I’ve been reading about the Israelites this week in my quiet times. It wasn’t easy for the Israelites to take the promised land. It was battle after battle after battle.
I’ve found, like the Israelites, it is our our reliance on God, that will win or lose our battles.
Do we stand still and let God fight for us or do we rush in without him dressed only in our cranky pants?
When you have kids, it’s a given, you will face many battles. It’s relentless.
We’ve had kids for 15 years now and just this week I did an all nighter with my five year old that included being covered in vomit, head to toe literally. Kid issues don’t change, no matter how many you have or how long you’ve been going.
It is important to deliberately and consistently wind yourself in to God when you’re a parent.
Soak in his word (the audio bible is wonderful!), spend time in prayer (even when you have no time, pray as you wash up, as you hang out the washing, as you drive, all the mundane and mindless work is a fabulous opportunity to pray for the people you are serving, every odd sock is a glorious opportunity to pray for it’s owner!). Also, be encouraged by Christian friends. Go, even when church is on Zoom.
Wind into God whenever you can. He has all that we need in every moment. His grace is sufficient.
Just because something is a blessing, like marriage, owning a house or having children or giving to others, doesn’t mean it won’t be a hardship.
Hardship in life is guaranteed. There will always be hardship.
Our choice is how we face it; with ingratitude, cursing and hopelessness or with gratitude, praise and hope.
The first option will automatically make life difficult and the second automatically makes it simple.
Whichever attitude we do choose it will filter into every relationship.
When it comes to our spouse, both attitudes are the entry ticket to a court. If we spend long enough being ungrateful to God, cursing what he gives us and living in hopelessness we will eventually be ungrateful towards our spouse, curse our marriage and see the situation as hopeless and enter the law courts.
It’s the attitude of gratitude, praise and hope that gives us entry to heavenly courts and will help us to win our battles, when we are grateful to God we will be grateful for our spouse, thankful hearts will give us the power to say thank you to each other, hope in the Lord will bring us to a place where we can see hope for our marriage.
When it comes to our kids the attitude of ingratitude, cursing and hopelessness will cause us to speak “death” into their lives. When we have no hope for them we instill in them insecurity, instability and fear.
Probably, due to the fact that they are learning from us, even when we think we are not teaching, they will adopt the same attitude. Of course God is powerful enough to bring them out of it but they don’t need to be there in the first place.
Kids come alive when we approach all our interactions them with an attitude of gratitude, praise and hope in the Lord.
So how do we do it?
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs;
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.Psalm 100
Step 1: Shout to the Lord with gladness! Praise him! Rejoice! – Crank up the Worship Music! Make joyful music in your heart, sing a brand new song! We forget the power of music to move us towards joy. Maybe you’ve forgotten since Covid introduced all the restrictions, but God says sing, even when singing is impossible, sing in your spirit, nothing is impossible with the Lord.
Step 2: Know that the Lord is God. – There is nothing and noone more powerful than the Lord God. He is above all our circumstances. He’s got the whole world in his hands – as the old song goes. He made us, he leads us and he loves us.
Step 3: Enter his courts with thanksgiving. – Pray! and let the first prayer of your heart be one of thanks to the Name of the Lord, the name of Jesus – the name above all names. Say thank you!
Step 4: Know the character of the Lord you are praising. – He is good, his love cannot be broken, he is faithful forever! Grow in your knowledge and understanding of the Lord, Grow in his love. When you know Him deeply you can trust Him!
Step 5: – Know that God’s already got it sorted. – Whatever you are facing, he is bigger. His plan is bigger. The Lord God offers us peace that transcends our understanding and he offers us forgiveness that is undeserved. Whatever you are up against. He promises to be with you and he offers hope.
Be encouraged today. I pray you will be prepared to be honest with God, with yourself, and with your family. Be willing to lay down your ingratitude, cursing and hopelessness and pick up gratitude, praise and hope instead.
There is hope. The Lord is good, and His love endures forever, his faithfulness continues through all of time.
Lots of love,