Pain & Suffering

Your Baggage

By Steve Countryman

All of your cares, troubles, problems, addictions, worries, character traits, past sins, flaws, faults, failures, grudges, unforgiveness, offenses, health issues and financial woes are all part of your baggage.  Just like baggage you carry it with you everywhere you go.  Most people are known by their baggage.  Though we all try to conceal our baggage the best we can by putting on our best face, our baggage always cones to the surface sooner or later.

Your baggage is your burdens that you bare.  They are always before you and you cannot escape them.  Satan uses them against you to trap you and keep your attention on them.  Always reminding you of your past mistakes and failures.  He loves to wear you down with them. But you don’t have to bare them alone.  You don’t have to allow them to define who you are.  They are only part of your past and now are part of your testimony!  Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Even with all of your baggage it never scares God off.  God doesn’t ask you to take care of your baggage so He can love you.  He loves you with all of your baggage.  In fact God wants to take all of your baggage and help you fix them.

Proverbs 16:3 “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”  Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”  1 John 3:1 “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.”  Romans 6:13 “Do not continue offering or yielding your bodily members [and faculties] to sin as instruments (tools) of wickedness. But offer and yield (surrendering) yourselves to God as though you have been raised from the dead to [perpetual] life, and your bodily members [and faculties] to God, presenting them as implements of righteousness.”

God’s love is so powerful that not only does He love you baggage and all and wants to be involved in your daily lives but wants to take care of your baggage too!  It is a matter of trust.  Do you trust God enough to surrender all of your baggage over to Him?  Do you think that the God of all creation knows something about fixing problems?  Can you submit and commit your baggage all over to Him?  Can you surrender, commit and submit your life over to your creator?  Surrender to God’s will, Word and ways.  Commit your baggage into His hands and trust God enough to leave them there.  Quit going back and picking them up again trying to fix them by yourself.  Leave them with the Master.  It amazes me that God wants my baggage and has plans to bless me besides.  Wow, I’m blown away!  Thank you Lord for loving me so!!

My name is Steve and I was born and raised in a good Christian home in Phoenix Arizona.  In 2004 God spoke to me to let me know that He would start sharing things with me that I would share with others. Little did I know how powerful and meaningful those things would be! Thank you Lord!!

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The Lord Holds All Strength

Inspired by Rev 7:9-12

Be Strong Trust God

artwork:meaganwarner@creationswap

 

by Lynn Gipson

The Lord is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise Him, my Father’s God, and I will exalt Him. Exodus 15:2

This morning I needed to read this very bible verse. I am watching someone I love very much disintegrate mentally before my very eyes and I feel helpless as to what to do about it. I am her caregiver, and my own health is questionable at this point.

This is a time when I seek God with all of my being, because I have no idea what the future holds for either of us. My faith in God has just increased a thousand times, because I know He will deliver us. My life and the life of a loved one is in His hands.

My God is my salvation, I praise and exalt Him, because I know He holds all strength. He hears my prayers, and He will answer. I have no fear.

Today’s writer is a cancer survivor who finds herself fighting again with the Lords help. FaithWriters is asking you to keep her in your prayers. Contact

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Living Above Your Circumstances

Acknowledge Him

@creationswap/ Meliza Celeridad

By Irma Green

Psalm 34:17, 19 – The righteous cry out and the Lord hears and delivers them out of all of their troubles.  Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

The  Bible tells us that, if we go to God with our problems, He will take care of them.  it tells us that God will deliver us out of ALL of them.  It did not say that we would NOT have any problems or that we would have a FEW problems – the Bible says we will have MANY, but that God will deliver us from ALL OF THEM.  The Bible does not tell us that we will not have problems; it tells us how to REACT in the midst of them.

Psalm 34:18 – The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart.

That is why we are urged to call on the name of the Lord when we are in trouble.  God’s eyes sees your need.  God’s ears hear your prayers and God is near you when your heart is broken.  Scripture tells us, He is our strength in time of trouble.  He says “Come unto Me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest.

Psalm 40:1, 2 – “I waited patiently for the Lord; and He heard my cry.  He also brought me out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay and set my feet upon a rock.”

What a change takes place when we wait on the Lord.  When we wait on Him, he takes us from a pit to a highway; from miry clay to a rock; from crying to singing.  And tells us, “everything will be alright.”

The Bible tells us to “wait on the lord and be of good cheer.”  It tells us to wait on the Lord and be of good cheer in whatever it is we are going through.  The Bible tells us to “delight in the Lord and He will give us the desire of our heart.”  It tells us that if we seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness all the things we need will be added to us.  It tells us not to grow weary in well doing because in due season we will reap if we do not give up.

It tells us to run and not be weary, to walk and not faint.  It says, “fear not, I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.  For I, the Lord your God will hold your right hand saying to you, ‘fear not, I will help you'”

Psalm 34:1 – I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”

No matter how impossible your circumstances may seem; no matter how high those mountains in your life appear to be, no matter how impossible that dream in your heart seem to be, if you will sincerely praise God, He will move into that situation and change it.

Nahum 1:7 – The Lord is good.   When trouble comes, He is the place to go.  And He knows everyone who trust in Him.

Don’t let your eyes get fixed on the problems or circumstances you are facing, because with God’s help you can go around any obstacle and you can overcome any problem.

Matthew 11:28 – Come unto me, all you that labor and are heaven laden and I will give you rest.

Come unto Me the Lord says, and I will give you rest.  Rest from your trials.  Rest from your cares.  Rest from your sorrows.

Psalm 23:5 – You prepare a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.

When God helps us, He does not do it in secret.  He does it in the open, where all, including our enemies can see.

Proverbs 3:5 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart: and lean not unto your own understanding.

Don’t try to understand or try to figure out how God’s going to help you – just trust Him to do so.  We hinder God when we try to help Him solve our problems.  IF WE COULD DO IT – WHY DID WE ASK HIM?

Rev. K. Irma Green, retired pastor; Motivational Speaker/Bible Teacher/Biblical Life Coach
irmagreen8@aol.com

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10 Things To Do When Suffering As A Christian

Dealing with pain

artwork@creationswap/mariantrinidad

By Ngozi Nwoke

Christian suffering is a reality! This is because everyone who desires to live godly in Christ will suffer persecution. But the good news is that God will deliver you from them all. However, persecution is neither palatable nor desirable no matter how short or long the period of suffering may be. Therefore this post tells you what to do when suffering as a Christian.

Persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystrawhat persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution  2 Timothy 3:11-12 (NKJV, emphasis mine)

‘For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”‘ Hebrews 13:5-6 (NKJV)

God has assured Christians, who decide to live for Him, of His support and comfort when they suffer persecution. He has promised not to fail you in any way, give you up, nor in any degree leave you helpless. God is faithful. But while believing God and waiting on Him for your deliverance and restoration, there is need for you to stand strong  Ephesians 6:13

Now, what to do to stand strong when suffering as a Christian  Ephesians 6:10-18, 1 Peter 4:12-19

1.       Be strong in the Lord

You are to be strong in the Lord and not in yourself. You need to be empowered through your union with Him; abide in His word  John 15:7. Always remember that you can do nothing on your own.

2.       Be strong in the power of His might

You need to draw strength from the unlimited power of the Lord. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13): including when you suffer persecution.

3.       Put on the whole armour of God

Christian suffering is an impossible situation without the whole armour of God. This is because you are actually not wrestling with human beings (flesh and blood) but with all manner of forces of darkness. If you must successfully stand up against the strategies and the deceits of the devil, you must be fully equipped with God’s armour  Ephesians 6:14-18

4.       Don’t think it strange

It has been given to you as a Christian not only to believe on Christ but also to suffer for His sake  Philippians 1:29. The truth remains that the apostles and all believing Christians before you went through persecution, and Christians after you who desire to live godly will surely suffer persecution. There is nothing new under the sun  Ecclesiastes 1:9

5.       Rejoice

You need to rejoice because when Christ’s glory is revealed you will also rejoice with triumph. Like the apostles rejoice that you are counted worthy to suffer for the name of Christ  Acts 5:41

6.       Consider it as a blessing

It is a really a blessing suffering as a Christian, for the Spirit of Glory and of God rests on you  1 Peter 4:14. When Stephen was persecuted, his persecutors could not resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke. Also, when they brought him before the council, they saw his face as the face of an angel because of the glory of God that came upon him  Acts 6:10, 15.

7.       Don’t be ashamed

If you are ashamed, Jesus said He will be ashamed of you also before His father and His angels  Luke 9:26. You shouldn’t be ashamed when you suffer persecution because of the gospel of Christ, for as Paul said in Romans 1:16, it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.

8.       Glorify God

This is an act of your faith in God. Also, it is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you that you give thanks in everything  1 Thessalonians 5:18. It invites God into your situation.

9.       Commit your soul to God

Trust God with your life and the handling of your affairs. Trust and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind. And do not rely on your own understanding. Totally surrender to God’s leadership  Proverbs 3:5-6

10.   Continue to do right

No matter how fierce the persecution may be, continue to do the right thing. Don’t grow weary suffering as a Christian, for in due time and at the appointed season you will reap your blessings if you don’t relax your courage and then faint  Galatians 6:9.

In conclusion, Christian suffering is a must for every Christian believer. And for you to successfully stand strong when you suffer persecution so as to defeat the enemy, the above points are mandatory. Remember, God has promised to deliver you from all persecutions, and never to leave you nor forsake. So ensure that the above points are in place so that the enemy will have nothing to accuse you of, thereby hindering God’s intervention.

___

About the Author:
Ngozi Nwoke Is a teacher and a counselor. A product and distributor of love. She has a passion to teach people how to enjoy God’s love and fellowship for more fulfilling life. Want more fulfilling life? subscribe for free email updates today. http://stepswithgod.com

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Are you making yourself sick?

 

Pain

artwork@creationswap/charityparker

Psalm 38:3 (NIV)

Because of your wrath there is no health in my body;
    there is no soundness in my bones because of my sin.

How are you feeling today? Are you sick in body, mind or soul? If so, look up and talk to God. Look inside yourself and see if there are any resentments, anger, fears, worries or doubts that you are harboring towards others or yourself. Really look at how you are feeling and be honest with yourself.

Every single day we must turn our problems over to God’s hands. We must forgive everybody and every situation that has hurt us – including ourselves. If you don’t know how to start then go to God in prayer, ask him to show you and to take the burdens from you. We must walk in faith.

When we hold on to negative emotions we make our mind sick-  then our bodies become sick – this sickness shows up in high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and numerous other illness. Most illness is a result of long –term wrong thinking, which causes us to make wrong decisions – like eating the wrong food, smoking, drinking, not exercising, lashing out at people, over-work, and so many more bad habits we fall into and accept as part of who we are – this is not true. We are so much more than our habits; we are children of God with a purpose on this earth to serve Him. When you give into negative emotions, you kneel at the devil’s feet – you lose your faith. Your faith is what helps you overcome all things, so this it is crucial it is not lost.

1 Samuel 16:12 (NIV)

12 So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features.

Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.” 

Equip yourself well so that you may fight off negativity each day. Use the Word of God as you defense against these negative emotions. The Bible is full of weapons we must learn to use – these weapons are in the form of words – His WORD is our SWORD. There is a bible verse for every situation you are going through. We must release negative emotions as soon as we are aware of them. Life will never be fair or free of trouble. Our troubles make us strong, they force us to turn to God for help, and he wants our dependence to be on Him – not on the world. The more troubles we have, the more He is trying to get our attention. He is asking us to turn to Him and let Him take them from us. So be obedient, let go and be free.

Study the scriptures daily, pray often; find a church family for support, and you will be prepared for your troubles before they happen. You will be amazed how quickly they dissipate when your weapons are at the ready beforehand. Keep faith in God, he will not fail you. Life may not always go your way, but one day you will look back and realize that God had a plan for you and that’s the reason you had to go through the hard times – He needs you to be strong enough to carry out His mission for you. Stay strong in Christ and be healthy and happy.

By: Arlene Price

1 Samuel 25:6 (NIV)

Say to him: ‘Long life to you! Good health to you and your household! And good health to all that is yours!

Do you have Faith or do you Doubt? – By Henry Miranda

doubt640x380

Photo compliments of:©CreationSwap/Thomas Roberts

Hebrews 11:1-2 (NKJV)
1  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2  For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.
These are some scriptures on doubt:
Matthew 21:21   James 1: 6  1 Timothy 2: 8  Jude 1: 22   Mark 11:23
Matthew 14: 31  Romans 14: 23  Psalm 86: 2   Matthew 28: 17

Faith is belief with strong conviction; firm belief in something for which there may be no tangible proof; complete trust in or devotion to. Faith is the opposite of doubt. Faith is possibly the single-most important element of the Christian life. Hebrews 11:6 states, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” (NIV)

Faith is believing God without a waiver, without doubting and without questioning what He says. It is taking God at His Word and believing that what He has promised He is able to deliver. It is believing not only that He is able, but that He will do it. It is the act of counting those things that “be not as though they were” (Rom. 4:17). Faith is also the absolute conviction that what God has promised and what we have asked according to His Word is already done. It is “the substance of things hoped for” and the first payment on things that we desire from God (Heb. 11:1-3).

Doubt is to be uncertain about something you consider questionable or unlikely, and hesitate to believe. There are many Christians who have doubt or dealing with doubt.

Not only can you be a Christian and still have some doubts, but Doubting is a common experience among Christians.  You can hardly be a Christian without doubting at times. After all, if doubting was not possible, faith would not be possible either.

Doubting does not mean that your faith stops. It means you are trying to understand your faith at a deeper level. Rather than being afraid of doubts, we should allow doubt to take us into a deeper experience of faith and growth in our Christian walk. Doubts about God can enter our Christian life at any time, but that doesn’t mean we have a weak relationship with God.

The problem is that we want something tangible we can see or touch. But
God is spiritual and often so is the work God is doing in our life. No matter how many times God has intervened and rescued us in the past, we quickly forget. Then we want a sign that He’s involved in our lives again. That’s just the way we are as human beings. Like the apostle Thomas, “seeing is believing” for us.

Doubt is something all Christians experience. When bad things happen to us, we wonder why God isn’t there. When people ask us questions about God that we can’t answer, doubt rears its ugly head. How do we overcome doubt and believe in what we can’t see?

It’s first important to understand what causes us as Christian to doubt. And that would be Satan the primary enemy of God. (Genesis 3:1-6) Just as God, work in a spiritual realm to draw us near to Him, Satan and his demons work to drag us away from God. One of their weapons is doubt and they love to plant seeds of doubt in our mind. When we doubt the existence of God, the power of God, the love of God or the sacrifice of Christ, we give the enemy a foothold in our minds.

Once Satan has a foothold, he has an invitation to work away at our mind. We’ve given him permission to do so by agreeing with him that there is cause for doubt. At this point, we have a choice, to go on agreeing and be pulled away from God or to seek help in pulling out the seeds of doubt. We don’t give up our feelings of doubt right away; we rescind the invitation that we gave to Satan by our agreement with him. Once we decide to seek the truth, we regain control of our minds and can pursue those things that would reassure us in our faith.

Related to doubt, but not quite the same is the state of unbelief. Doubt says, “I don’t think that can happen.” Unbelief says, “No way can that happen.”

Zacharias is an example of unbelief. The angel Gabriel appeared to him and told him that his wife would conceive, even though she was beyond childbearing years. (Luke 1:18-20) He refused to believe even with an angel standing in front of him! Unbelief is what doubt grows into. Somewhere within Zacharias was a preconceived notion that there are limits to what God can do. When confronted with a miracle, the seeds of doubt bloomed in Zacharias’ mind.

This point is important because we never know what God has planned for us. What if He comes to you with a miracle someday and you lose out because your seeds of doubt bloom into unbelief? We must always guard against doubt. All around us is testimony to the power of God. The intricately delicate world that is our habitat and the amazing bodies that we live in testify to a Creator every day.

Satan is not to be trusted. His warfare is not going to be carried on in an honest, reliable fashion. Satan loves to take advantage of us. He lays snares for us. He uses his wiles, and his devices are very clever.

Active living faith is necessary in order to get answers to prayer. We must learn to use this kind of faith in God. We must learn to fight the good fight of faith and lay hold of God and His Word. We are surrounded by an unbelieving world and we live in an atmosphere of doubts. Demons, fallen angels, and evil men have lived for centuries in unbelief and wickedness creating currents of doubt and mistrust that are very subtle and deceiving to those who desire to have faith. True faith is having complete confidence in Christ at all times no matter what is going on in your life.

2 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJV)
7  For we walk by faith, not by sight.

Faith causes you to know in your heart before you see with your eyes. “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” Faith in Jesus Christ calls for total reliance on Him even when things don’t make sense to us. A blind person has to have faith. He must believe that his guide will not lead him into any dangerous situations. He can’t see he must depend on whoever leads him. To have faith is to believe in something or someone, to fully trust, to be so confident that you base your actions on what you believe. To have faith is to be fully convinced of the truthfulness and reliability of that in which you believe.

Faith in God is having the kind of trust and confidence in God and in Christ that leads you to commit your whole soul to Him as Saviour (Justifier, Cleanser, Healer, and Deliverer) and Lord (Master, King) of our lives. Faith is a tough thing.  Sometimes it’s really hard to trust God, but that’s what He wants.  He asks us to be totally dependent on Him. God is waiting for us to follow the examples in the Bible, acknowledge that we can’t do it alone, and put everything in His hands.  Easier said than done? Perhaps, Worth it?  Always.

You first have to learn how to put complete trust in God, then faith will follow.

God is in control of everything in heaven and on the earth. You must have complete trust and complete faith in Jesus Christ. Faith in the Lord leads to a complete conversion. You have to have faith to be able to face tomorrow with confidence. Confidence that you will get that job that is faith. Sometimes, all we need is to be reminded of what faith really is.

God has given us the ability to choose and decide. Sometimes we are bound to be tested and God again assures us in 1 Cor 10:13 that He will never let us be tempted beyond what we can take. All in all, with the great challenges that we must all undergo, we can be victory and emerge as stronger men and women of God. We never need to go looking for trials and tribulations, they will find us. But when faced with them, God gives us strength to overcome.

Great and motivating faith is based in trusting the Lord Jesus Christ and His ever willing desire to meet our needs. We are called to look to Jesus, the originator and perfecter of our faith, who bears witness to us of the faithfulness of God All who believe (and remain) in Christ will certainly be saved (John 6:37, 40; 10:27, 28; Rom. 8:1).provided, that he does not fall away from God and become apostate.

True faith will always bring results if one will intelligently seek to know what God says and base his faith upon the Word of God

About the Author:
I now live in San Bernardino, California, graduated from La Puente high school in 1963 and became a Christian in 1984. From there I went on to do four years of community college. After 20 years of being a Christian, I completed four years of Bible College and earned a Bachelor of Christian Ministry

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