WeepingintoDancing

Overcoming Difficult Trials

Archive for the tag “Suffering and Trials”

Waiting With Hope

Waiting

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart 
and wait for the Lord.”              Psalm 27:14 NIV 

“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.”  Isaiah 40:31 (ESV)

Dear One,

How would you explain “waiting on God” to a friend? Would you define it as an “expectant hope, eagerly watched for with hopes of a quick arrival?”  Maybe you would simply explain it as “something one does if something tarries.” There are many scriptures that not only mention the word “wait,” but also actually command us to wait.  Psalm 27:14 is such an example.  However, within the command there is an added encouragement.  We are told to be strong and take heart as we wait.

It takes spiritual strength to stop, wait, watch, and allow God to work.  We can become discouraged if hopes and prayers are not answered in our own timeframe.  Heavenly timelines are altogether different from earthly ones and our Lord’s timing is always perfect.  It may take a lifetime to see one of your prayer request answered.  This kind of waiting will take a mature faith and spiritual endurance.

Patience is a fruit of the spirit and evident in the character of God.  Patience is the twin to Spiritual Waiting and the half-sister to Longsuffering and Endurance.  They all share a strong family resemblance but they are different just the same. 

You may be living with a long and painful illness while patiently waiting for a cure, or the promised rest of your eternal home.  Living with pain, illness, and suffering requires patience and perseverance.  In fact, illness and pain helps to mature all the fruits of the spirit within you.

Waiting for justice and looking for God to avenge personal injuries requires the fruit of self-control.  By waiting for God to judge those who have wounded us, we are guaranteed a just God will hand out a just consequence and penalty. Deuteronomy 32:35 instructs us that vengeance belongs to God.  The English Standard Version of the Word states that He will “take revenge and pay them back.”  Trust that all injustices are observed and are never forgotten or overlooked by your Father.

Isaiah 40:31 says that if we wait on the Lord He will renew our strength.  By resting in His might and His promise to answer the prayer offered in faith and aligned to His will, we will find new strength.  Instead of giving in to the exhaustion caused by worry, anguish, distraction, and fear, we are given an opportunity to refresh ourselves by patiently waiting on God to act.

Your ability to wait on the Lord is rooted in your confidence of who He is and what He is doing.  Is your faith built on a solid foundation of His character and love?  Trusting in His principals, promises, power, and divine purpose will enable you to wait in peace.

Psalm 33:20 informs all believers of HOW they are to wait for God; it is with HOPE.  Faith is the assurance of things hoped for (Hebrews 11:1) and a conviction of things not seen.  Hope is a part of faith and waiting on God requires both.  May the peace of Christ rest upon you as you cast aside your burdens, trusting Him to address them in His time.  I pray your strength is renewed as you wait.

Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore He exalts Himself to show mercy to you. 
 For the Lord is a God of justice; 
blessed are all those who wait for Him.”         Isaiah 30:18 (ESV)

We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.”Psalm 33:20 (NIV)

Will You Let God Determine Your Steps?

Lord Determin Steps

Hello Dear Ones!!

I want to update you on a few things as you are all very special to me.

First, I am now writing for three other blog sites.  I have posted them below.  I think you will find them informative and encouraging so I hope you check them out.

Second, my new personal blog Facing Trials ( facingtrials.com) will soon be up and running.  It will replace this website so make note of the site address.  It will hold my daily (trying to be faithful to this commitment!) articles.  It is a site for me to grow into, as there is a tab for how to purchase my book (hopefully available through Amazon by mid-July) and other tabs such as videos and pod casts.  I feel pressed to write but will eventually work more videos and technology into my blog.   I have three more books in the works, including a book of devotions, a book of prayers, and the bible study I have almost completed.  It is about my recovery from brain surgery.  In the bible study, I share the details of my brain tumor journey to healing and tie it to the lessons found in the wonderful book of Job.

Third, much has happened for me  in only seven months.  God has opened many doors and given me great favor with leaders in Christian ministry.  As an untrained writer, I am amazed by the positive responses I receive from all of my readers.  I know it is only because the Lord is using me as His “pen.”  I have laid down my public school teaching career to step out in faith and write for Him, hoping that it will eventually serve to support me financially.  In the meantime, I continue my second job as a nanny.  I am excited to see what He asks of me and where next He will lead me.  Who knows which door I will be asked to open next!!

I want to thank all of you for your patience with the blog site transfer (and for the new one to com).  WordPress is STILL working on problems that arose out of the Guided Transfer.  This has caused me much frustration and yet, I know God will fix things and is ultimately in control.

I have decided to keep the Weeping Into Dancing blog, using it as a weekly diary of sorts.  I will share more personal thoughts, photos, and bits of my daily personal life.

Blessings to you on this day.  Life is good when God lives in your heart!  Cheryl

Vine of Life News:  (Most Recent)  http://vineoflife.net/                                                          (Top Left: “Church and Family” scroll to DEVOTIONS

Good News Broadcasting & Multimedia:   http://gnbm.org/                                                   Scroll to the very bottom of the page and look for THE BARNABAS CORNER                The founder of this site has video tapped my testimony.  It should be posted in about 7-10 days.  I will let you know when it is finally up for viewing.

Inspirational Christians For Today:   http://inspirationalchristiansfortoday.com/

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of Him everywhere.”    2 Corinthians 2:14 (NIV)

Hope: An Anticipated Desire

God of Hope fill U Joy:Peac

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=fvwp&NR=1&v=5Jj0ZTzgmGM

“If I Stand” by Rich Mullins

“There’s more that rises in the morning than the sun

And more that shines than just the moon

If I stand let me stand on the promise that You will pull me through

And if I can’t let me fall on the grace that first brought me to You.

And if I sing let me sing for the joy that is born in me this song

And if I weep let it be as a man who is longing for his home.”                                  +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”  Romans 8:24-25 (NIV)

Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey towards it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us”   —Samuel Smiles

As you walk through life, in good times and bad times, hope will always be nearby for you to call upon.  Like a friendly neighbor or close friend, hope will never disappoint you.  God sends His children hope to pull them out of struggles and trials.  Rich Mullins wrote in his song STAND: “There is more that rises in the morning than the sun.”  He knew that with each new day there was the gift of a new beginning brimming with hope.

Anticipated desires, which we expect to occur, are hopes. All hopes help us when trying to cope with life struggles.  They remind us to look upward towards the heavens and trust in the Creator of the universe.  It is with confidence that you may present your hopes and desires to God.  He hears all the prayers His children send up to Him.  Trust that your hopes are obtainable, so long as they are aligned with God’s will for you.

There is joy to be found in holding hope in your heart.  It is a secret desire between you and God.  The joy comes as you wait for its arrival.  Will it disappoint?  No, not if you are hoping for something that pleases God. 

Your hopes may change as you wait for your desire to be fulfilled.  Why? It is because the Holy Spirit is constantly working on your heart, transforming you into the vessel God envisioned when you were still in your mother’s womb. He leads and guides us in the ways of the Lord. When your desire is graciously granted, it will be aligned with His purpose and plan for you. 

God’s gifts are always more wonderful than we can imagine.  His blessings are beyond our imagination and comprehension.  Hope in and ask for those things He wants to hand you, not the things you think you want.  Wait for his blessings to be revealed.  Patiently hold on to your hope and trust that every desire of your heart will be given onto you, as you delight yourself in the Lord.

Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. “     Psalm 37:4 (NIV)  

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

God’s Forgiveness Will Heal A Hardened Heart

Heal Yourself

Graphic found on this link:

www.Daveswordsofwisdom.com 

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)

God’s Will vs Willing

 

Trust w:All Heart

“Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed;
 save me and I will be saved,
 for You are the one I praise.”   Jeremiah 17:14 (NIV)

God can do all things. He is the great I AM, the Giver of Life, and the Creator of the Universe. He is Almighty in power and a just God. So why does He heal some and not others? 

I would define WILLING as having a specific attitude in which you are inclined to grant something.  It would include a tendency to lean in favor of something proposed.

I would define WILL as an intention, purpose, or desire. 

When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane praying to His Father, He asked God if it were possible to avoid the crucifixion. Jesus than submitted to God by saying, “Yet not My will, but what You will.” Jesus was asking God if He was WILLING or INCLINED to find a different means to ransom the world as adopted children of God. 

God’s response to Jesus was a silent, “No.” Jesus had to face the cross and carry the sins of the world on His back. The death of HIS beloved SON was the means to a greater end.  The crucifixion was God’s plan and His purposes are always completed.  We may not understand how things work for good or why they must be, but through faith we grow to accept His plans and purpose as perfect and just.

It was God’s WILL or INTENTION to sacrifice His own Son so that all believers could live an eternal life through the blood of Jesus. Was this an easy or joyful decision for Jesus or Father God? No, but Jesus WILLINGLY became the sacrificial lamb and agreed to the WILL of God for He trusted His Father and knew His plan was perfect.

So now back to why God heals some and not others. There is most certainly a greater goal to be accomplished by the death. The loss of a loved one has been known to push an unbeliever into the arms of Christ. A death may be the only thing that gets someone’s attention.  Through sorrow we often examine our life and the condition of our own heart. 

Therefore, what the enemy means for evil, God can always turn into a greater good. God’s intentions, desires, and WILL are to have us draw near to Him.  If it takes a tragedy or even an early and unexpected death, we must accept the WILL of God.  Yes, we must trust that His intentions far outweigh that which we are INCLINED to pray for when we seek our God’s favor. 

We can find comfort in knowing that God is in control and He has a loving purpose or plan, a plan to prosper and not to harm us.  When tragedy strikes we can fail to see or understand the good in the situation.  Pain, loss, fear, and anger may be all we can feel and conceive.  Finding the future prosperity in tragic events will require soul searching, but God is not out to harm and destroy His beloved children.  This is when “walking by faith” must rescue us from the pit of despair set by the enemy.  He will always try to create hopelessness in difficult circumstances.  Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God’s plans for all of His children include, “a plan with a hope and a future.”

Even if that future is with a sick loved one who faces an early death, we must by faith choose to recognize that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Ro. 8:28 NIV) Who knows how many souls will be won for Christ through the loss of the one you care for with such devotion?

Is your spiritual walk one where you accept the Will of God in your life with little or no question?  Are you WILLING to accept His plan for you and His purpose in those near you, no matter the cost?  Can you lay down your will and desires for His sake?  His purpose is always just.  God does not have to explain His plan to His creation.  Sometimes He will, but usually we are required to trust in His love for us and submit.  Walking by faith means we must trust in the purposes of God, even when we understand not why.

“They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Sit here while I pray.’   He took Peter, James and John along with Him, and He began to be deeply distressed and troubled. ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,’ He said to them. ‘Stay here and keep watch.’

Going a little farther, He fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from Him. ‘Abba, Father,’ He said, ‘everything is possible for You. Take this cup from Me. Yet not what I will, but what You will.’”                                 Matthew 26:32-36 (NIV)

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16 (NIV)

You Can Battle Worry With God’s Help

Worry-U R More Birds 

““Do not fret – it leads only to evil.”    Psalm 37:8b (NIV)

 “Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.”    Psalm 55:22 (NIV)

 “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”    1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)

That nasty villain named WORRY will often sneak into  dreams and robbed us of sleep.  How many of you know him and suffer from his harassments?  You can battle him in several ways and gain back your peace.  Look to God!

Memorizing scriptures that addresses anxiety and fear is a powerful tool.  It takes time and requires some review, but it is worth the investment.  The Holy Spirit will faithfully recall these memorized verses when you are in need.  He will also bring them to mind when you have an opportunity to encourage another with His words. 

Since *satan is unable to read your mind, it is wise to recited them out loud when anxiety strikes.  Hearing the words will comfort and calm you.  It will also give the enemy an earful.  The Word tells us in James 4:7 that if we resist the devil, he will flee.  This is a promise! 

God, as our teacher, is always encouraged and pleased by the efforts of His children to apply new knowledge. It is never too late to learn something new and to put it into practice. 

Philippians 4:6-7 is another powerful verse to memorize.  It reminds us to “be anxious about nothing.”  It continues on by instructing believers to approach God in prayer with a thankful heart regarding their worries.  This thankfulness comes from knowing that God hears every prayer and is in control.  So what is the promised result for following these instructions?  A peace that transcends all understanding!

When worry and anxiety starts to strangle you, fear is often not far behind.  Trusting in God’s love and faithfulness will help you by renewing your strength.  Reflecting on the might of God, the Creator of the universe will remind you that He has incredible power.  He sees all, knows all, and will handle all…… in His perfect timing and ways.

Memorizing scripture and meditating on His power can eliminate anxiety and worry.  However, there are other ways to battle your anxious thoughts.  Why not reflect on all of the ways God has shown Himself as a faithful Father. Reflect upon all the problems in your past and how they have been resolved.  If God helped you to solve problems back then, He will certainly do so in the present and in your future.

God is always in command.   Who better to take care of your troubles? In regards to your spiritual armor, the sword is the Word of God.  It helps in your battles with the evil one.  Don’t forget that you are fighting a spiritual battle every day. Satan, that prowling lion, looks for every opportunity to confuse and harass you. He wants to steal your peace. Don’t give him any ground!  Put on your armor, resist him, praise and thank God, recite all the ways He has shown Himself faithful and true, pray, and keep your spiritual sword sharp!  Worry does not have to paralyze you.  Trust God and be not afraid.  Give all your worries and cares to God. He cares so much for you.

 “Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.  In His kindness God called you to share in His eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation.”                      1 Peter 5:7-10  (NLT)

 “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”          James 4:7 (NIV) 

“I prayed to the LORD, and He answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Those who look to Him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces. In my desperation I prayed, and the LORD listened; He saved me from all my troubles. For the angel of the LORD is a guard; He surrounds and defends all who fear Him.”                Psalm 34:4-7  (NIV)

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”              Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

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.”

Resurrection: God’s Victory Through Jesus

Jesus w:Mary & John He Is Risen

Luke 23:43 (NIV)  “Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

 Easter is a day of victory, love, hope, and promise.  Jesus suffered the incredible humiliation of the cross and endured great suffering for our sakes.  Let me mention just a few of the horrors He willingly suffered for our sakes, in the name of unconditional love.

Jesus endured the rejection and false testimonies of His chosen people.  His disciples denied and abandoned Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, only to follow Him at a distance.  (John alone stood at the foot of the cross with His mother, Mary.)  The Jewish people convinced Pilate to release Barabbas, a convicted murder, because they wanted Jesus crucified.

Soldiers spit at our Savior and made Him wear a crown of thorns.  They whipped him and mocked him and made him carry a cross to his place of death.  Nails through bone and flesh attached Him to a wooden cross.  After suffering separation from His heavenly Father, because of the sins He carried to the cross, He gave up His spirit.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life (Jn. 3:16). This truly is a wondrous love!

There were two criminals crucified with Christ and both were guilty of their crimes.  One of the two men mocked Jesus and threw insults His way. However, the other criminal acknowledged his own sin and rebuked the other criminal for his scorn towards the Redeemer.

“Don’t you fear God, since you are under the same sentence?  We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve.  But this man has done nothing wrong.”

He then asked Jesus to remember him upon entering His kingdom.  Jesus lovingly replied, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:38-43) 

This act of forgiveness and hope has given many believers comfort.  We do not know what happens in the final moments of a person’s life.  This story reminds us that it is never too late to be saved and rescued from the pit of hell.

While on our earthly journey, we are to walk by faith.  It is by grace that we are saved, but we are also told that faith without works is dead.  So did the criminal on the cross just manage to get into heaven by the seat of his pants?  Yes, probably so.  Did he have any rewards or treasure laid up once he got there?  After all, he wasn’t a follower and believer of Christ for very long. 

(Here is where I might surprise you with my thoughts.)  How many people were at the foot of the cross witnessing this dialogue?  I would say there were some, and they may have even decided to accept Christ as their Savior.  But now think about this:  How many people have heard this story long after the criminal entered paradise with Jesus?  I would say more than we could imagine.

I believe many have been comforted by this story of a last minute conversion.  Wouldn’t this alone earn him some treasure in heaven? Could this story be one that has led a multitude into believing that Jesus is the Son of God?  I am sure of it. 

It is never too late to give your heart to God, and start living FOR Him. If there is a lost soul you have given up on, remember there is always hope thanks to the blood and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  He won the battle over sin and death and died for us all, including the prodigal son.  Because of Jesus, our sins were nailed to the cross once and for all.  It is a free gift for all to receive, if only we choose to accept it. With an open heart and open arms, Jesus is offering salvation to everyone.  May His sacrifice and resurrection give you enough hope to carry you through another year. 

Romans 6:8-11 (NIV)
   ”Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

It Takes Endurance To Scale A Mountain Of God

Rock Climber

 

Teaching our puppy how to catch

by 2goldogs•4 weeks ago•1,111,965 views

 

Proverbs 24:16 (NIV)     “For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again,
but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.”

Dear One,  

I hope you enjoy this short video.  I have watched it about eight times today and every time I get a giggle.  Notice the pup’s concentration.  His effort to obey is so sweet. 

During your Christian walk,  you will encounter many challenges and lessons.  God understands your limitations, but He WILL send challenging opportunities for spiritual growth your way. This means that these trials and lessons will stretch you.  After all, if your lessons were only about things you have already mastered, how would you grow? 

(Obviously this sweet puppy was given more than his ability, but I am sure his willingness to try a new trick certainly made his master smile.

God does not expect us to perfect all of His lessons the first time they are introduced.  Schools will often use a curriculum that builds on concepts taught in previous years.  They call this a, “Spiral Curriculum.” Students at one grade level may be introduced to a concept and in another grade; the original concept is revisited and reviewed.  Additional information is then added in hopes of challenging the student. The knowledge of the concept is built over a period of years. 

The Father will take a similar approach when teaching His children important spiritual lessons.  As children, we are introduced to the concept of love.  If you are lucky, you grew up in a home with loving parents and extended family members.  You knew security and felt safe.  Love was more about receiving than it was about you giving it away. 

As you grew in years, your love lessons took on additional new angles. The concept of giving out of a pure heart may have come into the picture.  Unconditional love is a lesson for more mature believers, so God usually does not start us out with this college course. 

As God sends lessons your way, be it a hardship or a joy; try to be diligent in learning all that He has for you to grasp.  You may fall, but Proverbs 24:16 (NIV)  states: “The righteous fall seven times, only to rise again.”  Perseverance requires us to be steadfast and patient.  Endurances is a pre-requisite of perseverance.  You cannot move forward on your spiritual journey unless you put one foot in front of the other! 

It takes endurance and patience to scale a mountain.  If you look at the whole assent while at the base, you could easily become overwhelmed.God breaks lessons and tasks down for us. 

When approaching a mountainous climb, the first goal should be to get the proper climbing equipment.  In a spiritual climb, this means dressing yourself in the Armor of Christ.  Then look into maps and a possible guide.  Again, in a spiritual sense, this would be equipping yourself by reading God’s instruction manual and praying that He will be your guide.  The assent to the “base camp” will be the next step.  Every night a new plan would be made in order to reach the next mountainous destination, until the summit is finally reached.

The lessons God directs our way are meant to be for our benefit. They are sent with love. He prepares us for that which He created us to perform for His glory.  He will not send a soldier into battle without armor, nor will He send His child down a dark path without a light.

May your lessons in life be accepted with an obedient heart and a desire to please the Holy One. They will stretch and mold you into the masterpiece He knows you already are, once His glory is revealed.  Climb with the confidence of a deer jumping from mountain cliff to mountaintop.

(Habakkuk 3:19 NIV)     “The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
He enables me to tread on the heights.”

 

Love Is God’s Best For Us

Love That Lasts

Isaiah 41:13 (NIV)     “For I am the Lord your God 
who takes hold of your right hand 
and says to you, Do not fear;
 I will help you.”

God is our Father.  He holds our hand when we are struggling or afraid.  He cheers us on like a baby taking his first steps.  God loves us with an unconditional love and wants the very best for us.

So what is the “very best” that God wants for His adopted children?  Is it the same thing that God deemed best for His own Son?   Yes, at least to a certain measure.  Jesus died an unfathomably painful death on the cross.  There are some among us who will also suffer painful deaths like Jesus, just think of the Christians in China. 

However, most of us in America will not experience such a horrific experience.  And yet, we will ALL suffer some time in our lives.  If we endure in the name of Jesus, we will share in His glory.  If we maintain a Christian perspective and attitude in the midst of our personal grief and suffering, we could even win some souls to Christ.  By living our everyday life and living through personal storms with a Christian peace and hope, God will use our pain to touch others.  Our sufferings will be in His name. 

The very best for Jesus and God’s adopted children is found in lessons of unconditional love.  These love lessons are usually the most painful of lessons, but they also serve as the most meaningful.  We grow in the Fruits of the Spirit every time we walk through fire holding onto an attitude of Christian love and faith.

GOODNESS and KINDNESS live in the hearts of those who have suffered greatly, as the wounded tend to learn compassion through their misery.  GENTLENESS is born out of the adversity that has challenged a believer, but who has then released all hopes for vindication to the power of God.  PEACE is a fruit that grows from seeds of trust.  LOVE matures as we learn to give up pieces of ourselves for the benefit of others, knowing full well that every piece we loose is replaced by an even more wondrous portion of Christ.  JOY comes from knowing God as He becomes our strength during trials. PATIENCE is learned through experiences of long-suffering and allows the saint to move forward while longing for his real home in heaven.  FAITHFULNESS means commitment. It is a sold-out attitude and stance that resonates a belief in God’s unquestionable ability to do the impossible.  Finally, the believer who suffers in the name of Christ for love’s sake grows in SELF-CONTROL.  With this final fruit, the temptations of the devil lesson and loose their power.  We gain strength by gaining self-control.

What is best for the children of God?  I say that God’s very best for us involves lessons of love where suffering is involved.  Such lessons deepen our dependence on God and develop our perseverance and maturity in Christ.  God helps us every step of the way and never abandons us.  The act of love means to think of others first, and for humans that is always painful.

John 13:34-35 (NIV)    “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.”

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