How my heaveny Father comforted me…

I was on my way to work, stopping as usual, in a nearby parking lot to read my Bible and pray. I was desperate and in need of help, so I prayed asked God for a miracle.

That same day, at lunch time, I went to get my nails done. While the lady was doing my nails, I closed my eyes, leaned back in my chair and I had a vision. It was like being in a movie theater. I saw a large ball, it was beautiful!  It consisted of glistening  grains  of m u t o l o r e d sand moving slowly, around inside the ball.

When what I realized what I was seeing, I thought to myself, “I DO NOT HAVE THIS KIND OF IMAGINATION!”  Seconds, after I had that thought, the ball turned into a star, and just like the ball, it consisted of  glistening  m u l t i c o l o d  grains of sand, moving slowly, around inside the star. As I was looking at the star, suddenly, out of the star burst an Angel, wearing light blue and dark blue garments, and she had short blond hair. I was astonished!! The Angel looked right into my eyes and she was smiling at me. Her smile radiated love and compassion, and believe me, that’s an understatement.  I have never seen a smile like that in my entire life. Shaken, I opened my eyes, and shut them, but the Angel was gone.

GOD DID INDEED COMFORT ME! He did not take away my desperate situations; but He gave me an amazing gift, that I will never forget: the FAITH to go on, when I felt like giving up.

Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father, I pray for all those who visit this page who are suffering. Please calm their worries and fears and comfort them. Take care of them on their journey through this life. Strengthen their faith  in You, so that they are confident that You are with them, and that You will guide them through their suffering with Your loving hand.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

In Christ Love and †Grace, Susan Osten

Trust Issues

“She would never be caught unprepared again, she swore to herself. She would never trust. Never love. Never put faith in other human beings again. She would learn all she could of the shape and substance of the world, and she would find a way to survive in it.”― David Anthony Durham,  Acacia: The War with the Mein   

We try to trust the people we love, giving them our love and support, only to be grieved by broken trust when we least expect it.

“In God alone there is faithfulness, and faith in the trust that we may hold to Him, to His promise and to His guidance. To hold to God is to rely on the fact that God is there for me, and to live in this certainty.”  – Karl Barth

Discovering The Faithfulness of God

The faithfulness of God is true and has been proven many times. In the Holy Scriptures, we can see that God is faithful and His Word is true. Hebrews 6:18 says God cannot lie, nor can He break an unconditional promise that He says He will fulfill. Every covenant He made is kept. Every promise or foretelling has or will come true. Testimony after testimony of God’s faithfulness is certainly found throughout the Bible and is still given in testimonies by people today.

In fact, accounts of covenants between God and His people can be found approximately 277 times in the Bible. Deuteronomy 7:9 says, “Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.”

Faithfulness of God – Examples

The faithfulness of God is starkly evident in His relationship with the Hebrew/Jewish people. God made a land covenant with Abraham (patriarch of many nations) and has never withdrawn what He has promised. Though the Jewish people have been scattered around the world, God promised they would return to the land He promised Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all their descendants (Zechariah 8:7-8).

Among God’s fulfilled promises was that the people of Israel would again become a nation in the land He says is theirs. This prophecy made in the Old Testament was fulfilled in May of 1948. Since then, the Jewish people have been returning home.

More examples of God’s faithfulness to keep His covenants with others are found in the following verses:

  • To Noah (God will save Noah and his family) – Genesis 6:17-18; 9:9-17
  • To Ishmael (God will bless Ishmael and his descendants) – Genesis 17:18-20
  • To Moses (God will spare the Israelites if they obey) – Exodus 19:5
  • To Jacob (God reaffirms everlasting covenant to Israel) – Psalm 105:10

There are literally dozens more scriptures of God’s faithfulness. None however may be the most life-changing as those that proclaim His forgiveness of our sins. There are many Old Testament prophecies promising a coming Messiah or Savior. God’s faithful promise was fulfilled in the New Testament when He sent Jesus to atone for our sins. No matter what sins we have committed, no matter how “bad” we are, God is faithful to forgive us if we accept Jesus and repent of our sins. • God sent His Son, (Matthew 1:21-22) through Him we have everlasting life – John 3:16

  • Christ died for our atonement of sin – 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10
  • God’s promise to remove sins – Romans 11:25-27
  • God ordained Jesus, author of eternal salvation – Hebrews 5:5-10
  • God will toss our sin into the depths of the sea (never to be remembered again) – Micah 7:18-19

Faithfulness of God – The Promises

God is so faithful that anyone who seeks Him can find Him. Faith is a gift, but even a gift must be opened to be enjoyed. As we implement our faith, we begin to realize more and more about God’s faithfulness to us.

  • 1 Corinthians 1:9 – “God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.”
  • 1 Corinthians 10:13 – “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so you can stand up under it.”
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:3 – “The Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.”

In 1 John 1:9 we are told, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” With absoluteness we can have the confidence that God will forgive us. Without His ability to do so, He would not be God. He is the only true God (John 17:3) and the gods of no other religion promises this. Since He has made this promise, and we know He cannot break His word, we know that it would be contrary to His nature and that He cannot lie (Numbers 23:19). Our God is a faithful God and there is no other that can do all He can and has done.

I pray this teaching touched your hurting heart. We have all placed our trust in a loved one or friend, only to be grieved by broken trust when we least expect it. God moved me from Texas to Florida, leaving everyone behind, so that I wouldn’t ever be hurt in that same way again, which I haven’t talked about yet, because it’s very hard to talk about.

There is peace in my life now, and I am working hard for my Heavenly Father, which is something that would have been impossible, had I not moved. After I was settled down, God began to show me things about my life and the people I left behind. Maybe you can’t leave the state, but I encourage you to take time away from everyone and take a good look at your life, this is a very important thing to do. It enables you to see things about your life and those  involved in your life that otherwise, you would have never known.

Most importantly, TRUST your Heavenly Father, He will never let you down.

In Christ’s Love and † Grace, Susan Osten

Burdened, “But God!”

Are you burdened? You may be in debt due to medical bills, worrying about your illness, or going through a divorce. There are some situations you have no control over. Two words change every situation, “But God!” During your darkest times, He steadies your emotions. He keeps you strong when you have no strength. He places people in your path who offer comfort. People who care and pray. You may hear a sermon spoken specifically for you. God is making a way for you-He never leaves you. Some answers may be different from what you want or the timing isn’t as soon as you’d hoped for, but He is in charge even though it may be difficult to understand. Try to keep your eyes off your circumstances and on God. Press in and remember, “But God!” That makes all the difference in your outcome. Put yourself in His hands. That is where you can find rest. Matthew 11:28 (NIV) says, “Come to me, all you who are wary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Grace, mercy, and peace await you. God never intended you to handle things on your own.

Philippians 4:6-9 (NIV) says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Dear Lord, we want to trust You even when we don’t understand our circumstances. Strengthen our faith, and deepen our love, and concern for others in crisis. Amen.

In Christ’s Love and † Grace, Susan Osten

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God is a just, caring, holy, divine, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, and sovereign God. He is light, perfection, abundance, salvation, wisdom, and love. He is our creator, savior, deliverer, redeemer, provider, healer, advocate, and friend.

How Can We Have Hope When Everything Looks Hopeless?

How Can We Have Hope When Everything Looks Hopeless?

In Romans 5:3-5, Paul says that we can rejoice in our sufferings because we are a people of hope: “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Rom. 5:3–5, ESV).

So, how can we have hope when everything looks hopeless? In the midst of suffering, we can rejoice because these challenges cause us to:

1. Rely on God’s presence

Rejoicing in suffering does not mean celebrating when bad news comes. But, it does mean that we can believe that God is doing a redemptive work. This word “redemptive” means that God does not waste a hurt or disappointment. He is using them to shape and build us into the image of Jesus, which is his highest passion.

When we go through suffering, we often pray and seek God more intensely than at other times. My greatest times of growth have been when I’ve reached the end of my resources and all I have left is Jesus. God uses suffering to make us rely on His presence.

In Psalm 23:4, David writes that he does not fear because God is with him. He relies on God’s presence, and it brings him strength and comfort. Remember that for there to be a shadow, there has to be a light. I don’t know what your “valley of the shadow of death” is, but I do know who the Light is that is walking with you in that valley.

In another Psalm, David reveals that one of the reasons for his joy is that he is forgiven: “Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven whose sins are covered (Ps. 31:1, NIV). We can’t determine God’s love for us based on good or bad circumstances. We determine His love based on the cross and what He did for us on it.

2. Rely on God’s provision

In 2 Corinthians 12:7, Paul reveals that he has suffered from a “thorn in the flesh.” God was so concerned about Paul not becoming proud he allowed this to happen to him to prevent him from becoming conceited.

In our current situations, God is saying to us that His grace is sufficient, and even when we feel weak, He is making us stronger than we have ever been. His grace is not an abstract idea. It is the person of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit. The hell you are going through may be the very circumstance God uses to take you to a whole new level.

3. Rely on God’s power

“Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Cor. 12:9b, ESV).

What is your weakness? Maybe it is a son or a daughter that hasn’t quite turned out the way you thought he or she would. A job situation that has gone awry. A medical diagnosis that has scared you. Maybe, like Paul, it is also insults, hardships, or persecutions. Whatever it is, Paul says he will boast in those things because when we are weak, the power of Christ rests on us.

The greater the enemy comes at you, the greater Jesus is in you.
Maybe you hear voices telling you to just quit, give up, and let it go.

DON’T STOP! When you are weak, then He is strong. Remember the greater the attack against you, the greater Christ is in you, but you have to rely on His Presence, His Provision and His Power.

Write down what you are suffering from or struggling with and place it in an envelope. On the outside, write, “God’s got this, and He is transforming me.” Now when that challenge comes to mind remember to rely on Him.

-Derwin L. Gray, Gospel Of Grace

Truck Crashes Into My Dad’s Bedroom

I am sharing this story with you, because I want to stress the importance of praying for protection for your loved-ones.

My dad and step mom usually go to bed after the 10:00 p.m. news, but this particular night, they stayed up later than usual, to watch something that interested them on TV. When all of a sudden, they heard a loud crashing noise. There is a parking lot right behind my dad’s house. The noise they heard was a big, black, pick-up truck smashing through the fence and into their bedroom. The damage was severe. If they had been in the bedroom at that time, they would have likely, been badly injured or even killed.

Dad called the Police, and when they arrived, they questioned the lady who was driving the truck…she was not intoxicated. She told the Officer that she drove through the fence and into my dad’s bedroom because she was mad at her boyfriend. This is what is baffling to me: the Officer did not give her a ticket or reprimand her. The lady, driving the truck, lived just down the street from my dad. All she had to do was to have the truck towed out of the bedroom, and off dad’s property. She said nothing to dad about helping him financially, with the damage, and after the truck was towed, she just left the scene. Thank God, Dad’s Homeowner’s Insurance covered it all.

Since I was a young girl, I’ve prayed for my family’s protection. God answered my prayer that night. I am so very thankful they were distracted. 

I thank God, my mom had already gone home to be with Jesus. Otherwise, she would have been in that bed. She always went to bed very early.

I’ve included three photos of the scene of the crash, that were taken between 11:00 – 12:00 p.m., so that you can see the deadly incident. 

The Armor of God: Ephesians 6:10-17 (NIV) 

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

Below is a short prayer, asking God to protect our loved ones:

Dear Lord Jesus, Please keep our families safe from evil and misfortune. Thank You for protecting them when they weren’t even aware that evil was stalking them. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Scripture References: Hebrews 1:14; Psalm 103:20; Proverbs 1:20; John16:13; Isaiah 30:21; Proverbs 3:5-6; Isaiah 54; Psalm 91; Psalm 37:21

In Christ’s Love and † Grace, Susan

Dad's House Wrecked 1

Dad's House Wrecked2

Dad's House Wrecked3

 

 

How God Provided Me With A Way Out Of Temptation

Satan is constantly, on the prowl for victims but, God’s Word says,

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

I Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

When I was much younger, I worked for a Real Estate Attorney. My co-worker sat right beside me. Almost every day, she would talk to me about how much fun she had going dancing and drinking. At that time in my life, I was divorced and vulnerable. I was a Christian but eventually, her words started wearing me down, spiritually.

I decided to put my Christian beliefs aside and go out with her. A couple of days before we were supposed to go dancing, I prayed and told God, if You don’t want me to go, tell me “I’m going the wrong way.” It was around lunchtime when I said that prayer, so I went to downstairs to the cafeteria and started to read my book. Shortly thereafter, I happened to look up from my book, and I saw a lady standing at the entrance to the cafeteria. When we made eye contact (it was a small cafeteria), she motioned for me to come over to her. I walked over to see what she wanted, and she told to me, “You are going the wrong way” and then she left. I was shocked and trembling. I went back upstairs and cancelled my outing with my co-worker.

In your spiritual battles with the evil one, some of the things that you will experience are: temptation, accusation, deception, and condemnation.

God’s Word warns us to, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary, the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1  Peter 5:8 (KJV)

“Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Ephesians 6:11 (KJV)

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.Ephesians 6:12 (KJV)

Be sure to think about real hard before you give into temptation, because it might take you a very long time to get back home to Jesus.

In God’s Love and † Grace, Susan Osten

 

 

You can’t make it alone!

The Lord is Our Refuge

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