This past week has been a week of victory…over what appeared to be a week of defeat. You know…it’s amazing how Satan not only afflicts us…but also, it’s amazing how he uses these moments, to make us believe things that just aren’t true.
It seems like from there, we get all flustered and overwhelmed, by the lies that Satan is attempting to pound us with; that we find ourselves attempting to come out of these distressing moments, with our own weapons of war, rather than with the power of God by our side.
In Psalm 44:5-7, we read… “Through thee will we push down our enemies: through thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us. 6 For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me. 7 But thou hast saved us from our enemies, and hast put them to shame that hated us.”
One thing I’ve always liked about King David; is that he always took God with him into battle. He knew that his sword alone was not powerful enough, to destroy his enemies…but he did come to see that when God’s power was in the sword; then there could be victory!
How many times, do we attempt to go into battle without God? Don’t we realize that this is not only dangerous; but that our own so-called power isn’t great enough to have victory over these difficult moments we face.
Through my own life, I have come to see that facing these battles alone, only places us in dangerous territory…where we become even more vulnerable to Satan and his ways. The only way we are going to be able to overcome these battles that rage within us; is when we allow God to go into battle with us; knowing that His power alone can save us from the enemy! Praise God!
Today, I would like to share a Bible verse with you…that probably most of us know. Even though it’s simple to memorize and remember at the same time, it holds so much hope…hope that can help us to press on…despite what we may be facing at the time…and this Bible verse is in Philippians 4:13…and we read…“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
How many times do we quickly recite a verse like this one…thinking we know it; but yet maybe we find out later; that we have memorized the verse and completely bypassed the meaning. This is one reason why I’d like to share some thoughts on Philippians 4:13 today.
When we stop and truly dissect this verse…we see a God who is showing us a limitless strength…a strength that can help us to accomplish anything that comes our way. Do we truly know what kind of strength God is offering us through this verse? It’s a strength that never wavers…a strength that’s never ending…and it’s definitely not like our own so-called strength.
As I think back…over the past few days…I see moments, when I felt as if I was going to collapse…due to pain, tiredness and a lot of work…but as I got up the other day…it was as if God was speaking to my spirit and saying… “Diane, you put a foot forward and keep pressing on and I will give you the strength you need;” so I got up from the daybed in the office and began to put a foot forward…and as I did, I could feel a powerful strength kick in. Even though I still felt tired and weighed down from the week…I was able to plow through it and do everything that needed to be accomplished…and that was only because I found out that I could do all things…because of God’s powerful strength…a strength that can definitely go into overdrive, when our strength is gone!
One thing I’ve learned over time…and that is to never give up…because this only delays the help that God longs to give us. God not only longs to hear our prayers; but He also wants to see hearts that relay another message…a message that says to Him… “Look God…I’m trying…could you give me a helping hand.”
It seems like the past few days, have been one struggle after another. I don’t know about you; but when the heart is hurting deeply, it can be difficult to even speak one word…let alone a prayer.
One thing I have come to see overtime; is that when we can’t speak through the hurt; that God will look deep within the heart and read the thoughts and hurtful feelings that have been etched within the wall of the heart. We must remember that God is not like any other…for He is a God who not only created us; but knows every part of our being.
In Psalm 34:18, we read… “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Throughout my life, I have truly experienced this verse, which has given me hope today, for the uncertain moments I’m walking through.
At a time, when we feel as if God has abandoned us; this actually becomes the time, when He is even closer to us…feeling every broken moment that we’re experiencing. Sometimes, the difficult moments we face, can make us feel so alone…in a world of our own; but let me encourage you today; that even though we feel this way…God is there, in that world with us and He’s placing His loving arms around us…holding us close and shielding us, from the storms that have attempted to take hold of us.
No matter what you’re facing right now, just know that God’s presence surrounds you and He will never take His eyes off of you…for He loves you…and if He didn’t want to love and care for you; then He would have never created you. Just know that God is there with you right now…reading the tablet of your heart…and He will save those, who are crushed in spirit!!
As I began my week, I wanted to reconstruct something on the website; but due to grocery shopping and other things; I thought that I would have to wait until next week. As I thought more, on what I could do, to get the ball rolling…God began to fill my thoughts with ideas, on how I could add a few things into my Monday; so I could do what I felt He was leading me to do…and I’m happy to say…I was ready to begin the project of reconstructing this page on the website, by Tuesday morning.
After getting my morning schedule done on Tuesday…and a few things prepped for dinner; I headed into the office and began the work that God had laid upon my heart to do. I don’t know why…but I stood amazed, as to how everything fell right into place like a puzzle…and in no time, the project had been completed.
As I’ve been thinking on this today…God began to lead me to a Bible verse in Psalm 128:1, which reads… “Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways.” Do we realize how uncomplicated life could be; if only we were willing to go in God’s direction, rather than our own? I could have allowed all this work to overwhelm me; but because I felt God’s leading in it all; I just knew that He would bring it together much easier, than what I could have ever imagine.
I have learned through a lot of pain and heartache; that the best route to take in life; is the route that leads me in God’s direction. When we choose to allow pride to get in the way; then we just may find; that there may be a serious fall…awaiting us down the road. If we would only long to please God, rather than ourselves; then I’m sure that we would always find ourselves walking in His ways.
One thing I’ve learned over time…and that is to remind myself that there is no use of trying to walk down a path, where I can’t even begin to know the way. Rather than finding ourselves along a broken path; maybe it’s time to lay our own thoughts…plans and ideas to the side and open ourselves completely up to God. One thing I know…especially from this week; is that God does know the right way…and once we are ready to follow His lead; then in the end, we will truly find His very best for our lives!
How is it that we fear our circumstances but we don’t have a healthy fear of God? As I’ve been sitting here…reflecting on the powerful presence of God, I’ve been thinking on how we tend to lean in the direction; of fearing a circumstance that is much weaker than the powerful God that lives within us.
What actually is the meaning of a “healthy fear of God?” Let’s look at it this way…when we fear the moments that are attempting to take us down; then we are more focused on the weakness and where it may lead us but when we have a healthy fear of God; then we have our focus on God and the things that are important for spiritual growth. In other words, when we fear God; then we are always striving to do what pleases Him, as we shift our thoughts away from an unhealthy fear of our problems, to a healthy fear of God…which in the long run, will steer us in a direction that can draw us closer to God and further away from the problems we’re facing.
As I was looking through some Bible verses, my attention was being drawn to a verse in Proverbs 1:7 and we read…“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” When we have a healthy fear of the Lord; then we are also opening ourselves up to Him, rather than the circumstances that surround us and once we reach this point; our minds and hearts become more open to His knowledge and instruction. Think of it this way…when we allow our thoughts and hearts to become cluttered with the fear of a problem, by the way we are perceiving it; then we have filled our hearts and minds with an unhealthy fear, which does not give room for God to work and draw us to the knowledge that can free us from these difficult moments.
I remember a time in my life, when I would allow the uncertain moments ahead of me, to have control over my thoughts; to the place, where I couldn’t relax or even rest at night. Through time, I came to connect more deeply with a powerful God and see that He was a god that wasn’t going to let me down. Once I turned away from an unhealthy form of fear and began to connect with a healthy fear of God; then from that point on, there was no doubt in my mind; that God wouldn’t see me through the difficult times.
Why do we put ourselves through needless moments of heartache, by allowing the fear of a problem to dictate our lives? Today, we need to fear a God that is rich in power, knowledge, wisdom and truth…a God that can fill the empty spaces of our minds and hearts, with the thoughts and words that can walk us away from despair. When we are willing to turn to God, rather than the fear of a problem; that is when we will come to see that there is a way out, of the moments that have attempted to spell defeat.
Sometimes I wonder why we turn to God for guidance. Here, we find ourselves, at what we feel is the end of our rope. Everything that we have tried has not succeeded; so we turn to the One, who can make it succeed for us; but then we find ourselves completely inattentive to His ways, while we go our own way. How is that?
In Proverbs 3:5-7, we read…“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.”
One thing I have come to see within my own life; is that it’s not always easy to test the waters with God and let go of ourselves…because when we do that; then it’s like letting go of one rope to take hold of another, which can seem pretty scary at times; especially since our circumstance is making us feel, as if we are dangling over a cliff of deep despair.
You know…we need to come to the place in our lives, where we can truly say that we trust God. Words are not going to matter, while facing these difficult times; but rather action is what is going to allow God to lift us up and out of these pits of despair.
I think that if we can see our rope…as a rope that evil is working at, to take us down with; then we will be more likely to trust and take hold of the rope that God is using to save us. We need to ask ourselves…as to why we are choosing to cling to a rope that eventually may break and take us down to a place of total destruction?
No matter what we face…it’s time to trust God and know that He will never let us fall; but rather, He will give us a rope of hope that can lift us up and out of these difficult times we’re facing…and once He’s brought us up and out of these moments of despair; He will direct us and keep us safe…on a path that will keep us distant from evil and closer to Him…Amen!
How many times do we quit and throw in the towel…just because we see the difficult moments, as something we can’t get through? Don’t we realize that it’s not our strength that causes us to press on to begin with; but rather, it’s the strength of a powerful God that helps us to keep pressing on? We must remember that no matter what we face…God’s strength is powerful enough to keep us going…no matter what we may be walking through at the time.
Today, as I was thumbing my way through God’s word, I came across a Bible verse in Psalm 73:26, which reads… “My flesh and my heart faileth; but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.” In my Bible, I have the word “but” and the word “and” highlighted because they actually become words of hope in this verse. First off…the word “but” is actually leading us away from the distress we may be feeling, to remind us that God can step in and be the strength we need, during the difficult times. Also…the word “and” reminds us that God will be there for us, in this way forever, which can keep us safe and secure…in the knowledge that our God will never leave us or forsake us…no matter what.
We all experience difficult times…some worse than others; but no matter what we walk through, we can walk through it…knowing that when our strength has come to its end…a different strength will kick in…a strength that is ongoing, with no end to it…and that strength comes from God.
Today, you may be feeling drained and overwhelmed by life’s problems. Maybe you are about to throw in the towel and give up…just by what you see before you. May I encourage you to let go, of what’s left of yourself and take hold of a God, who will hold you up and be the strength you need, to make it through these rough and difficult moments of your life. One thing I know…once you have experienced God’s never ending strength…you will not only live with a renewed hope that you can make it; but I guarantee that you will never be the same again!!
How often do we ask for God’s help and receive guidance through His word; but yet, we only listen and see; but never react, in the way that He is leading us? Sometimes, I think that this may be our way of escaping a difficult path, for an easier one.
In Isaiah 42:20, we read… “Seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears, but he heareth not.” Let’s face it…I don’t think that any one of us desires to walk down a difficult path in life; but what we don’t realize at the time; is that these paths aren’t meant to make life worse; but rather, to eventually lead us to a better life, while drawing us closer to God. When we ignore these moments of God’s leading, we only allow life to become worse; because first of all…our own path is taking us away from God…and second…these paths we choose to follow on our own may be leading us to other problems.
We need to realize that we not only need to see with our eyes and hear with our ears; but we also need to take in what God is relaying to us and follow thru, with His plan for our lives. In other words; we need to take in what He’s showing us and what He is speaking to our hearts about and put it into action. It’s only through His leading; that we will make it through this life…to where He longs for us to be.
Today, you may be feeling convicted by God, as to what He longs for you to do in your life. From experience, may I suggest that you listen to that still small voice within your spirit and follow His leading…because just as I have learned…God’s words and thoughts can lead us all away from moments of needless suffering, to a place where we can truly experience His best for our lives.
How many times have we felt like God doesn’t understand what we are facing at the time…or maybe we get so caught up in the thought that God has truly walked away from us. Either way, I think that sometimes we don’t take the time to focus on God’s word…the word that can bring hope…and the truth that can free us…of this way of thinking.
Last night before going to bed, I was reading Psalm 139 and in verses 1-4, we read… “O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. 2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. 3 Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. 4 For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.”
Here we sit and think that God doesn’t have a clue, as to what we are going through; but yet, His word tells us that He knows us. In fact, He knows such intricate things, such as when we sit down and when we rise up…and He knows our every thought and where we are at the moment…and He even knows what we’re going to say, before we even speak it.
One thing I have come to see through my own moments of affliction; is that we tend to be the one who walks away from God…or pushes Him away, rather than the other way around. You ask me how? First of all…we can push God away from us, just by the choices we make and also the way we think and react to a problem. In other words…when we react to a problem in a negative way; then we are not only pushing God away; but we are also being drawn further into the problem. Isn’t it amazing how we can cover up our own tracks and make it appear, as if God is the one who has abandoned us?
No matter what we go through in this life; God’s word has assured us that He is there…for He is watching our every move…and if He truly knows everything about us, as stated in His word; then He surely knows when we are hurting and going through these difficult times in our lives.
So many times, we become caught up in what is happening to us at the moment…that we also seem to get trapped within a thought that relays a message of no hope. We sit and wonder why God has allowed a situation like this to enter our lives…and even more, we wonder at times, if we will ever come through these trying times.
One thing I know from experience; is that whatever God allows within our lives…He also has the control over evil to stop it. In Psalm 34:19, we read… “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.”
One thing that has helped me, while facing some very overwhelming circumstances in my life; is to remember that Jesus died an undefeated death…and so, if He was willing to give up His very life…out of love for us; then why would He turn His back on us and walk the other way, while leaving us stuck in the muck and mire of our despair?
We need to realize today; that if Jesus was to walk away and abandon us…when we need Him the most; then His undefeated death would become void…for He didn’t die an undefeated death, to become defeated in our lives.
No matter what you may be experiencing today; just keep this in your thoughts; that your God will come…just at the right time and save you, from whatever you’re going through. We don’t always understand God’s timing; but one thing we know for sure and that is this…that even though we may walk down some difficult roads and face some very trying times in our lives; God is more than capable of delivering each and every one of us, from the hands of Satan…just as He did for His Son, on the cross!!