Take Your Thoughts Captive!

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

“Do not fear what lies ahead of you, Child. For I have already gone before you and conquered the future. I led captive death, hell and the grave. They have no hold over you. I conquered them so you have no reason to fear. There is no weapon that is formed against a child of God that can prosper. Rise up and speak to that fear that comes against you. It is a spirit sent to harass you from the evil one. Put your trust in Me and speak to the mountain. Tell it to move, and leave, and it will do what you say. You have authority over the evil one for I have given you My authority. Do not allow him to steal any ground in your life. Declare the victory for I have already defeated your enemy. I conquered him when I went to hell on your behalf. I took back the keys to the kingdom and have given them to My church. You now have victory over every attack of the enemy. Rise up in My strength and power and go forth as the mighty army of God. Use your authority in prayer to stand against the evil one. Do not allow fear to rule and reign in your heart and mind. Take authority over the thoughts of fear, doubt and unbelief that he arrays against you. Stand firm in who you are in Christ Jesus and cast down any thought or imagination that plants fear in your heart. Do not entertain thoughts of evil. Think only on those things that are pure and lovely and of a good report. Keep your thought life pure and free from the corruption of the world. Do not allow the distractions of world events to take place in your mind. Keep your focus on Me for I am greater than any event or people group that would try to overtake you. Look unto Me for I am the greater One who lives within you. My name is higher than sickness and disease or war and strife. I am the Great I AM; able to conquer all things on behalf of My people. I have already defeated the enemy of your souls that tries to stir up trouble in your life. Now rise up as the mighty army of God and go forth in My power and strength for I have declared you to be victorious and able to conquer all things through Him who loves you!”

Father, I thank You for providing for our every need. You have given us the victory over the evil one. May we rise up as You have declared and go forth in Your power and strength to conquer the fears that come against us. I pray for those this morning who are experiencing mental anguish over things that lie ahead of them. I pray for them to be set free from the bondage of fear. I ask You, Lord, to release them from the grasp that the evil one is trying to use to hold them captive. Father, I ask You to show them how to stand against him; how to speak to the mountain that he has placed before them and how to conquer the storm that rages in their lives. Father, help them to speak only what Your word says for power lies in the the declarations that we make. Thank You for the victory, Father! May You be glorified as we enforce the work that You did on our behalf on the cross of Calvary. Jesus, you did not die in vain! We receive the victory already secured for us! In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Ephesians 4:8-10 Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.” (Now this, “He ascended”–what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)

Colossians 2:15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

Isaiah 54:14 In righteousness you shall be established; You shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; And from terror, for it shall not come near you.

Isaiah 54:17 No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their righteousness is from Me,” Says the LORD.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Mark 11:22-24 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. “For assuredly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”

John 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

Matthew 16:19 “And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Luke 10:19 “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

1 John 4:4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than He who is in the world.

Philippians 2:9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,

Romans 8:37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

Friends, it is time for us to take a stand against the evil one, who comes to steal our peace, our joy and to destroy our lives. As I was praying this morning I felt a strong presence of the Lord to give a word from Him to dispel the lies of the enemy that he is planting in the hearts and minds of God’s people. This has been on my heart for some time now and it seems that God just keeps bringing it back to my remembrance. The Word says in that in the end times that men’s hearts will fail them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth. (Luke 21:16) It is important that we keep our focus on Jesus and stand on His word. When He speaks you can judge what has been said by the word of God. That’s how we know His voice; we hear what is being said to us and then we see if it lines up with the Word. That’s why I have included the verses at the end of the message from the Lord as I wanted you to see that God, the Holy Spirit, always speaks in alignment with His word. Take the weapon of the Word of God and use it to slash the enemy’s lies and refute his arguments that come against your peace of mind. Cast down those thoughts and bring them into obedience to the Word of God!

 

 

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The Umpire Of My Life

Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

“You were called to live in My peace, Child. The decision that you make will either bring peace or unrest into your life. Learn to seek Me before making decisions and allow My peace to rule the decision making process. You will know which way to take by the the peace or lack thereof. If you do not feel at peace about a situation do not do it. That’s My way of explaining to you that it is not the right direction for you to take. I will give a check or uneasiness within your spirit to indicate what you should do. You must pray and seek My will before making these decisions as I know which way you should go. Allow Me to lead you and I will guide you into peace for I have called you to live in harmony in your relationships; both with Me and with your fellow believers. Allow My peace to rule your heart and you will not experience the heartache that comes with making wrong decisions. Let Me lead you and guide you in the way you should go!”

Father, I thank You for Your peace. I know, Father, that You lead and guide us by peace in our hearts. I pray that I might always follow the way of peace in my heart so I won’t get into situations that are not in Your will for my life. Help me to overcome the temptation to make decisions based on my emotions which go against the peace or disharmony that I sense at times when I am not supposed to go a certain direction. You know what is best for me, Father, and I trust you to lead me in the right way. Please forgive me for the times when I have not followed Your peace and made unwise choices that affected the quality of life that I was living. Show me the way that I should take in these times of decision and give me the courage to follow Your peace in each one of them. Thank You, Father. Amen.

Peace – Greek word eirene – Strong’s #1515 – menas a state of rest, quietness, and calmness; an absence of strife; tranquility. It generally denotes a perfect well-being.

Have you ever made a decision that you just felt uneasy about within your heart? That’s the Spirit of God within you trying to say “don’t do that”! There have been times when I have made those decisions and then there have been other times when I followed the lack of peace within and made the right decision. It was at those times of correct decisions that, as I made them, I would feel God’s peace sweep over me and a huge load was lifted off my shoulders. If only we would learn to follow that peace all the time then our lives would be much less complicated.

What does it mean when it says “let the peace of God rule”? Well, I think of it as being like an umpire in a baseball game. What He says goes! If he rules that ball as a strike even though the batter didn’t flinch when the ball passed by him, it is a strike! The players are lead by the umpire’s decision. That’s how God wants us to live; ruled by His peace. We are called to live in peace. When our emotions are involved we will not always have peace in our hearts because we are pulled one direction or another by how we feel. I am learning that I cannot trust my emotions all the time. But if I allow peace or the lack of it to direct me then I will experience a peaceful lifestyle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Hebrews 12:1-4 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.

Oh Father, I look to You today for all that I need for You are my Source and Provision. You are the One that I lean on; that I cling to and rely on. Without You in my life I am nothing and can do nothing. Thank You, Lord, for taking care of the things that concern me. Thank You for providing for my every need. You are awesome in this place, Mighty God! Help me, Lord, to look away from the things that try to hold me back from being all that You’ve called me to be. Show me the way to take when problems arise that try to steal my focus away from You. Strengthen me for the journey, Father.

“Turn your eyes upon Me, Child, and look for me in every situation. For whatever you look upon will become the biggest in your life. Your focus becomes what you think about; the primary importance in your life. If you magnify the problem it will become bigger but if you magnify Me I will take pre-eminence over all that is happening around you. Look at Me, Child. Look into My eyes and see the love that I have for you. You are My focus. I gave everything that I had for you. You were on My mind when those soldiers were beating Me and nailing My body to that tree. You were My focus. I love You, My Child. I will perfect that which concerns you. Don’t focus on how big your problems are. Focus on how big You God is and watch Me show Myself strong on your behalf. Watch Me move mountains in answer to your call. Call unto Me, Child, and I will show you great and mighty things that you have never known. I will open the eyes of your understanding when you listen to My voice and place your trust in Me. I am the Great I AM; there is nothing too difficult for Me. Do not allow the cares of this life to weigh you down for I care for you. I will help you when you look unto Me for I am the author and finisher of your faith.”

 

 

 

 

Like A Tree Planted By The River

1 Corinthians 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Those who are perishing don’t understand the power of God revealed through the cross of Christ Jesus! To them it is foolishness! But to those of us who are being saved it is powerful! It is the only way to live. I can look back through the years and see how Jesus lifted me up out of situations that would have destroyed me had I not had the power of God in my life. He is my life and breath and my reason for living. It is because of Christ Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross of Calvary that I will spend eternity in His presence; worshiping at His feet, proclaiming the praises of my Savior! And for life now, as it is on this earth, He is my strength and deliverance; my fortress in the time of trouble; my refuge from the storm. It is under His wings that I take refuge until the storm passes by.

Jeremiah understood that a person needed God’s power and strength to live life effectively when he penned these words in the book of Jeremiah:

Jeremiah 17:5: Thus says the LORD: “Cursed is the man who trust in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the LORD. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, And shall not see when good comes, But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, In a salt land which is not inhabited.”

Jeremiah understood that those who don’t know the Lord only have their flesh to trust in. They don’t know God and as a result do not have hope in someone greater than themselves. They may seem to have a measure of success as some of them actually practice Biblical principles, not realizing that there are spiritual laws that when put into motion will bring the desired results, but on a whole, they will not prosper because they don’t recognize God as their Source. When good comes their way, they often don’t recognize it and it slips through their fingers. They are like a shrub in the desert, blown about by the wind with no root system. Even though rain comes periodically in the desert it doesn’t last long and the plants are not nourished from it. They have no anchor for their soul; no direction for their lives, but simply exist from day to day wondering and worrying about the future.

Jeremiah went on to say in Jeremiah 17:7-8 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit.”

Here we have the contrast between the man who trusts in himself and the one who trusts in the Lord. The man who trusts in the Lord knows that his hope is in God. This man understands that the power of God is real and he depends on it. He prospers like a tree planted by the water, with its roots firmly planted by the river. He doesn’t have to worry when the heat of the summer comes, or when the pressure is on him because his Source will never dry up. His leaf will always be green because he is plugged in to the power Source. His thoughts are not anxious when the economy turns sour, nor does he stop serving the Lord because of fear. He simply draws from the power of God in his life and continues doing what a tree does; being green and fruitful.

We live in trying times. We, as a nation, are experiencing some things that trouble me and many are struck with fear for the future. But I realize who my Source is and am plugged in to Him so I will not fear nor be anxious for what might lie ahead. The power of God is greater than any man, or government, or nation, or anything the evil one might try to throw at us. God is all-powerful! He is greater than anything that could possibly arise that would try to destroy His people.

Paul went on to say in 1 Corinthians 1:19-25 NLT As the Scriptures say, “I will destroy human wisdom and discard their most brilliant ideas.” So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made them all look foolish and has shown their wisdom to be useless nonsense. Since God in His wisdom saw to it that the world would never find Him through human wisdom He has used our foolish preaching to save all who believe. God’s way seems foolish to the Jews because they want a sign from heaven to prove it is true. And it is foolish to the Greeks because they believe only what agrees with their own wisdom. So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended, and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense. But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the mighty power of God and the wonderful wisdom of God. This “foolish” plan of God is far wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is far stronger than the greatest of human strength.

God has a plan for our lives. It includes salvation; deliverance; healing; and prosperity. He knows exactly where each one of us is in our everyday walk of life. We might not always understand why things happen the way they do, but we can know that God is more powerful than any of man’s plans or ways of success. Even at His weakest, if that is possible, He is stronger than any human and wiser than any of man’s ideas or thoughts.

Proverbs 21:1 NKJV The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.

God is still in control! He can change a person’s heart just as easily as changing the course of a river. He created all things including each and every human being. God knows where you are! He knows your situation and the trials that you are facing. Just one word from God can change your entire life. He is all-powerful; He is omniscient or all-seeing; and He is omnipresent or all-present. He is God; there is none above Him and none beside Him. Will you place your trust in Him today?

Father, I thank You for Your power to overcome any and all adversity that comes into our lives. You are greater, Lord, that anything that we might encounter. I pray for those this morning who may be fearful of the future. I ask You, Lord, to touch them and give them revelation knowledge of Who You are and want to be in their lives. I pray that they will surrender their hearts to You and look unto Jesus for their strength in the times of trouble. Father, You can change our lives with just one word. I pray that You will do that for each one of us as we trust in You. Move in our lives as only You can, Father. Bring deliverance and healing for those who are sick and oppressed. Make provision for those who are suffering lack and forgive those who have transgressed against You. You are all powerful; there is nothing too difficult for You. You are all-present and all-seeing; there is nothing that You do not see and You are always with us. Thank You, Father, for rescuing us from the evil one. Thank You for setting us free from sin, sickness and disease and poverty and lack. I pray for wisdom, Lord, that we might know how to live our lives according to Your ways. And I ask that You would give us courage to choose right over wrong. Forgive us for our wicked ways, Father, and bring healing to our land. Thank You, Father. I pray these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

 

You Are Safe In God’s Hands

John 16:32 “Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.”

Jesus was getting ready to go to the cross to pay for the sin of mankind when He spoke these words to His disciples. In His humanity He was about to face the darkest time of His life; a time when even those closest to Him would turn their backs on Him. Can you imagine the pressure that was upon Him at that time? And yet, He knew that He wasn’t alone because His Father was right there with Him.

Maybe you have felt all alone at times in your life. Times when it seemed that everyone who should have or could have been close to you had turned their backs on you and left you to face the unknown alone. But just as Jesus had the assurance that He wasn’t walking through life alone, so can we have that assurance. As children of God, born again believers in the risen Christ, we can know without a shadow of a doubt that we do not face life and it’s pressures alone. The Father, through His indwelling Spirit, is always with us.

Hebrews 13:5b, 6 ….For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”

God has promised to be with us, to walk with us through life’s pressures and to give us the help that we need at just the right time. We do not have to fear what lies ahead because Jesus said even though we would experience pressure from this world system and the attacks of the enemy that we could be of good cheer because He had overcome those things for us. We have peace and strength in Him even in the midst of the storms of life.

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.

That word for “tribulation” in the Greek is the word thlipsis and according to Strong’s concordance #2347 it means “pressure, oppression, stress, anguish, tribulation, adversity, affliction, crushing, squashing, squeezing, distress. The word is used of crushing grapes or olives in a press.

How many times have you felt like you were being crushed in a press due to the adversity and tribulation going on in your life? It’s a very real affliction; not just something that comes against you mentally. You can experience very real physical symptoms from the pressures of life. But Jesus said to be of good cheer. In other words, don’t let the devil squeeze you into his mold! Rest in the peace that Jesus has purchased for you on the cross of Calvary. He took our tribulations on Himself when He was crucified on our behalf. The great exchange was made; His peace for our tribulation.

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Jesus said He was leaving His peace with us. It’s a different kind of peace than what we find out in the world. The world gives us peace as we perform according to what is expected of us. If we do what is right init’s sight then things go well with us and we have the world’s type of peace. Peace that is based on conditions. If you meet the conditions things will go well with you. But the peace that Jesus has given us is a peace that has no requirements for you to meet; it is unconditional and can’t be taken back from you. You never have to perform to receive it; it is given by grace and received through the exercise of your faith.

Peace by the definition of the world’s standards is freedom from disturbance or agitation. It is conditional based upon whether or not there is friction or strife in your life. If no strife is there then you have peace. But God’s peace, the peace that Jesus gives us, is the Greek word “eirene” and it means “a state of rest, quietness, and calmness; an absence of strife; tranquility. It general denotes a perfect well-being. It is a calmness even in the midst of the storm. It is not dependent upon the absence of strife for it to work. It is a state of rest, quietness and calmness, even when the pressure is on. The world’s form of peace is totally dependent upon the absence of strife and the peace that Jesus gives is a peace that works even when strife is present. You can experience peace in the midst of life’s trials; if you will trust the Lord, receive it by faith, and keep your focus on Him.

Isaiah 26:3, 4 You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, For in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength.

Keep your focus on the Lord and trust Him and you will experience the peace that passes all understanding. He is there for you! There is none above Him and none beside Him.

Isaiah 45:18 For thus says the LORD, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited: “I am the LORD, and there is no other.”

Remember it is not who you are that matters the most, it is WHOSE you are. If you have invited Jesus into your heart to be your own personal Lord and Savior then you belong to the family of God. You are a child of Almighty God. He is the One who watches over you; who provides for you and cares for you. He is the One who gives you His peace; perfect peace when you trust Him.

Thank You, Father, for Your peace. I know that I do not travel through life alone, but You are right here with me. You are the One that I long for, cling to, rely on and trust in. You are my God and there is no other above you or beside You. I recognize You as the authority in my life and I trust You to take care of the things that I am concerned about. Father, I pray for those today who might be experiencing turmoil, pain, fear and pressure in their lives due to the adversity that is facing them. Father, I ask You to touch them where they are, to provide for them as they have need and to give them peace in their hearts knowing that You love them and are watching over them. Give them peace in the midst of their storms, Father. Show them Your great power in overcoming all that is coming against them. Show them how to rest in You, Lord, and experience the assurance that all will be okay in their lives. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for the peace that You have given us. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Faith Challenges!

What do we do when our faith is challenged?

1 Timothy 1:18-19 This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck.

Faith challenges come to all of us. There is no one exempt from the temptation to suffer shipwreck when we come up against a storm in life. We all encounter battles, are taken through warfare where our faith is challenged and we are presented with the opportunity to give up or stand up and fight. Paul told Timothy to wage the good warfare, according to the prophecies previously made concerning him. God gives us all promises that are personal prophecies for our lives, words that He speaks so clearly to our hearts and it is those promises that cause us to push forward to experience the good things that He has in store for us. But sometimes we run into major roadblocks and our faith is challenged.

A few years ago I experienced a major faith challenge and through it the Lord gave me a message entitled “Don’t allow the disappointments of Life to Shipwreck Your Faith.” These two verses in 1 Timothy were the ones that He spoke to my heart about the challenge that I was experiencing. Here is my story:

 

As a single person my heart’s desire was to have a godly mate; one that would walk through life with me as we served the Lord together. It was my desire to have a marriage that would glorify God and be an example to those around me of what marriage should be. So, I began seeking the Lord for His will in this situation and as I studied His word and prayed for His direction it became evident that God’s will was for me to experience this marriage, but that I would receive it by faith as I believed Him to provide just the right person as my mate. After several years of believing God for this godly mate He brought a special man into my life. Larry lived 90 miles from me in a large city. We began our courtship which soon blossomed into more than a friendship. It was at that time that I began seeking the Lord more diligently about closing the gap of the miles between us. I discerned His directions in moving to the City where I would live closer to Larry, so I prayed about obtaining a new job in order to move. He quickly provided the job that I needed, so I resigned my position with a tenure of over 10 years and excitedly pursued my new career. A temporary home was located and mine was put on the market for sale. Everything fell into place just as I had heard from the Lord in my prayer times. I had the green light from the Lord and was excited to be entering a new chapter in my life. I moved, started my new job and accepted Larry’s proposal for marriage. We were married shortly thereafter. My house sold and all my possessions were put in storage in anticipation of us buying a new home to start our life together. Little did I know the heartache, disappointment and challenge of my faith that awaited me.

Larry and I had been married for only 7 ½ weeks when he suffered a major stroke. He went home to be with the Lord the following day. I was devastated! My life came crashing down around me. My ship was battered and torn; my faith was challenged. How could this have happened, Lord? I followed Your directions; I prayed and sought Your will for my life. Why, Lord, why?

I suddenly found myself alone and lonely, in a large city, on a new job with no job security, in a church of 3,000 versus my little home church of 60; in a rental basement apartment where I had to face every day the thoughts of him having that stroke right there in our home; and with people around me that were new faces, new friends. My whole world had been turned upside down. Where was God in the midst of all this? Why had I prayed and sought His will for my life and then had it turn out like this? Questions and more questions arose in my heart day after day. The darkness closed in around me and I sensed a real battle going on for my soul. I knew that I had to stay focused on the Lord or the devil would take my life. Suicidal thoughts interrupted my sleep. My days were lonely as I waded through life without the one I thought I would spend the rest of my life with. I went home to my bed at night and wished I could curl up in a ball with the covers over my head and go to sleep, never to awaken again. I remember standing in front of the casket at Larry’s funeral and wishing I could crawl up in it with him and go to that place where He had gone. The trips to his graveside were times of grief where I would cry and tell him I wished he was here.

Through all the devastation, God was right there with me. But the faith challenge was mine. I had to fight for my stand of faith. This was not an easy time, but it was a time of growth. I don’t know why it turned out that way. I don’t understand all that took place during that time, but I know that my God is faithful to bring us through the faith challenges that we experience. Even though I don’t have all the answers I can tell you that God’s word is true; that He still heals today and even though my husband wasn’t healed in this life, he is healed now. I know that not every faith challenge turns out the same and that if I were presented with the same type scenario today that it possibly would turn out different this time around. And I know that we go through faith challenges to help others as they are challenged and that is why you are reading this blog.

2 Corinthians 1:3, 4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

God revealed Himself to me through this difficult time. He gave me a message to pass on to others. It is that sometimes God uses the bad things in our lives as a springboard to the good that He has waiting for us. God always has a good plan for us. Look at the ones in the Word that experienced great heartache and how He used those times to catapult them into something great.

Mary, and the disciples were devastated when Jesus died on the cross. Their world came crashing down around them. The had just experienced the death of their best friend. They didn’t understand, but God had a better plan than what they had known as Jesus had walked among them. You see, if Jesus hadn’t died to pay for the sins of mankind, they and all of us would have been doomed to a life separated from God. The heartache that they had experienced was working for them a much greater joy; a much greater plan for a good life. They had to experience the heartache to know that the best was yet to come!

When Mary and the other ladies went to the tomb on that first day of the week to anoint Jesus’ body they found that their heartache may have lasted for a night, but joy comes in the morning! They heard the angels say to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen!” (Luke 24:5,6) Their darkness had turned to light as they encountered the message of the Lord! They had hope again! When they were going through the faith challenge they couldn’t see the good that was ahead of them. When we are faced with difficult times we can’t see the good that God has planned for us until we are through with the challenge. It’s during the challenge that we must stand strong in the Lord and continue to believe and trust in Him.

Now, think about the Israelites that had been in bondage for 490 years when God sent a deliverer to bring them out of bondage and lead them into the land of Promise. After leaving Egypt they had to go through the wilderness. They often complained and thought about what they had left behind. And here they were wandering around in the wilderness, not understanding why they weren’t experiencing the blessings of God as He had promised. They had to go through the faith challenge to get to the good plan that He had made them. Between the land of bondage and the land of promise was the wilderness; the place of growth. They learned in the faith challenge how to fight for their freedom; how to overcome their enemies and how to depend on God to provide what they needed. They had a faith challenge before they reach their Promised Land!

What about Job? It is recorded in Job 1:1 that he was a righteous man, blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil. He was successful; had a wife and ten children. His possessions were many and he was known as the greatest of all the people of the East. He had prestige, power and possessions and in a period of less than a year all of them were taken from him. The devil stole everything that he had except his wife and his life. Job went through a faith challenge! At times he was advised to curse God and die. His friends didn’t understand but always had an opinion of why he was going through the heartache and devastation. But Job’s strength to fight the faith challenge came from his relationship with his God. And in the end Job grew in his faith and his relationship with God. He said in Job 42:5:

“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You.”

Job came to know God more fully during his faith challenge. And God blessed him when Job walked out of that challenge and prayed for his friends.

Job 42:10 And the LORD restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.

God took Job through the heartache and devastation and revealed Himself to him and then blessed him more abundantly than he was before he entered his faith challenge. He had good planned for Job even before he entered into his faith challenge because God is always good.

John 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it ore abundantly.”

In 2 Timothy 2:17, 18 we have the story of Hymenaeus and Philetus who are referenced in the 1 Timothy 1:18-19 passage that I quoted earlier. The scripture records in 2 Timothy 2:18 that they “strayed concerning the truth” when they went through their faith challenge.

Roadblocks happen in all of our lives. You see, we can either grow bitter or better when we go through difficulties. We can either give up on God, or continue to believe that God knows all things, has a good plan for our lives and will reveal it to us and bring it into manifestation as we continue to believe and trust Him. We can either continue with what we know that’s right, that’s faith-filled living or we can “stray” concerning the truth! The choice is ours. The challenge is ours. The outcome is determined by the choice that we make concerning the challenge that is placed before us.

In my case, God brought me through the faith challenge and used it to be a springboard to catapult me into the good plan that he had for my life. It wasn’t very long after I experienced the loss of my husband that God brought another special man into my life. His name is Gerald. Again, I had been seeking God’s will regarding a godly mate because God’s plan for my life was marriage; and that hadn’t changed. He once again made it very clear to me that He had that mate for me. I didn’t want to go through the heartache and disappointment again and had almost given up hope, but God dealt with me about believing in Him; trusting Him to put this together again. And now I am living out the good plan that God had for my life as Gerald and live and love each other, and serve the Lord together! Gerald is everything that I could have wanted in a husband. He is loving and kind, compassionate and caring. He is the fulfillment of the good plan that God wanted me to have. But it is only as God brought me through the heartache and disappointment that I could experience the good that He had waiting for me with Gerald.

You may feel, as I did, that you have experienced a major setback. But just know, that with every setback God has a comeback planned for you! He will bring you out of that difficult time to bring you into the good plan that He has for your life. You can either choose to allow the difficulty to shipwreck your faith and become bitter towards God or you can choose to continue to stand in faith believing in Him and trusting that He knows how to deliver you from temptation and bring you into your Promised Land.

Father, I thank You for all things, even the difficult times in my life. You have always been there to see me through every heartache and disappointment. Thank You, Father, for bringing me out of the darkness into Your glorious light and the good plan that you have for my life. Father, I pray for my friends this morning who may be experiencing a faith challenge. Only You, Lord, know what they are truly going through. Father, I ask You to reveal Yourself to them through this difficult time and give them a glimpse of the good that You have awaiting them after they come out of their faith challenge. Father, I ask You to give them strength to endure to the end; a vision that is God-given and a determination to defeat the enemy and be the person that You have created and called them to be. Father, give them Your strength, Lord; Your vision and Your presence. Thank You, Father. I ask these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

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