Tuesday, May 29, 2018
By Zach Wood
Psalm 12:6 NLT
The Lord’s promises are pure, like silver refined in a furnace, purified seven times over.
People have the best intentions in their heart when they make promises, but so often, those promises become broken for one reason or another. It is really tough when someone makes a promise to us, because in the back of our mind, there’s usually just a slight thought of “What if he/she breaks the promise?” We want to believe someone is genuine and will always keep the promise, but human beings make mistakes and often break hearts.
While we often have the best intentions when we make a promise to others, there is One Who will never break a promise and His promises are always true. In all the years I have been a Christian, I am so very thankful I can rely on God’s promises to be pure. There is absolutely nothing more pure that His promises. They are greater than anything I can possibly imagine. They are real and full of life.
Even in the times when it’s hard to trust God, I can always lean on His everlasting arms and rest on His promises. Some of you reading this today I know are experiencing some real heartache.
Your marriage is falling apart.
You just lost your spouse.
You just lost a child.
You or a loved one has an incurable disease.
You just lost your job.
Perhaps you are dealing with one of these scenarios or another one in which your trust and hope in God is being challenged. It’s understandable. You would not be human if never questioned God. It is important in these times to hold on to that hope you have and not let go of His promises.
There are some days when I know that I am told to trust and hope in God, but it is so hard because I feel nothing and I wonder what He is doing. However, holding on to the hope of what I know He has done in my life in the past teaches me to trust Him.
Trust in His purest promises.
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
“A Peace Like No Other”
By Zach Wood
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all.
Life can surely become hectic and chaotic and some days it seems we don’t even have time to catch our breath. Whatever the situation or circumstances, we often find ourselves caught up in the busy, non-stop lifestyle of activities we are involved in.
Maybe you are not caught up in that busyness, but perhaps life has been crazy, hectic and chaotic because of one dilemma after another. Maybe there has been sickness, death and disease in the family or friends and loved ones going through very difficult times lately.
Let these words from Paul be a comfort to you in whatever hard times you are experiencing. Maybe you need some peace in your life right now, whatever your situation may be. Perhaps you need to just feel one day of peace amidst all of the frustrations you are going through.
Do you need peace in the midst of a troubled marriage?
Do you need peace as you are dealing with the recent loss of a loved one?
Do you need peace as you deal with a teenager who is in trouble?
Do you need peace as you are on your last bit of hope for a friend or family member dealing with a disease?
Do you need peace as you deal with a daily job you cannot stand going to?
God provides peace that is beyond our understanding. He will provide a peace that will calm our soul. Sometimes, we just need one hour or one day of feeling a little peace to give us some hope. God promises to never abandon us. Does He promise to remove the struggles or the situation? No. But He does promise to give us peace if we will just trust Him.
I hope and pray that whatever situation you may be experiencing right now in your life, allow God to be your peace. Pour your heart out to Him and ask Him to fill you with His peace that transcends understanding. No one knows you better and no one understands your pain or situation more than Him.
Turn to Him and feel His peace.
Sunday, May 6, 2018
“Discipline: Painful, But Necessary”
By Zach Wood
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
All of us have come from different upbringing backgrounds as far as how we were disciplined. Every family does it differently for sure. Some of us experienced some pretty harsh circumstances when it came to being disciplined for things we did wrong. Others experienced less drastic and more reasonable punishments. There are so many different ways to discipline and most of us have experienced our fair share as we grew up.
I remember being disciplined when I was young. Whether it be my mom, dad, grandparent, aunt, uncle, a teacher or someone else who was in authority over me at any given time, I remember unpleasant times of being told I was doing something wrong and having to suffer a consequence for it. I often remember pleading often, “Please don’t do it! I promise I’ll never do it again!” I think I remember those words coming out of my mouth often. That pleading didn’t get me very far because the person giving out the punishment knew I needed to learn.
“Learn” is the key word here. We all want to learn, but sometimes we really learn best through our times of discipline. We all remember a time or times when we learned a very hard lesson and it was painful to experience, whether we were spanked, grounded from going somewhere or had something taken away from us. I remember times when I was disciplined and did not like it at all, but looking back later on, I was very appreciative someone took the opportunity to set me straight and give me a hard lesson.
God loves us very much, and because He does so, He also gives us hard lessons of discipline at times. We often plead with God, but He knows that so much good and learning will come from the discipline. We will learn and often those times are when we learn the most. When Paul received his “thorn” in the flesh, he pleaded for God to take it away. But God said “No” and said His grace was sufficient.
We don’t like to hear that. We want God take to take away our problems and our pain so often. We want to learn and grow, but we want it without the pain of discipline and punishment. It doesn’t work that way. Parents discipline to train children and God disciplines to also train us. It’s inevitable and for our own good. God wants to strengthen us to become better followers and to develop our faith more.
God’s discipline helps to build our character.