Meaningful Living in the Hashtag Age

Posts tagged ‘Christianity’

A Time to Heal

a time to heal

As we mourn the death of someone we love, work towards reclaiming our good health after sickness or struggle against the despair that follows heartbreak and disappointment, we often find ourselves in need of a time to heal.

Healing is the restoration of our mind, body and spirit. It is the process for which we accept the pain of the past and mend the wounds of the present.

At some point in life we all find ourselves in need of a time to heal. Whether it’s healing from a major surgery, recovering from a divorce or finding peace after the death of a loved one, we must properly heal if we are to live the life God promises us.

The restoration process is a task often underestimated by many Christians. Exemplifying strength in our fleshly bodies is not the same as embracing God’s almighty strength and His commitment to mend our broken spirits. Healing is crucial to our personal and spiritual growth. But God teaches us through his word that He will restore our health and heal our wounds (Jeremiah 30:17).

A sick body needs to heal. An embattled mind deserves time to rest and a spirit, tormented and challenged by temptation and evil, warrants time in God’s strong and mighty hands. A time to heal can be perceived as a time to lean on our faith in God and His promises to give us life abundantly.

In our training for godliness we must learn how to take time to heal from the struggles of this world. In accepting this task, it is important to know why the act of healing is crucial to our spiritual growth.

H reminds us to Honor the Process. If you are in a healing period, you have survived the storm. Respect the process no matter how hard it is and know that God is with you. Invest the time needed to properly heal from the pain, restore your strength and rejuvenate your faith in God’s promise for your life. Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise – Jeremiah 17:14.

E is for God’s Everlasting Love. God will not turn away from you even in your broken state. He heals our mind, body and spirit by offering us an everlasting love that will not judge us for our weaknesses, failures or flaws. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you – 1 Peter 5:6-7.

A is for The Alpha (The Omega) & The Almighty. God is our most devoted friend. He listens to us when no one else will. He cares about us when we are at our loneliest. While we heal, we are covered by God’s love, grace and mercy. He is the alpha and the omega; there is no place where God’s love will not reign. Who is forgiving all thine iniquities, who is healing all thy diseases – Psalm 103:3. Who is giving healing to the broken of heart, and is binding up their griefs – Psalm 147:3. O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways – Psalm 139:1-3.

L is for Loving-Kindness. Healing comes after a period of rest and retrospect. God heals us through his love and gentleness. We must learn to love ourselves with vigor and consistency during our time of healing. We must believe that love heals the sick and the broken-hearted. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance – 2 Peter 3:9.

For those of us struggling during the healing period, remember that the renewal of our mind is one of God’s promises. Take the time to heal and let God restore your strength so you are prepared to be a disciple for his heavenly kingdom.

Michelle D. Jackson is author of the inspirational novel, The Heart of a Man. Follow her on Facebook @AuthorMichelleDJackson.

The original article was published in the March 2017 issue of The Mount Magazine, https://www.mt-ararat.org/2015-04-30-15-47-47/the-mount-magazine.

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THE GREATEST

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Groans from the crowd permeate the arena as the undefeated boxing champion is caught off-guard by a hard right hook. Stumbling towards the rope, he struggles to keep his balance while the referee follows his every move in preparation to start the dreaded countdown to his defeat. Nonetheless, in an unexpected show of courage, he recovers his balance, shuffles his feet into a stance readily known as the marker for a true comeback, then starts to jab without fear or remorse.

The crowd goes wild.

His opponent, who just seconds before was convinced the fight had come to an end, and he was the victor, responded to the champion’s roaring fans with a grimace look. It wasn’t over. And now, in spite of his well-executed strategy to defeat his opponent and take his title, he would need the strength to go yet another round.

God takes the fight to our enemies whenever we find ourselves stumbling towards defeat.  In his fighter’s persona, he is the most powerful counterpuncher who couples his strength with fierce footwork, an on-target uppercut, and a strong jab which stuns the opposition every time. He is a fighter on a mission to save us from our enemy, so we can live a victorious life.

When we enter the boxing ring without God leading and protecting us, we often find ourselves limited to bobbing, weaving, blocking and parrying instead of punching back. We preserve our bodies from the hard blows and quick defeat, but we cannot win without the strength and courage to knock out the enemy who threatens to take our joy and leave us battered and bruised.

The enemy takes on many disguises. Whether it is drug addiction, an attack on our marriage or the dismantling of our relationship with God, when the enemy enters the ring, he is prepared to fight to the end. We need God to keep us strong, to protect us and to see us through.

God is the master of the rope-a-dope. He takes our punches for us then fall back on the ropes, letting it absorb the power of each blow and preserve our strength for another round. This is all in His plan to cause the enemy to “punch himself out” and make mistakes.  The biggest mistake our enemies make is believing that our faith is weak and defeatable. However, when God comes to defend us He always has a winning strategy. His counterattack will leave us protected and secured.

Once God takes the ring and we are moved to the corner stool to sit and watch Him work, we should be reminded of Exodus 14:14 which says, The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. When He lands the first punch, and the enemy falls to his knees, we must remember 2 Chronicles 20:17: You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you. And finally, once our enemy is defeated, we must keep God’s promise in our heart by remembering Isaiah 41:10: Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

As Christians, we are in a never-ending battle against the enemy. Our boxing gloves are torn and tattered; our shoes are filled with holes, and our boxing robes are stained with remnants of our defeat. But when we call on God to meet us in the ring, to protect us from our enemy, and to defend us at our weakest moments, we are, in essence, asking him to preserve and restore us, so we can continue to spread the word about a living God who loves us enough to fight for our heart, mind and soul.

God is the greatest. He doesn’t give up. He doesn’t fail. He doesn’t surrender. He will fight for you even when you cannot fight for yourself. No enemy shall defeat you as long as God is in your corner, and your faith is intact.

When the boxing bell sounds, and you are standing nose-to-nose with the enemy, fight your hardest and activate your faith. But when you need Him most, take your stance, remember your role as a servant of God, and let Him fight your battles for you. He has the strength, power, grace, and mercy to protect you to the very end.

Deuteronomy 3:22
“Do not fear them, for the LORD your God is the one fighting for you.”

Nehemiah 4:20
“At whatever place you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.”

Luke 10:19

“Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

This article is in the November Issue of The Mount Christian Magazine. To view the publication go here.

Michelle D. Jackson is author of the inspirational novel, The Heart of a Man. Follow her on Facebook @AuthorMichelleDJackson.

Dance!

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Our spiritual dance is a powerful weapon against the enemy. It is a successive movement endowed by a harmonic beat. A reaction, sometimes physical but mostly spiritual, that serves as a gateway to our Heavenly Father’s ensemble of praise. It is our manifestation of joy that arises at the culmination of mourning.

Our spiritual dance is symbolic of our faith in God’s renewal process. At the end of a season of hurt and pain, God transforms us by the renewal of our mind in preparation for the next season. Our spiritual dance is a celebration of what He has done for us and how boldly He brings us through tough times in our lives. It is because of this renewal that the grieving mother who just buried her child can still rejoice and a man who recently lost his job can find comfort and peace in spite of their circumstances.

The Bible teaches us that spiritual dancing is a form of praise. In Psalm 150:4, we are reminded to praise Him with tambourine and dance, praise him with strings and pipe. And in Jeremiah 31:13, it reads: Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.

I believe that when we embark on a spiritual dance empowered by our triumph over difficult times we are mounting an attack on the devil. After we have dressed for victory by putting on the full armor of God, we move in unison through our spiritual dance towards defeating the enemy. Our movement forces Satan to see us as God sees us – as conquerors filled with grace. Whether we pirouette like a beautiful ballerina, sway like a Chicago freestyler or simply bow our heads in prayer, our spiritual dance is kindled by His majestic orchestra, which permeates a sound that awakens the soul.

A Christian’s eagerness to dance is often a sign that the storm is coming to an end. Our dance reflects our desire to ruin Satan’s plans to keep us immobilized and afraid. It reminds him of God parting the Red Sea and Jesus feeding the masses with five loaves of bread and two fish – miracles only an awesome God can give.  When we dance, Satan is assured that his limited power cannot stop us from believing in an all-powerful God.

In his attempt to control our heart and mind, our spiritual dance is a thorn planted deep within Satan’s side. A constant reminder that we are covered by God’s love and evil has no power over us.

Through His blessings and grace, God creates the sweetest melody. And when he does, and the doors of His salvation are opened to us, we must find it in our hearts to praise him with every instrument we have. Our dance should not be led by darkness; it should only be led by the Holy Spirit.

I dance for you, Lord. I dance with you. I dance in celebration of you. It is my praise.

Psalm 149:3 ESV

Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!

Ecclesiastes 3:4 ESV

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.

Psalm 30:11 ESV

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness.

This article and photo appeared in the April 2016 issue of The Mount Christian Magazine. To subscribe go to http://www.mt-ararat.org/2015-04-30-15-47-47/the-mount-magazine.

Michelle D. Jackson is author of The Heart of a Man, a Christian novel and Founder of The Charity Supper Club, a program designed to raise money to benefit local charities and families in need.

 

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OMG! Obedience. Mercy. Grace.

Check out my article in the Nov. Issue of The Mount Christian Magazine.

Check out my article in the Nov. Issue of The Mount Christian Magazine.

To view the complete November issue of The Mount Christian Magazine, go to
http://mt-ararat.org/images/MtMag_November2014.pdf http://wp.me/p4xDb7-39

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