Tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. —Romans 5:3-4
When my husband built a covered porch on the front of our house, he anticipated that someday a bird might try to build a nest there. So he built the top of the corner post on a slant. Later we laughed smugly when we saw robins trying their best to claim squatting rights to a new home. Piles of grass on the porch revealed their wasted efforts. But after 2 days of steady rain, we saw that a nest had indeed appeared in the very spot we thought was impossible. Because of the rain, Mrs. Robin was able to mix up a batch of mud mortar. Weaving it with twigs and grass, our determined feathered friend had built herself a new nest. She had persevered.
Perseverance is inspiring! Trying to live a Christ-honouring life while experiencing hardship can leave us frustrated and discouraged. But when we depend on God to help us through our difficulties, we are empowered to keep going even when we can’t always see the resolution of our problems. Galatians 6:9 reminds us not to grow “weary while doing good” and encourages us not to give up.
Is our loving God using a seemingly insurmountable challenge in your life to produce perseverance? Let Him produce in you character, and through character, hope (Rom. 5:3-4).
I dreamt I stood at Calvary And saw three crosses there;
On left and right were nailed two thieves,
The cross between was bare.
A soldier took his sword in hand,
Then pointing it at me;
He said, "You there, prepare to die.
That cross is meant for thee."
I quickly fell upon my knees,
For mercy did I cry;
As strong hands grabbed my hands and feet,
I shouted, "why, oh, why?
And then a voice both soft and sweet
Was heard above the din;
"Let this one go, take me instead.
I'll pay his debt of sin."
With His body torn and bleeding,
And thorn marks around His head;
With face bruised where they beat Him,
He stepped into my stead.
Then Jesus laid upon the cross,
His life to freely give;
That all my sins be washed away,
And through His death I'd live.
He stretched His arms out open wide,
No struggle did He make;
As they prepared to nail Him there,
His life to gladly take.
They drove the spikes in His hands and feet
And slammed the cross in place;
His bones were shaken out of joint,
And blood flowed from His face.
"Forgive them, Father" was His cry,
"They know not what they've done.
They don't realize that
You Have sent Your only Son."
Deep darkness filled the noonday sky
And trembling shook the ground;
As God, the Father, turned away,
While God, the Son, gazed around.
"It is finished now," the Savior said.
"The door stands open wide;
Into Thy hands My Spirit comes."
Then they pierced His side.
The graves were bursting open,
And dead men walked around;
The temple veil was rent in twain,
And I fell to the ground.
When I awoke, the night had passed
And sunshine flooded in; I cried,
Forgive me please, and cleanse me from my sin.
For You sent down Your only Son,
A ransom for the lost
And I see You included me,
When counting out the cost.
Take over the reins that guide my life,
Remove my willful pride;
Sweep clean my heart and enter in,
Forever there abide."
Yes, I dreamt I stood at Calvary
And saw those crosses three;
Yet no longer do I look with fear
Where Jesus died for me.
A little girl walked daily to and from school. Though the weather that morning was questionable and clouds were forming she made her daily trip to school. As the afternoon progressed, the winds whipped up, along with thunder and lightning. The mother of the little girl felt concerned that her daughter would be frightened as she walked home from school and she herself feared that the electrical storm might harm her child. Following the roar of thunder, lightning, like a flaming sword would cut through the sky. Full of concern, the mother quickly got in her car and drove along the route to her child's school. As she did so, she saw her little girl walking along, but at each flash of lightning, the child would stop, look up and smile. Another and another were to follow quickly, each with the little girl stopping, looking up and smiling. Finally, the mother called over to her child and asked, "What are you doing?" The child answered, smiling, "God just keeps taking pictures of me."
May today there be peace within you.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing that you are a child of God. Let His Presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, and to bask in the sun. It is there for each and every one of you.
Om jou droom te vervul, behoort jy te weet hoe om dit ook met ander te deel. En om dit na behore te doen, moet jy op vier maniere met hulle te kan skakel. Eerstens moet jy logiesgewys met hulle skakel. Dit wat mense nie glo nie, aanvaar hulle nie. So, jou eerste stap is om geloofwaardig te wees. Doen jy dit nie, sal jy beswaarlik kan voortgaan. Hoe doen mens dit? Deur 'n realistiese verstandhouding van die situasie soos dit vandag is te kommunikeer. Elke keer as jy jou visie deel, is een van die eerste dinge wat mense sal vra: 'Maar wat van...?' Al sou hulle dit nie hardop sê, sal hul dit vir hulself vra. En hulle sal aanhou vra totdat jy al hul kwessies aangespreek het. Dit verg dat jy baie deeglik is met die oordra van jou droom en nie net klem lê op die positiewe voordele ten uitsluiting van die uitdagings nie. Tweedens, jy moet 'n deeglike strategie voorhou waarin hulle kan glo. As 'n droom te groot en onbereikbaar lyk, gaan mense moedeloos raak en gou belangstelling verloor. Sodra groot drome in kleiner dele opgebreek word en die verskillende dele aan talentvolle individue gegee word, lyk die taak meer bereikbaar en elke mens wat betrokke is kry 'n groeiende gevoel van persoonlike eienaarskap en betrokkenheid. Dis 'n ware kuns om dit alles doeltreffend te kommunikeer sonder om in detail verstrengel te raak en mense te verveel. Jy moet genoeg inligting oordra om die meeste mense tevrede te stel, maar nie soveel dat jy hulle verloor nie. Dit alles verg vaardigheid, oefening en God se hulp. Maar om jou droom te deel, moet jy leer om dit te doen.
Sielskos: Jer 22-24; Markus 2:1-12
May the abundant love that Jesus had for you when he died on the cross and the Spirit he left inside of you when He rose fill you, may it heal you, may it bring positive changes into your life may it bring you closer to God, may you always be at peace.
Always remember that even though we are not always faithful God is always faithful He can not deny Himself.
2 Timothy 2:13 (Amp) If we are faithless [do not believe and are untrue to Him], He remains true (faithful to His Word and His righteous character), for He cannot deny Himself.
Through him you have come to trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are set on God. 1 Peter 1.21
Gladys Aylward, a missionary to China a half century ago, was forced to leave her missionary work when the Japanese invaded Yangcheng. In fleeing certain death, she led nearly a hundred orphans over the mountains to Free China. It was a frightening journey. At times she was burdened by despair. One morning after a sleepless night, fearing they would never reach safety, she shared her hopelessness with the orphans. A 13‑year‑old girl reminded her of their much‑loved story of Moses and the Israelites crossing the Red Sea.
"But I am not Moses," Gladys Aylward replied.
"Of course you aren't," the girl responded, "but Jehovah is still God!"
And that is the point, isn't it? Christ can help us. Christ can enter our lives and transform us into people who can accomplish more good things than we ever dreamed possible. All we have to do is trust him.
I watched intently as my little brother was caught in the act. He sat in
the corner of the living room, a pen in one hand and my father's brand-new
hymnbook in the other.
As my father walked into the room, my brother cowered slightly; he sensed
that he had done something wrong. From a distance I could see that he had
opened my father's new hymnal and scribbled in it the length and breadth
of the first page with a pen. Now, staring at my father fearfully, he and
I both waited for his punishment. And as we waited, there was no way we
could have known that our father was about to teach us deep and lasting
lessons about life and family, lessons that continue to become even
clearer through the years.
My father picked up his prized hymnal, looked at it carefully, and then
sat down, without saying a word. Books were precious to him; he was a
clergyman and the holder of several degrees. For him, books were
knowledge, and yet he loved his children. What he did next was remarkable.
Instead of punishing my brother, instead of scolding or yelling or
reprimanding, he sat down, took the pen from my brother's hand, and then
wrote in the book himself, alongside the scribbles John had made: John's
work, 1959, age 2. How many times have I looked into your beautiful face
and into your warm, alert eyes looking up at me and thanked God for the
one who has now scribbled in my new hymnal. You have made the book sacred,
as have your brothers and sister to so much of my life.
"Wow," I thought. "This is punishment?"
The years and the books came and went. Our family experienced what all
families go through and perhaps a little bit more: triumph and tragedy,
prosperity and loss, laughter and tears. We gained grandchildren, we lost
a son. We always knew our parents loved us and that one of the proofs of
their love was the hymnal by the piano. From time to time we would open
it, look at the scribbles, read my father's expression of love, and feel
Now I know that through this simple act my father taught us how every
event in life has a positive side - if we are prepared to look at it from
another angle - and how precious it is when our lives are touched by
little hands. But he also taught us about what really matters in life:
people, not objects; tolerance, not judgment; love, not anger. Now I, too,
am a father, and, like my dad, a clergyman and holder of degrees. But
unlike my father, I do not wait for my daughters to secretly take books
from my bookshelf and scribble in them. From time to time I take one down
- not just a cheap paperback but a book that I know I will have for many
years to come, and I give it to one of my children to scribble or write
their names in. And as I look at their artwork, I think about my father,
the lessons he taught me, the love he has for us and which I have for my
children - love that is at the very heart of a family.
I think about these things and I smile. Then I whisper, "Thank you, Dad."
"But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ"
(Romans 8:11, AMP)
This past weekend, we celebrated the resurrection of our precious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. So much happened at Calvary's cross over two thousand years ago; but ultimately, because of Jesus, we can celebrate victory! Jesus overcame sin and death so that we can have abundant life. Because of Jesus, we have total victory over anything that would try to hold us back in this life!
No matter what stronghold, sin, addiction or bondage has held you captive in the past, today you can be free. When you receive Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you receive His power. Sin can't hold you back any longer because when the Son sets you free, you are free indeed! (See John 8:36.) It all starts by believing and receiving this promise and then building faith by hearing the Word of God.
Today, if you don't know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, there's no better time to get on the road to victory! Receive Him, receive the truth, and let it transform every area of your life!
Heavenly Father, thank You for giving me victory! Thank You for Your Word which is life and healing water to my soul. I choose to set my heart and thoughts on You, knowing that You are empowering me to overcome in every area of my life in Jesus' name. Amen!