Chelsea Crockett

JESUS | BEAUTY | LIFESTYLE | FASHION

Tag: forgiveness

Getting What We Don’t Deserve

Have you ever taken a second to look back at the story of Jesus and really think about what that meant for our lives? Like really… I mean really… thought about…

Have you ever taken a second to look back at the story of Jesus and really think about what that meant for our lives? Like really… I mean really… thought about the impact of what Jesus did on the cross so many centuries ago?

That action on the cross meant so many things for us: forgiveness, grace, eternity, mercy, love, and so much more. In just one action, we got what we could never deserve: God’s endless grace for the things we’ve done and the sins we still have yet to commit.

Growing up in church, I heard the story of Jesus over and over again. Although I never forgot how amazing that story is, I started to forget to really process and meditate on that sacrifice God made. It’s not “just another story.” It’s a true story of God’s grace, love, and mercy. Three things that we receive but could never deserve!

I encourage you to sit down and re-read the story of Jesus’s life again, or read it for the first time if you haven’t. It’s good to remind yourself of what Jesus lost in order for us to gain eternal life and endless grace.

Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”

This verse always brings me back down to earth. Nothing that we do will change God’s opinion of us. Like I mentioned above, his grace is endless. No matter how many times we sin or turn away from God, he loves us just the same.

Have you ever experienced grace like that? I try to wrap my head around it, but it’s hard to fathom how wide God’s love truly is.

I always put it into perspective from the situations I’ve experienced in my own life. When I find it hard to forgive someone, I think of how easily God forgives me. I can’t hold a grudge or decide not to extend forgiveness when our heavenly Father gives us his grace constantly.

 Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 God’s perfect gift is free. We did nothing to earn or deserve it, but he willingly and graciously gives us the gift of eternal life and so much more. This verse gives me a sense of peace and freedom because his grace is always constant, never fading and never changing.

I encourage you to remind yourself frequently of the story of Jesus and what that means for you and your life. Maybe sit down today and read it through. It’s a story of endless love, redeeming grace, and selfless sacrifice. Jesus is the same today as he is tomorrow, and the tomorrows after that. Remind yourself of the gift we don’t deserve, yet get to receive every single day!

– Chelsea

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Psalms to Keep Close to Your Heart

Growing up, I always knew that the biggest book of the Bible was Psalms, but what I wasn’t aware of was the tremendous amounts of wisdom, knowledge, guidance, and peace…

Growing up, I always knew that the biggest book of the Bible was Psalms, but what I wasn’t aware of was the tremendous amounts of wisdom, knowledge, guidance, and peace that I would find within it.

Recently, I’ve really been focusing on the book of Psalms. Although some are more “well-known” than others, there are so many verses that have become some of my favorite passages in the Bible. I love to meditate on and memorize these verses to remember them in times when I’m feeling sad, frustrated, joyful, anxious, etc.

Here are some of the passages I encourage you to meditate on, as well!

For in times of fear:

“God is our refuge and strength,

an ever-present help in trouble.

Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way

and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea…

Be still and know that I am God.”– Psalm 46:1-2,10

I love how this passage describes God as ever-present. He is never fading and never failing, always with us even when we feel alone. When I’m feeling fearful or anxious, I repeat in my head “be still and know that I am God.” It gives me a feeling of peace and comfort knowing that all we have to do in these moments is simply be still!

For in times of guilt:

“Cast your cares on the Lord

and he will sustain you;

he will never let

the righteous be shaken.”– Psalm 55:22

God desires for us to leave our burdens and cares at the foot of the cross. When we carry them ourselves, we become worn down and eventually burnt out. They become too much to bear, leaving us helpless and heavy with shame. Pray for God’s grace and let him cast your burdens into the sea of forgetfulness.

For when you are seeking guidance:

 “The Lord makes firm the steps

of the one who delights in him;

though he may stumble, he will not fall,

for the Lord upholds him with his hand.” – Psalm 37:23-24

This passage gives me so much comfort knowing that even though I may stumble from time to time, with God, I’ll never have to fall. He has us in the palm of his hand, walking alongside us through every stage of life.

Instead of making decisions based off of what youwant, consider the passage above. When we delight in the Lord and run to him for guidance, he makes our steps firm, leading us down the path he has made for us. Putting our trust in God instead of what we think we want will lead to eternal satisfaction, instead of temporary happiness.

These few Psalms are just some of the many powerful verses you should lay on your heart. Keep them fresh in your mind so they are quick to remember in the times you need them. I encourage you to read through Psalms yourself and discover the wisdom and peace within it!

– Chelsea

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What It Means to Be Fully Understood by God

What exactly does it mean to be “fully understood?” It’s such a simple phrase yet carries a lot behind it. I’ve always heard that I’m fully understood by God, but…

What exactly does it mean to be “fully understood?” It’s such a simple phrase yet carries a lot behind it.

I’ve always heard that I’m fully understood by God, but only recently have I started to wonder what that really means. I know that God knowseverything about me, even the parts I’d rather him not see, but to know that he actually understandsevery part of me is a whole different story.

Sometimes we underestimate God’s ability to understand. We think thoughts like: “He doesn’t understand what I’m going through.” “He’ll never forgive me for this.” “I’m too ashamed to talk to God about this or that.” These are all Satan’s lies causing you to think this way!

Psalms 139:1-4 says, “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.”

When God searches us, he isn’t full of judgement, hatred, or hostility. Instead, he is full of understanding, empathy, and compassion. He knows our inmost being and the reasons we do the things we do. He knows even the smallest details of the way we think, talk, behave, and act.

I think we so often forget that Jesus, too, was once on this earth, experiencing the same temptations and hardships we face. Although he was sinless and perfect, he still felt the pressures of the world around him.

I try to remember this when I’m feeling embarrassed or ashamed for something I’ve done. God truly does understand how we feel in every situation, whether we believe it or not. He wants us to come and talk to him about whatever’s on our mind instead of doubting his ability to understand our situation.

Isaiah 43:1 says, “But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.’”

I think it’s easy to forget whose we are. We think and act independently as if God doesn’t have complete control and endless knowledge of every aspect of our lives. We make assumptions based off our own feelings instead of considering the fact that God already knows our past, present, and future.

Next time you’re feeling like there’s no one to run to, run to God. He understands each situation we face and knows that it’s not easy to live in the world we live in.

When you feel alone and misunderstood, remember that you have a God that fully knows you. God understands your every thought, word, and action. It just takes you to believe it. Put your faith and trust in the fact that God knows you so well, even better than you know yourself!

– Chelsea

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Habits to Build in Your Morning Routine

The morning is my favorite part of the day! I always get so much accomplished when I wake up early and actually use the time I have when I wake…

The morning is my favorite part of the day! I always get so much accomplished when I wake up early and actually use the time I have when I wake up.

There is a great amount of potential in the mornings. We’re well rested, ready to take on the day, and have the opportunity to start the day off on the right foot.

There are several habits I like to incorporate into my morning routine that prepare me for the day and grow my relationship with the Lord. I encourage you to do the same!

Before you even get out of bed, say a prayer to God.

Ask him to bless your day and prepare you for whatever comes your way. I like to do this before I do anything else so he can guide each end every step that I plan to take throughout my day. When you get in the habit of doing this, your first thought when you wake up will be to talk to God!

Ask God for his grace.

Lamentations 3:22-23 says, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

Isn’t it amazing to know that God’s grace and mercy is new every day? We will sin time and time again, but God extends his forgiveness no matter how big our mistakes are. In your morning prayer, ask God for his grace for when you’re tempted into sin. We are certain to be tempted and fall short throughout the day, more often than we realize.

Spend some time in the Word.

Do you know just how powerful the Word of God is? Spending as little as five minutes reading the Bible will equip you for the day and fill your life with joy, guidance, and so much more.

Joshua 1:8 says, “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

When you meditate on the Bible, you learn how to walk the walk and talk the talk. You learn how to follow God’s plan and design for your life. It’s more than just reading stories and learning history. You’re reading the actual words of the Lord and those who walked alongside him!

Begin the day with gratitude.

It’s easy to wake up and grumble about work, school, or whatever occupies your day.  I know I’m guilty of this at times! But starting the day with thoughts of praise and gratefulness will leave your mind with little to no space for negativity.

1 Chronicles 16:34 says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”Repeat this in your head throughout your morning and praise him for even the smallest of blessings!

Start each day with these four habits and see how they change your attitude toward the day ahead. Each day is a blessing! Use them wisely. 🙂

– Chelsea

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Getting Rid of Built-Up Guilt

Guilt is like a disease. It eats away at you piece by piece until it’s worn you down and you can’t bear it anymore. It’s one of those things you…

Guilt is like a disease. It eats away at you piece by piece until it’s worn you down and you can’t bear it anymore. It’s one of those things you can’t control no matter how hard you try and distract yourself from it.

Guilt is one of those things that means different things to different people. One person can make a massive mistake and carry no guilt, while others make the smallest mistake and carry guilt for years. Even after we’ve already been forgiven, we continue to carry this guilt with us.

If your guilt is due to you not seeking forgiveness or not admitting to something you’ve done, I encourage you to lay it all out on the table. This type of guilt is the worst and will be so much better once you seek forgiveness. God already knows every detail about our lives. It just takes our confession to begin the healing process, in which we forgive ourselves!

Aside from the type of guilt mentioned above, we often build up guilt after the fact. We’ve already been forgiven, we’re just waiting to forgive ourselves.

Isaiah 1:18 says, “’Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the Lord, ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

These are the words of the Lord! He tells us that our sins are as white as snow even though they are as red as crimson. It’s hard for me to even wrap my head around that! I am so grateful for a God who is as forgiving as he is, and loves me endlessly despite my flaws and mistakes.

One of the most comforting verses that addresses guilt is Psalm 103:12. It says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” And in Hebrews 8:12, Jesus says, “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

God casts our sins into the sea of forgetfulness, no longer holding them against us. If you dive into his Word, you can find so many verses that will provide comfort to you in times of built-up shame or guilt.

Next time you feel guilt slowly starting to creep up on you, lay your feelings at the foot of the cross. God desires so much for his children including being able to let go of the past. God already forgives you, so what are you holding on to?

Make a list in your prayer journal of things you want to lay at the foot of the cross. No matter how big or small, write it down. Create a prayer you can read when these feelings start to come up again. Write, pray, forgive, repeat until you no longer carry the guilt you once had!

– Chelsea

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How to Forgive When You Can’t Forget

Forgiveness is a hard concept. How do you forgive someone that has wronged you so many times, again… and again… and again? Do you let someone get by with hurting…

Forgiveness is a hard concept. How do you forgive someone that has wronged you so many times, again… and again… and again? Do you let someone get by with hurting you, no matter the situation?

Forgiveness is hard as it is, but it’s even harder when you can’t forget. It’s easy to forgive someone for something small and go about your day like it never happened, but when someone really hurts you, I mean really hurts you,it isn’t always that simple.

So, how do you forgive when you can’t forget?

The Bible talks about forgiveness many, many times and gives us advice on how to go about it. I wanted to share some powerful verses that will help you let go of anger, resentment, or whatever you may be holding in.

Luke 6:37 says, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”

We all make mistakes in life, some more than others. But we can’t deny that we’ve all messed up and have sinned against God, others, and even ourselves at times. It’s easy to judge others instead of taking a step back and judging ourselves. Why do we give ourselves the power to hold grudges for what others have done to us, when we make mistakes as well?

This mindset of “forgiving and not forgetting” comes from a place of judgement, and we so often forget who the ultimate judge is. When we decide we want to hold a grudge, we are not only being hypocritical, but we’re forgetting that God forgives us every single day, hour, minute… and not only forgives, but tosses any memory of our sin away.

Hebrews 8:12 says, “For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”

Every day, we should be striving to be more like Christ. If our heavenly father forgives even our darkest of sins, then we too can extend our forgiveness to those who have wronged us in the past, no matter how many times they have.

Now I know it’s not that simple. It can be hard to forget at the snap of your finger. But taking the steps toward forgiveness is better than not trying at all.

Have you tried putting yourself in their shoes? Remembering how it’s felt to seek forgiveness when you know you might not deserve it? We’ve all been there and, although it can be hard to adapt God’s mindset, it will benefit you greatly throughout your life.

So, start today by letting go of any grudges you may be holding. Maybe for you this means having a tough conversation with someone. Or maybe it means finally letting go of the past. It can be hard to be the bigger person, but it is always so worth it!

In Matthew 18:21-22, Peter asks Jesus, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus replied: “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

Take notes from what Jesus is telling Peter in this story. Forgive and forget not once, not twice, but an endless amount of times. Forgive others just as the Lord forgives you!

– Chelsea

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F.R.I.E.N.D.S.

We all desire good friends. Positive people to do life with, lean on, and walk alongside throughout this life is something God has always intended for us. Even God had…

We all desire good friends. Positive people to do life with, lean on, and walk alongside throughout this life is something God has always intended for us. Even God had his disciples that cared, prayed, and looked out for one another.

Good friends are hard to find. Growing up, I found it hard to realize if someone’s intentions were what I was looking for in a friend or not. I recently saw a post on Pinterest that had an acronym for the word “friends,” listing seven different attributes you should be looking for in true, godly friendships!

Forgiving

We all make mistakes from time to time, no matter how perfect we try to be. The Bible calls us to be forgiving toward one another, no matter how many times we mess up.

Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”Forgiveness is important in every relationship and is crucial to making a friendship work. We all fall short and disappoint each other at times, but the key to moving forward is true, genuine forgiveness.

Respectful

Being a good friend means being respectful of each other’s’ time, space, privacy, etc. Everyone needs alone time to recharge, some moreso than others. If your friends are making you feel bad or guilty for not spending enough time with them, not sharing enough information about your life with them, etc., then maybe you need to talk to them about what you need from them as a friend!

Involved

A good friend is involved in your life and wants to be there for you, even through the hard times. Are your friends curious about your life and what’s next for you? Or do they let you deal with things on your own, without making sure you’re okay with whatever it may be? You want friends to be involved in your life, and vice versa!

Encouraging

1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

I think as human beings, we draw toward the people who are encouraging, kindhearted, and supportive. The friends you have in your life should be encouraging you to reach your fullest potential and pushing you to be the most genuine version of yourself.

Nurturing

Whether we admit it or not, we all like to be cared for. A nurturing friend makes sure we’re okay after a rough day, after a breakup, after a failed test… We all need to be checked on every once in a while. Notice the people that ask if you’re okay when you feel a little off. We should be doing the same when we notice this about our friends, too.

Dedicated

Being a dedicated friend means sticking with each other through an argument, a bad day, a rough season of life… Would your current friends be by your side through anything and everything? Dedication is needed in any relationship, but having committed friends through the best and worst times of your life is so important! 

Supportive

 Lastly, having supportive friends to encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone and be yourself is one of the best feelings in the world. Every relationship needs support and encouragement to push you to do what you think is best for yourself!

These are only a few of the many attributes a good friend should have. God designed friendship to be each one of these things I mentioned above. I hope your friends are genuine companions to do life with and lift you up, just as God intended them to be!

– Chelsea

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You Can Always Come Home

One of my favorite stories in the Bible is the story of the prodigal son. I like to consider it one of the most relatable and moving stories that Jesus…

One of my favorite stories in the Bible is the story of the prodigal son. I like to consider it one of the most relatable and moving stories that Jesus tells us throughout his lifetime.

If you are unfamiliar with the parable I’m talking about, I encourage you to read Luke 15:11-32. It tells the story of a son who leaves home, sins against God and his own father, and eventually comes back home to be joyfully welcomed back by his father. The prodigal son’s brother is angry at the fact that his father is so happy and quick to welcome his son back into their home, instantly forgiving him for the wrong, sinful things he did while he was away.

The last verse of this passage, Luke 15:32, says, “We have to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.

This verse really speaks to me. So many times, I see Christ followers turn away from God and are too embarrassed to run back to him. The devil puts thoughts and assumptions into their heads.

“I’m too far gone.”

“God could never love me after the things I’ve done.”

“My sin is too great.”

“I’ll be judged at church if I go back.”

These are all lies that Satan likes to fill your head with, and the sad part is, they’re easy to fall for. These thoughts are convincing, influential, but most importantly, far from the truth. God always welcomes us back into his arms, no matter the sins we’ve committed.

There are times in my own life that I’ve felt this same way. I’ve felt the need to hide my sin from God and push him further and further away. But at the end of the day, this not only creates distance between God and myself, but causes me to fall more and more into my own worldly desires.

The thing is: God is always waiting for us to run back to him, no matter how far away we go. His unconditional love is constant and never goes away or runs out.

Let me remind you of this verse:

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

How amazing is that? If you are in Christ, you are a new creation, regardless of the things you’ve done in your past. You can leave your old self behind and become an entirely new person with God along your side.

I encourage you to run back to God. If you’ve fallen away, that’s okay! God will always be there to welcome you home into his arms. Sometimes all it takes is swallowing your pride and surrendering your past to Him. Your life will never be the same!

– Chelsea

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Getting Your Relationship Back on Track

Relationships aren’t always rainbows and sunshine. Sometimes it rains, and sometimes it pours. Regardless of where you’re at in your relationship, whether you’ve encountered trials and tough situations, whether you’ve…

Relationships aren’t always rainbows and sunshine. Sometimes it rains, and sometimes it pours. Regardless of where you’re at in your relationship, whether you’ve encountered trials and tough situations, whether you’ve been dating for a month or for a year… There are times when you could use some tips to get back to the place you’ve always been and where you’re meant to be!

Never go to bed angry.

Ephesians 4:26 says, “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.”

I love this verse because it encourages us to solve the problem before we even lay down our heads at night. When we go to bed angry, we wake up angry, and that’s no way to have a fresh start to the day. Let yourself cool off, and then calmly solve the situation at hand before silence takes over. It makes such a big difference when you can go to sleep at night knowing that everything is going to be okay!

Practice patience.

Ephesians 4:2 says, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”

Patience is the glue that holds everything together. We always want our boyfriend or girlfriend to be patient with us, so why wouldn’t we extend the same desired patience to them? Whether it’s biting our tongues in the moment or waiting patiently for growth in our relationships, it’s always a good idea to practice the act of genuine patience.

Give 100% no matter the situation.

Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.

Although this verse was written in a different context, I believe it applies perfectly to relationships, as well. A lot of relationships go south because people forget to try and impress, love, and care for their significant other just like they did when the relationship first began. This is when problems can start to occur!

Fall humble to forgiveness.

Ephesians 4:31-21 says, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

A forgiving and humble heart can be one of the hardest things to possess. It’s easy to forgive from the head, but not as easy to forgive from the heart. It’s natural for us to verbally forgive one another yet hold a silent grudge in our heads. This kind of mentality gets us nowhere in our relationships. If we want to continue to grow in love and trustworthiness with our significant others, letting go of any grudges and breaking down those barriers is a must.

Any time is a good time to get your relationship back on track. Why be stuck in a rut when you can change your relationship for the better with just a few simple actions? Start today, and love each other like He first loved us!

– 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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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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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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Falling Victim to Nyctophilia

Nyctophilia (n): An attraction to darkness or night; finding relaxation or comfort in the darkness. Do you ever experience Nyctophilia? Maybe it sounds something like this: You know what you’re…

Nyctophilia (n): An attraction to darkness or night; finding relaxation or comfort in the darkness.

Do you ever experience Nyctophilia? Maybe it sounds something like this: You know what you’re doing isn’t right, but it’s comfortable. So instead of changing your actions of lifestyle, you remain in this “darkness” that the world offers, instead of looking up to God for change or direction.

We’ve all done it from time to time. We stay with the things that are familiar and comfortable because we’re too scared to take the next step.

This is when we fall victim to Nyctophilia. Instead of taking a step forward, we remain where we’re at due to fear and the “what ifs.” This keeps us doing the things we’re comfortable with, the things that cause us to turn away or ignore God.

1 John 2:15 says, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.”

God understands the appeal of the world and the easiness of it. It’s easy to do what everyone else is doing and to desire those things, as well. But our actions are the reflection of what we stand for and what we believe in. So, like the verse says, when we show love for the world more than we show love for our heavenly Father, God’s light cannot shine through within us.

Titus 2:11-12 says, “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “no” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.”

 The grace of God extends with no limit. It covers our past sins, our present sins, and even the sins we haven’t committed yet. When we seek the darkness of the world and everything it has to offer, God gives us his perfect gift of grace. But just because God is merciful to us doesn’t mean we should use this as an excuse, continuing to seek the ways of the world and proceed happily in our bad habits.

It’s okay to desire comfort and ease, but the moment it keeps you from making a positive change or taking a step in the right direction, it becomes a problem. God wants us to be comfortable and relaxed, but in his way. His way is much more satisfying. It’s eternal, joyful, merciful, and so much more.

I urge you to step out of your Nyctophilia at least once this week. It doesn’t have to be anything big, but pick something you can work on in your life for the better. Maybe for you it’s gossiping, jealousy, anger, your desires, etc. Whatever it may be, try using that time spent on those actions, thoughts, or emotions, and spend it on your spiritual life.

Instead of being jealous or angry toward someone, simply start talking to God. Ask him for help and guidance on how you can change your darkness into light! 🙂

– Chelsea

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Search Me, O God

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts.” – Psalm 139:23 God knows every part of us. He knows our thoughts, our hearts,…

Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts.” – Psalm 139:23

God knows every part of us. He knows our thoughts, our hearts, and our whole being. He knows our motives and the “why” behind our every action.

The underlying theme to this is that God created us, he knows us, and he searches us. We may not always want God to know every part of our hearts (I know I sometimes don’t), but it’s a beautiful thing when the God that created us truly knows us, even the things we’re not proud of.

When God searches us, he reveals to us the parts of our mind that we don’t always want dug up. But when we confront the things that God wants shown to us, we get the opportunity to become more like him.

When we pray, we should be asking God to show us our convictions and reveal to us the areas in our lives that could use a little work. For you, it may be patience, jealousy, alcohol, etc., simply anything that doesn’t reflect that of a follower of Christ. Your struggles may seem smaller or bigger than others, but in God’s eyes, they’re all the same.

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.”

When we ask God to search our hearts, he already knows what’s in them. He knit us together the day we were created, making no mistakes or accidents.

Think of yourself as a house. There are several different rooms filled with several different things. Some rooms you don’t mind showing to people because they’re clean, put-together, and presentable. But then there are the rooms that you don’t want people to see, even God. You keep the door locked so no one can see what’s behind it.

We all have the rooms that we’re not proud of. Whether those rooms are filled with your past, your thoughts, your shameful actions, etc., it’s the rooms you don’t want anyone else to see regardless.

But once we open these rooms to God, we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and fully transparent with him. It’s an intimate thing when we put everything out on the table and share with God even the things we don’t want to.

Although God already knows our deepest thoughts, it’s completely different when we invite him in and willingly share the things we’ve been hiding from him.

I encourage you to ask God to search your locked rooms. Ask him to help you with the things you struggle with and to forgive you for the things you’ve been hiding. No matter how bad you think these things are, God will always forgive you and love you just the same.

Pray for God to search you and reveal these things to you! He uses our weaknesses to work in our lives and turn them into strengths! 🙂

– Chelsea

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When Silence Is Sinful

We’ve all heard of the silent treatment. We all know the sadness and guilt we feel when we’re on the receiving end of it. On the other end, we’ve also…

We’ve all heard of the silent treatment. We all know the sadness and guilt we feel when we’re on the receiving end of it. On the other end, we’ve also experienced the anger and pain that build up when we cut someone out of our life or decide to choose bitterness over forgiveness.

Silence can result in guilt, regret, sadness, and so much more. When we don’t confront a problem or simply ignore it, the result is almost always worse than what it would’ve been if we would’ve given up silence as a boundary in the first place.

Think about this situation for example. You and your roommates are in a fight, and instead of confronting the problem, you allow it to build up over time and continue to sweep it under the rug. This can either make the problem worse, or never solve anything in the long run… Neither are the outcome you would want!

God looks at these situations and wants us to extend love, forgiveness, and patience. When we approach conflict the way God does, the outcome will be better every single time.

Ephesians 4:31-32 says, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

God sent his one and only son to pay the price for our sins. He forgives us instantly, without holding a grudge or keeping a track record. So, why wouldn’t we do the same for other people?

This reminds me of the story from the Bible of Peter asking Jesus about forgiveness.

Matthew 18:21-22 says, “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

 Jesus then preaches the parable of the unforgiving debtor. The story tells of a king discussing the debt of his servants. One in particular owed the king millions and millions of dollars, but had little to no money to repay him. The servant begged for the king to forgive him, and the king was filled with pity for him. He released the servant and forgave him of his debt.

But when the servant left, he came across a man that owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded him to pay him the money. When the king heard about this, he threw the servant in jail until he had paid his entire debt.

Matthew 18:35 says, “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”

God doesn’t just want us to swallow our pride and forgive others, he demands it. We can’t go through life holding grudges and using silence as a barrier. In the end, this solves nothing, leaving us angrier than we were before.

Take these lessons from the Bible and apply them to your life. Once we start taking Jesus’s advice on how to resolve conflict, life will go a whole smoother!

– Chelsea

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5 Ways to Love like God Does

Love is difficult to understand. We feel it, we see it, and we even dream about it. Love doesn’t always have to be the kind we see in movies. Love…

Love is difficult to understand. We feel it, we see it, and we even dream about it.

Love doesn’t always have to be the kind we see in movies. Love can be as simple as extending it to your friends and the people around you. Loving others well is something I think we can all get a little better at!

Worldly love is no match against godly love. The Bible talks about this perfect love that God gives to us, and tells us how we too can show this kind of love to other people. The world could always use a little more love, don’t you think?

  1. Love without fear.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” – 1 John 4:18

If we let fear be a boundary, then we’ll never be able to give ourselves fully to others. Love can oftentimes come with pain, sadness, and regret, but if we focus on the “what ifs” then fear will always consume us.

  1. Love selflessly.

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” – John 15:13

Selflessness is a learned trait. Our natural instinct is to put ourselves first, but it takes a conscious effort to care for the needs of others before our own. When we love without the thought of getting something in return, people take notice. It’s a quality that people forget about, but it multiplies beyond measure.

  1. Love your enemies.

’But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you…’” – Luke 6:27

Real strength comes from loving those who are hard to love. It’s easy to show love and kindness to your friends or family, but when’s the last time you extended it to someone that has done wrong to you in the past?

  1. Love through forgiveness.

Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers all wrongs.” – Proverbs 10:12

Forgiveness is a hard concept. How do we forgive someone who maybe doesn’t deserve it? It’s hard to show forgiveness and mercy in times that we least want to, but we have to remember who God is and what he’s done for us. His grace and mercy covers all our sins when we especially don’t deserve it, so we should have the same mindset toward others!

  1. Love sincerely.

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” – Romans 12:9-10

It’s important to be real, open, honest, and genuine toward others. This builds trust between two people and makes a relationship that much stronger. Learn to love others with a genuine heart, and people will feel the love of God through you!

Make a conscious effort of loving people just as the way God loves us. Once again, the world could always use a little more love!

– Chelsea

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