In my walk with the Lord and helping to minister to others I have seen many Christians fall into the traps that were set by Satan, the adversary of their soul. To fall into a trap of Satan simply means we believe a lie about ourselves, and we, therefore, remain in bondage to a demonic stronghold. A lie of Satan becomes a stronghold the moment we believe what he is telling us about a situation or a condition we are facing instead of standing on the Word of God. Remember Christ didn’t come to save us from sin so that we could die in bondage to its power. According to Luke 4:18, He was sent and anointed to set us FREE!!
…we are taking every thought captive according to the obedience of Christ.” Corinthians 10:5
Like many others, you may be in a trap of Satan today. Are you fighting a battle against something in your life that won’t seem to let go? Then you need “MORE GRACE.” This is not a cliche’. Instead, it is a truth that can set you free so that you can begin to walk out of the trap. You must not accept defeat. If you are a born-again believer, then Christ will cause you to triumph ALWAYS. The key is to turn to the Lord and submit yourself (including any doubts, fears, or unbelief) you may be holding onto in your heart. God is for you. However, you must be willing to believe and accept this truth before He can give you the power to come out completely.
Just because you have a stronghold in your life, it doesn’t mean that God has abandoned you. The Lord has promised that He would never leave or forsake us. Even so, we must give Jesus our full attention and cooperation in this matter. When the Holy Spirit instructs you to make the first step or to take action, you have to obey His voice and let Him take care of the details. This will require you to submit to Him and trust His instructions at all times. As you take the initial steps, doubt, fear, and unbelief will begin to scream out, “You can’t do this.” Nevertheless, don’t worry; once you obey God’s voice, it’s not you doing the work. It is God’s strength and grace flowing through you.
The more we submit by faith to God’s will and His Word, the more grace He will extend to us so that we can come out of the traps of Satan.
Sometimes it feels like we are crying out to God and He has turned His ear from us. Sometimes we feel like He has left us and is refusing to help us, comfort us or even think about us. During these times, we know that He hasn’t done any of these things, but that is how we feel. Where we have a hard time not dwelling in self-pity during these times. In times of suffering, don’t turn inward to self-pity or outward to revenge, but turn upward to God. The encouragement that I would like to give you will just simply re-type what this passages say below.
“My heart is confident in you, O God, my heart is confident. No wonder I can sing your praises.” Psalm 57:7
God knows what is best for us. If He sees that we need time to grow, then who are we to think otherwise? Sometimes though, we wonder if we really need to “grow” that much for all the suffering that we go through. It is hard to always remember that God knows, God cares and God is there. But He does and He is.
We don’t understand it all, but we know that He is such a great God, an awesome God, that He can even allow room for our doubts, just as David doubted in the Psalms, John the Baptist doubted Jesus when he was in jail and Thomas doubted Jesus after the resurrection. God wants us to willingly turn to Him so that He can manifest in our life in ways that are impossible for us naturally. This is when He receives glory and His name will be exalted.
God will always be there for me, for you and for anyone who seeks His presence. He will always make a way for you, even the impossible. As followers of Christ we are His beloved children, made right by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. When times get tough, look for a pathway that seems impossible and be willing to travel that path. He will always be faithful.
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful, in prayer” No matter what our situation is, we can pray with joy because of our hope in Christ no matter what our current situation is. We can remain patient, persevering through affliction, by presenting our requests and intercessions to God with thanksgiving. Prayer is God’s gift to us so that we can be patient and joyful, even when things don’t appear to be going well.
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful, in prayer” (Romans 12:12)
Hope means to believe, desire or trust. Anxiety and worry stifle hope. Some days it’s hard to hope. Oftentimes we hardly dare hope because we might be disappointed, but to be joyful in hope? If God is our hope then hope is well founded. Instead of nail biting hope, we can choose instead, to be joyful, in hope.
Patient means long-suffering; quietly and steadily persevering. Do you ever feel like the most impatient person on the planet? Some days I do. God doesn’t take afflictions from us. They’re common to us all. He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. Through the presence of His Holy Spirit He dwells within us, casting out fear, helping us to move deeper into the waters of uncertainty knowing that as we strive for patience he will guide us through the times of waiting.
Faithful means constant; reliable. Prayer is the key to joyful hope. Prayer is the key to patience in trials. Prayer brings us into the very presence of the Almighty God, the creator of all things, the ruler of all. He draws close to listen to you this day.
Lord God, thank you for the sacrifice of Your dear Son whose precious blood was shed for us. Thank you for the indwelling presence of your Holy Spirit who guides us each day. May we be encouraged as You teach us how to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer, Amen
In this passage below, the Lord wasn’t making much sense to Mary and Martha. Have you ever been there? Have you ever prayed about a problem and believed God for deliverance only to have the problem worsen … even to the point of death, or divorce, or bankruptcy? Have you ever cried out to God in faith and seemingly received nothing from Him to meet your pressing need? I think we can all relate.
“Then Martha said to Jesus, Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” John 11:21
We cry out to God in desperation, waiting to hear some hint of a response. The waiting can be excruciating. God seems silent and unaffected by our pleas. But out of the silence, the answer eventually will emerge, as we see that He has heard and replied, even though we can’t understand why the delay, and why He doesn’t drop everything and tend to our needs.
God is a good Father, and He knows what is best for His children. There are times, when our answer is no. Not because God desires to deprive us of things, but because His wisdom surpasses our own, and He knows exactly how to keep our feet firmly planted, so that we do not deviate off course and begin following a destructive path of our own making. There are also times when the answer is not ready, because it is much greater than our original request.
Those who prayed for Lazarus to be healed, could not understand the hesitation of Jesus’ response. He loved Lazarus, why didn’t He drop what He was doing and return immediately? It appeared that He had performed miracles for so many, yet He neglected to help His friend when he needed Him the most. When God seems silent, we are not being ignored, we can know without a doubt, that He loves us, we have been heard, and the answer although possibly delayed will be beneficial to us, and quite possibly greater than we could have anticipated.
Have you ever looked back on your life and questioned your actions? Maybe you thought, “Wow, what a waste of time.” What if it wasn’t? What if what you went through is exactly where you were to be? After all, look at Job. God gave Satan permission to move Job in every way possible. He just wasn’t allowed to take his life. So, with that thought, why couldn’t God allow those times in our life for a greater purpose, even if we thought they were mistakes?
I grew up thinking and believing I was a christian. But I didn’t come to know the Lord as my Savior until I was almost forty-four. But that doesn’t mean the Lord didn’t know who I was. In fact, He very much did. He knew me before I ever took my first breath. Just because I didn’t realize He wasn’t at my side 24/7 didn’t mean He wasn’t still present. Don’t you think each move I made He already knew about it? In fact, maybe through all those years where I was searching, He, in fact, was leading me straight to Him. Isn’t after all, our choice whether we accept Him or not? Well then, we can’t count out the fact that it would just as well be our choice of whether or not we follow Him. He is always calling. We just don’t seem to bother answering, that is until our heart is ready. Until He has prepared us and the Holy Spirit goes to work. We tend to forget, everything in God’s perfect timing.
We want everyone to be saved right now this minute. Ever ask yourself, “Why can’t they understand?” Well, just maybe their heart isn’t ready to accept yet. Just maybe the Lord is moving in them. Creating a heart willing to accept. Should we really ever count God out of anything? Doesn’t He have His hand in everything? There is nothing that touches me without first going through the hand of God. Saved or not saved.
So just think. You gotta love how God takes a part of your life that you thought was a waste of time and changes it into value. He can take a mistake and turn it around to a teaching aid. He can use our past to reach those for the future. He can turn a dream into a reality. NOTHING goes unused by God! NOTHING! You gotta love a God where ALL things are POSSIBLE!
God uses every part of our life for His good. He isn’t able to do bad. Those bad things in our lives are in fact, teaching tools. We just gotta be able to see it as that, instead of just bad timing or wasted years. I can share with you that my life is an open book. If you want to know something I will share with you. There are times in my life I look back and think, “What was I thinking? Boy, did I mess up there.” Well, even though I may have, God was still teaching me. I am able to see that today. 20/20 vision is great. Hindsight is even better, but we don’t get that view in life, do we? We get to see the right now. Too often, we get stuck in just looking back. But, in order for us to move forward, we must be able to look back and learn. Each stepping stone leads to reaching the shore.
Today, He is taking things in my life from long ago that I thought were all used up and creating beauty with them. He is even taking those mistakes, those heartaches and turning them into blessings to be used by others in their spiritual growth. Everything my hand pens, comes from something, somewhere, and I can tell you, it sure isn’t me. Everything we do has purpose and reason when it comes to God’s plan.
He is taking dreams and making them reality. He is connecting me with people today I had no idea that even existed a year ago. Our mistake in life? We simply don’t dream big enough! God doesn’t want us to be simple minded. He wants us to look beyond ourselves and see His capabilities. He wants us to take our eyes off the, “I can’t”, and place it on the, “HE can!”
All those times tears stained my cheeks were times of growth. What I thought was stalemate, God brought to movement and possibility. Just because we can’t see beyond today, doesn’t mean, He isn’t working in our lives for tomorrow. After all, won’t we all have a legacy? It’s just up to us on what it says. God wants to use up every part of our lives for His glory and honor. When we begin to see that nothing goes unused, it changes our perspective doesn’t it? We then begin to see hope in everything. After all, isn’t that the very thing God wants us to see? In Him we have hope. We have the hope of letting go of yesterday with the peace that He is going to bring today a great purpose that will leave our hope in tomorrow for others to see.
“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”
“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for Me wholeheartedly, you will find Me.”
When God sends us into new territories, new assignments, He purposes them and goes before us to make a way. He already knows what challenges await us, and He sets the stage of opportunity for greater glory. He releases His strategy to us as we seek Him. He walks with us. And if we remain close to him and carefully obey Him in the journey, we make it through the minefield of trial and temptation with the least amount of pain and the greatness measure of supernatural joy and reward. The purpose of this is to glorify Him, stretch our faith, build our trust in Him and accomplish His mission.
Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. ~~ Psalm 55:22
In Psalm 55, we find a very distressed David. He is surrounded by chaos, lies, death and evil opposition with his only escape being God. David knew that when he called to the Lord, God would save him (vs. 16). And so he sung sacrificial praises and declarations of God’s truth concerning righteousness and evil.
David could not have understood what to do or where to turn unless he knew the very character and heart of the God he served. In these torrid circumstances, God was developing David’s character to align more with His. The only way such a great level of trust could have been forged in David was through experiencing situations such as these. Count it all good.
Surely, like David, total dependency upon God, is our finest hour. Crossroads invite us to choose life and offer God all the glory moment by moment and in our testimonies. God cares enough to set us up in “impossible” situations so that our only way of escape is He Himself. God’s grace is sufficient, more than enough. He is our ultimate provider. And if, in our limitations, we depend fully upon Him, He is honored, and we are empowered beyond ourselves.
When we walk in righteous obedience to God, He takes care of all that comes against us for us. He fights our battles, and He promises to protect us. Even though evil looms, it will not defeat us. Even when the calling is bigger than we, and everyone and everything around us seems to oppose us, we do not have to worry because God is using all of it for His good, to make us better. God is always in control. He is faithful. His timing is perfect, and He never forsakes us.
God’s will for all His children is that we rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing and in all things to give thanks to Him, even during the inevitable difficulties of life that we all have to face – and in the midst of the various trials that are the portion of all humanity. Trials are a vehicle that God uses.. to test and increase our faith in Him, and to appraise and develop our trust in His Word – and we are told in the Scriptures to greatly rejoice in the Lord – even though for a time we may have to suffer much grief and all kinds of difficulties.
“These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold–though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” 1 Peter 1:7
We have to remember that the trial that comes our way is not a stick of punishment from an angry God for our misdemeanors, but the corrective, chastening rod of our loving heavenly Father, Who loved us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to pay the price for our sin – so that by believing in Him we might receive forgiveness of sins and life everlasting.
Trials may not be easy, but God is ultimately in control and He has promised that they are designed for a distinct and wonderful purpose – which will only become fully evident when the Lord Jesus returns for His church.
The trying experiences of today are preparing us for a glorious tomorrow. They are designed to test our faith; develop our faith; hone our faith and increase our faith in our Father in heaven. The faith of each of His children is valuable to the Lord – more precious to Him than much fine gold, which will one day perish.
Let us rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing and give thanks in all things – even during the trial that come our way.. knowing that the trial of our faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found to praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.
If you’re a faithful follower of Jesus, you should not feel overwhelmed. Why? Because God’s love is sufficient to meet your needs. Whatever dangers you may face, whatever heartbreaks you must endure, God is with you, and He stands ready to comfort you. What you believe about God makes a difference. Not in God, but in the way you live. God is constant but your comprehension of God has everything to do with your faith and hope in this world. Look at what David believed. He saw God as his rock, fortress, savior, protection, shield, power and safety. How do you think this affected his attitude during a crisis? Time and experience had taught David well.
“The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.” Psalm18:2
All that David went through only made him stronger and deepened his beliefs about the God who is there. The God who cares. The God who is able. What is God to you? Is He your rock, fortress and protection? Do you come to Him when the world gets too tough? Is God your power? Can you trust in Him to supply all that you need for each and every day? David felt so and so can you. Today, step out in faith. Ask God to reveal Himself to you and give you a fresh faith like David had. When you do, you will find God to be all that you need.
Meditate on the metaphors that David gave us. See God as a great mountain. A rock that becomes a fortress. See yourself protected from harm, living high above the troubles below. Sense the strength of God as He protects you. Visualize yourself coming to Him and He lovingly keeps you from all harm. Picture Him as your protector and as your Savior. See Him as the one who loves you with an everlasting love. It is His love that envelopes you in care and safety. It is His love that allows you to affirm, “God is my rock, my fortress and my Savior.”
This cry from Jesus still rings out in the hearts of many on today. Is this your cry to the Lord on today? Does God seem far away when you need Him the most? Are you feeling abandoned by God in your circumstances? Are you no longer feeling close to God? Where are you today? Are you in the middle of one of those times where you doubt God and his ability to bring you through? Do you feel alone? Are you ready to give up on something because you believe God is not moving fast enough on your behalf? If this is where you are I hope and pray this message ministers to you in your time of need, Love to you all!
About the 9th hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice saying “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani,” that is “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46
In your sufferings, do you feel as if God does not care? Well, He does. God is indeed concerned about you, therefore I urge you, I plea with you on today not to give up. “Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5. Feeling abandoned by God because of life’s test and trials? To those of you who may be feeling abandoned by God, God is sending forth words of comfort and peace to you in your time of trouble and or affliction. He declares to you on today that He has not forgotten you.
“Be strong and of a good courage. Fear not, nor be afraid of them, for the Lord your God, it is He who goes with you. He will not fail you, nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine. When you pass through waters, I will be with you. And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame kindle on you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;” Isaiah 43:2-3
In a chaotic world where there seems to be so many reasons to fear and feel abandoned, God says to us “fear not” for I am with you. The call today is to be still and know that God is God, for you are not abandoned by God. Be still!!! Not in stillness of physical movement or stillness in our service unto the Lord, but stillness in our minds. A stillness that takes us away from the frantic to and from of the mind. This is the place where God is calling us to on today.
Remember, God on the mountain is the same God in the valley. Feeling abandoned by God? Well, God says you are not! Take Him at His Word on today. Whatever you are going through is temporary. God and His Word is eternal. People of God, you have an assurance of God’s ever presence in your life. “NEVER” will God leave you or forsake you for He declares to you and I on today that He will never leave us nor forsake us, but lo He is with us always, even unto the end of the ages.