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Fear not for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  ( Isaiah 41:10)

When I first got out of high school, I went into training to become an x-ray technologist.   I did not have a relationship with Christ at that time and I constantly believed the worst about myself.  I told myself that I probably would never finish my training and be able to pass the registry.  I did not consider the notion that my life had any value and so I consistently sold myself short and made many poor choices.  The devil couldn’t tell me anything bad about myself that I didn’t already believe.  I set myself up for defeat.  I felt alone and worthless.  Even after I took my test and passed with high marks, it did little to convince me that my life mattered to anyone –  much less to God!  After all, I thought, where was he when I was going through so much pain in my life growing up and it seemed like no one protected me.

That is a question many people ask. Where is God when life hurts?  The truth is that  Christ is on the throne with complete authority over all that believers face in this perishing world.  That is the most comforting of all truths and yet so many people still are unable to stand in faith in times of trouble and strife.

Without a doubt, we are living in perilous times.  The increase of evil puts us all within the range of attack.  We are trying to survive in a time when truth of God has been thrown to the ground and trampled. The hearts of most people have grown cold.  It seems that everyday brings more heartache and pain as the forces of darkness have increased their effort to destroy lives.  Yet, in spite of all this, Christ is still our hope.

Marianne-Jesus caresFor believers, the fact remains that we are not alone in our battles.  We may be attacked from all sides but the outcome of assured victory was determined before the battle began.  It was the price Jesus paid for us to defeat all of our enemies; we have been made more than conquerors.  Our pain and our struggles are working out our transformation into the image of Christ.  In the midst of darkness,  God’s power is near enough to help us overcome every single weapon of warfare. The enemy has been rendered powerless and ineffective to destroy those who put their trust in the cross.  Through it all,  the presence of Christ is right by your side in every single storm you face.  His angels have been commanded to guard your life.   He loves you  unconditionally just as you are!  It is not dependent on what you do or how well you do it.  The everlasting mercy of Christ is enough for all your needs.

Your painful trial is temporary.  The enemy wants you to believe that things will never change but that is a lie.  The truth is that he sees your struggle and is using it for your good.  For that reason, you must never let your faith be nearsighted.  Trust in God’s long-range plan for your future. You cannot fall so far that the grace of God is not able to restore your life and complete the purpose he began in you.

Sometimes it feels like I am always up against mountains in my life.  That might be so but each time God takes me through my troubles, I realize that those mountains never had the power to block my path.  My struggles have only served to reveal to me more of the love and power of Christ.  I knew without a doubt that I never was alone.  All of my battles are being led by the army of God.  I am a conqueror because greater is He that is with me than any force that the enemy can ever use against me.

I know that so many of you are also facing problems of every kind.  It may feel like you are losing the battle but that will never happen.  In the center of each storm is the magnificent power of God who is working all things out for good.  He has a  divine purpose charted out for everything that touches your life.  We read in God’s word in 2 Chronicles 16:9, “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose hearts are fully committed to him”.   He is looking for those who can trust him in the bad times as well as the good times. That is what defines a true believer.

God’s power is not limited by the impossibility of your situation.  He knows how to allow your pain to work out the purpose for which he planned.  That is why we never give up and never surrender.  We are a royal army who are being trained to rule in a kingdom that will never end.  Be mindful that your struggles won’t endure, but through Christ, your eternal future will!

Dear Lord,

I am lifting up those who are  facing serious problems and feel that they have no hope.  They are dealing with problems that are out of their control and some may wonder if you are even with them in their struggles. I pray that you will touch each and everyone who need your help and counsel.  I pray that you will bring them peace and comfort as you draw them near to you.  May you touch their hearts with the truth of your love.  I pray that they will know that you will help them.  I pray for healing from illness and disease.  I pray for a restoration of broken marriages and relationships. I pray for those struggling with financial problems and have nowhere to turn. I plead for those who have addiction problems or have family with addictions and need your help.  Lord, please show them that your strength is all that they need.

I pray for those in persecuted nations who are suffering for their faith.  May you rescue them and give them hope.  Protect them and their families.  May your light shine through them to those who are lost.

I pray for the protection of Israel and the Jewish people.  May you show them mercy and keep them from harm. I pray for their leaders to have wisdom, discernment and your favor against those who come against them for evil.  And may you open their eyes to know the truth of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

For anyone who is not saved or who has doubts regarding their eternal salvation, I pray that you will open their eyes and hearts to know that Jesus is the only name under heaven by which we can be saved. 

To those who belong to you, dear Jesus,  I pray that you bring them peace and hope during these dark times.   Amen

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                         I the LORD do not change (Malachi 3:1)

God’s faithfulness is the same today, tomorrow and forever. As he has helped others, so also will he do now for us.  His love has no bounds and his mercies are new every day. Though the times change and we change, God is with us in every single aspect of our lives.  Although the battle rages on in this dark world, the foundation of Christ who died to give us life will always remain.  He is true to his word.  The troubles of this world have no power to destroy a believer.  To think otherwise is to believe a lie.

I took the picture above in my backyard.  It always is amazing to me how the leaves of the trees  change into beautiful colors right before they fall down.  The Mastermind of this phenomenon is God.  He ordained the different seasons and has a purpose for each part of the cycle.  While I always wish the leaves would keep their vibrant colors and stay on the trees, that is not his plan.  He has a purpose for all things in creation for it was by his hand that all things came to be.  Nothing evolved on its own.  There is one God who is the Creator of all.

Yet during times of stress and change, it is difficult to remember that God has authority over everything. Each day brings a different problem and sometimes it is hard to keep the faith through our tears. Where is my God when it seems like my struggles are getting worse and the pain is unbearable?   As we watch  the darkness of evil growing and filling this world,  can we truly trust that the plan of Christ for us is going to succeed?  Evil is being called good and wrong is being called right.  It is as if the world is turned inside out.  If God’s love is unchanging, why does he allow this all to happen?

The bible tells us that God created man in his own image and saw that it was good.  He provide us with everything we would ever need and yet mankind still fell into sin.  We rebelled against a holy God.  That should have been the end of us at that point.  But we are told that “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)  God’s love did not change despite our sin.   He still made a way to bring us back to him.  Although sin and wickedness came into the world and corrupted everything,  God’s plan of redemption  never changed.

We are still living in a perishing world.  You only need to turn on the news to see that most people are on the wide path of destruction.  This is not heaven. All things are not going to be perfect until Christ returns to make all things new.  We must suffer for a while to prove ourselves as sons and daughters.  It is not easy to watch loved ones suffer and die.  It is heartbreaking to watch as families are being torn apart as hearts grow cold.  The enemy has unleashed his final fury as he knows his time is short.  Persecution against Christians is on the rise.  And God’s ways are being perverted everywhere to suit the desires of the lost.  We are living in the last days.

My dear friends, I write this message to touch those who are going through fierce storms in their lives.  You are not forgotten.  God has not forsaken you.  You are being made ready for a royal position that will never end.  God is with you in this battle even though it seems like you are alone.  His legions of angels are acting on his command to guard you throughout your struggle.  The Apostle Paul tells us: “Put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground and after you have done everything, to stand!” (Ephesians 6:13)  Know the God you serve so that you can trust him no matter what happens.

Take time to read your bible every single day.  Let God’s truth be your armor that keeps you trusting in him despite your problems.  God has not changed.  His love for you will endure forever.  He will not fail you. Your hope is secure because you belong to him.  Nothing in all of creation will ever be able to stop his love for you or his plan for your life.

In the spring, when the leaves return and the flowers unfold in all their beauty, I will be reminded that God’s promises never fail.

Dear Lord,  my heart breaks as I hear of the struggles of your people.  I pray that they will understand that although the battles of this world are leaving them wounded and weary, you have already declared them a victor.  Nothing is going to touch their lives apart from your will and purpose.  You will give them your peace in the midst of their struggle.  I pray for all to come to know that even though we are living in a fallen world, your plan is still unfolding and we have a reason to be hopeful.  The price has been paid and because Christ lives, we can face tomorrow.  You hold our future and there is nothing that you cannot do for those who love you.  Lord, help them to know without a doubt that this is true.  Amen

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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