So many people today are living with less than God’s best because they’ve allowed fear to creep in and take root in their lives. Fear is the greatest weapon the enemy uses to try to hold us back. Fear is not from God. Scripture tells us that fear brings torment. It’s designed to paralyze us and keep us from God’s blessings.
“Do not give the devil an opportunity to work.” (Ephesians 4:27, ISV)
The good news is that God is greater than fear. His power in you is greater than any power that comes against you. But, in order to walk in His power, you have to close the door on the enemy. See, the enemy can’t have access to your life unless you open a door and give him access. That’s why we have to be careful about what we watch, what we listen to, what we read, and what we say. When we open ourselves to fear, we give the enemy opportunity.
If you’ve allowed fear to steal from you in any area of life, today you can be free — you can be finished with fear. Conquering the enemy starts by making the choice to close the door on fear by receiving God’s love and meditating on His promises. Receive His truth and speak His truth. Let Him set you free and lead you into victory as you close the door on fear.
No matter what is happening in your life today, as a believer in Jesus, you have a reason to be excited about your future! If things seem dark right now, know that the dawn will soon appear. The key is you have to remember that you are not here by accident. You have a purpose and destiny to fulfill, and He isn’t finished with you yet. Your best days are not behind you; your best days are out in front of you.
“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 3:14
One thing I know is that God is a God of increase. He has greater things in store for your future than you have experienced in your past. His dream for your future is so much bigger than your own. He wants to take you places that you’ve never dreamed and open up doors that you’ve never imagined. He wants to bring talent out of you that you didn’t even know you had. He wants to increase you and cause you to be a greater blessing to the people around you. Today, get your hopes up and get excited about your future! Begin to thank Him for what He has in store. Keep standing, keep believing and keep moving forward because God has explosive blessings in store for you!
I believe we can know our true spiritual state by how troubled we become over our slightest sin against our Lord. Some Christians only grieve over what they consider the “big sins” But the truly spiritual person knows that no sin is small in God’s sight. He knows these things spring from his heart, the very center of his being. You can disobey God in such “small things,” excusing yourself and forgetting all about them. But if you do, you will never mature in Christ. Your righteousness is measured by your unwillingness to accept anything that grieves your blessed Savior.
“Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way.” ~ 2 Corinthians 7:9
Not long ago, I said something very un-Christlike. My words were totally uncalled for, and I immediately fell under conviction. But my mind was still troubled. I thought, “How could I be capable of saying something so unlike Jesus? After all, I’ve never been closer to the Lord. In that moment, the enemy whispered to me, “That little slip-up was no big deal. It was such a small thing.” But the Holy Spirit immediately rose up in my heart to refute the devil’s voice. He reassured me, “Fran the very fact you’re grieving over this sin is proof I’m at work in you. The more you grieve over even the smallest transgression against My love, the closer you get to victory.” God sent His Spirit to us to wage war against our flesh and its desires and lusts. So, if you aren’t troubled when you fail—if you are able to shake off your sin with no sense of guilt, sorrow or regret—then the Holy Spirit is not in you doing warfare. If you are being convicted by even the lightest transgression, you are close to true victory. He is winning the battle in your heart by producing a godly sorrow that leads to true repentance.
God knew there would be times when we would be tempted to waver in our confession of hope. Maybe you are believing for something and you’re starting to think, “Is this really for me? Will this really ever happen?” If that’s you today, remember, He who promised is faithful! And His faithfulness doesn’t depend on your ability to figure it all out. His faithfulness doesn’t depend on the plans we can make or the scenarios we can come up with; He’s faithfulness depends on His Word, which never changes!
“God will make a way For me. He will be my guide. Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.” ~~Isaiah 43:19
Declare His Word and hold on to your confession of hope today. Be confident that God can make a way when there seems to be no way. Even when your mind may waver, don’t allow your confession to waver. Declare that God is working behind the scenes on your behalf. Declare that He Who began a good work in you is faithful to complete it. Remember, there is power in your words and power when your words are in agreement with His Word. As you hold on to your confession of hope, you’ll see His faithfulness, and you’ll move forward into victory in every area of your life.
In this world we will have trouble. Jesus himself says so. Being a Christian is not a guarantee of pain-free living. We can expect to face hardship because of our relationship with Christ. And the important question for each of us is “Will hardship drive me from or toward God?”
We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.~Romans 8:28
In this world we will have trouble. Jesus himself says so. Being a Christian is not a guarantee of pain-free living. We can expect to face hardship because of our relationship with Christ. And the important question for each of us is “Will hardship drive me from or toward God?” None of us is great enough, strong enough, or wise enough. We cannot control the forces of nature or other people. We live in a broken world. But Jesus has come to us as Mighty God, and he has overcome the world. He also promises us his presence: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). And he promises his all sustaining grace: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Today’s verse promises that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” But in the face of life’s pain and tragedies, the natural question is “Does God really mean in all things’?” Yes! Notice that it does not say all things are good but that God can bring good out of all things, even things that Satan intends for evil. When your heart is broken and the world crushes you, may the peace of Mighty God sustain you as you draw comfort and strength from Him.
Hope is a vital part of life. Hope drives and motivates us. It gives us the power to endure in hard times and to excel in good times. Without hope we die. The good news in our passage today is that through faith we can have hope even in the face of our sinfulness and in life’s hardships.
“Hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.” ~~ Romans 5:5
“We boast in the hope of the glory of God.” This hope is rooted in both who God is and what God has done for us. He is the holy God, who seeks his wayward children and provides a way home. God demonstrated his love for us in spite of us. While we were still sinners, God sent Jesus to be our salvation. Christ came to earth to open the way to God, so in Christ we have gained access to God’s grace. The image of “gaining access” is that of a ship reaching a safe harbor in the threat of a raging storm. We have hope because we have shelter and security in almighty God’s grace. Do you feel undeserving of God’s love? Do you feel you are beyond hope? Everyday we need to celebrate not what we have done but what God has done for us. Our hope is not in ourselves. Real hope rests in God’s promises and in his amazing love for sinners like you and me. Can you look forward to celebrating everyday with that hope?
Why me? Why this? Do you ever wonder why? Do you feel guilty for even daring to ask? I think we all have had times when the loss was so great in our lives that we cried, not upon our pillow in a quiet voice in the silence of our darkened bedroom. No we screamed it with all the angst and heartache and brokenness our voice could muster in the public streets for all the world to see. At times, our why was resolved with the still small voice of God and a touch of warmth from the Comforter pouring Himself out upon us. Other times, our felt alone, abandoned. The psalmist did the same. Prophets have cried out. Kings. Our Lord cried out on the cross.
“My God, My God, why have You forsaken me? Why are You so far from helping me, and from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear; and in the night season, and am not silent. BUT You are holy, Enthroned in the praises of Israel.” Psalm 22:1-3. [caps and emphasis mine]
It’s odd that we, who think our God does not hear us in the darkness of our nights and the bright light of our grief and pain, continue to cry out. If it were so futile, if God was so deaf, if God was so far away, why would we bother? Because deep in the recesses of our tribulation, emptiness and agony, we know that God is God and God is steadfast and sure. We may question our circumstances, our losses, our trials–but we know that ultimately our answers are in God. And we cry out in search of them. We may not feel our God hears, but all scripture denounces that lie of Satan. We may not think God is present, but Jesus, our King, says differently. “Lo, I am with you always, even to the ends of the world.”
With every “why” I’ve ever voiced, my God’s assurance has answered. With every darkness I’ve ever encountered, God pierces with Light and gives me faith to dispel the doubts of my human frailty. So when you wonder why, remember we may never know all the answers. We have the Answer–Jesus is Lord of all and has overcome the world.
Jesus gave a warning about allowing unforgiveness to reside in the heart. He said that those who refuse to forgive others won’t be forgiven by the Father. Do not misunderstand Jesus’ meaning here. Believers don’t lose their salvation when they refuse to forgive. Rather, they break fellowship with God because their unrepentant attitude gets in the way of regular confession and repentance. The Lord cannot ignore sin, and His Spirit will bring wrong behavior to the believer’s attention until he or she deals with it.
“But if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”~ Matthew 6:15
Forgiveness is an act of the will more than an act of the heart. Often people don’t feel like being merciful to someone who has wronged them. But a resentful spirit grows into a terrible burden. The Lord knows that forgiveness is best, even when it is difficult.
You won’t deal with a sin until you see it as God does. So assume full responsibility for your unforgiving attitude, and acknowledge that it is a violation of His Word. Claim the divine mercy He offers, and ask Him to enable you to lay aside anger and resentment against the other person(s). As part of the decision to move forward in grace, make a habit of praying for those who hurt you. And if God so leads, seek their forgiveness for your wrong attitude.
A bitter and resentful spirit doesn’t fit who we are in Christ. Nor is it healthy to carry an angry attitude through life. That’s why Scripture emphasizes the need to forgive. Choose to be liberated from your burden–Jesus promised to make us free when we release our sins to Him (John 8:36).
So many people today are depressed and discouraged simply because they only focus on their present circumstances. They’re constantly dwelling on their problems, what they don’t have, and what’s wrong with them. They don’t realize it, but they’re allowing the enemy to steal their hope. This negative frame of mind is what keeps people from moving forward in life. Have a wonderful day in His presence and continue moving forward with God as your anchor.
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.” ~Hebrews 6:19
Understand today that faith is confidence and assurance about the things we hope for according to the promises of God. Like an arrow, your faith points to the target of hope. If you don’t have hope, that arrow of faith will just drop to the ground. It won’t accomplish anything. But when you keep your hopes up, when you keep expecting and believing, it’s as if that target gets larger and larger — easier to hit!
Choose today to live with an attitude of expectancy. Get your hopes up! Start by taking captive any negative thoughts you may have one at a time. As you focus on God’s goodness and faithfulness, you’ll feel that hope inside you growing. You’ll give your faith a target, and you’ll move confidently into the blessings and peace the Lord has in store for you!
This message is for everyone to reflect on…
At some point in life we all face hardships. It may be something physically or emotionally challenging. Or it may be a dream or an opportunity that we missed out on. Whatever your difficulty is, don’t let it discourage you from believing in God’s best. The enemy wants to keep you focused on everything negative that’s happened, but don’t let him steal the dreams God has given you. He knows that if he can deceive you into thinking things won’t get better, you’ll lose hope and give up. There will always be obstacles trying to keep you from becoming all God’s created you to be, but God has given you a promise for good and not harm. He has plans for better things ahead. It’s important to believe God and keep an attitude of faith despite your circumstances. Choose today to hold on to God’s promises no matter what your situation looks like. Refuse to give up on the plans He has made for your life. God knows what challenges you’ve faced, and He has a way to turn things around for your good. Start thanking and praising Him for what He’s already done and what He will do.