You are a priceless treasure.
“God feeds the birds and you are far more valuable to Him than any birds!” Luke 12:24 NLT
God thinks you matter, Jesus thought this was so important that he told three parables to illustrate how important you are. In Luke 15 he tells the stories of — the lost son, the lost coin, and the lost sheep. It’s the same emphasis in each story. Jesus says, “You matter!”
You matter to God. You are important. You are valuable. God says you are valuable because he loves you and he has accepted you in Christ.
Happiness isn’t something that depends on our surroundings…It’s something we make inside ourselves…. with God. The problem is that I am surprised at where my thoughts go to. Not toward happiness. I worry and stress with my thoughts and argue with people in my head. Here are some ways to help you pay attention to happiness:
- Learn to create positive affirmations – Talk to yourself in a positive nurturing way. Don’t demean or belittle yourself. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” – Philippians 4:8
- Count your joys and blessings – Focus on what you do have rather then what you don’t have. Appreciate and enjoy what you already have. “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you” – Isaiah 26:3
- Allow yourself to be playful and childlike – Learn to let go and play. “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:2-4
- Focus on changing yourself instead of changing the world around you – Wake up with a resolve to stay happy during the day. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” – Romans 12:2
- Your body is God’s temple, honor it – Give yourself proper rest, nutrition and pleasure. “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
If you spend any time with me you will eventually hear me talk about the metaphors that God uses in scripture to explain our relationship with Him. I am fascinated with them. They are a beautiful picture of God’s love, care, provision and affection for us. I have been pondering the idea that God really does want and enjoy us for several years. Take some time to look over the metaphors that I have listed below. Ponder them, ask God questions. If you allow them to take root they will bring a confidence as you deal with life. The lie that most of us struggle with is that we are alone. It is all up to us, we have no one to help us or be with us along the journey. The metaphors of scripture will help combat or erase that lie. Imagine how much different your life would be if you were absolutely confident that God was with you.
Here are some of the metaphors that scripture uses to describe your relationship with God. This is a good start and guide to help you understand your relationship with God.
I love Easter and the joy of spring. Watching the world come alive with daffodils, tulips, beautiful dogwood trees and green grass. These all bring the hope and joy that newness can bring. My hope and prayer is that you will enjoy and experience the wonder of new beginnings this Easter season.
Everyone has gone through something. They have a story. When you look at a person remember that they have gone through something that has changed them. We are all in process. Give each other patience, kindness and love.
There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears – Philippians 1:6
No Matter where you are in your story, know 2 things
- God is with you – You are not alone. Let that sink in. Live in that awareness every day.
- He will complete what He has started – God is involved in your life. He has started something that He will complete. It is working… Trust Him
Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you – Deuteronomy 31:6
In the post Seeking God I talked about trying to understand what a relationship with God looked like. The search of trying to live in a vibrant, real and intimate relationship with God lead me to discover the Spiritual Disciplines. They have become for me a way that makes my heart available to experience God. So often my desire was to get something from God not experience a relationship with Him. My love for Him was marked by getting not giving.
We have all experienced discouragement and disappointment. The struggles and pain we experience create feelings of loss. We lose confidence and enthusiasm and we become disheartened. Here are some causes and cures guided by scripture to help you overcome discouragement and disappointment.
“I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse” – Philippians 4:8. It is important to recognize that you get to choose what you dwell on or think about. The best way I know to direct your thoughts is to focus on things that give life. I have tried to use the idea of a playlist. Most of us have a playlist. A list of songs that describe your interests and moods that make you come alive. I have several playlists that help me to find clarity and direction. Several of the playlists are songs but many are scripture. Here are three songs that I listen to daily:
Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path – Psalms 119:105
The playlist that I go to the most is one that is scripture. Most of my scripture playlists are in my head, not in a digital file. I think we must create things that can measure our thoughts and fears against truth. Creating a biblical playlist or list of scriptures will develop that yardstick. Here are some scriptures I meditate on regularly to bring myself back to calm when I get anxious, stressed or fearful.
The most frequent command or teaching in scripture was not to be holy, or to love one another but to not worry, to have no fear or to not be anxious. In fact, there are about 365 mentions of this given by Jesus in the New Testament. We might think that Jesus is only trying to help us to alleviate our anxieties but He is actually commanding us not to worry. We constantly have to look to the Lord, read His word and meditate on His promised comforts in the midst of the chaos of life. We need to be reminded regularly that God is with us and He really is in control. Here are some scripture to mediate on that can remind you of the truth that He is an ever present help, you don’t need to be anxious and afraid – Psalms 46:1-2
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” – Matthew 6:34 ESV
Don’t get discouraged, focus and protect your heart with the truth that you are loved and enjoyed. Remember each day that the story is not finished yet, you still have a part to play. Everything that God is doing is worked into something good.
There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit! – Romans 5:3-5 MSG
I try to always focus on two things when I feel discouraged and stressed.