WHEN A CHRISTIAN DIES PREMATURELY (PART I)

Image courtesy of ponsulak FreeDigitalPhotos.net".

Image courtesy of ponsulak FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

When a Christian dies an untimely death via accident or illness, especially if we viewed that individual as having strong faith, it feels like a punch in the gut. We ask, what went wrong? Why did they die? Where was God? When we don’t understand what happened after we prayed in faith and the person still died, our faith can be sorely shaken to the very core. That can affect our relationship with God and create a crisis in our faith.

I remember when I was at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma working on my Master’s Degree, and five people I knew died within five months. I was reeling. It shook my faith to the core. I had prayed for these individuals! These were mature Christians! What in the world happened!? But after I have reflected on similar situations that have happened since, God has given me a few insights which I’d like to share.

  1. God’s Word is infallible. If a person dies of an illness and is not healed on this side of glory, or if someone dies an untimely death due to an accident, it’s not because God failed in some way. God is still good no matter what. He is faithful, and He’s not a liar. If the unthinkable happened, there is something that we have failed to understand or recognize. The conclusion can’t be that God is somehow not Who He has said He is in His Word. Our Father is perfect and righteous regardless of what we experience in life, and we must trust Him. Until we come to that realization, we will have a difficult time healing and getting past our grief.
  2. We don’t know the total picture. God is omniscient and knows everything. In I Corinthians 4:5, Paul says, “Judge nothing before the time; wait till the Lord comes.”  He warns us against judging circumstances when we do not know everything about them. Only God knows everything about a situation. We have no idea what is going on behind the scenes when someone dies. Therefore, we cannot make a judgment about what we perceive with our senses.
  3. We have to walk by faith. Paul said in II Corinthians 5:7, “We walk by faith, not by sight.” When we have to have an explanation as to why God allowed an untimely death, then we are walking by sight. When we blame God for a death and say that His Word does not work, we walk by sight. No matter what we see or experience, God’s Word is always true and the final authority in any situation. If we don’t understand something, we can’t make a judgment call about God’s character based on what we see. Again, to do so is to walk by sight.
  4. God owes us no explanations. He may or may not choose to explain Himself. He is sovereign. He is omnipotent. He is God. In the same way you refuse to explain everything you do to your children, the Lord reserves the right to withhold information and refuse to explain Himself as well. Just know that in spite of what happens in your life, He loves you and has your best interests at heart.

When a loved one passes away, it’s a difficult pill to swallow. Death is an event for which you can never really prepare. God in His sovereignty and grace knows exactly what He is doing and will help you to get through that painful experience. In my next blog post, I will give a few more thoughts on the topic of losing a Christian family member or friend. In the meantime if you are struggling with the death of your beloved, I am so sorry for your loss. May God heal your heart, grant you the peace that surpasses all understanding and the grace to trust Him without having to understand it all.

What insights has God given you as the result of the passing of a loved one? Please leave a comment below.

I’d love your help spreading the word about my book, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal GrowthClick here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and subscribe to the email list.

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Take a trip down a spiritually poetic trail, and dare to become your best for Christ.

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THE BENEFITS OF REJECTION

Image courtesy of cooldesign/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of cooldesign/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

All of us have experienced rejection at some time in our lives, and it’s not a good feeling. It can be devastating. The devil knows this, and very often he uses it as a tool to attempt to keep us from reaching our potential in Christ. If he can make us think that we are worth less than we are, then he can convince us we don’t deserve any of the blessings that God has for us. We lose faith and hope, and then we are unable to fulfill our destiny. We have to view rejection from another prospective. Let’s face it, it’s not fun, but rejection has several benefits:

Election

In Luke 6:22-23, Jesus said, “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven…” Therefore, rejection is a sign that you are a genuine citizen of the Kingdom. When Jesus spoke of your reward in Heaven, He was giving confirmation of your salvation. Thus, you should rejoice when you are rejected because it authenticates your election into the Kingdom and validates that you are on your way to Heaven

Protection

Sometimes when God allows you to be rejected, it’s to protect you from someone. You may not know it, but maybe if you stayed in relationship with that person, perhaps you would end up sinning against God. Perhaps that person would end up harming you physically or spiritually. Perhaps you would end up being deceived or getting your heart broken. Perhaps the person would somehow take away from your life versus add to your life. God sees the big picture. We can only see a small piece of the puzzle. Father always knows best.

Reflection

Rejection can some times send you reeling, but it will cause you to reflect on your issues. In order for the Holy Spirit to speak to you and teach you what you need to know, it’s necessary for you to sit down, get quiet, and reflect. When you come out of a period of reflection and seeking the Holy Spirit about the truth you need to know in the situation, God will give you revelation, and you will become more spiritually mature and aware.

Direction

Bishop T.D. Jakes said that rejection sometimes is for the purpose of giving you direction. When one door closes, that will cause you to move toward another door that will open. When you face rejection, look for another door of opportunity to manifest. Maybe you would miss another person that God wanted you to fellowship with. Whatever the case may be, when you are rejected, expect God to give you direction via the rejection. He wants to show you a different path than the one you are traveling on at the moment.

So you see, rejection has its benefits. Every coin has two sides, and the same is true about rejection. Which side will you view? Ask yourself this question: Why is it that when you can take someone’s actions one of two ways, you choose to gravitate toward the explanation that will absolutely destroy your self-esteem and self-worth? What you need to do is reject rejection by choosing the option that will put you in the best light, lines up with God’s Word, and will keep you out of condemnation. If you will view rejection with the proper perspective, then it will not be able to hurt you.

What lessons have you learned in life about rejection? Please leave a comment below.

I’d love your help spreading the word about my book, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal GrowthClick here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and subscribe to the email list.

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Take a trip down a spiritually poetic trail, and dare to become your best for Christ.

FOCUS ON THE RESULTS, NOT THE PROCESS

Image courtesy of Castillo Dominici/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net".

Image courtesy of Castillo Dominici FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

You know how we are. The New Year comes in, and many of us are determined to get in shape this year. We even went and got a gym membership. However, it seems around the second or third month into our “program,” we start to lose steam. We started out going to the gym three times a week. Then once per week. Then once a month. Now, we don’t go at all, but we’ve already signed the contract, and we’re stuck. Don’t you hate that?

Let’s face it. Exercise is not fun. It takes discipline, and it’s not easy. But those who would succeed at maintaining an exercise regiment must have a proper focus. Those who do not continue to do what they know they should in order to keep their bodies fit and toned are focusing on the unpleasant aspects of exercise. Those who succeed are focusing on results they want to enjoy. They want to enjoy looking good and feeling great. They want to enjoy basking in the feeling that comes when people tell them how good they look. They want to enjoy looking in the mirror and seeing progress.

In the same way, trials are not as difficult to bear if you focus on the right thing. If you focus on the process you are going through in the moment, you will have a bad attitude and want to quit. But if you focus on the results that are being produced, namely faith, patience, endurance, strength, peace, and joy, then you will want to continue. You will run on to see what the end will be.

The following scriptures exemplify the truths that suffering produces results, and your focus can determine your attitude:

1)      I Peter 5:10 – “…After that ye have suffered a while, will make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” This means that suffering endured through trials will produce positive results.

2)      Hebrews 12:2 – Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame….” Jesus focused on the results being produced, our salvation, as a means to endure the agony of the cross.

3)      James 1:2-4 – “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire wanting nothing.” Thus, focusing on what you know will enable you to be joyful as you are going through a trial.

So you see, God has a purpose for trials, and proper focus will help you to get through them with a good attitude.

If you are in a hard trial today, these are some things that you can do to make the situation more bearable:

1)      Immerse yourself in the Word via reading the Bible, listening to  CD’s, watching Christian TV, and reading good spiritual books.

2)      Spend time in fellowship with God by engaging in praise and worship on a daily basis.

3)      Meditate on the Word, and speak it out of your mouth often.

4)      Make sure your own self talk is positive and encouraging and lines

up with God’s Word.

Remember, according to Romans 8:28, trials will always work to your advantage. However, the less you believe it, the more grievous your trials will seem. The more you focus on the process versus the product, the more grievous your trials will seem. So the next time you encounter a hard trial, don’t run out of God’s Gym when your personal trainer, the Holy Spirit pushes you to your limit. If you stay and stick with the program, you are going to look in the mirror of the Word and love the results.

What is your method for dealing with intense trials? Please leave a comment below.

I’d love your help spreading the word about my book, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal GrowthClick here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and subscribe to the email list.

Find me on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/TraceyLMoore2012

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Take a trip down a spiritually poetic trail, and dare to become your best for Christ.

PROSPERITY BEGINS IN YOUR IMAGINATION

Image courtesy of  David Castillo Dominici FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of
David Castillo Dominici FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV), God tells us, “For I know the plans I have for you, … plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Notice He said His plans are to “prosper you and not harm you,” not plunder you and annihilate you. Not leave you or forsake you. If you really believed what God is saying to you in that verse, you’d relax. You’d enter into His rest because what He is saying is that prosperity is your destiny.

What Is Prosperity?

When I talk about prosperity, I am not just talking about becoming wealthy.  I simply mean that His will is for you to thrive in every area of your life. This includes prospering financially, physically, relationally, vocationally, spiritually, and emotionally. THAT is prosperity. THAT is where He’s taking you IF you’ll believe.

Your Imagination Is Key

Do you believe that prosperity is in your future in spite of the situation you face today and how long you have been dealing with it? Is He still the God of the Breakthrough? Are you still looking and waiting expectantly for Him to kick through with His power at any moment? If you want prosperity, then you must believe and know that what you observe at the moment is indeed temporary. Your tomorrow can be different than your yesterday, but you must be able to imagine yourself prospering. God gave you your imagination for a reason. Faith is just an imagination that is so vivid, it launches you in Spirit led to action.

So right now, imagine yourself in a better place. Even if you can’t see it in the natural right now, you can go there in your imagination. If you do it right, you’ll have peace and joy, even if it’s but for a moment. But using your imagination is the beginning of the prosperous life. How can I be so sure? Because it’s God’s will for you to prosper. He takes pleasure in the prosperity of His saints (Psalm 35.27).

Prosperity will never be realized by anyone with a mind unable to vividly imagine themselves receiving what God says is obtainable. If you can’t even imagine it in your mind, faith cannot be birthed in your heart. If you have no faith, you tie God’s hands, and prosperity, where you thrive in every area, will continue to escape your grasp. Don’t allow your prosperous destiny to be stolen from you. Imagine it now! Have faith now! Speak it forth now!

Prosperity Requires Cooperation with God

We have to cooperate with the Lord so that His plan can come to fruition. We’ve got to trust Him with all our heart, lean not to our understanding, and ask for His guidance as stated in Proverbs 3:5. We must follow God’s instructions, renew our mind continuously by feeding on the Word so that our soul will prosper, and only then will prosperity will be the resulting by-product.

Regardless of what difficulty you may be experiencing right now,  know that God is NOT out to get you. He has a good plan for you, He wants to prosper you, not harm you, and your future is in His hands. He is for you, and if He is for you, who can be against you? Therefore, relax, let your imagination work for you, and get ready for a prosperous life.

What are your thoughts about prosperity and the Christian life? Leave a comment below.

I’d love your help spreading the word about my book, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal GrowthClick here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and subscribe to the email list.

Find me on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/TraceyLMoore2012

Follow me on Twitter:  @TraceyLMoore1

Take a trip down a spiritually poetic trail, and dare to become your best for Christ.