Even IF He Doesn't, He is still Good

IF it doesn't happen the way you want it to? or at all? Will you still believe He is good? Will you still praise Him and worship Him if the unthinkable happens? IS Jesus dying on the cross so you can have eternal life enough? 

Or do you want God's hand more than His heart?

Is your worship and praise based on your circumstance or is based on God's character? 

Jesus said in John 16:33 - in this world we have trouble but take heart, I have overcome the world.

Death, disease, heartbreak, and tragedy. It's hard to imagine that a loving God would allow those things to happen to us. But i want to inform you that just because God doesn't prevent those things doesn't mean He doesn't love you. It doesn't mean He isn't aware of the issue.  He knows exactly what's going on with you., down to the number of hairs on your head. 

Bu the pain, the worry, the anxiety, the fear - they all still creep in. It's okay to feel those feelings. You're human, it's natural. But it's not okay to let those emotions take over your thoughts and lead your behavior. Once we acknowledge what we feel we must take to God and surrender to Him. We are commanded to take capitve every thought and make it obedient unto Christ (2 cor 10:3-6). And in our weakness, if we can't do it, We can ask God to remove it from us. He is faithful to give us whatever we ask for. 

The pain is physical but the fight is spiritual. the unseen affects the seen, but the seen doesn't define the unseen.  

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. - Hebrews 11:1-3

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Put on the full armor of God, so that you can make your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world's darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. - Ephesians 6:11-12

Following Jesus doesn't prevent us from experiencing the pain that comes from living in a fallen world. Following Jesus protects our spirit and mind. He gives us peace that passes understanding, strength to endure, love to pour out when all we receive is hate, and a promise that we will overcome. This is not all there is, and this is definitely not in vain. What happens to us isn't always good, but God can and will use it for our good and His glory. 

Devastation doesn't change God's faithfulness. 

Why You Don't Have to be Perfect To Please God.

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I am my worst and toughest critic.  I can easily give grace to other people, but I’m terrible at giving it to myself. I expect perfection, not from others, but from myself.

My perfectionist nature has led me down a dangerous spiritual path.  Some time last year I realized I began to base my worth and righteousness on my good deeds. Every time I did something “for” God, I gave myself a pat on the back. Every time I fell short, I tore myself down.  My inner voice often sounded like:

“I should know better than to that. I’m so stupid for falling into that temptation”

“I can’t believe I’m still struggling with this.  What is wrong with me! I’m a failure.”

“I need to get my act together. I need to stop.”

Do see the pattern? Though many of those statements hold some truth, they are all inwardly focused. Every thought is about what I should do.

Unconsciously I begin to base the validity of my salvation and faith on my acts.  Since I was struggling with and giving in to certain temptations, I viewed myself as a failure.  I couldn’t break those cycles of behavior so I believed God was angry with me, did not love me as much as He used to, and would not bless me anymore.

I stopped seeking God’s power and started trusting in my own.  I was no longer relying on His strength, instead I relied on myself.  Friends, that’s a recipe for disaster. When you practice self reliant faith (which is not what Christianity is) you have to get yourself out of the mess because YOU got yourself into it. Thank you Jesus, this isn’t how we have to live.

The truth is I am a failure and a sinner without God’s grace and forgiveness. I could never overcome or change that without Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.  It is by God’s power alone that I am no longer seen as a failure or sinner, but as a righteous and faithful child of God. In Christ we are made righteous (i.e. we have right standing) with God.  This isn’t because we’ve made ourselves good enough or earned it in any way. It’s because of Jesus’ death and resurrection. When we accept his death as an atonement for our sin and put our trust in Him, we are saved and given eternal life through His resurrection. Jesus’ righteousness becomes our own. God now sees us just as He sees Christ, blameless and righteous.

We ALL fall short, even as children of God.  Though we are being made into the likeliness of Christ, we are not yet perfect like him. I had to realize this. I will never be perfect on this side of Heaven.  And you know what? That’s okay! It took me a while to see it, but now I understand that God doesn’t expect perfection from me. So why do I expect it of myself? God has called us to love him with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength, to love others as ourselves, and lay down our life to follow Christ. Nowhere in the bible does it say if you are not completely perfect at following God then you are disqualified from the gift salvation.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. - Ephesians 2:8-9

That’s not to say that as Christians we can do whatever we want because of God’s grace. What I am saying, however, is that we should learn to see ourselves the way God’s sees us.  When we confess our sins and repent, God forgives us.  We then must learn to forgive ourselves.  God shows us grace, and we should show it not only to others, but ourselves too. He disciplines us a loving father, therefore we should seek the Holy Spirit’s power to grow in discipline and self-control.

Our culture has its own ideas of what success and perfection look like. As a follower of Christ, success looks like one thing…obeying God and following His will for your life - nothing else. It’s not about following rules just because, or becoming our own idea of perfection.  It’s about letting your mind and heart be transformed and renewed by God so that your life can be a living testimony of His glory and goodness.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. - Romans 12:2

We do not honor God when we tear ourselves down. He gets no glory from that. He uplifts and encourages us, even in His discipline He is kind.

Know that condemnation, self-hate, and shame come from the enemy. The devil lives to condemn and accuse us, hoping it will make us run away from God out of fear of what we’ve done. When we sin, we must train ourselves to run to Him and not away from Him. 

God knew every sin you were going to commit before you were born.  God does not give us guilt or shame, but grace and mercy. Don’t fall into that trap of thinking you can’t come to Him with your brokenness. God knows what you did. He DIED for what you did. Let your mistakes and sin draw you closer to Him. Be vulnerable with Him and you’ll see that He is loving, compassionate, gentle, and gracious.

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him… - Psalm 103:8–13

His love isn’t conditional on your behavior and His blessings are not conditional on you never making a mistake.  He will be faithful even when we are faithless (2 Timothy 2:13) as long as our trust is in Him.  What matters is that, through it all, you continually seek Him.  When you mess up, repent and seek Him even more. No longer should we look to ourselves for anything, but to Him for everything. The key is this - Progress, not perfection.

All My Love,

TIffanie


Feeling Disconnected From God? Five Questions to Ask Yourself.

Feeling Disconnected From God? Five Questions to Ask Yourself.

It’s a terrible feeling; to feel that you’re not progressing in your relationship with God. There have been times when I sought Him, but he felt far from me. I long to continuously grow in my relationship with God, but sometimes it’s like I hit a road block. I grow frustrated, with Him and myself. If you’ve felt this way too, know you’re not alone.

I don’t have a magic answer as to why or how you got here (only God knows - literally). The following are only a few possible reasons you may feel disconnected from God:

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What Growing in Faith REALLY Looks like

What Growing in Faith REALLY Looks like

Change isn't neat and pretty. Nope. Change can be messy.  As Christians, our desire should be to become more like Christ. Frankly, that requires A LOT of change. When I first started following Jesus I had no idea that progress meant things can look bad when they’re actually being worked of by God. It's like putting a piece of furniture together. At first it’s neatly in a box, but it can't be used that way. So you have to take out all the pieces, which makes a mess, and begin the process. You have to do it in a specific order or it won't work.

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To The One Who Feels Ashamed and Condemned

To The One Who Feels Ashamed and Condemned

There came a time when I silenced God’s voice. When I stepped out of His will and followed my own desires. It began as discontentment, progressed to lying and secrets, and finally ended in depression.  Sin is like that, only showing you the pleasure, never revealing the consequence and pain. It promises you a high, but what you don’t see is depth of the fall. One sin always leads to another.  It starts off small, but ends in devastation.

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Trusting God When Everything is Going Wrong

Trusting God When Everything is Going Wrong

We often hear sermons and teaching on how God wants to bless us, that He is for us, and that He is faithful to fulfill every promise He has given us.  But let’s be honest, sometimes it’s hard to believe because it’s hard to see.  Often times, the situation we're in takes a turn for the worst instead of the better.  Yes, we are called to walk by faith and not by sight, but practically, what does that look like?

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What Entertains You is Training You

What Entertains You is Training You

"What entertains you is the same thing that trains you", the Holy Spirit whispered that to me one day as I was browsing through Netflix, looking for something to watch. Did you know that everything you choose to watch, read, and listen to has a spiritual affect on you.?  You may think, No, it's just entertainment, It's no big deal,  It's just a show/song/book, but that couldn't be further from the truth. As a believer you have to be mindful of the media you intake because it is planting a seed

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Hitting Rock Bottom - How it Strengthened My Faith

Hitting Rock Bottom - How it Strengthened My Faith

Rock bottom. I pray it's a place you never have to see. I pray that unlike me you heed to the warnings,  and walk in the Light instead of in darkness. I pray you don't let the temptation get the best of you and take you down a road you never intended to travel. I once was so obsessed with having what I wanted, that I tuned God out altogether.  I silenced His voice, and turned up my own. It didn't happen all at once. No, It was gradual, as most sin is. I trusted my feelings instead of the Truth.

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My Journey to Becoming Confident

My Journey to Becoming Confident

A few months ago a friend of mine was commenting on how adventurous and confident I am. I laughed a bit and thought to myself, "How did I get here?".  I started thinking about the old me, the version of myself that wasn't confident. The me who's battled so much pain and insecurity; Who felt like she didn't start living her life until she was 25. Let me tell you about her...

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What Do You Want Your Life to Look Like?

What Do You Want Your Life to Look Like?

Today is my last day as a 26 year old. I’m sitting on the floor of my room thinking of all the wonderful things this year has brought me.  It’s been a whirlwind of adventure and change, but I can’t help but think how I want the next chapter to be even better. I thought to myself – If my life was defined by this next year, what would I want my life to look like?

I want my life to be a legacy of love and impact.

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I May Be Devastated, But I am not Destroyed

I May Be Devastated, But I am not Destroyed

Yesterday I woke up feeling empty, as if there was a hole in my chest the size of a crater. I felt sad and honestly I didn't know why.  But I should have.

Today (Feb. 17) is my late father's birthday. Before today, I can't remember the last time I cried on his birthday, but somehow the pain of losing him felt fresh as ever - like a wound that never healed. Except that it has. When I lost my dad I was 14 years old and was not a follower of Jesus. His death sent me into in depression  - a battle that lasted 10 years. At my worst, I was a shell of a person. 

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