Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Ephesians 3:20, 21 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
“Exceedingly abundantly”.....I like that phrase. God is the God of “exceedingly abundances”. There is no lack, no shortage, no inability or impossibilities with God! He is El Shaddai, the all-sufficient One!
The Amplified Bible records Ephesians 3:20 like this:
Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do super abundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]--
God, by His power that works within us is able to do super abundantly more than what we would dare to ask of Him that is far beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes or dreams!
I want to ask you this morning: What is it that is far beyond your highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes or dreams that you would like to see God do in your life? God is able! God is willing! God has the power to do it! God has the resources to bring it into being!
The question then becomes: Why am I not seeing it happen?
Now that's where the complication comes in. We often do not see the super-abundance that God wants to bring into our lives because we don't believe that He wants to do; that He will do it, or that He is able to do it for us. We can see Him doing great things for other people, but we have difficulty believing that He would do those same things for us.
It then boils down to this question: What power is it that is working within us?
The Scripture says God works His super-abundance within us according to “His power that works in us”! His power is what does the work to provide the super-abundance! But many times the negative, unbelieving power that says “it'll never happen for me” becomes more influential or more outstanding to us than the fact that God's power is greater than any other power that would try to manifest itself in our thinking.
The power that is referred to in this Scripture is the power of God's Spirit within a believer! That is the same Spirit that raised Christ Jesus from the dead after His crucifixion!
The Greek word for “power” in Ephesians 3:20 is “dunamis”. It's definition is force (lit. or fig.); spec. miraculous power; ability, abundance, meaning, might; power, strength, violence, mighty (wonderful) work.
It is the word from which we get our English word “dynamite”. The dynamic, miraculous, abundant, wonderful power of God is what works in you to manifest His exceedingly abundant promises!
Exceedingly abundantly – Greek word “perissos” – means super-abundance, excessive, overflowing surplus, over and above, more than enough, profuse, extraordinary, above the ordinary, more than sufficient.
The abundance that is referred to in this scripture is the same abundance that Jesus spoke of in John 10:10:
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may it more abundantly.”
This is the same Greek word “perissos” that means super-abundance. Jesus came to give us a super-abundant life! When we think of abundance as a Biblical term we must understand that God gave His Son, Jesus, to die for us to forgive us from the sin that separates us from God, to heal our bodies, and to deliver us from poverty and lack. Those three areas comprise the needs of the total man: spirit, soul, and body. Biblical abundance or prosperity then means health for your total being (body, mind, emotions, relationships), as well as provision for your material needs. The power of God's Spirit within us works to supply in abundance the provision that is needed in each area of our lives.
Are you seeing the exceedingly abundantly happen in your life? If not, have you asked God to do the miraculous in your situation? If so, are you believing that He will do it?
Everything that we receive from God comes by His grace through our faith. His grace is what supplies the super-abundance and our faith is what carries it to us. God has already laid up in Heaven the grace to supply your every need, even the miraculous things that seem to be too big and too far out of reach.
There is a promise in God's word for every need that we will ever face in our lives. Faith reaches out into God's storehouse of provision and lays hold of the promise that He gives us that meets the need that we are facing. When we place our trust in God, pray for our needs, believe we receive them when we pray and do not doubt, God's word says we will have those things that we have ask of Him.
Mark 11:22-24 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”
Faith and doubt cannot co-exist if you want to see the promises of God manifest in your life. I'm sure you have heard the term “doubting Thomas” sometime during your lifetime. It is referring to Thomas in the Bible when he didn't believe that Jesus had risen from the dead without first seeing Him. It is recorded in John 20:24-29:
Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Thomas is termed as “doubting Thomas” because he doubted that Jesus had risen from the dead and refused to believe until he saw Him. Jesus told Thomas that he had believed because he saw the proof right there with him, but those who believe without seeing are the ones who are blessed. Faith reaches out into the spiritual realm where God has laid up His promises for us and pulls those things that we have need of into existence through believing before we see them manifested. Jesus said those are the ones who are blessed!
Paul referred to this act of faith as fighting the good fight of faith and laying hold on eternal life.
1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
I remember as a little girl that sometimes we would have snapping turtles come into the ditch in front of our house after a big rain and my mother cautioned me about not getting too close to them because with their long necks they could reach out and bite me. She said a snapping turtle wouldn't turn loose until it thundered. Of course, as a little girl that frightened me and has stuck with me all through the years. Fighting the good fight of faith brings that thought back to my remembrance and gives me a picture of fighting like that snapping turtle holding on for dear life. Another term that I think about when I am fighting the good fight of faith is that of “bull-dog tenacity”. In other words, both of these terms give me the connotation to “lay hold of eternal life” as being done with tenacious endurance, fighting as if I were in a fierce battle to win at all costs! That's what faith does!
Hebrews 10:35-39 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: “For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith, But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in Him.” But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.
Don't give up before the manifestation of your promise! Don't throw away your confidence that God is working in you to do the exceedingly abundantly things that He has promised! Exercise tenacity and endure until it arrives! Live by faith, not by what you see, hear, think, feel or taste. God is faithful to do all that He promises in your life. Will you receive it?
Father, I thank You for the exceedingly abundances that I have seen You do in my life. You have always been faithful to keep Your promises to me. Thank You for Your faithfulness to Your word and to Your people. You are great and greatly to be praised! Wonderful, precious, Almighty God, I worship and praise You today for you are worthy!
Father, I pray this morning for those who are needing a miracle in their lives. I ask You, Father, to bring into manifestation those things that they are praying for, believing for and waiting to see come into existence. Give them a glimpse of what You are doing in their lives so they may continue to hope and put their trust in You. Father, I know that You are able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that they might dare to pray, ask, or imagine according to Your power that works in them. Thank You for fulfilling Your promises in their lives. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Monday, December 10, 2012
Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
It is the time of the year when we all begin to think about what we will do in the upcoming year. There will be New Year resolutions that many will make and hope to see fulfilled. New diets will be started; some will stop smoking and vow to give it up through the power of a New Year's resolution. But the only thing that works successfully is what is done through the power of the blood of Jesus. Life can't be lived to fulfillment through human, fleshly endeavors. The only sustainable success is found in the life that we life in Jesus Christ. If you lack the victory, you might want to take a look at from what you are trying to achieve your success. Is it through trying to be good, or strong enough to accomplish it on your own? Or is it through your dependency on Christ Jesus?
I see three key components in Galatians 2:20:
1) When Christ died on that cross, I died with Him. Does that mean that I physically went to the cross and died? No, it's a spiritual death in relation to the ability of sin to reign over me. Paul said in Romans 6:6:
knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
Once Jesus nailed our sins to the cross, that dominion of sin over our lives was broken. Now when we sin it is because we have yielded to it. There is no power of sin that holds a believer in Christ captive to do what it wants. We have the freedom to choose.
Romans 6:12-14 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
We no longer have to obey the lust of the flesh, the sinful acts that go against God's righteous plan for our lives. Sin no longer gets to control us. We now can yield to the power of the Holy Spirit through the blood of Jesus that was shed for us to obtain victory in every area of our lives! Hallelujah!
2) Christ lives in me. According to Colossians 2:8-10 In Christ dwells the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form. It goes on to say that we are complete in Christ Jesus who is the head of all principality and power. What exactly does it mean to be “in Him”? Well, to me it means that when I accepted Christ Jesus as my Lord and Savior I was placed “in Him”, in the family of God and in Him I lack nothing that I need, whether it is physical, spiritual, mental, emotional or financial, because there is no lack in Christ Jesus. The fullness of God bodily dwells in Him. He is the Head and I am a part of His Body, the Church.
3) The life I now live I live by faith in the Son of God. I live my life in Christ Jesus by faith, not by sight; not by what I see, feel, hear, think or touch, but by what the Word of God says. Faith reaches out and takes the word of God literally by believing it is true and that it will work in my life before I see it happen in the natural. If God says I can do all things through Christ Jesus and He places within my heart to accomplish something for Him or to better my life in Him, then I depend on His directions to accomplish it and step out in faith to do it. I don't wait for things to line up perfectly so I can see that it will work, I rest my trust in Him to lead me to accomplish it by faith.
Ecclesiates 11:4 NIV Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.
If you are waiting for things to be perfect, then you will wait all your life because perfection is not in this world that we live in. If we do not seek the Lord and follow His directions we'll be waiting forever for a perfect set of circumstances in which to accomplish what we desire.
My desire for 2013 is as the picture above states: to be so full of Christ Jesus that even the mosquito who bites me goes away saying: “there's power in the blood”! In other words, I pray that in the upcoming year my life will reflect to all around me that it is the life of Jesus within me that accomplishes all that I set out to do. For I am not my own, I was bought with a price: the precious blood of Jesus!
1 Peter 1:18, 19; 21 NIV For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. Through Him you believe in God, who raised Him from the dead, and glorified Him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
I like how the New International Version describes my life before I met Christ: “the empty way of life”. My life was empty before I came to salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ. My life now is full and exciting with purpose! I know who I am in Christ Jesus. How about you?
Father, I thank You for this year. I can look back and see things that I would have liked to have been different, but I know that Your goodness has surrounded me throughout this year and that You will go before me into 2013 to prepare my way to be successful and victorious in it! Thank You, Father, for the power that I have in the blood of Jesus to effect change not only in my life, but in the lives of others around me. There is power in the blood of Jesus! Thank You, Lord Jesus, for shedding your precious blood that all mankind might be free from the dominion of sin, sickness and disease and poverty and lack. I thank You for the full work that you did on the cross for mankind. Your died for the whole man: spirit, soul and body and I thank You for the complete work effected on our behalf through Your death, burial and resurrection! To You be all glory and honor and praise!
Father, I pray for those this morning who are expecting You to work miracles in their lives in the upcoming year. It is by faith that we receive all things from You. Your grace has provided for our every need and our faith is the vehicle that brings it into manifestation. As You prayed for Simon Peter in Luke 22:32 that his faith might not fail in the time of testing by Satan, so I pray for my friends this morning that their faith would be strengthened for the journey and that they would be able to accomplish those things that are set before them through faith in You, in Your ability to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we could ask or imagine through Your power that works in us. Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Sunday, December 09, 2012
Psalm 147:1-5 PRAISE the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful. The LORD builds up Jerusalem; He gathers together the outcasts of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds. He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name. Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.
God is great and greatly to be praised! His power is mighty; His knowledge is infinite. He sees everyone in every situation all at once. He sees the beginning to the end in one big picture. One day is as a thousand years to our God. And He is intimately involved in all our ways.
Matthew 10:29-31 “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father's will. “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. “Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
God knows everything that is happening in your life. He even knows how many hairs there are on your head. He values you above all of His creation. He loves you and cares about your every move. His love is never-ending.
Isaiah 54:10 NIV Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.
Psalm 145:8, 9 The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy. The LORD is good to all, And His tender mercies are over all His works.
When troubles come upon us and we feel we have no place to turn we must remember that God is greater than anything that would come against us and He loves us, cares for us and wants to help us through the difficulties. The enemy comes with his voice of discouragement and despair, but God is always there to help us overcome the temptation to give up, to quit or to end it all because of the disappointment of life.
Jeremiah 31:3 The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
That phrase “of old” in that scripture actually means “from afar”. “The LORD has appeared to me from afar”. Does it seem that God is far away from you because of the problems in your life? He really isn't, but difficulties will try to separate you from Him. The devil will tell you that God is far away from you and doesn't care, but His word tells us otherwise. God's word proclaims throughout from Genesis to Revelation His love for His people. When the enemy comes with His lies you must be the one that shuts the door on his condemning words. God loves you and has proven His love through His gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:8, 9 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
If God loved you so much while you were still a sinner to give Jesus to die for you, does He love you any less now? No, He loves you! Many people are walking around thinking God is mad at them because of something they may have done or not done, or because they are going through difficulties, but God is not made at you! God loves you! The enemy is the one who comes to steal your peace! The devil wants to destroy you; God loves you and has provided salvation and deliverance for you. He sent Jesus to die for you that you might have abundant life!
John 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
The thief is the devil. He comes only to steal from you, to kill you and to destroy your life. He has a plan for your life just like God has a plan for your life. The difference is that the devil's plan is for evil and destruction and God's plan for your life is for abundance! When the devil comes with his lies you must recognize them for what they are and shut the door on His voice. Listen to God's voice; believe in His plan for your life and trust Him to bring you through the difficult times to abundance.
Even though this is a season of celebration, there are many who are among us who are hurting and discouraged. Life goes on and days of trouble still happen even in times of joyous celebration. The key to winning over the difficulties of life is remembering that regardless of what you may be experiencing, God is for you; He is with you and He will help you overcome!
Father, I come before You this morning to worship You for Who You are! You are our God! There is none above You or beside You. You are worthy, Lord Jesus, to receive glory and honor and praise, for You are the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of mankind. Thank You for laying down Your life for the sheep. Thank You for dying that I might live!
Father, I lift up the brokenhearted to You this morning. You said in Your word in Luke 4:18 that Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted. Father, I ask You to heal the hurts in the hearts of those who are brokenhearted this morning. I pray that You will lift them up from the despair that they are in right now and give comfort and healing to their hearts. Father, I praise You for being close to them. I thank You for wrapping them in a cocoon of Your peace today. I ask You to reveal Yourself to them in ways that they will know that it is You and that You are with them to guide, direct and help them. Thank You, Father, for bringing restoration into their lives and for giving back to them the years and things that the devil has stolen from them. Restore Your children to good health; physically, mentally, emotionally and financially! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Saturday, December 08, 2012
2 Corinthians 1:3, 4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
I woke up this morning with the word “comfort” on my heart. Today is the day that we say a final goodbye to a friend. God tells us in these two verses of scripture that He comforts us in all our troubles so that when others are going through difficulties we may be able to comfort them. We are “comfort carriers”!
Comfort – Greek word paraklesis – means: A calling alongside to help, to comfort, to give consolation or encouragement.
The most important name for a Comforter that I find in the Word of God is the name of the Holy Spirit as being the Paraclete; One who is called alongside to help, comfort, to give consolation or encouragement. Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as the Paraclete in John 14:16:
(AMP) And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever—The Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive (welcome, take to its heart, because it does not see Him or know and recognize Him. But you know and recognize Him, for He lives with you [constantly] and will be in you.
The Holy Spirit was sent by the Father to live within the hearts of those who would receive Jesus as Savior and Lord to be their Comforter, Helper, Advocate, Strengthener and Standby. He comforts and helps us when we are going through difficulties so that we can pass that same comfort and help on to others that we encounter who are experiencing difficulty in their lives.
Paul went on to say in 2 Corinthians 1:5-7 that his comfort abounded through Christ. In other words, when he experienced difficulties, trials and persecutions, suffering in his walk through Christianity, that he found an abundance of consolation or comfort through Christ. He said earlier in verse 3 that God is the God of all comfort. We have this hope in Christ Jesus that we can know that when we go through difficult times He is right there to comfort and help us! We do not got through difficult times alone. The Holy Spirit lives within us to give us comfort!
Another thing that I noticed about comfort in the Word is that God instructs us to comfort one another. As He comforts us we are to pass it on to others!
2 Corinthians 1:4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
God is always working on both ends of a situation, in the lives of all involved. He gives us the comfort so we will be strengthened through the difficulty and then expects us to pass it on to those who may be experiencing the same things. Having lost a husband and understanding the pain that is involved in that experience I feel a closeness to those who may be going through that same trial. My heart goes out to the widow who has lost her mate. As I was comforted by God and those around me I am now able to comfort others who are hurting.
2 Corinthians 7:6 Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus.
God works through other believers to bring comfort to those who are downcast and hurting. He moves through His Body, the believers.
2 Corinthians 7:13 Therefore we have been comforted in your comfort. And we rejoiced exceedingly more for the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all.
For the Body of Christ to function as it should, everyone involved must be ready to offer comfort to those around them who are hurting and brokenhearted. One of the things that Jesus said He was sent to do as Savior and Lord was to heal the brokenhearted.
Luke 4:18, 19 “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD”
As He is the head and we are the body, our responsibility is to function at the direction of the Head. We are His hands and feet, moving in harmony with His instructions and in so doing healing the brokenhearted.
1 Corinthians 12:12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.
If you have received Christ Jesus as Savior and Lord you are a member of His body.
1 Corinthians 12:18 But now God has set the members each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.
God places us in the Body of Christ as members as He pleases; each with a different gift or ability of His Spirit to function as a whole. Our job is to be ready to move at His direction operating through the power of the Holy Spirit as He anoints us to do the work of ministry; to comfort, heal, bring deliverance and freedom to those who are bound by sin, sickness and disease and oppression; to comfort and strengthen those who are hurting.
1 Corinthians 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
1 Corinthians 12:26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
As I think back to when I lost my husband I experienced first hand the comfort of the Body of Christ. I had been in the Kansas City area for only three months when Larry died. I had a new job where I was not very well known, a new church home in which I knew very few people and yet the members of that church gathered around me and carried me through the months of grief that I experienced. I lived in a small basement apartment as I had not had time to even get into a new house where I could hold a funeral dinner after the funeral. My sister-in-law opened her home for that meal that my new church family so graciously provided. It was a very difficult time for me that was complicated by being so new to the area and away from all my old friends that I had so depended upon in the past. But the comfort that comes from Christ knows no stranger, for in His Body all are brothers and sisters, the family of God.
May we always function in the gifting of the Body of Christ; looking for the hurting, ready to comfort those who are brokenhearted!
Father, I pray this morning for those who are hurting that may be needing Your comfort. I pray that You will place people around them who will be sensitive to their pain and offer the consolation of the Holy Spirit to carry them through the difficult time. I pray that You will comfort through Your Body and that Your Body will be quick to move into action to bring hope to the hopeless and freedom to those who are oppressed or depressed through the loss of a loved one, a relationship, a home and job; whatever may be the loss. I pray that Your Body will bring that comfort that You give to them. Thank You, Father, for being close to those who are hurting. Thank You for healing the brokenhearted! Thank You for giving hope when their seems to be no hope for tomorrow. Father, I know that there is life after death, whether it be physical death or emotional death. You have a good plan for Your children who are are experiencing pain that seems to have no end. I thank You for bringing them through this to a better tomorrow. Give them the ability to see You in all of this and know that You have a good plan for their lives. Thank You for lifting them up, for granting them peace and for healing their hurts. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Thursday, December 06, 2012
As I was walking yesterday morning in the heavy fog it seemed as if I was surrounded by a warm cocoon. Even though the temperature wasn't all that warm, the cocoon seemed to encircle me in it's safety. As I walked and prayed I heard the Holy Spirit say to me, “turn your negatives into positives”. It was at that point that I began thinking about the old saying that says, “there's a silver lining in every dark cloud.” Isn't that what we all want to see in every unfortunate situation? Another idiom is “this, too, shall pass”. Even though both of these idioms are not directly found in the Bible their principles are. Both of them pertain to the perspective we hold about what we are experiencing in life.
Sometimes it seems as if life closes in around us just like that cloud of fog that I was in as I walked. We can't see past the exterior boundaries of the fog. It seems as if there is no world outside of what we are experiencing right now. As I think back through the years I am convinced that had I not pressed through the boundaries of what I was experiencing to touch the future in a real way that I would have been consumed by the fog of adversity at that particular moment. We often think there is nothing good that could come from the trial in which we are involved.
There is a song that was originally recorded by the McKameys called “God Will Make This Trial A Blessing”. I couldn't find a really good video of it, but I wanted to share the lyrics with you because they speak so well of the trials that we experience in life and how God turns them for our good.
I've just come into a valley one like I've never been before
I keep searching for a way out seems like padlocks are on the doors
Oh there must be another sunrise another sunset that I'll see
God will make this trial a blessing that's the love He has for me
God will make this trial a blessing though it sends me to my knees
Though my tears flow like a river yet in Him there's sweet relief
There's no need to get discouraged there's no need to talk defeat
God will make this trial a blessing and the whole wide world will see
I was not the first one to come into this place
You see every child of God this test he must face
It is here that God will mold you and make you what you ought to be
God will make this trial a blessing just be patient you will see
Now I'm standing on the mountain looking back and I can see
When I was in that lowest valley His strong hand was leading me
Oh it's good to see the sunshine and to taste sweet victory
God has made this trial a blessing oh the grace He gives to me
I am reminded of some of the Bible characters that experienced extreme hardship in life and how God turned it around for their good. I think of Joseph and how his brothers sold him into slavery and He spent 13 years away from his family in Egyptian exile. When speaking of what his brothers did to him Joseph replied:
Genesis 50:19-21 Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to save many people alive. “Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
Joseph realized that God was in charge of his life and he willingly endured the evil that his brothers had brought upon him knowing that God had a bigger plan than what he had experienced at their hands. He knew that God would turn his trial into a blessing if he patiently endure the adversity.
Think about how many difficulties the Israelites experienced at the hands of their oppressors, the Egyptians, and how God turned their trial into a blessing by bringing them out of bondage and taking them into the promised land.
The disciples watched their beloved Jesus be put to death at the hands of the Roman soldiers. When Jesus was crucified it was the darkest day of their lives. They couldn't see past the cloud of heartache that they were experiencing. But on the third day God raised Jesus up out of that grave to new life. He was alive! Peter ran to the tomb and marveled at what he saw there; an empty tomb.
John 24:12 But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stopping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves; and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened.
God turned the trial that they experienced into a blessing for all mankind. If Jesus had not been crucified we would not have salvation through His blood to save us from our sins.
We don't always understand why we go through difficulties except that Jesus told us that in this world we would have tribulations.
John 16:32, 33 “Indeed the hour is coming; yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to this own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
In the world we will experience difficulties, but in Christ Jesus we have peace in the midst of the storm and victory as we overcome through His strength.
Romans 8:35-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
There is no trial or adversity that can come against you that can separate you from God's love. He is always there to turn your trial into a blessing.
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
My friends, you can be assured that God will not allow what you are experiencing today to be more than you can handle, and He will make a way of escape for you. He will turn your trial into a blessing just as He has done for so many others. Job lost his children and all his possessions in a matter of about nine months and this is what the scripture records about his outcome:
Job 42:10 ; 12-13 And the LORD restored Job's losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. Now the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning, for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys. He also had seven sons and three daughters.
God turned Job's trial into a blessing. He will do that for you as well.
Father, I thank You for taking the bad things that we experience in life and turning them for our good. We don't always see what You are doing in our lives and can't always understand why we go through the difficulties, but You promise in Your word that You have a good plan for our lives and that You will show us Your favor as we trust in You. Thank You, Father, for turning my trials into blessings.
I pray for my friends, this morning, who are going through adversity right now, Father. They don't know how this will turn out, but I ask You to show them the silver lining in the dark cloud of adversity. Help them to see past today to the good that You have planned for their future. Draw them close to You, Father, and wrap Your arms of love around them. Carry them through the dark valley into the sunshine of tomorrow. Father, I thank You for protecting them from the evil one and for restoring all that the devil has stolen from them through this adversity. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
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