“Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. (40) On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” (41) He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, (42) “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (43) An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. (44) And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” Luke 22:39-44
Hello everyone and welcome back to Sunday Inspiration! I am so happy to have you with me today and my prayer is that we will truly find the hope we need in Jesus…the hope that can lift us high above the moments of despair!
How many times have we wanted to just throw in the towel and give up on life? It seems like we struggle and continue to walk through the rubble of our problems…only to feel as if we are never headed in any real direction. There’s something inside of us that seems to be pushing us onward but yet for every step we take, we seem to fall backwards, to the place where we wonder if it’s worth it anymore. What can help us to keep pressing on, during these overwhelming moments in our lives?
If we take a look at our Bible reading for today, we see a man who struggled greatly. Even as He knelt and prayed, during the final hours of His life, the weight of temptation must have been so overwhelming; but even as He struggled to make it through those difficult moments…He never once gave up on us and the love He truly had for us. The love and mercy Christ displayed on the cross was actually reaching down to us, as a means of saving us from all that we would eventually experience in this life.
Quite a while back, God brought a beautiful story to me and in the story; I began to see Jesus, as He was walking down a long and lonely road to Calvary. He was carrying a very heavy cross and His body dripped with blood, from the beatings that took place at that time. I began to follow right behind Him. I was weighed down with a heavy burden and as I approached Him, I began to tell Him about the load I was carrying. All He said to me was… “Follow Me,” so I did.
As we approached a hill, there appeared to be two thieves hanging on their crosses. As I drew closer, I saw the Roman soldiers take hold of Jesus and throw Him down onto His cross. I could barely watch, as the soldiers were hammering spikes into His hands and feet.
Once the soldiers had Jesus in place between the two thieves, I began to see the sky darken and lightning bolts shoot across the sky. I yelled up to Jesus and said, “What’s happening?” He looked down to me and said, “I’m dying, so that you and others may live a life of freedom, from sin and the burdens you carry.” Then He said, “It is finished,” and He hung His head and died. I began to feel something different, as I stood and watched Him hanging on the cross and as I looked behind me; the heavy load that I had carried for so long was no longer there.”
Here is a man, who was willing to go way beyond, what you or I would ever go through in life, just to say… “I’m here for you…I love you and I will never give up on you.” If we were to stop, for just one moment and think about this special love He had for us and still continues to have for us, I think that we would also see our moments of trial in a different light. You know…Jesus never once, ever thought of giving up on us; so why should we ever think of giving up on Him?
Blessings on your Sunday!
It’s Always & Only Because of Him…
“But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.
(2) When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” Isaiah 43:1-2
Hello everyone and welcome back to Sunday Inspiration! I am so glad that you are here with me today! My prayer is that you will find a connection with God today that will keep you standing strong, during the difficult times of your life.
You know…sometimes, we just can’t seem to find the strength to stand strong, while facing moments that just seem so overwhelming and out of control. The trials we face can make us feel, as if we are going to drown beneath the troubled waters of our circumstances.
I remember a time in my life, when I just struggled to get up and out of bed each morning. It seemed like each task for the day weakened me even more, along with the depression that was weighing me down at that moment. I remember begging God to help me because I was feeling as though I was about to go down for the last time. My strength was gone and the glimpse of hope that I once held tightly to, was now beginning to fade away, as the darkness began to overtake the path I was on.
As I looked deeply within myself, I began to feel as if I was being held up by two weak and broken down crutches, of hopelessness and fear. I could feel them giving way and I knew that I wasn’t making it. Somehow, I knew in my spirit; that I needed something stronger, to lift me up and keep me standing.
As I began to cry, until there were no more tears; God began to work. He began to show me that I needed a stronger pair of crutches to lean on…crutches that wouldn’t break and cause a destructive fall. From there, He began to show me that I needed one crutch that was filled with His power and one crutch that was filled with His strength. As I started to make the exchange with God, I began to experience a power and a new strength; that could keep me standing, during these difficult times in my life.
One thing I truly like about these verses, in our Bible reading today; is that they show what God is truly all about. No matter what we may walk through in life…with God’s strength, we can walk through it. I think that sometimes, we get caught up with the words… “I can’t,” until we finally come to believe those words and allow them to have control over our lives.
Today, we need to lean on the everlasting arms of God and allow Him to become a set of crutches that will keep us standing, during the difficult times. When our legs…arms and bodies are weak and tired, from the blows we receive, while facing a battle with evil; God will step in and be strength for us.
Through those tough times I faced, I came to see that once I let go of the old crutches and grabbed tightly to the everlasting arms of God’s power and strength; that is when I began to make it. Life wasn’t always easy but I found that I could walk through anything because of the powerful strength that had entered my whole being.
Today, you may be experiencing a moment, when you feel like all strength is gone and there isn’t even enough for one more step. Maybe it’s time to make an exchange with God…His strength for your weakness.
Blessings on your Sunday…
It’s Always & Only Because of Him…
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. (25) For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. (26) For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
Hello everyone and welcome back to Sunday Inspiration! I pray that you will truly be blessed, as we connect deeply with God today!
As I think back over my life, I remember a time when God was beginning to take me away from the many years of pain and deep heartache. It seemed like overnight, I was beginning to hear His still small voice within my spirit, as words came so quickly to my thoughts; that I had to grab whatever was the closest to me, whether it was napkins, Kleenex or a scrap piece of paper that was close by.
As God began to take and use the long years of suffering for His good, I would keep ink pens in each room of our home and through the words He laid upon my heart, I would find myself connecting deeper and deeper with Him.
One thing that God did lay upon my heart, as He was beginning to work with me; was that I would have to lay myself to the side…pick up His cross and be completely devoted to Him. I found that over time, I not only gave up the things that I enjoyed the most in life but I also found myself making God the best friend I could ever have.
It seemed that throughout most of my life, I was giving up many things and even experiencing the loss of children and other things in my life. There were times when I felt as if I was in a world of my own but I have come to see that it’s a world that I wouldn’t trade for anything because you see…through the loss of many things in my life, I have found God, in a way that I never thought I’d experience.
You know…sometimes it’s not always easy to understand the moments of loss we experience. For example, some experience the loss of good health or the loss of a job; that they had always dreamed of having. No matter what we lose in life, I see it as an exchange…a time, when God is allowing something dear to our hearts to be taken away; so He can fill those empty voids with Himself. You see…He longs so much for each us to follow Him and sometimes the things we love the most can separate us from God.
Today, you may be experiencing some loss in your life. No matter what it is, just know that God isn’t allowing you to experience these moments of loss, just to upset you or make you feel unloved by Him but rather, I have learned that this is God’s way of loving us the most. When He allows loss into our lives; it’s only because He wants us to gain Him in a greater way.
Let’s stop and ask ourselves a few questions that relate to verse 26 in our reading today. First off…what do we benefit by having everything we could ever want for our lives now, when the true and eternal life is awaiting us? Don’t we realize that when we live for ourselves; that it’s so easy to find out later; that we have lost the One who should always be the dearest to our hearts? Is anything that valuable in life, when compared to the soul? These things that we enjoy in this life will one day pass away; but what we gain for Christ now will live on forever.
Through the many years of pain and loss, I can truly say that I have found the Lord. Today, I can say without a doubt that if it wasn’t for the loss in my life, I wouldn’t be sitting here today…writing you these words of encouragement and I definitely wouldn’t have a connection with God, like I do today. What about you? Are you willing to experience loss; that you may gain God in a greater way?
Blessings on your Sunday!
It’s Always & Only Because of Him…
“For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. (20) I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (21) I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” Galatians 2:19-21
Hello everyone and welcome back to Sunday Inspiration! I pray that you’re having a nice Sunday and that you will truly be blessed today, as I share God’s words with you!
How many times do we feel as though God has forgotten us? Seems like the trials we experience can go on and on, until we begin to wonder, if they will ever have an end. After a while of going through difficult moments such as these, life can take a toll on us and even attempt to convince us to give up on God.
One thing we need to remember; is that when we bring the shattered pieces of our lives before God; they will never go unredeemed. Sometimes, we just need to sit back and relax and leave the work up to God.
I remember a time, when I was facing moments, when I felt as though things would never turn around in my life; that is until God led me to our Bible reading for today, which is found in Galatians 2:19-21. As I sat alone with God one day, He began to remind me that when I gave my life to Him; these became the moments, when I spiritually died to myself. In other words, it was time for me to get out of the way, so He could rise up in my place and do the work that He so longed to do. As I became humbled through my pain and heartache, it was as if I had fallen to the ground, so God could rise up and lift me up with Him. I eventually learned that it was only through the power and grace of a mighty God; that I could walk out of these moments that just seemed too difficult to do on my own.
You know…maybe you are going through some tough times and these times have felt long and drawn out; but I know a God that will come to your rescue and He will not forget you. Even as I’m sharing this piece of hope with you; God seems to be taking me back to moments, when I felt the same way. I remember long and I mean long years of surgeries…pain and deep heartache. In fact, it was as if I had left one thing, to experience another; but today, I can say that God kept His word. The bits and pieces of my heart that I had brought to Him many times; never went unredeemed. Sometimes, I just think that He was waiting for me to get out of His way. It was only through a moment in my life, when I fell powerless to the ground; that God began to rise in my place.
You know…we are never forgotten by God. In fact, I think that we are the ones that make ourselves distant from Him…just by the way we react to a difficult situation. When we feel the need to have control over a trying circumstance in our lives; then God must be looking down from the heavens and saying… “If you feel you know how to handle this problem; then I will just step out of your way.” Never do we realize that we are pushing God away from us…that is, until we come to see it for ourselves.
If we are ever going to experience the true and lasting power, of a great and mighty God in our lives; then first, we need to let God know that we are nothing without Him. When we are willing to fall powerless before Him; that is when He will begin to rise up in our place and do a great and mighty work…a work that will lift us up with Him…high above the moments of despair.
May God truly bless your Sunday and the new week to come!
It’s Always & Only Because of Him…
Risen Hope Ministries Blog | Sunday Inspiration
About the Author
Diane K Hiltz Chamberlain is the author of 16 books, which range from devotionals, to quotes and poetry...to the story on her life..."Baby Steps: A Journey with God through a Lifetime of Pain and Heartache."