Not Without God

Not Without God

I believe in God because He is the only thing that saves me from drowning in the crashing waves of life.
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Why do I believe in God? That's a tough question. I mean none of us lived in Jesus' time, and according to a lot of scientists, there's a long list of explanations of how this place was created that don't include the book of Genesis. So why do we believe?

I'm not trying to push religion on anyone by any means. In some of my darkest days, I'll admit, it's been hard to not question it myself. I mean if there is a God, why would bad things happen right? Why would we have to go through heartbreak, loss, rejection, fear, etc?

I'm not the most Christian person out there. I don't always make it to church on Sunday, I miss a few days here and there on reading my bible, and I sure don't know every story in the Bible by detail. But I do know one thing. For being 20 years old, I sure have been through quite a bit. Now, I know there are plenty of people out there who have had it way worse than I have, and I do know that I am blessed, but I'm not strong. I'm really not.

Not without God.

Because you see, I've tried to do things on my own. I thought I could handle it. But when I find myself crying uncontrollably, God has always been the One to pick me up.

When a boy degrades me and tells me I'm worthless, God shows me my worth.

When a job I loved doesn't work out, God opens another door.

When mean girls try to tear me down to the core, God heals my core by making me believe those things aren't true.

When I'm hurting physically because of a health problem that can't be cured, God gives me hope and healing.

My family is amazing and always there for me, but we don't always agree on everything. Friends come and go, some from distance or a busy life, some from betrayal. My life is ever-changing because right when I think that I have it figured out, something else changes. But He doesn't change. He stays the same. He never loves me less because I mess up. He never gives up on me when I make a mistake. He will never betray me. And He is always there.

So why is there bad in this world when God is supposed to be good? Because if everything was perfect, why would we need Him. He is the light in the darkness. He is the calm after the storm. There has to be darkness so we will see His light and run to it.

So why do I believe in God? Why do I still try to make it to church, read my bible, and pray? Why do I try to keep the faith when everything in my life seems to be falling apart? Because He is the only thing in my life that will never change and will always turn out right. Because I believe in Him, my future is set. My mountains will move. My waves will not make me drown. My fears will be conquered. My mistakes will be forgiven.

If that right there can't give me hope, I don't know of anything in this world that could.

Cover Image Credit: unsplash

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12 Bible Verses For Faith In Hard Times

Remind yourself that God is always with you.
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Lately, I have felt lost at what God wants for my life. Ever since I've come back to UWG everything has been horrible. It seems that I can't catch a break. I'm trying my best to focus on school, work, and extracurricular activities. But it's hard when I'm having issues with my apartment/roommates and knowing my family back home is struggling and needs many prayers. All, I keep thinking is maybe Carrollton isn't where I belong anymore. I've asked God if He can guide me in the right direction. Below, I have found Bible verses that have helped get me through these rough, past couple of weeks.

1. Isaiah 43:2

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."

2. Psalm 37:5

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will act."

3. Romans 8:18

"The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming."

4. Proverbs 31:25

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

5. Joshua 1:9

"Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous."

6. Ecclesiastes 3:1

"There is a time for everything and a reason for every activity under the heavens."

7. Isaiah 41:10

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

8. Isaiah 66:9

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord."

9. Psalm 91:4

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

10. Psalm 62:1-2

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation."

11. Philippians 4:13

"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."

12. Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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When God goes Off Script

Don't miss a miracle just because your plans didn't work out

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As a believing Christian, we know that God is powerful and sovereign, and mighty. We have no problem with this concept- not until His plan suddenly ceases to go along with our own. We live in an impressively self-centered world. We have iPads, iPhones, and I mentalities. We simply want what we want. So much so, that sometimes we don't desire God's plan as much as we want our own way. Sadly enough, this isn't a new concept.

If we look at chapter 11 in the book of John, we find some people whose plans were most defiantly flipped upside down by God.

Jesus (the Son of GOD), had some very close friends who were siblings- Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. When Lazarus fell ill, Mary and Martha immediately sent word to Jesus, fully expecting Jesus to rush to heal him. Very much like the rest of us, the sisters didn't only bring their problem to Jesus, they brought their own solution.

However, Jesus had a much bigger plan. The Bible tells us in Ephesians 3:20 that the plans of God are "above all that we could ask or imagine". In the midst of the chaos that often consumes our lives, we sometimes confine God to the realm of things that we understand- and what a dangerous thing that is! When Mary and Martha expected Jesus to rush to heal their brother, Jesus chose to wait two entire days before making the 20-mile journey to their city.

During that time, Lazarus died. Once Jesus finally did make it to the city, the sisters were in mourning. Interestingly enough, their faith remained unshaken. They realized that Jesus 's intervention could have prevented their brother's death (John 10:21,32), and if my best guess is worth anything they wondered why He had chosen not to.

Sometimes when we plead for God to intervein and he chooses not to, we feel forgotten. We feel alone and we question our worth- when what we should be doing is watching to see what He's about to do next. Sometimes, we get too fixated on the fact that God went "off script" and didn't handle a situation the way we feel like He should have that we almost miss the miracle that He is about to do in our lives.

Standing outside of the tomb of Lazarus, Jesus asked for the stone to be rolled away. Martha, a very practical soul who reminds me far too much of myself, called out to Jesus and appears to rebuke him. There are times in our lives where we are more focused on how we didn't get our way than on the miracle that God is about to do. Martha made a seemingly practical point after all her brother had been dead and buried for four days.

Thankfully, a practical point on our part has yet to stop Jesus.

God's plans may not look like ours. His ways may not take the same path as ours. His purpose may even have goals like ours. But so far? God's plans just don't disappoint like mine.

Despite the fact that Jesus chose not to come immediately to the family's rescue, four days later He spoke words that rocked the world: "Lazarus, come forth", and Lazarus came out of the grave. Often times, when God doesn't solve our problems like we think that He should, we assume that we are of little importance. It's easy to see why the sisters may have felt ignored. However, Jesus's decision to wait gave an entire town an opportunity to witness the power of God. When we want our way more than God's wisdom, we seek to deprive others of the chance to learn about God's power.

Jesus gave another command that day: He said of Lazarus"Unbind him, and let him go". What kind of expectations do we need to let go? Are you allowing your idea of what God needs to do bind you and keep you from resting in his plans?

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