WeepingintoDancing

Overcoming Difficult Trials

Archive for the category “Wonders Of God”

Afflicted? Roll Over And Gaze At The Stars

*Atars

When difficult times knock you down, roll over and look up at the stars. It’s okay if you don’t have the strength to stand up right away. Facing unexpected trials can knock over even the most mature Christians. Reasons for a fall will differ from believer to believer. However, I do guarantee that Satan knows the vulnerable spots in every believer’s armor and will not hesitate to aim fiery darts in his or her direction.

“Through affliction, He teaches us precious lessons that otherwise we would never learn. By affliction, He shows us our emptiness and weakness, draws us to the throne of grace, purifies our affections, weans us from the world and makes us long for heaven.”—J.C. Ryle

Trials are a part of life, and affliction usually accompanies them. Nobody can escape this. Joy and love, sorrow and hardships—these are what face us as we journey to our forever home after we die. We should try to accept that trials are part of our journeys in life and attempt to build up our spiritual muscles. We can do this by reading the Word of God.

“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” (1 Peter 4:12 NIV)

In the first chapter of James, we are told to count trials as pure joy. How is this possible, and why is it a joyful thing to face difficulties? It is because the testing of your faith produces perseverance. When perseverance has finished its work, you will be mature in your faith, lacking nothing.

If you find yourself face down in a puddle of mud and tears, you could drown! Roll over and gaze up at the heavens. Meditate on the constellations and imagine the one who designed it all. He is powerful. Better yet, He is powerful and loving. His compassions are new every morning. Tomorrow will be a fresh start.

Romans 8:28 states, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

Faith requires that you accept the truth of this Scripture, even though you may not see the good in your circumstances right now. God has a plan for your life, and He has allowed or sent your difficulty for a good reason.

Oswald Chambers wrote, “Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.”2 Corrie ten Boom spent the first fifty years of her life learning lessons of love and forgiveness so that she could teach the world how to be more like Christ. God sent hardships her way and permitted trials in her life that transformed her character and refined her spirit.

Endurance and perseverance belong to the same family. They are cousins and true allies. Throughout your trial, you must hold on to the biblical fact that God will never leave or forsake you. Your desert journey, or the hurricane you are experiencing, is only for a season. You will not live a life of sorrows. Your weeping will eventually turn into dancing. A joyful song will once again rise anew from your lips.

God loves to whisper words of hope and encouragement into the heart of a suffering and weary child. He walks with you through every one of your struggles.

So, while on your back, you will see the beauty of the night. Not all darkness is ugly and fearsome. Behold the lights God has provided in the darkest of times. A zillion pinpoints provide us with not only illumination, but also with the ability to navigate. It is true that in stormy weather it is harder to find your way, but storms do not last forever. If you are feeling lost, rest and wait for the weather to clear. Eventually, you will be able to navigate and continue on your journey. God will help you get back on your feet, but you have to will yourself to live and roll over.

Meditate on the three Bible verses below:

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is mankind that You are mindful of them, human beings that You care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.” (Psalm 8:3–5 NIV)

“And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.’ And it was so” (Genesis 1:14–15 NIV).

“O Lord, by these things men live, and in all these is the life of my spirit. O restore me to health and make me live” (Isaiah 38:16 ESV)

This devotion is found in my book FACING TRIALS: THOUGHTS FOR MEDITATION available on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Facing-Trials-Meditation-Cheryl-Zelenka/dp/1499504071/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1420930091&sr=8-2&keywords=cheryl+zelenka

Merry Christmas!

*Xmas

May the gift of God, sent from heaven above, be in your hearts this Christmas and throughout the New Year.

Blessings upon your heads! Cheryl

God Does Not Compare The Flowers In His Garden

 

Flowers Don't Compete:UnknownYou don’t need to be better than anyone else. You just need to be better than you used to be.” —Unknown

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work”.  1 Corinthians 12:4–6 (NIV)

The refining process—which we must undergo to become what God created us to be—is a continuous one. It involves extreme pressure and, yes, pain. When God turns up the heat to melt gold, dross will rise to the surface. Dross is a collection of impurities. Sin is our impurity.

Hopefully, the refining of our spirit will bring about a forward motion in our walk with Christ. With each new lesson God sends our way, we should grow in our maturity and knowledge of Him. We are not to remain “baby” Christians all of our lives. Rather, we are meant to become mature, able to teach and witness to others.

There is danger when we start to compare our growth to the spiritual growth of others. Just as every child is different in personality and looks, so, too, is each one different in his or her abilities to learn. Growth patterns differ from individual to individual, whether we’re talking about academics or spiritual lessons from our Father.

When we compare our walk to that of another, one of two things may occur. We may become convicted and then inspired to follow that person’s good example, or we may become jealous and fall prey to the lies of the Enemy who jumps at any opportunity to pull down and discourage the children of God.

Just as the physical body has many parts, the body of Christ has many parts, too. Each part is dependent on the other. We need the eyes to see and the mouth to communicate. We need the hands to heal and serve and the feet to travel to far-off lands. All the parts are important. We can’t compare the importance of body parts, because all of the parts are essential and necessary.

Look to others and be encouraged, not condemned. Map your own course of spiritual growth and monitor it to see if you are either growing in your walk or remaining in the same place. You do not want to experience stunted growth. If you see yourself as still requiring milk, like a newborn baby Christian, then take steps to stretch yourself. Allow the trials in your life to bring about your maturity. Then rejoice over the gifts allotted to your fellow brothers and sisters and be thankful for your own personal and unique talents.

A rose is beautiful, but so is an iris. Both are flowers and both are special and unique. However, they bloom in different seasons and have different aromas. They both glorify God, but in different and unparalleled ways.

That is how we are in God’s eyes. We are beautiful and unique flowers in His heavenly flower garden. He adores and treasures each and every one of us.

Here, I provide you with one special Bible verse to meditate on:

“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so, the body is not made up of one part but of many. Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand,         “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable, we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” (1 Corinthians 12:12–27 NIV)

Trials Are Full Of Hidden Blessings

 

*Joseph

When a trial comes your way, do you groan and think of it as an ordeal to muddle through? Is your first reaction fear and dread, or do you see each new struggle with more positive eyes? The love of Jesus can shed light on your difficulties and bring about a change in your perspective. Trials are actually opportunities chock full of hidden blessings.

“Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure.”  – Anonymous

Consider the story of Joseph. He was betrayed by his brothers and sold into slavery. He was forced to live in a foreign land without family.

“Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. And Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him down there.  The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.  And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand.  So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority.”  Genesis 39:1-4 (NKJV)

One might think Joseph had suffered enough by this time and that God would continue to bless him in the home of Potiphar. Maybe Joseph was content with his position as his master’s overseer. But God had bigger plans for Joseph, a bigger house for him to oversee, so He continued to test and refine him.

Joseph caught the eye of Potiphar’s wife, who aggressively pursued him and asked for sexual favors. Unwilling to lie with her, he ran from temptation. Because of Joseph’s righteousness and unwillingness to sin, he found himself in the middle of a new trial. Although He had been kidnapped, made to live as a slave in a foreign land, was absent from all family support, he was sent to prison …. But the Lord’s favor followed him.

“So it was, when his master heard the words which his wife spoke to him, saying, ‘Your servant did to me after this manner,’ that his anger was aroused. Then Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were confined. And he was there in the prison. 

But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing. The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s authority,because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper.” Genesis 39:19-23 (NKJV)

So once again Joseph found himself in a position of leadership and authority with responsibilities he never asked for or expected. God was using difficult circumstances to sharpen the spiritual gifts within Joseph. Leadership requires the ability to gain the trust of others. Adversity will try to rob us of our hope but Joseph persevered. He gained wisdom from living through his struggles, and because of his perseverance and faith, he later became a man many would follow and respect.

After some time in prison, Pharaoh called Joseph to his throne room to interpret a troublesome dream. The Lord provided Joseph with insight and was given the Pharaoh’s favor. After years of slavery and prison life, Joseph was given the unexpected honor of overseeing the Pharaoh’s entire house. He was only 30 years old.

Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.”  And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” Genesis 41:39-40 (NKJV)

The Pharaoh’s dream spoke of 7 years of feast and 7 years of famine. Joseph was placed in charge of collecting grain and storing it for the lean years ahead.

Joseph married and had children. He saw how God had blessed him but there were even more blessings to come. The drought was affecting his homeland and his brothers went to Egypt seeking resources. Joseph recognized them and was able to help. God restored his family relationships and also blessed him with position, wealth, and honor.

The Word calls a man blessed, if he can remain steadfast under a trial (Js.1:12). By withstanding the test in front of him he will receive the crown of life. This crown is promised to those who love God. It is rewarded to believers who endure suffering and remain faithful to God, even to the point of death. There are eternal rewards for remaining steadfast in faith.

We do not know all the twists and turns in our spiritual journey but God does, and He has a very good plan on how to use us. Joseph did not know the reasons for all his trouble but he remained faithful. As a child, the Lord gave Joseph a hint of his future position but never any details. Through tests and much suffering, God refined Joseph into a man of integrity and faith.

Why not take your present adversity and consider it as a stepping-stone to a hidden blessing from God? It took God some time to prepare Joseph for his position. Your refinement will take time too. Have faith in your Lord. There are blessings in each day and in your future. Above all, glorify God in good times and bad times, just like Joseph.

“I can do all things through Christ[ who strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you willhave tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NKJV)

“Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” James 1:12 (NKJV)

“Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Revelation 2:10 (NKJV)

“The remarkable thing is, we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.” ~ Chuck Swindoll

http://christian-quotes.ochristian.com/Attitude-Quotes/

Define God

*God

This is an awesome description of God by A.W. Tozer

“He is ETERNAL, which means that He antedates time and is wholly independent of it. Time began in Him and will end in Him. To it He pays no tribute and from it He suffers no change.


He is IMMUTABLE, which means that He has never changed and can never change in any smallest measure. To change He would need to go from better to worse or from worse to better. He cannot do either, for being perfect He cannot become more perfect, and if He were to become less perfect He would be less than God.


He is OMNISCIENT, which means that He knows in one free and effortless act all matter, all spirit, all relationships, all events. He has no past and He has no future. 


He IS, and none of the limiting and qualifying terms used of creatures can apply to Him.” ~ A.W. Tozer

“O Lord God, You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your mighty hand, for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do anything like Your works and Your mightydeeds?”

 Now the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of theLord. And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”Exodus 34:5-7 (NKJV)

 

You Say, GOD Says….

*You Say:God Says

You Say: I can’t figure it out

God Says: I will direct your steps

Bible Verse: Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct[your paths.

You Say: I’m too tired

God Says: I will give you rest

Bible Verse: Matthew 11 28:30

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

You Say: It’s Impossible

God Says: All things are possible

Bible Verse: Luke 18:27

“But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”

You Say: Nobody loves me

God Says: I love you

Bible Verse: John 3:16

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

You Say: I can’t forgive myself

God Says: I forgive you

Bible Verse: Romans 8:1

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,  who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”

You Say: It’s not worth it

God Says It will be worth it

Bible Verse: Romans 8:28

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

You say: I’m not smart enough

God says: I will give you wisdom

Bible Verse: 1 Co. 1:30

“But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption”

You Say: I’m not able

God Says: I’m able

Bible Verse: 2 Co. 9:8

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.”

You Say: I can’t go on

God Says: My grace is sufficient

Bible Verse: 2 Co. 12:9

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

You Say: I can’t do it

God Says: You can do all things

Bible Verse: Philippians 4:13

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

You Say: I can’t manage

God Says: I will supply all your needs

Bible Verse: Philippians 4:19

“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

You Say: I’m afraid

God Says: I have not given you fear

Bible Verse: 2 Timothy 1:7

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

You Say: I feel all alone

God Says: I will never leave you

Bible Verse: Hebrews 13:5

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Bride Of Christ

 

Bride“While praying one day a woman asked, “Who are you, God?”

He answered, “I Am.”

“But, WHO is, I Am?” she asked.

He replied, “I Am LOVE. I Am PEACE. I Am GRACE. I Am JOY. I Am STRENGTH. I Am SAFETY. I Am SHELTER. I Am POWER. I Am THE CREATOR, I Am THE COMFORTER. I Am THE BEGINNING AND THE END. I Am THE WAY, TRUTH, AND THE LIGHT.”

With tears in her eyes she looked toward heaven and said, “Now I understand. But, who am I?”

God tenderly wiped the tears from her eyes and whispered, “YOU ARE MINE.” ~ Unknown 

I have been single all of my life. I never married and did not adopt my son until I was in my forties. I lived alone for many years. Learning to accept my life as a single person, and then as a single parent, was difficult. In fact, it can still be a challenge, but I have accepted God’s will and now recognize the many benefits my station and position in life provide. 

However, most little girls do not grow up dreaming about life as a permanently single person. Instead, they want to marry Prince Charming. They daydream about the wedding dress they will wear and think up ways to make their wedding day extra special, fun, and unique. I was no different. I wanted to wear that pure white dress; after all I had taken a vow of celibacy. In fact, I have remained a virgin for the King, but back then I felt I had “earned” the right to a wear a white dress. For whatever reason, marriage was/is not the Father’s will or plan for me. 

My personal relationship with God has always been more important to me than any human relationship. Yet, in my young adult years, I longed for a husband who would nurture and encourage my spiritual growth. Many a time I would return home after a long workday yearning for a husband’s comfort, love, and protection. I wanted a partner who would share in my problems, joys, and biblical insights. 

We must strive to see the blessing in the midst of our sorrow thus, I tell you now that the single life I live has brought me into a deeper understanding of God’s love for me. By leaning totally on God, I have gained insight into the many dimensions of His character and love. He wants all of us to interact with Him, learning about the many roles He plays in our lives. As for me, I relate to Jesus not only as my Savior and Redeemer, but also as my brother, friend, counselor, AND husband. I am a Bride after all. I am a Bride of Christ! 

If you are a single person, please do not settle for a relationship that is any less than the one God has prepared for you. He wants to give you the very best. Your marriage partner might not come for a very long time, which requires great faith and patience, but you would be wise to wait for this person. I am. 

If I do marry some day, I know it will be hard work (any relationship is after all), but a blessing given by the One who loves me most of all. Remember, He only gives good gifts! Furthermore, if He decides my present is a life of singleness, I will also rejoice and be glad. Why you ask? Because I believe He has my best interests at heart. He trust Him with my future and in the fact that He has equipped me to live a life best suited for His glory. I trust God that much. He made me and therefore, He knows how I tick.

So as you wait for your heart’s desire, don’t stop living your life. Follow the path God has placed you on…. work the job, buy a house, get a pet, adopt a child in need (if so led). Live your life and don’t put things on hold unless you hear God say, “Hold on and wait a bit.” Use your time wisely, by reading your Bible and memorizing scripture.

As a single person, you have fewer commitments and distractions than those who are married. Take time to have conversations with God. Work on seeing Him from different angles and deepen your intimacy with Him. He really is all you need. If you align your will to His, the desires of your heart will be granted. Seek His face in diligence and fervor asking, “What do you want from me and how would you like me to serve You?”

I am a Bride of Christ! I will wear white on my wedding day and feast upon wonderful foods at the wedding supper of the Lamb! I am His beloved, and He, my dear reader, is mine. 

READ THE SCRIPTURES AND QUOTE BELOW THEN PRAY ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST. 

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory!
 For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and His bride has made herself ready.Fine linen, bright and clean, 
 was given her to wear.”(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.) Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” Revelations 19:7-9 (NIV)

“Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.” 1 Corinthians 7:8 (NIV)

“I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.”  Revelations 21:2 (ESV)

http://www.openbible.info

Work In Heaven?

No Problems in Heaven

Are you afraid to die? Is it death itself or the journey to death’s door that causes you to fear? Maybe it is the idea of living for an eternity, or maybe you fear the possible pain that will come with your travel to heaven’s door? Why not dislodge your fears by focusing on this fact. You will not die!

Believers do not die, they transcend. Our earthly passing is simply the means God has ordained to transport us into our final destination. Regarding any pain we may face on our journey home, He will supply for all our needs.

“Are you afraid to die? Remember that for a child of God, death is only a passing through to a wonderful new world.” ~Corrie ten Boom

In the book of Matthew we read, “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” Indeed, we will be living spirit and flesh with new and improved bodies. These glorious and newly resurrected bodies will be magnificent.

“But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying,  ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”  And when the multitudes heard this, they were astonished at His teaching.”  Matthew 22:31-33(NKJV)

And what will life be like in heaven? Will we find ourselves bored with endless feasting and continual choir practices? Does all work end the minute we pass through those pearly gates? I really don’t think so dear one.

God created mankind for His own pleasure. He takes great delight in us and rejoices over us with singing! (Zephaniah 3:17) And because God is love, He wants us to enjoy all that He is and all that He has done.

Therefore, heaven is a place of revelation, exploration, and learning. Why would God impart spiritual gifts and talents, while we live out our lives on earth, and take them away once we reach paradise? Doesn’t it make more sense that we continue to improve our skills and talents in heaven and use them to magnify our Savior?

If you are presently a gifted composer and your music pleases God, why wouldn’t you continue to hone your talent in heaven? Surely in heaven you will have a greater understanding of sound and a more excellent ability to create with you new heavenly resources. Why would music stop in paradise? I see no reason why those with musical abilities would cease from creating, learning, producing, and performing, as it would all be for His praise and glory. Think of our human design. God values music, otherwise He would not have designed our bodies as living instruments.

I see our time on earth as one spent in a gigantic classroom. Each person and experience we encounter has been planned and foreseen by God, and is being used to train us for our future heavenly labors. Yes, I said work. But this work will fill us with joy and great satisfaction. To serve God will be our fulfillment and pleasure.

And since God designed us with the need for fellowship, there will be times of worship, feasting, working side-by-side, and playing. Yes, fun games and entertainment… so long as it glorifies God. Can you imagine climbing the mountains in heaven? What would a game of football look like up there? Imagine saints inventing new sports for the glory of God and for everyone’s good pleasure.

Heaven, I do believe, will be a place of endless learning, laughter, joy, fellowship, praise, and labor. However, our labor will give us great enjoyment. I love to garden, so maybe I will work the soil in one of God’s magnificent gardens. Maybe you like to design and build, imagine the new buildings you could create for His glory! If you like to explore, God could ask you to search out new realms of His kingdom and bring back stories and resources. You may then attend a feast and share your stories with friends who are gifted writers. They might even write down your adventures for enjoyment of others and the King of Kings.

Heaven is a destination we should all dream about and never fear. I pray I see you there!

“We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:8 (NKJV)

“And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.  There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.” Revelation 22:3-5 (NKJV)

“In the dark dreary nights, when the storm is at its most fierce, the lighthouse burns bright so the sailors can find their way home again. In life the same light burns. This light is fueled with love, faith, and hope. And through life’s most fierce storms these three burn their brightest so we also can find our way home again.” ~Unknown

Vote For Your Favorite Photograph!

Vote

Hi Everyone,

I just entered a photo contest for fun. Colorado has amazing cloud formations so all three images have amazing clouds. Please take a minute to vote for your favorite one! Thanks!

http://myspiritualbreakfast.com/get-involved/contest/most-inspiring-photo-gallery/

We Share In The Sufferings Of Christ

Easter-3 Croses

“And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center.”  John 19:17-18 (NKJV)

For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:5 (NIV)

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, understands our pain. He IS our friend and blessed Redeemer. When He left His heavenly throne and took on human form (for our sakes), He endured all the frailty found in our fleshly bodies. Not one abuse, sorrow, trouble, struggle or upset we experience was absent from His life. He lived them all. He is a Lord full of great compassion and understanding when it comes to mankind.

Jesus had siblings and is well aware of the ins and outs of family life.  There were bound to be jealousies and misunderstandings within His earthly family. Although He was without sin, He experienced the sting of insults from those closest to Him. He understands family dynamics.

He knew the pain of a friend’s betrayal. Disappointment was no stranger to our Savior. Emotional ties are often entangled with some sort of sin and can cause great pain, for love is a tender feeling. Surely Judas broke His heart.

If you have had to suffer through a desperate and painful time without the support of friends and family, Jesus understands your struggle. Did He not face His death with only His mother, His Aunt, Mary Magdalene, and the apostle John? Where were the rest of the apostles? Where were His earthly siblings?

When Christ carried His cross to Golgotha, He did so in a weakened state. His 40 lashes and beatings had weakened Him to the point of utter exhaustion.  Here comes a wondrous concept. Jesus, of the holy Trinity and God in flesh, could not physically carry His cross. It was too much for Him to bear. He experienced human weakness and the Roman soldiers compelled a Simon a Cyrenian to bear His cross. 

“Then they compelled a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of the country and passing by, to bear His cross.  And they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull.”  Mark 15:21-22 (NKJV)

We are all expected to carry our own burdens in life but when a strain comes our way that is beyond our ability to withstand, God will send us help. He will provide ways to endure and carry on with the task He has assigned.

By showing kindness to those suffering, we share in their sufferings. Just as Simon helped to carry the same cross of Jesus, we are to carry the same cross of others when they are too worn to move forward. God permits us the blessing of sharing in His sufferings. This is a gift worth rejoicing over!

Praise the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! He knows our weaknesses and understands our limitations. He calls on and provides others to share in our anguish. In love, they willingly take on burdens we cannot shoulder or sustain. Through prayers, acts of love, and physical acts of assistance we can all share in each others trouble and connect as one church and one body, through the blood of our Savior.….. Jesus Christ.

Certainly it is by His wounds that we are all healed.

“But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5 (NKJV)

“Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Romans 8:17 (NIV)

“Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, behold your son!’  Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold your mother!’ And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.” John 19:25-17 (NKJV)

“No healthy Christian ever chooses suffering; he chooses God’s will, as Jesus did, whether it means suffering or not.”
― Oswald Chambers

Post Navigation