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Monday, January 30, 2012

Finishing Strong

It is finished!

Happy to report that the cycle of chemotherapy is now complete!  Let the celebration continue. Praise Him!

Finished
           Last
                 Close
                         Terminate
                                      Completeness
                                                         End
                                                              Done

You are the God who sees me. El Roi.  He has been faithful through it all. He truly is able.  Extremely thankful to be finished with this portion of my race. I set out at the beginning of this race not knowing what it would look like, let alone how the finish would be.  With grace as my companion I have conquered the beast of fear and won.  It was not easy.  Through Christ I was able to do all things.  I was able to face each treatment and endure the yucky nausea, body aches and poison to my body.


Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.  Hebrews 12:1-2

Keeping the eyes focused has been a challenge.  I believe this is what you call perseverance.  Without this lesson to force me to daily fix my eyes I would be a different person.  Time can change a person, but His Word changes the heart: the spiritual eyes.  Paul prayed for the church in Ephesus, that the eyes of their heart would be enlightened. My eyes have seen the glory.  They are forever changed in light of cancer and this race.

Trials are an opportunity to prove the faithfulness of God in our lives.  

It is through the fiery furnace of affliction that we grow and thus reflect the light, the hope of glory.  None of us want these heart aches.  Yet at the same time we are keenly aware that troubles, trials and afflictions are part of life.  Jesus said so himself.  It's no wonder that these heart pains contribute to our earthly woes.  God allows these tests to come into our lives for the purpose of strengthening our faith in Him.  Satan would love to kill, steal and destroy us by tempting us to choose the pathway of sin.  God always provides a way out.  He is good, all the time.  It is His character, He can't be anything else.

Brothers I do consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:13-14

Maybe you find yourself in one of these firey tests.  What are you going to do about it?  Let me share what I have learned...

Be careful in trials.  If you find yourself asking this question over and over...why am I going through this?  If you sense your body temperature rising, if the tone of your questioning is whiney, cynacal or even a sniveling cry...here is what you do:
  • James 1:19 Listen.  Be swift to hear and slow to speak.  You can't be swift to hear if all you are doing is yelling at God, or for that matter your loved ones. 
  • James 1:20 It does no good to be angry, it bears no fruit. Instead be quiet, retreat.  Spend some time alone.
  • James 1:21 Do some housecleaning.  No, not your home -- but your temple: self examination. Get rid of the moral filth that is weighing you down. Ask God to show you and be honest with what He reveals to you. 
  • James 1:22-25 Go to the Word for direction. Take a good look at the face in the mirror.  Ask yourself what am I filling my ears with?  Is my mind set in stone? It's one thing to hear the Word and think you are fine. AKA: attending church on Sunday morning, check again. You can agree with the Word, but that is not good enough.  You will be blessed if you do (live it) the Word.
  • James 1:26 Watch your words.  Keep a tight rein on your tongue.  If you are in right standing with the Lord & your brother(s) you will bridle your tongue.
In the end you will be able to agree with James when he states,
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  James 1:2