When Despair Prevails…

Yes, this is a blog called Prevailing Hope so why am I writing about despair that prevails?Simply, because sometimes circumstances and situations wear on us; well at least on me. and despair seems to prevail. When despair seeped into my heart, it took my mind with it and it was difficult to focus on anything but the things gone bad.

Depression and SorrowHaving Multiple Sclerosis since 1981 you’d think I get used to the unpredictable life of new symptoms, old symptoms, pain, blurred vision, weakness, extreme fatigue and the list goes on. I won’t bore you with  the details. Suffice to say, I never get used to this body that betrays me. Difficult for me to understand it. So I know most of my well meaning friends cannot understand. I long to go out and walk on the beach of Lake Michigan when it warms up and play soft ball again, go dancing, just walk without pain. I know I am fortunate just to walk. What is it like to not be overwhelmed with fatigue? How to function when what is suppose to function does not? How to deal with more loss of sight and hearing? How does one keep pushing when life at times seems to offer little or nothing to push for…

Dealing with one area at a time would not usually throw me into a state of despair. Add a few more areas of challenges that try my heart and you know why I lingered on the wire of falling deeper into a pit. A few more areas in my life that have fallen into depths of despair are personal losses.It profoundly affects me when my friends face serious physical challenges and not good changes in life. Another huge challenge for me is my wonderful Shadow, devoted Service Dog for many years is now retired due to illness and pain. She is still with me and on medications. We can not go out as a team. Now we deal with separation anxiety; hers and mine. She cries when I leave her alone; I don’t cry on the outside but my heart hurts- I long for my dog to be by my side where she should be.

When I (we) am at my (our) lowest, surely the enemy takes advantage to add to our despair. Suddenly my mind was flooded with the bad choices I made over the years. There were a lot of them and I still make them. The broken dreams  I once had torment me with a sense of loneliness.. I always wanted to be married to the one I love who loves me- going places and enjoying the “good life.” I dreamed of having a career and living in a cabin in the woods; living a writer’s life making a living so I am able to give to others. Some dreams are just…dreams shattered by real life.

Now, that I am done whining (and I thought Shadow would take top prize at whining-not so!) it is time to share the Truth; the GOOD NEWS though it may not be everything is going my way answer- it is the Truth that pulled me up from the pit of despair. It is the same truth that will help you if you embrace it because it is God’s Word.

We all have two choices how to respond to life: Our way or God’s Way. When we become entangled in the world’s ways of dealing with issues it may help for a while but not for long. The world doesn’t hold any long term answers. Watch the news if you don’t believe me. God’s Word has the answer to every issue we have.

Hope prevails over despair when  we choose to live by the Word of God. The despair I was stuck in was rooted in what I wanted in life. I lost sight of  most important.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:16

Once I got my true vision back on those things that are eternal, despair literally melted away like wax from a hot flame.glimpses Candle and Candles are melting on floor

Have you ever thought about all Jesus went through so we can live a life of prevailing hope regardless of our circumstances? What if He got tired of His horrible pain, physical, emotional and Spiritual while on the cross and called His angels because He was tired of it all? What if Jesus quit because life wasn’t fair? Life sure wasn’t fair to Him! Yet it was God’s will. All because of God so loved us! These questions loomed in my mind.When I accepted Jesus I chose to be crucified With Christ to be alive to Him. Somehow, I drift back into this life is about me  and my desires- and God does care about this but it is not ALL about me…or you.  I am privileged to know and live for the Most High God. He is the GOD of HOPE Who Prevails.

I repented of my despair as for me it was selfishness and the circumstances wearing on me. The joy of knowing the LORD and living for Him is what real life is about. No matter where and what is going on in life we as Christians are to be the LIGHT that scatters the  darkness.

Therefore, thus says the Lord [to Jeremiah],
“If you repent [and give up this mistaken attitude of despair and self-pity], then I will restore you [to a state of inner peace]
So that you may stand before Me [as My obedient representative];
And if you separate the precious from the worthless [examining yourself and cleansing your heart from unwarranted doubt concerning My faithfulness],
You will become My spokesman.
Let the people turn to you [and learn to value My values]—

Jeremiah 15:18

So what is God’s purpose in our lives? He is the Potter, we are the clay. The clay doesn’t tell the  Potter how to shape it.  The Potter skillfully and lovingly takes the clay and smashes it down to rebuild it into something beautiful. Then the Potter puts the vessel He made into the fiery furnace to get the impurities out of it and seal the beauty in, for His useful service. (Jeremiah 18- read about the Potter and the Clay).

We hold this treasure in our earthen vessel. We can choose to live for ourselves or submit to the Potter Who loves us. His desire is for us to be conformed into the image of His Son Jesus Christ, that all men may know Him.- the God of Prevailing Hope.

 

 

 

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Prevailing Perfection

perfect

IN CHRIST

I bruise easily.  If one didn’t know this about me they may wonder where all the bruises come from. Truth be known I am very good at beating myself up. But those kind of bruises don’t show on the outside. I bury them deep inside.

Why would I do this? Because I sometimes lose focus of my identity in Christ. When this happens a look in the mirror of my heart is devastating to me. To others I may seem like a nice person but to me….I know me. I know all the bad decisions I’ve made over the years. I know every flaw.  I know the struggles I have with areas in my life. I know my failures. Like the bruises that do show on my arms and legs from bumping into things; the inside bruises are also ugly and hurt.

But THEN when I regain my focus on who I am in Christ and that my righteousness is not in any thing I did, done or will do but solely on the finish Work of Calvary by the Blood of Christ, God sees me as perfect. Even if I were a “good” person and never ever did anything wrong or sinful I would not good enough to stand before our Holy God.  Jesus is the only perfect one. Our righteousness in ourselves is as “filthy rags.”.

Isaiah 64:6  AMP

For we all have become like one who is [ceremonially] unclean [like a leper], And all our deeds of righteousness are like filthy rags; We all wither anddecay like a leaf, And our wickedness [our sin, our injustice, our wrongdoing], like the wind, takes us away [carrying us far from God’s favor, toward destruction].

The odd part is when I talk to people I find myself encouraging them to see themselves as complete in Christ and perfect no matter what their past is.  There is no sin to big or little for God to forgive. Past is past but we tend to bring things we cannot change, cannot fix and cannot do anything about and I for one, beat myself up for my foolishness…which in it self is–foolishness. We dwell in the stinky garbage of our past! The truth is the moment we repent the LORD forgave and forgot and our sins are as far as the East is from the West. Our God Who loves us s more than we can comprehend sees us in right standing, pure and perfected in Christ Jesus! Now that is Good News!

Isaiah 53:5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our wickedness [our sin, our injustice, our wrongdoing];
The punishment [required] for our well-being fell on Him,
And by His stripes (wounds) we are healed.

It is true that I am visually challenged but my LORD is gracious and merciful and the more I know Him, the more I SEE His amazing love for me and for YOU. Are we to do good deeds and help others when we are able? Absolutely. But GOD loved us and accepts us just as we are while working within us that the world may SEE His good works and glorify Him.

Matthew 5:48 You, therefore, will be perfect [growing into spiritual maturity both in mind and character, actively integrating godly values into your daily life], as your heavenly Father is perfect. 

Our Prevailing Hope is in Jesus Christ. We do not need to beat ourselves up over our sins, failures and bad choices. Jesus died for us, to take our punishment so we may know Him.

 1 Peter 2:24

He personally carried our sins in His body on the cross [willingly offering Himself on it, as on an altar of sacrifice], so that we might die to sin [becoming immune from the penalty and power of sin] and live for righteousness; for by His wounds you [who believe] have been healed.

May we STAY focus on the TRUTH. Prevailing Perfection—is not something we have to work for or try harder to attained. We are made perfect in Christ Jesus.

In Christ we are flawless. May we never lose sight of this truth and His amazing grace. It is when we stop and look back  we can get tripped up on what God has already forgiven and forgotten. Let us set our eyes upon Jesus Who has made us flawless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Shatter Proof Your Dreams

One hot, summer day the sun beat down on my 1978 Buick Sky-hawk. This car had a “hatch” with a big curved back window. I worked 3rd shift at the time and my car sat out with its windows rolled up in the afternoon heat. I was shocked to go out and find my back window literally shattered in hundreds of small pieces yet still in one piece.

shatteredHave you ever had a dream that was shattered by others or by circumstances? A marriage or a relationship? A horrible prognosis of an incurable progressive disease or other even worse diseases in which the cure/treatment seems as bad as the disease itself? Some couples have their lose hope in having a child after years of trying-dashing their dreams of a family to bits. Yet, for some people their life is like one who wins the lottery, a real dream come true and it seems everything they touch turns to gold. It seems unfair. Yet, life often seems unfair and for many it seems like the back window shattered in a hundreds of small pieces yet miraculously still holds together. Too often, for many there is nothing to hold the pieces of shattered dream together.

I am not sure what held the shattered pieces of the back window of my car together. I had it replaced. But I learned early on when dreams and plans are shattered there is nothing in the world that can hold life together but faith in God.  Life can be ruthless and brutal. We need the One Who Holds the World and Universe together to hold us together as well. At least, I know I do.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].

So how do we shatter proof the dreams of our life? We need to know and have faith in the Author and Finisher of Life. He gives us a Hope and a Future that goes far beyond life as we know it now. In fact, it is much more than a dream, it is the reality of knowing One Day we who accept Christ as LORD and Savior will be with our Creator where there is no more pain, no more tears or broken dreams. What is Heaven? It is a Kingdom where Jesus will reign as King of kings and Lord of lords (A JUST and All Powerful King). It is the Kingdom GOD planned from the beginning of time for His Creation but sin entered in this world.

The good news is Jesus came as our Redeemer to be the Way back to our Father and Creator. If we accept the free gift. Not only does God give us a hope and a future; it is much more than a dream that may or may not come true. Heaven is Bigger than our Biggest and Best dream come true. It will endure forever. Jesus came to give us Everlasting Life and a life that goes way beyond any dream. The Kingdom of Heaven it is beyond words. We can only be a part of the Kingdom of Heaven by accepting the free gift of Salvation through Jesus Christ.

“In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.

 

How To: Reject Rejection

Do you remember singing “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me?” That is half truth. Stick and stones may break our bones but names can and they do hurt us. No matter how we cut it, rejection hurts and even when we get over it seemingly, a flash back of a bad memories will flood our hearts with the intense pain of rejection and hurt.abuse

I was “married” once long ago for a short time. I won’t go into many details as they are not important. The only reason I am sharing this is to help those who think you can not overcome the rejection of one who is suppose to love you. The physical abuse/beating  actually hurt the core of my being more the bruises and injuries that healed eventually. The names I was called still echo in my heart at times and can bring the deep hurt back to my soul.  I forgave him before I left him the final time. Learning how to allow God’s love to wash away the hurt of rejection was a process.

I heard the words “you are no good,” “no one will ever love you,” and “you are just a worthless cripple,” then  moments after getting punished for being no good I’d hear “I love you.”  This made me feel like I was living in a night mare or the feature star of the “Twilight Zone.” The GOOD NEWS is my soul had an anchor in Christ and it held through those years and the few years it took to learn to reject – rejection through knowing the truth. This truth will set YOU free as well. The Truth is His Word. God loves YOU!  I am so thankful He loves us with His amazing love.

You will find in the pages of the living Word of God that God sent His Son to die for our sins. We all have sinned. No one is without sin, especially me- I know me and God knows me better. In the “marriage” I just sin differently than the X did. I wished he’d run off with someone and leave me alone. I started dreaming that someone would love me. During this whole time Jesus never left me or forsook me. He Who is the example of LOVE Himself, was loving me through this whole time. I was just too messed up to focus on the Greatest Love of my life. But I experience His protection.  The day came when I knew I needed to use common sense and leave. Praying for protection is wise but when things continued to get worse, it was time to run for my life literally. I needed to refocus my life to Living to love instead of living in fear.

So I left him. He stalked, balked, cried and pleaded. I finally got wise and all his antics went unheeded. Now, the hard part was to get pass the past.  I started walking and listening to music. I walked for miles.  The one song I listened to over again and again was Don Henley’s “GET OVER IT.” (Beware! it is not a Christian hymn but still the LORD used it in a powerful way in my life.)

I knew I had to “get over it” and asked the LORD to help me, show me how…and He did. This was key and is key to rejecting rejection in my life.

Step One: Remember Who was beaten beyond being recognized, betrayed by the world He came to save, and rejected by His Father.  God had to turn His away from His Son when our sins were laid upon Jesus as He died on the Cross. The death, burial and resurrection is the key to freedom for all mankind. All we have to do is  accept the free gift of salvation and we become a new creation in Christ. Being a Christian doesn’t mean victory over the challenges of life are dropped into your lap and you never struggle with the hurt and rejection. It does mean we have the power in Christ to reject rejection because Christ made the way. Sin was defeated. To experience this life one must pursue knowing Him through His Word and prayer. As long as we are in the world we will have trouble but Jesus came so we can overcome. It is a fight of faith and takes diligence on our part. In other words, living a truly victorious life isn’t like going through a drive thru for a quick fix lunch. It is a life style make possible by the One Who loves us most- our Father Who is in Heaven through the Power of the Blood of Jesus Christ imputing to us His righteousness. It is a free gift.

Step 2. Focus ahead and don’t look back.We all have things in our lives we rather not remember. God remembers our sin no more so why should we dwell on it? I should have not of married the man I did. It took me longer to forgive myself than to forgive him for what he did to me. Forgiving him was easy. Forgiving myself took time. It did not need too.  God forgave me the first time I repented. That was the day of the wedding. But I had to live in the consequence of my choice. Sometimes we pay dearly for bad choices in this life BUT by His grace I not only got through it; I got over it! So can you!

Isaiah 43:18-19 English Standard Version (ESV)

18 “Remember not the former things,
    nor consider the things of old.
19 Behold, I am doing a new thing;
    now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
    and rivers in the desert.

Philippians 3:14 English Standard Version (ESV)

14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

The root cause of rejection is selfishness. No matter who has rejected you or hurt you there is the hope of breaking the chains of rejection off your life. The pain of rejection is like a prison we put ourselves in if we don’t learn to reject rejection. Those who hurt us don’t care that we are hurting. As long as we are in this world rejection from others, even those who love us may happen. But God sees every hurt and He cares. He has given us the key  and His power to reject rejection. As a believer we always have the power to reject rejection and dwell on the Love of God who gives true value and self worth.

If you don’t know Christ yet, will you accept the ONE Who will accept you just as you are? He loves you unconditionally and will bind up your broken heart. Words of rejection that come back to haunt me at times have lost their power. I remind myself of the One Who accepts and values me. I know I am loved by the Best. So are you.

Questions? Please contact me or go to  http://www.peacewithgod.net

 

 

 

Perception of Pain

On my medication bottle it reads “take one every 6 hours as needed for pain.” Problem 1. Pain med seldom work for 6 hours. Problem 2. Even if the pain med worked for 6 hours, they will not prescribe the amount needed to get through a month taking it “as prescribed.” This world is a painful place to live and we all at sometime –seek long term relief -whatever the “PAIN” may be. For this reason temporary solutions do not have the power long term HOPE does. Psalm 38:15 For in thee, O Lord, do I hope

” Our perception is our reality” is a concept I was taught many years ago. Time is an example of how our perception can change. When I was 20 years old, I thought my friend who was 25 at the time was “old.” Now that I am older someone who is 25 is young. What changed? My perception.

Physical, emotional, spiritual - All Pain Hurts

Physical, emotional, spiritual – All Pain Hurts

When the pain is severe a second can seem like an hour and a day can seem like an eternity. We seem to put more emphasis on living the “good life” investing in new homes, cars, raising family and building a future on earth. There is nothing wrong with these things. But we need to not neglect what God says about life.

James 4:14 For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

Colossians 3:1-2 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

There are many things I do not know. The one thing I do know is to stay focused in the Word of God. His Word is Truth. God’s Word doesn’t change with my perception. His Truth stands unchanged even when everything changes around us. Life is like a vapor – obviously a short time in comparison to Heavens’ forever and ever. I am determined to stay focus to live my “vapor” to the best of my ability to share the Gospel, Good news to the world. John 3:16 Then One Day those of us who have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ will be with Him forever.

Rev. 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Those who do not accept Jesus Christ as their LORD and Savior will experience pain as I cannot describe and it will never end. God doesn’t send any human to Hell, it the choice man makes. Do not reject such a great salvation available by accepting Jesus Christ. Hell is a real place and even if life now is difficult and things we go through are painful; it is nothing compared to spending forever in Hell.

Hell is for the devil and his angels Matt. 25:41 and for all whose name is not written the book of life. Rev. 20:15

Hell is described as: a “furnace of fire…weeping and gnashing of teeth” Matthew 13:50

Hell is forever, never gets better, pain/anguish will have no remedy -“the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever and they have no rest day and night” Revelation 14:11

GOD LOVES YOU and He is gives you the free will to know Him or do your own thing and ignore this great salvation. Choices have consequences so choose wisely.

Pain is a reality of life on earth. Some people go through more, some people have very little, so it seems. My perception of pain has changed and infused with Hope. I know it won’t last forever. God’s Word says life is “like a vapor.” In the midst of it all by God’s grace live my “vapor” well for God’s honor and glory. cropped-cropped-someday-free.jpg

Romans 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.

Forever is a long, long time – I choose Christ, who do you choose?

Click here to find out how to make Jesus LORD and Savior of your life.  http://www.peacewithgod.net/