Blessed to be a blessing blogs
‘There is something that makes me come into your presence, my helper'
There are many possibilities as to why one comes to church and hopefully as we're growing in Christ it's not just because we've been brought up that way or because we’ve been told to.
As believers attending church is something that we should do because it's a place of fellowship, where you can gather with a range of different people to worship, pray and be encouraged. The sermon also is a tool in our spiritual development.
The bible says in Romans 10:17, ' Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.' As much as there are other ways of spreading the gospel and encouraging each other, the set up of the church is a great way of communication and opportunity to grow. Colossians 3:16 also reminds us what the aim of the church is 'Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.'
Many individuals do not attend church because of some of the experiences they've either seen or heard, however we shouldn't use this as an excuse to not attend church as it’s something that Christ has told us is beneficial in growing closer to Him.
Yeah there may be certain things that you may disagree with regarding the church, it could be the sermon, certain people in the congregation or how they collect the tithe and offering but when we realise that God intended for the church to be a peaceful setting hopefully we can look past the mistakes of man.
People that make up the church should also be aware that the things they do ought to be bringing people to Christ, not turning them away. Really and truly what we do in the church is to bring glory to God therefore we should turn away from doing things that differ from Christs approach.
One certain type of church isn’t necessarily a one size fits all as different things work for different people, so aim to find a good church that you want to grow in. Let’s also remember that we should not let man made problems stop us from doing God’s work and progressing spiritually.
I’m not telling you what church to go to, or that Gods upset with you if you don’t attend a church but when you find a church that sits right with you and draws you closer to God hopefully the excuses of not prioritising fellowshipping with one another will decrease because why would we want to limit our chances or growing in Christ.
The bible says in Matthew 18:20' For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Allow the church to build you, encourage and help you. God wants you in His presence.
If God is a priority, it shouldn't be hard dedicating a few hours of your day on a Sunday (bare minimum) to connect with Him.
God bless Ade
So, World Mental Health Day was on the 10th of October. A day to become familiar with and to get a deeper understanding of the kind of mental health issues that many people face, as we are unaware of what the person next to us could be battling with behind closed doors, sometimes even those we love. It's also a day to place extra emphasis on expanding our knowledge on the area of mental illnesses.
It’s easy to take our mental health for granted especially if it's not something we're used to being around. Stats now reveal that 1 in 6 people in the U.K. experienced a mental health problem in the past week. (another reason to be prayerful to God and to be thankful that this may not be an issue that we're dealing with.)
The argument for mental illness is still being discussed as its seen as being a combination of biological, psychological and environmental factors. Some may see it as spiritual attacks or to others it may even seem made up but essentially, they’re present and no one knows exactly what's going on in the minds of those suffering so be mindful as everyone’s tolerance levels are different.
In certain communities dealing with a mental health issue may be a lot harder for some as a lot of people focus more on the physical sides of health over the mental. Even in some Christian households, some parents may believe that the reason you may be suffering is down to you and prayer is enough to get rid of it. I’m not disputing that but we also need to help ourselves as well as prayer. In addition, we shouldn't let our perceived opinions of others discourage us from receiving the help that we need. As well as prayer, we also need to use the help around us because there's no reason to suffer in silence. In Galatians 2:6 it says: “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ” God urges us to help each other in times of weakness, struggle and sin, so allowing someone to help you is giving them the opportunity to exercise Gods given gifts such as love with you. The same goes for helping people who are suffering from a mental health issue, as a major part of being a Christian includes us helping one another.
Mental health is not something that should be brushed off or ignored but not every single feeling, sadness or thought needs to be named or emphasised. Sometimes if we let a thought or feeling manifest too much in our minds this can increase our vulnerabilities to certain things and allow us to not move on when necessary. A quote I love is 'don't let your struggle become your identity.’ It’s self-explanatory but it’s basically saying do not let the things that we struggle with affect us in such a way we now believe it is part of our character. Always remember that YOU are not the problem, it’s a temporary problem that you are currently DEALING with.
Another quote that I love is ‘you are worth more than your darkness’ Jesus also says in Luke 11:35
‘so be careful not to let the light in you become darkness’ for its easy for us to focus on our negative problems and let it overpower everything good, but we should not let it take up all our good qualities because God has better plans for us.
Mental health is not anything that we should be ashamed of as it says in Romans 5 :2:5“through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us”
Even though we know that nothing that is not good is from God, He is still willing to receive us exactly as we are.
God loves us regardless and He does not want us to suffer in any kind of way. So, if you are suffering, reach out to Him, reach out to professionals, reach out to pastors/family/friends because there’s always someone to talk to.
Don’t be Disheartened.
In this life we live in we usually set ourselves goals, aims and ambitions. We have plans which keep us in check and make it easier for us to reach these aims that we have. However many things happen that can throw us off from seeing the vision that we have set up for ourselves which leads many of us to be disheartened, discouraged and fed up. But one thing we need to know is that this isn’t a reason for us to give up but for us to hold on to the fact that Gods got us regardless. Joshua 1:9 says ‘Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go’ this bible quote emphasises the security that God has on our lives and whether we’re sure of where we’re going, God is with us all the time. Faith is also key, God appreciates our feelings of discouragement but the faith that we have is vital in God answering our prayers. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says : ‘For we walk by faith, not by sight.’ As of now for many of us we may not be where we want to be, we may not see the vision but the faith we have in God will give us direction IJN.
There are so many possibilities for why things do not go as planned and they do vary but one thing that is a HUGE factor that many of us may not focus on enough is that it may not be the plan that God has set up for us, have we checked in with God to know if the things that we are asking for are in accordance to His will? 1 John 5:14 states: This is the confidence we have in approaching God: ‘that if we ask anything according to His will, he hears us’
It’s extremely easy to ask God for anything that we want because that’s what we’re supposed to do. BUT we can’t blame God when we’re asking for things that are not necessary and are not in line with what God has already planned for us. We may not be able to see it now but Gods plan is always better for us than the things we have imagined. So, whatever we go through lets hold this bible verse close, Jeremiah 29:11 ‘For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’
One key thing that has helped me with my prayers regarding my plans is to ask God to help me ACCEPT that the plans He has for me will always be better than the things that I want myself. With this, once you’ve accepted to go with God’s will, you will not feel discouraged or as if your plans are not being met because at the end of the day God’s in charge. We shouldn’t let ourselves believe that the things we have set for ourselves is going to be more prosperous than what God has planned.