Hard times, hard places, difficult relationships, difficult circumstances…we all know them! They are a reality of life here on this earth. So how do we live with courage, joy and peace in the midst of these? Continue reading “Get Real: When Life Hits Hard”
Worry consumes, depletes, distracts and defeats. Worry robs our joy. But, we all do it. So how do we overcome the worry and fear that seems to paralyze us? In the last Get Real post, we looked at some of the root causes of worry. Worry is sin. It is unbelief and a lack of trust and confidence in God. Worry is reliance upon self instead of trusting the Almighty, all-sufficient, all-powerful God, Creator and Sustainer of all things! Today, let’s look at some practical steps we can take to replace our spirit of worry and find some freedom and peace.
“Worry flows out of a distorted or incomplete view of God’s nature and character.” —Elyse Fitzpatrick
Let’s remind ourselves of the biblical definition for worry and then look at 1 Peter 5:5-7 for some practical ways we can overcome worry and release ourselves from its bondage and stranglehold:
Continue reading “Get Real: Overcoming Worry”
Maybe worry is one of the dirty secrets of the church. Perhaps it renders us timid, passive, and doubtful when our theology tells us we have every reason to be courageous, active, and confident. Could it be that many of us live with a huge gap between the theological confidence that we celebrate on Sunday and the street-level fear, worry, and anxiety that accompanies us the rest of the week? Why do so many of us worry so much? Why do we not experience the rest that the gospel is meant to give us? Why do we have sleepless nights, nervous stomachs, and fretful days? Why does worry so often enter our door? —Paul David Tripp
Worry! It’s all-consuming. It’s exhausting! Many times it seems we can’t escape its stranglehold on our thoughts and lives. Continue reading “Get Real: Getting to the Root of Worry”
Are you a worrier? Do you tend to fixate on a problem or situation to the point of distraction or anxiety? Do you feel like you can’t rest until you solve the problem? Do you find yourself stuck in the past, rehearsing and reliving mistakes or difficulties? Do you find yourself obsessed with future events and outcomes? Do you wake in the middle of the night thinking on a situation from your day that you can’t seem to shake? Are you often gripped by a paralyzing fear? Do you tend to have a fearful “what if” mentality? Yep, you might be a worrier!
This week in the Get Real Bible study group that meets “live”, we will be looking at ways to overcome worry in our lives. But I’m not quite ready to blog that lesson yet. So while you’re waiting, prepare your hearts and minds by reading through some passages from God’s Word that speak to us about worry. We’ll be working through this exercise in class, so here’s your chance to work alongside us.
Where do you find strength when you’re running on empty? How do you handle the pressures of life that create stress and frustration and leave you feeling weary and worn? I tend to be pretty independent, a self-starter, a go-getter and therefore often find myself trying to “do it all” and “be it all”. I like to be in control. I don’t always find it easy to ask for help. But when I try to operate in my own strength and do it all I end up frazzled, frustrated, overwhelmed and exhausted. It’s that Super Woman Syndrome! Continue reading “Get Real: Finding Real Strength!”
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. —2 Corinthians 3:17 (NIV)
Walking in the Spirit. It’s a term we hear often as Christians. But what does it really mean, practically, in our lives? We know from Romans 7:13-25 and Galatians 5:17 that the flesh and Spirit are in opposition to one another. There’s a battle going on! I know there are days I certainly feel that way! Let’s begin by looking at some examples of what our flesh can look like on a daily basis: Continue reading “Get Real: The Freedom of Surrender”
Jeremiah 17:5-14 paints a wonderful contrast between the person who trusts and depends on the man/self/the flesh for strength and the one who trusts in the Lord for his strength. Where we place our trust and where we find our strength affects so many aspects of our lives, including the sense of freedom and joy we experience. Read through Jeremiah 17:5-14 and list the contrasts you see between these two.
We all have an independent nature about us that wants to have it “our way” and to control circumstances and people in our lives as we see fit —Scripture refers to it as our “flesh”.
The enemy loves to keep us independent and operating in our own strength…our flesh. There are many tactics he employs to keep us focused on our self-sufficiency. I’d like to focus on a few that we tend to struggle with as women: Continue reading “Get Real: Living Free, Letting Go!”
Expectations! We all have them. When our expectations collide with our reality, it is what I call “expectality”. Sometimes it can be good—better than we expected—but very often it’s an explosion in our lives. Our expectations can become a trap imprisoning us—robbing our joy and peace, and ruining relationships. How do we get out of this expectation trap? Some suggest we should just not have any expectations and then we won’t be disappointed. I think that tends to be a bit fatalistic and an attitude that can stunt growth in our life. God has purpose even the hard places of our lives, even in our disappointed longings and expectations. God has wired us with a sense of expectancy.
I’d like to share some practical steps we can take to GET OUT of the “expectation trap” so our expectations are not ruling our lives, robbing us of joy and ruining our relationships.
We can choose how we will respond to our unfulfilled and disappointed longings! Continue reading “Get OUT of the Expectation Trap!”
Do you have dreams, desires, and expectations that have yet to be fulfilled? Are there disappointed longings in your life? Is there a specific request you have been waiting patiently for God to answer? Is there something you are groaning and yearning for? Do you feel like a plane in a holding pattern…circling…waiting to land? Have your unfulfilled expectations and waiting bred the dreaded 3 D’s? Discontentment, Disappointment, and Discouragement.
All too often, our faith tragically fails to flourish because instead of learning to be content regardless of our circumstances, we endlessly strive to rearrange and manipulate the details in our lives, in order to bring about a “temporary joy”― one that never lasts and never fully satisfies. We’re not satisfied with contented dissatisfaction. —Cherie Hill
We’ve all had disappointments in life — circumstances and people have let us down. I’ve certainly had my share. There are things I have struggled with for years, circumstances and relationships that I’d hope would change or improve. So what are we supposed to do with all these disappointed longings? Are they normal? Is there something wrong with us? Continue reading “Get Real! Expectations”
What is real truth?
…Your word is truth. —John 17:17
Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. —Proverbs 30:5
It’s found in the Word of God! God’s Word is how He has chosen to reveal himself to us in a very real, tangible way that will transform our every day lives.
John 1:1 tells us that Jesus is the Word. And His Word has been given so that we might know Him better and understand His ways and desires for our lives.
What does God’s Word do in us?
It renews us. It refines us. It restores us. It refocuses our mind’s attention and our heart’s affection.
- His Word is living and active. Hebrews 4:12 – living and active, divides soul and spirit, joint and marrow and judges the thoughts and intentions of our hearts. It’s real!
- His Word cleanses and renews. John 17:17
- His Word is good and for my good. Proverbs 16:20, 1 Peter 1:25
- His Word guides and directs. Psalm 25:5, John 16:13
- His Word stands firm (does not wither or fade). Isaiah 40:8
- His Word is eternal. I Peter 1:25
- His Word is imperishable (living and abiding). 1 Peter 1:23
- His Word encourages and comforts. Romans 15:4
- His Word is trustworthy and faithful. Psalm 111:7
- His Word teaches, rebukes, corrects and trains in righteousness so that we are thoroughly equipped for every good work! 2 Timothy 3:16-17
- His Word changes my daily life. Psalm 86:11
So often in life we get stuck. Stuck in our comfort zones. Stuck in our routines. Stuck in a rough place. Stuck in our hard places. Hebrews 4:14-16 has a word of encouragement for us regarding this and how we can live REAL! Continue reading “Get Real! Real Truth”