Unlocking the Power of God’s Promises

Unlocking the Power of God’s Promises

Unlocking the Power of God Promises WPGod promises you and I many things, and unlike people who promise and renege (go back on a promise), God never will. He always fulfills what He promises.

God’s promises are seeds of faith, hope, and love. They are not given as options to enhance our lives occasionally, but as means that God can use to change our lives permanently. They are bridges that take us from the bondage of our old life to the freedom of our new life in Christ. They transport us from despair to hope.

2 Peter 1:3 – 4 NLT
As we know Jesus better, his divine power gives us everything we need for living and godly life. He has called us to receive his own glory and goodness! And by that same mighty power, he has given us all of his rich and wonderful promises. []He has promised that you will escape the decadence all around you caused by evil desires and that you will share in his divine nature.

When we fill our mind with the promises of God, God fills our lives with what we need. The promises empower us to overcome the doubts that erode our confidence. They open our eyes to the power and possibilities in Christ. They show us a new way to respond to life’s challenges and heartaches. They are God’s guides to our spiritual growth and vitality.  As you study these promises, here are four specific ways that they will encourage and strengthen you.

4 Ways God’s Promises encourage and strengthen you

1. God’s promises remind you of God’s love for you.

One of our greatest hindrances in times of trouble is our doubt that God is interested in our situation. Deep down, most of us assume that God doesn’t really care about our “little” problems because he is preoccupied with “bigger” things. But Jesus teaches us quite the opposite.

Luke 12:6 – 7 NLT
What is the price of five sparrows? A couple of pennies? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid’ you are more valuable to him than a whole flock of sparrows.

2. Let God’s promises enlarge your vision of what God can do.

When we take our eyes off of God, everything else is magnified. When we magnify God, everything else assumes its proper proportion. God’s promises are like corrective lenses, bringing our circumstances back into proper focus. They help us see life from an eternal perspective.

Romans 8:35, 38 – 39 NLT
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death? … I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The Angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. When ever we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

If we live our lives claiming God’s promises, nothing that life throws our way can come between us and God. Nothing can get in God’s way. Difficult circumstances are often when God reveals his infinite love and care for us most powerfully.

Psalm 138:8 The Passion Translation
“You keep every promise you’ve ever made to me!
Since Your love for me is so constant and endless,
I ask You, Lord, to finish every good thing
that You’ve begun in me!”

3. Let God’s promises overcome the power of discouragement and pessimism.

God’s promises break the spell that holds us in bondage to the lies, distortions, and deceptions of the devil. Many of us have a tendency to expect the worst. We assume that bad things will happen and brace ourselves for disaster.

We lose perspective because we look at our situation in the light (or the dimness) of human limitations and obstacles. But when the power of one of God’s promises breaks in, it’s like someone has turned on a bright light. We snap out of it and realize we have forgotten the most important factor in any situation: the God factor. As Paul says…

Ephesians 3:20 NLT
Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.

4. Let God’s promises show you new ways to respond in faith.

When we are stressed, we tend to lose our sight of the many possible responses to our situation. God’s promises expand our repertoire by reminding us that we can respond differently because of who we are and what we have in Christ. When we hear Paul say from prison,

Philippians 4:13 NLT
I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.

We realize that our joy is based on our trust in God’s power, not our outward circumstances. God’s promises remind us that God works in ways we cannot imagine. We read in …

Leviticus 26:8 NLT
Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand! All your enemies will fall beneath the blows of your weapons.

A similar promise is found…

Joshua 23:10 NLT
Each one of you will put to flight a thousand of the enemy, for the Lord your God fights for you, just as he promised.

The Israelites watched God destroy the armies of Pharaoh without their having to lift a finger.

God used David to overcome Goliath with a single smooth stone. God enabled Gideon’s three hundred soldiers to defeat the armies of Midian, and the Lord used one hundred and twenty disciples to establish the church in Acts.

The power of God working through his promises enables us to attempt the unthinkable, to endure the unbearable, and even to forgive the unforgivable.

The power of the promises is rooted in the character of God and the power of his word. When we plant the seeds of the promises in our heart, they will bear fruit that will nourish us through life’s toughest time. As the Lord promises in …

Isaiah 55:10 – 11 NLT
The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my words. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.

Trust God’s Promises

Let’s look at some promises on trusting God. This really is the beginning or foundation of standing on God’s promises. If we don’t trust God, we won’t believe His promises. If we don’t trust God, His Word will mean nothing to us.

2 Samuel 22:31 – 33 Amplified Bible
As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried. He is a Shield to me because I trust and take refuge in Him. For who is God but the Lord? And who is a Rock except our God? God is my strong Fortress; He guides the blameless in His way and sets me free!

God’s ways are perfect. His Word has been tried and is true. He is a Shield to us and we can trust Him, take refuge in Him, and depend on Him. There is no one, nothing like our God. He is immovable and a place to hide in times of trouble. We are blameless because of His Son, and we are set free from sin, depression, distress, and so much more all because we trust in the Lord and stand on His promises.

Psalm 2:2 Amplified Bible
I am blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) because I seek refuge and put my trust in the Lord.

We are blessed when we trust the Lord. It brings us peace and assurance that we don’t have to try and figure things out, but that we can rely on the Lord to help us in any situation.

Psalm 18:2 – 3 Amplified Bible
The Lord is my Rock, my Fortress, and my Deliverer; my God, my keen and firm Strength in Whom I trust and take refuge, my Shield, and the Horn of my salvation, my High Tower. I call upon the Lord, Who is to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies.

There is always a result for our trusting in God and His word. In this case, God promises to be Lord, a Rock, a Fortress, A Deliverer, Strength, Refuge, Shield, Horn (projection) of salvation, a High and strong tower where the righteous can run to and are safe. We shall be saved from our enemies when we trust in the Lord for protection. All of these are promises for trusting in God.

Psalm 20:7 Amplified Bible
Some trust in Chariots, and some in horses’ but I remember (trust) the name of the Lord my God.

People have false security in so many things; Jobs, money, relationships, cars, their home, their education, how thing think, their own abilities, and so much more. If we replaced the words Chariots and horses, with some of the things I just mentioned, it would read like this:

“Some trust in jobs or money, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” “Some trust in education and their own abilities, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”

What this verse is saying is that anything earthly that you trust in can and will fail, but the name of the Lord will never fail us. Relationships will fade, homes can get burned up, education doesn’t promise you a job or income, cars, or our own abilities will fail us, but God will never fail. He is trustworthy.

Psalm 31:14 – 15 Amplified Bible
I trust in, rely on, and am confident in You, O Lord; I say, You are my God. My times are in Your hands.

God is the one who created us. He knows our beginning and our end on this earth. Our times are truly in His hands. We can be confident that He has our best interest at heart. Who else to trust in then our Creator and sustainer. It is a win – win situation. God wants us to trust and rely on Him, and in turn He takes care of us.

Psalm 56:3 – 4 Amplified Bible
When I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?

There is something more important then life on earth; Eternal life in Heaven. Because of this, if man steals from us, tortures us, belittles us, ignores us, it doesn’t matter, they can NEVER take God away from us, no matter how hard they try or threat. People can take our cars, our homes, and even our friendships on earth, but they can NEVER take our relationship with God from us. That is why Christians have been targeted all over the world. We have something that no one can take away. We have a promise from the ultimate Promise Giver that brings life and freedom in the face of turmoil. It is something the world doesn’t understand until they make the same decision we have; Accept Christ as their Lord and Savior and live for Him on this earth. Giving God control brings FREEDOM!

Proverbs 3:5 – 8 Amplified Bible
I lean on, trust in, and am, confident in the Lord with all my heart and mind and I do not rely on my own insight or understanding. In all my ways I know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He directs and makes straight and plain my paths. I am not wise in my own eyes; I reverently fear and worship the Lord and turn [entirely] away from evil. It shall be health to my nerves and sinews, and marrow and moistening to my bones.

These are my favorite verses in the Bible. I have lived by them all my Christian life. Don’t lean on and rely on anything or anyone else but the Lord. Put your whole heart, mind, and passions into it. Trust God’s wisdom. Don’t rely on your own understanding or insight. Whatever we do, wherever we go, God is with you, so keep Him first and foremost in your thoughts and life. Don’t get haughty and think you know everything, because you don’t. Fear and worship the Lord and turn away from anything evil. Turn away from anything that doesn’t please the Lord, anything that goes contrary to His Word.

Proverbs 29:25 Amplified Bible
The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever leans on, trusts in, and puts his confidence in the Lord is safe and set on high.

Amen, Amen, Amen! Don’t fall in the trap of being afraid of people. Don’t get snared in trying to win their approval. Who is man that we want them to approve of us anyway? God is the only one we should desire for His approval. Put your confidence in God and He will set you on high. He will lift you up. He will even prepare a table before you in the presence of your enemies (Psalm 23). That is the God we love and serve. Man will let you down. People will disprove of you. It is okay, because you have God’s approval. Nothing else matters.

Nahum 1:7 Amplified Bible
The Lord is good, a Strength and Stronghold in the day of trouble; He knows (recognizes, has knowledge of, and understands) those who take refuge and trust in Him.

The Lord is good! He is strong and Who we can cling to in trouble. He knows everything about us, and understands us even when others don’t. We can take refuge and trust in Him always.

Hebrews 2:13 Amplified Bible
My trust and assured reliance and confident hope is fixed in Him.

Fix your hope, your confidence on the Lord. He is the best foundation to stand on. All other ground is sinking sand. God will never put you to shame for trusting in Him… Never! His name is at stake.

Psalm 25:3 NLT
No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced (put to shame), but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others.

Psalm 25:3 GNT
Defeat does not come to those who trust in you, but to those who are quick to rebel against you.

There is no better life than a life following God. It is so fulfilling, so joyful, so reassuring, and everlasting. The promises of God have so much power in them.

We need to search God’s word and allow the rich and wonderful promises water our faith, refresh our soul, and lead us into the life Christ made possible for each one of us today.

Your sister in Christ,

Pastor Kris Belfils
www.KrisBelfils.com
www.HopeFellowshipSpokane.com
www.KrisBelfils.WordPress.com

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The Kingdom of Heaven Parables

The Kingdom of Heaven Parables

Parables; The Kingdom of HeavenWe have been looking at the Parables of Jesus. Today I want to look at those that pertain to the Kingdom of Heaven.

What do we know about God’s Kingdom? The Kingdom of God in heaven, and the Kingdom of God on earth? We can learn a lot by looking at these parables and understand the description Jesus gave. What did Jesus say about the Kingdom of God? Is it pomp and circumstance? Is it only for the rich? Is it only for the perfect people? The most important thing we need to know about the Kingdom of God is how to get there, but today I want to share with you what Jesus taught.

Jesus used common scenes from everyday life to teach new truths about the Kingdom of God. The amazing thing is that we can experience these truths here on earth to prepare us for that glorious day when Jesus comes to take His own to Heaven with Him. I am looking forward to that glorious day, are you?

Let’s begin in Matthew 13 and also one is found in Mark 4. In these parables Jesus would start with the saying, “The Kingdom of God is…” or “The Kingdom of Heaven is…” and then He would tell a story.

1. The Parable of the the Wheat and Tares

We looked at this parable earlier. It is the first of seven parables concerning the Kingdom of Heaven.

Matthew 13:24 – 30 NKJV

Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

Then Jesus explained the parable…

Matthew 13: 36 – 43 NKJV

Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.” He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

God has sown seeds in the soil of our hearts. What type of soil are you? We need to always have soil that receives the truth from the Word of God. This is Kingdom mindedness!  We have to remember that growth starts small and in time, the seeds will mature into a strong, healthy plant.

Jesus wants us to be this kind of person. Seeds don’t have a choice as to what kind of soil they fall on, but we have a choice as to what kind of soil we will be for the seed. We can choose to respond to the gospel. When trials come, we can choose to stick with the gospel, or to fall away. When life gets boring or worrisome, we can choose whether to bear fruit for the kingdom. That’s the kind of message Jesus gives us.

I believe there are wheat and tares in this world and in every church. So many issues in this world where the wrong is right and the right is wrong. Homosexuality and transgenderism, marijuana legalized, hatred, self-absorption and so much more are infiltrating our lives and the church. Either we believe the Bible or we don’t, there is no in between. Are you wheat or a tare? We can’t be suede by the world. We have to stand and believe the Word of God as the only truth, if not we are a tare and will be burned up at harvest time.

2. The Parable of the Growing Seed

Mark 4:26 – 29 NKJV

And He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

This story is all about growth. The seed sown into the good and honest heart brings forth fruit with patience; and this fruit daily increases, even though we know not how the Word and Spirit work that brings the increase; and then Christ the husbandman, at the time of the harvest, gathers in this good seed into the kingdom of heaven. Again, let us be the good soil and grow and yield to Christ. We should always be growing in Christ. If you are not, ask God why and He will show you. You might be neglecting your relationship with Him, you might be feeding yourself with other things instead of God. There will be a harvest, a gathering of the wheat to be stored in barns, or heaven. Allow yourself to grow in Christ and be a part of this harvest.

3. The Parable of the Mustard Seed

Matthew 13:31 – 32 NKJV

Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”

Here Jesus described the kingdom not just as a seed, but as the smallest seed. Jesus is not describing a kingdom that arrives in a blaze of glory—he is describing a kingdom that begins very small. This is not what the Jews expected, but this is the kingdom that Jesus said was near. The kingdom is a story about gradual growth.

This is a story of not despising small beginnings. It is a story about faith in God to bring the growth! It also is a story of growing your fire or zeal for the Lord.

Mustard Seed:  Thayer Definition:  mustard, the name of a plant which in oriental countries grows from a very small seed and attains to the height of a tree, 10 feet (3 m) and more; hence a very small quantity of a thing is likened to a mustard seed, and also a thing which grows to a remarkable size.

What can a small mustard seed accomplish? It seems too small to have any worth or value. But, a mustard seed is very fiery in smell and taste. When you plant it, it grows into a huge tree full of more fiery small seeds. This is an example of our faith and growth and what we can accomplish when we are on fire for God and spreading the good news to others. More and more people come to know God and are set ablaze for Him all by one person stepping out of their comfort zone.

4. The Parable of the Leaven

Matthew 13:33 NKJV

Another parable He spoke to them: “The Kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.”

When yeast is first mixed into bread dough, it is not very noticeable, but a small amount eventually produces a large result. The kingdom begins small and inconspicuous, but it grows large. In the parable of the wheat, it also produces a crop for harvest.

The small beginning of the kingdom would have surprised Jesus’ listeners. They were hoping that a Messiah would lead the Jewish people to a great victory over the Romans. They were hoping to become an independent nation, with the power of David’s kingdom and the wealth of Solomon’s. But Jesus was announcing that the kingdom must begin in a very small way.

These parables describe a long, slow growth process for the kingdom. The kingdom of God is not just a seed, and it is not just a fully grown plant. It is the entire story—something small that grows into something large.

You might think you are very small or inconspicuous. What can you accomplish? God sees you differently. He sees your potential and you and Him together will accomplish much. Allow the seed to grow, or the yeast to enlarge the dough. Be ready for a big harvest because it is coming!

5. The Parable of the Hidden Treasure

Matthew 13:44 NKJV

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

This is a powerful story because the man went to great lengths to obtain and keep the hidden treasure he found. It cost him all that he had. He realized what he had was nothing compared to the hidden treasure he found.

This is a parable of the hidden treasure we find in Jesus and the Kingdom of God. To others, they only see a barren field when it comes to knowing God, but to those who have found this hidden treasure, it means everything.

Psalm 119:72 GW

The teachings that come from your mouth are worth more to me than thousands in gold or silver.

Matthew 6:20 NKJV

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

Luke 12:33 NKJV

Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys.

Nothing compares to the treasure we have in Jesus, and eternal life, the incorruptible inheritance, riches of glory, treasure in heaven; Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, and all the riches of grace and glory; even more so the Gospel, which is a treasure consisting of rich truths, comparable to gold, silver, and precious stones; of the most valuable blessings, and of exceeding great, and precious promises; and reveals the riches of God, of Christ, and of the other world; and is a treasure unsearchable, solid, satisfying, and lasting: this is said to hide in a field. (John Gill’s Expository of the Whole Gospel)

6. The Parable of the Pearl of Great Price.

Matthew 13:45 – 46 NKJV

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.

A pearl is a result of an injury suffered by a living organism, such as an oyster. It could be a grain of sand or parasite intruder. Out of much suffering, an object of beauty is produced. The offending particle becomes a pearl of great worth.

We can see the pearl can represent a few things. First, it represents Christ, who came and offended many and suffered much for our sake. He is a pearl of great price and we should go to great lengths to seek and find Him.

Second, the pearl can be you and I. We have experienced much suffering and pain in this life. But God can make beauty from ashes, and joy for mourning. When we allow Christ to be Lord of our life, He makes what was ugly and worthless, beautiful from glory to glory just like a pearl is formed layer upon layer of nacre, also known as mother-of-pearl, coat the grain of sand until the iridescent gem is formed. Cultured pearls are made in the same way. The only difference is that instead of accidental circumstances, a “pearl farmer” embeds a grain of sand into the mollusk.

God is making all of us a pearl of great price. Don’t be surprised by your trials. They are forming you into something beautiful for God’s glory.

 7. The Parable of the Dragnet

 Matthew 13:47 – 50 NKJV

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away.  So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

The net is the Gospel of redeeming grace that sweeps across this world, from generation to generation, collecting all who will be collected. This net collects good and bad fish. But there will be a separation from the wicked from the just; the good and bad.

It is our job to bring in the fish, it will be the angels job to separate the just from the unjust. We gather and invite all to come, good and bad; the Angels, according to Christ’s word, are to separate the bad from the good, the tares from the wheat.

This parable and the first one we looked at are very similar. Both show there will be good and bad together and at the end they will be separated and the bad fish and the tares will be cast into the furnace where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. If we are not God’s wheat, then we must be Satan’s tares.

It is interesting how these two parables sandwich the rest of the Kingdom parables together. Ultimately there will be a judgement day where we all will have to account for what we have done, said, and thought.

Recap of the Kingdom of God

  1. Parable: Wheat and Tares – There will come a time where the tares will be separated from the wheat and be burned. Where those who know and live for God and those who don’t will be separated.
  2. Parable: Growing Seed – There will be a harvest of fully grown wheat. We will grow and be taken up to heaven for eternity.
  3. Parable: Mustard Seed – God uses small and insignificant things to accomplish much.
  4. Parable: Leaven – Something small has much affect and grows into something large.
  5. Parable: Hidden Treasure – We have a hidden treasure in the Word of God, Jesus!
  6. Parable: Peal of Great Price – Jesus paid a great price for our salvation, and He can make something beautiful out of your life, even when you think there is no value.
  7. Parable: The Dragnet – The bad fish will be separated from the good and thrown into the fiery furnace.

Take these Kingdom principle to heart. Be ever growing in Christ, and stay close to Him throughout your life. Realize you have much to offer for the Kingdom of God. Even if you think you are insignificant, God sees you as mighty and will have much affect for the Kingdom.

Jesus, the Pearl of Great price, went to great lengths to save you. Your life matters and He can make you forever beautiful. Don’t be deceived into thinking like the world thinks. Know God’s word, and stand on it. It is a sure foundation that will never change.

We are promised an eternal reward in Heaven if we don’t give up here on earth. Trust me, this world has nothing to offer you compared to eternity with the One Who saved you from burning in the lake of fire, which is hell. Nothing in this world is worth risking that.

From one Kingdom minded person to another,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.KrisBelfils.com

www.HopeFellowshipSpokane.com

www.KrisBelfils.Wordpress.com

God is Bigger Than My Rejection

God is Bigger Than My Rejection

God is bigger then my Rejection BlogYou know the scene. It is in the middle of the day. The children are out to play on the playground. They choose team members to play the game. One by one everyone is picked until it comes down to the last person. By now this lonely person really doesn’t want to play because they were the last to be chosen. The reject! The one no one wants.

Rejection! We’ve all experienced it. Not getting that promotion we were anticipating. Or not getting the job you interviewed for and someone you know did. We all want to be valued and accepted. Being valued is a natural human desire. When we don’t feel valued we tend to draw back and isolate ourselves. Maybe you have been rejected from a friend, or relative. How about wanting to go out with somebody and they said, “No!”

The definition of rejection is: “Dismiss as inadequate, inappropriate, or not to one’s taste, or to satisfy one’s taste. To refuse to accept, consider, submit to, take for some purpose, or use. To refuse to hear, receive, or admit.”

I don’t know about you, but I have experienced many times the definition of rejection. When it happens, it’s easy to think you did something wrong or that there is something wrong with you. Most of the time this is not the case. But, the enemy will try and make us feel bad about ourselves, or bad about our life after we have been rejected.

Rejection hurts. God is bigger than the rejection we have received. I am here today to let you know there is hope after rejection. We can allow the “sting” of being rejected to torment and alienate us, or we can be determined to rise above those who rejected us and keep on keeping on with our life.

Jesus knew first hand what it felt like to be rejected. Many times the religious rulers of His day rejected what He had to say, or even rejected Who He was. They were unwilling and refused to accept His teachings because they liked being in control of the people. They didn’t think He was the “Messiah.” Jesus’ taught about mercy and grace and the religious rulers were legalistic.

How many times Jesus endured scrutiny from the Pharisees and Sadducees. They even tried to “trip” Jesus up with His answers, but again, Jesus knew what was in their hearts.

I wish I could say I acted or reacted in a godly manner after experiencing rejection in my own personal life. There were times I did, and times I didn’t. But I have learned several things about rejection, that I pray, will help you to deal with it and overcome any negative affects it brings.

We can learn so much on how to deal with rejection by watching Jesus’ reaction.

Dealing With Rejection

1. Keep walking boldly!

Luke 6:28 – 30 NKJV

“So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath (rage), and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff. Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way.”

Jesus knew what was in the religious rulers heart’s. He spoke the truth with authority. They took Jesus out of the synagogue and out of the city to a high hill and wanted to push him over the edge. Jesus, turns, and walks boldly through the crowd and continues on with His ministry.

People will reject out of fear. It shows their insecurities within themselves when they reject you.

The religious leaders rejected Jesus because they were afraid. Afraid of losing their position. Afraid that the people will turn from their leadership and follow truth, which Jesus represented, and oozed out with. People already thronged Jesus. Fear makes people do crazy rejectful, brutal things.

Truth is power. The religious rulers saw truth in Jesus and they had to destroy Him.

2. Shake the dust off your feet!

Read Mark 6:1 – 13

Mark 6:11 NKJV

“And whoever will not receive you nor hear you, when you depart from there, shake off the dust under your feet as a testimony against them. Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.”

There have been times when I have had to shake the dust off my feet when I was rejected, and some of those places were in a Christian church, with Christian people.

There will be people who will be offended by the truth you represent. They will harden their hearts towards you and kick you out of their group or organization. I’ve heard it said, “Go where you are celebrated!” There is some truth to that because it is extremely hard to stay somewhere where the people are constantly rejecting you. Jesus said to shake the dust off of your sandals and to move on. Do what you can there, but move on and keep your head held high! People are not rejecting you, but rejecting God. To a degree, it is Christian persecution to have fellow Christians kick you out of their “club.” This is what happened to Jesus many times.

3. Don’t get offended!

Luke 17:1 (HCSB)

“Offenses will certainly come, but woe to the one they come through!”

We have to get elephant skin when it comes to speaking the truth and not being received. People hurt people. As long as you are around people, you will have the chance to get offended.

Scriptures tell us “Offenses will come” (Luke 17:1). We will always be tempted to be offended. Our expectations weren’t met, or someone hurt us or rejected us. You might have said things like, “How can they treat me like this?” or “I was a part of them for years and look how they treat me!” They will call you names, slander you, and want you gone. They will ignore your true worth in Christ and reject you because of the truth you represent. This happened to Jesus. He was known as the “Carpenter’s Son.”

Mark 6:3 NKJV

Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?” So they were offended at Him.

They rejected Jesus because they only saw Him as the Carpenter’s Son. They put Jesus in a box in their minds. They knew His family. They saw Him grow up and become a man. God was raising Him up, but they refused to accept Who He was called to be.

When you have a heart for God you will be rejected. You might even be rejected by those close to you. Even if you are not a minister, you will experience rejection. But let me tell you; Once you meet Christ you are a minister! Your life is a sermon that everyone reads.

Jesus was rejected and even mocked while He was hanging on the cross. As if what they did to him was not enough. After being beaten and whipped, after the crown of thorns were pushed on His head and imbedded into his brow, after his hands and feet were nailed to the cross, after He was mutilated beyond recognition, they mocked Him.

Mark 15:29 – 32 (NKJV)

“And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself, and come down from the cross!” Likewise the chief priests also, mocking among themselves with the scribes, said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. Let the Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Even those who were crucified with Him reviled Him.”

They were sarcastically mocking Christ while He was hanging on the cross. Who does that? Who kicks people when they are “already down?” Those who are full of themselves and think they are right. Those who want their way and arrogantly assume they deserve it. That’s who! They thought they were sitting in the driver seat. Little did they know God used them to bring forth Salvation to the world.

It was even prophesied in the Old Testament that Jesus would be despised and rejected.

Isaiah 53:3 – 5 KJV

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:  yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

I don’t think anyone of us have experienced all that Jesus experienced, in our entire lifetime, what he experienced in just a few hours. Still, when we experience rejection its sting hangs with us.

Like I said earlier, there is hope. Not only can you be healed from any sting of rejection, but there are other promises you can stand on when dealing with rejection.

Rejection rewards:

1. You will be vindicated!

Psalm 35:24 NKJV

“Vindicate me, O LORD my God, according to Your righteousness; And let them not rejoice over me.”

God hears our cry and sees all. God knows what is in a man’s heart. He knows what is in your heart. He knows everyone’s motives. If there is injustice, God will repay. He is a just God.

There are times we are rejected for walking justly. Again, God will vindicate you.

Psalm 26:1 NKJV

“Vindicate me, O LORD, For I have walked in my integrity. I have also trusted in the LORD; I shall not slip.”

Psalm 43:1 NKJV

“Vindicate me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation; Oh, deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man!”

If there is injustice, it will only last for a season and God will deliver you from the deceitful injustice.

Jesus was vindicated. He didn’t stay on the cross or in the tomb. He was resurrected. No man, no matter how much power they think they had, couldn’t keep Jesus from raising from the dead.

2. You will be promoted.

Psalm 23:5a NKJV

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.”

People will be surprised at your promotion. It will go against what they thought of you. They rejected you because they didn’t agree with who they thought you were. They will see you resurrected. They will see you doing things and walking in ways they never imagined. What are you going to do when this happens? Rejoice! It will happen!

3. You will be transformed.

Walking out of rejection and leaning on your beloved, you will be more like Him. We lean on Jesus and connect to His rejection immediately when we are rejected and treated unfairly.

To know Christ in His resurrection and suffering, we have to experience a death. When we die to ourselves and our flesh, we allow Christ to increase in us. It really is a win – win situation. We win when we lose. We lose our flesh and we gain a changed perspective. Treated unfairly is exactly what Christ went through.

All this said, God is keeping score and He will pay you back with heavenly blessings for the scourge you have received from your enemies. The rejection we have received from others simply open our hearts to receive more of the anointing into our lives. We will be eating a feast of His power and presence while our enemies look on, unable to understand why we have been chosen to receive such blessing. Little did they know it was their reproach against us that made us a target for God’s blessing. It was their betrayal that brought God’s best blessings to our doorstep!

Walk as Jesus walked and hold your head up high knowing you are God’s child and He has great plans for you.

Maybe you have experienced rejection and long to be healed of its sting. Bring this to the Lord and humbly ask God to heal you, and transform the way you think and act. Your perspective needs to change and view any rejection as being “set up” for greater things. You are being positioned for promotion and blessing!

Your sister,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.krisbelfils.com

www.HopeFellowshipSpokane.com

www.krisbelfils.wordpress.com

God is Bigger Than My Emotions

God is Bigger Than My Emotions

GOD IS BIGGER THAN MY EMOTIONSI was traveling with some friends to a band practice. I wanted to allow one of them to sit in the front passenger seat and I sat in the back seat behind them. Shortly after traveling I started to get sick to my stomach. Within a few more minutes I needed to have the windows open and the heater turned off. I thought I was going to throw up. Finally we arrived to our destination and I ran into the bathroom as I felt like throwing up. Fortunately I didn’t.

Motion sickness has been a part of my life as far back as I can remember. Often I forget about it as I usually drive my own car or sit in the front passenger seat. But there was a time in my life, when I was growing up, that I would get motion sickness every time I traveled with the family. I would dread long trips in the car knowing I would be sick the entire time we were traveling. The only thing that would help me with my motion sickness is to have the car stop every once in a while and get out and walk around in the fresh air. I remember one time, after a women’s conference I spoke at, I was traveling in the back seat on the way to the airport. Sure enough I started to get sick to my stomach, and my traveling friend did too. My host said she knew exactly what I needed to make my stomach feel better. We stopped by her house and in a few minutes she came back with a handful of tootsie roll pops. My friend and I just looked at each other in bewilderment wondering how can a tootsie roll pop fix our motion sickness. We opened up one of the suckers and started sucking on them. To be truthful it really didn’t help, but it got our minds off of the sickness and gave our mouths something to do.

Being sick to our stomach is not a fun feeling. It pretty much takes away any strength we may have for the day. Sometimes being sick to our stomach can overtake us and stifle any activity we may want to do.

Thinking about motion sickness, and how it affects our lives, makes me think about our emotions and how they affect our lives. We can get emotional sickness if we are not careful. Emotional sickness is allowing our emotions to take over our practical thought life. God is bigger than our emotions and has given us the ability to have self-control and tame them.

If we allow our emotions to take over our lives we will be living in emotional sickness. Living in any kind of sickness for too long takes a toll on our bodies. Just like the physical manifestations that take place when we are sick, we can experience physical and spiritual manifestations when we are emotionally sick.

Emotional sickness can manifest in so many different ways. Do you find you are always asking for forgiveness because of hurting people’s feelings? How about isolating yourself because you think no one likes or loves you. Do you get mad easily over things that really are insignificant? Are people stepping back from you and giving you a wide birth? Do you always think about yourself and how things affect you? These all can be signs of emotional sickness.

HOW TO DEAL WITH EMOTIONAL SICKNESS

1. Learn to cry out all your frustrations to God

We have to remember that God is bigger than anything we are going through. God is big enough to vent or cry out our frustrations. Actually this is very healthy.

David cried out to God many times about what was going on in his life. Here are just a few verses expressing His cries:

Psalm 3:1 – 2 (NKJV)

“LORD, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me. Many are they who say of me, ‘There is no help for him in God.’”

Psalm 4:2 – 3 (NKJV)

“How long, O you sons of men, will you turn my glory to shame? How long will you love worthlessness and seek falsehood? But know that the LORD has set apart for Himself him who is godly; the LORD will hear when I call to Him.”

Psalm 5:1 – 3 (NKJV)

“Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation. Give heed to the voice of my cry, my King and my God, for to You I will pray. My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD, in the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up.”

Psalm 6:1 – 7 (NKJV)

“O LORD, do not rebuke me in Your anger, nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure. Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am weak; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are troubled. My soul also is greatly troubled; but You, O LORD—how long? Return, O LORD, deliver me! Oh, save me for Your mercies’ sake! For in death there is no remembrance of You; in the grave who will give You thanks? I am weary with my groaning; all night I make my bed swim; I drench my couch with my tears. My eye wastes away because of grief; it grows old because of all my enemies.”

David cried out to God often and also found comfort in doing so. Another example is Moses. He cried out to God often and even changed the Lord’s mind. Moses cried out to God concerning the plagues in Egypt:

Exodus 8:12 – 13 (NKJV)

“Then Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh. And Moses cried out to the LORD concerning the frogs which He had brought against Pharaoh. So the LORD did according to the word of Moses. And the frogs died out of the houses, out of the courtyards, and out of the fields.”

Exodus 17:3 – 4 (NKJV)

“And the people thirsted there for water, and the people complained against Moses, and said, ‘Why is it you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?’ So Moses cried out to the LORD, saying, ‘What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me!’”

Moses was not afraid to share what was on his mind to God.

Exodus 32:7 – 14 (NKJV)

“And the LORD said to Moses, ‘Go, get down! For your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves. They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molded calf, and worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, “This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!’” And the LORD said to Moses, ‘I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people!’ ‘Now therefore let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them. And I will make of you a great nation.’ Then Moses pleaded with the LORD his God, and said: “LORD why does Your wrath burn hot against Your people whom You have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a might hand? Why should the Egyptians speak, and say, ‘He brought them out to harm them, to kill them in mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth’?  Turn from Your fierce wrath, and relent from this harm to Your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants, to whom said to them, I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven; and all this land that I have spoken of I give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’ So the LORD relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people.”

2. Learn to manage your emotions

When we are feeling a strong emotion, especially if it is anger or fear, we need to learn how to manage it. Emotions are not good or bad, they just are. God created us as emotional beings. So to try and “control” our emotions, or totally get rid of them is impossible. It just won’t happen. But if we learn to manage them we will have a better life. We need to learn to vent our emotions properly.

Don’t be easily affected by your emotions. If you are in the middle of a situation and need to make a decision, allow time to think before you act. If you make a decision, allow more time to pass and see if that decision settles in your spirit. If you are uneasy still about it chances are it is the wrong decision. But if it settles in your spirit and you have prayed about it and sense God’s peace, then walk in that decision.

We all are human and we all have emotions. Men and women alike have the same emotions. Both men and women experience emotional pain and frustration. It is how we handle our emotions that seems to separate men from women. As a general rule; women have a tendency to vent their emotions outwardly and men keep them inward. Yet there are exceptions to every case. Still both men and women have emotions and have to deal with them.

I admire my husband as he is even tempered and very seldom shows any negative emotions. But, on the other hand, it is often hard to know if he is happy with something too. Because I have been married to him for 30 years, I know him pretty well. I know when he is mad or happy by just watching his body language. I appreciate how he handles things when he is frustrated. Most of the time the average person wouldn’t even know he is frustrated.

Scripture tells us to guard our hearts because out of it flow life itself.

Proverbs 4:23 (Amplified Bible)

“Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.”

3. Learn to live your life according to the Word of God and not your feelings.

If we look at the verses after Psalm 3:1 – 2 we can see how David stood on God’s word and didn’t allow his emotions to take over:

Psalms 3:3 – 6 (NKJV)

“But You, O LORD, are a shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head. I cried to the LORD with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill. I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the LORD sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.”

He reminded himself of who God is and what he can do. David encouraged himself in the Lord all by remembering what God has done. That is where the Word of God can help us. Getting into the Word and finding appropriate scriptures to help us with any emotional situation is standing on solid ground.

4. Learn to trust in the Lord for everything. 

God is trustworthy. He has proven time and again His promises are true. He has shown throughout Biblical history His character and integrity. If God says it in His Word, believe it. There are so many scriptures in the book of Psalms alone that express how we can trust God. By trusting God, we learn to not be ruled by our emotions. It is a knowing in your heart that God is in control, and He will get you through any given situation.

Here are just a few verses on trust:

Psalm 5:11 – 12 (NKJV)

“But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You, let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You. For you will bless the righteous, with favor You will surround him as with a shield.”

Psalm 7:1 – 2 (NKJV)

“O LORD my God, in You I put my trust; save me from all those who persecute me; and deliver me, lest they tear me like a lion, rending me in pieces, while there is none to deliver.”

Psalm 9:9 – 10 (NKJV)

“The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.”

We seek Him and He never forsakes us. This is a promise! You can look all through the book of Psalm and find verse after verse about trusting in God. If you have trouble trusting God, I encourage you to look and study the Word of God for yourself and find out what it says about trusting God.

The more we trust God, the more we won’t be swayed by negative thoughts in our minds. Thoughts will turn into strong emotions, and strong emotions will make us act. What thoughts are filling your mind right now? If you “feel” the need to act impulsively it is a sign that you are allowing your emotions to overtake you. It is a true symptom of emotional sickness.

To get rid of emotional sickness is part of revival because it frees us from the bondage our emotions can shackle us with. Emotions truly can prevent us from experiencing all that God wants to give us. Allow God to revive your emotions by healing your emotional sickness. Give God back control of your driver seat of your life and sit in the passenger seat and enjoy the scenery. Get ready for a adventurous ride of your life.

7 THINGS THE EMOTIONALLY STRONG DO

Emotionally weak people suffer tremendously. Being clingy or needy for love, acceptance or attention, they do things that they should not do and accept things that they should not. Inevitably, it generates in them a whole range of negative emotions (e.g. fear, anger, sadness, despair, guilt, doubt, depression, jealousy and shame) that slowly, but surely, destroys them from the inside out. Indeed, it is now well acknowledged that emotions greatly affect the way our body functions. Consequently, the emotionally weak suffer not only emotionally, but also physically.

In the end, even their spiritual well-being is impacted, which is very dangerous. It is therefore important to know what the emotionally strong do to live their life with power.

What are the 7 critical things the emotionally strong do?

  1. Emotionally strong people DO NOT BEG FOR LOVE

They receive all the love they need to function well as human beings directly from God. They know in their hearts that only their Father in heaven can love them with an uncontaminated and unconditional love. Additionally, they are aware of the fact that only He has their best interests at ALL times.

John 3:16  

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 8:37-39 

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Zephaniah 3:17

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

Continually receiving love from God, they feel accepted for who they are and experience strong feelings of self-worth. They are certain of their value and know that they matter, that they have a critical role to play in the overall plan of God for humanity. This makes their lives meaningful and truly worth living.

Filled with God’s love, they rapidly become givers of love, rather than takers of it. In other words, God’s love flows through them to others and nourishes them spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally. When all is said, emotionally strong people do not beg for love: rather, they generously give love to others.

2. Emotionally strong people ARE NOT AFRAID TO LOVE OTHERS

They do not love others in order to be loved in return or be accepted by them, but simply because loving others is a key part of what defines them. And they love others, not as the world (or Hollywood) would like them to, but as God wants them to. Basically, they love others by treating them as they would have them do to them. This is the golden rule of love.

Mark 12:30 – 31 NKJV

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.

Not being dependent on others for their love, joy – and I should add peace – they can love others without being afraid to be rejected or hurt. They know very well that not everybody will respond to their (unconditional) acts of love in a proper way. However, this sad fact does not prevent them from giving love as much as they can. They do not focus on those cases for which their love was not received, but solely on those cases for which their love was appreciated. Even if 99 percent of their acts of love produce no results whatsoever, they take great joy in the fact that the remaining 1 percent helped transform the lives of receptive people.

3. Emotionally strong people FORGIVE QUICKLY AND COMPLETELY

Acknowledging that they needed God’s forgiveness to be with God, they quickly forgive others. In fact, they do so whether or not people ask for their forgiveness. They know that it is not worth spending any amount of mental and emotional energy on evil pursuits, and that by holding grudges they end up hurting themselves even more.

Being wise, they eagerly activate the power of forgiveness in order to free themselves from the chains that Satan tried to put around their hearts and minds. They know that in the vast majority of the cases, people do things to them without really knowing what they do because they might be spiritually blind or unaware of facts.

Col. 3:13 The Message Bible

Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you.

4. Emotionally strong people DO NOT RETALIATE OR TAKE REVENGE

Rather than retaliate and take revenge, emotionally strong people let God defend them and render them justice in due course.

Romans 12:19 NLT

Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord.

They do not want to spread more hatred, animosity, bitterness, resentment, averseness and vindictiveness than already exist in this dark world. They know that they have already won the war against the powers of darkness thanks to what Jesus accomplished on the cross, and that God is the person best placed to render them justice for only He has a bigger view of things and of the evil forces that influence and deceive people.

I should add here that if we have been offended or hurt by someone, then it is also because we are not as strong emotionally yet as we should be. Indeed, the emotionally strong do not let their pride push them to be hurt by the behavior of people. We live in a dark world, and we are bound to be the recipients of sins committed by others against us. We cannot let those sins impact us so much that they destroy us through revenge and unforgiveness.

As Paul told us in Ephesians 6:12, we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities and spiritual forces. To combat sin, whether committed by others, or by ourselves, we should use the spiritual weapons that God put at our disposal: the belt of truth, the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit. (Ephesians 6:10-20)

Let me be completely honest with you now: if you want to take revenge personally or have been truly hurt by someone, then it shows that you care more about a situation than you should. Remember that you are not of this world anymore, and that this world, as we know it, will be completely destroyed before being totally recreated. Be detached from anything that this world can offer you, like an inflated ego, fame, and the like.

 

5. Emotionally strong people DO NOT ALLOW OTHERS TO BRING THEM DOWN

Being completely aware of who they are in Christ and of the immense value they have in the eyes of God, they do not let their worth depend on what others think of them. Their self-worth does not fluctuate, be it upwards or downwards. To put it differently, they are resilient to what people think or say about them, and this resilience helps them to continue to love others when they are the subject of criticisms, gossips and personal attacks.

Luke 6:32 NIV

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.”

 

6. Emotionally strong people DO NOT FEAR THE FUTURE OR LIVE IN THE PAST

The emotionally strong know that God is their sole provider and that they will never be in want. They are also full of hope, and envision only a future dominated by victories rather than defeats. They do not dread anything, but look forward to the future with positive expectations.

They do not know all that the future holds for them, but they know without the shadow of a doubt:

Romans 8:28 NIV

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

They can only be in peace, having no reason whatsoever to look at the future with fear. Even death is not an issue for them, for they know that it is not the end of life, but the beginning of a new and better one, where there will be no more pain, nor crying, nor tears, nor sickness, any more.

Revelations 21:4 NKJV

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.

As to the past, the emotionally strong can look at it without being impacted by it. Whether their past was glorious or filled with afflictions, defeats and pain, they know that when they gave their lives to Jesus, they became new creatures. They also understand that they have to live as a new creature, and thus in the present, in order to claim all the abundance that they are entitled to following the death and resurrection of their Lord, Jesus.

For them, the past is… all gone and must be left behind. They move, not backwards, but forward, and with high expectancy. They do not waste time analyzing the past or regretting some of their past decisions. Rather, they seek to acquire godly wisdom and to renew their thoughts for they know that it is the key to their continual transformation into the likeness of Christ.

7. Emotionally strong people DO NOT DO THINGS THEY DON’T WANT TO DO

They find out what they are good at and focus on their strengths. They are mentally strong and emotionally strong to say “No” when needed. This helps them reach their full potential.

Yes, we all have to do things we don’t like to do, but the emotionally strong never do things they do not really want to do. They are so filled with God’s love, Spirit and wisdom that they actually want to do the things that God commands them to do in the Bible.

They may not love every second of it, but they nevertheless enjoy being stretched and challenged because they know that it will bring them one step closer to being more like Christ.

Furthermore, they do not do things to win the approval of others, but simply to fulfill their passion, which is to express in practical ways God’s love to others. They may therefore volunteer to buy food for an elderly person, or to tutor a child, or to offer to babysit in order to give some parents a welcome break.

What’s more, with them, a “yes” means yes, and a “no” means no. This avoids them from making promises that they will not be able to keep. Furthermore, the emotionally strong do not gossip nor lie. They have no need to feel superior or to put others down, are not envious of the success, popularity, or talents of others, and do not need to be the center of attention. Having been saved, they want others to be saved or to sanctify themselves more. When in need, they turn to God. Period.

Conclusion

If you are currently emotionally weak, I urge you not to turn this characteristic into a crutch that you will keep holding onto for the rest of your life. And please quit making excuses for yourself or others. It only makes you more emotionally weak.

It does not matter where you come from, what you went through and the habits you had till your new birth, you can overcome your negative emotions and take captive your thoughts. Yes, you can. As a born-again believer, you are equipped with supernatural powers and abilities. If you stop nourishing your negative emotions (the ones that live in the old you) and start feeding the positive emotions that reside in the new you, soon you will develop an emotional strength that you did not imagine you had.

Believe in yourself and in the power that lives in you. If you have accepted Christ as your Savior and Lord, then you believe that He has been raised from the dead. Do you have that faith? Now, guess what? The same power that raised Jesus from the dead can help you win the fight against your emotional weakness. You have to believe that as well. If you do, and are ready to admit your emotional weaknesses and exercise your faith muscles, then you can embark on the road that leads to emotional transformation.

God is bigger than our emotions. You do not have to live the rest of your life emotionally weak. You can be the person that God created you to be. As you develop emotional strength, you will enjoy more abundance in your life and become a more powerful source of blessings for others.

All you need for your emotional transformation is already in the new you. Do you believe it? Will you then act upon this truth and belief? I hope so because you deserve a better life than the one you currently enjoy. Do not quit on yourself. Stand up spiritually and claim your emotional strength.

Your Sister in Christ,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.krisbelfils.com

www.krisbelfils.wordpress.com

www.hopefellowshipspokane.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources: Pastor Kris Belfils and Serge Roux-Levrat

God is BIGGER Than my Complacency

God is BIGGER Than my Complacency

God is bigger then my complacencyGod is bigger and more powerful then anything we are going through. We look to Him to help us in all things. We look to His character, and Who He is, to trump anything that overwhelms us in life. He never changes. Our lack of faith doesn’t diminish God’s power. Even our way of thinking or acting or reacting to things doesn’t change God’s character. God is BIG and always will be BIG no matter what happens in us or this world.

We looked last week at how God is bigger then our fear. One of the things God is BIGGER then is our complacency. Today let’s look at the word and see what the Bible has to say about it, and what to do with it.

Complacent: “marked by self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies.”

(Webster Dictionary)

Complacency creeps on us and we don’t even know it. If you think you are not complacent, think again. There are so many areas in our life that we can be complacent in. Our passions for God, Our love for God, how about our love for others?

We need to be aware of this tool the enemy uses to vier us off course of our walk with Christ and what He has called us to do.

Complacency is lukewarmness. Complacency is getting in a rut. It is not having motivation to change or to bring the change. It is settling for the mundane mediocre and thinking you are okay when you are not.

Some Quotes on Complacency:
-Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth. ~ A.W. Tower
-Complacency kills
-Complacency the mark of a wasted life
-May your hunger for change be greater then your complacency to stay the same

The opposite of complacent, in my book, is zeal. We may have lost our first love. It’s easy to lose our zeal or first love for God and life. I think we all need to go on our second honeymoon with Christ and bring back our first love.

The church in Ephesus was a loyal church but the Lord had a complaint against them.

Revelation 2:1 – 7 (NKJV)
“To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place-unless you repent. But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicoliatans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.””

Paul talks about some good things the church is doing in Ephesus like having patience, and not bearing those who are evil. They have tested and found apostles who say are, but found they are not. They have persevered and labored for Christ’s name sake and not grown weary. These are all good things, but they are not the most important thing – loving their God.

We can find ourselves in this church as we get caught up in works or making sure there is sound doctrine or sound teachers. We might even leave a church over this issue.

Having our love for God gone or growing cold is the very reason we have become a Christian. We love Him because he first loved us (John 3:16). We need a personal revival. After God has revived your heart don’t let your love grow cold. Find ways to keep your love for God strong. Spend time with Him. Worship Him constantly. Be thankful and love on His people. These all help immensely.

You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling

These verses also tell us that we need to repent for allowing our love for God to grow cold. We are to remember where we have fallen from. The word “fallen” literally means “to drop away; specifically be driven out of one’s course.” This implies that someone or something has driven us away from the course we were on of loving God. How easy it is to let “things” take the place of God in our life. It could be our jobs, or relationships, or our riches.

Most people don’t think it is wrong to allow their love for God to grow cold. They believe it is not sinful, but just how life goes. It is a sin to allow your love for God to grow cold. If you find yourself indifferent to God and His ways, it is because you have allowed your love to grow cold towards God. Repent quickly before He comes and takes away your lamp-stand. This is your light or illuminator. This is what you are to be doing in this dark and dreary world; shinning for God’s glory. Without the light, we are just another person struggling in the dark. It also means God is our spiritual light. He illuminates His word in our spirit and gives us revelations. Without this we become stagnate and lacking zeal.

Then God commends the church at Ephesus for hating the deeds of the Nicolaitans. Nicolaitans means: “Conquering the Laity, and Victorious over the people.” Apparently this group claimed some kind of superior status that permitted idolatry and immorality. God hates this (Revelation 2:15). This church seemed to do a lot of things right. Yet, they neglected their first love.

Reveations 2:4 NASB
But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.

They were known as the loveless church. Love is so important in a church body. For that matter, love is so important in our walk with Christ. If we lose our first love for God our zeal, our fire grows dim and we become complacent.

Many are simply lukewarm, unzealous, or uncommitted. I believe complacency in our churches has reached utterly pandemic proportions.

Being lukewarm means to be slightly warm, also to not be enthusiastic: not having or showing energy or excitement. We could say an indifference. Lacking zeal. Lost your first love.

Another church in the book of Revelations who was complacent was the church in Laodicean. They were a lukewarm and uncommitted church.

Revelation 3:14 – 22 (NKJV)
“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, “These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the beginning of the creation of God: I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ — and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked — I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

“… I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.”

They didn’t keep their flame burning. Their flame was almost out. Have you ever tasted lukewarm soda? It is terrible. On a hot summer day I enjoy a cold Diet Pepsi. It is one of my favorite drinks. If I leave it out in the sun and forget to drink it, it will get warm. Not even thinking I will pick up the soda and start pouring it into my mouth. Immediately I spit it out as it is terrible to drink when it is not ice cold. The picture I am painting for you is not a very pretty one.

I never want to imagine God spitting me out of His mouth. I want my worship and life to be a sweet thing to God. To find me lukewarm in my walk with Him is like slapping God in the face and saying, “I am too busy to take the time to be on fire for You.” Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary states; “But the lukewarm has been brought within reach of the holy fire, without being heated by it into fervor: having religion enough to lull the conscience in false security, but not religion enough to save the soul.” This is a scary place to be.

God would rather us be cold or hot then lukewarm. Why? He would rather you be anything better then this condition. Hot means you are burning for God and on fire with zeal for Him. We understand that. What about being cold? Being cold, as sad as this state may be, you are being honest. There is no faking or hidden agenda. You are cold to God and the things of God. This marks a higher character then one who is lukewarm.

Looking at the character of Saul of Tarsus there is a zeal and passion to kill the Christians. There is an element of greatness. Looking at Judas Iscariot there is no greatness or zeal. He was sneaky and greedy. One was capable of becoming honorable; the other, even being taught by the Savor of the World for years, didn’t amount to anything but a traitor. There is a chance of turning the heart of someone who is cold. Turning the heart of someone who is lukewarm is very hard. They don’t see what condition their heart is in. They think they are okay. They rely on themselves instead of God and don’t see the need for leaning on Him.

“… Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ — and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked…”

They were rich and wealthy and needed nothing. They were full of self-sufficiency and complacency. Indifference had settled in. They probably had a little religion or faith mixed in, nothing to change their outlook or behavior. Just enough to make them feel good about themselves, not enough to change their hearts to love God fervently. They didn’t know they were wretched.

The word “wretched” from Dictionary.com means: “very unfortunate in condition or circumstances; despicable, contemptible, or mean, poor, sorry, or pitiful; worthless: condition of extreme affliction or distress, and is outwardly apparent.”

Miserable refers more to the inward feeling of unhappiness or distress and it means: “wretchedly unhappy, uneasy, or uncomfortable, wretchedly poor; needy, of wretched character or quality; contemptible, attended with or causing misery.”

What a terrible state of condition they were in. To not even see themselves like this surely shows their blindness. What hope do they even have of changing, let alone to see the condition of their hearts? God brought this out into the light for this church to take note.

It was up to the church to repent and turn from these actions. Poor, blind, and naked shows exposure of their sin was seen by others, yet they were blind to any thought of their weakness.

We need to ask God daily to show us areas in our lives which do not please Him. Never think you don’t have weaknesses. We all do. The true test is what are you going to do with the knowledge of your weakness? My prayer is that you grieve in your heart over your complacency and self-sufficiency.

My friend and fellow minister, Rev. Philip Gideon Agene, from Lagos, Nigeria, states; “To rejoice in righteousness and grieve over wickedness is proof of a genuine Christian!” This is a true statement.

“… I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.”

Here the Author is using the Laodiceans own language of riches. It is not that we can buy salvation or anything from God, but there is a cost in receiving more of God. The number one price is ourselves and possibly our comfort. God wants all of us, not just a portion. He wants to pour out His wisdom and revelations but He doesn’t just give them away, He chooses who and when to bring revelation into our life. Often the cost is time spent with Him. Time alone in your secret place of prayer. Time thinking about and worshipping God. It also cost the Laodiceans their self-righteousness and giving up of things dear to them. Don’t look at this as a bad thing. It isn’t. We are all full of ourselves and we need to be set free of it. Spending time with our Creator is the best time spent. Also it will cost you your pride. We have talked about this costly character trait before. It can never be said enough. Pride robs us.

White garments signifies purity. Remember that Christ’s blood washes us as white as snow.

His righteousness is easy to wear, ours is filthy and stinky.
His righteousness covers our nakedness. Our righteousness exposes us and shows our true character.

It is easy to get complacent and even prideful of your walk with Christ. If you have been a Christian for years the taste of God’s grace and mercy might become very bland. This shows our flame has grown dim, and our spiritual eyesight is weak.

“… and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.”

Jesus has a far more costly ointment for the Laodiceans then anything they could have found in their city and beyond. Laodicea was known for its riches and wealth. There was anything at their disposal to buy, including eye salve. Christ’s eye ointment was far more valuable. It was the Holy Spirit to open their spiritual eyes to see. Just like applying eye drops in your eye, or a healing ointment into your eye, it hurts at first, so the Holy Spirit applied to our spiritual eyes smarts with the conviction of sin, and then the healing comes. Christ opens our eyes to the wretched condition we are in and then we finally see how precious He is as He brings His healing to our spirit. Eye salve is mandatory according to this scripture.

“… As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.” True love will correct and discipline. I love my children. I want to see them succeed and flourish. I would be a terrible parent if I didn’t sit down with them from time to time when I saw some concerns in their life. Keeping our children safe with guidelines is a mark of a loving parent. Children respect and want this (in spite of what their actions may say).

We are to be zealous and repent of our lukewarmness. Once we see that we are lukewarm, repent quickly and wholeheartedly. Don’t let another minute go by before you do. If we don’t, I am sure God will bring upon us something that will rebuke us of our ways so we will come back to Him. That’s what loving Fathers do. Let’s be the one to make the first move – repent and become ablaze for God again.

“… Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”

I am sure your mind goes to the famous picture of Jesus knocking at a door that only opens inwardly, with no door handle to open from the outside. Jesus stands at the door of our hearts and knocks. This shows He is a gentlemen and won’t force His way in. Standing implies waiting with long-suffering.

This is the hour of Christ knocking. The hour of grace. Soon, the knocking will stop. He is the Door, the way to heaven. Salvation is available for everyone if we would open the door and let Christ in to dine and fellowship with us. How can you pass up this gentle loving Savior? He loves us so extravagantly. Open the door and you will never be the same again!

“… To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”

This is the first time in these letters that the reward of overcoming is to sit with Christ on His throne! What a reward for overcoming lukewarmness. It shows how important it is to rid being lukewarm from our life.

Being hot for Christ shows our passion for Him. Jesus wants His followers to be excited about following Him. Christianity is not passive. Christianity is being very active in our love for Christ and telling others about Him. If we are not excited about Jesus, we won’t share the Gospel to others. Therefore, people will die an eternal death because we are passive and complacent in our walk with Christ. We have to look at the bigger picture. []Our lukewarm hearts can hurt a non-believer and make them have no desire to come to Christ just because of our example.

Sitting with Jesus on His throne allows us to share His joys and triumphs. Jesus has overcome and is set down by the Father on His throne. Christ’s throne and Father God’s throne are the same. On this very same throne we, who are faithful, are given the privilege of sitting. How amazing is this? How humbling to know this is our reward.

“… He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

Where do you fall in these churches? Do you find yourself doing similar things that God hates? Let’s learn from Revelation how to keep our spiritual flame burning and not get caught up in losing our love for God. Quickly repent of any wrong doing.

Don’t give up when you are being persecuted or experiencing a trial. Don’t compromise and follow other gods. Keep yourself from corruption. Guard your heart from allowing anything in that shouldn’t be there. Don’t carry any dead carcass with you. Allow God’s fire of revival to burn resurrection life into your body today!

We are more than conquerors in Christ over anything in our life, including complacency!

Romans 8:37 NKJV
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

It’s time for a personal revival. Ask God to help you awaken and walk away from being complacent. How hungry are you for God? Do you love Him? Do you have zeal and passion for God, His people, and the lost? If your answer is no to any of these questions it is time for personal revival!!!

Prayer,
Lord Jesus please forgive me for losing my first love and becoming lukewarm and complacent in my walk with you and others. I want to be more like you and have passion and compassion for people and the things you cherish. Help me to walk in your footsteps and not my own. Put a fire down in my soul that I can’t contain or control, I want more of You God! ~ Amen!

Your sister in Christ,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.KrisBelfils.com
www.HopeFellowshipSpokane.com
www.KrisBelfils.WordPress.com

God is bigger than my Fears

God is bigger than my Fears

Do you have big problems? How big is your God? What is your view of God and how He can help you in your life? We can be surrounded by circumstances, fear, self-pity, relationship struggles, financial hardships, health issues, and so much more. When we look at the issues and worry and fret about them, they become bigger and God becomes smaller. How big is your God?

One can watch the news or read a news paper and see so much evil of people being brutally killed, we see terrible crimes, and horrible despicable things happening all over the world. Is God bigger then all of that?

This is the first of a new series, “God is BIGGER!” We need to remind ourselves of Who God is and what He is capable of doing. Our problems are no match for our powerful God!

There are many Bible stories of God showing how BIG He really is and what He did for the people who cried out to Him.

Daniel expressed how awesome God is with his words after God showed him the dream of the king and it’s interpretation.

Daniel 2:20 – 23 NKJV
Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings: He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with Him. I thank You and praise You, O God of my fathers; You have given me wisdom and might, and have now made known to me what we asked of You, for You have made known to us the king’s demand.

Wisdom and might are God’s. Times and seasons are His. God removes kings (leaders) and raises them up. God gives His wisdom and knowledge to those who are wise and seeking it. God reveals deep and secret things. God knows what is in the dark, and light dwells in Him. He answers those who call to Him.

Jesus moved with compassion and healed many and raised the dead.

Matthew 19:26
But Jesus looked at them and said,  “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

“With God all things are possible!” Not just some things, but all things! What looks impossible to you is possible with God. Nothing can stump God or make Him wonder if He can fix it. He is the great physician. He is all knowing and all powerful.

Ephesians 3:20-21 NKJV
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

In the book of Job we read:

Job 26:5 – 14 TLB
The dead stand naked, trembling before God in the place where they go. God stretches out heaven over empty space and hangs the earth upon nothing. He wraps the rain in his thick clouds, and the clouds are not split by the weight. He shrouds his throne with his clouds. He sets a boundary for the ocean, yes, and a boundary for the day and for the night. The pillars of heaven tremble at his rebuke. And by his power the sea grows calm; he is skilled at crushing its pride! The heavens are made beautiful by his Spirit; he pierces the swiftly gliding serpent. These are some of the minor things he does, merely a whisper of his power. Who then can withstand his thunder?

All people will have to stand before God and give an account of their lives. What will you say about yours to a God who “stretches out the heaven over the empty space and hangs the earth upon nothing? Who makes it rain, and who made the oceans and set their boundaries?”

If the God of heaven can do all that, He is BIG ENOUGH for any situation in your life. I love that God can do all of that and yet He created us and cares for us personally.

Now that we have painted a picture of how powerful God is, let’s look at what He can overcome in your life! In this series we will look at how God is bigger and more powerful to help bring breakthrough in many areas of your life if you will let Him. Let’s start today by looking at Fear.

GOD IS BIGGER THAN MY FEARS

Fear, we all have to deal with it, sometimes everyday, in our life. Fear can paralyze us if we allow it too. Fear does serve a useful purpose in that it is a vital response to physical and emotional danger—if we didn’t feel it, we couldn’t protect ourselves from legitimate threats. But if we allow it to rule above our faith, and what God wants us to do for His Kingdom, the devil wins. Remember that the devil is full of fear.

I’ve heard the saying, “Fear is nothing more then faith in the devil.” Ouch! I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to ever have faith in the devil! We are serving the enemy when we fear and pull away when God wants us to push forward and persevere and expect a breakthrough.

It’s amazing what we lose in life by listening to fear instead of listening to God. Choose to listen and obey God’s voice and not your fears. You will gain so much and stay on the right path.

If you listen to your fears, you will die never knowing what a great person you might have been. ~ Joyce Meyer

Everyone struggles with fear! Fear is a spirit!

2 Timothy 1:7 NJKV
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

FEAR is something that causes feelings of dread or apprehension, a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain whether the threat is real or imagined! (dictionary.com)

The word “fear” in this text is translated in the Greek as “timidity.” God doesn’t want us to be timid. We get timid and pull away instead of pressing forward and taking the land.

What fear can cause
Fear can cause us to reduce the size of God and elevate the size and opinion of man.
Fear can cause us to reduce the size of God and elevate the size of your problem.
Fear can cause us to lead people in the wrong direction.
Fear causes us to stay quiet when we should clearly speak up.
Fear causes us to be passive about an issue that The Lord has clearly brought to our attention.
Fear causes us to seek consensus rather than really seeking the voice of The Lord.
Fear causes us to not engage the broken, the hurting, the misfits and the neglected.
Fear causes us to refuse to embrace change. (Fear of the unknown)
Fear causes us to try and control things and take matters into our own hands rather than trusting The Lord and trusting others.
Fear causes us to conceal sin and shame in our lives when God’s Word is so clear that we should ask others for help.
Fear causes us to seek the easy decision, what’s comfortable rather than seeking the right one.
Fear makes us choose wrong choices.

So what do we do with our fear? I don’t know how you have dealt with fear in your past, but it is my heart to help you overcome any fear, and to realize God is bigger than anything that comes against you.

How to overcome fear

1. Overcome fear with faith.

Fear is the opposite of faith.

A.W. Tozer said, “Fear is of the flesh and panic is of the Devil.”

It seems when we entertain thoughts of fear, and allow it to settle in our spirit, panic will set in. Many people have had panic attacks in their life all due to fear. Most of the time the fear is something we think will happen and not a factual outcome.

The Bible says, that Satan is like a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8). He roars that he might make us afraid. The roar of a lion can actually paralyze its prey causing it to be its easy target. If Satan can create fear in us, we become an easier prey for him to destroy.

God offers us faith as Romans 12:3 says, “For by the grace (unmerited favor of God) given to me I warn everyone among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought [not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance], but to rate his ability with sober judgment, each according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to him.”

Everyone is given the measure of faith as a born again Christian. You have faith, you don’t need to pray for it. I don’t need to pray for faith, I just need to use the faith that I have. The more I use the faith that I have, the stronger it will get. Faith can grow and the only way it grows is if you use it. Faith is a powerful force that resides on the inside of our spirit. When it is released tremendous things can happen.

We have to have faith to get up in the morning. We have to have faith to raise our children, or drive in traffic, or get married and stay married. So also we need faith to overcome our fears. Faith is a decision we make about where we are going to put our trust. Our trust has to be in God and His Word. He is for you and not against you. He has great plans for you. He brings opportunities for you to walk in and wants you to walk in them fearlessly.

There are times I feel anointed to preach the Word of God, then there are times. I may be fearful or don’t sense God’s anointing that I have to step……. into it by faith and God always meets me and helps me to get to where I need to be.

We can release our faith in three different ways: by praying, by saying, and by doing. Stop saying how you feel or think and start saying what God says about your situation. Allow your faith to arise in times of being afraid. The shield of faith is your best weapon to overcome the lies and roars of the enemy.

2. Confront your fear.

What we cannot perceive, predict, understand or explain, creates in us an unknown fear. That is why children are afraid of the dark and cautious of strangers over which they have no control. We need to learn how to confront our fears. Again, “Knowledge is power.” Once we understand what the core issue is, it decreases its hold on our life and the fear subsides.

Sometimes when we go through fearful experiences, we fail to analyze it. Understanding what was previously unknown can go a long way to dispelling fear. Understanding a problem is 90% of the solution.

Be determined to overcome and confront what is making you fearful. You can never overcome anything you don’t confront! We can fear our past, or fear of natural disasters, fear of relationships, or fear of a new job or opportunity. When we choose not to confront, the fear controls you and your decisions.

Confrontation is not usually pleasant or comfortable. Most people don’t want to confront issues in their life. They would rather live with it, allowing it to rule them, instead of overcoming and pressing forward with out the bondage of it all. But when someone has confronted issues in their life, and overcome them once and for all, they look back and ask themselves, “Why didn’t I do this a long time ago.” You see now they are walking in freedom instead of the bondage the fear or their flesh had on them.

It is a night and day difference of being paralyzed by your issues and trying to live your life from day to day in struggle and misery, then to confront the issues and decide you want to change, (and be determined to change) and walking out the other side as an overcomer in liberty and power. It’s your choice: Fear and bondage vs. Freedom and power!

3. Be courageous.

Courage is not the absence of fear, but courage is actually forward motion in the presence of fear.

God wants us to be strong and courageous. He spoke this to Joshua many times before he crossed over the water to possess the promised land.

Joshua 1:6 – 7 Amplified Bible
“Be strong (confident) and of good courage, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only you be strong and very courageous, that you may do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you. Turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.”

Joshua was just getting ready to face the giants in the land and to possess the promises God gave Moses forty years earlier. He needed courage to be encouraged to go even in the face of any fears he may have experienced.

Hebrews 13:6 Amplified Bible
“So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me?”

What can man do to me? Our flesh screams daily for being comfortable. Our spirit should be tenacious to overcome our flesh and to press forward with the new God has waiting for us.

The Webster dictionary speaks of being encouraged as: “to inspire with courage, spirit, or hope.” This is what we need to do for ourselves. We need to encourage ourself in the Lord. I have written on this in my article, “How To Encourage Yourself In The Lord.” It is the number one article on my Blog. Daily I have people reading that article and they found it by searching the internet on “How To Encourage Yourself.” Everyone of us need to be encouraged daily. If we lose our courage, we have lost the war.

Courageous is possessing or characterized by courage; brave (dictionary.com). We need to have brave hearts in this journey of life. Anyone can give up and retreat. It takes a courageous person to press on in the midst of fear or discouragement.

4. Ask for God’s peace to reign supreme.

John 14:27 Amplified Bible
“Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]”

God has given us His peace. It is one of the fruit of the the Spirit. We already have it. Allow it to grow in your life. “Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.”

There are times it comes right down to our choices. Do we choose to be fearful and intimidated, or do we choose to walk in God’s peace and assurance that He never leaves us and will take care of us. If he takes care of the sparrow, surely He watches over you and I!

Luke 12:6 – 7 Amplified Bible
“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And [yet] not one of them is forgotten or uncared for in the presence of God. But [even] the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not be struck with fear or seized with alarm; you are of greater worth than many [flocks] of sparrows.”

God doesn’t want us to walk in intimidation. He wants us to walk in boldness and to have our spirits be at peace.

Philippians 4:6 – 7 Amplified Bible
“Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

5. Confront the devil and cast him out!

Never let fear fool you into thinking there is nothing you could do about it. Sometimes by the grace of God, with a little effort you can put an end to that danger. You must have an active engagement with the problem, or in other words take precautionary measure. If you fear that your children may catch polio, then get them vaccinated.

Don’t allow anything, or anybody to rob you of your God-given peace! The enemy can’t do anything to us, only if we let him. His biggest weapon he uses against us is our own mind and what we think. So he will fill your mind with doom and gloom. He will tell you that there is no hope. These are the times we confront the devil and cast him out, and shake him off! Amen!

In order to overcome fear brought about by Satan you must have a bold confrontation with him. Jesus did this many times when dealing with and casting out evil spirits.

Col. 2:15 Amplified Bible
“[God] disarmed the principalities and powers that were ranged against us and made a bold display and public example of them, in triumphing over them in Him and in it [the cross].”

You must realize the fact that Satan is real, but a defeated foe. We will overcome when we take our authority in the name of Jesus. For greater is He that is in us then he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).

God is bigger than any fear you may face. Remind yourself of 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” His spirit lives in us! God is big enough for anything you are going through.

You may be facing…
Fear of the unknown = God is bigger
Past hurts or failures = God is bigger
Self-pity = God is bigger
Relationships = God is bigger
Sin = God is bigger
Disease = God is bigger
doubts = God is bigger
Experiencing a storm – God is bigger

Be strong and courageous and get a glimpse of who God is in your life. He is Bigger than anything and everything you face!

Your sister in Christ,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.KrisBelfils.com
www.HopeFellowshipSpokane.com
www.KrisBelfils.WordPress.com

The Power of Oneness

The Power of Oneness

As a Pastor, I have always ached in my heart when people, who use to attend our church, decided to come every once in a while or eventually they don’t come at all. I felt there was something wrong with me because my loveThe Power Of Oneness (WP) for them would get the better of me. Sometimes it consumed me because I knew they were missing out on what God was doing and I wanted them to be a part, also those who were faithful attenders really missed those who were not there too. “Did I do something wrong?” “Are my sermons boring or not having substance?” “Don’t they long to be in the presence of God?” “Is it because I am a woman?” These and more questions I would ask myself.

So many people have an independent spirit about them and believe they can come and go from church whenever they so choose, and they think it doesn’t effect anyone or anything. American Christians are notorious for this behavior.

God showed me the reasons why I was aching so much over these people. I found in the Book of Acts my answer and it has nothing to do with me, but it has to do with us.

Appearing to the Disciples after His death and resurrection, Jesus told them to wait in Jerusalem.

Luke 24:49 NKJV
Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.

In the beginning of Acts we see Jesus assembled together with them and He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now. (Acts 1:4 – 5)

Jesus knew they needed to receive power from the Holy Spirit to be witnesses for Him. He also knew what was ahead of them, they didn’t. He was preparing them for more. More people to teach and disciple, more miracles, signs, and wonders, more power, and more of His Spirit.

It was important for all of them to be together and to stay together and wait together.

Acts 1:14 NKJV
These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

The phrase, “one accord” is translated from the Greek: homothumadon (hom-oth-oo-mad-on’) and it means, unanimously: – with one accord (mind) [Adverb from a compound of the base of G3674 and G2372].

This is something we can learn and glean for our own lives and church in that phrase, “One Accord.” To all come together with one mind, unanimously expecting God to move in our midsts should be our mindset. Most people won’t tarry. Most people have other things on their mind instead of waiting for something they don’t even know what it is. It is easy to wait for something you know is coming… Holidays, package coming in the mail, a certain event, but to wait for an unknown promise, in todays instant culture, is hard and challenging.

Acts 2:1 NKJV
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

What a powerful manifestation of the Holy Spirit on each of the one hundred and twenty in the upper room waiting together for the promise of the Father which Jesus told them about. There oneness kept them there together, and they all were seeking what God wanted for all of them.

As we read more about what happened after that powerful event, we see how their oneness produced great results for the Kingdom of God.

On the Day of Pentecost there were people from all nations under heaven and they heard them speaking in their own language the praises of God. They were all amazed and marveled and wondered what it could be. At the same time there were others who were seeing it all and they mocked the disciples saying, “They are full of new wine” (Acts 2:13).

I found it interesting that there were mockers who instantly criticized the power of God and the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. We, as a church, need to be aware that critics will criticize what God will do and stay in oneness no matter what.

In spite of any mockery, there were those who gladly received Peter’s words and were baptized and 3000 souls were added to them that day (Acts 2:41)! I would say the Disciples oneness produced powerful results.

Acts 2:42 – 47 NKJV
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear (awe) came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. []So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

The phrase “continued steadfastly” means to continually devote themselves to one another. It means to be earnest towards one another, to persevere, constantly diligent, and attend assiduously. (Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Definitions)

Continually means that they did these things consistently, while devoting means there was a strong focus on these things that deeply consumed them. They chose not to scatter their energy and investment of time into all kinds of other concerns and commitments.

I believe this is where the church, as a whole, has failed. We have not continually devoted ourselves to one another or there would not be church splits, or indifference in coming to church, or a lack of desire to be together. We all have to work on this. It is biblical. Oneness set the church of Acts on a solid foundation and I believe we need to do the same.

The more they were together, they realized how important each other was. They saw the value of being together because it knit their hearts as one. Never underestimate the power of fellowshipping together.

There is more to being in One Accord then being in one mind and purpose. It also is being one soul, or a covenant community. We make a covenant when we marry our spouse saying I will be with you always and there is no other. God established a new covenant with us by sending His Son to save the world from damnation and we no longer have to follow the law and rules of the old covenant. God’s new covenant will not change. It abides forever. But have you ever considered to make a covenant with the body of Christ you attend on Sunday? I challenge you to establish that covenant with one another and keep it at all costs! Not to be legalistic but to create a bond that will produce results! Amen!

Each week we come together to worship God and to learn from His Word. But there is so much more then that. We come together to see and fellowship with one another.

Fellowship means spending time together with other believers in a connected and vulnerable way, sharing lives and being accountable to people with whom you have chosen to share life. Even a quick reading of the books of Acts will show the people of the early church spent a lot of time just being together, everyday, often.

Acts 2:42 – 44 Amplified Bible
“And they steadfastly persevered, devoting themselves constantly to the instruction and fellowship of the apostles, to the breaking of bread [including the Lord’s Supper] and prayers. And a sense of awe (reverential fear) came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were performed through the apostles (the special messengers). And all who believed (who adhered to and trusted in and relied on Jesus Christ) were united and [together] they had everything in common;”

“Devoting themselves constantly to…” The first thing on the list to which the early church gave its devotion was the apostles’ teaching. In other words they devoted themselves to hearing and absorbing what would later become the New Testament. They were constantly getting fed and allowing the word of God to become a part of their soul. You could say they were absorbing or being saturated in good teaching of God’s Word.

The important thing here is that they were being taught the same thing. If one person left and received a teaching from another place, contrary to what the disciples were teaching, it wasn’t the same. Being taught the same thing brings unity and oneness. You are a part and you understand where your fellowship is going.

Then comes fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer which implies, and even requires consistent, deep, passionate covenant relationship between people inspired and filled by the Holy Spirit.

I talked about fellowshipping, now lets look at breaking of bread. It’s more then observing communion and/or eating together. In the Bible times, sharing a meal meant much more than our own casual invitation to “do lunch” together. For people in the Bible, sharing a meal constituted one of the most intimate forms of fellowship possible. You ate together only with people to whom you felt willing to commit in a covenant way. I think that’s why churches love potlucks. There were many jokes about potlucks at church in the past, but seeing how the early church came together often and broke bread and communed together, we should do the same. Enjoy days where the church has a potluck or lunch/dinner. Enjoy those you are eating with. Find out more about them. Truly care about them and have compassion for them. This is being biblical and it pleases God’s heart!

Finally, prayer seemed most often to be something they did together as a unified body. The time leading up to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost the apostles and a few others were praying together in the upper room and ended with 120 pouring out their hearts to God in one accord, or oneness. Just like it states in Acts 2, verse 1, that they were all with one accord in one place. This is a picture of unity! Prayer is vital for your breakthrough!

Just as soon as the Holy Spirit fell on that original one hundred and twenty a deep, passionate and strong sense of community resulted.

Acts 2:43
Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles.

Notice the sense of awe came before the signs and wonders. The awe was a direct result of their depth and power of the love and fellowship they experienced. The wonders and signs did not produce the awe. The passage only mentions wonders and signs only once, while the remainder of the passages focuses on all the things they did together in love, and on the sacrifices they made for one another as they lived out their faith in covenant relationship, consistently and deeply pursued.

God calls us to oneness in relationship powered by the heart and Spirit of Jesus. Oneness with God leads directly to oneness with each other. The effect is prophetic, producing the fruit that is beyond our needs so that the world may believe.

Our focused covenant community affects others in a great way. Your part is so vital in the scheme of things. All are needed, and all were filed with the Holy Spirit, and all fellowshipped and broke bread together.

What if I, the wife of my husband of almost 30 years, decide to live half of the time at another man’s home? What if I said to him, Honey, I love you. You are my husband and this is my home but I just need to live part-time at John’s house because he has something I need right now? How stable and effective would our household be? How would that impact our children? How would it impact my covenant with my husband?

Or what if I informed my husband, “You will always be my first husband, but I just feel I need to be married to this other one, too? We all know it wouldn’t work. Our marriage would resolve and it would effect my entire family, and possibly community.

Spiritual polygamy does not build the Kingdom of God. It only keeps us fragmented, ineffective and unproductive at making a prophetic impact on this world. Spiritual polygamy means you are not planted anywhere. You become a vagabond (wondering from place to place without a home).

Why do I say all of this? The majority of modern Christians attend and even commit themselves to more than one church in a year. I have heard that the average number of churches christians attend is six. This can never build stable and effective covenant community any more than the kind of living arrangements I described about my husband and I could create or sustain a stable home.

The kind of church life many Christians practice might be more aptly described as spiritual promiscuity, hopping from church bed to church bed seeking the next thrill or perhaps to have personal needs met without real concern for selfless sacrifice, depth of relationships or effective ministry for the sake of others. Personal trust, of others, so necessary to life changing ministry over time, can only be built in being consistent in oneness and covenant community.

God calls us to focused commitment that builds strong relationships in love. The sense of awe the early church experienced flowed not from the signs and wonders but from the love they practiced, the connection, the continual devotion to things that made for relationship in the power of the Holy Spirit. Prophetic community cannot develop without this kind of “continually devoting.”

I have been thinking why don’t we see miracles and healings? Why don’t we see amazing things; signs and wonders in today’s church? I believe it is in part because no one wants to commit to each other and to love one another deeply. We are so concerned with ourselves.

In Romans 12, the apostle Paul understood and taught the value, power and practice of community.

Romans 12:1
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

No longer can the Christian walk be built around “me,” feeding “me,” entertaining “me.” I must become the sacrifice given up to God for His use and His purposes.

The world practices a way of thinking which revolves around self and pushes away anything that has to do with commitment or covenant. We are not to be conformed to this world but to be transformed by the renewing of our mind, so that we may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:2). We must absorb God’s mind – which begins and ends in covenant.

Covenant love makes us a prophetic people, a people with something to say, a light house, or city of refuge of God’s healing grace, a people who will change our world. In covenant love we will make a difference. Very few members of the first church in Acts 2 could be said to be prophetic individually, but they functioned as part of a prophetic community. What they did together and how they lived out their bond of love made a statement to the world that changed things forever. Without the bonded community meeting regularly, fellowshipping, loving, and praying and breaking bread together, all the signs and wonders would have been meaningless. When real devotion to one another develops, a prophetic statement is made. This is Church, and we are one!

If you have been gifted as one of those few who are truly prophetic, but without a solid foundation in a covenant with God that bonds you to one specific local expression of the Body of Christ, you will fail to make whole and accurate prophetic statements. Trying to be committed in covenant to more than one body at once is like practicing polygamy. You end up being truly close to no one and hindered in your effectiveness to anyone.

Being a part of a local church is one of the great joys and responsibilities of every believer. However, it involves more than showing up on Sunday! How do you participate in the life of your church? While you experience different levels of involvement in a church during different seasons of your life, be sure to consistently avail yourself of opportunities to fellowship, worship, serve, and receive teaching of the Word of God.

Romans 15:5 – 7 NKJV
Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be likeminded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.

There is a song that was written back in the seventy’s that, as a little child, I remember singing in church. I think it is very appropriate to read the words of this song for the message.

They will know we are Christians by our love

1. We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord,
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord,
And we pray that all unity may one day be restored.

Refrain
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love,
Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

2. We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand,
We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand,
And together we’ll spread the news that God is in our land.

Refrain
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love,
Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

3. We will work with each other, we will work side by side,
We will work with each other, we will work side by side,
And we’ll guard each one’s dignity and save each one’s pride.

Refrain
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love,
Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

4. All praise to the Father, from whom all things come,
And all praise to Christ Jesus, his only Son,
And all praise to the Spirit, who makes us one.

Refrain
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love,
Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

Who will make a covenant with me, and with those who you fellowship with to continue steadfastly with each other in teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, and in prayer? Let this become who we are every time we come together to worship our Lord, Amen!

Your sister in Christ,

Pastor Kris Belfils
www.KrisBelfils.com
www.HopeFellowshipSpokane.com
www.KrisBelfils.WordPress.com

 

 

 

 

Resources: Pastor Kris Belfils, “The Prophetic Church” by Loren Sandford, and “They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love” Peter Scholtes