Sermon Of The Week: God's Got This

Sermon Of The Week: God's Got This

Joel Osteen's message got me thinking ...
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Growing up with an older brother who has become my best friend is a tremendous gift. Christopher is eight years older than me, but he has remained my inspiration and role model from childhood into young adulthood. He has taught me the importance of selfless acts, prioritizing family and strength through life’s difficult seasons.

Christopher was also the first person who introduced me to Joel Osteen.

While Osteen was criticized for preaching prosperity theology and more recently, over disputes regarding his church’s availability to house Hurricane Harvey survivors, I believe that his sermons are often full of messages of encouragement, love and hope. Osteen’s sermons are accessible and do not revolve around shame, pity or "rules" of faith. Instead, Osteen uses The Bible as a source of reflection and reference on how we can all become more kind and victorious people. Do I believe that we should do good deeds merely for the prosperity of our own souls and to attract our own success? No. However, I do believe that if we try our best, keep our faith and give of ourselves with deep compassion, God will recognize our triumphs and efforts.

I recently was listening to a sermon by Osteen in which he discusses the notion "God’s got this" and I felt both comforted and ignited by the message. I was reminded of the necessity of hardship for growth and the beautiful potential that we all have to become better each and every day. I also meditated on the complexity of our most tasking periods as humans. I considered how fortunate I am and took a moment to appreciate these blessings. I considered the wide variety of adversity a person might face in their lifetime.

Finally, I considered the relationship between our own efforts to find hope in spite of despair and the ultimate force God has in our lives, which is beyond our control.

It is human nature to question our destiny and to feel anger when our plans are not unfolding as we may have imagined. We may dedicate energy and time into our dreams and find our labors fruitless. However, maybe we were trying to grow an apple when ultimately, we needed an orange. All of life’s surprises and unexpected redirections can save our lives, bring us to people that may become lifetime companions, and remind us of what we truly value.

If we put trust in whatever God or force of the universe that we believe in, our most trying challenges can set us up for the most rewarding chapters of our lives. If we are willing to accept the struggle, move through it and welcome new beginnings, we can find deeper happiness. We must not linger in pain, insecurity or self-pity, and we must be open to receiving the new path in our greater journey to peace.

Sometimes, we will face challenges that feel monumental, we might be confronted by a conflict that goes beyond our control. In these moments, rather than becoming consumed with worry and anxiety, we must give it to the universe, to God or simply just give it up to time. No matter what you believe in, you will only go deeper into a pit of negativity if you hold the heaviest of life’s burdens upon your own back. Go forth with grace and know that in your heart, “God’s got this.”

Cover Image Credit: It's Milk and Honey

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A Letter From God To Help You Finish The Semester

God sees your struggles and He's here to give you strength and motivation.
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My Child,

The lack of motivation towards the end of the semester is normal. You are mentally and physically tired, but you are almost at the end. Don’t stop walking down the perfect path I have for you. When you’re going along and you come upon a speedbump, I want you to go over it and keep driving. The paper you have to write and the test you have to study for are just small speedbumps I have given you to make you wiser. You can write that paper and you can gain motivation to study for that test. I am here to give you strength, and am here to open up your mind and give you motivation.

You are so loved. You have such a beautiful mind. The light of Jesus shines through your eyes and your smile brings comfort to the world. There’ll be times you feel like you’re carrying a heavy load. There’ll be times you feel like the task I have given you is impossible to perform. But remember this: I would never put anything upon your shoulders that you cannot carry. If I put you in a certain situation, it’s because I know you are strong enough to go through it.

When you feel like crying, cry to me. When you feel like a failure, remember how much I love you. You are not a failure and you are not going to give up. I will hold your hand through every second of your life. I will seek your heart through your darkest moments. I see you, I see your heart, and I see your burdens. And remember that I have your heart which means I also have your burdens. Follow my footsteps and you will be free from the doubt. Remember Mark 4:40-41: “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” I have the power to calm any storm and wave. I have the power to calm YOUR storms and waves. Set your doubt, anger, and tiredness in my hands and simply be patient.

Romans 8:14-15 says,“For those who are led by the spirit of God are the children of God. The spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again, rather the spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.” Nothing can separate you from my love. Not even your lack of motivation. You have no motivation because you do not feel good enough. You are more than good enough. You were perfectly made by me and when I look down at you, I think of how proud I am of your heart.

Throughout the last few weeks of this semester, you will stumble upon speedbumps. But hold the hand of my son Jesus and you will be able to go over that speedbump with ease. Go write that paper, go study for that test, and go get an A in that class. I know you can because I have given you power.

Love,

God

Cover Image Credit: Margaret Carnes

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The Notre Dame Cathedral–Such A Loss Of History And Beauty, But What A Gift It Was To Experience It

Reid shares her story as she is saddened for Paris and the church.

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After the massive fire that devastated large parts of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, the 850-year-old cathedral's spire fell. French President Emmanuel Macron addressed the nation to share in the nation's sorrow but gave hope for the future. This includes the rebuilding of the cathedral together and making it more beautiful than ever. "The fire of Notre Dame reminds us that our story never ends. And that we will always have challenges to overcome. What we believe to be indestructible can also be touched," Macron said.

Tyler Reid

Among many others, Tyler Reid is saddened for Paris and the church. Although, she counts herself blessed to have seen it such a short time before it was destroyed. Reid, who was lucky enough to visit the amazing structure this past spring break, remarked:

My trip was filled with so many wonderful sites. Although, because Notre Dame carries the title of most-visited monument in Europe, my expectations were high. When I first walked up, there isn't one specific feeling I got; instead, it was more of a million thoughts running though my head. Once inside, looking at the massive stained glass windows combined with all the details in every crevice, it was hard for me to imagine people actually building this without the technology we have today. This hand crafted masterpiece really is so influential considering people still went there to worship, even after so much time has past and so many other cathedrals had been built. This proves how special the Notre Dame Cathedral really is. Due to my experience here, hearing about the fire hurt my heart, especially thinking about how some of the irreplaceable artworks and all of this history may be gone. This place truly influenced people, including me, and for it to be gone is a true tragedy.

Like Macron, Reid shares in the sorrow; although, for her, it was just from one visit. This proves the amazing impact the Notre Dame Cathedral had and hopefully will continue to have even after this devastation.

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