How Has God Used Your Pain?

How Has God Used Your Pain?

(2 Corinthians 1:3-5)

When I came to Christ at the age of 34, I was suffering from severe depression, physical pain in my joints and fatigue. I sought answers from several doctors, but they could find nothing. My test results, CAT scans, MRIs and blood work all came back normal. I was perplexed. What is wrong with me? I now realize that my mental, emotional and health struggles were God’s way of getting my attention. Because of how poorly I felt, I couldn’t participate in my regular activities. It was during this time of suffering that God began drawing me to Himself.

How has God used suffering in your life to get your attention? In my case, God used my pain, weakness, fatigue and depression. God knows exactly how to reach all of us so that we turn to and focus on Him. God has always used my physical health issues to remind me to lean on Him. He uses suffering so that first, we will realize how much we need Him in our life and secondly, what kind of changes we need to make.

When I had the courage to trust God and finally wanted more than mere survival, God met me right where I was. God used my distress to bring me to Him. Even during my period of pain, God used me to help others. When I followed His lead by reaching out to those in need, I received even more healing for myself. In 2 Corinthians 1:3-5, God’s Word says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted of God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.” (ESV) God never wastes our suffering. It is all for a specific purpose. Some of you dear ones have suffered for a long time, and my heart goes out to you. It can seem very lonely at times, but God sees you. He loves you and has a purpose for your pain.

Christ suffered a horrific death on the cross for us. He also endured torture having been scourged, beaten, slapped, hit with rods and pierced in his skull with a crown of thorns. If anyone is acquainted with anguish and pain, it is Jesus. Come to Jesus just as you are, and He will give you comfort. Only He can carry you when you can’t take another step. He is the only one who will never leave you. He will not abuse you or take advantage of you. His love is pure, holy, just and life-affirming. His ways lead to true freedom and healing.

How has God used suffering in your life?

What is God showing you?

One day, beloved, we will be in glory in a place called Heaven where there is no more pain, sorrow or crying—a place where we will be embraced by the peace and love of Jesus.

You are loved,
Toni

 

 

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A Time for Prayer

A Time for Prayer

A Time for Prayer and Repentance

Today in church, my pastor preached about the Prophet Jeremiah and why God was punishing His people at that time. God had allowed Nebuchadnezzar to come to plunder and carry away the King of Judah, the King’s mighty men, 10,000 captives and all the craftsmen and smiths. None remained except for the poorest people of the land as described in 2 Kings 24:14. God punished them for their idolatry and for passing their children through the fire, which we understand to be child sacrifice. Many Jews at that time would sacrifice their children to Baal and Molech in order to receive favor from these false gods. In a similar way, we have followed in their footsteps by terminating the lives of our children. However, we have done so while our children were still in our wombs. As a nation, we have murdered over 60 million children. My heart breaks when I think of the multitude of families that are missing a child, a grandchild, a great grandchild, a brother and a sister. Entire generations of our families are missing. We have played “god” (little “g” god) by deciding whether our children live or die. So, I dedicate a special prayer today for each woman in this ministry and for our nation to repent of its sin of abortion in order to save future generations from death and destruction.

Forgive us, Lord, for putting ourselves on the throne of our hearts instead of You. Only you can give life and take life. Forgive us for our sin of abortion. We are so sorry that we robbed you of the precious lives that you gave us. Forgive us for having sex outside of marriage thinking we knew best. You only wanted to protect us from the harm it would cause us and our children. Forgive us for our sin of lust and fornication.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in your way everlasting.” (Psalm 139: 23-24) Heavenly Father, in the powerful name of Jesus I pray. Come Holy Spirit and search each heart now, remove any blindness, help us to trust You and to surrender every part of our being to You. Bring into the light our evil thoughts and actions that have hurt You, others and ourselves. Lord, forgive us for our selfish ways and our impure thoughts. Cleanse us from all our iniquity and cleanse us from our sins. We need You to renew our minds and purify our minds with the powerful Word of God. Bring down any unhealthy thinking or critical and unkind thoughts. Help us to be humble and teachable. Remove our sin of pride far from us. We want to walk in your ways, Lord. We want to relinquish control to you, Lord. We want You to be first in our lives, Lord. We want You to be glorified through our lives, Lord. Be magnified in us today.

Lord, we are totally broken over our sins. “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.” (2 Corinthians 7:10) When we sin, let us think back to the Old Testament and picture the gruesome sacrifice of animals for a covering over our sins. In the New Testament, Jesus, the sinless Lamb of God, came and atoned for our sins and removed them from us. He was our substitute. He paid our sin debt so we can now be righteous before God. Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins. You are Holy, Lord. Help us to be pure and holy. Help us to be separated from the world. We are foreigners here. This is not our home. Let us not be like Lot’s wife, who turned back to see the destruction of the world she came to love more than You, Lord. As a result, God judged her, and she was turned into a pillar of salt. Let me love Your ways, Lord, more than anything this world can offer me.

How long, Lord, will you hold back your hand of judgment upon America? Is what we are experiencing today a result of your church not standing up against all the evil in our world? How long will you tolerate our sin of pride, idolatry and murder without bringing judgment upon us? Have mercy upon us, O Lord, and hold back your hand of judgment upon us. Help us to acknowledge that our time is short. Help us to be about your business in this world. Give us a new, fresh outpouring of your Holy Spirit to be bolder, more courageous and more effective in the things we do in this ministry, in our churches and in our families and workplaces. Set our hearts on fire with the power from your Word. In the powerful name of Jesus, I pray.

Let’s take time now to allow the Holy Spirit to search our hearts. Thank you Lord for what you will do in our lives.

You are loved,
Toni

 

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Delight Yourself in the Lord

Delight Yourself in the Lord

I Will Delight Myself in You, Lord.

Psalm 37:1-9

1 Do not fret because of evildoers,
Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.

2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass,
And wither as the green herb.

3 Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.

4 Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.

6 He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.

7 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.

8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;
Do not fret—it only causes harm.

9 For evildoers shall be cut off:
But those that wait upon the LORD,
They shall inherit the earth.

Lord, I am feeling weary and tired.

Lord, I feel I don’t have much to give because my energy is so depleted.

What do I do when I feel like I have nothing left to give?

God speaking to me through the Holy Spirit, “Come to Me. I am the fountain of living water. Now drink. Fill yourself with My Spirit and My power. For when you are weak. I will make you strong.”

Lord, what do you want me to share with the women tomorrow?

The Holy Spirit responds, “I want them to be hopeful and confident in Me. This world will wax worse and worse. Do not look to the world because it cannot give you what I can. I am your only source of strength, hope, salvation, forgiveness, love and peace. You have a home in Heaven with me forever. My Kingdom will never end. This world has been taken over by the evil one because the church has fallen asleep, and the enemy has crept in unawares. My people don’t realize the power they have through My Holy Spirit. You have access to me through prayer 24 hours a day because I never slumber. I hear every whisper, and I see every tear, I have collected them in a bottle. There is power when your hearts and voices are united in prayer and praise. How the enemy hates when you praise Me! Praise Me when things are hard. Praise Me when you are sad or feeling weak. Praise Me when it looks like you are all alone. Praise Me! Be bold and courageous and fear not for I will be with you wherever you go.”

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.” (John 10:27-28)

 

How are you feeling? Hopeful and confident? Or, fearful and alone?

What are you struggling with right now?

How can we pray for you and your family?

Please reach out; we are here ready to help.

Blessings,

Toni

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Freedom in Christ

Freedom in Christ

John 8: 31-32, 34-36

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him. “If you abide in My word, you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

Quote from Ravi Zaccharias, “Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.”

We were all born with a sin nature, because of Adam and Eve’s fall in the garden, when Eve took the fruit and ate it and gave it to her husband to eat also, that’s when sin entered into the world. Sin is destructive and we are all servants to sin. Because of our sin nature we are proud, selfish, liars, disobedient, drunkards, and murderers, etc. We do not have the ability to stop this destructive cycle until we meet the only one who has never sinned, His name is Jesus our Savior and Redeemer.

What does freedom in Christ mean? Freedom in Christ means I no longer belong to Satan and I am no longer a slave to sin, doing things that are ungodly. I have a new nature, the Bible says when I confess and repent (turn) of my sins and believe in my heart that Jesus is the Son of God, that I am born again. I am now born of the Spirit of God. I am adopted into God’s family. When I become born again the Holy Spirit now indwells me. I now have the ability with the help of the Holy Spirit to make good God glorifying decisions.

Jesus’s death on the cross paid my sin debt, He was my propitiation, my substitute, He paid the penalty for all my sins and the sins of the whole world when He died on the cross 2000 years ago. Because of His death for me, I am now blameless before God, my sins have been covered by the blood of the Lamb, all God sees is Christ righteousness. God rescued me from the clutches of the devil, who once held me captive, and placed me in the palm of His hand. I now belong to God.

As a believer in Jesus I have freedom from the Great White Throne judgment, which is for those who do not know Jesus as their personal Savior. There is a literal place called hell that was created for the devil and his angels. It grieves the Father that any one will be in hell. This is the reason I am sharing this with you today, it is God’s desire that no one should perish but all have eternal life, I am giving you this information now so if you are unsure of your relationship with Jesus now is the time to get that secured. I am available to talk, please email me at arwsg4u2@gmail.com, and we will discuss this further so you can know for sure you have eternal life and that when you die you will be in heaven with Jesus.

If you are a believer you stand before the judgement seat of Christ, the Bema Seat, you are judged based upon things done on earth good or bad. You will receive rewards or you will have rewards taken away. You are guaranteed a home in heaven forever. A place where there is no more sorrow or death or crying, where God will wipe away the tears from our eyes.

I have freedom to live my life in a new way. Instead of being selfish and prideful I am a servant of God, I am His hands and feet in this world, to minister His love, grace, and compassion to all around me. I am now more concerned for others needs than my own. The least I can do is serve Him for what He has done for me. I have a new life, a new purpose, a new family and a home in heaven when I die. I also we see my sweet Joseph my son who I aborted 40 years ago. What a sweet day that will be, I can’t wait to kiss my son’s cheek and to hug his neck.

 

Discussion Questions

Have you ever confessed and repented (turned away) from your sins to God and do you believe that Jesus is the sinless Lamb of God that died on the cross for your sins?

If you are unsure of your relationship with Jesus, please email me so we can talk in greater detail.

 

God Bless you,

Toni

Read more of Toni’s blog posts here!