“Is there anything more freeing, more thrilling, or more strengthening than the truth that God Almighty is your refuge — all day, every day in all the ordinary and extraordinary experiences of life?
If we believed this, if we really let this truth of God’s omnipotence get hold of us, what a difference it would make in our personal lives and in our ministries! How humble and powerful we would become for the saving purposes of God!”
If you made a request of God and then time passed without results, it is understandable you might start wondering if He ever heard you at all. Do you remember thinking, What happened, Lord? You said that if I asked in faith, You would do it. Didn’t You hear me?
Stop to consider this question: Can you think of a time you brought a petition to the Lord and it apparently went unanswered? What was the situation? What did you pray about it? What did you say to others about it? What did you do about it?
I believe one of the most common reasons we experience a crisis of faith is that our words and our attitude get out of line with each other. We tell ourselves that we are praying to the heavenly Father, seeking His will, and requesting His intervention, but what we’re really doing is just complaining to Him.
We say, “Lord, I really messed this up” or “I don’t deserve this.” We might pray, “How did this happen?” Or perhaps we even cry, “How did You let this happen?” We moan about the situation, reveling in every ounce of anguish, and then petition God to fix it. Is this a prayer that honors God?
In Mark 11:24, Jesus explains that if we ask for something, we should believe in our hearts that it has already been granted. This level of faith is found not in our whines but in our praises. God absolutely wants us to cry out to Him and to lay our petitions at His feet (1 Pet. 5:7). But we must be careful to do so in a way that focuses on God’s glory—not our own.
Being “in Christ Jesus” is a stupendous reality. It is breathtaking what it means to be in Christ. United to Christ. Bound to Christ.
If you are “in Christ” listen to what it means for you:
In Christ Jesus you were given grace before the world was created. 2 Timothy 1:9, “He gave us grace in Christ Jesus before the ages began.”
In Christ Jesus you were chosen by God before creation. Ephesians 1:4, “God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world.”
In Christ Jesus you are loved by God with an inseparable love. Romans 8:38–39, “I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
In Christ Jesus you were redeemed and forgiven for all your sins. Ephesians 1:7, “In Christ we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses.”
In Christ Jesus you are justified before God and the righteousness of God in Christ is imputed to you. 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For our sake God made Christ to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
In Christ Jesus you have become a new creation and a son of God. 2 Corinthians 5:17, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” Galatians 3:26, “In Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.”
God rejoices in the works of creation because they point us beyond themselves to God himself. These are but the backside of his glory, as it were, darkly seen through a glass. What will it be to see the Creator himself! Not his works! A billion galaxies will not satisfy the human soul. God and God alone is the soul’s end.
Jonathan Edwards expressed it like this:
The enjoyment of God is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. . . . [These] are but shadows; but God is the substance. These are but scattered beams; but God is the sun. These are but streams; but God is the ocean.
May your day be filled with God and the enjoyment of Him, today and forever.
Do you give God priority in your life? The importance of having an on-going, vibrant, trusting relationship with the Lord can’t be understated. The only way to have this type relationship is through prayer.
God designed us for intimacy with Him. All that He requires is our presence and cooperation. What priority have you placed on building a deeper relationship with Him?
Going-it-alone Christianity isn’t much encouragement to the done in and worn out! “Try a little harder” is little encouragement for the abused or down-trodden. At some point we need more than good advice; we need help. Somewhere on this journey we realize that a fifty-fifty proposition is too little. We need help from the inside out. This is the kind of help Jesus promised.
“I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The Holy Spirit. The world cannot accept him, because it does not see him or know him. But you know him, because he lives with you and will be in you” (John 14:16-17).
Look at the dwelling place of God…in you. Not near us or above us, but in us! In the hidden recesses of our being dwells, not an angel, not a philosophy, not a genie, but God. Imagine that!
Let’s examine practical ways to remove the problem of jealousy from your life. If you’ve discovered that you are jealous, follow these steps:
1. Acknowledge that jealousy exists in your life.
2. Admit you are in conflict with the Lord. This step is important because it will prevent you from dismissing jealousy as normal or acceptable behavior.
3. Thank God for what He’s doing in the other person’s life.This is the hardest for all of us but a necessary step for removing jealousy.
4. Do something nice for the person.
5. Ask the Lord to show you how He views that individual.
6. Refocus your attention on what God is doing in your life.
When you truly delight yourself in the Lord and trust Him to bless you according to His plans and purposes, you’ll no longer feel a need for jealousy in your life. Then deep contentment will replace the old sense of envy and dissatisfaction.