By His Grace

Posts Tagged ‘Religion & Spirituality

When we feel down or discouraged with life, remembering who we are in Christ helps bring us back up to a better emotional state. Here is a list of verses and reasons we can experience joy and contentment even if our emotions are telling us different today.

jesus-loves-me

Who am I in Christ?

I am Significant

  • I am raised and seated with Christ in the heavenly realm (Eph. 2:6)
  • I am the salt and light of the world (Matt. 5:16)
  • I am chosen and appointed to bear fruit (Jn. 15:16)
  • I am God’s temple (1 Cor. 3:16)
  • I am a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17)
  • I am God’s workmanship (Eph. 2:10)
  • I can approach Christ with freedom and confidence (Eph. 3:12)
  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13)
  • I have authority over all the power of the enemy (Luke 10:18)

I am Secure

  • I cannot be separated from the love of God (Rom. 8:35)
  • Christ, the hope of glory, lives in me (Col. 1:27)
  • I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me (1 John 5:18)
  • I am confident that God has begun a good work in me. He will perfect it. (Phil. 1:6)
  • I am assured all things work together for good (Rom. 8:28)
  • I am free forever from condemnation (Rom. 8:1)

I am accepted and loved

  • I am God’s child (Jn. 1:12)
  • I am the apple of His eye (Zech. 2:8)
  • I am loved with an everlasting love (Jer. 31:3)
  • I am Jesus’ friend (Jn. 15:15)
  • I have been made complete in Christ (Col. 2:10)
  • I am forgiven of all my sins, the debt against me is cancelled (Col. 1:14)
  • I have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:18)
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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.

One of the greatest mysteries of Scripture is what’s known as “The Trinity”.  The Trinity is made up of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  Although the word “Trinity” is not found in the Scriptures, the Trinity is at the very heart of the Christian faith. God is a triune God.   God is one in essence, one in Godhead but 3 in person.  He is 3 persons yet one God.

The following 3 statements are taught in Scripture:

  1. God forever exists as 3 persons – Father, Son, Holy Spirit
  2. Each person is fully God.
  3. There is one God.

God reveals Himself as 3 persons in both the Old Testament and New Testament.  In Genesis 1:26, He says, “let us make man, after our likeness”. Who is He speaking of?  He is speaking of the Son and the Holy Spirit.  In Romans 1:7, we are told that God is our Father.  In Colossians 2:9, we are told that Christ is all God in a human body. In the book of John 14:16,17, Jesus speaks of giving us the “Comforter”, who is the Holy Spirit.

God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are equal in deity and power yet they have different primary functions when relating to the world and creation.

For example:

  • God the Father planned deliverance and salvation and sent His Son into the world.
  • God the Son obeyed the Father and carried out redemption for us.
  • God the Holy Spirit transforms us after salvation.  He gives us a new spiritual life and dwells inside us giving us strength and understanding.

There are many mistaken views about God and the Trinity.  Scripture is often misinterpreted and taken out of context.  One of these mistaken views is called Modalism.  In Modalism, it teaches that there is only one God but that God appears in different “modes” or forms, such as the Son and the Spirit.  It denies the fact that God is three distinct persons as clearly reflected in the Scriptures.  When Jesus was baptized, the Trinity was represented all at the same time.  God spoke from heaven and the Spirit descended in the form of a dove when Christ was baptized.  If Modalism were true, then the baptism of Christ is compromised and doesn’t make sense.

Another mistaken view is called Arianism.  Arianism was developed by a bishop named Arius.   Arius died in A.D. 336 and his teachings were condemned by the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325.  Arius taught that Jesus, the Son of God, did not always exist but was “created” by God and also was inferior to God.  He based his views largely on the wording “only begotten” as written in John 3:16.  The word “begotten” is a derivative of the word “beget”.  Beget means to procreate or to generate.  So Arius believed that if Jesus was created than He didn’t always exist.

There is little debate that God the Father is fully God.  But what about the Son and the Holy Spirit?  Although Jesus is called the Son of God, he was not created by God.  Christ is the eternal Son and existed from the very beginning.  There are many references calling Jesus “God” in the Bible.  John 1:1-3 says, “In the beginning the Word already existed.  He was with God, and he was God.  He created everything there is.  Nothing exists that he didn’t make.”  Jesus is the “Word”.  Romans 9:5 also states that Jesus is God, “…and he is God, who rules over everything…”.

The Holy Spirit is also a distinct person and not just a force or power.  The Holy Spirit is referred to as “He” in John 14:16,17.  The Holy Spirit has many personal activities such as teaching, bearing witness, interceding or praying on our behalf to God, distributes gifts to believers, and he knows the thoughts of God.

It is interesting to note that all three persons of the Trinity took part in creation. When God the Father spoke, His glory was manifested in creation.  The Bible tells us that all things were created through Christ, the Son of God.  The Holy Spirit hovered over the surface of the earth in Genesis 1:2 as God was forming the world.

We as human beings can never fully understand God.  God is infinite, as we are finite, or limited.  God has always existed and will always exist.  He is eternal just as the Son and the Holy Spirit are eternal.  God’s thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways.  That is where our faith comes into play.  We trust God and learn of Him and His ways through the Scriptures.  What we don’t understand we put our faith and trust in the Lord and continue studying His Word and spending time with Him through prayer and meditation on a continual basis.

 

I wrote a previous article titled How’s Your Salvation Working Out For Ya?“.  I was relating the article to Phillippians 2:12-13,

“So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”

I want to further my understanding of what this means—-to work out our salvation.  Charles R. Swindoll wrote a booklet God’s Will.  In it he explains the above verse,

“Closed doors are just as much God’s leading as open ones.  The believer who wants to do God’s will must remain sensitive and cooperative, not forcing his way into areas that God closes off.  The Lord uses circumstances and expects us to “read” them with a sensitive, alert conscience.”

He goes on to say that what it means to work out our salvation in fear and trembling essentially means maintaining a sensitive heart.  As part of my prayers I usually ask God to keep me sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading.  I have a true desire to know His will for my life.  God tells us in Ps 32:8 that He will instruct and teach us in the way we should go.  So how do we know if we made a right choice?

One way is the fact that no matter the outcome, whether it be happy or horrible, we have inner peace.  It’s difficult for our human minds to comprehend having inner peace in the midst of a horrible outcome.  But I have experienced this personally.  It can and does happen.

I love one of the lyrics written by Heather Williams:

In spite of it all….Hallelujah!

Every person wants the feeling of satisfaction.  It’s the feeling that we are making the right choices in our life and from those right choices we feel happiness.  I question that I made a right decision recently.  But in spite of it all, I am leaning on God and I know He is instructing me and teaching me as I go.

If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. (John 15:7 KJV)

Jesus Christ provided us a way to have a relationship with God the Father.  Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose from the grave.  By believing in Him and becoming a child of God through salvation (who will enter heaven?), we have direct access to God and His blessings. 

God provided a way for Christians to come into His presence.  Prayer is the way we are able to receive what we need from Him.  If we want God to hear our prayers, we must worship Him.   God is seeking prayers from true worshippers, who will worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24).  God delights in the prayer of the upright (Proverbs 15:8).

Through prayer, we can receive three things from God:

  1. Help
  2. Strength for our lives
  3. Needed guidance

What does the Bible say is the most powerful type of prayer?  How do we get the greatest results from our prayers?  John 5: 16 tells us it is an earnest prayer.   Other words for earnest are devoted, diligent and heartfelt.  We need to be earnest in our prayers.

If we want God to answer our prayers, we have to make our requests known to HimWe enter into prayer by being thankful and praising His name. (Phil. 4:6)  Start your prayer off with praising and honoring His name.  Give thanks for all He has done in  your life and all He will do in the future.  God can’t help us if we don’t ask Him.  Be specific in your prayers.  Come out and say exactly what you need and want. 

 

“And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:13 KJV)

3 hindrances to answered prayer:

  1. iniquity (sin, wrongdoing) in our heart –
  2. doubting or wavering trust
  3. wrong motive or purpose

We should always pray in Jesus’ name and with the right motives. Remember, God knows your heart. He will know if you are sincere and what your intent is behind your request.  We should always ask forgiveness of our sins.  Be specific, if possible.  Also, believe He will answer your requests.  God doesn’t want us wavering in our trust of Him.  Don’t doubt.

Just as an earthly father or parent wants to give all they can to their children, God does too!  We are His children and wants us to prosper and be happy while on this earth.  He wants to comfort us, encourage us and uplift us.  Even though God already knows your needs, He wants us to come to Him through prayer and worship.  There is much power in prayer and worship so be diligent and do it daily!

For we must all stand before Christ to be judged.  We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in our bodies. (2 Corinthians 5:10)

I am having to deal with a consequence from my past actions.  God’s Word tells us that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  I am forgiven, I am cleansed for my past wrong.  God loves me and He is faithful.  Where would I be without His amazing love?  Where would I be without His amazing grace and mercy?  To answer that would be to say that I would not be sitting and writing this post for my blog.  I would not be where I am sitting at this very minute.  God is my everything and without Him I am nothing.  I know that now.

I like to refer to this time in my life as the “second half of my life”.  The first half of my life had many joys and many sorrows.  The second half of my life is just now beginning.  I am literally starting over in life.  That can be exciting at times, but I’m a worry wart and I have a lot of fear.  These are the current things in my life that God is healing me from.  It takes time.  So long as I am obedient to His Word, the worry and fear will disappear.  God’s Word says it happens, so I believe it.

I have wanted to go into nursing for a long time.  I love helping people.  I would rather go without if it meant it could help someone in need.  I want to bring value to a persons life.   I want them to know they are loved and they matter.  This is an attitude totally opposite of how I once lived my life.  Living the life of an addict consists of what I want, when I want and how I want it.  By the grace of God, I’m not living my life like that anymore.  But I have a problem.

I am not able to go into this field because of a particular charge on my record.  It’s a charge that cannot be expunged and will follow me my whole life.  I had a job offer the other day that I had to turn down because I know the background check will come back with a violation.  It doesn’t matter that I turned my life around, according to the state of Florida, I cannot work in any type of caregiving field.  I was devastated.

So here I am again.  Going through a test.  I am so tired of tests!!   But it’s of my own doing.  I am reaping what I sowed.  It’s a hard lesson.  Peter writes a wonderful passage in 2 Peter 1:5-8:

“So make every effort to apply the benefits of these promises to your life.  Then your faith will produce a life of moral excellence.  A life of moral excellence leads to knowing God better.  Knowing God leads to self-control.  Self-control leads to patient endurance and patient endurance leads to godliness.  Godliness leads to love for other Christians, and finally you will become productive and useful in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

I want to be productive and useful in some way.  I’m not able to do it in the manner I wanted but I have to put my faith and trust in Him that He will make all things come together for good.  It’s what God wants now, not what I want.  I just hope I can pass the test this time.

No more dark wordpress themes.  I looked at it and just shook my head.  What the heck, Michele, I said to myself.  Time to snap out of it.   But getting out of a depression is not as simple as just “snapping out of it”.  And those who suffer from it will understand, those that don’t experience it, just won’t get it but God bless’em for trying.

In this post, I’m going to be a little more blunt than usual because as a recovering addict, well there really is no fluffy talk or nicey-nice in that whole scene.  I have to get real with myself.  Or so they say “Be True To Yourself”.  I really, really hate being fake.  It’s something that eats away at me.  If I say one thing but do another.  How in the world can I be a help to anyone if I’m not being true to myself?  It doesn’t work that way and the Holy Spirit convicts my heart and I have an INCREDIBLE conscience!  I’m certainly no help to myself either and the inner addiction that lies in wait for me loves it when I put my “holier than thou hat” on but then in secret I commit the very sins I hate and tell others not to do.

Yesterday was a difficult day for me mentally.  In the back of my mind I was thinking of how in the past, when I’ve had an anxiety attack, and a really BIG one at that, that maybe I’m coming to the end of that dark tunnel and I’m just one step away from daylight.  So today, I see the daylight.  After all, me just working on my blog is a major accomplishment for this whacked-out chick!  As I was going through the panic, I cried out to God to take it away from me.  I cried for an hour for Him to take it away and I surrender it ALL to Him.  Not just the “real” drugs, but the over-the-counter crap I take to catch a buzz too.  That’s a little secret I’m revealing.  But is it really a secret?  Of course, not.  I cried to Him that I surrender it all to Him and to do with me what He wills.  Just take it away!

You know, yesterday, I had a phone call from one of satan’s workers (that’s what I call the dealers), and a couple weeks ago I told him to stop calling because I quit.  Well, he calls and tells me of something else he has that I really like.  My car is broke and I can’t use it and the only way to get it was for them to come to my house.  Well at first I said yes.  Then I thought, these people could come back and rob me because I live in a nice neighborhood in another town over and then I won’t feel safe in my home, the paranoia will kick in.  Ugh!!!!  I am straight-shooting here so I hope I am not upsetting anyone who reads this but that’s the life of an addict.  It sucks, believe me.  So I call them back and tell them no, not until I get my car fixed.  But see what I’m doing?????   I’m leaving that door open “just in case”!! This is part of the panic yesterday.  But screw it, I’m not doing it.

I was talking to myself out loud yesterday telling myself this, “Michele, what good will come from getting this other thing you like?  You tell yourself you only do little bits at a time, because you live alone and overdosing is a real possibility.  But then what?  You know you’ll get more and then a full blown addiction on this crap and you will have to go to a detox to get off of it.  After all you’ve done this before!!”  So what’s the point.  YOU DON’T NEED IT!!!!”

Welcome to my head for a second there.  And I don’t want to lose sight of why I started this blog in the first place.  When I first started writing it was an outlet for me.  A way to be close to Christ and a way to get away from the abuse that was happening in my house.  So I got rid of the abuse with a restraining order and after that things just started going downhill.  But I didn’t see it.  I looked at it as freedom and independence and being able to breathe without being yelled at every day.  Even though I made a commitment (so I thought) to not use, eventually, I did anyway once I lost my job.  I don’t even remember the whole week after I got fired.  All I know is I spent about a thousand dollars and my house was a wreck.

But even before that I was struggling with my blog.  I lost sight of why I started it.  Was I using my blog to help me or to help others?  Well, I started to feel the pressure of helping others and saying the right thing, to not make another Christian stumble if I make a mistake in my bible knowledge or personal views.  I put a lot of pressure on myself and slacked off on writing.  I felt like a hypocrite because I knew my thoughts were not where they should be and I wasn’t fighting that hard to change it.  After all, I wanted to feel that freedom of not being in an abusive relationship for 3 years.  This is how I became so close with my Creator.  My refuge, my peace was with the Lord and my time with Him.  It’s amazing I didn’t go off the deep end sooner than this, but He kept me strong and I was doing the right things no matter the storm surrounding me.

So I may use my blog a little selfishly and focus on myself for a little while.  If it helps anyone than I am blessed and happy about that.  I want to thank all of you who have stuck by me this past month (has it been longer?) I really don’t know.  I have a void in time.  But I don’t want to focus on figuring that out.  I’m moving forward starting today.  I’m going to get my butt in gear, get things fixed like my car, pay my rent today and then start looking for work.  I plan on going back to my church on Sunday and also trying a Celebrate Recovery meeting Friday night at another church.  So I’m calling myself out on this and trying to hold myself accountable to do what I say.  No more fakeness.  It’s real from here on out and letting the Lord lead me and I will follow whatever He wills.


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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