Spiritual Eyesight

“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it, be very glad for a great reward awaits you in heaven and remember the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.” Matthew 5: 11-12

As believers, we suffer a great deal on a daily basis. Our good intentions are misread by those who cannot understand God’s purpose for our lives. We may have the resilience to ignore or tolerate isolated incidents; but, how do we react to ongoing mistreatment? It is very difficult to endure mistreatment from friends or family. When we are wounded, the feelings of hurt and disappointment can quickly escalate to hatred and bitterness. Our self-worth begins to plummet, resulting in a sense of hopelessness. In addition, we may use isolation as a protective mechanism to prevent further rejection.

How do we prevent ourselves from becoming damaged? According to the Word of God, we are to consider persecution as a blessing. If we adhere to spiritual guidance, then we have a decision to make; we must allow God to resolve our battles. The steps to resolution involve seeing our tribulations through spiritual eyes. Pray for a spirit of forgiveness, and the courage to address the individual(s) in an honest and non-confrontational manner. Secondly, we must avoid premeditated retaliation or vengence. Finally, if a mutual agreement can not be reached, then we are to remove ourselves from the situation to prevent further wrongdoing. Trust in God: He has already worked it out for your good.

Dear God, it is a challenge to accept mistreatment as a blessing. Please enable me to believe in you, and view my life through spiritual eyes.

Sonya Johnson Ruiz

In God we Trust

For those of us who are Baby Boomers and older, we are very familiar with the adage, “In God we Trust,” found on all American currency. For individuals who are younger, examine your money, and you will be surprised to find that even coins contain this phrase. Often, when we use a phrase over and over again, the words become meaningless. When I am asked “how are you,” I realize it is just a polite question. I mechanically reply that “I am doing well.”

The majority of us have also forgotten the true meaning of trusting in God. We readily exclaim to others how good God is all of the time; but, behind closed doors we experience grievous worries and anxieties. Our faces are contorted from the belief that we are all alone in this world. If we really trust God, then why are we always downtrodden or in a valley of indecision? Eventually, total chaos replaces the peace that comes from believing and trusting in God.

The good news is: There is a quick fix for restoring your faith. Acknowledge through prayer that you doubt God, and that you want desperately to believe and trust in Him again. Your prayers may be answered through tests and trials; however, the journey provides the spiritual growth that is required to mature your faith in God.

“Do not worry about tomorrow.” Matthew 6:34

Dear God, I have lost my faith. Please help me to trust you always and in every situation. Amen

Sonya Johnson Ruiz

Quality of Life

Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit. 3 John 1:2

Have you thought about improving the quality of your life? Many individuals feel that possessing an increase in money would result in a higher level of happiness. It is a natural response to lean toward materialism in an effort to enhance one’s life. Capitalism has infiltrated our society; and greed has caused many to pursue meaningless activities which lead to the acquisition of more and more things.

However, there are alternative ways to improve your mind and body. The first and most important action is to incorporate love into your life. Loving God along with loving others allows for the healing of your mind. Love paves the way for replacing a negative mindset with a positive spirit of gratitude. Loving yourself leads to choosing foods and activities that result in a healthy lifestyle.

The next step to improving one’s life is to utilize the process of elimination: Make the decision to remove individuals whose mission in life is to tear down others. Surround yourself with caring and compassionate friends who possess inner peace and appreciate the joy of life.

Above all, maintain a prayerful connection with God, and study His Word. Seek out the beauty in nature, smile, and laugh out loud.

Dear God, please help us to make the necessary changes to improve our life. Thank you for creating us with the ability to possess joy and peace. Amen.

Sonya Johnson Ruiz