Heartbroken, then Mended

Review: When God Breaks Your Heart

                                                              By Ed Underwood       

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Have you ever wanted something so bad that you were willing to do almost anything to get it?

How about praying for something you really desired, but it has not come yet?

Have you ever questioned if God has really heard your prayers?

Like most of us, if not all, we have had these questions in the back of our mind, yet we look for that glimpse of hope. We understand that life happens and how we deal with the changes result in a good or bad outcome.

Well according to the author, “this is a book to help you or someone you love through the darkest days and nights.”  The author uses a specific story from the Bible, one that is quite relevant to his testimony. The story of Lazarus, Martha, and Mary, and the test they went through. As the author shares his story and the season of sickness, he used with intensity examples of overcoming pain and obstacles relating to Martha and Mary highs and lows of emotions after sending for Jesus when their brother was ill.

The author puts it this way….If your physical or emotional turmoil is stealing your confidence in God, I want to share these comforting truths about Jesus’ love and care for you and give you every assurance that you are God’s child (pg, 27).  However, the fact remains that you have been praying and praying and praying, wondering if God will answer you or when He will answer you. The author reminds us that we, too, can fall into a cry out to Jesus….. “Lord, if you had been here…”   We all want that quick relief from that lasting pain and misery, but sometimes it seems as if it take decades to come to us.

The author mentions the first lesson God taught him through his affliction was regarding prayer: He taught him the difference between a request and a report. While the lesson was uncomfortable, it requires a shift in theology and in teaching.  The author shares a few things to encourage you:

  • God will never do anything contrary to His sovereign will.
  • When God does respond to prayer, it is never because we demand our answer according to some formula or with enough faith that forces His hand.
  • God loves His children and delights in caring for them.

In Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

The Scripture is true and reminds us that as we continue to love and trust in God, all things will work out for our good. The author encourage us with this:  you may not fully understand all of the reasons for what seems like Jesus’ undue delay and what all of this means, but you can be sure of what it doesn’t mean: It does not mean that He doesn’t love you. If your pain had caused you to wonder if Jesus’ love for you has diminished or even stopped altogether, read that sentence again in the present tense with your name written into it instead of Martha’s and Mary’s: “Now Jesus loves.”

The author shared so much of his testimony and it is a reminder of how we too, can forget how much Jesus loves us while we are going through tragedy and suffering.  But we have to hold on to those Scriptures that strengthen and heal, no matter what; we have to fight the good fight of faith. This book is to give that hope when their faith is failing them.  Just like Martha and Mary, their faith was failing them because Jesus didn’t save their brother, but when Jesus came He call forth Lazarus and brought him back. Jesus just wanted them to have faith in Him.

In spite of what we may be going through Jesus want us to have faith in Him, in His ability and power to bring us through. Yes I know it hurts very badly and it seems like the suffering is never-ending, but everything has its season. The author story has shown us just that and the lessons he had to learn through this process. It won’t feel good all the time, but there is one who loves you and will care for you even in the midst of the storm. Your prayers are not in vain, God hears your cries and will send you an answer according to His timing. The author leaves us with this: Friend, don’t let your broken heart define your life. God has so much more for you. Every tomorrow can be a day of glory….if you believe. Remember that Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Amazing testimony and I highly recommend this book to encourage, inspire, and uplift those who are in need. This book has been a blessing and a reminder of no matter what we are dealing with, we are not alone.

 

 

 

 

Holy Spirit…..Is Speaking?

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THE SPIRIT WHO SPEAKS

By Peter H. Lawrence

This book is speaking in regard towards the Holy Spirit the one who speaks. The author shares countless experiences of being led by the Holy Spirit. The author gives numerous of biblical scriptures that validate his experiences. During his experience he understands that it’s not by his might or his strength but by the Creator that uses him in full capacity. The author says “God is God who speaks! Just as I am a man who eats God is God who speaks.” The author clearly takes no credit for his own, it all belongs to God.

The author makes some valuate points:

  • God is perfect, incorruptible, and totally consistent.
  • He always reveal His true Character in everything He does
  • He does all things correctly and on His timing.
  • God still speaks to us even in this day and age.

In Psalms 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God.” Therefore, before mankind the heavens were already declaring God speaks; as soon as mankind appears God speaks to them. The author noted that if anyone who says God heals, God loves or God forgives know the powerful truth of these statements. “A God who creates us for fellowship- and calls us back into fellowship through repentance and faith-is a God who loves to communicate with His children.

In order to hear from God it requires you spending time, by reading the Bible, asking the Holy Spirit to speak to you through God’s Word; not only through reading the Bible, but through signs and wonders. According to the author, Biblical Christianity is about being sons and daughters of the King, being the bride of Christ, having communion with God, knowing God, and being known by Him.”

Acts 2:39 “For the promise is for you and for your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call” (HCSB). Peter promises that the gift of the Holy Spirit is for all. Therefore, we know that the Holy Spirit is for us to communicate with, to be guided by, to bring Scriptures back to our remembrance, and to aid us in prayer when we cannot utter prayer.

We are encouraged to speak to God in all seasons and throughout the roller coasters of life. This is how we build a personal relationship with God. The Bible even tells us in Ephesians 4:30 “And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit. You were sealed by Him for the day of redemption.”  Jesus left us a model of living in righteousness, “if we have faith in Jesus we will do what He did” (John 14:12).  The author states, I believe in the Bible. I believe God speaks to us today through the Scriptures. I believe God also speaks to us today by His Holy Spirit. The author is firm in his foundation and isn’t afraid to share the gospel. The author uses his experiences/testimonies to witness Jesus Christ to others.

The author recognizes that many non-believers, of course will doubt that believers hear from the Holy Spirit. Yes, the Holy Spirit will, can, and is able to speak to you.  “One of the reason the Holy Spirit inspired the writing of Scripture was for the purposes of doctrine and teaching, especially the way of salvation through faith in Jesus” (Lawrence, P). One thing is certain; the Word of God is still powerful and authentic, enabling Christians to fulfill the commandments of the Scriptures.

Now with just a word Creation of Life, Earth, and the Universe existed. With just a word the blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hears, and the dead lives. With just a word being sent a child was healed. “Through the Bible God speaks about the way to be saved and to live as Christians, and through His Spirit, God applies that truth to the right person in the right place at the right time” (Lawrence, P). It was never a coincident, but it’s all in God’s timing and being obedient to Him is predicated by you fully trusting Him and His Word.

The author knows that anytime God gives a Word there is always confirmation of His word. Therefore when the Spirit speaks it is always a guarantee with a divine assurance in God. In Isaiah 55:11 “so shall My Word be that goes forth from My mouth, it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (NKJV). The author noted that we are not all going to get words from God for other people, and certainly not every day, but we should expect to be in communication with the Spirit more and more as we attune our own spiritual ears to His voice.

We can agree that through the reading of God’s Holy Word and prayer, we develop a bond in our relationship with the Triune Spirit. This is how we stay connect to the Holy Spirit, how we grow and build our faith, we are establishing a firm foundation and there by taking every Word of God as truth. Proverbs 30:5 says “Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him”.  The author reminds us that whenever we ask the Holy Spirit to come to do whatever He wants to do we run the risk that God will bring to the surface that which is hidden in darkness.

The author states that hearing the Spirit speak can sometimes help us to discern the presence of demons. A direct word from the Spirit may reveal the entry point through which demons enter, enabling us to reopen the gate and drive them out. Hearing the Spirit speaks points us to the right way to minister through Scripture, discernment, and listening to the Spirit of God. The Spirit warns of dangers and traps the enemy sets before us.  The author remind us that the Holy Spirit was not given to all believers under the old covenant, but when God gave the gift of prophecy, those who spoke did so with unquestioned authority and accuracy. In contrast, when we turn to the New Testament, the certainty found under the old covenant is no longer there.

According to the Bible, we have the right to test the spirit, a word from the Lord can be very helpful to a church, but everything needs to be tested, as Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica: “Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything” (1 Thess. 5:19-21).  The Spirit who speaks is a phenomenal and is guarantee to have you thinking and viewing the Holy Spirit in a different perspective.

I highly recommend this book and give the author kudos in listening to the Spirit in writing this remarkable book. It is on Amazon.com for purchase.