Thursday, January 25, 2007

Blessings Through Sufferings

By Faith Johnson

As humans, we all go through sufferings and trials throughout the course of our life. As Solomon stated in Ecclesiastes, there is a season for everything.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
(Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV)

As Christians, it is how we handle the trials and sufferings that will mold our faith and determine our blessings.

Right now, my family is in a season of suffering. It has been going on for a few months now as I write this, and while it would be very easy to be mad and angry with God for allowing it to happen, we realize that He has a plan even if we do not understand it.

One scripture that has been quoted to us and we have turned to is Romans 8:28 “All things work together for good, for those who love the Lord.” But you know what… when you only quote that part of the verse it makes it sound like things are going to be easy and we don't really need to worry. However, that is not the promise that is given. Look at more of the passage,

In the same way the Spirit also comes to help us, weak as we are. For we do not know how we ought to pray; the Spirit himself pleads with God for us in groans that words cannot express. And God, who sees into our hearts, knows what the thought of the Spirit is; because the Spirit pleads with God on behalf of his people and in accordance with his will. We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose.
(Romans 8:26-28 GNB)

When we go through the tribulations that life throws at us, the Holy Spirit will help us. The Spirit will give us strength when we need it we just need to ask. At all times we are to go to the Lord in prayer and especially in times of trial. God knew that we would not necessarily know what to ask for in our times of need and that is why the Spirit will ask for us, if we let it.

But all who ask the LORD for help will be saved.
(Joel 2:32a GNB)

The Spirit, if we allow will pray for us. The Spirit will intercede in our behalf and knows how to pray. It is an awesome thing is that Our Father knows us. So yes, we do not want to admit that we cannot handle things and we want to do it on our own, but God knows better. That is why we are told to cast our cares upon Him.

In your season of suffering, give it to the Lord. Allow the Spirit to flow through you by staying in the Word of God and praying. If you do not know what to pray, ask the Lord to give you that prayer language so the Spirit can bring your cares and burdens to the Lord. If you feel burdened to pray for others and are not sure how to pray, let the Spirit intercede on your behalf.

The scripture says, "Whoever believes in him will not be disappointed."
(Romans 10:11 GNB)

Monday, January 22, 2007

New Item to Share

LOVE ringer T

The BRAND NEW Ringer T. This and several other products carry the new image of LOVE in the Parents For Christ Store.

Love is patient, Love is kind. Love is not jealous, nor does it brag. Love is not proud, or rude, or self-serving. Love is not quick to anger. Love does not hold grudges. Love does not celebrate wrong doings but in truth and justice. Love always trusts, always protects, always hopes, always presses on. Love never fails. For God is love and He has always been and always will be. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. Of the attributes there is; Faith, Hope and Love. The greatest of these is Love.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Judging Others

How many times have you seen a mother or a father in the store with a child that is crying and screaming and think to yourself I could never have a child like that! They shouldn't have brought them to the store!

Or maybe you hear about somebody that you only know in passing being accused of child abuse, but you don't know what happened and you immediately think badly of them?

How often do you automatically think badly of somebody just because of something you heard or saw that was out of context of their life?

A dear person that I know is going through trials like this. She was accused of child abuse and it is involved in the courts and it is a big mess. What she is facing is people that have heard about her being charged but have no clue what in actuality happened. In fact, many have no clue that they themselves can be charged with abuse too. It doesn't stop them from talking negatively about her and her family though. Which in turn means that they are sinning.

"Do not judge others, and God will not judge you; do not condemn others, and God will not condemn you; forgive others, and God will forgive you. Give to others, and God will give to you. Indeed, you will receive a full measure, a generous helping, poured into your hands---all that you can hold. The measure you use for others is the one that God will use for you."
(Luke 6:37-38 GNB)

Sisters and brothers, I urge you. When you see somebody being accused or judged, show mercy. There is a difference in somebody who made one mistake and shows remorse versus somebody who repeats the mistake over and over. That parent with their crying child at the store may not have somebody to watch their kids. Or the child may be sick or be troubled. The child could have a sensory issue. Or, the parent told the child no and the child is throwing a tantrum.

In the even of a parent being accused of child abuse, I am sure there are those that are accused and are outright guilty. But be aware, in many states corporal punishment is illegal. In the state of Tennessee if you leave a mark on a child's bottom you have committed abuse. If you used a paddle or wooden spoon or anything else it is aggravated abuse.

The problem is that with laws like that there is no room for error. Many parents that do believe in spanking have made the mistake of leaving a bruise on the child's bottom. They only do it once. In my opinion that is not abuse, it's a mistake. But that is also not the point of this article. Even if the person is guilty, they need to know God. They need to see God's love.

More so, in this case the mother spanked her child too hard and acknowledges that she did just that and is remorseful for it. Her fellow brothers and sisters in Christ should be praying for her and her family, not giving the cold shoulder and icy stares, talking about her to other people.

Gossip is spread by wicked people; they stir up trouble and break up friendships.
(Proverbs 16:28 GNB)

I challenge you. Look around in your community or church. I promise you will find at least one person that others have shunned or cast out. Befriend that person. Show them God's love. Even if they already know God, having somebody there for them that does not condemn them but loves them with Christian love will be the greatest blessing they can receive.

Let me know how it goes. Can you change a person's life but not judging them but by showing them God's love? I don't mean by proclaiming that they are innocent, I mean by accepting that yes, bad things happened, but Christ still loves them.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

We would like to wish everybody a very happy new year and we pray that you will be blessed beyond measure this year. My heart goes out to those whose lives are in turmoil. Over the last few weeks and even months I have heard of many people that I know go through such awfully tough times. I have had a friend of mine lose her baby when he wasn’t even a week old. Another lost her mother tragically and it has shaken her entire family. I have a couple of friends having marital problems and one going through a very bitter divorce. I am praying for all of these people, because they need it.

Our families are being attacked. Those of us that are Christians must stand strong and not allow Satan trick us and manipulate us. Jesus Christ himself was tempted by Satan and He won. Jesus has already fought our battles, we just need to instill our faith in Him.

Be glad about this, even though it may now be necessary for you to be sad for a while because of the many kinds of trials you suffer. Their purpose is to prove that your faith is genuine. Even gold, which can be destroyed, is tested by fire; and so your faith, which is much more precious than gold, must also be tested, so that it may endure. Then you will receive praise and glory and honor on the Day when Jesus Christ is revealed.
(1 Peter 1:6-7 GNB)

Our children learn by our example. When we walk by faith and our children see that we trust in the Lord God Almighty, they will be more likely to follow in faith. Even in the hardest of times, the way we react is what people see. It’s similar to the example that our pastor gives on occasion; when you are using a hammer and suddenly get for thumb smashed, what comes out of your mouth? Do you say a curse word or do you praise the Lord anyway.

Going through daily trials is what makes us stronger. If things were easy all the time, we wouldn’t necessarily see a reason to turn to God. It is like in the book of Job. The overall consensus is that God had blessed Job with a wife, children, much livestock and land; so much so that he didn’t seem to need to worry about God. Then the devil started taking things away, as God allowed him to. Job turned to God. He prayed, he mourned, and even the one time he spoke against God he repented and asked forgiveness. Through all the trials he was put through, he lost his children, his house, his livestock, he had boils, and more, he still trusted God. In the end of the book of Job, Job was blessed two fold. The latter part of his life was blessed even more than the beginning of his life.

So my prayer for this New Year is that God will bless those that have been in trials and tribulations. I pray that God will bless them beyond measure.

Faith Johnson