The Journey Thoughts

November 7, 2016

Have you ever wondered why Christians might all be required to suffer for
the sake of Christ?  Kind of like our fate, regardless of how much we try to
avoid it, that we, if we walk in the footprints of our Lord, will have to
suffer. Listen to what Scripture says: "Then He told them: 'Nation will be
raised up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be violent
earthquakes, and famines and plagues in various places, and there will be
terrifying sights and great signs from heaven. But before all these things
they will lay their hands on you and persecute you. They will hand you over
to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and
governors because of My name. It will lead to an opportunity for you to
witness." Luke 21:10-13 There was a special yesterday about the new Zika
virus, which really isn't new at all, but has been around for many years.
Now it is spreading rapidly, and it is thought to be more devastating than
many others.  The actual facts of virus' the world over has multiplied so
many times, we must be aware that we have an enemy out there that is also
designed to destroy us, and it's too small to be seen with the naked eye.
But regardless of whether our enemy now is plagues or terrifying sights, or
violence of nation against nation, that's only part of the persecution
against all, including Christians. But now the added pressure of the growing
hatred of Christianity is added to the mix. But we have only to look at the
last line above and understand what it is all about. It will give us an
opportunity to witness.   I was told once that there were no such things as
problems in this world, only opportunities for growth.  I can see a lot of
truth in that, for if we endure hardship for the purpose of witnessing to
others during this condition, then we realize all the pressure that the
world has to offer, is not necessarily for testing, but for opportunities
for us to be placed into situations for witnessing.  When I think of it, I
can understand and believe that we do indeed have an opportunity with
everything that happens to us. Whether we become sick, or persecuted, or we
have to endure earthquakes, or famines and plagues.  Whether we have to face
daily pressure just because we are what we are, there is always an
opportunity that comes with that, and that opportunity is to witness.  Jesus
would go on to say that, we are to, 'make up your minds NOT to prepare your
defense ahead of time, for I will give you such words and a wisdom that none
of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. You will even be
betrayed by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends.'  vv14-15 So we have
an opportunity, even today to not worry about what will happen today, but to
make our minds up NOT to prepare for any defense of the way we believe, and
the way we live, for God has a plan, and that plan is for us to be His
witnesses.  At the end of this paragraph, Jesus responds, 'But not a hair on
your head will be lost. By your endurance gain your lives.'   My friends, we
must keep our eyes on the destination, on eternity, otherwise we will grow
weary for all the things that are happening today that make us angry, and
fretful.  But God's plan is being accomplished, and you and I are a part of
that plan.  We will endure, because He will endure.  He has already
conquered the hardest part for us, and that was victory over death, so take
heart, and live a praiseful day, for this is the day the Lord has made, and
He is leading you right where you and I need to be.

Pastor Andy

Heavenly Father,  we need Your comfort today, for there seems to be a
growing number of our sisters and brothers, who are plagued with worry about
tomorrow. But Lord, regardless of what happens tomorrow, we know Holy
Father, that You, hold tomorrow. Nothing will happen unless You will it to
happen, and that for our benefit to witness for You. If You are setting the
stage for the final curtain call, help us to be ready.  Help us to be strong
and bold. Help us to think about our brothers and sisters that are
suffering, and give us Your heart, that we may be filled with Your
compassion and understanding.  I pray for a boy who lost his foot in a mower
accident, for Jimmy who has health issues, for John's grandmother.  I pray
Father for: Mike and thank You for sustaining him and his sisters. I pray
today for: Don, Dwight, Ellie, Anna, Jim, Vanessa, Becky, the Markle family,
Travis, Virginia, Eric, Eva, Max, Rita, Pastor Berkey, Nancy, June, JT,
Candace, Meredith, Carolyn, Mike S., Ramona, Loren, 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 a friend, Ellen's
friend, Kristena, Abby, Malachi, Corbin, Ryan, Olivia, Jeremiah, Joanna,
Tom, Evelyn, Joy, Ruth, Ada, JV, Bj, Ida, Betty, 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,
Healthier, Codi, Ron, Deane, Dan, Rheba, Pam, Mike, Austin, Harriet, Fred,
Dotty, James, Scott, April, Craig, Hunter, Betty, Asher, Lynette, Kathy,
Jennifer, Patrick, Abe, Trent, Garret, Mayeaux, 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. Lord,
we need You so much to strengthen us for the road ahead, and I pray in Jesus
name for Your healing of our land and for these who need You most today.

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