At times we feel there is no hope when we see a country in decline. We pray, we speak out in earnest, and yet things seem to only get worse.
There are times we see a bit of change and our hopes rise, just a bit, but then things turn back to leave us feeling hopeless. Where does our faith come from if not from those times when things seem hopeless?
Every mountain rises up from a desert floor and it is in the desert that faith is built. If there is no opposition then there is nothing to hope for. If there is no healing, then there is no illness. If there is no mountain to climb then how do we reach the stars?
Walking through the desert a Man looks out across the dry arid plains. It is as though nothing can grow in this arid retched land and yet as He walks He sees a small desert flower. He stops. Bending down He fingers the delicate pedal and smiles. There is hope for this seemingly hopeless and dry retched ground.
That is how people must look at what is going on around them. When things look as though death is taking its toll of a country, a family, a school, or maybe a church, look around and there will be a “flower” blooming somewhere that is unexpected.
The hope seen through the eyes of faith can and will search out those things that seem hopeless and will see there is hope in what might be considered the most unlikely of places.
Hope comes from the heart and that hope is instilled through the Man who created it.
(Sue’s version) Romans 5:5
BE THE FIRST TO READ THIS GRIPPING TRUE STORY – NEW RELEASE
Fred has had a rough life. His childhood was filled with hurt, pain, disappointment, betrayal, and abuse. Mom and Dad didn’t know the Lord and made fun of those “high and mighty do-gooders.”
As the years came and gone he was bullied in school, made lower grades than the other kids, and wore out-of-style clothing. He hid his hurt and anger but never understood why life was just so hard. “Life isn’t fair,” others would tell him but it didn’t ease his anger.
As an adult his anger has turned to bitterness, He growls at people in response to their attempts to show him kindness. He pushes others away in his self-imposed prison. The lesson of “trust no one” runs hot through his veins.
Sitting on a bus bench, waiting for the bus to carry him to his menial job, the pain hits him like a train. He falls off the bench in a crumbled ball groaning and screaming.
In the ambulance he is in and out of consciousness and the scream of the siren sounds far away. He isn’t aware when the gurney speedily rolls him down the halls of the hospital into the operating room.
Slowly his eyes begin to flutter open and he see’s a Man with a white coat, a stethoscope around His neck standing next to his bed. With confusion, blurred vision, and a mouth feeling like cotton, he asks, “Who are you?”
The Man looks at him and replies, I am the I Am. You’ve just had surgery.”
“Surgery!” He growls. “Surgery for what? What did you do to me?”
Lowering the surgery mask from His face, the Man replies seriously, “You had a huge tree inside you. The roots ran deep. I removed it.”
“What!? What do you mean a tree and roots!?” Fred demands. He tries to sit up in the bed but can’t.
“You have had much hurt and disappointment. You have let your past take control of your life and it became a giant tree of hatred and anger with very deep roots. You forgave no one but now you are free to do so.”
The Man turns and leaves the room leaving Fred shedding tears of understanding and relief.
(Sue’s version) Hebrews 12:15
HEALTHY BOUNDARIES ARE A NECESSITY
Boundaries are made to keep you healthy. Boundaries are given to keep toxicity out. Boundaries are taken from those who never set them. Boundaries are best when set, supported and reinforced.
Sometimes, we are living a life that is tiresome, weary and chaotic, because we continue to allow others to ignore the boundaries we’d like to have but never really put into place. Sometimes, our hearts are in utter turmoil, because we continue to complain about our conditions of relationship but never take steps to change them.
Boundaries are needed for peace to be found. Boundaries are necessary for joy to be restored. Boundaries are essential for sanity to be maintained.
How strong are your boundaries?
I saw this post on FB today, and I thought it an awesome subject upon which to post. This is so very hard, sometimes, but it is so very true. The quicker we learn this lesson, the better, and the key to unlocking it’s truth is in the freedom of forgiveness.
I have found the quicker you can truly forgive someone who has hurt you, the less like them you will become. Over the years, I have watched family members, friends and acquaintances who have “claimed” forgiveness was in their hearts, but as you listened to them talk about the certain person or circumstances, all you heard was bitterness flowing from their souls. As I’ve watched these year after year, I have seen how, slowly over time, they have become more and more like the person who hurt them, the one whom they haven’t forgiven.
You see, the unforgiveness you harbor within your heart will fester and soak in anger and disgust. Eventually, that unforgiveness takes hold of your soul and buries a root of bitterness deep beneath the surface. Once the root of bitterness takes up space, it will consume and override rational thought, peace and even at times, your own sanity.
Learn to let go. Learn to forgive. Learn to show mercy and grace. It doesn’t mean all is well at the snap of a finger, and it surely doesn’t necessarily mean reconciliation is on the heels of the forgiveness. Some things just get lost in the pain, brokenness and years.
Yet, it does mean your heart can heal. It does mean you can grow and learn and dream once again. It does mean you can grasp hope, embrace love and be consumed by an inner peace that will no longer be easily shaken.
The Narrow Road is a must read story based on actual events. This is a gripping, passionate, and intense story of a young boy abandoned by his parents – resulting in tremendous heartache. “Brian’s” story is a story of painful trials, many questions and self-doubts. As Brian matures into a man and lives life on his own, he faces many setbacks and challenges – while at the same time meeting supportive and caring people who support and guide him through a sometimes-painful journey. This is a story of love, of meeting a loving God and trusting in Jesus to bring healing and hope.
The Narrow Road is a well-written book that will make you laugh, possibly shed a tear, and it will make you think – as well as rejoice. Regardless of our situation in life, there is always hope; when that hope is placed in Jesus Christ.
In the second half of this book, Sue’s story is a story of courage, of not giving up when the going gets rough as a newly minted Christian after accepting Jesus and being a brand new Christian with many questions is not only a great story, but also a guide for the rest of us. Whether one is a new Christian, or someone who has known Jesus for some time – Sue’s story and insights are a great help and a comfort.
I highly recommend this book; Sue Cass has outdone herself yet again. I read this book in one day. If you are looking for encouragement, a great story, a “God” story – or maybe a true story of love that includes Jesus Christ – you will find it all in this story.
Editor and Publisher of The Olive Branch Report and Inspirational Christian Blogs
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