Why hard times and suffering are important…


I have been going through a testing time this couple of weeks. The year started off well and it seemed like it was going to carry on like that but it didn’t. Things happened and everything is different now. I have some major life changing decisions I have to make. In fact as I look back in my life I see all the hard times I have been through. There were times when there seemed like there was no answer. I had nothing. No plan B, nothing but God! He was all I had and He came through. A few years ago our economy crashed. Food became scarce, inflation sky rocketed, people didn’t know what to do. Imagine going to the supermarket and finding nothing on the shelves! Imagine going to a coffee shop but finding out they didn’t have flour to bake anything? Everything came to a standstill. The average person’s job was to find any place that was selling any kind of food. People had money but couldn’t buy anything! Those were really testing times!!

Just one of the many pictures you would of seen in 2007-2008. No food in the country! But God came through for us!

 

But even in those very testing times God came through!!! He was there for me. He provided for me and cared for me.
Then there was the time when I had no job. I had no income what so ever and until today I don’t know how I survived. God helped me!

With all that said, why does God allow us to go through hard times and suffering?  You may be going through some hard times and wondering the same thing. Well, let us look at the word for the answer.

We don’t want you in the dark, friends, about how hard it was when all this came down on us in Asia province. It was so bad we didn’t think we were going to make it. We felt like we’d been sent to death row, that it was over for us. As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally – not a bad idea since he’s the God who raises the dead. And He did it, rescued us from certain doom. And He’ll do it again, rescuing us as many times as we need rescuing.
2 Corinthians 1:8-11

Did you see that? Paul was going through some really trying times even to a point where he thought he was not going to make it. It felt like he was on death row! But as he was going through all that something happened. He saw something! He realized he was supposed to trust God and not in himself. He came to a realization that he was not the answer to his problem, God was!

Is this why God allows us to go through hard times and suffering, so we can trust Him? Does He want us to realize, He is the only One who can save us?
God does not want us relying on our own strength because it’s not enough and because there is only one God and one Savior.  Our strength is not strength at all. We are not strong and wise and perfect. We need God.

What is the “take home”then?

God allows us to go through pain and suffering because He wants to show Himself strong. He wants us to come to the realization that our strength is not enough. He does not want us trusting in our own ability! Instead, He wants us to look to Him and trust Him…..   God bless

Rolain

Great news for God’s people…..


THOUGHT OF THE DAY.

Know this and don’t ever forget it; It’s not because of any good that you’ve done that God is giving you this good land to own. Anything but! Your stubborn as mules. Keep in mind and don’t ever forget how angry you made God, your God, in the wilderness. Deuteronomy  9:6, 7

These were the words spoken to the Israelites by God. And even though they were directed to the Israelites that reminder is for us as well.

There is nothing we can brag about. We have nothing to show that will prove it was because of our own efforts. God has blessed us not because we were the brightest and smartest. He didn’t chose us because we grew up in the right neighborhood. It wasn’t because we had a lot of money. It wasn’t because we were so talented.
There is nothing, absolutely nothing that we can give credit to for where we are and what we have. It is all God! Yes, He uses people but He is the One behind it all…

That’s good news for us because it is not by our works. We don’t have to try and work at it. We don’t have to rely on our knowledge. We don’t need to compete for God’s attention by proving we are better than the next person. We don’t have to sit down and think up ways to stay in God’s “good books”. It was purely grace which means anyone can experience that same favor and grace!!

Let me say this, everything good that is happening in your life and has happened is not because of what you have done but it’s because of God!!! You may think you are inadequate, or unqualified, but that is everyone’s story. No one is and will be ever be adequate enough, and qualified enough in the eyes of God. We are all sinners. We all have fallen short. And because of that everyone has a chance. You have a chance to do great things, I have a chance! That is how good He is. Amen
Rolain

Nothingness


I read this post a few days ago and it’s what I have been meditating on the whole week. There is a very deep and profound revelation if you will allow it to take root in your heart, if you will allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you. The truth is this, God can taking the “nothing” in your life and turn it into something beautiful!!! Things may seem at a stand still in your life and things may be unclear to you but know that it’s just a matter of time before it turns into something. It’s just a matter of time before God turns that “nothing” into something beautiful……enjoy the post!

Rolain

In Princess's Heart

Thanks to Google images. 🙂

Whenever I hear the word NOTHING, the first thing that comes to my mind is LACK. It may be lack of patience, insufficient finances, or scarce love.

However, the 10th week devotional in Refuel made me think and realize not to dwell on the negative side of nothingness–to look at how the nothingness can turn to everything.

One good example of nothingness turning to everything is the first chapter of the book of Genesis. Where there was only dark, formless earth and heaven. In one command of God, light was created, day and night, water and land, living creatures like animals and trees, and then human.

Billion years ago, this universe was empty, blank and dark, it was NOTHING. At present, this universe is our EVERYTHING.

Realization: Feeling nothing? God can turn it to everything. The darkness we feel inside can turn to a…

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The “LOVE” challenge!


I felt compelled to write a post about love last week but I was so busy that I just didn’t have the

time to write it. But then a friend and blogger wrote an amazing post on love.I highly recommend
you check out her post on love entitled “God is love”. She does a great job of showing us what

love really is and simply stating that, God is love! (Read 1John 4:7-12)

God is love but what does that mean for us. If we serve a God who is love how does that affect us?
And this is what this post is about.
As I start I would like to share a scripture you all know, 1 Corinthians 13:3 (Message)
If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr,
but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m 
bankrupt without love. 
 
That is a pretty powerful description of how important love is in our lives. What this
scripture is basically saying is we are nothing without love, nothing!!! Take away love
from the person and you have nothing!!! That is a very sobering thought…. There are a lot of
times where I have not walked in love. (God help me to walk in love all the time)! The temptation
at times is to just love the people you know (your friends, family etc) but that is not enough in God’s eyes.
God is love and we are His children who are supposed to walk in love as well. And that means loving our neighbor!
1 Corinthians 14:1 says, Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it – because it does.
Your life depends on love. Forget oxygen, forget food!. Our lives DEPEND on love.
If we are to walk in love we need to know and understand what it looks like. We cannot fully
comprehend God’s love but at least we can get an idea from the word of God.
I am going to share 1 Corinthians 13:3-7  from the Message bible,
Love never gives up
Love cares more for others than for self
Love doesn’t want what what it doesn’t have
Love doesn’t strut
Doesn’t have a swelled head
Doesn’t force itself on others
Isn’t always “me first”, 
Doesn’t fly off the handle
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others
Doesn’t revel when others grovel
Takes pleasure in the flowering of the truth
Puts up with anything
Trusts God always
Always looks for the best
Never looks back
But keeps going to the end.
As I end I would like you to remember that love is not easy. Jesus Christ died because He loved us.
You have to die to self if you are to walk in this kind of love. I have been challenged and I want to walk in real love,
God’s love. Let us ask the Holy Spirit for help. Are you willing to take up the challenge? Without love we are nothing. God bless…
Rolain.

Why we have been blessed……


Everything that we have – right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start –  comes from God by way of Jesus Christ.                              1 Corinthians 1: 30, 31 (Message)

I love this scripture. Everything we have is from God. We have so much to thank Him for. As I was thinking about this scripture another thought came into my head. Why?
Why has He given me right thinking?
Why has He given me right living?
Why has He cleaned my slate?
And why has He given me a fresh start?
Yes, it’s to bless me. God has blessed me and He keeps on blessing me. And yes, it’s because He loves me. No one can deny that. But something I went through made me look at this scripture very differently.
We had a busy day at work and being the designated driver I had to take the staff home. I thought it would be easy so I agreed. We cleaned up and locked everything up and with one of my best friends off we went to drop the staff off at home, at their doorstep. We left work at 10 pm and finished at 2 am! We were lost for a full hour. How did you get lost you might be thinking??? Some of the workers live in a place where there are no roads, we nearly got stuck with the car. No street lights, no nothing! We were truly driving by faith and thank God we saw someone walking around at that time of night whom we asked for directions. They helped a bit. We got to the workers home and it was literally a mud hut. There were no neighbourhoods, no lights, nothing. Just pitch darkness!  This was their home. This is were they lived. This was their life.
Where am I going with this? I am getting there. God has given me so much. It might not be a million dollars or an MTV crib but it’s still precious. He has given me knowledge, He has given me the ability to see in a way other people cannot, why? And this is what I am getting at. God has given me all that He has given me so I can be a blessing! My destiny, your destiny is not about you but it’s about other people, helping other people.
What is your story? He has given you a fresh start so you can minister to someone else. There are people waiting for you, waiting to hear what you have to say, waiting for you to show them the way. God has given you everything so He can bless you and so you can be a blessing to someone else! It may not be much but that’s how God works. He uses the little we have to do great things through us. God bless.
Rolain

The truth about sin…..


What does God see when He looks at us? Does He see our sin, faults and failures? The answer to that question is found in the post you
are reading. It’s just one of the ways God sees us.  Let’s look at the scripture below,

That they might set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but might keep His commandments
And might not be as their fathers – a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that set not their hearts aright

nor prepared their hearts to know God, and whose spirits were not steadfast and faithful to God.
Psalm 78:7, 8

They kept not the covenant of God and refused to walk according to His law
And forgot His works and His wonders that He had shown them.
Psalm 78:10, 11

Yet they still went on to sin against Him by provoking and rebelling against the Most High in the wilderness (in the land of drought).
And they tempted God in their hearts by asking for food according to their [selfish] desire and appetite.
Psalm 78:17, 18

But scarce had they stilled their craving, and while their meat was yet in their mouths,
The wrath of God came upon them and slew the strongest and sturdiest of them and smote down Israel’s chosen youth.
In spite of all this, they sinned still more, for they believed not in (relied not on and adhered not to Him for) His wondrous works.
Psalm 78:30-32

I will stop there but I think you get the picture. As you keep on reading the post I want you to think of yourselves in the Israelites shoes.
In actual fact we are very much like them. They consistently sinned against God and as you know, a whole generation except for
Joshua and Caleb never made it into the promise land! Psalm 78 gives us a very long description of how the Israelites disobeyed God.
It was sin after sin. It didn’t stop.

So in the midst of all the craziness how did He see His people? Did it change because of all their sin? Let us take a look at another

portion of scripture that will help us answer this question.

Then Balaam spoke his message-oracle:
Balak led me here from Aram, the king of Moab all the way from the eastern mountains.
“Go, curse Jacob for me; go, damn Israel.”
How can I curse whom God has not cursed? How can I damn whom God has not damned? Numbers 23:14

Then Balaam spoke his message-oracle:
On your feet, Balak. Listen, listen carefully son of Zippor; God is not man, one given to lies, 
and not a son of man changing His mind. 
Does He speak and not do what He says? Does He promise and not come through?
I was brought here to bless; and now he’s blessed – how can I change that? 
He has no bone to pick with Jacob, He sees nothing wrong with Israel. Numbers 23:17-24
Wait a minute! This all happened in the desert. This was during the time Israel were sinning blatantly.
They didn’t listen to God, they rejected Him, they asked for meat, they complained, grumbled, murmured
and a whole lot of other things and yet God speaking through Balaam said, “He has no bone to pick with Jacob,
He sees nothing wrong with Israel.”
This is the thing I want you to see about this story. No matter how much Israel sinned God never changed His view of them.
It didn’t change what He promised them. Yes, they were punished and yes they had to suffer the consequences of their sins
but God still loved them. He still had a plan for them. He still extended grace to them. He protected them from the plans of the enemy.
Balaam was called to curse them but couldn’t!
What does that mean for us? Could it be that God sees us the same way as He saw the Israelites?
Could it be, we have placed too much emphasis on our sin?
Could it be that God sees nothing wrong with us?
Could it be that sin is the least most important thing about us?
I will let you draw your own assumptions from the scriptures I have just shared. I believe there is hope. God will never abandon us.
He loves us and cares for us. He sees us as spotless and blameless. We are His children who He has extended His amazing grace to.
God bless.
Rolain

 

The different faces of Wisdom.


If you have been following my blog for a while you will know that one of my deepest desires is to walk in true wisdom. You will know how much I love wisdom and you will also know I believe it is the key to real living. If you didn’t know all that now you do.   🙂

But now I want to go deeper. The wisdom of God is deep. There is no argument there but what I would like to do is show you a few more faces of wisdom. We may know them but just ignored them because we didn’t know what they were or who they belonged to.                                 Proverbs 2 (Message) gives us some insight into what these other faces are.

“Tune your ears to the world of Wisdom; set your heart on a life of understanding.                                                                                                                        That’s right – if you make Insight your priority, and won’t take no for an answer, searching for it like                                                                                        a prospector panning for gold, like an adventurer on a treasure hunt, Believe me, before you know it Fear-of-God will be yours;”

With wisdom comes understanding – another face of wisdom. Understanding or in other words Insight. (please note, these two words, understanding and insight have different meanings but still similar in a lot of ways. I would love to hear what you understand about those two words).When you have Understanding, Insight then you are walking in wisdom! Do you have Insight?

“Believe me, before you know it Fear-of-God will be yours; you’ll have come upon the Knowledge of God.                                                                                  And here’s why: God gives out Wisdom free, is plainspoken in Knowledge and Understanding.                                                                                                      He’s a rich mine of Common Sense for those who live well, “

Another face of wisdom is Common Sense. Just because you have the Holy Spirit doesn’t mean you should throw common sense out of the window. Common Sense is a form of wisdom. There will be times when you won’t know which path to take and when that time comes use common sense. Common sense is very practical and it will save you from a whole lot of confusion. Read this,

Lady Wisdom will be your close friend, and Brother Knowledge your pleasant companion. Good sense will scout ahead for danger, Insight will keep an eye out for you. They’ll keep you from making wrong turns, or following the bad directions”

Let’s just recap on the different faces of Wisdom that we have looked at.

– Understanding/Insight

– Common Sense

– Knowledge (I didn’t expound on it because I think it’s self explanatory)

Like I said in the beginning,Wisdom is the key to a successful life but we need to walk in the different facets of wisdom. We need to learn what they are and my hope is this post has helped in that regard.

“It’s through me, Lady Wisdom, that your life deepens, and the years of your life ripen. Proverbs 9. (Message)

Rolain

A testimony within the scars……


Scars, everybody has some sort of scar be it physical or emotional. When you get hurt a scar is made and usually a scar is for life. It will be with you for the rest of your life. A lot of people see scars as a bad thing because it reminds them of a very difficult season in their lives or it may remind them of a very specific event in their life.

I have physical scars and emotional scars. As I look in the mirror I see the scars and they remind me of a time I was physically abused as a child. Then there are the emotional scars. Certain situations trigger them, for example Father’s day. It reminded me of an absentee father who was abusive and I wanted to have nothing to do with. But thank God that has changed!

I have been taught to see my scars differently. I have been taught to see them as a testimony. What do I mean by that?
I mean, my scar can be a testimony to myself and someone else. They can be encouraged and know they are not alone because of what I went through. It’s a testimony because the enemy didn’t win. I am still here. A testimony because it can be a tool to impact a whole lot of people. I can look at the scars and realise that God saved me from the pain. In the darkest time of my life he came through. But it needs me to get the focus off myself and start focusing on others.

Yes I had a difficult time growing up. Yes it was devastating.

But I see how God had a plan in all of this. God wanted to use the pain I had gone through to minister to people but my perspective had to change.
God is good and He has a plan. He always has a plan……

A lot of people have gone through a lot of bad stuff and in no way am I suggesting you just forget and act like nothing happened. You were abused, taken advantage of, raped, robbed, ignored and a whole host of other unspeakable, horrible, evil things. It takes time for pain to heal. A lot of prayer, a lot of help, a lot of people standing by your side helping you. It takes God’s mercy and grace and power for healing to happen.

This post is to let you know that God has a plan for you. Your scars are a reminder of the pain you went through and you can stop there but realise your scars can be a testament of God’s saving power and it can save a lot of people because there is a testimony within your scars!

 Rolain

Being “realistic” and it’s dangers……


“So it happened that the men Moses sent to scout out the land returned to circulate false rumors about the land causing the entire community to grumble against Moses – all these men died. Having spread false rumors of the land, they died in a plague, confronted by God. Only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh were left alive of the men who went to scout out the land. 
Numbers 14:36-38

Let us take a look at the report the men brought back:
We went to the land to which you sent us and, oh! It does flow with milk and honey! Just look at this fruit!

The only thing is that the people who live there are fierce, their cities are huge and well fortified. Worse yet, we saw descendants of the giant Anak. Amalekites are spread out in the Negev; Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites hold the hill country; and the Canaanites are established on the Mediterranean Sea and along the Jordan. 

But the others said, We can’t attack those people; they’re way stronger than we are. 
They spread scary rumors among the people of Israel. 
Numbers 13: 27-33

Moses had given them specific instructions when they went out to spy out the land and they brought back the information they gathered according to what was asked of them. Please note, as far as we know they did not fabricate anything- The walls were fortified, giants lived in the land and so on and so on. Everything was true yet the word calls it false!!! The spies focused all their attention on what they saw and forgot about God. Yes, there were giants in the land but they did not compare them to God. Yes, the walls were fortified but they did not compare them to God. They forgot about the God who parted the Red Sea, the God who destroyed the most powerful kingdom on earth at the time. There is a lesson for us in this story.

Any news that excludes God out of the equation is false.
Another thing to know is, your circumstances don’t endanger what God can and will do in your life. Your circumstances don’t affect God. And your circumstances don’t determine what you will have in the future. God can and, is turning your situation around!
Your circumstances might say there is no hope but the truth is there is hope.
Your circumstances might say you are done for but it’s not true.
Your circumstances might say the giants are too big but it’s false.
Your circumstances might say your financial status will never change but once again, it’s false.
Your circumstances might say sickness will win but it’s wrong.
Your circumstances might say your future is dark but it’s actually bright.

God has something to say if you will trust Him. Don’t believe the false news.

This is what I have been trying to get at. The spies thought they were being realistic when they brought back the news. They seen giants and they seen fortified cities. How could they conquer against such impossible odds? They failed to see God and and there report was called false.

There are so many things we face as people and there is a temptation to think that’s how it’s going to be. There is a temptation to throw in the towel and give up but God doesn’t want us to do that. He want’s us to know, there is another way – Him! He can turn your circumstances around just like that. He is God and He can do that. We just need to trust Him and not believe the “false” report. Amen!

Rolain