Beat Up or Built Up?

I am honored to have Renee Swope, author of A Confident Heart, as my guest today. She will be our speaker at our women’s conference this weekend. Please make plans to join us.

godisforusgraphicWhat, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31, NIV

One morning I woke up feeling beat up by discouragement. My mind was being bullied by thoughts of doubt: I can’t do it all! I am not cut out to be a wife, mom, and leader of an organization that ministers to women all around the world! My thoughts were against me and my feelings were too.

As I lay in bed feeling completely inadequate, my radio alarm came on. Suddenly my thoughts were interrupted by Twila Paris singing to me. With confident assurance, she spoke truth to my soul, telling me this was no time for fear, but time for faith and determination. She challenged me not to lose my vision or be carried away by my emotions, but to hold on to all that I had hidden in my heart, and all I believed to be true. Then she reminded me of the most important truth of all: God is in control.*

As I heard these words, my thoughts were aligned with God’s truth. It changed my whole perspective. I went from feeling afraid to feeling determined, from feeling out of control to knowing God is in control. I was really glad I had set my radio to a Christian station the night before, so I would be awakened by encouraging music and truth that morning.

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photo credit: Alan Klim via photopin cc

In the same way a radio has an AM and FM frequency, so do our thoughts. They are either AM (against me) thoughts or FM (for me) thoughts. The truth is, we are often our worst critics and have a lot of AM thoughts. And if our thoughts are against us, our feelings will be too.

When thoughts and feelings of doubt come, stop and ask God for His perspective. Compare your thoughts to His thoughts, reflected in scripture. Do they match? If not, look for a promise in God’s Word to replace the lie that has filled your heart with doubt. Here are two AM and FM thoughts to help you get started:

When doubt comes against me, saying I’m weak and all alone, I will focus on the truth that God is for me! I can be strong and courageous because the Lord my God is with me. He will never leave me nor forsake me (Deut. 31:6).

When doubt comes against me, saying I’m not good enough for a certain role or position, I will remember that God is for me! He says I am His masterpiece, created to be new in Christ so that I could do good things He planned long ago. (Eph. 2:10)

You and I have a choice: we can let doubt beat us up or we can let God’s truth build us up.

If we have Christ in us, we have full access to God’s power and His promises to live with a confident heart. But it won’t just happen because it’s possible. We have to take action. Just as I had to choose ahead of time to wake up to encouraging music, we need to get intentional about tuning our thoughts into God’s thoughts toward us, every day.

Lord, teach me how to rely on the power of Your promises. Help me remember today that you, my God, go with me, to fight for me against my enemies of insecurity and inadequacy. You want to give me victory! In all these things, I am more than a conqueror through Him who loves me. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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© 2014 by Renee Swope with Revell Publishing. All rights reserved.

* “God Is In Control,” © 1993 by Twila Paris. All Rights Reserved. From He Is Exalted: Live Worship CD.

Like Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day

In Judith Viorst’s beloved children’s book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Alexander awoke to find gum in his hair and tripped on his skateboard as he got out of bed.  To make matters worse, all his siblings had prizes in their cereal, but, of course, not Alexander.  It all went downhill from there.  School didn’t go so well, and at lunchtime he discovered his mom forgot to include dessert.  When he went for his dental checkup after school, Alexander, of course, was the only one with a cavity. It didn’t help his feelings when the shoe store was out of his size in his favorite tennis shoes.  Alexander had to get plain white ones while his brothers got cool ones.  To top it all off, that night there was kissing on TV.  It was a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.”  Alexander decided he would just move to Australia. Continue reading

Gripped by the Green-eyed Monster

She was jealous. It was obvious by the look on her face and more obvious by her behavior.  The Green-eyed Monster had a grip on her and was driving her crazy.

Jealousy. It’s a miserable word.  Miserable because of the way it makes a person feel.  Miserable because of the way it makes a person act.  Miserable if we are the ones who are jealous and miserable if we are the recipient of someone else’s jealousy.  If you’ve never experienced either one by all means count yourself blessed.  Most of us know from experience that jealousy is a painful emotion.

Last week in Bible study we talked about King Saul’s intense jealousy of David. What began as a single thought soon escalated to the point where murder appeared to be a viable solution. Continue reading

You Want Gucci? No Problem!

Five years ago my daughters and I went on a memorable weekend to New York City. If I told you everything we did in such a short time you wouldn’t believe me. Let’s just say we made the most of those four days.

Knowing our time was limited, we had everything all mapped out—certain places we wanted to go and Broadway plays we had tickets to see. At the top of the list were Miss Liberty, Central Park, the Empire State Building, and last but not least, Chinatown.  Continue reading

About to Mess Up

Here’s the deal–life is a series of battles. Some are minor skirmishes but others are full-scale war. While we may experience a cease fire agreement from time to time we must not fool ourselves into thinking it’s permanent. No, it’s merely a time to catch our breath to gear up for the next attack.

That was the case for Israel in 1 Samuel 13-14. The Philistines, a war-like people who inhabited the southeastern coastal area of the Mediterranean, had been a thorn in Israel’s side from the time Continue reading