Tag Archive | Buddy

What Born Again Means? John 3:3

Buddy was an unexpectedly wonderful addition to my life. I had wanted to rescue a Silky terrier but hadn’t planned on doing so that particular weekend. After dropping off my family at a Seattle pier for a cruise, I returned home to check my email on my IPad when I accidentally hit the Silky Terrier Rescue bookmark and up popped a photo of Buddy, the first time I’d seen a dog from Washington State available for adoption in more than a year. A few days later Buddy became a part of my life.

Just as I’ve never regretted Buddy entering my life, neither have I regretted becoming born again March 7th, 31 years ago. I hadn’t planned on making a major life change that night when I flipped on the Billy Graham Crusade show on local TV. And being raised in a non-Christian religion, I knew nothing about Who the Holy Spirit truly was. Jesus had admonished Nicodemus, a Pharisee and “a ruler of the Jews” (John 3:1) that:

“Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)

I felt like something was missing in my life, within my spirit, so I called the number on the TV screen and spoke with one of the crusade’s counselors. I gave my life to the Lord Jesus. About an hour or so later, when reading the Bible and praying, something totally unanticipated and astonishing happened: a spirit swooshed into my body at about where my ribs meet my abdomen.

I was absolutely frightened because no Christian had ever told me what being born again meant: The Holy Spirit comes into your spirit and you become whole, fully human again. Fortunately the Lord revealed to me Who He was and then I felt totally consumed by a love that was beyond comprehension or human expression. (In a later blog I’ll reveal what He said that night.)

You see, we are meant to be triune brings like God: soul, body and Spirit. When Adam and Eve rebelled against God, they were rejecting the Holy Spirit’s guidance so the Holy Spirit left them. As a result, every one of their descendants–the human race–born into this world is incomplete: body and soul only.

When we accept the Lord as our Savior, we are repenting of living life our own way by our own rules and telling God that we want Him to rule our lives. We are inviting His Spirit back into our life, making us wholly human again, reversing the curse Adam placed on every person subsequently born after his rejection of God’s authority.

Everyone senses that they are incomplete but do not understand why, so they try to fill that emptiness with things that never satisfy: food, alcohol, sex, drugs, shopping for things, gambling, etc. It’s my opinion that most addictions occur because nothing but God can fill this emptiness, although a person keeps trying and trying.

Christians often preach half a gospel: to repent and accept Jesus as Savior. But we repent to become vessels fit to receive God’s Spirit–completeness–the Life of Christ. God offers you “abundant life” (John 10:10) through the Holy Spirit.

Why not ask Him to be your Lord now and become whole.

***

For some reason neither of my computers were functioning to permit me to post this blog. I’m on my cellphone so please excuse any typos.

PS. Not all Christians have a dramatic born again experience like I did. Many slowly come to an awareness of the Holy Spirit’s presence in their spirit. But the dramatic experience explains why some Christians are so excited when first converted, because it’s an amazing thing to know that God is real and not just a myth or fairy tale.

Handling Criticism: Who’s Holding Your Hand? Jude 1:24

Buddy Looking Upward From The Other Side

Buddy is looking through the screen door at my previous home, requesting entrance. As a dog, he isn’t wondering about what the future holds: He is focused on getting into his home from the outside.

As pop culture continues to encourage people to abandon God, Christians are increasingly subjected to open mockery and legal persecution. Recent information shows that 70% of children who are raised in the Church are abandoning Jesus when they get to college. Atheism, though illogical, continues to dominate so-called critical thinking.

Please remember: When someone mocks you for your Christian beliefs, to remember that your ultimate destination is Heaven, which is so wonderful that both the apostles Paul and John were incapable of fully describing Heaven when given a glimpse.

When you leave this current life you will “stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy.”–Jude 1:24

It’s not easy to always remember to keep your focus on a future blessing when you’re suffering now. It’s easy to allow your self-defense mechanisms kick into autopilot, becoming silent, angry or argumentative in response. But I challenge you to condsider this:

On Judgment Day, is that person or persons who is mistreating you going be holding your hand and defending you before the Lord?

Obviously not. They’re not going to give you a single thought because all they’re going to be focused on and worrying about is the great Lord on His mighty throne, surrounded by lightning bolts and a rainbow while they tremble in fear.

The only One Who will be holding your hand, even thinking about you at all, will be the Lord Jesus, Our Advocate before the Father’s throne. (1 John 2:1)

Instead, have mercy on the one who is condemning you, because they have no clue about the terror they are going to experience on Judgment Day when God separates the sheep from the goats and casts out those who reject Him.

As Apostle Paul stated to the Philippians that we are not to be “in no way alarmed by your opponents–which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you…” (Philippians 1:28)

I don’t claim to be perfect in this regard, but I’m trying with God’s help. I hope it helps you to maintain your joy as you walk through life.

Have a blessed evening.

Love from Dawn and Buddy

***

Jesus stated that the path to eternal punishment was broad (Matthew 7:13); it is the path most people will follow. But you don’t have to follow the culture. Join the true CounterCulture and yield your life to Jesus.

Because God is perfect and holy, He is a just God who punishes evil. However, because He loves us, He sent Jesus Christ to earth to be punished for our sins instead. All you have to do is confess that you are a sinner, deserving of judgment, and ask Jesus to enter your life and heart and be Your Lord. That means that you want to repent and start following God and His ways written down in the Bible instead of listening to what the culture says is right and wrong. Please confess and ask Him to be your Lord and God. And that you believe that Jesus was crucified to pay for your sins and was resurrected bodily to prove that He was God in the flesh, Immanuel (Matthew 1:23). If you did pray, please find a Bible-based church to learn about God and to fellowship with other believers, who can encourage you to stay the course on the “narrow path that leads to life” (Matthew 7:14).

And everlasting joy!

It’s Hard Not To Fret! Hebrews 1:11

Storage.Unit.2019.WP

I am progressively moving boxes out of my storage unit into my condo. I am not a strong person so I don’t want to transport and carry the boxes up the stairwell into my home in one day, so am doing it a few at a time till my intended move-out date.

Buddy insists on coming with me in the car and particularly enjoys visiting my storage unit. I have no idea why he enjoys it but he seems to like to observe what I am doing.

I don’t want Buddy to get knocked on the head, so I usually rope him to the adjacent unit, leaving my keys nearby for him to guard. This time, I also left my cellphone next to him. Usually I don’t bring my phone with me and but usually leave it in the car, but I thought, “What if I get locked in down there (my unit is in the basement) and need to call for help?” So I took it along.

After removing several boxes and setting them onto my cart, I locked the unit and then untied Buddy. I was preoccupied with Buddy and forgot my phone on the cement floor.

Later that night, I wanted to make a phone call and realized that I did not have my phone. I looked everywhere. By then it was dark and I had to use a flashlight to investigate the ground around my condo; I looked several times everywhere that I had walked Buddy with no luck. It was nowhere in my car nor my condo.

After searching for a few hours, I got confused and couldn’t recall where I’d last held or seen the phone. I kept praying and asking God about it.

This verse came to mind while praying: “Do not be anxious about anything,…”. Apostle Paul admonished the Philippians in his letter, verse 4:6, not to worry but to trust God.

I asked the Lord to give me a new idea of where to look as I’d run out of ideas and He knew where it was. The image of my cell phone on the floor by my storage unit came to mind. I’d thought I’d picked it up but as I’d said above, confusion had already set in, particularly as I was tired from being anxious.

I pictured Jesus in the boat, sleeping peacefully and trusting God even though the boat was being swamped with water because of an unusually severe storm on the lake. That is how I should have slept, nice and peaceful trusting that the situation was in God’s hands.

But I didn’t sleep peacefully, trusting in God.

You see, I was worrying about all the photos of my adorable Buddy on my phone that I had not yet downloaded and may never see again. And the cost of purchasing a new phone when I wanted to wait for Apple to upgrade their current phone to the G5 network.

I was worrying, even though I knew I shouldn’t.

Hebrews 11:1 defines what faith is:

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

One of my favorite verses in Psalms is 57:2:

“I will cry to God Most High, to God Who accomplishes all things for me.”

As I was praying, God had already reassured me not to worry and had given me an image of where the phone was. But because I could NOT SEE the phone in my hot little hand, I lacked faith that all was well. Unlike Jesus, I fretted and didn’t sleep well. As a result, I woke up the next day exhausted and not able to accomplish the task I’d set myself for the day before attending an evening class.

Thank goodness that God is forgiving when we confess our sins (1 John 1:9). I confessed my lack of faith, knowing that Jesus had already taken the punishment for my sin on the cross. God was not going to punish me for my lack of faith.

I had punished myself by fretting.

And, yes, the next morning, after the storage unit had reopened for the day, I found my cell phone exactly where the Holy Spirit had already revealed it was to me during prayer. No one had picked it up and made off with it.

You can bet that I started downloading my Buddy photos that same night.

Please remember that God accomplishes all things for those who love Him. He loves His children and helps them in times of trouble. He never promised a problem free life but to assist us when trouble comes.

God bless you this year in 2020.

Love from Dawn and Buddy

***

God loves and helps His children. But the Apostle John makes it clear in the gospel of John, verses 1:12-13:

“But as many as received Him (Christ Jesus), to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born…of God.”

Every human being is a creation of God, but not a child of God. Therefore, if you are not born again (John 3:1-3), ie. do not believe in Christ, you cannot claim God’s promises in the Bible. Because God is loving, He does a lot of good for people who do not know or love Him, but God’s revealed promises in the Bible cannot be claimed.

Why not start the New Year with a new 2020 vision of your future by praying the below prayer of faith:

Dear Father, I confess that I have sinned and fallen short of your righteous standards. I deserve Your judgment. But Jesus, God in the flesh, died on the Cross to take the punishment for my sin that I deserve. Please forgive my sin and make me a new creation in Christ by circumcising my heart by the Holy Spirit. I want to be born again.

If you are truly repentant, the Holy Spirit will abide in you and make you complete in Christ, connecting you to God. Please find a godly, Bible-based church to learn about, and grow, in Christ. I also recommend the radio and TV ministries of Charles Stanley (InTouch.org), Michael Youssef (LTW.org), and Basic Gospel (BasicGospel.net).

Have a great year as a new believer!

True Humility, Matthew 1:23

Cute.Bud.WP.12.2019

Some of you may know that Buddy recently moved from Washington State to Arizona with me. With his unusual and goofy personality, he has been great company. I often turn around and find him keeping an eye on me, as in the photo above. (Although in this instance, he may have been thinking, “You’ve got to be kidding me!”)

The Apostle Matthew, a one-time member of a hated group, tax collectors, quoted a prophecy uttered by the Jewish Prophet Isaiah (who lived from 739 BC to 681 BC) from Isaiah 6:14. This quote is in the first book of the New Testament in the Bible, Matthew 1:23:

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”

The most amazing act of humility occurred when God became flesh and dwelt amongst us. One member of the Holy Trinity, the Son, humbled Himself to dwell within a human womb for 9 months, the most amazing act of trust ever in the Heavenly Father. And an amazing act of trust in His human caretakers, Joseph and Mary. Can you imagine having created the Heavens and the earth and then one day becoming a part of your own creation? And putting aside Your divinity for 9 months?

It boggles the mind.

He became incarnate flesh to die for our sins, taking upon Himself the punishment we deserve for falling far short of God’s holy standards, As an adult He also showed amazing humility and self-control by allowing human beings to spit on Him, beat Him, slap Him, slander and mock Him, and crucify Him. Being both man and God, He had the power to instantly destroy the men who were mistreating Him, yet didn’t utter any threats against them.

People often mock Christians, saying they are arrogant. But isn’t it arrogant to deny that you are a sinner? After death to stand before a totally pure and holy Creator and claim that you are good enough to enter Heaven and dwell in His house? Or to make up your own designer god to justify whatever behavior you want to engage in?

There is some justification for this attitude in that some Christians are not taught properly and believe they earned, or continue to earn, their salvation/good standing with God by their own efforts. That they are better than others because God is so pleased by their good deeds and holiness. So they can come off as arrogant. I get that.

I tried to become an atheist when I was in college because I didn’t like the way some Christians were treating me, but I couldn’t deny that there had to be a Creator (besides other reasons) of this wonderfully complex and interdependent system of life.

But Christians who properly understand the gospel realize that there is no way that a person can justify themselves before God.

“All of our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment;” (Isaiah 64:6) in the eyes of God. Every person, no matter how good and kind they appear to us, falls far short of God’s perfect standard. I fall short every day. You fall short.

“No one is good except God alone.”–Jesus, Mark 10:18

Nobody is better than anyone else because we are all sinful in God’s eyes apart from faith in Jesus Christ. Our own works and good deeds never meet the mark. God has set the bar too high for anyone to meet.

Absolute perfection.

“Therefore you are to be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.”–Jesus, Matthew 5:48

Christians (properly taught) know that their righteousness is a gift from Jesus who purchased it with His blood on the Cross. We claim His righteousness as our own through faith in His works, not our own works. (Galatians 3 by Apostle Paul.) Claim His resurrection from death into life as our own.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”–Ephesians 3:8-9, Apostle Paul

This Christmas season, let’s focus on how marvelously humble and loving our Lord Jesus is by coming to earth as a baby, growing up under the authority of human parents and then submitting His will to the Father and dying by the hands of His own creation.

Jesus’ humility boggles the mind.

 

 

Why The Prosperity Gospel Prospers, 2 Corinthians 3:4-6

Buddy.Condo.Livingroom

As Buddy was abused before I rescued him through Silky Terrier Rescue, I have usually rely upon the more modern approach of dog obedience: praise every time he does something correct. The only time I use more harsh methods is if he is in immediate danger, like trying to get under my legs when I’m driving down the freeway. He is generally a good-natured and sweet boy who, though willful like most terriers, is fairly well-behaved.

This is merely my opinion, but I believe that when the Church is in imbalance, it gives an opportunity for bad teaching to enter.

When the Church is overly focused on rebuking, rather than, praising/encouraging believers.

“…our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”–Apostle Paul, 2 Corinthians 3:4-6

Under the Old Covenant, before Jesus Christ was crucified for our sins and resurrected to raise us into new life with Him, people were made right with God through following a set of rules for living, as detailed in the Old Testament Law given to the Jewish people through Moses. This is the “letter” that “kills” referred to by Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians. The Old Covenant Law was given to show humanity their complete inability to follow it perfectly, to prove their need for a New Covenant through the blood of a someone who could totally fulfill the rules 100%: Jesus Christ, “God with us” (Matthew 1:23).

Shortly after leaving Egypt during the Great Exodus, the Jewish people promised Moses that they would obey all that God commanded and worship Him only, but they couldn’t even keep their promise long enough to wait for Moses to return from the mountaintop before creating a golden calf to worship and dance before. They weren’t lying: they just couldn’t obey because as, unredeemed people, they didn’t have the Holy Spirit to assist them.

What I have found, after being a Christian for 30 years now, is that many pastors are very good at rebuking and exhorting the people of their congregations. But not so good at encouraging them. I think the reason is that they are eager for the people to obey God and be a positive influence in their city and culture, to stand out in a godless society to help lead others into a relationship with the Lord.

But, this is my opinion, most pastors are not trusting the Holy Spirit within each believer to lead and guide them “in the paths of righteousness”. So they tend to focus on preaching that people should obey the Law and not so much on encouragement–or how to do so.

But Apostle Paul made it clear, not only in the above verses from Corinthians, that the Law kills, but that we do not grow in sanctification, i.e. become more godly people in our walk with God–by obeying the ¬†letter of the Law but by focusing on Christ.

One of my favorite passages in the New Testament is from Galatians, where the Apostle Paul rebukes the Galatians for trying to obey the Old Testament Law instead of following the guidance of the Holy Spirit:

“You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Are so you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, as you now being perfected by the flesh?”–Galatians 3:1-3

Apostle Paul was pointing out that the Christian believer came into fellowship with God through faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the Old Testament Law. They had witnessed the Holy Christ die for their sins. They received the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit by believing in Christ’s sacrifice for their sin, not by following the Old Testament Law. Paul pointed out that they were to walk in faith, to trust in Jesus as their righteousness, and not in how well they could obey.

I hope you are still following me here. The prosperity preachers focus on God’s blessings and encouragement of believers because too many preachers are focused on exhortation, leaving many persons feeling dispirited and discouraged after a sermon. I’m not advocating that pastors should never rebuke or talk about God’s standards. But they need to balance out their rebuke and call to holy living with positive messages.

Many pastors focus on what the believer can do FOR God. They make the Gospel bad news because, after a person is convicted of their sin, convinced that they are unholy in their behavior, the new believer is exhorted that they have to try really hard to meet those impossible standards.

But the Gospel isn’t bad news: It’s good news.

It’s about what Jesus DID. The focus is on God and not on us.

God initiates a relationship with us and we receive it by His grace as a freely given gift (Ephesians 2:8-10). We cannot earn it.

Charles Spurgeon, the great Victorian preacher in London, got the balance just right, in my opinion. His focus was not on what the believer could do FOR God, but always on what we can do BECAUSE OF Jesus. We are victorious BECAUSE JESUS has already won the victory over sin, death and Satan at the Cross. We can walk in the newness of life BECAUSE JESUS took our sins upon Himself and crucified them on His Cross.

When I was a young believer, I got involved in an ungodly relationship with a nonbeliever. The Holy Spirit made me horrendously miserable in my soul till I gave up the relationship. God also sat a pastor next to me during an airplane trip who gently rebuked me. The Great Shepherd kept His promise to keep me on that path of righteousness for His namesake. The pressure of the Holy Spirit was reinforced by the pastor, but without God’s pressure In my soul–my desire to obey God because I had become a “slave of obedience” (Romans 6:16)–the rebuke wouldn’t have “stuck”.

It’s about Jesus and the indwelling Holy Spirit. It’s not about us.

It’s about God keeping His promise, as our great Shepherd, to lead us and guide us.

Let the true Church get back into balance: rejecting the false promises of the prosperity teachers and encouraging the believer to walk by faith alone in Christ alone.

Let’s keep the focus on Jesus, the eternal God, and get it off ourselves.

“And, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.”–Jesus, John 12:32

Lift up Jesus.

***

If you don’t know Jesus, why not ask Him to reveal Himself to you? If you are sincere, He will, because He loves you and wants you to be in a relationship with Him. How He does this is as individual as each of us are.

***

I’ve been absent for several months as firstly, I had foot surgery, then spent a week in Alaska with no Internet service, then packed and moved from Washington State to Arizona. It was an exhausting move for both Buddy and I to our new home, more so than I had expected. I hope to be back on track now.

I very much appreciate your reading my blog. I hope today’s blog is helpful to you. Though the language is more florid than we are accustomed to nowadays, I heartily encourage you to read some of Pastor Spurgeon’s sermons. Particularly his sermons on spiritual warfare. You’ll feel even more impassioned about what Christ has done for you.

What Is Salvation? Ephesians 2:1

Bud.Bday.2019.WP

Last Wednesday my family celebrated Buddy’s 11th birthday. I don’t know his true birthday, only that he was a summertime puppy. However, a little over 8 years ago on August 21st, 2011, I picked up Buddy from Barbara, who was working with Silky Terrier Rescue as a foster mom, so that’s his unofficial birthday. He’s been a great little pal and I’m very thankful to them both for rescuing and fostering Buddy till he came into my life. And am praying that Buddy will have many more happy and healthy years.

It’s my belief that many people don’t understand what salvation is, not only nonbelievers, but also many people who claim to be Christians. I agree with the Basic Gospel ministry that many preachers teach only “half a gospel”, i.e. that to become a Christian you repent of your sin. True enough.

But the problem with humanity is not that we sin, but that we are sinners. We sin as a result of who we are: fallen humanity. Whether you believe in Adam or Eve or not, the point of the story is that humanity chose to believe satan, rather than God. They chose to be their own gods and choose for themselves right and wrong, rejecting God as their Lord Who defines right and wrong.

We were created in God’s image (Genesis 1:26). God is a triune being–Father, Son and Holy Spirit. So, we too, were once triune beings–body, soul and filled with God’s Spirit. When our human ancestors rejected God, the Holy Spirit left the human race. As a result, we are all born incomplete: body and soul only. Everyone is born spiritually dead. That is why everyone feels incomplete and tries to fill that emptiness with food, drugs, alcohol, pleasure, sex, whatever, to make that wrong feeling go away. But it never works because that hole in your soul was meant to be filled with God’s Spirit only. Nothing else will satisfy and make you feel complete.

What that means is that, as Apostle Paul explained to the Ephesians who lived in a culture steeped in the occult:

“You were dead in your trespasses and sins,…” Ephesians 2:1

Doing good works or being good or knowing enough or being wise isn’t going to give you life. The problem isn’t just that you are bad and God is good; the problem is that you’re dead in your sin and need spiritual life.

And only Jesus Christ can give you life.

That’s the problem that unbelievers don’t understand. And what many Christians don’t understand, either. It’s not about a list of rules to obey. Christianity isn’t just a religious system: It’s about your soul being resurrected spiritually from the dead so that you can interact with God. Only spiritually alive people can enter heaven; only spiritually alive people can relate to God the Father.

It is the reason why, after Adam and Eve listened to satan and rejected God’s authority, that they ran and hid from Him. And God was walking around asking, “Where are you?” It wasn’t that God isn’t omniscient and didn’t know where they were physically; it was because they were no longer connected to Him spiritually (Genesis 3:9).

Jesus died for our sins; He took the punishment we deserved to satisfy God’s wrath for our sinful behavior.

But Jesus was also resurrected from the dead, proving He was God in the Flesh (Immanuel, Matthew 1:23). When we put our faith in Him, we are also resurrected from the dead with Him and seated in the heavenly places with Christ. Which is the symbol of baptism: having our sins washed away and then resurrected to a new life.

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surprising riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”–Ephesians 2:4-9

So the main point I’m trying to get across is: your works don’t make you right with God because you’re spiritually dead without the Holy Spirit indwelling you. You have to become spiritually alive and trying to be good doesn’t cut it. You can never be good enough to earn the Holy Spirit. You receive Him by asking in faith, admitting that you are sinful, i.e. cannot meet God’s standards and need Him to change you through His resurrection power.

It takes away all boasting before God because you cannot stand before Him and say, “Look how good I am. God is really pleased with me.” That’s what Christians call “legalism”: thinking that you can follow God’s rules to be right with Him. And those people are usually mean and judgmental. It may not be that they are not saved but that no one properly explained to them what salvation is after they accepted Jesus by faith.

Jesus said, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”–Luke 11:13

After accepting Christ, you’ll once again be whole: body, soul and Spirit.

Much love from Dawn and Buddy

***

There is much more that could be said to clarify, but, hopefully, I’ve laid the foundation for a greater understanding of why we need Jesus in our life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Encouragement in Times of Trouble, Hebrews 13:5

BudWatchingVacuum.WP

For some reason Buddy loves to watch me vacuum the rugs and wash the vinyl floors. He doesn’t do anything but just sit and watch (or get in my way, occasionally). I don’t understand what he finds so endlessly fascinating, but I can always count on him to be there.

One of the verses I treasure when I feel discouraged is Hebrews 13:5: “for He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.'” I often say it out loud when I feel downhearted and thank the Lord for being with me. (Probably quoted from Isaiah 41.)

But in writing this blog, I realize that I often don’t quote the next verse, which is also one to treasure, verse 6:

“so that we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will an do to me?'”

I don’t believe that anyone has a life without its sorrows or problems: They are just different, dependent upon your circumstances.

Jesus promises us in John 16:33 a tough time in life, but to be of good cheer:

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

I realized, after reading a short excerpt from Martin Luther about expecting trouble in life, that I DO expect life to be smooth–to never have to overcome any problems or have trials or sorrows. But that is not reality.

The dictionary defines to “forsake” as being abandoned in time of trouble. (I use the Random House Webster’s College Dictionary.)

What God promises is to be with us when we have problems in life and to help us to endure with the right attitude or to overcome. Paul and Silas could sing hymns and praise God in prison because they trusted that God was with them (Act 16:25). When you are born-again, the Holy Spirit indwells you and is ALWAYS with you. You are never going through any circumstance in life alone.

God not only helps us endure but can give us the strength to overcome the circumstance:

“In my distress I called upon the Lord and cried to my God for help; He heard my voice out of His temple and my cry for help before Him came into His ears…For by You I can run upon a troop; and by my God I can leap over a wall…The God who girds me with strength…”–King David, Psalm 18:6, 29,32a

Please note that Paul and Silas had their focus on the Lord and not their imprisonment by singing and praising God, despite their harsh circumstance. And David was able to overcome his enemies by praying firstly, then acting.

Praise and prayer to the God who always with you is your winning combination.

Love from Dawn and Buddy

***

The Lord promises to be there for the believer. But if you are not a believer, you cannot always count on God to come through for you. Because He is a loving god, He often helps those who call upon Him, even if they again turn away. I truly believe that, on Judgment Day, unbelievers are going to be told how many times God in Christ intervened in their lives to protect them and they chose to ignore Him. Please don’t ignore Him any longer. He loves you but cannot be in a relationship with you unless you admit that Jesus is the Lord God, came in the flesh, died to take the punishment for your sin and then was raised bodily from the dead to give you eternal life. Please ask Him into your life by acknowledging your sin and your need for His salvation so that you can begin to reap the benefits of a loving relationship with the Almighty Savior.