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           “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.

                       Jesus said to him,”What do you want me to do for you?”

 Sometimes it seems like Jesus will never get around to helping you out of your struggle.  You have prayed and waited but nothing seems to have changed. Does he even see your pain?  Why is it taking so long? You soon feel lost and alone in the darkness of your troubles. 

In Mark 10:46, we read about a blind man named Bartimaeus.  He lived in Jericho where all he could do was sit on the side of the road and beg for help.  But on this one day, he heard the commotion of a crowd coming by.  “What could be causing the people to be so excited?” he probably wondered.  Someone  then told him that it was Jesus of Nazareth who was heading this way.

Bartimaeus must have been overjoyed knowing that Jesus was nearby.  I can only imagine how his heart quickened and his pulse raced as hope began to fill his heart!  He had heard about this man.  Many were made whole and healed of all their diseases by his touch.  Some were set free from demons and others brought back to life.   All he knew was that he needed to get to Jesus before it was too late.  But Bartimaeus was blind and the crowd sounded large. What could he do?  He didn’t have his sight,  but he did have a voice.  He cried out with all that he had , “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”.   Many people in the crowd rebuked him, telling him to be silent.  Silent? That would never happen!  The King of kings was near.  This blind man had no intention letting a chance to be touched by the Great Physician just pass him by.  He called all the louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”  The Scripture then tells us that Jesus stopped and he said to those near to call him up.  When Bartimaeus heard this, he threw off his cloak and sprang up and came to Jesus!  Jesus asked him,” What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said, “Rabbi, let me see.”  And Jesus then told him to go his way saying ” Your faith has made you well”.  And immediately, Bartimaeus received his sight and followed him on the way.  This day had changed his life.  He not only received his sight, but he was forgiven of his sins.   All this happened because he believed that Jesus was all that he needed.

My friends, do you feel like you are in darkness as your troubles leave no light of hope?  The truth is that if you belong to Christ, he will always find a way to meet you in your struggle and draw you to himself.  He will reach through the crowd and take you to a place of healing and peace.  Nothing is impossible to him who knew you before you were born.

 Never lose sight of the truth that in each battle you face, you are completely surrounded by angels dispatched from God to protect and guide you.  Your cries do not go unanswered.  He hears your every plea and he cares.  The redeemed of the Lord cannot be destroyed by the slings and arrows of the enemy.  Every single detail of your life from birth to death has been arranged and made perfect.  You cannot fail.  The enemy may taunt you with oppression and lies but you are protected by heaven’s royal guard!  That  is the truth that sets you free.  Christ became your burden-bearer when he conquered the world and deprived it of its power to  crush you. 

Whatever trial you are facing, beloved, remember that it is all under the authority of Christ.  Let God accomplish the work that he has begun in you.  Whatever time he deems necessary for you to continue in your struggle is specifically designed to equip you for the  work he has chosen  for your life.  It is a royal assignment and not without merit.  All those whom God has chosen to do his greatest work have  received their  power as they patiently trusted him during a time when all hope seemed gone.   You must remain steadfast and stand the test in order to receive the crown of life that Jesus has promised to those who love him.   You are never alone and never without hope!

Dear Lord, we are living in ending days as the enemy increases his efforts to cause trouble and pain in the lives of your people.  Help us to hold on even when we feel weary.  I pray for blessings and strength for those who are facing hardships and trials of every kind.  I pray for marriages and relationships  to be restored.  I lift up all those who are facing financial struggles and see no end in sight.  I pray for you to help those who are under bondage to addictions and sin issues that are draining them of life.  I pray for those who are lonely and brokenhearted.  May they feel a very real sense of your presence and love.  I pray for those who are being persecuted for their faith.  May you give them a sense of peace  and joy in the midst of their suffering for you, dear Lord.  Protect and bless Israel and her leaders.  I pray for the eyes of your people to be opened to the truth of Christ as their Messiah.   Lord, may you work all things out for good to those who love you.  Show them that you are very near and that you will not fail.  To those who do not know you as Lord and Savior, dear Jesus, I pray for you to reveal yourself to them in a very personal way.  Help us all to stand in faith as we patiently wait for your return .  Give us your strength to fight the good fight and stay in the race.  Amen

I am praying for all who come to this site.  May you take rest knowing that Christ has a message just for you.

 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!

How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? (Psalm 13:2)

Remembering that God is sovereign while we are in the battles of life can be very difficult.  Probably the last thing you think about as you suffer in a trial is that God is working all things out for your good.  When you are overwhelmed with problems,  it takes all the strength you have to just barely whisper a prayer.

My friends, I write this message to again empathize with so many of you that are feeling literally torn apart by painful trials. I struggle also. We are definitely living in a time of darkness. The laws of God simply don’t matter as the evil spirit of self-righteousness fills the hearts of most.  Satan’s main weapon of attack is to destroy families. He works to divide and conquer.  If he can break up loved ones, he can use their pain to do his work. I cannot believe how extensively marriages are ending.  A marriage vow has just become another way of saying, “I’ll love you until I don’t”.  The promise made before God is simply swept under the rug and forgotten.  How sad that we have strayed so far.

We read in 2 Timothy 3 that there will be terrible times in the last days.  Paul describes a time when people will become lovers of themselves and lovers of money.  He goes on to say that they will be lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God and have form of godliness but deny its power.  While sin has always been in this world, the extent of evil to which Paul is speaking is much greater.  Paul was warning of  a  time when self-love and entitlement  would rule over this earth and God would be considered an intrusion. We are in that prophecy now!  Is there any wonder that this whole world is suffering financially, physically and under the devastation of earthquakes, floods and storms of every kind? Judgment is upon us!  Wars and weapons of mass destruction are being prepared for a battle that could conceivably destroy every living thing.  It is evident that  the rulers and powers of darkness have geared up efforts to unleash a prodigious force of wickedness on this earth to take down those who are unprepared.

Yet, despite all that is going on in this lost world, there is always hope for those who trust in the finished work of Christ.  No situation and trial you face will ever be stronger than the  blood of Christ that was shed ensuring that you will always have the future he planned for your life.  Sadly, many believers accept the lies of the enemy when a crisis hits instead of holding on in faith.  The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 12:12, “Be joyful in hope , patient in affliction, faithful in prayer”.  In every battle  you must be joyful, patient and faithful knowing without a doubt that God is not going to fail you.  You are not alone and the power of Christ that resides in you is greater than the pain you are facing. You have a  Living Hope that reigns eternal.

Until the day I die, I will proclaim the truth that Christ is enough for everything you must endure on this earth.  Though we all grow weary at times, God knows how to rescue his people in times of need.  Christ has promised us his peace despite the trouble in our lives.  It is a peace that defies understanding knowing in your heart that God is orchestrating his divine will through every struggle.  Each heartache and trial you face is an opportunity for God to reveal more of himself to you. The purpose and plan are guiding you on the path of your destiny!

You will always gain freedom as you surrender up your power to his.  There is a short poem written by L.E. Maxwell in his book, Born Crucified, that makes this point:

Make me a captive Lord, and then I shall be free.  Force me to render up my sword and I shall conqueror be.  My will is not my own, til Thou has made it Thine.  If it would reach the monarch’s throne,  it must its crown resign!”

 We aren’t always going to be in control of our circumstances.  There will be times when all we can do is surrender them to Christ and trust that he will work them out for our good.  It may be scary to wait in the deep water for Jesus to bring you to safety but that is exactly what you must do!  Get your eyes off of the sharks in the waters of life and the storm clouds that are brewing.   They are under the authority of God, their Master, and cannot harm you.  You may feel weary and alone in the dark sea of trouble but you are not alone and you are never without his strength!

I pray that those who feel God does not hear their prayers will come to  know the truth of this message.  Don’t let your weariness cloud your judgment.  If you belong to Christ, legions of his angels surround you right at this moment.  There is not a tear he does not see nor a broken heart he cannot mend! Your lonely whispers are heard.  You have been set apart and made ready for him.  While you wait in expectation of Christ, understand that your calling is secure.  As a child of the King, you have already been declared royalty.  Stand firm in your faith for the army of the living God is with you.

And to the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”  ( 1 Peter 5:10)

Be in peace, my friends.  I am praying for you.

 

  “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall” (Psalm 55:22)

I know that times are tough and everyone is being hit with seemingly endless trials and tribulations.   As the devil realizes that his time is growing short, the furor of hell has darkened this earth. We are living in a time of deception when many are compromising the truth.  In an attempt to mollify those who just want to hear what tickles the ear,  false teachers have watered down the gospel to the extent that even the devil isn’t offendedIt is no wonder that as life’s storms grow fiercer, many people are having difficulty trusting that God’s power is enough. 

The absolute truth to this is that Christ  will always have the authority over everything that touches your life.  God does not take a walk to the other side of heaven and forget about your pain and heartache. He sees each tear you shed.  He has a full view of all that concerns you.  All the storms in a believer’s life are permitted for an eternal reason. You are being made stronger and  powerfully equipped for battle as you  grow in your understanding of  God’s limitless power.  

It was with this knowledge that Job was able to cry out , “I know my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth” ( Job 19:25).  Despite losing his children, his fortune and his health, Job still believed that God was with him!  He said of God, “When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him. But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” (Job 23:9-10)  You don’t have to see God to know that he is with you every second and leading you on the path that he has chosen for you long before the foundation of the earth. The devil himself can see God’s presence and protection surrounding you.  One thing I have said before but is important enough to say again and that is that everything that comes against you MUST bow to the will of God for your life! You have nothing to fear for God will be with you to the end.

The perfect love of Christ breaks the bondage of fear.  You belong to Christ and his will for your life cannot be hindered by any of your problems or weaknesses.  Neither the world, the flesh nor the devil can alter the purpose and plan of God for you.  There are no impossible situations for God.  You need to look past the fiery furnace of every affliction and see the presence of Christ  who is there to protect you.  He alone has the final word on what happens to you in every circumstance.  Problems  increase when you start doubting that God will help you.  It always leads to failure when you can’t wait on God and  try to work things out your way.  Nothing will prevent Christ from completing the job he started in you.  Your pain will not crush you and it has no power to destroy you.  When you shrink back in fear over your problems, you allow the lie of Satan  to rule in your life. 

I know that you may be feeling overwhelmed by all that is causing you pain right now, but don’t give up. You need to remember that Jesus paid the price for you to have an abundant life in spite of all the troubles you face.  As he was dying on the cross for us, he cried out with his last breath, “IT IS FINISHED!”. That means that nothing on this earth can keep you in bondage! You have been set free.  Anything that opposes God’s will for you has now been rendered powerless.  The impact of those words should stay in your heart always.   Victory is living within you and the power that raised Christ from the dead is now your strength.  The trial you are in cannot take you from God’s sight nor stop him from helping you.

In order to defeat the enemy, you must know the truth.  In James 4:7, we read, “Submit yourselves; then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you“. The main command is to “submit yourselves to God” first.  It is by humbling yourself before him and trusting that he will help you that you get all the strength that you need to make the devil and his schemes flee from you!   The forces of hell shudder at the sight of one believer in prayer who trusts that God can do all things. 

YOU are that believer!  Let go of the lies and begin to trust in the power of God.  He will keep you in his perfect peace beyond your power to understand.  You can take God at his word who says: “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast because he trusts in you.” ( Isaiah 26:3)

God is with you and I will be praying for you. You are never alone!

                                                                

         We do not need to understand, just to trust

 We serve a God of all hope who has an unfailing plan for all that he has created.  Those who have put their trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ are now called children and co-heirs in the kingdom of God.  Yet as we hold on to this truth and live for Christ, the darkness of this present world can overwhelm even the most seasoned Christian.  As much as we trust and believe that God has  a purpose in all that comes against us, why is it so difficult to understand it when troubles besiege us?

The word of God tells us plainly in Isaiah 55:8-9,

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORDAs the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Our finite reasoning can never align with God’s judgments.  His ways are perfect.  We are the dust of the ground who only have worth because we are loved by our Creator.  For the same reasoning, who can understand the love of a pure and holy God who would send his only Son to suffer and die to pay to redeem a lost and ungrateful people?  It is a love that knows no boundaries.  It is an all consuming love that never fails. God is never hedged in by our ways or our thoughts.  He knows the right and perfect way and he alone has the power to make it happen. 

When Jesus left this world,  he promised to send us the Holy Spirit who would be our helper.  He knew that there would be many problems for us while we are here and he knew that we would need his Spirit to get us through.  Day by day we are being transformed into the image of Christ by the Spirit’s power.  Our daily battles are fought and won by God’s right hand.  However, painful trials can make us question if God is really with us.   It is not an easy task to trust him when you watch as a loved one suffers.  It takes every ounce of strength to keep your eyes on God instead of your pain.  Many believers had to endure financial difficulties, marriage strife and heart aches of every kind.  Jesus did not say that we would be without these struggles.  He said that he would always be with us and give us the victory.  All that he allows is for a divine purpose.  He alone knows what it will take to fulfill the plan he had for our lives long before the earth was formed.  He knew every storm we would face while we were in our mothers’ womb.  He had a way to part the sea and move the mountains that would try to stop us.  And he knew that we would not understand his ways.  It would take an uncompromising faith in him that defied our reasoning to believe when we have no power to do anything else.

Paul tells us in Philippians 1: 29,” For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him“.   Who among us  can know the mind of God or understand his judgments?  Jesus said that we would not even comprehend the beauty of heaven until we got there.  No one in all of Scripture that God used for glory ever understood how or why God made them take the path that he did. Human logic certainly can’t explain it.   The fact that remains is that you will not ever understand why God allows evil at times to prosper while the righteous suffer.  That is when we have to trust in the unfailing love of God.  This love that we learn of when we are in the furnace of our affliction is the power that is going to take us into glory.  If we can trust and believe when the ground around us is crumbling, then we have shown ourselves to be true sons and daughters of  the living God!  And God has said that he will give an immeasurable reward to those who hold on and trust to the end.

You don’t have to understand the ways of God.  You only need to know of his unfailing love.  By his own word, God has promised to withhold no good from those whose walk is righteous.  That means that if you belong to Christ, every struggle, pain, heartache and suffering that you withstand is ordained and timed by him and will be used for your good.  You can’t lose because with Christ, you will always be more than a conqueror! 

Dear Jesus,  I lift up all those who are going through a painful time in their life.  I pray that you will give them the peace that they need to stand in trust knowing that you are with them.  Help them to know that you have a purpose and a direction for their lives that cannot be stopped by their circumstance.  I pray that they will understand that in you, there is always victory.  Please comfort them now with your love and hold them close to you.  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!

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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