When All Else #Fails – Remember, God Won’t ~

Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation (Hab 3:17-18)~ When we see troubles approach, stress can do a number on us; from putting up walls of personal defense to outright panic. A good hope through grace is founded in Holy fear. When things happen in life, we must look back upon the experiences we’ve come through before, and observe what great things God has done for us, and so we can not only recover from our stresses, but be filled with Holy joy. We must resolve to delight and triumph in the Lord; for even when all is gone, God is not gone.

Those who, when things are great and rich in life enjoyed God in all, when emptied and poor, can still enjoy all in God. They can sit down upon the heap of the ruins of their creature-comforts, and even then praise the Lord, as the God of their salvation, the salvation of the soul, and rejoice in Him as such, in their greatest distresses. Joy in the Lord is especially good to us when we meet with losses and crosses in the world. Even when earthly provisions are cut off, we may be supplied by the graces and comforts of God’s Spirit. Then we shall be strong for spiritual warfare and work, and with enlargement of heart may run the way of His commandments, and outrun our troubles. And we shall be successful in spiritual undertakings. What began our times with fear and trembling, will end with joy and triumph. When a negative depressing thought pops into your mind, count your blessings, and continue counting them, until your thoughts move in a positive direction. Positive thoughts restore positive perspective. Take positive action! It is the only appropriate response to negative thoughts. They are not welcome, and they don’t stand a chance when you take positive action. Keep your head up! God can handle this…so SO CAN YOU!

For Me, God’s Protection Is Personal #JesusBeAFence ~>

I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust (Ps 91:2)~ For years I’ve seen many fall victim to things that can turn life upside down. I’ve even been in a few – this year being no exception. My two youngest daughters were in an accident last night and their car was pretty much destroyed, all of the airbags deployed and pretty much their head on collision left the front of her car laying all over the street! But God’s had was on their lives as both of my children got out of that car on their own with nothing more than a jolt to the body and a shaken disposition! When the police took me to that car to gather belongings and I climbed inside, I saw an area that was just closed off and in total disarray but the space where my babies sat was unharmed other than things strewn about the car. I truly know they sat in the hand of God in that car!

I’m racked with emotions right now, and even though we took them to the hospital and got them checked and they were ok, I still worry about my daughters.. and how we’ll bounce back from this! But there is more joy for me today that they are still here and for that I give God the glory!

I also keep ‘wanting’ to erupt other emotions like worry and anxiety over this situation but there is a peace on me that only allows me to be thankful! The Spirit is binding me to the obedience of Philippians 4:6-7 and saying to me: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” He’s saying to me to “Stop worrying about all of this. I didn’t create a spirit of fear and worry in you! That doesn’t come from me!” So I’m just going to leave this in God’s hands and simply praise Him and take my peace today!

These days the enemy will try to confuse our minds in fear and worry but remember that God will keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Him, because he trusts in Him! I can share many instances where I’ve been at a point where fear and unsettling circumstances seem to be rampant, including right now, but ever since I’ve learned to call on that perfect peace, God has remembered me and rewarded my faith and trust in Him; And in that fearful situation I can have complete confidence and calm… Perfect Peace; and that problem that makes my experience unpleasant can be moved out of my way! Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident (Ps 27:3).

Friends, Praise God with me! Let this be a confidence for YOU: God is able and is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him! Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But IT SHALL NOT COME NEAR YOU (Ps 91:3-7) – To God Be the Glory – Amen!

For Unto Us… #CHRISTmas –

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end (Isa 9:6-7)~~ We talk about Christmas being the time we observe the birth of Jesus, but what is the significance? It’s about more than just the day we observe that our Savior was born – for we all know that the true worth of what we have in Christ is the complete cycle beginning with His birth, but including the life, death and resurrection of Him; to complete the work to our own eternal salvation.

This Child, Christ our savior, was born for the benefit of us men, of us sinners, of all believers, from the beginning to the end of the world. He is called Wonderful, for He is both God and man. His love is the wonder of angels and glorified saints. He is the Counselor, for He knew the counsels of God from eternity; and He gives counsel to men, in which He consults our welfare. He is the Wonderful Counselor; none teaches like Him. He is God, the mighty One. Such is the work of the Mediator, that no less power than that of the mighty God could bring it to pass. He is God, one with the Father. As the Prince of Peace, He reconciles us to God; He is the Giver of peace in the heart and conscience; and when His kingdom is fully established, men shall learn war no more. The government shall be upon Him; He shall bear the burden of it. Glorious things are spoken of Christ’s government. There is no end to the increase of its peace, and the happiness of its subjects shall last for ever. It’s more than just remembering the ‘birth day’ of Christ…but the understanding of the victories He brings! Merry Christmas!

God Knows It’s Rough But His #Promise Is Your Victory! ~

I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 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 (Rev 2:9-10)~~ We seem to constantly go through trials and tribulations – finding ourselves in limiting and confining situations – being persecuted and prosecuted for our convictions. There are challenges seen and unseen that are working against us; a disingenuousness that is on a mission to steal us from the Truth that holds us up, kill our relationship with the Lord and destroy any chance at salvation that we may have. Times are really hard and seem to be getting harder. People are getting tired and discouraged and growing weary of the fight – even to do right because it seems like the world is just going its own way against God and winning on every front.

But we should count it all joy – yes, it’s all good – because God knows what we’re dealing with …. He sees the darkness of the world around us. He is aware of the enemy that is in a constant mission to bring us down in the darkness of the world and God’s Word to us is to stay faithful! His dream for us is bigger than our discouragement (and His dream is His intent and will not be foiled). His assignment for us is bigger than the attack on us (and God won’t have us failing HIS assignment); His vision for us is bigger than the vindictiveness of those that work against us and His promise is indeed greater than the pain we’re dealing with so that our joy will certainly greater than their judgement! HIS will, no matter what, will be accomplished (Isa 55:11)!!! Knowing this, remember that in all the darkness, Jesus is the Light of the world! He is the source of our light and your salvation, and regardless of what’s out there, we should have no fear (Ps 27:1). We are to let that light shine through us… before the darkness of the world, that God may expose the forces against us and in HIS victory, be glorified (Matt 5:16). We may be in hard times but in Him we are rich. We may be tired but waiting on Him renews our strength (Isa 40:31)

Keep being you, doing what you’re supposed to do and in due time you will reap the benefit (Gal 6:9). Keep doing good in even the worst of situations that seem to try to undermine your destiny and know that all things work together for GOOD to those that love God and are called to His purpose (Rom 8:28). What we begin to understand is that no matter what happens in life – good, bad or ugly, God has a way of taking it and using it for our good (Gen 50:20). So in all of the things that go on around us, don’t worry – God knows! Stay faithful – keep smiling, keep your head up and keep praising God because what you’re dealing with won’t last – your trouble has term limits and it is absolutely temporary – know that it’s almost over! Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning (Ps 30:5)… and the SON is rising!

Under His Grace You Are #MadeForThis ~

For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me (2 Cor 12:8-9)~

Ever been in the middle of something tough, prayed for rescue, and heard . . . nothing? Ever questioned God, in frustration, “Why won’t you answer?”

Could it be that God doesn’t always answer because, sometimes, He wants us to stay right where we are and learn, there, how to fight and go through what we’re in? Could it be that God sometimes allows trouble and pain to train us, to build our maturity, to make us more reliable conduits of his love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control? We often consider trouble and pain as unnecessary, to be avoided, hindrances to ease and happiness. Might it make more sense to consider trouble and pain as opposition, as a mountaineer views the pitch and the altitude, or as a linebacker views the block and the fake?

We aren’t meant to be men who avoid tribulation, numb it or deny it. We aren’t meant to run from battles, to hide and to let others fight. We’re built for opposition. Truthfully, we’d probably wither without it. We must see it though for what it is: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). Our struggle is against being lured into selfishness, indifference, impatience, rage, resignation, or sin in the face of problems at work, or in our finances or relationships or families. These are epic struggles—battles worthy of any man.

God doesn’t always take our challenges away, because He’s built us to go through them and conquer them, not cower from them. His grace is enough to get us through, so my brother, my sister – hang in there, trust in His grace and go on through it!

#Peace ~ It’s More Than God’s Gift, It’s His Will! ~

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27) Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee (Isa 26:3)~ The ‘hot’ mediums of television and Internet create an impression of directness and immediacy – Every day, it seems, we’re bombarded again and again by the disturbing images and stories of human atrocities in our nation and around the world. It’s almost as if these events are all happening right here in front of us – literally! The relentlessness of present-day news (and social media) coverage makes it almost impossible to escape these troubling reports and sadly it brings forth the reality that the world is not necessarily a peaceful place; and bad things do happen from time to time. Our peace is very often the focus of the enemy. Satan knows without peace, we are in a weakened condition, vulnerable to defeat. If he can get us to hand over our peace, he knows it won’t be long before we become putty in his hand.

But, as Christians we can all be reassured with the thought that God is always with us, that He has promised to stand by us, and that He will take care of us no matter what comes our way. Have you ever thought of the power that we have been given in Jesus’ name when we speak His word and claim it in our life? One of the great provisions of Christ to us as His family is peace in Him. He not only gives us peace, He keeps us in peace; in His perfect peace, inward peace, outward peace, peace with God, peace of conscience, peace at all times, in all events. Trust in the Lord for that peace, that portion, which will be for ever. Whatever we trust to the world for, it will last only for a moment; but those who trust in God shall not only find in Him, but shall receive from Him, strength that will carry them to that blessedness which is forever. God’s Word is true and it can be trusted! When we stand on God’s Word, we won’t fall for the tricks of the enemy! And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. (Col 3:15). As members of His family, peace is not just God’s gift but His WILL…His intention for us. He doesn’t intend that we live in stress and strain; He doesn’t intend that we have dysfunction in our families and relationships; He doesn’t intend that we struggle through life. It is His will that every need be supplied (Phil 4:19). Friend, I pray that God, the source of all hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. ~ (Rom 15:13). Be At Peace!

Where Would We Be If God Wasn’t “With Us”? #Immanuel ~

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“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’– which means, ‘God with us.'”(Matt 1:22-23)~~

“With us.” There is hardly a more central promise that God has ever made to human beings. The alternatives are just too horrifying to imagine. If God has abandoned us, and that is why so many bad things happen in life, then what does that say about God, and what does it say about our destiny? If God vacillates, willing to be “with us” only as long as we don’t get too obnoxious, coming and going like a father who keeps giving up on being a father, where does that leave us? If God is incapable of being with us, then we have to conclude that we will never reap the benefits of divine presence, and words like grace, mercy, love, and truth have no meaning.

Isaiah was the prophet who was given the message. In a time when Israel’s enemies where bearing down on them, he gave this startling oracle about the Lord giving a sign, a virgin would conceive and give birth, and the promise in the child: Immanuel. God with us.

Jesus was born, but He was sent, and Immanuel was one of His names. God with us! That was why so many people didn’t understand Him. His voice came from a different place. He turned life upside down with the truths He presented. But He also left people with the sense that they had never been closer to God than when they were with Him. We don’t need to stay lost. God is not indifferent to our condition. And He came to us in the most radical way, by taking our flesh, our humanity, on Himself.