Is It a Test? (blog by me)

Even if social media suggests otherwise, we all experience problems. A common reaction to struggles could include searching the internet, asking friends for advice, and complaining. If we are really feeling faithful, we might even take to prayer. But how often do we think to praise God in the midst of our troubles? Yet, that reaction is more appropriate.

James 1:2 tells us to consider it pure joy when we face trials of all kinds. Scripture goes on to tell us tests produce perseverance, character, and hope (see James 1:3, Romans 5:3-4). While you may not consider present troubles worthwhile enough to render perseverance, character, and hope, know that God does. These qualities are highly valued in the spiritual realm. When you have earned them, you can consider yourself wealthy and commendable in the eyes of God because these qualities increase our compassion for others and trust in. It keeps us from becoming lukewarm believers.

The next time you encounter a problem, say to yourself, “It is only a test. God, I thank You for this test. I know that through this circumstance You will make me stronger in my faith. That is important to You so it is important to me. Help me to overcome this trial and make You proud of me.”

God is sovereign. He can always prevent the Enemy from attacking or tempting, but even His Son was tempted and attacked by Satan. He could have rearranged circumstances so that you could have avoided the adverse side effects of sin from someone else, but even Jesus suffered from the Judas’ greedy decision. In the end, would we have wanted the Father to have prevented all of Jesus’ suffering? No, because He worked it together for our good. He used Jesus’ death on the cross for our salvation. Likewise, there is purpose to your suffering. You may not see it, but it is truly valuable to God. In fact, you are truly loved and valuable to God.

Cleansing Stream

Many of my poems are about my addictions, anxiety, and other manifestations of emotional pain in my life. I recently finished going through the Cleansing Stream program, and it has helped me a lot. Cleansing Stream is a series of classes accompanied by prayer that helps people overcome emotional pain. I really recommend it. If interested, click this link to learn more:

*Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing forever free ebooks.

Burdens & Worry

Worry is a heavy burden. As if it were not heavy enough, worry causes other burdens like stress. Stress and worry can become overwhelming and even affect your physical body. In Mark 4:15-19, we can see that the worries of this life can even make God’s communication with us unfruitful. Is all of this talk causing you to worry that you worry too much? Good news! Today we will unmask and stomp on this culprit.

When we reduce worry to its simplest emotion, it is just fear. In Isaiah 41:10, God tells us not to fear or be dismayed because He will help us. He will uphold us in His righteous hand. When you catch yourself worrying and feel your eyebrows furrowed, remind yourself: I do not need to fear. God is my help.

The reason we continue to worry as Christians is because we are holding onto things we need to relinquish. What do you most frequently worry about? That is the very thing you should relinquish to God!

Sometimes we need to relinquish a situation. Jesus was faced with a situation in the Garden of Gethsemane. He relinquished His will in the situation by praying: Not my will, but Yours (Luke 22:42). If you are worried about a situation, a relationship, or your future then follow Jesus and say this right now: Not my will, but Yours. In that way, you have relinquished your will for God’s will to be done in your life. There is no need to worry anymore.

Some of us might need to relinquish control. Do you feel like you need to control other people? You might want to control the actions of your spouse, child, or parent. God tells us in Matthew 6:31-33 not to worry even about what we will wear or eat, but we should instead focus on His kingdom and righteousness. Then He will add these things to us. Take a moment now to tell the Lord who or what you are relinquishing control of so you can focus more on His kingdom. He knows all about you and your loved ones…your every thought and desire. Let go of your worry by letting go of control.

Sometimes we might need to relinquish schedules and tasks. We strive to keep up with everyone else whose lives seem perfect. All the while, it seems like we are two steps behind on bills, late to important events, and overly tired. Give God your schedule! He has a way of motivating us to do the right things at the right time. If you still worry, get it out of your head and onto a list and check it off as it gets done. God says His yoke is easy and His burden is light in Matthew 11:30. If your burden does not seem light, you could be taking up the burden of the world instead of the burden of God’s kingdom. If that’s the case, pray with me: Lord, I relinquish my schedule to you. I surrender all of my tasks that are not demonstrating the love of your kingdom.

It helps if we look fear right in the eye and dare it. Contemplate the worst outcome and the consequences. Much of the time, worriers are overly concerned with outcomes that have minor consequences. Just considering “What’s the worst that could happen?” frees us from the burden of fear. Relinquishing situations does not mean failing to try. It means we allow God’s will to steer our efforts. Relinquishing control does not mean failing to care. It means putting our focus on love instead. Relinquishing schedules does not mean blowing off important things. It means waiting for God to prioritize tasks and trusting Him to lead our daily path. As you let go of worry and unnecessary burdens, you will enjoy life more and draw closer to God.

© 2015 Kim Bond

Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing free resources. Click here to learn more about God and here to access free Christian ebooks. Thanks for visiting. Stay blessed!

Burdens & Confession


Confession of sins is a great way to let go of burdens. Jesus’ blood on the cross makes payment for all sins by mankind. We accept this payment with our belief in Christ. This payment covers our eternal salvation. However, when Christians sin repeatedly they lose a certain closeness with God. In order to draw near to God, we should confess our sins directly to God in prayer.

Take a moment now to relax and ask God to bring your unconfessed sins to remembrance. As He lovingly surfaces them in your mind, just say something like this:

I confess I __________  (lied, mistreated my friend, etc.). Please purify me.

If this is your first time, your sin confession may take awhile. After today, make confession a regular part of your prayer time so you maintain that closeness with the Lord. Confession should not make you feel guilty. It is a humble step of repentance that actively gives God in control of your purification process. You will feel light as a feather and closer to our heavenly Father when you regularly confess sin to Him.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. –James 5:16

Confession to God should only be the beginning especially if you still struggle with the same sin over and over again. God’s Word calls us to confess to “one another” and receive prayer to be healed.

Here are some ways you might decide to confess sin to another:

  • On the phone with a Christian friend
  • During a call for prayer in church
  • Worked into natural conversation in a Bible study
  • Online in a Christian community or forum

Joining a support group may be necessary especially if you are caught in an addictive lifestyle, illegal sin, or sin that is harmful to yourself or others. I pray God will open up opportunities for you to confess your sins to trustworthy Christians who will pray for you and not judge you.

God has certainly called us to confess our sins to God and man, but there is another type of confession we should do, and that is to confess the truth of what the Bible says about us. It is critical to know in your heart and soul that God values you. If you agree that this is important, confess these aloud right now:

  • Christ died for ME while I was still a sinner. (From Romans 5:8)
  • I have been freed from ALL things. (From Acts 13:39)
  • I am a CHILD of GOD. (From Eph. 1:5)
  • God has not given me a spirit of fear. (From 2 Tim. 1:7)
  • I am L O V E D by the Father. (From John 16:27)

I pray your heart and soul would hear these truths from your mouth and draw you into a closer relationship with our Lord.

…so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. –Isaiah 55:11

Confession of sin to God and others along with confession of our true identity in Christ to yourself will help you align your viewpoint with God’s and help you draw near to Him who loves you unconditionally.

This blog includes some tough topics. If you have questions about the Bible, click here to find reliable answers.

© 2015 Kim Bond

Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing free resources. Click here to learn more about God and here to access free Christian ebooks. Thanks for visiting. Stay blessed!

Burdens & Forgiveness


So you have been carrying around those burdens for a long time. By now, you are emotionally exhausted and ready to lay them down, right? Let’s do it together. Today we will forgive someone, let go of negative feelings, and ask forgiveness from another.

Ephesians 4:32 states: Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Since we have a perfect Father in heaven and a Friend that sticks closer than a brother, we can let go of the idealistic expectations we have placed on our parents, friends, and spouse. We can forgive all the ways they have let us down, rejected us, and failed to meet our needs since their mistakes only pointed us to the cross. Sit back in your chair, relax, and ask God: Lord, who do I need to forgive? 

When you have the person in mind you need to forgive, pray this prayer of forgiveness with us: Lord, thank You for forgiving our sin debt in full. We know we would never have been able to repay our sin debt without Your Son’s death on the cross. Since Your Son did this for us, we forgive every person that has wronged us. We give up the right to collect from those who wronged us. In Christ’s Name, Amen.

That felt great, didn’t it? Ready to let go of some negative feelings? Hold your hand up to your Father in heaven as if you were giving Him your heart and say: Lord, I give You my anger, resentment, unforgiveness, bitterness, pain, doubt, spiritual pride… Thank You that You love us and guide us to let go of these emotions so we can live in freedom and joy. In Christ’s Name, Amen. (By holding your hand up to heaven, you are doing in the physical what you are doing in the soul. Alternately, you can envision yourself handing your heart to the Lord and think the words.) This practical advice can be used any time a thought or feeling rises up in you that you do not want.

Starting to feel lighter and more joyful, aren’t you? Let’s keep at this pace as we turn around and ask for forgiveness from someone we have wronged. Sit back in your chair again, relax and ask God: Lord, who do I need to ask for forgiveness from? It might be your spouse for an argument you had yesterday. It might be someone from high school that you track down on Facebook or Twitter. It could be something simple like a text or message stating: I am sorry. Please forgive me.

Doing this simple task could bring healing to their life and open up a door for Christ in their lives as well. After all, you welcomed the light of Christ inside of you the day you first believed. Put your light on a stand for all to see (Matt. 5:15). I am asking the Lord to give you courage to ask forgiveness to the person the Lord brings to your mind. Do not delay in communicating your regret about your past actions.

You may actually feel physically lighter after you have forgiven others, let go of negative feelings, and ask forgiveness from those you have wronged. All of those negative feelings and unforgiveness were coming in between you and the Lord. You have now drawn nearer to the Lord. As He promises in the Holy Bible, when you draw near to the Lord then He will draw nearer to you (James 4:8).

Needtobreathe’s song called “Lay ‘Em Down” invites us to lay down our burdens and troubles. Begin your journey to a clean heart by clicking here to listen to this inspirational song.

© 2015 Kim Bond

Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing free resources. Click here to learn more about God and here to access free Christian ebooks. Thanks for visiting. Stay blessed!