It's Time To Stop Accepting The Situation

It's Time To Stop Accepting The Situation

It's time to stop sweeping the hatred under the rug.
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It is now 2018 and I think it’s safe to say that our world is utterly and completely broken. Turning on the news is barely necessary because we all know the anchor will be reporting some sort of tragedy. It isn’t safe to post your feelings about a topic with any sort of controversy on Facebook because you are probably going to be unfriended by a few friends and family members. We all know not to bring up a certain current event at Thanksgiving because Uncle Steve will lose it. We are walking on eggshells.

We have turned against each other and need less than a second to point out flaws in our neighbor. We “agree to disagree” and feel it necessary to “leave people in 2017” if they don’t share the same feelings as ourselves. We protest our leaders and tell the world that they are unfit for their position. We despise each other to the point of physical harm and emotional abuse. We have adopted an “every man for himself” mentality. We are living in hatred.

I have been studying Ephesians since January 1st. It is a very short book (only 6 chapters) but it is filled with life-changing scripture. It gives instruction for wives and husbands, for children regarding their earthly parents as well as their Heavenly Father, and for those experiencing spiritual warfare. Chapter 6 goes into depth about the armor of God. Paul tells believers to put on the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, take up the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and use the sword of the spirit. This action is necessary because, as said in Verse 12, our struggle is not against flesh and blood but instead against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Our hatred for each other and for our leaders stems from Satan working in our world. The problems with society are due to the fact that we are letting the enemy take over. He is pleased to see that his plan seems to be working and that we are all turning against each other. This is nothing new; the devil has been scheming since Creation. I think that the main issue is that we have accepted the new condition of the earth. It has been deemed as too much for us to handle. This mindset is extremely dangerous.

As believers, our great commission is to go out and make disciples of all nations. We are called to share the good news that is Christ Jesus and to tell it to the masses. But the brutality that exists in our earthly realm has given us a spirit of timidity and fear; it is too dangerous to be bold. We are forgetting a crucial piece of information: the great dragon was cast out. Jesus has overcome the world. Satan has already been defeated.

While it may seem like a big task to turn the state of the world around, it starts with love. 1 John 4:12 says, “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” The only way for the world to see Jesus is through the faithful actions of His people. We need to understand that our world isn’t being broken by evil people, but instead by the evil and manipulative nature of our enemy. Stand firm against the enemy and be alert. Look for him and don’t let him take advantage of you.

Love your neighbor even though he refuses to put grass in his yard. Love your family even though they are judgmental. Love your friends even when they betray you. Love your boss even though he takes advantage of his power. Love your classmate even though he only talks to you because he wants your notes. Love the woman in the grocery store who bought the last rotisserie chicken. Love the man who broke your heart. Love your employees even when they seem completely incapable of the task you have given them. Love your president even though you disagree with every single thing he has ever said.

God has written our story. Every person with whom you have crossed paths has been placed in your way for a reason. Every person in power is there for a purpose. Be light and share love no matter how much you want to fall into the patterns of the world. 1 John 4:20, “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.”

Cover Image Credit: Pana Vascuez

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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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What the world really needs

Jesus, Sweet Jesus.

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"What this world needs is for us to stop hiding behind our relevance. Blending in so well that people can't see the difference and it's the difference that sets the world free." (What This World Needs- Casting Crowns)

I walked into the conference room at work to ask my mom if she had seen the news about Kate Spade. She hadn't, and when I told her what had happened, she was so shocked and upset, I had to clarify that it was Kate Spade the fashion designer. My mom has never met Kate Spade, yet upon hearing the news of her suicide, she was heartbroken. My mom was heartbroken for a woman she has never met.

That really got me thinking.

It is so easy to lose empathy for people we don't know, yet God calls us to love everyone. We are to have compassion towards each other and unbelievers. It can be so easy to look at the world with blinders on under the guise of not wanting to be desensitized. However, if we shield ourselves from it so much, we aren't being the light to the world God called us to be. Have you ever seen someone that you know is not saved and suddenly had a strong sense of compassion for them? You may or may not know them, but you can tell by the way they act they aren't saved. In an instant, your heart goes out to them. It is as if God opens your eyes and suddenly you feel empathy for someone you have never met.

We were recently in D.C for the weekend and were eating dinner at a restaurant. One of the other servers in the restaurant caught our eye. It was a guy but was dressed slightly like a girl (wearing a skirt). He came by our table a few times to refill our waters, bring more lemons, etc. and my heart suddenly went out to him. I don't even remember his name, yet it saddened my heart to look into his eyes and not see light. As nice as he was, there was a sadness lurking behind it. A sadness that comes from not having the joy of Jesus Christ.

Recently, there has been a reoccurring statement from people around me; "The world needs Jesus," or "They just need Jesus." How right these people are. The world needs Jesus and we need to tell them about Him. I was doing a devotional by Priscilla Shirer recently and she was speaking about how Satan targets us. She said:

"But, when I suspect he may be the source of it, I don't know about you, but it causes a holy indignation to rise up inside me."

Holy indignation. What a beautiful phrase. When we see people that we know don't have the light of Christ and are deceived by the ways of the world and the schemes of Satan, we should have holy indignation fired up inside of us. As Christians, we are often called "ambassadors for Christ." How about warriors for Christ? When we see someone that needs to be saved, instead of holding back, why don't we show them the love of Christ? We should see evil for what it is and instead of backing away from it, we need to stand firm, fight back, and replace it with light and truth. Fight for truth and love, and fight back against the schemes of Satan. Instead of being apathetic to what God shows us in people, how about we let the empathy burn strong and act on the fire that is inside of us.

Casting Crowns has a beautiful song called, "What if His People Prayed?" The lyrics say:

"What if the armies of the Lord, picked up and dusted off their sword. Vowed to set the captives free, and not let Satan have one more? What if the church for Heaven's sake, finally stepped up to the plate. Took a stand upon God's promise, and stormed Hell's rusty gates. What if His people prayed?"

What if we did what the song suggests? What if we fought against Satan for the people that don't have the glorious hope and light we have? How different the world would be if we took off our blinders, quit being so apathetic, put on our armor, and fought. Instead of being intimidated to silence, we need to become louder for Christ. There's a saying that "light shines brighter in the dark." If the Christians of the world let their light shine, I can only imagine we would illuminate the world.

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