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,





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When God Teaches Us Difficult Lessons

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.”
1 John 3:1-3 NIV

Working with children can be exhausting, exhilarating, and everything in between! Our son is old enough to start sleeping in his crib. If he sleeps on mom or dad he wakes often, cannot get comfortable, and as a result gets very poor, interrupted sleep. I know he is not getting the rest he needs to grow and thrive. So after feeding him and changing him, I put him in his crib making sure he is comfortable. Then comes the difficult part: watching him learn. He cries, he struggles, he wails. Often he cries so hard I can go into his room and put his laundry away. He is so focused on his unhappiness he doesn’t even notice me.

Maybe his thoughts are: “Why am I alone? Did I do something wrong to deserve this? How can I get out of this situation?” My heart breaks to watch him cry, but I love him and want what’s best for him even though it is painful for both of us. When my son finally accepts being in his crib, he is calm. He plays quietly, he rests. His circumstances have not changed. He accepts mom has placed him in his crib and it is time to be still.  Once he accepts being in his crib he sleeps peacefully. I know his body is getting the rest it needs to build and help him grow.

Do you see the comparison coming? When God sees us having a difficult time growing, He knows it is time for a lesson. It breaks His heart to see us suffer, but He knows we need to learn the lesson to have a deeper, more resilient faith. He hears us cry out, “Why am I alone? Did I do something wrong to deserve this? How can I get out of this situation?” Often, we are so focused on our own misery and circumstances we can miss seeing what God is doing!

We can change our attitude even though we cannot change our circumstances. It is certainly not easy learning the lessons God teaches us. My own reaction is always to focus on my own suffering first. I must constantly examine my heart and adjust my attitude. I am a work in progress!

What tough situations are you currently facing? How are you coping? Is there a heart attitude with which you need God’s intervention?

In Him,

Amy Horton

Fearful to Fearless: Don’t Interfere

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Deuteronomy 6:31, NIV

From Genesis to Revelation, God exhorts believers not to be afraid. Join me this week as we venture to be fearless in a world packed with reasons to fear.


Don’t Interfere

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” 

Joshua 1:9, NIV

home-page-and-services-er-er-signI’ll never understand the fascination some people have with scary things such as haunted houses, chilling movies, skydiving, and thrill rides. Aren’t there enough things in life capable of scaring us without seeking more? The days in which we live are volatile enough―simply reading the morning headlines can cause us to shake in our shoes.

Yesterday, I shared the events of a morning when an early-morning phone call alerted me that my sister had been rushed to the hospital.

The results of the tests the hospital ran were encouraging. My sister had experienced some arterial fibrillation but had no other signs of heart issues. The hospital released her after several hours and referred her to a cardiologist for a follow-up visit.  Today, she is doing well. Her irregular heartbeat was possibly related to overexertion, exhaustion, and dehydration.

My heart palpitations, on the other hand, were due to limited information, overreaction, and unfounded fear. My response was a common one, but my fear drove me to jump to irrational conclusions and caused me unwarranted stress. The ER nurse wasn’t blocking my path when I tried to get to my sister because there was something he didn’t want me to see—he was simply trying to protect me and keep me from interfering with the testing process.

Last week, I faced some inconclusive test results of my own and was scheduled for a repeat X-ray. As anxiety began to creep into the corners of my mind, God brought back to me the events and emotions I’d experienced regarding my sister. His words to me were, Don’t interfere with the process. I know what I’m doing. Allow me to do my job. Trust me. Don’t enter fear!

When the information we have is limited, entering into fear is easy to do. We overreact to the bits of knowledge we do have and imagine the worst.  As with Joshua in today’s focal verse, God told me not to fear. He assured me of his presence and instructed me to trust him. In the end, my test results turned out well.

Knowing that God is with us in the midst of our trials helps us put things in proper perspective. Perhaps we experience roadblocks that interfere with our peace because there’s something else He wants us to see. Our trial may be part of His testing process. It may be how He chooses to slow us down so we will grow in our faith. Our interference could cause us to miss His point. Ultimately, it could cause us to miss Him.

If you are facing the unknown and struggling with fear, surrender your fears to God. Trust in Him. He knows what He’s doing. Do Not Enter Fear!