When “Yes, Lord” Means A Trial

*Today, we are pleased to publish a guest post by another one of our good friends!*

Natalie! Please! Make it stop, it hurts too much!” my phone read as the screen illuminated, thus throwing shadows against my wall and near my bed. Still awake, my eyes struggled to focus on the text notification in my blackened bedroom. After a few minutes of talking to my friend, I had given the best encouragement I could and was virtually holding her until my body crashed for the night and I had fallen asleep. Never before had I felt heart break over my friend…..“Why her? God, what is your plan with this pain she’s in?” As these questions repeated themselves in my mind, I was hit with one answer…..”Why not?”

After waking up a few hours later and rereading our conversation, I sat there. Pondering on that answer, I thought back over the “Series of Unfortunate Events” that have happened in my life in the past few years. Now, I know that my life is far from perfect and is not free of struggles by any means…from the loss of two grandparents back to back, to my own health struggles, there was always something every year that my family was hit with. And at times, these events made me wonder where I stood in my faith. But I was reminded of James’ letter to the early church. Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4 NASB)

Joy? I gave Jesus my life in total surrender to Him in order to share the good news of His coming, not to be affected by trials. Joy?

Yes. Joy. You see, when Jesus first gave the Great Commission to the disciples, he also told them that the servant wouldn’t be greater than his master. Therefore, if Jesus was tested and tried during his three year ministry, so would we for our Christian faith. The difference between us and the rest of the world is that we know the trials or “tests” that we find ourselves in are temporary. Therefore, there’s an end to them at some point. But we also need to let God work with us and through us while we are in those trials because they are the only ones that we personally can bear. I think of the Wall of Faith in Hebrews 11: yes, God used those men and women because they were ordinary, but He also used them because of their faith in God and in what He had planned.

And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.  Or as my friend and I both know, when “Yes, Lord” means a trial.

~Natalie

Top Posts of 2014: #4- Depression Hurts

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I think we can all admit it: nobody likes to be called names, be bullied, or treated like we’re trash. I knew this my whole life, but it recently re-surfaced with someone I just met a little while back. This person, as I’ve seen it, is being hurt by the nastiness thrown his way. No, he didn’t do anything to deserve it, but it happened! Obviously, you can pray for this person. And pray that he gets through the rough times, because I know they come often.

But, what if you are that person, or someone like him? What if you are suffering? Depression hurts. I know it, you know it, and I’m pretty sure everyone on earth knows it. I’m going to discuss in this post how to deal with depression.

Let’s start with a verse: “For their rock is not like our Rock, as even our enemies concede. (Deuteronomy 32:31 NIV)” God is a Rock. Something that we can cling to when all else fails. As the new Chris Tomlin song says, “His love is like a waterfall.” It’s always there and ever abounding, if you look for it. Now, what about the second part of that verse, “Even our enemies concede”? When you trust in God and lean on Him for all things, you will start to see your enemies concede. You will have victory in Jesus!

Now, I want to be clear that I’m not saying that as soon as you cling to Jesus and make Him your Rock, that everything is all candy and lollipops from there on. Life still gets hard. You will still have difficulties, but I’ve found that when I trust in God, they are a whole lot easier. Take a look at John 16:33 as Jesus is speaking, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV). Jesus has overcome the world! There is nothing that we need to be afraid of, if we are in Him!

You might be asking yourself, “Well, I’m a sinful, horrible wreck. Why on earth would God want anything to do with me?” Read this portion of scripture from John 1: “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!'” (John 1:29 NIV). Believe it or not, Jesus died for you. He hung on a cross bleeding and in agony and pain, so that you and me, sinful wrecks, could live. Wow. I don’t about you guys, but that is so powerful to me.

So, no matter where you are, if you are hurting from addictions, depression, disease, or other things, God is right there holding on and guiding you in everything that you do. And the best part is, He won’t let go.

I can’t think of a better way to end this post than to put Natalie Grant’s “Closer to Your Heart” in it. Take the time to let the words soak in and feel the everlasting love of God.

Until next time,
~ Collin

 

Circles

AnthemLightsCircles

As I was listening to some music this week, a song appeared that I thought I should share. It has quickly become my favorite song (besides “What Does the Fox Say?”…). Here is “Circles,” by Anthem Lights:

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Are You Suffering Right Now?

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Suffering is a fundamental part of the Christian faith (2 Timothy 3:12). And your Godly response to it grows through encountering God and meditating on His Word. The following verses, when memorized, can encourage you toward a Godly response to suffering.

But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. (Genesis 50:20 KJV)

The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. (Psalms 9:9 KJV)

Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. (Psalms 34:19 KJV)

I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me. (Psalms 119:75 KJV)

Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21 KJV)

And my personal favorite:

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 KJV)

Try to memorize these verses and you will find that they do indeed help!

~Collin

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Howdy! I’m Collin, 16 years old, and a homeschooled junior. I play the piano, ukulele, and many sports. I’m far from perfect, and that’s why I love to share (through this blog) what God is showing me in His word. Although I have many favorite Bible verses, if I had to choose one it would be Romans 12:12, Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” I believe that prayer is the most powerful tool we are given as Christians and it should not be taken for granted. Toodles!

Depression Hurts

20140503-131202.jpg

I think we can all admit it: nobody likes to be called names, be bullied, or treated like we’re trash. I knew this my whole life, but it recently re-surfaced with someone I just met a little while back. This person, as I’ve seen it, is being hurt by the nastiness thrown his way. No, he didn’t do anything to deserve it, but it happened! Obviously, you can pray for this person. And pray that he gets through the rough times, because I know they come often.

But, what if you are that person, or someone like him? What if you are suffering? Depression hurts. I know it, you know it, and I’m pretty sure everyone on earth knows it. I’m going to discuss in this post how to deal with depression.

Let’s start with a verse: “For their rock is not like our Rock, as even our enemies concede. (Deuteronomy 32:31 NIV)” God is a Rock. Something that we can cling to when all else fails. As the new Chris Tomlin song says, “His love is like a waterfall.” It’s always there and ever abounding, if you look for it. Now, what about the second part of that verse, “Even our enemies concede”? When you trust in God and lean on Him for all things, you will start to see your enemies concede. You will have victory in Jesus!

Now, I want to be clear that I’m not saying that as soon as you cling to Jesus and make Him your Rock, that everything is all candy and lollipops from there on. Life still gets hard. You will still have difficulties, but I’ve found that when I trust in God, they are a whole lot easier. Take a look at John 16:33 as Jesus is speaking, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV). Jesus has overcome the world! There is nothing that we need to be afraid of, if we are in Him!

You might be asking yourself, “Well, I’m a sinful, horrible wreck. Why on earth would God want anything to do with me?” Read this portion of scripture from John 1: “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!'” (John 1:29 NIV). Believe it or not, Jesus died for you. He hung on a cross bleeding and in agony and pain, so that you and me, sinful wrecks, could live. Wow. I don’t about you guys, but that is so powerful to me.

So, no matter where you are, if you are hurting from addictions, depression, disease, or other things, God is right there holding on and guiding you in everything that you do. And the best part is, He won’t let go.

I can’t think of a better way to end this post than to put Natalie Grant’s “Closer to Your Heart” in it. Take the time to let the words soak in and feel the everlasting love of God.

Until next time,
~ Collin