The Kimberly Joy Blog

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Category: Praise & Thanksgiving

Resting in God

(The Kimberly Joy Show: God Says, “Rest in Me”)

ARE YOU RESTING IN GOD?
“Rest in Me,” are the words I hear God speak, especially during the moments when my mind is racing and I’m feeling anxious.

Although Philippians 4:6 tells us not to “worry about anything…”, I still sometimes find myself worrying, not about everything, but about the things my human mind can’t figure out. If I can’t see how or when a situation is going to be resolved, I become uneasy. The uneasiness is a result of knowing that I’m not in complete control. However, I have to remember that to have faith in GOD is to allow GOD to be in complete control!

I’ll be the first to acknowledge that resting in God is not always easy. In fact, it can be downright difficult! I believe that many of us, if not all of us, like to feel in control. We want to be in complete control of our jobs, money, love lives, children, the people surrounding us, etc. Nevertheless, it doesn’t work that way. If I try to control every circumstance and person in my life, then I’m taking on more than God has designed for me to handle. In essence, I’m trying to do God’s job! Have you ever heard the phrase “He’ll never put more on you than you can bear?” This statement is derived from I Corinthians 10:13 (New Living Translation) which says:

“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.”

WHAT IS A TEMPTATION?
The word temptation is typically defined as “a strong urge or desire to do something, especially something wrong or unwise.” However, according to the Bible, a temptation is also “a trial or test”.

For instance, in Genesis 22, God tempted or tested Abraham when He instructed Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. God wasn’t trying to persuade Abraham to do something wrong. Rather, God put Abraham through this particular test to prove Abraham’s faith. Then later in Genesis 22:13, God provided a ram as the real sacrifice.

James 1:2-3 (NLT) say:

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.”

Verse 12 of the same chapter also says:

“God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.”

So again, although God takes us through tests from time to time, the tests are never designed to overwhelm or destroy us. Instead, they are designed to make us better, stronger and wiser!

WHAT DOES RESTING IN GOD LOOK LIKE?
During any test, as Proverbs 3:5 states, we are to depend TOTALLY on God. Therefore, if I find myself becoming overwhelmed and stressed out, it is simply because I haven’t placed it all in God’s hands. I can’t blame anyone but me!

To rest is “to be free from anxiety or disturbance” or “to remain confident”. Therefore, when we rest in God, our minds are at peace because we know that God has our situations under control. As I mentioned before, resting in God is not always easy. I’ll admit that I am STILL learning how to consistently rest in Him. Nevertheless, it can be done, if we put it into practice.

One way in which you can rest in God is through worship. Yes, WORSHIP! You can find rest in God as you worship Him. So, find time to worship God. Yes, even during the hustle and bustle of the day, find a place to be alone where you can worship God.

If you have to go to the bathroom or to your car, find a place to be alone. Believe it or not, I have had some awesome worship experiences in my bathroom and in my car. As a teacher, I would close and lock my classroom door in order to get a few moments alone with God. And trust me when I say that it doesn’t take long for God to meet you right where you are! He knows how much time you may have at that particular moment and He appreciates you sacrificing that time for Him.

HOW CAN WORSHIP BRING YOU INTO A PLACE OF REST?
When my mind is bombarded with so many thoughts and I find myself becoming emotional, worship CALMS me. As I sing or listen to one of my favorite worship songs and just meditate on the goodness of God, I am reminded that He is my everything. In that moment, He becomes priority, while everything and everyone else take a backseat. Then His love, peace and joy fill my heart. I am then no longer bothered by my present circumstance because in the midst of worship, God reassures me that He has my back! In that moment, God may even reveal some things to me and give me the answers I’ve been seeking in prayer.

These worship experiences bring to mind one of my favorite stories in the Bible involving the apostle Paul. In this particular story, Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown in jail simply for preaching about Jesus. Being beaten, chained and locked up would be terrifying for anyone. I honestly can’t imagine how I would respond in such a situation. However, these two men of God, in the midst of suffering, in the midst of pain from the beatings, decided to glorify God!

Acts 16:25-34 (NLT):

“25 Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. 26 Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! 27 The jailer woke up to see the prison doors wide open. He assumed the prisoners had escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself. 28 But Paul shouted to him, ‘Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We are all here!’

29 The jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them out and asked, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’

31 They replied, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.’ 32 And they shared the word of the Lord with him and with all who lived in his household. 33 Even at that hour of the night, the jailer cared for them and washed their wounds. Then he and everyone in his household were immediately baptized. 34 He brought them into his house and set a meal before them, and he and his entire household rejoiced because they all believed in God.

35 The next morning the city officials sent the police to tell the jailer, ‘Let those men go!’ 36 So the jailer told Paul, ‘The city officials have said you and Silas are free to leave. Go in peace.’”

Wow! Their worship set them FREE!

Just like Paul and Silas were set free from physical chains, worshipping God can set you free from the thoughts that try to chain your mind. So, please be encouraged to LET GO…..WORSHIP…..and LET GOD!!!!!

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Attitude of Gratitude


Thanksgiving is the time of year in which we are reminded to be thankful or to have—–an Attitude of Gratitude. fb_img_1479491270885-1 Needless to say, as a child of God, I must possess this attitude beyond the holiday season. In fact, it is my daily goal. Although I sometimes fall short, through prayer, praise and reading God’s Word, I find myself becoming more grateful.

It took me years to finally understand that having an Attitude of Gratitude is a choice. I was (and still am) a radical praiser, the one who could be heard all over the sanctuary with my loud voice. I found it easy to forget about my problems and just focus on the Lord whenever I was in the presence of other believers. Besides, I’ve always loved church! img_20161108_113940 Even as a teenager, I enjoyed the music, the singing, the high praise, and powerful preaching. I especially loved witnessing someone accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, get healed, or even delivered. I would cry as if it were me standing at the altar. However, I didn’t always maintain that same attitude of praise once the service ended. Why? I didn’t have what I like to now call an Attitude of Gratitude. I wasn’t continually grateful; instead of appreciating all the blessings I had, I focused on what I didn’t have.

I can recall a time in the 8th grade when one of my classmates asked me a question which left me stunned! We had just returned to the locker room from gym class and were preparing to go on to the next bell, when she asked, “Kim, why are you so mean?” I didn’t know how to answer that question because I didn’t consider myself mean. Looking back on it, I now know that she mistook my lack of gratitude for meanness. For instance, I only smiled if someone gave me a reason to smile. Since I didn’t like everything about myself, I wasted time comparing myself to other people. Because I focused on what I thought were good qualities in others, I failed to see the good qualities I already possessed, those qualities God had place inside of me. SO, I didn’t smile. Now, please understand that I am in no way saying that I was never happy or had a horrible childhood. Not at all! God blessed me with two awesome parents!!! Although they later divorced, they continued to take excellent care of my brother and me. I just didn’t understand, at the time, that I could smile and be happy just because…just because I’m alive…just because God is GOD!!!!

I carried this mindset into adulthood because I still didn’t get it! I was a young woman with two college degrees, a career, a home, a car, and, most importantly, a relationship with God. fb_img_1479488892942 Nevertheless, I would allow myself to have moments of depression because of the one thing I felt like was missing from my life……………A HUSBAND! I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit it now, but it’s the truth! Although I had so many other great blessings, I believed that I couldn’t truly be happy until I had a man in my life. In fact, there were times I REFUSED to be happy! I thought that if I cried long enough and hard enough, that God would grant me my wish (as if God were a “genie in a bottle”). I was foolishly waiting for a man to make me happy when I could just choose to be happy by having an Attitude of Gratitude. My situation reminds me of Adam and Eve in the third chapter of Genesis. They had all those delightful trees at their disposal, but they just HAD to eat from the tree God told them to leave alone. They became so fixated on that ONE tree, that they failed to appreciate the ABUNDANCE God had already given them! forest-63275_640

Fast forwarding to today, currently I don’t make the amount of money I was making before and, that’s okay! It’ll come around again! I understand that God had to take me on a journey, in order to make me into the woman I am now. In other words, God had to humble me! Even though I don’t have as many materialistic things as I once did, I am happier than I’ve ever been! Why? In time I came to learn that, as a child of God, I must have an Attitude of Gratitude. Just praising the Lord in church is not enough; my attitude must always be right. The apostle Paul says in Philippians 4:12, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” As the scripture explains, God expects us to be grateful in every situation. Now that I choose to maintain an Attitude of Gratitude, I find myself smiling A LOT. I laugh as often as possible, even when no one is watching. fb_img_1479491065226 As Nehemiah 8:10 says, the joy of the Lord is my strength! Moreover, my relationship with God is stronger than ever, which is more important to me than anything or anyone in this world. No one can love me and take care of me like God can!

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Praise Me!

          While spending time with God in prayer, I have been hearing Him say, “Praise Me!” Since my days at a church I used to attend in Middletown, Ohio, I have been a radical praiser.  Inspired by other church members, I would shout at the top of my lungs, cry, dance, leap and run around the sanctuary, all to show God my appreciation.
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          Once my parents opened their own church almost ten years later, I decided to take my praise up a notch. I had just attended Impact Conference ’96 in Atlanta with other students from Miami University. A Christian event specifically for college students, it was an experience I would soon never forget. I had been in church all my life, but I had never witnessed young adults praise God the way they were at that conference. There was so much excitement and energy in those services, it was contagious! Young men and women were clapping their hands, singing aloud, leaping and even standing on the hotel conference room chairs. It was CRAZY—but in a good way! These young people, who filled the Ballroom at Atlanta Hilton to capacity, were not ashamed to express their love and appreciation for Jesus.
          My experience at the conference made me realize that if we can be overly excited about a football or basketball game, or party “like it’s 1999” at the club, then we can certainly put forth the same effort, if not more, for our Lord and Savior! So, when I returned from Atlanta, I was a different person. Just like the ones joyfully singing, clapping, leaping and standing on chairs at Impact ’96, I too wanted to praise God with all my might, showing Him my gratitude.
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           As I spend time alone with God, I hear His voice say, “Praise Me!” There are some things I have been asking God to do in my life, and His response now is “Praise Me!” I appreciate the open dialogue I have with my Father for He tells me what I need to hear, even if it’s not always what I want to hear. I believe that God is about to bless me in a great way, but in the MEANTIME I must praise Him! Why must I praise Him?
          1. God expects my praise.  I Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”  It is God’s will that I praise Him.  After all, that’s why He created me.  Just like the sun, moon, stars, trees, flowers, birds, and fish (Psalms 148), God wants me to give Him glory!
          2. Praising God revives me spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. Psalms 147:1 says, “Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.” Also Nehemiah 8:10b says, “….the joy of the Lord is your strength.” No matter how I may feel, when I choose to praise God and just spend time with Him, I find myself feeling better.  My praise invites His presence into my atmosphere.
          3. Most importantly, GOD DESERVES MY PRAISE!  I agree with the psalmist in Psalms 115:1. “Not to us, Lord, not to us, but to Your name be the glory, because of Your love and faithfulness.” Yes, I may not have everything I want, or even need, but God is still God, and He is worthy of my appreciation! He loves me harder than anyone else can.  He is faithful to me, even during those moments when I’m not being as faithful to Him as I should.
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           I’m afraid that with the hustle and bustle of life, sometimes as humans we forget to be grateful. So I encourage you, as I encourage myself, to ALWAYS let God know just how much you appreciate and love Him. The late Gospel singer and songwriter Walter Hawkins was so on point when he used to sing with his choir, “Be grateful because there’s someone else who’s worse off than you.  Be grateful because there’s someone else who’d love to be in your shoes.”

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