Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - Help & Strength from God

Dear Brothers and Sisters in our Lord Christ Jesus, I still find myself under the weather. I have visited the doctors several times to provide relief and a medical solution. The best medicine I have received is prayer. Many of you are praying for both my wife and myself. We appreciate those prayers more than you can believe.

As my strength and health continue to improve, I will be able to record my last messages for those who prefer to listen to them. Please continue your prayers and support of our ministry as we work through my health issues.

Yours in Christ,
Sr. Chaplain Jesse

As I continue to deal with my health issues and continue to pray for others, I find myself, at times, alone. I feel that God may have given up on me and left me to suffer. That loneliness began to invade every part of my life. I just wanted to be left alone to suffer. Then, my thoughts and fears began to take over. I began to worry about a great many things. We have all been in that situation. We begin to self-diagnose ourselves and wonder if it is more than a cold, flu or whatever. Our minds slip into a mode of fear, uncertainty and doubt. It is the FUD factor again.

Because of that fear, uncertainty and doubt, our minds and souls move away from God. God is the great healer. In fact, God is referred to in Exodus 15 as "Jehovah Rapha" which translates as the "God who heals". Part of the healing process is understanding that there is no place for fear, uncertainty and doubt in our lives. God is always there and ready to strengthen and guide us daily especially during the times of illness, depression or whatever ails us. 

Looking at Exodus 15:26, God tells us specifically what we need to do regarding our hearts. Reading from the New Living Translation, He (being God) said, “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all his decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you.”

By keeping God's commands and decrees, doing those things that are right in His sight and listening carefully to His word, God promises that we should not suffer from disease. One could say, "Why, Jesse, are you ill? If you have done all those things, then why are you sick?" The word that we must remember is "suffer". 

When you think about it, most of the ailments that we deal with can be cured through better living. We need to eat right, exercise and have an optimistic outlook on life. We have often heard the old adage, "Laughter is the best medicine." By having a great outlook on life and maintaining a great relationship with the Lord, we can make it through the illness. Doctors provide us with the medicine, but it is up to us to take it. Through the medicine, rest and drinking fluids, we are able to get through a cold, flu or other illnesses. This is a very simple view of staying healthy. However, it does make sense.

The "suffering" part is the one we need to concern ourselves with. Suffering doesn't exclusively mean "going through something". It means, to me, just getting through it with the right outlook. We can choose to suffer or, rather, be miserable or we can get through the illness with a positive mental attitude and a strong relationship with the Lord. By going through these situations or, better put, suffering through them, we are humbled and have the opportunity to grow stronger in our faith. 

In 1 Peter 5:10, Peter tells us, "In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation." It is through that suffering that we are able to endure and come out on the other side of our problems with renewed strength and vigor. 

I know that suffering through things is very difficult for many including myself. It is only natural for an individual to want a complete turnaround and just get through the problem. However, we need to remember that God will see us through it. The road is difficult and the path may be unclear, but rest assured that God will be your guide and pilot through everything you face. I sometimes have to remind myself of that, because, I, like many, begin to feel that loneliness. I feel that I must go it alone. Then, I begin to think about God's promises and that He has never broken His word. He will restore, support and strengthen.

God will see us through everything, but we must remain faithful to Him and stay with Him. As I had mentioned earlier, the loneliness that we experience is self-induced. We separate ourselves from our loved ones, friends and God by feeling sorry for ourselves and believe that God has left us. 

Let's look at Isaiah 41:10 in the New Living Translation (NLT). God tells us, "Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

Do you have fears, uncertainties and doubts that draw you away from God? Do you feel alone and feel that suffering is just a part of life? You shouldn't. If you have a relationship with the Lord, all things are possible and your outlook in life will change. You will find a peace that surpasses all understanding. You can go through life knowing that God is always there for you and is just a prayer away. All we have to do is call out to Him and He will listen and respond.  God is always there with us and we have nothing to fear or be discouraged by. He will strengthen and help you if you let Him. It is our choice to believe in the Lord and to truly call Him "Jehovah Rapha", the God who heals. By continuing to build a strong relationship with the Lord and having a positive outlook on life, we can easily stand firm in His grace.

May God richly bless each of you. You are always in my prayers and thoughts. 

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