It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. Proverbs 25:2

Many times Christians will go through hardships, persecutions and problems and they think something must be wrong, either with them or that may be God has forgotten to be gracious to them. Many people will collapse and fall into despair at the first sign of pain and heartbreak.  Many will give up at the doorway, at the threshold of the beginning of God’s purpose of transformation in their lives. They will want to lie down and die of self-pity asking, why did God let this happen?  Many in the Christian community will aid them with their pity while validating their dismay of God. Some will help usher them to their bed of sorrow,as they give up on life and God. This however, is not God’s way or how He has told us to meet the difficult challenges of life.

Jesus comes with pierced hands and feet and calls us to enter into the fellowship of His suffering so that others may live. Jesus who knew no sin became sin that we may become righteous. We are told to consider Jesus who endured the contradiction, conflict, denial and disagreement of sinners against Himself. We should consider His life so that we do not become fearful, weary and faint in our own minds. 

Jesus despised the shame and the death of the cross but He endured it. He went through it all because He knew His suffering would set mankind free from sin and that was the joy that motivated Him. The joy before Him was that He would be bringing us into the family of God and when He was finished He would be seated at the right hand of God. 

Hebrews 12:1b-3  And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. NIV

True believers in Christ will suffer persecution and disdain of this world. However, most will not suffer or battle to the point of death as they strive against the wrongs and injustices of others. We are told to persevere, to persist and to continue in this race, this conflict or battle of life that has been marked out and reserved for us.  We are told not to think it is a strange thing when our faith is being tested through trials and troubles but consider and think on Jesus. Jesus despised the shame of the cross but He rejoiced over the outcome and the end results. 

We too are told to rejoice when we go through challenges and trials because we are partakers of Christ’s suffering and the end is our testimony of God’s goodness.   God will use the pain of our rejection and betrayal for His purpose, to draw those who are lost to Himself, that they too may receive eternal life.  For this we give thanks that God counted us worthy to suffer in the fellowship of Christ, so others my come to know Him. 

1 Peter 1:6-7   In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. NIV

Far too many Christians refuse to die to self, self-pity, self-centeredness and it is their pride that sits on the throne of their hearts and not Christ. Baptism is a symbolic act of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. When we accept Jesus as our Saviour we are dying to our own self- interest. As true believers are called to be crucified with Christ, to die to self and our lives are no longer our own but we are to offer our lives as a living offering and sacrifice to God. Entering into the water representsthe watery grave that receives the old man and the old way of living and the coming up from that watery grave represents our resurrection and a new life in Christ.

Galatians 2:20   I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. NIV

As an act of our will we all must choose how we will live this God given resurrected life. God has given us all dominion over our lives and we determine how we will use the time we have been given. We will make choices as to how we will live out this life by the actions we take. God created us for His glory, purpose and the work of the Gospel which isGod’s redemptive plan to seek and save those who are lost. As most jobs, work can be hard but it is necessary to accomplish its purpose.  Some people would rather skip work or go to sleep on their job but we are call to be part of God’s redemptive plan to seek and to save the lost. 

1 Corinthians 6:20 You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. NIV

We are called, to fellowship in the suffering of Christ. Jesus is our example, the One we are to follow. When He was reviled, hated, despised and insulted He did not retaliate or avenge Himself.  That is how we are to act when people do us wrong we are to submit the situation to God and let Him settle the matter.  No deceit, dishonesty, trickery or fraud was found in Jesus. When He suffered, Jesus did not threaten anyone but trusted God with the situation. Jesus bore our sins that we could become the righteousness of God. Jesus prayed that we be forgiven because we were ignorant and did not know who He was nor what we were doing. 

We too must pray for those who wounds and insults us and we are to intercede to God on their behalf. God is the Master Engineer, He orchestrates situations and circumstances so that we become part of His plan of salvation for those around us. We are to become intercessors praying on the behalf of those who God wants to do a work in their lives. We will bring them before God and the Holy Spirit will lead us into prayer and intercession for them or their needs. We are told not to faint when we go through troubles and trials because they are testing our level of faith. If we get overwhelmed, hurt and become bitter we lose sight of God’s purpose and glory of bringing a soul into the fellowship of Jesus. 

Our suffering provokes us into prayer and intercession to God inviting Him to work in that life. God will use His people to pray and to cry out for those who are lost. Our lives are no longer our own and we no longer have a private life. God has purchased our lives for His purpose and His plan of redemption. Our lives should be open testimonies to the world of who God is in the earth. 

 

 

 

We praise God for our Living Hope, Jesus. We are God’s elect and we are to live in reverent fear or great respect to God and this produces a holy lifestyle in us. God foreknew us and chose us before the creation of the world to believe in God through Jesus Christ who is our Living Hope. Our hearts are transformed into a new spiritual hearts and we have a sincere love for all people through Jesus and the living and enduring word of God.

We are told to get rid of fraud, evil speaking and envy this is our job and our responsibility. We are to bridle our tongue and to set a watch over our words and to train our emotions to love and not to hate. This is a hard task for anyone. Some people have a lot of words and they are not always nice words and they even more emotions that they wants todisplay and share with the world. God word says that we set a guard over our mouth and tame the tongue. The tongue is deadly as poison, evil and untamed. 

James 3: 8-11but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?

The way we tame the tongue is by knowing God’s word.  We should desire and hunger after His word for our spiritual growth, just as we need food for our natural bodies. As we learn God’s word we learn how to tame this unruly, evil speaking tongue by asking God to set a watch over our mouth and a bridle on our tongue. 

The question was asked, can both fresh water and salt water flow together from the same spring?  No, they cannot, one will eventually overpower the other.  A cup of salt water is changed by adding enough fresh water so that it would override and overcome the saltiness of the water. The same is with the fresh water and so it is with our minds.  The things we continue to feed our minds are the things we allow to have dominance over us and will eventually have rule, control and reign in our lives, whether good or evil. 

God is the only one who can tame the tongue. He can put a bridle on our tongue to keep our mouths from speaking evil and lies. But it is our choice to make it so. It is when we line our will and our mind up with the truth of God’s word that we will ask Him to change us and make us like Christ. It is God who will perform this great work in us, when we ask.  When we feed on the word of God we begin to learn His truths and begin to desire to be that truth in the earth.  We then pray to God and intercede for ourselves and others that we may look more like Christ.  As we grow in the word of God we receive His goodness and can see that the Lord is good.  

Psalm 141: 3-4a Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.  Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil so that I take part in wicked deeds along with those who are evildoers…

Jesus is our Great High Priest. He was rejected by men, irreligious men of His day who thought they were better than most people. They rejected Jesus, the humble Son of God, though Jesus was chosen by God to be our High Priest forever. True believers are chosen to be like Christ and we are living stones in the earth and we are part of the spiritual house of God and are called to be holy priests. In The Old Testament the people brought their offerings to the priest and the priest would present their offerings and pray to God and intercede on their behalf. Priests are those who perform spiritual acts before God on the behalf of others and they intercede on the behalf of all mankind to God. 

Hebrews 4:14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.

Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice and He became our High Priest and He is forever making intercession to God for us in heaven. As Jesus was rejected by unbelievers, so will we be rejected and not everyone will like us.   As God’s holy priest on the earth we are to offer these rejections, rebuffs and negative slurs as spiritual offerings to God by interceding for those who insult us.

The prayers of the righteous avails much, so when we offer these hurts,and scorns to God they are acceptable spiritual sacrifices. In this act of intersession we are calling God into the situation that He may settle the matter. We are asking God to come into the lives of those who have wronged or mistreated us. God is both just and the justifier of all mankind. Though people may deliberately hurt us they have no knowledge or idea of who we really are in Christ or the effects of their actions. They have no knowledge of how their actions are constructing and determining their destiny for eternity.

Jesus is our High Priest, our cornerstone and the foundation that we are to build our lives upon. Those who believe in the completed work of Christ believe He is precious and Jesus’s love for the lost and compassion for making disciples becomes precious to us. 

We stand as holy priests and look more like Christ before God when we pray for those that abused and reviled us. We are all the more like Christ when we say, Father forgive them, for they do not know what they aredoing.

1 Peter 2:4-5 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. NIV

We understand true believers in Christ are being transformed into the image of Jesus. It is done through the spiritual process of justification, righteousness, sanctification, and consecration. However, this is not something we can do on our own. It is God who justifies, it is Jesus who redeems and makes us righteous and the Holy Spirit leads us intosanctification and gives us the wisdom of God. Our responsibility is, as an act of our will, to say yes to God’s word and His way. We have heard these words justification, righteousness, sanctification and consecration and for many of us they all seem to run together in their meaning, but they are all different and all are part of the spiritual cycle of life. That is the process of us being transformed into the image of Christ.    

Justification-  God renders us just, innocent, free and in right standing with Himself based on the completed work of Jesus Christ. It is God’s act of forgiveness of our sin that justifies us and frees us from our rebellious state, because Jesus paid the price, for our sin debt with His blood and we are declared innocent.  

Righteousness – Jesus made it possible for us to be in right standing before God, or in a right position with God and it is because of our faith in the completed work of Jesus. All who receive Jesus as their Saviour receive His payment for their sin debt and can stand before God, affirmed cleansed.

Sanctification  This is a continuous process of us being set apart from the old worldly nature, set apart from the common and purified or madeholy in specific areas of life. The Holy Spirit will identify areas ofwrong believing, wrong thinking or wrong doing those things that are unlike Jesus. He begins to help us strip away those things that do not look like Christ. By shedding the light of God’s truth on a matter, the Holy Spirit identifies the area that God wants us to transform.  When we agree with God’s truth, and make a conscious decision to line up with His word, we ask God to change us to help us look like Christ. Then we begin to be set apart in that area. By the power of the Holy Spirit, God exchanges His strength for our weakness. As we submit to God in these areas and confess our inabilities we then ask God for His ability and He sanctifies us.

Consecrate  The Holy Spirit directs us in the areas that God is sanctifying until we make a decision to dedicate this area of our life to God. We must make the decision and commitment to be set apart from the world’s ways and to be made clean in this area. It is when we devote and dedicate this area to God that He helps us in this area to fulfill our purpose, the matter is set. As a jeweler sets a gemstone in a ring, he secures and fastens it, to keep it from moving or being lost.  In this way we choose to separate and consecrate those areas that God has brought us out and freed us from, for our good and His glory.

1 Corinthians 1:27-30

 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption

This process begins with God’s forgiveness of sin through the blood of Christ. The wages of sin is death and all have sinned, therefore there all who are born in this world will have a payment of death. The question is who will pay this debt? God has made available to everyone a payment through the death of Jesus. He has provided justification and forgiveness to everyone who will believe and have faith in Jesus. This is the Sovereign call of God to everyone to change their way of thinking and living and be saved. God preordained Jesus to be the Saviour of the world, even before mankind fell into sin.  God foreknew mankind could not live a perfect life in their own strength.

Our will or our conscious decision to believe God above all else is our responsibility, this is faith, believing God. To believe what God says on a matter above what the world may say, our friends say or even our family.  It is our choice to believe God and not this fallen world’s system, this is the act of faith.  The Bible says, it is God who justifies and Jesus has become our righteousness, our holiness and our redemption. So our best efforts to come to God based on our own efforts or the right things we have done are as filthy rags in His sight, but when we come by faith, in the completed work of Jesus we stand justified.   

Romans 3:22-26 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

God’s love for us is the reason He sent Jesus to pay the debt we could not, so we could stand justified, innocent through the completed work of Christ His Son. God places us in right standing with Him, when we accept by faith, the work of Christ. It is right believing and the right understanding that God’s word is the absolute truth that transforms our actions into right living. 

Sanctification begins when we respond to the call of God to come out from among this fallen world’s system and be separate from that old way of thinking and living. Sanctification is to be set apart from the old ways of this dark and perverse world system into the new kingdom of God. 

Consecration comes when we separate truth from the lies we had beentold and make a choice to set that truth firmly, securely and tightly in place in our lives. It is our decision to become consecrated on the matterjust as a cement mason, sets concrete for his building; it is set tightly in place and unmovable. When we consecrate a matter, the pressure of life may come against it but, there is no debate, no second thoughts, because that decision has been made and the matter is secure. 

It is when we renew our minds with the word of God’s truth that we will be transformed from that fallen lifestyle into living with the principles of the kingdom of God.   Once we are set apart from our old mindsets and habits we are able to operate victoriously in our new life of righteousness, sanctification and justification in the new kingdom of God that we have been called.

The purpose of the spiritual cycle of life is too transform and conform us into the image of Jesus so that others might see God’s glory and come into the family of God. We learned that with every new truth of God’s word that is revealed to us, a new spiritual cycle of life starts. This cycle begins when we hear the word of God and the seed of truth is planted into our hearts.  Then a test of our belief in that truth will come in various forms and different ways, but they will come to test our faith.

No matter the method, whether it is stress from this world system or attacks, the objective is to see if we will stand in faith or buckle under the pressure of any given attack. The test is won or lost with our commitment to the true word of God.  When we speak God’s word on the matter we are standing on the foundation of our faith.  But when we fold under the burdens of this world, or the attacks of friends or the needs and desires of our flesh, it is then that the truth of our belief is displayed

Romans 8:28-30 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. NIV

Everyone will go through difficult times but it is how we respond to these difficult times that will show which kingdom and principles we are operating in.  Those that are trained up in this fallen world will respond with their concern on themselves, their rights, their pride, their riches and fame. Those who are mature in Christ will understand they are no longer living for their selfish concerns, but God is working a work in their lives for their good, the good of others and His glory.

God’s purpose for creating mankind did not change with the fall. He created us in His image so that we would bear the likeness of God on the earth. When sin entered the world mankind was marred and no longer looked like their Creator. God knew His created purpose for us and even with the fall He had already predestined us to look like Christ. He foreknew us before the fall, He foreknew we would fall and He also preordained a plan to bring us back to His original purpose, to be in the family of God through faith in Jesus Christ.

God knew us all before we were born because we all came from His Spirit and God gave us life. Having given every person a free will, God knew and foreknew those who would as an act of their will, choose Jesus as their Saviour.  Those God foreknew He also prearranged a plan to work everything, the good and the evil of this world system, together for the purpose of transforming us into the image of Christ.

It is God who calls us out of darkness into His marvelous light. Jesus died for all and though all may have an opportunity to be saved only those who choose to believe, through faith, in Jesus will be saved. God has provided justification and forgives our sins through the blood of Jesus on the cross. It is our decision to receive it or reject it. We cannot earn forgiveness by the things we do or do not do or in our own strength it can only be received by faith in what Jesus did for us.

When we accept Jesus as our Saviour and payment for sin, the Holy Spirit will start revealing to us truth in God’s word and we are transformed by the truths we receive and believe. The spiritual cycle of life will begin with every new truth and we stand by speaking God’s truth on every matter. Then those lifestyle and character flaw that are unlike Christ will begin to change. The Holy Spirit will teach us God’s word and then we must make a decision, to believe the word of God and let it transform us, or deny the truth

and remain stuck in that situation.

Sometimes we see people who keep repeating the same test and go through the same crisis time and again, until they decide to choose a different path. God does not give up on His children. He keeps working with us until we are transformed into His image.

Philippians 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. NIV

Again, it does not matter what we are going through, whether it is good or bad, God foreknew His plans for our lives. He also foreknew the attacks we would face and He has made provisions for us. God has promised to work all these things together so that in the end we will be transformed to look like Jesus.

The purpose of spiritual cycle of life is for those who truly love God and are called for His purpose, will go through this cycle of learning a truth, then that truth being tested and then a life will be transformed to the image of Jesus. It is when the world sees this transformation made in a persons life that other will praise God and receive this hope for their lives, their future and for God’s glory.

Just as nature has a cycle of life so the believer has a spiritual cycle of life. In the natural we see the birth of a life, struggle and growth of a life and then the end of life as the cycle begins again.  We can see the spiritual cycle of life in what Jesus went through being tested of Satan in Matthew 3:16-17 – 4:1-11. Looking at Jesus’ response we can better understand our own spiritual cycle.

Jesus started His public ministry being baptized, which acknowledged openly a death to self-interest and a committed life for God. God acknowledges Jesus as His Son and the Holy Spirit guided Jesus away from the crowd into a wilderness, separating (sanctifying) Him for God’s purpose. Jesus was then tested in the very area that God had just spoken about Him, “This is my Beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased.” Satan will come and test or try the words God has spoken in our lives to see if we firmly believe God or if he can cast doubt in our hearts and cause us to give up just as he did with Adam and Eve.

Some people want to believe the word they receive from God and then go happily without a struggle into an easy and uneventful life. But this is not reality there will always be a testing of our faith and some give up hope because of adversity and hard times. True faith with deep roots will persevere through testing.  Those without deep rooted faith are like the seeds sown in shallow, stony and thorny ground, though they believed with joy at first when worry and concerns of this world comes it chokes their belief and they lose hope and their faith in the word God had given them in the beginning.

Matthew 13:21-23 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.  The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

Jesus is our example as to how we are to survive the pressure and onslaught of this fallen world’s system. It is by the spoken word of God, saying what God says on the matter.   The Bible says, out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. When we are tested we will see what we truly believe in our hearts, because our mouth will speak and the words will reveal our faith or our lack of faith.

God had just proclaimed to the world Jesus was His Son and that was the very point Satan tested to see if Jesus would hold on to that word or if He could be persuaded with the riches of this world and with immediate gratification. Jesus knew He was the Son of God but He would have to experience the pain, scourging, the death of the cross and a separation from God to fulfill His purpose. This was the only way to set us free from sin so He would bear sin for us.  Satan will always tempt us with a quick fix or a fast track to avoid the struggle and God’s purpose, but it will always end in death and destruction.

Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit used the same weapons of warfare that we are given by the Spirit of God and that is the word of God, “it is written.” Satan attacked Jesus on the same three fronts that he uses against us.   He entice us satisfy our survival needs at the cost of others and obtain fame, exalt self-pride and to obtain riches and power unjustly at the expense of others.   All these things God had already promised to Jesus and to us that we would receive in due season. God wants His children to have the good things in life as any good father wants the best for their children, but not at the expense of their integrity and character.   It brings God glory when we walk in the truth of His word and when we persevere through the testing and struggles. When we let God’s love shine through our lives others will see and have hope for their lives.

Some believers have the same mindset as the world. They believe their lives are for their own pleasures and comfort. Many think they are here for an easy life and when difficult times come, some may even think God is not protecting them or He is not doing His job. True believers of Christ are not their own, we were never created for ourselves even in the beginning but for God’s glory.  Even after the fall of mankind we were purchased through the blood of Jesus for God’s purpose to become children of God and for His glorify.

1 Corinthians 6: 19-20 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. NIV

We are told not to think it a strange thing when there is a testing of our faith, because our faith is only validated when it is tested. Some people will say they are children of God and believers of Christ but when the truth is tested in their lives then we will see what they truly believe in their hearts. Some will say they love God and His people, but when tested to do what is righteous by the marginalized and destitute they forfeit their beliefs for what will benefit themselves and their finances. It is then their true beliefs are revealed. They will allow the cares of this world to choke the word of God from their lives because they do not really trust God to provide.  Some may give up saying there is no use in trying and they will choose the immediate satisfaction of the moment over the promises and eternal peace of God.

1 Peter 4:12-13   Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. NIV

With every new truth God reveals to a believer it could start a new spiritual cycle of life. It is when we hear the word of God that the seed of that that truth and life is planted into our hearts. The enemy or life struggles will come to test our belief in that truth.  We are able to stand when we continue to speak God’s word and know His truth on the matter. The Bible says, though we be troubled on every side, we are not distressed; we are persecuted, but not forsaken. These afflictions are but for time and a season. Once we persevere through this cycle the experience and faith we gain will work in us and through us an exceeding and eternal weight of triumph.

We cannot speak what we do not know. The Holy Spirit is in us constantly bringing new truth to us in different areas of our lives and these truths will be tested, but we can stand by the power of God’s word. The spiritual cycle of life is when a truth of God’s word is planted into our spirit.  At which time we must choose to die to the old self and persevere through the testing of His truth. Then the world will see God’s glory manifested in our lives giving hope to those in the earth. This cycle will begin when a new truth is given by the Holy Spirit and as we are being transformed into the image of Christ.

A good prayer to pray for our children and ourselves is Philippians 1:9-11. That God’s love may abound more and more in us with the knowledge of who He is and realizing He loves us more than we could ever know. We should pray that we may experience and understand His love for us in our everyday living, the way we understand our family, children and friends. We should pray that we may comprehend and come to know the love language of God, so that we may understand how He expresses His love towards us and have insight into the depth of His love for us.

When we understand the depth of His love we are able to make better choices for our lives. Our desire will be to please Him and not our flesh, and then we will become blameless and filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes though Jesus Christ. Righteousness means we are in right standing with God. When we accept Jesus’s payment for our sin we are then in right standing with God and not because of any work we have performed. This is for the praise of God who has saved us from destruction.

Philippians 1:9-11 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ- to the glory and praise of God. NIV

It is the Holy Spirit in us that purifies our heart and gives us the desire to do God’s will in our life. If we continue in the same vain we were in before we got saved, then we need to reconsider our conversion to ensure it was truly based on the word of God and faith in the completed work of Christ. Salvation is a life transforming process that is experienced by the believer on the inside and it is worked out in our everyday lives so it is seen on the outside.  It is a hope in the love God has for us and that we understand we are not in this situation alone.  It is faith that believes in His love and believes He would never leave or forsake us. Because of His love for us It give us a desire to be more like Christ and to come to know Him through the word of God that lives in us.

Our purpose is to praise God in every situation.  God inhabits the praises of His people and Praise stops, stills and silence the hand of the enemy.

Psalm 22:3 Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praise of Israel. NLT   But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. KJV

Psalm 8:2     Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.

When we praise God, He is enthroned and seated as King of all kings on high. He dwells, lives and occupies that space in our praise.  It is in praise that we lift up Jesus above our situation and circumstances; it is in praise that God is exalted and then our circumstances are made small. It is in praise that we exchange our weakness for His strength.  It is when the King is on His throne that He transacts business in His kingdom. It is when we praise God that He comes to defend us and defeat our foes.

God has chosen praise as His weapon of warfare against our enemies. He has given the power and strength to little children to praise Him and silence the noises and lies of our enemy. Even young babies as they chuckle and coo they are praising God and can stop the hand of the avenger from overtaking us.  Babies only have praise because they have no worries their every need is met. We must choose to set aside our worries and doubt as an act of our will and then decide to praise God even when it may look like there is no hope. Praise empowers us with the strength of God.

Judah comes from a word that means to celebrate, the holding out of hands to revere or worship, to praise, or to give thanks.

Judges  1:1-2 Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children of Israel asked the Lord, saying, Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first, to fight against them?  And the LORD said, Judah shall go up: behold, I have delivered the land into his hand. KJV

God wants us to send out praise, celebrate Him, hold out our hands in reverence, respect and worship giving thanks to who He is and knowing He will deliver us.  God occupies our praise and in the light of God’s praise, darkness and the enemy cannot stay in the presence of God. This is why praise stills and stops the hands of the enemy against us. Light dispels darkness and darkness and light cannot occupy the same space.  This is why the enemy tries to paralyze us with fear and depression to keep our mind on what is lacking and to keep us in darkness to make us feel like we cannot praise God in our situation. Praise must become a choice of the will. We praise God because His word says we should praise Him.  It is our choice to obey God rather than wallow in our pity, shame and disappointment.

We should understand music and dance are also windows into the soul. Just as food enters the mouth and feeds the body so music and dance feeds and nourishes the soul.  Just as David sang and danced before God and he was called a man after God’s own heart. When we realize the importance of music and dance we see why the enemy attacks it so as to keep the people of God from using this mighty weapon against the darkness he has established. Satan always perverts the good things of God into something evil. Just as God has given every good thing for us to enjoy the enemy has tried to attack and destroy the blessings and goodness of God in the earth and he does the same with music and dance.

2 Samuel 6:14-15 And David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.

What Do You Believe?

Believe that Jesus is the Son of God. This belief is not just a cognitive saying of mental reasoning or thought it is intentional ongoing dependence on all that is true in Christ. Belief is a set and un-moveable dependence on and obedience to the love of God for us that is displayed in the gift of Jesus Christ.

God works within the confines of our times and through the hearts, souls and the culture of fallen man. God’s plan for man was what He created, a perfect world and He gave mankind dominion over it all but because of sin mankind forfeited all they had and gave dominion over to Satan. Mankind has been battling this fallen world system ever since.

Even though we rebelled and gave our authority and dominion over to Satan. God would not leave us in our fallen state without hope He sent Jesus to restore God’s kingdom on the earth. Every person is given the opportunity to choose life or death, to choose Christ or stay in this fallen world system of destruction. God made it so simple that anyone can be saved, just believe.

Romans 10:9 Confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.
Romans 10:10 with the heart a man believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

When we believe right we will act right – out of the heart the mouth speaks. When we continue to speak the word of God our heart will believe it and the saving power of God will transform our lives. God has given us Grace which is His divine influence upon our hearts, favour and joy.

God has given us His Peace which is quietness, a rest in our lives, minds and spirit. This happens when our minds are occupied with God our Father and Jesus as our Lord and Provider. Some people want to speak of Jesus as a Saviour but they want to reject Him as being their Lord. They will call on Him to save them but they do not want Him as Lord over their lives, to tell them what they should do, say and how to act. Some people will try and live in both camps, this fallen world system part time and then want to be in the kingdom of God when it is convenient

If Jesus is Lord of our life then we must die to self. The one person that stands in the way of Jesus as Lord is self. We want to be saved but we want to do what we want to do and continue living the life we had before we knew Jesus. It cannot be done.
Revelation 12: 11 And they overcame him (Satan) by the Blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony and they did not love their lives to the death.

We are able to overcome self, this world system, the attacks of the enemy and persecution from the world but it is done in the power of the Holy Spirit which is given when we accept the Blood of Jesus as payment for our sins and He becomes Lord over our lives. The words and testimonies we hear and say gives us hope and increases our faith and this is how we grow in faith. Many people want to stop but there is a third part to the overcoming process, to not love their lives more than Christ. It is when we put self to death and all our selfish, self-centeredness away that we can truly live for Christ. Jesus becomes Lord and our life is not our own.

We can be full of Joy when we are in fellowship with God and know His word. The good news is that God has brought His kingdom back to the earth and we are part of that kingdom. God has given us a circle of people, friends, family, neighbors and co-workers to pray for and display God’s image before them. They are not always the nicest or kindest of people but God has allowed us the opportunity to represent Him in their lives.

Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust.

It is when we love and pray for those that do persecute us that we are acting like children of God, it is then when we start looking like and acting like our Father. Paul says in Philippians that he is confident that God who begun a good work in them will perform it until Jesus Christ returns. Paul says he is confident that God will perform the good work He begun in us that we will be transformed into the image of God in Christ Jesus. It is God who will be working in us to transform us.

We were born with a fallen nature and trained in this fallen world system to hate, lie, and to be concerned only with our selves. We are told to be transformed from this old way by renewing our minds to God’s way of living and thinking. When we give our lives to Christ He becomes our Lord and we are re-born into a different kingdom, the kingdom of heaven on earth. Though our spirit is saved our minds and habits haven’t been changed and this is done by reading the word of God and through the power of the Holy Spirit living in us and guiding us in the things of God.

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (This is how you do that…)
Romans 12:2 Be not conformed to this world; but be transformed by renewing your mind that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

We are to understand what really matters are God’s priorities, the love of God flowing through us and that we live pure and blameless by doing what we know is right. Just do what God has shown you to be right no matter the hurt or the cost. We may suffer people’s slander and insults but we will show grace and forbearance. Jesus learned obedience through the things He suffered.

Jesus showed grace to the sinner but walked in truth. We too should have a high standard for our own lives and give much grace, mercy and love to others for their failures. This proves our belief in God and He is able to perform the good, acceptable and perfect will in our lives.

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