“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work.” -James 1:2-4
No one wants to be tested. They take us out of our comfort zone. Yet, it is one of the greatest tools that God uses to take you from glory to glory. The goal of God’s testing is to draw you closer, make you stronger and draw out the dreams and gifts He planted in you.
“For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver…we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance.” -Psalm 66:10,12
No one enjoys trials. For most of us it hurts but if you dare to persevere the end result of your trial and testing is this…Abundance!
Testing took Noah from World Destruction to the Ark to a New World.
It took Abraham from Childless to Father of a Great Multitude.
It took Joseph from Pit to Prison to the Right hand man in Pharaoh’s Empire.
David went from Shepherd Boy to Soldier to Fugitive to King!
Do you see how each test pushes you further and look at the end result.
If you’re in a season of testing don’t be shaken by where you are, focus on where this test is taking you.
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised.” -James 1:12.
Endure, persevere…aim for your crown!
As a child of the Most High God you can expect increase in your family and ministry. Expect reconciliation and salvation to come in the most unlikely places. Expect increase in your peace and joy. Expect restoration, fresh revelations, renewal and revival. Yes, Jesus meets you where you are but He doesn’t leave you there. Know that it is His desire to increase you, bless you and take you to higher heights and deeper depths in Him. Amen.
“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in Me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” –John 14:12
It was like deja vu when I got the phone call. My mom’s biopsy results were in and the report was not good. It had been 8-years since her breast cancer diagnosis. A battle she emerged victorious in Christ in. Now here we were, 8 years later in the same office…again. On the drive there I said, “Okay Father you gave me a word before concerning my Mom. I’m expecting a word from you again.”
We sat and listened to the oncologist and heard his thoughts on the matter. When he and his nurse left the room I turned to my Mom and said, “God is not going to put on you more than you can bear.” 1Cor 10:13 Suddenly I saw a Peace in her that wasn’t there before. Then I knew it was a word from the throne of grace. I have to be honest though; I needed more. Why were we back here again and as a Royal Priesthood how am I supposed to stand and represent The Father in this? I had questions and I needed insight into the word God had given her.
Later that day I stepped into that secret place (prayer) and shared with the Father what was on my heart. That’s when I heard Him say, “Joshua 1:9” Immediately I went there. This is what it says:
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Then I asked, “But how do I do that Lord?”
The Lord replied, “It’s like you said before, I’m not going to put more on you than you could bear. Your ability to bear is based on what I placed in you. I can command you to be strong and courageous because I’ve already equipped you with strength and courage. I can say do not be afraid because My perfect love has casted out your fear. I’m simply calling out what’s already there and that’s how you’re going to do this.”
What was in me began to stir like a mighty current. All of that discouragement suddenly slipped away. I felt strong, confident, comforted and equipped to stand as a royal priest by my mother’s side and glory to God that is what I did!
I am happy to report that the battle was glorious. The King of Kings made His presence known on the battlefield. I told no one but my Husband and kids about my Mom’s surgery yet God drew prayer warriors amongst the medical staff to lay hands and pray with me for my mom. To my delight the surgeon was a fellow believer who personally submitted the surgery into the hands of the True Physician. The LORD fought the battle and gave us the victory. My part was to have faith in Christ who strengthens me.
God’s Beloved, He who created and formed you has equipped you with strength and courage. He can call those things and more out of you because that is who you are. That same Spirit that raised Christ from the grave is in you child of God. His Presence, Wisdom, Authority and Truth dwells within you. You are well equipped and you’re not alone. So Be Strong, Be Courageous. Be Fearless; Do Not Be Discouraged. For greater is Christ Jesus that is in you, with you and for you wherever you are, than anyone or anything that can come at you in this world.
I have this spiritual wall art that hangs in my home, lately the Father has been prompting me to share it. It reminds me of the promise that Jesus made to us in Matthew 28:20, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.”
This is what the wall art says:
Jesus is with you always. He is with you in the happy moments. He’s right there making all things work for your good in the difficult moments.
You can worship Him in the quiet moments knowing that it’s Him leading you beside those quiet waters (Psalm 23:2) Quiet is a good thing. “The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” Lamentations 3:25-26.
Jesus is with you in the painful moments. He draws close to the brokenhearted; He heals them and binds up their wounds. Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord. (Psalm 34:18, 40:4, 147:3)
We give thanks because of Love. For God So Loved us that He Gave. He gave us His Beloved Son, the irrevocable gifts and promises of God and He continues to give us the victory through Christ Jesus each and every day.
Jesus is with you in the highest of highs and in the lowest of lows and all of the other moments in between. In every moment there’s an opportunity to praise, seek, worship, trust and thank Him. Jesus hears you, sees you, He’s for you and He is with you always even to the end of the age.
“Our God is the God of salvation” -Psalm 68:20 (NKJV)
“Our God is a God who saves” -Psalm 68:20 (NIV)
Through Jesus we come to know the Father’s Love for us. The Father’s desire is to see that none perish (2 Peter 3:9) Through Rahab’s story we learn that The Promise is not just for us but for our loved ones as well.
When the two Israelite spies came to the house of Rahab the prostitute, she offered to hide them (See Joshua chapters 2 and 6). She heard about how the Lord of Israel had dried up the Red Sea and delivered them from the Egyptians and the two Amorite Kings, Sihon and Og. She testified to the spies that, “The Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.” -Joshua 2:11
Rahab heard God’s word, (that’s faith: faith comes by hearing) which prompted her to make intercessory for her family (that’s Ministry). By hiding the spies she was defying her own people and government thus risking her own life to save her family. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” -John 15:13
Let’s look at Rahab’s Intercessory:
“Please swear to me by the Lord that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you. Give me a sure sign that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them —and that you will save us from death.” –Joshua 2:12-13
When the walls of Jericho fell and the armies of Israel stormed the city; Rahab, her father and mother, her brothers and sisters and all who belonged to her were saved. Her faith in God and her intercession made her and her loved ones heirs to the promise.
“He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?” -Romans 8:32
God’s desire is to Save. As Believers in Christ you are called to be Ministers and ministry begins first at home. May this word encourage you to continue your intercession for your friends and loved ones…In Jesus name. Amen
The Salvation Promise
“The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off- for all whom the Lord our God will call.” -Acts 2:39
“Restore us to Yourself Lord.” –Lamentations 5:21
The Lord’s Economy is nothing like our own. Let’s take a look at Job. Job lost his wealth, his livestock and sadly his children. Soon after, Job was afflicted with painful sores that ran from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet. There was no support, no peace, no joy; not even the pleasure of sweet sleep. What remained though was his faith in God and his righteousness.
Through Job’s afflictions, whom by the way is a shadow of Jesus, we come to intimately know God and His Restoration Plan. The Lord restored Job’s fortunes to him and gave him twice as much as he had before. His latter days were better than the former and he received long life to enjoy it all.
I know it saddens the Lord to see His children living life defeated. For it is written, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” If you or someone you know is living life defeated you are measuring your life against the world’s exchange rate not God’s. Look to the cross, Jesus gave you beauty for ashes. He became poor so that you may be rich. Jesus’ body was broken so that you may be made whole. Your life, past and sins may have robbed you of a lot but in Christ YOU are a new creation and you can expect “your fortunes” to be doubled to you. You can expect your life to be transformed. Expect God’s favor to go ahead of you and open doors that would normally be closed. Expect Salvation to come to your loved ones. Expect healing and victory in every battle, test and obstacle in your life because of who you are, a beloved child of God.
You can liken yourself to Job. I know what some of you are thinking, “Job was a righteous man, I’m not.” Friend, here’s a fun fact, it was God who called Job Righteous and You, who are in Christ, are the Righteousness of God in Christ. Like Job your righteousness was a gift. A gift given not because of your works and faithfulness but based on Jesus’ faithfulness and finished work on the cross. Whether you are experiencing the best of times or the worst (#TheWisdomofSolomon) You can expect that every promise the Holy Spirit has whispered to you in the valley or on the mountaintop is a “Yes” and “Amen” to you.
-He restores you to Himself. That’s our God’s Economy.