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

Dried up but not finished…


I love eating fresh chillies. When I go to the supermarket that’s one of the first things

on my list.

Anyway, I bought a packet of fresh chillies a few weeks ago but made the mistake of putting them

in the fridge. A few days later they started turning color. I took them out of the fridge and made

a decision to throw them away. A few days had gone by and I still had not thrown them away. By then

some of them had dried up.

 

But one evening as I was cooking a thought came to me. I decided to try one of the dried chillies and to

my surprise it was hotter than a fresh chilli. I am not talking about a little hotter. I am not exaggerating

when I say it was 6 to 7 times hotter!

(And yes, it was at that time I realized how to make dry chillies……haha)

 

As I pondered on this I was encouraged. The chilli was about to be thrown out. It seemed like it had

come to the end of it’s life but there was so much in store.

Did the chilli even know the potential it had??

It may have dried up but it was brimming with untapped potential.

 

Don’t let anyone count you out. Don’t count yourself out! There is so much God has put in you.

Like the dried up chilli there is so much more in you than you realize.

The chilli was designed that way by God. It’s not a mistake that it gets hotter when dried.

You may think you have reached your max but that’s so far from the truth.

Don’t give up friend. God’s plan is still being revealed in your life.

There is so much more to discover and walk into.

 

Bless you friends…

 

The last say.


“When the copy of King Artaxerxes’ letter was read before Rehum, Shimshai the scribe, 
and their companions, they went in haste to Jerusalem to the Jews and by force and power
made them cease. 
Then the work on the house of God in Jerusalem stopped. It stopped until the second 
year of Darius [1] king of Persia.” 
Ezra 4:23, 24 
It seemed like the enemy had won over the people of Israel by stopping the building of the temple.
It seemed like he delivered the deadly blow. But as I read the rest of the story I realized something that
brought me some encouragement that I want to share with you.
The enemy is constantly trying to stop us. “he roars around like a lion” the bible tells us. he may appear
powerful but he is not. It may have appeared like the enemy was powerful when he stopped the building
of the temple but that’s not the case.
God has the last say on all things and that’s what really matters.
It seemed like the enemy had the last say when the building of the temple was stopped but God was the
One who had the final say.
The building would continue and be completed! (Ezra 6:14, 15)
As I read the story I know God spoke to me. The enemy doesn’t have the last say in our lives.
It may appear so but the truth is, he is not powerful enough to have the last say.
What the Lord has started in us He will complete. The enemy will make us fall at times but the Lord
will pick us up always.
What has the enemy seemed to stop in your life?
What has he seemed to put a period to in your life?
his periods are really comma’s in our sentence of life.
Keep believing. Keep trusting. Keep hoping.
If you are in a place where the work in your life has seemed to come to a standstill know there
is so much more the Lord needs to do that no one can stop.
His plan for you hasn’t stopped just because the devil has thrown a spanner in the works.
Setbacks will be overcome and that’s our story!
Be blessed friends!
Rolain

What’s the deal with fear?


I was deep in thought thinking about how I was going to make it.

Wondering how the bills would get paid.

Wondering how my life would turn out in the midst of such opposition.

As I thought on those things fear gripped my heart. I was afraid.

 

But it was at that exact moment that I realized something about fear.

 

Fear was not going to tell me everything would be okay.

 

I should expect no encouragement from fear. It is not an option thinker. All it thinks and

sees is negative. It’s not optimistic.

It will never direct me to God in any situation.

It wants me paralyzed.

It wants me to fail.

It doesn’t want me to see God.

It wants me hopeless and discouraged.

 

Fear chooses to forget God in difficult circumstances.

It can’t love, it can’t trust, it can’t hope.

It focuses on the worst possible outcome in any situation we face when it knows there is a better

outcome in God.

Fear ALWAYS sees the negatives in everything and CHOOSES to ignore the positives.

Or in other words, it chooses to see the dead ends, the failure, the death and refuses to see

light at the end of the tunnel, the hope, the answer!

 

And that is why we can’t listen to fear. As I let fear grip me, all I thought about

were the negatives.

 

But the truth of the matter is that there was another option.

There was a better and more positive outcome if I allowed my faith in God to take the lead instead of fear.

Let me rephrase that, there IS a better and more positive outcome…

 

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), 

but (He has given us a spirit of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind

and discipline and self-control. 

2 Timothy 1:7

 

As we walk out our faith in God, fear will always try to get in the way. It will try to disrupt the faith

we have put in God. Let us fight against fear no matter how long it takes.

This battle can’t be won in our own strength. We need God’s help to show us the areas we

have allowed fear to dominate us. We need His help to overcome Fear so we can move forward

in what God has for us.

The Lord is with us in this fight and leading the charge!

Bless you, friends.

 

Rolain

 

 

 

Put it all in His hands……


“Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous

to be moved.”

Psalm 55:22

 

This is something we have to learn continuously.

I have to remind myself to constantly bring it all into His hands. I find myself trying to handle life

on my own but that is not the way it’s supposed to be. The more I try to “handle it” the more

stressed I get and the more wrong decisions I make!

We were never meant to carry the troubles we

are carrying at the moment.

We were never meant to hold on to them.

They were meant to be put in YAH’s mighty hands.

He wants to take on the burden you have right now. The worries, the burden’s you are carrying

right now will crush you.

You don’t have to face the pain alone.

You don’t have to put on a brave face in the face of adversity.

Put it all in His hands!

 

You don’t have to worry about directing your life because He wants to do that. He wants you to trust Him

with your life. Put it into His hands and stop trying to drive!

Bring it all friends, the pain, the fear, the uncertainty, the questions, the shortcomings, the failures,

the confusion, the guilt and condemnation………

Don’t hold on anything, and most importantly don’t own anything!

Sometimes we take ownership of stuff we are not meant to take ownership for.

Put it all in His hands, full of faith He will take care of it.

As I conclude I would really urge you to meditate on Matthew 11:28-30.

 

 

Blessings to you my friends!

 

Rolain

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is change?


change

I am back and it feels like I have been away forever but I needed

the break and I am really excited about this next season.

I hope the year has started off well for you.

As the year has started the word on everybody’s lips and mind

is “change”. Some people usually take this time to take a stock of

where they are in life and make the required changes.

With all this talk about change and the pressure to change I think

it’s important to understand what change really is.

Change is not an immediate transformation. Change is

incremental but let me not get ahead of myself.

As I talk about change I would like to talk about Zacchaeus

(Luke 19:5)

 

“And when Jesus reached the place, He looked up and said to

him, Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your

house today.

So he hurried and came down, and he received and welcomed

Him joyfully.”

Luke 19: 5, 6

 

He was the chief tax collector in Jericho. Let me say this, there

is a good chance he was mean, a swindler and so on. Look at the

people’s reaction when Jesus calls him down from the tree.

 

 “And when the people saw it, they all muttered among themselves

and indignantly complained, He has gone in to be the guest of and

lodge with a man who is devoted to sin and preeminently a sinner.”

Luke 19:7

 

The people’s reaction tell us a lot about the kind of person

Zacchaeus was. This was more than a bit of jealousy. The bible

doesn’t say “a man complained” but it says “the people complained”.

If one man got upset we could challenge the idea that Zacchaeus

was a mean and unfair man but a group of people responded the

the same. That was not a coincidence.

 

But something happened, Jesus called Zacchaeus and stayed

at HIS house! What a privilege, what an honor! Zacchaeus

was obviously ecstatic. Look at what happens next,

 

 

So then Zacchaeus stood up and solemnly declared to the Lord,

See, Lord, the half of my goods I [now] give [by way of restoration]

to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone out of anything, I [now]

restore four times as much.

Luke 9;8

Something significant happened at that moment.

Zacchaeus declared he would give half of his goods as a way

of restoration to the poor!

What happened was what I call change.

You see, Zacchaeus didn’t declare he would never sin again, no!

That would be real change right? Wrong!

Look at what Jesus says,

” And Jesus said to him, Today is [Messianic and spiritual]

salvation come to [all the members of] this household, since

Zacchaeus too is a [real spiritual] son of Abraham;

 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost.

Luke 9: 9, 10

I have no doubt in my mind Zaccheaus was a changed man but it

would happen a bit at a time. His transformation would not take

a day but a lifetime.

This is what change is about. It’s allowing the Lord to come and

change you little by little. It’s allowing Him to deal with you

in His way. It’s allowing Him to come and open every closed

room in your heart. It’s giving Him access to the hidden

and locked places within you so He can do His work.

Change will take time friends. Transformation is for a lifetime.

You may have looked back at 2016 and seen all the things that

didn’t go according to plan and the things

that didn’t change in your life, like the habits, mindsets and

so on and got discouraged but know God is still working in your life.

He is working in a way you can’t see at times.

God doesn’t only work within the time frame of a year

but for some reason we think like this. We start at the beginning

of the year with a decision, a resolution about a change we want

to see in our lives and when the change doesn’t happened we get so

discouraged and repeat the cycle once again for another year!!

Surely that is not the way we are supposed to live.

There must be a better way.

As I close I would like you to re examine your definition of “change”

The more important question we must ask ourselves is,

How does God see change?

When He thinks of change what does it look like?

It’s great to be back friends.

God bless you.

Rolain

photo credit: google images