We live in an unsettling world. Thinking about the people you know, probably everyone is faced with some sort of difficulty, ourself included. We, personally, know of people fighting for their life in a hospital, some that are strained in their relationships, and others stressed because of work, finances or life choices. The issues at hand are real, day to day battles and struggles. Everyone deals with problems! The real test is HOW! Many cannot cope and thus experience breakdowns, emotionally and physically.
Ephesians 6:12 (ERV) says, "Our fight is not against people on earth. We are fighting against the rulers and authorities and the powers of this world’s darkness. We are fighting the spiritual powers of evil in the heavenly places." Understand that we are engaged in a spiritual battle, and behind most problems are satanic forces that are sent to kill, steal and destroy our lives, our hope and our faith!
In Luke 10:18-19 (ERV) "Jesus said to them, I saw Satan falling like lightning from the sky. He is the enemy, but know that I have given you more power than he has. I have given you power to crush his snakes and scorpions under your feet. Nothing will hurt you." Just like a policeman, who has authorization over wrong doers, as a believer in Christ, we also have dominion over satan's attacks. The problem is most people don't take their authority! People often view the situations at hand as if it was meant to be and resolve to accept them.
Regardless of the challenges you face, financial, physical, or mental, there IS hope. Heb. 4:12 says, "For the is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword...." When we pray about our circumstance, often a scripture will drop into our spirit. We could say that the Spirit of God is revealing the Word on our problem. As that scripture rolls around in our heart, it can become so intense that we sense the need to verbalize it. When we speak it, it has then become the two-edged sword. First it came from God's mouth, then from ours. That's when it is powerful, going into the spiritual realm and changing the situation! (Mark 11:24)
Today we want to bring some inspiration into your life to help you to achieve victory. Whatever you battle, identify the spirit behind it, take your authority with God's Word, believe and receive. Be sure to realize, although we live in the world, we do not war according to it. Our weapons in the spirit are not carnal, but they are mighty in God. You can pull down every stronghold, cast down every reasoning and all things that try to elevate themselves against the knowledge of God and His Word. It means we must take captive our thoughts and opinions that do not line up with His Word and make them inoperative! Only the Word is powerful enough to gain control in life! Use IT! (2 Cor. 10:3-6)
A uniformed policeman stands at the scene of a traffic accident, redirecting on coming cars. No one will disobey him, because he's the one in authority telling others what to do. In the same way an officer of the law has jurisdiction in the city, we have command over the works of darkness in our life. Jesus said in Luke 10:19, "Behold I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you." And in Mark 11:23-24, "For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea', and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore, I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them."
So why are there so many that are still confronted and overcome with difficulty, distress, and dilemma? If you are one of these and asking yourself this question, read on.
Most Christians do not know that they can take spiritual authority over situations. I would venture to say ignorance is one of the biggest reasons. Hosea 4:6 says, "My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge..." Because we aren't taught how to stand up against the 'wiles of the devil', how to recognize the attack is FROM the devil, and what to do IN times like this, we do nothing!
Another cause is unbelief! If you were to ask, some would say: "I don't believe in the devil." or, "There's no way we can change circumstances." In Luke 17:6, Jesus said, "If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you." But there are many who just don't believe.
Fear is also a source of not taking authority. When faced with demonic activity, a number of people are of the opinion the devil is stronger than God. So rather than DO anything, they back down and 'hide', thinking he will just go away.
Listen Children of God, He has done all He's going to do! Jesus has done all He's going to do! 1) He left us His Word (Heb. 4:12 "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword...")
2) And His Spirit (Rom. 8:11 "..if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwell in you." )
3) Jesus disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in the work of the cross and resurrection! (Col. 2:15)
4) He gave us the keys to the Kingdom (Matt. 16:19 "... and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”)
It is now our responsibility to activate our faith and the power of God concerning the tactics of the devil, using the tools He gave us. In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us (Rom. 8:37) Rise up and be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might! We've got to put on the armor of God and fight the good fight of faith. We need to stand, in faith believing God's Word, when we've done all we know to do. We can not afford to lose heart, but know we possess the treasure of His power within us! Be like that policeman commanding things to line up with what God says! You're wearing the badge!
1 John 4:4 "You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world."
We've all heard the old adage, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me." The response was to bullies on the playground that called us names. The reply was to imply they might be able to hurt us by physical force, but their insults would not. America values 'Freedom of Speech, so people are quick with expressing what's on their mind. Whether it's an opinion about world events, another person, or just how we feel, it's uttered without restrictions regardless of repercussions. In fact, in our culture today, we support the irresponsible use of words through music, movies or in the public. Most individuals think nothing of the foul language that's expressed. Because we've become desensitized, by our consistent hearing of it, we do not notice it and we allow it to become common place.
As a Christian, words are extremely important, especially to God. Proverbs 18:21 says, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits." Since God created the world by speaking, then utterance must be significant. What this scripture means, is that we frame our future by what we say. That's why it's important to think before vocalizing. You know, we don't always have to say everything we think about!
Do you know of someone that has been affected by what others have told them? Perhaps a parent that spoke negatively to a child, telling them "You're not going to amount to anything, you're such a loser, you lazy no good kid."; A teacher that said, "You're such a failure, what's the matter with your brain? When God passed out brains you must have thought He said trains and you said no thanks." If this degrading talk is consistent, they begin to believe what's been said. That's why the Word of God says, "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." (Prov. 4:23) It's critical that we guard what goes into our heart, because our life is shaped by what we let in. We should be protective of the movies we watch, the music we listen to or the conversation with which we yield.
Not only it is our obligation to protect our ears, but we must put a guard on our mouth. Proverbs 21:23 "Whoever guards his mouth and tongue Keeps his soul from troubles." Most of us are praying and believing God for a specific thing. We can trust Him and be in faith when we pray. But we must remember, to retain the blessing of the Lord it's contingent upon our mouth. It's easy to loose faith and our blessings, when our mouth complains or talks about the problem. In Mark 11:22-24 Jesus says, "....Have faith in God [constantly].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]." Don't lose the answer you've received or the miracles because of opposing conversation. Remember Proverbs 18:21, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue..." We want blessing not cursing!
Take a look and see what's enthroned on your heart. You decide by what's coming out of your mouth. "For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks." (Luke 6:45) Make a quality decision today to place the Word of God in your heart. Heb. 4:12 "For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart." Gods Word is Life, Choose Life!
Have you ever felt as if everyone and everything was coming against you? Your thoughts being bombarded with condemnation, telling you it's all your fault and that you're a complete mess up! And no matter how hard you try to fix it, you're not getting out of it? Let me tell you right now, you have invisible enemies! Ephesians 6:12GWT tells us, "This is not a wrestling match against a human opponent. We are wrestling with rulers, authorities, the powers who govern this world of darkness, and spiritual forces that control evil in the heavenly world." Our opposition isn't coming from people. It's what's behind the problem - unseen forces trying to kill, steal and destroy your hopes, dreams and faith. (John 10:10)
1 Peter 5:8 says, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." One of my favorite minister teachers said, interpreted the verse like this: "You must be constantly alert and on your guard! The devil, like an accusing lawyer, will try to charge you will all kinds of arguments and accusations. You need to know that he is like a lion on the prowl, constantly walking around, roaring, with a deafening sound, earnestly seeking the kind of person he can completely consume and slurp up!" (from Sparkling Gems from the Greek by Rick Renner)
These powers from the supernatural realm are assaulting with depression, defeatist attitudes, hopelessness, worry, fear, discouragement, distress and the like. Does this sound like you? The problem is that most people don't recognize 1) it's coming from the devil and 2) there's a way of escaping this! (1 Cor. 10:13)
If you want to become free from any attack of the devil, here's what you can do!
1) James 4:7 "Submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you." Submitting to God means, prayer and reading or studying the Word. We must know about the authority God and Jesus has given us and how to operate in it. (Luke 10:19) Just sitting in your room and thinking God's going to zap the devil, isn't going to change anything. He is not in control. If He was, He would have control over the evil. God has done all He's going to do through the power of the cross and Jesus' resurrection. Resisting something takes determination and a firm stand. A great example would be a dieter that is refusing to eat cake. Closing his eyes and pretending the cake will go away won't work. He must strongly fight against the urges to eat the dessert. To combat the tactics of satan's attacks, it requires a purposeful persistent opposition. The decision to cast down all imaginations that don't line up with the Word and a commitment to remain dedicated to confessing the scriptures. With this type of perseverance you can win every time!
2) Walk in the Spirit! Galatians 5:16 says, "...walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." By saying walk, we are implying that we need to live our life, make it our behavior or habit to be in the Spirit. One who 'walks in the Spirit', is asking the Holy Spirit for direction, listening and heeding His instruction! Saying what God's Word says, rather than talking about the problem. Walking in the Spirit means we're not participating with things that are contrary to the Word of God! It's control over the flesh!
3) And when we've done all to stand, stand! (Eph. 6:13-18) In other words, after doing everything in the Spirit we know to do, taken our authority, prayed in the Holy Ghost, and resisted the devil, we stand convinced that things have already changed. Why? Because we've acted in faith. And faith is the things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Faith is calling those things that be not as though they were, running the course with endurance, and never let go strength. It keeps it's eyes on Jesus the author and finisher of faith. Praise and Worship is in our mouth because we believe we have already obtained victory. And when the invisible enemies come, we are already convinced that we are more than conquerors through Christ!
We encourage you to fight the good fight of faith, stay true to your course, never give up, know that you're an overcomer through the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony above the invisible enemies!
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.
If you've ever gone through, or are going through, a hard time and wondered how to break free from it, this message is for you! We've known a lot of people that have experienced hardships of all kinds. We have also undergone these 'storms', but however intense the trial, with the grace of God we overcame! Praise God for Psalm 34:19 "Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivers him out of them all." If anyone thinks he is impervious to tribulations, he is wrong. Jesus said in John 16:33 "...in the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
These so called 'storms' are all a part of life, which sometimes come from our disobedience to the Lord. A good example is Jonah in the Bible. (Jonah 1-4) His disobedience caused him to undergo 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of a whale. God had instructed him to go preach to the people in Nineveh. But Jonah didn't want to. Have you ever had God tell you to do something that you didn't want to do? Maybe it was because you didn't want to see God do His miracle power for someone you were upset with. It could be you were just wanting your own way. What ever the reason for disobedience, it brings a harsher intolerable condition, thus Jonah in the belly of the whale. So how do we escape from this type of 'storm'? Repentance! Asking for forgiveness and compliance with His instruction will bring you deliverance. It's the only way!
Other types of 'storms' come because we are obeying the Lord. Yes, often times the devil will cause tumultuous times because you obey God! Looking at Matthew 8:23-27 Here's a story where Jesus and His disciples got into the ship to cross the sea of Galilee. Although great (mega, intense, fierce, one scholar used hurricane proportions) winds arose and waves began overtaking the ship, Jesus fell asleep. Perhaps the 'storm' you encountered was so severe and overpowering that it caused you much fear. You may have felt that Jesus was sleeping during this drastic moment. And it seemed like there was no way out. But just like in verse 26, Jesus arose and rebuked the storm, we also need to rise up in our situation and rebuke the 'storm'. In Luke 10:19, Jesus gave us power to tread upon serpents and scorpions and over ALL the power of the enemy. When we are obeying the Lord in our call, we have the right to exercise authority in Jesus Name! After that comes peace and calm.
Perhaps a 'storm' has arisen during a time you've been under the authority of a person on assignment. This could be when your at work, in school, or involved in a church. You may have tried to express a leading from the Lord regarding a matter, but they wouldn't listen. It was afterwards that all chaos broke loose, just the way the Lord showed you. Yet, now you're stuck in the mess because authority wouldn't pay attention. This same type of thing happened to Paul, the apostle, when he was on his way to Rome. Being held prisoner by authorities, he tried to tell them not to sail, because the Lord revealed to him pending disasters. (Acts 27) So how can we get out of the storm? First thing, is perseverance! We must remain steadfast in faith, in love and in the Word. Secondly, pray for all those involved, especially the leadership. God will intervene and save you and those connected.
Whatever type of 'storm' you battle, know this, there is a way of escape. Recognize that in the midst of every attack there's something to gain and victory is yours. Rom. 8:28 "We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose." Discern the storm you're facing with the Word of God and discover your way to victory to escape from the storm!
Have you ever tried to convince someone of something, only to be swayed by their reasoning? I've known some people who have received a certain report from their doctor, and made a declaration from their total belief in the Word of God, "By His stripes I am healed." They believed it and when trying to share that revelation with a family member, were talked right out of believing and receiving. All because 'family member' made a case based on their knowledge of family history rather than the Word of God. Confrontation with sickness, financial distress, family strife, or devastating circumstances gives us the opportunity to believe or not believe God's Word. Part of the key to victory is knowing what is the promise of God for your situation. Hosea 4:6 says, "My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge....." Knowledge is a powerful thing. Knowing my house key fits my front door, gains me access to my house. Knowing my bank account number allows me to deposit and withdraw money into my account. Knowing what God's Word promises me permits me to walk/live IN that covenant. In order to be persuaded that the Word is the ultimate truth over any circumstance, you must be convinced yourself. YOU must KNOW His Word is truth. It's not enough your Pastor knows or your spouse knows, YOU need to know!
However, knowing is not enough. Just knowing my house key will unlock my front door will not gain me entrance. I must USE the key! Thus, just knowing the Word will not get us what we need. We need to be a Doer of the Word! (Jas. 1:22) Doing means we must be involved - and the way we are involved is not only believing but in the 'saying'. Mark 11:23 Jesus said, "..I say to you, whoever SAYS to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he SAYS, will be done, he will have whatever he SAYS." Saying is extremely important in the receiving process. We must begin to SAY what we believe. Saying confirms our faith in believing, because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Matthew 12:34,35 says, "....for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure bring forth evil things." Jesus is saying that what is stored in the heart, good or evil, is shown from what a man says.
Recently Pastor Michael preached a message on the 'Power of the Tongue: Overcoming Involves Saying.' (You can listen to it in our Audio Section of Livejoy.org) He stated that Death and life are in the power of the tongue. (Prov. 18:21) So we see that power is not only in the knowing, but also in the saying! Jeremiah 29:11NIV, "For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome." God's plans for you are awesome!
Tests and trials are going to come every day, that's just a fact of life. You can be an overcomer by responding to them with the Word of God (what you know). Respond by SAYING what He says, because it's not about what others SAY, it's about what YOU SAY! And when the devil comes and starts harassing you, remember the only thing that's going to get him to stop, is what YOU SAY! Answer him with the Word, just like Jesus did! Don't relinquish your promise, stand up and claim what's rightfully yours by declaring and proclaiming it! Your life will reflect what you know and what you're saying! I'm just saying.....
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.
Looking around at our country and the world we see many disturbing situations. Whether we are faced with governmental circumstances, disasters that are weather related or our own personal difficulties, they are prevalent in our society. When they are so prominent it's difficult to be comforted and easy to become fearful.
In 2 Timothy 3:1, Paul writes "But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come". "Perilous Times": dangerous, treacherous, risky, all define perilous! A favorite minister of ours, Rick Renner, described this verse in this way, "perilous times - carries the idea of a person, place, action or thing that is filled with high risk." He actually said the greek expressed here is: "You emphatically must know, what I am about to tell you! In the last part of the last days, in the very end of the age, hurtful, harmful, dangerous, unpredictable, uncontrollable, high risk periods of time will come." We are, most definitely experiencing this now.
So, what can we do, you ask? Here's some helpful steps we can take:
1) Do Not fear! It says, 'Fear Not', 365 times in the Bible. Isaiah 41:10 "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."
2) Trust the Lord! Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
3) Pray! 1 Timothy 2:1-2 "Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence." Philippians 4:6 "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God."
4) Take your authority! (Yes we believe in the authority of the believer) Jesus said in Luke 10:19 "Behold I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy and nothing shall by any means hurt you." Jesus also said, "Most assuredly, I say to you he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father." John 14:12
Indeed, we live in very troubled times. I suppose if one would look deeply into the scriptures one would find that there were troubled times in every generation. The extent of that trouble is only magnified in the eyes of the beholder.
We can be encouraged by looking at the heros of faith throughout the Word of God and find that although they were hard pressed on every side, they were not crushed; although they were perplexed, they did not despair; even though they were persecuted they were not forsaken; some were struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Cor. 4:8-9) Consequently, we shouldn't be discouraged - if Paul can call his afflictions 'light' and realize they are short lived, we too can gain strength and inspiration from the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.
If in the midst of everything, realize this, Nothing can separate you from the love of God; No difficulty, not danger, no abuse, not so much as insufficiency, no vulnerability, not high risk or even death. We must remember that even in all these things we are more than conquerors through Christ, who loved us. (Rom. 8:35)
Pastors Michael & Ginny Gulotta
Pro. 11:25 "The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself."