Wednesday, March 18, 2020

18. We're Built for Hard - "Living in Light" Series

It's easy to get sucked into the panic, anxiety, and distress of everything that's going on with coronavirus, the markets, and the sheer mayhem right now as we're going through something that has never happened before. In my prior blog, if you haven't read it: 17. Fear Not, learn how to live free of worry, doubts, and fears. But today, I want to talk about how as believers, we are made for times like these.

People are realizing that you can't put your hope in your governments, other people, businesses, etc. and they are right. As much as we'd like to believe in the strength and stability of all these things, that fact is, things are much more fragile and unstable than we'd like to think.

But here's the Good News: As believers, we know that God is on the throne and the battle is the Lord's. Nothing that He allows to happen deviates from His will. We are surrounded by His continuing hedge of protection and we have faith in His master plan for this earth. As believers, we can completely and wholly rely on Him for our safety and security. 

One could ask, can't believers get the virus as well? Of course, they can. But don't think that for one moment that you cannot beat the virus and completely recover from this. This is when we need God the most, who can step in and heal us from the inside out. According to this evening's statistics, over 84,000 have recovered from the virus. The odds are in humanity's favor.
(Side note: Thank you, Armand, for this incredible scripture that is perfectly attuned to these times!)

1. Trust in God no matter what.

Think of all the believers in the Bible. Whether they were crucified, decapitated, tortured, stoned, imprisoned, you name the tragedy, they all endured great difficulties. We are no different. We are anointed for hardships. We are built for hard. Why? Because God knows we can endure all things with His help. How? Let's explore...

The story of Joseph is a good one to remember in times like these. Not only was he thrown into a pit, sold by his own brothers into slavery, then later thrown into prison for a crime he didn't commit, he never lost faith in God's will and put his full trust in Him. And eventually, Joseph was rewarded by becoming second to Pharoah and lived in prosperity for the rest of his days. (Gen. 37-50)

And even with the story of Paul, when he was imprisoned multiple times for his beliefs, endured endless persecution, trials, and tribulations, storms both literal and metaphorical, Paul never stopped trusting God and praying for His will to be done. He put his full faith in God knowing that he did not know the day to day outcomes but trusted Him regardless. (Book of Acts).

These men had otherworldly faith and we need the same. God strengthens the weak. Heals the sick. Comforts the suffering. Provides for the birds who do not sow, but only reap. He lives within us and gives us supernatural strength to get through anything that will befall us. That is how we can endure great difficulties.
2. God gives us supernatural strength.

I think another reason that believers in the Bible went through so much struggle, was to provide us with great examples of what to do when things get hard. God doesn't say we will never go through troubles, but that He will give us the strength and grace to get through any troubles. Paul even said to rejoice through your troubles and praise God because everything is going according to God's great plan. It's a hard concept to swallow, but every time you face a new struggle, thank the Lord, bless Him, and praise Him first. It will completely change how you face your new obstacle.

"Baruch atah Adonai! Blessed are You, Lord! You are my strength and grace and I can endure any hardship with You!"
I remember being bedridden for 7 months straight. It was one of the most difficult times of my life. I didn't understand why I was going through so much pain for so long with no clear answers from any doctors. This is when I had to surrender myself to God. God is the only reason I could endure all that suffering. And once I did that, it set it all in motion. Two more surgeries later, the doctors were able to find out what was wrong and I finally started to heal.

God will provide the right people to support you, the right doctors, the right help, whatever you need, as long as you trust in Him and use wisdom and discernment guided by the Holy Spirit to make good decisions

One of the most powerful things we can do is surrender to God. Pride has to be tossed out the window. Humility must consume us. Humble yourself before Him and He will take better care of you than you ever could've yourself. He can guide you with His divine foresight, for you to make the best possible choices for your life.

3. Surrender yourself to God.

Believers are built for hard. We are anointed for difficulty. It's not because of our own strength, self-righteousness, and immunity to all hardships, it's because of His strength, righteousness, and the Almighty's reign over all things with His omnipotence and power. That's why and how we are built for hard.

Prayer: Dearest God, we thank you for Your protection, supernatural strength, and Your bountiful providing of our every need. We trust in You, fully and completely, and surrender ourselves to Your will, for we know You work out everything for good. Amen!
And remember Jo may know better, but God knows best. Follow Him and He will never lead you astray. If you enjoyed this please remember to subscribe here: https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better for free notifications on each new post!

Thanks for reading & have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

17. Fear Not - "Living in Light" Series

In an extremely volatile world of the coronavirus, rollercoaster stock market, an election, and so much chaos, it's easy to let fear, worry, and doubts consume you. These are the times we need to lean on God the most. There are so many helpful scriptures that can guide us with direction and wisdom.

In Joel 2:21, "Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice; for the Lord will do great things." And in Matthew 10:31, "Fear not therefore: better are you than many sparrows."

As believers, we can take comfort in the fact that God dwells with us and Jesus dwells within our hearts. This doesn't mean that our lives will be free from problems, but it does mean that God will give us the grace to get through them. Our value as believers is worth so much to God.

One thing we need to understand about fear is that it does not come from God. It comes from the enemy, the devil, the adversary. God does not want us to be afraid, full of worry and doubts.

I remember a conversation I had with my therapist once. She had told me that all fears are irrational. I had refuted that statement saying, well what about when you're walking alone at night and you see a dark figure coming towards you? Doesn't fear kick in to say head away from this potential threat? Is that fear truly irrational?

She did agree with me at the time, but I know now what I didn't know before: that there is a clear cut difference between fear, and discernment as well as wisdom. Fear will give us the anxiety to react emotionally to these type of situations, but discernment is a small still voice that kicks in saying, this could be a potentially dangerous situation, it's probably best to cross over to the other side of the sidewalk.

That's the problem with fear. It can lead us to go into a panicked mindset, causing us to make bad decisions. Our minds can tumble in a downward spiral by imagining the worst about any situation. Chances are the worst-case scenario is not going to happen to you.

Have you ever been in a situation where you thought the worst was going to happen then absolutely nothing did? 

The devil loves to fill us with fear. He knows that it makes us fall into a trap of negative feelings. And unfortunately, those feelings can turn into negative actions that can harm ourselves.

God's perfect love casts out fear ( 1 John 4:18.) Next time, pray for God's discernment and wisdom to make the best decision possible. This is the best advice I can give! As soon as you feel a tinge of fear, ask for His guidance. Don't give into the enemy's pitfall of fearfulness, that's exactly what he wants for you to do. That's how he gains more control over your life.


"So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." - Matthew 6:34

I used to worry a lot. My mind used to always go to the "what if...?" scenarios. Worry can lead to creating problems that simply don't exist. Having faith in God every second of every day is an extremely valuable tool. If we constantly have faith in His will, we have nothing to be worried about. Everything is going to happen according to His plan. It doesn't mean it will always make sense to us, but we can trust that He works out everything for our good (Romans 8:28.)


The peace I have found now with God is almost unexplainable. It's a supernatural calm. I can't say that I still don't have my "moments" but they are few and far between. I know I'm only an almost one-year-old born again, a toddler still learning how to walk the walk, but I know I have God's hand to hold onto now.

We have to be willing to give up our doubts. When I first became born again, I realized I had to surrender my desire to control everything. Being a control freak, this was not an easy task. Early on, I remember staring into the eyes of the painting, Jesus by Akiane Kramarik. This was the moment that God spoke to me, clearly, loudly, with no qualms about it.

He said, "Why do you still doubt Me?"

What He so perfectly pointed out to me was that I still had doubts. I had doubts that I could ever be healed. I've had chronic pain for a long, long time, and 24 surgeries and procedures later, I was told by many an expert that I always would. It would have been easy for me to never believe I would be healed. "Common-sense" says I never will be...

But that's what so amazing about our God. He isn't a "common-sense" God. He is a supernatural God.  An awesome God. He is so much bigger than any of our problems. Dump all your doubts in the garbage! Your faith has to be bigger than your fears. He wants us to fully rely on Him for everything we go through. He wants to carry our burdens so we can live a life of peace. (Matthew 11:28.)


Do not let fear, worry, and doubts consume you. When God is with us, we have nothing to fear. We have nothing to worry about. We can be free of all doubts. Amen!

And remember Jo may know better, but God knows best. Follow Him and He will never lead you astray. If you enjoyed this please remember to subscribe here: https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better for free notifications on each new post!

Thanks for reading & have a wonderful day!

Monday, March 2, 2020

16. The Garden of Eden "Diet" - "Living in Light" Series

Medical Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. This is for educational purposes only. Should you choose to implement this information, please do so only with the assistance of a licensed medical professional. I assume no responsibility for any adverse effects or consequences that result. 

If you haven't read my blog on my food journey from carnivore to full-bore vegan, you can read here: https://joknowsbetter.blogspot.com/2019/11/7-are-you-what-you-eat-part-2-living-in.html to gain more insight on my slow transition and why I felt compelled to make changes.

Today I want to delve deeper into the vegan, 100% plant-based, whole foods diet, on a deeper spiritual level using scripture as the guide to not only how we live, but what is best to take care of ourselves.

In the beginning stages of creation, Genesis 1:29-30, "So God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed is on the surface of the entire earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you... I have given every green plant for food"; and it was so."

We know that Adam and Eve, before the fall, ate a plant-based diet. We don't know if they drank milk from animals or ate eggs. What I find really interesting is that our great grandparents were living in perfection, in total paradise, where death did not exist yet. It wasn't until after the fall, that death occurred, first to clothe us, then for sin offerings, then to feed us.

When it's first mentioned in the Bible that we can eat meat is in Genesis 9, when God told Noah it was okay (GNB). The two words that stick out to me are can and okay. There's a lot of things we can do, it doesn't mean we should. And just because something is called okay, it doesn't mean it's what's best.

90% of all medical conditions and diseases are caused by lifestyle. It's not plagues, rogue infectious diseases, not even the environment in which we live, it's what we're putting inside our mouths. It's what we do to our bodies. 
It's our job to take care of our bodies, the temple that houses our souls. If we do not have our health we cannot live our lives to the fullest and in abundance, so we can actually enjoy it! (John 10:10).

As someone who's been diagnosed with multiple chronic diseases, I can attest to this. When you have crippling pain it's hard to help others. It's hard to worship God. It's hard to do anything for other people. To take care of others, we need to first take care of ourselves.

The story of Daniel is extremely interesting when it comes to diet. For 10 days, Daniel and others were given nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink (Daniel 1:12-15), and just like Daniel had already known, they looked better and were healthier than the young men that ate the king's food, food rich in animal protein and fat.

If someone would continue this plant-based diet, would their health continue to improve?

Now, thanks to proof backed science, the answer is an astounding yes! A great resource is Dr. Michael Greger's NutritionFacts.org. He's an M.D. doctor, not just a naturopath or "bro-science" self-proclaimed aficionado. He actually wrote a book called "How Not to Die" based on how a plant-based diet can actually improve health, reverse diseases and even treat chronic illnesses. On his website, there's a ton of free material that can help you do the diet right!

Doing this diet right is extremely important and it does take additional knowledge!

Furthermore, something occurred to me early on when I started this diet when I actually started losing my taste for eating animal meat: Why would I want to eat something that's dead? Why would I choose to eat... death?

It's kind of a funny question, but the more I thought about it, the more it started to make sense. Why does something have to die for me to live? It doesn't. I didn't start this diet for moral reasons, but the more I've contemplated this, the better I feel that life doesn't have to be ended for my life to continue.

And since I had first found out that I was allergic to animal milk and eggs, this was a have-to, health choice that I made, but I found my thoughts questioning whether we really should eat these things as well. Should we eat the aborted undeveloped fetus of an egg? And should we be drinking milk from a lactating mother that is used to fatten up her baby calf at a rapid pace? Would we drink the milk from a breastfeeding human mother as adults? Probably not!

Adam and Eve, living in perfection and paradise, were on a plant-based diet. Nothing had to die for them to live. They could have eaten from the Tree of Life and lived forever. Isn't it interesting that the fall of man came from eating the wrong thing? The same thing is happening to us right now.

The garden of Eden was God's original plan for our lives. Death would have never existed. God had already given us everything we needed to survive and thrive. I know it's a hard concept to swallow, especially if you've been eating animal products your entire life like I had. I didn't think I could do it either, but now that I'm feeling and seeing the benefits, I don't know if I'll ever go back.

The benefits: Less pain and inflammation! I'm now officially off of pain medication after being on lots for 11 years! More weight loss! I finally was able to drop under my plateau weight, something that I thought was impossible to do without starving myself. More energy! I was amazed at this one! It's amazing what I can get done in a single day now. Better digestion! It used to be a struggle for me to get the recommended 35 grams of fiber a day, now I'm over 100 grams, so no problem there!

And since I started this diet to help my interstitial cystitis, it is improving pretty consistently even though I've only been doing this for 4 and a half months. I've read the testimonies of dozens of women who caused their "I.C." to go into remission after 6 months on a vegan diet. That's a pretty quick turn around for an "incurable chronic disease".

I don't have any doubts that a 100% whole foods, plant-based diet is the best diet there is. It's the only one that's been proven to cure chronic diseases. And in Revelation 21:4, "...there will no longer be death; there will no longer be sorrow and anguish, or crying, or pain; for the former order of things has passed away." Death will no longer exist on the new earth. So maybe we should start getting used to not eating meat now? Haha!

Living in Light is about being our best, the way God wants us to be. This diet has added to my spiritual awareness, mental awareness, and empowered my physical state of being like nothing I've ever done before. I know it can help you too.

Do your own research, but make sure to listen to real doctors that aren't paid or sponsored by "Big Meat, Dairy and Egg" who have their own agendas or the cherry-picked studies funded by corporations who rely on our food addictions to keep them in business. Dr. Greger is a great resource because he accepts no money from any industry that's more interested in profits than our health. From his website, "100% of all proceeds he has ever received from his books, DVDs, and speaking engagements have always and will always be donated to charity."

And remember Jo may know better, but God knows best. Follow Him and He will never lead you astray. If you enjoyed this please remember to subscribe here: https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better for free notifications on each new post!

Thanks for reading & have a wonderful day!