Layla’s Light Blog – Encouragement

It’s Not Fair

It's not fair

“What did I do wrong? Why do things keep happening to me? Why am I going through this?” These are the questions that get asked over and over in life. As Christians, there is a misconception that we are not supposed to face adversity if we are ‘doing’ all the right things in life. Many of us are really struggling through the impact of the world pandemic. How can we explain all that has happened as a result of COVID-19? It’s not fair, and it has been out of our control. Despite the hardship, thank God for each day. You might be rolling your eyes at me right now just for saying that. Sometimes saying ‘thank you’ seems like the hardest thing to do.

How hard is it to say ‘thank you’  for pain, suffering, or the unexplainable? It is very hard. It is not the natural human response and it is not going to be easy to understand why. As life moves forward, our difficulties can compound, making it even harder to understand the ‘why’ in our hardship. God becomes the one to blame because He is the easiest source to place the blame on. However, God did not cause things to happen to you. God did not make an event or a situation arise, to punish you in any way. God is a God of love, compassion, and help. God gave us free will to do everything in our lives. That means we make the decisions…we make the choices…and we are responsible for the direction of our lives. The challenge is, not everyone in this world makes the right choices. A situation may be happening to you, not because of any choices you made, but because of the choices, someone else made. God may be protecting you from future disasters by allowing certain situations to happen. This is why we say thank you. God is the creator of all, and the one who can give you the guidance and wisdom to work your way through all situations. Yes, there are still certain tragedy’s that we will never be able to explain, but God has allowed those things to happen for a reason. We must remember that we are only here on this earth temporarily. Our goal is eternal life. God gave us a way, through His Son Jesus, to have eternal life with Him. Focus your thoughts and your future on trusting that God has an eternal perspective for all of us. Trust in God’s plan…His way…and His purpose. Lean on the Word of God as the sole resource of your direction, and find peace in knowing that what you see and feel right this moment has a reason, and it is only temporary. God is with you, and His eternal promises are real.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 CORINTHIANS 4:16-18

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. EPHESIANS 6:10-13

God is with us.

Layla Freeman

© Layla Freeman 2020
Author of HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE and Layla’s Light 
All Rights Reserved 
P.O. Box 669 Claremore, OK 74018 
http://www.laylafreeman.com
laylaslight@cox.net
Facebook – Layla’s Light
Twitter – @laylaslight

Layla’s Devotional Book available for purchase at the following: 

AMAZON
Light of Hope  
Main Offices:  403 West 1st Street  Claremore, OK 74017
Food Pantry:  400 N. J. M. Davis Blvd. Claremore, OK 74017 
918-373-4560 

 

Facing the Unknown

 

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The last few weeks have really identified the statement,”You never know”.  You never know what today will have in store. You never know what tomorrow holds. You never know how things will turn out. We still don’t know so many things. We are human, and we do not have that kind of control. Many times we pretend or attempt to have that kind of control. We find ourselves trying to manipulate things, force things, or pray things into some sort of scenario we think should be the answer. How often have we prayed repeated prayers…saying we are ‘praying’ about it…when in all honesty, we are begging God for Him to make things go the way WE think they should go? We play magician, fortune teller, or miracle worker in our heads. Why do we still do this?

We know the truth. We know that Jesus is our Lord and Savior. He is the answer, the miracle worker, the helper, and the redeemer. We know God is the one in control. God knows the situations. God wants the very best for us. God gave us His Holy Spirit to communicate with us. When we seek God wholeheartedly and truly listen to the guidance given to us by the Holy Spirit, we will receive direction. We must remember that God has given us free will to choose how we will face the adversity and decisions we must face in this world. We can choose to play like we are in control, or we can choose to surrender and seek God with all our heart.

Next time you are faced with the unknown, and you feel desperate to force things into action, force yourself to stop, and honestly pray. Ask Jesus to guide you and give you direction. Pray with honest surrender, telling God your fears, confusions, and frustrations. Find a place where you can hear the whisper of the Holy Spirit as you seek God’s direction. Read God’s Word. Don’t expect loud booming answers. Don’t be discouraged if things don’t happen immediately, or go the way you think they should go. Rather, receive the peace that will be given to you, as you slowly receive the direction and unfolding of God’s plan. Trust in the One who created you…and holds you in the palm of His Hand.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. PROVERBS 3:5-6

“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; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” MATTHEW 7:7-8

God is with us.

Layla Freeman

© Layla Freeman 2020
Author of HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE and Layla’s Light 
All Rights Reserved 
P.O. Box 669 Claremore, OK 74018 
http://www.laylafreeman.com
laylaslight@cox.net
Facebook – Layla’s Light
Twitter – @laylaslight

Layla’s Devotional Book available for purchase at the following: 

AMAZON
Light of Hope  
Main Offices:  403 West 1st Street  Claremore, OK 74017
Food Pantry:  400 N. J. M. Davis Blvd. Claremore, OK 74017 
918-373-4560 

 

But, “why”?

www.laylafreeman.com

How can I be strong, when I am truly weak? How can I possibly take one more step further, or say one more prayer, when I can barely think? How many times have you felt this way before? If you have not been there, most likely you will one day. Life comes with hardship. We are not promised fairy-tales and roses every day. We have been given free will. With this free will, comes the reality of trials and tribulations. We don’t always make the right decisions, and ultimately we will have consequences. Sometimes we are faced with unbearable things. Death, disease, broken relationships, or serious financial hardships, are just a few things that can hit us suddenly. Why do we have to endure these things when we are doing all we can to live righteously, having faith and trust in God?

“Why” has always been a big question when it comes to faith. We cannot answer the “why” question. We must understand that part of being human is facing the world and its realities. We have to make a decision to believe that regardless of what we see in front of us…God is with us. Jesus understands because He lived among us and knows what we are facing. Jesus is still with us and will give us His heavenly strength and comfort when we draw near to Him. God gives us grace, which is His favor and power. When we are weak, and we seek God despite our emotional weakness, God’s grace and power will begin to be seen clearly. God’s will is for us to live profound lives of love and integrity. Allow the power of God to carry you through the trials, as we walk through life toward our heavenly home.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient or you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 CORINTHIANS 12:9-10

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. HEBREWS 4:16

God is with us.

Layla Freeman

© Layla Freeman 2020
Author of HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE and Layla’s Light 
All Rights Reserved 
P.O. Box 669 Claremore, OK 74018 
http://www.laylafreeman.com
laylaslight@cox.net
Facebook – Layla’s Light
Twitter – @laylaslight

Purchase Layla’s Devotional Book here:
AMAZON
Light of Hope  
Main Offices:  403 West 1st Street  Claremore, OK 74017
Food Pantry:  400 N. J. M. Davis Blvd. Claremore, OK 74017 
918-373-4560 

 

What Should I Change?

 

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The last few weeks have given all of us a new perspective on life. As the world slowed down and we all face the impact of COVID-19, we have had time to analyze our priorities and live in a much different perspective. This means we have been given an opportunity to see what needs to change. Right now, before we jump back into that “new normal” life, let’s make sure we are stepping forward in a more focused direction.

Ask yourself, what have I learned from this pandemic? What needs to change in my life? What do I need to do to make that happen? Previously, our human minds might have automatically thought of things that we can physically see, such as our bank account, physical appearance, the home we live in, the cars we drive, or our job. Now, I think most of us are willing to think much deeper than these things.

What should you change, that will ultimately make a significant positive difference in your life? There is such simplicity in what we can all do to make our lives much more fulfilled. God has given us the gift of free will. We have the opportunity to grab hold of all the power and hope God has promised us. As we have faced the reality of this pandemic, it has allowed people to recognize their need for faith. There is an awakening that has given people the eyes to see the reality that God is Soveriegn, He is the one we can trust, and without Him we are nothing. God is with us, and His love surrounds us. We are called to action to learn how to dig deeper, surrender all, and trust completely in our Heavenly Father. This means we must put our faith into action.

Faith in action can make all the difference in how your life unfolds. Prayer is the power source that gives God the ability to take action to help you with your needs and concerns. Reading God’s Word can give us all the wisdom to understand how to make proper decisions. Receiving Jesus and allowing Him to guide you and help you, will bring you a peace you cannot obtain from any material thing in this world. Trusting in God, and believing that He can and will do more than you can ever imagine…will bring you more than you can ever imagine. Today, make the choice to allow yourself to become an even more amazing you. Put your faith into action, and God will continue to fulfill you in so many wonderful ways.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” JOHN 8:12

I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen! EPHESIANS 3:16-21

God is with us.

Layla Freeman

© Layla Freeman 2020
Author of HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE and Layla’s Light 
All Rights Reserved 
P.O. Box 669 Claremore, OK 74018 
http://www.laylafreeman.com
laylaslight@cox.net
Facebook – Layla’s Light
Twitter – @laylaslight

Layla’s Devotional Book available for purchase at the following: 

AMAZON
Light of Hope  
400 N. J. M. Davis Blvd. Claremore, OK 74017 
1801 N. Hwy. 66 Catoosa, OK 74015 
918-373-4560 

This Is Weird.

 

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None of us like to face these current circumstances. This life we are experiencing right now is just weird. Nothing is normal. Some of us are embracing this oddity and taking advantage of the time. Some of us feel like we are under attack. Either way, we are all experiencing “weird”.

When we are going through change and difficulties, it makes no sense. We are navigating each day, facing uncertainty, isolation, and struggle. Many times we wonder why things are happening to us, and more often we wonder where God is in all the trials? It can seem like the more we pray, the more the silence.

Rest assured, God is there. God is NOT punishing us or this world. God did not go away. God hears every prayer and knows every difficulty we are facing. Jesus is in the midst of the situations, and He is guiding us along. You may not feel His presence. You may not understand what is happening to you. However, you can be assured that you have the power to allow God to protect and guide you.

You must ask, and allow God into the situation. Remember, God does not force Himself on you. He waits for us to call on Him. Jesus is with you, waiting for you to ask for His help. The key is, we must ask, and then take His Hand. Call on the name of Jesus. The enemy is a thief that will rob you of your joy if you allow him to. Satan works in all kinds of ways, to distract you from the power God has given you through the Holy Spirit. The enemy will try to destroy you and cause doubt and confusion. The more tough times you experience, the more you need to seek Jesus in a much deeper level. Pray in all circumstances, throughout the entire day. When something happens that causes you to doubt…stop and call on Jesus. Rebuke the devil. Speak the name of Jesus out loud, and ask God to protect, guide, and carry you through this difficult time. This world will always have difficulty with it. The difference in your life outcomes, are in the decision you make in how you face it. There is hope in the struggle, when you stand firm in your faith. God is with you, and in the midst of this weird time. Soon, you will see the journey you have walked through, and how Jesus carried you to victory.

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. DEUTERONOMY 31:8

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To Him be the power forever and ever. Amen. 1 PETER 5:6-11

God is with us.

Layla Freeman

© Layla Freeman 2020
Author of HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE and Layla’s Light 
All Rights Reserved 
P.O. Box 669 Claremore, OK 74018 
http://www.laylafreeman.com
laylaslight@cox.net
Facebook – Layla’s Light
Twitter – @laylaslight

Layla’s Devotional Book available for purchase at the following: 

AMAZON
Light of Hope  
400 N. J. M. Davis Blvd. Claremore, OK 74017 
1801 N. Hwy. 66 Catoosa, OK 74015 
918-373-4560 

Unchartered Emotions

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The entire world is going through unknown challenges right now. How are you handling this sudden change in your daily routine? Many of us are facing difficulties we never thought we would face.  This creates emotions that sometimes cause us to react in a raw and unfiltered manner. Your job might have you covering multiple positions, which means you are covering areas you are unfamiliar with. You might have lost your job, and now you are feeling the stress of financial issues. You may have been sent home, and now the challenge is finding purpose throughout the day. You may be dealing with anxiety, fear, and sadness because you are not able to be around the people you care about and isolation sets in. This world pandemic is unchartered territory, unchartered emotions, and we are all trying to navigate these new waters.

So, how are you dealing with these internal emotions that are stirring so deep with you? In addition, now you are dealing with people that might have their own set of emotions stirring within them. Their reactions impact your reactions. This is a reality, and it will be dealt with everywhere we go. Even our own family can cause our emotions to stir, simply because we are not used to handling this type of stress level.  You may feel anxious due to their high level of anxiety, frustration, or even anger…or you might feel depleted because of their repeated negativity. Either way, your spirit reacts and your defenses are heightened.

It is at these times when we become challenged in our reactions. If we are not careful, we can react without thought. This may mean lashing back with improper words or actions. In many cases, if we have spoken irrationally or act improperly, we immediately feel regret. As flesh on this earth, we will inevitably face these fleshly emotions. We cannot possibly be perfect…there is no such thing. Even Jesus had emotions, becoming frustrated and angry.

The key to facing these life situations is learning how to control our reactions. We can train ourselves to withhold our immediate actions, words, or thoughts. This is done through spiritual strengthening, through prayer and surrender. This will build our trust in God. Each day we have the opportunity to pray. We can surrender our thoughts, actions, and reactions, on a daily basis. By asking God to help you, God will reveal His power in you, by giving you self-control. Ask Jesus to help guide your spirit throughout the day. As you grow in your spiritual walk, your spirit will be filled with the compassion of Jesus, and you will begin handling these challenging situations, with love and gentleness. Remember, God is with us. He has given us this promise.

God is with us. 

layla1

But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

1 THESSALONIANS 5:7-11

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.

GALATIANS 5:22-2

© Layla Freeman 2020
Author of HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE and Layla’s Light 
All Rights Reserved 
P.O. Box 669 Claremore, OK 74018 
http://www.laylafreeman.com
laylaslight@cox.net
Facebook – Layla’s Light
Twitter – @laylaslight

Layla’s Devotional Book available for purchase at the following: 
AMAZON
Light of Hope
400 N. J. M. Davis Blvd. Claremore, OK 74017 
1801 N. Hwy. 66 Catoosa, OK 74015 
918-373-4560