Today, we are living in times of FAITH, for our Lord Jesus Christ is hidden from our view although the Holy Spirit lives in our hearts. We exercise faith by choosing to believe God’s Word above the evidence of the senses, knowing that the natural circumstances around us are kept, subject to the Word of God. True faith is not in denying the circumstances, but rather, believing God’s testimony and living in agreement with it. Paul wrote in Second Corinthians 5:6-7, “Then being always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body, we are away from home from the Lord; for we walk by faith, not by sight.”
God has given to all believers the Holy Spirit, not for a limited time, but forever. If He leaves us for a moment, we will be in deep trouble! But He doesn’t. He lives in all believers to give us both gifts and power to work for Christ; to give us strength in times of temptation. He is with us to help us bear the fruit of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). We will never have more of the Holy Spirit than we have now. But each of us needs to answer this question honestly, “Does God have more of me?”
Many of us, including myself, have experienced trials, struggles and hurts in our lives. As I am writing this, our sovereign and gracious God is ministering to me too. Perhaps, there are some of us who are still troubled, who are filled with anxieties and worries which threaten to overcome us. God has helped me overcome my past struggles and brokenness, because He who sustains us, is a merciful and gracious God. A forgiving God has rescued me, He has healed and delivered me. His love for us has no limit, His grace has no measure and His power has no boundaries. He is a God who is bigger than all the problems we carry.
Jesus taught in Matthew 7:7-11 saying,
“Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you. For each one who asks receives; and he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, if his son asks a loaf, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks a fish, will he give him a snake? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father in Heaven give good things to those who ask Him?”
Because God cares for our well being, we can cast all our cares upon Him (1 Peter 5:7). When we come before God in truth and with an open heart; in humility and surrender, God hears us. Hebrews 4:16 reads, “Therefore let us come boldly to the Throne of Grace,that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” We are called to come boldly, without reservation, before God, as we approach the throne of grace – not of judgement, to obtain mercy for our past, and grace for the present and future.
Whatever burdens that you may be carrying today, put them in God’s hands – leave them there and do not take it back with you! This is an act of faith in the Lord, an act of trust in God which will allow Him to work in your life and guide your steps, every step of the way. It is also an act of submission to the Lord alone, who will strengthen you and empower you to do His will. However, we must yield to Him in obedience and reverence. This also means that there may be things in our confessions before the Lord, which we need to give up. We need to honestly search our hearts and not allow our pride to get into our way. We need to return and renew our vows and covenants with the Lord. First John 1:7-9 says,
“If we say that we have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Jesus also says in Luke 9:23,
“If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up His cross daily, and follow me.”
Afflictions can be a means of refining and purification, for God cleanses us when we confess to Him. They can also make us stronger in our faith and develop our confidence in God’s watch and care over us. They may also drive us back to the right path when we have wandered. Sin is going astray; and we are most apt to wander from God when we are at ease and think of ourselves as “at home” in the world. David tells us his experience in Psalm 119:67-68 and praises God’s goodness and gives Him the glory of it:
“Before I was afflicted I went astray; but now I have kept Your Word. You are good, and do good; teach me Your Precepts.”
The Word of God can see us through all times – our doubts and fears; sicknesses and worry; sufferings or adversities; disappointments and grief; and even in our times of glory and victory. We need to turn to God, exercise faith and take authority over our enemy. We need to arise and stand on the promises of God that brings life and victory in all situations and circumstances of our lives. Jesus says to His disciples in Luke 10:19, “Behold, I give to you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the authority of the enemy. And nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Under all circumstances, we need to praise God and give thanks, for our worship and praise enriches all that God wants to do in our lives.
Do not allow our pride and unbelief or lies from the enemy to come between us and our relationship with God. Jesus says in John 10:9-11
“I am the door. If anyone enters in by Me, he shall be saved and shall go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”
We are admonished to seek out the will of the Lord. In Ephesians 5:17, we read: “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” God’s will comes from God’s love. He cares too much for us to let us wander aimlessly through life, without meaning or purpose. As Psalm 16:11 says, “You will show me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy.”
The prayer which Christ taught His disciples and which you and I often pray – “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven (Matthew 6:10); is going to be answered, in God’s way and in God’s time. God will never turn back on His promises.
Our future glory outweighs all present troubles for as Second Corinthians 4:17-18 says:
“For the lightness of our present affliction works out for us a far more excellent eternal weight of glory, we not considering the things which are seen, but the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are not lasting, but the things which are not seen are everlasting.”
May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in His works!! (Psalm 104:31).
Amen and Amen!