learning Patience and faith in God’s plan

Has there ever been a time when you were ambitious enough to rush into a situation only to discover a severe consequence? I’ve done this many times, only to discover that there are consequences to doing things your own way. Continue to read as I share a story about learning patience and faith in God’s plan.

This blog post was written by Jen Schreiner. She is an emerging Christian author striving to win lives for Jesus. You can find Jen online through her blog, Instagram, and Facebook. You can learn more about Jen at the end of this post.

Learning Patience and faith in God’s plan

The Consequences of Rushing into Life’s Challenges


If it didn’t happen to me, I would not have believed it could happen. In a four-month span, I was in three separate car accidents.

And I hate to say it, but I kind of asked for it to happen. We know the phrase and use it quite often; “God works in mysterious ways.”

What we see as black and white, or as a choice “A” or choice “B”, God routinely shows us we are working within mindful boundaries.

He makes it a habit to answer our prayers outside of our frames of reference. He takes mystery, packaged up in our boxed limitations, and expands it into an unexplored reveal.

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Seeking Divine Help in Moments of Desperation


When I prayed for God to help me. I was in desperate need of His help. My kids and the patients I help serve at the hospital left me in search of more patience.

It made being a mom and a nurse overwhelming as both work and home life collided. My reflection of God’s logic gave me comfort.

I believed He would give me endurance and peace of mind in my heart.

But what I didn’t know is He would grow my heart through lessons of experience.

If I had known ahead of time, I would not have signed up for these challenges. I am glad He never gave me that choice.

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Lessons Learned Through Adversity

After my first accident, I sat in my car, embarrassed to admit, in a state of total loss of control. I remember banging my fists on the steering wheel, screaming in a fit of rage. Yes, this is not the person you would meet today.

The wisest man, Solomon, once spoke,

Desire without knowledge is not good — Whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.

Proverbs 19:2 (ESV)

Rushing seems to be our way of life. It is quite the opposite of having or obtaining patience at any given moment.

In my first sixty seconds after my car accident, there was no count to five, or a deep breath of surrender, as I faced an out-of-my-control situation. I was angry and ugly. I reacted fast as I resisted patience and insisted on my own will.

Roughly three weeks later, I got my car back from the shop and one week later, I was in my second car accident. This time, I was better, but still remained frustrated. This time I didn’t have my adult-sized tantrum. Instead, I began to peel away the layers of having my way and honouring God’s word.

God tells us to take up His cross because His yoke is light (Matthew 11:29). Getting wrapped up in trying to maintain my identity and self-worth, I found moving with haste easy.

I relied on myself and removed Him from the equation. When I freely gave up my right to react as I desired, I gave into acquiring the desire to have patience.

Embracing God’s Purpose

Isn’t it funny how much we want to change, but we want it on our terms? When we release situations, behaviours, and attitudes into God’s hands, His purpose arises.

So, when my third accident occurred which caused my black glossy passenger side door to be etched in silver paint and my side-view mirror to be ripped off by a very large truck, I thanked Jesus!

My motivation to speak out of anger transformed into having compassion for others.

Praise the Lord, for His willingness never to give up on me.

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)

60 easy Advent Ideas for Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner. One way my family and I get into the Christmas spirit is by using an advent calendar. Today, I am going to share with you 60 easy advent ideas for Christmas.

According to Wikipedia “Advent is a season observed in many Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for both the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas and the return of Jesus at the Second Coming.

Advent is not just for churches. You can observe Advent as a family.

There are many ways you can incorporate Advent into your Christmas celebrations. Here are 60 easy advent ideas for Christmas.

1. The Road To Christmas

A 31-Day Reading Plan and Verse Cards.

Follow Jesus from creation to His Birth. Walk the road history took. Enter and reflect on the story of Advent this season. 

You can dig deeper with The Road to Christmas Family Devotional pack. Click here to learn more.

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2. Burlap Calendar

Growing up we had a cloth advent calendar. Each day we would move the star from one day to the next. Using this type of calendar is an easy way to track the days going by.

To make one click here for a step-by-step guide to making an easy Advent Calendar with ribbons and Burlap.

a blue and white advent calendar made with burlap and ribbon- hanging on a wall beside a pincone wreath. Under the wreath is a couch.

3. Countdown Paper Chain

Paper chains are a fun way to countdown to Christmas. They are fun to make and enjoyable for any age group.

You can make a simple paper chain or one that has Fun Christmas Activities in it.

A paper chain can also learn the names of Christ.

When making the chain you can also add a simple verse or song to each portion of the chain. There are many variations to this craft. Be as creative as you want.

Pick which one you want to do and make a paper chain with your kids.

4. Snowman Calendar

If you want a harder project this Christmas season, then this wooden snowman is perfect.

Looking for one of those advent calendar ideas that is truly unique? Make this wood snowman and use it again year after year!

5. Kraft Paper Calendar

A fun family tradition is to make your own paper Advent Calendar. Homemade advent calendars are fun to make and you can choose what to put into it: a treat, a picture, a joke, a verse, or anything else you want.

stitched gingerbread men

6. Brown paper bags

A fun and simple way to make your own advent calendar is to string paper bags together.

brown-bags-advent-calender

7. Give Books

If you don’t want your children to eat candy every day, one thing you can do is give them books instead.

You can pick 24 books, wrap them, and then give one to your child each day.

Click here to get an idea as to the books you could get your kids.

8. Kindness Calendar

During the Christmas season, it is easy for our kids, and ourselves, to think about ourselves. If you want to help your kids to appreciate others during this season, then I highly recommend using a kindness Calendar.

Each day, you and your family can do one act of kindness for someone else.

It is a great way to teach appreciation for others at any age

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9. Reverse Advent Calendar

A reverse Advent Calendar is a great idea for families who want to give to others as a family. Instead of giving something to your kids every day, this is a way to give to others.

You pick a box and each day you choose a food donation or a practical donation to put in it. Then, when it’s full, you bring the box to your local food bank or faith-based organization.

More ideas

There are so many great ideas you can try. Here are a few links to give you even more ideas.

In the comments below please share your favourite advent activity.

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4 Practical Tips for Forgiving Your Spouse

Ruth Bell Graham once said, “A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.” These words of wisdom are rooted in an understanding of God’s forgiveness of us and how we as Christians are to forgive others. But what does forgiveness really mean? And what does it look like? Continue to read as I share with you 4 practical tips for forgiving your spouse.

We know that saying, “I forgive you” doesn’t really mean much if I bring up past arguments again and again.

So how can we show our spouses love and compassion like God has called us to do?

God in His grace has given us His precious word with illustrations and commands on how to do this practically.

This post was written by Shana Burchard, you can find her online on her blog here, and learn more about her by reading her bio at the end of this post.

4 Practical Tips for Forgiving Your Spouse

1. Choose not to remember

I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins

Isaiah 43:25, ESV

Israel in the Old Testament time and again did not honor God. They sinned against Him and deserved His wrath and punishment.

But God extended His grace. He reminded them of His character and who He is. He reminded them of His forgiving heart, the same heart that forgives us and reconciles us to Him through the death of Jesus Christ.

Choose to cover past hurts with your spouse and move on with grace. Try extending grace to your spouse by not bringing up past inconveniences or words that were said.

Try living in grace and watch how bitterness disappears.

They say that time has a way of healing wounds, but watch as God works on your own heart as you extend grace to your spouse.  

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2. Cast the sin away

Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love. He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.

Micah 7:18-19 (ESV)

I love this beautiful illustration of casting our sins into the sea.

My sin is put far away from me and casts into the depths of the ocean. I no longer feel the weight of it pulling me down.

It is freeing to be forgiven. We should not be drowning in anger toward our spouse, but living in grace and letting our frustrations go. If you are struggling to let go of hurts and heartaches, pray through the pain.

Pray for healing and restoration in your marriage as you begin to let go of the hurt weighing you down.

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3. Treat them like God has treated you

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

Ephesians 4:32 (ESV)

John MacArthur said in his sermon (Reasons To Forgive), “You’re never more like God than when you forgive.”

We as Christians are supposed to be the salt and light of the earth. What is setting us apart from the world if we give in to temptations of anger, grudges, and harsh words?

We are called to be “imitators of God, as beloved children” (Ephesians 5:1, ESV).

Our affection toward pride leads us down the path of sin as we respond ungraciously to our spouse in moments of conflict or frustration.

Instead, treat your spouse as you would a beloved child of God. Are you seeing your spouse as an immortal soul that God dearly loves? C.S. Lewis (The Weight of Glory, 1949) writes:

“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendours.

This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously – no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.”

If we follow C.S. Lewis’ advice and take the path of “no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption,” then we are walking in the path of humbleness.

Show your spouse a humble attitude and let us not forget that our spouse is made in the image of God. I am so thankful that God treats me with respect, faithfulness, kindness, and unending grace. I know that I need to work on these attributes so I can extend them to my spouse.

4. Remember God’s goodness

Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O Lord!

Psalm 25:7 (ESV)

I love it when I attend weddings and they have the dance where all the married couples are called out onto the dance floor. The DJ will start calling out years and if the couple has been married that long, they stay on the dance floor. After a while, a couple with an old, long-lasting love remains.

They have been married for years and years. What a beautiful picture it is to see two lovers growing old together and celebrating the beautiful life they have created!

As they sway in each other’s arms, only they know all the struggles and hurts God has helped them to overcome.

One way in which we can overcome when the enemy attacks our marriage is to thank God for the specific qualities of our spouse.

Remember the joy they have brought you, how they have helped you over time, and the sweet memories you have created. In hard times, it is easy to become withdrawn and focus only of the negative. Instead,

Aet your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth”

Colossians 3:2, ESV

Focus on God’s goodness and “let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with malice” (Ephesians 4:31, ESV).  

Conclusion

In life, we know that “for everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, ESV).

The enemy would love to break apart the union you have with your spouse and leave you empty and broken hearted.

If you have never had an argument, misunderstanding, or frustration with your spouse, your day will come. Remember that “God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life” (Psalm 54:4, ESV). Show your spouse grace and forgive as He has forgiven us.  

In the comments below, share some tips that help you when forgiving your spouse.

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Prayer: The Key to Living as a True Believer

I’ve been a Christian most of my life, and there are times when I just want to know ALL the answers! I don’t want to read more or learn through mistakes or trials, but just KNOW what God wants me to do. Thankfully, there are many things The Bible makes clear to us. One of which is the Key to living as a true believer, and that is to pray! I know that many people may feel this answer is too simple, but it’s the truth. Continue to read and learn how prayer can guide and encourage us in our Christian lives.

This blog was written by Annie Weber. She is the author of Astounding Truths of the Bible. You can find her on her blog here. Learn more about her by reading her bio at the end of this blog post. You can also check out her book: Astounding Truths of the Bible*.

*This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure policy.

Prayer: The Key to Living as a True Believer

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Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

The Apostle Paul – the GOAT evangelist – loved to write letters. He thrived in his letter-writing ministry in the first century, and much of the New Testament of the Bible is composed of various letters he wrote to encourage the early churches.

Paul’s encouragement to Persevere

In his first letter to the church in Thessalonica, Paul addressed some pastoral issues that had risen in this young church. 

He encouraged them to persevere through persecution, pursue sexual purity, and live their lives as people who believed in the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

1 Thessalonians Chapter 5 of this letter opens with encouragement and a reminder that Jesus is returning.

However, we won’t be given the opportunity to post this on our calendar.

Paul wanted his readers (including you and me!) to know that we should not be sleepwalking through life while we wait.

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Paul’s teaching on prayer

Then, Paul lands the plane with his words about prayer after a long list of various exhortations.

  • Verse 12 encourages us to love and respect those who are our spiritual leaders.
  • Verse 13 reminds us to live in peace among the other followers of Christ.
  • Verse 14 tells us we are to be patient and attentive to the individual needs of others. Verse 15 reminds us to see the best in each other.

Paul wrapped up his letter with bite-sized commands, completely trusting that the Holy Spirit would equip his audience with the knowledge they need to live these commands. 

Verse 17 is where Paul makes a shift to discuss what our prayer life should look like.

The command on prayer looks different depending on which version of the Bible you prefer.

The NIV commands us to pray continually; pray without ceasing is used in the ESV version; never stop praying is found in the NLT version; and finally, pray constantly is used in the HCSB version.

Regardless of your preferred translation, the message is crystal clear. Paul wants us to know that forming a lifestyle of prayer is the goal that we should be striving for as followers of Christ.

Praying nonstop means we are having a continuous dialogue with God, coming boldly to the throne of grace to offer up praise, supplication, intercessions, petitions, and thanksgiving.

How can a follower of Jesus model the prayer life Paul described?

8 characteristics of a Biblical prayer life:

  • Someone who prays continually is someone who does not rely on their own strength (Philippians 4:13).
  • They desire to maintain a close and personal relationship with God by pouring their heart to God (Psalm 62:8).
  • They acknowledge the Holiness of God (Matthew 6:9).
  • They cast their anxiety on Him, acknowledging that God cares (1 Peter 5:7).
  • They know that God can sympathize with us in our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15).
  • They know that God promises that if they ask anything according to His will, that He hears them (1 John 5:14). 
  • Living a life of continual prayer means a constant conversation with God is happening and that you acknowledge that He is a friend (Psalm 25:14).
  • It also means allowing yourself to praise God for who He is Lord (Daniel 2:20).

The Bible tells us to always be in prayer- if this is something you want to grow in, you can pray something like this:

Equip me to do this.  Bless me with a desire to have an ongoing dialogue with you, knowing that as I pray Your spirit will guide my words. Allow me to have a deep awareness of your character and your faithfulness. Guide my thoughts to be continuously aware of your presence in all circumstances. Align my will with Your will. Amen

5 simple steps to get started in Bible Study

What does The Bible say about suicide?

According to The CDC, in 2021- 48183 people died by suicide in The USA. That is 1 death every 11 minutes. That is a staggering amount! With so many people committing suicide, why is The Church not talking about this? People want to know what The Bible says about suicide and want to know how to face these very real and hard issues. I can’t promise that this post will solve the problem, but I will answer the Question: What does The Bible say about suicide?

Anytime I want to know What The Bible says about something, I do a simple word search in Bible Gateway or my Bible App. But this time, that search wasn’t helpful because The Bible does not explicitly address the topic of suicide, and it does not contain specific verses that directly discuss the act of taking one’s own life. 

Since we can’t look at the exact issue, does that mean The Lord doesn’t care about suicide or that Christians can’t have a Biblical view on this topic? 

The answer is NO to both of those questions. 

The Lord does care when His children are hurting and commit suicide or want to commit suicide. Not only that but as Christians, we can take Christian principles and apply them to the way we look at suicide. 

In today’s post, I will share 6 Biblical principles and teachings that are relevant when discussing suicide.

6 Biblical principles: What does the bible say about suicide?

1. Sanctity of Life:

The Bible emphasizes the sanctity of human life in 2 different ways. 

A) Life as a Divine Gift:

The Bible teaches that life is a precious gift from God. 

These verses tell us the direct involvement of God in the formation of each person in the womb. 

By telling us that life is a gift given to us from God. This gift indicates the value of each individual. 

B) Created in the Image of God

So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them. 

Genesis 1:27

This verse clearly tells us that all human beings are created in the image of God. This statement emphasizes the inherent value of every human being. 

The idea that humanity bears the image of God means that each individual possesses qualities like love, creativity, reason, and moral responsibility.

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2. A Commandment NOT to kill: 

In the book of Exodus, God delivered the Ten Commandments to the Israelites through Moses as a foundational guide for their moral and ethical conduct. 

Among these commandments, the sixth one stands out prominently:

You shall not murder.

Exodus 20:13

This verse is interpreted by many to mean that taking an innocent life, including our own, is morally wrong and that it’s our responsibility to preserve and protect life.

May Christians believe that our own life is also innocent and that suicide is not a good thing to do. 

This commandment demonstrates a deep respect for people’s lives and clearly says not to purposely harm or kill someone who hasn’t done anything wrong. 

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3. Hope and Healing: 

The Bible offers messages of hope, healing, and comfort to those who may be struggling with despair, depression, or thoughts of self-harm. 

These messages of hope are particularly important in addressing the emotional and mental struggles that can lead to thoughts of suicide.

It encourages seeking help, relying on faith, and turning to God in times of trouble

A) Seeking Help:

The Bible acknowledges the importance of seeking help when facing overwhelming challenges.

It encourages individuals to reach out to others, whether it be friends, family, or professionals, for support. The act of seeking help is seen as a courageous step toward healing and restoration.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Psalm 34:18 (NIV)

This verse acknowledges the emotional pain and distress that people can experience, describing them as “brokenhearted” and “crushed in spirit.”

It suggests that when individuals are going through difficult times or struggling emotionally, they don’t have to face it alone.

They can reach out to God, who is portrayed as being near and attentive to their pain. Seeking help, in this case, involves turning to God for comfort and solace.

The verse encourages believers to rely on their faith in God’s compassion and presence. It’s an affirmation that, even in times of trouble, they can place their trust in God’s love and care. This reliance on faith means believing that God is a source of strength and comfort.

The verse also suggests that turning to God is a natural response when facing emotional or spiritual turmoil. It implies that God is a refuge and a source of salvation for those who seek Him in times of distress. In doing so, individuals acknowledge their dependence on God’s grace and intervention.

B) Relying on faith

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

In these verses, Jesus extends a direct invitation to those who are weary and burdened, inviting them to “come” to Him.

This invitation is a clear demonstration of the need to seek help. Jesus acknowledges that life can be filled with weariness and burdens, and He encourages people to turn to Him for relief and rest.

These verses emphasize the act of turning to Jesus as a response to life’s struggles. It implies that by turning to Him, individuals place their trust in God’s provision and care.

The promise of finding rest for one’s soul underscores the idea that God is the ultimate source of comfort and healing in times of trouble.

Psalm 34:18 and Matthew 11:28-30 illustrate the biblical perspective on seeking help, relying on faith, and turning to God in times of trouble. 

They emphasize that seeking help is not a sign of weakness but a courageous and faith-filled step. 

It also underscores the idea that faith in God’s presence and compassion can provide solace and that turning to God is a natural response when facing life’s challenges.

The Bible offers a message of hope and healing that is relevant and comforting to those facing despair, depression, or thoughts of self-harm, including those struggling with the idea of suicide.

It encourages seeking help, relying on faith, and turning to God and the community in times of trouble. These biblical principles emphasize the value of life, the importance of support, and the promise of restoration for those who are hurting.

4. Redemption and Forgiveness: 

The Bible also offers a message of hope and redemption for those who may have done something wrong or who have faced despair. 

The Bible contains many stories of redemption and forgiveness that provide hope for individuals who may have faced despair or made mistakes, including those contemplating the idea of suicide. 

These stories emphasize the possibility of transformation through repentance and God’s boundless mercy.

A) King David’s Story:

One of the best examples in the Bible is the story of King David. David, described as a man after God’s own heart, made serious mistakes, including committing adultery with Bathsheba and orchestrating the death of her husband, Uriah.

His actions were morally wrong and caused him and the nation immense pain. However, when confronted by the prophet Nathan, David expressed deep remorse and sought God’s forgiveness with a repentant heart (2 Samuel 12:13).

God forgave him and continued to use him in significant ways. This story illustrates that even those who have committed serious sins and mistakes can find forgiveness and renewal through genuine repentance.

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B) The Prodigal Son:

In Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), a young man squanders his inheritance and finds himself in a state of destitution and despair.

When he returns to his father, he expects to be rejected. Instead, he is welcomed with open arms.

This parable teaches us That God is like that father, watching and waiting for our return.  It also shows us that God’s love and forgiveness are available to those who turn back to Him, no matter how far they may have strayed, or how many sins they have committed.

C) Paul’s Transformation:

The apostle Paul, formerly known as Saul persecuted early Christians before his conversion.

His transformation into one of Christianity’s greatest evangelists demonstrates the power of God’s grace and the potential for radical change.

Paul’s story illustrates that individuals who have engaged in harmful actions can experience a complete turnaround through faith in Christ.

These accounts demonstrate that while people may make mistakes and face despair, there is hope for redemption and forgiveness through genuine repentance and faith. 

They teach us the principle that God’s love and mercy are not limited by our past actions and that a sincere desire to change and seek God’s forgiveness can lead to transformation and a renewed sense of purpose.

For those struggling with thoughts of suicide, these stories offer hope. That even in the darkest moments, there is the possibility of healing and redemption. 

They encourage individuals to turn to God, seek help, and recognize that their past does not define their future. 

5. Love & Compassion: 

Christianity places a strong emphasis on love, compassion, and support for individuals who are experiencing emotional pain, suffering, or despair, including those who may be struggling with thoughts of suicide. 

These principles are rooted in the teachings of Jesus Christ and the broader biblical message.

  • Matthew 22:39 – Love Your Neighbor: In response to a question about the greatest commandment, Jesus emphasizes the importance of loving one’s neighbour as oneself. This teaching extends to caring for the well-being of others, including those who may be suffering emotionally or spiritually.
  • Matthew 25:31-46 – The Parable of the Sheep and Goats: In this parable, Jesus illustrates the concept of neighbourly love by emphasizing acts of compassion and service to those in need. He identifies acts of kindness, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and visiting the sick and imprisoned, as expressions of love toward Him. This teaching reinforces the idea that Christians are called to care for the vulnerable and extend compassion to those who are suffering.

Throughout the Gospels, Jesus’ actions align with his teachings on compassion. He healed the sick, comforted the sorrowful, and showed kindness to those who were marginalized or outcasts.

His ministry exemplified the principle of reaching out to those in emotional pain and despair, offering hope and healing.

In the context of thoughts of suicide, these Christian principles emphasize the importance of a supportive and compassionate community. 

Christians are encouraged to extend a helping hand, listen non-judgmentally, and provide emotional support to individuals facing emotional struggles. The teachings of Jesus promote a culture of love and compassion, reinforcing the idea that each person is valuable and worthy of care and assistance.

5 simple steps to get started in Bible Study

6. Support and Community: 

The Bible provides a profound perspective on the importance of support and community, which is highly relevant in the context of individuals facing emotional distress, including those contemplating suicide. 

This biblical principle emphasizes the role of faith communities and support networks in providing strength, solace, and healing.

A) Carry each other’s burdens

Galatians 6:2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.

This verse encourages us to bear one another’s burdens. This verse highlights the importance of empathy and support within the Christian community.

It suggests that Christians are called to walk alongside one another, offering a helping hand and a listening ear to those who are burdened by emotional pain or difficulties.

It suggests that when individuals are burdened by emotional pain, suffering, or despair, their fellow believers should come alongside them, offering assistance, empathy, and care.

This mutual support is an expression of the love and compassion that Christians are called to embody.

B) Confess your sins to each other

James 5:16  Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

This verse instructs believers to “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”

This verse highlights the importance of openness and vulnerability within the faith community.

It encourages individuals to share their struggles, including emotional distress, with trusted members of their community.

Through confession and prayer, believers can find emotional and spiritual healing, knowing that they are not alone in their challenges.

Biblical Examples of Supportive Community:

A) Job’s “Support “Friends”

In the Old Testament, we see examples of individuals finding solace and strength through their faith communities. Job, who endured great suffering, had friends who initially offered comfort (Job 2:11-13). However, the story also highlights the importance of compassionate and supportive companionship during times of distress.

B) Christian Community

In the New Testament, the early Christian community in Acts 2:42-47 exemplifies a model of mutual support, fellowship, and caring for one another’s needs. This sense of unity and shared concern fostered a supportive environment for those facing challenges.

In the context of thoughts of suicide, these biblical principles emphasize the value of reaching out to one’s faith community and support networks. 

Christians are encouraged not to bear their emotional burdens alone but to seek help, understanding, and prayer from their fellow believers. 

This community approach creates a sense of belonging and care, providing people with the strength and encouragement they need during difficult times. 

In a perfect Christian church, we would show compassion and be a supportive Christian community that strengthens the well-being of each member, particularly when they are facing emotional distress or despair.

Conclusion: 

If you or anyone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, please seek help from mental health professionals, counsellors, or support networks. 

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (U.S.): You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). This free and confidential hotline is available 24/7 and connects you with trained crisis counsellors who can provide support and resources.
  • Crisis Text Line (U.S.): Text HELLO to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line. Trained crisis counsellors are available via text message to provide support and assistance.
  • Local Crisis Hotlines: Many communities have local crisis hotlines or mental health crisis services. Look for local resources in your area, as they can provide immediate assistance and referrals to local mental health professionals.
  • Emergency Services: If you believe someone is in immediate danger or has harmed themselves, call 911 or your local emergency number. Emergency responders can provide immediate assistance.
  • Mental Health Professionals: Seek help from mental health professionals, such as therapists, counsellors, or psychiatrists. They can provide therapy and treatment for individuals struggling with suicidal thoughts.

While the Bible does not directly address suicide, its teachings promote a profound respect for human life and a call to care for the well-being of one another, particularly during moments of despair or crisis.

It is important for individuals and communities to address the complex issue of suicide with understanding and empathy while seeking appropriate professional assistance when necessary.

5 simple steps to get started in Bible Study

What does The Bible say about prayer

The purpose of prayer is to communicate with God. It’s a way for believers to express their thoughts, feelings, hopes, and concerns to God. But, what does The Bible say about prayer?

The Bible contains numerous verses and passages that emphasize the importance of prayer, its purpose, and how believers should approach it. 

Continue to read as I share with you 5 things The Bible says about prayer. 

What does The Bible say about prayer?

1. The Lord gives us an example of prayer 

The Bible doesn’t just tell us to pray, but it also gives us examples of how we can pray. 

One of the most popular examples is The Lord’s Prayer found in Matthew. 

This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

Matthew 6:9-13 (NIV)

These verses are a great model for us to use when we pray. 

The Lord’s Prayer consists of six key elements:

  • Our Father in Heaven: This establishes a personal and reverent relationship with God, emphasizing His position and loving care.
  • Hallowed be your name: praises God’s holiness and reminds us to approach God with humility and wonder.
  • Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven: represents our surrender to God’s divine plan and desire to follow His purpose & plan for our lives.
  • Give us today our daily bread: We can pray to The Lord and request not only spiritual nourishment but physical nourishment as well. This shows our dependence on God.
  • And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors: This describes the importance of asking for forgiveness and giving it to others.
  • And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one: Acknowledges our tendency to veer off course and shows our need to seek God’s guidance, and protection, and the need for His support in our daily lives.

2. We should replace worry with prayer 

It is well known that just stopping a behaviour is not good enough. If we truly want to stop a certain behaviour, we MUST replace it with something different. 

We see this in scripture when it comes to worry and prayer. 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

The Bible doesn’t promise believers an easy life. It states clearly that life can bring about circumstances that cause stress. But, The Lord doesn’t just let believers dwell on the stresses of life. 

The Bible offers a powerful alternative—prayer. 

By turning to God in prayer, believers can release their anxieties and concerns into His capable hands, seeking His guidance, help, and comfort.

The peace of God will guard your hearts

In the second portion of the verse, The Bible says: And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

This is a clear promise that says- when we present our requests to God with prayer and thanksgiving, we are not left in a state of fear or worry. Instead, we receive a profound, supernatural peace—a peace that goes beyond human comprehension.

Significance: This promise defines the amazing power of prayer. It assures believers that when they spend time communicating with God, they can experience a peace that defies logic and surpasses the circumstances. This peace acts as a guard, protecting our hearts and minds from the grip of anxiety and worry.

This passage reminds us that, through prayer, we can find not only relief from anxiety but also a profound and unexplainable peace that stems from our trust in a loving and caring God.

A picture of a woman praying. Her eyes are closed and her hands are closed in front of her mouth. Under the picture are the words, What does The Bible say about prayer. www.onedeterminedlife.com

3. Give Thanks in all things 

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)

These verses describe a clear set of instructions for believers, focusing on the importance of rejoicing, prayer, and gratitude in the Christian life. 

The set of instruction are as follows: 

  • Rejoice Always: This is a command that encourages a constant spirit of joy rooted in Christ, even amidst life’s challenges. It encourages Christians reminding them that our faith can be a source of joy and comfort in all circumstances.
  • Pray Continually: Believers are encouraged to maintain an ongoing, prayerful attitude. This means seeking God’s guidance and comfort throughout the day, emphasizing a close and consistent relationship with God.
  • Give Thanks in All Circumstances: Expressing gratitude, even in difficult times, acknowledges God’s presence and sovereignty. It deepens our faith and helps us keep a positive view.

4. Confess our sins 

Before we can have a relationship with God, we must confess our sins to Him and ask for forgiveness.  

We only need to ask for salvation once, but we should continually be asking for forgiveness as we fall into different sins. 

The Bible tells us that, not only should we confess our sins to Him, but we should confess our sins to each other and pray for one another.  

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

James 5:16 (NIV)

James encourages believers to confess their sins to each other and to pray for one another’s healing. 

This practice has several layers of significance:

  • Community and Accountability: Confessing sins to fellow believers creates a sense of community and accountability within the local and global church. This tells us that we are not meant to live the challenges of this life alone but as a supportive and caring group of people.
  • Emotional and Spiritual Healing: Confession can be emotionally liberating and spiritually rejuvenating. Sharing our struggles and sins can help alleviate guilt, shame, and emotional burdens. This act of vulnerability can lead to spiritual healing and growth.

These verses encourage all believers to practice vulnerability and accountability by confessing sins to one another and praying for healing. 

It also highlights the power and effectiveness of a righteous person’s prayer, rooted in faith and aligned with God’s will. 

This passage reminds us that prayer is a powerful tool for seeking healing, both physically and spiritually, and that it is an essential part of the Christian life.

5. Everyone can find The Lord

Some people believe that God doesn’t see them and that they can’t find God. 

This is the furthest thing from The Truth as The scripture promises us that if anyone seeks God, they will find Him! 

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; 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.

Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV)

These verses tell us that we have access to God and promise that those who seek Him will indeed find Him:

Asking, Seeking, and Knocking:

  • Ask: This verse encourages believers to ask God for what they need or desire. It reflects the idea that prayer is a means of making requests and expressing one’s needs and desires before God.
  • Seek: Seeking goes beyond asking; it implies a deeper, intentional pursuit of God’s presence, guidance, and truth. It suggests a sincere desire for a deeper understanding of God and His will.
  • Knock: Knocking on a door implies persistence and a desire for entry. In the context of prayer, knocking represents the act of approaching God persistently, seeking a deeper relationship or a specific answer to prayer.

The Promise of Receiving, Finding, and the Door Opening:

The verses make a powerful promise: “For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” 

This promise emphasizes that God is approachable, responsive, and open to our desires.

  • Receiving: When we ask, God promises that we will receive, suggesting that our prayers are not in vain. However, it’s important to remember that the answer to our prayers may not always align with our expectations, but it will align with God’s will.
  • Finding: Those who seek God with sincerity will find Him. This implies that God is close and wants a close relationship with you. He is not hiding, and anyone who looks for Him will find Him
  • The Door Opening: Knocking signifies our desire to find God. When we do knock, God promises to open the door, indicating that He welcomes us into His presence and invites us to experience a closer relationship with Him.

These verses tell us that everyone, regardless of their background or circumstances, can find the Lord through prayer and seek His guidance and presence in their lives.

Conclusion:

There are many verses about prayer in The Bible, but I believe the examples above give you a good window into the amazing relationship we can have with God. 

Prayer is not like rubbing a lamp and asking for what we want. 

It’s a means of talking to God and having a close relationship with Him.

Overall, these verses highlight the significance of prayer as a means of seeking God, finding peace, seeking forgiveness, and connecting with Him on a personal level. 

They also emphasize the importance of faith, persistence, and the transformative power of prayer in the Christian life.

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