Why Are You Afraid???


But as they were sailing, He fell off to sleep. And a whirlwind revolving from below upwards swept down on the lake, and the boat was filing with water and they were in great danger.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And the disciples came and woke Him, saying, Master, Master, we are perishing! And He, being thoroughly awakened, censured and blamed and rebuked the wind and the raging waves: and they ceased, and there came a calm.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And He said to them, [Why are you so fearful?] Where is your faith (your trust, your confidence in Me – in My veracity and My integrity)? And they were seized with alarm and profound and reverent dread, and they marveled saying  to one another, Who then is this, that He commands even wind and sea, and they obey Him.  Luke 8:23-25

This story always amazes me and it’s what I have been thinking about today. The disciples were in real danger. There lives were at risk. So their answer is totally normal. But why would Jesus answer them like that. Why did He equate their fear as a lack of faith in Him? When your life is in mortal danger the normal response would be to respond the way they did or is it? That got me thinking. Is it that, God wants us to look to Him first no matter what trouble comes? What is your natural reaction when trouble comes? Let me give you an example of what i am talking about. A lot of change has been happening at work and the first time I was told I freaked out! I was so scared. I was thinking about moving jobs and I was thinking about how I would not be able to meet the new standards. “I am in deep trouble”, I told myself! Extreme, yes!! But that is what was going through my mind. My situation was serious and the changes were happening but the way I was reacting was not in faith. I really felt challenged about trusting God in this situation. Instead of allowing all the negative thoughts to come I felt challenged to bring the situation to Him and simply trust Him to help me. I hope that makes sense in context of the scripture I shared.

God wants us to look to Him all the time. As hard as it is and in the face of real dangers He wants us to learn to call Him first. Responding in fear just shows our lack of faith in His power. The fact that Jesus was on the boat made the difference. Jesus has saved us and calls us His sons and daughters and that makes all the difference. It is understandable if a non-christian doesn’t call on God because they have no one to help them but we don’t have an excuse. We have a Savior and He gave His life for us. Let us trust Him completely for help.

Rolain

 

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What You Didn’t Know About Waiting On God…..


Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for and hope for and expect the Lord!   Psalm 31:24

I read this yesterday and it just hit me how true this scripture is. Some people think waiting on God is easy, a walk in the park but wait until you actually have to wait….. It is anything but easy!! For some odd reason God likes to take His time!!!   🙂  There is so much that comes with the term “waiting”. It is not a passive word. When we wait on the Lord there is action that needs to take place, there are decisions that need to be made, there is a new way of seeing things that needs to happen. The word of God uses words like, “be strong” and “let your heart take courage”. Waiting on God is not for the faint-hearted.

There are going to be a lot of things that will try to dissuade you from waiting on God. The enemy doesn’t want you to wait because it’s reflecting your faith in God. He would rather have you fret and worry and try to do things in your own strength. Waiting stops you from leaning on your own understanding. When a problem arises we will naturally think of a way out and implement it, not so when God is in the picture. God wants us to rely on His understanding even if it doesn’t make sense in our natural minds. Waiting on God suffocates the natural fleshly way of thinking and allows God to rule and reign in a situation. Waiting on God in a situation helps expose the heart, your heart. If you have done anything or asked anything out of a wrong heart, waiting on God will surely expose it.

I love the quote that says, God doesn’t measure your journey in days or weeks or months. He shapes the broad strokes of your life with a brush called “years”. 

The conclusion of the matter is, God knows your number. He has not forgotten you but at the same time you need to realize it’s a battle to wait on God. You may be waiting on God but the answer has not yet come and you are about to give up. Don’t give up, keep holding on to  your faith. God will breakthrough on your behalf. Fight to wait on God, Don’t let the enemy lie to you. Your promise is around the corner. Waiting is not for the faint-hearted. Ask God for the strength to wait on Him…….

RolainW

 

Why You Should Run To God…..


THOUGHT OF THE DAY.

I, even I, am the Lord, and beside Me there is no Savior.  Isaiah 43:11

I have been thinking about this scripture today. What a bold statement don’t you think??!!  This is the Lord speaking and He is very sure about Himself!!! He is the Lord and beside Him there is no Savior! According to God, we have no other Savior…..There is no one worthy enough to get called “help’. There is no one who has the qualifications to be our Savior! It’s futile looking at anyone else for help. Everything else is a fake. There are a lot of things in this world that promise help but the truth is, God is our only Savior! I don’t know what you are going through but you need to know that God is the only One who can solve your problems. He is the only One who can protect you. He is the only One who can save you! Amen.

Rolain

 

How To Endure The Storm!!!


I have had a very intense week. A lot of things have happened that have made me doubt my worth, my value, my effectiveness, my future and a whole host of other things. It has been hard to be joyful these past few days. As all these things were happening, I was crying out to God. Everything around me began to shake and I didn’t know why.  One thing was certainly clear, I could either give up or choose growth. Anyway, as I was thinking on all that has been happening and seeking God’s face, He spoke to me through a song! Well a specific line in the song. That line said,

I’m not where I want to be but I’m not where I used to be!

That really ministered to me. I am so far from where God wants me to be. I make mistakes everyday. I sin, but the fact of the matter is God has brought me so far. Where I used to be and where I am now is so different!!! They are two entirely different places! In fact, they are two entirely different planets!!! God has been so faithful up to now and He is not about to stop now. Things may be confusing right now, things may seem dark right now, things may seem lost right now but God has brought me this far and He is not going to stop now!!!! God doesn’t leave work undone. He is the God who finishes things!

You might be in the same situation as I am but know that God has brought you this far but just because there is confusion and things seem dark in your life doesn’t mean God has abandoned you!! He is with you. Only You know the hell God brought you out of. The good news is, He has not stopped carrying you. He will complete what He has started in you!! Take heart….

Rolain

The Enemy’s Plan For Your Life…….



God has an amazing plan for you. I am hoping you know this but the enemy also knows God has an amazing plan for you! And his goal is to stop you because you accomplishing what God has for you means less effectiveness for him. One of the enemy’s plans is to get you to settle for less!! God has a grand and amazing future for us but the enemy tries to let us settle for less.
Look at what the enemy tried to do with Hezekiah and his people:

Do not listen to Hezekiah, for thus says the king of Assyria: Make your peace with me and come out to me; and eat every one from his own vine and every one from his own fig tree and drink every one the water of his own cistern,
until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards.  Isa 36:16,17

There it is, did you see it? The enemy was going to take Israel away to a land LIKE their own land!!!! Is that crazy or what?! But we tend to do that at times.

Things get hard and difficult, we get confused and begin to doubt what God really said to us. In the midst of that we settle for less. We settle for good and not great but don’t fall for his trap. Don’t settle for second best. Settle in your mind and heart that God has reserved only the best for you!! No matter how difficult things get don’t believe the lie. Look to God. Trust Him because your future is in His hands!

Rolain

Eternal Perspective


This post really challenged me. We can get so comfortable in our faith and forget the gospel is not about us but about Jesus dying on the cross and spreading His love to everyone!!!

Katournica

“What are you supposed to be doing? Who are you waiting for?”

“No one, I have a car…I have things I could be doing, I suppose, but you guys are more important.”

Hesitation, then softly, “Thank you for saying that.”

 

Everyone desires to be important and to be cherished. There are those who want to be famous and important in that way, but for most of us, we just want to matter to someone in a more personal way. This past Sunday has been one of my favorite days in Zimbabwe (though, if I’m being honest, I probably have twenty “top five” days). After having tea for Pastor Bonnie’s birthday, I decided to head to Connections, but along the way, I saw a group of the orphans from Ivordale. Every time I have seen them around the Centre, I have chatted with them because I have not been able…

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Failing Jesus…..!


But again he denied it falsely and disowned Him. And after a short while, again the bystanders said to Peter, Really, you are one of them, for you are a Galilean and your dialect shows it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Then he commenced invoking a curse on himself [should he not be telling the truth] and swearing, I do not know the Man about Whom you are talking!  And at once for the second time a cock crowed. And Peter remembered how Jesus said to him, Before the cock crows twice, you will utterly deny Me [disclaiming all connection with Me] three times. And having put his thought upon it [and remembering], he broke down and wept aloud and lamented. Mark 14:70-72

We all know Peter’s story and we like to even reference him when we have really messed up but the truth of the matter is his story is an answer to a serious question. How do we as broken vessels serve a God who is perfect? And is there hope for us in our fallen state?                                                        Peter had denied the Lord! In the natural there couldn’t be another chance. In Peter’s eyes he had failed. There was no hope for him. But as we read on we see, there was hope. God gave Peter a second chance!

Like Peter we fail God not just once but on a daily basis!! We cannot escape sin. But know this, God has given you a second chance. Note I said “He has given you” and not He will give you! God has given you a second chance. God knew we would not be able to live up to His standard but He still gave us a destiny. He still loved us enough to give His Son for us….!

Whatever you have done know that God is merciful. He can erase any sin no matter how bad you think it is. He HAS erased your worst sin! Take courage and run to Him. He is the God of second chances and more!!!

Rolain

 

Scars of Loss.


If we are to experience God’s best there is a price to pay. This was so clear to me as I was reading Bob Sorge’s book on prayer. Are you prepared to pay the price, because there is a price?
The enemy has come and taken things, he has come and plundered our stuff but there will be restitution. He will pay for all he has done but there is a price.
I have been deeply challenged by the words I have read. This is what he had to say:

There is a steep price to pay if we are to experience restitution.
What does qualifying for restitution mean?
And even though there is restitution, the reality of the actual loss is a scar that marks us forever.

Take, for starters, Job.

The indelible mark left upon Job because of the loss of his first set of ten children. Yes, he was changed, healed, restored, and given a second set of children. But nothing could erase the fact that he had lost his first children. They were gone forever, and their absence represented a hole in his heart that nothing could fill. This left an eternal scar on Job’s soul“.

And the Lord turned the captivity of Job and restored his fortunes, when he prayed for his friends; also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.  Job 41:10
We read Job’s story with no clue at the cost he had to pay for restitution. He lost his kids. All his kids. It didn’t mean just because God blessed him with more kids he forgot about the pain and the tragedy of losing his first ten kids. On the contrary the pain of losing his children would forever be with him.

–  Paul is another example of this. Paul was a mighty man of God who God delivered. At the end of his life Paul testifies of God’s faithfulness by saying,

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
2 Timothy 4:7

Paul faced impossible opposition! It was not an easy road. For Paul to say what he said, had such a weight and significance. He didn’t just leisurely get there. He nearly died and was actually prepared to die for Christ. His deliverance and glory came at a huge cost. Consider this:

2 Corinthians 11:23-30

23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.

24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.

25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;

26 In journeying’s often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;

27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.

29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?

As you can see, Paul suffered a lot.

The last person I would like to point out from the book is Naomi. The author says:

Naomi was comforted with Obed’s death, but she never got her husband and two sons back.
Ruth 4:17-22

We like happy endings but we need to realize like Job Naomi lost her family!
She was happy that she had a grandson but the fact remains, she lost her family and she had to live with that truth everyday of her life! She paid a huge price.

What I would like you to see through all of this is, what you have gone through, what you going through is not all for nothing! It is for a testimony! I would like you to start seeing your scars differently. Your scars are a reminder of what happened to you but they are also a testimony of God’s faithfulness. Let me give you one last practical example of what I mean.
I was abused as a child. My dad was a violent man and a drinker. I lived most of my childhood in fear then in shame and insecurity. I was abused physically and verbally. I have scars to prove it. Today, I can look at those scars and hate my dad but I don’t. I look at those scars and they remind me of how God saved me! I have come a long way because of God! The scars are a testimony of God’s faithfulness, do you understand? Look at Jesus, His nails bare the mark of what He paid on the cross. It is a reminder to us of how much He loved us. His scars are a testimony!

The author goes on to say, The point is: The losses are real, and the scars eternal. And yet, the suffering is worth it because of the glory which is revealed in us.

And I will stop there. God is so good. I hope you will look at your scars differently. There is a price to pay to experience God’s restitution.

Rolain

Do You Want To Make A Difference?


Everyone has an ambition to make their lives count. What a waste it would be to live a life that was meaningless! We are not put on this earth just to fill up space. Everyone has a reason for being here. That is the way God created us. What is your reason for being born? You may say you don’t believe you have a reason but you do. Everyone has a reason even if they don’t know it. James 4:10 gives us a little insight into how we can make our lives count.

Humble yourselves [feeling very insignificant] in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you [He will lift you up and make your lives significant]. (Amplified)

This is an amazing scripture because it shows us, God is the only One who can make our lives significant! Did you hear me, God is the only One who can make your life significant! When we realise this truth, it becomes easier for us because we begin to see it’s not about how much we know, or the family we came from, or the place we lived in, or how much money we have and so on and so on……it’s really about God!!! We need to come to a place where God is at the centre and He is the main thing about us! We need to realise we cannot do it in our strength. Purpose is for everyone and not a selected few!!! Someone once said, God qualifies the called. He really does! You may not be the brightest person, or the richest, or the strongest but God can and will make your lives significant if you let Him!

Come close to God and He will come close to you. [Recognize that you are] sinners, get your soiled hands clean; [realize that you have been  disloyal] wavering individuals with divided interests, and purify your hearts [of your spiritual adultery].                                                                                                                  [As you draw near to God] be deeply penitent and grieve, even weep [over your disloyalty]. Let your laughter be turned to grief and your mirth to dejection and heartfelt shame [for your sins]. James 4:8,9

This is all part of the humbling process. God will exalt the humble but bring down the proud. He has created us to make a difference. Do you want to make your lives count, turn to God.

Rolain

 

Fighting Discouragement….



I was reading something that stated discouragement was one of the enemy’s deadliest weapons. After giving it some thought I realized how true that statement was. Discouragement comes to us all but if not dealt with correctly it can destroy us.
Personally, I have struggled with discouragement and I still do. Discouragement comes in so many ways. It comes through people, through thoughts and through circumstances around us just to name a few. And once you get discouraged it’s hard to move. Discouragement kills your productiveness. It has the potential to destroy relationships. If left to itself it can take you away from God’s presence! It can steal your dreams and your hope if you are not careful.

Here are a few examples of how discouragement can affect you:

– it can come into your relationships. How many times can I open my heart you may ask yourself? I am just not meant to be in a relationship because so many of my relationships have not worked out!!! Why does it seem so easy for my friend’s to find that perfect person?? What’s wrong with me??

– Discouragement comes to your work. I have been working so hard yet no one sees! My boss is using me! My job is so menial, how will I ever get noticed? I am struggling to put food on the table for my family because I don’t get paid enough!!! There doesn’t seem to be a way out.

– You can be discouraged about your dreams.
I am a nobody. God doesn’t have anything planned for me. I don’t see a bright future for myself. God doesn’t care for me. I am useless to everybody. There is something very wrong with me.
The next question we need to ask is, how do we deal with discouragement? How can we not let it get the better of us?

For the answer we look to the word. King David was in a really difficult situation. He was running away from Saul who was pursuing him relentlessly. One day he made a decision to live in the land of the enemy to get away from Saul and everything seemed to be going well until something really tragic happened.

Now when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, the Amalekites had made an attack on the South and on Ziklag and put it on fire; And had made the women and all who were there, small and great, prisoners: they had not put any of them to death, but had taken them all away. And when David and his men came to the town, they saw that it had been burned down, and their wives and their sons and daughters had been made prisoners. 1 Samuel 30:1-3

And David was greatly troubled; for the people were talking of stoning him, because their hearts were bitter, every man sorrowing for his sons and his daughters: but David made himself strong in the Lord his God.
1 Samuel 30:6

David had it bad, really bad. An enemy had captured his family and the families of his men. They wanted to stone him because they were grieving. He could of given up but he didn’t. Instead he encouraged himself in the Lord. The next thing he did was seek the Lord! He didn’t blame God or blame his soldiers. He didn’t talk down on himself. Instead he looked to God, he sought the Lord for help! When discouragement comes seek the Lord. He can help. He WILL help!

This is the pattern we see in the Word. Job looked to God when he was discouraged, Joseph trusted in God, Jesus looked to God for strength in His most trying hour! The word is full of examples for us to follow. Discouragement comes to us all but it’s how we deal with it that matters! When it comes turn to God. Don’t let it take root in your heart because it will destroy you. It will kill your hope, and it will take away God’s best from you. God is in control of your life no matter how bad things get. The enemy would like us to think there is no way out of the darkness but there is. He would like us to think there is no hope but there is! He would like us to think it is the end but it is just the beginning! He would like us to think we are alone but God is with us! Don’t lose heart. Be encouraged in the Lord…….

Rolain