God Can Resurrect Your Marriage
God Can Resurrect Your Marriage from the Ashes - Part 2
Today's Truth "So I prophesied as he [God] Commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet-a vast army," (Ezekiel 37:10 NIV).
Friend to Friend
I can hardly wait for you to read the rest of the story from yesterday. If you missed it, please go back and read it first. Here's where we left off...Now friends, the next part of the story is what Dr. Phil did not tell you. God began working on Jona's heart. She didn't change because of a self-help book or a ten step program, but because of the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit. Do you want to know what really happened? Do you want to know what Dr. Phil did not tell his viewers? Grab a cup of coffee and keep reading.
God took Jona to a place of repentance and began to soften, remold and remake her very heart. That's what God does. He doesn't try to cover up our flaws; He starts from scratch and makes us new. While the divorce was final, God was only just beginning to work on Jona's heart.
"God took me to a place of repentance," Jona explained. "For the first time, through a support group, I saw clearly what I had done to destroy my marriage. I had always blamed our problems on Don changing jobs so often, but the real problem was my lack of respect for the God appointed leader of my home. I was the real problem and Don simply couldn't take it anymore. I had rejected Don with my words, my appearance, and my withdrawal of physical touch."
Whether or not God could salvage the marriage, Jona made a commitment that she would allow God to salvage her.
Jona's heart longed to be reunited to Don, but her ultimate goal was to become the woman God wanted her to be. She immersed herself in Bible study and prayer, and began to take an interest in her appearance. Interesting, as the pounds began to drop, so did the scales that had covered her eyes.
"I began to understand what God's Word said about the relationship between a husband and wife. I was not Don's Holy Spirit. I was not the leader of my home. God had called me to respect Don as the leader, to honor him as a child of God, and to love him with my all. One day when Don came to pick up our two boys, I shared with him what I had been learning."
"I told Don that I knew that we are divorced, but I was making a commitment to submit to him. I didn't when we were married, but I did from that time forward."
"That's fine," he told me. "But you need to know I'm moving on with my life."
"You can move on," I said, "But I'm staying right here."
Jona continued to encourage Don and give him her BEST.
"BEST stands for bless, edify, share, and touch," she explained. "I began to touch him when he came by the house. I'd pat his back or give him a quick hug. When I knew he was coming, I'd put on a nice dress and fix my hair. I'd tell him I was proud of how he was handling the boys and share with him what God was teaching me. Some people told him I was trying to trick him and that he should ignore me. But it wasn't a trick. God had changed my heart and I was committed, no matter what happened between us in the future, to never go back to being that bitter woman I had been before."
"Sharon, I hate to tell you this," she said, "but for the first time, I prayed for Don. I had never prayed for him before, but now I pray for him all the time."
Jona lost the added pounds and gained a beautiful glowing countenance. It was amazing. More than the change in her physical appearance, the glow of Jesus Christ shone through her radiant face.
Don was confused at times and a bit leery of the change. "Why do you think I'm wonderful, all of a sudden?" he asked her.
"Because now I see you through God's eyes," she explained. "I see that you are a wonderful man."
Don fell in love with Jona all over again. No, it wasn't a trick - it was a miracle. God has given them a second chance. They were remarried on August 24, 2003. Oh how I love God ... He is the God of second chances.
Dear friends, Jona has so graciously allowed me to tell you her story because she has decided that she will do anything to help one woman not make the same mistakes she has made. She cried and cried all through the recounting of the story, and relived the pain...for you. "God allowed me to go to a terrible place," Jona explained. "My prayer is that others will not have to go to that place before they wake up and realize what they are doing to their men."
And that...is what Dr. Phil did not tell you.
Dear LORD, help me be the woman my husband needs for me to be. Help me to stop concentrating on his faults and failures, but start looking at my own. Show me. Teach me. Empower me.
In Jesus' Name,
Now It's Your Turn
I know Today's Truth seems like a strange verse. It is! Go back and read Ezekiel chapter 37. If God can do that with a bunch of dry bones, just think what He can do with your marriage!
Is God telling you there is something you need to do differently in your marriage?
Girlfriends in God
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Matthews, NC 28106
A Life of Peace
Dr. Charles Stanley
Your home offers protection from the elements. So when a storm rolls in, you seek shelter within the safety of those four walls. The same principle applies to life's storms. If we've built a solid house on a foundation of faith, then we've got a haven to run to when dark clouds gather and anxiety threatens to overwhelm us.
Let's suppose I've got a problem that has me fretting. My stomach is in knots. Friends and family try to be understanding, but they're growing weary of me taking my heartache out on them. I'm so focused on this issue that it feels as if I'm carrying a load on my shoulders. God offers a liberating alternative: "Cast your burden upon [Me] and [I] will sustain you" (Ps. 55:22). He does not erase the ills that invade this life. Instead, He shields us from the weight of worry by taking situations into His own hands.
However, the call to a free and peaceful life goes unheeded unless a person has confidence in the Lord. Trust is built through relationship—praying during daily trials and triumphs, seeking biblical guidance for decisions, and testing God's Word to see that it is true and practical for this life. That's how a house of faith is constructed brick by brick on the solid rock of Jesus Christ.
A believer who trusts in God receives the peace that Philippians 4:7 promises. But unshakeable peace isn't instantaneous; it is cultivated through a consistent relationship with the Lord. A lifestyle of dependence upon Him is the key to weathering storms with supernatural calm.
Anxiety is the enemy of a peaceful life. People go to great lengths to get rid of stress: travel ads promise that vacations will sweep you away from it; gyms offer to help you "sweat it out"; and popular magazines suggest ways to lessen it by adjusting schedules or habits. The problem is that no one can adequately shift circumstances to achieve total freedom from heartache, burdens, or trouble.
However, we can have unshakeable peace during anxious times. Jesus said to seek peace in Him because He has overcome this troublesome world (John 16:33). The key is to shift our focus from the scary problem onto God, who lovingly provides whatever we need from His limitless resources and power (Ps. 50:10; Rom. 8:11).
Serenity can't be manufactured—it's a gift from our heavenly Father. The Holy Spirit produces a sense of calm in believers who seek the Lord's protection against anxiety (Gal. 5:22). The Greek word translated as guard in today's passage literally means "to garrison about." God wraps hearts and minds in peace, effectively safeguarding both against all-consuming worry or fear. Notice that He doesn't make problems go away—we may still be under pressure or prone to weep, but we're cushioned against anxiety and surrounded by peace instead.
Today's verses tell us to pray rather than give in to anxiety. These words are Paul's orders for doing battle against the stresses and troubles of this world. Prayer keeps your mind and heart garrisoned with peace. Keep trusting in God so that your defenses are strong and anxiety cannot slip in.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.
In the passage we looked at yesterday, Peter encouraged us to see the trials we face as temporary, something that only lasts for a while. I want you to read that passage again today, and then I want to point your attention to another truth that is vital to enduring through whatever trial you may be facing.
It says in 1 Peter 1:5-7,
Who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
One of the critical things you and I need to do when faced with trials is continue to trust God in the midst of those trials.
No matter how difficult, do not unplug your faith, even when things get rough. Keep trusting God and His promises. Why? Well, look at what verse 5 says: We are "kept by the power of God through faith."
When you keep your faith plugged in, you are then kept by God's power.
That word keep means to preserve. It means to protect, to guard. It is used elsewhere in Scripture of a garrison of soldiers protecting something. When you are going through a trial, God will protect you through His power when you trust Him.
That word power is the same word in the Bible translated miracle. I take it to mean this: When you or I are in a season of trial, if God has to work a miracle to keep us and protect us, He will do it.
Whatever your trial...keep trusting.
Visit the Answers with Bayless Conley website for more ways to Connect with God
By SIMPLY DIVINE LOVE on Wednesday, February 09, 2011