How to Experience Peace and Strength during Your Troubles

Troubles come in many different ways. They may come from a family member’s illness, your own illness, a relationship you may have, the death of a loved one, trouble in your business or workplace or your son or daughter’s difficulties. Regardless of the trouble you are facing and the intensity of it, you must be aware by now that troubles do not always go away, and if they do, they may not go away when you want them to. The question to answer is, “What do you do in the meantime”?

The answer to this question depends on the nature of your trouble. For the sake of this article, I will be dealing with a family member’s illness and hope that many of you can identify with what I am experiencing and share your own stories. I have been dealing with my special-needs daughter and her situation for a very long time, and at times, I become weary and wonder when I will get a relief to go on a long vacation. There are many questions I ask myself, but what I do in the meantime is essential. I go to God in prayer, read his word, thank Him for giving me life, while staying busy and active by exercising to decrease my stress level, writing to help others, and eating healthy foods to improve my overall health.

What are you doing in the meantime? Are you feeling overwhelmed, depressed, sad, and lonely from the aftermath of your troubles? God, in his word, says that his grace is sufficient for you, for His strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Co.12:9). He is your burden bearer (Matt.11:30), and the lifter of your head (Psalm 3:3). There is nothing you can do in your own strength, only in God’s. When you believe you can do everything in your own strength without the help of God, you may feel the heaviness, and you may blame yourself for your failure. When you release the burden to God by depending totally on Him, by doing your best, while taking care of yourself, God will take care of you. You will experience peace and strength as never before. May God bless you.

Joan M. Blake (author)

How Jesus’ Death and Resurrection Brought Freedom for Us All

Do you know that you and I are free from the burdens that others place on us or the burdens we place on ourselves? We are free from our current and past issues that have held us captive (Gal 5:1). We obtained our freedom because Jesus suffered and died in our place, rose triumphantly from the grave on the third day, and is seated on the right hand of the Father interceding for us all (Rom 8:34). Scripture states that God will bring with Jesus those of us who have died in the faith (1 Thess 4:14).

Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords (1 Tim 6:15); He is the head of all principality and power (Col 2:10), and just as He died in our place, He has stood in our place to be our burden bearer and to be our overcomer (John 16:33). May we cherish and relish Easter Sunday, a reminder of Jesus’ resurrection, where He was victorious over death.

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By Joan M. Blake

As parents of special-need children/adults, we face continual life-issues which do not go away. What do we do? Where do we go from here?

1. We should pray and find solutions to our problems.

2. We should continue doing exciting things for God

3. We should reach out to others who are going through similar challenges

  1. We should pray and find solutions to our problems. Before finding solutions to our problems, we must face our challenges with love and  patience. We must remember that these children/adults are ours, and that God gave them to us. We must pray and put our situations in God’s hands. At best, we  should find solutions to the various problems we face, by considering the severity of the issues our children/adults face and by determining what we need to do to help them. Do we need to consider in-home care, and if so, for how many hours during the day? Should we consider a day program or other alternatives if available, so that we could have time to attend work or have time during the day?
  2. We should continue doing exciting things for God in addition to  praying and trusting Him. Do you have a prayer partner? Do you know people who need prayer? Do you call others during the week to encourage them?  As caretakers, we get so busy with our own issues, that we forget that people need people
  3. We should reach out to others who are going through similar challenges. When we do so, we operate as a team; we gain ideas from one another; we get encouraged and feel better about ourselves. Please join me as we purpose to become a support group of encouragement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forego your past and live anew

Foregoing your past and living anew is easier said than done, particularly for some who have experienced significant pain. But coming out of significant pain is a good thing especially when you have a bright future ahead of you.

I believe that one way of viewing past hurts is looking at what you have learned from your past experiences that you can bring to your current and future life. For example, if you have been accustomed to being taken advantaged of, look at the key signs for this behavior and do not be a victim again.

A second way of looking at your past is having the opportunity to become a new person in Christ and to be awakened to everything God has for you. Your past can never hold you hostage because you have obtained your freedom in Christ (Gal 5:1).

Thirdly, understand that because of your past, you have opportunities to help others in similar situations, since all things work together for good to those who love God and who are called to his purpose (Rom 8:28).

 

How to climb over your mountains.

By Joan M. Blake author.

Does anyone have mountains they need to climb? I was praying early this morning when I visualized myself standing at the bottom of a large mountain and realized that I had a choice to make: either stand there or find a way to climb up that mountain. Since I will never climb an actual mountain, my visualization was metaphorically related to a mountain of life- issues that I face.

Let us discuss the preparation involved in climbing a real mountain, and see how those tools can help us deal with our mountains of real life-issues. Aiming to climb a mountain calls for getting the needed training to enhance strength and perseverance. Looking at a youtube Alpine training video, I learned that training includes weighted step up, weighted sit ups and side bends to help your legs, lungs and core.

Weighted step up improves your symmetry and balance, fixes muscle size imbalances and strength imbalances. Weighted sit up improves and strengthen your core muscles. The Dumbbell side bends work the muscles of the trunk, particularly the deep spine muscles, help contribute to a stronger core, reduce the risk of back pain and improve functional movements such as a serving a tennis ball or carrying a heavy object on one side of the body. It is recommended that the three workouts be combined and practiced three times per week, a month or two from your climb.

How can we translate the tools used in preparing for mountain climbing to the tasks of dealing with a mountain of life-issues that we face? In order to prepare, we need to step up to the challenges that we face by putting some things in place and establishing a routine of practicing. If you are facing financial problems, seek out a financial expert to help you plan, balance your budget, or pay off your debt. Put the tools that you have learned into practice. To obtain a new job, you must prepare yourself for an interview. If you are changing careers, you must prepare for that new career by going through a course of study. If you are having relationship issues, get help to deal with the issues at hand. If you are dealing with overweight, begin to plan healthier meals, do more walking, weight and strength training to put your body in balance.

While I have worked on exercising and eating healthy foods, I have found a few areas that I need to work on. I have to put aside more time to write in my journal daily. With respect to my books, I can no longer stay dormant, but I must put together, a marketing plan so that my books could get in the hands of more readers. In the case of Christian Resource Network, a non-profit organization that I founded, and which had been dormant, I need to plan ahead and establish programs to help people in need. Regardless of our issues, we need to move forward with inner strength. We can no longer worry about being at the bottom of our mountains, because according to Edmund Hilary, it is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.

Disappointments Lead to Incredible Opportunities

Do you remember how disappointed you felt earlier or even later in life?  You felt sad or depressed, because you didn’t make the mark or reach your expectation. When you were younger, you faced competition, for example: in sports, in a spelling Bee, in a musical talent show and you wanted to win but you didn’t. As a high school student, you competed for the post popular girl or boy and felt disappointed when you didn’t get what you wanted.  As you became older, you realize that the same system exists even today; there is competition which leads to achievement or disappointment.

Let me discuss some of these. Today, you experience competition as a small or large business owner, as an applicant for a job— to become a senior pastor of a church, to become a school teacher, to become a computer engineer, to become a police officer or whatever you wish to become.  To obtain a job, you went through the interviewing process until you became the top applicant and achieved the job of your dreams only to be disappointed years later. This same disappointment played out in your marriage and after five years or less, your marriage ended up in divorce.

In this world of competition and disappointments, we must come to the realization that our issues have a way of balancing themselves. We must believe in the good in ourselves, that all things work together for the good of humankind (Rom 8:28), and that disappointments lead to incredible opportunities. My own life attests to these facts.

I landed a job many years ago during the same time that my daughter needed care and, therefore, I resigned from the job shortly after.  I could have complained or bathed in disappointment, but instead, I chose to attend Seminary at night and was elated to be among a student body and faculty who were supportive. During my trials, I graduated from Seminary and found new life—getting involved in women’s issues.

My new life led me to creating and writing in The Christian Connection Newsletter alongside community leaders. Eight years later, in 2008, I continued writing and sharing my story with others. I also found time to assist my daughter in profound ways.  Maybe your situation is like mine; you had to leave your job to care for your son or daughter. Maybe, you are disappointed with your marriage, with your job or with your friendships. Do not lose heart, for you have hope (Rom 5:2). God loves you the same, whether you experience disappointments. He has never left you or forsaken you; He has been with you throughout the entire process and will see you through (Psalm 139:7-10), but you must trust Him to do it. Do not lean on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5), for in doing so, you depend on your feelings rather than your faith and belief in God.

Trusting and believing in God’s provisions for your life is key to overcoming your life-issues, for He is your Master (Mark 12:32), and He has a master-plan for your life. Because all things work together for good (Rom 8:28), I want to encourage you to look at disappointments in new ways, for they often lead to incredible opportunities.

By Joan M. Blake (Author)

 

We Have Victory Through Jesus Christ.

 

We know the story of how the Lord, Jesus, for whom John referred to as the Word (1 John 1:1), came down from heaven as the Son of Man and lived among us, identified with our pain, died, and rose again the third day (1 Cor 15:4) and brought hope (1 Tim 1:1) to a dying world. By His death, Jesus spared us from the wrath of sin (Acts 15:11), and by His resurrection, we have abundant life (John 11:25). He Who descended, also ascended to heaven, and is now seated at the right hand of God, the Father, interceding for us all (Romans 8:34).

This is the same Jesus who said, “I will not leave or forsake you” (Joshua 1:5) and that He would go away and send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to be our guide (John 14:16). Apostle Paul reminded us that “all things work together for our good (Rom 8:28).” In other words, regardless of the intensity of our struggles, we must take them to Jesus who has made a promise that He will not forsake us; He will fight our battles (2 Chron 32:8) and cause the situation to work out for our good.  While we are surrounded by a tumultuous world, we must not lose heart, for we have victory through Jesus Christ, our resurrected Lord and Savior.

Would a parent forsake his/her child?

This year 2018, has started out very busy for me, with a lot of doctor’s appointments for my daughter and myself. I felt that I was consumed with going to the doctors, but thanks to God, we are doing well.

Life continues to be hectic, but I refuse to give up, because my family and I belong to God. He knows the end from the beginning and He knows your destiny as well as mine, so I take comfort in knowing and believing that.  God is no respecter of persons; what He has done for you, He will do for me. We are important to God and his love for us is infinite.

I want to encourage you if you are experiencing the storms of life as I am, not to give up, but to hold on to God’s unchanging hands, for what you are experiencing is just a test and you will come out as good gold. God will not leave or forsake you or me, (Joshua 1:5) for we are His children. Would a parent forsake his/her child? In today’s world we are bombarded with evil and so the question to ask ourselves is: “Should a parent forsake his/her child?

 

 

Trust God When You Cannot Trace Him

This is a familiar phrase that my prayer partner would remind me of, as she prayed for me. This means that we should not try to figure out what God is doing in our lives but instead, we should trust God during the process.

We should trust God because God is the author and finisher of our faith (Heb 12:2). He is the Alpha and the Omega (Rev 22:13), the Beginning and the End and knows what each person’s purpose is. God is who opens doors that no man can shut (Rev 3:8). He has numbered the hairs on your head ( Matt 10:30) and knows everything about you and me. Where can you and I go from God’s spirit (Psa 139:7), the Psalmist asks, for nothing is hidden from him. If you and I sin, He knows about it; He knows about our rebellious acts and helps to rid us of these sins.

God allows us to go through challenging times to humble us, to change some aspect of our lives and to bring us to himself. When you are being tested, trust God; don’t try to trace Him or understand where He is going with your lives. Trusting God is the Key to living a life of faith.