Archive for Hardships

In the Process of Succeeding

The four Gospels show us twelve apostles who stumbled through life from one failure to another.  Yes, they did some things right but the Gospel record emphasized their failures.  Then we turn to Acts and see the apostles racing from success to success.  Why such a contrast between the Gospel narrative and the Acts record?  I think God planned this to show us that we are in the process of succeeding. Read More→

When You Don’t Feel Blessed

Two thousand years ago God’s people felt unblessed.  Sure, they repeatedly read the promises God pronounced upon their ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but where were the blessings?  A foreign government manipulated their lives and ruthlessly repressed all yearnings for independence.  Poverty afflicted almost everyone and religious leaders used their influence for self-gratification. Read More→

Feeling Helpless But Never Hopeless

Panic stricken, fear filled messengers burst into King Jehoshaphat’s throne room.  “A huge enemy army from three hostile nations is marching against us, oh King,” 2 Chronicles 20:2. Read More→

Let the Star Filled Sky Speak

While living in Tokyo, Delores and I rarely saw the stars and moon.  Dense air pollution and frequent cloud cover obscured heavenly objects from view.  When we returned to America, I began thoroughly enjoying the Lord’s star-filled sky!

One evening I realized that the star-filled sky speaks in God’s behalf to us earth-bound humans. Read More→

Seeing the Cure Without Understanding the Cause

“If you understand the problem, you’re halfway to solving it.” Ever hear that before?  Such beliefs teach us to rack our brains so we can understand the cause of problems.  We expect that understanding the cause automatically leads to the solution.

It doesn’t always work that way!  Striving to mentally grasp the cause of life’s problems often intensifies the problem’s adverse effect on us.

True, when repairing an automobile we must first discover what’s broken.  Replace the defective part and, presto, it works again.

What must we do when the cause of life’s problems defies human understanding?Open Bible

Quit depending on your ability to understand causes.  You may think, “That suggestion is crazy!  How do you expect me to not depend upon on my own understanding?” Start depending on God’s superior, infinite understanding.  He knows everything about everything including all the hidden causes of each problem in the entire universe.  So, when all our worry and anxious thoughts fail to understand causes, it’s time to obey Proverbs 3:5: “Do not lean on your own understanding.” “Well,” you may wonder, “what should I do with my human understanding?”  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.”

No one event constitutes a lifetime.  Therefore, we should move on with life and not dwell on individual events.  Don’t fear events or they grow out of proportion to their actual importance.

Depending wholly upon God’s understanding redirects your attention from causes to cure.  The cure is a Person we call Heavenly Father.  Don’t we call on him during life’s difficulties and frustrations?  Why not call upon him when you can’t comprehend causes of struggles, difficulties and heartaches?  Let him figure it out!  He is more than willing to help humans who admit their inability to understand causes.  Don’t be distracted by “impossible to understand” causes.  Just look up to your heavenly Cure.

Please remember, “Those who hope in Me will not be disappointed,” Isaiah 49:23. God is the cure which annihilates incomprehensible causes.

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.