Afflictions, Trials, and Heartaches


Afflictions, trials, and heartaches are all part of this life. We never choose to enter into the storms of life, but they come. They may occur suddenly or gradually, but all the same, we must deal with the afflictions that come our way. What are we to do in the day of tribulation and heartache? Jeremiah, the prophet, shares an answer from God. “O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction.” (Jeremiah 16:19) God shows us three truths about Himself that bring hope amid our trials. 

1. God gives us His strength to endure the storms of life. (My strength) Trials and heartaches have a way of weakening our resolve to move forward with life. Our energy has disappeared. We want to quit. However, God tells us amid our weakness, His strength is always there. God says to the Apostle Paul in his time of weakness: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

2. God gives us His protection to stay faithful to Him during the storms of life. (My fortress) The fortress shows stability and security. During our afflictions, we are tempted to depart from the Lord. However, the Lord keeps us firm in our walk with Him. We may stumble, but He will not allow us to fall. 

3. God gives us His refuge for rest and hope amid the storm. (My refuge) In the midst of our trials, we can become weary. We feel that we have nowhere to go. The affliction causes worry and anxiety. God says to us in our weariness: “Come unto meall ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:29) God’s rest is available. Are we ready to lay our weary souls in His loving arms?

A Prayer. “Dear Father, I did not seek this heartache that is an unwelcome guest in my life. I know that I can not handle this storm on my own. I feel weak, vulnerable, and anxious. You alone can take me through this trial. I look up to you as my strength, my fortress, and my refuge. Thank you for holding my hand as I go through this challenging time in my life. Please help me to glorify your name because of all that you are doing in my life. Amen”


A Weary Soul in a Busy World

grayscale photo of people at market
Photo by Danilo Ugaddan on

Do you ever find times in your life when you feel like saying: “I need to wait for my soul to catch up with my body.” Our life is full of activity, and yet we experience emptiness and a great weariness of soul. God seems to be quite distant. We have lost the joy that we once had in Jesus Christ. What does the Word of God say? “For consider Him(Jesus) that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” (Hebrews 12:3)

A sure remedy of weariness of soul comes when we consider Jesus and keep our focus upon Him. There are many occasions in life when we need to “Consider Jesus.” As we “consider Him,” we will find the strength of the soul to carry on with our life.

1. Consider Jesus in times of temptation.  Jesus understands our temptations. Jesus experienced temptation, and yet He stayed faithful to His Father. (Hebrews 2:18) As we “consider Jesus,” we will find His grace and strength helping us to overcome the temptation.

2. Consider Jesus in times of failure. Jesus never failed, and His compassion never fails. He restored Peter after his act of denial. (John 21:15-17). He will revive us if we come to Him in repentance and confession of our sin. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

3. Consider Jesus in times of fatigue. Jesus understands our fatigue because He experienced fatigue and hunger as He walked the earth. He gives His strength to our weary souls and bodies. “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

4. Consider Jesus in times of spiritual dryness. Jesus alone can quench the thirst in our soul. “Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” (John 7:37)

5. Consider Jesus in times of loneliness.  Jesus understands loneliness. He spent much time being alone. Also, when He was tried, convicted, beaten, and placed on the cross, He experienced loneliness. “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:20)

6. Consider Jesus in times of indecision.  Amidst the many voices crying out to us, are we listening for his distinct, wise, and loving voice? He is our Good Shepherd who knows us by name and leads us in the way that we should go. (John 10:3)

As we walk this life, let us always “consider Jesus” in every path we take. He is there to bring rest, comfort, and direction to our weary soul.


Does Evil Still Exist?


What has happened to evil? We know that it is alive and well in the world around us, as well as in our hearts. However, people no longer consider anything as being evil. What is evil? Evil is living a life without God or rejecting what God says. God sees evil as boasting against all that He is and all that He does. “Why do you boast in evil, O mighty man? The goodness of God endures continually.” (Psalm 52:1)

Evil seems to be winning. We see this in the media, the realm of education, as well as our political system. People have changed the definition of evil. They define evil as not being tolerant of attitudes and behavior that are totally against God. People call evil good and good as being evil. We can quickly become discouraged amid the wave upon wave of evil that we see all around us and even in our hearts.

Is there any hope? Yes! Psalm 52 reminds us that the boasting of evil is only temporary; however, the goodness of God endures forever. We can always enjoy God’s goodness in the midst of all that may be happening around us. Evil does not have to overwhelm us. God’s goodness enables us to gain perspective and hope. God’s goodness will ultimately win out over evil. We need to focus upon God’s goodness amid this evil world, or else despair will rule over our lives.

“Dear Lord, I become discouraged when I see the evil around me and even within my own heart. I wonder why evil seems so bold and prevalent. People don’t care about your ways. They have chosen to go their way. As I read your Word, You remind me of the greatness of your goodness. Please keep my focus on your goodness as I live as a pilgrim in this wicked world. Amen”

A Prayer for 2020

Malachi 3:6: The Canadian Rockies-Photo by Mark J. Booth

Dear Heavenly Father,
I live in a world that is continuously changing, yet you do not change. My circumstances may vary, but you do not change. My health may change, but you do not change. My financial situation may change, but you do not change. The people in my life may come and go, but you do not change.

Thank you, Father, for giving me the privilege to call you, Father. Thank you for the blessings of the past year. I experienced your mercy every day. Your Word brought direction, comfort, and conviction throughout the previous year. You blessed me by using my family and many other people who showed love and kindness towards me. You gave me strength when I was weak. You gave me wisdom when I was confused. Above all, I thank you for your love that I didn’t deserve.

Father, as I look forward to the New Year, I realize that I am facing the great unknown, but my unknown future is known to you. For this reason, I commit this New Year to you. Please help me to keep my eyes focused upon you.

Please guide me in every decision that I make. Help me to love my family and all those that you bring into my life. Please give me the strength, patience, and wisdom to bear any trial that may come my way. Could you help me to draw closer to you each day? Increase my faith because I often walk by sight and not by faith.

Thank you, Father, for your ears that are always open to my prayers. Take my life and let it be devoted to you. I commit my ever-changing life to you because you are my unchanging Father. Amen.

A New Year: A New Look at Life


The year 2020 has arrived. Perhaps, we have already made some goals for our life. However, this is an excellent opportunity to take an inventory of our spiritual lives.

God says in Haggai 1:5: “Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways.”God’s people had returned to their land, but they had neglected to rebuild the temple. The people placed God on the back burner of their lives. Their priority was building their own lives without any thought of God.

Today, we often neglect our spiritual lives because we become preoccupied with all the activities in this world. Like the Israelites, have we neglected to take an inventory of our relationship with God?

The word “consider” means to note thoroughly, to perceive clearly, to think deeply. This word is used sixty-six times in the Bible. Why does God place such a priority on this word? Is it because He knows that we have the habit of keeping busy so that we don’t take the time to consider our walk with Him? Here are some questions to help begin an inventory of our spiritual lives.

1. Do I know God? “That I may know Him.” (Philippians 3:10) These words show Paul’s great desire to know the Lord in a personal way. He didn’t just want to know about God but to know Him as His Father, Lord, and Friend. Will we sacrifice our time and effort so that we can know God better?

2. Do I know myself?  “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:” (Psalm 139:23)We often find it difficult to allow God to search every aspect of our lives. We tend to excuse our sins and follies. God sees all and knows all. His examination not only shows us our sins and failures but also the way to move forward in 2020.

3. Do I use my time wisely?  “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:16)  Time is a gift that we often waste on matters that are not very important. Do we sacrifice the important things in life for the urgent? Time is a gift that we can invest in those things that promote our spiritual well-being.

4. Do I encourage those around me? We often focus upon our own lives, and we forget the impact that our lives have upon other people. One of my favorite Bible characters is Barnabas. He was a man who was always encouraging others.

  • He encouraged others by his example. (Acts 4:36-37)
  • He encouraged others with his friendship. (Acts 9:26-27)
  • He encouraged others with his words.  (Acts 9:23)
  • He encouraged others by giving them a second chance. (Acts 15: 35-41)

5. Do I glorify God in all that I do? The highest purpose of our life is to bring glory to God. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31) God desires us to bring glory to Him in all that we do. Do we glorify God in our thoughts, attitudes, words, and actions? De, we honor God in our family? Do we glorify God at work or at school? Do we glorify God with our plans and goals in life?

“Dear Heavenly Father, I am entering a new year. I need to consider my ways as I look forward to 2020. Please help me to know you more intimately. Guide me as to the use of my time. Use me to encourage the people you bring into my life. Above all, I want to glorify you in all that I am and do. Thank you for the blessings of 2019. Thank you for continuing your work in and through my life. Amen”

Finding Love in an Angry World

Photo by: Mark Booth

Where can we find love and mercy in this world filled with selfishness and bitterness? The Psalmist David found the answer! “I trust in the mercy (lovingkindness) of God forever and ever.” (Psalm 52:8)

God’s love is a breath of fresh air in a world of insensitivity, anger, and a lack of compassion. God’s mercy never ends. His love carries us through the hurts, pain, and hatred that is all around us. His mercy is like a plane that flies above the storm. With His loving hand, God can lift us above the animosity within the world. Will we take His hand, today?

“Dear Heavenly Father, we need to focus on your love and mercy in this world that has turned its back on you. We see the selfishness, anger, and bitterness all around us, yet we know that your love and mercy never end. Please help us to share your lovingkindness and mercy with others who need you. Amen”



Are you feeling overwhelmed with all sorts of negative thoughts about yourself, people, your situation, and even your relationship with God? These thoughts can bring about depression, anxiety, and fear. What does God say to us when we are feeling overwhelmed? “In the multitude of my thoughts within me, THY COMFORTS DELIGHT MY SOUL.” (Psalm 94:19)

God, with His loving arms, says to us: “Come unto me, I will bring my comfort unto you and bring delight to your innermost being.” When God’s comfort enters into our lives, the negative thoughts will be turned inside out into positive and comforting thoughts focused upon Him.

“Dear Lord, you understand how life seems overwhelming to me. I can’t cope with everything that comes my way. However, your comfort carries me through these times and brings joy out of depression. You also bring peace out of anxiety. I thank you that you are always available with your loving arms outstretched to me. Amen”