Difficult Times

James 4.jpgThere are many times in the life of a Christian that we go through difficult times, and sometimes it seems that at every corner we are being attack spiritual, and it is when we know that we are the words of James comes to my mind. James 4:8 Come near to God and he will come near to you, as well as Jeremiah 6:16 This is what the Lord says; Stand at the crossroads and look, ask for the ancient paths; and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. Instead of us running from our Lord we need to run as fast as we can towards him, to rest our tired soul. When we are feeling sad, Jesus wants us to anticipate feeling joyful again. This takes the sting out of our sorrows, because we know it is only temporary what we are going thru. Sadness tends to duplicate itself along the timeline-convincing us that we will always be unhappy. But that is a lie! Jesus is telling us to turn away from the lies we are hearing and to turn to him and more important to trust him and all that he has promised us. The truth is, all of his children have infinite joy ahead of them, reserved in heaven, guaranteed through-out eternity. No one can take this away from us, which is wonderful to know. While we are journeying towards heaven, our earthly path has many ups and downs. Through your down times are uncomfortable, they are not worthless. Pain and struggle can be highly productive when we trust Jesus in the midst of our sufferings. Our anguish is comparable to a woman enduring labor pains. Her suffering is very real, and she wonder how much longer she can bear this pain, and this is the way we truly feel at times. However, all this agony produces a wonderful result-a newborn baby. The memories of her suffering retreat to the background of her mind as she begins to focus on her child. While we labor through earthly afflictions we need to keep our eyes on the promised reward in Jesus, and the wonderful joy we do have in knowing him no matter what we are going thru.

Grace and Peace to you My Friends

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Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit

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Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  (Matthew 5:3)

This is probably the most important of all the Beatitudes. The main idea is this: unconditional surrendering to God’s will always leads to happiness and rich blessings. It is not about wealth or poverty, but about our relationship with God. When we trust God, earthly possessions becomes less important to us and we grow closer to God and His kingdom.

This Beatitude says to us in effect, “Happy are those who realize their need for God, who trust Him and are obedient to Him.” The world says, “Get everything you can, and hold on to what you’ve got.” The Christian says, “God must become more and I must become less!”

The only people who are without hope, are those who are smug and self-satisfied. The Beatitudes are for those who struggle desperately to draw close to God. They are at their wits end and don’t know where to turn. This can happen for any reason” poverty, poor health, unexpected sorrow and suffering; dreams that failed. It relates to real-issues and problems. It is anything that drives us to God and make us seek His grace.

We can deal with desperation in more than one way. We can seek help from other people, which brings temporary relief. We can also try to solve our problems on our own. Or we can take our problems and stand before God like beggars, without making any demands because we deserve nothing from God, This is the first gate which we must pass through to receive the true happiness which only God can give.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Genuine Happiness

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Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.                   Matthew 5:1-2

What then is the true meaning of Jesus’ happiness or blessing? Firstly, it is indestructible. No one can rob you of that joy. (John 16:22)  Christ’s happiness is happiness even in pain and sorrow. It is joy that can never be destroyed by loss, pain or suffering. it is happiness that shines through tears and that cannot be taken away by life or death. It is not determined by our circumstances. “It is not what I have, but what I am, that determines whether  I am happy or unhappy”. 

Christ’s happiness is lasting happiness born from a walk with God. It is like the depths of the ocean, on the surface it roars and surges, waves crash and breaks, storms rage and the waters foam, but deep down it is still, calm, and undisturbed.

Happiness is not a human achievement, not something we can earn through effort and hard work. It is a gift of God?  There are eight gates we must pass through God’s happiness. We are to console in Christ those who mourn, to be gentle, to satisfy hunger and thirst, to be merciful and to receive mercy from God; to be pure in heart as we walk with God, to be peacemakers, and to be willing to be persecuted for the sake of what is right. If we do all this, we will have discovered the secret of true happiness.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Surely The Presence of the Lord

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I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God if Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you ate lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All people on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you. When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it. 

Genesis 28:13-17

Take the time to meditate on God’s unfailing love, for he is our God forever and ever. He will be your guide even to the end. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you meditate on his loving presence, to bring your mind back to him whenever it wanders. Encourage yourself with the words of the patriarch Jacob, “Surely the Lord is in the place. This is also a song in which I have sang many times:

Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place

I can feel his mighty power and his grace

I can hear the brush of angels wings

I see glory on each face,

Surely the Presence of the Lord is in this place

Rejoice in the “Great I AM”, for he is God forever and ever, today, tomorrow and through all eternity. He is also our guide. It is easy to be spooked by the future when you forget that he is leading your step along life path. Ever since you trusted him as your Lord and Savior. He is training you to be increasingly aware of him as you go about your daily activities. You can draw near Jesus at any time simply by whispering his name. Later, when you have more time, bring Jesus your prayer and supplication with thanksgiving. Relax in the wondrous assurance that Jesus is your guide in life until the very end.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Godly Grace

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Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.” Then Jesus asked them, Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save a life or to kill?” But they remained silent. He looked around at them in anger and deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.                        Mark 3:1-5

Estate agents believed that every house, there is a buyer for whom that house will be absolutely perfect. Their job is to find that buyer, show the house to him or her and then negotiate the buying price. One person is involved in meeting the exact needs of someone else.

This is what happened in the meeting place that Jesus went to. Jesus brought with Him grace, healing power and love. A man went to the synagogue with a crippled hand. He needed healing. He met Jesus, but not just by chance. They came together to worship God and to hear his word. But a higher power brought them together. Jesus could offer precisely what the crippled man needed.

God has an abundant provision of grace, power and blessings for the deepest needs of every person. Whatever your need might be, He has the power, love and compassion that you need in your unique situation. If you are overwhelmed with sorrow, He offers to embrace you in the darkness until the light shines through. If you are threatening to snap under pressure, He promised to renew your strength like that of an eagle. If the future looks uncertain to you, He promises to walk the road with you. If changes are unsettling you, he offers you the courage to work through them. No matter what situation you find yourself in, he comes to meet you to show you grace and to offer His help. 

“My grace us sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.

2 Corinthians 12:9

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

I Rejoice In My God

 

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I delight greatly in the Lord, my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the soil makes the sprout comes up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.          Isaiah 61:10-11

Each morning I enjoy the warmth of your Holy Presence which shines upon my face. I delight in you more than I could even imagine, and how you approve of me continuously, for I am cloaked in Your light arrayed in your righteousness. There is no condemnation for those who are clothed in you. That is why Lord, you abhor the use of guilt as a means of motivation among Christians.

I need to learn to accept each day exactly as it comes to me. By that, it means not only the circumstances but also the condition of my body. My assignment is to trust you Lord absolutely, resting in your sovereignty and faithfulness. There will be days that my circumstances and my physical condition will feel out of balance. The demands on me seems far greater than the strength I seem to have that day. Days like that present a choice between two alternatives, giving up which at times I have felt like doing, or relying fully on you and your strength to carry me through. Even thro there have been times that I have chosen the first way, I know in my heart you have not rejected me. I know that any point in time I can turn back to you, and you will help me crawl out of the mire of discouragement. You will infuse your strength into my moment by moment, giving me all that I need just for that day. Help me to trust you by relying on your empowering Presence.

Jesus, I know that you are always available to me, all I need to do is just call out to you and I know that you are closer than I can even imagine. There have been times that I have felt so distance from you, help me to recognize my feelings with this. I know that Scriptures are full of your promises to be with me always, help me to meditate on your words daily to get me through those difficult times. As I remember Jacob, when he was journeying away from home into unknown places, you are with me and will watch over me wherever I go. After your resurrection you made the promise to all of your followers: Surely you are with me always to the very end of the age. (Matthew 28:19-20) I will remember to let these assurances of your continual presence fill me with joy and peace. No matter what I may lose in this life here on earth, I can never lose your love for me, your child.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

The Greatest In The Kingdom of Heaven

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At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”                          Matthew 18:1-5

A little child cannot influence a person’s career, cannot teach us things; give us things. It is just the other way round. A child is typical of the person who needs things, and it is our duty to find and help those in the community who need things. But this comes with a serious warning. It is easy to form a relationship with someone who can do things for us and whose influence can mean a lot to us. It is just as easy to avoid the company of someone who expects something from us. It is easy to nurture the kindness of important people and avoid the simple, humble person. It is easy to seek the company of people who are important in the community while neglecting your unimportant family member. 

Jesus is in fact saying to us not to find favor with those who can do things for us, but with those who we can do things for. In this way, we week the fellowship of none other than Jesus. It is a different way if interpreting our Scriptures verse above and this is our duty as Christians from day to day. 

Prayer: Beloved Savior, keep me humble in my relations with other people.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

An Everlasting Love

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The Lord appeared to us in the past saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. I will build you up again, and you, Virgin Israel, will be rebuilt. Again you will take up your timbrels and go out to dance with the joyful. 

Jeremiah 31:3-4

In order to hear the Lord’s voice, we must learn to release all of our worries into his care. Entrust to him everything that concerns you. This clears the way for you to seek his face unhindered. Let him free you from fear that is hiding deep inside of you. Sit quietly in his presence, allowing his light to soak into you and drive out any darkness lodged within you. Accept each day just as it comes to you, remembering that the Lord is sovereign over your life. Rejoice in this day that the Lord has made, trusting that he is abundantly present in it. Instead of regretting or resenting the way things are, thank him in all circumstance, trust him and don’t be fearful, thank the Lord and rest in his sovereignty. 

Jesus loves you with an everlasting love. The human mind cannot comprehend his constancy. Your emotions flicker and falter in the face of varying circumstances and you tend to project your fickle feelings onto the Master. Thus you do not benefit fully from his unfailing love. You need to look beyond the flux of circumstances and discover Jesus gazing lovingly back at you. This awareness of his presence strengthens you as you receive and respond to his love. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever! Let his love flow into you continually. Your need for him is as constant as the overflow of his love to you.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends