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

Advertisements

The Benefits of God’s Grace

God loves the whole universe, even those who do not believe in Him and those who curse His name (John 3:16). He allows both sinners and Saints to reap the benefits of His love (Jeremiah 12:1; Psalm 37).

God is drawing us all to Himself by sharing blessings to both evil and good people, and by sending refreshing rain to believers and unbelievers alike (Matthew 5:45).

The grace of God benefits everyone ever born. The whole earth overflows with His loving kindness (Psalm 33:5). If only everyone would turn to Him because of His benevolence (Psalm 107:8).

Although everyone ever born initially realizes the goodness of God, even through creation, most people fail to honor Him or feel gratitude, because our foolish heart is clouded by Satan’s lies (Romans 1:20-21)

The human tendency is to credit our good fortune to own efforts or to “fate”, rather than to God. We fail to see the goodness of God in our success. This causes us to condemn our self by our unbelief (John 3:18).

Our futile attempts to find a measure of happiness and success in life are empty prizes. We work throughout our whole lifetime to build our own little kingdom on this earth, only to lose it all in death.

We face eternity without the saving grace of Christ. God’s grace is His undeserved favor shared with every human being ever born. Yet, most people disdain His attempts to save them.

God calls us to a personal relationship with Him. His everlasting arms are open wide, encouraging both the good person and the foulest sinner to abandon their futile lifestyle and to trust Him.

He provides for all of our needs according to His glorious riches (Philippians 4:19; Ephesians 3:16). He shepherds us and keeps us safe (Psalm 23). He longs for our fellowship day and night (Exodus 33:14; 1 John 3:24; Revelation 21:3-4).

Prayer:
Father God, we can never thank You enough for the loving kindness You shower on Your creation (Psalm 145:9). You provide for us and protect us by Your mighty hand (Psalm 139:10). If You were to forget us for one second, destruction would overcome the universe.

Make us ever mindful of Your desire to fellowship with us. Remind us to take time to consult You for Your perfect plans for each moment of our day. Allow us to make a difference in the lives of the people You bring our way. Please come soon and restore Your order to the earth.

Thought for the Day:
God calls us to love all of humanity just as He does, sacrificing as His Spirit directs us for those He brings into our life. – Romans 5:7-8

Purpose in Suffering

There are many people who live with the persuasion that God intends for His Saints to live in perfect health. The first objection to this theory is Paul’s thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12:7).

Paul begged God to heal this physical infirmity. God had other plans, and reminded Paul that His grace was sufficient to help Paul live with this issue (2 Corinthians 12:9).

God often heals, but He also uses our affliction to teach us patience, to remind us to trust Him and to bring glory to His name (John 9:3).

God is not sadistic or unfeeling. He does not want to punish or afflict His people with suffering; however, God uses our attitude in our adverse physical conditions as a witness of His goodness and grace.

When we smile in our pain, continue serving Him in spite of our misery, maintain a positive outlook regardless of how much we are suffering, God gets the glory.

People are amazed that we keep going, when life smacks us down. They want to know how we can deal with this trial with such a confident stance. People bemoan their misfortune, but authentic Believers trust God always.

God will heal some illnesses; yet, allow others to get worse instead of better. Every person must succumb to death in one way or another. God knows the day and hour of our homecoming to heaven (Job 14:5).

A peaceful passing in our sleep, the result of a prolonged illness, a traffic accident or a natural disaster may claim our life. However, the end result is the same – we enter our eternal glory with the Lord.

We can thank God for our thorn in the flesh and live with it with patience as Paul did His. When God is through using the infirmity to work out His will in our life for His glory, He will heal us in this life or the next.

Prayer:
Father God, death is the ultimate healer. Some people look at death as defeat; but Jesus took the sting out of death (1 Corinthians 15:55-57). We no longer dread passing from this life to the next, because the end result is an eternity in Your presence.

We cannot thank You enough for sending Jesus to reverse the curse on this earth, which came as a result of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. Although we may experience physical illness during our lifetime, we promise to trust in Your goodness as You use it for Your glory.

Thought for the Day:
Through suffering, our soul is strengthened, our witness pronounced, and our trust in God enhanced, as we realize that God’s love is greater than our affliction.

Deep Inner Peace and Fulfillment

God orchestrates every nuance of our life. His abundant light overcomes the densest gloom. His power and majesty slay every demon in spiritual darkness, which comes against us (1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 1:3).

He encourages us to take our focus off our mortal frailty or our competent human abilities, and to concentrate on the reality of Christ in us (Colossians 1:27). God’s presence in our life provides us with deep inner peace and fulfillment.

Nothing this world has to offer can take the place of His goodness and grace. When the issues of life become more than we can bear, we sit on our Heavenly Father’s lap and snuggle in the safety of His arms.

I love to spend time in the night watches praising, praying, writing blog posts, and crying or rejoicing in the presence of our Father God (Isaiah 26:9). We are in Him and He dwells within us (Galatians 2:20).

This state of abiding in Christ is accomplished by one swift act of total surrender. It may take a deep trial, a layoff from work, rejection from a mate or a week-end retreat; but when our soul yearns for God, we readily relinquish our will to Him.

Once we make up our mind to allow Christ to live His life in and through us, our life starts changing – both in miniscule growth, as well as leaps and bounds (1 Samuel 16:7). We exhibit more and more of Christ’s divine nature and we never, ever leave His presence (2 Peter 1:4; 2 Corinthians 5:17).
Prayer:
Father God, You only want what is best for Your children. Every action You take in our life, even the trials and tribulation, is an act of Your love. You wound, but You never break, and You always heal (Job 5:18). You fill the void within each of us and You satisfy the longing in our soul for something greater than this temporal life (Psalm 107:9). Your affection and provision never fail us.

Thought for the Day:
God’s children sing of His mercy and strength, which is new every morning; and we praise our loving Father for being our stronghold, refuge and fortress in all our times of trouble. – Lamentations 3:22-23; Psalm 59:16-17

Christ Richly Dwells in Us

God wants us to abide in Christ, who dwells in us, and is the wisdom of God for us. Jesus, who had no sin, took the shame of our sins upon Himself and nailed them to Calvary’s cross. As we grow in Christ, our former accomplishments become meaningless, and we gain the righteousness of Christ in exchange for our sins (Philippians 3:8-9).

God blesses our union with Christ, which gives us all of the power and authority resident in the Heavenly realm (Ephesians 1:3-4). This merger with Christ begins with regeneration and progresses through our obedience to His predetermined will for our life (Ephesians 2:4-5, 10). We do not boast of our own accomplishments, because we see our self as we really are in God’s eyes.

Our only boasting is actually about His goodness and love for us (1 Corinthians 1:30-31). Our carnal nature slowly dies through sanctification, and Christ lives out His purpose in and through us (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:3-4). We no longer follow our own agenda or dreams for our life, but we focus solely on the will of God for each moment of our day.

Through His love, God draws us to Himself by His Spirit and desires that we share with Him the glorious blessings He arranged for us to enjoy with Him in eternity. No human mind has ever conceived, nor has any eye ever seen, nor has any ear ever heard of the extent of these benefits, which God prepared for us (1 Corinthians 2:9).

By faith, Christ richly dwells in us, and He deepens our roots in Him and establishes us in His love. Out of His glorious riches, God strengthens us with power from His Spirit within us (Ephesians 3:16). God’s Spirit gives His power to all of His Saints, so that we can comprehend the fathomless dimensions of our Father’s love (Romans 8:38-39).

Prayer:
Father God, those of us who persevere in our union with Christ will appear with Him, and rule and reign with Him in Your Kingdom for all of eternity (John 10:27-38; Romans 6:14; Colossians 2:11-12, 3:1-3). Remind us not to rely on human effort, but on Christ’s finished work on Calvary’s cross, and the effects of His sacrifice in our life. Help us to walk in Your Spirit each moment of every day (Galatians 5:15-25). Fill us with the fullest measure of Your complete character and nature (Ephesians 3:17-19).

Thought for the Day:
As we see our self in the wide scheme of God’s eternal plan, we lose all anxiety over the here and now.

Be Still and Know

Salvation through Jesus Christ is a free gift; we do not earn it by our beliefs or our behavior (Romans 6:23). The gift of God’s presence, however, entails our obedience and love for Him. Walking in God’s Spirit allows us to maintain this constant communion with the lover of our soul (Galatians 5:16-25). It also helps to stop the good activities, which we are invited to participate in, from becoming the enemy of God’s best for us.

Constant busyness keeps us in continual stress and turmoil. Do we really need a two family income, a new car, family phones, premium cable channels, clothes from the mall, the hottest toys on the market, etc? Some people work two or three jobs to supply their family with the lifestyle they believe they need. When does the workaholic have time to spend alone with God, family and friends?

Our hectic lifestyle prevents us from entering into the rest of God’s presence (Hebrews 4:1-16); but as we love the Lord with our entire heart, having no idols in His place and ordering our steps to seek Him throughout the day, He will provide us with His love and guidance (Proverbs 3:5-6). We always walk in fulfillment and we find joy in the simplest revelation of His goodness.

Alone (All-one) time with God allows us to enter that place of abiding, which connects and fills us with His Holy Spirit. Abiding provides us with an opportunity to enter God’s rest, to soak up His presence and to operate from a sense of His peace. His joy gives us needed vitality to meet the trials of the day (Psalm 46:1-3). His wisdom and goodness help us to succeed.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us to make time every day to stop all activity and to cuddle in Your lap, like the little children that we are (Matthew 19:14). Help us to allow You to immerse us in Your love as we love You with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30). We admit that we are powerless and cannot control the events in our life, so we relinquish all control to You and Your perfect will for our life.

Thought for the Day:
Take time to be still and to focus on the fact that God is God and there is no other like Him. – Psalm 46:10

Faith and Courage

The Bible is full of the exploits of sinners just like us. God is not ashamed of those who exhibit their faith in Him, in spite of the moment of their weakness (Hebrews 11:16). Many of them had a calling from God and fulfilled that mission with faith in God’s faithfulness. As people of faith, we can include our self in that great cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1).

These people of courage stood strong and were on their guard (1 Corinthians 16:13). They resisted the devil by keeping a firm footing in their confidence in God. They walked by faith and not by sight, needing no physical proof for their beliefs (2 Corinthians 5:7). We can stand strong too, knowing that fellow Believers around the world are experiencing similar or even worse trials (1 Peter 5:9).

We learn how to live a life of faith from these ancient, Biblical Saints. If we do not have faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). He wants us to come to Him believing that He exists and that He rewards everyone who earnestly seeks Him. Faith believes God’s Word, and is sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see in the natural realm (Hebrews 11:1).

Faith believes that God formed the universe by His command, creating the galaxies simply by His spoken word (Genesis 1:3). We look forward by faith to the Kingdom of God, because we are only aliens and strangers on this earth (1 Peter 2:11-12). Until we go to glory, we fight the good fight with courage, finish the race and trust in the goodness of God (2 Timothy 4:7).

Prayer:
Father God, we thank You for Your forgiveness, provided by Your sacrifice of Your own son (Romans 8:23). We have no words to express our amazement or our gratitude to You for this free gift (Ephesians 2:8). Our faith in You will extinguish all of Satan’s flaming arrows, which he aims at us (Ephesians 6:16). By faith we eagerly look forward to Your Spirit birthing Your perfection in us (Galatians 5:5).

Thought of the Day:
The righteous will live by faith. – Galatians 3:11