Is the reward worth the effort?

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When going on a trail walk with my family, I began to think of it like our journey in life. Sometimes, we are on the mountain top where everything is good. We can look out and see God’s perfect creation and His plan. There are other times we go in the valley of life (trials) and need a peace in our lives. When we were in the valley of our trail we saw a stream of water coming from a waterfall. It was very calming and peaceful to me. It made me think of those times where we need peace in our difficult “valley” (trial) of life. As we journey up “the mountain top” of life, we may have a few “rocks” or obstacles we have to overcome. So, my question to you: is the reward in the end worth the effort?

James 1:12

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

As a Christian, I know my end. I know what awaits for me in eternity. I say it is worth the effort (the good and the bad).

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Peace in the Storms of Life

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Philippians 4:6-7

6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Do you need Peace in your life? Is something troubling you? I have been there and needed peace in my life. When we have trials of many kinds, we just need peace to be there with us. I’m not talking about a peace that everything will all be wonderful, but a peace that God is right there with you no matter what occurs within the circumstance.

When I was 17, I was told I needed to have open heart surgery. I felt as if my world came crashing down upon me. I was to go to church camp within a few days of hearing this news. I was also to start my senior year of high school within less than 2 months. I’ll never forget hearing those words and trying to sleep that evening. I cried in my mother’s arms for a long time. I knew “some day” I would need surgery, but why now?! Why at this moment in my life where I am getting ready for my last year in high school and preparing for college?! This didn’t seem fair or right.

We began scheduling the surgery and I went on to church camp. That week while I was there, I had three of my closest spiritual leaders in my life lay hands on me and pray for me. (My future husband was standing behind me praying for me, too.) After they prayed over my heart, I had a complete Peace come over me. This is a peace that only I can TRY to explain because there really is no way to completely understand it. It was God’s presence upon my life. I can tell you for a fact, this peace stayed with me from that moment until the morning of my surgery. My flesh began to kick in for a few minutes leading up to the surgery but other than that I had a peace. It was a peace that yes I was having open heart surgery but God was there beside me. I didn’t have to be anxious or worried about what could happen because I had such a peace in my life.

Yesterday, over 13 years later, I needed that same kind of peace. Things didn’t go as planned and as I began to get a little anxious I prayed asking God for his peace in my life just as in Philippians Chapter 4. God gave me that peace again. His presence of Peace made everything go so much better for me. I’m so thankful for a loving caring God to send His Peace in the midst of our storms.

If you need His Peace in your life today, begin to call out to Him. I encourage you to memorize and post this Scripture from Philippians where you can see it all the time. May His Peace come upon you just like He has done for me. All you have to do is ask Him for His Peace.

1 John 5:14-15

14This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask — we know that we have what we asked of him.

got trials?

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James 1:2-3

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

Today are you struggling with a trial in your life? Maybe you just don’t understand why things keep coming at you or why you can’t get a break in life. If this is you, I want to encourage you today. God isn’t finished with you yet. He still has a purpose for your life. If you are serving Christ and living for Him, this is just the continuing process of the testimony He has for you. Push on. Do not give up!!! Have Faith in Jesus! He has everything in His timing. God’s got this!!! Whatever “this” may be in your life. It might be a healing, a miracle, or a financial, emotional, or a spiritual need, etc. Your trial may seem trivial to one person and huge to another. It does not matter. God knows what it means to you. Pursue Him harder than ever before. Your faith will grow and your walk with The Lord will grow. Keep on keepin’ on.
If you do not have a spiritual walk with The Lord Jesus Christ, ask Him to be Lord of your life. No, life may not become perfect right at that moment but His presence in your life will help you through life’s trials. I don’t know where I would be today if it were not for the presence of Christ living inside of me. Life can be hard and hard times do come, but I know I have my God walking through life’s journey with me.

Jesus,
I plead your blood upon my friends who read this today. Lord, I ask that you would touch their needs today. Touch them spiritually, emotionally, financially, and physically. Show us your presence and love in our lives today.
Amen.

James 1:12

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.