To believe when all means fail is exceedingly pleasing to God and is most acceptable. Jesus said to Thomas, “You have believed because you have seen, but blessed are those that do believe and have not seen” (John 20:29).
Blessed are those who believe when there is no evidence of an answer to prayer—who trust beyond hope when all means have failed.
Someone has come to the place of hopelessness—the end of hope—the end of all means. A loved one is facing death and doctors give no hope. Death seems inevitable. Hope is gone. The miracle prayed for is not happening.
That is when Satan’s hordes come to attack your mind with fear, anger, overwhelming questions: “Where is your God now? You prayed until you had no tears left. You fasted. You stood on promises. You trusted.”
Blasphemous thoughts will be injected into your mind: “Prayer failed. Faith failed. Don’t quit on God—just do not trust him anymore. It doesn’t pay!”
Even questioning God’s existence will be injected into your mind. These have been the devices of Satan for centuries. Some of the godliest men and women who ever lived were under such demonic attacks.
To those going through the valley and shadow of death, hear this word: Weeping will last through some dark, awful nights—and in that darkness you will soon hear the Father whisper, “I am with you. I cannot tell you why right now, but one day it will all make sense. You will see it was all part of my plan. It was no accident. It was no failure on your part. Hold fast. Let me embrace you in your hour of pain.”
Beloved, God has never failed to act but in goodness and love. When all means fail—his love prevails. Hold fast to your faith. Stand fast in his Word. There is no other hope in this world.
When I get to the other side, this is one man I want to thank for speaking into my life. He was a mentor to me, though we never met. My condolences to his family, and church.
This is a powerful audio clip by Paul Washer, about six minutes, and he tells a great story about a son who died in war. It really moved me. He also makes a great point about our motivations for following Christ. Do we follow so we can get something (eternal life) or do we follow because we love Him?
For my 30th birthday, my awesome wife Beth got us tickets to see the Yankees play their next to last game in the old Yankee Stadium. It was an epic pitching duel which the Yanks lost to the Blue Jays in fourteen innings. It wasn’t my first time to the Big Apple, but is was Beth’s. We stayed at the Hyatt next to Grand Central Station. I won’t soon forget the site as we pulled on to 42nd Street, and not because of the towering buildings and gaudy lighting on every store front.
Before we made our right turn, there was a Rolls Royce in front of us, and a homeless man sleeping on the curb, only a few feet away. Two lives on opposite ends of the spectrum of life There was a brief moment, where my heart broke from him, but then I had Beth take a picture of the Rolls in front of us, and we were on our way. He was “just” another homeless man in New York.
It was easy to dismiss him, because all I saw was a man sleeping next to the road. We took a picture of him too.
This Sunday, we attended my father in law’s church, Grace Community in Theresa, and he said something that reminded me of this man. He talked about how sometimes we see only a snapshot of a person’s life, where they are now, and we judge or condemn them. You know, the types, the drunks, the addicts, the gossips, those angry at life and others, the bullies (yes adults can bully too), we classify them, then dismiss them.
Then he spoke of God, who is not bound by time, and has known them from the womb. He knows why they are addicts, drunks, etc. He saw the beatings they received as children, the rejection through their youth, and the release from life that came, even if for a moment when they chose their type of escape: drugs, sex, or otherwise.
Then I heard God asking me, “Chris, when you look at the world around you, do you see what I see? Do you see the pain, the hurt, the agony that shaped their lives to this point? Do you see why I had to send my Son, so that they could be free?”
Then he asked, “So why don’t you tell them? Why don’t you love on them?”
I think most people are crazy, maybe because I think I am, but everyone knows ‘Merry Christmas’ offends some people because the word ‘Christ’ is in it, but how does ‘Easter Egg’ offend? I don’t know, maybe we should ask the nuts at the Seattle school districts after they encouraged volunteers to refer to Easter Eggs as, get this, ‘Spring Spheres.’ Yeah, because that just rolls off the old tongue.
An article by The Star (article found here) got their information from an unnamed girl from an unnamed school, so we can only assume here, but heck, let’s ride this pony. If we are going to start renaming every holiday with any religious or offensive reference, we have to be able to do better than ‘Happy Spring Sphere Day’ or some crap like that.
So, what do you suggest? And it can be any holiday, and remember, the name can’t be offensive to anyone. here are a few of mine:
St. Valentine’s Day = “buy my wife something nice so I can get lucky day”
Ash Wednesday = “recognize that I may have offended an unnamed, possibly non existent deity or other superior life form and tell him, her, or or it that I sincerely apologize day”
St. Patrick’s Day – “Buy your friend a Guinness Day”
Memorial Day – “Celebrate those who have died to protect freedoms we are currently throwing away day”
Independence Day – “Celebrate our rebellion day”
Labor Day – “celebrate that unions can opt out of Obamacare but no one else can day”
Thanksgiving – “Thanks for ‘giving’ us all this land day”
Christmas – “Happy baby Jesus day, who may or may not have been deity, and may or may not have died for your sins if you wanted him to and if you don’t well you get to buy your kids presents today anyway since our fore fathers thought it a significant enough date to give pretty much everyone in the country a couple days off for it day
And a funny note, nothing really came up when I Googled “spring spheres.”
I was in Burger King a few weeks ago, and noticed something that saddened me: the calorie total had been added to the menu. I made the best of it though when I received a puzzled look after ordering the “1520.” It didn’t fill me up though. I should have ordered the “2240.” While the calorie number didn’t deter me from ordering the double whopper with cheese, it got me thinking about over consumption.
“The Biggest Loser” is a popular show where obese people compete to see who can lose the most weight. They get abused for months by Bob and Jillian, and for this privilege, they lose hundreds of pounds. At the Biggest Loser ranch, they are taught more than exercise, they are taught proper nutrition and diet. They are taught that excellent health is a lifestyle, that they can’t go home and do what they had before and expect to keep the weight off.
I’ve noticed something though, not everyone keeps the weight off. It’s sad to see former contestants come back at their previous weight. What happened? They quit. For whatever reason, it became more than they could handle. They didn’t have a trainer in their ear pushing them to do what was necessary, and eventually it was more than they could bear.
Personally, I do not have a weight issue, but I do have a media consumption issue. I think the seven deadly sins could be amended to have a subcategory called “media gluttony.” When I should be reading the Bible, praying, writing, or whatever other task God has given me, I instead open up facebook, flick the TV on, and pick up the latest novel.
I am follower of Jesus, and He teaches me to be like Him. And it’s easy to be like Him at church, in the controlled environment where there are scores of people making everything just right. The worship is there, the teaching of the Bible is there, the family of God is there. It’s easy. But then I go home.
That’s why I love my Jesus; my “Biggest Loser” Jesus. He doesn’t leave me alone to fight this battle. My “Biggest Loser” Jesus sent a teacher, a motivator, an encourager in the Holy Spirit, and He promised He would never leave or forsake me. They give me the strength I need to continue my spiritual journey. They remind me what’s healthy for my spirit, and what things need to be cut out, and give me the grace to do it.
So, I encourage you today, pray, and let Jesus tell you what things you consume in excess, that could be cut back or eliminated entirely to make your spiritual diet that much better.
What are some tips you have for keeping up your spiritual health?
I was sent this video today, and I must say, it is a great interview. Watch it, and then answer this, Who would you vote for today for President of the Untied States, and why: President Obama, or Donald Trump?
Edit: The video has been loading a live news clip randomly, If you don’t get an interview between Trump and Meredith Andrews, please use the link below.
I just finished listening to a little ditty on God’s will for us. I got to thinking about an example of a time in the Bible where someone half-listened to God and what were the consequences. It took a minute, but then I remembered Lot and his wife (Genesis 19). In verse 17 the angels instruct Lot to flee to the mountains and not to look back.
So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed.”
Sounds simple enough, right? Lot doesn’t think so. He pleads with the angels to let him escape to a nearby city in the plains because the mountains are too dangerous. The angels reluctantly agree and tell them to hurry because they can’t destroy Sodom until they have reached the little town.
We all know how this ends. God sends fire to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot’s wife turns to watch. BAM! She turns into a pillar of salt.
I know it is speculative, but is it possible that if they had fled to the mountains, at a certain point looking back would not have been an option? Lot was obedient in fleeing Sodom, but he only listened as much as was comfortable to him, and it cost him his wife’s life (though it was her choice to look back).
How many times in our lives do we only listen to God as much as it is comfortable to us? In the end, this will cost us our eternal lives.
In the words of Jesus of Nazareth, “Then Jesus called the crowd and his disciples to him. “If any of you want to come with me,” he told them, “you must forget yourself, carry your cross, and follow me. For if you want to save your own life, you will lose it; but if you lose your life for me and for the gospel, you will save it. Do you gain anything if you win the whole world but lose your life? Of course not! There is nothing you can give to regain your life.” (Mark 8:34-37)