Seeking For Your God-Given Purpose

“God, I just want to do something for you,” I cried from a sincere heart. I longed for a God-given purpose, one for which I could passionately live. I wanted to know what Gods intentions were with me and what he had in store for my life. Why, did it appear that God was holding back from me? Why, did it feel like I had no purpose, when I desired one so strongly?

Maybe, you are as I was and you know you want something, but you just do not know what that would be. You know something is not in place, but for the life of you, you cannot figure out what would make things right.

God has a plan for you and he is not hiding it from you. It is not a secret! You read correctly, He never meant for His design for your life, to be a secret. He has never hid it from you. It is there before your eyes. You just cannot see it now. He will reveal it in His own time and his own way.

Here are 4 tips that will help you in this time of searching.

 

1. Keep doing what you know to do.

Do the things you know to do right now. Like take care of your daily responsibilities, family, home, and work. You have a ministry in your daily work even if it feels insignificant.

You may not feel like you have it all together today, but that is ok. There is a beauty in the process.

 

2. Do not give up.

Continue to ask God to show you your God-given purpose. Do not give up because it is not coming easy. Hold out and enjoy the journey.

 

3. Look at your interests.

Explore areas in which you are interested. Learn all you can. Begin by reading, studying, or participating in areas that concern you. Our purpose usually flows from our interests or concerns.

 

4. Do not commit too early.

I have to take this point to heart. I really like good ideas and can impulsively jump at a good chance, when it would be best to wait. Sometimes, the best action plan is to take time to have the idea assimilate in your mind. Continue to think and plan until you own it for yourself and know that it came from God. Waiting is better than rushing ahead of God.

 

These tips may not bring all the answers to your inner struggle, but they can help you relax, wait, and receive the most benefit from the journey.

 

Question for you to answer: If you could do anything for God, what would you do? Comment below

Four Reasons A Broken Heart Has Hope

What keeps you looking ahead? Does your heart have hope?

Hope keeps a struggling heart looking forward to victory, even when there is no victory in sight.

In Proverbs 13:12 we are told, “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick”. Is your heart sick? Have you forgotten where your hope comes from?

Here are four reasons to have hope.

1. Our hope comes through Jesus Christ.  “Unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus” (1 Peter 1:3). We have a hope that is more than just ‘hoping’ in hope; it is in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2. It is a hope that cannot be destroyed.  “To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away” (vs. 4). In this life we do face disappointment. People promise and do not follow through. But we have this promise that tells us it is not of this earth, it is not bound by the things of this earth, it is a righteous, pure, and will not fade with time.

3. Heaven is where our hope is stored. “Reserved in heaven for you” (vs. 4). Sometimes we forget promises we make or we forget to look to the promise of hope in God. Even if we forget, it is not up to us. It is reserved for us in heaven.

4. We are kept by God.  “Who are kept by the power of God through faith” (vs. 5). It is God who keeps us. It is not up to us to stay on the ‘right’ path and not mess up. God keeps us by his power.  We just have to believe in faith that he will do what he said.

 

Look to God today, he exposed hope in his Son, Jesus Christ.

Please Forgive Me? Thanks God!

Christ offers incredible freedoms to those who believe in his name. He frees from the bondage of past sin and gives the ability to choose not to sin, by utilizing his power. He provides open access to God and the promise of an eternal home in heaven. He also offers forgiveness of sins committed after salvation and restoration of closeness with him.

It is marvelous the forgiveness Christ offers. It is a beautiful promise from him.

Does he forgive everything? Is it ok to ask forgiveness and then everything is ok? If you know you are doing wrong, but you have a good reason for doing so, does it make things ok to say “God forgive me”?

“I know I should treat others with kindness, but they just make me so mad they deserve it. God forgive me.”

“I know I should not scream at the kids, but it is the only way to get their attention. God forgive me.”

“I know premarital sex is wrong, but I cannot turn back now. God forgive me.”

“I know I should not be talking to this old friend from high school, but he understands me so much better than my husband. God forgive me.”

“I know God expects me to live for him, but it is hard to live holy all the time. God forgive me, please.”

Forgiveness is easy, and it is available, but it should not be taken lightly.

In cases like this, we are asking God to bless us in the midst of our sin, instead of delivering us from our sin. We are asking God to wink at our sin and overlook it.

Forgiveness is not to be used to help us feel better about what we are doing. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)”

God desires a heart broken and willing to turn from wrong to God. He promises he will not turn you away when you come. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise (Psalm 51:17).”

Do you need to turn from something that is displeasing God? Do not excuse your behavior. Confess it and turn to God and allow him to forgive you and deliver you. You will not be disappointed.

If you need to talk to someone comment below or shoot me an email at Mary@MaryCaldwell.net. I would love to discuss this with you.

 

 

 

How To Survive Sickness, Depression, and Grieving

When you are sick, do your problems become greater? Mine do. I was sick this past week, and it felt like the heaviness of everything just weighed upon my mind. When life presses you so hard, it is difficult to see any hope coming in the end. How do you trust God while your mind seems to be in a jumble? Sometimes life does not feel right. You feel as if nothing is working and you cannot do anything well.

There are moments of discouragement, moments when everything just feels wrong. When you feel like giving up, and not trying. When it is harder to take the next step then it is to run back fifty.

Confusing times where all your thoughts are rushing through your mind and clarity is just beyond your reach. With all your strength, you cannot seem to escape your mess.

Flashes of depression that suddenly falls upon you swallowing all feeling you had.

A moment when a blanket is thrown over a dream and all smoldering embers of remembrance is all that remains.

Instances of rejection occur, and your heart feels as if it has stopped beating.

When moments like these come upon us, what should we do?

How can we make that next step that feels impossible?

Let’s take a look at what David had to say in Psalm 6.

“O Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak: O Lord, heal me; for my bones are vexed. My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O Lord, how long? Return, O Lord, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies’ sake. For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks? I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears. Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old because of all mine enemies. (Psalm 6:1-7)”

Wow, David was in bad shape!

He is struggling in his body he speaks of how weak he is and asks for healing in verse two.

His soul is longing for a touch from God, but according to verse 4 he has not received what he desired.

His mind is also in torment. In verses six and seven, David is groaning and grieving. He cannot sleep. His mind will not rest.

David was like us in so many ways. He was real. His life was not a big party as a famous young man who had killed Goliath, or as an anointed King of Israel. He struggled with illness, depression, and sin.

He longed for God and sometimes wondered if he cared.

He asked why and yearned for answers, which sometimes never came.

How did David go on with all that was going on?

That is the good news for us. Look at the rest of chapter six.

“Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping. The Lord hath heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayer. Let all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed: let them return and be ashamed suddenly. Psalm 6:8-10)”

Here is how David dealt with these problems.

1. David prayed. He prayed and called out to God when everything seemed unbearable. He expressed his feelings to God even when they were not pretty. He prayed when his hurt and grief kept him up crying all night. He prayed and did not hide the truth of his feelings from God.

2. David believed. He chose to believe God before he felt better. Before his illness ended and before his depression had lifted. He believed and trusted God had heard his prayer before he had an answer.

Are you hurting today? Can you be like David and truthfully express your thoughts and feelings to God, without restraint? God will not think any different of you if you tell him how you feel. He will not reject you. He loves you and cares for you.

If you have prayed, are you willing to take the next step and believe God, even if the answer is not there? If you are still sick and there is no miracle in sight? Will you believe even though your tears still flow and water your pillow all night long?

David did! He believed God!

Social Media Manners

Social media has become a central part of modern life. Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are just a few that have gained extreme popularity. Social media allows the ability to know what is going on in the world and gives a place to open up and share joys, hurts, and annoyances. It has given individuals an outlet that many did not have before, yet are we using these outlets in an appropriate fashion?

We have all experienced the rage of an online temper tantrum or felt the sting of written words used to lash out against us or someone we know. So often things are written or expressed in pictures that would never be said in person.

What portrait are you showing others? What do the contents of your heart resemble when posted on a screen?

Here are a few questions to help evaluate your actions.

  1. What am I portraying online? Am I trying to impress and look good for others? I know we all like to look good in public, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. Looking presentable around others is not the same as trying to make ourselves better than we are. People hear more than what is written. They see between the lines if someone is real or fake. Are you real or fake? Do you have a humble heart online?
  2. Are you utilizing self-control? Are you ruling your emotions or are they running wild? When someone makes you mad or hurts your feelings, or says something you do not agree with how do you react? Do you lash out or use harsh language?
  3. Is there kindness in your words? When you write there is not the same emotion there is in your voice. You have to watch how you say things in writing because they will sound harsher than meant, or you will feel the freedom to say more than you should say.

Ask yourself these questions.

  • How would you feel if someone wrote that way to you or wrote about you that way?
  • Would it offend you to read something like that?
  • Are you respectful even when disagreeing?
  • Think about what you write today and see if it holds kindness or not?
  • Do I have a right to state my opinion to these people, do we have a relationship or are they even asking for opinions?
  • Is my statement going to cause other people to react defensively?
  • Is my statement going to hurt or help?
  • Is my statement respectful even if I do not agree?
  1. Are you being safe? Everyone on the internet is not your friend. Are you watching whom you engage with, and whom you talk to and give information?
  2. Be proactive stop things before they start.
  • Are you accepting friends request from people you do not know? Are you posting private information that others do not need to know, address, phone numbers, or when you are away from home?
  • Protect your heart also. Are you engaging in conversations with people you should not, past lovers, old crushes, or people who like to cause controversy? These could lead to hurt and problems. Be safe online?
  •  Are you posting excessively, sharing too much information or blowing of steam a bit too much?
  • Are you sharing other people’s pictures excessively? The picture you share could be from a bad page and when your friends click the innocent picture you shared, they will see other offensive pictures. Be careful what you share.

 

Are you being graceful online? What could you do today to portray grace in a meaningful way on your online profile?

 

What do you love about social media? What do you hate? How have you found help? How have you been hurt?

A Temporary Fix

In the garden, Eve enjoyed a life free of guilt and shame. She experienced an unhindered relationship with God and her husband. She walked with God and enjoyed him completely. Things were also pretty good between Eve and Adam. Look what the Bible says, “And they were both nakedand were not ashamed. (Genesis 2:25)”. Life in the garden was pretty sweet.

Then it changed. Sin entered, and the intimacy of her relationships crumbled.

Something came between the closeness she had with God and her husband. Their eyes opened. They saw their nakedness, and they made fig leave clothes to cover themselves (Genesis 3:7). What came upon them was shame, shame that their nakedness magnified, because of their sin against God.

It is hard to understand the way it must have been in the garden, the beauty and intimacy that permeated each relationship.

On the other hand, it is not hard to understand the shame. What it felt like to need the fig leave clothes, the brief comfort that came with this temporary fix.

This is the world in which we live. It is a life of guilt and shame, a place where we look for substitute fig leaves that will momentarily cover shame.

What are you using to cover your shame? What is your temporary fix?

 For more on this subject click here.

 If you have any comments or questions leave a comment below or send me an email. I would love to hear from you.  

Finding Beauty In Weakness

Every day I live I am aware of my own weakness. When I look in the mirror, I am reminded of my own failures. I look around and see that I do not meet other people’s standards. I look inside and realize that I do not have what it takes.

The burden of inadequacy is a heavy weight to carry. The weakness we hide is not pretty. Are you constantly burdened with your own flaws? Do you seem to lack power in your life? Do you feel as if you have to straighten up to be used of God? Is that what God wants from us? How can we overcome these negative emotions and confidently lead positive Christian lives? Are you ready to begin this process?

Here are two paths you could take.

 

Encourage Weakness

1. Compare yourself to other women

If you compare yourself to someone else, it is usually in their finest moments. So it is comparing your weakness to another woman’s strength. How could you not be totally discouraged after setting yourself up for failure? Keep this up and you can increase your weakness with certain depression and hopelessness.

2. Worry and fret

This is a tough one because it is so easily justified. There is always something to worry about or fix. Keep on trying to figure out all those impossible situations, do not trust Christ for help and you can continue to work things out on your own.

3. Give up

Just surrender to the inevitable that you can never be enough, or do enough. Sit back and do nothing. Just passively let the world and those in it go right by while you accept failure.

 

Find Beauty In The Weakness

1. Look to Christ for strength

God wants us to trust his son Jesus Christ with all of our insufficiencies. He is ready and able to be the power needed to make up for our weaknesses. 2 Corinthians 12:9 “And he said unto me, my grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

 

2. Admit and be humble

God does not want us always telling him we will change, straighten up, or do things differently. He wants us to admit our weakness and our inability to overcome. Then with all humbleness look to him for strength.

 

3. Embrace God’s love

Do you believe God loves you even though you are weak? That he has lovingly provided help and strength through His son Jesus Christ? He chose to love you before you could do anything for Him, and he will always continue to love you. Jeremiah 31:3 “The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.”

 

We do not have to live defeated. Our Christian life can be a beautiful process if we trust in Jesus Christ, confidently believing he will help us in our daily life.

How do you find beauty in your weakness?