Dear Friend,

As we get older, if we are going to get better and not bitter, we need to daily be aware of the presence and promises of God. Determine now that next time you encounter a crisis instead of panicking, you will pray and remember Is. 43: 2-3. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your God.”

We are promised throughout the scriptures that if we pass through the hot flames or the hot waters of life’s trials and tribulations, like the tea bag that is not destroyed by the hot water, we will come to see that our purpose for being in such hot water is to change the water through the power of God.

If we are going to not only survive, but actually change the hot waters and flames of life, we must see ourselves not as free floating spiritual tea leaves, but as members of God’s community tea bag of love. With His loving presence flowing through His community of compassion, the homeless are given homes, the hopeless are given hope, and the helpless provided help. Those immersed in the hot water of trials and tribulation are able to confidently declare, “God’s divine power has given us everything we need for life and Godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3).

Living victorious lives involves guarding the spirit or the heart…

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