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.

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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!

struggling to cope Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Jesus taught his disciples the ways that they were to follow. In Matthew 6: 25-27, Jesus said: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” He then continues in verse 33: “But seek first God’s kingdom and his righteousness, all things will be given to you as well”.

The truth in these verses is that when you worry, you are making your problems bigger than your God. You are saying in effect that God is not strong enough or loving enough to help you through your trial. When you give in to worry and fear, you are falling for the lies of the enemy who wants to destroy you. He knows that God is more than enough to bring you to victory but he wants you to forget that.

We serve a risen Savior who came to this earth to bring us hope and to give us a future despite what we may have to endure. He knew our problems and weaknesses long before we were born and he made a way to overcome all of them. He has a perfect plan and a purpose for your life. Even though you may have fallen short and rebelled against him, he can always lift you from your past and restore you to wholeness. All that it takes is for you to allow Christ to reign in your life. You must make him first over all that you have. In order for him to help you through the bondages that have kept you prisoner for so long, you must trust him with your whole heart. You should never take your eyes off Christ and put them on your problems. That is when you fall.

Jesus is always bigger and stronger than anything the world throws at you. You cannot be defeated for Jesus has destroyed the power of the enemy. Even death no longer holds fear for those who are in Christ for we will not perish but be made whole to live in heaven with God. There is nothing that man can do to you that will crush you for you are protected by the right hand of God.

When you find yourself worrying and getting anxious about things that are going on in your life, seek Christ out in his word. Let him fill you will peace as you read his of his promises to you. Giving in to fear indicates a lack of faith. You must trust that the One who gave you life will be able to sustain you no matter what happens!

Jesus died to release you from the prison of fear and worry. Don’t go back into bondage when Jesus paid your bail in full. His blood at Calvary covered your iniquities and made you righteous before God. That is the power you need to cling to and to use when you are weak and weary. Take the yoke of Christ for he will lift your burden and give you the strength you need to continue.

There is always hope when your trust is in Christ. He is the Lifter of your head and the Restorer of things taken from you. He can heal your heartache and bring your family together. He has the power to provide for your financial needs no matter how impossible it seems. He can heal your sickness and break the chains of your addictions. Most importantly, he can give you the force to conquer any battle you must fight. He knows your name. He has numbered your days. Give him your worry and anxious thoughts and let him give you the faith to hang on.

Jesus has the way to help you. His love will never fail you. Trust him today and make him Lord of your life. It is the decision that will take you through today and throughout eternity!

Dear Lord Jesus, I lift up all who need to hear this message. May you bless and encourage those who feel that they have no hope and that there is no way out. I pray for all to understand that you can always make a way to victory despite the situation. It is never impossible for you.

Bring hope and peace to those who are suffering through struggles of every kind. This world is perishing and soon you will be back to make all things new. I pray that you will give the strength that your people need to stay in the battle and to hold on to the end. Amen

My wonderful friend, Debra Aiken has an awesome blog titled, Tell The Lord Thank You.  She always has powerful and timely messages of hope and I wanted you to read her latest message.  We all go through trials and tribulations in this world.  Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in our storm instead of focusing on our God!  The truth is that nothing you face as a believer has any power to destroy you.  All of your struggles are used as the tool God uses to promote you to higher ground and closer to him.  Please read Debra’s message and be blessed.  It is the truth you may need for today.

CAUGHT IN A STORM

Matthew 14:22-25 – Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. 23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. 24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea,[a] tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. 25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.

In this passage of Scripture we find Jesus disciples trapped in a fierce storm. They find themselves in that storm, because they have been commanded by Jesus to cross the Sea of Galilee. These men are obedient to Christ command, yet, we see them struggling against the storm. They are struggling to fight against it and it appears that they are making no progress and are unable to get out of it.

Have you ever found yourself in that place? Have you ever found yourself stuck in one of life’s storms, and no matter how hard you try, no matter what you do, it seems that you cannot make any headway? Well, we all have times like that! It may seem to you like the storm will never end and that there is no possible good that can come from what we are going through.

There is some good news for us, even in the storm. Romans 8:28 declares that all things work together for good to them that love God, them that are called according to His purpose.

Of course, one could easily ask the question “HOW does a storm benefit my life?” STORMS ARE GOD’S MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION! It is through the storms, test, trials and struggles that God reveals himself to us. Christ used this storm to reveal Himself to His disciples. Christ will do the same thing in your life and in mine.

Verse # 25 says that He came to them in the darkness of the night; “the fourth watch”. Sometime between 3 AM and 6 AM, during the darkest hours of the night, Jesus came walking on the water!

Maybe your storm may be raging and you are walking in darkness today wondering where Jesus is. You may be facing some of the darkest days of your life right now. Let me remind you that our God is ever with you, Heb. 13:5! Let me remind you that even in the darkest hours of life God is still God and He is still in control of your life.

1 Kings 8:12, “Then spake Solomon, The LORD said that he would dwell in the thick darkness.”; Psalm 139:11-12, “If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.” Even the darkest hours of life cannot hide us from the face of God. He is there even when you cannot see Him.

The disciples were in a fight for their lives. Mark 6:48 says that they were “toiling in rowing”. That is, they were struggling against the storm. I get the impression that these men were afraid for their lives. When they thought all hope was gone and that they were doomed, Jesus came walking on the waves!

There are times when we all feel like we have lost the battle with our storm, but may I remind you that just as surely as the Lord is in control of your blessings, He is also in charge of your storms? When things look the bleakest, just look around, Jesus is about to show up! Remember, He may not keep you from going into the storm, but He will keep you in the midst of the storm! Think of the 3 Hebrews, Daniel, and Noah. God did not prevent any of these from going into the storm, but He saved them all in the midst of their storm. What He did for them, He will do for you and I.

Our word on today is that regardless of what we are facing in life, remember that Jesus is greater than that storm we may be facing. If you will be patient and wait for Him, He will show up right on time. You will see that the storm was used by the Lord to make Himself clear to you. The very thing wen  fear will be the vehicle He uses to show up in our life.

We must remind ourselves that though the storm keeps on raging in our lives and sometimes its had to tell the night from day, our soul is anchored in the Lord!

WITH THE LOVE OF CHRIST, I LOVE YOU ALL! TELL THE LORD THANK YOU!

DEBRA

                  For God so loved the world……. (John 3:16)

This is the season of joy and peace yet sadly there are many people who are feeling hopeless, weary and lonely.  During a time when hearts should overflow with love and giving, for some it is just a time of pain and sadness.

The joy that the birth of Christ brings can get lost among the shopping and busyness of the season.  When God sent his one and only Son to this earth, he did it to bring light and salvation to a lost and dying world.  He sent Jesus to walk this earth with us to give us his strength to overcome our problems.  Jesus came to give us an abundant life that lacks no good thing.  His birth brought us a promise that can never be taken away.  It is a promise that those who believe in him would have a life with a purpose and a reward that will never end.  Pain and struggles can never destroy those who have been set free through Christ.  He alone can open doors to your impossible situations and cause all things to be used for your good. 

Believers now have authority in Christ over all obstacles from the enemy.  Through Jesus you are now more than a conqueror because he has overcome the world.  You only need to trust that he can and will be with you in all of your problems.  Your failures do not stop his love and your troubles can not stop his perfect plan for your life.  His birth signified a pledge to bring you peace no matter what you may be going through.  Jesus is the Word of God and the light of this world who will never fail you.  He willingly left the splendor of heaven to come to this earth knowing that we would reject him.  Yet his love was so great that he chose to walk with us and be crucified to bring us peace with God and eternity with him forever.

If the joy of this season is overcome by a situation in your life which is causing you pain and sadness, please remember that the hope that Jesus brings is not just for some situations.  The peace he promised to leave us is sufficient to meet any need and to take you through any storm in your life.  His power is strong enough to safely take you through all circumstances and to give you joy in the midst of your struggle.  He knew your name and loved you long before you were born.  He has plans to prosper you and give you a future despite your weaknesses.  He is faithful to make a way for you even when the road is closed.  Most importantly, he will never leave you to carry your burden alone.  In Matthew 28:20, Jesus says, “And surely I am with you always, even to the very end of the age”. 

Your situation is never hopeless when you have Christ in your heart.   He is able to heal any sorrow your have and give you the assurance that his love will comfort you in your pain.  This season, keep in your heart the truth that Jesus is the only gift that you need. He is the source of your strength and the power to restore you in all ways.  His gift of life is free for the asking.  His love will never fail you and his peace will keep you as you begin a new year.   Take heart for the Savior is born!

Dear Lord,  as we enter the holiday season of Christmas, so many hurting people are feeling lost and alone. Some are in major trials that are testing their faith.  Financial problems are overwhelming people everywhere.  Serious health issues are bring fear to many believers.  And marriages are being destroyed as the world is enticing many to believe that there is something better.  I am praying for all  of these issues as well as for those who are in bondages to drugs or alcohol. This world is growing dark with evil and your people are struggling everywhere.  I pray, dear Jesus, that your light will shine in the hearts of those in need and give them the strength and hope that they need as they trust you to take them through this valley of tears.  Help them to know that you have not left them for a moment and that right now legions of angels are surrounding them in every battle that they face.  I am praying for your peace to fill lives and for your joy to be with them.  For those who don’t know you as LORD and Savior, I pray for you to unveil their eyes to the truth that they may have life everlasting with you.  I pray all of this in the name of Jesus, the Hope of this lost world. Amen

         God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Psalm 73)

As you look around those in your life,  it is hard to find someone who is not enduring a trial of some kind.  These days are troubling and it doesn’t seem to be any end in sight.  For that reason, so many believers are falling into the trap of thinking that evil is winning over good. They are overwhelmed and weary as each day just brings another set of problems.

The truth is that the plan of Christ for this world is unfolding before our very eyes. Your problems should not surprise you for we are told in God’s word that we will suffer in this world.  Our hope as believers is in knowing that God is working all things out for our good and to strengthen us for the battle.  If you can just understand that nothing that comes against you has any power to destroy you or weaken you, you can have peace even in the midst of your most troubling trial.  That which Christ allows to come against you in your life is manifesting a power in you that is getting you ready for the royalty that awaits you in God’s kingdom!  That may seem like something far off in another decade; but, as the days grow dark and evil increases, the Son of God is getting ready to return soon for those who are faithful to him.

When you let the storms in life make you feel overwhelmed it is only because you are listening to the lies of the enemy.  You are holding onto burdens that are too heavy for you carry alone.  The deceiver wants you to believe that God is nowhere near to help in your battle. That will never be true! 

Jesus is very close to the brokenhearted and he saw your struggles long before the foundation of the earth. It was he who prepared a way to victory in every one of them.  Why do you worry about things when God has in place a plan and provision to bring you safely through?  We cannot control what goes on around us, but we can trust that our God is stronger and able to get us through all things. 

All this may sound over-simplified to those who are in a serious illness and fear the outcome.  Many people are suffering through failed marriages and financial ruin.  The darkness of uncertainty can bring desperation in the life of a single parent wondering how she will support her children.  We are living in the terrible times of the last days where truth is being thrown to the ground and lies are being welcomed by the masses who demand their rights to do as they please without interference from God! When it all this going to end?  Or is it?

It shall end! God has a plan and he is not going to fail to complete the work he started. To those willing to stand in faith, though weary and overwhelmed, and still declare that our God is greater, he is going to bestow the crown of eternal life very soon.  We are not going to be in this struggle forever.  God knows the path that must take place but it is only for a time.  Your painful trial is working out something of value to your life.  You may not like it but you must trust that God is still in control of taking you through it.  You must have hope that does not give up at each arrow shot by the demons of hell!  We are winners and victors because our trust is in the finished work of Jesus Christ! There are no losers on the side of the kingdom of God. 

I don’t know what storm you are in at this moment.  I only know that as a believer you cannot be destroyed.  If your spiritual eyes were opened, you would see the legions of angels that surround you in every single battle! You are never left alone to fight the wars against the army of darkness.  You have the force of heaven with you right now so you must never accept defeat no matter how impossible your struggle seems.  You were made a conqueror when Jesus paid the price for your redemption.  All of your problems are under your feet as you live in the body of  Christ!  Surrender your life only to him for no one else can take it from you.  Let God restore you to wholeness despite your brokenness. 

 Beloved friend, you are going to see your God work all things out for your good  as he  safely lifts you high on the rock. Your troubles have a time to end.  Trust God to work it all out in his way and in his timing.  His love will never leave you for a second so take joy knowing that Christ has overcome the world!

 

Dear Lord, I am praying for all who come to this site needing a word of strength from you.  I pray that they will understand that you have not deserted them or left them to fend with their struggles alone.  You are always in the midst of every storm that we face and you are the force that brings us safely through it.  I pray that all those who are weary and overwhelmed with life will understand the truth of the message that you gave me to write.  May they have the peace and joy knowing that the problems of this world cannot defeat those who belong to you. Victory is ours.   The lies from a defeated enemy have no power to destroy those who trust in you.  I pray that those in need will be comforted by your presence today. For it is by the name of Jesus that all power is manifested in our lives.  Amen

 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.