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Trials, Troubles, Pain, and Sickness means God knows you have the character to make it through

Whenever you go through trials, trouble, pain, and sickness, God knows that you have the character to make it through.  He is using it as an opportunity to challenge you to push through and fight through the thoughts, and negative emotions that weigh you down.  If you’re a born again believer, God has put the seed in you to go and bear fruit for the Kingdom of God, so that you can be a bold conqueror and when you get there you can say, “It was the LORD God who got me through this thing, and it was He who equipped me to face this battle.”  If you are going through sickness, pain, struggle, that means that you are not alone, and God knows your ready for it, He knows you can handle it because He will not give you more than you can handle.  Sickness, Trouble, pain, and disease do not come from God, and is not in His nature.  He loves His children and does not want to see harm to them.  In fact, when you go through these things, it is like the father or mother who gives his child to the doctor to get vaccination shots to give them immunity to the disease.  They are injected with the disease and then they built up an immunity to it.  In the same way, Jesus Christ, is our vaccination, because He has given us His Blood for the disease.  So now it takes His Blood working through your spirit man, and going through your soul and your body to make it whole so that it can be used for his glory.  God does not abuse His children.  He loves them.  He cares for them deeply, with an ever consuming Jealous passion, that keeps Him wanting to protect you, and keep you from harm.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

I believe that the reason that we go through most of the stuff that we go through is that the Word of God may become real to us and that we may apply it in our lives so that we may be a blessed and living example of the glory of is His Kingdom on our lives.  He trusts us so much with His Holy Spirit, that He has given us all strength to get through any situation, or else we wouldn’t be here.  It is our faith that needs to be affirmed of this.  We need to grab hold of and seize our faith in Jesus Christ, and His Word, so that it becomes life to us.  It becomes life to all that hear it, so that it becomes life to all our flesh.

Most of our battles, if not all, come from our mind, which has thoughts that are destructive to our bodies.  When we have these thoughts, and we do not renew our minds with the Word of God – the seeds that give life and Word to those to hear and obey the Word then we will delay the seeing of the glorious blessed life that He has planned for us.  The problem is that many of us want to obey God out of fear of judgment, or choose to accept Christ out of a fear of going to hell, when actuality, there’s a different purpose and reason to God.  He wants to reveal more of His loving nature then to take out His rod in anger.  It’s like if your child did everything that you ever wanted, was kind and obedient, and loving, and went out of his/her way to show you how much they loved you, wouldn’t you just get a kick out of it?  Wouldn’t you be delighted in that child?  If your child did whatever you told them, but never wanted to spend any time with you, and told people, you were mean, crushing, judgmental, and you were harsh and strict, instead of loving, wouldn’t it grieve you even if you knew that was not your heart when you disciplined the child.  Yes there are some unruly children, but even Supernanny shows us that there are better ways to teach children good behavior that will last them longer, then abusing them.  That’s really not the nature of God.  Depending on how unruly the children are there are different ways of dealing with them because they have different natures, you want to show them, the love and the compassion that you have for them.  If your child is crying all the time, and upset all the time, after a while you become divided in your heart with compassion for the child and irritation because you find that all they do is cry, and you just want them to grow up and be mature so you can talk to them and tell them what’s on your mind, so that’s why you have conversations with God.  God doesn’t want to go to Him and grief and suffering, crying out all the time.

That’s what brings into mind these Scriptures from Isaiah 22:
Therefore I say, “Turn your eyes away from me,
Let me weep bitterly,
Do not [e]try to comfort me concerning the destruction of the daughter of my people.” – This is God crying for Jerusalem

12 Therefore in that day the Lord [m]GOD of hosts called you to weeping, to wailing,
To shaving the head and to wearing sackcloth.
13 Instead, there is gaiety and gladness,
Killing of cattle and slaughtering of sheep,
Eating of meat and drinking of wine:
“Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we may die.”
14 But the LORD of hosts revealed Himself [n]to me,
“Surely this iniquity shall not be [o]forgiven you
Until you die,” says the Lord [p]GOD of hosts.

To know who this is talking about – we turn to John 8:

39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus *said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. 40 But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. 41 You are doing the deeds of your father.” They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but [l]He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand [m]what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks [n]a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of [o]lies. 45 But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.”

This Jerusalem at this time in the Scripture has not accepted Jesus, that’s why they are like, “let’s eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”  The iniquity they had was building a man-made fortification system.  We trust in man-made things to protect us, instead of the LORD GOD who will protect us.  This is a strong statement of Jesus for the Jews in John 8:47 – He said that they are not of God. So how can that be, that they believed in YHWH, and were still not of God?  They were following man made traditions, and they still wanted to kill Jesus.  The enemy had taken what was originally intended for good, and perverted it, like has been done in many Scriptures, and even in our thought life when we read the Scriptures, and even when we don’t read the Scriptures.  I would have to speak to a rabbi to find out what the Jews thought about Isaiah 22.  What was their sin, that was so unforgiveable?  Their unbelief was one, and sometimes as Christians we do that too.  We believe God, but do we really believe God?  Will we fight for what we believe?  Will we fight for the Truth?  Will we proclaim the Gospel on the mountain tops and shout it in the valleys?  We have lost our first love and lost the passion and love for Christ because we have been so provoked and consumed with fear, and reverance of God, that we lose sight of His nature, and His kindness.  We lose sight of the fact that He is not angry with us, and does not look down at us with a magnifying glass and say, “Who can I fry today?”  That’s not the nature of God.  That’s what Jesus is talking about.  Don’t think just because the Bible says something, that the way we interpret it, or the way others interpret it is what it really means.  In the temptation in Luke 4, the enemy used the Bible to attack Jesus and make Him try to commit suicide, and to test His powers.

1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around [a]by the Spirit in the wilderness 2 for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry. 3 And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” 4And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE.’”

5 And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of [b]the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and [c]its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7 Therefore if You [d]worship before me, it shall all be Yours.” 8 Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’”

9 And he led Him to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here; 10 for it is written,

‘HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU TO GUARD YOU,’

11 and,

‘ON their HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP,
SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.’”

12 And Jesus answered and said to him, “It is said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.’”

13 When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time.

First, he attacked His appetite, and His identity.  Then he attacked His authority and power of influence, and finally he attacked His identity and His life using the Word of God.

We go through the same thing.  The enemy has no new bag of tricks, it’s all the same, it’s all been done before.  There’s nothing new under the sun.

Sometimes we go through things just to be a blessing to others, so that when others see what we’ve been through they can rejoice and say God is Good all the time.  God is definitely good all the time, and He wants us to know that He accepts us and loves us and cares for us, and desires to delight in Him.  So when we begin to see the fullness of Christ, we will change…but first we have to change our perspective on God’s character, that God in both the Old Testament and New Testament is a kind, gentle, steadfastly loving, with loving kindness God,  then He can give you the stamina to be able to push through whatever it is that you need to go through.  Most Christian people are struggling with not knowing who God is, and because of that they don’t know how to make it when times get hard.  They think that God does not love them, that He doesn’t care for them, but the Truth is that He does.  He cares because He is the great shepherd, the one who loves His people, and that means all who believe in Him.  He loves even those that don’t believe in Him because He wants them to come to Him.  So cast your fears and cares aside, and lean on the God that loves you so much that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for you!!!  And now He’s the only One who is still alive!!!

When you have failed a test

This blog posting is kind of like a follow up to “When everything falls apart”, and “The Tests of Life”.  We know that when students go through tests at school.  Have you ever known you were going to have a quiz, but you didn’t have time to study for it?  You just go to sleep and hoping that everything comes by “osmosis” or something like that?  Well God tests and sometimes He chastens us too, and sometimes this test may be foretold in advance [i.e. Jesus wilderness, and the Israelite wilderness] We go through difficult things, and it is about our attitude primarily and what we do and say during these times of chastening and testing.  Sometimes we do not know what direction it is going to come, and we know that the enemy goes around like a roaring lion seeing who he can devour, but we also know God has His plan, which is different for testing.

Women, not intended to stereotype, in general tend to be more emotional and they tend to cry more and be more expressive in their emotions.  Sometimes we find women yelling, and getting angry too, but as believers it is hard to control these emotions without surrendering to the Holy Spirit.  But whether you are a woman or a man, you do get tested by the Lord, and even through the best of intentions you try to obtain a peaceful attitude through the Holy Spirit, but it is the times when you are spiritually undernourished that you go through certain things and you cannot seem to find your way out of the wilderness experience that you are in.  One thing to understand is that God is through His Holy Spirit giving you a slight nudge in what to do in the beginning, and if you don’t listen to that nudge, which is like Question No. 1, and then He gives you another nudge, but this time this one may be a little bit softer than the other nudge.  That is like Question No. 2.  Then by now if the principle of chastening, and disciplining has come into picture, there will you will start receiving a wrong answer mark or an “X” by your “Questions”, and that begins the consequences of sin.  The good thing about the “X” is that if you realize it soon enough you get it erased, and just for another opportunity to do the same question again.  But if you you continue to answer questions wrongly, then the “X”‘s get more and depending on how much you have prepared for the test, and how much you ask the Teacher to help you, you yourself will get up getting upset and failing.  The Good News is that you always have a do over, but you have to ask the Teacher to help you study and you have to ask for tutoring and to go in for “Office Hours”.  The Good News is that the Office Hours are 24/7.  This Teacher is Jesus and through the Holy Spirit He teaches you, but it will have to be at a time, when He is not grieved by you getting upset with Him for the difficult test.

The problem is that most times we don’t depend on the Teacher alone, but we depend on other people, and trying to please them, we try to please other people.   If Job actually listened to the advice of His friends, would He have been actually able to hear from God?  Maybe, because the Word does say, “God works out all things for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” But this was a test.  For Job, it was unexpected, but for some people, God may tell you, “Be watchful, lest you enter into temptation”, and if you don’t listen you are going to end up in trouble.

Part of the problem, is that we don’t have the wisdom our own to figure out the problem, so that’s why we are supposed to go to God, and you may just want someone to pray for you, and they go about giving their advice and telling you how to solve the problem.  Sometimes there are times where people have been thrown everything, which comes there way, and they think as Christians, “I should have been able to handle this better”, and that’s where pride comes in.  Because it is not us, but Christ who lives in us that equips us to handle problems, and because when we don’t listen to the small nudgings, we get overwhelmed, over stressed, and overburdened by our problems.

Hebrews 12, my favorite Chapter says –

For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:

“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
For whom the Lord loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.”

If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that wemay be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

12 Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.

So basically what it says here is that you have to endure the chastening, and some places says rejoice, because you are not illegitimate, and you are sons.  So basically when you have a pop-quiz/test like this, and you fail, realize that it’s ok because even though you will have to go through test again, you are building up your relationship with the Holy Spirit to the level of intimacy because in truth, we all fall down, and especially when you are pursuing the path of Holiness, there may be so many things that come against you, but if you trust in God, then there will be a peacable fruit of righteousness and to forgive yourself and to accept His grace, which calls us unto redemption.  We are not guided by our feelings, and we may have bad days, and areas of struggle, and areas of weakness, but God is equipping us, the one’s whom He loves to be a bride ready to be established for His Kingdom.

If you need to repent for failing a test here is a prayer for you:

Heavenly Father,

Please forgive me, I’ve run a muck today, and not listened to Your voice, and obeyed Your commands.  I acted impatiently, hastily, and not out of love, but I really need You to forgive me, and cleanse my heart with Your Blood and to give me a clean heart and a new heart and to pick up the pieces, dust them off, and continue to spin that Potter’s wheel.  I thank You that You are still with me, and that You are teaching me and training me to be a glorious vessel for Your Kingdom, and I abide in Your Truth and wisdom, to know that You are guiding my path.  Help me to be able to discern Your voice more clearly from now on, and to make wise decisions to pass the tests and to surrender my emotions to you, so that I can have the complete wholeness of Body, Mind, Spirit, that you have promised in Your Word.  Thank You Heavenly Father.

In Jesus Mighty Name I pray,

Amen.

God is faithful to answer the prayers whatever they may be, if you continue to wait on Him.  He will always be with you.

 

When everything falls apart

When we go through hard times and there is nothing and no one that can help, our intimacy and relationship to God is the only thing that can get us through.  When you have been experiencing some rough times – some  Good questions to ask yourself are:  What are you going to do when your Bible is too heavy for you to carry?  What are you going to do when you are not physically capable of using your laptop or computer?  What are you going to do when you try to pray but can’t?  What are you going to do if you’ve lost your voice too?(Not saying that I have)  What are you going to do when you are by yourself and everything around you just seems to be falling apart and you can’t so much lift your hands up or use your voice?  What are you going to do during those times when God is silent or you haven’t “reached” that level of intimacy to bring you close to maturity.  Have you ever thought about these things?  These things are good things to think about.  What does it all depend upon?

Some say it’s obedience and it’s about you reap what you sow, but actually I think in Job, Job got more depressed when other people were saying things like that.  What really matters and what God is looking at more than faith, I would guess is your attitude.  Your attitude while suffering really is a good signal of how mature you are in Christ.  Paul said in Romans 8, “I consider these sufferings of the present time nothing compared to the glory that is about to be revealed.”  If you are able to keep a joyful attitude when suffering then that means you have something that is of value to God.  Sometimes the thing is not whether you are happy or sad, but what goes on in your thought life and how you lift up your heart to Him and just come to that point of surrender in knowing that you cannot do it without Him.  Even Jesus when He was on the Cross probably was not rejoicing and singing and shouting, but He maintained the Word confession out loud, and He surrendered to the sin that He took upon His flesh when He was on the Cross.  We all say we want a deeper relationship with God and a more intimate relationship with God, but do you know what it actually means to take on the nature of Christ?  It means to partake in the sufferings of Christ.  Although it is good that God does not give you more than you can bear, and though sorrow may last through the night and joy comes in the morning, we all have to suffer at some point and our attitude while suffering is important.

There are some kinds of attitudes that are healthy to have while in sufferings:

1)  An attitude of praise – If you are able to not curse God or blame God during the circumstance but to lift Him up and not allow the enemy’s tactics to discourage you and to bring you into self-pity then that is a good attitude to have.  I’ve done a blog post on Praise  –  I forgot what it’s called.  It might be called, “Singing in the Valley”

2) An attitude of communion – If we allow ourselves to acknowledge the fact that Christ has suffered too, and that no one has suffered to the point that Christ has as it says in Hebrews 12, then we will know that no matter what happens we do not have to be discouraged because Christ has already overcome the world, and we know that He has suffered as well.  There’s a verse – I think it’s in Phillipians  where Paul says that he thanks God to know the power of His resurrection, and to partake in the fellowship of His sufferings.  That must be a difficult thing to understand for some people.  I am not saying that you have to suffer that it is a requirement to fellowship with Him, but to say that if you are suffering rejoice because Christ suffered likewise.

3)  An attitude of rejoicing – When you are suffering, good chances are that you are being chastened or being disciplined by God, and even though it says that no disciplining is joyful but is grievous and painful, but the result is peacable fruits of righteousness for those that have been trained by it – We can still choose to rejoice.  We can continually have our hearts lifted up because – we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:4

4) An attitude of surrender – knowing that you are too small to fix all your problems is a great thing.  Knowing that there is someone greater and larger that takes care of everything.  It’s good to be obedient to the little that God has called you to do, but even when you have been disobedient and are trying to take control of your life and figure everything out for yourself then that God cannot operate in changing your free will, so you have to come and humble yourself before Him.  Job did that in the last chapter of Job, where He just surrendered to God and repented.  Surrender is a form of repentence – it is laying your will down and making a commitment to change. It is also the ability to realize how Great our God is.

5) An attitude of not complaining – no matter what circumstances you are going through, the less you complain, and murmur, the better it is.  But you can always talk to God and reason with Him.  Jesus is your mediator.  When Job was suffering he cried out for a mediator between God and man.  Aren’t we glad that we have one?

6) An attitude of Prayer – If at all you can pray, and prayer just means communicate to God in some form (I know some people say you have to utter out loud or speak in tongues), but in some cases you just need in your heart to communicate your heart’s desire to God and have that level of faith step in and take over.

7) An attitude of Be Still and Know – “When you have done all that you can do stand” – It says in Ephesians 6.  When we can just rest knowing that God still loves us and cares for us and that our prayers are being heard and answered then maybe that’s all we need.  We don’t need to beat ourselves up for what we have done because God knows and He is there to help you.  Sometimes He just wants you to go and spend time with Him and seek Him.

Sometimes it’s not about all the rebuking the devil that you do, but it’s about your attitude.  I don’t even want to get into all that’s going on right now, but I know God is faithful even when everything falls apart.  The key thing to remember when everything falls apart is that God works out all things together for good to those who love Him.  There’s going to be a blessing out of this situation that you might be going through – that is the peaceable fruits of righteousness.