God Allows Us To Experience Difficulty...
"God allows us to experience the low points of life in order to teach us lessons that we could learn in no other way." (Frequently credited to C. S. Lewis but actually not his. Though it does sort of sum up his points in his book, ”The Problem With Pain”)
This is an unfortunate truth. The human heart is full of rebellion and amnesia. As a result, the only way we can learn certain things is to experience low points in life. I know that has been true in my life.
When we are experiencing low points in life, we are tempted, whether consciously or not, to begin to doubt the goodness of God. God does not protect us from hard times. In fact, sometimes I think God might do even more than allow hard times in our lives. Is it heresy to say that God actually causes hard times in our lives? I don’t think so…because we need them. No, God does not protect us from hard times. Rather, He protects us during hard times.
I once had a basketball coach who was much harder on me than anyone else. He would constantly ride me, tell me what I was doing wrong, even if it was just a small thing. It felt so unfair because he chastised me so much more than anyone else. I finally could not take it anymore and let him know in no uncertain terms that I did not appreciate this special attention. After practice, he pulled me aside and asked me, “Do you know why I am constantly on you?” Before I could respond, he said, “It is because I know how good you can be.”
God wants the best for us. God knows "how good we can be." As a result, He pays us special attention. Unfortunately, because of the condition of our hearts, the only way we will learn certain important lessons is to go through difficult things. Rather than viewing it as God’s chastisement or feeling like God has forgotten us, let’s acknowledge that the difficult times actually show us how much He loves us.
He has not forgotten us. He is molding us and preparing us. As difficult as it is, we must always keep in mind that He allows things in our lives to better us, not to harm us.
"Whether we like it or not, God intends to give us what we need, not what we now think we want." - C.S. Lewis (for real)
It's Friday the 13th. Are you superstitious?
We all have heard about superstitions like Friday the 13th, knocking on wood, coming across a black cat, walking under a ladder, etc. To be superstitious is idolatry and it is trusting in things other than God. It is a slap in the face to Him showing that you don’t trust Him or believe in His Words.
If God is for us who or what can ever be against us? God is in control of all situations and we should never put our faith in myths, astrology, or other demonic things like witchcraft. All faith in Jesus Christ alone.
1 Timothy 4:7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.
1 Corinthians 10:14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.
1 John 5:21 Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.
Exodus 20:3-4 “You shall have no other gods before me.
Let's be sure that we are putting all of our trust in God and not men, government, or anything else.
“The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.” -Proverbs 29:25
Hearing God in the midst of the noise.
Proverbs 1:33 – Whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease without dread or disaster.
Voices vie for your attention from every direction, and sometimes you just long for a solo day at the beach or a quiet walk in the woods. But even waves caressing the shore or breezes whispering in the leaves can irritate you when the noises are never silent. God gave you those listening ears, but He also cautioned you about what you were to listen to.
In Genesis 3, Adam listened to his wife’s voice, and we all know where that took him. On the other hand, in Genesis 22, Abraham obeyed the voice of the Lord and he was blessed. In Mark 7, Jesus called the people to him and told them to listen to Him. In the book of Revelation, the seven churches were told that whoever has an ear needs to hear what the Spirit of God is saying to them.
Today’s verse on listening—with the implication of obedience—carries a promise of living securely and at ease without dread or disaster. Who doesn’t want that? Be judicious in your listening. Be discerning for what aligns with God’s truth. Above all, listen to the Father as He speaks to you through His word; then enjoy prayerful time with Him. The blessing and the promise are yours!
Holy God, thank You for Your Word and the lessons it has taught us about listening. Good things have happened for Your children across the ages when we create a time for silence and truly listen to what You have for us. Give me the discernment to know when what I am hearing aligns with Your will for me. Teach us all across America to take the time to really listen to one another also, and to respond in love. For the sake of Jesus and our testimony of Him, Amen.
Hi fellow warriors!
I hope you all have prayed for the election today. It's certainly not over and I am faithfully praying for Trump to be re-elected. But more than that I am praying for God's will to be done. The finish may look differently than we believe or hope. We don't want to steal the election nor always have an * next to Trump's 2nd term.
That being said, there is a call from God for us to pray for our leaders. He does not say pray for them if you agree with them, like them, etc... If we wind up with Biden in the White House it will be very hard to be obedient but praying for those who would do us harm might be the one thing that saves us.
Jim Bolthouse who leads the Presidential Prayer Team put out a very good letter on Election Day. The link below will take you to it as well as an inspirational clip from Billy Graham. I hope that this will encourage all of us as we wait for the conclusion to our election.
Blessings on you all!
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:1-4 (NIV)
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” Romans 13:1 (ESV)
, 1 Timothy 2:1-4 (NIV)
”Therefore, IF anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap IF we do not grow weary. – Galatians 6:9
Dear Heavenly Father, we confess that some days it feels like we’ve been put through the wringer. Our emotions are frayed and our hopes and dreams have been hung out to dry. Forgive us, for in those times, we have allowed our faith to waiver. We know Your Word says that when our faith is tested, our character grows as we turn and rely once again on You. So, help us keep our focus on You and not on our trials and tribulations. We long to have that golden precious faith that Peter mentioned.
“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6-7).
We pray for our local elections and the strength to keep fighting the political battles. May we not lose our ability to witness your love to EVERYONE we meet.
We ask for your blessing on our rally this Sunday. Please bring the right people and let our voices be heard by many. Let us bring hope and encouragement to all who are praying for protection from a Democratic president.
We pray for President Trump, his legal advisers, and campaign staff, as they challenge election results.
We pray for all of the ballot counters here in Tarrant County as well as all over the country. Please put a stop to all of the fraud, Lord. And bless those volunteers who are doing it correctly.
We pray for discernment for the president and vice president as they consider the needs of the country.
We pray for the State Department as diplomatic relationships and negotiations are made with foreign nations.
We pray for the Treasury Department as foreign and domestic economic measures are discussed and decided.
You are so good, and we love You, Lord.
In Jesus’ Name
If – The Biggest Word in the Bible
The word ‘if’ is interesting. It is one of the most important words in the Bible because it speaks directly to our responsibility to God. Most promises in the Bible have conditions and the word ‘if’ speaks to those conditions. Our responses to God’s commands affect our relationship with Him and determine our receiving from Him.
Jesus used the word ‘if’ all the time. Almost half of the 574 occurrences in the New Testament are in the four Gospels.
Jesus always put the ‘if’ on man’s side and never on God’s side – If man does, God will.
This is a wonderful article about how the Lord uses "if" when he speaks to us, teaches us, and blesses us.
LISTEN TO THE POEM HERE:
by Rudyard Kipling
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
Lifting our elections up to the Lord helps all of us keep the focus on the most important topics as well as softens our hearts to love everyone, even those with whom we may disagree. Believing differently shouldn't stop us from sharing God's love and His Word with others.