Moving Past Doubts

A little while ago, I was upset with someone. They didn’t treat me the way I wanted to be treated, and I felt hurt. When I was alone in my bedroom feeling sorry for myself, I had a thought to read my journal. I found the document on my MacBook and started reading. My journal is short – only a handful of pages. However, in those few pages I had written thoughts about the same people in my life. The funny part? My anxious thoughts about them a few months ago were the same ones I was experiencing now. I started laughing because I knew what happened after I wrote in the journal. Without saying anything, they had made it all right again. It was all just a misunderstanding on my part.

1 Corinthians 13:7 says ‘Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.‘ This verse affirms the need to never give up and endure through every circumstance. In my mind, I had the right to be upset, but if I had followed the Bible, I would have assumed the best instead and saved myself the pain.

Have you had doubts about someone? Have you been let down by someone you love? Write down your thoughts and feelings in a few sentences every-so-often (once per week is ideal). When you worry later, you may find that reading your past thoughts and feelings show you how to proceed.

I want to give another example. I get very annoyed when I arrange a time to catch up with someone and they cancel last-minute or say they can’t make it without giving me a time that works. I feel like I’m stabbing in the dark simply trying to see them. When this happened to me a few months ago, I was quite upset. A few days ago it happened again with the same person, and the identical feelings came to me. After reading my journal I realized this person was not upset with me or avoiding seeing me. This friend was busy, nothing more.

Big problems become small ones when brought into perspective. I recommend journalling if you sometimes have doubts. It is simple to do and very effective at clearing your mind.

Increase Your Love for Other People

Lately, I have been thinking about the presence of God and His love. When I set aside time alone with God and start praying, I almost always feel peace and a feeling of being at rest. The longer I pray, the greater the feelings get. After an hour or so, I start to feel peace and contentment so strongly that I usually can’t hold back tears. I am not one to cry, but I often do when I pray. I believe that prayer brings me closer to God. The closer I am to God, the more love I have for other people.

I have often heard it said that ‘To love others, you need to learn to love yourself first!’ This statement sounds right, but in my experience, it does the exact opposite. The more I think about myself, the more I feel insecure, afraid and impatient with other people. I believe that God teaches a way of life that goes against the culture you and I live in today. I strongly believe that to love others, you must love God first. How do you love God? Submit to Him in prayer, and He will give you so much love for others that you CANNOT HELP but share it!

Matthew 22:34-40 says ‘But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again. One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

So, based on this verse, by loving God first and loving your neighbour second, you should love yourself… last? I believe so. Okay, then where did this idea of self-love come from? I believe it comes from selfishness, not God.

God showed us how to love. Jesus stripped Himself of all power to come to earth in the form of a man, then proceeded to serve others for the duration of His time on earth. In his early Thirties, He died on a cross for sins He did not commit. Are you keen on being sentenced to death for a crime you did not commit… at the age of 32?! I know I’m not. At no point did Jesus teach His disciples to ‘love themselves so they could love others’. He taught them to pray. He even gave them a whole prayer to pray, word for word.

If you want to love others the way Jesus taught, learn to pray. If you already pray, add some more time to your praying each day. God LOVES to hear you and me pray and will come closer to us to listen. I love that about Him.

Have you experienced powerful prayer? Let me know in the comments below. I would love to hear your story! 🙂

Love That Never Fails

I was struggling with depression. I found every day hard to manage. I believed in God but didn’t know Him. One night I was alone in my bed. I started praying to God. “God, if you’re real, help me.” All of a sudden, I felt love so powerful I can’t describe it. Every little thing faded away into nothing. All I felt was love!

Are you struggling with depression? Are you finding each day hard to manage? Pray to God and ask Him to give you more love. He is very caring and would love to hear you ask Him!

James 4:8 says ‘Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.‘ Rather than being distracted by everything around me, I choose to draw near to God and meet Him where I am.

Not Quite According to Plan…

Last night I led the discussion for a bible study. To say it didn’t quite go to plan is an understatement. By my measures, it was a complete failure! There was no flow, no depth, no participation. After the night was over and everyone left, I talked with the other leader and discussed what went wrong. What we discovered were many reasons that all added up. In the end, though, we decided not to let it get to us. The experience especially shook me, but I had to get over it! Life is not perfect, but God and His love for me is! My worth is not found in how well I lead, but God’s love for me!

Jeremiah 29:11 says ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.‘ God has plans for me, and He does not restrict them because of one failure.

Luke 12:6-7 says ‘Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.‘ God sees exceptional value in me, but not only me; His love is for everyone!

I am encouraged that God loves me just the same, and no matter what other people think, that will never change. God’s love is not just for me, though; it is for everyone!