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If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night”, even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. Psalm 139:11-12

How can you stay in perfect peace when, at some point, we will all face trials in this life? No one escapes the storms in this passing world and bad things can happen to good people. So, when trouble happens, do you make more time for worry than you do for prayer? That is a question of faith that you need to ask yourself.

Times of change and uncertainty can bring fear when the days are growing dark and you feel helpless. You may know by faith that Christ is with you in your troubles, but it is hard to stop the doubts that are flooding your mind. We are reminded in the word of God that we need to look beyond what is happening around us and to focus on the truth of God’s unfailing word. We are not promised tomorrow, but God has said that whatever we go through, He will be with us to the end. “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Cor 4:18) To keep going in these times of darkness takes faith that has been tested in the fire. Anyone can trust God in the good times, but Christ is looking for believers that are able to handle the trials that this life brings and who continue to praise God no matter how big the battle becomes.

In the Old Testament, we find what David did when he was in a serious crisis. He had been running from King Saul for years as Saul kept trying to kill him. He was jealous of David because of the success God gave him in the battles he fought. David tried to hide from Saul, and in doing so, he aligned himself with the Philistines. When they went out to battle, David and his men were not trusted by the Philistines to do battle with them, so he and his men returned to Ziklag where they were living. Upon entering the city, they found that the Amalekites had raided and burned down their town, and took their wives, sons, and daughters captive. In 1 Samuel, Chapter 30, we read that David and his men wept until they had no more strength to weep. As if that were not bad enough, in their distress, the men started talking about stoning David. So what did David do? In verse 6 we read “But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God“.

Instead of giving up, David took his strength from the God he trusted. He didn’t allow a shadow of doubt to weaken his faith. David didn’t look at his situation, he looked to his God. He sought the will of God in this battle by asking the priest to inquire of the LORD if they should pursue the Amalekites. When he was told to go after them, David, and four hundred men went to battle the thousands of the enemy soldiers. Because David believed God, not only did he strike down the Amalekites so that only a small number escaped, but he was able to safely get back all their wives and children. David then captured all the flocks and herds and the rest of the spoil that the Amalekites left behind. David understood that victory always comes from seeking God’s will. Even though he was outnumbered by the army of the enemy, David knew that with God on his side he could not lose. That’s a lesson for us all!

Whatever you are going through in these ending times, be assured that if you belong to Christ, you cannot be defeated. Whatever ordeal God allows you to bear, he has promised that all things will work for your good and his divine purpose. We know that God is faithful and just, and filled with love for you. He made a promise to be with you to the end. There is no battle that is stronger than the force of the omnipotence of God. He sets the time for every trial he allows in your life until it has completed its work. Every one of God’s holy attributes are in the difficulties that he allows you to face. Has seen your struggle long before you were born and he has prepared a perfect way through it for your good. You might not undersand his way, but his mercy and love will never fail you.

There is no need to fear the darkness for the nothing is hidden from the eyes of God. In Psalm 139, King David writes, “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of then, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them”. Before he formed you in the womb, he knew you. God is sovereign over every cell in your body and he knows every thought that passes your mind. Nothing escapes him. Jesus died and paid the price for your sins over two thousand years before you were born. He died to give you hope in the stressful times of this life.

Do you really think there is something going on in your life that God can’t handle? Or do you feel he doesn’t love you enough to help you? And because you are going through anxious times when you feel alone, do you really believe that God is not in control? That’s exactly what the enemy wants you to believe. However, if you have the faith to believe that Christ paid the price for your sins to give you eternal life with him in a kingdom, then you must trust that he sees your hurt and grieves with you in your heartache. God is always working on your case even if you can’t see or feel what he is doing. Romans 8:34 (NLV) reminds us, “Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.Christ is always interceding for believers. You are never alone to fight your painful battles. You have already been delcared a victor in them all.

As the days grow shorter in these days of deception, remember that God’s love is more than enough to see you through because Christ has overcome the world. Be in peace. He is coming back soon to make all things new.

I am praying for all who needed to hear this message. There is always hope in your situation because of Christ.

For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” ( Isaiah 41:13)

 

Troubles abound for all of us. No one is exempt from the darkness of this fallen world. This is not heaven. We all will face battles that bring pain and suffering but as believers, we are never without hope. For that fact, there is no reason for us to sink into despair as problems mount.

We are told in Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose“. Everything God allows in your life has a specific, providential, eternal reason. Everything! There is not a disease, a financial issue, nor any painful affliction that is not being timed and measured by the hand of God with an unfailing purpose to bring you closer to him and stronger in your faith.   All that you have been given to endure has been settled in heaven! Although it seems that God is slow in answering your cry for help, know without a doubt that he is working on your life in ways you cannot imagine. He is moving heaven and earth to make straight the path he has destined for you since the foundation of the earth. There are no battles you face that are stronger than the armies of the living God. And though you may feel wounded and weary in your struggle, victory is always the outcome to those who belong to Christ.

To have peace in your trials, you must focus on the truth of God’s word. In 1 Samuel 17, we read of the Philistine army who came to battle the Israelites.  Goliath, who stood over 9 feet tall, was a champion fighter for the Philistines. With each threatening step he made toward the men of Israel, they would retreat in fear. When young David saw this, he volunteered to fight Goliath. He knew that Goliath was a strong warrior but more importantly, he knew that his God was stronger. While the army of Israel was acting in fear, David was acting in faith. As Goliath advanced toward young David, the bible tells us that David ran quickly toward him shouting, “This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand”. He never hesitated; and by faith, he defeated the giant.   David had no doubt that God was bigger than Goliath and the Philistine army. He never let fear make him forget that truth.

We are facing colossal battles in this world and it is easy to withdraw in fear. A pandemic virus is upon us with the power to take many lives. While we don’t understand why God is allowing this to happen,  we know that in all things his powerful plan is unfolding. He is completing the work he started in us. Believers have nothing to fear and everything to gain in the troubles of this life. That is a promise Christ died to give us.

The way to victory is to take the first step of faith and pray for the strength to trust that Christ is in total and utmost authority over all you are facing. You are never alone for a second of time and his eyes are always on you.  The prophet Habbakuk cried out to God, ” O LORD, how long shall I cry for help and you will not hear?” It seemed to the prophet that God was ignoring his plea.  The LORD answered him, “ I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.  And the LORD later addedBut the righteous shall live by his faith”

  Faith that is tested is faith that is proven true. A.W. Tozer, an American Christian Pastor in the 1900s once wrote, ” It is doubtful that God can bless a man greatly until he has hurt him deeply”. That may be difficult to understand, but everyone that has been used by God in a mighty way has all been tested by affliction. The testing of your faith produces steadfastness so that you may be complete and lacking in nothing. You are being made ready to live with Christ in a Kingdom that has no end.

Finally, one thing more to remember: “True faith rests upon the character of God and asks no further proof than the moral perfections of the One who cannot lie.” A.W. Tozer

                         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

 
                               Christ is with you in your pain
 

We are told in John 10:10 that the thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy but that Jesus came to give us life that is abundant and overflowing.  That means that believers do not have to live an unfulfilled, mundane life.  Those who put their trust in Jesus are now a new creation with the ability to live in complete victory despite the circumstances that they face.  The shadow of death will bring no fear to those who know that their debt was paid for on the cross at Calvary.

 

The hand of God will supply you with the strength and power that you need to stand against the forces of evil that try to destroy your family, your health and your finances. You cannot be defeated because God has a perfect plan for your life to give you a future with hope.  The destructive lies of the enemy cannot harm you because the force of God is mightier than any weapon that is formed against you.  In Isaiah 40 we are told that God gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Those who trust in the enduring love of the Savior, Jesus Christ, will never be disappointed.

 

Jesus tells us in John 8:32, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”.  Jesus came to bring light to a dark world.  He came to bring life to a world that was perishing.  He came to show us the way to eternal life.  Jesus is all these things. He is the way, the truth and the life.  He is the only way to the Father.  He has given us life by his death and resurrection.  And by his power, we are now set free from the bondages of sin and destruction.

 

 There is not a force in the heavens or earth that is more powerful than the power of Christ who dwells in a believer.   There is now no sin, no pain and no addiction that can hold you in chains when the truth has set you free.  The knowledge that God is your protector and your vindicator should fill you with the peace that Jesus won at the cross.  His sacrifice not only bought us eternal life but also the right to reign with him in heaven.  That is a promise that is worth the momentary trials and pain of this world.  You should live your life with the knowledge that the love of God will see you through the battles of this world and bring you safely to the glory that awaits you in heaven.

 

If you are feeling weary and troubled at this moment, please understand that you may be trying to carry your own burdens.  Scripture says to cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you (Psalm 55:22).  In order to do that, you must trust that Jesus has the power to lift the pain that you have and to give you the peace that he will work all things out for your good.

 

It is my prayer that all who read this will be set free by a revelation of the truth of God’s enduring love.

Dear Lord, I pray for those who are weary from the battle, who feel defeated and overwhelmed.  I pray that you will lift them by your power and give them the strength to continue on knowing that you will fight the battles that come against them.  I pray that they will feel your peace as you help to stand in faith and trust that you are all that they need.

                 HAVING FAITH                                    

The Bible says that without faith, it is impossible to please God.  Yet each day brings with it problems and trials that sometime make it difficult to trust in the sovereignty of God.  Our hope can wane in crisis situations despite the fact that we are told in James 1:12, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown that God has promised to those who love him”.  God will reward those who can still trust him in the darkest storm.  We were bought at a price by the suffering and death of Jesus on the cross and his unfailing love is strong enough to bring us to victory in every area of our lives if we only believe. 

 

The strength that we need is always near when Christ lives in us.  It is by his power that we fight the battles of this world and to even face death without fear. This is a promise of Jesus but there are trials which may make it difficult to believe.  But through the faith of a member of my church, Don King, many were able to witness how God is able to keep in peace those who put their trust in him. 

 

Don King is a wonderful family man and father of four.  He volunteers to teach the Royal Ranger boys group at the church and he drives the church bus to pick up children who have no other way to get to church.  He is always willing to help as he considers it a joy to reach others with the love of Jesus Christ.  He is a true example of faith in action.

 

That is why our congregation was stunned some months ago when we heard that Don had been diagnosed with terminal, inoperable cancer of the brain.  It was a shock not only to us but his wife Kathy and their children were brought to their knees at the thought of losing Don.  The doctors told Don and his family that nothing really could be done for him.  That diagnosis was backed up by other experts and he was given approximately six months to live.  He was in the darkest storm of his life.

 

Although Don was shaken by the diagnosis, he chose to walk in unwavering trust in Christ.  He continued his work with the Royal Rangers and attended church every Sunday, always praying for others. He kept his smile and to look at him, you would never know what he was going through.  He professed an unrelenting faith believing that the peace of God would sustain him no matter what the outcome. He knew that death could not destroy him but only release him to be with his Savior.  As our church prayed night and day for him, the peace that Don had began to fill us all.

 

Although we may never understand the ways of God, one thing is perfectly clear.  He has a plan for our lives and nothing in this world can stop him from fulfilling all that he has promised.  A couple of months ago, Don went to have a scan to check on the status of the cancer.  After reviewing the films several times, the doctor was baffled.  Not only was the cancer gone, but the doctor had a hard time finding where it had been!  This incurable, inoperable cancer was now gone from Don’s body and we knew that the power of God had just been manifested before our very eyes. 

 

For reasons that we do not understand, not everyone is healed on this earth.  However, we still have the peace that surpasses understanding knowing that God has promised believers that we can never be destroyed and that his love will bring us through every storm. If you can keep your eyes on Christ and trust that he will not fail you, you also will be filled with the calm assurance that he will provide all that you need to get through the battle you are in.  Remember that Christ who lives in you will always be greater than anything that comes against you. 

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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