Hebrews 12:2-3 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
Deuteronomy 10:21 He is thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen.
When God seeks to grow us in our faith or to elevate HIS name in a particular time and place in our lives, it will be for our good and for HIS glory. God magnifies HIS promises and HIS very character during the trying times, not in the midst of easy comfortable living. Jesus wants to enlarge the realness of HIS presence to our faith in order to strengthen our trust and confidence in HIM. Challenging times gives us the rare opportunity to surrender all and walk close to God. The Lord loves it when we spend time leaning completely upon HIM! God intends to lift our eyes from the temporary so HE can settle them on what’s eternal, Hallelujah! It is sad to say, but many times it took God turning out the light in my life and putting me in a dark place for a brief amount of time for me to look to HIM and really see who HE is. When darkness falls, we tend to search out the light, and that true light is always Jesus!
With every day that our Lord gives us to live, we have two choices, look up or look down. Everything God allows to pass through our lives, (especially the things we don’t understand), is to cause us to look up. Often times we are so focused here on what’s below, that we miss what’s up above, (Heaven’s plan)! With every moment of darkness and trial there is a precious gift imparted unto us; the access we have into God’s presence. We will not realize Jesus is near unless our situations seem to be outside of our understanding and our realm of control. To the Christian, these workings of God seem to be a mystery, until we have experienced the Lord give us great peace and HIS presence to grow us. What we come to realize in the light, we have most always learned in the dark times of our life. Times of darkness can be one of the most spiritually rewarding times in our Christian walk if we will fix our gaze upon Jesus who is the Light. After all, this is where God has intended for our eyes to look.
We will miss God’s plan, purpose and will for our life if we struggle against those ordained places of God that we find ourselves in that we never would have chosen. God’s greatest gifts to us are often wrapped up in suffering and loss. My Christian friend, look back over your life and think of the many trials and times God’s love for you has been tested. Now, I want you to remember the unchanging truths in HIS Word HE has been revealing to us over and over again. When we begin to remember just how faithful God has been to us and we see all the mighty deeds HE has performed in our past, our faith will begin to grow and we can’t help but to trust HIM in all things. It’s my prayer for you today, that you may find a place alone with God and that you would praise HIM. Today, LOOK UP…don’t look around you and settle for what is down here. There is fear and doubt all around you here, look to Jesus above and may your heart be overtaken with faith and trust in our great God.
Bro. Lawrence Longworth
Isaiah 61:1 “the opening of the prison to them that are bound;”