Category: Endurance


Lord Heal

Lord, there is someone hurting today. Someone has been left to bear a most pressing burden on their own; lift that burden and give them rest. Someone has been seized by the unbearable pain of abandonment; hold them in your arms and caress away the hurt. Someone is perplexed by the enigmatic conundrums that seem to plague their lives; simply this moment so that they can exhale.

Lord, somebody is at the point of giving up, shine a light into their darkness so that they may see that they are standing on the edge of a breakthrough. Lord someone has been convinced that their life is not worth living, reveal the cross so they will see that you thought so much of their life that you gave yours to save it. ~ Dr. Rick Wallace

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October 16, 2012

Master Designer
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth
For he [Abraham] was looking forward to the city with firm foundations, whose architect and builder is God (Hebrews 11:10, New English).

Friend to Friend
Our son was born to be a builder. From the time he could hold a plastic red hammer in his toddler-sized hands, Jered began hammering imaginary nails into the coffee table, fixing everything that was broken in our house, and drawing crayon blueprints of various objects he planned to build. No wooden surface in our home was safe from Jered’s scrutiny or design.

Since my husband enjoyed woodworking as a hobby, he decided to build Jered a miniature workbench beside his own in the garage. Several nights each week, Dan and Jered headed out to the garage to pound and hammer and do what they called “man stuff.” I thought it was cute – a philosophy that would drastically change in the years to come.

I knew we had a true builder on our hands when Jered built a clubhouse inside our garage. And what a clubhouse it was – complete with four walls, a roof, windows and a door, carpeted flooring and a window air conditioning unit – all of which he scrounged from neighbors, dumpsters and piles of discarded wood at construction sites. He built a jewelry box for my birthday and a toy box that held his prized Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. If we needed storage cabinets in our garage, Jered drew up blueprints and built them. When we moved to a house with small bedrooms, Jered designed and built a queen-sized bunk bed over a built-in desk and book shelves to conserve space in his room. We no longer bought furniture. Jered simply built it. Looking back, I did not realize that those crayon blueprints and plastic tools would pave the way for our son’s career. Today, he owns his own construction business and is a master carpenter and builder.

Jered reminds me of another young man who was destined to become a builder – Jesus. Jesus’s earthly father, Joseph, was a carpenter by trade and taught Jesus everything he knew about being a master carpenter. It was not uncommon for the son to carry on his father’s business in those days. I often wonder if Jesus didn’t have a little workbench beside Joseph’s. I am sure Jesus must have followed His daddy around, hammering alongside His father’s true blows. I imagine Joseph had to remove a few stray nails driven by Jesus and even repair a few of his Son’s “jobs.” Did Jesus make a jewelry box for His mother or did He build a piece of furniture that Mary treasured like I treasure everything Jered has ever built for our home? Jesus was and is the ultimate Architect and Builder.

Yes, God is the Master Creator, but His greatest creations are not made of wood or stone. Jesus was and is the creator of eternal masterpieces like you and me. His blueprint for our lives is second to none. His plan is the Word of God and is without flaw or error as it molds us into the image of God – a process that is sometimes painful.

I once promised myself that I would never buy a house that could be described as a “fixer-upper.” I don’t like fixing things. I want everything to be fixed before I move in. But there I was, buying a town house that needed so much work even the realtor couldn’t believe my husband and I wanted to buy it. Why didn’t someone stop me? No one did, so the sale was made, and we went to work. Actually, my son and husband went to work while I went crazy.
I had no idea how horrible the process of remodeling could be. Layer after layer of dirt, grime, stains and ugliness was stripped away. Rotten kitchen cabinets were torn from the walls, and rusty appliances were replaced. We basically gutted the whole place and rebuilt it – while living in it. I was not happy!

I will never forget the day I woke up to see a toilet sitting at the foot of our bed. It was at that moment I resolved to never set foot in another house that required so much work. I am so thankful God does not feel that way about me.

Honestly, I used to wonder why God didn’t just demolish the old me and build a new one. Then He did just that – through a two-year battle with clinical depression. While sitting at the bottom of that deep, dark and slimy pit, the Father lovingly stripped away old fears and insecurities. From the walls of my heart, He tore the rotten attitudes, undisciplined thoughts and unholy desires that had walked me to the edge of my pit – then pushed me in. He replaced rusty old dreams with new ones and basically, gutted my life to build a new one, a better one, and a stronger one.

I know there are days when the plan of God seems completely wrong and we simply do not understand. Every moment is pregnant with darkness, and our hearts are numb, paralyzed by fear and doubt. We are treading water in the storm-tossed sea of life, desperately longing to see Him walking on the treacherous waves toward us, rescue in His hand. It is in those shadowed moments that we must choose to trust the Plan Maker, the Master Designer, even though our faith is small, and we cannot understand the plan. His ways are higher than our ways. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. And one day, every one of our question marks will be yanked into exclamation points as we see that high plan as He sees it – perfect.

For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11, NLT).

Today, girlfriend, set aside your meager agenda. Lay down your limited life arrangement and look for God to meet you at the point of surrender, power and victory in His hands. Now that is a great plan.

“And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise” (Heb. 6:15).

Abraham was long tried, but he was richly rewarded. The Lord tried him by delaying to fulfill His promise. Satan tried him by temptation; men tried him by jealousy, distrust, and opposition; Sarah tried him by her peevishness. But he patiently endured. He did not question God’s veracity, nor limit His power, nor doubt His faithfulness, nor grieve His love; but he bowed to Divine Sovereignty, submitted to Infinite Wisdom, and was silent under delays, waiting the Lord’s time. And so, having patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

God’s promises cannot fail of their accomplishment. Patient waiters cannot be disappointed. Believing expectation shall be realized.

Beloved, Abraham’s conduct condemns a hasty spirit, reproves a murmuring one, commends a patient one, and encourages quiet submission to God’s will and way. Remember, Abraham was tried; he patiently waited; he received the promise, and was satisfied. Imitate his example, and you will share the same blessing. -—Selected

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There is something sacred about waiting, but not simply waiting; waiting patiently. It was David that said, “I waited patiently on the Lord and He inclined to me….(Psalm 40:1). There is something about the one that has settled within their hearts that they are going to wait patiently on the Lord.

Waiting on the Lord patiently does not imply that the waiting lacks the tension of anticipation and expectation, no it is implicit of a heart that is so settled that delay does not deter it. Waiting patiently means that time is not a factor in measuring your faith. Waiting patiently is the product of trusting God beyond the boundaries of time and believing that what he has promised He is able to perform.

Abraham waited 25 years for the fulfillment of the promise that produced Isaac. Joseph waited patiently through slavery and imprisonment for more than thirteen years before the vision was fulfilled.

The God we serve is faithful, so do not grow weary in waiting and trusting. That which He has promised, He will deliver. This is why the writer of Hebrews tells us to hold fast to the confession of our faith. Because time and delay have a way of testing and stretching our faith. The sweet nothings of negativity whispered by others tend to shorten our faith line. The incessant cloud cover tends seize the longevity of our faith. Know that God responds to the intrepid and inexorable force of timeless faith. “…though it tarry, wait for it, for it will surely come…and it will not tarry (Hab. 2:3). Though it seems that the promise is lingering, God is never tardy in honoring His Word. When you wait, you win! ~ Dr. Rick Wallace

“…and He (God) will wipe every tear from their eyes…(Rev. 21:4).

This particular verse is referencing what will take place in the New Heaven and the New Earth, but is reveals a spiritual principle that can be applied today; God responds to the cries of His people. God told Moses, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people…and have given heed to their cry…the cry of the sons of Israel has come to me…therefore I will send you…(Ex. 3:7-9; NASB).

No matter what you are going through right now, God sees; God hears; and God knows. Your tears are momentary and they are calling God into action on your behalf. He has not forgotten about you. He is a true and faithful God that will honor His word to “never leave nor forsake you”. It may be dark now; the tempest may be raging in your life. You may be looking for true and genuine friends, but finding out that they are few. You may being feeling the sting of abandonment and betrayal. Maybe you have lost a loved one and the pain seems unbearable. Well, I want you to understand that the God we serve is the God of “the rescue”. He will show up and He will deliver.

Sometimes it is hard to smile, but hold on, your change is coming.

When I am in a situation and it seems that the darkness will never end, I am reminded of Job as he dealt with the heavy darkness that rested over his life. Job declared in the middle of all that he was dealing with “…All the days of my struggle I will wait until my change comes (Job 14:14, NASB). This is the mindset of the believer. There are times when I can’t see any way that I could possibly come out of the current situation favorably. There are times that I can’t see any sign of the end, but I am reminded that I do not walk by sight, but by faith in God to perform what he has promised. Like Job, I have decided that no matter how long it takes, I will wait until my change comes.

If I have to wait alone, I will wait. If I am ridiculed for being foolish and unrealistic, I will wait. When the enemy paints illusionistic portraits of negativity, I will wait. When the tears are rolling down in an unstoppable stream and my pillow becomes drenched, I will wait.

Though you can’t see it right now, your change is coming. Although the pain is larger than you right now, your change is coming. Although you can’t see any resemblance of what is expected, your change is coming.

God has sent his Word and it will perform all that it was sent to accomplish in you, through you, and for you! So, go ahead, cry if you must, your tears a temporary! ~ 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?

The Potency of Prayer (Revised)

by Rick Wallace original written on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 1:01pm Revised on Monday, March 21, 2011

The Potency of Prayer

 

Foundation Scripture: Mark 11:22-24; James 4:2-3

 

And Jesus, replying, said to them, Have faith in God [constantly].

23Truly I tell you, whoever says to this mountain, Be lifted up and thrown into the sea! and does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says will take place, it will be done for him.

24For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it]. (Mark 11:22-24 AMP)

 

You are jealous and covet [what others have] and your desires go unfulfilled; [so] you become murderers. [To hate is to murder as far as your hearts are concerned.] You burn with envy and anger and are not able to obtain [the gratification, the contentment, and the happiness that you seek], so you fight and war. You do not have, because you do not ask.

3[Or] you do ask [God for them] and yet fail to receive, because you ask with wrong purpose and evil, selfish motives. Your intention is [when you get what you desire] to spend it in sensual pleasures. (James 4:2-3 AMP)

 

As we embark on today’s journey into the infallible Word of God, it is my earnest and heartfelt desire that God will reveal Himself in a powerful and succinct way.

 

It is now that I pray that God illuminate and elucidate His Word that we may be able to grasp in depth its true meaning; that it may touch our hearts in a manner that draws us ever closer to Him. I pray also that God decrease me in every way and increase Himself within me, that the message

is that of God and not of me. I further pray that the hearts of those that receive this message will be anointed with a spirit of lucidity, that they might receive the message in a manner that they are able to apply it to their daily lives, Thereby becoming more powerful and effective in their walk with Christ. This is my prayer. Amen

 

Today’s text focuses on the subject of prayer; not just prayer in the broad sense of the word, but more specifically, the effectiveness of true prayer.  We are concerned here today with prayer that is efficacious as well as perpetual in its efficacy.

 

It is my opinion that though prayer is the most powerful weapon in our arsenal, it is the most misused, underused, and misunderstood as well. I will endeavor to bring some lucidity to the function of prayer and its benefits.

 

What is prayer? Well, before we address this question, let discuss what prayer is not. Prayer is not a method of getting God’s attention, for God is perfectly cognizant of every detail in your life. Through His Divine attribute of omniscience, he knows all there is to know and does not need you to bring any of it to His attention. Prayer is not attempting to convince God to do something on your behalf, for God has already done all that is needed. Hebrews 4:3 tells us that the works were finished before the foundations of the World. This means that all that will ever be needed to function, progress, and prosper in the ethereal journey we call Christianity has already been completed by God in eternity past. Let’s look at this passage of scripture a little closer because there is a wealth of power in the apprehension of this passage.

 

3For we who have believed (adhered to and trusted in and relied on God) do enter that rest, ]in accordance with His declaration that those [who did not believe] should not enter when He said, As I swore in My wrath, They shall not enter My rest; and this He said although [His] works had been completed and prepared [and waiting for all who would believe] from the foundation of the world.)

4For in a certain place He has said this about the seventh day: And God rested on the seventh day from all His works.

5And [they forfeited their part in it, for] in this [passage] He said, They shall not enter My rest.

We see in verse 3 that the works had most definitely been completed before hand (before the foundations of the world0, but we also see that just because God has provided the inheritance, does not guarantee that all will receive them. There are some requirements that precede the obtainment of the inheritance. In this particular passage of scripture the inheritance in question is “REST”. The writer in Hebrews in comparing the Nation of Israel in the wilderness and the contemporary believer, both having the Gospel preached to them. The Israelites had failed to enter into their rest (the promised land of Canaan) because of unbelief and the disobedience associated with the unbelief.

 

2For 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)

 

6Seeing then that the promise remains over [from past times] for some to enter that rest, and that those who formerly were given the good news about it and the opportunity, failed to appropriate it and did not enter because of disobedience, Heb. (4:6 AMP)

So it is quite important that we understand that although the inheritance has been prepared for us, it is not automatic. We have to execute our faith, and we do that through by exercising our faith which produces obedience. One more thing to take notice of here is that the writer makes mention of the fact that God rested on the seventh day. This does not have any religious or sacramental implication, but what it speaks of here is the fact that God rested after His work was completed, and this transfers to us in that we shall receive the prepared inheritance after we have completed the work. The work for the Israelites in the wilderness was to believe and trust God,

which would have led to their obedience and their moving into the rest of the promised land. The same applies to the contemporary believer; we must execute faith and move in obedience to receive the inheritance.

 

Okay then, we have, at least a minimal understanding of what prayer is not, but then what is prayer? How does it work? Why do so many fail in their prayer lives? These are the questions I will endeavor to answer for you today. Unfortunately, too many believers are struggling in the area of prayer, mainly because they don’t have an understanding of its function. It is extremely difficult to operate in any area without some type of understanding of the dynamic process of what you are doing.

 

In defining prayer, we can say prayer is that function that allows immediate access to the throne room of God. It is open fellowship between the believer and his creator. It involves both, talking and listening; reaching out to God with fervency and passion. It is sharing our concerns and desires. Prayer is the believer’s most effective tool in developing a more intimate and active relationship with God and it opens the portal to power.

 

Prayer is a communication system designed by God, which in essence, opens up the portal to unlimited resources that through salvation have been placed at our disposal. It would be remiss to take a lethargical approach to our prayer life. Look at what God says concerning prayer in the book of Isaiah:

 

“It will come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear. (Isa. 65:24 NASB)

 

God, in eternity past, knew through His omniscience every prayer that every believer would offer up to him. God’s omnipotence gives him the absolute power to provide in advance the answer to everyone of these prayers. Let’s look even deeper into the Word concerning prayer:

 

I love the LORD because He has heard    my appeal for mercy. (A)

2 Because He has turned His ear to me,    I will call [out to Him] as long as I live. (Psalm 116:1-2 HCSB)

 

“I will call on Him as long I live.” What a powerful statement. David is saying that he will never cease to call on the Lord. We are told to pray without ceasing, 1 Thessalonians 5:17. With the power and effectiveness linked to prayer, why would anyone be satisfied with a perfunctory and stagnant prayer life? I believe one of the issues with prayer is that most of us for one reason are another, don’t have the productivity we desire from prayer.

 

In fact, the ineffectiveness of the Christian prayer life has become an ever increasing concern of mine. In analyzing the multitudinous conversations I’ve shared with some of you, I have noticed a lack of fervor, a lack of desire, and a lack of anticipation when it comes to prayer. James 5:16 tells us that the effectual fervent prayers of a righteous man avails much. What this means is that the heartfelt, expectant prayers have potency.

 

Unfortunately, too many of us have ascribed a sense of mundanity to our prayers. I might even dare to say that some view prayer as a necessary task or duty instead of an expectant privilege. Prayer has become ritualistic; we have confused religion with relationship. Christianity is not religion; it is a relationship that culminates in becoming one with Christ. It is a lived lifestyle, not a sacramental obligation! Religion has crippled us and made us mechanical and unresponsive the voice and promptings of God. We can’t hear God when he speaks because our movements are not properly motivated. We move out of ritualistic habit instead of through the motive love, adoration, and gratitude.

 

There is no wonder that there is so much concern when it comes to the effectiveness of our prayers. We have not grasped with certainty the true nature of prayer. Prayer has become something we have to do instead of something we yearn to do. True prayer has power. True prayer is never mandated by religious rite or sacrament. True prayer is extended through the free volition of the believer with earnest expectation, because prayer rests on the foundation of the believer’s faith. Prayer is to be enjoyed and passionately pursued instead of conscience driven.

 

C.H. Spurgeon, the prominent nineteenth century theologian and pastor, once said that when studying the Word of God, we must do three things: look at the text, look at ourselves, and then look above ourselves. With this in mind, let us first look at the text.

 

Therefore, I say unto you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them and you will have them.” (Mark 11:24 NKJV)

As we began to anatomize this text, it is to our benefit to consider the admonishment of Paul to Timothy:

15Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth. (2 Timothy 2:15 AMP)

 

With this scriptural admonishment in mind, let us now examine the text that is before us.

The first thing that we must take note of here is that our prayers require specificity. Christ says, “Whatever things you ask.” There must be something definite and specific for which you are praying. All too often we send up prayers that are nebulous and ambiguous, even to ourselves. These vague prayers lack concentration of specificity; meaning that there is no clear indicator of what we are seeking. We know we are in need of something, but are unclear as to what it is or we are unable to adequately express it. Without the focus of something specific and real for which we are praying, our prayers become empty and fruitless; perfunctory in nature! When praying we speak specifically and clearly what we are seeking. There has to be something clear on which our faith and hope rests.

 

Next, your prayers must be encapsulated by faith. Christ says, “Believe that you will receive”. A prayer insulated by faith is a prayer of expectation and hope. True faith demands that we see beyond the visible circumstance before us. True faith requisites spiritual insight; this insight comes through the Word of God; and is confirmed by the Holy Spirit. Faith does not consider the facts, because faith, by its very definition transcends fact. Stop looking at the outward circumstances and start believing that the God you serve is bigger than any circumstance you will encounter.

 

Why are we not walking in power? Why are pinned in by the enemy? Why are we lacking in so many areas? James 4:2-3 sheds light on this question:

 

‘…You do not have, because you do not ask.

3[Or] you do ask [God for them] and yet fail to receive, because you ask with wrong purpose and evil, selfish motives. Your intention is [when you get what you desire] to spend it in sensual pleasures.” (AMP)

We have failed either to ask our father for what we need or want or we are asking amiss. Asking amiss is simply asking for something with the wrong motive and intentions. So many of us make our wish list out for God with no reverence or consideration given to his will. Knowing and understanding the will of God is of utmost importance.

 

“So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Eph. 5:17 NASB)

 

“Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].” (Romans 12:2 AMP)

 

Our prayers have to be in line with the perfect will of God for our lives. No matter how passionate our prayer; not matter how intensely we profess; if we are opposite God’s will, we are praying in vain. Prayer is not a tool used to circumvent the sovereign will of God, but to perpetuate it. We are called in Romans 12:2 not only to know the will of God, but to move away from the thinking and ways of the world. One of the effective weapons of Satan has been his ability to infiltrate the Christian faith with worldly philosophies. I call this a comingling of the Word and the World and it is totally in direct opposition to God’s will.

 

This carries us into the next phase of our study, “Looking at ourselves”. When our prayer life is unproductive, it calls for introspection, a looking within, and a veracious assessment of where we are and what we are doing. We must search ourselves to find where we have fallen short.

 

In your personal prayer life, are you praying specific and direct prayers, or are your prayers traditional, rehearsed or repetitive, with no true passion? Are your prayers unaccompanied by faith and anticipation; just left in the air to linger? Have you taken the time to align yourself with the perfect will of God or are you still living by your own rules and standards? Are you living on

your own terms, yet arrogantly expecting God to honor your request? The audacity we display when we place our petitions and supplications at the altar after having shaken our fist in the face of God declaring: “This is my life.”

 

You may reply by proclaiming that you’ve done no such thing; however, each time you choose to move opposite to His will, any time you choose through your own volition to sin, any time you choose your way in neglect of God’s way you have said to God, “I will live my life as I please.” As a free willed creature, this course of action is of course, your prerogative; however, you must be prepared for the consequences, one of which is a stagnant and ineffective prayer life.

We must first align ourselves with the will of God before we approach His throne. When we examine ourselves, are we in line with God’s Word? Can we say with certainty that we are in unison with today’s scriptural text?

 

Lastly, let us look above! Let us first look to God and repent, for God has given us a powerful and mighty weapon in prayer and we have allowed it lie dormant and rust away from nonuse. How can we consider ourselves to be soldiers of the cross, when God has given us this matchless and unparalleled power, yet that power lies still, dormant, and untapped?

 

How Satan must emote with joy knowing that so many of us have failed to utilize this most awesome weapon at our disposal. In reviewing history it is said that the Roman Emperor Constantine saw that on the coins of other emperors before him that their image was struck in an erect posture of triumph. Instead of following suit, he ordered that his image be struck kneeling in prayer, for he said, “This is the way that I have triumphed.” Constantine had an erudite understanding that there is no victory without prayer.

We too, must come to this reality. We cannot prosper without prayer; there is no victory aside of prayer.

When we begin to see our prayer life as a privilege instead of a tedious task, it will open a pathway to victory. When we see prayer as a direct line to our power source, we will be able to face the vicissitudes of life without fear and anxiety. When we see the right to approach the throne of grace as an honor and not a burden, we will unleash the power of God into our lives and circumstances.

 

Many of us have been awaiting the movement of God in our situations. We have been searching for peace in the midst of the storm. We have been looking for something in which we can anchor our hopes. 2 Chronicles 7:14 lays out the powerful force of prayer as God speaks to Solomon concerning the temple:

 

“If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.” (AMP)

 

Let us turn away from the selfishness of our self-centeredness toward God. Let us humble ourselves in His presence; let us seek his face with an anticipation of what’s to come. Let us know that when we seek Him at the point of His perfect and definite will, He will move mightily on our behalf. We will be able to gain ground in this spiritual walk. We will be able to claim the precious promises of God. We will be able to face the struggles of this life with a newfound hope; with renewed purpose and vigor. Through our prayer life, we will be able to embrace the truth that troubles don’t last always. In prayer we will find that we can do all things through Christ. Through prayer we will find that God’s grace is sufficient for every struggle. In prayer we will find that no weapon formed against us will prosper. Though prayer will find the Lord is mighty to save. Through prayer will find that our weapons are not carnal, but mighty in God to the pulling down of strongholds.

 

God is waiting to be gracious to you; He desires to do a new thing. He is prepared to touch every situation, every circumstance, every heartache, and every disappointment. God is ready to reach out and bring healing to every aspect of your life.

 

To those that are suffering in the horrible pit of relational dysfunctionality, God has an answer to your prayer.

 

To those that are burdened with financial strain, God has an answer to your prayer.

 

To those that have been struggling with addiction, God has an answer to your prayer.

 

I invite you to try him. Step out on faith and watch God as he moves through the show up process. We all know what God does when he shows up; He shows out!

 

Claim your blessing! Walk in triumph! Live in victory! Speak with power! Pray!

 

May you be richly blessed,

 

Rick Wallace

http://rickwallaceministries.com

 

 

The revelatory influence of God’s Word never ceases to amaze me. No matter how much time I spend in the Word, no matter how well I believe I have anatomized a particular subject, God always seems to take me a little further each time I visit Him in His Word. When it comes to the power and sufficiency of His grace there is no exception.

As Christian believers, we will inevitably come to a place of trouble in our lives. Christ promised that there would be tribulations. He said that the world would hate us because it hated Him. Yet, He said that we should be of good cheer because he had already overcame the world (John 16:33). This means that the victory has already been one. The strategic victory has been established (Christ magnanimous work done at Calvary), and now the tactical victory must be executed (the believer’s victorious walk made available by the victory achieved by Christ at Calvary).

It is important to understand the multitudinous assets we have at our disposal. Because of our position in Christ we have the power to overcome any obstacle and conquer any enemy. God has designed each of us with a specific purpose in mind and He has empowered (anointed) us to fulfill our destinies. As Christians it is not our aim to circumvent life’s struggles because we understand that it is in the struggles that the power of God moves mightily on our behalf. It is in the weakness of pain that the power of God’s love restores us. So, any attempt at circumventing the vicissitudes of life is futile and reveals a level of spiritual immaturity. There are numerous text within the Bible that reveal this truth; none quite as powerfully and distinctly as 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.

7And to keep me from being puffed up and too much elated by the exceeding greatness (preeminence) of these revelations, there was given me a thorn ([a]a splinter) in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to rack and buffet and harass me, to keep me from being excessively exalted. [Job. 2:6.]

8Three times I called upon the Lord and besought [Him] about this and begged that it might depart from me;

9But 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. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may[c]pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!

10So for the sake of Christ, I am well pleased and take pleasure in infirmities, insults, hardships, persecutions, perplexities and distresses; for when I am weak [[d]in human strength], then am I [truly] strong (able, powerful [e]in divine strength). (2 Corinthians 122:7-10, AMP)

Here Paul informs the Corinthians about the “thorn” in his “flesh”. What exactly this thorn is has been the topic of much great debate among theologians for centuries. I will not endeavor to state my case on the matter because it does not have true bearing on the message. If it did, Paul would not have been as ambiguous in revealing it. What is important is Paul’s request for God to remove the thorn and God’s response.

One thing to take notice of here is the fact that Paul lists the reason that he has the thorn. Paul had received an abundance of revelation and with the natural exaltation that comes with a gift like that it would have been easy for Paul to get big-headed, so God allowed this thorn to exist to keep Paul grounded and dependent upon Him.

Paul says that he prayed three times. This is significant for two reasons. First, the multiple supplications reveals Paul’s intense desire to have the thorn removed; it was not simply a nuisance, but it was painful and a burdensome. Second, as powerful of a faith warrior as Paul was his will could not override the will of God. God is sovereign and his will is the final standard.

Paul, as we often do, sensed the intensity of the moment and immediately sought extraction from the pain, discomfort, and toil involved with his affliction. He wanted to be taken back to a place of comfort, but God’s response was both, powerful and succinct. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.

Let’s slow down for a moment so that we can take a good look at what is happening here. God is revealing the fact that there is not an autonomy, as for as man is concerned, outside of God. Man functions optimally under the power of God. God is saying to Paul, I will not take you out of the trial, but I will bring you through it. God is opening and bearing up the truth concerning His grace. We all see grace as simply the function through which God forgives our sins, but it is so much more. Grace represents everything that God is able to do on our behalf based on Christ’s magnanimous gift on Calvary. This includes the power he provides to live this Christian life in victory.

“My grace is sufficient” is one of the most powerful statements in the Bible. Some of you may feel that I am being melodramatic, but allow me a moment to point out a couple of things that validate my point. We know that this is a powerful statement first of all because God uses it as a “settle all” for Paul’s incessant prayers concerning his thorn. God did not go into a long doctrinal treatise to give Paul an explanation; He simply said, “My grace is sufficient….” In other words, the buck stops with grace. One of the most impactful words of this entire passage is one that almost always goes unnoticed; “IS”. “IS” is the 3rd person singular present indicative of “be”.  The key grammatical designator is “present indicative”. Present means now and indicative indicates what. In simple God’s grace “is” sufficient, not shall be sufficient, but “is” sufficient. This means right now, you have all that is necessary to overcome everything that you encounter. Right now; not tomorrow, but you have the power to stand right now.

Let’s look at the word “sufficient” for a moment. The Greek word translated “sufficient” is

ἀρκέω

arkeō

ar-keh’-o

Apparently a primary verb (but probably akin to G142 through the idea of raising a barrier); properly to ward off, that is, (by implication) to avail (figuratively be satisfactory): – be content, be enough, suffice, be sufficient.

Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries  G714

 

Sufficient means that everything that is required is supplied. There is nothing lacking in the grace of God. Allow me to state it this way; God does not supply your spiritual assets in installments; he has given you all the assets that are required and then some, but you must possess the faith to access them.

God supplements His declaration to Paul with a final declaration of power. “For my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Paul, in his ingenious elliptical writing style has boldly explained our pain in two verses of scripture. In verse 7 we find that our pain and afflictions stabilize us and prevent us from becoming haughty. In verse 9 we find that this same pain (weakness) allows the power of God to work mighty on our behalf; meaning that we can accomplish more in our state of acknowledged weakness through God’s power than we can at full strength in our own human strength. So, the very thing that humbles us also makes us strong. All I can say to that is “only God”.

What is Paul’s Conclusion to all of this?

 

“…Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may[c]pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!

10So for the sake of Christ, I am well pleased and take pleasure in infirmities, insults, hardships, persecutions, perplexities and distresses; for when I am weak [[d]in human strength], then am I [truly] strong (able, powerful [e]in divine strength).” (2 Cor. 12:9-10 AMP)

Paul is not saying that his pleasure is in the actual infirmities, but that there is pleasure and encouragement in what these infirmities and afflictions will produce. Paul understood that his greatest achievements would be accomplished under the pressure of affliction. He came to the knowledge that his pain activated God’s power. He understood that his weakness opened the door for something great to come in.

God wants you to know that there is nothing going on in our life that he is not aware of. He desires that you apprehend the fact that the very things that are hurting you right now will facilitate your greatness. Your weakness and inability to resolve the issue on your own opens the door for God to step in and perform all that he has promised. Know that all that you are dealing with at this moment is not beyond you because God has you in His care. Your pain and struggles may be bigger than you, but they are never too big for God. So when you traveling through the vicissitudes of life and it seems that things are simply getting worse, lift up your hands in praise because God’s grace is sufficient.

 

God bless,

Bishop Rick Wallace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes….”(Rev. 21:4 and 7:17)

“And the Lord will wipe away tears from all faces….”(Isa. 25:8)

 

If you are anything like me, you have those moments in which tears begin to well up in your eyes.  You make abortive and bootless efforts to suppress the inevitable tide of physically manifested emotions.  Tears can be brought on by many ardent and effusive forces.  There are tears of regret; when I take a retrospective glance at my life, tears began to flow as I am reminded of the pain that has come to others because of my selfish actions.  There are tears of pain.  The same retrospection that produces regret also paints the malevolent and inclement portrait of abandonment and heartache.  There are tears of Joy, sadness, emptiness and loneliness.  Tears are most often associated with negative emotions.

 

It is a natural human instinct to hold back tears.  Nobody wants to cry.  I took some time to stop by and tell you that it’s okay to cry, your tears are temporary.

            “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory…”(2 Cor. 4:17)

 

Jesus promised it, mama confirmed it, and experience has consummated and solidified the fact that this world will bring pain to those that inhabit it.  There is no circumvention of the trials and tribulations of this life.  You will inevitably take some wrong turns that consequently lead to pain.  You will at some point and time experience the heartache brought on by the neglect and betrayal of those you love and hold dear.  There will be a time when you will, just as David, say, “In return for my love there are my love they have become my accusers…”(109:4)  There are men that with every ounce of their being attempt to stem the tide of tears that flow as a result of pains that run deep.  There are women that have sworn that they will not shed one more tear over a man that has repetitively wounded their emotional stability.  Yet, in both instances, these people wake in the morning to find their pillows drenched with tears.

 

Tears are as natural as the instinct to suppress them.  They are a physiological response to invisible emotions; emotions that the majority of us don’t want exposed.  In our culture, tears are considered a sign of weakness, especially when it comes to men.  However, our emotions were never meant to be suppressed, but expressed.  David, Jeremiah, and Jesus all wept.  Very few people understand that crying and weeping are part of the healing process.  Suppressed emotions are never conducive to proper healing.

 

 

 

The most awesome truth about our moments of weeping is that no matter how hard we try to conceal our tears, our weeping is never a solitary experience.

 

“And the Lord said: ‘I have surely seen the oppression of my people who are in Egypt, and I have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows.”(Ex. 3:7)

 

God acknowledges that He has seen and heard the cries of His people.  He establishes the point that He is not some distant God that is cold and aloof toward His people.  Exodus 2:23 informs us that as the cries of the children of Israel rang out, God heard their groaning and He remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Remembering His promises, God looked upon the children of Israel and acknowledged them.  God has promised us that He will never leave nor forsake us.  This fact should bring solace to every believer.  Though the vault of your emotions has been breached and a medley of emotions cascade through the hollows of your existence, do not despair.  No matter how lonely the moment, irrespective to the current darkness, you are not alone.

 

Not only has God promised never to leave us alone, He has promised to act on our behalf.

            “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)

 

“When the enemy comes in like a flood.  The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.”(Isa. 59:19)

 

God did not simply acknowledge the children of Israel and their circumstances, He became personally involved.

“So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians…”(Ex. 3:8)

 

Not only have “I’ heard their cries and seen their oppression, “I” am going to intervene on their behalf.  The God we serve is completely responsive to the needs of His people.  He does not sit idly by while they face the vicissitudes of life.  God responds to those tears with a decisive force, bringing power, joy, and peace.

 

In fact, it is those moments of mourning, weeping, and crying that God moves most awesomely in the lives of believers.  When the pain of the moment has taken control of your life; when the loneliness has consumed you and the manacles of depression have seized hold of you; when no one else seems to care, God hears and God answers.  God responded to the cries of Job, David, Jeremiah and more.  It was the weeping of Mary and Martha that moved Jesus to tears and prompted the resuscitation of Lazarus.  It was the weeping of the nation of Israel that caused God to speak through Ezekiel and promise to bring them up from their graves of despair.  God moves in moments of desperation.

 

Let us look once again at the book of Exodus so that we might closer examine the dynamics of God’s movement in the lives of His chosen.  It begins in Chapter 1.

            “But the children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly, multiplied and grew exceedingly mighty….Now there arose a new king over Egypt…and he said to his people….come, let us deal shrewdly with them….therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens….and they made them serve with rigor…. Then the King spoke to the midwives…and he said, when you do the duties of a midwife to the Hebrew women, if it is a son, then you shall kill him…”(Ex. 1:7-6)

 

The God we serve is a “show up” God, and the show up process begins at the moment of need.  Up to this point, God had sustained His people through providential care.  They had increased abundantly and grew exceedingly mighty, but the moment the Egyptians moved against them, the show up process began.  God’s subtle movements are revealed in His providential provisions.  There is nothing subtle about the show up process; when God shows up He shows out.  He is completely radical in His movement.  He leaves no doubt as to who has brought deliverance.  Your tears are a visible sign that God is about to bust a move in your situation.

 

 

Every oppressive move of the Egyptians drew God closer to His people.  Every lash of the taskmasters whip, every drop of sweat from the brow of an enslaved Israelite, every vociferous cry of a Hebrew woman brought closer the day that God’s inimitable and unsurpassed power would be displayed on behalf of His chosen.  The tears of the believer are like a magnet that acts as a spiritually kinetic force that draws God to the center of the struggle.  Sometimes all you can do is cry.  Your ability to reason has dissipated, rendering you dysfunctional.  You want to pray, but you can’t form the words.  All you can do is cry.  Your soul sinks within you and the questions of why, how and when press their way to the surface.  Why is this happening to me?  How could he/she do this to me?  When will it end?  All of these questions have their place, however, the most pertinent question is not why, how, or when, but who?  Who can I turn to when my attempts to ebb the tides of the tribulation proves futile?  Who can I trust when no one else seems to care?  When those who are normally the pillars of support in my life are being crushed under the weight of life’s realities, to whom can I turn to be the buttress that sustains me in the midst of the storm?

“When I cry out to you, Then my enemies will turn back; this I know, because God is for me.” (PS 56:9)

“And it will be for a sign and for a witness…for they will cry to the Lord…and he will send them a savior and a Mighty one, and He will deliver them.”(Isa. 19:20)

 

“Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep….So David recovered all…and nothing of theirs was lacking, either small or great….David recovered all…”(1 Sam. 30:4, 18-19)

 

 

When there is nowhere else to turn, even when there is “no more power” to weep, God hears our cries, even the silent cries of a desperate soul.  It’s okay, go ahead and cry.  Your tears are a release of the pressures, hurts and disappointments of the moment.  Your tears are a clarion sounding to God that His child is in need.  Your tears are not meant to be quenched or suppressed; they are an expression of the heart’s yearnings.  Your tears are a part of God’s show up process.

 

Isn’t it awesome to be in Love with a God that loves you; a God that becomes personally involved in our lives.  I can’t promise you that there will not be tears, in fact, the one you hold dearest may yet break your heart; the expectations for tomorrow may go unfulfilled; in return for your love, they may become your accuser.  Yet, God, in His bountiful love, sees, hears, and responds to the cries of His people.

 

God, through His Word, has not only promised temporal relief from life’s struggles and disappointments, but an eternal acknowledgment and comforting for every tear shed during this ethereal journey of Christianity.

 

“God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.”(PS. 46:1)

“For the lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”(Rev. 7:17)

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”(Rev. 21:4)

 

In Psalms 46, we find that God is a present help in trouble.  He is there during those bouts with loneliness; He is there when you are grieving and mourning the loss of a loved one; He is there when all you possess is taken away.  No matter what you are going through; no matter how dark the moment, God is there.  Not only is He a present help, but he has promised to bring eternal peace and comfort.  He has promised to wipe every tear permanently away from your eyes, after which there will be no more death, no more sorrow, nor crying.  He has promised that He will personally take away forever, every pain, every heartache, and every tormenting struggle.

 

Isaiah 25:8 says, “He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces.  Isaiah 35:10 says, “And the “ransomed” of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing.  With everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and singing shall flee away.”

 

“The ransomed” refers to those who have been purchased at a price; those whose debt has been expiated by the Son.  “The ransomed” are those who have been redeemed by the precious “Blood” of the “Lamb”.  Ransomed and redeemed are words meritorious of our concentrated attention.  These words remind us that we have been released from the prison of sin; we have been rescued from the pit of hell; we have been preserved for all eternity; we have been liberated, set free, and cut loose from the shackles of eternal damnation.  God in His matchless love has said, “I will ransom them from the power of the grave…(Hosea 13:14)”

 

 

When we keep in view the fact that we are creatures redeemed by the creator; when we are able to apprehend in full the understanding of the magnitude of the love required for God to redeem us in our sinful state, we will view our trials, sufferings, and disappointments in a different light.  We will view them as Paul did:

 

            “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”(Rom. 8:18)

“We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed….for our light affliction, which is but for a moment is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of Glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.  For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Cor. 4: 8,9,17 and 18)

 

Your tears are a temporary response to the reality of the moment.  Your tears are a physical expression of an emotional state.  It’s okay, go ahead and cry, the pain won’t last forever.  God’s on His way and He’s bringing joy with Him.  He’s coming to wipe away ever tear.  You may be crying now, but weeping only endures for a night, for joy comes in the morning.  Cry if you must, but do not despair; the God we serve is a show up God.  He is on His way to deliver, to heal, to liberate, and to exalt.  So, let the tears flow when they come, for soon God will wipe every tear away!

 

May you be richly blessed!

 

Sincerely,

Bishop Rick Wallace

Faith Grows Amid Storms

“He hath acquainted himself with my beaten path. When he hath searched me out, I shall come out shining” (Job 23:10, free translation).

Faith grows amid storms”–just four words, but oh, how full of import to the soul who has been in the storms!

Faith is that God-given faculty which, when exercised, brings the unseen into plain view, and by which the impossible things are made possible. It deals with supernaturals.

But it “grows amid storms”; that is, where there are disturbances in the spiritual atmosphere. Storms are caused by the conflicts of elements; and the storms of the spiritual world are conflicts with hostile elements.

In such an atmosphere faith finds its most productive soil; in such an element it comes more quickly to full fruition.

The staunchest tree is not found in the shelter of the forest, but out in the open where the winds from every quarter beat upon it, and bend and twist it until it becomes a giant in stature this is the tree which the mechanic wants his tools made of, and the wagon-maker seeks.

So in the spiritual world, when you see a giant, remember the road you must travel to come up to his side is not along the sunny lane where wild flowers ever bloom; but a steep, rocky, narrow pathway where the blasts of hell will almost blow you off your feet; where the sharp rocks cut the flesh, where the projecting thorns scratch the brow, and the venomous beasts hiss on every side.

It is a pathway of sorrow and joy, of suffering and healing balm, of tears and smiles, of trials and victories, of conflicts and triumphs, of hardships and perils and buffetings, of persecutions and misunderstandings, of troubles and distress; through all of which we are made more than conquerors through Him who loves us.

“Amid storms.” Right in the midst where it is fiercest. You may shrink back from the ordeal of a fierce storm of trial…but go in! God is there to meet you in the center of all your trials, and to whisper His secrets which will make you come forth with a shining face and an indomitable faith that all the demons of hell shall never afterwards cause to waver. –E. A. Kilbourne

*************

What an awesome revelation. The Apostles Paul said that tribulation produces perseverance and perseverance produces character and character produces hope. Paul said that hope produced through this sequence does not disappoint (Rom. 5:3-5 paraphrased). This type of hope is the product of pure faith. The type of faith is the fruit of a seed that that can only be cultivated within the fertile soil of trials and sufferings. Faith is not faith until it has been tested and proven pure.

6[You should] be exceedingly glad on this account, though now for a little while you may be distressed by trials and suffer temptations,

7So that [the genuineness] of your faith may be tested, [your faith] which is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire. [This proving of your faith is intended] to redound to [your] praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) is revealed. (1 pet. 1:6-7 AMP)

The furnace may be turned up seven times hotter than normal, but understand that you are not in the furnace alone. Just ask Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego about the fourth man that joined them in fiery furnace (Daniel chapter 3). When you allow your faith to be developed in the heat of life’s trials you will see your naysayers and enemies speak just as King Nebuchadnezzar, who had to humble himself before the God of his servants. Nebuchadnezzer came to personally witness the reason for such resolute faith in those three young boys. This faith produced results so powerful that King Nebuchadnezzer said: “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, Who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who believed in, trusted in, and relied on Him! And they set aside the king’s command and yielded their bodies rather than serve or worship any god except their own God …there is no other God who can deliver in this way!” (Dan. 3:28-29 AMP)

Trust God in all that you are going through right now is is worthy, willing, and able to perform His promises. Give God Some glory! ~Bishop Rick Wallace

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