Words to Warm your heart This August

July has been a month of celebration for my family, with weddings, a first birthday and graduations. One of my resolutions for this month was to begin a Bible reading plan that would keep me disciplined in reading the Word daily. I really wanted to get to know Jesus more, having finished the Old Testament. I found the 6-month New Testament plan, available on YouVersion, and through reading it daily, God’s Word has literally been feeding my soul! This month, I’m sharing four scriptures that have stuck with me and helped me throughout July. My hope is that they can provide you with some encouragement and instruction for whatever season you’re going through, and that you’ll carry their wisdom with you into August.

Four scriptures to take with you into August:

1.“Don’t worry. Just have faith” (Mark 5:36, read verses 35-43 for more context). Worry and anxiety solve nothing. Don’t entertain them any more. Personally, I think I may just make this my life mantra! As I’ve been reading the Word this month, everything Jesus has said has revolved around the importance of faith. Childlike, pure, trusting, almost ‘naïve’ faith. 100% belief in God’s goodness, timing and power. Whatever your circumstances are saying right now, I dare you to walk by faith from now on. Pray with 100% assurance that God loves you and that He can and will do what is perfect, working all things together for your good as His precious child.

2. Are you seeing right? “Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly” (John 7:24). Not everything is what it seems at first glance. Look closer, deeper. In every situation, discern the lessons God is teaching you, or what is happening beneath the surface, in the spiritual realm. An unkind person may really just be a fearful, hurting person. An angry, irritable boss may just be a loving husband who’s scared of losing his unwell wife, or is under financial strain, or is mourning the loss of a loved one. That new insight might change how you respond to him. The biggest trial/obstacle you’re facing right now in your life (think of what that is) may not be a ‘no, turn back’, a deterrent, or a reason to give up — it may instead be a ‘yes, keep pushing’, a test of faith sent so that your faith and tenacity can be increased, and God can be glorified. Either way, you have the victory. Change the way you see.

3. The GOLDEN RULE of relationships and friendships. ‘Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.’ (Ephesians 4:2-3) This verse has changed my life and my heart. I love how it touches on so much that healthy relationships/friendships need — consistency (‘always’), humility, gentleness, patience, grace/forgiveness, intentionality (‘make every effort’), unity, peace — in such a short space of words! I hope that, as you meditate on what each part of it means, this scripture will challenge you into a higher level of emotional maturity.

4. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Pick your battles. “My dear Martha,” says Jesus, visiting the sisters in the book of Luke, “you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has found it and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:40-41). Some of us are over-thinkers, and while thinking fast can be a blessing in some situations (think exams, interviews, emergencies), in others it can equate more to a curse! I love how, in this passage, while Martha is fussing over housework and cooking, Mary simply is present, absorbed in the moment, spending time with Jesus. There’s a message right there. Slow down. Pause. Breathe. Don’t get so caught up in what doesn’t really matter that you forget to rest in what does, in the present and, most importantly, in Jesus.

I’m taking these four passages with me into the next few months as I navigate some exciting transitions and new seasons in my life, such as starting my new job in September. I really hope you’ll do the same.

With love and a big, warm hug.

Until August,

Imani x

Photo by Ben White

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