Christian Media, Christian Radio, Christianity

Trusting God in the middle of the storm

It has been a busy week.  I am just back from a short but inspirational trip overseas where I spent some time with Bob and Debby Gass, before attending the Hope Celebration and then travelling to meet UCB’s global partners in Brisbane.   I’ll share some encouraging news from this trip in another blog soon, but it is a great blessing to see and hear the amazing work God is doing around the world.

Back at home, our family was remembering an important two year anniversary.    In March 2014, our son and daughter-in law were expecting their third child, when our daughter-in-law Debbie was taken very ill.   To this day, the doctors cannot confirm for sure what happened, but an infection caused her body and organs to shut down.   Very sadly, at eight months pregnant, Debbie lost their baby and was soon in a fight for her life as she slipped into a coma.  It was a desperate time for our family and I felt personally that we were in a very intense spiritual battle and that we had to fight.   The team at UCB and so many dear friends gathered around us and prayed for Debbie’s full restoration.   We did not know in human terms what would happen, but we held on to God’s promises.   I felt God was saying to us repeatedly, ‘I am with you…I will not leave you…this storm  will pass’.  His Word was a rock we were depending on, our anchor in an uncertain time.

Debbie

The breakthrough came about seven days later. We visited Debbie one evening when she was still in a coma, attached to machines.  The following day we went to see her and she was sitting up in a chair and eating a meal.  Praise God for His faithfulness and His goodness! We know that our miracle-working God was with us during this terrible trial and that even in the middle of a fierce storm, He would not leave us.  Today, Debbie is fit and healthy.


About 6 weeks after Debbie was very ill, I went to France to join my brother Daniel, for a crusade at his church.  As a family, we had been through loss and heartache, but had still seen God’s faithfulness in the middle of the storm.  Those next few weeks in France were very powerful – we saw God work in a mighty way, through many people being healed, restored and saved.  God was bringing testimonies out of the many tests we had faced.

Experiences like these remind me of this verse, ‘The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree.’ (Psalm 92:12 (NIV). Palm trees are designed to withstand severe tropical storms. When the storm comes, they bend with the wind and rain. It looks as though they are breaking, but they are actually just bending. When the storm passes, the area where the Palm tree has almost been torn in two, is actually stronger than it was before the storm. During this difficult time I felt God saying, “You are like a palm tree in the storms of life, but when it passes you are going to come right back up stronger and will flourish more than ever before”.

As believers, the Prince of Peace lives within us.  We can look at the storm and feel as though we will break.   We can easily forget that He who is in us, is greater than the circumstances that we face.   If you are facing your own storm or tragedy at the moment, I want to encourage you to trust in His Word.  He promises to never leave or forsake us and is our Rock even in the middle of the fiercest storms.

Have a blessed week.

David

 

 

Christian Media, Christian Radio, Christianity, Uncategorized

God’s plans are so much bigger than ours.

Hello

I often meet with the UCB staff team and in our meetings, will share what is on my heart that week.   The team has been encouraging me for a while to write down some of these thoughts, so here is my first blog post. I want to use the blog to update you on things at UCB and also share some of the things that have impacted me during the week.  We may even persuade some of our visitors to write ‘guest blogs’ from time to time as well.

This week, I have been thinking about a wonderful lady we hosted at UCB some weeks ago; Margaret McGuckin.  Margaret was put into an institution as a child, due to severe family problems and while there, she endured terrible abuse and trauma.  When she left the institution  (as an older teenager), she  didn’t understand what it meant to be loved and believed she was damaged forever.   But God had a different plan for Margaret’s life and after several years of being in trouble with the authorities, God met Margaret in a remarkable way and touched her life incredibly.  She discovered that having a personal relationship with Jesus was the key to being truly loved – her life began to change from that point.

Margaret (and her friend Kathleen) came to visit us a few weeks ago, so that we could share her story on UCB TV and radio.   I had lunch with Margaret and Kathleen and although I was saddened to hear of the trauma she had suffered in the past, I was excited to see how she was using what had happened, in order to powerfully help others.  Part of Margaret’s healing was reading the Bible every day, along with The Word for Today.  She said that the Word for Today is very much like an appetiser for God’s Word and she now tells everyone to read it, as a way of encouraging them to get into the Scriptures.   It was exciting to hear of her passion for God’s Word and the big impact she is having on so many other people through her testimony and campaigning.

 

Margaret’s story is a Holy-Spirit reminder to pick up and read our Bibles.  We are so blessed as a nation to have access to God’s Word in a way that many others don’t, but many have lost the discipline.  I call the Bible, ‘The Divine Manual’ – if you want direction or instructions, you always go to the manual.  And yet when we need instruction in our lives, we often first go to friends or to the Internet.   Our good friend R.T Kendall (who will be our guest at UCB on March 22) recently wrote a wonderful blog post about the importance of going first to God’s Word;  How much do you read your Bible?

Can I encourage you this week, if you are facing difficult times or need God’s direction (or re-direction) in your life, go first to God’s Word.  God has given us the Scriptures as a divine source of wisdom and instruction for every situation we face.  Margaret McGuckin found healing and new purpose in God’s Word and I know personally through my own life, that wisdom for many of life’s problems can be found in His Word.

As you seek Him this week, I pray that you will be blessed!

David