Archive for Hardships

Your Other Atmosphere

Our Creator chose to envelop earth in an atmosphere we call “air.” Air surrounds and sustains us, refreshes us and protects us from harmful sun rays.  Air makes life possible.  Two gases comprise the bulk of our atmosphere: nitrogen, about 79% and oxygen, a little more than 20%. Read More→

My “V” in the Moonlit Sky

A beautiful full moon illuminated the night sky.  I could plainly see my own shadow in the grass.  As I looked up to admire Father’s glorious handiwork, I noticed some clouds backlit by the shining moon.

Astonishingly, these clouds formed an almost perfect letter “V”.  There I was, awestruck by Father’s moon and stars.  Then, he thoughtfully threw in a “V” for victory; he provided a reminder of the victories he generously lavishes upon us. Read More→

Dealing with Lions

You probably haven’t dealt with many lions recently.  We Americans rarely encounter lions on the city streets or in the back yard.

On the other hand, every one of us must constantly deal with a lion called Satan.  Although he doesn’t inhabit a physical body, he unceasingly prowls about in the physical world. “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour,” 1 Peter 5:8.  He is an invisible spirit who exerts immeasurable harmful influence in the physical world. Read More→

When Everything is Against You

Papa Jacob’s dust covered, heavy-hearted sons returned to Israel from Egypt. With trembling voices, they reported that an Egyptian ruler imprisoned their brother Simeon. The ruler would only release Simeon on the condition that Jacob’s youngest son, Benjamin, traveled to Egypt.

Jacob’s elderly, anguished voice cried out, “You have deprived me of my children. Joseph is no more, and now you want to take Benjamin. Everything is against me,” Genesis 42:36! Read More→

Hurt But Not Harmed

I used to question the Bible promise, “No harm befalls the righteous,” Proverbs 12:21. How could this statement be true? After all, wasn’t Jesus hurt? Haven’t all believers felt pain?

For a long time I simply read that, “No harm befalls the righteous” without believing it. Then one day, I understood the difference between being “hurt” and being “harmed”.

The Bible doesn’t promise that we will never hurt; it promises that we will never be harmed. The pain of hurting will be turned into a blessing for those God loves. Did not Father transform Jesus’ pain into the victory of resurrection? In fact, Jesus looked forward “to the joy that was set before him,” Hebrews 12:2. He anticipated benefit from pain.

Dear friends, be encouraged; hurting is never fun, but neither is it harmful for those who belong to Jesus.

When Your Life Goes Backwards

The Lord commanded Moses to enter Pharaoh’s palace and deliver a shocking order to the world’s most powerful ruler: “Let My people go so they may serve me!,” Exodus chapters five and eight. Reluctantly, Moses obeyed God. Undoubtedly, Moses expected life to move forward. He imagined Pharaoh conceding to God’s command, releasing the Israeli slaves and sending them on their way to the Promised land. However, life went backwards. Read More→

Choosing the Effect of Life’s Events

The thing we call time carries us through life’s events. Life started with the even humans call birth. Ordinarily, routine events fill our days: meals, conversations, buying groceries, attending church.

On the other hand, many unexpected and unpleasant events muscle their way into our lives. You don’t choose these. In fact, you don’t even want them. Nevertheless, they come. Read More→

Hold On, Your Day is Coming!

Recently, I switched our television from one major network to another. I probably spent three to five minutes listening and seeing what ABC, CBS and NBC broadcasted at that time. That’s all it took; I was angry! These network programs were all together ungodly, anti-Christian and immoral.

The anger I felt toward sin and this sinful world then turned into grief. I found myself actually mourning over the sin all around us. I read the words of an earlier child of God, “Streams of tears flow from my eyes, for your law is not obeyed,” Psalm 119:136. To those who arrested him, Jesus pointed out, “This is your hour when darkness reigns,” Luke 22:53. Sin will dominate the earth until Jesus returns. We must accept this and not be overly upset, discouraged or disheartened by sin’s control of the world in which we now live. Read More→

When You Want Out of the Perfecting Process

Overcome and sticky notesHave you ever wondered why God tested Adam’s and Eve’s obedience?  He tested them because he wanted something more than innocent people; he wanted perfected people.

Innocence clothed the first humans.  They were guiltless of any wrong doing.  They were like naive military recruits: genuinely a part of the military, but certainly not battle tested.  The first humans’ love for God was real, but imperfect because it was untested. Read More→

Why Jesus Wore Our Crown of Thorns

Love for humans motivated Jesus’ every action, all his behavior and each word. This love for humanity compelled Jesus to wear our crown of thorns so we can wear his crown of blessing. He accepted what He did not deserve so we can experience what we cannot earn. Read More→