This Is The Real Deal!

Sometimes I think I know what is best for my life. I think if I were totally healed I could serve the LORD better and help more people. I think if I were successful in a business and made a lot of money I could help a LOT more people than sitting here writing a blog about my challenges.

Closeup of hands shuffling cards casino

In other words I don’t like the cards I got dealt. I want a new deal and start with a new deck please! Make sure they are shuffled well too!

But this is the deal.  No new cards, no new hand.  I  finally made the choice to play it to the best of my ability by His grace. My prevailing hope is to be successful in God’s eyes and impact this world for His Glory.

The Word of GOD is full of real men and women who face great challenges with the “cards they were dealt” and their lives gave Glory to God forever. I think of Joseph especially; sold into slavery by his brothers, imprison unjustly yet in the end was a great success in God’s eyes and in the worlds!

What about you? How are you going to play your cards?  Or are you still hoping for a new deal? Will you play your cards with great faith that GOD has a plan for your life (He does)- as He did for Joseph  and everyone else. His plan will ultimately will bring you great success defined by Almighty God! True success is not measured by the world’s standards.

Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

 

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HOPE That Does Not Change

Brothers in armsWhere can you find peace in a world of chaos? Where do you search for hope when your life is falling apart? Do you want to know that you KNOW that even in the midst of this seemingly floundering world that everything really is going to be more okay? The good news is that it shall come to pass if you are born from above (accept Christ as your LORD and personal Savior) that your future could not be better. It is the Prevailing Hope that you can totally rely on because it is The Word of God.

In the Word of God (King James Version) the phrase “and it came to pass” is used over 400 times.  The first time is in Gen. 4:3 “And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.” The last time in the Word of God “and it came to pass” is in 1 Thes. 3:4  “For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.” Whereas in Rev. 1:1  the Word says “it shortly will come to pass.”

When you are in  the midst of turmoil, in agony from physical or emotional pain it may seem like it will never end. The Truth is whatever you are facing in life shall “come to pass,” in time. Every thing changes in this world except the WORD of God and His promises.  The struggles I have today will not be struggles 40 years from now for it this struggle will come to pass.  Even the good times we have in life also come to pass. I have been with friends who I wish we never had to part because we have fun and enjoy each others company. These times come to pass leaving behind good memories. Day changes into night, night changes into day, days become weeks, weeks become months, months become years and one day it seems we wake up wondering how we changed so much!

The LORD God changes not. Our Hope can be put fully upon His Word because His Word doesn’t change.

The list of trustworthy people with authority and who have power on earth in my opinion is few. The ONE we can trust is King of kings and LORD of lords. His Word is Truth and hundreds of the prophecies of His Word have already came to pass. There are a few promises yet to be fulfilled. He is coming back soon.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass;
Jesus is the world’s Prevailing HOPE.  He came not to condemn the world but save the world. John 3:17  He came to give us the choice of choosing Life or Death. When we choose Life,  Our future is bright regardless of any hardship or extreme painful experiences you or I are having now as…these things shall also come to pass.
So what awaits the believer when h/she departs this earthly body or when the LORD returns? What I believe about Heaven is what is written in the Word of God…

1 Cor. 2:9 But, as it is written,

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
    nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—

Ps. 16:11  You make known to me the path of life;
    in your presence there is fullness of joy;
    at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

This is a word picture that I relate too because I have a dog that responds exactly like this.

whatisheaven

 

 

When the Worse is the Best and the Best is Worse

It was a gloomy fall day back in the early 1980’s. At 22 the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis  raged in my body as I laid in the hospital bed, blind, fatigue, weak, partially paralyzed with difficulty breathing. The high dose ACTH  dripped continuously in my vein to fight the MS Attack.

My doctor came in and stood by my bedside. The great part about having a Christian doctor is the Prevailing Hope in Christ we share. Especially when things in the natural don’t look good. It was not exciting to face my prognosis. It was scary. My doctor picked up on my fear and reminded me that as a true born from above daughter of God; the worse thing that can happen to us in this life (death) is the best thing in life-everlasting life with our LORD (at our God appointed time). She look at me and said “Brenda, this life is not all there is.”  The truth is I am not afraid of dying. Living is sometimes the scary part. I can not trust my body and the daily relentless pain challenges continually wears on me. This is when His Grace is sufficient as I choose to remain focused on His promises.

I Cor. 5:9  For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge.Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— for we walk by faith, not by sight— we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.

Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,
And which have not entered the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Cor. 2: 9

So the good news is as a born again child of God; the Worse thing that can happen (dying) is the Best – everlasting life in His Presence.

When does the Best thing in the big picture of life become the Worse thing? If we dwell on things “under the sun” as Solomon puts it.  When someone we love dearly dies and leaves that hole in your heart. When all we see is the fact they are no longer with us and the lost consumes us and an emptiness sets in. All  the missed opportunities to spend time with and tell that person we love him/her.

My brother, Tom

My brother, Tom

My brother recently died. Even looking at the words as I type brings a lump to my heart. I don’t like the cliche’ “he is in a better place.” Though it be true and it brings a measure of comfort and hope; it is like trying to tape up a gaping hole in my heart with scotch tape. It doesn’t stick very long. God’s Word is living and strong. His Word is the Only Word that has power to comfort and is everlasting.

2 Thess. 2:16  Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace,

1 Thess. 4:13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.

The Only true help and comfort when the best for them seems like the worse for us left in this world that I know of is to spend time in the WORD of GOD and pour my heart out to Him.  Our Prevailing Hope is not in this world. Our Prevailing Hope is in Christ alone and He is the only One Who is able to comfort our human hearts.

Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
And saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

Happily Ever-After

The doctor just left my hospital room. Though the lights were still on, a black darkness seemed to cover me like a thick blanket. His words were like a twisting knife going through my heart causing tears to flow down my face from the pain. At that time, I had Multiple Sclerosis, an incurable neurological disease a couple years. It was highly progressive. I was in the hospital for ACTH treatments and therapy. I could not walk, was extremely weak and legally blind. My doctor told me, “We have to make plans to get you into a nursing home where you can get the care you need.” I was around 23 at the time. He left with those words. Those words took my HOPE.

I laid there in the darkness with the lights on. Nurses were coming and going while the television was on in my room. The things going on around me were surreal compared to the pain in my being. What am I going to do? I didn’t know what to do…so all I did was curl up, cover up and prayed my body would die and catch up with HOPE that died a bit earlier.

There is a song called “Somebody’s Prayin’ for Me.” I knew somebody had to be praying for me. I lay awake letting my mind wander. Suddenly, I started thinking about my heroes of the faith in the Bible. Though I had only been a Christian for a few years at that time, I did read and study my Bible. My mind raced with the story of Moses parting the Red Sea to Daniel in the lion’s den. David and Goliath was and is one of my favorite stories. (I was young, un-churched and believe the Word of God as it is: God’s Word -still do) To me, these “stories” are/were just as– if not more relevant then the evening news “stories.”

Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that through patience and through comfort of the scriptures we might have hope.

Hope began to rise within my soul. The God of the Bible is the God I served so I knew He would answer me if I called upon Him for strength and wisdom. So I that’s what I did.

happyeverafter2And I lived happily ever after….well sort of. God infused my heart with His Hope  (Psalm 42:5) which gave me the strength to fight the fight of faith. I had to relearn to walk so the Chinese torturers (physical therapist) work with me daily. I had to tell my foot to move. It obeyed me like my cat does when I call him. Sometimes my foot would move, other times it just sat there. I did regain my sight and was walking with a walker by the time I went home from the hospital.

And life goes on bringing with it new challenges. We can live happy ever after even in the midst of the struggles, the nightly news, the ISIS, the doctors reports, the pain -if we keep our HOPE in God. He is the Only Hope there is.