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Let Go of the Ashes

In the scripture, Job went through a nine-month period where everything that could go wrong did. He lost his health, his business and his family. At one point it says, "He sat down among the ashes." He was so overwhelmed and so distraught that he thought, "This is it. I'll never be happy again."

When you go through a loss or a disappointment, there is nothing more that the enemy would love to see than for you to sit down among the ashes, get bitter, hold on to something that is dead, and lose your enthusiasm for life. That's what Job did for a period of time; he sat down. But here's the key: Job didn't stay down. He got his fire back, got his passion back. He rose up out of those ashes! He said, "This may be difficult, but I know my Redeemer lives! I know my God is still on the throne. I know I wouldn't be alive unless there was something greater in my future!" The scripture says Job came out with twice what he had before.

Maybe today, life hasn't turned out the way you had hoped. Maybe you've gone through some unfair situations and now, like Job, you're sitting in the ashes; you're holding onto something that didn't work out. God is saying, "If you will let go of the ashes, if you will trust Me, I will do for you what I did for Job. I will not only bring you out, but I will bring you out with twice what you had before."

Understand that your future starts today! Don't you dare go through life looking in the rearview mirror. Look out through the great big windshield in front of you! Your life is filled with possibility! There are incredible opportunities in front of you. You may have had some bad breaks, but always remember that God has promised beauty for those ashes. Now do your part and let go of the ashes. Quit reliving negative memories. Don't let a season of mourning turn into a lifetime of mourning. Be bold and let go of whatever didn't work out. Whether it was 30 minutes ago or 30 years ago, let it go and move forward into the blessing and victory He has prepared for you!

"Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance…." (Isaiah 61:7, NIV)

 

Go for the “A”

I read about this professor at a major university. He was in class about to hand out the final exam— the most important test of the year. Before he did, he told his students how proud he was of them. Because they had worked so hard, he made them a special offer. He said, "Anyone that would like an automatic C on this test, just raise your hand, and I'll give you a C. You won't even have to take the test." One hand slowly went up, then another and another until about half of the students opted out of taking the test. They walked out of the room so relieved, so happy.

The professor went on the pass out the test to the rest of the students. He placed it face down on the desks and asked them not to turn it over until he instructed them to. For the next few minutes, he encouraged them about how they were going to do great things in life and that they should always strive to do their best. Then he gave the word that it was okay to turn the test over and get started. The test only had two sentences. It read, "Congratulations. You just made an A." 

This is what we do many times in life. We settle for a "C" not realizing God has an "A" in our future. You might say, "I don't think I'll ever get over this sickness. I'm just learning to live with it." That's taking a "C". You've got to change your thinking and say, "God is restoring health to me. I will live and not die. I'm getting stronger, healthier, better." That's going for the "A".

"Well, I'm getting up there in years. You know how your health starts to go downhill." That's taking a "C".

"I'll never break this addiction. I've had it since high school." Another "C".

God has an "A" for you, but the choice is yours. You'll never see it if you keep taking the C's. Yes, the C's are easier. You don't have to stretch. You don't have to get out of your comfort zone. But, you'll never be truly fulfilled if you keep settling for C's. The good news is that God already has A's in your future. He has the right person, a happy marriage, a successful career, health, wholeness, freedom and victory. Don't take the easy way out. The A's are worth fighting for! Stay in faith, keep standing, keep believing, keep hoping and go for the "A"!

"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…" (Ecclesiastes 9:10, NIV)

 

His Dream is Bigger

In scripture, Joseph was falsely accused and put into prison. I can imagine him year after year praying, "God, please get me out of this prison. God, you know I didn't do anything wrong." Joseph's dream was to one day be free. But God said, "Joseph, that's too small. Not only am I going to bring you out of prison, I'm going to make you ruler over the whole nation." 

A few years later when Joseph was in charge of all of Egypt, I'm sure there were nights when he went outside and looked up at the stars and thought, "God, I never dreamed you would put me here. I was just praying to get out of prison. But God, You supersized what I was dreaming about."  

Like Joseph, no matter what you're praying about, it may seem big in your mind, but to God, it's a small thing. You might be saying, "God, just help me pay my bills. Help me make it through this month." That may seem like a big thing to you, but God says, "That's too small." He wants to bring you into overflow! He wants you to lend and not borrow. 

You might say, "God, I'm so lonely. Just bring somebody into my life. I don't care at this point, God, I'll take anybody." No, you may have settled, but God didn't settle. He's going to bring somebody into your life greater than you imagined. Somebody who honors Him. Somebody who loves you, who is fun, talented and good looking! 

Why don't you stir up your faith today? You don't have to figure it all out, just be open. Just say, "God, I trust You! I believe Your plans are more than I could imagine. I receive the dream You have for me, knowing that it is so much bigger than my own!" 

"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:9, NIV)

 

 
 

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