In life, we all go through a pruning process. God will prune our lives so that we can bear much fruit. To “prune” means something is cut away, something is removed. In other words, maybe a good friend that you counted on moved to another city. Maybe a business shut down that you were connected to, or a relationship went a different direction.
Friend, God knows what you need in your life in order to grow and flourish. Sometimes when things happen that we don’t understand, we have to just trust that He is working behind the scenes preparing you for increase, preparing you to go to another level. Don’t put a question mark where God has placed a period.
When you’re going through transition, don’t get bitter. Don’t get down and think it’s the end. Don’t start thinking that you’re a failure. Have the attitude, “God, I let this go knowing that it was only temporary provision, and what You have in my future will be greater than what I’m letting go of.” If you will accept the change and stay in faith, God will open new doors. He will bring new opportunities, new friendships, and take you to another level of His glory!
A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. (Proverbs 16:9, NKJV.)
Oftentimes, God will use our experiences in life as stepping stones to prepare us for what He has in store next. Scripture tells us that He’ll even take the things the enemy tries to bring against us and turn them around and use them for our good. He is always leading us on a journey of preparation.
That’s why it’s so important to keep our eyes focused on Him. We have to trust that when we are submitted to Him—even if we don’t understand—He is ordering our steps. If something is not happening on your timetable, remind yourself, “God knows what He is doing. He has my best interest at heart. God is preparing me.” While you’re waiting, don’t make the mistake of trying to figure everything out. If you’re constantly trying to figure things out, that will only frustrate you. Turn it over to God. Declare, “God, my times are in Your hands. I’m not going to worry because I trust that You are leading me on a journey of preparation for all the wonderful blessings You have in store for me.”
God doesn’t want us to sit in the ashes of the past; He wants to trade our brokenness for healing. He wants to give us beauty for our ashes. The key is that we have to be willing to give up the ashes in order to receive the beauty. Are you willing to trust Him with your past hurts? Don’t waste another day sitting in the ashes. Let God give you joy instead of mourning, and let Him make something beautiful out of the ashes of your life today!
“…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…” (Hebrews 12:1-2, NKJ).
It’s easy to be tempted to go through life competing with everyone around us. When we see someone who’s more talented, better looking or has more gifts, instead of running our race and being comfortable with who we are, oftentimes we feel inferior and think, “I’ve got to catch up to them.” The problem with this unhealthy competition is that it’s a never-ending cycle. There will always be someone ahead of us. But, it’s a very freeing thing when you realize, “I’m not competing with you. I don’t have to have as big a house as my neighbor to feel good about myself. I don’t have to keep up with my co-worker. I don’t have to be a certain size. No, I understand that I’m not in competition with my friend, my neighbor or my co-worker. Instead, I’m going to be the best me that I can possibly be.” Friend, that’s an attitude God can work with. When you focus on being who God made you to be, that’s when you’ll rise up higher and position yourself for every spiritual blessing He has in store for you!
“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed”(1 Peter 4:12–13, NIV)
It’s one thing to know that you’re going into a challenging season. You get prepared for it. You get mentally ready. But what about the difficulties that we don’t see coming? The unexpected crisis that catches us off-guard? Sometimes, it can seem so overwhelming that it almost knocks the wind right out of us.
The Scripture says that we shouldn’t be surprised by fiery trials. That’s because the forces of darkness would not be fighting against you if they didn’t know that God has something amazing in your future! Sometimes, those unexpected difficulties are just a sign that you’re on the right track. It’s always darkest just before the dawn appears. The enemy always fights the hardest when you are closest to your breakthrough. The key is to stay the course and keep fighting the good fight of faith. Keep your joy and keep declaring God’s Word over your future. God has promised that you will overcome every obstacle. You will defeat every enemy, and right now, I declare that you will fulfill your destiny in Jesus’ name!