God is in Control

As Christian Healthcare Centers reaches 1,000 members, a milestone in our journey, we have taken some time to reflect on the past seven months of open doors to the community.  Every single month has clearly been a gift from God and He has continually provided in just the right timing. God has shown His provision and protection in ways we cannot begin to explain and we are so thankful.  

However, over the past seven months, we have also had our share of unmet expectations, hardships, and testings of faith.  Being a start-up in the healthcare industry requires grit and fearless faith.  Rebooting healthcare that functions explicitly with biblical values is always expensive, often exhausting, and requires the full effort and trust of every one of our staff members and their families.  Going through this time with our families has been a very real reminder that God is in control and that He cares for us and meets our needs.  

God cares for you as well.   He is our refuge and strength; our shelter and defender; our Redeemer and provider; He is our Lord.

“’For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.  Do not be afraid, for I myself will help you,’ declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” Isaiah 41:13-14

Walk faithful to your calling in Christ Jesus and have no fear.   Instead, have faith and trust in our sovereign Lord who helps and is present in both our success and in our suffering.  

Finding Hope in the Midst of Struggle

Suffering and Hope

In the book of Romans, Paul mentions rejoicing in our sufferings because suffering builds character, hope and relationship with the Lord.  

2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:2-5)

For those in the midst of suffering, these verses prove to be hard teaching.   How are we supposed to rejoice in the midst of serious and painful suffering?  Why can’t God just make this end?  Why can’t I just be at peace?

First, we need to be reminded that joy comes from God and not from circumstances.   In Romans 4, James, Psalms and others – we are to rejoice in the Lord.   We rejoice that God is sovereign over all things – He is in control and nothing is beyond His knowledge.   We rejoice that God both loves and provides what He knows is best for us and for the sake of His name.  We rejoice in the peace and rest that come from the knowledge that through Jesus Christ, we have been forgiven and can enjoy a right relationship with God.  Joy, Hope, and Peace all come from relationship with God, they do not come from circumstances

Second, as followers of Christ, we are called to suffering.   Philippians 1:29 states that “it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him, but also suffer for his sake.”  We should not be surprised to encounter suffering and hardship.   We have been called to it! (I Peter 2:21)  Even Jesus, God’s only Son who is perfect in every way, suffered.

Third, we do not have to endure alone.   God is always with us.  But, He has also called us to bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2).  As the church of Jesus Christ, we are called to encourage one another, pray for one another and bear one another’s burdens.  We are to work together as one unified body for the benefit of the whole and for the glory of God.  This means that we are called to actively be involved and minister in the lives of others AND allow others to be involved and actively minister to you.

Last,  Romans 8:35 reminds us that no one can separate us from the love of Christ.   Not tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger or sword.   God loves with a perfect love.   God is faithful in every way.   He will vindicate His name, His people and promises to bless those who suffer for righteousness’ sake.  (I Peter 3)

 

Endurance, Character, Hope

As we align ourselves with God and His holy character, we build character and endurance, we rely on our Heavenly Father to provide for us in time of need, we walk in gratitude for God’s mercy and provision and focus on the hope we have in Christ Jesus.   Why?   That God will be glorified.   That we will be salt and light to those who have no hope.  That our lives will be a sacrifice that is a daily act of worship and praise to the only One worthy.

Focus on the Lord

Are you looking to God or missing the mark?  Check out this article to read more!

https://utmost.org/am-i-looking-to-god/

 

Today’s Verse:

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13)

 

God Provides…Even In Temptation

Temptation, while not a sin, has the capability to make us feel guilty, stressed, and has the propensity to quickly become sin.  It can twist our thoughts and can be a serious struggle.  However, it can also be a time of growth, opportunity, and strengthening.  

 

What was intended for evil can be made good by God.

Let’s not get confused, God is not the one who give us temptations, and if we fall to those temptations it is not God’s fault but our own.  

13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. (James 1:13-15)

 

We have an out.

Luckily, we do not have to rely upon ourselves alone to fight temptation.  When we face temptation it is easy to feel alone, forgotten, and hopeless.  But we do have hope!  Our God is faithful, and he will not tempt us beyond our ability (in Him).

 

13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

 

After reading 1 Corinthians 10:13 we should feel a sense of release.  Why?  Because our temptations are not solely ours, they are shared by many people and you are not alone in your battle.  Furthermore, God allows us to endure our temptation through Him.  

 

It isn’t easy

Why?  We can see in Romans 6-8 and in Galatians 5 that the standard of the flesh and the standard of the spirit are very different from each other. It isn’t easy (especially at first) to fight our flesh.  Paul tells of his struggles in Romans of wanting to do things that he knows he should not do.  If it isn’t easy for an apostle why would it be easy for us?  

22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. (2 Timothy 2:22)

38 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Mark 14:38)

While it isn’t easy, it is possible.  Check out this article on how to resist temptation!

https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/how-to-resist-temptation-s-mirage-moment

God Provides Differently Than We Expect

Throughout the course of the next few months our devotional series is honing in on God’s provision and protection.  What does it look like in the Bible?  What does that mean for us?  

God Provides Differently Than We Expect/Want

It inevitably happens at some point in our lives.  We pray and ask relentlessly for help, guidance, or relief and it seems as though God never answers and we feel without hope in our situations.  It isn’t usually until after the fact that we are able to see that it was for a reason and God was shaping us through our circumstances.  

If you are there right now consider this, the Israelites were freed from the Egyptians through Moses only to face the challenges of the desert.  Now, instead of worshipping God they quickly complained of lack of food and water in the desert. We continually see God provide for his people again and again in supernatural ways.  Yet, even though this is the case the people wanted what they left behind in Egypt along with a life-sentence of bondage and hard labor.  Instead of accepting God’s provision and protection the way He intended it they wanted His provision a different way. More specifically, they wanted it their own way.

Does this make sense?  NO!  But are we doing the same thing?  Are we failing to trust in God and instead relying on what we think God should do?

CHALLENGE:

Pray for God to provide according to His will and His timing.  It might be different than what you wanted or expected, but let God work in his supernatural and miraculous ways.  Don’t try to put God in a box and tell Him what to do and when to do it.  You are HIS!

Maybe you are at a place in life that isn’t what you had expected. Be careful about wishing your life away because you aren’t grateful for what you currently have.  Choose to be present. Make every moment count for God’s glory. Pray for the faith to stop complaining about how God has provided for you.  Rather, give yourself fully to Him and rejoice in what he has given you.

 

SCRIPTURE TO READ:

“I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread” (Psalms 37:25).

2 And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, 3 and the people of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” (Exodus 16:2-3)

Matthew 6-7

Jumping Into the New Year

Even though each day is a new day, there is a heightened sense of potential for renewal and revival with the start of a new year. It provides a particular kind of “clean slate” mentality that allows us to feel encouraged to do better and keep our eye on the prize – whatever we think that prize may be.

Weekly Reminders of God’s Goodness
Christian Healthcare Centers wants to encourage and enable individuals who are striving to keep their eyes focused on the greatest prize, a rich relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ. To remind and encourage you in this effort, CHC is launching a devotional series on our blog. Weekly devotions and reminders of God’s goodness will come to you every Monday morning. We want to see a spiritually healthy community who actively loves and lives God’s Word. The first quarter of 2018 will be focused on God’s provision and protection.

Other CHC Opportunities for Growth & Renewal
To help you keep your eye on the prize and grow throughout the new year, consider participating in some or all of the following:
· CHC Wellness Club – meets the first Wednesday each month, is free, offers accountability and encouragement
· CHC Education – There are at least two opportunities each month to learn about health issues and wellness (check out your CHC calendars or visit our web page at chcenters.org )
· CHC Medical Ethics – Last Thursday of each month – these are hot topics in the medical community and in the church. Join us to learn and be able to engage in the conversation with facts and greater insight
· CHC Partner Prayer – These happen once a quarter and you are invited to join us for a time of prayer and reflection
· Newsletters – CHC monthly newsletters come to your email at the beginning of each month. Each issue is packed with upcoming events, helpful tips, notes from doctors and our CEO, and more

A New Year of Provision and Protection:
Every year has its ups and downs. Today, take time to reflect on the past year and remember God’s guidance through it all. Be thankful for continued life and for the relationship you have with the Lord Jesus Christ. Remember the Truth found in the Gospel of John chapter 15, verse 5; Without Jesus we would have no hope, no relationship with God, and no life.