Tag Archives: Comforter

Where are the answers?

We all have moments of crisis. We all have times when we are overwhelmed by what life has just brought to us. We all have real-life, human emotions. And it’s ok to say it.

In Jeremiah 37, the people of Judah were facing a real life battle. But here’s the rub; and here is where the enemy wins, our anxiety, anger, sadness, or other things overtake us, and we veer further off course than we meant or needed to:

Just like the people of Judah, we look for our conclusive help in the wrong place.

They looked to the army of Egypt to save them. But God was there all the time, and had been from the beginning, trying to get them to turn to Him. Yet they refused.

We do it, too. Proverbs 20:7 says, “Some nations boast of their chariots and horses, but we boast in the name of the Lord our God.”

The Lord had saved them time and time again, but they kept forgetting, and way too often not even giving Him credit. Sound familiar? 😬

Proverbs 44:6-8, “I don’t depend on my arrows or my sword to save me. But You saved us from our hateful enemies, and You put them to shame. We boast about You, our God, and we are always grateful.”

My, oh my. Why do we continue to look to ourselves, to others, and to outside sources for the answer, the solution, or the salvation? It is God that fights, God that has the answers, and God that is Faithful.

He protects, shields, defends, provides, supplies, heals, comforts, creates, fights, gives wisdom, gives knowledge, gives understanding, unifies, loves, breathes life. There is literally nothing He can’t do!

The answers we seek? They lie in Him.

We saw the mountain, in the photo, when we were in TN. I mentioned that it reminded me of when Moses was on the mountain talking to God, and it was covered in cloud and smoke. My son said, “Maybe someone’s up there talking to God.” ❤️ Maybe they were. I sure hope so. That’s what we all need to do.

You are loved,

jamie

Showing up

“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”  Heb. 10:25

Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches.  In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water.  For an angel went down at a certain time in to the pool and stirred up the water then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.  Now a certain man was there had an infirmity thirty-eight years.  When Jesus saw him lying there, an knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”  The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”  Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.”  And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.”  John 5:2-8

The man had no one to put him in the water.  And yet he was there.  He was present in the place where the miracles happened.

I recently heard about a woman who was avoiding her church because she is going through a hard time in her life right now and when she goes to church it makes her cry.  I’ve felt that way before.  Sometimes, when times are the toughest, we feel the most like avoiding the house of God.

Friends, it is during those tough times, that we need to be in the house of God the most.  We need to show up and be present in the place of miracles.  We cannot expect a breakthrough if we avoid the place where they happen.  We cannot get the peace that passes understanding if we do not seek out the Peace Giver.  The shadow of death will loom so much larger on the outside, but when we enter into God’s presence, we find Him with us.  His rod and His staff ever ready to comfort us.  His green pastures and restoration of the soul can only be found where He is.

We may cry when we get in church.  It’s ok.  Church is not a place for perfect people.  It is a place for the broken.  Like this infirmed man, when we show up at the place where there is healing, restoration, deliverance, comfort, then there are emotions we will naturally go through.  But when we hear the Lord tell us to, “Rise, take up our bed, and walk,” it will be so worth it!

Go to church.  Cry if you must, but Go!  Seek the Lord.  Seek your miracle.  Just show up and do not give up.  God will meet you there.

Thankful I showed up,

jamie

Growing up for a reason

“And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ.”  1 Cor. 3:1

Pr. 11:30 reminds us that, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.”  It is hard to win souls when we’re still babes in Christ.

Babies need almost constant attention.  When they’re not sleeping they need to be fed, held, cleaned, and kept safe.

There comes a time in our spiritual journey that we must make the decision to grow up.  We must begin feeding and caring for ourselves, not depending on others to provide us with everything.  We must learn to trust God to hold us and clean us up, not expecting others around us to be the ones who do so.

Of course, we all have moments when we need the love and care of those around us; however, when we find that we need that almost constantly it is an indication that perhaps we are still behaving as babes.

Jesus commissioned us to go into all the world preaching and baptizing.  Solomon reminded us that winning souls is the wise thing to do.  In order to do these things, we must have something to offer.

Babies are born helpless and have almost nothing to offer others.  They have to learn and grow so that they can begin contributing to the world around them.  Likewise, we must continue to grow in our trust in God and in our knowledge of Him so that we have something to offer those around us who are truly in need.

The best place to start is…drum roll, please…the Word.  When we begin feeding ourselves the Bread of Life each day, we are beginning to grow up and care for ourselves.

Once we get used to feeding ourselves, we can begin cleaning ourselves up through prayer.  Asking God for forgiveness and direction cleans us up and gives us wisdom for our next steps.  Thanking God for His blessings causes us to become grateful, which is a very grown up attribute.

With these skills, we will then find ourselves running to God to be held.  We will have grown in our understanding of who our Provider, Comforter, Helper, Deliverer, and Savior truly is.  We will know that when we need help the most, the safest, most dependable place to run is to the arms of our Father in heaven.

Armed with all this knowledge, we can then teach others that these same things are true.  We can point them to the same Father, who gives us the safety to be His baby, and the wisdom to grow into spiritual adults.

Growing up alongside you,

jamie

Christmas with an offended brother

Pr. 18:19:  “A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, and contentions are like the bars of a castle.”

During this season of family gatherings, this verse stands out.  Not everyone’s families get together in happy, peaceful, harmonious ways.  There are times when contentions, offenses, and pain are also present.  Sometimes it is an unspoken expectation that during a holiday the contention will cease, and so when it doesn’t, it can hurt even more than usual.

Sadly, there are some people for whom forgiveness never seems to be an option.  We cannot speak for them; however, we can decide for ourselves how we will respond.  If there are contentions in your family, I am sorry.  You may not be met with friendliness or the opportunity to move in and make it all go away.  So, what can you do?

Continue to pray.  Continue to walk in love.  Continue to walk with integrity, being the person you claim to be in Christ.  Continue to trust in the Lord and His faithfulness in your life and the lives of those with whom the contentions exist.

Consider and hear me, O Lord my God; enlighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed against him”; lest those who trouble me rejoice when I am moved.  But I have trusted in Your mercy; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.  I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me.  Ps. 13

David wrote this Psalm when it seems he was experiencing similar emotions with those who would not forgive and relent.

We have the Lord and Savior on our side.  We have the One who shows Himself strong for us.  We have the one who keeps us safe when our trust is in Him.

It is hard when others do not like us nor will offer forgiveness; however, Jesus said that the servant is not greater than his Master.  The world hated Jesus before it hated us, and if they persecuted Him, they will also persecute us.  (John 15:18)  Jesus knows about rejection, hatred, contention, and betrayal.  He’s been there.  He is able to offer aid to us if that is the case in our lives, as well.

We cannot force others to forgive or love us, but we can walk in the knowledge that we have a High Priest who will comfort us and offer mercy.  He is always on our side.

If you happen to be the one who has not been forgiving or relenting, perhaps this is the Christmas when you can offer that gift to someone as imperfect as you.  Everyone needs forgiveness, which is why Jesus came as our Savior.

Whatever the case, I pray that the Comforter will be able to offer you peace this Christmas season.  The Lord is faithful and does not allow the righteous soul to famish.  If you allow it, He will give you all that you need.

Praying for you,

jamie

Don’t forget who He is

When going through trials and tribulations, if we have no refuge to which we can run, how can we stand?  If there is no shield in which we can trust to guard us, how do we keep moving?  Without a Comforter to overwhelm us and bring the peace that passes understanding, how do we not lose all hope?  With no solid foundation on which to make a stand, what keeps our feet from slipping into calamity, misery, or death?

God was the Restorer for Joseph.  He was then the Deliverer of the Israelites from the hands of Pharoah.  He was the Promise-Keeper for Abraham and Sarah.  The power of God was a cloak for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in the fiery furnace, heated 7x hotter than usual, so that their clothes did not even smell of smoke.  God was mighty enough to shut the mouths of the lions for Daniel, delivering him from certain death.  David counted on the Refuge, that was God.

God was the Salvation of the people in Ninevah.  Jesus is Savior of the world, and the Forgiver of the woman at the well.  He was the Comforter of Peter.  He was the Healer of the centurion’s servant.  God was the Redeemer of Saul, who then become the apostle Paul.  He is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.  He is the one who is coming quickly, bringing His reward with Him.

God is zealous for His people, saying that, “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”  Without the hope that comes from knowing and trusting in God, how can we have any endurance for this life.

He has been my Healer, my Savior, my Deliverer, my Shield, my Refuge, my mighty Defender, my Strength, my Comforter, my Hope, my Provider, my Forgiver, and so much more.  Who has He been for you?

Allow Him to be more,

jamie

 

Food for the heavy heart

Pr. 9:5:  “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed,”  says wisdom.

I am tired this morning.  There has been a sad disconnect in one part of my extended family for the last 3 or 4 years, and the last few nights I have had wonderful dreams where that no longer existed.  In the mornings; however, I awake to the weight of reality upon realizing that things are not actually so wonderful.

Over the years, this issue is one that I have allowed to cause me to cry, agonize, and even have panic attacks.  I have been able to grow in the understanding that the only thing that can truly help is prayer.  I have known that I had to turn my family over to God and ask that He be the One to comfort and protect them, and if possible, change their minds.  I have also had to turn my own emotions over to Him and learn to truly draw my strength from Him.

Decisions that are out of our control can sometimes be overwhelming and we can feel a range of emotions, from disappointment to anger to devastation.  The beauty of having the Lord in our lives; however, is that we have the understanding that the Lord is the One who truly supplies our joy, peace, and strength.  After awaking this morning, I was so thankful that God’s Word was waiting for me, to give me what I needed in my moment of heaviness.  I am so thankful that I am able to come eat and drink of the goodness of God, His precepts, His love, His guidance, and His wisdom.

What would I do if I didn’t have a Savior upon which I can call?  How would I get through this without a High Priest who understands all that I am going through, and is willing and able to give aid when I call upon Him?  This situation is beyond me, and without a loving Comforter to come along and walk with me, I would not have any hope of peace within myself, or reconciliation with those that I love so much.

Eating of God’s Word fuels me with the reminder that with God all things are possible.  Drinking in His hope, I am refreshed in the fact that He does not lie.  I am devouring the promise that the Lord is near to those who have a broken heart.  The fact that The Lord is my sun and shield satisfies me like nothing else ever will.

I am thankful for a forgiving God, who made me fearfully and wonderfully.  In Him alone am I complete.  My Creator made me exactly the way He need me to be and He loves me so much that He sent His Son to die in my place.  What an amazing gift!  What an awesome God we serve!  His faithfulness proves that He will not leave me nor forsake me.  In that, I can rest and find true peace.

Feeling much more awake,

jamie