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PRAY PLAN PROCEED

When our lives are in a whirlwind, where do we even begin? Over the years many people have told me that during times of trial, tribulation, or just plain confusion we do one of two things: turn to God or away from Him. Looking back, I can think of far too many instances where I threw in the towel

and turned my back on God. On the other side of things, there have been times where all I did in the midst of a storm was cling onto Him. When the going gets tough, where do you fall?

That’s the thing, it feels like more often than not I merely fall. I’m not falling to my knees like I should, I’m not giving my burdens to Him as 1 Peter 5:7 says.
We must remember that God doesn’t want us to aim for perfection before we go to Him. He wants us to come as we are. Yes, He wants our broken, imperfect selves. Next time your world has just been shaken and your mind is racing at one hundred miles per hour, start by praying to Him despite how other people see you, or even how you see yourself.
Laying whatever concerns plaguing your heart upon His feet doesn’t take away the situation you’re facing, however it does give you the peace and hope you need to keep going onward.
Next, you remember to plan and then you proceed in those plans. Now that you have peace –a peace that reassures you that no matter the outcome, He will always be there–how do you anticipate moving forward in this event? How can God be glorified throughout all of this?

Pray, plan, and proceed are three words to keep within your heart for the times that you’re facing a fork in the road.

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THE WORDS OF THE WISE

As a child, an upcoming birthday–or simply thinking about your age–always brings out an excited response. It’s not rare to see that once-energetic reaction die down a little as the years go on.
We’ve all been there, and if you haven’t, you will likely be there at some point…that’s right, wanting to go back to the past. From the throwback posts to the ‘share if you’re a 90’s kid’,

nostalgia is everywhere. I would be lying if I said that in the recent months I’ve been suddenly compelled to comb through old yearbooks, photo albums, and even look up childhood friends. It is incredibly easy to get caught up in nostalgia, but snapping out of that yearning mentality is the opposite of that. Reminding yourself that you’re ultimately wasting the time you have in this moment, by focusing on your past, is easier said than done.

Recently I decided to read the book of Ecclesiastes. I would describe it as the slap in the face that I so desperately needed, but Ecclesiastes did that for me in chapter 12, verse 11: “The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails–given by one shepherd.”
Goad is another word for cattle prod, therefore it’s likening the words of the wise as something pesky, but ultimately helpful. This properly explains this specific book of the Bible, as it advises you to relish the life you have before it’s too late. From a humanly perspective, it comes off as ‘harsh,’ but keeping that main theme in mind allows you to gain valuable lessons from it. Our lives as we know them on earth are merely temporary, but God’s hold on the universe gives us an enduring hope and a purpose. We must always keep that on our hearts.
As I was reading, my eyes latched onto Ecclesiastes 7:10. They read, “Do not say, ‘Why were the old days better than these?’ For it is not wise to ask such questions.”
I read that verse until those twenty words started to look like unfamiliar gibberish. In that moment, I knew God was speaking to me. So many times I’ve addressed the ‘good old days’. So many times I’ve longed for those memories. So many times…and if I could add the minutes I’ve spent wallowing in the past, how much time have I taken from my present?

It wasn’t until this moment that I truly listened to God in regards to that. He was loud and clear. Ecclesiastes 3:14 writes, “I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.” God has His hands on all of our lives. Whether we make a mistake and wish we could change it or experience a pleasant thing that we wish we could go back to, God is imploring us to keep our eyes forward.

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WHY GOD MAKES YOU SUFFER SOMETIMES?

Why do you think does God allow you to sufferHave you ever considered if He really cares about your sufferingsToday I want to tell you that there are reasons why the lord makes us suffer and those reasons are included in the following according to James L Milton.

Some People Suffer for the Salvation of Lost Souls
God makes us suffer because He is trying to tell us something. By allowing suffering He is showing us that something is wrong. God doesn’t ENJOY seeing anyone suffer, but He does ALLOW people to suffer for various reasons. God may bring tragedy into your life so that he can get your attention. Like for example the leper of Matthew 8:2, do you think he would have come to Jesus if he had been in perfect health? What about the blind man of Luke 18:35? 
The Bible is filled with cases where God reaches people through suffering. Nebuchadnezzar didn’t fear God until God humbled him by making him spend seven years of his life on his hands and knees like an animal (Dan. 4:30-37).
No one suffers in vain. God always has a reason, and sometimes He is trying to show someone their need to receive the Lord Jesus Christ. Could this be true in your own life? Think about it. Could the Lord be convicting you of the fact that you are a sinner, and you need to be saved?
Some Christians Suffer for the Lord Jesus Christ
II Timothy 3:12 says, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” Then II Timothy 2:12 says, “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him…” Jesus said, “. . . . If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke. 9:23) 
When a Christian chooses to deny himself and follow Christ, they choose to suffer for the Lord. The world has always found a way to persecute God’s people, and we should not be surprised when persecution arises. Jesus suffered for us, and we should count it an honour to suffer for Him. In Acts 5:41 the Apostles rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer for the Lord Jesus Christ! Jesus said that we should rejoice when we suffer for His sake, because GREAT is our reward in Heaven (Mt. 5:12). I Peter 2:19-21 tells us that it is our duty to follow our Lord’s example in suffering, and I Peter 4:12-16 tells us to be happy when we suffer for Christ, and it tells us not to be ashamed. 
God Teaches Us Valuable Lessons Through Suffering
Not all suffering Christians are disobedient Christians. There are many very dear Christians who go through great agony every day, yet they are some of sweetest and most God-fearing saints you’ll ever meet. Why does God allow them to suffer? There are many reasons.
One reason is humility. If we believed some of the popular “Faith Healers” of our day, we’d believe that people suffer because they lack faith in God, but this isn’t necessarily true. The Apostle Paul didn’t live in sin and he didn’t lack faith in God, but he DID have to suffer. Why? He tells us why in II Corinthians 12:7: “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.” Whatever this thorn in the flesh was, verses eight and nine tell us that God chose NOT to take it from Paul. Instead, He chose to give Paul the GRACE to bear the burden. God used this problem in Paul’s life to help keep him humble, to keep him from being exalted above measure.
Sometimes God sees the need to put us through some things for the purpose of making us stronger. God will also use suffering to teach us patience. Romans 5:3 tells us that, Tribulation worketh patience
Some people suffer so that they will be better equipped to comfort others in their suffering (II Cor. 1:3-4). It’s always a blessing to know someone who has gone through the same troubles that you are going through, for they usually have some helpful words of comfort and wisdom. Are you going through some pretty tough times? Maybe the Lord is giving you the experience that you’ll need to help someone else later.
*To read more of James L Melton’s words of wisdom, please follow the link belowhttp://www.biblebelievers.com/jmelton/suffer.html

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