Whatever happens today happens with God having full knowledge. The comfort of God is found in knowing you are not alone. Instant deliverance is possible, but sometimes God has to walk you through something to get through to you. Never forget that both are miracles and show the ever-presence of God’s love and care for you and your entire life. God can bless us with gain and victory, but we must never forget that God is also capable of blessing us with loss also. His steady love is found in His promise that He will never leave you nor forsake you. Count on it.
Archives For Bad Day
Unanswered pain won’t go unanswered forever…but it sure feels like it sometimes. Pain is a former thing that will one day pass away. Life has a way of bringing challenges into our lives that at times seem too much to endure. Aches, limitations and even permanent limitation haunt many this side of eternity. Depression that is inescapable and scarring that runs through the soul unhealed, call for many to give up…and they do.
For all the bad things pain brings…pain also acts as a signpost pointing to an end to pain forever. Pain has a small whisper calling for you to endure anyway. Pain speaks with a faint voice of courage and resourcefulness; calling us to take hold of the future that will one day be ours. Pain calls to you to help others who are going through similar pain until the pain is no more.
Revelation 21:4b stands true, “neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” You will have a new body in the age to come. You will be untouched by the things of this present age. Pain, disease and any limitations will be forever cast aside.
For now, there is a call to press on, a call to endure by the power of His grace, which is sufficient for all things and all circumstances. Paul asked the Lord three times to remove his thorn in the flesh. The answer he received from the Lord was simply this, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9
I’ve never been skipped over by God and neither have you. On the other hand, there have been many times I’ve felt like God doesn’t even know where I’m at, I’m sure you have felt the same. Facts and feelings often seem to be in conflict with one another.
The unwavering facts of God’s love grace and mercy are abundant. However, at the same time, conflicts of emotions try to erode it all away. Feelings fight against faith, but faithful is He who has you engraved on the palms of His hands.
When the walls of Jerusalem were torn down, God assured His people He was still in control. It is no different today in your life, or in my life. When the walls of safety, protection, assurance and hope are torn down, He is still master.
It is in those moments we are reminded that He alone is our answer, protector and provider. He is enough. He is our contentment. Like the Apostle Paul, we know what is like to be in need, and we know what it is like to have plenty.
We embrace the same secret of being content that he embraced many times in his life. That secret was simply, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” You are not skipped over, and feelings can never win. God’s word boldly declares, “…greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”
I’ve never been skipped over by God and neither have you.
There are 365 days in a year. I’ve never tried, but I would be willing to bet, if I placed the word happy on each day of a calendar when I finished the day happy, there would be less happy days than not. If it were one big wall calendar, you could back away from it to get the whole view, and it would look like a hopeless sight. However, that’s not the way I would see it as a Christ follower.
As a Christ follower my goal is not happiness. My inheritance is joy. Joy is not even a goal. Joy is a gift. I don’t have to fight for it. I don’t have to earn it. The Spirit of God living on the inside of me gives Joy. Now, back up from the same calendar and take another look and you would see the word joy on every day.
Happiness is an emotion. I enjoy experiencing happiness, but it’s not life giving. Joy, on the other hand, is a bi-product of the Holy Spirit. Joy arrives each day on the wings of mercy and walks with me through the ups and down of everyday life. When I walk with joy, happiness often merges along side of me for a while, and it’s nice, but when happiness leaves I don’t grieve because joy is always there.
Joy can’t leave because it’s a gift of God. Weeping might endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning. If happiness is your goal there are many things you can do that brings it to you temporary. However, once that experience is over, happiness runs off and begs for you to wear yourself out chasing it again.
You never have to chase joy. Joy is part of the DNA that was given to you when the Spirit of God came to live inside of you. You are a temple of God, and His temple is a temple full of Joy. At times, you might sing a song of unhappiness, but underneath the unhappiness is a river of Joy that can’t be explained or shut off. It just is! Enjoy your joy and you are enjoying God Himself.
Mark 4:35-41 (NIV)
35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
Of course, He cares. But even better than that, He knows!
Jesus knew the storm was coming when He commanded the disciples to cross over to the other side. He even knew the storm was upon them during His nap.
It’s kind of incredible when you think about it.
You know you’re in a storm when it’s all you can think about. It’s on your mind so heavy you toss and turn on your bed at night.
However, I want you to know that Jesus can be calmly trusted in the middle of trouble.
He knew they were destined for the other side, and He knows how to write your story also.
He knew they would arrive, and He knew they would arrive different men than when they launched out from the other side.
The kind of differences only a storm can bring.
It is not that Jesus is not around; He is there all the time.
You may not understand His timing or the way He chooses to answer but please understand Jesus is sovereign over all forces and that’s enough.
Jesus can calm the inward and outward storms of your life. He will get you to the other side.
Psalm 89:8-9 (NIV) 8 O Lord God Almighty, who is like you? You are mighty, O Lord, and your faithfulness surrounds you. 9 You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, you still them.
What is it about the past that holds so many people captive?
When I was growing up I worked in my father’s sheet metal shop, and there were all types of machinery, and tables for working with all things metal. One table had weighted magnets that would swing out over the table and hold a piece of metal down to the table once they were turned on. The metal would then be unmovable as you worked on it.
From time to time, I would jump up on the table and try and pull a magnet to the point of breaking it free from the table. It was a strength game my bothers, and I use to play to see who was the strongest. I was never able to break the magnets free, and neither were any of my brothers. It always remained locked in place. The only way to break it free was to cut the power off to the magnet.
Some of you today need to do the same thing and cut the power off to the past that has you in its grips. You have tried to pull your way free from the past. You have struggled really hard to be stronger than your past, but nothing seems to set you free. The only thing that will free you is to cut off the power of the past. You do that by believing God is at work in your life in the present.
We all have a past. A past filled with memories so powerful and hurtful that to recall them brings nothing but a pain to your soul and a knot to your stomach. When we hang on to our painful past memories, we either become withdrawn and unsociable; or explosive, cranky, critical, judgmental, reactive and mean towards others.
Jan Glidewell once said, “You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms to full to embrace the present.” I love the story of Joseph in the Bible. His story is one of my favorites. I’ll try and summaries and keep it brief as I give you some background and insight into his life and choices concerning his painful past.
- Joseph, son of Jacob, overcame a painful past.
- He was raised in what we would call a “dysfunctional family.”
- Sibling rivalry filled Jacob’s household.
- Joseph’s brothers caught him, threw him into a pit, and discussed killing him.
- One brother intervened and convinced them instead to sell Joseph as a slave In Egypt, where he became the property of Potiphar.
- Potiphar’s wife had eyes for Joseph and made continual sexual advances.
- He refused, she falsely charged him with attempted rape and he was imprisoned.
- While imprisoned, Joseph made friends with a baker and a cupbearer.
- Both promised to pull their political strings and secure Joseph’s release.
- In time, the baker was hanged, and the cupbearer was freed, but forgot Joseph.
- For two more years, Joseph’s remained in prison.
- One day Pharaoh had a dream that no one, but Joseph could interpret.
- Egypt would experience 7 years of plenty/7 years of famine.
- As a reward Pharaoh put Joseph over all of the agricultural activity in Egypt.
- The years of plenty came, and Joseph stored up. Seven years later the famine hit.
- This famine was so severe that even people outside of Egypt came to get food.
- One day, Joseph’s own brothers arrived.
- Joseph recognized them, but his brothers didn’t recognize him.
- Joseph sold them grain and tricked them into coming back before revealing himself.
1 Then Joseph could not restrain himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out, “Make everyone go out from me!” So no one stood with him while Joseph made himself known to his brothers. 2 And he wept aloud, and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard it. 3 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph; does my father still live?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed in his presence.
They were terrified. They did not know anything about Potiphar’s wife and the undeserved prison sentence. Neither did they know about the abandonment by the cupbearer. But they remembered the pit and their bartering and selling their own brother. They had every reason to be terrified
And Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come near to me.” So they came near. Then he said: “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt.
Perhaps they expected a call for the royal guards, and the punishment they deserved for the cruelty they had shown their own brother. But no retaliation comes. These brothers did not know that Joseph had made peace with his painful past. His own words indicate he had let go of any vindictive feelings he held against them. He had cut off the power to the past.
5 But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.
How was Joseph able to put all his painful past behind him? What was Joseph’s secret? He practiced true forgiveness. Joseph could have struck back and felt the exhilaration that comes from getting even. Instead, Joseph chose to forgive. Until you forgive, the pain of your past will continue to be felt in your present.
I chagllege you today to cut of the power to the magnet that is hold you in the past. Forgiveness is how the power switch is cut off. It is hard to forgive but possible.
Have you ever felt overlooked? Have you ever been overlooked? The answer to both questions are probably a resounding, “Yes.’ In John Chapter 4, Jesus meets a woman at the well and takes away her feeling of being overlooked.
She wasn’t overlooked because she didn’t have others around her; she was surround by people in her village, but she still felt alone. It’s been said, “Being lonely isn’t having no one around you, it’s the feeling that there is no one around you who cares.
She was undergoing feelings of being unwanted; which is poverty unto itself. The women of the town was ostracizing her. The tale-tale sign was the time of the day that she went to draw water from the well.
Sure, she had some bad choices happening in her life, but don’t we all? We find out soon enough that she had experienced 5 husbands in her life, and the one she was living with at the moment wasn’t her husband. Jesus said to her, “for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband…” Her choices in life, right or wrong (I think wrong) caused her to be overlooked.
However, the great news was God hadn’t overlooked her. In fact, He was led of prayer to go to the very spot she was going to be that day. Her life was about to intersect with the one who never overlooks anyone.
The day before life was dark and depressing. This day, the day she met Christ, changed her forever. Jesus shared with her about the true water of life that would transform her. Jesus didn’t overlook her but gave her life and true love. He rescued her.
She now belonged to someone greater than herself. She would soon come to understand; as it has been said, “Who you are is rooted in whose you are.’ She could now drop all the unnecessary baggage in her life. She was now under the power of Jesus’ watchful eye.
It was now impossible for her to ever be truly overlooked again. God is always mindful of you, therefore, you can’t be overlooked with Him in your life.
When it seems you are being overlooked; instead of getting down about it, cheer up! You just might be getting ready to run into Jesus and have a day changing (life changing) event.
Empty is the perfect starting place for God to do His work in your life. Let it begin. You are not forgotten, but you might have forgotten Him. You just might have something to recapture.
According to Wikipedia, In July 1986, Life magazine published an article that gave US 50 in Nevada the name “The Loneliest Road in America”. The article portrayed the highway, and rural Nevada, as a place devoid of civilization.
I can attest to the fact it is long, hot and lonely for sure. Years ago a friend and I took the route on our Harley’s as we were making our way from San Francisco to Florida. It wasn’t long until we needed some gas, but finding gas wasn’t easy at all. We started getting low on fuel and started looking well enough in advance for gas, but a gas station was nowhere to be found.
It wasn’t long until we were running on fumes. In order to conserve fuel, we slowed our speed to only 25 miles per hours. Mile after mile went by and still no gas station in sight. It was looking bad, and all we could do was begin to imagine what it was going to be like stranded in the middle of nowhere-The Loneliest Road In America.
Finally, just when all hope was about gone, we saw a gas station a few miles ahead. I’ve never been so thankful for a gas station in my life! Normally, gas stations are on every corner, and you don’t even give them a passing thought. However, when you are on a remote road in the middle of nowhere, it recaptures proper value.
I often think there are times God allows us to run close to empty in order to RECAPTURE His proper value in our lives. We can get so use to Him that we don’t give Him the value He continually deserves.
We made it to the station. We filled our gas tanks. We smiled at each other and didn’t have to say a word. We both knew how valuable this gas station was to us.
Is your spiritual life running on empty? It might just be that God wants you to recaptures His proper value in your life. Take time today to allow Him to refuel your life and my prayer for you is that God Recaptures that very distinct place in your heart again.
Tomorrow is not even here yet, and I can feel it overreaching into today. Don’t get me wrong; I know there must be planning for the future but when that future overreaches it’s authority and steals the joy and progress of God in my life today, it’s not spiritually healthy.
Let’s face it; you need strength to carry out the work of today. When you allow tomorrow to put its hands into today, it loves to grab strength and run away with it. In other words, it loves to empty today of its strength leaving you with a dismissed heart to work hard on today’s work.
I challenge you today to not let the future disturb you. Walk in the power and strength that God has given you for today. Tomorrow, He is able to do it all again for you. According to the scriptures, He is the God of yesterday, today and forever. He is faithful in the present moment of your life.
It’s okay to think about tomorrow. It’s okay to organize a little for tomorrow. However, it’s not okay to allow tomorrow to become the governor that gets in the way of the LORD of today in your life which is Jesus- working in and through you.
Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.