Even in those moments of testing and trials there is still a hope that carries me through. When everything around me is against me, when I hear those words from the enemy, “Just give up” Theres always a push, there’s always a reminder of a “Cloud of witnesses” that are cheering us on to never give up, to run with endurance the race that is set before me. But without Hope — it wouldn’t be possible.
Romans 15:4 “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
EVER SINCE THE FALL OF MAN, GOD PROMISED THAT A SAVIOR WOULD COME TO BE THE GAP BETWEEN MAN AND GOD, AND “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” – 2 Cor. 5:21
Hope Was Prophesied
680 YEARS BEFORE CHRIST WAS BORN, ISAIAH HAD PROPHESIED OF THE COMING KING.
“THEREFORE THE LORD HIMSELF WILL GIVE YOU A SIGN: THE VIRGIN WILL CONCEIVE AND GIVE BIRTH TO A SON, AND WILL CALL HIM IMMANUEL.
Hope Was Coming!
ISAIAH 9:2, 6-7
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore.
IMMANUEL = GOD WITH US. WAS THE PROMISE OF HOPE TO COME AND THE PEACE FOREVERMORE.
THIS IS WHERE OUR HOPE IS FOUND, IS IN THE NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES, JESUS.
What ever promise that God has given you, remember the Hope that lies within Him, for without Him we have nothing and in Him we have our being.
When you value something, you protect it, you cherish it, and you guard it. Do you look at it this way about the anointing? What is the anointing? Why should I guard this anointing? And how to preserve what God has given us will be answered.
First off, the gifts that God has given to us is way different than the anointing.
The gifts of God are the tools in which God has given us to help further the kingdom. The anointing of God is the empowerment of these gifts, make sense?
There are gifted worship leaders and yet there are anointed musicians.
There are gifted pastors but yet there are anointed pastors.
What a gift does:
A gift can fill a room
A gift can entertain a crowd
A gift can stir people up
What a gift cannot do:
Set those who are captive free.
Break off the bondage of those who are in chains.
Isaiah 66:1 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor, he has sent me to bind up the broken hearted; To proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.
What the anointing does:
The anointing does what it’s intended to do, to break the bondages off of the enemy grip. to free those who are walking in bondage.
2 Timothy 1:14 “By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.”
When I was younger, I loved playing hide-n-seek. I don’t mean to brag but I was a great hider. Whenever me and my sister would travel to my grandmothers house for the weekend, my grandmother would always make sure to sneak in a game of hide-n-seek. I was the best at it because I had a sweet spot that no one could find me in.
Years later and I’m grown up and not much has changed. I’m still great at hiding. I’m just not as great as finding my sweet spot. There isn’t one human on this earth that doesn’t know how to hide. We just often fail to hide in the right place.
Where we choose to hide will either lead us to a place of Victory (Jesus) or a place of Defeat.
The Psalmist, David, made huge mistakes. More than once he failed God. He could have hidden behind all of his mess, but he knew where to refuge. He hid himself in the Lord, he hid himself in Calvary’s Shadow.
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
History tells us of men who almost made it. “If I were to ask you what Charles Pinckney, Horatio Seymour, Alton Parker and James Cox have in common?” Most people would not know who these men were. These men ran for the United States presidency. Obviously these who did not win, but almost won.
History does not reward the man who almost succeeds, only the one who does succeed. Gods Word also tells about men who almost made it but failed.
For example, the rich young ruler, or King Agrippa, who admitted they were “almost persuaded.” These men apparently died near the door but not inside it. Our World is full of religious men who are so close yet so far.
In my high school days, how long ago those days were. I was not committed at all. My favorite day of school was the last day. I was late to school, and I never paid much attention. I just didn’t have the desire to put forth the effort.
If I was to live a Christian life like my high school days, I would never make it.
The key to living a committed lifestyle for Him is yielding/surrendering our lives to the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
Proverbs 16:3 “Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established.”
This verse tells me that plans are not made on our own THEN committed to the Lord.
Three words that sums this up Commitment involves work
23 He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had.24 And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day.
Jacob was left alone and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. It seems as if the man waited until Jacob was alone, until he was separated from folk who knew him, until he was secluded from things that might have been his source of comfort or strength, until he was at his most vulnerable.
The man waited until Jacob was alone and then came to wrestle with him. The moments before the big moment that come to change our entire form happens; a breaking and shifting of ages, a transition. The ground begins to shake.
This is what happens when we are in complete solitude with the father. Our culture trains us for motion and multitasking – not for slowing and simplifying. We know solitude means confrontation. You see, solitude removes distractions and leaves us, for a few minutes, alone with God. He might ask us to stop doing something or start something we don’t want to. But if we avoid his confrontation, we’ll miss His companionship, counsel, comfort, restoration and so much more. Let’s take some time alone with God.
The Resurrection of Christ brings hope. The late Emil Brunner once said, “What oxygen is for the lungs, such is hope for the meaning of human life.”
As the human organism is dependent on a supply of oxygen, so humanity is dependent on its supply of hope. Yet today hopelessness and despair are everywhere. Peter, who himself was given to despair during the episode of Calvary, writes in a triumphant note, “Blessed be the God and who according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again into a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.”
There is hope that mistakes and sins can be forgiven. There is hope that we can have joy, peace, assurance and security in the midst of the despair of this age. There is hope that Christ is coming soon-this is what is called in scripture “The blessed hope”
Our hope is not in our own ability or in our goodness or physical strength. Our hope is instilled in us by the resurrection of Christ!
letting go sometimes is a hard thing to do, especially when you’re young and you have so many dreams, ambitions and desires that you want to go after. But have you left God out of the equation? Are you going after His will or your way?
When the Lord asks us to do something it can be overwhelming, believe me when the Lord called me to preach, I felt like Moses who didn’t have it all together, the right skills, etc. Those are the people that He wants to use, those who know nothing.
Exodus 3:11 “But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”
Q: Who am I? Who are you?
A: You are a blood bought child of God, redeemed and loved who has been qualified to do the task at hand, nothing shall stop you! You can do anything and everything through Christ!
Exodus 4:10 “Then Moses said to the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”
Excuses, excuses. Our disabilities has no excuse for His ability to use us, no matter what it is. If He has called you, He will equip you!
And one of the Pharisees desired Him that He would eat with him. And He went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat. And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house brought an alabaster box of ointment and stood at His feet behind Him weeping and began to wash His feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hair of her head, and kissed His feet, and anointed them with the ointment…”
When I read this story I think of this woman who has never met this man, but has seen Him perform many miracles throughout her land. Maybe she was part of the crowd who followed Him? No one knows but what we do know is that she was wanting a change in her life. The life that she was living was profitable but not for her soul, she wasn’t satisfied, she was longing for something or someone who could give her that change.
Many people say she walked in the room out of courage, but I believe she walked in the room out of love. It wouldn’t be easy walking into a room of a stranger’s home and start anointing the feet of a man. But she didn’t care. She didn’t let the crowds of people who once got word that he was in a certain house keep her away. She didn’t let the people who were at the table afraid of embarrassment once she walked in the room. She kept her focus on Jesus, on the One who could give her that change, the forgiveness that she knew she needed.
“Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence [boldness] to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus.
This woman had no fear to walk right into the room where He was at, how are we approaching Him in our worship? in our prayer time?
It is our nature to put our trust in ourselves, in someone or something. The hardest thing to do I believe as being a Christian is to totally trust God in what seems to be an unwavering circumstance. Whether we think we know it all, we don’t. Our perception of things is not the same way how He looks at it. We must trust.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.
Just before the children of Israel began to cross the Jordan river, with the Promised Land being on the other side. Joshua told the people “Sanctify yourselves, tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.”
Why did God have the people sanctified before they crossed?
I believe sometimes God needs to remind us of what He has done in the past, to remind us of His Power, His Glory and His Sovereignty in order for us to have our faith encouraged. Whenever we sanctify ourselves we are saying no to the Worlds standards and saying yes to God, trusting in who He says He is, knowing that He can and will deliver us once more.
He is asking us, His children to be completely dependent upon Him. He’s not asking for a perfect trust, we are an imperfect people. But He is asking to have a heart and life that does not consciously reject or deny with unbelief.
You may be at the Jordan river, overlooking what may seem impossible. But just like the priests when they began to take that step of faith, it says the waters stopped and the children walked on dry ground.
“the earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”
Once, the Earth was without form and void. Spiritual speaking we were without form and void, for some we still are. We try to figure out His ways, but yet we are still puzzled. We go before Him, but yet He has already been their. We hide, we run, but He knows where we are and where we are running too.
Genesis 1:3 ” And God said “Let there be light,” and there was light.
But with a simple Word, He spoke light onto the Earth and it happened. He created light?! how radical!
/// Just A Thought \\\
He created light, why are we struggling with a situation not trusting Him to speak life into it?
The same God who spoke light into existence can speak light into your darkest moments and speak life into the deepest caverns of your heart. The earth was filled
Just like the Earth it has a beginning and an end; we all have a beginning and we all also have an ending.
“All flesh is like grass, that is here one day and gone the next. for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls,” 1 Peter 1:24
We all limit God’s ability to work in our lives, by what we allow Him to do. What do I mean? We choose how much we allow God to do through our surrender. When John wrote “He must increase, but I must decrease.” John knew that it took a life of surrender to see God work in His life. But what are we doing?
God wants to do the impossibles, the unimaginable. The unthinkable. He uses the foolish things of this world to confound the wise. Why? he wants to show you and I just how powerful he is when we say yes to Him. Sounds easy? To cultivate a lifestyle of surrender we must be planted firmly in the Truth, by knowing who He is and His promises we have a better understanding and a more clearer way of trusting in Him when the boat starts rocking.
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When Peter was called out onto the water; how much harder would it have been to step out if Peter did not see Jesus’ miracles beforehand?
The trials that we face in our lives are also known as seasons. Some seasons are fruitful it seems, you have so much joy and everything is going as planned. It’s like your on a mountain top and you can see afar off. Then this comes, it sweeps you off your feet and suddenly your back in the wilderness, the valley. This is the moment when God begins to put you back on the potter’s wheel and works and molds you into what He wants you to be, you just have to let go and let God do what He must do.
These seasons are also testing seasons. I never understood fully why God kept having me go through re-occuring situations over and over again. I know I’m hard headed and for some things it takes a while for me to actually notice what I’m doing wrong. So I kept questioning God. Like a parent that is patient with their children in the early stages of walking so is God patient with us. Everyone matures at different stages with the Lord, I guess you could say he advanced me quickly but yet gentle. His Word says that He is able to keep us from falling. “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy.” – Jude 1:24.
In a prayer service God whispered “my hand is in His hand”
When you fully surrender your life to God and allow Him to work on you, you’ll pass every test with no problem, just let Him grab a hold of your hand, He will keep you from falling.
It’s in those times of when everything is going haywire; out of control, you’re getting attacked from every corner it seems and it’s not letting up. You find your self living your life as a circus tiger being whipped and prodded by the enemy in an environment that seems like you cannot get out of. What does this sound like? War.
War is the opposite of peace, and without peace in our lives this is what the enemy does to those who don’t know God’s peace or those who won’t allow God’s peace to infiltrate their life because of their own willpower or having the attitude of “I can”. The “I can” cannot do what the “I Am” can do, some of us have this mindset of ourselves being able to have victory in the littlest parts of our lives when really we can’t, God cares more about those “little things” just as much as He does with the “big things”.
Jesus Sends Out the Seventy-Two
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. 2 And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 3 Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. 4 Carry no money bag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ 6 And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you.
Just as Jesus had sent out the seventy-two, He has also sent us out to declare His peace to others. God gives us the opportunity to release peace wherever we are at, to clear the path, remove offense and to shift the atmosphere. To remove the boundaries of fear and to bring Hope for the Hopeless. Whatever situation you are in today remember this, “Be still and know that I am God” accept the peace that He has for you today!