Facing Giants in God’s Strength

Sooner or later, we all face giants. By giants, I’m referring to an overwhelming problem or issue that physically drains us and leaves us mentally exhausted. A giant could be fear, sickness, pride, guilt, shame, debt, envy, lust, or gluttony. It could be a feeling of unworthiness, insecurity, doubtfulness, or helplessness. Giants… block our prosperity.

Metaphorically speaking, often these giants drag us into battle kicking and screaming or speechless from sheer terror. But that’s not how the word of God tells us to face our giants (Isaiah 41:10).

So how should we face giants?

Don’t avoid the battle (Deuteronomy 20:4)

In Jesus name, call on God and pray for His power. Then attack the giant. Don’t justify it. Don’t excuse it. Say what it is and realize that you can’t defeat it in your own strength, but you can—in God’s strength.

Show up prepared for the battle (1 Samuel 17:47)

The battle belongs to God. David told Goliath that it’s not by sword or spear that God saves. You must realize who’s in charge of the battle.

Be not afraid (Romans 8:31; Zephaniah 3:15)

Look at your giant in the light of God. Know that if God be for you, He’s more than the whole word against you.

Be wise when considering others opinions (1 Samuel 17:28-30)

When all is said and done—no one else can fight your battles—you alone are accountable to God for the choices you make.

Know your weaknesses and your weapons (1 Samuel 17:38-40)

When you realize who’s fighting against you—and the weapons available to you—then you can actively defeat your giant and receive the prosperity God has for you.

Understand the rewards of winning (Deuteronomy 8:18; Psalm 35:27)

The reward is God manifesting what He intended for you to have… before the giant stood before you.

Give thanks and own your victory (2 Timothy 1:14; Deuteronomy 20:4)

Acknowledge with praise the God-given ability you received as a gift from the Holy Spirit who lives within you.

Though it’s true… we all face giants. It’s also true that in God’s strength… every giant can be defeated.

Embracing Uncertainty

“When we embrace uncertainty, it can be very liberating. If you can accept the uncertainty, it allows you to live life every day.” Victor Gospodinoff

My mom passed away last year—not from breast cancer though—she was a breast cancer survivor for over 15 years. I so miss her. Today, I remembered her funny little characters that she often drew when I was a child.

Stick figures… my brothers and I called them! Sketches of people, young and old… who always… And I do mean always! Had their hands and feet curled up. Smiling faces from the pages with no lips and triangles for a body. Those amazingly simple drawings that I cherish. 

Not as Good as Mom’s Stick Figures Were… But Such Fond Memories Still!

Adoringly, I drew a stick figure—a modest likeness to my mom’s—I’ll admit. But close enough! Through a kaleidoscope of memories, I took off the breast cancer pen that I was wearing and placed it next to the stick figure on the sheet of paper. For a few long solitary seconds, my mom’s love embraced me in warm nostalgias. I heard her inspiring voice, talking as we often did. We were deep in conversation on our way home from one of her radiation treatments.

We were talking about what a blessing the young man was that gave her the treatments. Since, mom didn’t drive, I had to take her to each appointment. This was a task that I eagerly accepted. But my mom was concerned, because I worked out of town. And would have to use a half day of sick leave, each time… 5 days a week… during the 7- or 8-weeks  that she needed to do to complete her treatment.

The young man overheard my mom talking about hoping that I would have enough sick time to finish her treatment….  He then told me to bring my mom for her treatments at 6:15 in the morning, if that would help. He was willing to come to work and hour early… That way my mom could get her treatment. And I could get to work on time without having to take any sick leave.

“God will always put people in your path to help you,” I can hear my mom saying. I can still see the expression of joy and relief on her face in my mind’s eye, because of the young man’s act of kindness. Each day, she got up early and bravely faced uncertainty with determination. Until she was told by the doctors that she was cancer free—I love you mom… now and forever.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month—a time to focus on spreading the word about steps women can take to detect breast cancer early. Along with opportunities to support breast cancer research…

Whether it’s illness, concerns over your children, financial woes, challenges on the job, love or a lack thereof… be encouraged in your time of uncertainty. You’re not alone according to Isiah 30:21.

Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.~ 3 John 1:2

Walking through Failure to Success

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. ~ Philippians 4:13

There’re many causes of failure. Sometimes failure results from something you did or didn’t do. There’re different kinds of failure. Failure can be serious and painful—other times stupid and embarrassing. Failure can be fleeting or have lifelong consequences. But rest assured, failure will happen at one time or another—if you try to do anything. Frederick Douglass said, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” Continue reading “Walking through Failure to Success”

An Awesome Exchange: Beauty for Ashes

Sometimes we feel wounded, discouraged and defeated. Things happen that cause us to tremble within the deepest parts of our souls… where only God can see and give comfort. In times like those—we learn—from Isaiah 61:3 that God gives beauty for ashes.

In biblical times, it was customary for people to sit in ashes. Or cover themselves with ashes to express their grief over a tragedy (2 Sam 13:19), sorrow over a public disaster (Esther 4:1), or heartache connected to their own repentance of sin (Jonah 3:5-7). Ashes were linked to pain, loss and suffering—linked to the struggles of the flesh.

Continue reading “An Awesome Exchange: Beauty for Ashes”

Sometimes You Have to Encourage Yourself

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13

There are times in life when we look around… and those we depended on to encourage us are gone—in need of encouragement themselves—or just not helpful. What shall we do then? Let us remember David’s reaction when he faced difficulties. As David looked around him, he saw nothing but discouragement and despair. No one to encourage him, so… David encouraged himself in the Lord his God (1 Samuel 30:6).

In that moment… when we ask ourselves, “Is it gonna be all right?” On the day, we feel stressed out—thinking we’re too young or too old to accomplish our goals. In that hour, when we hope trouble don’t last always because it seems like every time we get up—we get knocked down. Feeling desperate, afraid, and alone… no one to call on. In times such as those—we must encourage ourselves! Remember Paul and Silas (Acts 16:25) and the wise Elihu, who reminded Job that God gives songs in the night (Job 35:10).

Continue reading “Sometimes You Have to Encourage Yourself”

Answering the Call of God

In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: ~ Ephesians 1:11

God uses our strengths, weaknesses, heartaches, successes, failures, and experiences to shape our hearts and minds… In order to bring us closer to him and prepare us to fulfill our calling. For a calling is a specific part of our purpose—born out of faith and conviction. Like Paul (Acts 9:15), we too… can hear the call of God. A call that may seem great or small. A call that can affect the life of a single person… or change the world for everyone. A call that is not limited to influential leaders, the educated, the rich, or the famous.

Continue reading “Answering the Call of God”

Nothing Shall be Impossible to Those that Believe

Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. ~ Mark 9:23

Scientists estimate the probability of you—being born you—at about 1 in 400 trillion. The chance of you winning the Mega Millions lottery… 1 in 259 million. Those are amazing odds. Yet, here we are… and for those who play the lottery, someone will win. We are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) and none of us are here by chance (Jeremiah 1:5).

Continue reading “Nothing Shall be Impossible to Those that Believe”

You’re Not Forgotten on this Christmas Day

Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? ~ Luke 12:6

This is my first Christmas without my mom. A day that is bittersweet. A day that I count my blessings and give thanks for my life, family, and friends. A day that is entrenched in joy, sadness, grief, love, gratitude, hope, and serenity. As I prayed this morning, I tried to describe to Jesus how I felt… but, no words seemed adequate to express the bundle of emotions gripping my very soul. Then I realized that Jesus didn’t need my words to understand the desires of my heart. So, I cast my cares upon Him, because He cares for me (1 Peter 5:7). Continue reading “You’re Not Forgotten on this Christmas Day”

Dealing with Mean-Spirited People: Hurt People Who Hurt People

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, ~ Matthew 6:14

In the book Hurt People Hurt People, lingering childhood hurts and generational patterns of being hurt is what causes people to hurt others. In other words, people who are hurting… hurt other people. Through their mean-spirited behavior… they show how they feel on the inside. Romans 1:28–30, list several mean-spirited behaviors that include malice, gossip, slander, rudeness, heartlessness, and cruelty. It’s inevitable… most of us will meet people driven by such behavior at some point. So, how do we deal with mean-spirited people? Keeping in mind that we’ve all stumbled (James 3:2).

Continue reading “Dealing with Mean-Spirited People: Hurt People Who Hurt People”