Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love!

Affirming this statement alone will not bring change, but it is a start. God is able to help us be this way. Today, ask God to help you and then stop and visualize Him doing that very thing. See yourself being strong, courageous, firm in your faith and full of love. Sense what might be stopping you and give it to Jesus. Then visualize it again. Let’s wrestle with it in our mind, so we can begin to live it in our life.

 “Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.” 1 Corinthians 16:1314

 

Wow what an awesome “to do” list? Do you need something to do today? Try today’s passage. What a goal, and such an important one for our spiritual vitality. What I am encouraged about is that God would not ask us to do something that He will not help us with. This is within our grasp. All we need to do is focus, ask God for His help and then be as diligent as possible. He will guide us. He will give us the strength and power to do what He has asked of us.

 

Today, be on guard against spiritual apathy, attacks and adversaries. While you are on guard, stand firm on His word and your faith in what He has said and who He is. When trouble comes remember who God is and what He as asked us to do and be courageous in your attempt to be strong. Finally, if all else fails allow Him to work through you and do everything today with love! God is good and He will help you do what He has asked you to do. Simply trust and obey.

 

Picture yourself in a severe situation. Everything you have and are is in jeopardy. It seems that nothing is going right. You are being attacked and attacked again. Your head is spinning and do not know if you can take it. At that moment you cry out to God. He hears you and tells you to be strong and stand firm in your faith. You sense His Holy Spirit fill you with power and your mind is renewed. Faith wells up inside you and you rise and stand firm. One by one your enemies are defeated. God has given you all you need to be victorious and you affirm, “I am standing firm in my faith!

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“We should always pray and never give up.”

I love this parable of the persistent widow how she never gave up praying. Have you ever had your back against the wall ? Where you thought you would never get out of a horrible situation you were in. Emotionally, you were a mess. Maybe that is where you find yourself at this moment, then this passage should speak to you to pray and never give up. Have a wonderful day as you remain in His presence always praying and never giving up.

“One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.” Luke 18:1 

Maybe you are praying and waiting. And you are crying, then pray again. Where you continue to pray and fight the feeling to give up over and over again. Remember what Jesus said to do, “Knock and keep knocking, ask and keep asking, seek and keep seeking.”

So let me encourage to surrender everything to the Lord and seek Him with all your heart continue to pray some more and know that God has not forsaken you. His love is sufficient even in the worst of the times.God never promised you or I perfect pain free life, but He did promise He would never leave us. 

Keep thinking about Jesus’s life, walking from town to town, no where to lay His head, all the way to the cross. And He did it so we could pray to Him. I know many who are reading this are going through horrible struggles, perplexed and hurting. Today know this. Jesus was very specific in the stories He told. He was purposeful because He wanted us to know this one thing, pray and never give up.

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Take 3 minutes n read

(everyone of you i pray will read this and share with someone! I know each of us need a reminder. Please, take three minutes of your 24 hours and read!)

Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you, casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. 

– 1 Peter 5:6-7

It is important that we learn to humble ourselves and cast our care on the Lord. We shouldn’t struggle to believe that God wants us to lay all of our concerns at the foot of the cross, when He so clearly has told us in His Word to do exactly that.

The word casting refers to throwing, hurling, arising, sending, striking, thrusting, driving out, or expelling—all rather forceful terms. It seems to be difficult for some of us to believe that God considers worry or care a sin. So we may actually have to become spiritually violent about casting our care upon the Lord and abiding in the secret place of the Most High, under the shadow of the Almighty.

It literally took me years to be set totally free from the ¬burden of guilt and condemnation. I knew mentally and ¬spiritually that I had been made the righteousness of God in Christ because of what He had done for me on Calvary, but I still had a hard time accepting it and living in it emotionally. The devil kept attacking my feelings, making me feel guilty and condemned. I worried about my past—how could I ever overcome it? I fought against those thoughts for years until finally I got fed up. I told the devil, “No! I am not going to believe your lies! Jesus has made me the righteousness of God, and I have made up my mind that I am going to have what He died to give me!”

I knew from the Bible that I had been made right with God through the shed blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. I was doing my best to keep my mind set on all that Jesus had sacrificed for me. I confessed scriptures, but the enemy still attacked my mind and my feelings until there arose in me a holy anger that finally set me free.

I became angry enough to rise up against the principalities, powers, and wickedness in high places that tried to keep me from enjoying all the blessings God intended for me. Too often, we get mad at other people when our anger should be directed to the source of the problem—the devil and his demons.

Just as anger at Satan can be a form of righteous violence, so can casting our care on the Lord. We can resist Satan, worry and anxiety, and guilt and condemnation, until we get so fed up that we react with a holy anger. When he tries to force us to carry a burden of care, we can stop him in his tracks and say, “No! I will not carry that care. I am casting it upon the Lord!”

Every one of us has certain spiritual issues that must be settled once and for all. We need to cast on the Lord whatever issues we may have that hinder us from walking in the fullness of joy, peace, and rest the Lord intends for us.

Peter says to cast your cares on God. The Greek word translated care in 1 Peter 5:7 means “to draw in different directions; to distract.” Why does the devil give us care? His whole purpose is to distract us from our fellowship with God. When the enemy tries to lay problems on us, we have the privilege of taking those problems and casting them on God. If you throw them, God catches them and takes them away. God knows how to wipe away the cares that Satan lays on you.
God has provided two wonderful weapons you can use to overcome the devil’s plan. First, you humble yourself, turning yourself totally over to God. Then when the devil tries to burden you with worry or some other heavy load, you cast it on God—who is happy to take it away because He cares for you.

As I’ve thought about worry, I’ve also figured out that it’s an act of pride on our part. Those who worry still think they can solve their own problems. Isn’t that pride? Aren’t we saying, “I can work this out by myself”? Those who are proud or full of themselves still think they are strong and can defeat their problems themselves. The truly humble are those who know their weaknesses, but in their weaknesses, they know their strength is in Jesus Christ.

Paul understood that and wrote to the Corinthians: But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me! (2 Corinthians 12:9).

We fail God when we insist on shouldering our burdens instead of giving them to the Lord. Only God can deliver us, and He wants us to know that. In every situation, He wants us to first humble ourselves and then throw off the cares and worries the devil tries to lay on us. It is possible—in fact, it’s an order. I want to encourage you to place yourself totally into God’s hands and allow Him to be the Manager of your life.

Dear Lord Jesus, I thank You. Even before the problems come, You have told me how to defeat the enemy of my mind. You have also given me Your own example of defeating him. In Your name, Lord Jesus, teach me to humble myself and to cast all my cares and concerns on You. Amen.

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Let God Carry the Load!

We have all experienced situations that seemed impossible to handle at the time. It may have been a financial challenge or a bad report from the doctor. When things seem hopeless, and you feel you are at your worst, that is the time to turn to God and seek Him with everything you have. You may feel that you are alone in your circumstances, but God is a very present help in times of trouble. 

Although it would be great if the Lord would perform some sort of magical transformation of the tough circumstances you and I face, that just isn’t reality. However, the Word of God is your way out of any situation. Because God’s Word is infallible and contains burden-removing, yoke-destroying power, when you can meditate on it, and speak it, you will see changes in your life. While the facts about your situation may look bleak, the truth found in God’s Word brings light, hope, and deliverance. 

What I want you to grasp is the fact that Satan wants to influence how you feel. When you allow the pressures of life to influence your emotions in a negative way, you will most likely make decisions and take actions that will keep you stuck in your present situation. Because of this, it is important that you give more attention to the Word than you do to what is going on around you. Get in the Bible and meditate on the Scriptures that speak to your situation. Allow your feelings to be governed and controlled by the Word so your decisions and actions can lead you in the right direction. In life, you will experience good and bad moments. 

That reality is never going to change. Christians, and non-Christians alike, will experience both. But God will be there for you through it all. Joshua 1:9 declares, “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Perhaps you are facing a situation in life and are wondering if God is going to show up. You may not understand every detail of God’s plan for you, but when you believe in your heart that God loves you, feeling like you are fighting your battles alone will soon fade. When you have confidence in God, you will trust in what His Word says about your situation. He is not some impersonal “being” in the sky who is disconnected from the day-to-day realities in your life. He knows just when to step in and assist you when you need it most. Cast your cares upon the Lord, and don’t try to carry the load yourself. He wants to help.

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Running towards the plan!

For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13

God’s plan has always been to give us hope and a future, to prosper us and keep us from harm, but His plan can never be separated from a life devoted to Him. There is no hope – no future or security – apart from resting in His arms. And the only lasting prosperity and peace comes as we walk in step with His Spirit. Why do so many not trust Him to fully guide their path? And why do they seek His plan for their life without bothering to first seek Him?!

His plan is for us to be restored to Him and glorify His name as we love Him with all our heart. All other plans regarding the specific circumstances of our existence flow out of His plan for a loving relationship filled with worship; “seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33). Seek Him first! Let me encourage you like I do myself daily to allow God to be the all-consuming top priority of your life. Diligently seek Him in times of quiet as well as in the midst of the endless multitude of daily activities, and be filled with hope and encouraged by His promise that as we faithfully seek Him with all our heart, He will be found! Take His Hand!

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God is in Business of Restoration!

He is faithful to recompense you for everything you have lost when you trust Him. God can make up for wasted time. He specializes in redeeming rough seasons in our lives. What has become a torturous transition, He can use to love you into a closer relationship with Him. Where else can you go for eternal life than to the one who is eternal (John 6:68)? Allow God to backfill this blot on your past. He can rebuild what has been broken, and even destroyed. Have a wonderful day as you allow God to repay you for the years that have been stolen. Love you all. 

“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm—my great army that I sent among you.” Joel 2:25

 

Maybe you’re at a point where you wonder where the Lord was in all this reversal of fortune. You were on the fast track to bitterness because of your feelings of betrayal. You may have hit rock bottom, and now there is nowhere to look but up.

 

We serve a God of restoration! You may have had some disappointments or unfair things happen in your life; but instead of dwelling on the past and living in defeat, choose to focus on His promises because God wants to restore everything that’s been stolen from your life. He wants to restore your joy, your peace, your health, and your finances. But here’s the key: you have to have a vision for it. You have to get your hopes up and decide to get your thoughts and words going in the right direction. 


Today, choose to focus on the future and release past hurts through forgiveness. Draw a line in the sand and say, I’m not going to live my life negative and defeated. This is a new day, and I’m taking back what belongs to me!” That’s having a restoration mentality!

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How long?

 “How long?” is a fair question to ask of the Lord. He does not expect us to suffer in silence. In fact, it’s okay and desirable to pour out our petitions to Him. We need heaven’s healing. When we verbalize our confusion to our loving heavenly Father, we feel relief. Just to know that the Lord listens to our heartfelt cries, no matter how petty or profound, is reassuring. Sometimes we can’t sleep well at night. We wake up in anguish, our mind racing. Our heart needs a touch of grace and peace from Jesus. A troubled heart has a hard time with sweet dreams because there is a dread or disappointment that destroys its quality of rest. However, deep sleep accompanies those who are able rest in Him. Rest is a result of resting in the Lord’s presence (Exodus 33:14). Have a wonderful day as you remain in His presence. 


How Long God? 

 

“My soul is in anguish. How long, O LORD, how long?” Psalm 6:3

 


The pain will linger until you see Jesus face to face, because it is a touch from the Lord that will get you through this difficulty. Therefore, do not let this momentary affliction keep you from experiencing God. Adversity is meant to engage us with eternity (2 Corinthians 4:17). If everything were easy, we would be prone to forget our Heavenly Father. So while on earth, it is okay to ask, “How long?” Questions keep us from being clueless with Christ by driving us to our knees in dependency on Him. How long before you can be married? How long before your parents will be more understanding? How long before your teenager will mature? How long before the doctors can diagnose your ailment? How long before you can change careers or get a promotion? How long before finances are not such big issues?

 

All of these are fair questions and need to be asked. It is wise, healing, and hopeful to lift our concerns to Christ. But once we go to God with our questions, it is imperative that we listen to His answers. It is not enough just to question. We must be willing to listen to the Lord. His answer is simple yet profound. “As long as it takes,” is His compassionate reply. As long as it takes to accomplish His will; as long as it takes to mold us into the image of His son Jesus; as long as it takes for us to learn the lessons of faith, patience, love, and forgiveness; as long as it takes to break our stubborn pride and replace it with gracious humility; as long as it takes to die to ourselves; as long as it takes for God to glorify Himself through our lives.


So above all else, in your state of questioning and confusion, receive God’s unfailing love. How long before the Lord can love you? Right now. His love will see you through, so invite Him to love you as only the Lord can.

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