Archive for March, 2011

Anger and Bitterness part 7- Words of Encouragement

“Yes, if you forgive others for their sins, your Father in heaven will also forgive you for your sins.” Matthew 6:14

The bible says that we forgive others, even when they have really wronged us, God will forgive us when we have really wronged him. See how that works? Be treated how you want to be treated. If you put aside such anger and the harsh feelings, God will put aside his anger when it comes to the bad things you have done. It can help to make you right with God again.

“Patience is better than strength. Controlling your temper is better than capturing a city.” Proverbs 16:32

You want to know why patience is better than strength, much better than capturing a city? Because being patient is so difficult! This verse is saying that it is such a triumph to develop patience with people and with the Lord, because in reality, it’s hard to be patient. We all want things, we want God to listen to us and do the things we want him to do, at the time we want him to do it. But one really hard lesson I am learning is that God won’t work that way. He will put you in situations that make you wait for him to move; that make you completely trust him. I really feel that way in my life right now: like I can’t get anywhere or do anything or really live at all if God doesn’t act first. He is teaching me to be more patient. Sometimes, we get so angry at God when he doesn’t listen to us, but he is teaching us to be patient, teaching us that he does things when he is ready, and not necessarily when we feel ready.

“My friends, do not try to punish others when they wrong you, but wait for God to punish them with his anger. It is written: ‘I will punish those who do wrong; I will repay them,’ says the Lord.” Romans 12:19

Guys, this is true. When people treat us badly and act horribly towards us, we don’t need to go out of our way to punish them. God sees the things that they do; he sees the things everyone does. We can’t hide anything from him, he knows all that is in our hearts. And he will judge those guilty as guilty. He knows who walks with him, who lives for him. The bible also says,

“They are blessed who realize their spiritual poverty, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them. They are blessed who grieve, for God will comfort them. They are blessed who are humble, for the whole earth will be theirs. They are blessed who hunger and thirst after justice, for they will be satisfied. They are blessed who show mercy to others, for God will show mercy to them. They are blessed whose thoughts are pure, for they will see God. They are blessed who work for peace, for they will be called God’s children. They are blessed who are persecuted for doing good, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them. People will insult you and hurt you. They will lie and say all kinds of evil things about you because you follow me. But when they do, you will be blessed. Rejoice and be glad, because you have a great reward waiting for you in heaven.” Matthew 5:2-12

God will reward those who work hard for him. If we trust in the Lord, when we grieve, God will ultimately comfort us. A lot of times, it’s not instant comfort, but if we keep trusting in him, he will bring us that comfort. When we are humble and put others before ourselves and look out for others, God will lift us up. He will make the proud last, and the humble first. God does opposite things like that. If we seek out justice, God will satisfy us. If we seek out evil, things will not go well for us. God knows when we have pure thoughts, like I said, he knows what is in our hearts. When we work for peace in the world, while holding on to our faith strongly, we truly are the children of God. God loves it when we work for the good of others. And in many different ways, he will let us know that he loves it. People will persecute us. People will say bad things about us.

But if we pursue God even when our worlds seem to be crumbling (which they often do), God will reward us, and we will be a blessing to others, rewarding others with the good that is in our hearts. I try my best to live like this every day; pursuing God, even when my world seems endlessly difficult. Jesus says we don’t need to worry because in this world, bad things will happen, but we should have faith because he has overcome the world. He has overcome all of our problems, before we even have them. He has overcome all of our struggles and worries, before we even begin to struggle or worry. He has overcome all of our sins, before we even begin to desire the sin in our hearts. Trust in God because he is bigger than you, and he can easily handle things that are impossible for us to handle.

Holding on to bitterness and anger prevents God from using us in his awesome and mighty plan. We come to a screeching halt in our relationship with God. We hold on to past things that have happened, and we stop loving and refuse to care for certain people, and then it’s like a ripple effect in our lives. It effects the things we do, how we view the world, what’s in our hearts, and ultimately, how we decide to live our lives. Be encouraged by knowing that Jesus has already overcome the world! He has overcome your world, my world, his world, her world, their worlds, every one’s. We just have to begin to trust that, and then he can reveal that to us!

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Anger and Bitterness part 6- Humility and Forgiveness

We ultimately have to learn to forgive, and move on with our lives. We can’t hold all that anger and bitterness in. It can wreck our relationship with those around us and with Christ. Sometimes, you are really wronged. Sometimes, people do go too far, cause too many problems and too much drama. But at the end of the day, we are still called to forgive.

Let me stop right here and say that that doesn’t mean that it will be easy. Sometimes, forgiving is one of the hardest things to do. Forgive that person, after all the damaged they caused you? Forgive yourself? Why should you?

I can’t count how many times I have felt betrayed, back-stabbed, or whatever. People have made me so angry I didn’t know what to do, time and time again. I ultimately do forgive the people who have hurt me, but depending on how deep the wound, it could a short amount of time or a very long amount of time for you to heal. It once took me a couple years to forgive someone.

A good thing about forgiveness is that when you finally work up the courage to, and your heart becomes big enough to, you finally get over all the bitterness. You know how sometimes when you refuse to forgive someone, you say “no way! I am never going to let go of it! They hurt me so much!” Have you ever noticed that when you won’t let it go, that pain won’t ever let you go? The more you think about the person, the angrier you get, and the more you feel that pain they caused. But when you forgive, you stop thinking about them, that anger dwindles down, and the pain finally really goes away!

I know this from experience. When I forgave someone who broke my heart, I wasn’t angry at them anymore, I didn’t want them to die, I wasn’t in pain because they ignored me, it was like I was totally uninhibited. I didn’t think of them and wince or cry or anything, as I did before I forgave them. I was perfectly fine. But that was after a couple years and some hard work. I had to focus on other things in my life and stop obsessing over that one thing. I had to spend time with God, reflecting on ways to heal, and how to fix my horrible decisions. I had to pray and ask God to forgive me for holding so much anger in.

One reason we should forgive is because God forgives us when we forgive others.

“Don’t judge others, and you will not be judged. Don’t accuse others of being guilty, and you will not be accused of being guilty. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. ” Luke 6:37

Every mistake we make, every heartache we cause our Father- if we can turn away from the bad things we’ve done and sincerely apologize, God will forgive us. Every time he saw us lie or cheat or be proud or anything, he never stopped loving us. Then who are we to stop loving him when he challenges us? Who are we to stop loving others when they are challenging for us?

Did you realize that while Jesus was on the cross, he was forgiving all of those people who abused him and beat him and mocked him? He was forgiving those who persecuted and executed him? He was forgiving those who were cheering because he was bleeding and dying? Thinking of that makes me feel so small, and so I wonder: who the heck am I not to forgive?

Pray that God will give you the strength to be able to get over your bitterness. It’s not easy, but certainly you can do it with the Lord’s help. God knows it when you trust in him for help. He can help to take away that pain and brokenness inside. I know from experience. If you can learn to say “I forgive what they did to me, I won’t hold it against them anymore”, God will do the same, and turn his head away from your sins and the bad you do. He will treat us how we treat others.

Anger and Bitterness part 5- Suffering in the World

A lot of people are bitter with God because of the suffering in the world. “How could a loving God be so cruel?” They might say. They have good reason to wonder. But I feel many people are misguided in the conclusions they come to.

It doesn’t mean God is a horrible father- but you only understand my point of view when you begin to understand why people suffer in the world in the first place.

Well, some countries really prosper, while others struggle. In some countries, like in my country, the US, people have jobs (for the most part), have nice houses, cars, money, and they can live the life they want (again, for the most part). If someone wants to go to school, they can go to school. We don’t worry about racism and prejudices nearly as much as we used to, we have a government that listens to the voice of people, and tries to treat everyone fairly.

In other countries, children starve to death, families suffer from diseases, don’t have homes, and embrace absolute poverty. There is danger all around, and people really don’t know what to do.

This is where some people get angry, hating God because of the suffering. Well, as sinful creatures, we are naturally selfish. We want what is best for us, even if it costs others. It’s not that we don’t actually want to help, but more so the fact that we get so wrapped up in our own busy lives, we forget to notice how much we already have, and how little others have.

As Christians, God gives us the awesome responsibility to reach the world. In a world that can often lack sympathy and love, we are supposed to share sympathy and love. We are called to shine brighter than the world, and draw people in with our integrity and our genuine care for the well-beings of others. This is so they will look at God and see the love in him. What we do and how we live reflects on God. Yes, we are supposed to speak God’s word, but we are also actively supposed to live out those truths: giving to the poor, helping those in need, offering a heart to someone who is feeling empty, offer a shoulder to cry on, offer hope to someone with no hope or joy.

Ultimately, it is our job as Christians to take on the hurt in the world. Yes, that is a huge responsibility, but we can start off small, just by merely paying more attention to others, being kinder, etc. And then we start to do more and more for the Lord.

My point, people, is this. When people want to act like God is the blame for everything, when they want to act like he is unloving and uncaring- this is all a big fat lie! God is a father, and we are all his children. A father can’t stand when there child is lost or suffering, so as a father, he loves us very, very much, and cares for our needs. The problems is that his people are slacking off, and not doing their job completely. God changes the world through his people, and if his people are too greedy and selfish to care for others, it will look as though God is heartless. We have to be very careful what we do, because like I said, what we do reflects on God, and we really, really don’t want to give others the wrong impression.

We can get rid of the bitterness in some people’s hearts and give them more faith in God if we live the lives we are supposed to live. As the quote goes, we have to be the change we want to see in the world. So be the change! Be the hope! Be the love! There is so much anger and bitterness we can erase.

Anger and Bitterness part 4- How to Cope Con’t.

This is a continuation of my last post, about how to cope with being bitter with God. I am challenging myself to get over my bitterness and frustration, that I’ve carried around for a little while. My world is not going perfect, and God is just letting me struggle. But struggle is not a grounds forgiving up on faith. These are more ways to cope with being angry with the Lord, and I hope you can successfully apply them to your life. =]

5. Get out there and help someone. I know when I feel bad, but when I go out there and help someone, it makes me feel better. It makes me feel like I am useful again, if I had been feeling pretty useless before. Even if I am upset with God, if I see someone struggling with an issue with faith that I know how to resolve, it always makes me feel awesome inside to see their faith grow stronger and see the hope restored to their eyes- and then I feel like I have more hope for myself. As the saying goes, “when we help others, we help ourselves.”

6. Exercise! Exercise gets your endorphins pumping, which give you that rush of energy and those ‘feel good’ emotions. I remember at one point in my life, I kept crying on the daily basis. But the night when I really started exercising, I didn’t feel like crying that night. Exercise can release stress, erase feelings of confusion, worry, and anxiety. A lot of people don’t know these kinds of effects of exercise. But exercise really has helped me get over being bitter with the Lord. I channel all of my frustration into my workouts, and over time and over a consistent amount of exercise, I feel much, much better. Break out the treadmill and weights!

7. Do things you love. I do this a lot. In a sense, I sort of distract myself from the problem. When you think about a problem to much- how God seems to have let you down, how he wasn’t there for you, how he let someone break your heart- when you dwell too much, anger and frustration just builds. I know this from much, much experience! LOL, It’s so true. So instead of keeping my head in negative thoughts, I boost my spirits by doing things I love- drawing, writing poetry, singing, making music, reading, playing games, etc. I am not saying that you avoid the problem all together and never deal with it, but I am saying just don’t obsess over it too much. Take a break from the anger and pain, and do something fun. Go hang out. Enjoy yourself. The time I was most angry at God, I had no idea how I would get out of all the negative feelings that I felt. I felt like I would always feel broken and be angry. Since I didn’t really know how to fix the problems, I started doing things that I loved, that would take my mind out of the war of negativity, and over a period of time, that anger gradually went away. I was happier because of the things I did, and it diffused my frustration with God.

8. Humble yourself. Often times, we are selfish and we feel like God owes us something. He doesn’t owe us anything, when he has already giving us everything through his wonderful son, Jesus Christ. Jesus rescued us from our afflictions, and we truly have no right to complain; we should be thankful and praise him for his love. But since we are human and imperfect, we will result to complaining. In the Bible, God’s chosen people, Israel, complained along their journey with God. It’s not right, but it’s something we do. But you have to start realizing that we live this life to glorify God and do the things that he wants, not the other way around. Yes, he loves us, and he will bless us, but it doesn’t mean that life will always be easy. It doesn’t mean that we won’t ever get uncomfortable. Realize why you are so bitter and frustrated with God: where does it seem that he has let you down? And open your eyes to the fact that we obey him, he does not obey us. He will take care of us in his own time. It’s hard for us to wrap our minds around that: ‘in his own time.’ That means whenever he is ready. Not when we are ready, but when he is. Humble yourself and realize that you are so small compared to God. Yes, he will take care of you, but only at the right time.

9. Worship God! Don’t look at me like I’m crazy. Ok, I know this sounds strange. If you are angry at God, why on earth would you bother praising him and worshipping him? Well, I know this from experience. When I am upset with him, sometimes, I can’t bother to try to fix the problem, because it’s too much of a challenge for me. But I love music. So one day, I really wanted to play piano, and there is this nice worship song I wanted to work on, even though I was mad at God. I started playing and singing, and I was having such a good time, I deliberately started singing to God and worshipping him. The joy from playing helped me to worship easily and joyfully. It made me happy with him, the more I fell in love with the music and the more the meaning of the words soaked deep into my brain and my heart. When I tithe, I feel like I am making a difference to someone, so I worship him when I tithe. Through various forms of worship, I feel how much I care about God, and I realize how much he cares about me. Set yourself free in some worship.

10. Another thing I do is actively and sincerely apologize. Lately, my heart has been broken. Romance and friendships have been a little haywire for me, and so sometimes, I blow up at God. I blame him, and say he is a horrible father. This is all in a moment of passionate, painful, anger. But after I have calmed down some, I go back and genuinely apologize. It has to be sincere, truly coming from your heart, or it won’t matter to him; it will only be fake, otherwise. You have to mean it, and he will definitely forgive you. To me, it’s like when I have a bad day. Someone comes in and tries to comfort me, or even people not involved at all, and I may blow up at them because my day already sucks, even though it’s not their fault. That’s how I may accidentally treat God sometimes, because I am, so to speak, ‘having a bad day’. I am frustrated with the world. So like a friend who really feels bad for blowing up at innocent people, I apologize to God because I honestly don’t want to hurt him.

As long as you are seeking to improve, seeking God’s heart despite your hardships, God will always return to you. He will not leave you forever, even though you may feel utterly forsaken in the moment. When I feel utterly forsaken, I have to continually remind myself that he will return and that he truly does love me. A willing heart will always go far, no matter how much you mess up with God. He sees that desire to change, and he is willing to help. God looks at the heart, though man looks at the outside of a person.

“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Don’t look at how handsome Eliab is or how tall he is, because I have not chosen him. God does not see the same way people see. People look at the outside of a person, but the Lord looks at the heart.'” 1 Samuel 16:7

Anger and Bitterness part 3- How to Cope

Alright. The tough, tough stuff. How do we cope with being bitter and anger at God? Because if we hold these feelings in too long, that bitterness becomes rage, and we start to hate God and anyone who stands for him. We’ve already acknowledged that we are humans, and that we will naturally become angry at God, even though we are technically wrong. But if you don’t take steps to consistently get rid of that anger, we can fall away from a faithful relationship with God. This is an example of what can happen if you let bitter feelings of God go too far: Are You Mad at God? an article by David Wilkerson.

I will attempt to explain this the best I can, as I battle against my selfishness and bitterness at God, to reach for a higher good. While I am explaining, I am also living it. So I pray that I can be a successful example, and I can show what really works.

1. First, I let God know what I am feeling in my heart. Though he already knows the struggles I deal with on a daily basis, I will feel like I can trust him more when I open up to him and say that I am hurting. I can get it off of my chest, and it will seem like he is more of a friend.

2. Then I pray about my issue. I pray that the Lord takes away my pain, that he heals my internal wounds, that he is glorified through me. Even if it is his will for me to suffer for the time being, I pray that I have strength to hold on to my faith until the end.

“Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks. And God’s peace, which is so great we cannot understand it, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

3. I get into the word! I have this little book that is divided into sections. It has all kinds of bible verses for various situations. Verses for when I’m angry, rebellious, lonely, rejected, depressed, etc. I use this when I try to deal with my bitterness and anger at God because it’s a lot harder to search in the bible by yourself for verses that relate to you. They can be confusing or hard to come across- not to say that you shouldn’t try it, anyway. But when I am in a moment of desperation, I write out the various things bothering me, I may pray about it, and then I open this little booklet, and find verses that give me strength and peace and that disarm my huge bomb of anger. It can be difficult to get myself to do, but I definitely think it helps in the long run. It helps the bible to become more applicable to my everyday life, and so I find less and less reason to find it irrelevant, like a lot of people to day think. It makes God seem more alive and more ‘here’ to me, caring about how I feel. The book is called ‘God’s Promises for Every Day‘. You should invest in one! I want to live my life by God’s word, so this is a good way to do it.

4. Find Godly people who can help you with your struggles. Sometimes, we have questions that others know the answers to. They can offer guidance when we need it. They may have gone through a similar spell when they were upset with God, and found and effective way to deal with it. They will pray for us and with us, giving us encouraging words to hold onto our faith, and offer community where we can find strength. They give us hope that is harder to find when we are alone. They may be able to see ways out of our bitterness, while we can’t see them. We need a community of faith to keep us grounded and focused on the Lord. I am still struggling with this greatly, and I haven’t found many people that I can talk to about my struggles with bitterness with God. I have always had a horribly difficult time opening up to people, so this is certainly something that I am working on.

On my next post, I will continue on about how to cope with bitterness and anger.

Anger and Bitterness part 2- Reasons We Suffer

So you are angry and bitter. Something terrible has happened in your world. Now what? I won’t lie and pretend to know all the answers. If that were the case, I wouldn’t struggle with anger so much myself.

I do know that we gain strength from suffering. Sometimes, it can give us compassion for others. If we do something wrong 100 times, then figure out how to do it right, if we see someone start to do that thing the wrong way, we would be eager to help out so they wouldn’t have to go through the unnecessary frustration. Sometimes, suffering humbles us. Sometimes, we suffer in extreme ways, in life changing events, and sometimes they aren’t in necessarily huge ways.

I won’t say that every single time we suffer, it was on purpose from God. But I will say that he gives us a reason to have hope while we suffer. He can take our hardships and bring something good out of them. We can glorify him and learn to trust him more.

I feel I should share this with you from ‘Dying to Live‘. Clayton was talking about how he had hit rock bottom in his life:

“One evening during this season of despair, I hit my lowest point emotionally. I was upstairs. The room was completely dark. As I lay on my back in bed, the tears had pooled up in my eyes and were hot on my skin. I was rehearsing my good deeds before God and feeling more and more rotten by the second as I tried to convince Him that, based on all my superior goodness, He should heal my mom, re-open Daddy’s shop, and get me a full ride to Furman, Wake Forest, or Gardner-Webb. It was not working at all. God wasn’t buying it. Neither was I.

It was then, out of the blue, as it were, that the very Holy Spirit of God came and stood on my chest. Hard. Right there in the darkness.

As if someone had snatched back dark curtains to reveal that it was noon outside and the sun was shining bright when I thought it was still 3 a.m. and dark, the light cascaded into my mind and my soul. The epiphany was tangible. It was like I could feel the light from the sun on my face, or maybe like I had been doused with a bucket of ice water unexpectedly while my head was turned the other way. What God unveiled to me right then and right there, with pools of hot tears in my eye sockets, took my breath away.

Son, I know you are lonely and afraid and confused. But I have not left you. I am simply doing what you asked Me to do and I am using these things to do it. I am breaking you and humbling you to prepare you for what lies ahead and to remind you to trust in Me alone. So trust Me. Not yourself. Not your plans. Not football. Not money. Not scholarships. Just trust Me.

The Lord caused him to suffer, for a purpose: to get Clayton to trust him more. Yes, it broke both of their hearts, but it ultimately made him stronger.

I try to remember things like this when I start to get all frustrated and angry with God. Sometimes, it really is his will. God has plans for us that we cannot yet fully understand, and we only get glimpses of this awesome future, until he leads us there slowly, unraveling all the wonder day by day.

To know that I don’t struggle simply for no reason, but that their may be a much deeper meaning behind it, it gives me a sense of peace at mind, amidst all the madness, pain, and confusion.

It’s not going to be easy, but sticking by God, throughout all the misery, will ultimately have good rewards. That gives me hope. Sometimes we come to difficult points in life so that God can test our faith:

“These troubles come to prove that your faith is pure. This purity of faith is worth more than gold, which can be proved to be pure by fire but will ruin. But the purity of your faith will bring you praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is shown to you. You have not seen Christ, but still you love him. You cannot see him now, but you believe in him. So you are filled with a joy that cannot be explained, a joy full of glory. And you are receiving the goal of your faith—the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:7-9

Sometimes, God will put people through tests of faith. If they hold tight to their faith to the end, he will richly bless them.

Sometimes, people make huge mistakes in their walks with God, and they have to suffer because it is a form of discipline. It doesn’t mean God will never love them again, because he always loves them. But it is simply a good parent and a child. The child does something horribly wrong, and what does a good parent do? A good parent will discipline the child, letting them see what they did wrong, and helping them to turn from that, to the right path.

“If you go the wrong way—to the right or to the left—you will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the right way. You should go this way.'” Isaiah 30:21

As Hillsong United says in a song,

“A thousand times I’ve failed
Still your mercy remains
And should I stumble again
Still I’m caught in your grace”

God will lead us back to the right path if we are truly sorry in our hearts, and he will have mercy on us and forgive us. So sometimes, we fail, and we suffer. We shouldn’t turn away from God and be bitter, though; he is simply trying to lead his precious children on the right path to living the most fulfilling lives.

Anger and Bitterness part 1- Introduction

I think I decided my next series of lessons would be on anger and bitterness. Why? Because I am really struggling with these things when it comes to God, and what better way to face my problems than to talk about it? I once heard that when you try to teach something to someone else, you better understand it yourself. While you are attempting to explain it someone else, it starts to make more sense to you. And that’s my motivation. I would really like to get past this. I hope you would like to, too. 😀

A lot of people get angry at God. A lot of people get bitter. Christians recognize God as loving, but everyone hits points in their life when they have hardships. They begin to get frustrated with themselves, the world, and God. They start to think, “why is this happening to me? If God is so loving, why doesn’t he take care of me?”

This is also how non-Christians may see God. They look at the suffering in the world and think that there is no way that God could be real, because what kind of loving God would let the world suffer so much?

Someone you love dies. Someone breaks your heart. You don’t get what you want. Someone gets sick, divorced, you world falls apart. A lot of people end up getting angry and bitter when something bad happens in this world that they cannot control. I feel that way sometimes, thinking ‘I can’t control this. But you know who can? God. So this is obviously his fault.’ I feel that way a lot, when I am in so much emotional pain, I cry and I feel like I could die. It’s not fair. He knows how to take care of me, yet he refuses to do it.

Well, there are many ways to approach this issue. For one thing, it’s important to realize that it’s okay to be angry, in that we are human imperfect and can’t help being angry. Instead of playing it off like everything is okay when we feel horrible inside, we need to look at ourselves and acknowledge that something is wrong. A good friend of mine, who talks to me on my forum, had to keep reminding me of that. I am such a perfectionist at times, but we must realize that we are not perfect, and will never be. That’s why Jesus had to die for us, so he could achieve on the cross and through his perfect life what none of us could ever achieve alone. He bridged the gap between us and God, between our imperfection and God’s perfection. I am slowly learning that because God obviously knows that I am not perfect, he sees that I get frustrated and angry.

Another friend of mine told me that sometimes you just have to let it all out, you can’t keep it bottled up inside. You have to pour out your heart to God, let him know what is wrong and what’s going on in your world. He already knows what’s going on in your world, but you will feel much better just to tell him yourself. Don’t see away out of your misery? Confide in him. Even if you break down and cry, if something is bothering you, just be honest with him. He cares about you.

Now, sometimes I take this to the extreme, screaming at him in my head (and maybe cussing a little), and I’m not saying it’s right to blame him for everything or that you should disrespect him when you open up, saying he’s so wrong and whatnot. But just let him know how you really feel. Some people try to act like it’s wrong to ever be upset with God, to never have anything wrong in your world. Those people wouldn’t be acting very honestly if that’s what they say. It’s impossible to not be upset sometimes. It’s called being human.

Instead of looking at it likes it’s a bad thing to have things wrong in your world, I look at it this way: You have a best friend in the world. They make you really happy. But one day, they do something behind your back, and it really makes you angry. So you confront them and let them know what’s wrong, why you are so upset. Then you feel so much better. They are still your friend at the end of the day, you just hit a bump in a road.

Even though God is perfect, sometimes it seems like the things he does (or should I say things he doesn’t do) seem so wrong, it can just drive us nuts. So let him know how you feel, get past this bump in your relationship, and you can still have this wonderful companion at the end of it all. I believe that’s a better way to look at it.

He likes honesty. He likes when we call out for help, because that means we depend on him, it means we need him; when our world gets chaotic, we are forced to trust him because it’s out of our hands.

“Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Paul is right. When we are weak, it gives God the chance to reveal his power through us. His strength shows in our weaknesses, as he demonstrates how he is in control of a world we obviously can’t control. God is glorified in our weaknesses, in this way. This not to say that he likes to see us suffer; because as a father, he can’t stand to see us suffer. But in some instances, it is necessary, as much as I hate to say it.

After letting him know how you feel, you have to eventually start to trust that he is looking out for you, that he knows what’s best for you. Not nearly as easy as it sounds. But I will explain how to get to this point in my next posts. :]

New Song- “Scars”

I love writing songs! Here is another I wrote, called ‘Scars’:

They told me my cuts were earned
My bruises mine alone, clearly deserved
I collapsed under the weight of it all
No strength to hold on to avoid the fall
On the ground I gasped for breath
But every one hurt more than all the rest
Under the moon
Burning and sore
I gave up my self
Told God I’d trust him more
And in the cold of the night
His voice soothed my tears
He held my hand
As He watched my tears

No one pays attention to the girl covered in scars
But that night, I saw a shining star
And I felt all the hope in His eyes
Telling me not to believe their lies
Floating in peace
Touched my bruised skin
To heal me

My pen to paper could not take away the pain
I would always vent in vain
Try to take away all thoughts disturbed
He told me there’s no need to trust
The hollow words

The peace I seed through poetry
Never existed
And he let me see
That he’s the peace in me
I’ll never wake up
From sleeping in his arms tonight
To the nightmare of this world
Very much alive

No one pays attention to the girl covered in scars
But that night, I saw a shining star
And I felt all the hope in His eyes
Telling me not to believe their lies
Floating in peace
Touched my bruised skin
To heal me

Broken heart and broken dreams
Ripped away a part of me
The need to write, the need to bleed
But He patches the broken wings
A need to burn
A need to hurt
A scarring from their brutal words
But through their screaming, all I heard
Was Him telling me I’m free
That he loves me

copyright Jennifer Clayton

I have a recorded version of the song! I will continue practicing it, so it sounds better and better when I sing it. I want it to eventually be perfect!

Click here to download and listen to it!

The world made me feel worthless. Trusting God made me feel whole, really, for the first time in my life. No one paid attention to all my scars except Him. Everyone just saw pass them, assuming I was okay.

But I wasn’t.

Poetry book, picture for chapter ‘My Regenerative Heart’

I have always wanted to write a book of poetry, and I am currently working on one. It was originally just going to be various poems that I wrote, about whatever I felt like. But life became more challenging and unbearable to live, and my poetry got crazier. I got to the point where I was completely desperate, and I finally just trusted God with my life instead of myself. So the poems will start off with all the bad stuff, and then reveal my radical transformation through living for Christ.

I kept trying to think of what the name of it might be, but I think I will just name it ‘Atypical Jesus’. This is because it does talk about him being atypical and different from the normal, and all the effects he has had on my life. It’s already the name of the blog, and since it already has some steam behind it, I will keep using it. No point in really starting over, I guess I am coining the term, lol.

‘Regenerative Heart’ is the title of a chapter. This chapter talks about the new way I look at the world, and how God has had a major effect on my beliefs. I look at marriage/relationships differently, money/jobs differently, friendships differently, priorities differently, etc. Jesus gives me my regenerative heart, which means like new life, basically.

I drew this picture on neondragonart.com. It took about 7 hours (not all in one sitting, though!). This is not the cover of the book, but just the picture for a chapter in the book. The cover will be insanely awesome.

I love being able to write stories and draw, and be able to incorporate the two. :3

Copyright Jennifer Clayton

I lovelovelove running hard after God, doing the best I can to share him with the world. He is my best friend, my Lord, my Saviour.

On Excellence part 8

At Chick-fil-A, doing what Jon Holmes tells us to do is our standard. With Christianity, Christ is our standard. At work, we can’t be perfect but we need to strive, strive, strive. Same is true with God. At work, we get a check for our hard work. With Christianity, we get infinite riches in heaven, get to live more fulfilling lives than others, lives filled with the love of an awesome Christ!

We must try hard not to get slack in our ways, and always remember what we have learned. It’s not an easy journey, being excellent for Christ, but I can promise it is worth it for the reward. Our reward is so much greater than the work we have to do. Jesus gives us everything so graciously and freely.

For the person who is thirsty and hungry for good food and desires good service, I recommend Chick-fil-A. People are friendly and genuine and it is a great family environment, and the food rocks!

For the person who is hungry for a better life, thirsty for something that will truly give them purpose, take away an empty void they feel; for the person who wants a relationship with the Lord of the universe and wants to be free from the fast pase lifestyle that never is really fulfilling, I recommend Jesus Christ:

“Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.'” John 6:35

“Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’” John 4:13-14

“On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.’” John 7:37-38

“He said to me: ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.'” Revelation 21:6

While actual food makes our tummies happy for a little while, if we ‘eat and drink’ of Jesus, he will fulfill the emptiness in our hearts always. I know that there was always a roaming emptiness when I tried to live life by doing things the way society does things, by trying to live for me, focus on only the things I want, be in my own little world. When I made Christ my priority and I truly trusted him, the emptiness went away and was replaced with love and hope and a beautiful purpose. This is because I hungered for him, and he fulfilled my needs. He is the bread of life, he is living water.

« Previous entries