Blessings and Curses in the Revelation of God

A blessing given at the wrong time can be a curse if you aren’t ready for it. God knows what we truly need and what we can really handle.

How often do we ask for things from God and He doesn’t deliver? A promotion at work, or maybe “Mr. or Mrs. Right” in our lives? When I was a young boy, I wanted to have super powers. I prayed and prayed, but still no super powers. I thought God didn’t hear me or maybe didn’t love me. Maybe I hadn’t been good enough?

None of those reasons are the case. God loves us and He hears our prayers, every one of them, but He’s also smart enough to know when we would be capable of receiving those things. He will always give an answer, it’s just that sometimes that answer is a “no” or maybe a “not right now.”

Some things can be blessings for a time and then a curse for the rest of the time. Think of a baby in a crib. It’s all nice and soft, but if it stays there all of its life, the baby would never develop into the adult it’s supposed to be.

On the other hand, if you give that baby a knife, a fork, and some steak, that baby oils only hurt itself and would never get the nourishment it needs. You may think, “A steak is tasty, lots of protein for growing muscles, but why isn’t my baby getting bigger?” That steak is not what the baby needs at that stage of development. It needs milk and soft foods to grow.

That same thought process can be applied to every realm of our lives. Take, for instance, our Christian journey. The Apostle Paul says in 1st Corinthians that he first “fed” his brethren on “milk” because they were not yet ready for “solid food.” Now these things weren’t actually milk and food; Paul was referring to the scriptures. God does the same thing with us.

God’s revelation is a living thing. We get what we are ready to receive. God knows us and He gives us what we are ready to hear. If He were to reveal all of His plan to us, we could not handle it. We would have to have the mind of God to understand God’s ways. I like the Bible says, God’s ways are so far above our ways, as the heavens are above the earth.

For that matter, somethings are hidden from us to be more of a blessing later on. Think of Christmas time. Your parents buy you some gifts but don’t let you have them until Christmas morning. If they just gave you everything whenever, those presents wouldn’t be special anymore. It would just be another day. However, there is anticipation and excitement that is built around seeing those pretty packages underneath the Christmas tree. Finally, when you get to open it up on Christmas morning, it’s almost explosive.

God’s revelation is just that same way. It is a gift of just what we need and when we need it for our lives. If we believe in His son, Jesus Christ, who shed His blood upon the cross to take away our sins, we will be gifted the greatest gift ever known. Eternity in Heaven, in peace and joy unexpressable.

We sometimes ask what life is all about and what tomorrow holds. God has revealed everything to us that we need to know for all of our life and our salvation. He gives us fresh revelation every day that we ask, but it will be our daily bread to live by. Every chapter and every verse holds exactly what we need to today, if we are willing to hear it.

From the silence of eternity, God spoke only one word. Jesus. He has nothing more to say. The right word at the right time.

God’s blessings to you.


Let Light Into Your Soul

In the Bible, Matthew chapter 12 says that when a demon goes out of someone, he finds no home, so he tries to come back. He finds that “house”, that person, clean and in order, but empty. Since that person is now empty, the demon goes and gets seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.

This is a true story. It is a story of mental and spiritual illness. And it can be true for any one of us.

Our hearts are spiritual containers. We cannot empty ourselves without something wanting to fill it. We cannot clean our house so to speak without needing to ensure that the bad is replaced with the good.

The Bible says you reap what you have sown. That means what grows is what you’ve planted there. What you spend time thinking about and meditating on, that will grow in your mind and heart. If you dwell on the bad things, then bad things will eventually overcome you.

You have a God-sized space within you that can only be filled by Him and Him alone. That’s how seven more demons, even worse than the first, could easily come into the person in the Matthew 12 story. There’s plenty of room for all kinds of evil within you, unless God is in there. God is the only thing big enough to fill your void.

Sex can’t do it, money can’t stop the craving, drugs can’t fill you up. It starts with a little, but then a little isn’t enough. It never stops until you change what you are filling your heart with. You search for things to make you alive and all you find is death.

If you feel empty and dead inside, sick from all of the things you thought would make you feel alive, then you need to get your house in order. Invite Jesus Christ into your heart.

Jesus Christ came to allow you freedom from your sins and your evil nature. He came to clean house. Through His death on the cross and His resurrection, you are allowed life everlasting and abundant. That’s what you’ve been looking for all this time. Life, real life, and the fullness of it.

No demon can stand in His presence and no devil will be able to hold onto you once Jesus is there. God is the only thing standing between you and a soul of darkness. You’ve got to let in the light! Accept Jesus Christ and his payment for your sins on the cross. Let Jesus into your heart and watch your entire life turn around for good!

God’s blessings to you.


It Is All Good

When you realize that God is in control of everything, it is easier to accept the tough times.

We think of good or bad from a worldly perspective only. It’s not necessarily our fault, that’s just all we know. We see, taste, and touch the material world and so we are more naturally connected to this world.

When we come closer to Jesus Christ, we start to realize that we are not of the world as much as we are in the world. Just as an any relationship, the closer we are to another person, the more we become like them. We start to take on some of their mannerisms and even think like them. The same thing goes in the Christian life. The closer we get to Jesus Christ, the more we get to be like Him and see things the way that He sees them.

Once again, we look at things from a worldly perspective, and we see our circumstances as either good or bad. In truth, there really is nothing but the good. The Bible says that God will use all things for the good of those who love Him who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). If you are called to God, it is because you are His child. We are all His children, but some people do not heed that call.

We get ourselves into all kinds of trouble and tough situations. It is unfortunate, but we are our own worst enemy at times. We hear people say that “the devil made me do it.” Don’t go blaming the devil for everything that you screwed up, that just gives the evil one too much credit that he doesn’t deserve. He’s not that powerful.

When you become a child of God through the blood of Jesus Christ that makes it possible, you start getting more and more into the will of our Heavenly Father. If you are squarely in His will, then even what the world considers bad circumstances end up having a positive outcome. We may not always see that positive outcome immediately, because it may not be happening to us at that moment. If you saw the end of the story from the beginning the way that God does, you would see the good in all things. Just as He promised, He will work all things for our good when we are called according to His purpose.

Am I to accept only the good from my Heavenly Father? Like the Bible says in Job 2, “Shall we accept good from God and not also adversity?”

To put it in Jesus’ terms, shouldn’t I drink from either cup that my Father in Heaven hands me? I would rather have tough things given to me by someone who loves me, because what an enemy gives me may look good on the surface, but be festering disease on the inside.

God loves us more than we could ever possibly understand this side of Heaven. Just like our moms would give us some nasty tasting cough syrup that would help us, sometimes the cup that we drink from that our heavenly father hands us kind of tastes bad.

Granted, that bad taste goes on for a long time from a worldly standpoint possibly, but in the vast expanse of eternity, even a hundred years is just a blink of an eye. If it takes a relatively short-lived struggle to get to Heaven, it’s worth it. As the Apostle Paul said, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Cor 4:17

Know that anything God gives us is for our good because of how much He loves us. He would never give us something to harm us. Even what we see is bad is for a greater good for ourselves and the rest of his children.

The Father has no malice in him. When you realize that the great “I AM” is for you and with you, then there is no good or bad, their just “is”. It is all good in the end.

When you look at the cross of Christ, you can see that. I’m sure the apostles seeing their Messiah spilling his Godly blood everywhere was heart wrenching. I’m sure it was bad at the time and for a few days after that, from a worldly standpoint. But then Christ was raised from the dead to allow us to believe in His victory over death forever. Had Friday not happened, there would be no Sunday. Had the cross of Christ never happened, we would never be able to get into Heaven, because we would still be holding onto our sin.

He took our punishment on the cross, and paid our penalty with his blood. The greatest bad, and yet, it’s the greatest good that could ever be. It’s our salvation!

Try to look at life the way the Creator looks at life, and you too can have His peace; a peace that surpasses all understanding. It’s all good!

God’s blessings to you.


The Choice Between Life and Death

God never made a boat, He made a tree. Man made boats and chairs and houses. We even made a cross.

There is a fullness to God and His creation that man just can’t mimic. Everything that man does simply takes the fullness of creation and tears it down somewhat to fashion it into something else.

I’m not saying that making a tree into shelter is bad. We need certain things because of situations and problems to solve. God provides us with the building blocks: the wood, the metal for nails, and especially the brains to be able to create.

The Bible says we were made for good works. To enable such works, God give us His creation, but then He gives us problems to solve. He gives us choices to use our free will on. Just like previously stated, God doesn’t make a boat for us, He gives us a tree. Then, God gives us an ocean to cross.

Our biggest problem though is sin. Three little letters sentence us to a literal eternity in hell. Why did God give us that choice? Because of love.

God wants His creation to love Him freely. If there was no choice, that wouldn’t be love. Love is free, not forced. Love is a gift, and a gift that is forced is no gift at all.

So God in His love and wisdom made those trees. In our anger, we made a few of those trees into crosses. Wicked torture devices. Little did we know that God would Himself be nailed to one of those crosses.

Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary and led a sinless life. However, He allowed Himself to suffer and die on the cross to take the punishment that you and I deserve for our sins. He was then buried, but was raised from the dead to show us that He was able to conquer death itself for us.

Through that finished work, God allows us to be free of our sins. All of our bad choices were hung on that cross with Jesus Christ. All of us who were captives of our own wicked ways are allowed freedom from the chains of sin.

Because of that, we do not need to fear death. We are given the opportunity to be with Jesus in Heaven forever. All of eternity in a paradise beyond anything we could hope or imagine.

In dying, Jesus destroyed our death. In rising, Jesus restored our life.

Jesus Christ and His blood on the cross stands before us just like a tree. If we have a mighty ocean to cross, we would have to choose to make that tree into a boat. Our other choice would be to try to swim that ocean ourselves, and with disastrous consequences.

So here is the cross of Christ. Our problem is sin. Do we try to swim that ocean ourselves and be completely perfect forever to enter into Heaven? You can try, but you’ve already failed too many times. That’s your choice though. Try perfection on your own and still be shackled by your sins. Or you can chose Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross.

That’s the choice of our lives. Drown in our sins or be raised to new life, eternal in Heaven? Our imperfect works or God’s perfection?

“I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life so that you and your descendants may live.” – Deuteronomy 30:19

God’s blessings to you.


Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People? – Since You Asked Q.8

It’s hard for our human mind to understand the depth of God’s love. The kind of love that will allow some people of His own creation to be swept into everlasting punishment. The kind of love that allows bad things to happen to good people.

Those things don’t make sense to our worldly selves. They seem like a direct contradiction to each other. How can good love equal bad things happening?

To make sense of that statement, you first must be open to the fact that we do not see the end from the beginning like God does. If you are a parent, you know that there are some secrets that you have to keep from your children because they lack the capacity to fully understand and appreciate the plan that you have made for them.

The Bible says that we see things as if through a dirty window, but one day we shall see clearly (1 Corinthians 13:12). That day may not happen in our lifetime here on earth, but it will definitely happen.

To be God’s children means to be under His loving care. The Bible says that God will work all things for the benefit of those who love him and who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). Because there is sin and death in this world, sometimes what looks to be like horrible circumstances result in somesomething far greater than what you and I can understand at the time.

A family member of mine suffers from PTSD from his years in emergency medicine. I can even say from my own experience that it’s hard to get some of those images and memories out of your mind. There’s a hundred memories I’d rather not have from my own time as a police officer and a medic. The thoughts come to mind of “Why was I not enough to help this person?” or “If I had only been there two minutes earlier, I could’ve saved them.”

Those kind of thoughts plague first responders and military personnel. “Why was I not enough?” or “Why am I alive and they aren’t?”

The short answer for that is: I don’t know. The long answer is that God is in control and has measured the days of our lives, as the Bible says in Job 14:5. You and I can’t see the end from the beginning like God can. I would need the mind of God to understand all of God’s plans. The Bible says that God’s ways are not our ways. They are as far above our ways as the heavens are above the earth (Isaiah 55:8-9).

I don’t mean that as some kind of Christian cop-out. Just saying “Oh, that’s God’s will…” doesn’t help anybody to understand or get through horrible circumstances. Just hearing someone flippantly say “God has a plan…” doesn’t answer anything and it doesn’t keep the pain or nightmares away.

It’s true, God does have a plan and He does work it out perfectly, but it’s so hard for us to truly get that. You must come to a place of child-like dependency on our Father in Heaven. What does a child do? They trust, they believe, they love.

How can you “be enough”? Try taking the following actions:

1. Be humble. Understand that humility is a spiritual nuclear weapon that can break the heaviest of chains.

2. Seek first the kingdom of God. You can’t do this without first having that humility from step one. Either you are on the throne or God is. If He is on the throne, the. get into a relationship with Him so that you are better in tune with God’s desires for your life.

3. Strive to be the best version of yourself; not as the world sees you, but as Christ sees you. Knowing that you are not perfect (and won’t be this side of Heaven), take steps to be at least “on the way” to being perfected by God’s grace.

4. Get rid of indwelling sin. Kind of along the lines of the last point of being your best self, make sure to acknowledge those “secret sins” and turn away from them. Change your mind; choose the better path.

5. Rest in Jesus. This doesn’t mean just sitting in a cave and doing nothing the rest of your life. Run with the ball, so to speak, as far as you can knowing that you can’t make it on your own. Then, hand it off to Jesus who will take it the rest of the way. Truly “let go and let God.” *Note that when you hand that ball off to Jesus, He may take it into a direction you didn’t plan. Remember, it’s not your plan, it’s His.

If you think that maybe you aren’t enough, let me just dispel that thought for you right now. YOU AREN’T ENOUGH! You and I are weak and sinful and frail, but God says that His strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). Trust in His strength, not your own. Rely upon Him who holds the universe in His hand.

It took a long time, but I have trust in my Heavenly Father. I trust that He truly knows what’s best for me, even if it doesn’t look like it at the time. It took a while to get there, and what’s worse is that it took a lot of bad times to show me all the good that God has waiting on the other side of those problems.

I can tell you that there’s no magic formula to trusting in your Heavenly Father. It’s about spending time with Him in prayer and in His word. The closer you are to someone, the more you understand and trust them, no matter what the situation looks like.

One of my brothers passed away abruptly pretty young in life, right after my mom did in fact. That didn’t make sense to me at the time. But then at the visitation, the Holy Spirit was moving through in a big way. People who I love accepted Christ or recommitted themselves to Jesus and even were baptized that day. That was all because of the opportunity to share the gospel with them at my brothers funeral. Love was there. God was there.

It is a tough statement to say, that if it takes my brother’s death to help other people come to eternal life, then his death was worth it. I can tell you though, my brother, a faithful servant of the Lord’s, would have agreed with all of it.

Dare I say that if we truly knew what the full plan was the way God knows it, some of our bad times we would not only agree with, but we would have done it that way too.

That statement may not be popular, but it’s real.

The one thing I do know is that God will never allow something bad to happen without a greater good coming from it. If you want proof of this, I point to the cross of Jesus Christ. The greatest evil there could ever be, the creature torturing and killing the creator. But the greatest good came from it, our eternal salvation!

Once again, God’s ways are not our ways. Some things just don’t make sense to us right now. You can give the best you have, and it will never be enough. But you are to give your best anyway because in the end, in the final analysis of life, you are offering everything that you have to God. That is our sacrifice to Him. You are not enough, but you plus God can accomplish great and wonderful things.

Win or lose, you are exactly who God wanted in that situation at that time. That’s why you were there. Trust that it was the right thing. Don’t feel guilty or condemned for something that goes poorly, even though you tried so hard to do all the right things. Romans 8:1 says there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. If you are fully committed to Him and His will, all things will work out for the best, even if it doesn’t look like it at the time with our worldly eyes.

It is not your fault.

It is His plan and His purpose that we have to come to grips with. We may not understand at all, but like Job in the Bible, understand that we are to accept the good and the bad from our heavenly father. We must come to the place like Job that we can say, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 15:13). God knows what we need better than we do.

Even if the circumstances look bad at the time, God truly has our best interest in mind. He has our eternal lives in mind, I guarantee, much more than we do. Be encouraged when things go right. Be more encouraged when things go poorly, because there is a greater good in store than what we can realize.

Trust in God, trust in his uncompromising love, and trust in the things that He can see that you and I can’t. A greater good is on the way!

God’s blessings to you


If you or a loved one is suffering with PTSD or any number of mental health issues, please reach out to a reputable, professional Christian counselor in your area.

As always, our prayer team here at FCSF Church is always ready to help storm Heaven with our prayers for you. Contact us!

A Christmas Story

Luke 2:4-20

4And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. 5He took with him Mary, to whom he was engaged, who was now expecting a child.

6And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. 7She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.

8That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

13Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,

14“Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

15When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. 17After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. 18All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, 19but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. 20The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.

This is the real Christmas story.

There is so much to see in this amazing story. I would like to focus on just a few things for today.

First, there was no room for Mary and Joseph at the inn. So they found the most suitable accommodations they could for Mary to deliver her blessed child. They found a stable meant for cattle. And there amongst the peaceful eyes of the cows and lambs, the newborn baby Jesus entered the world He created. Mary gently laid Jesus in a manger. A manger is a sort of trough for animals to feed out of, not fit for a baby, much less our Lord and Savior. But maybe it is?

Jesus called himself the bread of life. Whoever eats of that bread will never hunger again. They will be filled.

Now take a look at the town Jesus was born in: the town of Bethlehem. Bethlehem in Hebrew means house of bread. You and I couldn’t have planned that better. The bread of life being born in a small town, in simple surroundings, but bringing the good news to all people. Bethlehem is also the hometown of King David, from which the scriptures said the Savior would be born. Literally the stars aligned that night.

Then there’s the shepherds. The wise men that the Bible talks of later were kings and such. They brought all kinds of gifts to the infant Jesus, but by then it was actually around Jesus’ second birthday. It’s not wise men and kings who showed up first, but lowly shepherds.

Shepherds were despised by the religious leaders. Not exactly invited to the A-list parties back then because the shepherds were out in the fields. That was their lives and livelihoods. They could not do a lot of the ritualistic washing and obey a lot of the ceremonial rules that the Jews obeyed. So they were made to stay in their fields and tend to the sheep. They lived with sheep and smelled like sheep, but nobody knew those sheep better.

The religious leaders didn’t care for the shepherds, but they needed them. The shepherds were in charge of picking the best, healthiest, most blemish-free sheep for the Jewish sacrifices for their holy days.

I say who better than these shepherds to be the first to see their newborn Savior. They were the most experienced in looking at lambs meant to be sacrificed for the people’s sin. Jesus would be what the Bible says is the “lamb without blemish” who would be destined for the perfect sacrifice, taking away the sins of the world once and for all.

So they came and saw the baby Jesus. In fact, when they heard the news from the angel, the Bible says they went “with haste.” They immediately walked, if not ran, to the manger. Those shepherds were the first people besides the family of Jesus to lay eyes upon their Lord and Savior in the flesh.

His name Jesus, from the Hebrew word Yeshua, meaning God Saves. So when they even uttered His name for the first time, they were not only acknowledging him as Lord and Savior, but also giving Him the glory for what He was going to do with the life He took for Himself.

With this birth, He would be able to now know what we go through first hand. He would experience the highs and lows of life. The Bible says that Jesus would even be tempted in all ways as we are. But unlike our sinful selves, He would be without sin.

Jesus would be able to touch people who have never experienced love, lift up people who have never experienced the ability to walk. And at the end, with this body of flesh and bone He took for Himself, He would finally do something that God could not normally do: He could die. He could take the punishment we deserve for our sins.

Through his life, death, burial, and especially His resurrection, Jesus gave us the free gift of eternal life with Him in Heaven, so that on our last day, we too shall be raised to new life with Him. Jesus said, “I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:3)

That’s the Christmas story. The salvation, the peace, and the eternal love of our Jesus.

At Christmas time, it is great to be able to see these trees and glitter and all of the lights. But don’t be too astounded by the lights of Christmas. Instead, think back to the light of the world being born on this day. Because of Jesus, we will never be in darkness again.

Merry Christmas beloved! God’s blessings to you.


Your Love for the Savior

I love Christmas! One of my favorite songs is the Little Drummer Boy, about a boy who comes to see the infant Jesus. He doesn’t bring a gift for his newborn savior, so he gives Jesus what the drummer boy does best: the gift of playing his drum. The little drummer boy knows it’s not much for his Lord, but he does his absolute best, to which Jesus is very happy with him. The little drummer boy showed love and honor to his Lord.

Even though this is a fictional story made up for a song, there’s plenty of truth to it. There is absolutely nothing you can give Jesus that is worthy of our Lord and Savior. He doesn’t need for anything, He made it all. What Jesus truly wants is our best. He wants our love and honor. We need to work towards that with all we have and all we are. Whatever we do, we need to do “with all of our hearts, as if working for the Lord.” (Colossians 3:23)

There’s a story in the Bible about a bunch of people giving to the church. Then, this little old lady puts into the offering plate two small coins. This made Jesus stop what He was doing and take notice. Jesus said that everyone gave out of their abundance, but this woman gave all she had. Jesus was very pleased, not by the amount, but by the love it took this lady to give those two coins. Even though she was poor and lacked so much, she loved Jesus enough to put Him first place rather than herself.

If I keep Jesus first place on my mind and in my life, then I will instinctively be giving the best of myself to the people in my life. I always wanted to be the best husband and father I could be to my family. The only way I can do that is if Jesus is in everything I do. I need my family to see less of me and more of Jesus. The best version of me is not me, but Jesus Christ within me.  

I am not perfect and I’m not going to get things right all the time, but what I can do is to do my best with the best love I have. When things work out well, give God the glory. Show that love to Him. When things go wrong sometimes, that is also a place for Jesus. We can show mercy and kindness. If we are the ones at fault, we can set our ego aside, apologize, and try to fix the problem.

We are most like Jesus when we are giving ourselves fully for others. Not just working with our hands but working from our hearts.

This is not to say that you are saved through the good things you do. The Bible says you are not saved by your works, but by faith in Jesus Christ. However, that faith will produce the desire to do good things out of love for him.

I like the quote from Mother Teresa that says, “I can’t do great things, but I can do small things with great love.” The Bible says that God is love, so whenever I do something with love, Jesus is doing that with me. Even my small things I can give as an offering to my Jesus. Romans 12 says for us to make ourselves and everything we do daily into an offering for the Lord. All we are and all we do should be offered up to the Lord who offered Himself freely for us.

Jesus Christ, God in a man, was born of a virgin and lived a sinless life. However, He was crucified and died on the cross to take the punishment we deserve for our own bad deeds. Through this offering of Himself, we can be forgiven of our sins. Then, just as Jesus rose again from the dead, we too will rise again and be with Him in Heaven for all eternity. Free to live and free to love forever.

So please, whatever you have and whatever you do, give it as if giving to Jesus Himself. Don’t worry that you haven’t brought a gift for Him, just give what you have and give it your best. In doing this, you will be bringing a smile to the face of our risen Savior.  

God’s blessings to you.


What Was Paul’s Thorn in the Flesh?

The Bible talks about healing and wholeness in the Lord. There is one part though, where the apostle Paul talked about asking God to remove a “thorn in his flesh” and God did not heal him. Paul said that he asked the Lord three times for healing, but God only answered that “My grace is sufficient for you.”

Make no mistake, Jesus is a healer. I personally have seen and known of multiple miraculous healings in the name of Jesus. So why didn’t God heal an apostle? You would figure somebody so close to the Kingdom would be first in line for that healing, but it was not to be.

The Holy Spirit does not spell out specifically what Paul’s thorn in the flesh was. He means it that way. God doesn’t want to narrow down specific illnesses or injuries that He will or will not heal. God is the creator of everything and has power and dominion over any and all sickness or injury. He can do it all.

The point of the passage was not a specific illness or injury. The point is God’s response. “My grace is sufficient for you” He says.

God wants you to know that no matter what the problem is, He can take care of it. He will heal or remove any problem or obstacle in your life that keeps you from achieving your destiny.

There are some things though that God will not remove. There are some things that He does not want healed. God means that for our own good, we just may not realize it with our worldly minds. Truly meditate on this next sentence:

God‘s plan for your life is more important than your need for comfort.

If God needs to place an obstacle in your way to redirect your path to something greater, He will do it. If God needs you born with a handicap, for instance, so that you can show hope to a dying world, it is worth it for the salvation of souls.

In the book of John, it shows Jesus and the Apostles passing by a man who the Bible says was blind since birth. Back then, it was thought that if you had a handicap, either you or someone in your family had sinned. The Apostles asked who had sinned to cause the blindness. But Jesus answered, “Neither. He was born blind so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” Then, Jesus healed the blind man.

The blind man could have been healed earlier in his life or even not been born blind at all, but that wouldn’t have helped us. That would have meant no glory to God and no salvation for the onlookers who were there. Only in the fullness of time, according to God’s perfect plan, would the man be healed.

Those kinds of things do not make sense to our earthly minds that are more focused on the right here, and now. It doesn’t make sense to the average person. But if you had the mind and vision of God that sees the end from the beginning, you two would agree that it was the right thing to do.

That sort of thing goes back to the old question that many of us have of “why do bad things happen to good people?”

The answer to that is “to bring about a greater good.”

If you want proof of that, I point to the cross of Jesus. The greatest evil ever done, the creation killing the creator. At face value, it is a horrible thing. That is, until the resurrection.

Jesus died to take our sins away, so that, just as He rose from the dead, so shall we on our last day and be with Him in Heaven for all of eternity.

Jesus’ shed blood on the cross represents the greatest evil bringing about the greatest good. It’s hard to see and understand from a human perspective, but fully necessary in God’s plan for our salvation.

Sometimes God heals our infirmities and takes away our thorns from our side. Sometimes he doesn’t. Know for certain that if God doesn’t change your circumstances, he’s wanting to change you instead.

Is it possible that you are trying to pray away the very thing that God is blessing you through?

God has a plan for us that is exceedingly, abundantly, far above and beyond anything we could ask or think. Trust that your Heavenly Father loves you and wants to give you only His very best.

God’s blessings to you.


How to Pack for Your Journey

When you pack for a trip, you make sure to take what you need for the journey. That means you leave a lot behind that you don’t need. There’s only so much room in your bags, you can’t afford to bring all the extra stuff and leave behind what matters.

The key is to know where you want to go. When heading out for a Caribbean cruise, I don’t pack my heavy wool coat. Why? Because it’s doing me no good where I’m going.

The same thing can be said about life. You only have so much room in your heart and your mind. Why load them down with the wrong things?

To rise higher in life, you don’t need drama or small thinking or the roadblocks of your past. You need to break loose of that. Those things are just added weights in your life.

Yes, you may have had some failures in your past, but those shouldn’t stop you. Those are learning experiences. Learn from them, but don’t dwell on them. They will do you no good where you are going.

Focus on the positives. What is helping to lift you up? Take inventory of what brings you peace and what brings you momentum. Keep your mind on those positive things and it will change your outlook.

There’s an old saying, “You can’t fly with the eagles if you are hanging out with turkeys.” You need to rethink spending time with people and having experiences that are not positively influencing your life.

The Bible says to redeem the time. The time you waste doing meaningless things is time you won’t get back. You need to live with purpose.

The Bible says to strengthen your inner man. Keep watch over who and what you allow into your heart and mind. Embrace the good, eliminate the negative. The good lifts you up, the bad things just load you down.

Jesus says to come to Him, all of us who are weary and loaded down with burdens. He promises to help us in our daily lives. Jesus’ yoke is easy and His burden is light. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” – Matthew 11:29

Who of you right this second wouldn’t want some rest for your soul?

When we take up the cross of Jesus Christ, it doesn’t weigh us down, it lifts us up. The more we cling to Jesus, the higher He takes us. The Bible says we are blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms. It’s already done, we ARE blessed. We don’t have to wait for it, it is finished.

Don’t cling to the dramas and the heartaches of life. Let go of the past mistakes and sins that have held you down. Those will do you no good for where you are going. God has already forgiven you, now it’s time to let those things go so you can rise higher.

Don’t load yourself down with drama, pain, and regrets. There’s only one thing need for your journey in life, and that’s love. That’s Jesus.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” – Philippians 4:8

God’s blessings to you.


Lay Your Burdens Down with Jesus

A friend of mine runs regularly to stay healthy. He uses a weighted vest occasionally, which makes his body work harder and sweat more. He said it’s a tough road to run when he’s wearing all that extra weight, but the best feeling is when he comes home and takes that weighted vest off. There’s such a relief when he doesn’t have all of that weight to bear anymore.

Our lives can be filled with struggle and heartache. We work and toil throughout our time here on earth and carry a tremendous load on our spiritual and emotional shoulders. The weight can feel crushing at times.

Take heart, because the Lord knows your struggles. Jesus said in Matthew 11, “Come to me all of you who are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” He asks us to bring our pain and sorrow to Him and Jesus will give us His peace instead.

Jesus said “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” He’s God. Is there anything too tough for God? Certainly not! But that’s what He wants for us. He wants to give us His peace; a peace that the Bible in the book of Philippians calls “a peace beyond all understanding.”

When we get to Heaven, we will finally come to our true home. It will be a home where we will finally take off all of our weight. We can shed all of our burdens and lay them down at the foot of Jesus Christ.

You might be saying, “But what about now? I’m in pain now.”

Our Jesus is there with us through it all to keep us steadfast in the face of troubles. The Bible says in Isaiah 43, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

You will have struggles in this world. There will be times where you are weighted down and feel like you can’t go on. Know that Jesus Christ is there with you, lifting you up during those times. Psalms 34 says “The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all.”

Likewise, understand that your troubles are not necessarily only for you. We all go through some of those times in our lives. Sometimes it’s to build us up to help others and to bless our brothers and sisters.

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians that God is the “Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” You will be blessed through your trials so that you may help lift others up in their times as well.

God is loving and wise. He not only helps us through His own hands, but He sends us to help others as well. He wants us to experience His love from all sides.

Our troubles are many in this world, but our Jesus says to “take heart, because I have overcome the world.” No matter what you’re facing today, know that the weight won’t be there forever. You, too, will be able to lay your burdens down one day. The weight, the struggle, all lifted off of you completely and forevermore.

“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.” (Revelation 21:4).

Jesus is there, not just in Heaven, but right there with you right now. Call upon Him and He shall lift you up the way only God can.

God’s blessings to you.