Saturday, August 30, 2014

God desires us to be strong- to trust Him.

Hebrews 12:12-13

Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed."

The above verse gives me a mental picture of a very sad, fearful, weak and  insecure person, somebody who has made the mistake of giving discouragement too big a welcome. If you read through the words carefully, I'm fairly certain you will see yourself there, if not now, then perhaps in the past. I say this because every one of us has been confronted with trials: some huge, very painful and intimidating- almost always causing us to be afraid. Most of us, if we're honest, will admit that when the trial is unexpected, and something that is going to drastically change our lives, we are tempted to avoid it, to find an easier way out.

There are numerous ways of avoiding the crisis, rather than facing it, and too often, when we are up against something that we're fearful of, we say "I am not ready to deal with that just now." We say this because, at the moment, we feel inadequate, not strong enough. And why do we feel this way?  Because we gave discouragement too big a welcome, which is not good.  Discouragement makes a man physically, mentally, morally, and spiritually weak: it becomes a comfy blanket, one we find difficult to discard.

What God is saying in this verse is "Lift up the hands that hang down." Don't let this latest problem get you down. It's not as if you're facing it alone. I AM WITH YOU.

Get up- Stand tall. Turn around, and without hesitation face that which you fear.  As soon as you take that first step I will lead you to victory.

Don't let your feet "be turned out of the way."  (cause you to walk in the wrong path),but let your body " be healed," your faith made strong again. Open your hands and let go of yesterday's failures, and all that troubles you today.

I have binders full of my favorite quotations. The two I am sharing below are two that have kept me strong midst my darkest, most painful moments.

"Go right ahead and leave no Jericho behind you unconquered, and no place where Satan can say that he was too much for you."
                                                                 A.B. Simpson

This quotation has been a huge help to me. Every time I became overwhelmed, fearful, or felt too intimidated to move forward I thought of this quotation. I do not ever wish to give Satan opportunity to say he was too much for me. I wish him to know that no matter how tough my crisis, or how painful, I know that whether I live or die, I am, and will always be, the Lord's, so either way  I win.

I pray for each of you every day, asking God to keep you happy, healthy, and close to His heart, which is the most wonderful place to be.


"Pay as little attention to discouragement as possible. Plough ahead as a steamer does, rough or smooth--rain or shine. To carry your cargo and make your port is the point.
                                                            -Maltbie D. Babcock


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Regarding Promises

JUNE 9, 2000

 Ecclesiastes 3:14
"I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing be taken away from it; and God doeth it, that man should fear before him."

What an impressive thought that is; knowing that whatever God does -or says- stands for ever- is something we can rely upon.

Titus:1:2 "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began."

How many times have we heard the anguished cry (but you promised)? How many times have we seen marriages dissolve because of broken promises? How many times have we witnessed the heartache and devestation caused by a broken promise?  Husbands walk away from wives and wives from their husbands, over minor disagreements. Children run away from home, get into drugs, drinking and promiscuity because of promises not kept.

We fall in love, marry, and promise to love for ever- but do we? We make friends with somebody, share everything for long periods of time, promise to always be there for each other- then aren't. We seem to have no true understanding of what permanence is- and except for Christ, we have no good example.
    We say we love our children, yet when they get out of hand, when we can no longer handle them- we turn our backs on them. The children of the world need permanence; need to know that when Mom, Dad, sister, brother, friend, pastor, or teacher says "I love you. I'll always be here for you, no matter what." they mean it.
    In our dealings with one another, we need to think- before speaking. It is far better to promise nothing and do our best, than to constantly promise things- and break that promise. We give our love- then take it away as if it were a trinket of some kind, a toy to be used for emotional blackmail.

I had a wonderful friend who got cancer-  lost both breasts. Until the day that happened her marriage seemed solid. But her husband, upon hearing the news, did not even visit her after her operation; just left a note with her mother. It said."I'm sorry. I just can't deal with this." As many years ago as that was, I still remember how heartbroken my friend was, how long and hard she cried. I was so angry at her husband, so resentful of how he'd abandoned her after promising to love her forever.
   For the longest time after that experience, I found myself listening to what members of my family said to one another, what neighbors said, what friends and their families said about love- and what they promised. I was amazed- and bitterly disillusioned with what I saw and heard. And to be perfectly honest with you, not much has changed. If anything, it's worse.

Today mankind still lacks understanding, still fails to realize the sacredness of a promise; whether that be in marriage, a friendship, or between brother and sister. The death of a loved one, a difference of opinion, incompatibility, major illnesses, finances, loss of a job, betrayal, or just a simple misunderstanding: all of these seem to be cause these days for people to remove themselves from what they once made a commitment too. All of these caused separation between good people who claimed to love one another. But NONE of these things, or anything else can ever separate us from the love of Christ. No matter our circumstance he is enough!

Psalms 19:7-9

(7) The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is
sure, making wise the simple.
(8) The statues of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
(9) The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are 

true and righteous altogether.

I think sometimes of how lost I was before Christ found and rescued me from myself. Before Christ I was so different than how I am now: breaking my word, drinking and smoking, caring for myself before others. I was constantly disappointing or disillusioning people - always hurting so deep in my heart, not liking the person I was becoming, but ignorant as to how I could change- how to help myself. I had nothing to offer others! I could not give them courage, teach them patience, show them what trust was. I could not reveal what love was like, or tell them how it felt to be sure of something. I could not offer them encouragement because hope scarcely existed for me at the time.
     When Jesus came into my heart I discovered what it meant to truly be alive. I learned how it felt to be loved for myself- flaws and all, to have somebody in my corner who not only loved me , but liked me; somebody I could count on to be at my side till my very last breath. I discovered that trials were nothing to be afraid of any more, because it didn't matter how weak I was, or how insecure or unsure of myself. I had Christ now, and HE was all I would ever need.

I have had, as all you've had, some really rough waters to wade through. There have been some pretty rough, painful, heartbreaking storms in my life too. Many times I wanted to quit! I used to say to myself, "My heart can only be broken so may times and this is it." But I realized my heart would be just fine as long as I kept close to Jesus, as long as He held the number 1 place in my heart. 

My time with the Lord in the morning, is my most favorite time. It's where I get all the good stuff  that helps me be able to bless others. It's where I discover over and over again, how much God loves me. When He says "I will never leave you or forsake you." he means it. So if you are having a rough time in a relationship, remember that you can just do your best. If the other person works hard on it too, that's great. If have the Lord in your corner. He is all you will ever need.

My prayers are with you...and with those you love.
God bless you,