There’s Only ONE Way to Heaven

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

Hebrews 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,

Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Romans 10:4 For Christ [is] the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

There is no other! It’s not through the church, not through Mary, not through works – only through Jesus Christ and the work that HE did on the cross.

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Tried by Fire?

(Job 23:10) But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

I’ve seen study after study and devotion after devotion on this verse. But until you personally experience a series of trials in your own life, and experience this verse, you really can’t fully appreciate what others are trying to explain. So it was for me! Although I was greatly blessed by reading those studies, I have to admit that it wasn’t until recently that I have fully appreciated Job 23:10! A few years ago, My oldest son joined the U.S. Army. At the time, my other so was a U.S. Marine. My husband and I had recently sold our house and downsized to a two-bedroom apartment! We were planning our retirement and were scheduled to leave Virginia. That is, until we found out  that John had been diagnosed with cancer. Radiation, chemo, surgery and follow-up treatments were on the horizon and I truly praised the Lord that at least I had my sons and my husband! I have not suffered as Job suffered, that is for sure! But I can surely sympathize with him and understand his account so much more as I went through those trials.

It is the first part of the verse that spoke to my heart, actually. The Lord knows the way that I take! This brings me much comfort knowing that my Shepherd knows my way. He has seen the future and knows the results of all that is going on in my life! My Creator, who has numbered the very hairs on my head, knows me intimately and cares for me. No matter how discouraged I may get, I can turn to the Word and the Lord gives me something that encourages my heart! (Psa 61:2) From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. Our Heavenly Father hears our pleas of despair and comes to our rescue! (Psa 18:6) In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears. Thank You, Lord! I glorify Your Name on high!

Job’s reputation has followed him through the ages because he was able to claim this verse in the Bible. Even to this day, we hear the phrase “He has the patience of Job.” The trials that this man suffered are unbelievable, aren’t they? Job was attacked on every side by ole slew foot! The devil attacked Job’s character, he attacked Job’s belongings (cattle, etc.), he attacked Job’s servants, he attacked Job’s family, and he attacked Job’s own body! There is no one, that I know of personally, who has been through each of these in his life time – let alone within just a few weeks! I have learned that the Lord never gives us more than we can bear! With each burden, he provides us encouragement along the way. It is up to us to search out that encouragement! The Word should be our main source of encouragement! The title of my blog shows who that Source is: (Psa 121:1) [A Song of degrees.] I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. (Psa 121:2) My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.

I also noticed that Job did not get to the point where he cursed the day he was born until after his friends came to “comfort” him! The devil kept attacking him and saw that he could not succeed so he sent along people he could “use” to accomplish his goal – discouragement. Where do you sit today, my friend? Are you one in need of encouragement or are you to be used of God to do the encouraging? Are you the type of friend that Job had? As I searched my heart, I realized that although I was experiencing trials of my own, there are many out there who are going through things that make mine look so insignificant! What kind of friend am I to those dear ones who are suffering?

If you are one who is experiencing trials today, do you surround yourself with whiners, complainers and nay sayers? It is these types of friends who will drag you down spiritually – the further down you go, the worse you will feel. Instead, surround yourself with people who love the Lord, who will pray for you and are there to lend an ear just in case you need one. Turn to your spiritual mentors who will not allow you to wallow in self-pity but will help you out of the pit of despair. You cannot expect someone who cannot swim to rescue you from drowning! Therefore, do not turn to those Christians who will nurture your discouragement instead of lifting you up in the Lord.

I don’t know why the Lord laid this on my heart today. Maybe I will need this down the road – or maybe you are going through a similar trial and need to be encouraged! With that said, won’t you say as Job did, (Job 23:10) But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

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My Petition

~Psalm 61:2 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Discouragement has a way of overwhelming the mind and heart, doesn’t it? If one more trial or mishap comes into my life today, I just don’t think I could bear it! My shoulders begin to droop from the weight of it all. My heart is so heavy and tears are just waiting to spill over my lower eyelids at the next cross word that comes my way. Who in their right mind can enjoy living in this state? Surely when we step back and look at it in this light, we would conclude that no one would. So then why do we insist on remaining in this state of discouragement?

Oh how wonderful to be able to leave our trials behind and hit the road in search of a babbling brook nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains! Oh the peace that can be found as we sit on a rock by the brook and listen to the cardinals singing, the rustling of the leaves as the gentle breeze blows, and feeling the sunshine on our faces! What a sanctuary the Lord has given us in His beautiful creation. OK, so we can’t just up and leave and travel to our sanctuary. But the Word says that we can visit that Rock whenever we want – and at that Rock, we will find the sanctuary which will provide us with an even better benefit as that getaway in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

David pleads to God to lead him to the rock that is higher than he is in Psalm 61:2. What rock?

~1 Corinthians 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

Thank You, Lord, for this verse in Your Holy Word! Jesus promises to refresh us with living water! He is our Source for refreshing our discouraged heart! We can run to that mountain stream and sit on that rock any time we want by turning to His Word and talking to Him! His promises are ever before us in His Word, but we must do the seeking, my friend. You cannot be force fed.

~Psalm 147:3 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

 
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Searching for the Rock

~Psalm 61:2 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Discouragement has a way of overwhelming the mind and heart, doesn’t it? If one more trial or mishap comes into my life today, I just don’t think I could bear it! My shoulders begin to droop from the weight of it all. My heart is so heavy and tears are just waiting to spill over my lower eyelids at the next cross word that comes my way. Who in their right mind can enjoy living in this state? Surely when we step back and look at it in this light, we would conclude that no one would. So then why do we insist on remaining in this state of discouragement?

Oh how wonderful to be able to leave our trials behind and hit the road in search of a babbling brook nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains! Oh the peace that can be found as we sit on a rock by the brook and listen to the cardinals singing, the rustling of the leaves as the gentle breeze blows, and feeling the sunshine on our faces! What a sanctuary the Lord has given us in His beautiful creation. OK, so we can’t just up and leave and travel to our sanctuary. But the Word says that we can visit that Rock whenever we want – and at that Rock, we will find the sanctuary which will provide us with an even better benefit as that getaway in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

David pleads to God to lead him to the rock that is higher than he is in Psalm 61:2. What rock?

~1 Corinthians 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

Thank You, Lord, for this verse in Your Holy Word! Jesus promises to refresh us with living water! He is our Source for refreshing our discouraged heart! We can run to that mountain stream and sit on that rock any time we want by turning to His Word and talking to Him! His promises are ever before us in His Word, but we must do the seeking, my friend. You cannot be force fed.

~Psalm 147:3 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

 
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Look Up To The Hills

~Psalm 62:8 Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.

As I reflect on times of discouragement in my own life, I noticed that during my deepest moments of discouragement, I was not seeking God – therefore, I was not trusting Him – nor was I pouring my heart out to Him. In fact, this was the furthest thing from my mind! How sad is that? The solution to all our problems lies within this one verse. IF we do our job in the first two parts, God has a promise awaiting. This verse is so poignant that David tells the reader to pause and think about it when he inserted “Selah.”

What’s our part? Firstly, we must trust in God at all times. It’s amazing how that little three-letter word was inserted there, isn’t it? David didn’t say just “some” of the time but at all times. Secondly, David says to pour out our hearts to God! He doesn’t say to pour out our hearts to our spouse or best friend, but to God. Many times we are quick to tell others of our problems and fail to tell the Lord. I know what you’re thinking, “Kate, God already knows what my problems are so I don’t need to tell Him!” Yes, this is true. However, I don’t believe that pouring our hearts out to God is for His benefit, but for our benefit. God knows that we are emotional beings because He created us. He knows that man has a need to cry out in time of need and desperation. In fact, Christ experienced this in the Garden when He asked the Father to remove the cup that was before Him (Luke 22:42). However, notice that Christ quickly inserted “not my will, but thine, be done.” He trusted His Father. Christ fulfilled Psalm 62:8, my friend. He trusted, He poured His heart out AND He received the promise.

What promise? The promise is the refuge which God provides when we trust Him and pour our hearts out to Him. Noah Webster defines refuge as:

Shelter or protection from danger or distress.

Christ went to His death so that was not protection from danger. However, His protection was from distress, which was evident in His immediate submission to the Father’s will after He cried out. Christ knew where His help came from. His discouragement was replaced with submission. Jesus knows what we are going through because He went through the same thing!

~Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 


Looking Up to the Hills

My eyes look up as they search for help
Toward the hills where the promise lies
The Creator’s not far, He works His way
Toward me from the other side

He guides my walk and protects my feet
From stumbling on the rocky steep
Great comfort lies within my heart
Knowing that He shall never sleep

Christ is my shelter, He provides me shade
During the fiery trials of life
Under the shadow of His wings
Peace and comfort throughout the night

This Keeper of my soul so vigilant
Protecting me through life’s storms
And watches over me with such care
Not just today but forever more!

©Kate Plourde
August 11, 2006

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An Active God

~Psalm 138:3 The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands. (Psa 138:8 ) In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul. 

 

~Psalm 138:7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me. 

When you focus on the day’s problems rather than counting the blessings God has already given, you can’t help but experience drama in your life. Drama leads to discouragement and dark thinking. A person who is discouraged, does not spend the time that is so desperately needed in God’s Word. Christian, don’t you see that it’s counter productive to stay away from the Bible? Consider it “supply and demand” but in reverse. The more your trials are demanding of you, the more you must go to your Supplier!

David knew from where his help came. He did not wait until he had reached the pits of discouragement. He knew that God would perfect him – whether the days were good or whether the days were filled with turbulence! God is an active God, my friend – He doesn’t stop working in our lives. He doesn’t stand still in His work in us. Notice that Psalm 138:8 says that God will perfect that which concerns you. This is in the future tense. It is an on-going effort by the One who created you. Who knows you better than Him? He can and will bring your through any difficult time but only if you allow Him.

Some people like to stay in their “mess,” if you will. They may not admit it, but it is an attempt to draw attention to themselves. They want the pity – they want the attention! 😳 But that is not Christ-like … in fact, it is quite the opposite of what Christ was trying to teach us. We are to esteem others more than ourselves (Philippians 2:3), right? That is what Jesus did and that’s what we should practice!

Perfect Love

Adrift upon life’s stormy billows,
True despair sets in as darkness falls.
The tempest raging, days turn to night.
Can peace be found amidst it all?

My heart is discouraged, my eyes dim.
It is exhausting to seek the cure.
But I know that His Word is my salve.
Its healing and peace is assured.

A glimmer of hope, Oh soul rejoice!
The Shepherd’s hand wipes away my tears.
Each drop replaced with His light and peace,
His perfect Love casteth out all fears!

Kate Plourde
August 15, 2006

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Happy Labor Day!

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