Isaiah 57:1-2 A Reason To Be Removed

The righteous perish, and no one take it to heart; the devout are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death. Isaiah 57:1-2

Death is something that most people have been around at least once or more times in their life. The older a person is, the more that he has seen death. As it occurs, often the question is asked, why?

Death is very hard on those who are still living. Those living are hurting from missing the loved one. Many go through struggles as to why the person had to die, especially when the person was very young, and maybe in great health.

It is even more difficult to see a person die young, who was a strong believer in Jesus and very active in being a witness. Looking at that person, others ask why God would remove that person because he was doing great work for God.

Although the reasons that God takes the life of a believer are as numerous as the stars in the sky and no one can fully understand the reason, Isaiah gives one good reason. That reason is to spare that person from evil, to give him rest and peace.

God knows the past, present and future of every person on this earth. He knows exactly what is going to happen to that person. As a human being, you do not know those things. you do not know how rough life will get for a person if he stays alive, but God does. God in His great wisdom and mercy will take the life of a person in order to spare them from a great evil.

Although as a human, you will miss the person, keep in mind where a dying believer will be when he dies. When a believer dies, he gets to go to Jesus and be at peace and rest for the rest of eternity. He steps into a world that is without pain, suffering or any evil.

As hard as it is to let someone go, let God’s wisdom prevail and let that person have the peace and rest God provides. Keeping a person here on this earth may be worse than the pain you are feeling in losing him. Trust God today and seek His peace and strength in your loss.

I pray today that you will know God’s peace in your life; that God will comfort any loss in your life; that you will know the joy of others going to heaven; and that God presence will be strong in your life.

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Danger Of Past Hurt

People get hurt by other people on a regular basis. This is more true with the more friends and family that you have. If you only have a few friends or very little to no family, the chance of getting hurt drops dramatically, but you also have a lot less chance of being loved and loving someone.

In today’s society, many people are blaming their actions on someone else. They look back to a time when they were a child and got hurt by a parent, a sibling, a relative or some other friend. Usually this hurt was something that occurred over and over again, over a longer period of time.

Being hurt by someone is something that will happen. If it has not happened recently, just wait it is coming. The difference is how much that hurt really hurts.

When an enemy does something against a person, most people just accept it, because they half expected it to happen. Very few people expect to be treated nicely by someone who is an enemy. In fact, with most of the world, if they are being treated nicely, chances are they are friends and not enemies.

Treating the enemy nicely is something that God talks about and even commands.

Luke 6:27-36 New International Version (NIV)
Love for Enemies
27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

However, what I want to look at is past hurts and the dangers of those hurts. As I stated above, the cases where someone gets hurt the worst is with a loved one, usually a family member. The one you love is the one that can and usually will hurt you the most. When they do something that hurts, it goes deep into the heart and soul of a person, because they lost trust and love that should have been there.

Many people grow up mad at their parents because of something that they had done wrong to them when they were a young child. Some of those things are very wrong, in both the eyes of the law and the eyes of God. Some of those things were done on purpose, with the purpose to hurt or take advantage of.

Other things were done by mistake and not knowing the best way to do things. Every person has things that they need to learn. In the process of learning those things, often there are many mistakes made. Many parents discipline in a way that was too harsh, causing pain and anger for many years to come. This is part of the learning process. Some parents learn over time how to do things better, while some never seem to learn to do it the best way.

The danger of being hurt comes in how that hurt is held on to. Thousands of family members are fighting with each other their entire lives, because they refuse to forgive each other. I have seen parents go to their death-bed refusing to forgive a child of some wrong done to them many years before. I have also seen children watch their parent die and refusing to forgive that parent of a wrong done when they were young.

Bitterness sets into the heart of a person that has been done wrong to, and he refuses to forgive and move on. Children refuse to talk to parents. Parents refuse to talk to children. Siblings refuse to talk to other siblings. All these things because of a past hurt and the bitterness that has set in.

With bitterness, there is no real joy in life. People look to things or other people to try to bring that joy. Always looking for the next thrill or person to love. All the while refusing to look to God.

Ephesians 4:31 New International Version (NIV)

31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

God wants a person to get rid of all bitterness. Many, however, will say that they are not bitter. They say that they just cannot forgive the person and will not deal with them anymore. That is a sign of bitterness and not love.

We are told to forgive:

Ephesians 4:32 New International Version (NIV)

32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

God had forgiven you of all the wrongs you have done to Him. Jesus went to the cross to pay the price for your sins, so that you could be forgiven. Think about how many times you have hurt God with a sin, both small and large. Yet, God loved you enough to forgive, rather than holding a grudge against you and being bitter.

Hebrews 12:15-17 New International Version (NIV)

15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

Do not allow the root of bitterness to grow and manifest itself in your life. Just like a little cancer cell in the body grows to the point of killing a person, so a little bitterness can grow and kill you. It can kill you and others around you. It sets a pattern in your life and the lives you touch, to where others catch that bitter root.

God does not want to see you ate up by bitterness and anger, because of a past hurt. He wants you to work at forgiving and showing His love to the person who has hurt you in the past.

If you have been hurt in the past by someone, give it to God. Ask Him to show you His love for you and His great love for the other person who hurt you.

Ask God to show you how much He has forgiven you, so that you can work at forgiving the other person. Ask God for strength to forgive and move on, getting rid of all bitterness.

The hurt and pain may always be there, but love can override those things. Relationships can be rebuilt in God. As long as you and the other person are alive it is still possible to mend that relationship. There is always a chance to forgive. God will make a way for it to happen if you allow Him to do so.

Psalm 141:3 Guarding The Mouth

Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips. Psalm 141:3

Most people love to talk, some more than others. With a lot of talking, things can be said that should not be said. Often it is words said in the heat of the moment that people regret or hurt others with. Other times it is planned words that are spoken that can do a lot of damage.

Words of condemnation, hatred, jealousy, and ridicule come out of many mouths. They lash out in order to hurt or damage someone’s reputation. At times they are true statements, while other times they are exaggerated or false. It is often seen in the news of a person who has been falsely accused of some crime, only to learn later that he was innocent. Once the accusation has been started, there is no turning back. His reputation and credibility is destroyed.

Children often grow up with extreme pain in their hearts and minds from words said by parents in anger. It is difficult for people to get past the spoken word.

The mouth is one of the most powerful parts of a person. With the mouth a person can be raised up, and with the mouth a person can be destroyed.

David knew the power of his mouth and words. He also knew that, alone, he could not control his mouth. He needed God’s strength and guard to keep his words right.

Think about the words that have been spoken to or about you that have hurt. Now think about the times you have made statements to someone or about someone that you regretted afterwards.

Allow God to place a guard over your mouth to keep you from saying the wrong things. Fill your heart and life with the things of God. Keep praise and worship in your heart and on your lips at all times. Out of the overflow of your heart, your mouth will speak. This will keep the wrong things from coming out of your mouth.

What words are building up in your heart?

What will you allow your mouth to say?

I pray today that you will allow God to guard your mouth; that your heart will be filled with God; that your words will be the words of God; and that you will use your words to build others up and bring them to God, rather than destroy them.

Psalm 121:7-8 Keeping You From Harm

The LORD will keep you from all harm–he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. Psalm 121:7-8

This is one of the verses that people love to be able to quote. They love the idea that God is watching over them and will not allow any harm to come to them.

Throughout the years, however, many people have walked away from God because of being disillusioned. They are told that God will never allow them to be harmed, then something painful happens in their life, a sickness, or death, or accident, and they are now confused. They were under the belief that nothing bad could happen in their life that would appear to harm them, then something did.

The challenge is in how a person views what harm is. Most people view the temporary things of this life as things that can harm them. While sickness, pain and death are painful to the body in this life, none of them can harm the soul for eternity.

Jesus went through an extremely excruciating painful torture as He was placed upon the cross. His physical body was in extreme pain. It appeared as if He were being harmed. Yet, His soul was untouched, it was only the temporary, physical body that was harmed.

Paul had stated that all things work together for those who love God. This means all things, both comforting and painful.

The physical ‘harm’ that you may be going through today is not really harming you, it is helping to mold and shape you. It is working to mold and shape you into the person God wants you to be. That harm is not to destroy, but to build you up in Jesus. It is working to make you more like Jesus.

God is watching over your life so that you will not be harmed. All you have to do is allow God to use whatever it takes to keep you from being harmed. The real harm you must be concerned with is harming your soul with sin. That is the only harm that can damage you for all eternity. Everything else is just a temporary training ground.

I pray today that you will see God’s work in your life; that you will know that God is watching over you; that you will not be harmed by the things of this world; and that your life will be sold out to God.

Psalm 119:50 Comfort While Suffering

My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life. Psalm 119:50

While going through suffering or a difficult time, it is very difficult to keep the hopes up high. There seems to be very little comfort in life during that time. The world seems to be falling apart and is completely against a person.

During times of pain and suffering many feel as though God has abandoned them and that all hope is gone. There does not seem to be any purpose or reason for the pain and suffering that is going on. The suffering does not appear to have an end and many feel as if there is no reason to try to go on with life. Some will go to the point of suicide because of the loss of hope.

The psalmist says that during those times, his one comfort that he finds is in God’s promise.

As a believer is going through a great time of suffering, he must keep His focus on God and His promises. God has promised that He would be with every believer and never leave or forsake a person. He has also promised victory in the end.

At the time it may appear as though the world is winning the battle. That Satan has received the upper hand in this world. That God is no longer in control and all is failing.

Take a look at Jesus when He was on the earth and they were getting ready to crucify Him. It looked as though He had failed and that the Father had failed Him. Yet, three days later, He rose from the dead, triumphant and victorious. God’s promise to preserve Him was fulfilled.

If you are going through a tough time of suffering, keep your eyes on God’s promises. Hold on to those promises, knowing that God is with you and will fulfill all of His promises to you. He will never leave you, nor forsake you.

You may die the physical death in this life, but Jesus will give you eternal life with Him, if you trust Him. Keep your hopes up high as you suffer, knowing you will be victorious with Jesus in the end. Find comfort in know that God will fulfill His promise to you.

I pray today that you will know the promises of God; that you will trust the promises of God; that you will find comfort in God’s promises; and that you will not lose hope in suffering.

Psalm 118:6 No Fear Of Men

The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? Psalm 118:6

Fear is one of the most common feelings that people have. The range of what people fear is nearly endless. It is common to hear about how people fear things like: spiders, heights, closed spaces, bugs, and other things.

It is not so common to hear people talk about fear of other people. The only fear of people that is heard about, is fear of terrorists. In some countries, that may be a reality of actually happening. In America, the reality of getting hit by a terrorist is extremely slim, yet people fear them.

What is not talked about is the fear of what other people think or say. In that line of thought, many fear what others may think or say about them.

The Psalmist says that since God is with him, he has nothing to fear. The question he asks is what can mere mortals do to him.

Those that fear men, are fearing something that has no real basis. As a believer in the Lord Jesus, one, must take a reality look at what a person can really do.

Just like Satan, no person can do anything to you without God’s approval. The worst that a person can really do to another person is kill him, if God allows it. For those who believe in Jesus, that is actually the best thing to happen. When you die, you get to go to heaven and be with Jesus for all eternity with no suffering or pain any more.

The other things that people can do to you while on this earth can make you feel pain, both physical and emotional. Although feeling pain is hard and painful, it is not the end of the world. The pain being felt is only temporary.

You are told that God uses suffering to build you up. It can cause you to turn to God and draw closer to Him. It also allows you to show His true love to those who are against you and hate you.

Do not fear what a person may do to you. Trust God to protect you or be with you through the situation. Man cannot really do anything bad to you, God will use it all for your good and His glory.

I pray today that you will know God’s presence in your life; that you will know God’s power in your life; that you will know God’s love for you; and that God will remove all fear of men in your life.

Job 3:25-26 The Pain Of Great Loss

What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me. I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil. Job 3:25-26

After Job had gone through several attacks by Satan, he had lost nearly everything he ever had. He had lost his family, home, business, and health. Although he never cursed God, he felt the pain of all that loss. He felt as though all he had was turmoil in his life.

Losing everything is always painful for every person. There are people everywhere who are experiencing some type of loss. When a person loses his job, there is often a loss of peace in not knowing how to provide for his family. In a time of loss of health, a person often does not get the rest that is desired.

As people are going through great loss, the one thing that many people do is complain about their loss. They will talk to everyone who will listen about what has occurred in their life. They will search for sympathy from anyone and everyone they can get it from.

Along with seeking sympathy, many will often get mad at God for what has happened. They do not see that He is still in control and loves them. They will give up their rest and peace that God is willing to give them.

Job did not give up his belief in God, but he did complain to others about his loss. He felt the pain of all that he had lost. He was willing to curse his bad luck. Job did not curse God in the process of his complaining, nor did he blame anyone else. All he did was accept what had happened.

There may come times in your life when you will lose a lot or something of extreme value. As human being it is reality that the loss is painful. For a time there will seem to be no peace or rest.

You may be tempted to get angry with God or to blame God or someone else. Neither of these will be correct attitudes to have. Recognize the pain and the loss, but in the end seek God. Trust in God’s almighty power and control in your life. Seek His peace and rest for your soul.

I pray today that you will know God’s presence in your life; that God will wrap His arms of love around you in your times of loss; that you will have God’s peace and rest in your life; and that you will not fill your life with complaints, but of praises to God.