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“Hard Times”

Ever go through hard times? Maybe it’s happening right now? If so, why? WHY are you going through hard times? Is your response ~ “my wife left, my husband left” “my job” - my this, my that ~ “oh, it's satan’s fault”. (Is it really)? Or are you just making excuses? Maybe it is TIME you HONESTLY, HONESTLY made a REAL COMMITMENT TO GOD? Are you just finding excuses to ignore building a REAL RELATIONSHIP with GOD as well ? Building a relationship with GOD goes F A R beyond simply saying; “I profess that I’ve given my life to CHRIST”. And then, that’s it. It’s GOOD that you have made that announcement- it’s good that you “say” you have made that commitment... Now ~ WHAT ARE YOU DOING ABOUT IT? Are you doing anything FOR GOD? Or, are you just trying to take “FROM GOD”? HE is not a “wish genie”. It doesn’t work like that. -Are you daily in prayer? (And I don’t mean, rub-a-dub-dub-thanks for the grub, either). Are “YOU” in constant prayer with GOD? “TALKING” ~ “COMMUNICATING”, “communing”. “{COMMUNING}” means: Discussion, discuss. “Talk”. It is where we (also) find another keyword. One that is a common word we hear, when we think of “breaking bread”, possibly at a church gathering? The word is: “Communion”. COMMUNION means: intimate fellowship or (rapport.)(talking). So again I ask ~ “WHY ARE YOU NOT COMMUNING WITH GOD? Much of your “problem” (so-called) is LIKELY due to your poor relationship (if any) with GOD. “TALK TO HIM” ! OFTEN ! ! ! Let’s take a look at a couple of verses in Acts, chapter 16. “Throw them in jail,” the angry mob probably shouted that day as they attacked Paul and Silas. Acts Chapter 16 23 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast [them] into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:

24 Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.

25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

26And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed.

27And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.

28But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.

29Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,

30And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

31And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

32And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.

33And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. The officials had ordered the Apostle Paul and Silas to be beaten many times with a rod. With their backs bleeding, they were thrown in prison. How easy it could have been for them to grumble and complain in that dark prison, but they didn’t. The Bible says that Paul and Silas began “praying” - and “singing” hymns to GOD. The other prisoners and the jailer heard them. Paul and Silas were witnesses during their hard time to those around them. It was midnight. Suddenly, an earthquake shook open the jail doors. The jailer was afraid they had escaped, and he was about to kill himself over it. You see, back then, if a prisoner escaped from jail, the jailer in charge of watching them, was put to death. But Paul called out to him; “Do thyself no harm: for we are all here” Then the jailer asked, “What must I do to be saved?” They “witnessed” to him, and that night the jailer (and his family) believed in Jesus Christ (Acts 16:25-31). Are you going through a hard time in your life? Remember what Paul and Silas did. They prayed and praised GOD. Their right attitudes were a witness to those around them. What about your attitude? Will you let GOD use you to be a “witness” during your hard time? Do you NOT know how to witness? It’s Okay if you said “no”. “WITNESSING” is a form of communicating (there is that word again) (in this case) communicating events in your life where GOD has helped you to turn things around. Maybe a little, or maybe a lot. At one point in time, amongst people with whom writing was not common, people “witnessed” -or- they “testified” evidence of a transaction or (event) given by an oral statement, i.e., they told someone, about the good graces that “GOD” had bestowed to them ! This is to “EXHORT”. Giving an “EXHORTATION”. {Exhortation} means: giving advice; counsel; laudable deeds, etc. What subject should you discuss? What things would be a good witness during a hard time?? How about how: -Praying. -Refraining from Anger. -Singing praise. -Whining (why you shouldn’t). -Reading the Bible. How any one or all of these things HELPED you?! The bottom-line is this ~ TALK to GOD. Build your relationship WITH HIM, by talking to HIM. HE won’t bite ! HE’S not a monster. HE’S not out to get you. IF YOU NEVER SPEND TIME WITH YOUR SPOUSE, GIRL FRIEND / BOY FRIEND, THEN THAT RELATIONSHIP SUFFERS. THE SAME THING WITH GOD. IF you accept CHRIST JESUS into your heart you are then saved by the blood of JESUS, re-born and part of GOD’S Family. OUR FATHER. HE (IS) Our FATHER. The FATHER of ALL. So -- talk to HIM (like) a FATHER. It’s NOT hard ! Talking to HIM is in affect, PRAYING. You can get down on your knees to do so. OR ~ you can do so by simply conversing with HIM quietly in your own mind ~ and “NO” that does NOT make you a crazy person !

TALK TO HIM. CONSTANTLY. Pick up the Bible, get yourself a (concordance), sit down, turn off the T.V. ~ and start having a MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIP with JESUS CHRIST. NOW ! What are YOU waiting for?? “DOOMSDAY”? It might be TOO LATE at that point. Tomorrow is NOT promised.

GOD Bless ! ! !

ORDM, M.A. Cawthon

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