Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus ‘sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom He had raised from the dead. But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus (John 12:9-11)~ It’s intriguing how the world claims to want what’s right but rather than by way of true righteousness, seeks in the name of self determined righteousness…calling it “freedoms”. Similarly, the world claims to be interested in knowing the miraculous work of Christ; but only to the point of wanting to manipulate, suppress and control the Message of Christ all in order to further man’s own intent over the Will of God! When the Truth of God frees us, that thing we are being freed of is that thing the evil of world desires that we hold on to. So the enemy, through the laws of the world, will then seek to kill, steal and destroy the truth of God in the efforts to turn us back to ‘the world’ because the goal of the enemy is to steal us from God, kill our relationship with Him and destroy our salvation. Laws and common carnal desires do not make a thing righteous in the sight of God. The truth of God cannot be changed, challenged or destroyed by some faction frenzy, supreme court rule or popular vote. It’s validity cannot be changed by swaying the opinions of man! Silencing or controlling the speaker does not nullify the Message. Truth is truth, no matter how much the ‘times change’! The grass we tend withers, the flowers we plant fade: but the Word spoken of the Lord shall stand true and forever!
No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light (Luke 8:16)~ We all have these strong witnesses around us. Thank God for them. But in the sad state of affairs of this world, many are hiding their “light” so as not to offend those that wish not to accept it! All it takes is some “group” to say the Christian “way” is offensive and here comes another measure to protect the opposition… And what of us believers? Here we go backing down and hiding our faith! People get offended because someone with Christian values portrays their values so they petition the ’system’ to silence them! But let someone with ‘compromised’ values express their views… they get protection. I’m not surprised that the ‘law’ would bow to pressure because the law and those who make it are about positive approval ratings and the love of money, but I’m MORE offended that people, rather than standing behind their Christian values would rather give in, cower down and hide their ‘light’! The world is so backwards that it would fight for a Christian value to be oppressed and suppressed while at the same time promoting to allow a hatred organization or a non-Christian forum to have its say. How are you going to tell me I can’t acknowledge my God because it offends you but I’m supposed to “respect” you for your desire to promote ideals, lifestyles and culturalistic values contradictory to my beliefs?? Well THAT offends me! The same freedom of speech that allows you to be you allows me to be me and I’d bet my eternity on my position. Would you??? If you don’t like what I have to say, then don’t listen to me, don’t read my writings and don’t follow me in the online world, but don’t even THINK I I am going to stop saying it because you don’t want to hear it… just because the “truth” convicts you!!! Look, the gifts we have, will be continued to us or not, as we use them for the glory of God, and the good of our brethren. God didn’t put that fire in you for you to keep it ‘low key’! We are called to share the good news. And we are also called to live it. It really is powerful to see people practice what they believe. Sadly the most practice is going on by those that believe wrong things! We need to walk the talk, we need to live out our faith. It’s not enough to believe and keep it in your circles, nor is it enough not to hold the truth for unrighteousness; we should desire to hold forth the Word of life, and to shine, giving light to all around. Unbelievers will shout and proclaim their defiance and speak out against everything that stands for the Will of God. It’s time for the believers of God to shine the light He has placed within them! Stop buckling and caving and hiding your God-given faith, ability and mind. Stop trying to blend in with the world; we are called to stand out and be a beacon of the light within us! Darkness cannot move Light, but Light shines through, separates and removes darkness! That light of yours… That blessing…that ability…that belief and system of values so deeply rooted in the Word…..you need to Let it Shine!
Paul wrote, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through [Jesus] who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:12-13, NIV). No one is going to be “chipper” or “bubbly” or pleasant when times are tough, but neither do we have to be discontent.Our circumstances don’t have to determine our contentment. It may come as a surprise to learn, but we can be content even in the depths of severe, agonizing suffering. When we seek the center of God’s will for our lives, we can bear up under any amount of stress. We can be this way because He is with us through it all.
Even in our darkest hours, when it seems the full force of our adversaries and our own sins will crush us completely, there is a peace in knowing that we are in the center of God’s will for our lives. It happens only when we humble ourselves, confess and redefine our ambition. This peace comes even when we are under the heavy hand of His discipline. In the depths of our calamity, pain, anguish and suffering, the Spirit of Christ ministers to us and tells us that what we are facing is part of God’s plan for our life—a plan for good, not evil (Jer 29:11). That is why, Jesus is the center of my joy! He allows me to keep peace in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Cor. 12:10). Yes, indeed His Grace is sufficient.
Even when we cannot see a light at the end of the tunnel, and even though our emotions are frayed, we can know contentment in hard times by the inaudible voice of the Holy Spirit. Even though you can’t track Him, you can trust Him. Seek His will. Listen to the Holy Spirit. Do not be discouraged, depressed or faint-hearted. Delight in your circumstances, knowing that God IS with you, He IS good, and at just the right moment He will deliver you! Make Jesus the center of you joy, the heart of your contentment and the hope for all you do.
If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? And if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan? (Jer 12:5)~ How often we find ourselves complaining about our discomforts and pain; Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me…O my God, my soul is cast down within me (Ps 42:5,6). We pray to God to move us on into the next season as a way of getting us out of these trials and pain. Pain is inevitable but we must not become disoriented by it. Our trials, even in our places of comfort are designed to propel us toward our place of destiny. In order to go TO the next season, you must go THROUGH this one – no one is going to just ‘walk’ into the next season. Like the elements of nature, that change from one season to the next with turbulent and sometimes violent clashes in the weather, we must go THROUGH challenging circumstances and impacts of our perspective as we move from one season in life to the next. What’s more the new season may not necessarily be the ‘due’ season that so many of us expect. Don’t misunderstand in thinking that the new season will not have trials because it’s very possible that the season you go into may be even MORE challenging. Remember, God is preparing you for the next level; but your “destiny” may be a little further off… still. If you think you can’t handle what you’re going through today, what makes you think tomorrow will be ‘easier’? In fact, it may be ‘harder’! But my confidence is in the Creator! Your blessing comes in perseverance. HOPE thou in God: praise Him for the help of His countenance. Now faith is the substance of things HOPED for, the evidence of things not seen. For if we HOPE for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance! We can HOPE in God because He has planned for us to have a hope: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a HOPE” (Jer 29:11) . And that promise, we can depend on for God is not a man that He would lie; nor the son of man that He would repent; hath He said, and shall He not do it; or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good? (Num 23:19). So if God promised it, it’s sure to be done because He not only won’t fail; but He won’t turn away from that which He has spoken. But your perseverance is a must, in THIS season; because if you can’t handle the little things of today, how will you handle tomorrow? Trust Him even in the trials of today; God is preparing you. Be faithful over these few things and He will make you a ruler over many!!
For his anger endureth but a moment; in his FAVOR is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning; Lord, by thy FAVOR thou hast made my mountain to stand strong… (Ps 30:5,7)~ Our happiness is bound up in the Divine FAVOR; if we have that, we have enough, whatever else would we want?? The Lord is my shepherd, I shall NOT want (Ps 23:1) because His FAVOR is upon us! Though God may have allowed and even sent trials to us, that former rain was to wash away what we didn’t need and clean us up so that the latter rain would nurture us and prepare us for His FAVOR which is in abundance. He will restore multiplied and in abundant FAVOR what we have lost in trial; that we will have more FAVOR than we would know what to do with (Joel 2:23-26). What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? (Ps 8:4). Who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s (Ps 103:4–5). Praise God for His FAVOR! You know where He has given it to you in your life. Next time you think about your troubles and your trials, think about the FAVOR God has given you… And that some of these trials are just enough to keep you on track, keeping you safe, stable and grounded. What you lack and miss is not always a dead end road from your blessing, sometimes it’s a detour TO it. Realize the FAVOR and you will see a lot of things in new perspective. Praise The Lord for His FAVOR! The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace. (Num 6:25–26). Amen!
The hope of the righteous brings joy: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish (Prov 10:28)~ If you want to experience vibrant health and abundant energy, it is essential that you consume certain foods and drinks and refrain from consuming others. The same is true if you want to lose weight or put more muscle on your frame. You have to say yes to the foods that lead you toward your goal and no to those that lead you away. And while this is considered common sense, it is not always common practice for those desiring to reshape their physical bodies or increase their energy levels. Many well-meaning individuals desire to be leaner or more energetic but then continue to indulge in a diet and lifestyle that takes them in the opposite direction and consequently, they do not reach their goal. Progress toward joy begins the same way, with a firm decision to cut back on joy-reducing thoughts and increase joy-producing thoughts. In short, you have to change your mental diet. You have to think this, not that. After all, joy is the sum and substance of emotional health. Many with the goal of increased joy run into the same predicament: they keep consuming a mental diet of negativity and dysfunction; bad attitudes and divisiveness…all mismatched with their goal. Ask yourself: What kind of diet am I currently feeding my mind and soul? May God help you to think about the good rather than the bad, the true rather than the false; even amid difficult and painful experiences, may you turn to Him for hope, peace, and joy. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, THINK ON THESE THINGS! (Phil 4:8)
Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek. Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation. When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up. (Psa 27:7-10)~ There comes a situation in everyone’s life where our “Godly Wisdom” speaks out the same answer, regardless of any other convictions…even those that are closest to us, and love us the most; even our parents have that point of telling us.. “Pray” because even they can’t be there for us. God’s best time to help those that trust in Him, is when all other means of help fails. He is a surer and better Friend than even our parents are, or could be. He knew before He even created us (Jer 1:5) that specific point in time where our “moment in life” would come where HE would be the only answer for us, so God planted a “homing” signal within us…”Seek my face!”. We all have within each of us a presence just waiting to be called on but we instead make the mistake because of the desire of our flesh to walk in the flesh, to rely on those things or people… which can’t help us and in many cases, may even purposely hurt us. Some people love you enough but can’t do anything for you. Other people will hurt you, mock you, humiliate you and judge you. But God will heal you, magnify you and justify you. He knows the sound of our prayer and He sustains us through come what may. There is no problem, situation nor circumstance that exceeds His ability and desire to meet your need. When Jesus was here, He not only gave us prayer to use but He demonstrated its use and its effectiveness. Friend, whatever it is, you can pray about it!! Use the “homing signal” because all else won’t sustain you but in prayer you will find God’s hand to cover you, protect you and guide you! And know that in and through it all, whatever you may need – He IS; and He will NEVER leave or forsake you!