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God always has the power to help you overcome
So much is happening in this world and the struggle to survive is getting more difficult. Everyone has been affected in some way by the economy as jobs are scarce and homes are being foreclosed on daily. The increase of broken marriages is staggering even among Christians. And it seems like so many health issues are affecting people everywhere. Though prayers are being offered, some may wonder if God’s power is enough to take us through.
The Apostle Paul said in 2 Timothy 1:12, “For I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that he is able to guard that which I give to him for this day“. That was a powerful statement coming from a man who in his lifetime was beaten, stoned, homeless and imprisoned. How could such faith come from Paul in the midst of all that he had to endure? It seems like God should have made Paul’s life a little easier since he was entrusted with bringing the good news of Christ to the lost. But God’s ways are higher.
The truth lies in the fact that Paul intimately KNEW the God he served. He was confident that he could have peace in his blessings as well as his trials. He understood that in all things, God was working out a perfect plan that would strengthen Paul in this life and earn him reward in heaven. The reality was that God had a purpose in using all that came against Paul to further his kingdom as he transformed Paul into the image of Christ. Paul was ready for the day when he would meet his Savior face to face. For that reason he believed that to die was gain and to go on living was for Christ. Paul was ready to do whatever was asked of him.
The grace that you need to face all of the challenges in your life as a believer is living in you! There is now no mountain of trouble and no sea of tears that can stop you from living an abundant life in Christ Jesus. The enemy can’t do anything to you that God knows will destroy you. You can’t lose the battle when the power of Christ is your force and your strength. You must always remember that God knows your struggles and your pain. It was by his will that you were created and by his word he spoke the universe into existence. There is nothing hidden from the all-knowing, all present God.
God will always be sovereign over all that you go through. In the book of Job, we read that Satan had to first ask permission to come against Job. Satan wanted to destroy Job but God knew that the testing was only going to make Job stronger in his faith and more blessed than before. He knew his power would be more than enough for Job to overcome all of the enemy’s attacks. Do you not know that the same is true for you and in your circumstance? The wind, the waves and every storm and battle that you face must first come before Christ who allows only that which he will cause to be used for your good despite how painful it seems now. Beloved, for that reason you must never give up. Your God is working out blessings in your life that you can’t even imagine! You may feel weak, but God will keep you from sinking if you will just keep your eyes on him.
In my own life, I am experiencing a struggle that is causing me much pain. There are times I also feel overwhelmed and weakened from the battle that never seems to end. It is difficult some mornings for me to just get out of bed. Yet in my heart, I know the God whom I have believed. I can trust through all things that God will not fail me. I may not see or feel him working out my problem, but I know that he is. When I get weary, I turn to his word and seek his strength. I have purposed in my heart to keep my trust in Christ no matter how dark the storm gets. Sometimes I write these posts through my tears. It is difficult but I know my Redeemer lives! He has taken me too far for me to give up now. Each day I grow in the strength that he gives me. All that I am going through has a purpose that God has designed and that he will work out in his perfect way.
It is my prayer that if you are in a difficult situation that you will give your pain to the One who paid the price to give you a future with hope. Jesus overcame all of our enemies and all of our problems by his death on the cross. There is nothing can can hold you in bondage if you will trust that God is bigger. I will be praying with you.
Dear Lord, there is so much darkness in this world and we are all struggling to stay in the battle. I pray for all of those who are just too weary to pray and who feel that you have given up on them. I stand in the gap for those who are hurting and I pray that you will lead them to your perfect peace. Let them feel your presence as you give them the knowledge that nothing will stop your plan and the future that you have ordained for them. You are more than able to guard all the pain and struggles that we give to you for this day. Open their eyes to see that you already have them surrounded by your angels who are greater than the troubles that come against them. Please give them an understanding of your enduring love. Amen
How effective are you for the kingdom of God?
In order to be a follower of Jesus Christ, you must choose to walk as he did and make choices that may make you unpopular with this world that is perishing. Jesus said that he would set up his kingdom and that the gates of hell would not prevail against it. He spoke of how we must pick up our cross daily and seek his kingdom until he comes. It is not enough to simply say we believe in Jesus. Our lives should bear witness to the change that was made in us as we accepted the gospel of Christ. We must walk as disciples in our faith as the Holy Spirit works in us to repent and turn from our old ways. There is no such thing as an “almost” believer.
In chapter 19 of the book of Acts, we read about the seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who went around driving out evil spirits. They would say, “In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” One day, the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know and I know about Paul, but who are you?” (emphasis mine) Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped and overpowered them all. He beat them so badly that they ran from the house naked and bleeding. They lost out to a demon and there is an important message for us here.
Only God can be omnipresent, or everywhere at all times. Not even Satan or his demons can be all places at all times. When the sons of Sceva tried to drive out an evil spirit, the demon said he KNEW Jesus, he KNEW ABOUT Paul, but he had no idea who these seven guys were. Why was that? Obviously, these guys were not a threat to Satan or his demons. Sceva’s sons had heard about Jesus through Paul, but they never made Jesus their LORD. These men did not have the power of Christ to battle the spiritual forces of evil and they were badly injured from trying to do it on their own. They were an easy mark for the unclean spirit who came against them.
You can apply this same truth to your life. Is your name known in hell? Are there demons who have heard about you and the work you are doing for Christ? Have you become a thorn in the side of Satan as you try to reach the lost with God’s love? Or have you settled into complacency in your Christian walk which makes you comfortable in this world? If the enemy of your soul does not consider your faith a threat, perhaps you need to examine yourself to know if you are truly saved!
I understand that all believers are a work in progress by the Holy Spirit and we each are at different levels in our walk. Even long-time followers in the faith can suffer a period of backsliding. But those who belong to Christ should experience true heart change as his love compels you to seek what is right. Jesus said in Matthew 7:16 that you will recognize a tree by its fruit. Those who belong to Jesus have crucified the sinful nature and now live by the power of the Spirit. You became a new creation as God’s light shines through you.
If you live for Christ, you will experience grief in all kinds of trials as your faith is proved genuine. Jesus said that all men will hate you because of him as darkness hates the light. The spiritual forces of evil will come against you for the work that you do for the kingdom. But in the end, the indescribable reward that God has for you will far outweigh any suffering you endure now. It is a reward that will last into eternity.
If your name is written in heaven, it should be known in hell!