So Much Pain
Are you overwhelmed with pain… overcome by discouragement…drowning in fear of the future…held captive by bondages and addictions? Our world is filled with so much pain. Only God knows how much! And He cares! Even at this moment, He wants to help us. We are not alone! The Bible says, “because Jesus lives forever…he is able…to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.” (Hebrews 7:24-25, NLT) Jesus “…understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” (Hebrews 4:15-16, NLT) Pray to Jesus! He will meet you at your point of greatest need.
True vs. False Peace
How can I tell when I am slipping backward spiritually? There are a few ways to know. When I am willing to live on yesterday’s manna, that is yesterday’s revelations from God, and not pursue a daily relationship with His Spirit and Word. When I keep looking to my flesh, my old carnal nature for comfort, rather than to the God of ALL comfort. And lastly, when I long for the temporary peace the world provides, more than the lasting peace that comes from God alone. The Bible says, “My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:2, ESV) Jesus assured, “My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.” (John 14:27, ESV) And Paul the Apostle wrote, “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way.” (2Thessalonians 3:16, ESV)
Do you long to know God? He certainly longs to know you! He wants to give you life beyond your wildest dreams. God’s dreams are better than ours because He chooses what’s best for us, out of all options. God offers us abundant life, but you’ll have to die to get it…that is, die to yourself and your own will. Specifically, you’ll have to die to what is most important to you in order to receive what is most important to Him. We know God is really our God and not someone or something else when we passionately pursue Him. He promises, “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13, NASB) Resurrection life, Jesus died to give it to you, and it’s yours for the asking!
A Warmed and Glowing Life
Moses was warmed in the presence of God. He even glowed! The burning bush warmed him! The burning mountain made him glow! The fire of God illuminates everyone who longs to see Him, and reveals transforming truth found only in His Word. The world can be a cold, dark place, with little warmth and even less light. Some dream of glowing for their 15-minutes of fame…others find warmth in false comforts. But eventually, without a relationship with our loving Creator, all warmth and glow fades. Today let God warm your heart! He alone offers those who follow Him a warmth and glow that lasts forever. The Bible says, “…those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” (Daniel 12:3, ESV)
Receiving God’s Promise
Do you struggle with doubts and fears? All of us at times do! When the ten spies refused to enter the Promised Land because of the giants, they wandered for decades and died without receiving their inheritance. Joshua and Caleb overcame their fears, doubts and unbelief and received all God had promised. If we trust Jesus to help us overcome, we can conquer any obstacle. But, if we refuse to believe that God can free us from these bondages then we will wander in a spiritual wilderness. We are created to conquer the giants that keep us from becoming all God intended. We are called to receive our inheritance, to live in the land God promised. The Bible says, “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” (Hebrews 10:36, NIV)
Waiting vs. Instant
Did you ever notice how waiting always takes longer than you’d like it to? I can’t believe how slow “fast food” is. What I really want is: “instant food,” “instant blessings,” “instant peace.” While you’re at it, can you throw in some “instant maturity” and “instant character.” Though surveys show most people would like “instant fame” and “instant wealth,” nothing eternal ever comes instantly. God’s never in a rush! Ever! There’s no such thing as “time-lapse maturity.” No shortcuts, only “detours.” The Bible says, “The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:25-26, ESV) When we wait on God, our hearts grow larger and we learn to fully lean on Him, for He alone has what we need.
#1 Regret of the Dying
A nurse spent several years caring for patients during the last 12 weeks of their lives. She found the most common regret of those who were dying was: “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” She recounted, “When people realize that their life is almost over…it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.” (Bronnie Ware’s Book: The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.) One of the most wonderful affects of realizing God loves us just the way we are, is that it then gives us the liberty to be just that. The Psalmist wrote, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14, ESV)
We were made for romance! People roam far and wide to find it. Romance has been defined as “a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love.” Wow! Excitement! Mystery! True love! Sounds like something everyone would want. That’s because everyone does want it. We were made to have an exciting, adventurous love relationship with our Creator. He wants to romance you! To sweep you off your feet! To take you to heavenly places, places He created with you in mind. Don’t chase after natural love that will always fade, pursue the Lover you were created for, Who says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” (Jeremiah 31:3, NIV) “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1John 4:10, NIV)
What does to it take to be healed? Desperate faith! Only those who hunger and thirst after what God considers righteous are filled. One day, as Jesus was walking to meet a need, someone considered an outcast and unclean reached out and touched Him. The Bible recounts the story, “Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, ‘If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.’” (Matthew 9:20-21, NIV) Jesus knows when we touch Him. He always knows what we are thinking. Her desperate faith in Jesus made her whole! Have you been bleeding over something that was lost, or wounded by a past hurt or offense? Reach out and touch Jesus. He longs to heal you!
Are you bored with your life? So many people are dissatisfied with their jobs and even their life. Our society is bored to death! A recent Gallup poll found that seven out of 10 workers have “checked out” at work or are “actively disengaged.” (Gallup, June 2013) Only 30 percent of workers “were engaged, or involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their workplace.” They’ve lost their passion for life! Webster’s defines passion as an “intense driving or overmastering conviction; an ardent affection, and a strong devotion…” Life without passion is like a bird that can’t fly. We were made to fly! To soar to new heights with the God of the universe! To see what we’ve never seen! If we can see our lives from God’s perspective, we will never be bored!
If you are hurting from the pain of abortion I completely understand how you feel. I myself had two abortions before I met Jesus, and though I have two beautiful daughters, I have no sons. I am so grateful that I have been forgiven and have experienced much healing in this area. Years ago, God showed me these lost children were sons and even gave me names for them: Noah and Caleb. One day my wife and I were on a hike with two of our grandchildren. Since our walk was in the snowy off-season, no one was around. We were stunned to run into a couple with two boys whose names were, you guessed it, Noah and Caleb. It affirmed once again, that in eternity we will see the children we have lost on Earth.
Struggles Are Normal
Are you going through great struggles that never quite seem to let up? Does it mean you are out of the will of God? Absolutely not! It may mean quite the opposite. The Bible says, “…do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.” (1Peter 4:12-13, ESV) God has divinely prepared intense challenges for each of our lives that will bring out the best in us, and not the worst, if we see them from His perspective, respond well, and allow Him to lead us through them. As the Psalmist wrote, “I have never seen the godly abandoned…” (Psalm 37:25, NLT)