Take Heart

Kevin Ibanez

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."  Romans 8:28

Anyone out there going through a tough time out there?  If you're not, then hang on; you soon will be.  Jesus tells us in John 16:33, that as long as we are living in these bodies, we will have trouble.  But, I love how that verse ends.  Jesus says, "But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”

Personally, it seems like everyone in my family, including my wife and I, are going through trials right now, but we also know that God is good and it's through the trials that we grow and get stretched by God.

But at the end of Romans 8:28, Paul writes, "All things work for the good for those...who have been called according to His purpose."  Being called or chosen by God is not only privilege, but a high calling.  Jesus, paid the price for our sins on the cross.  He justified us, and because of God's atoning sacrifice, it's just as if we never sinned (justification). But, as Christians, Jesus is not done with us!  He wants us to grow and to be more effectively used for furthering His Kingdom.

So He pushes, pulls, and stretches us so that we can grow and get stronger for Him.  This painful, yet beneficial process, is called sanctification.  Therefore, as we struggle and go through trials and tribulations, take heart and know that God loves us, and that He has sent the Holy Spirit to empower us and that through the refining process of trials and tribulations, we will grow and become more effective servants in God's kingdom on this earth.

So do not fear.  Stay strong and know that God is for us and loves us, and that in all things God does the work of making difficult things good for us, those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

He Restoreth My Soul

When I'm low in spirit I cry Lord lift me up, I want to go higher with Thee
But nothing grows high on a mountain, so He picked out a valley for me

And He leads me beside still waters, somewhere in the valley below
And He draws me aside to be tested and tried, but in the valley He restoreth my soul

It's dark as a dungeon and the sun seldom shines, And I question Lord why must this be
Then He tells me there's strength in my sorrow, And there's victory in trials for me

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