“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles” Psalm 34:17 NKJV).
This past week South Texas was ravaged by Hurricane Harvey. Many small cities and towns were demolished, and Houston is still underwater.
In the last few days two of my friends have lost family members and friends to drugs and car accidents.
This past month one of my former neighbor’s husband died of cancer.
It’s so easy during times of crisis to question why?
Why did some Texas towns get destroyed while others suffered mild wind damage?
Why did some houses get gutted while others in the same area remained untouched?
Why did Houston flood, forcing tens of thousands out of their homes?
Why did some people lose their lives in the raging waters?
Why did my friend’s gorgeous, accomplished daughter die of a drug overdose when other addicts are resuscitated, just in the nick of time?
Why did two young people lose their lives in a car crash?
Why did my former neighbor lose her husband to cancer?
To each of these questions I can honestly say, “I don’t know.”
Sometimes life hits us hard, leaving us swirling in a whirlwind of unanswered questions. If you are going through a storm or a season of loss, my heart goes out to you.
I can not give you answers to your questions.
But these things I do know…
I know that you are precious to God, and the same eye that is on the sparrow never takes its focus off of you.
I know that the One who parted the Red Sea is able and willing to part the impossibilities in your current situation.
I know that when you put your hope and trust in the One who promised restoration to the children of Israel, He will move Heaven and earth to restore your life.
I know that the One who declared, “it is good!” after each day of creation, will show you His goodness in the most amazing ways.
I know that no matter how violent the storm, or how intense the heartache, the One who opened His arms wide for you on Calvary is now opening His arms to hold you close to His heart.
I know that The Lord is loving and faithful, and that He will bring beauty from the ashes in your life.
Yes! These things I know!
Let’s continue to unite in prayer for all those who have been affected by the hurricane, and for those who have suffered other losses. For I know that the prayers of the righteous avail much!
May you be abundantly blessed!
Thursday night, while I was praying about Hurricane Harvey making landfall in Corpus Christi, the Lord spoke to me about Harvey, Corpus Christi, and the body of Christ in general. Since Harvey has caused, and is still causing, such mass destruction in other cities and communities, I have been hesitant to share. My heart and prayers are with all who have suffered and are currently suffering trauma and loss from this devastating hurricane.
“…I woke up this morning realizing that I can not go on in my life any longer without inviting God along for the journey…”
After reading these words in an email I received the other day, I was so overwhelmed by the love of God that I cried tears of joy. I was literally laughing as I was crying. I wanted to shout! I wanted to share with the whole world what God was doing in the life of this person! I was so overjoyed by God’s goodness, that praise and worship automatically flowed from my lips. Thank you Jesus!
Nothing brings me more joy than to hear that someone has realized their need for the Lord and has chosen to invite Him into their journey. A journey given to God becomes God’s adventure given to us-An adventure of discovery, mystery, and destiny.
Taking hold of Jesus’ hand and letting Him take us down a new path, means discovering more of God’s heart and His ways. Isaiah 55:9 says, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts” (NIV).
When I was younger I used to think these verses meant that God could boss me around because He was bigger than me. Now I realize that God’s ways are higher (better) because He knows what is best for me.
Some of the definitions for higher from the online Free Dictionary by Farlex are as follows:
- Having a relatively great elevation; extending far upward
- Advanced in development or complexity
- Far removed in time; remote: high antiquity.
- Of great importance
- Characterized by lofty or stirring events or themes
- Lofty or exalted in quality or character
- Greater than usual or expected, as in quantity, magnitude, cost, or degree
- Luxurious; extravagant
- advanced in complexity or elaboration (Copyright © 2003-2017 Farlex, Inc )
In my journey with the Lord, I have learned that His thoughts and His ways are far above anything I could ever think or imagine—He sees what I can’t see, and He knows what I don’t know. His ways are merciful, loving, understanding, powerful, extravagant, gracious, kind, and right. His ways for me are better than what I can imagine, and His loving thoughts toward me are more extravagant than I can fathom.
I tried to respond to the e-mail, but since the e-mail address was connected to a website that is no longer available, I am hoping this person reads this post and stays in contact.
If you read this, my friend, Congratulations on your new beginning! Welcome to the journey! Welcome to the adventure!
My heart is for everyone to trust in God’s ways and let Him direct their paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). If you would like to invite Jesus into your life and give Him your journey, I would love to hear from you! Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May you be abundantly blessed!
When I first came to Virginia I had a lot of ideas as to what God’s immediate plans for me might be. As usual, things are not looking the way I thought they would—at least not yet. Instead of spending most of my time connecting with people, I have spent most of my days reading my Bible in my room.
A couple of years ago, when the Lord first told me to read the Bible cover to cover, I thought I would faint. Through the years I had read all of it; just not all in the same block of time. Many times, I had sat down to the table and feasted on hearty meals of entire sections, but mostly I had just eaten bite-sized portions. So in 2015, when I finished feasting on the whole book in less than a month, I felt as if I had accomplished quite a feat. I had eaten the whole thing and was full of fresh revelation.
Shortly after my arrival in June of this year, the Lord told me to read the entire Bible again, but this time I was to read it out loud and write notes. Whenever I ask God, “What do you want me to do?” He just keeps telling me to finish reading the Bible. So, once again, I am feasting on the Word.
Last night, I finished the Old Testament. I love to read about how God showed up in extraordinary ways in the ordinary lives of people long ago! Often, their stories become part of my own as I am encouraged to trust the Lord in all things and lean not on my own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). I figure if God parted seas and placed orphans in royal positions, for such a time as this, He can remove any obstacles in my way and position me wherever He needs me to be at this time.
As the history of the Bible unfolds, so does the heart of God toward His people. His invitations for fellowship are often ignored, and nations became so corrupt that parents were even sacrificing their children. They had to either repent or face destruction. Over and over again, God speaks warnings through the prophets, telling the people to repent, but He also makes it clear that He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. He just wants them to turn from their wicked ways So they can live (Ezekiel 33:11).
This past week as I read all the accounts of the prophets, I often felt as if I were eating Brussels sprouts. I hate Brussels sprouts! Even though some of the other stuff on the prophetic plate is inviting, mainly the promises and fulfillment of restoration, I have a hard time stomaching the wrath of God that was poured out on the nations. Sin was rampant and had to be punished. God was Holy and had to cleanse sin. The message I kept hearing through the pages was clear: I created you. I know what is best. I want a relationship with you. I gave you laws to live by, and the evil things you are doing to yourselves and others are breaking my heart. I have to deal with your sin to get to your heart.
Over and over again, when God warns the nations, He says someone has to pay for the sins. The warnings and fulfillment of destruction that was prophesied to the nations was ugly. But sin is ugly. That is why Jesus had to come.
Thankfully, in the midst of the plateful of undesirable things to eat, there are sprinkles of sugary treats—promises of One (the Messiah) who would pay for the cost of sin once and for all.
Tomorrow I will be starting on my dessert plate. I am more than ready to quit chewing on Brussel sprouts. Just give me Jesus!!! I love to read about the life and the heart of my wonderful Lord and Savior, whom bled and died for us all. Instead of reading about captivity and destruction for the punishment of sins, I get to relish each bite of the freedom for captives and the ransom that was paid for our sins.
Yes! Matthew, here I come! No more Old Covenant. The New Covenant is revealed. Just give me Jesus! And when I am through feasting on His love, His heart, His Words, His sacrifice, His redemption, and His promises, I can once again sit back and say, “What a wonderful meal! I am so thankful that I ate the whole thing!”
May you be abundantly blessed!
John 3:16-17 “ For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (NKJV).
While sitting in church one Sunday preparing to take communion, the Lord spoke to my heart. He said, “Lift up your cup.” As I raised my hand to eye-level and studied the small container of red liquid in front of me, I could clearly see the lines and swirls of my fingerprints pressed against the clear plastic. It was then I heard in my Spirit “When I was on the cross I saw your fingerprints. I knew that you would be, and I knew everything about you”
Up until that day I had acknowledged Jesus as my Savior, but I saw myself as just a speck in a crowd of millions of people. I didn’t realize that if I had been the only person who had ever lived Jesus would have died just for me. But that is exactly what He did. Jesus gave His life only for me. He also gave His life only for you.
When Jesus was dying on the cross He saw you; not just as part of a collective body of humanity, but you individually. He knew you before you were even created. As He hung on the cross in agony, He looked through time and saw you and knew that He was taking your place. As He breathed His last breath, He saw the day when you would take your first breath. He knew and loved you then, and He knows and loves you now. Do you know Him?
One of the lies that kept me from enjoying the Lord was that I thought I somehow had to earn my salvation. Realizing that it was only God’s free gift of grace and not my good works that saved me, took me off of the roller coaster of daily wondering whether I was heaven assured or hell-bound.
Have you exchanged your sins for the free gift of grace Jesus gave you when He died on Calvary? If not, then I would encourage you to pray the following prayer with me: Sweet Jesus, I need you! I am I sinner. Forgive me for all I have done. Thank you for washing away my sins and dying in my place so I can live with you for all eternity. Thank you that from this moment forward I am in
Sweet Jesus, I need you! I am I sinner. Forgive me for all I have done. Thank you for washing away my sins and dying in my place so I can live with you for all eternity. Thank you that from this moment forward I am in relationship with you. Be Lord of my life and reveal your heart to me and daily lead and guide me in all ways. In Jesus’ name Amen!
If you have given your life to the Lord but have been riding the I hope I am going to heaven roller coaster it’s time to get off. Thinking that we are responsible for our salvation is a hook of the enemy to make us feel unworthy and keep us in pride. God adores you! Take hold of His grace and walk in the joy of your salvation!
Have an amazing Easter as you reflect on Christ’s loving sacrifice and His glorious resurrection!
Be abundantly blessed!
“For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV).
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV).