September 20, 2017
I am amazed at our Lord’s loving response to grief. As I read the Bible, I see that nothing stirs the heart of God more than the soul that is overcome with grief.
Grief is defined as “deep sorrow” or “sadness caused by extreme distress.” Isaiah tells us the Lord himself is acquainted with this most wrenching emotion: “He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3).
We see a powerful example of God’s loving response to grief in Mark 5, where we read of Jesus’ encounter with Jairus, a synagogue ruler.
As president of the synagogue in Capernaum, Jairus was part of a religious system that had rejected Jesus. We don’t know what Jairus personally thought about Christ, but we do know he had witnessed his healing power. It was most likely in Jairus’ synagogue that Christ healed a man’s withered hand. And Jairus was probably among the crowds when Jesus cast out evil spirits and heard them cry, “You are the Son of God” (Mark 3:11).
We find that grief had come to the ruler’s house. His twelve-year-old daughter lay in bed, sick “at the point of death” (Mark 5:23).
Grief alone had driven Jairus to Jesus. The fact is, we serve a Savior who responds lovingly to our every hurt, pain and grief. We all have done what Jairus did. In times past we have forgotten the Lord, neglected him, perhaps even rejected him. Yet the question our God is most concerned with is this: “Where are you with me right now? In your present grief, will you call on me?”
Dear saint, Jesus is present with you in your battle. You can press in and touch him and experience the resurrecting, healing power of Christ, just as Jairus did. He is walking beside you through it all and he has a plan to bring you out of death and into life. Fear not — only believe!
HUNGRY FOR GOD’S WORD
September 12, 2017
“The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). At the time these words were proclaimed, the Israelites had just returned from captivity in Babylon. Under the leadership of Ezra and Nehemiah, the people had rebuilt Jerusalem’s ruined walls. Now they set their sights on reestablishing the temple and restoring the nation.
Nehemiah called a special meeting at the city’s Water Gate within Jerusalem’s rebuilt walls (see Nehemiah 8:1). The first thing that happened was the preaching of God’s Word. A hunger for the Word had developed among the people, so they did not need to be urged to listen. And they were fully prepared to submit to the authority of the Word, wanting to be governed by it and conform to its truth.
Amazingly, Ezra preached to the crowd for five or six hours. What an incredible scene. I believe it would be hard to find such an occurrence in the modern church. Yet true restoration can never take place without this kind of all-consuming hunger for God’s Word.
Make no mistake, at the Water Gate in Jerusalem there was no eloquent preaching. Ezra didn’t deliver a sensational sermon. Rather, he preached straight from the Scriptures, reading for hours on end and explaining the meaning. And as the people listened they grew excited.
At times Ezra was so overcome by what he read that he stopped to “[bless] the Lord, the great God” (8:6). The glory of the Lord came down powerfully and everyone raised their hands in praise. In repentance and brokenness, “they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground” (8:6). Then they stood up to experience even more.
There was no manipulation from the pulpit, no dramatic testimony. There wasn’t even any music. These people simply had an ear to hear everything God said to them.
Beloved, I believe the Lord desires to move among his people in the same way today. If we are going to see this type of revival and restoration we must have a hunger and excitement for the Scriptures as Ezra did!
YOUR GOOD DEEDS WON’T SAVE YOU
September 6, 2017
Jesus was resurrected as our only righteousness — our only way to please God.
The Father said of Jesus, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). The apostle Paul reminds us of this again and again throughout his epistles, teaching that Christ alone is our righteousness in God’s eyes.
“Now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:21-24).
The apostle is saying, “My own righteousness is of the law, but the righteousness that is of Christ comes on the basis of faith.”
We can give to the poor and needy; we can be kind; we can think good and honorable thoughts. And we may convince ourselves that these good works will help save us on Judgment Day. Not so! Even if I lived for years without breaking God’s Word in thought and deed, it would avail me no credit. “Not by works of righteousness . . . but according to his mercy he saved us” (Titus 3:5).
I do not say any of this lightly. It is devastating for any person to hear, “Your good deeds won’t save you.” Indeed, we can’t convince anyone of this. Such convincing requires a miracle of God’s mercy and is a work that must be done by the Holy Spirit.
CLOTHED WITH POWER
September 4, 2017
Scripture shows us four ways the Holy Spirit moves in our lives. First, as Jesus says, no one comes to know him unless they are born again of the Spirit. Therefore, God’s Spirit dwells in every Christian. Second, we are called to abide in the Spirit, to remain intimate with him in prayer. Third, we are to be continually filled with the Spirit, constantly drinking from his well of living water. None of this means the Spirit leaves us but, rather, that we have a part in our relationship with him.
Finally, there is an outpouring of the Spirit that fills us with power, something that is beyond our ability to generate. You may wonder, “If I’m born of the Spirit, and the Spirit abides in me, and I continually drink of the Spirit, why would I need the Spirit poured out on me?” Because it helps us understand our need for God. We could never do the works of his kingdom in our own passion or zeal. It must come from him.
Sometimes we get it backwards in the Church. We think God chooses the fiery person, the one who will get everyone else zealous for God. But the Lord isn’t looking for a fiery heart; he’s looking for a hungry heart — one he can fill with his very own mind, heart and Spirit. That means even the meekest among us qualifies.
Note the word Jesus uses to describe the outpouring of the Spirit: “Stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). This suggests an external move of the Spirit in our lives, something that comes from outside us. All other moves of the Spirit in us are internal — being born again, abiding, drinking our fill. But this is an action God does for us. We depend on him to bring it to us.
SITTING IN UNBELIEF
September 2, 2017
I am convinced that God is initiating something truly significant in this hour; he has decreed a moment of mercy for America. No matter how set against Christ people’s hearts have been in the past, God is now presenting an open window. And so I do not want to spend all my prayer life crying out, “Please, Lord.” Instead, I want to pray, “Yes, Lord,” and find out what my part is. “Yes, Lord, what do you want me to do? Yes, Lord, what do you want me to say? Yes, Lord, where do you want me to go?
When God chose Rebekah to become Isaac’s bride, she had to move from where she was and go to where God was calling her in order for his plan to be fulfilled (see Genesis 24:58). Similarly, God is speaking to people today, telling them to get up and out of certain things. So rather than constantly saying, “Please, Lord, give me the grace to get out of this relationship. Give me the grace to cease this practice,” it is time to start saying, “Yes, Lord, you have called me to something deeper. You have called me to be a person who can boast of you to the point where others cannot help but bow their heads and worship. So I am no longer going to say, ‘Please, Lord’ while merely sitting in unbelief. I am going to agree with you, get out of where I should not be, and go to where you are calling me!”
Perhaps you already know what God is asking you to do. If he has spoken to your heart, begin with those things. If the Lord is asking you to forgive, then forgive. If he is asking you to speak truth, then do so. Until you obey what he has already told you to do, the other leadings of the Lord will remain hidden.
THE ONE TO TURN TO
September 1, 2017
David often wrote about brokenness in his psalms. He spoke of God’s nearness to those who are broken: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart—these, O God, you will not despise” (Psalm 51:17). “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit” (34:18).
What incredible promises our Lord has given to those who are broken in spirit. He pledges to dwell with all who have been broken and revive their hearts.
There is a physical brokenness that is the result of human despair. I’m talking about bereavement, emotional pain, anguish that comes from physical afflictions. Yet the brokenness spoken of here is something other than human despair. It speaks of spiritual brokenness.
The truest picture of spiritual brokenness is found in Luke 19. In this passage Jesus is riding on a colt into Jerusalem:
“Now as he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, ‘If you had known, even you, especially in this your day [times], the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes” (Luke 19:41-42).
What was the source of Jesus’ agony? We are told that Christ “came to his own and they received him not” (see John 1:11). Jesus was crying, “If only you had accepted the things I said to you! It would have brought you my peace, my blessings, my hope and my purpose for your lives.”
Here is the difference between us, who have found refuge in Christ, and the multitudes who are lost: they have rejected their rescue. But every believer knows there is One we can turn to. We have a source to go to for strength and comfort, because we believe Jesus is who he claimed to be.
WE SEE JESUS
August 30, 2017
Paul wrote, “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).
He lived in a time when factions in the church abounded on the left and right, and they fought bitterly. Paul responded to the conflict by saying, “I have nothing to do with this. I am here for one purpose: to live and preach Christ crucified and risen. As a servant of the Lord, I refuse to get entangled in such things.”
Paul was then compelled to write to his young associate Timothy with the following warning: “The Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons. These people are hypocrites and liars, and their consciences are dead” (1 Timothy 4:1-2, NLT). Paul’s warning here is clear: Men will appear preaching another gospel.
Right now, a false Christ is being preached even in some evangelical churches. Theirs is a Christ who calls for no repentance. It is a Christ who embraces immorality and same-sex marriage. It is a Christ of acceptance of false religions, all supposedly in the name of tolerance and love.
Today the church we see is often not as it should be. What is our response to this travesty? We see the real Jesus – the unchangeable Christ – standing victorious over it all! All other human-invented gospels will not offer one ounce of comfort in the hour of need.
As Paul instructed, we can’t let these kinds of issues distract us. We are not to be “corrupted from the simplicity [devotion] that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3). All around us the world is breaking down, but we see Jesus! We must trust that he is standing with us in our pain, our suffering, our crises, all things.
August 28, 2017
The more we hustle and rush to accomplish things for God by our own efforts, the more his power drains out of us. This happened in the Old Testament again and again. Israel was always moving ahead of God, frustrating his plans for them and robbing him of the glory he deserved as their faithful deliverer.
At times Israel even aligned with pagan armies to defend themselves against bigger enemies, which God forbade them to do. We have the same tendency today. Our flesh is simply inclined to move ahead of the Lord.
Elijah knew what it meant to wait on the Lord. I love this verse about him: “The word of the Lord came to [Elijah], saying, ‘. . . hide yourself ’” (1 Kings 17:2-3). I believe these are some of the hardest words any follower of Jesus can hear. It’s the equivalent of Jesus telling his disciples, “Wait.” The Lord is faithful to move at his chosen time if we will wait.
For the disciples, waiting was a matter of weeks; for Elijah, it was three years. That was the remaining length of the famine Israel endured after God spoke to him. Imagine how hard that period must have been for Elijah. He had a word from God burning in his heart—but he was commanded to stay silent for three long years.
Once those years passed, however, God told Elijah, “Go, show yourself . . . and I will send rain upon the earth” (18:1). At the appointed time, Elijah took part in an amazing blessing that God imparted to his people.
Today, a lot of us “show ourselves” before God’s appointed time. We end up spinning our wheels, tiring ourselves, becoming weary in doing God’s work. Friend, the only power we’ll ever have for God’s work will come from time spent in prayer.
NOW TO EACH ONE
August 26, 2017
To the Corinthians, Paul said: “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:7, emphasis added). There it is staring at us. Now what are we going to do with this verse? The infallible Word of God says the manifestation of the Holy Spirit was given to each one for the common good. To each one, not just to the apostles. Think of the impact of that verse. Is that something we preach? Do we believe it? Expect it? God has promised every one of us a manifestation — supernatural by definition — of the Holy Spirit. It is part of being a Christian.
One of the ways the Spirit glorifies Christ is to build up his Body, which is for the common good. Since the church is a spiritual organism, it needs spiritual ministry to build it up. And spiritual ministry can come only by the Holy Spirit showing himself through human vessels.
Those who engage in false displays and teachings of the Spirit have scared away many sincere people who love their Bibles. Someone who truly loves the Word sees those displays and says, “No, thank you. Let’s just sing some safe praise songs, have a good Bible study and then go home.” But our Lord Jesus Christ never intended that his church operate without visitations and blessings from the living Spirit of God. Why would he send another Helper if not to help us? Just look around at the world. Don’t we see the obvious need for something fresh from God to overcome the powerful influences of evil?
The early church was alive and active because of the Holy Spirit. There is not even one verse that relegates the importance and vitality of the Spirit only to the New Testament church. We have to believe the Holy Spirit is present for us today.
August 25, 2017
Today our society is broken. We have out-of-control schools, confused leaders, collapsing banking systems, widespread unemployment, unmanageable social programs, and a complete breakdown of moral values. And to top it off, the earth could be standing on the brink of a nuclear catastrophe. In short, things seem to be spinning out of control.
How can believers possibly stand firm and steadfast in the midst of all this chaos? The author of Hebrews answers us: We must see Jesus in all that is happening in our lives (see Hebrews 2:9).
Some may wonder, “How could the Lord be in any of this? So many things in my life feel out of control.” Let me give you an example from Scripture. I am talking about a man whose world was turned upside down by chaos, shaking the very foundations of his faith. Yet, in the midst of it all he saw the Lord.
In his hour of great trial, the apostle Stephen stood unmoved as a mob of Christ-haters surrounded him armed with stones and ready to put him to death. Stephen knew he had only a matter of minutes to live — yet he was filled with peace and calm. What was the secret of this man’s endurance?
In that very moment, Stephen testified, “Look! I see the heavens opened and [Jesus] standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:56). He kept his eyes focused on Jesus alone. He could face a cruel death knowing Jesus was with him in it all.
I am convinced that the example of Stephen holds something of great importance for all who love and serve the Lord. It is this: When we truly see Jesus in the midst of our afflictions and hardships, we will always hear him tell us, “Fear not!”
THE SOURCE OF ALL WE NEED
August 24, 2017
Few Christians doubt that Jesus is their source but they don’t always have confidence and assurance he’ll give them what they need. Here are a few wonderful reminders of the Lord’s concern for you.
He knows all about your personal needs. “For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask him” (Matthew 6:8).
“My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). You are being promised, “In Christ are all the riches of glory. In Jesus God has given you everything you need for life and godliness.”
God truly cares for you and he is touched by your need. “Casting all your care upon him, for he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). The Greek meaning here is, “You matter to him.” This may be difficult to comprehend in the midst of your long affliction. But even now God is taking a great interest in every matter touching your life: your job, family, children, relationships, health.
“Do not cast not away your confidence, which has great reward” (Hebrews 10:35). God says, “Hold on to your confidence, because I am a rewarder.” Simply put: “It pays to hold on.” “But without faith it is impossible to please him, for he who comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).
Do you truly want to bring Christ pleasure? Then give him your total confidence. Hold on and don’t waver. And remember his promise to you:
“The just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, my soul shall has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul” (Hebrews 10:38–39).
WAIT ON THE HOLY SPIRIT!
August 21, 2017
If you need the power of God in your life, Jesus has a special word for you. Just before he ascended to heaven, Christ knew his disciples needed power to do the works of his kingdom on earth. So he instructed them, “Behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49-50).
The instruction was simple: “Stay in the city.” But note that he uses a qualifier: until. Jesus was saying, “Your lives will remain the same until the Holy Spirit comes upon you with power.”
This is true for a lot of Christians I know. They sense their life isn’t going quite according to God’s design. They are dissatisfied, wanting more in their marriage, their work, their walk with Christ, their witness for him. Jesus is promising them, “God desires those changes for you, but such things only happen through the power of the Spirit. Until he comes, things will remain the same.”
Luke wrote this scene in his gospel, and he repeats it in the book of Acts: “While staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, ‘you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now’” (Acts 1:4-5).
Jesus’ message in both passages is clear: “Wait on the Holy Spirit! Don’t rush, clamor or panic. You can’t will your way to accomplishing the works of the kingdom. Wait in faith, and you’ll be endued with power from on high.” Indeed, it happened just as he promised. On the day of Pentecost, the disciples were filled with a powerful anointing from God such as the world had never seen. And two thousand years later, the world has never been the same.
CHRIST’S PRESENT GREATNESS
August 17, 2017
Scripture says we have been provided the same energizing, resurrection life that is in Christ: “If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (Romans 8:11). He infuses our mortal bodies with physical strength through the very energy of God.
Our faith simply has to go beyond the point of death. We must look into the very face of all that is dead and proclaim, “Jesus never gives up on that which appears to be dead.” We need a faith that refuses to give up on anyone or anything, no matter how hopeless the situation seems.
Christ will astonish us by His power. Indeed, if you hold on in unswerving faith, you are in for a glorious manifestation of His resurrection life. Only you and the Lord will know all the intimate workings of His miracle, but He will astonish and thrill you as He shows you His great glory.
“You, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him” (Colossians 2:13).
“But God … because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses made us alive together with Christ” (Ephesians 2:4–5).
“It is the Spirit who gives life” (John 6:63). “The last Adam became a life-giving spirit” (1 Corinthians 15:45).
How clear is His message to us! The Holy Spirit dwells in us to bring forth His constant life. That is Christ’s present greatness.
A REVELATION OF JESUS’ POWER
August 15, 2017
The apostle Paul prayed for the church at Ephesus: “That you may know . . . what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power” (Ephesians 1:18–19). Paul was saying, “May God reveal to you not just the past greatness of Christ but His present greatness.”
The Church today has great reverence for the Jesus who walked on Earth — the Galilean, the son of Mary, the teacher and miracle worker. We never grow weary of hearing and telling of the greatness of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
We love to remind ourselves of how this Jesus chased demons and stood strong against all temptations. He opened blind eyes, unstopped deaf ears, caused paralytics to leap, restored withered arms, healed lepers. He turned water into wine, fed multitudes with just a few loaves and fishes, and on more than one occasion He raised the dead.
Yet, at some point in history, Christians began to limit the present power of our great, miracle-working Savior. The Church developed a theology that made Christ God of the spiritual but not of the natural. We often don’t know Him as Lord over our everyday affairs, as God of our home, our children and marriage, our job and bills.
Paul is telling us we need a revelation of the power of the resurrected Jesus, seated at the right hand of God, with all power given to Him in heaven and on earth. “[God] put all things under His feet” (Ephesians 1:22).
As I read this passage, my heart was stirred with a powerful truth: “Jesus has never been more powerful than He is right now.” Moreover, according to Paul, Christ is “far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come” (Ephesians 1:21).
PROCLAIMING WITH CONFIDENCE
August 14, 2017
In a recent devotional, I wrote about the power of petitioning prayer. Today I want to talk about something even more powerful. As you’re petitioning, you’re crying out, asking God for favor for power, for breakthrough. As that petition has worked its way into your heart and mind, it has worked its way into your faith; you’re going to come out of petition and into what I call proclamation.
You will be proclaiming breakthroughs — declaring what God has said in His Word, “Thus saith the Lord.”
You will be proclaiming that God has heard your cry and it’s time to get up off your knees. Not to stop praying but to say to God, “I’ve laid it all out before you. I’ve brought my grievances to you hundreds of times, just as David did, and there is no more complaint in my heart. In its place is a strong and powerful assurance that it is well with my soul. You do all things well and I will be a victor! I will overcome! You are for me, not against me.
“This sickness in my body is gone! The financial stress and chaos I’ve been living in is behind me and I’m moving into a new realm of faith. My prodigal son is coming home. My prodigal daughter is receiving Jesus.”
You are moving in a new direction, away from a petitioning cry of, “Will You help me, please?” You are now firmly standing on His Word, believing that His promises are always true and proclaiming with confidence, “God is faithful to His Word. He’s not going to forsake me or leave me.”
Once you get into that proclamation, you begin to pray in a different way. Just like David prayed, “You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance” (Psalm 32:7).
INEXPRESSIBLE AND GLORIOUS JOY
August 12, 2017
A certain woman in our church is known for her sunny, joyful disposition. Several years ago she came into my office and shared some devastating news with me. As she spoke, she was amazingly composed and the sweetness in her spirit caught me totally off guard. When we finished our conversation, she asked me sincerely, “May I pray for you?”
This dear saint started out by telling me some shattering news and then finished by praying for me! I was amazed at her joy despite some very painful circumstances in her life.
The kind of joy this woman had was normal for the New Testament church and it should be normal for us, too. Should we be depressed that Jesus died for our sins and rose from the grave? Should we lament the knowledge that one day we’re going to be with the Lord forever? Should the fact that our name is written in the Book of Life make us sad? No, of course not! Those things should give us great joy!
Peter wrote: “Though you have not seen [Jesus], you love Him, and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy” (1 Peter 1:8, emphasis added). Does an “inexpressible and glorious joy” describe your church or mine? It should.
Paul’s epistle to Rome is his great theological document regarding justification by faith and other weighty doctrinal matters. Yet toward the end of his letter, the apostle declares that the kingdom of God isn’t essentially about doctrinal positions such as Calvinism or Arminianism. And it isn’t about who is right in the pre- or post-tribulation rapture debate. Paul said that the kingdom of God is a matter of “righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17, emphasis added).
The apostle Paul was describing a life of joy that comes from the Holy Spirit. That is how important joy is; it makes us distinctive as followers of Jesus Christ.
JESUS IS NEVER LATE
August 11, 2017
Godly patience is a willingness to wait for God’s timing. There is such a thing as Holy Ghost timing. “For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry” (Hebrews 10:37). This verse speaks of more than Christ’s Second Coming; it also is about the coming of Christ to meet our needs.
There is no such thing as God being late. Mary and Martha had thought Jesus was late when their brother, Lazarus, died. They said to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:21). In other words, “Jesus, You got here too late! You missed the deadline.”
Imagine how hurt Jesus must have been over this rebuke. But He answered them, in essence, “No, I’m not late. Lazarus will rise again. I’m here, and I am the resurrection. All life is in Me.”
The household of Jairus, a ruler in the synagogue, thought Jesus was too late. This prominent man was told, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” (Mark 5:35). Once again the message was, “Jesus was too late. It’s all over! He didn’t answer on time and He let us down.” But, as we know, Jesus took the child by the hand and raised her from the dead (5:41-42).
Too late? There is no such thing with our Lord. You can see in both of these instances that Jesus was right on time! You may be tempted to quit the fight and sink into despair, but our Father is so full of love for His children that He cannot be stopped from bringing something out of nothing.
GOD'S PROMISE IS JUST AHEAD
August 10, 2017
“For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise” (Hebrews 10:36).
The writer of Hebrews detects a weariness and impatience creeping into the believers. He wanted to address this by identifying for them Satan’s most effective weapon against those who grow weary in well doing: impatience with God.
Here is how it works. After a long period of affliction, the devil plants the thought, “God knows you’ve trusted Him and you’ve been faithful up to now. You would never doubt His willingness and ability to help you. So, where is He after all this time? Why doesn’t He help you? Is this how He responds to His servants’ faithfulness?”
Satan uses this exact kind of strategy against many dear saints today, implanting impatience with God. He is telling you that the Lord is not going to supply your need — that you will live as a second-class Christian, downcast and on your own for the rest of your life.
You may hear Satan’s accusatory voice, “You’re going to lose your job. You’ll lose your home. All your praying and trusting will be in vain. It’s obvious you’re a failure in faith. The time has come for you to give up and go back.”
Think about what the writer of Hebrews was saying to these suffering saints. What a message to deliver to a people mired in deep trouble! They had lost all their property and possessions and were enduring a long fight. And now they are being told by someone in authority, “You lack patience. Just believe and wait. The promise is coming.”
Yes, it is difficult to be patient but trust the Lord and don’t be fooled by Satan. Know that His promise lies just ahead and that He has not forsaken you.
CONFIDENCE IN JESUS
August 9, 2017
The enemy comes roaring like a flood against saints who have no part in darkness. Satan can make it seem as if everything in their lives is coming apart: their prayers seem hindered, heaven seems as brass, and they suffer afflictions on all sides. At such times their heart might whisper condemnation: “You lack faith. If you only believed more righteously — if you were closer to Jesus, if your thoughts weren’t so evil — none of this would be happening to you. You would be on top, like those you see around you. You would enjoy abundance and hear clearly from God.”
No so! Those referred to in Hebrews 10 who were under attack had a genuine faith that made them “draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith” (Hebrews 10:22). Indeed, they are addressed in this epistle as “holy brethren” in Hebrews 3:1. The writer knows there is a war for their hearts in the midst of great affliction.
Simply put, Satan’s main objective is to douse a believer’s light, to dim it or shut it off completely. Show me a Christian who suddenly comes out of spiritual darkness, bursting into the light of Christ and His holiness and purity, and I’ll show you one who is in for the fight of his life.
Does this describe you? Are you enduring a great fight right now? Beloved, it is most likely not because of doubt or sin, but because of the light you have embraced. Light produces confidence in Jesus, and the more light you receive, the greater your trust in Him.
It is your confidence in Christ that Satan is determined to shipwreck. He has aimed the powers of hell at you to drag you down in fear and unbelief. But even now God is taking a great interest in every matter touching your life: job, family, children, relationships, health. It is truly His concern; you matter greatly to Him.