Make the Most of Your Time with Goal Setting

Goal setting is a word that some don’t even want to hear. It’s a time that many dread and as a result do not even pursue. You may have tried setting goals and because you didn’t reach the goal you don’t think goals are worth pursuing. On the other hand, you think it’s time wasted and that you should just let life happen. But really, if God has plans for you you should make it your business to know what they are, pursue them and trust Him to help you see them become a reality in your life.

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Goal setting time

“Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:15-17 (AMP)

Goal setting does not have to be a difficult process. It can be a rewarding and yet fun time in your life. As the word of God says, there is a time for everything under the sun and yes, that includes setting goals. Consider this as a time for planting – your vision, your dream, your destiny, your purpose – where you lay out what you want to be and to do. And remember that this time of planting will become a time of reaping or harvesting once you (with the Lord) have worked towards to goal to attain the prize!

Life planning and goal setting in a time to look forward to and a time to access if you have and to make sure that you make the most of the time God has given you on this side of heaven. Goal setting is a time of:

REFLECTION
This is a time to look at the past and the present to prepare for the future. This is not a time to be negative but use this to learn from your mistakes and from the setbacks you experienced. Also make note of the what your did achieve and started to do as well as the positive things that happened in your life.

Ask yourself a few important questions:
– Where am I today?
– How and what did I do to get here?
– What made this year great or not so great?
Make sure to reflect on each of these life areas: Spiritual, Family, Financial, Health (Physical), Intellectual / Personal Development, Social, Career development, Business development. This will help you to understand why you are where you are and help you continue the work to become who you want to be and do what you desire to do.

THANKSGIVING
Oftentimes you can live with regret, frustration or disappointment because you didn’t achieve what you wanted to. However, this is not the place for you to remain. Even if you “cry over the spilled milk” don’t keep crying. Get up, clean up the mess and move on.

Learn to be thankful for what you have and what you do not yet have. Be thankful in all things at all times (1 Thess. 5:18, AMP). Thank God want did work and for what small steps you made towards your goals. Have a heart of gratitude because no matter how bad things look there is some goodness in your life and that goodness came from your Father God.

Write a love letter to God – a note of appreciation. Don’t know how to start? Start with, “Dear God thank you for…” and make a list of all His goodness in your life. Or maybe you can start by worshiping Him just because He is God and then thanking Him for all the goodness has brought into your life. Think of yourself, your family, your friends. Thank Him for life, love, good health, safety and protection, provision and whatever else you recognize as God’s handiwork in your life. But for sure, His done you good, so be thankful.

CREATIVITY
Goal setting is a time to dream. In my goal setting workbook, I have a space for dreaming, there are at least three options you can use to start your dreaming process:
1. My Dream List – is a blank sheet or a mind map type sheet – you choose the either list in short form what your life looks like in the next year or two or beyond or you use the mind map page with cloud thoughts to express your heart and God’s heart for you.
2. My Vision Board – for those who are more visually inclined, you can collect images (from the web or from books or magazines) and create a collage of your dreams.
3. My Life Story – you can write in present tense what you life looks like several years from now. You choose the time and place you want to start seeing your dream become a reality and just write that vision.

This is a time to be imaginative, to let go of your doubts or fears and not limit yourself. It’s a not the time to think that God is limited in anyway. It’s a time to remove all the stops and road blocks from your mind. It’s a time to let your spirit soar, your heart smile as you gaze into your future of infinite possibilities God has planned for you (Jer. 29:11, AMP).

Goal setting is creative planning. As a Christian you plan your life according to God’s plan for you. This will require spending time in prayer to understand God’s heart for you.

PRAYER
Goal setting is a time of asking, seeking and knocking. However, depending on the size of your goal; you may need to fast, weep, vow or wrestle in prayer. In some case yours prayer regarding a specific goal may be turned to praise even though you haven’t seen the actual goal as yet. Nevertheless, goal setting requires time in prayer.

You may need to ask God, “Lord what do you want me to do in this coming year or the next 2, 3, 5, 10, 20, 30 or 40 years?” or “Lord, what is your Word to me for this year?”
Seeking the Lord is a time or season of drawing closer to Him and He coming closer to you also. It’s a time to connect with Him to know His heart and His plans for you which are totally good.

This time will also require you to knock on the doors of heaven and on the heart of your Heavenly Father. Why? To accomplish whatever goals God has placed on your heart you will need open doors. In other words, you will need God to supernaturally give your favor with others, create opportunities for you in whatever area you need it most, mend relationships and establish new much needed ones. You will need God to miraculously make things happen that normally would be difficult for you to accomplish on your own. Knocking prayer is needed when your goal is FAITH-filled goals that requires much of God’s intervention at every step as you press towards your prize.

As you can see, for the Christian goal setting can bring you closer to the Father. One thing I must also mention is that when you set you goals you must apply the Word of God to them and create a prayer strategy for each of them. (I will write about this in more detail in another post.)

As you set your goals for the coming year and years ahead, remember that you are working with God to carry out His purpose in your life and to see His kingdom come here in the earth (within your sphere of influence and beyond).

Now is your time! Go ahead, set those goals and see what God is able to do through you and for you.

Make the most of your time with the 2016 Living Success Goals Workbook and Planner. As an added bonus this year, a full year planner is included for your convenience. Wishing you experience the best year ahead!

7 Ways to Make the Most of Your Life

tomorrow starts now_22836421_sLook carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is. — Eph. 5:15-17 (AMP)

It has been a while since I have submitted a blog post. Even though I had many ideas about what I wanted to write and even jotted them down, the inclination to write wasn’t there.

For months my family and I have been dealing with the care of my mother who recently went to be with the Lord. As I dealt with the passing of my mother, the Lord impressed upon my heart the importance of making the most of the time we have. During this time, two truths have stood out for me all the more:

1. No one knows the day, hour, minute when they will say goodbye to time and hello to eternity
2. We often have no idea what an impact we have on others but the ‘little’ things we do or by what we say

As I reflected on the above scripture and others, my question was, “How can we who are still here on earth make the most of our time?” Here a few things I have learnt from God’s word and from reflecting on my mum’s life:

  1. Live intentionally.    Eph. 5:15-17

We have to live purposely and act wisely in all we do. This decision alone can bring us to success. Having no purpose, living aimlessly and witlessly, it not what God intended for us. My mum was always looking ahead. She set her goals and worked, saved and prayed towards them and thankfully accomplished them.

We must also know and do God’s will. We have to start with the basics: acknowledge our sin, ask Jesus to be Saviour and Lord over our lives. This is the beginning of living intentionally. Live as He instructs you to do in His word. As you continue seeking Him, He will direct you into your purpose. Just obey because whatever God plans for you is good.

  1. Prayer effectively, fervently and always.          Jam.5:16-18

Mum always liked writing. There was a note for everything. Her view was that if you forgot you could always refer to your notes. But recently I discovered that she did not just write notes but she wrote prayers too. One prayer note I found read something like this, “Lord I need Your ability today to do whatever You need me to do. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.”

Prayer is a constant effort – pray within your heart, write your prayers, verbalize your prayers. But whenever and wherever you are, PRAY. God will certainly answer.

  1. Work hard but in all of it honor God.        Col. 3:17

We should make to best of what we have and be a blessing to others in whatever way God has called us to do. Mum worked hard all her life. We heard the childhood stories of carrying water and helping her mum press clothes. She worked her way from being a maid to an Executive Housekeeper and even after taking early retirement, she kept herself busy. But in all of the hard work, she loved her work and was ever thankful to God.

We have to nature of God and should also like and enjoy work. Whatever you do, when you do it, do it well and God will be pleased with you and bless your work.

  1. Play too. Enjoy life. Enjoy what God has provided for you.    Eccl. 3:13-13

As much as Mum worked hard, she also enjoyed life. Every opportunity to celebrate particularly with her family, she did. It does not mean she did not face her challenges, she certainly did. But she recognized God’s blessings on her life and her family’s and saw it fitting to enjoy and appreciate them.

  1. Give much and you will be blessed with more.  Acts 20:35

Mum was a giver, a constant one at that but yet she never lacked anything. What the scripture said in Prov. 11:24-25, it was true of her. She generously gave but yet had all she needed and wanted.

Mum gave to those she knew and to those she didn’t. As her child, I have seen lives blessed by her giving and for myself have learnt well the joy of giving to others. When you give, you are God’s hand of blessing to someone else in need. And you are blessed all the more for it.

  1. Fulfil destiny. Serve God’s purpose in your life time or generation. Acts 13:36

David served the purpose of God in his generation. I think my mum did too. Personally, I think she made a decision to leave this earth when she did. She wasn’t a pastor and even heavily involved in regular church activity but she served others well. As I looked into the congregation who attended my mother’s Farewell, and I listened to the stories of those who knew my mother, I saw a woman who served and blessed others. She provided for their needs in some way or listened as they shared their troubles and offered sound advice to those willing to accept it. Oh, that we would follow such example. Serve God by serving others.

  1. Love a lot. It’s the best gift from God to you and the world.  1 Cor. 13

My mum made it a point of saying, “I love you” to me and my siblings whenever she ended a conversation with us. She showed her love by always remembering the special days in our lives or by doing unexpected things for us. But she just didn’t show love to us but to others – there was always some assignment she had for one of us to take something for someone or do something for them if she was unable to do it. During her sickness she thought of others and sought ways to help them even if it meant asking one of us to help because she couldn’t.

One more point I’d like to add is this:

Give thanks in every thing and in every day.    1 Thess. 5:18

Life does not always go the way we want it to but every day we arise from our sleep is a new day God has given to us. He is showing us His new mercies to us every morning and displaying His faithfulness. For that, we ought to give thanks and make the very most of every opportunity to do good in whatever way the Lord would want us to.

As we make the most of every opportunity we will have success; we will fulfill destiny.

Are you doing the best with each day God gives you?

From Tenacity to Success

The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich. —Proverbs 13:4 (NKJV)

It’s April already! Time flies. As my grandma often reminded me, “Time waits on no man.” So true, isn’t it?

Many of us started of this year with a bang. Full of excitement about what is ahead. We created our goals and looked forward to a productive and wonderful year, no doubt. Now we are into the second quarter of the year, and you may have slacked off from pursuing our goals or doing what the Lord has instructed you to do.  On the other hand, you may have become distracted or lost your focus. Maybe you faced with challenges that were unexpected or not anticipated. For me, it’s a bit of all the above but I am still excited. I feel encouraged rather than discouraged. Why, because the year isn’t over yet! It’s just the end of the first quarter. I believe that with God’s help I can keep moving forward to accomplish what He wants me to do and some of what I desire to do. You too can succeed!

Recently when preparing to lead a prayer session at church, the Lord reminded me of the need to remain tenacious. Life requires tenacity. A certain amount of stick-to-itive-ness is required in order to succeed in life or to overcome life’s hurdles, to solve problems (yours and others). An inward stubbornness (so to speak) or persistence is needed. I know that is easier said than done but we’ve got to make the effort. If we press forward, we will gain the prize we have long dreamed for.

Personally, one way I keep moving forward is by revisiting or re-evaluating my goals. That does not mean that I give up on them if they are not progressing as I hoped but I rework some of them in order to get the desired effect I want. This is the time that I also celebrate – I create my season every quarter – to be thankful to God for all He’s done and will do in my life. It’s a time for me to reflect on what I have done, where I am and where I want to go. It’s time to recommit myself to the Lord and His will for my life. Through this God imparts His grace to stay tenacious.

Jesus encourages us to be tenacious in prayer. We must always prayer and don’t give up until we have an answer from God (Luke 18:1-6). In Matthew 7, Jesus also speaks of the need to keep keeping on – always praying, always seeking, always knocking. Jesus promises that if we be persistent in these areas, we will receive, we will find what we are looking for and we will have open doors or opportunities made available to us.

Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, [the door] will be opened. —Matthew 7: 7-8 (AMP)

This tenacity in prayer affects every area of our lives. How is that? Prayer covers any and every thing pertaining to our lives and our walk with God. So what do you need to be tenacious about in order to reach your goal?

Looking for a promotion at work? Then be diligent in your work. Do your work well, seek to improve it in some way that benefits you, your co-workers and your employer. Promotion will come.

The hand of the diligent will rule, but the lazy man will be put to forced labor. —Proverbs 12:24 (NKJV)

Do you need to pass your next exams? Then create and work a system of study – set the place, length of time, frequency. It may mean giving up television, socializing or volunteering for a bit. Remember, studying and anything else for that matter, is for but a time but the achievement of the certification or degree will benefit you many times in the future.

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. —2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV)

Do you need your business to grow? In this case, you may need to try new things, revamp an old method or business process. Think and move outside the norm and trust God for increased sales and profit.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. —James 1:5 (NKJV)

Do you want to build a strong family unit? Consider be persistent about having family times together regularly and consistently – maybe one-on-one special times with your children, going on a date with your spouse, or having family prayer times together. These both build you and your family’s faith and make the bond between all get stronger.

Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. —Proverbs 24:3-4 (NKJV)

This week, consider taking some time to reflect on your life over the past three months – give thanks to the Almighty God and asking Him for the grace to be tenacious in whatever area of your life you need to push ahead. If you need to revise some of your goals in some way – do so and persist in prayer daily about them. No matter what don’t give up. Your tenacity will lead to prosperity and victory.

A Few Ways to Deal with Setbacks

A few days before a much-anticipated vacation, I hurt my back. I didn’t realize how much this mishap could affect me and my last day of work – because I ignored what was happening – I was in excruciating pain with every step I took. So my vacation was not vacation. The plans I had to finish set my goals for the year, to learn about and improve my blog and to decide my strategy for my personal finance book were put on hold. Since sitting for an extended period proved to be painful, it was frustrating not be able to do most of what I had planned.

However, thank God, I soon came to realize that I needed to deal with this setback by working on getting better so I could more forward sooner rather than later.  As the days passed, I adopted a few ways handle this setback. I hope as I share with you, you will pick one or two to help you through your personal challenges.

Connect with God more.

Pray more; read more and listen more. I take this advice from a friend who broke her ankle and had to stay indoors for weeks. As she shared with me her experience I felt her joy because she took to opportunity to grow closer to God during this time.

You may not pray with the same energy or vigor that you normally do but pray anyway. Let God know how you feel, ask for His blessing on your situation whatever it be and trust Him to come through for you. Read more of the Bible and of other books that would encourage you and help you deal with your setback. Read that stash of books that you have promised to get to you a while. Be sure to read what builds your faith. Watch more or listen more to the word of God or to Christ centered programs whether via TV, the internet, DVDs, CDs. Just take every opportunity to get the word of God in you.

Laugh at life and yourself too.

One of my friends who had cancer had an amazing attitude towards life. She enjoyed and appreciated the little things. Some days she was felt stronger than others. On those good days she would tell you that she could move a mountain. What was her mountain? She would go outside, pick up a stone and tell you that that’s her mountain and smile about it. Although her situation was very serious she found something to laugh and be thankful for.

Although the situation may be serious you still need to smile. We have a saying that if you don’t laugh you will cry and it’s true. Sometimes you need to remove heavy weights with some laughter. Laughter makes the setbacks and frustrations we face more bearable (Proverbs 17:22).

Appreciate everything.

Keep a prayer and praise journal. This practice will help you stay thankful. Consider taking ten minutes every day to write down at least three things you are most thankful for. Send a thank you note to someone with a small gift or call and let them know how much you appreciate them.

The day-to-day activities of life plus the challenge of dealing with an unexpected setback could cause you to become a complainer. Take time during the difficult season to appreciate what God has done and is doing. Even though you may not see the changes you want now, praising God in advance of receiving them will bring you peace of mind.

Don’t worry.

It is so much easier said that done. But try not to worry about how much your current situation has made your life more difficult or challenging. Don’t worry about how much you have to do or how much you haven’t done. Worry does nothing but elevate your problem and causes you further emotional damage.

God remedy for worry is prayer and thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6-7). Ask God to help you through the rough spots and to help you make far more progress when you are again in a position to move forward on your goals and the vision He has given to you. Thankful prayer will release His peace into your heart and protect your mind so you can deal with where you are effectively.

Keep dreaming.

A setback has a way of making you think negatively about your life and the goals you have set. But please keep dreaming and don’t allow any situation to mar your vision.

On a sick-bed, in financial difficult, at the lost of a loved one, when there’s no income, when children are being rebellious, when plans go array – God is still in control. When you are asleep, He is at work. When you are ill and unable to do much, He is at work. He is able to act when you can’t. So dream on and give your dreams to God. When you commit your ways to Him, He will establish your thoughts (Proverbs 16:3). That is, He will give you direction. He will help you, strengthen you and give you success.

Remember, although the enemy meant it for evil, God has the power to change every situation around for your good. God can turn every set back, frustration, every device of the enemy around to good for you and for others.

As the saying goes behind every dark cloud there is a silver lining. Therefore, look at every setback, negative circumstance with excitement and anticipation. Begin to wonder in your heart what good the Lord allow to come out of it as a blessing to you and others.

What do you do when face with an unexpected and unpleasant situation?

10 Ways to Move Forward in the New Year

I like this time of year. Yes, it is filled with much excitement. However, I also like it because it’s an opportunity to start afresh. The New Year is a new season, a new beginning. It’s a time to keep moving forward but with renewed hope and energy.

As I look back on the year it was indeed for me a Year of New Beginnings. The Lord helped me to make some new and wonderful starts in my life. I started a new job, began a blog, purchased a much-needed vehicle, worked hard at completing the writing, editing, and interior and cover design for my new book and published the e-book in December. I achieved more than I expected but frankly it was all that I desired.

As I reflect on last yer there were some habits I developed and things I did which I will continue to do in this year. I hope that by sharing these you too will adopt one or two of them to help you through this year:

  1. Step out in faith. Do that thing you have always wanted to but didn’t because you were afraid that it won’t work or that people would laugh at you. Whatever was holding you back don’t let it anymore. Faith requires corresponding action.
  2. Start and continue with prayer. Try to keep a visual of your yearly goals (in short form) in your Bible, on your cell phone, on your computer desktop or even on your fridge door. At church the Senior Pastor challenges us to write our goals and to present them before the Lord even before the New Year begins. With those goals in hand, throughout the year, as you work at them you would also pray about them. What goals would you like to accomplish this year?
  3. Put fasting in the mix. It’s a good practice spend some time at the beginning of the year before the Lord. Although I normally spend time in January reading through the Bible, in 2012 I added fasting. I felt that I needed to know the heart of God concerning many areas of my life.  Prayer along with fasting helped me to focus more on the Lord’s will for my life.
  4. Keep working steadily. It takes discipline and diligence to keep working toward your goals. Sure, we are not perfect and we may at times fall off track but we have to get back up and start moving again. Revive yourself if you have slackened your pace and start again.
  5. Trust God to help you. Don’t rely on your strength. I like Isaiah 41:10. God promises to help me and strengthen me. I need that reminder very often. Sometimes we can get discouraged and become afraid of those things that are seemingly bigger than us, we need to remember that God is with us and will help us. Not only that He will sustain us and give us success.
  6. Take short breaks. Refresh yourself. I am always on the go and sometimes find myself too exhausted. I have experienced the benefits of taking short breaks – sometimes just 15 minutes during the day is enough to recharge me.
  7. Don’t beat yourself up. If you don’t accomplish the goal when, where and how you want to, make adjustments and keep moving forward to your goal. Tell yourself that you can make it instead of being hard on yourself.
  8. Ask God for favor. You need His goodness all the time and you need others to show kindness to you too. It starts with asking God to touch the hearts of others to help you in your daily activities.
  9. Make adjustments. I can’t begin to mention how many times I changed my timeline for publishing my first book. With family commitments, other responsibilities and the unexpected events of life, I had to make changes along the way but still I was able to achieve what I wanted. Changing course does not mean giving up. A traffic diversion does not mean you won’t reach your intended destination.
  10. Give thanks along the way. Sometimes we can get caught up in the busyness of life and forget to honor God with thanksgiving. As I mentioned in an earlier post, create seasons throughout the year to review and celebrate where you are, where you’ve been and where you are going. Pause (Selah) and think about how God has helped you and give Him thanks for His blessings.

I plan to continue using these habits and principles during this year. I hope you will too. This year, keep moving forward. Challenge yourself and set goals that take you outside of the box.  Expect the goodness and mercies of the Lord to follow you and overtake you.

This year may the blessings of the Lord increase in your life and His goodness be more real to you. Happy New Year!

Five Reasons to Give Thanks

Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.                         —Psalm 103:1-5

Seasons of celebration and reflection are good for the soul. They take daily grind out of life as we look forward to these times with anticipation and excitement. They bring together friends and families that distance and responsibilities often keep apart. But Thanksgiving is not just a special holiday, it is a heart attitude. As Christians, thankfulness should be a constant way of living. Regardless of our present state in life – whether all is well or not – we should have grateful hearts.

The Psalmist David is well-known for his praise to the Lord and he reminds us in Psalm 103 of the need to attribute praise to God. Many times David’s life was in an upheaval – constantly on the run to stay alive – yet he purposed in his heart to always bless the Lord (Psalm 34:1-3).

Probably David was facing a period of frustration and he wanted to call it quits but in this psalm David commands himself to praise God with all that is in him. He reminded himself that he ought to give God praise for all He had done and because God is good.

Life’s challenges can sometimes make us forget to praise God. We can become burdened with many issues, details or concerns that we overlook the need to honor God for the good we are experiencing in life. When we don’t develop hearts of praise we can find ourselves in a world of negativity and complaining.

It is a good practice to remind yourself like David did to bless God with all that your spirit, soul, and strength. You can always give thanks to this wonderful God, who:

1.     Forgives Your Sins

What a great love Jesus has for us! He did it just for you and me so that we can come to the Father through Him and be forgiven.

2.     Heals Your Sicknesses and Diseases

We may not always be healthy but we have a covenant of healing with God. When we or our loved ones are ill we can call on Jehovah Rophe to heal. Furthermore, we can be thankful for every day we awake with strength.

3.     Protects You from Harm

We have not idea how much God preserves us from accident or sudden death. Sometimes we take it for granted that we are safe. Thank God for blessing your daily activity and setting His angels over you to protect you from harm.

4.     Extends His Mercies to You

This God is not hard in His judgment toward us. He deals with us according to our nature and willing extends mercy to receive us even when we don’t deserve it. We mess up in life quite a bit and we should be grateful to have such a merciful God.

5.     Fills Your Life with Good Things

We can’t complain – we have food, shelter and clothing. Yet at times we are grumpy because we didn’t get something we wanted. But God fills our lives with pleasant riches. Our lips should be filled with praise for the good and perfect gifts our Father showers on us.

As you look at your life, you will see that there are far more reasons to give thanks to God. Often, it is the ‘small’ stuff we fail to give honor to the Lord for. Give thanks for your family – even if they don’t fit into your ideal. Thank God for strength and wisdom He gives to accomplish the things you do. Honor Him for making you unique – appreciate God for the special gifts you have that others really appreciate about you.

With a thankful heart, make it your daily delight to praise God for all His goodness toward you.

How do you avoid being unthankful?

How to Keep Focused on God’s Goodness

Have you had one of those days or weeks lately when nothing seems to go right? Have you felt like your life hasn’t been going as you’d hoped, dreamed, prayed for and worked hard at for a long time? Sometimes for months or even years, have you felt like your life has been off-based and God has forgotten you? Maybe you have blamed God for all the problems you’ve been experiencing? Probably you have wondered what else could go wrong.

God is Good

There was a time in my life when nothing seemed to be working for me. I had financial challenges, relationship issues and work pressures. I felt weighted and burdened down by life. As a result, I wasn’t expecting anything good and I did think anything good was about to happen. Regardless of how I felt, I kept pushing through each day – work, family, church and whatever else I had to do.

During this low season in my life, it was Bible Reading Month at my church and I made the effort to take part. I looked forward to this every year as a refreshing time in God’s word. As I read through the Word, one major theme came home to me that year – God is good, no matter what.

The Lord brought two scriptures to my attention as I read through the Bible:

  • Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. — Genesis 1:31
  • Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. — James 1:17

That Word did a great deal for me. Why? Sometimes the enemy will try to convince you that nothing good is coming your way and that all the trouble you are facing is God’s fault. That is so not true. The Word demonstrates from Genesis through to Revelation God’s love for you and me along with His willingness, ability and availability to express His loving kindness to us. Therefore any difficulties you experience in life do not come from God but from the enemy of our souls.

No matter who we are or where we live on this earth, difficulties with come. However, there are few things I would like to encourage you with:

  1. Remember that God has your best interest to heart. He has a great future planned for you (Jer. 29:11).
  2. Whatever you are facing it is only temporary. There is an expiration date on your problem.
  3. God is actively working for you. God will turn every evil plan of the enemy around for your benefit.
  4. The Lord is willing to give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4) so don’t hesitate to ask.

Feed yourself on the word of God and remind yourself of God’s goodness. Here are a few scriptures to meditate on:

  • But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. — Genesis 50:20
  • And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth. — Exodus 34:6
  • Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. — Psalm 118:1 & Psalm 136:1
  • And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. — Romans 8:28

As you meditate on the word of God, purposely spend time to identify the good in your life – your family, your work, your church – and give thanks to God for the small and big things. Thank God for all He has done, all He is doing and all He promises to do. Take a moment to look around you and gaze into the heavens. Isn’t it beautiful? Now consider this – the God who created this beauty could only be good. Then think again – the Lord our God, the Painter the sky, the Designer of the Universe, the Creator of all things beautiful is good. So, worship Him.

Focus on how good and great God is no matter how low life looks or how long problems seem to prevail. God is good no matter what and He’s working it out for you.

What do you do to keep God’s goodness in perspective in the midst of life challenges?

5 Reasons for Creating Your Own Season

Celebrate

I like the ushering in of a new year. The celebration of what has passed and the welcoming of want is to come just brings such excitement. During these seasons, we don’t just celebrate but we think, we pray, we hope, we believe for a year or time ahead full of great and wonderful things happening in our lives. Some of us set goals about what we would like to accomplish. Some of us pray about them consistently. Some strategize on how to make our goals become reality.

I believe God gives allows times and seasons for a purpose – to refresh us. Just as the season of winter, spring, summer and fall have a purpose in renewing and refreshing the earth, so do the seasons or celebrations in our lives. Seasons like New Year’s, Easter, Christmas – whether man-made or God-made – can have a positive impact on our lives.

Apart from the normal seasons most people celebrate; we can create our own seasons that bring refreshing and renewal in our lives. For me, I set apart a specific time of thanksgiving and reflection at least four times a year. I like to sit with my journal and write a note of praise (which is often very long note) to God as I reflect over the days, weeks and months of the previous quarter. I like to celebrate God’s goodness to me and would spend extra time in praise and thanksgiving to honour Him.

But what benefits have I reaped from creating times of celebration and thanksgiving and what can this do for you? Creating your own season of celebration can:

  1. Keep your mind on the Source of your life and on the Help of my life. “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” (Isaiah 26:3, NKJV)
  2. Re-ignite a heart of gratitude in you. Sometimes the grind of life can take its toil on your attitude and your outlook on life. If you set aside special times of thanksgiving and celebration to God you will be uplifted and you will gain new energy to keep going.
  3. Create a moment of pause. You will gain some perspective on what you’ve accomplished through Christ. It helps you to determine where you are, where you need to go and what you need to do and what God wants you to do.
  4. Lift any feelings of discouragement that have been lingering and propel you forward. As you reflect and celebrate you will recognize that Christ, who brought you through the past three months and the prior seasons of your life, is faithful to take you into the next season victoriously.
  5. Give you inner strength to recommit yourself to God and to achieve your goals. In some cases, you may even recognize the need to eliminate or revise some specific goals as the Lord directs you.

Although this season you create isn’t done with the same fanfare as Christmas or New Years’, it can bring the same result – a refreshing, a renewing of the soul, an exception or anticipation for God’s powerful move in your life.

What about you? Do you create and celebrate season in your life to help bring you through the daily grind of life or do you just struggle through? There are times when you have to encourage yourself in the Lord and renew yourself.

Make a conscious effort to create seasons of celebration, thanksgiving, reflection and re-commitment and you will notice that you’ll make it through the year more triumphantly!