Overcoming Difficult Trials

Archive for the tag “Spiritual Warfare”

Spiritual Battles Will Cause Weariness


Weariness comes with fighting battles. Life is full of conflict. Spiritual warfare is a reality. Not all of our discomfort is the result of demon harassment, but with spiritual eyes we should be able to acknowledge the reality of a spiritual realm. We are not merely wrestling against flesh and blood. There is an unseen world that lives among us and it is full of principalities and powers of darkness.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.“Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV)

Hardships, loss, change, illness, and the testing of our faith are not meant to break us beyond repair. That is not, and never will be, God’s intent! He loves us beyond measure and wants to reshape us by removing our flaws and sin. Adversity is one vehicle He uses to bring about our transformation.

God lovingly chips away at our old self and replaces our weak areas with His strength. If viewed in a positive light, trials are blessings. Through the sanctification process we are reconstructed into better living examples of Christ. We gain knowledge, wisdom, and a deeper love for mankind.

Jesus was a bruised reed but He was never broken completely (Isaiah 42:3). Our heavenly Father permitted His trial and suffering for our sakes and for our salvation. There was an incredible victory at the cross! The resurrection of Jesus put an end to death and triumphed over sin. In all His glory, Jesus Christ bears the wounds that bring about our healing. 

“A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out. 
In faithfulness He will bring forth justice” Isaiah 42:3 (NIV)

Times of sorrow teach us lessons of perseverance. We need perseverance to run the race God has placed before us. We were designed to accomplish and complete works for His glory but endurance is required. An uncompromising faith will carry us far in our spiritual journey but it come at a cost. 

If you have ever grown vegetables from seed, you know there is a process for getting seedlings ready for the hardships of outdoor living. Wise gardeners start their seeds indoors four to six weeks BEFORE the weather is suitable for outdoor living.  Mother Nature is very unpredictable! If she gets caught up in her own spring-cleaning and runs behind schedule, she might send Jack Frost to dance around newly planted vegetables as late as May.

Frost kills tender shoots; so smart gardeners introduce their seedlings slowly to harsh and cooler climates.  Our Master Gardener does the same for us. Your most recent yet previous trial is what He used to prepare you for the struggle you are now experiencing!  By seeing you through your last trial He has equipped you for your present battle.

Another thing gardeners do is set young plants outside on windy days. The wind strengthens the stalk of a plant and helps to make it hardier. When it comes time to flower and bear fruit, you can see how this tactic would be beneficial.  The struggle in the wind is really a blessing in the long run.

Do you feel like a smoldering wick that has already been blown out? If you have faith in the power of God and believe His Son died for your sins, your wick is simply smoldering and there is still hope. You can reignite your candle! His grace is limitless.

God’s plan for His Son was a physically, emotionally, and spiritually demanding task.  In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus prayed to His Father asking that if there were another way to fulfill His plan, His cup would be taken from Him.  Since there was no other way to fulfill God’s purpose, Jesus obediently faced His accusers. 

As you consider what Jesus did for mankind, it may encourage you to take another step down your path. Indeed, the lessons you learn from pain will always make you stronger. “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”  (Is. 40:29)

God knows this life is full of trouble and that we will become weary.  He calls out to us in Matthew 11:28 to come into His arms and allow Him to give us rest.  We can gain this rest by letting go of our worries. He will take care of every detail. Will you cast aside every anxiety in your heart or will you hold on to it with your own strength? The choice is yours.

““Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”   Matthew 11:28 (NIV)

“Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:3 (NIV)

Psalm 91

Ps 91 Image

Safety of Abiding in the Presence of God

 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.

Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you.
Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, the young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.

“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation.”


Are You A Humble Soldier Of Christ?


“A man’s pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor.” Proverbs 29:29 (NKJV)

“The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, 
And before honor is humility.” Proverbs 15:33 (NKJV)

It is not easy to submit and give another person authority over your well-being. It requires humility and trust. I say humility, because you have agreed to let them lead and guide. You are a foot soldier under the command of a General. You must follow his instructions and do what he orders, even if you don’t have all the details. Trust is necessary because of the position he holds over you.

These words speak of our relationship with God. He is the General and we are His foot soldiers. We are to yield our wills and plans over to Him. If He sends us out on a seemingly dangerous mission, we must trust that He has already equipped us for that assignment. He does not want casualties. He is always victorious in His spiritual battles!

The blessing we must not forget is that our General is also our Father. Every time one of His children enters into battle, He goes before them. He is our commander but He is also our Creator. He loves us more than we can fathom and His mercies are never ending. This knowledge should aid us in trusting Him with our lives.

Unlike earthly Generals, we always have permission to “speak freely” to Him, offering up our…. go to  http://facingtrials.com   to read the rest of this devotion.

Satan Knits Ornate Webs of Confusion

*I Send Helper Who Teach U

“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come.”   John 16:13 (NIV)

“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” John 14:16-17 (NKJV)

Satan likes to weave ornate webs of confusion.  He is successful in knitting his traps of deceit because he cunningly interweaves truth within his lies. It takes a discerning spirit to cut away Satan’s guile and recognize his trickery. 

To counter the attacks of the enemy, we must put on our spiritual armor.  The belt of truth is the first piece of protection mentioned in Ephesians 1:14.  God’s truth will always dismantle the lies of the evil one. However, we must know the promises of God written within the pages of the Bible.  How else can we expect the Holy Spirit to bring his lies to our attention? Then, with the living Word at hand, we can use our double-edged sword to cut the craftily woven lies to pieces.

Jesus told His disciples in John 14:16-17 that God would give us another Helper who would abide within us forever. This Spirit of truth is the Holy Spirit. He will speak only what He hears from the Father and will tell us of what is to come.  Therefore, we must fine-tune our hearing in order to heed His advice, instruction, encouragement, and warnings.  The Holy Spirit Is also called the Comforter. 

When we are confused, the Comforter will help to untangle the ….

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

Put On The Armor of God!

Devilish Cunning

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

My old enemy “Worry “ reappeared right after my brain surgery in July of 2011. She showed up in ICU and was relentless. She followed me out the hospital doors and skipped right into my parent’s home, where I stayed for over a month. Then, seeing how I was improving and ready to move into an assisted living facility, She packed her bags and followed me right into my apartment. She would not leave me alone!!  Finally, we had a huge fight in the presence of God.  Thank goodness His angels were right beside me.

Worry posed a lot of questions during that fight and really challenged my faith, causing me to doubt my Savior’s love.

“Will your eyesight ever return and be restored? You know you can’t even read the labels on your medicine bottles” “Are you going to live in this assisted living facility for the rest of your life?” “Do you really think you can once again work and support your family?” “Are you thinking that an independent life is attainable?” “Is your brain building new synapses and will your speech and memory improve?” “Do you really have to leave your home in Oregon and move to Colorado? “

Then the horrible WHY’S arrived….

“Why did I have a brain tumor?” “Why did I have to deal with a unkind nurse and her supervisor only three days after brain surgery?”
 “Why couldn’t I keep my Bubba? “ (100 lb. Golden Lab) “Why did the pieces of my life have to crumble to dust?” “Why didn’t God let me die?”

Finally, the ACCUSER showed up to help Worry.  They both ….

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

Open Your Eyes To The Wonders & Miracles Of God

Open My Eyes 2 See

You are the God who performs miracles;
  You display Your power among the peoples.”  Psalm 77:14 (NIV)

Dear One,

When we walk through times of adversity, we often have our eyes focused on the problem we face rather than the God who allowed the circumstance. Believers facing trials need to remember that God is always in control.  He has a divine purpose and plan, loves us beyond measure, and nothing is impossible for God.

When Moses led God’s people out of Egypt, the Father provided a miracle of escape by parting the Red Sea (Exodus 14:22).  The sun stood still at Joshua’s command (Joshua 10:12-14) and three Hebrew children sent to a fiery furnace by King Nebuchadnezzar remained unharmed (Daniel 3:23).  Wonders of God are written in the old and new testaments of the Bible.  They serve to remind us of the power and might of our God. 

Struggles can hinder our walks with God by distracting and discouraging us.  Disbelief can wander into our thoughts causing us to question the love of God.  This is when we must ask God to open our eyes and show us the many wonders in our everyday lives, be they ever so small.  The wonders may include a thriving child who was born premature and near death.  A miracle may be the cancer that mysteriously disappeared after a group of prayer warriors lifted up the cause with petitions and thanksgiving.  Could the restoration of a marriage be a wonder, as well as the return of a prodigal son who found the grace of God? 

May God grant you spiritual eyes to see the many wonders all around you.  Per the request of Elisha, the Lord opened his servant’s eyes so that he could see the mighty spiritual battle in their midst.  God’s army far outnumbered the physical army Gehazi so feared.  You may be facing tribulations that have you shaking in your boots, but God’s army is beyond your imagination in its power and size.  Trust in the Lord and He will deliver you from every snare set before you.

Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”             2 Kings 6:17 (ESV)


Our Obedience = Godly Results


Cheese Obedience

Keith Green “To Obey Is Better Than Sacrifice”

John 15:14  (ESV)    “You are my friends if you do what I command you.” 

“Rest in this – it is His business to lead, command, impel, send, call or whatever you want to call it. It is your business to obey, follow, move, respond, or what have you.”      Author:  Jim Elliot 

Dear Reader,                                                                                                    Regarding service, isn’t it a big weight off your shoulders to know that all God asks of you is obedience? He is the one in control and the one who will get results.  All He asks of you is to obey His commandments.  He will take care of the rest.

Satan fears the willing servant who prays daily these two simple words: “Use me.”  In 2 Timothy 2:15, Paul encourages Timothy to present himself to God as one approved, as a worker who has no need to be ashamed.  Paul stresses the importance of rightly handling the Word of truth.  If we are obedient in properly handling the Word of God, He will do the rest.

A servant and slave must obey their master in ALL things, even if the request does not make sense.  It is not a matter of questioning the Lord of the house, it is a matter of following through on his instructions.

The Word of God tells us that if we are faithful over the little things entrusted in our care, He will increase our responsibility and service by placing us over much more.  God tested the faithfulness, obedience, and love of Abraham and Noah.   Why would he not test us in modern times?

If God is testing you through a personal struggle or injustice, be courageous and hold onto His promises. He is the defender of the weak and tells His children that He will fight for them; you dear one, need only to be still.  THAT is a commandment and THAT requires obedience.  He will fight the battle for you and achieve the results HE wants and requires. 

To remain still as the spiritual battle rages on around you will not be an easy command to keep, especially if you are a person of action.  To be still takes self-control and faith.  You are also commanded to pray without ceasing, so as you let God fight the battle before you pray for grace and mercy.  Pray that His will would be accomplished and that enemy attacks would be thwarted.  He has His angel armies will be shielding you and keeping you safe, tucked safely under the shadow of His wing.

As you obey His commands with an obedient heart, He will honor you with bigger struggles and tasks that will serve to glorify His holy name. 

Exodus 14:14 (NIV)   “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” 

Matthew 20:26  (ESV)  “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’”

“Just as a servant knows that he must first obey his master in all things, so the surrender to an implicit and unquestionable obedience must become the essential characteristic of our lives.”        –   Author:  Andrew Murray

Obey – The Biblical word for “obey” comes from the Greek “hupakou” which means to listen attentively.  The meaning also implies heeding or conforming to a command or to an authority.  Basically, there is no choice in the matter.  It needs to be carried out whether one agrees with the order or not.


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