Sometimes we allow people and situations to drive us into the proverbial “dark place” of depression or a state of complacency that does nothing but keep us weighed down with unnecessary worry and doubt (ouch). It’s not criminal, it’s human and it is detrimental to our relationship with the Lord.
I was reading from Dr. Charles F. Stanley’s “Life Principal” workbook and was immediately spoken to by the Holy Spirit. That is why I am sitting here now. It’s not like I have not been reminded before to come here, I was stubborn, okay rebellious (double ouch). I’d like to share just a little of what Dr. Stanley wrote from Life Application #24, “To live the Christian life is to allow Jesus to live His life in and through us.” When we do that, we will experience all of the peace, joy, confidence and assurance that are rightfully ours in Christ Jesus.
Everything that concerns us is Christ’s responsibility to care for and not ours … we are simply to obey Him. David’s Psalm, 138:7-8 says “Though I walk in the midst of trouble – Your right hand will save me. The LORD will accomplish what concerns.”
We serve an awesome God. He IS able to accomplish what concerns us because He has all power to defend us, wisdom to direct us, mercy to pardon us, grace to enrich us, righteousness to clothe us, happiness to crown us and love to save us. There it is, everything He promised and is readily available to us …… All we have to do is ask, believing and trusting.
You are not far from my thoughts and prayers. Remember …..
You are Loved,
We all face numerous and various challenges throughout our lives. Some as devastating as suffering the loss of a loved one to death, losing a job through a layoff or shutdown, deciding if the person you are in love with is “marriage material” or even accepting a job promotion. While making a marriage proposal or accepting one does not sound like a challenge, we have to be careful that we are not “blinded” by love and offer or accept a proposal that could lead to an unhappy life. And while accepting a promotion could mean more money, there could be other issues – like more responsibility that could take you away from church and family, even demands on your integrity or moral stance.
The Israelites faced a dangerous challenge in 2 Chronicles 20:1-29 when they were faced with a huge number of Edomite warriors coming against them. King Jehosaphat realized his only option was to seek divine counsel from God, so he called the people of Judah together to fast and seek God for help. He prayer in (v 6): “Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you.” In v 12b, he prayed: “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
The Lord heard Jehosaphat and told him to appoint a choir to march in front of the Israelite army, directing the worshipers to sing “Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever” (v. 21). When the Israelites began to sing, the Lord confused the opposing enemies and they began to attach and destroy each other.
The Lord is no less able to do the same for us when we are facing the enemy in our daily lives. We serve the same God that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob did. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Before creation, He was! We have seen time after time throughout the Bible God’s provision and protection of His children. We are of no less value to Him and our challenges are no less critical to us than any of the saints of old and what they faced.
When you don’t know what to do, look to the Lord, let’s march into our challenges worshiping God is spirit and truth, praising Him for what we know He is already doing in our lives and knowing that we have the MONUMENTAL VICTORY through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Be Encouraged My Friends, You ARE Loved
Paul’s prayer in Colossians is appropriate for every person and every situation. Because it fits perfectly with God’s will, we can make these requests in confidence – both for ourselves and for others:
PRAY to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding: Not only do we need to know God’s plan for our lives; we also require discernment to distinguish His guiding voice from our own self-directed notions
PRAY to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, pleasing Him in all ways: Our lives should be patterned after the One we follow, with a goal of glorifying and delighting Him
PRAY to bear fruit in every good work: Instead of being wrapped up in our own jobs, possessions, pleasures, and plans, we should be contributing to others’ lives.
PRAY to increase in the knowledge of God: By reading His Word, applying it to our lives, and observing His ways, we will gain a deeper understanding of the Lord
PRAY to be strengthened with His power so we remain steadfast: The Christian life can be lived only with the Holy Spirit’s power
PRAY and joyously give thanks for all that He has done for us: Believers should be characterized by joy and gratitude
Too often, the focus of our requests is on “important” temporary needs and we miss seeing the deeper spiritual work God wants to do. Take a moment to think about and consider how effective our prayers will be if we shift the emphasis of them to the Lord’s desires. God will transform you and the people we intercede for.
Dear Lord, thank you, yet again, for showing me how to pray. Forgive me Lord if my requests have been focused more on temporary things instead of those things that are eternal – your will and your kingdom. Holy Spirit, please come into my prayers and “fix” them so they are in line with the will of God, His work and they will be acceptable in His sight. In Jesus Name, Amen
Be Encouraged ~ You Are Loved
When David was in his greatest distress, in this Psalm it is when Saul is pursuing him to kill him; he did not pray and seek out his own petition for rescue. Instead he prayed to God to glorify himself and his own great name.
“Whatever becomes of me and my interest, be thou exalted, O God! above the heavens, be thou praised by the holy angels, those glorious inhabitants of the upper world; and let thy glory be above or over all the earth; let all the inhabitants of this earth be brought to know and praise thee.” Psalm 57:5
If God’s glory lies nearer our own hearts, shouldn’t we be more concerned for it, than for any interests of our own? Like David, we face distress, struggles and uncertainties in our own lives, should our first inclination be to pray that the Lord will exalt us above all those trials that lie before us?
When the Son of David’s soul was troubled as he faced eminent crucifixion and death and he prayed, “Father, save me from this hour,” he immediately withdrew that petition, and presented instead “For this cause came I to this hour; Father, glorify thy name,” John 12:27.
Our best encouragement in prayer is taken from the glory of God. The first petition in the Lord’s prayer sets the standard and directs all the rest, “Father in heaven, hallowed by thy name.” Luke 11:2.
When we glorify the Father, He will extend His glory to us and respond favorably to our petitions.
I pray that God’s glory will extend grace, love and mercy to you until we meet here again.
Be Encouraged, You Are Loved
- Prayer: connecting the finite with the infinite (scottstrissel.wordpress.com)
I encourage you to walk into the new year with boldness. Move forward in your God-given authority. Persevere in your calling. Trust God and have faith that He will be with you throughout the new year as He has been in years past.
**HAPPY NEW YEAR**
Be Encouraged ~ You Are Loved
*BE GRACIOUS TO US*
Believers are to call on the name of the Lord every morning that he will be gracious to us, that we will be renewed and invigorated in our spirits for the day. We call on His merciful kindness whereby God exerts his holy influence upon us, turns us toward Christ; keeps, strengthens and increases us in Christian faith, knowledge and affection. While God is Holy, Sovereign, Omniscient and Omnipresent, He is a loving Father too. He pours His love out to His children in ways that only He can. He favors us, is benevolent and merciful to us. He wants to bless us, give us the abundant life He promised. He is standing at the door with open arms waiting to bestow His grace on us …. all of the time, every where, for anyone.
*WE LONG FOR YOU*
Our hearts should long for the Lord. We should seek after and desire to be in His presence and desire that He is ever-present in our lives. I know that God is omnipresent, what I mean is [an example] … when I am struggling with a life decision, or it is hard to deal with some people or the job is getting to me … whatever it is, I call on the name of the Lord and tell Him that I need him at that very moment. I pray for His presence that I may actually know He is there. There have been times that I would feel a presence, an aura around me; I would almost surely feel a touch on my shoulder or the small of my back. It is so reassuring that I immediately know that it is God. Are there any witnesses out there?
*BE OUR STRENGTH EVERY MORNING*
We pray such a prayer as Isaiah 33:2 because we know our own strength is not sufficient, neither can we bring anything to pass; only God strengthens us [Genesis 49:24], for He himself is our arm of strength. So we should depend on the strength of His arm every morning, we must commit ourselves to Him and move forward in His power to get through day and do the work that we have been called to do. In 2 Corinthians 12:9 God says: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore [we should] boast all the more gladly about [our] weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on [us]. Seek the Lord grace every day, trust in His will and the power of his might, call on, trust, depend and wait on Him and He will give you what you need to live. He will equip you to do the work for which you have been called. He will be your strength.
*OUR SALVATION IN TIME OF DISTRESS*
Believers should not be shocked, surprised or amazed at the atrocities, devastation and evil that is going on around them. One has only to read the newspaper or listen to the radio to find out the “horrors” of the day. People killing strangers in schools, in malls, in places of employment; tycoons and moguls lying to and stealing peoples’ life savings; hatred and bigotry being spewed against the leader of our country and from under nationally recognized hate groups. It really disturbs me that a country that was supposedly founded on Christian beliefs has resorted to such unchristian behavior. But, it’s like I mentioned earlier, we should not be [and I am not] shocked at these things. They hurt us, yes; they may even cause concern for the safety of our families. Again, when we call on the Lord in time of distress, the Lord our God is our salvation. He comes to the aid of His children. He is our ever-present help in time of trouble.
Praying always that God’s Grace abounds in your lives.
Be Encouraged ~ You Are Loved