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 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” Hebrews 11:1

It has been said that the peace of God rests where the peace of God reigns.  If you are living a life of wavering faith in the power of Christ to help you, you are selling out your joy to the lie of the enemy. You are believing that your problem is bigger than your God.

The question remains that if Christ just saved us from the flames of hell, then where is the abundant life that he promises to those who put their trust in him?

The truth is that all things in the life of a believer have been ordained and purposed long before the foundation of the world. God is not surprised by the battles that we may face.  Christ who calmed the raging sea with just a word can certainly speak peace into your troubled life. He is the Maker of all things new. He is the Restorer of life and the Giver of all things good. He knows what you need and when you need it and for that reason you can have rest in times of trial. When you surrender all of your fears to God, you are allowing him to take over and work things out according to his perfect plan. Your weakness is overcome by his strength.

Too often we want to have total control of our situation and have it done our way. We want to be assured that the outcome will happen the way we want and in our timing.  That, however, is not how God works.

In Judges, Chapter 7 of the Old Testament, we read that Gideon was to lead the Israelites in battle against the Midianites. But God wanted his people to trust that he alone was the one who would give them  the victory. He allowed only 300 men to go with Gideon and fight the large army of the Midianites. Even though the enemy was bigger, Gideon’s men carried no weapons! He put trumpets into the hands of all of them and empty jars with torches insides the jars. Imagine having to trust that God could give them the victory with only a few men who had no weapons. Yet God was with them. When Gideon gave the order, the men, stationed on all sides of the camp, blew the trumpets and smashed the jars that were in their hands.  They cried out, “A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!”  And with that, the enemy fled in great fear. That is the power of God who can use your faith to destroy all that comes against you.

I don’t know what you are dealing with in your life, I only know that our God is bigger.  It may seem like your situation is impossible and that you have no way out, but God is not limited by any limits or boundaries. He sees the beginning and end of your life at this moment and all things have been worked out. He allows you to endure trials so that he can reveal more of himself to you. As painful as it may be at the time, you are sharing in Christ’s sufferings that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.( 1 Peter 4:13)

This life is just a vapor. Keep your focus on the prize for which you were called. Don’t give up when all the strength you need to stay in the race is yours in Christ. He isn’t going to fail you.  You can’t lose.

My dear friends, you would have no fears in life if you only understood how much God loves you. He created you for a purpose and your weakness does not stop his plan. He knows how to get you from where you are to where he is. He understands your trouble. His eyes are always on you. If you are struggling to believe that he cares for you in the situation that you are in, I pray you will seek Christ out in Scripture.  He will strengthen you and give you hope as he speaks to you through his word. Whatever you are going through now can’t destroy you despite how bad it seems. Even the sting of  death has been destroyed.  Take joy and remember that Christ has overcome the world. He will help you.

If you are here reading this now, please know that I am praying for you. This message was given by God for you. You are not alone.

light through the tunnel

Of what value is faith that has not been tested?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May God’s wisdom and  peace be with Israel and her leaders.

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.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18

God has taken me through many struggles and trials that have come against me on every side.  Every time I feared the worst, God has shown up and brought me to safety. I believe  that is true in some aspect for everyone.  So why is it  when a storm cloud looms overhead that we forget the power of God?  Why do we cower in fear when a painful situation is out of our control?  The truth is that there is no battle we face that Christ has not overcome for us.   In our desert time of need, there will always be  Living Water of hope for those who believe.  The promises of God will never fail!  Christ covered the cost for victory in every single conflict we endure. His merciful, loving, immeasurable grace is sufficient.

In a world that is pouring out lies and perverting the laws of God, it brings us rest to join with other believers who will run with us in the race that was set for us.  One such friend is Rev. Bill York whose blog, concernedx2, is one of my favorites.  We both agree that we are living in the ending days and that our blessed Savior is coming soon. I want to share with you the  poem below he wrote  that speaks to my heart:

                                                                                                                                   FAINT TRACES OF GRACE

While only a child, I looked through the pages
Of books written down, compiled through the ages
This is the way, by Mom I was told
We have a good record of heroes of old

I discovered an old book, so ragged and worn
The pages were dog-eared, so tattered and torn
Among my great writings it could not abide
With theologians and scholars, I tossed it aside

The years passed so swiftly and now I am old
I opened the old book of long, long ago
There on crumpled pages I learned about life
I learned about hope and I learned about strife

When no trace of goodness in me could be found
I learned of my fate, to where I was bound
Then I learned about love and I learned about grace
I discovered a hero who had died in my place

Faint traces of grace upon me have fallen
My hope is secure, I’ve heeded the calling
I bow at his feet, I look on his face
Reflecting in me, faint traces of grace

by Rev. Bill York  

 The words of this poem remind me that despite our struggles and pain, we always have a future if our trust is in Jesus and the work of the cross.  There is nothing that can bind you or keep you down when the strength of Christ is with you.  His grace is all you will ever need.  Those who live in fear and strife do not have an understanding of grace.  It is not about performing or being right and good enough for God.  It is coming just as you are  to the throne of mercy and surrendering your utter weakness and depravity to Christ who offers you a future with promise.  Who are we that the grace of God should abound when we are at our lowest point?  And yet Jesus, who knew us before the foundation of the earth, has deemed us to be co-heirs of his kingdom and  to receive all that is good despite our unworthiness!  If the enormity of that grace could set into our finite minds, we would be  forever on our face in total shame for our sin. 

I know that many of you may be dealing with a trial in your life that is difficult and causing you to falter in your faith.  My prayer is that you look beyond your pain and focus on your God whose eyes are on you now. Be in peace, dear friends.   Always and in all things, faint traces of grace will carry you through the unfailing promises of God for your life.

 

                I HAVE COME THAT THEY MAY HAVE LIFE, AND HAVE IT ABUNDANTLY

( John 10:10)

We were all born sinners in a lost and perishing world. Our rebellion made us enemies of God and the price was eternal separation from him. Yet despite our weaknesses, the bible tells us: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal love” (John 3:16) That is love beyond measure! Christ left the splendor of heaven to walk among us and give us hope for a life with him. The night that Christ was born, we read in Luke 2:8-11 :

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”

What an awesome message to receive! Imagine being in that lonely field and seeing the the glory of God shining all around. Shepherds were considered low class, they were not trusted as witnesses in a court of law, and they weren’t well educated. They lived and worked outdoors, they typically were not able to keep the ceremonial law the way the priests did in the city. As a result, they had a reputation for being unclean. Yet God deemed them the perfect ones for him to witness the birth of the Savior of this world.

Christ became flesh to walk with his creation. He came to bring hope and joy despite the fact that there are many troubles in this world. His birth was the greatest gift that this world has ever known. Jesus came to defeat death and bring new life. He came to shine  a light in a dark world. And he came to show profound, amazing love to a world that would reject him.

There is nothing else that we need in this life for Jesus brought us the free gift of salvation and friendship with God. We no longer have to be imprisoned to sin and destruction. He offered us power over all the storms of this life and the promise of glory in heaven. Struggles and pain can no longer defeat those who accept Christ as Savior. It doesn’t matter where you are or what you have done, Jesus brought forgiveness and abundant life for all who seek him.

The enemy wants you to believe that you can live your life apart from Christ and still be okay. That is a lie from the pit of hell for you will face destruction if you reject Christ as Lord and Savior of your life. You will never have victory any way other than the path that God prepared for you before the foundation of the earth. Jesus is the only way to eternal life.

I pray that you will understand that despite what you have done, you can still have a life with promise if you start now to put your trust in Jesus. You have to want to live according to his ways and to turn from the ways that keep you in bondage. Your weakness can be made strong in Christ, and by his power you can overcome all obstacles in your life.   But time is growing short and you need to choose to live for Jesus now!

Let this Christmas be the one where you decide to live in the victory of Jesus! That will be the best gift you could ever get and it is one that will last into eternity! 

Merry Christmas to all who read this.  Whatever you are going through, your God is already there, willing and able  to help.  Please know that I am praying for you!

 Let us be thankful and so worship God acceptably  (Hebrews 12:28)

To those of you who visit this site during the holy season of peace, I wish you blessings and happiness. But, I know that it is difficult for some of you to have a spirit of joy during these holidays because you are experiencing struggles and pain in your life. It is not easy to praise God when your world is crumbling around you, but it is then that you must. All that God allows for you will always be for your best interest. I have struggled many times with my problems and yet not one of them defeated me, even when I felt I was literally drowning in a sea of trouble. The truth is that God’s purpose for allowing you to endure this pain is always to bring you higher and to have a greater knowledge of the God you serve. Believers will always find that God was with them in the midst of every storm they faced.

The Apostle Paul knew first hand that when your faith was in Christ, all things that you endured were allowed by Christ for a reason. Because of his faith, he knew that even though he was suffering in jail for witnessing to others, Jesus had a divine plan to work it out for Paul’s good and for the kingdom. Paul understood that nothing was going to happen to him apart from the will of God. Paul wrote:

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7)

God knows what you need and he is able to provide for all that is good for you. So many times you may forget how many things God has taken you through. When a trial in your life takes you down, your attitude in dealing with it depends on whether you trust that God will take you through it. Our hope is secure because God’s promises never fail. That does not stop the devil from trying to fill you mind with lies and fear. Don’t give in to them for they come from an enemy who was defeated by the cross of Christ. All things will work out in God’s way and in his timing. He is not going to let you be destroyed by the storms of this world.

Paul endured a hardship in prison but his God never left him. He knew that he would suffer for a while for the purpose that God planned but that he could not be destroyed by this time of pain – he could only be made better and stronger! That is what happens when you can give thanks in ALL things including those trials that you don’t understand why God would allow. You can give praise and thanksgiving in all things knowing without a doubt that God’s grace is the force that will take you to victory.

You may be feeling weary and overwhelmed right now because your situation may seem hopeless. That is not true. Nothing is beyond the power of God to work out. There are no impossible situations with God. He who spoke the worlds into existence and who breathed into the dust and made man has no boundaries or limitations. He can do all things and he will move heaven and earth in his perfect plan for you. You just need to trust him and put your complete faith in him.

It doesn’t matter what you have done in your life or how far you have run from God. The only thing that matters is that he wants you with him. You have tried every other way to bring happiness in your life but all you were left with was the consequence of bad decisions. Only the path that God set for you will give you peace and joy despite your struggles.

This holiday season and always, give God praise and honor for all things . Be thankful for what God has given you thus far and put your trust in the future he planned for your life long before you were born.

Dear Lord,

This season of peace and joy is also a time when many people are struggling with finances, marriages failing, health issues, sin bondages and thoughts of depression.  I am praying for all who are in pain right now.  I pray that you will make your presence known to them in a very real way. Please help them to know that you are going to be with them in their struggle and will take them to victory.  My prayer, dear Jesus, is that you will meet them where they are right now and take them to your peace.  I pray that everyone who is overwhelmed and defeated to know that your perfect plan for their life will not fail.  Most importantly, I pray that each one who visits here will know the depth of the love that you have for them.  If there are any who do not know you as Savior and LORD, I pray that you will unveil their eyes and give them the knowledge of who you are.  I pray this in the precious name of Jesus. Amen

           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!

    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!

                          Let not your heart be troubled, neither be afraid

It is way too hard to hold on in this perishing world by your own efforts.  Anyone who is trying to do so will fail.  All of our force and all of our strength comes only from our relationship with Christ who has promised to give us all that we need.  It is for that reason that we can have hope knowing that our life is being worked out by divine hands!

Struggles and storms are filling the lives of everyone.  No one is exempt from the dark skies that have filled this world.  As time grows short, the enemy has stepped up his attacks and they are brutal.  Even the strongest Christians are being tossed by the winds of trouble.  There is no air, land or sea  to go where the war for souls is not fiercely raging. The enemy is relentless.  Yet, the truth remains that there is a place of peace to rest when we are weary from the battle. That is the hiding place of Jesus Christ and in his mighty promise.

I have never witnessed such evil and darkness as I do in this present time.    Believers are experiencing testing of all kinds as they are proven to be true sons and daughters of the living God.  Jesus left us a promise that needs to be understood.  He said, “In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome the world!” (John 16:33)  Your problems are ALL being worked out in the plan that he has set for you.  Nothing you face comes as a surprise to him.  You may not understand now why he is allowing you to suffer as you do, but you must continue to trust him despite what you feel.  Every word in Scripture is utter truth and written for you to use as the power to stand against the attacks you face.  When Jesus was tempted in the desert by Satan, he did not use physical force to defeat him.  He could have turned him to ashes with just a look.  Instead, he used the powerful, unfailing word of God for which Satan had no power over!  Jesus wasn’t just proving his strength to the enemy, he was showing us that we also have that power to overcome all obstacles that stand in our way.  As bad as it now appears, the light of  Christ is still a consuming fire with power to overcome all obstacles of battle.

There are many people suffering oppressive financial problems all over this world.  The forecast is bleak as homes are foreclosed and many have to do without the basic necessities to live.  Marriages are collapsing  like dominoes as the lie of the enemy fills homes and destroys  families.  Health issues are increasing as families must deal with loved ones who have serious or terminal illnesses.  My heart breaks to watch so many fall into the trap of addictive substances and literally exist to get their next fix.  Pornography is destroying many and making slaves to those who are caught in its deadly obsession.  Not even Christians aren’t exempt from this trap.

In addition to all this, we are facing wars and threats of wars, earthquakes, severe weather conditions and pandemic diseases.  Through it all we may wonder, is Christ still sovereign when bad things are happening to good people?   Can we still trust God to get us through all of these problems?  The answer is a resounding yes!  We can still rely on God to help us no matter what is happening in this world.  He will never let the faithful in him be destroyed!

Psalm 34:19 tells us, “ A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all.”  God will not fail in his promises to us.  All circumstances of our lives have been predestined to work out for our good.  There are no conditions that Satan puts in our lives that have power enough to take from the promise that Jesus died to give us.   It may be tough  for you now, but these times will not last.  When the purpose for which they were allowed has been fulfilled than God will raise you above the waters and take you up the mountain of victory.  You can’t lose if you keep your trust in the One who paid the price for your redemption.

The point is not whether or not you can rely on Christ to take you through these turbulent times.  The truth is that you must rely on him and trust him even when all of your hope is gone.  Your trials  in this life are merely the workings of your transformation into the image of Christ.  If God can create the heavens and the earth with just a word, he surely can move the mountains that come against your marriage, finances, health and everything else that stand in the way of what God has promised for you!

Those who wait upon the LORD will never be disappointed.  God’s  promise says in Psalm 72:26, ” My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”   You may be down but you are not out.  God still has a plan for your life.  It is my prayer that those who are struggling in a trial will know that God will make a way!

                         Knowing by faith that God will not fail you 

Every problem and troubling situation believers face in this life is allowed by God  for a specific purpose.  He is working out something far greater than what appears to be happening as he guides the process of transforming you into the image of Christ.  Your faith is being sharpened as a sword to equip you for the battles of this world.  The path of victory has already been set and there is nothing that can destroy a believer who has put his faith in the cross of Jesus.  We are commanded to be anxious for nothing and no one.  But,  is that still possible when the darkness of the storm surrounds us?

The truth is that the strength to endure every painful trial is with you in Christ.  If your eyes were opened to view the spiritual battle that is raging, you would see the grand army of the living God totally surrounding and protecting you with powerful weapons far greater than those against you. Though you will still endure the attacks of the enemy, your hope of victory is secure because of the cross of Christ.  You may be feeling weary and completely overwhelmed but the bible tells us that God is close to the broken-hearted and he is near to us in our pain.   He does not abandon you when your situation is bleak.  As you lift up your fears to him in thankfulness and prayer, you allow his power to be unleashed in your life as he takes your struggle and makes it work into his perfect plan for you. God knows your weaknesses and has seen your failures yet his power is  more than enough to take you safely through.  You may be wounded but you will never be destroyed!

The Apostle Paul knew that each step of his journey was put in place by his Savior.  He learned how to wait on God for all that he needed.  He was able to be content even in suffering and persecution because he trusted in Christ.  He never thought that God forgot about him when he was without food or money.  He was willing to endure whatever it took for his purpose in Christ to be fulfilled.  The thorn in his side was not to take him down but to remind him that it was all for God’s glory. Paul expressed his trust in 2 Timothy 1:12 when he said, ” For I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that he is more than able to care for that which I give to him for this day“.  That is faith in action!

God is not late to help us even when all hope appears to be dwindling down. Even the  timing of Christ’ suffering and death on the cross was planned long before the world was formed.  It happened at the perfect, precise moment that God chose it to be.  There was no detail left undone as Jesus completed the work of redemption for a lost world. Sin and death was overcome by the cross as Jesus uttered this powerful promise saying, “It is finished!” 

Take heart, dear beloved, and know without a doubt  that your situation is not dead.  It is being worked out in the timing of God who already knows the outcome.  There is an eternal purpose for your suffering.  You are not waiting for God to show up for he already has.  You are holding on for the perfection of the plan he is now working out  in your life.

The struggles and trials you suffer are always an opportunity for God to reveal his power to you.  Each time a painful situation brings you to your knees, use that position to give glory to God!  It frustrates the devil when you do.  Never let the enemy convince you to surrender in the heat of battle for you are nowhere near being defeated.  You have been made more than a conqueror through Christ and he is not about to let you fail.

Dear Lord,  I pray that you make your promise and your hope real to those who are struggling in a painful circumstance.  Help them to know that you are with them no matter how weary they become.  Strengthen them in your will and give them your peace to hold onto the truth.  Amen

                                    

Amid the frenzy of holiday shoppers all vying for the best sales on gifts, it is apparent that the real reason for Christmas is now just a detached story from the past. The truth of why the Son of God came down from heaven to be born in a manger has become commonplace as retail stores decide to take the name of Christ out of Christmas in their advertising verbiage lest someone be offended.

 

The fact is that over 2000 years ago, God so loved this world that He sent his one and only son to this earth.  Jesus was called Immanuel or God is with us.  He chose to leave the splendor of heaven to walk on this earth to bring hope to those who have none and life to those who are perishing.  He came to suffer and die so that he might purchase our salvation and offer it as a free gift to anyone who calls on his name.  He brought light and truth and showed the way to eternal life.  His work here bought us freedom from the bondages of sin and oppression.

 

Jesus said in John 8:32 that if you hold to his teachings then “you will know the truth and the truth will set you free”.  No longer do you have to be a slave to sin and destructive behavior.  If you are a believer, you have the power to overcome all that seeks to destroy you.  John 8:36 says, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed”.  There is no power stronger than that of Jesus Christ who died for us and was resurrected.  He is alive and his power and strength are there for you if you put your trust in him.  There is nothing that can defeat a child of the living God.  Nothing can overcome you or destroy you for your redemption was made at the cross.  You may stumble as the storms in this life come against you, but you will only fall into the hands of the Savior who has promised never to leave you.  Painful trials can only strengthen and refine you in the race that God has set for you.  They will always be used for your good for there is power in all that God allows in your life.  You do not need to understand the reason; you just need to trust that “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”(Philippians 1:6)

 

You must always remember that the God who created you did so with great love.  He knew in advance what your failures and weaknesses would be.  He knew how you would sin and rebel against him.  He knew that you would defy him. Yet there is absolutely nothing you could do that would ever stop his love for you.  It was this love that sent Jesus to this earth to humbly be born in a stable.  And it was love that made Jesus die so that we may live.

 

We may not be able to stop those who attempt to take Christ out of Christmas, but by God’s own promise, they will never be able to take the love out of Christ! 

                         The still, quiet voice of God will lead you

 

 

Believing that God can take you safely through all of the storms of this life can be difficult.God’s timing doesn’t always line up with our way of doing things and it may seem that we are alone in our battles.  Life can be tough, but God’s word says that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Our prayers in difficult times unleash the limitless power of God, who is the only one who can make things right and restore us to wholeness.  Believers have access to the Throne of God to present their request and the God who hears you will answer you and give you his peace. He knows how to rescue his people from trials.   

 

The still, quiet voice of the Lord is a strength that can be trusted.  In 1 Kings 19:11, the prophet Elijah was told to go out and stand on the mountain, for the glory of the Lord was about to pass by.  After Elijah reached the height of the mountain, a powerful wind tore the mountain apart and shattered the rocks; and after the wind there was an earthquake and then a fire, but the Lord was not in any of these things.  The Lord actually came to Elijah in a gentle whisper.  This is true for us today.

 

There may be times that you feel drawn by God to a position in life only to have your dreams appear to crumble. You felt sure that God was leading you in a certain area but now that situation has become difficult and you begin to doubt if you heard from God at all.  The truth in this matter is that if you want to avoid the valleys in life and just experience the mountaintop, you had better be ready for the high winds and earthquakes of life that can attempt to take you down.  There are many struggles we face in our lives, but if we can trust the still, quiet voice of God who never leaves us, there is nothing that will be able to defeat us or take us from the place that God has brought us.  Christ is the fulfillment of all that we hope for and there is always hope because he directs our steps.  Any dream or desire that he has placed in your heart, he will make a way! One thing we must remember is that God never changes.  It was God who parted the Red Sea to help save the Israelites and he has the same power to part the river of your tears that seeks to pull you under.  You may feel that you are drowning in your own tears but God has the power to give you the victory no matter what you are going through.

 

Whatever you face in this life, you will never be alone and God has promised you glory if you run the race he has set for you.  It is not always easy, but the prize of being in eternity with Christ is worth it!  You must always remember that there is no power that can defeat the Sovereign God who is over all things. 

 

Ephesians 5:15-16 says, “Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil”.  Be wise and take the opportunity to read your bible each day and give to God more time in prayer.  Put your trust in Christ who has already paid the ultimate price for you.

 

The battle in life is not to be feared for God has already made you more than a conqueror through his son, Jesus.  You now have his power, his strength and most importantly, his love that will keep you from ever being destroyed.  This is the truth that Jesus died to give you.  Take heart, for he is with you today!

                                                 KEEPING HOPE ALIVE

 

 

Keeping your hope alive in the midst of your struggles and fears can be difficult.  Although Christ has promised us that he would never leave us but would always take us through our problems, the strength to stay in faith when the storms of life come upon us can seem impossible.

 

The truth is that Jesus did not die just to give you eternal life in heaven.  He died so that you might have an abundant, joy-filled life right here on earth.  He who knew your name before the foundation of the earth is able to heal your pain and ease the heartache that you may be going through.  There is nothing that comes upon you that that can destroy your life if you have put your trust in the risen Savior.  Jesus is not just waiting for us in heaven.  He is here with us now in all that we do.  His power and strength is the force sufficient enough to demolish any stronghold that seeks to defeat you. 

 

Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid”.   Those are life changing words!  He is speaking with all the power of God when he tells us that we do not have to fear any problem or impossible situation.  Jesus will not only take us through our problems, he will give us the peace that we need to stay trusting while we are in the battle.  The peace Jesus speaks of is the truth that sets you free.  It is the irrevocable promise of God that you can still have hope despite your trial because nothing can destroy his purpose and plan for you.  He is ready to shine a light to guide you on the path he has set for you.  Jesus is your friend, your counselor and an ever-present help in all things.  There is nothing too strong or too impossible for him to do for you because he alone is the source of all power. 

 

Throughout the scriptures, we read of how God would make a way in impossible situations to help his people.  There is nothing that can change the course of victory for those whom he has redeemed.   In Exodus, we learn that God did not lead the Israelites around the Red Sea but rather he brought them to the Red Sea that they might understand his power as he parted the waters for them to cross safely to the other side. 

 

The victories written in scripture are here for us today.  God is willing to part the deep waters of trouble and pain that is in your life and bring you through safely to the other side.  Impossible situations are no match for the power of the risen Christ who defeated darkness and death and bought for you eternal life.

 

Whatever painful situation you may be experiencing at this time, take heart and remember that Jesus is with you.  The hope that he gives you is not just a desire, it is a promise.  It is my prayer that God will help you to understand this truth.

   

 

 

 

                                              Promises of Christ

 

All things in this earth will pass away and only the kingdom of God will endure forever.  Each day of your life you have to decide if you will serve the temporary pleasures of this fallen world or store up riches in the never ending kingdom of heaven that is to come.

 

Those who endure until the end will receive the unspeakable reward which Christ has prepared for those who love him.  We are given only a glimpse in Scripture of what it will be like to be in the presence of God in heaven forever because our finite minds could not possibly comprehend the magnificent beauty that awaits believers.

 

For now on this earth, we must face the battles that each day holds as we continue to trust in the unfailing strength of our God who provides all that we need.  We serve a God who alone has the power to turn a curse in our life into a blessing (Deuteronomy 23:5).  No stronghold has power over your life as a believer but what you give it. You only grow weary in the battle when you empower your situation instead of magnifying your God who has the power to crush all of your enemies. You can believe the lie that says your situation is hopeless, or you can walk in the truth that says by faith you can literally move mountains.

 

No struggle or trial is beyond the strength of the Creator who spoke all things into existence.  He who breathed life into your body can assuredly breathe new life into your broken dreams and restore what the enemy took from you. Your situation can never separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus.  Have no fear when it seems like the ground all around you is crumbling.  You are not standing on the sinking sand of this earth but on the promises of Christ who will hold you and keep you standing while those around you are perishing. 

 

Every believer is given a future with promise and a plan to succeed in all that God has called you to do.  You cannot be robbed of your inheritance as a child of the King of Kings.  Jesus came to this earth to die for us so that we might have eternal life with him in heaven.  Your weaknesses and failures cannot stop the promise of God who reconciled us to himself in Christ not counting men’s sins against them   Through Christ, we have become the righteousness of God.  God’s word tells us in 1 Cor. 6: 11, ”But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God”.  We were made clean and right standing not by anything that we could do, but only by what Jesus did for us on the cross.  He paid the price that gave us victory over death and set us free from the bondages of this world. We only need to believe that Jesus alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life. 

 

If you are unsure of your future and want assurance of eternity with God in heaven, now is the time to call upon the name of Jesus and ask him to reveal himself to you in a personal way.  He is only a prayer away and his great love for you will do the rest. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the course of our day, we go through a series of choices.  What time to get up, where to go and what to eat are just some of them.  But the most important choice we make each day is whose voice will we listen to?

 

In the bible, God says in Deuteronomy 30:19  “ I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.  Now choose life”.  That is a decision you alone must make. The enemy comes around like a roaring lion seeking to destroy you.  If you allow Satan to have a foothold in your life, you are allowing the thief entry to steal your joy.

 

Jesus said in John 10:10, “I have come that you may have life, and have it abundantly”.  Jesus never promised that we would not have problems. He promised that despite our struggles, he would still be able to give us peace and joy in the midst of them and to those who endure, blessings for having gone through them.  There is not a circumstance in your life that Christ cannot turn and use for your good.  It doesn’t matter what pain, addiction, illness, financial problem or relationship heartache that you are going through, the power of Christ can and will take you through it. 

 

The enemy wants you to believe that your situation is hopeless and there is nothing that can help you.  The truth that sets you free is the knowledge that God has a perfect plan for you life.  Those who have put their faith in the shed blood of Jesus need to know that the enemy has no power over your life.  The trials you face are only the winds that God allows as you sail toward the reward he has for you in eternity. 

 

What Satan sends to harm you cannot crush you.  A child of God can never be defeated!  Satan already knows this so his job is to try and convince you that you that your battle cannot be won and that no one cares.  That is a lie from the father of lies.  Remember that it was God who sent his only Son to save us so that none should perish.  It was God who loved us before we first loved him and who works all things out for our good. And it is God, through his Son Jesus, who will never leave us alone but has promised believers an inheritance in eternity.  The only promise the enemy can fulfill is one of pain and despair.  He has no other power. 

 

Each day begins as a gift from God.  You have a choice to walk in the light of truth which comes from the word of God.  It is a life full of promise and joy in the midst of your problems and a hope that God will fulfill his purpose for you.  Finally, it is the strength to turn from the voice of the enemy who seeks to destroy you and to live the life that Christ has already won for you.   The victory is yours. Choose life!

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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