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What to do when God takes you to the end of yourself in order to get you to trust him with your life.

In Psalm 139, King David prayed, “O LORD you have searched me and known me!”  He fully understood that God had complete knowledge of him inside and out.  His weaknesses were not hidden from God yet he proclaimed in verse 14, “I praise your for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Too often we let our circumstances rob us of our joy. It is as though we can only trust that God is with us when things are going good in our life. In Isaiah 43:2, God tells us, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall  not overwhelm you; when you walk throught he fire you shall not be burned and the flame shall not consume you.”  I can assure you that pretty much covers the pain of everything you can face on this earth. God is telling those who believe on him that he is just as powerful in the darkness as he is in the light. Nothing can defeat you when your hope is in Christ. He can always bring you out of the storm.

We are living in a world that is in a great upheaval. Right has been called wrong and evil is replacing good. To stand for truth means persecution and consequence. Your future may seem like a blur when you are uncertain how to take the next step. Take a leap of faith. Now is the time to let the world know who you belong to. Show your faith in action believing in your heart that God is enough to help you.  Anyone can claim to trust God when things are going well. But it is in the time of battle that the worth of your faith is being proved genuine.

If you belong to Christ, all that you endure is part of the unspoken plan that has been designed for your victory. You have reason for hope because Christ lives to intercede for you every second of the day.  God will not fail to take you through the troubled seasons of your life. Every one of your tears is precious to him.   There is not a step you take or a thought in your mind that is not seen and guided by Christ. He is the light on your path to glory.

The devil of this world cannot overcome God’s authority.  Only Christ can complete the number of your days and fulfill your destiny.  If he leads you to a mountain or to a raging sea, he has a purpose and he knows how to get you to trust him alone.  He is your stronghold and a very real help in need.  He won’t let you down. Let him finish his work in you. Remember he is getting you ready for royalty in an eternal Kingdom.

When you feel like you have no strength to continue in your life, that is when you must surrender your weakness to Christ and take on his strength.

Lord I come, I confess

                  Bowing here, I find my rest

                                Without You, I fall apart

                                             You’re the One that guides my heart

           “And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people…and I have come down to deliver them..(Exodus.3:7-8)

shoveling snowBoo in snowpathway for dogs

The snow was accumulating here in Ohio and that meant I had to get out and start shoveling it –  and  I don’t mean just my sidewalk and drive.  In order for my 3 dogs to get out into the backyard, I had to shovel pathways in my grass!  That is backbreaking work so you know I have to love them to do it.  But then,  that is a choice I make to keep them happy.

Our lives are a series of priorities. We choose what we will do and what we are unwilling to do. You usually put your best efforts doing what is important to you.  As this year comes to a close, you may reflect about all that has touched your life and how it made a difference.  Some things were good and maybe some of it was not so good. You may have gone through a  trial that still is giving you pain. You can choose to allow your problems to keep your down or you can surrender them to Christ and allow him to work them out for your good.  In this life filled with trouble, the only way to have true joy in your life is by understanding that you are here for God’s purpose and plan and that he alone holds your future.

Without a doubt, the days are filled with darkness and there is evil all around us.  The Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Thess. 2:9-10 that, “The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved”. My friends, we are witnessing the signs that Christ is getting ready to return.  To those who have put their trust in him, there is nothing to fear in this perishing world.  You just need to keep your eyes on him and know that he is with you.  The redeemed of Christ can never be destroyed.  We have the assurance of a lasting peace and joy that will never end.

Those who are struggling and trying to carry their own burdens, I pray that you will not let another day go by without asking Christ to come into your heart.  He is the answer to every problem and heartache you face and he has a way to bring you joy in the midst of every conflict. Religion can’t save you. Only a relationship with Christ can give you eternal life.  In John 11:25, Jesus said, ” I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.”   Jesus is the only way! ” There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. “(Acts 4:12)  Jesus has broken every bondage and chain that keeps you from having victory over all that comes against you. 

The man of God, D.L. Moody wrote, “There isn’t an evil within or without but what He will deliver us from if we let Him. That is what He wants to do. As God said to Moses, “I have come down to deliver.”  If He could deliver three million slaves from the hands of the mightiest monarch on earth, don’t you think He can deliver us from every besetting sin, and give us complete victory over ourselves, over our temper, over our dispositions, over our irritableness and peevishness and snappishness? If we want it and desire it above everything else, we can get victory.”    Without a doubt, there is nothing to hinder you from having all that God has for you if you choose to take him at his word.

I don’t know what the future holds for you or for me.  I just know one thing and that is that Christ has the plan and He is not going to fail us.  I am facing problems in my own life but they have no power to take me down or to destroy my future.  I hope you understand that God will always be sovereign and in complete authority over all that happens in your life.  It might seem like he is not with you but the truth is that in the silence of your situation, the great power of God is at work and he will bring you through it!   Never give up hope.

My love and prayers are always for those who come to this site.  May the peace of God give you joy and hope through Jesus Christ.  He has made you a victor in all the battles you face.  Stand your ground – the armies of God are with you now.

I remind believers to continue to keep Israel in your prayers.  May the hand of God continue to protect Israel.  I pray for the leaders of Israel to have knowledge and wisdom to do what is good.  May the Jewish people come to a saving knowledge of Christ.

I also pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ who live in hostile and restricted nations.  May God protect them and provide for all their needs. I pray that they will know that we are standing with them.

 

Happy New Year to all of you.  I am praying for all who come to this site.

 The heavens declare the glory of God  (Psalm 19:1)

Whatever you face, God will make a way to take you through it!

God’s word stands true and he fulfills every promise despite the problems we face. This world is not our final destination but only a place of preparation for what is to come. In this life, we are going to endure hardships of every kind until Jesus returns to make all things new.  He has defeated death and made us victors in all that we endure.  No matter how fierce the battle, believers cannot be defeated by the fiery slings and arrows of the enemy.   I trust in the promises of Christ.  He is my stronghold and my very present help in time of need.  I believe in prayer and know that my God hears my every plea.

With all that said, I have to share with you that my faith has been severely tested and stretched to the limit during these past months as I face a powerful battle in my life.  There are times when I feel completely overwhelmed.  Yet no matter how weary I may be, God has given me the grace to endure. I will never give up or lose hope.  All the trials that  I have faced in my life only taught me that God has been my help through every single one of them.  He sees my tears and knows my pain.  He is not far away leaving me alone.  Scripture says, ” The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit”(Psalm 30:18).  I don’t have to see Christ or feel him to know that he is my hope and strength to get me through anything I must endure in this world.

Sadly, for quite some time I have been living with the pain of a failing marriage.  Despite doing all that I could,  it is apparent that I cannot change the outcome. Even though I have been praying night and day for God’s strength and guidance, things have gotten worse.    All I can do now is to continue to pray and surrender my will to Christ. He alone knows the outcome.  It breaks my heart to say that I cannot make someone stay and love me when he has chosen not to. I feel betrayed and hurt facing an uncertain future. But as difficult as this has been for me, I know that God still has a plan for my life.

I want to make it very clear that without any doubt,  God has authority over all that we face.  He can and will do mighty things to help his people and that is why I always advise those struggling in failing marriages to pray and not give up.   I am still praying for all who are going through troubled marriages. We have good reason to hope that God can  reach the wayward or unbelieving spouse. Sometimes he takes them to the end of their own strength so that they have nowhere to turn but to him. However, I know that it is hard to understand the times when that doesn’t happen.  It does not mean that God doesn’t care.  The truth is that he cares much and he grieves with us in our pain. Unfortunately, we are living in a lost and  perishing world and the enemy has blinded most to his schemes.  His main target is to break up homes and destroy families evidenced by the fact that over half of all marriages end in divorce. What a sad statistic that is.  Yet God  still has the power to give you a future with hope.

 When you do all that you can and it seems like you are being hard pressed on every side, remember that in Christ, you cannot be crushed. He will take  your broken heart and your fallen dreams and use them to build you up for his purpose. It may not seem like you will ever recover from your pain or that your tears will never end – but that is not true.     King David wrote in Psalm 69 “Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck, I sink in the deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters and the flood sweeps over me.  I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God.”  And yet David kept trusting his God even when all hope seemed lost.

Our problems and struggles do not dictate our future.  It is planned out by Christ Jesus who will not fail to help those who trust in him.  I know that my pain has no power to destroy the hope I have through Christ.  Despite what I face in this life, my God will always be bigger.

And then, in spite of all I have been going through, I recently discovered that my one cat, Bella,  has cancer.  I am always rescuing animals and my pets are like family to me.  I am tearful and saddened by this diagnosis for I know that she does not have long to live.  In a time when my heart  is broken over my marriage, this just added more pain to my life. Is the will of Christ even in the death of a pet I love? The answer is “Yes!”  Christ has a plan for all things! Nothing happens apart from his knowledge and permission.  Each day, the enemy wants me to believe that God has failed me or that he doesn’t care.  He tries to convince me that I am alone. Yet, I know by faith that I will never be alone.  Psalm 23 reminds us that, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”   All of our enemies, our struggles and our pain has been rendered powerless to destroy us.  Christ has a way to heal and make us whole no matter how broken we are.  I trust him.  My Bella may be gone soon, but  I know that even then that Christ will be with me and help me through it.

My friends, I pray you understood all that I said.  No one wants to go through a divorce but  unfortunately that is not always a choice.  If you get to that point, you need to draw even closer to Christ and rely on his strength to get you through.  All of your trials and struggles were known to God even before you were born.  He can use all things and cause them to be used for good and the purpose he has for your life.  Nothing is impossible for him. If you can keep trusting him despite your struggle, you will not be conquered.  You will have the victory in everything even through your pain.

I am praying for all who are facing a similar situation and don’t know where to turn.  You future is uncertain and it is difficult to understand how you are going to ever get through this.  It is only in knowing your God that you can have peace despite your heartache.  When people ask me what they can do for me during this painful time, I ask for their prayers.  I know that this battle is going to be tough but it is not my own strength that is going to take me through it.  I take hope from Hebrews 4:16, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need”. 

God’s promises of mercy and grace are new to us every morning.  He does not fail us and he never leaves us.  No matter what trouble you have in life, there is always going to be the help that you need through Christ.

My dear friends, I pray for all of you who come to this site.  I thank you for your understanding during this difficult time in my life and I appreciate those who are praying for me. Because I belong to Jesus, I will not drown in my tears. He will help me.  

 I am  humbled that God continues to give me his messages to write.   God bless you and please keep his  truth in your heart.  There is no pain that you have that the touch of his hand cannot heal.

UPDATE ON MY CAT, BELLA

 As I wrote, I had found out during the time of my divorce that my cat, Bella, had bi-lateral kidney cancer and would not live long. Kidney cancer like hers kills quickly. I would hold her every night and pray that God would let me keep her just two years longer. I was in the middle of a painful divorce. I was watching my marriage die and at the same time I was watching Bella die. I kept praying but I trusted that God could take me through it.  No pain we suffer is beyond God’s ability to help.  I knew that and I believed that but I prayed for more time with Bella.

Sadly, my divorce went through. That does not mean God did not answer my prayers. It just meant that in this fallen world, he was allowing my spouse to have free will in his choices. It was tough on me but I never felt that Christ was not with me. I surrendered my brokenness to him daily. He was all I had and he was more than enough. I was not destroyed but made stronger for what I endured.

The strange part is that after I wrote this article, my Bella started to eat again. She gained weight and seem happy and comfortable. Each morning I would go see how she was doing. Each morning I would praise Christ.  Two years after my divorce, Bella became ill again and died peacefully in my arms.  As sad as I was to lose her, I knew that Christ was the one who gave her the two years more of life that I asked. The Vet said he could offer no explanation as to how she lived that long with cancer.  I knew exactly Who allowed her to live two additional years.

The bible says all of our days are numbered before one of them come to be. Jesus said not a sparrow falls to the ground apart from the will of the Father.  God has a will and a plan not only for us but for all that he has created.  Cancer could not take my Bella until Christ ordained it to happen. He is merciful and he knows what is best. Even the sting of death is under the authority of Christ who conquered its power. He will either heal you or allow you to die to be with him. Either way, if you are a believer, you can’t lose. He has the perfect plan.

Take heart, dear friends. This message is meant for you. I am praying for all who come to this site. You are loved so much more than you could ever know.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  “Why do you look for the living among the dead?”

(Luke 24:5)                             

We each have our own idea of how we think God should help us in the problems of this life.  Most of us have a pre-conceived notion of what is good for God to do for us.   Unfortunately, when God does not work  things out as  expected, many believers let seeds of doubt  fill their mind. Fear is given reign in their lives instead of the risen Christ.  Weary from the battle, many give up hope reacting as though Christ were still in the tomb instead of being alive with full authority over everything.  They search for the living in the dead areas of their lives. The enemy’s lies become real for them. 

Our trust  in the trials we face is not based on that which can be seen.  The bible tells us in Hebrews 11:1 that , “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”   If you were able to see and understand everything that God is permitting in your life, you would have no need for faith. Without faith, it is not only impossible to please God, it is impossible to know the God you serve! 

We have to remember in every storm of life that Christ is at the center and he permits only that which fulfills his will for you.  You may not like the attacks that come against you, but they are powerful tools used to equip you  for eternal victory. You will never be able to stand in the struggles of life if you do not have the knowledge of God’s power and a belief that he will not fail you.  In the time of testing, the enemy is going to pull out all the stops to tempt you to think that you are beyond help.  He is going to fill your mind with thoughts of failure  and defeat.  Unless you are firmly grounded in the truth of God’s love and his power in your battles, you will not have the strength to fight.

In all situations and in all ways, Christ is working out a divine, eternal plan that cannot be stopped.  Your past has no hold on you.  Your weakness and failures are powerless to hinder God’s purpose for you. Because of the sacrifice Christ made for you on the cross,  your future is forever secure.  God has promised to transform you into the image of his Son, Jesus.   As a believer, you need to understand that one day you will be a co-heir with Christ in heaven and rule over angels. All of your momentary troubles on this earth is just  getting you ready for a  kingdom so magnificent that there is no way for our  earthly minds to comprehend its beauty. 

 In Romans 8:28, we are given this promise: “And we know that God will cause ALL things to work for the good of those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.”   Anything that affects your life is now under God’s authority and power as he completes the works he started.   You have nothing to fear. 

My friends,  begin today to walk the steps of faith.  Surrender your troubles to the One who can lift you above them all.   Let God’s strength fill you and give you peace for he has given his angels charge over you.  You were never meant to carry your burdens alone.  No matter what heartache or pain you have now, the peace of Christ can be still be yours if you trust it all to him.

Remember that Christ death and resurrection were part of his plan.  He knew that we were  hopelessly lost and prisoners of sin.  He provided a way that will keep us in peace on this earth and take us through to the glory of heaven forever.  Jesus left the grave!  He is alive within the hearts of all believers.  His power is yours forever!  Jesus  is a living hope and he will always make a way to help you.

 

 

Dear Lord,  I sadly watch as so many of your people are overwhelmed in their problems.  They are weary and struggling to believe that you will help them.  I pray for them now and ask that you meet them where they are.  I pray that marriages will be mended as you become the center of the vows they made before you.  I pray for sickness and diseases to be touched by your hand and healed.  I pray for financial help for all those struggling to live.  I pray for jobs for those out of work.  I pray for you to help single mothers who are barely making it as they raise their children alone.  I pray for a way out for those in addictions and bondage to sin.  I pray for those who are being persecuted for their faith.  I pray for you to bring hope to those considering suicide.  May you give them your strength.  I pray for those who are hurting from the actions of a spouse.  I pray that all who come to this site will have the true knowledge of salvation through Christ alone.  Lord Jesus, may your mercy and grace fill them to overflow as you reveal yourself to them.  Amen.

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

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

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

                                                                                                                                   FAINT TRACES OF GRACE

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

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

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

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

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

by Rev. Bill York  

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

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

 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)

                          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!

                         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

                           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!

 

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. 

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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