Category Archives: Healing Hearts

No Condemnation

Let’s take a moment to study the nature of condemnation. Condemnation is in essence a lie believed and embraced. When we feel shame, thoughts of condemnation are sure to follow. Condemnation is when we entertain the notion that we can detract from our value by performing inferiorly, or add to it by performing outstandingly. This ideology very closely resembles pride and conceit. It is prideful to assume that you are better than someone or too good to relate to someone because of your achievements. The same holds true for feelings of not being good enough. We can infer that perceiving a lack of glory in your achievements is also conceited when measured to the value placed on your life. Your works can neither add nor detract from the value that His  blood purchased you for. (1Timothy 3:6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil.)  Condemning thoughts are the ones that persistently tell you to try harder, and after you did your best, condemnation is still there screaming that your efforts were mediocre at best. I have so many times experienced the feeling of not being good enough because I could not accomplish a task “just so,” the despondency that overtakes your thoughts is the basis for hopelessness and depression. I clearly heard the Lord saying to me, “What is it that you believe?” and in all honesty, I had to truthfully respond that I believed my own successes more redemptive than the He was; more real, more tangible. It became easy for me to be dismissive of Jesus. And this, in essence, is our biggest stumbling block. We do not believe well. We fail not at life, but at believing. We fail not at working, but at resting. If I am feeling condemned, I instinctively know to check my beliefs. John 3:18….Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God..

Our redemption is found in believing Jesus. In His name is the power to be made free and alive. When our beliefs are skewed, we struggle to hope in His name. His name is all sufficient.  When you proclaim His name, you proclaim power, redemption, belonging, freedom, anointing, and healing. Trusting in His name makes you a Son. John 1:12 but as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. When we confess His name, He takes residence in our hearts and makes us His dwelling. (1 John 4:13-15)He becomes part of us and we in turn assume His likeness and character. This makes you belong to His kingdom; part of His family. You BELONG!   When we believe on His beautiful name and trust in His name, we rest in knowing He is who He says He is. Resultantly, we bear fruit consistently. In His name is the power to accomplish everything we set out to. In His name is the empowerment to become whole and fully alive. We become steadfast when we fully trust and rest in His name. When we trust we consistently bear fruit without the signs of failing or faltering. (Jeremiah 17:7)

Right now, there is a prevalence of hopelessness among the women specifically. The mommies and wives are tired. They just don’t have the courage or hope to believe in God. Like faith is a work, like faith is an effort. Like Christianity is burdensome. I have heard it whispered by the enemy, I hear people say the familiar  “Christianity does not work”, “My faith does not work”, “My faith does not accomplish what other people’s faith does”, “I believe in God, but He is not for me.”  Today I want to tell you that it is the enemy that came to steal from you. He stole from you by disturbing your peace, destroying your beliefs, and killing your personhood. The enemy has sowed chaos in your thoughts, deceiving you into thinking you are worthless and inadequate, that you cannot accomplish the tasks in front of your, that your efforts are inferior. There are so many lies voicing their opinions on our efforts, there are so many voices vying for our attention. John 5:44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? There is a constant battle between where we believe we should be and where we are in our lives, mainly because we compare our accomplishments with those of others. We feel the need to validate our callings by having certain credentials.  The gap leaves us in despair, and the despair renders us hopeless, and hopelessness makes us inactive. Again I want to stress that if this is what you believe about yourself, if this is the standard you have set for your capacity, then today I want to challenge your beliefs. I want to challenge you to start assessing whether the things you think and say measure up to the truth of God. Philippians  4:8-9  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Whenever you find yourself having negative thoughts know that there is grace in Christ; run to Him. When you find yourself entertaining a lie and being condemned run to Him. In Christ is both grace and truth, run to Him and think on the truth of His word, meditate on it and embrace it, and proclaim it.  The solution to pride and condemnation, inferiority and deception, is in believing in the name of Jesus. His name is strong and all sufficient, in His name is the power we need to overcome. Believing on His name saves you from inadequacy and places you into a new family of acceptance, fulfillment, sufficiency, ability and empowerment. Believing on His name makes you adequate and predisposes you to success and fills you with a good nature so you can accomplish that which fills you with purpose.

Proverbs 18:10 the name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.

When we turn to Jesus as our refuge, we become shielded from the lies of the enemy. The voices shouting out that we are inferior and inadequate are quieted, and the turmoil in our hearts stills. Translated into the original Hebrew, this verse says that the honor of the Lord is a loud pulpit. The name of Jesus is literally very loudly calling out for you to be safe, His honor is ardently beckoning you to come to Him and be saved from the lies that haunt you. God’s intention is not for you to be tormented to the point of yielding to His will, He is a good Father, and His very essence is pursuing you to make you His, His very name calls out to you so you can inhabit the rest He has prepared for you. The moment you believe and proclaim the name of Jesus, you are the righteous one running to this strong and mighty tower of refuge. He is our place of refuge, He is our place of safety, and He is our hiding place. There is no condemnation for those who belong to and are in Christ.


Could there be anything more important than sitting before God everyday? AW Tozer

Read with me,

For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” Isaiah 30:15

“The Lord is in his holy temple;  let all the earth be silent before him.” Habakkuk 2:20

In the life of Faith we live we have come to understand that most of our life represents a life for death principle. Salvation involves our death to new life, as a result of His death leading to new life. This is a foundation to every believer’s faith and Salvation. It is the same with prayer and stillness. Prayer yields power and life, but requires the death of self. When we are dead, we do not speak. Being quiet before God is the physical manifestation of self that has died. When we sit before Him in stillness we are allowing our bodies and souls to testify of the finished work by manifesting rest and lack of self-interest. When we look at different references in the Word, you will often encounter the word earth as denoting that which is corruptible, of lower thinking, self, and carnal. Habakkuk instructs all the earth to be silent. Take this to mean the processes of your thinking, things that speak to you daily as you navigate desires and wants, the chaotic noise that comes from busyness, and the needs we experience to be heard and seen.  Habakkuk instructs all the earth to be silent before God. This is what happens when we pray. This is demonstrated when we sit in stillness and wait on Him. We do this by actively silencing the thoughts but rather engage His heart. We do this by sitting at His feet and listening. We do this by choosing less busyness and less doing, less performance, less ‘fulfillment,’ less accomplishment, less accumulation, and less speaking. Sometimes doing less merely means forming fewer opinions, or saying less often what we think or feel. Becoming quiet before Him means I do less of what I think the moment requires, and just yield.

Stillness facilitates His processes in your life. There is a stillness to be engaged in that ushers in a moment of clarity that drives out the atmosphere of chaos and confusion. There is a quietness to be participated in that informs our minds of His goodness and willingness. It is when we sit in stillness that we pray. It is not in the victory shout and strategic dialogues that victory is won, but in the determined execution of the words He speaks when we listen. It is in being still before Him that His activity is quickened, because we have effectively diminished the noise of performance demands to consider His approach above our own. Silence quickens God’s activity. Stillness brings the strengthening that He provides and invigorates us as we wait on Him. As we give it all to Him and lay our lives down before His feet, we get to see His face and hear His voice. There is nothing better in all of life than stealing precious moments to sit with Him. 

Do not pick up again the battle of thoughts and wills, yield in quietness. Engage in the restful labor that yields personal victories displayed in a life of submission. There where you lay your head on His heart, in quietness and trust, be renewed as you quiet self, as you lay down your demands and opinions. Set your affections on that which is above, not on earth. Get quiet before him and constantly retreat. Quiet your heart by entrusting yourself to His embrace.

prayerful waiting

Joyce Meyer said, “Just in case you are questioning if it’s acceptable for you to expect good things from God, please slowly read and meditate on this Scripture: 

And therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him [for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship]! Isaiah 30:18 “

Waiting. A word most of loath, because it means delayed gratification, patience, and we more often than not fear the waiting process because we are notoriously bad at it. Why do I say we are bad at it? Let me describe a common scenario; you have prayed for and asked God for something, only the breakthrough tarries. During the waiting, usually these 2 things happen, either you start reasoning yourself out of faith using logic based on your lack of performance as evidence, or you start doubting His goodness and intentions toward you due to a delay or a ‘no.’

Prayerful waiting, words we struggle with because of thinking patterns we endorse based on past experiences.  We doubt if HE is good, we wonder if we are allowed to ask Him for things, especially when we do not see results when we pray we often conclude that we were wrong to ask.  Is it  hard to trust a person who doesn’t give you what you ask, or is it hard to trust a person who doesn’t fulfill his own promises to you? He is good. He is to be trusted and relied on, not necessarily to do everything we ask and pray, but to be good. The word wait intrinsically suggests a delay of results, yet Isaiah reminds us to wait earnestly; to expect Him to come through, and to long for Him.  This gets me to thinking; maybe the issue here is the delayed gratification of provision and results, while all this time the instruction has been to look for Him, to long for Him, to wait for Him. If our desire is set on Him we will not be disappointed. He is not His Kingdom, He is not stuff, He is good. Blessed and happy are those who wait for HIM!

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.  I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.” Ps 130:5-6

We need to start teaching ourselves to wait well. Wait on Him. In waiting we find strength. Is there something you are earnestly expecting to happen, believing it will alleviate the burden of suffering in your life? If God can just do so, or if this can just break through for me, or if that person would just be obedient… it would expedite your relief. My friend put your hope in God. Waiting on Him with longing expectation of His goodness is where the relief comes from. Enduring with this mindset of waiting is where hope is renewed, strength is restored, yokes are eased, and soothing answers are spoken to weary hearts. Pray to Him, not to the things.

Wait. Though it tarries, wait for it. Wait for Him. (Hab 2:3) Write down the things you are believing that are  at odds with the truth. Make a list of the areas you believe God hasn’t, doesn’t want to, or will not come through for you. Then, write down a Scripture on the other side of that lie. Whenever the thought presents itself that you need to do more or be more, say that scripture out loud. Record it in your journal, on our recording app on your phone and listen to it on your way to work or the store, make notes and stick them around your house and desk. Allow your eyes to see and ears to hear the truth until your mind accepts it as the new default thinking. Quiet the lie with the truth. Let the truth speak to you and make you free. Replace the despondency with hopeful waiting. Expect to see Him, expect to see His goodness. Expect Him to show up as Himself. He wants to be good to you, He longs to show you His loving-kindness, do not miss the wonderful displays of His goodness in lieu of hopeless prayers.

Heart posture

Read with me, “Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found FAVOR in Your sight, SHOW me NOW YOUR WAY, that I may KNOW YOU [progressively become more deeply and intimately  ACQUAINTED WITH YOU, perceiving and recognizing and understanding more strongly and clearly] and that I may find FAVOR in Your sight. And [Lord, do] consider that this nation is Your people. And the Lord said,My PRESENCE shall go with you, AND I will GIVE you REST. And Moses said to the Lord, If Your PRESENCE DOES NOT go with me,DO NOT carry us up from here! For by what shall it be known that I and Your people have found FAVOR in Your sight?  Is it not in YOUR GOING WITH US so that we are DISTINGUISHED, I and Your people, from all the other people upon the face of the earth? And the Lord said to Moses, I will do this thing also that you have asked, for you have found FAVOR, loving-kindness, and mercy in My sight and I know you personally and by name.” Exodus 33:13-17 (AMP)

Recently as I spent time in prayer, I kept hearing the word “form.” One definition of form is a particular way in which a thing exists or appears. During fitness class as the ladies were working on doing their exercises correctly I was reminded again, “form.” The focus during class was not to do as much as possible in a limited amount of time, but to do at least one thing with the correct form, allowing for the correct mind-muscle connection, making sure to engage the appropriate muscles in order to move efficiently. God reminded me of the relevance of good. It is vital that we do well and not merely complete tasks. There is a difference in doing something and completing it with excellence. During exercise movements, many fail to see desired results due to the fact that their form is lacking. When a movement is done with lackluster skill, the result will be inferior growth and strength. Incorrect and sloppy form most often leads to injury. The same principle applies to Kingdom and works of faith, the intentional awareness of the soul-spirit connection facilitates growth and efficacy. The posture you assume while walking out your faith matters. The heart posture you approach the throne with matters. The form you assume while serving matters. Let me remind you again, correct form yields results.

I am not referring to works in order to gain materialistic things; results do not equal stuff; results in this regard refer to your well being. How good are you really doing? I am speaking of a faith that lends itself to hope. I am talking about a heart that yields itself to living unoffended. I am speaking of a posture that testifies that you belong to an order of overcomers. I am speaking of standing in a room, facing an adversarial thought with boldness and tenacious faith. I am affirming the need of a Godly form, a posture of belief, and standing that says “I belong to the King above all.” Correct form is being in right standing with Him. It is responding “Yes.” It means going where He goes, saying what He says, doing as He does. Correct form is refusing to bow before oppression. Correct form is standing your ground against resistance that burns your will, shakes your resolve, and leeches strength from your body. It is lifting your face, chest proud, core strong, hearts settled, and mind sure that He is your victor. It is remembering He goes before and wins.

Be strong and of good courage, my friend. Do not fear. Bow your heart to Him as you raise your face to the heavens, adopt your victory stance and dance for joy. He has overcome. Believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those that seek Him. Know that you are loved. Stand, and see His salvation. Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ. Be not conformed to the world, but be transformed to His likeness. Stand in your faith. Keep the faith, keep the form, and keep the fire burning. You are known well, so be well.  


Read with me, Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”  Nehemiah 8:10

This is the season to be merry, but if you look around you are sure to find many people who are despondent during this time of year. You yourself might even feel as if there is very little to get excited over right now.  Things might look bleak. While others are anticipating promotions and new houses and have adopted resolutions to usher in different results in the New Year, you might find yourself apprehensively staring at the mounting challenges the next few months might provide. If you are feeling overwhelmed and distressed, I want to ask you today to make a decision for your life and for your family – do not give in to the despair that comes from your circumstances. Make this day holy, choose this day as set apart to Him, for your healing and your hope. Do not grieve today, but be strong in joyful expectation.

Today, I want to share with you amazing news. I want to share with you the information you need to maintain perspective over this time. The good news is He has won. He has conquered. And in your life, He is Lord. He is still the God who can.  He is still the God who saves. He is still the God who provides. He is still the one who has overcome, and will continue to do so. In light of who He is, choose to pursue His heart for you today. If you are feeling weak, allow His joy to come and gird up your legs, strengthen you and equip you for what is ahead. Make today holy, make it about Him.

Over this festive season, make the joy of the Lord your constant habitation. With intention, choose joy. When faced with hard conversations, lean into His grace available at all times, and have joy. I am not saying smile at everyone you would rather dump you colddrink on, I am referring to the true and authentic joy that comes from His heart. The joy that comes from resting in trust, in leaning on Him. Do you still remember He is the God of joy? Do you still remember that His joy is your strength?

 In Afrikaans households you often hear mamma say, “Ag, give me strength,” whenever pappa bothers her or the kids give her grief, not even to mention the neighbours. We know, inside we know, when we are angry and bothered we are weaker. When faced with conflict and confrontation we will often say ‘I don’t have the strength for this.’ My friend, He knows and understands this, He says to you – My joy is your strength. Delight yourself in Him.

Sometimes choosing joy is a deliberate refusal of anger or disappointment, even as they stare you in the face. When the conflict comes and screams red faced and challenging, don’t take the bait. Refuse to engage the lie. Choose the thought that maintains and protects your peace. Not the peace, with everyone – your peace. And see joy as the fruit of your yielding. Pursue the calm that comes from His heart for you. Anger drains us, discouragement feeds on our disappointments, conflict sends us into frenzies that leave us tired and stressed. Hear Him, and remember Him. As you hear Him faith comes and restores your hope. Do not listen to the conflicting opinions that would have you bend over backwards to cope. Just smile and wave. Make this day holy, do not grieve for the joy of the Lord truly is your strength.


Read with me, “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, then gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.” James 3:17

We all walk around labeled by past experiences – ex’s, spouses’, teachers’, friends’ and enemies’ words reverberating in our heads creating a convincing narrative of what is and what is not possible for us. Apparently their opinions determine how worthy you are of a life. NOT. We walk under the verdicts of not good enough, not enough, lazy, inadequate, lacking of faith, weak, gossiper, sinner, tattooed, rebel, disqualified, overweight, poor, etc. While many of these things often need addressing, it is imperative to discern people’s opinion as opposed to the actual truth, otherwise we end up addressing issues in order to receive an improved verdict from the same accuser and judge. We appeal people’s opinions of us, but the system is broken. Their views are limited. The thing about labels is they stick. Words stick to our souls much as labels stick to products. Attempt to remove the label and you are more often than not left with a sticky mess that detracts from both the beauty and value of an item. Labels, worn off or on, denote a certain level of credibility to the item. Often, a sticker is merely slapped on an item to denote its value. But, my friend, you are not a product. The price paid for you was dear; this escalates your worth immeasurably.

There will always be different opinions, multiple voices. You will always hear multiple voices weighing in on what is right and acceptable about you. But you have to ascertain whether this wisdom is of the world bringing shame, or from above offering peace.  What does He say about YOU?  This significance of a good Father’s dialogue with His child, He tends to not speak about what you have or haven’t yet done, He tends to remind you who you are. If the dialogue in your heart is causing you shame, I want to ask you today to re-evaluate your belief system and address the voices claiming to know you. His words bring with it freedom and hope. I am not saying He will always give you a pat on the back and affirm your bad decisions, but the dialogue with the truth yields fruit that is peaceful. He offers solutions and hope, with Him is found the words of life, not condemnation.

What would you say if I reminded you in Him there is no more condemnation? Do you still feel the need to justify the shame you carry? If you find yourself searching for reasons to testify to your inadequacy, then my friend, you are listening to the words of shame. What would your life look like if you truly believed you were redeemed from all the sticky messes stuck to you? What would you do if you knew nothing you have ever done is held against you? What would you stop doing if you didn’t believe you deserved the mess? What would you say to Him if right now He called you to live for Him fully? This is your counter offer. He has bought you. You are His own, and that makes you adequate, well equipped, and a powerful person. Do you believe this? Believing on Him is us allowing what He says to win out over any argument the enemy could present. No matter how accurate the accusations may sound. You might find yourself nodding in agreement, thinking, “Yes, I did do this or that.”  Let me tell today, He is a God of possibilities. He made it possible for you to live not in what you did, but in what He did. His cross is redemption to the uttermost. He saves us, daily. Daily he renews and restores us to perfection. He does not look as a man looks, He does not look at you and immediately recognise every deficit, taking note of each slip. He does not call you wrong, He does not call you sinful, but He calls you holy and forgiven. You might identify with some past experiences or actions such as having a past tendency to lie, He identifies you as a daughter, called and forgiven; a woman of capacity – capacity for great things.

You can listen to the words of doubt or the truth. There is wisdom from the world that might seem accurate, but ultimately leads to shame, with no resultant peace. There are seemingly truthful accusations flung at us that produce no fruit in us, only shameful retreat. Let truth make you free. Be encouraged by the word of truth, and be saved by it. Fall in love with His truth again. Let His heartbeat for you direct your thoughts and actions. Draw close to His heart, incline your ear to His words, and hear Him say you are loved. Today, hear Him say you are chosen and delivered from the pit of despair that the enemy’s lies has hidden you in. He is just. He sees you as His own; looking at you He recognises the mark of His Son’s blood.

Yes, you have been marked, by Him and for Him. It is the mark of the free, the mark of the redeemed, the mark of the called, the mark of a warrior, the mark of the Lamb, the mark of the Lion, it is the mark of love – His own.

Do not fear

Read with me, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

“He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.” Romans 4:20-22

If the mind was valuable, God wouldn’t instruct us to renew it – Bill Johnson (Paraphrase.) I find it significantly interesting that power is listed first in 2 Timothy 1:7. How often do we face hardships that cause us anxiety or fear, that wreak havoc with our peace, and cast our minds into turmoil? God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power. He has equipped us with power to overcome, power to live, power to love, and the power that comes from possessing a sound mind.

Today, I want to expand on the different ways power can manifest and be utilised in your life. We are prone to associate the power of God with thunderbolts, and magnificent displays that stun our senses and overwhelm our doubt. But more often than not, power is needed not to overcome the giants, but to accomplish the mundane tasks of everyday life for which there are no accolades and to which there are no witnesses. In the last few weeks, I have witnessed God’s power at work in my life, enabling me to show up for my life when I wanted to quit. When you are tired, and life is hard, He has the power you need. He makes you strong, enables you and girds up your legs in order to stand, and stand some more. Power, demonstrated in my life recently, is simply to do what is hard.  To live with power sometimes merely means showing up. Power does not ultimately find its expression in extravagance, but in tenacity and audacity. Power is facing the giant, moving the mountain, approaching the burning bush, raising your staff to strike water, carrying the cross, accepting the cup, and washing feet, all while not fully wanting to. It is, at times, so mundane, it is at times so plain that we easily overlook the power at hand while seeking displays that stimulate. The fight is sometimes more important and impactful than the win. Trust Him with your life, and face the journey with Him by your side.

Abraham was Strong in faith. We read in Romans 4 that he was made powerful by believing. The strength came as he believed; the evidence was in taking action against fear, not in the promise being fulfilled. When he didn’t fear, he was strong, as he believed God would do as he promised, he was strong, as he didn’t waver in believing, he was made strong. This is the God we serve, He equips us unto life; he equips us unto righteous living! Live! Living powerfully means taking back power that the lies of the enemy have stolen from you. The lies that scream your little life is insignificant. The lies that says the hardship of waking and doing the hard work of family life and your job is not a holy vocation. Beat it by showing up for it.  You have the power to show up and do what is hard, to be powerful.  He has equipped you with powerful tools to overcome.  He doesn’t give as the world gives; He doesn’t instil fear in order to train us, but gives us the power to face the fear head-on.

Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.
Joshua 1:7

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31 KJV

As you wait, your strength is renewed, in order that you may run and walk, and be raised up. The strength is found in the doing of life, in the facing of hardship, in the trust while weak.

Be not afraid to live.

Give THanks

Read with me, “This is the day which the LORD hath made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Philippians 4:6

As I witness all our American friends celebrating Thanksgiving, seeing their posts online and reading the word Thanksgiving multiple times a day, I heard God say to me “do not neglect thanks giving in your life.” I pondered on the meaning of living a life full of thanks in any circumstance, and in all honesty I realised that there are many areas in my life where I feel ungrateful and unfulfilled. There is much I remind Him of that I still need and want, without thankfulness for what I do have. How often do we pray without engaging with the one who is truly a Giver. We have so much to be grateful for. For me, thanksgiving is uncomfortable; it requires intentionality and a deliberate adjusting of my focus away from what I view as deficits. Being grateful demands a deliberate action on my part of looking away from what needs more, and honouring what already is.

You can choose to own what He has given you. Make it your own. Accept the good gift, and give thanks. Thank Him for life, for hope, for peace, for provision, for salvation, for freedom, for healing, for opportunities, for grace, for the finished work of the cross, for the Kingdom, for your family. Make a list of everything you are trusting for, and bring it to His attention with praise in your heart. Make your requests known to Him, with the addition of thanksgiving, keep your heart prostrated in humility before Him as you thank Him. This might take a while to master, as a new skill to be learnt, set your mind on what is good during the day and see your heart respond in kind.  Reset your mind; restructure your thoughts to be grateful and to give thanks. For example,

When you don’t have, GIVE (thanks.) I have nothing or very little to give? GIVE THANKS.

What can you give thanks for today? Be grateful.

What do you discern is still lacking? Give thanks.

When everything around you screams, “be anxious,” then give thanks.

When it feels impossible, when you are overwhelmed and hope is waning, when you are despondent and staring impossibility in the face, just say thank you, Father.  And see how you gain a new hopeful perspective, expectant of peace. He is able to do for you, far more than you can think. He is willing and able to redeem to the uttermost! Even the deadest of situations, even the darkest of shame, He is ready to shine the bright light of hope.

As in Romans 6, do not let sin reign and have its way with you, tossing your thoughts about in the waves of uncertainty.  Have a new thought. Break the cycle of pain and dominion of sin. Believe, and give thanks for the fact that shame has not been imputed to us, but abounding grace unto freedom. You do not have to do mental gymnastics to validate your worth. He already provided everything you might ever need in His Son.

Remember that the antidote to despondency is to give thanks. When the reasoning steps in, and causes your head to ask a million questions and the questions instill a thousand hopeless ‘why’s,’ turn the table and do the opposite of what the flesh is demanding. Instead of confirming the hopelessness of the flesh, come into agreement with the rich hope that comes from thankfulness.

It is the flesh wants comfort, and more often than not we demand certain feelings as evidence of His goodness. When we don’t “feel” it we assume something’s missing. He either didn’t come through, or I was not good enough to impress Him sufficiently to convince Him to act on my behalf. But you have the power to create, to change the atmosphere, often times you initiate the ‘feeling’ by cultivating it. Give thanks, operate in thankfulness, cultivate it, grow it, and give it. If you inherently accept you are bad and unworthy, gratefulness is almost impossible. I want to tell you today, you are called and sanctified by His blood. You have been made righteous. Thank Him for that today. Thank Him for freedom from shame and guilt, for paying a price that redeemed you from punishment. Be inspired to confidence as you know you have much to be thankful for.

Ever Increasing Hope

“Our hope depends not on our own ability to figure things out…” Heidi Baker

When I find myself without explanation, I become agitated, by default. I love taking things apart, understanding how they work, their meaning, and their function. I need, desperately, to understand concepts in order to accept them. I need to know their purpose before I deem them worthy of attention. In the natural this is a rather good attribute to have, one that eliminates unnecessary hassle and time spent on ineffective methods and purchases. However, regarding matters of faith, such an approach is often detrimental to the mechanics of belief. In my consistent need to understand, I often find myself at a loss of faith, because faith does not come by what I can see or know. It is evidenced by what I cannot see, and when we hope patiently for it, things start to manifest. Only, when I indulge my need to know and understand, yet I am without explanation, I rapidly find myself doubting God’s nature and promises. I am basically saying, “I can only believe after the manifestation,” and from this sprouts an entire world of distrust. I then find myself on very shaky ground. I cannot let my belief in God be dependent on His ‘good behaviour.’ He is sovereign, and He is good. I do not get to bargain with Him, He is holy. I hope, because hope does not disappoint.

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5

My hope so often depends on my own ability to understand. How often are we not plagued by ‘why?’  When things do not work out the way we have hoped we often feel we can only move on and accept the reality if God can give us an acceptable answer – one that will specifically quiet our reasoning.  The need to verify His reasoning stems from distrust. And form disappointment stems despondency. This is why it is so important to hold on to the hope we have. I can, in my own reasoning, draw from a deep well of disappointment, which manifests itself in shame. Shame of unfulfilled potential, shame of unrealised dreams, shame of not living and having what He promised. But the hope that comes from Him does not put me to shame. When we feel that He has failed us, or abandoned His mission in our lives by not doing as was promised, we need to re-evaluate our perceptions of His heart. It might be that He didn’t live up to the parameters I set out for Him to perform in. It might be that He did not deliver on the promises I inferred based on my personal preferences. When we are to give a sure answer for the hope we have, it speaks of my very idea of who He is. Not material gain.

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and be ready always to give an answer to every man who asketh you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear. 1 Peter 3:15

It reminds us to sanctify the Lord in our hearts, and remember our hope with meekness. How do you sanctify the Lord in your heart? By simply not defiling Him in your thoughts. How can you give an answer for having hope when you have lost all hope by reducing the character and integrity of God in your heart due to not getting what you wanted.  Remember who He is, He is holy and just. When we look on Him and remember He is God, it becomes hard to be preoccupied with lack. I am not recommending the denial of lack and problems, I am advocating for a healthy heart that still hopes in the living God. He is not your enemy, withholding good things, waiting for a version of you to emerge worthy enough. If this was the case, Jesus would never have died. He loved us first, and He loves us still.

Yes, we can and should trust Him for supply and provision – He is the God who supplies- but we can no longer allow our perception of His faithfulness to His own Kingdom to be influenced by what we got out of the deal. He is God, and He is good. Following the ideological train of ‘unfulfilled promises negate the validity of every other word spoken’ sets us up for heart sickness. The ‘why, if only, and what if’s’ are allowed, but be weary of dwelling on them. If my need to understand the truth of my circumstances is greater than my hunger for His truth, I become self-absorbed and truth serves only as self-indulgence. Know Him, in all your ways, acknowledge Him, in it all – even the failures.

He wants us well. He wants our hearts thriving. He wants us hopeful. He wants us living out the life He bought. I want to remind you today that His intentions are good, and He is a good Father. Regardless of circumstances, regardless of the questions, have hope today. Hope does not put to shame. Delay in fulfillment is no justification for living in doubt and shame, take hold of your thoughts and put your trust in the living God once more.

HE is

There are some aspects of God that sounds contradictory, opposing almost. He is both strong, and tender. Passionate, yet patient. Active, but gentle. He is God, He is Father, He is brother, He is friend. I think, in my opinion, these are the very attributes that makes Him the champion of the inferior. He understands the fact that we are multidimensional, He created us so. Body, mind, spirit. We were created complex, made up of detailed facets, compounded by layers of being. He made us as He is. He is a multifaceted God. He knows us, and He understands us, and He loves us. We can be both convinced of His faithfulness while yearning to witness it manifested in a certain area. We can both love Him while approaching Him with years-old questions. We can serve Him while simultaneously questioning if He really did call us. He is not a God that is threatened by our questions. In fact, He welcomes them. He is the one who sits at the other end of your doubts with options, because they can coexist. He has such capacity, my friend, you can not scare Him away. Ask those questions. Go on, have your say. I dare you to listen as He answers, bringing opposing counsel to your anxiety, ushering peace to your troubles.

Just as there are seemingly contradictory facets of His being, just so there are complex commands in Scripture. Be wise as serpents, yet gentle as doves, labor for the kingdom, but be at rest, speak little but listen much (both active verbs, doing words, demands action), and statements such as He is both the lion and the lamb, He is a consuming fire, a mighty wind, and living water. He is all things, and in Him is all things. We cannot save anyone, He is judge and redeemer. Let us forget our interpretations of circumstances and people. Just love them. He is multifaceted God, inspirer of multifaceted instruction to very complex humans. We interpret differently at different stages of life. But the one thing we can all agree one, is He is a God of love. So allow your views to be directed by love that is selfless. Interpret His words always through a sense of belonging. You might be an underdog in your circle of friends, the black sheep in your family, the overlooked one in the workplace. But know this today, He is able to overthrow every table of religious gain in your life. He champions you from before eternity, enabling you to live now, securing your forever. Be loved, today. He is exactly who you need for where you are right now. He sees, He knows, He is.