Sunday, December 24, 2017

10 Favorite C.S. Lewis Quotes to Ponder This Christmas


     Christmas should be a time of personal reflection about the past year and your walk with God throughout it.  Count your blessings, remember God's faithfulness, repent of any unresolved sin separating you from God, and thank God for sending the greatest gift of all--Jesus--for each of us to receive as our personal Savior! 
     May you take the time to grasp the full meaning of my top 10 C.S. Lewis quotes below:

10 amazing Christmas quotes from C. S. Lewis |

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Jesus Paid It All, All To Him I Owe

"Jesus Paid It All" lyrics

  1. I hear the Savior say,
    “Thy strength indeed is small;
    Child of weakness, watch and pray,
    Find in Me thine all in all.”
    • Refrain:
      Jesus paid it all,
      All to Him I owe;
      Sin had left a crimson stain,
      He washed it white as snow.

For nothing good have I
Whereby Thy grace to claim;
I’ll wash my garments white
In the blood of Calvary’s Lamb.

And now complete in Him,
My robe, His righteousness,
Close sheltered ’neath His side,
I am divinely blest.
  1. Lord, now indeed I find
    Thy pow’r, and Thine alone,
    Can change the leper’s spots 
    And melt the heart of stone.
  2. When from my dying bed
My ransomed soul shall rise,
“Jesus died my soul to save,”
Shall rend the vaulted skies.

And when before the throne
I stand in Him complete,
I’ll lay my trophies down,
All down at Jesus’ feet.

Here’s a story about the song: []
On New Year’s night, 1886, some mis­sion­ar­ies were hold­ing open-air serv­ic­es in or­der to att­ract pass­ers­-by to a near-by miss­ion, where meet­ings were to be held later. “All to Christ I owe” was sung, and af­ter a gen­tle­man had giv­en a short ad­dress he hast­ened away to the miss­ion. He soon heard foot­steps close be­hind him and a young wo­man caught up with him and said:
“I heard you ad­dress­ing the open-air meet­ing just now; do you think, sir, that Je­sus could save a sin­ner like me?”
The gen­tle­man re­plied that there was no doubt about that, if she was anx­ious to be saved. She told him that she was a serv­ant girl, and had left her place that morn­ing after a dis­a­gree­ment with her mis­tress. As she had been wan­der­ing about the streets in the dark, won­der­ing where she was to spend the night, the sweet mel­o­dies of thi s hymn had at­tract­ed her, and she drew near and listened at­tent­ive­ly. As the dif­fer­ent vers­es were be­ing sung, she felt that the words sure­ly had some­thing to do with her. Through the whole serv­ice she seemed to hear what met her op­pressed soul’s need at that mo­ment. God’s Spir­it had showed her what a poor, sin­ful and wretch­ed crea­ture she was, and had led her to ask what she must do. On hear­ing her ex­per­i­ence, the gen­tle­man took her back to the mis­sion and left her with the la­dies in charge. The young, way­ward woman was brought to Christ that night. A si­tu­a­tion was se­cured for her in a min­is­ter’s fam­i­ly. There she be­came ill and had to be tak­en to a hos­pi­tal. She ra­pid­ly failed and it became ev­i­dent that she would not be long on earth. One day the gen­tle­man whom she had met on New Year’s night was vis­it­ing her in the ward. Af­ter quot­ing a few suit­a­ble vers­es of Script­ure, he re­peat­ed her fa­vo­rite hymn, “All to Christ I owe”…and she seemed over­whelmed with the thought of com­ing to glo­ry…Two hours af­ter­ward she passed away.

               As I write this blog and reflect on the words of this song,  I am reminded of my weakness in myself, but also of the strength I have in Christ as a believer.  Christ is my all in all because I am nothing but dust without Him.  I do watch and pray to see God working in my life for His will and purposes.  My sins have been paid for and one day will be ransomed and traded in for righteousness.  Glory will be revealed and praise to my Heavenly Father will be forever more.
              My prayer is for anyone who is feeling lost and alone in this broken world that they would come to seek and know that Jesus came into this world to save them from their sins and give them a relationship with Him that will last throughout eternity.  Romans 5:8 "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."   Ephesians 3:16-19 " I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. I pray acceptance of this gift from God will be your ultimate treasure, because we owe everything to Jesus for His sacrifice for us.
             My prayer for fellow believers is that Christ would be acknowledged, praised and submitted to in your every day life.  May your life be one of service that glorifies God in every way.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

God Listens and Speaks

Psalm 40:5  "Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare."

"Word Of God Speak"

I'm finding myself at a loss for words
And the funny thing is it's okay
The last thing I need is to be heard
But to hear what You would say

Word of God speak
Would You pour down like rain
Washing my eyes to see
Your majesty
To be still and know
That You're in this place
Please let me stay and rest
In Your holiness 
Word of God speak

I'm finding myself in the midst of You
Beyond the music, beyond the noise
All that I need is to be with You
And in the quiet hear Your voice


I'm finding myself at a loss for words
And the funny thing is it's okay

          More than ever lately, I have been asking God to speak to me.  Lead me, Lord and guide me in which way to go.  Now when one asks such a request, you must be willing to open your eyes and ears to His voice.  Studying Scripture is the best way to learn how to apply it to your own life.  The Bible is full of testimonies that are directly related to whatever each of us is going through in some aspect.
           Some people don't want to hear what God has to say because it is convicting and they have yet to surrender themselves to become a part of God's family.  John 8:47  "Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”  John 10:27-28  "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand."  As a believer, these words comfort me and I know when I read verses like these that God is encouraging me at that very moment.
          "Most of us won’t hear Jesus speak in an audible voice. But He communicates with us through nudges. Thoughts that we know we’re not smart or wise enough to have on our own. Mental pictures or whispers, and stirring in our hearts that connects something we’re going through with the truth of His word. That’s God speaking."
         Romans 8:38-39 "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."  As the C.S. Lewis caption above says, God is speaking to us in different tones and in different circumstances.  He will not ever quit speaking out of love to correct, encourage and comfort us.  
         "The love that exists between God and true believers is through Christ. He is the Mediator of our love: it is in and through him that God can love us and that we dare love God. This is the ground of the steadfastness of the love; therefore God rests in his love, because Jesus Christ, in whom he loves us, is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever." [M.Henry]  
         "God has communicated in various ways throughout history (Heb. 1:1). One way God speaks today is through our conscience (Rom. 2:14–16). Our conscience is like a moral monitor. An important way we discern whether a spiritual communication has God as its source is to ask: Does the message agree with the Bible, God's written Word? If it does not align with God’s previously revealed truth, then we cannot put our stamp of approval on it." []
          As for myself, I've been seeking and listening for God to direct my path.  Through Bible reading and devotionals, I have definitely heard the Word of God speak to my heart, mind and soul. I've been reassured of His presence with me always, His sufficient grace to carry me through all things, His mercy to watch out and work for my good and His love that is all powerful.
        May God's voice be louder than anything around you and that you will listen.

God speaks through His Word when we take time to listen. []

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Let God Shine Through You

Matthew 5: 14-16 "“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."

Philippians 2: 14-16  " Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain."

Ephesians 5:8  "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light."

        Christmas is now 3 weeks away.  It comes faster every year, I think, as an adult.  With the Christmas season, the manic shopping frenzy comes too.  The Bible encourages us to let God's light shine through us to glorify Him.  There is no exception clause to the time of year or the circumstances we are in.  We can never give grace and mercy in abundance like God supplies each of us, but we can try to give an ample measure of it.
         We've all seen examples of grace, like letting the last be first in a long grocery line or letting someone else have the coveted parking space at the mall.  'Who does that' or 'They must be a saint' might run across your mind as you grumble that it wasn't you getting the prize spot.  So who really is a 'saint'?  "When a translation of Scripture uses the word saint, it is actually referring to anyone who belongs to God through faith in Christ. In other words, saints are people like us who have the high calling of serving God while reflecting our relationship with Him wherever we are and in whatever we do. That is why the apostle Paul prayed that the eyes and understanding of his readers would be opened to think of themselves as the treasured inheritance of Christ and saints of God (Eph. 1:18)."  Christians are often called hypocrites, because we claim to be saints but act as anything but saintly.  Repentance and God's forgiveness are the answers to that fallen nature in us.
        The best part of all is that we don't have to be like the light bulb that said, "I have to find a way to shine!" The light bulb went to a self-help meeting to learn about its inner capacity for light. It read books about how to get brighter. Each morning the light bulb would get up and recite positive affirmations. "I am a light bulb. I believe in myself. I will shine!" But nothing happened.  Eventually the light bulb became weary and discouraged. It began to doubt who it was and what it could do. It almost burned out completely. Fortunately, one day the light bulb was carefully placed in a fixture. Light burst forth and filled the room. The light bulb finally understood. The key was not to try harder but to plug into the source.
        Trying to shine on our own can be exhausting. Instead, we're simply called to be closely connected to God and remain in Him. When we do, His light pours forth through us in powerful, brilliant ways that change the world. The ways we shine might not make the news, but they make even more of a difference than we can see.
        "If you’re a believer in Jesus Christ, you’re never truly alone, because the Light of the World is living inside you. He hasn’t singled you out for adversity; at some point, every human life is touched by hardship or sorrow. Your response is what matters. Instead of drawing inward, reach out for the Savior’s hand, and let His light shine in your heart. I pray that you experience the peace only He can provide this season and that you will be greatly blessed in the year to come." []
         May each of us, who have been saved by grace, exhibit the fruits of the Spirit and the Light that dwells in us to everyone around us all year round.  We are 'children of light.'

Letting God shine through us in our lives, we should consider three things: []
1. Glorifying God. We are commanded to let our light shine before men so we will bear spiritual fruit that glorifies the Lord. As our life increasingly follows the pattern of the Savior’s, our thoughts and responses will bring Jesus praise and point other people to Him.
2. Conforming to Christ’s likeness. In considering any decision, we should ask ourselves, Will this help me become more like Jesus or tempt me in my weaker areas and cause me to turn away from Him? If we submit our minds and emotions to the Lord, His Spirit will build Jesus’ character qualities into our life. As we rely on the Holy Spirit, He will help us make wise decisions and guide us safely past temptation.
3. Following the Lord’s will. When deciding how to proceed, it’s wise to ask, Is this in line with God’s known will? Throughout the Scriptures, the heavenly Father has revealed what pleases Him. His commands are clear regarding the way born-again believers should live. Our home, business, and community life are to function according to His will.

Lord, help us always put You first In everything we say and do So that Your light will shine through us And show the world their need of You. —Sper
As people of the Lord we’re called To follow in His way; And then all those who watch our lives Will see Him on display. —Sper

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Risk/Reward Situation

Joshua 1:9  "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

1 Corinthians 16:13  "Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong."

       Courage is a desire of all of us, but it can waver based on the situation at hand.  It is the act of follow through that turns a brave and bold talk into a courageous walk.  What binds the two together is trust alone.  With whom does your trust begin and end?  God said in Revelation 22:13 "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End." 
      "I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear" — N. Mandela
      "Courage is about doing what you're afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you're scared. Have the courage to act instead of react." — Oliver Wendell Holmes
       If you've been following my blog lately, then you know I am facing kidney stone surgery next month.  Will I be fearful, brave, and courageous?  Yes, to all.  My doctor told me that this is a risk/reward situation, meaning the reward outweighs the risks involved.  My reward is having the stone removed before it causes severe pain, blockage, infection and sepsis.  The risks are breathing complications, nerve damage, anesthesia problems, and just general surgery dangers.  My courage and strength comes from only one source, God's promise of "for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”  In my conscious life, I can falsely assume that I have some sort of control over what happens to me but this surgery will have me totally and physically surrendered.  I think God puts situations into our lives to remind us and reinforce that His authority over us is unwavering and totally in control.  God wants our total trust in Him, not ourselves or anyone else.  
         Do you realize that you yourself are in a risk/reward situation at this very moment?  The risk of following the world for a reward of temporary pleasure OR the risk of obeying God for a reward of eternal life?  Only you can choose, a faith that can move mountains or a worldly whim that changes with the wind.  God's Word never changes so the risk of following Him is a guaranteed win for those who see Him as The Way, The Truth and The Life.
        "A Christian should be fixed in the faith of the gospel, and never desert nor renounce it. It is by this faith alone that he will be able to keep his ground in an hour of temptation; it is by faith that we stand (2 Cor. 1:24); it is by this that we must overcome the world (1 John 5:4), both when it fawns and when it frowns, when it tempts and when it terrifies. We must stand therefore in the faith of the gospel, if we would maintain our integrity."[M. Henry]

4 Signs of Courage

1] Overcoming Fear Enough to Act
2] Faith Led Decision Making
3] Persevering in Adversity

4] Going Beyond What's Comfortable

Courage doesn't guarantee success, but faith always does.

Sure it takes a lot of courage to put things in God’s hands,
To give ourselves completely, our lives, our hopes, our plans;
To follow where He leads us and make His will our own;
But all it takes is foolishness to go the way alone! —Kline

Sunday, November 19, 2017


Psalm 25:5  "Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long."

Psalm 33:20  "We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield."

Psalm 42:5  "Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God."

Psalm 71:14  "As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more."

Romans 12:12  "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."

Romans 15:13  "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

         According to Wikipedia, Hope is an optimistic state of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes with respect to events and circumstances in one's life.  According to the Bible, hope is a promise to believers that our bodies will be redeemed by the grace of God and given eternal life.

         Romans 8:23-25  "Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit,groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.  For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?  But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently."
         We can cling to hope as believers because we know that our hope is not limited to what happens in this life.  Hope makes our trials easier to bear, because we have won the victory over death through Jesus Christ. Romans 5:3-5  " Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope.  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."
      We also have hope that our trial will work out and not call us Home yet.  We glorify God when He uses us as an example in suffering.  Hope is displayed in our prayers, in our service to the suffering, and in our trust of God's faithfulness.  "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
        Have you heard about the guy who was terminally ill, but still bought green bananas?  Why wouldn't he buy yellow bananas that are ready to eat without a wait?  Because, he still had hope in his heart that God would see him through a few more days to see them ripen.  As for myself, my green bananas are the Alan Jackson concert tickets for Jan. 20th that I'm going to buy soon.  I have hope that whether I see Alan or God in the coming days, it's going to be a great time.

When trouble seeks to rob your very breath, When tragedy hits hard and steals your days, Recall that Christ endured the sting of death; He gives us hope, and merits all our praise. —Gustafson

4 Ways To Help Yourself During a Trial []

1. Believe and trust God. Only by viewing life from a biblical perspective can we understand His purposes in our trials and trust His wisdom in allowing them.

2. Accept the situation as coming from the Lord. If we truly believe He’s working for our good, we can choose to receive each difficulty as from His loving hand, whether it was directly sent or permissively allowed. Then we can say “Thank You.”
3. Submit to God in the circumstance. Although we may not like the situation, knowing that God is good and does good allows us to confidently place our life under His authority. 
4. Draw from Him the strength to endure. No one has the ability within himself to endure hardships with gratefulness. Only by relying on the Lord can believers go through adversity with an appreciative heart.

Tenth Avenue North song w/lyrics  "I Have This Hope"   

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Watch It


     How many times have we thought 'I wish I hadn't said that' but it's too late.  Once it is out there, it can't be retracted.  We often don't think before we speak.
     My friend went to a new doctor that was on-call and whatever he said was taken both harshly and rudely.  Her and her mother thought 'I can't believe he just said that.'  Are your words ever taken like that?
     Proverbs 18:21  ''The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.''  We can do both harm or good by what we say.  Our words can both condemn or intercede for another.  The power of the tongue should not be underestimated.
     Our tongue is a voluntary muscle so we can control it, if we want to.  James 3; 10  ''Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.''
     Here are 10 truths on taming your tongue......

1. And my tongue shall talk of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long. ~ Psalms 35:28
2. The mouth of the righteous talk of wisdom, And his tongue speaketh justice.
~ Psalms 37:30
3. My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the daylong. ~ Psalms 71:24.
4. The tongue of the wise utters knowledge aright; but the mouths of fools pour out folly. ~ Proverbs 15:2
5. A gentle tongue is a tree of life; but perverseness therein is a breaking of the spirit. ~ Proverbs 15:4
6. Whoso keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps his soul from troubles. ~ Proverbs 21:23
7. By long forbearing is a ruler persuaded, And a soft tongue breaks the bone.
~ Proverbs 25:15
8. The north wind brings forth rain: So doth backbiting tongue an angry countenance. ~ Proverbs 25:23
9. Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking guile. ~ Psalms 34:13
10. Death and life are in the power of the tongue; and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. ~ Proverbs 18:21


Sunday, November 12, 2017

Trust, Faithfulness and Mercy

Joshua 1:9:  "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

         This blog is going to be a little different than my normal, because I need this message as a reminder to myself right now.  This blog is broken down into 3 areas that we should consider during all times, but especially in a personal crisis: Trusting God, God's Faithfulness, and The Mercy of God.  I, personally, am dealing with the struggle of deciding which path of treatment to take for my 2cm [20mm] size kidney stone.

Trusting God
        It's a lot easier to trust God when things are going as you might expect, right?  Then there are moments that are like life's sucker punches.  They are unexpected, cause fear and hurt, usually require a decision, and make your immediate [not eternal] future unknown.  Trusting God is a measure of your faith in His 'total' control over you and all situations you will face in this life.  John 16:33  "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."  John Piper's following quote comforts me, as I have felt guilty for being scared and doubtful in my current struggle...
       "When anxiety strikes and blurs our vision of God’s glory and the greatness of the future that he plans for us, this does not mean that we are faithless, or that we will not make it to heaven. It means our faith is being attacked.  At first blow, our belief in God’s promises may sputter and swerve. But whether we stay on track and make it to the finish line depends on whether, by grace, we set in motion a process of resistance — whether we fight back against the unbelief of anxiety.  Psalm 56:3 says, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”  Notice: it does not say, “I never struggle with fear.” Fear strikes, and the battle begins. So the Bible does not assume that true believers will have no anxieties. Instead, the Bible tells us how to fight when they strike."
         When we put our trust in God alone... we are secure in His presence with us, His protection over us, His completion of the work He started in us, and His knowing what is best for us ultimately.

There’s so much now I cannot see,
My eyesight’s far too dim;
But come what may, I’ll simply trust
And leave it all to Him. —Overton

God's Faithfulness

Daniel 9:4  “Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments."

      Unless we are struggling with a threat of illness or danger, we usually trust God when we go to sleep to wake us up without much or any thought.  We trust Him because He has been faithful every day.  So when we face a crisis, we need to remind ourselves of God's faithful track record thus far--100% of the time He has carried me through every struggle I have encountered.
      "Most churchgoers easily claim, “I’ve yielded my life to Christ.” To actually live out those words, however, is more difficult. We want to cling to a measure of control in case God doesn’t work events to our satisfaction. Too many Christians are content merely to dip their toes into faith because they fear life might not turn out according to their plan. But how much greater their loss will be if life doesn’t turn out according to God’s plan. He can do much more with a surrendered existence than a sheltered one." []
        As for myself, I love the 'On this Day' feature of Facebook.  It shows me my posts, which are my thoughts, during previous hard times and the faithfulness of God time after time.  I'm not saying God did exactly what I wanted but He provided for all my needs.  He was with me always and never forsake me, just as He promised.

The Grace and Mercy of God

Though danger lurks on every side,
In Christ our Lord we will abide;
Our God is strong, our hope is sure—
In Him alone we are secure! —Fitzhugh

Hebrews 4:15-16 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

      Sometimes we do our best to make the right decisions, but things don't play out as we had hoped.  The grace and mercy of God can trump our plans, according to God's will, for our ultimate, eternal benefit.
      As for myself, I want to be wise yet humble in my decision making.  I know that my eternal destination is waiting for me and only God knows if He will use me here or there, sooner or later.  I pray for His will to be done, here on earth as it is in Heaven.  Amen! 


, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments,
Daniel 9:4

Friday, November 10, 2017

Go With the Flow


Phil.3:6-7:  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God which passes all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus." 

Isaiah 40:31:  "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." 

Isaiah 41:10:  "They that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength.  They will mount up with wings like eagles.  They will run and not be weary; they will walk and not faint."

Joshua 1:9:  "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

     I like order and routine but life is often disrupted by chaos.  How do we handle it and react to it?  Often it is best to just go with the flow.  ''No matter how much structure we create in our lives, no matter how many good habits we build, there will always be things that we cannot control — and if we let them, these things can be a huge source of anger, frustration and stress.''  ''What is going with the flow? It’s rolling with the punches. It’s accepting change without getting angry or frustrated. It’s taking what life gives you, rather than trying to mold life to be exactly as you want it to be.''
     The best way to go with the flow is to recognize Who is in control of your life.  The caption's picture above symbolizes 'surrendering' to me.  Whatever comes my way, I know God brought me to it and will bring me through it.  Does my anxiety, worry, or doubts help me?  No, but the peace of God does.
     May we learn to be calm, relaxed and patient in the bumps that interfere with our smooth flow in life.  Hand it all over to the One in control of it all.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Suffering in Stride

Psalm 119:50  "My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life."

         Suffering is an unpleasant experience with a threat of harm to an individual.  We try to avoid it at all costs, but sometimes it's just part of the plan God has for us.  Acts 14:22 “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.”  We do not suffer in vain.  All that we suffer through has a purpose. It is intended to help us to rely on God more and less on ourselves.
        There are two ways to respond to suffering: question, blame, and curse God while you suffer OR praise and thank God for the suffering that drew you closer to Him.  Job 2:9-10 is a good example.."His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”  In all this, Job did not sin in what he said."
       Suffering makes our hope in God's promises all the more powerful and meaningful to our hearts, minds and souls.  2 Corinthians 4:17-18  "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
        Are you going through a tough time? Take heart. The Lord is sovereign and He controls all adversity in our lives. That’s why it’s important to remember how much He loves us. If He allows us to go through pain, suffering, or loss, then He has something good He wants to accomplish in us. []
        As for myself, my personal suffering is God's way of keeping me focused on Him and His promises.  If CMT [Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease] had not been my 'thorn', where would my spiritual state be?  The struggles make you stronger, and the changes make you wise, but to God none of it is a surprise.  God is my all in all, every step of the way.

7 Truths About Suffering [C. Stanley;]

  1. Adversity is universal. It’s everywhere and can affect any area of our lives.
  2. It’s impartial. Because we live in a fallen world, trouble comes to all of us—even believers, no matter what our financial, social, or educational status.
  3. Adversity is painful. The pain can be physical, emotional, or relational, but whatever the source, it hurts.
  4. Sometimes adversity comes suddenly. Life could be going on as normal when an accident or a negative report from the doctor leaves us unexpectedly devastated.
  5. Times of adversity may be prolonged. Sometimes the emotional or physical pain continues for years.
  6. It may be intense. We may hurt so badly that even those who try to bring comfort feel the pain.
  7. Adversity is often beyond our control. We may feel helpless and have no answer for why God would allow us to go through it.