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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

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.

 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!

            The righteous cry out and the LORD hears them (Psalm 34:17)

It is obvious that so many believers are growing weary in these dark days of oppression that we live.  Struggles surround us at every corner and it is hard to stave off the growing fears of uncertainty.  We were told in Scripture that these times would come and test the faithful, but how do we keep standing when the ground is trembling and darkness is filling the sky?

Fear is a tool that the enemy uses to take your focus from the truth.  When you understand that your hope in Christ is secure, you can cease striving. There is nothing that is going to destroy a believer who is holding onto the promises that Jesus died to give.  Your future is never determined by your circumstance.  Trials that you face are only the wind that brings you closer to God.   Every single one of your struggles are used by God to equip you for the battles that come against you.

  Throughout the bible, God allowed his people to be taken to the end of their own strength but yet they were conquerors over all that came against them.  It was in the lion’s den that Daniel watched as his God shut the mouths of the lions and brought him safely out.   The three Jewish boys were bound and thrown into the furnace for refusing to bow in worship to Nebuchadnezzar.(Daniel 3)  Yet it was there that  they came face to face with the Son of God who protected them from even the smell of  fire and smoke. Young David ran against the giant, Goliath, in the power of the God in whom he trusted.  He never doubted that his God could save him as he killed that heathen Philistine with just a stone.  King Hezekiah cried out to his God for help when the Assyrian army was surrounding his people on all sides.  He had no power to face this mighty army but his God did!  We are told in 2 Kings 19:35, ” That night the angel of the Lord went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning – there were all dead bodies!”   It was God who fought their battle and saved them.  You need to understand clearly that when you are in Christ, you are a force to be reckoned with!

Beloved, you must understand that no battle you ever face is hopeless.   You don’t need to run from your problems; you just need to turn to your God!  Never lose faith when you get to the end of your ability for it is at that point that you  discover the all-encompassing power of  God.  Jesus paid the price for our redemption and to give us a future with hope.  The enemy may prowl around trying to  rob you of your joy but he can never steal the future that Christ paid with his blood.  Death has no sting for Jesus overcame the grave.  All of your momentary trials are working out a divine purpose to prepare you for the royalty that awaits you in eternity.  Your painful situation has a time to end.  God knows how to take you from your distress and into his peace if you will just surrender to him. 

We are living in a time like no other.  We are watching as  wars, famines, floods, severe weather, poverty, sickness of all kinds of evil are permeating this entire world.  The hearts of many have grown cold as marriages are failing, evil and violence are increasing and all forms of perversions are becoming common. The only hope we have is the enduring love of Christ who will never fail.  He is called Faithful and True and he is  ready to return and gather those who love him. 

May you know this day that you are never out of God’s sight for a second.  Whatever you are suffering is before the eyes of God.  Remember,  “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit”. (Psalm 34:18)

 

Dear Lord,  I am praying for those who are struggling with a painful situation in their lives.  They feel like they are losing in the battle that they face.  I pray for your peace and strength to fill them.  Let them know without a doubt that you are with them to the end.  For those who have financial problems – may you meet them and provide for what they need.  Those who have marriage and relationship problems – may you join them in peace and restore their families.  I pray for you to heal the pain of those who are sick or who have lost a loved one.  May you comfort and heal those who are in serious bondage to alcohol or drugs.  I pray for your favor in their lives in all that they need.  And may they know that you will not fail them no matter how impossible their problem is to them. Amen.

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. (Isaiah 26:3)

It is  hard to release all of our hopes and fears and trust that God has a better way for our lives. When you try to work things out as the world does, you are headed for failure.  Charles Spurgeon once wrote:  “You cannot grow in grace to any high degree while you are conformed to the world“. That which you won’t surrender to God will be the foothold  that the enemy uses to take you down.   All that you have that is good has been given you by God. There is nothing that you can keep except that which you give up. 

Jesus calls for us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds and yet that is very difficult to do when you let the influences of this lost world cloud your judgment.  The darkness of these present times can fill you with fear when it seems like God isn’t showing up in time to help you through a crisis. Some  people are suffering with the pain of a serious or terminal illness. Many are  facing monumental financial difficulties as they battle to survive past the list of endless bills.    Marriages are under attack as Satan has targeted families for destruction.  Drugs and alcohol are literally robbing people of their future.  Pornography is a deadly addiction that poisons and  imprisons its victims.  Sadly, lies from hell are being traded for the truth by the lost everywhere.  Many in our country and in the world are now accepting evil as good.

Yet, despite the battles that rage all around,  Jesus promised believers that he would fill them with the peace that surpasses all understanding.  That peace only comes by trusting and following the path of Christ.  You cannot seek out the riches and glory of this world and expect that God’s peace will reign in your heart. I can’t put it more clearly than to say outright that if you live in rebellion to God, you will never be happy!  You will always be searching and never be satisfied.  The true joy that comes only from a relationship with Christ is found nowhere else.  Nothing that you can attain on this earth will last forever or prevent you from dying one day.  But those who seek Christ and his kingdom, all that is good will be added to their life.  As a believer you understand that  death has no power except to release you to be with God in his kingdom forever.

While all will suffer in this life, God works everything for the good those who belong to him.   The temporary struggles you face have divine ramifications as the hand of God uses them to form and shape you into the image of Jesus.  We read in 1 Peter 5:10, “And the God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast“.  After you have been through your painful trial, God himself lifts you up and restores you to wholeness.  You can’t lose in the battle you are in so hang on and know the power that lives in you.  Never surrender your joy no matter how dark your situation may appear.  God always has a way to take you through it if you will believe and wait on his timing   God ‘s power is  more than enough for all that you need.  You should  keep that truth in your heart!

Dear Lord, I know that many are struggling in areas of their lives and they wonder if you truly care about what they are going through.  I pray that you draw near to them in their pain and give them the strength they need to believe that you will not fail them.  May you give them a very real sense of your peace as  you work out all their difficulties and make them strong, firm and steadfast in their faith.  I pray this in the power of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen

    Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life (Psalm 138:7)

Have you ever been in a painful trial in life which made you feel like you were all alone?   The storms you face in this world can sometimes make you feel isolated and without hope.  And, although well-meaning friends want to help you, there often  is little that they can do.  You really want to believe that God is with you in that battle, but that may be hard to do when the enemy surrounds you on all sides!  When you come to these lonely places, it is then that you must take all thoughts captive to the truth of the promises of Christ!

In Scripture, David told King Saul that he would go against the giant  Goliath who was threatening to kill the Israelites.  Although he was only a young man alone, David knew that the force and strength of his God would be with him.  As David ran toward the giant armed only with a sling and 5 stones, he was confident that he would be victorious against the enemy – and he was.  David won this battle before he even started because his hope was steadfast in his faith that God would not fail him.  He never hesitated by allowing worry to have entry to his mind.  He knew the God that he served enough to take him at his word.

All of the battles that you face as a believer are fought on holy ground because the power of God is with you.  You are in the company of the army of heavenly forces who know well how to deal with the enemy. You are never left to fight alone.  As David understood that God was giving him his victory, so must you know that you are a conqueror against all that comes against you.  You must never let your situation cause you to be anxious.  Worry is nothing but the whispers of lies from a defeated enemy!   Satan wants you to make you feel alone and hopeless so that he can get a foothold into your mind.  Don’t give him access.

The truth is all the force that you need to defeat your feelings of hopelessness.  Your financial struggles, marriage problems,  health issues, addictions or heartaches are all under the power of a Sovereign God who knows how to take you safely through them. Your weaknesses are not hidden from the eye of an omniscient God who offers you his strength when you have none of your own.  He is never limited by the scope of your impossible situation.  His power is not confined to boundaries and it supersedes the scientific laws of this world.  Most importantly, your painful struggle was seen by God long before you were born and he prepared a way to take you to victory.  He has not forgotten you now and he never will.  

It is the lonely places that put you next to the heart of your God.  For it is when you have nowhere else to turn  that you realize that God’s power was all that you ever needed.  Jesus paid the price so that those who believed would be made more than a conqueror in all the battles of this world.  Never surrender your joy no matter how bad the problems in your life seem.  Though you may not understand it now, Christ is working it all out to fit into the perfect plan that he ordained for your life.  The One who keeps all your tears in a bottle will not let you drown in despair.  Jesus said “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.  And even the very hairs on your head are numbered.  So don’t be afraid: you are worth more than many sparrows”.(Matthew 10:29-31)  There is nothing you must face that will not be measured and timed by God’s own hand. 

Whatever is overwhelming you in your life right now has a purpose to bring you closer to God.  The winds of trouble and the storms of  your life must all submit to the will of God for you.  Your battle will never be stronger than the refuge and strength of your God!  The bible tells us, “Weeping may remain for a night, but joy comes in the morning”. (Psalm 30:5)  That means that every painful struggle has a timing for it to end.  And it is only then that you will understand the power of  God whose love for you  never failed.

  

I pray that those who are struggling or in a painful trial will know the peace of God that surpasses understanding.  No matter what is going on in your life, please remember that it will never be bigger than your God!

                          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!

                       lifting-up-hands                                                 Knowing that God will rescue you

Where is God in all of our struggles?  We are living in unbelievably difficult days and it does not appear to be getting any better.  Trying to hold on in faith while the darkness surrounds our situation can literally seem impossible.  In our finite minds,  it doesn’t make sense that God  appears to wait so long to come to our rescue.

The pain of a trial in life can be overwhelming.  A troubled marriage can turn your life upside down.  Financial problems seem to have no end in sight.  A serious illness can interrupt your life in a big way.  Addictions to alcohol, drugs, pornography or  any bondage can bring total havoc in your life.  There are just too many problems to deal with as utter darkness covers the earth.  Where is the peace that surpasses understanding that Jesus promised us believers?  Sometimes it may take all the effort you  have just to get out of bed in the morning and face life.  Without a doubt, we are living in troubling times.  So what can we do?

We are told in God’s word that then enemy prowls around like a roaring lion looking to devour you.  He is seeking to kill, steal and destroy all that you have.  But, the truth is that the enemy cannot take anything from one whose faith is in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross.  All that he can do is convince you of a lie that his power to destroy you is bigger than God’s power to rescue you.  You must remember that the tomb could not hold back the Holy Spirit’s power to raise Christ from the dead and that same power is living in you!  For that reason, you cannot be defeated no matter how wounded you are in the battle you are fighting.  Christ has conquered death and the power of evil.  Though the enemy can wage war all around you,  you will not be a casualty of a battle that has already been won.  Don’t look at your circumstances –  look at your God!  Our weakness comes when we take our eyes off the Source of our power.  Jesus does not take cover in the attacks of the enemy.  He is our fortress and a very present help to us.  The weary can find safety in his shadow and experience peace in his never-ending love.

By knowing and understanding the God you serve, you are able to rest and trust  him to get you through the storm.  If Jesus tells us to take joy despite our problems, he must have a way for us to do so.  We know by all that is true that God cannot lie.  In every one of our troubles, God is present and working them out.  You don’t have to feel him or see him working to know that he is causing all things to be used for your good.  It is by faith, which is greater than silver or gold, that we trust despite our pain.  My friends, you must understand that while this earth is not heaven, it is here that God is getting us ready to be royalty in a glorious place that will never end!  It is difficult to endure the hardships that surround us each day, but it is not impossible.  The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross gave us hope that our future is secure.   If he has the hairs on your head numbered, he surely is not going to forget to help you when you need him.  In his timing, you will understand that he never left you for one second!  The Apostle Peter took his eyes off of Jesus when he was walking on the water and began to sink.  But understand this – JESUS NEVER TOOK HIS EYES OFF OF PETER!  Jesus was able to lift Peter up from the sea because his power did not cease even when Peter doubted him.

God’s love and power for you are real.  If you are struggling it is because you are listening to the lies of the enemy and have taken your eyes from Christ.  I know that your financial problems are real and that your marriage may be in serious trouble.  All that I am saying is that God is not going to fail you.  You may think he is not with you now in your pain but the truth is that he is.  Even in your fear and weakness, he is not going to abandon you.  His love is just so amazing that it will meet you wherever you are.  He knows how to lift you from your sea of trouble and he will not let you drown.  God can make a way even when there is none.

Let the amazing love that Christ has for you be your strength in the battle you are facing.  Get into his word and let him fill you will the knowledge of his power so that you will not be afraid of what the future holds for you.  The words that God gave to his people long ago are for you today: “For I am the LORD, your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you”. (Isaiah 41:13)

                         Knowing by faith that God will not fail you 

Every problem and troubling situation believers face in this life is allowed by God  for a specific purpose.  He is working out something far greater than what appears to be happening as he guides the process of transforming you into the image of Christ.  Your faith is being sharpened as a sword to equip you for the battles of this world.  The path of victory has already been set and there is nothing that can destroy a believer who has put his faith in the cross of Jesus.  We are commanded to be anxious for nothing and no one.  But,  is that still possible when the darkness of the storm surrounds us?

The truth is that the strength to endure every painful trial is with you in Christ.  If your eyes were opened to view the spiritual battle that is raging, you would see the grand army of the living God totally surrounding and protecting you with powerful weapons far greater than those against you. Though you will still endure the attacks of the enemy, your hope of victory is secure because of the cross of Christ.  You may be feeling weary and completely overwhelmed but the bible tells us that God is close to the broken-hearted and he is near to us in our pain.   He does not abandon you when your situation is bleak.  As you lift up your fears to him in thankfulness and prayer, you allow his power to be unleashed in your life as he takes your struggle and makes it work into his perfect plan for you. God knows your weaknesses and has seen your failures yet his power is  more than enough to take you safely through.  You may be wounded but you will never be destroyed!

The Apostle Paul knew that each step of his journey was put in place by his Savior.  He learned how to wait on God for all that he needed.  He was able to be content even in suffering and persecution because he trusted in Christ.  He never thought that God forgot about him when he was without food or money.  He was willing to endure whatever it took for his purpose in Christ to be fulfilled.  The thorn in his side was not to take him down but to remind him that it was all for God’s glory. Paul expressed his trust in 2 Timothy 1:12 when he said, ” For I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that he is more than able to care for that which I give to him for this day“.  That is faith in action!

God is not late to help us even when all hope appears to be dwindling down. Even the  timing of Christ’ suffering and death on the cross was planned long before the world was formed.  It happened at the perfect, precise moment that God chose it to be.  There was no detail left undone as Jesus completed the work of redemption for a lost world. Sin and death was overcome by the cross as Jesus uttered this powerful promise saying, “It is finished!” 

Take heart, dear beloved, and know without a doubt  that your situation is not dead.  It is being worked out in the timing of God who already knows the outcome.  There is an eternal purpose for your suffering.  You are not waiting for God to show up for he already has.  You are holding on for the perfection of the plan he is now working out  in your life.

The struggles and trials you suffer are always an opportunity for God to reveal his power to you.  Each time a painful situation brings you to your knees, use that position to give glory to God!  It frustrates the devil when you do.  Never let the enemy convince you to surrender in the heat of battle for you are nowhere near being defeated.  You have been made more than a conqueror through Christ and he is not about to let you fail.

Dear Lord,  I pray that you make your promise and your hope real to those who are struggling in a painful circumstance.  Help them to know that you are with them no matter how weary they become.  Strengthen them in your will and give them your peace to hold onto the truth.  Amen

I want to bring a message of truth for those struggling in this lost and perishing world.  If you belong to Jesus Christ, you must stop acting as the world does every time a crisis happens in your life.  We are children of the Promise and nothing can change that or destroy the purpose God has for our lives.  Don’t let a little shaking of the ground or the darkness of the storm around you cause you to take your eyes off the One who ransomed your life for all eternity!  It is nothing less than blasphemy against your God to let the enemy see you giving more credence to his lies than to the truth of Jesus Christ!  How many rivers and seas does God have to part before we will believe that he has all the power we ever need to fight our battles?

It takes true faith to trust that God is actually going to work your struggles out for your good.  God never fails and he is faithful but the silence can be tormenting as you wait on his promises to be fulfilled.  The enemy will taunt you to make you doubt God’s faithfulness, but the truth is that he is a  defeated foe whose only weapon is his lies.  The purpose and plan of God for your life have been settled long before you were created.  Every single detail was known by God and he provided a way through every one of them.  All it takes is for us to keep our eyes on him and trust him, but so often we forget what he has done for us in the past.

Each trial brings fear and anxious thoughts.  The devil always has a way to make you see the worst of each situation.  For that reason, you are to take captive every thought and line them up to be obedient to the teachings of Christ.  He has told us that he can rescue us from any situation.  God’s has already planned in advance to supply the power that is needed for his people to climb the hills and survive the valleys in this life.  There is not a single struggle you endure that he has not seen long before the world was created.  Why then do we still worry that God is not going to show up in time to help us?  Do we actually believe that the Creator of this world and everything in it is going to forget a single detail of our lives?  Our hope is secure and the battle is won in every area of our lives.  All that we must do is surrender our weaknesses to the one who can work them all out for our good.  It means waiting and trusting while the battle rages on knowing that we are victors.  There is no such thing as a defeated Christian!  Stop carrying around burdens that are not yours.  Worry is a tool that the enemy uses to deflect the truth from believers.  He can’t steal your joy so don’t just hand it over to him when problems arise.

The fact is that God will always take you to the edge of the water so that his power will be revealed as he makes a way to cross when there is none. You need to get to the end of your own strength before you can understand the immeasurable power that God has.   Weary believers need to wake up and realize that God ‘s plan for your life cannot be hindered by your impossible situation.  There is never a time when he leaves you to work things out on your own.  It is for his good purpose that he allows the storms in your life.  He is working out a perfect plan for you that has eternal rewards.  You usually won’t understand the reason for all that happens to you but your faith should still not waver.  Jesus is truth and he has said he will not forsake you!

Jesus said to his Apostle Thomas in John 20:27, “Stop doubting and believe.”  That is his command to us today. Your problems can’t destroy you unless you let them.  God still knows how to part the waters, move the mountains and hold back the sun to help you in the battle you are facing.  To give up is to give in to the lie of a defeated enemy.  That army of the living God has surrounded the camp and is taking back what was stolen from you!  You are a force to be reckoned with because Christ is your leader.  Never forget that your life was redeemed by the righteous blood of Jesus and he is not ever going to let you lose this fight!

Dear Lord,  for those who are struggling and in a painful trial, I pray that you will help them to see that this message is for them!

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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