My mother brought this idea to me and I was a bit skeptical at first. However, a calling has been felt lately to somehow share my insight and journey as a soldier for Christ. It has been prayed about and I don’t want to risk missing His answer.
God blessed me with the gifts of discernment and counsel. He has blessed me with the ability to lead, to write and to encourage. There is also a gift of boldness, which can be used for both good and evil.
I desire with all my heart to use these gifts for His Glory and maybe this Blog will be an avenue in which they can. My goal is to be faithful to write, even if no one reads them in order to answer His call over all else. If He blesses you through this, Praise Him! If He blesses me through this, Praise Him! What truly matters is that He gets the Glory through all of this. I do not want to make you feel good, but make you think and ultimately act.by Becky
Anyone who knows me has heard my pitch about sponsoring a child by now. I know I have written about it as well, but since this is my blog.. I guess I can write about it as often as God puts it on my heart.
World Vision is currently working on an ADP (Area Development Project) in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This is the worst place in the world to be a mother as 9 out of 10 mothers will lose a child to death before they turn 5 years old. As a mother I hear those statistics and my heart breaks. I can’t even begin to imagine.
Less than six percent of the people in Ledia, Gemena have access to clean water. The country is basically forgotten and greatly lacks resources. This country has been torn apart by wars and the dangerous rebels are fighting all around them. On the United Nations Human Development Index which is a rating system for the least developed nations, they are the worst at 187 out of 187.
World Vision is there trying to bring clean water, food, medical and other resources to all of these families. But without your help our work is literally on the line along with the lives of all of these children. Today 1 out of 6 of their children will die before they reach the age of 5. And the ones who survive are at extremely high risk of being sold into human trafficking.
I know I said I can’t imagine but I am asking you to try and imagine with me. Imagine your child starving, asking for food and water. Imagine your baby laying there so sick that death is lurking and you’re absolutely helpless to do anything about it. You work all day in the field but you can’t help your children or yourself. It seems you have been forgotten and not just by the people of the world but by God himself. But now hope has come by way of a people called World Vision. You feel that maybe God heard your cries and has sent His people to answer your prayers.
Now how is this story going to end? Are God’s people going to join together to help or will World Vision have to leave and allow these people to remain forgotten?
For only $35 a month you can sponsor a child. You cannot only save a life but change the entire world of this family and their village. Your love and generosity would improve the generations to come and send a message loud and clear, God loves the people of the Congo!
My very first sponsor was a single mother of two children. She had just downsized into a one bedroom apartment because she could not afford the two bedroom they lived in. Yet in her poverty, she sponsored a little girl in India without hesitation. Then there’s my 12 year old daughter who sacrificed her cell phone to sponsor a girl her same age in Mozambique. These are just two stories of people stepping out in faith and realizing how important it is to put others’ needs above our own.
If you can’t afford to sponsor at $35 a month, you can always split the sponsorship with another person or family. If that is not an option, you can even make it one time donation of any amount. You can also forward this blog to others and raise awareness that way. You never know who can sponsor. We can’t underestimate the power of our influence . You may have friends and family who want to help and don’t know how. I pray you don’t read this and think they are some sad statistics and then go on about your business. Our hearts should break for the things that break God’s heart. Amen?
James 2:15-17 New International Version (NIV)
15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
We are the hands and feet of Jesus! We have been given the privilege of freedom and wealth. With that privilege comes great responsibility. God did not bless us because He loves us and our families more than He loves the Congo, no! He is trusting us to be faithful to care for the poor, to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves and to not store up for ourselves treasures here on Earth where moths and vermin destroy. (Proverbs 29:7,Proverbs 31:8,Matthew 6:19) Won’t you Cry Out for Congo with us? Won’t you make the commitment to try and help in whatever way you can? Thank you and May God Bless your faithfulness.by Becky
The new reality show “Preachers of L.A.” upsets me on so many levels that I could probably write a book. I won’t though. I have so much to say about this that I almost don’t know where to start. How about I start with scripture? After all, my opinion outside of scripture is just that.
Ezekiel 34 “The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to you shepherds of Israel who only take care of yourselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? 3 You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock.”
Preachers are shepherds who are to take care of their flock. So if there are members of their congregation struggling with poverty, single mothers who need help, families suffering from the recession, etc. then shepherds should not be rich or what they call “prospering” from their tithes. After all Malachi 3:10 says “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house…..” God said He wanted food in HIS house. The tithes are for God’s house to be blessed and prosper in order to bless others. When God blesses us, it is so we can bless others, not have more stuff. But since the show “Preachers of L.A.” and those like them, repeatedly quote verses about how God wants us to prosper, here is another verse about prospering-
Malachi 3:15 “But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly evildoers prosper, and even when they put God to the test, they get away with it.’”
So let us be clear that prosperity does not mean God is blessing someone or their ministry. If you want to know if someone is a man of God, if someone is holy, look at their lives. God says we are to be humble, consider others better than ourselves, gentle and self-controlled. I personally know a Pastor who was offered a brand new car as a gift from a wealthy member of the flock. His answer was simple but beautiful. “Use that money to buy two cars for struggling single mothers in the church who need them”. His car at that time was an old beat up bucket, by choice. When a struggling single mom, (who didn’t even go to his church) needed a car, he simply handed her the keys. When he bought a new truck, he ultimately donated it to the church for their needs. He has washed the feet of the men in his church. He washed the dishes after he presided over a wedding. This is what a humble man of God looks like.
Yet, these prosperity preachers insist that God’s desire is for them to prosper while members of their flock struggle and go without. Arrogant, self-seeking, self-edifying, proud, greedy and materialistic are the words I would use to describe these preachers. “They are human” you say, “we all struggle with sin” you say. Pastors, elders and leaders are held to higher standards. How can a shepherd keep a flock from straying while they still stray themselves?
Titus 1 6-8 “ 6 An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. 7 Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. 8 Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.”
As Christians we are “Called to suffer, like good soldiers of Christ” -2 Timothy 2:3. So, how do cars that cost $500,000.00 fit into suffering, humility or God’s glory? They don’t. There are 20,000 children dying every single day from starvation and preventable diseases, does God want us to spend half a million dollars of HIS peoples’ hard-earned money on a preachers vehicle? Of course not! To argue the point comes from a place of one’s own desire to have such power, wealth and riches for the purpose of gaining this worlds’ treasures.
Why are the sheep so gullible when it comes to wolves in shepherds clothing? That is what I want to know. I think it’s because- that same power and money is seducing them. After all, the promise of suffering (which Jesus did promise us) is not as appealing. The idea of Jesus being our all-powerful genie, well, that sounds good. So, let’s look at the words of Christ since we are CHRISTians.
Matthew 6 19-21 19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
The Bible warns us about false preachers so we will know what to look for.
1 Timothy 6 4-9 “ 4 they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
What does God say about these types of Shepherds/Preachers/Pastors? Let’s end where we began, in Ezekiel 34.
Ezekiel 34 “10 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them.”
God will hold each one of us accountable for our actions, especially preachers that use Him for their own selfish financial gain. Let us be wise and knowledgeable of God’s word so we will see the wolves among us and warn others.
Turn off what you ask? Well, we can start with the television, then the computer, dare I say the cell phone and how about any other distractions that keep us from truly embracing life. I don’t mean permanently, so calm down. I realize these things have all become a vital part of our everyday lives.
But can you imagine a world where families once again sat around the dinner table and discussed their days without the distraction of television or cell phones? For many of us I think this is more of a concept or commercial then reality. Unfortunately television and computers have become routine and even babysitters. They are often given the charge of instilling morals in us and our children.
My youngest daughter and I were recently watching a popular show on Disney together. This particular episode was encouraging kids to follow their feelings without thinking about it. I am glad I was sitting there with her so we can discuss how wrong this message really was. In fact it kind of embodied much of what is wrong with the world today. We all desire to give into our feelings in the moment without thinking about the consequences. Let’s not think of who it hurts or how it affects others. For many people today, life is about self-indulgence, self-fulfillment and being true to oneself. This is the exact opposite of everything God has called us to.
Titus 1:7-8 7 Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. 8 Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.
I once lived a life led by emotions and self-fulfillment. Allow me to testify about what a horrible roller coaster that was. Let’s think about some normal emotions: happiness, sadness, anger, pride, fear, rage, excitement and euphoria. The list can go on but I used to experience a lot of these emotions in one day. Maybe it was because I had a traumatic past, maybe it was hormonal or maybe chemical but I talk to enough people to know I am not the only one. My life was as out of control as my emotions because I didn’t rule them, they ruled me. This led me into a life of violence, partying, affairs and suicide attempts just to name a few. I was basically chasing euphoric moments. It was a life of bondage, all about seeking the next thing that could bring me pleasure. Yet Disney encourages our children to follow this type of life.
I am not saying pleasure is bad; God created pleasure. This is about Satan corrupting pleasure and us allowing pleasure to become our god. Now this may all seem extreme to some of you since I started off just talking about electronics. But all those things I listed above began because of things I was exposed to at a young age. Many of them were on T.V. and the computer. Computers are easy access to cyber-sex, bullying and addicting role-play games which many of our children have already been subjected to and perhaps entrapped by. I am not saying all media is bad but everything in moderation.
Maybe it isn’t that serious for you. Perhaps T.V., Facebook, computer games and such have become a source of pleasure that may be replacing time that should belong to God. Or maybe they are replacing time that could be spent with your families and your friends. At the end of the day, it couldn’t hurt to fast from media perhaps once a week. If the thought of that scares you or upsets you, than you probably need it more than you know. Remember, the Enemy is clever and will get in our lives where he can. If we don’t think he is in the middle of media today, we are just where he wants us to be.by Becky
I often hear self-righteous people passing judgment on the salvation of other Christians with the phrase “if he/she was really a Christian..” followed by whatever that looks like to them. I have found myself struggling with this and looking at my past, at times questioning my own salvation. If my salvation is based on my actions then I only became a true believer about 10 years ago. However I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior as a very young child. I was baptized as a teen and I know that the Holy Spirit was with me. I still lived a life in bondage to sin. Not my whole life, but most of it was kind of a roller coaster. And I am sure that many Christians around me said, “if she was really a Christian, she wouldn’t do these things.
So I found myself questioning “Was I really a Christian?” I had fits of rage, I had sex outside of marriage, and I was violent and could be a drunkard, just to name a few. Those don’t sound like the qualities of a Christian. I was also remorseful and tried to change my life constantly. It was a real struggle and a long battle. The question is “Would I have been struggling with my sin if I were not saved? “ It is the Holy Spirit who convicts and compels us to do what is right. There are so many Christians in bondage right now. They are the topic of others’ conversations and judgments. And if that is you, I have some questions for you to help you work out your own salvation.
Question#1: Do you believe in your heart that Jesus is the Son of God who died for your sins and rose from the dead?
Question #2: Have you acknowledged your sin before the Holy and one true God, asked for forgiveness and surrendered your life to him through the acceptance of Christ’s death?
If you answered yes to both of those questions you are saved. (Romans 10)
True salvation is life changing. When you accepted the Holy Spirit into your heart, your heart had to change. After all, you were dead and now are alive. So why do you still do the things you don’t want to do? Because many of us refuse to surrender every area of our lives thinking we can still control certain sins. The only way to get sin under control is to flee from it. If you have areas of unrepentant sin in your life that you think you have under control, you are fooling yourself and the truth is you are a slave to that sin. That’s why you can’t give it up.
Now if you say you believe, have prayed the prayer but your heart and life have not changed in anyway, I would be worried. There must be some level of transformation when you go from complete darkness to the light. If your life looks the same, you talk the same and you think the same, where was your transformation? If your response is, ‘God knows my heart’, you are right and He says our hearts are evil. (Romans 3:10-18) If you say ‘God is OK with my sin because (fill in the blank) ‘, you are calling God a liar. These are signs that you don’t truly believe with your heart.
Scripture says that each one of us must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12) We are to hold one another accountable for our actions but we are not told to sit around talking about each other. Nor are we instructed to judge one another’s Salvation. If each one of us could focus more on being who God called us to be, and fulfilling the purpose He has for us, then we would probably be more willing to help carry one another’s burdens. We would desire to lift each other up instead of tear one another down. Make no mistake about it; I am no more deserving of my salvation now as a leader in the church, than I was 12 years ago when I was swinging on a stripper pole. The closer I get to God, the more I am humbled by how much grace I need from Him daily. I praise God for basing my salvation on who Christ is, not who I am or was.by Becky
Ever wonder how you got in the mess you are in? I know I have. There have been times in my life when I have cried out, “God, why me?” It is pretty easy to point the finger at all the people and circumstances that have made life harder than it should be. So let me share this amazing wisdom that God has bestowed upon me about my messy life. Are you ready for it? I don”t know if you’re ready but here it is. If you are miserable or your life is a mess and you want to know why, take a look in the mirror.
I hope you are still with me, even if you are upset. If we are going to keep it real we must own up to our choices. We all make choices every day that add to or take away from our quality of life one way or the other. Each decision made has a consequence. For example, I have been in two abusive marriages. Both of those marriages happened because I said “I do”. I knew they both had a violent history and there were plenty of warning signs but I chose to make excuses for them. I also knew what the Bible said a godly man was and I chose to settle for less than that.
I used to complain about being a single mom but I was not widowed. I chose to be a single mom. I chose to have two kids out of wedlock. I chose to marry violent men so even when I had children in marriage, they were exposed to chaos and instability. My sinful choices affected my children which is not their fault, of course. However, as they become old enough to know right from wrong, they are making their own choices which have consequences.
I used to blame my bad choices with men on my past. After all, I have been sexual abused and I did not have a good relationship with my father or step-father. I could go on and on about all the bad things that happened to me but do those things really excuse my bad choices? If so, at what point do I have to take responsibility for my own actions? Do you take responsibility for your choices and how they have affected your life and others? Do you want to spend more time feeling sorry for yourself or do you want to learn from your mistakes and start making better choices?
I realize that there are situations where we cannot help our circumstance, like the loss of a loved one. If you are truly following God, and making godly choices, things can still go wrong because we are in a fallen world. In that case, take heart because this world is temporary and you will have rest in Heaven where your Father awaits you and your treasures are stored.
Back to my original point, many of the people I counsel are where they are because they chose to be there. If you don’t like where you are, change it. If you are unhappy, that is a choice. Yes, you read that right. Happiness is a choice. Want a different life? Choose one.by Becky
Being a Father is so much more than just lending your genes to somebody. In many cases it actually has nothing to do with whether or not that person’s blood is running through your veins at all. It’s about a man who sacrifices. It’s about a man who loves someone else more than he loves himself. It’s attending school meetings and sitting down at the dinner table to discuss your day. It’s about saying no when you need to hear it and discipling you when you’re most deserving of it . It’s also about forgiveness and grace. It’s about someone seeing the best in you when no one else sees it , including yourself.
Now, no father is perfect; but being a father is about staying around when things aren’t perfect and seeing your commitment through no matter what . Sometimes, fathers fail at the first attempt and come back later in life to try again. But that brings us back to forgiveness and grace.
I am so grateful that my husband is the kind of father that my daughters and I can admire. Sure he’s made some mistakes, but haven’t we all? 10 years later he’s still here and he’s trying with everything he is. Who could ask for anything more than that?
For those who have known what it is like not to have an earthly father, rejoice that we have the perfect Father in Heaven. He will not leave our forsake us. He is our protector, our provider and He is jealous for us. Do you understand what I’m saying? The God of the universe is jealous for you. He will not share you with any other gods. He desires to have your heart as completely devoted to Him as he is devoted to you. His devotion lead to the death of His only begotten Som. I hope that makes you realize how special you truly are.
To all the men out there being the best father that they can be, you have my complete and total respect. You are the very definition of what being a man means. Happy fathers day.by Becky
It is amazing how much our lives are transformed by the living God when we truly surrender our will. Once upon a time my circumstances dictated my happiness. Money issues, family issues, work conflicts, etc., were the center of my life. Actually, if I keep it real, I was the center of my life. It all came down to me and my happiness. Even my children were pawns in my game of life. I wanted them to be happy because that made me happy. When they were sad or hurt, that hurt me but if I was really trying to put their needs before my own, I would not have been living for my “happiness”. I would have sacrificed my selfish pursuit of temporary highs and this world’s pleasure for their best interests.
I see this “it’s all about me” trend all around us, every day. The saddest part is that I am not just talking about the people of this world. I expect that from them. It is also the Christians, so busy chasing their “dreams”, pursing the treasures and success of this world that somehow the whole definition of “ being like Christ” has gotten lost at the bottom of our priority list.
So let’s read what Christ said:
Treasures in Heaven
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
Is it wrong to be “successful”? No, I am not saying that. I am saying we need to examine our goals, lives and priorities because we will answer for everything He has given us including our time, talents and money. The life of Jesus was all about servant hood. He healed the sick, provided for the hungry and washed the feet of his disciples. He humbled himself before man. God Himself humbled himself and yet what is the common practice of his followers: pride and selfishness. He laid down his life for us and yet what do we really sacrifice for him?
35 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the Day of Judgment for every empty word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Where have you bought into this world’s desires and lies? Is there a calling God has for your life that was placed on hold because of your dreams? We should each examine our lives and our hearts because I guarantee you, God is examining us every day.
In 1933 the Nazis came into power. By 1945 the German’s had murdered two out of every three Jews, 200,000 Roma (Gypsies) and 200,000 mentally or physically disabled patients, mainly Germans, living in institutional settings. When the Holocaust ended in 1945 there were 6 million dead. This was not a small third world country or hundreds of years ago. What was the rest of Germany doing during this horrific genocide? What was the rest of the world doing? They were going to the theatre, shopping, dining out, and going to the children’s school recitals. Nothing bad really, just living their lives as usual. I am talking about intelligent, civilized, some even god-fearing, everyday people.
In the spring of 2003 two Darfur rebel movements, the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), rose against the government military to fight the historic and political marginalization of Darfur. The government-armed militia (the Janjaweed) and the Sudanese military specifically targeted ethnic groups from which the rebels received much of their support. The civilian casualties were immense. Over 400 villages were completely destroyed and millions of civilians were forced to flee their homes. Experts estimate that as many as 300,000 people lost their lives between 2003 and 2005. President Bush declared the crisis in Darfur to be genocide in 2004.
The United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force (UNAMID) now in Darfur replaced an underfunded and underequipped African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur in January 2008. UNAMID to this day remains without the necessary resources to protect the 2.7 million internally displaced persons who live in large camps across Darfur. There are also around 300,000 Darfuri refugees living across the Sudanese border in neighboring Chad. Overall, the UN estimates that roughly 4.7 million people in Darfur (out of a total population of roughly 6 million) are still affected by the conflict. (Savedarfur.org)
Today, Beaten down by the centuries-old caste system, the Dalits are mired in India’s thriving sex trade with young children being bought and sold every day.
“Dalits are not considered human. They get no education. They are used and abused and have no recourse or avenues toward justice. There is no protection from law enforcement; no access to the courts; no political voice, no hope of upward mobility.
“Our goal for the entire movement is no small thing: to eliminate the caste system, to free the Dalits. The world needs to understand that slavery still exists. That even today, young children are bought and sold like cattle. That little girls are forced into the dark, illicit sex trade. That young boys and girls are coerced to beg in the streets, and bring their proceeds back to line the pockets of thugs who abuse them at night.” (nottodaythemovie.com)
RIGHTNOW-There are roughly 100,000 children prostitutes between the ages of 11-16 years old, enslaved by pimps, right here in the Unites Stated of America. Thanks to the amazing efforts by the Department of Justice, some pimps are serving life in prison and others are serving 20, 40, 60 or 80 years in prison. Many pimps have begun to target girls 18 – 21 who have a baby so they can control the girl’s visits with the baby based on how much money she earns. Pimping or trafficking an adult (someone 18 years or older in most jurisdictions) only carries probation as a penalty if arrested. (childrenofthenight.org)
So why am I telling you all this? First of all knowledge is power and getting the word out is of the utmost importance if we want to get people involved. I understand that you may not have known all this was going on today but now you do. It is horrible, I know, but if we just get sad, say that it’s wrong and then continue to live our lives as usual, how are we any different than the bystanders during the holocaust? How are Christians so caught up in the things of this world that we turn a blind eye to evil when we are not supposed to be of the world? There were a few dozen ordinary people who took a stand. People like Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved the lives of more than a thousand Jewish refugees during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories.
Get involved, take a stand! “How?” you may ask. I am glad you asked. I will place several links below. We need to be willing to sacrifice our time, talent and yes, our money to fight evil. As Christians we are called to sacrifice. I often hear Christians, after reading something like this say, “Well, that is her passion”. Let me tell you, this is God’s passion. Read what He has to say about it in James:
27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27
(text: TODAY to 68398)
If anyone is interested in hosting an awareness party at their home, I will come and provide information regarding many of these organizations. If anyone is interested in volunteering at Children of the Night, let me know. My goal is not to make you feel bad but to move you to act. You can start by sharing this blog with others. If enough of us act, we can make an impact.
It seems so easy to trust God when everything is going well, although that is really more thankfulness than trust. But when things get hard, hearts break, money runs out, marriages fall apart or a loss of any kind is suffered, what is our first response? Do we drop to our knees and cry out in prayer? Do we thank God for the trial, trusting that He will not only walk through the fire with us but bring us through stronger on the other side?
Through the years I have been through my fair share of trials and I have reacted in trust and I have reacted in anger and rebellion. I know what it means to trust Him and to not trust Him. God promised that in this life we will suffer. Nonetheless, it is during suffering that we doubt God the most. Does our suffering mean that God is unfair, unjust, or not loving? Does it change who He is in any way?
Below is an excerpt from my book, Spiritually M.I.A…
“You see, it was Satan that attacked Job. However, God not only allowed it but he pointed Job out. God had faith in Job and loved Job deeply. We all use Job as the ultimate example of faith during suffering. Job didn’t know the honor God was bestowing on him; all he knew was that he was suffering. God knew the suffering would be temporary and that He would never leave Job’s side.
When I was in labor with my first child, I was in so much pain; I couldn’t see more than a few inches in any direction. My mother was one of my labor coaches but right in the middle of a contraction, the nurse moved in front of my mother to check the monitor. I thought my mother had left me and for what seemed like an hour. When I saw my mom’s face I was really upset. How could you leave me now? She replied that she never left my side, I just couldn’t see her. In the same way, it is hard to see past our suffering.”
We are going to suffer through trials. How we choose to react to each trial reveals the depth of our faith. A friend once told me, “You want to see who someone really is, apply pressure”. Who are we once the pressure is applied? Do we trust our Father and seek comfort in in His Presence? Do we get angry, blame others or withdraw while feeling sorry for ourselves? Do we continue to give our all knowing that we are not the only ones out there suffering or do we stop serving and loving others because of our grief?
Here is a verse that many of us know but struggle to live out:
New International Version (NIV)
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
I am going through many trials at once right now. I am not surprised since the enemy always attacks harder when we are preparing for an Encounter for our women at church. Just the other morning, I didn’t think I could go to work because the tears wouldn’t stop flowing. I cried out to the Father, “God, I need your smile, cause I don’t have one. I need your strength because mine is gone. Please get me through this”. And you know, He did just that. He is so amazingly faithful. His strength was perfected through my weakness.
When the trials come, seek His face like any child who runs to their parent for comfort. He wants to be your strength, your protector, your healer, your provider. So let Him. The point is, we can’t do it alone.by Becky
With all the talk about a recent murderer, (who I don’t feel like mentioning by name), being justified in his killing spree, I thought I should take time to put in my two cents.
I am constantly amazed at America’s blame and victim mentality. It is no wonder that with each new generation we have become more vengeful than ever. My Child Development class was actually taught that children should not have to share. “Why should they?” the teacher asked. No one could answer him. His message, “it’s all about you”. As if we are not self absorbed enough. That message has evolved into, “do whatever is right in your own eyes”. Teachers in both colleges and high schools actually teach that there is no absolute right or wrong. So when someone is “wronged” and takes bloody vengeance, he is justified, right? I mean if you face racism in the 1st grade, at a Christian school none-the-less, and then continue to face it throughout your career, you should have the right to assault and murder people? Shouldn’t you?
I expect this kind of thinking from this world as they do not know God, but what is up with the Christians who are conforming to this mentality? God is clear on this:
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy.’ But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you, that ye may be the children of your Father who is in Heaven.”
So we are to love our enemies and we are to submit to the authorities.
1 Peter 2: 13-17
“13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. 17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.”
The argument most used against following this part of God’s word is “But, our government/police are corrupt.” When this was written, Nero was in power. Nero was as evil and corrupt as they come. This is a man who dipped Christians in hot wax and lit them on fire to light his garden at night. Peter wasn’t writing about submitting only to great governors or emperors. When we rebel against those in authorities, we are rebelling against God. Now, I am not talking about praying, worshipping and reading the Bible being against the law. I would go to jail and even die to worship God but that is not what we are talking about. We are talking about murder and we are calling it justified.
Well I was molested and raped by different men many times throughout my life. I was abused by more than one man. Would I be “justified” in killing men? How about the relatives of those men? Can I kill them? Could you blame me after suffering such wrong? Yes, you could blame me if I decide to take matters into my own hands. After all, we are all a victim of something. So where does it stop?
The Lord says:
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath; for it is written: “’Vengeance is Mine; I will repay,’saith the Lord.”
As Christians we are to be Disciples of Christ, who forgave His crucifiers while being crucified. We are to follow God’s word even when we don’t feel like it or agree. Why? Because His ways are higher than our ways, His thoughts are higher than our thoughts and because while we were His enemies, He died for us. As Christians, let us not feel pity for ourselves as victims or blame others for our actions. Let us lead the way with love and forgiveness. This world may choose to perpetrate the lie that avengers are justified. But when they stand before God, they will answer for each word they spoke and each life they took.by Becky