Meet Shana. A writer, content creator, and speaker. In this week’s feature, Shana talks about pursuing Christ when we feel disconnected, allowing God’s truths to transform our identity, and understanding His intentionality in our lives.
Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.
(Mark 8:25 NIV)
Look up at the sky before or during a storm. What you’ll find are dense clouds covering every inch of the sky. No blue in sight. Probably no sun.
From the ground, there’s no way you can see what’s on the other side.
Different seasons in our lives can often feel this way. There may be times we encounter long, painful, and slow seasons. Seasons where we’re not just waiting for change but we need a change. A miracle, breakthrough, healing–an answer.
Seasons where the “other side” seems further and further from our grasp. Times when you have been praying about an unchanging situation for days, weeks, months, and years.
What happens when God doesn’t respond right away?
In Mark 8:22-26, we encounter a blind man in need of healing. However, instead of instantly healing him at once, Jesus heals him in two steps. In this prolonged moment, Jesus shows that the real process of restoration is way beyond our perception of time. Continue reading “Is Your Breakthrough One Step Away?”→
You don’t have to wait for a church service. Worship is more than an item on the Sunday schedule. When the enemy comes to attack by spiritual warfare, worship is one of the most powerful ways to fight back.
In my new YouTube video, I talk about how you can incorporate worship in your daily life and lean on God’s promises when trials come your way.
Click below to watch:
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Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.
(Philippians 1:6 NKJV)
I believe that there’s purpose in pain.
In God’s Word, we’re reminded that there will be tremendous difficulties on this earth. In John 16, Jesus warns us that this world will bring great trouble. But there is a reason that He tells us to be of great cheer.
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NKJV).
As believers, if we’re to take up our cross and follow Christ’s example, we will be dying to something. The cross was an instrument used to put Jesus to death. However, Jesus’ death on the cross wasn’t a moment of defeat. He rose again in victory, conquering death. As we die to ourselves–that is, our old, sinful ways–we, too, are rising from death, becoming the people He called us to be.
Oftentimes, the trials meant to destroy us are the instruments God uses to perfect us.
How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.
(Psalm 104:24 NIV)
On Tuesday, January 23, I was in prayer during my morning quiet time. Just as I began praying, I felt a sudden chill. I was sitting near an open window, but I didn’t feel a draft whatsoever moments before.
Before I knew it, the sky darkened, and rain began pouring down. Heavy, hitting the cement in hard, rhythmic drops. Loud. Out of nowhere.
Within three minutes or less, the rain stopped. Silence all over again. The clouds parted slightly letting in some light back into the room.
Talk about a dramatic change.
It got me thinking about how miraculously God works. When God moves, He moves. It’s obvious, it’s clear. You know He’s present. You see His fingerprints. You see doors open. What might take a human years to do, God can do in the blink of an eye.
Now, almost two months later, Thursday, March 22, I was again reminded of this phenomenon. This time, my morning devotions didn’t involve a sudden shift in the weather. Instead, it involved a look into Psalm 104.
Have you ever found yourself saying that? That you have no choice but to stay where you are, because it will only get worse from here?
You might feel you must stay within a bad relationship, because there’s no one else for you. Or, you feel you have to hang out with toxic friends, because otherwise you’d be alone. Maybe you feel you need to sacrifice your health to get perfect grades, because you’re convinced you’ll fail if you don’t. You feel you have to perform perfectly at work, or else you won’t be valued.
Whatever the case is, you feel as though if you don’t hold onto something, you have nothing.
Any of these things–relationships, grades, or careers–can disappear at any moment. And you probably know this, which is why you feel the need to maintain them constantly.
These are all things you can enjoy, if they are good things. But when you find your entire worth in them, you’re going to find yourself empty.
You were not made to find your security in temporary things. God has more for you than that. He provides more, or to a greater extent. But how do we get to this “more”?
Understanding God’s love for you is the first step. His love for you is unchanging, and it lasts forever. When you secure yourself in God–a sure and permanent thing–you’re able to make better use of non-permanent things in life.
You won’t put pressure on others to reassure you. You won’t feel defeated over your mistakes. You’ll be able to walk away from negative people and situations, because you know your worth is not in them. You’ll be able to enjoy your blessings–knowing your worth is not in them, either.
Your value is not based on what you have or don’t have. God sees your value. He created you with value.
God can do more for you than what you can do for yourself. What you see with your own eyes is the surface. When you commit your life to Him, you’ll find that good moments in life can get better. And better.
But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26 ESV)
14 days of learning God’s love. Learn about the Love Letters here.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:6-7 ESV)
You can’t stand, because the place you’re in is too narrow. You can only crawl. You can’t see up ahead, and there’s not enough space for you to turn around if you wanted to. The only direction to move is forward, even though you have no idea where you’re going.
Not ideal? Yeah, I know.
When I was in elementary school, I went to a science museum with my brothers, and we experienced the Touch Tunnel. Eighty feet of pitch-black darkness, and the only way to move through was to crawl. The purpose of the tunnel was to show the significance of sight in our experience of the world.
All we had now was ourselves and our ability to feel our way through a strange abyss.
I may or may not have been afraid of the dark, but one consolation was the employee’s voice that came through the speakers any time we stalled in the tunnel: “Stay to the left, the left, the left…”
(Try not to think of Beyoncé’s lyrics. Okay, now you’re thinking about them. Anyways…)
That was the key to escape: Keep left. There were alternate routes that could lead us off course, but because we listened to the voice, we were out in no time and free to enjoy the rest of our day at the museum.
Looking back, I knew I would escape (of course), but the feeling of being stuck in a cramped place was uncomfortable.
We like our freedom. We like to know we can move around whenever and wherever we want. We like to know we can show up when we want and leave as we please. We like the lights on to see, and we like to turn the lights off when we’re done.
When something comes in and restricts us or takes away what we always had, it’s not only shocking, it can be devastating.
Maybe your top university rejected your application or you didn’t get the job at the only company you could see yourself working. Perhaps you lost a relationship that was dear to you or experienced the death of a loved one. Your finances didn’t improve the way they needed to or an important event you were waiting on got canceled. You didn’t get the score to pass that exam or you weren’t qualified enough for that program.
Disappointments can come in many forms: rejection, betrayal, failure…you name it. Each case leaves the same feeling: You had a wonderful grasp on your future, and now it’s gone. The future fell far out of your hands before you could even reach out and rescue it.
You did your best. You’ve exhausted all your efforts. Now you don’t know where to go.