By: Tamika Mahomes
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder. And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6 (KJV)
As I revisit this scripture time and time again, I reflect on the truth that it unpacks.
In this verse we not only see the beauty in the birth of our Savior, but we also see the truth in who Jesus is.
And today I want to talk about that name, Wonderful, Counselor.
In his time on earth and even now, Jesus was a Wonderful Counselor.
He not only counseled the sick, raised the dead and help those in need, he also showed that he knew people.
We as humans can often look for our substance in people. We can run to our pastors, or to a counselor, or to a friend, but the Bible tells us right in this scripture that all we need can be found in Jesus!
He is not just a counselor in that he walks with us in and through all seasons, he is a counselor who loves us and finds us special to him. When we look at the scripture in Isaiah, it not only represents the birth of Jesus but it also points to the truth of his finished work on the cross.
It points to the truth that he did not just come to counsel those we read about in the Bible, but through the Holy Spirit, he walks with and counsels us as well.
When you need a healer he's there, a provider he is there, when you need a friend, he is there too! And here is the beauty in this truth, the beauty is that it Jesus is not just any random person, he's not just someone who finds you as just a number. He is someone who cares about you, he is someone that loves you so much that he died for you, His counsel comes with wisdom, knowledge, understanding and truth. The same one that sits in the sky, they same one that sits in heavenly places is right there ready to walk through all things with you!
Waiting is hard.
Waiting can produce hopelessness.
Weariness, anxiety, feeling unloved, spiraling down into dark places, it’s hard to see any way out in those valleys.
When you see those around you happy, loved, and encouraged, you wonder when you get yours, especially during this time when love, joy, peace, and hope seem to be on overload. You may still feel left out, empty, unsure you even want to give any of those a chance.
Sometimes those dark places seem more comfortable. Or we think that it will be impossible to get out.
Hopelessness is a lonely place to be.
But there is hope. If you are breathing, there is hope.
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”- Hebrews 10:23 (NIV)
Christ came to Earth to give all of us a living Hope.
Everything can be chaotic around you; getting out of the pit may not be instantaneous. Even seeing the Light at the end of the tunnel won’t necessarily mean we are on the outside already. But it illuminates the path we must walk on.
In moments of hopelessness, we desperately want something we can hold on to. But while our hope isn’t tangible, our hope is real. It comes by believing, knowing, and seeking a Savior. When you are struggling, when you don’t know where to turn, Jesus Christ provides that anchor.
“We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain.” -Hebrews 6:19 (ESV)
No one is beyond hope. No one. If you do not know Christ as your Savior, He is near to you and waiting for you to say, “Lord, I am yours, forgive me, help me, Father, I choose you.”
Finding yourself in a place of doubt, questioning, or hopelessness gives way to the enemy. The Bible shares the message of the hope of Christ as we see those who endured hopelessness, pressing into the hope of the Father. If he did it before, we can find peace in the truth that he can do it again. He is unchanging; Jesus is our true living HOPE.
Carol is writer and mother of 7, who finds joy in using her words to encourage others. You can connect with her via her blog or instagram
By: Tamika M.
Today is the day. The day I look forward to every year.
All the holidays pass, and we transition from spring, summer, fall, and winter, and I finally arrive today: December 10th, the day on which I was born.
Today I celebrate leaving my 20's and entering my 30's.
While many people say their 20's is the most challenging time of their lives, I found that my 20's were the most beneficial.
In my 20's, I learned so many lessons, and in my 20's, I began to grow a solid foundation in my relationship with Christ.
As I start this new decade, I reflect on James 1:5 that says:
"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." James 1:5 (KJV)
People tell you that with age comes wisdom, and while I do not want to negate the validity of that statement, there is another truth. There is the truth that we can find wisdom in and from many things, but the Bible here in this passage reminds us that we can find wisdom from God! Not in the things of this world, not in our life experiences, but we can gain true wisdom, knowledge, and understanding from God. And to attain this wisdom, the Bible says all we have to do is seek the Father.
Proverbs 21:2 says:
"Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord pondereth the hearts." Proverbs 21:2 (KJV)
This tells us that while we can find wisdom in and of ourselves, our wisdom may not always be in alignment with God's purpose. If I can be honest, in my 20's, I found myself trying to be lead myself, but it was also in this season that I truly began to learn that my ways and God's are different. I found that I can rest in the truth that God is in control, and if I lean into him, if I learn him, and if I trust him, he will lead me and make even my crooked paths straight.
Despite my crooked paths, despite my mistakes, despite my failures, I am standing here. I am standing here because God's truth kept me; I am standing here because I have learned that when I trust God, he will keep me, and I never have to go through anything alone. I have learned that I can trust in his truth, and he will lead me.
So today, as I enter this new decade, I rest in this truth. I rest in the word that I need God to lead me, and I do not need to lead myself. I set myself on a path to knowing God more and knowing him deeper; I set on a path to seek him more, understand him more, and share him more. Wisdom does not merely come from life experiences; the Bible reminds us that true wisdom comes from the Father.
By: Brittany T.
2020. The year that none of us saw coming. When we made our plans at the start of the year, no one would have predicted how the entire world would turn upside down, and for most of us, how taxing this year would be on our souls.
While some industries have been blessed, our lives have become riddled with insecurity for the majority of us. Unsure of what to expect, we all wait with bated breath for this to end.
Waiting. Now that sounds like Christmas.
We aren’t the first people called to wait on God to intervene. The Bible is overflowing with examples of people who were forced into waiting.
We are a people trapped between two advents desperate for hope, for change. So what can we do with this ugly in between?
We can choose joy.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Paul offers this comfort to a church eagerly awaiting Christ’s return.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Rejoice always. Paul instructs us that no matter what, our response as we wait should include joy. “Re-” as a prefix means “again and again.” This implies that Joy isn’t just a one-time affair. It’s a choice to renew our faith in Him over and over again.
Joy is a continual choice in every moment to shift our eyes from the insecurity of our world to the certainty of our God.
So how can we practically “re-joice” no matter what our circumstances hold?
Circumstances will shift and change, but Jesus is our rock, our unchanging foundation. In this ugly in between, choose joy, dear friends. May this season remind us that there are gifts on the other side of our waiting- a deeper relationship with Jesus and habits that enable us to endure through the security of His eternal love.
A wife and a mom of three girls, Brittany is passionate about connecting her generation to the truth of scripture and the love of God. Diving through the depths of God’s word, she makes theology practical & tangible enough for authentic and abundant living.
Empowering others through wit, humor, and her bold personality, she uses the Bible to champion women and curate communities - providing space for everyone to be both seen and supported on their faith journey.
Blog Link- https://brittanyjturner.com/blog/
YouTube Channel- https://bit.ly/iambrittanyjyoutube
By: Tamika M.
“Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.'" Matthew 1:23 (NLT)
Oh, what a name is Immanuel.
Oh, what a representation does that name mean.
There are many names for Jesus, many names he is for us.
But Immanuel, it is not just a name; it's a reminder that the most high, the one who sits on the throne, he also sits here with us!
He's there when you're going through a good season, and he's there in the bad.
The Bible does not say that he is only with us when everything is looking up; it reminds us that he is right there, even in the most challenging seasons of our life.
We never have to walk through any season alone, we never have to face a battle by ourselves, but instead, we find hope in the Savior.
The same Jesus that came as flesh to save the world wants to walk with us in all things.
This time of year can bring so much joy, but it can also bring pain.
It can be hard to move through a season missing loved ones.
It can be hard to figure out how to move forward through challenging times in our lives.
And while the hard times may not go away, we can find rest in the fact that in the hard times, we never have to be alone.
We can rest in the fact that in and through the Father, we are never alone! I will say it again, we, you, I, are never alone!
Immanuel is God with us, in all things, through all things, our Savior Jesus, he is always there.
By: Dawn B.
Congratulations – we survived our first Thanksgiving during a pandemic. Not a milestone I expected to achieve in my adult life, but here we are. My energy now turns to making the Christmas season as special as possible while holding true to pandemic safety regulations. Not a small task! As the to-do list gains pages, it is time to take a moment to breathe, rest, and be present in the moment and in God's presence.
We are Human Beings
Our culture focuses on production. What are you doing to make your life, the life of your family, and the world a better place? Days are measured by the number of tasks that we accomplish, while lack of productivity is deemed lazy. Looking at this formula, our society defines us as human doings when God created us as human beings. Instead of measuring our worth by tasks completed, let us take a moment to seek who we truly are.
The definition of self is "the nature or essence of a person." Essence is not a task. It is not defined by how well you clean the house, your ability to work 40+ hours a week at your job, or the number of hours you spend caring for people. All these things are essential and necessary, but they do not define one's being. To find your essence, you need to look deep within yourself and feel God's purpose inside your innermost soul.
Take a Moment to Breathe
To seek God's purpose and hear him speaking, we need to slow down. It is impossible to hear anything when the room is filled with noise—the more tasks on the list, the more noise blocking out the voice of God. I know what you may be thinking – so who is going to do all these tasks while I'm slowing down? I get it! Life is busy, and things need to get done. Start small. Find 5 minutes sometime during the day and breathe. Breathe in God's grace, listen to His voice, and lean into your being outside of your doing.
We are Meant to Rest
The next step is to acknowledge it is good, holy, and necessary to rest.
"There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his." Hebrews 4:9-10 (NIV)
If the almighty creator of the universe took a moment to stop and rest, we certainly need to plan rest into our days. It comes back to being instead of doing. Rest and take time to be with God, yourself, and your loved ones. Practice being present in the moment. In being present, we slow down, and even planned tasks can become more peaceful, allowing for more rest.
Embracing Christ In Christmas
As the journey to Christmas begins, embrace the fact that you are a human being. Take moments to breathe in God's presence and rest in His grace. Embrace the natural holiday sensation swirling around – Christmas lights, colorful stockings, nativity scenes on the mantel, and smiling children filled with excitement. Celebrate the miracle of God sending Jesus to live among us and grow to be the Savior of the world. Rest, breathe, and be present to the moment God sets before us.
Dawn Marie Beauchamp is a wife and mother of three glorious children living in the great state of Michigan. She can be found at Controlled Chaos blogging about faith, family, food and everything in between. Dawn and her husband run a growing electrical company and are avid DIY-ers. In their spare time, Dawn and family love to spend time outdoors - boating, fishing, hiking, hunting, and snowmobiling. You can follow Dawn on the following social platforms -Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
By: Tamika M.
" For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." 2 Corinthians 4:6 (KJV)
In the midst of the things going on in this world, and in the midst of things going on in our lives, Jesus provides hope.
In 2 Corinthians 4:6, the Bible says, the same God that spoke light into a world of darkness can give light, hope, and change to our current circumstances.
If I can be honest, 2020 was a rough year for many. A pandemic that NO one saw coming, deaths of innocent men and women at the hands of a deadly virus, life as we know it changing to something we have never seen.
But there is still light in this midst of this season, and in the midst of this darkness, there is still a Savior!
Light does not mean our problems will go away. Light does not mean that we will never see a dark season.
But it does mean that the light of the world will walk us through the darkness. The light found in Jesus will never allow us to be alone. Looking at Psalm 23:4, the Bible says:
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." (KJV)
This scripture sends us the reminder that even in the darkness, even in our hardest seasons, we do not have to fear because we have a perfect one who protects, comforts us, and keeps us in our dark seasons. That comforter is the Savior, that comforter is light in darkness, that comforter is Jesus Christ.
Jesus was there then, and he is here now. And in this season, I want to encourage you that while life is hard, Jesus is there. While this season may seem never-ending, Jesus is the light in the midst of the tunnel. We can find an everlasting peace, grace, and rest in the arms of the Father! There is hope and help in the arms of the Savior, the Savior who speaks light into darkness and speaks life into you!
By: Tamika M.
Forgiveness is hard.
Forgiveness may not always be the thing that we choose to do.
But forgiveness is what the Bible calls us to do.
Ephesians 4:2 states clearly:
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. (KJV)
The Bible not only shares the story of forgiveness; it shares the truth that the forgiveness Christ gives us, we are also to extend it to others. It does not hold conditions; it does not say only forgive if the offense is small; it does not say only forgive when YOU feel like it. It reminds us that we are to walk in the truth of forgiveness in and through all things.
It may not change the hurt; it may not change what that person has done to you, but when we walk in forgiveness, we not only free the other person, but we also free ourselves. When we hold onto that hurt and even sometimes anger, we do not show Christ's glory, truth, or his message. When Christ came, died, and rose, he did it to allow you access to his forgiveness.
We are sinners who need a savior, and we have access to that savior through the sacrifice he made; it came through the blood. And the blood of Jesus was for us, our sins, our shortcomings, and when we fall short of his glory. And I do not know about you, but I need God's grace, I need God's mercy, I need God's forgiveness. While I am undeserving of his forgiveness, I am grateful that the Father was gracious enough to offer me a chance at forgiveness.
We are not worthy...we mess up...we fall short...but the message of the cross gives us redemption amid our failures—a grace that is not meant only for us, but also others.
And today, I encourage you, whatever that person did to you, however, they hurt you, whatever wrong they did, forgive them, set them free, and allow yourself to be free. Do not be bound to unforgiveness but rather walk in the freedom of Christ. This holiday season, let us give the gift of forgiveness. Yes, it may hurt, yes it may not make sense, but you are forgiven and called to have a heart of forgiveness. Let us walk out the truth of the word, forgive others, as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
By Tamika M.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" John 3:16 (KJV)
Jesus, when he came to the earth, born in a manger and wrapped in swaddling clothes, he came with a purpose, he came with a truth, and he came with salvation and a chance at life everlasting for us all.
Often, we do not see the end from the beginning; many times, we don't know the importance of what we are going through or why we are going through it. We sometimes do not understand why God is doing what he is doing when he is doing it. But whether or not we agree, whether or not we are on board, and whether or not we understand, our story comes with a purpose attached to God.
Because God loved the world and wanted to offer man another chance, he sacrificed his only Son, Jesus, so that you and I could have the opportunity to spend eternity with him. A purpose that did not have to be understood in order to be fulfilled.
I am reminded of Romans 8:28, which says:
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose (KJV)
When Jesus came to the earth, he was fulfilling a purpose; and that purpose extended grace, love, and forgiveness. That purpose gives us another chance to get it right. Isn't that amazing? Doesn't that bring you joy? The truth that God loves you so much that he died for you. A love like no other, a savior like no other, a purpose fulfilled like no other.
And that story of purpose, that story of truth, it speaks to us. It reminds us that the purpose that God has given us, it too can be fulfilled. God calls us to share his word, God calls us to be light in darkness, and he calls us to be His hands and feet on the earth.
We show that in how we love, we show that in how we conduct ourselves, we show that in the lives that we live. And living according to God's will allows us to live out his purpose fulfilled in us. So this holiday season, I leave you with this word of encouragement, let your purpose be fulfilled, live God's purpose out loud! Love the unloveable, forgive the unforgivable, and let the grace that God has given you be shown towards others!
By: Kari Minter
It started with just a little pain in the lower back. Eventually, I couldn’t walk out of the house, driving was painful, and parenting was impossible.
As the months wore on, Christians around me started saying, “I can’t wait to see what God is trying to teach you” or “sometimes God needs to completely destroy us in order to rebuild us”.
As if I was somehow responsible for my pain, and God was punishing me. As if the pain wasn’t from the brokenness of our sinful world, but the pain was from the very hand of God.
Their words got to me and doubt crept in. Is God withholding his love from me?
Walking through suffering or pain can make us doubt God’s love. But it doesn’t have to.
If you find yourself in a season of doubt, here are three scriptures to help you comprehend the depth of the Father’s love.
He brought me out to a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. Psalm 18:19 (CSB)
David is writing this Psalm as he is running for his life from Saul. But notice God doesn’t rescue David because David is godly or going to be the next King of Israel. He isn’t rescued because of his future contribution to God’s temple. Or even because Jesus would be his descedent.
No. David was rescued by God simply because God delighted in him….
And the same is true for you.
God delights in you simply because you’re his child. Not because you’re godly, or raised kids well, or suffered strong. He delights in you simply because you are his child.
Meditate on that truth for a bit. God simply looks on you and delights in you. That’s how much he loves you.
"This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us." Romans 5:5 (CSB)
This hope, finding rest in God’s presence, doesn’t disappoint us. Why? Because our Father’s love has been POURED OUT in our hearts through the Holy Spirit.
You don’t earn it. If you have put your faith in Christ, God has poured out his love to you.
"Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword." Romans 8:35 (CSB)
The suffering you’re experiencing or the bad decisions you’ve made? Can’t put a dent in how the Father loves you.
The depression or anxiety or worry that is consuming? It has no power to take you from the love of your Father in heaven.
Whatever is happening in your life does not have the power to change the love of your God towards you.
God delights in you, he pours out his love over you, and his love can never be taken from you. Today I pray these truths will erase your doubts as you realize the depth of the Father’s love for you.
Kari Minter is a Christian writer and Bible teacher. She longs to help women cultivate a deeper walk with the Lord, and she uses her website and shop, www.kariminter.com, her instagram, and FB page to encourage and provide resources to women. She is also a pastor’s wife of 17 years and has 3 children who she adores.