Creating a blog post takes me a lot longer today than it did a couple of years ago.
Part of it is due to the fact that I am in a competitive niche and I need to create better content. But part of it is because I know more about blogging and content creation than I did back then.
In the beginning, I was not aware of the importance of my blog headline. I barely used images in my posts. And my content included far less information.
Today, a blog post is a ton of work.
And if we invest this much effort into creating a post, we want to make sure that we have the best piece of content we could create.
The writing of a blog post or other content is only one step. Before you hit that publish button, you should perform some basic checks to make sure you have everything in place and optimized.
Here is a quick checklist to finish up your blog post:
#1 The topic
Right, you should check this before you write your post. Don’t invest much work in topics that are not the right topics.
Is this topic of interest to your readers/audience?
Is this topic relevant to your line of work? Are people interested in this topic also interested in what you offer?
Did you already cover this topic before? Should you rather aim for updating existing content?
Re-read your content. It sometimes helps to let it sit for a day or two. Re-reading it then will provide you with a fresh pair of eyes.
Does the opening paragraph introduce the topic and capture attention?
Is the content well-written and easy to read and understand?
Does the content tell a story?
Do the content and arguments flow?
#3 Fact Check
The more content I create, the pickier I get with data and studies that I quote in the content. Many numbers floating around that do not hold up to inspection and there are statistics quoted in new articles that are already years old.
You can do better.
Do your facts hold up to inspections?
Do you provide proof for your arguments?
#4 Grammar and spelling
Yes, I know how easily some spelling and grammar mistakes slip through.
I use Grammarly to help find them.
Did you reread your content for spelling and grammar mistakes?
Did you run it through a spell-checking tool?
My paragraphs got shorter over the years. I had to learn that blogging is not writing a novel.
Online content needs more structure than a book.
Are you utilizing subheadings and paragraphs?
Are your paragraphs short (2-3 sentences?)
Are you using images in your content?
Is your formatting consistent?
Can you turn some more of your content into bullet lists?
It is not just about giving credit. Proper attribution will also emphasize your arguments and provide context.
Do you always mention a source for data and numbers you are using?
Is your data current and not outdated?
Do you always mention owners/sources of images?
Your headline can easily make all the difference between success and failure.
Does your title follow best practices?
Did you create multiple headlines and chose the best?
Does your headline introduce the topic?
Does your headline include your main keyword?
This is not an email about SEO. But for every piece of content you create, you should perform some basic SEO tasks.
Have you done your keyword research and found related keywords?
Does your content include related keywords?
Does your content follow on-page SEO best practices?
Do you provide a catchy and concise meta description?
Di you add internal links to older content?
Did you plan some internal links from existing content to your new content?
#9 What else
There is always something more to optimize.
Did you include a lead magnet and a call to action?
Prayer is a key to heaven’s storehouse, but faith unlocks the door. A prayer without faith is like a key without a hand to turn it. In 1 John 5:14,15 we find some great truths about prayer: And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. Let’s read it again and look at some key words. “This is the confidence.” Or, this is the faith.
We have this confidence in Him, that if we ask anything, according to His will, He hears us. “And if we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.” Notice that two key words here are anything and whatsoever. John said you can ask anything that you desire and have whatsoever you ask. If we know that He hears us, we know that we have whatsoever we desired of Him. If God hears you, if you get an audience with Him, you already have granted to you as your present possession what you ask.
Asking According Now somebody says, “Yes, but that’s if it is the will of God for you to have it.” Well, let’s look at verse 14 again: This is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything. Now why would he say anything, if it has to be His will before it will work? Let’s say it this way so you can see it, “If you ask according to His will for asking.” His Word is His will. This passage is not dealing with God’s will for you to have or not to have a certain thing. This is not even involved in this verse of scripture. Many have thought it was and it has held them in bondage for years. They said, “If I pray for something that is not God’s will, then I won’t receive it.” Therefore they didn’t take time to find the will of God, but prayed saying, “Lord, if it be Your will.” There was no faith in that prayer.
No need of praying that prayer. You are wasting your time. You do not know whether God has heard you, so you cannot release faith in your prayer. That prayer will not produce for you because it does not qualify on the basis of God’s rules for asking. Answered prayer is governed by spiritual law (God’s Word).
Many times our prayers have gone unanswered because we did not determine the will of God before asking. Therefore we could not release faith in that prayer. Then on other occasions we have prayed beyond God’s ability to answer. If He did do what we ask, He would violate His Word. God’s will concerning your having or not having is not involved in verse 14. Now don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying you should pray for just anything whether it is God’s will or not, but you can do that. The Bible says you can. If you know He heard you, you will have whatever you desired, you will have the petitions you requested—right, wrong, good, bad or indifferent. It is very dangerous for a person to pray for something assuming that it is God’s will.
You can believe and receive things that are not God’s will. Israel received a king to rule over them. It wasn’t God’s will, but they requested it. Be Specific Now there are some things that are immaterial with God. Whether you drive a blue car or a red car doesn’t matter to Him unless it matters to you. According to the Word in Mark 11:24, if you desired a red one, pray for a red one. Don’t pray for just a car—be specific! God has set a spiritual law before us. If we will learn to operate under the rules of His law, we will get our prayers answered. If we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask …. The idea present in verse 14 is to ask according to God’s will for asking.
I want to show you why you cannot interpret that verse the way most people have, namely, “if it is God’s will for you to have it.” The Bible says in the mouth of two or three witnesses let every word be established; so let’s go to the Word of God and find some more witnesses. Let’s learn to interpret the Word of God in the light of the rest of the Bible.
Don’t just take one verse of scripture and say, “That is what He said and that is all there is to it.” That can hold you in bondage. For instance, here it seems to be saying something that it really doesn’t say. If you ask anything according to His will He hears you. He is talking about your asking according to God’s rulebook for asking, His will for asking. What is God’s will for asking? …
let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways (James 1:6-8). That is one of the rules for asking anything from God.
Whatsoever Now for another witness let’s go to Mark 11, verses 23 and 24. Here Jesus is teaching the greatest faith principle the world has ever known. It will absolutely
transform your life. Whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. He didn’t say he would have what he believed. He didn’t say he would have what he hoped for. He said he would have whatsoever he saith.
Then He connects that verse of scripture to the next one by saying it will also work in prayer. Verse 23 is not a prayer scripture. It is the faith principle. It is spiritual law. Just as the law of gravity will work, so will this law work when it is applied correctly. Verse 24 is the prayer scripture. Therefore it will work in prayer. Therefore I say unto you, What things so ever ye DESIRE …. Notice the words ye desire. It doesn’t say what God desires, does it?
No. Now let’s put it in our language. He said, “Whatever you desire when you pray, you believe that you receive, and you shall have it.” Someone has said, “Oh, but if it’s not God’s will, you can’t have it. So go ahead and pray for it; and if it’s God’s will, you will receive. If it isn’t, you won’t receive it anyway.” I beg your pardon! The Bible says you will. People are deceived in this area. Israel wanted a king. It wasn’t God’s will for them to have one, but they received a king. That is why it is so very important that you learn God’s will before you pray.
It would be better for you to spend a week reading and searching the Word of God before you ever form your prayer, than to just pray and assume it is God’s will. In Ecclesiastes, the 5th chapter, verses 1 and 2, we find this admonition: When you go into the house of the Lord, let your words be few. Then in Psalm 37, verse 7, we read, Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him. The Hebrew translation says, “to be silent to the Lord.” Sometimes we do too much praying or we pray the wrong way at the wrong ti
me. For instance, a man, as he was being to bed, cried out, “Oh God, don’t let them find that $100 bill I hid in my shoe.” Now that’s dumb! He told the thief what he needed to know. Sometimes we have given satan valuable information while praying. We should learn when to be silent and when to pray. Prayer will get you into more trouble than you know how to handle, if it is not in line with the Word of God, or if it is not done accurately. The effectiveness of prayer is governed by spiritual law. Sometimes people say that prayer couldn’t hurt anyone. That is like saying,”Electricity cooks my food and washes my clothes and no one could get hurt by electricity.” Well, as long as you use it wisely and obey the laws that govern that power, it will work for you. But the same force that washes your clothes and cooks your food can also destroy you if you violate the laws that govern that force.
“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live even though they die. And whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” (John 11:25-26 NIV) John chapter 11 portrays Jesus as having power over death. My entire life changed when my beloved father passed away 23 years ago. Incredible grief consumed me. I remember the therapist suggesting visiting my father’s grave so I could find comfort and accept that he was gone forever. Unfortunately, that didn’t help at all.
Visiting my father’s grave only confirmed the fact that he was dead and I would never see him again. The emptiness in my heart from losing my father has taken many years to heal. Today, the Lord reminded me of John 11:25-26, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live even though they die. And whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” I paused and reflected on this passage. Lord, help me understand what you are trying to teach me through this passage. How many times have I read this passage since I became a Christian? Like Martha, I knew that one day we would be resurrected on the last day. But what did Jesus exactly mean when He said, “I am the resurrection and the life.
The one who believes in me will live even though they die. And whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” And then when He asked Martha to show him where Lazarus was buried. Martha responded, “By this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” (John 11:39 NIV) This is where I came to the realization that before the Lord Jesus came, we were all dead and buried due to our transgressions. We didn’t need someone to fix us; we needed someone to die for us and raise us, just like he did for Lazarus.
Jesus didn’t want to abandon us in the grave, where we would rot from the inside out. So what did He do? He came, died for us, and called us out from the grave. After the fall, God speaks to the Serpent (Satan), “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Gen. 3:15 NIV) With His foot planted on Satan’s head, Jesus loudly said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die, and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” (John 11:25-26 NIV) Beloved, we were once dead, but now we are alive because of Jesus’ sacrifice.
The Apostle Paul said, “Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgression- it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians. 2:4-6 NIV) So, while my father’s physical body may be dead, he is still alive in Christ. He was made alive with Christ when he accepted Jesus as his Savior. I no longer visit my father’s grave and mourn his death. Instead, I celebrate the fact that he is alive in Christ, and I will one day see him again. Lord Jesus, thank you for your mercy and grace. Thank you for overcoming death and rescuing me and my loved ones from the end. I was once dead in my transgressions, but because of your love and grace, I am now alive, and one day, I will return to you and live with you for all eternity. I love you, Lord Jesus
Jesus’ Resurrection Is God’s Seal of Approval on Jesus
The first theme is that Jesus’ resurrection is God’s vindication of Jesus’ life, ministry, person, and divinity.
When Jesus died a criminal’s death on the hill of Golgotha outside of Jerusalem, hope died with him. His disciples and many others had come to believe in him as the Messiah. Some even believed he was the Son of God, that is, divine. Then the scourge tore into his back, merciless nails were pounded through his hands and feet, his body was jerked erect as the cross was pulled vertical and dropped into its hole in the parched earth. For six hours he hung there and finally died. His disciples took his body down and tenderly buried him.
But that day a glorious movement of the Kingdom of God was buried, too. Or so it seemed. Then Easter morning God raised him from the dead. It was as if God was attesting to the authenticity of his Son, validating his teachings, and saying in the most unmistakably graphic terms what he had said in words at Jesus’ Baptism: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). This was a strong element of early preaching in Jerusalem, which contrasted the Jews’ killing of Jesus with God’s raising him:
“God has raised this Jesus to life…. Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” (Acts 2:32, 36)
“The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead — whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel.” (Acts 5:30-31)
“For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof1 of this to all men by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17:31)
“[He] was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 1:4)
It is one thing for claims to be made about who Jesus was. But God set his own seal upon him at the resurrection validating those claims. After all, if God has raised him from the dead, who but a fool would try to prove that he is a mere man.
Jesus’ Resurrection Validates our Salvation
A related theme is more specific, that Jesus’ resurrection validates our own salvation. I’ve often pondered over a passage in Romans:
“He was delivered over to death for (dia) our sins and was raised to life for (dia) our justification.” (Romans 4:25)
A simplistic way to construe this is to assume that Jesus’ death on the cross atoned for our sins, while in a separate event Jesus’ resurrection took care of declaring us pardoned and blameless. The key word in this verse is the preposition dia, used in both clauses, which can mean either “because of” (retrospective) or “with a view to, to bring about” (prospective).2
But I don’t think Paul sees these as separate events, but both part of the whole, in a construction reminiscent of Hebrew synoptic parallelism or progressive parallelism that we often see in Hebrew poetry. What is sure is that the resurrection here validates our salvation and completes it. Indeed, without the resurrection, Jesus’ death would mean … only that he was dead. As Paul indicates in the strongest possible terms:
“13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.” (1 Corinthians 15:13-19)
It is because Christ has been raised from the dead that we have assurance or proof that God has completed our salvation. Because God vindicated Jesus by raising him from the dead, we know that his promises of forgiveness of sins are true, that we have been saved, rescued, delivered. Several times the resurrection is referred to as the basis of our confidence in salvation:
“Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died — more than that, who was raised to life — is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” (Romans 8:33-34)
“Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.” (1 Peter 1:21)
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God…. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14, 16)
Because he lives we have confidence that our salvation is not a pipe dream based on empty hopes, but a firm expectation based on Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.
Jesus resurrection typifies our spiritual union with him
A third theme in the New Testament that expresses Jesus’ death and resurrection as a kind of analogy to our spiritual life. This gets a bit complex, so hang in here with me. Paul is arguing that we must stop living in sin:
“Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united (sumphutos4) with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.” (Romans 6:3-5)
Here Paul sees the act of baptism as a type of Jesus’ own death and resurrection, and a vivid reminder of our union with him in both his death and resurrection.
Christ Death and burial Resurrection Baptism Immersed in the water Brought out of the water Believers United with him in his death Shall be united with him (in the future) in his resurrection In Colossians we find a similar figure:
“… Having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.” (Colossians 2:12)
As A.T. Robertson puts it, “Baptism is a picture of the past and of the present and a prophecy of the future, the matchless preacher of the new life in Christ.”5
Peter, too, carries on this theme of resurrection as a symbol of regeneration:
“In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead….” (1 Peter 1:3)
In a number of passages, Paul speaks of being co-crucified with Christ and co-resurrected with Christ, beginning with the Romans 6 baptismal passage we just looked at, which continues:
“6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him…. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him…. 11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6:6, 8, 11)
Elsewhere, Paul repeats this theme, with the same ethical imperative to live out our “new life” with integrity:
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 5:20)
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (Colossians 3:1-4)
We also see Jesus’ resurrection and subsequent ascension to glory at the Father’s right hand as a type of our own spiritual life:
“That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms…” (Ephesians 1:19b-20)
“1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins…. 4b But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus….” (Ephesians 2:1, 4b-6)
At Christ’s right hand we share his power and privileges in the spiritual world. Our being co-raised with Christ typifies the grace of God to us. This may be a spiritual expression, but if you have tasted of its reality, then you know something of the wonder of what Paul is expressing here
Having faith in God is easy when all is going well—when the kids are behaving, the job is going well, and the biggest issue you face for the day is what to have for dinner.
But how do you access that same faith when everything is going wrong?
Remember that, as a human, your sight is limited. Unlike God, you don’t know the end from the beginning. That means that there are things that you’re not seeing, because you don’t have the big picture.
If you are the type who says, I’ll believe it when I see it or, I need to see the big picture before you move forward in faith, then get comfortable. Because you are going to be sitting in whatever spot you currently find yourself in for a very long time.
Getting out of your current situation requires faith in the unseen. Even when you can’t see any positives to be thankful for. Even when it feels like God has forgotten you. Here are five ways to do just that:
Where does faith come from?
Faith is the avenue or the instrument God uses to bring salvation to His people. God gives faith because of His grace and mercy, because He loves us (Ephesians 4—5). Faith comes from God in the form of a gift (Ephesians 2:8).
A gift is not earned by some good deed or kind word, and it is not given because the giver expects a gift in return—under any of those conditions, a gift would not be a gift. The Bible emphasizes that faith is a gift because God deserves all of the glory for our salvation. If the receiver of faith could do anything whatsoever to deserve or earn the gift, that person would have every right to boast (Ephesians 2:9). But all such boasting is excluded (Romans 3:27). God wants Christians to understand they have done nothing to earn faith, it’s only because of what Christ did on the cross that God gives anyone faith (Ephesians 2:5, 16). Receiving faith is a non-work (see Romans 4—Abraham’s salvation was dependent on faith in God, as opposed to any work he performed).
Suppose someone anonymously sent you a check for $1,000,000. The money is yours if you want it, but you still must endorse the check. In no way can signing your name be considered earning the million dollars—the endorsement is a non-work. You can never boast about becoming a millionaire through sheer effort or your own business savvy. No, the million dollars was simply a gift, and signing your name was the only way to receive it. Similarly, exercising faith is the only way to receive the generous gift of God, and faith cannot be considered a work worthy of the gift.
By knowing our saving faith comes from God alone, it should encourage Christians to “not think of yourself more highly than you ought,” but remember God decides the measure of faith each one receives (Romans 12:3). The apostle Paul gives an example of the godly humility believers should have when they contemplate their own faith: “Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 1:13–14). Paul understood faith in Christ was given to him because of God’s grace in spite of his own sinful life (1 Corinthians 4:7).
The Bible specifies the way, or the means, that God gives faith to people. “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ” (Romans 10:17). It is the Word of God that produces faith. Someone could receive faith while hearing a sermon teaching the gospel, someone else by reading about Jesus in the Bible—any time the true gospel of Jesus is communicated, there is potential for faith. This is why it’s of paramount importance for believers everywhere to be obedient to the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16–20) and tell people what Christ has done for humanity. Faith is not the product of a preacher’s compelling presentation, his eloquence, or even his theological soundness—faith is given through the message about Jesus. This is the means God has chosen.
It is good for anyone who wants faith to ask for it. God freely gives what is good to all who ask (Luke 11:9–12), and it’s good to ask for an increase of faith (Luke 17:5; Mark 9:24). Jesus prayed for Peter’s faith to be strengthened (Luke 22:32). As with any gift from God, it is our responsibility to exercise the gift and not become complacent, lazy, or apathetic (Romans 12:1–2, 6–8). Christians can find comfort and peace of mind knowing their faith is from God, because He has said He will finish the good work He started (Philippians 1:6). God is the Author and the Perfecter of faith (Hebrews 12:2a; Romans 8:29–30).
Six reason to have faith in God
1. God knows all thing
Another name of God is Alpha and Omega, Alpha means He is the beginning and Omega means He is the ending. God knows everything from the beginning of our lives to the ending, He has already mapped out our lives from the beginning to the end, nothing takes Him by surprise. Whatever happens to us in life, He already knows about it, He does not say oh my child let me go and think about what to do, He already knows what is going to happen to us in another minute or years to come. Hence, we must have faith in His purpose and plans for our lives. We must be courageous enough to trust and have faith in His plan for us.
2. He has never failed before:
From the beginning of the creation that we read in the words of God till the ending, we have never seen, heard, or read where God failed before. Hence, we must have faith in God. God is the only one that makes a promise and fulfills it, He has never lied nor gone back at His words. People make several promises and at the end of the day they fail to keep to their promises, even all other small gods that the unbeliever trusts fail them. God never lies and He has never failed, nor will He ever fail. He said, He honors His words more than His name. He will never allow His name to be put to shame nor dragged into the mud.
3. Whatever he says he does it.
therefore, having faith in God must not be something we should ever doubt or stop doing in our life. Faith builds our confidence in God: Faith boosts our confidence in God. With faith in us, we can tell of His goodness to the world, unashamed and unapologetically. We can proclaim to the world of His greatness and mighty acts. That is the work of faith in us. When you are so sure of something, you are confident without doubt in your heart about it, then you can tell others about it to come join you.
4. All things are possible with God.
Matthew 19: 26 says’ But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” We must have faith in God because, all things are possible with God, absolutely NOTHING is too difficult for God to do. He brings back the dead to live, He heals the sick, He makes way when all roads seem blocked, out rightly, there is nothing He cannot do, therefore we will do ourselves good by having faith in Him.
5. Faith birth miracles in our lives.
It is only when we have faith in God that miracles can happen. Therefore, faith is a birth miracle. The bible says in “Matthew 17:20 that” So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. Faith brings creation, just like we read now in Matthew 17:20, it is only when we have faith that miracles, signs and wonders are guaranteed. We can call those things that are not as though they were through faith in God.
6. We cannot lease him without faith.
We cannot please Him without faith: As a Christian, we cannot claim to love the Lord or walk in His ways without having faith in God. We cannot obey someone we do not trust. In a relationship of two people, trust must be what is binding them together, if not they cannot achieve anything meaningful, that is, one party will be going A, while the other party will be going in opposite direction which will make the relationship sour in a jiffy. When there is no trust or faith in a relationship there is no reason to continue, therefore, in order for us to please God and for Him to love us too, we must have faith in whatever He instructs us to do.
God’s Word is alive and powerful. (Heb. 4:12.) It is living substance. It is law in the world of the Spirit. It is more powerful than the laws of nature that govern the universe today.
Every born-again believer has God’s ability abiding in him in the person of Jesus Christ; yet few have ever learned to release that power. God is in you to the degree that His Word is in you. God and His Word are one. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1). The Word was God in the beginning. The Word is still God today.
God’s Word is Lord over every circumstance of life. Our minds cannot grasp these truths without the revelation that God and His Word are one. Jesus said, If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you (John 15:7). We stagger at the love and faith which God has invested in humanity. If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode (our home) with him (John 14:23).
The spirit must be expanded by the rebirth to receive such awesome truths as Jesus spoke when He prayed to the Father: … the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as WE ARE ONE: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one … that the world may know that thou … hast loved them, as thou hast loved me … And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them (John 17: 22-26). Hebrews 1:3 literally says Jesus was the exact expression of God’s substance.
The word is God.
He was the exact personality of God. “I and my Father are one.” Truth personified. The Word was God … upholding all things by the word of his power. God released His ability in Word form and it upholds all things. The whole universe stands in obedience to His Words. God’s ability is in His Word. We must learn to release that ability within us by rightly dividing His Words. Jesus said, These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace (John 16:33). Many of God’s people are held in bondage because the enemy has perverted their minds to the great truths of the Word of God. God gave you His Word to put you over. He designed it to work in every area of life. His Word works and it knows no time or distance. It is spiritual law.
Rest assured that is word never failed.
The law of gravity works continually. You won’t wake up some morning on the ceiling, wondering why the law of gravity isn’t working! No, you can rest assured that when you wake up in the morning, you will be lying down; you won’t be lying up on the ceiling. Just that sure are God’s spiritual laws and they work continually. They work the same yesterday, today and forever. They will never change. The Word says, God changeth not.
God’s word never change.
God’s Word never changes, but it changes things. Laws of God Let us take off our religious eyeglasses and look at some things that Jesus said concerning prayer. There are laws of God that govern and uphold all things. I want you to see that the laws we will be referring to are God’s laws and they are spiritual. God is a Spirit and He created the universe. Everything you see has been created by a Spirit. Now sometimes people get the idea that this is the real world and the spirit world just somehow doesn’t exist because they can’t see it with the natural eye.
It is like a fog out there somewhere. Many people believe in it like they do Santa Claus. The spirit world is the real world. This is not the real world. The Word says, the things which are seen are temporal (2 Cor. 4:18). In other words, they are subject to change. But the word of God … liveth and abideth forever (1 Peter 1:23). God’s Word is a living Person (Jesus) and abides forever. The reason you have eternal life is that you received the eternal Word into your spirit and He is life. The Word is eternal and He produces after His kind. Scriptural Bondage Today there are many Christians that have been deceived by the evil one. Satan is called the deceiver. His ability is in his deception. Jesus stripped him of his authority and power. God’s Word will always strip the armor from satan and bring to light his deception. Deception is his only armor. God’s Word will penetrate that armor and expose him. Many are held in bondage by certain scriptures. Have you noticed that the devil tried to put Jesus in bondage by quoting scriptures? Now the enemy knows a few scriptures, but he will quote them out of context to bring you into bondage.
What is the God-kind of love like? The God-kind of love is full of kindness and is tenderhearted. Since God’s love is kind and tenderhearted, it is always ready to forgive.
This scripture also doesn’t say, “Forgive one another when the offense doesn’t amount to much. But if people have done a lot against you, then it’s okay to not forgive them.” The verse doesn’t read that way, but too many times that is the way people practice it.
Too many Christians allow their flesh to rule them, and then wonder why they aren’t receiving God’s best in their lives. But it’s impossible to walk in the God-kind of love while allowing the flesh to rule.
Ephesians 4:32 says, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, FORGIVING ONE ANOTHER, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Sometimes I think people interpret this verse by saying that we are to forgive people only when they are kind to us. But that’s not what the Bible says.
If we’re going to obey the Bible, we have to let the inward man rule us so we can be “kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another.” It’s only as we “put on” Christ and make no provision for the flesh (Rom. 13:14) that we will be able to forgive one another, even as God for Christ’s sake forgave us.
How can we forgive the way God forgives? Well, the Bible says that God is love. And the same kind of love that God is has been shed abroad in our heart, or spirit, by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5).
What kind of love is it? Is it natural, human love? No, it is divine love. It is the God-kind of love. And one characteristic of the God-kind of love is that it forgives. Another thing about divine love—when God forgives, He forgets!
Isaiah 43:25 says, “I, even I, am he that BLOTTETH OUT THY TRANSGRESSIONS for mine own sake, and WILL NOT REMEMBER thy sins.” Hebrews 8:12 says, “For I will BE MERCIFUL TO THEIR UNRIGHTEOUSNESS, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”
These scriptures tell us that once we ask forgiveness, God doesn’t remember our sins anymore. God doesn’t say, “I’m going to hold against you everything you’ve ever done, and I’m going to remind you of your sins every time I think of them.” Thank God, this verse says that when we ask forgiveness, God will remember our sins no more!
Sometimes husbands and wives can be prone to remind each other of past mistakes every time a disagreement arises. There’s no way they can develop a good relationship if they keep doing that. Also, if spouses constantly remind each other of past mistakes and failures, it will ruin their prayer lives and will make their faith inoperative.
1 PETER 3:7 7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; THAT YOUR PRAYERS BE NOT HINDERED.
If husbands and wives hold unforgiveness and ill will against each other, it can affect their health, and their prayers will be hindered. Their faith won’t work.
You want your prayers to be unhindered, don’t you? Then walk in love and forgiveness. Learn to forgive and forget like God does.
Forgiveness does not remember evil
You see, if you really love people and forgive them, you will not keep reminding them of their past mistakes, sins, and failures. You will not keep reminding them about the way they hurt you, let you down, or offended you.
Now the devil may bring a picture to your mind of something that happened between you and another person. But you don’t have to entertain the devil’s thoughts. You can go on your way and walk in forgiveness, knowing that the Lord has forgiven you of your sin, failures, and shortcomings, and that you have forgiven the other person.
You can forgive.
Some people say, “Well, I just can’t forgive.” But that doesn’t line up with the Scriptures, because if you are born again, the God-kind of love has been shed abroad in your heart.
Other people say, “Well, I can’t forgive the way God does because I’m not God.” Of course, you’re not God! But, you see, God forgives because He is love (1 John 4:8). And the same kind of love that God is dwells in you. Therefore, you can forgive with His love, just as God does.
Because the love of God has been shed abroad in our heart by the Holy Ghost, that means that God even furnishes the love for you and me to forgive with! But too many believers make the mistake of going by their head instead of their heart.
So divine love not only forgives, it forgets! That’s the way God wants us to forgive too. And we can forgive and forget because God has already furnished His love in our heart, enabling us to forgive. Therefore, there’s no excuse for failure in our ability to forgive.
Colossians 3:13 says, “Forbearing one another, and FORGIVING ONE ANOTHER, if any man have a quarrel against any: EVEN AS CHRIST FORGAVE YOU, SO ALSO DO YE.” You see, when we walk in the light of the Word, we can enjoy all the benefits thereof. But to walk in the light of the Word, we have to walk in love and forgiveness.
There is something else we need to see about how love and forgiveness work together regarding answered prayer. Unforgiveness—the lack of forgiveness—is one hindrance to prayer that Jesus Himself mentioned.
Forgiveness will help you walk in all of God’s blessings.
MARK 11:23–25 23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. 24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. 25 And when ye stand PRAYING, FORGIVE, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
A lot of times, people take these verses out of context and make them say something they don’t say. Then, they try to make them work, anyway. But, you see, there are some conditions involved in getting Mark 11:23 and 24 to work. Did you ever notice that many of the promises of God are conditional?
You see, the blessings of God don’t just fall on us like ripe cherries off a tree. You have your part to play—you have some responsibility in the matter.
When Jesus tells us in Mark 11:23 and 24 that we can have what we say, we all rejoice and are thrilled with His words. And we should be. But that is not all Jesus said about answered prayer.
Mark 11:23 and 24 do not present the whole story on the subject of faith. For example, in Galatians 5:6, the Bible has something else to say about faith. It says that faith only works by love.
So you won’t be able to get your faith to work for you if you’re not walking in love and forgiveness. I don’t care how many biblical confessions you make or how scriptural they are—your faith won’t work without the God-kind of love.
You can make all the confessions you want, but they won’t work for you unless you forgive. You can get up every morning and go through your list, take time out at noon to make faith confessions, and even get up in the middle of the night and repeat the same confessions—and your faith still won’t work for you unless you’re walking in love.
You could make your faith confessions like that for a hundred years, but your faith simply will not work in an atmosphere of unforgiveness.
You see, believing you have your petition and confessing your faith with your mouth is only part of effective faith and receiving answers to prayer. In fact, Mark 11:23 and 24 won’t work without Mark 11:25: “And when ye stand praying, FORGIVE. . . .” Why won’t verses 23 and 24 work without verse 25? Because faith won’t work without love, and love forgives.
Notice that verse 25 begins with the word “and.” The word “and” is a conjunction. It joins what Jesus just finished saying to what He’s about to say. Notice what Jesus had just said in Mark 11:24: “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when YE PRAY. . . .” Jesus was talking about prayer. And He was still talking about how to make your faith effectual in verse 25 when He said, “When you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive.” When you pray—forgive!
Why did Jesus say that? Because Jesus knew that if we have an air of unforgiveness about us, our prayers won’t be effectual. Faith only works by love (Gal. 5:6).
Now if Jesus had just said, “When you stand praying, you’ll have your petition,” we’d all have it made. But He didn’t stop there. He said that when we stand praying, we have to do something. What do we have to do? Forgive! If we have aught (or anything) against anyone, we have to forgive.
This great truth bears repeating: Prayer and faith won’t work when there is an air of unforgiveness about you! And unforgiveness is what has so many people stymied in their faith and prayer life.
Whether you realize it or not, a lack of compassion and an unwillingness to forgive others are the things that hinder us from receiving from God and from growing spiritually. Unforgiveness will hinder us from being what God wants us to be and from being who God wants us to be.
In Mark 11:25, Jesus said, “When you stand praying, forgive if ye have aught against anyone.” The word “aught” means any kind of grudge or ill will or wrong feeling about anyone at all. That means a little grudge, a middle-sized grudge, or a big grudge—anything at all against another person.
God’s Word works, but you have to be a doer of God’s Word before it will work for you. Part of being a doer of God’s Word is to forgive others and to forgive yourself too.
It’s believing, acting on, and confessing God’s Word that makes it work for you. You can’t act on the Word and be a doer of God’s Word if you aren’t willing to forgive. It’s absolutely impossible.
So learn to forgive so you can receive God’s best in life. Practice what Paul did. Forget those things which are behind and “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14).
We may be natural at encouraging others or we may struggle to find ways to give others a boost. Either way, encouraging others is part of our calling as followers of Jesus. In 1 Thessalonians 5:11 ~ Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing
What I love about encouragement is that God can use our efforts to spur others on monumentally and THAT is thrilling to be a part of. When you look around, you can see the deep need of encouragement our world is depleted of. Be the light to those around you!
This world is in great need of people that encourage one another. Encouragement can be a small gesture with a huge impact. Are you looking for creative ways to encourage others?
1. Has simple has smiling.
Something as simple as smiling is a great way to encourage others. We have so much to celebrate, share it through your smile. It’s contagious and is more powerful that we realize.
2. Pick up the phone.
Make the call to your friend, or family member, or whomever has been on your heart and let them know. Don’t let another day go by without letting them know you care and are there for them.
3. Give quality time
Time is a precious commodity these days. Therefore, we really have to be intentional with how we use it so we don’t fly through our days without noticing those around us.
With someone needing encouragement, your presence can be exactly what they need to encourage their spirit. It could be a solid 5 minutes of undivided attention, or it could be an afternoon.
Whatever the quantity, quality time can be so impactful for encouraging others. I’ve often joked that 10 minutes of quality time can boost me for a week! It makes such a difference.
Bring encouragement to others by giving them quality time.
4. Speak life-affirming word
How to encourage someone with words? Speak life-affirming words of truth to them! Encourage them with the hope you hold on to.
Remind them that they are not struggling alone and God is able to do immeasurably more than we could ever imagine. Ephesians 3:20
Below are some bible verses of words of encouragement.
Words to Encourage Others With Truth
I live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 12:7
Because I place my hope in God, I can soar like and eagle, run and not grow weary, walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31
God is my refuge and strength…always ready to help me in times of trouble. Psalm 46:1
God gives me strength when I am weary and increases my power when I am weak. Isaiah 40:29
When I call out to God, He answers me. Jeremiah 33:3
My God meets all my needs. Philippians 4:19
Beyond scripture, what do you say to encourage someone? Sometimes the most impactful words of encouragement you can share with someone is that you’re there for them. Tell them you love them. Remind them that you care and they’re not going through this alone.
I struggled on the right words to express to a friend that was grieving the loss of a family member. What scripture should I use? What are the right words to try to bring encouragement to her life?
I told her I had no idea what to say but I loved her and I was carrying her pain in my heart. She told me out of all the sympathy cards and well-wishes she received, it meant the most to be told she was loved. She said, “Frankly, there were no right words. My broken heart needed love.” I’ll never forget that lesson.
5. Send seeds.
Flowers are wonderful to receive but can be so expensive. Send seeds instead – especially to the gardener or person in your life with a green thumb!
New life comes from the seeds and seeing a beautiful flower sprout is the essence of what God offers us: live. Share seeds with those that need encouragement – they fit perfectly in a card and envelope to be mailed.
Do we trust God enough to leave the outcome in His hand, or do we grow anxious and try to seize control of the situation? Is God our first source of provision or our last-ditch effort at finding an answer?
God tests our faith to produce patience and character; to cause our faith to grow even stronger in Him.
Once while my friend were pastoring a small congregation, he had hired an individual to oversee his child care center.
This person came with very high recommendations but it soon became apparent that there were some serious issues with integrity.
How to Respond When God Tests Your Faith
To make a long story short this person embezzled thousands of dollars, some of which were state and federal funds. My became aware of the situation when the manager of his bank pulled him aside one day as he was making a personal deposit to ask why he was not returning his calls.
He was ycompletely unaware of his repeated attempts to contact the church office since all calls were channeled through the office of this person we had hired.
While skimming funds off the top, this individual also failed to pay the bills and his mortgage had remained unpaid for two months which placed him close to foreclosure.
They were still both young, in their early thirties, and facing complete ruin.
They were dealing with a person who had drained their church and business funds, extending to even the federal level. If he lost his building, he would most likely also lose his reputation as pastors as well.
In times of utter darkness we had learned to call upon God who is our help. “Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord.” Psalm 121.
At that time our church owned a rental property, which we had wanted to sell but for which we could not find a buyer.
The day before foreclosure we received a call from the renter saying that he was prepared to purchase the rental property and had cash in hand. It was a genuine miracle.
We met at the bank that day to sign the papers and pay the mortgage. (This was before the days when property purchase agreements were not as thick as novels.)
At the midnight hour, so to speak, our resource came in.
God is never late but there are times when He will test your faith. All tests and trials of life are all about God revealing to us His character and our need.
We tend to turn to God when we have nowhere else to turn, but God wants us to dwell in Him. He wants us to turn to Him first.
Times of stress and turmoil squeeze out of us the parts we have not yet yielded to God so we can come face to face with our need.
He then reveals Himself as our source.
He does not always answer our need as we would expect, but in His all-seeing, all-knowing, and all-wise character He will answer with what is best for us.
For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day. (2 Tim. 1:12)
As I meditated on this verse recently, I saw something “new.” That happens a lot and makes fellowshipping with Him in the Word fun!
Paul says, “I know whom I have believed.” The “have believed” is past tense and seems to come before the “I know whom.” I sense that believing and knowing are two different things. Many of us begin our walk with God by believing doctrine and getting our minds renewed to Truth. This is essential. But Paul adds the idea of knowing Him.
Knowing is a deeper level of revelation than simply believing. We can believe things about someone, but what we believe is either confirmed or not as we grow to know them. We often have a mental belief system, but very little knowledge of God that comes from fellowship. Mental belief cannot begin to satisfy the need for spiritual knowledge.
Paul then adds, “and am persuaded.” As I meditated on this, I saw that being “fully persuaded” as was Abraham (Romans 4:20-21), is the result of “believing”, then “knowing”.
We are all at different places in our walk with God, but it seems that being “fully persuaded” is the destination we desire. That is the place of unwavering faith. That is where the circumstances don’t shake us. That is when our words carry the full power they are capable of.
And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak, (2 Cor. 4:13)
The spirit of faith comes from believing, knowing Him, and being absolutely convinced of God’s good purpose to save, heal, deliver, bless, and prosper us.
Knowing the true nature of God and His heart for you is more than simply believing doctrinal truths. It is a life changing fellowship that will establish you on the rock of faith.
The natural man lacks peace with God. We all come into the world fighting against God, because we are a part of the rebellion that started with Adam and Eve. Romans 5:10 says we were enemies of God. We fought against God, and everything we did militated against His principles.
But when we receive Jesus Christ, we cease being enemies of God—we make a truce with Him. We come over to His side, and the hostility is ended. Jesus Christ wrote the treaty with the blood of His cross. That treaty, that bond, that covenant of peace declares the objective fact that we now are at peace with Him.
That’s what Paul means in Ephesians 6:15, when he calls the good news of salvation “the preparation of the gospel of peace.” The gospel is that which makes a man who was at war with God to be at peace with Him. This peace is objective—that is, it has nothing to do with how we feel or what we think. It is an accomplished fact.
Romans 5:1 says, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God.” We who trust Christ are redeemed and declared righteous by faith. Our sins are forgiven, rebellion ceases, the war is over, and we have peace with God. That was God’s wonderful purpose in salvation.
Colossians 1:20-22 says that Christ “made peace through the blood of His cross…. And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach.”
A sinful, vile, wicked person cannot come into the presence of a holy God. Something must make that unholy person righteous before he can be at peace with God. And that’s exactly what Christ did, dying for sin, imputing His righteousness to sinners. So Paul says we are no longer enemies but are at peace because we are reconciled.
It is as if God were on one side, we were on the other side, then Christ filled the gap, taking the hand of God and the hand of man and placing them together into the same grip. We have now been brought together through the blood of the cross of Jesus Christ.
Whereas God and man were once estranged, they have now been reconciled. That is the heart of the gospel message, as Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:18-19. But Jesus is not talking about objective peace in John 14:27. The peace He speaks of here is a subjective, experiential peace. It is tranquility of the soul, a settled, positive peace that affects the circumstances of life. It is peace that is aggressive; rather than being victimized by events, it attacks them and gobbles them up. It is a supernatural, permanent, positive, no-side-effects, divine tranquilizer. This peace is the heart’s calm after Calvary’s storm. It is the firm conviction that He who spared not His own Son will also along with Him freely give us all things (cf. Romans 8:32).
This is the peace that Paul speaks about in Philippians 4:7: “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” The peace of God is not based on circumstances like the world’s peace, so it doesn’t always make sense to the carnal mind; Paul says it is a peace that surpasses comprehension. It doesn’t seem reasonable that such peace could exist in the midst of the problems and troubles Christians go through. But this is divine, supernatural peace; it cannot be figured out on a human level.
Paul said he learned the secret of being content – it didn’t come naturally to him. Living a content life is not something that will come naturally to us either. It’s a learned attitude and position of our hearts. Much like exercising or training for a race, we have to build the muscles over time to sustain the weight of the task we’ve set out to accomplish. Living a content life comes by making daily choices to choose Christ over the world.
Hebrews 13:5-6 – “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” NKJV
In my years of ministry and life, I have learned that without contentment, a person lives in an unending miserable state. Covetousness is a vicious companion, as are Envy and Greed. No wonder the apostle Paul told us that he had learned to be “content in the state he found himself.” He knew how to abound, and he knew how to be abased. His confidence was not in Things but in GOD, which is where ours should be. If we focus on What We Do Not Have rather than who We Have, we will live lives filled with “What If Moments” and be continually dissatisfied with virtually every aspect of our lives.
In the above passage, I see that courage is one of the by-products of contentment. There is courage for life, facing obstacles, ministry, and attempting the difficult and even impossible. It provides the foundation by which we can rise to the heights that God has designed and desired for our lives.
We move from the condition of victim to the place of victor because of the statement in verse six: “THE LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” You will come to the condition and position that your life is “hidden with Christ in God,” and nothing or no one can touch your eternal spirit. Oh, they may inflict wounds on your body, and if you allow them on your emotions but your eternal spirit cannot be touched, it is in God’s Hands, safe and secure.
I no longer worry about those things that I can do nothing about. I work to change my circumstances when they are contrary to what I believe God would have them, but I do not fret over the present or live in the past. I keep my eyes firmly fixed on the Ultimate Goal and Objective. I press toward the mark of the prize of the High Calling of God in Christ Jesus. I realize that whatever state I am in is temporary and that My God will supply all my needs according to His Riches in Glory. He will grant me the wisdom to know what to do, the ability to accomplish the task, and the provisions to sustain me in times of plenty or lean.
So, as you go through your day, go with God allowing the Holy Spirit to bring a spirit and sense of contentment, not complacency, into your hearts. As you do, you will quickly rise above the circumstances and stand victorious in mind, body, and spirit.
Contentment in the new testament
Contentment is a recurring theme in the NT. The book of Hebrews urges readers, “Be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’” (Heb 13:5). Paul insists, “Godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content” (1 Tim 6:6–8). The apostle contrasts this godly contentment with the greedy craving for riches, which leads to ruin (6:9–10).
Paul’s most extended discussion of contentment comes in the final chapter of his letter to the Philippians:
I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content [ἐγὼ γὰρ ἔμαθον ἐν οἷς εἰμι αὐτάρκης εἶναι]. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Phil 4:10–13)
“Whatever situation” is no pious abstraction. Remember that Paul penned these reflections from a dark, dingy prison (Phil 1:7, 12–14). Prisoners in the ancient world often lacked basic necessities like bedding, clothing, and medical care.11 They were also often shunned by friends due to the social stigma of incarceration.12 Not only was Paul incarcerated multiple times, but he was also beaten with rods and flogged, stoned and left for dead, and shipwrecked three times (2 Cor 11:23–27). He was opposed and maligned in one city after another, taking heat from Jews and Gentiles alike. He endured sleepless nights and often lacked shelter and supper. Paul doesn’t need to remind his readers that he and Silas were falsely accused, attacked by a mob, beaten with rods, and locked up in the inner prison without due process when they first came to Philippi (Acts 16:19–24). Despite this laundry list of toils and trials, Paul does not descend into bitterness, complaining, or self-pity. Even though he is separated from his friends, criticized by his foes, and stuck in a lousy cell, Paul remembers that the Lord will never disappoint him and will surely deliver him (1:19–20; 3:20). Thus, he stresses that he is content even in “weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities” (2 Cor 12:10). The imprisoned apostle rejoices in Christ, resolves to work for other Christians’ progress and joy in the faith, and expresses his contentment in Christ, come what may (Phil 1:18, 25; 4:11–12).
1. You must discipline your heart
Someone who has learned to be content has a habit and discipline of bringing his heart into a state of stable and peaceful contentment, even though the world around him is constantly changing. He practices contentment during lesser trials so that he is strong and able to practice contentment during greater trials.
2.contentment believe the good about God.
When people are least content, they’re often tempted to shake their fists in God’s face. They blame God and accuse Him for their troubles. They believe the worst of Him for brining trails into their lives. But God only has thoughts of love in everything He does to those who belong to Him. It isn’t from ill-will that God brings suffering into the lives of His beloved children.
3. Contentment doesn’t plummet into dark discouragement.
The believer who is content in God remembers God’s power and love, that He’s able to rescue sinners, to heal the sick, to make the blind see. God calls us to trust that He will deliver us from our sufferings in His time and in His way, according to His good pleasure.
Take to heart what the writer of Hebrews said: “Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5).
Fear and faith starts with same first letter, but both are thoroughly different. In fact they are completely opposite. They but attract different things. When faith attract the positive fear attract the negative.
God has not giving us the spirit of fear.
Fear is a natural emotion that all of us experience at some point in our lives. It can be triggered by different things, such as uncertainty, change, or danger. While fear can be useful in some situations, it can also be paralyzing and prevent us from moving forward. As people of faith, we have the power to turn fear into faith and find the courage and strength we need to face our challenges.
Acknowledge your fear
The first step in turning fear into faith is to acknowledge and confront your fear. It’s important to recognize that fear is a normal emotion, and it’s okay to feel afraid. By acknowledging your fear, you can start to understand where it’s coming from and how it’s affecting you.
Pray and seek God guidance
As people of faith, we can turn to God in times of fear and uncertainty. Praying and seeking God’s guidance can provide us with a sense of peace and comfort. We can ask for wisdom and strength to face our fears and trust that God is with us every step of the way.
Meditate on Gods word
Meditating on God’s Word can help us find the faith and courage we need to face our fears. The Bible is filled with stories of people who faced their fears with God’s help. Reading and reflecting on these stories can inspire and encourage us to do the same.
Connect with your faith community
Connecting with a faith community can provide us with a sense of support and encouragement. We can share our fears and struggles with others and find comfort in knowing that we’re not alone. We can also draw strength and inspiration from the stories and experiences of others.
Practicing gratitude can help us shift our focus from our fears to the blessings in our lives. By focusing on what we’re thankful for, we can find joy and peace in the midst of our fears. We can choose to be grateful for the things we have, the people we love, and the moments of joy and beauty that surround us.
Taking action is an important step in turning fear into faith. By facing our fears and taking action, we can gain confidence and strength. We can start with small steps and gradually build up our courage and faith.
Trust in God plan
Finally, we can turn fear into faith by trusting in God’s plan for our lives. We can trust that He has a purpose and a plan for us, even in the midst of our fears and struggles. We can choose to surrender our fears to God and trust that He will guide us and protect us.
In conclusion, turning fear into faith is a process that involves acknowledging our fears, seeking God’s guidance, connecting with our faith community, practicing gratitude, taking action, and trusting in God’s plan. By turning to God in times of fear and uncertainty, we can find the faith and courage we need to face our challenges and overcome our fears.
When fear assails my trembling heart, And doubts and worries tear apart, I turn to God and find my peace, My fears and doubts, they all release.
For faith, you see, can conquer fear, And make the path ahead more clear. With trust in God, I find my way, And fear, it slowly fades away.
The storms of life may rage and roar, But with my faith, I’m anchored sure. The winds can blow, the waves come down, But in my faith, I rest safe and sound.
For faith is like a beacon bright, That shines a path through darkest night. It leads me on to higher ground, Where fear and doubt cannot be found.
So when the fears come knocking hard, And doubts and worries press their guard, I’ll turn to God and find my way, And in my faith, I’ll choose to stay.
For faith can conquer fear, you see, And make my heart and spirit free. So I’ll hold fast to what I know, And let my faith and courage grow.
Yeah, it’s scary. What if your parachute doesn’t open? Are you saver on the ground.
How many times have you heard an excuse such as this one?
Success! You're on the list.
Whoops! There was an error and we couldn't process your subscription. Please reload the page and try again.
starting your business from home successfully is for everyone, but not everybody starts their own business. Why is that? Well, it’s simpler to stay in your comfort zone. You know what you can expect. You know your limits. You aren’t entirely happy about it, but you hesitate about taking the risk of starting your own business.
Starting a business is and has always been a jump into the unknown. That’s how entrepreneurs are born.
No money. No backup. Zero customers. Zero movement.
Many have the zeal to “Not give up!” but few ever have the zeal to continue failing.
Failing should be deleted from your mind. Replace it with Learning.
Here you were:
Failing in your first business. Here was me with my online e-tail glass store. Failing brought hurt. Anger. Shame.
Thus naturally, we would look for another way out of life…An easy way out.
Well, after falling down a multiple terms, grinding the stones, having zero customers, alas!
Many quited! Some persisted! Only 1% continued to learn and grow.
The 1% knew that they were in a learning process. A way of getting better.
For some who persisted, they are like sand castles easily shredded at the next failure.
The one percent learnt a great lesson, the others never learnt. That’s why when, they kept falling, they kept rising up again.
And again….and again….and again:
That’s the secret learnt by these entrepreneurs. When they kept having sharp abuse, closed doors on their faces.
When customers shredded to file them, they just kept showing up.
They fell from the bicycle: then gathered their wits, learnt something, then more and more lessons, then eventually started to walk again. Their success was a direct commission of their zeal to learn from every failure.
I was taken for a dyslexic at school. One teacher said teaching an alien gave more promise.
I failed to start up a successful business for three years. My first business as a retailer failed three times before my friend intervened to tell me I was acting stupid.
Three principles however dictate how I live even now…. they may help you achieve more than what the laws of attraction promise.
#Principle one: Think for yourself. No one should think for you whether through a book, video or post, especially if they are contradicting with your goals.
#Principle 2: For the sake of persistency, learn to embrace failure at all costs. Start small businesses, small grounds and start acting big.
#Principle 3: Embrace stories of failure> Learn more from stories of failure than those of success.
One more thing though. This isn’t free information. It has a cost. The cost is what I paid.
You have to endure, survive and thrive. You’ve got to start making your own path.
Don’t believe anything anyone or even me says, unless it coincides with your beliefs and can be stated and tested.
When you develop a strong belief system, there is no word in the world like failure or the like.
You can teach your kids entrepreneurship, business knowledge is an art, not a science. It’s teachable.
You could argue that they’re born with attributes that make them successful, like an open mind, drive, competitive spirit, or the ability to see the big picture. But what about the skills we develop over time, like creativity, courage, confidence, the ability to handle stress, and subject matter expertise?
To raise the next generation of entrepreneurs, we shouldn’t rely only on genetic traits. We should teach them how to be entrepreneurs—and there’s no better way to learn than by doing.
Help Kids to Start a Business
Encourage your kids to start with a lemonade stand. You’ve probably heard of Lemonade Day. If you haven’t, it’s a program for kids and teens to start a lemonade stand where some or all of the profits are donated to charity. Through this, kids learn business skills, responsibility, financial literacy, goal setting, and teamwork. Go to The Lemonade Day website for a free starter kit.
Kids as young as age five can start learning about business with this Pizza Store simulation from Osmo. It’s hands-on, integrates with technology, and teaches math and entrepreneur skills. Doesn’t it look fun?
Shopify offers a logo maker, guides, videos, and resources for kids ready to start a business.
Help your kids think of products to sell or a service they can offer. Then, help them implement. Consider the classic always needed lawn mowing, snow removal, office help, or babysitting businesses. Or think about your children’s passions. What do they like to create or do? My artsy daughter once spent an afternoon by the community pool selling her artwork and donated the profits to The Salvation Army. Not a full-blown business per say, but a pop-up stand and good experience.
A smart example of what teaching entrepreneurship looks like
This a perfect story of what teaching entrepreneurship may look like.
Dad, I want to make money. Can I work for you?” My 10 year old boy asked me.
“We don’t work for money son. You must come up with a creative idea to make money through a business.”
“Oh, let me think,” he paused for a moment and said, “I have an idea! I could mow the lawn for the neighbors!”
“That’s not a business son!”
“Well, I could wash cars or walk their dogs over the weekends!”
“You’re still exchanging time for money son! That’s NOT a business. I want you to come up with a business idea!”
“I don’t understand dad!”
“I don’t want you to exchange time for money. Think how to solve this!”
Three days later…
“Dad, dad! I have an idea, what if I plant some vegetables in our backyard, grow them and sell them!”
“Now, THAT sounds more like a business son! Can you tell me the difference? How many hours will you invest to keeping up with your plants?” I asked.
“I need to water the plants every day after school.”
“Watch out for bugs eating my veggies?”
“Correct! How much time will you invest doing that?”
“Well, dad… nothing, maybe minutes!”
“So what is the difference between your veggie business and working for me or for the neighbors?”
“I’m going to save time!”
“Good! Now you have a new problem… You need to invest some money on your vegetable garden! How much money will you invest?
We went to Home Depot to buy stuff. He had his cash savings in his pocket.
”Dad, look! If we install this automatic water system I will be making money even while we’re on vacation!” He said excited after identifying a special hose to connect to his new pots.
“I will buy organic soil so my cucumbers and my tomatoes will be organic. I can sell them at a higher price to my neighbors and my friends.”
I smiled proudly as I could see how he was getting his business mind together.
We purchased everything. He negotiated a $50 dollar loan from me. We agreed that he will pay me interest.
Business is an art, not a science.
My boy is developing his entrepreneurial skills. He is learning everything that schools don’t teach him like how to invest, how to sell, how to keep track of money.
He will learn the pains of paying interest of a loan, and after this winter, he’s learning the pains of losing money and having to start over again!
Most importantly, I’m teaching and developing his mindset! Entrepreneurship is an art, an understanding of how to make money, it needs to be learned, not taught.