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Aug 16, 2022
Since January 1st, our family has been caught up in a whirlpool of suffering on many levels. Our beloved pastor and dear friend, Ray Bentley, suddenly and unexpectedly went to be with Jesus on the 4th. The shock and suddenness seemed to make our grief more intense. Four days later Rachel-Ruth was admitted to the hospital with her first of two SCAD heart attacks. On Easter Sunday she was back in ICU where she was additionally diagnosed with pericarditis. My son has been told his lungs may never improve beyond the 64% capacity they now have. And while arthritis is progressing in my hips and back, I had a bad fall when walking the dog that resulted in a cracked rib and other injuries.
All of this makes me wonder two things: Is my family…and am I…under an assigned assault from our spiritual enemy? And are you also under attack? Disease, death, danger, disasters and the darkness of corruption and chaos, disruption and division, stress and suicide, wars and rumors of wars, are all markers, I believe, to indicate we are living at the end of human history as we know it. The enemy knows his time is running out, and he is waging all-out war on God’s people. The battles are intense, frequent, and to be honest, they can be discouraging. They seem to drain our reserves of strength and energy.
So…what would the Lord say to you and me at such a time as this? 2 Chronicles 20:15, 17 has come to mind. King Jehoshaphat faced a vast enemy army that was poised to attack. God instructed him: Do not be afraid or discouraged…for the battle is not yours, but God’s…Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you…Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you. Early the next morning Jehoshaphat challenged the people to stay focused in their faith on God. He then appointed a choir to sing and praise the Lord as they went out before the army to confront the enemy. The result? The enemy was defeated!
As I go out to battle against the unseen enemy, I am learning the power of praise. Because the name of Jesus is one of our most effective spiritual weapons,1 I have alphabetized a list of His names that I say out loud when I can’t fall asleep, when I awake during the night, or when I am aware again that I am under specific attack. I can testify that although my circumstances may not change, my attitude and perspective do. I am strengthened in my spirit and receive peace that quiets my heart. I would like to share my list with you.2 Keep in mind, of course, there can be more names for each letter than just the ones I have listed, but this should help you start your own list:
Beloved of the Father
Friend of sinners
King of kings
Prince of peace
2 Peter 3:18
1 John 3:5
1 John 5:4
Next time you feel you can’t take one more sleepless night, one more disappointment, one more painful procedure, one more slanderous lie, one more hurtful rejection, one more_________ (you fill in the blank), lift high the banner of His name. There is power in praise!
For His Glory,
1 Psalm 60:4; Isaiah 11:10; Proverbs 18:10
2When I couldn’t think of a specific name for a certain letter, I have used an adjective. Which is another suggestion for you. Make an alphabetical list of adjectives for Jesus.
I. THE BLESSING
Click here for the Bible Study especially developed for this newsletter.
It was a privilege for me to share a message of encouragement to several hundred pastors and church leaders who gathered for a Refuel Conference, then engage in a Q & A with Jonathan Falwell. I continue to pray they will rely on the Holy Spirit as they present the truth of God’s Word with boldness.
I have been honored to be with North Carolina’s Lieutenant Governor, Mark Robinson, on two different occasions in the past few months. Each time, his remarks were riveting. He unashamedly identifies himself as a Jesus follower. His opening remarks each time were the same: I want to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In light of the recent SCOTUS decision overturning Roe vs. Wade, his personal testimony concerning abortion is powerful. Click here to watch.
Getting up early in the morning to fix your eyes on Jesus through prayer and reading His Word is like setting your spiritual compass. Because no matter what faces you during the day, or how “lost” and confused you can become…He invariably leads you on the right path. Our prayer is that the devotions in this updated deluxe edition will help you fix your eyes on Jesus every day, so that you, too, can set your spiritual compass. Click here to learn more about Fixing My Eyes of Jesus.
Each dated devotional in The Joy of My Heart includes a Scripture verse and reflections from Anne on topics such as eternity, grief, and faith. With a gift presentation page and a ribbon marker, The Joy of My Heart is a beautiful gift for anyone looking for a concise collection of daily devotions. You will enjoy this newest release, as will those looking for a way to add variety and consistency to their daily devotional time. Anne’s depth of thought makes this a welcomed gift for pastors and church leaders, while her accessible tone makes The Joy of My Heart appropriate for any layperson seeking scriptural truth. Click here to order The Joy of My Heart.
In this volume, Anne shares her heart and God’s teachings on the universal problem of suffering, using the familiar story of Lazarus. This small book presents a simple, powerful message that is sure to bring comfort and new meaning to all who are suffering themselves or know others who need a special touch from God. It will help you understand and deal with suffering by leading you to the One Who knows your needs, shares your grief, sheds your tears and promises glory to come! Based on John 11. Foreword by Joni Eareckson Tada. Click here to order Why? Trusting God When You Don’t Understand.
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