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What are you going through? Is it a health problem? Is it an abusive relationship? Is it financial hardship? The loss of a loved one?
Whatever hardship you are facing, I want you to know God is with you.
It may not feel like it. I suffered through years of physical abuse at the hands of my mother’s second husband Donnie. There were times as a child that I felt alone. I was involved in a local Youth for Christ organization, and would hear about a God who loved me and think, “Sure, if God loves me so much, why do we have to go through this abuse?”
Looking back now, I can see, that the abuse we suffered could have been much worse. There are countless thousands each year, women and children alike that die at the hands of their abusers, thank God, we weren’t among them.
I often think of the poem Footprints, when I recall the hardships I have been through, and praise God that he carried me during those dark times of my life.
Read Psalm 23:4, and let the promise of it sink deep into your soul…”Even if I walk through a very dark valley, I will not be afraid, because you are with me. Your rod and your walking stick comfort me.” (New Century Version)
Isaiah 43 reminds us…”Don’t be afraid, because I have saved you. I have called you by name, and you are mine. When you cross rivers, you will not drown. When you walk through fire, you will not be burned, nor will the flames hurt you.” (New Century Version)
Notice the key word in both verses is through. Even if I walk through a dark valley…When you walk through fire…you will not be burned.
So often we want victory in our Christian walks, but we don’t want to go through the fire, or through the dark valleys to get there do we? But, we have to remember that crucifixion Friday always comes before resurrection Sunday.
And guess what? God promises to be with us through it all. Sure suffering isn’t easy, but it brings growth. Consider how much pressure coal has to succumb to in order to produce a diamond.
We know that the Devil comes to steal, kill and destroy…When he throws troubles and trials in our face, we have two choices. We can let him win, and give up defeated. Or we can allow God to take what was meant for evil and work it for his good.
One of my favorite songs, is “Bring It On”, by Steven Curtis Chapman…in it is the line…Now I don’t want to sound like some hero, ‘cause it’s Christ alone that my hope is in, but I’m not gonna run from the very things that would drive me closer to him.
That’s the way we have to be, unafraid to let the hardships we face, drive us to the open arms of Christ, and not away from them
I close with these precious words from Natalie Grant’s song “Held”…
Two months is too little
They let him go
They had no sudden healing
To Think That Providence
Would take a child from his mother
While she prays, is appalling
Who told us we’d be rescued
What has changed and
Why should we be saved from nightmares
We're asking why this happens to us
Who have died to live, it’s unfair
This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and know
That the promise was when everything fell
We’d be held
This hand is bitterness
We want to taste it and
Let the hatred numb our sorrows
The wise hand opens slowly
To lilies of the valley and tomorrow
If hope is born of suffering
If this is only the beginning
Can we not wait, for one hour
Watching for our Savior...
No matter what you are facing, today, take the time, climb into Abba Father’s lap, lay your head on his chest, and let him hold and comfort you. When he said he would never leave or forsake you, he meant it. In a world where it seems that truth is rare, God’s promises are solid…he loves you with an everlasting love
Until Friday, keep the faith...Pastor Chris
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Barbara Thompson Young
12 Jun 2006
I'm glad I took the time to read this article. Again, I love the song you speak of! Such powerful words! I have enjoyed reading each of your articles today.
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