I Will Pursue You Relentlessly

Relentless

By Glynda Lomax, October 7, 2020

In the same way I am relentless in My pursuit of the wicked, I am also relentless in pursuing those you lift to Me in prayer. I will pursue them in their thoughts, in their sins, and in their despair. I will pursue them in their circumstances, giving them chance after chance to see it is I who arrange them, for good or evil.

I will pursue them until they have no rest if you will continue to pray, My children, and then I will pursue them with My great Love for them. Though to you it seems nothing is happening, in reality much is happening as I continue to be relentless in My pursuit of them.

Let us work together to save them.

For thus says the Lord God: “Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. Ezekiel 34:11 

“…for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10

A Story of Two Horses

Just up the road is a field not far from here, with two horses in it.  From a distance, each looks like every other horse.  But if you stop your car, or are walking by, you will notice something quite amazing.

Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that he is blind.  His owner has chosen not to have him put down, but has made a good home for him.  This alone is amazing.

If nearby and listening, you will hear the sound of a bell.  Looking around for the source of the sound, you will see that it comes from the smaller horse in the field.  Attached to her halter is a small bell.  It lets her blind friend know where she is, so he can follow her.

As you stand and watch these two friends, you’ll see how she is always checking on him, and that he will listen for her bell and then slowly walk to where she is, trusting that she will not lead him astray. When she returns to the shelter of the barn each evening, she stops occasionally and looks back, making sure her friend isn’t too far behind to hear the bell.

Like the owners of these two horses, God does not throw us away just because we are not perfect or because we have problems or challenges. He watches over us and even brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need.

Sometimes we are the blind horse being guided by the little ringing bell of those who God places in our lives.  Other times we are the guide horse, helping others see.

Good friends are like this – you don’t always see them, but you know they are always there.  Please listen for my bell and I’ll listen for yours.

Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

A Story of Czar Nicolas – Such a Debt, Who Can Pay

Czar Nicolas the king of Russia would from time to time travel to outposts in Russia disguised as someone else so he could see for himself what was going on in his country.

As he was making his tour late one night in this one particular outpost he was walking down the halls of this town hall kind of building and he noticed that the lights were still on in the office of the town treasurer.

Let me go back and explain what was going on in this office. The treasurer for this out post was misusing funds, He was losing money gambling and thinking his luck would turn back he kept digging a bigger hole that would eventually bury him.

Then one day it was the day of reckoning. He received a notice that in a couple of days the bank examiners were coming to check the books an do an audit.

He knew he was in big trouble so on this same night that the Czar would be walking the halls of his office, he was up late counting money and figuring out how much trouble he was in. When he finished adding up the debt that he owed, he knew he was in to deep and there was no way out.

His solution was he would take his life. He had his pistol on the table and when he finished adding up the debt he owed he wrote these words at the bottom of the balance sheet. “Such a debt, who can pay?”

He was overwhelmed with fatigue so he laid his head down on the desk and fell fast to sleep.  While he was sleeping, this is when the Czar of Russia spotted the light on so late in the office of the Treasurer. The Czar saw the door was unlocked and he walked in. He sees the man sleeping, he sees the gun lying by his hand and he looks at the record book and realized this man had been stealing from his kingdom, a crime that would mean the death penalty and disgrace. Then at the bottom of the balance sheet the Czar spotted these words. “Such a debt, who can pay?” This is when the Czar picked up a pen and under the words, “Such a debt, who can pay?” the Czar signed his name and walked out the door.

Just before morning the treasurer woke up and realizing how long he had been asleep, he reached for his pistol to take his life and just before ending his life he looked down at the bottom of the balance sheet and saw the signature of Czar Nicolas.

Finding this hard to believe he looked into his files for a document with the Czar’s signature and sure enough the Czar had been there that night and paid his debt. The next day men from the Treasury of Russia arrived with bags containing the missing money and his debt was paid in full.

The Bible says that we will all stand before God and be judged from what has been written about us in the record books of our lives. We all have been assigned guardian angels to watch over us and record every word, thought, good deeds and bad.

Just like that man in charge of the cash of his town in the story above, God has access of the record books of your life. We owe a debt that is “Such a debt, who can pay?” If you will call out to Jesus the one who died to pay for your debts.

If you will ask Jesus to forgive your sins, Jesus will take his eraser and wipe out the sins that have been recorded in the record book of your life. Then at the bottom of the blank pages of your record book, Jesus will sign His name with these words. “Paid in full by Jesus Christ.”

Casting Your Cares Upon Jesus: Why Are You Still Carrying Them?

“Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

Most all Christians are familiar with this Bible verse. I find the words contained within it to be so simplistic that most tend to just read right through it without giving it much thought. Truth is, I also discern it has not been given the power behind the words that is so deserves. How many have taken the time to perform a quick study of the key words contained in this verse written by the apostle Peter? To candidly read right through it with no farther examination, our minds tend to go only as far as our English vocabulary takes us, therefore applying our own watered down meaning behind it. Perhaps this is one big reason why so many Christians are not doing what it says to do.

Too many believers are living day to day with the heaviness of all their problems weighing down on them. Our problems have, in essence, become a part of our being as we drag them around with us everywhere we go. Are you allowing the sheer volume and weight of all this excess baggage to make it virtually impossible to live in the fullness of joy the Lord instructs is a marking of His own people? Suffice to say, if the fruit of joy is non-existent in your life, this does not only affect you, but it affects every lost soul that comes in contact with you through the day. To fully understand 1 Peter 5:7, let’s look deeper into three key words contained within the passage:

The Greek word epiripto, [is] a compound of the words epi and ripto. The word epi means upon, as on top of something. The word ripto means to hurlto throw  or to cast, and it often means to violently throw or to fling something with great force. The only other place this word epiripto is used in the New Testament is in Luke 19:35, where the Bible says, “And they brought him to Jesus: And they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus there on.” It is important to note this passage, for it correctly coveys the idea of the word epiripto, which in secular literature often pictured the flinging of a garment, bag, or excess weight off the shoulders of a traveler and onto the back of some other beastsuch as a donkey, camel, or horse. (Source: Sparkling Gems from the Greek, Rick Renner 325)

In the blueprint of the human body, God did not create it to withstand long term stress caused by our problems. Stress wears the body down and will cause you to be sick, both physically and mentally. The meaning of “casting” is far stronger than just a “giving” of. Jesus is not a fragile kitten, rather He is the mighty LION of the Tribe of Judah, able to bare what we cannot. Instead of approaching Him timidly in defeat, He wants you to approach Him in the authority given you by the Holy Spirit and lift off of your shoulders every burden and care you are holding onto, and with ALL your strength, forcefully and violently throwing it all upon His back.

The word “cares” is the Greek word merimna, which means anxiety. However, in principle it described any afflictiondifficulty, hardshipmisfortunetroubleor complicated circumstance that arises as a result of problems that develop in our lives. (Source: Sparking Gems from the Greek, Rick Renner 325)

What “cares” did he apostle Peter say to cast upon Jesus? ALL of them. Your cares may include family issues, such as with your children, spouse, and in-laws, or financial difficulties, trouble in the workplace, school, or even church. Mental and emotional turmoil such as depression, anxiety, panic disorders, fear, worry, and self- esteem issues are also all examples of the list of cares being toted around daily by Christians. Notice that Peter does not tell us to “try” and cast them, rather he charges us to do it. You cannot afford not to.

The word “careth” is taken from the Greek word melei, which means to be concernedto be thoughtfulto be interestedto be awareto notice; or to give painful and meticulous attention. (Source: Sparkling Gems from the Greek, Rick Renner 325)

Peter gives us irrefutable evidence that our Lord not only FEELS what you are feeling but His FULL attention is upon you in every circumstance in your life. He is waiting for you to fling it upon His back because He is constructed to take it on whereas you are not. You may not be able to change the present situations, trials, and circumstances you are facing, but you are commanded to shift the weight from yourself unto Him by faith.

One of the greatest ongoing battles facing the Believer is separating faith from feeling. We are moved by what we feel rather than by blind faith. Faith is an action, not a feeling. Have you been plagued with the same struggles and same unanswered prayer for months or even years?

You may have days of joy and what seems to be breakthrough, where you feel empowered to go forth and weather the storm no matter what comes your way. You may have several days or weeks where things seem to be looking up and just when you think your strength is renewed, it all comes crashing down upon you again. All the negative emotions, thinking, and speaking suddenly begin again. This empowerment then defeat is a continuous never-ending cycle. Have you recognized it to be a cycle, or are you so caught up in your feelings and defeat that you accept it as part of your life?

You then begin to doubt God or even blame God, wondering if He even hears you any longer. You expect HIM to change your situation without putting in the time and commitment it usually takes to get free. Have others made multiple attempts to give you Godly counsel on what to do and yet you still refuse to heed their words? People of like mind may give you good advice in line with scripture, but at the end of the day the answer lies within you and God alone. If you continue to refuse to take action, or only keep taking short-term action, this is considered disobedience. The answer does not lie in God’s willingness to act, but lies in you not doing what He instructs in His Word.

Granted, the Lord at times will allow these trials to promote growth, but my focus is on those who are living with their burdens indefinitely, allowing them to control every aspect of life, and not being diligent in obeying the Word until deliverance manifests.

My hope is that today will be the day you make a conscious decision to examine the words of the apostle Peter and run to Jesus with the full revelation that He has not abandoned you. That He loves you so much that His full attention is set on you and He is desperately wanting to carry the load for you. He wants to fulfill the greatest desires of your heart and longs to see you victorious in every aspect of your life. May you once and for all settle it with yourself that you will no longer rely on your own strength but the great strength of the Lord.

Prayer:

Lord, I come before You today to repent of all areas of pride in my life. Forgive me for allowing pride to cause me to carry my cares and burdens in my own strength. I recognize that You have been waiting for me to permanently give them to You. Right now I violently fling unto Your shoulders all the cares that have caused me to not only think but speak negatively.

These cares include (confess all cares as defined in Greek-anxiety, worry, fear, etc.). Take them Lord. I can no longer do this on my own and I do not want to. Today I break to cycle I have allowed to keep returning, and I make a conscious decision that I will resist taking them back upon myself at the moment they try to come back into my life.1 Peter 5:7 ensures me that You give painful and meticulous attention to every area of my life. I will not be moved by what I feel any longer but I will be moved only by faith.

I believe You love me and died that I may be free from all my burdens, for Your Word says, “He whom the Son sets free is free indeed.” (John 8:36). Restore to me again the joy of Your salvation as stated in Psalms 51:12. I choose to walk in this joy each and every day from this day on. In the name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Now begin to thank Him for answering your prayer. Thanking Him is your surest expression of faith. You need not beg Him every day to take your cares. Just thank Him by faith that it is done and believe for the manifestation to come.     Written by Brook A.   https://aminutetomidnite.com/the-christian-life/casting-your-cares-upon-jesus-why-are-you-still-carrying-them/

My Son Came Back From the Dead

On July 22nd I was in route to Washington , DC , for a business trip. It was all so very ordinary, until we landed in Denver for a plane change. As I collected my belongings from the overhead locker, an announcement was made for Mr. Lloyd Glenn to see the United Customer Service Representative immediately.

I thought nothing of it until I reached the door to leave the plane and I heard a gentleman asking every male if he were Mr. Glenn. At this point I knew something was wrong and my heart sunk.

When I got off the plane, a solemn-faced young man came toward me and said, “Mr.Glenn, there is an emergency at your home. I do not know what the emergency is, or who is involved, but I will take you to the phone so you can call the hospital.”

My heart was now pounding, but the will to be calm took over.
Woodenly, I followed this stranger to the distant telephone where I called the number he gave me for the Mission Hospital. My call was put through to the trauma center where I learned that my three-year-old son had been trapped underneath the automatic garage door for several minutes and that when my wife had found him he was dead. CPR had been performed by a neighbor, who is a doctor, and the paramedics had continued the treatment as Brian was transported to the hospital.

By the time of my call, Brian was revived and they believed he would live, but they did not know how much damage had been done to his brain, nor to his heart. They explained that the door had completely closed on his little sternum right over his heart. He had been severely crushed. After speaking with the medical staff, my wife sounded worried but not hysterical, and I took comfort in her calmness.

The return flight seemed to last forever, but finally I arrived at the hospital six hours after the garage door had come down. When I walked into the intensive care unit, nothing could have prepared me to see my little son laying so still on a great big bed with tubes and monitors everywhere. He was on a respirator. I glanced at my wife who stood and tried to give me a reassuring smile. It all seemed like a terrible dream. I was filled-in with the details and given a guarded prognosis. Brian was going to live, and the preliminary tests indicated that his heart was OK, two miracles in and of themselves. But only time would tell if his brain received any damage.

Throughout the seemingly endless hours, my wife was calm. She felt that Brian would eventually be all right. I hung on to her words and faith like a lifeline. All that night and the next day Brian remained unconscious. It seemed like forever since I had left for my business trip the day before.

Finally at two o’clock that afternoon, our son regained consciousness and sat up uttering the most beautiful words I have ever heard spoken.. He said, “Daddy hold me” and he reached for me with his little arms.

By the next day he was pronounced as having no neurological or physical deficits, and the story of his miraculous survival spread throughout the hospital. You cannot imagine, when we took Brian home, we felt a unique reverence for the life and love of our Heavenly Father that comes to those who brush death so closely.

In the days that followed, there was a special spirit about our home. Our two older children were much closer to their little brother. My wife and I were much closer to each other, and all of us were very close as a whole family. Life took on a less stressful pace. Perspective seemed to be more focused and balance much easier to gain and maintain. We felt deeply blessed. Our gratitude was truly profound.

The story is not over (smile)!

Almost a month later to the day of the accident, Brian awoke from his afternoon nap and said, “Sit down Mommy.. I have something to tell you.” At this time in his life, Brian usually spoke in small phrases, so to say a large sentence surprised my wife. She sat down with him on his bed, and he began his sacred and remarkable story.

“Do you remember when I got stuck under the garage door? Well, it was so heavy and it hurt really bad. I called to you but you couldn’t hear me. I started to cry, but then it hurt too bad. And then the ‘ birdies ‘ came.”

“The birdies?” my wife asked puzzled.
“Yes,” he replied. “The birdies made a whooshing sound and flew into the garage. They took care of me.”

“They did?”

“Yes,” he said. “One of the birdies came and got you. She came to tell you “I got stuck under the door.” A sweet reverent feeling filled the room. The spirit was so strong and yet lighter than air. My wife realized that a three-year-old had no concept of death and spirits, so he was referring to the beings who came to him from beyond as “birdies” because they were up in the air like birds that fly. “What did the birdies look like?” she asked.

Brian answered, “They were so beautiful. They were dressed in white, all white. Some of them had green and white. But some of them had on just white.”

“Did they say anything?”

“Yes,” he answered. “They told me the baby would be all right.”

“The baby?” my wife asked confused.

Brian answered. “The baby laying on the garage floor.” He went on, “You came out and opened the garage door and ran to the baby. You told the baby to stay and not leave.”

My wife nearly collapsed upon hearing this, for she had indeed gone and knelt beside Brian’s body and seeing his crushed chest whispered, “Don’t leave us Brian, please stay if you can.” As she listened to Brian telling her the words she had spoken, she realized that the spirit had left his body and was looking down from above on this little lifeless form. “Then what happened?” she asked.

“We went on a trip,” he said, “far, far away.” He grew agitated trying to say the things he didn’t seem to have the words for. My wife tried to calm and comfort him, and let him know it would be okay. He struggled with wanting to tell something that obviously was very important to him, but finding the words was difficult.

“We flew so fast up in the air. They’re so pretty Mommy,” he added. “And there are lots and lots of birdies.” My wife was stunned. Into her mind the sweet comforting spirit enveloped her more soundly, but with an urgency she had never before known. Brian went on to tell her that the “birdies” had told him that he had to come back and tell everyone about the “birdies.” He said they brought him back to the house and that a big fire truck and an ambulance were there. A man was bringing the baby out on a white bed and he tried to tell the man that the baby would be okay. The story went on for an hour.

He taught us that “birdies” were always with us, but we don’t see them because we look with our eyes and we don’t hear them because we listen with our ears. But they are always there, you can only see them in here (he put his hand over his heart). They whisper the things to help us to do what is right because they love us so much. Brian continued, stating, “I have a plan, Mommy. You have a plan.. Daddy has a plan. Everyone has a plan. We must all live our plan and keep our promises. The birdies help us to do that cause they love us so much.”

In the weeks that followed, he often came to us and told all, or part of it, again and again. Always the story remained the same. The details were never changed or out of order. A few times he added further bits of information and clarified the message he had already delivered. It never ceased to amaze us how he could tell such detail and speak beyond his ability when he talked about his birdies.

Everywhere he went, he told strangers about the “birdies.” Surprisingly, no one ever looked at him strangely when he did this. Rather, they always got a softened look on their face and smiled. Needless to say, we have not been the same ever since that day, and I pray we never will be.

You have just been sent an Angel to watch over you. Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some people become friends and stay a while…leaving beautiful footprints on our hearts .. and we are never quite the same because we have made a good friend!!

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present! Live and savor every moment…this is not a dress rehearsal!

Encouragement From the Word of God

Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.     Isaiah 55:6-7

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.     Deuteronomy 4:29

I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.
Proverbs 8:17

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asks shall receive; and he that seeks shall find; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.     Matthew 7:7-8

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust…  Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your habitation, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; for He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.     Psalm 91: 1-2, 9-11

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.  When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.  For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”     Isaiah 43:2-3

A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you.  Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked.  Because you have made the Lord, who  is my refuge, even the Most High, your habitation, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; for He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.     Psalm 91:7-11

Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.  Behold, I come quickly!  Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.  He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more.  And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My god.  And I will write on him My new name.     Revelation 3:10-12

A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you.  Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked.  Because you have made the Lord, who  is my refuge, even the Most High, your habitation, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; for He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.     Psalm 91:7-11

Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.  Behold, I come quickly!  Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.  He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more.  And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My god.  And I will write on him My new name.     Revelation 3:10-12

If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.     II Chronicles 7:14

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust…  Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your habitation, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; for He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.     Psalm 91: 1-2, 9-11

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.  When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.  For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.     Isaiah 43:2-3

When Storms Come Into Our Lives

  • Storms come even when we are in God’s will.
  • Matthew 14:22-33 tells us that Jesus placed His disciples out in the boat, and He knew it would be stormy.
  • God sometimes sends us into situations that are out of our control.
  • In every storm, God has a particular reason.  Some storms He sends, some he allows, and some we create.
  • There are correctional storms and perfectional storms.  These storms and our reactions to them can also do His work in other peoples’ lives as well.
  • In the midst of storms, we often forget how the Lord has blessed us.
  • See Matthew 9:18,27.
  • This is why it is very important to record what God is doing in your life!
  • Christ is aware of our storms.
  • Mark 6 – Jesus saw them through the storm.
  • Because He knows, He is in absolute control.
  • Christ meets us in every storm.
  • Every place is in His presence.
  • He doesn’t always come when we want Him to.
  • We are most valuable to God when we come to Him in utter obedience and humility.
  • He comes when He can accomplish His purpose, when His time is right.
  • Sometimes He is right beside us in storms and we don’t see Him because we don’t expect Him to come in that way.
  • There is always some word of encouragement through the Scripture or other Christians.
  • He always gives us a sense of direction.
  • To shorten the storm, we should do exactly what he wants us to do.
  • Are we totally committed to Him, without exception?
  • If something came to your mind, then you are not being obedient.  This prolongs your storms.
  • In the presence of Christ, you can do things that you cannot otherwise do.
  • The key is being aware that Christ is in us, and trusting Him to guide us.
  • In the storms, keep your focus on Christ.
  • Jesus didn’t stop the storm.
  • He will bring you through the storm.

Dr. Charles Stanley

Nine Powerful Principles to Endure Suffering

Nancy Leigh DeMoss

No one enjoys suffering, but suffering is a necessary, normal part of the Christian life. In fact, the Scripture says we can expect hardships and suffering to increase (2 Tim. 2:3; 3:1-4, 13), so we must be prepared.

We learn from the book of 2 Timothy that we may experience suffering when we are rejected or left alone (2 Tim. 1:15; 4:9-11; 4:16), or as a natural consequence to our fleshly, worldly desires (2 Tim. 2:22).

Suffering will indeed come, but God can give us grace and power to overcome every trial and to fulfill our purpose and mission in His kingdom. In his second epistle to Timothy, the Apostle Paul shares some important truths about how we can endure suffering.

Nine Principles for Enduring Suffering

1. Remember that you are a prisoner of Christ, not of your circumstances or other people. (2 Tim. 1:8)

2. Keep going back to the things you know to be true from God’s Word. Don’t doubt in the dark what you have seen in the light. Remember what you received as a result of your salvation in Christ (2 Tim. 1:5). Remember your calling and the grace of God (2 Tim. 1:1, 9-13).

3. Keep doing whatever God has called you to do. Persevere, stay the course, and be faithful, regardless of any opposition or hardship. (2 Tim. 4:1-5)

4. Remember times in the past when the Lord delivered or rescued you. Be quick to praise Him and testify to others (2 Tim. 3:11; 4:16-17).

5. Rely on the resources God has given you:

  • The grace of God (2 Tim. 1:2, 9; 2:1; 4:22).
  • The gift of God—your God-given ability to serve Him (2 Tim. 1:6-7).

6. Remember that you are not alone in your suffering.

You already have:

7. Cultivate these to help you endure:

  • Godly helpers – Find and cultivate a group of like-minded believers whose faithfulness and prayers can inspire and strengthen you (2 Tim. 1:2, 4-5; 4:9-13, 19-21).
  • Godly heroes – Read the biographies of missionaries and other faithful believers so God can cultivate faith and wisdom in your heart (Heb. 13:7; 2 Tim. 3:10, 14).
  • Godly heritage – As you learn about those who’ve gone before, you will be able to instill faith and courage in the next generation. Pass the baton to others. (2 Tim. 2:2)

8. No matter how difficult things are today, you can face the future with hope. Trust the truth of Scripture.

The Truth is:

  • All wrongs will one day be righted (2 Tim. 3:8-9; 4:14).
  • The Lord will deliver you from all evil—in His time and way (2 Tim. 4:17-18). In the meantime, counsel your heart according to the truth and promises of God (Psalm 27).
  • All your suffering, efforts, labors, and faithfulness will be rewarded in “that Day” when believers stand before the Lord (2 Tim. 1:12, 18; 2:12; 4:8; Phil. 1:6, 10; 2:16; James 1:12).
  • You will give an account, so guard the “deposit” entrusted to you (2 Tim. 1:12, 14; 1 Tim. 6:20).

9. In all your suffering, remember Jesus Christ.

Remember:

Expect suffering—it is inevitable—but don’t forget the powerful resource that you have in Christ. Entrust your life to His ever-present care and control. He loves you, and He will help you endure.

Source:  Excerpts from https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/topical-studies/how-to-endure-suffering.html

The Story of the Ugly Brown Stain

A true story that took place years ago in the Highlands of Scotland.  A group of fisherman sat around a table in a small pub, telling their “fish stories.”  As one of the men flung out his arms to more vividly describe the fish that go away, he accidentally hit the tray of drinks that the young barmaid was bringing to the table.

The tray and the drinks sailed through the air, crash-landing against the newly white-washed wall.  As the sound of smashed glass and splashing beer permeated the room, the pub became silent as all eyes turned to the ugly brown stain that was forming on the wall.

Before anyone could recover from the startling interruption, a guest who had been sitting quietly by himself in the corner jumped up, pulled a piece of charcoal from his pocket, and began to quickly sketch around the ugly brown stain.  To the amazement of everyone present, right before their eyes the stain was transformed in a magnificent stag with antlers outstretched, racing across a highland meadow.  Then the guest signed his impromptu work of art.  His name was Sir Edwin Landseer, Great Britain’s foremost wildlife artist.

God transforms lives as Sir Landseer transformed the ugly mess on that pub wall.  What ugly brown stain does your life bear?  Were you abused as a child?  Have you abused someone else’s child?  Or your own?  Have you been raped?  Have you been the victim of a violent crime?  Have you had an abortion? Or performed one?  Have you committed adultery?  Or seduced someone else to do so?  Is there a nasty addiction in your life to drugs?  Alcohol?  Pornography? 

Regardless of what the stain is, submit it to God you must be willing to turn away from any and all sin.  Period.  God excels in transforming ugly brown stains into beauty marks when we surrender them to Him.  He will bring peace and freedom to you and glory to Himself.  And when we get to heaven there will be no more scars and no more suffering of any kind, including the kind that inflicted the wound that has scarred your life.

Anne Graham Lotz, “Heaven, My Father’s House”

The Legend of the Cherokee Indian Youth’s Rite of Passage

His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone.  He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it.  He cannot cry out for help to anyone. 

Once he survives the night, he is a MAN.   He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own.   The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe even some human might do him harm. The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man!
Finally, after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold. It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him.  He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm.   

We, too, are never alone. Even when we don’t know it, God is watching over us, Sitting on the stump beside us. When trouble comes, all we have to do is reach out to Him.    

Moral of the Story:
Just because you can’t see God, doesn’t mean He is not there.
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply.  Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.