He’s Acquainted with My Grief : Daddy Knows

So this year has been one of the hardest years I’ve had for some time. In fact it has been a tough could of years, however I am still here. Better for it all. I can say that now – had you asked me a few months a go I probably would have side-eyed you and walked away in a full on stink.. I was hurt. I apologise to anyone who got side-eyed.. My Bad!

In a moment of deep despair and sorrow – feeling a deep sense of rejection, disappointment and betrayal, God sent me words of comfort that no other voice could speak.

I had spoken to a few sisters about the period of life that I was in, and many had offered many kind words. Many encouraged me -some with scripture, some with positive words of affirmation, others just got angry and the cause of my hurt – some seemed more angry than I was… Goodness, I had to calm them down.. like breath sister…breath!  But that’s what you call friends.

But in all honesty, none of it was working. None of it. The hurt I was feeling had sunk deep into the pits and the core of my being a place no one can reach.

The words they were offering – while kind, and true and sweet to the taste – none of it was getting to the real core of my pain. The pain I was feeling was not something I had experienced before. I was feeling more than I would express in words. And nothing adds salt to the wounds than feeling hurt and having no one that you can run to to make it all better. I would tell God.. “you mean I have to sit here, in this, by myself?” It was totally distressing. Utterly mortifying to feel like no one really got the way that I was feeling. And because no one knew how I was feeling – no one could fix it. No one.

I’ve talked previously about how I struggle with abandonment and feelings of being alone. This was all of that and a bag of chips rolled up into one messy blubbering mess. literally – BUT GOD!

I sat at my desk on evening and I heard ; Surely He has bore our griefs. He is fully acquainted with your sorrow…

It was a simple statement. Again, I knew parts of the scripture, but I went to read it in full. Isaiah 53.

I read it once.. and I read it again. And I read it again. This scripture lays out the life of Jesus from an emotional point of view. While he was about doing miracles and preaching an so on – Jesus was still very much human. He came in the form of flesh just so he could associate with how we feel – isn’t that amazing. He did that on purpose – JUST so that in times of grief and sorrow we could turn to him because he knows exactly how we feel.

I read the passage and underlined all the things he had endured – each of them related with me – deeply and genuinely. I read it in a number of translations – and it was literally like reading my present situation point for point. Feelings of being despised, rejected, turned on, avoided, pierce, crushed, oppressed, beaten, tormented, unjustly condemned, struck down, buried like a criminal.. all these things I was feeling and felt that I was totally alone in this – totally alone. But I was wrong. God is fully acquainted with my grief.

I wish I could fully articulate how liberating it felt to know that everything I was feeling – God knew and was acquainted with. So when I cry and say

“Daddy it hurts.. I gave my all and they still hurt me” He says “I know baby, I came to give my life for them and they still beat me half to death.. I know”..

When I cry and say “Lord why..? I cant do this”.. I hear Him say “I know it hurts baby, I know.. I wanted the bitter cup to pass too, I know”..

When those that hurt me walk past me like nothing happened and did noting – and I ask God “why?” – He says “I know.. my own disciples rejected me and swore blind they didn’t know me..I know rejection..I know it well baby”

And its not a sympathetic..there there, never mind.. it’s a ..I’ve been there, I’ve felt that, I’m acquainted with it, I fully feel your pain..

I just wanted to remind someone today OR tell you that you are in no shape or terms alone in your grief. Some heart ache is more that just sadness, its full on grief and sorrow you are feeling. Know that your Father is FULLY acquainted with what it is you feel right now. Nothing you are feeling is strange to Him, noting. All those feelings that are tormenting you and the feelings that tell you that you are doing life in isolation is a lie.. there is someone who has walked this road before and is walking it with you right now.. You’re talking to someone who knows…

Today He says “I know baby.. Daddy knows.. ”

God knows

Isaiah 53 Who has believed our message
    and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
    and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
    nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression[a] and judgment he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
    for the transgression of my people he was punished.[b]
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
    and though the Lord makes[c] his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,
    he will see the light of life[d] and be satisfied[e];
by his knowledge[f] my righteous servant will justify many,
    and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,[g]
    and he will divide the spoils with the strong,[h]
because he poured out his life unto death,
    and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
    and made intercession for the transgressors.

 

 

 

Keep Your Eyes On God

Where are your eyes? Often time the things we see go on to affect our subsequent action. It’s important that we as believers have a grip on what and where our focus is.

To be focused is to keep our attention on Him.

Matthew 14:24-31 KJV

But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.  And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.  And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.  But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.  And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.  And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.  But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.  And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”

A good place to put your eyes and focus: Psalms 121:1-2 KJV I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.  My help cometh from the Lord , which made heaven and earth.

The benefits of keeping your focus on God, He’s the only one with insights into your future. Jeremiah 29:11 KJV For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord , thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

When you face trials it can be very easy, in fact too easy as its a natural human reaction to be fixated on what seems like the greater power – the problem. But God’s words provide us with the assurance we need to make a choice to focus on God who has all power.Job 23:10 KJV But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

If you wanted to know the ins and outs of a story, who better to talk to than the actual author. God has predestined every aspect of our lives to the finest details. He has planned orchestrated our life in His wisdom and love. So who better to focus on and follow than God? He knows how the story ends.. #spoileralert WE WIN! Hebrews 12:2 KJV “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith”

Life is full of distractions, often the aim of which is to plant our aims and hopes in a feeble, lesser power that will ultimately fail us. The enemy knows the power we would possess and the benefits we would obtain from just having MUSTARD SEED size faith in God.

Try Looking Away From:

– Yourself; beauty,  humanity,  skills, talent, own abilities. Prov 14:12 reminds us that; “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” Each of us would have our preferred method of doing things, a way that makes sense to us. But we all need to take account of the fact that we are on a journey, one that has a very particular route that we are require to keep to if we want to make it to the promise land. It’s not really about us, but what it is that God would have us do at all times. Not my will!

-Man : expectations of another humans: Jeremiah 17:5-8 , “Thus saith the Lord ; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord .  For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.  Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord , and whose hope the Lord is.  For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit” The scripture goes on to talk about how wicked the heart can be and that it cant be trusted. Often times we assume others intentions towards us are good and would want the best for us, but this is not always the case. Again, who better to trust than your creator.
-Alternatives: stop looking for everyone else and everything else. People in the 3rd world and deprived nations only have God,  which is why they seemingly receive so much from God. They literally have no other helper. They have no plan B, they have no back-up plan, they have no other person to call other than Jesus. This is trusting the Lord with ALL your heart. Not looking at or even considering others, simply  looking unto Jesus (Hebrews 12.2)

-The situation/ environment : the winds the waves, the fire. Refuse and Reject anxiety,  worried, fears. He that keepeth Israel neither slubers or sleeps. (Ps 120) He is very much aware of where you are and what you face.

-Looking back… God is Ahead!
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. Philippians 3:13.

My friend.. the wind will blow.. the storms will rage..life at times will flip you upside down. But its ok. This is life.. it’s not an all inclusive life time holiday in the Bahamas. The aim is to be presented back to God, having been born in sin, as pure gold. This is going to take some rough and tumble, some heat, some pain, some pressing, but keep your eyes on the end goal, be assured that God has got you. Be confident that He is ever present and He knows what He is doing!

Create Your Own Opportunity

The woman with the issue of blood. One of the accounts in the bible that gives me life every time I read it. Amazingly, it’s always new life. There is always something else that I see that encourages me to live again, press again, stretch again, reach out again, live again!

This woman shows that Desperation = Deliverance. Being casual and indifferent about a situation won’t get you to your breakthrough. You’ve got to really want it and at times do things outside of the norm to get it.

Maintaining your composure as if you don’t really care either way wont really get you anywhere either. Desperate people will constantly be listening and waiting to hear and feel that God is near or that He is passing their way just to get something from God. They are just waiting for the opportunity to get in the same vicinity as the only one who can make a difference to their situation, and if they have to they will create the opportunity themselves.

We read about how this woman had suffered for 12 years. The account from the book of Mark tells us that she had suffered at the hands of many and had also lost all her money. So not only was so socially unaccepted, ostracised, considered an out cast, considered unclean buy all, she was BROKE! Hardly a good mix of conditions, but she was not about to let that stop her. She was desperate now.

Jesus was on his was to another man’s house. He had been sitting to a meal when another desperate man turned up asking for help for his daughter who was dead. While on his way the crowds as per usual around Jesus, but there was desperate woman among them today. This woman was doing SO much that seemed SO wrong for her and her condition

A woman in her condition was not supposed to be out in public unannounced. She was to announce her self wherever she went so people could move out of her way. She was not supposed to be in crowds, peradventure she touch someone, or someone touch her. This woman wasn’t even going to talk to Jesus about her condition. We see often times when Jesus performed miracles there was some kind of engagement, some kind of dialogue between Jesus and the person being healed, but this woman was too desperate to even engage in conversation. Her moment had come and she was looking to maximise this opportunity.

She had already made up in her mind what was going to happen. She had already created the opportunity and environment all by her self and she was ready to go and get what she needed. She wasn’t going to ask, she was just going to go and touch Jesus. Such was her assurance of the power that was in Jesus. Such was her faith, that she wasn’t going to ask him to touch her.. she was going to touch him!

I’ve been encouraged, so I’m sharing my encouragement (Caring is Sharing right!)… Don’t get into the habit of waiting for things to happen before you think God can deliver you. When Jesus died on the cross – that moment the curtain was split – we were all automatically given free access to Jesus and all the power that He holds. Some of us are wrapped into the traditions of needing a particular day, and a particular service, with a particular preacher who needs to preach a particular message. They then have to then call a particular alter call, and have to be prayed for by a particular person for deliverance. No way would God make deliverance so complicated!

All you have to do, like the woman, is make up in your own mind that today – right now- this instance, is my time to be delivered. So long as you and your faith are ready, deliverance is available to you.

 

Belt of Absolute Truth

Ephesians 6 talks about putting on the whole armour of God that we might be able to fight in this spiritual warfare that we as believers are constantly engaged in. The one part of the armour that always engages me is that of the Belt of Absolute Truth..

armor-of-god-belt-of-truth

Truth:

  • The quality or state of being true
  • Fact or belief that is accepted
  • In accordance with fact or reality
  • Something that is true: Accurate, Exact, Without variation, Bring an object into exact shape or position.

Belt:

  • Worn to support or hold in clothes or carry weapons
  • Continuous band of material used in machinery to move something from one wheel to another
  • Implement of punishment

What we consider to be TRUTH affects our belief system. What we believe of God is based on what we know and hold to be true of God. Belief Systems go on to govern a lot of who and what we are. It is important that we have full comprehension of where our truth comes from and what it is we hold true. Prov 23:23 says buy the truth and sell it not.

This is why words are so impact-full on children as they believe all they are told, they hold it true. These words form the basis of what they believe they are, what they believe they are capable of. The absence of absolute truth is also damaging, as often the truth is now based on a) the opinions of others or b) ones imaginations. Often in the absence of the truth, the mind will make up in formation in aims of having something to base future actions and beliefs on. People govern their entire life on what they hold to be true. Wars are started, prejudices are established, divisions are created all over what we hold to be true.

In the days of the apostles the challenge was not so much about what they believed of Jesus to be true. It was not a challenge to prove Jesus’s existence or if He said what He said. They were with Him pretty much night and day so anything He said, they heard for themselves, the challenge on them was physical. For someone to tell them Jesus didn’t exist wouldn’t be much of a challenge as they could simply point Him out.

The challenge of who Jesus is and the words He has said is for us – now that they physical person of Jesus is no longer with us. The enemy is looking to challenge what and who you know to be true, knowing that if he can loosen that belt, other things like your breastplate of righteousness will start to slip, your sword will start to slip, you shield will slip and fall out of place. If the truth is compromised it has as direct effect and reflection on your belief system and perceptions and ultimately your level of faith.

If you read in the word of God that He is a healer, and you hold this to be true. When you encounter sickness, your Belt of Absolute Truth is holding the Sword of the Spirit firmly in place which is the Word of God that allows you to repeat and confess that by His stripes you were healed. If you didn’t hold it to be true, likely your sword would not be in place to allow you to enter into warfare against the sickness because your Belt of Absolute Truth was not adequate,it wasn’t secure enough.

Before Jesus left it was important and crucial for Him to ensure that the disciples were settled and assured in their minds as to what it was they believed. He needed to ensure the quality of their truth basis. While Jesus was with them He was able to direct, govern, steer and direct them. He was able to step in when their faith was little, or when they were sinking, or when multitudes needed to be fed, but He knew that there was coming a time that they would need to be grounded in the truth of who God is as it’s only that, that would go on to govern their belief and their level of faith.

He asked the disciples in Mark 8:27 – “Who do men say that I am?”, they gave their answers. Now while it was ok that they could repeat the opinions of others, the question was changed to establish a more important point. “who do YOU say that I am?”. What other people have to say about God and His word is not sufficient enough to base your own belief system on. The opinions of others are likely and susceptible to change. Additionally, when you are faced with war, you are not able to draw another man’s sword from their belt, this must be from you own belt. Jesus wanted to hear what their truth basis was, what their foundation was, what their grounding was based on. What do YOU know to be true?

It is important that our truth is based on the word of God – only. John 1:1 states that in the beginning was the word, and that the word was with God, and that the word WAS God. John 17:17 Jesus in prayer said “ Sanctify them through thy truth, for thy word is truth”. In these two scriptures we understand that God is His word and that His word stands as absolute truth. We understand sanctification to be the process of separation and being set apart. This is what the absolute truth of the word of God does, it separates. Separates you from doubt, from fear, from confusion, from lies, from sin to name a few. When you are presented with something that comes to challenge the word of God, the Word of God stands as truth and separates you from lies.

What happens when what we hold true is compromised? Consider it literally, if your belt is there to keep your clothes in place, if it becomes loose you’re likely to be left in compromising positions, exposed and ultimately in shame. Consider Adam and Eve in Genesis 3;4. Considering all this time their belt was tight, they knew what God had told Adam, that if you eat of the tree you shall surely die. Now when the devil came to converse with Eve he didn’t challenge IF God had said what He said, that much he could not do.. but instead he challenge WHAT God had said – in aims to loosen the belt. Adam and Eve eat of the tree and as soon as they did, as soon as the belt of truth was compromised and removed you see they automatically felt naked, and ashamed, so much so that they felt the need to cover themselves.

Before this they were fully covered, their righteousness was in place, their belt was in place, their shield was in place, their sword was in place, but as soon as that belt of absolute truth was compromised everything came out of place and they were naked, exposed and in shame.

How can we stop ourselves falling into this? 2 Cor 10:15 says “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” we have to be a )solid in what we hold true so that we are able to combat with the Sword of the Spirit and b) be vigilant to bring down every and anything that would look to exalt itself above the word and knowledge of God. We will constantly be challenged as to what we know is true, and what God can do, but if we are fully grounded in the Word of God, if we have the Word of God in our mouth we are less likely to be found naked and in shame. Your own feeling will often even look to challenge you and loosen your belt. There is no challenge to say your feelings are not real, but the basis of your reactions and further actions are based on you belt of truth – If God said it, so I believe it.