A voice in the darkness

Ever felt like you are stuck in a dark place? Then this post is written just for you….

Gods first words in the human story were words spoke in the darkness – words from the darkness. Spoken by God. Spoken to breathe life into the darkness.

Out of the darkness these words were uttered:

“Let… there… be… light!”

And there was light. The first light in the universe came from the voice of God in the darkness. Gods first breathe in the universe created light.

This was the beginning. The first beginning. The first of many beginnings. This is the work of God in our lives. God enters into the darkness, unperturbed or disturbed, to bring light, growth, love, joy, peace that surpasses understanding, and all other manner of blessings as he wills.

Whenever God wants us to grow he leads us into the darkness where we are led by the spirit into the place of deepening faith and holy trust. And into our darkness He speaks ever so gently… let there be light, and Christ enters our darkness. He walks in it with us to lead us through the dark wilderness into his promised land for our lives.

Where there is darkness today God is already at work. New life will spring up at the sound of his gentle voice. Do not listen for a booming voice in the darkness. Look for the still small voice of the Spirit speaking and breathing the new life of God. God is speaking light into your darkness.

Be an encourager

There’s a guy in the bible called BARNABAS – he had a great reputation. Why? Because he was a great encourager.

To encourage someone us to give them strength and courage. It is to lift them up.

How can we encourage those around us?

Here’s three ideas:

1. Pray for them

2. Help them practically

3. Give them your time and positive words

What are some other ways can we be great encouragers?

018 Why the character of your heart really matters

I have been thinking much recently about what is important regarding how we conduct ourselves when life goes pear-shaped and messed up.

The bible has much to say about the importance of looking after your heart (not-least because it is the wellspring of life!). In the bible there’s this story about a prophet called Samuel. The story tells how Sam is sent to find and anoint a new king (a death-worthy mission when you consider the current king is still very much alive and well!). Sam visits a family with plenty of strong lads who look ‘kingly’ They all stand before him and one by one they are rejected. In the story God tells Samuel not to look at the outward appearance when trying to choose a new king. Why?

Because God looks at the heart! Therefore, so should he!

Whatever we face in life, the state of our heart is really important. It’s not enough to ‘get the job done at any cost’ – the state of your heart while you are working really matters to God, and it ought to matter to us too. We don’t often hear people talking about integrity, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. In today’s world we see business and political leaders treating others like they are of no value at all (did someone say Trump?!). How we treat other people matters – it really matters!

Whatever you have on at the moment, do it with a heart filled with good character and integrity. Treat those around you well. Don’t burn your bridges – you might need to meet those people again in a context where they are the power-holders. Act out of kindness, humility and concern for ‘the other’. Let your heart burn with love. It will not only help you get great results, it will bless those around you, and at the same time it will cause your heart to swell with joy!

 

 

007 Persevere

Have you ever started something new only to find that before long you feel like you just want to give up, stop, Quit?! We all have days like that.

Days when we feel the life has been sucked out of us.

Days when nothing goes right.

Days that become weeks; weeks that become months. Sometimes in life it rains, and when it rains it just seems to pour incessantly.

What do we do at times like these? What do we do when the rainy storms chase away the joyful sunshine in our lives?

strength to persevere

We persevere. We make an active choice that we will not stop; will not give up; will not give in. Believe it or not, persevering has a vital place in our lives:

We only really need to persevere when life is a struggle – perseverance is not required when life is going well.

I have found this as I have journeyed through life: I’ve had to work hard at relationships when they have been strained; I’ve gone through organisational restructure at work, and reapplied for my job (thankfully, with success); I’ve had to work full time whilst studying a Masters and been physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually exhausted; I’ve had to overcome the residual effects of child abuse I was subjected to when I was young.

I have had to learn the art of persevering through life’s storms. What have I learned?

…I learned that sometimes you have to just keep on going. This is the nature of perseverance: we keep on keeping on despite the difficulties!

So how does perseverance help us?

When you persevere you find that you have more strength than you previously thought you had.

When you keep on going you develop mental toughness and strengthen your resilience.

Persevering makes you STRONGER, and that in itself is a great motivation for persevering.

Whatever you are going through today please do not lie down and give up: Choose to get up and keep on walking in the rain. You may find that the rain actually refreshes you and helps you to find purpose and fulfilment in life. Keep on keeping on – you can do it.

Persevere

I have been thinking about this a lot recently: PERSEVERANCE. Even the word sounds difficult…

Perseverance. Sometimes life will get difficult – severely difficult. Life does not care about whether you can cope or not – it will continue to throw curve-balls at you. It will continue to test you to see what you are made of.

We only really need to persevere when life is a struggle – perseverance is not required when life is going well.  I have found this recently. The past few months have been very testing: I’ve had to work hard at relationships when they have been strained; I’ve gone through organisational restructure at work, and reapplied for my job (thankfully, with success); I’m writing the dissertation to my Masters programme and it is a drain on my energy, but……I keep on going.

This is the nature of perseverance: we keep on keeping on despite the difficulties!

When you persevere you find that you have more strength than you previously thought you had.

When you keep on going you develop mental toughness and strengthen your resilience.

Persevering makes you STRONGER, and that in itself is a great motivation for persevering.