Hey all, I hope that you had the most blessed of Christmas seasons.
Looking forward to the new year can be exciting. It can also be a time of fear, especially in light of the events going on in our world right now. As I have been reading my Bible, I am reminded of a favorite scripture: “For I know the plans I have for you, ” declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11. As I refresh myself in the Peace of His Presence, I have gone back to Psalm 31: 19-20 How great is Your goodness, which You have stored up for those who fear You, which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You before the sons of men! You hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the conspiracies of man; You keep them secretly in a shelter from the strife of tongues. And John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]
You may be saying that is all well and good Cindy, but how do I actually do it? I understand the question. I had to ask the Lord also because even people like me who know Lord well and know the scriptures well, have difficult times in their lives. Family, jobs, finances, friends, community circumstances, can separately or combine to make even the “strongest Christian” buckle. These things are exactly why we have issues in the churches, in marriages, in families that we do. Who then is the enemy? I’ve said it before. Satan is the enemy. He gets in and will do his best to mess up any family that’s just trying to get along, just trying to go to church, get ahead , just a little. One doesn’t have to be zealous for him to go after that family, because he doesn’t want anybody anywhere in a Christian church. The name of Jesus Christ [Christ means Messiah] offends many. That’s exactly why you can have little Muslim children praying to Allah in Maryland 5 times a day out of the classroom, but what do you think the uproar would be if you asked for Christian children to be allowed to come out of the classroom even once a day to pray to Jesus Christ? Sorry, I guess I could be considered a zealot for my Jesus!
I know that if I go to Him day by day, I can achieve a victorious life regardless of my circumstances around me. He has been teaching me that for the past several years. It has been a very hard one battle. A very close battle, because as you know there were times I was fighting for my life. There have been times that it has been difficult financially because my husband is retired on social security and I live on commission and so I very much depend on the Lord and what He does in my business. But as Paul said, I have learned to live on what HE gives me and it is enough. I don’t desire more than HE gives. There are so many scriptures that have uplifted me through these years that I cannot begin to list them all, but please indulge as I list a few: The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Palm 34: 17-18
For we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7;
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever! Amen. Ephesians 3: 20-21
Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus I Thessalonians 5:18 I feel a need to give a bit of commentary here. God did NOT make the bad circumstances, He allowed them. There is a huge difference. Satan always means it for bad, but God can bring good out of the bad. It is a matter of trust.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Psalm 46: 1
You know my husband is always saying life with me is never dull! Even though we have not had any late night trips to the ER or terrible illnesses or anything health wise and that was what our life for many years was built around. Now we live in a place I will call almost Paradise. I had on short sleeves today after church, my long sleeve sweater slung over my shoulders. Yesterday we had gone down to the beach to a funky little place a friend had told us about, for lunch. This was a different beach area than we had visited before so we got out and walked around a bit, a gallery, a music and art store–all funky and fun, before going on to walk on the beach. We will go back again I hope!
What I am saying in my long-winded way is “don’t be afraid” God is right there, reaching out to you. Reach back, He will take your hand. Tell Him you aren’t even sure if He’s real or there. But I assure you HE IS! Just because you doubt, doesn’t make Him less so GOD! You were created with knowledge of Him, yep, deep down in that heart and soul of yours. And in the quiet of the night, perhaps when everything isn’t so great, because let’s face it NOBODY’S LIFE IS PERFECT ALL THE TIME, that’s the perfect time to reach out. He’ll be there. I do stake my life on it.