Silence the Fear

Are you giving fear permission to access the promises God has made?

There’s an enemy of our souls and he’d love nothing more than a permanent place to filter every plan God prepared for you. Fear is crippling. Fear causes us to react irrationally. Fear drives a wedge between our relationships.

Today, we see natural disasters, racial tension and political division panicking our world. Personally, you might be suffering with a broken heart, loneliness or struggling with becoming another statistic; falling victim to addiction, divorce or suicide.

This isn’t Satan’s first rodeo. The author of confusion and doubt will use your insecurities to stir up questions in every corner you put your confidence. The enemy will use this freak tidal wave of uncertainty and hesitation to drown every declaration you were once so sure of.

Even our past carries the power to pause present day promises if we allow pain to produce the kind of panic that alters our perception of truth.

Fear likes to grip the best intentions and suffocate God’s truths with these burdens from a hardened heart. Be careful here because good decisions don’t come out of our reactions to fear. Worry won’t provoke positive changes.

Jesus says, “I am leaving you with a gift–peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27 NLT)

fear, peace, God's presenceThis peace Jesus gives is not of this world. He’s the only one who can give you lasting peace. In His presence, there is an absence of fear. It’s a peace that surpasses all understanding.

Jesus silences fear.

The pain of our past will pursue our present day stories until we give the hurt a proper burial and lay these insecurities to rest permanently.

The pain of our past wants to prove nothing has changed. Peace is asking you to step out from the shadow of the past and process life through the lens of Jesus. As you learn to let go, cling to this deep reassurance that His unflinching love, His unfailing hope, and His very best for you is here in His presence. Draw near to this peace.

When it looks like He’s not changing the hard things, know that the Father’s delays are designed to draw out the darkness in our hearts by drawing us into Him.

“The breaking of you will be the making of you. A new you. A stronger you.” (Lysa TerKeurst)

In this world, there will be trouble. The storms will swirl through your emotions with debris from other people’s messes but you still have the final say. You have a choice to settle your mind and steady your stance on this truth: Jesus has overcome the world, fully, completely, finally and for all of time. It’s already done.

Fear only resides within us. And, the perfect love of Christ resides in us also. You may feel fear but you don’t have to live fear. At the feet of Jesus is where you are set free.

I pray for peace to permeate every part of your heart wherever fear has found a grip. Thank you, Jesus, for your perfect peace. You are THE way, THE truth, and THE life. We put our feelings and thoughts into your hands. We are determined to dismantle the doubt and fear as we invite your peace, Jesus, to stand guard at the door of our hearts and minds today. May Your perfect peace invade every thought and emotion that crosses our mind, and may this peace of Yours preside as our stronghold today, Jesus. Prince of Peace. It’s in Your name above all names that we commit these requests, Jesus, Amen.

The Richness of Your Life

richness in your story, difficulties produce character, trishakeehn.comHow often are you thankful for even the hardship in your life? It’s difficult to emulate a spirit of thanksgiving when the storm is raging through your situation but here’s the truth about the wind and the waves wreaking havoc in your life: they all had to pass through the palm of our loving Father before they could touch even a hair on your head. No matter what kind of chaos is swirling about, every ounce of hardship went through God before it was allowed in your life.

A broken relationship. Sickness. Loss of a job. Financial woes. No place to call home. Rebellious children. Loneliness.

Don’t give the devil any credit for even the pain. That pain is tempering a soul, breaking a hardened heart and softening all the edges to lean in to others facing the battle, to lean in to the Almighty for a miracle you cannot fathom, to lean in to even the questions you often run from in your own mind. I’m sorry that it hurts so much at times. If you let it, this pain will produce such rich character and flavoring that seasons your story. This is what makes you set apart and unique in a land of 7 billion people. We need your story and your pain. Praise the Father still. Give thanks always and for everything.

The Voice of Courage

Still Lives

memorial day, flag, remembering heroes, When the sun falls below the horizon, evidence of its work remains for some time. The skies continue to glow a bit longer after it is gone.

In the same way, when a great person’s life comes to that final sunset, the skies of this world stay illuminated with traces of bravery and courage long after they are out of view. This kind of extraordinary person does not die from this world. When they depart they leave much of themselves behind. From the grave, their voice still speaks.

Remembering the extraordinary men and women who have gone before us with their courage and still have a voice in our world today.trail run, memorial day, remembering heroes

I want you to remember that life isn’t just about getting what you want. Sometimes it involves giving up the things you love for what you love even more.

Crack the Confusion

3 Steps That Will Determine Every Decision

Are you struggling to make a decision? The battle over your time can keep your strengths and dreams locked up in procrastination, confusion, and forgetfulness. Life is based on making decisions, and not making them holds you hostage to compromise in your calling.

You can spend more time dreaming about tomorrow and rob the opportunities to walk out the steps today. Moses used his speech as an excuse. Jeremiah and Gideon used their age. There’s no shortage of excuses that can tie up the process.

Whether you are a parent, a spouse, a leader, or someone passionate about a cause, your choices need internal clarity and courage versus external social pressure.

Lord, grant me the boldness that I may speak forth (Acts 4:29).

The truth is that what you do today will determine whether you have success with tomorrow. And, some invitations that look like opportunities today can actually distract and derail you from the best use of time.

“Doing something good is not good enough”, says Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism – The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. This is not selective enough criteria for your time. So how do you start making strategic decisions that support the work of your life?

McKeown offers advice on how to make the decisions based on what’s essential to your life. He suggests starting with this question, ‘What is most important right now’? McKeown recommends three steps to benchmark a discerning ‘yes’:

  • Identify the three most important priorities in your life.
  • Use your priorities to decide what the criteria for saying ‘yes’ to an opportunity will be.
  • Set a plan for the next 90 days centered on this criteria and these priorities.

Fear can have you struggling to say ‘no’. You might be afraid this answer will shut down other opportunities, or result in a frayed relationship. You might be tempted to accept a request based on a ‘what if’ scenario you’ve dreamed up. Just say ‘no’.

I have boldness and access with confidence by faith in Christ (Eph. 3:12). I boldly say, “The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man will do to me” (Heb. 13:6).

You must eliminate every excuse that is hindering you from doing what you have been called to do. There is no rationalization worth stopping the success God has already set before you. God’s grace is sufficient.

I come boldly to the throne of grace, that I may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (Heb. 4:16).

Successful people are doers of the Word (James 1:22). This means you can’t sit passively and expect a lucrative life. If you want to experience the full provision of God’s covenant operating in your time, then you must be proactive with your response to these decisions.

When you waver or avoid choices that need to be made, you open up a door to doubt. When we don’t have clarity, the enemy capitalizes on the uncertainty with more questions to cause confusion.

You can’t be slow to act when God is telling you to move. You are commanded in Romans 12:11 to be “fervent in spirit [and to] serve the Lord.”

When we feel like we’re going nowhere, this keeps our minds feeling defeated. And if we’re not careful, we can become tired and idle. So let’s make that plan centered around our priorities and start making bold decisions based on the Lord’s calling in our lives.

I will be strong and courageous; I will not be afraid, for the Lord is with me wherever I go (Josh. 1:9).

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This post, Crack the Confusion, by Trisha Keehn, appeared first on LiftUpYourDay.com

Even When…

Jesus is still there

In the story of those two men heading to Emmaus (Luke 24), Jesus walks up behind them on that dusty road and asks what the two are discussing.

“Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” one of them says.

“What things?” Jesus asks. 

The men didn’t recognize this guest and go on to tell him about Jesus of Nazareth; his teaching and the powerful miracles he performed, the crucifixion three days ago and the wild stories about an empty tomb, though no one has seen Jesus.

Even when you walk away to wherever Emmaus is for you, a nightclub, the bar, another city, or in the middle of ‘nowhere’, Jesus isn’t far from you. He will meet you on that dusty road in the midst of your troubled heart and ask questions to help you sort out what doesn’t make sense.

We might look for Jesus in a moment of tragedy, an existential experience or at the crossroads in life but often don’t recognize His presence in the midst of our struggles. So you take a walk along a dusty road or have dinner with friends. Maybe you go back to work. When Jesus showed up after His resurrection, it was in these very common places for people.

where will this road lead you, dusty roads in life, our escape in life, Jesus asks us the tough questions, trishakeehn.com, will this satisfy youWe spend most of our lives escaping. We throw our hands up at our jobs, hurtful friends, and even our families. We run or keep it stuffed inside.

Eventually there will be questions. Jesus will ask you about where this road is leading and whether it’s enough to keep you satisfied. 

Consider it all joy when you go through trials of many kinds. (James 1:4)

Disappointment and defeat are the tools God uses to show you the way. Your difficulties are designed to produce perseverance and build up your faith.

Often we let the trials tear us down, though God means them for our good. Your trials grow you by developing character. We need to have enough courage to live in the struggles.

We’re not going to get to our destination any quicker by worrying, complaining or being frustrated.

When you place your joy in the source of your strength, Jesus, and not in the circumstance. you will survive and even thrive in the struggle. Even in the pain, these conflicts will be counted as your joy for what it is increasing in you, not decreasing.

Don’t let the defeat tear you down. God created you to go from strength to strength in these situations, not a mindset of struggle to struggle. 

Lastly, pay attention to your life, to the people, to the things that happen to you. This is how to experience Jesus. Don’t force it by reading into situations too much. Maybe just lean in with your ears when your thoughts want to speak. Or linger a little longer in a place of rest when reminders of the undone pull at your attention.

Here in the hard parts of life, beautiful and terrible things will happen. It’s easier to escape it, but don’t be afraid. Jesus is right there in your midst.

More Than A Final Destination

God’s only Son, perfect and without sin. When He was on the cross, you were on His mind. The exchange of His life for eternity with yours.
 
eternity, Jesus' sacrifice, the cross of Christ, trishakeehn.com, Jesus died for you, It was Friday. There were beatings and suffering before that fateful trek up the hill of Calvary. They gave Him a crown of thorns to mock this authority as King.
 
As the sacrificial drops of His blood began to spill, your story and mine changed forever.
 
The blood of one spotless human being sealed the saving grace for all humanity. By His blood and your belief, nothing can tear you from your destiny with Jesus.
 
This wasn’t only about the final destination though. Jesus conquered the grave so that you would have the authority and victory to live freely today; free from the chains of condemnation, addiction, depression, and shame.
 
The name of Jesus gives you power to overcome the pain in this world; there is nothing that can separate you from His grace and love.
 
You can live an audacious life of faith and great hope because now you have access to His Spirit, that lives and breathes inside you.

Kissing The Enemy

The most difficult love to express isn’t toward those who love you back. You can naturally give affection to people who do loving things to you.

Jesus knew Judas was going to betray him and He still called Judas a friend. Crowds wanted to be with Jesus; God gave authority for only 12 to keep close. Jesus picked Judas to be in His circle.

In this day, we make decisions that go against God and He still reaches down from Heaven with a hug.

love hurts, love will sit with hurt, love can sit at the table with hurtLove goes beyond what you can do on your own and leans on the supernatural strength to serve someone you don’t have feelings for anymore.

Love will reach out with respect when their decision was to reject you. Love can sit across the table holding a hand that stirs up hurt.

You might have a hard time loving like this because you’re afraid it will take away the perceived control you have on your life. Maybe you still look to your circumstances to satisfy you.

You might say that forgiving someone looks more like permission than punishment or a reason to change. It could be difficult to extend this kind of love when you still question God’s love for your mistakes.

When you can’t sit across the table from your enemy and share a glass of wine or a basket of bread with deep love for this other soul, you are saying that the hurt is more than what Jesus can restore and what was taken from you God could never replace.

When you cannot love your enemy as a friend, you give more power and credence to the pain of a man’s hand than the power of God’s strong arm.

No matter what you choose, the Truth is that you cannot lose anything God has given you. No one can move you from the place God has in store for you. The enemy might put on the pressure, but he cannot steal your joy or peace or love if you’re unwilling to hand it over.

Bottom line: the enemy is not flesh and blood. This is spiritual. The powers of darkness are battling to bring you down from this place of love. Satan wants to strip you of Jesus. The devil shows up in the flesh and wants to control your feelings.keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer, Judas was a friend of Jesus, Jesus called Judas a friend, Judas betrayed Jesus

Let these difficult situations draw you to surrender to God’s Will, which is to love. Pray for the desire, the words, and the walk to extend forgiveness and mercy in light of your pain.

This isn’t self-empowerment. It’s not about building yourself up by declaring your own strength and unending love. God wants you to recognize that you are weak and that you trust Him for help.

When emotions are unbearable and the situation seems impossible, ask for the strength of Jesus to show up in your hands and feet with an embrace for the enemy. Invite your adversary to the table and let this love of Jesus wash away any brokenness with His supernatural love.

“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:27-36)

When Life Is Difficult

Life may have you competing for better positioning, or standing at the edge of your patience right now. Maybe it has you on the floor with fear or drowning in your own tears. I can’t take away the pain or turmoil, but as your sister in Christ, I want to point you to the One on the throne who is listening even now, standing ready and willing to encourage you today.
encouragement of the cross, the cross sits is at the center, look the crossWhen the day intersects with difficulties, may you land on the fresh encouragement of the cross there at the center of your decisions. Refocus. The cross is always at the center when you shift your gaze. May you be empowered to rise above the rough places to see the perspective here; the Lord has already paved a straight path to victory for you. It’s covered in grace and certainty. Be expectant when it doesn’t look the way you thought it would; He’s a God of surprises and delights to bring even better things than you can comprehend.

There is power in your stance. So pull your shoulders back, feel the strength in your body and lift that head up knowing whose we are. He is the Author and Finisher, and He’s penned your story with the good things. (Proverbs 28:10)

Jesus, we’re thankful for your grace. It means there’s no amount of human effort that can change the ending. We are covered by a love that paid the price with the blood of Jesus, once and for all. Signed, sealed and delivered for the freedom of God’s children. The chains of addiction, shame, and depression have been broken. The strongholds of negativity, anger and negativity have no power over the Lord’s purpose and plan for your life.

Grace has put us in the winner’s circle. Our strength comes from the Lord who has already overcome anything and everything that should come against us today. Breathe new life into us, Lord. Restore hope and purpose in us. Help us to be quick to resist temptation and make decisions that honor you. Thank you, Lord for the wisdom to make great decisions in life. Thank you for going before us and making our path straight.

Lord, we ask that you open the right doors and close the wrong doors. Bring the right people and weed out those who should not be there. Help our spiritual ears and eyes to be open and sensitive to your voice so we can clearly hear what the Spirit is saying.

You are the true and living God and we thank you that you are bigger than anything we are facing. You are fighting for us, Almighty God, and all those against us will fail by the power of your strong arm. I thank you Lord that every force of darkness is broken in the name of Jesus. And we thank you for bringing healing, peace and joy to your children.

Help us to let this light of yours shine brighter in us this week, Lord. Help us to restore the broken and lift the fallen. Lord, you said you would be a friend who sticks closer than a brother. So I pray that anyone experiencing loss or unfair situations may feel the comfort from your arms wrapped around them today.

Thank you Lord, for joy that comes in the morning. Thank you for a new day of victory and hope that is springing up inside. Thank you for restoring a vision of new beginnings. We thank you for restoring health physically, spiritually and emotionally.

We declare we are strong in the Lord and the power of Your might, Jesus! Amen.

Your Best Days Are Ahead

best days are ahead, trishakeehn.comThose who live by the law also live in the land of ‘what if’. It’s time to stop rewinding the reel of your broken dreams.
 
The law says, ‘look at what I did’. Grace says, ‘look at what Jesus did.’
 
The devil can’t stand to see you free. He might be surrounding you with discouragement and disappointment now. Hang on, Friend. Wait on the Lord. You shall have your strength renewed soon and mount up on eagle’s wings.
 
Trust the Father with your future. Your best days are not behind you, they are still out in front of you.