Where is God when life hurts?

I just finished reading Eye of the Storm by Alexander Kumpf and found it to be a very comforting, bible-based reminder of the truth that God is our strength through every storm we face in life.

The cover reads, “What would happen if we stop blaming God and actually start trusting him during difficult times?  Could you imagine what God’s power can do in your life? Through our storms, we come to realize we have a God who is there for us every step of the way. We have a God who wants to guide us through the treacherous waters of life.  As long as we trust Him, He will never let us be lost at sea.”

This book is a short read of nine chapters with the tenth chapter being discussion questions.  Alexander helps us understand where God is during the storms of life.  He gives examples and advice on preparing for each trial using the power of God’s word.  He reminds us that we are not strong enough to take on storms by ourselves.  We always will need the strength of our God to take us through to victory.  Alexander explains in Chapter 7 that, “God is like the eye of a storm. All around you may be hell on earth, but in God, you will feel the peace of heaven.”   He shares his experiences and Scripture promises that God will be an ever-present help when we face painful trials.

All in all, the book is a great little gem  filled with truth and encouragement for those who  need assurance that God is with them in their trial.  Alexander reinforces the truth throughout the book that God never leaves you to face the storms that come upon you adding that you are always a conqueror through Christ. It is the perfect easy read to give to someone who needs a reminder of God’s power to safely lead us through every problem we face. I plan on getting several copies of this book to share with the girls in  with my jail bible study.  I think Alexander did a good job of showing biblically how God will never let the storm take us down.  However, I would have liked for him to give more focus on the fact that trials  are God’s tools and his  way of growing our faith – and that is good.  God allows us to face the challenges of this world to give us a greater knowledge of his power and love.  With that said, I do recommend this book for its simple, right to the heart truth of Christ’s love.

Alexander Kumpf is on the pastoral staff and is director of discipleship at First United Methodist Church of Stuart, Florida.


Do you doubt in times of trouble?

In the gospel of Luke, chapter 8:22-25, we read where Jesus and his disciples set out across the sea heading for Gadarenes.  As they sailed, Jesus soon fell asleep.  Suddenly, a large storm came upon the lake and the boat was swamped as it was being battered by the wind and high waves.  The disciples cried out saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”  Jesus got up and with a word, he calmed the winds and the waves and then said to the disciples, “Where is your faith?”

These four words are a challenge for us even today.  In the course of all that we do, there is going to be struggles and strife as we face financial difficulties, marriage failures, health problems, family concerns and heartaches of every kind.  Can Jesus do anything about the pain we are experiencing as we cry out in despair, “Master, Master, I need you to help me now before I drown in my own tears!”

The truth is that Jesus is close to the brokenhearted.  He is with you in every storm even though you can’t see him or feel his presence.  He gave us his promise that he would never leave us.   He died to pay the price for us to live life abundantly despite what is overwhelming our day.  The wind and the waves of our problems are no match for the Master of the wind, and the ruler over the waves.  He knows the difficulty that you are in and he knows how to rescue you and bring you through it.   The fear that is gripping your heart is only a lie given by the enemy to hold you in bondage and keep you from experiencing the joy that God has set before you.

So where is your faith?   Are you letting a trial or circumstance decide your day?  Have you turned your hope over to the enemy instead of trusting in your God?  Your faith in the bad times must be exactly where it is in the good times for Christ is in control of both!  If your strength wanes when difficulties arise, you need to learn of the love of the God you serve.   His power is like no other as he alone is sovereign.  Never allow your trials and pain to be your master.

In all things, you must always remember that Jesus left you his peace in this dark and perishing world.  He already knew what you would have to endure and by his blood shed on Calvary, you have been set free!  The Apostle Paul knew that in all his sufferings that God had a purpose to take him to it so that he could take him through it.  God’s glory was always revealed in every ounce of suffering that Paul endured.  It is true for us also.  God cares enough to hold all of our tears in a bottle {Psalm 56:8 } and he has a plan to one day wipe away every tear  {Rev.7:17}.

Though your may be going through rough waters at this time, Jesus still can quiet the wind with just a word.   He is accomplishing great things through you as you hold on in faith trusting that he will never fail.  Never let the enemy fill you with doubt.  He has no power to destroy you or the plan God has for your life.

Where is your faith?  If it is in Jesus Christ, take rest from all your fears for he has redeemed you. He has summoned you by name for you now belong to him!

It is my prayer that God will reach those who need to understand this truth and that he will give them peace in the struggle they are now experiencing.


“For I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that he is able to guard that which I trust to him for that day.”
(2 Timothy 1:12)

In order to have a life of joy and victory no matter what trials you face, you must know the God you serve.  There must be nothing that keeps you from standing against the enemy no matter how difficult things become in your life.  For that reason, your faith must be hinged on knowing that Christ is more than enough to take you through your pain.  You must know that he will never fail you. And unless you have his Spirit living in you and working through you, you will never experience all that God has for you.

There is always going to be storms and trials in life.  Jesus came to this earth to set us free from the bondage of sin but he told us that we would have trouble in this life.  His purpose was not stop all struggles in this life but rather to show us his power and his character as he takes us through them all.  It is only in going through the fire that you know that God is over the fire.  It is by facing disappointments and heartache that you find that God is able to heal your pain and make you new.  Only by living through the battles that you face here on earth can you realize that your God is bigger than any enemy you face. And it is by facing the winds and waves of trouble that you know without a doubt that God is in authority and control over all things.  You can have peace despite all that you endure because you know that nothing can destroy you and all things will be used for your good – for the purpose he allowed.  God’s permission must be given for everything that touches the life of a believer who lives in Christ.

If you know Christ as Lord and Savior, you have the protection of legions of angels who are commanded to watch over you.  The enemy knows that he can’t win over the army of God so he works to convince you that God is not able to help you.  When you start to fear in the midst of a trial, you are giving the devil a foothold to take you down.  You are letting the seeds of doubt overwhelm you and take your eyes from the truth. You are letting a lie keep you in bondage instead of taking God at his word.

The Apostle Paul knew his God.  He trusted that whether in life or death, God was in complete control.  There was nothing that Paul was going to face that God did not know in advance and prepare him for.  Paul did not look at his circumstance and cower in fear.  He looked at the power of his God and fought the good fight until the end.  He understood that death could only bring him to see the face of the God he loved.  Nothing was going to happen to him outside of the will of Christ who had every detail of his life secure.

When you face difficulties and trouble in your life, you can choose to believe God or fall victim to the deceiver from hell.  We are only passing through this life. It is a journey that is going to take us to riches and glory that our minds cannot now comprehend.  We will live with Christ is a place of unspeakable beauty that will never end.  Never let that truth leave your heart.

Start today to seek out Christ in everything that you do.  He is able to give those who trust him the peace and joy and work out all of their struggles.  When you give in to fear, you are giving in to a lie from hell.  Jesus overcame the world and he has the power to help you get to victory.    I am praying for you!

Becoming dead to sin and alive to God!

In all that we do, we make a choice of whom we will serve. When you continue in our sin or allow others in sin to influence you, you are in fact choosing the path of destruction. There will never be victory for a person who lives in rebellion to God.  If Christ is truly living in your heart, you must follow in his way because he has given you the strength to do so. Paul gives us this message in Romans:

Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. (Romans 6:11-14)

You will have no control over your body if the power of Christ does not reign in you. He can’t be your Savior unless you also make him your Lord! If you are tired of living a life that constantly brings you down with its consequences, then choose to live the life that God intended for you. We all have sinned and fallen short of righteousness, but we don’t have to remain in our lost state. We can allow Christ to rule in our bodies and let his truth guide our steps to overcome all that comes against us. He will always provide a way to help you on the right path. Many of you have struggles that you deal with everyday. They seem to overwhelm you and it is hard to believe that Jesus can help you. That is a lie. Jesus died so that all the chains and bondages that have you in slavery were broken. There is no power that can come against a true believer that is stronger than the force of Christ that is in you. Even the devil knows that he cannot destroy a believer who trusts in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior! He knows that God’s plan for every believer is one that cannot fail. All the enemy can do is to try to get you to forget that God is with you in ALL trouble and every storm that comes against you.

Whatever struggle you face, Christ can help you through it. Never let your circumstance and your pain seem bigger than your God! Jesus can always make a way for those whose hearts seek him. But to live as a conqueror in this fallen world, you must not continue in the same lifestyle. You must want to change and to leave the path of destruction that you are on. You cannot have one foot in heaven and one on this earth. You must choose to offer all the parts of your body to do what is right! Anything else will take you down and give the devil a foothold to come into your life and destroy you. What breaks my heart is that so many have believed the lies from hell for so long that they don’t understand that there is a way out to victory! Many have just become comfortable living a painful life that is going to destroy them forever because they don’t know the truth. The truth is that Jesus made a way for you no matter how far you have fallen. He is willing to give you hope and a new future IF you will allow him to rule in your life. Don’t give the devil permission to rule your life anymore.

Call upon Jesus and ask him to change you and to give you hope. He will never fail those who truly want him. Your past is filled with the devil’s lies. Now is the time to turn to the truth. God knows how to take you above your struggles and to conquer your addictions. Call on him today to help you! You are loved. Never sell yourself short for you are worth so much more than you know!

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

I want to share with you a wonderful message by Charles Spurgeon.  In this world we sometimes look at our circumstances instead of our God.  The darkness shadows us everywhere but the truth is that God is watching over those who belong to him. We cannot be crushed; we cannot be destroyed; and we can never be lost when Christ is our shepherd.  All that comes against us is being woven into the perfect plan that Christ planned long before we were born.  Remain secure despite your pain for you will see God’s power to take you through this battle safely.

Read Spurgeon’s message and find hope knowing that God will never fail us and that his plan for us cannot be stopped despite the troubles we endure. Keep your faith, dear friends, for Christ is coming soon to take us with him!

A message by Charles Spurgeon:

We are sent into the world, if we are believers in Christ, like sheep in the midst of wolves, defenseless, and in danger of being devoured, yet no power on earth can destroy the chosen disciples of Christ. Weak as they are, they will tread down the strength of their foes. There are more sheep in the world now than wolves. There are parts of the world where wolves once roamed in troops where not a wolf can now be found; yet tens of thousands of sheep feed on the hillside: one would not be very bold to say that the day will come when the wolf will only be known as an extinct animal, while as long as the world lasts the sheep will continue to multiply.
In the long run, the sheep has gained the victory over the wolf. And it is so with Christ’s people. They appear to be weak, but there is a force about them which cannot be put down: they will overcome the ungodly yet, for the day will come when mighty truth shall prevail. God hasten that blessed and long-expected day. Till then, when persecuted we are not forsaken, when cast down we are not destroyed. Many Christians, are placed in positions where they are subject to very great temptations and persecutions; they are mocked, laughed at, ridiculed, called by evil names. Persecuted one, will you deny the faith? Are you going to put aside your colors, and relinquish the cross of Christ? If so, I can only tell you, you are not made of the same stuff as the true disciples of Jesus Christ; for when the grace of God is in them, if the world be iron, they are northern iron and steel; they can bear all the blows which the world may possibly choose to lay upon them, and as the anvil breaks the hammers in the long run, so will they, by their patient endurance for Christ’s sake, break the force of all persecution, and triumph over it.

 

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled “The Northern Iron And The Steel.” Image by John Davey under Creative Commons License

 I found this message on the Watchman Nee Ministries and I felt it was one that I should share with you. We are all going through trials and struggles and sometimes we  grow weary trying to understand it all.  I ask that you read through this message and find some peace knowing that God is fully aware of all you are enduring.   God bless you, my friends, as you grow in God’s grace and mercy!

 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Bible Verses ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

2 Cor. 4:7  But we have this treasure [Christ] in earthen
vessels that the excellency of the power may be of God and
not out of us.  (8)  We are pressed on every side but not
constricted; unable to find a way out but not utterly without
a way out;  (9)  Persecuted but not abandoned; cast down but
not destroyed;  (15)  For all things are for your sakes that
the grace which has abounded through the greater number may
cause the thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Words of Ministry ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It is an amazing thing that in our experience the Holy Spirit
can empty us. When we first became a Christian, we considered
ourselves to be rather good and capable in everything. But
after some time we noticed that the life we were living was
short of the Christian standard; we realized that we had
failed and could not go on anymore. Consequently, we felt
dissatisfied, and we prayed for God to fill us up and make us
obedient. God then ordered some unbearable and distasteful
circumstances to come upon us. Yet by the grace of God, we
eventually overcame them. Then we had something to testify
about, and we were able to say that we overcame. We were able
to say that we overcame a certain particular matter and that,
at a certain point in time, God filled us. We may have even
thought that we would be an overcomer from that point on. But
surprisingly, after some time, the victory was lost, and
failure came back again. We thought that it was very easy to
overcome, but it seemed as if all strength was gone, and new
obstacles were before us again. There seemed to be a wall in
front of us; we could not find any way out, and there did not
seem to be any way to bypass it. Consequently, we said that
our previous victory was lost, and we were no longer filled
with God.

What is the significance of this kind of experience? You
should bear in mind that in God’s eyes the Christian life
should be an ever-deepening life. A Christian should become
emptier and emptier, and the Lord’s riches to him should
become fuller and fuller. After passing the first hurdle, you
may think that there can be no higher life than what you have
experienced; you may think that you can advance no further
and that you have reached the summit. The Lord knows your
condition. He does not want you to think that you have
abundant life already. Therefore, He allows new difficulties
to come upon you, and He places impossible things before you.
Based on your past experiences, you may think that you will
overcome again. But you fail at your first attempt. You may
attribute your failure to the lack of vigilance and effort,
and you may take greater care and exert more energy in
tackling the situation the second time. Yet you fail again.
Eventually, you will find that you cannot overcome this
hurdle; there is no way to handle the matter. But God has
only one reason for doing this–to lead you on further and to
dig more deeply into you so that you may receive more
filling. This is why new difficulties are in front of you all
the time. Unless you have fresh filling, you will not be able
to overcome these fresh difficulties. All your difficulties
are ordered by the Holy Spirit for the purpose of creating a
stronger craving and hunger in you for Him.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bible verses are taken from the Recovery Version of the Bible
and Words of Ministry from Watchman Nee, General Messages,
Vol. 37, in The Collected Works of Watchman Nee, pp. 133-135. 
Both are published by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim, CA.

                I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13

We will all have trouble in this world and there is no escaping it.  And there will always be consequences for you when you rebel against the ways of God.  But there is also going to be struggles in this life as you try to walk in the ways of God.   That just doesn’t seem fair. 

But in God’s word, James gives us hope for the times when we suffer when he wrote: 

“Consider it all pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything.” (James 1:2-4) 

The word perseverance is your ability to persist to the end despite any opposition or obstacles you face.  It is standing firm and trusting God when the going gets tough and not giving up.  When you are able to persevere in your faith even when you feel down and out, you are trusting that God’s power is more than able to get you to victory.   It means that you are able to believe that God is bigger than any problem that comes against you.  It is faith in action! 

You will have to face opposition when you try to live for Christ.  There will be others who will tempt you to do the things they do that are not right. But your faith must be strong enough to walk away from evil and to continue in the path that Christ set for you.  You must seek his kingdom and his ways because everything else is going to take you down and destroy you!  Your future has been planned by God but you must surrender your will to his.  If you decide to follow the world instead, you will pay the same price that they do!  Your life will not be blessed as you walk the path to destruction.  You will end up with nothing instead of having a future with promise that Christ died to give you. 

I don’t care how hard your life is, Christ always has a way to take you through it.  He knows what you need but you must seek him and not others in getting it.  Everyone in this life will fail you. It is only the love of Christ that never will.  Look around at the people you surround yourself with. Are they good for you or do they lead you to do wrong?  It is better to be lonely for a while than to be with those who will corrupt your character and tempt you to do what you know is not right.  Don’t deceive yourself to think otherwise. You will never get away with anything for your sin will find you out.  You cannot have a full, victorious life unless you decide to do it God’s way.  There is no compromising the truth.  You have to decide what is important to you: the temporary pleasures of this life which do not last and will destroy you; or the things of God which will last forever and bring you to glory?  The choice is always yours. 

 Make the decision today to let the power of Christ change your life for the better.  Let him give you a future with promise.  And remember always that victory over the battles in this world comes by Christ alone! 

Don’t let the devil deceive you. No trial you face is too impossible for God power to bring you to victory. 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,036 other followers