I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:13
Paul wrote these words while confined to a Roman prison. His circumstances may not have been pleasant, yet he penned these words: “Rejoice in the Lord always . . . The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:4-7).
The circumstances of your life may appear unbearable, but there is hope because Christ is aware of what you’re facing. He knows all about the bill due at the end of the month and your lack of money to pay it. He’s already aware of the doctor’s report that will mean you must face even more treatment. Wherever your prison happens to be, God is in it with you.
Someone reading these words may be thinking, “But you don’t understand.” Stop saying but and begin saying, “I know my Savior lives, and He is faithful.”
God has kept every one of His promises. Others may fail you, but He never will.
Trust in God and He will come thru.
In His Name
Be still, and know that I am God. – Psalm 46:10 NKJV
A little bird was flying south for the winter, but the air became so cold that it began to freeze. The bird collapsed in a large field where a herd of cows were grazing. Eventually, a cow came by and dropped manure on the freezing bird. At first, the bird was very upset, until it felt how warm the manure was. Before too long, it began to thaw out and became so excited that it started singing with joy.
A cat happened to be passing by and heard the bird’s joyful song. He followed the sound to the pile of manure and started digging until he discovered the little bird and promptly ate it.
There are a number of lessons we can learn from this little story. First, not everybody who drops manure on you is your enemy. Second, not everybody who digs you out is your friend. Finally, when you’re in manure, keep your mouth shut.
If we live long enough, each one of us will find ourselves in a situation that seems much worse than we can bear. To follow the story line above, we’ll feel as though we are under a pile of manure. However, if our expectations are set on Jesus Christ and His providential care, we won’t stumble at the thought of going through a time of trial. In fact, we’ll have His hope to comfort us even in what appears to be a hopeless situation. If you feel as though you are in a horrendous situation, be still before the Lord. Seek Him in prayer and wait for His will to unfold before you. Don’t rush ahead because He will come to you.
In His Name
When Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!” – Luke 5:8
We all want to be blessed. But how do you respond when you receive a tremendous blessing? Do you accept it with gratitude? Or do you let the blessing absorb you?
When Peter let down his net in the water at Jesus’ direction, the blessing was so huge that the abundance of fish tore holes in Peter’s net. His boat was dangerously close to capsizing.
But Peter saw beyond the blessing. Peter saw Jesus at work and recognized his own limitations and his need for the Savior.
Jesus amazed Peter with the abundance of fish because He wanted Peter to follow Him and get to know Him closely. God wants to amaze you so that you can better understand who He is and love Him even more.
In His Name
The Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord increased all that Job had twofold. – Job 42:10
If you are familiar with the story of Job, you will recall that Job’s friends were not that friendly to him at all. In fact, when Job was at the worst of times, his friends judged, griped, criticized, accused and more. For Job, praying “for his friends” involved a lot more than asking God to bless those he loved and considered dear. It involved a significant amount of forgiveness, acceptance, humility and love. It also involved faith.
It wasn’t until after Job showed grace and kindness to those who had brought him pain during his greatest moments of pain that God restored him. This is because Job had obeyed the law of love and asked God to give His goodness to others. When Job did that, God gave goodness to Job as well.
Learning to wait well with patience involves learning how to put into practice the regularity of living as a child of God. It means putting into practice those things we already know.
Working as unto the Lord, even if it’s not your favorite place to work. Honoring the authority over you, even if you don’t particularly like or respect that authority. Bearing with one another’s burdens, even when you feel weighted down by your own.
Do what God has already said to do. Then watch Him usher you straight out of your detour and into your destiny.
In His Name
By this time you ought to be teachers. – Hebrews 5:12
The writer of Hebrews contrasted anemic Christians, who live on milk, with mature Christians, who live on meat.
If we’re “meat” Christians, we should be able to explain biblical truths to our children. Husbands should be able to answer their wives’ questions. We should be able to sit down with the Bible and help someone else know the truth. We should be able to lead an unbeliever to the Lord.
“Everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil” (Hebrews 5:13-14). If we refuse to go deeper into the things of God, we will not be able to use the Word because we won’t know the Word. As the old saying goes, “Use it or lose it.” We can’t lose our salvation, but we can forget how to walk in the Word and how to be God’s representatives.
If we are mature Christians, we use God’s Word every day. We practice His Word in our everyday life. The phrase “senses trained” comes from the Greek root word forgymnasium, like a training ground. We are trained in discernment of the truth.
In His Name