Feelings

Feelings

This morning I just have a “feeling” that someone needs some encouragement regarding their emotions and what they have going on inside of them. David, the Psalmist, said it this way in Psalm 55:4-8:

 

My heart is severely pained within me, And the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me. And horror has overwhemed me. So I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. Indeed, I would wander far off, And remain in the wilderness. Selah I would hasten my escape From the windy storm and tempest.”

 

Does it feel like a storm and tempest is raging in your life? Are you overwhelmed with life and wish that you had wings like a dove to fly away to a restful place? Sometimes our feelings deceive us into thinking that we are stuck in a situation with no way out. Those types of emotions definitely do not lead to success and victory and yet God promises that we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us! (Romans 8:37) It’s easy to get “caught up” in our emotions and feel like things will never be any different. But God offers encouragement throughout His word for which we can anchor our faith!

 

Later in Psalm 55 David gave a key to overcoming our emotions and setting our course on solid footing.

 

Psalm 55:16-18 As for me, I will call upon God, And the LORD shall save me. Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, And He shall hear my voice. He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me, For there were many against me.

 

David had a lot going on in His life. He was chased by Saul, hid in caves and fought against his enemies for approximately 15 years after he was anointed as King over Israel, but before he actually took his throne and was crowned as the King. I’m sure he had occasion to “feel” as if God’s word to him was not true and that he would never see the promise of kingship manifested in his life. We can look through the scriptures at the record of that time and see a whole range of emotions that he experienced during those years of running, hiding and fighting.

 

At one point in David’s life he returned to the city where he lived and found that his wife and children, and all their possessions, as well as the wives, children and possessions of all his men had been stolen by their enemies and there was nothing left of their town. Emotions ran high that day for David and his men.

 

1 Samuel 30:4 Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep.

 

The lifted up their voices and wept until they had no more power to weep. They were exhausted from the fighting and returned to find all that they had was gone. Their emotions were overwhelming! Even his men turned against him at that time.

 

1 Samuel 30:6 Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every many for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.

 

When we experience such deep emotions our ability to think and reason things out is often colored and affected by the fear, grief and anxiety of the moment. David was grieved over the loss of his family and possessions, but even more so when he realized that his men were thinking of stoning him over something that he had no control over. It appeared that everyone that David cared about was gone, whether physically or emotionally, they had been removed from him and he was all alone.

 

But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God! What does it mean to “strengthen” yourself? The Amplified Bible says that David “encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God”. Sometimes we have to take the initiative to get out of the pit of despair ourselves by encouraging ourselves in the Lord. We find an admonition to do just that in Isaiah 60:1 in the Amplified Bible.

 

Isaiah 60:1 AMP ARISE [from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you – rise to a new life]! Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord), for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!

 

I remember when my former husband passed away after such a short marriage. I had no more than finished sending out thank you notes for wedding gifts when I found myself planning a funeral. I was, to say the least, depressed and discouraged. Not only had I lost the man I loved, but also the dream of my future with the man that I felt God had given me as a godly mate. I was devastated and found myself lying in bed at night wondering how I could end the pain and torment that I was experiencing. My grief had overwhelmed me and I had thoughts that I would never have thought about had I not been so caught up in my emotions. I realized that I had to do something drastic in order to position myself to win over the fear, grief and devastation that I was enduring. I had to encourage myself in the Lord just as David did. It was then that I began to take a step of faith towards what I knew was right instead of letting my emotions overwhelm me and carry me down to the depths of despair.

 

My friend, if you are experiencing emotions that seem overwhelming with fear and anxiety over your life or things that “could” happen, you will have to take steps toward freeing yourself from those heavy thoughts and feelings. You will have to encourage yourself in the Lord as well.

 

One way to do this is by putting on some praise and worship music and then entering into that song with the singers. Another way is through seeking the Lord in prayer and listening for His loving voice as He shares with you His good plans for your future. God does have a good plan for you, just as He had for me when I lost my husband. There is life after disaster! There is hope in the midst of the storms of life. God offers salvation from sin, sickness and poverty and lack. He has provided for every need that you have or will ever experience in your life. He is the way-maker! But you have a part to play in His plan for your life as well as Him. He has provided it, but through hope and expectancy you will receive it. It is by faith that we walk through the life that He has planned for us. We don’t see what lies ahead but we trust Him to provide for our every need.

 

When David was experiencing all those emotions that we spoke of in Psalm 55 he went on to say this:

 

Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

 

Cast, throw your cares on the Lord; trust Him to carry the load of your emotions, your fears, anxieties and questions about tomorrow. He will sustain you! That word for sustain is the Hebrew word “chul” and it means to maintain, nourish, provide food, bear hold up, protect, support, defend; to supply the means necessary for living.

 

God’s part is to maintain, nourish, provide food, bear, hold up, protect, support, defend and supply the means necessary for living your life! He has a big part to play in what you are going through. But your part is to cast your cares on Him, to trust Him to do His part in caring for you.

 

And one more thing is necessary for you to succeed and win over the emotions of despair and defeat. God told David to go after his enemies, to take back what the devil had stolen from him when he took their wives, children and possessions. He told him to “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.” (1 Samuel 30:8)

 

You see, God doesn’t want you to live “under your circumstances”. He wants you to succeed, to win, be the the over comer that He has created you to be. He is the God of restoration! His word proclaims us as “more than conquerors” through His love.

 

Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

 

God is for you, my Friend! He has not given up on you nor has He thrown you under the bus to be run over by life’s problems!

 

Faith is the victory that overcomes the world!

 

1 John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

 

Don’t give up to despair…don’t let your “feelings” dictate where you go in life. Rise up on the inside and let your determination to win be seen on the outside. Victory is yours through Christ Jesus.

 

“Feelings come and feelings go,

But this one thing I’m sure I know….

That God is fair in all He does,

His word is true and His ways are just.

 

So place your trust in God above;

Lean into Him and trust His love.

He will not fail to see you through,

And you’ll be blessed in all you do.”

~A. S. 11-26-13

Once you start praising the Lord and fighting this fight of faith you will find that the attacks that the enemy sends against you to discourage you will become less and less as you become stronger and stronger. We see this said about David’s fight against Saul and his ultimate crowning as King of Israel in 2 Samuel 3:1:

 

Now there was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David. But David grew stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker.

 

David had his battles to fight against his enemy Saul, but we can see recorded in this scripture that as he stood up to his enemy and fought the battle of faith, his enemy grew weaker and weaker. And David’s strength increased! Your strength to fight the battles of life will increase also as you place your trust in God and stand up and fight for what He has said is yours!

 

Father, I thank You for giving us the victory in Christ Jesus. Father, You have planned for us to win over the emotions that so often try to hold us back from receiving all that You have paid for us on the cross! Thank You for showing us the way out, the way to victory, through our faith in You. I pray this morning for those who are fighting depression and discouragement. Father, I ask You to give them the strength to rise up on the inside and let their faith be seen on the outside. Father, show them how to “encourage” themselves in You, Lord. Give them a glimpse of the good plan that You have for their future. Show them that You have a bigger picture in mind for them than what they are experiencing right now. Grant them a new vision of life after despair! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

 

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Teach Me To Number My Days

Psalm 90 12

Psalm 90:12 NKJV So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.

 

I woke up this morning with this verse of scripture running through my mind. So, I knew the Lord wanted to say something to me about “numbering my days”. As I researched this verse the Lord lead me to some other scriptures that pertain to this same thought. Let’s look at a few and some key words in the scriptures.

 

Number – Hebrew word manah – Strong’s #4487 – a primitive root; properly, to weigh out; by implication, to allot or constitute officially; also to enumerate or enroll; – appoint, count, number prepare, set, tell.

 

The word for “number” means to weigh our time, to prepare our days and to appoint our time for a certain set course or purpose. The purpose is that we might gain a heart of wisdom in knowing how to live as God would have us according to His plan for our lives.

 

The New Living Translation says this: Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom.

 

I don’t know about you, but my heart’s desire is to live out my life to the fullest of God’s plan and purpose for me. As I continued to study, the Lord took me to Psalm 39:4-7:

 

NLT – “LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered; and that my life is fleeing away. My life is no longer than the width of my hand. An entire lifetime is just a moment to you; human existence is but a breath.” We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth for someone else to spend. And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.”

 

Are you rushing around and not accomplishing anything? Do you “fritter” your time away, so to speak, with no set direction or purpose and then at the end of the day wonder where the time went? Life is so short in comparison to eternity. Our lives are no longer than the width of our hand as God sees them. The writer of this Psalm states that we are “merely moving shadows”. How quickly does a shadow move? As soon as the object that the sun is shining on moves the shadow follows it. Life is said to be like a vapor in James 4:14. And the Lord says that we continually seek after things, wealth that someone else gets to spend and are always looking for hope for a satisfying life that can only be found in Him.

 

Let’s camp out a little while in Psalm 39:4-7 as I feel God has something more to say to us about this portion of scripture. The New King James Version of Psalm 39:4 says “LORD, make me to know my end, And what is the measure of my days, that I may know how frail I am.

 

Measure – Hebrew word Middah – Strong’s #4060 means I) – measure, stature, size, garment. A) measure, act of measurement…B) measurement, size; C) measured portion, extent; D) garment.

 

Measure is used 37 times in the definition of the Hebrew word, middah. I believe what God is saying is that we should understand that our lives are brief and fleeting and that we can be here today and gone tomorrow; so we should make the most of the days that we have, not wandering around wondering what we should do or seeking those things that don’t bring satisfaction, but being knowledgeable of the plan of God for our lives and living disciplined lives in order to fulfill all that He has called us, as believers, to do. We should be knowledgeable of the extent or measured portion of life that we are given!

 

Ephesians 5:15-17 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

 

Walk – Greek word peripateo – Strong’s 4043 – means I). To walk; A) to make one’s way; progress; to make due use of opportunities. B) Hebrew for, to live; to regulate one’s life; to conduct one’s self; to pass one’s life.

 

With this defintion of “walk” we see that there is a progression that we should be experiencing in our lives; it’s not day by day living, taking what comes along, but a means of living by regulating our time and conducting our affairs with intention and purpose. Looking on in the verse we see the word “circumspectly” which in the Greek is the word “akribos” meaning exactly, accurately, diligently. We are to conduct our lives in a way that is exact, accurate and diligent according to God’s plan and purpose as we come to know what the will of the Lord is. God desires for us to know what His will is and to walk exactly according to it, diligently and accurately. Why?

 

Because according to verse 16 the “days are evil”. What does it mean in saying that the days are “evil”? Well, the Greek word for “evil” is poneros and it means full of labors, annoyances and hardships; bad, of a bad nature or condition. Any one of us can look around us at the happenings in our world and see that we live in a day and age where there are lots of pressures, annoyances and hardships. We live in precarious times where peril and persecutions are getting to be more prevalent every day; Christians are being persecuted more and more for their faith in Christ Jesus. These are perilous days as are spoken of in 2 Timothy 3:1:

 

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:

 

Perilous – Greek word chalepos – Strong’s #5478 means harsh, savage, difficult, dangerous, painful, fierce, grievous, hard to deal with.

 

The days we are living in are harsh, difficult, painful at times, and hard to deal with. When we are simply going through the motions of life without any direction we are susceptible to whatever the devil throws at us. But when we are living diligently, with wisdom in knowing God’s will and purpose, we are alert and watchful for the enemy’s attacks. We can be “wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” as Jesus instructed His disciples that they were to be in their interaction with those they would meet out in the world. (Matt. 10:16)

 

As believers in Christ Jesus, we are to be aware that we have a purpose in living to fulfill the course of His will for our lifetimes. In living each day we should be seeking His will, what He would have us to do and how He would have us to walk it out. We are to “redeem” or buy back the time meaning that we are to be aware of not wasting our time, but using wisdom in how we conduct our affairs. We are to walk diligently, regulating our lives making due use of opportunities by understanding what the will of the Lord is, because the days are full of labors, annoyances and hardships; of a time full of peril to Christian faith and steadfastness.

 

Are you wondering today what God’s will is for your life? Romans 12:2 tells us that if you “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” that you will be able to “prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” We can know God’s will by spending time in His word and using it as our pattern for living life instead of what we see and hear out in the world. If we renew our minds to God’s word He will reveal His will through it! We can KNOW what God expects of us and the will and purpose for each of our lives by spending time with Him.

prayer

As I finished my study time, I offered up a prayer for the Lord to enlighten my heart to understand fully what He was saying to me. He responded through His still, small voice to my heart:

 

“Be about Your Father’s business, My Child, just as I was. I did not come to serve My own interests, but to do His will. Even as a young child I talked with those in the temple because I was conducting My Father’s business. Choose your time by seeking My will for your life and follow My directions for the management of your days. Only I know the length of your life, the number of your days and how much time you have left to do Your Father’s will. Seek Me and live uprightly for your days are numbered – they are recorded in My book. I know your end from your beginning. You can’t even see into tomorrow or even what may happen later in your day, but I can. Walk closely with Me and I will direct your path.”

 

Father, I thank You for directing my steps, for ordering my days and for leading me in the way that I should go for each day of my life. I pray that I might be more diligent in seeking the specifics of each day to be able to accurately and diligently walk according to Your plan and purpose.

 

Father, I pray for those who may be struggling with not knowing Your will and purpose for their lives. I know, Father, that first and foremost You desire for all to come to salvation, to acknowledge Jesus as their own personal Lord and Savior and to begin living life to the fullest according to Your plan for them. I pray that each one reading this blog will come to the saving knowledge of Jesus, to be saved to be able to live eternity with You when they die. Convict their hearts of their need for Jesus; let them see that He died to save them from an eternity apart from You and bring them into the Kingdom of God. May today be their day of salvation.

 

And Father, for those who are struggling with not know what to do with their days or how to walk according to Your plan for their lives, I pray that You will draw them into a deep, personal relationship with You where they can hear Your voice clearly to know what and how to live their lives to the fullest of the plan that You have for each one of them. Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering my prayer as I offer it up in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

Have You Fanned Your Flame?

2 Timothy 1 6

2 Timothy 1:6 NKJV Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.

 

Have you ever felt as if you had lost the flame of God within you? That you were going down for the last time? It’s easy to get discouraged if we look around us at the world happenings or if our own personal lives are filled with challenges that seem to never end. But God has given us a mandate to stir up what He has placed within each one of His children. If you are a believer in Christ Jesus it is your responsibility to keep yourself stirred up. Don’t let complacency or discouragement take root in your heart. The Amplified Bible says in Romans 12:11 “Never lag in zeal and in earnest endeavor; be aglow and burning with the Spirit, serving the Lord.”

 

I was reminded of these verses this morning as I sought the Lord in my own personal devotional time. He reminded me that He has placed within each one of His believers a sincere faith to keep us seeking Him, and serving Him as we run our race through life. Paul told Timothy in his exhortation through the books of First and Second Timothy that he should not pay attention to what is said and done around him, but that his responsibility was to keep on preaching the Word, teaching his people to stay true to God and to endure even in difficult times because God is able to keep us even when others turn away from Him in the last days. Paul uses terms such as “hold fast”, “be diligent”, “be strong”, “fight the good fight of faith”. All of these are terms of encouragement that we should keep before our eyes to help us strengthen our faith and stay strong during difficult times.

 

Has God called you to a specific work of ministry? If so, take heed to what Paul tells Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:14-16: Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.

 

God has placed gifts in each one of His children. Your calling may not be to a place of ministry leadership such as a pastorate, or as that of one of the five-fold ministry gifts: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastor and teacher; but your place in the Body of Christ is important and the ministry that He has called you to is just as vital to the growth of His Body as those five-fold ministry gifts. In Ephesians 4:16 each one of us is referred to as a “joint” that supplies the Body of Christ for growth toward maturity in Christ Jesus. You are important!

 

Paul instructs us in 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 that we are to view each member in the Body of Christ as being as important as every other member because each one is vitally important just as each part of our physical body is as important even when we can’t see it. We can’t see our heart beating but if it were to stop our life would cease to be. Even so, there are members in the Body of Christ that are not visible but are vitally important to the survival of Christ’s Body on earth. We may not see the intercessors that constantly hold up individuals in their more visible ministries, but what would those ministries be without the intercessors that are not seen? So it is that each one of us is important in the ministry that God has called us to. Stir up the flame within you to fully complete the ministry that He has called you to do!

 

Paul left Timothy with this last exhortation for his ministry calling: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season.” (2 Timothy 4:2) This is an exhortation that we can apply to each of our lives as He has called us each to a different aspect of ministry. Don’t give up! Be ready in season and out of season to do what God has called you to do at His direction.

 

Father, I thank You for Your gifts within each one of us. I thank You for the calling that You have on my life and the lives of other believers that is vitally important to the work of ministry that needs to be done in these last days. I pray that You will encourage others to continue in the work that You have laid out before them. Help them to continue to stir up that flame that You have placed within them. Give them a renewed passion for what You have called them to do. Father, I pray that they will be aglow with Your Spirit and burning brightly for Your kingdom’s glory and honor! May the Body of Christ go forth as the great army of God that You have created it to be. Grant us a renewed vision for the work of ministry that You have given us! And for those who don’t know you, Father, I pray that today will be their day of salvation. I ask You to pull down the blinders that Satan has hung over the minds of unbelievers that they might see the light of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ and be saved. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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