When there’s no light at the end of the tunnel

How long is a little while?

The struggles in life has a way of making you feel there is no end to the tunnel.  Darkness seems to cover you like a blanket with no sign of a light.

lightendoftunnel

Unashamedly I admit, over the last fifteen years I asked consistently, “Lord, how long is the pain of betrayal, broken relationships, grief from the loss of loved ones and possessions going to last?  When will the struggles end?” Needless to say, He did not give me a specific timeframe.  Instead, He always reminded me of His Word.   After a while, I stop asking how long and started rehearsing the promises He had given me.  My attitude changed. The more I meditated and spoke aloud His Word over my life and situations, the more my anxiety was replaced by God’s peace.  Still there were nights I cried myself to sleep, but I never stopped rehearsing the promises. I held on to them regardless of what I felt, saw and experienced. I believed God!

Like me, have you looked for the light at the end of the tunnel and wondered how long your troubles would last?

Just know you are not alone while traveling through your tunnel a little while longer.

I posted the following status to my Facebook page earlier this week.   Reading it again the next day or so was like getting a burst of energy from an energy drink.

Your suffering is temporary. Go through the “making” process.

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5:10 NIV.

During the time Peter wrote to the Christians, persecution was not just confined to the churches in Asia Minor. Christians were suffering from intense persecution almost everywhere in the known world of that day because they were preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ. Peter wrote to remind and console them and us too.  He was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write and encourage them to emulate those who had successfully gone through the test of suffering.  It is important and beneficial to surround yourself with people who have successfully endured some dark days of suffering and can offer you the encouragement you need to stand firm and not give up.

Suffering on this earth—although it appears to be endless—is temporary.  It is much easier to focus on the uncertainty of the length of time we will suffer.  Only God knows the duration of our sufferings.  He sovereignly defines the ‘little while’.  No one’s time of suffering is the same.  Remember Job? He suffered the loss of all things, including his health.  Through it all, he held on even enduring the criticisms and misunderstandings of his friends.

Your suffering is temporary. God through the “making” process.

The duration of your pain will be different from others, but the focal point should not be the time frame.  Focus on the promised outcome after the set time (little while) of suffering is completed.  After you have suffered a little while, here are four (4) things the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself do:

  •  Restore you.  Whatever is broken or missing, He will mend and repair so that you are complete. However long you suffered, afterwards you will be restored.  Your restoration may be physically or spiritually.
  •  Establish you. Suffering affects our mental health; our thoughts are usually focused on our condition and circumstances.  It’s easy for spirits of depression and oppression to control our thinking. God will make you stable in your mind; you will need mental stability. He will make you strong in mind. A strong and stable mindset is essential to your well-being physically, emotionally and spiritually.
  • Strengthen you.  Suffering affects you emotionally; therefore, God will make you firm in your emotions. Where you are emotionally weak and unsteady, He will strengthen your soul.
  • Settle you. Because your whole being has been shaken by your suffering, God will settle (establish) you.  He will lay again a firm foundation to uphold you so that you are stable in all your ways, not wavering, but confident in the God of your salvation.

Why would God do all this after you have suffered for a while?  Because it was never God’s intention for us live in a place of darkness, defeat, disappointment and discouragement .  Again I ask, remember Job?  At the end of Job’s suffering, however long it was, God restored him and all he lost with double.  God’s desire from the beginning has always been for our good. His will is for all mankind to live victoriously through faith in Jesus Christ (John 10:10). His desire is that we be ‘whole’ human beings in a loving relationship with Him.  All that He allows to happen in the life of His children is scripted with purpose. It is usually in times of suffering and adversity that we draw closer to Him through prayer and supplication.  Moreover, He draws closer to us. During suffering is not the time to become bitter; look to God for the better.

Yes, the struggles in life has a way of making you feel there is no light at the end of the tunnel, and darkness covers you like a blanket with no sign of a light.  But, we must remember the promises while traveling through the tunnel of darkness. Get in the Word of God because the entrance of His Words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple (Psalm 119:130). May you be enlightened and encouraged by this post.

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Your turn..

What will you do when it seems like a ‘little while’ has turned into a long while in a tunnel of darkness?

Will you admit that you focus more on ‘how long’ rather than promised outcome after the suffering?  If you admit yes, what will you do differently after reading this post?

Meditate on this Word: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”  -Romans 8:28

My Hope is Secure

033013_2144_Bittersweet1.jpgHow do you define hopeless?  Hopeless is having no expectation of good or change for the better. I admit, there has been some “seemingly” hopeless situations since accepting Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord.  However, that was before I really grasped the magnitude of His finished works on the Cross and His resurrection after three (3) days.

Watching the last episode of the video, “The Easter Experience” made me realize that as a Christian I should never conclude that I am in a hopeless situation or condition.

Hopelessness made the disciples abandon Jesus in fear and to hide after His death. The external circumstances (Jesus’ arrest) gave the appearance that there was no hope of being free from Roman rule.  They did not expect any good or change for the better; therefore they did not trust Him based on His promise to rise from the dead, although He warned them of His impending death and assured them of His resurrection.  Their focus was on the natural; therefore they just didn’t get it until after a personal encounter with the risen Savior and the spiritual transformation that changed the course of their life on the day of Pentecost. Then hope sprang forth like the branches and leaves on a “seemingly” dead tree11090882_798945466850515_4922663398283889637_o in spring.

So it is with us. Our personal experience or encounter with the risen Lord through the power of the Holy Spirit changes our bleak outlook and we have hope.  Like the disciples, we often feel hopeless because we focus more on the external circumstances, but if Christ is our personal Savior and Lord, we have hope in spite of the externals.  We find hope in His Word regardless of what is naturally visible, or the external circumstances that are unpleasant for a season.  God always causes us to triumph in Christ (2 Corinthians 2:14).

What situation have you been in that you did not expect any good to come out of it, or things to get better for you? Are things so bad that you have concluded that there is no hope? If so, I want to encourage you!  Keep believing and trusting God to keep His promises. There is always hope as long as you are breathing.

Jesus Christ is the source of our hope. He will fill us with joy and peace in the midst of difficulty if we trust in Him.

Romans 15:4 declares, “…the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.”

We know that the promise of the Savior has been fulfilled (Luke 2:1-7). We know that the promise of the Comforter (Holy Spirit) has been fulfilled (John 15:26; Acts 2:1-4). What has God promised you that has already been fulfilled?  What promises are you patiently waiting for fulfillment?  Keep expecting! Don’t give up hope; God is faithful.

I pray that Easter Sunday (Resurrection Day) will remind you that our hope is eternally secure in Christ. His resurrection gives us the assurance that what God promise is revealed either in this life or thereafter.

Always hopeful,

Holiday Season Pain

Since my past experience with holiday season pain, I am sensitive to the emotional and spiritual needs of people during the HopeforHolidaysholiday season.

I believe “holiday season pain” can be the worst. I also believe this time of the year strikes a chord of caring and great concern because I understand the heartbreak caused by the death of a loved one during the holiday season.  For me, it was the death of my mother the day after Christmas. Although the holiday pain is not so piercing now, I still remember it as if it was last night, although it has been 11 years since I experienced the “first” worst day of life, December 26, 2003, 12:01 a.m.
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Thanks!

Covered with Love

Having God as our Father, we are like a child.  We are covered with LOVE!

Credit: Photograph by Cameron Kiner

Who can separate you from your love affair?

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?”

For me, these are appropriate questions to pose now.  Today is an exhilarating time for many couples to celebrate their love affair by giving and receiving gifts as expressions of love. But then, there are many who are brokenhearted because of broken relationships caused by rejection and betrayal.  They feel unloved and unfulfilled; they are lonely and feel alone. They are feeling insignificant because their need to feel loved is unmet.  They have no love affair, no true relationship built on trust and unconditional love.  Consequently, Valentine’s Day is depressing for them.

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They Killed the Man, not the Message!

The timeliness of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birth was an appointment predestined by God for his assignment in the earth.   Therefore, his growth and development into manhood, and his advanced matriculation in education were necessary to meet the urgency of mankind’s need to hear what God had to say and do for generations to come.

To the unenlightened Dr. King was just an intelligent man with great oratorical skills and a public platform.  Many honor him only for his fight against segregation and inequity in the Deep South.  For many, observance of the holiday simply means recognizing a great Civil Rights leader.  Yet, for some, he was a voice that condemned the ugliness of racism smeared in the faces of nonwhites and Jews.  To others he was the voice of greatness— an icon to the rise of “black power.” To the degenerates, he was a dangerous threat to the kingdom of darkness that must be annihilated.

However, I know for me; he was ‘the voice of the Lord’ back then, now, and in the future! It was the voice of the Lord back then because segregation and injustice were worn like badges of honor, and celebrated with pride. Although public segregation is no longer, Dr. King’s message is the voice of the Lord now because the seeds of segregation are still being harvested in soils of ignorance, and injustice is a mockery. We see it acted out in the judicial system like the characters in a Broadway production. We see crimes of injustice committed by law enforcement agents, who are the very ones sworn to uphold law and protect the citizens.

I was only sixteen years old when the news of his brutal assassination was announced at the small segregated school I attended in Louisiana.  To this day, I recall the emotional upheaval this news brought throughout the school as well our small community of underprivileged “coloreds.”  In particular, I remember my own emotional outbursts.  It was a ‘gut-wrenching’ queasiness I’d never felt before.  Perhaps, it was like that of receiving the news of my father’s death, if I’d had a relationship with him.

I believe the prophetic anointing within me (not yet recognized or released) grieved for a true prophetic voice silenced by a nation rebelling against God’s will for humanity, addicted to hatred and committing heinous acts of violence against its fellowman.  I didn’t know then, but I know now that the spirit of heaviness overshadowed me because the resounding affects of an audible voice inspired by the Holy Spirit would be silent forever.  This man was the voice of the Lord for all times!

I’ve read the history of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. several times.  But each year, it becomes clearer that this man was born for such a time, even as this.  His messages still echoes throughout the portals of time, and reminds us of the need for change—change that results in spiritually transformed hearts and minds—changed lives that conform to the standards of GOD ALMIGHTY, and attitudes that align with biblical principles.

His messages, his courage, and boldness to speak out against the ills of society were in alignment with righteousness.

Dr.KingatMicrophoneDr. King’s messages were focused on man’s greatest needs.   And 43 years later, the needs are still great— justice, equality, and peace. 

God created all men equal, in His image and His likeness. Yes, we have come a long way, but we still have a ways to go until we all come into the knowledge of God’s will concerning justice and equality for all men.  There are still too many subliminal messages, innuendos, jokes and jesters, which reveal the secrets of an evil heart overflowing with hatred. Therefore above all, man’s greatest need is a new heart.

Dr. King preached peace and nonviolence.  This message is relevant today because man longs for true love and spiritual peace. Wherever there is war and violence there can be no true love.  God is love!  Therefore, there’s an even greater need today—a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  He preached peace because Christ paid the ultimate price for our peace—peace with God through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.  When men are not at peace with God, there can be no peace with his fellowman.  Consequently, wars, crimes and violence are inevitable in a depraved society.   But, there is hope because with God all things are possible.

In a message on Peace, in 1964, Dr. King said, “Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.  This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.”1

Dr. King understood that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Because Christ is our hope, he declared boldly and with tenacity, “Let freedom ring.”  He understood that freedom is the reward of knowing Truth.  Dr. King knew that when America embraces the Truth, we would be free at last.

He was confident in his mission and sincere in his message.  He was not intimidated by men to conform to their systems of injustice, ungodly beliefs, and immoral values.  He stood courageously in the face of opposition to deflect the darts of unrighteousness that penetrated the concrete walls of pride, hatred and selfishness. 

On nonconformity, in 1963, he said, “This hour in history needs a dedicated circle of transformed nonconformists.  Dangerous passions of pride, hatred and selfishness are enthroned in our lives; truth lies prostrate on the rugged hills of nameless Calvaries.  The saving of our world from pending doom will come, not through the complacent adjustment of the conforming majority, but through the creative maladjustment of a nonconforming minority.”2

Ultimately, Dr. King’s mountaintop experience afforded him a privilege few will have in their lifetime—to see the Promised Land.  Seeing the Promised Land gave him the assurance, confidence and hope that we all must live by daily—that God’s kingdom will come, and His will shall be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.

On April 3, 1968, Dr. King said, “Well, I don’t know what will happen now.  We’ve got some difficult days ahead.  But it doesn’t matter with me now because I’ve been to the mountaintop.  And I don’t mind.  Like anybody, I would like to live a long life.  Longevity has its place.  But I’m not concerned about that now.  I just want to do God’s will.  And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain.  And I’ve looked over.  And I’ve seen the Promised Land.  I may not get there with you.  But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the Promised Land.  And I’m happy, tonight.  I’m not worried about anything.  I’m not fearing any man.  Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”3

I believe this spiritual encounter enabled Dr. King to release everything and everyone into the Master’s hand—his life, his family, his work, his country, and this world.  He had answered the call of God.  He had done the will of God. He had lifted up his voice like trumpet in Zion, and sacrificed all for the Master.  He had fought a good fight and finished his course.

He had presented his body as a living sacrifice time after time.  He was pressed on every side, and oftentimes felt forsaken; yet,   he did not conform to this world. Instead, he was transformed by the renewing of his mind.  He understood the good and acceptable and perfect will of God; therefore, he proclaimed it to the world without compromise.

Today, the greatest honor we can bestow upon this man of God would be to submit our lives to the will of God as he did; yield our members as instruments of righteousness for the Master’s use as he did—denying all for the Kingdom of God.

I ask, “Lord, will there be another voice that will take up the cause of Your Kingdom without expectation of human rewards?

Who will be the voice of the Lord?  Let it not be the voice of one man alone, but many that will be heard as one voice.

I pray that we, the body of Christ, be the voice of the Lord.  Though we are many members, let us declare as one, “I am the voice of the Lord.”

Copyright 2014 Queen E. F. Phillips. All rights reserved. NOT-FOR-PROFIT use only.  Credit must be given to copyright owner. Revised and republished.

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