Faith

How Do You View Adversity?

Welcome to Hustle in Faith. This podcast is dedicated to helping you find your trail to a happier healthier you by discussing topics regarding Christianity, health & wellness, beauty & so much more! I’m your host Tosha Johnson.

This is Episode 89. (Season 2 Episode 24) How will you view adversity?

The past couple of weeks have been an absolute blur. This episode has been in my head for a while now but I finally got a chance to record it, so I’m super psyched about that victory!

Keeping busy and staying out of trouble comes easy to me because my schedule is filled with my passions.  Lately, things have been going crazy good for me.

Many of the things that I’ve wanted to do for years are slowly but surely starting to come true. I have a newfound appreciation for my ability to do these things because of the time I’ve spent in life’s valleys.

Valleys are those seasons in life when despite your best efforts, nothing seems to go right. Valleys are inevitable. Some last longer than others, but the only way you can pull through is by placing your trust in God. I know this is going to sound weird, but due to things going so well for me caused me to reflect on the times I spent in the valley.

There are two reasons in how we end up in a valley. One we’re in sin and God is trying to get our attention or two, and this one may be a harder pill to swallow, God wants you to use your valley experience as a stepping stone to further His will. 

Regardless of what the reason it is, I’m sure it’s safe to say that none of us want to be in that valley. Yet, the only way you can emerge from it is to determine how you got there. Did you lose your blessings or are you moving forward? 

Now I know that this may seem like a strange question, but trust me, it will make sense, so stay with me.

Looking back on my life, I can pinpoint several instances throughout my life, where I lost my blessing and the culprit to this occurring was sin. During many of those times, sin was the reason I was in the valley. Now I know a lot of people like to assign various degrees to sin like, “Oh, it was only a little lie,” or console themselves with thoughts like, “I didn’t rob or hurt anyone, so it’s okay if I (insert sinful behavior that you know you shouldn’t be doing).” This may make us feel better, but God will still be displeased. 

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When I reflected on my valley experiences I recognized many of those experiences were because I lied to myself. Instead of having faith in God, I often viewed myself and the resources as the Source to solve my problems. This was wrong. God is and always will be the Source. This is why I lost some of the blessings that God had given me. Much like Samson, I didn’t realize what I had until it was gone. My mom would constantly warn me about a variety of things, but because I was young and stupid I kept on doing my own thing until my world started to fall apart.

I’m just blessed that my mom was there to help me identify where it was where I went wrong so I could rectify the situation. If my world had not fallen apart I would still be going down the wrong path. I was stubborn but also had a strong desire to succeed which can only be accomplished by obeying Him.

Once I repented and truly turned my life around I started to see so many things change in my life. Everything started going my way! I got a new job making more money, I was able to travel more, a new place, and so much more! Man, you couldn’t tell me nothing! So imagine my surprise when once again I found myself in a valley and I was trying really hard to live my life according to God’s Word.

I was trying to follow God’s Will. No matter how hard I prayed, I still ended up losing the things I wanted to keep. However, little did I know, that in this instance I wasn’t losing anything. 

Since I had been praying and diligently trying to obey His word, God was removing things from my life to make room for more of the blessings that He wanted me to have at that point in time in my life. However, He was only able to do this when I had demonstrated faith that the things being taken away were for a reason. 

For example, when I was laid off from my job, I remember being so angry. I’m a hard worker, so why is this happening to me? There were so many other idiots who didn’t work but still had a job.

It took me a minute, but I realized that those times I was unemployed was God giving me a much-needed opportunity to rejuvenate. I was able to spend more time studying His word, hanging out with family and friends, learning new skills, and the list goes on.

Most importantly, I got to spend more time with Him. He taught me so many lessons and showed me so many signs that He was and always will be with me provided He remains first in my life. Guess what?!

Every time I have ever been laid off I ended up getting a better job somewhere else making way more money than the previous job. Yet, had I not stayed in faith this would not have happened. Again, in life losing things and God removing things in your life look exactly the same. 

There’s a hole in your life that you desperately want to fill. However, the method in which you choose to fill it will determine whether it will hold or turn into a sinkhole. 

The only way you will ever make it through adversity is by acknowledging how you got there in the first place. If you’re in sin, repent if you’re not in sin stand firm in your faith.

Just take solace in the fact that God is working on a plan for your life that is better than you could ever imagine. 

He has proven through stories like Job, Joseph, and so many others that a win can come in the form of a loss if you stay in faith. 

Thanks so much for listening to today’s episode. Don’t forget to check out the Prayer and Gratitude Journal for Men and Women of Faiththat is available for sale on Amazon.

If you enjoy Hustle in Faith’s content, please consider becoming a supporter by donating to help offset the cost of producing this show.

Be sure to connect with us on Facebook and Pinterest. Remember, if you’re everything to everyone then you risk being no one. You never know who you will inspire, see you in the next episode! 

Will you ride through the rain?

Welcome to Hustle in Faith. This podcast is dedicated to helping you find your trail to a happier healthier you by discussing topics regarding Christianity, health & wellness, beauty & so much more! I’m your host Tosha Johnson.

WILL YOU RIDE THROUGH THE RAIN_

This is Episode 88. Will you ride through the rain?

Ever since I was a child, I’ve always loved sports. One of my favorite sports is bike riding. I can literally ride all day. Just give me some snacks and I’m good to go! I don’t know why, but I just find biking to be incredibly relaxing and some of my best ideas happen when I go biking.  You can imagine my frustration with our rainy weather.

Every time I was ready to go for my bike ride, it rained. For the past couple of weeks, we’ve gotten a lot of rain, which is pretty uncharacteristic for my area; especially, this time of the year. This was killing me because I had been wanting to go on this 20-mile bike ride (to an area that I hadn’t biked to in ages).

Finally, one day I got fed up and decided I was going on this ride no matter what happens. The day of my bike ride, it was cloudy, but it wasn’t raining so I thought it was all good. I was only like 5 miles into my ride and then it happened…I felt a raindrop. When I felt that raindrop, part of me thought, “You should go back.”

Although I felt disappointed and frustrated, yet I didn’t let the rain stop me from enjoying my bike ride.  Instead, I changed my state of mind to view my rainy bike ride as an adventure. Besides, I had come too far to turn back. Since my desire to make it to my destination was stronger than ever, I opted to ride through the rain. I’m glad I did.

As I got closer to my destination, it wasn’t raining. Believe me, making it to my destination this time was much more memorable than all the other times I had biked to this area. Why? That bike ride got me thinking about my life. Especially, over the past couple of years. This entire adventure made me think about my rainy life.

Like my bike ride, every time I tried to go forward, my life seemed to be a downpour of never-ending obstacles that made me feel like retreating. Through my rainy bike ride, I was able to understand the triumph that God was trying to teach me. He allowed me to see completion is the answer to true enjoyment. Regardless of what the weather looks like, my focus should be on finishing my ride.

My rainy bike trip brought back to memory all those times God had helped me through the rainy days in my life. I honestly did NOT start enjoying my life until I stopped being afraid of the rain. I thought about how I tried to wait until I thought it was “safe” to go after my dream, and I would see all these clouds start to form and then it would start to rain with all sorts of problems. 

What helped me to stay strong and focused was remembering that God never promised us that every part of our life would be easy. In other words, we will encounter rainy days; meaning, “problems in our life”. However, He did promise us that He would not give us more than what we could bear. Remembering God’s promise helps me to take comfort in the fact that I can enjoy life; even during those problematic rainy days.

Prayer and Gratitude Journal
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Check out the prayer journal I created that inspired this series called Prayer and Gratitude Journal for Women of Faith: A 3 Month Guide to Prayer and Gratitude that is available for sale on Amazon.

Thanks so much for listening to today’s episode. If you enjoy Hustle in Faith’s content, please consider becoming a supporter by donating to help offset the cost of producing this show.

Be sure to connect with us on Facebook and Pinterest. Remember, if you’re everything to everyone then you risk being no one. You never know who will inspire, see you in the next episode!


Part 4: What is an extraordinary life?

Welcome to Hustle in Faith. This podcast is dedicated to helping you find your trail to a happier healthier you by discussing topics regarding Christianity, health & wellness, beauty & so much more! I’m your host Tosha Johnson.

Part 4: What is an extraordinary life?
Grab your copy today!

This is Episode 86. This is part 4, the last part of our series called  “What is the extraordinary life series?” So be sure to go back and listen to the previous episodes.  Also check out the prayer journal I created that inspired this series called Prayer and Gratitude Journal for Women of Faith: A 3 Month Guide to Prayer and Gratitude that is available for sale on Amazon.

Prayer and Gratitude Journal for Women of Faith

Prayer and Gratitude Journal for Men of Faith

Prayer & Gratitude Journal for Adults & Teens

In today’s episode, we’re going to discuss how we can go about implementing these attributes into our lives so we can finally live an extraordinary life. By now, I’m sure you understand that you can’t achieve this without reading and meditating on the word of God. 

All we need to do is focus on building up our relationship with Christ. We can accomplish this by doing the following: 

Spend time with God

In order to have a close-knit relationship with someone, we have to get to know them. We accomplish this feat by spending quality as well as quantity time with the person we want to know. The same applies to our relationship with God. The only way to get to know God and how He operates in and throughout our life is by getting to know Him.  We accomplish this feat by daily reading and meditating on His word.

We have to intentionally prioritize our schedule so we can spend quality as well as quantity time with Him. Finding time to spend with God isn’t going to “magically” happen. We must diligently put forth the effort to put Him first in our lives. For example, I’m a morning person. I make sure to schedule anything that is important to me during the morning hours. Anything that requires my undivided attention is scheduled during this time frame. 

I wake up at 5am so I can make sure I have enough time to do Bible study before I go to work. Yes, I do fail on some days, but for the most part, I try to keep this schedule. Studying the Bible first thing in the morning gives me the right frame of mind so I can deal with whatever obstacles I will encounter working in a secular environment.

God’s Word sets the tone for my day. I noticed if I don’t do Bible study in the morning, I usually do not get a chance to do it later. Throughout the day, the cares of this world fill my mind with so many other things that it hinders me from spending quality time in the word of God. 

My point is, if you are serious about getting to know God, we must build up our relationship with Christ. We do this by daily dedicating quality and quantity time to the word of God. Again, in order to get to know someone, we must spend time with them. Reading and meditating on the word of God is how we spend time with God. This type of action confirms that we truly want a relationship with Him.

Trust Him

Trust can only occur after we get to know someone.  As I stated before, in order to get to know someone, we must spend quality as well as quantity time with them. All of which will help us to build a relationship of trust. The same concept applies to our relationship with God. In order to trust God, we need to spend time daily reading and meditating on His Word so that we can get to know Him. 

Only through the word of God can we build up a relationship with God whereby we will completely trust Him in all aspects of our lives. Such a relationship is what the Bible calls walking by faith (2 Cor 5: 7). It was this type of relationship that gave Abraham the confidence he needed to completely trust God (Proverbs 3:4-6). As a result of his trust, Abraham did not lean onto his own understanding when God told him to sacrifice Isacc the promised son. 

This type of faithful relationship is what God is trying to build with us today. In order to have this type of relationship, we must be willing to spend time and energy getting to know God. We do this by daily reading and meditating on His word. Think about a relationship from a human perspective. 

In order to trust anyone, we need to determine what type of character this person possesses. We must determine if this person is worthy of our time and loyalty. In order to answer questions like these we need to make time to get to know the person we are seeking to place our trust in. This is what Abraham did with God. Abraham spent quality and quantity time with God so that he could get to know God. 

Today, we can do the same. God’s Word is how we get to know God and His Character. In doing so, we too can develop a relationship with God that transcends time.

Remove toxic people and behavior from your life

The cliche “Misery loves company” is very real.  If someone is not adding value to your life and constantly causing you to feel frustrated and stressed, they are not worth your time and energy. Regardless of what title a person holds in your life (i.e. mother, father, sister, friend, etc.), if they aren’t behaving the way that they should (according to their title), then you need to leave them alone. Satan is notorious for using our family and friends against us.

Satan knows that the best way to derail our relationship with God is through our family, friends, etc. Satan, knows that most people want to obtain the favor and recognition of their family and friends; therefore, he tries to make us choose our association with these people over God.  In other words, Satan uses our family, friends, etc. against us. 

This is why you cannot focus on titles such as someone being our brother, sister, mom, father, friend, etc. If that person is NOT behaving correctly, according to Christ’s standard, then we are to remove them from our life. Many of us fail to realize that evil communication corrupts good morals; even when it is coming from loved ones.  In situations where someone is clearly trying to corrupt us, we need to remove this toxic person and their sinful behavior from our life.

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Are we taking time to listen to a friend that is hurting, helping someone who is less fortunate get food to eat, etc. Doing things like this will inevitably leave those who are benefitting from your kindness to see why you are helping them. Many people talk a good game, but actually putting actions behind those words is what differentiates and demonstrates that we are truly a Christian.

Living an extraordinary life is not an easy feat, but I hope you can tell from this series that it’s worth the fight. I thoroughly hope that you have enjoyed this series. Again, if you’re looking for a way to track your journey, be sure to check out the Prayer Journal I created. It’s a fantastic way for you to see how far you have come in your quest to gain the faith you need to start accessing the blessings God has in store for you.

I write in this journal EVERY day in order to keep track of my faith and quest to  gain a better relationship with God. In doing so, I’m able to see which of His attributes I am lacking so I can make adjustments to my life and get back on track.

I really hope you take time to purchase this journal.  I like having a journal because oftentimes we think that God isn’t listening to our prayers based on how long it has been for Him to answer our prayers. With a prayer and gratitude journal you can track all the blessings and prayer requests that were answered. In doing so we will develop a better relationship with God.

Thanks so much for listening to today’s episode. Don’t forget to download the free goal setting planner and grateful notes on the website. If you enjoy Hustle in Faith’s content, please consider becoming a supporter by donating to help offset the cost of producing this show.

Be sure to connect with us on Facebook and Pinterest. Remember, if you’re everything to everyone then you risk being no one. You never know who will inspire, see you in the next episode!

Part 3: What is an extraordinary life?

Welcome to Hustle in Faith. This podcast is dedicated to helping you find your trail to a happier healthier you by discussing topics regarding Christianity, health & wellness, beauty & so much more! I’m your host Tosha Johnson.

This is Episode 85. This is part 3 of 4 in our “ What is the extraordinary life series?”  So be sure to go back and listen to the previous episodes and check out the journal I created that inspired this series called Prayer and Gratitude Journal for Women of Faith: A 3 Month Guide to Prayer and Gratitude that is available for sale on Amazon:

Prayer and Gratitude Journal for Women of Faith

Prayer and Gratitude Journal for Men of Faith

Prayer & Gratitude Journal for Adults & Teens


In today’s episode, we are going to discuss the remaining attributes that we must embody in order to position ourselves to live an extraordinary life. We’ve got a lot to cover in this episode so let’s jump right in!

Faith

Since many of us are conditioned to see before we believe this wrong mindset has made faith one of the hardest attributes to activate. Due to our lack of faith, many of us never get to experience all the blessings God has in store for us. Reason being, “. . .  without faith, it is impossible to please God . . . anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” (Hebrew 11:6).


Faith means that we are to never let our feelings/emotions control what we believe. Always wanting to see before we believe means that we cannot successfully live the Christian life. If we are waiting to see something before we obey God, then we will never receive all the blessings God is willing to give us because God does not help us until after we put faith into action. 

Furthermore, having to see something before we act in faith, is called walking by sight. God has commanded us to “…walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Cor 5:7). Those of us that are walking by sight usually allow our emotions to control our outlook on life. 

If we are truly walking by faith, we will not allow our distorted feelings to control our thought life and hinder our actions. Allowing our distorted feelings/emotions to lead our life destroys our faith. All of which derails our relationship with Christ.

Gentleness

Possessing gentleness means that we learned how to be considerate. We treat others the way you would like to be treated (Matt 7: 12-14). We are patient and understanding of others needs. In other words, seek to understand where others are coming from instead of always seeking to be understood. In order to be gentle, we must conquer the concept that not everything is about me, myself, and I.

Now let’s be clear, being gentle does not mean that you become a fool and a doormat for Satan’s workers. We are to NEVER allow others to abuse or misuse us. This includes friends and family members. Gentleness means that we have a balance. We know how to discern people and their motives. We know when to rebuke and when to encourage the behavior of others. 

Christ is an excellent example of a person who constantly used gentleness toward others but He was not afraid of  rebuking those who needed to be put in their place. Gentleness is about balance, which is wisdom and patience working closely together.

Forgiveness

When it comes to forgiveness, many people take Luke 17: 3-4 out of context. We  should never forgive someone until they ask for forgiveness. In order to be forgiven of our sins (regardless of what they are) we must repent (Jud 16:25-28). In other words, the offender must apologize first (ask for forgiveness) before he or she is forgiven. This rule, repentance before forgiveness, holds true within the spiritual realm (between God and man) as well as the physical realm (Lk 13:3; Matt 18:15-35). 

God is not the author of confusion (1Cor 14:33). He created law and order for everything, even something as simple as forgiveness. This same rule (repentance before forgiveness) holds true for sinners who wish to become members of God’s royal priesthood as well as those who have offended us. 

This is why Christ said, “. . . except [you] repent; [you] shall all likewise perish. . .” (Lk 13:3-5; Heb 8:12; Matt 4:17; Rev 2:16; 21-22). In other words, we will not be forgiven (whether it is spiritual or physical) until we apologize (ask for forgiveness). 

Based on the aforementioned, those that are blameless in the situation (that the wrongdoing occurred) should not automatically forgive the wrongdoer. The reason God’s law requires one to repent (asking for forgiveness) before he or she is forgiven is because His law works as a two-edged sword (Heb 4:12; Lk 17:3-4; Matt 18:15-17). 

God’s law requires repentance before forgiveness because it teaches everyone involved (the wrongdoer, a.k.a. the offender) as well as the innocent person. 

The innocent person will learn patience by obeying God’s rule by waiting until the wrongdoer /offender asks for forgiveness. When the wrongdoer asks for forgiveness they are acknowledging the error of their ways, which indicates that they will make a conscientious effort to no longer repeat the offending behavior. Waiting until an apology occurs teaches everyone a lesson (1Cor 11:31; Eph 1:7; 1Joh 1:7-9; 2:1-2; Heb 8:12; Matt 26:28). 

Self -Control 

I know you have heard the cliché “Not everything that glitters is gold.” Although this is simply a cliché, it has plenty of merit. We need to especially keep self-control in mind when it comes to making decisions. Satan has decorated a lot of  landmines to look desirable and harmless. In reality what we see is not all that is to be seen; which is why the cliché “Not everything that glitters is gold” has merit.

Self-control prompts us to stop and think. It keeps us from making rash decisions that can later cause us to be hurt or destroyed by Satan’s landmines. A person with self-control will behave like David. David was constantly seeking God’s advice before he made his move. If we do the same, this will keep us from being blown up by one of Satan’s landmines. 

Self-control is needed especially when it comes to our desires. There is nothing wrong with having desires, but we need to exercise self-control so that we can keep these desires aligned with the word of God (Ps 37: 4).  

When we don’t exercise self-control over our desires, we’re going to sin. We will place too much importance on obtaining these desires and accomplishments. All of which will push our Source aka God, to the background; instead of in front for our protection.  When we don’t let God lead us, we will be destroyed Satan’s landmines. 

This is what happened to Esau. Esau over exaggerated his situation and sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of soup. He allowed his desire (in this case hunger) to cloud his judgment. If Esau had exercised self-control, he would not have given up the blessings that come with being the firstborn child. Without self-control, we will fail to see the big picture of life.

Wisdom 

We will face situations in life that will not make sense. Life is filled with Catch-22s. They will leave us feeling angry and frustrated; especially if we are doing our best to stay aligned with God’s will. In a situation like this, we should go to God and ask Him for the wisdom of Christ and God will grant our request. Again, the only way we can get out of situations is by accessing Christ’s wisdom. 

Being able to access Christ’s wisdom is why we need to build up our relationship with Christ.  We do this by daily reading and meditating on God’s Word. Through this process we can obtain and maintain our relationship with Christ. Having the wisdom to discern between good and evil will give us peace and prosperity.

Wisdom leads us to the right path. Wisdom that comes from heaven is pure and you will be able to see this attribute in our deeds; which is why Christ said, “. . . wisdom is proved right by her deeds.” 

The reason the Bible teaches us that wisdom is more precious than rubies is because this attribute never works alone. Once you get wisdom, she will help ensure that the other attributes we attain will allow us to become like Christ.

Courage

Oftentimes, being a Christian will require you to stand alone. If we keep in mind that we are  only physically alone and NOT really standing by yourself, will give us the courage we need to win whatever battle Satan send our way (Joh 16:32).

Relying on the concept that God is with us, will help us to obey God’s command to be strong and of good courage. Since God is a loving Father who will never leave us nor forsake us, we have no reason to be fearful or afraid of Satan, his demons and/or their human workers (Deut 31:6). Focusing on the fact that God is with us (Joh 16:32), will have us to be just like Christ who didn’t have a problem confronting His enemies while ‘physically’ standing alone. 

Christ didn’t have an issue standing alone because He knew that He was not really alone. Christ knew that God was with Him (Joh 16:32). If we truly believe God the way Christ did, we would be bold like Christ and confront our situations face to face (Prov 28:1). We can obtain this type of courage by daily reading and meditating on the word of God.

In order to have the courage of Christ, we must develop the same type of relationship that Christ has with God. It is Christ’s relationship with God that gave Christ the strength and courage He needed to conquer whatever battle Satan sent His way. By reading and meditating on the word of God, we can have the exact same courage as Christ.

Having courage like Christ will give us the confidence we need to defend and share God’s Word. Like Christ, we will be able to show our courage in a variety of ways. In some cases Christ even physically fought Satan and his workers. If you recall, on one occasion Christ “forcefully” removed a group of demonic workers that had turned the temple of God into a “den for thieves.” These demonic workers were using the house of God for everything but worship. They were gambling and selling things in the temple. 

Another way Christ demonstrated courage was when He allowed His silence to do the talking for Him. Instead of answering the scribes and Pharisees questions, Jesus ignored their nonsense altogether and drew on the ground pretending like He didn’t hear them (John 8:8). The mere fact that Christ was able to stay cool, calm and collected when surrounded by an angry mob showed great courage. Those demonic workers tried all sorts of ways to trick Christ into sinning.

In this case (John 8: 1-12), the scribes and Pharisees caught a woman in the act of adultery. They brought her to the temple under the premise that they were trying to keep God’s law. Christ being omniscient knew their real intention was to use this situation as a way to trick Him into making the wrong decision. As I stated before, Christ demonstrated His courage through a variety of ways. Knowing when and not to speak takes an equal amount of courage.

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We finally made it through all of Christ’s attributes! In our next episode, we will conclude the “What is the extraordinary life?” series by discussing ways in how we can go about implementing these attributes into our daily lives. 

Thanks so much for listening to today’s episode. Don’t forget to download the free goal setting planner and grateful notes on the website. If you enjoy Hustle in Faith’s content, please consider becoming a supporter by donating to help offset the cost of producing this show.

Be sure to connect with us on Facebook and Pinterest. Remember, if you’re everything to everyone then you risk being no one. You never know who will inspire, see you in the next episode! 

Part 2: What is an extraordinary life?

Welcome to Hustle in Faith. This podcast is dedicated to helping you find your trail to a happier healthier you by discussing topics regarding Christianity, health & wellness, beauty & so much more! I’m your host Tosha Johnson.

This is Episode 84. This is part 2 in the What is the extraordinary life series? So be sure to go back and listen to part 1 and check out the journal I created that inspired this series called Prayer and Gratitude Journal for Women of Faith: A 3 Month Guide to Prayer and Gratitude that is available for sale on Amazon.

In today’s episode, we are going to discuss 6 of the 12  attributes that we must embody in order to position ourselves to live an extraordinary life. We’ve got a lot to cover in this episode so let’s jump right in!

Love

To get the full benefit of the love attribute, we need to view love from a parent/child relationship. This way we can get a better understanding of God’s love towards us. God is our parent. Just like a physical parent provides and protects their child, God does the same through His word. God created Scriptures so He could explain to us the meaning of life while guiding us to grow into Christ’s likeness. 

In order to accomplish this feat discipline must be involved. Whether we know it or not, discipline is a part of love. When a good parent loves their child, they will use discipline in order to try and deter their child from wrongdoings. Well, God is a good parent and this is why He does the same thing. When we persist in misbehaving, then consequences for our actions (“chastening of the Lord; a.k.a. discipline”) will come into play. 

At this point and time, we need to keep in memory that our chastening (“discipline”) is done out of love. God said, “. . . As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.” (Rev 3:19). The book of Proverbs (3:10-12) echos these words by saying, “. . . My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction; For whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights. Therefore be zealous and repent.”

Joy 

This is an attribute that oftentimes causes the most confusion. Many of the trials we endure will not make sense. Nonetheless, we are told to count it all joy (James 1: 2-8). 

In order to see the joy in our trials, we must have faith that God knows what He is doing and that He will turn our trials into a victory of a lifetime. The only way we can view our situation from the correct standpoint is to stop allowing our emotions to dictate our outlook on life or dictate our actions regarding the matter.

Allowing our emotions to lead us especially when they are not properly trained with the word of God usually leads us to questioning God’s ability and doubting His intentions.  When we allow our weak emotions to guide us; especially, during difficult times, we lose faith and start to think that God does not have the ability to handle our situation. 

Thinking with our distorted emotions, we take matters into our own hands and mess things up worse then they were before. It is at this point and time that we cannot count it all joy. Whenever we go outside of the will of God, we will not be able to count our trials and tribulations as joy. God will not participate in our sinful acts. Therefore, He will not turn our situation into a dream of a lifetime.

In order to count our situation as joy so that God can turn it into a dream of a lifetime, we must NOT allow our distorted feelings to lead us. We have to allow the word of God tell us how to feel and think. When we align our emotions to the Word of God, then we’ll see our situation change and blessings materialize in our life.

Peace

Peace is an attribute that everyone wants and needs in order to enjoy the abundant life Christ came to give us (Joh 16:32; 10:10).  Although peace is what we need and seek, many of us are not willing to put forth the effort to attain Christ’s peace. To experience a peace that surpasses all understanding requires us to focus on the word of God and NOT our circumstances. 

Focusing on God’s word in the midst of our troubles means that we are daily reading, meditating, and properly applying the word of God to our life.  In doing so, Christ will give us a peace that surpasses all understanding. Going outside of God’s word in order to resolve our situation is the reason why many of us do not have Christ’s peace.

The life of King Solomon demonstrates that although we may have riches and possessions without peace (one of the major attributes of Christ), we cannot experience the abundant life. 

Patience

God sometimes allows challenges/storms in our life in order to help us to develop patience. Patience is another attribute of Christ that will strengthen us so we can work within God’s timing. 

We will never know what we are capable of if we do not learn how to handle resistances we encounter in life. 

Instead of asking God to remove our obstacles we should be asking Him to give us the strength, courage, knowledge, and wisdom we need in order to develop patience in the midst of our circumstances. It is patience that keep us from working outside of God’s timing. Whenever we go outside of God’s timing, we  delay and even derail our destiny; which is the plan and purpose God has for our life.

In order to experience the abundant life that Christ came to give us, we must develop patience. Patience works closely with faith. Having these two attributes actively working within our thought life is what helps us to see God’s presence in and throughout our life. Patience helps us to develop the confidence we need to wait on God. In doing so, we will know that God is with us and is willing to help us overcome the obstacles Satan has set in our path. 

Kindness

Kindness is putting God’s love into action. In Luke 10:25-29 we’re told about the story of the Good Samaritan. A man was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho and he was robbed. The robbers left this man for half dead. A priest and a Levite both came down the same road and went on the other side. A Samaritan saw the man and helped him. The Samaritan bandaged the man and even put Him up in an inn. The Samaritan saw someone in need and He took the necessary actions to satisfy the need.

Demonstrating kindness means that we do not just sit on the sidelines and watch people suffer. God wants us to actually help those who are in need. Good intentions don’t benefit anyone. Only when actions are performed will those good intentions bring the kindness of God into reality. Showing the kindness of the Lord means that we will not be unfruitful in the work of our Lord Jesus Christ. We will treat people the way God treats us.

Goodness (generosity) 

People automatically jump to the conclusion of providing financial assistance when they think of the word ‘need.’ Many of us fail to realize that there are many ways we can show generosity toward others. Regardless of our status in life, everyone can show generosity toward others through prayer, wise counselling, etc. 

One of the best ways that we can demonstrate generosity is praying that the person in need be given the Holy Spirit for guidance and help during their time of need. Asking God to give someone the Holy Spirit to help them is better than giving someone money. If the person praying is in good standing with Christ, we need only to ask for Christ intervention in a situation and it is done. 

In fact Christ said, “Ask and it will be given to you . . . knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

To show that our prayers will be answered Christ stated, “Which of you fathers if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:12-14).

In order for the above prayer to manifest, the person being prayed for must be exerting energy to help themselves (2 Thes 3:10). In other words, we are not to reward the fearfulness and laziness of others.

What we discussed today are the first 6 of 12 attributes that we need to attain in order to live an extraordinary life. We will discuss the remaining attributes in the next episode. 

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