My desire is to proclaim the truth of God's Word, encourage growth in Jesus and His Word, and inspire you to tell others about Him through Authentic Christian Living. It is my hope and prayer that this page will be a blessing to you and others. If you are growing from what you read on here please tell others and encourage them in the Lord! All we want to do is spread the gospel that others may go and grow! Stay focused, you can do this.
"In His JOY!".
When Jonah heard the call of God he plotted Nineveh on the map and went in the opposite direction (Jonah 1:3). Now it may appear that Jonah was running from Nineveh but what he was really running from was God's Presence. Disobedience will never bring us closer to God it only pushes away from Him.
Anyway Jonah knew God had called Him to speak truth to a particular group of people and he decided that disobeying was worth it if it meant the people would be destroyed. He did not show compassion, grace, mercy, love, nor did he go to them and speak God's Truth. Jonah saw their judgment as a just punishment for their actions. God did not relent nor did He let Jonah off the hook, through some expert persuasion technique Jonah so the error of his ways and cried out to God to save him (Jonah 1:4-2:10). In the end Jonah proclaimed "Salvation belongs to the Lord (Jonah 2:9)"
So Jonah made it to Nineveh thanks to "Fish Transportation Services" and boldly spoke God's Truth in a land where people prideful walked in sin. When the people heard the warning that Jonah brought forth they were convicted and committed to changing (Jonah 3). But this is not what Jonah truly wanted, Jonah desired to see destruction and devastation. Jonah was not looking for God to have mercy and compassion, Jonah wanted God to utterly destroy them. Jonah was out for blood, for whatever reason. He had expressed his displeasure of God showing mercy and stating that this was the very reason he ran in the first place because he knew God was a merciful God (Jonah 4).
God gave Jonah shade but quickly destroyed them plant, this upset Jonah to the point he wanted to die (because it was really hot). But God informed Jonah that he was angered over the plant being destroyed, he had pity for it. Jonah had more compassion for a plant that he did not create then for a group of people that God created who are walking in sin. It's like being more compassionate about saving a whale then seeing a soul save (Jonah 4).
So how does this relate to us today, well look at the world around us. We have chaos to the left and to the right, laws are being passed the legislate sin, and Christians seem to be in an uproar speaking judgment. What I take form Jonah is 1) We warn others of coming judgment 2) But we preach and teach to them salvation. Jesus said it best, "We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. (John 9:4)" In other words judgment is coming so we must warn all of what is to come if they continue to sin but we preach the truth of Christ (all of His Words, i.e., the Bible). Those who are living a life of sin need to hear truth and be warned of what is to come if they do not allow the Lord to transform their heats. But we as Christians can become cold and callous like Jonah and only desire to see their judgment. We want to hold a big, "I told you so" party but the desire of God is that no one perish, this does not mean God allows anyone to sin freely it means that God wants all to come to repentance and be transformed. So we must be careful to share the truth of Christ warning of coming wrath but letting a sinner know salvation, mercy, grace, and love are present now.
But the questions that remain for Christians are: Are we willing to speak the truth in love to those who are homosexual, those who aggressively come against the cross with murderous acts, and even those who mock Jesus to by saying, "God is a just judge who desires you to experience His Grace and not His Wrath because living in opposition to Christ is acceptance of wrath but living for Christ means acceptance of Grace and being transformed by His Spirit to living according to His Word (John 3:16-21, 8:31).
So are you willing Christian to talk with the homosexual about God's Grace and warn them of His Wrath or do you want to see them come to ruin? Are you ready to speak to those who persecute the church and pray that they would receive the Gospel? It happened with one of the greatest enemies the church has ever known in Paul (Acts 9:1-31)? Don't be stubborn and cruel like Jonah go and share the Gospel and reach someone for Jesus that they may experience the JOY! of salvation just you did.
We cannot strive for a future glory in Christ Jesus if we remain focused on our past in the present. It would be like running a race in the opposite direction and expecting to win...it just won't happen. Philippians 3:12-14 #InHisJOY!
1) ABIDE IN
luence of Jesus. We do nothing without consulting Jesus nor do we desire to walk away from Him. It is like the Husband and the Wife who are in constant communication and do not make decisions without first considering the other. It means there is perfect unity and nothing is allowed to disturb, disrupt, hinder, or break that unity. This is what Jesus requires of those who believe in Him.
2) HIS WORD
Why is the word "word" singular and not plural? Jesus is speaking of the sum total of His Words. Jesus is Himself the Word of God made flesh. 1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God.
14And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1-2,14 ESV
Everything that God needed to say, needed to reveal to us, needed to tell us, etc., is all wrapped up in Jesus and Jesus tells us to have unbroken fellowship with His Word. It is through His Word we come to understand the character and nature of God, we come to understand our need to be transformed, we learn how to live for Jesus, we learn what pleases Him. Look at what some of the scriptures say about God's Word;
11so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11 ESV
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 ESV
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17 ESV
If God puts so much value on His Word, should we not also do the same? His has a high value for His Word and He renders it so important that it became flesh to swell among us. And Jesus tells us to abide in it. He Tells us also if we love Him we will keep His Word.
10If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. John 15:10 ESV
I cannot stress the importance of this, so it leaves the question of "How do we abide in His Word?" Simple it means;
Never ceasing to consult His Word
Never ceasing to trust His Word
Never ceasing to under the constant persuasion of His Word
Never ceasing to believe in the power of His Word
Never ceasing to be under the influence of His Word
Never ceasing to make time for read His Word
Never ceasing to grow in the knowledge and understanding Jesus through His Word
Never ceasing to obey His Word
Never ceasing to live out His Word
Never ceasing to value His Word
truly be HIS DISCIPLE
Now if we do these things Jesus says that we are truly His Disciples. So the litmus test to see if we are truly following Christ is how we live our lives according to His Word. There is no way around it, no way to escape, no way to justify why you are not living it, it all hinges on are you living according to the Word. It means we give in to Christ and fight against the pressures of sin itself. We cling to His Word, our lives are open books that reflect Christ. We are not just those who profess to know Jesus, believe in Jesus, or even proclaim Him, we are those who live for Jesus. We follow Him faithfully. So are you truly a His Disciple?
How are you living according to Word of God in your;
In what you watch
In what you say
In what you do
In where you go
In what you listen to
In what you are planning to do
How does it all show that you are abiding in Christ? It's a real question for us all to consider because Jesus does not merely call us to believe only to fall away later, He calls us to believe and grow in the faith.
The devil uses sin to take us to the darkest place possible and says, "You will never see the light of day again." But thanks be to Christ Jesus the Light of the World who brings us up out of darkness into the marvelous light. John 8:12 #InHisJOY!
Horrific, tragic, and painful are some of the words that can be used to describe the church shooting in South Carolina. But even those words are not suffice in describing the emotions and grief Emmanuel AME Church is undergoing right now as the process their grief under the grace of God are rely on Him for the strength to continue on.
social media is in an uproar over what to feel and even the media itself is debating what to think of this tragedy but I think we are all missing something of great significance here.
The shooter came to the church and attended bible study even sitting next to the Pastor. He was welcomed with open arms by a congregation who desired to share the Gospel. He was welcomed in a building that was founded by African Americans who worked to take a stand against slavery, even after the church was burned to the ground, and at one point 35 of it's members executed it still remained. He was welcomed in a church that did not see the color of his skin but the need of his soul to hear the Gospel of Jesus. In the end they lost their lives sharing God's Truth, you can't miss this, don't let race be the only story line here.
When I think of the Good Samaritan( Luke 10:25-37) the power of that story was some who looked or talked different stopped to help someone who was in need. The road that the story takes place on was know as a dangerous road where robbers would attack you and even leave you for dead. Two religious men saw a man in need and did nothing because they either deemed what that had to do as more important or they feared for their lives. Either way fear and pride got in the way.
But the Samaritan was different, he willing put his life at risk in order for someone else to live. He sat his pride and fear aside in order to help someone. He could have been mugged and left for dead as well but he valued the life of another over his own. The Good Samaritan was not afraid to take the risk. He was not there to debate political issues or even discuss way Samaritans and Jews don't get along. He was not there to go over how the Jewish man got here or even ask what happened. He saw the need and did something. He played hero to a ethnic group that has so often played villain to his people.
Emmanuel AME Church took a risk that night by sharing the Gospel with someone who would later turn on them and kill them. Just like centuries ago when they risked it all to stand against slavery and stand with Christ, they took a risk. I have read no news articles saying they antagonized the shooter, nothing saying they debated the current racial state of America, no all they did was share the truth of the Gospel and it cost them their lives. They did not die as black people murdered by a white men, they died as people who shared the Gospel killed by a men who could only see their race. They died in service to their Lord and Savior Jesus. They died Good Samaritans.
The shooter did not claim victory here, no. The faithful nine who are in Heaven rejoicing as we mourn on Earth, were triumphant because of the blood of the Lamb and the Word of their testimony because they did not live their lives as to so much shrink back from death.
So Christian are you willing to still take a risk and open your house, your church, or even your life to someone even if it cost you more than you were willing to give. Is the Gospel message worth your life even if the person rejects Christ in the end? Is it worth enough to you to risk it all?
"They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death (Revelation 12:11)".
We live in a world whose culture is opposed to God's Word but it is difficult to speak against the culture of the world if we too are living lives that are in direct opposition to God's Word. We strive to create/promote/lobby for laws to legislate sin as opposed to striving to evangelize/disciple/love others and allow the Holy Spirit to transform their hearts. Laws cannot save anyone from sin, only Christ can. We tend to look to the law as our savior, redeemer, and hope so when it disappoints us we become despondent and lose hope. Our hope has been and always will be in Jesus. My encouragement would be to live a life of integrity in the Lord, share the truth of the Gospel, make disciples for Christ, love sacrificially, and let the Holy Spirit do the rest. 2 Corinthians 5:19-20 #InHisJOY! #samesexmarriage
Across the world this past weekend, unconscionable acts of terror have been committed. France, Kuwait, and Tunisian so these cowardly acts of terror first hand. Let us pray for the families of the victims as they process their grief and let us seek the Lord on their behalf trusting in Him to soothe their pain. #InHisJOY!
This weekend the kids and I went to the amusement park to enjoy some good family time. We walked around and did all the small kiddie rides, took in the sights, enjoyed each others conversation, and laughed a lot. But we came upon the ride that looked like a NASA Test Rocket. It was huge and scary (inwardly I was terrified) but once the kids caught eye of it they instantly wanted to do it. Reluctantly I agreed to go with them (you know because I am a macho man). We stepped into the rocket that was two sizes too small for me, I asked the technician in charge, "is this ride fast?" "Oh yes it is." He gave us our final safety instructions, buckled us in, locked the door, and away we went. The rocket zipped and zagged through the air turning in all kinds of directions. I was just trying to keep the contents of today's breakfast in my stomach from escaping. But in the midst of the terror I was able to peer down and see the technician controlling the ride. He was not as nervous as I was, he did not appeared to be phased by my screams, or even remotely concerned with the safety of the ride. I found out letter that at some points during the ride he slowed it down just to check on me and my family. After the ride had finished we wobbled out and went on to enjoy the rest of the day. But it hit me how God is the master technician controlling the ride, He sees the fear that gripes us but He is unafraid because He is in control of the ride. He adjust the speed when necessary and even slows down the ride to check on us. We may feel as if we are at our wits ends and that this trial, situation, test, or whatever you want to call it is out of control but in actuality it never really is. Christ has not lost control of the ride, we just simply need to enjoy it as it is another day at the amusement park. Stay focused, you can do this!
the Word, Share the Gospel, and Be Accountable
You are unique, set apart, and have purpose in Jesus. We do not need titles to affirm who Jesus called us to be or what He has called us to do, In the end it is all for His Glory. But if we seek after the title, long for the acknowledgement, or demand the respect we will find ourselves lacking every time. Drop the title seeking and seek to do the Lord's Will. Stay focused you can do this. 1 Peter 2:9-10
God has taken every struggle you will have with sin when He created you. So to say "God this is too difficult to overcome, the addiction is to strong." Is to suggest that God overlooked or did not consider a portion of your plight. When God created you He crafted the perfect plan to bring into His Salvation and the perfect solution to overcome the sin in your life that so easily entangles you. Jeremiah 29:11
Wives others will treat your husband based on how you treat him. Others will think of and speak to him in the same manner you do. Treat with him with honor, think of him highly, and speak to him respectively and watch others follow suit. Ephesians 5:33
Alcohol will not solve your problems it just makes it worse, but the Holy Spirit brings us resolution and peace. Don't get drunk to receive a temporary fix, be filled with Christ and find eternal JOY! Ephesians 5:18
The Holy Spirit is not like the GPS System we ignore while driving to our next destination. He is the Driver and we are the passenger. He drives where He pleases at the rate of speed He chooses. But the question is will we give Him the keys and trust He will take us where we need to go and get us there on time? Or will we complain the as we go on this trip called life, continually asking "are we there yet", and telling the Holy Spirit, "You are going the wrong way?" #JesusTakeTheWheel John 14:26, Romans 8:26, Ezekiel 36:26-27
Being prideful is like igniting a stick of dynamite and using it as candle to light up a dark room. It will give off a faint light so we could see but it is only a matter of time before it blows up in our face. #BeHumble Proverbs 11:2, 16:8, 18:12
It's really hard to complain about anything when you realize Jesus has perfectly designed your life to work out for your good and His Glory. When you understand that all your mistakes, problems, JOY!, tears, and circumstances have been wonderfully woven together as part of God's plan to make you more Christ-like. I am not saying that things will be easy or always hard, but I am saying it all has a purpose designed by God. Romans 5:3-5, 1 Peter 1:6-9
In 33 years I have learned that life is not about longevity and comfort. Life is all about bringing glory to Christ and doing His Will. When I awake in the morning I am not thankful to see another day because Heaven is my home, instead I inquire of the Lord "How can I be used by You Lord, to bring You glory today." It is not that I am ungrateful for the life He has given me, the virtuous women who is my wife, or the wonderful children who bring me so much JOY! And it is not that I am ready to "check out", it is now I know that there is much more to life than being comfortable and living a long time. I find my contentment, JOY!, peace, love, desires, and purpose all in Christ. So while I live on this Earth I only want to serve Him and when I die I will be in Heaven worshipping Him. Because the truth of the matter is, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Romans 14:7-8, Philippians 1:21
Testimonies are meant to bear witness to the truth not glorify the person giving it. So when we share our testimony about Christ it is to reveal the truth of Jesus and not to brag on ourselves. John 8:39, Psalm 71:15-18
Miracles and blessings are not all about you. The Lord knows His Children have needs, He is not blind to it. Yet He tells us not to worry about the needs we have and seek Him. We can become s transfixed on ourselves that we use prayer and scripture only to satisfy our physical needs and desires and neglect to pray for the spiritual needs. Lest we forget the Great Commission is about expanding God's Kingdom not our wallet, business, agenda, etc. It is a call to do His Will on Earth as He has decreed in Heaven. This does not mean we should not bring our needs before the Father. But it does mean that the Great Commission is not about the "big payout" we should expect from God just because we are a Christian. Our "best day yet" is when we live with Christ in Heaven not when we get our financial break through, our health improves, or we get promoted at work. We make more money in a year then Jesus did in His Lifetime on Earth but we find ourselves easily complaining about momentary discomfort. How much stuff do we really need? Jesus' baby crib was an animal trough while ours was top of the line Babies R' Us model. He was not rolling on 24's, He rolling on donkey hooves. Yet He did not let His poverty or lack of resources stop Him from proclaiming God's Word. He did not preach about cashing in on God and living comfortable. He was more concerned with the end of man (eternity) as opposed the mist of air we call life (temporary). When we become focused on serving Jesus we will not use prayer or the scriptures as a means of being served by Him. No servant is served by the King. He is not a genie who grants temporary wishes. Nor does He find pleasure when we use the scriptures like they are lotto numbers that helps us hit the prosperity jackpot. He is God and desires to save all mankind. Let's be about the Father's Business and not our own agenda and help others know the Hope of Glory, Jesus Christ. Matthew 6:7-11,19-34, 28:18-20, 2 Peter 3:9, 1 Corinthians 1:22-23
Saying and believing "God cannot use someone like me, after all I have done" is a self manufactured lie and it denies the power of Christ. Through the blood Christ bleed for us our consciences are cleared, we are forgiven, and, we can now serve Jesus fully without the guilt of past holding us back. Press forward do not shrink back. Hebrews 9:14, Philippians 3:13-14
John 21:1-14 starts off with 7 of Christ Disciples going
fishing after a busy couple of days, their Lord Jesus was arrested, declared an
enemy of the state, sentenced to death, crucified, and resurrected in the past
week. So the disciples were probably tired and exhausted from the events
earlier in the week and just looking to sit down for a good meal. The got in
their boats, cast their nets into the water, and patiently waited. The night
passed and it was a dawn of a new day but the disciples had nothing to show for
it because their nets were empty. It seemed pointless now to stay in the boat
and try to catch something that was not there. Why bother or even attempt to
stay any longer it was obvious to Peter and his crew that there was nothing
here so they decided to back it up and move on. It wasn't a big deal, they had
wasted a night looking for something that was not there and they came up
We all have experienced moments like this in life. We have spent an adequate
amount of time searching, pursing, or waiting for something to happen. We wait
patiently for our "change to come", a breakthrough, employment, etc.
We devote time, money, and our resources to try to catch something that seems
to have alluded our grasp. We might have become frustrated, discouraged, or
it's just we have come to the point of realization that this is not going to
work out so we just need to walk away. But look what happens right when the
disciples are ready to give up. A man appears and asks them, "Children, do
you have any fish? (John 21:5)" Peter's answer is short and maybe even a
little mean because he has worked all night for nothing and he says, "No
(John 21:6)". Have you been there, after you have given all you can give
in the hope of accomplishing something but it blows up in your face and someone
comes up to you ask, "How is it going?" and you just want say,
"Dude for real? Do you not see the bags under my eyes or the scowl upon my
face...things are terrible!" Or when you are trying to save a marriage
that is in trouble and friend says "How is the wife" and you want to
reply "Have not you not seen how my wife changed her relationship status
from "marred" to its "complicated!" We all have been frustrated
beyond belief to the point we cannot tell if others are mocking us or if they
truly concerned about how things are going in our life. If you are there I want
you to keep reading because what happens next in John 21 is truly inspiring for
In verse 6, the mystery man tells them, ""Cast the net on the right
side of the boat, and you will find some fish." The seven disciples for
whatever reason decided to listen to him and cast their nets. They caught so
many fish in the net they were unable to haul it in (John 21:6) and instantly
they realized it was Jesus. Peter probably overcome with JOY! grabbed his
clothes and jumped in the water to meet Jesus on the shore (John 21:7). Because
they were willing to take one more chance instead of quitting they had an
abundance of fish. They did not consider how they felt, the earlier failed
attempts, or even if this last chance would work, no they just took a leap of
faith. How about you? Are you at the point when you feel like giving up and
calling it quits? Are you looking at how things are not working out and it just
seems as if you are wasting your time pursuing something that is not there?
What if God would say to you, "Don't give up, and take a
chance...again!" I am not promising you an abundance but I am telling you
if you hold on and trust God He will bless you beyond what you have expected
just like the disciples (Ephesians 5:20)
We often do not see the blessing that is just right around the corner because
we are too busy focusing on how things did not work out last time. We lose our
ambitions to see things through when we are constantly faced with
disappointment after disappointment. But remember this, faith is not dependent
on your situation or how you feel, it is dependent on God. Faith is being fully
convinced that what we are seeing is temporary and what God has promised is yet
to come (Hebrews 11:1). His promises are a matter of His timing and not our
situations (Habakkuk 2:2-3). Sometimes we have to bow our head and plow through
disappointment to get the expected end. Look at Abraham who was physically
incapable of fathering children but he knew God was able to do anything (Romans
4:18-20). Our resolve that God is faithful and true to do what He has promised
must stay steadfast (Romans 4:21). See things through to the end, God strengthens
those who are willing to walk with Him even when it feels like "quitting
time" and blesses them with His expected outcome (Isaiah 40:28-31)".
I know you may be tired and feel like walking away but get back in the boat and
cast that net. I implore you, take a chance...again! Stay focused you can do
When we follow Christ we find rest and peace even though we are surrounded by worry, when we follow ourselves we work in vain to bring an end of our fears and worries. Follow God's Way not your own. John 16:33, Matthew 11:28-30
This has been a year of transition for me and my family. On this day we began to look forward taking a position as Lead Pastor in a wonderful church in Iowa but we also reflect on how much God has shown us this past year. Last year around this time my wife and I heard God's calling to come to the Denver, Colorado Area and help a friend in ministry. It was our joy to answer God's Call and declare the goodness of truth of His Word with others. It is something we looked forward to, so there was no hesitation in answering the call to full-time ministry. We packed our bags with the full expectations of working alongside others in expanding God's Kingdom.
We arrived with hearts ready to serve but we soon found ourselves battling to the pain of proclaiming God's Truth and doing His Will while being called the devil and a liar at the same time by those who were working with in the ministry. It easy to stand when others are supporting you but it hard to fight when you feel as if you are an outcast and to avoid division in the church you remain silent. At the end we had a choice, we could please men and stay or we could resign and stand for God's Truth. If we left there would be no source of income, our reputation in ministry would be tarnished, and we would be outcasts. Or we could stay and have a steady flow of income, we would have to compromise the truth of God's Word, and who knows what else we would be subjecting ourselves too.
As a father and a husband I looked at my children and wife who depend on me to provide a source of income. I knew they needed to eat, have shelter, clothing, and health insurance. As a preacher, minister, and pastor I worried about my reputation, would I ever find a job in ministry after I being labeled "a devil". But as a Christians I knew I could not compromise God's Truth for the sake of having my family needs met. I could stand for Christ and provide an example of what it looks like to follow Jesus or I could take the money and provide for my family. We choose to resign and shed light on the truth but in the end we carried the false stigma of being sinners, liars, and people who were controlled demonic spirit. I walked away proud of how we stood for Christ but fearful of how I was going to provide.
But if God's Word is true why did I worry about provision? His Word tells us as Christians we are not to worry about food, clothing, shelter, or even our life because those who do not know Christ worry over these things (Matthew 6:25-31). Unbelievers fear the unknown and uncertainty because they do not know who holds tomorrow in His Hand. They do not have the hope of glory living on the inside of them. All they have is fear and the pursuit of things helps distract them from the fear that encompasses them. But I am not an unbeliever, I believe in God, Jesus, and His Spirit! I do not merely believe, I faithfully follow Him, and my faith Has corresponding action. It is not a pseudo faith that only believes and acts when I see the direct benefit to me, my faith is willing to go where God sends me, do what He Wills, and submits to Him as Lord. So what was the deal with the worry, I gave up my worry in exchange for His Faith and readjusted my focus to look towards Christ and sought after His Kingdom of Righteousness (Matthew 6:33-35).
Truly God saw the needs of my family and I tell you this in all honesty, we did not grow hunger, our bills were paid, God provided. My family faithful prayed, trusted in the truth's of God's Word, and continued to share the truth of His Word. We received checks in the mail, friends blessed us with food, others gave us money faithfully. We understood how Elijah felt when he ravens were used to feed him (1 Kings 17:4-6). But I had unresolved issues, please understand I was not bitter but I was hurt. Because I wondered "God, how could you let this happen?"
How could God let this happen to my family, why would He allow such a thing as this? Why didn't He come and defend us, where was Jesus, where was our hero? Those are real questions we all have wondered about whether publicly or privately. Some of us are still walking around pondering the "why". For some of us we ask "why" because we have seen the lives of those we loved snatched from them prematurely, others have experienced horrible acts of abuse against them, some are struggling to find work and grow weary of borrowing or depending on the kindness of others, some watch as their children battle addictions, and some are mending from hurt whether in the church or outside of it.
The point is we all have asked "why" at some point in life. We all are looking for victory and waiting for the breakthrough in a particular situation. And this "why" sometimes leads us to be angry at God, we find ourselves saying "I quit" and we give up. We take the approach that compromise will end the pain because the fight has made us feel like delusional warriors who are fighting a losing battle. And we question if we missed it or maybe God hates us. We can even began to contemplate walking away from Christ because of angry that the "why" question brings.
But look at John the Baptist who was sitting in jail about waiting for his beheading. The governor's wife because she had grown tired of John exposing her sin and was about to minister her own brand of sick justice (Matthew 14:1-10). Before John's death he sent word to Jesus and asked if Jesus if He truly was the Christ (Luke 7:18-20). Remember when Jesus came to be baptized by John what John said "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, 'After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.' I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel. (John 1:29-31)" John had already confessed who Jesus was and believed in the truth of God's Word but when john focused on the situation instead of God, doubt began to rise. John even saw the Holy Spirit descend upon Christ (John 1:32:34), yet John still doubted. But this is what we do and how we get angry at God. We look at the situation that has not changed and how much turmoil that it has caused us, we no longer care to see what God has done, is doing, or will do we are seeking immediately relief. When that relief does not appear we can easily lose our focus.
Jesus helped John to refocus because His answer to John's question of "are you the one?" His answer was simple and to the point. He told John's Messengers "Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them (Luke 7:22)" Jesus reply was simply, despite John's current condition God's Will is still being done. We do not look at what is happening to us we look at what God is doing through and around us. Our situation may look grim but it does not stop God's Will from being done. So ask yourself can see how God is using the situation for His Glory? It's a hard question and a tough way to look at our lives. But if those before us had not endured torture, pain, tribulations, etc we would not have the Scriptures to encourage us. if those in the Hall of Faith had not endured or even lost their lives for the sake of Christ we would have no source to gleam from, no hope of encouragement, or example to follow (Hebrews 11). That cloud of witness that was left for us to follow leaves us without excuse to lay aside the weights of sin that so easily prevent us from pursuing after God, so we can endure whatever may come our way, all for the glory of God (Hebrews 12:1-2).
When we consider these things we understand that our angry at God is misdirected. We are not angry at God for what has happened we are angry at the discomfort that comes with trusting God. I am NOT saying that God Wills for horrific tragedy in our lives but I am saying that God can use any plan of evil the devil has for our lives and turn it around for His Glory and for the good of His Children (Romans 8:28) I am saying that even though horrible things may happen to us if we keep our focus on God He will take the tragedy of the few and turn it around to save the many (Genesis 50:20). Though we feel as if God has slayed us, yet we must trust Him (John 13:15). God can use any situation. If we are willing to allow God to use our very death for His Glory, if we are willing to give full autonomy to God to do as He sees fit in our lives and not be angry at His Choice we will understand Jesus finally words to John the Baptist "Blessed is anyone not offended by me! (Luke 7:23)"
We must stop looking and hoping for merely a comfortable ending on the Earth that is temporary, this is not our treasure. Our hope is that God can use our lives, situations, and circumstances to work out an eternal glory, this is our treasure, this is our hope, this is our JOY it is all wrapped up in Jesus because He is our incorruptible treasure (Matthew 6:19-21)! Our earthly discomfort is temporary and light when compared to the eternal glory that awaits us (2 Corinthians 4:14-16) So we do not lose heart but we take this truth that Jesus is the end goal and not our breakthrough. We press towards Him and not the end of the situation (Philippians 3:14). I am not preaching something I have read but something that I live. Stay focused you can do this.
The devil is real and he is constantly trying to steal, kill, and destroy everything in the life of Christians (John 10:10). When do not give in to his attacks out right he uses deception to creep in and attack us. He tells us lies that are close enough to the truth that we believe it and start to stray away from the truth. He destroys our fellowship with other believers by reminding of us their past, present, and possible future offenses which causes arguments and stirs up strife. He is the root cause of every source of evil there is. He condemns when we fall and tells us that we are horrible people, we lose all hope, and think God can't love or use someone like me. He tries to scar us away when we are close to doing, accomplishing or getting what Has for us through thoughts of doubt, reminders of past failures, and throwing obstacles in our way. BUT if we spend time in the Word and remain faithful in prayer we will be sensitive to God's Spirit and have enough discernment to see through his schemes and recognize when it is spiritual warfare. We will be able to spot heresy when we hear it as opposed to believing it. We will walk with grace toward one another, forgiving one another, and reconciling with one another after an offense has accrued. Instead of falling into condemnations when we sin we will be convicted of our sin and turn away from as opposed to wallowing in it. Instead of being scared of the obstacles that stands in our way, we will see the roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8) but we will not fear because we know that the Lion of Judah (Revelation 5:5) protects us and we can boldly go forward and do what God has called us to do.
Recognize the enemy for who he is and who he is not, but also recognize God for who He truly is. Because of Christ we are not defeated, destroyed, or in despair (2 Corinthians 4:8-9) . Because of Christ we have true life (John 10:10), we have peace (John 14:27), and we have JOY (Jon 17:13)! but you will not know these things if you do not spend time reading and applying God's Word to your life (Psalm 119:15) as well as spending more time listening to God through prayer as opposed to dominating the conversation, be still and let him search your heart so you can grow (Psalms 139:23) Spending time with the Lord brings about a great results but neglecting to do so bring about unwanted consequences.