Praising in the Pit…

“Focus on remaining so gracious that when the time comes for your testimony, people’s recollection of how you maintained your faith and good character despite going through such a difficult season, will encourage them even more about what it is to truly trust in God.”

Smiling when things are falling apart around you, is possibly one of the most difficult things to do.
It’s hard to laugh, have fun, or even see the good in anything, because your circumstance is saying otherwise.

Today I want to encourage you to  P R A I S E  in the Pit.
And if you cannot think of any reason why it may be worth it, simply consider the fact that you have life, God still loves you perfectly, and His word says He will always be with you – that is more than enough to give Him praise for. (Romans 8:38-39, Deuteronomy 31:6)

In addition to that praise, here are three other key things to do:

1. Continue to do and be G O O D

Don’t allow your situation to make you bitter.
Natural emotions that we may experience when things are tough include;

  • Sadness
  • Frustration
  • Anger
  • Feeling fed up
  • Being irritable
  • Self-pity
  • Loneliness

and many others.

When we feel like this, it’s often difficult to be our usual selves, and in fact it is quite easy to fall into the trap of allowing our emotions to dictate and change who we are, negatively.
One of the most important things I want to tell us is that we must not allow our emotions to rule us. Yes, things aren’t great, but that is no excuse to compromise your character and forget who God has called you to be – which is someone who exudes L O V E at all times. (1 Corinthians 13).
Focus on remaining so gracious that when the time comes for your testimony, people’s recollection of how you maintained your faith and good character despite going through such a difficult season, will encourage them even more about what it is to truly trust in God.

When you find yourself getting into ‘a way’, remember that God’s word tells us a lot about His plans for us. (Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8:28).
Therefore, knowing God has a greater purpose, plan and will for you, means you cannot allow your energy to match your present situation. Instead, you have to ensure your energy is in line with the greater place God is taking you to! For that reason you need to draw out the praise that is on the inside of you and show God that you are dedicated to praising Him in spite of what is going on in your life. Show Him that your love for Him goes beyond your circumstance and that you truly love Him for who He is, not what He does.

 

2. Don’t obsess over ‘why’

Common perspectives many of us may have adopted throughout life, is that there is a reason for everything and that there is always a lesson to learn from every season you find yourself in. While I agree with both these concepts, we must be careful not to distract ourselves with trying too hard to make them fit into our lives in the most practical or perfect way.

Here’s what I mean by this…
Sometimes God does share ‘why’ He’s taking us through things, other times, He doesn’t.
The point is, if we get so utterly consumed with finding out ‘W H Y’ something is happening to us, or we get fixated on gaining an idealistic lesson out of it, we run the risk of losing focus on how God has truly called us to serve in that season, as well as engaging with God’s actual purpose or lesson for us.
For some of us, our focus on finding out ‘why’ could actually wrongly dissuade us from praising. This is because we subconsciously tell ourselves that we need a reason and purpose for the pain before we can praise in that pit, when actually the word of God encourages us to praise and give thanks in ALL things – good or bad. (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Focusing on getting a so-called reason or lesson that we deem tangible enough to us, also falsely implies that depending on the answer we get, God could possibly be unworthy of our praise – and this is so far from the truth.
The bible tells us that He is worthy of all praise, honour and glory forever. (1 Timothy 1:17).

 

3. Surrender it all to God

This is the most important bit.
Stop trying to create the ideal outcomes in your mind, and stop trying to help God sort things out your way – just give it to Him and rest in Him.

The bible not only teaches us that we are made for God’s pleasure and to bring glory to His Name (Isaiah 43:7, Isaiah 43:21), but it also very clearly enlightens us that God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). Therefore some things may not make sense to us. Some things won’t add up according to how our human minds may try to work them out, and so chasing a reason, or trying to create an artificial lesson that we assume God is trying to teach us, will only leave us exhausted and disappointed.
What we should do instead in these situations, is truly and wholeheartedly seek God and ask Him to enable us to live out His very purpose for us in that situation.
We must learn the art of absolutely surrendering our will and way to God, realising that He is Sovereign and thus actively deciding to allow Him to have His way. This may not be easy – but it’s always worth it.

Worth it;
– because the earlier we surrender, the sooner we have peace.
– because walking with God is so much better than working against Him.
– and because ultimately, we should always desire for God’s perfect will to manifest, as opposed to anything else, as He really does know best!

 

Now get to know God’s Promises

It’s all well and good me encouraging you to trust God and rest in His promises etc., but you need to know His word for yourself, because that is what you have to hold on to.

So here’s a start for verses to use to remind yourself of how well God will carry you through it all, and that there surely is a greater glory awaiting you at the end:

Something crucial to remember in the midst of your pain and unrest, is that regardless of how sour things may seem, God has not, and will not EVER remove His covering over you. This means no scheme of the enemy could ever prevail over you, nor lead you to destruction, rather, just like He did with Joseph, God will turn it all around and use it for His glory and your victory. (Genesis 37:18-28, Genesis 39:21).

The story of Joseph (found in Genesis 37 onward) provides a good example of someone who praised and served his purpose diligently whilst in his pit. In fact his very service to others whilst in jail, is what then delivered him in time to come – but that’s a word for another day.

Admirable examples of other Praisers in their Pits and people who remained faithful to God in the face of adversity are;

Daniel – with friends in the fiery furnace – Daniel 3, in the lion’s den Daniel 6

Paul and SilasActs 16:16-40

JobJob 1, Job 1:20-22, Job 2:10, Job 42:10-17

In each story, as each character served their season of pain/trials with diligence and grace, we see the final outcome was completely worth the strife, especially when it caused others to give their lives to God.
So today I encourage you to keep Praising and keep your heart Faithful to God.
Praise your way into the sweeter season, because you serve a God that would never leave your current situation as your final destination.

Set it in your heart that NOTHING will steal the praise from your lips and the worship of your heart,
Because at the end of the day
God will still be God –
The Sovereign God, who knows best,
So why not Praise Him anyway?!

 

Keep the Faith, Don’t Stop Believing

Song suggestion: Praise Him in advance by Marvin Sapp

*Practical tip: (suggested by a friend and I think is a great idea) Create a playlist of Ten upbeat praise songs! Get into your praise zone with these daily and be reminded of God’s goodness.

Welcome and Happy New Year – 2017

Welcome

Heyyyyy… I gladly welcome you to Untainted Word.
It has definitely been a long time coming and I am so pleased that it is finally here and ready to be shared with you all.

For those who do not know, this is a step I have been meaning to take for many years, in terms of expanding how I share the inspirational, faith-based messages that I have been sending by text to my contacts for about 8/9 years now.

I have been encouraged by many people over the years to start a blog or just get these messages online somehow, and I finally have. (Thank you so much to everyone who planted those seeds, you can finally see them germinating).

I ask that you bear with me as everything is starting up, and I ask for your prayers; that this platform will serve its purpose in drawing people closer to God and leading souls to Christ.

It will definitely be expanding, by God’s grace, and in fact there are some interesting things to come in due time, but for now you can anticipate: Sunday’s Shaper; to conclude your week with a word that will enlighten, empower and enrich your mind with the right thoughts; enabling you to constructively reflect on the past week and equipping you with scripture to apply in the week ahead.
You can also look forward to Wednesday’s Wake-Up Call; a mid-week pick-me-up, to re-encourage, re-inspire and remind you of your ability to be excellent for the rest of the week.
The purpose of these messages is to bring attention to God’s truths – both His promises for us and His expectations of us as His children.

Hopefully, between here, and the Home and About pages, you will have a good enough idea of what Untainted Word is all about.
If there is anything else you would like to know, or in fact if you have general questions about the content you read in posts, or topic suggestions and so on, please head over to the Contact page, fill in the form and get in touch!

Anyway, enough of all that – please enjoy as you read the rest of the first post below – (a late, but valuable New Year’s message).

Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year!!
Please pardon my lateness, I know we are 16 days in, but hey, the year is still pretty fresh, right?

2016 was many things for each of us.
It was filled with highs and lows, positives and negatives, fulfillments and disappointments.
For some it was their best year yet, for others it was the opposite, but one thing we can all say about 2016, regardless of our individual experience of it, is, it has gone.

Whether 2016 brought us joy or sorrow, it is now officially in the past.
And actually God says;

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.”
[Isaiah 43:18]

Therefore, whilst it is wise to remember and improve from the lessons you learnt last year, it is very important for you to understand that there is absolutely nothing you can do to change anything that happened in it. That means friend, let it go and look forward to the new things.

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
[Isaiah 43:19]

How apt is this promise of God for a new beginning?

One thing we should always remember about God’s word is that it doesn’t return to Him unfulfilled – [Isaiah 55:11], in other words, God sticks to His word and does what He says.
That therefore places the ball in our court; God gives us His word, but it is our choice to receive, believe and use it.

So the question now is, how many of us will accept this promise of God from Isaiah 43:18-19, and be determined and confident enough to actively pursue and achieve our goals in 2017?
How many of us will truly believe that God will make a way, and do a new thing for us this year?
If He tells you to let go of the old, in order to make room for the new, will you trust Him enough to obey?

Along with our New Year’s resolutions, it is worth ensuring that we also endeavour to walk closely with God, be led by Him, and be sensitive to the direction of the Holy Spirit.
I pray that we will hold on firmly to the word of God, and as we do, may 2017 be our most glorious and successful year yet, in Jesus’ Name.
Amen.

Happy New Year friends
Make this year whatever you want it to be!

Keep the Faith, Don’t Stop Believing
God bless you