Before I accepted Jesus, I did not realize how flawed I was. I went to night clubs even on week days. If God did not rescue me, I would probably be an alcoholic. Then one day I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior. I used to think in order to give my life to the Lord, I had to walk down the aisle in church after an altar call was done. Well, that is not how it really happened. I had given my life to God before but I backslid very quickly and went back to my old days of partying and drinking. One day, as I was sitting on my couch in my house, I rededicated my life to God. I felt a peace I had never felt before. Once I started reading the Word of God, I thought to myself, oh how I need God. I started realizing how much help I needed. God had to work on me. As I look back, I see the Grace of God upon my life. He has been patient with me. Even when he has directed me to do something and I have totally failed, he is still patient with me. He picks me up and continues working on me. There are a number of issues I have seen God work on in my life.
The tendency to get discouraged and act impulsively
If I got discouraged, and yes I still do get discouraged sometimes, I would take certain actions that were unnecessary. I remember a while back, I was so frustrated about social media. Somebody made a comment which just discouraged me. Oh my, I went on a tangent. Nowadays, I will sit back and think of the reason I am discouraged and take appropriate action. I have learnt to ignore some individuals and actually learnt not to read some people’s messages. I cannot say I am good at this but I know I am not where I used to be. It is amazing what God has done in my life. I have learnt there are people who will not like everything I say or do. Not everyone will like me and that is okay. They may say something that does not sit well with me, but I have to move on and focus on the big picture. Why am I here on earth? Why was I created?
Not everyone will encourage you but you have to learn to take the one encouragement that comes through. If no one encourages you, you have to encourage yourself.
David had to encourage himself. Scripture states in 1 Samuel 30:6, And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.
David and his men had gone out of their camp. When they came back, they found that their city had been burned by the Amalekites and all their families had been taken captive. The men wept until they could not weep anymore and they started to turn against David. David’s family had also been taken so he had wept for his own but now he had to encourage himself. This act of encouraging oneself helped him come up with a solution. Here is an example of how I encourage myself;
“This is the day that the Lord has made (regardless of all the issues that may be going on in my life), but I (Martha) will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24).
Another one of my favorites is,
“So shall My word (Your Word oh Lord that You said to me and the words You have said about me that I don’t know yet) be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)
God has helped me in the area of forgiveness
I remember there was someone who did something that devastated me way before I got born again. Knowing Christ helped me realize I needed to forgive the person in order to heal. It took me a while to forgive but as I have grown in my relationship with God, I have realized it is easier to let go now than it was before. As I have continued to grow in my walk with God, it has become easier to forgive. Unforgiveness breeds bitterness and then revenge. This is clear in the story of Absalom. Absalom murdered his half- brother Amnon two years after he raped Tamar who was Absalom’s sister. We are to bear with each other and forgive one another just like Jesus Christ forgave us. Colossians 3:13
I have learnt that I should not limit myself
“Life has no limitations expect the ones you make.” Les Brown
I was uniquely created to do something on this earth. I do not say I cannot do. I say I can do with the help of Christ. When I finished writing my first book, I asked the Holy Spirit to help me write my second book. I then asked Him to help me write my third book. I have chosen not to limit myself and so should you. There is nothing you cannot do.
“There are no limitations to the mind except those we acknowledge.” Napoleon Hill.
Dr. Myles Munroe said that the grave is the richest place on earth. Why? Because there are songs that were never sang, poems that were never written and other gifts that were never utilized . I refuse to be one of the people who do not accomplish the purpose for which they were created. What about you?
Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10 NASB)
I have learnt to magnify the positive
One of the things God helped me realize is how much we magnify our or other people’s negatives. My mother likes to say, “Everyone has positive attributes.” I like to say, “Very very very few people have more negatives than positives. I also remind myself to magnify the positive things said to me and label the negatives as junk. There was this time I was so discouraged, I could not pray. All I could say was, “God please encourage me.”
It is important to ignore negatives statements said by others otherwise, they will deter you from accomplishing your goals.
I remember a few years back, I wore a pair of shorts and went to work. Normally, I do not wear shorts because I feel like I have skinny legs compared to the rest of my body. When I got to work that day, this lady told me, “Oh my goodness, I did not think you had skinny legs like that.” I remember just wanting to go home and change. Funny enough, there was a lady right opposite her who told me that my legs were not skinny but the damage had already been done. I never wore shorts again for a very long time. I am conscious about my legs but I do not let that affect me anymore. I can put on Capri pants and shorts and be fine. This taught me to be careful about what comes out of my mouth because the power of life and death is in my tongue. I have learnt to speak positively and not negatively. I have learnt to speak life to things that look like they are dying; to situations that look like they are dead; to people who just don’t feel like they can move on.
I love Galatians 5:22-23. It says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. God is so faithful that he would work on us to make us kind, good, faithful, gentle, to have self-control. He works on me. He has changed my mindset on how I see and do many things. All Glory and honor goes to him. He is just awesome. He has been so good to me.
From the Author of Hopeful Living, Trusting God to guide you through life