Chelsea Crockett

JESUS | BEAUTY | LIFESTYLE | FASHION

Category: “The WORD.”

Lessons to Learn from Women of the Bible

Did you know there are over 3,200 characters talked about in the Bible, and that only a select few of these named characters are actually women? Crazy, right? Despite the…

Did you know there are over 3,200 characters talked about in the Bible, and that only a select few of these named characters are actually women? Crazy, right?

Despite the fact that these women weren’t brought into the spotlight as much as others doesn’t defeat their purpose in the Bible. There are so many lessons and advice that we can take from these women that are just as important as the characters that we hear about time and time again!

MARY

Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, is an amazing woman who feared the Lord and followed his plan for her life whole-heartedly. When she discovered that she would soon become pregnant, while unmarried to Joseph, she was terrified. A pregnant, unmarried woman in that society could risk being put to death.

No matter the risk that came along with giving birth to Jesus, she put her faith and trust in God and did just what He asked of her.

We can all learn from Mary’s actions. She risked people shaming and shunning her, she risked what Joseph would think of her, she risked the uncertainties that would come with childbirth… But she did just what God asked no matter what the future held. We should have this same faith in the plan that God has for our own lives!

ANNA

Although not as well-known as Mary when we consider women of the Bible, Anna stands out to me. As a young woman, she lost her husband at an early age. Instead of blaming God for her misfortune, he became her number one companion, always talking to Him, praising Him, and worshipping Him.

In her older years, she actually had an encounter with Mary and Joseph, and baby Jesus. After seeing them at the temple, “she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.” She was faithful, loyal, and not afraid to tell of the gospel she was so excitedly waiting for.

EVE

 I think we all know the story of Adam and Eve. God told the two that they could eat from any tree in the entire Garden of Eden, except for the tree that God forbid them. After being tempted by the devil, Eve took a bite of an apple from the forbidden tree, bringing sin into the world.

We can all relate to Eve a little more than we think. We never plan on falling into temptation or deliberately going against what God says. But at the end of the day, the devil makes us all stumble, without us even realizing it at times. Be firm in your faith and on high alert for when temptation is around!

Although these are only a few lessons you can take away from the Bible, there are SO many more from so many other women! The Bible tells us these stories so we can learn from their actions, their mistakes, their trials, etc. We should always be continually learning from the past, especially when these lessons can strengthen our spiritual lives!

Dive into the Word and see what other lessons you can learn from those who were living right alongside Jesus!

– Chelsea

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5 Prayer Points to Start Your Day

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” – Philippians 4:6 The best way to start your…

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” – Philippians 4:6

The best way to start your day is by talking to God. Before you even leave your house for the day, there are certain things you need to ask God for to equip you for what’s to come.

Although we can’t predict the future, we can ask God to prepare us for whatever life will throw at us that day. After all, God knows even the smallest details of our lives before they even happen!

  1. Pray for safety.

Starting my day with a prayer for safety gives me comfort and peace going into my day. I pray not only for the safety of myself but for the safety of my family and friends. It’s so comforting knowing that God sends his guardian angels down to protect us wherever we go!

  1. Pray for the strength to turn away from sin.

Life will throw many sinful things at you throughout your day. You may not even realize that you’ve stumbled into sin! Things like gossiping, negative thoughts, jealousy, etc. are easy to fall into without even knowing it. When we pray for resistance to temptation, God gives us a conscious mind to turn away from the things that are displeasing to him.

  1. Pray for others to see God through you.

One of our missions on this earth is to witness to other people. If we’re not radiating the love of Christ to the world around us, then we’re not doing our job as followers of Christ! Pray for opportunity between you and your friends, family, classmates, or whoever else God is using you to reach. We should be excited to talk to others about the things God is doing for us that he, too, can do for them!

  1. Pray for energy.

I think you can all agree with me on this one… Days can oftentimes be long and exhausting! We could all use some extra motivation and strength to get through our day. Ask God for energy and persistence for when you’re feeling that early morning wake up call. It doesn’t hurt to get a little extra help from the man upstairs!

  1. Pray for resilience.

What exactly is resilience? It’s the ability to recover readily from adversity. Not every day is filled with hardships and difficulties, but when that day comes that is filled with adversity, God can equip us to get through it all! God is with us through the hills and the valleys, whenever they may happen. When we pray for resilience, God will give us the mindset of perseverance, and the ability to approach these situations confidently and courageously. When we change to a mindset of resilience, we turn these difficulties into mountains we allow God to move!

If you often forget to pray to start your day, challenge yourself to spend 5 minutes in prayer before you even get out of bed in the morning! Set your alarm 5 minutes earlier and see how this small change can positively impact your day in so many ways. God loves the time we spend in communication with him, and it’ll make you feel so much closer to him. What’s a better way to start your day than that?

– Chelsea

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The Importance of Transparency

Transparency is the thing that makes us feel close to one another. It creates a sense of vulnerability and allows us to speak freely, without judgement or hesitation. Think of…

Transparency is the thing that makes us feel close to one another. It creates a sense of vulnerability and allows us to speak freely, without judgement or hesitation.

Think of the people you’re close to. Do you share with them the things that keep you up at night, make you jump for joy, or maybe give you aching anxiety? Do you allow them to be a listening ear when you can’t hold something in anymore?

When we allow transparency in the relationships in our lives, we feel closer and more connected. This holds true to our relationship with God, as well. When we hold back the things we’re scared of God knowing, we build a barrier between Him and us, that only gets bigger and bigger the more we close ourselves off from Him.

When I think of the word “transparent,” I remember one of my favorite passages in the Bible.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

There is so much truth in just these two simple verses. Paul writes about being boastful in his weaknesses because these are the areas where Christ moves and works in his life.

We should all have the same mindset as Paul. Our weaknesses are what make us human. They’re the things that God so desperately wants us to bring to him and lay at the foot of the cross. For when we are weak and allow God to see our deepest places, then we are strong!

There are way too many times when vulnerability is confused as weakness. The world has shaped openness to be something that makes us seem like we’re falling apart or don’t have it all together.

But the truth is, transparency is what brings us together. When we can rely on someone we trust to rant to, vent to, talk to, confess to, etc., it benefits us in so many ways! We open the door for others to know it’s okay to be vulnerable, whether that be in their spiritual life or their everyday life.

Next time you sit down and talk to God, lay everything out on the table. Tell him how you’ve been struggling. Confess to Him the sins you’ve kept bottling up inside. God already knows everything there is to know about us anyways!

There is always a light at the end of the tunnel that God is preparing for you. When you go through a tough situation, talk to God. Be vulnerable, be transparent, be willing.

Like Paul said, “I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” Start boasting about your weaknesses, and God will transform them into something amazing.

– Chelsea

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When You Struggle with How to Pray…

Whether we’re drawing near to God or find ourselves running from him, prayer can be hard. Even in the darkest parts of our lives, it can seem almost impossible to…

Whether we’re drawing near to God or find ourselves running from him, prayer can be hard. Even in the darkest parts of our lives, it can seem almost impossible to find the right words to say.

I know for me, I find it hardest to pray when I’m frustrated or mad at God. As selfish as it is, it’s hard to praise him during our own personal times of trials, even when we know deep down this is when we need God the most.

Recently, I dove into Scripture to discover what the Bible says about the times when we feel unable to pray. There is so much truth to be known during these difficult times that can help us know what to do when we face that obstacle.

Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I love this verse because it gives us direct instructions on what to do when we’re needing direction in our prayer life. Not knowing what to pray isn’t an excuse to God when considering the fact that he wants us to come to him with anything and everything. We could talk to him about something as simple as our agenda for the day and he would love that time spent with him!

Like the verse says, in every situation present your requests to God. If you’re at a place where the last thing you want to do is pray, start here. Depending on your situation, write down the good and bad things of what you’re going through. Maybe you’ve been waiting your whole life to get into the college of your dreams only to receive a rejection letter in the mail. When you approach the situation by pointing out the good that can come from it, your whole perspective will change.

This also gives you things to talk to God about. Pray for guidance, joy, peace, or whatever you need at that point in time. God will never turn you away, no matter how long you’ve been pushing him away. Isn’t that a beautiful truth?

God tells us in the Bible to talk to him about our struggles, even if that struggle is in our prayer life. We shouldn’t feel embarrassed or defeated when we’re going through a hard season with prayer. This just gives us one more thing to pray about! Ask God to help you find the words to say and to be honest and vulnerable. Find the joy in your struggles!

– Chelsea

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5 Ways to Prayer Journal

Prayer journaling is one of my favorite ways to talk to God. It allows me to spill out all of my thoughts on paper, praising him, confessing to him, whatever…

Prayer journaling is one of my favorite ways to talk to God. It allows me to spill out all of my thoughts on paper, praising him, confessing to him, whatever those thoughts may be.

Sitting down and aimlessly writing out prayers can be hard at times, especially when you’re stuck and don’t know what to pray about. I wanted to give you five different ways to prayer journal so you can feel motivated to start your own!

  1. Count your blessings.

Journaling about all the good things in your life is one of the most refreshing and uplifting things you could do. Spending a moment in complete gratitude is the perfect way to start your day on the right foot! Write down even the smallest of things such as the big breakfast you had or the fact that your car started this morning. Nothing good should go unnoticed with God!

  1. Make a list of all your worries, anxieties, fears, etc.

No one is a better person to vent to than God! He knows the depths of our hearts’ struggles and truly understands the things we go through. Never be ashamed of your struggles or think that God doesn’t listen when you present even the bad parts of your life to him. He will always be our loving Father that is there to carry us when we need it most.

  1. Pick a person in your life once a day, and write out a prayer for them.

This could be someone in your class, at your work, in your church, etc. that needs prayer over their life. Maybe you’re wanting God to open an opportunity to witness to them and talk to them about having a relationship with the Lord. Write that in your journal! Or maybe a friend has asked you to pray for them for a specific reason. Write about it! Everyone can always use a little more prayer!

  1. Free write a prayer about anything and everything.

To me, free writing is therapeutic. If a thought comes, I write it down. This is the perfect time to fully let God move through me. This type of prayer journaling allows God to speak to you and to let those hidden whispers become evident in your writing. Try it out and see what God is trying to tell you!

  1. Record answered prayers.

Have you ever experienced something, such as a weight lifted off your shoulders or a healing of a family member, that you knew was an answered prayer? These moments are incredible and will always make you feel so close to God. I never want to forget when God answers a prayer and how I felt in that moment. When this happens in your life, journal about it so you too can look back on it and be in awe of God’s glory!

My favorite thing about prayer journaling is being able to go back and look at what we once were in prayer over. It shows us the journey that God takes us on and the prayers that he so graciously answers. It also gives us the chance to look back and see which prayers have gone unanswered so we can continue praying for those in the future!

I challenge you to prayer journal one time this week, and see how it changes your heart and your perspective!

– Chelsea

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The Secret Sins You Don’t Even Know You’re Committing

Have you ever done an in-depth, undistracted reading of the Bible? I don’t mean reading it word-for-word, front-to-back, but what I do mean is spending time to fully comprehend what…

Have you ever done an in-depth, undistracted reading of the Bible? I don’t mean reading it word-for-word, front-to-back, but what I do mean is spending time to fully comprehend what messages the Bible has to tell you.

It’s easy to overlook certain passages in the Bible that tell us all the things we shouldn’t be doing. Who wants to read about the things they’re doing wrong?

When we consider the term “sin,” we often think of the 12 commandments or other obvious sins throughout the Bible. But what about the sins that aren’t always talked about in church or throughout our day-to-day Bible plans? These secret sins are just as important to avoid and be in prayer over!

WORRY/FEAR

Worrisome and anxious thoughts are easy to possess. And although these sometimes creep in out of our control, the Bible talks about it being a hidden sin.

1 Peter 5:6-8 says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

When we worry, we allow Satan to have a foothold in our lives. It’s like we’re telling God we don’t trust what he’s doing. Now I’m sure he knows there’s times when we can’t control our worrying, but letting it drive our lives is when it becomes displeasing to God. Trust him, and let go and let God!

PRIDE

James 4:6 says, “But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’”

This is a sin that I see being committed time and time again, and I’m guilty of it, too. When we have certain accomplishments and successes, it’s hard not wanting to tell the world or post about them on social media. God wants us to have a humble heart, boasting of his greatness rather than our own.

JEALOUSY

 You may think that you’re not a jealous person, but jealousy exists outside of relationships! When was the last time you’ve thought “I wish I had her hair, her body, her outfit, etc.”?  God loves when we’re content in our own circumstances, not longing for the circumstances of others.

Proverbs 14:30 says, “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.

It’s exhausting to constantly desire the things of others. Focus on loving who you are and the things you are blessed with. Thank God for everything he’s given you instead of wanting the things he’s given others!

HOLDING A GRUDGE

Holding grudges makes us bitter and stubborn. God wants us to extend forgiveness to everyone, no matter how bad they’ve hurt us or how wrong they’ve treated us. This doesn’t mean to let those people walk all over us, but more so forgiving them like God constantly and whole-heartedly forgives us!

Nobody’s perfect, but we can try our hardest to avoid these sins and be in prayer over them. Pick one that you want to focus on this week, and make a daily choice to practice it!

– Chelsea

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Led by Emotions?

There are so many people that forget to “think before they speak” and let emotions take over. We would all be lying if we said this didn’t happen to us…

There are so many people that forget to “think before they speak” and let emotions take over. We would all be lying if we said this didn’t happen to us time and time again. We’re only human, and temper can take over, causing us to say things we never wish we would’ve said and do things we never wish we would’ve done.

Think of the last time you forgot to bite your tongue or think before you spoke. Once we cool down, a sense of regret seeps in and makes us feel embarrassed for the way we acted. It’s one of the worst feelings, and can result in the feelings of anxiety and shame.

Proverbs 29:11 says, “Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.” And again, in Proverbs 15:18 there’s a verse that says, “A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.

What does this say about emotions? Solomon brings it up twice in the same chapter, and even a couple more times throughout. When we let ourselves be led by emotions, we stir up conflict and cause bigger problems than we can handle.

So, what should we be led by? Our heart? Our head? Our gut feeling?

Psalm 143:10 says, “Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground.” When we’re led by the Holy Spirit, we get to experience God’s will for us. He knows when we wake up, when we go to class, and when we go to sleep at night. Why would we trust ourselves over him when he knows our past, our present, and our future?

Galatians 5:16 says, “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

This verse in Galatians is yet another reason why we should be led by the Holy Spirit. When we follow the Spirit, we desire less of the world more and more every day. We discover that God always has our best interest, and leads us in the way we should think, talk, act, and live entirely.

In our daily lives, the world will encourage us to be quick to gossip, quick to argue, quick to jump to conclusions, quick to react to anything and everything… All of these things are driven solely by emotion. Spend some time in prayer, and let the Spirit lead you in your responses, actions, thoughts, and so much more!

Next time you feel anger stirring up or anxiety creeping in, remember who leads you and gives a sense of peace in every circumstance.

– Chelsea

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It’s Not Easy, But it is Possible

“For with God nothing shall be impossible.” – Luke 1:37 If you grew up in church, you have probably heard that verse so many times. Another way of rephrasing it…

“For with God nothing shall be impossible.” – Luke 1:37

If you grew up in church, you have probably heard that verse so many times. Another way of rephrasing it is “faith does not make things easy, but it DOES make them possible”.

When push comes to shove and rubber meets the road, do any of us really understand what it feels like to completely release control and believe in something explicitly? Do we take leaps of faith without worry? Do we release control easily? Leaning solely on our faith is scary. Releasing control is scary. Losing faith is a result of clinging to control.

We can find ourselves eager to doubt everything that we believe in, especially when things aren’t going the way we thought they would.

Life’s road is long and bumpy, but our happiness and confidence come from believing that everything is possible for God. Why exhaust ourselves with worry when we can leave it up to Him? It is not up to us to fix things, we just have to believe that He can and will in His own time.

This verse also seems to be misquoted many times, especially in sports or other competitive settings. If you haven’t trained, you will not be able to bench 225 pounds, even if you pray Luke 1:37 into your life. That’s not how it works. That promotion you have been working hard towards and praying about for what seems like forever? If it is in His will, He will make it happen. If it doesn’t, that means He has something else in store for you that you may have never considered but might love even more.

Having faith that He can do all things does not make life easy, it just means we have to have patience and trust that if it is in His will, he will make it possible. Life does not magically go the way we will it to, our faith has to do some heavy lifting to get us where we want to be. It’s not easy, but it’s possible.

Chels

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Show Me That in Scripture Please

The Bible has many questions and myths surrounding it that leave people confused, frustrated, and wondering more. We live in a generation where people want to “see it to believe…

The Bible has many questions and myths surrounding it that leave people confused, frustrated, and wondering more. We live in a generation where people want to “see it to believe it,” and sometimes with God, we can’t always do that.

Although the Bible is considered a religious book and a moral compass, it is also historical and a primary source of things that actually happened at some point in time. Sometimes I read through the Bible and forget that those stories aren’t just stories. They’re real life events that once took place… How cool is that?!

If you’d put yourself in the “see it to believe it category,” then I have good news for you! There is written proof of the things God promises us. The things you hear in church aren’t just myths or hypothetical events. We can rest in the comfort of knowing that the Bible solidifies the promises God gives to us!

Promise #1: God is with us through hard times.

Isaiah 43:2 says, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

When we go through a rough patch in life, it’s easy to feel like God is nowhere to be found. The verse above is only one of the many verses that states God’s constant presence. Even when we feel like we’re alone and helpless, God will always be by our side, whether we believe it or not at the time.

Promise #2: God will provide for all our needs.

Philippians 4:19 says, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

When we’re in prayer over the things we need, God will show up and provide in accordance to his will. Of course, God won’t always give us a brand-new car or a free trip across the world, but he will provide his numerous blessings he gives us each and every day. You just have to trust him and be in communication with him!

Promise #3: Jesus is coming back.

Revelation 22:12-13 says, “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

This promise is one that is constantly doubted, not only by non-believers but by Christians, as well. It’s a promise that’s so hard for us to wrap our heads around, considering the surreal event that will actually take place in the future. If you’re doubtful, read Revelation 22. There is so much excitement to be had in the waiting!

There are so many more promises throughout the Bible. Some will even blow your mind at how powerful and mighty God really is! His promises are true, and we can rest in the fact of that today and every day.

– Chelsea

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Behind You & Before You

As the Bible says numerous times, God is with us always. In everything we do, we can count on the fact that he is right by our side. It’s easy…

As the Bible says numerous times, God is with us always. In everything we do, we can count on the fact that he is right by our side.

It’s easy for us to remember that God is in the present when we’re in communication with him. Praying, talking to him, reading his word… We can always feel his presence throughout the day.

But I think it’s easy for us to forget that God has always been behind us and will always be before us. He knows what we’ve done in our past and knows what we’re inevitably going to do in our future.

The Bible explicitly states that God is behind us. He takes care of our past mistakes, situations, problems, and so much more. There’s a verse in Isaiah that confirms just that.

Isaiah 43:18-19 says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” God has already taken care of the things we’ve done that we so often stress about. When we dwell on the past, we allow ourselves to be stuck in the past. What’s the point of holding on to something when you’re trying to move forward?

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” When you ask God to come into your heart, you are immediately transformed. The old you has gone, and the new you is here. God doesn’t remember the sins you’ve committed once he extends his love and forgiveness to you. With God sending his son down to earth to cover a multitude of sins, we don’t have to worry any longer.

Although God has always been behind us, he also goes before us. He knows what we’re doing right now, tonight, tomorrow, and even multiple years from now. He’s written out a perfect plan for each one of our lives, and he’s waiting each day for us to live those plans out.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” Find confidence in this verse like I always have. If you think you’ve encountered a setback, remember that God is going to turn it into something so much better.

 Philippians 1:6 says, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Like this verse says, we can be confident in our future and what God has in store for us. We don’t have to fret over not having it all together all the time. Even if we do, at least we can rest in the fact that God always has our lives together even when we feel like we don’t!

Remember, God has already forgotten the past and is planning for our future! What a wonderful peace that can give us!

– Chelsea

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Stronger Than Yesterday

“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not…

But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40:31

True strength is easy to lack. We try to act like we have it all together, but at the end of the day, we are weak, broken, and hurting. It’s easy to let these thoughts and feelings take over our minds and start to believe what they’re telling us.

It seems like strength is something our generation forgets to pursue. Some of us are okay with feeling down or weak and put no work into feeling the opposite. God wants us to know our value, and he wants us to know the strength we can possess through him, his word, and our constant communication with him.

Like the verse in Isaiah says: those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. When we put our hope, trust, and faith in God, he gives us the power to keep on going.

Have you ever gone through a situation that makes you want to stay in bed all day? Or maybe your weakness shows in silence, and you shut yourself out from the world. Regardless of the situations you encounter, you can face them with a sense of confidence, according to the Bible.

Isaiah 40:29 says, He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” I’ve always heard the word “weary,” but when God uses it to describe us, I became more interested in what it actually meant.

The dictionary defines weary as “physically or mentally exhausted by hard work; fatigue; tired.” I could’ve guessed this would be the first definition, but the third meaning is what stuck out to me. Weary can also mean “impatient or dissatisfied with something.”

Think of the last time you’ve been impatient or dissatisfied, and remember the anger or sadness you felt. This is the same weakness God is talking about in the Bible. God uses these moments when we’re feeling sad and defeated and is waiting for us to come to him.

Psalm 72:26 says, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Cling to God when times get rough. We will always, always fail ourselves when we depend on anything other than him. This is something I’ve learned the hard way, time and time again.

There are things we can do daily that’ll make us stronger than the day before. Talk to God and be vulnerable about your weakness. When we surrender to him, we allow him to take control and do what he does best, and that’s carrying out the plan for our lives.  

 We can find strength in our weaknesses and throughout the hard times in our lives. Wave the white flag at God, and he will carry you through them all!

– Chelsea

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Let Go and Give God Control

Inevitably, there is a Bible verse that can fit any situation you’re in. You can “go fishing” and find a verse that fills your current need. “Fishing” for a verse…

Inevitably, there is a Bible verse that can fit any situation you’re in. You can “go fishing” and find a verse that fills your current need. “Fishing” for a verse is a great example of “letting God” when you really aren’t at all. You are going to the right place, the Bible, but you are looking for what YOU think you need, not what He knows you need. This is letting go but not actually letting God. Why is it so hard to hand things over to Him?

Many of us are control freaks and cringe at the thought of taking our hands off a situation when we are so used to having control, or at least thinking we have control. This is where we need to focus on actually reading the Bible instead of pulling verses out of context. Yes, it takes much more time to read the full passage of scripture instead of the single verse. But, in order to understand the whole lesson or message instead of the verse that fits our situation, we need to take the time to read the whole thing. When we limit Him to one verse, we are only trusting him as much as one verse or one sentence of His word. That is not enough.

Next time you are doing a devotional and they give you one verse to read, go further and read the whole chapter or passage. It will deepen your understanding. There are so many more lessons to be learned beyond one verse. The same goes when you search for an inspiring verse. If you only read the verse you found, you miss the whole message. His guidance goes beyond one sentence. Trust Him more than that. Trust cannot go back and forth, it has to be steady. You must fully trust, because if you don’t trust all the way, you are still holding onto control and fostering doubt. Handing things over to God and surrendering your worries to Him is so difficult, but He didn’t make us to be in control of everything in our lives. It starts by having open ears and an open heart so we can hear everything, not just the things we want to hear. Listen to Him all the time, not just when you are wanting an answer from Him.

Let go and actually let God.

Chels

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Accept What Is & What Was

Acceptance is a funny concept. We hold on to the things we can’t change and worry about the things that are inevitable. We spend our lives regretting and wishing, discontent…

Acceptance is a funny concept. We hold on to the things we can’t change and worry about the things that are inevitable. We spend our lives regretting and wishing, discontent with what has been and is yet to come.

Contentment oftentimes comes hand in hand with acceptance. When we let go of the past, we feel a sense of relief and peace. When we accept what is to come, we lose the fear and anxiety of the unknown that we often hold over our head.

Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” God instructs us to take a deep breath, relax, and put our faith in him. When I remember who my heavenly father is and trust that he is who he says he is, a sense of peace fills my heart. That’s exactly what this verse is saying. Be still and know!

When things come up in our lives, whether desired or unwanted, we have two choices: to either accept with joy or move along with dread and hesitation. If we trust that what God is doing in our lives is always for good, then we should have no problem choosing joy over doubt.

Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Simply reading this verse one time through should put your mind at ease.

God is working for us! The creator of the universe, who created you and me, is on our side and is working relentlessly for our good. It’s one of the most comforting realities of the Bible. We have been called to a life of faith and trust, this comes along with acceptance and obedience to the Lord.

There’s a quote by Joseph Goldstein that says: “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn how to surf.” Another humbling reality check! You can’t stop certain things from happening in your life, but you can decide on how you respond to them. If something is going to happen regardless, we may as well trust God and respond how he would: accepting, trusting, and faithful.

Take Jesus’s life for example. He knew the fate he would soon encounter on the cross, and he willingly accepted that fate, solely for us. If Jesus could accept a terrifying, painful fate with a generous and accepting heart, then we too should be able to take on any and every situation with the same attitude.

Next time a tricky situation arises or something reminds you of your dark past, remember who God is and what he says about us: God works for the good of those who love him. Never forget that God is endlessly working for you, each and every day!

Forget the past and get excited for the future. God will be with you every step of the way!

– Chelsea

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Battling Comparison

Comparison is like a disease. It eats at us slowly until we’re left feeling sad, empty, and worthless. With our generation growing up posting our lives on social media, it’s…

Comparison is like a disease. It eats at us slowly until we’re left feeling sad, empty, and worthless.

With our generation growing up posting our lives on social media, it’s easy for comparison to creep in. We think things like, why can’t I be that pretty… that skinny… that social… that wealthy. It’s a dangerous game to play when we constantly wonder why we’re not enough.

But it doesn’t stop there… Sometimes we compare ourselves to others and then boast about the things we’re doing and the people we’re hanging out with. It makes us feel validated, like we’re wanting other people to see how much fun we’re having or how good we look in a photo.

When thoughts like these cross my mind, I think about a verse in Galatians that humbles me without fail, every single time I read it. Galatians 1:10 says, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

This verse brings up a very true and humbling point. Why are we concerned about the opinions of others when we’re supposed to be finding our identity in Christ? We spend so much time worrying about what others are saying or thinking, but God already told us all we need to know about ourselves. Psalm 139:13-14 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

If we truly believe this verse, then we fully believe that all of His works are wonderful, not just the ones we want to think are. When we look in the mirror in the morning, we should believe in the fact that we are works of God: wonderful, beautiful, and made in His image.

One thing I like to do is monitor how much time I spend on social media. If I’m feeling down or catch myself having negative thoughts of comparison, I put my phone down and pick up my Bible. Spending time with God and diving deep into the truth of what God thinks of us, instead of what the world thinks, puts my mind at complete peace.

One of my favorite passages to reflect on is 1 Peter 3:3-4. It says, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

Outward beauty fades, but God delights in inward beauty. Focus on who you are, how you treat others, and how your attitude toward life is. When we create an atmosphere of love, optimism, acceptance, etc., we can focus less on our flaws (or what we think are flaws) and focus more on being a devoted follower of Christ.

Have joy in who God created you to be. Love yourself like He loves you!

– Chelsea

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Until God Opens a Door…

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and…

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20

Life has a funny way of turning upside down just when we think things are leveling out. Hard times never come at a good time, and it is in those times that we need God’s word more than ever to guide us through and out of them.

He doesn’t always take the hard times away, sometimes He allows us to walk through them as He guides us to teach us a lesson. Isaiah 43:2 says “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

There is a line in The Sound of Music where Maria says, “Where the Lord closes a door, somewhere he opens a window.” At different points in my life when the path I was traveling was suddenly closed off and the door sealed shut in my face, her words gave me a glimpse of hope. The Lord is our healer and can do “exceedingly abundantly above all we think and ask” (Ephesians 3:20). These times of trial reveal God’s presence to us more and more.

Until the Lord opens your door, praise Him in the hallway. Praise Him in the waiting and in the quiet and allow Him to break through your gloom and darkness. The Bible is full of stories where people chose to praise the Lord during times of real suffering. Take Paul and Silas for example. They were beaten and tossed into jail, and yet they continued to sing praises to the Lord.

So, what can YOU do to give praise in your toughest time? Pray and praise. Pray to the Lord and communicate your feelings to him. And, praise. Listen to your favorite praise songs and allow the lyrics to wash over you. Sometimes the door takes longer to open than we hope, but it is up to us what we do during our time in the hallway.

How will you spend it?

Chels

 

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Turning the Other Cheek

“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If…

“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also.” – Luke 6:27-29

Turning the other cheek was always a hard concept for me to grasp. It seems easy to do until you’re face-to-face with a situation that leaves you frustrated, angry, and short-tempered.

We can look at the way Jesus lived for example. The way he walked, the way he talked, and the way he went about his everyday life is the perfect testament to loving your enemies. As Jesus was fully human, he knows the pain and struggles of showing grace to those who don’t always deserve it.

Jesus was the perfect display of selflessness. He laid down his life for others, even for those who betrayed and mocked him. When Judas betrayed him, and turned him over to the those who would soon crucify him on the cross, he went willingly, without resistance or anger.

We can learn something from these true stories in the Bible. When we see Jesus willingly accepting the harsh fate he would soon encounter, it should encourage us to have the same gentle, willing, and humble spirit that Jesus once had.

All that being said, turning the other cheek is not a phrase to be misinterpreted. Allowing people to mistreat you and walk all over you time and time again is not what the Bible is saying.

It comes simply from a place of love, grace, and mercy. As followers of Christ, people take notice of the way we treat others. When we’re extending love to those who’ve done wrong to us, they, and others, see the love of Christ being displayed through us. Isn’t it cool to know we’re being used by God for a much bigger purpose?

Luke 6:31 says, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

I’m sure this sounds familiar to all of us. The “Golden Rule” as most of us know it as, is a fantastic rule to live by. Loving your enemies and turning the other cheek shows a lot about your character and a lot about the God you serve. God uses us as vessels to be a reflection of him and to follow Jesus’s footsteps when it comes to extending love and selflessness.

Next time someone tests you, tempts you, or hurts you, show them forgiveness and the power of God’s love in the way you respond. The world could always use a little more love, so let it start with you!

– Chelsea

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