Through Trials

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet.

Only through experiences of trial and suffering

Can the soul be strengthened,

Vision cleared,

ambition inspired,

and success achieved.”

Helen Keller

“In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

A Time of Reckoning

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time, are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18

To reckon, is to establish by counting or calculation, and today, as I struggle with ¬†pain and limitations as I recover from surgery, I am reminded that, in calculating the number of difficulties and painful events that have occurred in my life, I am encouraged and inspired to think of what God has in store for those who love Him, those who are called according to his purpose. Paul, in reckoning all of his pain and suffering, just lays it out there for us in II Corinthians 11:24-27; “… five times received I forty stripes save one. I was beaten three times with rods, stoned once, three times I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by my own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, (that’s me today, lol¬†), in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.”

I don’t suppose that many of us can say that we’ve suffered to this extent, and I’m in no way trying to belittle anyone else’s experience, yet Paul kept moving forward and I’m so glad that he did because during these tremendous hardships, He wrote most of the epistles of the New Testament. Most of them from prison. In light of all of this, and considering the hardships that we may be facing, we too can reckon that none of it compares to the glory that shall be revealed in us, as we, like Paul, keep moving forward and looking up…

Suffering

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Suffering may endure for a season

And we wonder when relief will come.
Is this for a time of testing
A really deep trial for some?

Day by day we endure our heartaches,
Often questioning why,
We don’t seem to fully understand
And we come before God with a sigh!

“Just quiet yourself in My presence,” He says,
“I have blessings for you in store,
This time with me will be precious,
Even more than ever before.”

The wonderful promises in God’s Holy Word
Bring comfort, encouragement and peace,
And as we nestle up close to Him.
Our Faith brings sweet release.

So let us joyfully praise the Lord,
If, through suffering we can learn,
Truths that will help to guide our way,
And His Word more clearly discern.

Elsie K. Young

Moving Forward

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I’m not going back, I’m moving ahead

Here to declare to you

My past is over in You

Things are made new,

Surrendered my life to Christ
I’m moving forward

You have risen with all power in Your hands
You have given me a second chance
Hallelujah!

You make all things new
And I will follow You forward.

Israel Houghton

We’ve Come This Far

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We’ve come this far by faith,
Leaning on the Lord;
Trusting in his Holy Word.
He’s never failed us yet.

Oh! Oh-Oh-Oh! Oh-Oh-Oh!

Can’t turn around, Oh no!
We’ve come this far by faith.

Albert Goodson

Happy Ending

Image result for happy“Behold, we count them happy who endure.

You have heard of the patience of Job,

And have seen the end of the Lord;…

The Lord is very compassionate, and of tender mercy.”

James 5:11

“And the LORD restored the fortunes of Job,… and gave Job twice as much as he had before.”

Job 42:10

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St. Patrick’s Day

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The true story of St. Patrick’s Day, is about a simple man of prayer, perseverance, faith, and ¬†a genuine concern for others.¬†I ¬†really like this story, and I hope that you will too!

Patrick, whose real name was Maewyn Succat, was not Irish, but English. He was born to a wealthy Christian family,  and as an early teen, he was kidnapped and taken to Ireland to become a slave. His name was changed to Patrick. As a slave in Ireland, he witnessed the pagan practices of the Irish, but remained true to his Christian faith, and it is said that he prayed up to a 100 times a day.

One day Maewyn escaped and took the long journey back to his home in England. After many years, ¬†he developed a deep desire to return to Ireland as a missionary. He taught the people about God and advised them not trust in pagan superstitions. He used the three leafed clover, the shamrock, to explain the Trinity,‚ÄĚ Three in One‚ÄĚ, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Patrick introduced Christianity to Ireland, and after 30 years of evangelism, he died on March 17,  461 AD. After his death he became known as St. Patrick and March 17th has been named a holiday in honor of him.

¬† St. Patrick‚Äôs Day is about the faith and sacrifice of a man who¬†shared his faith, and the love of God, with a nation…

and for that we remember him today. ♣

How Long?

O LORD, how long will You forget me? Forever?

How long will You look the other way?

How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul,

With sorrow in my heart every day?

How long will my enemy have the upper hand?

Turn and answer me, O LORD my God!

Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.

Don‚Äôt let my enemies gloat, saying, ‚ÄúWe have defeated him!‚ÄĚ

Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall.

,,,I trust in Your unfailing love.

I will rejoice because You have rescued me.

I will sing to the LORD because

He is good to me.”

Psalm 13

Harvest of Joy

“When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion,

We were like them that dream.

Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the nations,

The LORD has done great things for them.

The LORD has done great things for us; and we are glad.

Turn again our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the South.

They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.”

Psalm 126:1-5

Triumph In Times of Trouble

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“Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and¬†rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance.

 And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.

¬†Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God‚Äôs love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit,¬†Who has been given to us.” -Romans 5:3-5

Return to Laughter, Return to Joy

“When the¬†Lord¬†restored the fortunes of¬†Zion,

we were like those who dreamed,

Our mouths were filled with laughter,

 our tongues with songs of joy.

Then it was said among the nations,

¬†‚ÄúThe¬†Lord¬†has done great things for them.‚ÄĚ

The Lord has done great things for us,

 and we are filled with joy.

Restore our fortunes, Lord, like streams in the Negev.

Those who sow with tears

 will reap with songs of joy.

Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow,

Will return with songs of joy,

¬†carrying sheaves with them.”

Psalm 126

I’ve Learned

Weeping may endure for a night

and I’ve learned¬†that the night

can be very long...

but then, I remember

that even though¬†it’s darkest before dawn,

“Joy comes in the morning”

And for that, I can hold on.”

-Faith Carr

My Heart is Fixed

“O¬†God,¬†my¬†heart¬†is¬†fixed¬†; I will¬†sing¬†and give¬†praise¬†, even with my¬†glory.” Psalm 108:1

“Praise ye the LORD.

Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.

His seed shall be mighty upon earth; the generation of the upright shall be blessed.

Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever.

Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.

A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion.

Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.

He shall not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD.

His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies.

He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever;

his horn shall be exalted with honour. The wicked shall see it, and be grieved;

he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away:¬†the desire of the wicked shall perish.”

Psalm 112

Weak or Brave?

There is a song by Nicole C. Mullins where she sings that; The not so good ole days can make you weak or make you brave.”¬†, and I love the message here.

Most of us can think back to times when we were hurt, rejected, or severely criticized by our peers our others but, the truth is,  those times can either make us weak or brave, as we move forward and face life today.

Philippians 3:13 says, “…One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” and in Genesis 50:20, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good…”

So let’s be brave!

Let’s¬†press on despite past hurts, stronger than we were before, knowing that God is working all things together for our good. ¬†: )

From the Rising of the Sun

“Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and forevermore.

From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD’S name is to be praised.

The LORD is high above all nations, and His glory above the heavens.

Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwells on high,

Who humbles himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!

He raises up the poor out of the dust, and lifts the needy out of the ash heap;

That He may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people.

He makes the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children.

Praise you the LORD.”

Psalm 113: 2-9

Keep on Keeping on

We’ve  all had times, when the going gets tough
The smooth ride suddenly, feels bumpy and rough
The good times are gone, it’s all rather gruff
You let out a sigh and exclaim ‚Äď ‚ÄúI‚Äôve had enough‚ÄĚ

We are all entitled at times, to gripe and to moan
What’s happened to my life, you say with a groan?
My backpack seems weighed down, by a big heavy stone
How do I move away, from this miserable zone?

When a curved ball hits you, and you feel all alone
Remember the good days, when the sun always shone
Go forward in faith, that you’ve already won
Hold to the course, and keep on keeping on

Michael Sage

I Shall Arise

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“… I will look unto the LORD;

I will wait for the God of my salvation:

my God will hear me.

Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy:

when I fall, I shall arise;

when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.

Micah 7:7-8

Dress for Success

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;¬†And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;¬†Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.¬†And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God…”

Ephesians 6:10-18

I’m Just Sayin’

“If God¬†be¬†for us, who¬†can be¬†against us?”

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,¬†Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8:28 and 38

It Couldn’t Be Done

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done,
But, he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn‚Äôt,” but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you‚Äôll never do that;
At least no one has done it”;
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle it in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start to sing as you tackle the thing
That “couldn‚Äôt be done,” and you‚Äôll do it.

Edgar A. Guest

Smokin’ Hot

They say, “Where there’s smoke there’s fire”, so is it also true that where there’s fire there’s smoke?” Not according to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. It says in Daniel 3:20-24 ¬†that when they were thrown into the fiery furnace, the king saw four men walking in the fire, and the fourth looked ¬†like the Son of God, and when he called them out of the fire, they were completely untouched by the flames, and then, to top it all off, ¬†their clothes didn’t even smell like smoke. Now, that’s amazing!! You can’t even start coals for a barbecue, without smelling like smoke! ¬†Verse 24 says that” the fire had no power over them!”Our God Is AWESOME!!¬†This story is a ¬†fire-bright,¬†blatant¬†example, of how God is with us “in the fire“, these fiery trials have no power over us, and when it’s over, we won’t even smell like smoke! Now that’s Hot!¬†