So, you’ve been through the storm, swept over the coals,and you’re wondering how to get through this hell. “Bent But Not Broken” is a book about some of the trials that I’ve gone through, and you can too. Only through Christ Jesus can you succeed. Some people watch soap operas because the lives of the characters are worse than the viewer’s own life. Life isn’t a soap opera, and seeing some of the trials that another person encounters on TV won’t help get you through your situation.
You can bend in the wind and God’s grace will carry you. You can climb over any mountain and God’s grace will sustain you. Through the storms of life, God’s grace will carry you. Grace is that favor that none of us deserve, yet it is our bridge over troubled waters and the calm through any storm. Our feet can be anchored so strongly in Him that we will bend a little, yet nothing can break our faith in God our Father.
There are times in everyone’s life where trials, tests, and yes, even temptations come along to make us stronger. Usually we are strengthened in order to help someone else if or when they experience the same situations that we have overcome through Christ. Jim Weatherly wrote a song, which was sung by James Cleveland, “Jesus is the Best Thing that Ever Happened to Me.” (And yes, Gladys Knight also sung the same song). In the song there is a section that states, “I’ve faced life’s ups and downs, but the downs have been few”.
When we are close to God, and living in Him, He gives us peace to show the world that we’re not always in control (nor do we always want to be), but it is Jesus Christ who entreats Our Father on our behalf......
As the time of Christ’s return approaches (Yes, I know that you’ve heard that many times before—well, hear it again because it’s true!), we are to continually reach out to the lost who don’t know Christ. A Glowing Church is a Growing Church. The church of today must make itself attractive. People should want to serve a God who delivers. He has promised many things to us through His word (the Bible) and He keeps His word. We, in turn, must be there for each other. We help one another by showing people how to help themselves, through following Christ. By growing in the wisdom and knowledge of God, we are able to bring the unsaved into the body of Christ by the way we act, speak, and look while inside or outside of the church walls.
Christians live under a microscope, even among other believers. We are watched closely to see what our reactions will be to certain situations. Will we get upset? Will we lose it? What will we do? But if we allow God to be the head of our lives, He will receive the glory in all that is done unto His name. If I continually praise Him and wait on Him, He will direct my path. “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Is.40: 29, 31).
The difference between Job and us is that we have the story of Job in the Bible, and, by reading that story, we can see what the outcome will be; in our lives, we cannot see what the outcome will be. All Job possessed was his faith. Shall our faith in God be any less significant than his?
“Mr. And Mrs. Fix It”
............... I was upset with God, just as children sometimes get annoyed with their earthly parents. No disrespect, but yes, I was ‘perturbed'. I continued to go to church, but no, I didn’t feel like praising God. I felt that He had let me down, yet, in spite of my feelings, I knew that there was victory and comfort in praising God. Worship was hard too nevertheless; I still loved God as children still love their parents when things don’t go their way. Even if there was a lesson to be learned, I continued to love and respect God. Later, I realized that it wasn’t God I was upset with, as much as it was myself, for having allowed the stress of the situation to get to me.
"Just Be Thankful"
(That was Then—This is Now)
It is so easy for one to overlook the little blessings that are received daily. Sometimes we have to focus in on the little gifts that God gives us, and ‘just be thankful’. We owed almost everyone. We owed the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker, so to speak. Previous medical and dental bills were still in litigation with the insurance companies. There even came a time when someone very close to me told me that my life had been going down hill ever since we came back to the United States. Since my family and I had been doing more in the name of the Lord, I guess the world thought that things were not looking good. It probably did look like that was the case. However, I knew it was the devil creating many of the problems we were having, and I also knew that if we waited on the Lord, He would show us the right pathway............
“Some Encouraging Words?”
.......... Four steps are involved in turning our mistakes into personal gain. First, don’t allow the idea of making a mistake, paralyze your progress. Second, find the lesson. Once you accept the fact that you will make mistakes, move forward and accept the challenge. You will make errors. Your success now hinges on learning the lesson. The third step is to forgive yourself and go on with your life. The final step is to think ahead which also works in other aspects of our lives. Carefully consider what may happen with each decision you make........
“A Time to Pray…”
........Well Lord, I know enough people that I could pray for including my landlady (bless her heart Lord), my previous boss, my husband, my children, the teenager who You’re healing of leukemia, my Pastors of the church that I now attend, and the pastors of the churches that I previously attended (who taught me Your word), my neighbors (those whom I know and don’t know), my childhood friends from school (those who I keep in contact with and those with whom I‘ve lost touch, but who are still in my heart), those who are in the government (they really need a touch from You, God), and those who don’t know You (open their eyes to understanding Lord). Bless my four family members and then some more Lord. Thank you Lord. Amen.”
Praise God. It’s hard to be at peace when the hounds are at the door, but God will give us that sweet peace that we desire when we pray: “The Lord will give strength unto His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace” (Ps. 29:11) ...........
“Forget You, Help Someone Else Too”
This is not a “look what I did” segment, but a “stop looking at your problems and think of someone else” portion .........
God gave me another revelation this morning while I prepared for church (the bathroom is a wonderfully quiet place to hear God speak to you). If we praise God more and give Him the glory and the credit for the things not seen, we will reap more of His blessings. It’s that easy. Attribute it all to Jesus and make Him the Head-Man-In-Charge. Have you noticed that, if we give all of the credit to Him, God will give us the desires of our heart because He won’t make Himself look bad?
“Lord, have I mentioned how much I miss shopping?” I had received all the new fall catalogues ...........
“There Was Bending, Yet Never Breakage”
............God did not want us to file for bankruptcy. So we didn’t. Our debt was fully paid in September of 2000. Another fact in this trial was that our income tax for the year of 1997 gave us a good report. I didn’t make any money and paid out a lot, so 1998 looked pretty good. We had made it through the glory of God. It was tough, but we made it through..........