The Power of Prayer

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Prayer is one of the most powerful weapons we use to defend against the attacks of the enemy. It is one of the most sincere and vulnerable positions that we can enter into to have fellowship with our Father. Yet, when it comes to our prayer lives, many of us view it as another one of our “Christian responsibilities and obligations” rather than viewing it as the privilege that it truly is. How do you view your prayer life? Is it a vital part of your daily routine? Or do you only pray during times of distress and trouble? If we were to be completely honest with ourselves, we could probably all agree that our prayer lives could use a bit of improvement (some maybe more than others). We can certainly rely on God to answer us during times of distress when we cry out to Him in prayer. Psalms 4:1 says, “Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.” God is faithful to not only hear our prayers but also to answer them. However, prayer is not about just asking God for things that we need or desire. It is about establishing a relationship with Him built on faith and trust in Him.

God knows the desires of our hearts long before we even think to ask, but He still loves to hear from us. It does not matter if we are asking for guidance or giving thanks because it draws us closer to Him. The bible is filled with people who were led to pray for a multitude of things that we still pray about today- fear, anger, worry, provision, family, nation, governments, and our world. They knew then, as we know now just what the bible says according to James 5:16, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” In Matthew 6:9-13, Jesus teaches His disciples how they should pray, “ After this manner, therefore, pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.” There are some very important insights that we should learn about this prayer. First, the words “Our Father” helps us to understand that this is a prayer that is relational between us and our Father. This is God’s warm and personal authoritative position in our lives. He is our Father, and we are His children. Romans 8:15, “For we have received the Spirit of adoption as sons by whom we cry Abba Father.” Secondly, we recognize that God, “Art in heaven”.

There is no comparison between God and earthly fathers. God reigns supreme over all the heavens and the earth. We then move on to, “Hallowed be thy name”. God’s name is deserving of the highest honor- not only is our Father holy- unique, set apart, and superior- we must proclaim hallowed be your name – for He is worthy to receive glory and honor and praise. 1 Samuel 2:2 declares, “ There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.” God wants to reign in our hearts and our lives- Jesus reminds us to seek God’s plan and not our own. God’s will for our lives has reason and purpose. Psalms 33:11 states, “ But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.” God also wants us to depend on Him for everything that we need. Matthew 7:11, “ If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” Beyond asking for earthly provision, He ultimately wants us to find fulfillment in Him alone. We also see in this prayer the need for forgiveness of our sins. God alone can forgive sin and remove guilt. Psalms 130:12,“ As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. We also realize that once we are forgiven there is no condemnation towards us as stated in Romans 8:1 “ There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” The Lord’s prayer also asks to “deliver us from temptation”. God alone protects us from temptation and the enemy. 1 Corinthians 10:13 declares, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” So when we approach God in prayer we must do so confidently believing that He is able to do all that we may ask or inquire of Him. Mark 11:24 states, “Therefore I say unto you, whatever things you desire, when you pray, believe that you will receive them, and you shall have them” Prayer is not only powerful, but both an intimate and corporate event with God. It brings God glory, gives us insight into who He is, and has a tangible effect upon our lives. Prayer is a privilege and a spiritual discipline well worth developing. So let us start working towards having a more meaningful and powerful prayer life because there truly is so much power in prayer.

Becoming Spiritually Prepared

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James 1:1-4 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings. Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Why Do We Encounter Challenges? Testing causes us to move past our comfort zones. It makes us find out more about who God created us to be. Testing of our faith causes us to flex our “spiritual muscles”.

Likewise, trials build our faith so that we become “prepared” for new things we are faced with in our lives.

Today, we will focus on three parts of becoming spiritually prepared:

1) Be Equipped 2) Be Elevated 3) Be an Example

Be Equipped
First, we must study God’s word to learn from the examples of those who endured hardships, trials, and temptations. For example, we can learn what not to do from the Israelites, how to walk out our purpose from Paul, and many others. We can use their positive and negative experiences to help us prepare for times we may find ourselves in similar situations.

Be Elevated We must come up in our mindset (hearts). Proverbs 23:7 says,”As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he”. We have to make a conscious decision to stand by what we have learned in the word of God. So, when trials do come, our minds will be made up to do God’s will. Then, we must be proactive by already having our hearts fixed on what godly actions we will take. This will reduce the making of wrong decisions and become disciplined in our faith walk. Like Daniel, he made up his mind to do the right thing.

Be an Example When we walk in the confidence of what we have learned in the Word of God, it makes us billboards of victory. The more we prepare for a challenge beforehand, the more our faith is increased when we come face to face with it. As a result of faith, our God is glorified. When He is glorified, we set ourselves and others up to be blessed. David went to battle in faith and not in his own strength because he believed in the power of the God he served. Likewise, we can come face to face with challenges (giants) in our lives in the same spirit of authority.

Reflect: What is God preparing you for in the new year? What have you experienced and learned this year that will help you in the next part of your life?

© FREE 2019 All Rights Reserved

The Purpose in the Pressure

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The other day, I reflected on when my son Shaun told me he wanted to join the Air Force. It was right after his high school graduation. Shaun has always done very well in school. Based on his grades and test scores, he had his pick of college opportunities. So, when he informed me of his decision to join the Air Force, honestly, I was less than pleased. I have great respect for our military. Many of my family members have proudly served. But this was different. It was my eighteen-year-old son who hated cleaning his room and still needed me to remind him to take out the trash. I never shared my personal feelings about Shaun’s choice with him because I did not want to discourage him. One of the things he did in order to help himself prepare for the military was to watch videos about boot camp. He watched intently and began to prepare a workout routine to help him achieve his fitness goals. As I was reflecting on these memories of my son and his preparation for his boot camp experience, the Holy Spirit spoke to me. As Christians, many of us have gone through a boot camp experience. In boot camp, the objective is to tear down in order to build back up. Have you ever felt like living for Christ has been more challenging than your previous life without Him? If I am going, to be honest, I certainly have. We are not alone in this kind of thinking. Remember when the children of Israel were angry with Moses and accused him of trying to kill them in the wilderness? Numbers 14:1-3 – “Then the whole congregation lifted up their voices and cried out, and that night the people wept. 2All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt, or if only we had died in this wilderness! 3Why is the LORD bringing us into this land to fall by the sword? Our wives and children will become plunder. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?”

When we do not understand the plan of God and the way He is operating in our lives, we can become bitter and angry. We can feel like we are overlooked and forgotten about. Why doesn’t God help me? We ask. Doesn’t He see what I am going through? Does He even care? We lose sight of the fact that God is a faithful God. He promises never to leave us or forsake us. We often feel hurt, betrayed, and lose sight of the purpose in the pressure. Pressure can come from anywhere at any time. We feel stressed about our obligations regarding work, family, school, relationships, and so many other things. And now that we are currently living in a time of uncertainty due to the Coronavirus, our pressure and stress can seem even more overwhelming. We must remind ourselves through reading and meditation in the Word of God, that God not only hears us, but He also answers us. 

James 1:2-4 states, “2) Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds, 3) because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4)Allow perseverance to finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” This scripture helps us to view our pressures in a different way. We can count it as a blessing because it allows us to see our faith in God in action. It teaches us how to persevere in order to overcome obstacles and challenges in the future. Sometimes, we face pressure thinking about the trials that we may face in our futures. However, in Matthew 6:34 we are told, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own.” What we can gain from this is that there is no point in dwelling in the unknown stress and pressures of the future- so just do not. One of the significant things I learned from my son Shaun as he was getting ready for his military service, was his preparation. As believers, we also are told to prepare ourselves. 1 Corinthians 16:13 says, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” We are aware that the enemy is always trying to figure out ways to attack us and make us feel defeated. 1 Peter 5:8 – “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” So, when we are feeling the pressures of life. we have to look at it from a different perspective. We must remember that God loves us and He has a plan for our lives. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”

Hard times can make it difficult to see God’s purpose especially when we only feel pain and grief. Many times, we don’t want to be reminded that God is working our difficulties for our good. However, if we practice living our lives with the mindset that God is working things out for us, we can have a smoother transition of accepting this truth in the hard places. Shaun served six years in the Air Force. He has prepared himself for a very bright future filled with hope and promise. Although I could not see it when he left home, it was the best choice for his path in life. We can all learn a very valuable lesson from Shaun’s experience and that lesson is that in the plan of God, there is always purpose in the pressure. 

True Love Waits

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True love still waits even when we may fall,
And when we fail to answer to His loving call.

True love waits when we fall short time and time again,
Or become gravely entangled in the bondage of our sins.

True love waits in the dark of night while we are upon bended knee,
He leans in ever closer and attentive to hear our every plea.

True love waits when we let Him down; it’s our own words we break,
Love yet is faithful to fill our lungs with new breath when we wake.

True love waits and extends His abundant grace,
Hopeful that one day within us, His truth will take its place.

True love waits because He knows His promises will be fulfilled,
Soon, we will all behold Him as His splendorous glory is revealed.

True love waits. God forbid we let His grace abound.
Will we be caught with works undone and crosses down?

Love is patient.
Love is kind.
Love came to heal and save the blind.
Love will soon come back like a thief in the night.
Love will split the sky and shine His everlasting light.
True love has waited. However, Love’s wait will soon be done.
Still, we must ask ourselves if we’ll be ready when He comes.

True love has waited because He wants us to get it right.
So, He can bestow upon us His promise of everlasting life.

True love has waited. Beloved, one-day His wait will end.
And He shall be ready to decide which of us will make it in.

Dealing with Matters of the Heart

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Heartbreak is a feeling like no other. No matter how we try to recover from it, it has a way of leaving its mark on us. What was your first heartbreaking experience? Do you feel as if it is still affecting you today? I experienced mine at the tender age of six. The day is still very vivid in my mind. My grandmother and I went to the grocery store together to gather items for her to complete dinner. My grandmother and I shared a special relationship. She just had a way of making me feel like the most important person in the world. She was aware of the neglect and abuse that was going on in my home life and took every opportunity that she could to “rescue me” from my torment. So, my visits with her were not only exhilarating for me but also necessary for my survival and mental well-being. Although I was six years old, and by the opinion of most people, to old to ride in the grocery cart, my grandmother would drive me around the store in the cart and allow me a few minutes to forget about all the heaviness of my home life. As excited as I was when she came to visit, I was equally as sad when it was time for her to go. As we returned home on this day, we encountered four vehicles with the State of Michigan Child Protective Services logos located on the side. I saw the worry on my grandmother’s face as we approached our house. Immediately, I was taken away by a protective service worker who informed me that my siblings and myself were being taken into custody. I saw my mother running out, screaming, and crying as my siblings were being put into separate cars. I began to cry. My reaction made my siblings cry as well. I recall the social service worker telling me that I had to be brave for my sisters and brothers. Sadly, those same words would be rehearsed within my spirit for many years to come. My heart was so broken that day. From that day forward, I vowed to never love anyone again as strongly as I loved my mother and siblings. The pain of that loss was too much to bear.

Have you ever experienced a pain so deep that it made you want to protect your heart at all costs? When we look at Proverbs 4:23, it tells us to, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life“. We are informed in this Proverb to keep or guard our hearts with all diligence. Diligence can be defined as careful and persistent work or effort. This is a familiar scripture and one that is often quoted or taken out of its scriptural context. When we look at the passage of scripture before this verse, we can gain a better insight into what the scripture means. Proverbs 4: 20-23 gives us a more complete thought concerning this scripture, “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Here we see that the instruction is not just to guard our hearts, but to guard the godly instructions within our hearts. We are also told that God’s instructions are our lives. His words are are life to those that find them. The heart in Hebrew refers to one’s emotions. Proverbs 12:25 says, “ Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop, but a good word maketh it glad”. More often, however, it speaks to intellect- such as understanding. Proverbs 10:8 states, “The wise in heart will receive commandments, but a prating fool shall fall”. It also speaks to discernment as in Proverbs 15:14, “The heart of him that has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouths of fools feedeth on foolishness”. When the heart is referenced, it is dealing with more than our mental or emotional capacity. Our very character is defined by our actions that flow from the condition of our hearts. Luke 6:45 reads, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil, for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh”. To truly guard our hearts, we must fill it with God’s word. Proverbs 4:20-22 say , “My son be attentive to my words, incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them and healing to all their flesh“. It takes the word of God to help heal us from our brokenness.

When it comes to dealing with matters of the heart, we must put them into God’s hands as only His hands can heal and make us whole. Psalm 51:10 explains it best, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me“. These scriptures have not only healed me from the hurt of my past, but they are still an encouragement to my soul. Likewise, I hope an encouragement to yours as well.

All Things Are Working

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Romans 8:28 The Message (MSG)

28 That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

Have you ever questioned the meaning of your life in the heat of a battle? I have many times. During some battles, I’ve had some degree of clarity. On the other hand, it took me much longer to see how the Lord was working. One thing for sure is that God certainly has a plan for my life. Although that plan hasn’t always been clear, it has forced me to stand firm on what I know about the nature of God. I know that He is a loving Father and He is sovereign. I know that He has a set purpose for my life and that He is orchestrating every step I take towards fulfilling that purpose.

Yet, there are still days that I wonder and become anxious about the future. Last Wednesday, was one of those days for me. While looking for worship music, I came across a new song by one of my favorite worship writers, Pat Barrett. The song is called Clay and Canvas.

The chorus says:

You make all things work together,
For my future and for my good.
You make all things work together,
For Your glory and for Your name.

Immediately, Romans 8:28 came to mind. The more I played the song, the more my heart became encouraged. I was reminded that regardless of where I am right now and what I’ve been navigating through, God is working it all for my good. Let’s look at the keyword…ALL. The word all means “the whole amount, quantity, or extent of need”. There is no partiality in the word ALL. This means that everything, “the whole amount, quantity, or extent of need” of what has happened and is happening in my life is/was necessary for me to reach my full potential in God.

Another verse of the song says:

I know nothing has been wasted.
No failure or mistake.
You’re an artist and a potter.
I’m the canvas and the clay.

You see everything that we experience both good and bad is needed for us to fulfill our purpose. The enemy may have sent it to exterminate us but God worked it to empower us. This means that God is in total control and is working through every detail of our lives to ensure that His work is finished in each of us. What a great God! I love that God is very intentional and strategic. He knows what it takes to activate our faith and develop us. He knows just how much adversity and testing we need to become more like Him. The Father is like both the potter and the artist. From the beginning, they have a vision of what they want to create. During the process, they are adding, smoothing, removing, squeezing, pressing, and crafting their work of art until it reflects their vision. The Father is doing the same with us, His clay and canvas.

It’s true. Our tests are writing our testimonies. When I looked up the definition of testimony, it was defined as the “evidence or proof provided by the existence or appearance of something”. This tells me that everything has to work out for our good because it has to serve as evidence or proof that our God exists and is ALL-powerful. The verse says every detail is worked into something good. Remember, nothing is wasted. Every struggle, failure, hurt, wound, and disappointment happened for a reason and was necessary. If you look back over your life, you will be able to see that every hardship you’ve endured has worked for your good and made you better. It’s so beautiful to reflect and recognize how the Lord was ordering your steps all along.

Take heart and know that your ALL will be ALL good in the end. Why? Because our Father said so.

Be blessed.

© 2020 FREE All Rights Reserved.

What Do You Treasure?

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While reading my daily devotional, Christine Caine was explaining the verse of the day, Matthew 6:21. Something she said caught my attention. She said, “If you want to know where your heart lies, check your bank statement. Where your money goes will tell you what you treasure?” I thought for a minute, “Hmm. Where does the majority of my money go?” I must say that it mostly goes towards things for my family. Isn’t that what I am supposed to do as a parent? Take care of my family. Yes. However, I quickly recognized areas that I needed to be a better steward of and use more of my resources to be a blessing to others. Matthew 6:21 states, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” What do we value friends? What do we spend most of our time doing? Whatever those things may be, they can become an idol in our lives if we aren’t careful.

When I think about those two questions in regards to Jesus and what He spent His life doing, I certainly have a lot of work to do. He spent His entire life serving others and fulfilling His purpose. In John 5:19, we see Jesus talking to the disciples about His motivation. The verse reads: “Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do; for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” What was His motivation? The Father. Jesus’ life of purpose and service was driven by what He saw the Father do. Therefore, His heart was set on heavenly things and not earthly things. Are we heavenly minded but no earthly good? Shouldn’t we heavenly minded while doing earthly good? If our hearts aren’t on the work of the kingdom while here on earth, then our hearts are in the wrong places.

Let us examine and redirect our hearts so our treasures will lie in the things of God. Let our hearts reflect His. How will we know? We will know when our hearts are in sync with His love and service. We will know when we are using our resources and blessings to touch the lives of others. We will know when we see the least of these as ourselves and as our Father sees them.

During this pandemic, it has been easy for us to turn our eyes inward and focus on ourselves. Some have even started hoarding materials for fear of the future and resources being limited. There have been many distractions that have drawn our minds and sometimes our hearts away from God. However, when I think about the example of Jesus and all that He has done for us, I can’t help but wonder. How would His “bank statement” look? There is a saying, “Jesus, paid it all.” I envision the transactions being names of all of us for whom He died. Instead of tangible things, I can see names like John, Nia, Heidi, Joel, Fred, Hiram, Jeanne, David, Stephen, Rachael, and so many more. That statement would be infinite in length and last throughout eternity. The amount by each name would be 0.00 because we had a debt we could not pay. Yet, Jesus took the cost of all our sin upon Himself.

Why? Because we are His treasure, His heart. Likewise, He wants to be our treasure, our hearts.

© FREE 2020 All Rights Reserved.

From Fear to Faith

When I was six years old, my foster mother asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. My response to her was that I wanted to be a writer for the New York Times. To this day, I have no idea how I even knew of the New York Times, but I’ve always dreamt of growing up and being a journalist. The act of writing was sort of an escape for me to leave my dire life circumstances, create stories, and short plays that took me all over the world. My younger sister and brother would beg to differ and felt quite tormented by my imagination; and their active roles as my unwilling participants in it. The thing is, I felt fearless and truly believed that I could be and do anything I wanted to be. Can you think of a time that you felt that way? I mean truly free to be whoever or whatever you wanted to be. The feeling of pure excitement and freedom that comes from being unrestricted by the expectations of others is truly priceless. Then, before you know it, this thing called life happens and you no longer feel as confident as you used to. You may have made the same mistake that Joseph made in Genesis 37:1-11. Joseph told his brothers of his dream and they became dream killers. Who are the dream killers in your life? Have you allowed fear and doubt to creep in and steal your joy?

In 2 Timothy 1:7, the scripture says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” So, then we must ask ourselves, “If God did not give us the spirit of fear, where did it come from?” The enemy is constantly trying to get us to doubt ourselves and doubt God. In Genesis 3:1, we see an example of that, “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” Satan was very conscious of what the Lord had said and by turning a God-given commandment into a question, he was able to cause Eve to doubt. Has God ever told you the vision He has for your life? If so, how did you respond? In fear or faith? If we have allowed other people or the enemy to cause us to doubt what God has told us, we will find ourselves in the same situation as Eve. We will not only find ourselves disobeying and doubting God. We will also influence others to do the same thing. Such occurred in Genesis 3:6, “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” The bible has many instances that speak to our being Christlike.

Romans 12:2 states, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will.” Although we want to live our dreams and desire to live a purpose-filled life, we must do it according to the will of God. We cannot find success as Christians if we are living outside of the will of God. The bible tells us in John 15:19, “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” We may feel pressured to conform to the ways of the world and behave in ways that are acceptable to the world. However, we have to remember that we’re instructed to live holy lives that honor and profess our belief in God.

God not only knows our dreams. He is also the one who has given them to us. It is His will that we live blessed and prosperous lives. However, that requires obedience and discipline on our part. We cannot allow fear and doubt to hinder us from receiving every blessing God has in store for us. In Jeremiah 29:11, the Lord declares, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

One of the most significant things about this scripture is that God is thinking of us. He is not condemning us. He is speaking a blessing over our lives. So, we do not have to live a life that is riddled with fear and doubt any longer. We can dream again and allow the Holy Spirit to lead us to all the things that God is preparing for us. Because just as John 8:36 states, “So if the Son sets you free you will be free indeed.” These are powerful and encouraging words, and all we need to know to move from fear to faith.

If We Only Had a Heart

If we only had a heart,

We wouldn’t look on as the innocent die,

Or turn a deaf ear as children torn from parent’s arms cry.

If we only had a heart,

We would see human and not race,

We’d understand that because of Our Father everyone has a place.

If we only had a heart,

We’d bombard the Heavens with prayers as one voice,

We’d understand that a life of holiness is really our only choice.

If we only had a heart,

We wouldn’t rejoice in one another’s sorrow,

Because we would understand that our own lives could easily change tomorrow.

If we only had a heart we wouldn’t be afraid to take a stand,

Or be driven by hidden agendas behind outstretched greedy hands.

If we only had a heart,

We wouldn’t argue about when life begins,

For we would be more concerned about what happens in the end.

If we only had a heart,

We would know to lose the world is to live,

And that for our salvation did the Father freely give.

If we only had a heart,

It would not be hard to see,

There is a need to repent and change but it starts with you and me.

If we had a heart.

© FREE 2019 All Rights Reserved.

This Cup

Life can be tough. There have been things in my life that I’ve gone through that if I had the power to choose them, I wouldn’t have. I’m sure you can relate. Jesus felt the same way when faced with the daunting task of the cross. While in the garden in Matthew 26:39, he prayed, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me”. Although he loved God and knew it had to be done, he had moment of reluctance concerning the suffering that he was about to endure. He felt the weight of what lied before him. He knew the contents of the cup of suffering that he was about partake. We’ve all been there at some point or the other. Was it having to bury a loved one? Was it receiving a scary diagnosis from the doctor? Divorce? Lay off? Dealing with a rebellious child? Being betrayed by someone you trusted? Financial Difficulty? Regardless of the circumstance, the fact that life can be overwhelming still remains.

What is our perspective on suffering? It would be insane to want it or look forward to. Right? Let’s revisit Matthew 26:39. Jesus ended by saying,” Nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” He stepped back into the role of Savior. He was willing to put his own feelings and fear aside to honor the will of the Father for His life. This is the response that God requires of us.

Hebrews 5:8-9 states, “Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him,“. If Jesus, the blameless son of God had to suffer, then we cannot expect any less. There are areas within us that God can only build through suffering. If our true heart’s desire is to become Christlike, then we must drink the cup because trying to pass the cup only hinders the process of God in our lives.

Let us not don’t despise the suffering that God is allowing in our lives to mature us.

God will provide the grace we need to bear and drink the cup. His grace is sufficient.

Passages for Difficult Times:

James 1:2-3 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Job 23:10
But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.

2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

© FREE 2020 All Right Reserved.

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