Rhonda - Forums of the Heart
The very word brokenness means that something that was whole has been fragmented. In the stripping down of the human soul, brought on by the conviction of the Holy Spirit, the life of a Christian is left without excuse not to surrender completely to GOD. For instance, whenever GOD is going to bring you to a higher platform of spiritual maturity or service in Him, He has to break you. This is a process I’ve had to experience.

I realized it wasn’t done to do me harm, but to develop me; in order to use me for His purpose. In John 12:24 it says, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” Dying to myself yielded life through Jesus. GOD will make you hungry before He feeds you.

He strips you before He robes you. He makes nothing of you before making something of you. You may ask, how can something be broken and yet still be intact? In accepting GOD’s complete authority over your life, you are made complete in the process of being broken.

A.W. Tozer once said, “It is doubtful whether GOD can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.” Whether it was financial brokenness, relational brokenness, emotional brokenness, or physical brokenness; it brought me to a place of humility and dependency in Him. I learned that no resistance or self-will is within the heart of a person that is completely broken before the LORD. This is when our lives can be more fruitful and have the most purpose.

GOD is at work in our lives, shaping and making us into the people He longs for us to be, so that we might bring glory to Him and be of maximum use to Him in His kingdom. I had to choose to yield to brokenness and allow GOD to renew me as He desires…even if that meant enduring severe trials and testing. I became aware that brokenness can be a path toward great blessing, but only when I let GOD do the breaking in me.

By His Grace,

~Rhonda

From Forums of the Heart

My Comment:

This is an excellent message of faith to understand that all that you go through and all that you must endure is actually the workings of our God who is making you ready for his kingdom. Never think that he has forgotten you when the fire gets too hot. It is then that he is doing his best work. Believers are living as aliens in a perishing world. It is not easy. There is evil all around and sometimes it seems like we are losing the battle but the truth is that we already won it through Christ! We cannot be taken down or destroyed by anything of this life.

Take heart, weary Christians. Your God sees where you are. He is already working it all out for you. Just believe!

Thank you, Rhonda Lewis, from Forums Of The Heart for this wonderful message of hope for all of us.

mily way of starsThe message below was written by a very dear friend of mine, Al Donley. He is a true brother in Christ and is always willing to share his faith. He wrote this article many years ago but it is truly fitting for today. It is a message of hope through Jesus Christ.

As you begin this new year, let it be the year of your surrender to Christ. It will be the beginning of a new life which can never be destroyed. You will know that you have a future with promise no matter what struggles you face. You will understand that your life is now in the hands of the Master and he will not fail you.

Throughout this year, I will be praying for all of you who visit this site. Please know that you are loved and that God will never leave you alone to fight your battles. You now have hope because Christ lives!

A NEW YEARS RESOLUTION – Which plan will you choose?
By Allen Donley

As we awaken each new day and reality replaces the night dreams, do we find ourselves still imprisoned and enslaved? But you say we are free to move about and do as we please, so how could we possibly be slaves or prisoners? Yet in the deep recesses of our minds we are not totally sure and we ask the age-old question, why?

Are we indeed imprisoned by our own thoughts and desires? Do
we have no hope? Why do the mistakes of yesterday or even of
years gone by still plague us? We seem to dwell on them all of our
waking moments. Is there no answer, no solution? Doesn’t this
world always offer instant gratification? There must be those who
have the answers, the keys to all of life’s problems. These people
are all around us. We have seen them. They have broad smiles, a
quick handshake, and a pat on the back. Some even call themselves
Christians. We have all heard them brag about their tried and proven plans, for many of them have written volumes on their one formula that fits all problems. I have to admit that it certainly has worked for many of them, so I don’t see any reason it won’t work for me.

Perhaps I will be one of the enlightened ones that will be able to expound on the subject and make my fortune. I have to admit I’m a little anxious, even at times skeptical, but I have been assured not to fear. If the plan doesn’t work right away, I just have to work harder.

I might even have to try a different approach, but it is guaranteed to work! Really, I ask, guaranteed? By whom? Why it’s guaranteed to work by you, the user. You just have to keep trying. How long do I have to keep trying? Don’t you get it? You keep trying until it works. It’s guaranteed!

That’s good enough for me. I’ll just read the book, study it, map out my plan, write it down, visualize it, then, pour my whole being into it.

What’s that old saying? Body, mind, and soul? I never have quite
figured out the soul part, but it sounds good. It just takes self-confidence and time, and I’m still young so I have plenty of time to develop it; but I do have to admit my parent’s were right, time does seem to go quicker with each passing year. But then why should I worry about that, that’s for people my dad’s age to worry about. You know I have been working this plan for quite some time now and I have to admit that I don’t quite understand why I still wake up each morning with the same old anxieties and worries. Somehow I still feel like a slave to the system. I guess I’ll just have to work harder because I Know this plan is guaranteed to work. I probably just haven’t recognized it yet. That’s strange, the time is passing rather quickly and I’m getting overwhelmed. Maybe if I tell others about the plan, even teach them what I know to be true, then I can master it.

I’m getting more anxious by the day because the time is passing
faster and faster. This plan must work; it’s guaranteed! Time is
running out and the plan still isn’t working. I don’t understand this.

I’m in a state of shock. This cannot be happening. I refuse to
believe it. I have spent my entire adult life pursing this plan. It’s guaranteed! I’m getting desperate. Could there be another plan? One that doesn’t take so long to develop, because the sands of time have taken its toll, and the last grains are about to pass through the narrow opening. The narrow opening, the narrow opening, why is that important?

Let me analyze this thought. Is the phrase the narrow opening significant or even an awareness to a bigger and better plan? Or is my mind just desperately searching for a plan that doesn’t exist?

Is there perhaps another part of my being that I have refused to
acknowledge? The soul? Is there a real soul in each person? I
remember as a small child hearing of a plan, a very simple plan; but it seems too simple, and how could something so simple really work?

The sand is still draining through the narrow opening, and it’s nearly finished. All I can do is stare at the hour-glass in total disbelief. I know I have only moments left and my mind is reeling in total shock. I’m scared, even terrified. What was that plan, the simple plan? Oh God, if you are real, please hear my desperate cry for help. I can’t remember the simple plan. A prayer; but from my heart? Yes, God!

Just ask for forgiveness and accept the finished work on the cross by the carpenter – the carpenter from Nazareth. Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God who has the Perfect Plan. He died in my place and took all of my sins upon Himself so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life, for if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead you will be saved. Lord Jesus, I believe, and accept your free gift of salvation. Thank you Lord Jesus for revealing Your Perfect Plan to me – as the last grain of sand passes through the narrow opening!

                               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.

Walking the path of life by faith

Faith believes what the eye cannot see, what the ear cannot hear but what the heart knows without a doubt is true!  The promises of Christ will never fail you no matter where you are or what battle you are facing.  Nothing is too hard for the hand of God to take you through and to raise you above.  You must keep your faith and not doubt no matter how strong the winds are that come against you.  They may rock your boat but they will never sink your ship when Christ is at the helm! 

I could not have said it better than the poet and believer Ella Wheeler Wilcox did.  She mirrors the words of the Apostle Paul who said:

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

 

I will not doubt though all my ships at sea,
Come drifting home with broken masts and sails,
 I shall believe the Hand that never fails,
 From seeming evil worketh good for me.
And though I weep because those sails are battered,
Still will I cry, while my best hopes lie shattered,

‘I trust in Thee’ ”
Ella Wheeler Wilcox -1850- 1919

To anyone who is facing a trial that is making  you weary and fearful, please know that you are not alone.  The eyes of God are upon you and he will not fail to take you through your pain if you will put your trust in him. 

I am interceding on behalf of all who need to know this truth.  Christ will always be bigger than the problems you face.  He has defeated all of your enemies and nothing has the power to alter the perfect plan that he has for your life. 

Be in peace and stay strong.  I lift up prayers for all who come to this site. 

Photo by Francesco Cosi

 

 For Christ himself is our peace (Ephesians 2:14)

 

I have given this message before, but we are living in a time of testing when it warrants repeating. We read in Psalm 23 that the LORD is our shepherd who leads us to green pastures and  quiet waters, but that may not seem true for you in your life now.   It is tough to survive on a planet that is literally being destroyed as every form of evil fills the heavenly realms.  Can God truly restore your soul to his peace despite the battles raging all around you? 

Keeping your hope alive in the midst of your struggles and fears can be difficult.  Although Christ has promised us that he would never leave us but would always take us through our problems, the strength to stay in faith when the storms of life come upon us can seem impossible. 

The truth is that Jesus did not die just to give you eternal life in heaven.  He died so that you might have an abundant, joy-filled life right here on earth.  He who knew your name before the foundation of the earth is able to heal your pain and ease the heartache that you may be going through.  There is nothing that comes upon you that can destroy your life if you have put your trust in the risen Savior.  Jesus is not just waiting for us in heaven.  He is here with us now in all that we do.  His power and strength is the force sufficient enough to demolish any stronghold that seeks to defeat you.   

Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid”.   Those are life changing words!  He is speaking with all the power of God when he tells us that we do not have to fear any problem or impossible situation.  Jesus will not only take us through our problems, he will give us the peace that we need to stay trusting while we are in the battle.  The peace Jesus speaks of is the truth that sets you free.  It is the irrevocable promise of God that you can still have hope despite your trial because nothing can destroy his purpose and plan for you.  He is ready to shine a light to guide you on the path he has set for you.  Jesus is your friend, your counselor and an ever-present help in all things.  There is nothing too strong or too impossible for him to do for you because he alone is the source of all power. 

 Throughout the scriptures, we read of how God would make a way in impossible situations to help his people.  There is nothing that can change the course of victory for those whom he has redeemed.   In Exodus, we learn that God did not lead the Israelites around the Red Sea but rather he brought them to the Red Sea that they might understand his power as he parted the waters for them to cross safely to the other side.  

The victories written in scripture are here for us today.  God is willing to part the deep waters of trouble and pain that is in your life and bring you through safely to the other side.  Impossible situations are no match for the power of the risen Christ who defeated darkness and death and bought for you eternal life. 

Whatever painful situation you may be experiencing at this time, take heart and remember that Jesus is with you.  The hope that he gives you is not just a desire, it is a promise. God can always make a way to help you!  It is my prayer that he will help you to understand this truth. 

 

Dear Lord, I am praying for those who are going through a trial in life that is bringing fear and doubt.  I pray that you will give them a very real sense of your Presence and let them know that you have legions of angels surrounding them now who at your command.  I pray that anyone who is struggling with a financial problem, a marriage or relationship conflict, a serious health issue or a bondage of any kind will know without a doubt that you can make a way above and beyond their circumstance and bring them to victory.  I am praying that your truth will fill them and drown out the lies of the enemy who is leading them to believe tha there is no help.  Jesus, I pray that you will touch hearts all over this world and give them the peace and strength to know that your perfect plan will never fail them.  I give you praise and honor for you love that endures throughout eternity.  Amen

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!