Burdened 

John 14:1-4

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”


We cannot avoid it. We live in a sinful world. The flesh battles against the Spirit daily. There remains an internal struggle in the hearts of every human. Things happen that cause our hearts to be troubled. What does Jesus say about burdens and troubles? 

How can we measure the level and impact of our troubles? The answer lies within your emotional reactions. Jesus clearly states that we should not let our hearts be troubled. Why? He knows HOPE! In fact, Hope = God. Jesus was verbally declaring the promises of the Father! In that, we should be filled to the brim with excitement. You see, our Hope isn’t in this world, people, or things. Our hope is in the Lord. 

When troubles stir, people disappoint, stress abounds, bodies ache, and the mind controls, we should look to the Hope in our Savior. We focus on Him alone for He has gone to prepare a place for us! Do you truly believe? He not only is sitting at the right hand of the Father, but Jesus has gone to prepare our eternal home. He promises, therefore, to return for His children! To that I say – BE GONE burdens! 

Challenge: Dear friends, it’s time to self-evaluate. If you are only on a spiritual high when things are going your way then you need to assess your level of true dependence upon the Lord. Allow the Potter full access. How are you responding to the trials in your life? Are you weary? Are you burdened? Are you depressed? Or… Are you hopeful for the promises to come?

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

It Won’t Help!

Matthew 6:27

“27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”

The doctor closes the exam door leaving a depleted man and his hopeful spouse to contemplate the plan of care proposed for the next six weeks. The prayerful yet cautious bride finally speaks up. She walks over and grabs her husband’s hand yet it wasn’t the same. The strong hands that once held her while she delivered their three children years ago now appear weak and worn. She gently squeezes in hopes of initiating a powerful return yet his eyes speak a different story – tired and defeated. 

Just as he closes his eyes, she longs for the days of driving with the top down through the Rocky Mountains while singing old country songs, dancing in the kitchen when the kids were all asleep because it was more fun than washing a sink full of dishes, and sitting poolside reading a book and talking about the future. 

She is quickly drawn back to reality when she hears the doctor clear his throat from across the room. She thinks, “When did he come back in? I didn’t hear him enter?” The doctor says, “Have you all given some thought to the plan of care?” She collapses in anxiety as the weight of the world and the hopes for their family crumble around her. “No,” she answers, “We haven’t been able to talk; he’s just too tired.” As the doctor turns to walk away, she manages to grab the corner of his medical coat. He turns his head while his body remains opposed. He says, “Yes, do you have a question?” She embraces him without return and whispers, “I worry about him day and night! I can’t eat or sleep. What do you mean he only has three months to live? I will waste away worrying so you must promise me that he will get better.” 

The doctor who initially appeared to have very little empathy removed a small Bible from his jacket pocket and said, “I too received some bad news today but couldn’t leave my job. You see, my grandmother passed away today, and I will miss her funeral this week. I loved her like a second mother! I cling to the cross and to the hope we have in Christ to keep my feet moving, one step at a time. For the Word tells us that all our worries won’t add a single hour to our lives so I give it all back to Him in full surrender; it’s truly the only thing left I can do.” 

With tear-filled eyes, he hands her the Bible, and he walks away. She gently holds the Word as she sits at the bedside watching her soulmate rest. She opens the Bible and reads, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11). 

As she closes her eyes to pray she hears her husband whisper, “Dear, what are you doing?” She replies with a reverent heart, “I’m releasing all my worries to God for tomorrow is a new day and we will rejoice for He is good no matter our outcome.” At just that moment, the husband says, “You finally understand my love, and now we can truly live!” 

Thought: Life is filled with stress, disaster, twists, and turns. How will you respond? 

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Letting Go

“14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

faith

How many of us would admit to always trying to help God?—o.k., yes me too. My heart is heavy today. I find myself wanting to help the brokenhearted, but I just can’t. Well…not in a physical sense I cannot. As a natural problem solver and overly logical thinker, I find myself analyzing every possible solution to problems that only God can fully comprehend. Yet, there we go entering the Holy of Holies with tablet and pen ready to show God just how amazing our analytical outlines are—boy He should be proud, and I’m certain He must need my input….wrong!

Throughout God’s Word we hear repeatedly…be still! The Almighty does not need your assistance dear friend. Now don’t get me wrong; He might call you, but that is different than seeking your opinion because He cannot form His own! Trust me, God is not pacing back and forth, pondering life’s most difficult questions while biting His nails. In fact, He is so in control, He set the course of time before time existed…is our mind blown yet?

Our world changes in an instant. Laughter at the dinner table quickly turns to sadness when someone calls to deliver devastating news. You see your daughter’s dreams vanishing from her eyes as the nurses wheel her away for emergency surgery. The joys of motherhood turn into mourning when you no longer feel the flutters from deep within. Yes, our world does change in an instant, but our God fights for us when we remain still — IN HIM!

Romans 8:28 says, “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.” We will never fully understand His ways because frankly…they are HIS WAYS and not ours. But what I do know is He is kind, He is loving, He is merciful, He is good, He is peaceful, and He is always working for our good.

If you are in the middle of a storm, I want to encourage you today. Continue to be faithful! 1 Corinthians 1:9 says, “God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” No matter how deep your valley, God’s faithfulness will find you there. Therefore, be still my friend and let God fight your battles for you!

Prayer Request: As prayer warriors, I ask that you lift up a dear family today. Please remember the Allen family as their daughter has undergone brain surgery. We lift her up into God’s hands for complete healing and recovery. I pray in the name of Jesus that this healing will be a testimony to bring a whole community into Your presence and Kingdom. This precious child will speak Your life, Jesus, onto all those she comes into contact with. In Jesus name I pray-Amen.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Brokenhearted

Psalm 147:3

“3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

brokenhearted

Parched and longing for a drink, I reached into the refrigerator and slowly pulled out one of my favorite carbonated teas. As sad as it sounds, I was looking forward to finishing off this bottle and enjoying the refreshing tastes of black tea, ginger, and lemon suspended in the breezy carbonation – you get the picture!

However, as I’m pulling out the glass bottle, the refrigerator shelving obstructs the bottle rim which causes me to lose my grip; the bottle slowly yet uncontrollably somersaults to the tile floor awaiting its broken fate. My anticipation quickly turns into brokenheartedness as I assess the damage. I am always amazed how far broken glass can travel from the origin of impact. Before commencing the cleaning ritual, the Holy Spirit literally used this opportunity to speak – doesn’t He always! I stared at the shattered glass for what seemed like an eternity all while the liquid crawled between the grout almost symbolizing our path in life!

Aren’t our lives just a little bit like the shattered glass on the tile floor? Do we have moments in time where we are comfortable and unshaken while sitting on the shelf of life then all of a sudden – falling, brokenheartedness, shattered due to forces outside of our control?

I must admit, though, I don’t want to be a Christian believer who is comfortable just sitting on the “shelf of life!” Therefore, in following His will, I will experience the hills and valleys if that means experiencing God and bringing others to Him. Is it worth it – emphatic Yes!

Let us not overlook this simple verse. In this passage, the Lord was faithful and just in taking care of His people. God’s people had a reason to be brokenhearted. After their captivity and release, they returned to their land which had been devastated. Through their repentance, God gave them exactly what they needed. He is a just and merciful Father and “binds up wounds.”

If you find yourself brokenhearted, look up! God is the Master Healer; He can heal any broken heart, but you must be willing to give him the pieces.

 

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

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