DESPAIR’S ANTIDOTE

Published on 06 July 2011 by in Encouragement

0
DESPAIR’S ANTIDOTE

DespairWhat hardship are you or a loved one facing that leaves despair or hopelessness, even the feeling of a sentence of death? Are others aware? What circumstances seem to require a desperate rescue effort?

Have we grasped the concept that there is a purpose to peril? Not just for the one suffering but for the one observing? Do we understand that prayer strengthens those facing these kinds of situations as well as our own reliance on God? Are we willing and caring enough to work at prayer? It is a God-given responsibility!

Paul describes the honesty of his plight in 2 Corinthians 1:8-11, NIV. Observe how the willing work of prayer helped with a paradigm shift of dependence, provided a life line of hope for Paul and his crew, and triggered a deserving response in others.

“We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death.

But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

PRAYER makes a difference in the pray-er, and in someone’s rescue causing others to give thanks for God’s obvious answers! Do you see the value and influence of individual and corporate prayer?

  • Whose needs are you agreeing with others in prayer for?
  • Who have you asked to pray on behalf of your own anguish?
  • Who around you is taking note of God’s answers resulting in gratitude?

Prayer is the means, the transfer, the exchange of reliance from our selves to the ONE and only who has the POWER to change despair for purpose.

Lord Jesus, forgive us for our prayerlessness. Grant us vision that will inspire our cries out to you, especially on behalf of the desperate and hurting. HELP! Bring hope that will strengthen and encourage reliance on you rather than on self. We agree that you alone have the power to give purpose to pain because you already carried and dealt with it at the cross. Thank you for your gracious favour! May others give you praise because you hear and answer. More of you Jesus! Amen.

“Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God” (Isaiah 50:10, NIV).

© 2011 Karen Braun

Did you like this? Share it:

Continue Reading

LESS IS MORE

Published on 30 June 2011 by in Encouragement

0
LESS IS MORE

“The upstairs room where we met was lighted with many flickering lamps. As Paul spoke on and on, a young man named Eutychus, sitting on the windowsill, became very drowsy. Finally, he fell sound asleep and dropped three stories to his death below. Paul went down, bent over him, and took him into his arms. “Don’t worry,” he said, “he’s alive!” Then they all went back upstairs, shared in the Lord’s Supper,* and ate together. Paul continued talking to them until dawn, and then he left. Meanwhile, the young man was taken home unhurt, and everyone was greatly relieved” (Acts 20, 8-12, NLT)

Have you ever encountered someone you could listen to for hours on end? How about being familiar with tuning someone out, perhaps even falling asleep while they speak? What makes the difference? For a moment consider Paul, known to be long-winded, even writing run-on sentences and then read this account noting his words, action, and belief.

How would you have responded in Paul’s shoes? Would you have thought twice about how long you talked or what you said? What do you think influenced Paul’s focus as he ran down the stairs and acted in response? Where did this confidence and certainty come from? At the end of the day what did the listeners ultimately experience? What was their take-away?

Can you imagine that memorable Lord;s Supper celebrating Jesus’ death and resurrection after that kind of experience?!

Paul proclaims a disclosing premise a few days later when he reconnects with his buddies from Ephesus. I’ve highlighted three points from Acts 20:20, 21:

  • “I never shrank back from telling you what you needed to hear, either publicly or in your homes. I have had one message for Jews and Greeks alike, the necessity of repenting from sin and turning to God, and of having faith in our Lord Jesus” 
  • The truths in Paul’s words were backed with power and demonstration of faith. The elements he spoke of he also lived and practiced. The result – resurrection power!
  • “He must increase, but I must decrease. The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:30, 35, 36, NKJV).

The more you live for Christ and the less you live for yourself, whether your words are few or many, your conversations will also be marked by His resurrection power.

“He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30, NIV). Prayer facilitates this process at a heart, soul, mind and gut level!

Dear Lord – as we decrease that you might increase, may we not shrink back from telling others what they need to hear. Increase our words and actions by your power that we and others will also know your life-changing and life-giving ways and love. In Jesus’ name we ask.

©2011 Dr Karen Braun

Did you like this? Share it:

Continue Reading

FLIPPED

Published on 23 June 2011 by in Encouragement

0
FLIPPED

“…times of refreshing will come [on you] from the presence of the LORD…” (Acts 3:19b, NLT).

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:2, NIV).

Flipped completely upside down and onto the other side of our fence is how it landed. The sudden gust of wind carried our metal framed patio tent, just like a feather, in front of a fan. Wasn’t exactly the way I expected to meet our new neighbors! We did, however, have a good chuckle and great introduction by working together to hoist this 10X12 tent back over the fence into our yard. Thankfully no one was hurt and surprisingly no damage was done to either property.

Wind is a beautiful picture of the Holy Spirit. Just like a refreshing breeze during warm summer days, we can’t see Him but we certainly see evidence of where He moves, often in surprising ways, yes, and even upside down ways.

Why not set yourself up in front of the wind of His Spirit this summer. Plan a get away day or retreat for a few days to read the Word, to pray, to journal, to fast, to prayer walk. Be still and listen. You never know, He may just flip your thinking about something strategic, surprising you to new beginnings. You will value the shared experience as you work together. Don’t forget to enjoy a good laugh together too! I value the kind of experiences that introduce me to my “desperate need” for His wind to fill my sails.

Thank you Father that your way is perfect. We may make our plans but you direct our steps. Thank you that you speak to us with gentle leading and you also understand when we need a good blast, like a wake up call. Please transform our thoughts and speak to our inmost spirit by the power of your love.

May we be like a refreshing breeze to our neighbors where we live, work and play. In Jesus name I ask, Amen.

©2011 Dr Karen Braun

Did you like this? Share it:

Continue Reading

Flames of Revival

Published on 15 June 2011 by in Encouragement

0
Flames of Revival

Maple Leaf

“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20, NKJ).

“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track” (Proverbs 3:5, 6, MSG).

Excerpts from my book, Breakthrough! A Faith Adventure in Prayer

Some experiences in life are forever etched into your deepest being. Their power, like providence, motivates, compels and directs you. Once you’ve seen the undeniable fingerprints of God, that’s what happens. You look and long for the same touch on everything and everyone around because you know its reality and ability to transform. This is my eye witness account of one those experiences.

What change are you desperate for? With whom are you agreeing in prayer about it? Is it often enough to keep asking, until He answers? How well do you listen and obey? Remember, nothing is wasted in God’s economy!

As if it were yesterday, I remember witnessing as a ten and 11-year-old, an exceptional move of God’s Spirit and power in people of all ages at our church. I saw hundreds at a time respond in meetings at church, in homes or workplaces to God’s presence and love. This revival spilled out of our church, down the street to the next church and into many people’s spheres of influence until it infiltrated our city at every level. It moved from there into other cities, towns, provinces, states and countries through testimonies of how people’s relationships, thoughts, attitudes and actions were transformed by God’s love and power.

We remember it as the revival of the early 70’s in Regina, Saskatchewan, that had started in Saskatoon through the Sutera twins. These humble brothers delivered a simple message of repentance, confession and surrender, and highlighted the key of forgiveness in relationship to God, self and others.

As the Holy Spirit moved in power, those who were willing responded. Salvation, healing and reconciliation followed. The Lord of the harvest called young and old from that movement into full-time ministry. To this day many still carry that flame of renewal around the globe.

The under emphasized and underestimated component critical to this move of God was the commitment of many people like my parents, who cried out in desperation to God weeks, months and years in advance, during and after this catalytic move of God’s Spirit, for a spiritual breakthrough… for their wayward sons, daughters and loved ones. My family was just one unit forever changed by that Holy Spirit fire and move. Little did they know how God would hear and answer their prayers!

These experiences, along with a vision in my mind’s eye I sensed God gave me as a young girl at that time, became foundational to my understanding of the role and power of evangelistic prayer for a supernatural breakthrough that results in a move of God in cities and nations. In the image I saw a map of Canada. A flame burst through the map and consumed it. I understood instinctively that God was revealing His heart’s desire and intent that revival fire should consume cities, provinces and nations. I shared the vision with our church at the time.

In the months and years that followed, normal in our home was a living room filled weekly with people sharing their desperate needs and caring in prayer for one another. I saw people saved and healed; marriages and families restored. I was privy to stories of reconciliation among leaders, broken families and estranged relationships.

Dad led more people to Christ in his workplace than he could count. As natural as breathing, my parents modeled prayer and shared Christ on the phone, in the car, in their office, at the hospital, at the sink, over the fence, on vacation, in crisis or not. They prayed silently, out loud, on their knees and by their bed. They prayed God’s Word, in groups of two and three, and in large gatherings. They prayed and prayed and prayed, shared Christ and asked for a response wherever they could. They always gave away Bibles and tracts and always expected God to move. And God did!

In our basement my “on fire” brothers met with their youth group each week, burdened and earnestly pleading by name for their lost high school buddies. Salvation came to those for whom they prayed and with whom they shared Christ. The youth group grew in numbers, and many of them were called into full-time ministry. I continually saw prayer and evangelism work hand in hand.

God permitted me as a young child an insider’s view of what initiates and sustains a mighty move of His Holy Spirit’s transforming work. Today I would say I saw in people a sincere desire, a THIRST, or desperation for change that led them to call on the Lord together to save, deliver or heal. God’s Holy Spirit always brought awareness and conviction of sin that moved people to respond with godly sorrow. I remember lots of scrunched Kleenex that to me became a symbol of humility, surrender and brokenness.

When there was a need for forgiveness, I saw people deal with sin with prompt, implicit and unquestioning obedience, and ask for, or extend forgiveness in relationships. Their repentance released power, and immediately after they repented, I saw them confess publicly Christ as Savior and Lord at home, at work and at play. I saw that they sincerely cared for each other, and everyone took God at His Word! When they did, I saw God move! This was the norm.

I have seen the same renewal flame kindled and at work over the years, or as one friend described mini revivals, in pockets across this land where desperate need and prayer remains the common denominator. One can’t always understand God’s ways, but needs sincerely expressed in belief that God will hear and answer prayer, often sparks a breakthrough. That is when God’s Kingdom purposes advance exponentially – when relationships with God, self and others are purified by the fire of His Word and Spirit through faith.

I’m not alone in this sense and anticipation that God will yet move again in a mighty outpouring of His Spirit. We desperately need His touch.

Heavenly Father your Word declares in Psalm 62:5 that our souls find rest in you alone. Our hope, yes, that means our expectation, comes from YOU ALONE! We will wait as long as you say, but dear Lord Jesus, hear and answer our prayers, please come and touch us once again. Thank you for your power that can touch us individually and corporately. We invite you to pour out your healing waters, so that we too can be carriers of your revival flame. In the name of Jesus, we ask in agreement! Amen.

©2011 Dr Karen Braun

Did you like this? Share it:

Continue Reading

OVERFLOW

Published on 09 June 2011 by in Encouragement

0
OVERFLOW

“For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matt 12:34b, NIV).

WARNING – may contain extreme imagery for sensitive readers, discretion advised.

I had a dream the other night. I saw the face of a beautiful woman open her mouth to speak and what came out was a non-stop, steady gushing stream of, get ready for it – raw sewage! It was grossly disgusting as it spewed out with such force. YUK!

In astonishment, HOWEVER, something extraordinary began to alter. I witnessed that repulsive flow gradually begin to transform from the inside of her, out. Suddenly there was a clean surge pushing out the mess, until only purified, unpolluted, and sparkling fresh water came out of her mouth. Then I woke up!

Immediately and over the next days I meditated on these verses:

  • “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it” (Jer 17:9, NIV).
  • “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man ‘unclean” (Matt 15:19-20, NIV).
  • “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Eph 4:29-30, NIV).
  • “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgement for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matt 12:34b-37, NIV).
  • “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water” (Jer 2:13, NIV).
  • “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8, NIV).
  • “‘Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.’ By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive” (John 7:37-39, NIV).
  • “See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness” (Heb 3:12-15, NIV).
  • “A person’s words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a babbling brook.” (Prov 18:4, NIV).

The Word of God speaks for itself! Are you aware of what’s in your heart? Opening your mouth is necessary! Life and cleansing can be poured out for all who confess, repent, believe, receive and obey!

“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Ps 119:11, NIV).

Wonder where to start? Measure your words as they spill out. Do they build up or tear down?

Dear LORD, hear our individual and corporate prayers! “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer” (Ps 19:14, NIV). “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise… The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (Ps 51:7, 15, NIV). Let the river flow.

  • Forgive our sins
  • Restore the Church
  • Heal the nations

“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Hab 2:14, NIV).

©2011 Dr Karen Braun

Did you like this? Share it:

Continue Reading

WOUNDS NEED HEALING

Published on 01 June 2011 by in Encouragement

0
WOUNDS NEED HEALING

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective (James 5:16, NIV).

I took every precaution I could, really! I even wore the gloves, but it was not enough to prevent the hedge trimmer from bouncing back on that last stubborn branch, slicing through the leather.

I squeezed my husband’s hand tightly as the Dr froze my finger in four places for the necessary six stitches. After being healed, a scar now marks the severed nerve endings and I’ve learned to operate my finger somewhat differently.

To receive healing often needs others to come alongside to help. What are your wounds? Are they physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, or even social? Are they still open, but hidden? Where do you show sensitivity? Don’t discount your wounds!

Would you be willing to find someone to tell the worst thing about you to still be loved and accepted? This caring application truly heals! This is Jesus’ kind of love!

Prayer is that safe place to dialogue with the One who fully understands both wounding and healing. So, ask Him who else you could share the reality of your wound, so they can be His healing hands. He did design the body to be a healing agent!

“Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heals (Job 5:17-18, NIV).

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24-25, NIV).

Truthfully, I DID NOT appreciate the pain of my experience at all, nor the numb finger sensation I now live with. However, I DO value the greater truth – my legitimate needs were truly cared for by others, and God designed and allowed my body to function and heal with a mostly usable finger.

GET REAL

  • What is the higher truth you choose to believe in regard to sin, righteousness, and judgment?
  • How do you justify remaining in the place of woundedness?
  • If you have already experienced healing, how do you live differently?
  • Whom have you wounded?
  • How are you a healing agent for others?
  • Would you agree, wounds need healing and sin needs repenting?

Oh dear Lord you gave us your Spirit to lead us into all truth. I pray that you would clearly guide us, as your followers, to the safety of genuine care, one with, and for one another so your love can be applied to legitimate wounds. Help us overcome unbelief. May you receive all the praise that is due your name. I ask in Jesus’ name!

When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt and in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned… But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth (John 16:8-11, 13, NIV).

©2011 Dr Karen Braun

Did you like this? Share it:

Continue Reading

CERTAINTY IN UNCERTAIN TIMES

Published on 24 May 2011 by in Encouragement

0
CERTAINTY IN UNCERTAIN TIMES

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith … so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Heb 12:1-3, NIV).

Definitely our world is being shaken. Floods, fires, tornadoes, earthquakes, volcanoes, wars, peace talks, ‘end of the world judgment day’, and famines hmmm… sounds like a Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 description in the works.

So what of that unnerving quality and the state of being uncertain that creates doubt, indecision, hesitation, vagueness, ambiguity, insecurity, and improbability. DON’T BE ALARMED!

Of this we can be certain – uncertainty has a solution!

It’s called FAITH!

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Heb 11:1, NIV).

With what do you practice and demonstrate maneuvering through insecurity toward belief and confidence?

It’s called FOCUS!

Without a doubt, deliberate focus MUST be given to the infallible, without error, written Word of God. Yes! This means the 66 books of the Old and New testaments of the Bible. To apply ourselves to knowing and being familiar with it, is to discover the supreme and final authority in all matters on which it speaks, including times of uncertainty.

As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. Tell us,’ they said, when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?’ Jesus answered: Watch out that no one deceives you’” (Matt 24:3-4, NIV).

As we prayerfully, by that I mean conversationally apply ourselves to a dialogue with God to know Jesus and make Him known – we discover with CERTAINTY, the who, the what, the why, the where, the when and the how, to remain, believe, receive, persevere, and exercise God-given authority.

It’s called FACT, AKA DOCTRINE!

How familiar are you with what is written, ALREADY SPOKEN and RECORDED about God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, the Scriptures, Heaven, Hell, Angels, Demons, Prayer, the Universal Church, Salvation, Sanctification, Healing, Bodily Resurrection, Eternal Life, Judgment, and the 2nd coming of the Lord Jesus?

Check out our Statement of Faith here.

As our knowledge and relationship with Jesus – the LIVING WORD – grows, so does our confidence!

And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming (1 John 2:28, NIV).

Whatever today or tomorrow will bring we CAN live without doubt on the reliability and CERTAINTY of God’s WORD. No wind, fire, flood, earthquake, hurricane, tornado, evil spirit or person can shake or change these rock solid and unshifting promises!

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable; if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me, put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you (Phil 4:8-9, NIV).

Heavenly Father, thank you that EVERYTHING is in your capable hands. We turn our eyes to keep our focus on YOU. When everything else around us crumbles, you will CERTAINLY remain the same! Thank you for that promise and HOPE.

©2011 Dr Karen Braun

Did you like this? Share it:

Continue Reading

FOLLOW THE SCENT

Published on 18 May 2011 by in Encouragement

0
FOLLOW THE SCENT

“For I have come to do the will of God who sent me, not to do what I want. And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has give me, but that I should raise them to eternal life at the last day (John 6:38-39, NLT).

WHAT A MANDATE!

God the Father commissioned Jesus His Son to NOT LOSE you and me but to PICK US UP for eternal life.

This IS great news, especially in view of any unexpected stumble along the trail; crushing trial encountered along the way; or, surprise attack from the enemy of our soul, as we follow His lead.

Is your spiritual nose pointing to Jesus? Do you sniff and follow His lead with reckless abandon or have the layers of life beneath your feet, or unexpected twists and turns along the way – including encounters with evil bullies – caused you to doubt or even lose trace of His fragrance?

WHAT REASSURANCE & PROVISION!

“Jesus said to the people, I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you wont be stumbling through the darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life’” (John 8:12, NLT).

The Lord does not need weapons to rescue his people. It is his battle, not ours (1 Sam 17:47, NLT).

“Jesus replied, I am the bread of life. No one who comes to me will ever be hungry again. Those who believe in me will never thirst. Those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them. Unless you believe that I am who I say I am, you will die in your sins’” (John 8:24b).

I assure you, anyone who obeys my teaching will never die (John 8:50, NLT)!

WHAT INVITATION!

If you’ve lost your way, go by way of the cross to be found again, in the light, refreshed by THE bread and water of life. As He lifts you and holds you close you will always experience Him there – it’s the only way to know how to follow. His fragrance will rub off and then others will want to follow that scent too.

His mandate is to keep you! Just wait… what’s ahead is greater then we can imagine!

Thank you Most High, kind, and merciful God that you have given Jesus charge of our keeping – for eternal life. Forgive us for chasing distractions; for running off to pursue other smells; even for giving more faith to fear especially when encountering evil. Purify our senses with your love and holiness so that we can run wholehearted in full confidence after you. Would you grant that others might desire your scent too.

“The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly” (Joshua 14:9, NIV).

©2011 Dr Karen Braun

Did you like this? Share it:

Continue Reading

PAIN ON PURPOSE

Published on 11 May 2011 by in Encouragement

0
PAIN ON PURPOSE

He [the LORD] called for a famine on the land of Canaan, cutting off its food supply. Then he sent someone to Egypt ahead of them, Joseph, who was sold as a slave. There in prison, they bruised his feet with fetters and placed his neck in an iron collar. Until the time came to fulfil his dreams, the LORD tested Josephs character” (Psalm 105:16-19, NLT).

Do you think betrayed, bruised, and bound Joseph dreamed, or even imagined a way out of his painful experiences? Do you think he expected them to ultimately test him, shape him, refine him, lead him, and directionally influence others as a result?

What framework guided Jo’s thinking to see him through every day of unfair captivity, while gingerly trying to sooth his bruised and restrained feet; or, to daily manage an unyielding burden of heavy metal restriction around his neck?

What about you? What dream has been shattered? What unexpected twists and turns have you bound like a prisoner? What extreme limitations squeeze the essence of your character out? Do you daily manage the choke hold or does it manage you?

“Then Pharaoh sent for him and set him free; the ruler of the nation opened his prison door. Joseph was put in charge of all the kings household; he became ruler over all the kings household; he became ruler over all the kings possessions. He could instruct the kings aides as he pleased and teach the kings advisors” (Psalm 105:20-22, NLT).

Joseph daily choices where based on a knowledge of God and a developing relationship of trust. Remember God had given him dreams. I’m sure there were many tough conversations exchanged during those difficult days that grew into years. However, the daily dependence served to cultivate and refine the character we see in Joseph.

CHARACTER inspired the trust of a king; gave way to freedom; and opened the door to oversee and even instruct others. I wouldn’t be surprised if Joseph eventually taught a class for advisors called – Belief 101, which included a section on Hard Knocks from Another Perspective.

Your pain has purpose!

Has God given you a dream? What is your framework of belief when direction shifts to the unexpected? How is it managed daily? Do you engage in conversation with God about the details? Do you trust Him? Would you need to confess and repent of any lie you’ve embraced during the days of disillusionment – about God, yourself, others or your dream and replace with truth? As you focus on God’s trustworthiness – he will build and refine your character according to His dream for you. You never know whose freedom he may be sending you ahead for.

We declare you LORD to be the One true God, infinitely perfect in all your ways as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Your sovereign plans and purposes are high and mighty and truly above our understanding. You are worthy and deserving of our trust. Wherever you place us, whatever the circumstances, may our belief in you reflect as character to those around us! Thank you that you hear and answer prayer!

Jesus told them, This is what God wants you to do: Believe in the one He has sent’” (John 6:29, NLT).

I live by the power of the living Father who sent me; in the same way, those who partake of me will live because of me” (John 6:57, NLT).

©2011 Dr Karen Braun

Did you like this? Share it:

Continue Reading

I DON’T KNOW THIS!

Published on 04 May 2011 by in Encouragement

0
I DON’T KNOW THIS!

“Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding (Prov 9:9-10, NIV).

Have you heard it or even said it yourself – I don’t know this!?

I recall my son at age four being unfamiliar with a task. Uncertain, he adequately captured this innocent helplessness with these words, Mommy, I dont know this!” I was delighted to show him how.

I heard it again last week, “I don’t know this,” but this time from a grown woman all alone who was forced due to a fire, to evacuate her apartment building and find some place new to live. I was thankful I could serve her in some small measure to lighten her load.

Yesterday I said it, when faced with responding to a situation that was totally foreign to my knowledge. I was grateful God provided someone else to instruct me, and another to remind me that peace can rule in times of uncertainty. Both helped!

We are not meant to do life alone. We need God and we need each other. Whatever your age or situation, is it your instinct to expect and ask for help?

Prayer is that healthy dependence and way of making our need known.

Do you experience the certainty of the LORD who draws near, hears and answers your sincere prayer? Do you know Him as the One who is all knowing, longing to surprise you with peace. It’s okay to not know everything, and even better to admit it. He delights in helping.

He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me (Ps 18:16-19, NIV).

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you” (Ps 32:8, NIV).

Thank you loving heavenly Father, for giving your Word, your Spirit and one another to help us do life. Forgive our prideful independence that robs of joy and peace. Please enable us to live childlike in our faith, to be okay with not having all the answers; and, to actually appreciate the journey of revealed knowledge. Thank you for the ongoing discovery we can share together.

© 2011 Dr Karen Braun

Did you like this? Share it:

Continue Reading

Social Widgets powered by AB-WebLog.com.