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When Hunger is a Grace
Christina Fox
How to Handle Your Struggles
Courtnaye Richard
Don't Give Up
Christina Patterson

About Courtnaye Richard

Courtnaye is a Christian blogger who loves writing to help women grow in their walk with the Lord. It's all about real talk, real issues, and real life in the faith! Don't miss out on her weekly posts every Monday at 7:30am on www.insideoutwithcourtnaye.org. For more info or questions, you can visit Courtnaye’s website or contact her via email. Also be sure to "Like" her page on Facebook. God bless!  

Courtnaye Richard

Courtnaye Richard
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Courtnaye is a Christian blogger who loves writing to help women grow in their walk with the Lord. It's all about real talk, real issues, and real life in the faith! Don't miss out on her weekly posts every Monday at 7:30am on www.insideoutwithcourtnaye.org. For more info or questions, you can visit Courtnaye’s website or contact her via email. Also be sure to "Like" her page on Facebook. God bless!  

How to Handle Your Struggles

                      www.insideoutwithcourtnaye.org

If you’re going through a tough time at this moment in your life, I pray that this post truly ministers to you and encourages you. I want to start by reassuring you that, “God is here.” Remember, His Word promises that He will never leave you, nor forsake you. So that means that He is with you in the struggle.

The reality of life (even for us as Christian women) is that hard times hit our lives. Think about it for a second. One day everything can be fine and the next day, we can find ourselves struggling with some issue, trial, illness, or sin that we need to overcome. As the new saying puts it, “The struggle is real!” Yet, how do we handle the struggles that strike our lives?

I believe that we have to handle them by going straight to the throne room of God through prayer and His Word. That may seem simple, but it truly is the way to jumpstart working through your struggles. Alongside that, you need the encouragement of others (like what I’m doing right now). These days, you can also request prayer through social media and if you’ve noticed, the body of Christ will step up all across the globe to pray for you.

But let’s back to the Word. Because I know that when struggles strike, honestly, the Word of God will be the most powerful thing that helps you get through when no one else is around. It will not only be life-giving, but life-strengthening. So hold onto it when you’re going through your struggles and allow it to work.

With that being said, I want to encourage you to search the Scriptures on whatever your struggle is that you’re dealing with right now and then meditate on them. In other words, do a Google search or search your Bible index for verses directly related to the problem you’re facing. Then place them on index cards or in your journal and read over them, speak them to yourself, and let God’s Word encourage and strengthen you.

For instance, if you’re going through any of these struggles below, grab these verses and begin allowing them to take root in your life to strengthen you. Here goes…

Fear – “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” ~John 14:27

Illness – “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am the Lord your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” ~Isaiah 41:10

Trials – “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” ~James 1:12

Broken-hearted – “The Lord is close to the broken-hearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” ~Psalm 34:18

Loss – “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” ~Matthew 5:4

Finances – “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 4:19

Tough Assignments – “So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.” ~1 Corinthians 15:58

Sin – “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” ~1 John 1:9

Wherever you are on this subject, know that God is with you in your struggles, sis. He is right there ready to help you in your time of need, reassurance, trouble, or deliverance. So talk to Him, and allow others to lift you up in prayer. But don’t forget about the powerful effect that comes straight to you through the Word of God. Let Him work and strengthen your faith and life. This is how to handle your struggles.

Remember, Jesus is coming back soon! And those who endure unto the end shall be saved. So let’s be ready from the Inside Out!

~Courtnaye

QUESTION: Are you struggling with something today, sis? If so, do you need prayer today? If so, write it out here or you can email me directly to join you in prayer on it @ [email protected]. I look forward to hearing from you and praying for you.

ALSO, just want to encourage you to grab my NEW book, “IDENTIFIED: Knowing Who You Are in Christ & Moving Forward in Your Purpose!” ORDER IT TODAY right here on Amazon.com! And if you already have it and have read it, please give me a REVIEW on Amazon.com. Thanks so much in advance.

*Tune in every Monday at 7:30am for new posts, “Like” my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/InsideOutWCourtnaye), and follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/InOutwCourtnaye. Also, share this blog with friends, family, co-workers, or your women’s group or ministry. I’d love to stay connected and help more women grow in the Lord! Thanks again and may God be with you!


Choosing to Be Better and Not Bitter

                   www.insideoutwithcourtnaye.org

If you’re reading this right now, I would gather that you either want to know how to be better and not bitter, or you want to help someone else in this case. Whatever your position, I’m glad you’re here. Because we need to have the conversation about it. And the reason being is so that healing can begin to take place. So…are you ready?

Usually, bitterness doesn’t just happen. It’s a bit of a process. It’s slow, sneaky, and it can be vicious if not checked. It often stems from some form of hurt, offense, injustice, or disagreement. And again, if these described emotions are not dealt with, then a root of bitterness will begin to grow. It’s inevitable.

But you have a choice. You can choose to be better and not bitter. I need to say that choosing to be or stay bitter is sinful. It’s true. And it’s not God’s way. But I think you know that already, and that’s why you’re here. Because you DON’T want to be bitter or you don’t want others you know to be in this place either.

So here’s how healing takes place. I’ll start with the biblical ways first and then I’ll share some practical tips on how to overcome and defeat this life-sucking, hindering spirit. Here goes…

Biblical Perspective:

Ephesians 4:31-32, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ Jesus has forgiven you.”

Proverbs 20:22, “Don’t say, ‘I will get even for this wrong.’ Wait for the Lord to handle the matter.”

Proverbs 10:12, “Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love makes up for all offenses.”

Hebrews 12:15, “…Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.”

Romans 12:17-18, “Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.”

Romans 12:19-20, “Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For Scriptures say, ‘I will take revenge; I will pay them back, says the Lord. Instead, ‘If you enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing so, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.”

Romans 12:21, “Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.”

Let God’s word have weight in your life and get rid of bitterness, my sister. It’s really all about letting God work on your behalf, while also taking the action steps to responding well as a Christian woman. Trust me. The devil would LOVE for you to treat those who have hurt you angrily and against what God’s word says. But don’t give him the satisfaction.

Now here’s some practical advice that I promised…

Watch out for self-deception. Because sometimes there can be an undercurrent of bitterness whereas you think you’re not bitter, but you actually are. The acid test to see if bitterness is creeping into your heart is dependent upon how you feel when the individual comes to mind or name is mentioned. What emotions arise? Is it anger and resentment or love and forgiveness?

Personally, I know the feeling of being bitter. I know the onslaught when the enemy brings it on and I know when it’s creeping into my heart. I can sense it. I can tell by how I feel. And the Holy Spirit convicts me when it’s present. But…I wasn’t always able to recognize it.

Before I started living the Christian life according to God’s word and with conviction, I allowed bitterness to run rampant in my life. Meaning, if I was upset with someone, that individual would know it to the fullest extent! Yet, it wasn’t until I learned through good teaching and the word of God that bitterness is destructive and a hindrance to my spiritual growth and productivity. And it’s sin. So guess what? I had to let it go!

And I want to teach you to do the same thing. Let it go! Don’t let it rob you of your joy, productivity, or love. Don’t let it steal your peace. Don’t allow it to cause you to be mean, angry, or slanderous and destroy good relationships. Don’t forget, our great enemy Satan comes to steal, kill, and to destroy, but Jesus came that you would have life more abundantly.

So LIVE. Live the abundant life in Christ, my sister. Don’t let the enemy rob you of your right to forgive, love people deeper, and dwell in peace as much as possible with others as the Bible states. Instead, choose to be the bigger person, let go, and MOVE ON. Because guess what? Most likely, while you’re still angry, that individual or individuals have moved on.

With that being said, instead of waking up thinking about the offense or the person who hurt you, set your thoughts on things that are pure and lovely, and on things above, not on things on the earth as Philippians 4:8 and Colossians 3:2 states. Think about how Jesus would want you to respond.

I want to say this before I close this post. If you’re bitter right now, or if you feel it creeping up inside of you, I urge you to carve it out of your heart today. Circumcise it with God’s word and get free. Also, if you haven’t made things right with the individual who hurt you, do so. And if you have done so already, remember…let it go and move on.

It’s time to be free. Make the choice to be better, not bitter today. Do it for you and for others.

Remember, Jesus is coming back soon. And those who endure unto the end, shall be saved. Let’s be ready from the Inside Out.

~Courtnaye

Question: Are you bitter right now? How is it making you feel? Write here or you can email me directly @ [email protected] to talk and pray about it today.

ALSO, just want to encourage you to grab my NEW book, “IDENTIFIED: Knowing Who You Are in Christ & Moving Forward in Your Purpose!” ORDER IT TODAY right here on Amazon.com! And if you already have it and have read it, please give me a REVIEW on Amazon.com. Thanks so much in advance.

*Tune in every Monday at 7:30am for new posts, “Like” my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/InsideOutWCourtnaye), and follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/InOutwCourtnaye. Also, share this blog with friends, family, co-workers, or your women’s group or ministry. I’d love to stay connected and help more women grow in the Lord! Thanks again and may God be with you!


Going Deeper In God

                                     www.insideoutwithcourtnaye.org

If you were to take a quick inventory of your life right now, where would say your relationship is with God? Is it close or distant? Is it strong or strained? Have hard trials hardened your heart? Is busyness making you too busy to spend that precious time with Him? Long story short, in this moment of your life, would you like to discover how to go deeper in Him in spite of all the odds and obstacles?

Now, let me start by saying this. You probably don’t need someone showing you how to necessarily discover how to go deeper in Him. Yet, in this day and time, I believe the reason why you clicked onto this post is because you wholeheartedly want to know how to either draw closer to Him like never before or get back to that burning desire and passion that you once had before life was interrupted!

I get it!  

Honestly, with the busyness of life these days, distractions, and trials of life, it can sometimes be tough to settle down and do it. Actually, I believe there are more distractions in our generation than probably any other generation before us. Everything and everyone is begging for our time and attention from our spouse, children, jobs, housework, church work, social media alerts, deadlines, and the like. And all of these are GREAT things that are our responsibility to attend to. Yet, here’s the truth, sis.

*We cannot let the trials or busyness of life draw us further away from God.

In reality, God longs to spend time with us. Yet, the devil is constantly cooking up ways for us to get further away from our heavenly Father. Actually, when trials strike our lives, that's the time to run to God, not away from Him. Reason being is because He is the One who can ultimately walk us through them with comfort, strength, provision, and peace. So we can’t let the enemy have power over us! Remember, his purpose is to steal, kill, and to destroy. And now it’s to distract us from the most important relationship we have, sis.

So be on guard! Protect your time with God against the enemy’s wicked schemes. First Peter 5:8 warns us to, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.” We are all in this together, my sister (which brings me back to the point of this post).

I don’t doubt for a second that you don’t want to spend more time with God. However, I do believe strongly that we need to be more intentional about fighting for that time spent with Him daily.

 I’m reminded of the Christian song, “Give Me You” by Shana Wilson. In the lyrics, she sings, “Give me you, everything else can wait.” Yes!!! Everything else can wait! The work will be there, the laundry will get washed, the food will get cooked, but our time with the Lord must take first place. Remember the story of Mary and Martha. ;-)

And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you need to neglect anything. No, no, no. However, I am saying, let the main thing, be the main thing. Have your priorities in order. And know that there is nothing more important than your personal relationship and time spent with God.

I’ll tell you, the further you are away from time spent talking to Him in prayer, listening for direction and encouragement through His precious Holy Spirit, and His Word, the more you’ll begin to see yourself slipping back into your old sinful ways, thoughts, and actions. Have you ever noticed that? It’s totally true and biblical.

Jesus tells us in John 15:5, “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” So you see, the further we are away, the less fruitful we are. But the closer we are, the more Christ-like we’ll become. The more joy, love, peace, self-control and humility we’ll have; the more wisdom and insight on how to live the Christian life or how to handle unexpected tests and trials that come our way.  

Time spent with God should not be compromised, by either of us. It’s so important to our spiritual growth and enduring strength and faith.  That’s why today, as you read this post, I’m asking, “How is your relationship with God, sis?”

With that being asked, I want to share with you a few practical suggestions of how to intentionally go deeper in Him. Ready?

  • Turn everything off and pray. Whether that looks like sitting still in His presence on the sofa, in your bed, or car. Be still before Him. #Sit #Talk #Listen
  • Close the laptop. Walk away from the computer. Stop working. Fight the craftiness of the enemy by becoming a workaholic. Also, silence your phone. Remove the distractions around you, because if you’re not careful, these things and actions can affect your relationship with your family, friends, and most importantly, God. #qualitytimekiller
  • Close the door. In other words, go into your bedroom, close the door, and walk the floor and just pray. Talk to God. Let Him talk to you. It’s like taking a walk with Him (and it’s taking place right in your bedroom). Jesus said in Matthew 6:6, “But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.”
  • The famous prayer closet. This is a great place for intimacy with God. If you need to cry, feel overwhelmed with life, uncertain, scared, feeling lonely, need direction, go into your prayer closet and have your way. God is waiting to meet you there. And it doesn’t have to be fancy. It can be messy or clean. The point is that you are away and alone with God.

Jesus was actually our greatest example of showing us how to steal away to be alone with the Father when He was distressed, needed to be comforted (after John the Baptist death…see Matthew 14:10-23), or just needed to be alone with Him. We should learn from His amazing example and follow it.    

  • Fall on your face before the Lord. In other words, get on your knees, lay prostrate before Him, or sit at His feet. Whatever that lowly, humble position of prayer looks like for you, go for it. It’s a sign of surrender, mercy, humility, honor, worship, adoration, intimacy, but it’s also a position of gaining divine provision from the Lord.

Genesis 17:1-3 says, “When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, ‘I am El-Shaddai-‘God Almighty.’ Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life. I will make a covenant with you, by which I guarantee to give you countless descendants. At this, Abram fell face down on the ground. Then God said to him, ‘This is my covenant with you. I will make you the father of a multitude of nations!’” Wow!!! #promise #provision #humility

  • Put on some praise and worship music and have a praise party in your car or home (my personal favorite)! Dance, sing, shout, cry, etc. It’s amazing how much joy you get out of praising our heavenly Father or just worshipping Him through the gift of music.
  • Journal – Buy a journal or break out the one you have and just write. Write out your prayers, your heart, ideas, dreams, and aspirations and see where God’s will is in all of it. It’s actually pretty cool to go back to see what He has done, but it’s also a great way to be alone and intimate with Him through pen and paper.
  • Lastly, get into His Word. We cannot effectively navigate through this Christian life without our roadmap. We need the Bible to guide us. That timeless written manuscript is His Word to It’s living, active, powerful, and life-changing. It shows us who God is and what He did for us through the sacrifice of His precious Son, Jesus Christ. It gives us provision and shows us how to be. We sooooo cannot neglect spending time in God’s Word. So as hard as it may be to be still, devote and invest in your relationship with God in prayer and His Word. It will be life-giving!  

We can do this! We can go deeper in God…TODAY. It just takes determination, persistence, intentionality, action, and passionate devotion. I encourage you to not let another day go by without pressing in and drawing closer to God. Fight for that time. Fight the distractions. Fight for balance. Make time to go deeper. Now, you know how.

Remember, Jesus is coming back soon! And those who endure unto the end shall be saved. So let’s be ready from the Inside Out!

~Courtnaye

QUESTION: Do you want to go deeper in God today, sis? Also, have distractions, busyness, or trials caused a bit of a disconnection for you, lately? Let me know here. Also, if you need prayer today, let me know here or you can email me directly to join you in prayer on it @ [email protected]. I look forward to hearing from you and praying for you.

ALSO, just want to encourage you to grab my NEW book, “IDENTIFIED: Knowing Who You Are in Christ & Moving Forward in Your Purpose!” ORDER IT TODAY right here on Amazon.com! And if you already have it and have read it, please give me a REVIEW on Amazon.com. Thanks so much in advance.

*Tune in every Monday at 7:30am for new posts, “Like” my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/InsideOutWCourtnaye), and follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/InOutwCourtnaye. Also, share this blog with friends, family, co-workers, or your women’s group or ministry. I’d love to stay connected and help more women grow in the Lord! Thanks again and may God be with you!