Rise to the Challenge

Romans 5:3-4 (VOICE) …We also celebrate in seasons of suffering because we know that when we suffer we develop endurance, which shapes our characters…

Beloved, embrace trials with joy knowing growth comes in its midst. Refuse to be reluctant and drag the unpleasantness out, but rather trust your heart to My care. Take hold of My hand, for I will see you through.

Allow Me to develop your character. For like a diamond formed under intense pressure, so tribulations can bring forth shining beauty in you if you cling to Me in the process. So rise to the challenge. Be strengthened and beautified through the hardships that come. Beloved, hide yourself in Me.

Romans 5:2-4 (VOICE) Jesus leads us into a place of radical grace where we are able to celebrate the hope of experiencing God’s glory. And that’s not all. We also celebrate in seasons of suffering because we know that when we suffer we develop endurance, which shapes our characters. When our characters are refined, we learn what it means to hope and anticipate God’s goodness.

Hold Your Tongue

James 3:5 (CSB) So too, though the tongue is a small part of the body, it boasts great things. Consider how a small fire sets ablaze a large forest.

Beloved, remember that even a small spark can start a forest fire that devastates thousands of acres. Resist the urge to judge by man’s standards, thinking a simple joke or teasing word is “no big deal.” Consult My Spirit, for woe be to the one whose “joke” damages the spirit of another.

Remember that I hear every word. These are My beloved creations you are speaking to, so be sure to do so with care. For anything that undermines the work of My Spirit or the identity I have given is a work of darkness. Whose kingdom would you build? So be intentional, and seek My wisdom, for it is better to hold your tongue than hurt one of My children.

James 3:2-10 (GW) All of us make a lot of mistakes. If someone doesn’t make any mistakes when he speaks, he would be perfect. He would be able to control everything he does. We put bits in the mouths of horses to make them obey us, and we have control over everything they do. The same thing is true for ships. They are very big and are driven by strong winds. Yet, by using small rudders, pilots steer ships wherever they want them to go. In the same way the tongue is a small part of the body, but it can brag about doing important things. A large forest can be set on fire by a little flame. The tongue is that kind of flame. It is a world of evil among the parts of our bodies, and it completely contaminates our bodies. The tongue sets our lives on fire, and is itself set on fire from hell. People have tamed all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and sea creatures. Yet, no one can tame the tongue. It is an uncontrollable evil filled with deadly poison. With our tongues we praise our Lord and Father. Yet, with the same tongues we curse people, who were created in God’s likeness. Praise and curses come from the same mouth. My brothers and sisters, this should not happen!

Tame Your Tongue

James 3:3-4 (CSB) Now if we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we direct their whole bodies. And consider ships: Though very large and driven by fierce winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.

Beloved, though your tongue may seem like a small muscle, it can wield more damage than the fiercest blow another could deliver. Tame it, for you are responsible for every word that departs from it. Just as those who have intentionally or thoughtlessly injured you, so you have done to others. So extend forgiveness even as you yourself need it.

Resist the urge to minimize the potential hurt your words may inflict. Remember that echoes of painful words may repeat and continue their damage for decades to come. So be slow to speak, weighing each word – seeking insight from My Spirit. Let Holy Spirit lead you rightly, and help guard your tongue that you might be known as a fountain of life.

James 3:2-10 (NLT) Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way. We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!

Embrace the Endurance

Romans 5:3 (VOICE) And that’s not all. We also celebrate in seasons of suffering because we know that when we suffer we develop endurance, which shapes our characters.

Beloved, embrace the endurance that trials cultivate. Celebrate the growth to your character that times of hardship inevitably bring. Suffering is unpleasant, but refuse to allow the pain to be wasted. Instead allow it to bring forth beauty in you.

In the same way that uncomfortable pressure and heat cause carbon to become a diamond – something both beautiful and strong, so your times of testing, when embraced, can bring forth a brilliance of character that is worth the pain.  Continue reading “Embrace the Endurance”

Find Fellowship with Me

2 Corinthians 1:4 (VOICE) He consoles us as we endure the pain and hardship of life so that we may draw from His comfort and share it with others in their own struggles. 

Beloved, in the midst of pain, I AM still with you. No hardship will scare Me away. I will use each one to grow you and strengthen your character, if you will yield to Me. Draw comfort from Me. You are not alone.

And remember as you endure the sufferings, that I have endured them as well. And when you encounter betrayal, remember I have encountered it as well. And when you’re ridiculed, misjudged, and persecuted – remember, beloved, I have been too. So draw close to Me, and in the midst of trial, find fellowship with Me. Continue reading “Find Fellowship with Me”

Enjoy the Journey

Job 40:7 (VOICE) Eternal One:  Now, prepare yourself and gather your courage like a warrior. Prepare yourself for the task at hand. I’ll be asking the questions, now— you will supply the answers.

Beloved, every task I set before you is one I’ve equipped you to achieve. Resist the urge to feel overwhelmed or incapable, and rather step forward in bold confidence in Me knowing I will not lead you astray. Trust My direction, and trust Me to lead you rightly. 

Resist the urge to focus on the destination point, and instead embrace the journey – recognize it for the character-building growth experience it is. Each moment and each step is valuable – embrace each one as the gift it is. Enjoy the journey. 

Open Your Heart and Believe

Genesis 18:14 (AMP) Is anything too difficult or too wonderful for the Lord? At the appointed time, when the season [for her delivery] comes, I will return to you and Sarah will have a son.

Beloved, I AM capable of the miraculous, so stretch your faith and open your heart wider and believe. Resist the urge to only have faith in Me for the things you think I’m able to accomplish. I AM so much greater than you even know. 

Expect the unexpected. Expectation like this is an active waiting, not an entitlement. It is a joyful hope based on who you know I AM, and what you –  in faith – know Me to be capable of. I AM the God of the supernatural, so open your heart and believe.

Walk in Full Confidence

2 Corinthians 2:15-16 (AMP) For we are the sweet fragrance of Christ [which ascends] to God, [discernible both] among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the latter one an aroma from death to death [a fatal, offensive odor], but to the other an aroma from life to life [a vital fragrance, living and fresh]. And who is adequate and sufficiently qualified for these things?

Beloved, resist the urge to be offended when those who don’t know Me taunt and tease you. Remember the fragrance of your life is an offering to Me, it need not appeal to them nor is it likely to. 

Your light reminds them that they are in darkness, and no matter how much they may have grown accustomed to the dark, I have placed a desire in each heart for My light. The longing for it can cause a jealous desire they themselves may not even recognize. 

So refuse to allow yourself to be influenced by the unkind words of those around you. Instead be firmly rooted in who I say you are and walk in full confidence in your identity as a precious child of Mine.  Continue reading “Walk in Full Confidence”

Passionate Awakening

Song of Solomon 8:4 (VOICE) …Heed my warning: I charge you not to excite your love until it is ready. Don’t stir a fire in your heart too soon, until it is ready to be satisfied.

Be patient, beloved, and trust My timing. Resist the urge to be impatient or to move ahead of My plans. Everything must be in its season. You cannot rush a fruit to ripen, nor speed the growth of a child through nagging, so resist the urge to try.

Wait upon Me. Surrender to My cadence. Stay in step. Allow your longing to grow to full maturation without it edging into frustration or agitation. Enjoy the blooming season, and embrace the passionate awakening wholeheartedly in its time.

Bringing Forth Abundant Life

Romans 12:2 (VOICE) Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing, and complete.

Beloved, feel My breath of life speaking over you – changing you, bringing radical transformation as you blossom and flourish. How dramatic a change is seen between a flowering tree in autumn versus spring. 

In the same way, beloved, don’t concern yourself with the areas that may seem dry and barren now because as you continue to maintain steadfast focus on Me and My Spirit, I will bring forth abundant life.  Continue reading “Bringing Forth Abundant Life”