Doesn't it feel good when we help another person? A friend visited from Cuba and lamented on the condition of her hair. I took her hand. "Look, you don't need to worry about fixing your hair," I said. "We'll go shopping and get you a lovely wig."

She hugged me. "In Cuba, we could never afford a haircut, much less a wig...thank you!"

We walked in the store and she chose one to match her natural hair color. As she stood before the mirror, she put it on. Her gasps of delight were heard all through the store. "I don't want to take it off, "she said. "I look so pretty."

Then weeks later she wrote me from Cuba. "I'm sorry. I can't wear the wig because the weather is so very hot here. I put it away in my drawer."

Did she say she put the gift I gave her in a drawer? She sure did. And that's exactly what the enemy (the devil) wants you and I to do. He wants us to--put God's gifts in the drawer of our emotions.

When and how does he do that? He does it each time we face adversity, struggles, conflict, or bad news. He does it by distracting us so we forget God's gifts.

And the gifts are many. Each one is suited for the situation we face. Each gift is prepared with the answer we need. Each is molded to fit the longing in our heart.

And when we receive them, unwrap them and use them, here are seven results:

1: When unfair accusations create wounds, we're protected as we say, "I am free from any charge against me." ("Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one--for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one--for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God's right hand, pleading for us." Romans 8:32-34 NLT)

2: When life seems uncertain and shaky, I have access to God through the Holy Spirit. ("Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us." Ephesians 2:18 NLT)

3: No painful experience is a match to God's love. I cannot be separated from the love of God. ("And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love...No power in the sky above or in the earth below--indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38a,39 NLT)

4: The world's evil cannot affect me because I am established, anointed, sealed by God. ("It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us, and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us." 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 NLT)

5: When I feel confused about all that's going on, I remember that all things work together for good. ("And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." Romans 8:28 NLT)

6: When feeling empty and unable to give, my spirit is revived because I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit. ("You didn't choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name." John 15:16 NLT)

7: When no one listens or has any advice, I may approach God with freedom and confidence. ("Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God's presence." Ephesians 3:12 NLT)

Ready to pull out those gifts from the drawer of your heart? They're yours. They're ready to be used. They're offering the power to ease the pain. To deliver you from strongholds. To bring peace to turmoil. And to erase fear.

Father, when life becomes so very difficult, help me to open my heart and receive these gifts. In Jesus' name, amen.

Which of God's gifts will you unwrap today?

Janet Eckles

If this message resonated with you, please visit Janet's cyberspace home for more inspiration.