John Michael Talbot
|Consider it pure joy, my brothers (and sisters), whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4|
My Call to Action:
What have you heard from the Lord this week? What steps is He asking you to take regarding a trial in your life? Commit now to take the first steps in obedience to what you have heard.
... this last part of our study each week. Hopefully, I will be able to say like Wendy (or Bobbie):
"... our faith is precious, but the trials of our faith are also precious because in and through them we grow closer to God and share in the praise, glory and honor of God. Can there be any better place?"
I can almost say this ... but I'd prefer to LIVE God's Truth honestly. Before this happened, I had hopes of returning to Minnesota SOON (like after the winter cold) and making 'short term missions' my new way. However, plans have been radically altered, now rebuilding will cause further delay and I just no longer want to wait, nor do I even know if I want to return to what will no longer be the home I left ... the reason I was hoping to return shortly, is because of all the violence here and mostly as I age to be near my home and medical availabilities, places I know and trust ... but now I really need to listen to what God is saying with this ...
O Lord, Trial by fire is not at all something I consider with pure joy. In fact, I'm fighting to find any JOY ... even started receiving a JOY Challenge, but as of yet not doing anything more than reading the emails. I know You have a greater purpose in all this and that You are using this to test my faith and perseverance.
I'm hoping to complete the work ... and trying to persevere but I'm ever so weary and battle fatigued. So much so that I even toppled when I lost my balance getting down from a chair trying to arrange my favorite climbing plant, well, You saw me Lord, fall back right into that same old hole that my foot sunk in when we planted a mango tree. Bricks and scratches, aches and pains, heartache and keepsakes of memories gone. Is this what I get? Falling in a hole again? Keep my eyes looking to You, the Author and Finisher of my faith. Thank You for the sweet rescue from the pit or hole. Thank You for the spiritual encouragement and words from my dear sisters in Christ... in Jesus Name, I pray ...
*******UPDATE before posting at least:
|Luke 21:20-28 |
"Jesus said to his disciples, ‘When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, you must realize that she will soon be laid desolate. Then those in Judea must escape to the mountains, those inside the city must leave it, and those in country districts must not take refuge in it...‘There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth nations in agony, bewildered by the clamor of the ocean and its waves; men dying of fear as they await what menaces the world, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand.’
Jesus says that the trials and tribulations of the last days are NOT times to give into discouragement, but time to "stand erect, and hold your heads high!" These are no ordinary trials of daily life. No! These are extreme, and oppressive in the extreme. YET, this is the time to hold our heads up and be filled with hope!
We all face our own trials and tribulations, and some are extreme, at least to us. These are not times to give into our personal and subjective discouragement, but a time to practice our faith, hope, and charity. What is the worst that can happen? We can suffer and die. But these times cannot steal our soul unless we let them! Do not let trials steal your joy! Jesus gives a love, joy, and peace that the world cannot bring, and cannot steal unless we choose to let it.
If we focus on the spiritual and eternal, then the limited physical and emotional problems of our life will be put in proper perspective in Christ. Furthermore, they become opportunities to embrace the cross of Christ that brings us, and others the power of His resurrection in a supernatural way.
Are we overcome by trials and tribulations? They may get worse! If we use them as a way to focus on Jesus we can rise above them in Him. if we only focus on the storms we will continue to sink beneath the waves until we drown out our spiritual life altogether. Rise up! Look to Jesus! He will empower us with all we need in any trial. The power is His, but the choice is ours. Choose Christ today!"
You'll notice in upcoming pre-planned and drafted posts, that I address this before coming across these words so I know that God is/was speaking this to me, as you shall see. Perhaps you are in your own 'trial', I pray that God will speak to your heart a special word or song of encouragement written with a message of His great Love and aMazing Grace!
you grow closer
and strengthen your faith
You are not alone
nor do you
He is there!
Let Him in
Just tell Him
I sent you
Don't let the
trial by fire
Our God is a Consuming Fire!
Deut. 4:24 and 9:3
(better His then someone else's)