Surrounded…


There are times when it feels like the enemy has us surrounded and is going to finish off the job.

Times when it seems like we are about to be overrun and left for dead.

But in those times there is hope for us.

I was encouraged as I read the Word a few days ago.

The king of Aram wanted to get rid of Elisha so he found out where he was and at night had the place

where he was surrounded. In the morning Elisha’s servant saw the army surrounding the city and he

freaked out. He went to Elisha to tells him the “bad news” but Elisha was as cool as a cucumber.

This is what Elisha said to him,

“Fear not, for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.”

2 Kings 6:17

But Elisha went further. He prayed that his servant’s eyes be opened and after the prayer the servant saw the

hills filled with a great and mighty heavenly host outnumbering the enemy.

And that is what I want to encourage you with. Just like the servant saw, there are more with you than they

that are against you. It doesn’t matter how many enemies come against you, the fact and truth remains.

Let go of the fear and trust the Lord. He is fighting for you and is stronger and far greater than any enemy

that threatens you.

“Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise up against me,

in this will I be confident.”

Psalm 27:3

God bless you friends and have a great weekend

Rolain

Where You Start Is Not Where You End.


On one of my recent podcast writing episodes I talked about this.

If you didn’t know, I have a podcast where I talk to authors and aspiring authors.

I provide tips, advice and encouragement. The podcast is called,

The Writer’s Creative Space.

If you would like to listen to the episode here is the link.

Anyway, as I recorded the episode I realized this was not just a life principle but a

spiritual principle.

“Where you start is not where you end” is a spiritual principle too.

I am reminded of Rahab. She didn’t have the best start. She was a prostitute and people

saw her in one way. Her narrative for a time was negative. I don’t think anyone saw

greatness in her. But that all changed when some Hebrew spies came to her.

Her life changed forever. Her narrative changed for good.

“By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed

with those who were disobedient.”

Hebrews 11:31

Her end was so much better than her beginning. And if you search deeper into her

story you will find she was included in the lineage of Jesus Christ!

What an honor, what an ending.

So you see. where you start is not where you end.

Let me share one more example.

The disciples were ordinary men with no real purpose before Jesus. They were fishermen.

I wouldn’t say being a fisherman was bad but it wasn’t the greatest thing to be.

The disciples were probably overlooked. They probably overlooked themselves!

But look at what happened when Jesus came onto the scene.

Everything changed. Their lives were changed forever.

They became fisher of men and turned the world upside down!

And that’s the other thing I want you to see.

Only Jesus can change the narrative.

Only Jesus can change the ending.

You may be in a place today where you can’t make sense of how your life is going.

You may not understand how God can turn it around but He can and will.

No matter how you have started know that your end will be very different.

Look to Jesus for help.

Trust Him to change the narrative in your life.

Trust Him to change the ending.

Bless you friends

Rolain

In the darkness, God has a plan.


I was encouraged today as I read the story of Joseph. With all that is going on with the pandemic, it’s easy to get discouraged but I was reminded that God is working in our lives in the midst of intense darkness.

So let’s get into it.

We all know the time Pharaoh had dreams and when no one could interpret the dreams someone remembered Joseph and he was summoned to interpret them. He told Pharaoh seven years of plenty would come followed by seven years of famine.

The seven years of plenty came and Joseph who had been promoted to second in charge stored away grain. He stored away so much that it became impossible to keep track of how much they were storing.

Then the seven years of famine arrived and this is what I want to focus on. The famine didn’t just affect Egypt but the whole world.

 

“And all the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere.”

Genesis 41:57

 

It was a difficult time for the world but in that dark time God had a plan. There were some very important and key things that God was doing in that seven year famine period. I want to highlight two things.

 

  1. Israel reunited with Joseph, who he presumed had died.

Since the famine affected the whole world, Israel was affected too and had to send his sons to buy grain which in turn led to the discovery of Joseph. That is important because it leads us to the next key thing that happened.

       2. Israel’s entire family relocated    to Egypt because of Joseph.

Joseph made plans for his whole family to move to Egypt so they would be provided for during the famine. And that is also important because it was a fulfillment of what God told Abraham,

 

“Then the Lord said to him, know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there.

But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions.”

Genesis 15:13, 14

 

We know God was talking about Moses and the deliverance of Israel from Egypt.

So do you see?

In the seven year famine period, God was working and setting some big things up. And the famine had a part to play in the grand scheme of things.

God was setting pieces in place for Israel’s next chapter and that encouraged me because in this season of Covid-19, God has a plan too.

You may not see it or understand but He is working. You don’t need to stay discouraged or hopeless because He is in total control.

His plans and purposes for your life are working out in the midst of the darkness.

And that’s my encouragement to you. He will fulfill what He has promised you and this season will end.

Bless you friends

Rolain

Can God really come through for us?


Who is your trust in when things get hard? 

In this episode I talk about order. A lot of the time it is mixed up.

We trust man instead of trusting God. 

We expect man to do only what God can do. But if we are going to see God breakthrough

in our lives we need to put Him back in His rightful place and that is on top. 

Our default setting should be JESUS not man. 

To not miss any episodes please like and subscribe to my Youtube channel – The Barnabas Project. 

I aim to post every Thursday and the purpose of the channel is to inject encouragement into 

the world. 

 

Blessings to you friends. 

Rolain

The truth about failure


 

How do we respond to failure?

What kind of mindset do we adopt after we fail?

How we respond and the kind of mindset we should have when failure comes is so important

if we are going to grow and learn.

There is a train of thought out there that goes along the lines of, failing makes you a failure.

But is that true? Do our failures make us failures?

No it is not true. As long as we live on this earth we will have to deal with failure,

we will make mistakes, but those things do not need to dictate who we are as people or

what we are going to accomplish.

 

One of the most important questions we need to ask is, how does Jesus see us even though we

fail and make mistakes?

For the answer to that question we are going to look at Peter.

As you know he was a disciple of the Lord and loved him much. But one day before Jesus was

to be crucified, Peter was told he would deny the Lord.

Peter obviously denied it and declared his devotion and that he was ready to die with the Lord.

But as we all know Peter denied the Lord. He messed up big time. He failed Jesus and it seemed

like all was lost. How can anyone bounce back from that?

Imagine the headline in the newspapers the next day,

PETER DENIES JESUS!!

 

But let’s focus our attention on an interesting passage of scripture,

 

“Simon, Simon, satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you,

Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

Luke 22:31

 

Jesus knew Peter would deny Him!

But instead of abandoning him or washing His hands of him, Jesus prayed for him and encouraged him.

Peter’s failure did not change the way Jesus saw him. It did not change the Lord’s plans for his life.

And this is important for us to understand. Even when you fail and make mistakes the Lord is with you.

He hasn’t abandoned or disowned you. Failure doesn’t mean the end of you.

It wasn’t the end of Peter.

 

It seemed like Peter’s story was over when he failed but we all know how powerfully he was used

in the creation of the early church. He was instrumental in the building of it.

And that’s how good the Lord is. Don’t allow your failures and mistakes to stop you in your tracks.

We are to grow and learn from our failures but never to stop and die.

Jesus has amazing things in store for you in the midst of failures. So because you are a son and daughter

of God you are not a failure but a victor and that’s the best news! 

 

On one last note, if you would like to get a copy of my devotional, click here. 

Blessings to you friends!

 

Rolain

 

There is hope in our darkest seasons


“When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved.”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭27:20‬ ‭NIV‬‬

 

The captain refused to listen to Paul and because of that they were caught in a hurricane. There was nothing anyone could do. And after many days the word says ALL hope of being saved was gone.

You may be in a hopeless situation right now but there is good news. You might be out of options and all your efforts have come to nothing but there is good news for you.

When hope was lost the Lord stepped in. When death was sure the Lord sent an angel with hope. Even though there was no physical evidence of a turn around the Lord told Paul all the men on the boat would be saved!

 

“Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭27:23-24‬ ‭NIV‬‬

 

In our darkest seasons there will always be hope because God loves us and cares for us. Don’t abandon hope. The Lord will step in and save you. He will turn your darkest season around for good. Keep looking to and trusting Him.

Bless you friends

 

Rolain

God has a plan in this season


“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11‬ ‭NLT‬‬

 

Hey friends!

It has been a while since I have written and I am glad to be back. So much has happened this year and I believe God has so much in store.

Jeremiah 29:11 has been on my mind in this season. A season that has caused fear and uncertainty for the year ahead.

The corona virus has brought the world to its knees and no one knows when this will end.

But in this season God has not stopped working. His plan for our lives has not come to a halt.

His purpose for us is very much alive. Don’t be discouraged. Know that God has a plan in this season. His name will be glorified in the midst of pain, fear and death.

Be expectant in this season. He is looking for people who will say yes to Him.

Lord, show us what you have in store for us in this season.

 

Bless you friends

 

Rolain

From inside the fish…


We all know the story of Jonah. How he tried to run away from God but instead

was swallowed by a huge fish. It is there I want to pick up the story.

He was in the fish three days and three nights (Jonah 2:1)

Did he know he would live? Did he think God had abandoned him and was punishing

Him for his disobedience?

All we know is that in that dark, empty, solitary watery grave he prayed!

 

“From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God.”

 

He was at the bottom literally and metaphorically speaking and it is there that he called out

to the Lord. He didn’t remain silent or give up. He prayed.

You may be in a dark place today. A place of pain and a place where God seems to be

absent. I want you to know that He is not gone from you. He is right there with you.

 

Jonah was in the belly of the fish. In the deepest part off the sea where no man could hear

and help. He could have tried to shout all he liked but no one was going to hear him down

there. There was only One who could and did hear his prayer. In that place where no man could

hear and help the Lord heard him and answered him.

 

“In my distress I called to the Lord, and He answered me.

From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help and You listened to my cry.”

Jonah 2:2

 

Don’t remain silent in your pain. Don’t think you are alone in that dark place.

When you have no one to help God is your help!

Call out to Him today because you are not alone.

Bless you friends

 

Rolain

God has a name for you.


“And they journeyed from Bethel and had but a little way to go to Ephrath [Bethlehem]

when Rachel suffered the pangs of childbirth and had hard labor. 

When she was in hard labor, the midwife said to her, Do not be afraid; you shall have this son

also. And as her soul was departing, for she died, she called his name Ben-oni [son of my sorrow]; 

but his father called him Benjamin [son of the right hand]. 

Genesis 35:16-18

 

As Rachel was dying she called her son Ben-oni and rightly so in her mind because she was about

to die. Because of the pain she was experiencing she named him but Jacob gave him another name.

A name of blessing which spoke of God’s plan and purpose for his life.

 

The temptation is great to listen to the names people call us because we think they “know” us.

We allow the words of man to define us because we think they really do know us. Either because

they have been friends for a really long time or because they are family but the truth of the matter

is that God is the only One who really knows us. We need to look to Him to tell us who we are and

not man.

 

I am not saying we should stop listening to the encouraging words of friends, family, mentors, teachers

and the other people in our lives but what I am saying is that we need to be very careful we don’t stop

with what they tell us we can be or do.

 

Rachel is a picture of man who makes decisions about us and speak based on what they see.

Jacob is a picture of God and what He sees. Even when it’s not clear to us or anyone else, God knows

the plans He has for us.

He knows all the great things we will do and that’s what He speaks over us.

 

“Jabez was honorable above his brothers; but his mother named him Jabez [sorrow maker], saying, 

Because I bore him in pain. 

Jabez cried to the God of Israel, saying, Oh, that You would bless me and enlarge my border, and 

that Your hand might be with me, and You would keep me from evil so it might not hurt me! 

And God granted his request.”

1 Chronicles 4:9, 10

 

Jabez was given a name by man but he prayed for God to bless him. He was tired of being called

Sorrow-Maker. He knew God had something better for him so he prayed and God granted

his request! I love that so much. You don’t have to live by what man says you can or can’t do.

Just because man thinks you can’t doesn’t mean that’s true. What matters is what God thinks and

says about you!

 

For a long time I lived by other people’s scripts. I was okay with living in the box they made for me. But

when I gave my life to Christ things changed radically. The Lord opened my eyes to what He had in store

for me. He showed me a glimpse of what He had in store which was so much higher and greater than

what man said I could do. Bit by bit the chains began to be broken off.

Don’t let man define what you can do. Let God’s word be what directs you and drives you.

Don’t be limited by all the perceptions and images man has put on you.

 

God has an amazing plan for your life.

Let go of the words that have been spoken over you that have limited you and live

by who God says you are.

 

Bless you friends

 

Rolain

“Welcome back to reality”?!


“Welcome back to reality” was what a friend said to me a day after returning back from Kenya.

I had gone to Kenya for about two weeks and it was hard going to a place that is improving and growing

while things at home are stagnant.

Kenya is growing rapidly and stuff works which is the total opposite in my country.

 

Anyway, the day after my return one of my friends said “welcome back to reality”

I was really bothered by that statement. When he saw my resistance he said it again. I rejected his

statement completely.

I didn’t want to make the circumstances in my country my reality.

Before I went to Kenya had I made them a reality? Maybe I did but I wanted that to change.

 

What’s your reality? Is it in line with what God promised you or is it something entirely different?

We are constantly being pushed to take on a reality that is not what God has for us. We have settled

for a reality that is way below the level God would have us live at.

 

Think about the man who was crippled for 38 years (John 5:1-17). What was his reality? Did he ever see himself

healed in his reality?

Was hopelessness his reality?

 

We need to take a deeper look at the reality we live by. Who gave us the reality we are currently living by?

It’s so easy to adopt a way of thinking, a way of speaking, a way of living.

 

The good news is this, the reality we are living by can change.

That’s what happened to the man who was crippled. For 38 years he was living in a reality that

was not God’s reality. God wanted him healed and living a full life.

The enemy on the other hand wanted him bound. he wanted him living in hopelessness.

But Jesus came and changed his reality. 

 

We have hope friends.

You don’t have to accept the reality you are living by today.

The limitations people have put on you don’t have to be your reality.

The circumstances you live in don’t have to be your reality.

God can and wants you to live by His truth. His truth is liberating. His truth is full of life,

joy, peace and so much more goodness.

 

What is your reality? Let God determine what your reality is.

There is so much He has in store for you.

Bless you,friends.

 

Rolain