Sunday, February 28, 2021

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD (Part 1)


Enjoy, mark, and remember the day you received Christ as your savior because it is where began you and your Savior started on a new path together. It will be a path of many ups and downs but the outcome will always draw you closer to Christ if you seek Him above all. I have been a believer since I was 8 years old and now I am 65. I can say with confidence that the Lord has never ever forsaken me but has loved me even when I couldn’t love myself. He has pulled me out of trying times many of which were of my own making and put me back onto solid ground without condemnation. (Ps 37:25) I could never thank Him enough or love and cherish Him more for His faithfulness then I do right now. We all have to find our own way through this Christian life. However, I have prayed that you will remain strong in Him no matter what the cost and that at the end your walk with Him you will stand before His throne a strong and mighty warrior.


As I prayed about what to say, the more I felt the Lord tell me to give you some practical wisdom from my years of service. This is wisdom I wished I had learned earlier in my walk with Christ. Much of it I had to learn the hard way because I was stubborn. Now  with experienced, I am less argumentative and more obedient when the Lord ‘comes a calling’. We never stop growing. Even with the many years of experience, I still feel as though I’ve only just begun to learn how to walk this glorious walk. And...that’s ok. 


I will list some of these special nuggets here and pray that you will be able to grasp the depth of their meaning. They are in no special order.  Please don’t feel overwhelmed by the number or that you have to achieve anyone of them quickly because most may take a while to master.  This is just the heart of one sister helping the walk of another succeed and avoid suffering through as much as I did. (Titus 2:3-5)


  • Always be honest with God because he already knows anyway. He is Omniscient. A big word that simply means He knows everything inside and out. Nothing is hidden from Him no matter how hard we try. He knows you better than you know yourself. That is why He is the best one to help you through life. We may not understand or agree with His choices for us but we will grow to understand He always has our best interest at heart. I have learned after each experience His ways were much better and thank Him for not doing it my way.


  • It is important to memorize scripture. I wish I were better at it. However, even when I don’t have an exact verse memorized, I have memorized the principle, it is living in my heart and I can still follow its direction at anytime.


  • Give God at least 15 minutes of time each day to be just with God. It doesn’t matter what time of day so much as just being consistent. Read a passage of scripture, a meaningful devotional, affirm who and whose you are, and so on. You can talk to Him and He will talk to you if you calm your mind and take time to listen. I highly recommend you journal what you hear, what you are learning, how you are doing so when the enemy attacks you, you will have something to go back to to affirm your walk and relationship with Him. Your memory of His Presence may fail you when the enemy attacks your mind.


  • To maintain and thrive, let him become ‘a bestie’ that you talk to throughout your day. Nothing is too big or too small to ask or talk to Him about. If it is important to you, it is important to Him. You will be surprised at how helpful He can be as you open up and talk to Him and ask His opinion about all kinds of things. Then ask the Holy Spirit to open up your eyes and ears to His answers when they come. Sometimes God answers quickly, sometimes He says wait a moment, and sometimes He says persevere in faith until the appointed time. Just remember, it takes time and effort to learn to communicate so what may seem silly at first will become your greatest asset. (Hebrews 11:6)


  • Let forgiveness always always always be your goal. Forgiveness is a choice we make to free ourselves, heal our heart and move forward. Some things are easy to forgive and others take effort and time. Remember unforgiveness in your heart can steal the place where your faith should be if you allow the offenses to stay. A wise old lady once told me, “Take no offense (from others actions) and God will defend you.” (make things turn for your good)(Romans 8:28) Believe me that remembering this one statement has kept me from allowing unforgiveness to build a fortress in my heart and mind many times. God has forgive us of all and He asks us to do the same for others. It’s hard but always doable.


  • Rarely is God early according to our standards but never is He late according to His. Trust His timing. He is faithful. This is a walk of faith and courage and it is rarely easy. God will push our faith to the limits to help us grow. However, the growth is worth the pressure in the long run if we persist.


  • We all make mistakes. Some have more costly consequences then others. In any case...Don’t beat yourself up with guilt and shame after you have sought and received God’s forgiveness. God loves you more then you will ever realize even when you blow it. But...DO evaluate and learn from each of them. If you don’t, you will face that mountain (problem) again and again. There is something about each mountain God wants you to learn to make your life better and make you more like Him. God never allows storms/problems to surface with the intent to destroy you but to show you how faithful He is. He will give you the wisdom you need to come through as an overcomer. The enemy on the other hand wants you to be destroyed piece by piece. (John 10:10) God wants to bring you abundant life and turn everything around for good if you seek Him and his guidance instead of your own. (Romans 8:28) Doesn’t matter who was at fault originally. God is always willing to turn it for your good. Again, God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6) That is one of the characteristics I love most about my Savior.


  • When you walk with Christ and seek Him, you walk as a victor not as a victim.


  • Always remember ‘the best is yet to come’ and that you are not strong enough to screw up His plans and destiny for your life. (Jeremiah 29:11)


  • Always remember your salvation is secure in Christ. Satan will try to steal your peace about it anytime he can. This usually happens when you have made one of those big mistakes I talked about earlier. At least, that is when he always tried to do it with me. He goal is to move you away from God and the knowledge of His love in order to isolate you from God. The isolation makes you ‘feel like’ you are not saved anymore. We can’t base what we believe on ‘our feelings’ but only on faith in what the word of God says. (2 Corinthians 5:7) So...don’t let him overcome you with his lies. This is when knowing, memorizing and believing scripture is so important. The Holy Spirit seals you until the day of salvation. (Ephesians 4:30) Studying these scriptures and asking Holy Spirit’s guidance will prove very valuable in the days ahead. Securing and maintaining this assurance of your salvation in the good times is much easier then trying to catch up in the bad.


  • God will never ask you to do something He has not already given you the ability to do. However, sometimes you will have to 'step out in faith' and start the job/journey first before you come to realize this. Those times for me were scary and that is when fear became my greatest hinderance. When you are in fear, you are believing the enemy's lies instead of God's Truth. But God can help you work through your fears when you turn to trust Him. Just keep searching and believing He can help you and it will happen. My case was bad so if it can turn around for me, it can turn around for you.


  • Grace is the power you will need to make the necessary changes. God says He has more than enough grace to see you through each needed change...and without condemnation. (2 Corinthians 12:9, Romans 8:1) Oh how I still clung to these two promises.


  • Surround yourself with godly people. Ultimately you become like those you hang around. And don’t allow bad influences in because you think you can witness to them. Satan can take your hand and lead you astray quickly before you realize what he is doing. Go for the godly advice from people you have learned to trust and allow those same godly people to speak correction into your life as well. It can save you a lot of heartache. It isn’t easy for them to speak up so give them a break. It isn’t easy for anyone to receive correction either but listen anyway. Remember...Pride comes right before a fall. 


  • Renewing your mind/thought life with God’s word/principles is one of the most important things you will ever do as a Christian. (Romans12:2) I cannot stress this enough. It was my downfall for years because it allowed satan to trap my mind with his lies and bring me down. It can mean the difference between defeat and victory with your mental battles in life. You have to know and trust God’s word!!


  • What you tell yourself or think about yourself or ‘self talk’ can either build you up and strengthen you for what God is doing in your life or it can tear everything He is doing down and you may wonder why you can’t ever get ahead. I caution you from criticizing yourself, concentrating on what you can’t do instead of what you can, or rehearsing past failures. Stay positive about yourself! 


  • Knowing and believing who you are in Christ is also vital to your walk. If you don’t know who you are in Christ and the authority you carry as a child of God then satan will be able to overcome you quickly.  I don’t just read each attribute but I ask the Holy Spirit to impart the wisdom He wants me to see through them. I make notes on them. Over time and meditation about their meaning, they have become apart of who I am. They have gone from my head to my heart through the power of the Holy Spirit. And now...I believe what they say about me is true. It didn’t happen over night so it is not a quick fix but a daily determination to overcome a worldly mindset and become more like Christ with His kingdom values. (My list of who we are in Christ will be posted soon.)


  • And last but not least is...Develop attitudes of thankfulness, gratitude, and praise in all things. This will not only bring you closer and closer to God Himself, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit but it will also ultimately bring love, peace, joy, and contentment into your life as well. This is another part of renewing your mind to reflect Christ’s character. 



Again these nuggets of wisdom are not here to overwhelm you but to give you a sense of direction as you begin your new life with Christ. I have never regretted my decision to follow Jesus even when it got quite hard. Once you get the hang of it, I know you will not look back either. One last scripture which is one of my favorites. Luke 12:32:


Do not be afraid, little flock, 

for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”



Thursday, July 9, 2020

God Used A Sunset

Having a daily quiet time is essential for me. I chat with God through out, sing a hymn, read a couple of thought-provoking devotionals, a chapter in Proverbs and a chapter or two in whatever book of the Bible I am studying, and then I spend time earnestly praying. Being in the presence of Jesus in the morning makes my day start out peaceful and purposeful. So much of the time, God seems silent but I know He is there just the same. It is like two old friends sitting on the sofa not having to say a thing. They have a knowing between them while enjoying each other’s company.

This particular Saturday morning, June 20, I was reading Jesus Calling Morning & Evening by Sarah Young. There were several sentences on the morning and evening parts that caught my eye so I underlined this year in pencil. It amazes mehow different years will inspire different underlinings. When I finished, I wrote out the suggested prayer command I wanted to remember at the end of the devotional page.

What caught my eye were these sentences:

  • Ask My Spirit to sharpen your spiritual eyesight and hearing.
  • Practice looking and listening for Me during quiet intervals. Gradually you will find Me in more and more of your moments.
  • You will see Me and find Me, when you seek Me above all else. (Jeremiah 29:13)
Above these, I notice a line about glorious sunsets but didn’t underline it even though I thought in the moment how wonderful it would be to see one.

Later in the day, after meeting up with two other ladies we drove about 45 minutes away for our monthly share group at a member’s home we had not been to before. While riding, I reassured one of the two that I would escort her back at the church so she could make it home before dark as she had requested before agreeing to come. It was an awesome time of food, fellowship and intercessory prayer but as promised, we left in time to fulfill my promise.

After hugs and good-byes, I left the church to drive the short distance home. As I turned the corner onto Main Street, I was suddenly put directly in front of a gorgeous sunset that filled the whole sky in front of me. It captured my heart with awe and I whispered “Oh Lord, how beautiful!” I quickly pulled over and snapped a picture with my cell phone before the moment was gone. Later, I posted it on Facebook to bless others. Then, I was through or so I thought.




The next morning, Sunday, at my church’s intercessory prayer meeting, God inspired me to post the picture to my blog. Little did I know there was a reason for revisiting the photo again. That was not all He wanted me to see. 

When I got home from church, God reminded me of yesterday’s devotional so I went to look it up again. First, I saw the sentence about the glorious sunsets and my heart smiled...but then I noticed the sunset portion had been faintly underlined. Only God could have set this up to underline those exact words! There were three pages involved and the underling had to line up perfectly. The sunset sentence was on page one (left side), not underline originally. Page two (right side), I had underlined a sentence. When I underlined a sentence from page three (back side of page two), it transferred the pencil from page two to underline the sunset sentence on page one. God wanted the sunset sentence highlighted. I began to realize yesterday was a total setup by God to communicate His great sovereignty. If I would be willing to develop the eyes to see, He wanted to show me Himself through His beautiful creation. 



The devotion itself, the time of the party and my friend having to be home before dark was all apart of His timing to have me back to see that gorgeous sunset. I felt so special to Him in that moment! He IS always working on our behalf behind the scenes to show us His kingdom. My heart began to thank and praise Him for His wonderful works! 

God communicates with us all the time. But... 
have we developed the eyes and ears to notice? 

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Sometimes God Answers Quickly

An unexpected call lead me on a trip high up into the mountains of NC to visit a friend at her family’s cabin. The cabin has been a vacation home since 1968 and she only travels up from Charleston, SC three times a year for a stay. I have known this friend since childhood and have visited her family cabin several times over the years. Her family had lived across the street from my grandparents years ago and I loved to go visit them when my family came for Christmas or a visit in the summer. Now, we are both on the other side of life and I had not seen her in over 12 years. This was truly a treat.

Of course, we did the normal catching up on what our relatives in both families had been up to. I didn’t realize that her brother had died last year. I told her of my brother’s death too. I talked about how I loved her parents home as a child, baking poundcake with her mom and how in my mind’s eye I still occasionally ventured from room to room to reminisce. My grandparents home is like that for me too. The vivid memories are much more precious now that I am older. I have dreamed about the places I have lived and the people I have known and that has brought me so much comfort and joy. 

Then my friend said, “Someone has torn down your grandparents house and the lot is vacant.” She didn’t know why, didn’t know who owned it now and didn’t know of any plans for rebuilding. My heart sank low. So much of what I knew as a child has already been demolished because of progress. So many of the relatives I grew up with have gone too. Nothing stays the same and I get that. However, when those things which one uses to remember and reminisce with are lost, it can be disheartening. I couldn’t shake it off my mind.

When I left the mountains, I prayed that God would protect my friend and her family. She is battling cancer so I prayed for her health and healing and time for another visit together. Again, it is true. The realities of aging are not always pleasant.

The following morning, when I had my quiet time with the Lord, I explained how I felt about my grandparents home and that I didn’t want to continue to mourn the pasting of an era. I admitted life must go on and change is apart of that life. However, I would require some help from Him to get me back into the life I now enjoy. 

As I finished up my prayer and readings, it happened! First, a friend texted and asked me to have an early lunch with her at her home. She had fixed pigs in a blanket, baked beans, and cantaloupe. Her husband had unexpectedly been invited to go shooting and now she didn’t want to eat all that food alone. Although I didn’t really want to get up and out of my comfortable pajamas at first, I felt a nudge to accept so I did. When God begins to send the answer, I need to be willing to get up and receive it. Then another friend texted. She asked if I would fix supper that night because she had time for a visit. I had asked her to do that whenever she found space in her busy schedule. Perfect! My day was set. Then, it really dawned on me. God WAS answering my request! My heart leaped for joy as I left my room of prayer.

As my day progressed to the end, I realized those feelings of sadness had departed because I had concentrated on being with those I cherish now. God knew exactly what it would take to lift me up. And in the place of sadness came praise, thanksgiving and joy! So many times it seems we have to wait in faith and patience for an answer to our prayers. But today...today was not one of them.



Romans 12:2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Pruning Is Hard To Do


I like to plant things in my flowerbeds that require very little maintenance. My plan was to plant a couple of varieties of African daisies to finish out the look in my front beds. Their care consist of watering and pinching off the dead blooms. Not bad. However, as I praised my finished work, God raised my eyes to view the over grown nandina bushes just behind. They looked unruly and overgrown. Nandina bushes are basically maintenance free too except they require major pruning every couple of years. It was like God was reminding me this was the year. 

Reluctantly, I found the pruning shears and started to work. Of course, I wanted to give up after the second bush because my back was hurting from bending over. With each cut, I kept thinking I’ll finish this tomorrow. Yet, God was not ready for me to quit and told me to sit down, relax, and continue on. Just so you know, it was amusing scooting around on my hind parts from bush to bush and the times I had to get up...well that was pretty amusing too.

I should have known when I heard ‘sit down, relax, and continue on’ that there was more on God’s mind then just my immediate trimming need. The more I pruned the more He talked to me about the process of pruning. Now, I was pruning in the natural but He was explaining pruning in the spiritual. I finally had to get my journal and start writing. Below are the highlights of what I heard.


  • If we are God’s child (accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord), then we will be pruned from time to time. Those whom He loves He corrects.
  • Even though God prunes out of love and always has our best interest at heart, there will always be those who will question and blame God, refusing to change and thus never receiving the blessing of revelation and restoration that pruning provides.

  • Trust God and His progress. Come humble before Him. He will turn everything to our good when we allow Him to finish His work. He is preparing us for the desires of our hearts which usually originate from Him.

  • God desires more fruitfulness. Each trimmed limb often produces a double or more portion.

  • Sometimes just a small snip gets our attention and realigns us but other times it’s a major undertaking. Major pruning is a step by step process. Each lesson has to be completed before advancement is allowed because each lesson is valuable. Stubbornness, willfulness, and the like will prolong the prune.

  • Some of the reasons God prunes us are among the following: pride, ungodly mind-sets, undesirable attitudes and actions, unproductive dead parts, or lack of balance. The focus is to put us back on the right track again.
  • Pruning does not mean we have lost your position in Him or His love. On the contrary, it is out of His love that He takes the time to refine. Then afterwards, who knows...it could bring an unexpected promotion.

  • Our pruning is tailored to what is necessary at that time. And...We are not all pruned at the same time. God continually searches our hearts individually and not our deceptive outward appearance for inconsistencies.

  • Hopefully because of our experiences, when we see the pruning of another, we will be compassionate, encouraging and not a gossip.

  • We do not want to be 'in need of pruning' because of pride and possible embarrassment but God is not concerns about our reputation or our feelings when it comes to needed course corrections. He will comfort us doing the process but our feelings are not a deterrent. If it gets messy, He can restore anything lost when needed.

  • God remains near us at all times to instruct and encourage. God always helps us clean up the repentant mess around us by taking away any sin, shame, guilt or regret. God is after the hope of glory He desires in us through expanding our faith and character.

  • When God prunes us, He doesn’t look down on us in condemnation at all. He desires to reveal wisdom and solutions on a level we can understand. However, it is our responsibility to actively seek Him for the needed changes when things go south.

  • Joy can be achieved throughout this process when we become grateful for/in the journey.

  • When a plant is trimmed on the surface, its initial response is to go underground to develop stronger roots. In spiritual pruning, a stronger root is a teachable heart, a listening ear, time in His presence, prayer, bible study, fellowship, counsel and support from godly people to name a few.

  • God’s grace is sufficient to help us find and eliminate any and all sinful roots especially the root of bitterness. Unless we intensionally root out the causes of these ungodly attitudes and actions, they will keep cropping up.

  • God’s purpose in pruning is not to harm us but to guide us and give us a future and a hope by reestablishing His promises and commands then reaffirming His faithfulness to fulfill those promises and realign us in His cammands. In the end, we feel lighter and freer and we treasure the wisdom revealed because we have become more Christlikeness.

Afterwards, when I came into the bathroom to get cleaned up, I walked in front of the mirror and my T-shirt caught my eye. Rooted In Christ! That put a smile on my face. What a great ending to a great time with the Lord.

I don’t know where you are in your life today. You may be living the life of God’s joy, peace and abundance. However, if you find yourself in a season of God’s purposeful pruning, I hope this post will encourage you in your difficult season. It may not seem like it now but this too shall pass in God’s way and timing. Learn all you can and allow Him to love you through it.


Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.
I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

What Will You Do With This Jesus?


This is a beautiful Christmas poem the Lord gave me this year. I hope it blesses you as it did me while I wrote it down. Afterward, I felt a real sense of urgency that our time is short.




What Will You Do With This Jesus?

Mary Jane Downs
December 15, 2018

Sitting here in my den filled with bright light
Thinking about that one blessed long ago night.
When the entire world was about to be forever changed,
But few even noticed…distracted by more “important” things.

The story of Jesus had started months before then
When an angel had visited Mary in her little den.
The prophets had for told that the Savior would come.
Now Mary was being told the Savior would be her son.

Mary and Joseph, her betrothed, went through horrible shame
Because people wouldn’t believe what God had proclaimed.
The gift that He had promised for so many centuries
Was now coming in a way that seemed to them too mysterious.

Still…on that blessed night, all went according to God’s holy design.
Jesus was born without any thought or plan from mankind.
He lay in that out-of-the-way straw-filled manager for all to see.
But only a few shepherds and three wise men felt the need.

Incredulously you may say, well…if the birth happened today,
We, the enlightened, would be much more aware than they!
How could they let such a glorious event pass them by?
“I” would have surely done more when Jesus arrived!

It’s sad to say that today not much has changed.
Man desiring more temporal earthly treasures to gain.
Jesus has lived among us through the Holy Spirit for over 2000 years
And most of the world still ignores Him or jeers.

So now I look to you and say with love
“What will you do with this Jesus, God’s son?
Is He more significant then your “important” earthly plans?
Will you bow at the manger and hold His divine hand?

Everyone has to make the choice for themselves,
Accept God’s gift or place Him up on your dusty shelf.
You have only this lifetime for that conscience decision.
Choose wisely, my friend, it will be eternally written.


Micah 6:8 
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourselves and walk humbly with your God?


Deuteronomy 10:12
And now, Israel, what does the Lord you Go require of you but reverently to fear the Lord your God, this is to walk in all His ways and to love Him. And to serve the Lord your God with all your mind and heart and with your entire being. 




Poems the Lord gives me usually form a picture when I complete and center them. 
Can you see the picture in this one?
I had just bought one in preparation for the snowstorm we just had here in Western NC.
It's a Coleman lantern on a table (or life's foundation).



Friday, July 28, 2017

Jason's Simple Desire

Jason came by today to pick up and repair my pressure washer. Nothing unusual about that, right? However, as he was loading it onto his truck, he asked if I would listen to a simple testimony God gave him recently.

When Jason helped with Vacation Bible School last month, he expressed to a gardener friend the desire to have a fresh picked off the vine tomato so he could immediately make a sandwich and eat it. He had fixed and eaten so many of those sandwiches as a boy that he had grown tried of them then. Now years later, he was missing that great taste of home. The friend offered Jason the opportunity to come by and pick from his plants. The two friends agreed to get together later. Jason planned on having his bread, mayo with some salt and pepper in his truck cab before he arrived at his friend’s garden so the experience would be just like it used to be as a child. But God made different plans after listening to Jason’s desire.

Several days later, while Jason drove along his driveway, he noticed a small tomato plant growing at the end. He started thinking how could this be? He had tried numerous times to grow tomato plants on the back side of his property without success. And where did the seed come from? When he got out and investigated, he soon realized the tomato plant was there because God was the gardener. The ground was so hard that when he tried to stake it up, the thin metal stake kept breaking off. Then, when Jason tried to water it with added Miracle Grow, the Lord spoke,

Leave it alone, I planted it and I will take care of it.
 If you mess with it, it will kill it.”

So Jason has left it alone.

This knee-high plant already has multiple blooms and small tomatoes. Jason’s anticipation is mounting as he passes that tomato plant daily. He says he knows it will be the best tomato ever because it is straight from God Himself. And that smile on Jason’s face as he tells this simple testimony…well, it’s a mile wide.

************

Before telling me this story, Jason expressed shyly that he doesn’t feel special. I have a feeling that at times Jason may look at his present circumstances and conclude that because his life doesn’t ‘look successful’ it is not. He works hard to provide for himself and his family with not much to show for his efforts. But God knows how special Jason is and right where he lives. God knows what He wants to accomplish through Jason’s life as well. And what is that?  God wants Jason to proclaim all the simple testimonies of love and faithfulness He provides throughout Jason’s life. In return, God has promised Jason His protection and provisions. And even though others may deem Jason unsuccessful and insufficient because of outward appearances, God says:

“Don’t look at what you see with your natural eyes Jason
but look to Me for all you need.
 And Son, keep on talking, I got ya covered.”


If God is listening to Jason’s simple desires, He will be listening to yours!

Jason’s simple act of faith to tell others will wind up touching many more lives then he could ever imagine. And so it will be with us when we decide to step out in faith and tell our simple stories of God’s love and faithfulness too. I have a story picked out already. What about you?

***********

After I wrote this out, I went and looked up the name Jason and its meaning: 

JASON: Healer, Benevolent

Luke 6:45  A good man out of the good treasures of his heart brings forth good . . . For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

The Name Book
Dorothy Astoria

(or a desire of the heart!)

Thursday, May 4, 2017

What Are We Expecting To Find In God

Welcome Lisa Griffin today! She has created a thought provoking blog piece that I think you will find interesting.
Our community seems to never stop wondering “where do I find God”, “will God help me”, and “how do I get to know God”, and I often come across stories of different people that tell about some difficult situations in life that push them to seek for God’s help. These stories always start the same. Something like: “I faced a difficult situation in my life and I started to scream for help…”and more often, authors of such posts say that they’ve received the assistance they were asking for. But what happens next? After some time, many people simply forget about their appeal to God; why is this happening, what are we expecting to find in God and why do we lose our faith later?
What motivates us to start talking to the Almighty?
As I said previously, almost every time it starts with some tragedy. Each one of us has to deal with certain difficulties in our lives, regardless of whether he wants it or not, and experiencing such situations we pray, we are speaking to the Lord and ask him to help us.
Moreover, many assume that God has to hear and support us. After all, we have always heard the saying “Ask - and you will be given”, but if it is so, then why then so many prayers stay unanswered?
I see only one reason that can stand behind this – many modern people may attend church and behave like Christians, but how many of them really KNOW the Lord and really keep their hearts and souls opened for Him?! Unfortunately, not as many as it may first seem.
Why don’t we devote enough time to building our relationship with Him and then, during the hard times we get confused and are wondering why He didn’t answer us? This all happens only because we don’t realize what we really need, what we expect to get from Him and then, after not getting what we wanted, we lose our faith.
Speak and you will be heard!
Where to find God? No matter how banal it may sound, the God is always next to us but turning to Him and listening to His answer are two quite different things, which we need to realize and accept. By listening to Lord, we open our minds for him and hear His will.
Unfortunately, today, many people are a little wary of this because in the modern world our turning to God is called prayer, but His appeal to us I often considered as schizophrenia. Due to the fact that the ideal was lost, our relationship with the Almighty became very difficult and if it is still present, it is often unilaterally, which means that we talk to Him, but often do not even listen to His answer. He speaks to us, and we can't hear. Any communication requires the cooperation of two people, in our case – you and your God: When we pray about something and then He listens and responds, we are supposed to listen, otherwise it would be a monolog.
Why do people lose their faith?
Anger and disappointment towards the Lord are something that has always confronted many people – both believers and unbelievers. When something tragic happens in our lives, the first thing that we do is ask Him “Why?”.  It is our natural reaction. But what we're really asking is not so much “why” but more “why me, Lord?" and this statement indicates two flaws in our thinking. First, as believers, we often live with the belief that life should be easy, and that God should prevent any tragedy in our lives. When He does not, we are angry at Him. Second, when we do not fully understand the extent of the power of God, we lose faith in His ability to control circumstances, other people and the way they affect us. We get angry at God because we think He lost control of the universe. And especially over our lives. We lose confidence in God's omnipotence because our frail human flesh is grappling with our own frustration and lack of personal control over what is happening. When all is well, we often attribute this to our own achievements and success, but when bad things happen, we rush to blame God, we are angry at Him because He did not prevent them.
Open your heart and accept His love!
Now let’s look at this from another perspective. After someone had faced a difficult situation in the life, he prayed but didn’t receive any answer – was it the Lord who didn’t want to answer or maybe we just can’t determine when he speaks to us? Maybe sometimes the answer comes, but not as quickly as we would like.
I would say that God always answers a sincere prayer, but often we can't understand His answer or simply didn’t expect to hear such answer, and therefore we don't accept it and deny the Lord’s help. Agree, if you talk with your good friend, but he's not responding or gives answers that are not relevant to the subject, and this continues for a while, you can get disappointed and this can even become a reason why your friendship might come to an end.
The same is here. When we don't hear the answer from God or the answer is not in line with our expectations, we feel frustrated and it gets very easy to lose faith just because we don’t see the purpose for our prayers. But you should always remember that God always stands by, waits for you to speak to him, and he is always ready to give you his love, the only thing that you have to do is to keep on believing and following His will!

Learn how to find Him. Learn to hear God's voice, whispering all the mysteries of the world within us, worship and love him, and then He will treat you the same way as we all are His children!



Lisa Griffin is a blogger whose lifestyle credo is “Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”