Tag Archive: tribulation


 

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!

20 Then Job arose and (Z)tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. 21 He said,

(AA)Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked I shall return there.
The (AB)Lordgave and theLord has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:20-22, NASB)

22 (AC)Through all this Job did not sin nor did he [m]blame God.

As I sit here preparing for my sister’s funeral I am reminded of a sermon preached at the funeral of another close relative. The preacher was also a relative and he also drew his topic from the above text. The topic was posed as a Question: Can God Trust You With Trouble? Out of all of the multitudinous sermons I’ve heard and preached, this one resonates through my soul fluently and incessantly. What I have learned is my faith is not substantiated by the fruit of my conquered moments. It is not justified by the bounty I have accumulated. My faith is validated and confirmed in the midst of trials and adversity. So today I pose the same question to you: Can God trust you with trouble?

When we look at Job in the whole of this passage we see a man that has lived his life in a way that was pleasing to God. In fact, God gives Job one of the most stellar reviews of anyone in the Bible. Let’s look at how God describes Job in chapter 1.

And the Lord said to Satan, Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who [reverently] fears God and abstains from and shuns evil [because it is wrong]? (Job 1:8, AMP)

God uses words like blameless and upright to describe Job. I want you to take notice of something extremely relevant to the apprehension of this message in full. At the very same time that God is giving Job this sparkling pure review, He is volunteering him for the spiritual and physical hail storm of the ages. “Have you considered my servant Job…” God is saying to Satan if you are looking for someone to test, I volunteer Job. Understand this; if God volunteers you, you are definitely prepared for the moment.

Why would God offer up His best to endure the worst? I will tell you why. In the legal world whenever there is a testimony given the opposition has the right to cross examine. In other words, the testimony is not allowed to simply stand on its merits, it must hold up under cross examination. The same is true with the Christian life. When you make your proclamation of faith you must understand that at some point your testimony will be cross examined by the vicissitudes of life. No matter how tight you walk the line. No matter how often you pray. Irregardless to the depth of your scriptural knowledge, you are going to have to endure the cross examination of the enemy.

For all of Job’s loyalty he reaped disaster. For all of His righteous living he encountered darkness. For every passionate prayer he prayed he was met with news of death and loss. As we move through the book of Job we learn that he did not understand his heartache. He could not lay a finger on its source; however, the one thing he knew is that he had not done anything to deserve it. Wait, maybe he did. When you live within the will of God and walk in your purpose, you put yourself dead in the crosshairs of the enemy. When you make your proclamation of for God I live and for God I die, you become public enemy #1.

The scriptures tell us that in all of this, Job did not sin. Not only did Job refrain from sinning, but he found a way to praise God in the midst of his pain. When I think about this, that same question keeps ringing in the back of my mind: Can God trust you with trouble? When all of the eloquent words in the world can’t rescue you, and the unadulterated force of the enemy is leveled against you and your loved ones, will God be able to trust you with that pain?

When you can’t pray away the loneliness, will you still praise? When you can’t speak away the darkness will you still show gratitude? When in return for your love your friends become your accusers, will you still proclaim the greatness of God? Oh, it’s easy to shout his praise when all is well in your life, but when the phone rings only to bear more bad news, can you still sing of his worth?

Your legacy will be established through the way you engage your trials. Your greatness will be unveiled as you press inexorably toward your mark. Will your story reveal your valor or that you simply folded under the pressure? God wants to trust you with trouble, can he?

Be blessed,

Bishop Rick Wallace

Christian Impact

I want each of you to pick up your iPhones, EVO’s, and all of those other smart phones, turn off the screen until its dark and then look at your reflection in that iPhone and I want you to tell yourself, “Self, I am coming out and I am coming out with my hands up! I coming out of every dark situation with my hands held high in victory. God has promised that he would deliver me.I am coming out of the trap of selfish ambitions.
I am coming out of depression.
I am coming out of low self-esteem.
I am coming out of financial difficulty.
I am coming out of this abusive relationship.
I am coming out of confusion and despair.
i am coming out of subpar living
I am coming out of the sphere of dwarfed goals
I am coming out of weak moments and poor decisionsLook to God and tell Him that you glory in His name and you rest in the promises of His Word. Self, I know that God has something for me, for His Word says that Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the hearts of men all of the things that God has prepared for those that wait on Him. Self, hold on a little while longer, the breakthrough is coming. Self, settle yourself into the peace that transcends all understanding and wait for the flow of God’s awesome power to reach into this situation. Self, I am coming out. I coming out with my praise in tact. I am coming out with my joy in place. I am coming out with my song ever refreshed in my soul. I coming out with a new testimony. I am coming out with new wings to soar. I am coming with a Dance like David’s. I am coming out with vision and purpose in view.

Praise God.

I Don’t Wanna Cry

I Don’t Wanna Cry.

Tried In The Fire

Tried In The Fire.

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

 

Foundation Scriptures: Hebrews 3,4:1-8; Isa. 26:3,4

Key Verses Is. 26:3

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you.” (Isa. 26:3)

 

I have read and believe that a true state of happiness is the most difficult state for a Christian to achieve.  In order to apprehend the veracity in this statement, one must be willing to be honest with themselves; next they must have the ability to detach themselves from the euphoric world in which they have become engrossed.  Allow me to paraphrase: Wake up and smell the coffee! Please understand that I am not saying that it is impossible, I am simply pointing to all that comes against us to rob us of our contentment and joy. We will find out shortly that in Christ all things are possible.

 

Through experiential progression, I have come to the conclusion that no matter how determinedly and agonizingly we strive to escape the pain, heartache and despair that life so opportunistically places at our feet, we will inevitably endure asperity and anguish.  Christians don’t like hearing that.  We want to be told that post salvation life will be a metaphorical cakewalk.  The truth is, we have been promised that there will be a great deal of trials and tribulation.

 

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer.  I have overcome the world.”

(John 16:33)

 

The Greek word used for tribulation here is “thlipsis” which means: pressure, oppression, stress, anguish, tribulation, adversity, affliction, crushing, squashing, squeezing, distress.  This word carries the connotation of taking something that is free and unfettered and compressing it with the objective of producing something better.  The same word is used of crushing grapes and olives in a press.  “Thlipsis” is, in essence, spiritual bench pressing, making a stronger and more formidable Christian soldier.  So, our struggles are quite a necessary part of our spiritual progression.

 

This does not mean that inevitable trials and distresses will be easy but they should not produce fear, anxiety, or bitterness.  At the same time Jesus promised tribulation, he also promised peace.  How is this so?

 

“Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone.  And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.” (John 16:32)

 

At the time of Jesus’ arrest, trial, and crucifixion, the disciples would all in some way forsake Him and flee to the safety of their homes.  Though they would leave Him, He would not be alone, because the father would be with Him.  We have the same promise.

 

“For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ “ (Heb. 13:5)

“For He Himself is our peace.” (Eph. 2:14)

 

Therefore, our peace is not in the absence of trials, but in the perpetual presence of our Lord and Savior.  As believers, we tend to paint illusions of grandeur; we have all the right responses to the struggles and vicissitudes we face.  Painting over the realities of this harsh world, we give the appearance that life is all peaches and cream; when in fact, the pressures against those who believe in Christ are a thousand times greater than those of the unbeliever.

 

At first glance, the aforementioned statements present a gloomy and dark picture and may be somewhat discouraging to those who are new in the faith; However, I believe that it is of vital importance that all Christians face the facts.

 

Fact One: We reside as aliens in a world that is under the rule and Lordship of Satan.  We are considered aliens because although we reside here, our citizenship is in heaven. (Phil. 3:20)

 

Fact Two: The world by its very nature is hostile toward Christians.  Christ declared that since the world hated him, it would hate us also.

 

Fact Three: We are dead centered in the midst of a spiritual warfare, the angelic conflict.  We are both, participants and spoils of this war.  There are spiritual forces that are constantly moving against us.

 

In summary, the Christian is constantly facing tremendous, powerful, insidious pressures, and often, the greater your capacity for service, the greater the believer can be used by God, the greater the pressure on every side — the world, the flesh, and the devil.

 

In the beginning, I stated my belief that a true state of happiness is the most difficult state for the Christian to achieve.  I did not say it was unattainable, for it is very much within the grasp of every believer.  Then why is it so difficult to achieve? It is difficult because believers have taken on the worldly view of ephemeral elation, happiness of the moment.  The celerity at which happiness enters and exits the lives of believers is astounding.  To most, happiness is circumstantial, depending on situational occurrences.  This produces instability and ineffectiveness.  God, through His infallible Word, has promised perpetual joy.  This joy is irrespective in nature; it is not dependent upon external circumstances; it does not dwarf in the face of adversity and it burgeons in response to the development of our relationship with Christ.  This joy is closely related to the peace God has promised.  They are always found in close proximity to each other.  Our joy and peace are produced through constant abiding in Jesus Christ.  So allow me to reiterate this truth: Joy and peace are not produced through the circumvention of life’s storms, but are perpetually present despite them.

 

When your mind is fixed on Jesus; when your heart is settled in love, there is no storm, no disappointment; no heartache that can rob you of your joy and peace, even in the midst of the storm.  We are forever coalesced to the Prince of Peace.  “For He Himself is our peace.(Eph 2:14)  The Greek “eirene” (eye-ray-nay) carries the meaning of state of rest, quietness, calmness, an absence of strife, and tranquility.  It also carries a connotation of “being united with” as well as “to bring an end to hostility”.  So in essence, the peace that surpasses all understanding (Phil. 4:7) is the culmination of “being united with Christ” whereas he “brings an end to hostility”, thereby creating a “state of rest” in which there is “an absence of strife” and a sense of “calmness” and “tranquility”.

 

 

This union with Christ is birthed through the channel of faith.  God wants to provide a place of rest, but it has to be obtained through the promises of His Word, received by faith.  Let us take a look at Hebrew 4:1,2:

 

“Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it, For indeed the Gospel was preached to us a well as to them; but the Word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.”

 

 

The first thing we notice here is the conjunctive adverb “therefore”.  This word indicates that there is a preceding clause as well as a subsequent clause.  The subsequent clause is easily identified as it immediately follows the conjunctive adverb, but where is the preceding clause?  The answer is: In the previous chapter.  The original text of the Bible was not separated into chapters or numbered in verse.  This was done later as a means of reference.  So we will have to look beyond the confines of these numbered boundaries.  The preceding clause that completes this statement is found in Chapter 3, verse 19, “So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.”

 

In Chapter 3, the writer of Hebrews reminds us that the first generation of recently freed Israelites failed to reach the peace, tranquility, and abundance of the promise land.  The writer quotes a passage from Ps. 95:7-11 that reinforces the cause of this failure to reach the promised place of rest.

 

In Chapter 4 he jumps from the past to the present and exhorts or admonishes the readers not to fall short of the promised rest.

 

“For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as them; the Word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with “faith” in those who heard it.” (Heb. 4:2)

 

Here lies the very thing that separates those who are able to attain true peace and happiness and those who are not —faith!  They received the promise just as we have, but it did not profit them.  They had the promise, but did not stand on it.  We have thousands upon thousands of promises in the Bible.  It has been estimated that there are in excess of 33,000 promises and of these, over 7,000 promises that God will have a direct and positive impact on those who will trust and believe in Him.

 

The problem with the Israelites in the wilderness was the spiritual ineptitude, the inability to see past their circumstances and trust God to perform that which he had promised.  They received the promise, but it was not encapsulated by faith.  Faith not only empowers, but it protects the promise.  Faith guards against anxiety, doubt, despair, impatience, and fear.

 

We have to face the fact that as Christians, we are going to be tested; we are going to endure trials and tribulations; we will be battered by the storms of the suffering and compounded by the vicissitudes of life; however; God has promised never to leave us nor forsake us.  God is saying, “You believed enough to trust Me with salvation, trust Me to provide you with that peace that transcends all understanding.  Trust Me to provide you with that happiness that is inexpressible.  Trust Me to anoint you with the power to fulfill your destiny.”  He is standing before you telling you that His grace is sufficient for you.

 

God has bequeathed us His infallible Word, we only need to take hold of the promises that are before us.

 

When we are able to grasp the understanding that the absence of trials and storms in our lives is not indicative of the potential for joy, peace, and fullness, but rather, our joy, peace and happiness is afforded and sustained despite the presence of life’s trials, we are then able to enter that rest.  We will be able to “count it all joy”.  We will be able to enter into our divine purpose with an unbridled pertinacity, overcoming every trial by faith.

 

As the burdens of this tedious life press us down and drain us of our strength, we can rest in the calm assurance that God’s grace is sufficient for us and His strength is made perfect in weakness.  We will be able to withstand the nefarious attacks of Satan while resting under the shadow of the almighty.

 

The Israelites in the wilderness could not enter the rest of the Promised Land because they did not receive the promises of God with faith.  So then faith is a prerequisite for peace, and we know that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Rom. 10:17)

 

It is time to uncover the secrets of God’s Word.  It is time to uncover the secret that says: “If I delight myself in the Lord, he will give me the desires of my heart.”

It is time to uncover the secret that says: “I have never seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging for bread.”

It is time to uncover that secret that says: “God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think.”

That secret that says: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”

That secret that says: If I “wait on the Lord and be of good coverage, He will strengthen my heart.”

I’m talking about joy inducing secrets.

The secret that says: “He who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him.”

That secret that says: “When my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take care of me.”

That secret that says: “No weapon formed against me, shall prosper.”

I’m talking about shackle loosing secrets.

The secret that says: “My defense is of God who saves the upright in heart.”

The secret that says: “Fear not for I am with you.”

The secret that says: “At my first defense, no one stood with me, but God stood with me, and strengthened me.”

The secret that says: “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for the pulling down of strongholds.”

I invite you to do as I do.  When darkness falls on my life, I call out the name of the Lord.  I can call Him any time of the day.  I will call Him in my moments of weakness.  I will call Him and tell Him about my troubles.  When I call Him, I can say, “Father, I stretch my hands to thee, no other help I know, if thou withdraw thine self from me, where else shall I go.”  I can say, “Precious Lord take my hand lead me on and let me stand.”  I can say, “Guide me over Great Jehovah, a pilgrim through this barren land.  I am weak but thou art mighty hold me with though powerful hand.”  I can say as the Psalmist, “Restore in me the joy of your salvation.

 

I can call Him down in the midst of the storm.  When I call Him, I say, “Lord, I need healing” or can simply speak those two worded prayers: hold me; keep me; protect me; bless me; shelter me; guide me.  No matter what happens I know when I call Him, He answers.  I invite you to join me in this place of rest.

 

May God bless, keep, and prosper you, even as your soul prospers!

 

Sincerely,

Bishop Rick Wallace

 

 

 

Scripture Reference: Exodus 3:7-9The Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings.8  “So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite.9  “Now, behold, the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me; furthermore, I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them. (NASB)

 

 

In this ethereal journey we will traverse many trials and afflictions. We will engage many challenges and undergo multitudinous transformations as we progress towards spiritual maturity. The enemy will, in these instances, attempt to convince us that we are alone. He would have us believe that God has, in some way, forsaken us. However, in this scriptural passage, we find that God had not forgotten Israel. He had not become aloof or indifferent to their plight.

 

By the time that God speaks to Moses in this passage, the Israelites had been in bondage in Egypt for 400 years. They had fallen from a position of prosperity and reverence among the Egyptians to one of oppression and servitude. They had come to a point in which it seemed to them that the hand of God no longer acted on their behalf. They spent many a hot day in the desert heat, under the fear of the task master’s whip, only to see the sun go down without even an inkling of deliverance. It is in this atmosphere of perceived hopelessness that God began the process of deliverance. It is when all except those who knew Him personally had written off the Israelites as nothing more than a slave race did God show Himself mighty on their behalf.

 

It is in this moment of despair that God inserts Himself. Some might say that God had left them to fend for themselves for four centuries. Some might postulate that they had traveled this journey alone. Yet if we study the Character of God, if we investigate His commitment to His covenantal promises, we will find that he is a constant help in the time of trouble (Ps. 46:1) It is through the power of God that the Israelites maintained the power to endure this perpetual and egregious struggle. They had not been left alone, but were a part of God’s plan. God had been there through every beating, through every heat scorched day, through every misdeed that they had suffered. He was completely cognizant of their pain and suffering and now He was about to move in a way that would be unmistakably God.

 

“I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings (verse 7).”

 

 

 

 

 

God is telling Moses, “I have certainly seen every misdeed. I have witnessed every lash from the taskmaster’s whip. I have seen every tear fall from their eyes. I have not been unaware of their struggles. I hear their cries and I have come because of their cries. Let my people know that their prayers have been heard. Let my people know that delay was not an indication of desertion. I have been working even their pain for their good. From this group of slaves, I will raise a mighty people. From this group of slaves shall descend kings. From this group of slaves shall ascend the messiah, the one who will save the world. In their suffering I have created a testimony of my power.”

 

The God that moved on behalf of the Israelites then is the same God now. I know that there of those of you that are struggling in your own world of enslavement. Some of you are in abusive relationships that you can’t seem to escape. Some of you have been battling the pain of abandonment by parents and loved ones. Some of you have found yourselves encapsulated by the fear of uncertainty. Some of you have become engrossed in the cares of this life and have found peace to be quite allusive. I want you to know that you are not alone. I want you to apprehend the fact that you belong to a purpose greater than yourself. It is imperative that you understand that God is a God of deliverance and power. The enemy is trying to convince you that you are defeated, but you are more than a conqueror. The enemy is telling you that you have met your demise, but you are at your moment of elevation. God is speaking into your situation, “Be still and know that I am God (Ps. 46:10).” God is saying that I hear your cries, and I have come because of your cries.

 

Listen to what David had to say on the matter:

 

“I waited patiently on the Lord; And he inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay. And he set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth… (Ps. 40:1-3).”

 

Praise God, for He is about to reach into your situation and give you a new song. Oh what a blessing it is to have a new song; a song that says “Can’t Nobody Do Me Like Jesus”; a song that says “There’s Healing in His Wings”; a song that says “I’m So Glad Jesus Lifted Me”; a song that says “My Soul Looks Back in Wonder of How I Got Over”. He is about to pull you out of the pit of destruction and place your feet firmly on a rock of stability. He is about to rescue you from that dysfunctional relationship. He is about to speak peace into the tumultuous existence in which you now reside. He is about to calm the billows of your stormy seas. Shake free of the feelings of despair for God is about to bust a move in your life. The Bible says that David encouraged himself in the Lord. So begin to speak the promises of God into your situation. Stand on your faith and trust God to honor his Word.

 

May you be blessed in the Lord.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Bishop Rick Wallace

Life Solutions 21

 

 

You are What You Think

 

Life Solutions has embarked on a 52 week campaign of power and liberation Entitled UPWARD MOBILITY. I would like to invite you to join me and others as we move toward power, elevation and liberation. I will be chronicling all of my contributions at my blog site: https://rickwallace21.wordpress.com/ as well as on my facebook page; Life Solutions 21 where over the next 52 weeks I will be addressing the enigmatic problems that are plaguing Christian believers. We will be addressing poverty and financial stewardship through my series “Abiding in Abundance”. We will address problems in marriage and dating through my series “When Your House is Not a Home” We will be addressing the power of faith and the position of confidence in God through my series “Covered by Covenant”. We will be addressing the power of thought in my series “Battle for the Mind”. I will be presenting opportunities for those that want to advance in spiritual maturity, entrepreneurship, filial connections and more. This will be done through resources that have been a blessing to me. I ask that you invite others to join you on this journey as it will be one of power and liberation. Come with an open mind and a willingness to learn and I promise you will not be the same.

Every week I will introduce you to certain principles that will help you to reach your goals in each of these areas as well as some other areas that are not mentioned, but happen to overlap into the lessons that are being presented. Without question, the most recurring of all themes will be “You are What You Think”; not only are you what you think, you get what you think. Most of you will find out that, as Joyce Meyers puts it, you are victims of your own “Stinkin Thinkin”.

No matter how well you plan your goals, irregardless to the energy and effort applied, despite your inexorable drive; if you do not change your way of thinking, you will never fully actualize your God given potential. You might find some level of success in one area or another, but you will never truly fulfill your design. You may be thinking that there is a certain level that you will be satisfied with that may be short of your full potential; that, in itself, is “Stinkin Thinkin”. As a believer, you have a responsibility to live to your full potential. Contrary to a great deal of teachings today, you do not have the luxury of a complacent thought process. But Bishop, didn’t Paul say that he was content in whatever state he was in? Yes, in Philippians 4:11 Paul states that he has learned to be content in whatever circumstance he was in. It is extremely important to understand the hermeneutic principles of Bible Study. Biblical hermeneutics is the study of the principles of interpretation concerning the books of the Bible. In an academic sense the discipline of Biblical hermeneutics is quite extensive; however there are three principles that must be adhered to in even the most basic bible study.

Isagogics means studying the Bible in terms of the historical context in which each book was written, including both the human writer, the audience, the times in which they lived, etc.

Categories refer to a topical categorization of doctrine, so that one can approach the Bible on a step-by-step basis and cross-reference scriptures effectively.

Exegesis is a word-by-word, verse-by-verse, etymological, syntactical and grammatical study of scripture in its original languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek) in order to gain an accurate interpretation of the scripture without the influence of an intermediate chain of language translations which may obscure or lose meanings.

You may be saying that is too much work, but what does the scripture say? Well, let’s see.

Study 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 Tim. 2:15 AMP)

16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Tim. 3:16 NIV)

This is a letter Paul addressed to Timothy, who was an overseer of the church; however when you give careful study of the context from which these scriptures were extracted, you will find that the responsibility of  proper study and mastery of scripture falls on the shoulder of every believer. One of the greatest strategic victories of Satan was to convince believers that the daily engagement of God’s Word is not a necessity. When we are not inculcating Bible doctrine into our minds our minds are being inculcated with something else. Here is a comment I posted on a related blog earlier today:

“I agree. We are inundated with erroneous and fallacious doctrines daily. These doctrines are dangerous because they infiltrate our thought processes and create secular paradigms that are diametrically opposed to the Christian Worldview, pulling us into the ever evolving web of secular worldviews. The number one priority of every believer is the constant, daily, intake, digestion, metabolism and inculcation of Bible Doctrine. The effective fulfillment of all other responsibilities is dependent upon the proper execution of the first.”

We have become lazy and unpurposed in our studies. This creates an orifice through which the enemy enters through fallacious doctrines that lead us off course. (Stinkin Thinkin)

Now, let us evaluate Paul’s statement concerning situational contentment in the light of the proper principles of Bible study. Paul is speaking to the Philippian Church and he is speaking to them concerning their desire to give financial support which they had wished to do before then, but couldn’t. Paul was letting them know that he has seen abundance and lack and has learned how to live in both in a state of contentment (contentment in the way that his joy is not shaken). This is not a complacent contentment, but a contentment that produces the fortitude to persevere until the change comes. Remember, it is in this same chapter that Paul instructs the Philippian believers to practice the things they have seen and heard of him. This is also the same chapter where Paul exhorts them to manage their thoughts. The final proof is in the pudding so to speak; Paul wrote the majority of the New Testament, almost single handedly evangelized two continents and provided us with the clearest portrait of grace in the Bible. I would say that Paul was anything but mediocre. There is no evidence of complacency in Paul’s legacy.

You are What You Think:

7For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. (Prov. 23:7)

God designed us to be indoctrinated; in other words, he created us to be responsive to intellectual stimuli. We are designed to advance based on the knowledge we receive and our response to that knowledge. Any knowledge that we are exposed to, if accepted as truth, impacts our thought processes and ultimately dictates our actions. If you want to change your path, change your thinking.

 

You are Transformed by the Renewing of Your Mind

1I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.

2Do 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]. (Rom. 12:1-2 AMP)

22Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old unrenewed self] which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion;

23And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude],

24And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness. (Eph. 4:22-24 AMP)

16Therefore we do not become discouraged (utterly spiritless, exhausted, and wearied out through fear). Though our outer man is [progressively] decaying and wasting away, yet our inner self is being [progressively] renewed day after day. (2 Cor. 4:16 AMP).

When we examine these scriptures we find that we are called to renew our minds, we are to transform ourselves into the likeness of our creator (in Holiness and Greatness) and this is done through our thinking. When we begin to see what the Word says about us; who the Bible says we are; and grasp the inheritance that God has established for us before we were ever born, we will be able to stand up in power and walk boldly into our calling. We will be able to engage the vicissitudes of life with confidence that our God will bring us through. We will be able to fix our gait in a certainty of direction because we understand that God is ordering and establishing our footsteps.

 

We Have the Mind of Christ

For (AE)WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But (AF)we have the mind of Christ. (1 Cor. 2:16 NASB)

“To summarize his thought, Paul again cited Isaiah (Isa. 40:13; cf. Rom. 11:34). That prophet marveled at the mind of God. Who can fully understand what God understands? Certainly no one can. On the other hand, mature believers can understand to a much greater degree than unbelievers because they have the Spirit of God in them and He controls them. Consequently the mature Christian has the mind of Christ. That is, he or she views life to some extent as Jesus did because that person understands things from God’s perspective, at least partially.  In his epistle to the Philippians, Paul urged his readers to adopt the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5). Even though we have the mind of Christ we need to adopt it, that is, to use it to view life as He did. One evidence of Christian maturity is the believer’s consistent employment of Christ’s attitude and viewpoint in all of life.” (Expository Notes: Dr. Thomas L. Noble)

We are commanded to take on the mind of Christ. Because we have the Spirit of Christ we also have access to the mind of Christ (in the Word of God).

 

Our Relationship with God Gives Us a Sound Mind

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control. (2 Tim. 1:7 AMP)

This is an extremely powerful verse in a time where so many believers have adapted a mental attitude of fear, anxiety, and extreme stress. The Spirit of God resident within us provides a position of power, a disposition of love, and a mental attitude of stability and self-discipline. Let me explain something to you. Whenever the enemy can attack your thinking and in some way convince you to become shaken, he has you at a disadvantage. Dysfunctional believers are bread in the vacuum of mental instability. You must train your thinking and guard your thoughts with all diligence.

 

In Obedience, Your Thoughts are Established by the Lord

The LORD detests the thoughts of the wicked,
but gracious words are pure in his sight. (Prov. 15:26 NIV)

3Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed. (Prov. 16:3 AMP)

This is another scriptural powerhouse; the thoughts of the wicked (those that think opposite the will of God) are an abomination to the Lord. Literally, thoughts which are contrary to God’s way, which is revealed in His Word, are truly detestable to Him. When we are under the influence of “Stinkin Thinkin” we remove ourselves from under the divine favor of God and out of the shadows of His covenantal protection.

Yet, when we trust him and establish our thoughts upon His Word, He becomes the guarantor of our desires and plans (Ps. 37:4). Make no mistake about it, our success is dependent upon proper thinking and proper thinking is measured by its correspondence with the Word of God.

 

We Must Conquer Every Wayward Thought

3For though we walk (live) in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons.

4For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds,

5[Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One), (2 Cor. 10:3-5 AMP)

Make no mistake about it; our most powerful weapon in this spiritual warfare is the mastering of our thoughts. We are instructed to bring every thought into captivity. No thought is inconsequential in this battle. There is a battle being waged for your mind. God desires to fill your mind with His thinking, providing you with power and stability to accomplish all that you set out to do. The scripture promises success and prosperity to the one that keeps his mind focused on the Word and will of God. On the other hand, Satan desires to inundate you with philosophies, theories, and doctrines that are contrary to the way of God. He knows that if he attacks your thinking he cripples your power. We must bring ourselves to a place pure thought. We must come to recognize that anything that is not in accordance to biblical teachings is of the devil.

 

Summation

We are what we think. We will never transcend our thought processes; we will always be limited by them. As a believer, we have at our disposal a most powerful and efficacious weapon; the mind of Christ. When we take on the proper mental attitude the dynamic force of the Holy Spirit will began to guide and empower us for elevation. When we change our thinking we will be able to rise above the forces of evil that have imprisoned us for so long. When we grasp the enormous impact our thinking has on our position, we will begin to live in power and purpose. When we refuse to accept the views of this world we will shake the foundation of this world with our power. In proper thinking is the power to free ourselves from relational dysfunctionality. In the mastering of our thoughts lies the power to break free of the bondage of perpetual poverty. In the conquering of erroneous thinking is the power to move beyond the maze of mediocrity.

Right thinking brings victory in every aspect. Are you tired of wish living? You know what I mean. I wish had a better life; I wish I could travel more; I wish there was something I could do for those I love; and the list goes on. Throw the wish list away, change your thinking and live in the fullness of your inheritance. Wish lists are for non-believers.

 

Be blessed,

Bishop Rick Wallace

Life Solutions 21

 

 

 

 

 

 

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