Sunday, April 26, 2020

"In This Moment"

Reflections4Life April 26, 2020
“In This Moment”
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” Matthew 6:25-27

Scripture Contemplation: Ecclesiastes 3; Matthew 6; 1 Peter 5…

We are often worried about what happened yesterday, and what is going to take place tomorrow that, we miss this moment. We do not enjoy the gift of today and right now.
At this moment, there are people crushed, literally, and figuratively speaking, by the devastation, this pandemic has caused many lives and livelihoods. There are families saying goodbye tho their loved ones; not even certain why. All they have is this moment.
I decree today’s Reflections brings comfort and peace to your heart and mind. may it be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. Be present at this moment. Do not dwell in the past you cannot change, or a tomorrow that hasn’t arrived. Live in this moment with gratitude. Allow God to fill you this moment, so that He can be the one who prepares you for a tomorrow, and washes away the cares of yesterday.
We find so many things to complain about. There are so many things we can come up with that we want to change. But how often do we stop, and be grateful, truly grateful for this moment? The moment we are in right now, breathing, feeling, seeing, hearing, and receiving.
God is a faithful God. He knows our thoughts. He knows our hearts. He knows what we have gone through, and what lies before us. He encourages us to take no thought for tomorrow; about what we will eat or what we will wear. He has made it abundantly clear that He will take care of us.
In this moment, where are your thoughts? What is your focus on? Are you enjoying this new day? Are you taking the time to relish in this awesome gift of today? Or, are you hindered by the mistakes of yesterday and what-ifs of tomorrow? Do not be. Take this time to enjoy the time with your loved ones. Take this time to gain the knowledge you never would have had time to do. Do not be in a rush for things to back to "normal"; instead, determine to do things in a new way. Even the earth recognizes the clock being reset. The animals even sense the shift in the air.
If we could sincerely be grateful for this moment; seeking to do things the way God would have us to do, I suspect we would have minimal regrets in our lives going forward. Enjoy this moment; this time. Be grateful for it. Love with all you have, in this moment.
My Beloveds, may the spirit of peace and prosperity find permanent rest in your lives. I decree that every good thing that God has ordained for your life will become evident to you. Live in this moment with the certainty that God has taken care of your every tomorrow. Whatever took place in the past, He has taken care of that also. Do not miss the miracles of today by being wrapped up in things you cannot change. You are blessed. Now go and be a blessing.

©2020. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

"In Times of Pain and Heartache"

Reflections4Life April 19, 2020
“In Times of Pain and Heartache”
“He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power.” Isaiah 40:29 (NASB)
Scripture Contemplation; Psalm 121; Isaiah 40; Jeremiah 17; Zechariah 4; Ephesians 4; 6; Philippians 4:13…

It is so easy to let go and stop believing than it is to hold on and keep believing, standing in faith, and trusting God to do just what He said. Oh, how I am there this very day. At the crossroads of holding on and letting go. Yet, my relationship with the Father just won’t allow me to let go. Even, in this time of pain and heartache, I will continue to hold on, because I know God has me. The wonderful thing is… He has you, too!
I decree that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. The times before you may be difficult and painful, and at times heart-wrenching; I implore you to look to the hills, which comes your faith; for your strength comes from the Lord.
This is what I know: I am alive and breathing only by the grace and mercy of the Lord. There is a war going on between my flesh, emotions, and spirit. There is a battle between my intellect and my faith. There are times when I can’t say who is winning because my heart just aches so much that my throat tightens from squeezing back the tears that want to continually flow. Yet, I still reach forward to God, even though I can admit that I am angry with God.
Yes. I said it. I am angry with God. Surely, He could have stepped in! Surely, He could have done something! Surely, He could have prevented certain things! Surely, He could have heard my prayers and answered! Surely, He could have said something instead of being silent! I could go on and on because my flesh will always cry out this way, while my spirit says: All things are working out for my good. I will not grow weary in well-doing. I will see the righteousness of God in my life and in this land.
I cannot be anything but transparent before you today, beloveds. When I say the pain and heartache that I am experiencing at this moment is deep; it is. It is so excruciating that it feels like someone has a vice-grip on my heart and is squeezing it. The enemy is taunting, while my spirit is yelling: GOD CANNOT LIE!!!
Have you been here beloved? Are you here now beloved? I can only imagine what you may be experiencing in these Pandemic times we are living. It is as though, COVID-19 has a personal vendetta against us; aimed to destroy everyone and everything we love and hold dear. Are you in so much pain and heartache that you do not know how or if you are going to make it? The last thing you want is a bunch of scriptures quoted to you. The last thing you want to hear is that God is working it out. All you know is that you want the pain to stop. You want God to answer your prayers…NOW!
This is the point where we need the scriptures more than ever. This is the point when we must remember the promises of God. This is the time when we must be very honest with ourselves, and the Lord. Trust me, God can handle it! Tell God you are hurting. Tell the Father if you are angry with Him. Tell God about your disappointments. And, after you have done all of that; after you have cried and felt sorry for yourself; open your mouth and begin to give God the praise. Open your mouth and begin to declare the scriptures, the promises of God, to your situation and your circumstances. Declare and decree them over your family for generations to come!
Yes! It is difficult. It is hard to do these things when the pain is so raw and present. When you feel like you’re in a hopeless situation and you are bombarded with bad news all the time, every day. Yet, this is what we must do to hold on. This is what we must do by faith. We cannot trust our feelings, Beloved. We cannot go by what things appear to be. We cannot allow the present sufferings keep us from walking in faith and calling upon the Lord. Why? Because the moment we give in to the pain and heartache is the moment, the enemy wins this battle.
We must determine in our hearts to go forward and to hang on no matter what we are going through. It is easy to let go and to go back to the world’s way. You just let go. It is much harder to hold on because the flesh continually wants to wallow in the pain instead of remembering the promise. My goodness, it hurts so badly! Some days I just cry and cry, and my heart aches so badly. I just want it to be over. I just want God to do what He said and bring His promises to pass right now!
I confessed my anger to the Lord. I let out all that is in my heart. I bring it to the throne and lay it at the altar. Then, though my flesh does not want to, I remember His promises and I give Him the praise. I speak the scriptures. I make God my strength. Yes. It still hurts, but I know that if I give up; if I let go now; things will only get worse, at a steep cost and the devil wins. And I refuse to give the victory to the enemy when he has already been defeated.
There must come a time when we ask ourselves if we are going to believe God or not. If we are going to trust Him where we cannot trace Him. If we are going to walk by faith and not by sight. And, if we truly believe that God will deliver the righteous out every affliction! I am holding on—determined that this pain and heartache will not last. We will win…in fact—WE HAVE ALREADY WON! GOD IS ON OUR SIDE!
My Beloved, I decree that the spirit of peace and of prosperity has found permanent rest in your lives. What we are experiencing right now is painful. You may not be able to see the road before you, but I encourage you to continue to trust God to bring you through. Let your faith lead you where your flesh is reluctant to go. We walk by faith, not by sight. Let the power of God fill you and strengthen you. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!

Sunday, April 12, 2020

"The Resurrection Secured Our Future!"

Reflections4Life April 12, 2020
“The Resurrection Secured Our Future”
O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 NKJV
Scripture Contemplation: Matthew 28; John 21; Acts 1, 2; 1 Corinthians 15...

Happy Resurrection Sunday! May the grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ be present in your lives today and each day following. May you know and believe in the love that He has for you and that you come to the knowledge and understanding of just how much power there is in believing and surrendering your all, to God. Know in your hearts He lives. There is no day or tomorrow that you cannot face and not be triumphant in. For the Father has already declared us the winner because of His Son! He has secured our future!
I decree that this week's Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. May the glorious love of our Father continue to blossom in your heart, and you come into the understanding of just how much God has ordained for your life and made it possible through the death and resurrection of Christ.
Because Christ lives, we live. Because He lives, we have access to all that is the Fathers. Because He lives, there are a wealth of hidden treasures to be found within our own souls. Because He lives, the enemy has and will always be defeated. Because He lives, we are declared the victors. Because He lives, our future is secured, if we should believe.
I don't know if I can truly do justice to what it is that I am feeling in my heart at this moment. I do not believe that I have the proper words to convey what it is that my heart is bursting with over the fact that Jesus lives, and because He lives, every promise that God has made is a definite guarantee. That, all that I have ever been waiting for will happen, if I just continue to be obedient and believe. He has secured my future with the Resurrection.
Have you ever waited so long for something and thought it was never going to happen? In fact, it seems as though the opposite has happened, and everything you believed went the opposite way? You know that feeling. That, unexplainable choke-hold on your heart? I suppose that was the same thing the disciples and followers of Christ felt when He was crucified.
Imagine walking with the One you believed to be the Son of God; the Savior of your people—witnessing the miracles and receiving the teachings, and learning of the promises of God, only to have the one you believe in captured by the enemy and put to death. But in your heart, you continue to hear His words playing over and over. You hear His lessons and His promises, and you see the miracles taking place repeatedly; playing in your mind until sleep invades you? Then, you find yourself questioning what you believe, what was spoken. Surely, if He truly was the Son of God; the Savior; couldn't He just defeat the army of the enemy? Couldn't He prevent Himself from being killed?
They wrestled with what was in their heart versus what they were seeing and experiencing with their natural eyes. Yet, within their heart—even through fear and doubts—there was hope. There were the words of Jesus, His promises coursing through their minds, and they believed that there had to be more. That, it could not be over. And they were right. For on that third day, the Son of God rose from the dead. With the resurrection, our fate was secured for all eternity! Hallelujah! The devil got his butt kicked once and for all! There's nothing the enemy could do about it. Because Christ lives, we can claim the same victory should we believe and accept Christ as our Savior!
Oh, Beloveds! To have been there that day to see with our own eyes the promises of God being fulfilled. To witness the resurrection of our Lord and Savior. To understand that all that He had spoken and promises were made real and guaranteed on that day. So, come to the understanding that no matter what life throws at you; no matter what lies the enemy tries to spew; no matter what hindrances come our way; if we can just hold onto the fact that He lives; then we know for certain we win!
Allow me to speak into your lives today, Beloveds. I want you to be encouraged, as I am encouraging myself today. Whatever you have been waiting on the Lord for. Whatever you have been believing God for. Whatever the Father has promised you; Because He lives, you can take that as a guarantee that it is coming to pass!
Do not let go of the promises. Do not let go of what God has spoken to you. Do not go by what it looks like. Go by what God has spoken. Continue to walk by faith. I don't care HOW LONG THE WAIT!!! YOU KEEP TRUSTING GOD!!! His promises to you are coming to pass. Don't get so close, and allow the enemy to fool you and have you give up and you walk out of position! I have been there! And I refuse to let it happen again!
The followers of Christ thought it was over. They thought the devil won. Heck! The devil thought he won, too! (I really laugh hard at that fact! Imagine the celebration the enemy was throwing himself? Imagine all the plans he was issuing his minions so that he could take over. Then, he calls in death and asks for the soul of Jesus. And then, death doesn't answer. He calls again. No answer. Then he goes to look and finds death bound up, the Keys of Life gone, the souls locked in bondage free, and not a trace of Jesus our Lord and King! Yes!!!! Oh, man! The trembling that went on probably felt like an earthquake!
1 Corinthians 15:51, 57 Who got the last word, oh, Death? Oh, Death, who’s afraid of you now? It was sin that made death so frightening and law-code guilt that gave sin its leverage, its destructive power. But now in a single victorious stroke of Life, all three—sin, guilt, death—are gone, the gift of our Master, Jesus Christ. Thank God! (MSG)
Be encouraged! Do not let go of the promises of God concerning your life. Be patient and fervent in your prayers. Believe what God has told you and shown you. Think of it daily. Prepare for it! For this is the season it comes to pass! Because He lives, you can face each day with boldness, faith, and expectancy. Though it may seem hard, don't look at the time. God works outside of time and has the power to restore any time loss. Believe in Him. COVID-19 has nothing on the Power and Resurrection of Christ!

My Beloveds, I decree that the spirit of peace and prosperity has found permanent rest in your lives. Let this Resurrection Sunday remind you of just how powerful and loving our Father is. Let it encourage you, and inspire you to hold on, sparking hope in your heart, while resurrecting those dreams and visions that may have died over the years while waiting. As long as God said it, that settles it! It shall be done if you continue to believe and faint not. Death, Satan, and the grave couldn't hold Christ. And that means they can't hold you or your dreams and promises from God, either! So keep believing. No matter what, you are blessed. Now go...and be a blessing!

©2020. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, April 05, 2020

"Betrayed and Rejected but Not Abandoned"

Reflections4Life April 5, 2020
Betrayed, Rejected, but Not Abandoned”
And while He was still speaking, behold, a multitude; and he who was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them and drew near to Jesus to kiss Him. But Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” Luke 22:47-48
Scripture Contemplation: Matthew 26-28; John 19; Romans 3; Hebrews 7...

Wishing each and everyone a glorious Palm Sunday. I pray this time of reflection on the Cross, and the resurrection of Christ, will bring you clarity, strength, and encouragement in these very difficult times that we are currently facing. Know that it is never over until God says it is over.
There are times in our lives when each person will feel the sting of betrayal and rejection. People will disappoint us, hurt us, and even leave us. Though we are betrayed and rejected, we are not abandoned. Not by the Father. God is always there, whether we acknowledge Him or not.
I decree that this week's Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. May the redemptive work of Calvary flood your heart, mind, and soul; bringing you peace and encouragement and the knowledge that with God, you are never alone.
We have all experienced what it feels like to be betrayed by someone you love or trust. We can also attest to knowing the feeling of being rejected. Rejected by the people you love; someone you admire, someone you like, a job, or position. We know the sting, and often the heartache.
Many of us even know the devastation of being left behind. Left by those who were supposed to care for us and love us. Too, look out for our best interest and protect us. Though they left, we are not abandoned. Not if we know God, and understand that, He is with us always; even when we do not acknowledge Him, feel Him, or see Him. He is there.
Abandon: to leave and never return to (someone who needs protection or help). : to leave and never return to (something). : to leave (a place) because of danger ...(Merriam-Webster)
The human heart can be a messy thing. It can be deceitful and cruel. Just as it can be loving and kind. While others cannot fathom the thought of abandoning someone they love or hurting them in any way, shape, or form; there are others that will cause devastation, leaving many broken and bruised.
Yet, even with all this devastation and heartache, there is a fact that so many people do not know or understand—God is there. He's always been there. Waiting for us to call upon Him. To come to Him. To know that He has never abandoned us. He has never left us. In fact, He has been reaching out towards us, calling for us to take His hands and trust Him.
Even in our darkest hours when the enemy is whispering his lies, and saying that not even God cares or understands; that God has abandoned us and forgotten us; God is there. He is there waiting for us to call unto Him. Waiting for us to accept the love and healing that He has long offered us. Waiting for us to show up to His table and dine with Him.
Now, more than ever we need to cling to God and our faith. Facing the onslaught of COVID-19, it has shaken many people’s faith. With the constant reporting and the negative reports, we are inundated with so much negativity, that it becomes all we see; causing many of our hearts and hope to fail. In times like these, we cannot let go of our faith. We must be proactive in speaking the word and remembering who we are and what the word of God says. We must speak positive affirmations to counter all the negative coming our way. If we don’t, we will crumble under the weight of such negativity. We can, and will get through this because GOD is with us. This pandemic is not God leaving us, but He is speaking to us and reminding us that He will never leave or abandon us; though it is hard for many to believe and see.
When you are one that has experienced much betrayal and rejection in your life, it is hard to imagine or believe that there is someone that actually cares enough for you to stay with you through your ups and downs. Someone that will never leave you, or hold your faults, and past against you. It is hard to reconcile within yourself that there is someone that loves you just for you, and will move heaven and earth just for you; just as He gave His only begotten Son for you.
It's hard to believe because we have put God on the level of man. We have placed God in the position of who a man is, and how they can disappoint. So we attribute the same characteristics to our Heavenly Father.
There are also those of us who have a difficult time reconciling within our hearts and mind how it is possible for God to love us as He says He does when our lives have been hit with such devastation and setbacks. It is hard for us to justify in our mind that God truly cares and yet can allow us to be disappointed and our faith shaken and sometimes shattered. How is that God never leaving us, when these things keep occurring in our life? Isn't the Father supposed to protect us?
I've been there. And it's a hard place to be when you are in your emotions, and just simply cannot understand or justify the hurt and pain your heart is feeling with the God you have come to know and serve. Yet, I will say this: we live in a world that is filled with darkness. There are people that make decisions that affect our lives. Yet, God is still merciful and in control. If we can hold on to His word and promises, we will see God show up in unexpected ways.
No matter the circumstance or the situation, God is there, He is in control, and His will is done concerning us. No matter how much it seems that the devil has won; no matter how heavy the hurt or devastation, God is still in control. If we continue to trust Him, seek Him, and not abandon our faith, we will see that ALL things are working for our good. Understanding will come. Maybe not today or tomorrow or next week, but it will come. We just have to have faith, which dictates that we walk by faith and not by sight.
Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane, battling His flesh for our souls. Feeling the sting of betrayal; knowing what Judas had done. Knowing the time of rejection before Him; how His disciples would scatter, and the very people He ministered to, healed, set free, would betray and reject Him; He determined that may His Father's will be done and not His own. Though He was betrayed and rejected, He understood that He was not abandoned by His Father.
Because of this, we live. Because of this moment, this decision, we have access to eternal life. Because of this moment, we can know that we are never abandoned, never alone, as long as we know God. Even in our darkest hours, when all seems lost and makes no sense; God is there, stretching His hands towards us. Reaching out to us and admonishing us to come and have a seat at His table so He can fill us up.
Though people may betray you, reject you, and even leave you; know in your heart that the Father will never abandon you. He is there with you in all of your storms, tests, and trials. He is encouraging you and making ways for you that you have yet to see. Everything that you experience in this life, God will make it for your good; if you trust Him and keep believing. God will never leave you. He was there before you even showed up.
My Beloved, I decree that the spirit of peace and of prosperity has found permanent rest in your lives. Believe with all your heart and soul that God will never leave you, betray you, or reject you. He has a standing invitation just for you at His table of abundant life. Where man has failed you, allow God to lift and keep you. He sent His Son just for you. He will never give up on you. You are blessed. Now go...and be a blessing!

©2020. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.
Video; Don't Believe the Lie