When Jesus Stopped – #SermonNotes


(Pastor Chris Jordan – Horizon Church)

To listen to or download the audio MP3, click HERE.

When Jesus Stopped Title


QUOTE: Leonard Ravenhill: “There was a time when people came to church to meet with God. Now they come to church to sing songs and hear stories about Him.”

Do we believe that Jesus is the same yesterday today and forever? (Hebrews 13:8).

“1 A Psalm of David when he was in the wilderness of Judah. O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. 2 So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. 3 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You. 4 Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. 5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.” (Psalm 63:1-5).

  • One of the most amazing things from the life of the story is the time He took to stop and encounter people. Whenever Jesus met someone, their lives were transformed.
  • Today we’re going to see how Jesus responded to an outcast who was far from Him.


“1Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 2 Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. 3 And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature.” (Luke 19:1-3, NKJV).

  • Who was Zacchaeus? He was a rich tax collector, a thief, and a sinner.
  • Zacchaeus had heard how wonderful Jesus was, and sought to see Him. That’s great!
  • Sought = zeteo which means to search with a passion, a craving and an intense desire.
    • Then the Greeks came to Philip, and asked him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” (John 12:21). I want to stir up your appetite to seek after Him today!
  • There are many precious promises in the Bible:
    • “And you will seek me and find me, when you search for me with all of your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13).
    • “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8),
    • But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6).
  • HOWEVER – there was an obstacle: The crowd. He wanted to, but he couldn’t.
  • Sometimes there are things in our lives that can hinder us from seeking and seeing Jesus.
  • What are some roadblocks in your life? The Crowd (people’s opinions or unbelief), Busyness (too distracted to hear God’s voice), Sin (will keep you from the Bible).
  • We need to overcome those roadblocks and do whatever it takes to see Jesus.


“4 So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” 6 So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully.” (Luke 19:4-6, NKJV).

  • There’s so much we can learn about Jesus from His encounter with Zacchaeus!
    • Jesus sees YOU. He knows what you’re going through! If you’re going through a storm, battling a sickness, depression, He wants to bring you His peace.
    • Jesus loves YOU. It was His love that motivated Him to stop for Zacchaeus.
    • Jesus knows YOUR NAME. He created you! He knows everything about you.
    • Jesus calls us too to MAKE HASTE. Don’t delay! Seek Jesus today.
  • How did Zach respond to Jesus? He made haste and came down.
  • What was the result of His encounter with Jesus? JOY!
    • In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11).
  • Jesus wants to come to YOUR house today – will you open your heart and let Him in?


“But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.” (Luke 19:7).

  • Jesus was called a friend of sinners (Luke 7:34). The religious leaders didn’t like that.
  • “9 As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him. 10 Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.” (Matthew 9:9-12).
  • “The church is not a museum for saints, but a hospital for sinners.”
  • Are you a sinner? Then know that Jesus has come for you!


“8 Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” 9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:8-10, NKJV).

  • The fruit of salvation in Zacchaeus’ life = good works.
    • We are not saved by our works, but faith without works is dead.
    • Two things in Zach’s life: generosity and willingness to make restitution.
  • See how much Jesus cares about family: “Salvation has come to this HOUSE.”
    • Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” (Acts 16:31).
    • If you’re the only one in your family who is saved, pray for your parents / kids!
  • What is this salvation? Sozo = more than just going to heaven when you die. Psalm 103!
  • At the beginning of this story, we saw Zacchaeus seeking Jesus. But long before that, Jesus had already been seeking Zacchaeus! Jesus came to seek and save the lost.


  • Are you like the crowd, hindering others from finding Jesus? Repent.
  • Are you like Zacchaeus? Overwhelmed by your sins? Seek Jesus today.
  • Have you been running from Jesus? Make haste and run TO Jesus today.

Blog: https://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/

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The Twelve Steps – A Spiritual Journey: Step Five: Confession

The Twelve Steps – a Spiritual Journey: Step Five: Confession

Written by Chris Jordan, the President of Overcomers Outreach of Canada.

step five

In the previous step, we made a searching and fearless moral inventory of our lives, which has helped us to more clearly see the darkness inside of us. But now we must take the next step of confessing those wrongs if we want to truly experience freedom, healing and wholeness in Christ. Step #5 says:

“Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”

Someone said once that you cannot heal or change what you don’t acknowledge. If you’re not willing to admit your character defects first to God, secondly to yourself, and finally to another person, then you will never be able to free from the trap of that sin.

“Step Five directs us to share the exact nature of our wrongs with another human being. This action requires courage because of our fear of rejection and disapproval, but if we trust the program’s wisdom here, this act of confession promises new release and healing. In telling another soul, we release the power of hidden sin and we remove the power of self-condemnation.” (Meditations for the Twelve Steps – A Spiritual Journey).

So what’s involved in step five?*

The first thing you must do is choose a person that you are going to share your inventory with. You need to choose this person very carefully! When I went through this step, I looked for someone who I trusted to keep confidential what I shared, someone who I knew was loving, accepting and forgiving.

The second thing you must do is to set up a time and a place to meet with that person. Take a written copy of your list with you, and don’t hold anything back. It’s those mistakes and failures that you are most ashamed of that will bring the most healing if you bring them to the light. And then finally, listen to any feedback from your listener. As this person shares their love and acceptance of you, it can be a real boost for your self-acceptance and a new beginning for you.

The Biblical basis for this step is found in James 5:16: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (NLT). As we confess our sins to God, ourselves, and another person, there is an amazing joy, peace and freedom that we can experience.

Fifth Step Prayer:

“Higher Power, My inventory has shown me who I am, yet I ask for your help in admitting my wrongs to another person and to you. Assure me, and be with me in this step, for without this step I cannot progress in my recovery. With your help, I can do this, and I will do it.” Amen! (Prayers for the Twelve Steps – A Spiritual Journey).

*Note: A Hunger for Healing by J. Keith Miller is an excellent resource with a practical section in his book about “Choosing the Human Being to Hear Step Five.” This book can be ordered online from Overcomers Outreach Canada at www.overcomersoutreach.ca.

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13 Reasons Why: Warnings for Parents and Help for Students

I am a guidance counselor in a high school, and perhaps that’s part of what inspired me to watch the new Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. This show has captured the attention of teenagers, which is ironic because the show carries a TV-MA rating – TV Parental Guidelines’ warning that the content may be unsuitable for children under 17. Parents of teens need to be aware of what their students are watching!

Although I don’t have the time to personally write a deep and thought provoking response to this TV series, I felt it was important to share some links here that I hope will be helpful. For parents who want to know what the show is all about, this can help you make an informed decision about whether or not this is something that you will watch &/or allow your children to watch. (If you do decide to allow your students to watch it, there are further suggested action steps for you as well). For students who may be struggling with thoughts of depression or suicide, know that there is hope and help.

Suicide is NOT the answer!

Call the Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868.



Netflix 13 Reasons Why: What Viewers Should Consider:

The Jed Foundation: Recently, Netflix released Thirteen Reasons Why… a fictional story that is meant to be a cautionary tale. It tells the story of a high school student who experiences a series of terrible events-many of which are perpetrated by her classmates and friends. Hannah has died by suicide but before she died she made a series of tapes explaining what each person in her circle has done to hurt her…

Because the show takes up issues related to suicide and sexual assault, there have been strong reactions from many viewers along with several professional and advocacy groups… the depiction and circumstances of the suicide have raised concerns because there are several elements in the story that are inconsistent with safe messaging guidelines around handling portrayals of suicide in media and works of fiction.

To read the rest of this article, click HERE.

Schools Warning Parents About Netflix’s Series 13 Reasons Why:

People.com: Schools across the country are issuing warnings to parents about Netflix’s latest original series, 13 Reasons Why, over concern that the breakout teen drama could glamorize teen suicide. So where does the concern lie with the critically well-received show – and why are schools getting involved?

To read the rest of this article, click HERE.

  • See also: How to Talk to Your Child About Suicide and Bullying After Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why: To read this article, click HERE.

13 Reasons Why TV Series Review:

Focus on the Family’s Plugged In: Is it a well-intended show? Yes, I think it’s fair to say that it is, as far as that sentiment goes. 13 Reasons Why encourages viewers to really examine their own lives and how they treat people. That said, shows like this can also have unintended consequences.

Those familiar with the issue of suicide know that the act itself can be strangely and sadly contagious. If someone commits suicide in a given school, the odds go up that someone else will attempt it, too. Why? There are lots of potential factors… But in the emotionally charged world of adolescence, suicide can feel romantic. It can be a shout for attention. It can be revenge.

13 Reasons Why may, unintentionally, romanticize suicide for some students, even though that’s certainly not the show’s intent. The tricky thing about stories like this one is that, for some, it might be just the right message at the right time. But for someone else, the intended message could also be received in a tragically different way.

To read the rest of the article, click HERE.

The JED Foundation, a non-profit that aims to prevent suicide in teens and young adults, has developed a series of talking points for children and adults here (and below) and has a hotline number 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

13 Reasons Why

Suicide Awareness Voices of Education: https://www.save.org/13-reasons-why/

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The Twelve Steps – A Spiritual Journey: Step Four: The Inventory

The Twelve Steps – a Spiritual Journey: Step Four: The Inventory

Step 4

In the twelve-step journey of healing, there are four sub-groups with three steps in each of them. The first three steps could be summed up with one word: Surrender. Here we said, “I can’t, but God can, so I will let him.” And now we move onto perhaps the hardest step of the entire process – Step Four. This is where we look within:

“Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”

For many years while I was pastoring a church, we saw dozens of people start attending our Overcomers Outreach programs. Not all of them finished. Most of those that didn’t usually stopped when they reached step four. Why? Because it’s hard work! To sit down and do a searching (examining closely or thoroughly) moral (having to do with right and wrong in our conduct) inventory (an evaluation or a survey, as of abilities, assets or resources) can be overwhelming! But we can be encouraged by this truth:

“We don’t begin or finish this moral inventory on our own. God goes with us every step of the way. He uncovers the defects and flaws so that we can see them and grow beyond their influence.” (Meditations for the Twelve Steps – A Spiritual Journey).

The Biblical basis for this step is found in Lamentations 3:40-41: “Instead, let us test and examine our ways. Let us turn back to the LORD. Let us lift our hearts and hands to God in heaven.” (NLT). God wants us to search our hearts and our lives, and repent of our sins.

When I first went through the twelve steps and did my inventory several years ago, it was a daunting, almost overwhelming task. To look back at all of my sins, failures and defects of character: From lying and selfishness, to lust, pornography, alcohol, pride, rebellion and more, I could relate well to the words of the Apostle Paul: “Oh what a wretched man I am!” However, I knew that if I wanted to find true and lasting freedom from everything in the past that had me bound, then this was an important step in that journey. But not only must this inventory include the bad and the ugly, it should also include the good as well. For some people, this part of the inventory is even harder than listing all the bad things they have done.

There are two keys that are essential to doing this step well: One is a sponsor, and the other is a pen and a piece of paper. We need the help of a trusted friend, someone who is further along on their journey of freedom than we are, to help us as we work through our inventory. And secondly, we need to write the inventory down. This will help us to truly and accurately see what we have done, and help us to move forward from the place where we have been stuck.

Fourth Step Prayer:

“Dear God, It is I who have made my life a mess. I have done it, but I cannot undo it. My mistakes are mine, and I will begin a searching and fearless moral inventory. I will write down my wrongs, but I will also include that which is good. I pray for the strength to complete the task.” Amen! (Prayers for the Twelve Steps – A Spiritual Journey).

Chris Jordan, President of Overcomers Outreach of Canada.

Overcomers Outreach Canada Website: www.overcomersoutreach.ca

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Reflections with Calvin and Hobbes – Every Man Dies (#Braveheart Quote)

One of my favourite quotes is from the movie Braveheart, spoken by Mel Gibson’s character William Wallace: “Every man dies. Not every man really lives.”

Braveheart Quote Every Man Dies

Life and death.

Living and dying.

One day, every one of us will die.

But what is the purpose of living?

What is the purpose of dying?

Today’s series of Calvin and Hobbes comic strips offer some thoughts on the topic of death…

Calvin & Hobbes - squirrel die 1

Calvin & Hobbes - squirrel die 2

Calvin & Hobbes - squirrel die 3

Calvin & Hobbes - squirrel die 4

Calvin & Hobbes - squirrel die 5

Calvin & Hobbes - squirrel die 6

Every man (or woman) dies.

But not every man really lives.

What are you doing to really live today??

Calvin & Hobbes (c) 2017 Bill Waterson.

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The Twelve Steps – a Spiritual Journey: Step Three: Surrender

The Twelve Steps – a Spiritual Journey: Step Three: Surrender

Our journey to freedom began with the first two steps, admitting, “I can’t!” but “God can!” But that’s just the beginning. From here, we must move from a place of believing that God can help us, to actually inviting Him into the brokenness of our lives and surrendering to His will for us. This is where we say, “I will.” This is step three:

“Made the decision to turn our wills and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”

Jesus Take the Wheel

Step three is about letting go and letting God. There’s a popular song by Carrie Underwood that tells the story of a young mom who’s driving home to see her parents on Christmas Eve. It’s been a hard year for her, she’s got a baby in the backseat of the car, and there’s a blizzard outside. Suddenly, she hits a patch of black ice and starts spinning out of control. What an apt picture of those whose lives have become unmanageable! In this story song, the young woman is so scared she simply throws her hands up in the air (there was nothing she could have done to save herself anyway), and prayed:

“Jesus take the wheel, Take it from my hands, Cause I can’t do this on my own. I’m letting go, So give me one more chance. Save me from this road I’m on, Jesus take the wheel.”

That, my friends, is what surrender looks like. Where we stop trying to be in control of everything. Where we stop pretending to be in control of everything. Where we pray: Jesus take the wheel, and You be in control on my life!

The Biblical basis for this step is found in Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” To turn the control of our lives over to God is to say that we trust that His plan for our lives is good, that He is good, and that He cares for us.

“We will not make this decision just once. We will make it every day, many times a day. Deciding to choose our will is a way of death. Deciding to choose God’s will for us is a way of life.” (Meditations for the Twelve Steps – A Spiritual Journey).

Who’s in the driver’s seat in your life? As long as you’re in control, you’re going to make mistakes. But when you choose to let Jesus take the wheel, you can trust that He is good, and that His plan and purpose for your life will lead to joy, peace and freedom!

Third Step Prayer:

“God, I offer myself to you, to build with me and to do with me as you want. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do your will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of your power, your love, and your way of life. May I do your will always.” Amen! (Prayers for the Twelve Steps – A Spiritual Journey).

Chris Jordan is the President of Overcomers Outreach of Canada.

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Pilgrims: Not Home Yet – Rejoicing in Suffering – #SermonNotes


(Pastor Chris Jordan – Horizon Church)

Not Home Yet - Rejoicing in Suffering

This is a message I shared with our church family this past Sunday morning. You can click HERE to listen to the audio MP3. Note: Because of a technical difficulty, only the last half of the message was recorded.

INTRO TO SPEAKER: It’s been a quiet spring break with Liza and Hannah on a mission trip in Mexico, and Austin on a mission trip in Uganda. Caleb’s at home but working most of the time.

NOT HOME YET: Lyrics by Steven Curtis Chapman

  • “To all the travelers, pilgrims longing for a home,
  • From one who walks with you, On this journey called life’s road, It is a long and winding road,
  • From one who’s seen the view, Dreamt of staying on the mountains high,
  • And one who’s cried like you, Wanting so much just to lay down and die,
  • I offer this, we must remember this… We are not home yet.”


Someone said once, “For every mile of road, there are two miles of ditch.”

This is a great picture of contemplating the topic of suffering!

  • On one side, there are those who say, “Once you become a Christian, there is victory in Jesus, it’s your best life now, and you will never suffer again!”
  • On the other side, there are those who say, “The Christian life is all about suffering for Jesus. Pain, despair, gloom and agony every day!”
  • On the middle road is the true Biblical teaching about suffering, and that’s what we’re going to look at this morning.
  • Because we are going through a series in First Peter (Pilgrims), most of this teaching will be taken from this book of the Bible. Suffering is one of the main themes of First Peter. But let’s start with some good news!


“3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:3-5, ESV).

  • Three things that God has given to His children:
    1. Great Mercy: Not just a little mercy, but great mercy and amazing grace!
    2. Living Hope: When all hope seems lost in the world, we have hope in Jesus!
    3. A Heavenly Inheritance: Discuss the now/not-yet tension of the Kingdom.


“In this you rejoice… (what God has given us – Mercy, Hope, Inheritance!) … though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials.” (1 Peter 1:6).

  • Keep an eternal perspective – our inheritance is in Heaven.
  • Our suffering is only for a little while, though we do get a taste of Heaven now.
  • “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” (Philippians 3:10).
  • When the disciples went through the storm, they experienced Jesus in a new way!
  • PREACH: If you’re going through hell – don’t stop! You’re walking through the valley of the shadow of death! You’re experiencing a dark night, but dawn always comes!


Why do we rejoice? “7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith–more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire–may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:7-9, ESV).

  • James 1:2-3 says: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” (NKJV).
  • It’s helpful going through the trial because it strengthens your faith and patience.
  • However – if you don’t see the good in it, you may give up or lose heart!
  • ILLUSTRATION: Several years ago, I picked up a workout DVD – P90X. It was extreme and insane. But for about three months, I got up every morning and put in the work, because I saw the value in it.
  • “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.” (1 Peter 2:21).


“13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God.” (1 Peter 3:13-18, ESV).

  • Suffer: Greek pascho –  to be affected, to suffer sadly, be in a bad plight.
  • Suffering – Biblical definition: The experience of physical pain and/or mental distress.
  • “14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.” (1 Peter 4:14-16, ESV).
  • There are two kinds of suffering: One is a consequence for doing something wrong, and the other happens even if we are doing everything right.
  • Sometimes suffering is a consequence for our sin and rebellion – look at Jonah’s storm.
  • But sometimes we experience suffering when we are doing good – like Jesus and Job.
  • When we suffer for doing good, glorify God!



“12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed… 19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.” (1 Peter 4:12-13,19, ESV).

  • Peter said, “Don’t be surprised by suffering.” When you’re taught that “Christians never suffer,” and you experience suffering, you will get surprised and confused.
  • ILLUSTRATION: When we prayed for protection (Psalm 91) and woke up to a flooded basement. We were confused because we were (wrongly) taught Christians never suffer.
  • Jesus said: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).
  • What is Jesus saying? We’re not home yet! As long as we’re living on this sin-cursed earth, we will have trouble, but we can still rejoice because He cares for us!
  • Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives and not based on our circumstances.


“6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 5:6-11).


Suffering is going to come, but it doesn’t have to overcome you. We can cast our cares upon Jesus, because He cares for us, and experience God’s abundant hope, peace and joy.

PERSONAL TESTIMONY: Since moving here, we still haven’t sold our home in Beausejour. We are paying a mortgage on our house there, and rent here, so we haven’t been able to buy a house here, and we don’t understand why. But it’s not about the why. It’s about knowing that God has a plan and works all things for His good!


  • Cast your cares on Jesus because He cares for you. Prayer!
  • Praise the Lord! Psalm 22:3 says God dwells in the praises of His people and “In Your presence is fullness of joy.” (Psalm 16:11).
  • Get into His Word: “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:11).

PRAYER: For those who are suffering to experience God’s peace, joy and hope.

CLOSING: BENEDICTION: 2 Corinthians 13:14.


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