What people witness in your life resounds more than the words that are coming out of your mouth. Evidence of belief; proof of faith is the visual representation that most want. Many mistake others as not wanting what we have or not wanting the faith, yet they haven’t seen enough of it in action to provoke them to seek after what we say we have.
So, the old phrase still rings true today: “Seeing is believing.” To a world lost, who have not hope, they look for a ring of hope they can grab onto to prevent them from drowning in the deep abyss of the darkness of this world. They want a way out. Many don’t want to sink deeper into despair, deeper into the unknown where there is no light to guide the way. They want to see what you say you see. They want to feel what you say you feel. They want what you say you have but do they see it currently active in you to propel them from wanting it to seeking it?
Your faith speaks louder than your words. Paul told the church at Thessalonica, “Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything,” 1 Thessalonians 1:8b, NKJV. If necessary I believe Paul would have testified on their behalf, he would have spoken up for them to assure others of their faith. But, their faith was so active, their faith was so alive and in operation that he didn’t feel a need to speak at all. Their faith did the talking for them. Their faith is what people noticed, not the words they spoke from their mouth.
A lot of people do a lot of talking these days and sometimes it’s hard to decipher truth from fiction. Jesus gave us a key that lines right up with what Paul wrote in his letter. Jesus said, “Ye shall know them by their fruits,” Matthew 7:16. If one comes upon a tree that has apples growing upon it then they are to assume it is an apple tree. The same is true with a life of faith. What they see coming out of you, or as Paul referred to as “gone out” is what matters the most. You can say that you are an orange tree but if I see apples then I will classify you as an apple tree. If you say that you have great faith but all I see is the opposite than I will not view you as having great faith. I will mark you by what I see.
Your faith matters in this world. More importantly, your faith on display matters to those around you so much that one should not have to speak up or testify for you, all they should be able to do is look at your faith in action and mark you as a person of faith.
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“For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him amen, unto the glory of God by us,” 2 Corinthians 1:20
It’s back to school time around here. Each school year starts out brand new. New backpacks, new supplies, new clothes; along with new hopes and dreams with the anticipation of promise lingering in the air. This is going to be a wonderful year!
By the end of the first month of school, children and sometimes parents too, start looking forward to days off, delayed openings due to weather and such. The reality of the daily grinding and horse race schedules overshadow the promise that was once felt. Instead of realigning oneself to keep hold of the promise that was once felt in the atmosphere, we begin to gripe and complain. Looking forward to the end of the school year, or at least Christmas break for some relief becomes the new goal.
Often times, we treat the promises of God in the same manner also.
He gives us this wonderful volume (the Bible), filled with sixty-six books. And in each of those sixty-six books therein is packed with “more.” God has “more” for you than this. Line upon line and precept upon precept tells us how much He cares for us, loves us, and wants more for us. The Bible starts way back in the book of Genesis with promise. And, it goes all the way through to the end of Revelation. How does it end? With promise! “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen,” (Rev. 22:20-21). That’s a promise!
Unfortunately, as it is with the school year so it is in life. In the beginning, when the promise is fresh we are ecstatic. Then, as the everyday issues begin to settle in it starts to wear on the assurance that once was, leaving one to do nothing but constantly focusing on the end. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly,” (John 10:10, NKJV). He doesn’t desire for “life” to be something tolerated. Rather, He wants it filled. And with that, there is the anticipation of something better.
Promises only work when one accepts it. You can quote it all that you like, but unless it is internalized as a hopeful thing in the life of each of us, it does absolutely no good. Many people can read of the promises but they can’t believe in them for themselves. Only seeing with the eyes but never touching. They never experience the greatness that God wants to do. That’s not God’s intention for you. “For all the promises of God in Him are yes,” (NKJV). Now, it may be just me but when I see the words “all,” and “promises,” and “God,” and “yes,” I get excited! If you are in Christ, God says yes to every promise that comes with that salvation. Yes!
Won’t you accept it today? Yes!
I don’t have enough space or time here to even begin to list what He has in store for us. And, the half has not been told. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him,” (1 Cor. 2:9). The promises are there in His Word. All you have to do is believe it and receive it!
Be a promise accepter today. Go through the Bible, find verses that speak to you right now, highlight them, and write them down or whatever you do to remember a verse, then, lay hold of it as your personal treasure. Let them be your source of strength when life doesn’t feel as “abundant.” Accept what He said anyhow. Step out in faith, holding on to those precious promises for dear life.
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
“. . .And so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law:
and if I perish, I perish,” Esther 4:16, KJV
There are a lot of things that act like blockades in our lives, but fear by far has to be one of the hardest to overcome. Fear can render useless the one who entertains it because unlike physical limitations, fear messes with the mind. It changes one’s perspective on how they view the world, the people around them and their own lives.
Fear acts like a photographer. It snaps a picture and develops it in the dark recesses of your mind. When the picture is finished being developed it comes out for you to view a new reality, whether it’s true or not. Fear is not based on truth but it wants you to believe in the image it presents to you more than God. That’s why many of us will never tread the courts of the king as Esther did. We can become so focused on that false image (the things that we see that make us afraid) that we fail to step out with courage.
The Bible tells us, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,” (Heb. 11:1, KJV). Going against fear takes faith. Faith doesn’t concentrate on what is visible to the naked eye. Faith concentrates on the truth of God’s promises. And His promises declare, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness,” (Is. 41:10, KJV).
That’s what faith sees!
With Queen Esther’s physical eyes the picture she saw wasn’t pleasant. What she saw was her beloved uncle Mordecai’s life was in danger, (Esther 5:14). What she saw was hatred and an evil desire for her people to be destroyed, (Esther 3:8-9). What she saw was the anguish of her people, grieving her also, (Esther 4:3-4). What she saw was a law that could take her life, (Esther 4:11).
A decision had to be made. Esther could look at the circumstances and let the fear of those images stop her from doing what’s right. Or, she could take a stand against the fear that assailed her and go for it, debunking that old image to see something new.
With great resolve and commitment she said, “If I perish, I perish.” She took a stand against the fearful, stepping out into the unknown, not sure if she would find favor with the king. Her people needed her to be brave. Her uncle needed her to be unbending in her determination. She needed to step up to the plate “for such a time as this,” (Esther 4:14, KJV).
In what area of your life do you need more courage? Is there something you are dealing with that is extremely hard, yet you want to be determined to see it through? It takes a resolve such as Queen Esther possessed to stand against the fear of what you see so that you too can walk the King’s court in victory!
“Not a word failed of any good thing which the LORD had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass,” Joshua 21:45
The waiting – sometimes excruciating. The battles – hard fought and horrendous. The enemies – many. The hopes and dreams of a people once enslaved – building. The promise – within sight. Victory – obtained. Possession – now.
The journey of the children of Israel from Egypt to the Promised Land had not been a road easily traveled. Through it all, they struggled with discouragement and wrestled with obedience. Battles ensued, some won and some lost. Crossing the Red Sea; crossing the Jordan. Walls were brought down at Jericho and lives fled at Ai. The sun stood still during the fight and kings were conquered. Now, they are at the promise but the road there was not easy.
The children of Israel and their excursion to the Promised Land, their struggles with the flesh and their attitudes and holding onto hope while waiting for obtaining of the promise reminds me of our Christian journey. The promise is before us but the road is not paved with ease and comfort as some would have you believe. The path we walk takes effort, sometimes great effort. The trials we face are often difficult. But the faith we hold onto is assured.
If life never threw you any curve balls then I wonder if you were in the game at all. What does that mean? There are a lot of messages that we hear that tickle the ears making the hearer believe that they will never suffer hardship on this Christian journey. It leaves the hearer bewildered when they do face difficulties. They are taken aback when struggles come to their home. They believed they would coast on through without any road closures or stumbling blocks. Discouraged, many throw their hands up in defeat before they obtain the promise.
Jesus said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world,” (John 16:33, KJV). You see, we have an assurance of a great promise at the end of our journey, but Jesus was very real and upfront to let us know that road won’t always be easy. Jesus led no one into a false sense of security that they would never have to experience any adverse circumstances. He said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation.”
Before reaching the Promised Land and even to the point of laying hold of the promise, the children of Israel had to fight their way through. But the Bible tells us, “Not a word failed of any good thing which the LORD had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.” They eventually were able to fully experience everything their souls had been longing for on that journey. The sights, the smell and the taste of victory were theirs for their enjoyment. They had the good thing that God had promised.
I write words of encouragement in case you are in a curveball state; in case you have been sidetracked by unexpected discouragement. Still press forth in the journey. Don’t give in at the sight of struggles. Be determined in the forward march. Not a word of God’s promises will fail for you either. In fact, Psalm 84:11 says, “For the LORD is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly,” (KJV).
Keep your head above water and float on the promises of God who said, “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you,” (Deut. 31:6, NKJV). I can’t promise you million dollars or that you will never spend nights crying over life, but I can promise that Jesus will be with you even to the end of the world, Matthew 28:20, KJV.
We have the blessed assurance of every promise that God has bestowed upon us. When adversity comes, know that you are not the only one going through it. Sometimes the journey will be harder than we like it to be, yet the assurance remains the same. In the end, if we hold on to our faith despite what our eyes are seeing right now, the promise is ours. “All came to pass,” for the children of Israel and it will for us too. “Be of good cheer,” Jesus said. “I have overcome the world!”
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“For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer…” Philippians 1:19, NKJV
There is so much hurt going on in the body of Christ. Saints are going through trials and tribulations like never before. As the days draw to a close, a time when our Lord Jesus Christ will come back to whisk us away to glory, the enemy has done on a vehement rampage against God’s people everywhere.
Paul, when he wrote his letter to the Philippian church, knew something of hardships. He was imprisoned and he was put in a place of affliction and hurt. So, when he writes of the faith he has that the saints will help pray for his deliverance, he knew what he was talking about.
There is a wonderful bond in the body of Christ that is like no other. Unity, love and compassion mean so much to our survival that our very witness to the world depends on it. There has been over the past few years an awareness of how we have hurt not only one another but our witness before the world through gossiping and the tearing down of one another.
Jesus Himself said, “By this will all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another,” (John 13:35, NKJV). Having sincere love toward another means that we would want what’s best for them. Even if it means exalting somebody higher than yourself; putting the petitions of prayer that someone else so desperately needs above your own.
We often hear the encouragement that, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much,” (James 5:16, KJV). To avail means that we have a God-given right to have the upper hand, through prayer, against any foe that would dare to rise up against one of God’s anointed ones. How are we using that advantage? Are we selfishly gleaning all the grapes off the vine of blessings for ourselves, or do we have enough Christian courage to let another feast off of your effectual, fervent prayers before you get a taste?
Paul openly admitted that on several occasions how much he was dependent upon the prayers of those who had his back in ministry. Despite his supposed super saint/apostleship position, he realized that the sweet aromas of selfless petitions were being put up to God on his behalf. Because of that, he was assured that he would see deliverance.
How much care and emphasis do you really put on the body of Christ when you bow the knee to the Father? How much is that hunger in you to see the salvation of the unsaved of your family and friends being fed? Do you really believe that not only will your prayers move mountains in your life but also in the life of another? You may be their only hope, whether they are born or again or not, to draw near to God and receive deliverance.
Paul puts it best in 1 Corinthians 13:1 where he says, “Though I speak with tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging symbol,” (NKJV). Are you just making a lot of noise when you pray or are you busting the gates of hell loose because your heart is hurting for another? It was Abraham Lincoln that was quoted as saying, “I am sorry for the man who can’t feel the whip when it is laid on the other man’s back.”
There are some “whips” being laid on others; some burdens that you can help someone else carry if only we would do as the Philippian church did and pray. Not just any prayer, but prayers that will let our brothers and sisters know an assurance of seeing deliverance, too.
If you want to see true restoration in your own life, learn to put the needs of others before your own. Job 42:10 states, “The Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends.” Oswald Chambers, in his devotional “My Utmost for His Highest,” wrote: “As a saved soul, the real business of your life is intercessory prayer,” (Discovery House Publishers, Grand Rapids, Michigan; June 20). Not until Job prayed for his friends were his losses restored.
Let’s work today in the “real business of your life;” hedging people in under the arc of safety, the covering of prayer, so they will finally see deliverance, too. There may be a hurting soul quietly pleading for someone to, “Please, Pray Me Through to My Deliverance.”
Keep praying for one another!
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“The God of heaven Himself will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build,”
You have felt that burden in your heart or that niggling of the mind. The pull or the call to step out in faith to take on a new project, yet the enemy has thrown disturbing thoughts your way thinking to frustrate what God is pulling you to do.
Nehemiah felt such a burden from God. He received word that the people in Jerusalem were in distress and the walls were broken and the gates burned, (Neh. 1:3). What could he possibly do all the way in Shushan? The Bible tells us he fasted and prayed and confessed the wrongs of his people before God, (Neh. 1:4). Then, God gave an opportunity for King Artaxerxes to take notice of his plight and support the project that had burdened his heart.
Arriving in the area of Jerusalem with letters from the king should have made things easy for Nehemiah. But, the plain and simple truth is there are those who don’t want to see God’s people blessed. There are those who don’t want to see God’s people prosper and favored. This is what Nehemiah faced. Nehemiah 2:10 tells us this of his enemies, “They were deeply disturbed that a man came to seek the well-being of the children of Israel.”
As soon as the work began and they took steps toward the goal of their heart, their enemies laughed at them and despised them and put accusations against them, (Neh. 2:19). But, Nehemiah’s response was one of total faith and reliance upon God. He said, “The God of heaven Himself will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build,” (Neh. 2:20).
Know this, anytime God lays a burden on your heart to do something for Him, there will always be enemies that try to stop the plan of God in you. Sometimes it could even be just our own doubts and insecurities about our own ability to get the job done. But, if God called you to it, He will see you through it. Prosperity belongs to God! All He has ever asked us to do is to step out in faith and do the work and depend on Him to increase it and cause it to grow. No human on this earth has any say so about what God is doing in your life!
Be blessed, my friends, as you move where God is leading you!
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This not meant to be deep, just encouraging to all who are out there fighting today. Reading in my Bible, I came across some very inspiring verses (as usual 🙂 ). I was reading in the book of Joshua where conquests were being made in the name and in the power of the Lord. Enemies continually came out to fight against God’s people. At one point Joshua 11:4 says, “So they went out, they and all their armies with them, as many people as the sand that is on the seashore in multitude, with very many horses and chariots,” (NKJV).
By all normal accounts, this should have been the end of God’s people. According to the standards of human perception they were outnumbered and out powered. But, God . . .
God told Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them, for tomorrow about this time I will deliver all of them slain before Israel,” (Joshua 11:6, NKJV). Not one shall escape, but all would fall under the power of God working through and for His people. And, if that wasn’t encouraging enough, as I continued reading I came to Joshua 12:7-24 where it lists 31 kings that fell because God was fighting for His people.
That lets me know that no matter what the odds look like that’s stacked against us, they can never out stack God. God is a victorious God and we are meant to be victorious people in Him. We are conquerors; we are people of conquest. It may seem insurmountable to us, but God has already climbed the highest mountains that we face and He has already won the battles against the greatest armies of enemies that try to come against us.
Don’t let the numbers against you phase you. “Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them,” (2 Kings 6:16). Since we have God on our side – we have more than they! We outnumber the enemy. Victory shall be ours.