Strength in Christ

God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.

1 Corinthians 1:30-31

I used to live in fear.  I would face the threats and abuse and then cave and succumb their demands.  It was a common routine and I lived in chains that bound me to a life that felt trapped and hopeless.  After months of character assassination and feeling completely beaten into the ground, I found freedom.  I found strength. I found confidence in who I am.  I found a love beyond comprehension.

Divorce is a touchy subject.  I have had friends and family who turned their back in judgement.  It is ok.  I have learned that no one ever knows what takes place in the life of another.  No one knows the hurt, no matter what form it takes, and the decisions in which we are left to make.  

I have heard story after story of Christian women who have walked the road in which I have had to walk.  Women who have been abandoned by everyone that they previously thought loved and cared about them but each story ends the same way.  They have the most amazing relationship with Jesus.  That is where I am!

I have listened to people spew and twist scripture as an expression of their judgemental opinion (not just about me but those special to me), make assumptions based purely on gossip and love with conditions. Has it been painful? Absolutely!  Would I change a minute of it?  NO way!  Without the events that I have experienced I would have never met the Jesus in which I now know.  

I have weeded out the things and the people in my life who were cancerous.  We all have them in our life.  Sometimes we need the trials and storms in order for God to “highlight” just who they are.  It can be painful to realize who they are and we might spend a significant amount of time fighting against letting them go but once they are gone, there is a peace from God confirming our choice.  

I lived in fear because of abuse.  I lived in fear of being alone.  I lived in fear of not being able to survive financially on my own.  I lived in fear because of what others believed about me.  I lived in fear because of my divorce.  I broke free!

Because of God’s great love and faithfulness, He showed me that every bit of fear that I held on to was fear that came from man.  None of my fear was based on His truth and His love for me.  They were fears that I allowed people to place into my head because of their lack of knowledge or faith in the true character of God. Now  my confidence and faith now come because of my strong confidence in who He is. 

I truly can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength!  All that I am, all that I have become and all that I still have left to do in my life will be because of His place in my life.  

Could this be any clearer? Patience. We must wait on God’s time. He does NOT make mistakes.

God at Work

by Charles R. Swindoll

Read Esther 1:1–22

Memucan wanted an edict prohibiting Queen Vashti from ever entering King Xerxes’ presence again written into the law of the Medes and the Persians —the law which can never be changed. In that way, his suggestion would affect far more than Vashti; it would have a direct effect on everyone’s marriage. But if it was an attempt to get the women of Persia to have greater respect for their husbands, it was a strange way to make that happen!

What you have to keep in mind is that Esther doesn’t have the foggiest idea that any of this is going on; she knows nothing of the events transpiring in the royal palace. She also knows nothing yet about this “royal edict,” which will set events in motion that will totally change her own life. Esther is going about her no-big-deal business, living her everyday life, greeting the sunrise of each ordinary morning, carrying out her day-to-day responsibilities. Is she in for a surprise!

This is the wonder of God’s sovereignty. Working behind the scenes, He is moving and pushing and rearranging events and changing minds until He brings out of even the most carnal and secular of settings a decision that will set His perfect plan in place. We see that here, and we’ll see it throughout the story of Esther.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that God is asleep when it comes to nations, or that He is out of touch when it comes to carnal banquets, or that He sits in heaven wringing His hands when it comes to godless rulers (even today) who make unfair, rash, or stupid decisions. Mark it down in permanent ink: God isalways at work. But His ways are so different from ours, we quickly jump to fallacious conclusions and either react rashly or get paralyzed in panic.

Know this: God holds the future in His omnipotent hands. So you can rest assured.