Peace is Promised

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you. Isaiah 26:3 NLT

The headline reads “Thanksgiving storms dump snow on much of the US–and it isn’t over yet!”

For those who resent the beautiful snowy covering of the earth during its wintry season of rest, there are many beneficial purposes for the preservation of our natural environment. To name a few:

1. During the winter sleep, snow covers the earth like a blanket to refresh its exhausted energies, and it prepares for the fresh budding growth in the spring.

2. Snow protects dormant plant life and the animals who hibernate under it from the frosty chill of the outside air.

3. Freshly fallen snow insulates and reduces the transfer of heat, slowing the flow of heat from the warm ground to the cold air above.

4. Melting snow provides moisture to many plants. Consider the Evergreens which keep their foliage throughout the winter.

Snow protects plants, the earth’s water supply, and our wildlife; Conduct your own research for in-depth knowledge of snow and dismiss the media’s negative headlines and reports regarding one of our natural resources.

So now that we have a broader knowledge base for the reasons that God always has a perfect plan for the earth that He created, let’s discuss something that is almost extinct in humanity: Peace of mind!

There are books, religions, movements, communes, and individuals who have convinced others of their self-proclaimed deification that they are able to impart peace to others; and most individuals are so desperate that they are willing to spend their finances or give up everything and isolate themselves for a peaceful existence. Even therapeutic intervention has its limitations; how many individuals in active therapy have a history of suicide attempts?

An infant must have a nurturing caregiver; the caregiver must perform the requirements of the physical needs and also give love, and affection in order for growth and development to occur in a thriving, dynamic and emotionally healthy environment through the maturation cycle to adulthood.

Abundant peace belongs to those who love Your instruction; nothing can make them stumble. Psalm 119:165

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

All of humanity requires the love and nurturing care from our Creator! Develop the mindset of an infant who is totally dependent upon its caregiver. God is ready, willing, and able to show us that He is our Heavenly Father.

Forget about the tangible items; crystal fragments, crosses, prayer beads and shawls, blessed clothing items, oils, candles, worshipping nature, isolation, religious sects, cults, and seances; Peace comes only from God!

Begin a new lifestyle by incorporating God into your life, Study His Word, Pray without Ceasing, Put all of your Faith and Trust in God, and just Believe in His promises: He has promised us peace. It is time to let go of everything that has caused your fretful, anxious temperament. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. Psalm 37:5

Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

Bible Readings: Philippians 4, Isaiah 9

Prayer for today: Dear God, We come to you with our burdens, our fears, our worries, and our anxieties, and we give them over to you. We confess that we have tried many ways to achieve peace, and we have failed. We are nothing without you, your mercy and your grace, along with your love have sustained us in spite of our willful disobedience. We need you and we desire the peace that only you can give. Please hear our prayer and impart your perfect peace into our lives. We ask this prayer in the Worthy name of your Son, Jesus. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2019

Reference: University of Delaware; A healthy snowfall offers variety of environmental benefits

Trees Heavy With Snow

Gratitude to God

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT

Most goals require a planning phase, the development of strategies and implementation if one desires positive outcomes; not so with developing the habit to live with a spirit of thankfulness, all that is required is to express these three life-changing words, “Thank you, God.”

Each of us are blessed and highly favored by a loving and faithful God who deserves our praise and gratitude. Thank him everyday for your life whether the storms are raging or the sea is calm. Remember, He is worthy to be praised!

Prayer for today: Dear God, Thank you for my life, your love, grace, and mercy. Please forgive us of our sins and shortcomings. Our lives are in your hands, and we thank you for being our Heavenly Father. We ask this prayer in the Worthy name of your Son, Jesus. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2019

A Peaceful Life

“I am leaving you with a gift–peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So do not be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27 NLT

Is it well with your soul?

As the holidays approach there is an emphasis on buying; in fact, there is a highly celebrated day set aside known as Black Friday to promote the unrestrained spending of money on the greatest deals of the year. The anticipation of the day after the Thanksgiving holiday creates a joyful frenzy among most consumers who have prepared dutifully to purchase gifts by any means necessary. Even credit card companies increase credit lines in the fourth quarter of the year to assist with the accumulation of massive debt. We willingly give our monies away as we sacrifice the fruit of our labor in order to experience a period of short-lived happiness.

I do not begrudge the Christmas season; in fact, I have always enjoyed the lights, the decorations, the aromatic pine trees, and the beautiful music that carries me away into a child-like fantasy for a moment in time. It is a wonderful time of the year when most of the country is covered with a beautiful blanket of snow and the warmth of fireplaces, and soft wintry blankets provide comforts like an affectionate, loving mother or grandmother. The overall mood is light-hearted and only the hardest of hearts bear the Scrooge and Grinch dispositions. I have prayed for God to help me to view life through spiritual eyes, and I use my talents to lovingly create handcrafted gifts. I honor God by thanking him for my creativity and also by being a steward of the blessings that I have received.

And as wonderful as this season is, it is also a time of reflection on the hardships that many have endured throughout the year; loss of loved ones, financial crisis, unfulfilled goals, health issues, hunger, homelessness, divorces, severed family ties, and brokenness from the vicissitudes of life. It is a time when emotional depression escalates from the tribulations that have occurred in the preceding months. It is a time when a season based on lavish spending and colorful decorations or gifts will not provide solace to hurting hearts.

When Jesus was on this earth, He was fully aware of the emotional, physical, and spiritual needs of others. His disciples formed a strong bond and a child-like dependency on the Savior and became discouraged when He spoke of leaving. In John 14, Jesus prepares the disciples for His ascension and return to His Father in heaven: “No, I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you, verse 18. The promises that Jesus gave to his disciples that He would not leave them as orphans and that His Father would send the Holy Spirit applies to All Believers in Christ, we have 24/7 access to the third person of the Godhead-the Holy Spirit if we only ask in prayer.

It is a normal part of life for a child to believe and rely on what he or she is told by their parents. It is that faith which is simply believing in God, which connects us to our spiritual team; it takes a child-like faith to grasp onto the promises of God without question. You may ask yourself or others, “Who is the Holy Spirit that Jesus referred to in John 14?” Although your question can be answered by others, you must ask for the revelation of the Holy Spirit through prayer. Present your most difficult situation to God in prayer and ask for the comfort of the Holy Spirit; believe and receive the promise of God to never leave you or to forsake you.

Relationships are personal! My relationship with God will differ from your relationship with God; the strength or weakness of your connection with God is based on your level of commitment through faith, trust, and obedience. When we completely put all of our doubts aside and accept God’s Word as the binding truth, then we can obtain complete peace. The peace that Jesus referred to was not based on a life free from trials and tribulations or seasonal holidays that bring short-lived happiness. If you choose to accept God’s plan to have an up-close and personal relationship with your Spiritual team, then the Holy Spirit will fill your mind and your heart, and enjoying God’s peace will become a natural occurrence in your life.

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. Psalm 28:7

Bible Readings: John chapters 14-15

Prayer for today: Dear God, We thank you for our Spiritual team and most of all we thank you for your love, your grace, and your mercies which allow us to be redeemed from our sins. We ask forgiveness of our sins and shortcomings and to be cleansed from all unrighteousness. We ask you to send your Holy Spirit to teach us, to guide us, and to comfort us. Our finite minds are unable to grasp your power that is able to keep us in perfect peace, but in our weakness, we come to you in faith asking for you to reveal to us who you really are. We pray for those who are filled with dismay as we approach this holiday season and we ask you to comfort them. We look forward to Eternal life, a life that will give us perfection that you intended for us to have when you created humanity. We love you, we praise you, and we worship your Holy name. We ask this prayer in the Worthy name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2019

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Don’t look back!

But Lot’s wife looked back as she was following behind him, and she turned into a pillar of salt. Genesis 19:26 NLT

Memories can be good, bad, or ugly; they can produce regret, guilt, grief, and happiness, there is nothing wrong with the remembrance; but often our mindset gives us the overwhelming desire to return to former things, people, or situations. Looking back as a reference point for not repeating the same mistakes enables us to learn new and viable methods that will produce positive outcomes. However, even if our past provides comfort or prevents us from error, we must establish boundaries and not dwell on the former things of life. Viewing life in retrospect prevents us from placing our focus on making accomplishments in the present and for the future.

The harsh reality of life is that we must move forward in spite of the circumstances that we have endured. When Adam and Eve sinned they were certainly filled with remorse over the consequences of their disobedience; even so, God in his infinite mercy did not cast them aside. And the LORD God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife, Eve. Genesis 3:21 NLT. God ensured that the first couple would be equipped to have a happy and productive life: to build a new home, to grow crops, to reproduce, to offer sacrifice for their sins, and to have the opportunity to always depend on God. The earth did not become a place of doom and gloom due to the fall of humanity. Yes, God in His role as a Heavenly Father still extended love, grace, and mercy to the first family.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

Whatever has occurred in your life, reflect on the first family: when SIN brought enmity against God, the aroma of God’s grace pointed Adam and Eve toward a new life and they were able to make accomplishments as long as they obeyed God. As long as we keep our eyes fixed on our Savior, Jesus Christ; God will forgive and exterminate the godlessness of our former days.

God is ready and able to fulfill all of His promises, just do your part by praying, studying the Bible, committing to obedience, living a faith-based life, and completely trusting in our Creator.

And whatever you do in your life, “Don’t look back!”

Bible Reading: Genesis chapters 2-3

Prayer for today: Dear God, Thank you for promising us a future filled with hope. We ask forgiveness for looking back and not grasping on to your promises, that you will take care of us by extending grace and mercy. We are unworthy because of disobedience, and the attempt to fulfill our own plans and desires; yet, you still love us. We thank you for not looking back on our sins. Please help us to see life through spiritual eyes and to live a purpose-driven life based on your plans for us. We ask this prayer in the Worthy name of your Son, Jesus. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2019

Stonepath, Newcastle, Northern Ireland

Stonepath, Newcastle, Northern Ireland

 

 

The Answer to Why

I have always been glad that the psalmist said to God that certain times of life are desperate or difficult. Make no mistake about it, there are difficult things in life.

This summer someone gave me some beautiful pink flowers, and as I took them, I asked, “What kind are they?” My friend answered, “They are rock flowers. They grow and bloom only under rocks.

The trials of life are sent to make us, not break us. Financial troubles may destroy a person’s business but build up his character. And a direct blow to the outer person may be the greatest blessing possible to the inner person. So if God places or allows anything difficult in our lives, we can be sure that the real danger or trouble will be what we will lose if we run or rebel against it. Maltbie Babcock

Believe and Receive Repost

“I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you have received it, it will be yours.” Mark 11:24 NLT

When J. Hudson Taylor, the famous missionary first went to China in a sailing vessel, the ship was in calm waters near some cannibal islands. Slowly it drifted toward the shore, where savages eagerly anticipated a feast. The Captain approached Mr. Taylor and begged him to pray to God for help. Mr. Taylor replied, “I will pray, provided, you set the sail to catch the breeze.” But the Captain did not want to become a laughingstock in front of his crew by unfurling his sail in calm waters. However, Mr. Taylor refused to pray until the sails were up. As they drifted nearer to the shore, the Captain became desperate and gave the command to raise the sails.

While Mr. Taylor was engaged in prayer, the Captain knocked on his stateroom door; he asked Mr. Taylor to stop praying. The Captain explained that when the vessel was within one hundred yards of the shore a strong gust of wind caused the ship’s sails to expand and the vessel was guided toward safety. However, the wind continued and the Captain feared that he would lose control of the ship.

The same God that delivered J. Hudson Taylor and every person aboard that vessel is the same God who delivered Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace and the same God who will deliver us today if we only ask in faith. It is fear due to wavering faith and self-reliance that prevents God from unleashing His mighty power to resolve every problem that we face in our lives.

Ask, believe, and receive! God has not changed; He is the same God today, yesterday, and forever. When challenges arise, Faith is required if we are to see our Heavenly Helpers; if not, our doubt will blind us and we will see nothing but defeat from the enemy.

This Sabbath, as we turn our focus on the power of the Almighty God, release all limitations and believe that our God is still performing miracles in 2019. We can always call on the name of Jesus, that name, that wonderful name; Jesus, the one who suffered, bled and died for you and me has promised to lead us safely through every trial and tribulation.

Bible Reading: Matthew 21:1-22

Prayer for today: Dear God, Thank you for the gift of your Son, Jesus that we may ask in HIs name for everything that we need in our lives. We admit that our faith is weak and because we do not fully trust in you that we limit your power upon our lives. God, we ask you to forgive us for our unbelief. We ask you to erase all of our fears and the doubt that we possess because we are trusting in ourselves. We need you, God. Please have mercy on us and grant us peace. Thank you for hearing and answering this prayer that we ask in the Worthy name of your Son, Jesus. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2019

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