Too many people are going through too many things these days.  Everywhere you turn, you hear about one mass shooting or the other.  Something seems to be wrong with the psyche of people.  And it does not seem limited to country or continent.  It is also not limited to unbelievers.  Some believers are also losing their minds.  One reason we lose our minds is because we lose hope.  Losing hope is also a sure sign that we have lost faith.  I just want to encourage folks that the Lord is still on the throne. If He lives, He is control of my life and your life.  I am glad and thank God because I know He loves us still.  His love for us is not just a passive feeling but a powerful force that daily transforms us into new beings. I am so glad for the love of God, for His mercy and for His grace in our lives for without them we wouldn’t be here today.  So, be encouraged and be of good cheer because the Lord is in control.  Let us be reminded of two biblical stories that underline the importance of the Lord Jesus in our lives and that tells us to remain courageous because our God is always in control.

The first story happened at the Pool of Bethesda, a place in Jerusalem and the other story happened as the disciples were on their way to the city of Bethsaida.  Two different cities with the same meaning– A house of mercy or a place of grace.  The first story is found in John 5:1-9.  It is the story of the invalid by the pool at Bethesda who had been staying there for 38 years.  God knew his travail and at the appointed time he came in contact with our Lord Jesus Christ.

Whatever you or I may be going through today, the Lord knows our story, He knows how long we have been struggling with our issues.  David said, “You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar” – Psalm 139:2. Our God knows all there is to know about us.  He knows our pain, our sorrow, our worries, and He knows our reservations.  All Jesus asked the invalid was “Wilt thou be made whole?”  That is all our God desires of us today.  Do you want to get well?  Do you want your problems resolved? Do you want to be delivered or not?  You and I are at the mercy of today and I believe He is present with us wherever we may be. I know He still can take away our sickness, lameness, disappointment, addiction, sorrow, pain, and the hurt, if only we desire to be made whole.

The second story is from Mark 6:46-52 (NIV).  This is the story of how our Lord Jesus helped calm the storm when the disciples were going against a fierce wind on the way to Bethsaida.  As you read this story you cannot fail to realize once again that whatever may be happening to us our Lord Jesus knows. Don’t be afraid! He knows. My brothers and sisters, as with the disciples, Jesus knows our circumstances.  He knows our limits, He knows our fears, He knows our failures.  He sees every problem we face. He even sees the ones we would face if He hadn’t intervened and rescued us before we ever knew we needed rescuing. He knows and He also knows when to intervene. Yes, we wonder, “If He can rescue us, why does He wait so long? Why does He sometimes let us go through so much or get in so deep before He steps in? Why does it sometimes look like He doesn’t rescue? Why does it sometimes feel like He has abandoned us?” Remember the “Foot Prints in the Sand” poem. That’s part of the answer. He is continually directing our path and interceding for us.  Regardless of the terror of the storm, you can rest assured that the captain of our soul has not forgotten us. If we always remember this it should calm our inner storm, if not the outer. So, in the midst of your storm, don’t be afraid! He is here. His promise is “Lo, I am with you always”. David echoes this so beautifully in Psalm 139: 5-12.

Brothers and sisters, whatever it is you fear, – illness that is going on too long like the invalid at the pool; a yearning that seems to be unfulfilled; not knowing what is going to happen to a loved one; the absence of a loved one who is separated from you by things beyond your powers; the loss of someone so dear to you; struggles that don’t seem to have an end in sight; whatever it may be, the Bible tells us that it will not and cannot separate us from the love and presence of Jesus.  Our God is a God of love.  He wants us to be whole and will therefore not leave us in a broken condition.  Yes, He loves us way too much to leave us in a broken condition.  Jeremiah says it best in Lamentations 3:22-23 – “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”  Great is His faithfulness and our God is steadfastly faithful.  All we need do is look unto Him and He will calm the storms of our lives. He loves us still and His love never fails.

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