WeepingintoDancing

Overcoming Difficult Trials

Archive for the tag “Christian Witness”

Suffering Unites Us All

UTR May I Know the Fellowship of His Suffering

God has a plan and a purpose for everyone. Nobody is insignificant. We are after all, created in the very image of God. This includes the homeless person living in a cardboard box and the abused child in a home of neglect. We all have a part to play in God’s divine design, and sharing in the sufferings of Christ is part of His game plan.

Suffering is an effective tool God uses to refine our spiritual character. Adversity is permitted, or sent, as a loving gift from heaven above. Perspective is critical here. God gives good gifts therefore trials are beneficial.

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”  Matthew 7:11 (NKJV)

So how can our painful moments be of any use? How can something hurtful, shameful, or grievous actually be a blessing? Do not trials teach us valuable lessons? Do we not gain insight, knowledge and wisdom as we muddle through our adversity? Is this not something we can share with others? Healings and lessons of perseverance are not only a witness of God’s grace but also an encouragement to others.

The process of sanctification chips away self-reliance and causes even the most prideful of mankind to cry out for help, help that only God can provide. Learning to depend on the Father is a major lesson in our spiritual walk. When we trust Him with all things and remain peaceful in the midst of an uncertain fate, faith has carried us. Others will notice our manner and desire the same inner peace we exude. Life style witnessing is a powerful tool and useful in the work of the Great Commission.

Suffering unites us all. Each person has experienced pain. Therefore, we can compassionately connect with others through this common bond. No race, creed, social status or level of education can escape the reality of suffering. Because of this fact we have an open door, a first step in sharing the Good News. We can build relationships in many different ways and there IS a fellowship of suffering, with Christ Jesus AND with others.

Here then is the great blessing found in adversity. Because of the pain you endured, thanks to the grace of God, you are now equipped to encourage and bless others. Your victory over tribulation will give them hope. But wait; there could be an additional blessing. You might have an opportunity to lead someone to Christ. God could use your story to change someone’s heart. What a blessing it is to witness a spiritual rebirth! What a special honor and service God provides for those who are willing.

Our heavenly Father does not set out to crush His children. We are His beloveds! It is in love alone that He disciplines and uses painful circumstances to teach. Yes He does test us but remember, He is the Master Teacher. His gift to us is His wisdom, knowledge and instruction.

For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.” Ps.103:14 (NKJV)

The furnace of affliction is never pleasant but it is for our benefit and for the benefit of others. By refining us into the very image of His son Jesus, who was a bruised reed but never broken, God purifies and commands us to share His love with others. Not wanting anyone to perish, God moves us to carry His message of hope and salvation.

The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 (NIV)

Are you seeking opportunities to proclaim His truth to your family, friends and neighbors? If not…. Why not? Our Savior and Redeemer, the comforter of all souls is looking for those who will say, “Here am I Lord, send me.”

 “It was good for me to be afflictedso that I might learn Your decrees.”  Psalm 119:71 (NIV)

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” Psalm 34:19 (NKJV)

The instruction of the Lord is perfect,renewing one’s life;the testimony of the Lord is trustworthy,making the inexperienced wise.The precepts of the Lord are right,
making the heart glad;the command of the Lord is radiant,making the eyes light up.The fear of the Lord is pure,enduring forever;the ordinances of the Lord are reliable
and altogether righteous.” Psalm 19:7-9 (NKJV)

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:“Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?”

Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”Isaiah 6:8 (NKJV)

“There are no lessons so useful as those learned in the school of affliction.”    ~J.C. Ryle

*The devotion is in my upcoming book FACING ADVERSITY WITH WISDOM, PRAISE, AND PROMISES. Look for it on Amazon this December, just in time for Christmas gifts!

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&fieldkeywords=Cheryl%20Zelenka&sprefix=Chery%2Caps&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3ACheryl%20Zelenka&oqid=1410851640

 

Christians Under Attack

Christains Under Attack

Remember to watch Greta Van Susteren tonight for her special report, “Christians Under Attack,” She is spotlighting the persecution of Christians in Iraq and around the world.

Watch live or set your DVR for 7 p.m. EDT on the Fox News Channel. Tell your friends and family to watch, too.

The Great Commission: Patience Required

*Fruit:Patience

This is a devotional from my next book FACING STORMS: A DEVOTIONAL FOR THOUGHT AND MEDITATION

We have a great commission in life. We are called to make disciples of all the nations, including our own country. So, the rude co-worker and obnoxious neighbor is part of our assignment. God loves His entire creation and wants every person to accept Him as his or her Lord and Savior. This is every Christian’s most important calling and mission in life.

“It is the duty of every Christian to be Christ to his neighbor.”   ~ Martin Luther

No, this appointment is not an easy one, but neither is loving a people who falls so short of God’s morality. Thankfully, God refuses to give up on us and throw in the towel. He perseveres in demonstrating His love daily and in every moment. He longs for our fellowship and makes Himself available at all times. He creates incredible sunsets for our enjoyment and gives pleasure in so many different ways. His heart and passion belongs to us so, to model Him, our passion should be for the lost…. Be they ever so challenging.

People who rub us the wrong way are the means God uses to sand off our rough edges. They are placed in our life for OUR benefit. For by having them near us, we soon see our shortcomings and identify the weak areas in our character and spiritual walk.

Are you an impatient person? Ask for patience and God will surely send someone your way that challenges your temperance. Only by God’s blessed grace will you see a righteous gift of compassion birthed in your heart. Your self-control and forbearance will astound you. The sincere love and affection you are meant to feel for this person will deepen over time. So profound will it become, if you practice it daily, you will find yourself perplexed at how you ever saw them as a thorn or irritant in your side.

Will you choose kindness over selfish actions of rudeness? Will you overlook an offense and remember the many times God has forgiven you? Through simple acts of love, you can change a stony heart into a softer one, a heart the Creator can easily fashion and mold into something new.

Discernment will be given for the sake of intercession. Do not gawk at their sin or find pleasure in fault-finding. The Spirit will guide you as you pray and witness to them. Once hard to love (only because their wounds had made them fearful and prickly) they will drop their thorns and rest in your company. Reckless words will cause much damage but wise words of encouragement bring much fruit. By establishing trust, they will share another side with you, one only a precious few have witnessed. It will be an honor to behold.

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go thereforeand make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”Matthew 28:18-20 (NKJV)

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me[a] in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”Acts 1:8 (NKJV)

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:15 (NKJV)

“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”Luke 19:10 (NKJV)

“Yet if we would know God and for other’s sake tell what we know we must try to speak of his love. All Christians have tried but none has ever done it very well. I can no more do justice to that awesome and wonder-filled theme than a child can grasp a star. Still by reaching toward the star the child may call attention to it and even indicate the direction one must look to see it. So as I stretch my heart toward the high shining love of God someone who has not before known about it may be encouraged to look up and have hope.” ~ A.W. Tozer

“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” ~ C.S. Lewis

 

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