Supernatural Comfort

Pep talks, whether we give them to our self or someone else gives us one, are usually rather useless and anticlimactic. They do not change our situation and the words ring with an empty echo in our soul. People mean well, but their words seem trite compared to our issues.

 

God gave us dozens of stories in His Word, with situations and outcomes similar to ours. He gives us the root cause and solution for each scenario too, so that we can draw comfort from the lives of these ancient Saints.

 

Jesus reminded us that we would have trials in life, just like He did; but then He comforts us with the revelation that He already overcame these trials; so He can help us through them, since He lives within us (Romans 15:4; John 16:33).

 

Paul, an accomplished soldier and statesman, lived a successful life until he met Jesus on the road to Damascus in broad daylight. He ended up blinded by the risen Jesus’ great light, and this caused him to spend time in retrospection, introspection and meditation until his eyes healed.

 

From this experience and his future persecution, he learned to rejoice in every situation, because He knew that God hid the seed for a miracle within every one of them. If nothing else, trials teach us patience, just as his did.

 

After meeting Christ, Paul’s life had so much more peace, because he allowed patience to do her perfecting work during the trials of life (2 Corinthians 1:3). God actually gave him rest for his soul as well as his body (Matthew 11:28; Hebrews 4:3).

 

As we learn from these examples, we count every trial as a joyous occasion too; and we develop this same patience, which perfects our faith (2 Corinthians 1:4). If we seek Him first, God always comforts us in times of discouragement and tribulation (2 Corinthians 7:6).

 

As we draw near to God, and trust only in Him, He provides for us in such magnanimous ways that we cannot help but to shout it from the rooftops (and post it in our social media accounts) (Psalm 73:28). In times of illness or grief, and even on our deathbed, God sustains us (Psalm 41:3).

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for delivering us whenever we call on You (Psalm 50:15). In our weakest moments in life, You give us Your strength. We end up boasting in the victorious outcome of our trials, because of the supernatural work You accomplish for us in each one of them (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

 

You are our refuge and strength, and You remove our fear by consoling us throughout our lifetime (Psalm 46:1-2; Isaiah 40:29). You are our Father of Lights and we glorify You and give You all the praise for giving us Your character, nature and gifts (James 1:17). Thank You for allowing us to cast our burdens on You, for sustaining us and caring for us, and for not allowing life to overcome us (Psalm 55:22).

 

Thought for the Day:

Through the comfort and patience we learn through reading the scriptures, we develop hope, which keeps us from feeling shame and discouragement during times of trouble and trials. – Romans 5:5, 15:4

 

Living in God’s Presence

I used to think that God wanted me to work for Him. I ministered to my husband and three children first: keeping a casually clean home, cooking meals from scratch with my limited recipe base, minimizing mountains of dirty laundry, and participating in the life of my family at home, school and play.

 

I was under the impression that God also desired for me to spend all of my free time serving in the soup kitchen, going to Bible studies, taking abandoned children into our home, helping to lead worship in my church, teaching adults how to read, witnessing to everyone I met and a myriad of other activities as a Pastor’s wife.

 

However, these very activities stole time away from my ability to actually live in the presence of God. Remember when Jesus went to the pool? He only healed one man (John 5:1-18).

 

Another time, when Jesus walked through the crowd, only the woman who touched his garment was healed (Luke 8:43-48). He could have healed everyone, but He lost a measure of spiritual energy whenever He did;  so He paced Himself, used His power wisely and did only those things which God’s Spirit directed Him to do.

 

Jesus taught the crowds, but He spent more time in solitary places communing with our Father God (Matthew 6:9-13, 11:25-26, 14:23; Luke 6:12, 22:32, 22:41-44, 23:34; John 11:41-42, 12:27-28, 17:1-26). He drew His strength, confidence and anointing from this relationship.

 

We can learn a lesson from Jesus’ life. He listened to God, heard His direction and did only what the Father said and did (John 5:19, 8:28, 12:49). He lived in the very center of God’s will. Now, He calls us to do this very same thing.

 

Sometimes, I actually argue with the Spirit’s leading, or discount it as a human thought which just floated through my mind. Maybe I am tired and I do not want to follow the Spirit’s leading. I have my own agenda for my day; so I decide to take a nap or go to the pool or make some craft instead of obeying my Father’s will. When I do, I quickly learn that I grieved the Holy Spirit and missed an opportunity to further the Kingdom of God.

 

Sometimes, God will lead us to nap, because of what lies ahead in our evening, or He has a person at the pool or golf course whom He wants us to talk to about Jesus. The point is to walk in the Spirit, so we do not reap the consequences of living in the flesh.

 

Prayer:

Father God, keep our thoughts centered on You as we learn to walk only in Your ways. Give us ears to hear and eyes to see the spiritual realm of life, so we do not walk in the flesh, but in Your Spirit (Galatians 5:15-25). We want to live for Your glory and to further Your Kingdom in the earth. You are our everything and we live to bring You pleasure.

 

We want to seek and to save the lost, just like Jesus did. We want to impact Your Kingdom in the earth every day that we reside on this earth. Remind us to smile at people, to engage strangers in conversation if they are willing, to minister to our neighbors’ needs, to visit the sick and hospitalized, to do true religion that is pure and undefiled (James 1:27).

 

Thought for the Day:

We no longer rely on our human reasoning to direct our day, because we seek the Lord; He directs our path (Proverbs 3:5-6) as we walk through our day communing with our Father and following His Spirit’s direction even if it makes no human sense to us at all.

 

The Body of Christ

 

 

It is so good and pleasant for the Body of Christ to dwell together in unity (Psalm 133:1). Our love for Jesus and for one another is a testimony to the world that He really does dwell within us (John 13:35).

 

At the same time, we are also citizens of Heaven (Philippians 3:20). Our great High Priest is our King as well. He gave His life to allow us unlimited access to our Father’s throne (Hebrews 4:16).

 

The bond of Christ’s love for us and in us brings unity to all of us in His Body no matter where we live or how old we are (1 Corinthians 1:10). We stand together in our faith by one Spirit. We think, act and believe as one Body (Philippians 1:27, 2:2).

 

As the Spirit sanctifies each one of us, we learn to conduct our self as an example of the gospel of Christ. We prefer one another above our self (Romans 12:10) and we search the scriptures together to come to a similar understanding of His Word (Acts 17:11).

 

When one member of Christ’s Body suffers, we all suffer; and when one rejoices, we all rejoice (1 Corinthians 12:26). As authentic Believers, we are individually and corporately an exact representation of Christ (Colossian 1:15).

 

We all share the same vision to live Godly, and the same purpose to save souls. Every tongue, tribe and nation will all spend eternity with one another in His presence (Titus 3:5-7).

 

The Spirit unifies us with the Father through Christ (John 17:21-22). We share in the unity of the triune God; and we live as an example to the world of a God of love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, meekness, self-control and faith (Galatians 5:22-23; John 17:21).

 

Prayer:

Father God, help us as Your Body to put on the mind of Christ, to speak the words given to us by Your Holy Spirit and to follow Your will for each moment of our day. Remind us to glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character gives us hope.

 

Hope prevents us from experiencing shame, because Your love has been poured out into our hearts through Your Holy Spirit (Romans 5:1-5). Your purpose for our life is to be conformed to the image of Your Son (Romans 8:29). Restore our relationships within Your Body and unite us as a testimony of Your life and love within us.

 

Thought for the Day:
We walk with Christ each day and learn to trust Him and love Him through every circumstance, both the good experiences and the trials.

 

I Don’t Worry; I Pray

Someone asked me if I was worried about an issue and I said without thinking, “I don’t worry, I pray.” That comment hit me between the eyes, and I realized how true it has become in my life of over 40 years of learning to have faith in God’s faithfulness.

 

Worry is a negative emotion and all negative emotions are red flags to show us areas in our life where we need attention. We may have a burden to share with someone who cares, a problem to solve or an idol to renounce.

 

Idols do not come in different shapes and sizes anymore. They are pet peeves, unrealistic goals, unwarranted demands, irritations and worries that do not belong in our life.

 

They tear us down by whittling away at our joy and serenity. They cause us to respond with irritability and even anger. They spoil our mood and rob us of our witness for Christ.

 

When we sense a negative emotion in our soul, a searching moral inventory is a good place to start. Ask yourself what is really bothering you and give yourself time to really think about it and to answer truthfully.

 

When you discover the root of the negative emotion ask yourself if you can do anything about it. If so, do it; if not then ask someone for help or give it to God to solve if it is something beyond human effort.

 

God can move mountains in our life when we trust in His faithfulness. He may not answer our prayers as we think He should, but He always works them out for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28).

 

Prayer:

Father God, we often overlook the power of prayer in our life. We worry first, connive through human effort second, ask other people for help and eventually, when all else fails, we remember to pray. Remind us to use prayer as our first defense and offense against the issues we face in life.

 

When we trust You completely and put You first in our life, You always direct our steps and lead us to success (Proverbs 3:5-6). Help us not to allow worry to paralyze us into inactivity and to limit or stop our efficiency and initiative as You inspire us by Your Spirit.
Thought for the Day:

When we pray without ceasing, the Lord keeps us from trouble and delivers us in our distress; He calms our storms and smooths the rough seas; He quiets the waves and brings us safely home to our port.

– 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; Psalm 107:28-30;  Matthew 8:23-27

 

Divinity Dwelling within Us

God dwells in His children by the new birth we receive from Christ through Salvation (John 1:12). He rejoices as we grow in the knowledge of our salvation (1 John 3:2), but He waits for our realization that we are also the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).

 

Once we begin to submit to the Spirit for sanctification of our flesh, then He teaches us about the divinity of Christ, which dwells within us (Galatians 2:20).

 

We are not separate from Christ, obeying Him in our own power. He permanently dwells in us and expresses Himself through us (Colossians 3:3).

 

We are children of His death, but we are also children of His resurrection (Luke 20:36). We are transformed into Christ’s image in ever-increasing increments of glory, which come from the Lord’s Spirit.

 

Then, as unveiled mirrors, we reflect to the world the glory of the Lord within us (2 Corinthians 3:18). In our daily life, as His Spirit molds us into His image, we experience and express all of the attributes of God because He is within us (Romans 8:29).

 

Jesus gives us the glory that God gave Him, so that we are one with our triune God, just as they are one (John 17:22). If we do not recognize this divine power within us, then we will never live up to our full potential as Christians.

 

Jesus’ sacrifice enables us to share in His divine nature and to escape the corruption in the world caused by evil human desires (2 Peter 1:4).

 

As we mature, we attain to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ who dwells within us (Ephesians 3:16-19). We put on our new self, shaped by the Spirit to be like God, with all of His virtues and holiness within us (Ephesians 4:13,24).

 

Prayer:

Father God, we often limit our understanding of life to what we perceive through our five senses. We also rely heavily only on what our human mind envisions. We ignore the supernatural and the eternal aspects of Christ within us.

 

Therefore, we hinder the expression of Your power in and through us. Remind us that You impart Your Spirit to us in order to allow the glorious nature of Christ in us the freedom of expression through us (Colossians 1:27; 1 Corinthians 12:27).

 

 

Thought for the Day:

With Christ in us, it does not matter where we live, with whom we live or even if we live alone; Christ’s presence within us rises above the limitations of this earthly realm and our circumstances in it.

 

The Greatest Measure of God’s Presence

We can never go anywhere that the love of God cannot find us (Psalm 139:7-12). He wants nothing more than to spend time fellowshipping with us, and filling us with the greatest measure of His presence (Ephesians 3:16-19).

In our busiest or calmest day, He is always within us, desiring to lead us by His Spirit and to direct us to do His will. Yet, in the hustle and bustle of life we often forget He is there.

We proceed through our day relying on our self-effort and human reasoning, making our own plans without consulting Him first and carrying them out with varying degrees of success.

We continue through life like this, enjoying the simple pleasures and the fruit of our labor, forgetting that God has specific work for us to accomplish for His purpose (Ephesians 2:10).

Then, we hit a brick wall and get the wind knocked right out of us. We make accusations against God, calling Him unfair, unjust and unloving.

We may even walk away from God with anger in our heart. We do not realize that we are either reaping the result of our own choices or we are experiencing the effects of Satan’s lordship and sin’s power in the earth.

When we walk away from God, we compound our problems. We abandon our best friend, our most faithful ally and our loving Father who loves to bless His children.

God is still waiting for us right where we left Him. He is calling us to Himself and wanting to cherish us and direct us in His will and purpose for our life.

Prayer:
Father God, when will we ever learn? Since you created us, mankind continually walks away from You. Even with Your Spirit abiding within us, we ignore You and do our own thing, making trouble for our self and living as a poor example of Your child.

You are our loving Creator, Father, Provider and Protector. Surround us with Your love and fill us with Your peace and joy. Submitting our life to You as our sovereign Lord, we appreciate that You are just and righteous in all of Your ways. Teach us to dedicate every moment of our day to loving You in ceaseless praise.

Thought for the Day:
Our walk with the Lord starts at the cross and continues by living in the center of God’s will, which is the happiest place on earth.

Split Personality

When we come to Christ, our spirit which was dead in sin, comes alive (Ephesians 2:5). We are Born Again and everything in us is made new (John 3:1-21; 2 Corinthians 5:17). The manifestation of this change takes years.

God convicts us in areas which are negatively affecting our witness for Him. We cannot judge others. We may think someone smokes too much; but God is more interested in deeper issues, which we cannot see.

In the beginning, we are partially surrendered to Christ. We hold back whole rooms in our soul, where we do not want God to go. We slam the doors shut and sometimes even lock them.

This is why we appear to our self and other people as a split personality. Part of us is sanctified and part of us is carnal and still caught in the web of sin.

The longer we walk with the Lord, the more willing we are to surrender more of our secret self to Him. We unlock some doors, but we protectively keep some of them closed or partially open.

We are not willing to live in total transparency before the Lord and our fellow Christians. With time, we learn to trust God’s kindness and mercy. We depend upon His grace above all else.

We come to live a surrendered life when we understand that it is not I, but Christ living in and through us (Galatians 2:20). Christ is our whole life and we want nothing else (Colossians 3:4).

Total surrender to Christ produces fruit in us from the Vine (John 15:5). We develop the habit of walking in stride with God’s Spirit (Galatians 5:15-25). We learn to think and speak by the Spirit too, reaping God’s rewards (1 Corinthians 2:13).

Prayer:
Father God, Your Spirit transforms us from a split personality into a totally new creation. We no longer desire carnality, but want only that which is spiritual in our life. We come to know Christ intimately and the power, strength and truth of His resurrection (Philippians 3:10). We grasp all that Christ provides for us (Philippians 3:12).

Thank You for transforming us into the likeness of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18). Help us to live a life of whole-hearted devotion and worship to You in holiness and with eternal goals, priorities and values. We rely on You to walk with us through the perils of this life and to make us victors in all things (Romans 8:37).

Thought for the Day:
We bring glory to Jesus when we live in the fullness of His atonement and the redemption of His sacrifice, which He shared with us by His resurrection from the dead and ascension into Heaven. – 1 Peter 1:3-4