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“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away, blessed be the name of the LORD. (Job 1:21)

job suffering

You can have victory in your life despite the struggles that you face when you  understand that God is working all things out for your good and his purpose for your life.  Too many times we feel that God is unaware or unconcerned with our painful trials but nothing could be further from the truth.  He has a divine eternal reason for each and every thing that you endure.  He has a timing for it all and if you belong to Christ, it is all part of the perfect plan.

Understandably, it is easier to trust God when things are going well.  How much more difficult is it to believe as God allows unfair trials of every kind to happen when he has the power to stop them.  How can he look down on the suffering of his people as seemingly he remains silent.  But is that really true?

Job suffering 1We look in the Old Testament to the trials of Job.  He was a wealthy man with a wife, children and servants. He honored God with all he had and held nothing back from him.  Yet God allowed Satan to attack Job and take his children, his wealth, his servants and his own health.  Job was reduced to a painful existence living outside of his home since he was deemed unclean because of the infestation of boils that was afflicting his whole body.  His own wife told him to ” Curse your God and die”.  What did Job say to her remark?  He answered, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”(Job 2:10)

That is a questions we all need to ask ourselves.  Is it okay with us to take the good from God and then turn away from him in times of trouble?  Does God owe us anything?  It is by his grace, unmerited favor, that we receive all the good that we have.  We are in his hands and he has determined the best way to get us from where we are to where he is.  He does not look away from us for a second.  We always have hope in the midst of the darkest storms because Christ lives to intercede for us.  He commands his angels to guard our path and guide our steps.  We are not left to fend for ourselves when darkness comes. With Christ, we have all the hope and peace needed to get through the pain as God works through it to reveal more of himself to us. No battle is too big for him because he has authority over everything.  The outcome is always in his hands and his will.

When you grow in faith, you get to a place of victory in your life because you know that  you do not have to understand God’s ways in order to trust that he always is working for your best interest. For that reason, you are able to have joy through  the many troubles in this world because Christ has overcome the world and your enemies have been rendered powerless to destroy your future.  Just because you can’t see how God is working in your life through your trials does not mean that he is doing nothing. Heaven and earth are being moved by a faithful God who has already determined the outcome of your situation.

Your pain grieves the heart of God but we are living in a perishing world and believers are being transformed into the image of Christ.  Let God do his work in you.  Your struggle will not last forever but the hope you have will last into eternity.  Fear and uncertainty are weapons the enemy uses to discourage you. Never let his lies steal your hope or convince you to surrender up your joy.  Nothing is impossible for the One who holds eternity in his hands.

Whatever you are going through, stay focused on the fact that God can always make a way to help you.  God gives and God takes but it all is part of the plan to give you eternal life in a Kingdom that will have no end. And because of that promise, we can praise God in every situation. Christ is coming back soon to make all things new. That is a Hope that is worth waiting for.

 

Dear Lord,

You never leave anyone alone to carry their troubles.  I pray that you will give hope to those who are overwhelmed with trouble and who feel that they have no strength to go on without your help.  I pray that you will heal the pain of those going through marriage problems and financial issues.  For those who are suffering through illness and serious health problems, I pray for a  complete healing and may you give them peace as they wait on you.  I pray for your strength to overcome for those who are dealing with addictions of every kind. 

May you provide for those who need a job.  I pray for favor and blessing on those who are struggling to keep their homes.  Bless  and heal those who are suffering from mental problems and dementia.

I pray for the persecuted all through the world.  May God give them his peace to endure.  Protect children everywhere who are hungry and sick.   I pray for Saeed Abedini and all those who are imprisoned in other nations for their faith.  May God have mercy to bring them home and give them strength to hold on.

I pray for the peace of Jerusalem and protection for Israel. May our Lord guide the hand of their leaders. I pray for America to repent and turn back to God! 

For these requests and all those not mentioned, may the power of Christ and  his love provide for our needs. Amen

This world is perishing but God still holds your future!

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We are living in times of evil.  The hearts of most have grown cold and trouble abounds everywhere.  Marriages are disintegrating before our eyes and homes are broken leaving only pain and confusion in it’s place.  Children are being sold down the river with lies from hell being taught in the very schools we support with our taxes.  There is no creation, everything just evolved from nothing.  Homosexuality has become a choice that you better agree with or face the consequences for your intolerance.  Sometimes that consequence may include imprisonment for your belief that homosexuality is an abomination to God, the Creator of mankind! His design for a man and a woman doesn’t fit in with the will of the people who clamor for their “right” to do as they please even when it includes redefining marriage! God is homophobic it has been said.  Imagine the audacity of the created to shake their fist at the Creator and tell him to get lost!

Abortion is another choice.  It is my body, right?  Well how about the innocent child whose only crime was to be conceived by  selfish, irresponsible people who have deemed that this child does not fit in with their agenda.  The fetus is just a clump of unformed cells, you might say.  The truth is that at the point of impact of the sperm and the egg, all the DNA that the child will ever have is now present! The hair color, the eye color the sex of the child are set at that point.  God told Jeremiah in Chapter 1 that, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.”  That wasn’t just a statement for Jeremiah. That is a truth for all those conceived in the womb.  We have decided now that God cannot tell us to keep a child we don’t want.  And as evil as that is, there are children who live through the abortion only to be killed off or left to die!  In  the Old Testament, Gehenna was a valley by Jerusalem, where apostate Israelites and followers of various Baalim and Caananite gods, including Moloch, sacrificed their children by fire.  That evil practice of sacrificing their children to the false god, Moloch, is no worse than ripping a child from its mothers womb during an abortion!  That is a fact whether you like it or not.

As nation rises against nation and famines, earthquakes and wars increase, the enemy is spewing hate and lies to make people think that God does not care or else that God is dead!  I assure you by the holy word of God that Christ is alive and making ready his plans to return in judgment and to make all things new.  Whether you bid him to come or not, He is coming back!

No matter what struggle you are facing, remember that if you belong to Christ, it is all working his purpose and his plan for your victory.  It might not seem like it but God has promised to withhold no good from those who love him.  Let your heartache and pain work out that for which God has allowed it in your life.  He is not uncaring in all that you endure.  This world is not heaven.  One day you will see the reason for your struggle.  You will also know that God was with you every step of every day.  His eyes never left you. He grieves with you in your pain but he sees the end result of your suffering.  He knows you intimately.  He will not fail you.  Never surrender up your heritage in the Kingdom of God to a defeated enemy of hell.  Christ put all your enemies beneath his feet. He rendered them powerless to defeat you.  The devil himself knows that.  It is my prayer that you will understand it, too.

Please watch the trailer of the movie God’s Not Dead. It will be coming out this spring and we all need to support such an awesome movie.  Keep the truth in your heart and hold on.  This world is perishing but God still holds your future!

My prayer is for all who come to this site.  May you know that the peace of Christ is yours for the asking.  There is nothing he cannot or will not do to help his people.  Your strength may wane but the power of God is always greater than your biggest storm.  He is with you right now.  No matter what you are facing, he will take you through. 

If anyone needs prayer, please know that I am here to pray with you.

light through the tunnel

Of what value is faith that has not been tested?

It is not always possible to see the light at the end of the tunnel when the darkness of your troubles overwhelms you.  How quickly your dreams and hopes can slip away when an impossible situation sends a crushing blow.  Will you ever recover? Tough times bring forth tested faith.  It is easier to see God in the brightness of day than it is to trust him in the darkness of night.

You are not going to understand why God allows storms and heartache in your life but that should not make you doubt his love.  During those times when you are stopped by the furnace of affliction, the sea of trouble and the mountain of despair, remember that it is not a holding place but a resting place.  God is keeping you near to his heart and revealing more of himself to you. Only there can you understand that at the end of your weakness is his limitless strength.

In Scripture, we read about the life and struggles of David.   Although he was anointed by God to be King, David first had to fight against those who were trying to kill him.  For years he was forced to wander throughout the desert and seek shelter in caves.  That time of struggle brought David to the understanding that his future was ordained by God and no one could stop him from accomplishing what he started.  David wrote in Psalm 28:7,  “The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped.”  In the midst of David’s troubles was a faithful God providing all that he needed for victory.  The same is true for us today.

God’s plans sometimes work in mysterious ways. A friend and I went to visit a death row inmate this past week whose execution date is set for next month.  He told us that he had become a believer shortly after he got to prison. He then explained to us through tears that on the day that the judge imposed a death sentence for his conviction, someone had given him a package.  When he opened it he found an engraved bible along  with a letter from the mother and sister of a man he had killed.

gods-love-doesnt-leave-usThe writer explained to this inmate that although his actions had taken away her only brother and the only son of her mother, they both had forgiven him.  Even while their hearts were  still crushed with unbearable pain of loss, they had enough love of Christ within them to not only forgive him but to pray for him to come to the knowledge of salvation!  They implored him to seek Christ and receive the gift of eternal life that could never be taken from him.

Imagine the power of that forgiveness!  Because of their faith,  this family was able to surrender up to God any bitterness toward this man and instead share the hope of Christ with him.  It was that amazing love that brought this inmate to his knees, broken and submitted to Christ. For him, he had received a gift of mercy he did not deserve.   Such depth of  forgiveness can only come through Christ.  I cannot remember a more powerful testimony!

When I read the letter that these women had written, it was clear that this all surpassing power was from God working through them.  It was faith tested to the limit and yet shining through like light from heaven.  That day a new life began in the heart of that inmate all because two believers decided to let the will of God guide them to bring unconditional love to a man who was condemned to death.

There is nothing that God cannot do in your life if you are willing to submit to his will.  All the pain and struggles you face are simply the elements God uses to mold you into greatness.  He has not forgotten you.  Your trial is set for a time and soon your tears will turn to joy.   There are no losers in the body of Christ. We are all on a path designed by him long before we were born.  He has the plan and it cannot fail.  Are you ready to give up your control to get God’s divine blessings?   Don’t worry over your circumstance for the outcome has been decided in advance.  For believers, the war is won and we are the victors.  The devil himself knows that.  You now need to know that too.

Dear Lord,  I am praying for all who are going through a fiery trial and who may be filled with pain and uncertainty as to whether you will be there for them.  I pray that you will draw them near to you and bring them your peace.  Please help them to know that their grief is before you and you are working it all out despite the fact that it seems like it will never end.  Comfort them, dear Jesus.  Show your love to them in a very real way.  Give them hope that can only come from you.  Amen.

May God’s wisdom and  peace be with Israel and her leaders.  I pray also for the release of Pastor Saeed, an American citizen imprisoned in Iran.

valley

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.

( Psalm 62:5)

None of us enjoy the prospect of waiting on God’s timing when we are in the midst of a painful trial.  It is so hard not to look at our impossible circumstance and still believe that God is working all things out.  It is especially difficult when the enemy uses our emotions to make us think that we have no hope and that it is out of our control.

In God’s word, we read that being out of our own control is actually a victory.  Every time God led his people to victory, he had to first render them powerless in their own might.  Job lost his children, his riches and his health but God was still able to bless the second half of his life more than the first.  Gideon’s army of 32,000 was reduced to just 300  men who had no weapons, yet with God’s power they were able to take down the Midian army and make them flee. King Hezekiah was no match for the vast Assyrian army who was coming against the Israelites. However, during the night, the angel of the Lord went through the enemy’s camp and struck down 185,000 Midianites.  The Israelites rose the next morning to find that the entire army was defeated by the hand of God.  Remember that the outcome of every battle you face is always victory when you are in Christ!

You will still have enemies to fight in this perishing world but they have no power to destroy you. All they will do is reveal that you have been declared a conqueror through the power of your God.  Because of what Christ has done for us, you have reason for hope knowing that your future is established in heaven.

boat-stormWhen Peter saw Christ walking on the water,  he spoke out, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” ( Matthew 14:28) Jesus told him to come, and Peter got out and began walking on top of the water.  Yet when he saw the wind, he was afraid and began to sink.   What made Peter afraid?  The same wind and waves were there when he got out of the boat.  Somehow, as he walked on the water toward Christ, Peter took his eyes from him.  As the wind blew and waves rose, Peter stopped believing that Christ alone  could keep him safe on the water and started to think that he needed to do something to stay up there, too.   Once you believe that Christ is not enough for your impossible situation, you begin to sink.  You look to your own power and strength to overcome your struggle and it will never be enough.  It is only in surrendering completely your weakness that you gain Christ’s strength!  Your faith is revealed when you trust that you do not have to see the answer to your prayer to know that it is before the throne of God and under his authority.

Victory over all of your trials comes when you can trust that God’s timing is right and that his will is perfect. Peace comes from knowing that God will never fail you no matter how impossible your situation seems.  He takes no pleasure in having you wait but each one of your struggles is a divine appointment with a merciful God who wants to reveal more of himself to you.  The testing of your faith produces a steadfastness that will have its complete effect that you may be perfect, complete and lacking in nothing. ( James 1:4)  There is a purpose for your pain.  It is working out a greater good.  It is preparing you to be royalty, reigning with Christ in a kingdom that will never end.  Though the days grow dark and filled with evil, believers have nothing to fear for their future is one of power.

We are told in Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the LORD with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding,”  “Although God’s ways may be hard to figure out, remember that he took you this far and he is more than able to get you to the finish line!

Don’t let your heart be troubled by the problems of this world.  Christ is coming back soon to make all things new.  Keep your eyes on Christ and focus on what is true and right.  The lies of the enemy have no power to steal your joy so don’t willingly give it up to him.  Hold on to the heritage that you have because of what Christ sacrificed for us.  Stand strong to the end knowing that God’s plan for you will work out not only for today but for ten thousand years down the way when you shall still find ways to praise him for all he has done.  God’s faithfulness will never end.

Dear Lord Jesus,   I pray that you bless those who have come to this site.  Some are carrying heavy burdens that are weighing them down making them weary.  I pray that you will lift them from the pain that is holding them down.  Show them that your purpose shall work out for their good.  I pray that you will bring peace to those who are anxious and uncertain. They wonder if you truly care.  Please draw near to them and comfort them in the midst of their struggles.

I pray for any who are dealing with serious health problems.  May they know that there will be a time for it to end soon. My you provide for those who are experiencing financial problems of every kind.  I pray that they know you are more than enough to meet their every need.  May you bless those who are suffering  persecution for their faith.  I pray at this time for Pastor Saeed who is an American citizen imprisoned in an Iranian prison for eight years.  May you comfort him and his family.   I lift up Israel and pray for her protection and blessing.  May you turn back all those who come against Israel.  I pray for the salvation of the lost all through this world.  Open their eyes to truth and bring them to a knowledge of salvation through Jesus Christ alone.  Amen

           “And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people…and I have come down to deliver them..(Exodus.3:7-8)

shoveling snowBoo in snowpathway for dogs

The snow was accumulating here in Ohio and that meant I had to get out and start shoveling it –  and  I don’t mean just my sidewalk and drive.  In order for my 3 dogs to get out into the backyard, I had to shovel pathways in my grass!  That is backbreaking work so you know I have to love them to do it.  But then,  that is a choice I make to keep them happy.

Our lives are a series of priorities. We choose what we will do and what we are unwilling to do. You usually put your best efforts doing what is important to you.  As this year comes to a close, you may reflect about all that has touched your life and how it made a difference.  Some things were good and maybe some of it was not so good. You may have gone through a  trial that still is giving you pain. You can choose to allow your problems to keep your down or you can surrender them to Christ and allow him to work them out for your good.  In this life filled with trouble, the only way to have true joy in your life is by understanding that you are here for God’s purpose and plan and that he alone holds your future.

Without a doubt, the days are filled with darkness and there is evil all around us.  The Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Thess. 2:9-10 that, “The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved”. My friends, we are witnessing the signs that Christ is getting ready to return.  To those who have put their trust in him, there is nothing to fear in this perishing world.  You just need to keep your eyes on him and know that he is with you.  The redeemed of Christ can never be destroyed.  We have the assurance of a lasting peace and joy that will never end.

Those who are struggling and trying to carry their own burdens, I pray that you will not let another day go by without asking Christ to come into your heart.  He is the answer to every problem and heartache you face and he has a way to bring you joy in the midst of every conflict. Religion can’t save you. Only a relationship with Christ can give you eternal life.  In John 11:25, Jesus said, ” I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.”   Jesus is the only way! ” There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. “(Acts 4:12)  Jesus has broken every bondage and chain that keeps you from having victory over all that comes against you. 

The man of God, D.L. Moody wrote, “There isn’t an evil within or without but what He will deliver us from if we let Him. That is what He wants to do. As God said to Moses, “I have come down to deliver.”  If He could deliver three million slaves from the hands of the mightiest monarch on earth, don’t you think He can deliver us from every besetting sin, and give us complete victory over ourselves, over our temper, over our dispositions, over our irritableness and peevishness and snappishness? If we want it and desire it above everything else, we can get victory.”    Without a doubt, there is nothing to hinder you from having all that God has for you if you choose to take him at his word.

I don’t know what the future holds for you or for me.  I just know one thing and that is that Christ has the plan and He is not going to fail us.  I am facing problems in my own life but they have no power to take me down or to destroy my future.  I hope you understand that God will always be sovereign and in complete authority over all that happens in your life.  It might seem like he is not with you but the truth is that in the silence of your situation, the great power of God is at work and he will bring you through it!   Never give up hope.

My love and prayers are always for those who come to this site.  May the peace of God give you joy and hope through Jesus Christ.  He has made you a victor in all the battles you face.  Stand your ground – the armies of God are with you now.

I remind believers to continue to keep Israel in your prayers.  May the hand of God continue to protect Israel.  I pray for the leaders of Israel to have knowledge and wisdom to do what is good.  May the Jewish people come to a saving knowledge of Christ.

I also pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ who live in hostile and restricted nations.  May God protect them and provide for all their needs. I pray that they will know that we are standing with them.

 

Happy New Year to all of you.  I am praying for all who come to this site.

storm approaching

I will praise you in the storm and I will lift my hands; for You are who You are, no matter where I am.

We are literally watching prophecy unfold before our eyes as the recent events with Palestine and the U.N. are setting the stage for the coming apocalyptic storm. Changes are taking place all over this world and the darkness of evil as the hearts of most have grown cold.  Is there hope for those who have put their trust in Christ or will we be destroyed along with the rest of the unbelieving world?

The blessed truth is that there is a perfect plan unfolding for those who refuse to be moved from their position in Christ.  You may feel like you are too overwhelmed to continue in the battles you face, but the power of God is always the conquering force within you in all of your struggles.  There is not a moment that your future is ever compromised by  problems in your life.   You have been given the guarantee of victory in all things.  God is working his divine, eternal destiny through every single one of them.

We read in Isaiah 40:31, “but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles.”   Those who can trust that God is still sovereign in their darkest struggle and pain shall not go unrewarded.  He will give you the power and hope you need to stay in the race and not give up.   It was by his grace that you were taken this far and he will not let you be destroyed now.   Surrender your fears and frustrations to God and let him give you his peace to endure.

As the news brings stories of wars, famines, earthquakes, and fierce storms of every kind, we rest in the knowledge that God is using it all to fulfill his plan of salvation to the very end of time.  It is a troubling time for everyone but your prayers for help are being heard by Christ who knew your name long before you were ever born.  In Daniel 9:18, Daniel lifts his voice to God saying, ” For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness but because of your great mercy.”    It is the love of God that we call upon in times of trouble.  He sees beyond our weakness and failure and is willing to help us in spite of it all.

Do not be surprised at the evil going on for we are told in God’s word that there will be a spirit of deception that will fill this earth in the ending days.  Those who belong to Christ have nothing to  be anxious over for your future is secure as God has ordained every one of your days.  Jesus told us that we would still be able to have joy despite our many problems because he has overcome the impact of every single one of them.  By his authority, all things that come against you must work into the plan that he has for your life.  You cannot lose when you belong to Christ. This world may be perishing but believers have a royal heritage that transcends the boundaries of this life.  We are being tried and tested as the refining fires are molding us into the image of Christ.

It may seem like your prayer has not been answered or that your struggle is getting worse but the God who calls out each star by name without losing one is certainly not going to lose you in any battle that you face.  You are a winner and your destiny is sealed.  Don’t let your pain weaken your faith.  There is always the hope you need to carry on for your steps are guided by the hand of God.  Lift up your eyes to the hills from whence comes your help. Hold on, dear believer!  Your God sees where you are and he will rescue you.

We are nearing the end of the race.  Christ is coming soon to bring us to our home with him.  The increase of evil is a sign that the devil is growing anxious knowing that his time is short.  God’s power and authority are unchanging.  He is still in control of everything. All things will work out according to his purpose.

My heart and prayers are with all who are going through serious problems and struggles.  You may feel like you are alone but you never will be! 

 I am humbly asking all  who visit here to remember and pray for our brothers and sisters in restricted nations who are being persecuted for their faith.  We must stand with them for they are one with us in Christ.

   Please continue to keep my friend, Rob Bohning, in prayer as he endures numerous cancer treatments.  He is in the center of a storm but his faith still holds strong.  

 The heavens declare the glory of God  (Psalm 19:1)

Whatever you face, God will make a way to take you through it!

God’s word stands true and he fulfills every promise despite the problems we face. This world is not our final destination but only a place of preparation for what is to come. In this life, we are going to endure hardships of every kind until Jesus returns to make all things new.  He has defeated death and made us victors in all that we endure.  No matter how fierce the battle, believers cannot be defeated by the fiery slings and arrows of the enemy.   I trust in the promises of Christ.  He is my stronghold and my very present help in time of need.  I believe in prayer and know that my God hears my every plea. 

With all that said, I have to share with you that my faith has been severely tested and stretched to the limit during these past months as I face a powerful battle in my life.  There are times when I feel completely overwhelmed.  Yet no matter how weary I may be, God has given me the grace to endure. I will never give up or lose hope.  All the trials that  I have faced in my life only taught me that God has been my help through every single one of them.  He sees my tears and knows my pain.  He is not far away leaving me alone.  Scripture says, ” The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit”(Psalm 30:18).  I don’t have to see Christ or feel him to know that he is my hope and strength to get me through anything I must endure in this world.

Sadly, for quite some time I have been living with the pain of a failing marriage.  Despite doing all that I could,  it is apparent that I cannot change the outcome. Even though I have been praying night and day for God’s strength and guidance, things have gotten worse.    All I can do now is to continue to pray and surrender my will to Christ. He alone knows the outcome.  It breaks my heart to say that I cannot make someone stay and love me when he has chosen not to. I feel betrayed and hurt facing an uncertain future. But as difficult as this has been for me, I know that God still has a plan for my life.

I want to make it very clear that without any doubt,  God has authority over all that we face.  He can and will do mighty things to help his people and that is why I always advise those struggling in failing marriages to pray and not give up.   I am still praying for all who are going through troubled marriages. We have good reason to hope that God can  reach the wayward or unbelieving spouse. Sometimes he takes them to the end of their own strength so that they have nowhere to turn but to him. However, I know that it is hard to understand the times when that doesn’t happen.  It does not mean that God doesn’t care.  The truth is that he cares much and he grieves with us in our pain. Unfortunately, we are living in a lost and  perishing world and the enemy has blinded most to his schemes.  His main target is to break up homes and destroy families evidenced by the fact that over half of all marriages end in divorce. What a sad statistic that is.  Yet God  still has the power to give you a future with hope.

 When you do all that you can and it seems like you are being hard pressed on every side, remember that in Christ, you cannot be crushed. He will take  your broken heart and your fallen dreams and use them to build you up for his purpose. It may not seem like you will ever recover from your pain or that your tears will never end – but that is not true.     King David wrote in Psalm 69 “Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck, I sink in the deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters and the flood sweeps over me.  I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God.”  And yet David kept trusting his God even when all hope seemed lost. 

Our problems and struggles do not dictate our future.  It is planned out by Christ Jesus who will not fail to help those who trust in him.  I know that my pain has no power to destroy the hope I have through Christ.  Despite what I face in this life, my God will always be bigger.   

And then, in spite of all I have been going through, I recently discovered that my one cat, Bella,  has cancer.  I am always rescuing animals and my pets are like family to me.  I am tearful and saddened by this diagnosis for I know that she does not have long to live.  In a time when my heart  is broken over my marriage, this just added more pain to my life. Is the will of Christ even in the death of a pet I love? The answer is “Yes!”  Christ has a plan for all things! Nothing happens apart from his knowledge and permission.  Each day, the enemy wants me to believe that God has failed me or that he doesn’t care.  He tries to convince me that I am alone. Yet, I know by faith that I will never be alone.  Psalm 23 reminds us that, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”   All of our enemies, our struggles and our pain has been rendered powerless to destroy us.  Christ has a way to heal and make us whole no matter how broken we are.  I trust him.  My Bella may be gone soon, but  I know that even then that Christ will be with me and help me through it.

My friends, I pray you understood all that I said.  No one wants to go through a divorce but  unfortunately that is not always a choice.  If you get to that point, you need to draw even closer to Christ and rely on his strength to get you through.  All of your trials and struggles were known to God even before you were born.  He can use all things and cause them to be used for good and the purpose he has for your life.  Nothing is impossible for him. If you can keep trusting him despite your struggle, you will not be conquered.  You will have the victory in everything even through your pain. 

I am praying for all who are facing a similar situation and don’t know where to turn.  You future is uncertain and it is difficult to understand how you are going to ever get through this.  It is only in knowing your God that you can have peace despite your heartache.  When people ask me what they can do for me during this painful time, I ask for their prayers.  I know that this battle is going to be tough but it is not my own strength that is going to take me through it.  I take hope from Hebrews 4:16, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need”. 

God’s promises of mercy and grace are new to us every morning.  He does not fail us and he never leaves us.  No matter what trouble you have in life, there is always going to be the help that you need through Christ. 

 

My dear friends, I pray for all of you who come to this site.  I thank you for your understanding during this difficult time in my life and I appreciate those who are praying for me. Because I belong to Jesus, I will not drown in my tears. He will help me.  

 I am  humbled that God continues to give me his messages to write.   God bless you and please keep his  truth in your heart.  There is no pain that you have that the touch of his hand cannot heal.

                       Jesus said to him,”What do you want me to do for you?”

 Sometimes it seems like Jesus will never get around to helping you out of your struggle.  You have prayed and waited but nothing seems to have changed. Does he even see your pain?  Why is it taking so long? You soon feel lost and alone in the darkness of your troubles. 

In Mark 10:46, we read about a blind man named Bartimaeus.  He lived in Jericho where all he could do was sit on the side of the road and beg for help.  But on this one day, he heard the commotion of a crowd coming by.  “What could be causing the people to be so excited?” he probably wondered.  Someone  then told him that it was Jesus of Nazareth who was heading this way.

Bartimaeus must have been overjoyed knowing that Jesus was nearby.  I can only imagine how his heart quickened and his pulse raced as hope began to fill his heart!  He had heard about this man.  Many were made whole and healed of all their diseases by his touch.  Some were set free from demons and others brought back to life.   All he knew was that he needed to get to Jesus before it was too late.  But Bartimaeus was blind and the crowd sounded large. What could he do?  He didn’t have his sight,  but he did have a voice.  He cried out with all that he had , “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”.   Many people in the crowd rebuked him, telling him to be silent.  Silent? That would never happen!  The King of kings was near.  This blind man had no intention letting a chance to be touched by the Great Physician just pass him by.  He called all the louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”  The Scripture then tells us that Jesus stopped and he said to those near to call him up.  When Bartimaeus heard this, he threw off his cloak and sprang up and came to Jesus!  Jesus asked him,” What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said, “Rabbi, let me see.”  And Jesus then told him to go his way saying ” Your faith has made you well”.  And immediately, Bartimaeus received his sight and followed him on the way.  This day had changed his life.  He not only received his sight, but he was forgiven of his sins.   All this happened because he believed that Jesus was all that he needed.

My friends, do you feel like you are in darkness as your troubles leave no light of hope?  The truth is that if you belong to Christ, he will always find a way to meet you in your struggle and draw you to himself.  He will reach through the crowd and take you to a place of healing and peace.  Nothing is impossible to him who knew you before you were born.

 Never lose sight of the truth that in each battle you face, you are completely surrounded by angels dispatched from God to protect and guide you.  Your cries do not go unanswered.  He hears your every plea and he cares.  The redeemed of the Lord cannot be destroyed by the slings and arrows of the enemy.  Every single detail of your life from birth to death has been arranged and made perfect.  You cannot fail.  The enemy may taunt you with oppression and lies but you are protected by heaven’s royal guard!  That  is the truth that sets you free.  Christ became your burden-bearer when he conquered the world and deprived it of its power to  crush you. 

Whatever trial you are facing, beloved, remember that it is all under the authority of Christ.  Let God accomplish the work that he has begun in you.  Whatever time he deems necessary for you to continue in your struggle is specifically designed to equip you for the  work he has chosen  for your life.  It is a royal assignment and not without merit.  All those whom God has chosen to do his greatest work have  received their  power as they patiently trusted him during a time when all hope seemed gone.   You must remain steadfast and stand the test in order to receive the crown of life that Jesus has promised to those who love him.   You are never alone and never without hope!

Dear Lord, we are living in ending days as the enemy increases his efforts to cause trouble and pain in the lives of your people.  Help us to hold on even when we feel weary.  I pray for blessings and strength for those who are facing hardships and trials of every kind.  I pray for marriages and relationships  to be restored.  I lift up all those who are facing financial struggles and see no end in sight.  I pray for you to help those who are under bondage to addictions and sin issues that are draining them of life.  I pray for those who are lonely and brokenhearted.  May they feel a very real sense of your presence and love.  I pray for those who are being persecuted for their faith.  May you give them a sense of peace  and joy in the midst of their suffering for you, dear Lord.  Protect and bless Israel and her leaders.  I pray for the eyes of your people to be opened to the truth of Christ as their Messiah.   Lord, may you work all things out for good to those who love you.  Show them that you are very near and that you will not fail.  To those who do not know you as Lord and Savior, dear Jesus, I pray for you to reveal yourself to them in a very personal way.  Help us all to stand in faith as we patiently wait for your return .  Give us your strength to fight the good fight and stay in the race.  Amen

I am praying for all who come to this site.  May you take rest knowing that Christ has a message just for you.

 Are you willing to surrender all you have to get all that Christ has ?

God has given me a love for all those who visits this site. I believe that  He has a purpose for bringing all of you to the messages that he gives me to write.  It is for this reason that I take seriously my burden to pray for each of you.

A few weeks ago, a young man visited my site and then emailed me with a question. He seemed troubled and yet I could see that he had faith.  I want you to read what he wrote:

“I was on the internet one night and I came across you.  I really liked it.  My name is Christopher.  You see, I don’t understand life. God says He loves us, but yet, he took away the people I love.  I only just started going to church.  I enjoy it but life is still tough for me.  My heart belongs to God.  I know that, but it is so hard to walk away from my friends.  I want to serve and give my whole life to Him, but I am going to lose my family and friends. Advise please.”

I responded to Chris and explained about the surrendered life to Christ. When you are a believer, Christ is first in your life and you must be willing to give him all that you have and allow him to work in you.  I explained a lot of things to him and told him to keep praying for his family and friends but that he must move ahead with his new life in Christ.

I did not hear from him that month, but last week, I received an email from his sister.  She told me that her family had no idea that her little brother was going through this.  She went on to tell me that Chris was no longer with us.  When I asked her what happened, she told me an amazing story.  She said that her brother had made a decision to follow Christ.  He stood firm in this decision despite the fact that his family and friends did not like it and thought he totally lost his mind.  He even left a  girlfriend of three years because she chose alcohol and her lifestyle over a relationship with Christ.

About two weeks after writing to me, Chris was driving on his way to church.  Just before he arrived, Chris got into a very serious accident which left him dying.  His last words to his family was a plea for them to accept Christ as Lord and Savior.  He whispered that Jesus was near to him right then and that he was not afraid to die! With that, he left this earth.  What a bold testimony of faith he had! Because of his faith, that 20-year-old young man is now with Jesus in heaven.

By the power of Christ alone, Chris was able to choose to do what was right.  He made the hard decision to leave all that he had to get all that Christ had to give him. He was willing to go wherever Christ would lead him.  That young man had no idea when he wrote to me for advice that he had only a few weeks left to live!

I am humbled that God brought Chris to my blog.  I prayed for him and his family.  Christopher’s sister wrote that his  death changed everything for them.  Now the whole family wants to honor Chris and his prayers for them, so they decided to start attending the local church.  One young man with the courage of his conviction and a faith that stood the test was able to impact his whole family with the Good News of Jesus Christ!

After his death, the grieving family went through Christopher’s things and found his diary and the email he sent me.  I was sent a copy of something that he had written in his diary.  It brought me to tears. My dear friends, please read what this young man wrote from a heart that had been radically changed for Christ:

I’ve been in love before, but in love with God is nothing I’ve ever experienced in my life.  A friend who I didn’t know existed and who was always around anytime 24/7.  I don’t regret my decision.  I regret not making this decision earlier.  I always thought people who went to church are all perfect and holy.  But no, they are just as broken as I am.  God knows best.  I pray that my family and friends will soon experience the love of God.  I don’t have a dad.  Never met him, never seen or heard from him.  But I stopped looking  for him and wondering what a father is because I just found a Father of all fathers—-God! “

My beloved friends, I don’t know where you are right now or what you have done. The truth is that Jesus wants you with him.  He has known your name long before he formed the world.  His love is true and he is faithful.  He has a way to bring you to victory no matter how impossible it may seem now.    Your weakness is now made strong by his power.  Christ can give you a future with hope and an eternity with him if you will surrender your heart to him.

The power of Christ gave a young man the courage to stand for his faith despite the outcome.  He gave him hope for a future and an unconditional love that he had never know before.  Chris never met his earthly father.  But the God of all heaven was a Father  to him whose eyes never left this young man for a second.  His life was cut short, but Chris made the decision for Christ that would last into eternity!

Have you made that decision to follow Christ?  You don’t have to wonder about it anymore. I am praying for you and I am here to talk to you if you have any questions.  My hope is that those who need to hear the truth will be open to receive Christ as Savior and Lord. It is a free gift that is yours for the asking.

I am lifting up Christopher’s family in prayer for comfort and healing.  I pray that they will continue to seek Christ and surrender to the only truth that matters! Just as Chris was not afraid to die –  no believer ever has to fear death.

              You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again. (Psalm 71:20)

The battles we face in this world are making all of us weary.  The enemy’s attacks are getting stronger as the forces of evil seek to wound and discourage those who belong to Christ.  Many believers are crying out for Christ to return soon and save them from all this darkness.  We are indeed in the devil’s crosshairs and he is not backing down.  His plan is to kill your hope, steal your joy and destroy your future.  His arsenal is filled with weapons of lies and discouragement aimed toward every believer.  His fiery darts of fear and doubt can pierce the hearts of struggling saints causing some to wonder if God really hears their prayers.  We are all suffering the effects of a fallen world as we endure hardship of every kind.  As difficult as it may seem, the truth remains the victory of Christ is at the core of a  believer’s every trial.

I read a great quote by Christian singer Wintley Phipps which said:

It is in the quiet crucible of your personal, private suffering that your noblest dreams are born and God’s greatest gifts are given, in compensation for what you have been through.”

That  profound truth should give hope to those who are going through serious trials.  Keep in mind that all  we fear is under God’s sovereign authority and plan.   Our battles have been won, and although we still must fight the good fight, believers are guaranteed the victory.  Those who belong to Christ are already standing in the winner’s circle surrounded by God’s angels.  We are not alone nor left to fend for ourselves.  We are a chosen people who will one day rule with Christ in heaven.  The forces of hell and the darkness of this world cannot stop the royal future that Jesus died to give us.  He has gone to prepare a place for us so wonderful that our finite minds cannot begin to comprehend the beauty that awaits us.

 As great as that promise is, it may sound hollow right now when all you want to do is cry.  Your painful trial is causing you to bow your head in sadness. Trouble seems unending.  But true believers must trust their God no matter how impossible their situation seems.  The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 12:12 that as we face trials we are to” “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”   That is what sets us apart from the world. We have faith that in all things, our God is enough.  He will not leave us alone or allow us to perish.  In the book of James, we are told, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. ”   You can have peace even when it seems that all hope is gone when you understand in your heart that in the end, God has the plan!  He is not waiting for you to be stronger, wiser or holier before he will help you.  He already has the plan worked out.  Tomorrow is in his hands and he will accomplish his purpose for you.

In Exodus 14,  God led Moses and Israelites away from Egypt as Pharaoh and his army pursued them.  As the army approached, the people of Israel feared greatly.  They had come to the bank of the Red Sea and had no way to cross . Moses saw the enemy too but he told the people, “The Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent”.   God then told Moses to lift his staff over the sea and divide it. After that, God did something amazing.  All through the desert, the Angel of God, who was Jesus, led the Israelites by going in front of them as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.  However, when they got to the Red Sea, the Angel of God, who was in front of the Israelites moved and went behind them. The pillar of fire also stood behind them coming between the army of Egypt and the people of Israel.  God had the Israelites back!  He protected them as the enemy drew near. There was no way that Pharaoh was going to destroy God’s people.  In the end, God led his people to safety from between the parted water and used that same water to destroy the Egyptian army.  God made a way where there was none!

Wounded warriors, never doubt that God is going to make a way for you too. He has your back covered!  Your impossible situation is under his authority and he knows how to make it work out in his perfect plan for you.  I don’t care how bad it seems right now, there is always hope if you will surrender it to Christ to do as he pleases.  Be strong and believe.  Remember discouragement is a lying spirit which ushers in doubt.  Take your thoughts captive and line them up with the truth.  We are so close to the glorious appearing of Christ.  He is with your right now – you have only to be silent!

Dear Lord,  make this truth clear to those who need your help now.  Give hope to those who are facing battles that leave them wounded and feeling alone. Strengthen those with serious medical issues.  Comfort those who are having marriage problems and relationship issues.  Bless and provide for those with financial problems.  I know, my Lord that you are in every one fo these struggles and you have the plan to work them out according to your purpose.   Please Jesus,  keep our eyes on you and not on our circumstance.  Our hope is in you!  Amen

If we are truly followers of Jesus Christ, we will face trials of every kind.  We are a tested people and each trial has been designed for the purposes for which God allows.  We are all being made ready to wear the regal robes of eternal royalty.   Christ is in each storm we face and it is his power that is causing all things to work for our good.

It is especially trying in these dark days as believers  endure  trials of every kind marking the countdown to Christ’ return.  The faith of all is being put to the fire.  None of us are exempt.  Are you willing to stand and believe in spite of all that is happening in your life?

The above photo is one of the remarkable works done by a man named Rob Bohning. If you click on the picture, you will see the true majesty of his work.  He has captured God’s creation as no one I have ever seen.  Rob is a godly, loving husband and father.  He is an amazing photographer.  He has two gorgeous young children.  And, he has a rare incurable cancer called Medullary Thyroid cancer. But Rob is not about to give up!   What makes this man stand out is that he has unwavering faith that God cares about his affliction and is more than able to bring him through it.  Rob is in the fiery furnace of testing but he knows full well that his Savior, Jesus Christ, is with him!

Rob and his wife, Lori,  had emailed me after visiting my blog. I can say from my heart that I am blessed to have them now as friends.  When writing to me of his cancer, Rob said, ” All I know is God is good and wastes nothing!  That includes this cancer.”  It was shortly after his forty-second birthday that Rob received this cancer diagnosis.  Sadly, that was not all. The following day, Rob’s dad died from another kind of cancer.  How does Rob keep his faith so strong while facing surgeries and treatments that he must endure?

My dear friends, the reason that Rob can have peace despite his affliction is because his faith has been tested and proven to be real.  He understands that God’s will is good no matter what form it takes.  He is a man who knows the God  who created him and is willing to serve him in any way that he is called to.  In his weakness, he has found God’s strength!

True sons and daughters will suffer for Christ.  It has been written that blessed is the person whom the storm drives to God. It is only there that you will find true happiness.  The worth of a soldier is never known in times of peace.  It is only in the battle that the true strength and courage of a believer is revealed.  Faith is not faith until it has been tested!  Those who draw near to God in times of trials will find that they cannot leave his Presence without receiving his strength.

God has put a lot of wonderful people in my life through this blog.  Rob Bohning and Lori have touched my life in such a way that I will never be the same.  When I recently wrote about how I was going through some painful struggles of my own, Rob wrote again asking me how he can pray for me!  I am humbled by this man’s faith and dedication to God.  He has taught me that trusting that God is with us in our problems is the greatest honor we can give to him.

Rob will be having his first chest surgery on February 22nd to remove some nodes.  I am humbly asking all of those who come to this site to please pray for Rob’s surgery.  Please also keep him, Lori and their children in prayer.  We are all in the battle as long as we are on this earth. But God never leaves us to fight alone.  I am asking for the army of God’s people to rally for Rob.  I am sure that he prays for all of us here on this site too.  We are members of Christ’ own body.  We cannot be defeated.  There are no casualties in God’s army.  We are performing the purpose for which he has created us.  This body of death will not always be with us.  Our victory has been declared.  Christ has set us free!

What should you do in times of trouble?  Rejoice!  Great trials bring out God’s greatness in you.

UPDATE:

Rob had his surgery.  The doctors were able to take some large nodes out but had to leave some with hopes of going back later.  He needs our prayers still.  He is determined to fight and he continues to hold on in faith that his God is going to take him through this.  I believe him.

Recently, on the Caringbridge site, Rob’s wife, Lori, wrote this on March 2nd:

Many of you have not known my husband until now, many of you have known him, but not when faced with such adversity.  We have been hit by bad new after another, to the point where I physically get a reaction whenever we walk into a small doctor’s room.  Nothing will ever explain the feeling when I sat in one of those rooms, waiting for the surgeon to give me the status of Rob’s surgery.  Nothing.  Four walls and words of little or no real hope. Words like, “aggressive”  “spreading” “tumors of concrete” bounced off the walls as I sat there an hour after the surgeon had left the room.  I crumbled and couldn’t find my breath, as you can imagine.  A few hours later I was able to see Rob in post op.  There he was looking at me and holding my hand.  I took a deep breath just seeing him so strong, only a few hours after surgery.   We were together for a few days in the hospital room, and when night hit, the demons lurked in and took over my fears.  That’s when Satan plays on my thoughts, at night when I am at my weakest.  Rob talked and prayed with me all night long that first night, as I cried.  He would wake up, on and off throughout the night, praying for me and for the fears to go away.  That’s my husband.  The same husband that would sing to me when we went through infertility.   He is an amazing man, and the strongest person I have ever met in my life.  I adore him and he is my life.  He won’t be defeated and he will fight this beast of cancer.  We are never defeated if we have the Lord, there is always victory.  Through the storm, we have the peace of knowing that “all is well” and we keep our eyes on our Savior. 

Lori Bohning

Rob’s  Caringbridge address for those who wish to send him good wishes:     http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/robbohning/guestbook

My heart and my prayers continue to go out to this family whose faith has inspired me so greatly!

I pray for all who visit my site.  You matter to me and I thank God for bringing you here to see the messages he gives me for you.   I hope you will find peace from the truth.  I am blessed to have met so many prayer warriors who also teach the good news and hope through Jesus Christ.  One of them, Charles Woodruff has a powerful blog that I visit everyday.  I never leave his site without gleaning strength and hope from his biblical teachings.  I urge you to visit his site, CyberWord of Truth, and be blessed.  He never fails to pray for me and for all those who visit him.

“Then he said, “Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom.”  (Luke 23:42)

We read in Scripture that Jesus was crucified along with two robbers on either side of him.  The gospels of Mark and John say little about these men. While Matthew tells us that both robbers insulted Jesus, Luke’s gospel tells us that one of the thieves asked Jesus to remember him when he came into his kingdom.  Despite the fact that he was dying, the condemned man finally understood that the one who could save him for all eternity was on the cross right next to him.

So many times our problems cause us to think that God has forgotten us.   It is hard to understand that the Source of our strength and our Provider in all things is already with us.  When a situation seems hopeless, it is difficult to not grow weary and lose strength.  But we are told in Scripture to keep trusting and believing in all of our trials even when we don’t see the answer.  We read in Romans 8:24, “Now hope that is seen is not hope.  For who hopes for what he sees?”  Our faith must transcend the boundaries of what we hear, see and feel.  We must trust that the God we serve is working out his plan in our lives through every battle we face.  Faith doesn’t see the future – it trusts the One who holds the future!

Everything that God allows in the life of a believer has been divinely designed.  There are no mistakes in the plan that was made for you long before the foundation of the earth.  Whatever is happening in your life that  doesn’t seem right or fair has been allowed for a distinct purpose.  It is never easy to suffer through our painful trials, but it is the working of our faith that gives us endurance to stay in the race and not give up.

We read the account of David in the book of  I Samuel.  Young David had the job of watching his family’s herd of sheep.  It was a tedious task, but David was being trained by God for greatness as he worked alone protecting the flock.  It was there that David  single-handedly killed both a lion and a bear who were attacking his sheep. During the battle with those dangerous animals, David knew that it was God’s power that was with him protecting him and his sheep from being killed.   Day after day, working in the hot sun to watch over the sheep, God was preparing David for a royal position.  He was never without hope in that field for the God of the universe had declared that he would one day be king!

 Alone in the field, David practiced with his sling. This young teen had no idea at the time that  all that he was enduring was actually equipping him to defeat the enemy and save the Jewish people. He was being prepared for battle.   When the time came,  his older brothers and the other Jewish men cowered in fear at the taunting Philistine giant named Goliath, but David ran toward this oppressor armed with the power of God, his sling and five stones and killed the giant!  He had no doubt that he would be victorious because he believed in the power of his God.  His trust was unwavering. He was a man after God’s own heart.

It doesn’t matter what your position in life is now.  Your problems and trials may be heavy but they cannot hold you back from the calling God has made on your life.  If your trust is in Christ, you are being called to a regal position in the army of the living God.  Your path is set and your future is guaranteed. There is nothing that can steal your inheritance or kill the dream he gave you.   In every struggle you face, Jesus remembers you and he has a way to help you through it.  In all things, you have been declared a victor.  Not even the powers of hell can ever take that from you!

Dear Jesus,

I am praying for all those who come to this site.  We are facing problems of every kind and many of us are growing weary.  We take you at your word, dear Lord.  We trust that you have the power to change our circumstance and to cause all things to be used for our good.  I pray for marriages to be mended.  I pray for peace to fill those who have been hurt. I pray for your protection and provision for single mothers trying to make it in life.   I lift up those who are facing a serious illness.  May they know that you are with them and that they have nothing to fear when their trust is in you.  I pray for those dealing with financial difficulties and those who may be losing their homes.  Please provide for them the help they need.  I pray for you to give your strength to those who are weary in a battle.  May you be the power to those who are in bondage to drugs, alcohol and pornography.   I pray for you to comfort those in painful circumstance and who feel there is no way out. I plead that you rescue those who are considering suicide and let them know that you can work out their struggle.  Let them know they have a reason to live.   I pray for your help for those who are being persecuted for their faith.  Give them the joy of their salvation and protect their families during this time.

I intercede for all who do not know you personally as Lord and Savior.  I pray, dear Jesus, that you will unveil their eyes to the truth.  Let them know how much you love them.  Help them to see that they could never fall so far that you cannot bring them back to where you are. 

I pray for the peace and protection of Israel.   

I present these requests to you, dear Jesus, and know that you will hear and answer.   Amen

Note:  For those of you struggling, Debra Aiken has a wonderful site called, Tell The Lord Thank You, that you should check out. She gives uplifting messages and reminders of the truth that we are conquerors no matter what we go through because Christ always intercedes for us. Check her out at:  http://tellgodthankyou.wordpress.com     She will bless your day.

 

                         I the LORD do not change (Malachi 3:1)

God’s faithfulness is the same today, tomorrow and forever. As he has helped others, so also will he do now for us.  His love has no bounds and his mercies are new every day. Though the times change and we change, God is with us in every single aspect of our lives.  Although the battle rages on in this dark world, the foundation of Christ who died to give us life will always remain.  He is true to his word.  The troubles of this world have no power to destroy a believer.  To think otherwise is to believe a lie.

I took the picture above in my backyard.  It always is amazing to me how the leaves of the trees  change into beautiful colors right before they fall down.  The Mastermind of this phenomenon is God.  He ordained the different seasons and has a purpose for each part of the cycle.  While I always wish the leaves would keep their vibrant colors and stay on the trees, that is not his plan.  He has a purpose for all things in creation for it was by his hand that all things came to be.  Nothing evolved on its own.  There is one God who is the Creator of all.

Yet during times of stress and change, it is difficult to remember that God has authority over everything. Each day brings a different problem and sometimes it is hard to keep the faith through our tears. Where is my God when it seems like my struggles are getting worse and the pain is unbearable?   As we watch  the darkness of evil growing and filling this world,  can we truly trust that the plan of Christ for us is going to succeed?  Evil is being called good and wrong is being called right.  It is as if the world is turned inside out.  If God’s love is unchanging, why does he allow this all to happen?

The bible tells us that God created man in his own image and saw that it was good.  He provide us with everything we would ever need and yet mankind still fell into sin.  We rebelled against a holy God.  That should have been the end of us at that point.  But we are told that “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)  God’s love did not change despite our sin.   He still made a way to bring us back to him.  Although sin and wickedness came into the world and corrupted everything,  God’s plan of redemption  never changed.

We are still living in a perishing world.  You only need to turn on the news to see that most people are on the wide path of destruction.  This is not heaven. All things are not going to be perfect until Christ returns to make all things new.  We must suffer for a while to prove ourselves as sons and daughters.  It is not easy to watch loved ones suffer and die.  It is heartbreaking to watch as families are being torn apart as hearts grow cold.  The enemy has unleashed his final fury as he knows his time is short.  Persecution against Christians is on the rise.  And God’s ways are being perverted everywhere to suit the desires of the lost.  We are living in the last days.

My dear friends, I write this message to touch those who are going through fierce storms in their lives.  You are not forgotten.  God has not forsaken you.  You are being made ready for a royal position that will never end.  God is with you in this battle even though it seems like you are alone.  His legions of angels are acting on his command to guard you throughout your struggle.  The Apostle Paul tells us: “Put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground and after you have done everything, to stand!” (Ephesians 6:13)  Know the God you serve so that you can trust him no matter what happens.

Take time to read your bible every single day.  Let God’s truth be your armor that keeps you trusting in him despite your problems.  God has not changed.  His love for you will endure forever.  He will not fail you. Your hope is secure because you belong to him.  Nothing in all of creation will ever be able to stop his love for you or his plan for your life.

In the spring, when the leaves return and the flowers unfold in all their beauty, I will be reminded that God’s promises never fail.

Dear Lord,  my heart breaks as I hear of the struggles of your people.  I pray that they will understand that although the battles of this world are leaving them wounded and weary, you have already declared them a victor.  Nothing is going to touch their lives apart from your will and purpose.  You will give them your peace in the midst of their struggle.  I pray for all to come to know that even though we are living in a fallen world, your plan is still unfolding and we have a reason to be hopeful.  The price has been paid and because Christ lives, we can face tomorrow.  You hold our future and there is nothing that you cannot do for those who love you.  Lord, help them to know without a doubt that this is true.  Amen

  “Why do you look for the living among the dead?”

(Luke 24:5)                             

We each have our own idea of how we think God should help us in the problems of this life.  Most of us have a pre-conceived notion of what is good for God to do for us.   Unfortunately, when God does not work  things out as  expected, many believers let seeds of doubt  fill their mind. Fear is given reign in their lives instead of the risen Christ.  Weary from the battle, many give up hope reacting as though Christ were still in the tomb instead of being alive with full authority over everything.  They search for the living in the dead areas of their lives. The enemy’s lies become real for them. 

Our trust  in the trials we face is not based on that which can be seen.  The bible tells us in Hebrews 11:1 that , “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”   If you were able to see and understand everything that God is permitting in your life, you would have no need for faith. Without faith, it is not only impossible to please God, it is impossible to know the God you serve! 

We have to remember in every storm of life that Christ is at the center and he permits only that which fulfills his will for you.  You may not like the attacks that come against you, but they are powerful tools used to equip you  for eternal victory. You will never be able to stand in the struggles of life if you do not have the knowledge of God’s power and a belief that he will not fail you.  In the time of testing, the enemy is going to pull out all the stops to tempt you to think that you are beyond help.  He is going to fill your mind with thoughts of failure  and defeat.  Unless you are firmly grounded in the truth of God’s love and his power in your battles, you will not have the strength to fight.

In all situations and in all ways, Christ is working out a divine, eternal plan that cannot be stopped.  Your past has no hold on you.  Your weakness and failures are powerless to hinder God’s purpose for you. Because of the sacrifice Christ made for you on the cross,  your future is forever secure.  God has promised to transform you into the image of his Son, Jesus.   As a believer, you need to understand that one day you will be a co-heir with Christ in heaven and rule over angels. All of your momentary troubles on this earth is just  getting you ready for a  kingdom so magnificent that there is no way for our  earthly minds to comprehend its beauty. 

 In Romans 8:28, we are given this promise: “And we know that God will cause ALL things to work for the good of those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.”   Anything that affects your life is now under God’s authority and power as he completes the works he started.   You have nothing to fear. 

My friends,  begin today to walk the steps of faith.  Surrender your troubles to the One who can lift you above them all.   Let God’s strength fill you and give you peace for he has given his angels charge over you.  You were never meant to carry your burdens alone.  No matter what heartache or pain you have now, the peace of Christ can be still be yours if you trust it all to him.

Remember that Christ death and resurrection were part of his plan.  He knew that we were  hopelessly lost and prisoners of sin.  He provided a way that will keep us in peace on this earth and take us through to the glory of heaven forever.  Jesus left the grave!  He is alive within the hearts of all believers.  His power is yours forever!  Jesus  is a living hope and he will always make a way to help you.

 

 

Dear Lord,  I sadly watch as so many of your people are overwhelmed in their problems.  They are weary and struggling to believe that you will help them.  I pray for them now and ask that you meet them where they are.  I pray that marriages will be mended as you become the center of the vows they made before you.  I pray for sickness and diseases to be touched by your hand and healed.  I pray for financial help for all those struggling to live.  I pray for jobs for those out of work.  I pray for you to help single mothers who are barely making it as they raise their children alone.  I pray for a way out for those in addictions and bondage to sin.  I pray for those who are being persecuted for their faith.  I pray for you to bring hope to those considering suicide.  May you give them your strength.  I pray for those who are hurting from the actions of a spouse.  I pray that all who come to this site will have the true knowledge of salvation through Christ alone.  Lord Jesus, may your mercy and grace fill them to overflow as you reveal yourself to them.  Amen.

  I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? (Psalm 121:1-2)

We have all suffered setbacks in our lives. In this time of uncertainty,  our personal struggles can bring fear and doubt into our lives.  It is hard enough to survive much less have any hope for the future.  We are told in Scripture that God sends the rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  Why is that?  I mean if you are trying to live and do what is right, why must you endure  such the same hardship as  evildoers?

God always has  a plan.  For believers, whether you are experiencing a time of peace in your life or enduring the heat of a painful struggle, you have the assurance of knowing that all things are being directed by the hand of God.  When it seems as though you are being defeated, it just means that your victory is near.  There is nothing to fear in any battle  for the war of life has already been won at the cross! Jesus has made you a conqueror over all that comes against you. For that reason,  the enemy’s tactic is to fill your mind with despair and hopelessness since he knows that you can never be destroyed.  He is attempting to kill, steal and destroy the hope you have been given in Christ.  Never surrender to him what Christ has paid a price to give you!

While we await the return of Christ, we are going to face trials of every kind.     Although you may be feeling overwhelmed in your pain,  God is always in control with full authority to bring your sufferings under submission to his will. Everything, big or small, is  being worked out for the best for those who love God and are called according to his purpose.   If you become anxious and hopeless in the midst of a trial, it is because you are listening to the lies of an enemy who has no power over you.  There will never be a need too great or a heartache so painful that the amazing, never-failing love of Christ cannot heal.   

The consequence of sin and evil is all around us.  Sadly, most people have become lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.  But even as darkness fills the earth for all creation, God has provided a way for the righteous to escape.  In the days of Noah, we read in Genesis 6:5, “The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only for evil. “   Although the rain flooded the earth killing everything that walked on it, Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD and he and his family was spared.  God knows how to rescue the righteous from their troubles no matter how impossible it may seem. 

Those who put their hope in the things of this world will perish with it. No one is exempt from the trials of this world, but the faithful who trust in the cross of Christ shall never fall.  God has a deliberate, eternal purpose in allowing trials in the life of believers.  You are being molded and shaped for the world to come.  He is preparing a place of royalty in heaven for you that will more than compensate for your momentary troubles here on earth.

David was a young man anointed by God to be King of Israel.  Yet for many years he had to live his life in hiding from King Saul who wanted him dead.  In Psalm 23, David wrote, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”  He was a man who believed that God could keep his promise to make him King even though things looked bad.  He  continued to trust his God and not his circumstance! David knew that  God was with him despite the fact that Saul’s whole army was out to kill him. 

Your battles are not yours to fight when you surrender them to Christ.  Whatever valley of despair you may be in right now, remember that it is not your permanent location. It is actually a meeting place where you come to the knowledge and understanding of the God of all your strength.     

David trusted and knew that his struggles were just an opportunity for God to show his power.  In Psalm 18:18, David wrote: “ He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters”.  

Whatever deep waters of problems that you have, take hope knowing that Christ died to give you a future.  He reached down and took you this far and he has the power to take you to the end!

 

Dear Lord, I pray for all who visit here to understand the truth of this message.  May  you lift up those who are struggling and bring them to a place of your peace.  May they know beyond a doubt that you are always with them.  Amen

Marianne Bernard

Marianne Bernard

I seek first the kingdom of Christ because everything else in this world is perishing. All that I have is from God who is always faithful. I have worked hard all my life and will continue as long as God lends me breath. The mistakes and bad judgments I made in my life all stemmed from me trying to work things out by myself. I have learned the hard way that the victory over all of my problems and the answers to all of my desires lie solely in my Savior, Jesus Christ. It is now my desire to share the words that God gives me to encourage and give hope to others who need the strength that only faith in Christ can give.

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