Unshakeable Faith Part 2

Are you struggling with fear of the future? Is your world shaking right now because you are unsure of how you will make ends meet?  No doubt, we live in a shaky world. But we can live in it with unshakeable faith and experience unimaginable peace, joy and contentment in the midst of it all.

Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe. —Hebrews 12:28

  • Receiving – paralambanō (G3880) – to take into the mind
  • Kingdom – basileia (G932) – Christ’s rule and reign in our hearts and lives; clothed with His  power and dignity
  • Cannot be shaken- asaleutos (G761) – unshaken, unmoved, not liable to overthrow and disorder,  firm, stable, enduring.

Those circumstances in life that shake our world also serve to build our faith.  They are opportunities for growth.  Opportunities to grow deeper in our relationship with God and the training ground for learning to trust Him in even greater ways.

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Hebrews 12:28 is a great reminder and encouragement to us. We are receiving a kingdom that cannot be moved, one that is firm and stable and secure. God is our Rock and Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone of this foundation for our lives. We have to receive it as ours. We have to take up our places as daughters of the king and co-heirs with Christ.

What is shaking your world right now? What makes you fearful? In the last post we looked at the fear of vain imagining. We saw an example in scripture of those who allowed their vain imaginings to run wild and those who chose to trust God in the midst of their fear. Let’s wrap up today by looking at another example of situations that cause us to be fearful: concern for provision and the future. Continue reading “Unshakeable Faith Part 2”

Unshakeable Faith Part 1

What is shaking your world right now? What do you fear?  We live in a shaky world and we’ve all experienced fear in our life. Fear very often produces a very real and felt manifestation. It’s that  sensation that we feel from our hair standing on end to the very tip of our toes. You know the feeling! It’s the internal security system the Lord has wired us with that produces that rush of adrenaline that propels us to action to remove ourselves from harm’s way. But living in a state of fear is not part of God’s design. (2 Tim 1:7)  Fear can be real or imagined, irrational, abnormal and even paralyzing in our lives. Let’s look at how we can stand firm in shaky world.  Hebrews 12:28 encourages us to remain steady when things are shaking:

Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.

In the Bible fear is defined as an emotional and intellectual anticipation of harm or what one feels may go wrong. It is being anxious or timid. But it can also mean a very positive feeling of awe or reverence for God, which may be expressed in worship.

Faith is belief in truth, a reality, a firm persuasion or confidence, to trust. It is what enables us to stand firm and live unshakeable in a shaky world because of the object of our faith is the One who does not change, who created all things, sustains all things and is sovereign over all things.

Join me over the next few days as we take a look at three types of fears we deal with and three examples from Scripture on moving from fear to faith. Continue reading “Unshakeable Faith Part 1”

Whatever I Face…He Goes with Me!

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When I feel alone, He goes with me!

When I am discouraged, He goes with me!

When I am overwhelmed, He goes with me!

When I feel inadequate for the task at hand, He goes with me!

When I am uncertain of the future, He goes with me!

When I am weary and worn, He goes with me!

When I am facing the unknown, He goes with me!

When He goes with me, I can be strong and courageous knowing He will never leave or forsake me.  I can rest secure in His powerful presence.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, the plague that stalks in darkness, or the pestilence that ravages at noon. Though a thousand fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, the pestilence will not reach you. You will only see it with your eyes and witness the punishment of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord — my refuge, the Most High — your dwelling place, no harm will come to you; no plague will come near your tent.

—Psalm 91:1-9

Whatever, I face…He goes with me!

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Are You A People Pleaser?

The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted. —Proverbs 29:25

Do you find yourself craving the praise and appreciation of others?  How is this creating fear in your life? How is this affecting your faith?

Read: John 12:42-43

Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God. —John 12:42-43

“Notice that John doesn’t say that their problem was one of poor self-esteem or feelings of inferiority. No, he pinpoints their problem as being a problem of love. What did they love more than the approval of God? The approval of man. What did they long for more than the praise that would come to them from God: “Well done, good and faithful servant”? They loved the praise of their peers. In fact, they loved it so much that they disobeyed Christ’s command to witness for Him.” —Elyse Fitzpatrick

The word loved in John 12:42-43 is a very strong Greek word, agapao. In the context of this passage, this is a word which means they lived for and were addicted to the approval of men.

Am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. —Galatians 1:10

Galatians 1:10 poses a valid question for us to consider. When our lives are focused on gaining the favor of others or pleasing them for our own goals, we’ll be at cross-purposes with the Lord.  Either we seek the Lord’s favor or we seek man’s favor and our choice affects the way we live our lives.

As you consider whether you have a disposition to fear man or try to gain others’ approval, can you identify behaviors that are linked to it? Continue reading “Are You A People Pleaser?”

A Renewed Perspective and Refreshed Mindset

A new perspective is so often what I need.  This past weekend, I officially entered my 50’s and “wasting away” takes on new meaning.  Unfortunately it’s not my “waistline” that’s decreasing.  This is one of those birthdays I was not looking forward to for several reasons —and I KNOW! — 50 is the new 40, just like 40 was the new 30.  Nevertheless, it was a decade  I wish I could stall for a bit.  We’ve been talking about our mindset and thought life in this Finding Freedom from Fear series, and today’s passage from the lesson was so appropriate:

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. —2 Corinthians 4:16-18

This milestone in my life was the perfect occasion to ask myself some questions based on these verses:

Do I see my troubles as light and momentary or large and looming?

Do I focus more on the outward wasting away or the inward renewal?

Do I fixate on the “seen” rather than seeking for glimpses of the unseen eternal?

Do any of these resonate with you?

Too often the gravity pull of this world tempts me to get wrapped up in and often overwhelmed by the here and now. But as I renew my mind in the truths of God’s Word and who HE is, I am reminded that the perspective I choose in the midst of the here and now not only affects my attitude, but my joy, my contentment, my peace and my relationships.  And I do have a choice —gravity pull or glory perspective.  For the TRUTH is, the unpleasant and hard in the here and now is most definitely achieving for me an eternal glory in Christ Jesus that far outweighs them all!  Take a look at the preceding verses in this chapter — a great “BUT…!” passage:

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you. —2 Corinthians 4:7-12

These are great truths to focus on when an attitude adjustment is needed.

Celebrating who HE is and all I am IN Him!

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©2014 Susan Cady, susancady.com

 

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Change Your Mindset

Sometimes my thoughts can drive me crazy and leave me mentally exhausted!  The information that floods my head on a daily basis can be overwhelming — “to do” list, family concerns, children, work, marriage, the upkeep of my home, finances, health, the chaos in the world around me and abroad and on and on.  I can find myself focused and fixated on the wrong things, which in turn can lead to worry, fear, frustration and just being stressed out in general!  So what’s a girl to do?  Romans 12:1-2 offers us some insight as we continue to explore cultivating a peaceful and joyful mind, heart and life.

 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

We see two contrast in thinking this passage: a mind conformed or a mind transformed.

conformed – syschematizo (GR4964) — to fashion alike, conform to the same pattern; to conform one’s self (i.e. one’s mind and character) to another’s pattern; a masquerade.

transformed – metamorphoo (GR3339) — to change one’s form, to transform; refers to an invisible process in Christians which takes place or begins to take place during their life in this age. From two words meaning to shape, form in the midst of (together with), fellowship.

It’s not hard to conform to the world’s way of thinking.  We are bombarded with thousands of messages a day telling us how we should think, feel, look and act.   Continue reading “Change Your Mindset”

Perfect Peace of Mind

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perfect peace in this verse is the Hebrew word shalom meaning:

well, safe, happy, completeness, soundness, peace, quiet, tranquillity, contentment

 A mind of perfect peace is…

…dependent on Jesus

…looking to Jesus

…leaning on Jesus

…seeking Jesus

…believing Jesus

…trusting Jesus

…loving Jesus

…living for Jesus

Free. Content. Joyful. Peaceful. Complete. Secure.

Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. —Matthew 11:28-30

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©2014 Susan Cady, susancady.com

3 Habits for Cultivating a Sound Mind

Change your mindset

A Sound Mind?!?  Yes, please!  Many days I feel just the opposite; “going out of my mind” or “losing my mind” might be a more accurate description. Menopausal, middle-age is beginning to take its toll on my mind.  This morning I squirted shampoo into my body puff…but it worked; my skin had this great Moroccan Oil glow. Yesterday I was heading back to work after lunch and a new billboard for the Whole Foods Market (coming to our area soon) caught my eye. Next thing I know, I’ve passed the church and I’m heading down the road toward Whole Foods. I’m constantly searching for my glasses only to find them on top of my head.  I walk into a room and can’t remember what I’m doing. You get the idea. My mind is overtaxed, swirling and often I feel like I’m in a foggy haze.  And I know you don’t have to be menopausal or middle-aged to know what I’m talking about.  I know those of you with babies and young children at home can relate…and those with pre-teen and teens at home can relate.  The point…it’s not confined to a particular season of life.  So who’s with me?  Who’s ready for a sound mind?!

Last week in the Take Heart post, we looked at finding freedom when we are fearful of the future, the uncertain or the unknown.  Today, I want to continue that discussion as we look at three habits we can cultivate in our lives to help us change our mindset and attitude, to develop a sound mind, and to walk confidently and courageously in Christ. Continue reading “3 Habits for Cultivating a Sound Mind”

Facing An Unknown or Uncertain Future? Take Heart!

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In this world you will have trouble…ain’t that the truth!  But it’s a reality we like to try to avoid, deny or mask.  How do we find peace for our troubled and fearful hearts in a world of trouble? Take heart!

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. —John 16:33

take heart – tharseo (G2293) – to have courage; to be of good courage; boldness. From the root word, tarsus (G2294) meaning cheerful mind; courage, confidence.  See also tharrheo (G2292) (another form of word) meaning to exercise courage, be confident, be full of hope and confidence.

We’ve been talking in this series about our “gap moments” .  How there is a moment of time, a gap, when we are faced with a difficult or fearful situation where we have a moment to choose our response or to simply react, letting our emotions have full vent.  This week in class, we looked at three women who all faced unknown, uncertain and fearful situations and futures.  What can learn from their stories about “taking heart” —being courageous, confident and full of hope in the midst of fear, uncertainty and the unknown? Continue reading “Facing An Unknown or Uncertain Future? Take Heart!”

An Overwhelmed Heart

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When my heart and soul are…

overwhelmed

doubting

anxious

full of  multiplying cares.

God’s presence is…

my comfort

my renewed hope

my cheer

my joy

my consolation

my delight

When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer. (NLT)

When I am filled with cares, Your comfort brings me joy. (HCSB)

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. (NIV)

When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul. (NASB)

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©2014 Susan Cady, susancady.com