Have #FaithOverFear ~ Know That God Has Not Forgotten! ~

faith over fear

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent (Ps 22:1-2)~ In times of “grief and tears” we all feel forgotten – even by God. The “fear” of being forgotten by Him brings with it frustrations: “I can’t figure out why this is happening to me – and why is it taking God so long to bring me out of it?”.  We’re in a crazy place where nothing seems to be going right; everything’s falling apart, no one else understands or even cares. (Ps 22:12-18) – all of your strength is dried up and you’re ONE step away from losing your mind. And GOD is silent (?!?!??!???).

When God seems silent; don’t let your faith get low because the enemy wants you to operate in fear. Fear is the darkroom where the devil will take you to develop your negatives! Look again at the frustrations that have started and where it takes you from there. You become cynical about how things go in your life, about how people are and how your life itself is. You become a negative person and you look for the negative in everything – and to your own detriment, you realize the truth in the phrase “Seek and ye shall find” because now everything around and about you is NEGATIVE.  In the eyes of the enemy, you are “picture perfect”.

But friend: BE YE TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND. No matter how you feel; no matter how things look – you have to remember, God is right there. Resist the devil and he will flee from you! Exercise Faith over Fear! You have to fight those negatives with positives. Rather than complain, you have to praise the Lord for strengthening you through your trials. Say to the Lord “I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee” (Ps 22:22). Wherever you find yourself, “life” will know God is there by your praise. You have to be at a point that your love for God is so strong it causes you to refuse to be afraid of the attacks of fear on your mind that the enemy throws in your life. All of this can be done JUST by your love for God! Because there is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear; because fear hath torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love (1 John 4:18). Don’t succumb to the fears and torment of the enemy….don’t allow yourself the suffering of negativity in your life! When God is silent, don’t assume He’s gone from you or that He’s betrayed you.  Don’t let your heart fill with worry and your mind start conjuring thoughts of doubt and disbelief in the promises of His Word.  Stand on what you know of Him,  not what you think He might or might not be doing.  God is not ignoring you, He hasn’t forgotten you and He CERTAINLY will never leave or forsake you! The devil is a lie!  God is always there,  even in His silence.  Be at peace… in faith over fear!

Your Failure Is Not Final #GetUp ~

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For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom‬ ‭3:23‬); Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly (Matt 26:75)~

Have you ever failed at something? Of course you have. We all have. Failure is usually a part of learning, growing, of developing abilities and skills. While it’s easy and acceptable to embrace failure when it comes to new learning experiences, we often struggle to get past other forms of failure—failed judgment, failed relationships, failed assignments, failed business. These often leave people with crippling shame and haunting regrets.

There’s no doubt that some failures are more costly and serious than other ones. It’s also true that certain kinds of failure should be conscientiously avoided. We should never have a cavalier attitude about moral and character failures. We should never take lightly the impact of choosing sinful and evil actions over godly and good ones. These mistakes hurt God, us and others. They often carry significant consequences, and rightly so. And when you fall, you can bet someone will be there… the devil! He loves to pound people with the ugly parts of their past. He specializes in grounding people. He’s a master craftsman when it comes to condemnation. He sells folks the story that it’s all over, that God is done with you now! He tries to make your failure final.

But yes, the devil IS a liar! Because it’s NOT over! God’s not done with you! In fact, God will not only forgive you, He’ll restore you and use you for His glory! Many people in the Bible failed. Did you know that the great Apostle Peter failed miserably? The guy that walked on water… yeah, he messed up! He doubted Jesus in his PHYSICAL presence while walking on that water! But Jesus took his hand and lifted him up! THEN, later on, when Jesus needed him the most, Peter denied Him, not once, but three times! After Jesus rose from the dead, He went to Galilee and found a despondent, defeated Peter, restored him and got him going again. Not too many days later, after being filled with the Holy Spirit, this same man—Peter—preached the first recorded message of the church and three thousand people gave their lives to Jesus Christ. That’s a major turnaround! Jesus helped Peter get up and get going again.

So how do we handle serious and significant failure? What should our response be to the life mistakes and messes we make? How do we deal with the consequences of our mess-ups without becoming emotionally defeated and spiritually destroyed by them? We must get up and get going again! While the consequences of certain failures have to be understood and appreciated, and messes have to be handled, staying down does no one any good. Rising up, receiving God’s forgiveness, seeking forgiveness from others and forgiving oneself is the way to turn things around.

Instead of hiding your soul (which God still sees by the way) and running away in defeat, GET UP, run to God for forgiveness and let Him restore you! If you’ve fallen, don’t stay down. You can get up and get going again!

We Must #Endure The Hardship To Experience The Heavenly ~

Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ (2 Tim 2:3) ~ In our lives, we are sure to have trials… many of us have seen our share…even now as we think of all of the things that weigh our hearts. As written: Man born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble. But we are not to despair, stress out and lose heart over the challenges of our lives. We are to persevere with diligence, like a soldier, a combatant in the Lord’s army! As our trials increase, we need to grow stronger in that which is good; our faith stronger, our resolution stronger, our love to God and Christ stronger. This is not by being strong in our own strength but being faithful to our Captain, and resolute in His cause. He has commanded us to be strong and of good courage! We must endure the hardship to experience the heavenly! If we would partake the fruits, we must labor; if we would gain the prize, we must run the race. We must do the will of God, before we receive the promises. Those who strive lawfully shall be crowned at last; for which reason we have need of patience. Faint not my brethren. Stay the course and continue standing on what God promised Abraham, of whose seed we all are because we are in Christ…all the nations of the earth will be blessed!

Keep Living the Dream! #MLK2020 ~

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Martin Luther King Jr. is celebrated today, Jan. 20, 2020.  On the 15th, he would have turned 91 years old.

Nearly 57 years after giving his most noted speech on August 28, 1963, today is a great day to revisit the “I Have A Dream” speech he delivered in Washington, D.C.

Long after his walk on Earth ended, Dr King’s voice and Dream both still live on. WE must be the ones to continue the work if we are to realize the dream. Let us never forget the vision and the necessity this great man had, not just for the black community but for ALL mankind! Even though we face turmoil and injustice, we can’t let it stop the Dream! With that I share that famous speech once again…

Scroll down to read the text in full below…

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating “For Whites Only”. We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.”

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

The Arc of the Moral Universe Is Long, But it Bends Toward Justice #MLK ~

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart (Gal 6:9); And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise (Heb 6:15)~~ And so I plead with you this day as we go ahead: remain committed to nonviolence. Our aim must never be to defeat or humiliate the other man, but to win his friendship and understanding. We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience. And that will be a day not of the white man, not of the black man. That will be the day of man as man. I know you are asking today, “How long will it take?” Somebody’s asking, “How long will prejudice blind the visions of men, darken their understanding, and drive bright-eyed wisdom from her sacred throne?” Somebody’s asking, “When will wounded justice, lying prostrate on the streets be lifted from this dust of shame to reign supreme among the children of men?” Somebody’s asking, “When will the radiant star of hope be plunged against the nocturnal bosom of this lonely night, plucked from weary souls with chains of fear and the manacles of death? How long will justice be crucified, and truth bear it?” However difficult the moment, however frustrating the hour, it will not be long, because “truth crushed to earth will rise again. How long? Not long, because no lie can live forever. How long? Not long, because you shall reap what you sow. How long? Not long because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. (Martin Luther King, Jr.).

There is so much going on in life today that it makes us constantly wonder IF, much less when things will get better. May God’s Word encourage and remind us to hang in there; to continue doing the right things and trusting Him through the process. There is a great promise that He has for us and God has never failed or gone back on a promise. We are ensured that as we patiently endure what we go through, not losing heart, that our light affliction is for but a moment but in His promise, we are being setup for a far exceeding weight of eternal glory! Yes, this “stuff” is light in God’s eyes and we are best to remember that because if we trust in Him and leave it to Him, we have peace knowing that it’s nothing He can’t handle! It may take a while, it may seem to be lifelong, but all things work together for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose! Trust! Believe! While we wait it out, God is working it out! Amen! Even so, come, Lord Jesus! (Rev 22:20)

Life Is A Rough Race But #Victory Is Just Ahead ~

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Rom 8:18)~~ The sufferings of the believer strike no deeper than the things of time, last no longer than the present time, are light afflictions, and but for a moment. How vastly different are the sentence of the word and the sentiment of the world, concerning the sufferings of this present time! Indeed all of creation seems to wait with earnest expectation for the period when the children of God shall be manifested in the glory prepared for them. There is an impurity, deformity, and infirmity, which has come upon us by the fall of man. There is an enmity of one to another. And our persons are used, or abused rather, as instruments of sin. Yet this deplorable state of the creation is in hope. God will deliver us from being held in bondage to our depravity. The miseries of the human race, through our own and each other’s wickedness, declare that the world is not always to continue as it is. Our having received the first-fruits of the Spirit, quickens our desires, encourages our hopes, and raises our expectations. Sin has been, and is, the guilty cause of all the suffering that exists in the creation of God. It has brought on the woes of earth; it has kindled the flames of hell. As to man, not a tear has been shed, not a groan has been uttered, not a pang has been felt, in body or mind, that has not come from sin. This is not all; sin is to be looked at as it affects the glory of God. Of this how fearfully regardless are the bulk of mankind! Believers have been brought into a state of safety; but their comfort consists rather in hope than in enjoyment. From this hope we cannot be turned by the vain expectation of finding satisfaction in the things of time and sense. We need patience, our way is rough and long; but He that shall come, will come, though He seems to tarry – soon and very soon! Come, Lord Jesus!

…Weeping may endure for a night,

But joy comes in the morning

SONrise!

Though I Keep Slipping, #Grace and #Mercy Keep Me From Falling! ~

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When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O Lord, held me up. In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul. (Ps 94:18-19)~~ When we consider our own guilt; the number of flaws we have; the bad choices we make, it’s easy for us to feel like we are not deserving of God’s love; His graces; His mercies. We sometimes have perplexed and distressed thoughts concerning God. We even come to feel like our sufferings, trials and tribulations are the result of His chastisement. But the devil is a lie! If God were inflicting punishment on us for our infirmities, first of all we would be dead because the wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23); the purpose of Jesus’ death was unfulfilled; and His entire intent for walking the earth was a lie; if God is seeking to inflict punishment on us for our behavior then why did JESUS die? Only let us look to the great and precious promises of the gospel. That man is blessed, who, under the tender mercies of the Lord, is taught His will and his truths, from His Holy Word, and by the Holy Spirit. He should see God’s mercy through his sufferings. There is a rest remaining for the people of God after the days of their adversity, which shall not last always. He that allows the trouble, will give us rest. God’s comforts bring that peace and pleasure which the smiles of the world cannot give, and which the frowns of the world cannot take away. God is our refuge, to whom we may flee, in whom we are safe, and may be secure. Yes, even in our guilt, He is merciful. WHILE we were yet sinners, Christ died for us!