Remember

precRltRemember?  If you’re going through a relationship crises, remembering may be a painful thing.  Seeing an old photo or driving by a location may cause you to remember a time when things were better in your relationship.  Remembering even these good times can be a painful experience in the light of your current crises.

And then there are those other memories.  The painful memories of conflict, of words said that you wish you could take back . . . but can’t.

But in Christ, Remembrance during hard times is an important part of drawing close to God.  This special Remembering can be wonderfully healing and is a guardian against depression and hopelessness. This remembering involving reviewing all the things the Lord has done.  I think about all the times the Lord has come through for me in the past – the amazing “coincidences” where I prayed about a problem and He came through.  Or the times when I was suffering, but I know Christ was right there with me.

There’s an example of this Godly remembrance in the Bible.

In Psalm 77, the writer is going through a crises, and in the middle of the night he can’t sleep because of his anguish.  He tells the Lord “You hold my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak.”  But he turns his mind and begins to remember the Lord’s care and love for him. He says “I call to remembrance my song in the night.”

And I said, “This is my anguish; But I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.”

I will remember the works of the LORD; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.

I will also meditate on all Your work, And talk of Your deeds.

So he acknowledges the crisis (“this is my anguish”) but remembers and rests upon the past years of the Lord’s goodness.

The final act of this remembrance is to recall one thing: the Lord’s goodness has not changed even during your crises.  If the Lord came through in the past, he’ll come through again in His own special way.  As the psalmist says in Psalm 27:

I would have despaired, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the LORD
In the land of the living.

Who would be there when it all goes away?

precIltImagine if you were sitting in your most comfortable chair in your house, surrounded by loved ones and time suddenly sped up around you and years went by like seconds.
You and your chair stayed in place while around you in a blur you saw things change.  In less than a minute your loved ones where gone, your pets gone.  Soon in a few minutes the house itself went away in a crumbling wave.

When this all stopped you were left in an empty field with the rubble of your life now ancient ruins from a long vanished civilization.

Would you have anything worth living for?

If you have Christ, then his love will never change and he will not ever leave or forsake you.  Even if all things and all people forsake you, he will remain by your side.

Here are some Bible verses to consider:

Psalms 37:28 (NKJV) 28 For the LORD loves justice, And does not forsake His saints; They are preserved forever, But the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off.

Matthew 28:20 (NKJV) 20 “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Hebrews 13:5 (NKJV) 5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Hot on your Heels

precWltWhat’s coming up fast chasing you? Monsters? Your past failures? Bill collectors? Family members?

Well, if you’re in Christ, the Word of God makes it clear something very Good is coming up fast behind you.

Isaiah 51:11 Those the LORD has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. (NIV)

Psalm 23:6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. (NIV)

Focus in the Right Place – Audio Message

precDltDavid’s Psalm 38 teaches us some big lessons about how we can get ourselves into a worried, depressed state by where we focus our mind on.   Take a two minute break and listen to this short message:

Focus On God (MP3 Audio)

Immanuel – Christ is with us during divorce pain at Christmas

Are you hurting due to divorce, separation, or estrangement from your spouse during the holidays?  Greg Laurie’s message “Immanuel” speaks the truth that Christ is with us and knows first hand the pain and loneliness of estrangement.

Listen to Immanuel (MP3) > Greg-Laurie-God-Is-With-Divorced-and-Lonely-People

Bow down so He can lift you up

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”  James 4:10

Have you ever been in situation where you have to rely on the Lord? Where there’s no human way out?

Well, I’m in one of those situations now. I look around me and it seems like there’s no hope. But I know this. The Lord is the one who brought me into this world. And this is one of those times where I just have to get low and say, “Lord you’re the only hope I have.”

And then I remembered all of the times that the Lord got me out of troubles. And David in Psalm 124 also remembered this as well.
Bottom line is we have to get low, not relying on our own strength, to trust the Lord.

Psalm 124
A song of ascents. Of David.
1If the Lord had not been on our side—
let Israel say—
2if the Lord had not been on our side
when men attacked us,
3when their anger flared against us,
they would have swallowed us alive;
4the flood would have engulfed us,
the torrent would have swept over us,
5the raging waters
would have swept us away.
6Praise be to the Lord,
who has not let us be torn by their teeth.
7We have escaped like a bird
out of the fowler’s snare;
the snare has been broken,
and we have escaped.
8Our help is in the name of the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

A Word of Encouragement

Are you low?  Does this statement resonate with you? “For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draws close unto the grave.”  Psalm 88 begins with this statement, and it clearly written by someone pouring out their heart to God in a time of deep despair and affliction.  But there is a word of encouragement in this Psalm.  I invite you to listen to this three minute audio message on how this Psalm spoke to me during my hard times.

 

Listen to: Word of Encouragement (mp3)

Your pain is part of a bigger picture

We are often so focused on our own family and relationship problems, that we only see them in our own personal terms and hurts.  But God sees marriage rejection and splits as part of a bigger picture.  This picture is very big, and involves His relationship with humankind.

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.
This is a profound mystery–but I am talking about Christ and the church.
However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Eph 5:31-33 NIV

When your prodigal rejects your true Love and forgiveness, you are in good company.  Your individual rejection is a puzzle piece of pain in a greater picture of God’s love and redemption.  This picture is the fallen world itself where humankind rejects Christ’s unconditional love.

He understands your pain, because the pain of rejection is a core pain that Christ experienced in His life on the earth and experiences now as people reject his free grace.   He is on your side, and because of this he will help you and be your true love forever.

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. – Isa 53:3-4 NIV

End of Your Loneliness

Loneliness is pervasive and deeply painful for many, no matter if they are divorced or married.  Ironically, the lonely are a great company.  John T. Cacioppo of the University of Chicago found that almost 25% of Americans feel chronically lonely.  Above this authority, God Himself so identified the pain of loneliness it was the first thing in His creation He saw as flawed.  In Genesis 2:18 He says, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

Gary Wilkerson of the Springs Church in Colorado says there can be an end to your loneliness.  Listen or watch.