The Journey Thoughts

October 26, 2016

Are you struggling today, wrestling over a right or a wrong, or feeling
lonely and isolated, wondering whether God even cares anymore?  If so, you
are not alone!  We all have struggles, and periods of doubt, anger.  We have
days that are just bad, and wished we didn't have to get out of bed. We keep
wondering what we might be doing wrong, since we have been struggling so
much.  But child of God, I want you to know that you are being watched and
corrected as you live life as a believer. You have been given those things
that you face, sometimes daily, as tools to maturity.  But the answer is in
how you respond to these situations you find yourself cornered by.  Do you
respond with fears, or anxiety?  Do you plead with God to take them away?
Scripture would tell us: "For consider Him who endured such hostility from
sinners against Himself, so that you won't grow weary and lose heart. In
struggling against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding
your blood.  And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as
sons: My son, do not take the Lord's discipline lightly or faint when you
are reproved by Him, for the Lord disciplines the one He loves and punishes
every son He receives. Endure suffering as discipline: God is dealing with
you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline?"
Hebrews 12: 3-7   It's not that every discipline is punishment, but rather
instruction.  Where would the athlete be if he didn't condition his muscles
for endurance?  Where would the scholar, the inventor be, if he did not
exercise his mind through many failures.  God knows what it takes to live in
a world that seems to be increasing in wickedness and self-centeredness.  He
endured the shame and the pain of hurt and rejection, through Christ, yet He
also was able to rescue many from the burning fires of hell by the very
discipline that you and I receive, sometimes daily.   And it's true, very
few of us have to suffer like Christ suffered, yet He draws us to a life
like His, rejection by the world, isolation from the social network of
society.  But don't we have our own society?  Don't we have the fellowship
of believers that has become our new world? Don't we have the movement of
the Spirit within us, to give us strength, when we are going through this
journey called life?  So then, everything, from illness, to injury; from
poverty to prosperity, to high position or low position; from having food to
starving, we are experiencing a period of faithful strengthening.  And for
those who are not suffering, will we walk with the brothers and sisters who
are? Will we give strength as the Spirit leads us.  God is showing us how to
survive a world of calamity, but giving us community.  He is showing us that
with Him, He will design a place for us to find joy midst the suffering.  He
will lead us through dangers and fears, because He is our Father, and He
loves us so much.  I love it when the father takes his son outside to teach
him things about life.  He teaches because he loves and he wants his son to
face the forces of the world that will come against him. Our Heavenly Father
wants to take us outside daily to teach us about the world around us.  He
wants us to know that we are different from the world, and the world has
nothing to offer that He, our Lord, cannot offer better. So look up, for the
sun rises this morning, and it will be a great day, because you will choose
it to be.  Rise up, you fearful, because the Lord is with you, every step
you take today. "Consider it pure joy, when you face various trials, knowing
that the testing of your faith produces endurance." James 1:2-3

Pastor Andy

Heavenly Father, we praise You our Lord, for Your greatness, and Your loving
kindness toward us, even through discipline, You love us. Father, I know
that there are many here, who need the reassurance that You are there with
them during times of uncertainty.  Please reveal Yourself to them today, so
that they can be renewed in faith that You are walking beside them. I pray
for these: The Markle family, Travis, Virginia, Eric, Eva, Max, Rita, Don,
Dwight, Pastor Berkey, Nancy, June, JT, Candace, Carolyn, Mike S., Ramona,
Loren, Becky, Judy, Ben, The Young family, Robby, Kathy, Terri, Becky,
Montella, Charlie, Kim, Nada, Angie, Isabel, Terry and his dad, Tim and his
mom, Shelly and her mom, Pam and her son, Kelly and her son, Richard and his
dad, Julissa and her friend, Ellen's friend, Kristena, Abby, Vanessa,
Malachi, Corbin, Ryan, Olivia, Jeremiah, Joanna, Tom, Evelyn, Joy, Ruth,
Ada, JV, VJ, Ida, Betty H., Briggs  church, Jackie Ann, Tonia, Todd, Liam,
Aiden, Alan, Fisher, Tuly, Betsy, Michelle, Trevor, Maria, Choya, Alex, Ken,
Eric, Sandy, Andrea, Shannon, Robert, Pat, Ryan, Tyson, Wendy, Joyce, Betty,
Gus, Lisa, Alice, David, Phyllis, Devon, Cindy, Marliana, Cynthia, Berry,
Johnny, Annette, Kim, Gary, Gavin, Shawn, Laurie, Heather, Codi, Ron, Deane,
Dan, Rheba, Pam, Mike, Austin, Harriet, Fred, Dotty, James, Scott, April,
Craig, Hunter, Betty, Asher, Lynette, Kathy, Jennifer, Patrick, Abe,
Candace, Trent, Garret, Mayeaux, Meredith, Ben, Jason, Ashley, Marc, Macy,
Jade, Bob, Tracy, Abraham, Elijah, Japheth, Matt, Liz, Matt, Bethany,
Meredith, Ben, Jason, Ashley, Marc, Macy, Jade, Bob, Tracy, Abraham, Elijah,
Japheth, Matt, Liz, Matt, Bethany, Mike, Megan, Jeff, Laura, Carmello,
Kaitlyn, Tim, Michelle, my family. I continue to lift to You, Lord, Mike,
Terri, Maria, Sue, and Sharon,  I pray for strength today in Jesus name.

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