Finding Joy In Trials

James 1:2-4 in the Message Bible reads, ​”Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”

After getting a wonderful confirming dream from God, and listening to Bill Johnson speak on breakthrough, I am convinced that the Lord has saught to set me up for a serious promotion. The past several weeks have been very trying, so trying that, if I didn’t know the Lord, I sincerely don’t know where I would be or what I would be doing now. I have and am experiencing things that have literally changed the entire course of people’s lives, and just two months after giving birth, to boot.

The best part about the challenges I am facing is that God is faithful, ever present and fully available, especially when I turn to Him as so much seems to be going awry in my life.

I can take comfort, great comfort in knowing that not only is He not taken by surprise by any of what I am facing, but He has provided for me, from the beginning. 

All I need to do is trust and follow His leading. I can “count it all joy”, as I know that this set of challenges can help mature me in a way that will qualify me to receive far more from God than I ever imagined possible. 

God won’t give us more than we can handle. We tend to think of trials when considering this, but I understand it to include certain blessings as well.

 For instance, my 9 and 13 year olds can not ask and be permitted to borrow my car. It isn’t because I don’t want to share with them. They simply aren’t ready or mature enough for that type of blessing. It could literally kill them. 

My 18 year old, on the other hand, has gone to driving school and passed her driving exam. She has been driving for well over a year and is comfortable and good at it, so she can certainly get the keys to the car and go where she likes. She is mature enough and able to handle the responsibility. It is the same with us. I believe there is so much that God wants to bless us with, but we simply aren’t ready to receive it. We haven’t behaved in a manner that shows we are ready for the responsibility. 

Because God is a good father, He won’t give us anything, even a blessing that could harm us, even when He really wants to give it to us. I am thrilled to be loved like this and am now seeing the challenges I face, in a very different light.

Challenges are looking like enormous qualifiers to me these days. It is when all the “chips are down”, when we’re “backed against the wall” that what is really in us, comes out. Do we really trust that God is with us? Do we realize how surrounded we are by hosts of angels and options? Do we know how deeply we are loved and provided for? Do we believe we have been provided for even when what we see before us says the exact opposite?

I’m using this moment of challenge as an opportunity, a gift that will enable me to come up higher and be better off for having gone through it. I am choosing to praise, give, love, and bless my way through it. 

I will look back on the prophetic worda I have received over the last few years, and allow a sense of hope to grow and flourish even in the midst of what looks desolate and destroyed.

I will light up the area I inhabit with my heavenly language and praise to God, because He is surely with me during this most holy of set ups. 

I will walk, run, leap and dance joyfully with my Abba as I pass this “test” with flying colors, for He is surely with me, loving me, whispering messages of love and hope to me in my sleep and while I am awake.

I will keep looking to the One who is the Author and Finisher of my faith. 

I challenge you to do the same. When trying times are upon you, count it all joy. See it as an opportunity for growth and development. See it as an opportunity to qualify for something your Heavenly Father is just itching to give you. Worship Him. Praise Him. Thank Him for your breakthrough when it looks like none is forthcoming. Allow hope to rise up in you and rejoice. Look at and make personal, the promises in His Word. Look at prophetic words you have received and perhaps put aside. If you dont have any, but would like one, please write me and allow me to speak a word from the Lord over you, but whatever you do, don’t allow challenges to stress you out and keep you down. You were meant for more, so much more. God has so much in store for you. Will you set yourself in position to receive from Him today?

How Do You Go Through Trials?

I had one of those nights last night where I wake up around 2am and don’t go back to sleep for 3 or more hours.  Normally, I spend this time talking to God, Spirit to spirit so as not to wake my husband, although, sometimes I end up laughing about something the Lord and I are sharing.  We made some plans together for an event I’m planning.  He gave me some cool ideas on things that are kind of over my head, like centerpieces, lol and then the conversation shifted to mind renewal and mindsets.

He reminded me of my mentioning a plan to someone recently, and immediately the person interjected with an idea of something negative happening that would ruin the whole thing, lol.  Now, I remember, just before our first trip to Africa for a wedding, either me or my husband, I don’t recall which, mentioned it to someone and instead of them saying something like, “Wow!! You’re going to Zimbabwe for a wedding? What a wonderful experience!” the person said, “Are you sure you want to go to Africa?  What if they start the slave trade back up and you get captured?” The person went on to say what type of jobs my husband and I would get based on our complexions and all.  They had all the horrid details worked out.

A person who is dear to me is having a very serious procedure done which could very well be life threatening. Someone we know in common, who is a believer, mentioned how worried they are over the whole thing and that they have been pretty much expecting the worse in the situation.  Now, I’m not at all saying I have never done this before, I’d be lying if I did, but I just see things in such a different light these days that it is astonishing.

As believers, we know we are to put our faith and trust in God. We are to be anxious over nothing.  We know that worry is sin, and more.  Why is it though, that we find it so difficult to really trust God and give our burdens over to Him completely? Why do so many of us jump to negative conclusions and make up negative scenarios for our future or that of others when we really don’t want that for ourselves or others?

I remember the last straw for me.  It wasn’t a big deal situation.  I was simply going to have my car inspected in DC, and as I sat in my car, lined up, inching forward when appropriate, I started to get this horrible idea that my car would not pass inspection.  I had it all worked out, I’d fail inspection, have to do some repair that I had no money to pay for, it would be awful, I’d not be able to drive anymore because my car was faulty, etc.  You know what though?  There was absolutely nothing wrong or faulty with my car.  There was no logical reason that I would not pass inspection, and, of course, I passed, but before my turn came, I got angry and forced myself to snap out of what I called, “Stupid mode”.

Even after that, there were definitely times where I still automatically allowed the enemy to have me thinking negatively, but over time, it became less and less.  Now, I more easily pick up on it when I or others do it and it has become more foreign to me and I thank God for that.

Before my 3rd and closest sibling passed on my birthday almost 2 years ago, something dawned on me as I prayed with our other sister.  The enemy was attacking our family in so many ways during that time.  I remember suddenly, my sister and I laughed as we prayed because it dawned on us that our sister, a very strong believer, was being “threatened” with an eternity in Heaven.  Now, before I go on, I must say that this particular sister was both of our closest sister. Her going to Heaven at 40 years old, was no cakewalk for us.  It still isn’t, especially after our brother went the year before at 38 and our oldest sister went several years earlier at an even younger age.  Here’s the thing that dawned on us though, either way, our sister was good.  She’d either be healed here on Earth and have an amazing testimony to share personally, helping others and all, or, she’d go home and be with our Heavenly Father forever.  She’d go and wait for us and pray for us and root for us as we remain here.  There was no losing for her.  The enemy was truly threatening her with eternity with the Lord. Stupid. Philippians 1:21 says, For me, to live is Christ, to die is gain.  We believers win, regardless.  Living, we get to impact the world for God’s Kingdom and glory, to die is the best because we are eternally, physically reunited with our Heavenly Father and so many loved ones.  There is no loss!  The time spent here is so short, so minuscule when considering eternity, a fart in the wind as I always say, lol.

So here’s my position when trials come, “Praise God!! I can’t wait to see how He works this out for the good of all!”  He always does.  So many things that at the time, felt like the end, just wasn’t.  God always came through in bigger ways than I ever expected. His track record is proven and sure- the only sure thing in my life in fact!  I can trust Him with abandon and praise Him even when things are looking funky or shady.

My loved one who is having the procedure is in God’s capable hands.  Instead of moping and expecting the worst, I’m spending my time and energy just worshiping God for all that He is doing.  When bad thoughts come, I take the opportunity to prophesy the opposite.

When I learned that my husband didn’t get the position he went for which would have provided a major pay increase, smiles turned into excited giggles because I know my Abba, He is up to something!!  I can’t wait to see what He does with and for us!!  The job is not our source and praise God for that!!  So, if you don’t already do this, start to ask the Lord to help you renew your mind and change old mindsets of negative thinking.  It will change your life!

How I Go Through Trials-Keyword-Through

As long as you are alive, you will go through things in life.  Sometimes you’ll go through difficult things, sometimes, not so difficult.  How you respond in those times is a very telling testament to who you truly are inside.

I’m learning to see these times that God has allowed in my life as times of opportunity for growth and development.  God can and does use everything to help us to grow in Him so that He can trust us with the destiny and calling He has placed on our lives.  Graham Cooke says God allows us to go through tests, and He never fails us.  He just allows us to take the test again and again until we pass. 0_o Yikes!!

I am allowing myself during the trial I am in now, to grieve as needed and do what I need to do along that vein, but I don’t just stop there and wallow.  Oftentimes, when we go through difficult times, we feel alone.  Part of the reason is because we shut ourselves off from the rest of the world and God.  We tend to put all our energy and focus into ourselves- feeling bad, feeling sorry, feeling betrayed, hurt, or whatever other negative aspects we can focus on.  The truth is, even then, we are not alone. We are always surrounded.  I challenge you to look for God during trials.  He is not hiding at all.  It’s amazing.  It has become fun to look for and find Him and His handwork over and over and over, even as I cry.

When I consider my losses, especially the last 5 I have endured since August, I allow myself to get excited for 3 reasons.  1. When I get to Heaven, this won’t matter. 2. When I get to Heaven, I will never be a part from these children ever again.  3. I get to have them all!!  These were pregnancies that overlapped.  Outside of being pregnant with quintuplets, I could never have had all 5 of them here on Earth but in Heaven, I get them all!! Whoo hoo!!!

A key for me during these times has been to keep going.  I keep right on loving, serving, giving and helping others.  When someone sends me a message asking for prayer for something, I don’t turn it into something about me and what I’m going through, I just pray for them as I would for myself and keep moving.  It has become a wonderful habit.  I love how I am now allowing the attacks of the enemy to push me right into the arms of my Abba.  I am worshiping Him and abiding in Him like never before and it is so good!!  I see God all over the whole situation as He pours into me during our quiet times and He uses people to shower me with a love that I had never known possible.  I have gotten prophetic words for strangers as I am out in the midst of this trial.  I’ve gotten word that some of my recent words of prophecy are coming to pass right now!  I’ve gotten flowers, money, a free painting session with my artist friend, free dinner and such an outpouring of love and support that I would be flat out lying to say that I feel like I am alone.  I am surrounded!!  As I freely receive all this love, I can’t help but continue to give it out.  I am excited to see what’s next!

So keep moving, keep going, don’t just sit and wallow when you go through trials in life.  If you feel like you don’t have people supporting or loving you, go out of your way and do what you would want, for someone else.  I guarantee, you will see a return on it in more ways than one.  Don’t make everything all about you.  Get up and do something for someone else.  You aren’t the only one going through something.  We need each other and while so many are waiting for God to do something, He is just waiting for us to move. So, move!! Go though this trial and pass that test! You can do it!  You have the entire Hosts of Heaven rooting for you!


Moment by Moment Faith

Man, Jesus wasn’t kidding when he said that we’d have trouble in this world.  This week, two people who are very dear to me were highlighted.  We are all ministering to each other.  Three different sets of circumstances, all with the root need of simply and fully trusting God at the heart of each.  We each have done all we can do, now we just need to have faith that God is who he says he is and that the promises we have been given will come to pass.

We can talk ourselves into doubting so quickly, with no help from the enemy, but of course, he’s happy to help too.  This is where I see that we have a very unique opportunity.  Whereas, one who is having an easy, happy time can forget about God, we have the chance to press in, get more intimate and intentional with our worship, and just be more aware of His presence.  We are able to, if we look, see things differently, hear Him speak in ways we didn’t know he would previously and thus, be stronger in our faith for it all.  Moment by moment, opportunity for greater intimacy beckons.  It’s up to us to take it.

I wrote a short letter to God in my journal today.  It reads:

Lord, I don’t always understand or even like your ways but I trust you.  I know  you know what’s best for me and those I am to impact.  Help me to not fear or fret.  Help me to keep my eyes on you always.  Help me to enjoy every moment, every opportunity I am given.  Help me to not be tough to mold. I want to be pliable and trust in you.  Thank you for choosing and using me to help others.  Help me to be as sharp, effective and efficient as possible.  I want to do amazing things for you.  You have done so much for me- you’ve done everything for me!