Non-Compete Agreement

It was the disobedience of the Israelite nation that caused their captivity in Babylon for 70 years. Our surrender to serve God is a Covenant–an unbroken promise between God and us. We do not chase our desires. Love and faithfulness are demonstrated by our obedience and trust in God. Praying for His will to be done in our lives is reverence and respect that God is our Heavenly Father. There are no mistakes or consequences that will happen in our lives when we obey God. Pray for God to reveal your purpose and His will for your life. God always brings a Victorious Outcome! © 2021 Sonya Johnson, Faithful Fishers Ministry

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity. Jeremiah 29:11-14a.

God Promises Restoration

Many individuals are attempting to cope with the loss of relationships. Whether the loss is from a breakup, divorce, or death, the impact leaves a heart filled with sadness and grief. The saying, “Time heals all wounds,” is simply not true. Speak with someone who lost a nurturing and loving relationship with their parent, child, husband, wife or best friend, and they will agree that time has nothing to do with easing the pain of their loss.

Jesus, the Lamb of God understands that we require Divine Intervention to alleviate and heal our brokenness. Death penetrates the core of our soul, leaving us wounded. Loss of relationships that do not involve death still produces intense sorrow. We do not have to pretend that all is well. Our ability to cry allows the release of emotional pain, promoting expression of the sting of sorrow.

God does not require us to be stoic in times of loss. In fact, the philosophy of Stoicism is in opposition of the Creator’s gift of emotions. Our tears combined with faith enables us to embrace Jesus’ promise to heal our wounded hearts. In Psalm 147:3, God tells us, “He heals the Brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

Jesus wept. John 11:35. Yes, Jesus openly cried. This was a true expression of human grief. Jesus cried for two reasons: 1. From their reaction, even Jesus’ close friends, Mary and Martha did not fully believe in His power as the Son of God. They reacted to their brother’s death by blaming Jesus. 2. The loud wails of sorrow from the crowd and the grief of the sisters, Mary and Martha touched Jesus’ heart deeply. As one theologian states, “Jesus did not cry silent tears. He wept openly with audible sound. It was His humanity that allowed Jesus to feel pain and sorrow from the death of his friend, Lazarus.” Who knows pain, grief, and sorrow better than the One who suffered so grievously for us?

And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener), to be with you forever—John 14:16

The Holy Spirit is only a prayer away. We will receive the strength and comfort to move forward one day at a time. Reflect on your precious memories and thank God for the time that you had together. Pray, cry, and listen to music. Do not allow well-meaning individuals to convince you to discard items or to embrace anger and hold grudges. God is aware of every loss that we will experience in our lives. The Spiritual Team is available to assist us in our journey of healing.

Healing takes time. God does not rush us through the healing stream. We have access to His never-ending comfort. Still, it takes human effort to fight against depression. Push yourself to open the window-blinds to let light in and be certain to make your bed every day. Your appetite may be poor, but remain motivated to care for yourself physically by eating small amounts of nutritious foods throughout the day. It is easy to weaken the Immune system during the grieving period, which places the body at risk for physical illness.

Address your spiritual needs by joining a grief support group or seeking pastoral counseling. Never forget to study the Bible [use an audio app]. The scriptures provide beautiful promises of healing and restoration. At times, the only words that can escape our lips are “Jesus, help me.” Every prayer, every tear, every crying whimper is seen and heard by our Heavenly Father. We are loved. God will never leave us or forsake us. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4

Prayer: God, we pray for healing of the many broken hearts. Please send your Holy Spirit to comfort us. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen. © 2021 Sonya Johnson, Faithful Fishers Ministry

Please share this devotional with someone who is grieving from loss of a relationship.

You Are Not Your Own

Lord, I know that peoples lives are not their own, it is not for them to direct their steps. Jeremiah 10:23

When we surrender to Jesus Christ and accept the free gift of salvation, we commit to discipleship. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. John 10:27. We are followers–sheep. Jesus Christ is our Shepherd. Like many of us, the original twelve disciples were a rowdy, self-seeking group of men that had their own agendas. Why would Jesus choose men like this? Especially Peter, who was prideful [And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” Matthew 14:28]. Yes, Peter was impulsive and lacked self-control. Then Simon Peter drew a sword and slashed off the right ear of Malchus, the high priest’s slave. So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?” John 18:10-11].

Again, Jesus reprimanded Peter: But Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me. For you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” Then Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.… “Matthew 16:23-25

The Apostle Peter who Jesus prayed for: “But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith will not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”… Luke 22:32, wrote the Books of 1 and 2 Peter giving us instruction in the areas that pose the greatest challenges, “Living for God” and “Suffering for being a Christian.”

The reason that Jesus chose the original twelve disciples is that He knew eleven of them would eventually experience a complete spiritual transformation. And Judas Iscariot would fulfill the act of betrayal that was required for the redemption of the human race. Yes, they were wayward, but each went through a complete spiritual makeover following the crucifixion of Jesus [Judas died before–Matthew 27:5].

Jesus chose every human–past, present, and future to willingly give His life for. If only we could make a definitive choice like Christ did. Can you imagine Jesus wavering in His decision to die for us? No, it is unthinkable. Yet, many individuals never hesitate to satisfy their desires through willful acts of disobedience against God.

For those who made the commitment to serve God, but are in the valley of indecision: “You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols.” 1 Peter 4:3. Is this Jesus’ disciple? Yes, but a changed man who allowed God to transform him into a spiritually converted Apostle.

We cannot serve God and seek after our desires. The Apostle Paul clarifies the status of Jesus’ disciples: Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

In accepting God’s gift of His Son, Jesus, we give up our natural inclinations to “Have it our way.” Full surrender and obedience are required, But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added. Matthew 6:33, which we willingly do because we love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind. Matthew 22:37.

Many will fall away from God because they want to belong to themselves. Even so, for those of us who are weary from suffering the negative consequences of disobedience, and believe that we fully belong to God [as evidenced by our faithful obedience] Jesus is waiting to give us the reward of Eternal life:

But as it is written:

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

Bible Readings: 1 Corinthians 2 and 1 Peter 4

Prayer: God, we ask forgiveness for seeking after our desires. We pray for the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Thank you for your love, grace, and mercies. In Jesus’ name. Amen. © 2021 Sonya Johnson, Faithful Fishers Ministry