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“I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people” (Luke 2:10)

Christmas is the season of joy and peace yet sadly there are many people who are feeling hopeless, weary and alone.  During a time when hearts should overflow with love and giving, for some it is just a greater time of pain and sadness.  The troubles of this dark and perishing world can overwhelm even the strongest believer.   

The joy that the birth of Christ brings can get lost among the commercial aspects of the season.  That is truly sad for when God sent his one and only Son to this earth, he did it to bring light and salvation to a lost and dying world.  He sent Jesus to walk this earth with us to give us his strength to overcome our problems.  Jesus came to give us an abundant life that lacks no good thing.  His birth brought us a promise that can never be taken away.  It is a promise that those who believe in him would have a life with a purpose and a reward that will never end.  Pain and struggles can never destroy those who have been set free through Christ.  He alone can open doors to your impossible situations and cause all things to be used for your good.   

Believers now have authority in Christ over all obstacles from the enemy.  Through Jesus you are now more than a conqueror because he has overcome the world.  You only need to trust that he can and will be with you in all of your problems.  Your failures do not stop his love and your troubles can never hinder his perfect plan for your life.  His birth signified a pledge to bring you peace no matter what you may be going through.  Jesus is the Word of God and the light of this world who will never fail you.  He willingly left the splendor of heaven to come to this earth knowing that we would reject him.  Yet his love was so great that he chose to walk with us and be crucified to bring us peace with God and eternity with him forever.  

If the joy of this season is overcome by a heartache or struggle in your life which is causing you pain and sadness, please remember that the hope that Jesus brings is not just for some situations.  The peace he promised to leave us is sufficient to meet any need and to take you through any storm in your life.  His power is strong enough to safely take you through all circumstances and to give you joy in the midst of your struggle.  He knew your name and loved you long before you were born.  He has plans to prosper you and give you a future despite your weaknesses.  He is faithful to make a way for you even when the road is closed.  Most importantly, he will never leave you to carry your burden alone.  In Matthew 28:20, Jesus says, “And surely I am with you always, even to the very end of the age”.   

Your situation is never hopeless when you have Christ in your heart.   He is able to heal any sorrow your have and give you the assurance that his love will comfort you in your pain.  This season, keep in your heart the truth that Jesus is the only gift that you need. He is the source of your strength and the power to restore you in all ways.  His gift of life is free for the asking.  His love will never fail you and his peace will keep you as you begin a new year.   Take heart, dear friends, for the Savior of this world is born!

Dear Jesus,

I am lifting up to you those who are suffering the pain of trials of every kind and who are feeling weary and troubled.  I know that this time of year is supposed to be one of family and joyful celebrating but there are some who are experiencing heartaches from a broken home, overwhelming financial troubles,  or serious health issues.  There are those who are dealing with addictions, depression and loneliness.  For these and all the troubles that your people are facing, I pray for you to give them peace.  Let them know they have hope despite their pain.  Lift them up and meet them where they are.  Show them your mercy as you give them the strength that they need to stand in faith.

Father, we are living in a time when truth has been exchanged for a lie. There is darkness everywhere and persecution of Christians is increasing.  War is imminent as the middle east heats up to a point of no return.  Famines, earthquakes and extreme weather is signaling your return.  We have a reason to hope.  You, dear Jesus, are coming back to make all things new.  You have not forgotten us.  Our pain and brokenness is preparing us for a kingdom that will never end.  Your eyes are always on us.  We are never alone and never without your protection.  I pray that you will show those who are hurting that you are with them to the end.  I pray that they will know that they have a future no matter how bad it may look now.  May you have mercy on this country and open the eyes of our leaders to turn back to the God who blessed us and made us a great nation.  May you bless and protect Israel and give wisdom to her leaders.  I pray for you to comfort and help those who are going through persecution of every kind for their faith.  Be with them, Lord Jesus.  Protect them and bring them joy that surpasses understanding in the midst of their suffering.  I also pray for Pastor Saeed who is imprisoned in Iran.  Keep him safe, dear Lord, and please bring him back here to his family.

Keep our eyes on you, dear Jesus.  Help us to know that no matter what battle rages in our lives, you are always in complete authority over it all .  You alone have suffered the price for our victory.  We humbly bow before you  in praise and honor for there is no way to repay you for all you have given to us.  Amen

Merry Christmas to all of my friends here on this site.  I pray for you all  and remember that you can email me if you need to talk.

              Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD  (Psalm 33:12a)

                          I

I want to say a few words today as we celebrate in America the birth of our nation.  We have been a people who have been blessed by our God and he has shed his grace upon us.  I am  fortunate to live in a nation that was founded by men and women of extreme courage and dedication.  I am grateful for all those who are in service to America and who risk their lives  so that we may live and worship in freedom .  We can never truly thank them enough.  I pray God’s blessings and favor upon them all.

With all that said, as we watch as darkness and evil fill this earth, the question still  remains “Are you truly set free?“.   The bondage of sin can cause havoc and destruction in your life no matter where you live and how much money and power you  have.  Each day I watch with sadness as people choose to live their life in the chains of the enemy who has blinded them to the fact that they are perishing as they walk the path of death. They are not free.  They are deceived! Without Christ, there is no freedom for your life.  You can have all you think is good but you will never be truly happy because your hope to be victorious in this world comes only in being surrendered to Christ!  He is the one who sets the prisoners free so that we no longer have to be held captive in the trap of sin.  Christ is our power over the darkness and our hope when we come to the end of ourselves and have nowhere else to turn.  There is always a way for God to help you.  You can never fall too far that his grace cannot lift you.

What does it serve you to live in a worldly freedom when you come to the end of your life?  It is only when your life is in Christ that you can have peace no matter what you face.  He has conquered all of your enemies and death no longer has any power over you.   Money, fame and even earthly freedom can never give you that!

I want to include a few quotes from our Founding Fathers that show the heart of those who once led this country with truth.  Read them over and ponder how far we have come from this once ideal.

And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God?  That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.”  Thomas Jefferson, Signer and Principal Author of the Declaration of Independence; Third President of the United States.

Is it not that in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? – that it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation?  Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity?”   John Quincy Adams: Statesman; Diplomat; Sixth President of the United States.

“One of the beautiful boast of our municipal jurisprudence is that Christianity is part of the Common Law…there never has been a period in which the Common Law did not recognize Christianity as lying at its foundations… I verily believe Christianity necessary to the support of civil society.” Joseph Story: U.S. Supreme Court Justice; “Father of American Jurisprudence,” Placed on the Court by President James Madison.

” We are a Christian people…not because the law demands it, not to gain exclusive benefits or to avoid legal disabilities, but from choice and education; and in a land thus universally Christian, what is to be expected, what desired, but that we shall pay due regard to Christianity?” Senate Judiciary Committee Report, January 19, 1853

Who is fighting for those ideals now?  Too many people are being deceived by the enemy. My friends, our freedom has been bought at a price of the blood of Jesus Christ.  All that we have and the future with hope that we aspire to has been given to us by Him.  You can make a choice today to have real freedom that releases you from the bonds of every pain, addiction and trouble that the earth sends your way.  This world is passing away.  Only those things that stand the test of fire shall live on.  Only that which we surrender to Christ can we keep.  Be blessed this day.  You no longer have to be sold out to the enemy and live as a puppet of his schemes.  You have a choice.  Choose to live in the freedom of Christ.  No one can take you from his hands or rob you of the destiny he planned for you.  That is a freedom you can celebrate!

                                                     

Dear Father,  I lift up to you those who are struggling to be free.  I pray for those who are suffering in trials of every kind and who need to know that you can meet them in any situation and that you have the power to take them to victory no matter how impossible their situation seems.  Give them your peace this day, dear Jesus.  Let them understand that your love is enough and that you will never fail them.

I pray also for those are in restricted nations where to be a Christian is a death sentence.  I pray for you to touch those who are persecuted, tortured and imprisoned for their faith.  I pray that you will reach them with a joy that surpasses their understanding.  May they know that you are with them to the end. 

Lord Jesus, show those who come to this site what real freedom in you can mean.  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.

“…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

 For a little while, you may have to suffer grief in all kinds of trials (1Peter 1:6)   

                                         

It is hard to understand the ways of God when the battle is raging and you are surrounded by the enemy. Going through a painful trial or heartache can bring you down lower than you have ever been.  It can seem unbearable and crushing especially when you don’t understand why God would allow this struggle in your life. How can the torment that you are experiencing be part of God’s perfect plan for you? It just doesn’t make sense.

 We read in James 1:12, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him”.  Each struggle brings an opportunity for God to manifest more of his power in you. It is his strength to take us through to the end and our training for the royalty that awaits us in heaven. Yet, there are still times when the answer to our prayers for help seems so far away.

Even knowing God has a purpose for our trials, the things that come against us in this world will never make sense to us.  However, the divine purpose for all we endure must complete its work in us.  Even Jesus knew that he had to endure great pain that we might be redeemed.   In Luke 22:43-44 we read that Jesus went to the Mount of Olives to pray before he was to be crucified.  With great anguish over what he was to suffer, his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. Yet as he obeyed his Father’s will, an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him.  Jesus understood that there were eternal implications in all that he had to endure. He willingly gave his life that we might be saved. 

As a believer, you should understand that God will also send his angels to strengthen and comfort you as you grow weary from the battles of this world.  He will never let you stand alone and carry burdens that are much too heavy for you.  The Lord knows how to rescue godly men from their trials. His purpose in allowing pain in your life is to develop you into the image of Christ and to actually make you stronger for the journey set for you. In 2 Corinthians, God’s word says that you may be hard pressed on all sides but never crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but never abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. The storms of this life can rock your boat but Jesus has promised that you will get to the destination that he planned for you before you were born.  When you can trust God despite your broken heart, you defeat the father of lies who wants you to forget that Jesus paid the price for your victory.  All the troubles that we must face are obtaining for us an eternal reward that will last forever. You must keep your eyes on Jesus who is able to keep you in his peace even when you don’t understand the purpose for your pain. 

Scripture says that after losing his children, his wealth and his health, Job cried out, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust him” (Job 13:13). God had a purpose in allowing Job to go through such a trial.  Ultimately, Satan was defeated and Job received a great reward.  He was given beautiful children, greater wealth and a longer life because he trusted God when even when all was taken.

God’s purpose and plan will forever stand though the earth may be shaken.  God’s ways are much higher than the logic of this world so you must trust him even when you don’t understand.  There is nothing you are suffering that God didn’t plan in advance to take you through. May it help you to know that there are believers praying for you right now and that God’s love for you will never fail!

Dear Lord, I am praying now for those who are enduring great hardship and pain in their lives. Although they are struggling to stand in their faith, they have become weary and need a touch from you.  I pray that you will give them a very real sense of your presence in all that they are going through.  I pray that you will fill them with your peace and will open their eyes to know that you are with them despite the fierce storm that is all around them.  Help them to continue to walk in trust knowing that you will never fail them and that your divine purpose in their lives cannot be stopped by the enemy of this world. Amen

    ( Picture by Francesco Cosi)

           FOR I KNOW WHOM I HAVE BELIEVED  ( 2 Tim.1:12)

Dear friends and visitors to this blog,

I want everyone who comes to this site to know that I have a burden for those who are in pain, feeling troubled and who come looking for a message from God.  I never cease praying for those who have asked for prayer.  I take all of your prayer requests very seriously and they stay on my heart.  And God cares for each of you through your pain.  He is not going to leave you in your struggle.

Remember that no matter what you are going through,  God will always be bigger and he cares!  He has a way out and above every single situation that you go through. To those who have put their trust in the finished work of Christ at the cross, your future is sealed and the enemy cannot steal it away.  Don’t let any of the devil’s lies and frustrations make you doubt  God’s perfect plan for your life.  If you could see with spiritual eyes, you would know that if God is allowing a trial in the life of a believer, he has a plan to not only take you through it but to make you better for having gone through it.

Most importantly, I want you to remember that no situation is impossible for the true God who spoke the worlds into existence!  Never let anyone tell you that you circumstance is beyond all help. That is a lie.  There is nothing that God cannot and will not do for those who belong to him.

I care very deeply about all whom God sends to my site.  You matter here!  It was no coincidence that you stopped by for  God has a message in one of these articles just for you.  He is the one who has inspired these truths for me to write.

God bless you for now.  Stay in peace and take your stand in the battle.  Your God is very near and he is fighting for you!

            The righteous cry out and the LORD hears them (Psalm 34:17)

It is obvious that so many believers are growing weary in these dark days of oppression that we live.  Struggles surround us at every corner and it is hard to stave off the growing fears of uncertainty.  We were told in Scripture that these times would come and test the faithful, but how do we keep standing when the ground is trembling and darkness is filling the sky?

Fear is a tool that the enemy uses to take your focus from the truth.  When you understand that your hope in Christ is secure, you can cease striving. There is nothing that is going to destroy a believer who is holding onto the promises that Jesus died to give.  Your future is never determined by your circumstance.  Trials that you face are only the wind that brings you closer to God.   Every single one of your struggles are used by God to equip you for the battles that come against you.

  Throughout the bible, God allowed his people to be taken to the end of their own strength but yet they were conquerors over all that came against them.  It was in the lion’s den that Daniel watched as his God shut the mouths of the lions and brought him safely out.   The three Jewish boys were bound and thrown into the furnace for refusing to bow in worship to Nebuchadnezzar.(Daniel 3)  Yet it was there that  they came face to face with the Son of God who protected them from even the smell of  fire and smoke. Young David ran against the giant, Goliath, in the power of the God in whom he trusted.  He never doubted that his God could save him as he killed that heathen Philistine with just a stone.  King Hezekiah cried out to his God for help when the Assyrian army was surrounding his people on all sides.  He had no power to face this mighty army but his God did!  We are told in 2 Kings 19:35, ” That night the angel of the Lord went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning – there were all dead bodies!”   It was God who fought their battle and saved them.  You need to understand clearly that when you are in Christ, you are a force to be reckoned with!

Beloved, you must understand that no battle you ever face is hopeless.   You don’t need to run from your problems; you just need to turn to your God!  Never lose faith when you get to the end of your ability for it is at that point that you  discover the all-encompassing power of  God.  Jesus paid the price for our redemption and to give us a future with hope.  The enemy may prowl around trying to  rob you of your joy but he can never steal the future that Christ paid with his blood.  Death has no sting for Jesus overcame the grave.  All of your momentary trials are working out a divine purpose to prepare you for the royalty that awaits you in eternity.  Your painful situation has a time to end.  God knows how to take you from your distress and into his peace if you will just surrender to him. 

We are living in a time like no other.  We are watching as  wars, famines, floods, severe weather, poverty, sickness of all kinds of evil are permeating this entire world.  The hearts of many have grown cold as marriages are failing, evil and violence are increasing and all forms of perversions are becoming common. The only hope we have is the enduring love of Christ who will never fail.  He is called Faithful and True and he is  ready to return and gather those who love him. 

May you know this day that you are never out of God’s sight for a second.  Whatever you are suffering is before the eyes of God.  Remember,  “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit”. (Psalm 34:18)

 

Dear Lord,  I am praying for those who are struggling with a painful situation in their lives.  They feel like they are losing in the battle that they face.  I pray for your peace and strength to fill them.  Let them know without a doubt that you are with them to the end.  For those who have financial problems – may you meet them and provide for what they need.  Those who have marriage and relationship problems – may you join them in peace and restore their families.  I pray for you to heal the pain of those who are sick or who have lost a loved one.  May you comfort and heal those who are in serious bondage to alcohol or drugs.  I pray for your favor in their lives in all that they need.  And may they know that you will not fail them no matter how impossible their problem is to them. Amen.

                                            It all comes down to where you put your trust

 

 The promises of God are real and he has a way to work all things in your life for good.  He knows what it takes to rescue you from the pain and the struggles of this earth and how to make you stronger for having endured them.  He can do all things for he is the Creator of all that is on this earth and the heavens.  Nothing is impossible for the Lord.   With knowledge that God ‘s love is enough, why do we still worry and fret when trouble comes upon us?

Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 6:25-27,  “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more important than food and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”  

You are so valuable to God that he gave his only Son to suffer and die for you that you may have everlasting life!  There is nothing that he will allow to destroy those who belong to him, so to give in to worry and doubt is sin.

The truth in this verse is that when you worry, you are making your problems bigger than your God.  You are saying in effect that God is not strong enough or loving enough to help you through your trial.  When you give in to worry and fear, you are falling for the lies of the enemy who wants to destroy you.  He knows that God is more than enough to bring you to victory but he wants you to forget that.  We serve a risen Savior who came to this earth to bring us hope and to give us a future despite what we may have to endure.  He knew our problems and weaknesses long before we were born and he made a way to overcome all of them.  He has a perfect plan and a purpose for your life.  Even though you may have fallen short and rebelled against him, he can always lift you from your past and restore you to wholeness. 

All that it takes is for you to allow Christ to reign in your life.  You must make him first over all that you have.  In order for him to help you through the bondages that have kept you prisoner for so long, you need to trust him completely.  You must never take your eyes off Christ and put them on your problems. Only then will you fall.   Jesus is always bigger and stronger than anything the world throws at you.   You cannot be defeated for he has destroyed the power of the enemy.  Even death no longer holds fear for those who are in Christ for we will not perish but be made whole to live in heaven with God.  There is nothing that man can do to you that will crush you for you are protected by the right hand of  the King!

When you find yourself worrying and getting anxious about things that are going on in your life, seek Christ out in his word.  Let him fill you with peace as you read of his faithful promises to you.  Giving in to fear indicates a lack of faith.  You must trust that the One who gave you life will be able to sustain you no matter what happens!  Jesus died to release you from the prison of fear and worry.  Don’t go back into bondage when Jesus paid your bail in full.  His blood at Calvary covered your iniquities and made you righteous before God.  That is the power you need to cling to and to use when you are weak and weary.  Take the yoke of Christ for he will lift your burden and give you the strength you need to continue. 

 There is always hope when your trust is in Christ.  He is the Lifter of your head and the Restorer of things taken from you.  He can mend your heartache and bring your family together.  He has the power to provide for your financial needs no matter how impossible it seems.  He can heal your sickness and break the chains of your addictions.  Most importantly, he can give you the force to conquer any battle you must fight.  He knows your name.  He has numbered your days. His promise is to never leave you or fail to give you all that you need.  Give him your worry and anxious thoughts and let him bring you to a place of peace.   No matter where you are in your life, Jesus has a way to reach you!

 

Dear Lord,  I pray that you will touch all those who read this message and give them peace in the trouble they are experiencing in their lives.  Help them to know that you are with them and that you are bigger than their problem.  Give them the strength to walk in faith and not lose sight of the victory that you have given us.  Amen

       For he will never fail you!

Growing up was a difficult time for me.  My parents divorced when we were young and my mother struggled to make ends meet. My brother, sister and I had to do without a lot of things that the others kids had. It was a sad time for me. Too often, I painfully remember having to take calls from collection people who would threaten action for bills my mother didn’t pay. I was filled with insecurity and fear that we would be homeless.  It was a tough time and I learned to fend for myself because I thought that no one else was going to help. 

 

When I received Christ as my Savior many years ago, I wanted to know him as my provider.  God’s word told me that he would meet all my needs but it was a struggle for me to understand that he would not fail me.  Although I knew that there was no greater way to honor God than to take him at his word, I simply could not trust him completely. As I struggled with this for years, I prayed that God would give me his strength in this area of unbelief in my heart. 

 

A few years ago,  I made a decision to sponsor a child from Africa who lived with his family in abject poverty. And soon after that,  I sponsored two more children.  With my monthly donation to the Christian Children’s Organization, these children were given food, medicine and a chance to survive.  In addition, when I was able, I could send additional amounts to benefit the familyof these children. I wanted to help ease their life of poverty in some small way.

 

Several months ago, I  received a large dental bill that I thought insurance was going to cover. Instead, it appeared that I would have to come up with another thousand dollars to pay off this bill.  Suddenly, my old fears resurfaced.  I started to get anxious and fearful about how I was going to pay this bill. God had been faithful to me in the past, but I allowed this old demon to make me doubt once again.  Without reason, I started to panic. 

 

It was then that I realized that this fear was an attack by the enemy to steal my joy. This time, I decided to keep my eyes on God. With prayer and a sense of God’s strength in me,  I went to the Christian Children’s site on my computer and sent fifty dollars to Sorie, my child from Sierra Leone.  Instead of worrying about my own financial situation, I chose to seek the kingdom of God and his glory. By faith, I gave to this child and left my problem with God.  Immediately a sense of peace filled my entire body.  I submitted to God and the spirit of fear left me.  I knew that God was in control and later on,with his help, I  managed to pay that dental bill in full.

 

I did not know then the full ramifications of my obedience. Two months later I received a letter from Sorie’s father in Sierra Leone.  He told me that his son was to start in a school there but was first required to have money for the books that he would need.  He had applied to his country for help, but did not receive an answer.  It was the last day and it seemed that hope was fading when he received a call from the agency saying that they had my fifty dollar gift for them.  For a man who earns $167.00 a year, this more than met the need for his son’s books. He went on to write that when this money came, his son cried out, “Father, this is a miracle from God! We must put our hands together to pray for this woman who helped us”.

 

I was humbled and brought to my knees.  To think that God would use me and my problem to answer the prayer of a young child in Africa was way beyond my comprehension.  My God was not only going to help me, but he had a plan to use my obedience to bring a miracle to a boy across the world from me. All it took was for me to trust that God would not fail me. 

 

God knows our weaknesses and he is willing to meet us where we are.  He knew that I would need his strength to help me overcome my doubts.  That day I had an encounter with my God and his truth filled my heart.  I know now that he will always provide for what I need if I can walk in faith with believe that he will never fail me.

                           He sees your broken heart     

             

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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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