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Tuesday, September 08 2015

Dear Friends:

Last week I focused on forgiving anyone who offends you. Remember forgiveness is about setting us free! If we choose not to forgive, then we stay chained to the very thing or person that hurt us. God commands us to forgive because it’s good for our health. But let’s be clear, forgiveness does not necessarily mean reconciliation or the continuation of the relationship.  I am speaking to all relationships, not just the romantic kind, but also your friends and family members as well. Every one of them is important, and requires love and attention.

This is what truth Pastor Rick Warren says about truth of forgiveness:  “Let me explain what forgiveness is not. Forgiveness does not mean the instant restoration of trust. Forgiveness is instant. Trust must be rebuilt over time. Forgiveness is based on grace. Trust is built on works. You earn trust. You don’t earn forgiveness.

You get the picture? Forgiveness can always be given and needs to be for your own health (not to mention for the Body of Christ). This is often the first step, but it is distinct from the actual rebuilding of a relationship. That depends on two people. The other person involved needs to take responsibility for their part and be willing to put action towards doing what is necessary to repair the breech. However, there are some folks in our lives that will not want to change, and no cajoling, sweet-talking or manipulating from you will change that.  ONLY God knows that heart (1 Kings 8:38-39). There are some instances in which the best course of action is separation. This may be needed or advisable when there are unhealthy boundaries, abuse, or unrepentant hearts.

If you are in a situation where you have forgiven, but nothing appears to be changing in the relationship, then, together with a counselor or accountability partner, sincerely seek God’s face and His word to see how to proceed. Is reconciliation possible? In our ‘quick fix’ society we often jump to the conclusion that they are not. We need to take the time to honestly allow God to search our own hearts; seek wisdom and through the power of the Holy Spirit, hear God’s heart and listen to His guidance regarding the relationship. Then, and only then, will you be able to determine whether the relationship can be salvaged. Leave the outcome of the relationship to God.

So forgive. It is that simple. No matter the outcome, we can leave a legacy of peace through forgiveness. And this, my friend, is only dependent on our own obedience to the word of God. His ways are best! Obey and be blessed!

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18

Blessings~
Angel

Posted by: Angel H Davis AT 10:43 am   |  Permalink   |  Email

Benefits of Weariness

 

WOW! How weary I am. And so are many of you. I know because I hear your cries: in my office, on the phone, online, in church, at the grocery store, you name it! So much of what I hear from people today is about how tired, weary, and worn-out they feel.

Then again, you may not feel weary;  instead you may feel anxious, depressed, scared, lonely, angry, or any mixture of these emotions. Perhaps these are more your prominent feelings.

 

However you may feel, it’s too easy to look for the source or to find blame: social media; busy schedules; technology; work/family demands; the causes are endless. Of course, these have validity, and we can certainly manage them in more appropriate and successful ways.

 

Yet, as I sit with God today, in my quiet time, and look over my journals, what I see is the benefit of weariness—the benefit of our broken feelings and situations.

 I see, time and time again, over the years (yes, I am rebellious and slow-learning, and God is very, very patient), God working in me and through me, enabling me to receive His antidote to this tough life and all of its problems. 

 

It is so simple; and yet it is so hard.

 

It is HIM: Jesus; always more of Him.

 

“But,” you say, “Angel, I have to know what to do with my children,” or, “Angel, these bills are piling up,” or, “Angel, you don’t have a CLUE of how bad it really is.”

 

And I will say, “You are right, I don’t. And you are correct, these things need to be taken care of.” 

 

BUT FIRST, we have a larger need. Oh, the catch is it doesn’t appear like the larger need. Our core need, before bills, children, purpose in life, change in our feelings, is to be convinced, truly convinced and accepting of God’s love for us and our identity as His children.

 

And your heart and head may rebel like mine did.

 

“BUT, I need to know the answer to my problem.” 

And Jesus says:

“I am the answer.”

“I am so tired.”

And Jesus says:

“I know. Let me restore you.”

“I am afraid.”

And Jesus says:

“I know, and my love will take care of that.”

 

That just doesn’t seem like much; doesn’t seem like enough, when we are about to be evicted or our kids are in harm’s way. That support just doesn’t seem practical enough for our human brains to rest on.

 

Perhaps then we’ve hit on the real source or problem of our weariness: ourselves. You and me believing that if we work hard enough, try enough, worry enough, take enough time to figure it out, talk enough to that person, ignore it long enough—whatever your “enough” is—WE can fix it. The true problem is that it’s all about US!

 

We want to stay in the driver’s seat and be our own savior. Or we look to other humans to be that for us. If we believe our answer lies in us or other humans, we are likely to stay in that “out of control” anxious space, and the weariness or depression or addictions are bound to take over. There can only be one driver in our car of life.

 

The benefit of our struggle is to be wooed into the true solution. Life’s struggles are an invitation to know God more intimately. As we allow Jesus, who is ALIVE, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, to become more real for us, more tangible, as we take Him at His word (Hebrews 13:5), as we choose to focus on Him and His promises, instead of the problems or feelings we are having, then we start to experience the reality of His presence with us.  With this, we begin to experience the peace He promises.


Why? Because our problems have been solved? The bills have all been paid? The feelings change?


NO…  peace comes from HIS presence. And in that place of peace we can see clearer, hear more accurately, and receive wisdom and direction.

 

As we “bend our knee” to Jesus’ love, dare to take Him at His word (John 3:16), choose to look to Him and depend on Him, and keep (John 17) depending on Him, then His life-blood starts to flow through us. It revives us, directs us, and transforms our thinking and feelings. Then life and all of its troubles, which are many (John 16:33), become manageable, doable.

 

Breath comes; rest comes; peace comes.

 

In this place new life springs forth. New ideas emerge and joy is eventually restored.

 

Struggling today? Rejoice in it, because it is calling you back home. Home to His heart of love (Romans 8:38-39), the place of true peace and rest. 

1020 Barber Creek Drive, Suite 203, Watkinsville, GA 30677  ///  706.543.7012  ///  info@angelhdavis.com

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