“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord, be of good courage and He shall strengthen your heart; wait I say on the Lord.” Psalm 27:13-14
“That’s not fair!” shouted a small child at his frazzled mother trying to load her groceries onto the conveyer belt at the local grocery store. The mother in return gave her son what I call, “the look” and quickly replied, “Honey, sometimes life just isn’t fair.” And although this statement can be true, I began thinking about the fact that God’s favor also isn’t fair and how this is good news for you and me!
In the world, people receive undeserved favor because of who they know or what family they come from. And if you know the right people, or have the right family name, it doesn’t take near as much effort to become a success. But did you know that you are connected to the King of Kings and you come from a Royal line? When you made Jesus the Lord of your life, you entered into His unmerited favor. And it is because you are a child of God that I can say with confidence, God will do for you exceedingly, abundantly, above all you could ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). It is my personal prayer that you will leave this post knowing who you are and to whom you belong.
Just look at the recent winner of American Idol. Kris Allen, a worship leader and follower of Jesus Christ took the title because he is highly favored of God. The world thought that Adam Lambert had the title in the bag, but they forgot to factor in the favor of God. What you may not know is that behind the scenes, Kris Allen was always helping the other contestants. He was stated by the judges to be one of the most humble contestants American Idol has even had on the show. Friends, I believe that Kris’ character pleased God, which in return released the supernatural favor of God on his life.
God’s favor is unfair, undeserved and unmerited and when our lives line up with Biblical principles the world will see us lifted up and it will declare, “that’s not fair!” To which we will respond, “You’re right, it’s not fair – it’s the favor of God!”
No matter how things may appear in the natural, I want to encourage you today that you have the supernatural favor of God. The world may tell you that you won’t amount to much, but God says that He has plans to prosper you! It doesn’t matter who you are or whom you are connected to on earth, you have the favor of God on your side and all things are possible with Him!
“Lord, when I gave you my life I entered into your supernatural favor. Thank you for loving me and covering my life with the unmerited, undeserved favor of God. I will no longer strive and look to man for approval. I declare that Your favor is enough! When the world tells me I can’t, You tell me I can. May my life bring you much glory. Amen.”
“God-devotion makes a country strong; God-avoidance leaves people weak.” Proverbs 14:29, The Message
“…A time to keep silence, and a time to speak.” Ecclesiastes 3:7b
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” John 15:18-19
Most of you know my story, but what many of you do not know is that for years I hid my testimony out of shame. I feared what people would think of me if they knew that I once was an abused, depressed, suicidal, gothic teenager. After all, look at me now – I am a blonde-haired, optimistic woman, who loves Jesus and likes to wear all the colors of the rainbow. I only wear the color black now because it makes me look thinner. LOL! Can I get an Amen for the slimming color of black ladies?
I have a great respect for all individuals who SPEAK UP for what they believe in, even when I beg to differ. The problem as I see it, is that it is “culturally okay” for someone to share about their liberal views, but when it comes to sharing conservative views, you are met with severe criticism. The media seems to favor liberals who SPEAK UP, but they expect Christians to remain silent or as they call it “tolerant”.
As Christians we are commanded by God to love everyone, however we can love someone without changing our beliefs to do this. We don’t have to compromise our beliefs in order to love someone else for who they are. If the world’s definition of “tolerance” means agreeing with their lifestyle or their beliefs then I will never be “tolerant” as long as their beliefs and lifestyles contradict the Bible.
Ecclesiastes 3 tells us that there is a time for everything…there is a time to keep silence, but there is a time to SPEAK UP.” Carrie Prejean, Miss California had a choice to make in the recent Miss America Pageant. And I am so proud of Carrie because she decided within a moments notice to SPEAK UP and tell the world her personal view on the institution of marriage. Carrie agrees with our Founding Fathers and the belief of our Country for over 200 years that marriage is between a man and a woman. To hear Carrie’s answer: click Here.
The truth is whether you agree with her or not, we should all celebrate that Carrie Prejean made the choice to SPEAK UP. Her view being a conservative one has been met with much criticism (hence reiterating my point that it is culturally okay for someone to share their liberal views, but when it comes to sharing conservative views, you are met with severe disparagement). To hear Carrie’s recent interview with Sean Hannity: Click here.
My point in sharing Carrie’s story with you today is that it is time for all of us to SPEAK UP and tell the world what we believe. So many times when asked a difficult question, we change the subject or give a pat answer. I believe strongly that it is time for God’s people to SPEAK UP. Will you join me and make the decision to SPEAK UP for God? And will you accept that when you SPEAK UP and declare that you believe in Jesus Christ that the world may hate you (John 15:18-19)? It is my prayer that we will long for God’s approval more than man’s approval.
I realize this is not your typical “Tuesdays With Tracy,” however I pray that you leave this post today encouraged to SPEAK UP! This choice will come with persecution from the world, but let us remember that our life on earth is temporal and our heavenly home is eternal.
“Lord, I declare that I will SPEAK UP and declare my belief in God whenever given the chance. I will not compromise my beliefs in order to obtain the approval of man. I declare that a God-devoted country is strong and that a God-avoided country leaves people weak. Speak to the heart of our leaders, help them to SPEAK UP and not compromise their belief in God, for this alone will keep our Country strong. Amen.”
“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.” Philippians 4:8, The Message
Have you ever had one of those days when all you seem to hear is bad news? Maybe it was a telephone call, an email or your local news that brought these dreadful reports to your attention and before you knew it, you were sinking into a state of hopelessness! And although it would not be wise to totally ignore such issues, Paul clearly states in the verse above that it is in our best interest not to meditate on the worst, but on the best of things.
Every day it is important for us to find at least one positive report to meditate on. It may be the testimony of a friend who got a breakthrough, a family member who received a raise or you may have gotten a good report from your doctor, but even if you can’t seem to think of anything praiseworthy on earth, you can always ponder God’s Word. I have found that just one Word from God can change your life!
In honor of thinking upon what is true, noble, reputable, compelling and gracious, I am going to share with you a few scriptures to meditate on when you are longing to think upon the best and not the worst:
My God can take me higher than my circumstances:
“Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to you, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the Rock that is higher than I. For you have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. Selah.” Psalm 61:1-4
If God is for me, who can be against me:
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore I will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with swelling. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God. The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall keep her, just at the break of dawn.” Psalm 46:1-5
When I speak the Word of God out loud, it will move mountains on my behalf:
“For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
Let’s make a choice to think upon good things this day. Even when we are dealing with difficult circumstances we can have joy within our heart as we meditate on things worthy to be praised.
“Lord, I lift up every negative report to You today. I ask that while I think upon the good things, that You would move on my behalf. I declare that You are above every circumstance in my life and I will not fear. You tell us in Psalm 46, that we do not need to fear because You are our refuge and strength and our very present help in trouble. I love You and I choose today to think upon what is true, noble and praise-worthy. Amen.”
“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so.” Proverbs 3:27
I found this in the archives and I thought it was fitting to share it with you once again as we prepare to celebrate the gift of Motherhood this Sunday!
In honor of Mother’s Day, I have asked “My Moms” to share some words of wisdom with us. Their messages are timeless and great reminders to us all. Whether you are single, married, divorced, with or without children – these pearls shared below are priceless! So sit back and enjoy hearing from these Godly women.
A Message from my Mom, Penny Kenton:
As funny as it may sound, my daughter, son and I all have fond memories of a vacation-on-a shoestring we shared when they were young. I was a single mother at the time and did not have extra money for a vacation, but as my mother had taught me, you can have fun on a shoestring budget!
Instead of eating meals out, we went to the grocery store and bought food. For breakfast we would eat cereal out of little boxes. For lunch we ate peanut butter, bananas and honey on pitas. As we munched our lunch on the beach, a sandstorm came along and our gourmet delights now included a crunch of sand with
every bite. In the evening as we watched movies on TV and ate snacks in our motel room, we laughed and talked and just shared time being together.
It’s hard to believe but that was 16 years ago. Even though in subsequent years the three of us shared more extravagant vacations, I think we all agree, the shoestring trip holds precious memories.
My message to mothers is this – don’t be afraid to be creative and adventurous. It’s not about how much you spend or how luxurious things are when you do things with your child or children, it’s all about creating precious memories. You may be surprised how some of them can be created on a shoestring budget.
A Message from my Mother-in-Law, Linda Hurst:
When I was a young mother with three small children I asked the Lord, “What special things do I need to do in raising my children?” The answer came softly in my mind – “Just be.”
“Just be” – That seems so simple, I thought. Looking back I realize that to “just be” is not as simple as it sounded. The world we live in does not encourage one to “just be.” The world is constantly telling us we need to do this, we must have that and we should never be satisfied with the status quo – whatever that means. Many voices call us to get involved in various activities that take our time away from our families.Being involved in activities is important and beneficial, but should not be a priority over our family. As a mother, I feel that it is very important that we are there for our children and to always be in prayer for every aspect of their lives.
A Message from a Spiritual Mom, Ann Platz:
I am glad that I’m now sixty years old. So much of life is trial and error. Rearing two daughters alone for seven years taught me a lot. That I needed
the Lord in my life! I also learned that His love is stronger than anything else. That in time God will restore everything that you allow Him to.
My ambition as a child was to be a wife and mother. That was it! When my first marriage ended it was catastrophic for me. What I did not see at that
time was that God was unfolding a plan for me that would supercede my wildest imagination! What He did was bring my husband John into my life.
Along with John came a new stability in the home. I was able to come back to my early desire to be a mother and a wife. A miracle? Yes!
Celebrate being a mother! And to every single mother, I pray for hope, grace and love.
A Message from my Step-Mother, Rosemary Randell:
“TRAIN UP A CHILD IN THE WAY HE SHOULD GO; AND WHEN HE IS OLD, HE WILL NOT DEPART FROM IT” – PROVERBS 22:6
As I was watching my young adult child walk away from the Lord, this verse was going through my mind often. I felt guilt as only a mother can.
What could I have done differently? This was a child that had loved Jesus so much when she was a young, but now she was saying that she didn’t think God’s Word was true.
After a couple years of tearful prayers and continuous feelings of false guilt, the Lord gave me peace. One morning as I was making breakfast, not really thinking about anything in particular, the Lord said to me, “Rosie, you take care of others and I will take care of her.” I just sat down and cried a peaceful and grateful cry. I didn’t understand what the Lord completely meant, but I knew that He was in charge, not me, and that she would eventually be alright. One year later, as I looked over and watched her singing to the Lord on a Sunday morning, my heart was full of love for my Lord. Thank you Jesus!
Happy Mother’s Day and may the blessings of the Lord chase you and overtake you this day!