Races can take you through many terrains. Running uphill, it’s hard. The more you go, the steeper the incline, the harder it gets. Breath after breath your chest heaves for relief. Push after push your muscles cry out for mercy. And, just when you thought you had no more in you; just when you thought you couldn’t go any farther, from behind there comes these hands out of nowhere that steadies your stride and helps propel you forward some more. On the side of you comes smiling faces with encouraging words grabbing hold of your arms and help pull you up that incline that you might finish your race. They want to help you make it.
The Apostle Paul often described our Christian life as a race (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). We run it. We press for it. But, sometimes the way gets hard and if it had not been for the grace of God, we would not have made it.
As the community of racers pushed and pulled the struggling runner uphill, so God will minister to us to help us go through our race. Often this is done through the community of believers that will come alongside the one that needs support.
In this world the struggle is real. May we, as a community of believers, recognize the support that each one needs. May we join up with our fellow Christian race runners and offer the help and encouragement they need to make it. May we see beyond our own race and allow God to use our hands and smiling faces to help bolster someone’s faith as they are striving to make it up the inclines of this life.
We all have the same goal in mind: to finish the race. We need each other to do it. As a community of believers, our job goes beyond spreading the gospel and being a light in this dark world, and all the other spiritual stuff it entails. Our job is also to seek the welfare of one another. We need to be there for one another. We need to be present and involved in the process of what they are going through “that there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it,” (1 Corinthians 12:25-26).
More encouraging verses and quotes:
“Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow . . .” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10a
“God has chosen us to help one another.” Smith Wigglesworth
“The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But… the Good Samaritan reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?'” Martin Luther King, Jr.
Photo Source: Pixabay
The God who touches me is the God who loves me.
Saved, my sins He has thrown into the deep sea.
He carries my soul in His hand day by day.
He wraps His strength around me; my fortress, my stay.
He covers me in light that shields from the dark.
He is the armor that protects from all fiery darts.
He’s my Shepherd and the Lamb, who leads and sacrifice.
My safety; my salvation came at His high price.
The God who touches me cares beyond what we know.
His love on display is the grandest show.
In it we see eternity play out.
His best became our rest; no reason to doubt.
On His throne He sits in heaven where we bow at the knee.
Never forsaking us, in His presence, till we are there home free.
The God who touches me, I reach out for Him too.
As the woman grabs His hem and is healed through and through.
To feel His virtue; His power; His love – it’s so real.
His Spirit overwhelms; on my heart is His seal.
Taking me to heights in heaven to know,
where for eternity I bask in His unimaginable glow.
Photo Credit: Pixabay/Screamenteagle
There is always something about the stories where the underdog comes out on top, where the least of all becomes the greatest that sends chills of inspiration up the spine.
The story of David and Goliath has long evoked a sense awe at the victory won and the hope of possibility in the soul still in the fight facing his/her own giants. The fact of the matter is that many things in this life which we face day to day can at times seem too much to bear. Our worries don’t necessarily have to be against the biggest guy around. Just the struggle of making it one more day, another try at giving it your best shot, can make it really hard for some people.
That’s why this article is not going to focus on the beast Goliath was or how David brought him down with just a stone and slingshot.
Nope. I want us to focus on the confidence that David had in God.
To me, it doesn’t matter if what you face is big or small. Sometimes the hardest stuff is the routine, small stuff that gets on your nerves every single day and makes you want to throw in the towel and quit.
Yes, David did the impossible in the name of the Lord. But, what I have found out in my own life is when we evoke that same confidence in God in every area of our lives, big or small, God tends to step in and work it out for us. And, you know it was Him because that very area in life that used to be a source of hardship and frustration now becomes a place of peace and productivity.
David, before confronting Goliath, declared, “The LORD delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine,” (1 Samuel 17:37, NKJV. emphasis mine). I want us to focus on “He will” of that statement. David expressed in those two little words the amount of confidence he had in the God he served.
Confidence in God the key no matter what. Many of times we misplace our confidences in the things and the people we see around us, allowing them to become our focus and control, when God should be at the forefront of the battle with us. Over and over again we are told in His Word, “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man,” (Psalm 118:8, NKJV); yet, man seems to always get more of our attention and we wonder why we falter in the battle and don’t end up standing as victor over the giants and circumstances we face.
We have to rely more on God than anything else in this world. He truly is the only one who can get in there and fight with us and for us and bring us to a victorious end on the other side.
Below are some reminders to trust God and have confidence in Him no matter the size of anything we face. Knowing this will improve our day to day struggles in life and turn them into day to day victories.
- “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” – Proverbs 3:5
- “Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.” – Isaiah 26:4
- “Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.” – Psalm 37:3
- “Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.” – 2 Chronicles 20:17
- “Never be afraid to trust in unknown future to a known God.” – Corrie Ten Boom
- “Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times.” – Martin Luther
- “So many of us limit our praying because we are not reckless in our confidence in God. In the eyes of those who do not know God, it is madness to trust Him, but when we pray in the Holy Spirit we begin to realize the resources of God, that He is our perfect heavenly Father, and we are His children.” – Oswald Chambers
Have you ever had one of those moments when you realize God is teaching you something significant? Where every current scene that plays out in your life you spiritually awaken to the idea of God’s guiding presence in a new way; His hand steering you this way and that?
I have had some of those revelatory moments lately. God is cracking old perceptions I once held of myself and He is pulling me into new areas of trust. In this area where I am being drawn, I readily admit I don’t know what I am doing. My human frailty comes to the forefront but God is showing me Him. He is showing me more of His heart, more of His care, and more of His heavenly abilities to work it all out.
Oh, His ability to do it all has always been there, but there were certain areas of my life where there were still scales on my eyes, shielding me from seeing the bigger picture; from seeing God fully at work in it all.
I was awakened on the inside and became more aware that there is so much more to me than me. God has me on His radar and He is orchestrating my life in a unique and special way. No, I don’t have all the answers, nor do I know what tomorrow looks like or how this will all end up, but by faith, I want Him to take the lead while I just step out and follow.
It requires not only a moment of revelation but a life of trust. Steven Furtick said, “The only way God can show us He is in control is to put us in situations we can’t control,” (Quote Source: Pinterest).
It’s purposely declaring every day and with every step, “I don’t know it all, but I choose to follow the One who does.” It’s a time when we let that one moment of believing God is the fullness of His promises defines the makeup of our future. It’s when we permit the wonder of all that He is to overshadow any doubt or discrepancies that we might feel within ourselves, realizing what He has made us for and ordained us to do never depended on us in the first place.
Is there an area of your life where God wants to give you that ah-ha moment of revelation? Or, are there still scales blocking your full vision of Him?
Father God, remove the scales from our eyes that we might see the full vision of You. We are praying against every hindrance that tries to blind Your people and obstruct their view from the wonderful works You want to do through them. Amen!
I pray for your moment of connection with God. I pray that you would trust in God more, and focus on Him more than whatever you think you can’t do. It only takes a moment of sincere trust and abandon to Him to change your course in history forever.
“Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.” Jeremiah 17:7
“But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him,” Habakkuk 2:20
Through the many tragedies that unfold in this life and experiencing the unrest of wars and what appears to be the advancement of evil, we are left with the assurance that God is still in control. Not only is He still in control, but He remains in His proper seat of authority, ruling in His holy temple.
Sometimes it’s hard to wrap one’s mind around this concept when all we see is the terrible and the detestable happening in the land. When our eyes witness children being torn and broken; and mothers left without any hope, it’s hard to view the world through another possibility. When we see fathers in despair, feeling helpless to lead and feed his family. When we see evil trying to claw its way to the top, we are reminded, He is there, never to be moved or usurped; never to be replaced or shaken from His seat of power and supremacy.
Oh, we watch the world as men set the idols of their hearts up. We watch as we see they deepen their dependency on the things that will never satisfy the hungering soul. Through it all, we look to His Majesty. The King is on the throne. O earth, be still before Him and honor His presence.
This is a comfort to the soul who can’t find comfort anywhere else. Is this not a blessed place to be? For if one found comfort among the false and depraved then would they not also think as other men? Take comfort, O soul, in your God who is always present. The head of all principality and power still bears the crown obtained for the salvation and deliverance of mankind. He that holds that holy scepter, and Himself is the Scepter that rises out of Israel (Num. 24:17), remains in control, worthy of your trust and honor.
O earth, “Be silence before Him.” O false ways, your arrogance will one day bow before Him and you’ll not be able to utter a word against His rule. “The LORD shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment,” (Ps. 9:7).
Therefore, be at peace, he that trusts in the rule of his sovereign King. Allow your soul this holy rest, “The LORD is King forever and ever…,” (Ps. 10:16a). And for all the rest, hush and quiet your ways before Him before it’s too late, for “the heathen are perished out of his land,” (Ps. 10:16b). But, “the LORD is in His holy temple,” forever to reign.
“The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all,” Psalm 103:19
“But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and
more unto the perfect day,” Proverbs 4:18
Some days are glorious and some days are not. Some days you need an umbrella and some days sunscreen. Some days call for winter scarves and gloves, and some call for shorts and gear for swimming. Some days are bright and beautiful, while some days never seem like they come out of the dreary season.
I would venture to say that this world is in a dreary season no matter what the temperature is outside. But you and I, we bring a taste of something better in the midst of all the gloominess. We are like the sun breaking through the clouds giving people a glimpse of hope. Our lives are as a “shining light” showing people a better way to live.
Turn on the local news in any city and most likely it is riddled with violence, tragedy, and suffering. Very rarely are there any good deeds or acts of kindness spotlighted. It seems the longer the world remains the tougher times get. The epidemic of sinfulness that began in the Garden of Eden keeps spreading and infecting men and women everywhere.
Oh, but the “just.” Those who are made right in the eyes of God we don’t walk the way of the world. We glow differently! We sport in our being the essence of the ultimate light, our Lord Jesus Christ. “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life,” (John 8:12). We have the “light of life” and we shine!
Proverbs 4:18 goes on to tell us that we shine “more and more unto the perfect day.” While we are in Christ we are getting better and better, and as a result, our light should be shining brighter and brighter. How else would this world ever get a break from always viewing the dreariness of life if we don’t shine?
Our “paths” make a difference. The things we do and the things we say show people something wonderful that they’re not used to seeing. The way we carry ourselves and our dispositions make people wonder, “What’s gotten into you?”
The light of Christ, that’s what! I can’t help but shine!
When we shine people become attracted to us like a magnetic pull. The more they see the more they may want to know what makes you glow. Then, they, in turn, may want to learn how to glow, too.
No matter what the therometer says or what the temperatures are predicted to be. No matter if we have sun or not, warm or cold temperatures, you can still be that ray of light shining in someone’s life today.
Text Free Photo: Pixabay/geralt
God knows every person who has ever lived. We are not just faceless members in the thousands of years of humanity. To God, we are each special, we are each unique, and Jesus knows His people by name. “To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.” John 10:3