Are you happy, sad, lonely, disillusioned? Has life turned out not to be what you expected? Feelings can change so easily, they are not a perfect signpost to the true state of our lives, but we often allow them to motivate our actions. We all have difficulties and problems in our lives; we find ourselves not where we wanted to be or thought we would ever be as our personal circumstances change.

For some people (far too many) in this world life is a battle to find enough food, water or get a basic education. Sometimes it is difficult to find work and for many countries the current economic outlook is difficult. Historically we know things change, just look around Carley and the St Matthews area, factories that have ceased trading and are now being put to other uses (one of them was once opened by a Prime Minister).

In the UK we have seen recently many celebrities fall from positions of respect to be reviled. As Christians we have sadly seen the government pass laws that are not in keeping with the Bible .Things that offend God are happening in our country. The world around us is constantly changing, almost like the sea a constant churning and never still, old certainties are being undermined. Is it surprising that people are looking back to moments of glory wanting to recapture the spirit of the 2012 Olympics and keep the legacy alive.

Where do you turn to make sense of life?

Many preachers that have come to Carley have reminded us of characters from the Bible who have lived and faced difficult times and circumstances. God’s message seems to be ignored by the majority of people around them.

Noah preached for many years and no one followed him into the ark expect his family. Isaiah “lived in the midst of a people of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6v10),

Timothy was pastor in Ephesus, a port city with all its attendant pleasures for returning sailors. Elijah thought he was the only one left following God (1Kings 19v14).

How did they cope? How do we cope in 2013?

I recently re-read  an account of the  internment camps for foreigners which were set up during the Second World War by the Japanese in Indonesia (known then as the Dutch East Indies ).*Darlene Deibler Rose was an American missionary accused of being a spy in an area under Japanese occupation. She ended up on death row awaiting execution after interrogation and many beatings. During her imprisonment many Bible verses came back to her mind, ones that she had memorized as a child. Her experiences caused her to rely totally on the Lord. He provided in miraculous ways. At one time she prayed for just one banana to help her health, the Lord provided a bunch of ninety two!  “Thou prepares a table before me in the presence of mine enemies” Psalm 23:5. On another occasion when she was thinking ‘suppose this, suppose that’ – “the worries of tomorrow that rob us of today’s joys, causing despair” when she heard a hymn being sung in Indonesian outside her cell.

“Precious Name oh How Sweet, Precious is Your name, a shelter that is secure.

“My heart burst with a bright hope!”

“O Lord” I cried, “forgive me” it isn’t a game of ‘suppose’. I live in the sure knowledge that the name of “the Lord is a strong tower the righteous runneth into it and is safe” (proverbs 18v10).

She never knew who the singer was; no one else was about in the prison corridors at that time.


Friends know your Bible, read it as much as you can, yes a portion every day more if you can, use a reading plan if it helps, perhaps a chapter a day or  through the Bible in a year. We are able to reach back to verses we have learnt, they mean something to us, His precious promises.


If you feel your own personal world is being up-ended remember the Bible verses that you have read, treasures that can be looked at again and again.

God is concerned about all the in’s and out’s of your life, bring them before the Lord. When we realise this we can take the news of what’s happening around us and cope with the circumstances and difficulties. The Lord is still steadfast. He is still on the throne.


Chris Baines


*Evidence Not Seen, by Darlene Deibler Rose. Publisher Authentic Media




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