Overcoming Difficult Trials

Archive for the tag “Love”

Love Promises From God


“Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them.” Psalm 119:140 (NKJV)

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:18-19 (NKJV)

I am so thankful God has given us a multitude of encouraging promises to stand on. We must seek them out, but they are in the Word and easy to discover. Promises of His love, protection, provision and many other gems are there to give us hope. If we diligently seek Him, we will never fall short of encouragement and reasons to give Him praise.

God’s Word proclaims that there is no fear in love, that perfect love casts out all fear. Indeed we are to respect and honor our God, demonstrating awe when we enter into His presence (He is our Creator), and we can rejoice in knowing He loves us unconditionally. What comfort this is for all believers! We need not ever fear approaching His throne and mercy seat. He freely offers His love and forgiveness time, after time, after time.

God’s love for us is an enduring love. It is constant. He remains faithful in His affections even when we are faithless in return. His love is also unconditional. Therefore, if we rebel like the prodigal son, we are always welcomed home with open arms. God’s love is continuous even when it is one-sided. However, if we decide to love Him back, our relationship with God will deepen to such a level of intimacy that no other could ever compare.

God rejoices over us with singing. Did you hear that? God sings and rejoices over us! This is not just when we repent and return to Him, like a lost lamb I believe He rejoices over us when we make choices that glorify His name. He must sing every time someone shares the Good News. Indeed, every time we choose to live and love in righteousness He surely smiles.

Abounding in His everlasting love for us His affections are always in action. He longs for a relationship with mankind, His own creation! Would you want to befriend something you made with your hands, like a knitted sweater or a piece of pottery? What an idea! What a concept!

If you think your sins have left you unfit to approach God’s mercy seat, you are wrong. The Father looks directly into the heart of man and sees past his sin. He recognizes you as the masterpiece He designed long ago. Come before Him and He will lovingly wash you as white as snow with the blood of the Lamb. You will be cleansed with His righteousness. Free from sin, He will then dress you in clean clothes.

“Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, ‘Take off his filthy clothes.’ Then he said to Joshua, ‘See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.’” Zechariah 3:3-4 (NIV)

Do not let sin separate you from the love of God. He longs for your fellowship and calls out to you. With loving- kindness He is drawing you even now. Can you feel it? Knock on the door of His heart and He shall answer with much singing and rejoicing. Just as a groom longs for the affection of his bride, God longs for your fellowship and adoration.


“I love those who love me, and those who seek Me diligently will find me.” Proverbs 8:17 (NKJV)

“Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.” Psalm 136:26 (NKJV)

“The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”
Zephaniah 3:17 (NKJV)

The great thing to remember is that though our feelings come and go God’s love for us does not.” ― C.S. Lewis

Crossed Paths & Godly Friends



LOL…. I love it when a dog smiles! Their unconditional love and absolute acceptance is so encouraging and heart warming. We really should stop using our eyes to judge people. This chick and dog are an odd couple but then, I have a few friends who make me half of an odd couple too! I believe God sends us friends. He knows the best people to bring our way and places them in our path.  Then He leaves it up to us to make a connection.

Our Lord looks at the inner spirit of a person and does not judge our outer appearance! Spiritual eyes should be used when meeting people and deciding if they could be a friend. Too many times we are quick to make a decision about possible relationships.

 Think about Jesus and His twelve Apostles. 

 The Apostles of Christ were the foundation stones of His church. Revelation 21:14 speaks of the twelve foundations of the wall of the New Jerusalem as having in them the names of the twelve Apostles. These men were important to Jesus. However, what a mix our Savior had in friends and followers. They included: Zealots, fisherman, missionaries, an even a tax collector! They were from different geographic locations and social classes, some were more political and others had more education.

 When we are true believers of Christ, there is a common bond that overrides profession, education, race, nationality, geographies, linguistics, social class, and economics. We are brothers and sisters and God is our Father.  We are family…. A spiritual family.

 Although we do not have a choice into which family we are birthed into while on earth, we do have a choice as to whom we choose as friends.  How do you select a friend?  Is it based on interest, profession, or social status? Perhaps you search for friends with a sold out Christian walk, and then let everything else fall into place.

 Elijah had Elisha as a friend, David had Jonathan, Ruth was bound to Naomi, Paul had Barnabas and later on, Timothy.  Whom do you call friend? Are they leading you into a deeper relationship with God, or are they dragging you further from Him? Do they encourage and spur you on in your walk?

 Today, I encourage you to pray about the people in your life.  Seek God and ask Him if you need to rethink some of your relationships and friendships. Listen to His voice and look for confirmation in the Word.  He may even use your Pastor or a radio message to enlighten or advise you.

But Ruth said:

“Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you; for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. 
The Lord do so to me, and more also, 
if anything but death parts you and me.”   Ruth 1:16-17 (NKJV)

Now when he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.  Saul took him that day, and would not let him go home to his father’s house anymore. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.” 1 Samuel 18:1-3 (NKJV)

 Then Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here, please, for the Lord has sent me on to Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!” So they went down to Bethel.”  2 Kings 2:2 (NKJV)

God Will Not Forsake Those Who Trust Him

Trust Not Forsake Ps

I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.’” Psalm 91:2 (NKJV)

There is beauty in the name of Jesus. He is the Author of Eternal Salvation, the Consolation of Israel, the Great High Priest, Holy One Of God, and The Door. I can’t list them all so I have pasted a link at the bottom of this post. If we know the name of Jesus, we are called to trust in His love and care.

In knowing Jesus you also know the Father. To trust Jesus is to trust God.  In faith, we must believe God has our best interests at heart.  He will not….

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The Promise Of God’s Forgiveness

Forgive Me? Small

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.    1 John 1:9 (NKJV) 

1 John 1:9 is a PROMISE.  We will find forgiveness in Christ if we confess our sins. This is a blessed assurance.  He will never say, “No, I don’t accept your apology and confession.  I do not forgive you. I do not want a relationship with you.” 

Some of you may know the heartache of humbling yourself and apologizing for something, hoping to restore a relationship, only to be rebuffed or ignored.  Your cry to be forgiven was not met with love or a consoling pardon.  This pain is one I know well. However, all we can do is what the scripture instructs and then leave it to God to mend. 

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Do You Fear God?


Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere Him. For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm.”   Psalm 33:8-9 (NIV)

The Lord commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the Lord our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today.”    Deuteronomy 6:24  (NIV)

Dear One,

What do you think it means to fear the Lord? A worldly or human view of fear involves some kind of evil or threat.  When the Scripture tells us to fear God, it does not mean we should run and hide from Him. Instead, it refers to a holy and righteous fear of respect.  It is the dread of offending God because we love Him. 

God is all about relationships.  He longs to be intimate with His children.  Since He knit you together in your mother’s womb, He already knows you inside and out.  It is up to you to reach out to Him. When seeking the Lord, He will be found.  By knocking on the door of His heart, He will gladly come to fellowship and dine with you. 

It is up to all of us to seek Him out.  Not only to discover His mysteries and wonders, but to build a relationship with Him. He is an open book, but we must put forth the effort and read His pages. The more time we spend with Him, the more we will want to share His love with others.

There are many benefits in fearing God with a reverent fear.  In Deuteronomy 6:24, the Lord commands His people to obey all of His decrees and to fear God, so that they might always prosper and be kept alive.  He prolongs the life, and shelters or protects, those who fear Him.  He will be your strong tower and hiding place. 

Psalm 25:12-15 promises prosperity to the one who fears Him, and also blessings upon their decedents.  He will instruct those with a reverent fear in the way they should choose.  Best of all, He confides in those who fear Him. Imagine, the Creator of all things wants to honor us with His confidences!

Scriptures informs us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  Wisdom is more beneficial that rubies and gold.  Therefore, to gain wisdom is to gain treasure in heaven.

God promises that the angel of the Lord will encamp around those who fear Him.  Powers of darkness and the devil himself may try to devour us, but we will be protected by the angel armies of God.  We will never lack any good thing, and this includes our safety.

Sometimes depression, heartache, illness, fear, dread, apprehension, and physical dangers are battled in the spiritual realm.  Trials can be tests from God or an attack from the enemy.  Consider *satan’s attack on Job, and God’s testings of Abraham.  There are many bible stories praising men and women with a reverent and holy fear of God. They obediently acted on and accepted His instructions and plans.  Think of Noah building an arch and Joshua marching around the walls of Jericho.  They had a reverent fear of God and were rewarded for their faith and obedience. 

Do you hold God in a position of high regard and respect?   Do you maintain a reverent fear of God? Have you any need to be reminded that His ways are much higher than your ways?  Do not forget that His thoughts are not your thoughts and His ways are not your ways.  They are so much higher and wondrous. He created all things.  You are His lovely creation and beloved child.  Refine your reverent fear of Him and then, behold the wonders He works within and around you.

“The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them.”   Psalm 34:7 (NIV)

 “And He said to the human race,
“The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom,
and to shun evil is understanding.”  Job 28:28 (NIV) 

“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” He said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”   Genesis 22:12 (NIV)

“Who, then, are those who fear the Lord?  He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.  They will spend their days in prosperity, and their descendants will inherit the land. The Lord confides in those who fear Him; 
He makes His covenant known to them.”  Psalm 25:12-14 (NIV)

*Intentionally not capitalized 

Do You Ever Want To Fly Away Home To Jesus?



“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”   Revelation 21:4 (NIV)

Jesus wept.” John 11:35

Dear One,

Tears come with sorrow and grief.  Jesus wept over Lazarus and was called a “Man of Sorrows” in Isaiah 53:3. He was acquainted with grief. Jesus understands our suffering and pain, for He lived them all while on earth as the Son of man. He is sympathetic to the ache in our hearts.  He even records our cries and keeps a record of our tears. 

Our tears mean something to Him, otherwise why would He bother with listing and recording them?  He wants us to know that He is cognizant of our sufferings and sorrows.  They do not go unnoticed.  They are never discounted, nor are they ever in vain.

In this life you will have tribulations.  They may take your breath away, but God will faithfully breathe life right back into you.  Sorrow is not meant to crush you beyond repair.  In fact, it is impossible if your eyes are focused on God.  He will lift you up and command His angels to care for you. He is close to the brokenhearted and in your times of need, He will give you His strength.

If you have had to say good-bye to a loved one, the separation and the loneliness that follows may knock you over.  You may feel as though a part of you has disappeared.  The reality is that your loved one has not disappeared.  Rather, they have journeyed to a destination that is temporarily beyond your reach.  In God’s time, you will (Lord Willing) be with them again. 

Heaven is described in Revelation 21:4 as a place where there is no more crying or pain.  What joy there is in knowing that He will wipe away every tear from our eyes!  His grace is sent to us while we sojourner here, but in heaven our joy will be complete.  Tears will only be a distant memory. 

If you are sowing many tears as of late, be encouraged by the words of Psalm 126:5.  This verse reports that those who sow with tears will reap with shouts of joy.  Sorrow and rejoicing, tears of sadness and shouts of joy….. opposites and yet connected.  Our God is full of mysteries.

Maybe today you are heavy burdened and desperately long for your eternal home, God understands.  He tells us that we are not of this world, and that we should live as foreigners longing for our everlasting home.  We are to live our lives looking up, but moving forward. 

Grief can be a roadblock in your forward progress.  The enemy will whisper lies in your ears and attempt to make your circumstances appear hopeless.   With God there is always hope. 

There are countless sorrows in life, and many of them do not involve the death of a loved one.  There are injustices, illnesses, separations, losses, and an endless list of other tragedies.  Whatever the sorrow you are carrying today, you don’t have to carry it alone.  God wants to share your burden, so lay it down.  Let Him ease your suffering with His love and compassion. 

God understands that you may want to “fly away home” on some days.  He wants you home with Him, but only when it is your time.  He will help you to endure your sorrows of today, and tomorrow will take care of itself.

“Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!”         Psalm 126:5 (ESV)

Record my lament; list my tears on your scroll– are they not in Your record?”      Psalm 56:8 (NIV)

He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; 
and as one from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.”    Isaiah 53:3 (ESV)


Fall Upon His Grace


And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”   1 Peter 5:10 (NIV)

 “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.”  -Author Unknown

Dear One,

This weekend, I will be singing the “songs of my mother’s heart” to her.  My parents are coming to my house to celebrate my son’s 21st birthday.  Unfortunately, my mom’s memory is slipping away and her health is leaving her frail and distressed.  I want to hold every moment with her close to my heart, as I know such times are a precious gift.  God may give me many more years with her…. But I doubt it greatly.  Good-byes are hard, especially if the body remains but the memories of intimate moments are forgotten.  Grace will be in great demand this weekend!

Grace is unmerited divine assistance given to the human race for the purpose of sanctification.  It is a virtue that comes from God.  It is given to us in order to glorify Him by how we respond to our circumstances. Difficult times will bring out the best and worst in each individual.  Hopefully, as I age and grow in my maturity with Christ, I will accept His grace and apply it in a way that is honoring to Him. 

I do hope that God provides YOU with His divine assistance, thus enabling you to journey through your own personal struggle. I trust that His heavenly grace will comfort your heart, as I am sure this same grace will comfort mine.  God told Paul that His grace is sufficient, so upon this truthful promise I will cling. 

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.                                                 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

“God’s grace is not given to make us feel better, but to glorify Him… Good feelings may come, or they may not, but that is not the issue.  The issue is whether or not we honor God by the way we respond to our circumstances.”  

Jerry Bridges

Transforming Grace

God’s Forgiveness Will Heal A Hardened Heart

Heal Yourself

Graphic found on this link:


But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; 
the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed.”  Isaiah 53:5 (NIV) 

Dear One,

Jesus suffered many physical injuries on His road to Calvary.  The beatings, whippings, and crucifixion left him barely recognizable to His family and friends.  For love and for our salvation, He took up the cross and it is by His wounds that we are healed.  It is through His punishment that we have peace.

Why then do we wrestle with forgiveness, first in giving it and second in receiving it?  We have such an incredible Savior and role model, who loved us while we were yet sinners.  John 15:13 says,  Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”  There are surely believers who have lived and died this example of Christ’s love, but the majority of us have not.  Our sufferings are great in our own eyes and yet, they are nothing compared to the sufferings of the early church.

We should not compare our pains and trials to other believers, as God knows each of our frames and the measure of strength He has given to each of His children.  Rebellion and personal sin can magnify personal sufferings, so our obedience and submission is a factored in to our trials.

What really matters is that if we sin and then confess it, we are forgiven.  God never refuses our request for forgiveness and communion with Him.  Therefore, why do we withhold forgiveness when others ask it of us?  Is it due to a cold and hardened heart?

How then do you heal a hardened?  It is surely a sign of a sad spiritual state.  It is a hungry and thirsty soul who has neglected the Word of Life and the Springs of Living Waters. It is parched and weak for lack of food and water.

The first thing a hardened heart needs is the love and healing found in the Word of God.  For a time, this hard heart has not been open to the wise counsel of others and has stopped communicating with God, or listening to the prompts of the Holy Spirit.  The truth contained in the Word can break through the self-protection and remind the wounded of the truths Jesus taught.  It is after all in dying that we are set free to find eternal life.

God’s Word will not only feed the human spirit, but it will untwist the lies *satan has implanted in the heart of marble. 

Another important part to healing a hard heart is fellowship.  All of us have sinned.  There are many believers who will not throw the first stone for their own sin reminds them of God’s continuous grace and forgiveness. It is said in Ecclesiastes that it is a good thing to heed the rebuke of a wise person. When we are not walking closely with the Lord, the usual action is to avoid others of the faith.  We tend to become anti-social and isolated.      It requires humility to accept that you have travelled off the path God had you on and seek the support of the Body of Christ. However, once you decide to fellowship and honestly face what has hardened your heart, peace and joy will once again return to your life.

Forgiving yourself for the sins you have committed is also required if you want to soften your heart.  God has taken all the sins of the world, including yours, and laid them on the cross.  It is finished.  When you refuse to forgive yourself you are dishonoring what Christ has done for you.  When you confess your sin, it is cast as far as the east is from the west.  It is forgotten.  Stop reminding your Father of things He has already forgiven and forgotten.  Stop beating yourself up!  He was beaten and bruised so that you would not have to suffer His fate.  Say these words aloud:  By His wounds I am healed.

“As far as the east is from the west, 
so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12 (NIV)

 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”    John 15:13 (NIV) 

“It is better to heed the rebuke of a wise person than to listen to the song of fools.” Ecclesiastes 7:5 (NIV)

Don’t Light The Fire When God Has The Matches!

Head of Fire

ISAIAH 50:11   “
But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches, go, walk in the light of your fires
and of the torches you have set ablaze.
 This is what you shall receive from my hand: You will lie down in torment.”

Do you like being in control of all situations? Are frustrated when you can’t be the leader?  Is this because you have been let down and disappointed by others?  Do you feel you are the only one capable of getting things done properly, and you are the only person you can rely on and trust?

People have disappointed us all.  Humans are flawed.  We often have good intentions but life events can get in the way, and things are either forgotten or swept aside.  Intentionally or unintentionally, we disappoint friends and loved ones, and they disappoint us.  This is where we have to hope that forgiveness will override selfish or forgetful actions.  Often we do not even realize the depth to which we have disappointed or wounded.

When you are the one being overlooked, your disappointment in the reliability of others can harden your heart.  With damaged trust, you might become self-reliant and decide not to wait on the Lord for direction.  Like a bounding puppy, you may even run ahead of God doing whatever feels good or going wherever your feet may lead.  You are deceiving yourself if you think you don’t need others or God in your life. 

We are the Body of Christ.  This means we are precious individual parts that make up a whole.  God is the Head.  We were created to be dependent upon each other.  In order to function properly, each individual needs to share their gifts, using them to bless and help the other parts of the Body of Christ.  God created us to need interaction and relationship with not only Him, but with each other.  It is a lie from the enemy if you think you are better off alone and that you can take care of yourself. 

Our enemy is a prowling lion, just waiting to find a lamb that has wandered off alone to graze in some distant and isolated pasture.  When the flock sticks together it is harder for the enemy to attack.  Don’t let the failures in others, and the disappointment it causes, separate you from the fold. 

Not sharing yourself with others is a selfish attitude.  It is often built on fear and insecurity.  When you stand alone as an island, you are choosing to withhold your love, talents, and blessings.  It is faulty thinking to step apart from your dependence on God and others.  You may think you don’t need “them” but you do, and they most certainly need you.  God teaches us through relationships.  Any time fear is the motivation for your actions, step back and rethink things.  Perfect love casts out all fear! (1Jn. 4:18).

Finally, don’t let the temptation to be self-reliance affect your relationship with God.  He is in control.  He will never disappoint you, even though you will need faith to accept His will in some matters of your life.  Believing He has good things for you and that His ways may require that you go in a different direction then that which you had desired, will help you to accept His leading.  Don’t be foolish and run ahead of God.  He is the leader, the good Shepherd.  He will gather and lead His flock on a safe path.  Eventually, it will lead to green pastures for you to feed upon.  He will provide, in His time and in His way.  Let Him take care of your needs and provide for you.  He is dependable and trustworthy.  Hope in Him, and remember that hope will never disappoint (Ro. 5:5).

John 10:27 (NIV)  “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

John 4:18 (NIV)  “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

Hope Will Move You Another Step Forward

Mercy Y Not Consumed

“If you’ll quit moaning and crying, I’ll use the things (trials) to make you into someone I can use in the lives of others; to show them that no matter where they’ve been, no matter how deep the hole, no matter how painful the trial, there’s hope. There is victory.”     Kay Arthur

Romans 8:24-25   “For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”

Hope provides us with the strength to take one more step forward.   Hope will motivate the weariest of believers to continue on the path God has placed them.  It will never disappoint.  It is tied to faith and love.  If we love God, we have faith in what is hoped for and we are certain of what is unseen. 

After the flood, God gave Noah a promise and a hope.  We can still see His promise today, in the lovely shape of a rainbow after a storm.Storms are difficult and rocky. They will toss a believer back and forth and test their endurance.  They are meant to build spiritual muscles and our dependence on God.  He wants us to rely on Him and not in our own abilities, which He gave us in the first place. 

Hope is a feeling of expectation and a desire for a certain thing to happen.  Hope requires trust and a belief that promises will be kept.  It is with anticipation that hopes are realized. 

If you are working your way through a trial right now and you feel hopeless about your situation, consider this fact.  Satan is a thief and wants to rob you of hope.  If hope is lost, so is motivation and desire.  Hopelessness leaves us weak and powerless against the schemes of the enemy. Hopelessness gives him the upper hand.  In addition, hopelessness disregards the power of God. 

The Creator of the universe can do all things.  He is all-powerful.  We can do all things through Him who gives us strength (Phil 4:13).  Because of this promise alone, we should never loose hope.  Even when things appear dark and impossible to solve, we must remember that God is the God who makes the impossible possible.

Kay Arthur reminds us in the above quote, to stop our complaining about difficult circumstances and trials, as God will use them to mold us.  From the lessons learned within a trial, God will use a willing servant to encourage others.  That servant could provide hope for others, thanks to the faithfulness, comfort, and hope God has shown them from the very start.

We can rest in our hope that God’s grace is sufficient to carry us though fires and rough waters of many kinds.  Our endurance gained through difficult trials, will produce a character in us that is full of hope.

Romans 5:2-5   Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Philippians 4:13  (NIV)    “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

Romans 12:12 (NIV)  “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction,  faithful in prayer.”

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