The Kimberly Joy Blog

Know Yourself…Be Yourself…Love Yourself – THE KIMBERLY JOY SHOW Fridays at 4:15PM & Saturdays at 6PM on Inspiration 1050 AM & 103.1 FM WGRI (Cincinnati)

Tag: Stress

A New Life

(The Kimberly Joy Show: God Says, “You Are FREE!!!” Part 4)

HOW CAN YOU HAVE A NEW LIFE IN GOD?
God wants you to KNOW who you are in Him. He wants you to BE true to the person He has created you to be, and He wants you to LOVE yourself wholeheartedly. And that CAN happen if you have an intimate relationship with Him. II Corinthians 5:17-18 (New Living Translation) say:

“17…..Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ…..”

When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they brought sin into the world which caused a rift between God and man. Fortunately, Jesus came to this earth as a man and sacrificed His life on the cross on our behalf. So, now when we receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, He reunites us with God the Father. As we grow in our relationship with God, He shows us who we really are in Him.

WHO ARE WE?

As believers in Christ, we are people who are now free! For one, we are now free from sin. Romans 6:23 (King James Version) says:

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

According to the verse, when we accept God’s gift, sin no longer has control over us. Therefore, once we leave this life, we won’t suffer eternally. Instead, we will reign with God forever. Ultimately, as believers, that is what we should look forward to. So, it’s very important we stay focused.

As children of God, we have also been set free from sickness and disease. When Jesus was crucified on the cross, He took on the sin of all humanity. As He took on our sin, He also took on everything attached to it, including sickness and disease. Isaiah prophesied about Jesus’s crucifixion. Isaiah 53:4 (New International Version) says:

“4 Surely He took up our pain and bore our suffering….”

This verse is not just referring to mental, emotional, and spiritual pain and suffering, but PHYSICAL! Verse 5 then says:

5 But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed.”

So, again, not only are we set free or healed spiritually, but we are healed physically.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DON’T BELIEVE?
We must believe we are free, healed, and made whole. When we don’t believe God’s Word, we suffer from fear, worry, and stress. Worrying and being afraid can really take a toll on a person’s mental and physical health. Fear can stifle you. You’re less willing to take risks and to move when God says move or speak when God says speak, because you’re more worried about the outcome. You may say to yourself:

“Ah no, I’m not going to do that!”

“Something will go wrong!”

“The people won’t like me!”

Any of those statements sound familiar? How about the last statement?

“THE PEOPLE WON’T LIKE ME!”

What have you been reluctant to do because you’ve been afraid of what others will think or say? Well, no need to fret any further! I have good news for you! God has also set you free from the opinions of others!

Sometimes we make choices, and some of us even live our lives based on what other people think, including family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and society, in general.

There’s nothing wrong with receiving advice or getting ideas from others. That’s why we need each other. However, it becomes a problem when you can never seem to think for yourself. It is definitely a problem when you’re not being true to the person God has created YOU to be. You’re too busy trying to look like someone else, act like someone else, or worse………BE someone else!

My personal motto is “KNOW YOURSELF. BE YOURSELF. LOVE YOURSELF.” Why do I make that declaration? Several years ago, God began speaking two words to me: “BE YOURSELF!” Initially, I didn’t understand why God was saying this to me because I thought I was being myself. However, as time went on, I got a clearer understanding. Although I was living my life, I wasn’t living it with full confidence and joy. In my mind, I was always comparing myself to someone else. I still didn’t think I was good enough. This negative thinking caused me to be very sensitive and get offended more easily. Therefore, God had to begin teaching me how to embrace the woman He has created me to be and to not worry if others approve or not.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TRUTH AND OPINION?
It doesn’t matter what others think or say about you. Honestly, there will be some people who just won’t like you no matter what you do or say. You can try moving Heaven and Earth to please them, but they still won’t be satisfied! We waste valuable time making decisions based on other people’s opinions. An opinion is not the truth, facts or the Word of God. The dictionary defines an opinion as “a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.” It is simply what someone THINKS.

(“In My Honest Opinion”)

You can receive sound advice from an individual, especially if he or she is an expert in a particular area or field. However, don’t allow his or her advice to replace the mind God has given you, and definitely don’t allow that person’s advice to replace the voice of God. For example, in I Samuel 16, God instructed Samuel to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as the next king. Needless to say, Samuel had his own idea or OPINION of how a king should look. Therefore, God had to correct Samuel’s thinking. In I Samuel 16:7 (NIV) God said to Samuel:

“Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Ultimately, when it’s all said and done, what matters is what GOD knows and says. God says you have been set free, you are His child and He loves you with an everlasting love!

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so I could be free! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

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Be Set FREE!!!

(The Kimberly Joy Show: God Says, “You Are FREE!!!” Part 3)

HOW CAN YOU BE SET FREE?
God wants you to KNOW who you are in Him. He wants you to BE true to the person He has created you to be, and He wants you to LOVE yourself wholeheartedly. However, before any of that can happen, you have to be set free from your sins and made new. I John 1:9 (King James Version) says:

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Once you are cleansed, II Corinthians 5:17 says you become a new person. Inwardly you are not the same. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, whether you were a liar, a cheater, an adulterer, a fornicator, a thief, or even a murderer! Once you confess your sins and receive Jesus into your heart, He forgives you, and God now sees you as His child.

Although you may have to suffer some consequences for your past sins, while doing so, you can still develop a strong relationship with the Lord and allow Him to get the glory out of your life. For example, if you committed murder before you got saved, you will still have to pay for that crime. After all, someone lost his or her life at your hands. Nevertheless, while serving your sentence, you can be a beacon of light to others, especially other prisoners. Consider the apostle Paul in the Bible. Before he surrendered to Jesus, he was responsible for the deaths of some who had professed the name of Jesus Christ. Despite all that, God was still willing to forgive, save, and use him. And God did just that. Paul was set free and, as a result, many souls were saved!

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT HEALING?
If you have already accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then you are free. You are now free from sin, and as I discussed in my previous article, “Child of God, You Are FREE!!!”, you are also free from sickness and disease. In fact, as a child of God, you don’t have to settle for being sick. You don’t have to view the doctor’s report or even how you feel in your body as the final outcome. Whose report will you believe? God’s report or man’s report? I hope your answer is God’s report!

Throughout the Bible, God lets us know that healing is ours.

Psalms 103:2-3 (KJV), “2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: 3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;”

Jeremiah 17:14 (KJV), “Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for Thou art my praise.”

I Peter 2:24 (New Living Translation), “He personally carried our sins in His body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By His wounds you are healed.”

That’s the Word of God! We only need to believe what GOD says!

I’m reminded of my uncle and his wife. Several years ago, they each were dealing with life-threatening illnesses. First, my aunt flat-lined three times. In other words, her heart stopped beating. Then later my uncle wound up in a coma on life support. Nonetheless, despite their conditions and what the doctors were saying, their daughters never gave up! They prayed and prayed and prayed some more! They even had a conference call line so friends and family from all over could come together and pray for their healing. I was even blessed to be a part of that prayer line. As a result of their constant prayers and never-ending faith, their parents are both alive and well today!!!


(Uncle James and Aunt Polly enjoying life!)

WHAT DO MEDICAL EXPERTS SAY ABOUT HEALING?
Medical experts say there is a correlation between positive thinking (faith) and healing. According to author Donald Cole of the Institute for Work and Health in Toronto, Canada, “Across a wide range of clinical conditions, from lower back pain to heart surgery, patients who felt they would do well in recovery did. Patients who were scared or pessimistic (who lacked faith) about their recovery did not recover as quickly as the optimists or as well,” (http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=117317&page=1). If people in the secular arena understand that a person must BELIEVE in order to be healed, then we as children of God should definitely have faith. We should serve as prime examples of what it means to have faith.

If we were to be honest, unfortunately, sometimes we as believers walk in fear, instead of in faith. Although we claim to believe God, we yet worry and stress. However, faith and fear can’t co-exist. I can’t say I have faith in God, but still live in terror. I can’t pray to God about a particular situation and then, after I say “AMEN!”, continue worrying about the very thing I had just prayed about. Prayer and worry can’t co-exist. I either believe God or I don’t! Personally speaking, I’ve discovered that the prayers which tend to get answered more quickly are the ones I don’t ponder over once I’ve prayed. I don’t think about those particular issues anymore. I give it to God and move on!

Did you know that fear, worry, and stress can make you ill? I wouldn’t be surprised if many of our illnesses are directly related to our thoughts, emotions and words. For instance, you may notice you have a sore throat. Instead of praying against that soreness and declaring your healing, you say, “Uh oh! I hear the flu is going around! I must have the flu!” Consequently, you wind up with the flu. Now, it could have gone the other way. However, you chose to believe the worst instead of the best.

As believers, God doesn’t want us entertaining such thoughts. He wants us to know we are saved, healed and delivered! So, I encourage you to change the way you think and speak, and move forward in God. Live your life knowing you are free in Christ Jesus!

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so I could be free! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

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To subscribe to The Kimberly Joy Blog and receive new articles by email, please leave your email address in the box marked SUBSCRIBE TO BLOG VIA EMAIL provided at the end of this article.

For daily inspiration, please follow The Kimberly Joy Show on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Experience Rest in God

(The Kimberly Joy Show: God Says, “Rest in Me and Enjoy Your Life”)

HOW DO WE EXPERIENCE REST IN GOD?
In order to rest in God, we have to have total faith in Him. When we choose to believe God above everything and everyone else, we experience rest. Philippians 4:7 says we experience a peace that is beyond human comprehension. It’s something that can’t be explained. For example, you may be going through something really difficult, yet you appear to be very calm. As a result, those around you, who don’t know about resting in God, think something is seriously wrong with you! Due to your current situation, they expect you to be upset, angry or depressed. Because you’re not, they assume you’re in denial about your situation. But, you’re not in denial! You’ve just chosen to put all your faith in God!

Personally speaking, I know resting in God is not always easy. Just because I have been saved and filled with the Holy Spirit doesn’t mean I will automatically handle every situation, good or bad, as God would expect. I have to work at it every day! Why? I’m still in this flesh. I’m not perfect. However, I do serve a perfect God, and I have to make a decision to pursue the perfect God every day!

God has provided us with His Word to show us what to do, how to behave, how to think and what to avoid. God doesn’t just TELL us to rest in Him, but He shows us how. Throughout the Bible are examples we can emulate. In my article “Resting in God,” I shared the story of Paul and Silas when they were in jail (Acts 16). While they were in jail, they worshipped God! They could have gotten mad or been depressed. Perhaps they were experiencing some of those emotions. However, instead of yielding to those negative emotions, they pursued God’s peace. They chose to still believe God. Consequently, they were set free from jail because of their faith. James 2:26 (King James Version) says:

“…..faith without works is dead…..”

Paul and Silas didn’t just claim to have faith in God, but they proved it by praying instead of complaining and by singing praises to God instead of worrying or crying. They did this all while locked in chains behind a prison wall.

Another individual from the Bible, who demonstrated how to rest in God, was King David. Anyone who is familiar with David’s story knows he made some serious mistakes during his life. Nevertheless, even when he fell down, he found rest in God through his repentance. In Psalms 51:10-12 (KJV), David prayed to God:

“10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

11 Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free Spirit.”

King David prayed this particular prayer after God sent the prophet Nathan to confront him about a sinful act he had tried to cover up
(II Samuel 12). Although God could have easily struck David down for his wickedness, He chose not to. Instead, He extended His love, mercy, and grace to David. Recognizing that God was giving him another chance, David repented—–he SINCERELY repented.

WHO IS CONDEMNING YOU?
Like David, you may have done something you’re not proud of or once lived a life you wish you could forget. Even though you have asked God to forgive you, you still feel guilty. Why do you feel guilty? Is God condemning you? NO!!! The eighth chapter of Romans lets us know that those of us who belong to Christ Jesus are no longer condemned. We have been set free!

So, if you still feel guilty, even after you have sincerely repented, perhaps it’s because those around you like to remind you of your past or because you haven’t forgiven yourself.

Either way, Satan is behind it! But, he’s a LIAR! God doesn’t want you holding onto that guilt. He wants you to let it go and rest in Him. Trust in His power of forgiveness and salvation.

While you may have to suffer some consequences for your past wrongdoing, it still doesn’t mean God hasn’t forgiven you and changed you on the inside. For instance, if you have sex with someone to whom you’re not married, you may wind up with an unwanted pregnancy or with an STD. If that’s the case, it’s not a sign that God hasn’t forgiven you. It’s a sign that you’re reaping what you sowed. However, as you move forward in God and strive to live holy, He can bless that baby in a special way or completely heal your body.

Recently, a young lady contacted me requesting prayer. She admitted to doing something she knew was wrong and was feeling bad about it. I assured her I would pray for her. I then encouraged her to not beat herself up and reminded her of God’s love and forgiveness. I also explained to her that her feeling of guilt was a good sign. Why? It proves she has a conscience and that she is still God’s daughter. Finally, I encouraged her to avoid going down that road again.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE CONTENT?
I’ve shared before that you can find rest in God through worship, prayer, and obedience. You can also find rest in God by simply enjoying your life. Bible teacher and author Joyce Meyer says, “Learn how to enjoy where you are on the way to where you’re going.” In other words, smile often and laugh as much as possible. Just enjoy the stage at which you are in your life. You may not be where you want to be or have certain things you would like right now. Nonetheless, that’s no reason to be down in the dumps. Trust me, someone somewhere wishes he or she had YOUR life. Paul says in Philippians 4:11:

“…I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.”

To be content with where you currently are in life doesn’t mean you shouldn’t desire more because God has more for you. It just means your desires shouldn’t cause you anxiety and stress. Your desires shouldn’t be more important than you being grateful and giving God the glory. God doesn’t want to hear our murmuring and complaining. Rather, He wants to hear our praise and see our smiling faces. He wants us to extend a helping hand to someone in need. When we focus on the Lord and do what pleases Him, Psalms 37:4 says He is guaranteed to give us what we desire.

Resting in God takes away the pressure Satan and the world try to place on us. When we give everything to God, He gives us His peace, and then things can be done His way….the RIGHT way. So, make it a point every day to rest in God and gratefully enjoy this life He has so graciously given you!

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What Is God Saying To Us?

(The Kimberly Joy Show: Rest in God…Obey)

WHAT IS GOD SAYING TO US?
God is saying to us His children, believers in Christ, to rest in Him. What does it mean to rest in God? To rest in God means to have total faith in Him no matter what! No matter what you hear, see, or feel, believe God!

When you sit in a chair, on a couch, or in the seat of a car, do you first check to make sure it will hold you? Perhaps you do if the chair looks weak. However, in most instances, do you check before taking a seat? Personally speaking, I don’t. I just sit down!

Why? I trust that particular seat is going to hold me. I have no worries it may possibly collapse. And guess what? When I sit down, it holds me up!

Although God is by no means a piece of furniture, we should regard Him in the same manner. If you or I have faith that a chair, couch, stool, or bed will hold us up when we rest on it, we have to have faith that God will hold us up when we choose to rest in Him.

Even if God doesn’t move right away, we have to remain steadfast in Him. God doesn’t always move the way we want, when we want, or how we want. Better yet, most times God doesn’t do things the way we expect. Nevertheless, when God does move, it’s always exactly what we need and when we need it. Therefore, it’s in our best interest to rest in Him.

ARE YOU CONTROLLING?
I know resting in God is not always easy because it means relinquishing control. We don’t want to give up control, do we? We want to always know what’s going on.

We want to know what’s going to happen before it happens. We want to know how God is going to move, how He’s going to bless us. But, it doesn’t work that way! Romans 1:17 (King James Version) says:

“…..The just (the righteous or those who are in right standing with God) shall live by faith.”

Living by faith in God is expected. It’s a must! And it can be done, even if you’re used to worrying and taking matters into your own hands. You can learn a new way of living!

As I shared in a recent article, you can find rest in God by worshipping Him. When you worship God you’re letting Him know that you love and trust Him. To worship God is to welcome His presence into your atmosphere. To worship God is to allow Him to have His way in your situation.

You can also find rest in God through prayer. To pray is to make your petitions (needs and desires) known to God. How often do you pray? Is God always the first one you consult with your concerns? I Thessalonians 5:17 says we are to pray without ceasing. In other words, we are to have prayerful attitudes and keep God number one!

HOW DO WE CAUSE OURSELVES GREATER HEARTACHE?
A third way to find rest in God is by simply obeying Him. To trust God is to obey God, and to obey God is to trust God. I find that we as human beings cause ourselves greater heartache when we choose our way over God’s way. Why do we sometimes choose our way? In that moment or situation, we think we know what’s best. We are fooled into believing we know better than God, the Creator, the one who is omnipresent and all-knowing. It sounds absurd when we think about it, doesn’t it? I’m not referring to the moments when we don’t know any better, but the moments when we do know better and still choose to do what we want.

The Bible or the Word of God is our instruction manual for living.

Unfortunately, many fail to follow it. II Timothy 3:16-17 (New Living Translation) say:

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”

If we trust and obey God, we will have rest. For example, while attending grad school, I learned I had to have surgery. This was a serious dilemma because the spring quarter had just begun, and I was taking my final class: Statistics. As a matter of fact, it was my second time taking the class. I had dropped it the previous quarter because I had a difficult time following the professor. Since I still had time to withdraw from the class without being penalized, the logical choice was to withdraw and reschedule the next quarter.

Even though withdrawing from the class seemed like a good idea, it wasn’t an easy decision to make because it meant postponing graduation. So, the night before the withdrawal deadline I asked God to tell me what to do. I had made up my mind to withdraw, but just in case it wasn’t necessary to do so, I needed to hear from the One Who knows all. As I slept that night, God clearly spoke to me. He said, “Stay in the class. There will be people who will help you.” When I got up the next morning, I had an overwhelming peace about the situation. I did exactly what God said and stayed in the class.

Fortunately, my professor and several of my classmates (people who didn’t really know me) were more than willing to help me during my recovery. On top of that, the professor decided to make the midterm and final exams both take home, which would allow me to use my book, my notes and get help from my classmates. God came through for me! As I look back on that situation, I realize that if I had chosen to follow my own mind, instead of obeying the voice of God, it would have taken me even longer to receive my Masters degree. Hence, that would have made me sad and caused me unnecessary stress.

Whatever you may be going through right now, I encourage you to give it to God! Worrying and trying to do it your way will not do you or your family any good. Do you realize that worrying and being stressed can send you to an early grave? It may be a hard pill to swallow, but it’s the truth! Needless to say, that doesn’t have to be your story! Everything you need is in the One who created you. So, make the decision today to REST IN GOD!

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Rest in God

(The Kimberly Joy Show: Rest in God…Pray)

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DON’T REST IN GOD?
In the previous article, I discussed the importance of “Resting in God”. God expects us to rest in Him. He expects us to depend on Him, to trust in Him, and to give Him all our concerns. When we don’t rest in God, we open ourselves up to stress and anxiety, which can cause us to become ill. We may also find ourselves making choices that are outside His will.

I know firsthand that when I don’t rest in God, I only make the situation worse, and I wind up regretting it. Then I have to, in a sense, start all over and do it right the next time around. Like a child who is in school, I can’t move to the next grade or to the next level until I pass the test, until I learn everything I’m supposed to learn…..until I do it GOD’s way! Doing it God’s way is having faith in Him! That’s all resting in God is….having complete faith in God! Hebrews 11:6 (King James Version) says:

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him [God]: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is [God], and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”

Having faith in God is what pleases Him. If we have total faith in God, then we’re going to live our lives submitted to Him. If we lack faith in God in any areas of our lives, then we’re not going to submit to God in those areas. For example, perhaps you are a smoker, and God has instructed you to give up smoking. You KNOW God spoke to you. Even though you crave cigarettes, God is telling you to stop smoking.

However, you haven’t stopped smoking because you have more faith in how you FEEL, than you do in the POWER of God. God didn’t say it was going to be easy. He just said to have faith in Him and quit!

Now, by using smoking as an example, I am in no way saying that smoking cigarettes is going to send you to hell. Nevertheless, if we say we trust God with our lives, then we have to really trust Him and stop using unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with every day life circumstances. Smoking, alcohol, overeating, or sex outside of marriage are common examples of what people use to COPE with life. But, we’re not supposed to COPE. We’re supposed to REST or have FAITH in God!

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DO REST IN GOD?
When we rest or have faith in God, as Hebrews 11:6 says, God will reward us. In other words, God will bless us. He will give us what we need and desire, as long as it’s in His will. So, if you’re struggling in a particular area in your life, you have to have faith in God. Understand that faith is not about how you feel, but faith is about what you KNOW! You have to know that God is your deliverer, your healer, your provider, your protector, your keeper! You have to KNOW that God has your back and will always take care of you. When you truly KNOW, then you won’t be led astray by your emotions, by ungodly thoughts that try to enter your mind, or by the suggestions of others. You will rest in God and wait for Him to move on your behalf.

As I shared in the previous article, I am still learning how to CONSISTENTLY rest in God. It’s a decision I have to make on a daily basis. One way in which I find rest in God is by taking time to worship Him.

Did you realize that God loves it when we worship Him? Don’t you too appreciate receiving genuine love from others? When someone sincerely loves me, I’m motivated to return the love. Likewise, when we choose to love on God by worshiping Him, despite what may or may not be going on in our lives, He is motivated to shower us with more of His love and blessings! Yes, God loves us, but there’s more He has for us. He willingly gives us more when He sees our faith in Him.

BESIDES WORSHIP, IS THERE ANOTHER WAY TO FIND REST IN GOD?
Another way in which I find rest in God is through prayer. According to Philippians 4:6, God doesn’t want us to worry about anything, but to pray about everything. No problem is too big for God! Therefore, when we pray we must trust that God hears us and will answer our prayers. If we trust that God honors His children’s prayers, anxiety should not be present. Prayer and worry do NOT go hand in hand. James 1:6-7 (New International Version) say:

“But when you ask [God], you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.”

Does God want us to enjoy our lives? Does He want us to relax, take vacations, and enjoy time with our families? I believe He does! In fact, a couple of years ago, our family had a reunion in Florida. Although I really wanted to go, I knew my money was tight at the time. I kept telling family members I was going, but in the back of my mind I knew I didn’t really have the money. However, instead of making the decision to not go, I prayed about it. Once I prayed about it, I didn’t stress and worry. I didn’t concern myself with HOW I was going to get to Florida. I just asked God to help me and then left it up to Him.

I’m happy to say that God answered my prayer, and in a way I would have never imagined! One night during a revival at our church, one of the local bishops came to the service. Although he didn’t preach that night, our pastor allowed him to minister to a few of us. This same bishop informed me that God had instructed him to sow money into me! As a matter of fact, he said the purpose of the money was for me to go on vacation!

GOD ANSWERED MY PRAYER! No one knew what I had asked God for, except God Himself! God used this man of God to bless me so I could travel to Florida!

And not only that, but my brother invited me to spend time with his family in Georgia following the Florida trip. I didn’t have to pay to get to Georgia or to get back home to Cincinnati. So, God gave me even more than what I originally asked for. Why did God do that for me? He did it because He loves me and because I chose to REST in Him.

In spite of any difficulties you’re facing at the present time, I encourage you to REST in God and give the situations to Him. How is worrying and stressing about it helping you? It’s not, is it? Like award-winning Gospel artists Anthony Brown and Group Therapy sing, God did not create you to worry. God did not create you to fear. But God created you to worship Him daily. So, give it all to God! The Creator always knows what’s best!

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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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