Sometimes you just have to stop for a moment and look at life in general and ask where your focus is. This week several people have come to me and said all they see is trouble, problems and no where to turn to. I guess I have been thinking a lot myself lately, with everyone around me struggling so hard, and with jobs closing everywhere, farmers going bankrupt, and people losing hope.
I just wanted to send a reminder out for those who are struggling this week or feeling discouraged. God knows just who you are, he knows what you are going through, and he really is right there with you, trying to help, to comfort and to guide you. When you look up and see the stars at night, remember he put those there as a sign of hope and of his love. He put light in the darkness to remind us we are never alone, and that the multitudes of his armies are there working to save our souls from the darkness around. He gave us things on earth to teach us, to help us, and to guide us through those dark times. He gave us friends to aid and comfort us when we need it most. He gave us leaders to talk to when we are lost and confused. He gave us second chances in life when it seems all is taken away.
God made us that we might have the chance to come here and learn and grow from our path in life. He know we would suffer, stumble, fall, feel lost, ignored, abused, alone, frightened, sad, and discouraged. He knew we would struggle daily with asking why we are going through things, why is this happening to him, her, me, them. He gave us answers and wisdom beyond compare when he said that this is the way and the life to find the way back home.
Why must people suffer? I will tell you something of my own life. I have been through just about anything you could name at one time or another with friends or family. I have lost people from everything from murder to accidents. I have lost my health, my family, and even almost my very life. I have seen the darkness and the temptation to give up when things get so dark it seems there is nothing left to live for. It is frightening to look and see people you thought you could love and trust turn on you and try to kill you, all for insane reasons that are not reasons at all.
You may ask how I keep going in life, but I found something. There is more to life than anyone could believe if they find the faith and trust to truly seek, truly know, and truly understand the meaning of why we are here, what Gods plan is, and what is the light in life.
We never truly lose those we love in life. God made a plan, before we ever came here. He loves his children, he knows each and every one of them, and when they die, they are with him, their spirits go on. When people we love are lost or are caught in the darkness around them, you have to understand that they have the freedom to choose, for good or ill and what they do is not under your control. You cannot control them, change them or stop what they are doing if they do not wish to change, and you cannot blame yourself for the abuses and problems another is doing. If evil is visited on you, in the form of abuse, neglect, violence, or random acts of darkness, remember, remember you are loved by God, you are a son or daughter of the heavens, and he knows, he understands and he is right there with you. You are never alone, and he will watch out for you in spite of what comes of it.
God made the refiners fire in life, and allows bad things to happen in life to test us, to build our faith and spirit, and to see the kind of metal we are made of. He allows the temptations of life to see if we are strong enough to move past them, but we are never alone while we are going through the fire. The angels and armies of God are right there with us, in mortal form and in spirit. The trials of life can bend and break you if you let them, or they can help you to understand more fully the plan and purposes of Our Father in Heaven. God knew what he was doing when he gave us the trials he did. He knew that those who survive and come out, come out stronger, purer of heart, and with a brighter testimony of the truth and power of heaven. He gave us hope, dreams, inspiration, and ways to pull through and rebuild lives, homes and start over when things are at their darkest. He gave us friends who sometimes come up with answers that we need from unexpected places. He gave us leaders to guide and aid in times of need. He gave us strength to overcome the pain when grieving, and love enough to know that he gave his very son, his one begotten son to give us the resurrection, the way back home, and the atonement. He gave us scriptures, to help find answers where none can be found in life. He gave us books and magazines with words from our leaders to help with everyday life and answers to common problems in life. He gave us hope.
The sands of the sea are known in number by him, how much more he treasures and values each spirit and soul he created by name, by personality, by the very heart within the person. He loves every spirit he creates, and grieves each time one falls away from him. He tries his hardest to call them home, sends everything in his power to bring each spirit back, and gives his all to try to change paths out of tune. He says come follow me, such a simple phrase yet such a challenge to follow in every day life at times.
You cannot follow a friend to Hell either. No matter how much you love someone, care about them, or want to help, sometimes you have to let them go to make their own mistakes, else your own spirit could fall in jeopardy. When someone you love is off track, those are very hard times, and it is easy to fall into temptation to go somewhere or do something you should not, just to try to help them or bring them back. It never works out to do so. Be strong, pray for them, do what you can to set the right example, but never do something evil or wrong just because you care about someone. Someone who really cares about you and is a true friend will never ask you to do something that they know you believe is wrong or evil. A true friend is trustworthy, honest, caring, and will respect you, your body, your mind, and your friendship. A true friend and companion will not take you to someplace where you can get into trouble, and will lift you up, help and aid you, not belittle you, hurt you, or try to destroy your friendships with others. A true friend is not selfish, taking, does not hurt animals or those around them, is supportive and listens as well as talks. A true friend is one that is Christlike in heart and attitude.
God wants us to be happy in life. He wants us to succeed, to become more than what we are. He knows the struggles of the heart and mind, and knows how much we can bear. He also sent people here to help if you are struggling and cannot seem to get away from the temptations around you. If you are out of control, do not be afraid to ask for help. Do not be afraid to talk to your bishop, councilor or even a psychologist if need be. These people are there to help and aid you when you feel you cannot stop yourself. You can become a better person in life if you truly wish to choose and become the kind of person you want to be. Never give up hope, never give in, never stop moving up the mountain or holding that Iron rod. When the storms of life tear at your hands, when the rain and mud seek to pull you down, when the calls of the world seem more and more attractive then the road ahead, that is when you need to hold on the tightest and the angels of God are right there pushing you forward. It is during the darkest times that the Light shines the brightest ahead. Just keep aiming forward and you will find the peace and quiet past the bad spots.
Darkness is everywhere in this world, pain and suffering are everywhere you look. But if you look up, you will find that for every bright star out there, there are good deeds and wonderful wondrous things too. The flower that grows through concrete in the children's garden that was paved over, the tree that grows in a rock in Wyoming, in the faith of the miners who watered it growing, the temple grown out of the sands of salt lake city in spite of the persecution of the early saints, the many small and large miracles that happen even today. You just need to look up, to see, to believe, to pray, and to find the faith in your hearts. God created us not to suffer, but to find great joy in life, if you only can find the faith to understand his plan, and to understand what that joy is.
Life can take everything away from you, but there is one thing it can never take away, and that is Gods love, and your faith. You will always have that spirit with you if you continue forward, doing what is right and keeping your heart in the right place. I know that God lives without a shadow of a doubt, and that Jesus Christ not only lives, but is our savior and redeemer. I hope that all of you can find the faith and courage to seek yourself to know for certain. He does live and loves us. He is there with open arms, and he cries with us every time our hearts are broken or hurting. He knows just what is in the heart and mind. He knows just how hard it is to keep going. He bore every pain for ever sin that ever was, will be and is. He gave his life for us, gave his body to be tormented by the devil for us, gave himself that we might live again, have second chances in life and to guide us back home. How much greater love is there for every soul out there? He loves us, knows us by name, and knows where we are and what we are doing with our lives. Not one thing is hidden from him. Not one person is truly lost or forgotten in his eyes. Not one single tear that lays in the heart of man could ever fall without him knowing about it. Great love, there is no greater!
Never forget that you are loved, you are never lost to his eyes, and he is always, always calling you home. Never forget that in the darkness there is always light. He did not just put one light up there he put so many that man cannot number them to remind us he is there. He is the Savior and redeemer and he knows your name. You always have the choice to come back, to heed the call if you are ready to dare to reach for his hand. You can do it, even if your sins are black as the coals of an ash pit, you can come back if you really wish to put the effort to it and follow the plan to get there. Never forget that.
If you remember nothing else, always know you are loved. As God sent his son to earth for the purpose of bringing everyone home, you are loved. If you feel no one around you loves you, God always loves you, and you are dear in his eyes. His hands are always there around you, doing what he can to help, just look up, look around and you will see his hand around you. Like the rainbow after the storm, his promise holds true, things can get better, things will look up if you keep going and doing your best, and you will always have his love around you.
Best of blessings and may the stars always shine where you are at,
Tags: Faith Hope Prayer Savior Atonement Life