Trials Archives - Pearls of Promise

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How to Be Steadfast by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

Are you a “shoe” person? I’ve never been able to wear high heels because at 5’9” I wobble too much. Because it’s a long way down, I just don’t wear them! Years ago, I remember producing a short film for a graduate school project called “These Shoes Weren’t Made for Walking.” So even back then I was not a diva on spikes, unless they were golf shoes.

Today with so much uncertainty across the country, we may all feel like the ground beneath us is unsteady, but the Bible promises there is a steadfast foundation where we can plant our feet, and that is Jesus. Ephesians 2:20 refers to Jesus as the “chief cornerstone” in whom the whole building (believers) are fitted together into a holy temple in the Lord. I am reminded of the old hymn: “On Christ the solid rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand.”

This week I received repeat messages about the importance of being “steadfast” in our faith no matter what is going on around us. Our church worship team sang a new song called Steadfast, then the next morning, Michael W. Smith’s devotion on my YouVersion app was about “Steadfastness.” Was the Lord trying to tell me something? Smith asked, “When things are unstable around us, is our heart steadfast?”

So how do you have a steadfast heart? I believe it’s through trust that God is sovereign and He has a plan regardless of what we “see.” In Psalm 61:3, King David wrote “For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.” James 1:12 exhorts us to remain “steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” And 1 Corinthians 15:58 tells us to “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”

What is this saying to us?

I believe we are to continue on with an unfailing trust of God’s plan for this country and the world. We are to keep serving Him with every fiber of our being. We are to remain steadfast in our faith no matter what… And we must believe that the Lord will never remove his eternal, steadfast love of those who are His followers. That promise is enough to fuel our steadfastness.

Today, will you make a choice to remain steadfast despite tumultuous times?

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever” (Psalm 136:1).

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Join us for POP Chat November 18th as Dr. Lynnette Simm will be teaching on “Gratitude is the Antidote.”

Flautist Katherine Legg will be providing our worship music. It will be a powerful hour of worship, teaching and discussion. Click on the link to sign up! ttps://share.hsforms.com/15bHBupdrTBugXxD9Y8Q_MQ3jo4z

Categories: Blog

Seeing the Good in the Bad by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:19).

I was in my home office doing an interview for our POP Talk radio show when I heard water gushing outside the study window. At first I thought it was a sprinkler head that been severed off by a lawn mower, but after Dr. Lynnette Simm and I completed the taping of the show, I ran outside to look. A stream of water was flowing rapidly down the street from the side of our house. I shouted to my husband, working upstairs. “We’ve got a problem!” He was busy preparing for an important meeting. The timing was not good, but he checked it out and also found water seeping through the ceiling of one of the rooms upstairs. After more investigation, he realized our hot water heater had gone out and that was causing the problem. We needed a plumber—and fast.

As I thought about this scenario, I became thankful. Thankful that I was in my office so I could hear the water flooding out of the relief valve on the side of our house. Otherwise, we might have been oblivious for a while and there would have been damage upstairs. Thankful this happened while we were home. We had just come back from a trip to Galveston and could have easily been away when it occurred. I asked my husband, “What would have happened if we had been out of town?” He responded, “I think part of the ceiling upstairs would have collapsed.” I was also grateful a plumber was able to respond day of.

Sometimes, when we go through the difficult things in life, we can press into the bad, but I believe God will always provide something to be thankful for in the midst of the worst of scenarios.

This week, my brother-in-law of thirty years, Jim, passed away after a long battle with something called “Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.” It’s called “idiopathic” because doctors don’t know what causes it.

I have fond memories of going up to Jim and my sister-in-law Sue’s lake house near Coldwater, Michigan where we boated, had “Corn Hole” competitions, and late night conversations by the fire pit. Jim was in great shape. He cycled, worked out and was an outdoorsman. He did not smoke. But then the progressive disease struck his body, and it took him down.

This past week when Jim was in hospice, I was receiving regular text updates from my sister-in-law about how he was doing. Before they gave him his first dose of Morphine to ease the pain, he said, “Let’s get the party started.” He was a believer and ready to see Jesus. He saw his transition out of this world to Heaven as a celebration. That scene, and all the memories from our time at the lake, is the good that I want to remember and hold onto.

When we are in the thick of the bad scenarios of life, do we try to find the good in them? The next time you endure a trial, it’s important to see the scenario from above. Ask God to show you the positive.

Categories: Blog

Do You Need Rescuing? By Lisa Burkhardt Worley

In the past, I was an expert on 9-1-1 prayers. I knew how to call on God in times of emergency.

I need another job!

Bless our finances!

I remember early as a struggling television sportscaster driving on bald tires and praying: Lord, I need new tires!

However, I wonder how much God appreciates these kinds of prayers, especially when we are not connected with Him on any other occasion. It’s like the friend you never hear from until they need something. Do you know someone like that?

I think we can learn from the life of Daniel. He faced an emergency when some of his jealous peers decided to create a scenario that would go against his religious beliefs. Daniel’s job was to supervise the high officers and protect the interests of the King of Persia, Darius. Daniel was so good at the job the King made plans to place him over the entire empire. That did not set well with the envious administrators and high officers who Daniel supervised, so Scripture said they began searching for some fault in the way Daniel was handling government affairs but they couldn’t find anything. Daniel 6:4 says Daniel was “faithful, always responsible and completely trustworthy.”

So the governmental officials had to make something up to snare this gifted leader and prophet. They talked King Darius into giving orders that if any person prayed to anyone but the king over a thirty-day period they would be thrown into a den of lions.

Daniel was a devout Jew and a praying man—in fact he entered the presence of God three times a day, praying in front of a window that faced Jerusalem. A date with vicious lions would be inevitable for him unless he temporarily ceased praying. (What’s thirty days?)

So did he stop?

No.

After hearing this disturbing news, Daniel went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, and just like always, he gave thanks to God. As an addendum, he threw in a plea for help. The officials who were behind this unfair ruling lurked close by and caught Daniel in the act of prayer. They immediately tattled to the king, who had no choice but to throw Daniel into the lion’s den.

Many of us know the ending. Daniel survived, thanks to the supernatural protection of God, and King Darius ordered the wicked government officers and their families to be thrown into the lion’s den themselves for their role in the deceitful plot. The result was far different from Daniel’s.

What are the lessons?

  • Daniel experienced an emergency but he came into it as a disciplined prayer warrior. When faced with this trial, it was business as usual. He first gave thanks, then he prayed. He wasn’t angry about the scenario because he had a relationship with his heavenly Father, he trusted God with the outcome, whatever was decided, but knew God had the ability to rescue him.
  • Despite opposition, Daniel did not back down on what he knew to be right. A relationship with God was first and foremost. He would not kneel to anything or anyone else but his Maker. He was living out the first commandment that says, “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3). Sometimes our heavenly Father allows trials to see if we will still trust Him in the midst of that trial. He wants to know that we’ll still choose to follow Him.
  • This was not an emergency prayer. Daniel had a relationship with his heavenly Father so this was like sharing about your bad day with your husband or a friend. God knew that Daniel was a regular in His presence, and had been trustworthy and obedient, so the LORD honored Daniel’s faithfulness by rescuing him.

Do you need rescuing? Are you sending out an S.O.S. signal to God right now? Or are you saying, “Dad, it’s good to talk to you again. We had such a great conversation yesterday. Thank you for my many blessings, but I need a little extra help today.”

People are watching to see how we handle emergencies. Because of Daniel’s steadfast faith and this act of God on his behalf, King Darius became a believer in the one true God, and Daniel prospered the rest of his life. And in the good times, I’m sure Daniel continued to praise and pray…per usual.

Categories: Blog