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Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” Hebrews 11:1
It has been said that the peace of God rests where the peace of God reigns. If you are living a life of wavering faith in the power of Christ to help you, you are selling out your joy to the lie of the enemy. You are believing that your problem is bigger than your God.
The question remains that if Christ just saved us from the flames of hell, then where is the abundant life that he promises to those who put their trust in him?
The truth is that all things in the life of a believer have been ordained and purposed long before the foundation of the world. God is not surprised by the battles that we may face. Christ who calmed the raging sea with just a word can certainly speak peace into your troubled life. He is the Maker of all things new. He is the Restorer of life and the Giver of all things good. He knows what you need and when you need it and for that reason you can have rest in times of trial. When you surrender all of your fears to God, you are allowing him to take over and work things out according to his perfect plan. Your weakness is overcome by his strength.
Too often we want to have total control of our situation and have it done our way. We want to be assured that the outcome will happen the way we want and in our timing. That, however, is not how God works.
In Judges, Chapter 7 of the Old Testament, we read that Gideon was to lead the Israelites in battle against the Midianites. But God wanted his people to trust that he alone was the one who would give them the victory. He allowed only 300 men to go with Gideon and fight the large army of the Midianites. Even though the enemy was bigger, Gideon’s men carried no weapons! He put trumpets into the hands of all of them and empty jars with torches insides the jars. Imagine having to trust that God could give them the victory with only a few men who had no weapons. Yet God was with them. When Gideon gave the order, the men, stationed on all sides of the camp, blew the trumpets and smashed the jars that were in their hands. They cried out, “A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!” And with that, the enemy fled in great fear. That is the power of God who can use your faith to destroy all that comes against you.
I don’t know what you are dealing with in your life, I only know that our God is bigger. It may seem like your situation is impossible and that you have no way out, but God is not limited by any limits or boundaries. He sees the beginning and end of your life at this moment and all things have been worked out. He allows you to endure trials so that he can reveal more of himself to you. As painful as it may be at the time, you are sharing in Christ’s sufferings that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.( 1 Peter 4:13)
This life is just a vapor. Keep your focus on the prize for which you were called. Don’t give up when all the strength you need to stay in the race is yours in Christ. He isn’t going to fail you. You can’t lose.
My dear friends, you would have no fears in life if you only understood how much God loves you. He created you for a purpose and your weakness does not stop his plan. He knows how to get you from where you are to where he is. He understands your trouble. His eyes are always on you. If you are struggling to believe that he cares for you in the situation that you are in, I pray you will seek Christ out in Scripture. He will strengthen you and give you hope as he speaks to you through his word. Whatever you are going through now can’t destroy you despite how bad it seems. Even the sting of death has been destroyed. Take joy and remember that Christ has overcome the world. He will help you.
If you are here reading this now, please know that I am praying for you. This message was given by God for you. You are not alone.
What to do when God takes you to the end of yourself in order to get you to trust him with your life.
In Psalm 139, King David prayed, “O LORD you have searched me and known me!” He fully understood that God had complete knowledge of him inside and out. His weaknesses were not hidden from God yet he proclaimed in verse 14, “I praise your for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
Too often we let our circumstances rob us of our joy. It is as though we can only trust that God is with us when things are going good in our life. In Isaiah 43:2, God tells us, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk throught he fire you shall not be burned and the flame shall not consume you.” I can assure you that pretty much covers the pain of everything you can face on this earth. God is telling those who believe on him that he is just as powerful in the darkness as he is in the light. Nothing can defeat you when your hope is in Christ. He can always bring you out of the storm.
We are living in a world that is in a great upheaval. Right has been called wrong and evil is replacing good. To stand for truth means persecution and consequence. Your future may seem like a blur when you are uncertain how to take the next step. Take a leap of faith. Now is the time to let the world know who you belong to. Show your faith in action believing in your heart that God is enough to help you. Anyone can claim to trust God when things are going well. But it is in the time of battle that the worth of your faith is being proved genuine.
If you belong to Christ, all that you endure is part of the unspoken plan that has been designed for your victory. You have reason for hope because Christ lives to intercede for you every second of the day. God will not fail to take you through the troubled seasons of your life. Every one of your tears is precious to him. There is not a step you take or a thought in your mind that is not seen and guided by Christ. He is the light on your path to glory.
The devil of this world cannot overcome God’s authority. Only Christ can complete the number of your days and fulfill your destiny. If he leads you to a mountain or to a raging sea, he has a purpose and he knows how to get you to trust him alone. He is your stronghold and a very real help in need. He won’t let you down. Let him finish his work in you. Remember he is getting you ready for royalty in an eternal Kingdom.
When you feel like you have no strength to continue in your life, that is when you must surrender your weakness to Christ and take on his strength.
Lord I come, I confess
Bowing here, I find my rest
Without You, I fall apart
You’re the One that guides my heart
Believers are set apart for Christ and the work of his kingdom. We have been made holy because the Spirit of God lives and works in us to do good. We have been made righteous. Why is it then that God continues to allow painful trials and distractions in our lives? Wouldn’t it be easier to do his work if he could make our path clear of the same suffering the perishing world endures?
That is something I have thought about many times. I have seen Godly men and women work tirelessly to help bring the lost to Christ only to watch as they suffered hardship and sickness unto death. Persecution of Christians is increasing and believers are being tortured and killed every day. It just doesn’t seem fair. And yet, Scripture tells us that God must allow anything that happens in the life of a believer. In Psalm 84, we are told that “No good does God withhold from those whose lives are righteous”. All those who are in Christ have been made righteous by his blood. So why then is it good that his people suffer?
My friends, I write this message to give hope to those who are facing a battle in life and struggle to believe that Christ is still with them. The enduring love of God never leaves you for a moment in the midst of your trial. He sees your pain and counts your tears. Your cries for help are being heard. He has not forgotten you. He knows how to heal your breaking heart. He can and will make you whole. But, do you trust him enough to let him do it his way and in his timing? It is not easy to hold on in the battle, but to do anything less would be to surrender to the enemy. Don’t sell yourself short. God is sovereign over all. His plan for your life was perfected long before the foundation of the earth. You were bought at a price. He is not going to let you fail after taking you this far.
Every believer in Scripture had to suffer pain and hardship in their walk of faith. They had to trust that God was always with them even through their greatest fears.
In Genesis, Joseph had to endure over 10 years of bondage in a prison which had no light. He had shackles on his neck and feet night and day. And yet he had to trust that his God was still in control. For all those years, he had to wait on God who was preparing him to be the top Commander in the army of Pharaoh. He had no idea God was making him ready for such royalty. He was a young man when he went into prison and for years he mourned the memory of his family. Why did God allow him to withstand such a test? It was because God’s plans for Joseph were greater than any ideas Joseph had for his life. He had to be molded and shaped into the man of God who had the faith needed to do his will. God was going to use him in a mighty way.
And God had a plan. The royal robes that Joseph wore as ruler in Pharaoh’s kingdom were like rags compared to the robes of glory awaiting Joseph when he died.
When Jesus told his disciples what they would have to do to follow him, many of them grumbled and left. Jesus turned to his Apostles and asked them if they were going to leave also. Peter said to Jesus,
“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”(John 6:68) Peter was exactly right. Those who stayed with Christ trusted that he was greater than their doubts.
No matter what black cloud is filling your life, there is no one greater than the God who gave you life and who has the power to cause every second of your pain to be used for your good and for his glory. Even if you don’t see God’s hand in your struggle now, you need to know that he is in full control of all that you face. You don’t have to see or feel God to know that he loves you enough to do what is good for you. Let him finish the work he started in you. Don’t doubt him. Those disciples who walked away from Christ had no idea they were leaving their only source of hope in this world. They left the One who could give them everlasting life.
Your situation is timed. Your pain is being monitored. And you are not going to drown in your tears. Christ has a way to take you through your fears and pain. He grieves with you in your trouble. He has a reason for you to face this mountain.
My friends, we are too close to the coming of Christ to give up now and walk away. Cling to the truth. Let your faith be proven genuine. Keep your eyes on Christ. He will never fail you. Even when things are not done your way, trust him with your life! He gave his life for you.
Who can take from you what Christ has died to give you?
I am praying for all who need to believe that Christ is with them in their pain. If you are struggling with your faith, I am praying that you will have the strength to surrender your doubt to Christ and ask for his strength to believe. May you know that He loves you more than you could ever know. He has promised to never leave you, not ever, no matter what you are going through. God is close to the brokenhearted. His word is true. He is with you now. Let him work this out but trust him with the details. Your faith shows the world that you belong to Christ. May God give you his peace and may you know that you are not alone.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.(Romans 15:13)
Amidst the chaos of a world that is filled with darkness, it is challenging to focus on the promises of God. In your painful trials, problems can appear insurmountable with the victory through them seemingly unreachable.
The Apostle Paul warned us in 2 Timothy 3 that there will be terrible times in the last days as people become lovers of themselves and not interested in the ways of God. The nightly news is filled with death, destruction and evil as people are turning to their own way of doing things. The enemy is dividing people against each other to cause confusion and doubt and in far too many cases it is working. The hearts of most have abandoned the fear of God. The ways of truth are being blurred by the evil desire of the flesh that is being called “choice”. And as Scripture tells us, lawlessness is on the increase as the hearts of most grow cold.
While that is a sad commentary, we are not without hope. There is a place of rest where you can have the peace of Christ despite your struggle. That promise was given by Christ as he said in John 16:33, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” Do you trust that Jesus is true to his word?
Your faith is being tested in every trial you face, but the reward is great to those who do not grow weary and give up. In 2 Kings, the prophet Elisha was surrounded by a great army who wanted to kill him. When Elisha’s servant saw the massive army, he grew greatly alarmed. Elisha addressed his fears saying in verse 6, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” With that, Elisha prayed for his servant’s eyes to be opened and he was amazed to see the mountain full of horses and chariots of fire from God surrounding their enemy. That is the power of God in action. Even now, there is no battle in your life that is stronger than God’s ability to take you through it.
Jesus left us the Holy Spirit to help us in our weakness. The same immense power that raised Christ from the dead lives in the heart of of every believer. There is nothing that is able to destroy a child of Christ. All that we face is the driving force bringing us closer to God.
Troubles of this world don’t define us. They are the necessary tools to mold us into the image of Christ and perfect us in the plan he has for our life The evangelist A.W. Tozer once wrote: “It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until he has wounded him deeply”. Tozer understood that the trials allowed by God are meant to bless and equip the soldier of Christ for victory against the adversary of this perishing world.The believer must die to self in order to have the fullness of God’s power. Whatever weakness you hold onto in your life will become the foothold that Satan uses to take you down.
The Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 4:17″For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison”.
No matter how bad your situation seems. you must never lose hope. You have no idea what greatness God has planned for your life. You don’t have to feel Christ to know that he is with you. While it is difficult enduring the trials that bring brokenness, God knows the work he must do in your life. He who began a good work in you knows how to complete it. His ways are higher than ours. He knows the length of your days and has your next step prepared for you.
My friends, you need to understand that heaven’s royal army is standing by you right now to protect and defend you. God’s plan for you cannot be hindered by your heartache,struggle, sickness, addiction, divorce or financial problems. You can’t fail. He knew what you would face and the answer to it all is being set into motion even now. His love for you will not stop. Just stand in faith and see what God can do.
But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor.15:57)
It is easy to lose hope when your troubles surround you. Uncertainty and doubt can fill you with fear especially when there seems to be no way out of your pain.
Jesus told us in his world that we would have many troubles here on earth. He knew the times and what was to come. However, Jesus also wanted us to know that despite our problems, we can stand firm knowing that he has overcome the world. He is the Hope of all things impossible. He is the restorer of dreams and the power to overcome. There is nothing that can crush a true believer because all the force of heaven lives in the heart of those who belong to Christ. A royal army stands ready to fight for you.
Jesus is the strength to overcome all that comes against you so it is sad to watch as people turn instead to substance abuse to silence their pain. Many good people have sold out their future to alcohol or drugs. They becomes bonded to the poison that is destroying their lives and that of their families. It can happen to anyone. Some of the nicest people are secretly coping with an addiction. They feel lost and out of control because they are trying to carry this burden on their own. That will never bring victory because Jesus never meant for anyone to fight their battles alone.
We are told in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful;” he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
The truth in this verse is that we are all weak in our flesh but we have hope through Christ. He will provide the way out so that you cannot be destroyed by your struggle. He is always the strength you need to overcome. We are told in Scripture that God’s power is manifested through our weakness. We have been made victors over all of our battles when our trust is in Christ. He is the only power you need to conquer all that comes against you. He will not fail to take you through your pain and bring peace in your life. Nothing is impossible through the One who paid the price to give you an abundant life through every storm.
In Isaiah 26:3 we read. “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he trust in you”. Your weakness cannot stop your future. There is no impossible situation that can stop his purpose for your life. Jesus gives you victory over all of the obstacles that stand in your way. He has given you life and he will take you to the end of your life according to his perfect plan.
No matter what troubles or addictions that you face in this life, remember that Jesus has indeed overcome the world and all of its struggles. Put your complete trust in him. By surrendering your weakness to the power of Christ, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain!
My dear friends, I understand that you are facing many painful trials in this life. We all are. Take hope for Jesus has overcome the troubles of this world.. While we are waiting on him to meet us in our struggle, he is working out a deliberate, divine, eternal plan for your life. You are not forgotten nor are you ever without hope. Have faith and stay in peace knowing that in the eternal plan, it is already worked out. Cease striving and rest. Your God will not fail you.
THIS IS GOD’S HOUR
by A.B. Simpson
Cast down, but not destroyed—2 Corinthians 4:9
How did God bring about the miracle of the Red Sea? By shutting His people in on every side so that there was no way out but the divine way. The Egyptians were behind them, the sea was in front of them, the mountains were on both sides of them. There was no escape but from above.
Someone has said that the devil can wall us in, but he cannot roof us over. We can always get out at the top. Our difficulties are but God’s challenges, and many times He makes them so hard that we must get above them or go under.
In the Providence of God, such an hour furnishes us with the highest possibilities for faith. We are pushed by the very emergency into God’s best.
Beloved, this is God’s hour. If you will rise to meet it you will get such a hold upon Him that you will never be in extremities again; or if you are, you will learn to call them not extremities, but opportunities. Like Jacob, you will go forth from that night at Peniel, no longer Jacob, but victorious Israel. Let us bring to Him our need and prove Him true.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7
I meet a lot of people on this site and have been blessed in so many ways as God brings some of his best to my blog. In addition, each person that I get to know gives me more insight to the love of God.
One such person, Rob Bohning, was a man of faith who showed his trust in Christ as he battled a terminal thyroid cancer. I talked to Rob and his wife, Lori, via email and phone calls and their faith amazed me. They both believed that God was with them through this cancer and that his will would be done. They both touched my heart.
I write this through tears because last night the Lord took Rob home to be with him.
I remember Rob telling me that he trusted Christ no matter what happened despite all the pain and suffering he endured. His only struggle was that he loved his wife and children so much and he wanted to stay with them as long as he could. For that reason, he valiantly fought the good fight and withstood the treatments and their painful side effects for as long as he could. He never gave up. He lived by his faith until the end touching numerous people with with his faith. He showed all of us that to face death is to fear no evil. He knew that God was with him.
Rob was an extremely gifted photographer among other things. He captured the beauty of God’s creation in a way that I have never seen done. His photos would make me forget the darkness of the times we now live in. He will be missed by so many people all over the world. His story touched a lot of suffering people. He made a difference in this world as he served the Kingdom of God.
I am re-posting the article from 2/18/2012 that I did on him. I pray that you will be blessed by his story and that you understand that God did not fail Rob. His suffering is over and eternity in heaven is his heritage. Rob is in the face of Jesus Christ right now. His work on this earth was done.
TRIED IN THE FURNACE OF AFFLICTION
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.
Photo by Rob Bohning
Please keep Lori and her two young children in prayer as they grieve the loss of a great husband and father.
“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)
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?
We 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.
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
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. (2 Timothy 3:1)
A very good friend and fellow blogger, Dr.Lyle Rapacki, wrote this absolutely powerful message on surrendering your life to God and not to the things of this world. So often we get caught up in our own struggles and try to work them out as the world does. That will never bring you peace. This world is perishing. It has become a place of darkness and destruction. The hearts of most have grown cold and lawlessness abounds.
The good news is that Christ is getting ready to return to make all things new. Is your heart ready to meet him? I pray that you will take the time to read this message by Lyle and let it help to give you understanding and hope to know that Christ is with you to the end of time.
Written by Lyle Rapacki from The Olive Branch Report,
I just finished a radio interview with Pastor James David Manning on the Manning Report. If you have not listened to the Manning Report – you should! I have been privileged to spend time with Pastor Manning and his gracious wife, Elizabeth, in their Harlem/New York City home. I have been equally blessed to be a guest multiple times on his engaging radio program. Today’s radio interview was focused on my previous article “America’s Middle Class is Crumbling.” Pastor Manning asked a pointed question (he often does) as to why I think the people are silent about it all? This question caused me to jump in my seat as I attempted to share some thoughts on the subject (I was excited at the offer) but I also sensed the Ru-ach-Ha-K0desh (Holy Spirit) quickened me to share even more than time on the show permitted.
The Emissary Sha-’ul (Apostle Paul) instructed his disciple (student) Timothy: “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
WOW! A lot packed into that scripture. One key element strongly suggests that the last days people will not be a people who do not know God; just the opposite! These will be people who claim to know God, practice a form of godliness, but will deny the power of God if you look close at their lives. They will be religious people – you know; go to church, sing in the choir, direct the bake sale, yard sale, youth pavilion, candle and flower committee, and the all important church clean-up crew, with a little time left over for the prayer team. But the Apostle is sounding an alarm that these folks have a form, an image of godliness but clearly their heart is not right with the Lord or the walk He wants for them. Their heart has not surrendered to God, they are not walking in submission (cooperation) to His Word or His Son’s teachings and examples; therefore, while their public posture may look good the inner man, their true character, is loving this world and the things of this world – especially money and the material dimension. Think on this…money is God’s greatest rival. Money tangibly represents power, security, prestige, control over our own affairs, dominance. Fellowship with Yeshua (Jesus) signifies intimacy, love, sacrifice, and seeking God’s character for your life; which, in part, means thinking of others, giving away rather than gathering, loving by example and giving joyfully to watch others celebrate as they receive. The form of truly following God is measured by your love for others, your love for God’s Son Yeshua (Jesus), your love for His Word, and the natural instinct of loving is to give. The instinct of materialism is gathering, accumulating, hoarding, guarding, value as the world values – SELF!
The power and political Elites of this world are in the process of collapsing this world into a Satanic driven One-World economy, government, and religion. Read my previous article “America’s Middle Class is Crumbling” here at The Olive Branch Report, and see some of the numbers I site to demonstrate how the economy is slipping into chaos and total collapse. Do not be deceived by the media propagandists and lying government officials who have a stake in the unfolding New-World Order. We are on the verge of a very calculated and full economic collapse, and what transpires in Washington, D.C. on a daily basis is but Kabuki Theater to keep us entertained and dumb to the reality setting in all around us. We are living in the looming shadow of biblically predicted catastrophic events, but the predominant majority of the church are asleep or, like the Apostle Paul wrote: “having a form of godliness but denying its power.” WAKE UP church…come out of your diabolically induced slumber. “Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:6).
If we are truly followers of Yeshua Ma-shi-ach (Jesus the Messiah) then don’t live for your possessions. Let your possessions do good; be ready to give, willing to share. What riches have been granted to you are given so God can bless others through you. As I wrote in my previous article, financial crisis allow us to come to new levels of deeper faith, causing us to become dependent on God and His provision, rather than our own abilities, our own strengths. God’s Word teaches that the last days will also cause a preoccupation with money and materialism, and that greed will abound causing even more conflict among men and among nations. I am beseeching you while there is still a little time, seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all else will be added to you according to His riches. Jesus taught to study the birds and flowers, for the God who cares for them will care for you (Matthew 6:25-34). The Emissary Sha-’ul (Apostle Paul) taught, “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). David of Psalms learned through experience, “the Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want” (Psalm 23).
We cannot stop the coming New-World Order with all of its’ calamity, destruction, and evilness. We can, however, rise-up in opposition to the spiritual roots feeding the New-World Order and accompanying tyrannical government, humanistic and satanic worship and religion, and unmitigated greed. We can stand and be a blessing in the midst of the storm. We can stand and be a light to the otherwise darkness that will permeate the world; to show others what the true light of the Gospel looks like. We can demonstrate true righteousness, not merely the form thereof; true faith in God’s Word by applying it, and love for others by sharing the blessings the Lord chooses to provide us as a means to bless others. Begin today…look around and ask the Lord for the opportunity to grow in your faith by quietly helping another who may need a bill paid, four bags full of groceries, a tank of gas, an oil change, utilities paid…and the list can go on. Try this, and then go to church and sing in the choir, help with the bake sale, or the youth, or better yet, to the prayer team for now you will truly have something in which to bow your head and close your eyes.
This world is perishing but God still holds your future!
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.
“I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people” (Luke 2:10)
Christmas is the season of joy and peace yet sadly there are many people who are feeling hopeless, weary and alone. During a time when hearts should overflow with love and giving, for some it is just a greater time of pain and sadness. The troubles of this dark and perishing world can overwhelm even the strongest believer.
The joy that the birth of Christ brings can get lost among the commercial aspects of the season. That is truly sad for when God sent his one and only Son to this earth, he did it to bring light and salvation to a lost and dying world. He sent Jesus to walk this earth with us to give us his strength to overcome our problems. Jesus came to give us an abundant life that lacks no good thing. His birth brought us a promise that can never be taken away. It is a promise that those who believe in him would have a life with a purpose and a reward that will never end. Pain and struggles can never destroy those who have been set free through Christ. He alone can open doors to your impossible situations and cause all things to be used for your good.
Believers now have authority in Christ over all obstacles from the enemy. Through Jesus you are now more than a conqueror because he has overcome the world. You only need to trust that he can and will be with you in all of your problems. Your failures do not stop his love and your troubles can never hinder his perfect plan for your life. His birth signified a pledge to bring you peace no matter what you may be going through. Jesus is the Word of God and the light of this world who will never fail you. He willingly left the splendor of heaven to come to this earth knowing that we would reject him. Yet his love was so great that he chose to walk with us and be crucified to bring us peace with God and eternity with him forever.
If the joy of this season is overcome by a heartache or struggle in your life which is causing you pain and sadness, please remember that the hope that Jesus brings is not just for some situations. The peace he promised to leave us is sufficient to meet any need and to take you through any storm in your life. His power is strong enough to safely take you through all circumstances and to give you joy in the midst of your struggle. He knew your name and loved you long before you were born. He has plans to prosper you and give you a future despite your weaknesses. He is faithful to make a way for you even when the road is closed. Most importantly, he will never leave you to carry your burden alone. In Matthew 28:20, Jesus says, “And surely I am with you always, even to the very end of the age”.
Your situation is never hopeless when you have Christ in your heart. He is able to heal any sorrow your have and give you the assurance that his love will comfort you in your pain. This season, keep in your heart the truth that Jesus is the only gift that you need. He is the source of your strength and the power to restore you in all ways. His gift of life is free for the asking. His love will never fail you and his peace will keep you as you begin a new year. Take heart, dear friends, for the Savior of this world is born!
I am lifting up to you those who are suffering the pain of trials of every kind and who are feeling weary and troubled. I know that this time of year is supposed to be one of family and joyful celebrating but there are some who are experiencing heartaches from a broken home, overwhelming financial troubles, or serious health issues. There are those who are dealing with addictions, depression and loneliness. For these and all the troubles that your people are facing, I pray for you to give them peace. Let them know they have hope despite their pain. Lift them up and meet them where they are. Show them your mercy as you give them the strength that they need to stand in faith.
Father, we are living in a time when truth has been exchanged for a lie. There is darkness everywhere and persecution of Christians is increasing. War is imminent as the middle east heats up to a point of no return. Famines, earthquakes and extreme weather is signaling your return. We have a reason to hope. You, dear Jesus, are coming back to make all things new. You have not forgotten us. Our pain and brokenness is preparing us for a kingdom that will never end. Your eyes are always on us. We are never alone and never without your protection. I pray that you will show those who are hurting that you are with them to the end. I pray that they will know that they have a future no matter how bad it may look now. May you have mercy on this country and open the eyes of our leaders to turn back to the God who blessed us and made us a great nation. May you bless and protect Israel and give wisdom to her leaders. I pray for you to comfort and help those who are going through persecution of every kind for their faith. Be with them, Lord Jesus. Protect them and bring them joy that surpasses understanding in the midst of their suffering. I also pray for Pastor Saeed who is imprisoned in Iran. Keep him safe, dear Lord, and please bring him back here to his family.
Keep our eyes on you, dear Jesus. Help us to know that no matter what battle rages in our lives, you are always in complete authority over it all . You alone have suffered the price for our victory. We humbly bow before you in praise and honor for there is no way to repay you for all you have given to us. Amen
Merry Christmas to all of my friends here on this site. I pray for you all and remember that you can email me if you need to talk.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night“.
These days of evil are growing worse as the light of truth is nowhere to be found. So many people are caught up in the deception as they become lovers of themselves and of the gold of this world. The laws of God are disregarded by those who have given in to the lies. Sin has been dressed up and labeled as choice and tolerance. Abominable acts are not only accepted by this generation, they are now encouraged. And darkness swallows the truth!
As most continue on the wide path to destruction, those who work to stay in the race for the Kingdom of Christ are finding themselves suffering trials and heartache. It is difficult to understand.
We are living in ending times, dear friends. God is allowing believers to be shaken beyond their own strength to find out who truly belongs to him. The days of trouble are bringing to light those who truly belong to Christ. It is for that reason that you must stand your ground and let God do his work of refining you for an eternal kingdom.
In 2 Corinthians, Chapter 1, we read that Paul suffered through depression as he was spreading the gospel of Christ. He said in verse 8-9, “For we do not want you to be unaware brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.” Even the apostle Paul had to suffer for Christ to the point of wanting to give up and die. How much more are we struggling in the end times as Christ is coming quickly to take us from this wicked earth? Without a doubt the enemy has stepped up his game as he initiates attacks from all sides upon believers who are shining the light of the kingdom to the lost.
We should not be surprised that we are facing trials of every kind. While the enemy wants to destroy us with his lies and deception, we are being proven to be soldiers of worth in the army of the living God. In the book of James, the disciple tells us that the testing of our faith produces a steadfastness which God is perfecting in us so that we will lack nothing of value. Have no doubt that God’s angels are surrounding you at this moment. They are ministering to you in your heartache and strengthening you in your fears. They have been given orders from the Throne of God to guard your pathway to him. You cannot be defeated.
As the earth gives way to the enemy’s lies, we suffer through financial problems, sickness and disease, marriages failing, addictions and all forms of bondage as danger lurks on every corner. We cannot escape the battle launched by the spiritual forces of darkness; however, believers are guaranteed victory through it all.
Those who don’t give in to the deception of this world have hope that eternity with God will be a reward that will last forever. Don’t allow your painful trials to make you take your focus from the truth. You need to understand that your purpose in God’s plan has been set before the world ever began. You cannot be shifted in your position by the slings and arrows of the enemy. You will never be taken down! Surrender your weariness to the One who always has a way to give you hope through your problems. He can lift you above them all until and hold onto you until he has filled you with his peace.
The darkness is quickly filling up this earth, my friends. The deceiver is leading a brutal attack against believers. He wants you to forget that your destiny has been sealed by the blood of Christ! Stay strong and don’t lose sight of the blessed Hope which never fails. Pick up your shield and let the armor of God be your protection. Nothing of value can ever be taken from you in this perishing world. You have been guaranteed a royal future. The book of life has your name in it! What can flesh do to you?
Take heart, dear friends. This message is for you as well as me. It is the truth from God’s word that he will always be with us in everything and through all the storms we face. We are never alone. We are being sifted like wheat by the enemy but Christ is with us so that we will not fail. No matter what you are going through, it is being seen by the eyes of heaven. You are not alone and never without hope.
I pray for all who need to hear this message. I lift up all who come to this site. May they understand that you care about what they are going through and that you have a plan to help them even if they can’t see it now. May you bring them peace and strength to endure. May you help them to know without a doubt that you are working out the perfect plan for their lives that cannot fail. I pray for those who are facing struggles and who feel like they are alone. Please draw near to them, dear Jesus, and comfort them so that they can feel your Presence with them. Shine your light in this dark world and let your people know that you will soon be with them.
I pray for Israel and her people. May you bring her leaders the wisdom needed in this time of deception. Protect Israel, the apple of your eye, from the evil of her enemies. I pray that the eyes of the Jewish people will be open to the truth of Christ as their Messiah.
May you help our persecuted brothers and sisters who are suffering for their faith. Bring them peace through their pain and help them to stay strong and shine the light of your love. Help them and the families of those who are imprisoned for their faith in you. I pray for Pastor Saeed, imprisoned in Iran, and all those like him to be released and brought safely back to their families.
In all things, I pray for America to turn from the lies that have filled this country. I pray for salvation and blessings on this nation. As you changed the hearts of the people of Nineveh and saved them from destruction, I pray you will pierce the heart of America and let her once again be a great Christian nation. That is our only hope.
In the powerful name of Jesus, I lift up these requests. Amen
God will make a way
This message is the truth of God’s promises for all that you face in this world. Never let your troubles be bigger than your God. He always has the power over them all. Jonathan Edwards says it best:
How can we really say God is sovereign over all when there is so much chaos and pain in the world?
Nothing shall hinder his great design. God’s great ends will be obtained: all his ends will be obtained, and by his own means.
After all this seeming confusion and vast succession of strange and wonderful revolutions, everything shall come out right at last. There is no confusion in God’s scheme; he understands his own works and every wheel moves right in its place.
Not one mote of dust errs from the path that God has appointed it; he will bring order at last out of confusion. God doesn’t lose himself in the intricate endless moves of events that come to pass. Though men can’t see the whole scheme, God sees. The course and series of events in divine providence is like the course of a great and…
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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.
The 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.
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.
When 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