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Overcoming Difficult Trials

Archive for the category “Fruits Of The Spirit”

Stop Complaining!

**8

Complaining is an everyday occurrence, acceptable in all social norms. It is one way to open up a conversation with strangers. Everything is fair game when it comes to expressing dissatisfaction or annoyance. Maybe the weather doesn’t agree with us, so we gripe. A car in front just nabbed the parking space we were eyeing. How many times have we tapped our toe over the long checkout line at the grocery store? It could be our circumstances have changed, bringing with them discomfort or sorrow. But God does not approve of this negative habit, for several reasons. Can you guess? Consider the Israelites as they traveled along the route to the Red Sea.

“They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!” Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died.” Numbers 21:4-6 (NIV)

The first thing you should notice is that “the people grew impatient on the way.” Patience is listed as a facet of the Fruit of the Spirit and is also a virtue. To wait without complaining is admirable but not actually virtuous. Patience becomes virtuous when discomfort is added to the equation. When the act of waiting without complaint includes personal discomfort, virtue has appeared.

Our God is patient and longsuffering. As imitators of Christ, we are to model His patience. Waiting on the Lord teaches us to persevere and maintain self-control.

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV)

 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?Romans 2:4 (NKJV)

Complaining also leads to rebellion, ingratitude, and a lack of faith. Referring back to Numbers 21:5, we see how the Israelites question God’s will, direction/path, and provision. They speak out against God and His servant Moses. There was ingratitude for the heavenly bread, a supernatural provision. It was actually detested by the Jews. Their loathing for manna is defined as a ‘sickening dread.’

God’s position, as Israel’s Creator and Deliverer, was disregarded. Free from Egyptian captivity, they voiced complaints full of disrespect. Instead of praising God for their deliverance, they focused on their new discomforts. Apathetic to their new freedom, indifferent to the miracles God performed on their behalf, heedless to the promise of a future, they instead concentrated on only the negative.

Earlier, in Numbers 11:1, complaining Israelites displeased the Lord and roused Him to anger. So many of us are slow to heed God’s warnings, and even slower to change habits that displease or anger Him.

“Now when the people complained, it displeased the Lord; for the Lord heard it, and His anger was aroused. So the fire of the Lord burned among them, and consumed some in the outskirts of the camp.” Numbers 11:1 (NKJV)

We are to  Do all things without complaining and disputing.” Philippians 2:14-16 (NKJV) But, since grousing is sprinkled on just about every conversation, this habit will not be easy to break. Those who decide to take on and break this bad habit will stand out. They will receive attention for simply avoiding conversations that criticize others or complain about issues.

Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!” James 5:9 (NKJV)

When it comes to complaining, I am just as guilty as those reading this devotion. Some of my negative talk includes political leaders and government issues, along with finances and the weather. Opposing actions, decisions, or ideas belonging to family and friends are also in the mix.

God wants a thankful heart, but if we are full of criticism and discontent how can we demonstrate thankfulness? We are free to present our requests and needs to the heavenly Father, but our attitude should always be that of respect. Laying down a worry or petition is not the same as complaining.

Consider God’s view on complaining then decide if you need to alter your words the next time you experience discomfort or your patience is tested.

“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” Ephesians 4:29 (NKJV)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”                  1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NKJV)

 “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Philippians 4:11-12 (NIV)

 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.James 1:2-4 (NKJV)

“We should not test Christ, as some of them did-and were killed by snakes. And do not grumble, as some of them did-and were killed by the destroying angel. There things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come.” 1 Corinthians 10:9-11 (NIV)

Partakers Of God’s Divine Nature

*8

Through the power of God, His children have been given ALL THINGS that pertain to life and godliness. Thus, we are blessed to be partakers of God’s divine nature. We need not be bound to the sin and corruption that is in the world.

“As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Peter 1:3-4)

The character traits of a godly person are found in Galatians 5:22-23. When the fruit of the Spirit is active in our lives, we can ascertain we are walking in the way of holiness and righteousness. This righteousness is given, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all who believe (Ro. 3:22).

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”   Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)

Godly character is preceded by a devotion to God. All that we do should be for His glory, never ours. Since God gave each one of us gifts and talents, we ought to bless others in using them but accredit God for our performance. Musical talents, athletic prowess, mathematical abilities, artistic accomplishments, and an aptitude for engineering feats were knit into our being before birth. Nothing we accomplished is apart of His power and grace.

“You are to be holy to Me because I, the LORD, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be My own.Leviticus 20:26 (NIV)

Living in a fallen world will challenge even the most determined soul when it comes to maintaining virtue. Yet, the apostle Peter stressed the importance of diligently adding to our faith virtue. Lifestyle evangelism is the calling of every saint and requires behavior that demonstrates high moral standards.

When the world lies to avoid trouble, believers are to speak the truth, trusting God with every problem. When finances are tight, a dishonest gain is a temptation many cannot resist. Christians are blessed when they trust God with money matters, for He promises to provide for every need. In times of desperation, how many of us have received an anonymous check in the mail that covers the rent or food bill? Maybe a job falls into our lap during such times, or a bill is canceled. Faith in God’s provision glorifies His name and is a witness to the unbelieving world. The lost may call it luck, but we know it is God’s grace.

Taking on the divine nature of God includes self-control and a willingness to persevere through the darkest of times. Will we succumb to self-pity and grumble against God, or will we praise His name throughout our adversity? It is not only God who tests and observes us in such times, but our neighbors, co-workers, and fellow Christians are making note of our experience. They will be encouraged and inspired by our behavior, but they could use our behavior to criticize our faith and belittle God’s power and love.

May we all strive to walk in godliness and brotherly kindness through every trial, including those of unimaginable suffering, pain, and loss. When we are weak God is our strength. When our eyes are on Him our troubles are forgotten. The lost will see HIS power in us, and our reliance upon His grace will produce much fruit for His kingdom. We must remember He is sovereign. Take on the divine nature of God, choose to persevere, and believe that the one who loves you will carry you through every hardship. He is faithful.

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:5-8 (NKJV)

Your Mind Is A Garden

*Mind is a Garden

God will often speak to His children through nature. A garden is full of lessons and analogies if only we have eyes to see and a heart that listens. In order to enjoy a beautiful and healthy garden, a lot of work must take place. However, the fruit and pleasure to be gained is well worth the trouble.

In the spring, soil is turned over and prepared for plants and seeds. Fertilizer is applied to the flowers/plants for vigorous growth. Watering is necessary along with the chore of weeding.

The trick to weeding is staying on top of their assault. A little weeding every day will prevent an invasion that overwhelms and chokes out desired plants. However, if weeds are ignored, they will take over a garden. Most are very resilient and determined to grow and multiply. Getting rid of them will require much time and effort.

Our spiritual growth is a lot like a garden. Consider sin as the invading weeds. Sin will mangle and impair our development in Christ Jesus. Sins, like weeds, are quick to grow and multiply, which is why daily reflection and removal should be practiced.

When a sinful thought enters our mind, we can act on it or ignore it. The Devil keeps busy by planting appealing but unhealthy thoughts in our head. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit is faithful to protect us. With discernment, we can recognize and turn from every evil.

However, we have been given a free will. Every day we make choices, follow God or ignore His laws. With God’s grace, we are able to take every thought captive and turn from sin.

Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ”    2 Corinthians 10:5 (NKJV)

Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” 1 Peter 1:13 (NKJV)

Self-control is a characteristic belonging to the fruit of the Spirit. We cultivate the fruit by reading the Word and filling our minds with God’s truth. Our decisions on entertainment choices and fellowship with others are also key.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”   Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)

Depending on how bound we are to a particular sin will usually determine the length and intensity of our spiritual battle. Strongholds can be broken! There is no temptation set before us where God has not provided an escape.

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV)

Obedience and submission to God matures our spiritual garden of faith. Our old man is corrupt and we are to walk as new beings, in the righteousness and holiness of God. This is not always easy, but there will be joy in every decision made to lay down self and take on God’s character and will.

That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24 (NKJV)

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age” Titus 2:11-12 (NKJV)

If fear and anxiety are an issue, robbing peace of mind, again take every thought captive. Recall the faithfulness of God in the past and trust He will continue to be faithful today and tomorrow. Fear and anxiety only produce weeds. They will not bear fruit of any worth.

Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret—it only causes harm.” Psalm 37:8 (NKJV)

May the peace of Christ, which transcends all understanding, guard your heart and mind. There is an escape for all sin because the blood of Jesus Christ covers us. Resist the devil and he must flee. This is a promise. Be bold and stouthearted and remember to put on your spiritual armor. May the helmet of salvation inspire you to put on the mind of Christ.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV)

The Peace Of Christ

*7

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)

Saints who trust God with total abandon experience the reality of supernatural rest, a byproduct of the peace of Christ. It does not matter if their day is filled with routines or unexpected adversity. Said believers maintain a steadfast gaze on their Creator, circumstances are not their focus.

Thanks to a solidified trust, they understand situations happen for loving and beneficial reasons. They may not understand the WHYS, but they trust in the character of God. Almost in stride they look for the lesson God has provided within their day, always quick to thank Him for the equipping He so graciously provides.

This peace is free to all. Will you claim it now, along with the rest that comes with it? Trust God with your cares!

Father God,                                                                                                                     May the Holy Spirit fill this dear reader with an undeniable outpouring of strength and courage today. It takes courage to trust an unseen God with burdens of fear, grief, and an unknown future. Help them to lay each care aside and trust You with each one. Grant them a blessed rest and supernatural peace today and may it carry them through the night and into their slumber. Amen.

“God holds my today and my tomorrow in the palm of His hands. I know I am secure no matter what comes against me.”  ~ Unknown

Giving Thanks…. ALL THE TIME!

*Thanks

To have a heart of thanks is to have a heart of praise. It is easy to thank God for times of health and prosperity but it is not so easy to thank God for our times of trials, storms, and adversity. However, we are called to give thanks in All circumstances.

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)

God designs, plans, orchestrate, permits, and even sends difficult challenges our way. After all, we have to build up our spiritual muscles some how. A challenge from God often comes in the form of a test of faith.

Needless to say the Devil, who is always lurking about, will stick his nose in any situation hoping to implant discouragement. So, put in your earplugs and put on your spiritual armor. The Helmet of Salvation will keep your mind clear of confusion. By cinching up your belt of truth, you will expose all of his miserable lies.

Fruit produced from such tests of faith are well worth the temporary discomfort you may endure. Perseverance is needed to finish the race set before you, and spiritual tests will train you to endure. Nobody likes to eat unripe fruit and with every struggle you face, with God by your side, the fruit of the Spirit becomes riper and sweeter to the taste.

While bravely setting out on the journey He planned for you, the goodness and kindness of Christ will grown within your heart. You will notice gentleness and compassion have extended their boundaries, empowering your love for Christ and others to mature through sanctification. The Holy Spirit working within you is the only explanation for your budding capacity to love. Oh, what joy there is when we realize spiritual growth!

It takes patience and self-control to trudge through difficult times, but the peace of Christ will always greet us if we lift up our needs in prayer. A peace that transcends all understanding is available for every child of God. It is never withheld or out of reach. This peace comes when we surrender our challenges and submit to God’s plan, trusting Him to equip us for every obstacle.

I encourage you to train your eyes to see the goodness of God, trusting that everything you face has God’s stamp of approval. Just as Satan had to get permission in the throne room to test Job, the Devil must also get permission to buffet you. God did not look to destroy Job and He does not intend to test you beyond your ability to weather a storm.

Have faith in God’s intentions and purpose. Decide now to praise Him in the midst of your pain. This sacrifice of praise will give your heavenly Father much joy and cause the enemy much discomfort. It will also serve as a quiet witness to those all around you. Be brave and courageous. Be of a stout heart. Praise the name of Jesus in ALL circumstances because He is worthy of ALL our praise.

DURING YOUR QUIET TIME ENTER HIS GATES WITH THANKSGIVING AND PRAISE. THANK GOD FOR ALL OF YOUR BLESSINGS.

“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.” Psalm 100:4 (NKJV)

“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” Psalm 9:1 (NIV)

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.” Psalm 118:1 (NKJV)

“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” Hebrews 13:15 (NKJV)

“We ought to give thanks for all fortune: if it is good, because it is good, if bad, because it works in us patience, humility and the contempt of this world and the hope of our eternal country.” ~C.S. Lewis                         

This devotion is from FACING ADVERSITY: THOUGHTS OF WISDOM, PRAISE, AND PROMISE… available the first week of December on Amazon. Check out my other books

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=cheryl%20zelenka&sprefix=chery%2Caps

A Wise Man Holds Back Anger

*Prvb 29-11

“Anger and bitterness are two noticeable signs of being focused on self and not trusting God’s sovereignty in your life. When you believe that God causes all things to work together for good to those who belong to Him and love Him, you can respond to trials with joy instead of anger or bitterness.” ~ John C. Boger                        http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/bible-verses-about-anger-20-scripture-quotes/#ixzz2X4DVGzdI

He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.” Proverbs 14:29 (NAS)

At some point, everyone loses his or her temper. For each of us there is a different trigger and reason for loosing control. The book of Proverbs calls a man who looses his temper a fool. Wisdom and patience is the key to battling your issues with anger.

We often loose our self-control; a Fruit of the Spirit, when something we want is delayed. There is the old saying, “Good things are worth waiting for,” but there are also many Bible verses that mention patience and waiting as well.

Numbers 14:18 tells us that God is “slow to anger and abounding in love.” We are to take God’s traits and strive to be imitators of Christ. If God is slow to anger then we should try to do the same. This requires righteous living so that the Fruit of the Spirit is evident in our lives.

Both patience and self-control are listed in Galatians 5:22-23 as components of the Fruit of the Spirit. They help to keep anger issues in check. The trick is to live a righteous life so that these virtues are evident and manifest themselves in our every day living.

Our own selfish desires can also provoke us to anger. We quarrel with others when we don’t get what we want. We put our expectations onto others and forget to consider whether what we want is also best for them. Adults throw ugly temper tantrums without the excuse of being a toddler and it is very unpleasant to behold.

Stress can also trigger anger. We lash out and say things we later regret, which only complicates a problem even further. This is foolish and probably why the Bible includes more than one proverbs warning to keep watch over our tongue and fury. Nobody wants to be considered a fool. Nobody wants to be a fool. Heeding the wisdom found in the Book of Proverbs will allow us to be a better witness of God’s love.

ARE YOU LOOSING YOUR TEMPER AS OF LATE? DO YOU KNOW THE CAUSE? PRAY ABOUT IT AND ASK GOD TO CULTIVATE THE VIRTUE OF SELF-CONTROL.

“Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.” Proverbs 21:23 (NKJV)

Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?“ James 4:1 (NKJV)

“So then,my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” James 1:19-20 (NKJV)

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 (NAS)

This devotion is in my upcoming book FACING ADVERSITY: THOUGHTS OF WISDOM, PRAISE, AND PROMISE  Look for it on Amazon this December and find my other 3 books at this site   http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Cheryl%20Zelenka&sprefix=Chery%2Caps

Are You Praising God In ALL Circumstances?

Praise Don't Feel Like It

“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.” Psalm 100:4 (NKJV)

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.” Psalm 118:1 (NKJV)

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)

“We ought to give thanks for all fortune: if it is good, because it is good, if bad, because it works in us patience, humility and the contempt of this world and the hope of our eternal country.”  ~C.S. Lewis                                                                                                                                                http://christianity.about.com/od/thanksgiving/fl/Thanksgiving-Quotes.htm

To have a heart of thanks is to have a heart of praise. It is easy to thank God for times of health and prosperity but it is not so easy to thank God for our times of struggles, storms, and adversity. However, we are called to give thanks in All circumstances.

I’ll never say that God won’t design, plan, orchestrate or even send a challenge our way. After all, we have to build up our spiritual muscles some how and what’s wrong with a little exercise? A challenge from God will often come in the form of a test of faith.

Needless to say, the Devil will stick his nose in the situation and try to discourage you. So, put your earplugs in and put on your spiritual armor. The Helmet of Salvation will keep your mind clear of all confusion. By cinching up your belt of truth you’ll cast down all his miserable lies.

The fruit that is produced from the testing of God are well worth the temporary discomfort you must endure. Perseverance is needed to finish the race set before you in this life. Nobody likes to eat unripe fruit and with every struggle you face, with God by your side, the fruit of the Spirit becomes more powerful and sweet to the taste.

How rewarding it will be when you discover that the goodness and kindness of Christ has grown within you as you bravely faced the trial directly in your path! You’ll recognize that gentleness and compassion has deepened within your heart and your love for Christ and others has matured through your sanctification process. The Holy Spirit working within you can be the only explanation for the maturity of your greater capacity to love. Oh what joy there is in realizing spiritual growth!

It takes patience and self-control to trudge through difficult times and sorrows, but the peace of Christ will always meet you in your times of need. All you have to do is petition God in prayer. A peace that transcends all understanding is available for every child of God. It is never withheld from any of us. This peace comes if we submit to our challenge and God’s will, trusting Him to equip us to overcome every obstacle.

I encourage you to train your eyes to see the goodness of God, trusting that everything you face has God’s stamp of approval. Just as Satan had to get permission in the throne room to test Job, the Devil must also get permission to buffet you. God did not look to destroy Job and He does not intend to test you beyond your ability to weather your storm.

Have faith in God’s intentions and purpose. Decide now to praise Him in the midst of your pain. This sacrifice of praise will give your heavenly Father much joy and cause the enemy much discomfort. It will also serve as a quiet witness to the miraculous power of God to those all around you. Be brave and courageous. Be of a stout heart. Praise the name of Jesus in ALL circumstances because He is worthy of ALL our praise.

“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” Psalm 9:1 (NIV)

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-8 (NKJV)

“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” Hebrews 13:15 (NKJV)

Read other devotions by Cheryl Zelenka on her blog http://facingtrials.com

How Does Spiritual Fruit Grow?

fruit-of-the-spirit

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)

“GOODNESS and KINDNESS live in the hearts of those who have suffered greatly, as the wounded tend to learn compassion through their misery.

GENTLENESS is born out of the adversity that has challenged a believer, but who has then released all hopes for vindication to the power of God.

PEACE is a fruit that grows from seeds of trust.

LOVE matures as we learn to give up pieces of ourselves for the benefit of others, knowing full well that every piece we loose is replaced by an even more wondrous portion of Christ.

JOY comes from knowing God and experiencing His strength during trials.

PATIENCE is learned through experiences of long-suffering and allows the saint to move forward on his earthy journey, while always longing for his real home in heaven.

FAITHFULNESS means commitment. It is a sold-out attitude and stance that resonates a belief in God’s unquestionable ability to do the impossible.

Finally, the believer who suffers in the name of Christ for love’s sake grows in                   SELF-CONTROL With this final fruit, the temptations of the devil lesson and loose their power. We gain strength by gaining self-control.”

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Let Patience Do Her Work

sharron-postcards-fruit-of-spirit-patience

“But those who wait on the Lord
shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, 
they shall run and not be weary, 
they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV)

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV)

In order for us to wait on the fulfillment of hopes, callings, and desires, Ms. Patience must step forward and work her wonders.  I picture Patience as a good and kindly woman full of compassion and love. Her mere presence calms and soothes even the most harassed and anxious of souls. Within her gentle nature, there is a hidden and marvelous strength. This strength rises out of self-control and her faithfulness to the one she serves. In fact, it is with pure joy that she assists others for she lives to glorify her master.

If you read the first paragraph once again, you will come to realize that successful waiting requires the fruit of the Spirit. Patience is tied to love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The soul, who lays aside personal goals and chooses to trust God with His timing and purposes, truly lives in freedom. He or she is blessed for you see, they have learned the way to endurance. Job is a good example of faithful endurance, for in the end we see how God greatly blessed and rewarded his devotion and patience.

Our Lord knows all about waiting. He has been waiting a very long time to be united with His Bride, the church.  And because the church is still incomplete, we must wait some more. There are many folks who have yet to join the Body of Christ. Because of His immeasurable mercy and grace, He will never consider leaving even one of His beloved behind. This is why His return has not yet materialized.

Therefore, we must rest in the knowledge of His promised return. To do so with an assurance that permits peace and rest is not easy, if our flesh is leading the way.  Instead, it is the Spirit within us that must spur us on to endure.

So, as our God waits, we wait. His justice and truth prevails. One by one, lost lambs are found and carried home to safety by the Good Shepherd. Many dear ones, near to death, suffer from deep wounds and gashes. Though He heals each and every wound, they have been saved right out of the mouth of that horrible lion.

Eventually, God exposes and disarms every spiritual snare the enemy so cunningly sets. No trap escapes the eyes of the Almighty. Therefore, “The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him.” (Lamentations 3:25) We who long for His return and wait are called blessed in Isaiah 30:18. 

Let me share a warning. While waiting for…

To read the rest of this devotion go to http://facingtrials.com

My Peace I Leave You

PEACE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmFd0MvU7zo

Perfect Peace: by Laura Story

“Peace is not the absence of affliction but the presence of God.”              Unknown

You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in You.”   Isaiah 26:3 (NIV) 

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  John 14:27 (NIV)

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”                         John 16:33 (NIV)

Dear One,                                                                                                                        The Word of God tells us that in this life we will have tribulations, but that we can find peace in Christ Jesus.  We should find encouragement in knowing He has overcome the world through His death and resurrection.  He offers His children peace in the midst of their trials and storms.  John 14:27 directs all believers to put aside fear and worry, and yet we continue to fall prey to fright and anxiety.  Why do we refuse, neglect, or forget the peace our God offers us so freely?

Isaiah 26:3 tells us that God will keep in perfect peace the one who has a STEADFAST MIND.  To be steadfast is to be resolute, firm, and unwavering in conviction.  This conviction and stance to rely on God lends itself to stability.  Stability and loyalty to God produces a peace that transcends all understanding.  This verse also states that the one who is steadfast TRUSTS in God.  Trust produces a steadfast spirit, which then produces a conviction of faith and reliance, which bears the fruit of peace and a sense of stability.

When we trust in God, the fruits of the Holy Spirit become more evident in our lives.  Romans 15:13 offers up a prayer asking the God of HOPE to fill those in need with joy and peace as they trust in His power.  By trusting God in all matters, He will fill us with joy, peace, and hope!  Indeed, He blesses His people with peace! (Ps. 29:11)

We find in Psalm 119:165 that those who love God’s law have great peace and that nothing can make them stumble.  With a solid knowledge of the scripture, the Holy Spirit can speak to your heart and mind, directing your steps so you don’t stumble in your spiritual walk. 

Peace is gained through a trust and faith in God.  It requires believers to consciously lay down their will and set aside their fears, casting them off with purpose.  Reading the Bible permits the Holy Spirit to direct our steps, thus reducing any anxiety pertaining to what we should do and where we should go.  Peace comes to those who trust a guide who is wise and able to do all things.

Finally, Philippians 4:6-7 describes a peace that transcends or surpasses all understanding.  In order to attain this peace, we must petition God with our requests and do so with a thankful heart.  The thanks comes in knowing that He hears and answers all of our prayers with His infinite wisdom and grace.  May the peace of our God be with you today, dear one.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”                                      Romans 15:13 (NIV)

“Great peace have those who love your law,
and nothing can make them stumble.”   Psalm 119:165 (NIV)

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”          Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

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