Praise God in the Bad Times

Praise God Anyway1It’s easy for most Christians to praise God when things are going great, when the blessings are pouring in and everyone gets sick but “me”. It’s easy to say how great life is when we have a good job, a desirable home and an affordable new car. Most of us would agree that to “Praise the Lord” in these times is easy to do. But what about the times when things aren’t so good Continue reading

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When All Else Fails, Trust God

 

 

WaquasAs intelligent and civilized people, we all feel at one time or another that we can handle most of the situations that come against us. We believe that we have the skills and abilities to attack the problems head on, but sometimes our problems are beyond us. And it’s often at that point that we turn toward Heaven and call for help because we believe that when all else fails, trust God.

As admirable as this practice seems, it’s really not the way that Christians should address any problems. We should never turn to God for help as a last resort, but instead He should be our FIRST choice for help.

The Lord has given us instruction on how He will help us through our trials, and so we begin at the beginning and that is with wisdom – Godly wisdom. We need to have Godly wisdom inside us so we know how to live in this world, how to avoid situations and how to overcome others. And we can only get this when we study the Bible and learn it.

Many of us create our own problems out of ignorance. We are burdened with debt from credit cards and so we try to work out a solution before the problems ruin us, but the Bible tells us in Romans 13:8 to owe no man anything but love, and in Philippians 4:19 He tells us to trust Him to supply all of our needs and not to depend on the world (and it’s financial system). If we’re having marital problems because our spouse isn’t saved then we need to realize that He warned us in 2 Corinthians 6:14 not to be unequally yoked; if our children are rebelling it’s because we missed the scripture in Proverbs 22:6 that says to train up a child in the way of the Lord.

Other times we face outside problems that come against us and they WILL come against us. That’s just part of living in a world that is controlled by the devil and overrun with sin. We can’t escape problems, and Jesus even told us that we’d have problems, so we shouldn’t adopt some doctrine that says we won’t get them because that isn’t realistic according to scripture.

“In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” … John 16:32-33.

The Bible tells us that the beginning of wisdom 553951_673061322719271_2063579971_nand knowledge is the fear of the Lord. We need to have reverence and respect for God as being our Lord and Savior, the Creator of the Universe, the God of Heaven, the One who loves us enough to die for us and the One who the devil [an angel created by God] has to answer to. We need to realize that God is omnipotent and omniscient and that He can and He WILL judge and sentence to death all those who do not know Him.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.” … Psalm 111:10

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“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” … Proverbs 1:7

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“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” … Proverbs 9:10

So, we need to get into the Bible and study it and learn who God is and realize that the love He has for those who love Him is beyond what we can ever imagine. We can get a good appreciation of His love when we look at Jesus because He died on that cross and took the punishment for every sin and sickness ever conceived upon Himself in our place so that all those who would accept His sacrifice would be pardoned from their sin and grafted into God’s family.

When we study the Bible and the Holy Spirit lives in us, He will guide us and help to keep us out of problems because of God’s wisdom that is in us. And He’ll remind us of scriptures so that when we face problems we’ll know how God would handle them. Our reactions and actions would be the same as God’s because it’s His wisdom and His knowledge that’s in us.

But there will be times in life when we’re not prepared for the things that will come against us and we don’t have God’s wisdom inside of us to fight that particular battle. This is when we take the problem to Jesus and let Him fight the battle for us.

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” … 1 Peter 5:6-7

47550929_f16edec385_tWe should never let our pride lead the way when it doesn’t know where to go. We need to get used to being submissive to God our Father, and we need to realize that God sees the big picture and we just see the immediate situation.  Where we would put a band-aid on it and hope for the best, God will heal the entire wound. And that’s what we want and what we need – total healing whether it’s a health issue, financial issue, marital issue or anything else.

Sometimes, though, we pray and give God the problem, but it sits on us and weighs us down and our mind begins to wander as we sit in awe and just hope that God will do something. We’re going in the right direction, but we’re missing the trust. We need to trust God and know that He will take care of this need. But we can’t do that if we don’t know Him and if we don’t have faith in Him.

God is faithful and if He said He’ll do it then He’ll do it. He told us to take on His yoke – which means that we focus on the things of God and not on the world, that we should love Him and trust Him and follow His instructions for our lives.

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” … Matthew 11:28-29

And we can trust that God hears our prayers and answers them because He loves us and He’s promised us that He we will answer and help us when we believe Him and trust Him.

 “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” … Matthew 21:22

One very grave mistake that many of us make when we pray and ask God for help is that we tell Him how to do it. We tell Him the problem and then go on to tell Him how we feel it should be resolved. Well, if our way was the right way, then it would have worked when we tried it, so we shouldn’t insult God with our ignorance. He sees the big picture and He knows what to do.

And we must never forget that sometimes God will allow things to get to this point because it’s this point that we need to jab us to get us to realize that God is in charge. He has a plan for each of us, a job for each of us, and sometimes in our walk our life gets in the way and leads us off of the path that God has set out for us. And so sometimes the answers He gives us might not be the ones we were expecting. We need to trust Him – with our lives.

When problems are beyond our ability to comprehend, let’s not forget that they are never too big for God. We need to give them to Him and then praise Him and thank Him for loving us and for helping us. The peace that will come and the way He resolves the issues will be amazing.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” … Romans 8:28

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Healing Comes to Those Who Believe

Gods rainbowThere are times in our lives when everything goes smoothly, with the exception of minor trials that test our abilities, but for the most part we are able to stay on track and press toward our goals. But then out of the blue, some of us are attacked with an unexpected conflict that changes everything we were working toward and our life is threatened as this invasion slowly closes the path we were travelling on.

It’s easy to get angry and question God as to why He didn’t prevent this or why He doesn’t step in and get rid of it. We look at the Bible verses that promise a good life on earth – prosperity and good health – and we begin to wonder how much of God’s Word is really applicable in our own lives or if it’s just meant for some.

In order for us to fully comprehend what’s going on, we need to analyze our lives before God. It says in 1 John 5:4 that, “whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”  We live in this world and we are going to have trials and we are going to have to trust God because He has promised to help us get through them.

So, when storms come and it rains outside we are going to get wet if we go out there whether we are a Christian or not. If we cut ourselves we are going to bleed and it’s going to hurt and it may get infected whether we are a Christian or not. If we don’t have a job and little to no income coming in, we are going to lack in money to buy food, clothing or a nice home whether we are a Christian or not. We live in this world and we are susceptible to the elements of this world.

But, we have a hope that the people of the world do not have, and our hope is in the Lord. 3460403278_8e2cb549f8_mWe need to separate ourselves from the mandate of this world and study the Bible so we can learn about God and understand what Jesus accomplished on the cross for us. He was the ultimate sacrifice for our sins.  Isaiah 53:4-12 says that He bore our sins and the punishment for our sins so that we wouldn’t have to; so that we could be redeemed back to God, our Father, free of the guilt of sin. Jesus took the stripes for our healing so that we could come to our Father and ask for healing for our bodies.

We’re told in Romans 12:2, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

So, when we face the unexpected challenge that practically scares the life out of us, we need to look to God’s Word and see what He says about it. Not every single issue we face in life is going to be listed in the Bible because if it was we’d need thousands of volumes to contain them all. But God does tell what He expects of us, what He will bless us with and what we can ask Him for.

red guyGod knows that we are going to have tribulation in this world. Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” And for this reason we will never overcome these conflicts on our own because we not able to beat the devil. But we will have the victory over them all if we give them to Jesus because He has won over the devil and is Lord to all those who believe.

If we’ve been stricken with a health issue that the medical world says is serious enough that it could claim our life then we need to go to God’s Word and see what He has to say about it.

Isaiah 53:5 says, But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.

Psalm 30:2 says, O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.”

Romans 8:15 tells us that because we belong to Him we can come to Him with our problems, “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.”

Matthew 15:30 says, And great multitudes came unto Him [Jesus], having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and He healed them.”

Jesus tells us to have faith in His Word and He will do what God has promised. Luke 8:50 says, “But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, ‘Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.’”

God is our creator as well as our Heavenly Father, and who knows the body better4257830784_f5c9efb2f9_m than Him? When we buy a toy that breaks we don’t take it to the fast food restaurant for repair; we take it to the company that made it. So, when our bodies are ill or broken we need to take them to the One who made them because He has told us in John 14:13 that if we ask for anything in the name of Jesus He will do it for us. So, we need to believe it and have the faith to act on it and NOT doubt it.

 

We may have to make some drastic changes in our lives in order for the healing to come, but we need to remember that God never made anything short of perfect. So if our body isn’t perfect it’s not because God made us that way; it’s because the elements of this world have affected it, or because we eat the foods of this world that are filled with unhealthy ingredients that have actually made us sick. Regardless of what the sickness or affliction is, we need to realize that God is our Father, a loving being who only wants the best for us even while we live in this world.

What better witness than to have received healing from the Lord so that others can see that God does not bring sickness on His children, but that He DOES heal when we put our faith in Him and believe His Word for that healing!

We can also come to God with our financial needs. And of course, when we know and love Jesus we wouldn’t ask for greedy gifts or vain possessions. We would not devise a doctrine or formula that focuses on material wealth and greed. God tells us in Philippians  4:6, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” We can ask Him for our needs – even material needs – when our motives are not greed.

He’s told us in 3 John 1:2 that it’s His will for us to prosper and be in health even as our soul prospers. We should never attempt to turn His Words into a greedy formula to be rich, but as we grow in the Lord and know Him more, we understand that God takes care of His children. We can come to Him with our needs and He will take care of us.  Luke 12:28 says, If then God so clothe the grass, which is today in the field and tomorrow is cast into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O ye of little faith?”

Whatever it is that comes against us in this world – and things will come against us – we need to take it to the Lord. It may be healing, finances, family issues or anything that is a burden to us; it doesn’t matter. Nothing is too great for God and nothing is too little for Him to do for us. He has told us to ask in prayer believing and we should receive the things we ask for.

“In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” … John 16:33

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Where do You Run When Problems Get You Down?

stock-photo-a-guy-grabing-his-hair-with-angry-3211190When the trials and temptations of this world overwhelm you with stress and frustration, where do you run to get away from them? Many of us feel the need to run to someone for help and it’s not always to the one we should. It’s no secret that Jack Daniels has been seen lurking in the shadows cuddling unbelievers as well as Christians in their hour of need, or that inside the clouds of smoke we’ll often find people searching for a way out. When problems get you down, where do YOU run?

The trials and tribulations that Christians suffer in this world are part of this world and so it’s useless for us to turn to the world for help, and yet many of us do. We need to change our thinking and get our help from someone who has overcome the world and who can give us peace while we wait on the answer. We need to trust someone who has the knowledge and that ability to help us.

That person is Jesus.2544952310_6458b28874_m

“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.

So for Christians to have problems in this world is not a new or unusual thing because Jesus said that we would have problems.  BUT He also said that He would give us peace during these times if we would turn to Him. He has overcome the world and there is nothing that He can’t do.

5578273602_79073a7036_mOn the cross Jesus suffered every pain and affliction that could come onto us, and although He was tormented beyond words He did it, and He took all of our “sin” to hell and left it there. Jesus stood in our place for our sin since He didn’t have any himself and he beat it; Jesus overcame it all. He overcame the sin and corruption that we live in and that’s getting us down. We need to call on Him and follow Him because He has been there, done that – AND He overcame it.

There is no one else who better qualifies to help us than Jesus.

We need to realize that Jesus has already defeated every problem that can come against us, and we have to trust Him that He will help us to overcome each and every problem that we face in life. And then we will be filled with His peace that will surpass all understanding. In the meantime, we wait.

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We don’t do anything to attack the problem when we don’t know what to do. So, we read the Bible and become strong in the Word; we praise and worship Him to build up our faith; and we wait for His direction. It will come. God works through confirmation in our heart if He wants us to do something, and He works through other people who He will send across our path. The answer to every single one of our problems will come if we will just wait on God and trust Him for the answer.

The world will refute us; it will mock us and call us fools because the world cannot experience the peace of God since it does not know God. The people of this world depend only on each other for help because their trust is in themselves. They cannot accept that we trust in something that they cannot see and they cannot know the peace of God when they don’t know Him.

“There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked”….. Isaiah 57:21.

When we need help the only arms we should run to are the arms of Jesus. He’s standing nearby waiting to comfort us; to give us peace; to give us the answer. He first opened His arms to us on the cross and He continues to be our shelter and our refuge in our time of trouble.

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“God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.” … Psalm 46:1

 

When do we Reach Our Goal With Faith?

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

As we continue to struggle in this world and build our faith, we realize that we are able to believe God for bigger and greater things. When we started out we used our faith sparingly, then more often for daily situations, and then for things that were crucial circumstances in our life.

We get to the point where we are so committed to the Lord that our every thought becomes a step in faith. We begin to communicate with the Lord all the time, thanking Him and praising Him for all the things in our  life, like the birds that welcome the morning with a friendly song, our home, our family and our job. We realize that everything we have is a direct blessing from God, and we learn to trust Him for every minute of our lives.

Some of us face life and death situations where we literally put our lives in God’s hands and trust Him completely for healing that the world says won’t happen. But we know our Father, we know His Word and we know that Jesus already healed us on the cross. So, we praise Him and thank Him for that healing and we stand with other prayer warriors and then we receive the manifestation of that healing. Our faith grows even more because we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is greater than any problem this world can throw at us.

But where do we go from here? Have we made it to the top? After all, we stood on faith and survived a situation that otherwise would have killed us. Surely, there can’t be anything greater that would need faith than that?

True, we stood on our faith and trusted God with our lives and it may have been a hard battle that we won because of our faith, but it doesn’t end here.  Why? Because faith is not a goal while we’re on earth; faith is a lifestyle. As long as we live here we need faith to be our substance for the things we hope for from God. Without faith we will live in doubt, and with doubt we will live in defeat and fear, and we’ll become servants of the devil.

We need faith so we can maintain a good relationship with the Lord, so we can know His will for us and so we can live victoriously. Our faith never ends. The Bible says that His mercies are new every morning, but at the same time, there are tribulations waiting to attack us. Our faith in God will allow us to trust Him to get us through each day with victory, with grace and with love.

There is only one goal for faith, and that is for us to get to Heaven and be with the Lord. Once we are there, we no longer require faith to know the truth because we will become one with Him and the truth will be in us – and there won’t be any conflict to challenge it. Our goal and final destination for our faith is to be with Jesus. This is when we reach our goal with faith.

“In My Father’s house are many mansions;  if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” … John 14:2