Jesus looks at us and he says- MINE. What a wonderful truth that if we believe in Jesus, we belong to him forever. He welcomes us into his family. Think about it. Jesus looks at us and not only knows our names, knows all about us, but also claims us as his own and he will never let go.
Wherever we go in life and whatever situation we are in, Jesus claims us as his own.
My favorite song is My Prayer For You by Alisa Turner. She has suffered terribly from Lyme Disease for years. While she was doing better, she recorded her album Miracle or Not that my favorite song is on. It is the only CD I play in my car. There have been times that I repeatedly play My Prayer for You on days that are rougher for me living with chronic illness.
I first heard My Prayer for You after I was diagnosed with Celiacs and had to deal with all that included. No offense intended to anyone with Celiacs, but for me it has paled in comparison to Psoriatic Arthritis. When asked by a doctor about my pain levels, I always answer something like- a 5 to 6 on a good day. Then if asked how many good days I have, my answer is about half the time. That means at least half of my life is spent with days that pain ranges anywhere from a 7 to 9. I also have those days that it is a full blown ten.
That is why My Prayer For You is playing so much in my car, The lyrics, written by someone who suffers from a chronic illness, speak to me. Lyrics like:
For anyone who’s prayed a thousand prayers And still can’t find the answer anywhere Fighting off the lie that no one cares For anyone who’s out there losing hope Feeling you’re forsaken and alone Clinging to the last strands of your rope
May God give you eyes to see, He’s still greater Courage to rise and believe He’s able May God be your peace in the fire you’re walking through This is my prayer now This is my prayer for you
So when I saw her post about her need for medical treatments and her current struggles, it hit home for me. Please pray for her. After watching her video about needing medical treatments, watch My Prayer For You. You will be glad you did.
Even though there are difficulties in this life, we still have reason to celebrate because God is on the throne. Jesus is on his throne in heaven and his resurrection has guaranteed a place in heaven for us. In Isaiah 61:3 we read:
and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.
The context is about the Messiah, Jesus, bringing salvation and restoring us to what God has created us for, which is eternal relationship with him.
So while yes in this life we have problems, difficulties, sickness, we can take heart because of Jesus and our eternal destiny as Jesus said in John 16:33″
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
It is good for us to celebrate that truth. I love this video by We The Kingdom because it shows God’s people celebrating in his presence. We can have the garment of praise instead of despair because of Jesus.
John 14:27-“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do no be afraid.”
The peace that only Jesus can give is peace in our souls, hearts, and minds no matter what our circumstances are in life. Jesus does not give a temporary peace like the world does. He does not give it and take it away like the world does. The peace Jesus gives is eternally secure in him.
Any difficulty we experience in this life, we can know that Jesus will be with us every step of the way.
Anna Golden is a new to me Christian singer who has a powerful voice. In Rushing In she sings with one of my all time favs Tasha Cobbs. The combination of two powerful voices is wonderful. The message of the song is powerful.
There are times that the presence of Jesus, the presence of the Holy Spirit comes rushing in. Moments that leave no doubt God has come swooping into our lives to bring about a change.
God is always with us. Jesus promised us that He is always with us. But there are those moments we experience it so deeply that the impact is lasting.
Even when I cannot see, You are moving Even when I cannot hear, You are singing over me Even when I can’t hold on, You won’t let me go You are faithful, You are faithful
I love the lyrics to Faithful by Sarah Reeves. So many times in my life I thought I could not hold on, but Jesus never lets go of us. He is always with us. He will never leave us.
Singing over me? Where do we get that from? In Zephaniah 3 we read:
“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing”
Jesus rejoices over us with singing. Have you ever seen a mother sing over her child? God is our father who sings over us. That is how precious we are to God.
When we can’t see the way out of a situation, a problem, a trial, God is at work. He knows the outcome because he is there and with us now at the same time. I experienced that recently. Last summer was dismal for me and put me behind financially, but God was at work. First my dear Vietnamese friends helped their old teacher. Then three weeks ago I received an extra missionary support check. Last week I received anonymous letters with money. Now I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
God is faithful. He is faithful even when we are not. Whatever we face in life, he is with us.
Struggle with depression/anxiety? Jesus is there for you.
Struggle with chronic illness? Jesus is there for you/
Financial problems? Jesus is there for you.
Uncertain about the future? Jesus knows your future and is already there. He is there for you now and in your future at the same time.
In the worst moment we can think of which is death, Jesus will be there for us waiting to welcome us into heaven if we have accepted him as our Savior.
Yesterday afternoon I was tired as in FATIGUED. I finished teaching my afternoon Citizenship class at 3pm and did not need to be at the college until 7pm. So instead of going to a coffee shop, I came home.
I turned on my laptop, logged into youtube, and started a play list of some of my favorite worship songs. I sat back in my chair and listened to songs like It Is Well by Kristene Di Marco and So Will I by Hillsong and more.I just sat in my chair listening to worship songs for a few hours dozing off here and there for brief periods of 10 or 15 minutes of sleep. It was SO refreshing.
Side note- my furniture is not this fancy 🙂
As someone who lives with chronic illness, I value rest when I can get it. Physical rest has spiritual, mental, and emotional benefits.
God knows we need rest. Elijah was a great prophet, so much so that he did not die but was taken up to heaven in a chariot of fire. Yet Elijah had his moments such as when he was running for his life, got tired and feel asleep under a tree. The Angel of the Lord came to him woke up up, fed him. But look what happened after he ate: We see it in 1st Kings 19:
“All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.”He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.”
After he ate and drank, he lay down again. In other words- He went back to sleep. The Angel of the Lord came back and fed him again.
The past five years as chronic illness has come more the the forefront in my life, I have come to value rest more and more. I have learned the importance of taking care of of the physical, so it does not interfere with my ministry.
So if you are feeling frazzled, weary, or overwhelmed. try seeking out time to rest in the presence of Jesus.
The worship song Breathe has been on my mind but perhaps for a reason one would not normally think. I have asthma and part of that is getting bronchitis. When I get bronchitis, it is difficult to breathe and I lose sleep because I cough all night.
When the medicine starts doing its work and the bronchitis begins to clear up, it is such a freeing experience to feel- just simply breathing. When I can sleep through a night for the first time, it is moment of private rejoicing. Just to give an example from last week, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights I slept for one to two hours.
I go through this once or twice a year. When my lungs begin to clear up, this song is very much on my mind.
I think about how Jesus gave us life when he created us, He did so by breathing into us. In Genesis 2 we read:
“Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”
Jesus is our source of life, healing, forgiveness, restoration, and much much more. I am keenly aware of that when the bronchitis begins to fade away.
Living with chronic illness such as Firbomylagia and also living with depression./anxiety as a result of chronic illness, I can choose to focus on the pain, the fatigue, and other symptoms, or I can look to Jesus. I can express things to him I express to no other person. He invites us to cast all of our cares on him because he cares for us. I literally have days that Jesus keeps me going.
Jesus is the friend who is closer than a brother. He is our friend who out of love, died for us and our sins.
Whatever you are going through at this time in your life, please stop, take a moment, and listen to this song. Let it encourage you. Let it help you come into the presence of Jesus and cast all of your cares on him.