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Grasping the Victory Part 1

“The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man[a] must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day.”
Luke 24:5-7(NLT)

Introduction:  Sometimes victory is hard to grasp – to comprehend. A seemingly insurmountable challenge had plagued Tom & me for several years. We had not asked for this challenge, and we couldn’t do a thing to stop it, but we were honor bound to find a solution for it.  We prayed diligently for the Lord to send the solution but for four years – no answer came. The worst case scenario – which would be devastating to us – seemed about to happen when God’s answer came in one short phone call.  His answer was far above and beyond anything we had hoped for. We found ourselves stunned – unable to grasp the magnitude of what the Lord had just done for us. I stood in our living room, with the phone in my hand, speechless – and that’s saying something for me! I was frozen in place for several seconds,  (it seemed much longer) – before I could even respond to the caller on the other end of the phone.  I couldn’t believe it! It made no sense! How could the outcome be this good?   Well, there we were, after 4 years of praying and God answering in a way only He could, and we were both saying “Un-be-liev-a-ble!”  

Well, we aren’t the only ones who have ever had a hard time “grasping” or comprehending God’s Victory.  So did the disciples.  But once they did, their lives – and the world – would never be the same again!

Jesus and His followers were on their way back to Jerusalem and He had just told the disciples what would happen there. He predicted He would be handed over to the Romans, mocked, treated shamefully, spit upon, flogged and killed – and that is exactly what happened. But that wasn’t the end of the story. (Luke 18)

In Luke 24 (verified in Mark 16:10 and John 20:19) we find the disciples locked in the upper room, grieving, broken, defeated and so afraid they wouldn’t even leave the room. What seemed to all to be the absolute worst case scenario had happened. Jesus was dead. He was gone and so was the hope they had all staked their lives on. How could they have misunderstood so much? How could they have been so wrong? Now they feared for their lives and those of their families.

But, as often happens in life, just when we think we’re defeated, just when we think there is no more hope, Hope is exactly what shows up and it is always Him doing the showing!

That morning the women who had stood by Jesus’ side through thick and thin left the safety of the upper room to go the tomb and anoint the body of the One they loved. It was right there at the tomb – in the place of seemingly the greatest defeat – that they found victory instead!

                 

In an instant their fear turned to elation and their defeat turned to victory as they remembered what he had said. Reading on to verse 8 of Luke 24;

“Then they remembered He had said this.”

Jesus was not dead, He had risen just like he had promised.

My friend, take heart!  Jesus is mighty and powerful and He always shows up when you least expect Him! He always keeps his promises – even when we don’t remember them!

Until tomorrow,

Your traveling Partner,

Brenda

 

Photo credit: https://www.freeimages.com/photographer/jarpur-49678

STANDING STRONG

Introduction:

As many of our readers already know, Nicaragua is going great turmoil these days. The people are under attack in their own neighborhoods. Hundreds have died at the hands of government officials for peacefully standing for their beliefs. I do not preach or teach politics. I do teach a Biblical message of hope found in and through Jesus Christ. Many people who we have worked with and ministered to for the last nine years are in crisis. This message is written to them, and to anyone else now going through a crisis of their own,

because with Christ,

HOPE IS ALIVE!

For my precious friends in Nicaragua

There are times in our lives when everything seems to be falling apart…when we don’t know what to do next…when it seems like we’ve lost our way, and our strength. When everything is dark it is hard to see, hard to remember. But during those times it is also easy to forget that we have hope. We have hope because the promises of our God never fail! Never. It may feel that way…but the truth is – God Never Fails His Children.

“When you don’t understand what God is doing, you can Trust His heart! “  Jake Thornhill

In a time of deep trial God told Jeremiah in 29:11

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

BELIEVE HIM THIS DAY!

This time of upheaval in your country has been a DARK time. But darkness always has to flee when the light appears! And Never forget that our Jesus is the Light of the World. He sees what His children are going through. He is with us in the valley. He will calm the storm. Some storms last longer than others. But the storm always ends! And when it does, and the sun starts to shine again, it is a new day. A bright day, a day of recovery and rebuilding, a day of Bright Hope for tomorrow.

“For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime!
Weeping may last through the night,
but joy comes with the morning”
Psalm 30:5

Tonight, as you read this message from my heart to yours, you can know that thousands here and across the world are praying for you. We believe that our God will prevail and your country and your people will be restored. We believe in a bright, hope filled tomorrow for Nicaragua. And we look forward to the day that we can be with you again!

 We stand strong with you, ready to help right now in prayer, and tomorrow when the rebuilding begins. So, you stand strong too! In Ephesians 6:10-11 Paul says;

 10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.

 

Paul points out 5 things to us in these two short verses:

  1. It is his final word to the people.
  2. To be Strong by depending on God’s power in you – through the Holy Spirit who lives in you if you have given your life to Him.
  3. Put on His Armor – not our own fleshly armor
  4. His Promise – you WILL be able to stand firm if you do these things!
  5. Flesh and blood – people – are not our enemy. Our real enemy is the forces of evil in the unseen world. Satan.

 

Therefore, let us come together in unity – using the armor that God supplies – and defeat the real enemy of our souls! We can trust our God and His Mighty Power to bring victory to His people!

God in Peace my friends. God is watching!

Blessings,

Brenda Lancaster

 

 

photo credit: https://www.freeimages.com/photographer/thiagofest-60126

I WILL TRUST IN YOU

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV

2017 was a year of milestone blessings in some ways. Tom and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary and went on the vacation of a lifetime to Greece and Rome. They were the good times. But, 2017 was also a tough year for the Lancaster household. We both faced a few health challenges, Tom had knee replacement surgery, and like you, we experienced a hoard of everyday challenges.

During it all the Lord reminded us that when life gets tough, He just wants us to trust in Him. As humans, we often forget that the Lord is sovereign. He knows our beginning from the end. He gives us promises that will lessen the stress of our load if we will just remember to trust in Him. He challenges us in Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV:

“6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”

I love it when the Lord gives me an answer in the form of a list! These verses do just that! He pointed out exactly what I needed to hear. Listen in on our conversation as I broke down those verses in prayer.

  1. God:Be anxious for nothing”

Brenda: OK Lord. Now that’s just impossible for us humans. How do I do that? God: “Keep reading Brenda”.

  1. God: but in everything by prayer and supplication” or as it says in the NLT, “Instead of being anxious or worried pray about everything.”

Brenda: “Pray. Just pray? That’s what people say when there is no other hope, isn’t it Lord? And what does that big word supplication mean? So, I proceed to look it up and see that it means “urgently requesting”. Oh, ok Lord. I can do that. I’m urgently requesting…

  1. God: “Tell God what you need”.

Brenda: Oh. But, You already know! But because you asked, I urgently need…

  1. God:Thank Him for what He has already done.”

Brenda: Oh yeah…I remember all those times before when You heard and answered my prayers. You will again, won’t you Lord? You will because you are faithful even when I am not. You can be trusted to do the best thing even though I may not recognize it at the moment. It will be the best thing in the long run.

  1. God: “Then you will experience peace which will exceed anything you can understand”

Brenda: Then when?  Oh Ok. I get it. After I’ve done as you asked above. I desperately need that peace, so, I’ll pray and urgently request until you answer. And I’ll trust in You until that time. Don’t let me forget Ephesians 3:20 Lord. You really can, and will, do exceedingly, abundantly; above all, I can even think to ask of you!

  1. God: “then I will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”.

Brenda: Ok then. You – Jesus – who is in my heart – You will guard my heart and my mind. You’ll guard it against the constant thoughts of what might happen. You’ll guard it against stress as I – as we as a couple – keep urgently requesting and praying about. You will guard our hearts from fear and stress as we communicate our feelings, fears and problems to you Lord. As we trust in you to bring the answers and solutions we need, in your timing, believing that you want the best for us.

Brenda: “Ok. Now Lord, please give me the memory and strength to keep on doing what you ask. The problem may not go away but I’ll be able to handle the stress that goes with it. And I’ll be able to wait on Your answer, Your wisdom and Your solution.”

Then He brought the powerful song back to my memory (pictured above).

That song is now my life’s theme verse. Thank you Lord!

Until Next Time,

Your Traveling Companion,

Brenda