God’s Presence in Trials

God’s goal, through His Spirit, is to sever our connection to the vine of the flesh, the world and the devil, and to graft us into the Vine of Christ. He does this through the process of salvation. Then God’s Spirit continues to convict us of our sins, as well as to give us the desire and the power to relinquish it (Philippians 2:12-13).

Our Savior dwells within us, and cannot associate with fleshly pursuits. He provides trials to insure that no flesh glories in His presence, but that He receives all of the glory due to His name (Psalm 29:2). God never uses trials for punishment, but He will use them to discipline us for our protection. God only withdraws His presence from us when we sin.

God also allows failure in our ministry or personal life to humble us into realizing that we do not live life according to our will, but according to His will. God may even allow our body to fail in some area, as a testimony that prayer is the only reason we are still living. In fact, God may chose not to heal us on earth, but to take us Home with Him in Heaven.

We do not need to live in fear and desperation; but simply to live in intimate fellowship with our Jesus, who abides within us. We get lost in His presence and affection. He fills us with His Spirit and thrills our soul with His blessings. There is no relationship on earth equal to this, because He knows us from the inside out.

We do not name and claim the victory, but we cooperate, as Christ in us works out our deliverance and sanctification (Psalm 18:6). Even our negative circumstances, when they are in the will of God for us, work out for our good (Romans 8:28). God will use trials to draw us back to Himself and to prove His love for us (2 Chronicles 15:4).

Prayer:
Father God, the Rock of Ages is our foundation, which no person or demon can ever shake. You allow us to be tested beyond our strength; often pressed out of the area of our expertise and abilities; but not beyond Yours. You do this so that we will learn not to trust in our self. Give us Your grace, as You use trials to prove us. Remind us to take You at Your Word and to believe in Your promise of ultimate victory.

Thought for the Day:
God purifies our life through fire, proves our faith as genuine when we go through various trials and suffering, and He will present our faith at the return of Christ to the earth. – 1 Peter 1:7

Fathomless Tranquility

The life of the authentic Christian is one of complete dependence on God. This dependence develops a deep restfulness that permeates every area of our life. There is no reason to struggle and strive in life. When stress tries to overwhelm us, we can go to our solid Rock who is higher, stronger and more stable than we are and find rest for our soul (Psalm 61:2).

God gives us a firm footing on which to walk in this unstable world in which we live (Psalm 37:23; 40:2). He makes our path level so we do not stumble or fall (Isaiah 26:7). He guards our feet. It is not by strength that we prevail, but by the power of God in our life (1 Samuel 2:9). When we hide God’s Word in our heart, our feet do not slip as we work to increase the Kingdom of God by His Spirit’s direction (Psalm 37:31; 66:9).

We do not use obnoxious gimmicks in ministry, but we simply present the gospel in a kind manner to whomever will give us their time to listen. It is not our responsibility to make anyone believe. They come only as the Holy Spirit draws them (John 6:44). However, it is our responsibility to go into the entire world and to make disciples for Christ of anyone who wants the blessings and relationship we have with Him.

The Vine and branch is such a special, reciprical relationship mutually benefitting one another; and we rest in our union with the Vine. He is also the Potter, we are the clay; and we rest in His hands as He molds us into a vessel of His choosing. Another analogy is that He is the Head and we are His Body. Our body never moves unless our mind tells us to do so. This is the same as with our relationship with God.

We depend on God entirely for our every need. The deeper our union, the more we listen to His Spirit. We never move unless He directs. Our love for Him and our passion for winning the lost and growing His Body increases with each passing day. The days get sweeter and even in negative circumstances, we maintain the positive attitude, which faith provides.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, we sit at Your feet and learn from you, just as Mary did when she chose the wiser part in your visit to Your friends’ home (Luke 10:39). We bask in the peace and rest, which increases in us as our knowledge of You and relationship with You increases. We give you all of our anxieties, because You care for us (1 Peter 5:7). Give us Your divine promises, love and abilities in order to affect a change in our world.

Thought for the Day:
We rest in our relationship with God in fathomless tranquility.

Faith Without Doubt

After Pentecost, the apostles, full of faith and the Holy Spirit, continued to share Jesus’ teachings. The Word of God multiplied in the hearts of many, and even some of the hard-hearted priests, who schemed to bring about Jesus’ demise, put their faith in His divinity (Acts 6:7). This same thing occurs today through the preaching of God’s Word.

Faith gives us the assurance of what we hope for, and confidence even when we see no way for it to occur (Hebrews 11:1). Jesus’ life gives us the faith to believe that God exists also, because God raised Jesus from the dead and glorified Him at His right hand in Heaven. This allows us to place our trust and hope in God alone rather than in our own abilities (1 Peter 1:21).

Our faith grows as we exercise it. Faith visualizes the impossible (Matthew 19:26), overcomes the lies of the devil (Revelation 12:9-11), believes in God without proof (Hebrews 11:1), holds us firm during life’s tribulation (Matthew 7:24-27), places our feet on the solid Rock (Psalm 40:2), sees the Creator in nature and clings to God’s faithfulness (Deuteronomy 7:9).

Faith overcomes temptation from the world, the flesh and the devil without giving them any credence (Galatians 5:16). Even when we do not fully comprehend it, faith helps us to believe the truth of God’s Word (Mark 9:24). Just a little faith allows us to move huge impediments in our life, even those, which are the size of a mountain, because nothing is impossible with God (Matthew 17:20; 19:26).

Prayer:
Father God, many in this world condemn themselves to hell by their unbelief (John 3:18). Their stubbornness and pride cripple their heart and prevent them from trusting in anyone but their own self. Those of us who do believe in You, often have trouble with whole hearted trust. Father, help our unbelief (Mark 9:24). Take our human doubts, which wiggle into our hearts and bind them with Your truth. Your Word proves Your faithfulness to us over and over again. Thank you for all You do for us each moment of every day.

Thought for the Day:
We live by faith, not by sight. – 2 Corinthians 5:7