Day 18: Katie Ressa

James 4:7  "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
Proverbs 16:3  "Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans."

As I reflect on these past few years, and all that we have seen and heard as a culture, it's easy to feel completely overwhelmed by negative thoughts.  Raising children in our current culture feels like we are constantly swimming against the current on so many different subjects.  Besides our culture and raising kids, we have jobs, marriages, finances etc., that can also consume our thoughts.  Finding true rest for our hearts and minds these days, I feel like, is an ongoing battle.  
Those who know me know I’m generally a calm person and it takes a lot to rattle me. But, earlier this year, I began waking up in the middle of the night with my thoughts racing in fear. Sometimes it was for legitimate reasons, but other times it was for completely irrational fears, things that didn't even make sense.  I believe the enemy wanted to paralyze me in fear so I would begin to doubt and be ineffective for the Lord.  
When I realized this, I went to battle and began to set my mind on His truth to combat the lies.  This helped me put out the little fires of irrational fears.  And when real fears crept in, because of the circumstances we were in at the time, I needed that strength and more.  
I am so incredibly thankful for how God kept reminding me over and over of His faithfulness throughout the years in my life, and in my family and friends’ lives as well. I was able to draw on the fact that I know Jesus is my all-in-all:  my anchor in the midst of storms, my shield from lies, my peace, hope and joy despite circumstances and my loving Father who truly cares.  Drawing on this brought such encouragement and confidence; knowing that He would continue to be all of that and more as I faced these new trials.  
But the greatest takeaway for me during this time is how powerful it is when we praise and worship the Lord.  When I began to do this, fear was conquered and replaced by His peace and joy.  Hope was renewed, strength was gained, faith grew and I believe "mountains were moved" in our circumstances.
The verses I chose were the ones that I was reminded of the most during this time.  
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." and “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans".  
By submitting ourselves…our hearts, thoughts, fears and plans to Jesus, and standing firm in His promises... we can be assured that the devil will flee and Jesus will light our steps forward.  He may only show us one step at a time, even with periods of waiting in-between, but He knows the big picture and all the details.  He knows what is best and He is faithful!  We can trust in Him…there is no need to fear.  I'm so incredibly thankful that I know the enemy has no hold over me and that when I look to Jesus and worship Him, fear is washed away.  I stand on the promise found in 2 Timothy 1:7 – “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and of sound mind.”
"Jesus, I thank you Lord for your love, provision, and for being our sure foundation when everything around us feels unsteady. Thank you that in You, we have nothing to fear.  I pray that for those who may be stuck in fear, Lord, that You would reveal Your Truth, give them courage to stand in it and show them how to move forward in faith. Guard hearts and minds, bring strength and healing and help them hold onto You and keep battling. Amen."

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