By His Grace

Archive for the ‘recovery’ Category

Ever wonder what God really thinks of you?  How often have we said to ourselves, “if people really knew the real me……”?  God knowsfeel ugly the real you.  He knows your thoughts, your desires, your likes and dislikes.  He knows your past.  He knows your future.  God knows your heart!  It is in our hearts that the real you and me exist.  We may be able to say the right things or get people to believe we are one way when we are not.  But God sees our true character, the part of us that no one sees.

“Nothing in all creation can hide from Him.  Everything is naked and exposed before His eyes.  This is the God to whom we must explain all that we have done.”  (Hebrews 5:13 NLT)

I’ve been in situations before when no one believed me.  No matter how much I argued or tried to convince them I was telling the truth, they still thought I was lying.  This was very frustrating and in a way, I felt hurt.  This was especially true in the beginning of my sobriety.  My family and friends couldn’t trust me or believe anything that I said.  This mistrust was of my own doing, I realized that.  But I took great strength and comfort knowing that God knew the truth.  God knew my heart.   I eventually would answer back saying, “You can choose to believe me or not.  That’s your choice.  But God knows my heart and whether or not I am being truthful.”

God knows the truth about every one of us.  And yet despite all our faults and mistakes, He loves us unconditionally.  We don’t have to put on a front with God or try to convince Him we have changed.  He already knows.  When God chose us to be His children, He already knew what He was getting Himself into.  We are no surprise to Him!

God sees us as His created children.  Gen. 1:27

God sees us as humans who struggle with sin.  Rom. 7:19

God sees us as capable, loving and strong.  2 Tim. 3:7

God sees our thoughts and intentions.  1 Sam. 16:7

God sees us as valuable.  Matt. 6:26,  10:29-31

God sees our potential and possibilities.  Rev. 3:8

There are so many hurting people in this world.  I come into contact with many different kinds of individuals in my daily life.  I have noticed there is a common thread amongst most of them.  This common thread is the fact that these people are lonely.  They feel rejected.  They are broken.  They don’t like themselves and carry much guilt and anger.  If I can uplift them in any way I would tell them they would feel so much better if they could just see themselves as God sees them.  That He loves them and will never abandon them.  That God is with them constantly, even before they open their eyes in the morning, He is there for them.

“….do not be afraid or discouraged.  For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

TRUST IN THE LORD

God has pulled me through so many difficult circumstances in my life I can not count. And yet, I still struggle with worry and fear. When a situation comes into my life that is unpleasant, I instantly feel that sicky feeling in my stomach and my heart races. I really don’t like this about myself and this problem is probably what I want to change most about myself today.

My faith in God has certainty strengthened through the years. He has done tremendous works in my life. In hindsight, I see extraordinary circumstances that just seemed to work out for the better without much of my doing. It was most certainly God working good in my life.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” Romans 8:28 (NLT)

Have you ever thought just how busy God is making everything work together for our good? Look at all the mistakes we make. Look at the mess we can make in our lives from sinning. And yet God always comes through for us. Granted, God’s timing is not our timing. Sometimes God works quickly to resolve our problems, and sometimes He works slowly. Very slowly. It is during these slow processes that our faith is tested.

But my issue is with my FIRST response to unpleasant news. I do eventually calm down after a few minutes and start to pray for His help. I ask for comfort and the strength to endure. And I also pray to help me trust Him. The frustrating part is that I DO trust Him! And yet my someday-ahia-b (300x199)first response is fear and worry. I don’t get it. How do I change this about myself? Am I just built this way? God has changed so much about my life and my way of thinking, but this part of me hasn’t changed. I am aware that the difficulties that arise in my life are definitely coming from when I chose to go outside of God’s Will.

Awareness of where my problems start is one thing. I guess that can count for something. But awareness does nothing if not followed by practicing faith in God’s promises and what He says in His Word.

Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully”. 1 Peter 5:7 (AMP)

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you!” Isaiah 26:3 (NLT)

Find-the-joy-of-the-lord

I think if you ask just about any person what they want most out of life, their answer will be, “I just want to be happy”.   Sure some will say they want to be “rich”.  But that answer actually just means they think being rich will make them happy.   I know as a parent, what we want most for our children is for them to be happy no matter what they choose for their life.  If our children are happy, then we as parents are more relaxed, less worried about them and well….happier ourselves too.

“You are being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might, so that you might patiently endure everything with joy.”  Colossians 1:11 (ISV)

The apostle Paul prayed for the Colossians that they may endure every circumstance with joy.  I believe Paul also used this prayer in his own life as well.  Paul went through horrendous circumstances during his ministry.  The average man could never have endured what Paul went through but Paul was strengthened by God’s mighty power and dedicated himself to preaching the Good News of Christ no matter what the outcome.  This same mighty power of God in available to us today!  The apostle Paul is really no different than you and me.  He started out a sinner, just like us.  In fact, Paul sin’s before turning his life over to Christ, included murder, extortion and severe brutality toward Christians.

There is a saying that “a grateful heart is a joyful heart”.  But what about the little things that creep up in our daily lives that make us think “this really stinks” followed by a big sigh and a slumping of our shoulders?  I’d like to share with you a personal experience I had.  I wasn’t happy in my last job.  I am a server and I didn’t like a lot of the clientele that came into the restaurant.  I would find myself thinking of these people as “bottom of the barrel”.  But mostly people were just plain cheap.  Didn’t they realize I have rent to pay?  My thoughts were all backwards about this situation at work.  I was basing my happiness on what each table was tipping me.  So I would be happy for this table but then unhappy with that table.  It was constant up and down happiness my entire shift.  It got to a point where I really hated my job and the atmosphere of this restaurant.  I hated the hours and how exhausted I was every night.  I would ask God numerous times throughout every shift to please get me out of this job!  Please open a door and give me another job, please!

The Holy Spirit spoke loud and clear to me one night.  He told me, “Michele, you are praying the wrong prayer.”  I didn’t understand at first but then another inner tug and I heard it again, “Michele, you are praying the wrong prayer.  God is not going to give you another job until you figure out how to have joy with this one.”  BAM!  I stood frozen for a minute and said to myself, “Wow, you’re right.  Why would God give me another job to complain about?  If I can’t find joy in this somehow I am going to be stuck here for a long time until I pass this test.”

So I started fervently praying for God to give me the strength to endure this job with joy. I  prayed this prayer constantly and practiced with success and error.   In about 2 weeks time, God opened another door and gave me a new job.  I didn’t even have to interview for this job.  It was that easy.  It’s a nicer restaurant, better clientele and bigger tips.

The Lord wants us to find joy in our trials.  He wants us to find peace in suffering.  He wants us to be happy!  When God opened the door I needed, I thought to myself, “Stop being miserable, God is on your side.  You are not alone in anything.”

I ask for God to help you in your sufferings and for Him to show you that you can find happiness and joy no matter what our daily circumstances.  Ask God to keep you sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading and guidance and to help you endure all things with strength and joy.

So I pray that God, who gives you hope, will keep you happy and full of peace as you believe in Him. May you overflow with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit”. Romans 15:13 (NLT)

The were two things I was sure of in this world— One was that I knew I would use drugs and alcohol that day and the other was the inner turmoil that came with it. This inner self-torture was so horrific that I thought the only way to get rid of it was to get high and numb it out. I thought to myself, “ If I could just stay high all the time I would be fine.” I didn’t think there was any way out of my life of addiction. Well, except for jail or death. I know I didn’t want to go to jail. I couldn’t get high in jail and that would drive me crazy. But the other was death. I welcomed it. Anything to get me out of my misery. I lost all hope for myself. I was hopeless and empty.

There is hope for the addict. That hope is in Jesus Christ. Jesus died on the cross for our sins and through the power of God the Father, He was raised from the dead. The death of Jesus Christ on the cross enables us to have a pathway to the Almighty God. It is through God’s power an addict will get clean and stay clean. God is a God of hope. All hope rests in Him. I thought I was a lost cause. I truly believed that I would never be able to change. I had the desire to stop, but did I have the desire to stay stopped? Many times I thought I did, but I failed over and over again. The only way to “stay stopped” is through the power and strength of our Lord and Savior.hope-1 God loves you and me. He loves us more than our parents love us. He loves us more than our spouses and children love us. God sees our pain. He counts our tears. He knows the number of hairs we have on our head. He knows us! He knows us better than we know ourselves. He wants us to reach out to Him. As addicts, we lose everything. But when there is nothing left, there is the God of hope.

~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Heavenly Father, please help me know there is hope in You. I can’t do this without You. You are my only hope. Please show me, teach me, rescue me and free me from addiction. In Jesus name, I pray, Amen.

hands prayerjpg

There are many people in this world who believe prayer doesn’t matter and nothing good comes out of it.  There are Christians in the world who do pray but they don’t think of themselves as effective.  God does not want us to have doubt when we are praying  whether it be a specific prayer or an all encompassing prayer.

“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)

I also like the Amplified version of James 5:16,

“Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart].  The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamics in its working].”

A righteous person is a person who is in right standing with God.  It is a person who has a personal relationship with Jesus and our Heavenly Father.  A righteous person wants what is right according to God’s will.

Here are some simple steps to follow for an effective and powerful prayer:

Start your prayer  with praise and gratitude.  Praise God for what He has done, all He does and all He will do.  Thank  Him for his faithfulness and His unconditional love.  Praise Him for all He is and who He is.

Confess and repent your sins.  Acknowledge any sin that you are aware of and ask forgiveness for those sins that were unintentional.  Asking for forgiveness of sins also entails we are to turn away from that particular sin.   Repentance means a sincere turning away, in both the mind and heart, from self to God.

Ask for knowledge of His will.  Pray that the Holy Spirit gives you guidance, understanding, wisdom and strength.teachustopray

Continue to pray, never give up.  God has a plan for your life.  Remember, God’s timing is not like our timing.  So if you haven’t had an answer to prayer, just keep praying and remain faithful.  You will reap your harvest in God’s appointed time.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”  Galatians 6:9

 

prayer

Are you in a situation or dealing with the consequences from a bad choice you made? Do you feel overwhelmed with worry and your day to day life is filled with anxiety? Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:34,

“So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.” (AMP)

It’s one thing to be worried about a circumstance that you have no way of changing. You’re at your wits end about something and you know you have no power to change your circumstances so you just have to roll with it and trust God to help you through it. But what about having to deal with negative consequences due to a bad decision you made?

Many people will tell you, “Well, you did this to yourself. You only have yourself to blame.” While that being true, it certainly only adds guilt on top of dread and worry. Of course we have to take responsibility for any bad choices we make, especially when dealing with an addiction. The healing process for an addict who wants to become clean and sober starts with acknowledgement that there is a problem but also taking responsibility for all the bad decisions and actions that were made in the midst of active addiction. Admitting responsibility is also vital to the healing process of guilt and condemnation.

So how do we trust God even though we know there are inevitable consequences in our near future?

  • We must repent and genuinely ask forgiveness for those sins. God doesn’t raise His hands in the air with frustration and say, “I can’t believe she did this again. Well this time I’m not forgiving her.” He will forgive us over and over again. We must believe that God has forgiven us before we can move on.
  • We must praise God in the midst of trials. Even though we may not “feel” like doing this, the Bible tells us we are to do it. By praising Him through a difficult circumstance, it will bring a feeling of peace.
  • We must thank God for all our circumstances. You’re probably asking, “How can I thank Him for something that is so awful in my life?”. First of all remember that God will bring good out of any situation (Romans 8:28).

rainbow roseGod will make all things good to those who love Him. He is able to turn any situation around for good. These forms of good can be anything from strengthening you and making you more resilient from that particular sin. He may put someone in your path that is going through a similar situation and you will be a great testimony of showing them how to go through it. It will show others your strength and faithfulness to God no matter what is going on in your life.

As a father loves his child, so does the Heavenly Father love you! Although God may be allowing you to go through a negative situation, He still loves you and His love for you will never change. God won’t love you any more than what He loves you right now and it is an uncomprehendable, amazing love He give us. He knows your pain and sees your tears (II Kings 20:5). Our heavenly Father even keeps track of our sorrows and tears,

“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”

I myself, am going through a trial right now. Unfortunately it is because of a poor decision I made back in August and I am suffering the consequences of that decision still but more so now. I have struggled tremendously, mentally and emotionally, because of what I did. Phil 413Satan has been trying to get to me while I am feeling down.  But I’m saying close to Christ. (Phil 4:13). Satan, you are not going to win anymore!

Just the other day I was having a bad day and I literally cried for 3 days. During those 3 days, instead of working myself into a panic attack, I prayed fervently and read my Bible. I was determined to find peace and joy. By the end of the 3rd day, I found the peace I was seeking and acceptance of the fact that God is going to be there and walk me through this. He told me there is an end to it and it won’t go on forever. He also told me, “Sometimes Michele I have to allow a devastating event to happen in your life in order to get through that thick skull of yours.” Lesson learned my Father! So I went to work on the 4th day and I had a customer tell me I look different. She proceeded to ask me if I had a new boyfriend or something because I had a “glow” about me. No I don’t have a new boyfriend. But I can tell you what was making me have that glow….it is Jesus Christ living in me and also because I just went through a 3 day cleansing of the soul which gave me renewed strength and peace.

I think it is easier to get through trials and tribulations if we look at them with a different perspective.  For example, what if the trials in our life are actually blessings of mercy and grace in disguise?(there is a lovely song, “Blessings” written by Laura Story that talks about this). Sometimes God will calm the storm, but if He doesn’t He will comfort your soul as you go through the storm. I think II Corinthians 12:9 says it best,

“Be He said to me, My grace is enough for you {sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully}; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in your weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Trust in, lean on, rely on, and have confidence in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him.  God is a refuge for us (a fortress and a high tower).  Selah

Psalm 62:8 (AMP)

The following post is from Joyce Meyer’s Amplified Bible.  It is an excerpt she wrote about Psalm 62:8.  I pray it touches your heart like it did mine.

Psalm 62:8 teaches us that we are not to have faith in God just once in a while, but at all times.  We need to,learn to live from faith to faith (see Romans 1:17), trusting the Lord when things are good and when things are bad.

It is easy to trust God when things are going well.  But when things are not going well, we develop character by trusting God in our difficult situations.  And the more character we develop, the more our ability can be released.  That is why I say that stability releases ability.  The more stable we become, the more our ability will be released because God will know that He can trust us.

Many people have gifts that can take them to places where their character cannot keep them.  Gifts are given, but character is developed.  I have learned this in my own life.

Throughout my childhood, one thing I could do well was talk.  In school, I could talk enough to make the teacher think I understood everything she was teaching, when I really knew nothing about it.  I have always been a communicator and a convincer.  But in order for God to allow me in the pulpit to preach to millions every day, not only did I have to have a gift, I also had to have character so that He could trust me to use my mouth to teach His Word and communicate His heart.  Otherwise, He could not allow me to teach that many people, because I might say one thing one day and something else the next day.  Or, even worse, I might preach to others what I was unable to do in my own private life.

By disciplining our emotions, our moods, and our mouths, we become stable enough to remain peaceful, whatever our situation or circumstance, so that we can walk in the fruit of the Spirit—whether we feel like it or not.  The more stable we become, the more ability can be released through us.  Desire and pursue stability in every area of your life so that all the ability in you can be released.


A little about me........my name is Michele and I am a born-again Christian. I was saved as a teenager and graduated from a Christian high school. I am a mother of one son who is the world to me. Despite my upbringing, later in life I fell into a life of self destruction which led me down many dark paths. I am a recovering addict and alcoholic and I have a great passion for Christ and His amazing power to heal even the worst cases. I am living proof of the miracle of God's power to change your life and way of thinking. Nothing is impossible with God.

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