@2016 by House on the Rock Church

  • Tonie Roberts

But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.”

‭‭Genesis‬ ‭19:26‬ ‭NIV


How many times have we been this woman? How many times has God brought us out of a situation only to long or desire for it, and turn back towards it? How may times have we turned around to see what was happening when God said, “Look forward!” If Romans 8:28 is true and, all things work together for our good, why do we look back?

Because we are afraid of what’s in front of us, what we don’t know. If we are fearfully and wonderfully made, if we were not given a spirit of fear but one of love and a sound mind, why would we turn back? If we put all our trust in Him, why can’t we trust Him? If He’s faithful to complete it, why do we doubt? God is on the throne, God is still on the throne!

He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever! So why are we looking back on yester-year?

God has blessed us beyond measure. He has given us a moment to rest and regroup, yet we are longing for yesterday. God is creating something new, He’s on a move! But we can’t look back. We can’t long for yesterday, we can’t turn around to see what happens when God is saying Look Forward!

  • Tonie Roberts

Written by Christina Calvache

As I was listening to the Christian Radio the other day, the question was raised “why did God take what one man and woman did (Adam and Eve) and make everyone else suffer the consequences?” It seems as if many people wonder this as they are seeking to know the Lord. I don’t fully understand the answer to this but it has to do with sin and death entering the world, and everyone being born into sin. I do know that because of this we all suffer. Jesus said it himself, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:13). My co-worker Jackie and I have gone back and forth questioning “But why?” when trying to understand various trials and tribulations, and each time she exclaims, “We live in a fallen world Chrissy” which is her explanation for every kind of suffering.

“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. (1Peter 4:12)

The first few months following the tragic death of my brother-in-law seemed surreal. We couldn’t seem to grasp the reality of what we were experiencing while trying to help my widowed sister and her three young children. As a family of faith, no one could understand how God could allow this to happen. I remember feeling as though something strange were happening to me. Like many of you may feel when something devastating happens in your life, I have been despondent, depressed, confused and angry. Something strange was indeed happening to me. My faith was being put to the test.

As a child of God we all go through trials of faith. As a matter of fact, on the day Michael died, the title of my devotional for the day was “Trial of Faith”. I wish I had taken the time to read it and meditate on it that morning. According to my daily devotional, My Utmost For His Highest, faith must be tested and tried, in hope that we would “Remain true to God’s character whatever He may do.” Furthermore, stating the greatest expression of faith being “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15). Had I read it that morning, I may have trusted in Him. I couldn’t accept this from Him. Many Christians face this kind of trial. Would you be able to trust God and remain faithful to Him, even in death?

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:

Having the Word of God hidden in your heart is so important when going through trials and tribulations, especially when faith is tested. During this unbearable and trying time, I felt as if the enemy had a whirlwind of lies spinning around me making it difficult to trust God. But when my little sister removed her hands from her saturated face and looked up at me and said, “God doesn’t love me, how can I believe God loves me?” The truth hidden in my heart echoed in my mind and the Truth hidden in my heart began to whirlwind around me for many days to follow.

I have loved you with an everlasting love, my plans are to give you hope and a future, the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, my will is that none should perish, I am a mighty warrior who saves, cast all your anxiety on me because I care for you, nothing can separate my love for you, I give you a rich and abundant life, I am the provider of all your needs, I work all things together for your good. This life is like a blink of an eye, a vapor in the wind, a stepping stone, I give you everlasting life. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace, My ways are not your ways and my thoughts are not your thoughts, I would never leave you or forsake you, In the world you will have tribulation, but I have overcome the world. Be still and know that I am God.

As the storm calms, I have inner peace because of the Word hidden in my heart. It helps me trust in the Lord, even in death.

Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. (John 16:20)

  • Tonie Roberts

It’s easy to look at the impact other Christians are making in the world and wonder whether our small acts of service and love are really making a difference. A recent encounter reminded me not to be overly concerned about the masses, when I have the power of touching one life at a time.

After work, I stopped by one of my favorite restaurants to pick up a meal. I wasn’t feeling as well as I’d like that day and casually greeted the cashier as I paid. Usually, I try to express genuine interest in the people I encounter, but I just wasn’t up to it.

The cashier’s face lit up when she recognized me. Her warm greeting reminded me of the need to check out of my feelings and focus upon the given opportunity to be a blessing.

The Bible records several stories of Jesus’ one on one encounters. Though He spoke to the masses, He literally took time out to hear and speak with people, making each encounter important.

Jesus illustrates the power of one in Matthew 18: 12-14 - 12 “What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying? 13 If it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray. 14 So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish.

Can you hear Jesus saying to His followers today - What about the person I sent your way who needed an ear, but all you could think about was you? What about the one I sent your way for an answer that you didn’t bother to give because you thought they wouldn’t listen. Be alert for the possibilities of miracles that I desire to do through you one person at a time.

As ambassadors for Christ, daily we are presented with opportunities to make a difference in the lives of the people we encounter. Don’t take those moments for granted. Instead, sharpen your spiritual antennas through prayer, the Bible, and through praise/worship and watch out. Be ready to make a difference, one person at a time.