“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” // 1 John 4:18
Happy Sunday! This week we’re continuing our series on God’s love in celebration of February, Valentine’s Day, love. You know, all that good stuff.
Something that is crippling in our day and age is fear. Fear, anxiety, depression … all the things. I’ve struggled with this myself, but I’ve learned a lot through it. And one of the things I’ve learned is that if we truly believe God, if we truly take Him at His word, there is nothing to fear.
Now, before I continue, I understand that there are serious conditions that make this subject rather complicated. Please know that this post is not insensitive to that, and this is certainly not medical advice. However, I believe (as an anxiety sufferer myself) that there is nothing more powerful, more healing, and more freeing than believing and standing in the power of God’s promises.
We’re told in 1 John 4:18 that “perfect love drives out fear”. When I read this, I wondered why, if this were true, fear was still penetrating my heart. But when I read on, the verse tells us why. “Fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
When we fear, it’s usually because we aren’t trusting God for who He says He is in some aspect. Here’s a list of reasons, based in who God is, we have no reason to fear:
Because of God’s love, we don’t have to fear. And if we believe that and live like it’s true, someday we might just change the world ❤
Until Next Time,
“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” – John 5:7
We live in a day and age where feelings of discouragement, loneliness, and jealously can be triggered in a moments time. I know I get like this sometimes. Especially lately. This blog post finds me in a (very long) season of waiting. One where prayer after prayer isn’t answered yet … one where I see the answer to my prayer literally happening to everyone around me … but not me. And because of this, I’ve had small moments of self-pity, as we all sometimes do. And in one of those moments, I remember saying, “Why does it always happen to everyone else, but never me?”
Though my words were spoken out of emotion, and I trust that in God’s timing, He will answer my prayer, these words are very real feelings for many of us. Whether these words are uttered over something like a job promotion, or a financial breakthrough, or maybe because healing that hasn’t come yet, we have all felt like this at one time or another.
We find in John 5 the story of a man who had been paralyzed for 38 years. 38 years! Can you imagine this? I’m not even 38 years old, let alone being able to imagine being paralyzed for this long. In this man’s day, there was a legend- a superstition really- that an angel would come and stir up the waters at the Pool of Bethesda, and when that happened, the first person inside the water would be healed. It was around this pool that the paralyzed man, along with many others who were blind and disabled, would gather and wait for their opportunity to be healed.
Jesus met this man one day at the Pool of Bethesda-which literally translates, “House of Mercy”. And when Jesus saw the man there and learned of his condition, Jesus asked the man in verse 6, “Do you want to get well?” To that, the man replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
Does this sound like you? Every time you want something, or are praying desperately for something, you feel like you get trampled on or beat to the prize. Like when you are desperately praying for a new job, and your co-worker gets a promotion. And when the next promotion comes up, another co-worker gets it. After a while, it all gets frustrating. And while all this time this paralyzed man was waiting by the Pool to get healed by a superstition he believed, Jesus stepped in during year 38 of the man being paralyzed, and He offered healing. This man didn’t need a Pool, he needed Jesus.
I believe this is the lesson we as Christians need to learn today. Are we still going to want and pray for that promotion? Absolutely. Are we still going to plead with God for healing? You bet. But when we’re left waiting-maybe for 38 minutes or maybe for 38 years-that’s where Jesus wants to step in and meet you. It’s in that waiting where He is standing with arms wide open saying, “Come on in. Let me be enough for you.”
It’s hard when opportunities and time pass us by- believe me…I’m in the valley of waiting with you. But it’s not until we find that we want Jesus more than we want anything else that we’ll ever truly be satisfied. And I’ve found that in this waiting process, waiting for God’s best is better than any quick fix or substitute we could ever really want. Let’s keep steadfast in prayer, our heart’s seeking His truth, and let’s offer praise for all He’s already given us. If we trust in Him, wait on His timing, and find our hope and strength in Him, He will provide us with everything we need in time. And until that, He’ll provide us with Himself. And that is worth more than anything anybody else has.
Until next time,
“Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the LORD promised you on oath to your ancestors.” -Deuteronomy 8:1
As twenty-first century Christians, there’s a few things that I think we’ve forgotten about. One big thing I think we’ve forgotten about is obedience to God. I think part of the problem is that we have a wrong view on obedience, and we don’t really understand why it’s important.
There are Christians who are caught in legalism, that is “doing the right things” because “we’re supposed to” or “we have to”. And then there are those Christians who believe that God’s grace will cover every step—and misstep—along the way. While both of these views can be “understandable”, both are terribly wrong.
I love the second part of today’s verse. Moses is speaking to the Israelites who have come out of Egypt and have just spent right around 40 years in the desert. Now, they’re on the edge of what they’ve been waiting for for the past 40 years: the Promised Land. However, before they entered the Promised Land, Moses reminded them over and over and over again to stay obedient to God and what He has commanded once they enter the Land, and in the second part of the verse, it explains why: “So that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the LORD promised you on oath to your ancestors.” Moses had commanded the Israelites to stay obedient so that they could have everything God had promised to give them.
There are two primary reasons obedience is key in the Christian’s life and why it’s beyond important to the heart of God.
To recap, yes there is grace for our mistakes (always!) But that shouldn’t motivate or encourage us to do whatever we want. It’s only through obedience and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that we can have a relationship with God and experience and accomplish all the amazing things we were created for.
So if He says go, go. If He says stay, stay. If He says no, trust Him. Don’t go if He says stay, and don’t stay if He says go. Let Him lead you. Let Him show you the next steps, and don’t move until He does. He only has His great glory and your best interest in mind. To say that Jesus is the King of your life means that you are not. You can’t say He’s your King and then try to sit yourself on the throne. If you’re a Christ-follower, then follow Him. No matter what. And while it may be hard, you’ll never regret it.
2 Chronicles 16:9 tells us this, “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.” He’s looking for people who are obedient and want to be obedient to Him. What’s your commitment to God look like? Are you willing to obey Him? Take a moment to ponder and pray through these things. It begins with a desire to be obedient to God. Once we want to be obedient, He’ll always be willing and ready to help anyone who asks Him. We can’t be obedient in our flesh, but when we rely on His Spirit, that’s what makes obedience in our lives possible.
“Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” -Psalm 27:14
Last week I put up a blog post title, “Why I’m not freaking out that I haven’t found “the one” yet, and why you shouldn’t be, either.” If you haven’t had a chance to read it, please go back and do so. This was actually going to be all one blog post (last week’s and this week’s), but it was really long. So I thought I’d split it up. That being said, please try and read last week’s to get some context as to what’s happening! 🙂
The topic this week is what we’re supposed to be doing while we’re single and waiting for “the one” as Christians.
So what should we do while we’re waiting? Here are a few vital things.
If you’re single—stay faithful to God. He knows. He sees you. He hears you. Stay faithful and stay obedient. God promises His best to those who wait on Him.
We’ll talk soon 🙂
“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.” -Psalm 139:16
This is a blog post that I’ve been wanting to write for about a week now. It seems like everywhere you look, people are getting engaged or married, and on top of all of that, it seems like there is an unspoken expectation in the Christian community about getting married by a certain age. Now, before I begin, I want to say that this is no way, shape, or form a dis on anyone who is dating, engaged, or married, or anyone who has just become one of these things—and you’ll see why in a little bit that we’re able to celebrate these precious things in life with you, even when the single ones are left, well, single.
Also, please note that this blog post is written with the intention of the reader one day getting married, that day just happens to not be today. I’m not going to talk about or from the point of the exception of those who have the gift of singleness. I may or may not talk about that some other time. So, let’s begin!
I was at a store a couple weeks ago and I ran into an older-ish man I used to go to church with years back, and shortly into our conversation, this was how it went:
Him: Are you married, yet?
Him: How old are you?
Him: Oh, you’ve got a couple years yet.
No kidding, this is what happened. But it’s really not that uncommon. I don’t think a lot of us talk about it, but it seems that if Christians aren’t married—or at least found “the one”—by age 22, then we’re going to be single for the rest of our lives.
So to all of those single Christians out there approaching college graduation, let me assure you, it’s okay. Really, it’s okay if you haven’t found your person yet. And to all those single Christians who are approaching 30 and all of your friends are already married, it’s okay. And if you’re in your thirties and there still hasn’t been anyone for you yet, it’s okay.
To be perfectly honest, I’m 21, and I’ve never had a boyfriend. Ever. And it’s okay.
So, I wanted to take a moment to present to you why I’m not freaking out that I haven’t found “the one” yet, and give you some encouragement as to why you shouldn’t be, either.
Next week, I want to talk about what to do while we’re waiting for a future spouse. I think it’ll be really practical and encouraging. So make sure to stay tuned for that!
One last thing before I go—I’ve really been loving Psalm 139:16 lately. It tells us this:
“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.”
Every day of your life is already written, guys. God knows. He knows it all. And He loves you more than you could ever imagine. Lean into this truth today, and let His love saturate you as you trust and wait in Him.
We’ll talk soon,
Jeremiah 29:11- “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”