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It has been said that suicide is a permanent answer to a temporary problem.  Anyone who has known the loss of someone due to suicidal death knows how arduous such grief is.  Moreover, anyone who has considered this “answer” to life’s challenges knows how hopeless life can sometimes seem.

Jesus changes that.  He brought hope into the world.  A speck of hope is all that is necessary for someone to continue to hold on to life—even with all of its woes and trials.  Jesus also comforts those who grieve the loss of a loved one and wonder how and where they will find strength to go on.  Jesus is the answer.  Suicide may have touched your life in one way or another.  Let Jesus touch you so that He can lead you in steps beyond what has been painful.  May He fill You with His love and His hope.

Lord Jesus, You know it is excruciating for those who survive the deaths of family and friends due to suicide.  Jesus, You are the answer to all the challenges we face in life.  Jesus, soften spirits and strengthen wills for those who suffer in grief.  Lord Jesus, be present to those who think they are without hope or purpose in life.  Everyone faces valley seasons.  May Your Spirit of Life keep people holding on to You and to Your promises.  In Thee, Lord Christ, Amen.

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Purpose.  Each one of us has purpose, in everything we do.  Purposes can be positive or negative, full of progress or destructive.  If life is lived in Christ, then the purpose in choices is to be conformed more into the image of the Saviour. 

Grief has purpose.  It is a means to conform.  Grief by its very nature forces one into a heightened emotional state.  That state of being sensitizes us to the pains of loss and suffering; suffering that does help us to better understand Jesus’ heart.  Because grief is a part of life, and all life in Christ has purpose, grief serves a purpose for you and for me.  Unwanted as a season grief is, given time, it has the potential to reveal a side of Jesus we have not known before, and concurrently produce in you and in me more of a likeness to Himself.

Lord Jesus, You know how deeply grief can hurt.  Thank You, Lord, for staying with us every moment of our sorrows.  Thank You, Jesus, for letting us see Your heart through our tears; tears You know so well.  In Thee, Amen.

Where is your heart?  Is it with Jesus? If it is with Jesus, your heart is in a safe place.  It is in a certain and trustworthy place.  Even if life hurts right now and you are in a puzzling or unwanted set of circumstances, if your heart is with Jesus, you are exactly where you need to be.

Jesus knows that we will have challenges in this life.  But He also gives the choice for people to place their trust in Him so that He can walk through challenges with us. Life has its joys and its trials.  If your heart is with Jesus, He will accompany you in every experience in your life.  Where is your heart?  I pray it is with Jesus.  Surely, His heart is with you.

Lord Jesus, Your heart is with us and for us.  Thank You, Lord Jesus, for gentle reminders of Your promise to never leave us nor forsake us.   In Your love,  Amen.

Those days of unexpected remembrances in our lives can be gifts and can be burdens.  This week begins with a celebration of Mother’s Day.  For some, it will be a day a jubilation and sharing.  For others, it will be a day of sadness, regret, and estrangement.  Whatever kind of a day it is for you, Jesus is there.

Jesus is with His people every step of the way.  A belief in Jesus means a life with Jesus.  Togetherness—forever.  Eternally.  When memories are made, Jesus stays.  He joins in that which is joyous and He joins in that which is sad.  However you spend this particular Sunday and the coming week, know this—as a believer in Jesus Christ you are certain to spend it with Him.  He would have it no other way.  He loves you so.

Lord Jesus, may Your heart be blessed as You make Yourself present to others who need and want Your companionship.  You bless more than words can say.  Thank You, Jesus, for staying close.  In Thee, Amen.

REMEMBERING

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.    Philippians 1:3

Remembering.  We do it all the time.  People make our lives what they are.  The memories that drift in and out of our minds—often unbidden—signify our connection to people with whom we have made our lives.  These are persons with who we have charted personal journeys to gather the mementos of the heart.

Most of our remembering occurs with those with whom we have special bonds.  With some people we share many years; with others, far less than we thought.   Still a bond exists.  Remembering also happens with regard to individuals who disappointed or disappeared.  Sorrowful memories visit hearts as well.  

God is generous in the broad allowance He grants for people to create memories each moment of the day.  The Holy Spirit breathes life into what appears common.  Many a routine activity becomes cherished.  Individuals who carry on in the face of grief do long for those routine days.  God’s love for you and for me is revealed in His abundant grace that leads us to memory making and memory keeping in our lives, in what is seemingly mundane and never-ending.

Jesus is at the core of our remembrances; the reason why we remain connected to what has been.  Colossians 1:17 assures us that He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.  Such confidence this brings.  Such comfort.  This is a steady reminder of the power of Jesus and His understanding of the human heart.  Because Jesus holds all things together, we can be certain that there is something of worth and purpose in what has been in our lives—even if circumstances and emotions would indicate otherwise.

Jesus Christ is the Great Redeemer.  Of souls.  Of spirits.  Of reasons.  Jesus declares life, forgiveness, and hope—for everyone and everything.  He gave His life on the Cross at Calvary so that anyone who believes in Him could believe in their lives too—no matter what.  The power of Jesus’ love is beyond human comprehension but never beyond human need.  Whatever has been or is now being encountered that challenges, Jesus will overcomes.  Man cannot.  Jesus can.  A belief in Him and His power make certain that He will arrange matters in a heart such that grief will not overtake, and regret will not overshadow a hope still vibrant in every tomorrow in which He is made center.

We thank God for every remembrance of people, places, strides, victories, joys, and even the challenges, that make us who we are.  We thank God for hope and time to share and create new memories.  Most of all, we thank God for Jesus, who grants resurrection hope to hearts that struggle with the questions of why and how.  Jesus, He is the One with the power to give new meaning, hope, and direction to our lives. 

God shall continue to cover all with His love.

Lord, You have granted the fabric of memories that shape and embellish our lives.  You assuage the sorrows with Your heart of love and comfort.  Thank You, Lord, for what You out of Your love for Your people that make remembrances treasured, redemptive, and meaningful  in Thee.  In Christ forevermore,  Amen.

Beloved people.  We know them.  We cherish them.  Maybe they are here with us.  Perhaps they are beyond life in this world.  Yet, their memory lingers.  Whether we have known beloved persons for a brief or long duration, the memories we make together linger on, too.  These memories define us; they continue to make us who we are.

When you ponder the person/s in your life who are beloved, ponder Jesus.  Only Jesus in the center of a relationship can retain the beauty and bounty of a relationship.  Only Jesus has the power to keep breathing life into relationships that are physically known or spiritually thriving.  Jesus—The Beloved.  Because of Him, we can hold dear the persons who become beloved.  All because of Jesus.

Lord Jesus, You are before all things and in You all things hold together (Col. 1:17).  Thank You, Beloved Saviour and Friend, for all we share with You, and that because of You in the center of life, all other meaningful connections are supported and lasting.  In Thee, Amen.