Tuesday, July 21, 2015

How to Keep Going When You Feel Like Running Away

I remember a commercial when I was little about bubble bath.  The commercial didn't focus on the product, instead it focused on a overwhelmed mom who needed to get away.  She needed an escape from her daily grind, the kids and chores.  Can you guess what commercial I'm talking about?  "Calgon take me away!".   I might be dating myself, but as a child of the 1980's, seeing this commercial made a lasting impression.  When I became a mom, I learned early on that escaping from our troubles is not that easy, nor is it something a bath can remedy.  

What do I do when I have a desire to escape?  
Psalm 139: 7 tells us that we can never escape from God's spirit and never get away from His presence!  We may want to run away when things gets hard or the pressure is high, but we must recognize that we cannot escape from God.  

Psalm 32: 7     You are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble.  You surround me with songs of victory.  

Psalm 46: 1     God is our refuge and strength , always ready to help in times of trouble.  

Psalm 57: 1      Have mercy on me, O God have mercy!  I look to you for protection.   I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings until this violent storm is past.  

When we feel like giving up, are we running to God or from God?  
When we have to escape, it should be into the arms of our loving God.  He is good.  When troubles comes, he is a strong refuge.  And He knows everyone who trusts in Him.  (Nahum 1:7).  

How does God provide ways of escape?  God provides physical and miraculous ways to escape.   In Genesis 7:7, we are reminded how God provided an escape for Noah, his wife, sons and their wives from destruction.  They went aboard the boat. 

In Genesis 19: 17, the angels warned Lot and his family to run for their lives, do not stop anywhere in the valley and don't look back!  Escape to the mountains, or die.  

When the children of Israel were trapped at the Red Sea, God provided a path for the water and it was parted.  They crossed the dry land over night escaping their death.  Leaving slavery and their old life behind.   (Exodus 14:21)  

The Lord helps us escape from evil into a relationship with him.  Relationship requires intimacy and when we run to His mercy seat, He covers us.  

Proverbs 14: 27     Fear of the Lord is a life-giving fountain; it offers escape from the snares of death.  

God helps us escape from the wrong way to the right way.  
1 Corinthians 10: 13 tells us that God is faithful.  He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it.  When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.    

Instead of running from God, when life gets hard, we must run to Him.  We must read and memorize these Bible verses.  His Word reminds us to run to Him on a daily basis.   Instead of using things to escape like sinful habits, relaxation or a vacation, let us first run to the arms of Jesus.  Where mercy meet us, His shalom finds us and His grace covers us.  

Keep going, keep the faith and finish the race!  

Blessings and Shalom, 

This article is a part of my Women in the Word series where you will find Bible encouragement  on Wednesday twice a month.  I hope it's a blessing to you.  

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

How to Overcome Jealousy, the Evil Root {Women in the Word}

I have a problem.  I look around the blogger world and find sometimes I just don't measure up.  No matter how hard I try, I just can't keep up.   Basicly, it's hard to be someone I'm not.  Yet, daily I find myself getting caught in the trap of comparison.  Jealousy creeps in and before I know it, I've grown a field of evil roots.  Yes, it's hard to admit.  I'm writing this post because I feel it's something many of us struggle with, yet the one thing we fail to admit.  

When I was in high school choir, I was jealous of the girl who sang better than me.  

When I became a Christian, I was jealous of the woman who knew more Bible than me. 

When I attended homeschool co-op groups, I was jealous of other moms who had many children, because I only had one.  

Do you ever get jealous?   Jeolousy is an evil root to deal with, but it can be defeated.   The Bible tells us in James 3:16, "For where there are jealousy and selfish ambition, there will be disharmony and every foul practice".  Jealousy brings about other sinful habits and curses in our lives.  We have no peace or shalom when we harbor jealousy.  How do we overcome this evil root?  By destroying it at the root and making sure it doesn't shoot up again.  We must change our thinking and intentionally execute a strategy.  If you're struggling with jealousy today, here are 5 ways you can overcome jealousy in your life! 

1.  Be honest with yourself.  Admit you have a jealousy problem.  Confess it to God and ask forgiveness.   
James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

2.  Don't compare yourself to others.  Instead put your focus on Jesus.  When our eyes look away from Him and start looking around at others, we become like Peter.  Peter walked on the water, but began to sink when he took his eyes off of his Master.  You are unique and special in Jesus' eyes.  His approval is all that matters.  When you're looking into Jesus' eyes,  you can see yourself the way God sees you.  All insecurities vanish, when we remember we are a daughter of the King.  
Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.  And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith . . . ". 

3.  Rejoice over the success of others.  Instead of feeling sorry for yourself for what others have and you don't, be happy for them.  We must not be selfish.  One day, you will be celebrating a success, and will appreciate others celebrating with you.  This can be hard for women especially,  but complimenting another woman for her success brings true joy to yours and her heart.  It's a win win situation.  
Romans 12:15 When others are happy, be happy with them.  If they are sad, share their sorrow.  

4.  Be an encourager of others.  Jealousy can drive a wedge between relationships.  It's important to keep encouraging one another.  Instead of allowing jealousy to win, fight back with an encouraging word, or action.  Have you heard of the phrase, "kill them with kindness"?  Well, I say, "Kill jealousy with kindness!".    
Hebrews 10:24  Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds.  

5.   Continually evaluate your inward heart.  What helps me is studying Bible verses to keep my heart where it's suppose to be.  When I have the Word of God fresh in my mind, I can choose to make better decisions about my feelings and actions.   
Romans 7: 22  I love God's law with all my heart.  

2 Corinthians 4: 16  This is why we do not lose courage. Though our outer self is heading for decay, our inner self is being renewed daily.

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Jealousy may be an evil root, but with God's strategy, we can conquer it daily.  

How are some ways you deal with jealousy?  

Blessings and Shalom, 

Please comment below or share here how this article helped you.  Thank you!