You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘heavy burdens’ category.

What to do when God takes you to the end of yourself in order to get you to trust him with your life.

In Psalm 139, King David prayed, “O LORD you have searched me and known me!”  He fully understood that God had complete knowledge of him inside and out.  His weaknesses were not hidden from God yet he proclaimed in verse 14, “I praise your for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Too often we let our circumstances rob us of our joy. It is as though we can only trust that God is with us when things are going good in our life. In Isaiah 43:2, God tells us, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall  not overwhelm you; when you walk throught he fire you shall not be burned and the flame shall not consume you.”  I can assure you that pretty much covers the pain of everything you can face on this earth. God is telling those who believe on him that he is just as powerful in the darkness as he is in the light. Nothing can defeat you when your hope is in Christ. He can always bring you out of the storm.

We are living in a world that is in a great upheaval. Right has been called wrong and evil is replacing good. To stand for truth means persecution and consequence. Your future may seem like a blur when you are uncertain how to take the next step. Take a leap of faith. Now is the time to let the world know who you belong to. Show your faith in action believing in your heart that God is enough to help you.  Anyone can claim to trust God when things are going well. But it is in the time of battle that the worth of your faith is being proved genuine.

If you belong to Christ, all that you endure is part of the unspoken plan that has been designed for your victory. You have reason for hope because Christ lives to intercede for you every second of the day.  God will not fail to take you through the troubled seasons of your life. Every one of your tears is precious to him.   There is not a step you take or a thought in your mind that is not seen and guided by Christ. He is the light on your path to glory.

The devil of this world cannot overcome God’s authority.  Only Christ can complete the number of your days and fulfill your destiny.  If he leads you to a mountain or to a raging sea, he has a purpose and he knows how to get you to trust him alone.  He is your stronghold and a very real help in need.  He won’t let you down. Let him finish his work in you. Remember he is getting you ready for royalty in an eternal Kingdom.

When you feel like you have no strength to continue in your life, that is when you must surrender your weakness to Christ and take on his strength.

Lord I come, I confess

                  Bowing here, I find my rest

                                Without You, I fall apart

                                             You’re the One that guides my heart

storms

 

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. 

sky opening

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.(Romans 15:13)

Amidst the chaos of a world that is filled with darkness, it is challenging to focus on the promises of God. In your painful trials, problems can appear insurmountable with the victory through them seemingly unreachable.

The Apostle Paul warned us in 2 Timothy 3 that there will be terrible times in the last days as people become lovers of themselves and not interested in the ways of God.  The nightly news is filled with death, destruction and evil as people are turning to their own way of doing things. The enemy is dividing people against each other  to cause confusion and doubt and in far too many cases it is working.  The hearts of most have abandoned the fear of God. The ways of  truth are being blurred by the evil desire of the flesh that is being called “choice”.  And as Scripture tells us, lawlessness is on the increase as the hearts of most grow cold.

While that is a sad commentary, we are not without hope. There is a place of rest where you can have the peace of Christ despite your struggle.  That promise was given by Christ as he said in John 16:33, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” Do you trust that Jesus is true to his word?

Your faith is being tested in every trial you face, but the reward is great to those who do not grow weary and give up. In 2 Kings, the prophet Elisha was surrounded by a great army who wanted to kill him. When Elisha’s servant saw the massive army, he grew greatly alarmed. Elisha addressed his fears saying in verse 6, “Do not be afraid,  for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” With that, Elisha prayed for his servant’s eyes to be opened and he was amazed to see the mountain full of horses and chariots of fire from God surrounding their enemy.  That is the power of God in action. Even now, there is no battle in your life that is stronger than God’s ability to take you through it.you are not alone

Jesus left us the Holy Spirit to help us in our weakness. The same immense power that raised Christ from the dead lives in the heart of of every believer.  There is nothing that is able to destroy a child of Christ.  All that we face is the driving force bringing us closer to God.

Troubles of this world don’t define us.  They are the necessary tools to mold us into the image of Christ and perfect us in the plan he has for our life  The evangelist A.W. Tozer once wrote: “It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until he has wounded him deeply”. Tozer understood that the trials allowed by God are meant to bless and equip the soldier of Christ for victory against the adversary of this perishing world.The believer must die to self in order to have the fullness of God’s power. Whatever weakness you hold onto in your life will become the foothold that Satan uses to take you down.

isaiahThe Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 4:17″For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison”.

No matter how bad your situation seems. you must never lose hope. You have no idea what greatness God has planned for your life. You don’t have to feel Christ to know that he is with you. While it is difficult enduring the trials that bring brokenness, God knows the work he must do in your life. He who began a good work in you knows how to complete it.  His ways are higher than ours. He knows the length of  your days and has your next step prepared for you.

My friends, you need to understand that heaven’s royal army is standing by you right now to protect and defend you.  God’s plan for you cannot be hindered by your heartache,struggle, sickness, addiction, divorce or financial problems. You can’t fail. He knew what you would face and the answer to it all is being set into motion even now. His love for you will not stop. Just stand in faith and see what God can do.

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

http://

 The heavens declare the glory of God  (Psalm 19:1)

Whatever you face, God will make a way to take you through it!

God’s word stands true and he fulfills every promise despite the problems we face. This world is not our final destination but only a place of preparation for what is to come. In this life, we are going to endure hardships of every kind until Jesus returns to make all things new.  He has defeated death and made us victors in all that we endure.  No matter how fierce the battle, believers cannot be defeated by the fiery slings and arrows of the enemy.   I trust in the promises of Christ.  He is my stronghold and my very present help in time of need.  I believe in prayer and know that my God hears my every plea.

With all that said, I have to share with you that my faith has been severely tested and stretched to the limit during these past months as I face a powerful battle in my life.  There are times when I feel completely overwhelmed.  Yet no matter how weary I may be, God has given me the grace to endure. I will never give up or lose hope.  All the trials that  I have faced in my life only taught me that God has been my help through every single one of them.  He sees my tears and knows my pain.  He is not far away leaving me alone.  Scripture says, ” The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit”(Psalm 30:18).  I don’t have to see Christ or feel him to know that he is my hope and strength to get me through anything I must endure in this world.

Sadly, for quite some time I have been living with the pain of a failing marriage.  Despite doing all that I could,  it is apparent that I cannot change the outcome. Even though I have been praying night and day for God’s strength and guidance, things have gotten worse.    All I can do now is to continue to pray and surrender my will to Christ. He alone knows the outcome.  It breaks my heart to say that I cannot make someone stay and love me when he has chosen not to. I feel betrayed and hurt facing an uncertain future. But as difficult as this has been for me, I know that God still has a plan for my life.

I want to make it very clear that without any doubt,  God has authority over all that we face.  He can and will do mighty things to help his people and that is why I always advise those struggling in failing marriages to pray and not give up.   I am still praying for all who are going through troubled marriages. We have good reason to hope that God can  reach the wayward or unbelieving spouse. Sometimes he takes them to the end of their own strength so that they have nowhere to turn but to him. However, I know that it is hard to understand the times when that doesn’t happen.  It does not mean that God doesn’t care.  The truth is that he cares much and he grieves with us in our pain. Unfortunately, we are living in a lost and  perishing world and the enemy has blinded most to his schemes.  His main target is to break up homes and destroy families evidenced by the fact that over half of all marriages end in divorce. What a sad statistic that is.  Yet God  still has the power to give you a future with hope.

 When you do all that you can and it seems like you are being hard pressed on every side, remember that in Christ, you cannot be crushed. He will take  your broken heart and your fallen dreams and use them to build you up for his purpose. It may not seem like you will ever recover from your pain or that your tears will never end – but that is not true.     King David wrote in Psalm 69 “Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck, I sink in the deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters and the flood sweeps over me.  I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God.”  And yet David kept trusting his God even when all hope seemed lost.

Our problems and struggles do not dictate our future.  It is planned out by Christ Jesus who will not fail to help those who trust in him.  I know that my pain has no power to destroy the hope I have through Christ.  Despite what I face in this life, my God will always be bigger.

And then, in spite of all I have been going through, I recently discovered that my one cat, Bella,  has cancer.  I am always rescuing animals and my pets are like family to me.  I am tearful and saddened by this diagnosis for I know that she does not have long to live.  In a time when my heart  is broken over my marriage, this just added more pain to my life. Is the will of Christ even in the death of a pet I love? The answer is “Yes!”  Christ has a plan for all things! Nothing happens apart from his knowledge and permission.  Each day, the enemy wants me to believe that God has failed me or that he doesn’t care.  He tries to convince me that I am alone. Yet, I know by faith that I will never be alone.  Psalm 23 reminds us that, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”   All of our enemies, our struggles and our pain has been rendered powerless to destroy us.  Christ has a way to heal and make us whole no matter how broken we are.  I trust him.  My Bella may be gone soon, but  I know that even then that Christ will be with me and help me through it.

My friends, I pray you understood all that I said.  No one wants to go through a divorce but  unfortunately that is not always a choice.  If you get to that point, you need to draw even closer to Christ and rely on his strength to get you through.  All of your trials and struggles were known to God even before you were born.  He can use all things and cause them to be used for good and the purpose he has for your life.  Nothing is impossible for him. If you can keep trusting him despite your struggle, you will not be conquered.  You will have the victory in everything even through your pain.

I am praying for all who are facing a similar situation and don’t know where to turn.  You future is uncertain and it is difficult to understand how you are going to ever get through this.  It is only in knowing your God that you can have peace despite your heartache.  When people ask me what they can do for me during this painful time, I ask for their prayers.  I know that this battle is going to be tough but it is not my own strength that is going to take me through it.  I take hope from Hebrews 4:16, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need”. 

God’s promises of mercy and grace are new to us every morning.  He does not fail us and he never leaves us.  No matter what trouble you have in life, there is always going to be the help that you need through Christ.

My dear friends, I pray for all of you who come to this site.  I thank you for your understanding during this difficult time in my life and I appreciate those who are praying for me. Because I belong to Jesus, I will not drown in my tears. He will help me.  

 I am  humbled that God continues to give me his messages to write.   God bless you and please keep his  truth in your heart.  There is no pain that you have that the touch of his hand cannot heal.

UPDATE ON MY CAT, BELLA

 As I wrote, I had found out during the time of my divorce that my cat, Bella, had bi-lateral kidney cancer and would not live long. Kidney cancer like hers kills quickly. I would hold her every night and pray that God would let me keep her just two years longer. I was in the middle of a painful divorce. I was watching my marriage die and at the same time I was watching Bella die. I kept praying but I trusted that God could take me through it.  No pain we suffer is beyond God’s ability to help.  I knew that and I believed that but I prayed for more time with Bella.

Sadly, my divorce went through. That does not mean God did not answer my prayers. It just meant that in this fallen world, he was allowing my spouse to have free will in his choices. It was tough on me but I never felt that Christ was not with me. I surrendered my brokenness to him daily. He was all I had and he was more than enough. I was not destroyed but made stronger for what I endured.

The strange part is that after I wrote this article, my Bella started to eat again. She gained weight and seem happy and comfortable. Each morning I would go see how she was doing. Each morning I would praise Christ.  Two years after my divorce, Bella became ill again and died peacefully in my arms.  As sad as I was to lose her, I knew that Christ was the one who gave her the two years more of life that I asked. The Vet said he could offer no explanation as to how she lived that long with cancer.  I knew exactly Who allowed her to live two additional years.

The bible says all of our days are numbered before one of them come to be. Jesus said not a sparrow falls to the ground apart from the will of the Father.  God has a will and a plan not only for us but for all that he has created.  Cancer could not take my Bella until Christ ordained it to happen. He is merciful and he knows what is best. Even the sting of death is under the authority of Christ who conquered its power. He will either heal you or allow you to die to be with him. Either way, if you are a believer, you can’t lose. He has the perfect plan.

Take heart, dear friends. This message is meant for you. I am praying for all who come to this site. You are loved so much more than you could ever know.

                       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 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.

              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.  Give hope to those who are facing battles that leave them wounded and feeling alone. Strengthen those with serious medical issues.  Comfort those who are having marriage problems and relationship issues.  Bless and provide for those with financial problems.  I know, my Lord that you are in every one fo these struggles and you have the plan to work them out according to your purpose.   Please Jesus,  keep our eyes on you and not on our circumstance.  Our hope is in you!  Amen

If we are truly followers of Jesus Christ, we will face trials of every kind.  We are a tested people and each trial has been designed for the purposes for which God allows.  We are all being made ready to wear the regal robes of eternal royalty.   Christ is in each storm we face and it is his power that is causing all things to work for our good.

It is especially trying in these dark days as believers  endure  trials of every kind marking the countdown to Christ’ return.  The faith of all is being put to the fire.  None of us are exempt.  Are you willing to stand and believe in spite of all that is happening in your life?

The above photo is one of the remarkable works done by a man named Rob Bohning. If you click on the picture, you will see the true majesty of his work.  He has captured God’s creation as no one I have ever seen.  Rob is a godly, loving husband and father.  He is an amazing photographer.  He has two gorgeous young children.  And, he has a rare incurable cancer called Medullary Thyroid cancer. But Rob is not about to give up!   What makes this man stand out is that he has unwavering faith that God cares about his affliction and is more than able to bring him through it.  Rob is in the fiery furnace of testing but he knows full well that his Savior, Jesus Christ, is with him!

Rob and his wife, Lori,  had emailed me after visiting my blog. I can say from my heart that I am blessed to have them now as friends.  When writing to me of his cancer, Rob said, ” All I know is God is good and wastes nothing!  That includes this cancer.”  It was shortly after his forty-second birthday that Rob received this cancer diagnosis.  Sadly, that was not all. The following day, Rob’s dad died from another kind of cancer.  How does Rob keep his faith so strong while facing surgeries and treatments that he must endure?

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

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

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

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

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

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 in 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 everyday.  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.

 

                         I the LORD do not change (Malachi 3:1)

God’s faithfulness is the same today, tomorrow and forever. As he has helped others, so also will he do now for us.  His love has no bounds and his mercies are new every day. Though the times change and we change, God is with us in every single aspect of our lives.  Although the battle rages on in this dark world, the foundation of Christ who died to give us life will always remain.  He is true to his word.  The troubles of this world have no power to destroy a believer.  To think otherwise is to believe a lie.

I took the picture above in my backyard.  It always is amazing to me how the leaves of the trees  change into beautiful colors right before they fall down.  The Mastermind of this phenomenon is God.  He ordained the different seasons and has a purpose for each part of the cycle.  While I always wish the leaves would keep their vibrant colors and stay on the trees, that is not his plan.  He has a purpose for all things in creation for it was by his hand that all things came to be.  Nothing evolved on its own.  There is one God who is the Creator of all.

Yet during times of stress and change, it is difficult to remember that God has authority over everything. Each day brings a different problem and sometimes it is hard to keep the faith through our tears. Where is my God when it seems like my struggles are getting worse and the pain is unbearable?   As we watch  the darkness of evil growing and filling this world,  can we truly trust that the plan of Christ for us is going to succeed?  Evil is being called good and wrong is being called right.  It is as if the world is turned inside out.  If God’s love is unchanging, why does he allow this all to happen?

The bible tells us that God created man in his own image and saw that it was good.  He provide us with everything we would ever need and yet mankind still fell into sin.  We rebelled against a holy God.  That should have been the end of us at that point.  But we are told that “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)  God’s love did not change despite our sin.   He still made a way to bring us back to him.  Although sin and wickedness came into the world and corrupted everything,  God’s plan of redemption  never changed.

We are still living in a perishing world.  You only need to turn on the news to see that most people are on the wide path of destruction.  This is not heaven. All things are not going to be perfect until Christ returns to make all things new.  We must suffer for a while to prove ourselves as sons and daughters.  It is not easy to watch loved ones suffer and die.  It is heartbreaking to watch as families are being torn apart as hearts grow cold.  The enemy has unleashed his final fury as he knows his time is short.  Persecution against Christians is on the rise.  And God’s ways are being perverted everywhere to suit the desires of the lost.  We are living in the last days.

My dear friends, I write this message to touch those who are going through fierce storms in their lives.  You are not forgotten.  God has not forsaken you.  You are being made ready for a royal position that will never end.  God is with you in this battle even though it seems like you are alone.  His legions of angels are acting on his command to guard you throughout your struggle.  The Apostle Paul tells us: “Put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground and after you have done everything, to stand!” (Ephesians 6:13)  Know the God you serve so that you can trust him no matter what happens.

Take time to read your bible every single day.  Let God’s truth be your armor that keeps you trusting in him despite your problems.  God has not changed.  His love for you will endure forever.  He will not fail you. Your hope is secure because you belong to him.  Nothing in all of creation will ever be able to stop his love for you or his plan for your life.

In the spring, when the leaves return and the flowers unfold in all their beauty, I will be reminded that God’s promises never fail.

Dear Lord,  my heart breaks as I hear of the struggles of your people.  I pray that they will understand that although the battles of this world are leaving them wounded and weary, you have already declared them a victor.  Nothing is going to touch their lives apart from your will and purpose.  You will give them your peace in the midst of their struggle.  I pray for all to come to know that even though we are living in a fallen world, your plan is still unfolding and we have a reason to be hopeful.  The price has been paid and because Christ lives, we can face tomorrow.  You hold our future and there is nothing that you cannot do for those who love you.  Lord, help them to know without a doubt that this is true.  Amen

You are my lamp, O LORD; the LORD turns my darkness into light
(2 Samuel 22:29)

Our future is in the hands of God.  He alone has numbered our days and it is by his will that we live or die.   Many people can trust God with their salvation but then find  it difficult to trust him to work things out in their lives.

All around the earth, fear is mounting as we experience an increase in sickness, disease, famine, storms, earthquakes, floods and drought.  There has always been sin and evil in this world, but it has now reached a point of no return.   Darkness has blanketed the earth because mankind has chosen to remove all traces of God and his laws. When Jesus promised believers to give them peace that surpasses our understanding, he did not mean that our problems and struggles would end. He was telling us that despite the battles we face, his power would be the strength that we needed to overcome and be victorious.   That fact is one that many find difficult to believe.

It is hard to wait out the storms of life and trust that things will work out.  But, the truth is that God is just as much in power and authority in the darkness as he is in the light.  Whatever problem you think you can’t overcome has already been overcome by the power of Christ!  There is nothing that can move a believer from the position God has assigned to them from the beginning of time.  The recent storms and hurricanes have destroyed houses and has taken down trees, but with all the power of God that is in me, I assure you that no storm ever has any power to hinder a  child of God!  Christ is coming back soon to make all things new.  Do you actually think that he cannot take you to victory even now because of your painful trial?

Just this week my heart was broken by the pain of a man who had visited my blog and began writing to me.  He said that he was feeling hopeless and weary.  He felt he had no future and that God was just not hearing him.   I pointed out to him that all that he was thinking was a lie from the destroyer from hell.  God is with us in all things and in all of our pain. This man wanted to believe what I said but he was  extremely overwhelmed by an obvious clinical depression.  I prayed desperately for him.  Yesterday, I got an email from his daughter.  Sadly, she informed me that her father had killed himself.  He could not take the pain of any more tomorrows. I am crying now as I write this.

Thoughts immediately began filling my mind: Did I say enough?  Did I say too much? Did I pray enough for him?   I soon realized that the enemy now wanted to discourage me with lies.  I did pray for him with all my heart.  I take seriously the mission God has given me with my writing.  I care about every single person who visits whether they comment or not.  I intercede on behalf of everyone who is led here.  I could not stop this man from committing suicide, but I can continue to pray for his family and for those like him who feel like there is no hope.

My dear friends,  remember that we are in the throes of a vicious battle with evil as time grows short.  The enemy will try to take all of your joy and peace if you let him.  He wants to destroy families so marriages are failing at an unbelievable alarming rate.  Our children are his prime target and he has pulled out all the stops to lead them on the path of destruction.  The economy is in a crisis situation as millions of people all over the world are losing homes and jobs with little chance of recovering.  Crime, sickness and troubles of every kind are upon us.  The struggle is escalating just to stay alive.  And unfortunately for that reason, many grow tired and just give up.

We are told throughout Scripture that we will have to endure suffering.  What the enemy doesn’t want you to remember is that all that you endure is working out a perfect divine destiny for you.  You will not one day be a conqueror.  You are one now!  The power of the risen Christ is taking you through the darkness even when you can’t see or feel him.  He has a purpose for all that he let allows but he knows how to give you his rest despite the battle.

Whatever dark situation you are in, please remember that you are not out of view from the One who sees all.  It may seem like you are alone but you will never be. In the battle that  you are facing,  don’t give up!  God is with you in your pain today and he holds your tomorrows in his hand.  That is his truth.  I ask that you take time each day to read your bible and let the promises of God give you strength in every struggle you face.   I am praying now for all who need to understand that there is always hope through Christ.

         For I am the LORD, your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you. (Isaiah 41:13)

I humbly ask that you keep the family of this suicide victim in prayer.

(Picture by Francesco Cosi )


  “Why do you look for the living among the dead?”

(Luke 24:5)                             

We each have our own idea of how we think God should help us in the problems of this life.  Most of us have a pre-conceived notion of what is good for God to do for us.   Unfortunately, when God does not work  things out as  expected, many believers let seeds of doubt  fill their mind. Fear is given reign in their lives instead of the risen Christ.  Weary from the battle, many give up hope reacting as though Christ were still in the tomb instead of being alive with full authority over everything.  They search for the living in the dead areas of their lives. The enemy’s lies become real for them. 

Our trust  in the trials we face is not based on that which can be seen.  The bible tells us in Hebrews 11:1 that , “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”   If you were able to see and understand everything that God is permitting in your life, you would have no need for faith. Without faith, it is not only impossible to please God, it is impossible to know the God you serve! 

We have to remember in every storm of life that Christ is at the center and he permits only that which fulfills his will for you.  You may not like the attacks that come against you, but they are powerful tools used to equip you  for eternal victory. You will never be able to stand in the struggles of life if you do not have the knowledge of God’s power and a belief that he will not fail you.  In the time of testing, the enemy is going to pull out all the stops to tempt you to think that you are beyond help.  He is going to fill your mind with thoughts of failure  and defeat.  Unless you are firmly grounded in the truth of God’s love and his power in your battles, you will not have the strength to fight.

In all situations and in all ways, Christ is working out a divine, eternal plan that cannot be stopped.  Your past has no hold on you.  Your weakness and failures are powerless to hinder God’s purpose for you. Because of the sacrifice Christ made for you on the cross,  your future is forever secure.  God has promised to transform you into the image of his Son, Jesus.   As a believer, you need to understand that one day you will be a co-heir with Christ in heaven and rule over angels. All of your momentary troubles on this earth is just  getting you ready for a  kingdom so magnificent that there is no way for our  earthly minds to comprehend its beauty. 

 In Romans 8:28, we are given this promise: “And we know that God will cause ALL things to work for the good of those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.”   Anything that affects your life is now under God’s authority and power as he completes the works he started.   You have nothing to fear. 

My friends,  begin today to walk the steps of faith.  Surrender your troubles to the One who can lift you above them all.   Let God’s strength fill you and give you peace for he has given his angels charge over you.  You were never meant to carry your burdens alone.  No matter what heartache or pain you have now, the peace of Christ can be still be yours if you trust it all to him.

Remember that Christ death and resurrection were part of his plan.  He knew that we were  hopelessly lost and prisoners of sin.  He provided a way that will keep us in peace on this earth and take us through to the glory of heaven forever.  Jesus left the grave!  He is alive within the hearts of all believers.  His power is yours forever!  Jesus  is a living hope and he will always make a way to help you.

 

 

Dear Lord,  I sadly watch as so many of your people are overwhelmed in their problems.  They are weary and struggling to believe that you will help them.  I pray for them now and ask that you meet them where they are.  I pray that marriages will be mended as you become the center of the vows they made before you.  I pray for sickness and diseases to be touched by your hand and healed.  I pray for financial help for all those struggling to live.  I pray for jobs for those out of work.  I pray for you to help single mothers who are barely making it as they raise their children alone.  I pray for a way out for those in addictions and bondage to sin.  I pray for those who are being persecuted for their faith.  I pray for you to bring hope to those considering suicide.  May you give them your strength.  I pray for those who are hurting from the actions of a spouse.  I pray that all who come to this site will have the true knowledge of salvation through Christ alone.  Lord Jesus, may your mercy and grace fill them to overflow as you reveal yourself to them.  Amen.

“…but deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:13)

 

Stop the world, I want to get off!  How many of us have had that thought?  As the days grow shorter, the enemy has pulled out all the stops in his attacks.  For that reason, there is an alarming number of people who just want to give up and some have even committed suicide.  Many more have given thought to ending their life.  In all these cases, Satan was able to convince them that there is no reason to live.  His voice has tempted them to believe that the trial they are facing will never get better and it will never end.  Jesus paid the price to overcome in every trouble and yet too many of us sadly cannot believe him.   

We have all experienced those  times  in life when the battles we faced were  so overwhelming that all hope just vanished.  It can be very hard to recover when a loved one dies too soon and your heart is breaking from sadness.   Marriages  hardly seem worth the price of the license  as spouses can leave their families without a hint of compunction.  They always offer some excuse, but the bottom line is their vow and commitment to God meant nothing. 

 Financial problems are plaguing all of us in some way.  Homes are being foreclosed and many are facing homelessness for the first time. Too often single mothers are destitute  trying to raise their children alone.  It seems never-ending as each day brings more problems.

To add to all of this, there is an overwhelming number of those with addictions to drugs, alcohol, gambling and pornography.  Crime has greatly increased and prisons are filled with dark forces of evil. Poverty and deadly diseases are at an all time high throughout this world.   Earthquakes, tornadoes and floods have literally changed the geography of several states and countries. 

Finally, never before have we seen the degree of sin and evil that defy understanding.  News of parents who kill  their own children without reason or remorse is becoming commonplace!  Children are no longer protected from harm.  We are literally living in a time when truth has been exchanged for a destructive lie.  The hearts of most have grown cold as godlessness fills the earth to overflow.

The Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 3 :”There will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.”  We are in those “terrible” times and it is now that you must choose what is right.

The forecast for this world is indeed dim.  My heart breaks as I watch the massive deception that is filling this earth.  In every country, people are crying out for God’s help in the midst of their struggles, but yet  they are unwilling to surrender their lives to his will.  Most do not understand that there will never be victory for them unless Christ rules in their hearts.

My friends, I want you to understand the most important part of this message.  We are all living in perilous, troublesome times.  Until Christ returns to make all things new, there is going to be trials and storms in the life of every believer.  Those trials are not meant to drive you away from God and his purpose.  They are permitted in your life to bring you to the power of God and his strength.  For that reason, the enemy keeps taunting you to give up and believe that Christ was not enough or that he did not show up in time.  The fact is that the legions of God’s angels are surrounding you right now.  Your faith is being perfected as each battle brings you further up the mountain and closer to the face of God!

Those who feel that they cannot endure this life anymore and who want to die are listening to the lies from a defeated foe who has been rendered powerless and hopeless by the cross of Christ.  That lie cannot hurt you unless you believe it!  Take heart, my weary friends, for God is willing to breathe into you new life if you will just keep your eyes on him.  You have the authority to move mountains and that means that you can take hope knowing that there is no boundary, no ocean, no pain and no bondage that can keep you a prisoner when the blood of Christ has set you free!

Whatever you are struggling with, your God is bigger.  To those who are suffering with depression and even self-mutilation, there is a way out.  That prison of affliction cannot keep you chained up any longer!  Put your trust in Christ who paid the price to heal every disease and to restore marriages, homes and heal heartaches.  He will get you through your financial battle and it is then that you will know Christ and his love for you that never fails.

Wherever you are, God sees you and knows your pain.  Hold on and keep trusting for he knows how to rescue you if you don’t give up.

 

I am praying for all who need to hear this message.  You are not alone for God has burdened others to pray for you.  I hope that you will take to heart all that God has given me to write.  Remember that your pain will not last forever.  Only believe

Come to me all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

As this new year begins, I am praying for all who visit this site.  I don’t have to know you to understand that God has a purpose in leading you here.  I have learned in my life one important fact and that is that God hears our prayers and answers.  For whatever reason he brought you here, I welcome you with love. It doesn’t matter who you are or what your  need is, God’s strength is powerful enough to cover it all.  Your pain, your struggles and your broken heart cannot stop the perfect plan God has for those who seek him.  At some time in our lives, we all make bad choices and fall; but to those who take hold of the hand of Christ, there can be no failures. The truth is that there is no limit to what God can do through you and for you if you are willing to surrender your brokenness to him.

I want to share something that happened to me a few years ago that impacted my life.  My elderly father had been living with me and my husband in our home.  Almost four years to the month, my father got ill and I had to take him into the emergency room.  I felt weary and alone sitting in dad’s  room waiting for tests to be done when I heard the nurse talking to a man on the other side of the curtain.  Apparently the young man tried to commit suicide when he found out his wife and kids were moving out.  He sounded sad as he told the nurse that he felt like foolish for attempting something like that.  After talking to him a bit, the nurse left to get his discharge papers.  I had some of my faith articles with me and I felt strongly led to go over and give them to this stranger.  I hesitated and decided to think it over before letting this man know I overheard his story.  What if he got angry that I listened in? What do I even say to him?  I panicked! After a few seconds, I just got up and went over.  I turned back the curtain a little and quietly said to him, “Hi, I am so sorry but I overheard what happened and I want you to know that I care.  More importantly, God cares, and he has a future for you even if your marriage ends.  He can give you hope and healing no matter what you are feeling.  I will be praying for you and I have some articles I wrote that I think may help you, if that is okay with you.”  The young man simply looked me in the eyes with tears and said, “Thank you!”  I went over and hugged him and he told me his name and I told him mine.  We talked for a little and I tried to encourage him. Then he said something that truly humbled me to my soul.  He said, “I know you don’t realize it, but you just saved my life today!”  Amazing. Even though I was dealing with my seriously ill father, God still wanted to use me to bring his love and  hope to someone who was ready to give up. 

The next day, my daughter and I were with my father at the hospital when he passed away.  It was a crushing ordeal for me, but somehow in all of my pain I remembered how Christ  had used  me to show his love to a stranger.  God’s power was with me even as my father was dying.  His peace just filled me as I understood without a doubt that God was now taking care of my father in heaven!  His perfect plan did not fail me.

Life here on earth is not easy.  We are still on the battle ground of  a perishing world awaiting the final call of Christ.  Our momentary problems are working out eternal ramifications. They are preparing us for royalty in a kingdom that will never end.  We are always  going to have struggles and pain, but we must never lose our focus for God’s is always with us on the path that he has prepared for our lives.  

My hope for every believer  is that you understand that the storms in your life have no power to destroy you because God will always be bigger.  No matter how devastating it may seem, there is a purpose and plan for all that you must endure and he knows how to work it out for your good.   I am praying for you now.

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

                                         

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    ( Picture by Francesco Cosi)

                          Let not your heart be troubled, neither be afraid

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

View Full Profile →

Archives

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,146 other followers

Contact me

mbernard4477@gmail.com

Welcomed visitors

  • 896,119 hits

Stand with Israel

Stand For Israel

Twitter thoughts: Truth for the journey

VISITORS

real time web analytics

REMEMBER SAEED ABEDINI

Praise be to God for allowing Pastor Saeed to be released from the Iranian prison he was in for years! May he bless him and protect him and his family.

Please support Open Doors-serving persecuted Christians worldwide.

For over 60 years, Open Doors has worked in the world's most oppressive countries, empowering Christians who are persecuted for their beliefs through programs like Bible & Gospel Development, Women & Children Advancement and Community Restoration. http://www.opendoorsusa.org
%d bloggers like this: