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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)

Boo 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.

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.

“…but deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:13)

 

Stop the world, I want to get off!  How many of us have had that thought?  As the days grow shorter, the enemy has pulled out all the stops in his attacks.  For that reason, there is an alarming number of people who just want to give up and some have even committed suicide.  Many more have given thought to ending their life.  In all these cases, Satan was able to convince them that there is no reason to live.  His voice has tempted them to believe that the trial they are facing will never get better and it will never end.  Jesus paid the price to overcome in every trouble and yet too many of us sadly cannot believe him.   

We have all experienced those  times  in life when the battles we faced were  so overwhelming that all hope just vanished.  It can be very hard to recover when a loved one dies too soon and your heart is breaking from sadness.   Marriages  hardly seem worth the price of the license  as spouses can leave their families without a hint of compunction.  They always offer some excuse, but the bottom line is their vow and commitment to God meant nothing. 

 Financial problems are plaguing all of us in some way.  Homes are being foreclosed and many are facing homelessness for the first time. Too often single mothers are destitute  trying to raise their children alone.  It seems never-ending as each day brings more problems.

To add to all of this, there is an overwhelming number of those with addictions to drugs, alcohol, gambling and pornography.  Crime has greatly increased and prisons are filled with dark forces of evil. Poverty and deadly diseases are at an all time high throughout this world.   Earthquakes, tornadoes and floods have literally changed the geography of several states and countries. 

Finally, never before have we seen the degree of sin and evil that defy understanding.  News of parents who kill  their own children without reason or remorse is becoming commonplace!  Children are no longer protected from harm.  We are literally living in a time when truth has been exchanged for a destructive lie.  The hearts of most have grown cold as godlessness fills the earth to overflow.

The Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 3 :”There will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.”  We are in those “terrible” times and it is now that you must choose what is right.

The forecast for this world is indeed dim.  My heart breaks as I watch the massive deception that is filling this earth.  In every country, people are crying out for God’s help in the midst of their struggles, but yet  they are unwilling to surrender their lives to his will.  Most do not understand that there will never be victory for them unless Christ rules in their hearts.

My friends, I want you to understand the most important part of this message.  We are all living in perilous, troublesome times.  Until Christ returns to make all things new, there is going to be trials and storms in the life of every believer.  Those trials are not meant to drive you away from God and his purpose.  They are permitted in your life to bring you to the power of God and his strength.  For that reason, the enemy keeps taunting you to give up and believe that Christ was not enough or that he did not show up in time.  The fact is that the legions of God’s angels are surrounding you right now.  Your faith is being perfected as each battle brings you further up the mountain and closer to the face of God!

Those who feel that they cannot endure this life anymore and who want to die are listening to the lies from a defeated foe who has been rendered powerless and hopeless by the cross of Christ.  That lie cannot hurt you unless you believe it!  Take heart, my weary friends, for God is willing to breathe into you new life if you will just keep your eyes on him.  You have the authority to move mountains and that means that you can take hope knowing that there is no boundary, no ocean, no pain and no bondage that can keep you a prisoner when the blood of Christ has set you free!

Whatever you are struggling with, your God is bigger.  To those who are suffering with depression and even self-mutilation, there is a way out.  That prison of affliction cannot keep you chained up any longer!  Put your trust in Christ who paid the price to heal every disease and to restore marriages, homes and heal heartaches.  He will get you through your financial battle and it is then that you will know Christ and his love for you that never fails.

Wherever you are, God sees you and knows your pain.  Hold on and keep trusting for he knows how to rescue you if you don’t give up.

 

I am praying for all who need to hear this message.  You are not alone for God has burdened others to pray for you.  I hope that you will take to heart all that God has given me to write.  Remember that your pain will not last forever.  Only believe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  

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

               Your God is with you!

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

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

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

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

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

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

You cannot be destroyed!

 

Of all that comes against us in this world, death is probably the one most feared.  Yet, for believers, death is the only thing that releases us from this evil world and frees us to be with our LORD who has planned great things for us.  The prophet Isaiah says in chapter 25 that the Sovereign Lord will swallow up death and wipe away the tears from all faces.  Death only came to us when man sinned. But God had a plan to save us from death by sending his only Son, Jesus, who paid the ultimate price for our transgressions and bought for us eternal life in heaven.  It is a free gift that cannot be earned.  Jesus says in John 5:24, “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life”.  

 

 To those who have Christ in their heart, death has no power to harm but only to release us to be with God who has riches and reward with him.  We will be clothed in heavenly garments for with Jesus, death has been swallowed up in victory.   Isaiah 25:8 says, “Where,O death, is your victory? Where O death is your sting?”  My friends, death cannot destroy a child of God.  

 

 Our life on this earth is just a waiting period for God to come a rescue us and bring us to him.  While we mourn those who pass on before us, we take joy in knowing that we shall be united with those believers that have gone before us in a place that Jesus has prepared for us.  In Revelation 21:4 God word says, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away”.  For that reason, Jesus tells us in Matthew 6 not to store up treasures on earth where it can be stolen or destroyed but to store up treasure in heaven which will last forever.  Our bodies may be on this earth, but our spirits should be longing to be with our God forever in heaven.  The temporary joys of this earth hold nothing compared to the eternal unspeakable joys that God has planned for those who love him.   

 

Friends, heaven is not just a state of being, it is a real place filled with glorious rewards.  The word of God says, “No eye has seen, nor ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him: (1 Cor 2:9)  It is so wonderful that Satan is committed to getting believers to forget that we cannot be destroyed but only freed to receive all that God has planned for us.  What destroys our body cannot destroy our spirit.  In 2 Corinthian 5:1, Paul tells us,  Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven , not built by human hands.”.  That is a promise from God for all who believe.  

 

Those who are facing a serious illness, take heart for God is with you and  nothing  can stop the perfect plan that God has for you if you have asked Jesus into your heart. Jesus is able to heal and restore you and bring you to wholeness.  He will not leave you to fear or be afraid.  He is with you right now.  For those who have lost a loved one and the pain is still with you, you have the promise that God willl one day wipe every tear away.  

 

 

I pray for the peace of Christ to fill you at this time and to help you to understand that his love is sufficient for all of your needs.  You are being prayed for right now.  You are not alone in your pain and you never will be.                                   

 

                                                     

The Bible says that without faith, it is impossible to please God.  Yet each day brings with it problems and trials that sometime make it difficult to trust in the sovereignty of God.  Our hope can wane in crisis situations despite the fact that we are told in James 1:12, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown that God has promised to those who love him”.  God will reward those who can still trust him in the darkest storm.  We were bought at a price by the suffering and death of Jesus on the cross and his unfailing love is strong enough to bring us to victory in every area of our lives if we only believe. 

 

The strength that we need is always near when Christ lives in us.  It is by his power that we fight the battles of this world and to even face death without fear. This is a promise of Jesus but there are trials which may make it difficult to believe.  But through the faith of a member of my church, Don King, many were able to witness how God is able to keep in peace those who put their trust in him. 

 

Don King is a wonderful family man and father of four.  He volunteers to teach the Royal Ranger boys group at the church and he drives the church bus to pick up children who have no other way to get to church.  He is always willing to help as he considers it a joy to reach others with the love of Jesus Christ.  He is a true example of faith in action.

 

That is why our congregation was stunned some months ago when we heard that Don had been diagnosed with terminal, inoperable cancer of the brain.  It was a shock not only to us but his wife Kathy and their children were brought to their knees at the thought of losing Don.  The doctors told Don and his family that nothing really could be done for him.  That diagnosis was backed up by other experts and he was given approximately six months to live.  He was in the darkest storm of his life.

 

Although Don was shaken by the diagnosis, he chose to walk in unwavering trust in Christ.  He continued his work with the Royal Rangers and attended church every Sunday, always praying for others. He kept his smile and to look at him, you would never know what he was going through.  He professed an unrelenting faith believing that the peace of God would sustain him no matter what the outcome. He knew that death could not destroy him but only release him to be with his Savior.  As our church prayed night and day for him, the peace that Don had began to fill us all.

 

Although we may never understand the ways of God, one thing is perfectly clear.  He has a plan for our lives and nothing in this world can stop him from fulfilling all that he has promised.  A couple of months ago, Don went to have a scan to check on the status of the cancer.  After reviewing the films several times, the doctor was baffled.  Not only was the cancer gone, but the doctor had a hard time finding where it had been!  This incurable, inoperable cancer was now gone from Don’s body and we knew that the power of God had just been manifested before our very eyes. 

 

For reasons that we do not understand, not everyone is healed on this earth.  However, we still have the peace that surpasses understanding knowing that God has promised believers that we can never be destroyed and that his love will bring us through every storm. If you can keep your eyes on Christ and trust that he will not fail you, you also will be filled with the calm assurance that he will provide all that you need to get through the battle you are in.  Remember that Christ who lives in you will always be greater than anything that comes against 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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