But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
Philippians 1:12-14 NKJV
It doesn’t take much looking around today to know that being a Christian is often frowned upon, no matter where you are in the world. In the United States, we are considered politically incorrect. In other countries, we are treated as criminals. The temptation to be silent and hide is strong. I know, because that is what I did for years until I became fed up. The fear of being looked down on and losing friends was a heavy burden to carry.
Heavy, until I realized what was happening to others on the other side of the world.
In fact, long story short, it was hearing a sermon on something along these lines that brought me to beginning this blog and “coming out of the closet as a Christian”.
Paul faced a ton of adversity when he made the decision to follow Christ. Yet he never let that stop him. He shared Christ with every person he came in contact with. Confidence in the Lord wiped out all fear and gave him boldness.
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This is not an easy place in time to live in. We fear the loss of jobs, friends, family, and freedom for following Christ. Sadly, many have had to give all of that and more up already. Terrorists and anti-Christian regimes strip our brothers and sisters of their rights, possessions, and loved ones daily in other parts of the world. Yet, they stand firm. They are BOLD and FEARLESS in their proclamation of following Christ.
So why aren’t we?
I want to challenge you. Be bold and fearless. Become confident in God, that no matter what happens, He is in control. Stand firm in your faith and never waver because you are afraid. No matter if the fear is of something small or large. Because in the end, God wins, evil loses, and our reward in Heaven will be worth every bit of grief we face on earth.
If Jesus, Paul, victims of ISIS, and countless others can do it, we can too.
These are tough times. My family is struggling, and almost every other family I know is struggling too, in one way or another. I’ve been praying and asking God for relief, for breakthrough, for help, for rescue – and not just for my family, but for all of us.
The good news is that prayer and focus on God are drawing me closer to Him and are showing me more about who He is, which reminds me what He is capable of. When I can remember that God is bigger than any situation or circumstance we find ourselves in, I am filled with peace. And peace is a great thing to have when you’re waiting to see God work in the situations that concern you!
Two keys to effectively waiting are:
I don’t have all the answers. My family has been waiting for answers to some of our prayers for a long time. What I do know is that prayer and praise change things! Even if my situation doesn’t change, my heart changes, and sometimes that’s the bigger answer to the prayer I didn’t pray.
Chaos is all around. It is something that is hard to escape on a daily basis. Everyone knows at least one person or more, who is fighting a battle that is unimaginable. The kind that they never thought that they would be part of.
As things go wrong with one thing or another in our life, that is when we tend to take our focus off of the things that are of God and try to take care of things ourselves. We take things into our own hands instead of laying everything down at the feet of Jesus. We become frazzled, disoriented, and before we know it, we have lost all sense of direction.
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The words of the old chorus, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”, are those that can bring remembrance to your soul, that we are not in it alone. That things are not as bad as they seem, because we look at things with our natural eyes.
1 Corinthians 13:12 says, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
It’s talking about perspective and not really understanding what is going on, because you’re not seeing the “whole” picture, but one day, you will fully understand. Just go on living a life of trust in God, faith in God, and loving God and letting your faith grow! He will never leave you, nor forsake you, but will go with you to the very end.
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”
Written by Helen H. Lemmel in 1922
It has been a while since I have blogged. I’ve been sick, busy, sick, etc…
In March, I had to have a hysterectomy with bladder and rectal repair. I wasn’t prepared for the insomnia, the emotional turmoil, the hot flashes, or crying.
I’m well past my “6 week” recovery, but as I have found, and many other women told me, it will be a while yet before I feel like “me”.
Now it’s June. My allergies have turned into a sinus infection, an ear infection, upper respiratory infection, and bronchitis. My immune system is not as strong as it used to be. Man this gets old really fast… therefore, I covet your prayers!
I am looking towards the hills where my help comes from, my help cometh from the Lord!!! LOL I totally need healing, energy, my voice back, and strength. I have to remind myself that He is my Jehovah Rapha, God who healeth!
So if any of you are having health issues or anything else that you would like us to pray about, please let us know so that we can be praying for you.
One of my favorite songs of late, is “Fling Wide” by Misty Edwards. On one hand, it’s an awesome song with lots of meaning. On the other hand, it’s a very dangerous song to sing.
Most people know of the book of Job and how he was tested and tried because satan wanted to prove that he didn’t really rely on God. But God knew where the heart of His servant, Job, was held. I wouldn’t wish his trials and tribulations on anyone.
In one part of the song, it says, “Take me thru the fire, take me thru the flame. Take me thru the testing, I’ll do anything. Test me. Try me. Prove me. Refine me like the gold.”
To sing the lyrics of this song, you have got to be totally sold out to Christ. God will put you thru the test. Satan will come at you with a force beyond your belief. As long as your heart is in Christ, you have dominion over him. God settled him long ago. When you have Jesus, you have your lifeline. God will not take His hand off of you unless you reject His protection and cause your own turmoil. Even then, He will wait for you to run into His opened arms.
Last week I decided to help my husband out by mowing the church yard. To be honest, I enjoyed it. I found it to be quite relaxing. I was able to enjoy the beautiful weather, glance at the clouds only a Master could create (God), and I had the entire time to pray. Needless to say, I decided to help out again today. Well, demanded really. 😉
So there I was, not quite a week later, mowing the church yard and I noticed something. It was not quite a week later, yet that grass was almost as high as it was when I mowed the week before, if not higher.
I know, I know, it’s not that big of an epiphany…grass grows, you mow it. It grows again, and you mow it. A never ending cycle. But there’s more to it than that. I realized that we as Christians need to be like that grass. Yeah, sure, it got cut down, but that doesn’t mean it decided to stay that way. No, it didn’t stay cut. It chose to grow and stand just as tall as it used to be, maybe a little taller. It didn’t choose to stay cut down.
We are living in a world filled with people who are constantly trying to tear us down. Sometimes we deal with this problem even among other Christians, but we have the control over whether or not we stay down or get back up. See, I’m sure the grass has some expectancy to get cut again, but it still chooses to grow. Even if we’re afraid we’ll get cut down again, we must choose to continue to get back up. We may be pressed or struck down, but as long as we stand with Jesus, we’ll never be crushed or destroyed.
“We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed–” -2 Corinthians 4:8-9
The enemy longs to tear us down and leave us there to die, but we have to show the enemy that we have the power to rise again in the name of Jesus. So mowing the grass is a silly metaphor, but standing firm in the power of Jesus, no matter what happens is what matters. And it’s just silly not to.
My house is a disaster today. I mean seriously. A complete disaster. It looks as though a tornado touched down and only knocked around the toy bins. I considered making the boys pick all of the toys up, but then I decided to let them have a fun day with all their toys. We’ll clean them up, one by one, at bed time and start “clean” tomorrow.
Ever stand in the middle of a room covered in toys? So not fun. Even worse? Walking through it. Add carrying an infant through it and it becomes down right frustrating!
As I sat here looking around my living and conjoined dining room thinking of how each toy will be picked up at the end of the day and all will be okay, it hit me. This is how I should approach life.
What do I mean? Well, have you ever been completely overwhelmed? One thing after another piling up around you. You feel like you’re drowning. You have no idea how to dig out. So you try to manage it all at once, only bringing yourself down deeper.
What if I handle each situation one by one? Instead of worrying about tackling it all at once I’ll pick up one situation, wipe it off and handle it with prayer, and put it away by giving it to God! Then, I can move on to the next, and the one after that… Seems to work for my kids, why can’t it work for me?
Next time I’m standing in the midst of trials all around me, I’m going to try my kids approach. Besides, everything will be less likely to be swept under the rug only to show up again later this way. 😉