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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

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 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!

                                                 KEEPING HOPE ALIVE

 

 

Keeping your hope alive in the midst of your struggles and fears can be difficult.  Although Christ has promised us that he would never leave us but would always take us through our problems, the strength to stay in faith when the storms of life come upon us can seem impossible.

 

The truth is that Jesus did not die just to give you eternal life in heaven.  He died so that you might have an abundant, joy-filled life right here on earth.  He who knew your name before the foundation of the earth is able to heal your pain and ease the heartache that you may be going through.  There is nothing that comes upon you that that can destroy your life if you have put your trust in the risen Savior.  Jesus is not just waiting for us in heaven.  He is here with us now in all that we do.  His power and strength is the force sufficient enough to demolish any stronghold that seeks to defeat you. 

 

Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid”.   Those are life changing words!  He is speaking with all the power of God when he tells us that we do not have to fear any problem or impossible situation.  Jesus will not only take us through our problems, he will give us the peace that we need to stay trusting while we are in the battle.  The peace Jesus speaks of is the truth that sets you free.  It is the irrevocable promise of God that you can still have hope despite your trial because nothing can destroy his purpose and plan for you.  He is ready to shine a light to guide you on the path he has set for you.  Jesus is your friend, your counselor and an ever-present help in all things.  There is nothing too strong or too impossible for him to do for you because he alone is the source of all power. 

 

Throughout the scriptures, we read of how God would make a way in impossible situations to help his people.  There is nothing that can change the course of victory for those whom he has redeemed.   In Exodus, we learn that God did not lead the Israelites around the Red Sea but rather he brought them to the Red Sea that they might understand his power as he parted the waters for them to cross safely to the other side. 

 

The victories written in scripture are here for us today.  God is willing to part the deep waters of trouble and pain that is in your life and bring you through safely to the other side.  Impossible situations are no match for the power of the risen Christ who defeated darkness and death and bought for you eternal life.

 

Whatever painful situation you may be experiencing at this time, take heart and remember that Jesus is with you.  The hope that he gives you is not just a desire, it is a promise.  It is my prayer that God will help you to understand this truth.

   

 

 

 

      There is never a heart so broken that the love of Christ cannot heal!

                        

 

What burden are you trying to carry that is making you feel hopeless and alone?   Is there a seemingly impossible situation in your life which has caused you to lose all faith and just give up?  Whatever the circumstance, if your heart is breaking and you don’t know where to turn, take heart for God has a word for you today.

 

In Psalm 34, God’s word says that he is close to the brokenhearted.  We are told in Psalm 58 that God has collected all of our tears in a bottle and recorded every one in his book. He cares about every aspect of our life and for this reason we can be comforted in any situation and know that God has a way for us to rise above every storm that we face.  His power has no limit and there is absolutely nothing that he will not do to help those who call upon his name in time of need. 

 

The enemy roams this earth and tries to blind us to the hope that Christ’s death and resurrection bought for us.  That hope is a promise from God that he will fulfill his purpose in our lives no matter what struggles we face.  Believers have the assurance that Jesus can restore shattered dreams and renew a future with victory and joy.  He is sufficient for all of your needs and he will never fail you. The devil knows well that a child of God can never be destroyed.

 

The Apostle Paul says in Philippians 4, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength”.  Paul realized that it did not matter what he had to go through because he knew that the strength to endure and conquer all of his problems came from Christ.  That truth is also for us today. If you have put your trust in the finished work of Jesus, you now have his strength living in you.  You will never be alone and nothing you can do will ever defeat his perfect plan for your life despite the painful situation you may be in.

 

Jesus died to set you free and to give you a new life.  Before he formed the earth, he knew your name and had a purpose and a plan to bring you to him.  His love for you will never end no matter what you have done and all that you go through touches his heart first.  Although you may not understand why God allows pain in your life, you must remember that he has the power to cause all things to be used for your good no matter how hard it is at the time to endure.  Then you can grow in the understanding that the testing of your faith develops perseverance so that you will not lack any good thing.

 

Those who endure with Jesus to the end will reign with him in eternity.  We are not going to have all of the answers on this earth, however, we can live as conquerors and defeat the enemy if we stand firm and trust that God is bigger than any of our problems.

 

The assurance of all of God’s promises is yours if you simply pray and ask Jesus to make himself real to you.  He is willing to come and live in your heart and be the power to overcome in your struggles.  He wants to heal your pain so that you can live in the peace that he died to give you.  Jesus says in Revelation 3;20 that he stands at the door and knocks and that if you open the door, he will come in and be with you.  Today is that day.  Call upon him now. Your eternity depends on it. 

 

Christ is the reason we can have hope in our lives despite the storms we face. .  He is the promise for all good things and the strength to endure the trials of this life. 

 

The promises of God are real and his faithfulness will never fail us.  We have nothing to fear as believers because the power of God is always with us.  Yet at times those words may ring hollow when you are in a crisis situation.  You may be enduring the effects of a serious illness for which there is no cure. You may be struggling with financial difficulties and don’t know where to turn. You may be suffering the pain of a broken marriage or relationship and have lost all hope for the future.  Whatever the struggle, it can be hard to stand in your faith when your circumstance seems hopeless.

 

We read in Proverbs 24:10, “If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength!”.  The truth is that those who believe in the finished work of Jesus Christ have limitless power to defeat anything that comes against them.  In 1 John 5:4, we are told that everyone born of God overcomes the world.  The forces of evil cannot conquer a child of God. The devil himself knows that he is unable to harm a hair on your head but only what God permits.  And God will only allow that struggle or pain for which he has prepared in advance to bring you through to victory. Each trial we endure is permitted to help us to develop the perseverance that we need to stay strong in this life so that our faith may be proved genuine.  Christ did not suffer and die to lose the battle.  His death paid the price for our victory and it cannot be taken from us.  It does not matter what trouble you may be experiencing, God is willing and able to bring you through it. He alone can turn a painful situation into something that will be used for good with a reward that will last forever.  God’s promise in Isaiah 61:3 is to give you beauty for ashes and gladness instead of mourning. 

 

Those who have Jesus as their Savior have a living hope.  It does not matter how weary you may feel for it is Christ who will fight your battle and he knows how to rescue the godly from trials.  He has made us more than conquerors which means we cannot fail despite our weaknesses.  The Apostle Paul understood that all he had to suffer was permitted for a purpose.  He believed that God’s grace was able to meet all of his needs despite the pain he had to endure.  For that reason, Paul was able to be content in any and every situation, good or bad.  He said in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength”.  That is the kind of faith that honors God and defeats the enemy.

 

You can have the peace that surpasses understanding if you will keep your eyes on Christ instead of your problems.  There is nothing that is impossible for him.  He cannot fail you because it was by his great love that he created you.  He overcame death and left us a promise that he would always be with us.  Jesus will make a way through the mountain of your problems because his perfect plan for your life cannot be stopped.  Remember, the love of Christ will always defeat your enemies and keep you in his perfect peace. 

 

It is my prayer that you understand that it doesn’t matter where you are or what you are going through for Jesus will be there to help you.  You are never alone.  That is the promise Christ gave to us at the cross  when he cried, “It is finished”.   All things are under his authority and approval and for that, we have nothing to fear!

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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