Sunday, February 22, 2015

Faith and Grief

 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 
 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. 
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 
                                                                                           John 14: 1-3

There are so many things in this world that can cause our hearts to be troubled.  So many things that cause our hearts to fear. Things that cause our hearts to break. It is because of these things that the Lord says "Trust me."

"What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?"
                                                                                         Romans 8:31 

In this past week, God has asked my family to trust Him like never before. 

In this past week, God has asked my family to be strong like never before.

In this past week, God has asked my family to lean on Him like never before.

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see."
                                                                                         Hebrews 11:1 

It is in these times of sorrow that our faith is tested and we determine if we're capable of falling to our knees and depending on the only one that can heal. This has been one of those times.

Saturday Friday February 14th, the day of love, was a day that we will never forget. On this cold morning at 8:30am, my husband's cell rang and the number was one that never calls at this time... my mother in law. My husband immediately knew that something was wrong. Seriously. Wrong.

It was the call no child wants to ever get. The call that says your life is forever changed. The call that your parent has passed away.

It is after this call that God brings us to our knees. He promises us that he'll  never make us walk through this sorrow alone. We'll never leave us.  He'll never forsake us.

"What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us?” 
                                                                                     Romans 8:31 

I can not even begin to imagine how people without a faith deal with death and grief. How do you walk through waters so deep? How do you keep from sinking into the depths of the quick sand? How do you survive a pain that feels like a knife in the heart? 

Only knowing that God is always there. Always loving. Always protecting. This is the only way. God is good!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Refiner's Fire

The final stage of gold or silver production is called refining. Refining is a verb that means to remove impurities or unwanted elements from a substance or to improve something by making small changes. Refining by fire is a long and tiedious process, but the final result is a beautiful and pure substance that is sought out by millions.

The process that God uses to refine us is not all that different. Refiner's fire referes to the way the Lord uses pain and strife to mold and shape his children into the beautiful beings that he created. God is our Refiner.

                     Psalm 66:10 says, " For you,, God, tested us; you refined us like silver."

The refiner breakes up the natural core- the hardened rock that encases minerals, but the rock promises to have a valuable core inside.

                    "Is not my word life fire," declares the Lord, "like a hammer that breaks a rock          
                           into pieces?" Jeremiah 23:29

After the refiner painstakingly skims off all the impurities, he turns up the heat in the furnace.  Again and again the impurities rise to the surface and the refiner sees the gold and silver begin to shine until he sees His own reflection.  

But how do we hang on to hope in the midst of our trails, especially when the heat is turned up beyond whhat we think we can bear? Is it worth the pain to have the Refiner do his work in us?  We persevere by pressing into the heart of the One who allowed the trial... trusting in His perfect plan.  Surrendering our will to His will.  

Remember, the pain God allows in your life is for a reason.  The heat is never intended to destroy you, only to mold you and shape you into the image of Christ. As the heat intensifies in your life, know that the Lord will never leave you or forsake you.

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze." 
Isaiah 43:2

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

God is Good... and worthy of our praise


He did not promise us that this world would be easy. He did not promise us that everyone would agree with us. He did not promise us that no pain would come our way. He DID promise us that he would walk beside us each and every day and that he would even carry us when we stumbled and couldn't keep going.

God is good!

He did not say we had to earn our "wings".  He did not say that three strikes mean that we're out.  He did not say he'd give up on us. He DID say that his grace is sufficient.

God is good!

Each day we face this world that is filled with pain and sorrow.  Each day we face Satan and his minions that hope we'll turn our backs.  Each day we face choices almost unbearable to make.  Each day He loves us, guides us, and pours out his mercies on us.

God is good!

In the midst of this world and it's day to day turmoils we can forget that  GOD IS GOOD! God is good all the time! In our pains he's hoping we'll trust him, in our sadness he's hoping we'll turn to him and in our blessings he's hoping we'll praise him.  

God is good!

This is not always easy to remember, but thank you God that you are patient with us and that your love is everlasting!

God is Good!