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storms

 

Believers are set apart for Christ and the work of his kingdom. We have been made holy because the Spirit of God lives and works in us to do good. We have been made righteous. Why is it then that God continues to allow painful trials and distractions in our lives? Wouldn’t it be easier to do his work if he could make our path clear of the same suffering the perishing world endures?

That is something I have thought about many times. I have seen Godly men and women work tirelessly to help bring the lost to Christ only to watch as they suffered hardship and sickness unto death. Persecution of Christians is increasing and believers are being tortured and killed every day. It just doesn’t seem fair. And yet, Scripture tells us that God must allow anything that happens in the life of a believer. In Psalm 84, we are told that “No good does God withhold from those whose lives are righteous”. All those who are in Christ have been made righteous by his blood. So why then is it good that his people suffer?

My friends, I write this message to give hope to those who are facing a battle in life and struggle to believe that Christ is still with them. The enduring love of God never leaves you for a moment in the midst of your trial. He sees your pain and counts your tears. Your cries for help are being heard. He has not forgotten you. He knows how to heal your breaking heart. He can and will make you whole. But, do you trust him enough to let him do it his way and in his timing? It is not easy to hold on in the battle, but to do anything less would be to surrender to the enemy.  Don’t sell yourself short. God is sovereign over all. His plan for your life was perfected long before the foundation of the earth. You were bought at a price. He is not going to let you fail after taking you this far.

trialsEvery believer in Scripture had to suffer pain and hardship in their walk of faith. They had to trust that God was always with them even through their greatest fears.

In Genesis, Joseph had to endure over 10 years of bondage in a prison which had no light. He had shackles on his neck and feet night and day. And yet he had to trust that his God was still in control. For all those years, he had to wait on God who was preparing him to be the top Commander in the army of Pharaoh. He had no idea God was making him ready for such royalty. He was a young man when he went into prison and for years he mourned the memory of his family. Why did God allow him to withstand such a test? It was because God’s plans for Joseph were greater than any ideas Joseph had for his life. He had to be molded and shaped into the man of God who had the faith needed to do his will. God was going to use him in a mighty way.

And God had a plan. The royal robes that Joseph wore as ruler in Pharaoh’s kingdom were like rags compared to the robes of glory awaiting Joseph when he died.

When Jesus told his disciples what they would have to do to follow him, many of them grumbled and left. Jesus turned to his Apostles and asked them if they were going to leave also. Peter said to Jesus,
“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”(John 6:68) Peter was exactly right. Those who stayed with Christ trusted that he was greater than their doubts.

No matter what black cloud is filling your life, there is no one greater than the God who gave you life and who has the power to cause every second of your pain to be used for your good and for his glory. Even if you don’t see God’s hand in your struggle now, you need to know that he is in full control of all that you face. You don’t have to see or feel God to know that he loves you enough to do what is good for you. Let him finish the work he started in you. Don’t doubt him. Those disciples who walked away from Christ had no idea they were leaving their only source of hope in this world. They left the One who could give them everlasting life.

Your situation is timed. Your pain is being monitored. And you are not going to drown in your tears. Christ has a way to take you through your fears and pain. He grieves with you in your trouble. He has a reason for you to face this mountain.

My friends, we are too close to the coming of Christ to give up now and walk away. Cling to the truth. Let your faith be proven genuine. Keep your eyes on Christ. He will never fail you. Even when things are not done your way, trust him with your life! He gave his life for you.

Who can take from you what Christ has died to give you?

 

I am praying for all who need to believe that Christ is with them in their pain. If you are struggling with your faith, I am praying that you will have the strength to surrender your doubt to Christ and ask for his strength to believe. May you know that He loves you more than you could ever know. He has promised to never leave you, not ever, no matter what you are going through. God is close to the brokenhearted. His word is true. He is with you now. Let him work this out but trust him with the details. Your faith shows the world that you belong to Christ. May God give you his peace and may you know that you are not alone. 

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Note:  As I get ready to publish this message, once again I am being tested on my own words. A very close member of my family has recently been diagnosed with lung cancer and it is tearing my heart out. I am truly broken.  But am I going to trust God totally or will I give up and doubt that he will help me and my family in this trial?  I am struggling to believe but I know that I have come too far with Christ. He has kept me from being destroyed in every single one of my battles so I am not going to give up now. My eyes are filled with tears but I have them focused on Christ. All things are in his hands and his will is perfect even when I don’t understand it.  Jesus is coming back soon. There is nothing that you face that will not be made right in his perfect plan for eternity. I pray that you will take that truth to heart in your own life. 

I would humbly appreciate your prayers for my loved one.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.(Romans 15:13)

Amidst the chaos of a world that is filled with darkness, it is challenging to focus on the promises of God. In your painful trials, problems can appear insurmountable with the victory through them seemingly unreachable.

The Apostle Paul warned us in 2 Timothy 3 that there will be terrible times in the last days as people become lovers of themselves and not interested in the ways of God.  The nightly news is filled with death, destruction and evil as people are turning to their own way of doing things. The enemy is dividing people against each other  to cause confusion and doubt and in far too many cases it is working.  The hearts of most have abandoned the fear of God. The ways of  truth are being blurred by the evil desire of the flesh that is being called “choice”.  And as Scripture tells us, lawlessness is on the increase as the hearts of most grow cold.

While that is a sad commentary, we are not without hope. There is a place of rest where you can have the peace of Christ despite your struggle.  That promise was given by Christ as he said in John 16:33, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” Do you trust that Jesus is true to his word?

Your faith is being tested in every trial you face, but the reward is great to those who do not grow weary and give up. In 2 Kings, the prophet Elisha was surrounded by a great army who wanted to kill him. When Elisha’s servant saw the massive army, he grew greatly alarmed. Elisha addressed his fears saying in verse 6, “Do not be afraid,  for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” With that, Elisha prayed for his servant’s eyes to be opened and he was amazed to see the mountain full of horses and chariots of fire from God surrounding their enemy.  That is the power of God in action. Even now, there is no battle in your life that is stronger than God’s ability to take you through it.you are not alone

Jesus left us the Holy Spirit to help us in our weakness. The same immense power that raised Christ from the dead lives in the heart of of every believer.  There is nothing that is able to destroy a child of Christ.  All that we face is the driving force bringing us closer to God.

Troubles of this world don’t define us.  They are the necessary tools to mold us into the image of Christ and perfect us in the plan he has for our life  The evangelist A.W. Tozer once wrote: “It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until he has wounded him deeply”. Tozer understood that the trials allowed by God are meant to bless and equip the soldier of Christ for victory against the adversary of this perishing world.The believer must die to self in order to have the fullness of God’s power. Whatever weakness you hold onto in your life will become the foothold that Satan uses to take you down.

isaiahThe Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 4:17″For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison”.

No matter how bad your situation seems. you must never lose hope. You have no idea what greatness God has planned for your life. You don’t have to feel Christ to know that he is with you. While it is difficult enduring the trials that bring brokenness, God knows the work he must do in your life. He who began a good work in you knows how to complete it.  His ways are higher than ours. He knows the length of  your days and has your next step prepared for you.

My friends, you need to understand that heaven’s royal army is standing by you right now to protect and defend you.  God’s plan for you cannot be hindered by your heartache,struggle, sickness, addiction, divorce or financial problems. You can’t fail. He knew what you would face and the answer to it all is being set into motion even now. His love for you will not stop. Just stand in faith and see what God can do.

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But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor.15:57)

It is easy to lose hope when your troubles surround you. Uncertainty and doubt can fill you with fear especially when there seems to be no way out of your pain.

Jesus told us in his world that we would have many troubles here on earth. He knew the times and what was to come.  However, Jesus also wanted us to know that despite our problems, we can stand firm knowing that he has overcome the world. He is the Hope of all things impossible. He is the restorer of dreams and the power to overcome. There is nothing that can crush a true believer because all the force of heaven lives in the heart of those who belong to Christ. A royal army stands ready to fight for you.

Jesus is the strength to overcome all that comes against you so it is sad to watch as people turn instead to substance abuse to silence their pain.  Many good people have sold out their future to alcohol or drugs. They becomes bonded to the poison that is destroying their lives and that of their families. It can happen to anyone. Some of the nicest people are secretly coping with an addiction.  They feel lost and out of control because they are trying to carry this burden on their own. That will never bring victory because Jesus never meant for anyone to fight their battles alone.

We are told in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful;” he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

The truth in this verse is that we are all weak in our flesh but we have hope through Christ. He will provide the way out so that you cannot be destroyed by your struggle. He is always the strength you need to overcome.  We are told in Scripture that God’s power is manifested through our weakness. We have been made victors over all of our battles when our trust is in Christ.  He is the only power you need to conquer all that comes against you. He will not fail to take you through your pain and bring peace in your life.  Nothing is impossible through the One who paid the price to give you an abundant life through every storm.

In Isaiah 26:3 we read. “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he trust in you”.  Your weakness cannot stop your future.  There is no impossible situation that can stop his purpose for your life. Jesus gives you victory over all of the obstacles that stand in your way. He has given you life and he will take you to the end of your life according to his perfect plan.

No matter what troubles or addictions that you face in this life, remember that Jesus has indeed overcome the world and all of its struggles. Put your complete trust in him. By surrendering your weakness to the power of Christ, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

My dear friends, I understand that you are facing many painful trials in this life. We all are. Take hope for Jesus has overcome the troubles of this world.. While we are waiting on him to meet us in our struggle, he is working out a deliberate, divine, eternal plan for your life. You are not forgotten nor are you ever without hope. Have faith and stay in peace knowing that in the eternal plan, it is already worked out. Cease striving and rest. Your God will not fail you. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THIS IS GOD’S HOUR

by A.B. Simpson

Cast down, but not destroyed2 Corinthians 4:9

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

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

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

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

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away, blessed be the name of the LORD. (Job 1:21)

job suffering

You can have victory in your life despite the struggles that you face when you  understand that God is working all things out for your good and his purpose for your life.  Too many times we feel that God is unaware or unconcerned with our painful trials but nothing could be further from the truth.  He has a divine eternal reason for each and every thing that you endure.  He has a timing for it all and if you belong to Christ, it is all part of the perfect plan.

Understandably, it is easier to trust God when things are going well.  How much more difficult is it to believe as God allows unfair trials of every kind to happen when he has the power to stop them.  How can he look down on the suffering of his people as seemingly he remains silent.  But is that really true?

Job suffering 1We look in the Old Testament to the trials of Job.  He was a wealthy man with a wife, children and servants. He honored God with all he had and held nothing back from him.  Yet God allowed Satan to attack Job and take his children, his wealth, his servants and his own health.  Job was reduced to a painful existence living outside of his home since he was deemed unclean because of the infestation of boils that was afflicting his whole body.  His own wife told him to ” Curse your God and die”.  What did Job say to her remark?  He answered, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”(Job 2:10)

That is a questions we all need to ask ourselves.  Is it okay with us to take the good from God and then turn away from him in times of trouble?  Does God owe us anything?  It is by his grace, unmerited favor, that we receive all the good that we have.  We are in his hands and he has determined the best way to get us from where we are to where he is.  He does not look away from us for a second.  We always have hope in the midst of the darkest storms because Christ lives to intercede for us.  He commands his angels to guard our path and guide our steps.  We are not left to fend for ourselves when darkness comes. With Christ, we have all the hope and peace needed to get through the pain as God works through it to reveal more of himself to us. No battle is too big for him because he has authority over everything.  The outcome is always in his hands and his will.

When you grow in faith, you get to a place of victory in your life because you know that  you do not have to understand God’s ways in order to trust that he always is working for your best interest. For that reason, you are able to have joy through  the many troubles in this world because Christ has overcome the world and your enemies have been rendered powerless to destroy your future.  Just because you can’t see how God is working in your life through your trials does not mean that he is doing nothing. Heaven and earth are being moved by a faithful God who has already determined the outcome of your situation.

Your pain grieves the heart of God but we are living in a perishing world and believers are being transformed into the image of Christ.  Let God do his work in you.  Your struggle will not last forever but the hope you have will last into eternity.  Fear and uncertainty are weapons the enemy uses to discourage you. Never let his lies steal your hope or convince you to surrender up your joy.  Nothing is impossible for the One who holds eternity in his hands.

Whatever you are going through, stay focused on the fact that God can always make a way to help you.  God gives and God takes but it all is part of the plan to give you eternal life in a Kingdom that will have no end. And because of that promise, we can praise God in every situation. Christ is coming back soon to make all things new. That is a Hope that is worth waiting for.

 

Dear Lord,

You never leave anyone alone to carry their troubles.  I pray that you will give hope to those who are overwhelmed with trouble and who feel that they have no strength to go on without your help.  I pray that you will heal the pain of those going through marriage problems and financial issues.  For those who are suffering through illness and serious health problems, I pray for a  complete healing and may you give them peace as they wait on you.  I pray for your strength to overcome for those who are dealing with addictions of every kind. 

May you provide for those who need a job.  I pray for favor and blessing on those who are struggling to keep their homes.  Bless  and heal those who are suffering from mental problems and dementia.

I pray for the persecuted all through the world.  May God give them his peace to endure.  Protect children everywhere who are hungry and sick.   I pray for Saeed Abedini and all those who are imprisoned in other nations for their faith.  May God have mercy to bring them home and give them strength to hold on.

I pray for the peace of Jerusalem and protection for Israel. May our Lord guide the hand of their leaders. I pray for America to repent and turn back to God! 

For these requests and all those not mentioned, may the power of Christ and  his love provide for our needs. Amen

This world is perishing but God still holds your future!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

light through the tunnel

Of what value is faith that has not been tested?

It is not always possible to see the light at the end of the tunnel when the darkness of your troubles overwhelms you.  How quickly your dreams and hopes can slip away when an impossible situation sends a crushing blow.  Will you ever recover? Tough times bring forth tested faith.  It is easier to see God in the brightness of day than it is to trust him in the darkness of night.

You are not going to understand why God allows storms and heartache in your life but that should not make you doubt his love.  During those times when you are stopped by the furnace of affliction, the sea of trouble and the mountain of despair, remember that it is not a holding place but a resting place.  God is keeping you near to his heart and revealing more of himself to you. Only there can you understand that at the end of your weakness is his limitless strength.

In Scripture, we read about the life and struggles of David.   Although he was anointed by God to be King, David first had to fight against those who were trying to kill him.  For years he was forced to wander throughout the desert and seek shelter in caves.  That time of struggle brought David to the understanding that his future was ordained by God and no one could stop him from accomplishing what he started.  David wrote in Psalm 28:7,  “The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped.”  In the midst of David’s troubles was a faithful God providing all that he needed for victory.  The same is true for us today.

God’s plans sometimes work in mysterious ways. A friend and I went to visit a death row inmate this past week whose execution date is set for next month.  He told us that he had become a believer shortly after he got to prison. He then explained to us through tears that on the day that the judge imposed a death sentence for his conviction, someone had given him a package.  When he opened it he found an engraved bible along  with a letter from the mother and sister of a man he had killed.

gods-love-doesnt-leave-usThe writer explained to this inmate that although his actions had taken away her only brother and the only son of her mother, they both had forgiven him.  Even while their hearts were  still crushed with unbearable pain of loss, they had enough love of Christ within them to not only forgive him but to pray for him to come to the knowledge of salvation!  They implored him to seek Christ and receive the gift of eternal life that could never be taken from him.

Imagine the power of that forgiveness!  Because of their faith,  this family was able to surrender up to God any bitterness toward this man and instead share the hope of Christ with him.  It was that amazing love that brought this inmate to his knees, broken and submitted to Christ. For him, he had received a gift of mercy he did not deserve.   Such depth of  forgiveness can only come through Christ.  I cannot remember a more powerful testimony!

When I read the letter that these women had written, it was clear that this all surpassing power was from God working through them.  It was faith tested to the limit and yet shining through like light from heaven.  That day a new life began in the heart of that inmate all because two believers decided to let the will of God guide them to bring unconditional love to a man who was condemned to death.

There is nothing that God cannot do in your life if you are willing to submit to his will.  All the pain and struggles you face are simply the elements God uses to mold you into greatness.  He has not forgotten you.  Your trial is set for a time and soon your tears will turn to joy.   There are no losers in the body of Christ. We are all on a path designed by him long before we were born.  He has the plan and it cannot fail.  Are you ready to give up your control to get God’s divine blessings?   Don’t worry over your circumstance for the outcome has been decided in advance.  For believers, the war is won and we are the victors.  The devil himself knows that.  You now need to know that too.

Dear Lord,  I am praying for all who are going through a fiery trial and who may be filled with pain and uncertainty as to whether you will be there for them.  I pray that you will draw them near to you and bring them your peace.  Please help them to know that their grief is before you and you are working it all out despite the fact that it seems like it will never end.  Comfort them, dear Jesus.  Show your love to them in a very real way.  Give them hope that can only come from you.  Amen.

May God’s wisdom and  peace be with Israel and her leaders.  I pray also for the release of Pastor Saeed, an American citizen imprisoned in Iran.

valley

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.

( Psalm 62:5)

None of us enjoy the prospect of waiting on God’s timing when we are in the midst of a painful trial.  It is so hard not to look at our impossible circumstance and still believe that God is working all things out.  It is especially difficult when the enemy uses our emotions to make us think that we have no hope and that it is out of our control.

In God’s word, we read that being out of our own control is actually a victory.  Every time God led his people to victory, he had to first render them powerless in their own might.  Job lost his children, his riches and his health but God was still able to bless the second half of his life more than the first.  Gideon’s army of 32,000 was reduced to just 300  men who had no weapons, yet with God’s power they were able to take down the Midian army and make them flee. King Hezekiah was no match for the vast Assyrian army who was coming against the Israelites. However, during the night, the angel of the Lord went through the enemy’s camp and struck down 185,000 Midianites.  The Israelites rose the next morning to find that the entire army was defeated by the hand of God.  Remember that the outcome of every battle you face is always victory when you are in Christ!

You will still have enemies to fight in this perishing world but they have no power to destroy you. All they will do is reveal that you have been declared a conqueror through the power of your God.  Because of what Christ has done for us, you have reason for hope knowing that your future is established in heaven.

boat-stormWhen Peter saw Christ walking on the water,  he spoke out, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” ( Matthew 14:28) Jesus told him to come, and Peter got out and began walking on top of the water.  Yet when he saw the wind, he was afraid and began to sink.   What made Peter afraid?  The same wind and waves were there when he got out of the boat.  Somehow, as he walked on the water toward Christ, Peter took his eyes from him.  As the wind blew and waves rose, Peter stopped believing that Christ alone  could keep him safe on the water and started to think that he needed to do something to stay up there, too.   Once you believe that Christ is not enough for your impossible situation, you begin to sink.  You look to your own power and strength to overcome your struggle and it will never be enough.  It is only in surrendering completely your weakness that you gain Christ’s strength!  Your faith is revealed when you trust that you do not have to see the answer to your prayer to know that it is before the throne of God and under his authority.

Victory over all of your trials comes when you can trust that God’s timing is right and that his will is perfect. Peace comes from knowing that God will never fail you no matter how impossible your situation seems.  He takes no pleasure in having you wait but each one of your struggles is a divine appointment with a merciful God who wants to reveal more of himself to you.  The testing of your faith produces a steadfastness that will have its complete effect that you may be perfect, complete and lacking in nothing. ( James 1:4)  There is a purpose for your pain.  It is working out a greater good.  It is preparing you to be royalty, reigning with Christ in a kingdom that will never end.  Though the days grow dark and filled with evil, believers have nothing to fear for their future is one of power.

We are told in Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the LORD with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding,”  “Although God’s ways may be hard to figure out, remember that he took you this far and he is more than able to get you to the finish line!

Don’t let your heart be troubled by the problems of this world.  Christ is coming back soon to make all things new.  Keep your eyes on Christ and focus on what is true and right.  The lies of the enemy have no power to steal your joy so don’t willingly give it up to him.  Hold on to the heritage that you have because of what Christ sacrificed for us.  Stand strong to the end knowing that God’s plan for you will work out not only for today but for ten thousand years down the way when you shall still find ways to praise him for all he has done.  God’s faithfulness will never end.

Dear Lord Jesus,   I pray that you bless those who have come to this site.  Some are carrying heavy burdens that are weighing them down making them weary.  I pray that you will lift them from the pain that is holding them down.  Show them that your purpose shall work out for their good.  I pray that you will bring peace to those who are anxious and uncertain. They wonder if you truly care.  Please draw near to them and comfort them in the midst of their struggles.

I pray for any who are dealing with serious health problems.  May they know that there will be a time for it to end soon. My you provide for those who are experiencing financial problems of every kind.  I pray that they know you are more than enough to meet their every need.  May you bless those who are suffering  persecution for their faith.  I pray at this time for Pastor Saeed who is an American citizen imprisoned in an Iranian prison for eight years.  May you comfort him and his family.   I lift up Israel and pray for her protection and blessing.  May you turn back all those who come against Israel.  I pray for the salvation of the lost all through this world.  Open their eyes to truth and bring them to a knowledge of salvation through Jesus Christ alone.  Amen

           “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.

storm approaching

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 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.

              You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again. (Psalm 71:20)

The battles we face in this world are making all of us weary.  The enemy’s attacks are getting stronger as the forces of evil seek to wound and discourage those who belong to Christ.  Many believers are crying out for Christ to return soon and save them from all this darkness.  We are indeed in the devil’s crosshairs and he is not backing down.  His plan is to kill your hope, steal your joy and destroy your future.  His arsenal is filled with weapons of lies and discouragement aimed toward every believer.  His fiery darts of fear and doubt can pierce the hearts of struggling saints causing some to wonder if God really hears their prayers.  We are all suffering the effects of a fallen world as we endure hardship of every kind.  As difficult as it may seem, the truth remains the victory of Christ is at the core of a  believer’s every trial.

I read a great quote by Christian singer Wintley Phipps which said:

It is in the quiet crucible of your personal, private suffering that your noblest dreams are born and God’s greatest gifts are given, in compensation for what you have been through.”

That  profound truth should give hope to those who are going through serious trials.  Keep in mind that all  we fear is under God’s sovereign authority and plan.   Our battles have been won, and although we still must fight the good fight, believers are guaranteed the victory.  Those who belong to Christ are already standing in the winner’s circle surrounded by God’s angels.  We are not alone nor left to fend for ourselves.  We are a chosen people who will one day rule with Christ in heaven.  The forces of hell and the darkness of this world cannot stop the royal future that Jesus died to give us.  He has gone to prepare a place for us so wonderful that our finite minds cannot begin to comprehend the beauty that awaits us.

 As great as that promise is, it may sound hollow right now when all you want to do is cry.  Your painful trial is causing you to bow your head in sadness. Trouble seems unending.  But true believers must trust their God no matter how impossible their situation seems.  The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 12:12 that as we face trials we are to” “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”   That is what sets us apart from the world. We have faith that in all things, our God is enough.  He will not leave us alone or allow us to perish.  In the book of James, we are told, “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. ”   You can have peace even when it seems that all hope is gone when you understand in your heart that in the end, God has the plan!  He is not waiting for you to be stronger, wiser or holier before he will help you.  He already has the plan worked out.  Tomorrow is in his hands and he will accomplish his purpose for you.

In Exodus 14,  God led Moses and Israelites away from Egypt as Pharaoh and his army pursued them.  As the army approached, the people of Israel feared greatly.  They had come to the bank of the Red Sea and had no way to cross . Moses saw the enemy too but he told the people, “The Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent”.   God then told Moses to lift his staff over the sea and divide it. After that, God did something amazing.  All through the desert, the Angel of God, who was Jesus, led the Israelites by going in front of them as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.  However, when they got to the Red Sea, the Angel of God, who was in front of the Israelites moved and went behind them. The pillar of fire also stood behind them coming between the army of Egypt and the people of Israel.  God had the Israelites back!  He protected them as the enemy drew near. There was no way that Pharaoh was going to destroy God’s people.  In the end, God led his people to safety from between the parted water and used that same water to destroy the Egyptian army.  God made a way where there was none!

Wounded warriors, never doubt that God is going to make a way for you too. He has your back covered!  Your impossible situation is under his authority and he knows how to make it work out in his perfect plan for you.  I don’t care how bad it seems right now, there is always hope if you will surrender it to Christ to do as he pleases.  Be strong and believe.  Remember discouragement is a lying spirit which ushers in doubt.  Take your thoughts captive and line them up with the truth.  We are so close to the glorious appearing of Christ.  He is with your right now – you have only to be silent!

Dear Lord,  make this truth clear to those who need your help now.  Give hope to those who are facing battles that leave them wounded and feeling alone. Strengthen those with serious medical issues.  Comfort those who are having marriage problems and relationship issues.  Bless and provide for those with financial problems.  I know, my Lord that you are in every one fo these struggles and you have the plan to work them out according to your purpose.   Please Jesus,  keep our eyes on you and not on our circumstance.  Our hope is in you!  Amen

If we are truly followers of Jesus Christ, we will face trials of every kind.  We are a tested people and each trial has been designed for the purposes for which God allows.  We are all being made ready to wear the regal robes of eternal royalty.   Christ is in each storm we face and it is his power that is causing all things to work for our good.

It is especially trying in these dark days as believers  endure  trials of every kind marking the countdown to Christ’ return.  The faith of all is being put to the fire.  None of us are exempt.  Are you willing to stand and believe in spite of all that is happening in your life?

The above photo is one of the remarkable works done by a man named Rob Bohning. If you click on the picture, you will see the true majesty of his work.  He has captured God’s creation as no one I have ever seen.  Rob is a godly, loving husband and father.  He is an amazing photographer.  He has two gorgeous young children.  And, he has a rare incurable cancer called Medullary Thyroid cancer. But Rob is not about to give up!   What makes this man stand out is that he has unwavering faith that God cares about his affliction and is more than able to bring him through it.  Rob is in the fiery furnace of testing but he knows full well that his Savior, Jesus Christ, is with him!

Rob and his wife, Lori,  had emailed me after visiting my blog. I can say from my heart that I am blessed to have them now as friends.  When writing to me of his cancer, Rob said, ” All I know is God is good and wastes nothing!  That includes this cancer.”  It was shortly after his forty-second birthday that Rob received this cancer diagnosis.  Sadly, that was not all. The following day, Rob’s dad died from another kind of cancer.  How does Rob keep his faith so strong while facing surgeries and treatments that he must endure?

My dear friends, the reason that Rob can have peace despite his affliction is because his faith has been tested and proven to be real.  He understands that God’s will is good no matter what form it takes.  He is a man who knows the God  who created him and is willing to serve him in any way that he is called to.  In his weakness, he has found God’s strength!

True sons and daughters will suffer for Christ.  It has been written that blessed is the person whom the storm drives to God. It is only there that you will find true happiness.  The worth of a soldier is never known in times of peace.  It is only in the battle that the true strength and courage of a believer is revealed.  Faith is not faith until it has been tested!  Those who draw near to God in times of trials will find that they cannot leave his Presence without receiving his strength.

God has put a lot of wonderful people in my life through this blog.  Rob Bohning and Lori have touched my life in such a way that I will never be the same.  When I recently wrote about how I was going through some painful struggles of my own, Rob wrote again asking me how he can pray for me!  I am humbled by this man’s faith and dedication to God.  He has taught me that trusting that God is with us in our problems is the greatest honor we can give to him.

Rob will be having his first chest surgery on February 22nd to remove some nodes.  I am humbly asking all of those who come to this site to please pray for Rob’s surgery.  Please also keep him, Lori and their children in prayer.  We are all in the battle as long as we are on this earth. But God never leaves us to fight alone.  I am asking for the army of God’s people to rally for Rob.  I am sure that he prays for all of us here on this site too.  We are members of Christ’ own body.  We cannot be defeated.  There are no casualties in God’s army.  We are performing the purpose for which he has created us.  This body of death will not always be with us.  Our victory has been declared.  Christ has set us free!

What should you do in times of trouble?  Rejoice!  Great trials bring out God’s greatness in you.

UPDATE:

Rob had his surgery.  The doctors were able to take some large nodes out but had to leave some with hopes of going back later.  He needs our prayers still.  He is determined to fight and he continues to hold on in faith that his God is going to take him through this.  I believe him.

Recently, on the Caringbridge site, Rob’s wife, Lori, wrote this on March 2nd:

Many of you have not known my husband until now, many of you have known him, but not when faced with such adversity.  We have been hit by bad new after another, to the point where I physically get a reaction whenever we walk into a small doctor’s room.  Nothing will ever explain the feeling when I sat in one of those rooms, waiting for the surgeon to give me the status of Rob’s surgery.  Nothing.  Four walls and words of little or no real hope. Words like, “aggressive”  “spreading” “tumors of concrete” bounced off the walls as I sat there an hour after the surgeon had left the room.  I crumbled and couldn’t find my breath, as you can imagine.  A few hours later I was able to see Rob in post op.  There he was looking at me and holding my hand.  I took a deep breath just seeing him so strong, only a few hours after surgery.   We were together for a few days in the hospital room, and when night hit, the demons lurked in and took over my fears.  That’s when Satan plays on my thoughts, at night when I am at my weakest.  Rob talked and prayed with me all night long that first night, as I cried.  He would wake up, on and off throughout the night, praying for me and for the fears to go away.  That’s my husband.  The same husband that would sing to me when we went through infertility.   He is an amazing man, and the strongest person I have ever met in my life.  I adore him and he is my life.  He won’t be defeated and he will fight this beast of cancer.  We are never defeated if we have the Lord, there is always victory.  Through the storm, we have the peace of knowing that “all is well” and we keep our eyes on our Savior. 

Lori Bohning

Rob’s  Caringbridge address for those who wish to send him good wishes:     http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/robbohning/guestbook

My heart and my prayers continue to go out to this family whose faith has inspired me so greatly!

I pray for all who visit my site.  You matter to me and I thank God for bringing you here to see the messages he gives me for you.   I hope you will find peace from the truth.  I am blessed to have met so many prayer warriors who also teach the good news and hope through Jesus Christ.  One of them, Charles Woodruff has a powerful blog that I visit everyday.  I never leave his site without gleaning strength and hope from his biblical teachings.  I urge you to visit his site, CyberWord of Truth, and be blessed.  He never fails to pray for me and for all those who visit him.

“Then he said, “Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom.”  (Luke 23:42)

We read in Scripture that Jesus was crucified along with two robbers on either side of him.  The gospels of Mark and John say little about these men. While Matthew tells us that both robbers insulted Jesus, Luke’s gospel tells us that one of the thieves asked Jesus to remember him when he came into his kingdom.  Despite the fact that he was dying, the condemned man finally understood that the one who could save him for all eternity was on the cross right next to him.

So many times our problems cause us to think that God has forgotten us.   It is hard to understand that the Source of our strength and our Provider in all things is already with us.  When a situation seems hopeless, it is difficult to not grow weary and lose strength.  But we are told in Scripture to keep trusting and believing in all of our trials even when we don’t see the answer.  We read in Romans 8:24, “Now hope that is seen is not hope.  For who hopes for what he sees?”  Our faith must transcend the boundaries of what we hear, see and feel.  We must trust that the God we serve is working out his plan in our lives through every battle we face.  Faith doesn’t see the future – it trusts the One who holds the future!

Everything that God allows in the life of a believer has been divinely designed.  There are no mistakes in the plan that was made for you long before the foundation of the earth.  Whatever is happening in your life that  doesn’t seem right or fair has been allowed for a distinct purpose.  It is never easy to suffer through our painful trials, but it is the working of our faith that gives us endurance to stay in the race and not give up.

We read the account of David in the book of  I Samuel.  Young David had the job of watching his family’s herd of sheep.  It was a tedious task, but David was being trained by God for greatness as he worked alone protecting the flock.  It was there that David  single-handedly killed both a lion and a bear who were attacking his sheep. During the battle with those dangerous animals, David knew that it was God’s power that was with him protecting him and his sheep from being killed.   Day after day, working in the hot sun to watch over the sheep, God was preparing David for a royal position.  He was never without hope in that field for the God of the universe had declared that he would one day be king!

 Alone in the field, David practiced with his sling. This young teen had no idea at the time that  all that he was enduring was actually equipping him to defeat the enemy and save the Jewish people. He was being prepared for battle.   When the time came,  his older brothers and the other Jewish men cowered in fear at the taunting Philistine giant named Goliath, but David ran toward this oppressor armed with the power of God, his sling and five stones and killed the giant!  He had no doubt that he would be victorious because he believed in the power of his God.  His trust was unwavering. He was a man after God’s own heart.

It doesn’t matter what your position in life is now.  Your problems and trials may be heavy but they cannot hold you back from the calling God has made on your life.  If your trust is in Christ, you are being called to a regal position in the army of the living God.  Your path is set and your future is guaranteed. There is nothing that can steal your inheritance or kill the dream he gave you.   In every struggle you face, Jesus remembers you and he has a way to help you through it.  In all things, you have been declared a victor.  Not even the powers of hell can ever take that from you!

Dear Jesus,

I am praying for all those who come to this site.  We are facing problems of every kind and many of us are growing weary.  We take you at your word, dear Lord.  We trust that you have the power to change our circumstance and to cause all things to be used for our good.  I pray for marriages to be mended.  I pray for peace to fill those who have been hurt. I pray for your protection and provision for single mothers trying to make it in life.   I lift up those who are facing a serious illness.  May they know that you are with them and that they have nothing to fear when their trust is in you.  I pray for those dealing with financial difficulties and those who may be losing their homes.  Please provide for them the help they need.  I pray for you to give your strength to those who are weary in a battle.  May you be the power to those who are in bondage to drugs, alcohol and pornography.   I pray for you to comfort those in painful circumstance and who feel there is no way out. I plead that you rescue those who are considering suicide and let them know that you can work out their struggle.  Let them know they have a reason to live.   I pray for your help for those who are being persecuted for their faith.  Give them the joy of their salvation and protect their families during this time.

I intercede for all who do not know you personally as Lord and Savior.  I pray, dear Jesus, that you will unveil their eyes to the truth.  Let them know how much you love them.  Help them to see that they could never fall so far that you cannot bring them back to where you are. 

I pray for the peace and protection of Israel.   

I present these requests to you, dear Jesus, and know that you will hear and answer.   Amen

Note:  For those of you struggling, Debra Aiken has a wonderful site called, Tell The Lord Thank You, that you should check out. She gives uplifting messages and reminders of the truth that we are conquerors no matter what we go through because Christ always intercedes for us. Check her out at:  http://tellgodthankyou.wordpress.com     She will bless your day.

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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