Archive for 2 Corinthians

Depression part 3- Words of Encouragement

“I will give them a crown to replace their ashes, and the oil of gladness to replace their sorrow, and clothes of praise to replace their spirit of sadness. Then they will be called Trees of Goodness, trees planted by the Lord to show his greatness.” Isaiah 61:3

This verse says that the Lord ultimately will take all of our sadness and suffering away. We will go through difficult times, but the Lord knows how to take care of the people he loves. I always try to remember that god is a good father, and that we are his precious children. That helps me realize that he doesn’t like to see us hurting or frustrated. He wants to take care of us, but we have to learn to trust him so he can share that love with us.

“But the people who trust the Lord will become strong again. They will rise up as an eagle in the sky; they will run and not need rest; they will walk and not become tired.” Isaiah 40:31

Again, trusting that the Lord will lead you and take care of you is crucial. When I trust him, it makes the hard times more bearable. Because then, I am not resting in my strength, but in the strength of God. We can accomplish more, endure more, love more, and be more when we trust in his strength.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is the Father who is full of mercy and all comfort. He comforts us every time we have trouble, so when others have trouble, we can comfort them with the same comfort God gives us.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

God is a loving God, full of mercy. Now, it certainly doesn’t always seem that way, whenever we ask for his help and he doesn’t seem to help, and we pray certain prayers and they don’t ever get answered. But God is a father who knows what is best for his children. Sometimes we want things that we think are best for us, but they are not necessarily what is best for us. The same is true in regular life: children want things they think are good, but the parent knows it’s not necessarily best for the child. They want to eat candy for dinner, and even though it would taste good for awhile, the parent knows that is really a dumb idea.

We only see the current road we are on in life, while God sees all the roads in the map of our life. We have to allow him to lead us and guide us to the right places, and let him bless us how he wishes to bless us. At the end of it, we will see that God knew what we needed far better than we knew what we needed. Trust him when life is easy, and definitely when it gets very hard.

This verse also talks about how God comforts us so that we can comfort others with that same kind of love. That is how we spread Christ’s love through the world. We take the love he gives us and spread it to others, and then those who are not saved will look at Christianity and see the compassion in us, and know us by our love. God invests time and energy in us so that we become more like Christ, and we need to invest time and energy in others in the same manner.

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. :]

Bittersweet Victory

Sometimes I’m scared. Sometimes I don’t feel like I have any idea what I am doing. I am confused and angry and feel left behind. I try to keep it together, but sometimes I feel like I am falling apart.

I love God, I work very hard for him. I write songs, I give, I talk to people about God,I pray, I read the bible and try to apply it to my life. But God frustrates me so much sometimes. I guess that’s natural for every follower at some point.

Following him used to be a lot simpler, a lot less intense, a lot less volatile. But some days, I just want to give up. I feel like I am working for no reason. I work so endlessly hard to feel like I am getting nowhere. Lately, I find myself either excited for him or enveloped in bitterness and anger and frustration.

I don’t want to feel angry, but I can’t help it when I feel ignored. However, I know that difficult trials with God help make our faith stronger (providing that they don’t destroy us.)

“My friends, do not be surprised at the terrible trouble which now comes to test you. Do not think that something strange is happening to you. But be happy that you are sharing in Christ’s sufferings so that you will be happy and full of joy when Christ comes again in glory. When people insult you because you follow Christ, you are blessed, because the glorious Spirit, the Spirit of God, is with you.” 1 Peter 4:12-14

“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.” 1 Peter 1:7

He keeps putting me in positions where I can’t do anything unless he does something, and it’s so scary it’s making me crazy. I feel like I can’t trust someone this much. I wish I could really realize that I don’t always have to be strong. I have a very tough shell, and feel the need to always be strong; I feel I need to be perfect and can’t show weakness. I hate admitting it, but God is glorified in our weakness.

“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 12:8-10

I have always had a hard time trusting people; they always seem to screw me over, and then leave me. I don’t like trusting God when I’m terrified that he won’t be there.

I don’t give up, ever, but I feel exhausted sometimes. I hate that I have so many insecurities, but I face every day head strong. I told God I’d travel to the ends of the earth for him, even if it means suffering. Very bittersweet victory!

2011 New Year’s Resolutions: HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR’S EVERYONE!!! 😀

Okie doke. I am SUPER PUMPED to write this post. Last year, I made 8 New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Get job, keep for at least 3 months
2. Finish bible
3. Learn to play and sing 10 songs on the piano
4. Learn to play and sing 9 songs on the guitar
5. Draw 15 pictures
6. Still have this blog up and running at end of the year
7. Write and be able to play and sing 1 song by me
8. Heal (with relationships) emotionally

I planned these at the beginning of last year. I wrote them all down, and broke them down into smaller steps. And for each small step I achieved, I rewarded myself by doing something I loved. Buying myself a treat, watching something I love, going out, etc. This served to motivate me. And behold! I achieved all of these goals, to a T. Now I trust myself to succeed in all my various endeavors. I ‘m not afraid to step out and go after my dreams. I know Jesus fuels my strength and optimism and will. This year, I added more God-centered goals:

1. Tell 40 people about Christ
2. AJ blog: 200 posts this year
3. Play music in 12 places this year
4. Try to find band/people to play with for awhile
5. Get half way through the bible again
6. Draw 4 pictures about God
7. Basically have poetry book finished
8. Heal emotionally
9. Social network more
10. Write/learn 4 songs on electric guitar.

The reason 8 is still there from last is year is because even though I did heal a TON last year, I want to keep improving until I feel absolutely perfect. I did awesome before, and I want to do it again. 🙂

I wholeheartedly believe I can do it. I am trying to please God, and I am certain he is behind me in these goals. It is important for us to set goals in our relationship with Christ, and to go after them with all our hearts. This helps us to become better Christians. We need to be constantly seeking to improve, attempting to become more and more like Christ. We are never finished with this; we are supposed to become more and more like him all our lives.

“Our faces, then, are not covered. We all show the Lord’s glory, and we are being changed to be like him. This change in us brings ever greater glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18

“My brothers and sisters, if people say they have faith, but do nothing, their faith is worth nothing. Can faith like that save them? A brother or sister in Christ might need clothes or food. If you say to that person, “God be with you! I hope you stay warm and get plenty to eat,” but you do not give what that person needs, your words are worth nothing. In the same way, faith by itself—that does nothing—is dead.

Someone might say, “You have faith, but I have deeds.” Show me your faith without doing anything, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe there is one God. Good! But the demons believe that, too, and they tremble with fear.

You foolish person! Must you be shown that faith that does nothing is worth nothing? Abraham, our ancestor, was made right with God by what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar. So you see that Abraham’s faith and the things he did worked together. His faith was made perfect by what he did. This shows the full meaning of the Scripture that says: “Abraham believed God, and God accepted Abraham’s faith, and that faith made him right with God.” And Abraham was called God’s friend. So you see that people are made right with God by what they do, not by faith only.

Another example is Rahab, a prostitute, who was made right with God by something she did. She welcomed the spies into her home and helped them escape by a different road.

Just as a person’s body that does not have a spirit is dead, so faith that does nothing is dead!” James 2:14-26

People act like you can say that you belong to God, that you have faith in him, and then do nothing. But faith and doing good works to reflect that faith, those 2 things work hand in hand. What you do helps with your faith. To say you have faith, but live like an island, not willing to influence anybody with it in any way, to change them and shape them and help them be on better terms with God, this doesn’t reflect faith. Your faith should influence what you do. And what you do will influence your faith. It not only will help others, but it will make you stronger and closer to God, too. You can’t change the world for Christ by sitting on your butt and doing nothing. Don’t say you have faith in him but then be willing to do nothing. That faith is dead!

Without this strong faith in Christ, I would have never been able to obtain my dreams. It is the new found strength that he has given me that allows me to work so hard and have a will so strong. Before I accepted him into my life, I would still be struggling just to achieve 1 or 2 of these goals. But the strength I have gained in him is so exponentially greater than my strength alone, that my success is a lot greater, too.

Good luck with your New Year’s Resolutions! Comment and tell me what they are, and I can pray for you. 🙂 Make sure to have some that will help improve your walk with Christ. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Woohoo, 2011!

Jesus Is A Bridge

I drew this picture on neondragonart.com.

Took about 8 hours. (Click pic. for actual size! :))

This picture rings so true in my heart. Mankind is on 1 side of the world. God is on the other side of the world. We could never reach God because of our sinful nature:

“There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23-24

Without Jesus, we would have to be perfect to get into heaven. But because Jesus was perfect and sacrificed himself to take on our sins and free us from them by paying for them by death on the cross, the broken connection between God and mankind is now fixed. His strength and love and mercy allowed us to have a relationship with the Father, allows us to get into heaven.

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.'” John 14:6-7

Jesus was perfect where we couldn’t be perfect, and he was perfect for us. God is too glorious for us to reach alone, but because Jesus was just as his father, he bridged the gap, healed the broken family. Wow.

So while we might try to do many different things to get into heaven, for example, go to church, pray, not curse, not gossip, give money to those in need- none of these things will get us into heaven. Because when we sin, we are out of reach of heaven. The bad thing is that we sin everyday, all the time. It’s very natural for us. The good thing is that we are saved by having faith in Jesus Christ, having faith that he saved us from our sins and died on the cross from them and rose 3 days later.

We are saved as we allow him to lead us in our lives instead of letting ourselves lead. Just having faith in a general ‘God’ will not get us into heaven. It’s having faith in Christ. Jesus was our only chance, and he did not let us down. Now we have to choose to take a leap of faith and take that chance.

We are saved not only from hell, but from the bondage of this world, saved from being trapped in sin. After we accept Christ into our hearts, we are no longer slaves to sin, but slaves to righteousness. We no longer belong to the world, we belong to Christ.

“We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.” 1 John 5:19

Ever since being redeemed by Jesus, I have felt a sense of peace and an everlasting eternal freedom.

Freedom to grow, love, be strong, survive, thrive, be happy, have hope.. my whole spirit was reborn. Where before, I always felt way too inhibited to do those things, trusting in Christ and trusting in God helped me to have that freedom in my heart again. It gave me freedom to stand against the crap in the world and feel awesome doing it.

I hated feeling alone all the time. I hate that even my best days, when I belonged to the world, even those days really sucked. I love the fact that with Christ, the worse days I’ve ever had with him are better than the best days I’ve ever had in the world.

I have literally cried over and over and had my heart broken and stumped on and been mad at Jesus and been in so much pain- and it does not come close to the pain I had when I was in the world, even when I was doing my best there. It’s so insane! Why would anyone not want to have this strength? It’s awesome that this strength is not even my own strength, but Christ in me.

I used to write so much poetry to ‘make my heart heal’, but it never worked. My heart only broke even more. I remember I thought I was gonna die and felt like I was gonna go insane before I trusted God. I’d sit at the computer and not be able to really write, because there were so many thougts that I just could not freakin’ keep up with! That was my strength alone- to try constantly to succeed at making me feel better and only fail. That’s where I died; in that room, on the computer, fighting to getting the words out, loosing an eternally impossible battle. Trusting God- that’s where his life started in me.

So the heart I have now is does not contain the desires that I want, but rather contains the desires that God wants: to reach the world, to save all the broken people, to let them know there is strength more than they could ever know; to let them know there is strength and so much mercy that they could have peace, no matter how horrible their circumstances are. Jesus is funny like that, awesome like that.

You could be beaten half to death and still feel a sense of peace in your heart, because no matter what people try to do to you in this world, he gives you freedom from them, because you belong to him when you trust him. I’ve gone through so much agony in Christ, and felt this endless fountain of love and hope and strength.

Following Christ is not easy, but it has always been easier for me to do this than to wrack my brains out trying to write poetry to heal myself and what not.

I never say “I want to be famous because I am awesome,” or, “this life is all about me, me, me”. Because that selfish little “me, me, me” heart died at that computer screen. The reason why I am so eager to please the Holy Spirit and obey him is because I gave up myself that night, when I realized I was going to die if I trusted in my strength.

I don’t mind tithing my money to church, or devoting time and money into relationships that help tell people about Christ. Because Christ is the true answer to all the hell in this world. There was a kid that accepted Christ once, and his dad was into sorcery and what not, and he tried to beat Jesus out of his son.

He beat him from his head to his feet. He kicked him out the house and said he was dead to him, because he loved Jesus suddenly. But the kid didn’t even care. He had that fountain of strength in Jesus, his friends said that they saw peace in his eyes, despite what had happened to him.

So I’ve learned that even kids in the most difficult circumstances- whether in poverty or having a tough time with family- if they have that true hope that Christ rescued them from sin by dying for them on the cross, they gain that fountain of strength, and can endure the craziest of circumstances!

This is how even the people in the most disasterous of situation can survive in their heart and spirit, where they couldn’t survive in this world. Paul the Apostle new what it was like to love Jesus, be treated like crap for it, and completely be able to handle it, for he said:

“Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.” 2 Corinthians 6:4-10

“Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.” 2 Corinthians 11:23-27

This shows that Paul the Apostle suffered so severely for Christ, but he had strength to endure it. Who else has the strength to go through so much pain and tolerate it, no matter what? He has the strength of Christ in him. That boy who got beaten by his father has that strength. Me, even with all my bad days, feeling better than I’ve ever felt before… I have the strength of Christ in me.

This bridge from this world to the next. Faith in Christ. Freakin’ awesome. Are you ready to devote your life to him? The bible says:

“That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” Romans 10:8-10

Pray in your heart: “Jesus, come into my life, take over, be my Lord. Lead me, show me how to live for you. I know you paid for my sins on the cross. Be my king”

As long as you truly mean that when you pray it, you will be saved. How many of you have already made this decision? Let me know! 🙂

God bless, xox, Jennifer Clayton

Relationship Trouble vs. Christ

LOL I’m not going to lie. I am not a perfect person (What- you thought I was!?!) I have flaws. I am often so reluctant to reveal my weaknesses because I feel people will judge me or misunderstand me. I fear people will get really mad at me or blame me or call me names. But I will humble myself. God uses our weaknesses for his glory, because in whatever area in our life we are weak, we find strength in him:

“But he [the Lord] 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 12:9-10

God likes this because then we are more forced to depend on him when we are weak. So I will give God the glory in my constant weakness. Here is one of them: romantic relationships are the death of me. Like boyfriends and girlfriends, marrage, etc. I spend so much time alone and I feel the constant need for this sort of companionsship. I see babies and moms together and I get sad. I see Lacey Mosley and her husband and my heart breaks. I wince at the thought of weddings because I am lonely. It’s not that I’m afraid to pursue a relationship, it’s just that I feel God calling me in a different direction now.

I’m not entirely sure where, I’m not entirely sure what to do. But in ways, I feel like I just shouldn’t go after a relaitonship now. And I get angry at God because he does not want me to be like everyone else. I want to be in love, and I feel like I am watching half of my life just pass me by. I scream at him and constantly want to push away from him- it’s not pretty, but it’s true.

At the same time, I’m not willing to compromise our entire relationship because my feelings are really hurt. If he did that to us, every time we really hurt his feelings, I gurarantee he would dump us every day. So it’s not fair I do this to him. What do I do, then?

First, I pray that he will give me peace. I pray that even while in pain, he will comfort my heart and give me the strength to not be angry. The bible says:

“My dear brothers and sisters, always be willing to listen and slow to speak. Do not become angry easily, because anger will not help you live the right kind of life God wants.”James 1:19-20

“Don’t get angry. Don’t be upset; it only leads to trouble.” Psalm 37:8

I know the above quotes are true because when I get angry and find myself yelling at God over and over, I stop and think about it. After doing it multiple times, I never feel any better.I feel like it’s worthless and stupid to yell. I only feel more anger and no peace. I feel like my heart is gross for ever doing such a thing. Who am I to yell at God? The point is that anger only leads me to be more angry. God is consistantly opening my eyes to show me that being peaceful leadsd to more peace.

It’s true for everything in life. For example, I work at Chick-fil-A and I get paid every 2 weeks. I want clothes and shoes and guitars and art supplies and books, etc. But mostly, I deny myself of these things. Being completely selfish and only indulging in pleasing myself with all of my money would be completely selfish. No one else would benefit from it. Then I would start to be like this in all areas of my life- selfish of my time and engery, only wanting to please me.

But I do the opposite with my money- titheing more than 10%, making gifts for kids and sending them around the world, knowing they will come to know about the love of Christ in the process, I’m donating to charities that also spead the Gospel, buying things that will help me spend more time with Jesus. And this is because I am loving others like Christ loved me. He loved me and rescued my sould and life from destruction, and took away my pain.

The love was very real, and I am dedicated to making that love real to others. When they recieve the gifts, they will also feel loved because of Chirst, and then tell others about the love. So this is proof that love causes more love, selflessness and compassion beget selflessness and compassion. Anger begets anger. So I am trying to be peaceful with the Lord in my time of sorrow with relationships, and hopefully he will be peaceful with me.

I try to remember Jesus has awesome plans for me- more awesome than I could ever imagine! He has caused everything else in my life to look up- so why not believe that he will take care of me when it comes to relationships? I am defusing my bomb of anger and am ever-seeking peace in the Lord.

“Wait for the Lord’s help. Be strong and brave, and wait for the Lord’s help.” Psalm 27:14

“So our hope is in the Lord. He is our help, our shield to protect us.” Psalm 33:20

“But the people who trust the Lord will become strong again. They will rise up as an eagle in the sky; they will run and not need rest; they will walk and not become tired.” Isaiah 40:31

“All living things look to you for food, and you give it to them at the right time.You open your hand, and you satisfy all living things.” Psalm 145:15-16

“I wait for the Lord to help me, and I trust his word.” Psalm 130:5

Reflecting On My Walk with Jesus

I feel like I am pretty much always in a good place with Jesus. No matter what I am going through, no matter the circumstances. I feel like I trust him in the good times and the bad.

Not too long ago, I went through some very difficult trials when it comes to my faith, falling madly in love with the wrong person, feeling isolated, going to a school I couldn’t stand because there was too much work, going to a church were I constantly felt like I didn’t belong; like I was worthless.

Now, I am no longer in love with that man and I have decided to stay pure until marriage, buying myself a purity ring. I spend much more time with new and old friends, I go to a college, AU, that has been a huge relief in comparisson to high school. I go to a church that better suits my heart and allows me to grow much more spiritually. I have a great job, have been achieving my dreams, and feel close to Jesus.

I trust Jesus a heck of a lot. But because of all the previous pain I was in, it has gotten a bit more difficult to trust him in certain areas of my life. For example, he may remind me that he will be there for me, but because of that old pain, I sometimes have a raging fear that he is lying.

But there are improvements in my walk with Christ. I feel more connected to the church and his heart than I’ve ever felt before. I know he’s with me, even though I once felt super-isolated from him. I feel him chaning my heart, and in my heart, he feels like a real friend. He heals emotional pain, he won’t let me think abusive thoughts about myself, he won’t let me feel worthless, like I used to feel a lot. He won’t let me (I’m not trying to sound nasty, but I’m being as honest as I possibly can) masturbate or touch myself. Every time I start to try, he gets rid of the lustful, sinful feelings. I feel more love from him than I’ve ever felt before.

So I’m doing okay. Sometimes, he’ll try to help me with something, and I’ll remember all that pain I was in awhile ago, and I’ll push away from him a little in my heart. Then I get close to him again, I make myself trust him.

Basically, I’m healing and growing a lot. I won’t say I don’t reach some painful areas in my life, because sometimes I’ll start crying a lot when I feel isolated and unwanted, but this is by far the best year I’ve ever had in my life. I am more fulfilled spiritually and emotionally than I’ve ever been before. My dreams have been acheived.

My main problem in life seems to be that I always feel like I am so ready to fall in love with someone. So it hurts to be alone, I might cry when I see couples together. But truly, my heart feels safe in the eternal comfort of Jesus’s love. I am constantly trying to improve my relationship with him and with those around me that I love. 🙂

These are some good verses to look at when you are feeling down and you need Christ in your life:

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:6-9

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

“He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

“Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.” Psalm 27:10

Paul’s Hardships

Paul’s Hardships

We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and
opened wide our hearts to you. We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. As a fair exchange—I speak as to my children—open wide your hearts also.” 2 Corinthians 6:3
——————–
I love this passage- my very favorite in scripture. I have a lot of favorites, but this has to be the absolute best one. Paul is talking about how he has faith in Christ. Even when it causes him pain, he does not give up. Jesus was in a heck of a lot of pain in life because he loved us, and Paul is picking up his cross, and following Jesus.

He is willing to deal with the hardships. He talks about how he endures trouble and remains strong, even while times get hard. He deals with beatings, being in prison, being attacked. He works hard and goes without sleep and food, and yet during all this, he tries to remain pure and patient and kind.

He continues to show love to everyone, despite his hardships. He still spreads the message about Jesus, regardless of if bad or good things happen because of it. Even when people say bad stuff about him. He is doing God’s good work and sometimes is looked at as being fake. He says he’s dying, but he is living on and trying to stay strong. He’s can get very sad, yet he is always praising God, always being glad in him. He is poor and remains humble, yet he is enriching the lives of many people by preaching God’s word.

Even when he does not have anything in this world, he says he has everything, and it’s true; he has Jesus’s heart, he has the riches in heaven, he is changing people’s lives by telling them of Christ.

Essentially, he’s happy despite all of his crap. He know Jesus loves him and he knows the power of God’s message. He knows it changes hearts and delivers people from evil, it rocks their worlds. So he suffers, tolerating the pain for the sake of the message of Christ. It’s so beautiful! And I love this verse because it shows his true love for Christ. He’s willing to go through anything for him.

And in my life, when I’m sad and I feel criticized for loving God, I still try to spread the Gospel- even when I’m in pain. Even when the world tells me I’m wrong. Even when it seems so hard I could just give up. I remember this passage- and how as Christians, we stand beside Jesus not only in the good times, but in the bad times. We have his love, but Jesus had to suffer so we could have it. And being his children, we are called to pick up our cross, and at times, suffer also. Christ sacrificed himself, and we are called to self-sacrifice.

I look at it like this- when we were young children, we got in a lot of trouble, got on our parents nerves, acted spoiled, did bad things.. and our parents loved us anyway. When we take up money, time, energy, and in return, cause stress and worry for our parents, they don’t stop loving us. They never stop working hard to provide for us.

Christ is the same way. We can be so unfaithful and ignore what he says, act like jerks to him, don’t spend time with him; and at the end of the day, he still loves us. We are called to love him like he loves us. When the child matures and grows older, and the parents of the child grow really old, the child is supposed to help their parents and provide for them, the same way the parents provided for them. It’s all about showing love, intergrity. Being generous.

So I will take up my cross and follow Jesus. I will stand beside him even when it means suffering, I will stand beside him when it means endless joy. The message of Paul’s hardships- it’s about not giving up hope. About being strong, being bold in the face of trouble. It’s about loving Jesus with all your heart. Jesus promises to bless us with everything if we would just take up our cross and follow him.