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Peace and Faith in God

Peace and Faith in God

Hello friends!

Thanks for joining me for another devotional time. I’m starting to really enjoy these, and I hope you are too!

Today’s reading: 2 Timothy 1:6-10

I enjoy asking myself a key question as I meditate on Scripture. It often brings a passage to life in fresh ways! So today, I look at this passage and ask myself:

What does this passage say about peace and faith in God?

Here were a few thoughts that came to mind:

v. 6 – “…fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you…”

This calls us to trust what God has done in our lives and to follow the calling He has placed on our lives. Afterall, we won’t seek to fan our giftings into flames (grow, practice, cultivate them) if we don’t trust God who gave us those gifts. Now, sometimes we don’t know what our calling is, but other times we do. And when we do, we should trust God and start moving in that direction, preparing, praying,  and ultimately taking the leap. It’s hard to take that leap, but it’s so worth it!

v. 7 – “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”

This is a very commonly quoted verse. Today, I look at it and see a description of what faith can empower us to do! Faith enables us to move outside of fear. Perhaps fear still attacks us, but fear does not come from God. Perhaps we may never stop experiencing or encountering fear, but God has given us those three unique gifts to help us withstand and overcome the fear we experience. Those three gifts are: power, love, and self-discipline. Faith tells me that, even when I struggle with fear, I can still be bold, care for others, and care for myself. I can still find strength in the midst of fear, because fear doesn’t come from God. But strength does!

v. 9 – “…but because that was His plan from before the beginning of time.”

Wow, think about that! He had a plan from before the beginning of time, and He followed through with that plan. I’m lucky if I follow through with my plan from this morning! I am so thankful that God is dependable and that He follows through with His commitments. When He promises you something, you can trust it, because He will follow through with His plan. It might not look like what we think and it might not be when we want, but it will be good and perfect in His way. And I am thankful for that! What a huge relief that He is dependable!

Questions to ask yourself today:

  • Do I have a sense of what my giftings are? If so, how can I put those into practice today? If not, who can I ask (a mature person that I trust) to speak into my life about the giftings they see in me?
  • In what areas of my life have I been experiencing fear? How can I shift my perspective on God’s ability to give me power, love, and self-discipline in the midst of those situations? Where can I trust God more?
  • Where have I seen God to be dependable in my life? Where do I need greater trust in His faithfulness?
  • Who can I share this lesson with today? Who needs to hear this message?

Thanks for reading!

If you liked this devotional, here are some others you might enjoy:

Grace, peace, hope,

Michelle Louise

http://hopemire.com

6 Things to Keep in Mind for 2016

6 Things to Keep in Mind for 2016

Big announcement:

Tomorrow is the last day of 2015! 

I can’t believe it went by so fast….

Sooo… I figured I should write a post on New Year’s Resolutions…. Maybe something like: “What Should My New Year’s Resolutions Be?” Or perhaps: “The Best New Year’s Resolutions.” However those ideas seemed too cliché.

Or I could try writing something super helpful like: “Secrets to Following Through With Your Resolutions this Year!” But honestly, apart from suggesting that you write S.M.A.R.T. goals, I have no idea! Self discipline is definitely not my strong suit….

Or… I could write something controversial, such as why you shouldn’t have resolutions. Except I’m too much of a goal setter, and that would just make my heart hurt. So… I think I’ll settle with this:

6 Things to Keep in Mind for 2016.

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This appeals to me, because it’s not really a to-do list and yet it’s still practical.

It’s not about all these things I want to accomplish. That often leads to more anxiety.

Rather it focuses on my identity, who God is, and what the Bible tells me about life and truth.

Somehow that just seems more sustainable and refreshing….

Ok. Here we go!

1. Keep in mind that God made you who you are on purpose.

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We’ve probably all read Jeremiah 29:11, that God has good plans for us. There’s also Ephesians 2:10, that we are His handiwork. If God made me who I am on purpose, that releases me to think well of myself and appreciate the different aspects of my personality. That doesn’t justify all of my bad habits, and if I do have mental illness, it doesn’t mean He did that to me on purpose. But it does honor those unique godly characteristics that describe me. And I can rest in who I am without trying to become someone else.

2. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t have double standards.

I am so much harder on myself than I am on other people. Sometimes that might be ok, but when it comes to making mistakes, I’ll easily forgive someone else for a HUGE mistake, but then feel boatloads of shame and guilt for one small mistake that I make. When negative thoughts are racing through my head, how would I comfort my best friend or even a child? Why do I find it so hard to offer myself those same words of comfort? Double standards….

3. Keep in mind that you won’t last forever.

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As I get older, I realize more and more that I’m not invincible. I need to take care of myself. Suddenly staying up all night wrecks my ability to function the next day. Getting sick affects me more. Eating greasy foods will upset my stomach. If I want to last the long haul, I need to keep in mind that I won’t last forever.

4. Keep in mind that you will last forever.

When our life on earth comes to a close, it’s followed by an eternal life in heaven (if you believe in Jesus as your Savior). I want to keep eternity in mind as I live my life in 2016. Let my decisions be rooted in God and His purposes on earth. Also, eternal life means that the struggles I’m experiencing right now will not always define me. I hope I will find victory soon, but I know at the very least that one day, when I see Jesus, I will become like He is!

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5. Keep in mind that God is good, no matter what.

I don’t know everything that’s going to happen in 2016. It could end up being the best year of my life, or it might be the worst. Who knows? Only God. One thing I do know for sure is that God is good. Scripture says He is light, and there is no darkness in Him. I 20140128_180721don’t understand everything that happens, but I know He’ll take what happens and somehow use it for my good. And I know He’ll love me and be with me no matter what. I can always trust Him.

6. Keep in mind that other people are hurting too.

If someone is mean or says something rude to me, chances are it’s not really about me. They’re just hurting. I hope I can keep my eyes open to recognize how I could encourage that person instead of lashing out. If they’re already in pain, I don’t want to add more pain to the mix.

 

Anyway, in case you are into setting New Year’s Resolutions, check these out:

 

And if by chance you don’t like setting resolutions, take a look at these instead:

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What do you want to keep in mind for 2016?

Thank you so much for reading my post! I hope you enjoyed it. I’d love to hear from you, my avid readers! Post a comment below about the mindset you want to have in 2016. And Happy New Year’s!!!