How do I Know if the Favorable Signs I see are from God?

September 12, 2017

This is a very good question. It sounds like you are seeking God’s will, and that is a good and holy thing to do–it pleases God very much that you seek his ways instead of preferring your own way. So, perhaps the question could also include “How can I know God’s will? and How does God reveal His will?”

The signs you are seeing in your life might be from God, or they might come from you, or they could even be coming from Satan. Where are the signs leading you and how are they making you feel? If signs are coming from God, they will always lead you to things that agree with what God has already told us in scripture. They will lead you to feel enthusiasm for God, love for God and others, joy, and a peacefulness. If you want to do something really badly and you are looking for signs that God agrees, you are likely to find the things you want to do are things that would benefit you rather than drawing you closer to God and desiring to give of yourself to God and others in a sacrificial way. If the signs are from Satan, they will be leading you to actual sin, and you will be aggressive about having whatever it is.

If the signs are pointing you closer to Jesus, leading you to do loving, giving, self-sacrificial things that don’t build ego, then this is probably from God, and you can thank him for the confirmation.

Its also good to talk to a pastor if you are making life decisions.

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Why isn’t Jesus Answering My Prayer

September 12, 2017

 

Jesus hears and answers our prayers in different ways. Many times He says yes. Sometimes he says no. Sometimes he says “I see some things you do not see, and I have a better answer for you. Just wait while I work it out.” That is the answer we are very impatient about, or we think that is no answer at all. Believe me, I am that way myself. So often I pray thinking I know exactly what I need–or what somebody else needs, but I can’t see what Jesus sees. I can’t see the future, and I can’t see how my way of doing things might not be what is needed at all. That is really the issue, I think. I have people in my life I’ve been praying for, for years, and nothing appears to have changed very much. But there is much I do not know, and things may be changing below the surface that I cannot see. One thing I have learned in my long life is this: Jesus is totally trustworthy. He has never let me down–ever. I know one day when I see all He did–those things I can’t see now–I know I will have even more reasons to praise him, thank him, and stand in awe of all he did.

 

I Don’t Want to Live Anymore

September 7, 2017

When you feel there is nothing left to live for, chances are you are in deep depression.  Depression has many things contributing to it. Often there is a physical/chemical component to it that can be corrected. Your primary care provider can help you with this. A medication or medication change is sometimes very helpful.

You might have just been through something very big in your life that has left you feeling depleted. Or you may have had a whole series of major disappointments. If it looks like nothing is ever going to get better–tell yourself that is not true. Its almost always true that things will get better and look better in the future than they do today. Often depression involves believing hopeless, negative thoughts.

You probably desperately need to talk to someone who can answer you in real time–a real person with a real voice. In the U.S. and Canada, the Focus on the Family Help Center has trained counselors available to listen and pray with you, as well as provide initial guidance and resources to help you. Arrange to speak with a licensed Christian counselor at no cost by calling 1-855-771-HELP (4357) Monday through Friday between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Mountain time. Due to high call volumes, you may be asked to leave your name and number for a counselor to return a call to you. You may also submit your request online here: https://goo.gl/yHZZJy.

And please know if you are being tempted toward suicide, to call the national hotline at 1-800-273-8255. Please, please call them before you even begin to make plans for suicide.

Tell yourself the truth.  You will eventually find your way out of this dark place, and when you do, you will be a stronger person, able to deal better with hard times in life, and you will have strength to help someone else going through their own dark place.

How Can I Be Sure?

September 7, 2017

I’m not entirely certain what you are asking, but I assume you are asking “How do I know for sure that Jesus is who He said He was, and that I am saved, and that I will go to Heaven?” Does that cover it pretty much?

We all want to know these things. We want to know that we have not put our faith and trust and our lives into something that isn’t true. We want to know we have done everything possible to insure we will spend our eternity in Heaven. That is fine. That is how God has made us. As CS Lewis (The author of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe) said: If we are always dreaming of something beyond this earthly life, it must point to something that exists beyond here. God put this desire into us so that we would desire Him.

Ultimately, we “know for sure” because of Jesus. He told us everything we need to know to be saved. It is through relationship with Him, and because He made a way for us that we are saved. We can believe His promises because He proved Himself true. He proved He came from Heaven by the miracles He did, and He proved He was God by rising from the dead. We believe Jesus 2000 years later because the bible gives these eyewitness accounts. How can we believe the bible? Because it has never changed. All the historic books that quote it, and all the very old scripture fragments from all over the known world at that time, agree with one another. The bible was written by those who had nothing to gain and everything to lose by fabricating a story like that. They told different accounts, but did not contradict each other. In that way, they read like eyewitness accounts. The fact there was no collaboration, shows these weren’t legends invented by some group with an agenda. Its good to study these things, and it makes our faith stronger when we do.

God bless you, as you trust Jesus for your daily needs and with your eternal life,

How Can I Feel the Presence of Jesus?

September 5, 2017

 

We do know that Jesus hears our prayers. We have those promises all through the New Testament. The Holy Spirit is within us, and even when we don’t know how to pray, He prays for us. (Romans 8:26-27). We are also told that Jesus is interceding with the Father for us. (Romans 8:34 and other places).

What we all want and desire is to feel the Presence of Jesus with us. We want an emotional experience of joy, peace, and love. Sometimes we do not feel much, and that is why our faith in Jesus is faith. Emotions are fleeting and dependent on many things like our daily circumstances and even our physical health. Some of the very great believers of the past had periods they called the “dark night of the soul” when Jesus seemed to be gone and they felt their prayers weren’t being heard. Mother Teresa wrote about such a time in her later life. But we believe what Jesus told us, we believe his character, we believe he was who he said he was. In these times, we can strengthen our faith with reading the gospels over again and continuing to talk to Jesus. We know what we know is true, even if we feel very flat and blah. He will reward our exercising of our faith when it is harder to do so.

Even our human relationships have their ups and downs. Some days we really feel close to some people and some days we don’t feel they hear us or “get” us. We may not hear from some people for a long time and assume they no longer care about us. Of course, Jesus never forgets us–never. But the fact we aren’t feeling the warmth has nothing to do with his love for us which is unchanging.

I can assure you I have had those times in my own life more than once. But Jesus is so faithful. When I look back, I can often see where He was caring for me and working things out for good. I can remember those times in the next “dark” stretch.

 

How Can I Have Peace?

September 4, 2017

 

Peace is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. When you asked Jesus to forgive your sins and be your Savior, He came into your life forever. The Holy Spirit took up residence in you. The bible says your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit who gives you your spiritual life, faith and growth.

We can help the process. Even though a plant has life within it, it can’t produce healthy fruit unless it has sunshine, good soil and is watered. We need to regularly nurture the life within us. We need God’s Word–the New Testament should be very familiar to us because we read and meditate on it so much. We need to talk to Jesus often throughout each day. He appreciates our honest prayers, for help, for understanding, confession, thanksgiving and prayers for others. We have conversations with ourselves within our minds all the time. Those conversations need to be with Jesus. We also need to obey what we know the Holy Spirit is prompting us to do. If we know God wants us to do something and we hang back, we can’t expect Him to give us more growth. When we have the good soil of prayer, the water of God’s Word and the sunshine of obedience, fruit will grow in us.

By the way, the fruits of the Spirit are: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

 

I Just Asked Jesus to be my Savior, What Do I Do Now?

September 3, 2017

You have repented of your sin and asked Jesus into your life as your Savior. That is wonderful news. When you ask Jesus in, He forgives you, gives you the gift of Salvation, the promise of eternal life, and he comes into your life forever. He will never leave you nor forsake you. The Holy Spirit is within you and will help you understand everything Jesus teaches.

What you want to do is get to know Jesus better and begin to walk with Him. You can do three things to accomplish this:

First, you can start reading about the things Jesus taught. The gospels and epistles will help you understand what is important to Jesus, what he wants, and what he promises you.

Second, you can start praying often. It doesn’t have to be formal or complicated. Just talk to Jesus honestly about what is on your mind, ask his help and ask his forgiveness when you mess up. Don’t forget to thank him for all he has done for you and for answers to prayer when they come.

Third, you can join with a fellowship of other believers. You can join a bible believing church, bible study or small group. We learn from others, we encourage and help each other, and we pray for each other. This is our spiritual family, and it is often closer than our blood family.

 

How Can I Know if I am Filled with the Holy Spirit?

September 3, 2017

 

We know we are filled with the Holy Spirit when we ask Jesus into our lives as Savior. Jesus tells us himself “I am with you always”, and “I will never leave you nor forsake you”. He also says “Behold I stand at the door knocking, and if anyone answer I will come in and have fellowship with him.” There is a sense in which Jesus is right there with us, always. But the bible also says the Holy Spirit is within us if we are believers in Jesus Christ.  If you have repented and asked Jesus to be your Savior,  the Holy Spirit dwells in you.

There are times when the Holy Spirit seems to be very active in our lives, we experience great emotion, and we see powerful answers to prayer. Other times, when it seems we pray without seeing answers, or we feel flat, it does not mean the Holy Spirit has left. At those times we know the Holy Spirit is with us through faith. We believe what God has said.

Another belief is that if we are filled with the Holy Spirit we should be speaking in tongues and prophesying. That may be true for some people, and it happened in the earliest days of the church to some people, but it doesn’t happen for everyone. The apostle Paul talks about that extensively in I Corinthians 12 and 13. This bible passage will probably make the teaching about the manifestations of the Holy Spirit more understandable.

Being filled with the Holy Spirit means He is there, but don’t depend on emotions, certain gifts and manifestations to confirm it. Sometimes He is working more quietly–working in your life to make you more like Jesus. The Holy Spirit is God, after all, and so He is full of mystery. We can’t fully define him or pin him down. But we do have that promise that as believers, He does live in us.

 

Prayer for Healing

August 27, 2017

“Dear Lord, we ask you to heal _________. I do not know what kind of healing he needs, Lord, but you know all things, and we trust you to heal him perfectly. You know every cell of our bodies, Lord. Heal them. You know every desire of our hearts and every thought of our minds. Heal them. Mend every broken place, Lord, and fill every empty space. Forgive every wrong, even ones he has forgotten or is unaware of. Cleanse him from everything that displeases you, and fill him with thoughts and desires that please you greatly. Fill his heart with love and his mind with peace. We ask these things in the name of Jesus, the most powerful name in all the universe. Amen.”

I Want to Go to Heaven When I Die

August 24, 2017

If you have asked Jesus to forgive your sins and be your Savior, you are now a friend of Jesus. Because of your relationship with Jesus, you can be assured of Heaven. It isn’t what we do that gets us into Heaven, its Who we know! You see, when you asked Jesus to come into your life as your Savior, He came in forever. He took up residence. His Spirit is in you, and He has always been working in your life to make you more and more like Himself. As the apostle Paul says: “He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it in the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6) When the time is perfect, Jesus will take you to be with Him in Heaven. Maybe you haven’t read the Gospel of John in awhile. It is good to read it over and over because it is full of Jesus’ own promises to us who love and follow Him.  We are His own.