God promises, “When you pass through the waters, I’ll be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, nor will the flame scorch you.” (Isaiah 43:2).
Will your unhappy marriage become happy in a heartbeat? Not likely. Does God guarantee the absence of struggle? Not in this life. But He does pledge to reweave your pain for a higher purpose.
It won’t be quick. Joseph was 17 years old when his brothers abandoned him. He was 37 when he saw them again. Another year passed before he saw his father. Sometimes God takes His time. But remember this: You are a version of Joseph in your generation. His story is in the Bible for this reason: To teach us to trust God to trump evil. What Satan intends for evil, God redeems for good. You will get through this!
This question came up at a late night discussion of pastors some time ago, "If Jesus were to walk into this room right now, would you know him, and if so, how would you know him?" There was a long and heavy discussion, when the entire issue was turned upside down by the person who said, "The comfort, the good news of the gospel, is not that I could, would, or should know Jesus if he came into the room right now, but that he would know me!" The pastors had temporarily forgotten the wonder of God's grace: it is not we who do the holding on to, but it is we who are held. John M. Braaten "The Greatest Wonder Of All"
Looking at the time in which we are living is very difficult. It truly seems that there is almost no good news to be heard. The economy, millions without jobs, the wars going on worldwide, and the riots we read about in places that are supposed to be stable, food shortages, fuel shortages and then there is death and destruction which we will never understand. The list could grow quite long if we wanted it to, but these are the times in which we live. Paul Harvey wrote these words about our times: "In times like these, it is helpful to remember that there have always been times like these." Keeping things in perspective is sometimes hard to do, but I heard about a = wise grandmother that could help us all in this area. It seems that a little boy is telling his Grandma how "everything" is going wrong: School, family problems, health problems, etc. Meanwhile, Grandma is baking a cake. She asks her grandson if he would like a snack, which of course he does. "Here, have some cooking oil." "Yuck" says the boy. "How about a couple raw eggs?" "Gross, Grandma!" "Would you like some flour then? Or maybe baking soda?" "Grandma, those are all yucky!" To which Grandma replies: "Yes, all those things seem bad all by themselves. But when they are put together in the right way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake!" She = continued, "God works the same way in our lives." Ecclesiastes 1:9-10 tells us, "What has been will be again, what has been d= one will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one can say, "Look! This is something new"? It was here already , long ago; it was here before our time." | What can we do, how do we react when our world is falling apart and we have= been warned that history is going to repeat itself or our world (even our personal world) has no chance to avoid unwanted changes, no matter what we do? I would suggest to you, that we must focus on that which is unchanging,= that which gives us hope for the future that will never change. In Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 King Solomon reminds us: "Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, f= or this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil." Do you want Security? Do you want Stability? Do you want the promise of a life that is not subject to the changes of this world? Then put your faith, your life, and your trust in the hands of our God! In our unstable world there is stability if you know where to look! I love Romans 8:35-39 where Paul writes: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship o= r persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be= slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." In times like these, where is your trust, your security, your stability? Russ Lawson Messages From The Heart
“Whatever your hand finds good to do, do it with all your might…” (Ecclesiastes 9:10)
An humorous illustration gives an example of the wrong attitude toward work: Manager: “I’m sorry I can’t hire you, but there isn’t enough work to keep you busy.” Applicant: “You’d be surprised how little it takes.”
This is clearly an exaggeration in order to prove a point, but some people truly have this mentality toward work; they don’t take pride in the performance of their responsibilities. According to the Bible, however, this is backward thinking; everyone, great and small should do their best, working with energy and integrity unto their real Master, God. (Col 3:23).
It is difficult not to get caught up in the pursuit for power and position. After all in the eyes of the world these are highly prized and sought after treasures. But when we lock eyes with Jesus and turn a deaf ear to the praises of men, the only thing that truly matters is doing everything with an attitude of pleasing and honouring Him. It is from God that the gift of work comes, so it is to Him that our efforts should be aimed.
Heavenly Father help me do my work according to Your standards, and in accordance with Your statutes. Father my aim in my work is to please You, in Jesus’ Name…amen
GALATIANS 4:6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”
Have you ever realized that God was never known as “Father” until Jesus came to earth and revealed Him as such? In His prayer to His Father, Jesus said, “And I have declared to them Your Name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:26) What name was Jesus referring to? It was the name “Father”. If there was anything close to Jesus’ heart, it was to introduce God as “Father” to us.
In the Bible, Jesus said, “Therefore, do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’…For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.” (Matthew6:31–32) Once, He said, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:11)
Jesus wants you to always have this image of God in your mind—that He is your Abba, Father. Why? Because He wants you to know that there is nothing more important or too insignificant for the Father when it comes to His children.
Imagine a father playing with his five-year-old son, when he notices a splinter embedded in his little boy’s thumb. The concerned father asks, “When did you get this?”
“A few days ago,” the boy answers.
“Why didn’t you tell Daddy about it?”
“I thought you were too busy and that I shouldn’t bother you.”
If you were that father, wouldn’t it break your heart to hear your child say this to you?
A splinter in one’s thumb may be a small thing, but there is nothing too small when it concerns your child because if it affects him, it affects you too. Now, no matter how old you are today, you are still God’s child, so don’t think that your problem is too small for God. If it is important to you, it is important to your Father too. Beloved, always remember that He is your Abba, Father!
JOHN 14:27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you…
In Israel, Jews greet each other with the words “shalom, shalom”. Unlike the English word “peace”, “shalom” does not just mean peace of mind, but also wholeness for your entire being—spirit, soul and body. It means having a sense of completeness and soundness. In other words, shalom encompasses your provision, health, safety and total well-being.
When Jesus spoke to His disciples in John 14:27, He did not use the English word “peace”. He would have used the Hebrew word “shalom”, saying, “Shalom I leave with you, My shalom I give to you…” Interestingly, the word “leave” here actually means “bequeath”, the way a rich man bequeaths his estate to his beneficiary.
The disciples must have been excited when they heard that Jesus was bequeathing them His shalom. They must have known that to receive His shalom was to have His health because they had never seen Him sick. To have His shalom also meant never being in lack because He was never broke. Whenever He needed money, money was there. Once, money to pay the temple tax came in the mouth of a fish! (Matthew 17:24–27)
The disciples also understood that having Jesus’ shalom meant having His abundance because they had seen Him meeting the needs of thousands with plenty of leftovers. They saw him feeding 5,000 men (not counting the women and children) with 12 baskets full of leftovers! (Mark 6:34–44)
Jesus wanted His disciples to know that His peace was different from the peace that the world offers. His peace would change whatever trying circumstances that beset them. Even if it was a mega storm, it would have to bow to His peace. The Prince of Peace merely spoke, “Peace, be still!” and the winds and the sea obeyed Him. (Mark 4:39) His peace changed the mega storm into a perfect calm.
Beloved, that is the kind of peace that Jesus has bequeathed to you. Therefore, believe that His shalom which He has left with you will change all your difficult situations, bringing you from sickness, lack and mental anguish to health, provision and total wellness!
“There is neither Jew not Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)
In every heart there lurks a splinter of prejudice, causing bus to view with discomfort or disdain someone different in some way from us. Jesus, being without sin did not fall into that trap. When He met a Samaritan woman by Jacob’s well in Sychar, He effortlessly crossed every barrier that might have separated them.
He crossed the racial barrier, for the Jew of that day despised the Samaritans. Jesus crossed the gender barrier, for men of that era did not initiate dialogue with unknown women. He passed the social divide because the two of them were from different lifestyle.
He was a man; she was a woman
He was a rabbi; she was uneducated
He was a Jew; she was a Samaritan
He was moral; she was immoral
But Jesus loves every one and takes no notice of race, language, gender or social status. Being Christians mean that we prayerfully and continually purge our hearts every trace of bias, partiality, pre-conceived opinions or prejudice.
There is a bit of that in every human heart…but none in Christ’s heart! So let His heart set the tone for our own.
This is what the LORD says blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes;= its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." (Jeremiah 17:5-8) In our back yard, there is a spot where red and pink Pentas are planted. These flowers are hardy, and do well in our tropical heat. They are colorful , and are butterfly attractors as well. Flash floods occasionally soak the Pentas. These plants are resilient, however, and after the soggy, drippy leaves dry out, the flowers bloom brillian tly. More of a problem than too much water, is too little water. We might go for= days, or weeks with no rain; sometimes with scorching sun beating down. They can look kind of pitiful, definitely dried up, with the flowers faded, or gone entirely. Yet these plants always bounce back. A bit of rain, a little shade, and they are good to go again. Some plants are created to withstand drought. Are we? In the first book of songs, in the Bible, this very thing is addressed. The amplilfied version says it this way: "Blessed, happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly, following their advice, their plans and purposes, .. but his delight and desire are in the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God; = he habitually meditates, ponders and studies by day and by night. And he sh= all be like a tree firmly planted and tended by the streams of water, ready= to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper and come to maturity." (Ps 1:1-3= ) We may not be as naturally sturdy as Pentas. Yet if we stay near the River= of God, and are continually soaked and watered in His Word, we will not only be able to just make it through droughts, we will flourish in spite of them. Thats good news.