Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who is faithful, sovereign and full of glory! God’s promise to His children in Ephesians 1:13-14 says:
“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”
Jesus Christ is the focus of our relationship with God. By His grace, we are sealed by the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption and assured of salvation.
The Lord is faithful and compassionate to all who call upon His name. He is our refuge and strength in times of trouble. Put your trust in the Lord and not in men, for it is His gracious will to give you rest! People with genuine faith in the Lord, even as small as a mustard seed, can do ALL things; for nothing is impossible to Him, says the Lord. Jesus says in Matthew 17:20,
“Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”
When the blind man who was begging at the roadside in Jericho heard that Jesus was passing by, he cried out to him for His mercy. Even when he was rebuked by the people in front, he was persistent and kept on crying out to the Lord all the more. Luke 18:40-43 reads:
“And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to him. And when he came near, he asked him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ He said, ‘Lord, let me recover my sight.’
And Jesus said to him, ‘Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.’ And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.”
I sense the Lord is calling out to all His precious creation, those who are troubled and weary, to come to Him, just as He said in Matthew 11:28-30,
“Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Seek the Lord by faith, receive His goodness and truth; and in the same spirit, you shall be set free. By that, the Lord means He will grace you with healing, deliverance, guidance and peace. The Lord declared in John 14:6:
“I AM the truth, the way and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me.”
In response to Thomas, Jesus pointed out that He is the way to God because He is the truth of God (John 1:14) and He is the life of God (John 1:4). In all things, acknowledge Him and He shall make your path straight.
May we all be encouraged, for our faithful God empowers us and constantly strengthens us with His promises through the Living Word (John 17:17). Regardless of the difficulties and circumstances we face in these present times and in preparing for the harsh times ahead, let us all earnestly seek Him and remain diligent. Remember: All things are possible with God! Hebrews 7:25 promises:
“Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.”
Our faith and obedience to His Word bring hope and yield an endurance which will sustain us, and lead us onward to victory and eternal glory.
When Philip asked Jesus to show the disciples the Father, the Lord assured them that those who had seen Him (Jesus), have seen the Father. The Lord responded to Philip in (John 14:12-17), assuring him that all faithful believers will become gospel witnesses to the world, who will do greater works, in His name and through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
The grace of God is divine and is always enough. Second Corinthians 12:7-10 tells us about Paul’s hardship (thorn in the flesh) and reads:
“So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Here, it reveals to us that Paul was afflicted by a demon (an angel from Satan) who was tearing up his beloved church, a distress he endured because of the opposition he had met at Corinth; as if driving up a painful stake through him. The attack was painful but purposeful, for God allowed Satan to bring this severe trouble in the church for the purpose of humbling Paul. Paul, having had so many revelations from God, including a trip to heaven and back, seems to have become proud. Despite pleading to God three times to remove the thorn, his pleas were denied; but God continually supplied him with the grace to endure his ordeal. Paul took no pleasure from the pain itself, but rejoiced in the power of Christ as it was revealed through him. The threefold repetition of Paul’s request, parallels that of Jesus in Gethsemane (Mark 14:32-41), for both had their requests denied, but were granted grace to endure their ordeals to the end, glorifying God.
Jesus was to endure the fury of God over sin, Satan, the power of death and the guilt of iniquity. When Jesus declared: “It is finished”, He became the final and ultimate sacrifice for our sin and brought the entire work of man’s redemption and salvation to completion. God is reconciled to man, and the kingdom of heaven opened to every believing soul.
Friends, let us remember that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. He watches over those who fear Him and He protects them. Therefore, let us humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt us in due time. Let us cast our cares upon Him, for He cares and loves us. Proverbs 14:26-27 says:
“In the fear of the LORD one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge. The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.”
Our journey with the Lord is in faith, is in truth and is in spirit; and is a process of pruning away all the unhealthy and unrighteous things of this life which stand in the way of our relationship with God. In our repentance, our response and expression as sons and daughters of a righteous and holy God and in our “Yes ” and “Amen” to Him as a doer of His Word, we are honouring and glorifying the one who paid the heaviest price on the cross for our sins. Our Lord Jesus Christ is worthy of all praise, all honour and all glory! Although there are times when we may need to endure pain, let us heed the Word of God in Philippians 3:12-14 which says:
“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
Amen and Amen!