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  “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.

  I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? (Psalm 121:1-2)

We have all suffered setbacks in our lives. In this time of uncertainty,  our personal struggles can bring fear and doubt into our lives.  It is hard enough to survive much less have any hope for the future.  We are told in Scripture that God sends the rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  Why is that?  I mean if you are trying to live and do what is right, why must you endure  such the same hardship as  evildoers?

God always has  a plan.  For believers, whether you are experiencing a time of peace in your life or enduring the heat of a painful struggle, you have the assurance of knowing that all things are being directed by the hand of God.  When it seems as though you are being defeated, it just means that your victory is near.  There is nothing to fear in any battle  for the war of life has already been won at the cross! Jesus has made you a conqueror over all that comes against you. For that reason,  the enemy’s tactic is to fill your mind with despair and hopelessness since he knows that you can never be destroyed.  He is attempting to kill, steal and destroy the hope you have been given in Christ.  Never surrender to him what Christ has paid a price to give you!

While we await the return of Christ, we are going to face trials of every kind.     Although you may be feeling overwhelmed in your pain,  God is always in control with full authority to bring your sufferings under submission to his will. Everything, big or small, is  being worked out for the best for those who love God and are called according to his purpose.   If you become anxious and hopeless in the midst of a trial, it is because you are listening to the lies of an enemy who has no power over you.  There will never be a need too great or a heartache so painful that the amazing, never-failing love of Christ cannot heal.   

The consequence of sin and evil is all around us.  Sadly, most people have become lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.  But even as darkness fills the earth for all creation, God has provided a way for the righteous to escape.  In the days of Noah, we read in Genesis 6:5, “The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only for evil. “   Although the rain flooded the earth killing everything that walked on it, Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD and he and his family was spared.  God knows how to rescue the righteous from their troubles no matter how impossible it may seem. 

Those who put their hope in the things of this world will perish with it. No one is exempt from the trials of this world, but the faithful who trust in the cross of Christ shall never fall.  God has a deliberate, eternal purpose in allowing trials in the life of believers.  You are being molded and shaped for the world to come.  He is preparing a place of royalty in heaven for you that will more than compensate for your momentary troubles here on earth.

David was a young man anointed by God to be King of Israel.  Yet for many years he had to live his life in hiding from King Saul who wanted him dead.  In Psalm 23, David wrote, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”  He was a man who believed that God could keep his promise to make him King even though things looked bad.  He  continued to trust his God and not his circumstance! David knew that  God was with him despite the fact that Saul’s whole army was out to kill him. 

Your battles are not yours to fight when you surrender them to Christ.  Whatever valley of despair you may be in right now, remember that it is not your permanent location. It is actually a meeting place where you come to the knowledge and understanding of the God of all your strength.     

David trusted and knew that his struggles were just an opportunity for God to show his power.  In Psalm 18:18, David wrote: “ He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters”.  

Whatever deep waters of problems that you have, take hope knowing that Christ died to give you a future.  He reached down and took you this far and he has the power to take you to the end!

 

Dear Lord, I pray for all who visit here to understand the truth of this message.  May  you lift up those who are struggling and bring them to a place of your peace.  May they know beyond a doubt that you are always with them.  Amen

I know that God is with you

and he hears your every prayer

He never sleeps nor slumbers

as he holds your every tear.

As days seem overwhelming

and  pain just fills your night

Remember that you’re not alone

You’re always in his sight.

When troubles seem to have no end

and strength is fading too

You have no fear, you’ve been set free

Christ paid the price for you.

There is no way that you can fail

though battles fill your day

For Christ has said that he alone

will always make a way.

When you no longer have the strength

to cast out all your fear

Just call his name, his holy name

and Jesus will be there!

 

My friends, my heart is with all of you who are going through a difficult time in your life.  In one way or another, we all are suffering  trials of every kind.  I pray that you will take to heart the message that the love of Christ will never fail you.

Whatever struggle you are facing in your life, let the truth be your guide.  There is nothing to stop the purpose for which God created you.  You days were numbered and a plan was made for you long before you were born. There is always hope in every battle because the power of God  is with you to the end.   

When you are feeling overwhelmed and weary, please remember that someone is praying for you. Be blessed and stay in peace.  All things are being worked out for your good!

                  Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD.

This is the fourth of July and all around America people are celebrating this holiday with fireworks and family picnics.  That is a good thing but I sometimes wonder how much we all know about our heritage?  I recently visited  CyberWord of Truth by Charles Woodruff, who is a special friend and a man on a mission to bring the truth of Christ to the world.  I read the article he posted below and felt that it is a message we all need to see.  Please take the time to read this powerful story about the strength and faith of Patrick Henry and pause to think about how it applies to our country today. 

FOR PREACHING THE GOSPEL OF THE SON OF GOD

 
A true story of Patrick Henry. Adapted by Charles Woodruff.
 
Over 30 years ago I came across this account of Patrick Henry, that great champion of liberty, of his defense of some Baptist field preachers, who were being threatened by the government authorities. Since we are approaching Independence Day, July 4th, 2011, I felt it would be a good time to republish this article that has blessed me and others. I have revised and expanded some things  that complement the story. Be sure and follow all the links for some interesting reading. Our America is not as it once was. I am praying for revival. But, in this day we see many things that Christians and American patriots have held dear disappearing before our eyes. Only God can change this pattern if He is pleased to do so. If He is not, soon the “land of the free and the home of the  brave” will be a memory. Pray with me, in Jesus name, that God will turn the tide. Amen!
 

Spotsylvania County, Va.-June 4, 1768. Patrick Henry, in defense of three Baptist preachers, John Walker, Louis Craig, James Child, dragged before the magistrate and indicted with disturbing the peace.

Patrick Henry heard about it and decided to defend them and aid in their acquittal.  The indictment brought against them was “For preaching the Gospel of the Son of God contrary to the statutes in that case provided and, therefore, disturbers of the peace.
 
The clerk was reading the indictment in a slow and formal manner. . .”For preaching the gospel”. . . when a plain dressed man entered the courtroom and sat at the bar. He was known to the court and lawyers, but a stranger to the mass of people who had gathered on the occasion. 
 
This was Patrick Henry. He had ridden some 50-60 miles from his Hanover County home to volunteer his services in their defense. He listened to the reading of the indictment with marked attention.  The first sentence which had caught his ear was “For preaching the Gospel of the Son of God”. (1)
 
When the indictment had been read and the prosecuting attorney had submitted a few remarks, Henry arose, stretched out his hand and received the paper and then addressed the court.
 
“May I please, your worship, I think I heard read by the prosecutor as I entered this house the paper I now hold in my hand.  If I have rightly understood, the King’s attorney of this colony has framed an indictment for the purpose of arraigning and punishing by imprisonment three inoffensive persons before the bar of this court for a crime of great magnitude as disturbers of the peace!
 
May it please the court. . . What did I hear? Did I hear it distinctly or was it a mistake of my own? Did I hear an expression as of a crime that these men whom your worship is about to try for a misdemeanor are charged with what?”
 
(Low and heavy tone)
“. . For preaching the Gospel of the Son of God!”
 
Pausing amidst the most profound silence and breathless astonish­ment of his hearers, he slowly waved the paper three times around his head and lifted up his eyes to heaven with extra­ordinary and impressive energy exclaimed “Great God!”
 
The exclamations, the action, the burst of feeling from the audience were all over powering.
 
Mr. Henry continued: “May it please your worship in a day like this when truth is about to burst her fetters, when mankind is about to be raised to claim their natural and inalienable rights, when the yoke of oppression which has reached the wilderness of America and the unnatural alliance of ecclesiastical and civil power is about to be dis-served. . .a period when liberty, and liberty of conscience is about to awake from her slumberings, and enquire into the reason for such charges as I find exhibited here today in this indictment.”
 
Another fearful pause with the speaker alternatively casting his sharp piercing eyes on the court and the prisoners and resumed: “If I am not deceived according to the content of the paper I hold in my hand, these men are accused of preaching the Gospel of the Son of God! (looking up to heaven again).
 
Great God!”
 
Another long pause during which he again waved the paper three times around his head while a deeper impression was made on the audience.
 
Resuming the speech “May it please your worship, there are periods in the history of man when corruption and depravity have so long debased the human character that man sinks under the weight of the oppressor’s hand and becomes his servile, his abject slave! He licks the hand that smites him!  Bows in passive obedience to the mandates of the despot! And in this state of servility he receives his fetters of perpetual bondage. But may it please your worship such a day is passed away.  From the period when our fathers left the land of nativity for settlement in these American wilds; For liberty, for civil and religious liberty, for liberty of conscience to worship their creator according to their concepts of heaven’s revealed will.  From that moment they placed their feet on the American continent, in deep imbedded forests sought an asylum from persecution and tyranny.  From that moment despotism was crushed.  Her fetters of darkness were broken and heaven decreed that man should be free – free to worship God according to the Bible. But may it please your worship; permit me to enquire once more, For what are these men about to be tried? This paper says for preaching the Gospel of the Son of God.
 
Great God! For preaching the Saviour to Adam’s fallen race!”
 
Another pause . . . loudly-“What law have they violated?” Then for the third time in a slow dignified manner, he lifted his eyes to heaven and waved the indictment around his head. , .

The pitch was at its height . . . The judge said: “Sheriff-discharge those men!

(From the original article in Western Voice, July 29, 1949. This magazine is no longer published).

 

“…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

We are in this world but not of it

 As the world news reports the crisis situations of wars, famines, floods, tornadoes, and every evil under the sun, there emerges a question that each person must ask and that is,  “Who am I following?”.

Your whole life comes down to a choice in this world that is perishing right before our eyes.  Whatever occupies the majority of your thoughts and your time  is a key indicator of where you are in your relationship with Christ.  We who belong to Christ are called to live as aliens on this earth. Those who seek the  kingdom to God are never satisfied with the pleasures of this world.  The temporal riches in life can bring more problems than happiness.  True joy comes from serving God as only those things which you have surrendered to him will last.  As each day brings another set of difficulties,  your faith will soon come with a  price.  Jesus tells us  about this in John 15:18-19:

 If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.  If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

For you to belong to Christ, you must seek the things of his kingdom.  If you are too comfortable with the ways of this world, you may need to examine your relationship with Christ.  Many people live as if this earth was all that mattered.  They are deceived into thinking that they can conform to the world and still be a follower of Christ.  You can’t serve two masters.  One will always trump  the other. It is only the narrow path that leads to eternal life.  The enemy will always try to lead you down the wide road of destruction as he compromises the truth to fit your lifestyle.  It is a life that will never bring you joy and blessings.  You can’t be “almost” saved to get to heaven.  When Christ reveals himself to you, there is a radical transformation as your heart of stone is replaced by a  heart of flesh that seeks after the will of God.  And while there is a process of learning to walk in the ways of righteousness; a man born of God will turn from evil as his renewed spirit is led to follow Christ. 

My dear friends, if you truly want victory in your life, there is just one way to have it.  It is only by living the crucified life of Christ that you find peace and joy despite your troubles.  It is at the foot of the cross that your weaknesses have been made strong and your burdens have been lifted.  There is no bondage that can hold a believer who has been set free by the blood of Christ.  All of your struggles are working out an eternal, divine purpose to equip you for his good work.  In every battle, you are surrounded by the army of the living God who has given his angels charge over your welfare.

As I write this message, there are fellow believers living in restricted and hostile nations who do not have the freedom to worship as they please. They have chosen to risk their lives for Christ.  They are not looking for seeker-friendly churches with watered down gospel messages.  They are searching for the pure truth despite the consequences.  Some have watched as family and friends have been tortured or killed for their faith.  Through it all, they do not waver in their resolve to follow the way of the cross.  That is true victory!  That is the power of Christ making strong those who are willing to suffer for him.  That is the kind of faith that defies all understanding. 

I know that there are those who visit this site who are enduring trials and heartaches of every kind.  The increase of evil everywhere has darkened this world,  but nothing can quench the fire of a believer who trusts in the promises of Christ.  The fact is that your problems are never able to destroy you.  They are allowed by Christ only to take you from where you are to where he is!   As difficult as it may seem, you must not grow weary and give up.  In your struggle, don’t look at your circumstance, look to your God! You have reason to hope because the One who gave you life holds your future in his hands.

In a time when nothing is certain, you must choose to follow in the ways of truth.  Jesus is coming to take those with him who have shown themselves to be true daughters and sons.  You need only look around you and watch the news to understand that he is coming soon! While there is still time, give your heart to Christ.  Surrender all you have to get all that he has for you.  Your eternity depends on it!

I am praying for all who come to this site who are uncertain of their future.  May you understand that with Jesus there is a way to know for sure.  If you have any questions or concerns, please email me at: commish07@zoominternet.net.   Let Christ lead you to the truth.  You are never alone.

 

  “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall” (Psalm 55:22)

I know that times are tough and everyone is being hit with seemingly endless trials and tribulations.   As the devil realizes that his time is growing short, the furor of hell has darkened this earth. We are living in a time of deception when many are compromising the truth.  In an attempt to mollify those who just want to hear what tickles the ear,  false teachers have watered down the gospel to the extent that even the devil isn’t offendedIt is no wonder that as life’s storms grow fiercer, many people are having difficulty trusting that God’s power is enough. 

The absolute truth to this is that Christ  will always have the authority over everything that touches your life.  God does not take a walk to the other side of heaven and forget about your pain and heartache. He sees each tear you shed.  He has a full view of all that concerns you.  All the storms in a believer’s life are permitted for an eternal reason. You are being made stronger and  powerfully equipped for battle as you  grow in your understanding of  God’s limitless power.  

It was with this knowledge that Job was able to cry out , “I know my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth” ( Job 19:25).  Despite losing his children, his fortune and his health, Job still believed that God was with him!  He said of God, “When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him. But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” (Job 23:9-10)  You don’t have to see God to know that he is with you every second and leading you on the path that he has chosen for you long before the foundation of the earth. The devil himself can see God’s presence and protection surrounding you.  One thing I have said before but is important enough to say again and that is that everything that comes against you MUST bow to the will of God for your life! You have nothing to fear for God will be with you to the end.

The perfect love of Christ breaks the bondage of fear.  You belong to Christ and his will for your life cannot be hindered by any of your problems or weaknesses.  Neither the world, the flesh nor the devil can alter the purpose and plan of God for you.  There are no impossible situations for God.  You need to look past the fiery furnace of every affliction and see the presence of Christ  who is there to protect you.  He alone has the final word on what happens to you in every circumstance.  Problems  increase when you start doubting that God will help you.  It always leads to failure when you can’t wait on God and  try to work things out your way.  Nothing will prevent Christ from completing the job he started in you.  Your pain will not crush you and it has no power to destroy you.  When you shrink back in fear over your problems, you allow the lie of Satan  to rule in your life. 

I know that you may be feeling overwhelmed by all that is causing you pain right now, but don’t give up. You need to remember that Jesus paid the price for you to have an abundant life in spite of all the troubles you face.  As he was dying on the cross for us, he cried out with his last breath, “IT IS FINISHED!”. That means that nothing on this earth can keep you in bondage! You have been set free.  Anything that opposes God’s will for you has now been rendered powerless.  The impact of those words should stay in your heart always.   Victory is living within you and the power that raised Christ from the dead is now your strength.  The trial you are in cannot take you from God’s sight nor stop him from helping you.

In order to defeat the enemy, you must know the truth.  In James 4:7, we read, “Submit yourselves; then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you“. The main command is to “submit yourselves to God” first.  It is by humbling yourself before him and trusting that he will help you that you get all the strength that you need to make the devil and his schemes flee from you!   The forces of hell shudder at the sight of one believer in prayer who trusts that God can do all things. 

YOU are that believer!  Let go of the lies and begin to trust in the power of God.  He will keep you in his perfect peace beyond your power to understand.  You can take God at his word who says: “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast because he trusts in you.” ( Isaiah 26:3)

God is with you and I will be praying for you. You are never alone!

                                                                

 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper.(Psalm 108:28-29)

WHERE DOES MY HELP COME FROM?

 
Without a doubt, the immense struggles of these ending days can weigh your spirit down.  Scripture assures believers that we are not alone in our problems nor are we ever without help.  Although you may want to believe this promise, there are troubles that can leave you feeling totally helpless and defeated.  The raging storms of life brings many questions:  Where do you turn when you have just been given a diagnosis that your illness is terminal? What do you do when your spouse leaves you for someone else?  How do you continue to support yourself and your family now that your job has been terminated?  How do you break free from an addiction that is keeping you in bondage?  Our trials are getting more difficult.  It is one thing to trust God to get you to the Red Sea.  It is quite another to believe that he will part the waters and bring you safely across.
 
We are in a time when our faith is being tested to the limit.  The truth is that even though the storms are getting fiercer, we serve a God who remains the same.  His power to save and restore our lives has not changed.  Nothing can defeat a child of God for whom Christ has redeemed!
 
If you are facing serious medical issue, I pray you will understand  that this message is for you.  Your fear and uncertainty is before the eyes of God and he is with you.  It doesn’t matter what diagnosis your doctor gave you. The only one who knows what is going to happen to you is God.  It was he who has numbered your days before one of them came to be. Our God has the power over all sickness and disease.  He doesn’t care what stage your cancer is in.  He can heal a stage 4 as easily as a stage 1.  The only fact that matters is that his perfect will for you cannot be stopped by bad medical report!  God has planned what is best for you in this life and he will not deny you anything good. If he chooses to heal you now, his power can completely cast out all traces of illness and restore you to health.  But yet, whenever the time comes for you to leave this earth, you can take comfort knowing that even then the love of God will be with you.  It is my belief that those who belong to Christ will never die scared.  In chapter 7 of the book of Acts, we read about the faith of Stephen.  He was willing to be put to death for Christ.  As they were getting ready to kill him, Stephen shouted with joy, “Look”, he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God!”  At those words, the angry crowd stoned him to death.  What is amazing  is that Stephen saw Christ standing at the right hand of God.  All through the bible, Jesus is always seated at the right hand of God – so why then was he standing?  I believe with all of my heart that Christ stood ready to greet Stephen as he came to his eternal home.  Christ, the Son of the living God, is ready to meet with you when you leave this earth!  He will be faithful to you to the end.  When you are absent from the body, you are present with him!  You have nothing to fear from death.  God hears your prayers for family and loved ones and he can take care of them.
 
In any trouble, God is still sovereign.  His authority defeats impossible situations  Your serious financial problems cannot destroy you unless you believe that God is not enough.  Whether you have plenty or are in need, he is working all things out for the purpose for which he created you.  It is difficult to remain calm when you may be losing everything you own, but you must learn to trust that God is able to restore all that was taken and more. Everything on this earth and in the  heavens is his to give!  King David wrote in Psalm 37:25, ” I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous begging for bread,”  God knows how to give you what you need if you will just believe and wait upon him!
 
You may suffer for while when your heart is broken by a betrayal  in a  marriage or relationship, but God is able to heal your heart and renew the future  of all who trust in him. Your pain cannot crush you when Christ holds your heart.    Believe the truth and not what your emotions tell you. There will come a time when your pain will be just a memory and  a remembrance of how God was faithful to bring you through it. 
 
My prayer for those who are shackled to deadly addictions is that you will reach for the hand of  Jesus who is willing to pull you from the mire and set you on high ground!  There is no bondage that the cross of Christ cannot  release you from.  You do not have to live as a slave to destruction if you are willing to surrender your weakness to gain Christ’ strength!  Jesus paid the price for your freedom.  It is yours for the asking.
 
In all things, God is more than able to give you the victory.  He is the Author and Finisher of all life.  There is nothing out of his control.  Whatever you are facing, remember that Christ came to give you life.  Let not your heart be troubled by the cares of this world for the love of God will never fail you!
 
I will be praying deeply for all those who are in pain and need to understand the truth of this message.
 

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

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18

God has taken me through many struggles and trials that have come against me on every side.  Every time I feared the worst, God has shown up and brought me to safety. I believe  that is true in some aspect for everyone.  So why is it  when a storm cloud looms overhead that we forget the power of God?  Why do we cower in fear when a painful situation is out of our control?  The truth is that there is no battle we face that Christ has not overcome for us.   In our desert time of need, there will always be  Living Water of hope for those who believe.  The promises of God will never fail!  Christ covered the cost for victory in every single conflict we endure. His merciful, loving, immeasurable grace is sufficient.

In a world that is pouring out lies and perverting the laws of God, it brings us rest to join with other believers who will run with us in the race that was set for us.  One such friend is Rev. Bill York whose blog, concernedx2, is one of my favorites.  We both agree that we are living in the ending days and that our blessed Savior is coming soon. I want to share with you the  poem below he wrote  that speaks to my heart:

                                                                                                                                   FAINT TRACES OF GRACE

While only a child, I looked through the pages
Of books written down, compiled through the ages
This is the way, by Mom I was told
We have a good record of heroes of old

I discovered an old book, so ragged and worn
The pages were dog-eared, so tattered and torn
Among my great writings it could not abide
With theologians and scholars, I tossed it aside

The years passed so swiftly and now I am old
I opened the old book of long, long ago
There on crumpled pages I learned about life
I learned about hope and I learned about strife

When no trace of goodness in me could be found
I learned of my fate, to where I was bound
Then I learned about love and I learned about grace
I discovered a hero who had died in my place

Faint traces of grace upon me have fallen
My hope is secure, I’ve heeded the calling
I bow at his feet, I look on his face
Reflecting in me, faint traces of grace

by Rev. Bill York  

 The words of this poem remind me that despite our struggles and pain, we always have a future if our trust is in Jesus and the work of the cross.  There is nothing that can bind you or keep you down when the strength of Christ is with you.  His grace is all you will ever need.  Those who live in fear and strife do not have an understanding of grace.  It is not about performing or being right and good enough for God.  It is coming just as you are  to the throne of mercy and surrendering your utter weakness and depravity to Christ who offers you a future with promise.  Who are we that the grace of God should abound when we are at our lowest point?  And yet Jesus, who knew us before the foundation of the earth, has deemed us to be co-heirs of his kingdom and  to receive all that is good despite our unworthiness!  If the enormity of that grace could set into our finite minds, we would be  forever on our face in total shame for our sin. 

I know that many of you may be dealing with a trial in your life that is difficult and causing you to falter in your faith.  My prayer is that you look beyond your pain and focus on your God whose eyes are on you now. Be in peace, dear friends.   Always and in all things, faint traces of grace will carry you through the unfailing promises of God for your life.

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.

 

                I HAVE COME THAT THEY MAY HAVE LIFE, AND HAVE IT ABUNDANTLY

( John 10:10)

We were all born sinners in a lost and perishing world. Our rebellion made us enemies of God and the price was eternal separation from him. Yet despite our weaknesses, the bible tells us: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal love” (John 3:16) That is love beyond measure! Christ left the splendor of heaven to walk among us and give us hope for a life with him. The night that Christ was born, we read in Luke 2:8-11 :

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”

What an awesome message to receive! Imagine being in that lonely field and seeing the the glory of God shining all around. Shepherds were considered low class, they were not trusted as witnesses in a court of law, and they weren’t well educated. They lived and worked outdoors, they typically were not able to keep the ceremonial law the way the priests did in the city. As a result, they had a reputation for being unclean. Yet God deemed them the perfect ones for him to witness the birth of the Savior of this world.

Christ became flesh to walk with his creation. He came to bring hope and joy despite the fact that there are many troubles in this world. His birth was the greatest gift that this world has ever known. Jesus came to defeat death and bring new life. He came to shine  a light in a dark world. And he came to show profound, amazing love to a world that would reject him.

There is nothing else that we need in this life for Jesus brought us the free gift of salvation and friendship with God. We no longer have to be imprisoned to sin and destruction. He offered us power over all the storms of this life and the promise of glory in heaven. Struggles and pain can no longer defeat those who accept Christ as Savior. It doesn’t matter where you are or what you have done, Jesus brought forgiveness and abundant life for all who seek him.

The enemy wants you to believe that you can live your life apart from Christ and still be okay. That is a lie from the pit of hell for you will face destruction if you reject Christ as Lord and Savior of your life. You will never have victory any way other than the path that God prepared for you before the foundation of the earth. Jesus is the only way to eternal life.

I pray that you will understand that despite what you have done, you can still have a life with promise if you start now to put your trust in Jesus. You have to want to live according to his ways and to turn from the ways that keep you in bondage. Your weakness can be made strong in Christ, and by his power you can overcome all obstacles in your life.   But time is growing short and you need to choose to live for Jesus now!

Let this Christmas be the one where you decide to live in the victory of Jesus! That will be the best gift you could ever get and it is one that will last into eternity! 

Merry Christmas to all who read this.  Whatever you are going through, your God is already there, willing and able  to help.  Please know that I am praying for you!

 Let us be thankful and so worship God acceptably  (Hebrews 12:28)

To those of you who visit this site during the holy season of peace, I wish you blessings and happiness. But, I know that it is difficult for some of you to have a spirit of joy during these holidays because you are experiencing struggles and pain in your life. It is not easy to praise God when your world is crumbling around you, but it is then that you must. All that God allows for you will always be for your best interest. I have struggled many times with my problems and yet not one of them defeated me, even when I felt I was literally drowning in a sea of trouble. The truth is that God’s purpose for allowing you to endure this pain is always to bring you higher and to have a greater knowledge of the God you serve. Believers will always find that God was with them in the midst of every storm they faced.

The Apostle Paul knew first hand that when your faith was in Christ, all things that you endured were allowed by Christ for a reason. Because of his faith, he knew that even though he was suffering in jail for witnessing to others, Jesus had a divine plan to work it out for Paul’s good and for the kingdom. Paul understood that nothing was going to happen to him apart from the will of God. Paul wrote:

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7)

God knows what you need and he is able to provide for all that is good for you. So many times you may forget how many things God has taken you through. When a trial in your life takes you down, your attitude in dealing with it depends on whether you trust that God will take you through it. Our hope is secure because God’s promises never fail. That does not stop the devil from trying to fill you mind with lies and fear. Don’t give in to them for they come from an enemy who was defeated by the cross of Christ. All things will work out in God’s way and in his timing. He is not going to let you be destroyed by the storms of this world.

Paul endured a hardship in prison but his God never left him. He knew that he would suffer for a while for the purpose that God planned but that he could not be destroyed by this time of pain – he could only be made better and stronger! That is what happens when you can give thanks in ALL things including those trials that you don’t understand why God would allow. You can give praise and thanksgiving in all things knowing without a doubt that God’s grace is the force that will take you to victory.

You may be feeling weary and overwhelmed right now because your situation may seem hopeless. That is not true. Nothing is beyond the power of God to work out. There are no impossible situations with God. He who spoke the worlds into existence and who breathed into the dust and made man has no boundaries or limitations. He can do all things and he will move heaven and earth in his perfect plan for you. You just need to trust him and put your complete faith in him.

It doesn’t matter what you have done in your life or how far you have run from God. The only thing that matters is that he wants you with him. You have tried every other way to bring happiness in your life but all you were left with was the consequence of bad decisions. Only the path that God set for you will give you peace and joy despite your struggles.

This holiday season and always, give God praise and honor for all things . Be thankful for what God has given you thus far and put your trust in the future he planned for your life long before you were born.

Dear Lord,

This season of peace and joy is also a time when many people are struggling with finances, marriages failing, health issues, sin bondages and thoughts of depression.  I am praying for all who are in pain right now.  I pray that you will make your presence known to them in a very real way. Please help them to know that you are going to be with them in their struggle and will take them to victory.  My prayer, dear Jesus, is that you will meet them where they are right now and take them to your peace.  I pray that everyone who is overwhelmed and defeated to know that your perfect plan for their life will not fail.  Most importantly, I pray that each one who visits here will know the depth of the love that you have for them.  If there are any who do not know you as Savior and LORD, I pray that you will unveil their eyes and give them the knowledge of who you are.  I pray this in the precious name of Jesus. Amen

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

                                         

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    ( Picture by Francesco Cosi)

           FOR I KNOW WHOM I HAVE BELIEVED  ( 2 Tim.1:12)

Dear friends and visitors to this blog,

I want everyone who comes to this site to know that I have a burden for those who are in pain, feeling troubled and who come looking for a message from God.  I never cease praying for those who have asked for prayer.  I take all of your prayer requests very seriously and they stay on my heart.  And God cares for each of you through your pain.  He is not going to leave you in your struggle.

Remember that no matter what you are going through,  God will always be bigger and he cares!  He has a way out and above every single situation that you go through. To those who have put their trust in the finished work of Christ at the cross, your future is sealed and the enemy cannot steal it away.  Don’t let any of the devil’s lies and frustrations make you doubt  God’s perfect plan for your life.  If you could see with spiritual eyes, you would know that if God is allowing a trial in the life of a believer, he has a plan to not only take you through it but to make you better for having gone through it.

Most importantly, I want you to remember that no situation is impossible for the true God who spoke the worlds into existence!  Never let anyone tell you that you circumstance is beyond all help. That is a lie.  There is nothing that God cannot and will not do for those who belong to him.

I care very deeply about all whom God sends to my site.  You matter here!  It was no coincidence that you stopped by for  God has a message in one of these articles just for you.  He is the one who has inspired these truths for me to write.

God bless you for now.  Stay in peace and take your stand in the battle.  Your God is very near and he is fighting for you!

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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