Category: Courage


 

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!

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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

“They that sew in tears shall reap in joy.” (Ps. 126:5).

I know that you are going through some dark times in your life right now. It seems that the more you press the deeper you sink into your pit. I just want to stop by and let you know that God responds to the tears of His saints. The scripture says that those that sew in tears shall reap in joy.

Your tears are temporary, but they are compelling the movement of God in your situation. God told Moses, “I have heard the cries of my people in Egypt…I have come to deliver them.” I just want you to know that if you need to shed some tears right now, its okay. Just know that God is about to show up and bust a move in your life.

My Bible tells me that weeping endures for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Well, my friend, God sent me to tell you that morning is near. The sun is dawning just over the mountain top. Hold on with all that you have in you, for God is about move in the midst of your mess. He is about to rescue from the darkness of depression and establish you on the platform of promotion. Your broken heart is about to be mended and set ablaze with a passion for praise.

So, go ahead and cry if you must, God is about to personally wipe every one of those tears from your eyes. ~ Dr. Rick Wallace

October 25, 2012
Overcoming the Fear of Rejection
Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us,” – (Romans 8:37 NIV).

Friend to Friend
I can still remember when God first gave me a glimpse of what my future held. Writing, speaking, radio ministry, mentoring. A host of insecurities rose to the surface and the fear of rejection wrapped its fingers around my skinny neck. But God assured me I was not alone, and He was perfectly capable of doing everything He promised. I only needed to be obedient and say “yes” to Him.

We have only to flip through the pages of the Bible to see that overcoming the fear of rejection is a thread that runs through the record of history.

  • Noah overcame the fear of rejection when he obeyed God and built an Ark on dry land.
  • Abram overcame the fear of rejection when he left his homeland with no clear direction as to where he would go.
  • Jacob overcame the fear of rejection when he returned to his homeland and his brother whom he had deceived.
  • Joseph overcame the fear of rejection when he refused Potiphar’s wife’s sexual advances.
  • Moses overcame the fear of rejection when he went before the Pharaoh and demanded the Israelites’ release.
  • Joshua overcame the fear of rejection when he told the army their orders were to march around Jericho in silence for seven days.
  • Ruth, the Moabite, overcame her fear of rejection when she gleaned wheat in the field of a Jew.
  • Samuel overcame the fear of rejection when the people decided they wanted a King rather than God to be their ruler.
  • David overcame the fear of rejection when he offered to slay Goliath.
  • Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego overcame the fear of rejection when they refused to bow and worship King Nebuchadnezzar.
  • Esther overcame the fear of rejection when she went before the king to plead for the lives of her people.
  • Each and every one of the prophets overcame the fear of rejection as they delivered God’s message of judgment to the people.

When we turn the final page of the Old Testament and look into the New Testament, we see the same pattern of courage. Jesus, his disciples, Paul, and the expanding body of believers all faced and overcame the fear of rejection. Paul’s attitude was “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks! “If God is for us, who can be against us? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?  It is God who justifies” (Romans 8:31, 33).

And then the ultimate rejection occurred when our Lord and Savior hung on the Roman cross. “He was despised and rejected by men” (Isaiah 53:3). But Jesus overcame the fear of rejection and the result was his glorification. He knew crucifixion was imminent. Just before He was arrested Jesus prayed with His disciples: “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you,” (John 17:1).  He didn’t mention His rejection and death on the cross that was ahead of Him. He prayed that God would be glorified. That was foremost in His mind and on His heart. Likewise, I believe that we overcome the fear of rejection when glorifying God is foremost on our minds and in our hearts.

The apostle Paul faced rejection at every turn. In his letter to the Thessalonians he wrote:

“We had previously suffered and been insulted in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in spite of strong opposition. For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts,” (1 Thessalonians 2:2-4).

Whether it is sharing the gospel or the scars of our past, there will be some who do not accept us. We certainly are not above the prophets in the Old Testament or the disciples in the New.  Not everyone liked what they had to say, but they pressed through the fear and walked in faith.  It is because of them we have the gospel at our very finger tips!

Let’s Pray
Dear LORD, thank You that I am more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus. Help me not to give up when times get tough, but to persevere with endurance. I know that not everyone will like me or what I have to say about You, but I pray for the courage and the power of the Holy Spirit to speak when You lead and to keep quiet when You lead. Help me know the difference.
In Jesus’ Name
Amen.

In this series, we have been discussing the need of emotional healing and the process for healing. As with most progressions in this ethereal journey of Christianity, emotional healing is a process. In discussing healing it is important to truly understand what healing means and to do so we will deal with it in the physical sense initially.

 

Many people confuse being cured with being healed. This is one of the reasons many people never experience true healing; they get trapped in the cured state. Being cured is experiencing the elimination of the source and symptoms of an illness, whereas being healed means being restored to the original state of existence before the illness originated. Let’s use cancer for example. When an illness as devastating as cancer enters the life of a person, it brings with it more than the physical challenges of the illness itself, but it brings psychological, emotional and spiritual challenges as well. It can challenge your faith, strain your relationships (including your relationship with God), disrupt your finances, and so much more.

 

When a cancer patient finally wins their battle with the disease, it is just the beginning of the healing process. There has to be a recovery and restoration from the damage that the disease caused. The cure brought relief and healing will bring restoration. Healing brings the positioning to reengage life in full capacity of your God given potential.

 

Now, let’s translate this into emotional healing. When you are emotionally damaged because of past hurts, disappointments and emotional assault, the first thing is to bring relief from the situation. This begins with removing yourself from the hostile environment and then forgiving and releasing the culprit from their debt to you. Now the healing process begins. This is where God begins to add back to you all that the assailant robbed you of: Self-esteem, self-worth, identity, purpose, vision, sense of destiny and more. So, in essence, being cured is the elimination of the source and symptoms and healing is being made whole.

 

What I want to speak with you about today is identity. What and who are you identifying yourself with? How are you viewing your situation? All of this carries immense weight in the healing process.

 

When a person has suffered emotional abuse, they have become disconnected from the true source of their identity, Christ. Through the malevolent treatment by others, they have been conditioned to identify with what that treatment implies or in many cases what their perpetrator has said concerning them. In reconnecting with the true source of their identity, this person is reconnected with their purpose and destiny. This is not an overnight process and dependent upon the length and extent of the abuse, this can be a lengthy process. The one thing to understand is that God is more than able to reach down into the deepest pit to rescue and restore anyone willing to call on His name.

 

John 8:32 says, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” What truth is in view here? The true source of your identity, Christ. The only true revelation of self, the Holy Spirit. The only one that will never forsake you, God the Father. It is the reunion and sometimes the introduction to the only one that has the power to bring you to the fullness of your purpose.

 

The secondary truth is the truths that these initial truths will reveal. When you become acquainted with the source of your identity, you become aware that this identity comes with some extremely powerful assets. Becoming acquainted with your identity reminds you that you are more than a conqueror (Rom. 8:37). Identifying with Christ assures you that you are a special, unique, chosen and ordained person; personally chosen by God to proclaim His Greatness (1 Pet. 2:9). This new identity bears with it the knowledge that its bearing has been grafted you into the Royal family of God and has given you eternal security within the family. This identity brings knowledge of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and all the power associated with it.

 

Identity is a powerful force. That which you identify with establishes your path, approach, perspective and ultimately, your destiny.

 

Paul said, “If any man be in Christ he is a new creation, behold all this of the old man have passed away, and all things have become new (2 Cor. 5:17). Stop believing the lies of the enemy; stop accepting his erroneous assessments of you. God has established you as a new creation. As Satan attempts to remind you of your past; its hurts, disappointments, and failures, God desires to erase the negative impressions of the past that are so heavily engrained in your psyche. He desires to restore you. He simply needs to you seek Him and surrender to Him so that He can begin His work in you.

 

One of the greatest hindrances to this part of the healing process is the natural proclivity to conceal the past due to embarrassment and shame; however, there is great power in sharing your past struggles. First, it lifts the burden of carrying something that is too heavy for you to carry. Second, it allows others to see God’s ability to transform and heal. While you are healing you are also giving hope to others. Find your identity in Christ and allow that identity to bring restoration. ~ Dr. Rick Wallace

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.

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

July 19, 2012
Whose Report are You Going to Believe?
Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth
“We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” – (Numbers 13:30 NIV).

Friend to Friend
All through the Bible, God gives us great and wonderful promises about who we are in Christ, what we have in Christ, and where we are in Christ. Let me remind you of just a few.

I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)
Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. (Proverbs 16:3)
God…has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3).
For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. (1 John 5:5)
The Bible is packed full of many promises just like those. However, the enemy, Satan, tells us that we are worthless losers with little to no power to live in victory. He tells us we are but “grasshoppers” in the face of our difficulties and struggles. So, who’s reports are we going to believe?

The Israelites faced the same situation. They had been freed from Egyptian slavery and then headed into the desert. Then God signaled it was time to enter the Promised Land flowing with milk and honey. He said, “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan which I am giving the Israelites.”

At God’s command, Moses sent in twelve men to spy out the land. Ten came back with this report:

We went into the land which you sent us and it does flow with milk and honey! But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large (Numbers 13:27,28). The men went on to say they were like grasshoppers compared to the giants who lived in Canaan.

However, two of the spies, Caleb and Joshua, believed God. This was their report: We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it (13:30).

Guess who the people believed? They believed the ten who said, “we can’t,” rather than the two who said, “God already has.” Why? Lack of faith and an abundance of fear. I have an acronym for fear: False Evidence Appearing Real. They saw only the giants, but failed to see Almighty God. God had already given them the land, the people simply needed to walk in and take possession of it. But instead of moving into the Promised Land, they wandered in the desert for forty years because of their unbelief. The entire generation, except for Caleb and Joshua, died in their unbelief. Caleb and Joshua marched in and took possession of what God had already promised and provided.

Oswald Chambers notes, “Human frailty is another thing that gets between God’s words of assurance and our own words and thoughts. When we realize how feeble we are in facing difficulties, the difficulties become like giants, we become like grasshoppers, and God seems to be non-existent. But remember God’s assurance to us – “I will never…forsake you.” Have we learned to sing after hearing God’s keynote? Are we continually filled with enough courage to say, ‘The Lord is my Helper,’ or are we yielding to fear?”

I don’t want to be like those Israelites who didn’t believe God told the truth. Do you? Let me ask you a few questions: Are you going to move into the land flowing with milk and honey – take the promises found in the Bible and make them yours? Or, are you going to believe the evil report and continue wandering around in the desert – free from slavery, but missing the Promised Land? Who’s report are you going to believe?

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