Hold Steady

Hold Steady By Pastor Kris BelfilsWhat do you do in times of trouble? When life’s storms come, do you get moved easily?

There are times in your life when everything you attempt to do will seem to go wrong. Your faith may be strong and your commitment deep, yet adversity will come knocking on your door. These are the times we need to “Hold Steady” and not waver.

The Apostle Paul experienced much hardship and trouble in his life. He even was a prisoner for many years. It amazes me his faith and “Hold Steady” attitude in spite of all that he went through.

2 Cor. 4:8 – 10 NLT
“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.”

This passage of scripture tells us that we will experience trouble, but we won’t be crushed. It tells us that we will be perplexed (full of difficulty or confusion or bewilderment – Dictionary), but won’t fall into despair. We might be hunted down by the enemy but we will never be abandoned by God. We might get knocked down, but never will it destroy us. All this is for God’s glory and for Him to be seen in us!

We will experience trouble in our life. If we were a ship the trouble would be the storm and the wind and waves trying to get us off course and shipwreck us.

Steady As She Goes

Have you ever heard the phrase: “Steady as she goes?“ It is an instruction from the captain to the helmsman of a ship, to keep the ship heading steadily on the same course regardless of gusts of wind or cross-currents. Anything to be navigated, or guided by hand, is a “she” in vernacular. You don’t want to bump into anything, or tip over, and if you are standing in or on it, you want to keep it steady so you do not lose your balance. This is what God is saying to us: “Steady as she goes!” It is a reminder to “Hold Steady” in spite of our fears, concerns, or even the facts we face from day to day.

What brings turbulence in our life? Maybe it is unexpected news of a health issue? Maybe your turbulence is experiencing financial or relational hardship. Have you been rejected lately? Turbulence comes in all forms and it always does the same thing; It rocks our world.

What is your reaction when your world is rocked? Do you cry? Get angry? Lash out to those you love? Speak a bad report from your mouth? Give up? We need to learn how to “Hold Steady” in our response to any storm we may face. You might say, “It is easier said then done Pastor Kris!” I understand that reaction but God wants us to mature and be stable even when our world is rocking.

So what do we do in times of trouble? I have come up with a few tools that have helped me to Hold Steady and I pray they encourage and help you too.

How to Hold Steady in Times of Trouble

1. Cry out to God!

Too often our first reaction when a hardship comes is to doubt any good will come from it. We tend to try and figure it out on our own. if only our first response would be to take it to God. Crying out to God for help is the best thing we can do. He is the One Who has all the answers. We only see what is in front of us. God sees the whole picture.

Psalm 77 NKJV
“I cried out to God with my voice – To God with my voice; And He gave ear to me. In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; My hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing; My soul refused to be comforted.”

Open up your heart and receive the comfort of the Lord as you cry out to Him. He sees and hears you. He won’t turn a deaf ear to you. No, He will run to you and bring comfort even in the middle of the storm.

I learned how to cry out to God the hard way. It was through many mistakes I made in my life and I was left with walking through the consequences. I hated where I was at. But I found the secret place of prayer that I would cry out to the Lord all my emotions, all my concerns and fears. I would tell Him how I felt and ask Him to help me get out of the mess I was in. God never got me out of my mess, but He did make beauty from it. It is in the walking through of hardship that we learn how to really trust the Lord.

Are there things in your life that you are trying to avoid? Maybe your trouble doesn’t have to do with anybody but you. Why do we tend to walk around the Elephant in our living Room? We walk around issues in our life that have tripped us up for years. You know you have issues when you deflect things off of yourself and onto others. Have you ever done that? Someone, in love, is trying to confront you and you don’t want to deal with it so you deflect it and turn it back on them or someone else. Of course it is never your fault, right? But this only makes things worse. It prevents you from being free from bondage that has kept you captive for years. It is time to cry out to God and release all of it and allow God to set you free once and for all. Then you can actually see a bigger picture of other people who need what you have: FREEDOM!

2. Trust God.

Trusting in God use to take courage in my past. I never really saw how trustworthy God was until He was all I had left. To be truthful, God allows us to get down to nothing so He becomes our everything. Take the whole world, but give me Jesus! Take all my longings, but give me Jesus. Take all my hopes and desires but give me Jesus!

Trust Jesus, and you are saved. Trust self, and you are lost.

― Charles H. Spurgeon

This is truth! When we trust ourselves for anything, especially the trouble times we may be facing, we will be disappointed. We can lead ourselves down a wrong path thinking we are absolutely right when we are 100% wrong. Why would God put in His Word verse after verse about trusting and leaning not on our own understanding? It is because we will always go to that “default” when trying to figure something out. Our knowledge is limited, but God’s wisdom is never ending.

Trusting God is faith. It is faith in action. It is believing God is a god of His Word and that He will never fail. We have to have faith to believe in God. It is the same thing when it comes to trusting Him. Allow your faith to arise and find a place of trust with God.

Proverbs 3:5 – 6 Amp
“Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.”

Trust is like a staff you can lean on as you journey uphill with God. If you are trusting in God consistently, the staff will bear as much of your weight as needed. Lean on, trust, and be confident in God with all your heart and mind. Don’t allow your reasoning to get in the way of God’s loving wisdom.

God asks us to trust Him even in deep darkness when He gives just enough light for the step you are on. Are you holding God’s hand? You should! That way you will never misstep. Learn how to trust God moment by moment. Don’t take your entire life at once. Just this moment, and then the next. Trying to imagine what will happen in a day, week, month, or year is futile. We know God will be there with us, but for today, we trust Him right now!

Be very present of God’s presence in your life. Stay in His presence. It is the best protection over self-pity and depression. God’s presence is Who He is. You can trust that!

Psalm 62:8 Amp
“Trust in, lean on, rely on, and have confidence in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is a refuge for us (a fortress and a high tower). Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!”

Put your confidence in God and not your abilities, your circumstances, or even your relationships.

Psalm 61:2 NKJV
“From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

When our hearts are overwhelmed we cry out to God and He will lead us to Him and help us in our trouble. There is no better plan then that.

Psalm 32:10 NLT
“Many sorrows come to the wicked, but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord.”

How many of you want love to surround you? Trust in the Lord and follow His ways. There is blessing in being obedient to God and His Word! Don’t be deceived and think you can do your own thing and still have God’s blessings. It doesn’t work that way. Disobedience brings curses, judgement, distraction, and death. It is not worth it. Trusting God means you obey His word and believe it. You believe Him. His heart is for you and not against you.

I have written extensively on trusting God in my book: “The Garbage Man Always Comes On Fridays” if you would like to do further study on this topic.

3. Pray

What comes to mind when you think of the word, “prayer?” I think for some, it might mean drudgery or a hassle. Others might think why do it, as it never works. Still others might be excited for the opportunity to spend time with God.

When we work, we work; but when we pray, God works!

It’s an honor to be able to speak to God. We don’t have to go through a priest or a saint or any other intermediary. We don’t have to follow any prescribed rituals. We don’t have to wait for an appointment. Anywhere, anytime, under any circumstances, we can “approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

“Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.”

― Oswald Chambers

Prayer is our key to unlock God’s resources and blessing. Instead of fretting over our circumstances, prayer allows us to take action. We pray and bring all our concerns, all the good and the bad to the God Who has all the answers for all our needs.

Matt 11:28-30 The Message
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me-watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

I love this paraphrase of these verses. It doesn’t matter where you are, or what you have done, you can come to God and get rest and recover from all that is going on in your life.

If I was to plug in a lamp in front of you and turn it on, it would light up the room. But if I had the lamp, and it wasn’t plugged into any power source, the lamp does not do what it was created to do: Shine! To me, prayer is my life-line, my constant connection with my power source. If we are not connected continually to God we will be weak and not work, and just like the lamp with no power, we will not function, nor will we shine for God’s glory.

We could spend much time on the subject of prayer, and in the future I will, but for now, realize it is an easy thing to pray and spend time with God. If you are down, prayer can help bring your focus where it should be: off your circumstances and onto a powerful God who loves you. He created the heavens, the planets, the universe, and He created you too! Connect to your power-source!

4. Praise

Praise is a weapon! It is a sustainer! Praising God in the midst of a storm can open doors and bring deliverance! Did you hear about the ten year old boy who was kidnapped this past week from his own driveway? He bent down to pick up some money and someone grabbed him and put him in the back seat of a car and took off. The boy started singing the song: Every Praise. His kidnapper told him to shut up and swore at him numerous times but Willie wouldn’t keep quiet, he kept on praising His God in the middle of his storm. For three hours his kidnapper drove around until finally he couldn’t take the praise any longer and opened the car door and threw him out and said to not tell anyone what happened. As of now they are still looking for his kidnapper. What a powerful story of how praise brought deliverance!

Song: Every Praise

Praise gets the attention off of our circumstance and onto our God! It seems such an opposite thing to do of praising instead of fretting, yet it is powerful. God always has a plan in the middle of our storm. Our faith, in the middle of the storm, is so important for our survival. We must believe God will rescue us and either change the situation, or change us.

Paul and Silas knew first hand what praise will do in times of trouble. They were on their way to the place of prayer and met a slave girl who was demon possessed and could foretell the future. She brought her owners much wealth by her fortunetelling. She kept following Paul and Silas shouting loudly, “These men are the servants of the Most High God! They announce to you the way of salvation” For many days she followed and shouted this to the point Paul said to the evil spirit within her to come out in the name of Jesus Christ and the spirit left her. Her owners were very angry and dragged Paul and Silas before the authorities in the marketplace and accused them of being Jews and throwing the city into great confusion and that they encourage the practice of customs unlawful for Romans to observe. A large crowd joined the attack and the rulers tore Paul and Silas’ clothes and commanded that they be beaten with rods and thrown into the deepest part of the prison.

Acts 16:25 – 26 Amp
“But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.”

Their praise and joy broke every chain off of them and set all the prisoners free! Amazing how praise is for God yet it benefits the participator to the point of deliverance! Do you see this? Praise opens doors, brings freedom, and what once held us captive no longer has a hold on us!

5. Embrace the trouble.

As with any woman who is pregnant with their first child, my body experienced many changes. I knew how my body was without being pregnant, frankly I enjoyed it. As I started to experience and see my body change, I grew to resent it. I felt like someone was taking over my body. I remember complaining to my mom about having morning sickness and feeling ill all the time. I would tell her my woes and she gently said to me, “Honey, allow your body to be pregnant and stop fighting it.” It really helped me to embrace all aspects of my pregnancy, where as before I would fight and complain about it. It made for a better pregnancy and I am sure my husband was relieved and benefitted from my new outlook too.

When we are starting to experience hardship don’t look at it as a bad thing. Change your perspective and see it differently.

Though your troubles may seem heavy and endless, they are actually light and momentary compared to the eternal Glory they are achieving for you! Trust God to open a door of hope in the middle of your trouble.

2 Cor. 4:17
“Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”

This is a timely word for any troubled heart. We will receive an eternal glory from any trouble we experience and that glory far outweighs any momentary trouble.

Sometimes God allows us to go through wilderness experiences to remove anything from our past that we are not to take with us. God calls us out of the world’s noise to commune with Him. Spiritual deserts become fertile soil for God’s work in the human spirit. Here is where God shapes, molds, and makes us. Often the desert or trouble is a place of solitude, suffering, and self-denial but it brings much growth. It is the pain required before true healing takes place.

Deep agape love can be developed only in the school of suffering. We need to get to the place that we are not afraid to suffer. Most people want to get to know Jesus in His resurrection, but it is in knowing Him in suffering that our flesh is overthrown! Suffering on the cross came before the resurrection. Without suffering there is no glory. As we experience trouble and turbulence we will experience our own forms of suffering body, soul, and spirit.

1 Peter 4:12 – 13 NKJV
“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.”

When God’s glory is revealed in you, that is the victory! When our flesh doesn’t win, we are victorious! I have said it before, but when our flesh wins, we lose. If your flesh screams, “I want out” and you obey it, the outcome of your actions will not ever be good. You might think you have won, but in reality you have lost so much in Jesus. We decrease so that He can increase in us. The more we do this, the more God can use us. It is hard for God to use rigid things, but very easy for God to use broken things.

Embrace the wilderness as a banqueting table, as a chamber where the Lord wants to speak with you. Embrace it with great faith and vigor. Embracing trouble is not getting what you want and still be okay with it. Can you still love God when He tells you, No? Can you worship Him in the middle of that NO? This is truly dying to self and loving God even if none of His blessings were promised to you. You might say, “Pastor Kris that seems so unfair!” Of course it is unfair. Who said life was fair anyhow? Probably someone who didn’t want to face himself and any issue that was keeping them in bondage. To be free you need to let go. Let go of your control. Let go of your will. Let go of what you want the outcome to be.

Let us be people who Hold Steady in the good times and the bad. Allow God to develop you into a ship that is steady and balanced in all seasons of life. Cry out to Him and trust that He will guide you moment by moment. Learn how to worship Him even when the answer He gives you is; NO! He is worthy!

From one “steady as she goes” vessel to another,

Pastor Kris Belfils
http://www.krisbelfils.com
http://www.hopefellowshipspokane.com
http://www.krisbelfils.wordpress.com

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Door of Deliverance

Door of Deliverance 2We celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. It is the very foundation of our Christian faith. God made a way for all mankind to be delivered from the wages of sin which the Bible tells us is death.

Romans 6:23 NLT

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”

I have devoted my life to tell people that Jesus is alive and that He loves them so much He died and took their place. God offers us a choice to be saved from hell and damnation. Even though we deserve the worse, God has given us His best so we are delivered and redeemed and set free from any power sin had on us. It is our choice to receive deliverance or not.

In this message I want to look at the “Door of Deliverance” God has placed before us, to step back and see how God delivered the Israelites from bondage as a foreshadowing of what Christ will do for us, and to see how it is the biggest and best door we could ever walk through. This is the last message on the “Doors” series. What a powerful ending of the open doors to look deeply at the Door of Deliverance God has provided each one of us.

What comes to your mind when you think of the word deliverance? I am sure it conjures up many thoughts.

Psalm 32:7 KJV

“Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah”

God is our hiding place. As a believer no matter what we are going through, no matter what we have done, we can hide in Him. Songs of deliverance is a powerful thought because this is exactly what God does for us as we hide in Him; He delivers us from our trouble. Remember last weeks message; Door of Hope? God places a door of hope in the middle of the Valley of Achor (trouble) [Hosea 2:15]. Right in the middle of our struggles God will open up a door of hope for you.

The word deliverance in this passage means “escape” [pallet (pal-late) Strongs Hebrew and Greek Definitions H6405] and when you bring that word back to the Hebrew primitive root it expands to mean; “out, that is, escape; causatively to deliver: carry away safe, deliver, (cause to) escape” (H6403).

We can escape death and an eternity in hell all by receiving what Christ did on the cross for us. That is first and foremost the biggest door of deliverance God has provided for each of us. I can’t think of any worse trouble then spending my eternal future burning in hell. Remember what the Bible says is true; there is a God, a heaven, a devil, and a fiery hell.

Looking at the word deliverance further:

Joel 2:32 KJV

“And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.”

The word delivered (malat) is a primitive root (H4422) and is translated; “to be smooth, to escape; to release or rescue, emit sparks, save speedily and surely.”

Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be delivered! This is a promise. We have a deliverer Who is ready and willing to come and rescue us and smoothly provide a way of escape from our troubles and bring us speedily and surely to a safe place. How many of you want to be safe? Me too! Turn to somebody and tell them “You are safe in Jesus!”

Luke 4:18 – 19 KJV

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”

Jesus read these words from the book of Isaiah in the Synagogue. All present marveled and looked intently at Him. It is what was prophesied in the Old Testament in Isaiah 61:1- 2. But when Jesus read this to the Chief Priests and Elders they didn’t like it. They kept the people in bondage by their rules and laws and rituals. How can this man be professing that the Spirit of the Lord is upon Him? This was the beginning of much hatred and rejection from the Religious rulers and eventually plotting to kill Jesus.

The word deliverance (aphesis pronounced af-es-is) in this passage of scripture gives an even better definition: “freedom, pardon, deliverance, forgiveness, liberty, remission (G649, from G863).

Jesus came to set the captives free from any enslavement. He wants us to walk in freedom because we have been forgiven of all the wrong we have done. Walking in freedom means to walk away from what held you captive. It means to walk in obedience to God and enjoy your life. You never go back to it again. Even our own fleshly, selfish desires can put us in prison and hold us captive, but once you have truly tasted freedom, you no longer want to go back to anything that put you into slavery in the first place.

You and I can be in bondage and not even realize it. Once we come out of slavery we realize how captive we really were. We can be entrapped by sin, un-forgiveness, bitterness,

haughty spirit, our past, or even our future if we allow it. God wants to deliver us all from that and much more today.

Jesus is our Passover Lamb of Deliverance

Did you know that the Passover is being celebrated right now with all Jewish communities. How is this important to this message? Looking at the Old Testament we can see an event that was extremely prophetic for our deliverance.

The Passover lamb was the animal God directed the Israelites to use as a sacrifice in Egypt on the night God struck down the firstborn sons of every household (Exodus 12:29). This was the final plague God issued against Pharaoh, and it led to Pharaoh releasing the Israelites from slavery (Exodus 11:1). After that fateful night, God instructed the Israelites to observe the Passover Feast as a lasting memorial (Exodus 12:14). How amazing they celebrated their deliverance even before they were delivered! 

God instructed every household of the Israelite people to select a year-old male lamb without defect (Exodus 12:5; cf. Leviticus 22:20-21). The head of the household was to slaughter the lamb at twilight, taking care that none of its bones were broken, and apply some of its blood to the tops and sides of the doorframe of the house. The lamb was to be roasted and eaten (Exodus 12:7-8). God also gave specific instructions as to how the Israelites were to eat the lamb, “with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand (Exodus 12:11; cf. Ephesians 6:14). In other words, they had to be ready to travel.

God said that when He saw the lamb’s blood on the doorframe of a house, He would “pass over” that home and not permit “the destroyer” (Exodus 12:23) to enter. Any home without the blood of the lamb would have their firstborn son struck down that night (Exodus 12: 12-13).

Exodus 12:13 NKJV

“…And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.”

When I see the blood… When God saw the blood on the doors He didn’t kill the first born. Those who obeyed God were saved. Not only were they saved but this very act made for their freedom from slavery. They were set free from Pharaoh and Egypt to pursue the promise land.

This is what Christ did for us. The Bible tells us that Jesus is our passover lamb.

1 Cor. 5:7 NKJV

“Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.”

The Israelites were to find a lamb with no blemishes. No one else could have ever fulfilled being the Passover Lamb except Jesus Christ.

John the Baptist proclaimed who Jesus was stating He was the Lamb of God.

John 1:29 NKJV

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

Jesus was crucified when the passover was observed. The ultimate Lamb was sacrificed for you and me to take away every sin, every wrong we have done, and took our place. He was like a lamb being led to the slaughter and didn’t speak a word (Matt. 27:14).

If it was me I would be telling everyone my innocence so I wouldn’t be killed. But Jesus remained silent. He remained silent for you and I. He knew why He came to earth. He fulfilled His assignment His Father gave Him. Touch someone and say, “He took, my place!”

Power in the blood

There is power in the Blood of Christ. Christ shed blood is the act of dying that leads to our redemption. Most of the time seeing blood makes you think of death, but in this powerful case it means LIFE!

Jesus is our Passover Lamb. Christ’s blood was spilt and applied for our salvation.

20 Things the Blood of Jesus Does*

1.      It remits sins (Matt. 26:28).

2.      It gives life to those who consume it (John 6:53).

3.      It causes us to dwell in Christ and He in us (John 6:56).

4.      It is the means by which Jesus purchased the church (Acts 20:28).

5.      It is the means by which Jesus becomes our atonement through faith (Rom. 3:25).

6.      It justifies us and saves us from wrath (Rom. 5:9).

7.      It redeems us (Eph. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; Rev. 5:9).

8.      It brings those who were far away from God near to Him (Eph. 2:13).

9.      It grants us the forgiveness of sins (Col. 1:14).

10.    It brings peace and reconciliation to God (Col. 1:20).

11.    It has obtained eternal redemption for us (Heb. 9:12).

12.    It cleanses our conscience from dead works to serve the living God (Heb. 9:14).

13.    It is the means by which we enter the most holy place with boldness (Heb. 10:19).

14.    It speaks a better word than the blood of Abel (Heb. 12:24, NIV).

15.    It sanctifies us (Heb. 13:12).

16.    It makes us complete for every good work (Heb. 13:20-21, NKJV).

17.    It cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7).

18.    It bears witness in the earth along with the Spirit and the water (1 John 5:8, KJV).

19.    It is the means by which Jesus washes us (Rev. 1:5; 7:14).

20.    It is the means by which we overcome the accuser of the brethren (Rev. 12:11).

The amazing news is that Jesus didn’t stay dead! No, He rose from the dead and sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for you and I. We all need a Passover Lamb! He is our Door of Deliverance. Jesus took the keys of hell and death so that we might not die but live and spend eternity with Him.

Who needs a passover? We all do! We have “do-overs” but this is far greater then any do-over. We have a God who passes over our mess, mistakes, sins, wrong-doings, and washes us all clean and white as snow through His Son, Jesus Christ. This was Jehovah’s plan from the beginning of time. One can not argue over all the facts of how Jesus was our Passover Lamb. What about you? Have you asked Jesus to be your Passover Lamb yet? Don’t hesitate. Today is the day for your salvation, your deliverance as you walk through that open door God has provided for you.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, I realize You did come to save me from all the wrong I have done. You truly are the Son of God to take away my sins. I ask you to be Lord of my life and forgive me of it all. Thank you for being my Passover Lamb. Thank you for choosing to go to the cross in my place. You paid it all and I owe you everything. From this day forward I will follow You all the days of my life. I want all of You so I give You all of me. I am free as I walk through Your Door of Deliverance today, Amen!

I rejoice in the Lord for the transformation in your heart today!

Your sister in Christ,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.KrisBelfils.com

www.HopeFellowshipSpokane.com

www.KrisBelfils.WordPress.com

 

 

*(http://frankviola.org/2012/03/01/thebloodofjesus/)

Door of Hope

Door of HopeThis year, 2014, is a year of open doors. People need hope. I believe we will walk into those low places with people who need Jesus, offering them the entrance to the door of hope whose name is Jesus Christ. As a Christian, we have the answer to all the world’s problems and we should be sharing it to all we meet.

Joel 3:14 

“Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.”

There will be multitudes who need hope. They will make a decision to come to Christ and live passionately for Him.

I had a dream this past week. In the dream I was at a Presbyterian church in Spokane. First off, I am not Presbyterian and haven’t attended their churches or know their pastors. At this church one of the Leaders came up to me and offered for our church to use their facility and that they would like to give all their property to Hope Fellowship. I was amazed and blessed. They showed me their entire campus of buildings. In the main building there were sleeping quarters and my family and I spent the night from Saturday to Sunday. When we woke up on Sunday morning, I heard people and saw people coming in for Sunday School. I shouted for everyone to lock their sleeping quarters as I went to a side door where everyone was coming in. I looked outside and multitudes were coming into the building for Sunday School. It was snowing very hard outside. I quickly went to the Adult Sunday School class and realized there wasn’t enough room or chairs to accommodate such a  large crowd. Then, after Sunday School, more people, by the multitude came into the Cathedral ceiling sanctuary. There was people everywhere. I asked where the pulpit was and it was in the middle of this huge rectangle size cathedral room. People sat all around the four walls. The Presbyterian leaders asked me to come to the pulpit and the crowd cheered. They stated; “We are handing over the keys and the microphone to you. This is all yours!” The crowd cheered. As I spoke my voice would cut out, but the crowd didn’t care, they were all just happy to be there and excited at this new beginning! I woke up shortly after that.

This dream has stayed in my spirit ever since I dreamt it. It brought me hope and joy. All I could see in this dream were open doors and people running in with high expectations of HOPE. I believe this is a prophetic dream of the world today. As much as there will be a great turning away, there will be a great harvest. Be alert and don’t be one who is lead astray by your own desires. Be one who helps bring in the harvest for God’s glory to build His Kingdom. Help people come to the open door of hope.

Today, people have put their hope in so many things and all of them have failed them. They are looking for the real deal. They want to see genuine people expressing living hope. They are attracted to that.

What Jesus did on the cross is everything. He died so that we might live. But He didn’t stay in the grave, No, He is risen. He is alive! It gives us hope for tomorrow.

Hope is the sustainer of life. It’s the motivator to action. It’s the promise of tomorrow. What each one of us needs more of is hope. What our country and world needs is hope.

What is hope? Often we use the word hope as a form of wish. “I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow.” “I hope the Seahawks or Bulldogs win their next game.” However, hope in the Bible, has quite a different meaning.

Hope in the Bible is a “confident expectation of a divinely provided future.”

Biblical hope is a confidence and expectation that God has provided for a good future for you. This morning God wants to fill every person here with hope that God has a great future planned for you.

The opposite of hope is despair or hopelessness. We see examples of despair and hopelessness all around us.

”Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

I would like to add to this quote;

“Despair cannot drive out despair: only HOPE can do that.” 

Pastor Kris Belfils 

How many times do we try to drive out our own despair with more despair? This will never bring encouragement.

The word despair means: “A state in which all hope is lost or absent, The feeling that everything is wrong and nothing will turn out well, abandon hope; give up hope; lose heart. Other terms:  Discouragement, disheartenment, dismay, hopelessness, pessimism, resignation, surrender.”

This happens to many people everyday. When a tragedy occurs or our expectations have not been met, we can fall into despair easily. We can fall into despair just by thinking wrong thoughts about our self and others.

There are really only two things you can have in life: 

1. Despair

2. Hope

Hope in the dictionary means: “A general feeling that some desire will be fulfilled, grounds for feeling hopeful about the future, Someone, or something on which expectations are centered.”

Having hope is so essential to surviving in life. If we lose hope, we have lost the race.

Despair and hopelessness drives people to harm themselves or others in many ways. Hopelessness leads people to try to escape life’s despair through different kinds of addictions. Despair about your future saps the joy from life.

This is what the world is experiencing today. They have no hope. Some tried to put their hope in the Government or financial institutes, some in their education, some in what they buy or wear. All these things will leave you hopeless.

Psalms 42:11

“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.”

This verse is telling us to put our hope in God and to praise Him for saving us from our trouble.

What are you thinking? Are you thinking despairing thoughts? Then you will be filled with despair! Despair and discouragement are dead end roads. They lead to no where!They don’t get anything done.

Discouragement leads to despair, despair leads to feelings of anxiety and hopelessness, hopelessness leads to depression and suicidal thoughts, and suicidal thoughts leads down a path of total darkness.

If you are feeling despair, don’t jump to Satan’s illusions. Remind yourself that you are valuable and God has a plan for your life. Tell yourself that your current condition is not permanent. It will pass. Tell yourself you can stand in the midst of all the bad. Also distinguish the difference of something that is truth about you or your situation, or just a lie or illusion the enemy is trying to sabotage you with.

In the natural, darkness always makes us scared, but sunshine and light make us feel safe and happy. The doom and gloom go away instantly when light is put on the subject.

Light is the only thing that can drive out darkness. We sometimes wallow in self-pity or focus on the negative, thinking you will feel better, and the dark cloud will lift. This will never happen. Darkness cannot drive out darkness, and despair cannot drive out despair.

We have to guard against darkness in our hearts and minds. The best way is to focus on, and bring in the light.

Psalm 36:9 (NKJV)

“For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.”

John 12:46 (NKJV)

“I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.”

1 Thess 5:5 (NKJV)

“You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.”

John 1:5 (NKJV)

“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”

Isaiah 60:1

“Arise, shine; For your light has come! and the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; But the LORD will arise over you, and His glory will will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.”

We have to set our minds on new things, and what God is capable of doing. We have to turn our thoughts from the bad and purposely set our thoughts on the good.

Jesus said this about our light:

Matthew 5:14 – 16 (NKJV)

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Now let us take a look at Psalm 146 and see what the LORD is doing in our lives, which brings us much hope:

Psalm 146 (NKJV)

“PRAISE the LORD! (Hallelujah) Praise the LORD, O my soul! While I live I will praise the LORD; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being. Do not put your trust (hope) in princes, Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help. His spirt departs, he returns to his earth; In that very day his plans perish. Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in the LORD his God, Who made heaven and earth, The sea, and all that is in them; Who keeps truth forever, Who executes justice for the oppressed, Who gives food to the hungry. The LORD gives freedom to the prisoners. The LORD opens the eyes of the blind; The LORD raises those who are bowed down; The LORD loves the righteous. The LORD watches over the strangers; He relieves the fatherless and widow; But the way of the wicked He turns upside down. The LORD shall reign forever – Your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the LORD!

To overcome Hopelessness we need to remind ourself who the LORD is in our life:

(Based on Psalm 146)

Praise the LORD! (Ps. 146:1 – 2)

Do not put your hope in princes or in man as they will perish (146:3 – 4)

Put your hope in the LORD – it will make you happy (Ps. 146:5)

The LORD made the heaven and the earth, the sea and all that is in them (Ps. 146:6)

The LORD is the keeper of truth forever (Ps. 146:6)

The LORD executes justice for the oppressed (146:7)

The LORD gives food to the hungry (146:7)

The LORD gives freedom to the prisoners (146:7)

The LORD watches over the strangers (146:8)

The LORD opens the eyes of the blind (146:8)

The LORD raises those who are bowed down (146:8)

The LORD loves the righteous (146:8)

The LORD watches over the strangers (146:9)

The LORD relieves the fatherless and widow (146:9)

The LORD turns the way of the wicked upside down (146:9)

The LORD shall reign forever, to all generations (146:10)

Psalm 27:14  (God’s Word)

“Wait with hope for the LORD. Be strong, and let your heart be courageous.

Yes, wait with hope for the LORD.”

We have to wait with hope for God. We have to be courageous and strong in our waiting. The word; “wait” was a bad four letter word to me. I hated waiting. Waiting made me feel I did something wrong. It made me feel I wasn’t ready. But, this is not why we have to wait at times. Waiting helps us to mature in Christ. Waiting burns out the impatience in us. Waiting is better then rushing into something without God’s wisdom and direction.

Human nature gives up easily when we pray and don’t see our prayers answered. We pray once, and no answer, so we give up, or think it is not God’s will. We have to be persistent in our prayers and in faith. God is looking for people who have their hope in Him and don’t give up when they don’t see an answer to their prayer.

A great example of praying and not giving up is Elijah. I am sure Elijah waited with hope as he prayed to God for rain to come.

Read 1 Kings 18:41 – 46

Elijah could have given up after the first time praying for rain and then sending his servant to go up mount Carmel to see if any clouds were forming. Elijah’s hope was in God and he believed God would come through. Again and again Elijah prayed without any answer to his prayer. He pressed in and continued to pray.

Elijah persevered and kept praying and believing God would come through. He was relentless! He didn’t stop praying until God gave him a sign. It was in a form of a cloud the size of a man’s hand. It was all he needed to move on in his life. God gives little clouds to spark hope in our hearts that He is working and bringing the answer.

We can learn from this great man of God. We too need to keep praying without giving up. We too need to believe God will answer in spite of our circumstances or what we see or don’t see happening.

The hope is knowing God is faithful! What He did before He will do again. He used men and women in the Bible to bring about His agenda and His Kingdom. He wants to use us too.

Hebrews 11:1

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

Faith in action requires a time of waiting. The word “Hope” is interchanged with the word wait in the Bible. HOPE: Is the place between praying and answered prayer!

It can seem like God didn’t hear us or holds his answer from us.

Where can we get the hope that we need in life? …….Our hope comes from Jesus.

Matthew 12:21 (NIV)

“In his name the nations will put their hope.”

Some people put their hope in wrong things and they are disappointed. But everyone who puts their hope in Jesus will never be disappointed.

Hope for the multitudes to give them a door of hope in trying times is our heart here at Hope Fellowship!

Hope is the only thing that stands against fear. Having hope propels you to keep trying in the middle of your fears. This is the action or active part of hope. Hope helps us to stay focused. If we don’t have hope, we will fall into our fears and doubts and give up.

Let Hope arise in you today! The Hope of Jesus Christ is powerful. No one can take that away from you. Hope sustains you. Hope keeps you.

You might be living in a hard situation right now. It might seem hopeless, but remind yourself Who is living inside of you! Jesus, the conqueror of death! Jesus, the giver of new life and new beginnings!

Door of Hope

Hosea 2:15

“I will give her her vineyards from there, and the Valley of Achor as a door of hope; She shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.” 

This verse is for all who are facing trouble right now, be it financial trouble, family trouble, physical trouble. I don’t care what trouble you have, maybe emotional trouble? God will give you hope in the middle of your troubles.

“Her” is basically Israel, but can refer to all of us as God’s people today. “I will give her…” we are the bride of Christ! We are so blessed. We can be called “him” and “her;” the bride of Christ.

“I will give her her vineyards from there, and the Valley of Achor as a door of hope; she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.”

What a wonderful prophecy. Now, see the words, “door of hope?” In Hebrew; Pethach tiqvah. There is a Jewish Anthem entitled; “The Hope.” HATIKVAH it is sung to remember that as long as deep in the heart a Jewish soul yearns and looks to Zion our hope will not be lost.

Hope doesn’t mean; “I hope things will happen.” No, hope means it will happen. What you dream and believe in God will happen. God will meet the desires of your heart. God says, “Have hope!” Man says, “Don’t raise your hope.” God says, “Raise your hopes as high as the throne of God, hallelujah! Amen!” You have a God. Those other people who say, “Don’t raise your hope.” They don’t have a god. You have a God of grace, of goodness, of mercy!

Do you know where He puts this door of hope? Do you know where to find the door of hope? God says there’s no temptation, no testings, no trials that has come on you that God will not give you the strength, and will find the way of escape. There is a door in every test! There is a door. Where do you find this door of hope? In the Valley of Achor! What is the Valley of Achor? Listen this is a word for all of you!

The word Achor means: trouble in Hebrew (Strongs Hebrew and Greek Dictionary).

It means trouble! Wow, in your valley of trouble. When you are in trouble you don’t feel like you are on the mountain, no you are in the valley. You may say, “Pastor Kris I have all these bills looming. I feel crushed.” God says, “In your valley of trouble I will open to you a door of hope!” “Pastor Kris, you don’t understand. The Doctors have given me some bad news.” You are going through a valley now and God is going to put the door of hope before you. And every time you open this door you step into life more abundantly (John 10:10). You will find pasture. God puts a door there.

Listen, don’t open other doors that man tries to put there. The Door is Jesus. When you open the Door you will find life, and life more abundantly!

So what trouble are you going through right now? God is putting right now, in your valley, a Door of hope. His name is Jesus, and what do you do with a door? Open it. Jesus says, “I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear my voice and opens the door, I will come in.” Once He comes in your sickness goes out! Once He comes in your lack goes out! Once He comes in, peace in the house. And by the way people forget that Jesus says, “I knock at the door” in Revelation 3:20. It is not written for sinners. It is written for the church. Okay, but He invites you to open the door. He will not break down the door. The door of grace has only one knob and it is not out side, the knob is inside. Jesus can only knock, you have to open the door and say, “Lord Jesus, come into my trouble, come into my mess. Lord, I don’t know what to do, my hands are off.” Then Jesus will say, “Come you will find pasture and life more abundant has come.”

Zacheous opened his door and said, “Come in,” and Jesus said, “Salvation has come to this house!” Hallelujah! Amen! Let’s do that right now!

Your Pastor,

Kris Belfils

www.krisbelfils.com

www.hopefellowshipspokane.com

www.krisbelfils.wordpress.com