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Entries in Victory in Christ (2)

Saturday
Mar082014

God's Promises for Your 'What if ...'s'

Vonda Rhodes knows how to turn a scary negative into a God-blessed positive, and I appreciate her attitude UPLIFT today.

Vonda asks, “Have you ever been faced with an unpleasant circumstance and found yourself immediately defaulting to the worst-case scenario?”

Actually, I (Dawn) used to use “worst-case scenarios” to talk myself out of my fears and worries, but Vonda has a better idea!

She continues …  

“Instead of following ‘What if...’ with a negative, how about inserting one of God’s promises?

  • What if I can trust You fully?
  • What if You’re sovereign over all?
  • What if Your provision is more than enough for this situation?
  • What if You’ve forgiven me completely and I’m free from the enemy’s oppression?" *

There is more than one way to talk to yourself. You don’t have to be oppressed. Joy is possible even in the midst of trouble.

How? By renewing your mind with the Truth found in God’s Word. By getting into agreement with God and kicking out thoughts that don’t agree with His.

The God who gave you life is more than capable of handling all the details of your life. Trust Him. He is faithful!

I love the verse that says, “Keep your eyes on Jesus, the Pioneer and Perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).  

It doesn’t say, “Keep your eyes on your problems. Think of all the things that could possibly go wrong, worry, fret, be anxious and fearful and, in the process, make yourself and everyone else around you miserable.”

No, instead of negative “what ifs,” remind yourself who you are and Whose you are. It will help turn things around—beginning with your mood and attitude.

 The devil would love nothing more than to steal your joy, because he knows that the joy of the Lord is your strength!

He would love to discourage and depress you. Don’t let him! Remember, the devil is a liar!

I remember times (before I knew better) that I would let the devil fill my mind with all kinds of wrong thoughts. It began with one thought, then he’d add another and another. The next thing I knew, I went from being mildly annoyed to completely depressed! I went from sitting on the couch to curled up on my bed and crying a river of tears based solely on the wrong thoughts I was meditating on in my own mind!

I am so thankful for revelation from God and great teaching from anointed preachers, teachers and pastors!

Remember that ultimately, all things will work together for your good, because you love God and have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). That is a promise from God! If God is for you (and He is), who can be against you? You, along with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit make a majority!

Don’t give up in defeat. Armor up and fight back in the Spirit! Know in your heart that victory already belongs to you in Christ. And while you’re at it:

Smile and give the devil a nervous breakdown!

How would your life be affected if you lined up your thoughts with God’s today?

Vonda Rhodes is a full-time caregiver who resides in Arizona with her husband. She currently gives her free time to encouraging others on Facebook and actively serving in her local church.

Graphic in Text an adapted Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

* Vonda's questions are adapted from the “Every Good Thing” calendar.

Tuesday
Jun042013

Hold On for Dear Life

Meet Rhonda Rhea: I met Rhonda at a writer’s conference. She kept me laughing … and thinking! She never fails to challenge my heart, and I’m glad she’s an UPGRADE Partner.

Get ready to smile …

“I always keep dried fruit in my desk drawer so I’ll have a healthy snack handy when I’m working,” Rhonda said. “Except the fruits are so dry that all that’s left of them is these nacho cheesy Doritos.”

Rhonda continues …

Somehow that makes it an even sadder snack situation when I reach for my fruit and all I find in the bottom of the Dorito bag is a bunch of orange powder. I hate that. Some people would suggest that whenever that happens, I would do well to take the hint and go get an apple. Those are people who just don’t get me at all.

Then there are others who say the nacho-powder is the best part. They’re closer to getting me than the apple group. Still, they would no doubt think it wasteful of me if they saw me throwing away a perfectly good bag of Dorito-dust. I’m sorry, but once I find anything in my snack stash in ash form, I toss it.

Definitely time for a new bag of Dor-fruit-os. Holding on to the bag when its contents are practically an aerosol just doesn’t work for me. Spray-on Doritos? No, I say give the bag a decent burial and let it go. Stashes to ashes, dust to Doritos.

Likewise, our walk with Christ can be either wonderfully encouraged or sadly thwarted by what we choose to hang on to. And what we don’t. Hang on to wealth or material things, success or power, popularity or fame, comfort or entertainment—or a gazillion other things that promise to satisfy but don’t deliver—and there’s going to be disappointment. If we hang on to pride or unforgiveness or any other sin, we inevitably find there’s not only disappointment, but devastation. As we hang on to those sins, they also begin to hang on to us.

Even hanging on to good things can sidetrack our lives in a fruitless direction. Jesus said, “If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it,” (Matthew 16:25, NLT). Holding onto anything in this life is letting go of too much of Jesus. That leads to a dead-end life with no fruit. None. Not even the dried up fruit of the Dorito variety.

So much of the victorious life in Christ is about knowing when to let go and when to hold on. We’re told in Deuteronomy 13:4, “Follow the Lord your God and fear Him. Keep His Laws, and listen to His voice. Work for Him, and hold on to Him,” (NLV). As we hold on to Him and passionately embrace all He calls us to be and to do, life becomes exactly what it’s meant to be. Sweet. Dear.

Holding on to the Father is surely holding on for dear life.

What do you tend to hold on to that makes it harder to hold on to the Lord?

Rhonda Rhea is a humor columnist, radio personality, speaker and author of 10 books, including How Many Lightbulbs Does It Take to Change a Person? and her newest, Espresso Your Faith - 30 Shots of God's Word to Wake You Up. She lives near St. Louis and is a pastor’s wife and mother of five grown children. Find out more at www.RhondaRhea.com.