Chelsea Crockett

JESUS | BEAUTY | LIFESTYLE | FASHION

Tag: trust

In Christ Alone…

In Christ alone… These three simple words hold more weight than I realize. These words are the power behind my strength, trust, faith, and so much more. There’s a song…

In Christ alone… These three simple words hold more weight than I realize. These words are the power behind my strength, trust, faith, and so much more.

There’s a song entitled “In Christ Alone” and it’s one of my all-time favorite worship songs to this day. It holds so much truth within it and is the perfect reminder of who God is for all of us. Here are a couple verses of the song:

In Christ alone my hope is found,

He is my light, my strength, my song

This Cornerstone, this solid ground

Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.”

Sometimes when I’m feeling scared, lonely, anxious, or discouraged, I repeat this verse in my head. The last verse, “Firm through the fiercest drought and storm,” is the sweetest reminder of how steadfast the Lord really is.

When we build our foundation on the Lord, it is firm, strong, and unchanging. He is our solid ground that gives us the foundation we need to make it through both the trails and triumphs that life brings us. When our foundation is weak and wavering, our thoughts, emotions, and actions follow suit.

Think of a house. If you build it on weak soil, it may last for a short amount of time. But after a while, the house will fall due to its dependency on what it’s build on. A strong foundation predicts firmness for the future no matter how strong the winds become. The same goes for our foundation. If we do not build ourselves on the Lord, our house will tumble!

In Christ alone, he willingly takes our fears, worries, sins, and anxieties and wipes them clean. He is the sole source of joy, peace, comfort, and so much more.

Ask yourself what other worldly things you seek to fill certain voids in your life. It’s easy to seek other things apart from the Lord when we’re surrounded by attractive, immediate satisfactory alternatives.

Pinpoint what those areas of your life are for you. Is it your relationship? Is it a busy schedule? Is it your social life? Take those areas of your life and ask God to help you navigate what to do next. You may realize that in school alone… your family alone… your friends alone… that is where you’re finding validation, satisfaction, and other things you should be seeking from God.

This week, journal about what the words “In Christ alone” mean to you. Do you find your worth in Christ alone? Do your worries and anxieties about the future disappear solely because of Christ? Then, journal what areas of your life you could give more willingly to the Lord. We’re all reluctant to give up control, but when we do, the outcome is always better.

In Christ and in Christ alone, what are you going to give God control of? Make a conscious effort to release the control you have on a situation so God can finish the job he started!

– Chelsea

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Our Lord Calms the Storm

God has a funny way of doing things. He has us walk through some of the hardest parts of our lives, only to become stronger and more dependent on him….

God has a funny way of doing things. He has us walk through some of the hardest parts of our lives, only to become stronger and more dependent on him.

I used to never understand why God would take us through these storms that leave us feeling defeated or discouraged, but God has a reason for everything. Have you ever heard of the phrase “you grow through what you go through?”

You grow through the challenges and hardships that shape the way you think, act, and even interact with others. I stand by the fact that God places us in and carries us through these situations that are uncomfortable and oftentimes even defeating.

John 16:33 says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

As we go through trials, it’s easy for them to consume us. We forget who has the situation in full control, guiding us through every step. In the verse above, it intentionally tells us that God has already overcome the world. Although we’ll have troubles and go through trials, God gives us peace. He gives us security, comfort, rest, and so much more.

If you think about the story of Jesus calming the storm, he asked Peter to put his faith in him and come out on the water. It wasn’t until he did so that the water was calm and still. Peter climbed out of the boat, took Jesus’s hand, and walked gracefully alongside him. The other people in the boat couldn’t believe their eyes. They even ridiculed Peter for the strength of his trust and faith in the Lord.

If you put yourself in Peter’s position, would you believe Jesus could really calm the storm?

I like to apply stories from the Bible to stories in my life today. When the waters are raging and the clouds are rolling in, do you put your full faith and trust in God or do you run the opposite direction? God blesses those that persevere through trials, just read the verse below. Things may not go as planned, but it’s how we react to those speed bumps that determine the strength of our faith.

James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”

God not only blesses us when we depend on him through trials, he equipsus for them. He gives us the strength, perseverance, and guidance, we just have to be willing to listen to him and surrender control for Him to calm the storm.

Let our heavenly Father calm your storms, all it takes is a little faith. Once you put all your trust in the Lord, he gives you what you ask of him, whether that be peace, guidance, or for his will to be revealed to you. Be like Peter and step out of the boat, holding God’s hand every step of the way.

– Chelsea

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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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5 Hints that God is Changing Your Course

If there’s one thing I know about God, it’s that he always knows what’s best for us. If we’re headed down the wrong path, he always put us back on…

If there’s one thing I know about God, it’s that he always knows what’s best for us. If we’re headed down the wrong path, he always put us back on the right one.

When God wants to change our course, he hints at us softly. I’ve learned a few different ways he does this, we just have to be looking for them.

  1. Your gut feeling.

This may be obvious, but your gut feeling can actually tell you a lot about a situation you’re in. Does it feel off? Do you constantly look for the negatives?

Take a relationship for example. If you find yourself consistently searching for red flags or “signs” to break up with that person, then maybe that’s a sign in itself. You can tell a lot about a situation from simply how you’re feeling. This may be one of the small, subtle ways that God is trying to hint at you that maybe you’re not where you’re supposed to be.

2. Rejection

 This is one of God’s more blatant ways of telling us no. Maybe it’s a job rejection, a date rejection, a college rejection letter… Whatever it may be, always remember that everything happens for a reason: HIS reason! 

  1. A constant thought.

A reoccurring thought can mean more than you think. Those thoughts can be God whispering to you time and time again. Isaiah 30:21 says, “And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.”Take these consistent thoughts and pray over them. God will tell you the way to walk in!

  1. Confirmation from others.

Not just confirmation from anyone, but good, godly counsel are the people you want to seek advice from. Maybe a close friend or family member you look up to is trying to give you sound guidance that is different than what you’re currently pursuing. Again, pray about it and ask God to reveal his plan to you piece by piece!

Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” He may do this through good counsel! Be eager to listen to those you seek advice from.

  1. A change of interest.

 Sometimes, changing your course could mean a simple change of interest. I’ve had friends apply for schools and jobs and suddenly realize that that’s not where they want to be. Don’t ignore these feelings! They can be so clear and extremely meaningful. Why continue down a path you’re no longer interested in?

Pay attention to these quiet hints God is giving you! Pray over each and every one of them and change your course as God is calling you.

– 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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His Will. His Way. My Faith.

I was reading online and saw these exact six words: His will. His way. My faith. My mind kept coming back to this phrase again, and again, and again. It’s…

I was reading online and saw these exact six words: His will. His way. My faith. My mind kept coming back to this phrase again, and again, and again.

It’s easy to forget whose hands our plans are in. We look everywhere for answers, but fail to look to the one who already has our plans figured out.

God knows what the future holds. His will and his way are already decided. It’s the strength of our faith that is one of the most important parts of the equation. Without trust and hope in God’s will, then how can we allow God to work through our lives?

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.’”

Verses like the one above make me want to trust God more and more with the plans he has for me. His plans are always to prosper us and it says so right in Jeremiah 29:11. These types of verses make my anxiety go down, and my faith and trust in the future go up.

Would it be easier to trust God’s will for your life if he gave you hints along the way? Or if you could sit down and have an actual conversation with God, what would you want to know about the days to come? I always think about these types of questions or scenarios when it comes to the future.

The thing is, God already gives us hints throughout the Bible and within our day-to-day lives. Do you listen for his still, small voice? You can actually hear God’s voice if you listen for it! There are too many times when God tries to give us hints on where to go next, but we’re too busy or worrisome to hear him.

I know it can be hard to have faith not knowing where God’s taking you yet, but God will help you through it! I encourage you to journal all your feelings down in a prayer journal, whether they’re feelings of excitement, discomfort, or even frustration. Although God already knows what’s on your heart, he’ll give you peace and guidance if you just talk to him!

So, remember these six words: His will. His way. My faith. Repeat this phrase in your head when you’re having those repeated feelings of anxiety or fear.

As the Bible tells us, there is power in the name of Jesus! Call out to him instead of letting pride keep you from surrendering control. It’s always going to be his will and his way. Give him your faith and watch his perfect plan unfold!

– Chelsea

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Turning the Page & Trusting the Next Chapter

Trusting the next chapter is one of the most difficult parts of life. Not knowing what to expect can be mentally draining and can keep you up at night if…

Trusting the next chapter is one of the most difficult parts of life. Not knowing what to expect can be mentally draining and can keep you up at night if you let it.

Taking that leap of faith to turn the page and begin a new season of life can be terrifying, uncertain, and an overwhelming mix of other emotions. It takes courage to leave a place of comfort and certainty and turn to a page of unpredictability.

One of the best parts about being a child of the one who planned the path ahead of you is that you can trust him with your future. You no longer have to play the guessing game of whether or not you’re in the right place. If you’re there now, God had it in his will for your life, even if you don’t quite understand the “why” behind it yet.

Not knowing what the future holds yet having to trust in it anyways is one of the most difficult things. How can we trust something that is so uncertain and unpredictable? I catch myself asking this same question at times.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

The world will tell you to question, stress, and worry about the future and make you think that everything is under your own control. This is further from the truth! When we submit to the Lord, he reveals our plans to us piece by piece which is such an amazing thing. It allows us to take this stress and worry and turn it into excitement for what’s to come.

Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Along with trust, depending on the Lord will also fill you with a comforting sense of peace. This peace will make you carry yourself with a sense of security and confidence. Once this confidence sets in, leaving one season of life and venturing on into another becomes so much easier.

When I finally realized that surrendering the next chapter of my life meant losing my own control, I asked God to help me do so. Depending on the type of person you are, it can be extremely hard to give up this sense of control. But by asking God to aid you in this, you’ll realize the ease that comes along with surrendering to God.

I encourage you to turn the page on something in your life this week, no matter how big or how small it is. Maybe you need to let go of a relationship, or even something as small as the guilt you’ve been carrying for months. Start this week by turning the page on something God’s been telling you to leave in the past!

Giving him the control means losing it yourself. As I always say, let go and let God!

– Chelsea

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Turning Your Burdens into Blessings

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” – James 1:17 Life is full…

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” – James 1:17

Life is full of disappointments and situations you can’t control. Burdens can be seen as blessings or can be seen as just that: burdens.

I think life is all about perspective. We can look at things from a negative point-of-view and ask God, “why me?” Or we can look at things with a positive perspective and consider it to be an opportunity to help shape us into the people we’re meant to be.

The above verse from James is one of my favorite verses from that chapter. Every gift from God is good and perfect, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time. God is unchanging, caring, certain, and will never push you beyond your breaking point.

Too often, I see people doubting and getting angry at the Lord, constantly asking “why me?” Think of what you can gain from the situation you’re going through, not what you can lose. I wanted to share with you how to adopt this mindset instead of focusing on the negatives.

I wanted to learn how to take a different perspective on burdens and figure out how I can view them as blessings instead. Life is too short to dwell on what we think are negatives, when they’re actually blessings from God!

Consider the burdens in your life. Is it a person, a past mistake, a future promise? Everyone has their own burdens, but I encourage you to thank God throughout your trials. When you show Satan that he has no grip on you, then nothing can get you down, regardless of what life throws at you.

Psalm 55:22 says, “Cast your burdens on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

I encourage you to give your burdens to God and ask him for guidance. Guidance on where to go next, what to say, what to do… When we cast our cares on the Lord, he always answers and points us in the right direction.

When I think of what I consider to be burdens in my life, I think of the MSG version of Matthew 11:28-30. It says:

Are you tired? Worn out? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Whether you have to repeat this passage to yourself multiple times a day or write it in your prayer journal, do it! God wants you to surrender your burdens to him so he can take them and turn them into blessings.

God always has a purpose for everything in your life. Don’t question why a burden is placed on your life. Instead, thank him, praise him, and trust the path he is taking you down!

– Chelsea

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Single and Not Ready to Mingle?

Society loves to tell us that we’re single for a reason. “Oh, do you not like dating?” “Have you not found anyone you’re interested in?” “Did your last relationship go…

Society loves to tell us that we’re single for a reason. “Oh, do you not like dating?” “Have you not found anyone you’re interested in?” “Did your last relationship go badly?”

When I was younger, I was asked these questions every once in a while when I wasn’t in a relationship. It was like if I remained single people made it seem like something was wrong with me or that there had to be a reason behind it. Can you relate?

This stigma around singleness that society has created can oftentimes pressure us into something we’re not ready for or a relationship we should’ve never gotten involved in in the first place.

I remember the parts of singleness that you don’t get to experience when you’re married, dating, etc. You get to take advantage of the abundance of alone time with God that we so often forget we even have in the first place!

Your single days are your days to focus solely on yourself and on God. You have all the free time in the world to spend in the Word, doing daily devotionals, etc. It’s a chance to focus on bettering yourself and figuring out where God is leading you next in your life.

If you’re single and not ready to mingle, let me be the first to tell you: that’s OKAY! God wants us devoted to him, spending time with him, and making him our priority above all else.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…” If you’re in one of your seasons of singleness, do what YOU want to do and follow the path God wants you to. When you’re leaving your season of singleness, you’ll know when it’s right and that God is guiding you in that direction.

Maybe your season is over and you’re happily in a relationship. Maybe your season will end months, or even years from now, when you finally meet the right person. However long your season of singleness is, know that it’s okay no matter how long it lasts. Thankfully we have a God that fills our every need and desire. Even if loneliness tries to creep in, He is our comforter and the most incredible relationship we will ever have.

Let me tell you, the wait is worth it! When you’re ready to start praying for guidance when it comes to beginning a relationship, focus on where God is wanting to take you.

Remember, it’s okay to be single and not ready to mingle! Everyone’s path is different and God knows when the right time for every season is! Trust in Him and allow Him to guide your footsteps!

– Chelsea

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Advice for An Overflowing Relationship with God

We all want that overflowing, abounding, “on fire for the gospel” type of relationship with God. The type of mutual love that not only God has for us, but we…

We all want that overflowing, abounding, “on fire for the gospel” type of relationship with God. The type of mutual love that not only God has for us, but we have for him.

Like every relationship, it requires work. I like to treat my relationship with God as if he were one of my best friends. He’s the first person you want to run to, talk to, vent to… You have to make time for him and be open and honest with him in order for you to grow in your relationship!

There’s a ton of advice I’ve learned to follow to gain this overflowing relationship with the Lord. It’s been so beneficial for me, so I wanted to share it with you all, as well!

There’s a difference between simply reading the Bible and really studying the Bible. How often does your mind wander and you realize you weren’t even paying attention to what you were reading in the first place?

I know for me, this used to happen all the time. But then I began to journal about what I was reading, write down prayer points that came to me, etc. These small changes will help you fully understand what you’re reading and allow you to get closer to God! When we’re reading and meditating on his word, we learn more about God and who our identity is in him!

Vulnerability and transparency are two concepts I’ve really come to know throughout this past year. To be transparent is to be completely open and honest with God. He already knows even the smallest details of each one of our lives, but he wants us to fully surrender and let him see the darkest parts of our hearts. To be vulnerable is to know that the possibility of feeling ashamed, guilty, or embarrassed exists.

These two words will make your relationship with God so much more intimate. It’s okay to be vulnerable when it comes to him. In fact, he wants you to let your walls down and open up. Practice transparency and vulnerability in these next few days when you’re talking to God and see how it changes your relationship with him.

There are a couple different verses that are the key to this overflowing relationship with God that we all desire. Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” And Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

The bottom line is: seek God first and everything else will follow. When we leave our old selves behind, we create our new selves with God.

When we make it a conscious effort to turn away from sin and seek faith, trust, grace, mercy, etc., we naturally fall more and more in love with the Lord.

I encourage you to let down your walls and allow God to see the real you, flaws and all. When we let go of our pride and selfishness, we fall into God’s love. He is always there waiting for you to take the first step!

– Chelsea

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Sharing Your Faith 101

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have….

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” – 1 Peter 3:15

Sharing your faith can be both awkward and uncomfortable, while also being amazing and life-changing at the same time. I know sharing the gospel can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. When you truly understand the work you’re doing for the Lord, you’ll realize that God is changing hearts and moving mountains in the lives of those around you!

The above verse from 1 Peter talks about the preparation of sharing your faith. It’s so important to know what you would say if the opportunity presents itself.

A few years ago, I remember being caught by surprise when someone asked me my story and why I believe what I believe. After doing my best attempt to tell my story, I realized I could’ve told it much better if I would’ve known exactly what I wanted to say.

I read an article about the importance of preparing your testimony and the benefits of writing it out on paper. So that day, I sat down, grabbed my journal, and wrote out my testimony word-for-word. I was able to collect my thoughts and think of what I would want someone to know about my story if I were presented with that opportunity again. Now I can tell my testimony and include all the bits and pieces I wanted to originally! Always, always, always, be prepared!

I’ve realized that the more I talk about Christ to others, the less awkward and uncomfortable it becomes. It can be exciting, life-changing, and so much more!

Sharing our faith isn’t just something we can do but something we should do. Jesus commands us to as his children in Matthew 28:19-20. It says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

We are called to make disciples and spread the good news. Whether that’s in the form of sharing your testimony, praying with someone, or simply living your life like Jesus would, you’re still witnessing and being a light to those around you.

Set a goal for yourself this week. It could be as simple as sharing a few Bible verses with a friend who’s going through a hard time and needs to hear them! Or you could be even bolder and share your testimony with someone close to you. Whatever your goal may be, know that you’re carrying out God’s mission and doing the amazing work of the Lord!

Be bold. Be brave. And be courageous. Don’t let the devil trick you into keeping the good news to yourself. The story of Jesus is too incredible to not be shared!

– Chelsea

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Tithing… Why Do It?

Tithing is a difficult topic to talk about. For some reason, talking about money makes us uncomfortable and we don’t know how to approach it. If tithing is a hard…

Tithing is a difficult topic to talk about. For some reason, talking about money makes us uncomfortable and we don’t know how to approach it.

If tithing is a hard topic for you to fully grasp, I understand! No one likes the thought of giving away money, especially if we don’t understand the true reasoning behind it. Luckily, the Bible tells us the “why” behind giving money to the church and also helps eliminate some of the uncomfortable feelings that come along with it!

One big misconception with tithing is that if we give, we will get more in return. Although this isn’t always false, tithing is much more than simply giving to receive. It comes with so many more benefits that allow you to get closer to both God and the place you’re giving to.

I think 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 is the perfect passage to sum this up:

“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”

Now, let’s break down what 2 Corinthians is really saying. When we give with a gracious heart, God will bless us abundantly. He sees when we so willingly give toward his kingdom with a joyful heart.

I think the middle part of this verse is so important. God doesn’t want us to give reluctantly or under compulsion. He wants us to give cheerfully, hoping that he will multiply our gift and take it further than we could’ve ever imagined.

Tithing also allows us to be involved in something much bigger than ourselves. It allows us to invest in our church, into missions, etc. We get to see our own money benefit others, which leaves us with an even more joyful and generous heart than before!

I think Jacob said it best in Genesis 28:20-22: If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God… And of all that you give me I will give a full tenth to you.”

Tithing results in the strengthening of our faith and the growth of our trust in Christ. If we know that God is always faithful, then we should trust him with our money and even our most prized possessions. Especially since HE is the reason we have these “prized” things to begin with!

I encourage you to set a financial goal. Day by day, week by week, month by month, build up to this goal until you reach it! It will benefit you in more ways than you could’ve ever imagined!

– 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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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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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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Stop Waiting for Tomorrow

“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” – Proverbs 27:1 Living for tomorrow is easily one of the most common lifestyles for…

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” – Proverbs 27:1

Living for tomorrow is easily one of the most common lifestyles for our generation. Everyone’s waiting for their perfect boyfriend, their perfect job, their perfect car… The list goes on and on.

We act like we know what’s going to happen when we wake up in the morning and that everything will go according to our perfect plan. This is where disappointment creeps in. We let ourselves down when we overestimate what we alone can do and plan for our life.

God wants us to depend on him and his plan because he knows far more than we do about our lives, including the present and the future. And if he, being all-knowing, instructs us to cast our cares far, far away, then we should happily live in the present, without second thought or hesitation.

God commands us to live in the now and be content in our current circumstances, because we truly don’t know what tomorrow will bring like the verse above says.

James 4:13-15 says, “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’”

This verse is one of the biggest reality checks in the Bible. Whenever I need humbling, this is the verse I go to. When we sit around waiting for things to come to us, we waste the precious time we could be using to put things into action. There are too many times we think “I’ll apply for that job tomorrow” or “I’ll reach out to that friend next week.” There’s nothing worse than planning for something that ends up never even coming close to happening.

There’s a quote by Oprah that puts it perfectly: “Living in the moment means letting go of the past and not waiting for the future. It means living your life consciously, aware that each moment you breathe is a gift.”

Every day is truly a gift… God’s gift. He wants us to make the most of each day, without fear of the future or waiting around for something to happen. Call your friend, apply for that job, talk to that boy in your class… Stop waiting!

Start today by living IN today. Stop waiting for things to come to you. Instead, take a leap of faith and trust the plan God has for your life. Even if you think something better is coming, stay strong on your foundation, trusting that the Lord your God will take care of tomorrow and the days that follow.

– Chelsea

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