Central to the Heart

Inspiration and Encouragement


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Your Life Has Purpose

You Matter Here.pngA question I find myself asking is: How am I being an example for Christ? In other words, is my life showing others the love of God? Does my life even make a positive difference in the lives of others? Does any one else ever ponder questions like these in their own lives?

For me, sometimes I wonder how I can even make an impact on the world when hard things happen all the time and so many people are hurting. Then, here’s me in the midst of it all, and I am one of those people who are hurting. It hurts to hurt. How can wounded people help others who are wounded? The pain can make you want to find the quickest way out. The times in my life when I have felt this way are times when I am the most self-centered. I forget that I am not the only one who is hurting.

If I claim to have strength in Christ, then the same power that raised Him to life is in me now through the Holy Spirit. Despite that, why is it still so easy for me to just want to stop trying? Why is it so hard to motivate myself to get up and try again? Why is it so easy for me to just stay down and give up? Who else out there has questions like these running through their heads?

Here’s the truth, deep down I know that I don’t want to give up. I want to fight not only because I am called to be more like Christ and Christ doesn’t give up, but also because I want to fight for the cause and sake of others who are suffering and who need comfort, encouragement, and help. I believe there is such thing as wounded healers: people who have been hurt, but who let God use it for good by sharing their story and hopefully inspiring another to keep fighting. We all need God to help us to keep fighting. We can’t give up when others need Christ. For us to show Christ to others we need to stay in Christ, abiding in Him, the True Vine (John 15). And that is the only way we can ever be strong – is in Christ!

Without Christ we would all completely fall apart. I pray that in Christ we would realize our lives have value and a purpose. We were made to live for so much more than we could ever imagine. God’s got a plan, and He knows what He is doing. Let’s live to be examples for Christ despite the difficulties! We all have it in us to make a difference.

 


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The Human Side

Human Side.jpgThere is a song titled “The Human Side” that I can sometimes relate to. The lyrics start off by saying this:

I woke up this morning, my stomach is already in knots, the sky is so grey,
Edge of my bed, strugglin’ to gather my thoughts, I don’t even wanna be awake…

I think that, at times, we can probably all relate to feeling like this because we are all human. And so, I listen to these lyrics and I wonder: what can we do to feel better when life drags us down? What can lift us up when we feel like we are sinking? Who can set our feet on the solid ground we so desperately long for? Who can point us into the right direction so that when we wake up we are actually excited about being awake and having a life to live?

The song goes on saying that God is the One who understands our human side. He knows that we all struggle, and He really understands those struggles. He can handle every part of our lives that feels like chaos to us. His love shows us that there is hope in every day.

So, if you have been feeling stuck and wondering what you are doing with your life and you feel like you are only just sinking further and further down, I pray that we would remember that God is our Hope. Each day we can look to Him and realize that there is a purpose for all of this.
If you’d like to listen to the song here is the link to the lyric video: The Human Side Lyric Video


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Transforming Brokenness

dc67c30e3f0dab7fc859ad0213152e75 What do we do with the broken pieces of our lives? I feel like a lot of brokenness is held on to. We seem to pretend that we need no one, when inside we are begging for help. But we are ashamed and we don’t want people to know how we really feel. So we hold on to the pieces. We think it will be better if we just hide in secrecy from the world – from God – as we hold on to our brokenness telling ourselves we are better this way. We fall into that deep lie where fear consumes us with thoughts of insecurity, of not belonging and feelings that we are unworthy, insignificant, and unloved. If only there was some way we could help people stop feeling this way. How do we help people fill their hearts with God’s truth instead of the enemy’s lies? How do we guard our hearts with Truth? Maybe that’s why God let’s us go through those struggles where we feel like giving up… it’s not because He wants us to give up – He wants us to stop relying on ourselves. He wants us to finally stop trying to do it all on our own because we can’t. He wants us to trust Him to carry us through as He give us the strength we need. And once we get through our struggles, or maybe even while we are still in the midst of them, if we keep pushing forward, then we can use our story of brokenness to help encourage others who are going through their own story of brokenness. So I guess what I am trying to say is that, as broken people, we all can relate to one another on some level and that is how we can minister to broken hearts. We can come to them where they are in love and in empathy because we’ve experienced brokenness too. And through that I pray we would help one another find true transformation. I pray that we would all realize that our only hope of restoration is found in Jesus Christ. He not only restores us to wholeness; He transforms us to completion – we just have to be intentional about coming to Him with our broken pieces and believe that His strength and power will change us. Why do we hide? We need to let Him in! He wants so much for our hearts to be healed – for our brokenness to be mended. When we stop holding on to our brokenness, and instead let it go, laying it all at His feet, He will truly set us free from the lies that once filled us up with fear and brokenness in the first place. I am so grateful for the freedom we share in Christ. Praying for all the broken hearts to keep fighting, we are not alone, and may we never let go of the hope we have in Jesus Christ our King!


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Dwell in Him

broken heart (1)I just wanted to remind you today to dwell in the One who has made you! Please don’t dwell in the mistakes you’ve made. This only makes you feel worse. My prayer for you is that you would be able to see mistakes as an opportunity for growth. We can learn from our mistakes and work towards not making the same mistake again. It’s hard to see worth in our flaws when we dwell in them. When all we see is the broken mess we have become we just get discouraged. But there is something about our broken mess that is beautiful. Sure, brokenness can look bad when it’s scattered all throughout on the floor, but what if we viewed it from a different perspective? God makes all things beautiful, including you and me… and our brokenness. He sees the pieces of our messed up lives shattered on the ground, and He reaches His hand down with unconditional love and picks up each broken shard piece by piece with heartfelt compassion, shaping our brokenness into something beautiful. He even leaves His own mark on us after the restoration process is complete to remind us of who we are and Who our identity truly lies in. My friend, it doesn’t matter what it was that broke you, He forgives you. And trust me, He is not going to let whatever it was that made you fall down and break make you feel worthless. The pain you have felt has been hard… keep holding on – He will use it for His purposes. He is using whatever you are going through to get you to where He wants you. Keep trusting and keep believing! Hold on to His promises! His love restores all our mess!

“For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal…” (Jeremiah 30:17)


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Brokenness

shatteredBroken people have broken ways of seeing themselves: You’re not good enough. Nothing you do will ever matter. Why do you even try so hard; you’re going to fail. Everything you say is worth nothing. When you leave here, you won’t have made an impact. YOU ARE A NOBODY!

I wish feelings like these would stop consuming so much of our thoughts. The devil wants us thinking like that. In fact he will probably say things like: Go ahead and hate yourself. Get mad at the world around you. Be ungrateful for who you are. Be angry. Be upset. Deny God loves you.

Please God, help us. Help us to not believe lies. Help us to stop feeling worthless. You see us as Your treasured, valued, and precious children. You love us so much! Help us to stop being controlled by our fears and the lies the devil tells us. Our fears lead us to these negative thoughts that are lies, but God, Your perfect love casts out all fear. Help us to believe your TRUTH.

Why do we think we are not enough? Why do we think we are failures? Why do we think we have nothing in us that is worthy?

None of us are perfect, and as a result we keep seeing ourselves as people we are not. We feel like we have no value because we do not feel perfect. Instead we feel broken.We may strive for perfectionism so we can be ‘good enough,’ but even our definition of perfectionism can be messed up.

We are just broken people, yet in His hands, our brokenness can be made beautiful and our weaknesses can be made strong (see 12 Corinthians 1:9). I hope we can believe His TRUTH and live by who He says we are even through our brokenness.

 


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Preparing for Battle

Truth Sets us FreeLife is a constant battle. Each day we may be up against some kind of adversity. The good news is God doesn’t just leave us to fight our battles on our own. In fact, the final battle has already been won through the death and resurrection of Christ. But this doesn’t mean that now we can just do whatever we want. Yes, Jesus gave us victory, but we are still called to serve Him. We are called to fight! (see Ephesians 6:10-13) And God does not expect us to go out onto the battlefield without a weapon. If we are defenseless what help is that in fighting for His Kingdom? God gives us weapons. It’s up to us to use them.

How did Jesus defeat Satan? He defeated Satan with the Truth. I am referring to the passage in Luke 4:1-13 where Satan is tempting Jesus. Jesus used the Word of God to defend Himself against those attacks. For every lie Satan threw at Jesus, Jesus defeated it with Truth from God’s Word.

 

How did Jesus win? – Using the Word of God

What is in the Word of God? – Love

What does love do? – Casts out all fear

Who causes fear? – Satan

Who defeats Satan? – JESUS

 

When we abide in God’s Word we will know the Truth, and the Truth will set us free (see John 8:31-32). In Christ, through the Word of God, by the power of the Holy Spirit we can break every chain the devil has against us!


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Overcoming Evil with Good

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Romans 12:21 has become one of my favorite bible verses because I like to take the word evil and replace it with actual evils that come up in my own life and actual truths about how I can overcome them.

For instance I like to look at it this way
do not be overcome with fear, but overcome fear with courage,
overcome worry with trust,
overcome guilt with forgiveness,
overcome doubt with confidence,
overcome failure with grace,
overcome lies with truth,
and most importantly do not be overcome by Satan, but overcome Satan (who is all lies) with JESUS CHRIST (who is all TRUTH!)

I have to remind myself constantly. I do not have to be afraid of “evil” (doubt, worry, selfishness, fear, stress, failure, etc.) anymore when God says He has already overcome it. I do not have to feel that all my mistakes make me unworthy and not good enough, because God sent Christ who conquered all that with courage, trust, forgiveness, confidence, grace, and truth!

God always wins His battles – We need Him on our side to fight against the devil. This battle is crazy, and so many times we’re going to get knocked down, but when we learn to trust and rely on God’s strength then we can beat back the lies of the devil! God wins every battle! God is faithful and will protect us and give us strength against every evil we will ever face! (2 Thessalonians 3:3)

Together, I know we can get through this because Jesus defeated sin, death, and hell so our problems will be easy for Him to take care of!