Faith Messages to build your faith

Saturday, April 29, 2017

When You're Hit With Life's Hammer

Ron Hutchcraft- Full disclosure here. I'm not the guy you want to call when you need a guy to do a job with a hammer.
  But I do know the fundamentals. A hammer can be used to build something - or to tear it down. Either way, what a hammer hits can't possibly stay the same.  (Ron's choice of photo)
  Life's hammers are like that. Losing your job. Your health. The one you love most, as I did recently. Tragedy. Divorce. Betrayal by that person you trusted. Family heartbreak.
  The hammer may have hit recently. Or it may have hit a long time ago - but its effects are still there today.
  And whatever the hammer hits can't possibly stay the same. The only question is whether the blows build you or tear you down.
  But the hammer doesn't decide that. We do.
  Each summer, I travel with a team of young Native Americans who've been hammered all their lives. By family violence, sexual violence, addiction, depression. Most have been to a dozen or more funerals by the time they're 16 - many of them their peers.
  But when they talk about their lives with reservation young people like them, they don't sound like victims. Oh, they acknowledge the damage the blows have done. 

   But what they talk about most is hope! Because they made choices that have made them stronger, more compassionate, people of great faith. They hand out hope wherever they go. They're amazing!
  We don't get to choose if and when life's hammers hit. But we totally choose what kind of person it will make us.
  Will I let this tenderize my heart or turn it hard? Let pain open up my heart or close my heart in fear I'll get hurt again? Will I let it go, by forgiving - and be free? Or let it grow into a cancer in my soul?
  Will I let the blows equip me to be a wounded healer for other bleeding people - or make me become one of those hurt people who hurt people?
  The hole left by Karen's absence is unfillable. But God has used it to open my heart to Him and other wounded people as never before. I'm living His promise: "He comforts us in all our troubles so we can comfort others" and "give them the same comfort God has given us" (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
  When we've been hurt, we can choose to let the hammer turn us inward. Putting up walls that say, "Leave me alone." People get the vibe. And they oblige. And we end up self-isolated at the very time when we need people the most. 

   On the other hand, if we choose to reach out, we can experience the very flood of love and support we need to heal.
  Maybe the worst choice we can make when the hammer hits is to turn our back on God. We ask "why?", and the heavens seem silent.
  But when we turn our back on God - at the very point where we need Him most - we are turning our back on the only One who can make any sense of what's happened. Who can bring meaning out of our pain. Who has the hope. And the supernatural strength we need to go on. 

   As the Bible promises, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:13). Even through the most leveling blow of my life.

  My Jesus gets it. No one took the blows He did. Literally. Loving me enough to take the hellish punishment for my sin. So I wouldn't have to. And anyone who loved me enough to die for me will never do me wrong. So, yes, I can trust Him. Even when I don't understand Him.
  When my son was three, we visited the U.S. Capitol. Imagine how those long, steep stairs looked with his little legs. Impossible. But he made it to the top! Not with his strength. With his daddy's. I carried him.
  Just as Jesus has been carrying me. Where I never could have gone without Him.
When You're Hit With Life's Hammer
Ron Hutchcraft

    "Father, I know You cause all things to work together for the good to those who love You and are called according to Your purpose. Thank You.
   I will be alert, stand firm in the faith and be strong. I will observe Your command-
ments, walk in Your ways, hold fast to You, and serve You with all my heart and soul. 
   Your Words are embedded and rooted in my soul and I will hold fast and bear fruit with perseverance.
   I will be strong and courageous, not afraid or trembling because You Lord are the One who goes with me. 
   You will not fail or forsake me, and You are with me wherever I go. You are greater than anyone or anything and You help and fight in my battles. 
   Praise You!" 
Lisa Buffaloe

Today's question-

   Are you aware that gossiping is very easy to fall into, and it's something that God hates for us to do, as it causes offenses, hurts and division?

   I found that changing the subject helped to avert some gossiping I heard over the phone many years ago... It still works! You can choose to not participate, my friend. Walk away, change the subject or say you're not interested in bashing someone, no matter what is being said. Just don't get involved. God is aware, and He will help you.

Greatest Acopella Hymns- 30 minutes of Beautiful Music (with beautiful scenery to enjoy)

Today's Bible verses-

(Ps. 34:17-19 KJV) "The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. (v. 18) The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. (v. 19) Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all."

(2 Timothy 1:7-8 AMP)“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control]. So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord … continue to preach regardless of the circumstances, in accordance with the power of God for His power is invincible."

(Romans 8:10-11 NIV)"But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you."

Today's quotes-

~ Ron Hutchcraft- "Grabbing a hand in total trust is something a child totally understands and something we grown-up children need to understand again. Because if you haven't trusted Jesus to be your personal Savior from your personal sin, you don't stand a chance in eternity.
   He's the only One who can forgive and erase what will keep you out of heaven—your sin and its death penalty. He died on the cross so you don't have to." (Taken from p. 35 of his A Daily Word, volume five in Food for your Soul, 31 daily devotions).

~ Lisa Buffaloe- "It’s easy to claim Christianity when life is good and everything is going great. To be honest, I would prefer an easy life. I don’t know anyone who loves trials and persecution.                 However, without the difficulties, how would we know our faith 
was real and firm? If every time something bad happened, we turned our backs and walked away, I guess we’d be constantly turning and backing. Goodness, I would have been flipping and flopping most of my life.
   Fortunately, God never turns His back on us. His loving hands remain faithful. When trials come and you’re tempted to walk away, remember Satan is the one who wants you to turn from God. Don’t listen to the enemy."

Today's special link:

I can't do this on my own. 
By Debbie McEwen

(We all get there sometimes, don't we? 

[A musical, professionally guided 
and presented by our home schoolers 
at the Madrid church, the old school
building, in Madrid, NY!] 
This week! May 4, 5, -7:00 pm,
6th- 1:30 & 7 pm) 

Today's sermon spotlights-

~April 23rd, 2017~

   Think Big
Speaker: Eric Butler
Location: CFC Potsdam, NY

   The Great Commission
Speaker: Erik Churchill

Location: CFC Madrid, NY
(Doc Wilson's driver)

Excellent message by Eric! Several of us bought his book, to help him with his expenses for his trip there to China, when he's successful securing his visa.

CFC SERMONS  You can check out the many sermons to select the ones of interest to you. Click speakers to choose a minister's name, and his list of sermons for you to choose from. 

CFC Potsdam church has a live service at 10 am Sunday's for shut-ins. If for some reason you can't make it to the church you usually attend, click on the above link, and still get fed!

Upcoming posts-

#111 How to Carry a Prayer Burden
5/2nd- Tuesday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

#112 How to Be Available for Prayer Burden
4th- Thursday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

A Peak Experience
6th- Saturday's post by Sarah Rollandini
 ~ ~ ~

I plan to leave tomorrow, the 7th for two weeks,
for my annual downstate trip, visiting family 
and friends. I plan to continue 

the Faith Messages on this blog 
the 23rd of May:

23rd- #113 Wrestling for Prayer Answers
Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

25th- #114 Wrestling Prayer is Spiritual Labor

Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

27th- Something's Wrong
Jolene Philo

30th- #115 Why Do We Wrestle?
Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

(Save and click to see snippets of recent posts)
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                                        Samples of Jean's crafts

31-day Devotional 
+ Jean's testimony

[Maybe just choose a title each
day that interests you]

Sample verses from p. 64-

We're to Submit
to Find Our Rest

We're to submit to find our rest
In each adversity.
For God will help us in our test
And be there faithfully.

When married you'll be a "help mate"
To be of help to him.
With your husband will you relate
And keep your peace within?

As you look close you'll see the fact
That some resentments flare,
When you at times find you react
To hurts you weren't aware.

Why did it irritate you so?
And why were you upset?
Why does it seem to you as though
Your way just must be met?

(Published by Lighthouse Publishing 
of the Carolinas. Used by permission).

A great gift for someone who may need help 
to prepare for marriage, and for those in a
marriage, wanting some helpful advice.

1 comment:

  1. I've been hit by a few hammers. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that God was walking with me through it all at the time. Now I don't worry. He's got everything under His control.