Lord, In Everything?

 

thanksgivingtable

Many are preparing for a big celebration with family and dear friends! It’s Thanksgiving Day!
A special time set aside to express our thanks to God for His bountiful blessings. While gathered around the dining table expressions of gratitude will be shared for various reasons. The most common reason for being thankful is for family, health, and, of course, LIFE itself.
It is this reason that causes a piercing in my heart and even feelings of guilt. I began to question my right to celebrate while many are feeling the pain from broken hearts because life in this earthly realm is no more.
While I’m celebrating life, they are mourning death. While I am expressing thanks for my life and my “living” family members, they are making funeral arrangements for theirs.
Yet, the Word of God says, “…in everything give thanks…”

“In every situation (no matter what the circumstances) be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 Amplified

Really, Lord, after receiving sudden news of the death of a family member, or a very dear friend just three days before Thanksgiving?
Really, Lord, I am to give thanks after receiving a death sentence from a terminal illness?
Really, Lord, give thanks when my child is diagnosed with cancer?
Really, Lord, give thanks when my dear parents and grandparents are living in another world and don’t even know it’s Thanksgiving Day?

Why would You instruct me to give thanks in every situation no matter what the circumstances, I am to be thankful?

As I meditated on this, and from my own experience, I have learned that my giving thanks is not necessarily for the situation I am in. I am not being thankful for pain and unpleasantness of my circumstances. My expression of thanks is a declaration of my faith in God. It is my way of saying to the Lord, “I trust You.” The more thankful I am FOR and TO Him, the more He releases me of the burden and gives me peace to go through the process. Although I don’t fully understand or even like the situation I am in and the circumstances I am facing, when I give God thanks and praise a supernatural exchange takes place. He replaces my fear with faith, my pain with purpose. The more I praise Him and offer unto Him the “sacrifice” of praise with a grateful heart, He gives supernatural strength. The sufficiency of His grace is manifested, and I am empowered to endure the process.

Being thankful in every situation positions me in the very presence of God to receive supernatural ability to handle life’s challenging times.

Whatever the circumstances today, my prayer is that you can give thanks to Him as a declaration of your faith in Him; your trust in His faithfulness. Give thanks to Him because He is right there in the situation with you, just as He was in the fiery furnace with the Hebrew boys (Daniel 3:24-27).
©2017 Queen Esther Phillips. Majestic Worldwide Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved.

Everyone Will Take a Knee!

 

Las Vegas thoughts_prayerHere we are, the United States of America, mourning again because evil has raised its ugly head and used someone vulnerable to carry out an attack that massacred 58 lives and injured over 500 people. 

 

Once again, lawmakers are bracing for politics on gun control! We’ve been here before, many times. When does it end?

 

“And once again, a stunned nation was left to grapple with a city riven by tragedy and a resurgent debate over gun control and gun violence. The White House and many Republicans insisted it was a time to mourn rather than launch into political battles, while some Democrats renewed calls for gun safety legislation.” -The Washington Post

The question why? Law Enforcement will investigate the shooter’s background and dig up his past, including his family history. They will interview family members who had no clue their relative was capable of such violence. That’s the norm after the fact of the act of violence against fellow human beings. What could have been done to prevent such a tragedy? Sad to say, probably nothing.

Only a few days before, the media coverage was about NFL taking a knee.  However, immediately after the Las Vegas tragedy social media timelines and tweets were trending with spiritual sentiments and requests that suggested our Nation assume the posture that symbolizes a religious ritual—take a knee (pray). How ironic!  Different messages, but same motivation—a nation that desparately needs a cure for its social ills.

kneenflWhy is it that, as a Nation, we only come together in solidarity to express our care and concern when faced with tragedy, whether natural disasters as with Hurricanes or mass murders caused by gun violence?  Pain is not prejudice. We all are emotional beings regardless of the color of our skin.

There is an innate part of humanity that connects emotionally when there is tragedy and inhumane acts of violence.  We all have feelings. Unfortunately, when those feelings are uncontrolled along with deranged thoughts people behave in the worst ways.  When hearts and minds are darkened by evil, demonic forces seek to destroy lives and maim humanity by using those vulnerable mentally and emotionally. Although time is spent looking for an answer as to why, it just may be there is no logical answer only a spiritual one, which many will dismiss as nonsense.

 

The Word of God speaks truth to power and offer a solution to our dilemma:

 

22 “Look to Me, and be saved,
All you ends of the earth!
For I am God, and there is no other. (Isaiah 43:22)

 

What God Almighty, Creator of the heavens, the One who formed the earth and established it has decreed in righteousness shall be fulfilled.  Unfortunately, one of the most effective ways that a generation can see God’s word manifested is by experiencing troubles, tragedies, and judgment.  Unrest, threats of wars, natural disaster, destruction, and desperation have a way of redirecting our wayward thoughts so that we cry out to the Creator for help, although we have consistently rejected Him.  AND the Good News is He will help us although we have not known Him.

 

23 I have sworn by Myself;
The word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness,
And shall not return,
That to Me every knee shall bow,
Every tongue shall take an oath.
24 He shall say,
‘Surely in the Lord I have righteousness and strength (Isaiah 43:23-24).

 

Whether we deliberately twist the message about taking a knee or debate our beliefs that it is disrespectful of the flag and our country is irrelevant at this point. What is relevant is the Word that Almighty God has decreed – To Him every knee shall bow (Romans 14:11). The ultimate disrespect is a nation that is blatant about its irreverence to the Creator of the Universe, our Maker.

 

God’s Word will make us all take a knee regardless of differences, backgrounds, beliefs, prejudices and preferences, religious rhetoric and ritualism, intellectualized opinions, or opportunists with political agendas.

 

As we, the “great” United States of America mourn once again because evil raised its deceptive head, I pray that we let the innate likeness of our Creator within humanity bring the healing we desperately need.  I pray that we look to God for the salvation and hope that can only come through faith in Jesus Christ.

May we take a knee and pray, “God Bless America.”

 

May we really live out this slogan, “In God we trust!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

©2017 Queen E. Phillips, Majestic Ministries, Inc.

 

God’s Timing is Perfect!

Its about Time Series III recall the saying, “He may not come when you want Him, but He’s always on time.”
Although this truth is revealed throughout the Bible, the avalanche of emotional occurrences in our lives cause us to sometimes question the timeliness of God’s intervention in our affairs when we ask Him.

As a woman, I am learning we really do hold a special place in God’s heart.  He understands everything about us—our personality, how we think, our needs for love and affection, our concerns, our dreams, our hurts and pains, disappointments— everything. He especially understands our faults and weaknesses.  Yet, He is always compassionate toward us.  His tenderness of heart is manifested in the lives of women who often struggle with emotional instability when dealing with the challenges of life.

When I consider the passage of Scripture recorded in Luke 7:11-16, this level of compassion is demonstrated to highest dimension—resurrection of a dead son. Wow!
Let’s consider how the death of this son affected the economical and emotional well being of this mother. Luke makes it clear that he was the only son of his mother (v.12). In accordance with the manners and customs of that day, it was the desire of both the mother and father to have a boy rather than a girl.  Boys were desired to increase the size, wealth and importance of the family clan.  Since this was an only son, the possibility of the family increasing was hopeless.  Any hope or dreams for an inheritance died with this son. Consequently, the economical situation of this woman changed.

Luke also states that this woman was a widow.  The father was the supreme authority in the household. When there was a son in the household, the authority which the father had was handed down to his eldest, who took over the position of leadership upon the death of the father.  Consequently, this family structure changed with the death of the father. Now, the only one that was to assume responsibility and leadership for the household was now dead.  Consequently, the weight of her inner turmoil, burdens, grief and pain were manifested on her countenance.

In modern day, this situation would merit the questions like: What am I going to do now? How am I going make it?   Reading and believing what Jesus did for her should encourage us today—Jesus will fix it for you!

How encouraging is this passage of Scripture to those of us who face death everyday, whether the physical death of children, parents, loved ones, friends, or dead dreams, and visions, or hopeless situations.  We must remember that the Lord Jesus sees our broken hearts and the same compassion that He had on this mother He has on us.  His compassions never fail (Lam. 3:21-22) because He is faithful!

In the case of death, the dead may not be raised physically, but if they belong to Him they will be raised in the last day.  Even in our grief, sorrow and brokenness, His touch will revive our spirit so that we continue in His strength in spite of emotional upheaval in our lives. His touch still resurrects dead dreams and makes them reality.

As we embrace the greater challenges in these last days, what is being carried out of your life because it’s dead? What are you about to bury? Don’t give up; don’t bury it yet because God’s timing is inconceivable.  Think about it! It was no coincidence that Jesus showed up in the village of Nain just at the time this dead son was being carried out. What perfect timing?

It may seem as though you can’t take anymore disappointments, or hurts. He knows your emotional state concerning that son or daughter that seems hopelessly lost. He is concerned about your financial situation. He is aware of your needs, and He is available to comfort you like no one else can.  You sense His tenderness when you get into His presence; you feel the softness of His touch like a warmth that surrounds you but you can’t explain. When He speaks peace saturates your mind to point of no understanding.  Today, He is waiting to say arise to whatever is dead in your life.  And when He speaks to that dead thing in your life, it has to resurrect because He is the resurrection and the life (John 11:25).  It will be in perfect timing so that God will be glorified, and His name will be exalted in the earth.
As you face your challenging experiences, you too will learn that He may not come when you think He should, but for certain, He will be right on time because His timing is perfect!
©2017 Queen E. Phillips. All rights reserved. Use for non-profit only. Credit must be given to the copyright owner.

Don’t know why

cryingwomanseyes

I heard some heartbreaking news yesterday that is still lingering in my mind today—families are suffering great loss and calamity.  Although I do not know them personally, they are still family because we are all connected as part of God’s family.

It’s during times like this that no matter who you are, how long you have been a Christian, how spiritually deep you think you are, the questions arise, “Why?” “Why did God allow such tragedy to happen, especially the tragic death of children? Truth is, we don’t know why and may never know why. We try to give spiritual answers as believers, but I can tell you from personal experience, it does not ease the pain at the time.  The journey from mourning to joy must be traveled by each of us on a timeline determined by our total dependence on the supernatural power of the God we profess as our Healer.

Nevertheless, until we are healed, delivered and set free, the ambush of thoughts is like stray bullets in our mind.  We are unable to sooth the nauseous feeling of sadness when we stare at beautiful pictures of vibrate, happy, smiling faces of children that we dream of growing into adulthood. We try to rationalize, but cannot.

Senseless.

Incomprehensible. 

It hits too hard! It affects Christian believers and of course, nonbelievers, who often use unexplainable events and tragedy as reasons for not believing that a loving God would allow such horrendous things to happen to good people. Yet, no one is able to answer the why questions. Unfortunately, if we seek for a reason too long and do not come up with one, our soul will become exceedingly sad and discontent.  Our inability to rationalize the horrific tragedy along with our emotional instability cause us to sink deeper and deeper into a pit of darkness. It is there in the pit that we are entrapped.  Depression grips our soul with its gnashing teeth and refuses to let go.  Consequently, we conclude we have no hope. It is in this pitfall where many give up and surrender to the spirit of defeatism.  They cannot fight for themselves nor dig themselves out of the deep, dark, cold, pit of hopelessness.

Therefore, the need for intercessors is great!  Intercessors are those will pray and stand in gap (spiritual gateway) and make up the hedge on behalf of those who become defenseless against the kingdom of darkness because the pangs of sorrow have become unbearable.

As believers, let us pray fervently for one another; and resolve that we may never know all the “whys” in this evil world nor understand even if God in His sovereignty chooses to tell us.  But we must trust God to walk with us on our journey from mourning to joy. We must know we are victorious and believe what Jesus said even through our heartbreaking, painful experiences…

 “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:33).

Trust God’s Heart

trust-gods-heart

Like me, you have probably said, “I don’t know what God is doing. I don’t understand why God is allowing this to happen.” Our finite minds cannot fully comprehend God’s wisdom and unsearchable judgments. And some things are not for us to understand, but to simply obey and trust Him to reveal to us when and if He chooses to do so. Our limitations often keep us from grasping some things that happen in our personal life and in the world. Therefore, God hasn’t told us everything beforehand. He does so on an ‘as needed’ basis.

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! (Romans 11:33)

If He told us everything we would have no reason to have faith in His word or to trust Him. In our humanity, we have a tendency to be totally independent and do things our way rather than God’s way. Over the years I have learned that as painful and disappointing as life events are, I must trust God.  The words of Babbie Mason’s song, “when we don’t see His hand, trust His heart” ministered to me during my “why” days.

“The LORD our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable forever for all that he has revealed to us, so that we may obey all the terms of these instructions. (Deuteronomy 29:29 New Living Translation)

In chapters 27 through 29 of Deuteronomy, Moses summarized a review of God’s covenant with the Israelites.  He outlined the curses and blessings that would result based on their choice to obey or disobey the terms of the covenant. The essence of his review was to remind them to obey the terms of the covenant so that they will prosper in everything they do. He rehearsed their past experiences in Egyptian captivity. He explained the blessings for obedience and the consequences of disobedience. He told them about the devastation and desolation of the land if they didn’t keep the covenant. The question of the surrounding nations would be, “Why did this happen?” The answer would be because the terms of the covenant were not obeyed.

The above passage quoted from verse 29 of chapter 29 ended with the matter of accountability relative to Yahweh’s sovereign decision. Here is the relevance for us today: There are some things that God in His Sovereignty, infinite knowledge and wisdom do not reveal to us; therefore, He does not hold us accountable; but we are accountable for what He does reveal (uncover) concerning His instructions, plans, and purposes. Ultimately, we have a choice just as the Israelites—obey and be blessed or disobey and suffer the consequences. Yes, even under the dispensation of grace, if you’re wondering.

We may never know, like or understand the why in a situation or the what about circumstances. Nevertheless, what we should do is trust Him completely, draw closer in our relationship with Christ, be confident in His promise to never abandon (forsake) us, and be assured that He will carry us through our wilderness wanderings, provide for us and comfort all who turn to Him as our loving Father.

God has a purpose for everything! I know it is easy to blame God for the painful things that happen in this fallen world. However, blaming Him does not change anything. God is still God and He is not intimidated or threatened by our feelings. He still loves us unconditionally. Remember, He knew us before we were conceived (beyond your understanding, right?) He has planned that all things work together for our good. 

Dearly beloved, you may not know, like nor understand the what or the why God allows things to happen in your personal life and this world, my encouragement to you is please trust His heart, which is filled with unconditional love for you.

When you don’t understand God’s plan and can’t see His hand, you can trust His heart.

Think about it! Talk to Him honestly about your feelings. He listens and He cares.

Copyright 2017. All rights reserved. Majestic Worldwide Ministries, Inc.

Black History Commemorative Prayer

black-history-commemorative-prayer

God, our Father in heaven,

Hallowed is your name! Thank you for the privilege and access to come in confidence to your throne of grace, where we can obtain mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.  We come in the name of Jesus today. We rejoice in saying, you are our God; we worship you and you alone! Thank you! Thank you for daily provision, naturally and spiritually. Thank you for the plan of salvation through faith in your Son, Jesus the Christ, in whom through His blood is the remission of sin.  Thank you for forgiving us and for your enabling power that’s available so that we can forgive others. Father, thank you for the trials and triumph; for bringing us through the dark and evil days of yesteryear.  Thank you for those who bore the burden and paid the price for freedom as a people.  Let us not forget their sacrifice of life. And we pray for this generation to be willing to stand as they did; to stand for righteousness, justice, and equality.  Lord, open the eyes of our heart so that we understand as they did, the fight is not just for the present, but for generations to come.  Help us to not be so focused and selfish concerning our rights now, but to pray for your kingdom to come and your will be done in future generations.  Help us to realize that just as we stand on the shoulders of those who fought for us today, so must future generations stand on our shoulders. Therefore, we must be vigilant and alert, knowing that our adversaries are many, but you, O Lord is with us when we stand for righteousness and justice. Let us be the light that shines in this dark world! May we have the fortitude, boldness, and tenacity to stand fearlessly in the face of opposition and fight for what is right, speak out against what is wrong; that we will speak the truth in love, being confident that there is an invisible host much greater than those opposing us. We praise you, our just God, who sees all and knows everything; nothing is hidden from you; and in perfect timing, you will expose lies and reveal hidden truths that will set many people free! Father, as we commemorate Black History, we pray, let the good that we do today be a legacy we leave for tomorrow. May the truth that we stand on and declare today be words that will empower and transform lives tomorrow.

Thank you, Father, for empowering our ancestors, and our elders, to endure persecutions, to stand in faith and survive great adversity so that this generation could have a great cloud of witnesses cheering us on saying,

“Fight the good fight of faith! Sound the alarm and declare, ‘Let justice roll down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.’” (Amos 5:24). 

We pray, let us not grow weary in doing what is good and pleasing to You.  In the name of Jesus, we pray with thanksgiving. Amen.