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                         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!

He knows how to provide for your need

It is so difficult to watch the television reports each night as bad news just seems to get worse.  The economy is grim and has taken its toll on just about everyone. So many people are now without jobs and fear of losing their homes.  The struggle of this bleak forecast is causing us all to take a closer look at how we spend our money.  People everywhere are now having to worry how they will survive in these dark days.

As tough as things are in this world, we serve a God who is the provider of all that we need.  He planned long before the world was formed to take us through every battle and every storm.  He knew what we would face and he has a way in his perfect plan to take us through no matter what the economy dictates.  But I wonder how many can continue to trust God when the bank is foreclosing on their home?

In Luke 12:22, Jesus said, ” Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear.”  He then says in verse 31, “ But seek first the kingdom of God and all things will be given to you as well”.  Worrying about your finances is not going to change them.  It is only going to take years from your life.  Jesus did not leave us on this earth helpless and alone for he is with us in every struggle that comes our way. Your faith must not grow weary when times get tough.  Our God is the same in the night as he is in the day.  The darkness of your situation does not limit his power.  He is ruler over all things and he can bring peace into your life with just a word.

Despite your difficulty,  it is important to remember that God is always in control.  He is working all things out for his purpose.   The things of this world are perishing and will not last.  Although you may be struggling just to make ends meet,  your faith can be earning for you a  reward that far outweighs anything you have to endure.   The evil of this world will increase but believers have nothing to fear.  Jesus paid that ultimate price for our victory and nothing can destroy his plan for us. Christ has overcome the world and the enemy has been defeated. That means that you can have joy despite the storm you are in because we serve the Master over the wind and he will not let you perish.

Never let your problems or financial difficulties make you doubt the power of your God!  He owns the sheep on a thousand hills and all that is created is his. He is so much bigger than anything that comes against you.  He is limitless and cannot fit within the confines of your finite minds. His will prevails in all situations.  It is the enemy of your soul that wants to fill your mind with fear and doubt that God will help you.  Don’t give him a foothold.  Take those thoughts of defeat captive and line them up with the promises of God. He hasn’t taken you this far in your life just to have you fail now.

Keep in mind that you are alive and breathing right now because of  God’s power.  Your heart is beating because he tells it to beat.  He put the sun in the sky; he tells the waters where to stop; he calls the stars out by name and he spoke the worlds into existence.  Do you still think it is too difficult for him to find a way to help you work out your financial problems?

My friend, God cares about the struggles you are facing.  Ask him to help you to stand in faith until he has brought you the victory.  Don’t give up when the prize is just ahead.  Psalm 32:10 tells us, “The Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts him“.   That is his promise to you.

Dear Lord,  I know that many are having financial problems that seems like it is going to destroy them.  I stand in the gap for those who need a touch from you in the area of their finances.  I pray for jobs to be restored to those who have lost them.  I pray for new and better opportunities to come about.  I pray for you to provide homes for those who need them.  I pray for you to provide them the food and transportation that they need.  I pray that you will be able to keep families together along with their pets.  I pray that they will keep their trust in you no matter how hard it gets.  Lord, help them to understand that you will not fail them.  You will come through for them at the perfect time and in the perfect way.  My heart is with them, Lord, and I know that your love will keep them.  Amen 

Eastern Sierra by Rob Bohning  God will always be bigger than that which comes against you

(Photo by Rob Bohning)

We are living in a season of change and a pervading darkness is rapidly filling this earth.   People are struggling financially, physically and with each other as more than half of marriages end in divorce.  Satan has blinded the eyes of most and it is sad to watch people caught up in the bondage of alcohol, drugs, pornography and every form of deception.  Crime has increased and prisons are filled with lost souls.  The truth has been compromised as the enemy seeks to blind the world and destroy it.  Has he succeeded?

The Apostle Paul warns us in 2 Timothy 3 that there will be terrible times in the last days.  Believers must keep watch as the enemy seeks to weaken them and make them ineffective for the kingdom.  The days are growing short and our strength is only in the power of Christ who lives in us.  He has promised to never leave us and to help us in time of distress.   Our hope in times of testing is to magnify the Lord to see him as he truly is – which is always bigger than our problems.

Though God is always with us, we will have to suffer in this world.  If it is the storms of this life that cause us to grow in our faith, then God must allow this struggle to reveal his power and give us the knowledge of who we are in Christ.  His purpose and plan for our lives cannot fail.  You may feel alone in your time of pain but you never are.  You belong to him and  he has given his angels charge over you.  If you can magnify God and trust him in all things, he will prove himself faithful as he takes you through the furnace of your affliction and bring you safely to a place of his peace.  He has power over all that comes against you and there is always a purpose in what he allows in your life.

The strength to hold on is having knowledge of the God who created you.  His power cannot fit into the confines of our finite minds.  So what is impossible for us is never impossible for God.  Get hold of the fact that you aren’t going to completely understand the ways of God.  Who could understand why a holy, loving God would send his only begotten Son to die for the sins of an ungrateful world?  There is nothing good that you have that was not given to you by his power.  Yet we constantly just dwell on the question of why God allows bad things to happen to good people!  It is because this world is not heaven. This world is perishing and there will one day be an end to those who love evil.  But for now, we are aliens in a lost civilization and Christ has been sent as our only hope for salvation.  He has given those who believe in him the right to become joint heirs with him in a kingdom whose wonder cannot be described.  As unbelievable as it sounds, many are choosing to sell eternity with Christ in absolute perfection to the highest bidder of the perishing things of this world!

Trusting that God will work everything out and give to you all that he has promised can be difficult as the shadow of the enemy permeates this earth.  For that reason, it is so important that you see and understand the God who had no beginning and no end.  He is the source of all that is good and he withholds nothing of benefit from those who love him.  You have to know that God is bigger and stronger than all of the evil that is happening.  He sent Jesus to die for you so that you will have a future with promise.  He defeated death and made us more than conquerors in the battle of this world.

Remember always that the trials that assail you will one day end.  God has a plan to dry your tears and give you life everlasting with more beauty than your mind can comprehend.  The truth that sets you free and that gives you victory in every area of your life is the cross of Jesus Christ.  Because he loves you with an everlasting love, he was willing to pay the price for your debt of sin.  He doesn’t care how far you have strayed or how badly you have failed.  He has a love that will cover it all.

My friends, if you are reading this message and don’t know Christ, I hope that you will seek him now and ask him to reveal himself to you.  My prayers will be with you.  I may not know who you are or what problems you have, but God knows your name and he knows how to rescue you.  Your life matters to him. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Light.  He is stronger than the enemy and his plan for you will never fail. That is the promise he died to give you!

                                    

Amid the frenzy of holiday shoppers all vying for the best sales on gifts, it is apparent that the real reason for Christmas is now just a detached story from the past. The truth of why the Son of God came down from heaven to be born in a manger has become commonplace as retail stores decide to take the name of Christ out of Christmas in their advertising verbiage lest someone be offended.

 

The fact is that over 2000 years ago, God so loved this world that He sent his one and only son to this earth.  Jesus was called Immanuel or God is with us.  He chose to leave the splendor of heaven to walk on this earth to bring hope to those who have none and life to those who are perishing.  He came to suffer and die so that he might purchase our salvation and offer it as a free gift to anyone who calls on his name.  He brought light and truth and showed the way to eternal life.  His work here bought us freedom from the bondages of sin and oppression.

 

Jesus said in John 8:32 that if you hold to his teachings then “you will know the truth and the truth will set you free”.  No longer do you have to be a slave to sin and destructive behavior.  If you are a believer, you have the power to overcome all that seeks to destroy you.  John 8:36 says, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed”.  There is no power stronger than that of Jesus Christ who died for us and was resurrected.  He is alive and his power and strength are there for you if you put your trust in him.  There is nothing that can defeat a child of the living God.  Nothing can overcome you or destroy you for your redemption was made at the cross.  You may stumble as the storms in this life come against you, but you will only fall into the hands of the Savior who has promised never to leave you.  Painful trials can only strengthen and refine you in the race that God has set for you.  They will always be used for your good for there is power in all that God allows in your life.  You do not need to understand the reason; you just need to trust that “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”(Philippians 1:6)

 

You must always remember that the God who created you did so with great love.  He knew in advance what your failures and weaknesses would be.  He knew how you would sin and rebel against him.  He knew that you would defy him. Yet there is absolutely nothing you could do that would ever stop his love for you.  It was this love that sent Jesus to this earth to humbly be born in a stable.  And it was love that made Jesus die so that we may live.

 

We may not be able to stop those who attempt to take Christ out of Christmas, but by God’s own promise, they will never be able to take the love out of Christ! 

                               The faith of a dying young man will live forever

 

When Thanksgiving comes around each year, it brings to my mind a very special young man who showed me the real meaning of trusting God. 

 

Two months before Thanksgiving in 2000, I was told that the Sutton family from our church had a seventeen year old son that had inoperable cancer and was not going to live long. I decided to visit this family and see if I could help out in any way.  As I was heading over to the house to visit and meet Chris, I remember wondering what I could say to this young man who was dying.  It was one of the most difficult things I ever had to do. I entered the house and found Chris lying on a hospital bed in the family room with his mother by his side.  He looked up as I came in and gave me an awesome smile.  Then suddenly as if reading my mind he looked right at me and said, “Don’t worry about me.  I’m going home to Jesus and I am not afraid”.  His calmness and sense of joy took me by surprise. He was working on a present that he wanted to give to someone who was special to him and he asked me for my opinion.  It didn’t seem to affect his enthusiasm that he was weak or that his one eye was patched because the cancer, now in his brain, had damaged the eye.  Amazingly, Chris still seemed to radiate hope and light despite the fact that the cancer was destroying his body.

 

 I found out later that Chris never wavered in his faith despite the pain and the treatments he had to endure. He continued to encourage the young people of the church to trust in Jesus and many came to believe because of him. He stayed strong to the end even writing an encouraging eulogy that he wanted read at his funeral. His bible was engraved with the words, “No fears, no regrets” and that was how he lived.  Shortly before his death he asked his mother to order a sword to be put in his coffin with him.  Chris always trusted in the sword of the Spirit of God and even in death he wanted to honor the Savior that he loved so much. 

 

On Thanksgiving day, 2000, Chris Sutton went home to be with the Lord.  His years on this earth were so short but the legacy of faith that he left will live on until the Lord comes back.  To the ending hours of his life, Chris never feared dying and never stopped trusting in Jesus.  He understood so well what the Apostle Paul said in Philippians 1:21, “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain”.  The peace that was with him to the end could only be from God and he taught me that this peace is for anyone who has put their faith in the finished work of the cross. 

 

Each Thanksgiving when I reflect on all that God has done, I remember and give thanks for Chris Sutton who proved that Jesus is with us at all times. Not even the throes of death can steal the joy of a true believer for God’s love will be with you to the end. 

 

God is with you now.  He knows your fears and will be all that you need. 

 

I am praying now for all those who needed to hear this message. 

 

 

 

Our power is from God

     Your God is with you!

The times we live in are difficult and a lot of us pass the day just hoping for the strength to get through it. There seems to be so much to do and so little time to get it all done. It is a financial struggle just to make ends meet and the future holds uncertainty.  Sickness and trouble are everywhere making it difficult to stand and believe.  Marriages and relationships are being attacked and addictions increase as truth is thrown to the ground.  Through it all, we become so weary and wonder if God is really with us in the storm.

God is with us and he does care about our pain.  He has promised through his word to be our strength in all of our trials and sorrows.  In 2 Chronicles 16:9 of Scripture we read, “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him”.   The battles of this world belong to the Lord and he is able to keep us in the victory that was won by the cross of Christ.  Jesus told his disciples in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you”.  That means that he will bear our burdens and carry our sorrows.  No trial that we endure in life is a surprise to God for he knew from the foundation of the earth what struggles we would have.  He has promised that he would be the way through all of our problems and he is faithful.  The peace that Christ left us is divine, unchanging and perfect.  It is the assurance that God gives us that he will walk with us in mighty power to overcome all obstacles in our life.

There is not an addiction, an illness or a struggle we may face that is stronger than the God who loves and rescues us.  Not even death can separate us from the love that Christ has for each of us.  By his blood,  he paid the price that guarantees us victory over the darkness and the forces that seek to take us down.   Jesus told us to come to him and he will give us rest as he works all things out for our good. He is the Author of life and he can fulfill the perfect plan that he has for you.

This world and all that is in it is passing away, but the word of God is forever.  For that very reason, we must keep our eyes on the only thing that matters….eternity with Jesus Christ.  You must remember that today’s pain can never stop tomorrow’s promise bought by the blood of Jesus.

In Job 19:25-26, we read that after losing his wealth, his children and his health, Job still cried out, “ I know my redeemer lives and he shall stand one day upon the earth.  And after my skin is destroyed this I know, that in my flesh, I shall see God.”  There is no greater faith than to stand on God’s promises when all seems lost.  Finally, in Psalm 46, we read that though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, God is still our refuge and strength and an ever-present help in trouble.

The battles of this earth can make you feel weak and weary, but the truth is that God’s love for you will see you through until the end. It was God’s hand that formed you and it is God’s strength that can keep you in his perfect peace.  You don’t have to wait for Jesus to find a way to help you, he is the way!  Take heart, my friends, for God is with you in your battle.  You can’t lose!

 

     He will never leave you                                           

 

When you are in the struggles of life and your strength is weak, the testing of your faith seems even more difficult.  Though believers are in this world but not of it, there are times that we can still be brought to our knees by fiery darts of the enemy.  It is then, in those painful times, that we must strive to focus on Christ who is always with us.  Yet, when the storm darkens our world and waters come up to our neck, even the faithful can cry out in anguish, “My God, are you really with me?” 

 

The heaviness of despair can blind you from hope when your heart is breaking and your tears can’t stop.   Does our Savior Jesus, who told us that he has overcome the world, have a purpose in the pain of your situation?  When you can’t see him or hear him, does he hear you?

 

The reality of this matter is found in God’s word.  You won’t always feel God working through your trial to rescue you, but he is.  God tells us in Isaiah 43, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze”.  Those words give us a powerful truth.

 

God is telling us with all certainty that there is no disaster that can overtake those who put their faith in him.  This world cannot come up with a trial that can alter the course of the path Christ died to give you.  He will always be your way out and your way up from every painful struggle. There is no medical issues, marriage problems, addictions, financial struggles or any of life’s storms that God cannot keep from destroying you or the plan he has for your life.

 

In John 20, we read how Mary Magdalene went to the tomb of Jesus after his death; but when she saw that his body was not there, she began to cry. She did not realize that Jesus was standing right behind her.  He said to her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”  Then he called her by name, “Mary”, and suddenly she rejoiced as she realized that it was Jesus.

 

Friends, I want you to understand the impact of these verses.  Jesus asked Mary why she was crying and who was she looking for.  He KNEW why she was crying and that she was looking for him even though he was there beside her all the time.  Even now in our heartaches as we search for Jesus through our tears, he knows our pain and he is standing right with us even if we don’t fully understand it. As he calls us by name,  he will never leave us alone in our struggle or trust anyone else to help us work it out. For only Jesus is a very present help in time of need.   He has the power to restore us to wholeness as we hand him the pieces of our broken heart. 

  

Whatever burden is causing you to stumble in your faith remember that Jesus is there with you.  His voice is softly saying, “Why are you crying?  Who are you looking for? I am with you and I will never leave you.  My love will cover all of your problems and with my right hand, I will lift you safely above them.”

 

Rest in the peace knowing that Jesus Christ paid the price for your victory in each and every situation you encounter.   I pray that God will help you to understand and trust this message that he provided just for you!

                                         Seeing the victory ahead

 

Standing strong when troubles overwhelm you is the key to trusting God. It is having eyes to see the victory ahead despite the darkness that surrounds you. The hope we have in all of our problems is found in Jesus Christ who paid the price for our peace. He has promised us that the afflictions of this world cannot destroy us because his power to save us will always be greater than any weapon used against us to bring us down. There is no reason to fear when Jesus has promised to light the way out of the darkness of every painful trial.  Through him, you have the power to demolish strongholds and bondages in your life.  By God’s own command, angels are dispatched from heaven to surround you and to help you when you fall.    

 

 In  2 Kings 6:16, we read of the prophet Elisha who was in danger from the King of Aram.  The king totally surrounded the city with horses and chariots in order to attack and kill Elisha.  When Elisha’s servant saw the great number of the enemy around them he was afraid.  Elisha told him not to fear because “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them”.  Then Elisha prayed that God would open his servant’s eyes to see and understand this.  When the servant looked again, he saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire from heaven ready to defend them. Elisha was saved that day by his faith as God defeated his enemies.  As in the battles that we face today, God’s power will always be more than enough.

 

Those who give up when life gets hard have fallen into the enemy’s trap.  They have believed the deceiver who says that God is too far away to hear your cry, or that your situation is impossible even for God. As time goes by, he will even try to convince you that God will not show up in time to save you.  But through your pain, you must remember that these lies all come from an enemy who has been defeated at the cross of Christ.  He wants you to focus on your problem instead of your God.  You must decide in your struggle if you are going to believe what you see and what you feel or stand in your faith and believe the truth of what God says he can do.

 

Through it all, you must not lean on your own understanding but trust that God’s ways are higher and that he has a better way.  Even his timing has a specific purpose that will help you to grow in the wisdom and knowledge of his love for you. He knows your past and he can see your future.  Most importantly, he knows how to rescue you from your problems and pain and give you back the future that the he planned for you.

 

In the 23rd Psalm, King David wrote in verse 4,”Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”  David learned to trust God even as he had to run from those who were trying to kill him.  Despite the danger he was in, David kept his eyes on God because he knew that God would never fail him. He understood that God had a power that would always be greater than that which came against him. 

 

God is always with you in any battle that you face in this life. Whatever burden you are carrying, it is my prayer that you will have peace in the knowledge that God is always in control.  

                                    God will always make a way

 

Although we are living in troubling times, Jesus has promised believers that he would be with us and that his peace would be our comfort.  For this very reason, Christ suffered and died for us so that nothing would have power to defeat us.  Yet it is sad as many continue to live in the bondage of the enemy’s lies when Jesus gave us the truth that set us free.

 

The trials and struggles of this earth are getting more perilous as each day brings additional trouble.  But we serve a risen Savior who has said that he would be with us always, even to the end of the age.  He foreknew of these times and the pain that we would have but he has an unfailing way to take us through every single one of them.

 

 Unfortunately, it is hard to keep your eyes on God when you are facing a serious medical issue, a crumbling marriage, financial difficulty, an addiction or any overwhelming problem that just won’t go away.  But it is in the midst of these painful issues that you must keep your faith for they are working in you a greater glory that is going to strengthen you in this life and bring you a reward that will last through eternity.

 

In Daniel 3:16-18, we read of three Jewish boys who refused to bow down to a false god knowing that they would be put to death in a fiery furnace for their faith.  They replied to King Nebuchadnezzar that “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it….But even if he does not, we want you to know, O King, that we will not serve your gods”. That is faith tested to the extreme.  These young men were thrown into the furnace bound tightly.  But when the king looked into the furnace, he said “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods”.  When he approached the opening of the furnace and called for the young men to come out, amazingly, not only had the fire not harmed them, but they did not even smell of smoke.

 

The Jewish boys who were bound and thrown into a furnace heated seven times hotter were brought safely through their ordeal.God could have kept them from going into the furnace but instead, he chose to take them through the fire!  His glory was revealed even greater as he showed that absolutely nothing, including fire, had any power over believers who trust in their God.  They were walking around in those flames, unbound, unharmed and in the presence of the Son of God who had never left them.

 

This is a very real truth for all of us today.  The fiery affliction that you may be going through has no power to destroy you!  The bondages that are hindering you and bringing you pain will be loosened and removed by the love of Christ who has a perfect plan for your life.  You will come forth from that impossible circumstance and be restored by the right hand of God who has promised you the victory.  If your faith is in Christ Jesus, there is no force that will ever be greater than his power to sustain you.

 

With his sacrifice on Calvary, Jesus defeated all of our enemies including death. Though you may grow weary in the problems of this world, he will renew your strength and give you a future. Stay in the peace knowing that  Jesus will always meet you in your pain and bring you to victory. That is a promise he died to give you! 

                           He sees your broken heart     

             

There is a peace in seeking the counsel of God in prayer for we know that he is all-powerful and there is nothing that he cannot do.  But, it is very difficult not to get anxious when we don’t get an immediate answer from God after pouring out our hearts to him.

 

Scripture tells us in Psalm 84:11 that no good thing does he withhold from those who are his.  For that reason, it is the true believer who can hold on to the promises of God even when the darkness surrounds him.  No circumstance in life can stop our God who has promised that all things will be used for our good.  It is a lie from the pit of hell when the enemy tries to convince you that God doesn’t care about your situation.

 

Jesus did not come to this earth to save us from all of life’s pain and struggles but to help us rise above our difficulties as we are being transformed into his likeness.  He will always meet us in our pain and help us to carry our burdens.  There will never be true happiness in this perishing world, so we need to keep or eyes on the things above. Jesus will always be our source of strength and his grace will provide all that we need. When his silence is deafening and your heart is breaking, you need to know that he has not left you.

 

It is during that time in our struggle when God seems silent that he is doing his best work in us.  He is stretching our faith and equipping us to stand against the enemy and the evil of this world.  He is working out his purpose which he has prepared in advance to bring us to victory.  He has a future for you that is greater than what you can imagine and he alone has the power to make it happen.

 

If we can remain strong even when we don’t feel the presence of God, then we are shown to be true sons and daughters.  Nothing makes the devil flee quicker than when we can praise God in the midst of our painful trials knowing that his love will never fail us. Just remember that despite a financial crisis, a marriage problem, a health issue, an addiction or a heartache, or anything that is giving you pain in your life, God will not let you be defeated and will move the mountains and part the waters that stand in the path that he has set for you.

 

All those that God has used for greatness have endured the silence of God.  In Genesis, Joseph was sold into slavery and unjustly imprisoned for many years.  Yet Joseph held still unto the Lord during this period until the time of God’s plan in which he was made second in command of all of Egypt.  During that time, he was being transformed from just a shepherd boy to that of royalty. 

 

Moses endured 40 years in the wilderness.  Job suffered pain and heartache at the hands of Satan yet was restored as he trusted his God.  Daniel held on to God’s promise and survived the lion’s den. 

 

Jesus himself greatly suffered as he endured the Father’s silence on the cross. He was obedient unto death. Yet the silence of God only served to reveal the greatness of God! 

 

There is always power in God’s silence.  His word says that he will never leave us or fail us ever so we are never alone in our pain.  The stillness of God is his way of strengthening us for he has promised that nothing that comes against us will ever stop his purpose for our life.

 

God’s plan for us was so important that he sent his only Son to suffer and die for it.  Remember that the silence of God is always filled with his strength to take you through whatever comes against you. He will work out all of your problems and give you his peace in the midst of your pain.  You can never lose for you were bought at a price.  For now, all you need to do is just be still and know that HE IS GOD!

                                                 KEEPING HOPE ALIVE

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

   

 

 

 

                                                       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.. 

 

 

 

He can give you rest and peace no matter what trial you face 

 

The darkness of these current days can appear abysmal.  There are wars, earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes in the news.  We watch helplessly as people throughout the world and in our own country face uncertainty as they try to rebuild their disaster devastated lives.  So much is happening and some may wonder if God really cares.

 

The answer to this lies in God’s word.  In Matthew 28:20, Jesus says,” And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age”. God’s word says 1 Peter 5:7, “Cast all your cares on him because he cares for you”. There is nothing that is happening that God is not sovereign over.  If he is allowing it, there is a purpose.  Scripture tells us that though now you may have to suffer grief in all kinds of trials, it is so that your faith may be proved genuine. The winds that blow through your life as a believer are never meant to weaken you but rather to strengthen you in your walk with God.  In the book of Genesis, Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers and ultimately unfairly imprisoned for many years. But God was with him.  Prisons then were dark, damp and filthy and the prisoners did not get much food. After all those years Joseph should have come out of prison emaciated and sickly. Instead, Joseph emerged from prison to be appointed second highest in command in Egypt. He had the energy and the sound mind to rule despite what he had endured.  God was perfectly able to keep Joseph’s mind and body strong during his time of trial and to use the evil done to him for good to accomplish the saving of many lives.

 

God is still with us during our struggles to lift us up above our circumstances and to use them for our good.   He tells us in Psalm 41:13, “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”.  Those who have hope in the shed blood of Jesus have nothing to fear from this world.  Hebrews 7:25 tells us that Jesus is able to save completely those who come to God through him because he always lives to intercede for them. Jesus gave his life for you so that you can have life to the fullest.  He cares about your hurts, your pain, your injustice, your addictions and anything that seeks to bring you down.  He left us his peace so that we can have joy no matter what trial we have because we know that Christ is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to his power that is at work within us.

 

This world is not our home and Jesus has promised to go and prepare a place for us.  Nothing you have done can stand in the way of Christ’s forgiveness and mercy if you call on him.  For now, there will be problems and disasters on this earth, but we have the hope that God will one day wipe away every tear and bring us to eternal life with him. 

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

                        

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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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