The Cross Room

The young man was at the end of his rope. Seeing no way out, he dropped to his knees in prayer. “Lord, I can’t go on,” he said. “I have too heavy a cross to bear.” The Lord replied, “My son, if you can’t bear its weight, just place your cross inside this room, then open that other door and pick out any cross that you wish.” The young man was filled with relief. “Thank you, Lord,” he said. Upon entering the other door, he saw many crosses, some so large that the tops were not visible. Then he spotted a cross leaning against the far wall. “I would like this one, Lord.” The Lord replied, “My son, that’s the cross you just brought in.”

When life’s problem seems overwhelming, it helps to look around to see what other people are coping with. You may find that you consider yourself blessed. Our problems are not as bad when we see other people’s burdens and the problems they are going through. Our problems may be small in comparison. Be happy… enjoy your life and the cross that comes with it.

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Living Alone

“I live alone, dear Lord, stay by my side. In all my daily needs, be Thou my guide. Grant me my health, for that I pray, to carry on my work from day to day. Keep pure my thoughts, my every deed. Let me from fire, from flood and malicious thoughts, from thieves and evil ones be free. Though sickness and accidents befall me, then humbly Lord, I pray, hear my call. And when I am feeling low and in despair, lift up my heart and help me in prayer. I live alone, dear Lord, yet I have no fear, because I feel Your presence ever near. Amen.”

Author Unknown

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2011 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Shake It Off And Step Up

A parable is told of a farmer who owned an old mule. The mule fell into the farmer’s well and brayed and brayed. After carefully assessing the situation, the farmer decided that neither the mule nor the well was worth the trouble of saving, so he called his neighbors and told them of what had happened. They decided to haul dirt and bury the old mule in the well. The mule didn’t like it one bit. As the farmers shoveled dirt, the mule thought, “I’ll just shake it off and step up.” He kept repeating over and over, “Shake it off and step up.”   No matter how painful and battered the old mule felt with every blow of the dirt, he kept “shaking it off and stepping up.” It wasn’t long before he stepped right out of the well.

That’s life. If we face our problems and respond positively and refuse to give in to panic, bitterness, and self-pity, the adversities that come along to bury us usually have within them the potential to benefit and bless us. Remember that forgiveness, faith, praise, prayer, and hope are excellent ways to “shake it off and step up” out of the wells in which we find ourselves.

(Submitted by Paula Askew from Texas)

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2011 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Burdened People

Psalm 55:22… “Pile your troubles [burdens] on GOD’s shoulders–he’ll carry your load, he’ll help you out. He’ll never let good people topple into ruin” (The Message). Someone once said, “There is no home anywhere which sooner or later won’t have its hush”; i.e., will hide the fact that they have a burden. This old world is full of burden-bearing people. Sorrows and troubles are upon us all, although many hide their burden under a smiling face.

There are burdens which have to do with the home. The sign says, “Home Sweet Home,” but in many homes it is sickness, sorrow, and poverty. There are burdens that have to do with the business of running a home and family. Lack of money hurts a lot.

There are burdens which are carried in your spirit, such as fear, anxiety, worry, depression, and despair.

There is also the burden of sin. They live with an unruly tongue and an uncontrolled temper, and they live an immoral lifestyle.

Our text says in the King James Version, “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” When troubles come, many begin to doubt God’s ability to help them. Without God’s help, troubles increase. Without God, many are tempted to complain and indulge in self-pity. Many become bitter towards their loved ones. The psalmist writes and encourages us to “cast our burden upon the Lord.” The word “cast” as used here means to “fling, hurl.” This requires an action and effort on our part as we give our burdens to the Lord. He has the strength and the power to change the situation that we find ourselves in. God told Paul, “My grace is sufficient for thee” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Once you give your burdens to the Lord, leave them there! Let Him assume the responsibility for your burden. It’s wonderful… “He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” Release the weight of your burden to Jesus. He will uphold you.

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2013 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

When Everything Closes Around You, Pt. 1

Psalm 116 teaches that there are days when it seems that every thing is closing in around you, when the daily pressures and problems just about do us in. Many are feeling the same thing that the psalmist felt. “The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell got hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow” (v. 3, KJV). These sorrows, pains, and troubles come under the heading of the three “D’s” and the three “F’s”: debt, dirt, and the devil; and friends, foes, and family. The problem baffling many people is this: “How do I get out of the hole that I am in without making it bigger?” I would like to take you through Psalm 116 and show you how the psalmist solved the problems that were closing in on him. I encourage you to welcome these truths into your life. Why? Because these truths can become the revelations that you need right now. Do not be afraid to look squarely and honestly at all the aspects of your life which are coming up for review. If you are messed up, you can have a fresh start. You can use these truths to better your next spiritual season.

Psalm 116:1-2… “I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon Him as long as I live” (KJV). Both your past and your present are faced here. The past, because you have found that God listens and that He has heard you; the future, because you have found that when God listens your future is secure. Your future will always be secure. Why? Because as long as you live, you are going to talk to Him. Have you got a problem? God listened in the past, and He will listen today. God listens and hears.

Psalm 116:3…The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell got hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow” (KJV). The words “sorrows and pains,” in their meaning as used here, gives us a picture of the old Wild West. The psalmist felt that there was a noose around his neck and he would get his feet kicked out from under him, leaving him to just twist in the wind. Can you imagine the worry, fear, and apprehension that was going through his mind? His mind was going over and over the words of his enemies. “We got you now. Let’s see how you get out of this one.” Perhaps someone reading this is saying, “That sounds like me you are talking about.” Don’t listen to the voice of your enemies. The enemy wants to keep you knocked down when what you need is to arise and get up on your feet.

Psalm 116:4… “Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul” (KJV). This is the right prayer when the noose gets tighter. It’s time to remember that old song, “If we ever needed the Lord before, I surely do need Him now.” Romans 10:13 reads, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”  Psalm 50:15 reads, “Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me.” If you want the noose around your neck to slacken, call upon the Lord now.

Psalm 116:5… “Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful” (KJV). When you called, three things happened immediately. God’s grace, righteousness, and mercy rose up. God wasted no time. Psalm 69:33 reads, “The Eternal listens to a life in need” (Moffatt). God’s grace is His “operating power.” God’s righteousness will make the right decision on your behalf. God will not do you wrong. God’s mercy is His loving-kindness, His love and compassion.

(To be continued…)

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2012 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Healing For The Anguished Heart, Pt. 2

(Part 2 of 3)

Romans 8:35-39 declares that there is nothing that can stop God’s love from reaching you in times of your “anguished spirit.” Verse 35 reads, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (KJV) The word “separate” refers to “a communication breach.” In other words, there is nothing that can stop Jesus from reaching you when you hurt. There is nothing that can stop the love of Christ from coming to your help when your spirit and your body are going through a hard time. No matter how hard your grief is, Jesus can reach you. In Romans 7, Paul refers to the grace of God or its equivalent eighteen times. In Romans 8, Paul refers to the Spirit eighteen times, teaching us that it is possible to experience the grace of God in our lives and still experience defeats in the things we face daily. Israel experienced the grace of God: they survived for four hundred and thirty years in Egypt before deliverance came by the hand of Moses. The early church faced extreme hardships because of the persecution by the Romans. God’s grace was there, yet many saints lived under condemnation and anguish of spirit. After Paul directs them to God’s plan for them, the overcoming life, he says, “What shall we say to these things… God is for us.” There are forces that war against you to break your spirit and to cause a “gap,” or a separation between you and the Lord.

Paul lists seventeen things in Romans 8:35-39 that can cause anguish of heart. The number seventeen in Bible numerics means, “Christ’s total victory over everything that can hurt you.” “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (KJV).

Proverbs 3:25-26 reads, “Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken” (KJV). All of the things that Paul lists can bring on a sudden fear.

Tribulation… pressures of life, tight spots, burdens, hardships, afflictions, or trial by fire. There is no pressure or hardship that can stop Jesus’ love from reaching you when you hurt. Just because you experience anguish of heart does not mean that the Lord will stop talking to you.

Distress… mental pain, misery, torment, standing alone as if you were stranded on a small island, being in narrow place, or hemmed in. Jesus’ love is a bridge over troubled waters. If you feel that you are alone, build bridges, not walls. Distress can bring anguish of spirit, but there is no distress big enough to stop God from talking to you.

Persecution… fear of attack by words of accusation, blame, fear of non-acceptance, fear of oppression against your person, or tongue scourging. Not even these things can stop Jesus from reaching your spirit when you are going through anguish of heart.

Famine… unfulfilled needs, unfulfilled desires, unfulfilled goals, or lack of food. Jesus is the everlasting Provider. These things cannot stop Jesus.

Nakedness… lack of security, lack of covering, or lack of protection. Our greatest security is in Christ. He provides the miracles, and He provides the finances. Jesus will help us.

Peril… dangers of every kind, exposure to hurts and injuries, crime, rape, or stolen IDs. Today with all the security around you, evil still attempts to penetrate your home. Wherever you are, Jesus is there too (Psalm 139).

Sword… strife of tongues, controversy, accusations, verbal aggression, verbal vagrancy, war, spousal abuse through verbal exchanges, child abuse, criticism of those in authority, or neighbor problems. These things cause a lot of anguish. Take all your abuses to the Lord and leave them there. Remember this… you may not be able to master another’s tongue, but you are the master of your ears (Ecclesiastes 7:21-22). Strife of tongues can put a lot of anguish into your spirit, but it cannot stop the love of God from reaching you.

(To be continued…)

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2012 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Healing For The Anguished Heart, Pt. 1

Exodus 6:9… “And Moses spake so unto the children of Israel: but they hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondage” (KJV). “So Moses spoke thus to the sons of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses on account of their despondency and cruel bondage” (NASB).

Earlier in this chapter, the Lord gave to Moses a message which said, “Therefore tell the descendants of Israel that I will use my mighty power and perform great miracles to deliver them from slavery and make them free” (v. 6, TLB). Moses gave this message to the people, but the people could not receive it because of anguish of spirit. Despondent people have a difficult time accepting a word from God. The Israelites’ burdens were too heavy. Their taskmasters were so cruel that the spirit of the people was broken. Our nation is going through a lot of anguish at this time. It seems that nothing is going right. There is a lot of unrest and fear. The word “anguish” means “troubled in mind, grief, discouragement, torments, anxiety, heartaches, sorrow, impatience, loss of hope, wounded, vexed, assault by an adversary, in a tight place, inward pressure that prevents you from breathing properly.” The word “hearkened,” as used in this verse, means that the people were not attentive. They paid little interest to what Moses was telling them. They were not hearing intelligently. In the early eighties, the Lord encouraged me by saying, “My people have personal and private hurts and they are not telling anyone, not their spouse and not their pastors, but I know them. Heal them. Write.” Since that time, I have leaned towards teaching and preaching messages that would help and bring some measure of healing to people.

Some folks wonder if God’s judgment has finally come upon our nation. I wonder too. There is a lot of fear, and some people feel like they are walking in darkness. The Lord wants to heal that anguish. The word  “healing” is a very interesting word. It basically means “to restore to health, to repair, to cure, to make whole and sound.” It carries the thought of therapy and systematic care, a regimen, continued treatment, a period of recuperation, a building up the immune system to combat disease. In the New Testament, the word carries the thought that Jesus waits on you personally. He cherishes doing what needs to be done until you are made whole. Many good saints have wondered if Jesus has stopped loving them. No, He hasn’t. Jeremiah 9:23-24 reads, “Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth, glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD” (KJV). This powerful verse teaches that the Lord wants us to understand that He provides a loving and caring attitude towards His people. He delights to do it. There are many other scriptures on anguish as well.

Genesis 42:21… And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us” (KJV). The brothers of Joseph were talking about their deed of selling their brother. They saw the anguish of his soul and did nothing. Now guilt has taken hold of them.

Deuteronomy 2:25… “This day will I begin to put the dread of thee and the fear of thee upon the nations that are under the whole heaven, who shall hear report of thee, and shall tremble, and be in anguish because of thee” (KJV). The Lord was telling Moses that the Canaanite nations would tremble and have anguish because of the Lord’s power in Israel.

Job 7:11… “Therefore I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul” (KJV). Job hurt so much that even his talking would add to the pain that he already had.

Psalm 119:143-144… “Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet thy commandments are my delights. The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live” (KJV). King David was saying “I have anguish in my soul, yet in my anguish, Your rules of conduct have taken hold in my soul. In my anguish, Your testimonies give me understanding, and I live by them.”

(To be continued…)

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2012 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Why Plans Fail

Proverbs 16:3… Commit your work to the LORD, and then your plans will succeed” (NLT). I have been thinking of the word “plans.” This word is not used in the King James Bible, but it is used eighty times in the New Living Translation. Plans are important in one’s life. The word “plan” means “scheme, program, method worked out beforehand for the accomplishment of a project, a course of action, a specific aim or purpose, a strategy, a procedure, or laying out a future course.” Nehemiah spoke of plans which God had put in his heart (Nehemiah 2:12,16). God showed Moses plans for the tabernacle (Exodus 25:9). Let’s look at some of the reasons that our plans fail.

Negativism, fear, doubt, and timidity can produce an unproductive atmosphere. Proverbs 15:22 reads, “Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many counselors bring success” (NLT). If you have a creative idea, seek advice. Do some research. Proverbs 20:18 reads, “Plans succeed through good counsel.”

Unrealistic goals… goals that are beyond your reach and knowledge. Proverbs 16:9 reads, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps” (NLT). It is far better to start with shorter goals and progress to mid-range goals, then use them as stepping stones to long-range goals. Proverbs 19:21 reads, “You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.”

Unclear goals… goals that have no starting time or completion date and no clear outline. Know where you are in the process. Be precise. Psalm 20:4 reads, “May he grant your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans” (NLT). Psalm 119:26 reads, “I told you my plans, and you answered. Now teach me your principles.”  There are laws to follow in order for you to achieve success.

Failure to anticipate problems… You may face personal conflicts, inability to meet completion dates, times of low motivation, forgetfulness, lack of knowledge, lack of leadership, equipment failures, and lack of finances. Psalm 14:6 reads, “The wicked frustrate the plans of the oppressed, but the Lord will protect his people” (NLT). Psalm 33:11 reads, “But the Lord’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken.”

Lack of commitment… Or procrastination, not following through on your promises, not involving others, lack of communication, and lack of support. Job 5:12 reads, “He frustrates the plans of the crafty, so their efforts will not succeed” (NLT). Isaiah 29:15 reads, “Destruction is certain for those who try to hide their plans from the Lord, who try to keep him in the dark concerning what they do!”

Failure to revise goals… Or inflexibility, failure to see the need for change, and pride that keeps you from admitting that you have a problem. Jonah 4:1-2 reads, “This change of plans upset Jonah, and he became very angry” (NLT).

Failure to learn from your mistakes… Or repeating mistakes, facing the same crisis over and over again, and not knowing why something didn’t work out. 2 Corinthians 10:3 reads, “We are human, but we don’t wage war with human plans and methods” (NLT).

If you commit your work to the Lord, your plans will succeed.

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2012 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved