Take Courage

With persecution of Christians increasing in the world, including in the good ole USA which was founded on religious freedom, we have to remember that the main thing is still the main thing: God will never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

Regardless of how many God haters rise into power, God is still in control of our individual lives. Our fears and anxiety will only add to the stress and ill health caused by their persecution.

If we learn to enter God’s rest now, while we still have our freedoms, it will enable us to better traverse the unknown treatment, loss and deprivation which we may face in the future.

God reminds us that we are actually blessed when we are persecuted for His sake. We take courage from the example set by lives such as Paul and the Old Testament prophets (Matthew 5:10-12).

We rejoice, because although we may face scarcity now, we are storing up rewards in heaven for eternity. This concept allows us to rejoice and continue to serve as the salt and light of the earth (Matthew 5:12-15).

God uses us to preserve the lives and to light the path of those around us and to lead them to Him. When they see His love, peace and joy in our life, regardless of circumstances, they too will honor our Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us to take the focus off our self and to share Your love with those who are also suffering all around us. Remind us that the endurance of Christ fills our soul, because He abides within us. Any persecution is light and momentary when compared to the glory You prepared for us in Heaven.

As Your righteous ones, we live by faith and You preserve our soul, so there is no need for us to shrink back in fear but to continue to show Your love even to our persecutors (Hebrews 10:32-39).

Thought for the Day:
Regardless of those who are elected as our officials, how much power terrorists gain in the world or how many laws are passed against us expressing our faith with words, buildings, external crosses or religious trappings, nothing can separate us from the eternal rest and love of God dwelling within us. – Romans 8:35-39; Proverbs 21:1

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No Help for Us in God

Throughout the ages, scoffers and God-haters say that there is no help for us in God (Psalm 3:2). They deny His part in creation and they belittle the testimonies of His provision in the lives of His Saints.

However, those who are genuinely seeking for real answers in life find true solace in the everlasting arms of the Lord (Deuteronomy 33:27). He is our shield against the arrows of the devil (Psalm 91), surrounding us on all sides with His protection (Psalm 3:3).

When we faithfully shout praises to the Lord, with all of our trust and might, His answers are so miraculous that they thunder down from His holy mountain (Psalm 3:4).

We bask in His presence and enjoy all of His blessings (John 15:9; Psalm 103:2). Even in dire and frightening circumstances, we trust in Him with all of our heart (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Since God is our only salvation, we have no fear as we trust in Him. We stretch out on our bed in solace and enjoy sweet sleep, waking with energy, confidence and stability (Psalm 3:5; Proverbs 3:24).

Regardless of the circumstances, we stand firm on our Rock, fearless in any time of danger, or financial and relational loss, or just in our daily life. We plant our fist squarely in the face of the enemy (Isaiah 17:10; Psalm 3:6).

We are confident that true and timely help always comes to us from our Father God (Psalm 3:8). He clothes us with salvation and holiness, as we continually delight in Him (Isaiah 61:10).

The Lord is our strength and defense (Isaiah 12:2). When we walk in His truth and obey His Word, our peace is like a river and His benefits overwhelm us like the waves of the sea (Isaiah 48:18).

Prayer:
Father God, even in times of discouragement, when feelings of uselessness and hopelessness threaten to overwhelm us, our reward is in Your hand and You liberally supply us with all of our needs (Isaiah 49:4; Romans 8:28). We will continually rejoice in You, as our Lord, and find our joy in You, as our Savior (Habakkuk 3:18).

Although people persist in ridiculing us for our faith in You, and they look at us incredulously and mock and insult us, and sometime even take advantage of us in our weakness, we pray that You will draw them to Your bleeding side (Psalm 17:11, 22:7-8).

Thought for the Day:
A person’s animosity towards Christians is often birthed from conviction, and our Godly response to them may help them to surrender to God’s unconditional love.

God’s Eternal Plan – Part 2

God loves humanity so much that He gave us His Word in the form of Jesus Christ, who left His place in the glories of Heaven and sacrificed His own life to pay the penalty for our sins (John 1:14). God also gave us His Word in written form to give us prophetic encouragement and His truth, as well as advice and instruction, which gives us skill for living in this world (2 Timothy 3:16).

Yet, the carnal mind cannot understand the things of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:14). Some people, who were hurt by a Christian or who do not understand why God did not answer their prayer the way they expected Him to, will turn their back on God. They cannot see that the fairy tales Satan feeds them are actually lies, and they call the Bible a book of fairy tales instead (1 Thessalonians 2:11-12).

They end up condemning their self to eternal destruction by their unbelief (John 3:18). They forfeit the blessings of God in their life in order to maintain the illusion of control and independence. They want it said of them, “I did it my way.” They are rebels at heart and will not submit their life to the will of God for them (Ephesians 2:10).

The more we share God’s truth with God Haters, the further it pushes them away from our beloved King. They attribute their success to their own hard work, and little realize that God is sending love on thousands of generations of those who love Him (Exodus 20:6; Deuteronomy 5:10). The only hope for them is that they will respond as God’s Spirit draws them to our Father God (John 6:44).

We simply repent of our sinful thoughts, words and deeds and then surrender control of our life to God. We lose nothing but heartache, disappointment and stress. We gain all the fruit of God’s Spirit, as well as a mind conformed to the mind of Christ (Galatians 5:22-23; Romans 8:29). We live in a blessed environment now and forever, because our Daddy God cares for us so much better than we can ever care for our self.

Prayer:
Father God, You continually prod the children of Your beloved Saints to call out to You for salvation, but they often disregard Your call and warning. Their pride and rebellion resist believing the truths taught to them from the cradle. They prefer to buy into worldly propaganda, which teaches hate for You and Your followers. Of course, many people who are Christians in name only, and not by profession of faith in Christ, are poor examples of an authentic Believer. Please teach us to walk purely before You and please draw these angry unbelievers to Your loving heart.

Thought for the Day:
God haters often attribute hypocritical behavior to Believers, simply because we do not hold to or support their humanistic interpretation of Christ’s teachings.