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Flowing Faith | Inspirational Christian .. by Mari-anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith - 2d ago

Being confident is something we all would like to be, right? Then there’d be no room for hesitancy or doubt, those invisible enemies of our happiness. But confidence in ourselves is a house build on sand. Only the house built on God will survive. Hence we don’t need to be confident in our own abilities. Confidence in grace suffices.

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16, NIV,*)

Confidence in grace

If you are a child of God, saved by grace, you can approach God with confidence. He will not throw you away. Nothing can separate you from his love. Grace changes everything. Then it’s no more about our sins and weaknesses but about Christ’s sinlessness and strengths. Hence we can be confident in grace.

With the words of F. W. Krummacher “When you stand before His gate, knock loudly and boldly. Do not knock as a beggar knocks, but as one who belongs to the house. Not as a vagabond, who is afraid of the police, but as a friend and an intimate acquaintance. Not as one who is apprehensive of being troublesome, or of coming at an improper time, but as a guest who may rest assured of a hearty welcome.”

So rest in complete assurance, be bold and confident in grace, you are accepted and wildly loved. Let this sink in and change you. Be forever confident in grace. It is the most powerful force in the universe. And it’s yours because God loves you so very much.

Gracious God,
Thank you for your wondrous grace.
It amazes us again and again.
First, it saves us and then it empowers us.
Make us forever confident in grace
and may your grace reign free in us.
In Jesus’ precious name,
Amen

Q4U: Do you have confidence in grace? How does it affect your way of living?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you put your trust in God and your confidence in grace!

*[As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses toBiblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I’ve used while preparing each post.].

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash. Linking up today with Dance with JesusFive-minute FridayWorth Beyond Rubies.

The post Confidence in Grace appeared first on Flowing Faith.

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Flowing Faith | Inspirational Christian .. by Mari-anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith - 6d ago

It’s that time of the year when love is in the air. And that’s all good. But there’s a danger in believing romantic love will make your life fulfilling. We should never put that kind of demand on anybody. Because they can’t deliver. Only God can. And that’s why only divine love is truly fulfilling love.

God’s love is special, he loves us at our worst. God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Rom. 5:8, NIV). He made it possible for us to be saved by grace. But even that’s not all, folks. God’s love goes even deeper than that.

He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing. (Eph. 2:10, MSG, amphasis added)

Fulfilling love

God has created us to join him in the work he does. We are meant to be in union with Christ and to join in God’s work. Only then we are truly fulfilled. God wants us to be completely happy and blessed. Hence, he does not leave us after saving us. Instead, he calls us to join him in the work he does. He gives us purpose and meaning. And he has even prepared all the good works for us beforehand. So we could be completely fulfilled and happy.

That’s fulfilling love. It does not insist on its own way but wants the best for the other. Only Christ can deliver what we are craving for. No man, no woman can do that. Only Christ is perfect. And only Christ can fulfill all your needs and enable you to become who you are meant to be. So don’t hesitate to surrender to him. Jesus can make so much more out of your life than you – or romantic love – ever could. Surrender to fulfilling love.

Dear God,
We surrender our wants, needs, and dreams to you.
Make something beautiful out of them.
Be praised for saving us
and thank you for not stopping there.
Thank you for wanting to give our lives purpose and meaning
by joining in the work you do.
Show us how to serve you best,
and bless us doing so.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: Has romantic love ever let you down? I hear you. Fortunately, Divine Love never lets us down.

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you celebrate love & friendship but worship God (and not the romantic hero(in)e in your life or in your dreams)!

Photo by Alex Block on Unsplash.



The post Fulfilling Love appeared first on Flowing Faith.

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Flowing Faith | Inspirational Christian .. by Mari-anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith - 1w ago

There is so much negativity going around that it’s tempting to just give up. But that is not a solution. Instead, we are called to go against the grain and build each other up in faith. This seems to be a novel concept these days. But what if we build our lives on faith and extended love even to our enemies? Our world would become a better place for sure. And then we would not even be tempted to give up.

But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love. (Jude 1:20-21, NLT)

Build each other up

Building each other up in faith might sound a bit too big of an order. And it would be if we were left to our own devices. But we are not. Actually, quite the opposite. We were left with the Holy Spirit, the superpower of the universe. Does that change how you feel about the task ahead of us? I hope so. Because of the Holy Spirit, we can build each other up in faith. And so much more.

Too often we forgot who is our partner. If the Holy Spirit is your prayer partner, you’d better make your prayers bold, right? And, if God’s power is ours to use, we’d better make our plans big as well. That’s why a call to build each other up in faith isn’t that intimidating anymore. It makes sense to spread God’s love in every way we can.

When we stay at the center of God’s love, abide in Jesus, and are empowered by the Holy Spirit, nothing seems impossible. This is the divine perspective that enables us to be bold for Jesus. From our own perspective, the world is scary and negativity tries to take over. But we are not supposed to live in fear, anxiety, and despair but in faith, hope, and love. Only then we are able to build each other up in faith.

Let us pray

Gracious God,
Thank you for calling us to live in faith, hope, and love.
And thank you for paving the way away from fear, anxiety, and despair.
Remind us, Lord, that because the Holy Spirit is our prayer partner,
we need to pray big and live boldly.
Fill us with your Spirit, create something new out of our messes,
and empower us to build each other up in faith.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: Are you stuck in negativity or do you live in faith, hope, and love?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you embrace God’s grace, live in the power of the Holy Spirit, and build each other up in faith!

*[As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses toBiblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I’ve used while preparing each post.].

Photo by Melissa Askew on Unsplash.Linking up today with Dance with JesusFive-minute FridayWorth Beyond Rubies.

The post Build Each Other Up in Faith appeared first on Flowing Faith.

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Flowing Faith | Inspirational Christian .. by Mari-anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith - 1w ago

Isn’t it interesting how everything in Christian life starts with surrender? The word and the thing we all hate until we learn the beauty of it. Let me explain. The beauty of surrender is real. It leads us from dark disasters into light and love.

Sure, we are saved by grace but it doesn’t happen without surrendering our hearts to Jesus. Also, all the growth in grace and wisdom happens through surrender. The Christian life is all about surrender. God only wants our surrendered hearts, then he will take care of the rest.

The beauty of surrender

The beauty of surrender lies in the fact that it’s not the end of things (like we often fear). Instead, it’s a beginning for the better and more blessed things in our lives.

I assure you andmost solemnly say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone [just one grain, never more]. But if it dies, it produces much grain and yields a harvest. (John 12:24, AMP)

If the seed doesn’t die, it can not produce a thing. So if you want to be fruitful, you need to surrender to Jesus. Not only once but every day. Then you’re living in light and love. With purpose and meaning.

The Christian way of life

It also seems that anything beautiful, anything worth accomplishing, starts with surrender. If we want there to be less of us and more of Christ, the way is through surrender.

When surrender becomes the way of life for us, we are truly blessed. Then we can hear the beat of Father God’s heart. And that’s heaven on earth.

Gracious God,
We thank you and praise you for
teaching us the beauty of surrender.
Lord, we truly want to be yours.
We surrender our hearts and minds,
our everything to you.
And we give our wants and plans and dreams to you,
may only your will happen in our lives.
Show us your heart, your will.
We want to follow you.
Show us the beauty of surrender.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: How does surrender make you feel? Do you recognize it as a central part of Christian life? Do you practice it?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you surrender your everything to Jesus daily!

Photo by Jeremy Yap on Unsplash.

The post The Beauty of Surrender appeared first on Flowing Faith.

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Flowing Faith | Inspirational Christian .. by Mari-anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith - 2w ago

Where is your happy place? What do you do when you have some me-time? Answers to these questions reveal a lot about who you are and what you value most. They also can reveal your secret idols.

It’s good to have a place where we can relax and put our hair down. But sometimes our heart leads us astray and we create altars for our secret idols and visit them much more than we should.

For where your treasure is, there your heart [your wishes, your desires; that on which your life centers] will be also. (Matthew 6:21, AMP,*)

Your secret idols

What is the center of your life? Is it your flatscreen TV or is it Jesus? Or maybe it’s something noble like charity or your family. But if it takes the place of Jesus, it’s an idol nonetheless. It’s time to unveil your secret idols.

“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one [the only God]! 5You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and mind and with all your soul and with all your strength [your entire being]. (Deut. 6:4-5, AMP,*)

Truly, we need to be aware of where our treasure is. And if it’s not Jesus, we have a lot of praying to do. Because we can’t force change ourselves (or we can but it won’t last very long). Instead, we need to pray ourselves back to Jesus.

…are defeated by Jesus

Only Jesus can ignite an eternal spark in our hearts. But he does it so well when we invite him to do so. Jesus can create a more blessed happy place for us. He can show us what a truly rejuvenating me-time could look like.

So let’s dump our secret idols at the foot of the cross and ask Jesus to lead us into the presence of our Heavenly Father. That’s the ultimate happy place for all of us. Because it is unique for each of us. God knows best what we need. We just need to show up. Everything is ready.

Gracious God,
Forgive us for worshiping secret idols.
It’s you who we want yet we let our desires lead us astray.
Create a happy place for us in your presence.
Defeat our secret idols, Jesus.
Keep us close to your heart.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: What are your idols? How do you keep Jesus number one in your life?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you surrender to Jesus daily.

*[As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses toBiblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I’ve used while preparing each post.].

Photo by John Tuesday on Unsplash. Linking up today with Dance with JesusFive-minute FridayWorth Beyond Rubies.

The post Your Secret Idols appeared first on Flowing Faith.

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Flowing Faith | Inspirational Christian .. by Mari-anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith - 2w ago

When everything goes smoothly, it is easy to be happy. But when storms rage in the sea of life, we wail with the winds, right? What if it’d be possible to live calmly even in the middle of a tornado? What if endurance, encouragement, and hope were always up for crabs?

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Rom. 15:4-6, NIV)

Endurance, encouragement, and hope are offered to us in God’s Word. Everything we need comes from the Lord. So we are not in the mercy of our feelings or circumstances around us. We can receive endurance, encouragment, and hope in every situation.

Unfortunately, we refuse to accept them way too often. We think we can manage on our own or we assume we don’t have any other choice. But that’s not true.

I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens andempowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.](Phil. 4:13, AMP)

Enduranace, encouragement, hope

We have the strength to continue to live by God’s grace. Just like Paul, we can endure anything through him who infuses us with inner strength. Grace is God’s operative power in the midst of us. The same power that resurrected Jesus is available for you. Do not let it go in vain. That would not be unselfishness or humbleness but self-sufficient pride.

God loves you and wants to be part of everything in your life. He wants to give endurance, encouragement and hope, all that you need to keep on keeping on. This is not magic or positive thinking but God’s influence in our lives.

So let’s believe and trust in Jesus. Let’s keep at reading Scriptures and praying, let’s revel in God’s presence. That’s where we receive our everyday grace, in whichever form we need it, right then and there.

Dear God,
Forgive our doubts and hopelessness.
We come to you weary and anxious.
Lord, have mercy on us!
We leave our worries and burdens at the foot of the cross.
Pour out grace,
give us endurance, encouragement, hope,
and everything we need to keep on keeping on.
And don’t just give a little bit of grace,
give us so much grace that it runs over,
so that the wasteland of our souls will blossom.
Thank you, Jesus, for taking care of us.
Help us to remember where our help comes from.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: Do you remember where you help comes from? Do you apply grace into your life?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you apply the liberating, encouraging, and endurance-giving grace into your life. Just believe!

Photo by Anastasia Vityukova on Unsplash.



The post Endurance, Encouragement, Hope appeared first on Flowing Faith.

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How do you live your life? Cautiously or boldly? Do you choose the most convenient way or the high road? I would like to think of being bold but, in reality, am I? I used to be bold and fearless, dreaming big and reaching for stars. And then came along the kids and cautiousness. There’s nothing wrong with taking care of your kids, of course. But they can also be our excuses for not living boldly. What is your excuse?

“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.38 And he who does not take his cross [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me] is not worthy of Me. 39 Whoever finds his life [in this world] will [eventually] lose it [through death], and whoever loses his life [in this world] for My sake will find it [that is, life with Me for all eternity]. (Matthew 10:37-39, AMP,*)

Enough of excuses for not living boldly

Yesterday, I tweeted a short prayer by Burk Parsons “May our passion for Christ always be greater than our passion for an easy life.” And I’ve been thinking about it ever since. Our passion for an easy life seems to be strong. And I do get it, believe me. Especially, when life is tough, an easy life does sound like a dream. [Just know that God does not send people out when they are weary. Then we are called to rest in him.]

However, our passion for Christ needs to be greater than our passion for anything else. That’s what the Bible tells us. We need to follow Jesus not comfort. Yet that’s exactly what most of us seem to be doing. We want to decide how our lives evolve. [Or, should I say, we want to pretend to be in control of our own lives.] Or, at least, we want to live in comfort.

Not enough of stepping out of our comfort-zones

But, let me tell you, if we want to follow Christ, there’s no room for excuses for not living boldly. We need to begin anew every morning. Remind our comfort-hungry minds that our lives belong to Jesus, not to ourselves. Ask Jesus what he wants us to do that day. And then go off following Christ wherever he leads.

This sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? Why then isn’t it easy to live it out? Because this is no heaven, we are still in the middle of the battleground. Do not fear though. The battle is won. And grace is our power. We just need to stay close to the Victor and he will see us safely home.

Gracious God,
Forgive us choosing safety and comfort over you.
Help us not just to do what is convenient
but to do what is right.
Show us how to boldly follow you.
Because that’s what we want.
So we surrender to you our everything,
our excuses, our idols, our fears, and dreams.
May only your will happen in our lives.
Make us bold for you.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: What are your excuses of not living boldly? Are you ready to get rid of them?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you dump your excuses for not living boldly at the foot of the cross.

*[As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses toBiblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I’ve used while preparing each post.].

Photo by Daniel Jensen on Unsplash.Linking up today with Dance with JesusFive-minute FridayWorth Beyond Rubies.

The post Enough of Excuses for Not Living Boldly appeared first on Flowing Faith.

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My heart is full of all the things I want to share with you. In short: do not go about your day without marveling and embracing the grace of God. It’s amazing and it’s been brought to you by the blood of Christ. So do not put it in vain without accepting and receiving it. Not only for your salvation but for your everyday enjoyment and encouragement. Because you are meant to live to the praise of his grace and glory.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. (Eph. 1:3-10, ESV, emphasis added)

Live to the praise of his grace and glory

God’s will is good and he is the source of all the spiritual blessings as Paul explains in verse three. But, as you can see, the blessings are only accessible through Christ. Only through his blood, we have redemption. It’s not something we take from Christ and then go on with our lives on our own. No. It’s something we live in Christ. Continually. Day in, day out. Christ did not come to make us perfect, self-sufficient people. He came that we had life and more life in him. So we could live to the praise of his grace and glory. And find the ultimate satisfaction in him. How does this happen?

Find the ultimate satisfaction

You are called to live to the praise of his grace and glory. Only that will bring you the ultimate satisfaction you crave. Let me explain. The world thinks the ultimate satisfaction is found in anything but Jesus. But the Bible tells us that it is found only in praising God and his grace and glory. How come?

Because God loves us so much. What? He wants us to be saved for sure, that’s why he sent his own son to redeem us and bring us back to him. But that was only the beginning. He wants more for us. God wants us to enjoy him and his spiritual blessings. When we truly understand the lavishness of God’s gifts to us, we burst into praise of his grace and glory. That’s what he wants to us: the genuine joy of connecting with God. And even that is not the end of it. With praise, we receive even more blessings. Praise completes our enjoyment of God and his grace and glory. It’s the ultimate satisfaction. Just for you.

Gracious God,
We thank you and we praise you
for your grace and glory.
Thank you for blessing us with so much more than we can even imagine.
Be praised for gifting us
with grace upon grace,
life upon life,
joy upon joy.
Show us how special it is
to abide in you
and truly connect with you.
Teach us to praise you in divine ways.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: Have you found the ultimate satisfaction in praising Jesus?

Be richly blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you take to the praise of his grace and glory as your ultimate goal for your life.

Photo by Xan Griffin on Unsplash,

The post Live to the Praise of His Grace and Glory appeared first on Flowing Faith.

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Flowing Faith | Inspirational Christian .. by Mari-anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith - 1M ago

The Cambridge Dictionary defines influence as “the power to have an effect on people or things”. We’d like to think we do not have any influence not so ever to be free to do whatever we like. But, no, that’s not how it works.

We influence and we are influenced by people we meet and by things we read and watch. So what to do? We need to choose what kind of person we want to become and what kind of legacy we want to leave. Hence it does matter how we use our time and how we fill our hearts and minds.

The Holy Spirit backed influence

We need to choose our influence. May I recommend the Holy Spirit backed influence? Even though when it comes to choosing our influence, we don’t necessarily think about the Holy Spirit. But, nonetheless, the Holy Spirit backed influence is the best kind we can give or get.

Only the Holy Spirit leads us in God’s ways. Otherwise, we are influenced by our own or other peoples’ minds. Any mind that is not influenced by the Holy Spirit is not an ideal leader because it leads us away from Christ.

…is the aroma of Christ we spread

When we let the Holy Spirit lead us, we’re spread the heavenly fragrance wherever we go. We can think of Christian influence as leaving the aroma of Christ. It’s the Holy Spirit through his people influencing the people they meet. That is how lives are changed and heaven touches us here and now.

In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life. But those on the way to destruction treat us more like the stench from a rotting corpse. (2 Cor. 2:14-16, MSG,*)

So, yes, we need to choose what kind of fragrance we want to leave wherever we go. We need to choose if we want to become more Christ-like and spread the aroma of Christ. If we do, we know what we need to do. The more we abide in Christ, the more we give off the sweet scent of him and the more Holy Spirit backed influence we have.

Let us pray

Gracious God,
We want to get to know you more,
to be filled with the Holy Spirit,
and spread the aroma of Christ.
So we surrender to you, Lord.
Make us influencers for you.
May your light and love spread like wild fire
to all who we meet.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: Who/what does influence you? What kind of legacy do you leave?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you let the Holy Spirit back your influence and spread the aroma of Christ wherever you go!

*[As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses toBiblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I’ve used while preparing each post.].

Photo by Peter Forster on Unsplash.Linking up today with Dance with JesusFive-minute FridayWorth Beyond Rubies.

The post The Holy Spirit Backed Influence appeared first on Flowing Faith.

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Flowing Faith | Inspirational Christian .. by Mari-anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith - 1M ago

Do you feel overwhelmed, confused, or lost? Welcome to life, my friend. We’d like to think life is supposed to be easy but – I hate to break your illusion – it’s not. Life is life, full of drama, struggles, and shocking surprises. Sure, at the same time it is breath-taking, beautiful, and precious. Nevertheless, it is tough. So we need to get used to it. Or, at least, we need to know what to do when we don’t know how to proceed or when we feel helpless and are ready to quit. It’s life-changing to know how to handle storms of life. Because then you don’t have to be afraid of anything.

How to go about it? The Israelites gave us two clues to guide us when we don’t know how to proceed.

O our God, won’t you stop them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help. (2 Chronicles 20:12, NLT)

How to handle storms of life

The first step on our way to handle storms of life is to admit that we are powerless. When storms of life are raging around us, we need help. It’s time to stop pretending we know what we are doing or how to handle situations. We are adults and very capable in many areas of life but when it comes to life storms, it does not matter how old we are, we need help. When we feel overwhelmed, we are wise to admit our need and seek help.

The second step to handle storms of life is to look for God. He knows what is going on in your life. Even though you are over your head, God isn’t. Nothing in your life will surprise him, he is at peace at all times. And his peace can be yours. Just lift up your eyes to him and ask for all you need.

How to go about it

When you don’t know what to do, pray. God will answer. When you are exhausted, overwhelmed, and clueless, ask for God to intervene. He will answer. When you feel powerless, reach out to God. He will bless you.

I don’t know how this works but I know from my own experience it does work. Cry for help. And trust that it will come. And it will. The storm will still be there but God will send you help to get through it. I’d say the only way to handle storms of life is to admit our powerlessness and ask God to help. Whether your storm is a health matter, a family matter or work-related, God will guide you and help you. Just learn to turn to God. Often and over and over again. Invite God into the midst of your chaos and you will learn to handle storms of life with him.

Gracious God,
We need you so badly.
Without you, we are lost in the sea of life.
We lift our eyes to you and ask for help.
Come and help us,
bless us as only you know how.
Let us feel your presence,
especially when storms of life rage around us.
Give us your peace in the midst of our chaos.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: Do you know how to handle storms of life? Please, do share!

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you learn to admit your need for help and ask God for it. And say thanks when you receive it!

Photo by Oscar Keys on Unsplash.

The post How to Handle Storms of Life appeared first on Flowing Faith.

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