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Tag Archives: Suffering

Don’t Bypass Gethsemane (Abiding & Intimacy with God Part 1) 

   
1 Peter 4:13 (NKJV)

…rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

We live in a culture that promotes comfort. If you talk to people about suffering, sometimes they will check out of the conversation. 

Let’s be honest, I don’t enjoy suffering or persecution. 

I have learned and am learning that if we only eat dessert, we don’t grow. We need situations in our lives where we don’t get our way, we don’t understand, the answer is no or wait, there are obstacles or problems to overcome. If we don’t have them, we remain spiritually and emotionally immature. We don’t grow up. We stay on the same level. 

The idea God only wants us to feel good is toxic. Growth doesn’t always feel good. Do you recall being younger and experiencing growth pains, losing teeth so new ones could come, or homework? It didn’t always feel good. The end result was good. 

Is every hardship God growing us? No. I think it’s valuable to examine Godly challenges versus what’s of the devil. God can turn what’s of the devil into a blessing; that doesn’t mean He set up the suffering, challenge, or setback. 

There’s Godly suffering/challenges and evil suffering/challenges. Let’s lay these out on the table. 

Godly suffering, trials, or challenges: 

  1. It’s for the Gospel. The Bible says the Godly will suffer persecution and be hated (2 Timothy 3:12, John 15:18). 
  2. It produces Godly character and develops patience (James 1:3, Romans 5:4). 
  3. It leads to eventual blessing (Hebrews 12:2, Job 42:10, Genesis 50:20). 

What Godly suffering is not: 

  1. It is not a call to sickness, disease, or demonic oppression. Jesus healed the sick and delivered the oppressed (examples in Mark 1:34, Matthew 4:23-25). 
  2. It is not a call to poverty. Jesus told us to care for the poor (Proverbs 29:4, Proverbs 22:9, Galatians 2:10) . If I’m poor, how can I help you? 
  3. It is not a call to abuse or being abused/controlled/manipulatd.Those are demonic forces. Abuse is not love. Control is not love. Jesus stood up for the oppressed, and outcasts of society (John 4, John 8). 

Holy Spirit University Lessons

  
Have you been enrolled? It’s amazing if you do. I liken the work of Holy Spirit to being enrolled in a University. Salvation is our ticket into HSU. Everyone has a schedule, map (the Bible), and a mentor (Holy Spirit). The courses are designed to grow us into the character of Jesus and help us fulfill our destiny. 

No worries if you don’t do well in a course. You don’t get grades here. You can take a class as many times as you need. Even after you pass you will be tested on what you’ve learned or move on to the next level.  

Suffering 101-301: I did not enroll myself in this class. I was born into trauma. I have no space to tell you all my war stories. Just know this class is ongoing. 

What I’ve learned/am learning: 

  • The supernatural comfort and power of God. 
  • The power of God to heal and deliver. 
  • The great compassion, mercy, and goodness of God. 

Persecution 101-107: I don’t enjoy this class. Yet I have seen the most fruit from these challenges. I’ve been in this class for 7 years. 

What I have learned/ am learning: 

  • To allow God to defend me (work in progress). He is my defense.  
  • People are not my enemy. I have just 1 and Jesus beat him with two sticks. 
  • To rely solely on God’s love and acceptance. 

One coworker harassed me at work; regularly tried to get me fired. She eventually gave her life to Jesus. She said, “I knew the Spirit of God was in you.” I never retaliated, tried to hurt her, nor treated her poorly no matter how awful. Don’t get me wrong, there was lots of prayer. Years of being beat down without Human Resources help. People kept saying to quit. I just didn’t have the “Go” in my spirit. 

I am not advocating staying in an abusive or toxic situation. If it’s physical violence or sexual abuse, get help immediately. If it’s verbal abuse, get help. God does not approve of abuse or expect you to tolerate it. 
Rejection 101-301: I’m almost at home in this class. I’m growing accustomed to being misunderstood, left out, pushed aside, put in the back, or ignored, etc…sometimes it bothers me when it comes from Christians. I’m learning claiming Jesus and loving like Him are not the same. People (myself included) must receive God’s love in order to give it away. 

There are people in my family who rejected me for sharing the Gospel or for no reason. I love them. I try not to allow their behavior to dictate my joy. 

What I’ve learned/am learning: 

  • My audience must be God. If He says thumbs up, it doesn’t matter if the world says thumbs down. 
  • God withholds nothing good. God sets up relationships that are mutual blessings.
  • Preference matters. I like mangoes. You may like peaches. Both are good. It’s a matter of preference. 
  • Don’t rely on or need the approval of man; it changes like the shifting tide. People can love you today and hate you tomorrow. 

Those are just some of the courses I’ve been in for a very long time. 

I used to lament, “Why me?” I came to the conclusion that I choose whether to be a victim or victor. How people behave is a reflection of their heart, experiences, or circumstances. People can only give the love they have first received from God. 

I found that our suffering helps us to have compassion for others and patience with them. 

More than sympathy…

I was praying with someone who just broke down, tears streaming. This person had endured horrific, sustained abuse. When I touched the person I felt it. I cried with them. Why? I understand abuse. I know what it’s like for people take out their rage or frustrations on me. I know what it’s like to blame myself instead of the other person. 

I know what it’s like to feel unloved, like the dog people like to kick. I told the person, “I know exactly how you feel. I was abused too. This is not your fault.” When those words were spoken, a glimmer of hope appeared in those tear filled eyes. 

The prayer time with this person was not a pity session, or I must make up sympathy for you. It was a “I’ve been here and I’m entering into this pain with you.” I just rocked the person, held them, and spoke out God’s love and affirmation; we cried. 

Let me tell you something sweet friends. God enters into our suffering. He’s not watching it trying to work up sympathy. His heart is pounding in His chest, “That’s hurting My child.” His heart is for us. Jesus suffered for us and suffers with us. There’s intimacy forged in suffering with Jesus. 

Some of the strongest bonds are forged between people who go through challenges together. 

Jesus did everything the Father told Him to do. It led to the cross. Jesus faced Gethsemane, the cross, all before His resurrection. Sometimes what feels like death is an invitation to glory. An olive is crushed before the oil flows. It’s not suffering for no reason. It’s a pressing, strengthening season. 

God wastes nothing. Once we overcome, we can then assist others in overcoming. The Spirit of Breakthrough begins to flows through us when we walk through the valley with God. We are released, through abiding, into new levels of understanding, compassion, and authority.

God bless!

Love, 

Erin 

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2016 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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God Knows Fully Your Feelings & Emotions (Heart of God Series Part I)

 
I love all the stories in the Bible about Jesus. He’s beyond incredible and perfectly represented the Father. He was and is one with the Father. 

Today, I wanted to start a new series on the feelings and emotions of God. Have you ever pondered, “Does God know how I feel? Does He truly understand what’s going on in my heart and soul? Is He watching life happen from a distance?” If so, this post may encourage you. 

I love the story of Mary, Martha, Lazarus, and Jesus. Lazarus dies and Jesus stays where He is until Lazarus is good and dead. Have you ever felt as though God was absent and something in your life died? I have. Just note Jesus is the Resurrection & the Life. There’s no situation too challenging for God! Not one. If it’s not raised to life, there’s a reason. God is good even if we don’t understand why He allows certain things to happen. 

If you read the story you will see Jesus had plans all along to raise Lazarus from the dead. See John 11

I’ve read and heard so many people debate why Jesus wept when He encountered Mary and the others weeping. The scripture says, “Jesus wept.” He did not weep when He encountered Martha who was looking for an explanation. I speculate Martha was a thinker and Mary more of a feeler. 

Some have said He saw their suffering and it moved His heart. So, He wept because they were weeping. I believe Jesus wept because He felt their pain. You may draw your own conclusion.
Follow me…

God is in tune with your heart, thoughts, feelings, and emotions. 

God has the ability to feel what you feel. He’s not like your friends or family who watch from the outside and then it moves them because of their love for you. He can actually feel in His own Spirit your suffering. Where’s my evidence? Let’s look at scripture. 

Isaiah 53:4 (CEB) It was certainly our sickness that He carried, and our sufferings that He bore, but we thought He afflicted, struck down by God and tormented.

The Bible continues to say Jesus was moved with compassion and healed the sick. It goes on to say He knew the hearts of men.

Personal experience: 

I told you in the miracle series of my friend who was suicidal and said nothing to me about it. I was joyful one moment and then grief stricken the next. She was miles away. I had not talked to her. I had to pray the sadness and grief off me. She, I found out later, had an encounter with God during the time I was praying that saved her from taking her life. I felt what she felt and it manifested in weeping, bawling actually. I felt it in my spirit. My body responded to her pain and she was nowhere near me. I’m not God, no way. His Spirit has the ability to known your pain and level of discomfort. He knows everything and not from simply watching or observing. 

I believe Jesus felt the pain of the people around Lazarus. I don’t believe it was simply an external observation that led to weeping. I truly believe He felt their pain. Even though He knew He was raising Lazarus from the dead, He was completely in touch with the emotions of the people around Him. 

God isn’t distant or out of touch. He’s more engaged than people can imagine. He’s not like us. We see, process, respond. God knows; He knows the depths of man’s sorrow and depravity. 

The Lord spoke something to me during a really challenging moment. He said, “Do you think I’m watching you suffer from the outside? Do you think I don’t know your pain? I know the depths of it far better than you. It’s not My desire to leave you this way.” At that moment I realized I had placed God in the human box…”He’s watching me suffer.” No, God was right in the middle of my suffering. He knew the intensity of the pain more than I did. 

How does this change your perspective on your circumstancs? On God? 

What moves you, moves His heart. I’ve written many posts on where’s God during suffering. If you wish, you can look them up with the search function on this site. 
I do want you to take this with you: 

God sees all and knows all including the depths of your pain, sorrow, sickness, depression, oppression, despair, fear, anxiety, hurt, heartaches, etc…I used to think it strange when I’d wake up happy then encounter someone and my emotions shift. I could feel what they felt and sometimes even the physical pain. I know now it’s a call to pray. Jesus lives to intercede for you (24/7). I’m not stating God is sick or in pain. I am stating when you are, He knows exactly how it feels. 

God knows everything about you down to the cellular level, brain chemistry, and hormonal level. He knows the coding of your DNA, every strand of hair on your head, every tear you’ve cried, and every memory you’ve ever had. No one is more in tune with you than God. 

Papa I ask that we would comprehend more fully Your great love for us and Your connection with us. Help us to know You intimately. Deepen our awareness of who You are. You’re not cold, distant, or absent. Thank You for Your great love! In Jesus powerful name, amen. 

You are loved and continually prayed for!

Love, 

Erin 

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2015 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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What’s it Gonna Cost (Following Jesus)

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The Bible says a wise person counts the cost (Luke 14:28-32). What does it cost to follow Jesus? It will cost you everything. God wants your heart, your time, your talents, your mind, your relationships, your pure devotion. It’s not about beating ourselves into submission to His will. It’s about falling in love with the One who loved us first and allowing that love to catapult us into reckless abandon.

All of this life, for the believer, centers around God.

Walking with Jesus might cost you relationships or friendships. The Bible is very clear about not being unequally yoked (spiritually incompatible in marriage) or hanging with people who are pulling you away from God.

Walking with Jesus might cost you time, energy…to serve those around you. Will we do it even if they don’t appreciate it? Will we do it when it’s inconvenient or painful for us? Will we do it out of love, to put someone else first? Will we do it when no one sees and there’s zero credit given to us? Will we serve those who have hurt, abused, neglected, or betrayed us?

Walking with Jesus will lead you to purity…denying fleshly desires to pursue holiness.

Walking with Jesus will cost you popularity. Not everyone loved Jesus. And if everyone loves what we have to say, we might not be preaching the Gospel. The disciples and Jesus were fiercely persecuted for their faith.

Walking with Jesus will cause you to be misunderstood. There are people who will be offended, hurt, angered, and feel rejected by your love for Jesus.

Walking with Jesus even in Christian community can be lonely. You will often have to rely heavily on the Holy Spirit because He never grows weary or tired. He never sleeps or slumbers. He is the source, everything and everyone else a resource.

Walking with Jesus may cost you your dreams. What if what God has for you is better than what you’ve dreamed up or thought of? What if God’s answer doesn’t match your prayers? God does exceedingly and abundantly above all we could ask or imagine. His will is perfect, even when we don’t understand it.

Walking with Jesus will cost you your pride…to give, forgive, sacrifice, and take the role of a servant.

Walking with Jesus will cost you comfort. He never promised a life without trouble. Life hurts at times. Sometimes it’s excruciatingly painful and disappointing. He did promise to never leave or forsake us. He did promise to work things for good. Even if it doesn’t happen here and now. We will see Him face to face in all His glory. No pain. No sorrow! Just joy!!!!

It’s gonna cost us everything to truly follow Jesus! I can say this with great confidence, He’s worth it ALL! I’ve found no greater love, friend, encourager, or Savior!

I have days where I need to hear Him say, “You and I will be together forever in paradise.” And I long for heaven with an intensity I can’t explain. There have been days, nights, and sometimes weeks of just grieving with God. So I can say with great confidence…no matter what you face or how bad it hurts…GOD is fighting for you, praying for you, and nothing you suffer will be wasted if you place everything in His hands. No matter what you lose, He’s willing to offer you all of Himself. It won’t remove all pain from loss, but it will infuse you with strength to continue on.

Give it all friends! Jesus is the greatest reward and how He loves us so!!!

Love in Christ,

Erin

You are loved. You’re in my heart and prayers.

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2014 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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It’s a Hard Knock Life or Is It?

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I love Jeremiah 29:11 as seen in the photo above. We’ve been talking about suffering. Depending on where we are focused, on the evil in the world or on God, determines whether it’s a hard knock life or an adventure with God. Let me unpack this statement.

If I were a person who had an easy life, you could dismiss me and move on. I have not had the luxury of an easy life. It’s been filled with challenges just like your life. I know what it’s like to be abandoned, rejected, persecuted for my faith, to watch someone I love die a slow and painful death to cancer, to experience my own health issues, and I’ve cheated death numerous times including a car accident that left me trapped in my car under water. I understand pain; physical, emotional, and mental pain. The problem with pain is that if that’s where we stop, it’s not the full story.

Jesus came to give us life and life more abundantly. He came so that we could be free! It does not mean a life free of problems, challenges, heartache, or pain. It does mean we have a Healer, Comforter, Advocate, and someone who suffered beyond what we could bear or would even dare to bear. Many of us would bypass the cross for the pain of it was beyond our ability to handle. We have someone who will never leave or forsake us (Duet 31:6). We have someone who bottles our tears (Psalm 56:8). We have someone who is close to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18).

So I ask, “What is the purpose of this life?” If it’s to be comfortable, then we will never be fully happy. If it’s to win the approval of people, that’s another unsure thing. If it’s to be rich and wealthy, money can not go with us. If it’s to have all the pleasure we can consume, then we end up addicts and slaves to what feels good.

I believe the purpose of life to be the following:

1. To know God. Knowing God trumps all the world can offer. He’s simply the best, better than all the rest.  Knowing Him is more valuable than anything this world has to offer. For this life is but a whisper in comparison to eternity. We will reign with Him forever and ever!

The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness,~Jeremiah 31:3.

In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you,~Jesus. John 14:2.

Because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal,~2 Corinthians 4:14-18.

We have a greater life coming. A life with no sickness, no sorrow, no death, no fatigue, no evil, no sin, and we will be reunited with loved ones who died before us loving Christ. Jesus paid for a better ending! An ending that is unfathomable. He also paid for a better today. We have a friend for our time here on earth; to learn about Him, to be with Him, to become more like Him. He still heals, comforts, and provides in this life. He gave us the Holy Spirit so we have a Helper. He did not leave us powerless or without help.

2. To Make Him Known. We are His ambassadors of love in the world. We are not here just taking up space until Jesus returns. We are called to live a life that helps others, blesses others, and demonstrates God’s love to the world. When the purpose of life is to make Him known, the journey is more enjoyable. Anything we go through can be a testimony of God’s greatness for another. I am truly inspired by people who overcame tremendous obstacles and continued to trust God. It causes me to trust Him even more. You may be someone’s inspiration. You may lead others to Jesus with your story! You are here for a reason.

Lastly, I will say if you have pain in your body, I am praying for healing.  If you have pain in your emotions or mind, I am praying you are healed. By His stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5). We don’t ignore pain, dismiss pain, or pretend we don’t have pain. We take all pain to the Healer. Often we cry or mourn. We lean on Jesus. To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory, ~Isaiah 61;3.

God has prepared something great for you. It may not seem like it right now, but the best is yet to come! Hold fast to hope. This life is 100 years at the most, eternity is forever (no end). God is working things together for a blessed future for you and not just in eternity-here and now as well! You are deeply loved.

 

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

 

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Where’s God When Bad Things Happen (Part II)

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More Than Conquerors Romans 8:28, 31b-39

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose

If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Can God stop all the bad things from happening in the world? The answer is God is Sovereign and can do what He pleases. He does not, however, force people to live holy. It’s unfortunate and good as well. How can I say it’s good? Glad you asked.God promises to work all things together for the good of those who love Him. Right now in this present world it does not always look good or feel good. From an outside perspective Jesus’ suffering and going to the cross seems cruel. It does not seem very loving of the Father to put His only Son in harm’s way, until you see the final picture. The crucifixion of Jesus leads many sons and daughters, who would be lost forever, into right relationship with Him. He gave His very best, and raised Jesus up to heavenly places. He gave Jesus the name above all names. Something amazing came from one man’s suffering. One man’s obedience, leads many to eternal life.

I don’t always understand in the moment why God allows certain things to happen. I don’t believe He causes the evil in the world, but He does not stop all the evil in the world. He is the One to turn to in times of suffering, not the One to avoid. God knows the depths of suffering. Jesus suffered and there’s no better person to cling to in all seasons of life. Our personal suffering may lead many to Christ. Though uncomfortable, it’s great if heaven is enlarged by our life story.

Closing Thoughts:

God will use everything for our eventual good. I can say that as someone who has suffered. When I turned the pain over to God, He gave me something better in return. He gave more of Himself. He is close to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18). He heals and restores. He comforts. He becomes a trusted a friend. When we choose Him in the midst of suffering instead of bitterness, hatred, and turning away from Him, we find beauty in the ashes. If I recounted all the tragedies of my life, you’d think I was insane for following God. What people don’t see is that God takes the ugly and makes it beautiful. He uses the bad for a greater purpose of good. He is just and fair. It doesn’t seem good in the midst of trials, but these afflictions are working out a greater glory for us (2 Corinthians 4:17). They are also giving us a testimony and building compassion in our hearts for others. A person who’s suffered, will normally reach out to another suffering person.

Father I pray healing over every person who is hurting. I ask for healed emotions, healed diseases, and freedom unlike anything they have experienced. Bless them richly, in Jesus name. Amen.

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Posted by on January 3, 2013 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Where’s God When Bad Things Happen? (Part I)

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For He looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens, Job 28:24.

By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before Him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and He knows everything, 1 John 3:19-20.

And no creature is hidden from His sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account, Hebrews 4:13.

Have you ever asked the question, “Where is God when bad things happen?” If you have ever suffered, watched someone you love suffer, or seen suffering on the news you probably have asked that question.

When bad things happen, God is there. God knows all. God is everywhere. It does not make sense to our minds, but God knows all, sees all, and can be with all. You may ask, “Why doesn’t God prevent all the bad things that happen, if He can foresee them?” I hope to offer some insight from my own walk with God. I hope this blesses you. I hope this post helps unravel some of the question.

Evil exits in the world because of sin. Humans can choose to sin. God gave Adam a command.

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Genesis 2:15-17.

God gave Adam the ability to choose to disobey Him. Adam disobeyed the command. We can read about the impact of disobeying God in Genesis 3. Sin, evil, sickness, and death entered the world.

I’ve heard people state God is in control. It is true nothing happens outside His realm of knowledge, and He can do what He pleases. God, however, gave humans the ability to defy Him. We can sin. He does not force us to do life His way.

Since God won’t force us to do what’s right, and sin entered the world through Adam and Eve, we live with the consequences of living in a sinful world. People can choose to reject God, reject His will, perpetrate evil, and hurt themselves or others.The impact of living in a sinful world is sickness, death, suffering, evil, and a host of negative things.

Before you become depressed, let’s look some solutions.

Jesus:

The Father sent His Son to solve the problem of sin. Jesus paid the penalty for sin and gave us access to the Father. Any person who chooses to follow Christ has been given a new life, freedom from being enslaved to sin, and a promise of life with God after death. You can read more about what is given in a relationship with Jesus on my Bible study/devotional blog, http://morena242.wordpress.com. Not only does Jesus save us, the Holy Spirit comforts, heals, restores, and helps.

Prayer:

God responds to those who seek Him. Jesus tells us to pray and taught the disciples how to pray.

 “This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,but deliver us from the evil one.’ Matthew 6:9-13 (NIV)

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT).

I believe there are many tragedies that are prevented because someone was praying or someone prayed. I believe we would see far more evil in the world if no one ever prayed (asked God for help).

What if you are following Jesus, praying, and bad things still seem to happen? Welcome to the world not yet perfected by God’s Kingdom. What is God doing when bad things happen? Here is my idea. I believe He’s shouting in the ear of the abuser or person inflicting pain, “Stop…you don’t have to do this.” That person may not listen, they may reject God’s voice, or have no desire for God. God does not delight in suffering, sin, or pain. We will talk more next post about how God turns bad things into blessings.

Father, I pray for every person who reads this post to have a deeper revelation of Your heart. May they know You do not delight in pain, suffering, or bad things happening to people. Heal, restore, and bring hope for restoration. May they feel You near today and every day. In Jesus name, Amen. Love, Erin.

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Posted by on December 28, 2012 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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God Suffered (He Knows How You Feel)

You are never alone. God is with you. Tumblr Image.

He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed, Isaiah 53:2-5.

Those verses are used to describe Jesus. Our Jesus who lived a sinless life was persecuted, despised, abused, rejected, and betrayed by one of His own Judas. Judas sold Jesus out for some silver. Do you ever stop to think that God knows how you feel? More than you can express in words, God sees and knows how you feel. Not only did Jesus suffer, He was tempted. See verses below.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin, ~Hebrews 4:15.

The Bible tells us Jesus was not physically appealing. He would not have made it into our People’s Most Beautiful issue. Have you allowed the world to make you feel less than desirable due to media images? True beauty is found in a person’s heart. If the world says you are not beautiful, it said the same of Jesus. You are beautiful because God defines beauty and worth.

The Bible tells us that Jesus suffered. He not only suffered on the day of His crucifixion. He suffered by being rejected by His own people. He was hated without cause. When people found out He could heal the sick they followed Him, He had to escape to be alone with the Father. The disciples frequently doubted Him, fell asleep on Him on the most important night of His life, the night before the cross. He was falsely accused. Peter denied Him three times. Jesus did not enjoy the joys of having His own family. He had to leave His earthly parents and friends at the age of 33. Jesus knows the depths of pain and suffering. On the cross He felt the pain for all sin. That is a pain we can’t begin to fathom. Our God suffered for us.

So, whatever you face this week dear friends know that God understands. There is nothing we face that God is not familiar with or can’t empathize with. He is the God who knows the depths of suffering.

May God bless you with peace, comfort, love, and joy this week. Praying for you!

Love,

Erin

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2012 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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