Hope Thou in God

The year of 2006 was a year of change for me, as a seven-teen year old, high school senior. Beyond the typical changes, there was one that crippled me beyond expression of words. Early in the morning, on October 1, 2006, my grandpa and best friend graduated to glory. While I was thankful his suffering was over and threw his testimony knew that we would meet again on Jordan’s bank, it was none the easier knowing I would live the rest of my life without him. Feelings of fear, anger and even doubt toward God flooded my soul. As I read Psalms 42 and 43 tonight, my mind went back to those dark days as we see the Psalmist three times nearly declares the same statement. Notice 42:5 “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.” We find here a man at his lowest point, filled with fear, doubt, and both physical and mental exhaustion. But, he answers each of these discouragements with a great statement… Hope thou in GOD! No matter the trial or the depth of our pain, we serve a God who can be trusted and has never failed. You may have been let down many times, but there is one who will never fail nor forsake you. Finding your mountain top again will not come by a circumstance change, or some temporary comfort, but rather when you place all your hope and trust in God and believe that He is working all things together for good for every born again child of God.

I am reminded of a story of a grandma who was quilting while her grand boy played under the fabric. After some time, the boy noticed all the mess of the threads and decided to ask. He explained the mess he was seeing and asked if she had messed up, or could see the same knots and chaos. She smiled and said, “No my child, my view is much different than yours.” It was not until the child crawled up in her lap and saw the top side that he realized a masterpiece was being put together just beyond his view. My soul, how true it is that we are limited by what we see and feel, which causes us to feel as if God is making a mess out of our lives. We wonder, does he care how heavy my heart is or does he realize I am about to loose my mind in this trial? But, if we would just take the time to ask His permission to crawl up into Heaven’s throne awhile, we would realize that what looks like a mess from our viewpoint is actually a masterpiece from Heaven’s point of view. No matter where you are at today, or whether you will ever fully understand exactly why certain hardship have come, I want to encourage you to not give up, but rather HOPE in God and allow Him to bring you through. We serve a God who loves you and still can, and will see His children through every step of the journey.

Is your marriage falling apart? .. Hope thou in God!

Do you have a child that’s lost? .. Hope thou in God!

Is your finances not adding up? .. Hope thou in God!

Do you battle with depression? .. Hope thou in God!

Are you wanting to see more out of your ministry? .. Hope thou in God!

No matter the circumstance.. HOPE THOU IN GOD! 

The Price of Love

On a cold Christmas Eve in 1952, when Korea was in the throes of civil war, one young woman struggled along a village street, obviously soon to deliver a child. She pleaded with passersby, “Help me! Please. My baby.” No one paid any attention to her. A middle-aged couple walked by. The wife pushed away the young mother and sneered, “Where’s the father? Where’s your American man now?” The couple laughed and went on. The young woman almost doubled up from a contraction as she watched them go. “Please . . .” she begged. She had heard of a missionary living nearby who might help her. Hurriedly, she began walking to that village. If only he would help her baby. Shivering and in pain, she struggled over the frozen countryside. But the night was so cold. Snow began to fall. Realizing that the time was near to deliver her baby, she took shelter under a bridge. There, alone, her baby was born on Christmas Eve. Worried about her newborn son, she took off her own clothes, wrapped them around the baby and held him close in the warm circle of her arms.

The next day, the missionary braved the new snow to deliver Christmas packages. As he walked along, he heard the cry of a baby. He followed the sound to a bridge. Under it, he found a young mother frozen to death, still clutching her crying new born son. The missionary tenderly lifted the baby out of her arms. When the baby was 10 years old, his now adoptive father told him the story of his mother’s death on Christmas Eve. The young boy cried, realizing the sacrifice his mother had made for him. The next morning, the missionary rose early to find the boy’s bed empty. Seeing a fresh set of small footprints in the snow outside, he bundled up warmly in a winter coat and followed the trail. It led back to the bridge where the young mother had died. As the missionary approached the bridge, he stopped, stunned. Kneeling in the snow was his son, naked and shivering uncontrollably. His clothes lay beside him in a small pile. Moving closer, he heard the boy say through chattering teeth: “Mother, were you this cold for me?”

What an example of just how far one is willing to go for someone they love. I do know of one the God Man Christ Jesus who went even a step further. Christmas is only special because of Calvary. The virgin birth would mean nothing without the death He willingly suffered on Calvary’s Tree. He wrapped us up in love and gave His life that we might have life eternal. There is no greater joy you could have this holiday season than to know Christ as your Saviour. Would you call upon Him today and ask Jesus to save you? How could you reject just love and sacrifice? If you need assistance please don’t hesitate to contact us here at the ministry. We would love to share God’s Word with you and give you the greatest news you could ever hear this Christmas. Merry Christmas and God bless.

Dreaming in the Dark

Genesis 37:5 – “And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.”

Chapter 37 introduces us to a young 17-year-old boy who lives a common life working for his father by tending to his sheep. Every night was basically the same as they herded the sheep and slept out under the beautiful starlit sky. Yet, on one very specific night while the boy slept, God gave him a dream that one day, upon it’s completion, he would save an entire race and radically change history. You would think such a dream would bring joy and excitement. Sure, every man wouldn’t believe him or care, but surely his family would. Unfortunately, Joseph quickly realized the more he shared the more their hatred for him was kindled. Many of us have experienced the same feelings and even been hurt by the ones we deeply love. What causes family and close friends to respond with such evil? Simply put: jealousy and envy. Their feelings do not dictate whether our dreams will still come to pass, only our response and attitude will. You may say, “But what if they lie or even physically afflict me? Surely my dreams are gone then.” Joseph’s brothers mocked him, threw him in a dark pit, and even sold him into slavery. But with a Sovereign God on your side, even the worst of circumstances will only elevate you and place you closer to your destiny. No matter how dark and dim it gets, allow me to encourage you today to keep dreaming, keep serving, and keep loving even those who have wronged you because after all, they are not worth losing your dream over.

Knowing You Are In God’s Will

I John 5: 14-15

“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”

Allow me to take just a few moments and share with you some wisdom I received from a dear man of God of over 60 years. I called him asking for some wisdom about life decisions. He was quiet for several minutes after I had shared my heart with him before really speaking. Then he quoted these two verses to me and said “Heath we know it is always the will of God to have peace as long as we are in His will.” I responded, “yes sir, I agree.”  He then said, “in every area of my life since I was your age, I have never made a move until I felt peace in my soul. I have heard stories of stars moving or miraculous miracles that gave folks answers, but for me, it was always a great peace in my soul that over-shadowed fear and the unknown which are always present. My wife and I didn’t marry until we both had total peace, we never took a church until that peace was present, and truthfully never made any other significant move until we felt such peace, as well. I will be praying for you, buddy and just remember, God will give it to you if it is His will because He bound himself to that promise in these verses. Just trust it by faith and leave all the choices to God and in the end your life will please Him.” For the last couple of days my heart has rehearsed that conversation and I have gained much help from it. I am so grateful for those seasoned men of God who have so much wisdom to offer young men such as myself. Today, I just felt like maybe, someone else needed to hear this great wisdom. 

Learning to Slow Down

Proverbs 14:29- “He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.”
We live in a busy, high paced society that creates a demand for everything to be done fast and hurriedly. We drive fast, eat fast, and even communicate fast, hoping that we can squeeze it all in each day. We are busier than we have ever been, yet I am afraid that while we may get more quantity done in a day’s time, we certainly produce the least amount of quality of any generation. While we may be able to make this philosophy work within the realm of modern society, it has never worked in the realm of serving God. The heavenly purposes of God are never rushed nor will He teach us what we must learn at the pace at which we live. Rather, God operates at the pace that is most effective in our lives because He is much more interested in our journey rather than our destination (ex. the life of Joseph).
In this verse, we also find a truth within the scope of how a godly christian should respond. While high speed society teaches us to let it out quickly, tell people off, and say whatever, whenever we want, God strongly disagrees. He expects control, consideration, and compassion when we deal with others. Many times we speak before we measure our words and then wish we could take them back. Unfortunately, words are permanent as well as the feelings we inflict when responding to people out of anger and frustration. May we let this truth from the wisdom of Solomon settle deep in our hearts today and ask the Lord to help us be a christian under control and full of understanding. Others need our Christ- like compassion and God desires and expects it.

A Hour of Darkness

Just this past week we have watched the East Coast experience weather like never before. The week was started off with a 5.7 earthquake and ended the same week with a category 3 hurricane. This hurricane by the latest estimates has killed at least 21, left over 6.5 million without power, shutdown New York, and done at 6 billion dollars worth of damage. While our hearts go out to every person who has been affected there is a sobering truth crying out from these disasters. For too long America has been telling God we do not need you and we will do it the way we want to. Now in middle of our rebellion we find ourselves under the judging hand of a Holy God. What can I do in the middle of all this? What is America’s only Hope? Tune in this Sunday on “The Cause” for part 1 of the series Revival: America’s Only Hope.

Learning to Respond Correctly

I Samuel 18:14- “And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the LORD was with him.” KJV

How should we respond to acts of hatred toward us? What if someone absolutely hates us? What if a leader in your life is doing you wrong? Society tells us we should respond with aggression so that we keep our reputation and do not seem weak. What does God say about it? Allow me to take a moment and look with you into the life of David a man after God’s own heart. Here in chapter 18 David has been anointed to be the next King and is experiencing great success in battle. Yet his mentor King Saul because of envy begins a journey to kill David. As this chapter goes on we see that David had opportunities to kill Saul yet did not because he was God’s anointed man. Why not? Surely God had given the opportunity to David to slay Saul who was trying to kill David (God’s next King?) David knew God said not to touch His anointed and David did good in return to Saul’s evil. Was this wise to be so gentle with Saul? The Bible here in I Samuel 18 references David’s behavior as wise 4 times. From these wise choices David finds himself protected and continually blessed of God. God makes it clear here through David that no matter the issue or evil being done to us we are too behave wisely and leave the discipline to God. Today may we allow our hearts to be challenged to behave wisely in the face of adversity that men might know the God we serve.

“A Penalty for Wrong Praise”

Daniel 4

Have you ever worked so hard to complete a task only to have someone else claim they did the job? What a spirit of anger that arises as you feel cheated from the praise that was rightly due. In this chapter, we find a man of great power and blessings do the very same to a Holy God. God had blessed him to not only be king, but a king of much power and great victory. Yet, this king, in verses 30 and 31, makes a statement from the heart rejecting the command of God and rejoicing in himself rather than God. These words cause God to place great punishment on the king in order to remind him who truly is doing the work.

Just as in this passage, each day we are given the opportunity to either praise God or exalt ourselves. Our flesh and the devil desire for personal praise which produces a heart of pride. God wants us to praise Him and reflect minute by minute on His goodness because He is worthy, and it keeps us humble. The choice is ours, but the reward is up to God. Allow me to encourage you today to choose wisely, for just as with the king, the wrong choice could take you spiritually from the palace to a wilderness.

Favored to Experience the Fire

Daniel 3

In this week’s glance in Daniel we find three young men who take an amazing stance for the Lord. All of Babylon is commanded to worship an image when the music plays, yet three decide to refuse in order to honor God Almighty. I often wonder how easy it would have been to bow to the image anyways. Babylon was a large territory and no doubt they could have mixed in with the crowd and probably could have bowed unnoticed. Yet, they realized a holy God was watching and knew the physical cost could not come close to the spiritual cost of a bowed knee. Just as with this story, we face many tests where it seems as though going with the world’s flow would be easier than standing for the Lord. We rationalize the situation and think standing would not be worth a “furnance.” But today, allow me to challenge you to stand for what is right no matter who or what is involved.

25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

If you by faith stand even in the face of persecution, just as in verse 25, God will give you grace and walk with you through your fire. Christians are not to walk around the fire, yet we are called on to go through the fire in order to bring God glory. Do you feel as tho your stand will not impact anyone? Allow me to close with this verse:

29 Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.

Will you stand for the Lord today?