How can truth set us free?

Ephesians 1:3-9 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance to his pleasure and will-to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ. More

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Trials and Joy

Re-posted from InTouch, by Dr. Charles Stanley, September 16, 2014

My pastor is currently preaching from the book of James and Dr. Stanley’s message today is a perfect reminder that through out our lives we all suffer under a variety of difficult trials and hardships. But, if we consider that those times of suffering can be used as a catalyst to help us be mindful that the Lord uses them to mold us into what His desire is for our lives, they’re so much easier to bear.

Trials and Joy

James 1:2-4,12

“Consider it all joy . . . when you encounter various trials” (James 1:2)—what a preposterous statement! How can that make sense when joy and trials don’t fit together? But James is presenting a divine vantage point, not a human one. There are some surprising benefits in suffering, which aren’t easy to discern.

First of all, we need to understand that these verses are not telling us to be happy in our pain, but rather to rejoice in the blessings that accompany suffering. The word consider is an accounting term that means “to evaluate.” When we look at hardships from God’s perspective and place the proper value on them, we can rejoice in the beneficial outcome, even while experiencing pain. Humanly speaking, trials hurt; but from the Lord’s point of view, they help.

The only way to rejoice during trials is to understand what God wants them to accomplish. Regardless of the difficulty’s source, we can know that the Lord wants to use it to test our faith and thereby produce endurance and spiritual maturity. In every trial, He has hidden a precious character gem, but whether we receive it depends upon our response. Those who want to be transformed into the image of Christ can rejoice in the many benefits that accompany suffering.

How about you? Does your hunger to know the Lord and be transformed by Him exceed your dread of suffering? None of us want to experience pain, but since it’s an unavoidable reality in this fallen world, why not respond in a way that produces eternal benefit? Let’s not waste our suffering.

Restoration:Break Free From Anxiety and Find Restoration for Your Soul!

Those of us that struggle with anxiety, this message from a dear sister in Christ is a reminder of the Peace that can only come from knowing Jesus.

Securely Held

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Psalm 23

(Verses 1-3 NASB)

 “The Lord is my shepherd,

I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside quiet waters.

He restores my soul;”

 

All of us have a deep-seated desire for freedom and victorious living, but most of us are unwilling to discuss the continual bondage we feel. According to the Anxiety Disorders Associations of America, “Anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorders in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 or older.”

 

I am one of those 40 million! It took me many years to admit it. Most people described me as “calm, cool, and collected,” yet this was because I suppressed my anxiety. Sadly, no one knew the mental torment I endured daily, or the angry outbursts that came out against my family.

 

The Lord is MY shepherd. Meditate on…

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