Vision: Poetry On Odyssey

Vision: Poetry On Odyssey

Clarity, vision, future.
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With clear direction, you told Habakkuk to write the vision and make it plain.
In your perfect word; you said although what is to come may tarry, one day it will come.

Just as he believed you then, I believe you now.

My faith is pure and leaves no room for doubt.

Over and over, a way continues to be made for me.

Every need has a provision; for you will never forsake me.

To be obedient to your will is simply not enough.

I seek you, that is, a relationship with you.

Understanding and truth, in prefect harmony with you.

I realize my ways are not your ways and your thoughts are not my thoughts.

But I must do better. I must achieve a pure heart.

Only the pure of heart will see you.

That is my goal. Just think: to dwell in the same environment as you.

The faith as if Abraham.

The wisdom as if Solomon.

The heart as if David.

The honesty and devotion as if Daniel.

Your WILL is my desire for my life.

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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Jesus Empowers Us To Rebuke Negative Self-Talk

The same Spirit that won victory over sin and death is available to us for victory, too!
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As I come up on celebrating my third year in the intellectual and emotional battle arena that is the college/university experience, I have observed a very consistent struggle to afflict and harm many of my fellow classmates:

Negative self-talk.

I find it so common in college students: expressing how poorly they think they will/think they did do on an exam, verbalizing self-doubt about their abilities to complete course material, or balance their schedules...the list goes on. Negative self-talk is a pervasive poison that not only is spoken into existence by many college students, but I know that it is just as prevalent within their own inner monologues...because it 100% is prevalent in mine!

Negative self-talk is a mental sickness that poisons and weakens us!

In my own experience, I struggle daily with the lies and accusations that I am mysteriously tempted to hurl at myself. As a Christian, we call this mysterious, unexplainable force "the accuser" (in Hebrew, שָׂטָן, or "ha satan"). In Scripture, this mysterious force is characterized in many ways. In one of the creation accounts at the beginning of the Biblical story, it is depicted as a slippery serpent, who converses with a character named Life (or in Hebrew, חַוָּה, "chavvah").

Okay, let's back up because this all seems weird. What does a snake talking to a character named Life have to do with college students and negative self-talk?

I think it's important to recognize where these inner, accusatory thoughts come from. Are they truly a part of us and our identity? If we truly want hurtful, negative self-talk gone, then they surely must not be intrinsically a facet of who we are. They are accusations that we condition ourselves to make over and over, forcing them to become second nature...but that's where the story of Jesus is good news!

Negative self-talk is a mental sickness that poisons and weakens us...but through Jesus' Spirit, He empowers us to stomp out and conquer that sickness!

In that weird story with the talking snake, both "Adam" and "Eve" (two characters representing all of humanity) decide to choose to define good and evil for themselves. This leads to a fractured, broken relationship. But God sees all of this and knows that at the heart of this human brokenness and giving into temptation/accusation is the serpent — that mysterious yet real and urgent force able to communicate to all of us. God makes a promise to humanity, saying how "[He] will put enmity / between [the snake] and the woman, / and between [its] seed and hers; / he will crush [its] head, and [it] will strike his heel" (Genesis 3:15, NIV).

We have to recognize that Jesus is that "snake-head-crusher!" Jesus came to destroy the root of our problem, the one with our own thoughts and hearts. He knew that it wasn't about overthrowing physical systems of oppression, but rather it was (and is) about overthrowing and rebelling against the universal oppressor, the satan!

In the letter to the Hebrews, it is explained like this: "Since the children have flesh and blood, [God] too shared in their humanity so that by His death [as Jesus] He might break the power of him who holds the power of death — that is, the devil [the satan]" (Hebrews 2:14, NIV).

Jesus, born as a descendant of this Eve character, is a fulfillment of that seed promise: He conquered death, the greatest weapon the accuser has. And now through God's Spirit, the source of Jesus' triumphant power, we now can find that same victory, the same conquering of the satan, the accuser, the negative self-talk poison.

The "fruit" of the Spirit (the things that are brought to reality because of the Spirit) being in us and giving us that victory is "love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control" (Galatians 5:22-23, NIV).

And while practically this will look different for everyone (mentoring, counseling, journaling, openly sharing, and calling out those lies and accusations), this power and conquering is accessible to everyone! Through Jesus, all who choose to follow Him and allow God's Spirit to rest upon them will find healing and victory!

Cover Image Credit: 123rf

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