Feeling Beat Up? Renew Your Self Confidence Again!

It’s pretty easy to feel beat up emotionally isn’t it?

I mean, in your career, you just never seem to measure up to the best.

Others are cuter, more popular, more fun.

Maybe, like me, you were always the last to get picked for the school yard baseball team.

Then maybe you’ve been rejected by someone you love.

It can leave you feeling less than worthy can’t it?

Well, I’ve got good news for you.  And honestly, really good news for me.

As I’ve heard said, “God made you and he doesn’t make junk.”

Or as Psalms says more eloquently.

“I praise you because I am miraculously and perfectly made.  And I know all your creation is perfect.”

See, God made you perfectly.   And he has something great that he created only you for.

So when you look at yourself and think, “Yikes.”

God looks at you and thinks, “Ahh, perfect.”

So the key is to look at yourself through God’s eyes.

When you do you’ll suddenly see yourself in a whole new way.  And you’ll discover the great things God put you here on earth to accomplish.

So go ahead.  Be a little proud.

I promise, if I get the chance, I’ll pick you first for the baseball team.

 

*Psalm 139:13

What Do You Do When Life Throws You a Curve and You Need to Clobber a Home Run?

A friend described her life as feeling like a wildebeest.

She said, “I get up in the morning with a plan and by noon I’m going a completely different direction.  Then by 3 I’ve changed direction again.  Like a wildebeest wandering aimlessly.”

I can relate.  Some days I get to the end and can just recycle my plans because none of them got accomplished.

Yet, life comes at us like that doesn’t it?  I mean we lay out our best plans and then the phone rings.

And if you’re a goal focused person, rather goal obsessed person, like I am?  Yikes, you can grow really frustrated.

That’s why it’s good to pause and remember God’s promise.

“A person plans his course but God guides his steps.”

I’m so glad.  Although, I have to be honest, there are days I wonder if anyone is steering the bus.

But in those times you just relax and trust God is in control because he promised he would be.

Then you get to see where he’s taking you.  You may be surprised.  Yet, often it’s so much better.

God promises he hasn’t lost control even when you have.  And you’ll arrive at your destination though it may change.

Welcome aboard the bus.

Buckle up!

 

*Proverbs 16:9

How to Change Your Life from Frustration to Strength

Do you ever have those times you think, “Wow, I messed up again.  Why do I keep making the same mistakes?  Why can’t I get it right?”

To tell you the truth I do.  A lot.  And there’s probably a few times my wife wonders the same thing about me.

Yet, it often seems the harder I work at trying to change the more frustrated I become.  Then when I feel worn out from trying, I revert back to the old behaviors again.

I think, “Yikes, what can I do?”

Paul wrote, “He who started a good work in you will continue it on until he completes it.”

See God not only forgives your past he changes your future also.

This makes the promises of Jesus unique.

Religion says, “When you’re perfect enough then God will accept you.”

Jesus says, “You won’t ever be perfect enough so I accept you the way you are.  Then I’ll change you from the inside into the person you and I want you to be.”

Now that’s reassuring isn’t it?  Especially to those of us who maybe are just a smidge flawed.

It only comes as you ask and expect God to act.

Then he does.

Sounds like a darn good trade to me.

*Philippians 1:6

Do You Face the Impossible? Would You Like to See a Miracle?

What mountain do you face?  What obstacle seems so huge that you can’t imagine life the other side?

You’ve tried to overcome it.  You’ve given it your best shot.  Followed all the five step plans you know.  Yet, the mountain still remains.

So you’re ready to throw in the towel.  But you don’t know where to throw it or what you’ll do afterwards.

Believe me I’ve been there.  And I’ve prayed with a lot of people who were there.

I’ve found sometimes this is just the place God wants us to get to.  Because we stop digging and start looking up.

Then God can work his greatest miracles.  And I’ve seen some amazing ones.

Now before you call me, I’ve also seen some answers that were, shall we say, not exactly what we prayed for.  Yet, even in those often something better came out.

It’s what Jesus promised, “If anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go throw yourself into the sea,’ and doesn’t doubt but believes it will happen, it will be done for him.”

Doesn’t leave a lot out does it?  Pretty bold promise.

What would happen if you actually took God up on it?

How big is your mountain?

Good news.  We know the one who made the mountains.

*Mark 11:23

Worn Out From Your Struggles? Be Encouraged!

Do you ever go through those times where problems seem to pile up?  I mean, you get one challenge solved only to have two more waiting in the wings.

You’re running to keep the other shoe from falling only to see a bus heading at you?

And no matter how fast you run the behinder you get?

Well I have good news and bad news.

The bad news is, well, welcome to life.

The good news is you can find encouragement in the midst.

Jesus never sugar coated the struggles of this life.  Yet, he offers an antidote.

He said, “In this world you will have trouble.  But take confidence!  I have overcome this world.”

He doesn’t say struggle on until you get to Heaven.

No he says, “Right now, in this world, in the midst of the struggle, be encouraged.”

Wait, what?  Why?

Because no matter what you face Jesus’ power is greater.  No matter the challenges that seem impossible Jesus has the power to overcome them.

No matter the discouragement you feel, Jesus sees your circumstances and loves you.

So he says, “Put on confidence.”

Look at his power rather than the world’s.

And then you’ll overcome this world in that power.

But I’d still watch out for the bus.

 

*John 16:33

How to Find Peace in a World That’s Exploding

Does it ever feel to you like our world is exploding in one giant holocaust?

I mean, I won’t even turn on the news any more.

A terrorist set off a bomb killing scores of people.  War broke out on a new front.  The economy is tanking or certainly predicted to for the hundredth time.

And that doesn’t even count all the challenges you face personally does it?

It’s enough to make you want to go live in a monastery isn’t it?  Well except for, you know, all the stuff you have to give up.

So how do you find peace in the midst of this crazy world?

Jesus gives a remarkable answer.

“I have told you all of these secrets so that in your relationship with me you will discover peace.”

He says simply, “Live with me and then you’ll discover an unexplainable peace.”

A peace, that no matter what is blowing up around you, fills you from the inside.

No matter what you face you’ll have peace Jesus is with you because he promised.

I’ll tell you, I’ve experienced that peace.  And this is from a person who could turn worrying into an art form.

It’s real.  It’s yours.

But I’m still not turning on the news.

 

*John 16:33

Supersize Your Confidence and See Your Dreams

I’ve sat through way too many sermons where the preacher said, “We all need to suffer for Jesus.”

I remember a whole series on “Fox’s Book of Martyrs”.  Talk about looking forward to Sunday.

And how many times have I heard some church saint say about her problems, “Well, it’s just my cross to bear.”

Then Christians wonder why new people don’t crowd in their doors yelling, “Wow, supersize me with a helping of that misery.”

Yet, I see something completely different.  Yeah I know, not the first time someone noticed that about me.

A promise that says exactly the opposite and fills me with confidence.

“‘For these are the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord.  ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.'”

Wait, what?  You mean God isn’t spending his days snoozing and then wakes up looking for opportunities to swat you?

Rather he has plans for you to prosper.  He has plans to give you success and abundance beyond what you can imagine.

Nowhere does he say, “I plan to make you miserable.”

What do you think would happen to your confidence and happiness if you truly focused on that promise?

And what do you think would happen in your life out of that confidence?

Supersize me with that!

 

*Jeremiah 29:11

How to Find Comfort and Peace When You’ve Lost a Loved One

I’ve stood beside a grave when a loved one died and even with all the faith I feel on a good day been filled with doubts.  When I need that faith the most, because I want assurance I’ll see my loved one again, my faith fails me the most often.

I’ve got a leaky faith bucket.

Perhaps you’ve struggled with the same thing.

Jesus offered a prayer to comfort his disciples and us.

He prayed, “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am and to see the glory of my kingdom.”

I love that.

One of the last things Jesus did before he was arrested was pray for his disciples and us.  That we would live in his kingdom with him forever.

Kind of like wanting your children to be with you where ever you go.  There’s nothing better.  And with my adult children exhausting.

I find that comforting and liberating.

You don’t need an intermediary.  You can simply ask him to let you live with him as his child.  Then he prays to the Father for you.

As a Father there’s nothing I enjoy more than to be with my children.  Evidently Jesus feels the same.

Now if I can just find that leak.

 

*John 17:24

Enjoy the Confidence of Heaven When You’re Scared to Death of Hell

I’ve sat through way too many church services where the preacher at the end gave an altar call.  Then I’d see some of the same people going forward again to make sure they were still saved.

I’d think, “These are the nicest people I know.  If they’re lost I’m toast.”

Some who long ago should have been filled with joyful anticipation of Heaven lived their lives in fear of hell.

See Jesus settled that question.  Yet his answer is ignored for some unexplainable reason.

He said, “I give them eternal life, not one will perish, and no one will take them away from me.”

Ok, so what part seems nebulous?  I don’t see the cracks we can fall through.

So instead of living your life in fear you get to live it in love and joy.

Instead of fearing hell you get to anticipate Heaven.

Instead of striving to please a gotcha type of God.  You love him and others with the love he’s given you.

Is it time to settle that issue once and for all?

Then simply ask for and accept God’s gift of eternal life.  Then from now on choose to live in confidence of it, never doubting again.

It will transform your life.

No cracks!

 

*John 10:28

How to Find Happiness When Bad News is Getting You Down

I write on another website some posts that are a bit edgy.  And sometimes I get myself in trouble.  Yeah I know, what a surprise.

Some readers, who I would guess are fundamentalist Christians, miss my offbeat humor and seem less than supportive, shall we say.

Sometimes it causes me to think, “Why would anyone from the outside looking on want to be a Christian?  I mean, if I want to feel depressed  I can turn on the news.”

We don’t need religious bad news added on top do we?

Yet, that contrasts with what Jesus promised.

He said, “I have told you these things so my joy will be in you and your joy will be full.”

Wait, what?  We’re supposed to actually find joy in our relationship with Jesus?  Who knew?

See he doesn’t take us out of this world of bad news.  But instead fills us up with so much good news it can’t help but spill out in joy.  Think about how attractive that would be.

Well and frankly, how much more fun.

And just because we listen to what he promises and actually just expect them.

Now that’s something to get happy about.

A couple of readers from the other website I hope read this.

 

*John 15:11