A Life that Does Not Despair

A very terrifying feeling is a panic attack or an overwhelming feeling of despair. These experiences can be very real and awful to the one experiencing them. They can even be paralyzing to whoever is going through either despair or panic. These feelings and experiences are an evidence of our fragility and nothing to be ashamed of for they are not sin but rather they show us our desperate need for the Lord, our Creator. He made us and is aware of how fragile we are.

Psalm 103:14 For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.

He is mindful of our desperate need for Him and is a present help in time of trouble.

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.

He is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Jesus came for you and especially for those who are afflicted in the soul and spirit.

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the Lord has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners;

He will help you and He will come to you. Put your trust in Him and cry out to Him.

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.

Yes, let your heart take courage. You will see His goodness once again and it will be in the land of the living. Even though at the moment or at any particular time it may seem very dark and despairing it will not always be that way. You will see His goodness if you will trust Him, wait on Him, be strong in Him and let your heart take courage in Him. When you have nothing left then you are in the best position to trust Him for you will then see that you can not trust in yourself. It is when we trust in ourselves that we are tempted to turn away from the Lord.

Jeremiah 17:5-8 Thus says the Lord,
“Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind
And makes flesh his strength,
And whose heart turns away from the Lord.
“For he will be like a bush in the desert
And will not see when prosperity comes,
But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness,
A land of salt without inhabitant.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord
And whose trust is the Lord.
“For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
That extends its roots by a stream
And will not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
Nor cease to yield fruit.

He will come to you like the spring rain and water your life again. You will see life and new growth. Continue to press on to know the Lord and trust Him with all your heart.

Hosea 6:3 “So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord.
His going forth is as certain as the dawn;
And He will come to us like the rain,
Like the spring rain watering the earth.”

 

A Life that Does Not Worry

Worry is rampant these days as people do not just worry but they are paranoid about many things. What a thief that worry is and how it robs us of much joy and peace. Worry can paralyze us, control us and it can eventually kill us. What does worry tell us about ourselves?

Matthew 9:36 When he saw the crowds, he was deeply moved with compassion for them, because they were troubled and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

When we are anxious and troubled then it is more of a symptom than a problem. The problem that we have that is being manifested in worry is that either we do not have a Shepherd or we are living as if we do not have a Shepherd. Jesus is the Good Shepherd and He cares for His sheep. When you become a Christian then Jesus becomes your Shepherd and the Shepherd is responsible for the sheep.

John 10:11 I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

He laid down His life for you. Does He not care for you? Will He not take care of you? Yes and yes and yes…a million times yes! When the Lord is your Shepherd you shall not lack anything that you need, or in other words, you shall never be in want.

Psalm 23:1-6

The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Can it get any better than this? He will make you lie down in green pastures and not in the weeds. He will lead you beside still waters and not by the dangerous torrents that could endanger you. He is the One who restores your soul and He will guide you in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even if you were to walk through the valley of death, He will be with you. You need never fear evil for it can not touch you without coming through Him first. He comforts you and prepares a table for you in the presence of those who might be your enemies. He anoints you with the oil of gladness and your cup will overflow with joy. Not only all of these things but goodness and lovingkindness will follow you all the days of your life and then you will dwell with Him forever. Again, can it get any better than this? Do you believe this?

Hebrews 4:2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.

If you don’t believe this then there is no profit for you. If you do believe it then these precious and magnificent promises are yours and they will transform your life, take away your anxiety and bring you the peace and joy that you long for.

II Peter 1:2-4 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.

The Lord wants to multiply His grace and peace to you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ our Lord. His diving power has granted to you the privilege and power to live above circumstances and resist the devil and his lies. You must choose, either to live by faith in the promises of God or to live by worry on the fears of the world and the lies of the devil.

Hebrews 13:5b-6a …for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” so that we confidently say, The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid.”

Yes, life in Jesus Christ is much better than the slow death of anxiety and worry. Are you anxious and worried? Cast your cares upon Him now and ask Him to be your Shepherd.

I Peter 5:7 casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

A Life that Waits

Sometimes we need very clear instruction about what to do when we do not know what to do. The Bible gives us that clear instruction. Have you ever been in a situation and you did not know what to do? Has there ever been a time of spiritual darkness in your life? Have you ever wanted God to write something in the sky to tell you what to do? If you have ever struggled with not having “light” on a situation then listen carefully to God’s Word.

Isaiah 50:10 Who is among you that fears the Lord,
That obeys the voice of His servant,
That walks in darkness and has no light?
Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.

The Lord says that if you know Him and obey His voice and follow Him but are in a time of darkness then you are to trust Him.Trust Him. Trusting Him means waiting on Him. He promised to lead you. Wait for His leading. Do not take matters into your own hands.

Isaiah 50:11 Behold, all you who kindle a fire,
Who encircle yourselves with firebrands,
Walk in the light of your fire
And among the brands you have set ablaze.
This you will have from My hand:
You will lie down in torment.

You will lie down in torment if you make your own way and light your own fire. Trust Him. He will guide you and lead you in the way you should go.

Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.

Jesus really will show you His way. He is the Light and He is the Way. He wants you to walk by faith and trust Him.

John 8:12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

The Lord wants you to learn to wait on Him. Do not fret for it will only lead to you doing the wrong thing. Even when it seems like everyone else is getting what they want and taking matters into their own hands. Do not be like them but trust in the Lord and wait on Him.

Psalm 37:7,8 Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.
Cease from anger and forsake wrath;
Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.

In God’s perfect timing and according to His lovingkindness He will give you what you need and often what you desire. It will be a gift from Him.

James 1:17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

Not only are His gifts good and perfect but they far exceed anything that you could ever bring about by your own doing. The Lord says that “It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich and He adds no sorrow to it”. The gifts that He gives do not have drawbacks or sorrow with them. They are perfect and far more than what you could even imagine.

Isaiah 64:4,5 For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear,
Nor has the eye seen a God besides You,
Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.
You meet him who rejoices in doing righteousness,
Who remembers You in Your ways.

The Lord will bless you and meet you if only you will remember Him in His ways and His ways are of faith. We walk by faith and not by sight. We trust in Him alone who does what He pleases and loves us perfectly.

Psalm 135:5,6 For I know that the Lord is great
And that our Lord is above all gods.
Whatever the Lord pleases, He does,
In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.

And again…

Job 42:2 I know that You can do all things,
And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.

He can do all things and if you will only allow His will to be done in your life you will not be disappointed. He wants you to believe in Him and trust Him.

Romans 10:11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.”

A Life that Is Remembered

Jesus was very kind to women and treated them with equal respect as He treated the men. There were a number of women who followed Him and loved him while He was on earth.

Mark 15:41 When He was in Galilee, they used to follow Him and minister to Him; and there were many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem.

The women also remained with Him, looking on from a distance, when He was crucified.

Mark 15:40 There were also some women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the Less and Joses, and Salome.

Mary Magdalene was probably the oldest of the women since she is mentioned first and so she had to be around fifty years old. Mary, mentioned here is the mother of Jesus and Salome is the mother of James and John and was Mary’s sister. Mary was either in her late forties or in her fifties since Jesus was thirty three years old at this time. The disciples honored these women and they were included in His ministry and afterwards.

Acts 1:14 These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

However, there was one woman who the Lord honored by mentioning how she will be remembered wherever the Gospel is preached.

Mark 14:3-9 While He was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining at the table, there came a woman with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard; and she broke the vial and poured it over His head. But some were indignantly remarking to one another, “Why has this perfume been wasted?For this perfume might have been sold for over three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.” And they were scolding her. But Jesus said, “Let her alone; why do you bother her? She has done a good deed to Me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you do not always have Me. She has done what she could; she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial. Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.”

She did what she could to honor and minister to Him. Simple as that. She did what she could. Jesus did not ask her to do anything but out of her love for Him she did what she could. We all have different gifts and abilities. When we do what we can then Jesus takes note of it and remembers it. Don’t worry about doing something great for the Lord. Do what you can do. Whether it is giving a cup of cold water to a thirsty person or helping the fatherless in Jesus’ name, either in your hometown or across the world, just do what you can out of love for Him.

John 12:3 Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

In all likelihood it was probably Mary, who sat at His feet, who anointed His head and his feet. The house was filled with the sweet fragrance of her love for Him. Also, since this happened before His crucifixion, her offering was a fragrant aroma to Him during His suffering. That is how it is, when we do what we can in our love for Him then the house of God is filled with a sweet fragrance and we are a fragrant aroma to Him.

Ephesians 5:2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

Our love for Him is expressed in our love for each other. When we consider others more important than us and love others as He has loved us then we will be like Christ and an offering to God as a fragrant aroma.

II Corinthians 2:14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.

The Lord is the One who leads us in victory in Christ and He is the One who manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. As we learn to walk with Him, He will lead us and make Himself known through us to the world. You are the one the Lord wants to use to make Himself known to a hurting world.

 

 

 

 

A Life that Stands Alone

One of the hardest things to do is to stand alone in the world. We long for affirmation from other humans and confirmation that we are doing what is right. However, the Lord has spoken to us about what is right and He has also given us a conscience to know what is right and wrong.

Romans 1:18,19 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

The Lord describes two types of people in the world and everyone falls into one of these groups. He says there are the righteous and the wicked.Over and over again in Scripture the Lord makes a contrast between the righteous and the wicked.

Proverbs 10:7 The memory of the righteous is blessed, But the name of the wicked will rot.

The righteous lives by faith and obedience to the Lord and the Lord says that it will go well with them.

Isaiah 3:10 Say to the righteous that it will go well with them,
For they will eat the fruit of their actions.

The wicked lives according to what they think is right and wrong and they will receive what they deserve. It will go badly with the wicked.

Isaiah 3:11 Woe to the wicked! It will go badly with him,
For what he deserves will be done to him.

However, there is one characteristic of the righteous that is so special that the Lord takes note of these particular righteous individuals. They stood alone in a wicked world.

Ezekiel 14:20 even though Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their son or their daughter. They would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.”

Noah found favor in God’s eyes. He walked with God even though no one else did other than his family. He was called a preacher of righteousness and he never saw one convert. He stayed faithful to the Lord and did what the Lord commanded him to do.

Genesis 6:9 These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God.

Genesis 6:22 Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did.

Job also was called blameless and righteous before the Lord. Job lived in a time of great evil and there is not evidence that even his children sought the Lord. While they were celebrating at a party he was praying for them. He stood alone even when his wife suggested that he blame God for his troubles. Job was faithful to the Lord in the midst of great suffering and pain. The Lord called him righteous.

Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil.

Daniel also stood alone in the midst of a very wicked society and even when his life was in danger he would not compromise. He remained faithful to the Lord.

Daniel 1:8 But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself…

Even though these three men did not see much fruit in their lifetime all three of them still speak through their lives and faithfulness to the Lord. All three stood alone and were surrounded by many wicked people and yet they remained faithful. They remained faithful to the Lord and grew strong in their faith. Were they perfect? Not at all and yet the Lord called them righteous. The righteous man shall live by faith and the faithful shall be called righteous by the Lord.

Romans 1:17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”

 

 

 

A Life that is Sweet and Good

The Lord has a plan for our lives and it is sweet and good. He wants us to live in and on His promises. We are to live by faith in the land of His promises. In the Old Testament when He described the promised land He said it was a land flowing with milk and honey. Milk is good for you and honey is sweet. That is how it is when we walk by faith with the Lord. Fellowship with Him is sweet and obedience to His Word is good for us.

Exodus 3:17 So I said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt…to a land flowing with milk and honey.

Egypt was symbolic of slavery and the land flowing with milk and honey was the land of promise which they were to possess by faith. Are you enslaved to sin or the flesh? Are their any habits that you are struggling with and know you need to be set free? He came to set you free.

Galatians 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

If you have been set free then don’t go back into the bondage of slavery. There are two things that will hold you back from your goals and desires. They are snares and snags. Snares are sins that have ensnared you and that Jesus can set you free and wants to set you free. Snags are things that you have no control over and they cause you to cry out to Him for help. Just as if you were walking down a path and a branch from a tree were to snag you and you could not free yourself. He allows obstacles and snags in our life to cause us to realize that we can not make it on our own. We need His help. By faith we look continually to Him.

Jude 1:5 Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe.

The Lord died for you and rose again so that you might be set free from the snares of the devil. However you must trust Him and learn to live by faith or you will end up being destroyed.

I John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

The Lord made you to be an overcomer. He wants life to be sweet and good for you. It is possible only through Him. Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the Lord is good;
How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!

A Life that is Not Timid

Three times in Scripture the Lord talks about the timid and timidity and uses the same Greek word. The first time is in the Gospels when He was with His disciples and He rebuked them for being timid. He reproved them doubting His love.

Mark 4:36-40 Leaving the crowd, they took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him. And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, “Why are you cowardly? Do you still have no faith?”

The word cowardly in this passage has the meaning of being timid. He reproved them because they questioned whether He cared about them during the storm in their lives. The Lord does not reprove us for being afraid but He does reprove us for doubting His love when we are afraid. He wants you to by faith, trust Him and His love for you then He wants you to come to Him so that He can calm the storms in your life. Has He not promised to care for you and He loves you.

I Peter 5:6,7 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

It is more tempting to doubt His love than to doubt His power. Martha and Mary did not doubt His love but His power when their brother died. 

John 11:21 Martha then said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.

Again, if He had been there the situation would not have happened.

John 11:32Therefore, when Mary came where Jesus was, she saw Him, and fell at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”

Often we do not come to Him because we feel that He really does not care about us in our situation.

II Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.

The Lord says that He has not given us a spirit of timidity. He wants us to come to Him to receive power to face the storms that He will still. He wants us to love Him and loving Him is coming to Him with our fears. He wants us to be disciplined in our relationship with Him and give Him our cares and concerns every morning before we face the day.

Revelation 21:7,8 He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

The word here “cowardly” in the book of Revelation means the same as timid. In all three of these instances in Scripture it is the same Greek word, which means timid or cowardly or afraid. The second death is hell. These are the cowards, timid and those who are afraid to come to Him. Sin and unbelief causes us to not go to Him.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;

Grace is an invitation to come to Him and faith is coming to Him. Salvation is the gift He gives to those who come to Him. His salvation includes not only eternal salvation in the life to come but saving us from the storms in this present life, .

Matthew 11:28-30 Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Are you struggling with storms in life? Go to Him and experience His rest for your soul in this present life. Are you struggling with sin and guilt? Go to Him and experience His forgiveness and cleansing. He loves you and cares about the things that concern you, whether it is an outward storm or an inward storm. Jesus is our salvation and came to save us.