Who doesn’t need encouragement from time to time? Who hasn’t faced hard times and difficult situations? There are times when we have a hard time just bouncing back from the storms of this life. Imagine being caught in storm after storm, waves continuously hitting you from both the front and the back. You have already swallowed your fill of sea water and soon as you can catch half a breath a Tsunami comes and threatens to just overtake you.
Suffering is a fundamental and non-optional part of Christianity and we do not get to pick and choose the types of suffering that will show up on our door step. Yet, there is help for our struggle and relief in times of trouble … God is it.
God doesn’t send the troubles our way, yet he uses them to draw us closer to him. The book Fully Persuaded: 30 Days of Encouragement in Times of Trouble, simply put encourages readers to get up, put back on the whole armor of God and keep fighting the good fight of faith. It encourages readers to reach deeper and know that Greater is He that is in us, that he that is in the world. It’s all about getting your fight back after you’ve been knocked down!
Psalms 34:19 many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth them out of all of their troubles.
This book can certainly be attributed to two things. The first is that I’ve had to endure some genuinely, devilishly tough times and seasons. The second is a post that I made on face book on my 43rd birthday, “Good Morning fb fam… ” I thank God for my mountains; I thank him for my valleys, all the storms he has brought me through. If I never had a problem, I would not know God could solve them. I would not know what faith in God could do. I’ve learned to trust in Jesus; I’ve learned to trust in God!” (Andre Crouch). Thanking God for 43 years because through it all… He has kept me. He has kept me through the murder of my biological dad, the tragic death of my daughter in a fire; He has kept me through substance abuse (He did not let anybody kill me. He didn’t let me get HIV or any other STD’s). He had kept me in my drinking days when I was so high I did not know how I drove my car home. He has kept me through heartache and disappointment. He had kept me when I wanted to throw in the towel, when I wanted to give up, when I said I could not take it anymore. He has kept me: while I have seen, friends come and I have seen them go. I have lost relationships and built new ones. I have shed many tears, but I’ve had way more smiles…. Psalm 30: 5(b) for weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning”.
I have come to realize that there is a fundamental truth about Christianity and suffering. First, we are going to suffer, and more importantly: we DO NOT GET TO CHOOSE the types of suffering that we will endure. Yet, we can be assured of this very thing. No matter the suffering. God is with us in it. He never leaves us, he never forsakes us, he never walks away from us, and he never turns his back on us. You may be headed for a storm, going through a storm, or coming out of a storm, and the enemy may have told you that you will never make it out alive. Perhaps he has said you will be broke, homeless, and penniless, or may have even told you that you are worthless, hopeless, and helpless. The devil is a liar, and he is defeated. If you have any doubt about this, just look back over your own life, and life experiences. Everything that you have been through, every test, every trial, every tribulation, every failure, every disappointment, every time you were discontented, disillusioned, every bout with sadness, every episode of grief, sorrow or heartache, every time things didn’t go right, every time the loved one died while awaiting a healing, every letdown, and every malfunction. Remember how God delivered you. Often times we fail to realize that our real power lies in our suffering. Now think of every victory, every triumph, every success, every friendship, every new addition to the family, and every crowning moment in this life. Now consider this one moment in God’s kingdom is going to pay for it all; every heartache, every distress, every anguish every single event in our lives. One moment with God, one moment in his presence is going to pay for it all. Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
While reading this book, it is my prayer that you have a look back praise. Looking back doesn’t mean going back. Its saying: I am not where I want to be, but I am certainly not, where I used to be. Just when the devil thought we had suffered our last setback. God turned it around for a comeback!!At the end of my posts, you will see ~ Let your light shine because the suffering pulls off all of our dullness and makes us shine brighter, stronger, and hotter for the kingdom of God!!I love you, and I’m praying for you
~Let your light shine!
Romans 4:21 And being fully persuaded that, what he has promised, he is able to perform.
Have you ever been thoroughly convinced about something? Consider for a moment the basic act of sitting in a chair. When we grab a chair, pull it out and prepare to sit in it: the thought never crosses our mind that the chair cannot hold us, it never occurs to us that the chair cannot bear our weight. We never consider these things because of our history with the chair it has never failed us before.
How about our relationship with God? Have we been fully convinced that God is able to do exactly whatever he says he will do? Do we fully believe, rely upon, and trust his every word? Has God ever promised us anything that he has done? The devil comes to kill, steal and destroy, he wants to kill out our dreams and hopes for the future, he wants to steal every promise that God has made to us, he wants to destroy any and all faith that we have in God. Yet we have a history with God. Based upon that proven history, we can be fully persuaded. Fully persuaded that God loves us, fully persuaded that God is able to bring to fruition anything in which he speaks. Fully persuaded that he is a healer, fully persuaded that he is a deliverer, fully persuaded that he is a mind regulator, fully persuaded that he is our provider, fully persuaded that he is the bishop and captain of our souls, fully persuaded that there is nothing going on in our lives that he does not know about and care about.
Meditation: Write down at least three of the instances that God has proven himself in your life. Keep them near you as a reminder of the faithfulness of God. ~ Let your light shine!
Nothing can separate us………
Romans 8:35 who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Romans 38-39 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We cannot afford to let grief, anger, despair, frustration, loneliness, rejection, or anything else to separate us from the love of God. The enemy knows that if we are separated from God- that he can sift us as wheat. The enemy wants us to feel broken, crushed and destroyed; he knows if we allow these feelings to permeate our hearts, it will separate us from God. We can be separated from God by so many things; including the desire to please people, the lull and draw of the advancement of our careers, anger, hurt, and disenchantment. I remember one time I wanted to be with my husband so bad; I literally left God to be with him. So let’s be clear, it was never his (my husband’s fault) it was all mine. I made the choice follow him to the club. I made the choice give up 10 years clean time because I thought that was what it took to keep him. It took a near fatal car accident for me to realize that if I let any man or anything come between me and God, I would be the ultimate loser. See I can get another relationship, but I cannot get another soul.
Meditation: Write out some of the things that have come in / tried to come in between you and God? How can you stop them from coming between you in the future? ~ Let your light shine!
I hope that you have enjoyed this sample of Fully Persuaded: 30 Days of Encouragement in Times of Trouble. Copies can be purchased from amazon and this website.
Copyright (c) 2012 by Cassandra Baker Durham
Excerpts from the book Fully Persuaded: 30 Days of Encouragement in Times of Trouble
Available on Amazon and B&N