Showing posts with label Jesus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jesus. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

19. You Are So Blessed - "Living in Light" Series

It's easy to think of all we don't have at times like these. We may not have employment right now. We may not have toilet paper right now! We may not have our favorite restaurants, social venues, or just our usual day to day activities that keep us going in our normal lives. We could be in total isolation from our family and friends, separate from our support circle. And even worse, battling this virus head-on, fighting for our lives.

As COVID-19 rages on, it can wear on us mentally, emotionally, physically, financially, and even spiritually. But with Christ, there is always hope...

So first, let's say a prayer for those who are genuinely suffering: "Dear Father, we pray that you provide health and healing to all those with COVID-19. Please provide them with everything they need in such critical times. We know You can heal the sick, comfort the mourning, and deliver the suffering into peace and safety. So blessed are You, Lord, to give us Your blessings when we need them most, which we are so grateful for. In the name of Your son, Yeshua (Jesus), our faithful Messiah, Amen."

Focusing on everything we don't have right now can leave us feeling helpless, vulnerable, insecure, anxious, stressed, and downright scared. However, with the special power of gratitude, we can focus on all we do have. Blessings are sometimes the smallest things around us that we tend to ignore. Sometimes even the things we usually take for granted. If you do have toilet paper right now, consider yourself blessed!

I think hard times can help us evaluate our lives in ways we're not used to. They can help us identify our true priorities more clearly. We can start to recognize what we truly like about our lives, and even delve deeper into the things we want to change. I encourage you to use this time to think about what it is you really want in life. It may be the perfect time to make some positive changes.
1. Blessed are those who know what they have and are grateful for it. 

I encourage you to focus on all the things you do have at the moment. Especially blessed are all those that still have their health. Our health is so important to our lives since we cannot fulfill our destinies without it. More than ever, stay aware to protect yourself and others. Use wisdom and discernment to make the best possible choices for your health in this critical time.

Let's just say, if you have a roof over your head and food on your table, you are so blessed. This is the time to appreciate our basic needs to the fullest. Constantly look for things that you can be grateful for. Make a list if need be. It's amazing how through the perspective of gratitude, our whole world can change for the better.
2. Blessed are those who are always provided for.

God blesses us in good times and in bad. Sometimes I'm amazed by how well He has taken care of me and my family in our most desperate times. Somehow, someway, we were always provided for through the poorest of times. I'm reminded that in the wilderness, God always provided for the Israelites. It may not have always been what they "wanted" by it was always what they needed.

Complaining may be a common trap in these times. Constantly thinking of all we don't have and venting about what we want. Whenever I feel a complaint coming on or if one dares to escape my mouth, I try to replace it instantly with (a) gratitude directly related to the exact issue. 

For instance, I could say, "I didn't get a good night's sleep, but I'm grateful for the sleep I did get," or, "They didn't have any apples at the supermarket, but they did have bananas." Then thank God for bananas! Constantly replace your complaints with gratitude. It will change your perspective toward the positive regardless of your circumstances. 

*Remember, the Israelites' journey through the wilderness would have been a lot easier if they had stopped complaining.* 
3. Blessed are the believers in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

It makes God so happy when we thank Him for all that we have. And we are so blessed to have God in our lives. It makes life so much easier. Remember to thank God for anything and everything, and you can just feel the love pour into your heart. Sometimes we can just blurt out, "Thank God!" without actually thinking about it, but I encourage you to take the time to actually thank God, wholly and specifically for all the blessings He has given you. It honors Him and shows Him that you acknowledge His specific blessings that only He has added to your life. 

With God as our strength, we were built for hard times. It doesn't mean that we truly understand everything that's going on all of the time, but we can trust in God that He knows, He is in control, and we don't have to worry. If you've read the end of the Bible, you know - it all turns out just fine.
4. Blessed are the ones who bless others.

It's very important to be kind to one another in difficult times. We can choose to bless others in need. Let people know that you're there for them. Just offering a helping hand can be such a blessing, so they know that they have help and support just in case they need it. 

A good way to get ourselves off our minds is to help others. It's easy to get locked in our own minds and in our own worlds. Giving to someone else can be so rewarding as it helps our perspective to recognize our bountiful blessings to such an extent that WE can be a blessing to others. Being selfless when people need our help the most will not be forgotten by God. 

I truly hope this blog is a blessing to you. 

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!

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!

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

10. How I Became Born Again - "Living in Light" Series

Let's just start by saying I've tried it all. From positive psychology to meditating, to any new-age fad, to "The Secret" and so on. I'm not saying these things "can't work" because they do serve some purpose and did get me through some things.

But... (this is a big but...) when the going got rough, and then got rougher, and ever rougher than that, all those things literally got going.

They couldn't stand up to all the tests, tribulations, pain, suffering and sometimes what felt like pure torture that I was going through. It didn't hold up when I was going through hell, hitting rock bottom or nearly six feet under that.

When my family and I had decided to move halfway across the country mainly for my medical reasons, I thought the move was going to be the answers to all my prayers. I was finally going to get the help I needed from the best of the best.

But after we moved something interesting happened. My medical issues got worse, then worse, then worse than that. I found myself at a complete loss of how to handle it. My physical, mental, emotional and spiritual life was crumbling and there was no amount of "positive thinking" I could do to stop it.

I had always considered myself a Christian. What that meant back then or how I defined that wasn't always so clear. Let's just say I had believed in God and Jesus as the Messiah. Basically, I tried to do my best to be a good person based on my own standards and tried not to hurt others. But it's only until now, I realize that I didn't have a clue about what it meant to be a true Christian and live the life God had meant for me.

It was only until I was at the lowest point of my life that I came to fully surrender. Surrender every old way of thinking, surrender my perceived notions of the world and myself, surrender myself wholly and irrefutably to God in every way, shape and form. That is when He fully came into my heart and I finally began to heal.

Healing is a "dangerous word" when it comes to someone like me who has multiple chronic diseases. You don't hear it often and you'll never hear it come out of a doctor's mouth either. My old way of thinking told myself that I would never heal...

Chronic means forever. There is no way out. It will only get worse.

That is until God showed up, the ultimate Healer. After I fully let Him into my heart, I actually started to get better. What a thought! I was able to get off of highly addictive medications. My pain started to lessen day by day. I've started to actually reverse the damage that had been done to me physically over the course of ten years.

Every day I am truly getting better and better. I am the healthiest that I have ever been before.

It is truly a miracle.

And here's the thing, this is free to anyone. There is an open invitation to be healed. His hand is extended welcoming you to pure and otherworldly joy. First, we have to believe we can be healed by the Almighty, we have to receive Him and simply do His will. This may seem like a lot and we all can feel the desire to be skeptical, but we first have to believe and then we will begin to see. It's not the other way around.

I can honestly say I am finally being healed. Something I thought was completely impossible. But nothing, I repeat nothing, is impossible with God. He has opened my eyes and now I perceive myself, the world and everything in it in a way I never have before. I finally know I have found the path that was there for me all along. I simply had to start walking it.

There will be much more on this subject in future posts! Please subscribe at https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better to get notifications on upcoming posts. Thanks so much for reading & have a wonderful day!

And remember Jo may know better, but God knows best! Listen to Him and He will never lead you astray.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

6. Let Go of the Past - Living in Light Series


This is a hard one. And I think the reason why it's so hard is that we have had 1. very happy memories and 2. powerful lessons that we've learned. We all have memories that can bring a smile to our faces instantly! And yes, we've all been through a lot that has taught us very valuable things about life.

Just like one of my favorite quotes says:


I think the danger lies very discreetly in the way we think about our pasts. I believe there is a tendency to compare our present moments to our pasts, especially as we get older. The stories we tell ourselves of "I remember when..." or "I looked so good when I was (this age)" can actually cause harm to our present-day outlook.

Constantly comparing our current situations to how we were or how things are now can steal our current happiness and peace. There's nothing wrong with remembering the good 'ol days. But whether or not we choose to admit it, we can become the stories we tell ourselves, either good or bad. So we have to be very careful! More on this in a future post*

Another reason why it's so hard to let go of the past is PAIN. Yes, it is a four-letter word. We have all been hurt by other people, by experiences, and even ourselves. We can tell ourselves the same stories in our heads over and over again. "This happened to me. It hurt like hell. I can't believe they would treat me that way." I used to do this all the time.

But finally, I had to say ENOUGH.

That broken record of everything that's happened to you is an album that needs to get retired and thrown in the trash! Those stories only make you a victim. Not a hero or heroine. That is the past dragging you back to where it wants you to be. Misery loves company and that includes the past!

If you truly want to be happy in the here and now, it's time to let go.

How do you do it? I know how! Let me tell you how to!

I'm going to say this loud and clear: The only way to let things go is through FORGIVENESS.

Think I'm joking? I'm really, really not. I have had to tattoo that word onto my brain. Permanently scar it into my psyche. Etch it into my conscience!

It's the only way, my friends. You have to forgive that person. That thing. And yourself. Over and over, and over, and over again. These are the tips 1, 2, & 3!

Does that person deserve forgiveness? Maybe not. But that doesn't matter. Do you really think by forgiving someone it gives them the power? It doesn't. Forgiving someone means "I'm taking back my power. I will no longer let you have any control of my thoughts, feelings and actions any longer. I forgive you. You are in my past. I'm letting it go."

This is so important. Nothing others do is because of you. It's because of them. Don't get caught up in their drama, their pain, their behavior. It has nothing to do with you.

Now, this is no way means that you have to let that person back into your life, especially if they are abusive. You do not deserve abuse and there is no way you should allow it in your life. By simply forgiving someone, you are taking back your power by no longer even giving them, or the situation, another thought or moment of your precious, short life.

There's the famous quote or some variation of it: “In fact, not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.” - Anne Lamott

Not forgiving someone is only going to continue to hurt you.

Secondly, can you forgive an experience? This is a little trickier. Unfair things happen. Life goes wrong, sometimes it seems like for no apparent reason. Maybe you have chronic pain, like me. Maybe you even have cancer. Maybe you just got smashed into by a car this morning. Sometimes things don't make sense.

I've learned that you have to forgive your experiences just like you would forgive another person. One way to do this is to acknowledge that we shouldn't take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of us and the tragedies that befall us are not punishment for our behavior either. This knowledge comes from Don Miguel Ruiz and "The Four Agreements" something I highly recommend.

For a long time, I thought that I had done something wrong to deserve chronic pain. Now I can't believe I ever thought that. Did a baby born with brain cancer do something wrong? Did a man walking across the street that got hit with a car, do something wrong? No... and neither did I.

Forgive every bad thing that has ever happened to you. If you have to, write it down. There is something magical that happens when you do this. All of a sudden your past will start losing its grip, its power. You can take back your story. You are not what has happened to you. You are so much more powerful than that.

Now thirdly, there are times when we DO have to forgive ourselves. We have all made mistakes. Said things we shouldn't of. We have hurt other people. It doesn't mean that we did this on purpose. Most of the times we didn't. That's why forgiveness is so important. Just like most of the time, other people didn't hurt you on purpose either. It was just a by-product of their actions and perspective.

When we don't forgive ourselves, we can't let go of the past.

Guilt is an extremely dangerous emotion. It can lead to alcoholism, overeating, and even suicide among many other harmful things. The lessons that we learn throughout our lives are very important, yes! But does that mean we are supposed to rake ourselves over the coals again and again for it? Are we supposed to torture ourselves with the would've, should've, could've for the rest of our lives? No.

The past is gone. Let's learn the lessons but then, move on!

Maybe you think you've done something unforgivable and that's a very unfortunate way to think. What has helped me so much is picturing Jesus Christ, on the cross, in unbelievable pain, and still finding the strength to say, "Forgive them for they know not what they do." This is so true. Everyone and everything can be forgiven, all you have to do is ask for forgiveness and in your heart of hearts, strive to do better next time.

To live in light, we must forgive others, our experiences and ourselves. It's the only way we will find true peace and happiness in the present moment. And the present moment is all we have.

Thank you so much for reading & make sure to subscribe at: https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better for notifications on the latest posts! Have a wonderful day!