encouragement

Peace

Peace by Luis Massa Jr

In a time where panic and fear is being consumed by the gallons, and anxiety is stacked in hearts and homes higher than the Empire State building, I am reminded of something that seems to have been left on the shelves in abundant proportions: PEACE! 

As I was scrolling through my Facebook feed the other day and I landed on the picture above by an incredibly gifted, young artist named Luis Massa Jr. In his post, he spoke on how in the times we’re facing right now, we need the peace of Christ. When I saw this piece of art, I was immediately reminded of one of my favorite verses in the bible: John 14:27. In this verse, Jesus specifically tells us of the incredible gift that He is leaving for us: His peace.

“Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.]” John 14:27

He leaves with us, and it’s His perfect peace is what He gives to us. Reading this, it makes me think of how Jesus is the most perfect gift giver. He doesn’t just give us what we want, but He gives us what He knows we will need. He knew we would encounter peace snatchers and havoc shakers all throughout history, so He left us with a treasure that would be unending and able to stand the tests of time. 

The peace He has gifted to us literally means “to have a state of national tranquility that is exempt from rage and havoc of war; it means harmony, security, safety, and prosperity”.

My oh my…what a gift, what a gift. Then He specifically and intentionally continues by telling us that this is not a gift that the world is able to give us. That it is something that can ONLY be gotten from Him. Peace gotten from the world runs out, but the PEACE of God is one that is everlasting, and everflowing like a rapid, waterfall pouring out at the rate at which we need it. And His Peace is the only thing that is able to give us the ability to obey the command that proceeds the gift: “Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid.” 

God did not give us the spirit of fear, which creates bondage, selfishness, fearfulness, cowardness. But He gave us His Spirit that consists of power (miraculous power and strength), love that is charitable and affectionate and soundness of mind.

I was sitting in prayer the other day and Psalms 121 popped into my mind. It starts with I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” In an instant, God spoke to my heart and said: “you have to be willing to look up to Me in order to receive what you are in need of”. In these coming weeks, it will so easy for us to be consumed by looking all-around at the media and news feeds to get the insight and direction and maybe even peace and comfort of what to do. We have been so consumed with the spirit of fear from our horizontal looking at events unfolding in our world, that so many of us have fallen away from a vertical looking to where our True Help comes from.

“But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and He answers me from His holy mountain.” Psalm 3:3-4

Whether it’s doubt, fear, or the uncertainty of what is going to happen, God is willing and able to lift our head up to Him and be a surrounding shield of peace and protection. He desires to be at the center of all things in our lives. He is not surprised by what is happening; he has the remedy to this whole situation but it starts with us looking to him and grabbing a hold of all that He is. So as you go to Him and you allow Him to lift your head, be reminded that as His child when you call Him, He hears the ring in heaven, and picks it up to answer you!

Will you call on Him? I hope so. I pray we all will; with one sound and with one voice, calling out to the King and Creator of the galaxies to forgive our sins, and heal our land.

Blessings,

Arnita Faith

 

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His Love

His Love Image

God is love…

His love is one that is uncanny and unmatched to anything ever seen in all of humanity. It is just, yet graceful; it is stern yet tender; it keeps us in times when we should be let go; it is steady when our choices and habits make the ground of our lives rocky and turbulent. It is patient and kind when we are hasty and disingenuous. It is forgiving and it is willing to walk us through the hurricane winds of unforgiveness that pressure us to discard those that have ushered in the storms of hurt and pain into our lives. It is selfless when we are selfish and self-seeking. It is a healing balm to our wounds that ooze out infectious toxins that debilitate and cripple us from moving forward in our lives.

His love deeply penetrates like a scalpel making an incision for surgery; opening us up to remove what has caused the toxicity within us. His love cleanses us of bitterness, hate, insecurity, confusion, rebellion, hopelessness, brokeness, unrighteousness, emptiness, unforgiveness, pain that was never meant to cause the damage that it did, hurt that was never given to Him to deal with that has lingered within us that’s caused a cancerous-like mass of disdain toward people, situations, and relationships. His love severs roots of old that have tried to choke out our purpose, our dreams, our light, and our wonder from within us. Christ’s love is one that soothes and cleanses like soap and water to a skinned knee; it wipes away the dust and dirt of this world that has sliced into hearts and minds and bandages us up delicately to allow us to heal in such a way that causes us to become better versions of who we were even before we encountered the heavy-handed hit of the world to our lives. 

Oh! How beautiful is this love?! 

He embodies a love so world-renowned that all of mankind is chasing after it but with misinformation of where to find it. So instead of tapping into the Original Spring, we go out and try to find it in broken relationships, turned up bottles, pill concoctions, and hallucinogens that get us off-balanced. We try to find it in titles, affirmations, and validations. We look for it in chasing money, gossip, and in all the “latest and greatest” things. We look for it in the universe, nature, rocks, crystal and good energy. We seek higher powers that don’t talk back to us and lead us only to destruction. And we even turn inwardly to ourselves as our own high power, believing that we know, in our own finite knowledge, what’s best for us.

So we miss it. We miss the opportunity to get to know the love of the One who created us with a purpose in mind. We miss experiencing the purest love that we will ever find. Love that is patient and kind. Love that keeps no record of wrongs, and a love that picks us up when we fall without a condemning grasp. We miss the opportunity to experience a father’s love; our Father, the One and True Creator of the universe, Jesus Christ Himself. 

In Him is the love, joy, peace, strength, and hope we look for in day to day occurrences, but the truth is, there is only one way to experience fulfillment, purpose and the wholeness we are all striving to experience…through getting to know the One who fashioned your days and created each of us with a special, unique design. Experiencing God’s love is the only way to satisfy the hunger in our lives we are so desperately trying to feed. He is the only One that has what it takes to satisfy the appetite of our unending desires. He is waiting for us to come to Him with a simple asking for His love because within Him is all that we need.   

God Bless.

Arnita Faith

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Lord, You Are Welcome

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“I may be broken, But You are welcome, I may need your healing and I say You’re welcome, I know You’re able, In spite how I feel, And I am depending on Your Word reveal, You are welcome” – ‘You Are Welcome’ by Psalmist Raine

We have to let God into our brokenness. From my own experience with this, I know it’s not an easy thing to do because it can cause us to feel open and exposed (like an open cut). But Who better to be open and exposed to than the One who created us?

Years ago, at a women’s conference, I wrote a letter to God. (I wish I still had it, and I may actually go on a hunt for it.) I don’t remember what I wrote to Him, but I do remember the response to it after it was read to those around me. Someone said, “You trust God with your fragility”. I couldn’t fully grasp it then, but it is now a peace that I am continually learning to stand in. God knows how fragile I am. He is hypersensitive to the cracks and missing pieces of my vessel and He is even more aware of how the cracks came about. And I trust Him, in my fragile state, to love me, to cover me, to fill my empty spaces and to still use me as a vessel for His glory.

Our brokenness is not a deterrent for He to come and reside in us. Our brokenness is not a hindrance for He to use us, but instead, our cracked vessel is the perfect place for a full and illuminating God to reside. The image above reflects exactly what I picture in my mind when it comes to the Spirit of God dwelling within our broken vessel. Let me share a secret with you that Christ shared with me, lean in close: it’s in our brokenness that His grace and mercy is able to shine through and light the way for people to come to Him. It’s our brokenness that shows the world that God accepts broken and tattered people. That perfection and wholeness is not the prerequisite for us to be able to come to Him, but instead, it’s a surrendered heart that He desires. And it’s in our brokenness that the Spirit of God is able to shine through and show as the glue that holds us together.

Brokenness doesn’t cause God to push us away, but when we give our broken selves to Him it causes Him to pull us closer. It causes our vulnerabilities to be fully exposed to Him in ways we aren’t aware of and causes Him to spread His blanket of love over us. It opens us up to be able to experience Him as Daddy, as Abba, Father.

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise.” Psalms 51:17 NKJV

Confess your sins before Him. Confess your brokenness to Him and experience His love in ways that are unfathomable. Today, take some time, some real time, to really lay your brokenness down before Him. Pour out your heart withholding nothing from Him, and watch what happens. You are His beautiful broken vessel, pieced together by Him alone.

The song below is one of surrender to God. I pray it becomes your personal confession to God! Lord, You are welcome, have Your way!!!!! 

‘You Are Welcome’ by Psalmist Raine 

I may be broken
But You are welcome
I may need Your healing and I say You’re welcome
(And) I know You’re able
In spite how I feel
And I am depending on Your Word reveal

You are welcome
You are welcome
You are welcome
(Lord) have your way

You are welcome
You are welcome
You are welcome
Have your way

You are welcome
Welcomed in this place God
You are welcome
Welcome into this broken vessel
You are welcome
Now God I give You permission to have Your way
Have your way
(Ayyyyyyy)

You are welcome
Welcomed into my situation Oh God
You are Welcome
Welcomed into my every being
You are welcome
Now I give You permission to please
You are welcome

Video link to the song: Psalmist Raine and The Refresh Live DVD “You Are Welcome” feat. Erick David Townsend

The image and the lyrics above were retrieved from online and I do not own any copyrights to them. The video was retrieved from YouTube and I do not own any copyrights to it.