Turning Chaos into Joy provides essential stepping-stones for readers to choose joy, as a life-long foundation for overcoming the fears of present-day chaos and unforeseen perils within our future.
If we are living in the end times, we have to be ready. Are you ready?
Debbie Allen Ed.D is the author of Turning Chaos into Joy. As a retired Special Education teacher, she offers her life’s experience and spiritual truths to help readers get ready for the end times. She peels back a hidden veil to reveal a loving God who wants to help.
As a Christian author, she points to the Scriptures and Jesus, Himself, the author and finisher of our faith. He is the One who sets the captives free and gives joy amid chaos.
Below is an online version of Section One. Refresh your url browser often as I write, proofread, and make updates.
IT’S A JOURNEY. Revised Chapters 1-6 on 7/12/22 / Revising Chapter 7 on 7/18/22 Next step: Smooth out Sections 2-5
Chaos Enter our World
Seeds of chaos have been tossed into the back yards of our nation—quickly, sprouting forth new norms, creeping into our homes, and reaping a steadfast gruel of division, pestilence, and confusion. Upon arrival, division set the tone and penetrated our republic with an impeachment trial, a pandemic, and a constant pull between political parties — all spun by divisive media. This was soon followed by civil upheaval, a hijacked election with no concession, and now economic woes costing a family of four, $450 for one week’s worth of groceries.
If Americans could agree on one thing. Our world turned upside down in 2020. The Coronavirus plus more thrusted our way of living into new rules. Education and businesses were put on hold and strange new measures were put in place. No one could get on an airplane unless they wore a mask and vaccines were mandated for anyone who worked at the federal level.
While subtle in its wake, the strongholds could not have been more relentless and continue to this day. As we have grown past several morphed versions, monkeypox has become an added edition. People have grown weary and unsure because of it— it is never-ending. As one thing leaves, another thing proceeds.
I remember its beginning as sullen — No, peculiar and recall, others, felt that way, too. While waiting outside a local, pizza shop, an acquaintance stepped in line. Her eyes stared off, forlorn.
That look was familiar. A blank stare, crinkled forehead, and lifeless personality led me to think that she, like so many others, was under duress, unsure of things to come, feeling lost — shaken.
“Everything is so different,” I said. “How are you?”
Our eyes met, and compassion introduced another topic. She responded with a light-hearted smile, shaking her head, she said, “Chaos.”
How true? Haven’t we all been through so much confusion? It’s one catastrophe after another. After all this time, there is a constant reminder that life is not perfect.
The look was in response to all of this torment. It was a little frightening; yet, more revealing. She was afraid for her future.
That look, plus a passage from the Bible in Matthew 24, led to this calling. When prompted to write a book, I have to admit it is pretty daunting, but like the message of my story, difficult tasks are better handled with help from the Master’s touch, and so my story begins.
Immediately, I felt a connection, and it brought back memories. No, fears of not knowing what to do when your whole world seems shaken. Sometimes, the pain of not knowing what to do can make you feel hopeless and broken.
As a youth, I knew about brokenness. I lived through it as my mother and I were traumatized by the abuse of her second husband. On one particular day, this man choked the life right out of her. Thankfully, she survived, but her story speaks of horror and death.
She recalls the weight of his six, foot frame as he sat on her chest. The grip of his bare hands clenching her throat. Nothing could get in and nothing could get out. My mother was dying. She fought, but her strength held no comparison. She describes the darkness of his angry assault as black eyes shifted into judgment. She said, “I will never let another man control me!”
Her limp body lay there for who knows how long. As it gave way to a pulse, she opened her eyes and in utter shock, his hate turned to fear. With eyes wide open, he gasped, jumped to his feet, and ran out of there. Later, he was found and sentenced to prison.
After so many battles like this, we finally won. It was as if relief was scattered throughout many painful wounds. However, the damage had already been done. Our trust and security were always in question. Through time, this damage from his constant assaults would try to gain control to deplete us, giving way to that notable blank stare held by my friend at the pizza shop.
During that time, my mother tried her best to protect us, but fear held a tight grip, leaving us with caution and a lack of trust for mankind. This fate encompasses panic, defeat, and constant agitation from the trials we face. Mistrust is an inner conflict. It is always awaiting one more trauma. One more fight and flight reaction.
Just like his personality, things would quickly shift. One minute, everything would be fine and then pow, all hell would break loose. We would once again, find ourselves circling back into another chaotic mode. He was going to get out of jail soon. When would it ever end?
At times, life seems hard to overcome, and hope rarely appears. Maybe, just maybe, that could be us. But during that time, it was as if hope was on the other side of the veil, hidden from our view. It didn’t exist for us, but surely hope was held by others. Not for me but others had it because you could see it all over their faces. My teacher, Miss Cunningham, had hope. It shined brightly in her eyes and her laughter contained joy; something I didn’t understand.
Coming into the kitchen, I would see a mother rinsing freshly cooked spaghetti one minute; while the next minute, my eyes would see images of her tangled body beneath a chair with the fullness of his weight and the spaghetti dangling on top of her. I would run to the neighbors for help and seemingly return to a spotless kitchen and welcoming reprieve for him, but not me.
Several times, I reached out and at times it would bring solace but it never really brought total relief. At school, I always had the nurse’s cot in the office to find rest. It was quiet when they shut the door, and I could sleep. I told them about my problems, but nothing ever changed.
As a child, I felt alone and incapable of knowing how to stop this vicious cycle of pure evil. In looking back, I realize I could not see a clear path to gain control of the chaos surrounding me, but for some reason, we found relief. We found hope and everlasting peace.
At the time, I didn’t know God, but it was God who came through for us. He removed the darkness and brought a small glimmer of hope. In one final blow, God took our assaulter away permanently.
Out of jail, this evil man swore vengeance to finish what he had started by sending my mother to her grave. Driving in fast pursuit, he was decapitated when he rolled his BMW on a major highway in our hometown.
At that moment, I felt as if all of our problems had vanished. I knew that something greater than me was watching out for us. Who it was, didn’t matter because all I needed to know was that we were safe. Whoever was standing behind the veil, hidden from view, was watching out for us. Hope had finally found me, and I was not alone.
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.”(PSALM 91: 1)
Anchor for Our Soul
This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.(Hebrews 6:19)
There are a few verses in the Bible that explain how I felt as a little girl. Those verses provide me with the comfort of knowing that I had hope for a better future if I rest in a God who loves me. A God who would not abandon me. The veil I mentioned earlier was a comforting place because it led me to believe that someone hidden from my view cared about me. Through the years, I had wondered who it could be, but I didn’t find out who He really was until I was a teenager.
Who are you? I thought
How do I get past the veil to reach this God who loves me?
Those answers led me into a real relationship with God. All along, God was watching me, protecting me, and drawing me into the knowledge of His Son, Jesus. Hope was on the other side of the veil, and I couldn’t wait to meet Him.
God’s Word tells us, “Therefore, we who have fled to Him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.” (Hebrews 6: 18-19)
In looking closer, we can see its significance. This verse adds strength to who we are in the present tense. It happens now, so right now He is a strong hope for our souls. When we take refuge in Him, our innermost being has an anchor that holds us in place in spite of the stormy seas surrounding us. God’s promises bring us hope, and this hope will not allow us to sink. It gives us confidence in knowing that God is for us. (Romans 8:31). God is our hope.
These words are powerful for people who lack trust because we learn that God has the ability to become our stronghold during times of trouble. This is the hope that will anchor our souls throughout chaos and will lead us “into God’s inner sanctuary.”
Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him”(John 6:44)
Ephesians 1: 4-5 tells us, “He chose us in Him before the foundations of the world… He predestined us to adoption as sons (and daughters) through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.”
This good news is for everyone. It does not exclude anyone because He chose us. He draws us closer to Himself and sees us as we are, deep in the pain, and lost in a world without Him; yet, He still pursues us.
I don’t know about you, but this provided me with a foundation that held me throughout the toughest times. It has given me stability and assurance at a time when so many people have felt hopeless.
Later, as an adult, I became a special education teacher because I felt God’s calling to return to a world filled with people who often lacked confidence, felt hopeless, and felt as if they were beyond repair. He wanted me to share my good news with them.
For nearly thirty years, I taught and offered hope, compassion, and kindness to at-risk students who noticeably had the same empty stare as the young lady I was describing earlier.
Vivid memories grip my mind as I watched struggling students who were trying to find an anchor, just to get themselves through the day. The unknown assaults faced by some are unimaginable. Yet, like everyone else, all they want to do is find stability. Some type of leverage that could hold themselves together for good.
One girl, in particular, lacked basic coping skills. This made it difficult for her to function within a regular classroom. She stood out among the rest and was extremely mature for her sixth-grade stature — noticeably taller and more sensual than all of her peers and most of her teachers.
She regularly displayed dysfunctional behaviors as indicated by her SED (serious emotional disturbance) label. Agitated and disabled over minimal tasks, she would often drift to the back of my classroom and sit in a cozy chair right next to my 100-gallon, fish aquarium.
Back there, she could breathe, soothed by the parrot cichlids who were patrolling. Each, looking at her looking at them, formed a relationship and offered solace.
From my perspective, calmness penetrated the entire room. It truly was mesmerizing watching everyone’s demeanor change. Her previous irritations, which led to our distractions moved from a very intense moment to one of peace and tranquility.
One can only imagine the assaults of her lifetime. Talk therapy would reveal quite a few “cousins” spending a few days but not really knowing who they were.
“What do you mean by cousins spending a few days?” I asked.
“Oh, it’s just different girls spending a lot of time with us. It happens every now and then. My mom wants me to keep them company.”
This girl was a drifter, moving from one community to another, so I was never able to investigate the why’s of her struggle. However, one thing is for certain. Much like the fish in my story, there is a God who sits in His sanctuary, watching over people who are in the midst of pain. This God I know, the One in my story, is completely mesmerized by the people within His view, and He cannot wait for them to take refuge in Him.
The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry.Psalm 34:15
Silver linings surround even the worst of times, and the 2020 pandemic is not any different. Perhaps, one good thing that came out of it, everyone’s push for excellence, rigor, and rules diminished. Up front, many employers have enabled a work-at-home ethic, which made it possible for many to enjoy their families at a more leisurely pace. Then as things re-opened, we learned to appreciate everyday pleasures.
However, not everyone fares the same. It seems that more people are homeless in our area as seen by an increase in plates boxed and delivered for those in need. Duly noted, our local school counselor stated that there are more students committing suicide.
Is it any wonder? How confusing it must be for children these days? Kids struggle to understand gender, let alone, parents who struggle to make ends meet. Everything costs more. Housing is up. Groceries are outrageous. For some, it costs more to go to work than to actually get paid.
After a while, some feel so empty, as if they have nothing else to give, and may wonder if they will ever survive.
God Feels Compassion
God sees us.
Right in the depths of our pain and suffering, His eyes are watching us, and His heart is waiting and wanting us to catch a glimpse of Who He is.
Like any parent, He longs to gain our attention and listen to our voice. He wants us to seek Him and find Him with our whole hearts.
Do We Really Know God?
Many men and women today follow the routine of knowing God and doing what’s right, but do they really know Him? Sure, they go to church and sing to Him in worship, so they must be close. Right?
To this day, my heart flutters at thoughts of God’s grace. My thoughts rejoice as I consider how His love and His mercy abounds.
Without really knowing who He was as a little girl, my heart shouted, Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! when our assaulter met his wake. To me, that could have been worship. After all, I was free from worry and assault praising something.
Victories like that make one’s heart sing. Some call these victories fate, some call it karma, but I call Him, God!
Back then, my worship may not have been directed to anyone I knew, but I was extremely thankful for the outcome. Maybe there was a connection or maybe it was just one more instance of God pouring out His love, showing mercy, and extending grace.
The Bible says, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” (Psalm 149:6) However, worship is a hard thing if you don’t know who to thank. As an adult, most know there is a God, but do we really know Him? Do we really understand that He wants to hear from us?
Especially, if He is still behind the curtain, hidden from our view. There must be a reason why He is there, and of course more importantly. Why won’t He come out, so we can see Who He Is? After all, for some, and for me back then, He seems so far away.
Those were my thoughts before I became a believer. Perhaps, it was before the development of my faith. It was the path I took to get me to where I am today. I guess that is where faith kicks itself into motion and sends us relief. This path reminds me of a beautiful passage in the Bible, which ultimately points to the One who gives us joy. I hope you will join me as I relay the treasures found within because they are crucial.
Just hitting the surface of knowing God exists and watches out for us is really good stuff, but we have to press on and move past the veil. Similarly, it would be like obtaining the best meal ever, only to look at it, keep it in your memory, and then walk away without tasting His goodness for our souls. I want to encourage you to pick up your fork with delight and dig into this meal that God offers to the main character of our story because, yes, He also offers it to you. His Word— The Bread of Life is our meal. Let’s begin.
This story takes place on a desert road, heading toward Gaza. One of our main characters, the Treasurer of Ethiopia, was traveling to Jerusalem for worship. Historically, this happened 2,000 years ago during a time when the Holy Spirit was overflowing within the Christian movement. Perhaps this man heard the many stories of Christians who were filled with great joy over God healing them. Maybe, it was the news of thousands of people becoming born-again believers and getting baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit, that led him to his travels, or perhaps, it was just part of his normal routine like so many other people who attend worship.
Whichever one, we don’t know, but we do know that Pentecost is one gem of a story found in the Book of Acts, and this story is nestled in the 26th verse of Chapter 8. It contains a detailed adventure of a man who traveled far to worship the LORD. After leaving Jerusalem, he was sitting on the side of road in his chariot, reading from the Book of Isaiah.
At that time, this Ethiopian eunuch, no doubt, felt like he was on top of the world. For good reason, this guy had power, prestige, and wealth. He was granted full authority over the Queen of Candace’s treasury. At that moment, however, he did encounter one problem.
Do you know what that problem was? He could not understand what the Scripture was saying to him. The Bible doesn’t say how he handled his dilemma, but it does say how God solved it. In addition, it shows how He cares. Perhaps, as a means, the Ethiopian thought What does this mean? Maybe, he prayed, God, please help me. Whatever the case, God saw his need and masterfully solved it without delay.
This is an important concept. It validates the fact that God sees, and it also shows us once again that He supplies our needs, right where we are, performing miracles along the way.
Before his problem was solved, we have to look at another man named Philip, who was located nearly ninety-four miles, North at a place called Samaria (Google search: How many miles from Samaria to Gaza Strip?). Philip was praying for and preaching to the multitudes. Let’s read.
6 And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. 8 And there was great joy in that city.(Acts 8: 6-8)
Stay with me and try to focus on “the multitudes with one accord,” hearing and seeing the miracles which he did,” and “there was great joy in that city” as we make a shift back to the first part of this great awakening. As you read this, I do hope you catch a glimpse of the power found in this passage. If you don’t understand it, you may want to ask God for help.
Christ Is Preached to an Ethiopian(Acts 8:26 – 29)
26 Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert. 27 So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.”
Wait a minute. Did you notice anything out of the ordinary? “An angel of the LORD spoke to Philip”, telling him explicitly to “Arise and go” approximately 94 MILES AWAY. Of course, the Bible doesn’t tell us how far he had to travel, but reality does. Philip was holding a revival in Samaria. The Ethiopian sat in a chariot on a road to Gaza. Implications, such as, make sure you make it in time to see an Ethiopian man who is reading the Bible, were imperative.
I realize this account was written without the element of exact time references, but listen. How is that possible for a man to be in the exact spot who is 94 miles away from the person who needs an explanation from the passage of a book?
Does that not boggle your mind? It boggles mine.
To me, that is just the beginning of God’s many Wow moments. How far he traveled is big. Yet, Philip met him at just the right moment? The timing has to be perfect for him to be in that exact connecting spot. But, then, the God that I am talking about is perfect. There is nothing too hard for Him. After all, He knows our comings and our goings, and He is the creator of time. Read on.
30 So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?”(Acts 8:30-34)
31 And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 The place in the Scripture which he read was this:
“He was led as a sheep to the slaughter;
And as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
33 In His humiliation His justice was taken away,
And who will declare His generation?
For His life is taken from the earth.”
34 So the eunuch answered Philip and said, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?”
Let’s continue reading this God-directed, powerful message because it changed this man’s life forever. Philip’s message provides the grand finale for the whole purpose of this encounter. It’s a demonstration of what God does when He sees someone needing Him. In addition, this passage allows us to see the results of God’s actions. This man “went on his way rejoicing” (39). When I think of people rejoicing, there is definitely some hands going up with hoops and hollers. That’s significant, so let’s read more with the adventure of seeing this possibility of hope and joy rising in you.
The passage continues.
35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. 36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?”(Acts 8:35 – 40)
37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.”
And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. 39 Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip was found at Azotus. And passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea.
13For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’(Isaiah 41:13)
God Loves Us
Throughout my lifetime, I have seen countless miracles attributed to God. Each time, I find myself in trouble, I would call out the name of Jesus, asking Him for help because He never fails. Sometimes He upholds me with his righteous, right hand, while other times, He tells me what to do. Every time, I am clothed in peace because He is my Savior.
God, our Heavenly Father, is gentle with our appeals. As demonstrated by my childhood experience, He guides and protects us even when we don’t know Him. We have to believe in Jesus and have faith that He is the Son of God who can and will uphold us with His mighty hand.
To think, His love all started with His thoughts of you and me before our creation only makes me love Him more. He fine-tuned everyone with great detail. Molding us in the palm of Their hands as Father, Son, and Spirit.
Let’s look more closely at Jesus’s love for us through His Word. When Jesus was here, He felt compassion toward those who were distressed and dispirited. He said they were like sheep who had no shepherd. Through Matthew’s writings, Matthew simplifies Jesus’s actions as He brought healing and food for mind, body, and soul. Jesus came to to bring life and to help people escape from the clutches of things which bound them.
The Compassion of Jesus
35 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. 36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”(Matthew 9: 35-37)
Matthew 14:14 states, “And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion toward them, and He healed their sick.” Again, Psalm 145:8 says, “The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy.”
Why did Jesus show so much compassion towards the multitudes? He reached out to them and brought healing and guidance, and He gave them direction through Scripture. Verse 36 said He showed compassion because the multitudes were “weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd”. Jesus spoke truths and many felt lost because they were worried about life, not knowing what to do with the struggles surrounding them. People wander throughout life without direction. Lucky for us, He wants to show us, lead us, and help us find our way behind that veil. (Luke 4:18).
God loves us. We know this by reading John 3:16; however, much more is revealed if we read further.
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
(John 3: 16-21, NIV)
God’s Word is deep. It opens our eyes and brings clarity. However, like the Ethiopian eunuch, we need spiritual eyes to guide us. This passage lets us know that God has a plan for our redemption, which is the act of “saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil.” (Oxford Languages)
Since the beginning of time, people have needed a savior. Sin began with Adam and Eve, and it is not any different, today. People continue to do wrong. No one is perfect, and we continued to be lost, weary, and scattered, so when mankind was kicked out of paradise, God planned for a savior.
19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.(Romans 5:19)
Jesus is that Savior. Remember, Matthew said, “Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom.” Gospel means good news! He was teaching and preaching about the good news of His kingdom because it will reopen paradise for those He loves. God loves the world, and He loves you! (Matthew 9:35).
Here are a few more facts. God did not come to condemn. If that is true, and it is, then why do we condemn ourselves. Stop! We are a chosen and created work of God’s kingdom. If you don’t believe me, read the New Living Translation of Psalm 139.
1 O LORD, you have examined my heartPsalm 139
and know everything about me.
2 You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
3 You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
4 You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, LORD.
5 You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!
7 I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
8 If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave, you are there.
9 If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me
and the light around me to become night—
12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are the same to you.
13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me!
19 O God, if only you would destroy the wicked!
Get out of my life, you murderers!
20 They blaspheme you;
your enemies misuse your name.
21 O LORD, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you?
Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose you?
22 Yes, I hate them with total hatred,
for your enemies are my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
What Does God See?
God sees us.
God sees me.
He knows me. He knows what I have done wrong.
Yes, He knows my sins.
He knows yours.
If you are like me, I’m sure that doesn’t sit well.
I don’t like that. I don’t want Him to see all those things that I want to take back from who I am. Some of it is really very ugly, and I want to be set free from the choices I have made. I want a retake so I can make them right. I also don’t want Him to hate the wicked because when the truth is told, I am wicked.
What can I do? Where can I go? Is there freedom in knowing who I am? Is there resolve?
Most definitely, yes! Remember, God sees you with eyes of compassion. God loves us so much. “He gave us His one and only Son, so that whoever believes in Him would not perish but would have eternal life. God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.”
“There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.”(John 3:18, NLT)
We as mankind have addictions, hurts, wounds, and many other things we seek to hide — Adultery, murder, thoughts or deeds, and rebellion. Bitterness, hate, and envy— strife. We have selfish motives and sometimes there are problems so big we can’t begin to figure them out. There are times when people grow angry and some are wandering around like sheep without a shepherd. All of this can be immersed in pain and sometimes numbed by distractions of self gratifications, drugs, or alcohol.
This is the reality of who we are as a nation. People die because of selfish motives. Hate hits the center stage and people are at times filled with rage over issues and more, sometimes pointing the finger with self-righteous piousness as if to say you are unworthy. That’s wrong to judge others.
Now, look who’s hiding behind a veil. We may be thinking, LORD, give me a veil so I can hide from Your eyes. I have really messed things up, but that is why He came. Everyone has messed things up at one time or another.
Our God is loving and He is Holy. Some things are not for us. Leave them and breathe in that hope mentioned earlier. God sees more. You’re the love of His life, and hope is just around the corner. This place is exactly where you need to be because God has some exciting plans for your future. Remember, He is the hope of our salvation.
God’s vision is so far from our view. If I am like you, there are days when I think I can do nothing wrong. While others, I am slumping it out filled with guilt from choices I have made. I’m wallowing in the mud, thinking how am I ever going to get this right. Forgive me, LORD.
Somewhere in between, there has to be a happy place of peace and tranquility. Where is it? The book of John captures rich moments. Here is one of them. This New Living Translation is written in red to let us know that Jesus is speaking, but you probably already knew that.
1 “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener… 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.(John 15: 1, 4).
“Remain in me, and I will remain in you.” Automatically, I am thinking, Yes, LORD. I want that. Please, give me all that You are because I want to be connected to YOU!
(By the way, if you are with me on that. Tell Him). He is only a whisper away from your truth. He knows what you are thinking anyway.
Second thoughts drift to this. Once we figure out who this Jesus is, we had better stick with Him because He is the one who makes everything right. It shows how He wants us to keep plugging away, seeking and following after Him, so for now, let’s find out who He really is by staying connected.
Within our next passage, it appears God wants us to take a deeper look at those things which unravel us. You know, the darkness that dwells from within. How do we let that go?
Let’s see who Jesus is and learn how He handles those deeply, embedded strongholds.
Who Is Jesus?
Thus far, we have read, that Jesus is the man who the Ethiopian was reading about in the Book of Isaiah. Jesus is the Lamb who was led to the slaughter. He is the one who “opened not His mouth” and did everything the Father in Heaven asked Him to do. Isaiah 53 states the following.
He was led as a sheep to the slaughter;Isaiah 53:7
And as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
Jesus is the resurrection power of the cross. Yes, He died, but His blood was shed to cover all of our sins. Those sins we talked about earlier. It’s covered. It’s covered because He is a powerful, raised from the dead, God. After three days, Jesus came back to life and spent much time here on Earth teaching His disciples how to live this new life called Christianity. Then, He ascended to God in Heaven and lives on the right-hand side of God’s throne in Heaven. At this moment, He makes intercessions for us to God on our behalf.
We have to believe this was God’s plan for us all along, and there are more levels of Him as we look at Him through His Word. We learn so much about how He dealt with individuals. How He dealt with others who were just like us.
Another Bible Story
Speaking of sin, let’s look at a conversation Jesus had with an adulterous, Samaritan woman. Keep in mind. Most Jews thought that the Samaritans were a gross and disgusting portion of the Jewish nation. Even worse, she, the Samaritan woman, was one of those women who couldn’t seem to get anything right and was shunned by all of the other women in her community.
This passage begins with Jesus looking at the Pharisees, a religious sect of that time. They, along with others, were among the Jewish leaders whose accusations later nailed Him to the cross. Notice, with this introduction, that Jesus is thinking about them and purposefully diverts His direction. It’s interesting because He leaves them, only to find Himself, talking with a Samaritan woman who is in fact a direct descendant of the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Jesus and the Samaritan Woman(John 4: 1, 3-7)
1 Jesus knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John… 3 So he left Judea and returned to Galilee.
4 He had to go through Samaria on the way. 5 Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime.
7 Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” 8 He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food. 9 The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”
How distinct for this woman to take on other people’s beliefs of her? She seems to assume their viewpoints as hard-earned facts when she said, “Why are you asking me for a drink?” She probably thought. No one else does. Not even other women in the village. They don’t want to be around me, yet, you do. Why?
Interestingly, Jesus disagrees with her logic, and she senses His resistance to accepting everyone else’s beliefs. For one, He has gone out of His way to talk to her. I mean, after all, Jesus was a Jew, and most Jews thought the Samaritans were not worthy of their conversations. Another thing, He left the religious sect and traveled into the forbidden zone of Samaria, just to be a part of this conversation, right? Why?
Could it be, like you, that Jesus thought this woman actually is someone of great worth? Let us continue.
10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” 11“But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? 12 And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”(John 4: 10-13)
13 Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
15 “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.”
At this point, I am thinking that this person is spiritually ready to say, “Yes, LORD! I want You.”
However, as we continue to read, we can see Jesus is withholding Himself. Why would He do that? This woman obviously realizes that He has something of value because she stated she wanted “this water” because she would “never be thirsty again.”(15). But, at this point, does she really know who He is? Let’s find out.
16 “Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her.(John 4: 16 – 20)
17“I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied.
Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband— 18 for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!”
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. 20 So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?”
We can’t ever leave our past, can we? It’s always there, haunting us. Even Jesus knows everything about her— everything about us. As they continue, this woman is casual, not really knowing who He really is. A prophet, she surmises, asking, Why in the world do we have to go to Jerusalem to worship when our ancestors worshipped right here on this mountain?
This is good stuff. Why? Like most, this woman was not ready to divulge the dark secrets of her life to anyone, yet, He already knew and kept pressing into her thoughts, revealing Himself exactly where her thoughts are leading.
Jesus seems to be taking His time, making sure she knows that He knows everything about her. Yet, He still cares, giving her the attention of Himself and letting her know who He really is and that He wants to offer a significant change in her life.
21 Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. 23 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”(John 4: 21 – 26)
25 The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
26 Then Jesus told her, “I Am the Messiah!”
(Jesus said,) “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and dine with him, and he with Me.”(Revelation 3:20)
Everyone has a different reaction when it comes to Jesus. Some are like the Pharisees, who sent Him to a grave. (That is not you.) Others may be in like manner as the Ethiopian eunuch, reading God’s Word, trying to figure things out on his or her own. This person doesn’t really have anything to hide; except, that there doesn’t seem to be a personal relationship with the Savior.
The eunuch certainly had the appearance of knowing God. As a matter of fact, he went a great distance to worship, and like the Samaritan woman, did have a little understanding of that subject. But, did they really know God, His Son, and the Holy Spirit?
Do you know Jesus? Or, do you simply have that look of a Christian? You go to church and do all the things that mimic Christianity, but have you bid Him a Revelation 3:20 entrance?
This is not a one-time thing. When I went to church this morning, I could hear His voice speaking to my heart, saying, “I love you, Debbie. I’m here for you. That burden you are carrying— come lay it down. As the altar opened, I walked up to it and bowed before the King of all kings, giving Him my worries.
He took it and replaced my burden with peace. Now, I don’t have to think, worry, or give that burden any more attention because the problem is in His hands.
Listening to His Voice
Jesus is the Son of God, and His Words whisper His love into our souls. They bring us peace and make us rejoice with great joy as we respond to His calling — His voice. Sometimes, He draws us into His presence through His Word. Special passages will jump off the page, swiftly entering our hearts as confirmation. Other times, He speaks to our spirit.
When He stands at your heart’s door and knocks, He anticipates a wholehearted, yes, LORD, yes! Come into my heart and be with me forever. He wants a seek the kingdom of God first kind of relationship with you (Matthew 6:33). He wants us to give Him entrance into our life, our hurts, and our wants.
28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.(Matthew 11:28-30)
1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.(John 14: 1, 6, NKJV)
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Making the Right Choice
There is no way around it. God wants to know what we are going to do with our knowledge of Him. That is why He stands behind the veil or door of your heart.
He said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20)
When God is pressing into your spirit, you are going to know it because you are in the presence of God. Remember, if we do nothing at all, the plan has already been set. Those who do nothing or do not believe stand as condemned already. (John 3:18).
Remember, without Him, we can do nothing from a spiritual stance. He told us to abide in Him. He is the way to heaven. In my life, Jesus was waiting for me to make a decision about who He is.
After hearing, I invited Him into my heart, my life, and my everything.
Who Do You Say I Am?
Matthew 16:15 reads, “But what about you?” He asked. “Who Do You Say I Am?” (NIV)
Jesus longs to hear your voice. Your thoughts are known to Him. He’s listening and waiting for you to spiritually come to Him. He knows your thoughts and your truths, so tell Him whatever is on your mind.
Remember, that thing you want to keep hidden. He knows, so open yourself up to a conversation with the Savior. It will have an everlasting reward.
Again, Jesus said those who worship Him, must worship Him in Spirit and truth. That is why you must talk to Him about your truths, and He will tell you about His Truths. Tell Him you want Him to be a part of your life. Ask Him to forgive you of your sins and tell Him how much you need Him. Ask Him to guide you into His way, and then thank Him for saving your soul. After all, don’t we all need a Savior?
Is He knocking at your heart’s door? It is one door that is really easy to open. Just talk to Him. Call Him by name and answer His question, “Who do you say I am?
Say, “Jesus. I need You. You are the Son of God. Please come into my life, and help me be the person you want me to be.”
Mean what you say and speak the truth. Continue to talk with Him. Tell Him you believe.
This can be in your thoughts, out loud, anytime, anywhere. Know that He is Spirit, and He is exactly where you are in Spirit. His eyes immediately go to those who seek Him, so, yes, He is watching you and longs to hear what you have to say.
Pray Pray Pray
In prayer, you can close your eyes or keep them open. You can bow your head or do your chores. It doesn’t matter. If you speak out loud or talk to Him inside your head, God will hear you.
It’s that time, or very close to it. Give it to Him at the gut wrenching level and mean it with your heart in truth. Below is a small sample but your own words and heart probably have a better path.
Just take a deep breath. Call out His Name — Jesus, Holy Spirit, and Heavenly Father, please, come into my life. I want You. Please keep me from Hell. Help me to be so close to you that I will remain in You for the rest of my life. Deliver me from evil and help me to stay away from it.
Please forgive me of my sins. I am so sorry for doing wrong. Cover each one with Your blood that was shed on the cross. Set me on the path that keeps me forever in Your presence. And, thank you for coming into my life. You are the Savior of the world, and I believe You and what the Bible says. Help me to read Your Word and help me to understand it.
Show me a church that will help me grow and stay close to You? Lead me LORD, so I will no longer feel like I am a sheep without a Shepherd. Be my shepherd. In Jesus's Name, I pray.
When Jesus comes into your life, everything changes. Afterward, you should be covered in a peace that passes all understanding. If you are not, then ask Him for His peace. Tell Him you need joy, and He will give it, pressed down and filled with all of His glory.
If you prayed that prayer, you are a new creature in Christ, your name is written in that book called the Book of Life (See Revelations), and the Holy Spirit lives inside of you.
He, the Holy Spirit, has a unique role for you as a comforter, prompter of God’s Word, and One who speaks truth exactly when you need it.
Above all else, keep that relationship alive and talk to our Heavenly Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit often. Read the Bible. It will be a lamp unto your feet and a light to your path.
This really is an awesome experience because if that happened, angels in Heaven are dancing and rejoicing at the choice you just made. You are a born-again believer that Jesus describes in John 3: 1-7.
For the moment, rejoice in knowing that you are a child of the King of all kings. Know that He is LORD of all and now you belong to Him.
Now, just in case you were wondering about that woman at the well. No longer in shame, she told everyone about her Savior. Then guess what happened? Listen to what verses 39 – 42 have to say.
Many Samaritans Believe
39 Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!” 40 When they came out to see him, they begged him to stay in their village. So he stayed for two days, 41 long enough for many more to hear his message and believe. 42 Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves. Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world.”
Jesus Is Coming Soon
No One Knows the Day or Hour
36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.Matthew 24:36-44
We Have to be Ready
As this section comes to a close, several things come to mind. Life as a Christian will not be easy.
Fortunately, we can be ready by making Jesus our refuge. We stick close and abide in Him as instructed. We don’t have to go it alone. God is trustworthy, fully equipping us, His saints for any task or situation He sets before us. We have Jesus living in our hearts, the gift of His Word readily available, and the promise of the Holy Spirit living and breathing inside of us.
15 “If you love me, obey my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now.”(John 14:26, NLT)
Guaranteed, our future will need the Helper, the Holy Spirit “will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment.”, and “will guide you into all truth… and will tell you things to come.” (John 16: 8, 13, NLT).
Jesus also told us that if we ask anything in His name, He will give it to us. So, after reading the Bible, we can ask Him what it means. If we struggle with temptations, we can rely on Him and ask Him to help us walk away, and if we are concerned about our future or a friend’s salvation, we can go to Him and surrender anything to His care with the end game as godliness and securing the salvation in Jesus Christ, not accumulated wealth.
In essence, we are building a relationship with God through prayer and reading His Word, listening to His voice as He answers us through His Spirit. In order to have this flow of His living water within us, we have to read His Word and follow Him. Below is the Apostle Paul’s instructions to Timothy.
14 But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true,… and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.(2 Timothy 3: 14 – 17)
5…“I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. 6 Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. 7 So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”(John 3:3, 5-8)
There is much to say. We have to be ready. In the twinkling of an eye, Jesus will return in the clouds, and we believers will be caught up to meet Him. Jesus tells us to be ready because no one knows the hour upon His return.
Do Not Be Afraid
Today, as economic woes take control of our pockets and the news breeds negativity, fears loom and tries to remove our joy. Think of this verse found in Genesis 8:1 and replace Abram’s name with yours. “Do not be afraid, (
Abram. Your Name) I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”
The Bible has a lot to say about fear. As a matter of fact there is one verse for every day of the year. God’s Word contains 365 verses, telling His people to not be afraid.
Instead of fear, trust Him. He wants us to establish deeply in our hearts that He is our rock. Our fortress, and He will uphold us with His righteous, right hand. He will carry us through the pain of any trial.
10 Fear not, for I am with you;(Isaiah 41:10, NKJV)
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
We Are Over-comers
The LORD is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear?(Psalm 27:1)
The LORD is the stronghold of my life — of whom shall I be afraid?
3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.(Romans 5: 3-5)
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.(1 Corinthians 13: 4-5)
2 Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.(Romans 8:2)
Last, one of my favorite verses, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 tells us to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
As a Christian, joy does not always take hold. Especially, when our reactions line up with the world’s viewpoint. Hate, judgement, vengeance, and retaliation are all examples of dark forces and may be considered normal for some. Their remedy to overcome is vastly different from God’s way. That’s why we have to be transformed by the renewing of our minds through God’s Word, prayer, and fellowship with other believers. (Romans 12:2).
As we move closer into the end times, chaos will become more demanding. Read 2 Timothy 3: 1-7 to catch a better glimpse.
Perilous Times and Perilous Men 1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
You, on the other hand, have come to this truth. If you haven’t and still doubt, then you may want to read the remainder of this book. Please be patient and pray that it gets published because you will most likely want to read it as people may be caught up in the clouds right before your very eyes.
For others, you may want to catch up with some Bible studies on the book of Revelations. Never before in history have we seen a world-wide shut down. Is this all part of God’s plan? How can we know if we are in the end times? Read the Bible. Study it. Live it, and remain in Jesus.
If you are interested, Keepbelieving.com contains in-depth study of the book of Revelations, entitled Beginning of the End video.
Throughout this book, Scriptures have been placed in full display. If you have never read the Bible, a good start is the book of John, Romans, and the Gospels, which is Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, which are all a great start. Likewise, Acts and the rest of the New Testament depict life after Jesus while the Old Testament was written before his birth.
This book came to fruition after reading Matthew 24. As a plea for those who may not be ready, I asked God what I could do. He very clearly said to write a book. Of course, I had to rely on God’s Word and many, many conversations with our LORD and Savior.
As Christians, we have to put our faith and trust in God the Father, Jesus our Savior, and the Holy Spirit, our instructor. The Bible teaches us 5He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
Please be in prayer as I continue my journey. Pray for those who read it, that God would draw them into His own. Pray they will respond with a whole hearted, Yes, LORD, I need you!
I pray it speaks to hearts and points everyone who reads it to a relationship with Jesus, the Son of God.
Thank you for participating in my online book adventure. May God bless you in your own journey. I pray it is one filled with a reliance on God, His love poured out inside your spirit, a faith that flows through your heart and one that reaches a multitude of others in Jesus’s name.
Like me, if you know anyone who may be feeling a little lost, scared, or slightly shaken, let them know about Turning Chaos into Joy. You never know, it may introduce them to the Savior of the world, but don’t forget to pray for them before you do.
A Prayer of PraiseJude 1: 24-25
24Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. 25All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Keepbelieving.com video link https://www.keepbelieving.com/video_course/revelation/
Oh, LORD, You’re Beautiful lyrics © Universal Music- Brentwood Benson Publ., Birdwing Music.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.