“Don’t be afraid; just believe.” 

Of all the things that burden us and weigh on our souls, sickness and suffering in the lives of those we love is likely at the top of the list. Is there any greater trial than to observe a loved one in pain and yet be entirely helpless to bring them relief and rest? Though we do all that we can to comfort and console, we reach a point of exhaustion, desperation, and helplessness. This is exactly the sort of person Jesus encounters in Mark 5. So I hope this message will minister to you today. 

While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?” Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” Mark 5:35-36

 

Jairus, we are told in verse 22, was “one of the rulers of the synagogue,” clearly a man of personal means and great influence. We find him begging and pleading with the Lord Jesus for his daughter to be made well. He was, as we say, at the end of his rope. Or so he thought. As our story unfolds, we see the situation go from bad to worse as the last light of hope goes out, with word reaching the man that his daughter had already died. In light of this tragic news, as the messengers say, “why bother the teacher anymore?” When all hope is lost, why continue to pursue Jesus? Jesus’ response to this question invites us deeper into the mystery of God’s love, nature, and power.

 

To follow Jesus is to believe that there is never a time, moment, or situation in which all hope is lost. Even when staring death in the face, we must learn to hear the words of Jesus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” We must remember that we serve a God who is Lord of heaven and earth, in whose hand “is the life of every living thing.” (Job12:10) We must believe that the God who defeated death on the cross is powerful enough to bring hope and healing to the darkest and most painful moments of life, even when all hope seems to be lost.

 

Do we seek Jesus in prayer only for the things that seem likely to be answered, or are you and I willing to learn from this story and continue to open ourselves up to God’s plan and power even when it is beyond what we can see or understand? Take whatever weighs heavy on your heart today to the Lord in prayer, and find comfort and peace for your soul. Do not be afraid. The Lord is with you and will never abandon you, and in light of the resurrection we know that a day is coming when all shall be made well. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

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The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day (Proverbs 4:18). 

Wherever you may be right now, I want to tell you:

Keep going.
Don’t stop.
You don’t know what awesome things God has in store for you up ahead!

 

Does God really have a plan and purpose for my life?

One of the most asked questions I get from other believers is  “does God really have a plan and purpose for my life?” Let me assure you that there are no accidents, no coincidences with God. The One who created the universe and everything in it, did not just create us in His image to drift from birth to death with no purpose. You did not just happen, God created you. God did not just create all of this because He was bored, there is a Divine plan and purpose for everything, including your life! 

“‘Who are you, Lord?’ I asked. “And the Lord replied, ‘I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting. Now get to your feet! For I have appeared to you to appoint you as my servant and witness. You are to tell the world what you have seen and what I will show you in the future. Acts 26:15-16

The scripture today is God revealing to Paul the plan He had for his life. Most of us will never have a Damascus road experience where God audibly calls down to us and gives us the exact plan for our life. However, as we are surrendered to His will, He will move us, position us, exactly where He wants us. He will open and close doors to guide us where He wants us to be.


As you are surrendered to God and His plan, there are no accidents where you live, work, go to school, or recreate. It is not an accident who your neighbors are or the people that are in your life. God strategically places us where He wants us to be, as His instruments, so we can do our part in fulfilling His master plan.


The key that you need to hear today is you must be surrendered to Him. If we rebel against God, if we don’t listen to Him, if we do it our way and not His way, then His plan for our life will never be fulfilled. That is the choice we have to make each day. To live life our way, or His way.


When we choose our way, we can try, try, and try, and life never seems to work out. We may be successful in one area, but miserable in others. You see, when we do it God’s way, He takes into consideration ALL areas of our life. Our work, finances, relationships, health, service to Him, recreation, He has every area of our life taken care of.


I will be praying for you to fully surrender your life each day to God. Surrendering to Him is the key to finding God’s plan and purpose for your life. TRUST HIM! He will never let you down, He will never disappoint you, just love you and bless you each day. God has a perfect plan and purpose for your life!

Turning Our Crisis Into An Opportunity

Are you facing a crisis today? If so, the Lord wants to turn it into an awesome opportunity for you to develop new skills, strengthen your character, and draw you closer to Him. If you obey God and leave all the consequences to Him, He will conform you to the image of His Son and use all situations for your ultimate blessing. My prayer for you is that you will surrender to the grace and love of the Father, even in the midst of adversity. Then you will be able to turn each crisis of your life into an amazing opportunity to see Him work. 

How do you respond to a crisis?
At some point in our lives, we all will face hardships, losses, and painful circumstances. Too often, we fail to view suffering with an eternal perspective. But our heavenly Father always has a purpose for adversity in our lives, and we can profit from it if we respond correctly. Each trial you encounter prepares you for God’s ultimate purpose for his life.The Lord also wants to use adversity to strengthen your relationship with Him and prepare you for the challenges that lie ahead.



Trust that God is working everything in your life for your good (Romans. 8:28)
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Believe that our heavenly Father is in control of everything. When you and I believe in God’s sovereignty, it’s easier to retain our hope—even if we don’t understand why we are suffering.


Accept that the Lord’s ways are higher than ours (Isaiah. 55:8-9). Don’t lose heart by asking why; simply trust God’s intimate involvement in your life.


Refuse to make quick judgments in the midst of a crisis. Ask, “God what are you doing in my life?”


Focus on the Father instead of the crisis. Meditate on Scripture, which fuels your awareness of the Father’s comfort and unconditional love.


Avoid dwelling on the pain. It’s normal to feel loss and suffering, but instead of fixating on the grief, go to the ultimate source of strength—the Word of God (Psalm103:19).


Recall past crises and the opportunities that followed. Seeing God’s handiwork through past hardships will encourage you in your current trial (See Romans 8:29.)


Let go of your anger immediately. Even if you feel upset at first, don’t let that emotion take root in your life (Ephesians. 4:26). Releasing your irritation frees you to see God’s purpose in your circumstances.


Submit yourself to God’s will. Joseph faced every trial with a humble heart that was willing to grow and learn. When we believe the Lord’s promises, we are also motivated to surrender to His will in every situation.


Demonstrate a spirit of gratitude. Even in the darkest valley, knowing the Lord has good plans for your life is a powerful motivator of thankfulness.


Determine to view the trial as a chance to see God at work. Choose to approach the situation with hope and a desire to learn.


Refuse to listen to unscriptural interpretations of your situation. No matter how well meaning others are, they are not in your exact situation. Ask God how you are to respond to adverse circumstances.


Remain in constant prayer, listening for the Father’s instructions. God will often use hardship to draw you closer to Himself. Pain, trials, and suffering are all used by the Father to develop your intimate relationship with Him.


Do not give in to fluctuating emotions. When you pray and your situation doesn’t change, you may want to give up. But remember that feelings are often the enemy of obedience, and resist the temptation.


Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him. No matter what, know that the Father loves you and is in control. You can’t go wrong by trusting your entire life to Him.

He bends down…

​“I love the Lord because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!” Psalm 116:1-2

Too often, Christians think of the Lord as being way up yonder in heaven, at a distance and too busy to concern Himself with our earthly, mundane affairs. But the truth is that God longs to be intimately involved with every aspect of our lives. And as we seek Him through prayer and the study of His Word, He will prove it to us time and time again. God cares for you so much that He is eager to relate to you on your own level, no matter where you might be spiritually. The Lord wants you to continually experience spiritual growth, but He doesn’t wait until you’re mature in your faith to speak to you. And He will speak to you about anything and everything that concerns you, if you will seek Him.

 

As the psalmist wrote in today’s passage: God is so merciful and good–and He loves you so much–that He is willing to “bend down” and listen to your concerns, and answer in ways you can understand. Don’t wait a minute longer. Turn to Him right now with a greater passion than ever before with those things that are on your heart–and receive the wisdom, comfort, and reassurance that can only come from a loving God.

Putting God First!

To the human mind, it sometimes seems easier to run ahead of God, and then just pray that He protects us from the consequences of our own ways. Nonetheless, when we trust in our personal wisdom, and we follow our desires over God’s will, our lives become chaotic. Chaos and confusion aren’t from God, but are the result of our flesh being in control of our decisions in life. When God is given preeminence in our hearts, He will bring order into our lives. 

“But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:6-8

Even though God has given us freewill, willpower is no match to the spiritual power that Satan can exert over us when we run from the plan that God has for us. We may be able to say “no” to Satan for a while in our own strength, but eventually we will wear down and give into his devices. Therefore, we have to realize and acknowledge that we’re in desperate need of God’s grace so that we can overcome the spiritual struggles we face.   

Does your life have order and structure? Do you put God first in your life? There is a direct correlation between running from God’s authority and experiencing chaos in our lives. In order for life to exist and produce, be fruitful and multiply, there has to be a healthy environment. God’s Word sets the structure into place, which allows life to exist and flourish.

Placing God first is simply an act of your will that involves your heart. However, before we can place God as number one in our lives, we will have to love Him more than this world or its pleasures. Therefore, if you’ve been running from God, and now you’re running from Satan, then stop, submit to God, and you will have the power to resist the Devil and watch him run from you.

Cling to God in Times of Despair!

If you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ, take comfort in the fact that you can never be lost and that you are never out of God’s sight. There might be times when you feel invisible – times when you feel lost – times when you stubbornly choose your ways over His – or times when you feel alone, but the Bible tells us that your name is engraved on the palms of God’s hands, and that nothing can separate you from God’s love or snatch you from the palm of His hand. 

 “See, I have written your name in the palm of my hands…” Isaiah 49:16a

It doesn’t matter how long you have been serving the Lord, it is quite likely that you have gone through a period of time were you have felt like you are facing the impossible. The feelings and emotions of being alone and far from God seem to overwhelm us during these seasons. You are not unique if you have struggled with these feelings from time to time; you are not alone in these struggles you are facing right now.

The next time you feel like you are all alone facing a battle too hard for you, a mountain too hard to climb, the valley too deep to go through, remember that you are engraved in the palm of His hand as a result of being held tightly and tucked away safely in the cleft of the Rock. He will never leave you nor forsake you; neither will He forget that you are His child, the object of His affection, the one whom He loves. God knows your name. He knows where you live. He’s got your number. You’re never lost. Praise Him!

Lord God How can we ever thank You for such great love that we fine tucked away securely in the palm of Your hand? Help us to never forget that we are never alone and that you are never far from us. What a comforting reminder You have given us today that Your love encompasses us and keeps us safe in the midst of the storm. There are truly no words that are adequate to convey the thankfulness and praise we feel in our heart toward You. You are awesome, oh Lord, and we love You with all our heart! In Jesus precious name we pray. Amen and Amen!

Are you a broken or crushed pot today?

Are you a broken or crushed pot today? Are you suffering because of the loss of a job or the current financial crisis? Are your emotions broken and bruised because of the rejection of a friend or husband? Are you experiencing crushing loneliness because of the loss of someone dearly loved? Is your heart torn and bleeding for a wayward child? If so remember that. 

“We now have this light shinning in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.” 2 Corinthians 4:7 

If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, He says even in catastrophic times He is not only with you but longing to pour out through you.

God’s Word that you have been storing away in the quiet times with Him can be revealed through your brokenness. He sees your pain, and His heart breaks with your every hurt. You are dearly loved. Hold on to His promise that your brokenness is not wasted but releases His Spirit to do works of perseverance, power, character and hope.

I pray wit you right now that God would use the broken places of any of you for His great glory and our ultimate good. I pray even as He walks with you through the broken places of your lives that His Word would be exposed and powerful in a lost and dying world.