Hope for today: prosper in every way

Hope2 Dear friend, I pray that you may prosper in every way and be in good health physically just as you are spiritually. 3 For I was very glad when some brothers came and testified to your faithfulness to the truth—how you are walking in the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than this: to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 3:2-4

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Sharing in Christ’s sufferings

2 Corinthians 1.5For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 2 Corinthians 1:5

SSSsssssoooo we need to pause for a moment before we move on and make certain we understand what Paul is talking about when he is speaks of suffering. It’s  one of those “don’t get it twisted” things.

Paul is addressing suffering for the cause of Christ, suffering for the Kingdom of God, suffering because of God’s righteousness…not the messes we get ourselves into because we allow our flesh to rule. I think it interesting that God knew we would need this clarification and wrote it beautifully in 1 Peter:

12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. 1 Peter 4:12-16 ESV

Just in case the ESV didn’t speak your language, here it is in the New Living Translation:

12 Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. 13 Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in His suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing His glory when it is revealed to all the world.
14 If you are insulted because you bear the name of Christ, you will be blessed, for the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you. 15 If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people’s affairs. 16 But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name!

1 Peter 4.16

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Images: Pinterest

 

Hope for today: complete joy

HopeWhat was from the beginning,
what we have heard,
what we have seen with our eyes,
what we have observed
and have touched with our hands,
concerning the Word of life—
that life was revealed,
and we have seen it
and we testify and declare to you
the eternal life that was with the Father
and was revealed to us—
what we have seen and heard
we also declare to you,
so that you may have fellowship along with us;
and indeed our fellowship is with the Father
and with His Son Jesus Christ.
We are writing these things
so that our joy may be complete. 1 John 1:1-4

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

The suffering is real…

2 Corinthians 1.9

“8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us again. On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.” 2 Corinthians 1:8-11

As we read the verses above, we quickly understand just how real Paul’s suffering was for the cause of Christ. It came with: 

  • great pressure
  • that was far beyond ability to endure
  • so much pressure that he despaired of life itself
  • felt like he had received the sentence of death

But praise God, he keeps writing and tells us why. Now, remember Paul is just an instrument, this is actually God-breathed Words so God is telling us why this happened in Paul’s life and ministry.

that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. “Shout now -Hallelujah, Selah”…just pause for a bit and ponder…because relying on self yields nothing of eternal value. This is something we all need to understand. Relying on self will not work, but relying on God will bring deliverance and even life out of dead people and things! Truly, this is what God did when He raised Jesus from the dead and is true for every true believer. 

The power to raise the dead did not stop at our salvation. Our God is still on the throne and He is still in control. Be encouraged about the dead things in and around your life. Are we not guilty of sometimes trying to fix things, give life ourselves, of relying on ‘me, myself, and I?’ The Lord wants us to know, it will not work. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows (James 1:17).” This includes the gift of deliverance.

Paul keeps writing, He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us again. On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us.” My, my, my, God came to the rescue and Paul has no doubt that He will do so again because Paul worked by God’s calling and for His glory.

Only God can deliver from a deadly peril- not man, not intellect, not reason, not tears, not technology, not machines…not anyone or anything but God. Just because we exalt ourselves and man, it does not mean that either are capable of eternal results on their own.

Life is in the hand of our God. He is the One who is greater than deadly perils no matter what form or fashion they come in. Yes, we should give honor where honor is due and bless those who help us but always know men are instruments of the Holy, Almighty, All-Knowing and Sovereign God and He and He alone is our Deliverer, no matter what type deliverance we need. 

So again, as the Scriptures declare, “That we might not rely on ourselves” [or anyone or anything else] but God, who raises the dead [no matter who or what is dead]. Our loving Father, will bring us to seasons of suffering to help us know Him for Who He is, our Deliverer, Peace, Security, the Author and Finisher of our Faith, Life, Light, and Sufficiency. Praise His Holy Name! On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us…”

Psalm 121.png

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Images: Pinterest

 

 

 

 

Hope for today: not a myth

Hope16 For we did not follow cleverly contrived myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; instead, we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, a voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory:

This is My beloved Son.
I take delight in Him!

18 And we heard this voice when it came from heaven while we were with Him on the holy mountain. 19 So we have the prophetic word strongly confirmed. You will do well to pay attention to it, as to a lamp shining in a dismal place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 2 Peter 1:16-19

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Wisdom Wednesday

 

Isaiah 40.31

Blessings today! It is Wisdom Wednesday and today in view of the recent posts on comfort, encouragement, and strength, I am sharing some Scriptures that will help us to walk by faith knowing that all our help comes from the Lord! Please add to this list of Scriptures as God directs your heart. Thanks for your prayers and encouragement!

1 Thes 5.11

2 Tim 1.7Isaiah 41.10Isaiah 43.2Jeremiah 17.14John 14.1Joshua 1.9Prov 18.10Proverbs 3.5-6Psalm 46.1-3Psalm 46.10Zeph 3.17

 

Psalm 34.1

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Images: Pinterest

 

 

 

Hope for today: the goal of your faith

Hope You are being protected by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to struggle in various trials so that the genuineness of your faith—more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. You love Him, though you have not seen Him. And though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:5-9

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Comfort others…

2 Corinthians 1.4

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.  2 Corinthians 1:3-7

The Sovereign God, who is always doing more than one thing at a time, has purpose in trouble, disappointment, and suffering. He is the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. Comfort that He expects us to use to comfort others.

Isn’t it comforting just to know that God gives comfort/encouragement to us with the expectation that we will pass it on…that the heartache, tears, inner pain does have purpose? Paul says in verse 6, If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.” Let’s see, I am distressed and one reason for the distress is your comfort and salvation. I then find comfort and that is for your comfort as well and will produce patient endurance when it is your season to suffer. What a great God, in it all He is training us to be instruments of comfort or comforters for others. 

It really is the grace of transformation at work here. The taking on of the character and nature of God. Remember verse 1, Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.  The Father of our Lord Jesus who is the image of the Father, and the Holy Spirit as described in John 14:26, But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

We look at Paul’s list of troubles and know that his life experiences gave him much need of comfort.

“I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.” 2 Corinthians 11:23-28

Certainly, there would be need for much comfort, encouragement, and strengthening as Paul labored for the Lord. Therefore, he would have much comfort, encouragement, and strengthening to pass along.

I belief that while we could agree that none of us have experienced Paul’s exact life, we could all look back over our lives and know that there have been and perhaps even right now, seasons of receiving the comfort, encourage, and strength that only God gives. This should cause us to bow with thanks and praise for how God used His servants to help us through, to bring us a due Word in season, to pray for us, meet our needs, to just be there.

I am reminded of Hebrews 12:15a, “See to it that no one misses the grace of God.” With this in mind, may we commit to the Lord as His instruments of grace of comfort, encouragement and strength in the Name of Jesus to the glory of God and the blessing and benefit of His people!

Isaiah 51.12a

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Images: Pinterest

 

 

 

Hope for today:

Hope14 “Then he said: ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know His will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from His mouth. 15 You will be His witness to all people of what you have seen and heard. 16 And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on His name.’ Acts 22:14-16

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Sing to the Lord a new song!

Psalm 149.4

Psalm 149 (ESV)

Praise the Lord!
Sing to the Lord a new song,
    his praise in the assembly of the godly!
Let Israel be glad in his Maker;
    let the children of Zion rejoice in their King!
Let them praise his name with dancing,
    making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!
For the Lord takes pleasure in his people;
    he adorns the humble with salvation.
Let the godly exult in glory;
    let them sing for joy on their beds.
Let the high praises of God be in their throats
    and two-edged swords in their hands,
to execute vengeance on the nations
    and punishments on the peoples,
to bind their kings with chains
    and their nobles with fetters of iron,
to execute on them the judgment written!
    This is honor for all his godly ones.
Praise the Lord!

Psalm 149.1

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Images: Pinterest