Creating idols

Joshua 1:9 says “this is my command- be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” 

Lately God has been challenging me when it comes to trusting him with all of my heart. I’ve found myself leaning on my own understanding more than I would like to admit lately. Trusting in God isn’t always the easiest thing to do but it’s definitely one of the most important. I’ve made a new friend recently that is constantly reminding me to focus on god and treat everything I do as an act of worship. Being reminded of that a lot recently has opened my eyes to how many idols I actually have guilt and shame being two of them. I never really put a lot of thought into how those things can become idols but they really do take my focus off of God. I think it’s a lot of learning how to manage the guilt and shame and not getting to the point where yes they are idols. I listened to a really insightful podcast recently from femperfect and it talked a lot about guilt and shame. Following are a few things that I really found interesting as I listened. 

Guilt moves you towards forgiveness. Shame becomes an idol you serve all of the time. Shame distorts the truth and makes you want to hide. Shame destroys healthy relationships with yourself and God. Shame keeps you inauthentic with your feelings. God wants a Christian that is always strong and humble. Lord I pray that you would show me more of you! Let prayer do the heavy lifting. And last but not least choose joy, it’s a decision. 

Lately god has been opening my eyes to the importance of prayer and the importance of trusting fully in him. I’ve found myself getting easily overwhelmed and I really want to break that pattern. The first step to that: break the idols of guilt and shame! 

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Praise God in all times

Praising God when it feels hardest to praise him is beginning to become so important in my life. From realizing that all through these trials I should have been thanking him for the strength will be used in the future to realizing that others actually realize how important it is to praise God when you feel stuck. Lately I’ve been struggling with feeling defeated when trying to encourage others or just look to a friend for advice. I’ve just felt stuck in this whirlwind of life. As I was spending time reading my Bible and the many devotional books I read tonight I stumbled across many points that changed my perspective.

” Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly, there was a great earthquake and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off.” Acts 16:25-26 NLT I’ve never really stopped and thought about that verse quite like I did tonight. While imprisoned Paul and Silas were ministering to others and sharing God’s love with those who didn’t know God personally. Quite a few nights this past week I’ve found myself crying until I fall asleep and reading this and how to use it to refresh my soul really stood out to me. “Prison comes in many forms, one of them being when our hearts seem locked up and we feel totally paralyzed by pain. Many times we feel there is no escape from the hurt our hearts feel. These are real feelings, and the key to freedom is not to pretend pain is not real. The key needed to unlock a hopeless heart is praise.”  Whether it be through prayer, music or reading the word always praise God for he is the one that will bring you through all trials. It may not seem like it especially when you are where I am right now but God sees your tears, he will use them to encourage someone along the way. “And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7. You may feel defeated and discouraged but God hears every prayer and sees every tear. He will grant you the strength that you need to continue, just run to him.  

Feeling alone

Do you ever have those days where everything just seems to bother you and you just want to lock yourself away because you feel like it’s the best thing to do? That was me today, did I no. Partially because I wasn’t feeling comfortable with being home but partially because people just kept wanting things from me. Today was probably the day that I should’ve just stayed away from people but what ended up happening wasn’t all that bad. It was just one of those days where I felt so overwhelmed with emotion and just lost in feelings that it was hard to communicate how I felt. Yeah at some points I didn’t handle things the best and I know that but looking back I see what I would do differently. On days like this, I find it somewhat hard to pray to God for strength and guidance which I should’ve done a lot more of, but just in feeling frustrated and not so well in general it was hard for me to. I know that God is there for us in times of trouble but today I just felt kind of alone but played it off. Just one of those days where I wanted to lay in bed all day but that didn’t work out. Here’s to hoping tomorrow will be better. 

Forgiveness 


Why do we let other people’s harsh words get stuck in our heads? Forgiving those who have wronged us or said hurtful things is one of the hardest things to do. Nobody really knows what one another is facing deep down, so why are we so quick to pass judgment, like “you’re too fat,” “you’re too messy,” or “you’re not good enough,” it’s so easy for us to say those things to others but when someone says them to us it hurts. Why do we focus more on hurting one another rather than building each other up. Even in the Lord’s Prayer Jesus teaches us to pray to forgive those who have wronged us. “and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:12-13‬ ‭ESV‬‬ Why is it so hard for us to just let go and let God when it comes to those who have done wrong towards us? It’s totally okay to feel down about hurtful things said to you but don’t let it define you. 🙂 

Prayer 


Prayer is such a vital role in the Christian lifestyle. I think more often than not we leave out things on our mind when we pray, at least I do. It might just be me, but prayer is one thing I struggle with being consistent in. When it gets hardest for me to pray and probably when I should pray most I have a hard time finding the right words to pray and talk to God about everything I’m feeling. I think the more that we confess to one another what we are feeling is so vital to our prayer lives as a means to discover what we are supposed to or feeling led to pray for. In times of trouble it is often hardest to pray, and I’m sure I’m not the first to realize that or even share that, but God wants us to run to him when it’s hardest to communicate with him! Some things are better than a hallelujah and some times tears are those things, God sees every tear we cry and knows that it is another form of prayer. Reflecting on the last year of my life brings tears to my eyes, how much I’ve faced and how much I’ve grown in my faith. Prayer is such a good way to release built up feelings whether through tears or words. Philippians 4:6 says “be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and thanksgiving…” I think in today’s society it is harder to not be anxious even with as easy as it is to overthink and dwell on what we think could happen. Life won’t always be easy but when it knocks you down run to God and find strength in him to build up better coping mechanisms. Finally, you never know what someone else is going through, so those you see on the streets that may seem down on their luck stop and pray with them or just for them. Leave the judging up to God and just be the best role model you can be for those who might not believe in your life to encourage them to build a relationship with God.