Category Archives: Hope

Be Zealous For What Is Good

Be zealous for what is good, even if you face intimidation and trials. Be ready to give an account for the hope that is in you, but with gentleness and reverence. Do not simply be passive or indifferent to the sin around you. YHWH does not want us to accept the sin around us or make excuses for it. We may not be able to stop others from sinning, but we certainly can make the case through our actions and our words that their sin is not acceptable to YHWH and they should repent. We should certainly be living differently than those who do not believe and we should expect them to slander us for it.

1 Peter 3:12-22

     13Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? 14But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, 15but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; 16and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. 17For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong. 18For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; 19in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, 20who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. 21Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

A Living Hope, And A Sure Salvation

1 Peter, like so many letters and books of the Bible, contains a lot of information if we slow down long enough to reflect on it and ask our Father to open our ears and eyes to be able to more fully understand it. Do not rush through. “Chew” on it awhile.

1 Peter 1

A Living Hope, and a Sure Salvation

      1Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen 2according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.

      3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.

      10As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, 11seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. 12It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look.

      13Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”

      17If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; 18knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. 20For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you 21who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

      22Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, 23for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.

24For,
“ALL FLESH IS LIKE GRASS,
AND ALL ITS GLORY LIKE THE FLOWER OF GRASS.
THE GRASS WITHERS,
AND THE FLOWER FALLS OFF,

      25BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD ENDURES FOREVER.”
And this is the word which was preached to you.

Peter writes to those followers of YHWH who have accepted Yeshua as Messiah and are scattered across different lands. They are living as aliens amongst other people who do not believe as they do. Right away I think that this letter applies to most of us who truly seek to follow YHWH through Yeshua today. Most of those who even claim to be Christians are living lives that are blended or mixed and mingled with pagan beliefs. It has been happening for centuries, but you can see it continue to evolve today. Pagan holidays rather than YHWH’s holy days are celebrated. People embrace homosexuality and transgender even within some churches. There are many examples. This of course makes it harder for those who wish to truly follow him according to his ways laid out in his word. Simply put, we don’t really fit in to culture and are more like aliens from another land living amongst the people of the land.

Peter notes that the Father already knows who will obey him. He is omniscient (all knowing). He also comments on the sanctifying work of the Spirit. The Spirit makes us holy over time as we build relationship with YHWH through the Spirit. Of course we also see the role of the blood of Yeshua. Do not overlook the work of the Spirit but rather seek to embrace him.

Even the simple greeting relaying “grace and peace” is worth reflecting on. He does not greet them with “may you be rich and free of troubles”. Rather to be receivers of YHWH’s grace and experience peace that comes with it, these are things to be desired and pursued.

Our salvation is through Christ. It is imperishable and reserved for us in heaven. We should rejoice, even if we experience hardship and trials for awhile in our lives while we wait. As a matter of fact, he does not just emphasize “survive” hardship, but rejoice in the hope of salvation and recognize that our being tested can actually bring glory to YHWH, if we handle it right. (I admit that I sometimes do not handle all my trials well, but I see the Spirit at work over time transforming me and I am closer as time goes by and I continue to mature.)

We are called to prepare our minds for action. Living the Father’s way is not passive, but active. Fix our hope on the grace we receive through Yeshua for forgives of sins. Be obedient, even like children, and be set apart and holy… apart from the former lusts which tempted us and in which we sinned.  Once again we see that YHWH calls us through scripture to change our behaviors and attitudes. We are not to remain the same and say “now I am saved”. We are to change. We are to be holy because the LORD is holy.

We are called to love one another. This does not mean to accept one another in our sin. That is not love. Love drives us to help others find their way to the LORD, not remain in sin and rationalize why they can not or should not change. But how we engage with people should reflect we care about them. This does not mean hang out with sinners who refuse to acknowledge a need to change and seek Christ. We should follow Yeshua’s example… bring the word to people and then our closest circle of friends should be fellow believers and followers of YHWH.

Do not miss at the close. Peter quotes scripture. The word of the LORD endures forever. This is what I preached to you. Once again we see the founding fathers of the Way, of Christianity as followers of Christ, telling us that they taught the unchanging word of YHWH. They did not make up a new set of instructions based on only Yeshua. Quite the opposite. What Yeshua taught was totally consistent with the Torah and the writings of the prophets. This unchanging word of YHWH is what Peter and his fellow apostles taught to followers of Yeshua. We are not to simply disregard what is referred to commonly as the Old Testament and start over. The unchanging word of YHWH endures forever.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

 

 

Hope and Trust In The LORD

In the beginning of Hebrews 6, we read about those who have experienced and accepted YHWH, experiencing the Holy Spirit, and then have fallen away. It is a good reminder that we should not grow complacent in our faith and relationship in YHWH.

As we continue in Hebrews 6, we see the writer address his audience with a call and encouragement for hope in Yeshua as our high priest, for hope in the promises of YHWH. One can easily conclude that the reference is that they may have been facing difficult times and the writer is encouraging them not to fall away from their faith in YHWH, but rather to hope in Yeshua and remain faithful. They are also encouraged that their good works are pleasing to YHWH and they should continue. They are reminded in verse 9, that our relationship with YHWH is about so much more than just salvation.

These are good reminders for us still today.

Hebrews 6:9-20

Better Things for You

      9But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way. 10For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. 11And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, 12so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

      13For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, 14saying, “I WILL SURELY BLESS YOU AND I WILL SURELY MULTIPLY YOU.” 15And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise. 16For men swear by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute. 17In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, 18so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. 19This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, 20where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

 

Experience Peace, Hope, and Joy In Knowing Our Lord Has Risen!

Let us not miss the emotional rush we, as followers of Christ, should get as we realize that he is indeed Messiah and Savior. He died for our sins, but he overcame death! He ascended to heaven, but he lives still! May we never take this for granted, but remain uplifted as we reflect on it. May we continually experience peace, hope, and joy in our Lord.

John 20:1-18

The Empty Tomb

     1Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. 2So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” 3So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were going to the tomb. 4The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first; 5and stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in. 6And so Simon Peter also came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he saw the linen wrappings lying there, 7and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. 8So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed. 9For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. 10So the disciples went away again to their own homes.

      11But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; 12and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. 13And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” 14When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. 15Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” 16Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means, Teacher). 17Jesus said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’” 18Mary Magdalene came, announcing to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and that He had said these things to her.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

He will bless those who fear the LORD

I have grown not only to appreciate Psalms, but to love it. It helps guide me in praising our Father and leads me to celebrate Him when my natural tendency is to study Him and His word. Both are good and Psalms really helps me focus on Him and His glory.

Psalm 115

Heathen Idols Contrasted with the LORD.

     1Not to us, O LORD, not to us,
But to Your name give glory
Because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth.

      2Why should the nations say,
“Where, now, is their God?”

      3But our God is in the heavens;
He does whatever He pleases.

      4Their idols are silver and gold,
The work of man’s hands.

      5They have mouths, but they cannot speak;
They have eyes, but they cannot see;

      6They have ears, but they cannot hear;
They have noses, but they cannot smell;

      7They have hands, but they cannot feel;
They have feet, but they cannot walk;
They cannot make a sound with their throat.

      8Those who make them will become like them,
Everyone who trusts in them.

      9O Israel, trust in the LORD;
He is their help and their shield.

      10O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD;
He is their help and their shield.

      11You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD;
He is their help and their shield.

      12The LORD has been mindful of us; He will bless us;
He will bless the house of Israel;
He will bless the house of Aaron.

      13He will bless those who fear the LORD,
The small together with the great.

      14May the LORD give you increase,
You and your children.

      15May you be blessed of the LORD,
Maker of heaven and earth.

      16The heavens are the heavens of the LORD,
But the earth He has given to the sons of men.

      17The dead do not praise the LORD,
Nor do any who go down into silence;

      18But as for us, we will bless the LORD
From this time forth and forever.
Praise the LORD!

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Pray At All Times And Do Not Lose Heart

Yeshua encouraged His disciples to pray. We should take this lesson to heart and pray at all times.

Luke 18:1-8

Parables on Prayer

     1Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, 2saying, “In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. 3“There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me legal protection from my opponent.’ 4“For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, 5yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.’” 6And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge said; 7now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? 8“I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Our Struggle Is Not Against Flesh And Blood

12For  our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.  (Ephesians 6:12)

In Ephesians 6:10-18 Paul provides us important guidance about the reality of spiritual warfare.  Too often Christians dismiss spiritual warfare and focus only on the things we can see and touch. This leaves us vulnerable to Satan’s attacks. If we do not recognize the true enemy, we will struggle to win against him.

     10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,  15and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

      18With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, 19and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Some key points upon which to reflect:

  • Our strength comes from the Lord, not ourselves
  • The devil is real and he has strategies he uses to lie, cheat and destroy. He will use more than one strategy against us.
  • Warfare does not always take place in physical world, sometimes it is in the spiritual world. Don’t believe me? Read the book of Job.
  • Just putting on one or two pieces of the armor of God is not enough, we need to put on all of them.
  • Prayer and a relationship with Jesus is necessary! Jesus tells us to pray daily and to pray specifically to not let us yield to temptation, and to be rescued from the evil one. Matthew 6:9-13
  • We are to stay alert and pray for others in addition to ourselves. Pray for those preach the gospel that they would preach boldly!

Let’s explore what it really means to put on the full armor of God.

Truth can simply be defined as the real facts about something.  Surprisingly the world today proposes that truth is relative when it comes to God or how we live… “True for you but not for me”, etc. This is no more accurate than saying “If I do not believe in gravity, I will not fall off a ladder.” Gravity is true whether or not I believe in or accept it. God lovingly and in great detail shares truth in the Bible and reveals it in the world around us. There is absolute truth.

Righteousness is characterized by living consistently with God’s standards of morality, justice, virtue, etc. As God’s standard is Himself, it is a lofty bar. We will never achieve it to perfection but He is the standard and reference point none the less. We should keep our eyes on Jesus and seek help from the Holy Spirit and thus keep changing to be more like Him.

The peace that comes from knowing the good news is not a promise that we will avoid conflicts and trials, but rather an affirmation that when we have relationship with Jesus Christ we know He is with us in this life and that we have eternal life on the other side of this world. We can have peace through the mightiest storms.

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1. In this context Paul reminds us that we must trust in God even when we are under attack by Satan. Just because we can not recognize how God is working in the situation does not mean that He is not there. We can be confident He is with us.

Salvation is deliverance from sin and its consequences, which is death. It is not enough to know or acknowledge Jesus Christ. Even Satan and his demons due that. By asking and accepting Jesus into our  lives and repenting from our sinful ways we receive salvation through grace.

The sword of the spirit, or word of God, is what Jesus Himself used to defeat Satan when He was tempted in the wilderness. Matthew 4:1-11. We must know the word of God before the attack comes just as a soldier must train and be prepared before he goes to battle.

To be effective we must understand and use all of this equipment daily. It ceases to become “something we do” and becomes “how we do everything” in our lives.

Remember to heed Paul’s warning and guidance for prayer. The battle is not ours alone, but the Lord’s!

      18With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Enlighten The Eyes of My Heart

I find the opening to Ephesians is very graceful and a worthy read. Paul begins by reminding people that he only functions as an apostle by the will of God. He has no authority or power of his own. How helpful to us who read his letter so long after he wrote it that he also identifies his audience, faithful followers of Christ. He greets them with a reminder and request for grace and peace from the only one who can provide it… our Lord.

He calls to bless God as the source of all of our blessings in Christ. We are reminded that God’s will is sovereign. He knows all that will happen from the beginning. There are no surprises. He knows whom He will call to Him and who will accept the call. We are forgiven through His grace and love.

Paul reminds us that we are to work in His glory according to His plans, rather than our own. As we submit and obey, we may well hope to be sources of praise to His glory.

We are reminded again that as we submit to Christ as Lord we receive the Holy Spirit to dwell in us as counselor and guide. This too is for His glory, rather than our own.

Paul demonstrates the value of praying for one another as he prays for the righteous saints in Ephesus. But let us look too at what He prays for … riches, easy life, accomplishing their own personal goals and plans… of course not. He prays God would give them a spirit of  wisdom and revelation of knowledge of Him. Let us pray for ourselves and one another in the same way!

What’s more is that Paul is thankful before God for the genuine followers of Christ in Ephesus. Let us remember to pray for our brothers and sisters around the world and be thankful to God for them, though in many cases we may not even know who they are.

Ephesians 1

The Blessings of Redemption

     1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus: 2Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

      3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight 9He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him 10with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him 11also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 12to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. 13In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

      15For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, 16do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; 17that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

I find Ephesians 1 to be a very uplifting passage. I read it twice and then slowly a third time. It is so easy to just skim through the opening of Paul’s letters on the assumption that “it is just a greeting”. But take care and dwell on each chapter of the Bible. There is much treasure to be found.

As a parting thought… what a godly, unselfish prayer for us to embrace for one another…

16do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; 17that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Comfort In Trouble From Recalling God’s Mighty Deeds

Sometimes we experience times of difficulty where we feel distant from God. Perhaps it is because of our own sin or perhaps not. Not all suffering is the direct result of our own sin (consider Job). We may feel as if God has withdrawn from us or is angry with us.

Whether we are experiencing accountability for our sins or just going through tough times we can remember an important lesson to encourage and sustain us. God does not change. He is eternal and unchanging. We can look back at the incredible record of His mighty deeds and power, and of course forgiveness and love, and be encouraged.

Psalm 77

Comfort in Trouble from Recalling God’s Mighty Deeds.

For the choir director; according to Jeduthun. A Psalm of Asaph.

1My voice rises to God, and I will cry aloud;
My voice rises to God, and He will hear me.

      2In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord;
In the night my hand was stretched out without weariness;
My soul refused to be comforted.

      3When I remember God, then I am disturbed;
When I sigh, then my spirit grows faint.

Selah.

      4You have held my eyelids open;
I am so troubled that I cannot speak.

      5I have considered the days of old,
The years of long ago.

      6I will remember my song in the night;
I will meditate with my heart,
And my spirit ponders:

      7Will the Lord reject forever?
And will He never be favorable again?

      8Has His lovingkindness ceased forever?
Has His promise come to an end forever?

      9Has God forgotten to be gracious,
Or has He in anger withdrawn His compassion?

Selah.

      10Then I said, “It is my grief,
That the right hand of the Most High has changed.”

      11I shall remember the deeds of the LORD;
Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.

      12I will meditate on all Your work
And muse on Your deeds.

      13Your way, O God, is holy;
What god is great like our God?

      14You are the God who works wonders;
You have made known Your strength among the peoples.

      15You have by Your power redeemed Your people,
The sons of Jacob and Joseph.

Selah.

      16The waters saw You, O God;
The waters saw You, they were in anguish;
The deeps also trembled.

      17The clouds poured out water;
The skies gave forth a sound;
Your arrows flashed here and there.

      18The sound of Your thunder was in the whirlwind;
The lightnings lit up the world;
The earth trembled and shook.

      19Your way was in the sea
And Your paths in the mighty waters,
And Your footprints may not be known.

      20You led Your people like a flock
By the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Praise Him even in the tough times and remember who He is and what He has done. Let that encourage and sustain you through the tough times. Approach Him humbly in prayer and repent from your sins.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

The Source of Our Inexpressible Joy

As believers, we truly have a glorious hope which can provide joy within us, even through difficult times. In day to day living, I find it easy to lose sight of that hope and that joy which comes from it. Of course we all need the Spirit to live fully in the joy of the Lord through this life.

1 Peter 1:3-9

     3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.

I am asking the Lord to fill me with this joy and to help me remember this glorious hope as I go throughout my day to day living… so that even the hard times would not smother the joy within. I encourage you to pray for the same in your life.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.