Purposeful Faith

Tag - hope

5 Personal Vulnerability Points That the Devil Attacks

Devil Attacks

I didn’t know where the thought came from. Like an unwelcomed visitor, it showed up unannounced. It just pushed its way in – and sat down.  Holy had to leave. It doesn’t do well with things vile, deplorable and downright not from God. Worship left the air too. All eyes were on the house warming gift of worry in the middle of everything; it was tied up with the bow of anxiety. It’s a horrible gift.

In me, what felt like a temple, now felt tainted.

 Devil Attacks

Certainly, I let in a monster that wasn’t supposed to be around, but I wasn’t sure what to do about it. When you let this kind of thought in, they don’t leave – they are rude like that.

So rude, that sometimes they keep you up all night as you try to wrangle them like untamed and bucking broncos. They rise and let you know how tall they are. They contort around you spelling out the word D.O.O.M.

I hate them, usually.

Knowing this, I come to these very important question…

How do I block the random attacks of the enemy that arrive like arrows in the night?

And, are there certain conditions that make me more vulnerable?

I think there are. Paul lets us know that we should be wise to their schemes (2 Cor. 2:11).

If we want to stand firm, we have to keep up our defenses up and our knees down to the ground.

You see, to be aware is to stand active in prayer.

So that your heart does not pursue an enemy affair.

 Devil Attacks

Prayer is our best defense. God is our best offense.

Beyond this, if we know when the devil is prone to attack us, we can raise up our requests and calls for protection during these times. In essence, we can F.I.G.H.T back!

5 Times the Devil Loves To Attack Christ Followers…When they are:

  1. Famished.
    If you are hungry for life and not filling up on God, you are prime meat.
    If you are hungry for food and are feeling a little off kilter, you are a tasty choice.
    If you are head in iPhone, not soaking in the love of God, you are often – toast.
  2. Irritable.
    If you are off-footed and nearly falling, even more the devil knows his punch will knock you out.
    If you are in a bad mood, he knows you will open the door to his negativity.
  3. Gullible.
    If you are open to lies, he will feed them to you.
    If you are willing to listen to pride, he will lure you to it.
    If you are up for misunderstanding God, he will distort him to you.
  4. Hurt.
    If you are discouraged, he will lure you to quick-fixes.
    If you are beaten in relationships, he will feed you bad words about the another person.
    If you aren’t seeking God, the devil will seek you and make you wonder if God is really good.
  5. Tired.
    If your mind is confused, he will confuse it some more.
    If your will is weary, he will wear it down to its breaking point.
    If people get testy, he will test your limits.

We can’t blame everything on the devil. Nope. That would miss this thing called flesh (Gal. 5:16) that works in its own self-serving way. But, when the devil is at play, the fertile ground described above is primed soil ready for insecticide-ridden hands.

Yet, when left protected and guarded, God grows something new –  it is called perseverance and determination.

 Devil Attacks


Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. Psalm 144:1

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.


What Are You Running After?

Running After

Post By: Angela Parlin

I call myself a runner, but I always feel the need to qualify the statement.

I’m not built like a runner. I’m not a fast runner. My mileage wouldn’t impress you.

But I get out there, onto the trail several times a week. And other than the last few months of four pregnancies plus a couple injuries which sidelined me for a time, I’ve been a runner as long as I can remember.

When I run, I’m usually smiling. It’s a strange habit, but I smile in part because running is my alone time. I walk out the front door, ready to move, and it’s like a big, deep breath. Plus a lot of panting, but still.

I smile because the finish line is always on the horizon, and I’m a hoper and a dreamer. I smile, because I need the opportunity to think my own thoughts for a bit. Thoughts about something other than school and the next meal and a million little tasks to do around the house.

Give me some fresh, quiet air under a big blue sky and the opportunity to think my own thoughts–and it feels like being home. Not so much like being in my home, but at home with myself. 🙂


Last week, out on the trail, one of my thoughts morphed into a pressing question:

What are you running after anyway?

Read More at Angela’s Blog and Linkup your encouraging post there with us!


Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.


5 Ways to Keep your Eyes on God

Keep your Eyes on God

I brought my kids to the beach. I needed to find some refuge to let them a.) play so that I could b.) get a moment with God. Doing this kind of thing is essential, in life, by the way. Sometimes, you have to break away from what you are immersed in so you can find yourself immersed in love, that way when you are re-immersed into life (mothering, relationships, work, health issues, etc.) you survive. This is what I figure, anyway.

Doing this kind of thing is like pre-CPR, it saves you before your signs go vital – from the anxieties and worries of life that intend to put you 10-feet under. I knew the warning signs for myself, so I hightailed myself over to my personal refuge.

The LORD helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him. Psalm 37:40

When the beach party was done and all were packed in the car, I slowly meandered down the road to home. The birds chirped, the seagulls floated on the water, the landscape was cloud layers perfectly hovering right above the ocean horizon. I breathed deep, inched on and turned my head ocean to road, ocean to road. Life was good.

your eyes on God

I wasn’t missing anything! So big, and so proud – God’s love nearly gave me a hug. We united and it was a beautiful thing.

Until, that guy did his thing. Until, he became – a tailgater. My face tensed, my eyes squinted, “If only he could get a glimpse of me and my contorted and ugly face through the rearview mirror.” Left and right I scooted trying to make sure he saw me!

He was ruining it all. He was my problem. My heart was pumping with the fresh blood of aggravation.

your eyes on God

All I knew was that I was getting tailed by pressure, and it was stealing peace. I guess it happens all the time, when I stop, and really think about it.

I feel that others are climbing faster and farther and quicker into writing success than I am. They tail me.

I let demands tower high – be a great mom, author, marketer, wife. Don’t mess up. They tail me.

I have issues, pressing things that need to be handled – bills, agendas, contracts, promises that may not come through. They tail me.

What is tailing you, demanding you to take your eyes off of God?

Work? Others? Finances? Fears? Demands? Children? Health? Progress? Pride?

When we allow external pressures to make us testy,
we can easily miss God’s majesty.

Yet, when we let people or things do what they may do, but we keep our eyes straight, we find ourselves driving straight into peace, calm and serenity. 

How do we do this?

Let’s investigate 5 Ways to Keep our Eyes on God:

1. Be present – If you look for God everywhere, you will find him.

2. Delight in him – If you worship him and commune with him like a best friend, he will become your best friend.

your eyes on God

3. Detangle with him – Let the best counselor, the Holy Spirit, counsel your heart when it goes haywire (John 14:26). He will, you know, and you’ll find a way.

4. Observe Gods’ teachings intended for you – Consider the question, “What is the Lord trying to teach me through this?”

5. Say thanks – When you get offering thanks, you get knowing who you really are – a loved child, who God will always provide for. You relish in the feeling, your God and your forever standing.

Sure, that man nearly bumped me. He nearly bumped my heart right away from receiving the love of God, but this is the ultimate truth: Even if you get away for a moment, as a believer, your heart will never be removed for an eternal lifetime.

With this, we can just get our heart, our being and our focus back on his trajectory. We can drive, and keep our eyes on God, knowing that we are heading into his glorious riches. 

***All pictures taken by my 4-year old son! 😉

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

When People Are Disgusting

When People Are Disgusting

When you have toddlers, you have to make a lot of trips to the bathroom. It’s never too fun either. Public bathrooms ARE ENEMY #1!

So, when I walked in and saw a lady doing what I am about to tell you, my stomach turned. It flipped and flopped and, all I can tell you is, my eyes so badly wanted to squint tight, silently telling her, “What the heck are you doing?”

Lined up on the counter were six triangular shaped pieces of toilet paper in a row. Each one of them had blood drenched tips. In her nose were two wads stuck up tight. She pulled them out – more blood.

Untitled design (34)

This is disgusting! Who does this?

After finally getting dear daughter all set, we pushed out the door and played with the toys right beyond the bathroom door. But, as I sat, God pricked, “Kelly, where is your compassion. What happened to your heart?”

I remembered another woman. She was a bloody woman too. She was so bloody she was legally unclean. She was disgusting, she was deplorable. She was a societal “issue”.

For 12 years she lived like a walking fountain of sickness (Luke 8:43), likely shunned, scorned, and embarrassed. Likely, feeling like she even hated herself. Likely, feeling alone.

Did people even care to know what was wrong with her? Did people hate to see “her issue”?

I am just like them.

Who disgusts you?
What issue do you hate to look at?
What makes you sick?

“And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.” (Luke 8:46)

She simply touched his hem, but did you notice what Jesus gave this woman? What he handed out? I have not heard in other places Jesus mention “virtue” as his healing.

Virtue in greek means dunamis.

Dunamis = power & might

Jesus restores not just what outwardly plagues us,
but restores insecurity and worry
with power and might. 

It looks a lot like blood; blood poured out on the cross.

The lowly one healing.
The hated one loving.
The despicable blood moving, transforming, reforming…

Untitled design (35)

To be like Jesus, we might consider doing the same – extending our strength to the unworthy? God’s kindness leads to repentance, after all (Romans 2:4).

Who do you need to offer virtue to?

What if, when you get brushed against disgusting and despicable, you – strengthened the person?

Hugging them.
Loving them.
Telling them God cares.
Showing your heart.
Explaining that you want to see theirs.
Offering compassion with no strings attached.
Letting your heart come to life…

Untitled design (36)

I am not saying it will be easy, because the last thing I wanted to do was approach that lady. But, as she walked out the door, head down, and eyes trying to quickly catch my disdain – it is exactly what I wish I would have done. I only wish, I would have stopped her, talked to her, understood her and, maybe even, prayed for her.

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.


When You Keep Losing What You Want

When You Keep Losing

My dear friend, Christy Underwood, is joining us today. As you will see, her endurance and perseverance is both admirable and touching. I saw it in action as she went through this trial. Today, her story reminds me that even when we feel like the world is hurting us, still, God is always pursuing us. 

The nurse came into the room. The test came back negative. My fears were confirmed. I was not pregnant. I had lost the baby. It was difficult but I was thankful that it was early on in the pregnancy and I had minimal physical side effects from the miscarriage.

The doctor told us we should wait a few months before trying again. In the meantime, I went to a women’s conference with our church. A girl at our table told us about a book she was reading called, “Heaven is for Real.” She shared a part where the little boy meets his sister who had died in his mom’s tummy. I excused myself from the table, went to the bathroom, and cried. The Lord spoke to me in those moments. It hit me that the baby we lost is God’s child too, just as I am God’s child. I had focused too much on how I lost MY baby. I was able to see how God loves our/His child the same way He loves me. I realized that God wanted life for His child just like I did. He is the Creator of life. So, why did our child die?

Because we live in an imperfect world.

God could have intervened – but He didn’t.

He chooses not to control our world, because He wants us to have the free will to choose – Him or not. 

A few months later, I got pregnant again. I was scared but knew I had to trust the Lord. Our sweet girl is 3 years old now.

After lots of trying – and waiting – to get pregnant again – it happened. Yet, when they did the initial ultrasound, they couldn’t find the heartbeat.

“Take this medication and return in a week.” That’s what the doctor said.

That week was one of the hardest, most anxiety provoking weeks of my life. Nothing had changed. They could see that I had been pregnant, but we lost the baby again. I waited for my body to do what God designed it to, but I was on an emotional rollercoaster. I sought the Lord and He spoke to me. I questioned if God understood my pain, my loss. He said that He indeed understood more than I would ever be able to understand.

He allowed His Son to bear our sin and pay the price, so that we could have a relationship with Him.

“This is how God showed love among us:
He sent His one and only Son into the world
that we might live through Him.”
(1 John 4:9)

Time passed, and I got pregnant again. The technician was able to show me the baby and the baby’s heartbeat but the baby was measuring a little smaller than expected. I was hopeful but nervous. I went back a couple weeks later and the baby had barely grown. There was no longer a heartbeat. Again, Lord?

We lost this baby the day before my daughter’s 3rd birthday.

For some, this may have ruined the day. For me, I saw God working. I was thankful to have a brief time of mourning and then found myself rejoicing in the child He had already given us. The Lord was reminding me of all I had to be thankful for. I knew he was going to teach me something. The message I heard this time was, “Praise Me. Focus on who I am.” A song came back to me that I had briefly focused on during my last miscarriage, “Praise You in This Storm,” by Casting Crowns.

Here are some of the lyrics:

I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am

And every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

What storm are you trying to survive?

How is God calling you to praise Him in the midst of this storm?

It comes down to a choice. Will we choose Him or not? Let’s keep our eyes on Him no matter what a fallen world sends our way.

We don’t know what the future holds or what God’s plan is for our lives, but I know – I will do my best to trust Him and seek His will above all else.

Will you?

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

Christy (left) is a wife, a mother to one sweet girl, and a speech therapist. She’s lived in Southern California her whole life. Kelly and Christy met in their early 20s at a church retreat and have supported each other through all of the crazy transitions life keeps bringing.

Kelly’s must-add words about Christy: Christy inspires me to be a better friend. She asks the real questions, the tough questions and the caring questions. She is honest and fun all at the same time. She is a woman who seeks after God with her whole heart. I thank God that he made matched us together, two friends who “get” each other. I can’t wait for all the years she and I have ahead of us – in this crazy ride called life.

Thank you, Christy, for using your story for God’s glory!

When Jesus Puts You On the Blacklist

Decimate Shame

She and I? “We’ve known each other practically forever, so, I wondered, “Why is she hurting me so much?”

She stood far, whispering deep thoughts to others. All I knew, was – I was getting the cold shoulder and, clearly, I was now bumped right out of her ring of friends.  When she finally did speak to me, hardly two words escaped her mouth. I wasn’t sure what I had done wrong, except for I had been a vocal about sharing different perspectives. I had given words to a different path than her; I guess she didn’t like it.

As Christians, there is a risk to sharing the light of faith. You can get burned.

And, even worse, sometimes afterwards, you leave with the heavy weight you did it:
A. At the wrong time.
B. In the wrong way.
C. With the wrong words.
D. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

Often, when the sting of embarrassment sets in, 
we more want to run from Christ, than reflect him again.

Ever noticed?

It makes it nearly impossible to be Christ to the least of these,
when we feel like the least of these.

To walk full of love,
when dragging a bag of shame and uncertainty.

To think about caring,
when all you’re doing is caring about yourself.

A mind going bonkers, like this:
“I didn’t show Christ.”
“She hates me.”
“I looked like an imbecile.”
“I should have connected better.”
“I am now the talking point of the game ‘Telephone'”

Doesn’t as easily dwell on thoughts like this:
I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. (Psalm 34:4-5)

It is easy to let what you didn’t do, become the focus of who you are, unless you let the Word of God redefine it…

Romans 8. It did it for me.

It is a stirring chapter; you can apply it to nearly any circumstance where you feel:
1.) Off Track
2.) Self-Consumed
3.) Unclear about how to proceed.
4.) Busted and left for ruin.

Do you feel any of these in your life?

Check it out. Let’s Pray Romans 8:

Thank you God that there is “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)

There is no erasing that, through Jesus, and the Spirit, I have life and am set free from sin and death. (Romans 8:2) With this, I need not fear what I have done wrong or what I am prone to do wrong. I will fail, but Jesus never can. This is my hope and this is my future. This a change-maker in me and through me.

Lord, help me to live according to the Spirit, not according to the flesh, so that I can have my mind set on what the Spirit desires (Romans 8:5).

Shift my thinking your way.
Shift my attitude your way.
Shift my love your way.
Shift my plans your way.
Shift my heart your way.
Keep my mind stayed on Spirit.

If my mind is on Spirit, and in Spirit, I will naturally shift towards life and peace (Romans 6:8). Keep me there. If I think anything else, besides, life and peace, help me wake up to the idea that I am driven by flesh. I don’t want to be hostile to God or have a mindset which you, God, clearly say cannot please you (Romans 8:7,8).

Help me shift, Lord.

Let me not forget, God, the power that is in me. There is incredible power that I can access and rely on, when only I seek and submit to it, “the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit.” (Romans 8:11) What is in me, has the ability to make hug the rude.

Thank you Lord, that the those who are led by the Spirit are children of God (Romans 8:14). Through this, I am not a slave, bowing down to fears, but I am a daughter of the most high King. He will take care of me, he will fight for me, he will love me and he will endure for me. I can cry “Abba, Father,” by the Spirit and with full knowledge that I am okay (Romans 8:15).

God, help me endure sufferings, because your promise was not that we wouldn’t hit them, it was just that you would bring us through them (Romans 8:17), and even more, you say those who share in sufferings, share in your glory. Give me your eyes to see this perspective and lead me. Teach me. Help me. May I submit to Spirit. May I pray continually and may I seek to love and lay down my life as Christ has. Amen.

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

From Angry & Ruined to Renewed

to Renewed

“Those women seem against me,”I thought. Surely, they don’t want to be friends. Not when they leave me out this way. They couldn’t possibly like me, or be for me, for that matter. And, you all know how the old saying goes, “You are either for me – or against.” I think I knew where they stood.

They even seem to enjoy leaving me out. Worst of all, they don’t even realize how it hurt me.

Isn’t that the worst, when the offense is so blatant? I wanted to know why they got to walk right into their own little Promised Land of joy full of milk and honey, while I was left sucking tainted water? It hurt.

My heart yearned to know.

To seek and pray deeply, is the only way to give a victim mentality,
take a fresh does of Christ reality – that heals…

The taken advantaged one.
The hurt one.
The burnt one.
The one of the past.
The one that was counted out of sports, while the other girls made the team.
The girl who sat on the sidelines, as others jumped on the blacktop.
The one whose work was negated, as others was promoted.
The one who looked ugly, while everyone else looked pretty.

What kind of eye glasses have I been looking from?

What perspective have they been revealing?
Fuzzy ones? Hazy ones?
These glasses are making me look all wrong.

Here’s how you can tell what kind of glasses you see from…

1. Do you see earthly poverty or spiritual abundance?

2. Do you solely live by the pain of the cross or by the hope and freedom of the resurrection?

3. Do you live expecting failure or trusting in God’s victory?

I am seeing it is time for a perspective-shift. Are you?

The truth is, I am not stuck on an island. Jesus is my way, my hope, my rescue, my strong-hold. He shows and leads me to a new place. A place of peace.

The question is – will I go. Will I choose to leave what has defined me – trusting that the living water will help me live anew in him? Or will I remain parched and hungry for all I don’t and never will have (even though it has been entirely granted to me)?

I am ready to go somewhere new.

Are you?

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:
The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Cor. 5:17

Maybe it isn’t so much that I am not new, or that we are not new, but that we haven’t believed in “new.” Perhaps it is a matter of taking off these glasses of old to see a clear view of his new.

Perhaps then, we will see his land of milk and honey verses my land of depravity and negativity.  Perhaps then we will “see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” (Ps. 27:13)

I want to see what God sees everyday in my land of living.

Isn’t it time to move on? To see fresh?

Let’s go.

To a place of milk and honey, where we aren’t abandoned we are resurrected in Christ Jesus.

Walk by still waters and to lay on green pastures (Ps. 23:2) – resting in his ways.

Find shelter under the wing of an eagle (Ps. 91:4) – not trying to fly, but being content to abide.

To peace. To fullness. To life. No matter how people are living or hurting around us. It is ours for the taking; so let’s take it and go – with God!

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

Sparkling Bright for Christ

Sparkling Bright for Christ

Do you have the sparkle?

It’s the shine of more. It’s the clean of perfect. It’s togetherness and wholeness.

It looks nothing like me.

I look like tiredness personified.
I look like worry building upon worry.
I look like one who tries to trust – but still doubts.
I look like a battlefield where godliness goes up against selfishness.
I look like a girl trying to fit herself into mold “good mom.”

That’s me. Not so shiny. Not very sparkly. Hardly.

It feels hard to keep the glimmer of Christ existent amidst the grime of this life.

But, what if glimmer was not me – or you? What if the pressure was off? What if glimmer was just a matter of letting God’s light bust through our darkness? 

What would that look like?

God’s glory is always found within our tension points (Romans 5:3). It is a hard thing to consider, isn’t it? Usually, we run from these places, thinking they spots sent to inflict pain. Little do we know that sometimes, these exact spots, when pushed are what are going to deliver us to freedom – and to greater mobility to reach the world.

Where we feel pressed, God is working things out, so one day, we land at – blessed.

We shimmer. We shine. We find glory!

Do we believe it is possible?

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings,
because we know that suffering produces
(Romans 5:3)

When great joy emerges out of great struggle, people notice. Glory!
When peace is found over hardship. Glory!
When God grants unspeakable calm in the midst of doggone electricity storm. Glory!
When insight speaks into an impossible situation. Glory!
Glimmer! Sparkle! Shine! Power! Light unquenchable.

When we endure and then endure and then say, “No matter what Heaven awaits!” Glory!

We can lean into pain, knowing that God, by his very nature,will always use it – for spiritual gain. In that we can trust.

Is it hard? Yes. Impossible. No.

It is not, because it is also a work of the Holy Spirit – he makes you go about all Tigger-style, abounding in hope (Romans 5:13).

Hope is:
Seeing Jesus constructing mission out of our pain.

Imagining people changed after relational turbulence.
Standing on God’s masterplan rather than our personal ones.
Believing that God really is at work to make us into Christ’s image.
Going beyond self, to reach the nations. 
Thanking God for the new thing he is building in us.
Understanding the cross and all the pain that came with it. 
Looking at the captives and depressives and wanting to love them.
Getting a feeling that we have to pass around. 
Knowing we found home and longing for the fullness of it to come.

Hope. It is all you need to sparkle, no matter how you feel. Nothing can steal it. No one can rob it of you. It is a knowledge you’ll be blessed, even if you straight up land at heaven’s gates.

Let it sing in you. Let it rise from you. Walk in its fullness and feel its freedom – then hand it out to all you meet.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 5:13

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

 Loading InLinkz ...

Kicking the Voice of What Ifs In the Teeth

the Voice of What Ifs

All was good and dandy, until my mind started it’s endless twirling. I know you all have experienced it. It’s when you come face-to-face with that mean, burly voice that deeply grunts out, “What if?”

What if things don’t work out?
What if you get taken advantage of?
What if God doesn’t take care of you?

When we listen to that voice of misreason,
He almost always convinces us we’re moving into a bad season.

But, when we shut down that voice at first grunt,
we start to believe God is in front of us.

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you.

He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.
Deut. 31:8

I am beginning to realize it comes down to a split-second decision. If you can quickly identify the voice that beckons you into the darkness, you can choose to stay in the light. If you don’t realize who he is, you are bound to get lured in like a kid following sweet candy.


Will we listen for the voice of God or continually debate the antagonizer’s?


I know friends, it is not easy. Making the decision to hear and only hear the right voice is a battle. It is one where we have to grab the mindset and the determined will power to believe rightly about God’s righteousness.

But, it is possible. It looks like getting pro-active. It looks like getting smart about who God is. It looks like pledging allegiance to a King.

It goes like this:

I declare God is with me. He is Immanuel (Mt. 1:23).
I know he is Wonderful Counselor. He is consoling me (Is. 9:6).
I envision Mighty God – the one able to do the impossible (Is. 9:6).
I have the Prince of Peace by my side. He will calm me as I turn into him (Is. 9:6).
I know God saved me. I will rest there (Lu. 2:11).
I trust the bread of life will feed me when I need to be fed (Jo. 6:35).
I pledge my heart to the one and only light of the world (Jo. 8:12).
I profess the good shepherd stands next to me and tends to my heart (Jo. 10:14)
I reassert my heart to the great deliverer – the one who delivers again and again (Ro. 11:26)
I know the way, the truth and the life, for I know Jesus (Jo. 14:6)

An amazing thing that happens when one’s mind carries these names on little notecards; they stand on them during the horrid and horrific moments. They stand on them as if they were tall walls moving them above the fray. And in a way they do.

On paper, they are just words, but when they are stood upon in a heart, they become fortresses of unbeatable power.

The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
The righteous run to it and are safe.
Prov. 18:10

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

You No Longer Have to Force Happy

force happy

I ran into a friend today.

She said to me, “If you see my face and I look not as happy, just know it is because some things are hurting right now.”

I loved her honesty. I think she felt like she owed me something though; I think she felt like she had to prove that she, as a Christian, was okay to feel down. It kind of bothered me.

Jesus didn’t say, “Happy face required” to follow me.”

He didn’t say, “Pull yourself together and say what I want to hear.”

He didn’t say, “If you are having a hard time, you can’t be near me.”

He didn’t say, “Isolate yourself in a little bubble of protection if you feed sad.”

On the contrary he said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Mt. 11:28

Notice, he doesn’t say: I will give you giggles, a smile and a facade that looks all squeeky clean.

Here is what I have to say to you, brothers and sisters today, who are struggling:

  1. It is okay to feel down, Jesus can handle it.
  2. It is okay to wonder the whens, whys and hows – and to bring them to the Lord.
  3. It is okay to tell us you are struggling, we often are too.
  4. It is okay to say you need time away to pray; God will show up.
  5. Greater is God than your greatest weakness.
  6. God is mighty to save you from anything and everything.
  7. Deep learning is in the deep reflection found through pain.
  8. Trials that peel away self, so we find self looking a whole lot more like Christ.
  9. Jesus suffered. He gets you and your pain.
  10. There is no kind of bad attitude that will push God away from you.

Keep going.

Keep loving.

Keep surrendering.

He has you.

Keep abiding.

Keep asking.

Keep listening.

He will not abandon you.

Keep pressing on.

Keep moving your feet.

Keep trusting by faith. 

He sees you.

Days will pass, emotions will ride out – and before you know it – you  will be in a new season.

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.