Friday, August 30, 2013

"A Loving Father"

At times, God must discipline us to help us. This is similar to a loving parent's disciplining his child. The discipline is not very enjoyable to the child, but it is essential to teach him right from wrong. The Bible says that, "no discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." (Hebrews 12:11). When you feel God's hand of correction, accept it as proof of His love. Realize that God is urging you to follow His paths instead of stubbornly going on your own way. (Psalm 94:12,13-"Blessed is the one you discipline, Lord, the one you teach from your law; you grant them relief from days of trouble, till a pit is dug for the wicked.) So, I leave you with one thought. Our Father in Heaven loves and cherishes you so much that He would correct us from destruction from ourselves.

Monday, August 19, 2013

"Faithful To Faithless Back To Faithful"

When we have endured so much that we seem to have no faith left. We may be faithless at times, but Jesus is faithful to His Promise to be with us "to the very end of age". Refusing Christ's help will break our communication with God, but He will never turn His back on us, even though we may turn our backs on Him. (1 Thessalonians 3:1-3-"So when we could stand it no longer, we thought it best to be left by ourselves in Athens. 2 We sent Timothy, who is our brother and co-worker in God’s service in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, 3 so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. For you know quite well that we are destined for them.")

We all know quite well that we are destined for trials, and troubles that could waver our faith a bit. Some think troubles are always caused by sin or a lack of faith. Trials may be a part of God's plan for believers. Experiencing problems and persecutions can actually build character, (James 1:2-4-"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.") perseverance, (Roman 5:3-5-"Not only so, but we[a] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.") and sensitivity  toward others who also facing trouble (2 Corinthians 1:3-7-"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.") 

Problems are unavoidable for God's people. Your troubles may be a sign of effective Christian living. And I would like to add to this. I have gone through some pretty deep valley's the last year alone. This one right now is probably the hard one I've ever had to go through. However, big, or deep the trials are, I know God has my back and I can always talk to Him and He will listen. I may not hear anything back immediately, but I know My Father God is listening. We are all pilgrims on this journey to fulfill our duties for our Lord Jesus Christ.  But I do mess up. And that is why I lean and trust on the Grace and Mercy God shows us everyday. So, be encouraged, if you are messing up, that's okay. God will open up His arms to you and love on you if you repent of your sins, and move on. God has wiped your slate clean because of what Jesus did on the cross. It's not a works thing, it's a faith thing. Now, that is good news!

Sunday, August 11, 2013


Proverbs 24:10-"If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength." Times of trouble can be useful. They can show who you really are, what kind of character you have developed. In addition, they can help you grow stronger. When Jeremiah questioned God because of the trouble he faced God asked "how he ever expected to face big challenges if the little one's tired him out?" (Jeremiah 12:5-"If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?) Don't complain about your problems. The trouble you face today is training you to be stronger for the more difficult situations you will face in the future.

Just because you don't feel or see anything happening, doesn't mean God isn't working. He always works behind the scenes first. God will never let you down! (Hebrews 13:5-6-"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you;  never will I forsake you.”So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.  What can mere mortals do to me?”) God is saying, "Everything will work out! I'm in control." I know what the medical report says, I know what the financial situation looks like. I see your dreams. Just trust me!" So, I encourage you to do the same today.

Friday, August 9, 2013

"Don't turn in or out, but Up!"

"David's firm faith in God contrasted sharply with his enemies' loud lying and boasting. When confronted with verbal attacks, the best defense is simply to be quiet and Praise God, realizing that our confidence is in His Love and faithfulness (Psalm 57:10-"For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.") In times of great suffering, don't turn inward to self-pity (blame yourself) or outward to revenge (blame someone else), but turn Upward to God!

God cares in the midst of our deepest sorrow, (Psalm 55:22-"Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken."). Jesus reminded us further of how much God understands it-He knows even the number of hairs on our head (Matthew 10:30-"And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.") Often, we waver between faith and fear. When we feel so discouraged we are sure no one understands, remember that God knows every problem and sees every tear.

In Psalm 57:4 it says, "I am in the midst of lions; I lie among ravenous beasts-men whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords."(At times we may be surrounded by people who gossip about us or criticize us. Verbal cruelty can damage us as badly as physical abuse. Rather than answering with hateful words, we like David, can talk to God about the problem.)

So, I leave you with one thought, the next time we have a problem, try turning upward to God first. I'm sure He won't let you down.