Trouble's all around. Our worst fears have happened. All of a sudden here we are in the midst of adverse conditions. Engulfed with thoughts of fear and defeat. Looking in every direction we find there's no way out. What are we going to do? Have you ever been in a situation where you felt like what I just described?
In 2 Kings chapter 6, Elisha and his servant were in just that type of position. They awoke to find the city, to which they were staying, surrounded by the Syrian army. The servant alarmed and in a panic, reacted to the circumstance, exclaiming, "We are doomed sir, what shall we do?" (GNT)
Maybe your problems seems just like that! 'What am I going to do? How will I ever get out of this?' Observing things in the state of the natural mind can almost seem overwhelming. Pressures reveal our character, our faith, and even our dedication to the Lord. This is the moment we can decide to either be a master of the circumstance or a victim. Your predicament can be an opportunity to overcome OR a trial of struggles and defeat. True strength and character are shown in the stand during adversity. Proverbs 24:10 says, "If you faint in the day of adversity, Your strength is small."
Back to 2 Kings, Elisha the prophet of God, said "Don't be afraid, we have more on our side then they do on theirs." I'm quite sure it didn't look like that to the servant. But Elisha saw things differently. He was looking through spiritual eyes. He saw the mountain full of horses and chariots of fire all around. And as soon as he prayed for his servants eyes to be opened, he also saw.
When faced with uncontrollable matters, do you see an unsurmountable obstacle? Learning to look past the problem, and see the victory that already belongs to you is key to overcoming. 1 Cor. 2:14, "But the natural man (one dominated by the soul) does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." The Holy Spirit reveals the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. (1 Cor. 2:9-10)
It is written 365 times in the Bible, "Do not fear". The writer of Hebrews wrote, "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?" Coming to the realization that God is our defender, will strengthen our faith. Ps. 28:6-7 "Blessed be the Lord, because He has heard the voice of my supplications! The Lord is my strength and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him."
Praise is acknowledging what God has done, what He is doing and what He will do. When we decide to thank Him expressing praise, in the midst of trouble, we loose spiritual weapons and our breakthrough comes. (Read Acts 16:25-26) Regardless of the difficulty, God has already made a way of escape for us. All we need to do is trust Him will all our heart, lean not to our own understanding and acknowledge Him in all our ways, and He'll direct our path. (Pro. 3:5-6)
So take time right now, to lay down fear, put on faith, and praise the Lord for your deliverance from trouble. View your circumstance through spiritual eyes, because there are more with you than there are against you!
Sailing a ship in stormy weather can be hazardous unless the captain has the knowledge and expertise. High winds and enormous waves can cause the ship to sink or shipwreck. Many a vessel has been lost due to treacherous seas. Like the tempest at sea, we are living in a troubled world. However, Jesus said "...in the world you will have tribulation..." (John 16:33) Paul also wrote in 2 Timothy, "...in the last days perilous times will come." (2 Tim. 3:1) Listening to the news we can see that we live in very dangerous, risky and unpredictable days. One who does not have the Lord as his Savior, is generally fearful and fretful. Jesus is our lighthouse, illuminating the path to safety. Through His direction and knowledge from His Word there is hope. (Heb. 13:20-21 "Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to who be glory forever and ever. Amen") In light of the fact of circumstances we face, let's see how our Great Shepherd is characteristic of the lighthouse to us....
Psalms 23 says, "The Lord is my shepherd;" Making Jesus the ruler of your life, places Him as your protector, and watcher of your life. A lighthouse is guidance to safety. Surrendering to Him, just like sheep do to a shepherd, allows Him to be a guide of security. Sheep know the shepherds voice and where He leads they follow, unlike goats that question and butt everything that comes against them. (John 10:4)
"I shall not want." Phil. 4:19 says, "He supplies all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." As your Shepherd, He's going to make sure you have provision for every necessity. His supply is satisfying if we follow Him, as a ship that follows the light from the lighthouse. The Bible also tells us, He will give us the desires of our heart as long as we are delighting in Him. (Ps. 37:4) In the place of every need is supply.
"He makes me to lie down in green pastures;" When sheep lie down it means they are satisfied and content. Because we are in His presence there is fullness of joy we can rest untroubled as well as at peace, "I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." (Ps. 4:8 & Ps.16:11) Even in the midst of a stormy sea the beacon shines to give us confidence and peace.
"He leads me beside the still waters." We can be sure He's leading us to a place of refreshment and tranquility. When we delight in His Word, as we meditate day and night will place us by the rivers of water which provides sustenance. Therefore, keeping us refreshed and prosperous, quenching our thirst. (Ps. 1:1-3 & Jer. 17:3)
"He restores my soul;" God forgives our iniquities and heals all our diseases. (Ps. 103:3) Regardless of how much we mess up, when we repent He forgives. Because of His infinite mercy and grace we are restored. The Holy Spirit gently signals us during times of struggles to escort us to the sanctuary for redemption.
"He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake." We can depend on the guidance of the Holy Spirit. (John 16:13) He will usher us in the right direction and in safety. His Name is the Lord our Righteousness, Jehovah Tsidkenu. Ps. 32:8 God says, "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye." Keeping our vision focused on Him assures traveling in a sheltered course.
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death," Life is full of tribulations and temptations. One thing for sure, is we are going to the other side of the problem. But we must remember not to set up camp in depression or sorrow. We are more than an overcomer through Him. Especially when storms are raging, there's trust in His guidance. Pro. 18:30 "As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him."
"I will fear no evil, for You are with me;" Paul wrote, that God didn't give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love and of a sound mind. (2 Tim. 1:7) As long as we abide in the presence of the All Mighty God, we remain in His protection and fear will not affect us. (Ps. 91) Relying on the promise of His faithfulness to never leave or forsake us brings courage and strength. (Deu. 31:6-8) Just like the light signaling lost ships gives hope.
"Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me." God's Word is the instruction we need to get us through our life. In Ps. 119:105, it says, His Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. That means it will point us in the right direction daily and for things to come. If we refer to the Bible everyday, it will teach, correct, and admonish us in living. (2 Ti. 3:16)
"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;" God is on our side. He will contend with those who contend with us. Although there are enemies, we will not just survive, but feast in the midst of them. We come out on top of situations because of Him. Ps. 18:3 says, we can call upon the Lord, and He will deliver us from our enemies. Our trust and faith in Him, will bring peace with any adversary. (Pr. 16:17)
"You anoint my head with oil;" The anointing of oil upon the head is symbolic of blessing, protection and empowerment. We are sanctified and set apart for Him. (1 Cor. 6:11) We are chosen to proclaim the praises of God. (1 Peter 2:9)
"My cup runs over." Jesus said He came that we might have life and have it more abundantly, overflowing, much more than is expected or needed. This is the blessing that spills over. We are blessed!
"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life;" As long as we remain faithful to God's Word, we shall be in His mercy. Ps. 65:11 says, God crowns the year with His goodness, and richness overflows wherever He is. Steadfastly abiding in the Word and His presence guarantees goodness and mercy.
"And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever." We have guarantee of our place for eternity when Jesus becomes our Lord and Savior. This is a promise of security in eternity.
We want to encourage you to mediate on this scripture and let it become a reality in your heart. Realize that through the Word, God has given us guidance for anything we may face. He encourages us with the promises of provision, protection, healing, blessing, and His benefits. Our failure to recognize these, believe and trust Him, and receive it, puts us at risk in these insecure days. Don't shipwreck because you reject faith and a good conscience. Keep your eyes upon Jesus and sail through to the shore. You can do all things through Him, who gives you strength. (Phil. 4:13)
Thoughts are kind of funny. One can be thinking of something fantastic, then out of no where, a creepy fearful image pops in our mind. The problem is, it doesn't stop there. We have a tendency to dwell on that alarming notion, blowing it all out of proportion. And before we realize it, that thought became a fearful emotion. The feeling of FEAR causes great anxiety in our life, whether it's realistic or unrealistic. What's the difference of realistic and unrealistic fear, you ask? Realistic fright is the imagination of reasonable situations. For instance: getting a dreaded illness; someone not liking you; having an accident; and things that are believable. Unrealistic phobias are unfeasible or illogical. Such as: a building suddenly collapsing; an infestation of tarantulas in your house and other ideas that are far fetched.
Regardless of the kind of fear that sneaks into your thoughts, it can be overwhelming and destructive if we allow it to linger. Someone once said, FEAR is F-false, E-evidence, A-appearing, R-real! Let's face it, no matter the fear it's not of God! 2 Timothy 1:7 NIV "For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline." Once we understand where fear comes from, it's easier to manage. So, how does one manage this type of thinking? 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, "Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." We must take authority over these fears ushering in God's Word to replace it.
Have you heard the saying,"A mighty oak tree was once a little nut that held it's ground."? Fear, if left alone, can grow so massive it will destroy any faith you have. Make a decision now to demolish all fears, anxieties, or worries with the Word of God. Find a scripture with which you can defeat the enemy. Below we've listed some from the Bible that will be an instrument in conquering fear. Make each verse personal by putting your name in them.
Scripture References (Amp. Version)
Ps. 119:105 "Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path."
Phil. 4:6,7 "Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God."
Ps. 112:7 "He shall not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is firmly fixed, trusting (leaning on and being confident) in the Lord."
Ps. 27:1 "The Lord is my Light and my Salvation-whom shall I fear or dread? The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold of my life - of whom shall I be afraid?"
Is. 41:10 "Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice."
Ps. 34:4 "I sought (inquired of) the Lord and required Him [of necessity and on the authority of His Word], and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears."
Heb. 13:6 "So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me?"
John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]"
Is. 26:3 "You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both it's inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You."
Col. 3:15 "And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ's] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving always]."
Col 3:2 "And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are the earth."
Phil 4:8 "For the rest, brethren, whatever it true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]."
1 Cor. 2:16 "For who has known or understood the mind (the counsels and purposes) of the Lord so as to guide and instruct Him and give Him knowledge? But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart."
Your consistent repetition of these verses will enable and empower you to gain surpassing victory over any fear that comes your way. We believe that you are more than a conqueror over fear through Christ who loves you.
Of all the creatures on earth I believe the less stressed is the snail. Seriously, think about it, the snail, as slow as he is, still made it to the ark before the flood. He wasn't stressing about making it! The pressures of daily life, whether it be the job or family oftentimes can be overwhelming. With the need to accomplish what's been set before us or the tasks we've chosen, stress can enter in to affect us causing illness. Too often people tend to put more on their plate than they can effectively handle. Or because of the tender nature of some, responsibilities are often added to them by leadership. All this adds stress related emotions.
The work before us, isn't easily ignored, especially when it involves others, assignments or impending target dates. The tension of fulfilling the mission usually mounts as more duties are assigned and the schedule narrows. So how does one handle stress on a day to day basis?
I am reminded of 1 Peter 5:7, of which I like the Amplified version, "Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully." I liken casting to 'heaving, throwing, or flinging'. And of course Peter didn't say, just throw part of your care...he said the 'Whole of your care'! That's all the 'how's it going to turn out, how's it going to get done, IS it going to get done, and how am I going to do it' thoughts. Then he indicates 'once and for all'! In other words, do it once and leave it! Don't take back the worry or questions. Leave them in the Lord's lap.
Doing this is very difficult for a lot of people, because they want to be in control. I think some people believe God's not interested in the 'little' BIG stuff in our life. I call it 'little' BIG stuff, because in the scheme of it all, there are bigger and grander problems than these things we call BIG! Our nature is to make mountains out of mole hills, thinking the world will fall off of its axis if we don't complete something. If the truth be said, generally it's us that determine the degree of significance. (I'm not talking about those large events with time constraints involving hundreds of people. In those cases, we just need to activate time management or delegation. Remembering we can't do everything ourself.) Regardless of the measure of importance, we should cast the whole of our care, once and for all over on Him!
Here are some helpful points to rid yourself of stress or anxiety in your life.
1) Pray! Yes, it's come to that! Prayer IS 'Casting'. It's taking whatever's confronting you and giving the guardianship of it to God. Pro. 3:5-6NIV "Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths." In more ways than not, God has the perfect way to accomplish your task at hand! You just might be surprised at the answer He has for getting it done!
2) Thank God for taking your care! Phil. 4:6-7 says, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Thanksgiving is where faith is activated. When we thank Him for the answer before it arrives, that means we believe He's given us the answer.
3) Renew your mind to the Word. In other words, find some scripture to meditate on. Phil. 4:8 "Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things." Instead of thinking about all the problems and all of what you cast over to God, find the good things about your situation to reflect on.
and 4) Praise the Lord. Praise is acknowledging what God has done, what He is doing and what He will do! It's important to know that Praise always precedes God's power. (Read 2 Chron. 20:21-22) Your praises to God will open the door for things to change and answers to come in behalf of your situation. God always sits upon the throne of praise we build. (Ps. 22:3)
I know that if you incorporate these points in your life, your stress will leave, peace will come and the help you need will arrive. Praise the Lord!
Imagine this, you're moving along in life, going to work, living happily with your family. Everything seems real fine! You've got your bills paid, and a little money put away for a rainy day. You and your family are healthy. You live in a nice house, drive a cool car and can afford to have a few luxuries. It seems life is treating you real good. Then 'wham' right out of no where, a problem hits. You've always considered yourself to be a person of faith, praying regularly, attending church when you can and even quoting Bible scriptures. But now there's a serious issue that's staring you right in your face. It's so severe that you don't know who to turn to for help or how to confront it. It seems over whelming and unsolvable. What are you going to do?
Regardless of any type of difficulty there's always one solution, God. Yes, I know a lot of you are saying, "Really?? Are you for real? Of course you'd say God, your a preacher. But what about us normal people?" Ps. 56:3 says, "What time I am afraid, I will have confidence in and put my trust and reliance in You (God)." Let's face it, is there anyone that can fully dispel fear, anxiety, frustration or give a sense of calm in the midst of turmoil? No! All the friends and family around can only sympathize, empathize, and express their opinions. Not one individual can completely ensure peace in the heart of a situation. Generally most people want to try to solve the dilemma on their own and really think they have the answer. Yet, when in the middle of adversity, no matter what we try to do, there's still the feeling of despair and questions of resolve.
The Psalmist wrote, "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? Ps. 27:1 What that verse is really saying is, the Lord God is our deliverance. He will deliver us out of the situation. Personally, years ago we were faced with a serious lawsuit. A man who willfully injured himself while working for us, sued us for millions of dollars. We sought out legal counsel and help, but there was not one attorney in that town who would help. It seems the judge that normally handled these types of cases, always sided with the injured worker. In the words of the attorneys, we were doomed right from the start. But not heeding their counsel, we decided to take the problem to the 'Higher Court'. Our Almighty God. We prayed and asked the Lord God to intervene on our behalf. On court day, we showed up without an attorney prayerfully and in faith believing for the 'deliverance' by our God! Much to the courts surprise the judge that entered the room was not the original one scheduled. A different judge took this court because the other judge was unable to attend. And yes, you guessed it, she ruled in our favor! God mediated!
The second half of Ps. 27:1 says, "...the Lord is the strength of my life...." That word strength is defense. He will come to your defense. Just like in our court case, beyond any of our control,God turned the problem around protecting and defending us. Despite all difficulty He by the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams.] (Eph. 3:20Amp) God IS the answer to any problem, situation, disaster, trouble or dilemma you may be facing. We urge you to seek Him out. Pray for His intervention. He will come to your aid and defense! Of whom shall you be afraid?
In our house we have an alarm system. To activate or deactivate that alarm, one must have right code. The proper numbers must be entered in proper sequence or the system won't work. Surprisingly there is a code to faith and the operation of it is just like working an alarm system. Unless you're willing to use the code the alarm is good but you'll never activate it. Most people would say, they have not yet found out how to operate their faith consistently and have trouble setting it in motion.
The Bible says, Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. (Rom. 10:17) However, faith does not operate by just hearing or just knowing. As in our previous blog (Fully Persuaded Faith 8/13/13), you have learned that just knowing something does not make it so in your life. The key to a successful and prosperous life is what we do with the Word! Look here at Joshua 1:8,9, "This Book of the Law shall not depart (cease) from your mouth, but you shall meditate (mutter) in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous and then you will have good success." Notice a favorable outcome is determined by us! Saying the Word, and doing it is an activation of our faith! One can tell what one believes by what is said and done. Because people say what's in their heart and act out what they truly believe.
Everywhere individuals are confronted with problems that they wish would change. And generally instead of putting Godly faith on that situation, they just talk about it, complain about it, and think about it. In essence, you could say they put negative faith on it, believing it will be that way always. Emotions, such as anger, fear, sorrow, grief, or the like, will not activate faith. There's a 'code' to activating faith in your life and that's the only way to have a move of God in your situation.
Let's look at Mark 11:23,24 Amp. where Jesus says, "Truly I tell you, whoever, says to this mountain, be lifted up and thrown into the sea, and does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says will take place, it will be done for him. For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you and you will (get it)."
So what's the code of faith? Just like in Joshua 1:8,9 we must:
1) Find out what the Word says about our situation and for what we are believing. Write those scriptures down. It's important to know what's the basis of our faith, how it lines up with God's Word.
2) Meditate on that Word. Get it down in our heart to the point that the Word comes out instead of the complaint. Mutter it to ourself - remember faith comes by hearing.
3) Confess or say what we're believing, instead of what we're seeing. This will encourage our faith. How long do we say it? As long as it takes for it to manifest.
4) As in Mark 11:23-24 Believe we receive it as we say or pray for it, before it materializes. Faith without works is dead. Putting belief to our confession activates faith!
and 5) Praise and rejoice! True faith that believes the answer has shown up, rejoices and Praises the Lord before it actually arrives. (Read about Paul and Silas who were praying and praising before their answer came. Acts. 16:25-26)
These steps will help activate faith in your life if you exercise them regularly and consistently. Remember faith works by love, faith without works is dead and faith opens the door giving access to God's power.
Have you ever wondered how others get their prayers answered or how it seems like God always comes through for them? Perhaps you're thought, 'when is He coming through for me'?
Basic bible faith is first believing, then seeing! Additionally it's important that we speak what we're believing, not what we're seeing. Technically that's difficult for most people, because we all want to talk about what's going on.
God tells us in His Word He has clearly provided for us salvation, peace, joy, healing and finances plus much more. The problem is, most people don't KNOW what's available for their taking or how to take it. When we were born again, we "believed" in our heart and "confessed" with our mouth, Jesus was our Savior. (Rom. 10:9) Although we didn't physically SEE Him, we believed by faith and confessed our belief. This is how we have salvation! Every promise works the same way! Believe, Receive by faith (not because you see) and confess! (Heb. 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.")
For instance, knowing God already gave us peace, accepting it by faith, and confessing His peace, brings it into being. (Col. 3:15 Amp. "And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].) Just knowing He is peace, doesn't make it prominent in our life. We must first BELIEVE then SAY He is PEACE in OUR life! "Jesus is MY peace." Faith makes it up front and personal!
Now, just let me say the devil won't stop the turmoil just because you SAY Jesus is your peace. He'll come to harass you and tell you that your faith isn't working. And because you don't 'feel' or 'see' peace yet, it could be easy to believe that. But we must continue to call into being what He IS to us! "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." Rom. 10:17 Don't allow the devil to tell you, you don't deserve or you'll never have that promise. Remember the promise isn't based on OUR works, we receive them based on Jesus' works! (Col. 2:15) A minister I recently heard said, "Never let your performance qualify or disqualify you from receiving God's promise."
Luke 10:19 says we've been given authority over all the works of the devil and nothing shall by any means hurt us. The authority you operate in, still works even if you don't "FEEL" like you've got authority. A great example would be a policeman who puts on his uniform and goes to work, but say's I just don't feel like a policeman today. His authority is till working even if he doesn't feel like it. Use your authority, say to the 'mountain' (your situation) to be removed, don't doubt, but believe in your heart and you will have whatever you SAY! (Mark 11:23)
God has already authored the answer to any problem - all we must do is learn the answer from His Word. Then believe what He said and receive it by Faith. After that, start confessing it's yours. Don't speak anything but what God's promise is. You'll not only be convinced that you have it, but you'll resist the devil and he will flee. This will work with ANY promise of God! Know that whoever you're persuaded by is who you're going to quote. What are you quoting: the Word or the problem? Be persuaded by God's Word. (Rom. 4:17-21)
Prayer: Father - I thank You that You have already given me the answer in Your Word. What I don't know, I know You will show me. And what I don't understand, I know You will teach me. I receive by faith, faith in You and Your Word the answer to my situation. I have it by faith Now, In Jesus Name. Amen.
Believing for something, a financial increase, healing for the body, a restored relationship, even peace of mind, takes faith. It just depends where you place your faith. Some people place their faith in 'the worst thing that could happen'. These are the ones who believe that if anything bad can happen, it'll happen to them. Others, because of experienced faith, put their trust and belief in God, knowing that things are subject to change. The real problem with FAITH is, it must be consistent and people give up too soon. Since we live in a fast paced society, generally people believe situations should change NOW! And if it doesn't happen today or tomorrow, or even by next Friday, then they guess it's just not going to happen. As a result they draw back and cease believing, saying in their heart, "things will be this way always. I guess this was the way it was meant to be".
Hebrews 10: 38 says, "Now the just shall live by faith. But if anyone draws back. My soul has no pleasure in him." We all know that faith pleases God.
It is my firm belief and experience that to obtain, one must remain persistent reaching past unbelief and doubts. It's that never give up attitude, believing in the Word of God no matter what. We see this type of conviction displayed in athletes and people that have defeated overwhelming disabilities. And for the most part, we applaud them, with never the thought to apply that kind of certainty to our faith for our circumstance.
Abraham, when faced with the option of drawing back from faith, continued in hope believing that what God promised He would do. He was strong in faith, and he did not meditate on his predicament. Although he knew he and Sarah, in the law of nature, could not bring forth a son, he did not waver! Abraham remained committed in faith and gave glory to God for his son, whom he didn't see at that time. Now that's what I call confidence and persistence! Of course we know the rest of the story - Isaac was born!
It came to light yesterday, that when faced with believing for a particular situation to change, that it would be easy to give up. But you know what? I chose to extend my faith. Being fully persuaded that what God has promised, He is able to perform. Nothing, not circumstance, not pain, not anyones conversation can change my belief in the Word. No matter the hardship or difficulty I will not allow it to sway my faith. I am continually giving glory to God for the answer of His Word for my situation!
The challenges for most come in the fact that past incidents seem to outweigh trust or belief in God. Perhaps you've recently experienced a tragic fatality, a great financial loss, or a dreadful doctors report. As terrible as any of these may be the one thing I've realized is, that during any extreme severe situation we need the love of our Father God to help us get past the hurt and pain. (Romans 8:35-39)
Let me encourage you today, that with any circumstance you're addressing, remain determined to receive your answer from God. Resist becoming weary of waiting. Block the cries of defeat! "Do not, therefore, fling away your fearless confidence, for it carries a great and glorious compensation of reward. For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God, and thus receive and carry away [and enjoy to the full] what is promised." Heb. 10:35-36 amp. Remember FAITH tirelessly and determinedly stands by and never lets go of the things for which we hope! Then be relentless in giving glory to God for the answer to your faith.
I was recently meditating on the blessings of the Lord and reflected on a specific situation that flooded my heart with God's love and goodness. Please allow me to share this miraculous testimony. It was right after Christmas in 2003. Our youngest son, then 21, had returned home from being involved in an intern program at Washington D.C.
We had a great Christmas holiday and New Years Day was just around the corner. Early morning of New Year’s eve, he prepared to travel 2 1/2 hours to visit his then girlfriend (now wife), and her family. Being compelled of the Holy Spirit , I sat down and encouraged him to drive slower than he normally did. He indulged me and assured me he would be safe.
As our custom, we gathered around him to pray for God’s safety speaking the Word of God. We learned a long time ago, that the Word of God is powerful, stronger than any two edged sword. (Heb. 4:12) Waving goodbye, we were assured of God’s protection.
Close to the time he was to arrive, it was tempting to call his cell phone, but I heard the voice of the Holy Spirit say, he’s alright. I dismissed it and within ten minutes, we received startling news. Our son had been involved in a single car accident. Where the freeway split at an overpass, he had hit the divider barrels, bounced his car 18 feet in the air, flipped and landing upside down, sliding across four lanes of traffic. It's during these types of times, we are subject to questioning God and doubting our prayers. Yet, we must not allow any circumstance redefine what we know and believe in God's Word!
First of all it was amazing he had not hit any other cars. Secondly, it was remarkable, He was coherent and talking to the paramedics, telling them to call his dad and that everything would be alright. The paramedic, whose ambulance was 10 cars behind and seeing the accident, phoned and said he was going to be fine. Now here's where it gets interesting. Before they could arrive on the scene, our son said a man with a ball cap, helped him out of his car and sat him beside his car. When asked how he got out of his car, he explained a man helped him. However, there was no man to be seen. After hearing this, I was assured that God sent an angel to help my son. Heb. 1:14 “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?”
The hospital checked him thoroughly and found he need a total of 6 stitches in his head, where it was cut by glass. Praise the Lord!!!!
I just want to encourage you today to know what rightfully belongs to you. Whether it's health, safety, finances, peace, joy or whatever you need, God's Word has a promise for you. Paul wrote in 1 John 5:13-15 "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us, and if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know we have the petitions that we have asked of Him."
Get in the Word - find out His will - healing, safety, peace, joy, abundant life now and eternal life! Then proclaim it! Declare it! Believe it! It's yours!
Have you ever heard someone say, "I'll believe it when I see it!" ? Perhaps you've even said that at one time or another. I know that's just an expression, but the bible says, 'out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks'.(Luke 6:45) Truthfully, there's not any faith in that statement. Faith is, first, believing THEN seeing. Which is a hard thing for a lot of people to do. Let me just say that once someone comes to the place of being truly, in sincere confidence, they will see the results of their belief. That's where faith and hope meet.
There are numerous people that think hoping is a desperate cry for their desire. These are the individuals that believe lamenting, longing, and yearning IS hope. Hope is really: Confident Joyous Expectation! Think about that! Confidence - true trust, belief, and certainty. It's where we just know that we know! Joyous - that place of happiness that nothing can deprive us from rejoicing. Expectation - the eager excitement of knowing we have something. Heb. 11:1 (AMP) "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." In other words, faith is the practical expression of our confidence in God and His Word. We may not actually SEE what we are believing, but we BELIEVE we already have it. That's faith! Because it doesn't take faith to believe for something we already possess.
When we can begin to Praise the Lord and express our thanksgiving for something we are believing, before we actually have it, that's genuine faith. And faith pleases God! (Heb. 11:6) Our exhibition of trust through praise and thanksgiving is acknowledging what God has done, is doing and will do!
Remember Faith is like a seed, when it's planted, the changes in that seed take place below the surface before it happens above the surface. Our faith activated by our praise and thanksgiving is working in the unseen realm before it's manifest in the seen realm.
I encourage you today to remain in faith, keep your conversation on what God's promise is to you (don't say anything about what you see), thank Him and praise Him for the result of your belief. Someone, just said, "so when do I stop?" When you receive it! Never give up, never faint - God IS faithful!
Pastors Michael & Ginny Gulotta
Pro. 11:25 "The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself."