Posts Tagged ‘suffering’

Have you noticed the news lately? There seems to be no end to the troubled teens, high crime rates, teen pregnancy, school dropouts, poverty and a lack of morality in this country not to mention the world.

Over the past few years I have cried out to God much like the prophet Habakkuk, “Why aren’t you doing anything about this? Why are you allowing those of us who truly follow you suffer the consequences of those who don’t? (Not to say that we are perfect)

The pastor of my church just finished a series entitled “Live Sent”. He challenged us to prayer walk our neighborhoods asking God to show us how we could reach our neighbors. He had the audacity to tell me I needed to do more, by getting out of my house and meet new people and share God’s love.

He was nuts. He was right. I needed to come out of my hiding places (the walls of my home and out from the written word) and become “Jesus” to those around me. And dare I say it, move outward from my neighborhood into the community. I wasn’t to be a Bible thumper but show love and build relationships. One neighbor, ended up in the Bible Study group I had been in three weeks later.

A month and a half ago I was called by someone at my daughter’s middle school and asked if I would like to become a mentor. I went to the training session just to see what it was all about. I walked out saying “It’s not my thing.” Why should I give a half an hour a week to some one who probably was not there on their own accord and rebellious to the core?

God gently reminded me that even a middle school student needed His love. I felt ashamed especially when I looked at my own daughters. They aren’t perfect or have the perfect parents. What they do have are parents who try to live as an example of Christ. If I can give another middle school student a little hope and godly love, it would be worth it. That is what it’s all about, being available to what God has for me. I can’t wait to meet the middle school student I am going to mentor.

What about you? Will you live sent and do something with the pain, hurt or need you see around you? Maybe He is waiting for you to say “yes, I will go.” Maybe it will be the local pregnancy center as a counselor, or Big Brothers Big Sisters, or feed the homeless. It could simply be getting to know your neighbors next door.

WARNING: Don’t ask unless you are willing to get out of your comfort zone, because He will answer.

Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you!
As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
John 20:21 (NIV 1984)

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Our Future Hope

As a child, death was a scary thought.  As a teenager I told Jesus please don’t come back until I experience marriage and have children of my own.

Now?  I don’t know about you but for me, Christ could come back any time.  Sure I would like to see my grandchildren.   There are things I would like to do while I’m here on this earth.  However, as I see this world turning from God, struggle with my sin, see my children struggle in areas of their lives, I get tired of it.

My quiet time was in the book of Romans chapter eight verses 18-39 and what struck me was that in times of suffering, we need to focus on the hope that is to come.  The time we will be home with the Father.

Paul says in verse 18 that he even considered that sufferings weren’t even worthwhile to complain about when compared to what we would experience in Heaven.

Close your eyes for a few moments and try to picture what Heaven would be like.

For me I see lush emerald green grass, gardens of every type rose (my favorite) and flower.  There is light all the time (no need for sunscreen), huge forests. The lakes and rivers are so clear you can see the bottom, and to taste them would be like sweet honey.  Waterfalls are cascading into cool clear pools. Every one of the five senses would be experienced in the ultimate High Definition.

There is relief in knowing that I couldn’t make a wrong decision, or lose my temper.  But most  of all I imagine that I will walk with Jesus without shame for the wrong I had done. He tells me how much He loves me and gives me a big bear hug.

Oh, my friend, my description doesn’t even come close to reality, I’m sure, yet what comfort it brings.  To know that this life is not all there is, priceless. That is our hope.

Are you tired of the bad news on TV, your struggle with sin, your work situation or even the physical and emotional pain you may be experiencing?

Hear precious one, His promise to you,

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them.  They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.  He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Revelations 21:3,4     (NIV1984)

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