”GOD DIDN’T SAY WE WOULD NEVER HAVE TROUBLE, BUT THAT HE WOULD BE WITH US IN TROUBLE!” This is an important life lesson that was drilled into me by my Uncle in our Sunday School classes many years ago. I will never forget it.
My Uncle also used to like to quote the verse from Job – “man was born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward” – (Job 5:7). That verse seemed to come up a lot as we spent a lot of time together on his farm, and the equipment & tools kept breaking down in need of repair.
Trouble! There is no getting around it! It is part of life, and everyone experiences it…
Here is good news that is a source of great comfort and consolation —
GOD IS OUR REFUGE AND HELP IN TIMES OF TROUBLE
Psalm 46:1 – God is our refuge and strength, a very (an ever) present help in trouble.2 Therefore we will not fear…
WHEN GOD IS OUR REFUGE – we are in a condition of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger, or trouble! LET’S NEVER – EVER FORGET THAT!
Psalm 91:14-16 – Because he has set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he has known my name. 15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I WILL BE WITH HIM IN TROUBLE; I will deliver him, and honor him. 16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.
The Lord impressed us with a very special, comforting word a few weeks ago, in the midst of these troubling times…
Isaiah 8:10-14 – (a prophetic word from the Lord) “…Call your councils of war (enemy), but they will be worthless. Develop your strategies, but they will not succeed. For God is with us (people of God)!” 11) The Lord has said to me in the strongest terms: “Do not think like everyone else does. 12) Do not be afraid that some plan conceived behind closed doors will be the end of you. 13) Do not fear anything except the Lord Almighty. He alone is the Holy One. If you fear Him, you need fear nothing else. 14) He will keep you safe…
HELP IN TROUBLE
STONED / SHIPWRECKED
Many years ago my father-in-law came to visit us for a few weeks, while we were doing mission work in the PI. While there, one of our pastor friends offered to take us on a trip to Subic Bay. He had never been there before, and was excited to go. However, his enthusiasm soon diminished greatly. While on the expressway heading toward Subic, as we went under an overpass, apparently someone dropped a big rock that unexpectedly came down, smashing our front windshield. It was immediately shattered and broken. Since the driver was still able to see out enough at least on his side of the windshield to drive, we cautiously proceeded onward. We all made it safely to Subic and back, and had a good time together, but that was definitely a very traumatic experience.
Another time he went with me on a trip out to some remote islands located in the eastern part, called the Polillio Islands. We flew there out with the Flying Medical Samaritans. It was my first time to go to those islands. Since then, we now have a mission base that has been established there.
While we were there, on one of the islands we needed to go from the shore out to the big Flying Samaritans mission boat that was anchored in deeper water. We had to ride in several little shuttle boats to get there. They were the outrigger type, with bamboo stabilizing poles on both sides of the boats. However the boat carrying my father-in-law only had one of them on one of the sides, for some reason. There wasn’t enough room for me to go in his boat with him, so I instructed the people accompanying him very cautiously to be extremely careful, because he couldn’t swim. (Every time my father-in-law had tried to learn how to swim he would sink, and so he gave up trying. He was more of a sinker than a swimmer.)
I boarded another little boat and was riding quite a distance away, anxiously watching his boat ride, feeling very helpless to rescue him if needed. To my horror, I watched as the little boat he was riding in turned over, dumping him into the water – shoes, clothes, video camera bag and all. I was too far away to do much but shout warning because he couldn’t swim. As the boat rolled over, he grabbed onto it and held on for dear life. Then, since he was already quite close to the big boat, as he got near he let loose of the overturned boat and desperately grabbed on to the side of the big boat. In his wet condition, he desperately grasped the edge at the side of the big boat and tried to lift his water logged legs and cowboy boots up over the side. There again, his wet hands could have slipped and sent him plunging into the ocean waters below him. When he finally got some help pulling him up over the side and onto the deck, and I had arrived there safely as well, we were so relieved! It was quite the traumatic experience indeed, for both of us! He could have easily ended up on the bottom of the ocean – dropping like an anchor, with everything that he was weighted down with, and being a non-swimmer! I’ll never forget sitting there on the deck with him after that experience, looking at him in his bedraggled state, soaked from head to foot with water in his boots! We laughed and laughed together, and were so relieved that it hadn’t been tragic…
When he got back to the States, and was reporting on his mission experiences on the mission field, he told the church – “Like the apostle Paul, I was stoned, and I was shipwrecked, but I survived”. He was definitely a survivor, blessed with over 20 more years of life before he passed away, recently.
FACING THE MASKED GUNMAN HOLD-UPPER
We shared on a previous post how the Lord delivered us from a masked gunman hold-upper in the darkness of early morning hours. Although I was shot, I was not killed — my life was spared! We give praise to the Lord for His help in the midst of that troubling experience! (See previous post).
ICY ROAD ACCIDENT
A number of years ago, the car I was driving had some bald tires. I was driving on an icy road, and the car slipped off the road and turned over upside down in a nearby ravine. Thankfully, the back end of the car got held up and suspended on a young tree sapling, as the car nosed upside down and into the ravine, and the roof didn’t get smashed flat. I was able to walk away from that accident without hardly a scratch, and the Lord mercifully protected me from what could potentially have been a tragic incident.
KEY FOR OUR L300 Mitsubishi van
My wife and I were on another mission trip to Polillio Islands a few years ago. We parked our L300 Mitsubishi van at the port – and went on the ferry out to Patnanungan Island. We while there, we received an urgent message. We needed to personally show up at an important immigration hearing. We had to quickly drop everything and make a quick trip back to the mainland, traveling to Manila for the hearing. It was a major trip to go to Manila. It took close to 6-7 hours or so.
We left our suitcases with some of our personal things back in Polillio, planning to return back there after the immigration hearing. After leaving Polillio, while still on the ferry, I suddenly remembered that I had left the key to our van in our suitcase that was still there on the island. I had put the key in our suitcase for safe-keeping so I would lose it, and forgot to get it out before the trip. Since we were already on the ferry, part way back, and the urgent immigration meeting was the next morning. What could we do? It was quite the dilemma! We were in big TROUBLE!
When we we arrived at the port vicinity, with nothing better to do, we got in a tricycle to help take us where our van was parked, not knowing what we were going to do next since we needed our key to get in our locked vehicle…
While on our way to the van, I explained our dilemma to our Tricycle driver. He was sympathetic and wanted to try to help us, and said he would talk with his truck driving friend about our problem. When we got to the van, of course everything was locked up, and we felt helpless, not knowing what we were going to do. Everything was locked up tight, just like we had left it.
Have you ever been LOCKED OUT OF YOUR CAR, WITHOUT YOUR KEYS! (Can you relate to this story? Not a very good feeling, right?)
Shortly our tricycle driver showed up with his friend who has some keys. His friend drove a huge big truck that was hauling a heavy load of produce from the port. HIs truck was an Isuzu –- our van was a Mitsubushi! They asked us if they could try his key in our van. Since they wanted to do that – what did we have to lose, right? Mighty as well try…
He put his key in the door lock –- and we were amazed as it opened! We were dumb-founded, and could hardly believe it! But still, what about the ignition switch? At least we had made it into the drivers seat. He put his key into the ignition switch. When he turned it, the engine roared into life! Our van had started up, with a key from another truck that was a different make and model! PTL!
But now, I had his key and he needed to use it to leave with his truck. He was willing to wait patiently while the Tricycle took me to a distant town where we were able to find a place that had a machine to make a duplicate key. When we got back to our van, and tried to use the duplicate key, no matter how hard we tried it would not work in our ignition! So – the truck driver took the duplicate key over to his truck, to try it there and see if it would work there. The key that we had just duplicated worked in his truck, but not our van. So, he gave us his original key, and he took our duplicate, and we all went on our ways, REJOICING! It opened up an amazing opportunity to give praise to the Lord for answered prayer, witness to the tricycle driver and his friend, and send them Bibles…
These are certainly days of many uncertainties and difficulties, but our mission ministries continue – PTL!
We are active in 7 different locations (most of them are not large – just small house church size but with the potential to grow, given time). We are seeing fruitfulness & evangelism and people catching “Great Commission” mission vision to reach the lost while we can)… One our ordained pastors left for Thailand several years ago with the expressed desire to help plant a ‘Bridge to the Islands and Nations Ministires’ church there over time, as the Lord leads and provides.
Recently there was a 2-day Encounter God Retreat held at one of our churches, with special reports shared and testimonies given of a powerful move of the Holy Spirit there. PTL!
We continue to expect to see FRUIT THAT REMAINS (for the glory of God)!
We need to always remember that Jesus said, THIS GOSPEL MUST BE PREACHED…. and then the end shall come. (Matthew 24:14). Let’s do our part to assist in that mandate. It is our duty and privilege to share the gospel wherever and whenever we can.
Here are a few more current praise reports for the Lords help..
Light Brings Freedom
In the midst of travel restrictions, and limited gathering opportunites, the gospel is still going forth. All praise to Jesus!
According to some current youtube statistics that were brought to my attention, (not including Facebook, and other media platforms) there have been 6.5 million views at our LIght Brings Freedom youtube channel; 991.5 thousand hours of watch time; 103 thousand subscribers… We continue to utilize the Internet while it is still available, for the glory of God…
LIGHT BRINGS FREEDOM is an evangelistic and discipleship resource that includes 31 Bible lessons along with accompanying videos & testimonies / songs (available on youtube as well as FB). These resources are available to access freely. We have been able to publish Lesson books (in both English / Tagalog).
It is reaching into many nations. It has been brought to our attention that people are accessing it in over 60 nations.
One of the nations accessing our internet resources is Kenya. There have been some contacts made with some of those who have been blessed by the resources available on the internet. Recently, we have been able to provide some Bibles to an orphanage there that needed Bibles in their native language. Glory to Jesus!
Light Brings Freedom Classes
There have been Light Brings Freedom classes in various places, with amazing results. Some of those going through the classes have amazing testimonies! A missions team from our base in Polillio islands that graduated from the LIght Brings Freedom Class were so inspired that they came to our Tarlac City base and were a great blessing! Even though it meant they needed to undergo a long quarantine for awhile when they got back, they were willing to make the trip, and were mightily used at a youth camp, and in helping start another Light Brings Freedom class in a different location.
There have been Seminars and Bible classes in the local provincial jail and churches, along other places as well.
We give Jesus praise for the people who have been converted and baptized, healed, delivered, set free, and are growing in the Lord! (Romans 1:16) There are people being discipled, and leaders who are being trained & prepared for ministry. PTL!
GOD OF MIRACLES
Jesus, and this message of the gospel is greatest miracle ever!
A young girl 8 years old accepted the Lord and was baptized. Now she has mostly read all the way through the Bible, memorizing many verses, and sometimes even singing special numbers and leading worship from the piano (See previous journal post).
An 18 year old girl in Polillio memorized the first 12 chapters of Proverbs in English and quoted them. to me in proper order with no prompting – almost word perfect! (See previous journal post).
Our neighbor from Nepal was raised as a Hindu. We had a chance to share Jesus with him. Not only did he want to pray to receive the Lord, but his Filipina girlfriend did as well. She was baptized recently, and they both in the process of wanting counseling help in the Christian way of life…
LAST OF THE LAST DAYS
Warning — Be alert!
Be sober! Be vigilent! Your Adversary – the DEVIL as roaring lion, walks about seeking whom He may devour! (WE ARE TO RESIST!)
Danger!! “PERILOUS TIMES” Jesus talked about are here! Not a time to just go through religious motions and life as usual – it is time to join in the fight! Be VALIANT SOLDIERS! Be strong – for the Lord our God is with us!
This is not a time to be self-focused, self-centered time pridefully centered on a person… It is a time to be centered on Jesus and what He is wanting to do in us! May His will be done in our lives! Let’s live to PLEASE HIM, not ourselves!
Let’s be like David, going after Goliath! Let’s not be intimidated by formidable giants in the land, but let’s go after them in the name of the Lord – see them fall, and display victory for all to see!
JESUS IS COMING
Luke 21:28 – Now when these things begin to come to pass (happen), look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
Revelation 22:7,12-13, 20 – “Behold, I AM COMING QUICKLY! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.” 12 “And behold, I AM COMING QUICKLY, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” 20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I AM COMING QUICKLY.”Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
One of these days very soon – JESUS WILL COME! No question about it – it’s just a matter of time!
I’ll fly away
My dad and mom had quite the sense of humor. Dad would like to sing, “I’ll fly away, O glory“! Mom would immediately follow that with – “O that will be, glory for me…” What about your spouse? Whether they would rather have you in glory land right now or not – we still have a job to do here on earth, so let’s keep going for it!)
2 Thessalonians 1:7-10 – 7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 – Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled….
GLORIOUS CHURCH AND THE GLORY CLOUD
Isaiah 60:1-2 – Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep (gross) darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you.
VISION – DARK STORM CLOUD
The following is a summary of a vision told by Dr. Mark Barclay – International minister (A recent statistic revealed that His telecast ministers globally to around 78 million households). To listen to it on youtube, go to the link below (approximately 14 mintes). (1)
What’s happening in the earth? There are 2 clouds… 1) A cloud of great darkness, and 2) A glory cloud of God
(This happened over 20 years ago). Pastor Mark was caught up in a vision… He felt himself leave his body and the room… He saw a deep, dark, tempestuous storm coming up over the globe of the earth. Pastor Mark said that the Lord communicated to him that He (the Lord) was not causing it. ‘That’s where my people don’t get it – just because I prophesied and foretold it and predicted it – they think I am causing that. I’m not.”
“It is coming – and you better WARN MY PEOPLE!“
Some of the people were happy – waiting for the filth, perversion, liars, cheaters, thieves… Some of them had a chain and cross on it “Christians” wanting that… As that dark cloud came over the earth – there was a horrible SUCTION! (Like getting sucked into a jet motor of an airplane, or like the suction on a vacuum sweeper). He said he saw people in the vision were clawing, chewing their nails out on the ground as it was sucking them in. They were yelling and screaming and clawing – they couldn’t resist it!
“Lord, what is that cloud?” – Mark asked… “…every demon working together. It’s never happened before in the earth. That’s every filthy thing you can think of – every sickness, every disease, every torment, — you can’t even imagine what you are about to see – what’s in that dark cloud. “Who are these people that aren’t resisting it or can’t resist it” (some weren’t and some couldn’t anymore)… Who are they, and what is this? “Those are those who have an impure heart and dirty hands – and they’ve been well warned, and they didn’t take the warning. The dark cloud is coming and they won’t have what it takes to resist it…”
As Pastor Mark was caught up in the vision, he said a piercing bright light hit his eye – he turned his head away from it, it so bright! The Lord said “I want you to look at this”.. It was so blinding, but finally Mark was able to look into it.
•It was this bright, bright light that was coming up over the horizon – it was coming up over the earth like the dark cloud, and it covered the whole earth. •“Lord, what is that? Mark asked.
The Lord said, “That is my glory. I promised that the glory of the Lord would fill the earth. This is my glory cloud, and it is going to cover the whole earth.” “Who gets to go into that?” Pastor Mark asked.
“Everyone with a pure heart and clean hands will be drawn into the glory cloud of the last days!” “Miracles never seen yet, never heard about are in that glory cloud. That will be my full, final manifestation in the earth and both clouds will happen at one time.”
God said, “You tell my people to RUN TO THE GLORY — FIGHT THE DARKNESS. FIGHT IT! Pastor Mark said it was like he was telling me this fierce instruction – FIGHT IT!! “Tell my people to prepare now to fight this filth, and this worldliness”
As this dark cloud has come – some great preachers have fallen into this dark cloud… living like the world, getting involved with vices, not following the teachings of Jesus! Teaching things like – don’t trust your Bible!
The Lord impressed him that he would be “required in the last of the last days to tell this vision to my people” ….. you will have to tell this vision and warn my people. If you real preachers don’t warn all the time, they’ll be indoctrinated in the dark and the filth and they’ll get SUCKED INTO IT. We’re watching that now, they just can’t resist it, for some reason – it’s not even like they want it – they’ve waited too long to get ready to fight! They didn’t listen in time… They didn’t take this warning in time!!)
So God said to Pastor Mark – “you tell my people, you RUN TO THE GLORY!
You don’t tiptoe, you don’t play with it – you rise up and you run every time you can. You get into the book, you get in the house. You get among Christians – we need to keep filled with the Holy Spirit!
We don’t hide in holes, and caves. We rise up with confrontation, boldness, and we speak the truth – in love, but we still speak the truth! May we have a holy boldness. Unto Him be GLORY in the church!
We are no longer afraid of the Philistines – we don’t want to flinch and cower down to the dirty, anti-God Philistines. We are going to conquer – in the name of Jesus, with His help! “If God be for us, who can be against us…” (Romans 8:31,32) We are the last day army! We are not going to fail, so help us God! We don’t want to be an army that sits down on the job, is complacent, and doesn’t accomplish the goal. We are not Saul’s army, in hiding, despair, and fear! We are Jesus army! We are his Mighty men and women!
Let’s chase after God – He’s good for what He said He will do! Let’s trust Him! Cling to Him! Faith overcomes the world! Help rescue people! Present heaven and hell! People need to know why we need a Savior! He saves us from destruction (Romans 6:23)
Let’s be militant! We are more than conquerors through Jesus. He is well able to help us conquer and be victorious!
GOD IS A REFUGE FOR US
Psalm 62:8 – Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a REFUGE for us.
Psalm 46:7,11 -The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our REFUGE. Selah
Psalm 62:7 – In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God.
Isaiah 25:4 – For You have been a strength to the poor, A strength to the needy in his distress, A REFUGE from the storm, A shade from the heat; For the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.
Psalm 9:9 – The Lord also will be a REFUGE for the oppressed, a REFUGE in times of trouble.
Psalm 91:2,4,9-11 – I will say of the Lord, “He is my REFUGE and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”…He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take REFUGE; His truth shall be your shield and buckler…Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, there shall no evil befall you, neither any plague come near your dwelling, for He shall give His angels charge over you to keep you in all your ways…
Hebrews 6:18…by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for REFUGE to lay hold of the hope set before us.
- Special acknowledgement – Thanks and appreciation to Dr. Mark Barclay for sharing the vision of the 2 clouds. This is from a message by Mark Barclay… https://www.facebook.com/ropcpdx/videos/386546446475227 If your time is limited, start at 1:09 on the timeline. The vision actually starts around 1:11 to around 1:25 — around 14 minutes. It is powerful and unforgettable!