Are you burdened by the cares of this world? Is your marriage falling apart? Have you experienced lies and betrayal from someone you love, or from someone you trusted? Have you lost a loved one to death? Has your health taken a turn for the worse? Did you recently lose a job, and now you don’t know how you are going to make ends meet? Are you still walking in bondage to sin, even though you know Jesus died to set you free? Do you feel hopeless, weary, afraid, and confused? Are you ready to give up?
You are not alone! And, there is hope!! God has a message of hope and healing for you today. He has made the way for you to find your peace and your purpose in Him, and not in flesh, which will fail you.
The Lord Jesus led me to read 2 Corinthians 5 (Select vv. ESV).
For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
In this world; in this life; in these flesh bodies we will have troubles, heartaches, conflicts, difficulties and distresses. Sometimes we will be burdened far beyond our ability to endure, in and of ourselves. And, so we may begin to search for answers to our troubles wherever we can find them.
We may look to the church, or to church leaders, or we may look to counselors, friends, Facebook or to Cortana for help. We might Google our problems, too, hoping that we will find answers there. And, some of what we acquire may help some, or some of it may make matters only much worse.
Maybe we have tried all kinds of solutions to our problems, but none of them have worked, or they only worked for a very short time, and so we ended up right back where we were anyway. So, we got tired of the struggle, and just decided to escape, instead, perhaps into booze, or into drugs, or into movies or novels or sports, or into pornography or illicit sex or romantic affairs. But, that didn’t help, either, but that only made things SO MUCH WORSE!
So, where did we go wrong? Were all these things bad? Not all of them. The problem was not that none of these things were useful or good, but that we were looking to flesh or to technology or to entertainment or to head knowledge or to “medication” of different kinds instead of looking to God. Maybe we did pray, but then when things didn’t change, we gave up on God. He didn’t solve our issues in the way we had hoped. And, thus, we resorted to our own devices, which only blew up in our faces.
So, what’s the solution? Prayer is part of it, but it is not the totality of it. The key is surrender to God, yielding our lives and our circumstances to him, trusting in his absolute sovereignty over our lives, and accepting that troubles and hardships are part of what we must go through while we still live in these earthly tents (bodies). It is also learning to put on the armor of God with which to fight off discouragement and hopelessness, i.e. we must put on faith, truth, righteousness, the Word of God, and the gospel of peace.
So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
Satan wants nothing more than to wear us down so that we give up. This is his goal, to destroy us, and he will use other human beings as his messengers, too (See: Jn. 10). And, their goal, too, is to steal, to kill and to destroy us, the church, the body of Christ, and the gospel message of our salvation (deliverance). He wants to keep us down, struggling, in anguish, confused and troubled in our minds and hearts, and feeling without hope.
But, thanks be to God, there is HOPE! We can be of courage!! All hell can be breaking loose all around us, and we can still be of cheer and have the peace of God in our hearts. How so? Because we are in relationship with Jesus Christ, his Holy Spirit is living within us, our Lord has set us free from the power of Satan over our lives, and there is victory in Jesus Christ, our Lord! We can be strengthened in our faith, despite our circumstances, and we can walk by faith and not by sight (what we can see). Amen!
The apostle Peter was able to walk on the water when his eyes were fixed on Jesus Christ. But, when he started to look at the waves all around him, then he began to drown. We, too, will drown, if our focus is on our circumstances (what we can see), rather than on Christ, and on his promises, and on the hope that all of this is not forever, but that one day we will be with Jesus, and all this pain and suffering will be no more. Amen!
So, we need to keep our focus on our Savior, and on living to please him in all that we do. We need to pray for healing, and for direction, and for him to guide us each day. We need his grace to make it, but not just to survive, but to thrive!
Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others… For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
So, what has to change? What has to give? It is us who must change. We must give our lives in full surrender to our Lord and yield to his Lordship over our lives. For, Jesus Christ did not die on that cross just so we could escape hell and have the hope of heaven when we die. He died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us. He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God.
Faith in Jesus Christ is not just an emotion or an intellectual assent to what Jesus did for us in dying for our sins. Faith is being convinced (persuaded) by God, by his Spirit, to not only believe on Him, but to walk in fellowship with him, and to live holy lives pleasing to God, empowered by his Spirit. For, this is what faith truly is. By faith we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are resurrected with Christ to newness of life, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
You see, when we believe in Jesus Christ, we don’t add Jesus on to our old lives. We surrender our all to him! And, we (our flesh) die, and now he lives within us and he lives his life out through us for his praise and his glory. When our lives are yielded to him, and we are walking by faith, and not by sight, and we are trusting in his sovereignty and in his grace, then we can walk through life’s valleys and instead of caving to fear or to medicating ourselves, hoping to make life more bearable, we can walk in peace. Amen!
Handel’s Messiah Pt 1 (excerpt)
Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, saith your God.
Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem,
and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished,
that her iniquity is pardoned.
The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness;
prepare ye the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert
a highway for our God.
Monday, January 1, 2018, 5:03 a.m. – Thank you, Jesus, for these words of hope and healing. May they bring much encouragement to our hearts.