As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. (Ps 103:12)~ As we struggle to change destructive patterns in our lives, shame always lies to us. Those inner whispers of “You’re still the same old you!”; “You aren’t who people think you are”; “You are such a disappointment”; haunt us as we live daily to be the better person! The enemy’s grip on us to remind us of our past is one that won’t concede so easily. As long as we think of ourselves in these shameful manners, the more of these shameful ways we end up stuck in – As a man thinks in his heart, so is he! (Prov 23:7). But be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind (Rom 12:2) and confront those shaming thoughts with the truth! When the child of the father begins to head back home, the father runs out to embrace the wayward child. This is God! This is grace! The Lord meets us with unexpected tokens of His forgiving love. We are clothed in the robe of Christ’s righteousness, made partakers of the Spirit of adoption, prepared by peace of conscience and gospel grace to walk in the ways of holiness, and feasted with divine consolations.
When that shame, the tactic of the enemy wants you to think that you are not good enough for God; when evil tries you to believe that you have to get your life together because you have to meet a standard for God; when the devil keeps bringing your past into your mind and having you believe you are not ‘God-worthy’, remember: God’s grace accepts us just as we are, and He never leaves us there. He takes us somewhere else—where we cannot take ourselves. Stop thinking you have to get your life together for God – Get with God and HE will get your life together!!! Those things you did…are things you ‘did’, not what you now ‘do’ nor who you now ‘are’. The determining element of dealing with our shame is this: If God—who alone has the right to shame us—chooses not to shame us, who are we to shame ourselves? And who are we to shame each other? Friend, Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God’s grace. By HIS grace we are saved! Be Blessed!
…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… (2Chr 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 the (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!
Jesus saith unto her, “Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?” (John 11:40); Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us; (Eph 3:20) ~ Jesus expressed many times during His walk on the earth the power of faith; to act on what you believe in. Many of us seem to be scared to “believe” although we have no problem asking…in other words we pray but we still worry and still try to walk by sight…trying to figure it out. We are not letting faith guide us, we are trying to force it our way. Rather than acting on what we believe, we are trying to believe in our actions! We are not trusting Him! See when we really figure this all out and do as Jesus said… and trust the belief of what He can do, He will go beyond what we could possibly ask for or even think… before we ask for it or think it! When you have the faith in Him to just intend to go to Him because you know what He can do… by the time you get to prayer in His presence it will be ALREADY DONE! As we deal with unknown illnesses and they run tests and tell us worst case scenarios as doctors do, If we just focus on knowing that God has the diagnosis and treatment already worked out, Before we even get to pray the tests come back negative! The faith in us of His finished (already done) work is what makes us whole, in renewed minds, joyous spirit and even a healed body! When we trust what we believe in Him, the power of Faith works in us to make things whole; that we may experience His glory in us! With power like this we can praise Him in advance because in Him it’s already done! While we are waiting on the breakthrough we can walk in the victory of a race that’s already won! Whatever that situation is that you’re holding onto and you’re praying for in His name now, start thanking God like He’s already delivered you… Yes, WHILE you wait… Remember, they that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. Start believing you’re coming on out of it! Sing His praises! Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen (Eph 3:21)
Then behold, men brought on a bed a man who was paralyzed, whom they sought to bring in and lay before Him. And when they could not find how they might bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the housetop and let him down with his bed through the tiling into the midst before Jesus. When He saw their faith, He said to him, “ Man, your sins are forgiven you.”; …But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”— He said to the man who was paralyzed, “ I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” Immediately he rose up before them, took up what he had been lying on, and departed to his own house, glorifying God (Luke 5:18-20;24-25)~~ Observe the duties taught and recommended to us by the history of the paralytic. In applying to Christ, we must be very pressing and urgent; that is an evidence of faith, and is very pleasing to Christ, and prevailing with Him. Of course without faith, it is impossible to please God. Give us, Lord, the same kind of faith with respect to your ability and willingness to heal our souls. Give us to desire the pardon of sin more than any earthly blessing. Enable us to believe your power to forgive sins; then will our souls cheerfully arise and go where you would send us! Amen!
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you (Eph 4:29-32)~ Have you ever heard someone talking about they can’t help being the way they are – that the circumstances of their life’s history and other people make them bitter and resentful and unkind and moody toward others? Okay…being very frank here…that’s a lame and lazy excuse to be able to hold on to that negative attitude. Being negative, bitter and cynical; saying ‘no’ to a positive light affords one the opportunity to just say ‘no’ and sit there with their arms folded and their lip stuck out and they don’t have to do anything else…. they get to be ugly and do nothing… and yes, they ‘could’ help it… they CHOSE to be bitter! There are plenty of us that have tough lives (man born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble – Job 14:1). Being kind though is the CHOICE that God wants us to make. Kindness is a CHOICE we get to make to share what we have with someone in need. It’s a CHOICE to encourage someone with a sincere compliment. God cares just that much how we treat each other. In Matthew 25:31-40, Jesus talks about people’s treatment of one another; and since He lives in us, what we do to each other we in turn do to Him. Thinking about it then: As you flaunt around your bad attitude at people, would you carry such a nasty disposition to our Lord? As you cuss out that person, would you cuss Jesus that way? As you abuse that person, would you abuse our Savior that way? How do you have it within you to mistreat that person and the Son of God so brutally? All lying, and corrupt language, that stir up evil desires and lusts, grieve the Spirit of God. Corrupt passions of bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, evil-speaking, and malice, provoke the Holy Spirit. We should beware of all such demeanor. Ask God to help you make the CHOICE to be kind, especially when you don’t feel like it. It is our duty to seek, by the blessing of God, to bring others to think truthfully, seriously and positively; and to encourage others by our conversation; not belittle and tear them down with ridicule and disrespect. Being kind one to another sets forth the principle of love in the heart, and the outward expression of it, in a humble, courteous behavior. Would you want other people to treat you that way? Would you want Jesus to be treated that way? Talk about tough lives… Jesus was TOTALLY innocent but HE took on the burden of sins for the WORLD… Yet HE loves everybody!!! Choose your Attitude!
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!
Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved (Ps 55:22)~~ If we would just give it to God and back away and let HIM deal with it; instead of telling Him what WE’RE dealing with; what burdens WE are carrying, He’s obviously a lot stronger than we are and He has a solution, already worked out! He’s telling us.. ‘Bring it to Me” … And we don’t! And so we struggle!
We don’t understand the totality of God’s care and concern for us; sometimes we carry things too long because we don’t want to trouble God – but His word INVITES us to come to Him -Matthew 11:28 says “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” That rest is a blessing in itself. Sometimes we just need a break from it all! But we try to be big and do it ourselves! We pride ourselves in being problem carriers – “I GOT this”… while all the while It’s Got YOU! Now, God is a problem solver – we may not have the answers, but God has ALL of the answers with the most reliable record in history. 100% Success. No matter what it is or how long we’ve dealt with it, we must cast that issue on the Lord! Turn it over! He shall sustain you – once you cast it on Him He will work it out… and in the midst of it, He will keep you… yes, with in-between blessings! Make the trade… that blessing is a lot easier to carry than a burden!
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls – Matt 11:29