How Can it be Okay?

Sometimes I catch myself and realise that I cannot waste my life.

Can you remember life without knowing Jesus? Without knowing forgiveness of sin and eternal hope in Him?
For over 2 billion people in our world, it’s reality… without any access at all to someone who could tell them about Jesus, and what He wants to do for them.

Over in Asia, there’s a festival where millions of people go to bathe in a river, because they believe it will wash away their sins. Honestly. They really do.
There was once a missionary who went there. Suddenly, he spotted a lady, weeping uncontrollably. Breaking the cultural rules, he went up to her, to ask her what was wrong. Through her tears, she told him that she was so desperate… Her problems were so great… And she knew it was because of her sin.
So she had given the last thing she had: she had thrown her own baby boy into the river to drown… in an attempt to wash away her guilt.

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Horrified, the missionary could only tell her the truth. God already gave His Son so she could be forgiven. Overwhelmed by what she heard, the lady listened. Forgiveness of sins was available! God had given His own Son for her! All she had to do was turn away from her sins and receive Jesus as her Lord and Saviour!
Then, through her tears, she asked, ‘Where were you half an hour ago?’

And I live my comfortable life knowing that my sins are forgiven, because Jesus died in my place… Knowing that Heaven awaits me… Knowing that I have strength for today promised and eternal life secured.

And over 2 billion people have never heard His Name even once.

How can it be okay that, while I have enough to eat and so much to spare, people in places like Yemen and Syria are literally starving to death, without ever once hearing the way to Heaven?
How can it be okay that literally millions of children live on the streets, facing stuff we’d never even think of in our nightmares?

How can be it okay that 80,000 people die every single day, never having heard the Name of Jesus even once?

How can that be okay?
How can I be the same, knowing that?
Okay, so I can’t change it all.
But I can’t do nothing.

I can ask Jesus what He wants me to do in response.

“For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required; and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” Luke 12:48b

Lord, break our hearts and help us do what we can to make a difference.

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He is with you now…

He is right there with you now. Loving you.
Sometimes maybe you glimpse it. Most of the time, maybe you don’t. But that doesn’t make it any less true.
He wants to give you His peace.
He wants to give you His joy.
He wants to be your hope.
He offer forgiveness for your sins, peace for your worry; comfort for your tears; hope for your future… love for your thirsty heart.
He offers Himself to be all that you need.
Now and always.
He’s never too busy.
You’re not too far away.
Right here in this moment, it’s not too late to come.
He’s here with you now, whether you know it or not. He is always waiting for you to surrender; to come to Him.

The Father loves you.

And He wants you to know His love.

“O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea. Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.”  Ps 139:1-12 (KJV)

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matt 11:28

He’s waiting for you

There’s nothing like waiting in the Father’s presence, and just being loved.
Taking time to be with Him changes everything.
It’s comfort for the deepest grief.
It’s peace for the wildest storm.
It’s joy in the bleakest agony.
Because He is so much deeper; so much sweeter; so much closer than we’ve ever imagined.
For every need, no matter how big; no matter how small… for every trial this world can throw at us, there is always the Father’s love available to us, to carry us through.
He knows how to comfort; how to heal, how to love like no-one else.
And there’s absolutely nothing like just being loved; just being held by Him.

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”. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4a (KJV)

He’s always waiting to meet with me (and He’s always waiting to meet with you, too). 🙂

“LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me. Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child. Let Israel hope in the LORD from henceforth and for ever.”  Psalm 131

Can you relate to these thoughts?

Sometimes I catch myself thinking things like this:

‘That’s never going to change.’

‘That’s just too big a problem.’

‘If God was going to answer, He would have done so by now.’

‘It’s too late for that to ever change.’

‘I could never pray enough about that, so I might as well not pray at all.’

‘That’s just too hard to fix.’

Says who?!?

What if God has something incredible in mind?

What if the prayers are building up and building up and building up and about to spill over in answers… But I give up too soon?

What if Satan is really just trying to dampen my faith, because faith adds such power to prayer?

What if God is just waiting for someone to pray, because He wants to answer?

I think back to other times: things I thought would never be answered; things I thought would never change. Only they have! If I could have seen ahead, I would have been amazed.

Why not again?

I need to go back and find promises to hold onto: promises from my Father, which I can claim as my own.

Like:

“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14 (KJV)

Or:

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” Matt 7:7-11

Or:

“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16b

Or even this:

“Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.” Matt 21:21

Or many, many more!

And I need to dream big: to ask for big things, because, after all, His thoughts are not my thoughts and His ways are not my ways. He is far bigger than me (and yes, that means it may not be in my way or my time, but He always knows best!). 🙂

Sometimes I play a little game: I stop and think of ten things to ask God for- and I ask Him! It forces me to think out of the box: to realise that I have a blank cheque, and I can just ask! It’s fun, and encouraging, and, after all, prayer works!

I dare you to do the same. You could take a moment to submit your heart to God and ask Him to guide you and give you faith… and then make a list of ten things you want to see God do… and ask Him! You could keep the list, pray over it and wait for His answers.

I bet He will amaze! 😉

No Matter What…

No matter what, Jesus is the Answer.

He heals the broken-hearted. He sets the prisoner free. He brings joy where there shouldn’t be joy. He forms beauty out of ashes. He raises praise out of despair.

He brings transformation: surprising, stunning transformation where you thought there was no hope.

When you thought you should give up, He comes and offers hope THERE.

That’s how good… how powerful… how close He is.

And He wants to do amazing things for you…

… if you’ll ask Him.

Ok, so it’s on His terms. You can’t expect Him to bless you if you’re fighting Him. He asks you to surrender. Because He really does love you, and He really does know best.

It may be unexpected. It may take time. After all, God is far bigger than superficial solutions.

But He sure is into transformation! He just loves to answer prayer.

What He does in answer to our asking is far, far more than we could ever ask or even imagine.

And He wants to work for you.

So why not come to Him? 😉

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” Isaiah 61:1-3

It was Just a Dream- or was it?

Last night, I had a dream. In the dream, I was in Syria. A country at war.

It was a terrible, frightening world.

Nowhere was safe. I kept having to move on. It was a world of dreadful chaos and fear.

It was the stuff of nightmares.

In the dream, I had some children with me. They weren’t mine, but they needed looking after and I loved them.

I looked after them for a while and then, in the chaos, I lost them.

It was a deeply troubling dream.

But I woke up. There I was in my bed, with the soft sheets around me and the stillness of safety and peace, and the comfort of my God. I could snuggle down and go back to sleep.

After all, it was just a dream.

For me, that is.

But it’s not a dream for millions of people out there, although it sure might feel like a nightmare.

And many of them don’t know my Jesus, and how He gives forgiveness and eternal life to all who come to Him in repentance and faith.

Many of them are being attacked.

Many of them have lost children.

Many of them are starving to death.

And how can that be ok? And how can I do nothing?

It may only be prayer but, hey, prayer changes things. For real.

Lord, help us never forget the world in need.

And, Lord, help us do what we can to help.

 

Why do I always doubt?

Oh, His faithfulness! His faithfulness! How slow I am to trust Him- how quick to panic. And how wonderful He is to answer anyway.

My car broke the other day. It’s a faithful little car, but it’s old and, well, I guess its days are numbered. The problem (a big one) was found the day before I was planning a significant motorway journey. Now tell me that wasn’t God’s protection!

And I worried about what would happen next- about whether my car could be fixed- about what I would do without a car- about where provision would come from.

And already I see Him answering. Already I see Him opening the way before me, not just with protection in preventing a breakdown on the hard shoulder, but with abundant provision for both today and tomorrow.

And I hear Him encouraging me with a lesson I so often forget: Trust Me!  Trust Me! Trust Me!

Because He is always, always, always faithful, and He always, always, always provides.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5, KJV)

And the lesson (again and again and again) is so simple: Don’t worry! Trust!

“Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7, KJV)

 

WHO SAYS these mountains won’t move?

WHO SAYS these mountains won’t move?

Sometimes the work can feel overwhelming. The problems can seem insurmountable. The weight can weigh you down.

When you’re serving Jesus, sometimes it feels like you’re walking through treacle.

Sticky, impossible treacle.

And Satan’s not exactly silent, is he?

“My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me.” Lamentations 3:20 (KJV)

“I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah.” Psalm 77:3 (KJV)

But what does it mean to be MORE than a conqueror?

Through EVERYTHING?

“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” Romans 8:37

What does it mean that GOD is FOR us?

“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31

What does it mean to have a HEAVENLY army on our side?

And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?

And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.

And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” 2 Kings 6:15-17

What does it mean that we can tell this mountain to move…

And it WILL?!

“And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” Matthew 17:20

Answers to prayer are always on their way.

Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you.” 2 Chronicles 17:20

‘If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.’ John 15:7

‘The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.’ James 1:16a-18

All that happened because of the prayers of

Just. One. Man.

(JUST like us, it says!)’

(Are you encouraged yet?) 😉

As we walk forward in faith…

the mountains will disappear!

‘Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff.

Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them: and thou shalt rejoice in the Lord, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel.’

Isaiah 41:15-16

‘And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.’ Mark 11:22-23

‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.’ Zechariah 4:6b

So let’s pray, abide, believe…

And watch these mountains MOVE!!

Remembering Him

So often, I just need to be reminded of the Lord: that He loves me; that He’s with me; that, because I am in Him, it really is going to be okay.

Isn’t it so easy to forget Him in the busyness of life?

And yet, through it all, He loves me. He wants to be with me (actually, He already is. He just wants me to realise it!). He is covering me with His grace.

He is so very, very patient, and so very, very good.

He is Lord. He loves me. And that makes everything suddenly okay.

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

Isaiah 26:3 (KJV)

He wants me to know His peace.

And He wants to do the same for you. 😉