“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away, blessed be the name of the LORD. (Job 1:21)

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You can have victory in your life despite the struggles that you face when you  understand that God is working all things out for your good and his purpose for your life.  Too many times we feel that God is unaware or unconcerned with our painful trials but nothing could be further from the truth.  He has a divine eternal reason for each and every thing that you endure.  He has a timing for it all and if you belong to Christ, it is all part of the perfect plan.

Understandably, it is easier to trust God when things are going well.  How much more difficult is it to believe as God allows unfair trials of every kind to happen when he has the power to stop them.  How can he look down on the suffering of his people as seemingly he remains silent.  But is that really true?

Job suffering 1We look in the Old Testament to the trials of Job.  He was a wealthy man with a wife, children and servants. He honored God with all he had and held nothing back from him.  Yet God allowed Satan to attack Job and take his children, his wealth, his servants and his own health.  Job was reduced to a painful existence living outside of his home since he was deemed unclean because of the infestation of boils that was afflicting his whole body.  His own wife told him to ” Curse your God and die”.  What did Job say to her remark?  He answered, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”(Job 2:10)

That is a questions we all need to ask ourselves.  Is it okay with us to take the good from God and then turn away from him in times of trouble?  Does God owe us anything?  It is by his grace, unmerited favor, that we receive all the good that we have.  We are in his hands and he has determined the best way to get us from where we are to where he is.  He does not look away from us for a second.  We always have hope in the midst of the darkest storms because Christ lives to intercede for us.  He commands his angels to guard our path and guide our steps.  We are not left to fend for ourselves when darkness comes. With Christ, we have all the hope and peace needed to get through the pain as God works through it to reveal more of himself to us. No battle is too big for him because he has authority over everything.  The outcome is always in his hands and his will.

When you grow in faith, you get to a place of victory in your life because you know that  you do not have to understand God’s ways in order to trust that he always is working for your best interest. For that reason, you are able to have joy through  the many troubles in this world because Christ has overcome the world and your enemies have been rendered powerless to destroy your future.  Just because you can’t see how God is working in your life through your trials does not mean that he is doing nothing. Heaven and earth are being moved by a faithful God who has already determined the outcome of your situation.

Your pain grieves the heart of God but we are living in a perishing world and believers are being transformed into the image of Christ.  Let God do his work in you.  Your struggle will not last forever but the hope you have will last into eternity.  Fear and uncertainty are weapons the enemy uses to discourage you. Never let his lies steal your hope or convince you to surrender up your joy.  Nothing is impossible for the One who holds eternity in his hands.

Whatever you are going through, stay focused on the fact that God can always make a way to help you.  God gives and God takes but it all is part of the plan to give you eternal life in a Kingdom that will have no end. And because of that promise, we can praise God in every situation. Christ is coming back soon to make all things new. That is a Hope that is worth waiting for.

 

Dear Lord,

You never leave anyone alone to carry their troubles.  I pray that you will give hope to those who are overwhelmed with trouble and who feel that they have no strength to go on without your help.  I pray that you will heal the pain of those going through marriage problems and financial issues.  For those who are suffering through illness and serious health problems, I pray for a  complete healing and may you give them peace as they wait on you.  I pray for your strength to overcome for those who are dealing with addictions of every kind. 

May you provide for those who need a job.  I pray for favor and blessing on those who are struggling to keep their homes.  Bless  and heal those who are suffering from mental problems and dementia.

I pray for the persecuted all through the world.  May God give them his peace to endure.  Protect children everywhere who are hungry and sick.   I pray for Saeed Abedini and all those who are imprisoned in other nations for their faith.  May God have mercy to bring them home and give them strength to hold on.

I pray for the peace of Jerusalem and protection for Israel. May our Lord guide the hand of their leaders. I pray for America to repent and turn back to God! 

For these requests and all those not mentioned, may the power of Christ and  his love provide for our needs. Amen

 But mark this:  There will be terrible times in the last days. (2 Timothy 3:1)

A very good friend and fellow blogger, Dr.Lyle Rapacki, wrote this absolutely powerful message on surrendering your life to God and not to the things of this world.  So often we get caught up in our own struggles and try to work them out as the world does. That will never bring you peace. This world is perishing.  It has become a place of darkness and destruction.  The hearts of most have grown cold and lawlessness abounds.

The good news is that Christ is getting ready to return to make all things new.  Is your heart ready to meet him? I pray that you will take the time to read this message by Lyle and let it help to give you understanding and hope to know that Christ is with you to the end of time.

Written by Lyle Rapacki  from The Olive Branch Report,

Love-God-HeartI just finished a radio interview with Pastor James David Manning on the Manning Report.  If you have not listened to the Manning Report – you should!  I have been privileged to spend time with Pastor Manning and his gracious wife, Elizabeth, in their Harlem/New York City home.  I have been equally blessed to be a guest multiple times on his engaging radio program.  Today’s radio interview was focused on my previous article “America’s Middle Class is Crumbling.”  Pastor Manning asked a pointed question (he often does) as to why I think the people are silent about it all?  This question caused me to jump in my seat as I attempted to share some thoughts on the subject (I was excited at the offer) but I also sensed the Ru-ach-Ha-K0desh (Holy Spirit) quickened me to share even more than time on the show permitted.  

The Emissary Sha-’ul (Apostle Paul) instructed his disciple (student) Timothy: “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).

WOW!  A lot packed into that scripture.  One key element strongly suggests that the last days people will not be a people who do not know God; just the opposite!  These will be people who claim to know God, practice a form of godliness, but will deny the power of God if you look close at their lives.  They will be religious people – you know; go to church, sing in the choir, direct the bake sale, yard sale, youth pavilion, candle and flower committee, and the all important church clean-up crew, with a little time left over for the prayer team.   But the Apostle is sounding an alarm that these folks have a form, an image of godliness but clearly their heart is not right with the Lord or the walk He wants for them.  Their heart has not surrendered to God, they are not walking in submission (cooperation) to His Word or His Son’s teachings and examples; therefore, while their public posture may look good the inner man, their true character, is loving this world and the things of this world – especially money and the material dimension.  Think on this…money is God’s greatest rival.  Money tangibly represents power, security, prestige, control over our own affairs, dominance.  Fellowship with Yeshua (Jesus) signifies intimacy, love, sacrifice, and seeking God’s character for your life; which, in part, means thinking of others, giving away rather than gathering, loving by example and giving joyfully to watch others celebrate as they receive.  The form of truly following God is measured by your love for others, your love for God’s Son Yeshua (Jesus), your love for His Word, and the natural instinct of loving is to give.  The instinct of materialism is gathering, accumulating, hoarding, guarding, value as the world values – SELF!

The power and political Elites of this world are in the process of collapsing this world into a Satanic driven One-World economy, government, and religion.  Read my previous article “America’s Middle Class is Crumbling” here at The Olive Branch Report, and see some of the numbers I site to demonstrate how the economy is slipping into chaos and total collapse.  Do not be deceived by the media propagandists and lying government officials who have a stake in the unfolding New-World Order.  We are on the verge of a very calculated and full economic collapse, and what transpires in Washington, D.C. on a daily basis is but Kabuki Theater to keep us entertained and dumb to the reality setting in all around us.  We are living in the looming shadow of biblically predicted catastrophic events, but the predominant majority of the church are asleep or, like the Apostle Paul wrote: “having a form of godliness but denying its power.”  WAKE UP church…come out of your diabolically induced slumber. “Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:6).  

If we are truly followers of Yeshua Ma-shi-ach (Jesus the Messiah) then don’t live for your possessions.  Let your possessions do good; be ready to give, willing to share. What riches have been granted to you are given so God can bless others through you.  As I wrote in my previous article, financial crisis allow us to come to new levels of deeper faith, causing us to become dependent on God and His provision, rather than our own abilities, our own strengths.  God’s Word teaches that the last days will also cause a preoccupation with money and materialism, and that greed will abound causing even more conflict among men and among nations.  I am beseeching you while there is still a little time, seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all else will be added to you according to His riches.  Jesus taught to study the birds and flowers, for the God who cares for them will care for you (Matthew 6:25-34).  The Emissary Sha-’ul (Apostle Paul) taught, “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).  David of Psalms learned through experience, “the Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want” (Psalm 23).  

We cannot stop the coming New-World Order with all of its’ calamity, destruction, and evilness.  We can, however, rise-up in opposition to the spiritual roots feeding the New-World Order and accompanying tyrannical government, humanistic and satanic worship and religion, and unmitigated greed.  We can stand and be a blessing in the midst of the storm.  We can stand and be a light to the otherwise darkness that will permeate the world; to show others what the true light of the Gospel looks like.  We can demonstrate true righteousness, not merely the form thereof; true faith in God’s Word by applying it, and love for others by sharing the blessings the Lord chooses to provide us as a means to bless others.  Begin today…look around and ask the Lord for the opportunity to grow in your faith by quietly helping another who may need a bill paid, four bags full of groceries, a tank of gas, an oil change, utilities paid…and the list can go on.  Try this, and then go to church and sing in the choir, help with the bake sale, or the youth, or better yet, to the prayer team for now you will truly have something in which to bow your head and close your eyes. 

This world is perishing but God still holds your future!

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We are living in times of evil.  The hearts of most have grown cold and trouble abounds everywhere.  Marriages are disintegrating before our eyes and homes are broken leaving only pain and confusion in it’s place.  Children are being sold down the river with lies from hell being taught in the very schools we support with our taxes.  There is no creation, everything just evolved from nothing.  Homosexuality has become a choice that you better agree with or face the consequences for your intolerance.  Sometimes that consequence may include imprisonment for your belief that homosexuality is an abomination to God, the Creator of mankind! His design for a man and a woman doesn’t fit in with the will of the people who clamor for their “right” to do as they please even when it includes redefining marriage! God is homophobic it has been said.  Imagine the audacity of the created to shake their fist at the Creator and tell him to get lost!

Abortion is another choice.  It is my body, right?  Well how about the innocent child whose only crime was to be conceived by  selfish, irresponsible people who have deemed that this child does not fit in with their agenda.  The fetus is just a clump of unformed cells, you might say.  The truth is that at the point of impact of the sperm and the egg, all the DNA that the child will ever have is now present! The hair color, the eye color the sex of the child are set at that point.  God told Jeremiah in Chapter 1 that, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.”  That wasn’t just a statement for Jeremiah. That is a truth for all those conceived in the womb.  We have decided now that God cannot tell us to keep a child we don’t want.  And as evil as that is, there are children who live through the abortion only to be killed off or left to die!  In  the Old Testament, Gehenna was a valley by Jerusalem, where apostate Israelites and followers of various Baalim and Caananite gods, including Moloch, sacrificed their children by fire.  That evil practice of sacrificing their children to the false god, Moloch, is no worse than ripping a child from its mothers womb during an abortion!  That is a fact whether you like it or not.

As nation rises against nation and famines, earthquakes and wars increase, the enemy is spewing hate and lies to make people think that God does not care or else that God is dead!  I assure you by the holy word of God that Christ is alive and making ready his plans to return in judgment and to make all things new.  Whether you bid him to come or not, He is coming back!

No matter what struggle you are facing, remember that if you belong to Christ, it is all working his purpose and his plan for your victory.  It might not seem like it but God has promised to withhold no good from those who love him.  Let your heartache and pain work out that for which God has allowed it in your life.  He is not uncaring in all that you endure.  This world is not heaven.  One day you will see the reason for your struggle.  You will also know that God was with you every step of every day.  His eyes never left you. He grieves with you in your pain but he sees the end result of your suffering.  He knows you intimately.  He will not fail you.  Never surrender up your heritage in the Kingdom of God to a defeated enemy of hell.  Christ put all your enemies beneath his feet. He rendered them powerless to defeat you.  The devil himself knows that.  It is my prayer that you will understand it, too.

Please watch the trailer of the movie God’s Not Dead. It will be coming out this spring and we all need to support such an awesome movie.  Keep the truth in your heart and hold on.  This world is perishing but God still holds your future!

My prayer is for all who come to this site.  May you know that the peace of Christ is yours for the asking.  There is nothing he cannot or will not do to help his people.  Your strength may wane but the power of God is always greater than your biggest storm.  He is with you right now.  No matter what you are facing, he will take you through. 

If anyone needs prayer, please know that I am here to pray with you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Jesus,

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

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

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

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

storm

If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night“.

(Psalm 139:11)

These days of evil are growing worse as the light of truth is nowhere to be found.  So many people are caught up in the deception as they become lovers of themselves and of the gold of this world.  The laws of God are disregarded by those who have given in to the lies.  Sin has been dressed up and labeled as choice and tolerance.  Abominable acts are not only accepted by this generation, they are now encouraged.  And darkness swallows the truth!

As most continue on the wide path to destruction, those who work to stay in the race for the Kingdom of Christ are finding themselves suffering trials and heartache.  It is difficult  to understand.

We are living in ending times, dear friends.  God is allowing believers to be shaken beyond their own strength to find out who truly belongs to him.  The days of trouble are bringing to light those who truly belong to Christ.  It is for that reason that you must stand your ground and let God do his work of refining you for an eternal kingdom.

In 2 Corinthians, Chapter 1, we read that Paul suffered through depression as he was spreading the gospel of Christ.  He said in verse 8-9, “For we do not want you to be unaware brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia.  For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.”  Even the apostle Paul had to suffer for Christ to the point of wanting to give up and die.  How much more are we struggling in the end times as Christ is coming quickly to take us from this wicked earth?  Without a doubt the enemy has stepped up his game as he initiates attacks from all sides upon believers who are shining the light of the kingdom to the lost.

in darknessWe should not be surprised that we are facing trials of every kind. While the enemy wants to destroy us with his lies and deception, we are being proven to be soldiers of worth in the army of the living God.  In the book of James, the disciple tells us that the testing of our faith produces a steadfastness which God is perfecting in us so that we will lack nothing of value.  Have no doubt that God’s angels are surrounding you at this moment.  They are ministering to you in your  heartache and strengthening you in your fears.  They have been given orders from the Throne of God to guard your pathway to him.  You cannot be defeated.

As the earth gives way to the enemy’s lies, we suffer through financial problems, sickness and disease, marriages failing,  addictions and all forms of bondage as danger lurks on every corner.  We cannot escape the battle launched by the spiritual forces of darkness; however, believers are guaranteed victory through it all.

Those who don’t give in to the deception of this world have hope that eternity with God will be a reward that will last forever.  Don’t allow your painful trials to make you take your focus from the truth.  You need to understand that your purpose in God’s plan has been set before the world ever began.  You cannot be shifted in your position by the slings and arrows of the enemy.  You will never be taken down!  Surrender your weariness to the One who always has a way to give you hope through your problems.  He can lift you above them all until and hold onto you until he has filled you with his peace.

The darkness is quickly filling up this earth, my friends.  The deceiver is leading a  brutal attack against believers.  He wants you to forget that your destiny has been sealed by the blood of Christ!  Stay strong and don’t lose sight of the blessed Hope which never fails.  Pick up your shield and let the armor of God be your protection.  Nothing of value can ever be taken from you in this perishing world.  You have been guaranteed a royal future.  The book of life has your name in it!  What can flesh do to you?

Take heart, dear friends. This message is for you as well as me.  It is the truth from God’s word that he will always be with us in everything and through all the storms we face. We are never alone.  We are being sifted like wheat by the enemy but Christ is with us so that we will not fail.  No matter what you are going through, it is being seen by the eyes of heaven.  You are not alone and never without hope.

                                Dear Jesus,

Jesus loves youI pray for all who need to hear this message. I lift up all who come to this site.  May they understand that you care about what they are going through and that you have a plan to help them even if they can’t see it now.  May you bring them peace and strength to endure.  May you help them to know without a doubt that you are working out the perfect plan for their lives that cannot fail.  I pray for those who are facing struggles and who feel like they are alone.  Please draw near to them, dear Jesus, and comfort them so that they can feel your Presence with them.  Shine your light in this dark world and let your people know that you will soon be with them.

I pray for Israel and her people.  May you bring her leaders the wisdom needed in this time of deception.  Protect Israel, the apple of your eye, from the evil of her enemies.  I pray that the eyes of the Jewish people will be open to the truth of Christ as their Messiah.

May you help our persecuted brothers and sisters who are suffering for their faith.  Bring them peace through their pain and help them to stay strong and shine the light of your love.  Help them and the families of those who are imprisoned for their faith in you.   I pray for Pastor Saeed, imprisoned in Iran,  and all those like him to be released and brought safely back to their families.

In all things, I pray for America to turn from the lies that have filled this country.  I pray for salvation and blessings on this nation.  As you changed the hearts of the people of Nineveh and saved them from destruction,  I pray you will pierce the heart of America and let her once again be a great Christian nation. That is our only hope.

In the powerful name of Jesus, I lift up these requests.    Amen

God will make a way

Marianne Bernard:

This message is the truth of God’s promises for all that you face in this world. Never let your troubles be bigger than your God. He always has the power over them all. Jonathan Edwards says it best:

Originally posted on Already Not Yet:

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How can we really say God is sovereign over all when there is so much chaos and pain in the world?

Jonathan Edwards:

Nothing shall hinder his great design. God’s great ends will be obtained: all his ends will be obtained, and by his own means.

After all this seeming confusion and vast succession of strange and wonderful revolutions, everything shall come out right at last. There is no confusion in God’s scheme; he understands his own works and every wheel moves right in its place.

Not one mote of dust errs from the path that God has appointed it; he will bring order at last out of confusion. God doesn’t lose himself in the intricate endless moves of events that come to pass. Though men can’t see the whole scheme, God sees. The course and series of events in divine providence is like the course of a great and…

View original 36 more words

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.  I pray also for the release of Pastor Saeed, an American citizen imprisoned in Iran.

valley

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.

( Psalm 62:5)

None of us enjoy the prospect of waiting on God’s timing when we are in the midst of a painful trial.  It is so hard not to look at our impossible circumstance and still believe that God is working all things out.  It is especially difficult when the enemy uses our emotions to make us think that we have no hope and that it is out of our control.

In God’s word, we read that being out of our own control is actually a victory.  Every time God led his people to victory, he had to first render them powerless in their own might.  Job lost his children, his riches and his health but God was still able to bless the second half of his life more than the first.  Gideon’s army of 32,000 was reduced to just 300  men who had no weapons, yet with God’s power they were able to take down the Midian army and make them flee. King Hezekiah was no match for the vast Assyrian army who was coming against the Israelites. However, during the night, the angel of the Lord went through the enemy’s camp and struck down 185,000 Midianites.  The Israelites rose the next morning to find that the entire army was defeated by the hand of God.  Remember that the outcome of every battle you face is always victory when you are in Christ!

You will still have enemies to fight in this perishing world but they have no power to destroy you. All they will do is reveal that you have been declared a conqueror through the power of your God.  Because of what Christ has done for us, you have reason for hope knowing that your future is established in heaven.

boat-stormWhen Peter saw Christ walking on the water,  he spoke out, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” ( Matthew 14:28) Jesus told him to come, and Peter got out and began walking on top of the water.  Yet when he saw the wind, he was afraid and began to sink.   What made Peter afraid?  The same wind and waves were there when he got out of the boat.  Somehow, as he walked on the water toward Christ, Peter took his eyes from him.  As the wind blew and waves rose, Peter stopped believing that Christ alone  could keep him safe on the water and started to think that he needed to do something to stay up there, too.   Once you believe that Christ is not enough for your impossible situation, you begin to sink.  You look to your own power and strength to overcome your struggle and it will never be enough.  It is only in surrendering completely your weakness that you gain Christ’s strength!  Your faith is revealed when you trust that you do not have to see the answer to your prayer to know that it is before the throne of God and under his authority.

Victory over all of your trials comes when you can trust that God’s timing is right and that his will is perfect. Peace comes from knowing that God will never fail you no matter how impossible your situation seems.  He takes no pleasure in having you wait but each one of your struggles is a divine appointment with a merciful God who wants to reveal more of himself to you.  The testing of your faith produces a steadfastness that will have its complete effect that you may be perfect, complete and lacking in nothing. ( James 1:4)  There is a purpose for your pain.  It is working out a greater good.  It is preparing you to be royalty, reigning with Christ in a kingdom that will never end.  Though the days grow dark and filled with evil, believers have nothing to fear for their future is one of power.

We are told in Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the LORD with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding,”  “Although God’s ways may be hard to figure out, remember that he took you this far and he is more than able to get you to the finish line!

Don’t let your heart be troubled by the problems of this world.  Christ is coming back soon to make all things new.  Keep your eyes on Christ and focus on what is true and right.  The lies of the enemy have no power to steal your joy so don’t willingly give it up to him.  Hold on to the heritage that you have because of what Christ sacrificed for us.  Stand strong to the end knowing that God’s plan for you will work out not only for today but for ten thousand years down the way when you shall still find ways to praise him for all he has done.  God’s faithfulness will never end.

Dear Lord Jesus,   I pray that you bless those who have come to this site.  Some are carrying heavy burdens that are weighing them down making them weary.  I pray that you will lift them from the pain that is holding them down.  Show them that your purpose shall work out for their good.  I pray that you will bring peace to those who are anxious and uncertain. They wonder if you truly care.  Please draw near to them and comfort them in the midst of their struggles.

I pray for any who are dealing with serious health problems.  May they know that there will be a time for it to end soon. My you provide for those who are experiencing financial problems of every kind.  I pray that they know you are more than enough to meet their every need.  May you bless those who are suffering  persecution for their faith.  I pray at this time for Pastor Saeed who is an American citizen imprisoned in an Iranian prison for eight years.  May you comfort him and his family.   I lift up Israel and pray for her protection and blessing.  May you turn back all those who come against Israel.  I pray for the salvation of the lost all through this world.  Open their eyes to truth and bring them to a knowledge of salvation through Jesus Christ alone.  Amen

Looking at horizon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Lord,

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

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

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

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

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

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           “And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people…and I have come down to deliver them..(Exodus.3:7-8)

shoveling snowBoo in snowpathway for dogs

The snow was accumulating here in Ohio and that meant I had to get out and start shoveling it –  and  I don’t mean just my sidewalk and drive.  In order for my 3 dogs to get out into the backyard, I had to shovel pathways in my grass!  That is backbreaking work so you know I have to love them to do it.  But then,  that is a choice I make to keep them happy.

Our lives are a series of priorities. We choose what we will do and what we are unwilling to do. You usually put your best efforts doing what is important to you.  As this year comes to a close, you may reflect about all that has touched your life and how it made a difference.  Some things were good and maybe some of it was not so good. You may have gone through a  trial that still is giving you pain. You can choose to allow your problems to keep your down or you can surrender them to Christ and allow him to work them out for your good.  In this life filled with trouble, the only way to have true joy in your life is by understanding that you are here for God’s purpose and plan and that he alone holds your future.

Without a doubt, the days are filled with darkness and there is evil all around us.  The Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Thess. 2:9-10 that, “The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved”. My friends, we are witnessing the signs that Christ is getting ready to return.  To those who have put their trust in him, there is nothing to fear in this perishing world.  You just need to keep your eyes on him and know that he is with you.  The redeemed of Christ can never be destroyed.  We have the assurance of a lasting peace and joy that will never end.

Those who are struggling and trying to carry their own burdens, I pray that you will not let another day go by without asking Christ to come into your heart.  He is the answer to every problem and heartache you face and he has a way to bring you joy in the midst of every conflict. Religion can’t save you. Only a relationship with Christ can give you eternal life.  In John 11:25, Jesus said, ” I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.”   Jesus is the only way! ” There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. “(Acts 4:12)  Jesus has broken every bondage and chain that keeps you from having victory over all that comes against you. 

The man of God, D.L. Moody wrote, “There isn’t an evil within or without but what He will deliver us from if we let Him. That is what He wants to do. As God said to Moses, “I have come down to deliver.”  If He could deliver three million slaves from the hands of the mightiest monarch on earth, don’t you think He can deliver us from every besetting sin, and give us complete victory over ourselves, over our temper, over our dispositions, over our irritableness and peevishness and snappishness? If we want it and desire it above everything else, we can get victory.”    Without a doubt, there is nothing to hinder you from having all that God has for you if you choose to take him at his word.

I don’t know what the future holds for you or for me.  I just know one thing and that is that Christ has the plan and He is not going to fail us.  I am facing problems in my own life but they have no power to take me down or to destroy my future.  I hope you understand that God will always be sovereign and in complete authority over all that happens in your life.  It might seem like he is not with you but the truth is that in the silence of your situation, the great power of God is at work and he will bring you through it!   Never give up hope.

My love and prayers are always for those who come to this site.  May the peace of God give you joy and hope through Jesus Christ.  He has made you a victor in all the battles you face.  Stand your ground – the armies of God are with you now.

I remind believers to continue to keep Israel in your prayers.  May the hand of God continue to protect Israel.  I pray for the leaders of Israel to have knowledge and wisdom to do what is good.  May the Jewish people come to a saving knowledge of Christ.

I also pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ who live in hostile and restricted nations.  May God protect them and provide for all their needs. I pray that they will know that we are standing with them.

 

Happy New Year to all of you.  I am praying for all who come to this site.

storm approaching

I will praise you in the storm and I will lift my hands; for You are who You are, no matter where I am.

We are literally watching prophecy unfold before our eyes as the recent events with Palestine and the U.N. are setting the stage for the coming apocalyptic storm. Changes are taking place all over this world and the darkness of evil as the hearts of most have grown cold.  Is there hope for those who have put their trust in Christ or will we be destroyed along with the rest of the unbelieving world?

The blessed truth is that there is a perfect plan unfolding for those who refuse to be moved from their position in Christ.  You may feel like you are too overwhelmed to continue in the battles you face, but the power of God is always the conquering force within you in all of your struggles.  There is not a moment that your future is ever compromised by  problems in your life.   You have been given the guarantee of victory in all things.  God is working his divine, eternal destiny through every single one of them.

We read in Isaiah 40:31, “but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles.”   Those who can trust that God is still sovereign in their darkest struggle and pain shall not go unrewarded.  He will give you the power and hope you need to stay in the race and not give up.   It was by his grace that you were taken this far and he will not let you be destroyed now.   Surrender your fears and frustrations to God and let him give you his peace to endure.

As the news brings stories of wars, famines, earthquakes, and fierce storms of every kind, we rest in the knowledge that God is using it all to fulfill his plan of salvation to the very end of time.  It is a troubling time for everyone but your prayers for help are being heard by Christ who knew your name long before you were ever born.  In Daniel 9:18, Daniel lifts his voice to God saying, ” For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness but because of your great mercy.”    It is the love of God that we call upon in times of trouble.  He sees beyond our weakness and failure and is willing to help us in spite of it all.

Do not be surprised at the evil going on for we are told in God’s word that there will be a spirit of deception that will fill this earth in the ending days.  Those who belong to Christ have nothing to  be anxious over for your future is secure as God has ordained every one of your days.  Jesus told us that we would still be able to have joy despite our many problems because he has overcome the impact of every single one of them.  By his authority, all things that come against you must work into the plan that he has for your life.  You cannot lose when you belong to Christ. This world may be perishing but believers have a royal heritage that transcends the boundaries of this life.  We are being tried and tested as the refining fires are molding us into the image of Christ.

It may seem like your prayer has not been answered or that your struggle is getting worse but the God who calls out each star by name without losing one is certainly not going to lose you in any battle that you face.  You are a winner and your destiny is sealed.  Don’t let your pain weaken your faith.  There is always the hope you need to carry on for your steps are guided by the hand of God.  Lift up your eyes to the hills from whence comes your help. Hold on, dear believer!  Your God sees where you are and he will rescue you.

We are nearing the end of the race.  Christ is coming soon to bring us to our home with him.  The increase of evil is a sign that the devil is growing anxious knowing that his time is short.  God’s power and authority are unchanging.  He is still in control of everything. All things will work out according to his purpose.

My heart and prayers are with all who are going through serious problems and struggles.  You may feel like you are alone but you never will be! 

 I am humbly asking all  who visit here to remember and pray for our brothers and sisters in restricted nations who are being persecuted for their faith.  We must stand with them for they are one with us in Christ.

   Please continue to keep my friend, Rob Bohning, in prayer as he endures numerous cancer treatments.  He is in the center of a storm but his faith still holds strong.  

 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.

                       Jesus said to him,”What do you want me to do for you?”

 Sometimes it seems like Jesus will never get around to helping you out of your struggle.  You have prayed and waited but nothing seems to have changed. Does he even see your pain?  Why is it taking so long? You soon feel lost and alone in the darkness of your troubles. 

In Mark 10:46, we read about a blind man named Bartimaeus.  He lived in Jericho where all he could do was sit on the side of the road and beg for help.  But on this one day, he heard the commotion of a crowd coming by.  “What could be causing the people to be so excited?” he probably wondered.  Someone  then told him that it was Jesus of Nazareth who was heading this way.

Bartimaeus must have been overjoyed knowing that Jesus was nearby.  I can only imagine how his heart quickened and his pulse raced as hope began to fill his heart!  He had heard about this man.  Many were made whole and healed of all their diseases by his touch.  Some were set free from demons and others brought back to life.   All he knew was that he needed to get to Jesus before it was too late.  But Bartimaeus was blind and the crowd sounded large. What could he do?  He didn’t have his sight,  but he did have a voice.  He cried out with all that he had , “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”.   Many people in the crowd rebuked him, telling him to be silent.  Silent? That would never happen!  The King of kings was near.  This blind man had no intention letting a chance to be touched by the Great Physician just pass him by.  He called all the louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”  The Scripture then tells us that Jesus stopped and he said to those near to call him up.  When Bartimaeus heard this, he threw off his cloak and sprang up and came to Jesus!  Jesus asked him,” What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said, “Rabbi, let me see.”  And Jesus then told him to go his way saying ” Your faith has made you well”.  And immediately, Bartimaeus received his sight and followed him on the way.  This day had changed his life.  He not only received his sight, but he was forgiven of his sins.   All this happened because he believed that Jesus was all that he needed.

My friends, do you feel like you are in darkness as your troubles leave no light of hope?  The truth is that if you belong to Christ, he will always find a way to meet you in your struggle and draw you to himself.  He will reach through the crowd and take you to a place of healing and peace.  Nothing is impossible to him who knew you before you were born.

 Never lose sight of the truth that in each battle you face, you are completely surrounded by angels dispatched from God to protect and guide you.  Your cries do not go unanswered.  He hears your every plea and he cares.  The redeemed of the Lord cannot be destroyed by the slings and arrows of the enemy.  Every single detail of your life from birth to death has been arranged and made perfect.  You cannot fail.  The enemy may taunt you with oppression and lies but you are protected by heaven’s royal guard!  That  is the truth that sets you free.  Christ became your burden-bearer when he conquered the world and deprived it of its power to  crush you. 

Whatever trial you are facing, beloved, remember that it is all under the authority of Christ.  Let God accomplish the work that he has begun in you.  Whatever time he deems necessary for you to continue in your struggle is specifically designed to equip you for the  work he has chosen  for your life.  It is a royal assignment and not without merit.  All those whom God has chosen to do his greatest work have  received their  power as they patiently trusted him during a time when all hope seemed gone.   You must remain steadfast and stand the test in order to receive the crown of life that Jesus has promised to those who love him.   You are never alone and never without hope!

Dear Lord, we are living in ending days as the enemy increases his efforts to cause trouble and pain in the lives of your people.  Help us to hold on even when we feel weary.  I pray for blessings and strength for those who are facing hardships and trials of every kind.  I pray for marriages and relationships  to be restored.  I lift up all those who are facing financial struggles and see no end in sight.  I pray for you to help those who are under bondage to addictions and sin issues that are draining them of life.  I pray for those who are lonely and brokenhearted.  May they feel a very real sense of your presence and love.  I pray for those who are being persecuted for their faith.  May you give them a sense of peace  and joy in the midst of their suffering for you, dear Lord.  Protect and bless Israel and her leaders.  I pray for the eyes of your people to be opened to the truth of Christ as their Messiah.   Lord, may you work all things out for good to those who love you.  Show them that you are very near and that you will not fail.  To those who do not know you as Lord and Savior, dear Jesus, I pray for you to reveal yourself to them in a very personal way.  Help us all to stand in faith as we patiently wait for your return .  Give us your strength to fight the good fight and stay in the race.  Amen

I am praying for all who come to this site.  May you take rest knowing that Christ has a message just for you.

 He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. (Psalm 23)

There is nothing more painful than to be on your knees pouring out your heart to God only to watch as your dreams being crushed before your eyes.  If you are a true believer, you know by faith that  God heard your cries for help.  He has said in his word that he would never leave you nor abandon you.  Yet despite knowing that God is aware of your struggle, you still feel left with nothing but a broken heart, eyes that can’t stop crying and a question within as to why he would allow you to go through this pain.

It is difficult to understand when you are overwhelmed, but  your attitude in times of trouble is an indicator of where your faith lies.  When you face a trial in your life, it is a struggle to believe that God will be there to help you through it. You feel alone. Yet, the more serious your problem, the more grace he extends to you. You are never left to fight a battle on your own.   We can all trust God when we have some control in the situation. But when the problem is impossible for us or anyone else to help, that is when our faith is put to the test.

Jesus told us in John 16:33, ” In this world you will have trials and tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”   It doesn’t matter what we face for all things are under the sovereign authority of Christ.  It is his will that prevails in the outcome of every problem we face.   If you will try to understand that truth, it will bring you peace when all hope seems gone. Your struggle is actually the transforming power that reveals God’s strength. It is always his purpose to bring you through your heartache and reveal more of himself to you.  Your battles are won long before they start because Christ paid the price for your victory.  That may seem difficult to comprehend when your heart is breaking – but that is the truth

You were created for God’s glory and his purpose.  He has made ready the royal robes that those who trust in Christ shall wear one day in his kingdom.  All things are being orchestrated in God’s magnificent plan for your life.  As a sparrow does not fall to the ground apart from the will of the Father,  I pray that you also know that every tear you shed is before God and subject to his ultimate authority.  Your heart cannot be broken beyond our Creator’s hand to heal. It just can’t happen. There is no situation you face that can ever empty out the future God planned for you. Although you may not feel it now, your life is filled to overflow with God’s unending power and purpose.  His angels are surrounding those who belong to him. There is nothing that has been left to chance.

 You can enjoy quiet peace in spite of your pain when you stop trying to control the way God deals with your situation and let him work it out his way.  You can take rest knowing  that whatever God allows in your life, he has planned it long before you were born to use it for your good.  His ways will always be higher than ours, but his ways are the only path to victory.  Surrender your pain to Christ who will heal you and give you back abundant hope from the ashes of your broken dreams.   We read in James 1:12, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” 

We are all going through the battle of our life, dear friends.  No one is exempt from the sufferings of this world.  Whatever you are facing, there is always hope when you belong  to Christ.  There will be a time for your trial to end; and if you have held out in faith to the end, you will be rewarded in this life and the next.  Why does God allow us to go through heartache and pain?  It is only  in the crucible that we gain an eternal perspective of the power of the God we serve. It is there that we see that Christ does meet us in every trial causing it all to work according to his perfect plan.  It is there  that we are strengthened as  he draws us near to him.

Finally, believers who can praise Christ through the pain and keep their eyes on him no matter what storm surrounds them are proven to be the true sons and daughters  of the King.   Remember the words of God in Isaiah 26:3, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in you.”   That is a promise from God.

I am praying for those who need to hear this message. May you know that your tears are not in vain.  You still have hope regardless of what you are facing.  This world is perishing and yet those who belong to Christ shall never be destroyed.  Let him work out your problem and restore your peace.   Don’t settle for the lies of the enemy. You were meant for more!

 

I would also like to remind those who visit to keep Rob Bohning and his family in prayer.  Rob is battling a rare, incurable thyroid cancer ( Read article: Tried In The Furnace of Afflction on this site) but he is living each day in the power of Christ.  He trusts that Christ is bigger than the cancer he has.  He is an inspiration to me and to others who watch his faith in action.   And God has gifted him as one the best artistic photographers I have ever seen! ( www.robbohningphotography.com)

In an update, Rob announced that he has  to go back to Texas for more testing.  He is still thanking God for all that he has done to keep him going.  He has a prayer request that he would be grateful if we would pray for him on:

Friends, I have one big prayer request this month..

I go back to Texas the final week of September. September 25th and 26th are days packed with bloodwork, EKGs, CT scans, and 4 hours worth of MRIs.. then on Thursday, the 27th, I meet with Dr Sherman to discuss where I am in the big picture. September 27th is my wife’s birthday. Would you please pray that I return home on that day with good news… for her? Please would you make that your prayer? I would appreciate it SO MUCH.

Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”   Rob

 Rob knows the power of the God we serve!  Please lift him and his family up in a big way.  May God bless all who take the time to pray for Rob.

 

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

                          I

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                     

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

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

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

 Are you willing to surrender all you have to get all that Christ has ?

God has given me a love for all those who visits this site. I believe that  He has a purpose for bringing all of you to the messages that he gives me to write.  It is for this reason that I take seriously my burden to pray for each of you.

A few weeks ago, a young man visited my site and then emailed me with a question. He seemed troubled and yet I could see that he had faith.  I want you to read what he wrote:

“I was on the internet one night and I came across you.  I really liked it.  My name is Christopher.  You see, I don’t understand life. God says He loves us, but yet, he took away the people I love.  I only just started going to church.  I enjoy it but life is still tough for me.  My heart belongs to God.  I know that, but it is so hard to walk away from my friends.  I want to serve and give my whole life to Him, but I am going to lose my family and friends. Advise please.”

I responded to Chris and explained about the surrendered life to Christ. When you are a believer, Christ is first in your life and you must be willing to give him all that you have and allow him to work in you.  I explained a lot of things to him and told him to keep praying for his family and friends but that he must move ahead with his new life in Christ.

I did not hear from him that month, but last week, I received an email from his sister.  She told me that her family had no idea that her little brother was going through this.  She went on to tell me that Chris was no longer with us.  When I asked her what happened, she told me an amazing story.  She said that her brother had made a decision to follow Christ.  He stood firm in this decision despite the fact that his family and friends did not like it and thought he totally lost his mind.  He even left a  girlfriend of three years because she chose alcohol and her lifestyle over a relationship with Christ.

About two weeks after writing to me, Chris was driving on his way to church.  Just before he arrived, Chris got into a very serious accident which left him dying.  His last words to his family was a plea for them to accept Christ as Lord and Savior.  He whispered that Jesus was near to him right then and that he was not afraid to die! With that, he left this earth.  What a bold testimony of faith he had! Because of his faith, that 20-year-old young man is now with Jesus in heaven.

By the power of Christ alone, Chris was able to choose to do what was right.  He made the hard decision to leave all that he had to get all that Christ had to give him. He was willing to go wherever Christ would lead him.  That young man had no idea when he wrote to me for advice that he had only a few weeks left to live!

I am humbled that God brought Chris to my blog.  I prayed for him and his family.  Christopher’s sister wrote that his  death changed everything for them.  Now the whole family wants to honor Chris and his prayers for them, so they decided to start attending the local church.  One young man with the courage of his conviction and a faith that stood the test was able to impact his whole family with the Good News of Jesus Christ!

After his death, the grieving family went through Christopher’s things and found his diary and the email he sent me.  I was sent a copy of something that he had written in his diary.  It brought me to tears. My dear friends, please read what this young man wrote from a heart that had been radically changed for Christ:

I’ve been in love before, but in love with God is nothing I’ve ever experienced in my life.  A friend who I didn’t know existed and who was always around anytime 24/7.  I don’t regret my decision.  I regret not making this decision earlier.  I always thought people who went to church are all perfect and holy.  But no, they are just as broken as I am.  God knows best.  I pray that my family and friends will soon experience the love of God.  I don’t have a dad.  Never met him, never seen or heard from him.  But I stopped looking  for him and wondering what a father is because I just found a Father of all fathers—-God! “

My beloved friends, I don’t know where you are right now or what you have done. The truth is that Jesus wants you with him.  He has known your name long before he formed the world.  His love is true and he is faithful.  He has a way to bring you to victory no matter how impossible it may seem now.    Your weakness is now made strong by his power.  Christ can give you a future with hope and an eternity with him if you will surrender your heart to him.

The power of Christ gave a young man the courage to stand for his faith despite the outcome.  He gave him hope for a future and an unconditional love that he had never know before.  Chris never met his earthly father.  But the God of all heaven was a Father  to him whose eyes never left this young man for a second.  His life was cut short, but Chris made the decision for Christ that would last into eternity!

Have you made that decision to follow Christ?  You don’t have to wonder about it anymore. I am praying for you and I am here to talk to you if you have any questions.  My hope is that those who need to hear the truth will be open to receive Christ as Savior and Lord. It is a free gift that is yours for the asking.

I am lifting up Christopher’s family in prayer for comfort and healing.  I pray that they will continue to seek Christ and surrender to the only truth that matters! Just as Chris was not afraid to die –  no believer ever has to fear death.

 

                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!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. (Isaiah 26:3)

It is  hard to release all of our hopes and fears and trust that God has a better way for our lives. When you try to work things out as the world does, you are headed for failure.  Charles Spurgeon once wrote:  “You cannot grow in grace to any high degree while you are conformed to the world“. That which you won’t surrender to God will be the foothold  that the enemy uses to take you down.   All that you have that is good has been given you by God. There is nothing that you can keep except that which you give up. 

Jesus calls for us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds and yet that is very difficult to do when you let the influences of this lost world cloud your judgment.  The darkness of these present times can fill you with fear when it seems like God isn’t showing up in time to help you through a crisis. Some  people are suffering with the pain of a serious or terminal illness. Many are  facing monumental financial difficulties as they battle to survive past the list of endless bills.    Marriages are under attack as Satan has targeted families for destruction.  Drugs and alcohol are literally robbing people of their future.  Pornography is a deadly addiction that poisons and  imprisons its victims.  Sadly, lies from hell are being traded for the truth by the lost everywhere.  Many in our country and in the world are now accepting evil as good.

Yet, despite the battles that rage all around,  Jesus promised believers that he would fill them with the peace that surpasses all understanding.  That peace only comes by trusting and following the path of Christ.  You cannot seek out the riches and glory of this world and expect that God’s peace will reign in your heart. I can’t put it more clearly than to say outright that if you live in rebellion to God, you will never be happy!  You will always be searching and never be satisfied.  The true joy that comes only from a relationship with Christ is found nowhere else.  Nothing that you can attain on this earth will last forever or prevent you from dying one day.  But those who seek Christ and his kingdom, all that is good will be added to their life.  As a believer you understand that  death has no power except to release you to be with God in his kingdom forever.

While all will suffer in this life, God works everything for the good those who belong to him.   The temporary struggles you face have divine ramifications as the hand of God uses them to form and shape you into the image of Jesus.  We read in 1 Peter 5:10, “And 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“.  After you have been through your painful trial, God himself lifts you up and restores you to wholeness.  You can’t lose in the battle you are in so hang on and know the power that lives in you.  Never surrender your joy no matter how dark your situation may appear.  God always has a way to take you through it if you will believe and wait on his timing   God ‘s power is  more than enough for all that you need.  You should  keep that truth in your heart!

Dear Lord, I know that many are struggling in areas of their lives and they wonder if you truly care about what they are going through.  I pray that you draw near to them in their pain and give them the strength they need to believe that you will not fail them.  May you give them a very real sense of your peace as  you work out all their difficulties and make them strong, firm and steadfast in their faith.  I pray this in the power of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen

    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

                          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 that God will rescue you

Where is God in all of our struggles?  We are living in unbelievably difficult days and it does not appear to be getting any better.  Trying to hold on in faith while the darkness surrounds our situation can literally seem impossible.  In our finite minds,  it doesn’t make sense that God  appears to wait so long to come to our rescue.

The pain of a trial in life can be overwhelming.  A troubled marriage can turn your life upside down.  Financial problems seem to have no end in sight.  A serious illness can interrupt your life in a big way.  Addictions to alcohol, drugs, pornography or  any bondage can bring total havoc in your life.  There are just too many problems to deal with as utter darkness covers the earth.  Where is the peace that surpasses understanding that Jesus promised us believers?  Sometimes it may take all the effort you  have just to get out of bed in the morning and face life.  Without a doubt, we are living in troubling times.  So what can we do?

We are told in God’s word that then enemy prowls around like a roaring lion looking to devour you.  He is seeking to kill, steal and destroy all that you have.  But, the truth is that the enemy cannot take anything from one whose faith is in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross.  All that he can do is convince you of a lie that his power to destroy you is bigger than God’s power to rescue you.  You must remember that the tomb could not hold back the Holy Spirit’s power to raise Christ from the dead and that same power is living in you!  For that reason, you cannot be defeated no matter how wounded you are in the battle you are fighting.  Christ has conquered death and the power of evil.  Though the enemy can wage war all around you,  you will not be a casualty of a battle that has already been won.  Don’t look at your circumstances –  look at your God!  Our weakness comes when we take our eyes off the Source of our power.  Jesus does not take cover in the attacks of the enemy.  He is our fortress and a very present help to us.  The weary can find safety in his shadow and experience peace in his never-ending love.

By knowing and understanding the God you serve, you are able to rest and trust  him to get you through the storm.  If Jesus tells us to take joy despite our problems, he must have a way for us to do so.  We know by all that is true that God cannot lie.  In every one of our troubles, God is present and working them out.  You don’t have to feel him or see him working to know that he is causing all things to be used for your good.  It is by faith, which is greater than silver or gold, that we trust despite our pain.  My friends, you must understand that while this earth is not heaven, it is here that God is getting us ready to be royalty in a glorious place that will never end!  It is difficult to endure the hardships that surround us each day, but it is not impossible.  The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross gave us hope that our future is secure.   If he has the hairs on your head numbered, he surely is not going to forget to help you when you need him.  In his timing, you will understand that he never left you for one second!  The Apostle Peter took his eyes off of Jesus when he was walking on the water and began to sink.  But understand this – JESUS NEVER TOOK HIS EYES OFF OF PETER!  Jesus was able to lift Peter up from the sea because his power did not cease even when Peter doubted him. 

God’s love and power for you are real.  If you are struggling it is because you are listening to the lies of the enemy and have taken your eyes from Christ.  I know that your financial problems are real and that your marriage may be in serious trouble.  All that I am saying is that God is not going to fail you.  You may think he is not with you now in your pain but the truth is that he is.  Even in your fear and weakness, he is not going to abandon you.  His love is just so amazing that it will meet you wherever you are.  He knows how to lift you from your sea of trouble and he will not let you drown.  God can make a way even when there is none.

Let the amazing love that Christ has for you be your strength in the battle you are facing.  Get into his word and let him fill you will the knowledge of his power so that you will not be afraid of what the future holds for you.  The words that God gave to his people long ago are for you today: “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”. (Isaiah 41:13)

                         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

I want to bring  a message of truth for those struggling in this lost and perishing world.  If you belong to Jesus Christ, you must stop acting as the world does every time a crisis happens in your life.  We are children of the Promise and nothing can change that or destroy the purpose God has for our lives.  Don’t let a little shaking of the ground or the darkness of the storm around you cause you to take your eyes off the One who ransomed your life for all eternity!  It is nothing less than blasphemy against your God to let the enemy see you giving more credence to his lies than to the truth of Jesus Christ!  How many rivers and seas does God have to part before we will believe that he has all the power we ever need to fight our battles?

It takes true faith to trust that God is actually going to work your struggles out for your good.  God never fails and he is faithful but the silence can be tormenting as you wait on  his promises to be  fulfilled.  The enemy will taunt you to make you doubt God’s faithfulness, but the truth is that he is a  defeated foe whose only weapon is his lies.  The purpose and plan of God for your life have been settled long before you were created.  Every single detail was known by God and he provided a way through every one of them.  All it takes is for us to keep our eyes on him and trust him, but so often we forget what he has done for us in the past.

Each trial brings fear and anxious thoughts.  The devil always has a way to make you see the worst of each situation.  For that reason, you are to take captive every thought and line them up to be obedient to the teachings of Christ.  He has told us that he can rescue us from any situation.  God’s has already planned in advance to supply the power that is needed for his people to climb the  hills and survive the valleys in this life.  There is not a single struggle you endure that he has not seen long before the world was created.  Why then do we still worry that God is not going to show up in time to help us?  Do we actually believe that the Creator of this world and everything in it  is going to forget  a single detail of our lives?  Our hope is secure and the battle is won in every area of our lives.  All that we must do is surrender our weaknesses to the one who can work them all out for our good.  It means waiting and trusting while the battle rages on knowing that we are victors.  There is no such thing as a defeated Christian!  Stop carrying around burdens that are not yours.  Worry is a tool that the enemy uses to deflect the truth from believers.  He can’t steal your joy so don’t just hand it over to him when problems arise.

The fact is that God will always take you to the edge of the water so that his power will be revealed as he makes a way to cross when there is none. You need to get to the end of your own strength before you can understand the immeasurable power that God has.   Weary believers need to wake up and realize that God ‘s plan for your life cannot be hindered by your impossible situation.  There is never a time when he leaves you to work things out on your own.  It is for his good purpose that he allows the storms in your life.  He is working out a perfect plan for you that has eternal rewards.  You usually won’t understand the reason for all that happens to you but your faith should still  not waver.  Jesus is truth and he has said he will not forsake you!

Jesus said to his Apostle Thomas in John 20:27, “Stop doubting and believe.”  That is his command to us today. Your problems can’t destroy you unless you let them.  God still knows how to part the waters, move the mountains and hold back the sun to help you in the battle you are facing.  To give up is to give in to the lie of a defeated enemy.  That army of the living God has surrounded the camp and is taking back what was stolen from you!  You are a force to be reckoned with because Christ is your leader.  Never forget that your life was redeemed by the righteous blood of Jesus and he is not ever going to let you lose this fight!

Dear Lord,  for those who are struggling and in a painful trial, I pray that you will help them to see that this message is for them!

   Being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see!

In Psalm 69:1, David cries out to the LORD , “Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck, I sink in the miry depths where there is no foothold.  I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me. I am worn out calling for help.”  How many of us feel like that right now?

Even those who have put their faith in the cross of Christ can  find it difficult to survive in this fallen world where there is bad news after bad news and each day brings another set of problems.  It is truly heartbreaking to watch so many people struggling financially.  Those who were once secure in their homes are now  facing foreclosure. Disease and sickness is affecting every family in some way.   We now have a  lethal flu that is threatening to become pandemic. Homes are broken as the enemy seeks to destroy the family and deceive our children.  Disasters of every kind are reported in countries all over the world with increasing occurrence and severity.  Immorality is rampant and accepted.  The ways of God are perverted as we now label sin as “choice”!   Paul tells us in Romans 1:25, “They exchanged the truth for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator – who is forever praised.”   Sadly, God has been thrown out of  decisions made by our government leaders as they give in to the clamor of the lost.  Mankind now believes he has a better way than God to do things.  That is a lie from Satan himself who somehow convinced one third of the angels  in heaven and in the presence of the true and holy God that there was something better!  He is the father of lies.  Ask yourself, who do you believe when troubles surround you?

The truth is that Jesus died to give us hope with a promise that he will be with us to the end.  You may be hard pressed on every side, perplexed, persecuted and struck down in your life but you can never be destroyed!  There now is no power to defeat those whose trust is in the cross of Jesus Christ.  Though the world is darkened as evil fills the sky, believers will always have a light to shine on the path they are to take.  It is by faith that we know that God will complete the good work that he started in us.  We need unwavering trust to believe and not doubt that Jesus has a plan that cannot be stopped by the problems of this world.  It does not matter how impossible your situation is or how painful your heartache,  God  knows how to move mountains and part the waters of trouble so that you can get to that place in your life that he has ordained for you long before you were born.  The trials and struggles that you face are merely the wind that he uses to transform you into the image of  Jesus Christ!  He can still save your marriage, give you victory over addictions, heal your body, and restore your finances.  There is nothing too hard for him who first loved you.

All that you need to survive in this world is within you if you have put your complete trust in Jesus and have made him Master of your life.  It is not in saying a certain prayer but by surrendering your life to his perfect will.  There is nothing good that you can do to save yourself but Jesus finished the work of our redemption when he gave his life for us.  He is alive to intercede on our behalf and he has prepared a place for us in heaven.  He did not die and leave us to fend for ourselves.  He is with us now.  He knows your name.  He sees your face. He hears your voice.  His strength is always with you.   And while others are standing on the sinking sands of a lost earth, you are standing on the promise of Jesus Christ who will not fail to keep you in the victory that he won.  You must stand and believe to the end.   We have nothing to fear from this world for our citizenship is in heaven, guaranteed by the blood of Christ.

My friends, I give this message because these days are very difficult and painful.  There is so much to deal with.  I just pray that you can trust that your hope is secure.  Christ will never fail you.  Even the enemy knows that we are more than conquerors through Jesus.  Believe the promise, mighty warrior, for the reward is yours for eternity! 

Dear Jesus, there is just  so much stress to deal with in our struggle to get through each day.  I pray that you will comfort those who read this message and give them your peace that will fill them with hope.  I pray that marriages will be healed; sickness cured and bodies made whole; strength to overcome bondage and addiction; healing for those who hurt; and, help in financial  struggles.  May they understand that the enemy is trying defeat them with his lies but that he has no power to destroy them or take them from you.  Help them to know that you are always can find a way for them.  I pray for favor for those who need a miracle right now in their life. We humbly bow and trust that you will not fail us.  We give thanks and praise in your name.   Amen

                                            It all comes down to where you put your trust

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

                                   He knows how to provide for your need

It is so difficult to watch the television reports each night as bad news just seems to get worse.  The economy is grim and has taken its toll on just about everyone. So many people are now without jobs and fear losing their homes.  The struggle of this bleak forecast is causing us all to take a closer look at how we spend our money.  People everywhere are now having to worry how they will survive in these dark days.

As tough as things are in this world, we serve a God who is the provider of all that we need.  He planned long before the world was formed to take us through every battle and every storm.  He knew what we would face and he has a way in his perfect plan to take us through no matter what the economy dictates.  But I wonder how many can continue to trust God when the bank is foreclosing on their home?

In Luke 12:22, Jesus said, ” Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear.”  He then says in in verse 31, “ But seek first the kingdom of God and all things will be given to you as well”.  Worrying about your finances  is not going to change them.  It is only going to take years from your life.  Jesus did not leave us on this earth helpless and alone for he is with us in every struggle that comes our way. Your faith must not grow weary when times get tough.  Our God is the same in the night as he is in the day.  The darkness of your situation does not limit his power.  He is ruler over all things and he can bring peace into your life with just a word. 

Despite your difficulty,  it is  important to remember that God is always in control.  He is working all things out for his purpose.   The things of this world are perishing and will not last.  Although you may be struggling  just to make ends meet,  your faith can be earning for you a  reward that far outweighs anything you have to endure.   The evil of this world will  increase but believers have nothing to fear.  Jesus paid that ultimate price for our victory and nothing can destroy his plan for us. Christ has overcome the world and the enemy has been defeated. That means that you can have joy despite the storm you are in because we serve the Master over the wind and he will not let you perish.

Never let your problems or financial difficulties  make you doubt the power of your God!  He owns the sheep on a thousand hills and all that is created is his. He is so much bigger than anything that comes against you.  He is limitless and cannot fit within the confines of your finite minds. His will prevails in all situations.  It is the enemy of your soul that wants to fill your mind with fear and doubt that God will help you.  Don’t give him a foothold.  Take those thoughts of defeat captive and line them up with the promises of God. He hasn’t take you this far in your life just to have you fail now. 

Keep in mind that you are alive and breathing right now because of  God’s power.  Your heart is beating because he tells it to beat.  He put the sun in the sky; he tells the waters where to stop; he calls the stars out by name and he spoke the worlds into existence.  Do you still  think it is too difficult for him to find a way to help you work out your financial problems?  

My friend, God cares about the struggles you are facing.  Ask him to help you to stand in faith until he has brought you the victory.  Don’t give up when the prize is just ahead.  Psalm 32:10 tells us , “The Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts him“.   That is his promise to you.

 

Dear Lord,  I know that many are having financial problems that seems like it is going to destroy them.  I stand in the gap for those who need a touch from you in the area of their finances.  I pray for jobs to be restored to those who have lost them.  I pray for new and better opportunities to be come about.  I pray for you to provide homes for those who need them.  I pray for you to provide them the food and transportation that they need..  I pray that you will be able to keep families together along with their pets.  I pray that they will keep their trust in you no matter how hard it gets.  Lord, help them to understand that you will not fail them.  You will come through for them at the perfect time and in the perfect way.  My heart is with them, Lord, and I know that your love will keep them.  Amen 

                                     God always has the power to help you overcome

So much is happening in this world and the struggle to survive is getting more difficult.  Everyone has been affected in some way by the economy as jobs are scarce and homes are being foreclosed on daily.  The increase of broken marriages is staggering even among Christians.  And it seems like so many health issues are affecting people everywhere.  Though prayers are being offered,  some may wonder if God’s power is enough to take us through.

The Apostle Paul said in 2 Timothy 1:12, “For I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that he is able to guard that which I give to him for this day“.  That was a powerful statement coming from a man who in his lifetime was beaten, stoned, homeless and imprisoned.  How could such faith come from Paul in the midst of all that he had to endure?  It seems like God should have made Paul’s life a little easier since he was entrusted with bringing the good news of Christ to the lost.  But God’s ways are higher.

The truth lies in the fact that Paul intimately KNEW the God he served.  He was confident that he could have peace in his blessings as well as his trials.  He understood that in all things, God was working out a perfect plan that would strengthen Paul in this life and earn him reward in heaven. The reality was that God had a purpose in using all that came against Paul to further his kingdom as he transformed Paul into the image of Christ.  Paul was ready for the day when he would meet his Savior face to face.  For that reason he believed that to die was gain and to go on living was for Christ.  Paul was ready to do whatever was asked of him.

 The grace that you need to face all of the challenges in your life as a believer is living in you!  There is now no mountain of trouble and no sea of tears that can stop you from living an abundant life in Christ Jesus.  The enemy can’t do anything to you that God knows will destroy you.  You can’t lose the battle when the power of Christ is your force and your strength.  You must always remember that God knows your struggles and your pain.  It was by his will that you were  created and  by his word he spoke the universe into existence.  There is nothing hidden from the all-knowing, all present God.

God will always be sovereign over all that you go through.  In the book of Job, we read that Satan had to first ask  permission to come against Job.  Satan wanted to destroy Job but God knew that the testing was only going to make Job stronger in his faith and more blessed than before.  He knew his power would be more than enough for Job to overcome all of  the enemy’s attacks. Do you not know that the same is true for you and in your circumstance?  The wind, the waves and every storm and battle that you face must first come before Christ who allows only that which he will cause to be used for your good despite how painful it seems now.  Beloved, for that reason you must never give up.  Your God is working out blessings in your life that you can’t even imagine!  You may feel weak,  but God will keep you from sinking if you will just keep your eyes on him. 

In my own life, I am experiencing a struggle that is causing me much pain.  There are times I also feel overwhelmed and weakened from the battle that never seems to end.  It is difficult some mornings for me to just get out of bed.  Yet in my heart, I know the God whom I have believed.  I can trust through all things that  God will not fail me.  I may not see or feel him working out my problem, but I know that he is.  When I get weary, I turn to his word and seek his strength.  I have purposed in my heart to keep my trust in Christ no  matter how dark the storm gets.    Sometimes I write these posts through my tears.  It is difficult but I know my Redeemer lives!  He has taken me too far for me to give up now.  Each day I grow in the strength that he gives me.  All that I am going through has a purpose that God has designed and that he will work out in his perfect way.

 It is my prayer that  if you are in a difficult situation that you will give your pain to the One who paid the price to give you a future with hope. Jesus overcame all of our enemies and all of our problems by his death on the cross. There is nothing can can hold you in bondage if you will trust  that God is bigger.  I will be praying with you.  

 Dear Lord, there is so much darkness in this world and  we are all struggling to stay in the battle.  I pray for all of those who are just too weary to pray and who feel that you have given up on them.  I stand in the gap for those who are hurting and I pray that you will lead them to your perfect peace.  Let them feel your presence as you give them the knowledge that nothing will stop your plan and the future that you have ordained for them.  You are more than able to guard all the pain and struggles that we give to you for this day.  Open their eyes to see that you already have them surrounded by your angels who are greater than the troubles that come against them.  Please give them an understanding of your enduring love.  Amen

devil tempting                                                     Fear is a lie from hell

One of the greatest weapons that the enemy uses against us is doubt.  The devil himself knows the truth that believers are victors and mighty warriors in the army of God.  He knows that God has a plan for us that cannot be stopped by anything or anyone.   That means not by our weaknesses, not by our rebellion, not by our past and certainly not by the enemy whose power was overcome by the cross of Jesus Christ!

The strength to walk in victory  comes with a realization that God’s power will always be enough.  If you can understand that his plan was made long before we were created and he foreknew the struggles that we would face, then you can trust that he can rescue you whatever your situation.  Our Savior knew of the plans that the enemy had to destroy us and he knew how to take us through to victory.  A painful trial or circumstance in our life has no power except that which you give it.   If God already had knowledge of what you would have to endure and gave his power to overcome all things, why would you ever allow your problem to make you anxious?  When you give in to fear, you are giving in to the lies from a defeated enemy!

You have to know who your God is.  You must seek for an understanding of his love that covers everything.  There is no bondage that can stand against the cross.  Jesus finished the work of salvation and he is alive and  intercedes for us every day.  Christ will always be sovereign over all that comes against us.  Everything in all of creation must submit to him!  Anything that he allows in your life is for a purpose and must conform to the plan that he has for your life.  Remember that God made us into his image from the dust.  He knows where you are and he knows your pain.  He created the 70 million trillion stars and calls them out by name each night.  There is no place you can go that can make him forget you.  The hairs of your head are numbered by him and he saw the length of your days on this earth before one of them came to be.  There is nothing in your life that is impossible for him.

feeling aloneIt is not always easy to trust when you are in a battle with the spiritual forces of evil that fill this earth.  The days are dismal and filled with more problems.  Financial difficulties are hitting everyone.  Who can think about the future when it is hard enough to get through a day?  Yet that position is right where you need to be.  Christ will see you through all things but he will take you through one day at a time, sometimes minute to minute.  You won’t be able to see  where he is taking you so you must trust him with all of your heart.  Jesus did not die to lose you now!  Beloved, you will never be destroyed by this lost and crumbling world for you will be taken above it by the Spirit of  Christ who lives in you.  You aren’t standing on the perishing earth, you are standing on the Promise which is Jesus Christ!

My friends, I want you to understand one very important truth.  It does not matter where you are, what problems you have or how low you have fallen.  If your hope is in the cross of Jesus, you will come through every battle as a conqueror.  The victory has already been won.  Never let the enemy or your painful situation convince you that God’s power is not enough.  It is more than enough.  The enemy of your soul knows this.  You need to know it also.  If you ever believe anything, believe this:  JESUS WILL NEVER FAIL YOU!

Dear Lord, I know the times are hard and people are struggling with the problems that this dark world brings.  I pray that you will open their eyes and affirm in their heart the truth that your power and love will take them through all things no matter how impossible it may seem.  Jesus, help them to know that you are the light which has conquered the darkness.  Let them know that whatever illness, bondage, marriage problem, financial issue or heartache they have, you always have a way to give them your peace.  You alone paid the price for our victory.  Jesus, I thank you for being all that we need.  Amen

         We do not need to understand, just to trust

 We serve a God of all hope who has an unfailing plan for all that he has created.  Those who have put their trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ are now called children and co-heirs in the kingdom of God.  Yet as we hold on to this truth and live for Christ, the darkness of this present world can overwhelm even the most seasoned Christian.  As much as we trust and believe that God has  a purpose in all that comes against us, why is it so difficult to understand it when troubles besiege us?

The word of God tells us plainly in Isaiah 55:8-9,

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORDAs the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Our finite reasoning can never align with God’s judgments.  His ways are perfect.  We are the dust of the ground who only have worth because we are loved by our Creator.  For the same reasoning, who can understand the love of a pure and holy God who would send his only Son to suffer and die to pay to redeem a lost and ungrateful people?  It is a love that knows no boundaries.  It is an all consuming love that never fails. God is never hedged in by our ways or our thoughts.  He knows the right and perfect way and he alone has the power to make it happen. 

When Jesus left this world,  he promised to send us the Holy Spirit who would be our helper.  He knew that there would be many problems for us while we are here and he knew that we would need his Spirit to get us through.  Day by day we are being transformed into the image of Christ by the Spirit’s power.  Our daily battles are fought and won by God’s right hand.  However, painful trials can make us question if God is really with us.   It is not an easy task to trust him when you watch as a loved one suffers.  It takes every ounce of strength to keep your eyes on God instead of your pain.  Many believers had to endure financial difficulties, marriage strife and heart aches of every kind.  Jesus did not say that we would be without these struggles.  He said that he would always be with us and give us the victory.  All that he allows is for a divine purpose.  He alone knows what it will take to fulfill the plan he had for our lives long before the earth was formed.  He knew every storm we would face while we were in our mothers’ womb.  He had a way to part the sea and move the mountains that would try to stop us.  And he knew that we would not understand his ways.  It would take an uncompromising faith in him that defied our reasoning to believe when we have no power to do anything else.

Paul tells us in Philippians 1: 29,” For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him“.   Who among us  can know the mind of God or understand his judgments?  Jesus said that we would not even comprehend the beauty of heaven until we got there.  No one in all of Scripture that God used for glory ever understood how or why God made them take the path that he did. Human logic certainly can’t explain it.   The fact that remains is that you will not ever understand why God allows evil at times to prosper while the righteous suffer.  That is when we have to trust in the unfailing love of God.  This love that we learn of when we are in the furnace of our affliction is the power that is going to take us into glory.  If we can trust and believe when the ground around us is crumbling, then we have shown ourselves to be true sons and daughters of  the living God!  And God has said that he will give an immeasurable reward to those who hold on and trust to the end.

You don’t have to understand the ways of God.  You only need to know of his unfailing love.  By his own word, God has promised to withhold no good from those whose walk is righteous.  That means that if you belong to Christ, every struggle, pain, heartache and suffering that you withstand is ordained and timed by him and will be used for your good.  You can’t lose because with Christ, you will always be more than a conqueror! 

Dear Jesus,  I lift up all those who are going through a painful time in their life.  I pray that you will give them the peace that they need to stand in trust knowing that you are with them.  Help them to know that you have a purpose and a direction for their lives that cannot be stopped by their circumstance.  I pray that they will understand that in you, there is always victory.  Please comfort them now with your love and hold them close to you.  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!

Do you really believe that the love of Christ is all you need?

The Scriptures say in John 3:16, “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 life”. Those are powerful words! God SO loved us that he was willing to give his Son as a bloody sacrifice to save us while we were still lost in our sin. That speaks of a love so all-encompassing that it defies our understanding.

Within that love that God has for us is his ability and willingness to provide all that we need. He did not just die and save us then leave us to fend for ourselves. Jesus paid the price so that we would be victorious in all of our circumstances. He is more than able to cause all of our problems to be used for our good. There is no trial we suffer that takes him by surprise. He has a plan for our lives that was made long before the world was formed. When Christ defeated death at the cross, he crushed the power of any force to destroy us. It is finished! Jesus fulfilled the debt so that believers can have authority over sin and the bondage of this dark world. We have been set free.

Sadly there are those who still walk in the chains of the enemies lies instead of the truth of an all-powerful Creator. They go stooped in doubt to the throne of grace and cry out in their painful trial when the answer is already with them! The reality is that though you may not physically see God or audibly hear his voice, his presence is always with you. He is with you right now. The best part is that he knows your heart and understands your fears. You just need to submit them to him.

In Mark 9, a man came to Jesus to heal his son who had an evil spirit that was trying to kill him. Jesus told the man, “Everything is possible for him who believes”.  Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief”.

Your trust in God’s Sovereignty is the key to overcoming every impossible situation in your life. God is not limited by any boundaries that this world puts on him. Your problem is not too hard for the God who spoke the world into existence and who breathed into the dust to form man!

Jesus is all that you need in this fallen world and he is willing to take you past your fears and unbelief. The only questions that remains now is will you take him at his word?

Dear Lord Jesus, I lift up all those who are reading this message filled with pain and a heavy heart. I pray that you will open their eyes to the truth that you are able to take them through the trial they are experiencing now. Help them to trust you with their financial problems, failing marriages, serious health issues or any situation that is keeping them in bondage. Please give them your peace and comfort them as they learn that you will never fail. Amen

It doesn’t matter who you are for the rain falls on the unrighteous as well as the righteous. This world is perishing and Jesus will soon come to gather his people unto him. The difficulties we face as we await his glorious return are achieving an eternal purpose as daily we are being transformed into the image of Christ.

We know that we will suffer and endure hardship while on this earth, yet each painful trial brings with it an opportunity to trust God for what he has promised. That is not always easy but it is something that Christ empowers us to do as we grow in our understanding and belief. It takes a willing vessel, emptied of self, to maintain hope in the face of disaster and say, “I know my Redeemer lives!”{Job 19:25}

The testing of our faith is the tool that God uses to strengthen us for the battle. Each time we pass through the valley of our difficulties, defying the enemy as we stand unwavering in trust, we are giving an awesome testament to the power of God. The gates of hell are shaken every time a believer can praise God in the midst of heartbreaking pain and loss. Such was the faith of Horatio Spafford, an attorney in Chicago in the eighteenth century.

In November of 1873, Horatio decided to send his wife and four daughters ahead of him to Europe where he would later join them. He settled them in a cabin aboard the French liner, the Ville Du Havre, and then kissed them and said good-bye.

The grand ship glided upon the water for a while but then it tragically collided with another vessel. As water began filling the ship, passengers were being swept away into the torrents of an icy ocean. Loved ones were torn from each other as they sunk beneath the darkness of the water. The fatalities included the four daughters of Horatio. Mrs.Spafford was later found unconscious and clinging to a piece of the ship’s wreckage. After she was rescued and taken to dry ground, she cabled her husband with the sad news, “Saved Alone”. In a very short time, all of Horatio’s children were taken from him in death! A few years earlier, his only son had succumbed to scarlet fever at the age four. How could he still trust God in the face of such grief and loss? How could anyone?

But God has the power to transcend our understanding and to fill us with his peace even in hopeless tragedies. Horatio quickly booked passage on a ship to be with his wife. While onboard during a bitter cold December night, the captain called to Horatio while pointing out the spot where the Ville du Havre sunk. As he peered into the watery grave where his daughters perished, Horatio was filled with immense grief. With tears, he went back to his cabin and said to himself these faith filled words, “It is well; the will of God be done.” Such incredible trust! He later wrote the famous hymn entitled, It is well with my soul.

My friends, you need to know that Horatio did not have an extraordinary life, but he had an extraordinary faith! He lived his life in such a way that acknowledged his belief that God was in complete control of all that happens. He trusted even through this tragedy that the perfect will of God could not be stopped. He surrendered the pain of his breaking heart as a sacrifice to give honor and glory to God. He absolutely refused to believe that God had failed him.

Is there a struggle in your life that is making it difficult to stand in your faith? Trust is a process that the Holy Spirit takes you through one step at a time. He always knows your weakness and he knows the path to bring you to peace. If you can surrender your pain to God for his glory, he will fill you with joy and peace as he works all things out for your good.

God will never fail you and the tragedies of life can never destroy you. Because of Jesus Christ, all can be well with your soul!

Love enough to speak the truth!

My dear friends in Christ,

I want to share with you an important message that I feel compelled to put on this site. There is an increase in evil now and many are being deceived as they search for churches that tell them what they want to hear instead of the truth. The enemy has stepped up his forces as he tries to darken the light of the church with trials and troubles to make the saints ineffective in reaching the lost.

We are in the closing days on this earth and Christ is getting ready to receive her bride. But there are people everywhere that do not understand the significance of the time and events that are unfolding. We need to get ourselves ready to meet our Savior. His kingdom is upon us and the message of truth must be reached to the ends of the earth. As time grows short, the darkness will increase in an attempt to take down the church. For that reason, there is an URGENCY TO RISE and take our stand. We were placed by God right here and now for such a time as this!

I implore you to view this link and take to heart the important message that it gives. If you have unsaved family and friends, you need to pray as you bring them the message of salvation though a relationship with Jesus Christ. You must love them enough to risk offending them. Their eternity depends on it!

God is with you as you seek him from your heart. Jesus paid the ultimate price to give all to you. Are you willing to give all to him?

Please view this message with your heart because now is the time to stand!

(click on highlighted words to see video and powerful messages)

                                 How effective are you for the kingdom of God?

 

 

In order to be a follower of Jesus Christ, you must choose to walk as he did and make choices that may make you unpopular with this world that is perishing.  Jesus said that he would set up his kingdom and that the gates of hell would not prevail against it.  He spoke of how we must pick up our cross daily and seek his kingdom until he comes. It is not enough to simply say we believe in Jesus. Our lives should bear witness to the change that was made in us as we accepted the gospel of Christ. We must walk as disciples in our faith as the Holy Spirit works in us to repent and turn from our old ways.  There is no such thing as an “almost” believer. 

 

In chapter 19 of the book of Acts, we read about the seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who went around driving out evil spirits.  They would say, “In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” One day, the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know and I know about Paul, but who are you?” (emphasis mine) Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped and overpowered them all.  He beat them so badly that they ran from the house naked and bleeding.  They lost out to a demon and there is an important message for us here.  

 

Only God can be omnipresent, or everywhere at all times.  Not even Satan or his demons can be all places at all times.  When the sons of Sceva tried to drive out an evil spirit, the demon said he KNEW Jesus, he KNEW ABOUT Paul, but he had no idea who these seven guys were.  Why was that?  Obviously, these guys were not a threat to Satan or his demons.  Sceva’s sons had heard about Jesus through Paul, but they never made Jesus their LORD.  These men did not have the power of Christ to battle the spiritual forces of evil and they were badly injured from trying to do it on their own. They were an easy mark for the unclean spirit who came against them.

 

You can apply this same truth to your life.  Is your name known in hell?  Are there demons who have heard about you and the work you are doing for Christ?  Have you become a thorn in the side of Satan as you try to reach the lost with God’s love?  Or have you settled into complacency in your Christian walk which makes you comfortable in this world?   If the enemy of your soul does not consider your faith a threat, perhaps you need to examine yourself to know if you are truly saved!  

 

I understand that all believers are a work in progress by the Holy Spirit and we each are at different levels in our walk. Even long-time followers in the faith can suffer a period of backsliding.  But those who belong to Christ should experience true heart change as his love compels you to seek what is right.  Jesus said in Matthew 7:16 that you will recognize a tree by its fruit. Those who belong to Jesus have crucified the sinful nature and now live by the power of the Spirit.  You became a new creation as God’s light shines through you.

 

If you live for Christ, you will experience grief in all kinds of trials as your faith is proved genuine.  Jesus said that all men will hate you because of him as darkness hates the light.  The spiritual forces of evil will come against you for the work that you do for the kingdom.  But in the end, the indescribable reward that God has for you will far outweigh any suffering you endure now. It is a reward that will last into eternity. 

 

If your name is written in heaven, it should be known in hell!

 

 

                                                             A message of hope in a dark world

 

The world is spinning out of control and each of us has turned to his own way as we continue to rebel against our Creator.  Yet despite our iniquities, God’s love still surrounds us as he desires all to be saved.  His love is so far reaching that while we were his enemy, he sent his only Son to die to pay our debt to him.  Why would Jesus want to suffer on the cross for people when he knew that most would reject him?  This is a love that defies definition.  The depths of our minds cannot contain the understanding required to comprehend the love that God has for us.

 

We are told that this world and even the highest heavens cannot contain God, yet man is always attempting to define him within the limitations of our own finite understanding.  If we truly realized the magnitude of the knowledge of God and how great is his love for us, we would constantly be on our face before him. His holiness would bring us to our knees in utter contempt for our sin.  Sadly, the fact is that we have allowed the darkness of this perishing world to occlude the revelation of the truth. 

 

But Jesus, the Son of God,  gave up the splendor of heaven to come to earth to suffer and die so that we might have eternal life.  He is the Way, the Truth and the Life who gives us freedom from the bondage of sin and death.  His sacrifice was made as a free gift to all so that none who call upon his name shall perish.  The love of Christ invites us to be joint heirs with him in heaven for all eternity.  He is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto the path of all who are seeking him.  He has a way out of every storm in our life and his purpose and plan for us cannot be hindered. 

 

For this reason, our momentary problems are far reaching in working out a reward that will last forever.  The furnace of our affliction is burning off the corrupt carnal nature which keeps us from being with God.  After we emerge from the crucible knowing that our God was with us the whole time, we can joyfully proclaim with the Apostle Paul in saying, “ I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ lives in me”. (Galatians 2:20)  As we stand by faith in the battles of this earth,  we know that Jesus has already made us winners.  We can never be taken from him for the Good Shepherd knows how to keep those who are his. 

 

We are never without hope, for the peace that comes from trusting in Jesus will never fail.  Those who are facing divorce or separation can know that he can restore your family.  To those suffering with serious medical issues, the Great Physician has your life in his hands.  He knows how to heal you and bring you to wholeness.  He can give peace to the hearts of those who have lost loved ones. Our God owns the sheep on a thousand hills so your financial problems are not too hard for him. He knows how to rescue godly men from trials and he will give you rest as you struggle to make ends meet. He can and he will mend the pieces of your broken heart if you are willing to put your trust in him.

 

In all of life’s difficulties, faith is the key to allowing God to work through your problems.  He can make a way through impossible situations and there is no tough circumstance that can hold back the promises of a loving God.  The one thing you must remember as you endure hardship is that you can NEVER be defeated.  Your victory has been paid in full by the blood of Jesus.  The enemy of your soul knows this and will use lies from the pit of hell to convince you that your situation is hopeless.  But God is faithful and will help you to understand that he alone is sufficient for all that you need.  His love never fails!

 

May God give you the understanding to believe the truth of this message that he has given just for you!

                                    

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 faith of a dying young man will live forever

 

When Thanksgiving comes around each year, it brings to my mind a very special young man who showed me the real meaning of trusting God. 

 

Two months before Thanksgiving in 2000, I was told that the Sutton family from our church had a seventeen year old son that had inoperable cancer and was not going to live long. I decided to visit this family and see if I could help out in any way.  As I was heading over to the house to visit and meet Chris, I remember wondering what I could say to this young man who was dying.  It was one of the most difficult things I ever had to do. I entered the house and found Chris lying on a hospital bed in the family room with his mother by his side.  He looked up as I came in and gave me an awesome smile.  Then suddenly as if reading my mind he looked right at me and said, “Don’t worry about me.  I’m going home to Jesus and I am not afraid”.  His calmness and sense of joy took me by surprise. He was working on a present that he wanted to give to someone who was special to him and he asked me for my opinion.  It didn’t seem to affect his enthusiasm that he was weak or that his one eye was patched because the cancer, now in his brain, had damaged the eye.  Amazingly, Chris still seemed to radiate hope and light despite the fact that the cancer was destroying his body.

 

 I found out later that Chris never wavered in his faith despite the pain and the treatments he had to endure. He continued to encourage the young people of the church to trust in Jesus and many came to believe because of him. He stayed strong to the end even writing an encouraging eulogy that he wanted read at his funeral. His bible was engraved with the words, “No fears, no regrets” and that was how he lived.  Shortly before his death he asked his mother to order a sword to be put in his coffin with him.  Chris always trusted in the sword of the Spirit of God and even in death he wanted to honor the Savior that he loved so much. 

 

On Thanksgiving day, 2000, Chris Sutton went home to be with the Lord.  His years on this earth were so short but the legacy of faith that he left will live on until the Lord comes back.  To the ending hours of his life, Chris never feared dying and never stopped trusting in Jesus.  He understood so well what the Apostle Paul said in Philippians 1:21, “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain”.  The peace that was with him to the end could only be from God and he taught me that this peace is for anyone who has put their faith in the finished work of the cross. 

 

Each Thanksgiving when I reflect on all that God has done, I remember and give thanks for Chris Sutton who proved that Jesus is with us at all times. Not even the throes of death can steal the joy of a true believer for God’s love will be with you to the end. 

 

God is with you now.  He knows your fears and will be all that you need. 

 

I am praying now for all those who needed to hear this message. 

 

 

 

               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!

                                                  He has a way to take you to victory

 

Fear and discouragement are two of the most powerful weapons that the enemy uses to bring believers down.  Although the power of Christ lives in us, the storms of life can fill us with hopelessness and anxiety as the lies of darkness attack our soul.   These fiery darts of evil attack our mind to magnify our problems and diminish the power of our God.  It is a lie from the depth of hell!

 

As difficult as it is to stand your ground in times of trouble, the fact is that Jesus is a powerful stronghold and a strong tower to run to for protection from the battle.  You absolutely cannot be defeated from an enemy that has been rendered powerless through the cross of Jesus Christ.  His death and resurrection finished the work of redemption and bought for us a promise of eternal life with him. 

 

In Psalm 107:28-28 we read, “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, the waves of the sea were hushed”.  Jesus alone has the power to still the storms in your life and quiet the waves of your troubles.  The darkness of your situation cannot diminish the light of Christ whose power has no limits.  The world around you may be crumbling but God will lift you out of your difficulties and set your feet upon a rock.  As you trust in him, your cries will be changed to songs of praise as you watch the right hand of God bring victory in your life and give you strength to stand in faith. 

 

As the days grow short and evil increases, the destroyer will try to rob you of your hope.  He will attempt to fill your mind with anxiousness and fear as you endure the struggles of this life.  If he can discourage you with his lies, he can make you ineffective for the kingdom of God.  Satan wants to make you feel defeated when Christ has made you more than a conqueror. That which comes against you is filtered through the Savior’s hand and he knows the good that he can accomplish through it. He can do what he says he can do.   

 

 There is nothing in this life that can stand against the purpose and plan God has for you.  It does not matter what the doctor’s report says for God alone has determined the number of your days. He does not care about what stage your cancer is in, his power will always be greater.  Your financial struggle is no match for our God who owns the world and everything in it. The pain and heartache you suffer will bring you nearer to God for he is close to the brokenhearted.  He will dry your tears and give you his perfect peace if you will keep your eyes on him.  God is the restorer of homes and families and he can heal your brokenness. Christ who died to give us the victory is a mighty force to be reckoned with. Years of addiction and bondage can be healed as you surrender your struggles to the nail pierced hands of Jesus.  He won’t fail so you can’t fail!

 

In the wake of all that you are going through, never surrender to the enemy!  Just trust and hold on to the nail pierced hands of Jesus who always has a plan and a promise you can trust.  He is with you right now.  You are never alone!

     He will never leave you                                           

 

When you are in the struggles of life and your strength is weak, the testing of your faith seems even more difficult.  Though believers are in this world but not of it, there are times that we can still be brought to our knees by fiery darts of the enemy.  It is then, in those painful times, that we must strive to focus on Christ who is always with us.  Yet, when the storm darkens our world and waters come up to our neck, even the faithful can cry out in anguish, “My God, are you really with me?” 

 

The heaviness of despair can blind you from hope when your heart is breaking and your tears can’t stop.   Does our Savior Jesus, who told us that he has overcome the world, have a purpose in the pain of your situation?  When you can’t see him or hear him, does he hear you?

 

The reality of this matter is found in God’s word.  You won’t always feel God working through your trial to rescue you, but he is.  God tells us in Isaiah 43, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze”.  Those words give us a powerful truth.

 

God is telling us with all certainty that there is no disaster that can overtake those who put their faith in him.  This world cannot come up with a trial that can alter the course of the path Christ died to give you.  He will always be your way out and your way up from every painful struggle. There is no medical issues, marriage problems, addictions, financial struggles or any of life’s storms that God cannot keep from destroying you or the plan he has for your life.

 

In John 20, we read how Mary Magdalene went to the tomb of Jesus after his death; but when she saw that his body was not there, she began to cry. She did not realize that Jesus was standing right behind her.  He said to her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”  Then he called her by name, “Mary”, and suddenly she rejoiced as she realized that it was Jesus.

 

Friends, I want you to understand the impact of these verses.  Jesus asked Mary why she was crying and who was she looking for.  He KNEW why she was crying and that she was looking for him even though he was there beside her all the time.  Even now in our heartaches as we search for Jesus through our tears, he knows our pain and he is standing right with us even if we don’t fully understand it. As he calls us by name,  he will never leave us alone in our struggle or trust anyone else to help us work it out. For only Jesus is a very present help in time of need.   He has the power to restore us to wholeness as we hand him the pieces of our broken heart. 

  

Whatever burden is causing you to stumble in your faith remember that Jesus is there with you.  His voice is softly saying, “Why are you crying?  Who are you looking for? I am with you and I will never leave you.  My love will cover all of your problems and with my right hand, I will lift you safely above them.”

 

Rest in the peace knowing that Jesus Christ paid the price for your victory in each and every situation you encounter.   I pray that God will help you to understand and trust this message that he provided just for you!

  When you cannot help yourself, God  will lift you and set you free 

 

 

No matter what storm you are going through in your life, God has a way through it and above it.  For believers, his strength will always be all that you need because he knew your name long before he formed the earth.  That is so hard to fathom because our mind cannot contain a truth this great.  The true God who knows all things loved you before you were born!

 

God planned every aspect of your life from where you would be born, to whom and when.  Even where you live was ordained in God’s masterful plan.  His desire was that all would come to him and be saved.  He knew that problems you would have and he understood your weaknesses.  He knows your sin and your rebellion, yet he still has a purpose and a plan to give you victory through the blood of Jesus Christ.  Romans 8:31 tells us that,”If God is for us, who can be against us?”   He justifies us from our sins and intercedes on our behalf so that we can truly be more than conquerors despite the hard times and heavy burdens we carry.

 

Each day is an opportunity to bring glory to God as you stand in faith trusting that he us with you in all things.  If we could understand a mere iota of the love of God for us our lives would be changed forever.  His love is not based on what we do for there is no way we could earn it.  It is based solely on who he is for God is love.  The only way that we can walk in the ways of love is to know Christ and to have him work through us. 

 

The troubles of this world cannot defeat us no matter how weary we become.  When Jesus cried out on the cross, “It is finished”, that was the promise shout of victory for those who believe on him.  The price was paid by the blood of Jesus and we are no longer in bondage to the evil of this world. My friends, we will have troubles but they are working in you a glory that will defy the enemy of your soul.  You cannot lose! The enemy can’t take what was redeemed by Christ for you.  He has a way to help you and he will not fail.

 

Though the evil one will try to convince you that you will drown in the tears of your affliction, you must not give in.  Remember the truth that set you free.  Jesus has overcome the problems of this world and he will never let you go through anything that he does not have a plan to take you safely through.  He knows your name and he knows where you are.  He is willing to bear your pain and carry your sorrows. He has the power to lift you from your heartache and sustain you when you have no strength of your own.

 

Lift up your eyes for all that you need is with you now. You can truly face tomorrow despite your pain because Jesus is with you.  Let his peace be your comfort because he is working all things out for you now.  You don’t have to feel it or see it.  You just have to know that his promises are real.

 

Dear Jesus,  I pray that  you open the eyes of all who need to hear from you and let them know that you are with them and that you are in total control of their situation. Surround them with your peace and help them to understand the depth of your love. Let them know that they have nothing to fear, for you are with them to the end!  Amen

                                         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.  

                                    God will always make a way

 

Although we are living in troubling times, Jesus has promised believers that he would be with us and that his peace would be our comfort.  For this very reason, Christ suffered and died for us so that nothing would have power to defeat us.  Yet it is sad as many continue to live in the bondage of the enemy’s lies when Jesus gave us the truth that set us free.

 

The trials and struggles of this earth are getting more perilous as each day brings additional trouble.  But we serve a risen Savior who has said that he would be with us always, even to the end of the age.  He foreknew of these times and the pain that we would have but he has an unfailing way to take us through every single one of them.

 

 Unfortunately, it is hard to keep your eyes on God when you are facing a serious medical issue, a crumbling marriage, financial difficulty, an addiction or any overwhelming problem that just won’t go away.  But it is in the midst of these painful issues that you must keep your faith for they are working in you a greater glory that is going to strengthen you in this life and bring you a reward that will last through eternity.

 

In Daniel 3:16-18, we read of three Jewish boys who refused to bow down to a false god knowing that they would be put to death in a fiery furnace for their faith.  They replied to King Nebuchadnezzar that “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it….But even if he does not, we want you to know, O King, that we will not serve your gods”. That is faith tested to the extreme.  These young men were thrown into the furnace bound tightly.  But when the king looked into the furnace, he said “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods”.  When he approached the opening of the furnace and called for the young men to come out, amazingly, not only had the fire not harmed them, but they did not even smell of smoke.

 

The Jewish boys who were bound and thrown into a furnace heated seven times hotter were brought safely through their ordeal.God could have kept them from going into the furnace but instead, he chose to take them through the fire!  His glory was revealed even greater as he showed that absolutely nothing, including fire, had any power over believers who trust in their God.  They were walking around in those flames, unbound, unharmed and in the presence of the Son of God who had never left them.

 

This is a very real truth for all of us today.  The fiery affliction that you may be going through has no power to destroy you!  The bondages that are hindering you and bringing you pain will be loosened and removed by the love of Christ who has a perfect plan for your life.  You will come forth from that impossible circumstance and be restored by the right hand of God who has promised you the victory.  If your faith is in Christ Jesus, there is no force that will ever be greater than his power to sustain you.

 

With his sacrifice on Calvary, Jesus defeated all of our enemies including death. Though you may grow weary in the problems of this world, he will renew your strength and give you a future. Stay in the peace knowing that  Jesus will always meet you in your pain and bring you to victory. That is a promise he died to give you! 

                           He sees your broken heart     

             

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Times are tough and the days are growing short.  It is difficult to stand in faith as the darkness fills the world.  Sometimes the pain we experience is just too much for us to bear.  Many may wonder if God is truly with them in all things. For instance, where is God when a loved one dies or when bad things happen to innocent people? This question and other similar ones have troubled believers everywhere.

 

The truth that remains is that God is with us in everything and anything that comes against us.  God’s plan was for us to live in paradise with him forever, but because of man’s sin, death and destruction came into our world. But the love of God never left us.

 

Sin is rebellion against God and it allowed Satan and his demons to roam this earth seeking to destroy us.  We were doomed. “But God so loved the world that he sent his only Son that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”. (John 3:16)

His love for us was so great that he was willing to sacrifice the blood of his Son Jesus to bring us back to fellowship with him.

 

God’s love for us continues even though we are sinners who turned from the ways of God.  To the ends of the earth, God has sent his word to seek out the lost and offer the free gift of salvation through the cross of Jesus. And though this world is perishing, those whose hope is in Christ will never be destroyed.  Death that can take the body can never touch the soul of a believer.  Jesus said in John 5:24, “Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” That means that no sickness,financial problems, divorce, pain or even death can end God’s promise for us of victory and eternity with him. 

 

Life on this earth is fleeting.  Eternity with God is never-ending and it is there that you will understand that the storms in your life were only the winds that brought you closer to the reward that God has prepared for you.  You will know then that God never left your side despite what you had to suffer.  The strength to endure and not to fear was always with you and that his power was manifested in your weakness.

 

There will always be death and evil on this earth until Jesus comes back.  That is why as believers we must not conform to this world but be set apart.  We must live different lives and not react as those who have no hope.  The sickness or loss of someone close to us may tear at our heart, but our strength must come from the hope that God has given us.

 

Our life on this earth is not the end.  Innocent people will continue to suffer at the hands of evildoers and sickness will take loved ones from this earth, but God’s justice and purpose will always prevail.  We must trust that God will use for good all that comes against us.

 

The Apostle Paul suffered torture and pain in his life, but he knew that it was all going to be used for the glory of God.  For him, to die was gain but to live was for Christ.  He knew that God had an eternal purpose for everything that he had to endure.

 

When we don’t understand the reason God allows pain and suffering in our lives and those whom we love, we must have faith that God is always at work in us, and that those who endure to the end will receive the reward that far outweighs it all! The trials of this earth are temporary, but the reward of God is eternal.  For now, I pray that you understand that God will be with you in your pain and will take you through the valley of your tears.  He is always faithful!

 

Dear Lord,  the pain and burdens of this world can bring us to our knees.  Sometimes we falter in our faith as we struggle against the war that the enemy is waging against us.  I pray that those who may have experienced a loss of a loved one or who is being overwhelmed by a situation that seems hopeless.  Fill them with your peace and love.  May they know that no problem is bigger than the God that they serve. Help them to understand that your ways are higher and better than ours.  Give them the strength to persevere in the battle and to keep their eyes on you.  Your perfect plan for their life will never fail!  We give you praise. Amen.

 

(Photo by Rob Bohning)

Christ is the reason we can have hope in our lives despite the storms we face. .  He is the promise for all good things and the strength to endure the trials of this life. 

 

The promises of God are real and his faithfulness will never fail us.  We have nothing to fear as believers because the power of God is always with us.  Yet at times those words may ring hollow when you are in a crisis situation.  You may be enduring the effects of a serious illness for which there is no cure. You may be struggling with financial difficulties and don’t know where to turn. You may be suffering the pain of a broken marriage or relationship and have lost all hope for the future.  Whatever the struggle, it can be hard to stand in your faith when your circumstance seems hopeless.

 

We read in Proverbs 24:10, “If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength!”.  The truth is that those who believe in the finished work of Jesus Christ have limitless power to defeat anything that comes against them.  In 1 John 5:4, we are told that everyone born of God overcomes the world.  The forces of evil cannot conquer a child of God. The devil himself knows that he is unable to harm a hair on your head but only what God permits.  And God will only allow that struggle or pain for which he has prepared in advance to bring you through to victory. Each trial we endure is permitted to help us to develop the perseverance that we need to stay strong in this life so that our faith may be proved genuine.  Christ did not suffer and die to lose the battle.  His death paid the price for our victory and it cannot be taken from us.  It does not matter what trouble you may be experiencing, God is willing and able to bring you through it. He alone can turn a painful situation into something that will be used for good with a reward that will last forever.  God’s promise in Isaiah 61:3 is to give you beauty for ashes and gladness instead of mourning. 

 

Those who have Jesus as their Savior have a living hope.  It does not matter how weary you may feel for it is Christ who will fight your battle and he knows how to rescue the godly from trials.  He has made us more than conquerors which means we cannot fail despite our weaknesses.  The Apostle Paul understood that all he had to suffer was permitted for a purpose.  He believed that God’s grace was able to meet all of his needs despite the pain he had to endure.  For that reason, Paul was able to be content in any and every situation, good or bad.  He said in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength”.  That is the kind of faith that honors God and defeats the enemy.

 

You can have the peace that surpasses understanding if you will keep your eyes on Christ instead of your problems.  There is nothing that is impossible for him.  He cannot fail you because it was by his great love that he created you.  He overcame death and left us a promise that he would always be with us.  Jesus will make a way through the mountain of your problems because his perfect plan for your life cannot be stopped.  Remember, the love of Christ will always defeat your enemies and keep you in his perfect peace. 

 

It is my prayer that you understand that it doesn’t matter where you are or what you are going through for Jesus will be there to help you.  You are never alone.  That is the promise Christ gave to us at the cross  when he cried, “It is finished”.   All things are under his authority and approval and for that, we have nothing to fear!

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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