The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked (Prov 10:3); I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread (Ps 37:25)~ By man’s standards righteousness is about being a certain kind of person and what you do to live a good life; and only certain people are even eligible to be considered righteous; but by God’s standards righteousness is not possible by man except for that which comes about to all by accepting the life of Christ to live in and through you by faith rather than the weight of your good deeds. Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference (Rom 3:22). So as we are IN HIM we are made righteous in His sight and are His children. Now God takes care of the most minute of His creatures, and we, His children are of much greater value than many for we are created in His own image. He will never forsake His own. And when He blesses, there is no limit. Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? (Matt 6:26). Do you obey God? Is His kingdom and righteousness your life ambition? Do you walk and talk with Him daily, hating evil and loving righteousness? Do you accept and have faith to releasing “your life” for the life of Christ to live in and through you? Then you may presume God will put a hedge around you and bless the work of your hands like He did Job (Job 1:1-3,10). God’s got your back and will see to it that you are taken care of.
“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’–which means, ‘God with us.'”(Matt 1:22-23)~~
“With us.” There is hardly a more central promise that God has ever made to human beings. The alternatives are just too horrifying to imagine. If God has abandoned us, and that is why so many bad things happen in life, then what does that say about God, and what does it say about our destiny? If God vacillates, willing to be “with us” only as long as we don’t get too obnoxious, coming and going like a father who keeps giving up on being a father, where does that leave us? If God is incapable of being with us, then we have to conclude that we will never reap the benefits of divine presence, and words like grace, mercy, love, and truth have no meaning.
Isaiah was the prophet who was given the message. In a time when Israel’s enemies where bearing down on them, he gave this startling oracle about the Lord giving a sign, a virgin would conceive and give birth, and the promise in the child: Immanuel. God with us.
Jesus was born, but He was sent, and Immanuel was one of His names. God with us! That was why so many people didn’t understand Him. His voice came from a different place. He turned life upside down with the truths He presented. But He also left people with the sense that they had never been closer to God than when they were with Him. We don’t need to stay lost. God is not indifferent to our condition. And He came to us in the most radical way, by taking our flesh, our humanity, on Himself.
And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he (Jacob) said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me (Gen 32:26)~ Getting to that great place in life doesn’t happen overnight. Having everything go right isn’t always automatic. Getting through things and situations requires going through them! Having good relationships doesn’t start when we first meet. We don’t go to bed broken and wake up fixed. It’s all a process and in all of these processes we have a tendency to want to give up because a new day is coming and we are still in the process rather than at our destination.
But look! You are STILL in the process!! You have to stay in the process! Stay with God! Don’t let go of Him because THAT is where He’s going to bless you. Jacob’s story goes on to talk about how he continued to wrestle with God and God touched him in his hip socket, forever changing the way he walked… and blessed him ‘there’. When you commit to staying with God in the fight of the process, He will touch you, He will change you and He will bless you right there!!! All of this is the result of perseverance that God teaches us and we must practice through the process!
Perseverance: It is an emblem of the true spirit of faith and prayer. Jacob kept his ground; though his struggle continued long, this did not shake his faith, nor silence his prayer. He will have a blessing, and had rather have his bones put out of joint than go away without one. Those who would have the blessing of Christ, must resolve to take no denial!!! Never give up on God, never stop believing, never stop fighting, never lose faith…always pray…The fervent prayer is the effectual prayer and the effectual fervent prayer of the righteous avails much!
…Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s; Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord… (2 Chr 20:15,17)~~ So often we feel like parts of our lives are crashing down on us. We are overwhelmed by the trials and troubles we face. We forget that even as devoted Christians we are subject to troubles in our lives (Job 14:1). But what we must also remember in this life that is surely to have its uncertainties is that God is always there standing in for us… ensuring the victory. NO one else would…even if they could… go so far as to even come and get you out of hell and in fact go there in your place! Rather than get all worked up because of the fears of what might happen as we consider the magnitude of our trials, we must never forget the unmatched power of our God! He will step in and fix it all without you ever having to lift a finger or even say a word. He will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are stayed on Him and trust in Him. Some battles and trials are not for you to resolve but to trust that He will! When you turn it over to Him truly, your peace will be in great abundance as God intends. Remember – He came that we may have life and have it more abundantly! That’s not about material things, but the life and peace and joy that HE GIVES. Friend, don’t fight the battle before you take it to Him! Don’t worry about what hasn’t happened yet but trust in what HE will make happen for you… And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts (Ex 33:21-23). As He sets you high upon a rock out of the reach of your (HIS) enemy, covering you by His hand from even a scratch, stand still and be completely silent…. and see the work of His glorious salvation as He goes before you!
(Love) It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs (1 Cor 13:5)~
How do you climb a mountain? One step at a time. Overcoming unforgiveness is a lot like that as well. It’s a process with small victories along the way. There may be moments when you feel you have forgiven someone, or yourself, only to rediscover through a trigger that those same raw emotions of anger, bitterness, fear and regret have risen once again to the surface. But at those times I want to encourage you not to give up, but to keep going – step by step. Because when you carry unforgiveness with you throughout your life, it affects you in more ways than you realize.
Maintaining healthy relationships becomes more difficult as your interactions and approaches no longer reflect the purity of who you are but rather the impurity of unforgiveness, even toward those who may not have caused you your pain. Small offenses can get blown up into much more than they were, or you can withhold love and generosity whether in words or actions as a way of trying to protect yourself from being hurt again. That’s one reason why it is critical, for your sake, to forgive.
Biblical forgiveness is the decision to no longer credit an offense against an offender with a view of enacting vengeance. It also involves releasing that person from a debt owed as well as the blame that they deserve due to an infraction or sin committed against you.
The best biblical defense for this definition of forgiveness is found in 1 Corinthians 13 where we read about love. In verse 5 we discover that love “keeps no record of wrongs.” (NIV) This is similar to how God forgives us. He doesn’t forget the sin in terms of losing memory of its occurrence, but He “forgets” it in that He no longer holds the offense against our account. We are not held in debt to Him to pay off something that we are unable to pay. This is the point that we have to get to – and I say GET to because it’s a PROCESS – we don’t just GET there but we have to WORK TOWARD IT. There are hurts that happened against me, even as a child, that I carry to this day but if I hadn’t and if I don’t CONTINUE to take the forgiveness PROCESS one step at a time, the pain from those hurts will never go away. My brother and I were estranged for many years because of childhood hurt and while I didn’t WANT to be angry at him anymore, I didn’t take the steps up that mountain of forgiveness for a long time.
I was fortunate enough to do it and when I last saw him, it was like a leap to the top because at that point, it was over. We truly reconciled. I felt complete forgiveness for him and that (what felt like) lifetime of stress of unforgiveness was gone. I say ‘last saw him’ because that was the last time I would see him. My brother died later that year. I’m just glad we had that time – and although he’s gone, I’ve got peace (and victory) over something that haunted my spirit for much of my life. I have a cousin now that I’m about to do the same thing with. It’s Time! I’m back on that mountain headed for the top. I pray we get more years than I did with my brother after the process!
If you don’t do it for anything else – climb that mountain – forgive for PEACE – for yourself! You can get to the top and it’s glorious!!!
Thanks for reading! God Bless!
Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man (Gen 2:22-23)~~ God, as her Father, brought the woman to the man, as his second self, and a help meet for him. That woman, who is of God’s making by special grace, and of God’s bringing by special providence, is likely to prove a help meet for a man. She was given purpose by God and as was God’s intent, must be taken CARE of, not taken advantage of. Women, the help for man from God, become the wives and mothers that bring forth generations – following the Will of God, to be fruitful and multiply and subdue the earth (Gen 1:28). They are meant by God, as ‘help’ to the man, to look after us in our purpose. A gift of divine benefit, women must be looked after by us that their purpose (to help …. us) may be fulfilled rather than hindered. Yes, MAN, God created HER to look after you and take care of you! How could we possibly abuse what God has given us to help us???