While cutting and splitting firewood recently, I discovered something very interesting about this piece of wood. On one side you see nails sticking out. On the other side there is no trace of them. I wondered to myself how many years ago those nails were hammered into the tree that held them. Those nails remained as the tree grew and the nails disappeared from sight, yet they were very much still a part of that tree.
Then I got to thinking how this can be the case with us. Things like those nails are driven into us; unkind words, a broken trust, the loss of a loved one, can cause deep pain. Sometimes we allow things like the nails to get buried, and we just go on with life and pretend it’s not there.These things need to be dealt with, brought into the light. The nails have obviously been in the tree for years yet they appear to be new.
Hurts and wounds can be the same. They may have happened long ago, but it can feel as though it just happened. If not allowed to heal, the pain can remain for years. While we are not exempt from trouble in life, Jesus reminds us He has overcome the world.(John 16:33)Bring your trouble and pain to the wonderful counselor. (Isaiah 9:6) Take a look around you and find a Christian brother or sister to help you. God has not intended that we go it alone. ( Galatians 6:2)
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Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Sometimes things happen that we can do nothing about. But boy will we try! Depending on what it is, we will push, cajole, manipulate, beg and even bribe. And what does it all get us? Do we actually change anything? In fact, what we probably got was even more stressed and frustrated. The scripture here in Philippians tells us to take a different approach. Pray and just give it to God. Some things we have some control over, and some we don’t. But in all things, I hope you will join me in simply trusting in the One who is in control of all things.
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. Revelation 12:11
I was pleased and privileged to briefly share a portion of what Jesus has done in my life at the Easter sunrise service in our community this year. All the glory goes to our Lord Jesus who has rescued us from the dominion of darkness. Our testimony can be a powerful tool in the Lord’s hands to rescue others. Remember friend, it is for liberty you have been set free. Do not allow yourself to return to a yoke of bondage again. (Galatians 5:1) Guard your testimony. God plans on using it for such a time as this! Maybe today is the day!
Hebrews 12:2b “…who for the joy set before Him endured the cross….” I am often speaking to my son, Sean, about today’s drudgery having benefits in the future. “Keep it up. There is a payoff if you stick with things and don’t give up!” I tell him. The same is true in God’s economy. I don’t often see the “benefit” of what I am doing in ministry. The apostle Paul encouraged us to not grow weary in well doing. (Galatians 6:9) We can feel disappointed and become discouraged by situations and relationships. As much as this can impact us, remember our Lord Jesus who faced some very challenging times right up to the end, but didn’t give up, but continued on to the victory. Continue on, friend. Great joy awaits you in the kingdom of heaven where there will be no more sorrow, sickness, or pain. And every tear will be wiped away from every eye. ( (Revelation 21:4)
With dark storm clouds overhead, off in the distance I can see the sun. We are are also aware that just above the storm clouds overhead, the sun is actually shining. In all of this, I draw encouragement from our Father in Heaven. Like the sun shining off in the distance in the picture, when we are in the midst of the battle, we can know that victory is sure and not far off. And right above the clouds that threaten, the Son shines. Our Savior is always near.
Matthew 7:24-25 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. Remember that children s rhyme, ” Rain, Rain, go away, come again another day”? Problems are not welcome and usually arise unexpectedly. Even so we are are always prepared because we have built the foundation of our life life upon The Word, upon Christ. He is never unaware or surprised by the things that may arise, seemingly out of nowhere, and will always shield and guide us through life’s storms. Life is so uncertain, yet there is One thing that is certain: Jesus Christ the foundation of life and Anchor for our souls.