Category: Confidence


In the introduction to this series we discussed briefly the different types of suffering that a believer will experience over the course of their life here on earth. We understand as believers that suffering, at whatever stage and in whatever capacity we meet it, is a tool designed by God as a directive catalyst toward spiritual maturity.

As we move through this study we will gain valuable insight on exactly how God uses suffering to train, correct, strengthen, and even protect His people. When this study was first introduced to me in its original form some years ago, it changed my perspective on how I view and received adversity in my life. This is extremely important in the process of moving along the continuum towards spiritual maturity.

As we move deeper into this study you will be faced with a multiplicity of scripture. The reason for this is that a life void of scripture is a life void of power. It is the primary priority of every believer to engage in the consistent daily study, intake, digestion, metabolism, and inculcation of Bible doctrine. One of the greatest deficiencies of the modern believer is sound doctrine, resident in their souls. We tend to lean too much toward emotionalism, which has no foundation to support us when we are bearing the burdens of conflict and suffering.

Some of the core concepts in this lesson were originally presented by the late R.B. Thieme Jr., someone I have always respected as a Bible teacher and expositor. Over time, I have revisited these concepts multitudinous times and I have developed a deeper understanding and the concepts have broadened. It is not important who gets credit for this, because God is the author.

Suffering has multiple purposes and these purposes can best be understood in relation to the believer’s spiritual growth or progression towards spiritual maturity. Basically there are five categories of Christian suffering. The first two are primarily associated with spiritual childhood (the stages of spirituality that range from spiritual infancy through spiritual adolescence. These two categories are designed as punitive measures by God. The last three are associated with spiritual adulthood and are designed for the sake of providing blessings for the believer.

It is important to understand that although these categories of suffering are associated with certain stages of spiritual advancement, they can be experienced by any believer at any time. For instance, a spiritually mature believer can find themselves in a state of carnality and suffering as a means of punitive (punishment) and correction; while an immature believer can find themselves suffering for blessing through making good choices.

This study series is designed to examine the multiplicity of problems that believers encounter in the way of suffering and the divine solutions available to them in any stage of suffering. Suffering has purpose and the answer to dealing with suffering is extensively delineated through scripture. We will learn how to engage our struggles without becoming emotional, frenetic, unglued or defeated.

The five categories of Christian suffering are as follows:

Punitive

  1. Self-Induced Misery – the consequences of poor decisions.
  2. Divine Discipline – the move of God to correct poor decisions and wrong actions

For Blessing

  1. Providential Preventive Suffering – Pressure applied by God to prevent you from making the wrong decision or doing the wrong thing (Paul’s Thorn in The Flesh, 2 Cor. 12:7-9)
  2. Momentum Testing – Suffering used as a barometer to gauge the believers progression and impetus towards spiritual maturity
  3. Evidence Testing – Suffering used as evidence of a believer’s maturity and God’s sovereignty

All suffering, in some way is designed by God for the purpose blessing; the circumstances that surround the suffering will provide the clarity that reveals the purpose. The important thing is for every believer to have doctrinal orientation so that they might be able to understand the spiritual implication of the physical manifestations that are contributing to their suffering.

One of the primary problems with a vast majority of Christians is that they use emotion as a barometer and catalyst to move them through their daily encounters. God designed emotions to be a responsive mechanism not the catalyst for problem solving the issues of life. We are to have Bible doctrine inculcated deeply into our heart (the right lobe of the soul) in which a foundation is developed on which the believer can learn to apply the doctrine that they have learned to the circumstances that they encounter.

Suffering functions as a guardian for the adult believer in the same way that a parent functions with as a guardian for a child. Basically the restraints that are used and put in place for children are replaced and enforced by suffering. The dynamic of suffering serves to deplete us of our own resources and it forces us to lean and depend on God for our daily provision. Suffering makes us more pliable for the hands of the Potter.

In the same way that parents are more than disciplining agents for their children, suffering is not simply God’s way of disciplining us. Suffering is a great instructor as it demands your attention. As we are forced to use the provisions of our God, our appreciation and love for Him is strengthened and we become more in tune with His will for our lives.

As we move through this study series we continue to develop a new perspective of suffering as we dismiss both, the proclivity for asceticism and the victim complex. We will learn that when properly engaged, suffering will always catapult us toward our divine destiny.

Contrary to popular beliefs among many believers, suffering is not something to be sought out, there is no intrinsic value in suffering itself. The value is in taking the lesson and the purpose involved in the suffering and maximizing its potential. Suffering should never be a perpetual force in the life of a believer. If it is, there are other elements that must be addressed.

In the same sense, believers are not to take on a victim mentality when faced with suffering and adversity. They should engage it with faith and certainty that a sovereign and omniscient God is in complete control. When the believer uses all of the Divine assets at their disposal, there are no circumstance that can negatively impact their peace and state of happiness. ~ Dr. Rick Wallace

 

This article serves as the preamble to my upcoming series on Christian suffering. There has been so much written and spoken concerning suffering. There are those that believe that suffering is an indication of some existing sin in the life of the one suffering. Job’s three friends took this line of rationale as they attempted to counsel Job in the midst of his pain. There are those that believe that suffering is the Christian’s lot in life and that it somehow signifies the validity of the believer’s faith.

The truth is that suffering does have purpose in the life of the believer. In fact, there are different types of suffering. There is punitive suffering which is punishment for sin and waywardness in association to God’s plan. We see this quite often in the Bible as Israel (God’s client nation) moves contrary to his will.

There is self induced misery; this is the situation when believers and non-believers alike generate anguish within their own souls as well as the overt conditions and circumstance they create around them. Because God designed the human to have volitional freedom, coupled with a sin nature (contracted at the fall of humanity), it is inevitable that man will make decisions that negatively impact their lives. There is a divine law of volitional responsibility which indicates that as a believer exercises their volitional freedom they are directly responsible for the consequences. This keeps us from taking the stance that we are being unjustly punished by God for executing the very freedom he gave. We do have the freedom of choice, but it comes at a price.

There is collective suffering. This is when an entire group suffers because the collective failed as a whole. A good example of this would be when the Israelites tarried for forty years in the wilderness because the majority believed the negative report of the 10 spies and ignored the positive report and vote of confidence from Joshua and Caleb. Not only did the whiners and unfaithful have to languish in the wilderness, so did Joshua and Caleb. Those two did not die with the rest, but they had to suffer through 40 years of delay because of someone else.

There is suffering for blessing, which is a broad topic. In this study, suffering for blessing is assigned to the believer that has steadied himself and positioned himself in the will of God and continues to execute the protocol plan of God. Even someone who was initially suffering as a punitive measure can move from punitive suffering to suffering for blessing. What this means is that the moment a believer realizes that he has sinned and that his sin has resulting in some form of suffering, he has the opportunity to repent and move toward God. If he does this, the suffering may very well continue, it may even intensify, but it is no longer for the sake of punishment, it is now for the sake blessing.

Suffering is a great teacher. It has the exceptional power to conquer ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) of the spirit. God knows how to get the attention of His creation.

There is providential preventative suffering designed by God to keep the believer from moving off course. A good example of this would be Paul’s thorn in the flesh. Paul tells us the thorn was given to him so that he would not become exalted within himself (arrogant and filled with pride [big headed]). The thorn in the flesh was a constant reminder to Paul that God was his source of power and that in and of himself, he was feeble and week.

Suffering comes as a test. You see, adversity is an unbelievable barometer to test the authenticity of one’s faith and their true commitment to God’s plan. I was once posed the following question: Can God trust you with trouble? Could God give the testimony he gave for Job concerning you?

In this study we will explore the importance of doctrinal thinking in the midst of heartache and struggles. So often, Christians take on a victim’s mentality and totally miss the opportunity to advance. There is no greater platform of advancement than suffering. Allow me to elucidate the previous statement. This does not mean that the Christian should look to live in a perpetual state of suffering. The true Christian’s life is characterized by victory and triumph. There will always be resistance and the enemy will always be present, but we are more than conquers (Rom. 8:37). What this means is that when you find yourself in the midst of the storm, you don’t crumble, you don’t cower, you don’t acquiesce to the pressure, you don’t point the finger of blame, you don’t whine and complain. What you do is gird up yourself with faith in your God and His purpose for your life. You allow God to use the storm to elevate you. Ask Joseph and he will tell you that a 13 year storm elevated him to the second highest position in all of the land of Egypt. Ask Job and he will tell you that a whirlwind entered his life, but it resulted in an undying legacy of faith and perseverance.

Actually suffering can be broken down into five major categories and we will become acquainted with them. We will learn how position ourselves in the storm. Remember, God is sovereign and nothing happens without Him allowing it, and if God allows it then it has a positive purpose in your life. So prepare to engage this study with an intensity that will help you grow closer to Christ as you grow thereby in the knowledge and grace of our Savior (2 Pet. 3:18) ~ Dr. Rick Wallace

You are invited to visit me at my Christian Impact site as well!

“…and they overcame him by the blood of the lamb and by the words of their testimony.”

Don’t let the enemy rob you of your testimony. He wants to convince you to give up in the midst of the battle. He understand that through Christ you already have the victory as long as you stand.

As he paints his illusionistic portraits of negativity and despair his purpose is to distort the view of faith. If he can get you to believe his lie you will not retain the testimony of God’s deliverance. Listen, their is no trial, temptation, heartache, valley or pit that you can find yourself in that God has not already planned your deliverance. Don’t believe the lies of the enemy. Don’t accept the negative report of the enemy.

He will tell you that the prolonged length of your struggle is an indication of your failure, when the Word of God has revealed repetitively that struggle has no deadline and delay in deliverance is not indicative of denial of delivery or absence of faith. God has set a path and much of it is appointed for the duration and nothing you do will expedite the situation. Abraham waited 25 years before the fulfillment of the promise. The Children of Israel waited centuries for their deliverance from the Egyptians. Joseph, before them, waited thirteen years before the vision became reality. I could go on. What I can tell you is that the longer the delay, the greater the destiny.

Hold on to your testimony for dear life. Your testimony is a powerful weapon in combating the enemy. Your testimony speaks the powerful words of victory and deliverance. It is a reminder of God’s faithfulness in times of trouble (Ps. 46:1). Hold on to your testimony with all that is within you.

You will overcome, just hold on to your faith and your testimony. They both have power. ~ Dr. Rick Wallace

Taking a Leap of Faith
Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth
“I can do everything through him (Jesus) who gives me strength,” (Philippians 4:13 NIV).

Friend to Friend
Several years ago, on a trip to Kauai, my husband and our friends, Larry and Cynthia Price, decided to go on a zip line through the jungle. After being jostled and tossed like ragdolls in the back of a retired army jeep, we finally made it to the top of the mountain from which we were going to zip down—risking life and limb I might add.

I hopped out of the jeep and eyed the cable suspended high above the valley below. After watching Cynthia fly through the trees, I climbed up onto a wooden platform and surrendered to Jack, a jovial, burly Hawaiian, who strapped me into a harness and placed a helmet on my head. With a simple click of a metal buckle, he attached my harnessed body onto a seemingly flimsy steel cable. As I stood on the edge of the platform eyeing the disappearing earth below my feet, I had a choice. I could say, “no thanks” and ask to be released from the cable, or I could jump.

I chose to jump. My body flew over the treetops and the stunningly beautiful gorge. I was Tarzan’s Jane and this was my jungle. Airborne. Exhilarating. Risky.

Jacob was with us that day. He was a stranger among our little band of adventurers. Jacob was alone. No friends. No spouse. No family.

“Jacob, what brings you up to this mountain today?” I asked.

“I’m afraid of heights,” he answered.

I then noticed the thin line of perspiration beading over his upper lip. The slight tremble in his voice. The mechanical one-foot-in-front-of-the-other halted gait up the hill.

“You’re afraid of heights?” I asked. “Then why are you here?”

“I’m going to conquer it today,” he determinedly answered.

I was struck. We were here to have fun. He was here for a totally different reason. When Jacob stood on that platform, I prayed for my new friend. For Jacob this was not just a joy ride…or just maybe it was.

I’m not saying that God told Jacob to go to the top of a mountain, attach his body to a flimsy cable, and fly over the gorge at the risk of life and limb. But I am saying that obedience often requires a leap of faith. Too often we say yes to God, but live the no because of fear. We stand at the precipice of belief and a decision has to be made. Am I going to trust God or not? Am I going to attach my heart to the cable of His love and take a leap of faith, or am I going to freeze in fear because I don’t trust that He has my best interest in mind? Am I going to settle for safety and miss the thrill of seeing God work through me?

As we live and move and have our being in Jesus, God will take us to some amazing places. And there will always be a choice. Will we jump headlong into the adventurous journey of His perfect plan, or will we hang back for lack of faith? Jacob stood on the platform, took a deep breath, and jumped. He flew over the treetops, careened over the river, and landed safely on the other side of his greatest fear.

We clapped and cheered. Jacob took a bow. God smiled.

In Him we live and move and have our being…and sometimes we soar.

Let’s Pray
Lord, sometimes I’m just flat out afraid. Afraid I’ll fail. Afraid I’ll be rejected. Afraid I won’t be good enough. Lord, forgive me for all those “I’s.” Forgive me for focusing on my weaknesses rather than Your strength. Today, I’m believing that I can do all things that You call me to do because I know that You will give me the strength I need.
In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

November 1, 2012
Raising Your Expectations
Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth
“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full,” (John 10:10 NIV).

Friend to Friend
When I was in my early twenties, I did not have great expectations for what my marriage would be like, if I ever walked the aisle at all. My parents had a tumultuous relationship from my earliest remembrance. Cycles of heated arguments and physical violence followed by silence and passive aggression were as predictable as the seasons. The atmosphere in our home was tense. It was as if I lived on an earthquake fault line, never knowing when the “big one” was going to hit. There were many “big ones.”

I became a Christian when I was fourteen and resolved that if I ever got married, it would be to a man who loved Jesus with all his heart. Through the years, I dated many Christian young men. In my young mind, most of them were not very much fun.

So I had a conversation with God that went something like this: “OK God, if I ever get married, it will be to a Christian man. I’m committed to that. I won’t give a guy a second glance unless he is a man who loves You with all his heart. It is not enough for him to say that he is a Christian. I want to see it in the way he lives his life, the way he uses his words, and the way he relates to other people. I’m going to pay attention to what he laughs at, what he watches on television, and how he handles anger. I know what I’m asking here. I know what I’m getting into. I realize that I most likely won’t feel very passionate about this guy. I know that my life will probably be rather dull, boring, and lackluster. But that’s OK. I’m holding out for a Christian man, no matter how humdrum and ho-hum he may be. If I like him pretty well, that’s enough for me.”

Oh my goodness! Talk about low expectations! I’m sure God got a big kick out of my request.

Here’s what happened several years after that “prayer.”  When I was twenty-two, I returned to college to further my education. A young man from my hometown had a Bible study at his apartment and invited me to attend.  When I walked in, I saw a young dental student sitting cross-legged on the floor and leaning up against the wall. His dark chocolate eyes looked up at me as he said, “Hi.” I melted in a puddle.

After a few weeks, Steve finally asked me out on a date. But the venue of our rendezvous confirmed what I had expected all along.

“There is a missionary from Jackson, Mississippi speaking over at Murphy Hall,” he explained. “I’d like to go hear him. Would you like to go with me?”

Well that certainly lined up with my expectations! Steve was handsome; no doubt about that. He was a Christian, that was for sure. But going to hear a missionary on our first date? He was going to be boring after all. But hey, what did I expect? (Now remember, I was young. I love missionaries! I am one! Just keeping it real.)

When he came to pick me up for our date, I wasn’t quite ready. My apartment mate welcomed him and directed him to the sofa to wait. While he perused the scattered magazines on the coffee table, some of my favorite music played on the stereo. In the South, we call it beach music. It’s a type of 60s R&B Motown music.

When I finally emerged from my primping, Steve looked up and asked, “Do you like that kind of music?”

“Sure do,” I replied. (I must say I said it with an attitude of “and you gotta problem with that?”)

“I do too,” Steve said. “I have an entire collection. Do you know how to Shag (a traditional Southern dance similar to a slow version of the Swing)?

I think I heard God laugh.

“I’ve been dancing the Shag since I was in the fifth grade,” I said.

“Let’s see if we do it the same way,” he said as he grabbed my hand.

For twenty minutes, we separated and came together as if we had been dancing together all our lives. He held my hand up and I spun under. He pulled me in and then rolled me out like a scroll. His shuffle kick mirrored my own.

You know what? We did go and hear the missionary on that crisp fall night in 1979. And afterwards, we went to a favorite college hangout on the Campus of UNC the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and danced until the doors closed. We had fun, and we haven’t stopped having fun yet. We have grown in God’s grace, and we’ve graced the dance floor. Steve is the mostfunnest guy I have ever known, and he loves the Lord with all his heart. And to think I actually was ready to settle for a just a nice Christian guy. God exceeded my expectations beyond all I ever could have asked or imagined.

But this isn’t just about my love story with Steve. It is about my love story with Jesus. It is about yours too. And like my silly twenty-something prayer for a mediocre-but-nice husband, I fear we have lowered our expectations in our relationship with God. He longs for an intimacy with us that ushers in a deep abiding joy, but I’m afraid we’ve settled for simply nice.

Are you ready to raise your expectations in your relationship with Jesus? Oh sister, He got so much to show you, to tell you, to share with you. Don’t settle for “just nice.” Jesus is much more exciting than that!

Let’s Pray
Dear Jesus, forgive me for having such low expectations in our relationship. I know that You came to give me abundant life, not a so-so life. Today, I’m raising my expectations of life to line up with Your word. I’m expecting the abundant life that  You came to give!
In Your Name,
Amen

Doubt Your Doubts

October 29, 2012
Doubt Your Doubts
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth
Hebrews 11:1 – “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

Friend To Friend
Billy Graham once said, “Most of us do not understand nuclear fission, but we accept it. I don’t understand television, but I accept it. I don’t understand radio, but every week my voice goes out around the world, and I accept it. Why is it so easy to accept all these man-made miracles and so difficult to accept the miracles of the Bible?”

Faith is a personal issue and often demands that we give up what we can see for what we cannot see, but just because we can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Let me share some ways to weaken your doubts and strengthen your faith:

  • Read the Bible consistently.

Romans 10:17 “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”

You may have heard the familiar Old Chinese saying, “There is a good dog and a bad dog fighting within each of us. The one that is going to win is the one we feed the most.” The same is true when it comes to faith and doubt. We weaken our doubt by strengthening our faith in God. The Word of God feeds the new nature God gives us when we surrender our life to Him. As that new nature grows stronger, the old sinful nature becomes weaker and as that old nature becomes weaker, faith in God grows. A steady diet of the Word produces strong faith. Read the bible each day. Memorize a verse of Scripture each week.

  • Turn to God constantly.

Mark 9:14-29 tells of the man who brings his demon-possessed son to Jesus Christ and pleads, “If you can do anything, take pit on us and help us.” Jesus responds, “If I can! All things are possible to him who believes.” The dad exclaimed, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief!”

Sounds just like us. We believe but we also doubt. In those moments, we must be honest enough to cry out to God. Jesus didn’t punish this man for his doubt. He healed his son. God always responds to honesty.

  • Focus on God continually.

Psalm 34:6 “This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.”

We focus on the mountain while crying out to God for help, wondering if He really will do anything. We need to remember what God promises and does not promise. God does not promise to remove the mountain or that we will even understand the mountain. However, God does promise to help us climb the mountain and He does promise to climb it with us. We must make the continual choice to fix our gaze on God and our glance on the circumstances. When doubt comes, refuse it.

  • Seek out faith-builders persistently.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 “And one standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer; three is even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”

We need to look for people who will encourage us to be faithful instead of constantly looking for ways to undermine our faith. Did you hear about the farmer that had a brilliant dog? He also had a neighbor that was negative – no matter what. If it was raining, the farmer would say to his neighbor, “Boy, look at it rain. God’s washing everything clean.” The neighbor said, “Yeah, but if this rain keeps up, it’s going to flood.” Then the sun would come out and the neighbor would say, “If it keeps that up, it’s going to burn the crops.” The farmer thought, “What am I going to do with this guy?” He made a plan. The farmer trained his dog to walk on water. He didn’t tell his neighbor – just took him duck hunting. Boom! Boom! They got two ducks. The farmer said to his dog, “Go get ’em.” The dog sprinted across the water, picked up the ducks and hopped back in the boat, nothing wet, just his paws. With a confident smile, the farmer asked his doubting neighbor, “What do you think of that?” The neighbor quickly replied, “He can’t swim, can he?” Do you know people like the neighbor? Run from the doubters in your life. We struggle enough with doubt on our own and should not compound it by investing time in doubters and cynics. Look for people who walk in faith, who believe God and study His Word. They will encourage and build your faith while weakening your doubts.

Women have so much in common. We have the same problems, the same fears and the same doubts. Don’t let fear and doubt wreak havoc in your heart and mind. Stay in God’s Word. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to cry out to Him when you are afraid. Keep your eyes on Him and look for other women who do the same. Will you join me in a new commitment to becoming a woman of faith? Remember, when doubt knocks on the door, just send faith to answer it – and you will find no one there.

Let’s Pray
Father God, I want to become a woman of faith, but I am so weak. I constantly battle fear and my faith seems so small. Please give me a new thirst for Your Word. I choose to focus on You, Father, instead of focusing on my circumstances. Help me find faith and learn to be a faith-builder each day. I now turn to You, Lord.
In Jesus’s name I pray, amen

October 22, 20l2
Set Free
Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free,” (John 8:32 NIV).

Friend to Friend
For fifteen years, Leeanne was emotionally and verbally abused by her mother. Every day she heard that she was a stupid worthless failure. Her mother told her that she was “ugly” and “fat” and “not good enough.” “No man will ever want you,” she scorned.

Leeanne grew up afraid of women and hating herself. “Why can’t I be different?” she wondered.  She believed her mother’s estimation of her and lived in defeat. Leeanne grabbed attention any way she could, and by the time she was twenty-three, she had three abortions on her medical record. The guilt and shame of those abortions compounded her feelings of worthlessness.

But something amazing happened to Leeanne when she was twenty-four. She accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior and became a new creation. She knew that God forgave her the moment she asked – totally and completely. However, Satan continued to remind her of the terrible mistakes of her past.  How could I have killed my children?  What would my friends think if they knew the truth? I can never let anyone know about my past. Some things are simply unforgivable in human eyes.

Leeanne met and married a wonderful Christian man. They began their life of ministry as he pastored a church in a small community. God blessed them with three wonderful children, but still the shame of her past lingered.

“I felt so unworthy of my husband’s love,” she said. “I felt I wasn’t good enough to be his wife.  I never told him about my past. It was a secret that weighed me down.”

Leeanne went to a women’s retreat and picked up one of my books, Your Scars are Beautiful to God.  For the first time, she began to heal from the wounds her mother had inflicted on her little girl heart.  She realized that is was Satan who continued to taunt her with those lies and make her feel as if they were true. Then she did something that really made the enemy mad.  She forgave her mother. Even though her mother had since died, she forgave her as if she were standing before her that very day.

Leeanne imagined Jesus erasing away all her faults, especially the ones that her mother had so maliciously written on the chalkboard of her mind. “All gone,” she said. “I’m set free.”

But there was one more step to Leeanne’s freedom. See, as long as she kept her past a secret, she would never be totally free. “I prayed all day and night for the courage to tell my husband about the three abortions, and I finally did. No one in the world knew about the abortions but me.  I had to tell my husband the secret so Satan could not use it against me any longer.”

“Finally, I did it. I told him the truth. But he did not react the way I imagined he would. He held me in his arms and cried. ‘I can’t believe you have held on to this for so long alone,’ he said.”

Leeanne went on to say…

“I am no longer shameful. I am pure.”

“I am no longer ugly. I am beautiful.”

“I am no longer unlovable. I am dearly loved.”

Leeanne recognized the lies. Leeanne rejected the lies. Leeanne replaced the lies with truth. She is now walking in the truth as a holy, chosen, dearly loved, child of God.

Let’s Pray
Dear LORD,   thank You for setting me free from condemnation.  Thank you for Your grace – receiving the gift I don’t deserve, and for mercy – not receiving the punishment I do deserve.  Thank You for making me a new creation in Christ – pure, holy, cleansed.
In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

Nothing Too Hard

“Is there anything too hard for Jehovah?” (Gen. 18:14).

Here is God’s loving challenge to you and to me today. He wants us to think of the deepest, highest, worthiest desire and longing of our hearts, something which perhaps was our desire for ourselves or for someone dear to us, yet which has been so long unfulfilled that we have looked upon it as only a lost desire, that which might have been but now cannot be, and so have given up hope of seeing it fulfilled in this life.

That thing, if it is in line with what we know to be His expressed will (as a son to Abraham and Sarah was), God intends to do for us, even if we know that it is of such utter impossibility that we only laugh at the absurdity of anyone’s supposing it could ever now come to pass. That thing God intends to do for us, if we will let Him.

“Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Not when we believe in Him enough to go forward and do His will, and let Him do the impossible for us. Even Abraham and Sarah could have blocked God’s plan if they had continued to disbelieve. The only thing too hard for Jehovah is deliberate, continued disbelief in His love and power, and our final rejection of His plans for us. Nothing is too hard for Jehovah to do for them that trust Him –Messages for the Morning Watch

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The question is: Is there anything to hard for God? Certainly not! God is not perplexed by your problems. He is not confounded by your concerns. He does not become discombobulated by the loftiness of your desires.

It is time for believers to stop walking in the mundane and start participating in the miraculous. It is time to raise the expectations you have for your life. God meets each of us at the level of our expectations. It is time to unpack your dreams and activate your visions.

I’m not speaking about wishful thinking here. I am speaking of walking in the will of God and using faith to access God’s very best. God has supernatural blessings locked in escrow for the one that is audacious enough to believe.

God told the unbelieving Israelites in the wilderness: “As you have spoken in my hearing so shall I do to you.” To follow up on the same issue, the writer of Hebrews said that the Israelites did not enter into the promised rest because of unbelief. The land was already promised, but failure to step out on faith and believe God for the spectacular cost an entire generation a trip across the Jordan River into the promised land.

2 For indeed we have had the glad tidings [Gospel of God] proclaimed to us just as truly as they [the Israelites of old did when the good news of deliverance from bondage came to them]; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because it was not mixed with faith (with [c]the leaning of the entire personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness) by those who heard it; [d]neither were they united in faith with the ones [Joshua and Caleb] who heard (did believe). (Heb, 4:2, AMP)

Are you stepping out on the word of God and trusting Him to honor His promises? The woman with the issue of blood stepped out on faith after being told multitudinous times that there was nothing that could be done for her. The blind man believed that he could see. The lame man believed that he could walk and each of them reached into the well of faith to claimed their miracle. They met Jesus at the threshold of the supernatural and what was His response? “According to your faith you have been healed.” When the Centurion came to Christ requesting that his servant be healed, he had enough faith to believe that it was not necessary for Christ to step into his house. He told Christ that if He would just speak the word it would be done. The bible said that Christ marveled at the faith of this man, who was not even a Jew but recognized the messiah and the power of faith. How would it feel to have a faith so powerful and lucid that it makes Christ marvel. That is audacious faith.

When Joshua stopped in the middle of battle and prayed that the sun stand still, I can imagine that God looked down and said, “Now that Joshua just gets it.” Keep in mind that when God told Israel that they would not make it into the promised land, it was Joshua and Caleb that got a pass. They were the only two that believed that they could take the promise land. Joshua had a history of believing God for the impossible and he experienced more than his share of miracles.

The nation of Israel’s first generation missed the promised land because they were afraid of giants. So, what are the giants in your life? Maybe its the opinion of those close to you. Maybe your giants are the memories of your past failures. Maybe its a damaged self-image based on past abuses experienced at the hands of others. Maybe its the fear of the unknown. No matter how huge your giants are, God is not shaken by the size of your issues. God is ready to execute His power on behalf of those that trust in Him without fail.

9 For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him….(2 Chron. 16:9, NKJV)

So, I ask you once again: Is there anything too hard for God?

God is Enough
9 But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and [b]show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. (2 Cor. 12:9, AMP)

“Let’s face it–anxiety or worry have no advantages! They ruin our health, rob us of joy, and change nothing! Our day stands no chance against the terrorists of the Land of Anxiety.

But Christ offers a worry-bazooka. Remember how He taught us to pray? “Give us this day our daily bread. Matthew 6:11” This simple sentence unveils God’s provision plan: live one day at a time.

Worry gives small problems big shadows. Corrie ten Boom said, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows; it empties today of its strength.” And Romans 8:28 affirms: “Every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”

Most anxiety stems, not from what we need, but from what we want. Philippians 4:4 says, “delight yourselves in the Lord, yes, find your joy in Him at all times!”

If God is enough, you’ll always have enough!” ~ Max Lucado

We are commanded in the Bible to “fear not” or not to “worry” over 365 times. That is an average of at least one scripture per day telling us to cast away worry. Corrie ten Boom said, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, it empties today of its strength.” How true; fear and worry paralyzes those in whom it is able to sink its relentless talons.

The study of psychosomatics reveal that any prolonged emotional or psychological tension subsequently manifests itself physically. Not only does worry and fear create health issues, but they also create a state of dysfunctionality in which a person is rendered ineffective in the most simplest of daily tasks. So, it is easy to see why we are commanded to “fear not” or “be anxious about nothing”.

It is one thing to know that you are not supposed to be overcome by fear or engrossed in worry and an entirely different thing to understand the power you have to carry out the command. It is understanding the power available to every believer to carry out the commands of God that empowers them to live a powerful and effective life.

The presence of fear and worry is the product of doubt. It is the absence of faith or I sometimes say that is is having more faith in your situation than you have in God. It is the inability to apprehend with certainty God’s desire to act on your behalf and His ability to do so. When Paul went to God and asked that the thorn in his flesh be removed, he did not get the response that he desired. The fact that Paul went to God three times on the matter reveals to us the significant impact it was having on his life.

God did not remove the thorn, instead, he responded with the revelation of one of the greatest of truths in the Bible; “My grace is sufficient…” In other words, your survival and success does not rest in your extraction from hardship, but in the strength provided to withstand and ultimately overcome every struggle triumphantly. Your peace is not hidden in the ability to circumvent the vicissitudes of life, but in the God sustained power to move through them.

Why should there be no worry? Because God is enough. All by Himself, God is enough. “Why should I feel discouraged; why should the shadows fall…for Jesus is my portion…” God is enough my friend. When you are struggling to hold your marriage together, God is enough. When you fighting to keep your head above water, God is enough. When the doctor is shaking his head, confounded by your condition, God is enough. When your finances are in shambles, God is enough. When there is more mouths to feed than there is food, God is enough.

You are fighting to breakthrough and there seems to be no end to the darkness, just know that God dwells in the darkness. Trust me, I know the pain of abandonment and betrayal. I know the heartache of loneliness. I know what it feels like to be tossed by the waves of uncertainty and to have despair knocking at your door. What I want you to understand is that God is “a very present help in trouble”. He is moving in the undercurrents of your struggles and he is preparing your breakthrough. Know that you are not only coming out, but you are coming out with your hands up (sot in surrender, but in victory).

You may be facing the darkest time in your life. You may look around and it seems as if there is no hope. The enemy has sent a report of failure and futility, but I want you to understand that God works best in the darkness. Masterpieces are wrought out in the darkness. Greatness is developed in the darkness. Marriages are strengthened in the darkness. Relationships are forged in the darkness. Legacies are built in the darkness. So, as you traverse this difficult moment in your life, fret not, for God is enough! ~ Dr. Rick Wallace

 

 

There is someone out there who is going through an extremely difficult time right now. It seems that the load that you are bearing is going to break you. It seems that every where you turn there is bad news. I had someone tell me on yesterday that they could not win for losing. Right now it seems as if the clouds are so dark that you can’t see one foot in front of you and the uncertainty is sucking the life out right of you. I just want to take this moment to reassure you that God is cognizant of your struggles; He is keenly aware of your pain and he sees your your tears.

 

Take a look at what God tells Moses concerning the Israelites suffering at the hands of the Egyptians:

 

“7 The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land,(U) a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt (Exodus 3:7-9, NIT).”

 

God assured Moses that He was perfectly aware of the suffering of His people and that He had come because of their suffering to deliver them. My friend, God knows what you are going through, and He is working in the background to produce His glory through your circumstances. When the vicissitudes of life roll in, don’t despair; God works in the midst of uncertainty to produce eternal lucidity based on responsive faith.

 

Let’s take a look at what the Psalmist had to say about God’s relationship with His people:

 

“For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation and adorn the wretched with victory Ps. 149:4, AMP).”

 

I want you to know that your breakthrough is coming, simply trust and believe that your tears are temporary. I say as the Apostle Paul, “…consider that the suffering of this current moment cannot be compared to the glory that will be revealed in us (Roman 8:18).

 

I want to encourage you to hold on, your change is coming. God is performing His promise in your life as I write this. Do not allow you circumstances to dictate your stance of faith.

 

God is moving in your darkness to accomplish His will. Remember that authentic faith is efficacious. ~ Dr. Rick Wallace

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