He is Here

Practical Messages for Impractical Times

” I am convinced that God will guide our choices whether difficult or even seemingly impossible when we draw near to him with humility, sincerity, and faith. For that reason I am assured that God is constantly at my side.” Story via Adventist Mission

For many of us, we are experiencing a challenging situation. However, God has promised to comfort and provide for us, no matter the circumstances we face.

Psalm 23 NIV

“The Lord is my shepherd. I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside quiet waters. He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right path for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley. I will fear no evil for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Dear God, We are facing situations that are so tough, and we are trying to handle them on our own. Please help us to remember that you promised to never leave us or forsake us. We love you. Amen.

Sonya Johnson Ruiz

Are you frustrated?

Practical Messages for Impractical Times

So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I Am All Too Human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. Romans 7:14-15

I am an avid crocheter. There are projects that I have attempted to make, only to realize the pattern was incorrectly written. The frustration of undoing all of my hard work led me to develop a different method of following a pattern. Taking the time to read the pattern thoroughly, has enabled me to determine if the pattern is accurate. I also take an additional step and make a sample swatch. The extra steps have eliminated halfway completion of a project only to find an error.

In our spiritual lives, many of us are weary from constantly trying to do what is right, only to fail. We study the Bible, diligently pray; yet, we commit sin on a daily basis. The frustration grows over what seems to be an impossible task. The answer is that we are using the wrong approach to grow spiritually. Good deeds are based on our efforts; we must rely on complete faith in God. Our focus needs to be redirected on building a faith-based relationship with God.

Studying the Word and prayer are essential to establishing and maintaining our spiritual connection with God. However, there is an additional step that is required; the submission of our will. We are unable to control our will to sin. In fact, making the wrong choice often happens in a split second. Later, we question ourselves as to how we allowed ourselves to sin. The frustration over constantly doing wrong would leave us destitute if God did not have a perfect plan in place.

Our prayer is to ask God to show us His will for our lives. Stop and pray before making all decisions. Do not rely on yourself to do what you think is right. God would never have placed such a burdensome task on His created beings. We would never gain the victory over sin, causing us to completely give up on the plan of salvation. Remember, His pattern for victory over sin is flawless. There is never room for error.

Dear God, Please help me to submit my will to you. I am tired of doing wrong when I know what is right. I want to follow your perfect plan for my life. Amen!

Sonya Johnson Ruiz

Do you make Mistakes?

Practical Messages for Impractical Times

Yes, all of us make mistakes. The most important aspect of making mistakes is admitting that you did something which led to a negative outcome. If another individual is affected, then we need to ask for forgiveness. This may not repair the relationship; however, we have done our part.

The next step in moving forward is to forgive ourselves. It is crucial that we admit our weakness, and rise above the consequences. Negative outcomes have the ability to plunge us into a state of discouragement, even leading to depression. We must learn from the experience and push to make continual progress in our journey of life.

Do you make mistakes? Do not let this discourage you. The Lord may permit you to make small mistakes in order to save you from making larger mistakes. Go to Jesus, and ask Him to forgive you, and then believe that He does. ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’ (1 John 1:9).Amazing Facts Devotional

Dear God, I admit that I have made many mistakes. Please forgive me and help me to claim your forgiveness of my sins. Amen

I will never Forsake you!

Practical Messages for Impractical Times

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown… Isaiah 43:2

Imagine never being disappointed by broken promises or changing circumstances. The reality is even with careful planning, we can never fully be in control of our lives. We endure many unexpected changes, and some of these changes are so devastating, they push us to the edge.

Even though, we may not have the necessary problem solving skills or resources, something amazing happens when we are faced with life changing events. We begin to focus on options that will alleviate or resolve the problem. We feel hopeful that we can move forward and that our situation will be short-term with a quick resolve.

What happens when there are additional stressors such as: failed solutions; no viable solutions; or limited resources which change the status of the problem to long-term (ongoing). When we have given our best, and the outcome did not match our expectations, our emotions escalate and push us into a crisis mode.

When we are in a crisis, we are forced to see our limitations. There is no situation or problem that God can not take care of. Our responsibility is to approach the Throne of Grace with humility and prayer. God already knew our situation would arise. In faith, we ask God for His will to be done. God has promised to never leave us or forsake us. It is up to us to wait patiently for God’s resolution.

Dear God: Only you know the brokenness that I feel because of my present circumstances. Please help me to have faith and wait on your solution for my problem. Amen.

Sonya Johnson Ruiz

The War

Practical Messages for Impractical Times
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:12

I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. Romans 7:15

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me Philippians 4:13

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD. Isaiah 54:17

The wonderful blessing about the believer’s life is that we have the most powerful three on our side. When the wicked one-Satan, attempts to use his contrived plan to separate us from God- we have God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit to fight for us. Through diligent study of the Word (the Holy Bible) we are encouraged by constant reminders that we are not alone.

Prayer connects us to our spiritual army. It is our responsibility to connect to the source who brings victory to our lives. There is no reason for loneliness, worry, depression or anxiety. God loves us, and our victory over the vicissitudes of life, including attacks from the evil one is guaranteed.

Turn your mind, heart, and soul over to the powerful three. You can and will have peace and victory. Remember, it is not a secret, we know how the story ends. Read Revelation 21-22 for the final outcome.

Dear God, thank you for being my resource. I can overcome and be victorious only with you. Amen.

Sonya Johnson Ruiz