Losing My Life for Christ

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Something stirred inside me just now telling me to revive my blog, so here I am.

Over the past few years, I’ve done nothing but agonize. Over everything. Decisions, people, opinions, my hair, my weight, just everything! I’ve turned situations over and over in my head trying to figure out what happened, what I should have done, what I could have done, especially what everyone else in the world should have done. The one thing I have failed to do each and every time is give my situation over to God. The Bible tells us so many times in so many different ways that if we just leave our problems in God’s hands, He will help us and give us everything we need. I make the same excuse every time. “I don’t know how.” But that’s silly, isn’t it? Really the only thing I have to do is pray about my situation, ask God to handle it, and stop thinking about it. Leave it ALONE. 

But I find that very difficult. And that’s why I almost started this post saying “Being a Christian is hard.”

Don’t get me wrong. Being a Christian is hard.  The Bible says the world is going to hate us and persecute us just because we believe in salvation through Jesus Christ. But I have created my own personal hell because I’ve been disobedient and refused to give my problems to God.

I regularly set down my cross and blame those around me, my depression, my childhood, really anything that’s not myself. I regularly minimize God’s power in my head and disregard all His promises because I prefer to wallow in self-pity, seek it from others, and just generally avoid changing because that will be hard and I’ll have to accept responsibility for my own actions.

I’ve literally spent my entire life running full speed away from anything that’s hard.

Let me tell you something. Running all your life is exhausting. I’m exhausted. I’m tired of making bad decisions. I’m tired of not using the self-control that God gave me. I’m tired of being a bad example. I don’t think I have led one single soul to Christ in my 21 years on this Earth and I’m ashamed of that. What am I doing with my life if not following God’s Great Commission? I’m tired of trying to rely on myself and my fellow man when that has failed EVERY SINGLE TIME!

God says that in Him we will find rest. That in Him we will find a peace that surpasses all understanding. I want to say I’m ready for that, but I know it’s going to take some work to change the way I’ve been doing things.

However, I have to do it. Because though it’s never been just about me, that holds even more true now. I have to be a good example.

The time for acting like a child as I so often have done is past.

It is now time to walk by faith, let trust be my first response instead of worry, pray fervently, study my Word without abandon, praise in every situation, allow God’s love to change my heart, encourage my fellow man, practice self-control, stand on the promises of God, place my problems in His hands, leave them there, let go of things I cannot control, live out the life that God has given me in the fullest way possible, and in the process, lead many people to God.

I’m thankful for second (and thousandth) chances and a God who has promised to never give up on me, despite my issues.

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”” Matthew 16:24-25

Encouraging Bible Verses

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Hey guys! 

Today’s post won’t be a single verse of the day, but it will be many mini verses of the day. We all need encouragement sometimes because we all well know that the Bible says that in this life, we WILL have trials. The thing to keep in mind is that the power has always, is, and will forever be in the hands of the Lord. And He will always be able to keep our foot from slipping. “The will of God will never take you where the grace of God cannot keep you.” So, without further ado…

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.

We’ve all heard this verse before, right. But I want to put it in a different light for you guys. What we need to understand is that God never said that His plan would not include struggles. And this is something that we as Christians forget a lot, and as a result, we get mad at God. But we needn’t get mad, because God’s word is full of promises that can give us hope for a better tomorrow. His sentence did not stop with just saying that HE knew the plans, he went on to say that they’re good plans. This means that at any time, if we get scared and wary of trusting God, we are making Him out to be a liar. Because if we truly believed in this verse and the rest of the Bible, we would know that there is not ever anything to worry about.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Here, if you can’t just take it from me, the Bible is telling us that we can put our whole trust in God. It’s letting us know that God’s way is infinitely better than our way. That’s a relief to know, isn’t it? That means that all we have to do is sit back and let God do all the work. We don’t have to worry about how we’re going to fix a certain problem or situation. We can rest in the knowledge that God’s way is perfect, and that as long as we submit to His will, He will direct our paths. To me, this is the greatest thing ever, because I don’t know about you, but compared to God, I tend to be wrong an awful lot. But thankfully, I am learning to submit and let God take control.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Peace. It’s a crazy thing to think about because when do any of us ever really know true peace? God offers to give it to us freely, but how many times do we just let go and receive it? God says He’s leaving His peace with us. He’s not threatening to take it back if we do something bad. He’s offering to give it to us and He makes it very clear that this is not the same as when we get something from the world. A lot of times, when we get something from the world, there will be take-backs or it will come with so many conditions that we don’t even want it anymore! But when God gives something to us, it doesn’t come with all of that. The only thing He asks is that we trust in him. And that’s where the last part of the verse comes in. He says do not “let”. He’s letting us know right there in that one simple word that we have the power. We have the power to stop our fear and worry. And if that knowledge doesn’t lead to peace, I don’t know what will.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

This passage of scripture gives me so much hope. I, like many others, get so down in the dumps sometimes when I think of all the things that I have done wrong. But then I think of this verse, and I can be happy again, because of yet another one of the promises of the Bible. There’s no need to get overly upset about the things that you have done in your life that you couldn’t be less proud of because you have also done good things in your life. And I believe that no matter who you are. But, this verse fills me with so much hope because I know that one day, I’ll eventually get where God wants me to be. No matter how many times, I stumble, fall, and fail, God will one day finish His work of art that is me.

Well, that’s all for now, but I will probably be doing a follow-up post, so look for that in the near future.

~Xena Callaham

Do better. Think better. Be better.