Survival Secret #2: God Will Never Abandon You!

Survival Secret #4: Keep Your Eyes on Jesus!

Part 4 of 6 Survival Secrets to Successfully Battling the Storm

By: Elizabeth L. Creecy

The world’s philosophy is, “What can’t be cured must be endured.” But Paul radiantly testifies, “What can’t be cured can be enjoyed. I enjoy weakness, sufferings, privations, and difficulties.” So wonderful did he prove God’s grace to be, that he even welcomed fresh occasions of drawing upon its fullness. “I gladly glory … I even enjoy—my thorn.”

– J. Oswald Sanders

Last week I wrote about how our Heavenly Father WANTS to rescue you! He wants to save you and bring you home to Him. As I said last week, when we find ourselves in a storm, it can be pretty easy and natural for us to focus on the storm’s lack, hopelessness, fear, unknown, and discomfort. (Note these are all our senses – our carnal mind, not the mind of Christ which we have).

 Many times, that is what the devil tries to do. He sells you antichrist thoughts for you to believe against God’s Words, which makes it antichrist. These thoughts and sensations feel very real because that is how the devil tempts you – through your carnal mind and five senses. It is incredibly easy for one to be swayed by what he/she sees and feels when walking through a hard time.

Remember, the devil knows how to stir you up. He’s watched you and learned about you. But, our God is bigger than the devil! Our God reminds us His Armor is what protects us from the devil’s schemes.  

Our Father knows the intense difficulty all believers will face on this earth. He knows that believers will face suffering and persecution because Jesus faced it too.

If you think you are better or more significant than Jesus, well, I’m here to tell you, you are not. Since the Father knew that we would live in and face an evil world dominated by evil spirits, He has provided us Jesus’ authority and many verses throughout the Bible that says He, our Heavenly Father, will NEVER leave you, abandon you, nor forsake you!

You must understand that in Christ, you have the greatest riches, gift, possession, and survival raft ever created. What is it, you ask? It is possessing Jesus who promises I will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)! This verse indicates the impossibility of Christ deserting His own.

Part of what Hebrews 13:5 is telling us is that we must learn to be content with who we have, what we have, and where we are – even in the midst of the storm. Now, many of you will first think of your material possessions before you think of your relationship with Christ. As a believer in Jesus Christ who is not from this world, you must understand and have the revelation that God’s sufficiency for your needs is all you need. If you don’t have this revelation yet, that’s okay. Keep praying and asking the Holy Spirit to reveal this to you. It’s like what Jesus says in Matthews 7:7:

Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you (NLT).

Sometimes we call God a liar – unintentionally, of course. How do we do this? Usually, it’s through our actions and how we are responding during a storm. It can be easy to agree with God when things are going well in your life, but it can be an entirely new story when things are unstable in your life. I can’t speak for you, but when the Holy Spirit convicts me for thinking, doing, or believing that God is a liar, it goes to my bones. I immediately repent and consciously pay better attention, so I don’t fall into such a trap again – at least in the same area where I was convicted.

For instance, some Christians who focus on accumulating money or who may struggle with Fear of Poverty may be saying through their actions that God cannot take care of them the way they want. Yet, the Word clearly says,

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus 

(Philippians 4:19 NKJV).

Now yes, this promise is in congruence with the description of a believer’s faithful stewardship. In other words, if a believer has given their material resources to God, even to the point where the individual’s livelihood was endangered. God would supply their every need.

You see God’s asking every believer to walk in faith, not sight. The Father wants you to put your COMPLETE trust in Him. Now, He also understands it’s going to take time. That’s okay. If you are a babe, toddler, kid, teenager, young adult, or adult in Christ, you can always ask God to help grow you to fully and completely trust Him. But you have your part of doing as well. Faith without works is dead (James 2:26).

It’s incredibly easy to take Philippians 4:19 out of context and use it to soften the Christian walk. Especially for the Christians who are squandering their money on themselves with seldom thought for the work of God. Remember, God’s about servant leadership and sacrificial love. Yes, in a general sense, God will supply His people’s needs; however, Philippians 4:19 is a specific promise to those who are faithful and devoted in their giving to Christ, will never suffer lack. Another reason, for you to rely on God, not yourself or what the world says! Let me ask you, are you using your resources and materials to glorify the Father or yourself?

Yes, you have a part in all of this. God gave you free will, and He’s going to respect it. You have your work, where God has called you to be obedient, and God has His work; you can trust Him to do it because He cannot lie nor change (Hebrews 6:18).

Here’s the thing though, feeling rich, poor, anxious, insecure, hopeless, or fearful can cause you to fall for the lie to love money, which in turn can cause you to lack compassion for others and fall off God’s track for you. Trusting in God to meet ALL your needs will dissolve and wash away all contentment, and isn’t that the scariest part of all storms? You feel like something terrible is going to get in the way? Do you feel like God will not help you? Or maybe you worry God will not come in time!?

God’s ways are perfect (Ps. 18:30). You can trust Him to do what He promises! Below is a sampling of things God promises when you are in a storm:

  • Do not fear for God will strengthen me and help me (Isaiah 41:10)
  • The Lord is good, a STRONG refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him, (Nahum 1:7)
  • The Lord is my light, my salvation, and the strength of my life; who should I be afraid of? (Psalm 27:1) With such protection, I need not be afraid of anyone or anything!
  • Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27).

Psalm 22:55 tells us to Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. This verse tells us that in times of trouble, the best course is not to run away from the storm but to cast the burden of the storm(s) on the LORD. It’s like I said above; God wants to do more for you than you may realize. He really does want to do all the heavy lifting! All you have to do is trust Him, stay obedient, and do what He says! Psalm 22:55 is telling us that God is requesting us to now and forever permit Him to bear the burden of our cares! Let God have it! It doesn’t matter if you understand or can even see how God can fix the situation. It’s not about you; it’s about Him.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths!

Are you letting God direct your paths? Or are you fighting God for control because you are afraid and don’t believe He has you?

Sometimes it can be encouraging to remember that not even Apostle Paul’s prayers were answered the way he hoped! God said to Paul; I will not remove the thorn, but I will do something better!! I will give you the grace to bear it. Paul, I’m going to provide you with what you need most deeply. Paul wanted God’s power and strength to accompany him during his preaching, and God saw the best way to give that to Paul was to keep him in a place of weakness. As humans, we can easily buy the lie that our life on earth needs to be easy, comfortable, and effortless.

I know it might be difficult for our human brains to comprehend what God told Paul and tell us with this verse below, but it is better than you may think.

And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me (2 Cor. 12:9 NKJV).

You see, God is telling us the companionship of the Son of God inside us, and the assurance of Jesus’ strength and grace is better than the removal of trials and suffering! It really comes down to where you are going to put your attention and how you will choose to show up! Never is God upset that you may be afraid or have a concern. He gets upset when we allow that fear to control us and stop us.

We see this with Paul. Instead of Paul grumbling and complaining about the thorn, he would rather boast in his infirmities. He would get down on his knees and thank the Lord for them. Paul would gladly endure them only if the power of Christ may rest upon him, which Jesus did!

You have to remember, like Paul, to be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6 NKJV).

Express thanks to God, by praising Him and trusting that He will meet all your needs when you are obedient and faithful to Him. If He doesn’t answer your prayer like Paul, then rejoice and allow God’s grace to be enough for you! The Father will meet you where you are! He wants to do more of the work for you anyways. He needs an open and soft heart.  

As we close this survival tip, let me ask you: 

What do you need to start or stop doing to believe that your God is with you wherever you go?
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4 NKJV).

Prayer: Father God, thank You for always being with me. Thank You for never leaving me. Father, help me to keep my eyes on Your grace in the midst of a storm. Give me the strength to always glorify You. Help me to trust You and not to lean on my own understandings. Father, I acknowledge I may not always understand why I am walking through a storm, but I know I can always trust You. I ask you to help me understand Your plan for my life. I thank You for redirecting me and establishing my steps. Father, I give You all of me and my life. I ask that You do Your will in every aspect of my life, and I thank You for your love, gifts, and grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Survival Secrets #1: THE FATHER WANTS TO RESCUE YOU!

Survival Secret #1: The Father Wants to Rescue You!

Part 1 of 6 Survival Secrets to Successfully Battling the Storm

By: Elizabeth L. Creecy

"He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm"

Matthew 8:26

Have you ever found yourself in a difficult season? Maybe it was with someone you love? Perhaps it was your career? Or perhaps you just felt the world was against you!

Whatever the situation was, did you feel overwhelmed and full of anxiety, stress, worry, or fear? Or worse, did you feel hopeless and contemplated giving up? 

Maybe you saw the storm slowly come upon you. Or perhaps you all of a sudden woke up in the middle of it. Whatever your situation was, were you also frustrated, confused, and annoyed at how this could happen? Were you wondering where God was?

I get it. I have been there too. It’s easy to focus on the problem. However, God doesn’t want us to focus on the negativity in the problem or even the problem itself; but on the opportunity for God to be glorified. 

I am very comforted when I read in the Bible how trials, problems, and hardships are great opportunities. I know, I know, I know what you are thinking. ….But I don’t want any problems; I want to live a simple life. Amen, I get it, but unfortunately, we live in a fallen world. Plus, without trials, what would grow your character? Your faith? Your endurance? 

Check out what the Bible says about trials:

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while 
(1 Peter 1:6).
 
No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields a harvest of righteousness and peace to those who have been trained by it 
(Hebrews 12:11).
 
For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil 
(1 Peter 3:17).

Wow, look at all that hope! 🤩 God is saying this storm that seems too much for you is only temporary. It will end. One of the biggest lies most humans believe or start doing is that they see the issue carnally instead of spiritually. I know I fall into this. I go by only what I can see, but that is not faith! For we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Cor 5:7). It’s like what 1 Peter 3:17 says, you might be suffering for doing what is right, but the world won’t like that. Let that sink in for a second!

It’s so easy to forget this truth: Satan is the king of this world (2 Cor. 4:4)! If God didn’t allow us to go through these trials, I think we would be more inclined to appease and feed our selfish desires. We would fall back into the ways of the world instead of renewing our minds to the Word of God. Part of surviving the storm is having a godly or Jesus-like mindset. I’m not sure about you, but trials help me grow closer to God. My problems help me to remember how blessed I am. Yes, it’s easier said than done. I haven’t arrived, but each trial is becoming easier and easier, especially when I ask God to do what He wants with it. 

Well, if this is resonating, keep reading! I will discuss the top six things you can do to successfully navigate the storm over the next few weeks. You must understand that you cannot survive if you don’t entirely give it to Jesus. Jesus is the answer. He is the way! Follow Him.

Get ready to learn how to successfully survive the storm over the next 5 weeks. Let’s start with SURVIVAL SECRET #1: THE FATHER WANTS TO RESCUE YOU! 

First off, difficult seasons can be trying for anyone, but we have a Father that loves us. He gave Jesus for you. That is saying something huge. Imagine giving your child up for humanity.

It can be pretty simple to forget that truth – or worse – feel absent from God. Please remember, the Father sees you as worth saving. The Father wants to go out of His way to keep you. You are the apple of His eye. You are engraved on the palms of God’s hands (Isaiah 49:16).

God loves you so much that He is going to look for you. Jesus talks about this truth in Luke 15.

3 So Jesus told them this story: 4 “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. 6 When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away (Luke 15:3-7 NLT)!

Jesus explained how the Father would instead leave 99 sheep to search for you if that means you are safe. We both know you are the safest with Jesus. God is willing to leave the sheepfold because He knows the sheepfold are safe, whereas when you leave the sheepfold, you are in danger. God does NOT want you in danger ever. That is why He sent Jesus – to save us. Why would He leave the 99 for you? Because that is how important you are to Him. You are HIGH VALUE to the Father. That’s something you can remember to tell the enemy off too! Can you say? 🥳  WINNING WITH JESUS?!?!🥰. 🎉

God loves each one of His sheep so very much that He is always willing to seek out each one of us when we get lost. When He finds you, He will rejoice! With this parable, the big picture lesson is that there is joy in heaven over one sinner who repents. Joy happens when just ONE sinner repents! WOW! 

When you get swept in the storm, and Jesus needs to come and rescue you, there is probably something you need to repent. It’s okay. Do it and move on.  

Jesus understands how important it is to diligently search for the lost one. Not only does scripture say this, but I have experienced it myself. When storms come, and I allow myself to be washed away by them, Jesus has ALWAYS come searching after me. My experience with being storm chum🦈  has also taught me that there was usually some lie I bought or something I needed to repent. The cool part is the Holy Spirit always gently but with authority shows me where I was wrong and acted with evil. When God and I reconnect, He embraces me and reminds me of the truth – that He loves me and is for me! He then reminds me I can trust Him. You know what, if I am honest with myself, Jesus has always come through! 🙏🏼

If you are a bit like me, sometimes you are too consumed by your carnal sight to remember God’s truths. That’s okay. Recognize, Repent, Recalibrate and Receive God’s forgiveness. I have learned that sometimes the Unloving Spirit will try to trip me up again. I have to stay alert and sober, just like 1 Peter 5:8 says. 

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

One of the devil’s most excellent tactics is to pervert the truth. Perhaps an Unloving Spirit is trying to convince you, you are worthless. Maybe that Spirit is trying to tell you how crappy you are, and you will never amount to anything. All the Unloving Spirit wants to do is make you believe you aren’t worth loving and that you are absolutely unlovable. The Spirit wants you to consider the lie that God doesn’t care about you and that He would never care about you! Yet, there’s literally an entire Bible that says the complete opposite consistently! 

I am here to remind you today that as “real” as those thoughts can feel, don’t buy them. I know, I know, it can be hard to spot that little serpent. The Unloving Spirit is sneaky. It didn’t matter when the Spirit came in; it just matters that you stop buying those lies and stand up to it in Jesus’ name.

Next time you notice that Unloving Spirit trying to gain control, you stand up to that Spirit and remind them who is boss! Remind the Spirit that you are so important to God 💕 that God gave Jesus for your life. Remind that Spirit that even if you are lost, you can trust that Jesus is coming after you! You tell that Spirit you are made righteous through Christ Jesus. You have to stand up to that Spirit the second you realize it. 

Sometimes, life will go so fast that you won’t notice you were even in that storm. That’s okay. Don’t get mad at yourself. Again, that’s what the devil wants. Learn from it! However, once you repent, God has already forgiven you and forgotten about it. You have to have that same attitude. Let it go!

Part of surviving the storms is to remember that you are so important to God and worth rescuing. He wants to save you. IF you need His help, I encourage you to pray. He hears you! 

PRAYER:  Father God, thank You for loving me so much. Please forgive me on the days I choose not to believe in or see Your love. Help me to remain in Your love and Your truth. Help me rely on You and not be fooled by the devil. Father, give me discernment where I need it and help remind me to focus on You and nothing else. Thank You for saving me and giving me Your mercy. Thank You for forgiving me, and thank You for giving me, Jesus. During every storm, help me to acknowledge You and only You. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

How to Develop Confidence and Trust in the Almighty

How to Develop Confidence & Trust in the Almighty

By: Elizabeth L. Creecy

But the LORD’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken.

— Psalm 33:11 NLT

How well do you trust God? Does your trust in God waver like a boat in a storm? Or does your trust stand firm like a bolder in a tornado?

Trusting God can be tricky – but it doesn’t have to be! I think sometimes people overcomplicate trust by trying to make it something it is not. You first have to understand what godly trust is. The New Oxford American Dictionary (2020) defines trust as: “firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something

I don’t know about you, but I now know I can 100% rely on God.  Even if things don’t happen as I would prefer, I know His ways are perfect (Psalm 18:30). I don’t have to understand it. I just want to understand it. Note the difference. 

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV

However, I know that sometimes I do not have the spiritual maturity to understand what God is doing. Other times I know He will not tell me. I choose to be okay with that. Ultimately, I believe that God is love, and therefore He wants to help me prosper as long as I abide in Him. Praise the Lord, our desires are the same (Psalm 37:4). The more you seek Him, the more your desires will be His desires as well! 

I love how the definition above has the word “truth” in it. Why? Because of what John 8:32 says, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” It’s easier to trust when you know the truth, but who is the truth? Jesus – God’s Word is (John 1:1).

Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth (John 17:17).

Trusting God is also believing in God to keep you safe (Proverbs 29:25). Faith, truth, and trust go hand in hand! If you have faith in God then you will believe God’s word is truth. Once you know the truth (the Word), then it is easier to trust. If you do not get what I am saying, that is okay. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand how to trust God. Sometimes we need a revelation to understand.

How do you develop confidence and trust in the Almighty? It’s simpler than you may think. You make the decision to trust Him and do it.

(This is where Nike’s slogan nails it. JUST DO IT. Don’t think – just do it! Trust God today. Make the decision to do it NOW!This is where God needs your willingness. God respects your free will! The first thing you must do is want to fully and sincerely trust God with all your heart, soul, and mind. That’s step #1 – Make the choice to fully trust God.

Now, you might be thinking, “well, how do I trust God even if I want to?” Great question! You have to get into the Word. You must read the Bible! If you do not know what the truth is, it will be challenging to defeat the lies the enemy will try to sell you. Remember, God is good.

The second thing you must start doing is being 100% truthful to yourself and others. Perhaps this is why the Word encourages disciples of Christ so often to be quick to confess their sins either to the Father and/or to one another (Psalm 38:18; 1 John 1:9; James 5:16).

Your relationship with your own trustworthiness will impact your ability to trust others and God. Think about it. If you are dishonest or lie to others, you will always second guess others because of how you have trained your brain. That is why we are to RENEW our minds to the Word of God (Romans 12:2).

Step #3: Action. Trusting God requires action. The psalmist David spoke many times about how he PUT his trust in God regardless of what was happening around him. David typically said, “I put my trust in You, God…” That means he kept doing it. He kept participating with the truth that he can trust God in everything. I am sure there were days when he had to remind himself every nanosecond to trust God.

At the end of the day, trusting God is the only way!

If you have trauma in your past, it can be harder to trust God, but please don’t confuse the power of God’s trust with humans. God cannot lie (Numbers 23:19), but humans can, and many do. There are plenty of times throughout God’s Word where He reminds you, you can trust Him and that you must! Because trusting God brings mental peace and rest!

“Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.”
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.”

-Psalm 37:4-5

-Proverbs 3:5-6

-Isaiah 26:3-4

Think about it this way. If God is love (1 John 4:8) and love is goodness, beauty, peace, joy, the fruit of the Spirit, and so much more, then trusting God will only bring more goodness into your life! It is easy to trust someone you know who loves you and only wants the best for you. God is incredibly merciful, holy, good, and kind.

Whether you realize it or not, some of you are trusting the devil way more than the Almighty. Any thought that contradicts or goes against the Word of God is an antichrist thought, and it is meant to either kill, steal, or destroy (John 10:10) something from, for, or of you. Trusting God is one of the best things you can do. Trusting God is how you “gain” control of your life. When you can trust God to protect you, redeem the evil done to you, and provide for you, you gain so much more time, peace, and freedom!

Step #4: Never forget that God will always make the wrong things right.

Hebrew 10:30 confirms this: For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” But, there is a catch. For the Father to fulfill His promise, you MUST surrender the ENTIRE situation (150% of it) to Him and not take it back! Do you trust God to make wrong things right?

Please note that while you are trusting God, you will need to have patience and faith. I believe the waiting part is the test – if you will. God cares more about your heart than anything else. God wants to develop your character to be Christ-like. I encourage you to be open, thankful, and grateful for these opportunities because these are the moments where you get to grow! The quote below nails it!

"God is more interested in your character than your comfort. God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy."

– Rick Warren

Step #5: Record the times God has come through for you! Unfortunately, it is easier for humans to remember what people or the Father have not done for them than what they have done for them. Negativity is powerful to the brain because of all the stimulation it creates. It’s so easy to also buy the devil’s lies, who screams, “God doesn’t love you – You cannot trust Him” in moments where you are feeling desperate and praying for God to move.

Yet, when you keep an ongoing list of all that God has done for you, it is easier to trust Him and defeat the enemy. If you are not writing down the dates when God moves in your life, I encourage you to start doing it now. It will help you deepen your trust in God. If you cannot recall any moments of where God has come through for you, I encourage you to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal those moments to you. I promise there are plenty in your life. If you cannot recall them, then fine, take a leap of faith today, create the list and wait patiently for God to move.

Take the step today to choose to trust God in ALL things. Release the lie today that you cannot trust anyone but yourself. Surrender control over to God so you can gain security and control where it counts.

Prayer: Father God, thank you so much for loving me. Thank you for your patience and guidance. I repent for any time I have been dishonest, lied to, or consciously did not trust You or any of your children. I cancel the ground of lying, dishonesty, and having unbelief towards you. I ask you to help renew my mind and heart to trust you in everything. I ask the Holy Spirit to help me to always trust you. Thank you for giving me your Spirit and forgiving me. I love you, Father, and I trust you! In Jesus’ name, Amen.