Hello, I hope that you will enjoy reading my devotions. I do not claim to be an expert in the word, but I am a student of the word and desire to share the insights that the Lord gives to me. I love the Lord, my desire is to please him above all else. I want to hear him say “well done” at the end of each day. I pray you are blessed and challanged!
“Consider it pure joy my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lack wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”
How do we go about finding the true depth of our character? We find out who we are when we are surrounded by the hard of life, and it is when we are in those hard places that ‘who we are,’ comes to the surface, whether good or bad. How do you treat others when your world is not going well? Are you kind, or do you suddenly become someone else? Do you get an attitude that others catch just because they happen to cross your path? Are you jealous of others’ good fortune, or easy pass that you feel they are getting?
God wants to make us mature and complete, and that happens when we are pressed in and shaken up. When the hard of life steps on our hearts, minds, and bodies. God does not desire to keep us from trials, instead, he presses us in those places where He knows we need it. He makes us look hard at what we believe about Him. These moments are not meant to completely break us, but instead are opportunities for growth and a deeper walk with Christ.
God has promised us many times in His word that He is always with us. There is no trial, no pain, no hardship that we face alone. He is always there to comfort, help, and guide. We just need to ask Him. We need only to talk to him, tell him what we need, and wait for His answer to come. He will give us the strength we need to endure. All too often we want instant deliverance. We do not like being uncomfortable, sick, weary, hurting, or whatever it may be. We don’t like hard relationships or a job that stresses out. We want him to wave a magic wand over us, and it instantly is gone.
Often what we need is wisdom. And God promises when we seek His wisdom or wisdom for a circumstance that he will give it. He can show us the right path to take if we but ask. There is no need for a Christian to grope around, hoping to just happen upon a good answer, when we call on Him for wisdom and help, it is ours for the taking! Wisdom is “practical discerning.” We gain wisdom when we fear and reverence God, when we live right before Him, and obey His word. As a result of all of these, we are better able to discern between right and wrong, this or that.
We need always to read God’s word. It is living and active and its pages are filled with the knowledge of God, and what He desires from us and for us. The power those pages contain, can and will change our lives. The pages of the bible contain the truest truths. God’s word reveals who He is, and teaches us about His love for us, His faithfulness, His keeping power, Salvation and Righteousness. His word reminds us that we are His children, and as His children, He cares for us and supplies our every need.
Do you know it is possible to have joy even on your worst day? Happiness is fleeting, it can come or go depending on how things are going, or what side of the bed we got upon, but joy comes from that deep place inside of us, that place where we reside in Christ Jesus. Joy is security in knowing Him, Eternal Salvation, Security in Christ, Forgiveness, Grace, Mercy, Hope, His faithfulness, even when we are not. It comes when we read and pray, and pray and read. When we open His living and active word and we feed on the manna inside. Joy is not determined by my circumstances.
When life gets hard, keep on keeping on. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. See the problems of life through the lens of Jesus and not Jesus through your problems. Remember who you are, and whose you are. Look back at all He has seen you through. Look back at how He took care of His own all through the pages of scripture.
Let’s face it, life is hard, and nowadays it seems harder. People seem meaner, more impatient. We have so much input from our phones and computers. The world’s messed-up views creep into our minds and hearts and we start reacting as the world does. STOP! REPENT OF YOUR DIVIDED HEART, SEEK GOD, PRAY, READ HIS WORD, FIX YOUR EYES ON HIM…when you do, those things that seemed to be too much, that threatened to overwhelm, will shrink. Look for the lesson in the hard, and remember, He is right there, waiting for you to say; “daddy I need you.”
I have been walking in a hard season for a while. Just a couple of days ago I caught myself focusing on all the things I did not like, wanting to see it end, right that moment. I wanted God to say, enough and wave a magic wand and make it all better. It did not last long, I decided to take a long walk. I started with I am sorry, forgive me, then I moved into worship and praise, and then I just walked in silence knowing that this too shall pass, He is with me, He is sustaining me, He is loving me, and He has been faithful to supply all my needs and most of my wants. He is a GOOD, GOOD FATHER. My sour attitude dissipated and I felt His warmth again.
We are promised trials and tribulations…how we respond, and the things we learn…well it is in our character…it is in the hard when we find out who we are, and what we believe about God.
I believe He was and is, and will always be…and one day my trials will end, the trumpet will sound and I will be caught up in the air, to meet Him, my faith now sight, forevermore with the one who called me and saved me. OH, WHAT A DAY!
I find myself in a season where the constant noise of the world is pushing on me, begging for a response from me. It wants me to tell it that the things I see and hear going on around me are okay. I will be honest I hate the news. I figure the truth is somewhere in the middle at best. Their job is to sensationalize everything going on, make it a bigger deal than it needs to be. We are experiencing a time where the things that have always been right are now wrong, and vice-versa.
I have a response: “THIS WORLD IS NOT MY HOME!”
“MY GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE, AND HE IS STILL IN CHARGE!”
Everything He spoke about we are seeing come to pass. There is nothing that has taken him by surprise and nothing He cannot handle, and if He were not allowing it, IT WOULD NOT BE HAPPENING! I have written on more than one occasion about the Sovereignty of God. He is the supreme authority!
Psalm 115:3 “But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever pleases Him.”
Psalm 135:6 “Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all the deeps places.”
Daniel 4:35 “All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, “What have You done?”
Here are just three of many verses that speak about the Sovereignty of God. All the chaos of this world that seems to be so out of control, is under the complete control of the One who created it in the first place.
So, knowing that how should I respond, what should the answer I give be?
I choose Jesus, I choose to love those around me, I choose to be a light in a dark place. Give generously, love lavishly and pray continually. I choose to remember that my God has promised He will never leave me or forsake me. He tells me to conduct myself in the right way, to walk with Him daily, and seek to please Him in all I do. Hebrews 13:5-6 “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. 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?”
I need to fear God, to make sure my walk is right, my heart is right, my words are right, not in man’s sight, but in God’s sight. I need to continue to be salt and light, a city on a hill for all those looking for the answer. I need to let my words be few, my prayers many.
Matthew 5:13-16 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
I do not need to contribute to the negativity surrounding the world today. I do not need to parrot the actions of the unsaved, and sadly some Christians. I need to make sure I am filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit of God. I need to make sure that others see Jesus in me. I need my words to be kind and my heart to be tender. I need to remember that I am a child of the Most-High God. I need to remember this is not my home.
The world will not get the answer from me it desires. I will not tell it that wrong is right. I will not say that God does not care how we live and conduct ourselves. I will not say sin is good. I will never be okay with people trying to push God out of everything, which by the way is impossible!
My answer has been and still remains, JESUS, JESUS, JESUS!! All-day every day. Even in the midst of a hard season that I myself am going through. Jesus is the answer, Jesus is my peace, Jesus is THE WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE! I say to the world around me, You need Jesus. You need to repent and turn from your sin. You need a heart makeover, not more Botox, not more plastic surgery, not better clothes, or a faster car, you don’t need more fun and games, more, more, more. You need THE ONE WHO CAN SAVE YOU AND CLEANSE YOU FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS. YOU NEED JESUS!
The world screams that you are not enough. How you are is not good enough. It is a lie, It is the enemy of your soul doing all he can to distract you from the truth. If he can bind you up in fear and confuse you, he will still every once of joy you have, keep you beaten down, and defeated. He knows he is running out of time, the time limit God gave him to do his dirty deeds is winding down, so he will do all he can to keep you from hearing and seeing the truth. If his lips are moving, he is lying!
My prayer for you is that you will come to Jesus. He will give you His peace that passes understanding, and although you have to walk in this world, you do not have to take up its fear and hatred. He is the only way to the Father, He is the only truth there is. He is calling…will you come?
In conclusion to the NOISE AROUND ME, I CANNOT HEAR YOU, BECAUSE MY GOD SPEAKS LOUDER THAN THIS OLD SAD WORLD!!!
As I was sitting in line this morning to get my car washed, I looked up to see the sign above that said: “Pay Here.” It got me thinking about my salvation and the debt that has been paid in full by my Lord Jesus Christ. When I came to Jesus in repentance and asked him to come into my heart, He filled me with His spirit, and “ALL” my sins were erased, to be remembered no more. I will never stand before the Lord naked in my sin. He does not and will not remember those things I have done. When the Father looks at me, he sees the blood of Jesus that covers me.
All too often people think they have to get themselves cleaned up before they can come into the church let alone come to Jesus. He tells us to “come as you are.” We can never clean up enough for Jesus. We cannot have access to the Father without Jesus and we can never enter heaven another way. So being “born-again” is the only way.(Matthew 11:28-29)
If you die without Jesus Christ, you will pay the ultimate price for your sin. Hell is your destination, where every sin is remembered, and you will spend all eternity in hell paying for them.
Can you imagine being cast into utter darkness, where the word tells us there is “everlasting fire,” and wailing and “gnashing of ?”
(Matthew 13:50) (Matthew 25:41)
Hell is not going to be just hanging out doing your thing, it is called the second death. There is “NO HOPE’ in hell. The first death happens when your earthly body ceases living, ‘the second death happens when you are ‘cast into hell,’ to be punished in whatever horrible ways that we cannot even imagine. So many think that hell must be for the hardcore offenders, like murderers, rapists, and the like. News flash, even if you have not literally committed these crimes, each of us has broken the “Ten Commandments” in our hearts and minds, and scripture tells us it is the same as if we had done them in the flesh. (James 2:10)
There will be a lot of really nice people who die and go to hell. People that you hear things like: “they are the most giving people,” “they help everyone they can,” “they never talk about anyone,” “they love everyone, no matter what social status, color, etc.” It does not matter!! If these people have not been “born-again” then theirs is a future for all eternity in hell! Some of the nicest people I know are lost and on their way to hell.
Jesus offers us the “free gift of salvation.” All we must do to receive this is to understand that no matter how nice you are, you are a sinner and need a Savior. There is only one way to heaven and it is through Jesus Christ and belief in him and him alone. It is not a religious experience of going to church, singing hymns, and hanging out with Christians. You must know that you are a sinner and call to Him who can save. Ask Jesus to come into your heart and let Him become the Lord of your life. Repent (or turn) from your sin. The Spirit bears witness with your spirit that you are saved. And you will know it as you walk with the Lord. Once the Holy Spirit enters you, He starts that changing of your heart and mind that causes sin and all its evil to lose its grip on us and we naturally turn from those things that displease the Lord.
Anything against God and His law is sin. And if you continue to live a life of sin, you need to be worried. You cannot continue a sinful life and also claim to be a Christian. The Holy Spirit starts changing us at the moment of our salvation. Also, you cannot remain in a lifestyle that is against God. I know people want to say you can be homosexual and live that lifestyle or any way you want and still go to heaven. Not so my friend, definitely not so! (Romans 1:18-32) It is clear in these verses what God thinks about homosexuality. We are all born sinners, no one can escape the title of “sinner.” However, Jesus offers us a “free gift,” that gift of eternal life with him. Once we are “born-again” our future is sealed with Christ Jesus. We are His and He is ours. We are promised that when this earthly body is put into the ground in death, we are in a moment with the Lord in heaven. Our faith becomes sight. There is no pain, no tears, no anything bad in heaven. We are promised “fullness of joy.” (Psalm 16:11)
My prayer is that you will look deeply into your heart, truly examine it and if you have any reason to hesitate, or any fear that comes over you, pray and ask Jesus to save you. He will!
I am going to leave you with a few verses. I encourage you to look them up. Read it for yourself, read your bible! Examine your heart and be sure you are saved.
Jesus is the only way to heaven…John 14:6
1 John 1:9
1 John 5:11-12
Hebrews 12:1-3 “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, 2 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. 3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.”
Let’s face it, our lives have not been easy for quite some time now. The normal we lived is no longer here. It was shattered when the pandemic hit. Many have suffered the unimaginable loss of loved ones, so many are ill or still struggling with lingering side effects. Stores have closed, people refuse to work even though jobs are out there. The government seems shady at best, the news tells partial truths, and so on. It is hard to know where to turn or what to do, but I know! GO TO GOD’S WORD! None of this is a surprise to Him. He is Sovereign and in control of all the events unfolding on this earth. You ask yourself WHY is God allowing such things. TO WAKE HIS CHURCH UP FROM THEIR COMPLACENCY is one reason, and probably the biggest. Also, to separate the sheep from the goats.
All throughout the bible, we see where God used plagues, natural elements, the threat of wars, etc. My Pastor touched on this in his sermon, it is from Isaiah 8:12-13 does this sound familiar with all that is going on right now? “Don’t call everything a conspiracy, like they do, and don’t live in dread of what frightens them. 13 Make the LORD of Heaven’s Armies holy in your life. He is the one you should fear. He is the one who should make you tremble.” Those are powerful words. Why are God’s people so wrapped up in the foolishness of what is going on? We are to FIX OUR EYES ON JESUS. We are to look different than the world. We are to persevere with our hearts and mind in peace, knowing that God has us.
When we read our Bibles and pray, we will have peace. We will see and understand that our God has not forsaken us and He is working all things out for our good and His glory. See, we need to be Heaven-ready. We are to live righteously in the fear and reverence of our God. We are not to get caught up and swept away by the foolishness of the world around us. Sinners have no hope, except in the government and authorities of this earth. And they have no future with God, theirs will be eternal darkness.
We are still in the age of grace, the word is still going out in pulpits, everyone has the opportunity to know and receive forgiveness and salvation. But you know what, people don’t want it and their hearts are growing darker by the minute.
Here is what the dictionary says about perseverance, “persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.”
We have not yet received the reward that is waiting on us. We must still navigate the crazy of this life and keep our eyes and hearts fixed on Jesus, marching on, knowing that one day will either die and be with him immediately or we will be raptured when he comes. When you see the word Therefore in the Bible, you need to know what is there for. Therefore means “for this reason.” What reason? In Hebrews 12:1-3 we are instantly told the why. “since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses.” Who are the witnesses? It is referring to the saints who have gone on before us, and the faithful ones who endured looking for the Messiah, like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We already know the Messiah was and is Jesus, and He also had to endure the cross and the shame. Many that followed Him died terrible deaths, but they had seen the resurrected Christ, and nothing would shake them or turn them away.
Many generations throughout history have had difficult times. None have just glided by, but the faithful stayed true to their faith. Their hope was firm. They understood that God was orchestrating all things, and He was faithful and would be with them with every step they took. Saints in Heaven are not looking down rooting us on, but it is a figurative representation of them. We should get our inspiration to persevere from all those who have gone before us, especially Jesus Christ.
We are to encourage one another as we press on towards the mark. The race we are running has an amazing “prize” at the end. Eternal life with the One who saved us. No more tears, no more pain, no more anything bad. Wow!! This should bring you peace, this should be the reason you keep going forward, eyes and heart fixed on Jesus. Life is hard, and it may get much harder. There may come a time when the gospel cannot go out. Now is the time of salvation, now is the time to be rooted and grounded in God’s word. Now is the time to lay fear aside, and be the salt and light in this world we have been told to be.
Keep pressing on. Keep looking up, who knows it could be today that our Lord returns for His people. What will he find you doing?
Blessings to each of you…may we who are the sons and daughters of the Most-High God have holy fear, be humble, be kind, be loving, be helpful, and be powerful witnesses, and the ones with the most hope, as we wait. We should look and act like Jesus, we should walk and talk like Jesus. We should not look like this world, if you do, check your heart!
Trials, tribulations, disappointments, hurts, and suffering; are the things we are promised as children of God. I do not think too many jump up and down at the thought. As humans, we want the easy, soft, straight path to God. Why can’t we get a steady, no hardship, everything is well with my life to get us to heaven? Sounds easy, but it does not sound like a character-building, perseverance gaining, pressing on despite life, does it? Let’s face it, we do not want to do the hard things if we can get away with the easy.
God’s word is very clear about the path of every believer. We are not promised the easy, but we are promised trials and tribulation, hard and hurtful even. Let’s look first at this verse from Hebrews 5 concerning Jesus. Hebrews 5:7-10 “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries of tears to the one who could save him from death, and was heard because of his reverent submission. 8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10 and was designated by God to be the high priest in the order of Melchizedek.
I think all of us can agree that Jesus suffered greatly for us. He was beaten, hair ripped out, mocked, scourged, laughed at, a crown of thorns pushed down on his head, and hung on a cruel cross until his very life-blood flowed out. This was not an ordinary beating, there were jagged lead tips that inflicted the maximum pain and tearing away of flesh. By the time Jesus was hung on the cross, he would have been unrecognizable I would say. Weak and gasping for air, unable to raise himself due to the spikes in his wrists and feet. It was a cruel, and horrible death. Jesus’ answer to this was to seek strength and help from His Father, and he submitted to the Father’s will completely.
Jesus was the only person who has ever lived a perfect sinless life. He did nothing to deserve the cruel death that he suffered, and he endured it all, even asking the Father to forgive those who had done these cruel things. But what is our response to life’s trials? All too often we whimper and complain about the hard things of life. We compare our sufferings with others. We look for ways out of it, we want it to end sooner than later, or better yet, not have it at all!
We were made perfect before the Father when we were born-again. But, we must also be made holy. And the things we go through in this life are molding and shaping us into the people God wants us to be. We do not and cannot skip this process, no matter how much we wish we could. I’ll admit, I don’t like the hard places of life. I sometimes find myself saying, enough Lord, please enough. All too often people struggle to stay steadfast in their walk with the Lord.
In James 1:12 we read: “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”
Did you catch that? If we remain steadfast, close to the Lord, leaning into Him even in the hard, we WILL receive the crown of life. Sounds good so far!
What else do we read in scripture? Romans 12:12 “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
Are you rejoicing through your trials? Are you remaining hopeful, when all is going wrong? Are you praying? Sometimes it is hard to pray, but as my pastor is always reminding us, we do not always need words to pray. Sitting quietly before the Lord with our mess is prayer in itself. It is an exercise of faith. So, when words fail, just sit, be quiet and wait for Him.
We read in 1 Peter 5:10 these wonderful words: “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”
What a wonderful promise. When we have remained steadfast, hopeful, prayerful, and patient during our hard times, we WILL be restored, strengthened, and established by our Lord. These things are not meant to crush us beyond repair but are meant to press us, squeeze us out of us. We are being made more like Jesus, we are becoming Holy through the things we suffer through when we submit to Christ. All of us have sinned and fallen short. We each have broken every commandment in thought or deed. And because of this without Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we cannot enter into heaven and God’s perfect Holiness. Jesus submitted wholeheartedly to his Father’s plan. He suffered and endured such horrible things for us.
I do not always suffer well, but I want to. I want to be so surrendered to Jesus that I DO NOT COUNT THE COST of following him. I want to remain so prayerful, that my natural immediate response to the trials of life is to RUN TO HIM IN PRAYER. I want that crown of life I have been promised. I want to be PATIENT IN SUFFERING. I want to COUNT IT ALL JOY as we read in James 1:2 and I even want to get to that place where I REJOICE IN MY SUFFERING according to Romans 5:3. I want to remember that God’s word tells me this: ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD! Not some, ALL, Romans 8:28.
How do we do this, we READ GOD’S WORD! WE PRAY CONTINUALLY, We SUBMIT TO GOD, and we KEEP OUR EYES ON JESUS AND THE PRIZE BEFORE US, and lastly, WE REMEMBER THIS IS TEMPORARY, WE BELONG TO ANOTHER PLACE, THIS IS NOT OUR HOME, and HE HAS PROMISED TO SEE US THROUGH!
I pray that each of you will surrender your right to be offended by the way God works out His plan for your life. That as trials and those things of this life that are hard, will lead you to your knees, looking up, patiently enduring, becoming holy as He is holy. No, we are not promised an easy time, but we are promised to be held, loved, lifted, and restored, strengthened, and brought through. His plans are perfect, even when they do not feel perfect. His ways are perfect and can be trusted. He never gives us too much!
Here are a few more scriptures you may want to read:
1 Corinthians 10:13
Remember, read your bible and pray, Pray and read your bible : )
Remember What He Said
This world is a scary place. It seems most headlines start with someone who was killed, someone who was murdered, there was a mass shooting, the COVID variant is running rampant in areas. Businesses cannot find workers, etc. This world becomes more and more foreign to me the longer I live in it, and I am reminded of this scripture, “Philippians 3:20 “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” This is my residence, but it is not my home. One day we will be free of the terrors and hardships of this life, but until then, let me give you a few scriptures that remind us how we are to live and feel. Meditate on them, let them sink into your heart, and be reminded. God is in control and he wants us to walk heads up, unafraid. We have nothing to fear.
Isaiah 35:4 “say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your
God will come with vengeance; with divine retribution, he will come and save you.”
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Matthew 14:27 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and staff, they comfort me.”
Romans 8:38-39 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”
Psalm 118:6 “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
Psalm 115:11 “You who fear him, trust in the Lord, he is their help and shield.”
These are just a few. Take time to let them sink deep into your soul. God is in control, no matter what it looks like, HE IS SOVEREIGN. One day evil will be banished, the evil one trampled upon and Jesus will rule and reign.
If you are a Christian and bound up by fear and anxiety, why don’t you do as the bible commands us to do, and rest in him. Unafraid, no more fear, no more anxiety. Trust Him. There is such freedom in trusting God to be God and do all He has promised.
Isn’t it wonderful to know that God is with us? Recently we had a serious situation with my brand new grandbaby. Her little body was having issues and she was put into the NICU. Even though we were certain she would be okay, our concern was at high levels. Watching her go through all the needle sticks and procedures that they do was very hard. Even knowing that she will never remember these hard days, we will. I can tell you that knowing that God was with me made all the difference. What comfort in knowing that we never face anything good or bad without God’s presence with us. He never leaves us to handle it alone. I knew when I cried out to God on our sweet baby’s behalf that He was right there listening and acting. Yes, she is home and she is doing great!
Do things always turn out for the good? No, often the unimaginable happens and our hearts are left broken rather than elated. Does that mean God was not present and He did not hear? No, scripture is clear that we are not alone, Emmanuel is with us, hearing us and working out His perfect plan.
I want to encourage any believers out there who are feeling alone to remember what God’s word says and that He is faithful, He is present, He is hearing you, He cares. As our Pastor said recently, sometimes God wraps himself in the darkness because we cannot behold his full glory at once. But He is in that darkness, walking with us and keeping us through it all.
God is Omnipresent. There is no other person or so-called God who can say that. God desires to be with us and promises to always be with us. Even if you cannot feel him, he is there. We are told that when two or three gather in His name, He is in the midst. Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I with them.” In
Isaiah 41:10 we read these words: “Don’t be afraid, because I’m with you; don’t be anxious, because I am your God. I keep on strengthening you; I’m surely upholding you with my victorious right hand.” Isn’t that awesome, when our strength fails, His strength holds and keeps holding us.
You may say where is God if he is with us? I think this scripture is a good indicator of where he is. 1 Corinthians 3:16 “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” He is in us, around us, behind us, before us, He is everywhere at all times. He dwells in the present always.
I love Psalm 139:7-12 “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, You are there. If I take the wings of dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me. If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night,” Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.”
Wow! No matter where I go, what I go through, On my best day or my hardest day, if I run away or hide in a cave, God is with me. Emmanuel…
I knew as I sat and rocked our sweet girl waiting for the next test that God was with me. Her mommy and daddy knew he was there and all they needed to do was speak that name above all names, Jesus, Jesus. There is power in that name. He comforted us, dried our tears, calmed our fears, and showed up strong for us.
When I said goodbye to my sister as I watched her die on a video camera, God was there. I could feel his presence and I found peace in it. I gave him my pain, I gave him my disappointment, my fears, my tears. I found rest and peace. Days will sometimes be hard, decisions will be harder, know God. Understand He is with you and He will NEVER LEAVE YOU!
Emmanuel-God With Us. Awesome!
Psalm 51:10 “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”
David had sinned. He had Uriah the husband of Bathsheba killed because he had committed adultery with Bathsheba and she had gotten pregnant with his child. Uriah was a faithful servant to the king and his country. David was being crushed under the weight of his sin. He was hard-pressed to feel the joy he once had. Sin was standing in his way. His relationship with God was strained, not because God had changed or done anything, but David had. He missed the joy he once had. Sin had robbed him of his joy. Now what?
We too can find ourselves living in a joyless way. Sin has robbed us of the closeness we once felt with our Lord. We go through the motions of trying to find happiness, but joy is a harder thing to restore. Unconfessed sin will cause you to feel isolated and alone. It will make you feel like millions of miles have been put between you and God. God has not moved or changed his mind about you. He is close, waiting for, what?
When we sin as Christians it causes us to feel as though a wedge has been placed between us and God. The distance to forgiveness and restoration can seem enormous, but is it? When we let sin have its way and we keep it to ourselves unconfessed before God, joy leaves us. As a believer you know when you are wrong; often we simply refuse to confess it going through the motions of normalcy, attending church, smiling, and putting on a good front, but deep inside we know something is wrong. Our smiles are shallow and our hearts are heavy.
We have allowed the enemy of our souls to rob us of our joy, giving us shame in its place. There is a way to make it right, a way to regain your joy in the Lord. How? Confess your sin, and believe God has forgiven you. See, if we confess our sin, yet still think that God is mad at us and holding onto his anger, our joy will not return. It is only when we believe what his word says in Psalm 51:17 “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” And also in
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Satan will try his best to keep you from confessing, first, he does not want to lose this hold he has on you and the shame he has piled on you; second, he doesn’t want you to stop the sin he has brought into your life. He may even up the anty by making it even more attractive. But, if you confess with true repentance, God will and does forgive. Does this mean the consequences of sin are removed, sometimes, but most of the time we live out the consequences. Just remember consequences are different than unforgiven. God’s word says He forgives. Read it above…He does not despise a broken spirit and a broken and contrite heart.
Examine yourself today, look deep into your heart. Is there anything that needs confessing? Is there anything even a small thing standing between you and God. Confess it, bring it to the light, and when you do accept and believe that God has forgiven you. When you do you cannot help but feel the joy rising in your soul. What the enemy had taken is rushed in like a mighty wave. It boils down to believing God has forgiven you. That you are once again in a right place before God. God already knows your sin; he has been with you each time you sinned. He is Sovereign and always present no matter where we go or what we do. He does not force us to as for forgiveness, He waits patiently for us to once again hear His voice and turn away from our sin. He desires to forgive us and to restore a right spirit within us, He waits for our confession.
Do not let fear of unforgiveness or even consequences keep you from confessing sin to God. Do not for one more moment allow the enemy of your soul to lie to you and tell you God cannot or will not forgive you. Remember if his lips are moving, he is speaking lies. He is the father of lies. And remember, when we confess our sins, when we have been forgiven of our sins, God will walk with us through the consequences of those sins and give us grace and mercy even in that.
Let your joy be restored…there is a way. Confession and true repentance.
God is waiting, will you right now bow your knees and ask him, believe him, and let the joy restoring begin. You will not regret it, I promise! He is a good, good Father.
“He will not always harbor his anger forever; 10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; 14 for he knows how we are formed and he remembers that we are dust.”
Isn’t it great to know that God’s anger does not last forever and that he never treats us as our sins deserve. If you are his, he has compassion on you, just like we do when our children mess up. Yes, there needs to be some discipline, but it is given out with loving measures. It is not meant to crush their spirit and neither is the discipline the Lord gives to us. Or at least in most families, this is true, I realize in some families discipline is taken too far, been there experienced it! I am talking about how most parents react and treat their children. They are kind even in their discipline towards them.
The Lord has given us his word as a guide book on how to live our lives, how to live in this world, and still stay obedient to his word. All too often though we allow sin to shine its bobbles before us and we are intrigued. Our minds start thinking about it and soon enough it drops into our hearts and we allow ourselves to be led astray. James 1:14 says it this way:
“But each one is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lusts, and enticed. Sin is enticing. We each drawn away to sins that look good to us. My sin may not be the same sin you struggle with and vise versa. God’s word tells us that when we come to Him with true repentance He is faithful to forgive us. He not only forgives us but forgets what we did as well. He casts it as far as the East is from the West. If you have repented of your sin, and you continue to struggle under the weight of condemnation I can assure you it is not coming from God, it is coming from Satan. He wants to keep you locked into a cycle of not being able to fully enjoy Jesus. If you can keep your eyes on you, then they are not on HIM!
I think one of the most precious lines in these verses is this: “for he knows how we are formed and he remembers that we are dust.” God knows me, He knows us more intimately than we know ourselves. He knows every thought, every desire, He knows what gets us all messed up in the first place. He knows what motivates our desires and attractions to sin. He formed Adam from the dirt and dust of the ground, and we all came from there. The feelings and emotions we have in us, He gave us. But because of Adam and Eve’s sin, we are born sinners; and our Lord knows that and His compassion on us is great! Knowing we are mere dust should certainly humble of few out there. But His knowing this just brings out the compassion in him, the desire to help us find our way, at least that is how I see this verse. When we see a toddler hit someone, we do not think bully, we think oh my this little person needs to learn that he cannot hit people, it is not nice, and so we try to teach them the right way. I think that same thing can be applied to God seeing us as mere dust.
In some ways, it is a sobering thing to know that the God of the universe knows every detail of my thoughts and even intents; yet on the other side, it is so good to know that the God of the universe knows my thoughts and even the very intent of my heart and actions. I have had moments where I truly to this day do not know what motivated me to do a certain thing or act a certain way, but my Lord knows and understands. I am not left to my own devices, I don’t even have to figure a way out, when I call on him, he opens the door for me to escape. God loves us, His children more than we can even comprehend. Oh, we can have a glimpse of it in the way we love our children, but it still does not match the love God has for us.
We are to have a holy and reverent fear of God. Not the kind that puts us in a corner shaking and waiting for the hammer to fall, but the kind that realizes who He is and just how Holy He is. The kind that knows that God is Sovereign. All-knowing, and All-seeing and always present. The kind that knows that He can take down a nation just by his word. HE IS IN CONTROL! David had this to say in Psalm 139:1-13 “Where cand I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. 13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”
He desires that we obey him, but even if we mess up for a little while or a longer time, He will forgive us and forget it, when we repent and turn from our sin. Sometimes we have to live with the consequences and sometimes he even takes those away, He is just that good! So, in closing, if you find yourself caught up in some sin, God already knows and He is waiting with open arms to fill you fresh and new with His spirit and love you back into a right relationship. No matter the sin, no matter how long, no matter who it was with or what it was…God can and will forgive you, do not let the enemy of your soul lie to you and convince you otherwise. Remember if his lips are moving he is lying…He is the father of lies. Always has been, always will be!
Blessings dear friends…May each of us take a close look at our lives and see what pleases the Lord and start doing those things. The hour is growing late.