Dear Precious Friends,
I love this reminder and know you stand firm with me on the truth that none of these things are cancelled! On this week where we take time out to be extra thankful and kick off the Christmas season... let us be mindful that kindness, worship, praise, trust, faith, hope, love and God are NOT CANCELLED! Let's focus on these amazing reminders of what it means to be a Christian walking through tough times. For more inspiration I go straight to God's word to study who went through difficulties and how they responded. The Bible is filled with examples!!
Let's think back to some of the most stressful or scary moments in our lives. How do we react? If you’re like me, praising God probably wasn’t the first thing on your mind. But, David had a different idea: In the middle of his troubles, his focus was on the Almighty.
In 1 Samuel 21, David was on the run without food, weapons or any sort of provision. Later, in fleeing from King Saul, his decision to defect to Achish, king of Gath, raises suspicions and David’s fears. David turned to carving the walls and drooling to convince the king he was insane. Yet God provided every step of the way, from giving David and his men the consecrated bread to sparing his life from the suspicious king.
Focusing on God and His promises will help us have joy in the middle of scary situations.
Out of this adversity David wrote Psalm 34, a beautiful song of praise that glorified God, and focused on God’s promises, in the middle of David’s troubles. The opening verse says it all: “I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips” (Psalm 34:1).
As followers of Jesus we know that God will carry us through them. In Psalm:8, David declares, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”
Worry, doubt and fear can multiply our troubles exponentially. When we praise God through the tough times, however, we focus on the One who can solve our problems in the best way, in His time.
David wasn’t different from any Jesus follower today; in fact, we have the Holy Spirit living in us to help. And, focusing on God and His promises—like David did—will help us have joy in the middle of scary situations.I
Now lets look at Jesus.... on Good Friday, with so much suffering and pain. When nothing made sense and everything was hard, God worked it out for good—bringing the greatest blessing mankind will ever receive!
We can believe Friday was good because of the result it brought, not because of what happened at the time. I know after I have gone through a really hard time, I've looked back and thought that I wouldn't even be half the person I am now if that wouldn't have happened. Haven't many of us experienced this? Don't we wish we could just grow in good times?
But we only seem to really grow during hard times. I think it's because it's during those times that we really press into God and go to a deeper level in our relationship with Him. Why? Because we have to. It's our only choice if we want to make it through the difficulty. When we trust God, He gives us the comfort of knowing that He can work bad things out for our good.
I love this reminder. The cross has a crucifixion side and a resurrection side. And Jesus had to endure one side to get to the other. But if He hadn't endured, then we'd all still be left without a Savior and no forgiveness of our sins.
Hebrews 12:2 says that Jesus, for the joy of obtaining the prize on the other side of the cross—the resurrection—endured the pain. Like Jesus, we have to endure bad things. To endure means to outlast the devil; to be steadfast long enough to let the trial do whatever it's going to do in our lives and get from one side of the cross to the other.
JESUS, FOR THE JOY OF OBTAINING THE PRIZE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE CROSS... THE RESURRECTION... ENDURED THE PAIN.... ENDURE MEANS OUTLAST THE DEVIL... DID YOU CATCH THAT! BE STEADFAST LONG ENOUGH...LET THE TRIAL DO WHATEVER ITS GOING TO DO IN OUR LIVES TO GET FROM ONE SIDE OF THE CROSS TO THE OTHER...
YES I REPEATED THIS!!
This is where we are my friends!!!
Now, we don't just go from Friday to Sunday. We have to learn to endure Saturday, which I think is sometimes the hardest to do. We'll call it the middle. In everything, there's a beginning, an end, and a middle. The beginning is sometimes a little bit exciting because it's a new thing. And the end is certainly exciting because it's where we experience the victory. But, oh…that middle! The Saturdays may be even harder than the Fridays because on Saturday, we're in the grave and we're not sure what's going to happen next.
Most of the time, we don't know how long the middle's going to last, and although God knows…He's not telling. (Isn't He great at keeping secrets?) So we need to remember that when we're going through the middle of something, we can be assured Sunday always comes after Friday. But we have to endure Saturday—we have to outlast the devil, remain steadfast and not give up or quit. When we do, we will enjoy the resurrection benefits and blessings that come on Sunday.
So, I want to remember that Jesus endured the cross because He knew what was waiting on the other side of it. In our daily lives, we are going to have to endure some things, and we're going to face some hard times. But the only way to do it is to go through it.
Whether we're hit by an unexpected circumstance, suffering for doing something wrong or for resisting temptation and sin by doing what's right, we have to go through things. But waiting for you on the other side of the hard times is the joy of obtaining the prize—the good result.
Let's represent our Lord well through this trying time... Lets reach out to those in need and show Kindness all day in every way... grocery store, driving, talking to loved ones who don't agree politically, lets worship all day long and praise our Lord, Trust in Him for ALL THINGS! Hope is an anchor for our soul.. our hope is in Him!!! Love.. DO ALL THINGS IN LOVE!!! GOD IS LOVE and we are His representatives... Lets do this!
We are WORLD CHANGERS as my Pastor reminds us each and every week!!!
We have a high calling... Lets never forget why we are here and what our job is! We are to let the Holy Spirit lead us each day as this is the only way we can live this out.. It starts in His word!!! Let His word permeate our souls!
Love you guys!!