Editor’s note: Since this column was written Ms. Wallen’s brother lost his battle with cancer. Have you ever asked yourself why your faith seems strong one day and so weak the next? Often the cause is our tendency to be ruled by circumstances or emotions instead of relying on the truth of God’s word. It’s easy to feel close to God when everything is going well. But what happens when troubles and adversity comes? Often our thinking becomes unsettled and we doubt God. Some even blame God and become bitter. One of the devil’s biggest tricks is to try to convince us that God doesn’t love us, or that God doesn’t care how we are hurting. It’s another one of his many lies that we can’t allow to harbor within us. Sometimes God is closest to us, when he seems the farthest away, and we don’t even know it. There are so many verses in the Bible that remind us of the love of God that I can only mention a few. Jeremiah 31:3 – “The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.” Romans 8:35- Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (verse 37-39) nay, in all things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. – For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things to come- nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. We all face difficult times but we’re not alone. There are times in the lives of all God’s children when we are called on to suffer trials and afflictions. We read in Romans 5:3-4 that “suffering produces perseverance- perseverance, character- and character, hope. During my lifetime, I have suffered many disappointments and hurts. I found that my highest moments in life are often followed by my lowest moments. Staying in the word, and being consistent in prayer, is what gets me through the ups and downs in my life and keeps my relationship with Christ to stay strong. For me suffering the agony of a tragic happening to any one of my children, and the sudden death of my son, has been the greatest challenge that ever tested my faith. It brought a time of great physical and emotional weakness upon me. After the death of my son two years ago this month I was in deep sorrow. I remembered laying in my bed and trying to pray. I was in such shock and grief that I couldn’t pray. No words would come into my mind or to my lips. I felt helpless and sick. Yet, although I couldn’t speak, in all my groaning I felt close communication with the Lord. It’s hard for some of you to understand how this was possible while enduring such grief. But I believe that Christians are sustained in their suffering by hope, through faith. We also are sustained in our weakness in the most special way of all when we have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. We read in (Romans 8:26-28 NIV) The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express- and He who searches our heart knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will- and we know-that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. How wonderful to know that God himself dwells within us in the person of the Holy Spirit. He intercedes for us when we are so emotionally upset that we don’t know how to express our own overwhelming needs. His love and concern for us in our most vulnerable times is beyond my understanding. God moves in mysterious ways. I just thank him so much for his loving kindness and the gift of the Holy Spirit. What a wonderful God we serve. I praise him for the many times he has been there for me when I needed him most. I have many concerns that I would love for anyone that would- help me pray about. I have three brothers in Pennsylvania that have been battling cancer. Two of them have had multiples surgeries along with chemo and radiation now for several years. The cancers keep spreading and nothing more can be done. They are hanging on by the wings of prayer. I saw them right before Christmas when I went up there. All 10 of our brothers and sisters had a Christmas meal together but these brothers were so weak, I didn’t know it they would make it through Christmas but they did. Also many of you know- our dear sister- Pearl Harper, who has written her column named Spiritually Speaking in the Press for over 30 years. Those who know her personally know that she dearly loves the Lord and her family. Sister Pearl is going through some serious health problems, so we need to hold her up in prayer. “God bless you dear sister.” You’re in our thoughts. Dear readers, once again I encourage you to keep the Lord in your hearts, and stay strong in faith. God blessings to you- from my heart.