Tag Archives: faith

Never Let the Presence of a Storm Cause You to Doubt the Presence of God

 

 

God is always with us. Our hardest times are those times we need Him most. Learning to lean on Him during these storms is life changing. The hardest times in my life have actually been a blessing because they have radically changed my relationship with God. I now know I cannot make it through life without Him.

We are not built to be strong enough or good enough to do this life on our own. We are all created with a God size hole in our soul. There is only one Love, one Truth that can fill that yearning. He is the only way we can truly feel peace and joy. No amount of money, success, or fame can compare. All things of this world leave us feeling empty because we were designed to have a relationship with our creator.

I love my family and friends, but Jesus comes first. He is the only one who understands all of me. He knows my darkest secrets and deepest fears and He loves me because of the broken imperfect person I am.

 

In the Storm

God With Us

He’s with you through the pain. He comforts you in the waiting. When you’re anxious about your future, He gives you courage. As you climb the mountain, He keeps you safe in His arms. In every moment, we have God With Us. 🙏✝️❤️

Click the link to watch it now! 🔽

Life Church Sermon: In the Storm

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Keep On Keeping On

Amazing, real, and so true, this is my new favorite song. Life is hard and sometimes we want to give up, but “I’ll Keep On” speaks the truth I feel about the love and strength that gets me through my days, the hard ones and the good ones. He is always there, no matter how much I mess up. He chases after us because He loves us more than we can fathom. I would be lost without my Jesus. He is my best friend.

I’ll Keep On by Jeremiah Carlson

Lyrics:

Oh these hands are tired

Oh this heart is tired
Oh this soul is tired
But I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on

[Verse 1: NF]
Faith is something I am not accustomed to
And trusting other people’s something I don’t really love to do
I’ve never been a fan of it, I act tougher
Really my shoulders they ain’t built for this and I don’t have nothing
It’s like I’m standing in the rain and you offer me a raincoat
But I would rather stand there and get wet than take the handout
What’s wrong with me? You said, “you’ve always got your hands out
And I cannot continue on my own so take my hands now”
I give you everything, God, not just a little bit
Take it from me, I am nothing but a hypocrite
I hate sin, but I built a house and I still live in it
Afraid to open up the door to You and let You into it
My soul is lost and what it needs is Your direction
I know, I’ve told You I do not need Your protection
But I lied to You, this thing is tiring
And man was not created for it, God
Please retire me now

I’LL KEEP ON LYRICS
[Hook: Jeremiah Carlson]
Oh these hands are tired
Oh this heart is tired
Oh this soul is tired
But I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on

[Verse 1: NF]
Faith is something I am not accustomed to
And trusting other people’s something I don’t really love to do
I’ve never been a fan of it, I act tougher
Really my shoulders they ain’t built for this and I don’t have nothing
It’s like I’m standing in the rain and you offer me a raincoat
But I would rather stand there and get wet than take the handout
What’s wrong with me? You said, “you’ve always got your hands out
And I cannot continue on my own so take my hands now”
I give you everything, God, not just a little bit
Take it from me, I am nothing but a hypocrite
I hate sin, but I built a house and I still live in it
Afraid to open up the door to You and let You into it
My soul is lost and what it needs is Your direction
I know, I’ve told You I do not need Your protection
But I lied to You, this thing is tiring
And man was not created for it, God
Please retire me now

[Hook: Jeremiah Carlson]
Oh these hands are tired
Oh this heart is tired
Oh this soul is tired
But I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on

[Verse 2: NF]
Trust is something I am not accustomed to
And I know the Bible says I should always trust in You
But, I don’t never read that book enough
And when I have a question I don’t take the time to look it up
Or pick it up
It collects dust on my nightstand
I’m just being honest
Please take this outta my hands
I have no control – I am just a person
But thank the Lord that I serve a God that’s perfect
I do not deserve the opportunity You’ve given me
I never knew what freedom was until I learned what prison means
I am not ashamed, I don’t care if they remember me
My life will always have a hole, if You are not the centerpiece
Take me out of bondage, take all of my pride
If I don’t have a Savior, I don’t have nothing inside
Take all of my lust, take all of my lies
There’s no better feeling than when I look in the sky, in Your eyes
It’s amazing

Real Love

This song speaks truth to my soul. I love the lyrics and the voice on this girl is out of this world. All of her songs are awesome, but this new one is by far my favorite. It’s given me hope and a new outlook in a rough period in my struggle with my Bipolar Disorder.

Real Love by Blanca

Blanca’s ‘Real Love’ is the song about Jesus everyone needs right now.

This is from an interview on EEWMagazineOnline with Blanca about her song Real Love.

This song has been a healing song for my heart. I’ve been through a very tough year. There are several pieces to this song coming together. The biggest focus for me to be inspired to write this song was feeling like I can check off all of the boxes and do all of the things that I’m supposed to do–I read my Bible, I went to church–but sometimes I feel empty after doing all of these things. I feel like God’s saying to me that doing those things are great, but when am I going to go deeper with Him? I feel like He is asking me, “when are you going to go out of the shallow waters into the deep waters?” That’s where it can be painful, but that’s where He wants me to go with Him.

My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and fought it for a few years, and she ended up passing away this past year. I think sometimes those very hard seasons that we walk through in life bring out these underlying issues and questions that we have. Especially in that moment, I realized that I don’t want to face the whole foundation of who I am in Him based on these shallow things that leave me empty.

When I was facing these hardest things I’ve ever walked through in my life, and I was questioning and angry and those things were coming to the surface, I remember speaking with my mom. She told me she was scared when she was in hospice. People were telling her she needed to have faith and trust God and believe and that He was going to heal her, but she was still sick. That was like a dagger to my heart. My mom was an amazing, selfless woman who loved the Lord, and when her time was ending, she felt like God’s love was running out on her. That she had done too much wrong or His grace was running out because she was still sick. She was struggling with this issue of works and striving and proving ourselves to the Lord. But He loves us because He is love, and that’s who He is.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song? 

Romans 5:8 (NIV): “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

John 3:16 (VOICE): “For God expressed His love for the world in this way: He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not face everlasting destruction, but will have everlasting life.”

1 John 3:16 (NIV): “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”

1 John 4:18-19 (NKJV): “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love because He first loved us.”

John 7:38 (NKJV): “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

John 4:29 (NKJV): “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?”

Hebrews 4:14-16 (NKJV): “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace; that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

What is the takeaway message?

It’s not about religion or what we check off as our good works. It’s about trusting and knowing and encountering the real love of Christ. That’s where this song came to life. I wrote it after my mom passed away. I had all these emotions, and I want this music to be real, and I want it to talk about something that so many of us are walking through. In that process, I wanted it to be healing to me.

This is a song I can turn to when I feel like I’ve missed it. A lot of people have been connecting with this song. It’s kind of an intense message for some people, and can be misinterpreted in some way when I say “you can leave your religion at home.” There is good in religion, but when you look at the Bible and read about the heart of Jesus and what made Him angry and what did He fight for, it was against the religious Pharisees who were missing the mark and the heart of God. That’s so relevant today. We get caught up in the picture of what it should be instead of the heart of what it is. It’s not about religion; it’s about relationship with Jesus.

There are so many people who have been hurt by the church or don’t know Jesus, and the last thing they need from us as the church is how they should dress or which church they attend or their status. It’s about loving on people like how Jesus treated the woman at the well. I’m thanking God that He gave me these words for this song.

Lyrics:
This isn’t easy for me to admit
I got a fire inside and some words I know I can’t keep in
I see faith turning into a show
Of Sundays and sermons and works getting caught in the flow.

Oh but we got real pain
And real fears
Thirstin’ for the drying
Of our real tears
It’s not satisfying anymore
Ain’t it true that veil was torn
Don’t need no stained glass
To be washed in His blood
Don’t need no perfect put together pretty words
To be enough
I want Jesus and His real love it’s something that I crave deep inside of my bones
So you can leave your religion at home

Spent my life trying to keep all the rules
Now I know it’s about what He’s already done
Not about what I think that I gotta do

I want Real Real Love

I got real pain
And real fears
Thirstin’ for the dryin of real tears
It’s not satisfying anymore
Ain’t it true that the veil was torn

I want Real Real Love
I Want Real Real Love
I want Real Real Love

Blanca expresses with transparency her walk with the Lord and how she wants Jesus and His real love, relying on God in the midst of self-doubt, worry and struggling with issues like identity. Believers may know Bible passages like Romans 5:8 and certainly John 3:16, but we should all continue to be so grateful that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” The thought that Jesus laid His life down for us as sinners is so remarkable. The story of the woman at the well stirs up my soul to think about how excited she was to drop her bucket and go tell everyone in the town to “come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” Jesus knows everything about us, and His Spirit is the well of Living Water that never runs dry. That’s a picture of His real love for us.

God explains love in 1st John 4:19: “We love because he first loved us.” God’s love was given at an outrageous cost, the life of His only begotten Son. Not only should we love God because He first loved us, but we should also love others unconditionally because while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. God, our Creator, adores us immensely, and sent Jesus to die for us to show us the definition of love: “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5:8 (NIV).

There are several truths we can cling to in this song’s lyrics: “Spent my life trying to keep all the rules,” “I don’t need no stained glass to be washed in His blood,” “I got real pain and real fears, thirstin’ for the dryin’ of real tears.” God is omnipresent and always with us, and we are never too far beyond His reach. “Real Love” is one of my favorite songs of the year. Right from the lyrics “ain’t it true that veil was torn,” I find myself praying and singing along with this amazing song as it expresses a deep desire that many people have, which is to proclaim: “I want Jesus and His real love, it’s something that I crave deep inside of my bones, so you can leave your religion at home.” Amen to that!

Watch the music video below.

NRT Lead Contributor Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.

Suffering Produces Perseverance

I no longer wish I never had trich or bipolar disorder. Although both come full of pain and suffering, there is another side. Working through my struggles has made me the person I am today. I don’t know if I would have have the same faith, spirit of perseverance, or compassion. I think my best traits have been developed through my pain. God did not cause my suffering, but He will use it for good.

I still hope to be pull free, but I am happy now as I am. My moods are relatively stable and I have settled on a set of meds that works for me. I still pull, but it does not rule my life. Yes, I do spend a considerable amount of time practicing awareness and coping strategies. However, I do not feel like less of a person because I do this or because I am missing some hair. Everyone has some form of struggle in their life. Learning to use that suffering for good is the key to moving through it and finding a purpose for your pain. I read this devotional earlier today and thought that it lined up so well with the verse that has been on my heart, Romans 5:3-4.

Your Pain Often Reveals God’s Purpose for You

BY RICK WARREN — NOVEMBER 25, 2014

Your pain often reveals God’s purpose for you. God never wastes a hurt! If you’ve gone through a hurt, he wants you to help other people going through that same hurt. He wants you to share it. God can use the problems in your life to give you a ministry to others. In fact, the very thing you’re most ashamed of in your life and resent the most could become your greatest ministry in helping other people.
Who can better help somebody going through a bankruptcy than somebody who went through a bankruptcy? Who can better help somebody struggling with an addiction than somebody who’s struggled with an addiction? Who can better help parents of a special needs child than parents who raised a special needs child? Who can better help somebody who’s lost a child than somebody who lost a child?
The very thing you hate the most in your life is what God wants to use for good in your life.
The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 1, verses 4 and 6, “God comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things” (NLT).
This is called redemptive suffering. Redemptive suffering is when you go through a problem or a pain for the benefit of others.
This is what Jesus did. When Jesus died on the cross, he didn’t deserve to die. He went through that pain for your benefit so that you can be saved and go to Heaven.
There are many different causes for the problems, pains, and suffering in your life. Sometimes the stuff that happens you bring on yourself. When you make stupid decisions, then it causes pain in your life. If you go out and overspend and buy things you can’t afford and presume on the future, and then you go deeply in debt and lose your house, you can’t say, “God, why did you let me lose my house?” You can’t blame God for your bad choices.
But in some of your problems, you’re innocent. You’ve been hurt by the pain, stupidity, and sins of other people. And some of the pain in your life is for redemptive suffering. God often allows us to go through a problem so that we can then help others.

Refueled

After a relapse, this week has been a much needed reprieve.  For the past few months my pulling had been getting worse, to the point where it was as bad as it had been in July.  I was starting to feel hopeless, as I continued all my strategies to no avail.  I just kept praying and trusting God to help me through this.  I knew I had been down before and had come out of it so I held onto that hope.

I hadn’t had a pull free day in months, then it happened…1 DAY, 1 whole day!  It was such a relief, I had almost forgotten how nice it felt to complete a day and mark it off on my calendar.  I am on my fourth day now and am feeling really good.  My urge is more manageable but the new growth is tempting.  I’m not expecting to be completely pull free, as time and time again I have seen that an all or nothing view of trich is just not reasonable.  Yes I do believe one day I can be pull free for good.  For now, I will take it one day at a time and cherish each good day.  It’s celebrating the little victories that will keep me strong throughout this battle.

Through hard times, I find it is even more important to hold tightly to the promises of God.  These are a few of my favorite versus that remind me of my hope is in God.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10

11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:11-13

“But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.”

Jeremiah 17:7

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

Proverbs 3:5-6

“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3

“But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.”  

Psalm 39:7