Tribulation.

Ron Bouchard http://www.theburningheart.com

I had a rough day yesterday. Nancy and I were travelling to North Carolina for a ‘Hearts & Hands for Haiti’ Board meeting. We’d stayed in a Hotel the night before to break up the long trip. When I woke up, I knew immediately that something was very wrong on the ‘inside’ of me. Do you know what I’m talking about? The day was beautiful, I was travelling with my lovely wife. Everything was great on the exterior. But, inside me, I woke up to a war zone of despairing thoughts and darkness.

Have you ever had a day where you’ve woken up, and from the get-go you’re in some dark, funky place in your mind? No matter what you do you cannot shake the mood that has taken over. You attempt to change your mindset by thinking about good things, but like molasses, the darkness inhabiting your mind at the moment oozes out and covers every effort to break free. Nothing you can put your finger on has caused this funk, it’s just there, like some uninvited green monster hulking about in living room of your mind!

That’s tribulation.

Oh, there are other forms of tribulation, but this type of torment is tribulation of the spirit. It is darkness from the enemy (you know, Satan, the Devil and his minions). It is his attempt to overwhelm us from the inside-out and cover us in a blanket of despair. After all, the last thing the Devil wants to see is a free and joyous Christian!

We are told in the Bible that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and dark spiritual forces in heavenly places . . .

My friend, these things are true. I think we can all attest to it. When, for no reason whatsoever, we are driven like sheep into a dark cave of despair, we can know with absolute certainty that it is a spiritual attack. And, with a spiritual attack, we can only overcome with spiritual weapons.

” . . . for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of strongholds. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:3,4

One of the greatest spiritual weapons we have is The Word of God. Opening God’s Word and reading it will often bring us instant victory and relief from Satan’s lies. In my dark place I found relief here, in this cozy corner of God’s Word:

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ . . . and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character, and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the Love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:1-4

I pray, my friend, when your dark day dawns, that you to will find victory over the enemy with the mighty weapon given to you: The sword of the Spirit, The Word of God!

His grace & Mercy upon you! ~Ron

Ron Bouchard http://www.theburningheart.com

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Under New Ownership.

Ron Bouchard http://www.theburningheart.com

“. . . You are not your own, for you were bought with a price . . .” 1 Corinthians 6:19,20

When my ‘natural man’ (the flesh) tries to process the thought of being purchased, it says to itself: “Wow, I’ve been made a slave! I’ve been bought. I’m someone else’s possession!” The trail that line of thinking jogs down is a negative, descending one. You see, my ‘natural man’ is not the sharpest crayon in the box. Quite dull actually. “Dumb as a box of rocks!” is the expression that fits him perfectly. He finds it impossible to understand the things of God. He is very clever though. Clever enough to continually attempt to thwart my spirit from walking in freedom; freedom from the flesh, freedom from sin, freedom from self.

Cleverness never carries with it, a shred of wisdom, because cleverness is always self-serving. And so, this flesh man of mine is a constant headache; trying to convince me to put the chains back on, to wear the yoke once again.

You see, what he doesn’t get, what he will never get, is that he is a slave as well as the slave owner. He owned me at one time. But, I was bought with a price, a price so great I could never pay it. A price so inestimable that no other person could afford to pay it for me. Only God had the kind of wealth to buy back my soul. He poured His glory out on the ground for me and for you. He gave everything. He held nothing back, in order that we could be free.

Yes. He purchased us to set us free from the slavery to sin and self. He bought us to loose our chains, to remove our yoke and give us true liberty. My ‘flesh man’ can’t get that through his thick skull! He can’t comprehend the depths of his depravity. He actually believes fulfilling his desires is freedom; not the cruel bondage that it is.

Yes. I have been set free. I’m free from me! I’m no longer mine. I’ve been bought with a price and set free like a bird from a cage or a calf from a stall! Have you been set free, my friend? Jesus paid the price to open your prison door, but you must choose to step out.

“For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be subject to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

“But for you who respect my name, the sun of vindication will rise with healing wings, and you will skip about like calves released from the stall.” Malachi 4:2

His Blessings, Ron Bouchard http://www.theburningheart.com