Be strong in the Lord and let your heart take courage,
all you who hope in the Lord
This one has been a challenge to write. As I sit down to write, I wonder, am I experiencing spiritual warfare? Am I stepping on Satan's toes here? Am I making a stir in the enemy camp? Hmmmmm........
The sun has been brilliantly shining for weeks and yet I have been groping in a thick gray fog for the past few days. I am beginning to see the enemy of my soul at work here. The enemy of your soul. I have been encouraged by how God has been using me to encourage you. I'm pretty sure that Satan hasn't shared my recent enthusiasm. I am going to choose to stand firm. Will you stand with me? The Bible says that God gives us grace to stand. Greater is He that is within us, Jesus Christ, than he that is in the world! Stand Firm!
I spent some time with a couple of sisters in the Lord on Wednesday afternoon, and was reminded of a verse that God has used to see me through some tough times in my life. It's funny, because as I was sharing this verse with my sister, I was encouraging her to use this verse in a different way than how it had helped me many times. God's Word is just like that! Neither circumstance takes this verse out of context, yet because it is alive and active, the Holy Spirit can quicken His Word to us at just the moment we need it. And alive it is, if we will only trust and believe!
Sitting in church on Wednesday night, at a Bible study, I came across this verse again. And then God began to remind me of a string of verses that have been very dear to me in the past. So I quickly leafed through my Bible going from one verse to the next with fervor. I wonder what my pastor was thinking? I was off on a rabbit trail of sweet carrots and crunchy lettuce!!!! Thursday morning I awoke to the presence of the Lord, and He impressed upon my heart that He didn't remind me of those verses for my pleasure, but He has a purpose. I knew right then that I had a new topic to write about! And I was reminded, how funny human nature is, reminded of something I only just learned? But alas, I needed to be reminded that it is in my weakness that He is strong. And as I allow Him to expose my brokenness, coming out through the cracks of my broken vessel is the essence of His beauty, His compassion, His tender loving care, His Glory, His salve for the healing of many. He shines through all of my brokenness. He is so amazing! The kingdom of God is unlike anything on this earth.
I have struggled with a two headed giant for many years. I believe I have victory, but because of the nature of this beastly giant, I say it with a little uneasiness. Doesn't sound very encouraging does it? I am only expressing the honesty of my frailty. Fear and anxiety have been huge in my life. I have experienced crippling seasons of anxiety attacks, and many times of unreasonable fear. Unable to express what is wrong, I have felt very alone and helpless. Looking to the Author and Finisher of my faith, the Anchor of my soul, I have found a peace that passes all understanding, and that guards my heart and mind. God is no respecter of persons, He offers the same to you. And that is why God reminded me of those verses and prompted me to share them with you. I want to encourage you to be washed by the Water of the Word. Allow God's Spirit to penetrate your heart and mind. Absorb the Water of Life into the fabric of your being. Be filled. Take your thoughts captive. Remember, as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.
Copy these verses, read them, reread them, and reread them again. as often as you need to. Commit them to memory. These words are life to your soul. They are backed by the power of God. They are God's words to you. BELIEVE these words.
Be anxious for nothing.*This is a command!*
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, shall guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. (2Timothy1:7)
Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. (James 4:7-8a)
Humble yourselves, therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you. (1Peter 5:6-7)
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are. (1Peter5:8-9)
*you are not alone*
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed upon You. (Isaiah 26:3)
Trust your lives to the God who created you, for He will never fail you.
Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. (Isaiah41:10)
These are not suggestions on how to live a happy worry free life. They are words of life to someone holding on to Jesus with everything they've got. They are for when the storm is raging and nothing around you makes sense. Jesus is your anchor. Just put your head down and hold on. 1Peter goes on to say: After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. (1Peter5:10)
I prayed to the Lord, and He answered me. He freed me from all my fears! (Psalm34:4)
Remember, God does not have favorites, and He does not change. What He did for one, He is willing to do for all. You must trust Him, and BELIEVE His Word.
Don't just listen to God's Word. You must do what it says. Otherwise you are only fooling yourselves......Look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don't forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. (James 1:22,25)
Know Jesus. Trust Jesus. Believe His Word. By Him all things are held together. He is the Anchor of your soul. Set you mind on the things above, not on the things of this earth.
We can do all things through Him, with God nothing shall be impossible for us.
All glory to God, in my life and yours,