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

DH

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.

DH

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.

DH

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.

DH

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.

DH

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.

DH

Go Out of Your Way

The life and teaching of Jesus Christ is an instruction for us to go out of our way. The term “going out of your way” means to make a special and intentional effort to do something.

When you are told to “go out of your way”, what does that mean to you? Do you think about going out of your way to help someone? Perhaps you remember when someone went out of their way to help you.

It is very good to go out of your way to help others. Jesus Christ said, “That which you did to the least of them, you did to me.” Keeping that comment in mind should enable us to do our absolute best for one another.

As Christians, we should be good and faithful servants to the Lord, but that’s not all Jesus talks about when He asks us to go out of our way. Do good, yes… Help others, yes… but when Jesus says for us to go out of our way, He also means something deeper.

Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

When we are to go out of our way, Jesus is instructing us to go out of our own way and follow Him in His way. And His way is more than just a path to follow, He IS the way.

We are to be more like Jesus in every respect. Kindness, mercy, peace, love. All of these words are names and descriptors for God. We are to sacrifice ourselves and our own intentions for the betterment of others. In short, we are to love.

If I love you (and I do), I should want the highest and best thing for you. What’s that?

Heaven.

Like Jesus, I should be ready and willing to do whatever it takes to get you to Heaven. I can’t sit idle while you follow this fallen world into hell. I must tell you about Jesus and His life, death, burial, and resurrection that was done to pay for your sins. I must tell you about God’s love for you.

John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in His shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

That’s God’s way. Love! That is Jesus Christ.

The blood of Jesus shed on the cross paid your debt. That sacrifice broke the chains that bound you to your old sinful ways. Now, you are truly free to go out of your way.

God’s blessings to you.

DH

Am I Enough

I will give to charity when I have more money. Once I read the Bible more, I can be a good Christian. When I get more time, I’ll help out at the food pantry. When I get better at praying, I’ll start saying prayers with my family.

Have you said any of these comments or maybe you’ve had questions like them?

Many of us are looking and hoping for the “one day”. One day when I have enough money, or one day when my life isn’t so hectic. Or are you even looking for that one day where everything about the Bible makes sense? “Oh boy, when that one day comes, I’ll be able to really do something for Jesus…”

I promise you that if you are waiting for that “one day”, you’re going to be waiting all of your life. Much like the old saying that if you wait until you can afford to have children, you’ll never have any. Your “one day” will never come.

So what’s wrong with right now?

You may think that you aren’t strong enough, not smart enough, or don’t have enough resources to help people. Nothing could be further from the truth!

God has created you to be you. Your skills, your talents, all of them have been handcrafted by the Lord Himself, the same one that spoke worlds into existence. The Bible says that you have been fearfully and wonderfully made. None of your positives or your supposed shortcomings took God by surprise. You are just what you need to be.

It’s no accident that you’ve been placed right here and right now. That’s the providence of God. He knows what He’s doing. You have been hand picked to be who you are and where you are for such a time as this.

If you have a hand, you can use it to give food to the poor or to pick someone up when they’ve fallen. If you have an ear, you can listen to a friend who needs a positive outlet for their feelings. If you have a mouth, you can be a witness to someone about the power of Jesus Christ in your life.

You may not have much, but you have enough. Food on the table, roof over your head, and clothes on your back equals out to more riches than many people in this world have. Use them to help others.

There’s a story in the Gospel of Mark about people who were giving to the needs of the church. The rich people gave a lot, which was a good thing, but there was this small, old woman who only gave a few pennies. It wasn’t much, but it was literally all she had.

Which one of those people went away fulfilled? The woman. In fact, Jesus praised her for doing all she could with what she had.

God, the maker of everything, doesn’t truly need for anything. But He uses each of us to be His hands and feet, so to speak. We are to help all of His children and deliver the good news of Jesus Christ to everyone throughout the world. Even if that’s just the person in line at the grocery store, that’s enough.

But don’t stop there. One person today, another or maybe two or three more tomorrow. Start where you can and do all you are able. You will start to see the power of Jesus flowing if your life like never before.

You may not feel like enough in this life, but when it’s you plus Jesus, that combination can take on the entire world. God is called the great “I Am.” Believe that I Am enough.

Don’t wait until you have enough money to help the poor, help them now with what you have or especially the time you can give. Lend a hand at a food kitchen or rescue mission. Donate clothes or toiletries to those in need.

Also, don’t wait until you know more of the Bible to spread the good news of Jesus. Take one verse, learn it well, then say it to someone else who needs a word of encouragement. Just one verse in the Bible contains the power of Jesus. As a famous preacher once said, “Jesus is a lion. And you don’t need to fight for a lion, just let him out of his cage.”

Please don’t wait to help. There is so much work to be done in this fallen and sinful world, but we must start somewhere. Start by living a better life yourself. Be the change you want to see in the world, then go out and make a few more changes in people’s lives.

I close with a story from the Gospels about servants who were given different amounts of money while their master was away. Some invested the money, but there was one person who hid their money away and just went about their own business.

When the master returned, the first thing he asked was what did they do with their money. The faithful servants who did something with the money were rewarded with much more, but the one who just hid it away was scolded. Even what he had was then taken away.

Don’t approach the last day of your life and hear Jesus ask, “Look at all I gave you. What did you do with it?”

The Bible says to redeem the time; make good use of it. You don’t need to be a Billy Graham or a Mother Theresa to do great things. You have the same 24 hours as they did, but what are you doing with those hours? Who are you truly serving?

Every breath is a gift from God, and even if that is all you have, then use it to pray.

My mom died of cancer. In her last days, people would say how frail and how weak she was. In truth, she wasn’t just sitting there. She was praying nonstop for others. Those prayers were the most powerful that they could be in those moments. Focused on nothing else but prayer for people and worship of God, she was absolutely breaking chains and pulling down strongholds. She was strongest in the Spirit when worldly reason said she was at her weakest.

So don’t think for a second that you can’t do anything to help others. Do what you can with what you have. If you do this, I believe and declare that you too will become that mighty warrior that God has created you to be. In Jesus’ name!

God’s blessings to you.

DH

God is Moving In Your Life

On my daily commute to work, I pass a lot of windmills. The other day, the wind didn’t seem like it was blowing and from far off it looked like the windmills were not spinning. It was only as I got closer that I realized they were actually moving much faster than I had thought. In reality, they were still moving quite quickly even though my eyes didn’t originally see it.

How often does God do this in our lives? Yes, He has done some amazing, spectacular things in the past but there are times when we are waiting for something to happen and it looks like God is standing still. Why aren’t you doing something God?

Well, just like those windmills the closer we are to God, the more we will see Him moving. The Bible says that God uses all things for the good of those who love Him. And all things means just that, ALL things. He’s using the big, the little, and everything in between, even when it doesn’t look like it at first.

If we could see things from God’s perspective, we would see how everything is in constant motion. Much like a beautiful tapestry or an heirloom blanket, every tiny thread woven together perfectly to create one singular design.

Our problem is that we can’t make out what those tapestries will look like until you start seeing all of those threads come together. One thread at a time, step by step, moment by moment.

God knows what your life will look like because He’s the one making it come together. When we stay nearer to God, we will see more of the plan in motion. Even during life’s rough spots, rest assured that God is still at work. Every single moment of our lives coming together to creat something unique and fantastic.

When Jesus Christ was on the cross, to the people around Him it looked like He was finished. It looked like Jesus could do no other great works, like healing the blind or raising the dead. Nothing could have been further from the truth.

The truth was that upon that cross, Jesus did His greatest work ever: Salvation! Through His death and resurrection, Jesus saved our souls and allowed us Heaven for all of eternity.

He wasn’t laying hands on anyone; he wasn’t walking through towns healing the sick. Jesus just hung there. But when it looked like Jesus was doing nothing at all, He was doing His best, most miraculous work.

Remember that God is at work, even during those times in your life when He seems stagnant and the breakthroughs just don’t seem to be coming for you. Know that He is for you and not against you. Your Heavenly Father has promised peace, love, and victory in your life.

Accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. Know that He is moving in your life. Right now, even if you can’t see it with your eyes, at this moment Christ is doing something wonderful.

God’s blessings to you.

DH

Jesus Taken For Granted

A friend of mine grew up in Scotland before he came to the states. When he went back on vacation, him and his wife toured a couple of the castles that were actually just down the road from where he grew up. He told me that they were beautiful and that he never really paid attention to them when he lived there. He was so used to seeing them there that he forgot your beauty.

Christians are often that way with God. The majesty and the creativity of God surrounds us daily, and we don’t take notice until something bad like a storm or a flood happens. Then, we miss what we once had.

Do you remember when you can honestly say you excepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? Do you remember what it felt like? All of that weight from sin lifted off of you for the first time. That moment when you felt God’s face shining upon you.

If you haven’t thought about that for a while, it’s time to think about it again.

You have been granted a great and wonderful gift. You have been brought into God’s family when you excepted Jesus Christ. You were no longer at odds against the Lord, but rather connected with Him in a pure and beautiful way as only a child can be with their loving Father.

Don’t take that for granted any longer.

If we were to live every moment as if it was that first moment of perfect saving grace, all of the pains and worries of this world would wash away quickly. We would all have a joy and a shining light about us that the devil could never take away.

Keep God first place in your life and in your mind. Focus your heart more upon Jesus rather than your circumstances. When you do this, I believe and declare that you will not only see things differently, but you will truly be able to partake in the eternal love that the Creator has in store for each one of His children.

God’s blessings to you.

DH

If you have not excepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, I beg you to do so now. This world is evil and fallen. There is only one path to peace and that is through Jesus Christ, the one who offers you freedom from the chains of sin. Lay your worries down at the foot of His cross. You are forgiven. Be renewed by His love.