of our world’s greatest leaders have said concerning this issue of overcoming obstacles.

 “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein
 
“The true measure of a man is not how he behaves in moments of comfort and convenience but how he stands at times of controversy and challenges.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
“History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats.” – B.C. Forbes
 
“Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph; a beginning, a struggle and a victory.” – Mahatma Gandhi

These leaders were great because they did great things. And they did great things because they simply overcame their obstacles. I want to do this, too.

How about you?

I want to be great through Christ. I want to own a successful company. I want to publish books. I want to speak more languages. I want to impact nations for Christ. I want to be a submissive wife. I  want to earn my PhD. I want a Bed ‘n’ Breakfast on a farm to host missionaries.  I want to learn to sail. I want an incredible marriage. I want to touch thousands upon thousands of lives (through His grace).

Deep within my core, I know these dreams will require much more than just a vision and good intentions to be realized. I will have to mature in overcoming obstacles in order to experience a life of greatness. And so will you, my friend.

What unrealized dreams do you have waiting at the doorstep of your heart?

Here are three ideas the Lord spoke into my mind yesterday afternoon:

1. Set your eyes on the goal, but don’t overlook the journey. I am a visionary, which means I naturally focus most of my attention on the expected outcome (the goal). Because so much detail and planning goes into the actual vision of the end result, I become incredibly distraught when things don’t go according to plan. Which leads me to the next point…

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

2. Remain flexible and seek alternate solutions. This statement is synonymous with two simple but important words: “problem-solver.” And this is not my forte. The idea of picking myself up (with the aid of Christ), contemplating a myriad of alternate solutions, and failing countless times before encountering success seems noble (yet daunting). But it’d be much easier to just cry and postpone the goal till a more “fit season,” delaying the gratification for another time. Many refer to this more candidly as “procrastination.” However, through the strength of Jesus Christ, we can persevere. The notion is simple: Don’t give up until you find the best solution to meet your goal.

“Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!” 1 Chronicles 16:11

3. Expect obstacles before reaching the goal. If we ever set out to change our reality by pursuing a dream or a goal, we must expect obstacles. Along with accepting that our plans may need to adapt along the way. Once we confront the obstacle, slow down, and begin problem-solving, then we can then truly determine if the goal is worth the pursuit. This often fuels a deeper sense of enjoyment and fulfillment once we finally obtain the goal or dream. All great things come at a great cost.

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4

May we press on to reach the goals which are set out before us and may the God Eternal receive all the glory! Know someone who would be encouraged by this article? Please pass it along using any of our social outlets listed below. Thank you for choosing HIs Daily Dose today!

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Secrets to Wise Dating: What Jesus Taught Me About The Process

As Keith and I just celebrated three incredible years as husband and wife, I began thinking how dating and engagement can be valuable preparatory tools for marriage. At least they certainly were for us.

Since we’ve been married, the Lord has graciously brought many women and couples that are seeking wise council in this area of dating to me. Perhaps He opened these doors because I am married – and very happily married. Or perhaps because anyone who knows me well also understands the gruesome trauma I endured years ago in a former relationship.

In the aftermath of that pain, the Lord guided me in making exceedingly wise decisions by fully evaluating what it would mean to date another man. In particular, the need to examine my own heart emerged during this time, which required tremendous humility. Praise be to God that this humility is available through the grace of Jesus Christ. And praise be to God that He led me into the arms of the man that He had always intended for me to marry while forgiving me of my erroneous ways.

“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, that my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever.” Psalm 30:11-12

In the past, Jesus wasn’t included in my love life. Howevertoday He is my love life. Whether you are a woman or a man, this is the single biggest difference between choosing a healthy, sustainable relationship or settling for less.

Today, I am speaking solely from my heart. These are my opinions about dating relationships. And these ideas were birthed through wise counsel from my God-fearing mentor, Christian counseling, biblically-based studies on marriage, prayer, fasting, studying God’s word, and my own personal experiences with Christ. Thankfully, God equipped me with the wisdom to make some great choices, which I am abundantly enjoying the fruit of today. Here are a few points of wisdom that I have developed through my own journey concerning dating:

1. Get healed. Focus on inner healing as preparation to offer 100% of yourself instead of looking for someone to fully complete you. Have you endured a traumatic experience in your past (divorce, the death of a parent or sibling, any form of abuse and neglect, unhealthy romantic relationships, porn addictions, drug or alcohol abuse, etc.)? We all generally have something that we are dealing with.

If we haven’t allowed Jesus to fill the voids within us, then the person that you date will soon become your “temporary fix”, almost like a savior of sorts. This is dangerous territory that quickly drives individuals into unhealthy habits. Other people cannot heal us; Jesus heals us. Marriage cannot complete us; it compliments us. Marriage is a full-time ministry, and dating is a gateway of preparation for what lies ahead. Any issues that remain unsettled before you wed will undoubtedly emerge during marriage, demanding countless hours of time and energy that could be spent elsewhere.

For the sake of you and your future spouse, please get with Jesus and get your life together before you involve another person. This is loving and very wise.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

2. Know what you want before you set out for it. Proactively list out the things that are most important to you (and to Jesus) in your future companion. Don’t date anyone that you could not marry. Let that soak in deep.

Months before I even knew Keith, Jesus and I sat together and wrote out my “non-negotiables.” These were the very characteristics that we (Jesus and I) felt were most important in my future husband. I trusted that if God welcomed this activity (of planning in faith), He would be faithful to provide the man that would possess them. And He did. Be specific in what is important to your heart.

“The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” Psalm 37:23

3. Date with the intention of being married. Dating is often described with terms such as courting, becoming more than friends, seeing each other, going out, or going steady. No matter what words are used, the implication is that an intimacy will be developed between two people. However, if you are not really ready for commitment, then what’s the real motivation behind pursuing an intimate and romantic relationship?

In my opinion, dating “socially” without a pathway that leads to commitment is an absolute waste. A waste of time, emotions, financial resources, mental space, and the very heart that God faithfully entrusted to you. Shouldn’t we be faithful stewards (managers) in every area of our lives? I’m not saying that you must talk about marriage during your first few dates, but I am suggesting that you should be intentional with how you spend your time and where you invest your heart. This is just wise.

“The simple believe anything, but the prudent give thought to their steps.” Proverbs 14:15 

Here are four steps that I would suggest to anyone that is serious about seeking a committed relationship:

  1. Know what you want in a spouse beforehand and begin praying for that person. This immediately establishes ‘Jesus as Lord’ over the entire relationship.
  2. Establish a solid, respectful, and maturing friendship long before you pursue a romantic relationship in courtship.
  3. Before you become an official couple, engage in honest and open dialogue. Seek to understand the other person’s intentions and motives in desiring a relationship with you. Never make assumptions in this area, beloved. Then seek to understand the Lord’s intentions with the relationship (by praying individually and together). Remember, God will never misdirect you if you are actively including Him in your relationship. He will tell you to continue pursuing it or to walk away. Even if it hurts, we must listen to Him. It will save years of devastating heartache.
  4. Surround yourself with a loving and God-fearing community. It’s extremely wise to have friends and family that will hold you accountable in your relationship. Actively surround yourself with people who have healthy and mature relationships.

“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs 13:20

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10

Thank you for choosing His Daily Dose! May you each diligently seek the Lord in your dating pursuits so that perfect His will may be made evident in your lives.

Are you currently a subscriber? We would love to have you! Just click HERE to begin receiving daily, encouraging emails sent straight to your inbox each morning. Thank you! To God be the glory!

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Learning to Deeply Trust in God

“He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord. Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie!” Psalm 40:3-4

The sky is grey and overcast, yet the birds still chirp in exuberant joy excited for the day ahead. This undoubtedly intrigues my heart. When one (whether a bird or a human being ) rejoices in songs of praise although everything and everyone around them appears dull and lifeless. Rather than focusing on what appears grim and depressing, they decide to burst out into a joyous melody, seizing the opportunity to rejoice in the Lord!

Over the years, I’ve learned that when life delivers unexpected circumstances, there is often one factor that determines whether we  sing or whether we sink: Our trust in God.

It is our trust in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit that operates as the cornerstone for our maturity and development as a disciple of Christ. We will only grow as much as we trust Him.

Think about this for a moment.

How can we truly follow someone we do not trust? How can we obey someone who we do not believe is trustworthy?

We must first learn to trust Him in order to truly be like Him.

What is trust?

According to Webster, trust is often defined as the assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something. Trust is synonymous with confidence, dependence, and faith.

In relation to trusting God, it is saying with your whole heart: “I believe God is dependable and true to the point where I have complete confidence in what He asks me to do or what He says is good.”

Believe it or not, this caliber of trust with God is not developed overnight. It takes time. And it takes effort.

This is about going beyond accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior, and intentionally involving Jesus in every area of our lives. If we ask Him, He will help us to trust in Him.

“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Matthew 21:22

What does trusting in God produce in our lives?

  • We often feel safe and secure knowing that He is reliable – “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1
  • We are equipped to take more risks in life with the understanding that He is a faithful Provider  – “Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life.” Psalm 54:4
  • We are to quick to obey His commands because we know that He is good and for us  – “But I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.” John 14:31
  • We are more generous because we know that He is dependable to provide for our needs – “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for He has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you‘.” Hebrews 13:5
  • We include Him in our decisions in life because we believe that He will not destroy us but will prosper us – “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
  • We spend more time with Him because we know He is upright and we need His counsel – “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” Proverbs 19:20-21

Join us tomorrow as we discuss what (very common) emotion opposes a deep trust in the Almighty. You won’t want to miss it!And thank you for choosing His Daily Dose!

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