In transgressing and lying against the Lord, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood (Isa 59:13)~ funny how we can twist the Word of God to justify our choices to live outside of His word, but then wonder why there’s so much turmoil in the world around us and in our own lives! If we shut our eyes against the light of Divine truth, it is just with God to hide from our eyes the things that belong to our peace. But: Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble (Ps 119:165 ESV). God promises us a giant helping of peace when we do what His Word says. Following God’s ‘rules’ helps us make fewer mistakes, and we no longer have to worry about “stumbling” or getting hurt because of bad decisions. It’s like the rules we establish for our children such as watching for cars in the street, not playing with fire and always walk when you have sharp objects; there are things we know in our wisdom as parents that are beneficial to pass on to our children for their protection and care. When they live according to the wisdom in which we raise them up they don’t depart from this wisdom and they live better lives. Contrarily we see those that live a life of defiance and end up living in tumultuous situations and disgrace. Living according to God’s Word allows His peace to rule our hearts. As for God, His way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: He is a buckler to all those that trust in Him (Ps 18:30); The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes (Ps 19:8). Spin it, make excuses or justify it any way you want, but nothing will truly profit while we reject Christ and His gospel. If we choose to live like this we should expect to live…like this!
This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby (John 11:4)~ One of the hardest trials for any of us to endure is our own sickness! It is no new thing for those whom Christ loves, to be sick; bodily ailments correct the corruption, and try the graces of God’s people. The more severe the illness the deeper our own focus on faith and perspective of our being. While we enjoy His favor it can be hard to imagine that we’d be in this place! But reality sets in and reminds us that contrary to what might seem ideal, He came not to preserve us from these afflictions, but to save us from our sins, and from their promised wrath. Yet and still however, it behooves us to apply to Him on behalf of our friends and relatives when sick and afflicted. Let this reconcile us to the darkest dealings of Providence, that they are all for the glory of God: sickness, loss, disappointment, are so; and if God be glorified, we ought to be satisfied. God has gracious intentions, even when He seems to delay us the work of deliverance, temporal or spiritual, public or personal; it does not deny us but stays for the right time! What you’re going through is not what you’re going to and it will not be the end of you. As you wait on the Lord may your strength be renewed while in patient expectations. Remember, though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. (2 Cor 4:16).
For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. (Ps 91:11-12)~ The enemy is a master of trickery and will have you believing that your wrong decision is everything right… He’ll having you ‘trusting your instincts’; He’ll have you justifying it because you’ll be feeling like it’s right for you! You’re saying: “I know the Bible says ‘this’ but things are different today…” Just like he did Adam and Eve in the Garden…they knew what God said and even the devil acknowledged that…(the devil doesn’t disagree with God, he simply twists it to his own purpose)…having them thinking they could make their own decisions regardless of what God said! He will have us trusting what we see rather than God. Soon we’re caught up in a crooked path…going straight in the wrong direction of this unbelief! Like it or not, we are at war within ourselves fighting reality (truth) against perception (our way of seeing it). The enemy will attack us and try to deceive us into passivity and apathy concerning the war at hand. The enemy wants us to believe that we should take certain paths (make certain decisions and moves) that may be anything other than ‘straight’. Once we’ve fallen to this trickery we’ll eventually realize the truth and it hits us like a ton of bricks and yes, we feel the guilt! But to soften THAT blow, now the enemy shows us some false hopes by “things” he will put in front of us to make us “feel good about our decisions”. He will have us believing that while evil has won in our lives and that we are failures and that SINCE we are going ‘down’ we might as well go ‘with a bang’…one bad decision after another! Now we’re really spiraling out of control! BUT… Yes!!!! The devil is a liar! Because when Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for the sins Satan deceptively introduced into the world, Satan’s fate was sealed. With the payment of death no longer required of us for sin, Satan lost his only chance at victory. God revealed to the apostle John (and others) the great and glorious victory He wins in the future (Revelation 20:10). It comes down to this: Though the “battle” still rages, the outcome of the “war” has already been determined. God wins. Satan loses. That’s IT!!! And that’s what the enemy doesn’t want you to know or remember! See, something happens when we trust God, God will give His mighty, powerful, TRUTH KNOWING warrior angels charge over us. And knowing that truth, they don’t let you get stagnant in life where you will fall to the enemy, but will “keep you moving” down the “straight” path while the obstacles of this life come at you…terror, arrows of the enemy, pestilence, harm, disaster, evil, bad decisions; all while reminding you of the truth of God’s grace, mercy and salvation; keeping you from the harm of the enemy as you fight the good fight to its glorious end. Trust in God to deliver on His promise to restore the earth to its sinless, no-evil state. And rejoice because He will! That’s right, step on that devil’s head! Trust in God to give His angels charge over you. To keep you in all your ways. Know that ‘trust in’ God is not a passive trust. You don’t trust and hope He does something coriander if He might…that’s fear! You have to walk in faith and expectation that He has already taken care of it, even though you can’t see the fullness of it…yet! Trusting that God will take care of everything while we sit on the sidelines and watch is like faith without works – dead. There are no spectators in the spiritual war between God and evil. We must choose a side and gear up. We do so by choosing which type of trust we will have: trust that if we do this we’ll have that and what we see tells us what to believe in, or ‘trust that’ God will “do” it and we’ll reap the benefit of ‘trust in’ God as we live our lives and we WALK the walk of faith and FIGHT the good fight of faith… in the care of the angels He’s given charge over us!
And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise (Heb 6:15)~~ We are in this world as a ship at sea, tossed up and down, and in danger of being cast away. We need an anchor to keep us sure and steady. Faith and Trust in God is our anchor in the storms of this world. It is sure and steadfast, or it could not keep us so. The free grace of God, the merits and mediation of Christ, and the powerful influences of his Spirit, are the grounds of this hope, and so it is a steadfast hope. The promises of God may safely be depended upon; for there two things which cannot change, the counsel and the oath of God, in which it is not possible for God to lie; it would be contrary to His nature as well as to His will; and we, as His children, have a title to the promises by inheritance. These consolations of God are strong enough to support us under our heaviest trials. God knows you’re tired, frustrated, worn out and feeling unappreciated, But you can’t bow out because life is tough. You can’t run and hide because things might not be going in the direction that you want. We were never promised a trouble-free life – in fact we are reminded of quite the opposite in Job 14:1 (Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble). We are going to have many trials in life but we can’t let them stop us.. With the experiences I’ve had, If I were going to quit, trust me, I would have done it by now! But by the Grace of God, I am what I am! He gives me a wonderful tree of Fruits of the Spirit to live from (See Galatians 5:22-23). As one of the fruits of the Spirit is longsuffering, remember, the promise of His ‘due season’ is your reward. We must learn and trust in the power and importance of waiting on God; while we wait it out God is working it out! He endured and received His promise of Glory! He fulfilled the promise to us and made the way that we may endure and do the same. we are all going through seasons but we must remain steadfast in our faith in Him. God’s promise awaits us if we can endure the journey. Meanwhile, to keep us mindful of that promise, He blesses us greatly along the way in life. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art WITH me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me (Ps 23:4).
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matt 6:33)~ Thoughtfulness for our souls is the best cure of thoughtfulness for the world. So many of us are focused on worldly gain; materialistic profit; Hierarchicial stature. We take pride in worldly possession but have no interest in our lot in eternity. What profit is there for us to gain the world and lose our soul? Seek first the kingdom of God, and make the cares of your eternal soul your business: it is the way to be well provided for, even in this world. Jesus said “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” The life we seek of this world and find comes in the midst of much worrying, wonerding, doubting and struggle and will be lost; but to put aside the life of this world, seeking Him in faith, hope, trust and most importantly, love, will not only provide for us here on Earth but set our destination to His presence in eternity. It is the will and command of the Lord Jesus, that by daily prayers we may get strength to bear us up under our daily troubles, and to arm us against the temptations and cares of the world, and then let none of these things move us. Happy are those who take the Lord for their God, and make full proof of it by trusting themselves wholly to His wise provision. Seek the world and we find the world. Seek the Lord and we find eternity which gives us in and above the world!
The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked came against me To eat up my flesh, My enemies and foes, They stumbled and fell. Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, In this I will be confident (Ps 27:1-3)~ God is my revelation: He has shown me things I’ve never seen and thing I’ve already seen in ways I’ve never seen them; God is my salvation: He has brought me out of many situations – from death to life – from trial to triumph – from frustration to favor; God is my vindication: He makes the tactics of the enemy stumble and fall – without the need of action or retaliation from me – He declares His vengeance and guides me to simply abide in Him – trust in Him – worship Him; God is my preservation: He constantly keeps me when I should have fallen – He grants victory in the face of defeat – When one thing seems like it should be, God IS!; The Lord God is my stabilization: I will stand on the solid, steadfast, unmoveable foundation He provides. There is no instance that God cannot control, no pain He cannot soothe, no sorrow He cannot heal. One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple (Ps 27:4) ~ I will plain and simply and without question, trust, believe, love and take joy in Him!
Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips (Ps 141:3)~ If we would only know the evil of tongue sins. When evil is provoking, we are in danger of speaking unadvisedly… You don’t HAVE to be heard. Your opinion is not required and many times may not be requested nor necessary. Don’t think you always HAVE to share, comment or impose your thoughts! Everything that comes to mind is not meant to be spoken (or written, texted, tweeted or posted), but rather every thought held captive to the obedience of Christ. Even if you’re not pleased with a thing, don’t understand a thing, or disagree with a thing, it still doesn’t mean you have to say ANYTHING! Silence can be golden and in many cases says more than speaking. We should all memorize this verse as there is much need for this simple prayer! Guard your heart, hold that thought and watch your tongue!
This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord ‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness (Lam 3:21-23)~ God gave you another day; another chance; another blessing. That in itself should outweigh any other depressive feeling you might have, whether you are guilty of something or the victim of another’s actions. We all have in our lives some source of distress or temptation but every day that God gives us is another day to rise above it. In fact, as bad as things are or may seem, we owe gratitude to God that it’s not worse. While there is life there is hope; and instead of complaining about things that are bad, we should encourage ourselves about the things that are good with the hope and expectation in Him that they will be better. No matter what happened to you.. it “happened”- you got THROUGH it. You didn’t succumb to it or perish in it! No matter what you did, God didn’t strike you down for it but each day you come back to this life, He has again shown you an incomparable act of grace and mercy. Tribulation comes in all forms and ‘messes’ with us in so many ways and it causes us to pause in our lives; waiting on ‘something’ from the Lord’s hand. If tribulation works patience, that patience will work experience, and that experience a hope that makes one not ashamed. We are sinful people, and what we complain of, is far less than our sins deserve. We should in our tribulations therefore seek and inquire of God, and not falsely complain of Him or His justice toward us (that He’s not even imparting by the way). We are apt, in times of calamity, to reflect on other people’s ways, and blame them; but our duty is to search and try our own ways, that we may turn from evil to God. Our hearts must go with our prayers. Due thoughts of the evil of sin, and of our own sinfulness, will convince us that it is of the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed. God’s compassions fail not; of this we have fresh chances every morning. Every morning you wake up, God has given you another portion that far surpasses anything this world could give you; far more than any achievement could earn you; in excess and abundance of any earthly gift you could receive. Portions on earth are perishing things, but God is a portion for ever. For this my friend, rejoice today and every day because every… day…. God loves you over and over and over again and NOTHING can separate you from that, no matter what the worldly circumstance! The Lord is my portion; I desire to have Him for my portion and salvation, and in His word do I hope. Be blessed!
Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24). For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (Rom 8:15)~ When we think about God, we think about Heaven, salvation, victory, triumph, strength, peace, joy, eternal life…the list goes on with all of these great and wonderful things that God brings us. Jesus promised us that by believing in God, who sent Him…believing in the Word He brings…we are free from the imprisonment of sin in our lives. Because you believe in Him, you are set free from the fear of death and can look forward to living forever with God in heaven. Yet we always find ourselves in a position of basically saying ‘Lord, I do believe…but help my unbelief!’ Yes, we come to a point where as much as we believe in Him, we exhibit unbelief! That unbelief is our “fear”. Not the fear of dangers and harm to our person – but the fear of walking in what we claim to believe God for! How can we talk about all of the great promises of God and know all about the ‘finished’ work of Christ, yet be fearful to walk in the deliverance of them? Why do we let fear imprison us? We have been given the victory but we walk in the shame of losers! We want to know victory and greatness in life and it’s given to us, but we keep living our lives like where we used to be! We want to see things differently but we keep walking the same and we eventually dread our lives because we think nothing ever changes…then it turns out that the only thing that DIDN’T change…was US! Those of us who do not love the lives we have are the ones who were afraid to change…our fear of what change might make us has imprisoned us in complacency and mediocrity! Have you ever seen a team win a championship and go to the showers like they were the losers because they didn’t want to take the trophy they went all season for? No, they walked in the victory! The prison gates are open and we have been exonerated, yet we sit there in our same old position of imprisonment because we’re scared to change our pattern and walk out the door in that freedom we have! To expect great results, while never changing your actions is a recipe of consistent failure (and insanity). Experiencing that freedom and that new life you’re looking for comes from the walks of faith, to dare to be and do what you have never done before. Fear will cause you to become complacent and remain in a continual prison of mediocrity, never growing or becoming more than what you have always been. But when you walk in the faith of the belief in the Lord, you will find that renewed strength that gives you limitless LIFE under His freedom! We are fearful to step out in faith because we think our lives will turn out different than we planned for. My friend, that is the GREATEST thing that could happen!!! God said “.. I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end (Jer 29:11)”; and “…my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways (Isa 55:8)”. In other words, when you walk in that victory God has given you and drop that fear of being different from your own plans…trust in Him with all your heart rather than your own understanding, your life WILL be different than YOU planned. It will be what HE planned! What would you do if you had no fear? Think about a time when you faced your fear…you’re still here aren’t you? You got through it! It felt liberating didn’t it? God did not give us that spirit of fear… let it go … in fact, send it packing…and be free…and be blessed!