Typical Beauty Exposed

More and more these days, this culture focuses on the perfectly made-up face, the perfect hair, the perfect skin, the perfect body- but what of a kind and compassionate spirit? Gone are the days of judging a person by their morals and their integrity; it seems like the first thing attractive to a person is an outward appearance. It is really sad.

1 Peter 3:3-4 says to women, “Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty that depends on fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should be known for the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.”

This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t take care of our appearances, but it basically means to focus on our relationship with God and pleasing Him more than trying to please this world by our looks. When we model God’s truth and love in our lives, God think this is so beautiful. Proverbs 31:30 says, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”

This Evil World

1 John 2:15-17

“Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you, for when you love the world, you show that you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only the lust for physical pleasure, the lust for everything we see, and pride in our possessions. These are not from the Father. They are from this evil world. And this world is fading away, along with everything it craves. But if you do the will of God, you will live forever.”

As I’m growing up, I see more and more that this world is trying to capture and suffocate those who have grown up in the church, and those who have had a real experience with God in the past. I don’t get angry easily, but when Satan attempts to destroy those who belong to God, it makes me furious. I just wish that every young person that falls prey to Satan’s tactics could realize that God is really the only person that they need in their life. When we have a relationship with God, all of our needs for love, acceptance, and trust should be met. And when I see teenagers long for this world more than a precious relationship with God, it grieves me so so much.

The world’s pleasures are fleeting, and they disappear before we know it. Sin is only fun for a season, but God’s purpose for our lives lasts eternally and will never fade. Then why is it that people lust for this temporary life? What this generation really needs is a life-changing, satisfying relationship with the Lord Jesus.

Salvation

1 Peter 1:18-20

“18 For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. 19 He paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. 20 God chose him for this purpose long before the world began, but now in these final days, he was sent to earth for all to see. And he did this for you.”

Reading this passage can”t help but make you feel special. When our lives were empty and broken, God rescued us by sending His Son to die. He did this for us. What a loving Father we have!

Purpose

I’d venture to say that each human being, sometime in their life, has a hard situation that causes them to question God and frantically ask Him why He would allow that bad thing to happen to them. We wonder why God sends this heartbreak to us, as if He is punishing us for doing something wrong. We wonder why God would allow us to cry and sob and feel like life holds nothing but sorrow. But God only allows these hard times for a season, and after they are over, it is as if we are a caterpillar turned into a butterfly, transformed through a difficult situation.(Hardships should make us draw nearer to God)

I’ve had one of those such situations: when my big sis Katie died in a car accident when she was 19. I was 12. Although young, I couldn’t help but ask God “Why?” Nothing in life made sense. It was as if time stopped and nothing else mattered. I felt sad and alone, like the grief of Katie’s death would overcome my life. But then God started to remind me that He makes all things work together for good. He reminded me that He was holding my hand day after day. He told me that He would never leave me or forsake me: that if I drew closer to Him, He would draw closer to me. He reminded me that I was a child of the King, and that He had everything in control.

Although these were hard lessons to grasp, God just kept being there for me- patient and willing. Year after year, God has given me a brighter outlook on life than what I saw when I heard about the fatal car accident. When all seemed dark and grim, He showed me that there was a greater purpose in Katie’s death- bringing souls to Him. Wow! How could I reject such a wonderful plan? Although this reason for Katie’s death is powerful, there came a point where I had to make a choice; do I wallow in grief and reject God’s promises, or do I run to God and seek His new mercies every day? I couldn’t help but choose the latter. I couldn’t stand to live without God. His joy compares to nothing else here on earth.

If you are in the midst of a hard situation, remember that God is there holding your hand. The trials you are going through aren’t to beat you down, but there is a greater purpose for your pain. The purpose may not be visible at this moment, but if you keep drawing nearer to God, He will draw near to you. He will reveal that purpose in due time, even if it is in eternity someday. God’s ways are not our ways, but they definitely are better in the long run!

Deuteronomy 31:8
“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Worry No More.

Matthew 6:25-34

25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”


I absolutely love this passage. How many times do I find myself caught up in the worries and anxiety of day to day life, and start to doubt that God can provide my every need? Well, God’s promise is right there in black in white: that if He can care for a single wildflower in an open prairie, He will care for me. That’s amazing! I think this profound thought will take a little while to pound into my head, but all God’s promises are true! He will never leave or forsake us. Amen.

Beauty for Ashes

Recently, the song “Beauty for Ashes” by Crystal Lewis has been in my head and in my spirit. You can listen to it on my playlist on the very bottom of this page.

Here are the lyrics to the song:

“He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear
Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair

When sorrow seems to surround you
When suffering hangs heavy o’er your head
Know that tomorrow brings
Wholeness and healing
God knows your need
Just believe what He said

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear
Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair

When what you’ve done keeps you from moving on
When fear wants to make itself at home in your heart
Know that forgiveness brings
Wholeness and healing
God knows your need
Just believe what He said

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear
Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair

I once was lost but God has found me
Though I was bound I’ve been set free
I’ve been made righteous in His sight
A display of His splendor all can see

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear
Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair”

The words to this song are so true. When all we have is nothing but ashes and sorrow from our life, God transforms those tears and heartaches into beauty. Wow! All we need to do is give our brokenness to the Lord, and He will make us whole in His timing. God sees every tear we cry, and wants nothing more than to make it better if only we ask Him.

It’s Worth it.

1 Peter 4:4-5

“Of course, your former friends are very surprised when you no longer join them in the wicked things they do, and they say evil things about you. But just remember that they will have to face God, who will judge everyone, both the living and the dead.”

This passage refers to when you have friendships with others that don’t build you up in your relationship with Christ, but rather make you turn away from God. When you make the hard decision to not associate with those friends anymore, it is difficult, but in the end it is worth it. God sees when you don’t do bad things, even when no one else seems to care. You will be rewarded in Heaven for every single good deed you do here on earth.