When life seems dark……


THOUGHT OF THE DAY

 

[What, would have become of me] had I

not believed that I would see the Lord’s

goodness in the land of the living!

 

Wait and hope for and expect the Lord;

be brave and of good courage and let

your heart be stout and enduring.

Yes, wait for and hope for and expect

the Lord.

Psalm 27:13, 14

 

My heart jumped when I read this scripture in

the morning. As we live this life there needs

to be an expectation!

An expectation that God, the Maker of heaven

and earth and the whole universe will be good to

us.

The world we live in wants us to believe that there

is nothing good in it.

It wants us to live in fear.

It wants us to believe the situation is hopeless,

that life is hopeless!

But it’s not true people!!!!

As believers we have God our Father!

As believers we have a chance, a very good chance!

God has good things in store for us.

God wants us to believe that!

He wants us to expect Him to show up!

 

If that expectation dies we die!

 

I don’t know what situation you are facing

today but please hope again. Expect the Lord’s

goodness.

 

This is what I have been declaring for the past

couple of days:

 

For You send blessings of good things to meet him;

You set a crown of pure gold on his head.

Psalms 21:3

 

For You send blessings of good things to meet

me.

You set a crown of pure gold on my head!

 

What are you saying? What are you expecting?

Today, believe you will see the Lord’s goodness

in the land of the living!

I believe you will see it if you expect it, if you dare

to believe that God is good and He is busy doing good

things for you!

The last part of that scripture says,

 

Wait and hope for and expect the Lord;

 

It’s not easy to hope especially when the picture

on the ground looks bleak.

It’s not easy to hope when the bank account is empty.

It’s not easy to hope when things are not working out.

 

But the key is to believe that you will see the goodness

of God in the land of the living!

In the pain, in poverty, when things seem bleak

and hopeless,

believe you will see the goodness of the Lord!

Amen and AMEN!!!

Rolain

 

 

Blown away by God’s grace……!


I would like to share one of my favourite passages of scripture.  It speaks about God’s kindness and grace…. In your own time you can read the whole chapter because it is powerful but I will touch on a few verses that touch me the most:

Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and in irons, 

Because they had rebelled against the words of God and spurned the most High. 

Therefore He bowed down their hearts with hard labor; they stumbled and fell down, and there was none to help.

Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses. 

He brought them out of the darkness and the shadow of death and broke apart the bonds that held them. Psalm 107:10-14

I understand as humans we sin. We get ourselves into trouble by making really bad decisions. We all make mistakes.

The people in the passage I just shared got themselves into trouble. They made all the wrong decisions. They rebelled against God. They were bound and in chains because they rejected God……

Because of their actions they were abandoned with NO ONE to help! They had no one to turn to but……..

They cried to the Lord!!!!! They cried to the Lord in their trouble and He saved them from their distresses! God had every right to leave them but He didn’t. It doesn’t make sense to the human mind. They were on the wrong, they abandoned God…..but in His grace and love and kindness He heard and answered their prayers!!!! That blows my mind and reminds me how little I know God’s grace!!

And that is the trend we see in the rest of the chapter. We see people getting themselves into trouble and God coming to save them as they cry out to Him! For effect I am going to share another story!

Some are fools [made ill] because of the way of their transgressions and are afflicted because of their iniquities. 

Then they cry to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivers them out of their distresses. 

He sends forth His word and heals them and rescues them from the pit and destruction. Psalm 107:17-20

God loves you and cares for you not because you are perfect. He knows your every mistake but still loves you. He knows every mistake you are still to make, bad decisions you are still to make but He still extends grace to you. He has given you a chance to cry out to Him. That is how good He is……!!!!! He doesn’t give up on you. He is waiting on you to turn to Him! It’s scripture like this that humbles me. I don’t understand the beauty of God’s grace and love but I am thankful for it because without it I would be abandoned and dead! I would be in hell with no hope of rescue!!

The last part of the chapter is so powerful. It talks about men who do their business at sea! I would guess these men are sailors and have great experience and understanding of the sea. They are totally qualified to be out at sea. But something happens out at sea! They encounter a storm!!

[Those aboard] mount up to the heavens, they go down again to the deeps; their courage melts away because of their plight. 

They reel to and fro and stagger like a drunken man and are at their wits end [all their wisdom has come to nothing]. 

Then they cry to the Lord in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses. Psalm 107: 26-28

For a while they tried to rely on what they know to get them out of the storm but that didn’t work! How many of us have tried to get ourselves out of trouble? It says “all their wisdom has come to nothing”.

God is so good because even when they tried to solve a situation in their own strength and failed, God by His grace saved them!!!! As I end I would like you to think about His grace! It is so amazing! He wants you to rely on Him, on His grace. He knows you are human and He wants to deliver you. He wants to save you from sin. No matter what you have done, no matter how bad it is, know that He wants to heal you and set you free. He wants to break the chains that have bound you! It is not to late for you……Turn to Him and He will answer you!!!

Whoso is wise [if there be any truly wise] will observe and heed these things; and they will diligently consider the mercy and loving-kindness of the Lord.   Psalm 107:43

Rolain

 

 

An Introduction on faith…..


 

Do we really understand all we need to understand about faith? I don’t think so. And as I read Hebrews 11 I was more convinced of that fact. There is so much we don’t understand about faith, so much we need to learn. As we begin to understand more of what faith is the deeper we can walk in it. The men and women of old had a different view of faith and we see it in the stories we read. Let me not get ahead of myself….

As we begin let us look at the definition of faith according to scripture.

Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].

That is the way the Amplified Version puts it. I like this definition a lot because I understand a little about title deeds. An individual doesn’t need to take people to his house to convince them he owns the house. All he has to do is show them the title deeds. Even though the house can’t be seen the title deed is the person’s proof. And so it is with faith. Your faith is the “title deed” you carry around. We can’t see the house, the car, the career or whatever it is you are trusting God for but the faith you have in God is your proof! It is the tangible proof that God will give you what He promised. But with that being said, how does faith work? To answer that question let us look at another passage of scripture.

The Message bibles says it like this,

By faith, we see the world called into existence by God’s word, what we see created by what we don’t see. Hebrews 11:3

This is the essence of faith. “What we see created by what we don’t see”. God didn’t wait to see, feel, touch, taste for Him to create. Let us learn from Him. Your life may look like nothing is happening but have faith.  Your life seems meaningless but it’s not. You need to speak and act upon what God has shown you. It may seem out of this world but you need to speak it out. Faith doesn’t wait for things to take shape and happen before it acts, no! In the darkness, in the bareness faith works!

To drive this point home let us look at another scripture:

By faith, Noah built a ship in the middle of dry land. He was warned about something he couldn’t see, and acted on what he was told. The result? His family was saved. Hebrews 11:7

Let us imagine this because I think it’s pretty amazing. Noah was warned by God about a flood. He had never experienced a flood before. So because he feared God he built an ark. How crazy must he have looked by everyone! The word says, “He built a ship in the middle of dry land”! Wow. Did he have to struggle with doubts? Did he ever stop and think, what the heck am I doing? We don’t know all that but what we know is he built a ship on dry land. God wants us to start building our ships. It may not make sense, it may sound like the craziest thing in the world, people will mock you, but that is not what matters, believing what God tells you is what is important. Having faith in Him is the most important thing.

As I conclude this post let us look at one more scripture:

By an act of faith, Israel walked through the Red Sea on dry ground. The Egyptians tried it and drowned. Hebrews 11:29

Faith will let you go places other people can’t. Faith will sustain you in situations that would kill other people in normal circumstances. Who has ever walked through the Red Sea or any sea for that matter?? But because the Israelites had faith God parted the Red Sea so they could walk through it. The Egyptians thought it would be an easy task but how wrong they were. If we rely on our flesh we will fail. If we think we are strong enough or clever enough we will fail. The best of flesh is still flesh. Faith is the only thing that will allow us to do the impossible. Faith is the only thing that will get God’s attention.  So let’s picture this scenario,

The Israelites had faith and they walked through the Red Sea

The Egyptians didn’t have faith in God but thought because they were the strongest and fiercest, they could walk through the Red Sea. They were wrong, dead wrong!

As I end this post I would like to share another scripture:

But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out]. Hebrews 11:6

Faith is so much more than we imagine. Without faith we will not be able to connect to God. Without faith we are like two people trying to communicate to each other in two different languages. It’s impossible! God responds to faith. God is pleased with our faith. Faith in God is what moves mountains! I am not talking about a faith in self or something like that. I have been talking about faith in God. This is just the introduction. In the next post I will continue sharing insights I got from Hebrews 11. It is really a powerful chapter on faith……..God bless

Rolain

To be continued…….

 

 

What God’s goodness has to do with the Sun and a Shield……..!


I am currently doing a bible study on discovering the will of God. The book I am using is really something. It is unique in the way it tackles questions about God’s will. I started about a month ago and I have learned so much already. I came across a question that I have been meditating on for quite some time now. And it is this question and portion of the study I would like to share with you. I am sure it will be a blessing to someone.

What I will do is write down the questions and the answers I put down. The scripture used is really amazing. Here goes….
Psalm 84:11 is an outstanding verse on how good God is. Meditate on the verse, then answer the following questions.
(I used the Amplified Bible to answer this question.)
For The Lord God is a Sun and Shield; The Lord bestows [present] grace and favor and 
[future] glory (honour, splendor, and heavenly bliss)! No good thing will He withhold from
Those who walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11 (Amplified) 
What two things is God like? What does each of these do for us? 
My answer – He is like the Sun and a Shield. 
The Sun brings light. It also brings life! 
A shield protects us. 

The Lord is a Sun…..

As He is the Sun the darkness in my life can do nothing but flee. Darkness cannot reside in the light. The Sun comes to shine in the dark places within me. It comes to give those dead things in me life…..! 
As a Shield He protects me from ALL the weapons the enemy fashions against me. No weapon can hurt me or destroy me. He is my Shield! 
What does God do? 
My answer – He bestows [present] grace and [future] glory (honour, splendor and heavenly bliss)!
What does He not do? 
He does NOT withhold any good thing from me! No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. 

and a Shield!!!!

– How do these truths help you? 
Firstly these truths encourage me. They give me hope. They strengthen me. They give me confidence to face the challenges on my path. 
They give me boldness as I go to Him. 
And that is it. As you read the questions take time to meditate on them. Use whichever version is easy for you. The Amplified gave a deeper meaning for me. The truths you find will give you the hope you need. He is our Sun and Shield!!!
Rolain.

Bring it to the light.


Therefore, rejecting all falsity and being done now with it, let everyone express the truth with his neighbor, for we are all parts of one body and members one of another. 
Ephesians 4: 25

We all go through hard times, diffiult times but we need to bring those things that we are struggling with to the light. It’s a biblical principle. In the light the power of the enemy is weakened. If we are to walk in light, and reject falsity we need to be transparent with someone about what’s going on in our lives. I have done some crazy things in my life but as soon as I did that crazy thing I first asked God for forgiveness then went to my best friend and told him what I did. No sin should be left hidden. Sin in meant to be exposed. It will only get stronger if it remains hidden. This is what I strongly believe. When I commit sin I tell someone I trust. The goal, to never live with anything hidden, in the dark! It has been a great burden off my shoulders to have someone to tell about the sin in my life. Do you have that someone you can tell anything to? Read what the next scripture says,

Take no part in and have no fellowship with the fruitless deeds and enterprises of darkness, but instead [let your lives be so in contrast as to expose and reprove and convict them.
For it is a shame even to speak of or mention the things that [such people] practice in secret. 
But when anything is exposed and reproved by the light, it is made visble and clear; 
and where everything is visible and clear there is light.  Ephesians 5:11-13

Is everything in my life visible and clear? Has every dark place being exposed? Nothing about my life should be hidden, or in the dark. And this is how we are to live. We are to live in the light but sin can hamper that. Don’t allow sin to remain hidden in your life. It will only get stronger and stronger if you let it remain in the dark. Sin hates the light. Be diligent to find a person or people you trust who you can be transparent with. It’s not easy but it’s needed. How serious are you about exposing darkness in your life? We are not an island. Let us bring ALL darkness to the light……..!

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