Don't you just love the way the Holy Spirit works in the life of the believer? Before Jesus left this earth, He told His disciples, "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away : for if I go not away , the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart , I will send him unto you" ( John 16: 7). I am reminded of the presence of the Holy Spirit whenever I feel anxious or depressed, as I felt a few weeks ago. I was undertaking too much at one time, and my mind and body were rebelling. Who could I turn to? What could I do? Talking to my friends didn't help. They have their own problems. I needed the comforting presence of the Holy Spirit and He came to my rescue.
I learned when I first got saved that one of the best ways to lift my burdens is to sing praises to God - whether I felt like it or not. And as I began to praise, one particular song kept cropping up in my mind and I found myself singing, "In times like these, you need an anchor ..." Imagine my joy that Sunday morning when the choir sang that very song. I felt like shouting. Tears ran down my face as I experienced the comforting warmth of the Holy Spirit. He was telling me to hold on to my anchor, that He was there for me, He'd heard my cries and He would deliver me.
Jesus knew that His disciples were grieved at his departure and that they would face many dangers in the years to come. This is why He said, "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive , because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. " (John 14 : 16 - 18).
Jesus wasn't making this promise only to His disciples who walked with Him at that time, but to every one of us who has accepted Him into our hearts and has made Him our Lord and Savior. When Judas, not Iscariot, asked Him, "Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?" (v 23) Jesus replied, "If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him" ( v 24). Therefore, once we have accepted Christ as our Savior, He lives in us and if He lives in us, His Spirit lives in us also.
Friends, are you troubled, overwhelmed, distraught, afraid? Hold on to your Anchor, the Comforter, the Holy Spirit whom God has given us to comfort us. I have found many times when I'm feeling any of those emotions, the Holy Spirit would lay a song or a passage of Scripture on my heart and as I sing or recite that verse, I find comfort, peace and sometimes even the solution to a problem I'd been wrestling with. The words of the song ended with "Be very sure, be very sure, your anchor holds and grips the solid rock. "
As I listened to the words of that beloved song, I knew that as long as I held on to my Anchor I would be okay. Do you have an Anchor? One that will never give way and leave you stranded? If you do, hold on to it. If not, it's available to you right now. Please pray this prayer with me: Dear Jesus, I need your support, your comfort, your peace. I repent of my sins and make you my Lord and Savior. Come into my life and live in me forever. Amen.
If you prayed that prayer you are no longer alone, helpless or hopeless. You now have a solid rock to cling to. Please drop me a line in the comment box and tell me all about it.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Sunday, November 06, 2011
An Iranian Christian is in prison facing a death sentence for leaving Islam. Iran's Supreme Court has upheld the death penalty for Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani who has been in prison since last year, although Iran has not executed a citizen for changing faiths since 1990. The pastor's death sentence sends a strict warning that other Iranians who have converted to Christianity could face a similar fate. Let us pray for Pastor Yousef and other Christians worldwide who are facing persecution.
- Iran set to execute Christian pastor as early as tomorrow (hotair.com)
- Iran: Christian Pastor Refuses to Convert to Islam, Faces Execution under Sharia (creepingsharia.wordpress.com)
Photo credit: alvimann from morguefile.com Have you had one of those times when everything that could go wrong does go wrong? You know, the cat gets stuck in the tree, your dog runs away from you and your best friend moves to Timbuktu? I had one of those last weekend (which is why I had no blog post). But I don't have a cat nor a dog and if my best friend ever moves to Timbuktu, well there'll be no more blog posts from me. So what did happen?
Moving to a new location can be accompanied by stress, but if you're moving from one state to another, it can be even more stressful. And this is what happened to me last weekend. I became so stressed I thought I would have a heart attack. Now that I look back on it I ask myself, why did I become so stressed? I know the answer. Nothing went according to plan. People who were supposed to help me either came too late or just didn't show up.
Be anxious for nothing
After I had calmed down, I looked to my Bible for answers. I asked God to forgive me because I know what His word says about plans, about anxiety and about people. Proverbs 12 : 25 says, "An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up." Philippians 4 : 6 says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Did I know these verses of scripture before? Of course I did, but I allowed anxiety to consume my being until all I could see was the mammoth task ahead of me.
God may stop your plans
I had everything figured out - or so I thought. I would go to the house, finish my packing and at the prearranged time, the people would come and get everything on the truck and I would be out of there. In the Bible we see many people whose plans failed. David was one of them. Even though he was "a man after God' s heart", his plans to build a temple for God came to naught because God didn't want him to. (1 Chronicles 28: 3).
People may stop your plans
When Zerubbabel and his friends assembled in Jerusalem to build the temple of the Lord, they came up against serious opposition from their enemies. These people went so far as to write a letter to the king, telling him that if the wall was rebuilt the city would lose revenue. No king likes to hear this and so King Xerxes issued an order and the project came to a screeching halt. Their plans failed even though they were doing something for God.
Proverbs 19 : 21 says, "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails." I couldn't understand why my plans failed and, I daresay, neither could Zerubbabel and his friends.
What can we do when our plans fail? Should we gnaw our nails and pull our hair in frustration? David and Zerubbabel were godly men and yet their plans fell apart. We should not think that God is against us. The Bible says, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29 : 11).
So, here are a few things we can do:
1. Search His Word to see what is His will concerning your plans. (Psalm 119 : 105)
2. As God to take charge. (Proverbs 16 : 3)
3. Seek advice from others, (Proverbs 15 : 22; 20 : 18)
4. Take time to plan ( Proverbs 21 : 5)
5. Do not trust solely in man, but in God. (Psalm 118: 8)
God wants you blessed, He wants your plans to succeed, but according to His will and in His time. Years later, under King Darius, the Jews were given free reign to build the temple. David allowed his son, Solomon, to build the temple as God had instructed him and this weekend I succeeded in getting my furniture and other belongings moved out of the house.