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This is a repost of a message that I wrote 7 1/2 years ago. At the time I wrote it, I had no idea that one year later I would be going through a divorce and that a few years after that, my beloved brother would die.  With that said, I had to face many trials since then and yet this message of hope is more relevant than ever. I could not have gotten through all the pain in my life if Christ were not with me. I have always said that if you knew how effective your prayers were against the powers of darkness, you would never get off your knees. Prayer would be the one stronghold that you relied on for peace and strength in every battle. Life is tough and that is not going to change but God is faithful to the end. Please read this message again and let the truth of God’s amazing love and power fill you will hope despite your struggles.  There is always hope because Christ lives to intercede for us. That’s a promise that will never fail. 

Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard” (Daniel 10:12)

Probably one of the hardest steps of faith is believing that God hears and will help us when we call on him in prayer.  We are still living in a world that has dimensions and boundaries and our finite minds have limits to our understanding in difficult matters.  We, therefore, need a measure of faith to see past that which is seen and go deeper into that which is unseen.  The only way to please God is by trusting him despite the storms that we face in a world that is literally being destroyed by sin.  Although it is not visible to our eyes right now, there is a battle that is taking place all around us in the heavenly realms.  Darkness is covering the horizons in every corner of this world as evil is seeking to destroy everything in God’s creation.  So when we are faced with a painful trial, it is easier to believe what we can see than what we can’t see.  Yet, it is at our lowest point of a struggle that we must lift our eyes in prayer and believe that our God is not going to let us be devoured by the enemy of destruction.

It may seem impossible to live with a  heart that is breaking but God has promised us in  his word that He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3)   He is not slow to help and he will never fail you even when it seems that you are being crushed by the weight of your pain. If you could see the very real battle that is taking place all around you, you would understand that you are being guarded by the forces of heaven. Every step you take as a believer is guided by the hand of God who knows the path you must take to victory.  Every prayer that you present to Christ is heard and he knows what is right and perfect for you.  Your whole life is before his eyes and he is answering you in ways that for now, you may not understand. The solid truth is that Christ never stops working all things out for your good!  When you lift up your prayers and petitions, you are surrendering all of your struggles to the will of God.  You are seeking his strength and his power to help you stand in faith believing the God who saw your unformed body in the womb and who numbered all of your days before even one of them came to be.  Nothing of your life is hidden from him.  Your fear and despair in a trial stem from not understanding the power of God and his unfailing love for you. Never will his eyes leave you for one second! Why can you not understand that you are worrying about things that Jesus already has worked out?

I have been through a lot of pain in my life but I can now rest in the fact that the purpose and plan God has for my life cannot be stopped. I can trust that he is right next to me when I pray and that he always hears.  No pain can consume my life because my God will always be bigger than anything I face.  I believe that God will go ahead of me in every battle and lead me into victory against my enemies.  I know that God is faithful and that I can take him at his word.  My future is in his hands and he is the joy of my life.  At the moment of Christ’ death, the temple veil that enclosed the holy of holies was torn signifying our new access to the throne of God in every prayer!  Believers are right there with Christ in every petition that is made to him. The devil can’t stop our prayers nor can he hinder God from answering them.

My dear friends, I say all this to encourage you through the trials you are facing.  You can still have a future despite a broken marriage or a relationship that is not working out.  Your financial struggles are not going to be forever.  Job situations and serious health issues are still under the sovereignty of God. My greatest lesson in God’s love came when I trusted him at a time when I had no strength of my own in an impossible situation.  His power is greater than a painful struggle or addiction.  His strength is perfected in any weakness that we surrender to him. We can trust our God in every area of life and we can trust him in death.  There is nothing good that he will ever withhold from those who belong to him. Never let the silence make you think that God is not doing something for your cause. Remember that Elijah had to wait on the mountaintop for the quiet whisper of God after he faced the powerful wind, the earthquake, and the great fire. No matter how or when he chooses to do it, never doubt that God will show up and fight against that which is coming against you!

Dear Lord,  I am lifting up those who are going through a storm in life that is making them weary. They want to believe that you will show up in time to help them but the enemy has been filling their minds with lies.  I pray that you will give them your peace that passes understanding and open their hearts to know that you are with them right now. They don’t have to see you or feel you in order to know that you are there.  Show them that their prayers are heard by you and you will resolve the issues they face. Let them know that you will never leave them to fight against the battles of this world alone.  I pray that they will listen for that small whisper of hope that you are ready to give them.  Lord Jesus, I believe your promises never fail.  Amen

 

Picture above post by Diana Simumpande

“I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping.” Psalm 6:6

People who face painful trials and trouble in their lives can feel defeated as they experience the sorrow of weariness. In Scripture, King David wrote Psalm 6 crying out to God, “My soul  also is greatly troubled. But you, O LORD – how long?”.

I believe most of us have asked God the same question. As time grows short it is obvious that the devil has stepped up his attacks on believers.  Popular revivalist, Vance Havner, once wrote that added trouble by the enemy is  “evidence that we are making progress and have aroused him”. He adds that in our discouragement, “A sense of things present will come doubly strong and heaven will seem far away“.  We will feel more like sighing than shouting.

The truth is that if you don’t have faith in the darkness of trouble, then it is not enough for the light of good times. Our faith is proved to be genuine only when it is tested! We all grow weary in the battles of this life. It may even appear that the evil is overcoming the world.  We are not in a losing battle. Our victory is guaranteed! The devil already knows that we have been declared conquerors. Once you fully understand that God’s plan was put in place long before he formed the world, you can have peace knowing that he has prepared a way to take you through every bondage and get you to where he wants you to be.

In Scripture, King David had many enemies who attacked him and yet his trust was in his God. In Psalm 31:14-15  he cries out,“But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, ‘You are my God’. My times are in your hand.”  David’s strength came from the fact that he understood that his battles were being fought and won by God’s power. He knew he wasn’t alone. That truth kept him in perfect peace.

The world is growing in rebellion to the ways of God. Do not fear the coming darkness. We are told in Matthew 24:12, “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold”. Sin is rampant and you need only watch the news to see a new form of iniquity abounding each day.  Truth has been replaced by a lie as evil is called good and good evil. The persecution of Christians is surging all over the world. Even in America, Christianity is being marginalized and laws are being made to punish those who believe the Bible is God’s word.

Betsie Ten Boom and her family were put in death camps for hiding Jews in their home during the Nazi occupation in Holland. In that place of misery she never doubted God. She said to her sister, Corrie, “There are no ‘ifs” in God’s world. And no places are safer than other places. The center of His will is our only safety.” Betsie took God at his word.

My friends, nothing can ever separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. We are covered for each and every pain and struggle that we face. When things seem like they are not working out and that your prayers are not being answered I implore you to put your faith to the test. Let the hope of God fill your heart He has not allowed anything to happen in your life that will not fulfill his purpose for your good.

It may not seem like it right now but one day it will be the unshakable hope that fills your heart. You will know that you were never forsaken and that each petition and every tear were before the throne of God and answered in his perfect way. His mercy was always with you. You need to understand that the will of God for your life is good. He is preparing you for the royalty of an eternal Kingdom.  In I Cor. 2:9, we are promised, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.”

If your struggle is lasting longer than you feel you can bear, please take heart and seek God out in his word. It is there that you will find the peace you need to hold on. You will see that even when God appears silent, he is actually preparing your heart for his perfect answer. The wait has a purpose and is part of the plan. Don’t give up.

 

 

Knowing without a doubt that Christ is in the midst of all that you are facing and that He will take you through to victory.

I wrote an article five years ago that I called, “Wounded Warriors” and I remember when I wrote it that I wanted to truly believe all that I said.  I was going through a painful divorce at the time and while I struggled to make sense of it all,  I knew by faith that in the end, my struggle would bring me closer to the truth of Christ.  And at that time, it did.

Recently, I lost my brother to cancer. Growing up in a dysfunctional family, my older brother was my guide, my mentor and someone who watched over me. He always protected his sisters.  While in my battles, I would seek the will of God first, but sometimes I just needed to hear my brother’s voice encouraging me and standing with me. He was definitely my gift from God.

I prayed for my brother to be healed for over a year. I pleaded and cried to Christ to save him both spiritually and physically.  I loved my brother. I truly would have given my life for his.  But God had other plans. His ways are higher.  I must trust his will. And through my tears, I do.  God did answer my prayer, my brother put his trust in Christ.

For some reason,  this article of mine came up and I re-read what I wrote  five years ago. The words were made alive to me and I felt like I was truly understanding the truth of what I wrote. My pain is in God’s hands. His purpose shall be fulfilled.  I pray that if you are going through a struggle that you also will understand that Christ did not leave you nor forsake you. He is with you right now and if you can hold on and trust a little longer, he will give you the crown of life.

Please read this message and let the truth of Christ’s love fill your heart with hope.  I am praying for you.

 WOUNDED WARRIORS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Lord,  make this truth clear to those who need your help now.  

 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.

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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.

trialsEvery 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. 

This world is perishing but God still holds your future!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

storm

If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night“.

(Psalm 139:11)

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.

in darknessWe 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.

                                Dear Jesus,

Jesus loves youI 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:

Already Not Yet

Jonathan_Edwards

How can we really say God is sovereign over all when there is so much chaos and pain in the world?

Jonathan Edwards:

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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light through the tunnel

Of what value is faith that has not been tested?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May God’s wisdom and  peace be with Israel and her leaders.

Looking at horizon

Fear not for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  ( Isaiah 41:10)

When I first got out of high school, I went into training to become an x-ray technologist.   I did not have a relationship with Christ at that time and I constantly believed the worst about myself.  I told myself that I probably would never finish my training and be able to pass the registry.  I did not consider the notion that my life had any value and so I consistently sold myself short and made many poor choices.  The devil couldn’t tell me anything bad about myself that I didn’t already believe.  I set myself up for defeat.  I felt alone and worthless.  Even after I took my test and passed with high marks, it did little to convince me that my life mattered to anyone –  much less to God!  After all, I thought, where was he when I was going through so much pain in my life growing up and it seemed like no one protected me.

That is a question many people ask. Where is God when life hurts?  The truth is that  Christ is on the throne with complete authority over all that believers face in this perishing world.  That is the most comforting of all truths and yet so many people still are unable to stand in faith in times of trouble and strife.

Without a doubt, we are living in perilous times.  The increase of evil puts us all within the range of attack.  We are trying to survive in a time when truth of God has been thrown to the ground and trampled. The hearts of most people have grown cold.  It seems that everyday brings more heartache and pain as the forces of darkness have increased their effort to destroy lives.  Yet, in spite of all this, Christ is still our hope.

Marianne-Jesus caresFor believers, the fact remains that we are not alone in our battles.  We may be attacked from all sides but the outcome of assured victory was determined before the battle began.  It was the price Jesus paid for us to defeat all of our enemies; we have been made more than conquerors.  Our pain and our struggles are working out our transformation into the image of Christ.  In the midst of darkness,  God’s power is near enough to help us overcome every single weapon of warfare. The enemy has been rendered powerless and ineffective to destroy those who put their trust in the cross.  Through it all,  the presence of Christ is right by your side in every single storm you face.  His angels have been commanded to guard your life.   He loves you  unconditionally just as you are!  It is not dependent on what you do or how well you do it.  The everlasting mercy of Christ is enough for all your needs.

Your painful trial is temporary.  The enemy wants you to believe that things will never change but that is a lie.  The truth is that he sees your struggle and is using it for your good.  For that reason, you must never let your faith be nearsighted.  Trust in God’s long-range plan for your future. You cannot fall so far that the grace of God is not able to restore your life and complete the purpose he began in you.

Sometimes it feels like I am always up against mountains in my life.  That might be so but each time God takes me through my troubles, I realize that those mountains never had the power to block my path.  My struggles have only served to reveal to me more of the love and power of Christ.  I knew without a doubt that I never was alone.  All of my battles are being led by the army of God.  I am a conqueror because greater is He that is with me than any force that the enemy can ever use against me.

I know that so many of you are also facing problems of every kind.  It may feel like you are losing the battle but that will never happen.  In the center of each storm is the magnificent power of God who is working all things out for good.  He has a  divine purpose charted out for everything that touches your life.  We read in God’s word in 2 Chronicles 16:9, “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose hearts are fully committed to him”.   He is looking for those who can trust him in the bad times as well as the good times. That is what defines a true believer.

God’s power is not limited by the impossibility of your situation.  He knows how to allow your pain to work out the purpose for which he planned.  That is why we never give up and never surrender.  We are a royal army who are being trained to rule in a kingdom that will never end.  Be mindful that your struggles won’t endure, but through Christ, your eternal future will!

Dear Lord,

I am lifting up those who are  facing serious problems and feel that they have no hope.  They are dealing with problems that are out of their control and some may wonder if you are even with them in their struggles. I pray that you will touch each and everyone who need your help and counsel.  I pray that you will bring them peace and comfort as you draw them near to you.  May you touch their hearts with the truth of your love.  I pray that they will know that you will help them.  I pray for healing from illness and disease.  I pray for a restoration of broken marriages and relationships. I pray for those struggling with financial problems and have nowhere to turn. I plead for those who have addiction problems or have family with addictions and need your help.  Lord, please show them that your strength is all that they need.

I pray for those in persecuted nations who are suffering for their faith.  May you rescue them and give them hope.  Protect them and their families.  May your light shine through them to those who are lost.

I pray for the protection of Israel and the Jewish people.  May you show them mercy and keep them from harm. I pray for their leaders to have wisdom, discernment and your favor against those who come against them for evil.  And may you open their eyes to know the truth of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

For anyone who is not saved or who has doubts regarding their eternal salvation, I pray that you will open their eyes and hearts to know that Jesus is the only name under heaven by which we can be saved. 

To those who belong to you, dear Jesus,  I pray that you bring them peace and hope during these dark times.   Amen

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

Boo in snowpathway for dogs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. (Psalm 23)

There is nothing more painful than to be on your knees pouring out your heart to God only to watch as your dreams being crushed before your eyes.  If you are a true believer, you know by faith that  God heard your cries for help.  He has said in his word that he would never leave you nor abandon you.  Yet despite knowing that God is aware of your struggle, you still feel left with nothing but a broken heart, eyes that can’t stop crying and a question within as to why he would allow you to go through this pain.

It is difficult to understand when you are overwhelmed, but  your attitude in times of trouble is an indicator of where your faith lies.  When you face a trial in your life, it is a struggle to believe that God will be there to help you through it. You feel alone. Yet, the more serious your problem, the more grace he extends to you. You are never left to fight a battle on your own.   We can all trust God when we have some control in the situation. But when the problem is impossible for us or anyone else to help, that is when our faith is put to the test.

Jesus told us in John 16:33, ” In this world you will have trials and tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”   It doesn’t matter what we face for all things are under the sovereign authority of Christ.  It is his will that prevails in the outcome of every problem we face.   If you will try to understand that truth, it will bring you peace when all hope seems gone. Your struggle is actually the transforming power that reveals God’s strength. It is always his purpose to bring you through your heartache and reveal more of himself to you.  Your battles are won long before they start because Christ paid the price for your victory.  That may seem difficult to comprehend when your heart is breaking – but that is the truth.

You were created for God’s glory and his purpose.  He has made ready the royal robes that those who trust in Christ shall wear one day in his kingdom.  All things are being orchestrated in God’s magnificent plan for your life.  As a sparrow does not fall to the ground apart from the will of the Father,  I pray that you also know that every tear you shed is before God and subject to his ultimate authority.  Your heart cannot be broken beyond our Creator’s hand to heal. It just can’t happen. There is no situation you face that can ever empty out the future God planned for you. Although you may not feel it now, your life is filled to overflow with God’s unending power and purpose.  His angels are surrounding those who belong to him. There is nothing that has been left to chance.

 You can enjoy quiet peace in spite of your pain when you stop trying to control the way God deals with your situation and let him work it out his way.  You can take rest knowing  that whatever God allows in your life, he has planned it long before you were born to use it for your good.  His ways will always be higher than ours, but his ways are the only path to victory.  Surrender your pain to Christ who will heal you and give you back abundant hope from the ashes of your broken dreams.   We read in James 1:12, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”

We are all going through the battle of our life, dear friends.  No one is exempt from the sufferings of this world.  Whatever you are facing, there is always hope when you belong  to Christ.  There will be a time for your trial to end; and if you have held out in faith to the end, you will be rewarded in this life and the next.  Why does God allow us to go through heartache and pain?  It is only  in the crucible that we gain an eternal perspective of the power of the God we serve. It is there that we see that Christ does meet us in every trial causing it all to work according to his perfect plan.  It is there  that we are strengthened as  he draws us near to him.

Finally, believers who can praise Christ through the pain and keep their eyes on him no matter what storm surrounds them are proven to be the true sons and daughters  of the King.   Remember the words of God in Isaiah 26:3, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in you.”   That is a promise from God.

I am praying for those who need to hear this message. May you know that your tears are not in vain.  You still have hope regardless of what you are facing.  This world is perishing and yet those who belong to Christ shall never be destroyed.  Let him work out your problem and restore your peace.   Don’t settle for the lies of the enemy. You were meant for more!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 about his cancer, Rob said, ” All I know is God is good and wastes nothing!  That includes this cancer.”  It was shortly after his forty-second birthday that Rob received this cancer diagnosis.  Sadly, that was not all. The following day, Rob’s dad died from another kind of cancer.  How does Rob keep his faith so strong while facing surgeries and treatments that he must endure?

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

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

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

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

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

UPDATE:

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

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

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

Lori Bohning

 

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

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

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

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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