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victory

Change Where It Is Needed

I’ve heard over and over that we are either entering into, in the midst of, or coming out of tribulations and troubles, and the Scriptures concur: When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: Isaiah 43:2-3a

Yes, we are going to go through hard times. God said, “When”, not “If”. So this being the case, there is a particular mindset needed as a child of God to accept it and let God’s perfect plan be worked out. It is one thing to say that, but another to live it. This is a huge struggle for me. Over and over again, I catch myself trying to sort & work things out according to my thoughts & ways, but they are not God’s thoughts or God’s ways:

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9

This does not mean we sit back and do nothing. We MUST seek the Lord and His will to make sure we are doing what He wants us to do. If I spent more time doing this then “working things out my way”, I’d be at peace more often than not, rather than the other way around.

The key to peace is not in the situation. It has always been – and always will be – in who we think on:

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3

When my thoughts are focused on the Lord, who He is and all that He has done and is doing for me, there is no brain power left to have a “pity party.”

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Proverbs 23:7a

This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. Lamentations 3:21-23

My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Luke 1:46-47

In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul. Psalms 94:19

Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established. Proverbs 16:3

Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back. Isaiah 38:17

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Hebrews 10:17

God may not change our situation, but He can change our hearts so we have His peace as we go through it.

Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. (ie. cause them to stumble) Psalms 119:165

When Doing God’s Will Hurts

Doing God’s will may not always feel the best, but it is always the right thing to do.

Our family has felt this more this last 8 months or so more than at any other time. Although we know we are following God’s will, the consequences are that people our family cares about are getting hurt, and that tears us apart.

I started this devotional a few days ago, but the pain of having hurt others was still too fresh to focus. As I read it now, I am reminded of David, one of the greatest kings of Israel. He had been following God’s will in destroying some of Israel’s enemies, only to come back to his city and find it ransacked and the women & children taken captive. Needless to say, the people who had followed him were not too please:

And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God. 1 Samuel 30:6

Regardless of we must do as Christians to stay in God’s will, someone may get hurt. Of course it’s going to hurt us and can even be “distressing”, but David’s solution is certainly the right one:  “…David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.”

When our focus remains on the Lord, the hurt of hurting others may still be there, but we can be encouraged as we know God is working out His plans, not ours:

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” Philippians 1:6

My life verse still remains Hebrews 12:2

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Heb: 12:2

Counted Worthy

For those who’ve read some recent posts, you’ve been reading how the Lord has been leading us through some trials. This is a continuation of sorts, but what God showed me the morning of July 3rd has me in complete awe and wonder and His mercy & grace in our lives. The conclusion may sound very proud, but there is no self-pride in it. If the Saviour is not exalted in this post, I’ve failed.

Years ago, I felt our lives as Christians were just too easy. I know that the Bible says:

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 2 Timothy 3:12

I kept feeling that I must be a failure as a Christian because we weren’t under persecution. We had gone through  a hefty bout 13 years ago with attacks on our family and me personally, and an occasional upheaval through the years. They just seemed like nothing compared to what I saw other Christians going through. Don’t get me wrong! I really DO NOT relish going through persecution, but I felt that the Lord must think my faith is so weak, that I couldn’t handle much. These were feelings I was putting on myself. It was not the Lord’s doing.

What I was failing to see is that the Bible doesn’t say we will have persecution ALL the time, just that we will. I was also failing to see that, as the Potter, He was molding and shaping me/our family into what He wants for us in His timing, not ours.

2 Timothy 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

As I go over our current trials, and yes, I will call them persecution as we are being attacked for Christ’s sake, I can see back through the years all the things I thought were so little, yet each and every one was meant to mold and shape us/me into Christians that could handle what we are going through now.

I’ll use an example from my husband’s (dh) work to try and get the point across. There have been many individuals at his work who have tried to cause him trouble over the years, but one by one, he has watched as they’ve come and gone, yet he is still there. One man in particular was so difficult to work with and untrustworthy that no one wanted to work with him. He took particular relish in attacking my husbad, yet my dh never went after him. Well, as I’ve heard many times, when a person’s testimony is good, fling all the mud you want, but it won’t stick! And it didnt’! God removed that man in His timing, not my dh’s. As dh and I discussed this and the mud-slinging on our family happening in another area of our lives, something dawned on me and I expressed it to him: “If you had not gone through all the attacks by “so and so” over the years, would you be able to handle what is happening now?” He said, “Probably not.”

That is when I truly began to see the bigger picture. God had been faithfully shaping and molding us through small but frequent, and bigger but less frequent trials throughout our entire lives. I just wasn’t seeing it! I could relay other instances, but I want God to get the glory here! He did it! Not us! God gave the grace! God gave the mercy & care to see us through so that He would get the deserved glory!

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. Colossians 1:18

So this is the part that may sound proud, and all you have is my word that what I say is in humility and wonder at what a wondrous God we serve. He counted us/me worthy to suffer for Him, and He has NEVER left me alone!

And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. Acts 5:41

Psalm 109:26 Help me, O LORD my God: O save me according to thy mercy:
27 That they may know that this is thy hand; that thou, LORD, hast done it.

Psalm 23:1 ¶ A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

What can I do but speak or sing of His mercy & grace!

I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations. Psalm 89:1

Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. Philippians 2:16

But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 1 Peter 4:13

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. Revelation 4:11

Discouragement: Satan’s Most Valuable Tool

Part II of Victory in the Christian Home

One of the hardest things in life to admit is "I have failed", or "I will fail", but it is essential if we are to be victorious! Just like the sinner cannot be saved if he/she does not admit their sin merits punishment in hell, the first step to victory as a Christian is admitting our failures, or rather, that we can fail.

The "Sinless Life (Lordship Salvations), the "Prosperity Gospel" and all the false doctrines that go with them are lies straight from the pit of hell. The Bible tells the Christian:

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:8

 Those falso doctrines are designed to discourage the Christian in believing they could never be victorious in their Christian life, but not only that: Satan would have you believe that every failure you have is a clear sign that you are not saved, are not a Christian, have failed as a parent, etc.

Let us never forget that:

"… the devil . . . is a liar, and the father of it." John 8:44

If Satan can discourage you, he has won a great victory, as discouragement is probably his greatest tool since it can be applied in so many aspects of our lives.

Wether he can discourage us in our wrong doing or in not doing right, he will do it! If you have not done so, now would be a good time to read "Tools for Sale", and then continue with this lesson.

Here are just some of the lies he's probably already tried on you. These are presented in the form Satan would use. Between each, I have given at least one Scriptural answer.

1. "The children are not being obedient because you slacked off in your discipline. You are a total failure as a parent." – So, you get discouraged.

For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again… Proverbs 24:16

2. You are so tied down with supporting your husband, the home, and training children that you can't go soulwinning like you should. They are preventing you from doing the Lord's work. " – So, you get discouraged.

Yet, a woman's main purpose:

And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. Genesis 2:18

Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. Psalms 127:3

Never forget that God has given you those precious souls that need to be saved and discipled!

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. 1 Timothy 5:14

3. "You're resenting your children for "tying you down". What Christian parent would be resentful of those precious gifts the Lord has given you?" – You get discouraged.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

Do you see how Satan will twist whatever he can to discourage us? Let us not be "ignorant of his devices" (2 Corinthians 2:11b), and break the effectiveness of his greatest tool by "putting on the whole armour of God" (Ephesians 6:10-18), and remember that "…the devil….is a liar, and the father of it." John 8:44

And keeping our focus on the Lord:

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3

 

Part II – Discouragement – Satan's Most Valuable Tool

Victory in the Christian Home

Who wants to be a loser? ……..

 

………….

What No takers Didn’t think so. We all want to win, to be victorious.

 

This idea has been weighing on my heart for the last week or so, and the last few days, I could sense the Lord leading me to do a series on it.

Victory in the Christian Home can seem such an illusive thing. One defeated day seems to flow into the next, and we begin to lose any hope of even a small victory. But it doesn’t have to be that way. I know, it’s a lot easier said than done, but God has promised us the victory, and since He does not lie, it is acheivable.

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13

I’m sure I’ll touch more on that point, but right now, I’m not 100% sure where the Lord is going to lead in these lessons, or how long the series will last. I will try to keep each post short to make it easier to absorb and apply. I am simply hoping they will be a blessing to others, and am looking forward to what I will glean also.

Holding My Peace

Let’s face it, one of the hardest things to do sometimes is to just “zip our lips.” How “satisfying it would be just to give so and so an “piece of our mind….”

In sermons, our Pastor says something to the effect of, “Don’t give away what you don’t have….” or “Keep what you have. There might not be much left.”

Holding my peace, as the Bible says, has been one of my greatest challenges, and I feel I have a long way to go, but the Lord has been so good to help me. The changes He has accomplished in me, and continues to work on, amaze me.

For some time now, I have been dealing with this area in a partular struggle in my life. The flesh wants to speak out, but the Spirit of God keeps saying no. This morning, I was reminded of the following verses:

And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. Exodus 14:13-14

I also searched out a few more verses to help me out:

Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Psalms 141:3

Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Psalms 141:3

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. Psalms 19:14

I have lost count how many times I have quoted this last verse to myself to keep my mouth, mind and heart on track.

But like all struggles, I know God’s promises hold true:

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13

When I keep my focus on Whom it needs to be, maintain my prayer and Bible time, and continue to remind myself of God’s ways, life just goes on a whole lot easier, and I am able to “hold my peace.”

The Lord our Banner

The Lord Our Banner

(Jehovah-Nissi)

(Put to the tune of “The Fight Is On” – as written below the poem -
simply sing the original chorus between each stanza.)

The Lord Our Banner is the Christian’s rally cry!
Raise the standard; there’s battles to be fought,
Jehovah-Nissi is our Saviour from on High,
For without the Lord, the fight’s all for nought.

The battle is hard and the cost seems so very high -
The squeamish and faint of heart need not apply -
For our fight is not against swords, bows, or spears,
But against the Devil and our own fears.

Dear brethren, the war’s already been fought and won -
The battles are the Lord’s – we fight not alone.
One day soon, we’ll be glorified with God’s own Son -
Be steadfast and faithful ’til He takes us home.

The battles are wearisome; and many are the foes,
Stand fast, brethren – do not falter nor faint!
Jesus, our Saviour, Captain of Jehovah’s host,
Leads the final charge with thousands of His saints.

The Lord Our Banner, stands high upon the hill,
With our only weapon, the Word of God, held high.
The Lord will fight for us, and we need but stand still,
For the victory, our Lord will provide.

Angela Trenholm
December 26, 2003

**********

A special thank you to Jerry Bouey
for the proofreading and much needed Scriptural input on this poem.

Taken from: Exodus 17:15
(Jehovah is my banner)

And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi:
For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD
will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.

***************

He [Christ] shall not forever sit in waiting posture, but shall come into the fight to end the weary war by his own victorious presence. He will lead the final charge in person; his own right hand and his holy arm shall get unto him the victory. (Charles Spurgeon, The Treasury Of David)

***********

The Fight is On

by Leila N. Morris

The fight is on, the trumpet sound is ringing out,
The cry “To arms!? is heard afar and near;
The Lord of hosts is marching on to victory,
The triumph of the Christ will soon appear.

Chorus

The fight is on, O Christian soldier,
And face to face in stern array,
With armor gleaming, and colors streaming,
The right and wrong engage today!
The fight is on, but be not weary;
Be strong, and in His might hold fast;
If God be for us, His banner o’er us,
We’ll sing the victor’s song at last!

The fight is on, arouse, ye soldiers brave and true!
Jehovah leads, and victory will assure;
Go buckle on the armor God has given you,
And in His strength unto the end endure.

Chorus

The Lord is leading on to certain victory;
The bow of promise spans the eastern sky;
His glorious Name in every land shall honored be;
The morn will break, the dawn of peace is nigh.

Chorus

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