When I was in elementary, the big thing was learning the 'times table'. My parents, in an effort to motivate me, said if I learned the tables, I would get a new watch as a reward. I studied real diligently and after much time, memorized my 'times' and passed the test at school. Thus - I got my watch! Hallelujah!
Do you recall being in school? The study time, preparing for a test and then taking the examination were exhausting! Perhaps you are in school right now, faced with these exact circumstances, you know what I'm saying! Taking a test can be strenuous.
Being a Christian adult, I am now faced with different kinds of tests. Spiritual tests, we call trials. You know the kind...where you've prayed and asked the Lord to help you 'love' someone that's not very nice. Then it appears as if they just get worse and continually get on your nerves. That's the test! Can you 'love' them even when they are annoying? Is it possible to reach deep down within and find that 'agape' love for that person? Or the financial test...praying for a specific amount necessary for a need. Then waiting for the Lord God to send the money, staying in faith and resisting fear. And what about the forgiving test? A great offense came from someone really close. With hurt feelings and humility we have to approach God forgiving the offender. I call these kinds of trials 'character building'.
Romans 5:3-4 says, "...knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope." Tests help us to develop areas in our life that make us more like Christ. It's learning to apply the Word of God to our thoughts and our behavior conforming them to the will of God.
2 Cor. 10:5 "casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ," and Rom. 12:1-2 "...you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."
The character trials will equip us for life challenges. We will encounter many more along the way. It's imperative that we pass these 'tests', otherwise, we find ourself retaking them over and over again, until we succeed. So the next time you're faced with the feeling of frustration, anxiety, or the like, stop, recognize the test and pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you pass the trial. James 1:3-4 said, "Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing." Pass the Test!
We are moved by compassion towards those that have recently been affected by the Oregon shootings. Our prayers are for all those impacted in the horrific incident. So in light of the recent event we are compelled to write to encourage and inspire your walk with the Lord.
Paul wrote Timothy in, 2 Timothy 3:1 "But know this that in the last days perilous times will come." It is obvious that as the day of our Lord's return draws closer, we can see we're in extremely dangerous, somewhat unpredictable, and very high risk times. It's really easy to become fearful about what is happening in our country and around the world. Everyone has their own opinion on how to rectify the problems. But the truth of the matter remains that Jesus told us, "For nation (ethnic) will rise against nation (ethnic) and kingdom against kingdom....and because lawlessness will abound the love of many will grow cold." (Mat. 24) My friends this is what we are seeing today. Our country can make and enforce laws, but because God has been rooted out, crime is abundant! Does that mean we shouldn't make laws? Of course not! What it does mean, is that we need God! Individually and as a nation it's crucial that we turn back to Him.
Yet no matter how disturbing or bleak things appear, there is always hope. Hope in our God, for peace and safety. The Psalmist wrote: "God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear. Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling." Ps. 46:1-3 Our trust and belief in Him is our only security. Many people have said, 'those people were professing Christians and they died'. Throughout the Bible many people were Christians and yet suffered persecution and death. But without faith, faith in God, there is only fear. And fear brings terror and torment. (1 John 4:8) Only the Lord can give peace.
It's time to fully trust in the Lord. In this moment we need to live the holy, righteous life. It's time to put aside all fleshly desires and repent of sin. Ps. 34:19 "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all." The Expanded Bible of Ps. 91 says it best:
"Those who go to God Most High for safety [dwell/sit in the shelter of God Most High] will be protected by [lodge in the shade/shadow of] the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “You are my place of safety [refuge] and protection [fortress]. You are my God and I trust [have confidence in] you.”
God will save [protect] you from hidden traps [the snare of the fowler] and from deadly diseases [pestilence].
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you can hide [will find refuge; Deut. 32:11; Is. 31:5; Matt. 23:37; Luke 13:34]. His truth [faithfulness] will be your shield and protection [buckler; a small shield].
You will not fear any danger by [terror at] night or an arrow that flies during the day.
You will not be afraid of diseases […or the pestilence] that come [walks; stalks] in the dark or sickness [stings] that strikes [devastates; overpowers] at noon.
At your side one thousand people may die [fall], or even ten thousand right beside you [at your right hand], but you will not be hurt [ it will not touch you].
You will only watch [look with your eyes] and see the wicked punished [recompensed].
The Lord is your protection [For you, Lord, are my refuge]; you have made God Most High your place of safety [dwelling place].
Nothing bad [evil; harmful] will happen to [befall] you; no disaster [blow; or plague] will come to [approach] your home [ tent].
He has put his angels in charge of [commanded his angels/messengers concerning] you to watch over [keep; guard] you wherever you go [all your ways].
They will catch you [lift you up] in their hands so that you will not hit your foot on a rock [Matt. 4:6; Luke 4:10-11].
You will walk [tread] on lions and cobras; you will step on [trample] strong lions and snakes.
The Lord says, “Whoever loves [desires] me, I will save [rescue]. I will protect [lift to safety] those who know me [my name].
They will call to me, and I will answer them. I will be with them in trouble [distress]; I will rescue them and honor [glorify] them.
I will give them a long, full life [satisfy them with length of days], and they will see how I can save [show them my salvation/victory].”
Our prayer for you and your family today is: Lord we ask that You empower the reader of this blog, with wisdom, and instruction. May their hearts be rendered tender and teachable. We pray they are inspired and enlightened to know You more, living righteously. May the Word of God renew their mind to be a living testimony of Your goodness and mercy. Thank you for pouring out Your grace upon them. In Jesus Name. Amen
Ps. 61:2 "Hear my cry ,O God; Attend to my prayer; From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I"
Elephants are considered the strongest animal. They can carry approximately 20,000 pounds. So have you ever wondered why they can't unloose themselves from a small stake? When elephants are babies, they are tied with a rope to a large post in the ground. They tug and tug to get free, but are restricted. That's why, when we see a large adult elephant, tied by a rope to a stake in the ground they will not try to loose themselves. As they grow up and get stronger, they still believe the rope will hold them. Thus they give up.
It's so easy to give up. Waiting for something to happen or change when the delay is lengthy, enforces the belief it's never going to happen. The desire to quit can be quite pressing, if you've longed for something a great while. Getting tired and the expectation waning causes one to be convinced there's no hope of a promised conclusion. Just like the elephant, we stop believing for breakthrough and resign our faith.
Remaining steady and intent may be difficult, but not out of the question! 1 Cor. 15:58 says, "Therefore my brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." Faith is what pleases God. To stay in faith we must encourage ourself. After all we are with ourself more than anyone else. The possibility for others to stir us up is highly doubtful. They will probably tell us we might as well give up, because we've been waiting "forever", and if it was going to happen, it would have by now. When Paul wrote the Corinthians this letter, he was trying to stimulate their faith to have an unshakable attitude. The perspective that it doesn't matter how prolonged the situation, belief will not falter. It's like taking a glass and super gluing it to a table, so that when the table is shaken, it will not fall over. One could pick the table up and hold it upside down and the glass will not be moved! That's the type of attitude we need when believing God. Convinced to the point that whatever tries to rattle us, mentally or physically, we continue to be anchored to the Word of God and His promise.
Paul again wrote in Philippians, to "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." (Phil. 4:6-7) Persistent thankful prayer to God, helps activate faith, by expressing we believe we have already received the request. Therefore bringing God's peace that exceeds anything our heart or mind can produce. Because when we believe we are in possession of faiths end, there is perfect peace, and joy abounds!
We encourage you to stay super glued to the promise to which you are believing! Don't give up! With all your might grab onto faith and know that you will receive if you do not quit! Resolve to hang on like you've never done before. Keep tugging on that rope - eventually the stake will loosen and you will walk in victory!! Greater is He that's IN you than he that's in the world! Like Paul says, "Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave and be strong." (1 Cor. 16:13)
Confronted with a difficult circumstance can be totally overwhelming. Day after day, week after week, praying and believing, waiting and believing. Each day thinking, this is it... breakthrough is today! Yet another day passes and all we're faced with is the same situation. It's easy to ask ourself, when will I see a change? How much longer will I have to wait? Applying all the 'faith' principles is building and establishing it towards what we are believing.
Basic bible faith is first believing, then seeing! And it's important that we speak what we're believing, not what we're seeing. It's 'calling those things that be not as though they were." (Rom. 4:17) Realistically, that's difficult for most people, because we want to talk about what's going on, sharing every intimate detail.
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 not seen.")
For instance, knowing God already gave us peace, accepting it by faith, and confessing His peace, activates faith. (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! Saying what we are believing, confirms our faith, convinces ourself as well as the devil coming against us.
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. The key is to continue calling 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 we operate in, still works even if we don't "FEEL" like we'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 still 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 by whomever you're persuaded, 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.
Imagine a problem so big, that it's larger than life. All you can see is that this situation is much too giant for the likes of you. The voice of this circumstance cries louder than the faith that's within you. The taunting sounds of fear and defeat are yelling at you. But then.... there's something inside you that rises above all the fear, all the worry, and all the torment. The Spirit of God's voice begins to grow intense and tell you, you're more than a conqueror through Christ! He makes you aware that you can do all things through Christ, who enables your strength! His voice cries out, be of good courage and do not be afraid, I am with you. It's at the beckoning of His utterance that you begin to be empowered. Recognizing that the trouble that's confronting you, no longer seems as powerful. But greater is He that's in you, than what you're facing. And just like David took 5 smooth stones to sling them at the 'giant', you take the weapons of God and hurl them towards the enemy. Refuting reasonings, theories, arguments, and every lofty thing. Instead of running away from the towering difficulty, you run towards it with the power of God's Word upon your lips, in your heart, and in your spirit. Triumphantly you topple the tribulation to the ground, and with boldness you take the sword of the Spirit, decapitating it, standing victoriously!
The only way to prevail over any trouble, is through the presence and the power of God. With every adversity there comes the choice to stand in God's power or flee. It's with determination and persistence in God's Word, through the trouble that gains victory. Heb. 10:35, 36 "Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward, for you have great need of endurance (the capacity to continue to bear up under difficult circumstance with hopeful fortitude and actively resist weariness and defeat*)...that you may receive the promise." It take courage to remain committed and push through in the midst of conflict, fighting the good fight of faith. "....all things are possible to him who believes." (Mark 9:23) But you can do it if you renew your mind to the Word of God, keep your conversation ordered right and choose to be a doer of the Word. No fear!
We encourage you today to choose to live in the power of the Word. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you where to gird up your Faith over any and all opposition. Our prayer for you is: "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." (Rom. 15:13)
*from the Spirit filled Life Bible
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 theirknowledge 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 knowingthe 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.....
I recall a time in the early 80's of attending a conference with my husband in Palm Desert, California. They had some fun events for the wives of the men who attended. At one such event they had a give away of three designer hand bags. Everyone in attendance put their name in a container, to be drawn out for winning. My favorite was a beautiful brown leather bag. I purposely asked God for that purse. He in turn instructed me on how to fold the paper with my name on it before I put it in the bucket. And yes, my name was drawn for that bag! Needless to say, I was ecstatic and left Praising God! Some would say I was in the right place at the right time.
Being in the right place insures the blessings of the Lord. Eccl. 9:11 (NLT) "I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn't always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn't always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don't always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time." However, when this scripture was written, they had not yet received the Holy Spirit. I believe that we can be in the right place by being led by the Holy Spirit. John 16:13 "But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come."
Being in the right church is very important. Some people think church is optional. It is Not! The local church is where we connect to God along with believers of the same spirit. It's the place where we feed our faith! "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." Rom. 10:17 One can't feed their faith at their job, at the lake, at the movies or the mall. You might say, well I watch church on television. Exactly - you WATCH. I would even say, you don't pray when they pray, praise when they praise or fellowship with those believers. You just Watch. There's no connection with God in watching! There's something to be experienced when you enter the church, where the anointing is present. When the song service begins and your heart stirs with passion to worship the Almighty God. When the Pastor steps up to the podium and begins to speak the Word of the Lord, your spirit comes alive. And the Holy Spirit begins to enlighten, through the Word of God spoken, instruction, correction and admonishment! (2 Tim. 3:16) That's where our faith begins to get stronger and we're challenged to live right.
Oh I would even venture to say, probably the reason most people don't want to go to church is because they get challenged to live right! Well, you do if you're in the right church! If you're not being provoked to live a righteous life, or adjust your lifestyle to conform to God's will, you're in the wrong place! After the service we should be being transformed - never leaving the same way we came in. 2 Cor. 3:18 (NLT) "So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord, who is the Spirit, makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image."
God puts things in our Spiritual leader, our Pastor, for our life! It's to bring us into maturity! And if we don't go, we won't get them. Every service we miss is where God wanted to impart something great into our life. It's like that beautiful brown leather bag. If I wouldn't have shown up, I would have missed it and someone else would have gained the gift God intended for me! Don't miss another church service - He has a gift for you! Be in the right place at the right time!
A lot of people, my self included, have specific prayer requests we have thrust into heaven, believing we have the ear of God and that His answer is forth coming. The ongoing question is what are we suppose to do while we wait for the manifestation of our entreaty? Many people just continue to ask and ask, thinking it's the squeaky wheel that gets oiled. However, God's not a can of oil that responds to the squeaking. 1 John 5:14-15 "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 that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him." Others just ask and never expect to receive, thinking God's too busy to hear their prayer. And still others never ask, believing 'what's the use'. They have no hope or belief of any sort.
The time between releasing our faith and the manifestation of God's answer, is a time where we must exercise 'standing our ground'. Many a thing will try to influence us to relinquishing our stance, to give up, question our faith, or doubt Gods willingness and ability. 1 Cor. 13:16 says, "Remain alert. Keep standing firm in your faith. Keep on being courageous and strong." Faith in God, empowers us to to stand. Many people that KNOW God is their source and that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him, (Heb. 11:6) will begin to Praise Him for the answer to their requests long before they actually see it. So yes, rejoicing is part of standing our ground! Faith is believing one has already received before it sees.
'Standing our ground' means speaking to the doubts, the fears, the devil, the pressure, and even the circumstance. Come on now, you believe in speaking to things. Lots of you have spoken to your car that wouldn't start, to your wallet or bank account, and even to an appliance that's not working right. So speaking to these other things is alright! Let's face it, pressure is talking to us. Fear is talking to us. And we all know that the devil is talking to us! It's time we talk back, telling it to leave us alone - that God IS supplying all our need. Telling it that Jesus bore our griefs and carried our sickness and by His stripes we were healed! Mark 11:23 "Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'be taken up and cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him."
The temptation to be cranky or moody because our answer isn't visible yet, comes easily. Realize that the pressure to wavier is trying to get you to forfeit your faith! This is the time to become more skillful in faith during this stand! Our response reveals who or what we're believing in! Its time to give it all we've got! Let the devil know and remind yourself that you serve a BIG God who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we could ask or think... (Eph 3:20) Stand your ground, believe you have the petitions you have asked, don't give up!
Many years ago when I was much younger, I was self-employed. Happily I worked out of my home, which provided me with the freedom I needed to take care of my child. I obtained this job through a very close friend, whose husband owned the business. Some months down the road, my friend's husband wrongly accused me of doing something unethical. This was not my nature, and I was extremely hurt. I lost my job and my friendship. It took me a while to recover from this hurtful situation. Being erroneously accused is quite humiliating and degrading. Fortunately the allegation towards me was not damaging to my life, only my ego. And although over the years, I have endured through other fallacious accusations, I have learned many things.
Unfortunately, there are people everyday that deal with others blaming them for something they did not do. For many this has caused damage in their life. They've been disgraced, had relationships destroyed, and even had their lifestyle altered. I know that when involved in such a situation, it just doesn't seem fair. Our first thought is, generally, anger towards the individual that inflicted this harm. Or the 'get even' attitude even creeps in.
If you ever dealt with such an attack, you're probably wondering how to get through it and still maintain your Christian ethics while becoming triumphant. We can take our lessons from Biblical examples. This will help us gain understanding on how to be the victor in such circumstances. One such illustration is found in Genesis 29, in the life of Joseph, who, after being sold into slavery, by his brothers, ended up serving in the household of one of Pharaohs officials. The official's wife wrongly accused Joseph of attacking her, which landed him in prison for many years. Joseph could have been very angry that his brothers betrayed him or furious that the wife of his boss erroneously blamed him for something he didn't do. And because of his forgiving nature and trust in God, he continued to have favor with those around him. This eventually led him to become in charge over all the land of Egypt. Thus...Victory
Another mentioned incident was the prophet Jeremiah. The King of Judah, Zedekiah nor his attendants or the people of the land, would listen to the Word of the Lord through the prophet. They thought Jeremiah was defecting, therefore arresting and imprisoning him. After much conflict, Jeremiah was eventually saved by the Lord and released. (Jer. 37-40) One thing to learn from Jeremiah - never stop trusting in the Lord and continue to keep doing and saying what He instructs.
Our Savior and Lord, Jesus was scourged, lost many friends and His life. Yet even in the midst of his indictment He asked the Father to 'forgive' them, because they didn't know what they were doing. Such grace and mercy! If we could profit anything from His example, it would be to demonstrate grace and mercy to those responsible for our pain.
You or a loved one, might be experiencing hurtful incriminations right now. You might say, what can we do about it? How can we get through the pain of the betrayal and the consequence? Children of God, there is only one way and that's through the power of God's Word and His Spirit. 1) Rom. 12:19 says, "Don’t try to get revenge for yourselves, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath. It is written, ." Give your hurt over the the Lord! He will take care of it. 1 Pet. 3:9 says, "Don’t pay back evil for evil or insult for insult. Instead, give blessing in return. You were called to do this so that you might inherit a blessing." You'll be blessed by the Lord, because you bless your accusers! 2) Mark 11:25-26 says, "And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone forgive him, that you Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses." We must forgive those who come against us. You might have to begin forgiving by faith. Each day the thoughts of those that came against you will rise up, but you have to forgive them, just like Jesus did. Remember, they didn't know what they were doing. They were just a tool of the devil's ploys. Forgive, so that you will be forgiven.
And to close, we must remember these words of Jesus in Luke 6:27-29, "But I tell everyone who is listening: Love your enemies. Be kind to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who insult you. If someone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other cheek as well. If someone takes your coat, don’t stop him from taking your shirt."
Remember this, that whatever you've just been through, God is able to heal your broken heart and spirit, He will restore what has been stolen and He will make what's been wrongly done - right!
I don't know about you, but I have to constantly work at keeping my thoughts under control. Thoughts often go off the deep end when we get in fear or upset with ourselves. We can go along just fine, till we realize we've made a mistake and allow ourself to meditate on the wrong thing. Worry, which is prolonged fear, in the caverns of our mind, can make one sick. The real clincher is when we verbalize what we are thinking. Luke 6:45 "...out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." That can get us into real trouble! Speaking the problem gives power to the situation. Let's face it, thinking on negative thoughts, things that tear down instead of build up, or fear is not right thinking. It's destructive.
Phil. 4:8 says, "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." The only way to conqueror wrong thinking is to 'renew our mind'. Eph. 4:23 (Amp) says, "And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude]," Right thinking, empowers faith.
You might be asking, how does one 'renew his mind'? Renewing the mind is getting ahold of God's thoughts. It's making yourself think like Him. That requires us laying aside our opinions, doubts, and fears and begin thinking on the situation like God does. The only way to see things the way God does, is to read, study and meditate on His Word! The Bible is God's thoughts, nature, and attitude. This takes work, it is constantly casting down imaginations, reasonings, or arguments that are contrary to the Word. It's a minute by minute effort. Begin by taking control over our mouth, and only allow what God says about the problem to be said. Asking the Holy Spirit to help us to recognize when we get into wrong thinking is a benefit. He will help to redirect our thoughts which in turn assists us in speaking right.
Proverbs says, 'As a man thinks, so is he...'! We can see that the way we think about something, has bearing on our behavior. If we are thinking that things are bad and getting worse, we certainly will act like it. Yet, if we believe the Word of God, meditating and confessing what He says, we'll take steps in that direction. Rom. 8:28 (Amp) "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."
So don't rent the space in your mind to evil thoughts. Take today to renew your mind to God's Word. You'll turn your wrong thinking into right thinking!
Pastors Michael & Ginny Gulotta
Pro. 11:25 "The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself."