Sometimes our own troubles overwhelm us. The mountain appears to be so big – we can’t even see the sun. Don’t let the devil get you all discombobulated with worry and fear. Instead, focus on others and encourage them through their challenges. It’s a great way to re-direct your focus away from yourself and on to helping someone else. If you can’t think of anyone to encourage, ask the Holy Spirit for direction. He will bring to your mind the name of someone in need. You’d be surprised how a sincere smile, prayers, a note/text/email or an encouraging phone call can positively affect your co-worker, neighbor, or family member. Also, whenever we put the needs of others before our own, our challenges diminish before our very eyes. Go find the sun!
Tool #2 – Meditate on the Word of God
All of us have various situations we deal with every day, sometimes every minute. How do we handle the “Murphy’s Law” moments in our lives?
Find a scripture that pertains to your situation. Then meditate on it. Well Ms. Mercedes, I can’t do that. I don’t have time to dwell on a scripture all day long. I have things to do, obligations. Well, don’t you think about or meditate on your problem all day long? Why can’t you meditate on what the Word says about solving your problem?
Prayerfully consider the answer God is providing in His Word. If it’s a promise, claim that promise for yourself. As an example, if someone is making life difficult at work, you might meditate on Psalm 118:6 NASB – “The Lord is for me; I will not fear; What can man do to me?” Speak it out and thank God for His provision and protection. Then write out the verse on a sticky note or make it your smartphone or tablet screen saver. Don’t simply read it and move on. Stop. Close your eyes if necessary and focus on what it says. Instead of letting annoying situations or conversations continuously play in your mind, let that scripture take its place. And, Psalm 118:6 is not the only scripture available to you. The Bible is full of them! To begin, just look at the back of your Bible. You will find a whole list of topics with corresponding scriptures. Meditate on faith; not fear. It’s easier than you think.
Welcome to the TOOLBOX Series! Most of us have a toolbox of some kind. When I was a child I used to help make repairs to the car. My grandfather always taught me how important it was to have the right tool for the job. Well, even as Christians we need the right tools to be ready for any situation, especially those times when we’ve had a rough day. The Father knew there would be days of stress and hard times. That’s why he gave us His Word. In the Word we can find every tool necessary to meet any situation.
Tool #1 – Praise and Worship
You don’t have to be in church to praise and worship your heavenly Father. You don’t even have to be able to sing. God loves the fact that you just “do it.” Psalm 100:4-5 says we should “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations.”
When we praise the Father, all our stress and fear will fade away. It reminds us of the many blessings He has bestowed upon us. God will always look quickly to those of His children that take the time to sing to His glory. So turn on your praise and worship CD and revel in your merrymaking!
Not always, but it can be. The good news is that it’s not hard to recognize the difference.
First, let’s establish this: It is always appropriate for a child of God to communicate openly with the Father. We don’t have to completely stop praying about something once we have taken a stand in faith. When we have taken a specific stand in faith, we can expect that God will continue to speak to us about that situation and He will give us the wisdom and insight we need.
We do need to stop doubting whether God is at work. After we have taken a firm stand of faith, our prayers should change. The main thing we want to avoid is continually saying things like, “God, are You hearing me? Oh, please answer my prayers. God, why don’t I see things changing?” These types of prayers are not effective because they are outward signs of doubt and fear.
Once we have prayed in faith, we don’t have to keep asking God to move. Rather, we should thank God that He is already at work. We can ask for His continued wisdom, guidance and direction as long as we settle the fact that He is already moving on our behalf. An example of this would be, “Father, I know You are moving in this situation, and I praise You for the victory. And Lord, if there is anything You need me to do or understand more clearly about this, I open myself up to Your direction.”
We can have confidence in God’s willingness and ability to answer all of our prayers that are according to His will. First John 5:14-15 says, “And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.”
Here are five steps to building a biblically-based stand of faith based on Hebrews 4:12-16:
- Present the promises: Go to the Word of God and find the scriptures that fit your situation (Romans 10:17), then ask the Holy Spirit to show you the promises He desires you to apply (Romans 8:1-16).
2. Pray and worship God: Humble yourself before the Lord (James 4:10), lay the promises before Him (1 John 5:15), then hear His wisdom and the instruction of the Holy Spirit (John 16:13).
3. Make your petition: Write your petition out as your Word-based declaration of faith (Philippians 4:6), then present it to Jesus (Hebrews 3:1).
4. Prepare to receive: Let faith and patience work together in your life (James 1:3-4).
5. Praise God for the victory: Let every request be accompanied by your thanksgiving to the Lord for His faithfulness to fulfill His promises (Philippians 4:6; 2 Corinthians 1:20).