fear

Fear Not!

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I went to clean out the pool skimmer basket and jumped back. This terrifying looking snake was waiting for me. I quickly realized it was not alive. Phew. I was safe but still freaked out knowing a snake had been in our pool. The same pool we swim in freely. Now I was questioning if I should ever swim in the pool again.

There is an epidemic running rampant these days. No, it’s not that one. Fear is out of control. We are told in hundreds, if not thousands of ways, every single day to “be afraid”. Fear the virus, fear the new variants, fear getting the vaccine, fear not getting the vaccine, fear inflation, fear the potential food shortages, fear losing your livelihood if you disagree with someone, fear natural disasters, fear the rise in crime, fear the government, fear your neighbors, fear travel, fear pollution, fear standing up for your convictions.

These fears are based on potential outcomes that are legitimate. I call these, “What if’s”. It’s the worst case scenario that runs through our mind. It does not mean any of it will happen, but it could possibly happen, so we need to operate in fear, right? Wrong.

All of this fear comes from the enemy. The devil is real, and he loves to spread fear by lying. He’s very good at it. Jesus does not mince words when talking about the enemy.

You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44, NASB

As followers of Jesus we are to be wise and discerning. Don’t let fear motivate your decisions. Make decisions based on Godly wisdom and discernment. How do you do that?

Pray. Ask God for wisdom and clarity on those things which cause you fear. He will show you what is really going on. He will give you peace and comfort. He will also help you know how to respond.

Trust God fully. You can stand firmly on The Rock, even when you cannot see. He sees all. He knows all. He loves you.

Stay in The Word. God’s word is the truth. With the bombardment of lies we must go to the truth.

Worship. Turn up the worship music and turn off the news, social media, and all the other stuff that fills our minds. Praise God simply for who He is.

Fear is a spiritual battle so we must use our spiritual weapons.

When you feel afraid let that be a reminder to take your fear to Jesus. If you have to take your fear to Jesus a thousand times in one day then do it. He is always available and able to help you.

We are in a fearful time in history. There are plenty of very real things to be afraid of. As Christ followers we are not to live in fear. Sounds easy. It’s not always easy, but it is possible to stand our ground in faith without fear. You can guarantee the scary stuff will come. It’s our response to it that makes all the difference.

You belong to God.

For you are all sons and daughters of God through faith in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26, NASB

Jesus intercedes for you.

Christ Jesus is He who died, but rather, was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Romans 8:34, NASB

Jesus is always with you.

“I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:20, NKJV

The Holy Spirit will help you.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and remind you of all that I said to you. John 14:26, NASB

God will never forsake you.

For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5, NKJV

The Lord is your helper.

So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:6, NKJV

Things are not always as they seem. Remember my creepy snake? It was actually just a baby snake. Discernment is essential when there is so much deception.

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Love you all,

Meghan

Father God,

Praise Your holy name. Thank you for your faithfulness and goodness. I lift up every person who is gripped with fear. Give them peace, comfort, and wisdom. Help them to see with their spiritual eyes the truth of Your soverignty. May they experience Your incredible presence in new ways. Lift their heads and their eyes towards You. Give us all wisdom and discernment to know truth from lies. Let us hear Your voice above all the noise of this world. Shine Your light through us to a dark and hurting world.

In Jesus name,

Amen

joy

JOY

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I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.

Do you have joy? Deep down in your heart? 

If you answered no please be assured you can get your joy back because it’s there. It just got buried in trials, heartache, and stress. If you’ve got Jesus then you’ve got joy.

What is joy?

Joy is an abstract noun so it can be difficult to describe because it’s not something we can physically touch or see. It is a feeling or an emotion by definition. But what emotion is it? How can we define it?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, joy is “the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires”. This description of joy is based on circumstances. Good things take place resulting in our happiness. But this joy is circumstantial and temporary. 

What is joy to the Christian?

Joy is not just a mood or a feeling to the Christ Follower, and is not dependent upon our circumstances. Joy is deeply rooted in every Believer. We cannot conjure it up or fake it. Joy is knowing who we are in Christ. Joy is delighting in God. Joy is constant, unshakeable confidence in God the Father. Joy is a gift from God to every Believer in Jesus Christ.

Joy in the New Testament 

Chara is a Greek word for joy that’s used often in the New Testament. Chara describes “a feeling of inner gladness, delight or rejoicing”. 

The birth of Jesus Christ is announced with joy.

But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: Luke 2:10, HCSB 

Jesus gives us His joy.

“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. John 15:11, NKJV 

One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is joy.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, Galatians 5:22, NASB 

Prayer brings joy.

Until now you have asked for nothing in My name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete. John 16:24, HCSB 

Trials bring joy. 

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, James 1:2, NIV 

Loving Jesus brings joy.

and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 1 Peter 1:8, NASB 

Joy in the Old Testament

There are many Hebrew words for joy. Simchah is used frequently in the Old Testament and means “joy, mirth, pleasure, or exceeding gladness”. 

Strength comes from the joy of the Lord.

“For the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10b, NKJV

There is joy in God’s presence.

You will make known to me the way of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever. Psalm 16:11, NASB 

God can restore our joy.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Psalm 51:12, NIV 

Joy results in praise. 

Shout for joy to God, all the earth! Psalm 66:1, NIV 

Wise words bring joy.

To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is! Proverbs 15:23, ESV 

God gives joy to the righteous.

For God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy to a man who is good in His sight; Ecclesiastes 2:26a, NKJV

Can we choose joy?

I say yes. Because the choice is not for a phony temporary happiness. You can’t just plaster on a fake smile, and voila you’ve got joy. Real joy is authentic, and is deep inside of every Christian. Joy is from God and part of who He is. We’ve got the Holy Spirit living inside of us as Believers, so we’ve got access to joy all the time. 

It’s easy to lose our joy because we are being bombarded with a million things that take our joy away. When we take our eyes off of Jesus our joy diminishes. It’s still there but we covered it up unknowingly. The good news is our beautiful Savior, Jesus, is unrelenting in loving us and reminding us of who we are in Him. That’s real joy.

Some things you can do to get your joy back.

Ask the Father to reignite your joy in Him.

Spend some time just worshipping God.

Write down Bible verses on joy and place them around your home.

Take social media breaks.

Turn off the news.

Take a day to fast and pray.

Some things to remember to help get your joy back.

Jesus is your Savior, and intercedes for you day and night.

The Holy Spirit indwells every Believer.

Heaven is the perfect eternal home waiting for those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ.

Today is a new day with new mercies.

Jesus paid our sin debt in full.

Jesus will help you in all of your troubles.

Joy is a heart full of Jesus.

I just barely scratched the surface on the large subject of joy. God gave us the amazing gift of joy, His joy. What an awesome loving God we serve.

Love you all,

Meghan

If you need prayer email me at meghanewhiteauthor@gmail.com

Jesus, Trials

Rest for the Weary

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Have you ever been so tired that even a good night sleep won’t take away your exhaustion?

Your soul is so weary you think you can’t make it.

Do you need rest today? Are you worn out from life’s battles?

There is good news. You are not alone. Jesus is reaching out His hand to you right now. He can help you and lift those heavy burdens that you were never meant to carry alone.

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30, NIV

Jesus is telling us to come to Him. So come, to the One who can lift those heavy burdens. Come to the only One who can give you rest. Real rest for your weary and burdened soul.

“‘Come’; he drives none away; he calls them to himself. His favorite word is ‘Come.’ Not, go to Moses – ‘Come unto me.’ To Jesus himself we must come, by a personal trust. Not to doctrine, ordinance, nor ministry are we to come first; but to the personal Saviour.” Charles Spurgeon

The Jewish audience Jesus was speaking to had been burdened by the religious leaders of the day (Matthew 23:4). They were desperately trying to please God on their own.

The burdens that Jesus is talking about are the ones we place on ourselves. The burdens we were never meant to bear. We get so weighed down when we are relying on ourselves to carry the load.

The yoke of these burdens is unbearable. Heavy, awkward. They weigh you down so much that you can hardly move.

Jesus is the answer to our weariness. It’s all Jesus.

Jesus is gentle and humble in heart.

Jesus’ yoke is easy and His burden is light.

Bible commentator Adam Clarke noted that the ancient Jews signified yoke as their bond or obligation to God. There was the yoke of the kingdom, the yoke of the law, the yoke of precept, the yoke of repentance, the yoke of faith, and the divine yoke. (Commentary on the Bible, by Adam Clarke, [1831], at sacred-texts.com)

“Christ’s yoke means, the obligation to receive him as the Messiah, to believe his doctrine, and to be in all things conformed to his Word and to his Spirit.” Adam Clarke

A yoke is meant for two, not one.

Jesus is in the yoke with us.

We get the privilege of working with Jesus. His burdens do not weigh us down because Jesus is doing the heavy lifting.

There is absolutely no one else I’d rather be yoked with than Jesus. He is the only One who can lighten my load and bear my burdens. I may get tired and worn out at times. We all will. Jesus says, “I will give you rest.

The rest Jesus gives us is unlike any other. It is a gift from God for those who follow Jesus.

Come to Jesus. He will give you rest.

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
  In the light of His glory and grace.

Love you all,

Meghan

Photo by Lisa Fotios for Pexels

Faith, Trials

Jesus Will Get You Through Your Storm

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“I’m scared Lord,” I whispered as I fell asleep.

I had a vivid dream that night. I was standing on the shore of a stormy sea. The water was choppy with big waves and wind. The sky was filled with gray clouds. Jesus stood next to me. He stepped out to the stormy sea, and I took a step with Him. We walked through the storm together on top of the waves. Jesus was by my side the whole time.

In my dream Jesus did not calm the storm, and He did not part the waters. Jesus took me through the storm. I woke up with a sense of peace and comfort. Jesus spoke to me in a dream without saying a word. He was going to get me through my storm, and He did. 

Jesus will get you through your storm.

Sometimes God will calm the storm. Sometimes God will part the sea. And sometimes God will calm you, and walk  you through the storm.

I prefer “calm the storm”, not “walk through the storm”. But God knows what is best for each of us, and He is always concerned with our heart and our faith. He sees the entire story, we only see the storm, and we want it to stop. 

When we walk through the storms in life with Jesus our faith grows. We learn to trust Him and follow Him. If we go ahead of Him and take our eyes off of Jesus, we will begin to sink. There is good news. Jesus is a rescuer. Peter learned this lesson.

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

Matthew 14:25-31, NIV 

As soon as Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and saw the wind he was scared and began to sink. Wind is scary. Big waves and storms are powerful forces. They cause a lot of damage. But Jesus is bigger.

Jesus rescued Peter without hesitation. He knew that Peter was doubting. We all have doubts at times. Is God really going to help me? Can He? The answer is yes. 

Peter walking on water is a miracle. Just imagine what miracles God can do in your storm. Our faith grows in hard times. You and I can walk on water with Jesus, not on our own.

The key to getting through the storm is to follow Jesus. We must keep our eyes on Him. The moment we look at the wind we will begin to sink. 

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. Hebrews 12:2a, NIV 

God can fix any problem with a snap of His fingers. When He does not immediately calm our storms, He is doing something much deeper in each of us. We are being refined to be more like Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. This is never easy, but Jesus will help us. 

Storms are opportunities for our faith to grow. We are not alone in the storms. Jesus will help us to make it to the other side. Trust Him and keep your eyes fixed on Him. And when you start to sink, cry out to Jesus. He will rescue you.

Love you all,

Meghan

Father God,

Thank you for always hearing our prayers and cries for help. Thank you for Jesus our Savior. Thank you for making a way through the storms. For all those in storms right now, give them peace, comfort, and provision. You will make a way through. Keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. He is everything.

In Jesus name,

Amen 

Photo by Kammeran Gonzalez-Keola on Pexels.com

Family

Happy Birthday Mom, I Miss You

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On this day, October 19, in the year 1943, my mom came into the world. Dorothea Louise Tanyer was the last of three children for Luther and Elizabeth, and their only daughter. She was born into poverty with both her parents working so they could scrape by. This adorable picture of my mom is one of the very few from when she was a toddler. Little Dorothea had blonde hair and bright blue eyes. She was tiny and feisty.

Mom had to fight most of her life. The first house she lived in growing up had an outhouse. Weekly baths were taken in an old metal tub. The cleanest person took the first bath, and the dirtiest person took the last one in the same water. Grandma made my mom’s clothes and cooked meals from scratch. Grandpa always had a garden. They always had a dog too. I have countless pictures of my mom with many different family dogs over the years. That must have fueled my mom’s love for animals.

My mom never had real toys as a child. She always wanted a baby doll, yet never got one. She told me of one birthday where she actually got a present, but was so disappointed to open the gift only to find a Howdy Doody doll. That was it. That was her one childhood toy and she didn’t even like it. (Look up Howdy Doody if you don’t know who that is.)

Little Dorothea was a very sick child. Back in those days the doctor would come to your house. The doctor came to my grandparent’s house many times over the years. Mom would get pneumonia and various serious illnesses over and over again. She slept in her crib until she was almost 8 or 9. My grandparents couldn’t afford a bed so they had to make do. Thank God my mom was small. For a while she didn’t have a bedroom, just a space in a hallway with a small bed.

My grandfather was an alcoholic and got into trouble at some of the local bars. Mom would be sent as a young girl to go fetch grandpa from the bar and bring him home. Yet my mom loved her dad. Mom loved both her parents and she never said a coarse word about them over the years. My mom really did honor her mother and father. All the stories Mom shared about her mom made me believe that grandma was a saint. I guess she was to some extent for putting up with my grandpa.

Those formative years created a resilient spirit in my mom. She would always bounce back from whatever sickness, or heartache, or trial she experienced. She made a choice to fight. The circumstance was not going to define her, or stop her. The root of Mom’s resilliance was her faith.

After coming to Christ in her late 30’s her life and view radically changed. I know Jesus because my mom introduced me to Him. She was so excited about her new found faith in Christ that she shared it everywhere she went. Worship music was being blared on eight- tracks. (Look up eight-tracks if you don’t know what that is.) And those songs were going into my head and heart. I can vividly remember listening to The Boone Sisters and singing along. (Look up The Boone Sisters if that sounds weird to you.)

Mom’s first Bible study was the book of Acts and she loved it! For the first time in her life the Bible was alive. She met Jesus in that Bible study. Jesus carried my beautiful mom through many hard years. Mom is at peace now. She went home to Jesus on December 31, 2019. No more diseases, or suffering, or pain. Mom had many good years too, and many good things in her life. I am grateful to know of her hard upbringing, and what she overcame. Mom still inspires me today.

Today I honor you, Mom. Happy birthday. I miss you! I love you always, and I’ll see ya soon.

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12