This could be your story

by DP

How hopeful to know that Jacob from being a cheater and a liar, became part of the genealogy of Jesus! The Bible does not hide the fact that he had to toil much more in his life to attain the blessings that God gave him. He worked hard to get his promised wife and the fought with the Angel of God for a blessing, and won. He also created lifelong enemies with his brother until he was forgiven. For his ways he had also fallen into the trap of deceit, when Laban his father in law, cheated him giving him his other daughter and having to work more for the one he really loved. Hard days and hard situations which he had brought upon himself.

But this story instead of being sad, gives hope to all of us that have had a less than perfect past. You know, the moments in life when you have not been specially truthful, or when you have wronged someone knowingly and had fled leaving that person hurting. And what about deceit? We can go on and on with many of the mistakes and mishaps, be it small, medium, large or extra large ones, that have already passed but continue to accuse you today. It might have been years ago, and you still walk today having that mistake hanging around your neck like a sign that says, “I can’t, I did this or that in the past”. You are not perfect and you may have done many wrong deeds in your past. But there is hope, and there is a future. As Jacob went to know very well, redemption is something a man cannot do by himself, it has to come from God, and He is willing.

He is willing to make you new, to go deep in your heart and change everything. He is so willing that he already made a plan and executed it on your behalf. It is called Grace. It was performed by his son Jesus on the cross where He gave himself for you and for me so our sins would be forgiven and our lives would be redeemed. You have toiled enough to know that you have not gotten to far. It has been hard and every time you consider it, your past comes to haunt you again. But it doesn’t have to be that way, all the accusations, all the sins, all the mistakes, all the wrongs, and the past has been forgiven, by his Grace.

Jacob came to be part of the genealogy of Jesus, the Savior of the world. His name is forever branded in history, in spite of his past, as one of the great fathers of a nation, and his name was changed from Jacob, which means cheater, to Israel. All because he was redeemed and forgiven. This could also be your story if you choose to; to be forgiven, restored and redeemed. It is up to you, He has forgiven all our sins and restored all things by his sacrifice in the cross. He has plans for your life, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

One thing I know about you and that is, that your future is breathtaking, because Jacob’s story of redemption, could be your story.

“BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE Boldly”

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© Copyright DP, 2011

…for there is the sound of abundance of rain.

by DP

Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.” 1 Kings 18:41 NKJV

How is it that Elijah heard the sound of abundant rain? Clear skies, no clouds, no signs, no rain. Was he out of his mind? No, but Elijah had foresight of the rain to come.

Elijah knew the season he was in. When you are connected with God, you seek His presence and stay obedient, you will have the revelation of the seasons. Not the natural seasons, but the spiritual ones. You will know when to go out and when to stay in, when to talk and when to stay quiet, when to walk and when to stand still. Regardless of what everybody else sees, does and tells you, you will have a revelation of the season for your life and what to do. You will hear the voice that says, I hear the sound of rain!

Rain? We ask, in middle of this trial? Rain? When my spouse has left. Rain? When my finances are a mess. Rain? When I have come to the end of my resources? Rain? When I have no direction in life? Yes, the sound of abundance of rain. It will come without notice, and when it comes it will pour to overflow. There are seasons in our life that are characterized by the drought. The lack of meaning, the want of better and brighter days. We don’t see nothing happening. Our flesh starts to take over our spirit and begins to convince it that as dry as it seems, it will definitely get worse. It is a battle between what we can see and what we can’t. It is confusing, when our emotions take over and try to control our mindset.

But God will pour rain over your health, over your children, over your trial, over your relationships, over your work, over your finances, and when it happens it will be like a flood. You will have to run, so be prepared for His rain.

Therefore, go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain!

“BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE Boldly”

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© Copyright DP, 2007

Restored to life again

by DP

You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth. You will restore me to even greater honor and comfort me once again. Psalms 71:20-21

The psalmist, aware that he was aging and his strength was failing, called on to God to walk with him as he entered this period of his life. His prior experiences told him that God would continue to be faithful. The psalmist’s is acknowledging the place and circumstances he’s currentlyin. He is not reproaching or reclaiming anything from God, but even in this moment of despair and of apparent solitude, he says that he will praise God more and more (v14) in spite of his predicament. His statement is profound since he remembers what God has done for him in the past, and affirms that he will do the same today and in the future. In spite of all, his strength moves him to say that no matter the hardship, he looks for the restoration from its present state of humiliation and will continue to speak of the righteousness of the Lord, His saving power, His mighty deeds and tell everyone, that only God is just. Wow, what a strong statement!

You might be in a dire predicament today. It may have come unexpected or maybe it was created by your own deeds. All of the circumstances around you are shaking, tumbling and unstable. You have been questioning everything that you believe, even your faith. The moment is so hard that your vision is blurry. Your faith, your marriage, your health, your job, your friends, your country; it has all been shaken and rattled. What to do? What to believe? Who to believe? The writer being in a vulnerable place recalled the greatness of the power of the Lord, his deeds and his righteousness. But he did something else, something unconventional to the human mind. He praised God.

There is something special when you praise God, specially in the trying times. It brings back to heart everything He has done in your life. It will spark a flame that will rekindle your hope and will comfort your soul. God is working on your behalf, never doubt that. Hardship is part of life, but it can be used to prepare you for a greater assignment. More often than not, God uses our brokenness to show his glory and for you to become what you where meant to be.

Who can compare to God? He has done such wonderful things. Trust him, he has never lost a battle, he has never stopped loving you. The honer you will see will be greater, you will reach a new level and you will see that He will restore you to life, again.

“BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE Boldly”

From the desert to the summit

by DP

…while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” 1 Kings 19:4

The prophet Elijah had just witnessed one of the most recognized miracles and victories in biblical history. He demonstrated to all the people of Israel that Baal was a false god and at the Lord’s command defeated the 450 false prophets with the sword. Ahab king of Israel, had a wife named Jezebel, which he told of this event. Enraged, Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to tell him that she would kill him the next day as he had done to the prophets, and if she didn’t that her gods would punished her without mercy. Elijah heard this, was afraid and fled. The story goes on to say that he sat under a bush and protested.

It is interesting that after a big victory, this prophet who had proven that God of Israel was the only true god, and even had defeated 450 men, fled with a simple message. I am not minimizing the seriousness of the message, but the very context of the message and Elijah’s reaction to it. Elias came out of an unprecedented victory and showed that the gods which Jezebel referred to had no power or existed. In fact the very act of Jezebel showed that she feared the prophet, because she didn’t sent troops, but merely a messenger to bring a empty message and without substance. Notwithstanding this fact, Elijah was afraid and fled toward the desert complaining and wanting to die.

How often does this happen to us. Coming from a great victory, we are frightened by mere words that have no foundation. We began to flee to desert places, aimlessly, hoping that our life is other, sometimes wanting to die because we can’t understand why we are in the place or situation where are in. It seems to have no explanation. Instead of celebrating, we get depressed. And all because of a word without substance.

My intention is not to simplify the condition of depression, much less ignore that there are professionals who can help you, but make you understand that God is attentive to your life and wants to restore you. Don’t hear empty voices, don’t move by fear, those are words that have no foundation. Trust, the Almighty God is ready to help you. God never responded to the negative assertions of Elijah, never responded to those words that Elijah used to degrade himself, to make him be less than what he was. God does not validate our words of defeat, but he understands and loves us. Elijah received support through an angel who served in the difficult time and God’s instruction for him was, “Arise and eat, because the journey is great.” He was supported with the provision that God himself had sent and it gave him strength to walk 40 days to reach the top of mountain.

Close your ears to hollow, empty words of defeat. You have a long way to go ahead of you, this is not the end, much less your destination. Your circumstances do not define you. What others say about you, do not give you identity. The words of fear do not direct you. There are angels who serve you in the midst of your circumstances. You were created for greatness, for heights, and for a wonderful purpose. So sustain yourself with his Word, go on, walk and conquer.

Your life will give have new twist and you will go from the desert to the summit. See you at the top!

“BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE Boldly”