High Places

When God Seems Far Away

His Hope Rests in High Places

Do you feel utterly defeated? Convinced that the Lord has abandoned you to your struggles? I only have one word for you to hold on to in your time of uncertainty. . . your time of craving and need.


If you listened to that song by Ron Kenoly, I pray you heard a few things of importance in this imperative time in your life. Don't worry, I won't make you guess. LOL, I won't even make you wait! At least, not much longer.

For newcomers to the blog, let me introduce myself. My name is Renee Blare and I'm a Christian author and artist, primarily artist at the moment. God has not seen fit to restore my writing other than blogging, but that's okay. Yes, I said it was okay. It's taken me quite the journey to get to this point but that's another blog entirely.

Less than a year ago, I was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type 2, the most painful neuro-inflammatory disease known to mankind. All I'm going to say about that is...it took long enough and praise God they figured it out as soon as they did (over a year.) It gives me the experience to say what I'm going to say to you.

Life sucks. Life isn't fair.

God never promises a rose garden after you come to Christ. In fact, He promises trials and tribulations. HARD TIMES!

"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:2-4

Does this sound like James, the brother of Christ, was telling those who followed Jesus that it was going to be a cakewalk? NO. He specifically uses the word "WHEN" not "IF" to warn of coming trials. He wants fellow Christians to be prepared for what this life is like. The life of a Christian is not easy. It's not meant to be.

Trials will come. Christians aren't safe from themselves or no one else for that matter.

How are we supposed to be prepared for the trials? Isn't it nice that James didn't stop with a warning? 

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways." James 1:5-8

We are the target of more than hard times. Godly change is like cancer to our human nature, and it doesn't like it. The evil that dwells in this world fights against the Holy Spirit within you like termites eating the wooden beams inside your home. We must stand steadfast and unyielding before Him or we shall weaken and fall to the evil one's schemes.

What kind of schemes is God talking about here? Tricks and parlor games? Satan can play those games and does during events such as Mardi Gras, but no, God speaks of tricks far more dangerous to the soul. The kind not to be flippantly joked about or ignored simply because we think life isn't fair or God shouldn't let something happen to a God-fearing man or woman.

"Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God," for God cannot be tempted with evil, and He himself tempts no one." James 1:12-13

How are we supposed to respond to trials and tribulations? Hard times? Poverty? Illness? Pain?

I don't know. Tell me!

We've already been told several ways in the First Chapter of James and I haven't even listed the whole thing yet.

  • Be joyful
  • Trust God
  • Ask God for wisdom
  • Be faithful
  • Be steadfast
  • Remember temptation does not come from God
What else does James say to Christians in preparation for trials and tribulations? I'll summarize it in a list and let you investigate on your own.

  • Be quick to hear, slow to speak
  • Do not be deceived
  • Be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures
  • Slow to anger
  • Be Meek
  • Be doers of the Word, not hearers
  • Bridle the tongue as to not deceive your heart (religion)
  • Definition of pure and undefiled religion before God: visit orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained from the world
  • Show no partiality
  • Love your neighbor as yourself
  • Faith without works is dead
  • The tongue is a two-edged sword
  • Resist the devil and he will flee
  • Draw near to God and He will draw near to you
  • Humble yourselves before God and He will exalt you

You mean I gotta give up my Vegas lights?

Things like Vegas aren't necessarily out, but you may have to watch what you do with all that money! I'm not saying you have to be miserable here, people. Life as a Christian is FUN and don't let anyone tell you differently. I love being a Christian. I have great friends and I don't have to pretend to "like" alcohol anymore. It's true! I can do things with people (when I'm able) and be myself. Can you say that about your non-Christian life? But suffering and trials never hit until I became a Christian. That's the honest truth.

"Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working." James 5:13-16

Can you answer these important questions?

Why would Christians need to be warned to prepare for trials? To suffer?

Why would their worldly body fight holiness and become sick or filled with pain?

Why would Christianity be a target for persecution?

Why would Satan care about a Christian living for God?

It's simple. God loves each and every one of us. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to live a perfect life. A life without sin! He took our sins into his body and was scourged, bloodied and beaten to within an inch of His life, and then crucified on a cross until He died. For you and me.

What we suffer each day is a pinprick compared to the physical torture Jesus experienced that day by the Roman soldiers. But it was nothing . . . nothing compared to the sheer agony of God turning His face away the moment Jesus accepted your and my Sin, the world's SIN  on that cross.

Jesus was alone. Completely ALONE. He no longer experienced the companionship of the Father, the world, the Holy Spirit . . . everyone. He was isolated and suffering. Jesus had no one to help Him bear His burden. Beaten and destroyed by our sin, forsaken, He died on that cross. He took the penalty of our sin and died. They removed his broken body after confirming his lifelessness with a spear to his side and placed Him in a tomb where He remained for three days, undisturbed, guarded by Roman soldiers.

He rose from the dead on the third day and rolled the stone away. After he spoke to the women at the tomb, he joined the disciples in Jerusalem and Galilee. He communed with them and fished. Jesus was seen by hundreds and hundreds of people not merely his "band" of Jewish and Roman criminals. He spoke, ate, walked, ran. People touched his scarred hands and feet, the spear wound on his side. He preached and healed. All before He rose into the clouds and vanished into the High Places.

I speak of historical facts, not mere religious rhetoric. These facts are documented by many non-believers, and Roman sources as well as Christian. The Bible is not the only book that speaks of the Resurrection or Jesus's life. If you need to be reassured that the Bible is true, look it up. Don't let doubt, trials, or pain undercut your faith in the Almighty God who died for you.

Satan loves to weave deceit. He is the master of lies and manipulation. Stand fast against him with the Holy Spirit and don't give him the satisfaction of power in your life. He is not omniscient or omnipotent. He isn't as strong as people give him credit for. Call on the Lord, bind the evil one and his demons in Jesus's name through the power of the Holy Spirit. Put him where he belongs. BENEATH YOUR FEET.

What's the answer for Christian Suffering and Trial?

I would love to tell you and new Christians that your road is clean and easy. That you won't have suffering ahead, and no trials and tribulations will land on your doorstep. I can't. Remember what James said? When not if?

So, where can you go when those hard times arrive if they haven't already? Exactly where James 1:5 told you to go. God. Ask God for His wisdom. Ask how you are to deal with what you face in a godly manner.

Things such as:

  • Do you remove yourself from the situation if it's volatile?
  • Do you hold your tongue or say something?
  • Do you seek pastoral guidance for a situation in the church or home?
  • Is it time to see a physician or counselor?
  • Do you need laying on of hands and prayer?
  • Do you need to learn more about prayer or praying with direction and power?
  • Do you need to figure out how to access the power and fellowship of the Holy Spirit?
  • Have you learned what your gifts of the Holy Spirit are?
  • Are you praying enough or asking for prayer?
  • Have you asked for help from the body of Christ or family?
  • and on and on and on

Wisdom awaits you in His high places. Seek Him with all your heart, mind, and soul. Don't wait for someone to meet you with a half-hearted attempt to help or worse, at reconciliation.

Meet God where He dwells. Within you. In the Scriptures. In the Church. In High Places.

Hope Rests in High Places

God loves you.
In Christ,
Renee Blare


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