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 The heavens declare the glory of God  (Psalm 19:1)

Whatever you face, God will make a way to take you through it!

God’s word stands true and he fulfills every promise despite the problems we face. This world is not our final destination but only a place of preparation for what is to come. In this life, we are going to endure hardships of every kind until Jesus returns to make all things new.  He has defeated death and made us victors in all that we endure.  No matter how fierce the battle, believers cannot be defeated by the fiery slings and arrows of the enemy.   I trust in the promises of Christ.  He is my stronghold and my very present help in time of need.  I believe in prayer and know that my God hears my every plea.

With all that said, I have to share with you that my faith has been severely tested and stretched to the limit during these past months as I face a powerful battle in my life.  There are times when I feel completely overwhelmed.  Yet no matter how weary I may be, God has given me the grace to endure. I will never give up or lose hope.  All the trials that  I have faced in my life only taught me that God has been my help through every single one of them.  He sees my tears and knows my pain.  He is not far away leaving me alone.  Scripture says, ” The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit”(Psalm 30:18).  I don’t have to see Christ or feel him to know that he is my hope and strength to get me through anything I must endure in this world.

Sadly, for quite some time I have been living with the pain of a failing marriage.  Despite doing all that I could,  it is apparent that I cannot change the outcome. Even though I have been praying night and day for God’s strength and guidance, things have gotten worse.    All I can do now is to continue to pray and surrender my will to Christ. He alone knows the outcome.  It breaks my heart to say that I cannot make someone stay and love me when he has chosen not to. I feel betrayed and hurt facing an uncertain future. But as difficult as this has been for me, I know that God still has a plan for my life.

I want to make it very clear that without any doubt,  God has authority over all that we face.  He can and will do mighty things to help his people and that is why I always advise those struggling in failing marriages to pray and not give up.   I am still praying for all who are going through troubled marriages. We have good reason to hope that God can  reach the wayward or unbelieving spouse. Sometimes he takes them to the end of their own strength so that they have nowhere to turn but to him. However, I know that it is hard to understand the times when that doesn’t happen.  It does not mean that God doesn’t care.  The truth is that he cares much and he grieves with us in our pain. Unfortunately, we are living in a lost and  perishing world and the enemy has blinded most to his schemes.  His main target is to break up homes and destroy families evidenced by the fact that over half of all marriages end in divorce. What a sad statistic that is.  Yet God  still has the power to give you a future with hope.

 When you do all that you can and it seems like you are being hard pressed on every side, remember that in Christ, you cannot be crushed. He will take  your broken heart and your fallen dreams and use them to build you up for his purpose. It may not seem like you will ever recover from your pain or that your tears will never end – but that is not true.     King David wrote in Psalm 69 “Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck, I sink in the deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters and the flood sweeps over me.  I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God.”  And yet David kept trusting his God even when all hope seemed lost.

Our problems and struggles do not dictate our future.  It is planned out by Christ Jesus who will not fail to help those who trust in him.  I know that my pain has no power to destroy the hope I have through Christ.  Despite what I face in this life, my God will always be bigger.

And then, in spite of all I have been going through, I recently discovered that my one cat, Bella,  has cancer.  I am always rescuing animals and my pets are like family to me.  I am tearful and saddened by this diagnosis for I know that she does not have long to live.  In a time when my heart  is broken over my marriage, this just added more pain to my life. Is the will of Christ even in the death of a pet I love? The answer is “Yes!”  Christ has a plan for all things! Nothing happens apart from his knowledge and permission.  Each day, the enemy wants me to believe that God has failed me or that he doesn’t care.  He tries to convince me that I am alone. Yet, I know by faith that I will never be alone.  Psalm 23 reminds us that, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”   All of our enemies, our struggles and our pain has been rendered powerless to destroy us.  Christ has a way to heal and make us whole no matter how broken we are.  I trust him.  My Bella may be gone soon, but  I know that even then that Christ will be with me and help me through it.

My friends, I pray you understood all that I said.  No one wants to go through a divorce but  unfortunately that is not always a choice.  If you get to that point, you need to draw even closer to Christ and rely on his strength to get you through.  All of your trials and struggles were known to God even before you were born.  He can use all things and cause them to be used for good and the purpose he has for your life.  Nothing is impossible for him. If you can keep trusting him despite your struggle, you will not be conquered.  You will have the victory in everything even through your pain.

I am praying for all who are facing a similar situation and don’t know where to turn.  You future is uncertain and it is difficult to understand how you are going to ever get through this.  It is only in knowing your God that you can have peace despite your heartache.  When people ask me what they can do for me during this painful time, I ask for their prayers.  I know that this battle is going to be tough but it is not my own strength that is going to take me through it.  I take hope from Hebrews 4:16, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need”. 

God’s promises of mercy and grace are new to us every morning.  He does not fail us and he never leaves us.  No matter what trouble you have in life, there is always going to be the help that you need through Christ.

My dear friends, I pray for all of you who come to this site.  I thank you for your understanding during this difficult time in my life and I appreciate those who are praying for me. Because I belong to Jesus, I will not drown in my tears. He will help me.  

 I am  humbled that God continues to give me his messages to write.   God bless you and please keep his  truth in your heart.  There is no pain that you have that the touch of his hand cannot heal.

UPDATE ON MY CAT, BELLA

 As I wrote, I had found out during the time of my divorce that my cat, Bella, had bi-lateral kidney cancer and would not live long. Kidney cancer like hers kills quickly. I would hold her every night and pray that God would let me keep her just two years longer. I was in the middle of a painful divorce. I was watching my marriage die and at the same time I was watching Bella die. I kept praying but I trusted that God could take me through it.  No pain we suffer is beyond God’s ability to help.  I knew that and I believed that but I prayed for more time with Bella.

Sadly, my divorce went through. That does not mean God did not answer my prayers. It just meant that in this fallen world, he was allowing my spouse to have free will in his choices. It was tough on me but I never felt that Christ was not with me. I surrendered my brokenness to him daily. He was all I had and he was more than enough. I was not destroyed but made stronger for what I endured.

The strange part is that after I wrote this article, my Bella started to eat again. She gained weight and seem happy and comfortable. Each morning I would go see how she was doing. Each morning I would praise Christ.  Two years after my divorce, Bella became ill again and died peacefully in my arms.  As sad as I was to lose her, I knew that Christ was the one who gave her the two years more of life that I asked. The Vet said he could offer no explanation as to how she lived that long with cancer.  I knew exactly Who allowed her to live two additional years.

The bible says all of our days are numbered before one of them come to be. Jesus said not a sparrow falls to the ground apart from the will of the Father.  God has a will and a plan not only for us but for all that he has created.  Cancer could not take my Bella until Christ ordained it to happen. He is merciful and he knows what is best. Even the sting of death is under the authority of Christ who conquered its power. He will either heal you or allow you to die to be with him. Either way, if you are a believer, you can’t lose. He has the perfect plan.

Take heart, dear friends. This message is meant for you. I am praying for all who come to this site. You are loved so much more than you could ever know.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper.(Psalm 108:28-29)

WHERE DOES MY HELP COME FROM?

 
Without a doubt, the immense struggles of these ending days can weigh your spirit down.  Scripture assures believers that we are not alone in our problems nor are we ever without help.  Although you may want to believe this promise, there are troubles that can leave you feeling totally helpless and defeated.  The raging storms of life brings many questions:  Where do you turn when you have just been given a diagnosis that your illness is terminal? What do you do when your spouse leaves you for someone else?  How do you continue to support yourself and your family now that your job has been terminated?  How do you break free from an addiction that is keeping you in bondage?  Our trials are getting more difficult.  It is one thing to trust God to get you to the Red Sea.  It is quite another to believe that he will part the waters and bring you safely across.
 
We are in a time when our faith is being tested to the limit.  The truth is that even though the storms are getting fiercer, we serve a God who remains the same.  His power to save and restore our lives has not changed.  Nothing can defeat a child of God for whom Christ has redeemed!
 
If you are facing serious medical issue, I pray you will understand  that this message is for you.  Your fear and uncertainty is before the eyes of God and he is with you.  It doesn’t matter what diagnosis your doctor gave you. The only one who knows what is going to happen to you is God.  It was he who has numbered your days before one of them came to be. Our God has the power over all sickness and disease.  He doesn’t care what stage your cancer is in.  He can heal a stage 4 as easily as a stage 1.  The only fact that matters is that his perfect will for you cannot be stopped by bad medical report!  God has planned what is best for you in this life and he will not deny you anything good. If he chooses to heal you now, his power can completely cast out all traces of illness and restore you to health.  But yet, whenever the time comes for you to leave this earth, you can take comfort knowing that even then the love of God will be with you.  It is my belief that those who belong to Christ will never die scared.  In chapter 7 of the book of Acts, we read about the faith of Stephen.  He was willing to be put to death for Christ.  As they were getting ready to kill him, Stephen shouted with joy, “Look”, he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God!”  At those words, the angry crowd stoned him to death.  What is amazing  is that Stephen saw Christ standing at the right hand of God.  All through the bible, Jesus is always seated at the right hand of God – so why then was he standing?  I believe with all of my heart that Christ stood ready to greet Stephen as he came to his eternal home.  Christ, the Son of the living God, is ready to meet with you when you leave this earth!  He will be faithful to you to the end.  When you are absent from the body, you are present with him!  You have nothing to fear from death.  God hears your prayers for family and loved ones and he can take care of them.
 
In any trouble, God is still sovereign.  His authority defeats impossible situations  Your serious financial problems cannot destroy you unless you believe that God is not enough.  Whether you have plenty or are in need, he is working all things out for the purpose for which he created you.  It is difficult to remain calm when you may be losing everything you own, but you must learn to trust that God is able to restore all that was taken and more. Everything on this earth and in the  heavens is his to give!  King David wrote in Psalm 37:25, ” I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous begging for bread,”  God knows how to give you what you need if you will just believe and wait upon him!
 
You may suffer for while when your heart is broken by a betrayal  in a  marriage or relationship, but God is able to heal your heart and renew the future  of all who trust in him. Your pain cannot crush you when Christ holds your heart.    Believe the truth and not what your emotions tell you. There will come a time when your pain will be just a memory and  a remembrance of how God was faithful to bring you through it. 
 
My prayer for those who are shackled to deadly addictions is that you will reach for the hand of  Jesus who is willing to pull you from the mire and set you on high ground!  There is no bondage that the cross of Christ cannot  release you from.  You do not have to live as a slave to destruction if you are willing to surrender your weakness to gain Christ’ strength!  Jesus paid the price for your freedom.  It is yours for the asking.
 
In all things, God is more than able to give you the victory.  He is the Author and Finisher of all life.  There is nothing out of his control.  Whatever you are facing, remember that Christ came to give you life.  Let not your heart be troubled by the cares of this world for the love of God will never fail you!
 
I will be praying deeply for all those who are in pain and need to understand the truth of this message.
 

    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!

Those who are with us are more than those who are with them  (2 Kings 6:16)

How big does the storm in your life have to get for you to take your eyes off of Christ and put them on your circumstance?  Although God may not respond to your prayer the way you thought he should, that surely does not mean that he failed you.  Your cries in the night for help are not going unanswered for they are always heard by a God who knows how to provide for your need.  He has created a course for your life and the twists and turns you must take are not meant to hinder you but rather to get you ready for something far greater. Scripture is filled with verses where God’s strength is revealed in those who trusted him.

We read in Exodus in the  Old Testament where the Israelites were led on a forty-year journey in the desert to get to the land God promised to give them.   But because their hearts were  hardened and unbelieving, God directed them the long way around.   His plan was to give them peace from their enemies and  a land that was overflowing with every good thing.  However, most of them did nothing but grumble and gripe to God.  Their faith was not in God but focused instead on only that which their eyes could see.  They did not have faith that God could give them what he promised  though every day he provided them with all that they needed.  It was  for that reason most of them died before they ever got to the land.  They thought the giants in the land were bigger than their God!  They were dead wrong.  Only Joshua and Caleb had faith enough to trust God and they led their people to win over the enemy in the land given them. 

In Genesis, Joseph was thrown into a pit by his brothers and then sold into slavery.  As dark as it was in that pit, God was using this injustice against Joseph to get him ready to rule in the palace of Egypt!  Joseph had to travel as a slave in chains to Egypt.  He was sold to a commander there named Potiphar and forced to work in his house.  Joseph then was thrown into prison after being falsely accused of a crime.  Here is a man who went from the pit, to chains, to slave and then to prison.  Where was his God?  As painful as it was for Joseph to endure all this, God was using this trial as training.  He was equipping this young man to be the top royal commander second only to Pharaoh.  That was quite an elevation for just a young shepherd boy.

 The truth is that God will not promote you to a higher calling without first equipping you to succeed.   The pain that you are experiencing  is the chisel God is using to perfect his plan for you.  You are literally becoming a work of art in the kingdom of God!  Your struggles never had any power to destroy you.  God knows well how to cause all things to work in harmony with the purpose he has ordained for you.  All of your troubles are unfolding into his perfect plan  to bring you to victory.  You are not going to lose this battle if you can keep your eyes on Christ and in his mighty power. 

Though you can get weary as the pain of your situation overwhelms you, there is hope knowing that there is a divine purpose for your momentary problems.  It should help you to know that God saw these stumbling blocks in your path before you were born.  He could have led you around them but instead  he has chosen to use them to make you stronger as he takes you over and above in strength and glory.   His plan is to make you royalty in a kingdom that will never end.   It was for this exact purpose that Christ died so that you might have an abundant life even while facing the wind and the waves of the raging sea of life.  

My prayer is that you understand that all God allows in your life, he allows for a specific purpose.  He will never send you alone in the battle for he is always with you.  Nothing can defeat you.  Your marriage problems, health issues, financial crisis or any struggle you face  cannot keep his purpose for you  from being fulfilled.  The days remaining in this perishing world are numbered and known  by God.  He sees the beginning and the end and all that goes on in between.  He is with you right now.  You must never let the lies of the enemy make you feel defeated.  If you are a child of God, that can never happen!  Don’t be like the Israelites wandering in the desert  who  did not have faith that God could take them where he promised.   God can and will do abundantly more than anything you can ask or imagine!  

Cease striving, my friends, the battle is won.  The enemy knows it and you need to know it too.  If your trust is in Christ, he already has your situation worked out.  All you have left to do is to have faith and take him at his word!

Dear Lord, I pray that those who are facing trials and pain in their lives right now may know that you are working them out for a purpose that is good.  Help them to stand in faith through this storm knowing that you are with them to the end.  Amen

Eastern Sierra by Rob Bohning  God will always be bigger than that which comes against you

(Photo by Rob Bohning)

We are living in a season of change and a pervading darkness is rapidly filling this earth.   People are struggling financially, physically and with each other as more than half of marriages end in divorce.  Satan has blinded the eyes of most and it is sad to watch people caught up in the bondage of alcohol, drugs, pornography and every form of deception.  Crime has increased and prisons are filled with lost souls.  The truth has been compromised as the enemy seeks to blind the world and destroy it.  Has he succeeded?

The Apostle Paul warns us in 2 Timothy 3 that there will be terrible times in the last days.  Believers must keep watch as the enemy seeks to weaken them and make them ineffective for the kingdom.  The days are growing short and our strength is only in the power of Christ who lives in us.  He has promised to never leave us and to help us in time of distress.   Our hope in times of testing is to magnify the Lord to see him as he truly is – which is always bigger than our problems.

Though God is always with us, we will have to suffer in this world.  If it is the storms of this life that cause us to grow in our faith, then God must allow this struggle to reveal his power and give us the knowledge of who we are in Christ.  His purpose and plan for our lives cannot fail.  You may feel alone in your time of pain but you never are.  You belong to him and  he has given his angels charge over you.  If you can magnify God and trust him in all things, he will prove himself faithful as he takes you through the furnace of your affliction and bring you safely to a place of his peace.  He has power over all that comes against you and there is always a purpose in what he allows in your life.

The strength to hold on is having knowledge of the God who created you.  His power cannot fit into the confines of our finite minds.  So what is impossible for us is never impossible for God.  Get hold of the fact that you aren’t going to completely understand the ways of God.  Who could understand why a holy, loving God would send his only begotten Son to die for the sins of an ungrateful world?  There is nothing good that you have that was not given to you by his power.  Yet we constantly just dwell on the question of why God allows bad things to happen to good people!  It is because this world is not heaven. This world is perishing and there will one day be an end to those who love evil.  But for now, we are aliens in a lost civilization and Christ has been sent as our only hope for salvation.  He has given those who believe in him the right to become joint heirs with him in a kingdom whose wonder cannot be described.  As unbelievable as it sounds, many are choosing to sell eternity with Christ in absolute perfection to the highest bidder of the perishing things of this world!

Trusting that God will work everything out and give to you all that he has promised can be difficult as the shadow of the enemy permeates this earth.  For that reason, it is so important that you see and understand the God who had no beginning and no end.  He is the source of all that is good and he withholds nothing of benefit from those who love him.  You have to know that God is bigger and stronger than all of the evil that is happening.  He sent Jesus to die for you so that you will have a future with promise.  He defeated death and made us more than conquerors in the battle of this world.

Remember always that the trials that assail you will one day end.  God has a plan to dry your tears and give you life everlasting with more beauty than your mind can comprehend.  The truth that sets you free and that gives you victory in every area of your life is the cross of Jesus Christ.  Because he loves you with an everlasting love, he was willing to pay the price for your debt of sin.  He doesn’t care how far you have strayed or how badly you have failed.  He has a love that will cover it all.

My friends, if you are reading this message and don’t know Christ, I hope that you will seek him now and ask him to reveal himself to you.  My prayers will be with you.  I may not know who you are or what problems you have, but God knows your name and he knows how to rescue you.  Your life matters to him. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Light.  He is stronger than the enemy and his plan for you will never fail. That is the promise he died to give you!

               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!

                                         Seeing the victory ahead

 

Standing strong when troubles overwhelm you is the key to trusting God. It is having eyes to see the victory ahead despite the darkness that surrounds you. The hope we have in all of our problems is found in Jesus Christ who paid the price for our peace. He has promised us that the afflictions of this world cannot destroy us because his power to save us will always be greater than any weapon used against us to bring us down. There is no reason to fear when Jesus has promised to light the way out of the darkness of every painful trial.  Through him, you have the power to demolish strongholds and bondages in your life.  By God’s own command, angels are dispatched from heaven to surround you and to help you when you fall.    

 

 In  2 Kings 6:16, we read of the prophet Elisha who was in danger from the King of Aram.  The king totally surrounded the city with horses and chariots in order to attack and kill Elisha.  When Elisha’s servant saw the great number of the enemy around them he was afraid.  Elisha told him not to fear because “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them”.  Then Elisha prayed that God would open his servant’s eyes to see and understand this.  When the servant looked again, he saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire from heaven ready to defend them. Elisha was saved that day by his faith as God defeated his enemies.  As in the battles that we face today, God’s power will always be more than enough.

 

Those who give up when life gets hard have fallen into the enemy’s trap.  They have believed the deceiver who says that God is too far away to hear your cry, or that your situation is impossible even for God. As time goes by, he will even try to convince you that God will not show up in time to save you.  But through your pain, you must remember that these lies all come from an enemy who has been defeated at the cross of Christ.  He wants you to focus on your problem instead of your God.  You must decide in your struggle if you are going to believe what you see and what you feel or stand in your faith and believe the truth of what God says he can do.

 

Through it all, you must not lean on your own understanding but trust that God’s ways are higher and that he has a better way.  Even his timing has a specific purpose that will help you to grow in the wisdom and knowledge of his love for you. He knows your past and he can see your future.  Most importantly, he knows how to rescue you from your problems and pain and give you back the future that the he planned for you.

 

In the 23rd Psalm, King David wrote in verse 4,”Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”  David learned to trust God even as he had to run from those who were trying to kill him.  Despite the danger he was in, David kept his eyes on God because he knew that God would never fail him. He understood that God had a power that would always be greater than that which came against him. 

 

God is always with you in any battle that you face in this life. Whatever burden you are carrying, it is my prayer that you will have peace in the knowledge that God is always in control.  

 

He can give you rest and peace no matter what trial you face 

 

The darkness of these current days can appear abysmal.  There are wars, earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes in the news.  We watch helplessly as people throughout the world and in our own country face uncertainty as they try to rebuild their disaster devastated lives.  So much is happening and some may wonder if God really cares.

 

The answer to this lies in God’s word.  In Matthew 28:20, Jesus says,” And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age”. God’s word says 1 Peter 5:7, “Cast all your cares on him because he cares for you”. There is nothing that is happening that God is not sovereign over.  If he is allowing it, there is a purpose.  Scripture tells us that though now you may have to suffer grief in all kinds of trials, it is so that your faith may be proved genuine. The winds that blow through your life as a believer are never meant to weaken you but rather to strengthen you in your walk with God.  In the book of Genesis, Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers and ultimately unfairly imprisoned for many years. But God was with him.  Prisons then were dark, damp and filthy and the prisoners did not get much food. After all those years Joseph should have come out of prison emaciated and sickly. Instead, Joseph emerged from prison to be appointed second highest in command in Egypt. He had the energy and the sound mind to rule despite what he had endured.  God was perfectly able to keep Joseph’s mind and body strong during his time of trial and to use the evil done to him for good to accomplish the saving of many lives.

 

God is still with us during our struggles to lift us up above our circumstances and to use them for our good.   He tells us in Psalm 41:13, “For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear, I will help you”.  Those who have hope in the shed blood of Jesus have nothing to fear from this world.  Hebrews 7:25 tells us that Jesus is able to save completely those who come to God through him because he always lives to intercede for them. Jesus gave his life for you so that you can have life to the fullest.  He cares about your hurts, your pain, your injustice, your addictions and anything that seeks to bring you down.  He left us his peace so that we can have joy no matter what trial we have because we know that Christ is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to his power that is at work within us.

 

This world is not our home and Jesus has promised to go and prepare a place for us.  Nothing you have done can stand in the way of Christ’s forgiveness and mercy if you call on him.  For now, there will be problems and disasters on this earth, but we have the hope that God will one day wipe away every tear and bring us to eternal life with him. 

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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