Hope and Encouragement

5 Reasons You Need to Stop Saying This Word

The word never, is only beneficial when describing things that God has said will never happen or to keep a person safe.  Here are a few examples:

God is never going to change

God will never sin

God will never flood the earth again

Never do drugs

Never drink & drive

dictionary.com defines ‘never’ as:


1. not ever; at no time:

2. not at all; absolutely not:

3. to no extent or degree:

Often I hear people use this word in a way that does significant damage to their spiritual walk.  Here are a few examples about the times we may be tempted to use this word:  

“We know that’s never going to happen….” in response to a relationship problem, marriage issue or work dilemma.

“She’s never going to change” in response to a person

“He’s never going to get accepted” into that program/college/trade school

“They will never agree to that” in response to a governing body or place of employment

“I would never do that” in response to judging someone else’s sin

“He would never say/do that” in response to a bad report from a teacher about your child

“God will never answer this prayer/perform a miracle for me/care about this.”

The word ‘Never’ is a life killer, dream stealer, hope thwarter, and prayer thief.

5 Reasons Why We Need to Stop Using the Word ‘Never’:

1. ‘Never’ is faithless word & without faith we cannot please God  

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”  Hebrews 11:6 NIV

2. ‘Never’ brings death to a situation vs. hope & life which God is the author of

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”  Proverbs 18:21 NIV


3. ‘Never’ is not the truth  (unless you’re repeating something God said will never happen.)                                                                  

“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”’ Matthew 19:26 NIV

4. ‘Never; completely diminishes the power of God in our lives because it is a lie

“Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie!” Psalm 40:4

5.   Saying ‘Never’ is worse than doubt, it is making yourself ‘God’ over that situation or person you are praying for or talking about.  The word ‘never’ declares that you are the authority in the matter and it is blasphemous and idolatry.  Our God is a redeemer, an expert in the restoration of all things, He makes all things new, He regenerates people from death to eternal life, and specializes in the impossible!  When you say you believe that God raised Jesus from the dead, and with the same mouth proclaim that He will “never” fix your marriage or change your friend you are a double-minded man!  Look what James 1:6-8 says: “But he must ask in faith, without doubting, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”  (bold letter added for emphasis) 

The use of the word ‘never’ in your life keeps you from living a life of faith. 

I challenge you to stop using the word ‘never’ and begin today to replace it with life-giving words of hope and truth from God’s Word.  

“You were wearied with the length of your way, but you did not say, “It is hopeless”; you found new life for your strength, and so you were not faint.”  Isaiah 57:10 ESV

“Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping–believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, "That’s how many descendants you will have!”  Romans 4:18 NLT

In what situation do you find yourself in that there may be ‘no reason for hope’ as was the case with Abraham?  Choose to keep on believing in God’s truth today. 

What are you hoping for?  Write out some Bible verses to study and repeat that will bring hope to your life.

Our God specializes in the impossible!

Written by Jamie Shaver

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This is What Courage Fueled By Faith Sounds Like...

In the book of Daniel, 3 friends find themselves faced with death because of a decision they had made to not bow down to a statue of the King, since they only worshipped the One true God. The death sentence was made known to them, specifically that they would be thrown into a huge, hot, fiery furnace and this is how they responded:

“16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up. Daniel 3:16-18 NIV

Here’s what we can learn from these men of God, which John Maxwell writes about in his leadership Bible, when we face situations in our own life that could lead to death. In this example from Scripture they were facing physical death. You may be facing a threat of the death of a relationship, dream, job, family member or even your own physical death. When you find yourself in the moment of crisis what do you say to yourself or others? Let’s look at what these men said:

“the God we serve is able to deliver us from it…” These godly men believed in the omnipotence of God, that nothing was too hard for Him.

“He will deliver us…” They believed in the love of God that acts on behalf of the beloved.

“But even if he does not…” They believed in the sovereignty of God, that He acts on the basis of His own pleasure and will.

“the God we serve”…(v. 17) They not only believed certain things, they acted on them, and had done so all of their lives


I’d like to add in verse 16 above that these men also knew the truth that “we do not need to defend ourselves.” Jesus is our advocate, He goes before us and God promises to fight our battles. He is the One who alone brings us the victory, the victory that He has promised is ours in Christ Jesus. Be encouraged today, speak life when circumstances arise that threaten you, your life, your God given plans or dreams. With God all things are possible.

Written by Jamie Shaver

Are you curious to know how much fear, worry and anxiety is impacting your life? Take our free quiz to learn how fearful, worried and anxious you really are?

Change Your Perspective and You Can Overcome Your Fear

I was having a long-overdo lunch with a dear friend who’s a true hero of mine because she, along with her incredible husband, have for years demonstrated sacrificial, unfailing love and unending patience as they’ve been full-time caretakers for their severely handicapped daughter, who’s now in her twenties. She shared with me that she was leaving in a couple of days to go on a rare trip to Boston to see family. Since she and her husband can’t be away from their daughter at the same, a friend of hers had planned on going along on the trip, but she had to cancel at the last minute. My friend—who has faced and overcome challenges I can’t even imagine— revealed to me that she dreaded the prospect of the flight because she had a tremendous fear of flying.

Although I admit to other fears, I’ve never had a fear of flying, so I was curious as to why she was scared to fly. She shared that she didn’t like heights, and that she was afraid of dying in a plane crash. I shared with her that I love flying. I find it provides a wonderful opportunity to connect with people I might otherwise never get the chance to meet, and it’s also a time when I feel a special connection to the Lord. My friend listened intently as I shared with her my perspective on flying. I've found that when we get our eyes off of ourselves and our fears—and onto God and the needs of others— that our fears are greatly diminished, and even can be entirely eliminated. Below are some things I shared with her about my view of flying:

1. It’s a Great Opportunity to Connect with Others: Besides being a means to get you to your final destination where adventure hopefully awaits, flying is a wonderful opportunity to meet new people who could impact your life, and whose life you could impact…perhaps for all eternity! I always pray before flying that the Lord will seat me next to the people He would like me to connect with for His purposes. I don’t even mind the center seat because that affords me the chance to possibly interact with two rather than just one person on my flight. I make sure to say ‘Hello’ and give a smile to my seat mates, asking them the reason for their trip and conversing with them long enough to see if they are open to conversation or not. I have found that most people LOVE to talk about themselves if you ask them open-ended questions. So many people suffer from loneliness, depression and a sense that no one really cares about them, so conversing with your seat mates can provide a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate to them that someone else does care about them and what’s going on in their life. My experience has been that most people will open up and share what’s in their hearts and minds if they know someone is truly interested in what they have to say; and I find it’s a true delight to get to know other people! And, if they in turn ask me questions, it gives me the opportunity to share my faith in the Lord, which is central to my life so I always find a way to insert my love for Him into my response to their questions. Visiting with my seat mates has given me the chance to connect with and encourage fellow believers—several of whom I have stayed in contact with after the flight— as well as to share Jesus’ love with those who don’t have a relationship with Him. I look at the flight as an opportunity for me to be able to give someone who doesn’t know Jesus the opportunity to associate a smiling, caring face and genuine interest in them with His Name!


2) It’s a Great Opportunity to Connect with God: Flying affords me the perfect opportunity to ponder the magnificence of God Who created the earth, the sky, the clouds, mankind, and all that is in the universe! I love to look upon the things on earth that seem so large when I’m ‘earthbound’ but grow increasingly smaller as the plane takes off until they disappear all together from sight…that view helps put my life into perspective and serves to humble me when I’m tempted to think that I am a ‘big deal’! It also causes me to marvel at how incredible God is! He sees everything throughout the world, and at all times—no matter how big or how small—and He loves all of His creation, especially ‘ puny’ mankind whom He came to earth to save! The perspective you gain from flying reminds me of this scripture: When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Psalm 8:3-4 ESV              

      As the plane ascends to greater heights and I consider the vastness of the skies, I gain a greater revelation of God’s lavish love and His infinitely wise ways as I think upon scriptures like the ones below:

Your loving devotion, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, Your steadfastness to the clouds. Psalm 36:5 ESV

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. Psalm 103: 11-12 ESV

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV

Focusing my thoughts upon God’s infinite power and incredible wisdom as the Creator of the earth, the skies, the clouds, and everything in the universe—including giving man the wherewithal to even know how to fly planes— and fixing my thoughts upon His lavish love for me, which reaches to the heavens, gives me great peace and joy when I fly.

3) It’s a Great Opportunity to Contemplate What Will Happen After Death: So let’s be honest: the thought of dying in a plane crash has probably crossed your mind, even though the chances of being in a plane crash is less than 1 in 11 million!!! So what if instead of fixing your thoughts on the extremely unlikely event that you might die in a plane crash, you think about the almost 100% likelihood that someday you will die (unless you are raptured!), and focus your thoughts upon where you’ll be and what you’ll be doing after your death. God tells us that to be absent from the body is to be present with Him; how glorious that will be! (2 Corinthians 5:8) God’s Word is filled with descriptions of Heaven, the promised destiny for all who have put their trust in Jesus and His atoning work on the cross on their behalf. Think of how changing your focus from a highly unlikely plane crash to the absolute assurance of a future in heaven can impact your plane ride…and your life! Although most people are afraid of death, we as Christians have no need to fear it for Christ’s death and resurrection means that death has lost its sting. We will finally get to see Jesus face-to-face and experience all of the glories that await us in Heaven that we were created to enjoy.

‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”  Revelation 21:4 ESV

No eye has see, no ear has heard, no heart has imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him. 1 Corinthians 2:9 Berean Study Bible

And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God,  having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal…. ….The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, like clear glass….The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb (Jesus). Revelation 21:10-11; 18-23 ESV

TESTIMONY FROM MY FRIEND: I checked with my friend after she got back from her trip to see what impact changing the focus of her thoughts had on her fear of flying. Here’s what she had to say:

On both flights upon take-off, I envisioned myself cradled in God’s enormous hands & being lifted up by Him. During the flight, while everyone around me was watching movies, I prayed for all the people on the plane. I prayed that each of them would have an encounter with God at their destination & that the Holy Spirit would soften their hearts in preparation for wherever they were going and whatever they were going to be doing. That all those saved on the plane would be re-inspired in their faith and have a great impact at their destination. I felt little to no fear right before or during the flight. I think the main thing that helped me was realizing that “THE WORST” thing that could happen is that I would be with God in Glory within 2 hours (the length of my flight). I thought about what God tells us in His Word about Heaven, and I imagined such things as the spectacular colors that are not known on earth, and the level of perfection of the music offerings. And I wondered what I’d be doing there—perhaps singing or playing an instrument again!

Do you see how changing your focus from being upon yourself and your fear to being upon God and seeing Him in the midst of your situation can make all of the difference if you have a fear…whether of flying, or something else? When fear arises in your life, I encourage you to choose not to focus upon yourself and what you fear but instead focus upon God, His Word, and seeing Him alongside you in the midst of your situation, as well as upon how you can be a blessing to others

You may be thinking, but Julie, I don’t know the Bible like you do so those scriptures that you mentioned don’t come to my mind when I go flying, or when I need them to counteract my own fears. There was certainly a time when I didn’t know the Bible well either. That’s why I would encourage you to do several things: 1) Read—or listen to— the Word daily so that you are feeding your soul with the life-giving Word of God; your mind is like a computer—what you enter into it can be retrieved whenever you need it. And the most important thing you can input into your mind is God’s Word, which is truth…the truth that you NEED, that CAN and WILL set you free from your fears IF you know and believe the truth of His Word. 2) Surround yourself with people who know God’s Word who can encourage you in that truth when you are tempted to succumb to your fear. Joining a Bible study or a prayer group with other mature believers is a great way to learn God’s Word and have fellowship with other believers who can come alongside you. 3) Feel free to contact Jamie and me by clicking on this link https://www.trueviewministries.org/contact and we will be happy to coach you in how to overcome your fears by helping you to learn and trust in the promises of God found in His Word. God has provided a promise in His Word that will equip you to overcome EVERY fear, and it is He, Who is Perfect Love, Who truly will enable you to cast out every fear as you fix your eyes upon Him, the Author and Perfecter of your faith!

Written by Julie Van Gorp

Are you curious to know how much fear, worry and anxiety is impacting your life? Take our free quiz to learn how fearful, worried and anxious you really are?

Are You a Joy-Robber or a Joy-Giver?

As I hung up the phone after listening to a litany of complaints from a friend who’s a self-described ‘stress-mess’, I was aware that the lengthy conversation that solely focused upon her ‘trials and tribulations’ had a draining effect upon me. My heart certainly went out to her as she’s gone through several challenging ‘life issues’ in a short period of time, and I definitely understood why she felt so down and discouraged. As she shared, I imagined her as a person who’d been swept up by the ocean’s undertow who comes up for air, thinks they can finally breathe and get solid footing again, but instead gets taken under by the next crashing wave. Maybe you’re feeling that way too. Are you someone who has become weighed down by the trials and tribulations in your life and feel that you have lost your joy? Or, do you know of such a person?

 I don’t know anyone in the world who would ask to be put through really tough situations or experience a lot of suffering, do you? And most people are far more adept at finding things to complain about—even when things are going well overall in their lives-- than they are at finding things for which to be thankful. So it is truly a rarity to find a person who is full of joy in the midst of suffering. 

 This past weekend I was blessed to attend a ‘celebration of life’ service for a precious 48 year-old woman who lived her life fully for the purpose for which she was put on this earth—the glory and praise of her Savior and Lord Jesus! She battled ovarian cancer for over 3 ½ years, experiencing excruciating pain during the last several months of her life as her entire body was riddled with cancer. Despite her pain, she always wore a huge smile that radiated her love for the Lord and for others. She didn’t waste her time complaining about her health, on shaking her fist at God for ‘cutting her life short’, on grumbling ‘Why me, Lord?’ or on succumbing to despair and depression. She knew her life ‘was not her own’ and her purpose was to glorify God with her whole life (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), so she entrusted it completely into the almighty and always loving care of her Heavenly Father. Her focus was upon glorifying God and serving others even in the midst of her pain and suffering. All of those who knew her well testified that she exhibited joy throughout her life, joy which could not be extinguished by her diagnosis, or her pain and suffering. 

 Her life testified to the truth of the statement made famous by John Piper: “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him”. She was fully satisfied with God, even when her life didn’t go as she would have chosen, and her satisfaction and joy in Him led others to experience joy in her presence, and caused them to draw near to and glory in the God whom she loved. Her joy in the Lord also brought comfort and peace to her husband of 25 years, her beloved mother-- who is a dear friend of mine-- and to her three brothers and countless nieces and nephews, her church family, and her countless friends. Her joy and praising of God in the midst of her suffering not only gave her strength to carry on till the end of her life on earth, but it also was uplifting and life-giving to all those who knew her! 


 God longs for us to praise Him-- not because He is an egotist, but because He knows that when we fix our eyes and thoughts upon Him we will be ‘lifted above our circumstances’ and realize that there is nothing too big for God! He inhabits the praises of His people; when we praise God we are taken into His Presence, where there is indeed fullness of joy! (Psalm 22:3; Psalm 16:11) We need that joy at all times, but especially when we are going through tough times! We must press through and overcome our natural tendency to focus upon ourselves and our circumstances and lift up praises to God—even, and especially-- when we don’t ‘feel like it’. When we praise Him and enter into His presence, we will find that the joy of the Lord will be our strength that will enable us to endure amidst the trials and tribulations we face. (Nehemiah 8:10)

 You might say, “But Julie, you don’t understand what I’m going through!” Perhaps your marriage is rife with conflict. Or you have a prodigal child. Or you have financial difficulties that you can’t see how to solve. Perhaps you’re in poor health, or even have a terminal diagnosis. Maybe you’re feeling like the world’s falling apart all around you and there’s nothing you can find for which to be thankful and to praise God.

 I’m sure I don’t understand all that you’re going through, nor do I need to. But I can assure you that God understands your situation completely, He’s there by your side, and He’s bigger than whatever is overwhelming to you. He longs for you to BELIEVE that truth so you will go to Him, so that you will praise Him, and so that you will find joy in His Presence…the joy that will be your strength to carry you through your circumstances, and the joy that will be contagious and cause others to look to God, the Source of your joy! 

 There is so much wisdom in the expression, “What you focus upon expands.” If your focus is upon how horrible your circumstances are, that thought will begin to consume you and ‘take you under’, like the undertow in the ocean. Being consumed with thoughts of yourself and your circumstances means you can’t simultaneously be focused upon God or upon serving and ministering to others. The reality is that if you are self-absorbed you won’t have joy yourself, and will be a ‘joy-robber’ instead of a ‘joy- giver’. Newsflash: no one enjoys being around someone whose sole focus is on him or her self, particularly if they spend a lot of time complaining and grumbling about their life! People love to be around people who are full of joy, not full of woe! For our good and God’s glory we are commanded to love God and to love others, which means being God and other focused rather than self-focused, (Matthew 22:36-40) We are also commanded to continually praise God, for our sakes as well as for His glory-- and there is always something for which to be grateful! (Psalm 34:1; 104:33; 113:3; Philippians 4:4)  I am so inspired as well as convicted by the story of Corrie ten Boom’s sister Betsie who praised God for the fleas in the beds in the German concentration camp where the sisters were taken, because the fleas kept the guards away and allowed them to share the gospel with other prisoners. That is definitely keeping a ‘God and other focus’ instead of succumbing to self-focus, and a clear demonstration of rejoicing in the midst of ‘trials and tribulations’!  How could she have such joy in the midst of such suffering? Because she firmly believed and stated: "There is no pit so deep that He [God] is not deeper still." (from the book The Hiding Place)

 Would those who know you best say that your focus is more on yourself and upon your circumstances, or upon praising God and serving others? Are you a joy-robber, or a joy-giver? How joyful are you when your focus is on yourself and on your circumstances?  Contrast that to the joy you have when you are keeping your eyes fixed upon God and praising Him and serving other people. 

 What are some things for which you can praise God, no matter what your circumstances are? 

 Praise Him for Who He is: consider His attributes…like Almighty, Beautiful beyond description, Creator, Deliverer, Everlasting, Faithful, Etc. Something I love to do and encourage you to do is to praise God for an attribute of His for every letter in the alphabet.

 Praise God that you are not alone: that He is your constant companion, with you at all times and He will never leave or forsake you. And nothing is impossible for Him!

 Praise Him for His gifts to you: Think of all that you do have because He is the ‘giver of every good and perfect gift’! (James 1:17) ! Thank Him for things like the air you breathe, your ability to see, smell, touch, hear and walk; for a roof over your head; a warm place when it’s cold or a cool place when it’s hot; running water; a bed with a mattress; food to eat; freedom to worship; medical care; your family and friends; etc. Try to come up with 5 different things every day for which to thank and praise God and you will become more aware of the myriad of blessings all around you…which will ‘keep your head above water’ and you won’t feel so overwhelmed when the waves come crashing on you…you will even be able to praise Him for the waves, and the strength He gives you to surf upon them rather than to be crushed by them! 

 Lord, help me to keep my eyes fixed upon You, and not to fix them upon my circumstances and myself. Help me to see all around me the blessings that I daily take for granted; train my eyes and heart so that I see something new each and every day for which I can praise You! And when I even begin to grumble about my circumstances, immediately turn my eyes back onto You, the giver of every good and perfect gift and remind me that You know, are bigger than, and are able to meet my every need! Thank You for the trials and tribulation in my life which I know You can use to conform me into Your image if I will keep my focus upon You and praise You regardless of my situation. May I be found faithful to rejoice at all times, and especially in the midst of suffering, so that others will see that You are the Source of my strength and be drawn to You, the One Who is worthy of all honor, praise and glory!

Written by Julie 

Are you curious to know how much fear, worry and anxiety is impacting your life? Take our free quiz to learn how fearful, worried and anxious you really are?

12 Gifts You Have Because Jesus Died and Rose for You!

I remember as a young girl looking so forward to Easter and all it entailed—dipping hard-boiled eggs into cups filled with various pastel dyes; unwrapping and eating way too many foiled chocolate eggs; buying a new dress, hat, shoes and even white gloves to wear to church on Easter morning before heading over to my grandparent’s house for an outdoor Easter egg hunt with our cousins and a delicious dinner. I was blessed to know our celebration had to do with Jesus’ death and resurrection. Raised as a Lutheran, our family went to church every Wednesday during Lent, attended Maundy evening services where we celebrated the ‘Last Supper’, and spent most of Good Friday afternoon in church hearing the seven ‘words’ Jesus spoke from the Cross. I recall thinking it very strange that the day on which Jesus died was named ‘Good Friday’—what could be ‘good’ about His death?--and thought it should’ve been called ‘Bad Friday’ instead. I also confess that at the time it didn’t seem like such a big deal that one person would die so that the rest of the world could live. 

 That was until I became an adult and knew without a doubt that I had sinned against God in thought, word, and deed. God graciously revealed to me that Jesus went to the cross for my sin. He didn’t just die the death that others deserved; he died the death that I deserved to die for my rebellion against Him, a holy God. As I studied His Word for myself, I realized more and more why ‘Good Friday’ is truly GOOD!!! 


 On my own, there was no way for me to ever be set free of my sin, my guilt and shame…but there was and is a Way, but only ONE Way! Only Jesus, the ‘unblemished Lamb’, the sinless ‘Son of God’ who chose to become the ‘Son of Man’ could atone for my sin. No one else could pay the debt I owed to God for my sin of rebellion against Him. Not Mohammed, not Buddha, not Confucius, nor any other person who has ever lived, because everyone besides Jesus has sinned against God, and everyone else has or will die. ONLY Jesus came from the Father, is ‘one with God the Father’, rose from the grave-- and by doing so overcame death-- then ascended into Heaven where He is seated at the right hand of His Father, living to intercede for those who put their trust in Him. (John 6:38; 10:30; 16:28; Matthew 28:6; Mark 16:19; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 7:23; 12:2-3) 

 Jesus alone could do what you and I and no one else could ever do; pay the debt that we owed because of our sin against God. And there was only one price that could be paid in order to pay our debt, and Jesus was willing to pay it. The cost was His very own blood. And, by paying that debt, Jesus freed us from the death penalty that we deserved, which included hell and damnation. Only Jesus’ blood could deliver us from death and hell and restore us to a right relationship with God the Father. (Romans 6:23; John 1:12; John 3:16) His death and resurrection made it possible for you and I to receive total and complete forgiveness for our sin—to have the debt we owed due to our rebellion against God cancelled once and for all time. His death alone could bring reconciliation between you and me—sinners— and a holy God who hates and will judge sin. What a life-changing passage is found below in Romans 5:6-11 (verse 8 is bolded): 

 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. ESV

 Jesus didn’t wait for us to get cleaned up before dying for us; He dies for us ‘while we were yet sinners’! Don’t listen to Satan’s lies when He tells you that Jesus couldn’t love you because your particular sin is too big. Jesus knew every sin you would ever commit when He went to the cross on your behalf, and He died and paid the debt for every one of them! Your sin is not greater than the power of Jesus’ blood that was shed to wash away your sin! God’s love for you is so much bigger than your sin! How great is His love for you? Consider His outstretched arms on the cross as He hung there dying for you. His love led Him to take your place on the cross and to make it possible for you to spend eternity with Him and the Father in Heaven.

 Not only did Jesus’ death pay our debt and thereby set us free from the penalty of sin, which is death, but His triumphant resurrection from the grave made it possible for you and me to be set free from the power of sin in our lives as well! We now have the power to resist our own self-will and the lies of the enemy and we can choose not to sin! By the work of the Holy Spirit-- Who is alive in all who put their faith in Jesus’ atoning death-- we have the power to choose not to sin. Did you realize that? Do you truly understand the power that is available to you if you have received the gift of salvation that Jesus purchased for you on the cross? You don’t have to sin anymore! At the cross we not only leave behind our sin—our dirty rags-- we are also able to exchange our filthy rags for Jesus’ garment of righteousness! (Isaiah 64:6; Philippians 3:9) We go from being powerless against sin, to being able to live righteously and victoriously through the power of the Holy Spirit who is at work in all who put their trust in Jesus! (Galatians 5:16) It took a long time for me to grasp all that Jesus’ death and resurrection purchased for me—and I’m sure I won’t have full understanding until I am joined with Him in Heaven. Below are some of the incredibly wonderful gifts I have because Jesus chose to die in my place, overcame death and the grave, and ascended into Heaven. All of them are also available to you if you are already a follower of Jesus, or, they can be if you choose to humble yourself, ask Him to forgive you of your sin, and choose to give Him your life and follow Him.

·    I am forgiven and set free from the guilt and shame of my sin! (Psalm 32:5; Acts 10:43-44; 1st John 1:9)

·    I have salvation in Christ! (Romans 10:10)

·    I have a new life! I am truly a ‘new creation’ because I have been ‘born again’ and Christ now lives in me! (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 2:19-20)

·    I am able to obey God, bear fruit that lasts, and live a life that is pleasing to Him! (John 15:1-17; Colossians 1:9-14; Galatians 5:16)

 ·    I have an advocate with the Father who lives to intercede for me, whose Name is Jesus! (Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1)

·    I have the Holy Spirit who dwells within me and leads me into all truth, teaches me, helps and comforts me! (John 14:26; John 15:26; John 16: 7,8,13; 1 Corinthians 2:10)

·    I am set free from worry, anxiety, and fear and able to experience the peace that surpasses all human understanding! (Isaiah 26:3; John 8:36; Philippians 4:6-8; 1 John 4:8)

·    I have power and strength and can do all things through Him! (Philippians 4:13)

·    I am able to abide in Christ, obey His Word, and thereby bear the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. (John 15:4-10; Galatians 5:16; 22) 

·    I am no longer a slave to sin, but I am now set free to be a slave to righteousness. I know the Truth that sets me free from the lies of Satan; I am no longer ignorant of his schemes and deceitful ways and I can resist him and not succumb to his lies! (John 8:32; 2 Corinthians 2:11; Romans 6:18; James 4:7)

·    I have a new family that is comprised of other believers from throughout history, and from throughout the world, from every tongue and tribe and nation! (Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Corinthians 12:12-31; Revelation 5:9; 7:9)

·    I am a child of God, and as a child, an heir, and my inheritance is abundant life on earth and spending eternity with God, and with others who put their trust in His atoning work on their behalf, in Heaven! (John 3:16; 10:10; 28-29; 1 Peter 1:4

What about you? Do you realize all that is available to you because Jesus loved you so much that He died, rose from the dead, and now lives in you and intercedes for you? If you know you have been set free, are you walking in the freedom that Jesus purchased for you…that He gave His very life for you to have? Are you faithfully ‘going and telling’ others that they too can be set free from the shame and guilt of their sin? That they can have the power to live righteously before God because of the power of the Holy Spirit Who will reside in them if they choose to put their trust in Jesus’ atoning work on the cross on their behalf? Have you thanked Jesus today for choosing to go to the cross for you? And have you thanked the Father for His amazing love and His willingness to sacrifice His Beloved Son on your behalf?

*If you have not already committed your life to Christ, you can. He is longing to be in fellowship with you and for you to receive the love He has always had for you. He just asks you to ‘come to Him’. Simply humble yourself and tell Him that you are a sinner who needs a Savior. Acknowledge that He died the death you deserved to die when He took your place on the cross. Ask Him to come into your life and to live in you so that you can live a life that is pleasing to your Heavenly Father.  Please feel free to reach out and contact us at the link below if you would like some more information on how you can grow in your relationship as a follower of Jesus. https://www.trueviewministries.org/contact

Written by Julie Van Gorp

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A Challenge This Week to Overcome Insecurity!

Do you sometimes feel insecure?  

Have you ever found yourself comparing yourself with others? Or ‘keeping score’ in your mind about what others have done or accomplished?

Do you feel like a victim sometimes?  Or feel that you are owed compensation for your losses?

Are you self-consumed and trying to outdo others for attention?  Or judge others and find yourself in self-pity or full of conceit?

Lastly, do you ever determine that you must take charge, protect your interests and manipulate the situation to get your way?  

Insecure people will often experience one of the above situations on a regular basis.  Insecurities come when we make ourselves an idol instead of keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.  When we are thinking about promises Jesus makes (the Word), the lessons His Spirit wants to teach us (the truth), or the person of Jesus (the way), we do not compare…because we recognize that we have been bought with a price.  That we are not our own, that God takes care of our interests, that He is in control and that even when you are not able…God still is!  There is always hope when we take control of our thoughts and align them with Jesus’.   

So what do you do if you want to reduce personal insecurities?  

There are several things you can do and I’m going to focus on one of them today.  

  1. Build your identity in Christ, not your performance.  Your performance does not define who you are, God does.

  2. Allow God to work in your heart and ask Him to reveal where you are too self-sufficient or self-promoting.  Ask Him to help you be more God-sufficient and Jesus-promoting.

  3. Discover & practice your God-given purpose in life, not someone else’s (stop trying to act, talk, present, or do anything the way someone else does it…do it the way you were created to do it!)

  4. Learn to give and receive affirmation.  

Giving compliments is a gift

When people are insecure, they have a hard time accepting affirmation even if they are good at giving it.  If I say, “I love your shirt, it’s really cute.” I will get a response that removes the value of the shirt or compliment that sounds like this, “Oh not really, I’ve had it forever…I got it on clearance…” as if to tell me, “it’s really not that cute, I’m not worthy and neither is this shirt of your compliment.”  If I were to tell you that a compliment from another person is like a gift that they bought and wrapped to give you on your birthday, would you still totally reject it?  When your insecurities keep you from accepting compliments, praise or affirmation at face value then you are rejecting a gift that another person wants to give you.  

In working with people over the years I have learned that often insecure people are insecure because they judge others harshly and therefore feel as though the internal thoughts of others are equally as harsh toward them.  To overcome this I want you to practice giving genuine compliments to others wherever you go.  Find something truthful, that is positive to say to brighten someone else’s day.  Your challenge this week is to genuinely compliment someone each day.  God tells us that it is a greater blessing to give than to receive.  The second part of this challenge is if someone compliments you, that you simply say, “Thank you so much,” with a big smile and receive the kindness.  

God loves you so much that He holds nothing back!  He was even willing to give His very own Son!  “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”  

Thank God for all that He has done for you, and receive His love and then share it with others.  You can have security when you live your life from the outpouring of His love for you and for others.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made, and you have been given the mind of Christ~

Love ya,


Romans 8:32
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Can I Really Trust God...with My Children?!

This week I was on the phone visiting with someone I love dearly who’s battled cancer for the past 4 years and will be undergoing surgery next week to remove several tumors. We were discussing some of her concerns regarding the surgery and what would happen if something went wrong during the surgery or if it isn’t ultimately successful. My friend said to me,  “I do trust God. My issue is just with my kids.” She has two unmarried children in their 20’s; understandably, she desires to live to see them get married and have children of their own. She also would like to be around so she can make sure that their lives will turn out all right. 

 I’ve known her for years and we always speak frankly to one another, so I said, “The kids really aren’t the issue. The root of your concern is: “Can you really trust God?”  

 Whenever we say, “I trust God, but…” we reveal that we really do not trust God. Not totally. Not in the way that He’s called us to trust Him. And not in the way that will enable us to experience total peace—regardless of the circumstances that we face. The ‘but’ shows that we believe one or more lies that stand in the way of our seeing God for Who He is—totally, completely, at all times and in all situations, trustworthy


 Our children are a priceless, precious gift from the Lord! However, they also can be ‘idols’ in our lives and the greatest stumbling block to our fully  putting our trust in God and His Word. Anything we love more than God is an idol in our lives, and we’ve been commanded to love and put our trust in Him above anyone or anything else, including the love we have for our children. We must dispel lies about our children and our relationship to them, and embrace the truth, if we’re going to ‘let them go’ and be able to experience the freedom and peace God longs for us to have. It is only in knowing and believing the truth that you will be set free from your fear, worry and anxiety regarding your children! (John 8:32)

  •  Lie 1: That our children are ‘ours’. Truth: Our children are first and foremost God’s-- Who created them for His ‘pleasure and glory’ (Genesis 1:26-28; Psalm 139:13; Isaiah 43:1,7; Colossians 1:16; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Revelation 4:11).  God has entrusted us with raising our children so that they will come to know, honor, love, and obey Him—which is for their ultimate good--and so that He will delight in them and be glorified through them. Yes, God wants us to take delight in our children too, but it is important that we remember that ‘our children’ are really ‘His children’.

  •  Lie 2: That we know what is best for our children. Truth: God is the wisest Person in the world and He always knows what is best, including everything that pertains to our children. His knowledge and His ways are infinitely higher than ours. (Job 12:13; Romans 11:33; Isaiah 55:8-9) He is also Love, and everything that He does is based upon His love for His creation. So not only does He know what is best, unlike us, God never has a selfish agenda. He always and only wants what is truly in the very best interest for ‘His’ and ‘our’ children. We can trust God Who knows all, and Who knows them best and loves them most! This syllogism always brings me joy: God is Love (1 John 4:8), and Love never fails. (1st Corinthians 13: 8) God= Love; Love never fails…therefore, God CANNOT fail. He can’t fail you, and He can’t fail your children! 

  •  Lie 3: That we can control our children’s lives and that we can keep them safe from all harm. Truth: God is Sovereign over all things, and He alone is all- powerful and able to keep us as well as our children safe from evil (Psalm 41:12; 91; 121:7; Proverbs 12:21; 18:10). Like me, you’ve probably heard countless stories of God’s divine intervention in situations-- like the person who miraculously survives a tragic car accident, escapes a home fire, or misses getting onboard an airplane that crashes. It’s easy to believe that God is Sovereign in those situations, as well as in the ordinary day-to-day issues of our lives.

    But what about when ‘bad things’ happen to people and/or their children? Have you wondered, where was God then? Have you questioned whether you can trust your children to a God Who allows ‘bad things’ to happen? I can assure you that He’s also Sovereign in those situations, situations you and I likely wouldn’t have chosen or allowed! Have you ever noticed that some of the ‘bad things’ in your own life were the very means God used to draw you—or someone else-- closer to Him? God is able to work all things together for good and for His glory for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose! (Romans 8:28)! He longs for you to believe in your heart—not just in your head— that even what you consider to be ‘harmful’ , He is more than able to use for good! Consider Jesus. He learned obedience through the things He suffered (Hebrews 5:8). And it was His very suffering and death that made possible abundant and eternal life for all Who put their trust in Him! God is able to make beauty from ashes! Even that which we most dread; our death, and especially the death of our child! A very close childhood friend of mine had her life ‘cut short’ in the opinion of many when she died of cancer. However, her prayers that her father would come to the saving knowledge of Jesus were answered through her ‘untimely death’. There is nothing that God cannot use for His divine purposes, and He always has an eternal perspective, something we all too often lose sight of. When we keep our eyes fixed upon Jesus and upon eternity, we will be able to trust God to use even death for good and the glory of His Name! (2 Corinthians 4:18; Colossians 3:1; Romans 6:5) You can rest assured that you and your child will not live one day more or less than has been foreordained for him or her (Job 14:5;Psalm 139:16).

    You can’t control many things that you might like to regarding your children. However, there is something that is essential that you do if you want to protect your children from ultimate harm and evil and help ensure that they live a truly abundant life: Choose to love the Lord with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength, and model that kind of love for and trust in God before your children. Obey Him even when it’s tempting not to do so, teach your children that God gave us His commands to protect us and to ensure freedom from the bondage of sin, and instill in them a love for His Word and the assurance they can trust His every promise! Walk in humility and reality by letting them know that you may fail them, you cannot always protect them, and as much as you love them, that Jesus is the only One Who ‘will never leave or forsake them’, is always and only ‘Faithful and True’, and loves them with an unfailing, everlasting love! (Deuteronomy 31:6; Revelation 19:11; Psalm 107:8;Psalm 103:17)

Knowing-- and most of all believing--the truth about God and His Sovereign and Loving character—will lead you to the revelation that You can trust God with what matters most to you—whether it is the children that He’s entrusted to you, or anything else. Believing that truth with your heart, soul, and mind is the key to your experiencing the peace, joy, and true freedom God longs for you to have, regardless of the circumstances in your life.  That is your inheritance as the dearly beloved child of your all powerful, always loving, all wise, Heavenly Father, and the legacy He longs for you to pass on to the children He’s entrusted you to raise for His glory! May you find your rest and joy in fully trusting Him Who alone is fully trustworthy!

 Assignment: Write down on a list everything in your child’s life that causes you to be fearful, worried or anxious. Then scratch out everything you can’t control. Set goals around the things that you can control/manage. (Jamie and I will be happy to help you learn how to set measurable, achievable goals for those things you can control/manage—such as the time your children go to bed or come home from curfew, having a Bible study time with your kids, their screen time, etc. If you are interested, reach out to us at https://www.trueviewministries.org/contact.)

 Lord, help me to let go of the fallacy that I love my children more than You do; that I know what is better for them than You do; that I can control their lives or provide for them better than You can. Increase my faith in Your Wisdom, Goodness and Your Power so that I might truly ‘let go’ of my children—or of whatever else might be standing in the way of my fully trusting in You. I love You, Lord, and I long to please You by surrendering my will and desires completely to Your perfect will; may my will be consumed by Yours! I profess that I CAN and WILL trust the Man Who died for me with my greatest treasure…my life, and the lives of my children and other loved ones!  

Written by Julie

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