Patience, Faith, and Waiting

1 I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. 2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. (‭‭‭Psalms‬ ‭40‬‬:‭1‬-‭2‬ ‭NIV‬‬)

“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”

– 1 Timothy 6:12 ESV

Sometimes it can be difficult to be patient; however, it is vitally important and necessary that we are patient with Our Heavenly Father. He truly knows what we need and when we need it. He knows everything. HE supplies for our needs even when we do not realize we have a need. God is pleased by faith, therefore we need to know how to live by faith. One of the most overlooked aspects of faith is patience. Patience is needed for a life of faith. Patience has great benefits if we allow it to have its perfect work in us.

The good news is that God has already made me more than a conqueror. It is what I was designed to do, so I cannot be afraid when trials show up in life. I am made to overcome trials because God designed me that way, and HE created you that way, too. When tests come, remember that you are more than a conqueror. You are not stuck in the storm, you are going through it. Throw your counterpunch by speaking the Word. Remind yourself that you are more than a conqueror. Remind the storm that God lives in you!

Please pray for me as I am praying for you.

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Starting Over or Regrouping and Beginning Again

by Hester Guest

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

According to Max Lucado, “He places Himself between you and the need. And at the right time, He gives you the ticket. This is the same promise God gave the children of Israel. He promised to supply them with manna each day. But he told them to collect one day’s supply at a time. Those who disobeyed and collected enough for two days found themselves with rotten manna. God gave them what they needed in their time of need.” Max Lucado.

After most storms or times of suffering, there is usually a time of straightening and cleaning. We always go out and get the pinecones, moss, and debris out of our yard. We strive to be diligent about having a neat lawn and life. Some “storms” are emotional and leave a different kind of debris! The emotional storms can wreak havoc and even destroy relationships if we don’t gain control quickly. The emotions that engulf us are indescribable! I know God has everything in control, and I trust Him. However, the human side of me wants immediate action.

When confronted with change, I ask myself what needs to happen now. My heart and mind do not always agree and that leads to difficulties. I have learned through experience and practice that the only way to achieve success is through determination and perseverance only after praying for My Heavenly Father’s Guidance. My relationship with God influences all of my other relationships. As things around me change, I realize how important it is that my personal communication with God’s Will is consistent and continuous. Relationships come and go, but the important relationships need constant attention, patience, and understanding. Keeping in mind God wants us to cultivate His Kingdom with those who have the courage and attitude to be more like His SON, JESUS.

Please pray for me as I am also praying for you. Hester

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Faith In Our Heavenly Father

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalms 18:2 NIV

Suffering happens to everyone, even the sinner and the saint, and it was endured by the Savior. Suffering came into the world because of sin. Satan used sin to bring suffering; however, God used the suffering of Jesus to bring salvation to mankind. God, through our suffering, purifies our faith and glorifies his name. 

Faith in God does not make us immune to suffering. Sometimes, we are delivered from a fiery furnace; other times God makes us fireproof. We have to have faith in God’s power to deliver us from sickness, suffering, and pain. Our faith cannot be in healing but in the Healer. We have to rest our faith in God not in answers to our prayers.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had faith that God was able to deliver them and that he would deliver them. Faith allows us to believe that God is able and that God will. “But if not” faith is faith that is in God even if we do not get what we pray for, even if things do not turn out as we expect them to turn out. “But if not” faith says, “I will continue to worship God even if things do not turn out as I hoped for.” 

Many people have faith in things but not in God. They believe in healing. They believe in miracles. They believe in answers to prayers. That kind of faith fails when those miracles do not come. The Apostle Paul had faith. When he was suffering, he said, “I know whom I have believed.” For Paul, faith was not just something he believed in, it was Someone he believed in. Our faith is not in faith itself, but our faith is in God himself.

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Worry Divides the Mind. . .

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

“No one has to remind you of the high cost of anxiety. Worry divides the mind. The biblical word for worry (merimnao) is a compound of two Greek words, merizo ( to divide) and nous (the mind). Anxiety splits our energy between today’s priorities and tomorrow’s problems. Father, give me the courage to place in your hands all of my worries. And give me the faith to leave them with you.” Max Lucada, Traveling Light

We spend time and energy on worrying about things, people, situations, and problems that never happen. We should spend our time in God’s Word and doing good deeds. If I could add up all the hours I have spent fretting over things that never occurred, I am positive it would be years in total.

Jesus tells us not to worry, listing specific things His listeners worried about. If Jesus was addressing us today, He would list things we worry about: getting into college, staying healthy, getting married, our 401K plans. Jesus is not telling us those things aren’t important. They are important, and uncertainty is related to all of them. However, there is a way to face the uncertainties of tomorrow without worrying about them today. He is inviting us to trust—not in fate—but in our heavenly Father. Jesus wants us to work hard and do our best, and once we’ve done all we can do today, we don’t need to worry about tomorrow.

“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” – Matthew 6:27

When we worry, are we really helping ourselves? Worrying today can’t create certainty tomorrow, so it’s a waste of time. Please pray for me as I am praying for you.

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Lighten The Load

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5‬:‭6‬-‭7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,” Hebrews‬ ‭12‬:‭1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“The suitcase of guilt. A sack of discontent. You drape a duffel bag of weariness on one shoulder and a hanging bag of grief on the other. Add on a backpack of doubt, an overnight bag of loneliness, and a trunk of fear. Pretty soon you’re pulling more stuff than a skycap. No wonder you’re tired at the end of the day. Lugging luggage is exhausting.” Max Lucado, Traveling Light

If you have ever been backpacking, you know it can be lots of fun and leads to destinations that are breathtaking. When you go backpacking for the first time, you realize that everything you bring is something that you carry. You can’t bring everything you want. You can’t even bring everything you think you need. Every single ounce counts. Way too often, we try to carry what God never intended for us to carry. I know God doesn’t want us to carry family brokenness, financial pressure, regrets over bad decisions, missed goals and whatever else we try to pick up as we journey through life.

God asks us to give our baggage to Him (1 Peter 5:7) and to ditch anything that is slowing us down.(Hebrews 12:1). God seriously wants us to throw off everything that prevents us from a relationship with Him. God want us to travel light. He is trying to take our fears, shame, addictions, regrets, and control issues. When we pack. our bag to go backpacking, everything we leave out is room for something else. God wants more room in our lives for Him. Think about it; we give our burdens to God and He gives us Himself. Yet, somehow the more we carry from Him, the lighter we are. We need to look at things we picked up along the way. We don’t have to carry them anymore. We can trade them for more of God.

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Focus on Hope in Our Heavenly Father

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalms 42:11 NIV

During the holidays, many of us feel lost, lonely, and sad. Personally, I have always tried to hide my feelings and emotions because I don’t want to be a stumbling block to others. I know, however, as one gets older, it is more difficult to hide or disguise one’s feelings. God has reminded me often that HE IS always with me. My resolution for the New Year is to focus on HOPE in Our Heavenly Father! With HIM, I can be confident I can conquer all my fears and problems.

Even some of our Biblical heroes suffered from a loss of hope. At some point, we all have experienced hopelessness. We have to immerse ourselves in God’s Word and claim HIS Promises. God never lies or breaks a promise. HE IS Our Heavenly Father and loves us more than we could ever possibly imagine! Our purpose is in HIS Hands, and HE will never let us down.

Sometimes we are troubled by the thoughts in our head, and we struggle with negativity and worry. We allow toxic thoughts to enter our minds. I have found that the solution is to get into God’s Word. The more I read, study, and learn from His Word, the less my mind is occupied with fear and anxiety. By focusing on others and getting involved with others, I am able to experience joy, peace, and happiness. I don’t believe Our Heavenly Father wants us to be bogged down in fear and anxiety. I truly believe He wants us to believe in Him and have no doubts. When we allow Him to have control, we are the ones who benefit! God is the Author and Architect of Hope! HE IS our I AM!

As this New Year begins, my prayer is each of you will be filled with HOPE! Please pray for me and for others, as I am praying for each of you.

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Happy Birthday, JESUS!

14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭7‬‬:‭14‬ KJV)

21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. (‭‭Matthew‬ ‭1‬‬:‭21‬ KJV)

A few years ago, I wrote this blog for Christmas. When I was writing today’s blog, I was having trouble finding my message, and I scrolled through my site. When I came across this post, my heart led me to repost this because it was exactly what I was being led to say. Forgive me for taking the easy way out. However, sometimes the easy way is Our Heavenly Father’s way of leading us.

Our Heavenly Father sent the most precious gift to Earth to redeem us — Jesus! HE knew everything that would occur— the persecution, the rejection, the betrayal— AND God still sent Jesus! What Mercy, Grace, and Love Our God possesses! I cannot imagine sending anyone into a situation which is certain to include all the horrific treatment our Precious Savior endured!

We are truly blessed to be God’s children. Each step we take brings us one step closer to the last step when Jesus will change our earthly bodies into forever bodies. NO pain! No depression! No sickness! No more chaos! No end! Only Eternity with God!

I am thankful for the loving and caring people in my life. Some of you are friends from birth, childhood, school, and even some whom I have met on Facebook. You are all extremely important to me. Some thoughts as we encounter the holiday season…It is important to remember that not everyone is looking forward to Christmas. Some people are not surrounded by large wonderful families and friends. Some have problems during the holidays and are overcome with great sadness when remembering the loved ones who are no longer with them. For many, it is their first Christmas without a particular loved one, many others lost loved ones at Christmas time. Many people have no one to spend these times with and are besieged by loneliness. We all need caring, loving thoughts right now. May I ask my friends wherever you might be, to kindly remember for a moment and whisper a prayer of support for all those who have family problems, health struggles, job issues, worries of any kind and just need to know that someone cares. Please do it for all of us, for nobody is immune. Wishing you all A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year filled with an abundance of God’s Blessings!

Happy Birthday, Jesus! Thank YOU for Your Love, Mercy, Grace, and Sacrifice!

Until next time, Hester

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Rejoice in THE LORD

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4 NIV

The REASON for the SEASON is truly a wonderful blessing to all of God’s Children. Our Heavenly Father provides us with everything we need to be happy and live life abundantly. Even before we can voice a need, HE has already made provision. I am in awe of HIS willingness to forgive and welcome us back into HIS Presence.

Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. Daniel 12:3 NIV

We can choose to dwell on the negatives, or we can choose to praise God for all of his benefits. We can thank God for the gift of our Savior (which is the reason for celebrating Christmas in the first place); for giving his Son to die in our place; for forgiving our sins; for the gift of eternal life; and for the blessed hope that we have of being reunited with loved ones who have gone on to heaven before us. That’s not counting everything else he gives to us, because every good gift comes from above.

Christians go through difficulties on this side of eternity, however, we need to remember that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that he is greater than the mountains in our lives. Therefore, every day is a day when we can give our challenges to the Lord and begin to count our blessings instead of our problems and our sorrows. I am learning to rejoice in all of my circumstances and want to give Our Heavenly Father praise for all things, even in the suffering and sadness which comes my way.

I choose to praise the Lord today, even through tears. As I bless the Lord and glorify his name, he will manifest his presence in my life, and this time of year will become a time of rejoicing in the true meaning of the season. Please pray for me as I pray for each of you. Jesus IS THE REASON for the Season.

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Moments in Time – Memories

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12:2 NIV

We do not have to compare ourselves with others. God created each of us in His Own Image. Each person is important and valuable. Our relationship with God is where we need to concentrate our attention and focus our efforts.

A kiss, a hug, a smile, a tender touch, a joke, a soft laugh, a big full out belly laugh! A tear, a sob, a misunderstanding, a disagreement, an estrangement, a loss of friendship! All of these are moments in time, but they do not define us! How we deal with these moments is what defines us. We cannot take them for granted, but we must cherish the good times, look for the best in what happens to us, and learn from both the good and the bad.

As a young person, I let the smallest things upset me. I gradually learned that I was only hurting myself because I could not move on to better things if I allowed myself to wallow in the negativity and hurt feelings. In addition, if I felt someone else had wronged me, I was giving them permission to continue to have a hold on me. I learned it was easier on my emotions to forgive them and move on to other things.

Even as an older adult, there have been incidents involving deceptive acquaintances which almost turned my life into a major disaster. However, my faith in my Heavenly Father and the support of my precious family gave me reasons to hold my head high and continue my journey. Family and friends are absolutely important to living a healthy and full life! Just like watering plants and feeding our pets, it is vital that we nourish and cherish our relationships. However, the most important relationship that we must nurture is our relationship with Our Heavenly Father.

Please. Pray for me as I am praying for you.

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Making Decisions That Make A Difference

But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, Matthew 6:3 NIV

Our Heavenly Father gives us opportunities to help others, and we have the responsibility to accept the challenge and follow HIS Lead. If you are a young or older person dealing with something from your past and you find yourself not able to shake it off, or you are dealing with something you have done to someone else, and you cannot seem to forgive yourself, remember in Christ, you are completely free. Often we look to people or the world for answers when we are dealing with guilt, shame or just searching for solutions. God desires our vulnerability, because where we are weak, He is strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10) Instead of running to the world or people searching for false and temporary freedom, we need to ask God to help us realize the eternal freedom that comes from Him.

The eternal freedom Christ offers does not stop at salvation. It is eternal for every mistake, every down moment, every failure we have had, or when others hurt us, we have to keep reminding ourself that His blood was the wage for us to live a completely free life in Christ. No matter what tries to keep us bound, all we have to shout is “The Blood,” and walk in our freedom. The freedom He gives cost a high price, but it is priceless.

Our freedom is not found in a president or in any government official. Our freedom is not found in our boss or our professor. Though we abide by the laws of the land, wherever we are in life, we must remember the True Source of freedom is God. He is the Ruler of our lives, and we should always stand firm knowing we have an earthly and eternal liberty through Him, regardless of what happens.

God made 7487 promises in the Bible that He assures His people He will do. We can trust Him to always take care of us. We can make the decision that with HIS Love, Grace, Mercy, and Forgiveness, we can make a difference in the lives of others.

“In God, whose word I praise— in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” Psalm‬ ‭56:4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

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