"Walking in the way and the love of the Lord"
by Joyce Meyer
You shall not need to fight in this battle; take your positions, stand still, and see the deliverance of the Lord [Who is] with you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Fear not nor be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you. 2 Chronicles 20:17
All of us face various kinds of battles in our lives. No one escapes problems and challenges, which we often call “the storms of life.” The good news is that God already knows what He will do when we face difficulties. He has a plan to bring us victory. Second Chronicles 20 tells us that we do not need to fight our own battles because our battles belong to the Lord, not to us. All we need to do is take our positions and remain in them until our breakthroughs come.
What is that position? I believe it is worshipping God.
Unless we have a strong faith in God, anytime a storm comes into our lives, the first thing that happens is that we lose our peace and begin to feel fear. Our enemy, Satan, injects “what if” thoughts into our heads, and we often begin to think we will have the worst possible outcome.
As soon as this happens, we should realize what’s going on: The enemy is trying to keep us from going forward in God’s will and experiencing His good plans for our lives. God wants us to be totally free from fear. He doesn’t want us to live in torment, and He doesn’t want fear to stop us from confidently doing what He leads us to do.
When we have a deep understanding of God’s perfect, unconditional love for us, we realize He will always take care of everything that concerns us. That knowledge eventually delivers us from fear. As we gain experience with God and see that He always takes care of us and provides what we need, we begin to relax.
There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love's complete perfection]. 1 John 4:18
God moves on our behalf when we focus on Him instead of our fears. Thoughts or feelings of fear are nothing more than the enemy’s attempt to distract us from God and His will for our lives. We may feel fear at various times in our lives, but we can trust God. And if we need to do something, even though we feel afraid, we can do it.
This “do it afraid” theory is something God began teaching me years ago. I saw that when He told Joshua to “fear not” (see Joshua 8:1), He was actually warning him that fear would try to stop him from moving ahead with God’s plan for his life; instead of letting fear control him, he needed to be strong and full of courage and to keep going forward. He needed to fight and win the battle against fear so he could experience the victory of fulfilling God’s plan and enjoy everything God had for him.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
When we feel fear or begin to have fearful thoughts, the first thing we should do is pray. I often say, “Pray about everything and fear nothing.” We should set ourselves to seek God until we know we have overcome our fears mentally and emotionally. As we seek God, we are focusing on Him instead of our fears. We worship Him for Who He is and express our appreciation for the good He has done, is doing, and will continue to do.
God has new opportunities and great things in store for us. To receive them, we will need to take extra steps of faith. That often means doing things we don’t feel like doing or may not even think will work. Our trust and reverence for God must be greater than what we think, want, or feel.
The enemy brings all kinds of storms into our lives. He also tries to use fear in many different forms to keep us from experiencing everything God has for us. Even though we may feel fear, we need to focus our attention on God. He has a battle plan for us, and He will give us courage and faith to receive the peace, victories and blessings He has for us.
If our lives are filled with plenty of praise for God’s mighty acts and worship for Who God is, we will see Him fight our battles for us and we will experience joyful victories.
“...Seek me and live.”
(Amos 5:4, NIV)
Joel Osteen is such an uplifting pastor. He is always preaching about the gifts and graces that Our Lord has in store for us. All we have to do is claim those gifts and graces in His name!! I have heard some people say that don't agree with his preaching, because there is crosses we must carry. I don't agree, I believe Joel Osteen is helping spread the message of hope and love. Will we have crosses to carry? Yes of course we will. But we should all strive to carry that cross with acceptance and not to fall into self pity.
Matthew 10:38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
Is it easy? Of course not. But that is why we seek Him. Because only with Him will we have abundant life. Once we accept that cross, pick it up and ask Our Lord to help us in carrying it, it is in that moment that you will find peace. In that moment you will find joy! I do believe that Our Lord wants us to feel peace and joy here in this world. He doesn't want us walking around feeling sorry for ourselves. He wants us to experience abundant life. He wants us dancing! He wants us to share His love with everyone we encounter! He wants every part of our life to shine! (even while we carry that cross)
As Joel Osteen, said "He wants your relationships to be vibrant and alive. He wants your dreams to be alive. He wants your body, heart and mind to be alive and full of vitality. God is the source of all life, and when you seek Him, you will find Him, and the result will be everlasting life."
So pick up that cross and smile. Smile because you know that God has got you and is guiding you every step of the way. Seek God and allow him to guide you. Allow him to love you. Forgive yourself or others and let go! Have hope, have faith, and live your life to the fullest! Dream big! Claim that dream with Our Lord! Remember our biggest dream is probably but a little seed to Our Lord. Let Him give you this abundant life. Enjoy every moment and share this newfound joy with others!
Here is a little prayer by Joel Osteen, “Father, thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, so that I can have abundant life, both now and in eternity. I humbly come before You, giving You all that I am. I ask for Your hand of blessing and guidance in everything I do. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you… —John 14:27
There are times in our lives when our peace is based simply on our own ignorance. But when we are awakened to the realities of life, true inner peace is impossible unless it is received from Jesus. When our Lord speaks peace, He creates peace, because the words that He speaks are always “spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). Have I ever received what Jesus speaks? “…My peace I give to you…”— a peace that comes from looking into His face and fully understanding and receiving His quiet contentment.
Are you severely troubled right now? Are you afraid and confused by the waves and the turbulence God sovereignly allows to enter your life? Have you left no stone of your faith unturned, yet still not found any well of peace, joy, or comfort? Does your life seem completely barren to you? Then look up and receive the quiet contentment of the Lord Jesus. Reflecting His peace is proof that you are right with God, because you are exhibiting the freedom to turn your mind to Him. If you are not right with God, you can never turn your mind anywhere but on yourself. Allowing anything to hide the face of Jesus Christ from you either causes you to become troubled or gives you a false sense of security.
With regard to the problem that is pressing in on you right now, are you “looking unto Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2) and receiving peace from Him? If so, He will be a gracious blessing of peace exhibited in and through you. But if you only try to worry your way out of the problem, you destroy His effectiveness in you, and you deserve whatever you get. We become troubled because we have not been taking Him into account. When a person confers with Jesus Christ, the confusion stops, because there is no confusion in Him. Lay everything out before Him, and when you are faced with difficulty, bereavement, and sorrow, listen to Him say, “Let not your heart be troubled…” (John 14:27)
The word reminds me that sometimes, God just wants us to be still and have faith In Him.
When there’s a problem, or if there is something we want to do, we usually do not rest until the problem is resolved or we have completed what we want to do. Even if we cannot solve it, we do the best we can and do something about the situation. We want things solved at once, and we do what we can do achieve it. However, in today’s reading, we see that sometimes God wants us to be still.
They say that silent waters run deep. In the faith aspect, I believe that a silent and still heart, especially in times of trouble, is a sign of deep and great faith in God.
When the Israelites were being chased by the soldiers, they felt they would die already. However, as we say, if God brings you to it, he will bring you through it. God called the people out of the slavery in Egypt, and even if they felt they were hopeless and powerless against the soldiers and chariots, God is more powerful. No power in this world can stop God’s plans for our lives. God divided the sea and allowed the people to pass. Impossible situations give God the opportunity to do great miracles.
The LORD himself will fight for you; you have only to keep still.
There are a lot of times we feel helpless. We already did everything we could, but situations do not seem to improve. It sometimes seem hopeless. However, we should take comfort in today’s word, in today’s promise. God is loving, faithful and powerful. We just need to have faith in Him, and allow him to fight for us.
May we be comforted and inspired to still do the best that we could, but ultimately leave the rest up to God, having full faith in his plans, his power and his love.
Thank you for today. Thank you for another day to live. thank you for another week. Thank you for all the blessings. Thank you for the reminders. Lord, I am sorry for the times I lose faith in you. sorry for doubting you. sorry for the times I panic and think that everything is up to me. Help me build and strengthen my faith in you. help me trust in you, especially during seemingly hopeless situations. I just lift up everything to you. I know that as I do my best to live right and live for you, you will continue to bless and protect me. amen.
Hebrews 12:4-7, 11-15
Psalms 103:1-2, 13-14, 17-18a
At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain,
yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness. (Hebrews 12:11)
There been times when I thought I couldn’t last for long.
But now I think I’m able to carry on.
A change gon’ come.
Oh yes it will. (Sam Cooke)
Suffering can fall on us like a thief in the night: cancer spreads, jobs are cut, the drought worsens, depression returns. In this long night, existence is pared down to essentials. We grip the rock and try to hold on. In darkness our prayer is a cry of the heart. As light returns, we are not the same. A change has come. God is nearer and compassion is more real. There is goodness arising from our loss. I give thanks for my new heart open to the world.
Sometimes suffering is chosen. The 600 persons who first stepped onto the bridge in Selma, Alabama, 50 years ago to march to the state capital to secure voting rights saw the police massed for an assault. They “resisted to the point of shedding blood.” In his memoir, John Lewis recalls Bloody Sunday and the discipline arising from taking action and from time spent in jail. He learned faith in the spirit that moves in history and faith in their enemies’ capacity for change. The long struggles for justice teach patience and to “strive for peace with everyone.”
It is tempting to see suffering as punishment. Thomas Aquinas rejects this notion. To suffer is evil and we must seek to relieve it whenever possible. But suffering is not separable from human existence. To seek perfection and fully embrace his humanity even Jesus suffers. Returning to his village, his spirit droops in the face of sarcasm and doubt. His carping neighbors refuse to listen and readjust their expectations. From the “bitter root” of cynicism nothing grows. Without faith, our vision narrows; we speak but “our feet do not move.” As we open to love, the isolation ebbs. In the company of God and others, we become real.
When his wealthy parents surrounded him with pleasures, the young man was depressed. When the painted windows opened and he saw the four sights--persons aging, sick, poor, and dying--he learned compassion. The Buddha is always smiling.
Prayerful Path/Mary Maddox
Saint James, pray for us that we may be willing to leave everything to follow Jesus as you did. Help us to become special friends of Jesus as you were. Amen