"You can't threaten me with Heaven! I know where I'm going." A cliche in the Christian circles when someone or something threatens our personal safety.
As Believers, we live an eternally focused life. Our eternity-driven soul, eagerly waits for Christ's return It's our heart's desire and our life mission to reflect the glory and grace of God, sharing our living Hope that others may be reconciled to Christ as Savior. As we should. We focus our life with the end in mind leveraged in the necessary balance of living with our minds set in the here and now. To live Heavenward, not Heaven-bound.
There are only two options as we take our last breath here on earth and for those who accept Christ as their Savior, it's Heaven. Those who do not, it is Hell. There will come a moment in time when the opportunity to make that choice ends, hence our urgency to proclaim the Gospel of Salvation. How do we live our lives eternally focused on the end yet eternally focused here on this broken Earth?
Heaven, a new beautiful beginning with no end. I personally cannot wait to see my Redeemer and my Best Friend, my Father and The King of Kings face to face. Can you imagine? Where all our questions fade, we gaze face to face into the eyes of the One who loved us more than we can know, to touch His hands and hear His laugh and know the shape of His smile and the creases of His skin and the radiance of His Divine glory.
The place where worship builds as every Saint joins the chorus, echoing against the streets of gold in perfect harmony, where the radiance of Glory will be like nothing we can comprehend in brightness and breath taking beauty.
Heaven is the place we dream of and long to be for all eternity. A place of no more tears, pain and suffering. A place of acceptance and joy. We long for it. I long for it. I live, today, for it.
You know "those days" those weeks, and sometimes "those" seasons? "Lord come quickly" we might say with a chuckle. Lordy, we need you, take us NOW! In just, it's funny...but for others, it's a serious plea.
In recent days, there was news of a Pastor who took his life. How heartbreaking when someone feels there is no other choice. As a Believer, the temptation to get to where you ultimately want to be doesn't feel threatening. It feels like an answer. Our mind rationalizes it with... finally, yes...I am coming Lord.
Depression and anxiety seem to fill threads these days.
Technology shrinks our world. We are exposed to more and connected more intimately than ever before, and yet there is nothing new under the sun.
Social media ignites us in shared passions, illustrates for us things unimaginable and executes what could never have in decades prior. After scrolling through several threads within different mainstream Christian authors, my heart grew so heavy scrolling through the hundreds of comments, one by one people sharing their depression, fears, lostness and hopelessness, thanking them for their shared ministry and speaking out words of hope and encouragement.
Here I thought I was the only one.
So many are hurting, and to be reminded, these are Believers sharing. Ones who know God, seek God, serve and love Him with all their hearts. And yet their hearts were depleted all from different reasons and seasons but here they are in the same boat, drifting and some sinking.
What a misconception to think Believers are immune to trials and tribulations. I also believe the enemy wants us to feel alone in our struggles. To overcome us with shame and loneliness, to feel in the minority as if there was no source of understanding or help. To deceive us into hopelessness.
Trials are a guarantee because you have a real enemy who thought he was your friend until you made a decision to follow Christ and now you're his enemy too. We see all through Scriptures, God does allows trials to strengthen us and test us in our faith. What Satan intends for evil, God intends for good.
Will you trust Him when things get hard and you can't see around that bend in the road or a way across that ocean?
I feel this is a conversation that needs to be talked about more and there are so many layers and probably entire books and Bible Studies written about this. I acknowledge there is no way to cover every layer of this topic, but I do pray it's a view inside a scope of something huge. I am also believing there is someone out there needing to read this to reignite their hope for Heaven today.
People mean well, we all do, when a friend shares a crisis in their life. A million articles have been written on What Not To Say When....because our hearts are in the right place and if it's something we haven't personally dealt with, we don't really know what to say.
When you find yourself at the end of your rope, well meaning people say to you, "Hang in there. It's okay cuz ONE DAY there will be no more suffering and everything will be right and all the pain will be gone.You just have to make it through day by day until that day."
All you can think is TODAY can be the ONE DAY so you deeply consider plans to go. Yes, it's wrong. It's selfish and ultimately it's murderous sin. But for them, it appears to be a short cut to get where peace is a guarantee. No more pain?! I am going anyway and I can't do this alone anymore. I'll plan to go sooner than later.
Friend, NO! You are not alone. Defeat Lie #1.
There is no other way out. Defeat Lie #2.
This is not a conversation about blame or fault. It is never our fault if someone chooses to end their life. The focus of this share is how we can pay closer attention to the words we say by way of encouragement to a person in desperation for breath. Our goal is to give them that breath today. Are we showing Peace here, today? Are we talking about what they can access for help and healing, today? Are we giving them tools to manage and endure, here, today?
"Peace is HERE! Peace is NOW! Stand FIRM! ASK! SEEK! KNOCK! RISE UP and FIGHT!"
Help them see Heaven, here. Bottom line point: Don't point them to Heaven to come....show them Heaven TODAY!
Help them look heavenward without being heaven-bound.
They are so desperate for peace in their soul, where can they go for refuge and refreshment, to lift their eyes and recognize their value to fulfill their calling and sustain life because Christ is near, today? They need the hope for Glory TODAY in this dirt of earth. Let's lock arms and lay on hands over these precious souls He has fearfully and wonderfully made.
Friend, if this is you, yes, Glory in Heaven is the ultimate place for no more suffering, but it is not up to us to decide when our lives here on earth are over.
The Lord has created us and purposed us for every day here, to be lived according to His purpose, in His strengths despite our weaknesses. To receive His perfect peace in our suffering. To be built up in the Body that our mat can be carried by fellow Believers to the One who can save us, restore us and heal us.
He has not given you more than you can bare. He sends us unlikely friends and empowers faithful friends to strengthen us by the lifting of our arms when we cannot stand any longer and carry us on a mat to Jesus when we need rescue.
Oh that we may touch the hem of His robe and be touched by the power of God. That we can come to the deep waters and find life, not death. To come hungry, and be fed.
When we bring God our minimum, He shows us His multitude. Our least is His long-lasting.
TODAY is the day of HOPE.
TODAY is the day of MERCY and STRENGTH.
TODAY is the day of FOCUS.
TODAY is the day to BREATHE.
TODAY is the day to FIGHT.
TODAY is the day to LIVE.
I love the lyrics of this song (click here to listen),
You give life, You are love
You bring light to the darkness
You give hope, You restore
Every heart that is broken
Great are You, Lord It's Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise
When the day comes you can't catch your breath, when you lose your grip, when your mind becomes noise, when anguish consumes your heart, mind and soul, and you feel like there is nothing left for you and your life here on earth is hopeless and useless, you now know the voice of your enemy!
Most people only know their own voice, how blessed are you to hear your enemy coming for you. He will not back down until you decide to rise up in Jesus Name and fight back against his deception and lies. He wants you to quit because you are a threat to his only battle plan of keeping Believers, including you, from worshiping The Lord with your life.
Your time on this earth is over when God calls you home and He will never ask you to sin to accomplish His plan for your good and His glory. He knows the number of breaths He has planned for you.
Breath His breath.
Submit your body and your mind to worship.
Surround yourself with Fellow Believers who are wearing their armor, who will carry your mat to the Savior. Friends who will go to battle for you and hold your sword till you have the strength again to pick it back up and get back on the front line.
Do not set yourself in a corner and hide from help. You are worth fighting for, in fact, God sent His one and only Son to die for you. Blood has already been shed, yours is not necessary.
Let us RISE UP for TODAY!! The God of Angel Armies is always by your side! Still your soul to hear the Voice of our Redeemer, our Rock and our Refuge. You are dearly LOVED and NECESSARY, TODAY!
Recognize the voice of the enemy who comes to kill and destroy (John 10:10) the work of God in your life. Hear the call of Your Savior and stand on His Cornerstone, a Sure Foundation.
You will not be conquered, for you are more than a conqueror in The Name of Jesus (Romans 8).
Be still and know He is God. (Psalm 46:10) He is here TODAY. This song was a command to my soul for many months, leading me into quiet stillness that I might hear God through all the noise. It settled me into worship.
Worship ushered me into Peace.
Perfect Peace. Not as the world gives, but as He Himself Is.
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." John 14:27
TODAY is the day for Salvation and NOTHING can separate you from the Love of God. Friend. RISE UP and know that you know, this is a journey where you do not walk alone. When the world around you feels like it is closing in and you can't breath...be still and breath.
Take your eyes off the path and look forward. (Psalm 121:1)
Climb out of the pit you have slipped into. Trust The One who will never leave you or forsake you.
Choose a Heavenward, not Heaven-bound Life today!
"Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you."
Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, "Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land that the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall put them in possession of it.
It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." Deuteronomy 31:6, 8
There IS help in the church and outside the church. I am happy to share with you the things I did, just ask. Don't let the enemy rob you of the richness and fullness of Christ. The Lord is mighty to save and has plans only you can fulfill. There is no other God but our God and there is no other you than YOU.
BE STILL and RISE UP! Heaven is here!
"For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!"
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies.
Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died--more than that, who was raised--who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered."
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,
nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8: 14-15, 18, 24-28, 31-39
If you or a loved one feels at the end of their rope, pray for the Lord to show you Help, jump into Scriptures, turn on the worship music and if there is a desperation for life, seek immediate help at a local church, area counselor or call the Suicide Hotline 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.
Be Still and RISE UP!
If today's encouragement hugged your HEART today, let me know in the comments or drop a Hello in the socials!! Feel free to share with a friend who needs a heart hug too!
This is how YOU get to hug my HEART back!
While it could be a whole Encyclopedia, here's a little Guide with things I have
implemented since 2009 to help me live a life of greater Peace and Joy..
Heart Hugs and Blessings,