Coming forth from our pain will emerge a deeper trust in God. . . a beauty we can not even imagine. Even though we can't see Him or at times even understand what we're going through, we can always look around us and see His beautiful handiwork. His creation speaks and gives confirmation that He sees us, knows our hearts, and is aware of our pain.
"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes,
No matter where we are or how we feel, He is there. We are never out of the tender reach of His hand. It brings comfort to me knowing I'm never out of His reach and always on His mind and in His heart. As His child, I can never be removed from His strength, support, and the comfort of His presence. Thank You, Father, for Your tender mercies. They are new every morning.
Every moment is a unique place we’ve never been. The familiar becomes the unfamiliar. Trusting our unchanging God when we’re traveling uncharted territory is vital to finding hope. Sorrow, suffering, brokenness, are all an inevitable part of our journey. We could not know love without loss and sorrow, joy without suffering, and peace (wholeness) without brokenness.
When you're trying to find your way through the messy road of hurt, cling to what you know is true—-we have an unchanging God. That doesn’t mean the road of hurt to healing and hope is going to be easy; it will more than likely be a messy journey full of detours. And your journey is not going to be like someone else’s—-it’s a personal journey with a personal, loving God traveling the road with you. I wish there were five easy steps to no longer feel your pain, but there’s no such thing. What you do have are cross-shaped blazes marking the way to finding hope, reminding you of the truths found in God’s Word. Christ is your hope of glory, your hope for healing and peace. Based upon the truths found in God’s GPS system (His Word), I can promise you, you will get through this. He is with you because He doesn't leave you to walk this journey alone.
Grief tempts us to walk alone because it’s raw and messy and we don’t want to be seen as weak. Fight against that temptation to walk the trail alone. Walk knowing He is with you and ask Him to bring godly friends to walk beside you on this path to healing. They will be “Jesus with skin on’ as you journey through the messy paths of life.
“For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; f
or why does one also hope for what he sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance, we wait eagerly for it.”
Today, Colin Powell, Former Secretary of State, summarized my feelings well when he spoke on NPR. Speaking about the GOP presidential candidates Powell said, "To stand there and do junior high school tricks on one another is belittling the country and belittling the office to which they are striving." Powell also said, "Even Jerry Springer thinks it's gone too far, and when Jerry Springer thinks you've gone too far, my friends, you have gone too far."
Apparently, our society has lost the ability to be civil and speak with decency and respect. We are deluged daily with news that is causing anxiety and anger levels to rise within us. Is anyone else tired of it?
Think about the verse in this graphic and ask yourself: "Do I have a calm, undisturbed mind and heart? If not, is there any envy, jealousy, or wrath in my attitudes and actions? Do I lack that peace in my life because I'm blaming someone else for what's wrong in my life and/or the world?" This includes hateful speech towards a specific group of people or individual - i.e. Muslims and the President, and presidential candidates.
Instead of cursing them, ask God to bless them with whatever their need may be. Do they need to know our Savior? Bless them by praying for their salvation rather than speaking a curse upon them. Romans 12:14 tells us, "Bless those who persecute you, bless and curse not." Whichever we choose to do, that is what will come back upon us. Praying a blessing brings peace, life, and health upon ourselves. Speaking ill of those who stand diametrically opposed to our beliefs and political views, wishing wrath to fall upon them, will bring rottenness to our very being, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. It is a known medical fact that stress, anxiety and anger can cause illness.
It's time to calm our hearts. It's time to pray more and propagate fear and anxiety less. Let's take the fear aspect out of how we communicate and replace it with calm, clarity and confidence. It's time to cease striving and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10 NASB). It's time for Christ-followers to know how to give a defense with meekness and respect (1 Peter 3:15 NASB). Our position in Christ gives us the security we need to live and walk in this hostile world. Remember, we are ambassadors of our homeland. We are eternal citizens of another land. We are in this world, but we are no longer of it. (John 17:13-21) It's time for us to transform our minds. (Romans 12:2)
Won't you join me in speaking truth in love? Let us all sanctify Christ as Lord in our hearts and allow Him free access to our tongue and lives.
Even the most steadfast beacons of hope can become paralyzed when hit by a polar vortex. There's just no way to prevent life's harshness from immobilizing us sometimes.
A constant barrage of cruel, demoralizing words. . . the feeling of being totally isolated and alone. . . catastrophic illness. . . the sudden loss of a loved one. . . just some of the polar vortexes that freeze us dead in our tracks, unable to move.
People may look at your frozen state and see things you are unable to see because you are entombed. They will see the intricate handiwork of God working in your life, supporting you, enabling you to stand in this storm. Their stares and comments may not appear to you as the help you were so desperately seeking. Sometimes there's just not anything anyone can tangibly do in that moment.
Take heart, dear one. You are standing on The Rock. This is not permanent, nor will you be forever destroyed. In His time, He will thaw the icy tomb that is encasing you at this moment. You will come through this polar vortex and shine once again, giving glory to God for all He has done.
The world seems to be spinning out of control lately. Change can be harsh at times and create mounting tensions. I believe there will be hard days ahead for the inhabitants of this old world.
But this one thing I know for sure: Because Jesus overcame the world, the troubles of this world will not destroy us. Our "normal" ways of life may be over, but He's making all things new. As my friend, Ann Voskamp, reminded me, we have unwavering peace today when an uncertain tomorrow is trusted to an unchanging God.
Today, I choose to trust. I choose peace. I choose joy. And tomorrow when I wake up, it will be another today, and I will choose to trust. I will choose peace. I will choose joy. My life is in His hands. I will trust in knowing He is carrying me through and lead me every step of the way. I have hope in an unchanging God.
"I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
My heart breaks for those suffering persecution. Would to God I could rescue them all. But they already have a rescuer, a redeemer, who has not abandoned them even though it may appear He has to some who have suffered for so long.
Having a daughter and her family serving as missionaries in a third world country, I find myself continually surrendering them to God, asking Him to protect them, and to also give them (and Mike and I) the grace they need should He call them to give their lives. It's a hard prayer, a prayer for grace to live and die by.
And that is my prayer for all Christians everywhere. That we would be given the grace to stand - to live for Him even if it's to kneel before the enemy and be beheaded...then Lord, grant us dying grace. The world is moved by the testimony of the saints as they point to the Savior. May God grant us all grace and peace in the midst of horror, and perseverance in the midst of persecution (and mounting persecutions in our own country.) We simply must fix our eyes on Him, the author and finisher of our faith. He calls us to action, and so we do what we can amidst evil and corruption, but we can't rely upon human governments to fix the world. At best they can put a band-aid on it. This battle has been going on since the fall of man. Some are called to be martyrs, but they are not redeemed by their martyrdom, nor are they capable of redeeming others through their heroic act of courage. There is only One who can redeem the world.
Here is the hard truth...
Jesus came to rescue and redeem EVERYONE! Not just the ones we deem as worth saving.
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21
Try to wrap your mind around the full essence of truth found in this verse. He bore the sins of the world...the WHOLE world. Those people doing all that persecution of Christians around the world, groups like ISIS...He died for them. God is grieved by sin, He abhors it. And yet He desires all men to be saved and made it possible through His Son, Jesus Christ. Me, I'm ready to send every last one of them to hell.... how self-righteous of me! Those politicians that we can't stand because they're making a mess of our country....we criticize and get angry at them, we ridicule, point fingers and place blame. Yep...He died for them.
I just can't fathom His fathomless grace.
Mark Mosley is a Christian inspirational speaker. He shared a humbling reminder of just how vast His infinite sacrifice for all mankind is.
Jesus bore the sins of the Assyrians, who gloated over the captives they had skinned alive; the sins of SS troops, machine-gunning women and children running from burning synagogues with clothing ablaze.
Won't you join me in praying for the persecuted church? Here are some helpful prayer points to lead us in praying effectively for them...and their persecutors.
I would add to that last line, "And I have borne all this for them." The mercy that God expended upon mankind at the cross was immeasurable. Christ died for the worst of sinners, and loved the most hateful of enemies. What a powerful reminder of God's enormous love! Christ bore our sin and our punishment so we could bear His righteousness and His reward.
I'm humbled...perplexed...overwhelmed by His grace and mercy. What an amazing grace.
We see images, our hearts race. The media frenzy dies and our hearts stop beating with hope and compassion.... a life-threatening dysrthymia of the heart... we shut down, our heart stops beating with compassion for the lost, the downtrodden, the hurting, those treated unjustly. We stop looking around us and seeing the hopeless and hurting around us because we feel there's nothing we can do, or it's not my rubble so I don't need to deal with it. When our hearts stop beating and we have a flat line pulse, that's when we need spiritual defibrillation so our hearts will beat again with hope and compassion.
But what if you're the one whose life is laying in ruins leaving you with a heart that's skipping beats and racing out of rhythm? He wants to restart your heart, too. Stay with me... hopefully He will breathe Hope into you.
If God is good, why do people have to suffer ?
Theologians have discussed this question for years. And this side of eternity I don't know we'll ever know the complete answer. But from what I read in Scripture and from things I've gone through in my life, I keep coming back to God allows these things to happen so we will seek Him. We read about it in Paul's sermon on Mars Hill in Acts 17:24-27. He's appointed our times and boundaries so we would seek Him.
Are you hurting? Feeling hopelessly lost in the rubble of life?
A message was sent by ISIS this week.
A message of intimidation and fear.
What will our message be in response?
The solution to this crisis of faith is to wield our own double-edged sword - the Word of God, not haphazardly hacking away at anyone who challenges us, but as a skilled warrior, for those days when we need to do hand-to-hand combat with the enemy. Allow the light of His word to penetrate your very soul, become intimately acquainted with Him. Be dressed and ready to defend your faith with courage. Put on the armor of God found in Ephesians 6:10-20.
The vast majority of us will never experience life-threatening persecution or martyrdom. But the voices of our brothers and sisters who are facing this are calling out. They're saying, "Pray for us!"
Intercessory prayer is our most powerful and strategic corporate weapon in spiritual warfare. Mark 9:29, Luke 22:31,32; Acts 1:14; Acts 2:42; Acts 3:1; Acts 4:24-35; Acts 6:4-8; Acts 8:14-16; Acts 9:40-42; and Acts 10:1-4 are just some of the places we read about the importance of intercessory prayer.
When we read Ephesians 6:18-20 we learn of the kind of prayer that brings God's deliverance and power in the midst of spiritual attack.
• Consistent Prayer (verse 18a)
• Intense Prayer (verse 18b)
• Strategic Prayer (verses 18c-20)
I've created a pdf file that will help us to pray for the persecuted church. Please feel free to download it and use it during your prayer time.
The LORD is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life -
of whom shall I be afraid? ~ Psalm 27:1
What is God's response?
I repeat, be strong and brave! Don't be afraid and don't panic, for I, the LORD your God, am with you in all you do. ~ Joshua 1:9 (NET Bible)
Becoming the woman of grace God's designed me to be. it's all simply grace.
Bride Of Christ
Goodness Of God
Hearing God's Voice
Help For The Hurting
Love Of God
More Than A Baby
Name Of God
Sanctity Of Life
The Broken Way
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