What exactly does it mean to be a Christian? I know it means you believe Jesus Christ is the son of God. He was persecuted, put to death on the cross, died, only to rise from the grave three days later. But what makes someone who believes in Jesus different Jesusthan someone who believes in another faith or doesn’t believe at all?

To me, the answer is quite simple. It’s how we deal with life’s changes.

Psalm 9:9 reads, The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.  This is what makes a Christian a Christian. Faith.

Christians rely on Jesus to get them through the tough times. Others don’t have the assurance that they are not alone. Say you lose your job. How would you, as a nonbeliever, handle it? Maybe yell, cuss, drink. As a believer in Jesus, you should pray and read your Bible. (I know some Christians would do the first, but bear with me here.) A Christian would turn to a loving father, God, for support and guidance. A non-Christian would not have that type of support system.

Before I became a Christian, I would use alcohol, food, and retail therapy as a way to get through bad times. Of course, most of Gretchenthe spending I did was on credit cards so that only made matters worse. However, now I’ve come to rely on Jesus.

Last week, I found out my dog, which is like a child to me, has a tumor in her stomach. She’s 14,  so we opted not to do surgery. Too many things could go wrong with a dog that age. Needless to say, my day was filled with prayer while she was getting her
ultrasound. Years ago, I would have called all my friends just to get the support I needed. Sometimes they were there, sometimes not. This time I turned to Jesus. He held me while I fought tears and was there for me to talk to. That’s the type of love and support my god gives me.

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Let go of what you think you know. Something amazing happens when you let God and trust.” – Tammy L. Kubaski, author

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 I don’t know how those who believe in other religions, or people who don’t believe in anything at all, get through a tough time.

I’m glad I have someone to turn to when the hard times come. I know He will always be there for me. While I go through a hardship, I know, without a doubt, I will not be alone. Can others say that?

What do you think makes a Christian different from people of other faiths or from those who don’t believe at all? I’d love to hear your opinions, so please leave a comment below.

If you or someone you know are in need of prayer this week, please let us know. We’d be more than happy to pray for you.

And if this post moved you in some way, please feel free to share it.

 

Do your words to others come across confident and kind? Do your thoughts relay the same message? How often do you feel insecure while trying to put on a bold façade? Or you tell your church family how wordsblessed you are all the while you wish for more?

It’s common to put on a fake smile and not want others to know the issues that go on behind closed doors. However, the more you live with negative thoughts, the more discouraged you become. You can’t be happy if you think about what if’s, why not me’s, and how come’s. In order to feel God’s total joy, what you say needs to reflect what you think.

Isaiah 26:3 reads, You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. The more you focus on Jesus, the harder it will be for those negative thoughts to creep in. I’m notorious for these thoughts, especially in traffic. I want everyone to get out of my way. I’m almost sure most don’t need to be on the road at the same time I do. Why don’t they just leave earlier? I know it’s silly, but that’s how I think.

It’s at these times I turn on my favorite radio station Air1, jack the tunes up, and get into the Christian music. Music might not work for everyone. I’ve just always enjoyed music. You just need to find what works for you. Maybe it’s reading the Bible or prayer.

antsThese negative thoughts actually have a name. They are called Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs). These thoughts continually fill our minds with worry and self-doubt. And like live ants, they seem to come out of nowhere. There might only be one or two one day, but the next there are several. If you don’t get rid of your ANTs, you will never have joy in your life.

One way to rid yourself of these ANTs is with reflection. Ask yourself why you feel this way? Most of the time it’s from past experience.  Another thing you need to do is replace them with positive thoughts. Find a good Bible verse and memorize it. When a negative thought drifts in, say your verse out loud.

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We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses. ― Abraham Lincoln 

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Only when we look on the bright side of situations and reflect on the positive, will we become happier. And the more we focus on Jesus, the tighter we can close that trap door on our negative thoughts. Only then can our words truly reflect our thoughts.

If you or someone you know are in need of prayer this week, please let us know. We’d be more than happy to pray for you.

And if this post moved you in some way, please feel free to share it.

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