Be strong and courageous!

A Safe Harbor is Jesus

We can let fear dominate our life or we can choose to be strong and courageous. I say we can “choose” but have you noticed in today’s verse it is a command? Why would God do that? Why would He command us to be strong and courageous? Because we NEED it and He is WORTHY of it! However, we do have options. We can let fear grip our heart and influence our decisions. We can rationalize why we can’t be strong or courageous. We can justify why we should be discouraged and drown in self-pity and yet what does God command? “Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Today, decide to obey the Lord. Be strong and courageous in all you face today.

“This is my command–be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the…

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Answers Are Waiting in His Presence

A Safe Harbor is Jesus

 

 

Do you sometimes believe that you can accomplish more on your own, without any help from God? Do you often start your day without even acknowledging His presence? If so, I want to challenge you to begin seeking Him—not just in the morning—but throughout your day. Personally, I take advantage of every opportunity I can to find a quiet place where I can be alone to talk with God, just as I would a close friend. When we cultivate a personal relationship with God, we learn that His way is always better than our own.

Often it seems as if the methods of the world are quicker and easier than God’s method; however, I know from experience that His way is always best. Following the world leads to a dead end.  However, following God’s way leads to a successful, happy life.

Many times, we rush through our days…

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Transformation

It is so easy to remain in the same circumstances. It’s comfortable, familiar and safe. But there comes a time when God will begin to deal with us and place a greater demand on us to change the way we think. When we begin to feel the effects of the demand, we sometimes become paralyzed with fear: fear of the unknown, not quite knowing what to expect. “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” ~ Romans 12:2
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God doesn’t want us to become stagnated with fear. He wants us to become alive with faith. In order to do this, we must be willing to remove every ounce of doubt and fear to focus on trusting our God.

God wants our complete focus and trust on Him. He desires for us to know that there is no failure in Him. In this next level in God, it is imperative that we have complete reliance upon Him. In order to truly do this, we must monitor and change all our thoughts and the daily words we speak. Our words must be lively, faith in God and His ability. To change our thinking, we must daily mediate on God’s written word. When we master this, then our thinking and actions will line up to be pleasing to Him.

Promises of God

“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ. And so through him the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God.” ~2 Corinthians 1:20

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There is so much power in this little verse to ponder for an entire year. Just think for a moment that every promise that the Father has ever made finds its fulfillment in His Son, the Lord Jesus. When God promises that he will impart to us grace, He gives us Jesus, the Lord of grace. When God promises to give us peace, He gives us Jesus, the Prince of peace. The promise of comfort? He gives us the Lord of all comfort. And when He imputes to us His righteousness, He gives us his Son, the Lord of righteousness. Even life finds its source in Jesus, the Word of Life.

Jesus is everything to you and me – the answer to our every hope, prayer and promise. The Christian walk is not so complicated after all. It is simple. It is… Jesus. And I say, “Amen and Amen,” to that.

“Why Did This Happen, God?”

We often find there are things in life that happen which we JUST don’t understand. I think we can all say we have had our share of circumstances where we could question God on things that have happened in our lives or around us. We could say, “Why did this happen, God?” With all our studying of the scriptures and what we believe the Bible teaches, we still have times where things that have happened just don’t make sense; deaths, illnesses, accidents, relationship breakdowns, and the list goes on. We believe we know why some of these happen, but there are other areas where we just draw a blank. No matter how diligently we study the Word and seek God for answers, we often come up blank or assume the WORST, that God has failed us. So, if you have any area in your life that just makes no sense, a “Why, God?” area, please leave it alone. God in His time will give you the answer even if it is on the other side after your life on earth ends. Do not let the incomprehensible get in the way of your love walk with Jesus!

 

” For now I see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known”. ~1 Corinthians 13:12

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Without getting into ALL the theological debates of our often futile attempts to explain these things, I would like to personally share how I recommend dealing with these “Why, God?” areas in our lives. I feel this will HELP and ENCOURAGE some of you, and prayerfully, BRING SOME OF YOU OUT OF A BACKSLIDDEN STATE.

How I have dealt with this is so basic and practical, yet it has helped me stay in love with my LORD. I have learned to acknowledge that God is all-knowing and I am not. I see through a spiritual glass or mirror, but ever so darkly, dimly. I ONLY know in PART a fragment of the Truth. But, Praise God, the day is coming when I will get to the other side and I will see clearly, knowing even as I am known! (1 Corinthians 13:12)

I pray that today that you do not get angry or bitter with God concerning things that happen in your life or around you; even if, because of your theological beliefs, you’re convinced that you are SO RIGHT and God is so wrong. Let me submit for your consideration that your THEOLOGY IS WRONG if it justifies your anger or bitterness with God. It may not be until you get to the other side that you will fully understand how or why something has happened. But when that day comes, whether in this lifetime or on the other side, you will surely see that God was ALWAYS just. All things will then make sense and you will see that all anger and bitterness toward God was unfounded. You will then wonder how you could have been so foolish or blind as to think that being angry or bitter with God was appropriate.

 

Overcoming Doubt!

It is okay to be in doubt, but it is not okay to remain in doubt. What doubt challenges your faith in God right now? Is it His provision, His promises, His presence, His character, or His care? When these questions assault your confidence in Christ, take a step back and review His track record. 

“But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” ~James 1:6

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Furthermore, use this temporary time of distrust to go deeper with Jesus. The pressure you feel on all sides is your Savior’s way of soliciting your attention. When in doubt, seek out the Lord, learn to love Him completely, and discern more fully His profound promises. Use doubt to dig deeper into the truth of Scripture; marinate your mind. 

When in doubt, stay steadfast in seeking out your Savior. Wait on Him, especially when you wonder what is next. Where there is true faith there may be a mixture of unbelief; so remain faithful, even when questions manipulate your faith. Perseverance will one day free you as a stronger and more-committed follower of Christ. See Jesus for who He is. Doubt dissolves in His reassuring presence. Doubt starves to death when it is not fed.

If you are struggling with doubt, and you’re in need of a touch from God, then begin looking at anything that may be adversely influencing you to believe something that goes against God’s Word as being truth. Once the Holy Spirit reveals the doubt, begin separating yourself from the cause of it…through prayer. Now, you can stand on God’s Word as your final authority and see the salvation of the Lord. The One who called you is faithful to His Word.

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Instead of relying on yourself, Trust God!

You know, there are days when everything seems to go right. Every single prayer we pray is answered. Life moves along as expected. We follow the rules and things are good. Then there are days, we do all the right things and nothing turns out right. For example, we eat right and exercise only to hear the doctor say we have some sort of disease. Or we donate our money as God leads and then we find ourselves in a financial bind. We obeyed, why are we struggling? We did everything we were supposed to and still we suffer. We just don’t understand, but God has the answers we are looking for.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” ~Ephesians 2:8

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I think this cause-and-effect mentality is logical. Unfortunately, it relies on us, not God to make things happen. Our obedience may prevent consequences but the whole purpose of obedience is to follow God. It is to live by faith. It is so we learn to trust Him. But sometimes I think we try to manipulate God with our works. We think if we do this the outcome will be that. We have to remember that God has a purpose and a plan that we cannot see. He is directing us a little at a time. He calls us to follow Him until the end no matter how long it takes or how hard the climb is.

Today’s prayer focus is on following God until the end. When we pray and obey it’s because we love God (or at least it should be). Too often, we get caught up in the temporary outcome without seeing the purpose.

Life is a series of lessons. Sometimes we stand in the middle and think God isn’t working. Sometimes we think our actions will solve a problem, or prevent one. But ultimately, God is teaching us to trust Him and not rely on ourselves. He wants us to persevere because in the end, it will all be good.