You can’t have a Rainbow without the Rain…or can You?

You can’t have a rainbow without the rain is the ole’ saying. But is it true? I guess it depends on where you’re at. If you’re talking about life on Earth, the saying definitely holds water.

Cloudy days and storms are the norm in mankind’s life (Job 14:1). Rich, poor, man, woman, young, old, red, yellow, black or white – no one is exempt from heartache, pain, disaster, disappointment or death. Physical conditions and resources may limit the detrimental experiences that we face, but no earthly condition in and of themselves exempts us from all the trials of life.

So the idea of not being able to have a rainbow without the rain reminds us that grief is inevitable, but grief can cause us to look at the blessings of life in a brighter way by reminding us that the storms don’t last forever. Sweet tastes much sweeter after a dose of something bitter!

But did you know the Bible promises a rainbow without the rain? You won’t find it on Earth though – only in Heaven, after we live faithfully through the rain that tries us. EA

Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” (Revelation 2:10)

Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.” (Revelation 4:2-3)

Waiting is a virtue for a reason!

We were about four cars back from the drive-thru menu-board when my daughter’s hungry belly led her to inform us that she didn’t like to wait. In turn we told her that the wait would be worth it. By the time we were finished eating, she had eaten more of what she ordered than she ever had before.

For those who hunger and thirst after righteousness (Matthew 5:6), waiting may not always be the easiest thing to do when we’re hungry for results. Instead of waiting with patience, many seek to fill their appetite in the ways of unrighteousness.

As a matter of fact, waiting has been a major factor for some in the departure from their faith in God (1 Samuel 13:5-14), and it continues to do so to this day (Hebrews 12:1-3).

Waiting is a virtue for a reason, and that reason will be revealed when we get that opportunity to satisfy our righteous appetite in Heaven. EA

Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.Revelation 22:14

The Holes Represent Security

A hand with a hole in it might normally represent a weak grasp, an absence of strength or a sign of inability when it comes to holding onto something – but not so when it comes to Jesus and a person’s salvation.Hand

The holes in Jesus’ hands represent security; security found in the only hands that finished the Father’s work; hands that are strong enough to hold onto the entire world without one soul slipping through.

But are we willing to hold onto the hand that can securely hold onto to ours? EA

And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.” John 10:28-29

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What words will describe you?

What will our eulogy sound like?

Will it only be filled with words like:

  • kind
  • loving
  • smart
  • rich
  • patient
  • diligent
  • industrious
  • honorable
  • sweet
  • giving

Or will it include words like:

  • good
  • faithful
  • servant

While a lot of descriptions may go a long way with people at the end of our life, only a few words will take us into eternity with the Lord.

His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’” Matthew 25:23

Will God Bring Peace To My Family?

Few problems burden our sanity like family problems. When issues divide us from the people we’re closest to it hurts, and it can hurt really bad. And when we hurt like that we look for answers where we can find them, and more often than not the average person is more interested in drawing close to God when troublesome times draw near than at any other time – and this is especially true when family ties feel like they’re going to be cut. And a civil-war brewing under our roof can make a person want to know if God will bring peace to their family.

While I can completely and personally understand the want, most people ask the wrong question when it comes to God and family and peace. It’s not a matter of God’s will; it’s a matter of our own. The question that we should ask is, “Can God bring peace to my family?” Because the answer to that question is, yes! God wants families to live in peace with one another. But will God bring peace to every family? Sadly, the answer to that is, no. And he won’t because every family member won’t want the peace that he offers.

When family problems arise I encourage everyone to remember that just because you draw near to God doesn’t mean that others will follow with you, and Jesus said this much himself (Luke 12:51-53). So if we want the peace of God in our family we need to start by having it within our self – because we might be the only ones who know anything about it. EA

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

Four Seasons Found in the Bible – Part 1

When I say a season found in the Bible, I’m not talking about salt, pepper, sugar or any herb. And although we’re going to look at a total of four separate seasons by the time we’re finished, I’m not talking about the seasons of Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter either.

The seasons that I’m talking about are the temporary moments of time that will come our way and go away, then come our way and go away again throughout our Christian life (think Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). They are the experiences of the experienced! They are always ending, but they are always around the corner. So let’s briefly consider the first of these four particular seasons found in God’s word that our spiritual life will see sooner or later.

The first season is the season of trials and temptations as Luke described with Jesus and Satan out in the wilderness in Luke 4:13:

And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from [Jesus] for a season.

Trials and temptations don’t hang around forever, but they, like the meteorological seasons, do come back from time to time. We are tried and we triumph, and then we are tried again; thus it goes with trials. A victory may temporarily end the battle, but there’s still a war to fight!

It’s important to keep in mind that each time we are tried it may be a little different, but the root is usually the same; and when the season of trial and temptation comes our way it may not be easy to bear due to a particular weakness, but we need to remember a couple of things as we are going through it:

1) God won’t allow a temptation to be more than we can bear without a way of relief (1 Corinthians 10:13).

2) Trials and temptations produce useful spiritual characteristics that only come from enduring through them (James 1:2-4).

Just like the changing weather outside, every season of life isn’t enjoyable as others, but they’re necessary for several reasons, and such is the condition of the seasonable trials and temptations that we face spiritually speaking. EA

Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” (1 Peter 1:6-7 – KJV)

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Getting Back Up

I enjoy watching the Olympics because I enjoy watching people who have trained hard enough to become the best in the world at what they do. It takes incredible dedication, perseverance, and desire just to get there; much less to hear your nation’s anthem played when you’re finished.

When an Olympic athlete wins a medal, they put a seal on all of their blood, sweat and tears that they have gone through to arrive at where they are that; and for that moment, and maybe another one in four years, the men and women who win the gold, silver or bronze are on top of the world. It may not mean as much as their medal, but my “hat goes off to them.”

But there is another group of individuals that I love to see at the Olympics. No one in this group walks away with a medal, but they do walk away with my admiration.

This group is made up of men and women who do not compete perfectly – they miss, they stumble, they fall and they lose their grip.

So what’s to admire about this group who fails? It’s simple. They get back up! They finish what they came to do! They brush off their fault and they complete the task! They don’t quit! They acknowledge their mistake and they overcome it!

I don’t enjoy seeing them mess up, but I do enjoy watching them getting back up and competing even when they know they’re not going to finish perfectly. EA

But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings: partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated; for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven. Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: “For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.” (Hebrews 10:32-39, NKJV)

A Quick Fix or A Permanent Fixture?

The sixth chapter of the Gospel according to John begins by saying,

After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased.” (John 6:1,2)

All of the people saw something wonderful. Every single one of them saw something great. But in the midst of all those people most of them just saw an opportunity. They saw a quick fix for their problems.

Later in the same chapter, after feeding the crowd with the bread and fish, Jesus and His disciples go to the other side of the sea only to be followed by the same crowd. When they found Him they asked Him how He got to the other side of the sea and Jesus responded by saying,

…Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” (John 6:26,27)

The people were looking for Jesus, they were interested in Him, and they wanted to find Him, but not for the right reasons. So in verses 28-40 Jesus taught the people that He did not come to be a quick fix for the problems of everyone; He came by the will of the Father to be a permanent fixture in the lives of fallen mankind. Jesus did not come to be a temporary answer – He came to be the permanent solution!

When we turn to God do we go to Him because we think He is the fastest way to fix a problem or do we go to God because we know that He is the only way to fix a problem? When a need arises in our life God wants us to know that He desires to be there for us (Matthew 6:24-33) but we have to ask our self, “Do we only turn to God when we need something?” Do we act like the people in John 6 and see Jesus as a quick fix for our problems or do we look at Him as the One that we want in our lives forever more?

The people got what they wanted; they got a temporarily fully belly. But after Jesus told them and the others that were listening what He wanted from them (verses 41-60) they left Him never to return anymore according to John 6:66. Jesus wanted a life long faith from them. He wants the same from us. He wanted a faith that considered Him to be the permanent fixture that they needed; not as the quick fix that they saw Him to be.

As the people left Jesus standing there, He asked the twelve if they were going to do the same. And what was their response? Peter said,

Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (John 6:68,69)

So how does Jesus look at our faith? The answer is found in the question, “How does our faith look at Jesus?” Is Jesus just a quick fix till things get better or is He a permanent fixture in our lives?

Think about it. EA