You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2012.

There is a difference between grief and mourning.  Mourning is outer i.e., what is done publicly in rituals that signify an ending.  Grief is inner; the emotional pains borne as a result of a loss.  While these are different expressions of a loss, sometimes grief can take its toll physically if one experiences lack of sleep, appetite fluctuations, mood swings that bring about angry outbursts or crying spells. Because grief is a volatile experience, one may not know how it will show itself.  Whether grief is visible or worn inside on the heart, Jesus knows every nuance of your personal experience of grief.

Jesus knows everything.  He has complete awareness of what you are feeling as you mire through the grief and its unpredictable emotions.  Yet, He Himself stays the same to create an equlibrium for you that can only be the result of His divine presence.  Whatever you are feeling that is obvious or concealed, Jesus knows all you are feeling.  He will uphold you.  Even if you feel unsteady, His Hand and His strength are sure.  Do rely on Him to carry you through.  He wants to.  He love you so.

Lord Jesus, grief is so deeply painful.  It is a foreign experience if it has never been know yet it is a universal experience.  Jesus, Thank You for being the steady strength and support this reader requires to carry on by the support of Your endless love.  In Thee, Amen.
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There is little controversy when it comes to wanting to be happy. Most people desire happiness. As a framework for life; as a goal. When life’s circumstances do not produce happiness, faith can wane. God never intended for that to be. When grief has its season in our lives, emotions can slump and faith can dim. But faith in the Lord is something that can increase in times that are unhappy, if His glory is sought in all.

Sufferings in life bring us closer to Jesus. If suffering comes due to deaths, health problems, relationship challenges, and various other human experiences, the presence of the Holy Spirit and a continuous desire for the Lord to be in the center, will produce something beneficial. It will not be happiness. But eventually, ever so incrementally, there will be a washing away of sorrow and a replacement of peace and purpose. This may take a long time to reach. Following Jesus is a life-long process, and in every season of life He will indeed make something meaningful out of sufferings. He promised. Will you believe in His promise?

Lord Jesus, trust is a word bandied about yet that is what You ask followers to do. By faith we are to follow You, trust You, and then watch to see Your presence and Your hand in our lives to make meaning out of that which can seem meaningless. Thank You, Jesus, for being our constant companion, and for always making good on Your promises. In Thee, Amen.

We form dreams in our heart and give them to Son of God so that by faith we can expect to see them come to be.  The Lord knows our hearts and He knows the hopes that live in us for He Himself is the Maker of hope and Giver of dreams.  But when loss strikes a life, it can seem as though the God of Israel in Whom we have trusted subtracts rather than adds to personal or mutual splendor.  In God’s economy everything is exponential.  Everything has value.  Part of the mystery of God is that those things that strike the heart create a place for Him to fill.

Grief takes but Jesus replenishes.  Sorrows exhausts but Jesus refills.  Going through a time of barren days and blank views does not seem purposeful let alone productive.  With God, somehow it is.  We do not see the meaning in a time of deep sadness due to tradegy, poor choices, and painful consequences.  God does.  He sent Jesus to be proof that in Jesus and because of Him, hope will rise again.  That there is still purpose in the wilderness times of life, and that the shadows of grief eventually give way to a dawn of meaning.  Whatever you are experiencing right now that is painful and seemingly without intent, know that the Lord is with you and He will lead the way to resotration and meaning.  He will lead the way for HE is the way.

Lord Jesus, You abide, in Your presence, in Your Word.  You stay with those who hurt and You still extend hope and meaning even when life hurts and dreams are shattered.  Because You live to comfort and redeem, there is hope for better days and for purpose that only Your living Spirit can provide.  Thank You, Lord, for all You continue to give of Yourself in times of loss.  In Thee, Lord Jesus, Amen.
Expectation is either exhilierating or limiting.  It depends on who is in control–God or us.  The choice is ours.  To expect based on human desire is to limit Diviine hope.  Human expectations tend to be governed by human wishes.  Conversely when one gives expectations over to Divinity to fulfill, the best outcome is sure to result.  Even in times of grief, Divinity is at work seeking to fulfill expectations.

Sorrow can and does get the better of us when loss strikes.  But Jesus came to enter the world and to enter hearts such that all–all–in Him will be infused with a redemptive quality.  Grief can blind that truth.  Feelings can paralyze that truth.  Jesus fulfills that truth.  Even in sorrow, may we possess a grain of faith to let Him.

Lord, expectations placed in You can only result in something purposeful and new.  Help us, Lord, to give to You all of our expectations for the results You pray we receive.  In Thee our Lord and Saviour, Amen.

BEGINNINGS

                 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.     Psalm 111:10

At Epiphany we remember the three wise men; the three kings who journeyed far to bring their gifts to the Lord Jesus at His birth.  These kings, considered wise and high in stature, came to the Lord in reverence and fear to bow before Him.  They knew He was holy.  They did not tremble before Him but knelt before Him, knowing that Jesus is the One in possession of all power and wisdom.  Their recognition of the Lord Jesus as King over kings illustrated their smallness before Greatness.  With quiet fear and holy love the wise men followed the star to Jesus.

Are you following Jesus today?  Loss may be part of your life this season, and therefore, conscious following of Jesus may not seem to be part of your daily course.  Serious loss may have come unexpectedly or anticipated loss that you could not prevent.  Human fear may be stirring in you as try to cope, carry on, and plan for tomorrow without whom and what you had yesterday.  To follow Jesus may be difficult because focus on anyone or anything is hard right now.  But the mere whisper of Jesus’ Name brings comfort and healing.  Letting His Name be on your lips brings assurance to the heart.  Fearing Him and concurrently trusting Him to be with you and to hold you in a time of loss are signs of wisdom.  It means you are following Jesus even if you do not feel you are doing so.  He understands. He loves you.  Completely.  Trust His love for you.  It is perfect.

The Lord created us for fellowship with Him.  He wants to go through everything with us.  The beautiful bridge of prayer at any time or place allows us warm and ready relationship with Jesus.  Prayer fosters closeness with God in Christ.  As we turn the corner from 2011 and enter into a new year of God’s grace, 2012 will hold its share of uncertainties.  The unknowns include the people we will meet, relationships that will develop, relationships that will conclude in one form, places we will go, inspiration that comes, and differences we will make in God’s world for Christ’s sake.  The next generous portion of time God gives to us will include matters new, wondrous, and maybe perplexing.  But the God of Israel will be in the center of it all.  If we recognize the fluidity of His power at all times and all places, we will fear Him yet trust Him, and be endowed with more wisdom.

Fear as a beginning! How can it be that fear leads to something beneficial—the gain of wisdom.  But in God’s Word it is clear that fear of God is the beginning of  wisdom.  How much wisdom do we want?  It is measured by how much we want God and desire to know Him through His Word.  May His coming year find us filled with more wisdom from the Lord and greater love for the Lord.

Lord, to fear You is to know Your power and yet be wrapped in Your love.  May every beginning bring us closer to You.  In Thee, Lord Jesus, Amen.

There are few times of year as attention-getting a milestone as the start of a new year. Yes, special events in our lives–happy or sad–do get our attention. But a new year is pivotal. We stop to pause and consider what has been and what shall be. Whatever the year has held, Jesus has held the year.

He is before all things and in Him all things hold together. This is the Scripture from Colossians that anchors Three Kings Ministries. Indeed Jesus is before all and in Himself He binds all. The glad. The sad. The misunderstood. The unknown. The clear. Your future. Your past. Your today. Jesus is the One–the only One–who can keep all aspects of life centered in Himself. Whatever has been and whatever shall be, letting Jesus be the focal point of one’s life is certain to result in meaning. Even if meaning is not clear at first. May the Lord of all love, instruction, and purpose give warmth to your spirit as you turn your gaze to the new year. Jesus will be there. He would have it no other way.

Lord Jesus, You have held this past year in Your heart–whatever has happened. May each one hold You, Risen Christ, in his or her heart so that faith and love abide in the fullness of fellowship with You–whatever circumstances bring. Blessed Redeemer, Thank You for being our constant presence throughout all the days and years of our lives. In the Name above all names, Jesus Christ, Amen.