Inspirational Thoughts for 2018
As we step across from the year 2017 and launched out into the unknown of 2018, we are aware that if we had left any unfinished business that should have been taken care of in 2017 that it is impossible go back! We are now at a point of no return and therefore we must proceed forward. The year 2017 had been a challenging year. Many people have lost homes, properties in the fires, flood damages. There have been shootings and killings of loved ones, sicknesses and the list goes one....
Since we are oblivious of what the future holds, may I suggest a few thoughts to nudge us along our journey:
Let us approach life circumstances and situations with an expectancy to overcome in every possible way;
Let us acquire the ability to listen attentively and offer words of support and encouragement when needed;
Let us offer and make gentle suggestions rather than harsh demands;
Let us be ready to offer advice when we need spiritual guidance;
Let us be ready to applaud each accomplishment however small;
Let us motivate each other to set goals and to diligently work towards them.
Abundant Blessings to everyone for this year and always!
by Mary Fletcher
"Perseverance in prayer is not overcoming God's reluctance but rather laying hold of God's willingness. Our sovereign God has purposed to sometimes require persevering prayer as the means to accomplish His will." - William Thrasher
Have you ever felt like you have been praying and the answers are not forthcoming? It seems like the heavens are shut up, and the Lord has fallen asleep on you and no matter how hard you try to stay in faith, the fear of the answer not coming takes a hold of your heart and mind. Well, you are not alone, there are times in our lives when we all feel like we are in the desert, but there are some answers we will have to press in for even if it takes a while.
The prophet Daniel in the bible is a great example on persevering prayer, and he had a disciplined prayer life; three times a day Daniel would bow and pray whether things were good or bad in his life – (Daniel 6:10 NIV). Daniel didn't have life easy, he was taken away into captivity, forced to live under a new name and religious ways, and he was thrown into a lion's den because he would not conform to the culture of his day, yet, he never moved away from the discipline of prayer. Because of his obedience to God, he was entrusted with visions of the future, though the visions were dreadful he purposed to seek God for understanding through prayer and fasting. Daniel persevered for three weeks in constant searching for understanding. Sometimes we have the tendency to buy into a lie that if we continue to pray for an answer for a long period of time we are being repetitious and as a result, we stop short. I've come to understand there are just some things we have to keep on praying for, e.g. unsaved loved ones, healing in bodies and marriages, laws and legislation that represents the kingdom of God, and this is just a few.
Daniel had an encounter with an angel at the end of his fast and the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them." - (Daniel 10:12 NIV). Isn't that amazing? After three weeks of prayer, the answer finally came but I want you to pay close attention to the verse above, "Since the first day". From the very first day, Daniel set out to pray the angel was sent with the answer, but was held up by an evil force that kept the answer from coming. Daniel persevered in prayer and it strengthened the angel to fight and eventually break through with the answer. I want to encourage you today; please don't quit praying because your answer just might be on the way!
On persevering prayer: "I look at a stone cutter hammering away at a rock a hundred times without so much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the 101st blow it splits in two. I know it was not the one blow that did it, but all that had gone before." Jacob August Riis