We all need hope ... freedom journey
Healing the broken-hearted
May the God of HOPE, fill you with all peace and joy as you trust in Him, until you overflow with hope' Romans 15:13
Life is not easy. So how can I allow God to help me through the challenges of life?
God will give you a new heart when you receive Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord, but your soul (your will, intellect and emotions) is your responsibility. Make the choice to take charge of your life through the grace of God.
When looking at the character of Jesus, (the fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22,23), we see self-control as one these fruits. Jesus demonstrated to us how to walk in the fruit of self-control. Hebrews 12:11 says that self-control is grievous and painful but in the end it bears fruit. It had to take a lot of self-control for Jesus in His human body to go to the Cross, especially for people who hated Him.
Jesus showed us by example how to stay in control if we are tempted. We read in Luke 4 about the temptation of Jesus.
"For forty days in the wilderness (desert), where He was tempted (tried, tested exceedingly) by the devil" With any temptation comes emotion. Yet, Jesus stayed in control through the power of the Spirit. (He was full of the Spirit). When we humble ourselves before the Lord, (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5;6), we will be infused with Holy Spirit strength. We able to press through in victory, as we are IN Christ beholding Him. As we focus on Him, keeping our eyes on Him (not our circumstances) we will be victorious.
He's the good Shepherd and will take our hand. He will walk us through the valley of the shadow of death.
James 1:21 and 4:10; Psalms 35:13 and 23:3,4
The condition for victory
" ... and humbly receive the Word planted in you, which can save your souls" When we humbly receive God's Word we don't argue, trying to be clever, or have any opinions. We just receive His Word and obey.
When we humble ourselves, we are humbling our soul (the self-serving,assertive and arrogant part of our being - 'our will'), and align 'our will' with God's Word, which is His will.
When we are willing to obey the Word of God and the promptings or guidance of the Holy Spirit (who is our Counselor), not following our will, but HIs will, things change for the better. Look at the promise in the following verse.
"Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up." (James 4:10) Do you want God to lift you up? Then obey Him.
David who wrote Psalms 23 said this following in Psalms 35:13 "I humbled my soul with fasting" (KJV)
When you will humble yourself - God will restore you.
"He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
God created us with emotions.
Our emotions can be our enemy or friend. An 'emotion' is simply a response of our thinking.
If we don't control our thinking (Proverbs 23:7), our emotions will be out of control causing our life to be out of control. When we allow our emotions to control us, instead of us controlling them, we give Satan a open door into our life. (1 Peter 5:8)
"Do I control my emotions, or does my emotions control me?
Thoughts and free will. I have the ability to choose my thoughts.
My feelings are derived from my thoughts.
Conclusion. I can control my feelings by choosing my thoughts.
A man is not who he thinks he is. A man is the sum of his thoughts.
Biblical fact: "As a man think ... so is he" Proverbs 23:7
"Sad, glad or mad is a choice. And those feelings are derived from thought patterns."
We all deal will life and everyday life issues in this world - and we will as long as we are alive. Many of us are faced with pain, hurt, rejection, loss, sickness, loneliness. We go through life thinking it is just us. This not true!
Many times our enemy, the Devil (1Peter 5:8, John 8:44, John 10:10) will trick, or deceive us with such lying thoughts, with the goal in getting us to run from God (rebellion), instead to God (James 4:8).
Don't let let the enemy lie to you in getting you to believe that God don't like you or is angry with you. He loves you and wants to be in relationship with you. Step out in faith - trust God!
Facing the truth
The truth is that many of us have unanswered questions. Facing difficulties or struggles beyond what we think we can handle. Jesus said that in this world we will go through difficulty, trials, tests ... but cheer up! In Christ we can endure, persevere, overcome, go through ...
Think what you think about and think before you speak. Speak life over your circumstances "Life and death are in the power of the tongue" Prov 18:21
Maybe you've been abandoned by your family, friends, parents or hurt by your children, or maybe you have some terminal illness, lost a loved one, or going through a divorce.
Know this - the great hero's of faith went through similar struggles, difficulties or tests, yet they kept their faith and ended victorious in Christ. They cast their care (1 Peter 5:7, Ps 55:22) and believe and trusted that all will work out for good - as the Word of God promises in Romans 8:28. They all went through, but it ended well for them.
David faced may trials, temptations and difficulties. He messed up many times - yet he was called a man of God's heart. Why? Because he acknowledged when he messed up.He knew that only a Loving God can save him. Even when his OWN people blamed him and wanted to stone him, he ran to the Lord God for saving. (1 Sam 30) David always showed true character as he humbled himself before God. This is boldness in a different way (Ps 51) Even the great apostle Paul who wrote two-thirds of the New testament faced many unbearable tests. He said the following in 2 Corinthians 1:8-10
"My friends, I want you to know what a hard time we had in Asia. Our sufferings were so horrible and so unbearable that death seemed certain. In fact we felt sure that we are going to die. But this made us stop trusting in ourselves and start trusting God, who raises the dead to life. God saved us from the threat of death, and we are sure that He will do it again"
We all deal will life and everyday life issues in this world, and we will as long as we are alive. Many of us are faced with pain hurt, rejection, loss, sickness, loneliness. We go through life thinking it is really just us, which is not true. Many times our enemy, the Devil (1Peter 5:8, John 8:44, John 10:10) will trick, or deceive us with such lying thoughts, with the goal in getting us to run from God (rebellion), instead to God (James 4:8). Don't let let the enemy lie to you - getting you to believe God is angry with you, don't like you or that you have no value.
Nicky Cruz' story
Nicky Cruz' story brings hope to those who are convinced that they are lost, and that there is no other way but the one they are caught up in. It brings you to realise that when you allow Jesus into your life, you have a new life, a new beginning.
Nicky was only 3-1/2 years old when his heart turned to stone. As one of 18 children born to witchcraft-practicing parents from Puerto Rico, bloodshed and mayhem were common occurrences in his life. He suffered severe physical and mental abuse at their hands, His mother even declared him as "son of Satan" whilst in a spiritual trance.
When he was 15, Nicky's father sent him to visit an older brother in New York. Nicky didn't stay with his brother for long. Instead, full of anger and rage, he chose to make it on his own.
Tough, but lonely, by age 16 he became a member of the notorious Brooklyn street gang known as the Mau Maus ( named after a bloodthirsty African tribe). Within six months he became their president. Cruz fearlessly ruled the streets as warlord of one of the gangs most dreaded by rivals and police . Lost in the cycle of drugs, alcohol, and brutal violence , his life took a tragic turn for the worse after a friend and fellow gang member was horribly stabbed and beaten and died in Nicky's arms .
As Cruz' reputation grew, so did his haunting nightmares. Arrested countless times, a court-ordered psychiatrist pronounced Nicky's fate as "headed to prison, the electric chair, and hell."
No authority figure could reach Cruz - until he met a skinny street-preacher named David Wilkerson . He disarmed Nicky - showing him something he'd never known before: Relentless love. His interest in the young thug was persistent. Nicky beat him up, spit on him and, on one occasion, seriously threatened his life. yet the love of God remained - stronger than any adversary Nicky had ever encountered.
Finally, Wilkerson's presentation of the gospel message and the love of Jesus melted the thick walls of his heart. Nicky received the forgiveness, love and new life that is only possible in Jesus. Since then, he has dedicated that life to helping others find the same freedom."
Adopted and modified from Nicky's Home page.
Bethany Hamilton's story
It came, literally, out of the blue...
I had no warning at all; not even the slightest hint of danger on the horizon. The waves were small and inconsistent, and I was just kind of rolling along with them, relaxing on my board with my left arm dangling in the cool water. I remember thinking, "I hope the surf picks up soon..." That's all it took: a split second. I felt a lot of pressure and a couple of lightning fast tugs. Then I watched in shock as the water around me turned bright red. Somehow, I stayed calm. My left arm was gone almost to the armpit, along with a huge crescent-shaped chunk of my red, white and blue surfboard...
I remember most clearly what the Kauai paramedic said to me in the ambulance: He spoke softly and held my hand as we were pulling out of the beach parking lot. He whispered in my ear, "God will never leave you or forsake you." He was right.
I believe in God. Nobody made me believe; I don't think you can or should try to force someone to believe something. And even though my parents taught me stuff about God and read Bible stories to me from as early as I can remember... it was my choice to become a believer in Him.
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Finding God in Russia
In the 1930s Stalin ordered a purge of all Bibles and all believers. In Stavropol, Russia, this order was carried out with a vengeance. Thousands of Bibles were confiscated, and multitudes of believers were sent to the gulags where most died for being "enemies of the state."
Years later, CoMission sent a team to Stavropol. When the team was having difficulty getting Bibles shipped from Moscow, someone mentioned the existence of a warehouse outside of town where these confiscated Bibles had been stored since Stalin's day.
After much prayer by the team, one member finally got up the courage to go to the warehouse and ask the officials if the Bibles were still there.…The answer was, "Yes!"
The next day The CoMission team returned with a truck and several Russian people to help load the Bibles. One helper was a young man—a sceptical, hostile, agnostic collegian who had come only for the day's wages. As they were loading Bibles, one team member noticed that the young man had disappeared. He had slipped away, hoping to quietly take a Bible for himself. What he found shook him to the core.
The inside page of the Bible he picked up had the handwritten signature of his own grandmother. It had been her personal Bible. Out of the thousands of Bibles still left in the warehouse, he stole the one belonging to this grandmother—a woman persecuted for her faith all her life.
He was found weeping … God was real. R. Kent Hughes in 1001 Great Stories and Quotes
Adapted from God's daily Promises and the The Prayer Bible Jean E. Syswerda, general editor, Tyndale House Publishers (2003), p 1285.Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House
Rescued from rebellion
Young John Newton called himself an atheist, and his life demonstrated his lack of belief in God. Even the coarsest sailors aboard his slave-trading ship could not stand his filthy speech. He brutalized the male slaves and sexually abused the women, and he prodded other sailors to do the same. The ship's captain finally put him ashore on the coast of Africa, and there he became a servant of slavers.
Finally rescued by another merchant ship, Newton once again fouled the ship with his presence. In a drunken stupor he almost plunged overboard, and the captain wished that he had. Then, amazingly in the midst of a vicious ocean storm in 1748, God touched his heart. Years after his remarkable conversion, Newton commented, "I see no reason why the Lord singled me out for mercy…unless it was to show that with him nothing is impossible."
The man who had said in his heart that there was no God was now transformed. He became famous throughout England, both as a preacher and a writer of hymns. Without a doubt, the best-known hymn of this former atheist is the following:
“Amazing grace! how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind but now I see”
- JOHN NEWTON -
Five atheistic nuclear scientists turn Christian
The human body is an electro-chemical machine involving other things of course, in its functions. Many of the main body organs operate on an electrical basis. You cannot move a finger without electrical charges being involved. The brain and the heart and other organs continue their work because of electrical charges. Where does this electrical power come from?
I believe it is produced through mental and chemical activity. We all know what an electrocardiogram and an electroencephalogram is. They measure the electrical output of the heart and the brain. The first recorded electric current was recorded in the brain of an animal in 1875 and in a human in 1925.
Recently five atheistic nuclear scientists headed by Dr. Jerome Stowell, whose previous work had largely involved destructive devices to destroy man, decided to try and find out the wave length of the electrical charges in the brain. They found a wide channel of wave lengths; each brain being different. Therefore, the brain wave length of each individual is as varied and distinctive for each as finger prints.
And so they wondered what would happen in the brain while a person was dying. They chose a lady who was still alert in mind but was on the verge of death. They arranged an electrical device in her room along with a tiny microphone the size of a quarter by her pillow so they could hear if she had anything to say also. In an adjoining room these five hardened atheistic scientists had placed their instruments, prepared to register what transpired.
Their measuring device had a needle pointing to zero in the center of the scale. On the right the scale was calibrated to 500 positive points, on the left 500 negative points. The identical device had previously measured the power used by a 50,000 watt broadcasting station sending a message around the world at nine points on the positive scale.
Dr. Stowell reports: “As the last moments of the lady’s life arrived, she began to pray and praise the Lord. She asked Him to be merciful to those who had despitefully used her. Then she reaffirmed her faith in God, telling Him she knew He was the only power; that He had always been and would always be the Living Power. She told Him how much she loved Him.”
“We scientists had been so engrossed with the woman’s prayer that we had forgotten our experiment. We looked at each other and saw tears flowing down atheistic scientific faces. I had not shed tears since I was a child.”
Suddenly we heard a clicking sound on our forgotten instrument. We looked, and the needle was trying to go higher than 500 positive points, only to bounce against the positive post in its attempt. By actual instrumentation we had recorded that the brain of a woman, alone and dying, in communication with God had registered more than 55 times the power used by a 50,000 watt broadcasting station sending messages around the world.”
Please note that this power was generated by the mind, the thinking process. Her words were recorded on a different instrument.
Then these scientists decided to measure what happened to a man when he became angry. A man was chosen in the hospital, and one of the nurses was induced to play upon his emotions. Then when she had obtained his attention and interest she told him she would have nothing more to do with him. He began to verbally abuse her, and the needle began to register on the negative side. Then he cursed her, and took the name of the Lord in vain. The needle clicked back and forth against the negative 500 point post.
Now let me quote Dr. Stowell again. “By actual instrumentation we had registered what happened in the brain, when that brain broke one of God’s ten commandments, ‘Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.’ Ex. 20:7.
“We had established by instrumentation the positive power of God and the negative power of the adversary. We had found that beneficial truth is positive, and that non-beneficial things involving breaking God’s commandments, are negative in varying degrees.”
“If we scientists can record these things, I believe with all my heart that the Lord God can keep a record of our thoughts. He has more power than we have, and a better record keeper than any of us on this earth.
“It is the presence of God in us that gives us power, of whose magnitude we have no conception. I am now a scientist who loves the Lord with all my heart, and mind and soul, and might. I want you to pray for me that I will always think and say and do the things a positive God wants--and nothing according to the wishes of a negative adversary who kept me blinded and bound so many years.” - Gilead Insttute
The Heavenly man, Brother Yun
Image left: (from left to right) Taisto Tirronen, (Yun's interpreter), me (Schalk), then brother Yun, and Alexi. South-Africa outreach.
An Amazon review by Leonardo LCH Lenbenhear
I wish I could give this book six or seven stars.There are a few truly rare books out there that can genuinely change your life for the better: this is definitely one of those books. You will be amazed to read the fascinating and heartrending testimony of bro.Yun, a leader in the Chinese underground church, and how his "faith of abandonment to GOD" leads him into astounding testings and overcoming power to testify of the faithfulness and supernatural power of Christ in daily life: a life that seeks nothing but the glory of God and the salvation of others as a true servant in the Kingdom of Christ and His Church.
Just to read the triumphs and tragedies of chapters 11 and12 alone is more than worth the price of this book. It's a modern-day classic that will, perhaps, challenge your faith and your life as no other book you may ever read.
I know now beyond any shadow of doubt that most Christians in the Western and developed world are virtually spiritual pygmies compared to our brethren suffering under persecution and rising to the task of giving testimony to The Gospel with their very lives and their all for Christ, and Christ alone. This is what genuine, - from the heart Christianity is all about. The book is a rare treasure. Don't miss it, OR the Message.
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And therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed, (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him.,, who expect, look and long for Him [for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and matchless unbroken companionship]!
"And I will bring the blind by a way that they know not, I will make darkness into light before them and make uneven places into a plain. These things I have determined to do [for them]; and will not leave them forsaken"
We have to remind ourselves that, the Lord Jesus Christ is the Way, when it seems if there is no way. The Holy Spirit will lead, prompt, and direct us in the way we should go.(Ps 32:8). When we cast the whole of our care on the Lord and He will sustain us. (relying on Him, and not on weak human flesh)
When the Apostle Paul prayed for people, he didn't pray for the problems to go away, but instead for them to endure and press on and through.Sometimes the only way out is through, and the Lord Himself promises in Psalms 23 that He will walk us through the valley of shadow and death turning our darkness into light. The season in the wilderness into a season of blessing as we lean on, trust in and have confidence in Him.
In Psalms the Word declares that the LORD gives us the capacity to hear and obey His voice.
"And your ears will hear hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk in it, when you turn to the right hand and when you turn to the left." Is 30:21
Thank you Father God for giving me the capacity to hear and obey your voice. Thank you for showing me the way through.Thank you for directing my steps. Give me the strength the insight and wisdom I need in this season. Help me Holy Spirit to bear good fruit even although things are tough.Thank you Father God for being my Stronghold and Fortress, my secret place of safety, security and peace in the midst of a storm, in Jesus' Name Amen.
Isa 30:18;21; 42:16, John 14:3,27; 2 Cor 12:9, Heb 12:2, 1 John 3:16, Rev 3:5
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Do you battle with your thinking?
Understand the battle in YOUR Mind - then be determined to have victory...
Worry, doubt, confusion, depression, anger and feelings of condemnation: all these are attacks on the mind. If readers suffer from negative thoughts, they can take heart! Joyce Meyer has helped millions win these all-important battles. In her most popular bestseller ever, the beloved author and minister shows readers how to change their lives by changing their minds.