A Life of Belief

Blessed is the one who believes. We came into the world believing in God. There is something within us that affirms there is a God. However, unless we are told, we don’t know how to come to Him. There is only one way to God and that is through Jesus Christ. He had to die and be raised again so that we would believe in Him.

John 20:1-8 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were going to the tomb. The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first;and stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in.And so Simon Peter also came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed

The disciples who walked with Jesus on earth struggled also with believing in Jesus Christ. It was not until they came to the tomb and found it empty did they believe. When John, the disciple who Jesus loved, (He loved them all but this disciple did not want to reference his own name so he referred to himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved) saw the empty tomb then He believed.

John 20:24,25 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

Thomas, who had not yet seen Jesus, did not yet believe. He said that he needed to see the imprint of the nails and put his hand into His side in order for him to believe that Jesus had really risen from the dead.

John 20:26-28 After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then He *said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”

Jesus understood Thomas and his need to see and touch for himself in order to believe. Jesus also understands each one of us. Each of us comes to believe Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior in different manners but the important fact is that we all are believers. You may be struggling with your belief in Jesus Christ. He understands your struggle. Pray to Him and tell Him that you want to believe and ask Him to help you in your unbelief. He does not judge you and is more than willing to help you.

Mark 9:23,24 And Jesus said to him, “‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.”

Often our prayer may be like this man in this account in one of the Gospels. He believed but still had some unbelief. The Lord will help you in your unbelief and help you believe in Him, if you ask Him for help.

Romans 3:3 What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it?

You may have family or friends who want to remain in their unbelief. Don’t let someone else’s unbelief keep you from believing and experiencing the faithfulness of God. He is good and He is faithful and will make Himself known to the one who believes.

I Timothy 1:3 even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief;

The Lord is a merciful God and if you turn to Him then he will show you mercy. Your past will not hinder you if you come to Him and want to believe in Him.

Hebrews 3:12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.

Sometimes it may seem difficult to continue to believe in the Lord. We don’t always understand His ways. However, believing is trusting without seeing and believing is knowing that God is true to His Word. He is faithful and He loves you even when you can not feel His love. In time, you will again see His love and faithfulness if you continue to believe in Him.

I Thessalonians 5:23,24 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.

When you first came to belief in Jesus Christ then the Lord began a good work in you. He will complete what He began and He will perfect it in you until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

 

 

A Life that Does the Necessary

Most lives get messed up when their priorities are out of line. The only way our priorities will be what they ought to be is if Jesus Christ is our Lord. We can not run our own lives without problems. If you want to be happy then you must have Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and do what He says. He is good and He loves you. He will remove your guilt and fears and will give you the stability, purpose and meaning in life that you desire. He created you and knows all about you even more than you know about yourself.

Psalm 139:1-3 O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.
You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.

If you will let Him be Lord in your life and allow Him to direct your steps then He will take you where you want to go. Deep within us there is a longing to belong and to be in our niche and yet most people do not know what they want or where they belong until they get there and then there is a sweet contentment that comes from being where He designed for us to fit. However, the contentment comes from Him being first in our lives and then our place in life being second. He chose His disciples first to be with Him and then to preach. He has chosen you first to be with Him in a relationship.

Mark 3:13,14 And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him.And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach

The Lord has called us to first be with Him and then to serve Him. Our service for Him should be an overflow of our fellowship with Him. No matter what He has called you to do it is service to Him. He wants us to do our work as unto Him. Service to Him is not just for those who are in a Christian ministry. Many of the godly men and women that God used in the Bible did other vocations that were not necessarily spiritual, but He used them because their heart was right with Him and their priorities were in order.

Luke 10:38-42 Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

If we don’t have our priorities in order, in spending time with the Lord, sitting at His feet and listening to His Word then we can easily start becoming anxious and bothered about unnecessary things. The Lord said that only one thing is necessary and that is spending time with Him and listening to His Word. This may sound simple but if you have not tried it then why don’t you try it? Try spending more time with the Lord than what you thought you could. You will find great joy if you soak up His Words into your heart. Your heart will become His more than ever before and you will see Him act on your behalf.

II Chronicles 16:9a For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.

He will accomplish what concerns you and He will use you to accomplish what concerns Him.

Psalm 138:8 The Lord will accomplish what concerns me;
Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.

 

A Life with Faith

A life with faith is one of pleasing the Lord through believing Him and trusting Him.  If you desire to please the One who loves you so much then you must live by faith. Faith is coming to Him and believing His Word. We think that we would be blessed if we could actually see the Lord but the Lord says, “blessed are they who did not see and yet believe”. Faith is believing in His promises by actually taking Him at His Word and acting as if they will come to pass. The outcome will be that you will see His faithfulness to fulfill His promises and you will grow to love Him more and more. When you grow to love Him more then you will want to please Him more and your faith will grow.

Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

The opposite of faith is despair. Despair leads downward into darkness of the soul. Faith leads upward into the light of the Lord.

Psalm 27:13-14 I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord.

When you believe and have faith then it fosters courage which brings about hope.

Romans 5:5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Are you struggling in your faith? The Lord’s provision for you is His Word. Spend time in His Word until your faith is increased. Keep reading until a verse speaks to you. It is the Lord calling you to Himself. He wants to speak to you through His Spirit and bless you.

Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.

Ask the Lord to help you grow in your faith as you seek Him through His Word. He “meets the one who delights in righteousness”.

Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

 

A Life with Understanding

The Lord is good and there is nothing twisted in His ways. However, if you do not know Him then you may think that He is not fair or that He may even be twisted in what He does. Not so, He is just and He is good all of the time. This is His nature and who He is. All of the utterances of His mouth are right and there is nothing crooked or perverted in them. Those who have understanding know this.

Proverbs 8:8,9 “All the utterances of my mouth are in righteousness;
There is nothing crooked or perverted in them.
“They are all straightforward to him who understands,
And right to those who find knowledge.

A person who has understanding will come to Him daily and even moment by moment will commune with Him. They will want to live in His presence and will not have to be like the horse or mule that requires something to make them come to God.

Psalm 32:9 Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding, Whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check, Otherwise they will not come near to you.

The knowledge of the Holy One is understanding and it is sweeter than honey to the soul. There is no comparison to knowing Him and when you learn to live in His presence and in the knowledge of Him then you will truly know that nothing compares with the knowledge of Him.

Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

The way to get more understanding is to keep his commandments. Many people want to understand His commandments before they do them but actually the obedience comes first and then the understanding. The Lord tells us to “not speak in the hearing of a fool lest he despise the wisdom of our words” so if He tells us to be that way then how much more will He not teach a fool His ways. It is foolish to not obey Him and do what He says.

Psalm 111:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever.

Understanding is what is supposed to characterize the people of God.

Deuteronomy 4:6 So keep and do them, for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’

What characterizes a person who understands and knows the Lord is that they will keep His commandments. To the degree that you keep His commandments is to the degree that you know Him.

I Chronicles 22:12 Only the Lord give you discretion and understanding, and give you charge over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the Lord your God.

To depart from evil is understanding. If you tolerate sin in your life then not only does the Lord not “understand” or excuse it but it is you who does not understand and know Him. How easy it is to say when we sin, “God will understand”. That is a lie from the devil.

Job 28:28 “And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding.’”

The Lord loves you and He wants you to depart from evil because He knows that is for your good and for the good of everyone else. The Lord hates evil and wants us to hate it as well. Evil causes grief and He sent His Son to save us from evil. He has compassion on all.

Job 36:5 “Behold, God is mighty but does not despise any; He is mighty in strength of understanding.

Do you know Him and have understanding? Go to the Lord and ask Him for understanding that you might know Him. Read His Word and pray that you might understand it. He loves you and has come to give you light, life and understanding, which is the knowledge of Him. He makes your life sweet and brings life to the spirit and healing to the soul.

Psalm 119:130 The unfolding of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.

 

A Life of Understanding but Misunderstood

Often one who understands life will be misunderstood by others in this life. Other people will not understand why they do what they do because those who misunderstand have a lack in the knowledge of God. God is the basis of all knowledge and understanding and without Him true wisdom, knowledge and understanding will even seem like foolishness.

I Corinthians 1:18-21 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.” Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

The beginning of true wisdom and understanding is to realize that we have no wisdom and understanding on our own.

Proverbs 26:12 Do you see a man wise in his own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.

There is more hope for a fool than for one who is wise in his own eyes. There is no wisdom and no understanding apart from the Lord.

Proverbs 21:30 There is no wisdom and no understanding
And no counsel against the Lord.

The way of a fool is that he is wise in his own eyes. Turn to the Lord and you will receive counsel, wisdom and understanding.

Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.

Once you turn to the Lord then He will give you wisdom and understanding. Your life will be different because He will set you apart for something far bigger and greater than you can imagine. You will understand others but you, yourself, will not be understood.

I Corinthians 2:14-16 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.

The natural man, which is another name for a nonChristian, will not understand. That is alright that they do not understand now. You be faithful to the Lord and pray that one day they will come to know the Lord and understand. When you act on the mind of Christ, which is His Word, then you will be light and light brings understanding. You will be salt and salt preserves knowledge. The works that you do in His name will bear witness of who He is and will point others to Him. This is what it means to know Him and to make Him known.

 

 

 

A Life with No Excuses

Since the Lord created the earth and made it evident to man that there is a Creator then man is without excuse for not acknowledging the Creator. All atheism and agnosticism is a result of not coming to the light that God has given to man. The light of God begins through creation and when man comes to God then the Lord gives him more light.

Romans 1:19,20 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

Man is without excuse because the Lord created man to know Him and made it evident within Him. However, if man does not turn to His Creator then his foolish heart becomes darkened.

Romans 1:21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

God made man to know Him but when we do not honor Him or thank Him then we start speculating about God. Often it will begin with “My God would not…”. Any speculation about God will only bring greater darkness to the foolish heart that does not turn to God. Finally, the one who does not acknowledge God, honor Him or thank Him will cease to even believe that He exists.

Romans 1:22,23 Professing to be wise, they became fools,and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

The person who turns from God will think that he himself is wise. Once he thinks of himself as wise then he has even less hope than when he was only a fool and turned from God. Now, the wise in his own eyes person will exchange the glory of being made in God’s image and think that he is made in the image of creation, which is a summation of evolution.

Proverbs 26:12 Do you see a man wise in his own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.

 

A Life that Receives Wisdom

We all need wisdom if we want to do life, work, relationships and whatever else right. If we want less sorrow and more happiness and fulfillment in our life then we need wisdom. However, where do we receive wisdom, in other words, what is the source of wisdom?

Proverbs 2:6,7a For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;

The Lord is the Giver of wisdom. Not only does He give wisdom but He gives knowledge and understanding. He is the source of all that is good and upright. He stores us sound wisdom for the upright and delights in giving to those who seek Him then secrets of life which is His wisdom.

Psalm 25:12-14 Who is the man who fears the Lord?
He will instruct him in the way he should choose.
His soul will abide in prosperity,
And his descendants will inherit the land.
The secret of the Lord is for those who fear Him,
And He will make them know His covenant.

Just as there are secrets in all of life and how to do life, so the Lord has made it that the person who fears Him will receive His instructions and will know His secrets. His soul will abide in prosperity and his children will have a refuge and see the promises of God. One of the greatest gifts that you can give to your children is for them to see the reality of God on a daily basis and to see the fulfillment of His promises. He not only has promises for all eternity but He has promises for daily life.

Job 12:16a With Him are strength and sound wisdom,

The Lord gives wisdom but He entrusts it to those who fear Him. Wisdom is so powerful that it would be destructive to the one who does not fear God.

Job 28:28 And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom;
And to depart from evil is understanding.’”

Are you frustrated in life or in relationships? Often we desire something and are frustrated because we are not getting what we desire. If you do not fear God then that desire could become a snare or bondage for you. It is the fear of the Lord that keeps things clean and pure. When we fear Him then He purifies our hearts and fulfills our desires in a good way so that the desires do not destroy or control us. The Lord is good and He only gives to His children what is good. Sometimes we do not know what is good for us and for this reason it is crucial that we trust Him to give us what He knows is good. You will look back on life when you are older and you will be thankful for not receiving certain desires.

Psalm 19:9a The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;

Once you have surrendered your life and your desire to the Lord and are seeking to fear Him, then ask Him for wisdom. He promises to give it to you generously.

James 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

It is wisdom to seek God and it is foolishness to seek any thing else above God. He is wisdom, life, love and everything else that we long for and He alone is able to give us all that we need. In Him are peace, joy and love. If you will seek Him then He will lead you into the way of wisdom and understanding. You will want to do good and you will be free of the snares of death. He gives grace and wisdom so that we might do His will and live according to His ways. When you know Him then you will know wisdom and you will have understanding. For it is the Lord who gives wisdom and understanding. The outcome will be that you will live securely and will not fear.

Proverbs 1:33 But he who listens to me shall live securely
And will be at ease from the dread of evil.”

 

 

 

A Life that Is a Blessing to Others

The Lord wants us to be a blessing to others. This is one aspect of what it means to be a witness of who the Lord is. He is good and He wants to show to others who He is through Christians. NonChristians do not have the correct view of God due to our fallen natures from the sin of Adam and Eve. The devil has distorted our view of God and often it is twisted. We do not really believe the Lord loves us because if we did then we would run to Him. It is easy to believe that God is mad at us or that if we trusted Him with everything then He would do with us what we do not want and would deprive us of things that we think would make us happy. The list is endless of the lies that Satan has put into the heart of man of who God really is. None of the lies are true but we will never know that until we come to Him.

Acts 14:17 and yet He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.

The Lord is good and He gives to us even when we do not deserve it. He loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son. All who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior are blessed.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

When we receive Jesus Christ then we receive every spiritual blessing in Christ.

Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,

He blessed us that we might be a blessing to others. He wants us to be a witness of who He is. John the Baptist was the first witness of who Jesus Christ is.

John 1:7 He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him.

The Lord wants us to be a witness of who He is that others may believe in Him. He is not desiring that any should perish but that all might believe in Him.

John 15:26,27 When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me, and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning.

The purpose of a witness is to testify about something or someone. We are to testify to the world that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. He is the only One who can do this because He is God and took the penalty for our sin. We are to testify that God is good by the works that we do, which are to be good works because God is good.

Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

The Lord Jesus Christ has saved us by His grace through faith in Him. Not as a result of any works that we have done but that we may do good works and testify to the world who He is, that He is good.

Titus 3:3-5a For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy,

We all were foolish at one time, being disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in doing wrong and having evil in our hearts– but He saved us. He showed us mercy and forgave us and He wants us to go out into the world and do the same. Is there anyone you need to forgive and show mercy to? That person may be the one whom Jesus Christ wants to save next. The greatest blessing that we can give to others is to show them who God is through our lives and remove any obstacles that prevent them from coming to know Him as their Savior and Lord.

 

 

 

A Life of Belief

Blessed is the one who believes. We came into the world believing in God. There is something within us that affirms there is a God. However, unless we are told, we don’t know how to come to Him. There is only one way to God and that is through Jesus Christ. He had to die and be raised again so that we would believe in Him.

John 20:1-8 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were going to the tomb. The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first;and stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in.And so Simon Peter also came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed

The disciples who walked with Jesus on earth struggled also with believing in Jesus Christ. It was not until they came to the tomb and found it empty did they believe. When John, the disciple who Jesus loved, (He loved them all but this disciple did not want to reference his own name so he referred to himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved) saw the empty tomb then He believed.

John 20:24,25 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

Thomas, who had not yet seen Jesus, did not yet believe. He said that he needed to see the imprint of the nails and put his hand into His side in order for him to believe that Jesus had really risen from the dead.

John 20:26-28 After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then He *said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”

Jesus understood Thomas and his need to see and touch for himself in order to believe. Jesus also understands each one of us. Each of us comes to believe Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior in different manners but the important fact is that we all are believers. You may be struggling with your belief in Jesus Christ. He understands your struggle. Pray to Him and tell Him that you want to believe and ask Him to help you in your unbelief. He does not judge you and is more than willing to help you.

Mark 9:23,24 And Jesus said to him, “‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.”

Often our prayer may be like this man in this account in one of the Gospels. He believed but still had some unbelief. The Lord will help you in your unbelief and help you believe in Him, if you ask Him for help.

Romans 3:3 What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it?

You may have family or friends who want to remain in their unbelief. Don’t let someone else’s unbelief keep you from believing and experiencing the faithfulness of God. He is good and He is faithful and will make Himself known to the one who believes.

I Timothy 1:3 even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief;

The Lord is a merciful God and if you turn to Him then he will show you mercy. Your past will not hinder you if you come to Him and want to believe in Him.

Hebrews 3:12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.

Sometimes it may seem difficult to continue to believe in the Lord. We don’t always understand His ways. However, believing is trusting without seeing and believing is knowing that God is true to His Word. He is faithful and He loves you even when you can not feel His love. In time, you will again see His love and faithfulness if you continue to believe in Him.

I Thessalonians 5:23,24 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.

When you first came to belief in Jesus Christ then the Lord began a good work in you. He will complete what He began and He will perfect it in you until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

 

 

A Life that Is Filled with Joy

Joy is what comes from the presence of the Lord and it is for those who know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. Joy is different from happiness. Happiness has more to do with what is happening while the person who is filled with joy has something that transcends circumstances.

Psalm 16:9 You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

Joy is connected to thanksgiving. It is a state of mind and heart of knowing that life is more than what is happening at any given moment. Joy is a gift that the Lord gives to His children through His Holy Spirit.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Joy can only come from the Lord and it is knowing that you are pleasing Him in your life and in your responses to life. It is a confirming from the Lord that you are in His will and doing what He delights in. When you are filled with joy it is almost as though you can feel His smile on your life. Your joy can be quenched through the old self, which is expressed in the flesh. The deeds of the flesh are not pleasing to the Lord so if you are involved in any of them then you will not have joy. The deeds of the flesh are evident when one is controlled by the flesh.

Galatians 5:19-21 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

The nonChristian will use artificial means to try to be happy because they do not have the Spirit of God living within them. Artificial means, such as wine, drugs, etc., are very superficial and will not last but will only leave the one feeling more empty. When a Christian engages in any of these activities then they will quench the Holy Spirit who has come to live within them.

I Thessalonians 5:16-19 Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit;

The way that a Christian can be continually filled with joy is to continually walk in the Spirit. Walking in the Spirit keeps the Christian from being controlled by the flesh and expressing the deeds of the flesh.

Galatians 5:16,17 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.

We are to please the One who lived and died for us. When we live according to His ways then our hearts will be filled with the joy of the Lord and how sweet it is. You will also find that thanksgiving and joy go together. Your heart will also be filled with much gratitude. What a contrast to those who do not know the Lord and who are always complaining.