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 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” Hebrews 11:1

It has been said that the peace of God rests where the peace of God reigns.  If you are living a life of wavering faith in the power of Christ to help you, you are selling out your joy to the lie of the enemy. You are believing that your problem is bigger than your God.

The question remains that if Christ just saved us from the flames of hell, then where is the abundant life that he promises to those who put their trust in him?

The truth is that all things in the life of a believer have been ordained and purposed long before the foundation of the world. God is not surprised by the battles that we may face.  Christ who calmed the raging sea with just a word can certainly speak peace into your troubled life. He is the Maker of all things new. He is the Restorer of life and the Giver of all things good. He knows what you need and when you need it and for that reason you can have rest in times of trial. When you surrender all of your fears to God, you are allowing him to take over and work things out according to his perfect plan. Your weakness is overcome by his strength.

Too often we want to have total control of our situation and have it done our way. We want to be assured that the outcome will happen the way we want and in our timing.  That, however, is not how God works.

In Judges, Chapter 7 of the Old Testament, we read that Gideon was to lead the Israelites in battle against the Midianites. But God wanted his people to trust that he alone was the one who would give them  the victory. He allowed only 300 men to go with Gideon and fight the large army of the Midianites. Even though the enemy was bigger, Gideon’s men carried no weapons! He put trumpets into the hands of all of them and empty jars with torches insides the jars. Imagine having to trust that God could give them the victory with only a few men who had no weapons. Yet God was with them. When Gideon gave the order, the men, stationed on all sides of the camp, blew the trumpets and smashed the jars that were in their hands.  They cried out, “A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!”  And with that, the enemy fled in great fear. That is the power of God who can use your faith to destroy all that comes against you.

I don’t know what you are dealing with in your life, I only know that our God is bigger.  It may seem like your situation is impossible and that you have no way out, but God is not limited by any limits or boundaries. He sees the beginning and end of your life at this moment and all things have been worked out. He allows you to endure trials so that he can reveal more of himself to you. As painful as it may be at the time, you are sharing in Christ’s sufferings that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.( 1 Peter 4:13)

This life is just a vapor. Keep your focus on the prize for which you were called. Don’t give up when all the strength you need to stay in the race is yours in Christ. He isn’t going to fail you.  You can’t lose.

My dear friends, you would have no fears in life if you only understood how much God loves you. He created you for a purpose and your weakness does not stop his plan. He knows how to get you from where you are to where he is. He understands your trouble. His eyes are always on you. If you are struggling to believe that he cares for you in the situation that you are in, I pray you will seek Christ out in Scripture.  He will strengthen you and give you hope as he speaks to you through his word. Whatever you are going through now can’t destroy you despite how bad it seems. Even the sting of  death has been destroyed.  Take joy and remember that Christ has overcome the world. He will help you.

If you are here reading this now, please know that I am praying for you. This message was given by God for you. You are not alone.

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Though he slay me, yet will I hope in Him. (Job 13:15)

When all hope seems lost, remember that it is not all lost to the God of the impossible. He can take you through your weariness and pain and bring you to a place of peace. We are in a fallen world and not all things will work out as we hoped.  We do not know the future or what is going to happen. Therefore,God has promised that in spite of your struggle, he will work out all things for your good. That is truth.

Your cirucumstance, however painful it might be, is only the path that God is using to reveal more of himself to you. Your troubles cannot defeat you. They may appear to be taking you down but actually they are helping you to rise above them. You are made stronger for having gone through them.  Nothing can be taken from you without God’s permission. It is His to give and His to take. But remember, no good will God withhold from those who love him. (Psalm 84:11)

Dear friends, what God removes from your life is part of his plan to give you so much more.  You have to learn to trust him. You must stand in faith no matter how great the storm that overwhelms your life. The Lord brings the tide in and he takes it out. He controls the wind and the rain. The sun rises at his command. He certainly can perfect his purpose for your life and provide for what you need.

 Don’t let your weariness make you think that God does not care when your prayers seem unanswered.  His mercy and love are with you even now. He knows what he is doing in your life. He sees your tears and he holds them in a bottle. He does not forget your name or where you are.  He is the God of all possibility and ultimately all things must bow to his will for your life.

The days are growing short and evil is abounding. Take joy knowing that even through the tempest, the hand of God is in full control. He will never fail you nor will he let anything in this world destroy.

don't give upBe strong, my friends. Jesus died to give you peace no matter what happens here. Even the death of a loved one cannot impede the purpose he has for you. He knew your name long before the foundation of the earth. Trust that even in death that God will be with you.  That is the hope that separates believers from the rest of the world.

 The article below was found posted in the blog Standing for God.   A.B. Simpson was a man of God who understood that the problems of this world are the tools to mold the believer into the purpose of God.

THIS IS GOD’S HOUR

by A.B. Simpson

Cast down, but not destroyed2 Corinthians 4:9

How did God bring about the miracle of the Red Sea? By shutting His people in on every side so that there was no way out but the divine way. The Egyptians were behind them, the sea was in front of them, the mountains were on both sides of them. There was no escape but from above.

Someone has said that the devil can wall us in, but he cannot roof us over. We can always get out at the top. Our difficulties are but God’s challenges, and many times He makes them so hard that we must get above them or go under.

In the Providence of God, such an hour furnishes us with the highest possibilities for faith. We are pushed by the very emergency into God’s best.

Beloved, this is God’s hour. If you will rise to meet it you will get such a hold upon Him that you will never be in extremities again; or if you are, you will learn to call them not extremities, but opportunities. Like Jacob, you will go forth from that night at Peniel, no longer Jacob, but victorious Israel. Let us bring to Him our need and prove Him true.

This world is perishing but God still holds your future!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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I will praise you in the storm and I will lift my hands; for You are who You are, no matter where I am.

We are literally watching prophecy unfold before our eyes as the recent events with Palestine and the U.N. are setting the stage for the coming apocalyptic storm. Changes are taking place all over this world and the darkness of evil as the hearts of most have grown cold.  Is there hope for those who have put their trust in Christ or will we be destroyed along with the rest of the unbelieving world?

The blessed truth is that there is a perfect plan unfolding for those who refuse to be moved from their position in Christ.  You may feel like you are too overwhelmed to continue in the battles you face, but the power of God is always the conquering force within you in all of your struggles.  There is not a moment that your future is ever compromised by  problems in your life.   You have been given the guarantee of victory in all things.  God is working his divine, eternal destiny through every single one of them.

We read in Isaiah 40:31, “but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles.”   Those who can trust that God is still sovereign in their darkest struggle and pain shall not go unrewarded.  He will give you the power and hope you need to stay in the race and not give up.   It was by his grace that you were taken this far and he will not let you be destroyed now.   Surrender your fears and frustrations to God and let him give you his peace to endure.

As the news brings stories of wars, famines, earthquakes, and fierce storms of every kind, we rest in the knowledge that God is using it all to fulfill his plan of salvation to the very end of time.  It is a troubling time for everyone but your prayers for help are being heard by Christ who knew your name long before you were ever born.  In Daniel 9:18, Daniel lifts his voice to God saying, ” For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness but because of your great mercy.”    It is the love of God that we call upon in times of trouble.  He sees beyond our weakness and failure and is willing to help us in spite of it all.

Do not be surprised at the evil going on for we are told in God’s word that there will be a spirit of deception that will fill this earth in the ending days.  Those who belong to Christ have nothing to  be anxious over for your future is secure as God has ordained every one of your days.  Jesus told us that we would still be able to have joy despite our many problems because he has overcome the impact of every single one of them.  By his authority, all things that come against you must work into the plan that he has for your life.  You cannot lose when you belong to Christ. This world may be perishing but believers have a royal heritage that transcends the boundaries of this life.  We are being tried and tested as the refining fires are molding us into the image of Christ.

It may seem like your prayer has not been answered or that your struggle is getting worse but the God who calls out each star by name without losing one is certainly not going to lose you in any battle that you face.  You are a winner and your destiny is sealed.  Don’t let your pain weaken your faith.  There is always the hope you need to carry on for your steps are guided by the hand of God.  Lift up your eyes to the hills from whence comes your help. Hold on, dear believer!  Your God sees where you are and he will rescue you.

We are nearing the end of the race.  Christ is coming soon to bring us to our home with him.  The increase of evil is a sign that the devil is growing anxious knowing that his time is short.  God’s power and authority are unchanging.  He is still in control of everything. All things will work out according to his purpose.

My heart and prayers are with all who are going through serious problems and struggles.  You may feel like you are alone but you never will be! 

 I am humbly asking all  who visit here to remember and pray for our brothers and sisters in restricted nations who are being persecuted for their faith.  We must stand with them for they are one with us in Christ.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

                  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).

 

                          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!

                                          Our prayers reach God!

 

The final words Christ spoke as He died on the cross were “It is finished”. As he gave up his spirit, the earth rumbled, darkness fell and Scripture tells us that at that moment the curtain of the temple was torn from top to bottom.

 

In biblical times, the temple had a thick curtain which separated the people from the Holy of Holies where God dwelled. Only the high priest could enter this area on the Day of Atonement to offer sacrifices for the sins of the people.  When Jesus died on the cross, His blood covered our sins once and for all.  As the temple veil was torn, we were now given access to the very throne of God.  Christ who became our high priest was also our mediator between God and man.  We can present our requests directly to God and he will hear us. God looks upon believers as the righteousness of his Son Jesus.  We are now joint heirs with Christ in the kingdom of heaven and nothing good will be withheld from us. 

 

With this knowledge in mind, the prayers of believers are the most important tool a Christian has.  God only works through the prayers of his people.  Jesus taught us the meaning of prayer while he was on this earth.  All through the gospels we read where Jesus would go off alone to commune with the Father.  Jesus knew that his prayers were the power behind all that he did. Prayer led him to follow and do only what he saw the Father doing.

 

Prayer is seeking the mind of God.  It is submission to have your ways line up with the ways of God.  It is trusting that God is going to see you through your difficulty and keep you safe.  As you pray you also open up your heart to hear from God.  In those moments when you have turned to him for guidance, his still quiet voice will lead you in the paths you are to take. 

 

There is not a trial or struggle that you go through that will not be lifted as you present it in prayer to God, Those who are trying to carry their own burdens should know that God never intended for anyone to go through trials alone.  He will always put someone in your path to help you with your pain if you trust it to him. Your circumstance cannot keep you from the plan that God has for your life.  The veil between heaven and earth has been torn open so it doesn’t matter what you have done in your life or what you have been though, the power of God can restore you and give you a new life.   It is by prayer that you can move mountains of trouble and break the chains of bondage that seek to destroy you. This access to the throne of heaven was paid for by Jesus at the cross so it is never a burden but a true gift to be able to meet with our Creator in prayer.  Satan himself knows well that heaven and earth can be moved by the prayer of one believer.

 

You need never fear about your situation because Christ himself goes before you to the Father to intercede for you. If you are going through a dark time in your life be assured that right now Christ has burdened someone’s heart to pray for you.  You are not alone and you never will be as long as there are believers who trust in the power of prayer.  

You cannot be destroyed!

 

Of all that comes against us in this world, death is probably the one most feared.  Yet, for believers, death is the only thing that releases us from this evil world and frees us to be with our LORD who has planned great things for us.  The prophet Isaiah says in chapter 25 that the Sovereign Lord will swallow up death and wipe away the tears from all faces.  Death only came to us when man sinned. But God had a plan to save us from death by sending his only Son, Jesus, who paid the ultimate price for our transgressions and bought for us eternal life in heaven.  It is a free gift that cannot be earned.  Jesus says in John 5:24, “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life”.  

 

 To those who have Christ in their heart, death has no power to harm but only to release us to be with God who has riches and reward with him.  We will be clothed in heavenly garments for with Jesus, death has been swallowed up in victory.   Isaiah 25:8 says, “Where,O death, is your victory? Where O death is your sting?”  My friends, death cannot destroy a child of God.  

 

 Our life on this earth is just a waiting period for God to come a rescue us and bring us to him.  While we mourn those who pass on before us, we take joy in knowing that we shall be united with those believers that have gone before us in a place that Jesus has prepared for us.  In Revelation 21:4 God word says, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away”.  For that reason, Jesus tells us in Matthew 6 not to store up treasures on earth where it can be stolen or destroyed but to store up treasure in heaven which will last forever.  Our bodies may be on this earth, but our spirits should be longing to be with our God forever in heaven.  The temporary joys of this earth hold nothing compared to the eternal unspeakable joys that God has planned for those who love him.   

 

Friends, heaven is not just a state of being, it is a real place filled with glorious rewards.  The word of God says, “No eye has seen, nor ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him: (1 Cor 2:9)  It is so wonderful that Satan is committed to getting believers to forget that we cannot be destroyed but only freed to receive all that God has planned for us.  What destroys our body cannot destroy our spirit.  In 2 Corinthian 5:1, Paul tells us,  Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven , not built by human hands.”.  That is a promise from God for all who believe.  

 

Those who are facing a serious illness, take heart for God is with you and  nothing  can stop the perfect plan that God has for you if you have asked Jesus into your heart. Jesus is able to heal and restore you and bring you to wholeness.  He will not leave you to fear or be afraid.  He is with you right now.  For those who have lost a loved one and the pain is still with you, you have the promise that God willl one day wipe every tear away.  

 

 

I pray for the peace of Christ to fill you at this time and to help you to understand that his love is sufficient for all of your needs.  You are being prayed for right now.  You are not alone in your pain and you never will be.                                   

 

                                                       Power over your problems

 

Faith is the key to defeating all that comes against you.  In order for the hand of God to work miracles in your life, you must believe that he is able.  Your trials have no power over you except for what you allow.  For that reason, you must never let the fear of any painful situation in your life become bigger than your God. 

 

The bible tells us that Jesus came to set the captives free.  We who were once in bondage to the evil of this world now have the power over darkness.   The death and resurrection of Christ gave us the victory over anything that seeks to destroy us.  He paid the price for us to live life abundantly despite what we have to endure.  He became our strength to conquer all of our enemies.  He has put death and destruction under his feet.  Those who have a relationship with Jesus have nothing to fear from this world.  He alone is the hope for all that you need and he will not fail you. 

 

In Matthew 15, we read about how the Apostles were in a boat on the water that was being tossed around by the wind and the waves.  During the night, Jesus came to them walking on the water and they became afraid.  Peter asked Jesus to let him come to him on the water and Jesus said, “Come”.  Peter began to walk on the water but when he saw the strong wind and the high waves he was afraid and began to sink.  He cried out to Jesus who lifted him from the water and said, “Why did you doubt?”.

 

 The truth of this matter is that it was not the wind or the waves that brought Peter down, it was his fear!  Instead of keeping his eyes on his Creator who could save him from all things, Peter instead empowered the wind and the waves.  He feared that he would perish even though the Master of the universe was right there with him.  Jesus is over all that is in this world and even the wind must obey him. With just a word, Jesus was able to quiet the storm. 

 

Even now, there is never a situation that Jesus can’t take you through if your trust is in him. With just his word, he can give you peace in the trial that you are enduring. The power of the blood of Christ is able to meet you wherever you are.  It is not based on your good works but on his mercy. It does not matter what you have done or how far you have strayed, his love is able to reach out lift you from the waters of trouble and bring you to safety.  Jesus is always willing to forgive and give you a future that has promise.  For a believer, the strength to live in victory is always with you because Christ lives in you.  He alone can defeat your serious health issues, family problems, financial difficulties or any addictions and pain you may have.  Jesus alone has the power to heal your broken marriage and restore your family. That is your heritage as a child of the living God! Nothing is impossible for him who spoke this world into existence.

 

If you are feeling weary from the battle you are in, lift your eyes to Jesus who is the source of all strength.  He will not leave you alone and his plan for you will never fail. The enemy has been defeated by the cross and his power has been destroyed. 

 

Trust this day that God is able to keep you on top of the water despite what trouble comes against you. It is my hope that you understand that no matter what you are going through, God has people praying for you right now.  You are never alone and your situation is never impossible for the true God whose love will never fail 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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