Lessons I’m learning from: an anxious heart.

‘Your name is life, your name is hope inside me… hope inside me. Your name is love, a love that always finds me… Always finds me. Be lifted up, be lifted higher.’ Praises (Be lifted up), Bethel.

Truthfully, I started writing this blog with an anxious heart and it did not mean that I had stopped being faithful or that I was not trusting God. My chest felt super tight and I was praying through it. Knowing that God does not fail to meet me in those moments and walk with me through it. Before I started writing this, I was praying and being reminded of the truths of who God is and who he calls me to be. May we never believe that our anxious thoughts means that we are not trusting God but may we bring our anxious thoughts to God. Lift our perspective to a God who is mightier and far more powerful than anything we will ever face. Allow God to hold it and to speak through those moments. I am wrapping up this blog as I type this, the anxiousness that I felt has been lifted and I pray that this blog will be a blessing to you as it was to me, if you are struggling at the moment. For some of you reading this I know that anxiety is not something that can be easily removed. I pray that you will find some encouragement through this blog and wherever you may be, you will find people to help you cope and support you through your journey.

As human beings, we have our limitations and we are easily overwhelmed with situations that we feel are out of our control.  I was reminded of the passage in (2 Corinthians 12) where Paul has, what is referred to as his thorn and pleads to the Lord three times to take it away.  (v9) ‘But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”‘. When my heart becomes anxious, I need to remind myself that my limitations do not limit God. There are incredible verses found in Isaiah that reminds us all of who God is, compared to who we are. (Isaiah 55v8-9) ‘“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, , so are my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.‘ These verses remind me to keep trusting God. Where I see limitation and failure; I believe God sees hope and potential. I also know that the Lord does not disregard my anxious thoughts as not important, for he knows our anxious heart. This truth is proclaimed wonderfully through Amanda Cook’s song ‘The Clearing.’

‘You waited through the night. Stayed here by my side. Not anxious of the time it takes. You whisper to my soul, just three steps left to go . Patiently you show the way.’

In the Lord meeting us in those moments, he does not leave us there. Even in the anxious thoughts I was having, the truth that I was being prompted with was allowing all that was clouding my mind to be removed. I did not need to find my identity in my insecurities, for my insecurities were being used to bring my closer to the Lord. I love the next verse of this song because it shows the transformation that happens within our life, with the Lord’s guidance. It is never an easy journey but with God we arrive at a place that is far better than what we left.

‘I could make my bed, so many places I have been. But you said I was meant for more. So I’ll never settle now, for less than holy ground. What a life we’ve found here.’

The verse that has been a constant reminder throughout the past weeks is (2 Timothy 1v7) ‘For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.’ When my anxious thoughts, my doubts and fears become too much I am reminded that they are not my over-comers. That I have been given a spirit that is not fearful or timid but is powerful, self-disciplined and full of love. That I can have the faith that no matter the mountain I come across, that the Lord is with me and I can be courageous enough to face it. That applies to anything I come across in life, it may never be easy and the outcome may be disappointing but it does not have the final say. God does! That is where my faith will be found, resting in who God is and not restricting my perspective to my limitations.

I am learning the need to stop being disappointed in who I am and having this fixed mindset, that my mistakes stop me from moving forwards. For that is not truth, there is always growth and renewed hope that is planted into our life. We are restored by God’s love and grace. Jesus did not die for us all so that we would burden ourselves with our mistakes and limitations. He did not conquer death so that would remain in that stale and broken place . We are given new life and new hope. We are given salvation as a gift, that is an incredible gift to receive and we did nothing to deserve it. That is a blessing that we can encounter today. We need to trust that our anxiousness is not God leaving us or forsaking us, he promised he would never do that. Anyone or anything that would whisper he would, is not speaking truth. Nothing we face in this life is beyond God’s power, he is the creator and he is the restorer. He knows our life from beginning to end. nothing happens that is shocking God.  (Psalm 139v16) ‘ Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.’ Let us not lose sight of who God is and who we were created to be. The world is a messy place but God is still working. We need to trust! We can read all the books and listen to all the podcasts but until  we come into that place of trusting and surrendering to God then it is all just knowledge. The world will tell us many ‘truths’ that we need to believe. The ‘truths’ that we are told are ever changing, it is not surprising we are anxious daily, fearful of what is to come. Everything we do on earth is fleeting, we cannot put faith in it. We cannot put our worth in it either. It is not everlasting. We can be faithful in the places we are put and in the work we do. We should not put our faith in it.

From an anxious heart to another. Our anxiousness is not our worth, may we speak God’s truth over it. May we deafen it’s mighty roar with the wisdom and love that God speaks over us. We are incredibly loved by a God who is love, we are his children. May we delight that God has authority over all things. May we remember that our spirit is not that of fear but one of POWER, LOVE AND SELF-DISCIPLINE.

‘We cannot grow when insecurities keep us from the life-giving oxygen of transformational truth. God beckons or invites me to change my mind-set from focusing on my insecurities and limitations to his security and limitless potential.’ Lysa Terkeurst ‘The best yes’

Remember you are loved and cherished. May you have a blessed week. God bless, Victoria. xx

 

 

Lessons I’m learning from: Luke 15 (The lost get found.)

Luke 15 is made up of 3 parables, that all look at the theme of something being lost and found. While these may be familiar parables, I learned some fresh lessons through my reading of these.  v1-2 ‘Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered. “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”These verses give the context to the parables.I am not going to go into great depth of everything in each parable, I would highly recommend reading them for yourself. Here are some ideas that I explored while reading.

The Parable of the Lost Sheep.

 v4 ‘Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? The 99 that were left in the open country could be trusted. They knew and understood the dangers of wandering off. As with the one who had wandered off, he had lost his way and was wandering into unknown dangers. The Shepherd knew the sheep could not save itself. v5 ‘And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home.’. Even when he find the sheep he joyfully receives it back, protecting it and putting it out of harms way by putting it on his shoulders. They even have a party to rejoice this lost sheep being found. The purpose that the Shepherd poured into finding that one sheep, is a beautiful image of who our Saviour is. There are many people who have already been saved, Jesus does not stop there. He welcomes the sinner into his presence because he sees their purpose and their worth. In the context of this parable, the Pharisees can be seen as the 99 sheep. The Pharisees know what it takes to be righteous. They can choose whether to abide by it or not. The sinners have lost their way, they do not know how to find there way back without someone leading them home. That is why there is so much rejoicing because they are finally in the place they were always meant to be. v7 ‘I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.’.

The Parable of the lost coin.

v8 ‘Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and searches carefully until she finds it?’ . One coin has worth on its own. There is an intense amount of effort put into finding this coin, every area is searched so that the coin will not be missed. There is rejoicing when it is found. It reminded me of our own individual worth, our worth is made complete through Jesus. We are forgiven due to our repentance and the grace of God that comes through Jesus. Amazing grace, that we will never be forgotten or missed by God!

The Parable of the lost son.

The two previous parables put into a human context. One son is righteous and the other a sinner. The younger son was greedy and believed that he deserved to be granted what he had requested of his Father, despite the cost. v12 ‘Father, give me my share of the estate,’ so he divided his property between them. Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a far country and squandered his wealth on wild living.’ The younger son was very clueless and got lost in his worldly ways, he was not prepared for any misfortune. It leads to: his highest high, to lowest low, humility, surrender and salvation. v19 ‘I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.‘. He had his speech ready and his heart surrendered and was on his way home again. His father saw him at a distance and filled with compassion ran to him! He embraced him and kissed him, showing those around them that although what his son had done was dishonourable the Father was accepting him back and forgiving him.  He dresses him richly, reminding him of his worth and who he belongs to. This is what God does for each of us, he reminds us who we are and who we belong to. He reminds us that we are so loved, that we were worth dying for. That in our brokenness and mess, God saw hope that was made complete through Jesus. v24 ‘For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found,’ So they begun to celebrate.

On the other side, we see the jealousy of the righteous brother who is feeling hard done by. He has always been faithful but his goodness has never been celebrated in the way his brother was. Instead of rejoicing over the blessing of his brother returning and being saved, he feels rejected. The Father reminds him of all he already has, that he knew his worth and convictions so did not have to go running off like his brother. At this moment his jealousy was misleading him, he did not need to feel rejected for he was already part of something bigger. We have to be careful, that our jealousy does not get in the way or allowing new believers to thrive and come into who they are meant to be. We are not a rejected people, we are greatly blessed  because we are saved. May we not lose sight of that because we believe that someone’s portion is better than ours. v 31 ‘My son’, the Father said, ‘you are always with me and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ 

I hope that you will have a blessed week and will continue to explore the passages found in Luke’s gospel. I pray that you will continue to grow in wisdom and knowledge. You are loved and cherished. Love Victoria. xx