Sometimes when we’ve been in a painful season it can be difficult to embrace the new season of healing and restoration that God has ushered us into. It can be scary to trust our new reality because we fear getting our hopes up will lead to greater disappointment and pain. We are already adjusted to the pain we experienced before and we don’t want to open ourselves up to a new onset of it. But God does not want us to be consumed by hopelessness😔, fear😳, depression😞and anxiety😧. He does not want us to be in a constant state of waiting for the other shoe to drop.
When God gives us beauty🦋 for our ashes he wants us to embrace, enjoy and be grateful for it!
We have to fight the fight of faith and ask for God’s help in viewing our season with a fresh set of hopeful, light-filled& optimistic eyes. The old season and pain may have clouded our perception. But God is faithful to shine light in the darkness. God understands our hesitancy to believe we are in a new season. Thankfully God is faithful to hold our hand during our process of growing in our trust of him and what he is doing.
Father God thank you for my new season. Thank you for turning my weeping into joy. Your word says, “Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy” – Psalm 126:5. Thank you for the wisdom you imparted unto me during my old season. Please help me to use the new wisdom you gave me to help others. Let the pain of the past be a tool of ministry and a weapon against the enemy’s kingdom. Please help me to perceive my new season the way you do God with joy, excitement and hopeful expectation. Help me to trust you and what you are doing more and more. I love you and I thank you and it is in Jesus name that I pray Amen!
– Latoya Williams 🦋
If you are interested here👇🏾 is a previous devotional titled, “Jesus: The Unlimited Source of Healing”
1.I love you, LORD; you are my strength. 2.The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.
I don’t know about you, but I have been guilty of finding my strength and security in the presence & approval of others. I wrongly viewed others as my source of security, joy, peace, and well-being. But God in his loving kindness, led me through a difficult season to shake the scales from my eyes. He showed me that I was engaging in idolatry. For he is my true source of security, provision, joy, and well-being. Yet at that time I unwisely had all my trust and dependence placed on others.
God is the one who created me and who has been keeping me all my life. The people I idolized were not my source of sustenance. He is the one who never left or forsook me. God showed me that he has everything I need, and I need to depend on him as my true source. As I began to place more of my trust in God as my source. My peace, confidence, joy, and soundness of mind increased. I’m continuing to grow in trusting him more and more each day and as a result, my intimacy with him and appreciation for him is deepening. My soul is getting healthier as I trust and depend on our father more and more.
Just as God is my source, he is your source as well. He has been keeping you, providing for you and he longs to give you the continual care your soul needs. God is a source that you can trust for he is good, faithful and he never changes. Father God loves his children and listens to their cries. If you struggle with idolatry in the form of codependence, approval addiction and people -pleasing be encouraged because your struggles will NOT get the last laugh! Our father is the Most High God and he has all power and desire to set you free and heal any unhealthy mindsets that blocks him from being first in your life. Our father is so patient and kind he will hold your hand as he walks you through the process of mind renewal and soul correction you need.
Give praise to God for he can set you free and your experience can become a beautiful testimony for others to be encouraged your struggles will NOT get the last laugh! Our father is the Most High God and he has all power and desire to set you free and heal any unhealthy mindsets that blocks him from being first in your life. Our father is so patient and kind he will hold your hand as he walks you through the process of mind renewal and soul correction you need. Give praise to God for he can set you free and your experience can become a beautiful testimony for others to be encouraged by.
Thank you, God, for being a father who loves his children. I bless you for being a father who longs to set your children free from all that holds them back from becoming all you destined for them to become. Thank you for always being there for me, protecting me and providing for me. You were gracious towards me even during my seasons of rebellion towards you. Father God please help me to trust and depend on you more and more each day. Please forgive and heal me of any idolatry I engaged in. Help me to see you as my ultimate and true source. I pray that my life will be a living testimony and testament of your goodness and mercy. I thank you and I love you and it is in Jesus name that I pray Amen!
– Latoya Williams
If you would like to read more about God being our source check out the ,”Jesus the Unlimited Source of Healing Devotional” just click on the link below👇🏾
Can you imagine what it must have felt like to be one of the disabled individuals who sat at the pool of Bethesda? To have all of your hope of receiving healing dependent on you outrunning another fellow hurting individual to get in the pool first. The man who laid at the pool for 38 years spent decades watching other people get ahead of him and receive what he so desperately wanted but failed to retrieve. I imagine it was frustrating and heartbreaking to watch his hope get crushed time and time again. But then in steps Jesus who just in one encounter healed and changed the man’s life forever.
Jesus is An Abundant Source
In one encounter Jesus shows the man and the others who witnessed the transformation that he is the ultimate source of healing. Jesus is also an unlimited source of healing. His children do not have to compete with each other to experience his healing presence. Jesus also limitlessly possess and provide mercy, forgiveness, wisdom, creativity and resources. He has everything we need and he is gracious to give us what we need according to his glorious riches and his perfect will.
19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 NIV
Prayer Thank you, Lord, that we do not have to place our hope for healing, restoration & redemption in a limited source like the pool of Bethesda. We do not have to compete or fight our way to gain access to you, our true source of healing. By Jesus’s sacrifice upon the cross, we can freely gain access to your healing presence. You are an abundant source who can supply healing, provision, grace and mercy to all of your children. When you supply healing and resources to some of your children, you still have abundantly more to provide to your other children as well. We don’t have to be envious or discouraged by another’s healing success. Because their success does not decrease your ability to bless us with our own God ordained success. We thank you and we love you! It’s in Jesus name that we pray Amen!
I have been blessed with the opportunity to invest in business mentorship. Investing in mentorship has been one of the greatest decisions I have ever made. My mentorship transcended a purely business relationship and developed into a friendship in which we both encourage each other in the faith and I still highly respect and regard her as a mentor. At the beginning of the mentoring process my mentor Karen directed me to determine my “why”. She instructed me to reflect on why I wanted to start a business. My why encompasses the reasons why I desire to have a business and what I want to accomplish. She taught me that my why serves as my motivation and the foundation of my business. Karen shared that having a strong “why” will give me the boost I need to continue in my business endeavor especially when times get rocky. She also taught me the importance of knowing my “who”. My “who” encompasses the segment of population in which I want to reach/serve/ impact. While reading Romans 15 the topic of “why and who” came to mind. In Romans 15:15-21 Paul clearly discusses his “why and who” for his ministry.
15 Yet I have written you quite boldly on some points to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me 16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. He gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
17 Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. 18 I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done— 19 by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ. 20 It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation. 21 Rather, as it is written:
“Those who were not told about him will see,
and those who have not heard will understand.”
Paul shared that he was a minister called by God to serve the gentile population (who) by sharing the gospel with them. Paul proclaimed the gospel with the gentiles so, “that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.” (Why)
What are your God given talents?
Who can you serve/bless/positively impact with your talents?
What is your “why”?
If we are unsure of who we are and who God called us to be and what he has gifted us to do if we aren’t careful we may find ourselves either living aimlessly in a field that we are not graced to be in and miserable, stagnant not doing anything at all or constantly jumping from one field to the next desperately trying to fill the void that only God’s purposefulness can fill. God is our creator he knows what he has called and designed us to do so if we find that we are loss, we can cry out to him. If you are not sure of your “who” and “why” do not be discouraged. Pray to God and ask him to reveal your who and why to you and do your best to do well in the field you are currently in. Where you are at right now may not feel fulfilling or very meaningful but if you keep God first and follow his directions, he will use the experience you are accumulating now for your good. Where you are right now can help you learn some important principles and lessons that can serve you well in the future.
Father God Thank you for the breath of life you breathed into my body. Thank you for being mindful of me and loving me enough to give me a beautiful purpose that glorifies you and blesses my fellow sisters and brothers in Christ. Thank you, Lord, for being the ultimate strategist who knows every little detail of my life and can work all of it out for good in the end. I pray that your “Will” will be accomplished in my life and that I will serve you and others well in whatever capacity you have designed and called me for. I pray that you will give me clarity, insight, patience and gratitude concerning the purpose you have for me. Give me the courage and gumption I need to keep moving forward and giving my best even when I feel unsure or discouraged about my purpose. Please help me to develop a heart that yearns to use the talents you have given me for your glory and others’ good. Father forgive me for the times I have been selfish and prideful with the gifts you have given me. I praise you for you are great and there is no other like you in all the earth Amen.
My family and I recently had the opportunity to stay in a cabin in the mountains of Pigeon Forge, TN. While outside of our cabin I noticed the cabins to the left and right of us. I saw that the foundations of the cabins were built on a large slab of cement blocks. The cabins’ foundation reminded me of the parable of the wise and the foolish builders found in Matthew 7:24-27.
Jesus proclaimed, “24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.
26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.
27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
In the parable Jesus invites us to evaluate and consider the foundation on which we have built our lives. Our lives are a sum total of our decisions, God’s grace, mercy and sovereignty. Are we basing our decisions on the rock of God’s word and his Holy spirit or on the sands of the world and our ever-changing emotions?
If we find ourselves making decisions and emoting based on our current sensory input and or the input from the world we can end up making decisions that lead us unto paths we do not want to be on. We will also find that making decisions based on our unstable emotions result in an unstable life. Jesus teaches us that if we make the decision to take heed to his words and live them out we will be like the wise builder whose house was built on the rock. The house built on the rock could withstand the harsh elements. If we choose to build a life on the rock of Christ he will empower us to withstand and even flourish during turbulent times.
Questions to reflect on
What are you building your life on?
Do you make decisions largely based on emotions or on the stable wisdom of God’s word?
Is your life in alignment with God’s word and direction?
What is your life’s mission?
Is your life’s mission in alignment with God’s purpose for your life?
How can your life serve as a light in this world?
What can you do today to progress in attaining your goals?
Webster defines Vanity as. “inflated pride in oneself or one’s appearance”.We may not hear the word vanity much today, but it is a very real and pervasive problem in today’s society. We are encouraged to take pride in ourselves and our appearance. Self-care is important but self-preoccupation is idolatrous. Looking good on the outside is nice but it should not be the ultimate priority for a Jesus follower. The ultimate priority for Christians ought to be fulfilling the greatest commandments which, according to Jesus are to, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and to love your neighbor as yourself” Matthew 22:37-39. Vanity, self-exaltation, self-preoccupation and self-centeredness is idolatrous and is rooted in ungodly pride.
Unfortunately, Vanity is not exclusive to the secular world it also operated in some churches. Before Covid it was not uncommon for many church attendees to treat Church like a fashion show especially during Easter. I’m guilty of it myself. I think it is proper to dress nice and modestly if possible out of honor to the house of the Lord and our fellow sisters and brothers in Christ but our fashion should not be the ultimate priority when preparing ourselves to worship our heavenly Father and fellowship with our Christian brothers and sisters.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to look nice outwardly but we need to be mindful that having the latest fashions, make up and jewelry does not make us truly beautiful. True beauty is Godliness. The best beauty treatments we can undergo are spending time with God, studying his word, worshipping him and loving others. We have to be careful to not allow the temptations of vanity to creep in and flourish in our hearts and attitudes. We all know that someone can be gorgeous on the outside yet ugly on the inside. But how much effort do we place on our inward beautification? Some of us may spend hours on our outward appearance and just a few mins with the soul healing, sanctifying/beautifying word and presence of God.
Let’s spend more time on our spiritual/true beauty than our physical one.
May we not be puffed up in pride or slumped down low due to our outward appearance
Let us be ever mindful that true beauty lies within our Godliness.
May we not treat our outward appearance as a means to compete with or “outdo” other women.
May we find our value in God and not our outward appearance.
Let us not succumb to the temptation to be consumed by how we look.
May we be so inwardly beautiful that we operate as a safe space for people especially other women who are hurting.
Let the adorning of ourselves be an expression that complements us but ultimately glorifies God.
Let us have a beauty that glorifies God and heals other.
By God’s grace may we not be desperate to try to measure up to the world’s standard of beauty.
Father God thank you for your grace and mercy please forgive and heals us of any vanity within. When vanity tries to rear its ugly head and tempt us to be overly consumed about our outward appearance please lovingly remind us to turn our gaze back to you father for you are the most beautiful one and you are the one who has the ability to give us true beauty. Please help us to base our identity and self-worth in you and not our outward appearance and please help us to see ourselves and others the way that you do. Father God please help us to not be puffed up in pride about our outward beauty. Please help us to be more concerned with our inward beauty than our outward one. May our inner and true beauty shine in such a way that you are glorified, and the people around us are blessed and loved by you through us.
1 Peter 3:3-4
3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.
4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight
1 Samuel 16:7
7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
1 Timothy 2:9-10
9 I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes,
10 but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Oxford dictionary defines Gossip as, “Casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true.” Sadly, gossiping is normal and encouraged in today’s society. There are websites, TV shows and magazines centralized and based on gossiping. The advent and use of social media make finding gossip content even easier. It can actually feel good to gossip. Because it gives us the chance to stop focusing on what may be broken in our own lives and magnify the dysfunction going on in the lives of others. Gossiping can give us a false sense of superiority. Gossiping can make us feel as though our life isn’t as “messed up” as others. For a temporary moment we may feel as though our life, decision- making and circumstances are superior to that of who we gossip about.
Reasons why we talk about others
There are multiple reasons why we may engage in gossiping. We may indulge in gossiping because we feel insecure and talking negatively about others make us feel better about ourselves. If we’ve been hurt by someone, gossiping about them and negatively influencing others perspective of the offender may help us feel vindicated and our feelings validated. There are also times in which we may engage in gossiping because we are bored, idle and not engaged enough in our own lives.
Celebrity gossip is just as bad
I used to be notorious for consuming celebrity gossip. I used to literally start my day by visiting celebrity gossip websites. How sad was that. You could name me a celebrity and I could sprout off all the current “news” about them. I thought the fact that I was gossiping about celebrities was harmless. Because we didn’t know each other personally and they would never know what I said about them. It is true that they didn’t find out what I said and my words did not significantly hurt their careers. But I was surely stunting my own growth. I wasted a lot of time focusing and reading about the lives of celebrities. I could’ve used that time to study the word of God, help someone and prepare for my future.
When presented with the opportunity to engage in gossiping, we have to decide do we want to, “waste our time or speak life, mind our own business and grow”
Father God please forgive me for the times I engaged in gossiping. Please show me the root of why I felt and or feel the need to gossip (insecurity, boredom, anger, hurt etc). Once the root of my desire to gossip is revealed, I pray that you will uproot it, give me the grace to face and address my inner brokenness and heal me for my sanctification and your glory Amen.
1 Timothy 5:13 (ESV)
Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not.
Proverbs 18:7-8 (NIV)
The mouths of fools are their undoing, and their lips are a snare to their very lives. The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts.
One morning before taking my little ones to school I was fixing their breakfast as usual and my daughter who is 5 approached me and asked for a Danimals yogurt. She and my older son age 4 love Danimals yogurt. I told her she would receive a yogurt in just a moment after I finished preparing her breakfast. Immediately after I gave her my answer she got upset. I asked her if she listened to what I said. I repeated that I was going to give her the yogurt when I was finished preparing her breakfast. I informed her that I was going to give her a yogurt, so there was no need to get upset but she rebutted with ” aww I waited too long “. She only had to wait for approximately 4 mins but to her it was an eternity. I have a greater insight into the concept of time, so I knew in reality she only waited a short while. She was not interested in the fact that I was preparing her a nutritious breakfast that would sustain her and help her to grow. All she was concerned about in that moment was retrieving her yummy yogurt treat.Our interaction reminded me of how we interact with God sometimes. There are times we may bemoan God’s process of maturity for our lives and demand our desired outcome/treat now! We want dessert (our version of success) before or without ever having our nutrition (time of development). Successes are fun and can give us a spark of joy and they are a blessing, but they hardly provide us with the nutrition we need to be sustained and to grow. Our time of Godly development will produce fruit that will long outlast the fruition of our goals coming to pass.
You may be at a place in life in which you feel stuck in a rut or that you are not progressing as much and as fast as you desire but be encouraged. As long as you hold on to God’s unchanging hand and follow his guidance you will reach the expected end, he has for you in his perfect timing. It may feel like it is taking forever but God has a deeper insight into the concept of time, and he knows that our time of waiting is but for a short while in light of eternity. Even though it may not feel like it, the time spent in development is a loving blessing from God. God’s maturation process will help us grow more into the beautiful image of his son Jesus Christ which is far more valuable than any earthly good or experience.
Philippians 1:6 (NLT)
And I am certain that God, who began the good work
within you, will continue his work until it is finally
finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
Psalm 92:12-15 (NIV)
12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; 13 planted in the house of the Lord,
they will flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They will still bear fruit in old age,
they will stay fresh and green, 15 proclaiming, “The Lord is upright;
he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”
Thank you, Lord for gifting us with your appointed time of development. Please give us the grace to be hopeful, patient and compliant while you prepare us for your ordained purpose for our lives.
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