Holding on to Hope in a Hopeless World

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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To be without hope is the worst place to be.  

Hope is the key to faith. Without hope, there can be no faith for future good.

Hope Concept. Keys with Keyring on Black Wooden Table. Closeup View, Selective Focus, 3D Render. Black and White Image.

Scripture calls hope “the anchor of our souls” (Hebrews 6:19).  For faith to ignite, our souls must be anchored in hope.

But what hope?

There is only one hope that will anchor our souls. That hope is Jesus Christ.

“In Him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28).

Is your hope anchored in Jesus Christ? 

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How to Get What You Need

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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Are you trying to get something from God by using your mind? If so, it won’t work. Why? Because faith is not a mental function. Faith is a heart function.Faith - Text on Red Puzzles with White Background and Selective Focus.

Photo Source: Fotolia File: #83962816 | Author: tashatuvango

Your heart is the seat of your identity. Who you are is determined by what is in your heart. This is the reason it is so important to guard your heart. Your heart is the control center of your life. It is in your heart that the kind of life you lead begins and is generated.  

Faith and your heart are intimately connected. Faith is the currency which your heart uses to create your life. The more you exercise your faith, the better life you will have. If there is lack in some part of your life, it is that you are not applying your faith to that part of your life.

There are two kinds of faith: natural faith and supernatural faith. Everyone has natural faith. If you are born again, you have supernatural faith. Natural faith will get you natural things. Supernatural faith will get you supernatural things. Natural faith makes sense. Supernatural faith does not make sense because it has nothing to do with the senses.

To get what you need, you must use supernatural faith not your senses. To get supernatural faith, you must connect to Jesus. 

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You may leave a comment by clicking here. To receive these blog posts in your emailbox, please click here.

If you found this post helpful, please pass it on to someone who can benefit from reading it. Thank you!

If you have any questions, you may contact me as follows:

Email: drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com
Snail Mail: PO Box 1185, Merchantville, NJ 08109
Tel. 856-488-3580
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Copyright 2015 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

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Dr. Diorio is a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Biblical Counselor, and a Certified Behavioral Consultant. She is also an award-winning, widely published author of fiction for children and adults. You may reach her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com or via one of her social media venues below:

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Seeing Double for Success

Discovering Your Second Set of Eyes

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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Are you aware that you have two sets of eyes?  You have your physical eyes and  your spiritual eyes, sometimes called the eyes of your heart. 

While your physical set of eyes is critically important to your maneuvering your physical life on earth, your spiritual set of eyes is far more important in that your spiritual eyes determine your success on earth and your destiny after you leave this earth. How you use your spiritual eyes will determine whether or not you fail or succeed in life.

kind am schaufenster Photo Source: Fotolia.com File: #24767258 | Author: Miredi

 You may be thinking, I didn’t even know I have spiritual eyes! 

Join the club. Most people are not aware they have spiritual eyes.  Everyone is born with spiritual eyes, but until you are born again in Jesus Christ, your spiritual eyes will remain blind. Check out 2 Corinthians 4:4: “Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God (emphasis mine).

Only after we are born again does Jesus give sight to our spiritual eyes.  In fact, He actually gives us a new set of eyes, eyes that can see into the spirit realm.  The spirit realm is reality; the physical realm is the physical manifestation of what we see in the spirit realm. 

Do you remember the story of Elisha’s servant in 2 Kings 6? Elisha’s servant panicked when he saw the city surrounded by the enemy.  Elisha remained calm because Elisha used his spiritual eyes to see into the spirit realm. And what did he see there? Angelic reinforcements complete with horses and chariots of fire surrounding the enemy on all sides!

Elisha had peace because he used his spiritual eyes; Elisha’s servant was terrified, because he used only his physical eyes.

Are you using your spiritual eyes to see the truth of what God has provided for you in Christ? Or are you limiting your vision only to your physical eyes by focusing on your circumstances? 

Remember: you have double vision, but you also choose which set of eyes you will use to view your life.

Like the pane of glass in a storefront window, only a thin veil separates the physical realm from the spiritual realm.  As you use your spiritual eyes to look beyond that veil and into the realm of the spirit, you will see yourself as you truly are–redeemed by Jesus Christ, seated at His right hand, and more than a conquerer in Him Who loves you!
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In my newest work of fiction, SURRENDER TO LOVE, young widow and life coach, Dr. Teresa LopezPicMonkeyFINAL061815416pmGonzalez, lives in fear until she learns to use her spiritual eyes to discern God’s will for her life.

Available in Kindle and print versions.

You may leave a comment by clicking here. To receive these blog posts in your emailbox, please click here.

If you found this post helpful, please pass it on to someone who can benefit from reading it. Thank you!

If you have any questions, you may contact me as follows:

Email: drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com
Snail Mail: PO Box 1185, Merchantville, NJ 08109
Tel. 856-488-3580
________________________________
Copyright 2015 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Photo Source: Fotolia.com: File: #61687178 | Author: sognolucido

Amazon.com Required Disclosure:  MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Dr. Diorio is a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Biblical Counselor, and a Certified Behavioral Consultant. She is also an award-winning, widely published author of fiction for children and adults. You may reach her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com  or via one of her social media venues below:

Why Doesn’t God Answer My Prayers?

Three Reasons for Unanswered Prayer

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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If you’re like me, you’ve been through periods of your life when it seemed as though God were deaf. Of course, He is not deaf, so the reason we sometimes don’t hear from Him must be something else.

illustration of a man praying under the cross

Photo Source: Fotolia.com File: #61687178 | Author: sognolucido

Please allow me to offer you three reasons that I have discovered for unanswered prayer. As I addressed each of these reasons, I discovered that my prayer life made a turn around and I began to see results.

I am a results-oriented person.  I want what I do to bear fruit.  I don’t like spinning my wheels.

And my guess is that you don’t either. 🙂

So, here are the three reasons I’ve discovered for unanswered prayer:

1) Praying for something that is not specifically promised to us by God in His word.  God has given us thousands of promises in His Word.  Each of these promises represents what God wants for us and what Jesus died to give us. When we pray based on these promises, we can rest assured that God hears our prayer. Why? Because He cannot contradict Himself nor what He has promised.

For example, if I pray for healing, I can pray with confidence that God hears me because He says in Psalm 103:3 that He heals all my diseases.  Not some, but ALL.  So when I pray based on that promise, I can rest assured that God hears my prayer.

The opposite is also true. If I pray for something that God specifically forbids in His Word, He will not hear my prayer. Years ago, a woman began praying to marry a prominent evangelist. The only problem was, he was already married. So she prayed that his wife would die. There was no way God was going to hear this woman’s prayer because it contradicted His Word about marriage and about having murderous thoughts toward others. 

So, when you pray, be sure that what you are asking for is something God has promised you. The only way to know this is to study His Word. If what you are praying for–like whether or not to move to Atlanta–is not specifically stated in His Word, then stand on His promise in Psalm 32:8 that “He will instruct you and teach you the way to go.”

Many of God’s promises cover general situations, so use those promises as your foundation for praying when there is no specific promise for your situation.

2) Praying based on grace alone, and not faith.  This kind of prayer leans on God’s grace alone in that the person praying sits back and waits for God to act.  An example would be a person who needs a job and asks God for one but does not pound the pavements looking for a job. Instead, he expects God to drop a job in his lap. This won’t happen. God expects us to cooperate with Him by trusting in His grace and then by taking some action to prove our trust in His grace.

3) Praying based on faith alone, and not grace.  This kind of prayer leans on my personal efforts alone in that, once I pray, I think it’s entirely up to me to get that prayer answered.  This is a legalistic, “works” mentality prayer, and it won’t go anywhere. It will not get a hearing from God.

For example, I may need healing, so I ask God to heal me but then I keep thinking that my healing will take place some time in the future. I also make sure that I’m doing everything right—eating right, exercising right, acting right, praying enough, reading my Bible enough, fasting enough–and on, and on, and on.  If I don’t see the answer to my prayer, I start feeling condemned and wondering where I’ve missed it.

Yes, I’ve been there. Done that.  This process is all wrong.  It’s backwards and won’t get an answer to prayer.

Why not? Because both God’s grace and my faith are required to receive answers to my prayers.

So, let’s get practical.  How do I get my prayers answered?

The process is really very simple.  So simple, in fact, that we can easily miss it.

 1) Believe that God wants you to have what He has promised you. He paid a big enough price to give it to you by sending His Son Jesus to die for you so that you could experience the fulfillment of those promises in your life.

2) Realize that whatever God has promised you in His Word is already yours. If you don’t see it present in your life, the reason is that you have not reached out into the spirit realm with your faith to bring it from the spirit realm into your physical realm.  God is not holding back on you. You are holding back on yourself.

3) Realize that your faith does not move God to act.  God acted 2000 years ago on Calvary.  Your faith simply reaches out to grab hold of what God did on that old rugged Cross.  As Jesus hung dying on that Cross, He said, “It is finished.”  He meant that what He came to do was done.  There’s nothing more for Him to do, but there still is something for us to do.  Our part is to reach out and take what Jesus gave us on Calvary.

Just as we received the new birth by reaching out to Jesus and accepting His gift of forgiveness and eternal life, so do we receive everything else God has promised us.  In the same exact way–by reaching out and accepting His gift of every promise He died to give us.

It’s as simple as that!

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In my newest work of fiction, SURRENDER TO LOVE, young widow and life coach, Dr. Teresa LopezPicMonkeyFINAL061815416pmGonzalez, struggles to reach out to take what God has given her. Will she come to understand that what God has promised her, He will fulfill if she only surrenders to Him?

Available in Kindle and print versions.

You may leave a comment by clicking here. To receive these blog posts in your emailbox, please click here.

If you found this post helpful, please pass it on to someone who can benefit from reading it. Thank you!

If you have any questions, you may contact me as follows:

Email: drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com
Snail Mail: PO Box 1185, Merchantville, NJ 08109
Tel. 856-488-3580
________________________________
Copyright 2015 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Photo Source: Fotolia.com: File: #61687178 | Author: sognolucido

Amazon.com Required Disclosure:  MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Dr. Diorio is a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Biblical Counselor, and a Certified Behavioral Consultant. She is also an award-winning, widely published author of fiction for children and adults. You may reach her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com  or via one of her social media venues below:

Believing Is Seeing

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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Yes! You read that title right. It’s not a misprint, although you may be questioning it, or even loudly disagreeing with it.

If so, I can certainly understand. Like most of you, for a good part of my life I heard the opposite: that seeing is believing. People I loved and respected would say it. And so would TV commercials and magazine ads. In fact, I was so sure that seeing is believing that if there had been a local chapter of the Doubting Thomas Society, I would have been a charter member.

But then, in 1970, I had a personal encounter with Jesus Christ and my whole way of thinking began to change. I began to realize that much of my thinking, which I had thought was right-side-up, was, in reality, upside-down. I began to understand what God meant when He said in Isaiah 55:8, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways.” And so began my quest to learn God’s ways and God’s thoughts.

My logical starting point was the Bible since this great book is God’s manual for man. I knew that in it I would learn how God operates and how He expects me to operate.I learned that just as there are laws on earth that govern us (the law of gravity, for example), there are also laws that govern God’s Kingdom. Since those who are born again are now part of God’s Kingdom, it would behoove us to learn the laws of that Kingdom so that  we can function in it with power and effectiveness.

As I studied the Bible, I saw that in order to receive anything from God, I needed to have faith. And I further learned that faith is simply believing before seeing.

God has given us many promises in His Word. These promises belong to us, but the only way we will see them come to pass in our lives is if we believe them. 

For example, one of God’s promises is the promise of healing. God said in Psalm 103 that He “heals all our diseases.”  This means He heals ALL our diseases. God says what He means and means what He says.  If we want to experience healing from disease, then we must believe that what God said is true. Furthermore, we must believe that we are healed before we see any sign of healing in our physical body.  BELIEVING the promise precedes RECEIVING the promise.

This principle—that believing is seeing—is called the Law of Faith. The Law of Faith is a basic law in God’s Kingdom.

In Hebrews 11:1, the Scriptures say that “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.” According to this verse, in order for faith to work, hope must first be present because hope is what faith builds on. Without hope, faith has nothing to work with.

Let me give you a simple illustration. If you are going to build a house, you acquire a blueprint. The builders will use that blueprint to build your house. That blueprint is not your house; it is simply an image of your house as it looks on paper. Yet, when your friends and relatives come over to visit, what do you do? You eagerly show them your blueprint and say, “This is my house!” But it really isn’t your house; it’s just the blueprint—or the hope—of your house.

In order for that blueprint to turn into your actual house, however, you must purchase materials and then build the house or have someone else build it for you. The materials are what give substance to your blueprint. The materials are the faith.

The same principle applies to every area of life. For whatever goal you want to achieve in life—whether it’s financial freedom, health, a great marriage, responsible children—you will need to have a blueprint or image of that goal on the inside of you before you will see it come to pass in your life. For example, if you want to be debt-free, you will first have to see yourself as debt-free. If you want to be healthy, you will first have to picture yourself as healthy.

If you’ve been wondering why the things you desire have not been happening in your life, take a look at your inner blueprint. Is it a blueprint for success or a blueprint for failure?  In other words, what picture of yourself do you hold in your heart? You will become on the outside just like your inner picture on the inside. So, if you want to change the outside picture of yourself, first change the inside picture of yourself that you hold in your heart.

If your inner blueprint is not what you want, take it back to the drawing board and design another blueprint. But make sure your blueprint adheres to God’s building code as found in His Word. If not, the house you build will eventually collapse.

Questions: 1) What pictures of yourself do you have on the inside of you?  2) Do you need to replace any of those pictures? 3) If so, which ones?

You may leave a comment by clicking here. To receive these blog posts in your emailbox, please click here.

If you found this post helpful, please pass it on to someone who can benefit from reading it. Thank you!
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Copyright 2015 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA.  All Rights Reserved.