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Hope Through the Fire

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” 
John 16:33 (NIV)

Christian song artist Mercy Me has written what is, in my opinion, one of the most relevant songs of our day and age. Within the song it says: “God when you choose to leave mountains unmovable, give me the strength to say it is well with my soul. I know You’re able and I know You can, save through the fire with Your mighty hand. But even if You don’t, my hope is You alone. I know the sorrow and I know the hurt would all go away if You just say the word, but even if You don’t, my hope is You alone.”

Even though God promises in His Word to work all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28), He does not promise us that everything we experience in this life will be good. In fact, He promises just the opposite. He warns His disciples of the trouble they will face in this world (John 16:33). And if we’re honest, sometimes the circumstances of our lives are just plain awful: the diagnosis of a chronic or terminal illness of a loved one, the death of a child or spouse, the catastrophic event that leaves us reeling and having to start from square one… the list can go on and on. It can be so difficult knowing God is more than able to heal, fix and deliver, but for reasons unknown to us sometimes He chooses not to. When that happens, when we are standing in the “furnaces” of life, like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, will we be able to say: We know God is able to save us, but even if He does not, we will continue to place our hope in Him and worship Him alone. (Daniel 3:16-18. Paraphrase mine)? I pray for you that during those times, you will feel His strength to be able to say just that.

Be blessed,

Noree

 

 

 

Photo Credit: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/easter-fire-3-1374889

Removing the Splinter

“Leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” 
Matthew 5: 24, NIV

I didn’t want to remove the splinter. It was glass and had lodged into my foot deeply. After a week of limping, it had to be dealt with but I was not enjoying the prospect of having to cut it out. Many Youtube videos later, having watched the proper procedure, I carefully and slowly cut into the wound according to the instructions I’d researched. Without a bright light to guide me, it would have been impossible to see that little glass splinter shining back at me. The offending object was invisible at first, painful later, and only worsened with time. The first day after I removed the glass shard I was sore, but the next day after some healing I was back to walking again!

     Recently when God called me to make some things right in relationships, I was reminded of the splinter. These offenses such as bitterness, unforgiveness, pride, are invisible at first, but become increasingly painful with time. God values living in right relationships even more than worship!  As He loves His children, He expects me to love them also.  It was obvious that carrying these offenses hindered my walk with God. He makes it clear that obedience is what he wants from us.

     The bright light of the Holy Spirit will shine brightly and show us where our trouble spots are when we are seeking Him, just as a proper light was needed to see the glass splinter. Even though we have no control over the outcome of humble apologies, I was blessed to be forgiven. The even bigger blessing was having my walk with God unhindered again!

In him,

Amy Horton

 

photo credit: https://www.freeimages.com/photographer/davidlat-56060

Color My World

“Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.”
John 12:35-36, NIV 

Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color premiered on television in 1961. Founder and creative genius, Walt Disney opened the color broadcast each week saying, “The world we live in would look pretty dull if Mother Nature used a black and white palette and painted only in shades of gray.” Some viewers watched the show in Technicolor, but our home along with the majority of the nation continued to watch in black and white. Color was available, yet many of us remained locked in worlds of gray.

I’ve read that some blind individuals wouldn’t trade their worlds of darkness for ones of sight. One man stated, “I’ve been blind since birth, and I can honestly say that the thought of suddenly getting the vision I’ve never had would scare me to death. I don’t know if I could adjust. I’m secure in my blindness.” Another relayed, “If I could have surgery that would give me sight, I wouldn’t do it. I’m happy with me and who I am. As a blind person, I function well. I just wouldn’t want to start over.” For these individuals, their fear of change is greater than their fear of the darkness.

It’s hard for me to comprehend how people can acclimate themselves to a world of darkness, but in reality in the spiritual realm—we have. We’ve conditioned our minds, hardened our hearts, and closed our eyes to the moral decay of our society. Many people embrace a cultural relativism that denies the existence of absolute truth, and they live behind a smokescreen of tolerance and inclusion.

Two days before his death on the cross, Jesus warned of the peril that would befall those who choose to walk in darkness. Rejecting him and the truth of his Word would result in spiritual blindness and death. It was a harsh reality then and remains a harsh reality today.

However, Christ in his loving mercy followed his solemn warning with liberating words of hope. By believing in him, we can all become children of light. The Light of the World is still with us and is available for all of humanity. No one is destined to remain locked in a world of gray.

Do not allow your fear of change to become greater than your fear of darkness. Ask God to color your world with the light of Christ and experience his wonderful world of color.

Happy fall!

Starr Ayers