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When Life Makes You Want To Run From Jesus!

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Photo Credit: the Soul Doctor

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, Duet 31:6.

The words of Deuteronomy 31:6 are so comforting to my soul. I don’t know about you, but life has dealt me some challenging circumstances. In hard and challenging seasons one of the greatest temptations presented to us is to run from God instead of to Him.

The enemy of our souls whispers,

“If God loved you, your life wouldn’t be this way.”

“If God were so good, then why aren’t your prayers being answered?”

“If God cared about you, your circumstances would be better.”

“Look God’s blessing everyone but you!”

The problem with the whispers of the enemy is that he’s a liar. God’s goodness and love are not determined by our circumstances. Love is who He is. Goodness is an attribute of His character.

Another great truth is:

Jesus already overcame the world and our greatest enemy death!

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.

When God Doesn’t Remove Your Challenges:

God doesn’t remove every challenge from our lives. Why? I can’t answer for everyone. I can only give you some insight from scripture and my own life.

1. Delay isn’t always denial. Sometimes the manifestation of our prayer requests or God’s promises don’t immediately surface. Think Abraham and Sarah, Hannah, Mary and Martha for Lazarus…the answer to their prayers didn’t immediately surface. God’s timing isn’t always our timing.

2. God’s no runs deeper than what we see on the surface. We see in part and know in part. God sees every detail and though it hurts at times, we have the choice to trust Him or not trust Him.

3. God promises to never leave us in the midst of challenging circumstances. The greatest intimate moments I’ve had with God have been during seasons of great pain. Jesus was the only One I felt safe enough to talk to or confide in, and He’s safe. Also, Jesus doesn’t mind our tears! He isn’t put off by brokenness, pain, or the hurting. He’s not too busy or too important in His own eyes to reach low to raise us up high.

4. We forget we have a very busy adversary. He’s not more powerful than God; He’s still busy. He can’t steal your salvation. He can try to discourage, oppress, and harass you. I heard a respected pastor say, “If you never face any opposition, you may not be following Jesus.”

The enemy has been defeated, it’s our responsibility to recognize he’s not bigger or more powerful than God, yet he attempts to bully those God loves.

5. Some trials produce perseverance. Some, not all. I don’t like when people take every situation and say, “God is teaching you something.” Yes, God is big and strong enough to take any situation and use it. I don’t believe He authors every situation to teach us something. We live in a sinful world. Some situations are orchestrated by the enemy to destroy people things like abuse, rape, murder, slavery, incest, violence…

A friend gave me a helpful analogy once. A surgeon and a butcher both cut things open. The butcher to kill. The surgeon to heal. God is the master surgeon! The devil is the butcher.

What About Jesus, He Suffered:

For those who use the life of Jesus as a model for suffering; note, Jesus’s death was for a reason, purpose, to save the lives of many. Many people believe their horrible circumstances are from God, when they may not be.

I hope these points encourage you to run to Jesus instead of away from Him. He’s suffered in ways we could not imagine. There’s no one who knows how you feel and how to heal like Jesus!

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2013 in From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Encountering the Perfect Father in a Dark World

“I have told you these things so that in Me you would have peace. In the world you will have trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world,” ~Jesus. John 16:33.

Written by Erin Lamb, all rights reserved.

The photo above was taken the day my friend David died. David was the type of person you wanted to know. David was the first person to show up when someone needed help, and he was willing to sacrifice his life for others. He radiated God’s love. He loved, served, and helped so many. He gave his life working on the restoration of Haiti. He was murdered this February while serving orphans in Haiti. In the midst of building an orphanage He was robbed and shot. His death tore my heart in many places.  I wept and wept. Why do I share this with you? We live in a world that is filled with pain, suffering, wrongful death, sickness, disease, hatred, abuse, abandonment, and sorrow. In the midst of it all you may wonder how someone can say that God is good. How can we say God is love? If He is so good and loving, then why is our world filled with so much darkness.

It all started with one man, Adam. God made man in His image. He placed man on earth and said, “This is your dominion, rule and reign,” Genesis 1. Adam had everything he needed. God gave him beautiful landscape, all the food he could eat, a lovely wife, and complete communion with Him. He also gave Adam the ability to choose for himself what he wanted to do. Fast forward. Eve is deceived by the crafty serpent and Adam sinned. This is where death, destruction, sickness, and darkness entered our world, Genesis 3. Not only that, Adam surrendered authority and dominion to the devil. If you believe in God, you must believe in the devil. Evil exists and he propagates it. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy, John 10:10. He hates people. He hates love. He loves it when people blame God for his activities. He sows hatred, division, strife, death, and evil in our world.

Did God leave us helpless? Absolutely not. Jesus came, lived a perfect life, and died on a cross to restore us to right relationship with God and take back the authority Adam gave to evil. Jesus fixed the problem, we don’t always see the evidence of His work. He took back authority and dominion for those who believe in Him. Jesus provides hope and healing for those who lean on Him, and He cheated our worst enemy, death. Those who believe in Him will inherit everlasting life, John 3: 16. He handed over the authority He took back to every believer. He paid for it all. Jesus is the solution.

So, why doesn’t God rid the world of all evil? Loaded question. I will give you my understanding, but recommend you ask Him yourself. I believe that love involves freedom. God gives us the freedom to choose Him. If He was the only option, then there would be no choice. I believe God is already victorious and though our world looks dark, He continues to work through His children to bring peace, love, joy, healing, and heaven to earth. I believe and know He will make all the wrongs right. I believe that if we trust God we will see that the end of the story is better than any of the suffering we have witnessed. I believe that God is good and though He is blamed for evil, nothing in His nature is evil. I have seen Him turn tragedy into triumph, victims into victors, and the worst of situations into something beautiful. We (humans) still have the ability to choose evil. God won’t force us to love. So, when you fill a planet with people who can choose evil, there will be evil.

How do I deal? Good question. Prayer is powerful. Since God gave people dominion on this planet, He moves when we pray and ask for help. I hate to admit it but until heaven, there will be evil in the world. I’ve found no greater solution than prayer. I pray. You pray. We pray, and we ask God for help.

Final thoughts. I’m not a person typing to you who hasn’t suffered. One day maybe I will share my story in its entirety. I know what it’s like to endure physical and great emotional pain. I have had more than one near death experience. I have seen God do amazing things because someone prayed. I have seen Him heal the sick, bring life to dead situations, and so much more….You are loved my friends. No matter what you have faced in life or will face, God LOVES you! He is your best advocate. Praying you are blessed this week, beyond measure.

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2012 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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