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The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)
God has taken me through many struggles and trials that have come against me on every side. Every time I feared the worst, God has shown up and brought me to safety. I believe that is true in some aspect for everyone. So why is it when a storm cloud looms overhead that we forget the power of God? Why do we cower in fear when a painful situation is out of our control? The truth is that there is no battle we face that Christ has not overcome for us. In our desert time of need, there will always be Living Water of hope for those who believe. The promises of God will never fail! Christ covered the cost for victory in every single conflict we endure. His merciful, loving, immeasurable grace is sufficient.
In a world that is pouring out lies and perverting the laws of God, it brings us rest to join with other believers who will run with us in the race that was set for us. One such friend is Rev. Bill York whose blog, concernedx2, is one of my favorites. We both agree that we are living in the ending days and that our blessed Savior is coming soon. I want to share with you the poem below he wrote that speaks to my heart:
FAINT TRACES OF GRACE
While only a child, I looked through the pages
Of books written down, compiled through the ages
This is the way, by Mom I was told
We have a good record of heroes of old
I discovered an old book, so ragged and worn
The pages were dog-eared, so tattered and torn
Among my great writings it could not abide
With theologians and scholars, I tossed it aside
The years passed so swiftly and now I am old
I opened the old book of long, long ago
There on crumpled pages I learned about life
I learned about hope and I learned about strife
When no trace of goodness in me could be found
I learned of my fate, to where I was bound
Then I learned about love and I learned about grace
I discovered a hero who had died in my place
Faint traces of grace upon me have fallen
My hope is secure, I’ve heeded the calling
I bow at his feet, I look on his face
Reflecting in me, faint traces of grace
by Rev. Bill York
The words of this poem remind me that despite our struggles and pain, we always have a future if our trust is in Jesus and the work of the cross. There is nothing that can bind you or keep you down when the strength of Christ is with you. His grace is all you will ever need. Those who live in fear and strife do not have an understanding of grace. It is not about performing or being right and good enough for God. It is coming just as you are to the throne of mercy and surrendering your utter weakness and depravity to Christ who offers you a future with promise. Who are we that the grace of God should abound when we are at our lowest point? And yet Jesus, who knew us before the foundation of the earth, has deemed us to be co-heirs of his kingdom and to receive all that is good despite our unworthiness! If the enormity of that grace could set into our finite minds, we would be forever on our face in total shame for our sin.
I know that many of you may be dealing with a trial in your life that is difficult and causing you to falter in your faith. My prayer is that you look beyond your pain and focus on your God whose eyes are on you now. Be in peace, dear friends. Always and in all things, faint traces of grace will carry you through the unfailing promises of God for your life.
Let us be thankful and so worship God acceptably (Hebrews 12:28)
To those of you who visit this site during the holy season of peace, I wish you blessings and happiness. But, I know that it is difficult for some of you to have a spirit of joy during these holidays because you are experiencing struggles and pain in your life. It is not easy to praise God when your world is crumbling around you, but it is then that you must. All that God allows for you will always be for your best interest. I have struggled many times with my problems and yet not one of them defeated me, even when I felt I was literally drowning in a sea of trouble. The truth is that God’s purpose for allowing you to endure this pain is always to bring you higher and to have a greater knowledge of the God you serve. Believers will always find that God was with them in the midst of every storm they faced.
The Apostle Paul knew first hand that when your faith was in Christ, all things that you endured were allowed by Christ for a reason. Because of his faith, he knew that even though he was suffering in jail for witnessing to others, Jesus had a divine plan to work it out for Paul’s good and for the kingdom. Paul understood that nothing was going to happen to him apart from the will of God. Paul wrote:
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7)
God knows what you need and he is able to provide for all that is good for you. So many times you may forget how many things God has taken you through. When a trial in your life takes you down, your attitude in dealing with it depends on whether you trust that God will take you through it. Our hope is secure because God’s promises never fail. That does not stop the devil from trying to fill you mind with lies and fear. Don’t give in to them for they come from an enemy who was defeated by the cross of Christ. All things will work out in God’s way and in his timing. He is not going to let you be destroyed by the storms of this world.
Paul endured a hardship in prison but his God never left him. He knew that he would suffer for a while for the purpose that God planned but that he could not be destroyed by this time of pain – he could only be made better and stronger! That is what happens when you can give thanks in ALL things including those trials that you don’t understand why God would allow. You can give praise and thanksgiving in all things knowing without a doubt that God’s grace is the force that will take you to victory.
You may be feeling weary and overwhelmed right now because your situation may seem hopeless. That is not true. Nothing is beyond the power of God to work out. There are no impossible situations with God. He who spoke the worlds into existence and who breathed into the dust and made man has no boundaries or limitations. He can do all things and he will move heaven and earth in his perfect plan for you. You just need to trust him and put your complete faith in him.
It doesn’t matter what you have done in your life or how far you have run from God. The only thing that matters is that he wants you with him. You have tried every other way to bring happiness in your life but all you were left with was the consequence of bad decisions. Only the path that God set for you will give you peace and joy despite your struggles.
This holiday season and always, give God praise and honor for all things . Be thankful for what God has given you thus far and put your trust in the future he planned for your life long before you were born.
This season of peace and joy is also a time when many people are struggling with finances, marriages failing, health issues, sin bondages and thoughts of depression. I am praying for all who are in pain right now. I pray that you will make your presence known to them in a very real way. Please help them to know that you are going to be with them in their struggle and will take them to victory. My prayer, dear Jesus, is that you will meet them where they are right now and take them to your peace. I pray that everyone who is overwhelmed and defeated to know that your perfect plan for their life will not fail. Most importantly, I pray that each one who visits here will know the depth of the love that you have for them. If there are any who do not know you as Savior and LORD, I pray that you will unveil their eyes and give them the knowledge of who you are. I pray this in the precious name of Jesus. Amen
FOR I KNOW WHOM I HAVE BELIEVED ( 2 Tim.1:12)
Dear friends and visitors to this blog,
I want everyone who comes to this site to know that I have a burden for those who are in pain, feeling troubled and who come looking for a message from God. I never cease praying for those who have asked for prayer. I take all of your prayer requests very seriously and they stay on my heart. And God cares for each of you through your pain. He is not going to leave you in your struggle.
Remember that no matter what you are going through, God will always be bigger and he cares! He has a way out and above every single situation that you go through. To those who have put their trust in the finished work of Christ at the cross, your future is sealed and the enemy cannot steal it away. Don’t let any of the devil’s lies and frustrations make you doubt God’s perfect plan for your life. If you could see with spiritual eyes, you would know that if God is allowing a trial in the life of a believer, he has a plan to not only take you through it but to make you better for having gone through it.
Most importantly, I want you to remember that no situation is impossible for the true God who spoke the worlds into existence! Never let anyone tell you that you circumstance is beyond all help. That is a lie. There is nothing that God cannot and will not do for those who belong to him.
I care very deeply about all whom God sends to my site. You matter here! It was no coincidence that you stopped by for God has a message in one of these articles just for you. He is the one who has inspired these truths for me to write.
God bless you for now. Stay in peace and take your stand in the battle. Your God is very near and he is fighting for you!
Have you ever been in a painful trial in life which made you feel like you were all alone? The storms you face in this world can sometimes make you feel isolated and without hope. And, although well-meaning friends want to help you, there often is little that they can do. You really want to believe that God is with you in that battle, but that may be hard to do when the enemy surrounds you on all sides! When you come to these lonely places, it is then that you must take all thoughts captive to the truth of the promises of Christ!
In Scripture, David told King Saul that he would go against the giant Goliath who was threatening to kill the Israelites. Although he was only a young man alone, David knew that the force and strength of his God would be with him. As David ran toward the giant armed only with a sling and 5 stones, he was confident that he would be victorious against the enemy – and he was. David won this battle before he even started because his hope was steadfast in his faith that God would not fail him. He never hesitated by allowing worry to have entry to his mind. He knew the God that he served enough to take him at his word.
All of the battles that you face as a believer are fought on holy ground because the power of God is with you. You are in the company of the army of heavenly forces who know well how to deal with the enemy. You are never left to fight alone. As David understood that God was giving him his victory, so must you know that you are a conqueror against all that comes against you. You must never let your situation cause you to be anxious. Worry is nothing but the whispers of lies from a defeated enemy! Satan wants you to make you feel alone and hopeless so that he can get a foothold into your mind. Don’t give him access.
The truth is all the force that you need to defeat your feelings of hopelessness. Your financial struggles, marriage problems, health issues, addictions or heartaches are all under the power of a Sovereign God who knows how to take you safely through them. Your weaknesses are not hidden from the eye of an omniscient God who offers you his strength when you have none of your own. He is never limited by the scope of your impossible situation. His power is not confined to boundaries and it supersedes the scientific laws of this world. Most importantly, your painful struggle was seen by God long before you were born and he prepared a way to take you to victory. He has not forgotten you now and he never will.
It is the lonely places that put you next to the heart of your God. For it is when you have nowhere else to turn that you realize that God’s power was all that you ever needed. Jesus paid the price so that those who believed would be made more than a conqueror in all the battles of this world. Never surrender your joy no matter how bad the problems in your life seem. Though you may not understand it now, Christ is working it all out to fit into the perfect plan that he ordained for your life. The One who keeps all your tears in a bottle will not let you drown in despair. Jesus said “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs on your head are numbered. So don’t be afraid: you are worth more than many sparrows”.(Matthew 10:29-31) There is nothing you must face that will not be measured and timed by God’s own hand.
Whatever is overwhelming you in your life right now has a purpose to bring you closer to God. The winds of trouble and the storms of your life must all submit to the will of God for you. Your battle will never be stronger than the refuge and strength of your God! The bible tells us, “Weeping may remain for a night, but joy comes in the morning”. (Psalm 30:5) That means that every painful struggle has a timing for it to end. And it is only then that you will understand the power of God whose love for you never failed.
I pray that those who are struggling or in a painful trial will know the peace of God that surpasses understanding. No matter what is going on in your life, please remember that it will never be bigger than your God!
(Photo by Rob Bohning)
We are living in a season of change and a pervading darkness is rapidly filling this earth. People are struggling financially, physically and with each other as more than half of marriages end in divorce. Satan has blinded the eyes of most and it is sad to watch people caught up in the bondage of alcohol, drugs, pornography and every form of deception. Crime has increased and prisons are filled with lost souls. The truth has been compromised as the enemy seeks to blind the world and destroy it. Has he succeeded?
The Apostle Paul warns us in 2 Timothy 3 that there will be terrible times in the last days. Believers must keep watch as the enemy seeks to weaken them and make them ineffective for the kingdom. The days are growing short and our strength is only in the power of Christ who lives in us. He has promised to never leave us and to help us in time of distress. Our hope in times of testing is to magnify the Lord to see him as he truly is – which is always bigger than our problems.
Though God is always with us, we will have to suffer in this world. If it is the storms of this life that cause us to grow in our faith, then God must allow this struggle to reveal his power and give us the knowledge of who we are in Christ. His purpose and plan for our lives cannot fail. You may feel alone in your time of pain but you never are. You belong to him and he has given his angels charge over you. If you can magnify God and trust him in all things, he will prove himself faithful as he takes you through the furnace of your affliction and bring you safely to a place of his peace. He has power over all that comes against you and there is always a purpose in what he allows in your life.
The strength to hold on is having knowledge of the God who created you. His power cannot fit into the confines of our finite minds. So what is impossible for us is never impossible for God. Get hold of the fact that you aren’t going to completely understand the ways of God. Who could understand why a holy, loving God would send his only begotten Son to die for the sins of an ungrateful world? There is nothing good that you have that was not given to you by his power. Yet we constantly just dwell on the question of why God allows bad things to happen to good people! It is because this world is not heaven. This world is perishing and there will one day be an end to those who love evil. But for now, we are aliens in a lost civilization and Christ has been sent as our only hope for salvation. He has given those who believe in him the right to become joint heirs with him in a kingdom whose wonder cannot be described. As unbelievable as it sounds, many are choosing to sell eternity with Christ in absolute perfection to the highest bidder of the perishing things of this world!
Trusting that God will work everything out and give to you all that he has promised can be difficult as the shadow of the enemy permeates this earth. For that reason, it is so important that you see and understand the God who had no beginning and no end. He is the source of all that is good and he withholds nothing of benefit from those who love him. You have to know that God is bigger and stronger than all of the evil that is happening. He sent Jesus to die for you so that you will have a future with promise. He defeated death and made us more than conquerors in the battle of this world.
Remember always that the trials that assail you will one day end. God has a plan to dry your tears and give you life everlasting with more beauty than your mind can comprehend. The truth that sets you free and that gives you victory in every area of your life is the cross of Jesus Christ. Because he loves you with an everlasting love, he was willing to pay the price for your debt of sin. He doesn’t care how far you have strayed or how badly you have failed. He has a love that will cover it all.
My friends, if you are reading this message and don’t know Christ, I hope that you will seek him now and ask him to reveal himself to you. My prayers will be with you. I may not know who you are or what problems you have, but God knows your name and he knows how to rescue you. Your life matters to him. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Light. He is stronger than the enemy and his plan for you will never fail. That is the promise he died to give you!
You cannot be destroyed!
Of all that comes against us in this world, death is probably the one most feared. Yet, for believers, death is the only thing that releases us from this evil world and frees us to be with our LORD who has planned great things for us. The prophet Isaiah says in chapter 25 that the Sovereign Lord will swallow up death and wipe away the tears from all faces. Death only came to us when man sinned. But God had a plan to save us from death by sending his only Son, Jesus, who paid the ultimate price for our transgressions and bought for us eternal life in heaven. It is a free gift that cannot be earned. Jesus says in John 5:24, “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life”.
To those who have Christ in their heart, death has no power to harm but only to release us to be with God who has riches and reward with him. We will be clothed in heavenly garments for with Jesus, death has been swallowed up in victory. Isaiah 25:8 says, “Where,O death, is your victory? Where O death is your sting?” My friends, death cannot destroy a child of God.
Our life on this earth is just a waiting period for God to come a rescue us and bring us to him. While we mourn those who pass on before us, we take joy in knowing that we shall be united with those believers that have gone before us in a place that Jesus has prepared for us. In Revelation 21:4 God word says, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away”. For that reason, Jesus tells us in Matthew 6 not to store up treasures on earth where it can be stolen or destroyed but to store up treasure in heaven which will last forever. Our bodies may be on this earth, but our spirits should be longing to be with our God forever in heaven. The temporary joys of this earth hold nothing compared to the eternal unspeakable joys that God has planned for those who love him.
Friends, heaven is not just a state of being, it is a real place filled with glorious rewards. The word of God says, “No eye has seen, nor ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him: (1 Cor 2:9) It is so wonderful that Satan is committed to getting believers to forget that we cannot be destroyed but only freed to receive all that God has planned for us. What destroys our body cannot destroy our spirit. In 2 Corinthian 5:1, Paul tells us, “Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven , not built by human hands.”. That is a promise from God for all who believe.
Those who are facing a serious illness, take heart for God is with you and nothing can stop the perfect plan that God has for you if you have asked Jesus into your heart. Jesus is able to heal and restore you and bring you to wholeness. He will not leave you to fear or be afraid. He is with you right now. For those who have lost a loved one and the pain is still with you, you have the promise that God willl one day wipe every tear away.
I pray for the peace of Christ to fill you at this time and to help you to understand that his love is sufficient for all of your needs. You are being prayed for right now. You are not alone in your pain and you never will be.
He can give you rest and peace no matter what trial you face
The darkness of these current days can appear abysmal. There are wars, earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes in the news. We watch helplessly as people throughout the world and in our own country face uncertainty as they try to rebuild their disaster devastated lives. So much is happening and some may wonder if God really cares.
The answer to this lies in God’s word. In Matthew 28:20, Jesus says,” And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age”. God’s word says 1 Peter 5:7, “Cast all your cares on him because he cares for you”. There is nothing that is happening that God is not sovereign over. If he is allowing it, there is a purpose. Scripture tells us that though now you may have to suffer grief in all kinds of trials, it is so that your faith may be proved genuine. The winds that blow through your life as a believer are never meant to weaken you but rather to strengthen you in your walk with God. In the book of Genesis, Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers and ultimately unfairly imprisoned for many years. But God was with him. Prisons then were dark, damp and filthy and the prisoners did not get much food. After all those years Joseph should have come out of prison emaciated and sickly. Instead, Joseph emerged from prison to be appointed second highest in command in Egypt. He had the energy and the sound mind to rule despite what he had endured. God was perfectly able to keep Joseph’s mind and body strong during his time of trial and to use the evil done to him for good to accomplish the saving of many lives.
God is still with us during our struggles to lift us up above our circumstances and to use them for our good. He tells us in Psalm 41:13, “For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear, I will help you”. Those who have hope in the shed blood of Jesus have nothing to fear from this world. Hebrews 7:25 tells us that Jesus is able to save completely those who come to God through him because he always lives to intercede for them. Jesus gave his life for you so that you can have life to the fullest. He cares about your hurts, your pain, your injustice, your addictions and anything that seeks to bring you down. He left us his peace so that we can have joy no matter what trial we have because we know that Christ is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to his power that is at work within us.
This world is not our home and Jesus has promised to go and prepare a place for us. Nothing you have done can stand in the way of Christ’s forgiveness and mercy if you call on him. For now, there will be problems and disasters on this earth, but we have the hope that God will one day wipe away every tear and bring us to eternal life with him.
In the course of our day, we go through a series of choices. What time to get up, where to go and what to eat are just some of them. But the most important choice we make each day is whose voice will we listen to?
In the bible, God says in Deuteronomy 30:19 “ I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life”. That is a decision you alone must make. The enemy comes around like a roaring lion seeking to destroy you. If you allow Satan to have a foothold in your life, you are allowing the thief entry to steal your joy.
Jesus said in John 10:10, “I have come that you may have life, and have it abundantly”. Jesus never promised that we would not have problems. He promised that despite our struggles, he would still be able to give us peace and joy in the midst of them and to those who endure, blessings for having gone through them. There is not a circumstance in your life that Christ cannot turn and use for your good. It doesn’t matter what pain, addiction, illness, financial problem or relationship heartache that you are going through, the power of Christ can and will take you through it.
The enemy wants you to believe that your situation is hopeless and there is nothing that can help you. The truth that sets you free is the knowledge that God has a perfect plan for you life. Those who have put their faith in the shed blood of Jesus need to know that the enemy has no power over your life. The trials you face are only the winds that God allows as you sail toward the reward he has for you in eternity.
What Satan sends to harm you cannot crush you. A child of God can never be defeated! Satan already knows this so his job is to try and convince you that you that your battle cannot be won and that no one cares. That is a lie from the father of lies. Remember that it was God who sent his only Son to save us so that none should perish. It was God who loved us before we first loved him and who works all things out for our good. And it is God, through his Son Jesus, who will never leave us alone but has promised believers an inheritance in eternity. The only promise the enemy can fulfill is one of pain and despair. He has no other power.
Each day begins as a gift from God. You have a choice to walk in the light of truth which comes from the word of God. It is a life full of promise and joy in the midst of your problems and a hope that God will fulfill his purpose for you. Finally, it is the strength to turn from the voice of the enemy who seeks to destroy you and to live the life that Christ has already won for you. The victory is yours. Choose life!
Christ is the reason we can have hope in our lives despite the storms we face. . He is the promise for all good things and the strength to endure the trials of this life.
The promises of God are real and his faithfulness will never fail us. We have nothing to fear as believers because the power of God is always with us. Yet at times those words may ring hollow when you are in a crisis situation. You may be enduring the effects of a serious illness for which there is no cure. You may be struggling with financial difficulties and don’t know where to turn. You may be suffering the pain of a broken marriage or relationship and have lost all hope for the future. Whatever the struggle, it can be hard to stand in your faith when your circumstance seems hopeless.
We read in Proverbs 24:10, “If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength!”. The truth is that those who believe in the finished work of Jesus Christ have limitless power to defeat anything that comes against them. In 1 John 5:4, we are told that everyone born of God overcomes the world. The forces of evil cannot conquer a child of God. The devil himself knows that he is unable to harm a hair on your head but only what God permits. And God will only allow that struggle or pain for which he has prepared in advance to bring you through to victory. Each trial we endure is permitted to help us to develop the perseverance that we need to stay strong in this life so that our faith may be proved genuine. Christ did not suffer and die to lose the battle. His death paid the price for our victory and it cannot be taken from us. It does not matter what trouble you may be experiencing, God is willing and able to bring you through it. He alone can turn a painful situation into something that will be used for good with a reward that will last forever. God’s promise in Isaiah 61:3 is to give you beauty for ashes and gladness instead of mourning.
Those who have Jesus as their Savior have a living hope. It does not matter how weary you may feel for it is Christ who will fight your battle and he knows how to rescue the godly from trials. He has made us more than conquerors which means we cannot fail despite our weaknesses. The Apostle Paul understood that all he had to suffer was permitted for a purpose. He believed that God’s grace was able to meet all of his needs despite the pain he had to endure. For that reason, Paul was able to be content in any and every situation, good or bad. He said in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength”. That is the kind of faith that honors God and defeats the enemy.
You can have the peace that surpasses understanding if you will keep your eyes on Christ instead of your problems. There is nothing that is impossible for him. He cannot fail you because it was by his great love that he created you. He overcame death and left us a promise that he would always be with us. Jesus will make a way through the mountain of your problems because his perfect plan for your life cannot be stopped. Remember, the love of Christ will always defeat your enemies and keep you in his perfect peace.
It is my prayer that you understand that it doesn’t matter where you are or what you are going through for Jesus will be there to help you. You are never alone. That is the promise Christ gave to us at the cross when he cried, “It is finished”. All things are under his authority and approval and for that, we have nothing to fear!