But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves:for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt (Matt 14:24-31)~~ Christ had Peter come, not only that he might walk upon the water, and so know his Lord’s power, but that he might know his own weakness. And the Lord often lets us have our choice, and our ‘sinking’ to humble and prove us, to let us realize our limitations, and to show the greatness of His power and grace. When we look off from Christ, and look at the greatness of our opposing difficulties, we shall begin to fall; but when we call to Him, He will stretch out His arm, and save us. Christ is the great Savior; and those who would be saved, must come to Him, and cry to Him for salvation. We are never brought to this point until we find ourselves sinking in the confidence of our own choices. It is then that the sense of need drives us to Him. Christ rebuked Peter. If we could just believe more, we would suffer less. The weakness of faith, and the prevailing of our doubts, displease our Lord, for there is no good reason why Christ’s disciples should be of a doubtful mind. Indeed without faith it is impossible to please God. In the worst of stormy days He is to us a very present help! Situations in your life can be like you’re in that tiny ship in a vast ocean getting tossed and blown all over the place. God keeps you in this storm but He is always right there for you to reach out to. Keep your focus on Him and don’t be too proud to cry out for Him! He won’t calm the storm but if you’ll just believe in Him, in the midst of the storm you’ll be walking on water!!!
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice (Eph 4:31)~~ Bitterness acts on the mind in the way poison acts on the body. Bitterness is that state of mind which willfully holds on to angry feelings, ready to take offense, able to break out in anger at any moment. It is resentful cynicism that results in an intense antagonism or hostility towards others. The person who is bitter can be resentful, cynical, harsh, cold, relentless, and unpleasant to be around. These things lead to wrath, which is the explosion on the outside of the feelings on the inside. This unbridled wrath and anger often lead to brash self-absorption of an angry person who needs to make everyone hear and feel the pain of their grievances. Next comes slander…that speech springing from cynicism, bitterness and anger; designed to wound or injure others. All this then leads to a spirit of malice, which signifies evil-mindedness or feelings of intense hatred. This kind of attitude is sensual and devilish in its influences. Malice is a deliberate attempt to harm another person. The danger in succumbing to cynicism, bitterness and malice; allowing them to rule our hearts is that they are of a spirit that refuses reconciliation. Hebrews 12:15 warns us to “see to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many”. The cynical, bitter person only sees their own feelings and doesn’t consider and may not even have awareness of the destruction of the lives they impact. Therefore, “every form of malice” must be done away with. We must always be wary of allowing “bitter roots” to grow in our hearts. God wills that His people live in love, joy, peace, and holiness—not in bitterness. Therefore, we must always watch diligently, pray frequently and always guard our hearts and minds…Neither giving place to the devil (Eph 4:27); And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you (Eph 4:32)!
In the case of Joseph, his problems began the moment he fell for his brothers’ “we’ve got a really neat pit to show you” trick. They sold him as a slave to Ishmaelites passing through the area in an attempt to rid themselves of “the dreamer” (see Genesis 37:19). Eventually, Joseph was able to gain a good standing with Potiphar and was placed in charge of his house. But later, Potiphar’s wife attempted to seduce Joseph and falsely accused him of adultery. Joseph ended up in prison as a result.
And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them (Gen 50:20-21); Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good (Rom 12:14-21)~~ Don’t worry about how people treat you or respond to you…as long as you have the affirmation of God in your life, nothing else anyone else thinks or says matters…Nothing else can stop you, nothing can separate you from His care nor remove you from his hand! No weapon formed against you shall prosper! We must be careful how we respond to people, even those that hurt us. Even as your enemy is your footstool, you don’t need to trample on them! You might have within your desire, power and ability to retaliate, but your blessing will be tied to your willingness to forgive and to respond in kind. We must treat others, even those that hurt us, as we “want” others to treat us, not as they “have” treated us… and keep moving on. You are not blessed until you are able to look at those who did you wrong, and declare in your spirit that to retaliate you become like them, you come down to where they are; but because God is in you, you’re forgiving them not for them, but for yourself. In relieving them of your wrath, you remove that detriment from yourself. And what they meant for evil against you, God will use for your good. If they hate you because of your promotion…imagine what they will think when you are the owner… if they dislike you for the good things in your life.. imagine how it will be when there are great things in your life! Regardless of why they might hate, don’t anchor your life and sanity down by carrying the burden of worrying about it. God is your great provider, carrier and protector. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? The Lord taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me (Ps 118:6-7). Michelle Obama’s statement may have been made in a political arena, but it’s a great philosophy for living life – “we will NOT stoop to their level! When they go low, we go high!”
I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life (Rev 2:9-10)~~ We seem to constantly go through trials and tribulations – finding ourselves in limiting and confining situations – being persecuted and prosecuted for our convictions. There are challenges seen and unseen that are working against us; a disingenuousness that is on a mission to steal us from the Truth that holds us up, kill our relationship with the Lord and destroy any chance at salvation that we may have. Times are really hard and seem to be getting harder. People are getting tired and discouraged and growing weary of the fight – even to do right because it seems like the world is just going its own way against God and winning on every front. But we should count it all joy – yes, it’s all good – because God knows what we’re dealing with …. He sees the darkness of the world around us. He is aware of the enemy that is in a constant mission to bring us down in the darkness of the world and God’s Word to us is to stay faithful! His dream for us is bigger than our discouragement (and His dream is His intent and will not be foiled). His assignment for us is bigger than the attack on us (and God won’t have us failing HIS assignment); His vision for us is bigger than the vindictiveness of those that work against us and His promise is indeed greater than the pain we’re dealing with so that our joy will certainly greater than their judgement! HIS will, no matter what, will be accomplished (Isa 55:11)!!! Knowing this, remember that in all the darkness, Jesus is the Light of the world! He is the source of our light and your salvation, and regardless of what’s out there, we should have no fear (Ps 27:1). We are to let that light shine through us… before the darkness of the world, that God may expose the forces against us and in HIS victory, be glorified (Matt 5:16). We may be in hard times but in Him we are rich. We may be tired but waiting on Him renews our strength (Isa 40:31) Keep being you, doing what you’re supposed to do and in due time you will reap the benefit (Gal 6:9). Keep doing good in even the worst of situations that seem to try to undermine your destiny and know that all things work together for GOOD to those that love God and are called to His purpose (Rom 8:28). What we begin to understand is that no matter what happens in life – good, bad or ugly, God has a way of taking it and using it for our good (Gen 50:20). So in all of the things that go on around us, don’t worry – God knows! Stay faithful – keep smiling, keep your head up and keep praising God because what you’re dealing with won’t last – your trouble has term limits and it is absolutely temporary – know that it’s almost over! Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning (Ps 30:5)… and the SON is rising!