Fearless in the Face of Adversity

Fear is one human malady that plagues everyone. Even the most macho man fears something or someone. The most independent woman has fears – even if she buried them in her subconscious mind.

 

Fortunately, Jesus died and overcame our fears for us. He gave us His Spirit to abide in us and bring to us His power love and a stable mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

 

Our Savior generously gives us wisdom when we need it, which dispels our fears (1 Corinthians 1:30; James 1:5). We slip right out of the depression, caused by Satan’s lies to our mind, when we focus on God’s love, kindness, faithfulness and compassion (Lamentations 3:21-23).

 

God gives each of us a measure of faith to fulfill His will for our life (Romans 12:3). Christ is the strength of our life (Psalm 27:1; Daniel 11:32), and we can accomplish His will because He dwells within us (Galatians 2:20).

 

We no longer feel that we are “not enough”, because we know that we can live up to God’s expectations of us through Christ in us (2 Corinthians 5:21). God is always in our corner, so we do not need to concern our self with people who may not approve of us or accept us as we are (Romans 8:31).

 

We shed the shroud of bondage, which Satan and the world wrap around us and we enter the liberty of the Saints of God (2 Corinthians 3:17). Refusing to accept the devil’s condemnation, we walk in the victory of Christ in us (Romans 8:1).

 

This gives us hope to face tomorrow, which we know from experience is filled with unknown catastrophes and issues. We no longer fear the future or allow anxiety to consume our soul when we cast all of our worries on Jesus, who eternally cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You calm the confusion in our life by placing in our spirit the Author of peace and the knowledge provided by His indwelling Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:12, 14:33). Jesus already overcame the trials and tribulation of this life, and His presence in our life gives us Your victory in every trial (Romans 8:37; John 16:33).

 

Thank You that Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the law of sin and death by giving us Your Spirit of life (Galatians 3:13-14). Remind us that we can find true contentment only through our service to You, regardless of our circumstances (Philippians 4:11). We spend our days singing praises to Your name.

 

Thought for the Day:

Life’s set-backs and roadblocks try our faith and make our dependence on God stronger than our reliance on our human strengths and wisdom, because His infinite ways are higher than our finite plans and goals.

 

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Getting Off the Fence

There is a popular saying that runs the gamut of Christian circles every dozen or so years. It claims that we do not want to be “so spiritually minded that we are no earthly good”.

 

That is a lie from the pit of hell. Look at Noah…He preached for 120 years, and he and his sons spent much of that time building an ark big enough to protect anyone who wanted to be saved.

 

However, since it had never rained before this time, people scoffed at them as if they were so spiritually minded they were no earthly good.

 

Many wanted to get aboard the ark after it started raining, but it was too late. God already closed the door (Genesis 7:16). A shallow consent to accept Christ in times of trouble brings no real change to a life and requires no total surrender for the glory of God.

 

Many who claim the name of Christ are oblivious to the destruction they inflict upon the Kingdom of God by sitting on the fence and exhibiting carnal words and actions (Matthew 7:16-23).

 

Contrarily, authentic Christians can never be content with participating in ritualistic, religious motions. We seek relevance in every aspect of our life. Even our hobbies are Christ-honoring.

 

Our spirit and soul are grieved by anything that grieves Christ, because He dwells within us in all of His fullness. We refrain from participating in anything that is remotely sinful.

 

We exhibit the fruit of God’s Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), which is the result of the refining fire of His sanctifying process in our life. We belong to Christ and we no longer live in the fleshly, carnal, worldly realm of life (1 John 3:9).

 

Prayer:

Father God, draw us by Your Spirit until we get off the fence and make a sincere and complete commitment to You and Your Kingdom on this earth. We grow in Christ and we are no longer in love with our self or addicted to sin. We lay down our idols – anything, which we want more than You. We submit to the total control of Your Spirit.

 

We remove our self from the throne of our life and put You in Your rightful place. We get off the fence and wholly commit our life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. We make a difference in Your Kingdom by following the leading of Your Spirit moment by moment. We fall more in love with Jesus with each passing day.

 

Thought for the Day:

As we serve our Lord, we show greater and greater enthusiasm as we allow His Spirit to lead us in service and obedience to Him.

 

 

 

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

 

Emotional Honesty

Emotional honesty is an oxymoron. We are so adept at hiding behind masks that we do not even know how we really feel or how to express that to other people. Journaling our true feelings is a good way to start.

 

We can also meet regularly with a trusted friend and verbally express our true feelings and deepest thoughts. We may even surprise our self when we discover our deepest feelings.

 

Talking, drawing, music and writing releases our soul from the bondage of playing games and pretending to be someone other than our true self. We release pent up emotional energy that formerly robbed us of physical energy.

 

Then, staying in touch with our true feelings allows us to find the root causes of all of our negative emotions. We can deal with the issue, or put it in God’s capable hands.

 

Imperfection brings with it a certain vulnerability, shame and fear of not surviving. Perfectionism is a demonic plague on humanity. Once we rid our self of the need to be perfect we can breathe a refreshing breath of pure air. We allow God’s Spirit to do His perfecting work in us (Matthew 5:48).

 

We also learn to accept life as God allows it to play out in the moments of our day. We stop resisting and attempting to control the issues. Instead, we find out what God is saying to us through them. We look for the seed of a miracle in each one of them.

 

When our perspective on life changes, so do our attitudes, thoughts, feelings and actions. We stop trying to force God into our box. Our paradigm, expectations and goals remain fluid in order to obey the leading of God’s Spirit.

 

We learn to cherish every aspect of who we are, even our failings. We are kind to our self and learn to have more compassion on other people. We see life from their perspective and stop judging them and our self, but relate to them with God’s mercy and grace.

 

Prayer:

Father God, our fears are not rational or logical; and often, not even conscious. We react in fear because our current circumstances trigger the memory of an event from our childhood. People look at us as if we have two heads and judge us as emotionally unstable, unpredictable and unbalanced. Yet, the fact is that we are simply wounded children.

 

Help us to rid our soul of the painful memories which litter our past. Teach us to cling to You as our defense rather than to defend our self. That way, no enemy can prosper against us (Isaiah 54:17). You are our comfort and the lifter of our head (Psalm 3:3). You heal us from the inside out and cleanse us all over. You make all things new and bring us into Your holy hill in Your perfect time and way (2 Corinthians 5:17; Psalm 24:3-6).

 

Thought for the Day:

When we pass judgment on our self or someone else, we are taking God’s place and abusing and wounding our self and others more deeply than the pain we already experienced in our past.

 

Answers to Life’s Questions

There are several questions that every human being wants answered. Who are we? Where did we come from? What are we here for? Where are we going? Scientists, philosophers and researchers spend inordinate amounts of time looking for answers.

God is the source of all of our answers. He created us as His Children, for His glory and to spend eternity with Him in His Kingdom (Galatians 3; 2 Corinthians 5; Romans 8).

Everyone who chooses to believe in Christ and His sacrifice for us on Calvary’s cross finds our true identity in Him. Those who refuse to believe condemn themselves to eternal darkness (John 3:16-18).

God is constantly perfecting us by His Spirit who abides in our spirit. He takes away our desire to sin, and it no longer appeals to us. We are alive to God and we desire intimacy with Him more than the temporal pleasures of sin.

God’s Spirit helps us to walk away from our weakness and addictions. He searches our heart and knows our mind and prays for us according to the will of God (Romans 8:26-27).

We are Born Again by the blood of the Lamb, and God’s Spirit replaces the carnal nature in our soul with the divine nature of Christ. Our eternal destination is heaven (2 Peter 1:3-4).

Jesus swallowed up death, and gave us the victory through His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:54; Isaiah 25:8). What the world views as the finality of death is actually the ultimate victory for God’s children.

Leaving this earth is to our benefit, because God rejoices in the death of His Saints (Romans 8:28; Psalm 116:15). In truth, there is greater advantage for us to go Home to the glory of Heaven than to continue living here on this sin-cursed earth (Philippians 1:21).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for making us a new creation in Christ, for filling our life with Your peace and joy, and for exchanging our sin for the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Through His resurrection, we have assurance by Your Spirit of enjoying everlasting life with You both now and for eternity.

You rescue us from violence and deceit, because we are precious in Your sight (Psalm 72:14). Your mercy and grace are our mainstays and ground us in this life with stability and normalcy, which only You can give. We cling to Your promises and enjoy the divine nature of Christ in us (2 Peter 1:4). Continue to mold us into sanctified servants for Your Holy Kingdom.

Thought for the Day:
Accepting who we are in Christ, and why we are different from those in the world, helps us to make an eternal difference in our world.

The Realm of Reality

Prior to Christ moving into our regenerated spirit by His Spirit, we lived in a two dimensional realm of reality – physical and soulish – mental and emotional (2 Corinthians 5:6). Dead in sin, our spirit had no influence over our life at all (Ephesians 2:1).

Once we surrender our life to Christ, our reality is three dimensional – body, soul and spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23). We have the opportunity to walk in God’s spirit rather than to remain tied to this earthly realm.

Our desires, thoughts and behavior change. Our focus is on the spiritual side of life, rather than the temporal. This transformation is not only on the surface, as if we changed a habit through self-effort; but on the inside as well, and requires little human effort.

We learned the secret, which Solomon learned (Proverbs 3:5-6). We look to God in our every thought, word and deed and do not depend on our human understanding. This allows God’s Spirit to direct our day in the very center of God’s will.

We sense God’s Spirit advancing before us to clear our path of roadblocks, giving us wisdom, and permeating our entire being with the fullness of the presence of God (1 John 5:10; Ephesians 3:19 Amplified Bible).

Peace and joy fill our soul in spite of our circumstances. The Spirit teaches us to walk in God’s will in little ways at first. If we listen, He will help us to plan our menu for the week and everything we need is on sale – He knew that.

He will tell us what size pot to use to prepare dinner; if we disobey and follow our human understanding, the contents tend to burn or boil over. He knew that would happen.

He might tell us to get up and go to a specific place. When we obey, we see an old friend or meet a new one. He knew that would happen. Maybe He will tell us what to wear and it ends up matching what he told our mate to wear.

These tiny, insignificant issues will teach us to listen to His leading; and when the monumental opportunities arise, which will affect our whole life – like who to marry or where to work or where to move and live – we are already used to listening to and walking in the Spirit.

Prayer:
Father God, although we still live in the natural world, we are learning to operate in the spiritual one instead. Teach us to walk in Your Spirit, so Christ can continue to live His life in and through us each moment of our day. As He is, so we want to be in this world (1 John 4:17).

Remind us that as we practice obeying Your Spirit and walking in Your will, we will finally understand how to walk in the Spirit and to abide in Your will (John 7:17). Our spiritual senses become trained by exercising them in every area of our life and doing only what Your Spirit tells us to do (Ephesians 3:10).

Thought for the Day:
When we live in union with Christ and oneness with the Father through the Holy Spirit, we no longer need to figure out whether we are hearing from Him or from our own mind; we no longer debate Him or speculate about whether or not the leading is from Him or our own thoughts, because we learn to recognize His voice and follow the peace in our spirit regardless of how the decision feels in our soul – our mind and emotions.
– Proverbs 3:5-6; Philippians 4:7