To The Christian College Student Struggling With Their Faith, Continue To Seek The Lord's Goodness

To The Christian College Student Struggling With Their Faith, Continue To Seek The Lord's Goodness

How can we get answers without first asking ourselves the questions?
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Dear child of God, searching for spiritual answers in this turbulent time of life, you are not alone.

Despite what I once thought, being a Christian in college is hard. Everything you thought you stood firm in is shaken to its core by young adults embittered by churches, families and other Christians that did not love them well. For every argument you present defending your faith, someone will have a rebuttal.

There is an enormous pressure to find your individuality in ways that are so much less than God's best for us. Sin, big and small, can feel detrimental to your standing with God. Shame engulfs you when your faith walk does not look as pristine and breathtaking as the other people in your Bible study group.

Even in all of this bitterness and doubt, I bring good news.

God is not surprised.

Before we're created, God knew us in full! (Jeremiah 1:5). He knew that you would be having this time of spiritual crisis. He knew that you would doubt His promises, His goodness, and even His existence! Doubt is an essential part of belief!

In 1 Peter 3:15, Peter says to be ready to give an answer for that which you believe. How can we get answers without first asking ourselves the questions? God does not ask us to have a completely blind faith but to experience His goodness and love for ourselves! Psalm 35:8 says, "Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him." Yes, experiencing God requires faith in the unseen, but with obedience to His commands comes revelation and a deeper knowledge of Christ. Unseen does not have to mean unknown!

There is a song I dearly love called "Pieces" by Amanda Cook. It says,

"You don't hide yourself to tease us."

These words are undeniably true! God is not interested in games, but in a heart that truly seeks out His presence! Psalm 14:2 says, "The Lord looks down from Heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek Him." God desperately wants for us to search Him out! He is looking and waiting for us to come to Him in surrender to His goodness.

It is God's divine plan for us to know Him deeply here on Earth, and then fully in eternity with Him.

This desire God has for a relationship with us is the entire basis for His plan of salvation!

God sent a perfect person to die in our sorrows and regrets so that we didn't have to and then was raised to life so that we could be also. The requirement of perfection was obliterated when Christ stepped into our need and insufficiency. The only thing we must give in order to walk with God is our heart.

All God asks of us is surrender with the knowledge that no grace we receive is of our own accord. Titus 3:5 says, "He saved us, not by the righteous deeds we had done, but according to His mercy, through the washing of new birth and renewal by the Holy Spirit." We have done nothing to earn this gift of reconciliation, but have received it because of the good and loving nature of our God.

Remember this next time you feel the urge to throw in the towel.

Perfection is not the goal, a heart that seeks out God is.

Ask all the questions in the world, but seek the answers in prayer and Scripture. If you are not seeking God in this time, it's never too late to start. He is waiting in earnest for you to start a conversation. He is watching for your heart to turn to bask in His light of grace. IT will be worth it, I promise.

Cover Image Credit: Passion City Church

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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Why Would A Good God Bless Your Enemies?

The people that have hurt me need my authority to control me.

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You know that feeling you get in your heart when you're scrolling on IG and you see what appears to be happiness on the face of someone who has hurt you, betrayed you, talked about you, stirred negativity in your life or forsaken you?

You know that feeling of uneasiness in your stomach when they post about their new promotion? or job offer or new home? Or maybe a caption they used that completely contradicts the version of them you've experienced?

I don't believe it's unjustified to not want to immediately clap for them when you see them getting blessed. I think that makes sense that when you see someone who has hurt you in the past being happy that you might feel to get defensive. Because why should they be happy and be blessed when they mistreated me?

Why would God bless them with this guy that completely fits 'my type' description or something I wanted when they mistreated me? Why does it seem like God allowed this to be set up in such a way that I HAD to see them get blessed after they hurt me? What kind of God does that?

A good, good father is the kind of God that does that.

I encourage you to drop your guard right now and let this word of encouragement live in your life. You know how many times I've been placed in these situations with being mistreated and watching them get blessed or watching God give someone something I wanted? Too many to remember. Why would He do this?

So you can be free.

God wanted my heart to be free because "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God" (Matthew 5:8). He didn't want my heart to have to live at the mercy of what the people around me. He didn't want my heart to have to live at the mercy of what things I have or don't have. He didn't want me to have to live at the mercy of what was in His hand.

He wanted my heart to be pure so that I can see Him. When I see Him then I'm able to hear Him, see how He wants to use me and perform my part in His will.

As God, in his goodness, has wrestled with me to get this understand I have gained this indescribable freedom in the face of people that have mistreated me, betrayed me, talked about me, attempted to speak negativity over me or forsaken me. I've decided to live by what God says to me so when I see people win I can cheer for them now even if they have hurt me.

I LIVE in this, therefore, Haters can't have my heart because it belongs to God. I refuse to allow anyone hating on me to have my heart. I refuse to live in bitterness and allow my mood or perspective to be set by negativity because my heart belongs to God.

So even when someone talks about me and I see them win, envy and revenge can't have my heart because my heart belongs to God. So when an opportunity comes to have fear, it can't have my heart because it belongs to God.

So when you do me wrong, or try to incite me to get upset or try to come out of character by playing dirty, I'm going to LIVE by what God said because you can't have me. You can't have my heart. You can't have my joy or my peace. You can't have my faith.

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