Courage in the midst of the storm

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Courage in the midst of the storm
Courage in the midst of the storm

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Welcome, negativity is a great enemy of your well-being. Stress, discontentment & other ill feelings cause us to become and have negative thoughts. Whatever you allow to take root in your heart will ultimately have a great effect on your life in ten years time. This world we live in is trying to make you depressed to the point where you can no longer smile or enjoy life. Life is a gift from God, yet many people feel that they are living cursed lives.


I do not really believe that speaking positively and having positive thoughts are enough to change one’s heart or to protect it in the future, BUT I do believe that when we confess scripture over our lives we are busy filling our hearts with God’s Word. When you think positive you are, when you think you are defeated, you are – because the battle that is raging is in your mind.

Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” NIV
Proverbs 22:7 “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” NKJV

Romans 12:1-2 “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life–your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life–and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” MSG

We need to meditate on the Word of God, God told Joshua (Joshua 1) to do so and made the promise that Joshua would be successful in everything that he did. What a promise that is! God’s Word will change your life!
Wherever you see ….., I would like you to feel free to use your own name as you confess the Word of God over your life.

The Word of God is living and Powerful and sharper than any two edged sword (Heb 4:12), it also cannot return void, but will accomplish that which God set out for it to accomplish.

….., it is very important for you to stay positive, for in this life many things will try to come up against you. Many things will come up and say “life is not worth it”, “life is not worth living” many things will come to defer you and to deter you from the path that God has prepared for you. But do not give in to them. For you can have a positive attitude, do not be governed by them do not be ruled by them for you are God’s creation. You do not need to stand back, you do not need to give in – you do not need to run away because God has created you for a purpose and He knows that purpose for you, for your life. ….. God wants you to know that you are very special to Him you were not an accident, for long ago He planned you. Long ago, even before you were a twinkle in your father’s eye – God had already decided on you.

Ephesians 1:4 “Long ago, even before he made the world, God chose us to be his very own through what Christ would do for us; he decided then to make us holy in his eyes, without a single fault—we who stand before him covered with his love.” TLB

Isn’t that amazing ….. to know that God wanted you so much that He was prepared to offer up His own Son as a sacrifice for you, that’s just so amazing.

Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” NIV

It is so amazing, that God has made us and Ephesians 2:10 says and uses the word “masterpiece” in some translations, that we are God’s masterpiece, not simply an accident or a mistake or even a plan B. You are not a plan B ….., you are God’s creation and I want you to know that as you read these words.

God is our Abba Father, which means daddy because God reveals Himself in family terms so that we can identify with Him.

Romans 8:15 “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” NIV

Matthew 10:30 “And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” NIV

Psalm 139:13 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” NIV

Psalm 23 “GOD, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction. Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I’m not afraid when you walk at my side. Your trusty shepherd’s crook makes me feel secure. You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies. You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing. Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I’m back home in the house of GOD for the rest of my life.” MSG

This passage is meant for right here on earth, not for us to only experience the day we enter into Heaven. God wants us to have peace here on earth as well.

Prayer: Thank You Lord that we can call out to You even during the difficult times of our lives and know that You hear us and know that you are with us. Thank You Lord for Your great and overwhelming comfort in our lives. Thank You Father God that we do not have to give up and we do not have to give in, but Father God that we can trust in You.

Surely there has to be reason in everything, if God has planned us so long ago, surely He must have meant us for something and yet – we battle to see that sometimes. But we need to live for God’s glory for He has made us for Himself.

John 10:10 “A thief comes only to rob, kill, and destroy. I came so that everyone would have life, and have it in its fullest.” CEV

It is wonderful to note that we have abundant life in Jesus, thank you Jesus that You came so that we could have life in all its fullness. The Devil comes to steal, he won’t even bother you if there was nothing to steal from you, you have a future, a family and a hope in Jesus – do not allow Him to steal from you.

“Most Christians think small, believe small and act small. It is impossible to think small and walk tall… the average person fights his Christian warfare from a defensive position. A conqueror enters the Christian warfare on the offensive.” Do not believe the lies of the devil, you are a child of God and the only way that you can be defeated is if you choose to lie down and act that way!

….. I want you to imagine a table with a royal blue tablecloth on it, on top of the cloth there stands a red wine glass, but the glass is empty. Now God takes a bottle of wine and starts pouring in into that glass, filling it slowly. The glass is now on quarter, half, three quarters full – now it is full, now it starts overflowing running over the tablecloth.
God I desire to be a vessel for You, I desire for You to fill me with that which so many people need, Lord place in my heart the words which You want me to share with others. That which You know they need, Lord that which You know will change their hearts. Help me Lord to touch the world, may I not share my heart, but Yours Lord.

2 Corinthians 4:7 “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” NIV

Lord it is not for my glory, but for Yours! It is not that people will stand up and say, “Oh ….. did this” or “….. said that”, but rather Lord may You have the glory. I am but a vessel before You, and as I lay my life before You, I thank You fill me. Not for my own good, or my glory – but for Your glory – may You be praised for what is done through my life. May lives be touched, hearts changed, through my ministry and through my life. Thank You for the circles of influence that You have blessed me with, thank You Lord for the acquaintances that You have blessed me with, thank You Lord for that which You are doing in my life.

1 Corinthians 1:26-29 “Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things–and the things that are not–to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.” NIV

In ministry, one often gets tired, this is also true of everyday life as well. It is important that when you are tired, that you will focus on God, …… Don’t make decisions when you are tired, remember that your judgement and your thinking process is different now. It is easier to be negative when you are tired. When we are tired we need to go to the well and be filled again, Lord let Your living waters flow over my soul, thank You Lord that I can live on Your strength and not on my own.

Philippians 4:19 “You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus.” MSG

Deuteronomy 31:8 ” The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” NIV

Thank You Father God that You take me in Your arms right now, and Lord that You strengthen me.

Philippians 3:13-14 “My friends, I don’t feel that I have already arrived. But I forget what is behind, and I struggle for what is ahead. I run toward the goal, so that I can win the prize of being called to heaven. This is the prize that God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done.” CEV

There was an advert on TV a while ago, it said, “Life is a journey, enjoy the ride”, but I have changed that into a question, “Life is a journey, where are you going?” A comrades marathon runner is a very good illustration of the above mentioned verse. If anyone wanted to run the comrades, it would be impossible for them to show up on the day of the race, having never exercised before and expect to even finish the race. The comrades is a very difficult race, which tests your physical and mental endurance. It takes years worth of training if you even want to finish the race. To be successful an athlete will have to change his eating habits, sleeping habits, in fact his entire lifestyle so that he can be fully prepared when the great day dawns. We need to exercise spiritually. When hard times come up against you, know that God is still with you and that this is busy testing you and preparing you for things to come …

Romans 6:15 “Does this mean that now we can go ahead and sin and not worry about it? (For our salvation does not depend on keeping the law but on receiving God’s grace!) Of course not!” TLB

Romans 5:3-5 “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” NIV

2 Corinthians 4:8–9 “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” NIV

Thank You Lord that You help me run the race of life …

Joshua 1:6-9 “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” NIV

What do we do in times of hardship? In times of temptation? In times when we don’t really know what is going on around us, we don’t really understand what is happening. You might be feeling like Job, you are looking around and your whole life is falling down around you, and then we are reminded of our priorities and of our source. ….. who is your source? Where do you draw your strength from? Who are you busy looking to? Are you looking to money, or material possessions, are you looking to people and relationships, are you looking at habit forming substances in the hope of finding peace?

Psalm 121:1 “I look to the mountains; where will my help come from?” GNB

The Israelites used to have places of worship on the high places where they worshiped false gods, this verse literally means, I look at the things that the world goes to, to find help. Sometimes when problems seem to overtake us we wonder where we will go for help. Fortunetellers, lotto draws, drugs & alcohol. These are all very popular in the world today, yet the psalm writer does not suggest that we go for those things. Instead he says let us look to God who created the world (and us as well) and let us go to Him for our strength and our comfort.

….. remember that if you put your need to put your hope in God. David said these words:

Psalm 42:5 “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance.” NKJV

Proverbs is such a wonderful book because it offers us some of God’s wisdom,

Proverbs 3:7-8 “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” NIV

Proverbs 3:6 “in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” NIV

Proverbs 4:23 “Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts.” MSG

Many different translations use the word “thoughts” instead of heart.

Proverbs 23:7 “for as he [a man] thinks in his heart, so is he;” NKJV

Your heart is so important, do not allow negativity to take root in your heart, don’t allow doubt or fear into your heart either. These things aim to corrupt and destroy you, these things aim to bring you down and destroy you.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” NIV

1 Corinthians 2:9-10 “”No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”– but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.” NIV

Ephesians 3:20 “I pray that Christ Jesus and the church will forever bring praise to God. His power at work in us can do far more than we dare ask or imagine. Amen” CEV

1 John 4:16 “God is love” NIV

1 John 4:19 “We love Him because He first loved us.” NKJV

John 14:27 “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid” TLB Peace is essential. MIC “Live life without regrets, if you smoke the right brand of cigarettes”

Fish were made to swim in the sea, plants were made to grow in the ground, birds were made to soar in the skies. When you take them out of that you destroy them. A bird can’t swim, and a tree can’t fly. You and I were made by God, to live in Him and have a relationship with Him. If we do not have a relationship with Him we will not be able to live life to the full – if I have not found God then I am like a fish that has been taken out of the water. It is powerless to do pretty much anything, all is lost for the little fish – unless it is put back into the water.

Ephesians 3:16-17 “that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love” NKJV

Psalm 1:1 “They are like trees along a riverbank bearing luscious fruit each season without fail. Their leaves shall never wither, and all they do shall prosper” TLB Do you want to accept God as your saviour? Or have you back slid and you wish to recommit your life? If you wish to know God please pray this prayer with me now, Dear God I want to know you as my Father I confess that I am sinful and I ask that you would come into my heart. Save me from my sin and make my life whole In Jesus Name Amen

If you have backslid, then ask God in your own words to forgive you and to welcome you back. Remember that the prodigal son was welcomed back with open arms by His Father. He was not given a list of conditions, but was welcomed back in love.

VERSES ON YOUR IMAGE IN GOD:

The following is an extract from one of Ken du Pisanie’s message’s on Stress & Anxiety.

Romans 8:37 “In everything we have won more than a victory because of Christ who loves us.” CEV

1 John 5:18 “We know that those who have become part of  God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot get his hands on them” NLT

Philippians 4:19 “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” NLT

1 Corinthians 2:16 “For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.” NKJV

John 10:10 “A thief comes only to rob, kill, and destroy. I came so that everyone would have life, and have it in its fullest.” CEV

Philippians 4:7 “Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.” CEV

Philippians 4:13 “Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. MSG

2 Corinthians 2:14 “I am grateful that God always makes it possible for Christ to lead us to victory. God also helps us spread the knowledge about Christ everywhere, and this knowledge is like the smell of perfume.” CEV

Col 1:27 “God wanted everyone, not just Jews, to know this rich and glorious secret inside and out, regardless of their background, regardless of their religious standing. The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple. That is the substance of our Message.” MSG

MY TESTIMONY CONCERNING STRESS:

I have had my own share of stress, and I battled to deal with it. My parents got divorced when I was only 5, I was ill with Asthma and other illnesses though most of my childhood.

We moved twice while I was still very young, and I lost contact with many of my friends. The stress started to climax when I was in Grade 7, when I started hyperventilating because of the stress that I was under. In High School I also faced much stress, I accepted Jesus as my Saviour in Grade 8, I felt that God was leading me to Himself and helping me to find Him as well.

I have had many stressful times throughout my life and I believe that God has lead me through them – so that I can help others to do the same.

A huge stumbling block for me was / and still is negativism. We need to be constantly combating it. Confessing scripture like this is one of the few ways that I have found which work.

If you are 40 years old, then you have been influenced for 40 years to be negative. It will not come easy to reprogram yourself.

We need to build our faith in this area.

Romans 10:17 “Yet faith comes from listening to this Good News—the Good News about Christ.” TLB