When Faith Fails

We all have faith in something or someone. It is a natural human tendency to believe, even if we just believe in our self. Humans are usually optimistic and hopeful.

We believe that the sun will come up tomorrow, our job and bank account are secure, our car will start, the chair will hold us when we sit down, our children will grow up to be successful and happy, and a myriad of other concepts using faith.

Yet, when we let our self down, or the object of our faith fails us, what happens to us? Our hope is shredded, we get discouraged and we vow never to trust again.

At best, it takes weeks and sometimes years to have the courage to believe in anything once again. We may start to believe and then give up, feeling the pain of our former disappointment.

There is only one secure object of our faith and devotion: Jesus Christ. He is exceptionally dependable and perpetually faithful (Malachi 3:6; Numbers 23:19).

We see His hand in His creation (Romans 1:20), in a kind word, a child’s delight, a friend’s smile, a flower growing in the crack of the sidewalk and in normal, everyday life.

Jesus gives us His joy and peace in exchange for our misery and defeat. He provides all of our needs according to His glorious riches. He deeply cares about us individually.

Yet, to believe in Christ for salvation takes humility. We humble our pride, surrender to God’s hand on our life and pledge to have faith in His faithfulness.

Prayer:

Father God, until we experience Your sovereignty and blessings in our life, we find it impossible to have faith in Your faithfulness. We cannot see or hear You; yet we feel your presence, order and power all around us.

Increase our faith in You and help us to cling to You when everything else in our life fails us. Bring peace to our soul even in the midst of the worst trials and tribulation, so that we can live as an example of your faithfulness to Your children.

Thought for the Day:

We can trust in God’s faithfulness, even when we do not see a solution to our problems.

Hope in God – Part 1

During trials and setbacks, Satan discourages us and makes us doubt God’s love. We lose our hope, until we totally surrender our human confidence, dreams and goals to God (Proverbs 3:5-6).

No matter how long or dreadful we suffer in this world, we never lose our hope in God (Psalm 39:7). His Saints love Him, because the Lord faithfully preserves those who are faithful to Him.

We can strengthen our heart and have strong courage, because our hope is in God, not in our self or what we want out of life (Psalm 31:23-24). God never abandons our soul or brings us to ruin.

He leads us in His path of life. We find fullness of joy in His presence; and as we serve Him, we are delighted all the days of our life (Psalm 16:10-11).

Even when we suffer with negative emotions like discouragement and stress, we can still hope in God. As we praise Him, He puts a smile on our lips, a twinkle in our eyes and a jaunt in our steps (Psalm 42:5-6).

He encourages us and our soul rejoices as we remember His goodness and provision (Psalm 42:11). As we hope in God we hear His voice and recognize Him as our Lord and Savior (Psalm 38:15).

As we remember all that God does for us and the words He speaks to us, we set our hope in Him. He comforts us in our trials and His Son and His Word give us life (Psalm 78:7, 119:49-50).

Prayer:
Father God, You are our hiding place in times of insecurity and our shield when life frightens us (Psalm 119:114). Our soul waits for You, more than the night watchmen eagerly wait for the morning, and we put all of our hope in Your Word (Psalm 130:5-6).

Those who do not have a personal relationship with You are sick at heart, but our desire is for You. You bless us with Your life within us (Proverbs 13:12; John 14:6). As we walk in Your righteous ways, we have peace and joy (Proverbs 10:28).

Thought for the Day:
We continually hope in God and praise Him more and more every day. – Psalm 71:14

In Due Season

There is a common plight among preachers today, as well as with those who profess Christ, but did not sincerely repent. They fall away from the calling, which God has on their life (Ephesians 2:10). Even authentic Christians grow weary in the ministry, especially in these last days of apostasy, with hearts that turn cold towards the Gospel.

We can draw courage, however, from the fact that if we do not faint, we will reap God’s reward (Galatians 6:9). Sharing the gospel of Christ with an unbeliever, and watching the light dawn in their face, is the most fulfilling experience this side of heaven. God’s truth transforms them as we witness a real change in their life.

This happens so infrequently, however, that over time we tend to get discouraged and frustrated. We take our eyes off Jesus and look instead at the lack of our results as we minister for the Lord. Noah preached for 120 years and only his wife, sons and daughters-in-law believed his message. The entire known world at that time scoffed at his faith and message. Yet, he did not give up.

God gives the Harvest of souls in His perfect timing. There is no need for us to struggle or strain, because the battle is the Lord’s (2 Chronicles 20:15). He is the Lord of the Harvest (Matthew 9:38). We plow, we sow and we trust that the seeds, which we broadcast, will eventually bear fruit. Through faithful service, we will reap in due season, if we do not give up.

Prayer:
Father God, when we arrive in Heaven, a host of Believers will welcome us, some of whom we never met before that day. They are there with us because of something You used us to say or do, which changed their life or the life of someone they know. I look forward to standing in Your presence and seeing the full impact of my service to You. Therefore, use me now to share a smile, a hug, an understanding word, a listening ear and the word of my testimony in Your precious name.

Thought for the Day:
We may win one person to Christ, who will eventually win a multitude, just because we took a moment to share a testimony of what God did in our life.

Human Logic or Godly Wisdom

The further we submit to the sanctifying work of God’s Spirit in our soul, the more we seek after the divine issues of life rather than the carnal ones. We live to serve our Lord and His Saints, as well as those who do not yet know the saving power of His grace (Titus 2:11).

We walk in peace, which both defies human reasoning and makes people wonder why our trials no longer discourage or depress us (Isaiah 26:3; Philippians 4:7). Peace is not a state of mind, for which we can strive after and achieve. Trusting God takes the opposite of effort, and only comes when we give up control of every aspect of our life to the point of complete surrender.

A time of daily devotion, including Bible meditation and praise of God for His wondrous works in our life and in the world around us, helps to facilitate this process. Then, when our soul frets over the issues we face, God’s Spirit helps our spirit to overlook all of the worries and fears and to trust in God’s faithfulness.

God reveals His plans to us in His timing; but He will never reveal His will to us before we really need to know it. This helps us to develop patience and to die to our carnal nature. We live in holy contentment as He conquers our earthly concerns. God’s Spirit transforms our carnal mind with the steadfast mind of Christ (James 1:8).

When our only desire is to know Jesus, who is our only way, truth and life (John 14:6; Philippians 3:10; 1 Corinthians 1:30), the wisdom from God’s Spirit pours into our spirit. We seek only God’s pleasure in everything we think, say and do. We no longer rely on our human mind to direct our steps, but we trust in the wisdom of God.

Prayer:
Father God, we grow in unity with Your Trinity as we discontinue the futile habit of trying to control our life. Our awareness of Your place in our life increases and the intents of our heart reflect Your desires. We no long exalt human understanding above the leading of Your Spirit (Proverbs 16:7). Thank you for renewing our mind and for allowing Your character to replace the carnal confusion, which formerly restricted our life (Romans 12:2).

Thought for the Day:
The more that we recognize God’s voice and live a life of praise, even for the negative aspects of our life, the more peaceful and fulfilled we traverse our trials.

It’s Your Choice

Brokenness can either push you toward God or away from Him. If we allow discouragement to cause us to live in bitterness and anger, we will blame God. However, if we realize worldly temptations, sin and the devil cause these negative aspects to occur, then we will surrender to God. What Satan tries to use for our demise, God turns around for our good.

Overwhelming helplessness is a fork in the road. We choose which way we will go. If we decide to hate God, our life only gets worse, nothing works out for us, and in the end, we are hardened and lonely. If we settle into following hard after God, His grace helps us to climb the mountain of our pain into His waiting arms (Psalm 63:8; 1 Corinthians 15:10; Isaiah 40:11). He binds up our wounds and ultimately heals us (Psalm 147:3).

We cannot possibly be in control of every situation in our life; but God is. God had a hedge of protection around His servant Job. Satan believed that Job would curse God; so he got permission to all but destroy him. God knew Job’s heart. When Job clung to God through every conceivable trial know to man, God blessed him with more than Satan destroyed (Job 42:10).

When our flesh and heart fail us, God strengthens us. He is our portion – all we need to prosper in this life (Psalm 73:26). There is no need to give in to discouragement or fear, because our God is always with us and holds us in the palm of His hand (Isaiah 41:10). God calls us to come to Him, so that He can give us His rest (Matthew 11:28).

If we yoke up with Christ throughout our life and learn from Him, our soul finds deepening rest. He makes every burden light, because He is on the other side of the yoke with us (Matthew 11:29-30). Jesus gives us His peace, which is more intense than anything this world has to offer. His peace helps us to overcome every fear, and all confusion and distress (John 14:27).

Prayer:
Father God, Your power is perfected in our weaknesses. We can actually glory in our idiosyncrasies and foibles, because then the power of Christ rests on us. Through it all, Your grace is sufficient for us (2 Corinthians 12:9). Remind us to trust in You with every part of our soul – our mind, will and emotions – and not to rely on our human understanding. If we acknowledge You in all of our thoughts, words and deeds, You will encourage and direct us (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Thought for the Day:
Give your brokenness to God, because He will sustain His righteous Saints and not allow us to be shaken by our circumstances. – Psalm 55:22

Overcoming Temptation

The only power Satan has is what we give to him. Many Christians are perpetually discouraged and defeated because they believe Satan’s persistent lies about them and to them. If we linger in the pit of self-pity or bitterness, and if we agree with the lies Satan whispers in our ear, then he controls our actions by controlling our thoughts.

Satan accuses, belittles and defeats us. We end up overwhelmed, discouraged and hopeless. Those who give in to his accusations end up being robbed of the freedom that Jesus secured for us and that God intends for His people to enjoy. God’s Word encourages us to take our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). God wants to heal the wounds in our subconscious mind.

( http://www.theophostic.com )

He sets us free from the pain and sorrow caused by our former circumstances in life. This will help us to ignore Satan’s deceit. The first negative thought, which flits through our mind, is not sin, but is from Satan or from the wounds in our soul. Satan’s temptations only become sin if we dwell on them, agree with them, believe the lie as truth and act on them.

Jesus comes into our life and reconciles us to Himself, frees us from a sinful lifestyle and delivers us from hell. He takes our sins and gives us His righteousness. His Spirit enlightens us to Satan’s wiles and gives us the wisdom to stand against his temptations. When we put our trust in Jesus, God makes us His child. Jesus in us is greater than anything Satan tries to torment us with (1 John 4:4).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that if we fix our eyes on Jesus, we have no need to worry about Satan, the world or the flesh (Hebrews 12:2; 1 John 5:18). Victory over sin is ours once we realize that Christ abides in us (Colossians 1:27). He strengthens us, protects us and rescues us from temptation (2 Thessalonians 3:3; Hebrews 2:18; 2 Peter 2:9). We are also kept by Your power and given an escape from all unrighteousness (1 Peter 1:5; 1 Corinthians 10:13).

Thought for the Day:
Authentic Believers are dead to the flesh and walk in the Spirit.
– Galatians 5:24; Romans 7:5, 8:8-9; Galatians 5:16-25

God’s Unfailing Love

God hears our prayers and answers them (Psalm 40:1; Micah 7:7). When our soul faints from trials and stress, we can put our hope in the Word of the Lord (Psalm 119:81). Our soul finds its rest in the Lord of our salvation, because our hope comes from Him (Psalm 62:1,5). When we trust in His Word, others who also fear the Lord will rejoice because they see our testimony of His provision (Psalm 119:74).

At times, we may feel disheartened or discouraged without any reason. God is putting a burden on our heart and we have no idea who to pray for or what is going on (Romans 8:26). However, God’s Holy Spirit knows and wants us to pray for God to work in these lives, for Him to send His ministering angels to protect them and for Him to provide for them in every area of their need. Prayer changes lives.

Even if we are the ones living through a time of illness, unemployment or estrangement from a child, spouse or parent. These negative circumstances give us an occasion to spend time alone with God. This is often one of the most precious periods of our life. As we linger in God’s presence, our soul is filled with strength, peace, love and courage.

Protect against limiting God’s glory by doubts and insecurities. Trust in His faithfulness to see us through every trial life throws in our path. He promises to work out even the most horrendous circumstances for our good (Romans 8:28). God’s love is unfailing and His deliverance is abundant (Psalm 27:14, 130:5,7; Isaiah 8:17). He is our help and our protection (Psalm 33:20).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us to spend time in worship and adoration all throughout the day. We thank You for all of the special “hugs” You give us in both the simple and complex ways You order our life. As we bask in Your presence, cover us with Your love and glory and fill us to the brink with Your Holy Spirit, so that we can accomplish Your will for our day.

Thought for the Day:
As we immerse our self in fellowship with God, His Holy Spirit fills our soul with inexpressible joy and transforms us into the divine nature of Christ. – 1 Peter 1:7-9; 2 Peter 1:3-4