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 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.

Dear Lord,

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 a little while, you may have to suffer grief in all kinds of trials (1Peter 1:6)   

                                         

It is hard to understand the ways of God when the battle is raging and you are surrounded by the enemy. Going through a painful trial or heartache can bring you down lower than you have ever been.  It can seem unbearable and crushing especially when you don’t understand why God would allow this struggle in your life. How can the torment that you are experiencing be part of God’s perfect plan for you? It just doesn’t make sense.

 We read in James 1:12, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him”.  Each struggle brings an opportunity for God to manifest more of his power in you. It is his strength to take us through to the end and our training for the royalty that awaits us in heaven. Yet, there are still times when the answer to our prayers for help seems so far away.

Even knowing God has a purpose for our trials, the things that come against us in this world will never make sense to us.  However, the divine purpose for all we endure must complete its work in us.  Even Jesus knew that he had to endure great pain that we might be redeemed.   In Luke 22:43-44 we read that Jesus went to the Mount of Olives to pray before he was to be crucified.  With great anguish over what he was to suffer, his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. Yet as he obeyed his Father’s will, an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him.  Jesus understood that there were eternal implications in all that he had to endure. He willingly gave his life that we might be saved. 

As a believer, you should understand that God will also send his angels to strengthen and comfort you as you grow weary from the battles of this world.  He will never let you stand alone and carry burdens that are much too heavy for you.  The Lord knows how to rescue godly men from their trials. His purpose in allowing pain in your life is to develop you into the image of Christ and to actually make you stronger for the journey set for you. In 2 Corinthians, God’s word says that you may be hard pressed on all sides but never crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but never abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. The storms of this life can rock your boat but Jesus has promised that you will get to the destination that he planned for you before you were born.  When you can trust God despite your broken heart, you defeat the father of lies who wants you to forget that Jesus paid the price for your victory.  All the troubles that we must face are obtaining for us an eternal reward that will last forever. You must keep your eyes on Jesus who is able to keep you in his peace even when you don’t understand the purpose for your pain. 

Scripture says that after losing his children, his wealth and his health, Job cried out, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust him” (Job 13:13). God had a purpose in allowing Job to go through such a trial.  Ultimately, Satan was defeated and Job received a great reward.  He was given beautiful children, greater wealth and a longer life because he trusted God when even when all was taken.

God’s purpose and plan will forever stand though the earth may be shaken.  God’s ways are much higher than the logic of this world so you must trust him even when you don’t understand.  There is nothing you are suffering that God didn’t plan in advance to take you through. May it help you to know that there are believers praying for you right now and that God’s love for you will never fail!

Dear Lord, I am praying now for those who are enduring great hardship and pain in their lives. Although they are struggling to stand in their faith, they have become weary and need a touch from you.  I pray that you will give them a very real sense of your presence in all that they are going through.  I pray that you will fill them with your peace and will open their eyes to know that you are with them despite the fierce storm that is all around them.  Help them to continue to walk in trust knowing that you will never fail them and that your divine purpose in their lives cannot be stopped by the enemy of this world. Amen

    ( Picture by Francesco Cosi)

           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!

            The righteous cry out and the LORD hears them (Psalm 34:17)

It is obvious that so many believers are growing weary in these dark days of oppression that we live.  Struggles surround us at every corner and it is hard to stave off the growing fears of uncertainty.  We were told in Scripture that these times would come and test the faithful, but how do we keep standing when the ground is trembling and darkness is filling the sky?

Fear is a tool that the enemy uses to take your focus from the truth.  When you understand that your hope in Christ is secure, you can cease striving. There is nothing that is going to destroy a believer who is holding onto the promises that Jesus died to give.  Your future is never determined by your circumstance.  Trials that you face are only the wind that brings you closer to God.   Every single one of your struggles are used by God to equip you for the battles that come against you.

  Throughout the bible, God allowed his people to be taken to the end of their own strength but yet they were conquerors over all that came against them.  It was in the lion’s den that Daniel watched as his God shut the mouths of the lions and brought him safely out.   The three Jewish boys were bound and thrown into the furnace for refusing to bow in worship to Nebuchadnezzar.(Daniel 3)  Yet it was there that  they came face to face with the Son of God who protected them from even the smell of  fire and smoke. Young David ran against the giant, Goliath, in the power of the God in whom he trusted.  He never doubted that his God could save him as he killed that heathen Philistine with just a stone.  King Hezekiah cried out to his God for help when the Assyrian army was surrounding his people on all sides.  He had no power to face this mighty army but his God did!  We are told in 2 Kings 19:35, ” That night the angel of the Lord went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning – there were all dead bodies!”   It was God who fought their battle and saved them.  You need to understand clearly that when you are in Christ, you are a force to be reckoned with!

Beloved, you must understand that no battle you ever face is hopeless.   You don’t need to run from your problems; you just need to turn to your God!  Never lose faith when you get to the end of your ability for it is at that point that you  discover the all-encompassing power of  God.  Jesus paid the price for our redemption and to give us a future with hope.  The enemy may prowl around trying to  rob you of your joy but he can never steal the future that Christ paid with his blood.  Death has no sting for Jesus overcame the grave.  All of your momentary trials are working out a divine purpose to prepare you for the royalty that awaits you in eternity.  Your painful situation has a time to end.  God knows how to take you from your distress and into his peace if you will just surrender to him. 

We are living in a time like no other.  We are watching as  wars, famines, floods, severe weather, poverty, sickness of all kinds of evil are permeating this entire world.  The hearts of many have grown cold as marriages are failing, evil and violence are increasing and all forms of perversions are becoming common. The only hope we have is the enduring love of Christ who will never fail.  He is called Faithful and True and he is  ready to return and gather those who love him. 

May you know this day that you are never out of God’s sight for a second.  Whatever you are suffering is before the eyes of God.  Remember,  “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit”. (Psalm 34:18)

 

Dear Lord,  I am praying for those who are struggling with a painful situation in their lives.  They feel like they are losing in the battle that they face.  I pray for your peace and strength to fill them.  Let them know without a doubt that you are with them to the end.  For those who have financial problems – may you meet them and provide for what they need.  Those who have marriage and relationship problems – may you join them in peace and restore their families.  I pray for you to heal the pain of those who are sick or who have lost a loved one.  May you comfort and heal those who are in serious bondage to alcohol or drugs.  I pray for your favor in their lives in all that they need.  And may they know that you will not fail them no matter how impossible their problem is to them. Amen.

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. (Isaiah 26:3)

It is  hard to release all of our hopes and fears and trust that God has a better way for our lives. When you try to work things out as the world does, you are headed for failure.  Charles Spurgeon once wrote:  “You cannot grow in grace to any high degree while you are conformed to the world“. That which you won’t surrender to God will be the foothold  that the enemy uses to take you down.   All that you have that is good has been given you by God. There is nothing that you can keep except that which you give up. 

Jesus calls for us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds and yet that is very difficult to do when you let the influences of this lost world cloud your judgment.  The darkness of these present times can fill you with fear when it seems like God isn’t showing up in time to help you through a crisis. Some  people are suffering with the pain of a serious or terminal illness. Many are  facing monumental financial difficulties as they battle to survive past the list of endless bills.    Marriages are under attack as Satan has targeted families for destruction.  Drugs and alcohol are literally robbing people of their future.  Pornography is a deadly addiction that poisons and  imprisons its victims.  Sadly, lies from hell are being traded for the truth by the lost everywhere.  Many in our country and in the world are now accepting evil as good.

Yet, despite the battles that rage all around,  Jesus promised believers that he would fill them with the peace that surpasses all understanding.  That peace only comes by trusting and following the path of Christ.  You cannot seek out the riches and glory of this world and expect that God’s peace will reign in your heart. I can’t put it more clearly than to say outright that if you live in rebellion to God, you will never be happy!  You will always be searching and never be satisfied.  The true joy that comes only from a relationship with Christ is found nowhere else.  Nothing that you can attain on this earth will last forever or prevent you from dying one day.  But those who seek Christ and his kingdom, all that is good will be added to their life.  As a believer you understand that  death has no power except to release you to be with God in his kingdom forever.

While all will suffer in this life, God works everything for the good those who belong to him.   The temporary struggles you face have divine ramifications as the hand of God uses them to form and shape you into the image of Jesus.  We read in 1 Peter 5:10, “And the God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast“.  After you have been through your painful trial, God himself lifts you up and restores you to wholeness.  You can’t lose in the battle you are in so hang on and know the power that lives in you.  Never surrender your joy no matter how dark your situation may appear.  God always has a way to take you through it if you will believe and wait on his timing   God ‘s power is  more than enough for all that you need.  You should  keep that truth in your heart!

Dear Lord, I know that many are struggling in areas of their lives and they wonder if you truly care about what they are going through.  I pray that you draw near to them in their pain and give them the strength they need to believe that you will not fail them.  May you give them a very real sense of your peace as  you work out all their difficulties and make them strong, firm and steadfast in their faith.  I pray this in the power of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen

    Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life (Psalm 138:7)

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!

Those who are with us are more than those who are with them  (2 Kings 6:16)

How big does the storm in your life have to get for you to take your eyes off of Christ and put them on your circumstance?  Although God may not respond to your prayer the way you thought he should, that surely does not mean that he failed you.  Your cries in the night for help are not going unanswered for they are always heard by a God who knows how to provide for your need.  He has created a course for your life and the twists and turns you must take are not meant to hinder you but rather to get you ready for something far greater. Scripture is filled with verses where God’s strength is revealed in those who trusted him.

We read in Exodus in the  Old Testament where the Israelites were led on a forty-year journey in the desert to get to the land God promised to give them.   But because their hearts were  hardened and unbelieving, God directed them the long way around.   His plan was to give them peace from their enemies and  a land that was overflowing with every good thing.  However, most of them did nothing but grumble and gripe to God.  Their faith was not in God but focused instead on only that which their eyes could see.  They did not have faith that God could give them what he promised  though every day he provided them with all that they needed.  It was  for that reason most of them died before they ever got to the land.  They thought the giants in the land were bigger than their God!  They were dead wrong.  Only Joshua and Caleb had faith enough to trust God and they led their people to win over the enemy in the land given them. 

In Genesis, Joseph was thrown into a pit by his brothers and then sold into slavery.  As dark as it was in that pit, God was using this injustice against Joseph to get him ready to rule in the palace of Egypt!  Joseph had to travel as a slave in chains to Egypt.  He was sold to a commander there named Potiphar and forced to work in his house.  Joseph then was thrown into prison after being falsely accused of a crime.  Here is a man who went from the pit, to chains, to slave and then to prison.  Where was his God?  As painful as it was for Joseph to endure all this, God was using this trial as training.  He was equipping this young man to be the top royal commander second only to Pharaoh.  That was quite an elevation for just a young shepherd boy.

 The truth is that God will not promote you to a higher calling without first equipping you to succeed.   The pain that you are experiencing  is the chisel God is using to perfect his plan for you.  You are literally becoming a work of art in the kingdom of God!  Your struggles never had any power to destroy you.  God knows well how to cause all things to work in harmony with the purpose he has ordained for you.  All of your troubles are unfolding into his perfect plan  to bring you to victory.  You are not going to lose this battle if you can keep your eyes on Christ and in his mighty power. 

Though you can get weary as the pain of your situation overwhelms you, there is hope knowing that there is a divine purpose for your momentary problems.  It should help you to know that God saw these stumbling blocks in your path before you were born.  He could have led you around them but instead  he has chosen to use them to make you stronger as he takes you over and above in strength and glory.   His plan is to make you royalty in a kingdom that will never end.   It was for this exact purpose that Christ died so that you might have an abundant life even while facing the wind and the waves of the raging sea of life.  

My prayer is that you understand that all God allows in your life, he allows for a specific purpose.  He will never send you alone in the battle for he is always with you.  Nothing can defeat you.  Your marriage problems, health issues, financial crisis or any struggle you face  cannot keep his purpose for you  from being fulfilled.  The days remaining in this perishing world are numbered and known  by God.  He sees the beginning and the end and all that goes on in between.  He is with you right now.  You must never let the lies of the enemy make you feel defeated.  If you are a child of God, that can never happen!  Don’t be like the Israelites wandering in the desert  who  did not have faith that God could take them where he promised.   God can and will do abundantly more than anything you can ask or imagine!  

Cease striving, my friends, the battle is won.  The enemy knows it and you need to know it too.  If your trust is in Christ, he already has your situation worked out.  All you have left to do is to have faith and take him at his word!

Dear Lord, I pray that those who are facing trials and pain in their lives right now may know that you are working them out for a purpose that is good.  Help them to stand in faith through this storm knowing that you are with them to the end.  Amen

                          Let not your heart be troubled, neither be afraid

It is way too hard to hold on in this perishing world by your own efforts.  Anyone who is trying to do so will fail.  All of our force and all of our strength comes only from our relationship with Christ who has promised to give us all that we need.  It is for that reason that we can have hope knowing that our life is being worked out by divine hands!

Struggles and storms are filling the lives of everyone.  No one is exempt from the dark skies that have filled this world.  As time grows short, the enemy has stepped up his attacks and they are brutal.  Even the strongest Christians are being tossed by the winds of trouble.  There is no air, land or sea  to go where the war for souls is not fiercely raging. The enemy is relentless.  Yet, the truth remains that there is a place of peace to rest when we are weary from the battle. That is the hiding place of Jesus Christ and in his mighty promise.

I have never witnessed such evil and darkness as I do in this present time.    Believers are experiencing testing of all kinds as they are proven to be true sons and daughters of the living God.  Jesus left us a promise that needs to be understood.  He said, “In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome the world!” (John 16:33)  Your problems are ALL being worked out in the plan that he has set for you.  Nothing you face comes as a surprise to him.  You may not understand now why he is allowing you to suffer as you do, but you must continue to trust him despite what you feel.  Every word in Scripture is utter truth and written for you to use as the power to stand against the attacks you face.  When Jesus was tempted in the desert by Satan, he did not use physical force to defeat him.  He could have turned him to ashes with just a look.  Instead, he used the powerful, unfailing word of God for which Satan had no power over!  Jesus wasn’t just proving his strength to the enemy, he was showing us that we also have that power to overcome all obstacles that stand in our way.  As bad as it now appears, the light of  Christ is still a consuming fire with power to overcome all obstacles of battle.

There are many people suffering oppressive financial problems all over this world.  The forecast is bleak as homes are foreclosed and many have to do without the basic necessities to live.  Marriages are collapsing  like dominoes as the lie of the enemy fills homes and destroys  families.  Health issues are increasing as families must deal with loved ones who have serious or terminal illnesses.  My heart breaks to watch so many fall into the trap of addictive substances and literally exist to get their next fix.  Pornography is destroying many and making slaves to those who are caught in its deadly obsession.  Not even Christians aren’t exempt from this trap.

In addition to all this, we are facing wars and threats of wars, earthquakes, severe weather conditions and pandemic diseases.  Through it all we may wonder, is Christ still sovereign when bad things are happening to good people?   Can we still trust God to get us through all of these problems?  The answer is a resounding yes!  We can still rely on God to help us no matter what is happening in this world.  He will never let the faithful in him be destroyed!

Psalm 34:19 tells us, “ A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all.”  God will not fail in his promises to us.  All circumstances of our lives have been predestined to work out for our good.  There are no conditions that Satan puts in our lives that have power enough to take from the promise that Jesus died to give us.   It may be tough  for you now, but these times will not last.  When the purpose for which they were allowed has been fulfilled than God will raise you above the waters and take you up the mountain of victory.  You can’t lose if you keep your trust in the One who paid the price for your redemption.

The point is not whether or not you can rely on Christ to take you through these turbulent times.  The truth is that you must rely on him and trust him even when all of your hope is gone.  Your trials  in this life are merely the workings of your transformation into the image of Christ.  If God can create the heavens and the earth with just a word, he surely can move the mountains that come against your marriage, finances, health and everything else that stand in the way of what God has promised for you!

Those who wait upon the LORD will never be disappointed.  God’s  promise says in Psalm 72:26, ” My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”   You may be down but you are not out.  God still has a plan for your life.  It is my prayer that those who are struggling in a trial will know that God will make a way!

                         Knowing by faith that God will not fail you 

Every problem and troubling situation believers face in this life is allowed by God  for a specific purpose.  He is working out something far greater than what appears to be happening as he guides the process of transforming you into the image of Christ.  Your faith is being sharpened as a sword to equip you for the battles of this world.  The path of victory has already been set and there is nothing that can destroy a believer who has put his faith in the cross of Jesus.  We are commanded to be anxious for nothing and no one.  But,  is that still possible when the darkness of the storm surrounds us?

The truth is that the strength to endure every painful trial is with you in Christ.  If your eyes were opened to view the spiritual battle that is raging, you would see the grand army of the living God totally surrounding and protecting you with powerful weapons far greater than those against you. Though you will still endure the attacks of the enemy, your hope of victory is secure because of the cross of Christ.  You may be feeling weary and completely overwhelmed but the bible tells us that God is close to the broken-hearted and he is near to us in our pain.   He does not abandon you when your situation is bleak.  As you lift up your fears to him in thankfulness and prayer, you allow his power to be unleashed in your life as he takes your struggle and makes it work into his perfect plan for you. God knows your weaknesses and has seen your failures yet his power is  more than enough to take you safely through.  You may be wounded but you will never be destroyed!

The Apostle Paul knew that each step of his journey was put in place by his Savior.  He learned how to wait on God for all that he needed.  He was able to be content even in suffering and persecution because he trusted in Christ.  He never thought that God forgot about him when he was without food or money.  He was willing to endure whatever it took for his purpose in Christ to be fulfilled.  The thorn in his side was not to take him down but to remind him that it was all for God’s glory. Paul expressed his trust in 2 Timothy 1:12 when he said, ” For I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that he is more than able to care for that which I give to him for this day“.  That is faith in action!

God is not late to help us even when all hope appears to be dwindling down. Even the  timing of Christ’ suffering and death on the cross was planned long before the world was formed.  It happened at the perfect, precise moment that God chose it to be.  There was no detail left undone as Jesus completed the work of redemption for a lost world. Sin and death was overcome by the cross as Jesus uttered this powerful promise saying, “It is finished!” 

Take heart, dear beloved, and know without a doubt  that your situation is not dead.  It is being worked out in the timing of God who already knows the outcome.  There is an eternal purpose for your suffering.  You are not waiting for God to show up for he already has.  You are holding on for the perfection of the plan he is now working out  in your life.

The struggles and trials you suffer are always an opportunity for God to reveal his power to you.  Each time a painful situation brings you to your knees, use that position to give glory to God!  It frustrates the devil when you do.  Never let the enemy convince you to surrender in the heat of battle for you are nowhere near being defeated.  You have been made more than a conqueror through Christ and he is not about to let you fail.

Dear Lord,  I pray that you make your promise and your hope real to those who are struggling in a painful circumstance.  Help them to know that you are with them no matter how weary they become.  Strengthen them in your will and give them your peace to hold onto the truth.  Amen

I want to bring a message of truth for those struggling in this lost and perishing world.  If you belong to Jesus Christ, you must stop acting as the world does every time a crisis happens in your life.  We are children of the Promise and nothing can change that or destroy the purpose God has for our lives.  Don’t let a little shaking of the ground or the darkness of the storm around you cause you to take your eyes off the One who ransomed your life for all eternity!  It is nothing less than blasphemy against your God to let the enemy see you giving more credence to his lies than to the truth of Jesus Christ!  How many rivers and seas does God have to part before we will believe that he has all the power we ever need to fight our battles?

It takes true faith to trust that God is actually going to work your struggles out for your good.  God never fails and he is faithful but the silence can be tormenting as you wait on his promises to be fulfilled.  The enemy will taunt you to make you doubt God’s faithfulness, but the truth is that he is a  defeated foe whose only weapon is his lies.  The purpose and plan of God for your life have been settled long before you were created.  Every single detail was known by God and he provided a way through every one of them.  All it takes is for us to keep our eyes on him and trust him, but so often we forget what he has done for us in the past.

Each trial brings fear and anxious thoughts.  The devil always has a way to make you see the worst of each situation.  For that reason, you are to take captive every thought and line them up to be obedient to the teachings of Christ.  He has told us that he can rescue us from any situation.  God’s has already planned in advance to supply the power that is needed for his people to climb the hills and survive the valleys in this life.  There is not a single struggle you endure that he has not seen long before the world was created.  Why then do we still worry that God is not going to show up in time to help us?  Do we actually believe that the Creator of this world and everything in it is going to forget a single detail of our lives?  Our hope is secure and the battle is won in every area of our lives.  All that we must do is surrender our weaknesses to the one who can work them all out for our good.  It means waiting and trusting while the battle rages on knowing that we are victors.  There is no such thing as a defeated Christian!  Stop carrying around burdens that are not yours.  Worry is a tool that the enemy uses to deflect the truth from believers.  He can’t steal your joy so don’t just hand it over to him when problems arise.

The fact is that God will always take you to the edge of the water so that his power will be revealed as he makes a way to cross when there is none. You need to get to the end of your own strength before you can understand the immeasurable power that God has.   Weary believers need to wake up and realize that God ‘s plan for your life cannot be hindered by your impossible situation.  There is never a time when he leaves you to work things out on your own.  It is for his good purpose that he allows the storms in your life.  He is working out a perfect plan for you that has eternal rewards.  You usually won’t understand the reason for all that happens to you but your faith should still not waver.  Jesus is truth and he has said he will not forsake you!

Jesus said to his Apostle Thomas in John 20:27, “Stop doubting and believe.”  That is his command to us today. Your problems can’t destroy you unless you let them.  God still knows how to part the waters, move the mountains and hold back the sun to help you in the battle you are facing.  To give up is to give in to the lie of a defeated enemy.  That army of the living God has surrounded the camp and is taking back what was stolen from you!  You are a force to be reckoned with because Christ is your leader.  Never forget that your life was redeemed by the righteous blood of Jesus and he is not ever going to let you lose this fight!

Dear Lord,  for those who are struggling and in a painful trial, I pray that you will help them to see that this message is for them!

   Being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see!

In Psalm 69:1, David cries out to the LORD , “Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck, I sink in the miry depths where there is no foothold.  I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me. I am worn out calling for help.”  How many of us feel like that right now?

Even those who have put their faith in the cross of Christ can  find it difficult to survive in this fallen world where there is bad news after bad news and each day brings another set of problems.  It is truly heartbreaking to watch so many people struggling financially.  Those who were once secure in their homes are now  facing foreclosure. Disease and sickness is affecting every family in some way.   We now have a  lethal flu that is threatening to become pandemic. Homes are broken as the enemy seeks to destroy the family and deceive our children.  Disasters of every kind are reported in countries all over the world with increasing occurrence and severity.  Immorality is rampant and accepted.  The ways of God are perverted as we now label sin as “choice”!   Paul tells us in Romans 1:25, “They exchanged the truth for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator – who is forever praised.”   Sadly, God has been thrown out of  decisions made by our government leaders as they give in to the clamor of the lost.  Mankind now believes he has a better way than God to do things.  That is a lie from Satan himself who somehow convinced one third of the angels  in heaven and in the presence of the true and holy God that there was something better!  He is the father of lies.  Ask yourself, who do you believe when troubles surround you?

The truth is that Jesus died to give us hope with a promise that he will be with us to the end.  You may be hard pressed on every side, perplexed, persecuted and struck down in your life but you can never be destroyed!  There now is no power to defeat those whose trust is in the cross of Jesus Christ.  Though the world is darkened as evil fills the sky, believers will always have a light to shine on the path they are to take.  It is by faith that we know that God will complete the good work that he started in us.  We need unwavering trust to believe and not doubt that Jesus has a plan that cannot be stopped by the problems of this world.  It does not matter how impossible your situation is or how painful your heartache,  God  knows how to move mountains and part the waters of trouble so that you can get to that place in your life that he has ordained for you long before you were born.  The trials and struggles that you face are merely the wind that he uses to transform you into the image of  Jesus Christ!  He can still save your marriage, give you victory over addictions, heal your body, and restore your finances.  There is nothing too hard for him who first loved you.

All that you need to survive in this world is within you if you have put your complete trust in Jesus and have made him Master of your life.  It is not in saying a certain prayer but by surrendering your life to his perfect will.  There is nothing good that you can do to save yourself but Jesus finished the work of our redemption when he gave his life for us.  He is alive to intercede on our behalf and he has prepared a place for us in heaven.  He did not die and leave us to fend for ourselves.  He is with us now.  He knows your name.  He sees your face. He hears your voice.  His strength is always with you.   And while others are standing on the sinking sands of a lost earth, you are standing on the promise of Jesus Christ who will not fail to keep you in the victory that he won.  You must stand and believe to the end.   We have nothing to fear from this world for our citizenship is in heaven, guaranteed by the blood of Christ.

My friends, I give this message because these days are very difficult and painful.  There is so much to deal with.  I just pray that you can trust that your hope is secure.  Christ will never fail you.  Even the enemy knows that we are more than conquerors through Jesus.  Believe the promise, mighty warrior, for the reward is yours for eternity! 

Dear Jesus, there is just  so much stress to deal with in our struggle to get through each day.  I pray that you will comfort those who read this message and give them your peace that will fill them with hope.  I pray that marriages will be healed; sickness cured and bodies made whole; strength to overcome bondage and addiction; healing for those who hurt; and, help in financial  struggles.  May they understand that the enemy is trying defeat them with his lies but that he has no power to destroy them or take them from you.  Help them to know that you are always can find a way for them.  I pray for favor for those who need a miracle right now in their life. We humbly bow and trust that you will not fail us.  We give thanks and praise in your name.   Amen

 

It all comes down to where you put your trust

The promises of God are real and he has a way to work all things in your life for good.  He knows what it takes to rescue you from the pain and the struggles of this earth and how to make you stronger for having endured them.  He can do all things for he is the Creator of all that is on this earth and the heavens.  Nothing is impossible for the Lord.   With the knowledge that God ‘s love is enough, why do we still worry and fret when trouble comes upon us?

Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 6:25-27,  “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more important than food and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” 

You are so valuable to God that he gave his only Son to suffer and die for you that you may have everlasting life!  There is nothing that he will allow to destroy those who belong to him, so to give in to worry and doubt is sin.

The truth in this verse is that when you worry, you are making your problems bigger than your God.  You are saying in effect that God is not strong enough or loving enough to help you through your trial.  When you give in to worry and fear, you are falling for the lies of the enemy who wants to destroy you.  He knows that God is more than enough to bring you to victory but he wants you to forget that.  We serve a risen Savior who came to this earth to bring us hope and to give us a future despite what we may have to endure.  He knew our problems and weaknesses long before we were born and he made a way to overcome all of them.  He has a perfect plan and a purpose for your life.  Even though you may have fallen short and rebelled against him, he can always lift you from your past and restore you to wholeness.

All that it takes is for you to allow Christ to reign in your life.  You must make him first over all that you have.  In order for him to help you through the bondages that have kept you prisoner for so long, you need to trust him completely.  You must never take your eyes off Christ and put them on your problems. Only then will you fall.   Jesus is always bigger and stronger than anything the world throws at you.   You cannot be defeated for he has destroyed the power of the enemy.  Even death no longer holds fear for those who are in Christ for we will not perish but be made whole to live in heaven with God.  There is nothing that man can do to you that will crush you for you are protected by the right hand of the King!

When you find yourself worrying and getting anxious about things that are going on in your life, seek Christ out in his word.  Let him fill you with peace as you read of his faithful promises to you.  Giving in to fear indicates a lack of faith.  You must trust that the One who gave you life will be able to sustain you no matter what happens!  Jesus died to release you from the prison of fear and worry.  Don’t go back into bondage when Jesus paid your bail in full.  His blood at Calvary covered your iniquities and made you righteous before God.  That is the power you need to cling to and to use when you are weak and weary.  Take the yoke of Christ for he will lift your burden and give you the strength you need to continue.

There is always hope when your trust is in Christ.  He is the Lifter of your head and the Restorer of things taken from you.  He can mend your heartache and bring your family together.  He has the power to provide for your financial needs no matter how impossible it seems.  He can heal your sickness and break the chains of your addictions.  Most importantly, he can give you the force to conquer any battle you must fight.  He knows your name.  He has numbered your days. His promise is to never leave you or fail to give you all that you need.  Give him your worry and anxious thoughts and let him bring you to a place of peace.   No matter where you are in your life, Jesus has a way to reach you!

Dear Lord,  I pray that you will touch all those who read this message and give them peace in the trouble they are experiencing in their lives.  Help them to know that you are with them and that you are bigger than their problem.  Give them the strength to walk in faith and not lose sight of the victory that you have given us.  Amen

He knows how to provide for your need

It is so difficult to watch the television reports each night as bad news just seems to get worse.  The economy is grim and has taken its toll on just about everyone. So many people are now without jobs and fear of losing their homes.  The struggle of this bleak forecast is causing us all to take a closer look at how we spend our money.  People everywhere are now having to worry how they will survive in these dark days.

As tough as things are in this world, we serve a God who is the provider of all that we need.  He planned long before the world was formed to take us through every battle and every storm.  He knew what we would face and he has a way in his perfect plan to take us through no matter what the economy dictates.  But I wonder how many can continue to trust God when the bank is foreclosing on their home?

In Luke 12:22, Jesus said, ” Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear.”  He then says in verse 31, “ But seek first the kingdom of God and all things will be given to you as well”.  Worrying about your finances is not going to change them.  It is only going to take years from your life.  Jesus did not leave us on this earth helpless and alone for he is with us in every struggle that comes our way. Your faith must not grow weary when times get tough.  Our God is the same in the night as he is in the day.  The darkness of your situation does not limit his power.  He is ruler over all things and he can bring peace into your life with just a word.

Despite your difficulty,  it is important to remember that God is always in control.  He is working all things out for his purpose.   The things of this world are perishing and will not last.  Although you may be struggling just to make ends meet,  your faith can be earning for you a  reward that far outweighs anything you have to endure.   The evil of this world will increase but believers have nothing to fear.  Jesus paid that ultimate price for our victory and nothing can destroy his plan for us. Christ has overcome the world and the enemy has been defeated. That means that you can have joy despite the storm you are in because we serve the Master over the wind and he will not let you perish.

Never let your problems or financial difficulties make you doubt the power of your God!  He owns the sheep on a thousand hills and all that is created is his. He is so much bigger than anything that comes against you.  He is limitless and cannot fit within the confines of your finite minds. His will prevails in all situations.  It is the enemy of your soul that wants to fill your mind with fear and doubt that God will help you.  Don’t give him a foothold.  Take those thoughts of defeat captive and line them up with the promises of God. He hasn’t taken you this far in your life just to have you fail now.

Keep in mind that you are alive and breathing right now because of  God’s power.  Your heart is beating because he tells it to beat.  He put the sun in the sky; he tells the waters where to stop; he calls the stars out by name and he spoke the worlds into existence.  Do you still think it is too difficult for him to find a way to help you work out your financial problems?

My friend, God cares about the struggles you are facing.  Ask him to help you to stand in faith until he has brought you the victory.  Don’t give up when the prize is just ahead.  Psalm 32:10 tells us, “The Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts him“.   That is his promise to you.

Dear Lord,  I know that many are having financial problems that seems like it is going to destroy them.  I stand in the gap for those who need a touch from you in the area of their finances.  I pray for jobs to be restored to those who have lost them.  I pray for new and better opportunities to come about.  I pray for you to provide homes for those who need them.  I pray for you to provide them the food and transportation that they need.  I pray that you will be able to keep families together along with their pets.  I pray that they will keep their trust in you no matter how hard it gets.  Lord, help them to understand that you will not fail them.  You will come through for them at the perfect time and in the perfect way.  My heart is with them, Lord, and I know that your love will keep them.  Amen 

Our power is from God

God always has the power to help you overcome

So much is happening in this world and the struggle to survive is getting more difficult.  Everyone has been affected in some way by the economy as jobs are scarce and homes are being foreclosed on daily.  The increase of broken marriages is staggering even among Christians.  And it seems like so many health issues are affecting people everywhere.  Though prayers are being offered,  some may wonder if God’s power is enough to take us through.

The Apostle Paul said in 2 Timothy 1:12, “For I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that he is able to guard that which I give to him for this day“.  That was a powerful statement coming from a man who in his lifetime was beaten, stoned, homeless and imprisoned.  How could such faith come from Paul in the midst of all that he had to endure?  It seems like God should have made Paul’s life a little easier since he was entrusted with bringing the good news of Christ to the lost.  But God’s ways are higher.

The truth lies in the fact that Paul intimately KNEW the God he served.  He was confident that he could have peace in his blessings as well as his trials.  He understood that in all things, God was working out a perfect plan that would strengthen Paul in this life and earn him reward in heaven. The reality was that God had a purpose in using all that came against Paul to further his kingdom as he transformed Paul into the image of Christ.  Paul was ready for the day when he would meet his Savior face to face.  For that reason he believed that to die was gain and to go on living was for Christ.  Paul was ready to do whatever was asked of him.

The grace that you need to face all of the challenges in your life as a believer is living in you!  There is now no mountain of trouble and no sea of tears that can stop you from living an abundant life in Christ Jesus.  The enemy can’t do anything to you that God knows will destroy you.  You can’t lose the battle when the power of Christ is your force and your strength.  You must always remember that God knows your struggles and your pain.  It was by his will that you were  created and  by his word he spoke the universe into existence.  There is nothing hidden from the all-knowing, all present God.

God will always be sovereign over all that you go through.  In the book of Job, we read that Satan had to first ask  permission to come against Job.  Satan wanted to destroy Job but God knew that the testing was only going to make Job stronger in his faith and more blessed than before.  He knew his power would be more than enough for Job to overcome all of  the enemy’s attacks. Do you not know that the same is true for you and in your circumstance?  The wind, the waves and every storm and battle that you face must first come before Christ who allows only that which he will cause to be used for your good despite how painful it seems now.  Beloved, for that reason you must never give up.  Your God is working out blessings in your life that you can’t even imagine!  You may feel weak,  but God will keep you from sinking if you will just keep your eyes on him.

In my own life, I am experiencing a struggle that is causing me much pain.  There are times I also feel overwhelmed and weakened from the battle that never seems to end.  It is difficult some mornings for me to just get out of bed.  Yet in my heart, I know the God whom I have believed.  I can trust through all things that  God will not fail me.  I may not see or feel him working out my problem, but I know that he is.  When I get weary, I turn to his word and seek his strength.  I have purposed in my heart to keep my trust in Christ no  matter how dark the storm gets.    Sometimes I write these posts through my tears.  It is difficult but I know my Redeemer lives!  He has taken me too far for me to give up now.  Each day I grow in the strength that he gives me.  All that I am going through has a purpose that God has designed and that he will work out in his perfect way.

It is my prayer that  if you are in a difficult situation that you will give your pain to the One who paid the price to give you a future with hope. Jesus overcame all of our enemies and all of our problems by his death on the cross. There is nothing can can hold you in bondage if you will trust  that God is bigger.  I will be praying with you.

Dear Lord, there is so much darkness in this world and  we are all struggling to stay in the battle.  I pray for all of those who are just too weary to pray and who feel that you have given up on them.  I stand in the gap for those who are hurting and I pray that you will lead them to your perfect peace.  Let them feel your presence as you give them the knowledge that nothing will stop your plan and the future that you have ordained for them.  You are more than able to guard all the pain and struggles that we give to you for this day.  Open their eyes to see that you already have them surrounded by your angels who are greater than the troubles that come against them.  Please give them an understanding of your enduring love.  Amen

devil tempting                                                     Fear is a lie from hell

One of the greatest weapons that the enemy uses against us is doubt.  The devil himself knows the truth that believers are victors and mighty warriors in the army of God.  He knows that God has a plan for us that cannot be stopped by anything or anyone.   That means not by our weaknesses, not by our rebellion, not by our past and certainly not by the enemy whose power was overcome by the cross of Jesus Christ!

The strength to walk in victory  comes with a realization that God’s power will always be enough.  If you can understand that his plan was made long before we were created and he foreknew the struggles that we would face, then you can trust that he can rescue you whatever your situation.  Our Savior knew of the plans that the enemy had to destroy us and he knew how to take us through to victory.  A painful trial or circumstance in our life has no power except that which you give it.   If God already had knowledge of what you would have to endure and gave his power to overcome all things, why would you ever allow your problem to make you anxious?  When you give in to fear, you are giving in to the lies from a defeated enemy!

You have to know who your God is.  You must seek for an understanding of his love that covers everything.  There is no bondage that can stand against the cross.  Jesus finished the work of salvation and he is alive and  intercedes for us every day.  Christ will always be sovereign over all that comes against us.  Everything in all of creation must submit to him!  Anything that he allows in your life is for a purpose and must conform to the plan that he has for your life.  Remember that God made us into his image from the dust.  He knows where you are and he knows your pain.  He created the 70 million trillion stars and calls them out by name each night.  There is no place you can go that can make him forget you.  The hairs of your head are numbered by him and he saw the length of your days on this earth before one of them came to be.  There is nothing in your life that is impossible for him.

feeling aloneIt is not always easy to trust when you are in a battle with the spiritual forces of evil that fill this earth.  The days are dismal and filled with more problems.  Financial difficulties are hitting everyone.  Who can think about the future when it is hard enough to get through a day?  Yet that position is right where you need to be.  Christ will see you through all things but he will take you through one day at a time, sometimes minute to minute.  You won’t be able to see  where he is taking you so you must trust him with all of your heart.  Jesus did not die to lose you now!  Beloved, you will never be destroyed by this lost and crumbling world for you will be taken above it by the Spirit of  Christ who lives in you.  You aren’t standing on the perishing earth, you are standing on the Promise which is Jesus Christ!

My friends, I want you to understand one very important truth.  It does not matter where you are, what problems you have or how low you have fallen.  If your hope is in the cross of Jesus, you will come through every battle as a conqueror.  The victory has already been won.  Never let the enemy or your painful situation convince you that God’s power is not enough.  It is more than enough.  The enemy of your soul knows this.  You need to know it also.  If you ever believe anything, believe this:  JESUS WILL NEVER FAIL YOU!

Dear Lord, I know the times are hard and people are struggling with the problems that this dark world brings.  I pray that you will open their eyes and affirm in their heart the truth that your power and love will take them through all things no matter how impossible it may seem.  Jesus, help them to know that you are the light which has conquered the darkness.  Let them know that whatever illness, bondage, marriage problem, financial issue or heartache they have, you always have a way to give them your peace.  You alone paid the price for our victory.  Jesus, I thank you for being all that we need.  Amen

Marianne Bernard

Marianne Bernard

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

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