“When You Can Thank God Even In The Bad Things, Your Faith Grows”

Gratitude develops your faith when times are tough-when things don’t make sense, when you can’t figure it out, when your prayers are unanswered, when life stinks, when everything is going the way you didn’t want it to go. Anybody can thank God for good things. But when you can thank God even in the bad things, your faith grows and your spiritual roots grow deeper.

In the Bible, the prophet Habakkuk, was going through tough times. He said, “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation” (Habakkuk 3:17-18 KJV).

Habakkuk wasn’t thanking God for all the things that had gone wrong in his life. What was this cause of gratitude? “I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior”.

Habakkuk could say, “Everything else stinks in life, but I can be grateful, because the Lord is my Savior. He will pull me out. He’ll bring me through this. I’m not on my own. He hasn’t abandoned me. I will still give thanks to God”. This is the ultimate test of faith: Can you thank God when life stinks? That’s the test of how deep your spiritual roots go.

When you are going through tough times, you need to look at what’s left, not what’s lost, and be grateful for it. No matter how bad things are, there are always thousands of things you can be grateful for. And no matter how bad things are, there is always the fact that you can be thankful to God just for being God. He has promised to see us through, to help us out, and strengthen us, to care for us, to do miracles, to answer our prayers. He’s promised that even when things don’t go our way, He can work it for good in our lives.

So, whatever you are facing in this lifetime, whether it be good or bad, trust God and the process and still praise Him through your storm. God will make a way somehow. Even if we don’t see a way out. God can do the impossible!

#ConsultGodFirst #TheFAITHWALK #ThePowerofGOD #TheSpiritualBattle #DELIVERANCEisMYTestimony #DiscoverYOurPurpose

http://www.lucretiacargill.com

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God’s Timing Is Perfect

Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24)

God’s timing is perfect. We may think he’s late, but he’s never late. God’s delays are not God’s denials. “Not yet” does not mean “no”. What should you do when your prayer is being delayed? You keep on praying until one of the three things happens:

 

1. You get he answer. When you get it, then you can stop praying for it-obviously.

2. You get the assurance that you’re going to get what you’re praying for. Sometimes God does that! He says, “I’m going to give you this”, and you’re sure of it. You stop asking God for it, and you start thanking God for it and acting on it. There was a situation I had when my back was up against the wall and I had nowhere to turn. I had more bills than I had money. All of my resources were dried up and I had to pay a bill immediately. I didn’t know where the money was going to come from but I had faith that God would take care of me. He is never late, never early, but always on time. I started speaking life into my situation. I acted in faith. I had the assurance that money was coming, even though I didn’t have it in my  hand. We can act that way with God and believe in faith that He will deliver on His promise in His time.

3. You keep praying until God reveals to you that it’s not His will. When you figure that out, you become uncomfortable praying about it and you don’t have any peace, so you stop praying for that request. In order to receive an answer from God, you’ve got to be willing to let God answer in His time! But He will answer because He is trustworthy, He hears your prayers, and He will respond.

Let’s TALK IT OVER

Think of a time when God responded to your prayer with, “Not yet”. How did you react? If God has given you assurance about one of your prayers, what do you now need to do to act in faith?

Are you willing to let God answer your prayers in His time? How is that evident in your life?

#ConsultGodFirst #TheFAITHWALK #ThePowerofGod #TheSpiritualBattle #DELIVERANCEisMyTestimony

http://www.lucretiacargill.com

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The Fear of Trusting God

And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him”.-1 John 4:16

There are many people in the world today that don’t fully trust God. Usually, it’s one of three things: People are afraid that if they give their lives fully to God, they’ll lose their freedom, they’ll lose their fun, and God will turn them into some kind of religious fanatic.

None of that sounds inviting!

The bottom line is, people are afraid. Yet, God has an answer for our fear of trusting Him. The Bible says, “We know the love that God has for us, and we trust that love because God’s perfect love drives out fear”. God loves you and me. We were created as an act of God’s love. Over and over in the Bible, God makes this clear. God thought us up and created us to love ourselves and let us love Him.

The greatest expression of God’s love is Jesus. God came to Earth in the form of a human being to show us what He is really like. He, then showed us how much He loved us by dying on the cross. The cross tells us once and for all that we can fully trust God. We can trust Him with our lives because He gave His Son’s life for us.

If God is telling the truth in His Word that He loves us, we know He won’t take away our freedom or our fun or turn us into a fanatic. God isn’t a cosmic killjoy. He’s our Heavenly Father.

The more you know God, the more you trust Him!

Let’s Talk It OVER

What scares you the most about fully trusting God?

How have you seen fear get in the way of someone else’s faith in God?

Why do you think understanding the love of God helps you trust Him more?

#ConsultGodFirst #TheFAITHWALK #ThePowerofGod #TheSpiritualBattle #DELIVERANCEisMyTestimony

http://www.lucretiacargill.com

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Are our desires in alignment with God’s will for our lives?

When we want God’s direction for our lives, we should get our desires out of the way so that we can honestly say, “God, I’m willing to go either way-whatever you want is what I want”. Then we say, “God help me to know what you want by giving me a desire one way or the other”.

Some people don’t want to do that, because they think if they desire something, then God must be against it. That’s not true! God can use our Spirit-controlled desires to direct us. Psalm 37:4 says, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (NIV).

If you are really trying to do what’s right in God’s eyes, then your desires are going to be in line. How do you know when you have the right desires, “If any  of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously…and it will be given to you” (James 1:5 NIV). You say, “Lord, give me the right kind of desire to do the right thing”.

When you are facing a difficult decision, first, you confess your sins and get right with God. Then, you commit the decision to the Lord and keep praying until you “get in neutral” about it. The third step is to ask God to reveal His will by giving you a desire. “Lord give me the desire to do tOurhe right thing”. Remember: “It is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose” (Philippians 2:13).

How  do you know if the desire is from God? One good test is time. You can tell if a desire is from God by sitting on it for a while and praying, “God, if this desire is from you, make it stronger. If this desire is not from you, please take it away”. It’s a legitimate request-just ask God to do that for you!

Knowing that God will give us the desires of our hearts, only if it lines up to His will has given me a sense of direction in life. I’ve learned that whatever we do in life, must align with His will. We should want what God want for us. I am striving daily asking God that whatever His will is for my life to let it be done and if my desires don’t align with His will to take it away from me.

Let’s continue to stay focused on what God wants for us in our lives! God Bless!

#ConsultGodFirst #TheFAITHWALK #ThePowerofGod #TheSpiritualBattle #DELIVERANCEisMyTestimony

http://www.lucretiacargill.com

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God Will Make Your Crooked Paths Straight

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto thine own understanding; in all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths”-Proverbs 3:5-6

Perhaps you’ve had a quiet time-when you get alone with God and read the Bible-where a verse that you’ve read a hundred times suddenly jumps out at you, and you think, “I’ve never seen that before!” Or suddenly you see a new way to apply it, and at the end of the day, you find out it was exactly what you needed for that day. That’s a rhema. God’s Spirit took  a general word to everybody and applied it to you in a personal and practical way.

Do you want to know the will of God or what to do in a particular situation? There are two steps to take as you seek a Word from God:

  1. Confess any known sin in your life.

You say, “God, I don’t want anything to block our relationship. Forgive me for my sin (Be specific). Is there any bad attitude I’ve got? Is there anything I’m doing that you want me to stop doing? Is there something you’ve been telling me to start doing that I haven’t?” Confess it, and make sure the channel is open to God. The Bible says in 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins’ (NIV)

2. Commit the decision to Christ.

In Proverbs 3:5-6, as we read that scripture to trust in God and how God will direct our paths, we need to really trust Him. In other words, don’t try to figure it out by yourself! Look to God for your understanding of what is going on, or what He wants you to do. Stop and put yourself in neutral gear- that may take some time-and say, “God, about this problem or decision I’m facing-whatever you want is what I want”. That attitude is the attitude that Jesus had before He went to the cross, as He was in the Garden of Gethsemane and said, “Not my will be done, but thy will be done”. Confess your sin, commit your decision to Jesus, and then keep praying until you can follow Christ’s attitude about the situation.

And you can trust that God will make your paths straight!!!

#ConsultGodFirst #TheFAITHWALK #ThePowerofGod #TheSpiritualBattle #DELIVERANCEisMyTestimony #DiscoverYourPurpose

http://www.lucretiacargill.com

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You’re Responsible For What You Allow In Your Mind

“The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.” Proverbs 15:14

Our minds control everything else about us. Our thoughts influence our feelings. Our feelings impact our actions.

What you think matters, because everything starts in the mind. To be a responsible person, you have to control your thoughts. But let me relieve you of a little false guilt: You’re not responsible for every stray thought that passes through your mind. Sometimes we  have no control of our thoughts. Stray thoughts enter our minds for a variety of reasons-conversations you hear by accident, things you see, stuff the devil puts in your mind, etc.

We are responsible for how we deal with those stray thoughts. I’ve heard someone once say, “You can’t keep the birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest, in your hair”. God will hold us accountable for what we allow to enter our minds. No matter how much the enemy try to hold us captive to the thoughts in our minds, we must reflect on 2 Corinthians 10:5; “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”.

So, therefore that means we should be rebuking every negative and evil thought the devil try to instill in our minds. Many true followers of Jesus spend their time watching trashy TV and listening to trashy music. We have to be careful on what we listen to and what we watch because our minds can easily reflect on negative things we see or hear. Some even pay good money to go see deviant behavior as entertainment. People watching those shows have told me, “When I go see those kinds of things, it just doesn’t phase me. It doesn’t bother me. It doesn’t affect me”.

But that’s just not true!

I’ve come to realization that you never really forget any scene you see. Even if you don’t consciously recall the scene, that ideas will come right back to your mind-in living color- when something else stimulates the thought.

In other words,”Garbage in, garbage out”. What you put into your mind will inevitably bear fruit in your behavior and beliefs. In fact, when trashy entertainment doesn’t bother you anymore, it’s a warning light that you have already passed the threshold. One of Satan’s greatest tricks for attracting us to sinful lifestyles is comedy. That’s why on television or in movies, deviant behavior always start in a comedic situation.  If Satan can get us laughing at something that is sinful, then we’ve already lost the battle!

Sin isn’t funny. Sin put Jesus on the cross.

What are you filling your brain with?

#ConsultGodFirst #TheFAITHWALK #ThePowerofGod #TheSpiritualBattle #DELIVERANCEisMyTestimony

http://www.lucretiacargill.com

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“Are You Praying With The Right Motive”

When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures”-(James 4:3 NIV).

If you expect God to bless your life, you must be willing to bless other people’s lives with the same benefits God has given to you. One of the conditions for answered prayer is a willingness to help those less fortunate with the blessings that we are given. Proverbs 21:13 says, “Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered” (NIV).

God says if we ignore those who are in obvious difficulty around us, what right do we have to expect him to bail us out? God wants us to be like Him, and God is love. One of the ways we prove we have love is that we’re willing to be generous toward other people. For instance, we might ask God for good health, but what are we going to do with that healthy body after we’ve got it? Are we praying just to help ourselves, or are we praying so we can help other people, too?

When we ask God to bless our businesses, careers, or ministries, are we willing to give back a portion of what God has blessed us with? Motive is important in prayer. Why you pray is more important than what you pray for the right thing with the wrong motive? Sure. I’m not saying you should never pray for your own personal needs. Jesus says to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread”. In Mark 11, He says you can even pray for your desires. But you have to check your motive. Are you willing to share your blessing with other people, or are you going to hoard it all to yourself? God is not interested in simply satisfying our selfishness.

The conditions of prayer are an honest relationship with God, a forgiving attitude toward other people, and a willingness to share God’s blessings with other people. God loves us and so He’s teaching how to pray in an effective way.

Let’s Talk It Over

How has God blessed you? How can you share those blessings with others?

During your next quiet time, think about your motive while you pray.

Are you willing to share with others what you’re asking God for?

#ConsultGodFirst #TheFAITHWALK #ThePowerofGod #TheSpiritualBattle #DELIVERANCEisMyTestimony

http://www.lucretiacargill.com

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Don’t Despise Your Small Beginnings

Has God given you a vision to fulfill a particular assignment? If so, what’s your attitude and response been towards this? The reality is that some of us appear to embrace a number of incorrect attitudes which translate into the actions we take (or don’t take). To start with, some of us may buck at less glamorous tasks that influence how we approach it. If it’s not one that puts us on a ‘platform’ or brings recognition or power for instance, we tend to want to resist such.

But our challenge does not end there. Some believe that if our assignment is not all singing and dancing with whistles and bells especially from day one, then something is amiss. Huge, extravagant, and glamorous seems to be the order of the day. We get frustrated when we don’t move from 0 – 60mph in less than six seconds, like fast sports car. We pick up false notions that God can’t possibly be in anything less than our own humanistic expectations. But God does not always operate in the way we think. In fact, if we were to take a peek into the lives of some people who answered the call of God on their lives, some of them had nothing spectacular or fast-paced happen early on. These include Joseph, Moses, David, and Elisha though they went on to achieve great feats later on. And there was Jeremiah, who in his years of ministry did not see a positive outcome at all though he continued to deliver Gods messages.

Hence, as a result of our own attitudes coupled with a barrage of other factors including influences from our present day, some of us either don’t get beyond the starting line or abandon the race shortly after. Let’s take for example a man or woman who feel led by God to start a ministry of some sort. It is not uncommon to find a barrage of assumptions and expectations to show up such as expecting an easy ride or great feats to happen from day one (though this is not impossible with God). This is compounded by popular measures of success which tends to be limited to the likes of church/ministry size, income generated, popularity, CD sales, etc. They look over the fence and see others who seem to be making progress – according to their own definitions – and want to be like them overnight. When they measure their own progress against their own preconceptions and seem to fall short of it, there is a tendency they become disheartened and may pull back from what seems like small beginnings. Their expectation is to experience what they define as ‘progress’ from the onset.

Whilst our aspirations to do great things for God are admirable (though one needs to keep a check on ones motives), God has His own measures of success which include our obedience and commitment to the call, regardless of what we face. And so, this should be the yardstick we use to measure our success. Deviate from this and you are likely to take the wrong turn. So, our real mandate is to “Obey God and leave the consequences (i.e. outcome) to Him” . We must be faithful with the little God places in our hands. Moreover, it’s about sowing and watering our seeds in the form of our daily actions and stepping back to allow God to what He does best – bring about growth and elevation (which could come in various forms). For when we persevere with Him, He make everything beautiful in its time (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

So to help you along, ponder on the following principles:

Just Get On With Your Assignment

God loves it when we put our hands to the plough and get on with things. Our obedience pleases Him. Zachariah 4:10 states that God “rejoices to see the work begin” in reference to Zerubbabel and the returning exiles rebuilding the temple. They demonstrated their commitment to the call by taking consistent action till the job was done. So get on with your assignment. You will be amazed what God will do with the little in your hands

Fix Your Attitude

Have you been complaining at the lack of progress concerning your assignment? Your sentiments may have been, “But my work seems so useless! I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose…” (Isaiah 49:4, NLT). However, be assured that nothing we do for God goes unnoticed and unrewarded. Whilst you may not see the fruits of your labours (even in your life time), your obedience and diligence is accomplishing Gods plans and purposes. So change your attitude and see yourself as a vessel of honour being used by God.

Don’t Try To Outrun God

At times, we feel Gods pace is too slow and so we try to hurry things along. This could be as a result of us feeling under pressure to ‘perform’ or looking over the fence where the grass seems to be greener. We get anxious about our progress by wanting to make things happen. But one thing you can be sure of is God is never in a hurry. Psalm 37:7 encourages us to “Be still” whilst waiting for Him to act on our behalf. Moreover, your assignment is an opportunity for God to work on you as you take each step. And this takes time. So resist the urge to want to speed things along, recognizing that Father has a plan. Instead, tune in to get direction (Isaiah 30:20-21, 42:16).

And so in closing, don’t get hung up on your success or even failures of yesterday. As long as you remain obedient and committed to the task, God will bless the work of your hands (Job 36:11). Don’t look down on where you are today because it’s the platform God will use to elevate you tomorrow. So get on with your assignment!

#ConsultGodFirst #The FAITHWALK #ThePowerofGod #TheSpiritualBattle #DELIVERANCEisMyTestimony

http://www.lucretiacargill.com

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“Do Good To Those That Oppose You”

When you are persecuted, harassed, and faced with opposition, you need to respond with a blessing. Jesus says in Luke 6:27-29, “Love your enemies! Do good to those that hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also”.

Who does that? Not many people, actually. It’s what sets Christians apart, because it’s not a natural or popular or easy response. It takes a lot of courage to do those things! Anyone can fight back and retaliate and can say something mean back, even a parrot can be taught to curse.

God wants us to love our enemies, do good to those who hate us, and bless those that curse us, pray for those that hurt us, and turn the other cheek. Is that easy? No. We can only do it by being filled with God’s love. And, it is the most powerful form of witness.

For example, in the movie The Butler, they show Freedom Riders, who fought racism in the South during the Civil Rights Movement, train people how to not retaliate when they’re hit, spit on, cursed, pushed, or when people throw food at them. It’s a very powerful scene of taking a nonviolent stance.  As I watched that scene, tears started coming down my face. I thought, “I want to be that kind of person for Jesus. I want to be that brave. I want to have a heart of courage that won’t cave in to what’s wrong, no matter what they throw at me. And I want to respond with love”.

When you refuse to retaliate and instead respond in love at work or with somebody who doesn’t like you, God will be pleased. And, you’re going to be blessed. “God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven”-( Matthew 5:10-12).

Jesus paid a price for you and me. He says there’s a price to be paid for following Him. Popularity on Earth is not part of the guarantee of being a Christian, but your reward in Heaven is a guarantee.

Lets’ Talk It Over

What is your faith costing you?

How are you willing to suffer for Jesus Christ?

How does your answer affect the way you handle insults or disapproval?

Why is responding in love and not retaliation the most powerful form of witness for Christ?

#ConsultGodFirst #TheFAITHWALK #ThePowerofGod #TheSpiritualBattle #DELIVERANCEisMyTestimony #DiscoverYourPurpose

http://www.lucretiacargill.com

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“When all else fail, you can count on God”

When everything is changing around you, even the people you love the most, it’s important to remember that God is a consistent Father. Family may let you down, friends may let you down, coworkers may let you down, etc. God will never let you down. He can be counted on. He is reliable. He is worthy of trust. When you are down and out, God is right there by your side.

I’ve learned that when you are trying to live for God, there will be persecutions, fake love, hate, jealousy and envy that comes your way. Pray about your situations and give it to God. But just know that Jesus was hated and persecuted first. He had no record wrongs! No matter how positive you try to be, people will still bring negativity your way. When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will stand up against it. God is omnipotent , omnipresence, and omniscience, He sees, hears, and knows all things. God knows of those who speak against you, and He will make your enemies your footstool! Stay positive! Stay Focused! Stay encouraged!

Meditate on  these scriptures:

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ- 2 Corinthians 10:5
And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.
-Matthew 10:36
In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 2 Timothy 3:12-13
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21
For it was not David who ascended into the heavens, but he himself says:
The Lord declared to my Lord,
‘Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool
acts 2:34-35

James 1:17 says, ‘Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows”. God is unchanging, consistent Father.

For example, earthly Fathers are often predictable. “Growing up, I never knew how my dad was going to treat me. I never knew if he was going to be silent or violent. I never knew whether he was going to hug me or slug me. I never knew if he was going to take me in or reject me”. Inconsistent fathers produce insecure children.

But God is not moody. Your Heavenly Father is consistent. One of the things you can count on is that God always acts the same toward you. The Bible says in 2 Timothy 2:13, “If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself”.

We know that the world is changing faster than ever before. When everything else is up in the air, you need something in your life that never changes as an anchor for your soul. You need an island of stability in order to handle the stress. There’s only one problem: On this planet, nothing lasts. There’s only one thing you can count on that is not ever going to change: the consistent, caring love of your Heavenly Father.

“My God is changeless in his love for me”- Psalm 59:10

You can count on that!!

#ConsultGodFirst #TheFAITHWALK #ThePowerofGod #TheSpiritualBattle #DELIVERANCEisMyTestimony #DiscoverYourPurpose

http://www.lucretiacargill.com

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