Promises of Psalm 103

Promises of Psalm 103

Psalm 103 PromisesGod has promised us so many things in His Word. There are almost too many to count. We read these promises everyday when we read God’s Word. Often we never give it a second thought.

But if we would take the time to really look at these rich verses, we will become amazed, strengthened, and feel secure in our life daily. We need to be reminded of God’s compassion towards us through His promises. Let’s live our lives embracing these powerful promises. It is a broad place to stand. No sinking sand, only solid ground.

Psalm 103 NLT

I would like to show you all God has promised us in this powerful Psalm. King David wrote this and it was his song of praise of all God has done and is doing. It talks about the Father’s love towards us. Amazing to get in your spirit and embrace it daily.

The beginning of Psalm 103 is a cry of praise to a powerful God. David knew where His strength came from.

Psalm 103:1 – 2 NLT
Praise the LORD, I tell myself; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, I tell myself, and never forget the good things he does for me.

I love this because David was a man after God’s own heart. He understood and cherished His relationship with God as the most precious relationship he could ever have. David was quick to praise even in challenging times. He begins with praise and then starts telling of all of the wonderful things God has done and is doing.

Promises of Psalm 103

  1. Forgiveness for all our sins and does not punish, but loves us.

Psalm 103:3a, 10 – 12 NLT
He forgives all my sins… He has not punished us for all our sins, nor does he deal with us as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our rebellious acts as far away from us as the east is from the west.

This is the first of many promises David mentions. Note the importance of placing it first. It shows that David knew he needed forgiveness and how important it was for his life. All other promises pail in comparison. Placing it first above all other promises in this chapter shows David’s priority of needing forgiveness of all his iniquities.

God forgives us of all the wrong we have done. He doesn’t hold a grudge against us. Once God forgives, and He forgives because of what His Son accomplished on the cross, we are forgiven. No matter what you tell yourself, or others tell you; you are forgiven.

Did you know God is more ready to forgive then we are ready to repent? A broken spirit is the quickest way to spiritual wholeness. It almost sounds contradictory. Being broken and contrite before God will always open the door for God to heal and restore to wholeness. Being hard hearted, stubborn, or prideful does the opposite. It pushes you away from God because you are trying to do things on your own and haven’t given God control. It is His kindness that brings us to repentance.

Psalm 51:17 tells us that the sacrifice God wants is a broken spirit. A broken and repentant heart, GOD WILL NEVER despise. Don’t stay in the place of bondage any longer, tell God you are sorry and ask His forgiveness. Repent means to not only ask for forgiveness, but to turn completely away from ever doing it again. You will feel free once you ask God to forgive you and walk away from it.

When we confess our sins and trust Jesus Christ, our sins are wiped away. They will not be held against us. We are freely and fully pardoned by the Lord and should forgive ourselves as well.

Forgiveness is not based on the magnitude of the sin, but the magnitude of the forgiver’s love. No sin is too great for God’s complete and unconditional love to wash away. The Bible does, however, mention one unforgivable sin–harboring an attitude of defiant hostility toward God that prevents us from accepting his forgiveness. Those who don’t want his forgiveness place themselves out of its reach.

Forgiveness means that God looks at us as though we never sinned. We are blameless before Him.

2. He heals us.

Psalm 103:b Amplified Bible
…Who heals [each one of] all your diseases.

Sin can make us sick, literally. Healing can come if we repent of our sin and receive God’s forgiveness. But that is not the only reason we get sick. Life happens. Our bodies do not last forever. accidents happen. God is not bound by the limitations of this world. He can overcome any threat in our lives—physical, mental, spiritual, or emotional.

Luke 5:12 – 13 NLT
In one of the villages, Jesus met a man with an advanced case of leprosy. When the man saw Jesus, he fell to the ground, face down in the dust, begging to be healed. “Lord,” he said, “if you want to, you can make me well again.” Jesus reached out and touched the man. “I want to,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared.

Jesus has the ability and the willingness to heal us. We are not bothering God when we pray for healing; we are expressing our faith and trust in him.

God’s healing can reach every level of our lives. His healing brings a joy and freedom that cannot be contained.

3. Redeems, rescues, and ransoms us from death.

Psalm 103:4a NLT
He ransoms me from death …

Amplified Bible
Who redeems your life from the pit and corruption…

We all are born into a sinful world. We all should perish and go to hell. But by Christ’s redeeming love, He rescues us from death and we will never perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

The Lord gives us absolute assurance: “I will rescue those who love me.” (Psalm 91:14) This passage does not give us license to be reckless. But it gives us the promise that when people and circumstances turn against us, God is for us.

Psalm 50:15 NLT
Trust me in your times of trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.

God promises to rescue us not only for our welfare, but for His glory. I love that! His name is at stake, and it will give Him all the glory. It is a win – win situation.

Psalm 72:12 – 14 NLT
He will rescue the poor when they cry to him; he will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them. He feels pity for the weak and the needy and he will rescue them. He will save them from oppression and from violence, for their lives are precious to him.

No situation is too difficult for the Lord. The greater our need, the greater the depth of his love and compassion is for us.

4. He crowns us with mercy and loving-kindness.

Psalm 103:4b, 8, 17 – 18 Amplified Bible
Who beautifies, dignifies, and crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercy;…The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy and loving-kindness… But the mercy and loving-kindness of the Lord are from everlasting to everlasting upon those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him, and His righteousness is to children’s children of those who are faithful to his covenant, of those who obey his commandments!

The promise is like a glorious crown that decorates the brow. A crown becomes a metaphor of the quality of God’s nature. God has tender mercies toward us “sinners.” It shows of His compassion towards us.

Only God can make something beautiful that was once wretched. Everyone of us are precious jewels that God has made from lost souls like you and I. We are forever-beautiful because of all that God has done in our life. How many of you are thankful for God’s loving-kindness? Me too.

The gift of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, is God’s ultimate expression of His love for us. Though he gives many other blessings, he can give no greater gift. The gift of the Holy Spirit is also an assurance of God’s love. Though it may be difficult to prove objectively, the Spirit gives solid assurances in our hearts.

Psalm 23:6 NLT
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.

God’s love pursues us everyday. We can be certain that God will continually shower us with his mercy and guard us in his love.

Psalm 31:7 NLT
I am overcome with joy because of your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul.

God understands our weaknesses and struggles without condemning us. He gives us joy to replace our anguish. Anguish means: excruciating or acute distress, suffering, or pain (dictionary.com).

God cares when we are in distress, or anguish, and has a remedy. He replaces it with His joy.

Obeying God will help bring healing, restoration, and fresh growth in our lives. We obey God because we are already loved, not in order to be loved. And as we obey, we are promised joy.

John 15:10 – 11 NLT
When you obey me, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father and remain in his love. I have told you this so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!

Did you know that our obedience expresses our love for God? The more we obey God’s word, the more we truly love him and want to follow his ways.

5. He fills my life with good things so our youth is renewed.

Psalm 103:5 Amplified Bible
Who satisfies your mouth [your necessity and desire at your personal age and situation] with good so that your youth, renewed, is like the eagle’s [strong, overcoming, soaring]!

Wow! What a promise! God satisfies us with good things. What does that mean?

John Gill’s expedition of the entire Bible states about this verse:
With the good things in the heart of God, with his favour and lovingkindness, as with marrow and fatness; with the good things in the hands of Christ, with the fulness of grace in him, with pardon, righteousness, and salvation by him; with the good things of the Spirit of God, his gifts and graces; and with the provisions of the Lord’s house, the goodness and fatness of it; these he shows unto his people, creates hungerings and thirstings in them after them, sets their hearts a longing after them, and then fills and satisfies them with them.

Only God can give satisfaction to our souls. God is good. He is a good Father. His heart is good. His favor is good. His loving-kindness is good. His grace is good. His forgiveness and righteousness and salvation is good. Being filled with Who He is renews us and gives us strength just like an eagle.

Isaiah 40:29 – 31 Amplified Bible
He gives power to the faint and weary, and to him who has no might He increases strength [causing it to multiply and making it to abound]. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and [selected] young men shall feebly stumble and fall exhausted; But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.

I believe being filled with the Holy Spirit gives us energy to do what God calls us to do. Many times I have been quickened by the Holy Spirit and have suddenly gone from being extremely tired to feeling as if I could run around the city. This is a good reason to keep ourselves filled with God’s Spirit; we need all the energy we can get! God can empower you to face everything you need to do with renewed physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual strength.

The Holy Spirit will not energize us to be mean, hateful, selfish, or self-centered. He will give us strength and energy to do the things God has called us to do and to be kind, loving, diligent, and focused in the process.

6. God gives righteousness and justice to those treated unfairly.

Psalm 103:6 NLT
The LORD gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly.

He sees that justice is done to the oppressed. He is on their side. His law, his commands, his judicial decisions, his providential interpositions (just at the right time), are in their favor. This does not mean that it will he done at once; or that there will never be any delay; or that they may not suffer even for a long time – for this occurs in fact; but the meaning is, that God has their true interest at heart; that at proper times, and whenever and whereever there are any dealings of his in the case, his acts are in favor of those that are oppressed; and that there will be sooner or later such interpositions (cause to intervene) on their behalf as shall entirely vindicate their cause.

God only allows injustice to happen for so long, or a season, and then He intervenes. He is our defense in times of unjust treatments or false accusations. When we stand up and try to defend ourselves, we only end up looking bad and self-centered. But when we allow Christ to be our defense, the matter is settled. It doesn’t matter what man thinks, it only matters what God thinks. Again, He is our defense.

7. God knows we are weak and only dust.

Psalm 103:14 – 16 NLT
For he understands how weak we are; he knows we are only dust. Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. The wind blows, and we are gone—as though we had never bee here.

Reading these verses can almost make you depressed, but they are there to remind us that we are weak and frail.

Barnes Notes states:
For he knows our frame – Our formation; of what we are made; how we are made. That is, he knows that we are made of dust; that we are frail; that we are subject to decay; that we soon sink under a heavy load. This is given as a reason why he pities us – that we are so frail and feeble, and that we are so easily broken down by a pressure of trial.

He remembereth that we are dust – Made of the earth. Gen_2:7; Gen_3:19. In his dealings with us he does not forget of what frail materials he made us, and how little our frames can bear. He tempers his dealings to the weakness and frailty of our nature, and his compassion interposes when the weight of sorrows would crush us. Remembering, too, our weakness, he interposes by his power to sustain us, and to enable us to bear what our frame could not otherwise endure.

We don’t have to try and figure things out all by ourselves when we go through trials or temptations, God knows what we are made of…. dust. We can lean on God for His guidance and help. He wants us to lean on Him and cry out to Him. The promise is that in verse 17 God’s love remains forever with those who fear him. He is faithful to His covenant, to those who obey His Word.

This is only one chapter in the entire Bible that has so many promises in it. Thinking of God’s great love for us overwhelms me. His presence engulfs me. We are so blessed to serve a powerful, risen, all knowing and loving God. He keeps His promises from generation to generation.

Embrace God’s promises in Psalm 103 in your life today. They are for you and I to live by and stand on daily.

Your sister in Christ,

Pastor Kris Belfils
http://www.KrisBelfils.com
http://www.HopeFellowshipSpokane.com
http://www.KrisBelfils.WordPress.com

Advertisements
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

I Pinky Promise

PinkyPromise3When you and I were children, there was a saying we’d often hear. I’m going to say the first half of the saying and let’s see if you know the 2nd half:

“Cross my heart and (hope to die)”
What was that child saying?
They were saying they’d made a promise, and if they were to break that promise they would expect something bad to happen.

Actually, the original phrase is a little longer:
“Cross my heart and hope to die. Stick a needle in my eye.”

The only thing kids could think of that was worse than dying was sticking needles in their eyes – and I would tend to agree. Kids understand the importance of promises. In fact parents have learned that they need to be very careful what promises they make to their kids.

When I really want someone to promise me something I put up my pinky and say, “I Pinky Promise?” If the other person wants to make the promise, they will put up one of their pinky fingers and connect it with my pinky finger and shake on it and say, “I pinky promise.” If they “pinky promised,” in my mind, they would keep their promise. But often they didn’t.

As my girls were growing up I learned that if I told them that…
• I was going to do something for them
• I was going to take them someplace
• I was going to get something for them.
and then (for whatever reason) I didn’t do that, you know what they’d say to me?
BUT YOU PROMISED!

As children we learned that promises are important and need to be kept. God understands that and so He has repeatedly told us throughout the Bible that if He makes a promise He’ll keep it. And in the Bible one of the most significant kind of promises God made were called “Covenants”.

God has made many promises or covenants with us. But, unlike people in our life, he keeps his promises. God has “Pinky Promised” all of us many promises and He is true to His promises!

1 Corinthians 1:20 NIV
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.

Hebrews 10:23
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

A promise is a declaration of some benefit to be granted.

The Webster’s Dictionary gives us this: One’s pledge to another to do or not to do something specified, narrowly, a declaration which gives to the person to whom it is made a right to expect or to claim the performance or forbearance of a specified act.
Ground for hope, expectation or the assurance, often specified of eventual success.
That which is promised—To engage to do, give, make, obtain: to make to another a promise of; also, to give one’s promise to assure as “He will go, I promise you.” To show or suggest beforehand.

The word “promise” is used more than 100 times in the Bible, there are other terms implying the same thought. The Old Testament is a record of God’s promises to patriarchs, kings, prophets, Israel, lowly saints, and to the world at large. The Hebrew noun, []dither, is generally rendered “word,” but “promise is found in…

1 Kings 8:56
According to all that He promised: there hath not failed one word of all His good promise.

Nehemiah 5:12 – 13
That they should do according to the promise.

Another Hebrew word for “promise” is omer, meaning “saying.” This is the term used in “Doth his promise fail for evermore?” (Psalms 77:8) Also, Psalm 68:11 “The Lord gave the word.”

Psalm 105:42 RV
He remembered his holy word. (Holy saying)

This reminds us that God’s Holy Word is always a Holy promise (a pinky promise). From cover to cover of the Bible it is filled with God’s promises for us. One could say it is God’s promise book for all people.

2 Timothy 3:16a NKJV
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God…

It’s divine promises must be God-breathed, and therefore impossible of not being fulfilled. Knowing this information makes me say farewell to any doubt and trust my God fully and completely.

Furthermore, His promises are backed by His faithfulness which runs like a golden thread through His Word. All writers of the Bible magnify God for His unfailing faithfulness to all generations. That’s a pinky promise if I ever saw one!

Deut. 7:9
Know therefore that the Lord thy God, He is God, the faithful God, which kept covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandment to a thousand generations.

Hebrews 10:23
He is faithful that promised.

1 Thess. 5:24 “Faithful is he that calleth you, who will also do it.

God’s faithfulness, then, is our special ground of encouragement as we apply His promises.

Lamentations 3:23
Great is Thy faithfulness.

Looking just at the names of God, each one designates a promise:

-El Shaddai – Lord God Almighty
-El Elyon – The Most High God
-Adonai – Lord, Master
-Yahweh – Lord, Jehovah
-Jehovah Nissi – The Lord My Banner
-Jehovah-Raah – The Lord is my Shepherd
-Jehovah Rapha – The Lord that heals
-Jehovah Shammah – The Lord is there
-Jehovah Tsidkenu – The Lord our righteousness
-Jehovah Mekoddishkem – The Lord who sanctifies you
-El Olam – The everlasting God
-Elohim – God
-Qanna – Jealous
-Jehovah Jireh – The Lord will provide
-Jehovah Shalom – The Lord is peace
-Jehovah Sabaoth – The Lord of Hosts

Let me pick one of those names, Jehovah Jireh, and share a promise:

Philippiains 4:19
My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Let’s look at one of God’s promises and dissect it today:

Psalm 34:17 NKJV
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles.

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears…

One of the biggest advantages of being righteous is the privilege of crying out to God or calling out His name with the assurance that He will deliver us. It is a privilege to call upon God; a privilege of prayer. There is no blessing superior.

Can you imagine what a world this would be if we couldn’t cry out to God for help? How sad, how helpless, how wretched if there were no God for the guilty, the helpless, the broken, the suffering, or the sinner to call to.

More scripture on calling out to God.

Isaiah 65:24
It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.

Psalm 91:15
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.

Psalm 145:18 – 19
The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them.

Jeremiah 33:3
Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.

…And delivers them out of all their troubles.

He often delivers them from trouble in this life.
He will deliver them literally from all trouble in the life to come.

The promise is not that they shall be delivered from all trouble on earth, but the idea is that God is able to rescue them from trouble here; that he often does it through prayer; and that there will be, in the case of every righteous person, a sure and complete deliverance from all trouble here after.

There are a few verses that go along with Psalm 34:17.

Psalm 34:6
This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, And saved him out of all his troubles.

The word “poor” here does not mean “poor” in the sense of a want of wealth, but “poor” in the sense of being afflicted, crushed, forsaken, desolate. The word “miserable” would better express the idea than the word “poor.”

…And the Lord heard him – That is, heard in the sense of “answered.” He regarded his cry, and saved him.

Psalm 34:19
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

This is not to say the righteous have more afflictions then the unrighteous. But the righteous do have suffering and trials. The good news is that God sustains us in our trials. He supports us and makes beauty from ashes. He turns trials into triumphs!

As a Christian, we are never alone in the middle of any trial. God is always with us. Even when we go through deep waters, we are not alone.

Isaiah 43:2 NLT
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.

Isn’t it amazing to realize all these verses are actually promises from God to help us in our everyday life? I love it! God tenderly holds us with these verses to reassure us that we have help in all situations. They are “Pinky Promises” from God that He never ever stops fulfilling!

I am excited for this new series we are embarking on. I need to get the promises of God in my heart and I believe you do too. We will grow and learn as we look as some powerful promises together.

Let me leave you with a quote from Dwight L. Moody:

“Take the promises of God. Let a man feed for a month on the promises of God, and he will not talk about how poor he is. You hear people say, ‘Oh, my leanness! how lean I am!” It is not their leanness, it is their laziness. If you would only read from Genesis to Revelation and see all the promises made by God to Abraham, to Isaac, to Jacob, to the Jews and to the Gentiles, and to all His people everywhere — If you would spend a month feeding on the precious promises of God — you wouldn’t be going about complaining how poor you are. You would lift up your head and proclaim the riches of His Grace, because you couldn’t help doing it!”
Dwight L. Moody

Your sister,

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

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus in 2016

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus in 2016

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus WPThis is a pivotal time. It is a transition time. A lot has happened in 2015. I am sure as you place a mental calendar in front of your mind’s eye you could tell me all kinds of things that happened in your life each month. Some good and some bad. Now we are in 2016. A new year.

This past year has been a journey for us all. For some the road has brought joy, for others pain. We look and see a broken world. As we gaze at all the craziness around us our hearts can feel uncertain. Fear of the unknown can set in. We can look at 2016 and feel anything but secure. We wonder if HOPE is losing. We have been talking about HOPE since the end of September. My heart was to get it in our spirit to the point no matter what we go through or what the future holds, we can face it with the Hope we have in God and His promises. As this new year begins, what do we do? We are to:

TURN OUR EYES UPON JESUS!

LOOK FULL IN HIS WONDERFUL FACE

AND THE THINGS OF EARTH WILL GROW STRANGELY DIM

IN THE LIGHT OF HIS GLORY AND GRACE

The author of “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus,” Lilias Trotter, wrote:  It is easy to find out whether our lives are focused, and if so, where the focus lies. Where do our thoughts settle when consciousness comes back in the morning? Where do they swing back when the pressure is off during the day? Dare to have it out with God, and ask Him to show you whether or not all is focused on Christ and His Glory. Turn your soul’s vision to Jesus, and look and look at Him, and a strange dimness will come over all that is apart from Him. – Lilias Trotter

We are embarking on a new year. Now is the time for New Beginnings. Now is the time to release all the bad that has happened in 2015 and let it go. Forgive who you need to forgive. Let go of events or circumstances that brought despair or destruction. Leave it in 2015. Leave it at Christ’s feet. Walk into 2016 strengthened by these things instead of allowing them to overtake you. This new year is a year of breakthrough and change. We are moving forward, holding God’s hand, and our heads up knowing we are not alone.

We serve a God of endings and beginnings. We cannot have a new beginning without something coming to an end. In this case, it’s 2015. Turning our eyes upon Jesus and looking into His wonderful face will protect our hearts from any despair or downheartedness. We need this! You and I need to protect our hearts from falling into any trap the enemy, satan, wants to use to bring disillusion and confusion.

Turning our eyes upon Jesus is a command in Scripture.

Hebrews 12:2a NKJV

looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith

Hebrews 12:2a Amplified Bible

[looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity],

The Bible tells us to look and to fix our eyes on Jesus. Make this be your New Year’s resolution for 2016. No matter what, you keep your eyes on Jesus. No matter how many bills you have to pay; Keep your eyes on Jesus! No matter all the things that can go wrong; Keep your eyes on Jesus! No matter what tries to distract you; Keep your eyes on Jesus. No matter how many disappointments you may encounter; Keep your eyes on Jesus. Know that []a disappointment can sometimes be a divine appointment in disguise! 

Our prayer should be:

Lord, I keep my eyes on You! I know you are good to me. I know You are watching over me. You are working all things for my good this past year and the year to come. I let go of my desires, or what I think should happen, and focus on You and Your desires. I want what You want. I will do what You want me to do. I just know I need you desperately, always in my life. I soak in Your love. I soak in Your goodness. 2016 is going to be an amazing year because You have brought it to me! Thank you for Your peace and assurance that I am standing on solid ground when I keep my eyes on You!

Delayed Gratification

As we turn our eyes upon Jesus and stay focused, it keeps us on the right path. Being on the right path and walking forward in all that God brings us to do, we will receive a gratifying reward.

There is the principle of delayed gratification. We can see this principle at work in our own lives. There are times when we must give up the good to obtain the best.

•If one of our resolutions is to lose weight, we give up certain foods so that we might lose weight.

•Students give up a night out with friends to study for final exams.

•A young man gives up dinner and a movie because he is saving to buy a new car.

There is sacrifice involved. One pleasure is sacrificed so that a higher one might be achieved. It is amazing what we can sacrifice or give up if we really want something or really want to do something. There is a higher level of delayed gratification that involves enduring pain to receive a reward.

This is why athletes lift weights at 6:00 a.m., while their friends are still in bed. They give up sleep, in order to win a championship.

This is why aspiring pianists practice for hours when they might be watching TV or playing video games. They put in the hours in the hope that some day they may play for thousands.

In all these things there is a pain involved, but it is pain endured for the sake of the joy that comes when the goal is reached.

What has your year been like? God spoke to me that this past year we have endured. We have given up much. We have sacrificed much. We have been faithful at Hope Fellowship. The Lord impressed on my heart that 2016 will be the year of reward…. the gratification of the sacrifices we have made.

I want to share personally in my life some sacrifices to allow you to see possibly in your life something similar and to know that this delayed gratification of not seeing the results we want right away will be worth it all when God brings His rewards with Him!

Personally: My family and I are here every Sunday and Friday nights serving you. All the surgeries, and all the health issues I endured in 2015. All the tears shed in 2015 for the lost, broken, and for Hope Fellowship. All the hours spent counseling, encouraging others, and training my staff. All the time spent in prayer for Hope Fellowship and those who attend. All the sermons prepared, and worship sets planned and played. All the studying and preparing. All the graphic design and computer work… God is bringing a reward, gratification, and transition into the new He has waiting in my life!

Now turn that onto you. What have you sacrificed this past year? What have you gone through and still kept your faith. What did you obey day in and day out that God required? Obedience brings blessing! God is telling you today that YOU WILL have much reward for your efforts. He sees all and is a rewarder to those who diligently seek Him.

Hebrews 11:6 Amplified Bible

But without faith it is impossible to [walk with God and] please Him, for whoever comes [near] to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He rewards those who [earnestly and diligently] seek Him.

Please don’t give up in doing good. We will receive a reward. People go to work to receive a reward in the form of a paycheck. There are so many examples of preparing and doing things, that in time, will produce something of value.

Galatians 6:9 NKJV

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

That is why keeping our eyes on Jesus throughout the year keeps our focus where it should be. This helps us to keep on keeping on in spite of our circumstances. It reminds us that God is fighting for us and our situation is not going unnoticed. God sees our situation and He is MIGHTY to save! He is in the “saving business!” It is His speciality.

It is amazing the benefits we receive when we turn our eyes upon Jesus and keep our gaze there. Distractions grow strangely dim, they can’t help it. Nothing compares to the light, the powerful love God pours into us when our focus turns to Him.

So, keep your eyes on Jesus. Don’t be distracted by the things of the world.

Keep running. Don’t look back. Fix your eyes on Jesus and run with all your might for the finish line. Rejoice in Who you are looking at.

T. E. Marsh wrote on the fullness that is in Christ Jesus.

This a paraphrase of what he wrote:

•In Christ there is full acceptance, therefore do not doubt Him.

•In Christ there is peace, therefore trust Him.

•In Christ there is life, therefore abide in Him.

•In Christ there is blessing, therefore delight in Him.

•In Christ there is light, therefore follow Him.

•In Christ there is power, therefore wait on Him.

•In Christ there is all truth, therefore learn from Him.

•In Christ there is grace, therefore receive from Him.

•In Christ there is joy, therefore rejoice in Him.

•In Christ there is unlimited wealth, therefore depend on Him.

•In Christ there is strength, therefore lean on Him.

This is Who you are looking at! All these attributes and so much more. This is real hope for the new year. Everything we need, we have in Christ.

He has all the hope, all the love, all the acceptance, all the grace, all the power, all the strength, all the wisdom, all the patience, all the guidance, all the encouragement, all the joy, all the endurance, all the gentleness, all the forgiveness, all the determination, all the strength, and all the blessing that we need.

The Lord Jesus has already run the race for you. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, and we will run well. Keep your eye on the prize, Jesus, in 2016 and beyond.

Today, if you haven’t placed your gaze upon Jesus, now is the time. Set yourself up to look in the right direction. There is no better place to stare at then in the light of His glory and grace!

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.KrisBelfils.com

www.HopeFellowshipSpokane.com

www.KrisBelfils.WordPress.com

God is Bigger Than My Selfishness (20 Things the Selfless Do)

God is Bigger Than My Selfishness (20 Things the Selfless Do)

God is bigger then My Selfishness - 20 Things the Selfless Do BlogBeing Self-absorbed, Feeling sorry for yourself, only thinking about yourself, maybe even being a narcissist. Do these words describe you? In today’s society people have grown very selfish. Everyone is thinking about themselves and their own personal agenda. Not many people are givers and see a bigger world than their own.

Selfish: adjective, “devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others, characterized by or manifesting concern or care only for oneself.”

Lately, I have come across a lot of selfish people. Selfish people are usually unhappy. They are always talking about themselves, even when someone else shares a problem or pain, a selfish person will always make the conversation go back to themselves. Very seldom do they see the other person’s needs or point of view, only their own. Selfishness grieves God and it blocks growth in your life.

Everybody is bound to be selfish from time to time. Although many elements of our society may encourage it, selfishness just hurts other people, sometimes at little to no personal gain. A selfish person also ends up losing friends or loved ones because no matter how charming or interesting a selfish person may be, a relationship with a selfish person is hard to maintain. A truly selfish person would never consider the possibility that they are selfish. Many think selfishness and pride are good things, and that putting the needs of others above your own is for suckers. If you’re worried that you’re too selfish and want to be on the path to gratitude and humility, then let’s look at what the selfless do, and the Word of God, and learn from them.

Selfless: “having little or no concern for oneself, especially with regard to fame, position, money, etc.; unselfish.”

20 Things the Selfless Do

1. Selfless people put the other person’s need above their own.

Jesus is the best example of a selfless person. He was sent to earth to save the world from eternal damnation. He wasn’t about His own agenda, but His Father’s. He truly saw the bigger picture. It wasn’t about Him, but about the world, about souls. About people who were lost.

Philippians 2:4 ESV
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Proverbs 3:27-28 ESV
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you.

Proverbs 19:17 ESV
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.

Far too often selfish people only see their wants and seldom see the needs of others. “I want this!” or “I want to become that!” When you become selfless and reach out to those in need, it is a good feeling.

Matthew 25:37- 40 NIV
Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

I was at an outside restaurant the other day wanting some lunch because I was really hungry. I went to see if they would take a debit card for payment because I only had $2.00 cash on me. As I walked away when I saw the sign that read, “Cash only: No Debit or Credit cards,” I saw a homeless couple that attends our church from time to time. I walked over to say, “Hi.” The woman said she was really hungry. I opened my purse and pulled out my wallet and gave them all the cash I had not knowing if they would use the money for food or alcohol or drugs. When I got in my care to drive away I saw the woman in my rearview mirror getting up and walking to order food with the little money I gave her. The feeling of helping someone in need far outweighed the hunger pains I was feeling in my stomach. It was the right thing to do.

2. Selfless people acknowledge others and find out more about them.

One of the most valuable things you can do for someone is acknowledge their existence. Some people feel no one sees them in a crowded room. I have found that acknowledging people, even when I am in a hurry or don’t want to, will brighten someone’s day. Often it leads to a conversation. Ask them questions about themselves if you don’t know how to start the conversation. Asking questions about the other person will open them up and you will find out more about them. Anyone can tell others about themselves. But asking questions about them or their life shows you are interested in them. Listen more and talk less. It will help when you are trying to overcome selfishness.

2 Peter 1:5-7 ESV
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.

Philippians 2:3 ESV
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

3. Selfless people allow God to increase in their life and they decrease.

John 3:30 Amplified Bible
He must increase, but I must decrease. [He must grow more prominent; I must grow less so.]

John the Baptist knew his place when it came to Jesus. John was the forerunner. He had his own disciples and followers, yet John knew his place was to prepare the way of Christ and not build his own kingdom.

God needs to be the center of your life. We follow Him, He doesn’t follow us. Too much of self and not enough of God is a bad thing. It leads to a life of misery and sin. It leads to a wrong path and bad consequences. Aside from all that, who wouldn’t want more of God in their life? He is a good God. I encourage you to develop a craving for God and the things of God. In order to get more of Jesus, you have to give Him more of yourself!

Proverbs 14:14 ESV
The backslider in heart will be filled with the fruit of his ways, and a good man will be filled with the fruit of his ways.

When we decrease, we are nicer to people and value what God values. When we decrease God fills us up with more of His love, peace, joy, and all the fruit of His Spirit. Those are good fruit for people to pic!

4. Selfless people put themselves in the other person’s shoes.

Walking a mile in another man’s shoes can change your life for eternity. Of course, you won’t be able to actually do this, but you can put in the effort into thinking about the other people around you and considering how they might be feeling in any given situation.

Consider how your mother, your friend, your boss, or a random person on the street may be feeling before you take action, and you may find that the world isn’t as clean cut as you thought it was. The more you practice empathy and wondering what other people are going through, the sooner you’ll be able to give up your selfishness.

For example, before you start yelling at your waitress for giving you the wrong order, think about how she might be feeling. She might be tired from being on her feet for ten hours in a row, overwhelmed from having to work too many tables, or just feeling sad about something else; is it really necessary for you to make her feel terrible just to get what you want?

Romans 12:15
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

1 Cor. 12:25-26
… so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.  If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

Gal. 6:2
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

1 Pet. 3:8
Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.

5. Selfless people love their neighbor as themselves.

You can spend so much time thinking about your needs and desires and planning how to get them all met. You plan your day or your future. You are so self-absorbed. Roll that energy and effort onto others. With the same intensity you have for yourself have an intense love for others, even your enemies. This will bring freedom and happiness to your life.

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.

First we love the Lord with everything inside of us, and then we love others as we love ourselves. Do you do this or are you more in love with yourself than God or others? Selfless people are exactly that “less of self.” Selfish people are full of self. You choose?

6. Selfless people wait to speak and don’t interrupt others when they are talking.

Let them finish their sentence. Remember that your points can always wait. If it’s urgent (like if you have to leave) say “excuse me”. Selfish people often think that what they have to say is so important, and that what others have to say is so unimportant, that they can just jump in with their opinions at any time. Well, this is not the case. In fact, your opinion will be much better received if you wait your turn. Furthermore, you may change your opinion if you actually take the time to hear people out.

James 1:19 Amplified Bible
Understand [this], my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry.

I have to say this is one my my pet peeves. When I am talking, it is most irritating when someone interrupts me and talks about themselves. It leaves the listener feeling sick to their stomach when they keep interrupting others and inserting things about their own life. This leads to my next point…

7. Selfless people take the time to really listen to others.

Do you listen to people when they talk to you? I mean, do you really listen? While they are talking are you thinking of something to say in response? Really listening to others is so important in building relationships. No one likes a one sided relationship where one does all the talking and never listens to the other.

Selfish people are notoriously bad listeners. This is because they are too busy talking about their own struggles, their own problems, and their own setbacks to take the time to listen to what their friends are saying. If you’re the kind of person who picks up the phone, talks at someone for half an hour, and then says goodbye, then you’re not taking the time to listen to what other people are telling you.

Any conversation should have about a 50/50 exchange of ideas, and if you’re monopolizing every conversation you have, then you’ve got to work on honing those listening skills the next time you talk to people.

Selfish people don’t care about other people, which is why they don’t really take the time to listen to them. Let’s read that same verse we did for point 6 here:

James 1:19
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.

Listen. Wait. Respond.
How many of our conflicts would dissolve or never even materialize if we:
▪ Listened to really understand a person’s concern or complaint,
▪ Waited… till our typically wrong initial impulse passed, till we’ve prayed, till we’ve asked clarifying questions,
▪ And then responded with patience, graciousness, honesty, clarity, and, if possible, brevity?

8. Selfless people easily give compliments to others.

Don’t just go on about how great you are. Take the time to let people know how great they are, whether you’re talking about their fashion sense, their personalities, or great decisions they’ve recently made. Or just compliment a perfect stranger if you’re waiting in line and like the stranger’s coat. Don’t give phony compliments just to suck up to people; give compliments because they really deserve them.

Proverbs 12:25
Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, But a good word makes it glad.

Proverbs 15:23
A man has joy in an apt answer, And how delightful is a timely word!

We have good words inside of us waiting to come out to encourage others. When you see someone doing good, or dressed nice, or handling a situation well, let them know. It will encourage them to keep on keeping on.

I remember being a young mother with my oldest daughter. We were in a grocery store at the check out line and she was upset over something. I kneeled down to her level (she was around 2) and explained what was going on. She understood and wasn’t upset anymore. Then I stood up and paid the cashier. Upon leaving the line an older gentleman stopped me and complimented me on how I treated my daughter. He said most mothers would smack them around or yell at them to stop their bad behavior but that I didn’t. It was nice to hear. It made me think I wasn’t a bad mother after all. (you know how young mothers feel when they have never done it before)

9. Selfless people practice putting themselves last.

If you’re a selfish person, then chances are you’re always looking for #1, well, first. You’ve got to change that as soon as you can if you want to start living a life filled with joy and free of selfishness. The next time you’re doing something, whether you’re in line at a buffet or waiting for your seat on the bus, stop and let the other people have what they want first, whether it’s food, comfort, or ease. Don’t be the person who always thinks me, me, me and has to get everything first; remember that other people are every bit as special as you are, and that other people deserve to get what they want, too.

Make a goal of putting yourself last in at least three situations this week. See how much better you feel when you’re not constantly thinking about how you can benefit at any given time.

Of course, once you level out, you shouldn’t always put yourself last or you may find yourself in a situation where people are taking advantage of you. But it’s good practice to do this if you’re absolutely always putting yourself first right now.

Matthew 20:16 NKJV
So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.

It’s okay if you are not first, or have the best seat. Find a place within yourself to be okay with it. Realize you are first with God. You are His favorite, just like everyone else is. Rest in God and His goodness that He won’t allow you to miss out on anything you need or should have. If you are to have it, it will come about at the right time or in due season.

10. Selfless people remember they are not more important than other people.

Selfish people are constantly thinking that they are the center of the universe and that the world should revolve around them. Well, you need to drop that thought like a bad habit. Whether you’re Madonna or Donna the hairdresser, you should think of yourself as the same as everyone else, not as somehow better because you’ve got more money, more looks, or more talent than the person standing next to you.

Practice being humble and modest. The world is a huge and absolutely amazing place, and you are just one tiny part of it. Don’t think that you somehow deserve more than other people because you are “you.

Feeling you are more important than others is a sign you are competitive. No one is better or worse than you. We are all the same: Humans.

Gal. 3:28 NKJV
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Comparing our growth with others can be intimidating. No one is better than you, but they may have experienced more or accomplished more than you have. Learn from these people and don’t compare yourself to them. Don’t be intimidated by your lack of knowledge. Be teachable and a forever student in life. You will grow if you decide to do this. Surround yourself with people who can take you higher in your walk with God, in your abilities, and in your character. If you surround yourself with people who don’t want to grow, or don’t want to be close to God, it will affect you. Always be striving to grow more and complain less.

11. Selfless people enjoy giving the spotlight to others.

You don’t always have to be the center of every party, or every conversation. Selfless people enjoy allowing others to speak and are truly interested in in them.

I have a friend who is always talking or talks over others when others are sharing their needs, or telling a story, or expressing something funny. I watch the other people when my friend starts talking over them and they shrink back and stop talking. When my friend talks it inevitably changes the topic and others never get truly heard. I feel for the others and try to get the conversation back onto what they were talking about. It is extremely hard to have a relationship with selfish people who always have to be in the spotlight.

Selfish people cringe when someone else goes in the spotlight because they always want it for themselves. Well, if you want to stop being selfish, then you have to not only give up the spotlight, but you have to enjoy letting other people take it. Stop trying to be the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every funeral and let other brides have their time in the spotlight. Be proud of other people for achieving things instead of wishing it was you.

Romans 12:1
Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

We should be willing to raise others up and allow them to shine for God’s glory. I enjoy raising up my leadership staff and allowing them to preach or teach or, give them public compliments. It is good for the congregation to know and for that individual to publicly be raised up.

12. Selfless people keep in touch with friends, family, and relatives.

No one is an island. We all need each other. It is good to keep in touch with the people in your life. Take the time to be with family and friends. Relationships take time. They are worth it.

Selfish people find it easy to lose touch with people because they know that they will always come back to them. Don’t think that your time is so important that you can’t call your own grandmother or spend your lunch hour with a friend and then expect other people to be at your beck and call when you do need them. Give people the basic consideration of wanting to know how they’re doing just because.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

13. Selfless people show an interest in others.

Listening to people is a great way to show interest in them. Another thing you can do is to ask people questions, from their opinions on the local news to their experiences as children. You don’t have to interrogate them to show a casual interest in them as human beings, and to let them see that you really do care what they think about or what they’re struggling with. When people talk, don’t just nod and wait your turn to talk, but slow down and ask them questions if they’re talking about something that they feel passionate about.

You can show an interest in people without overwhelming them. The next time you talk to someone, set out to talk 20% less and to ask a few more questions than you normally would and see how it makes you feel.

14. Selfless people help people they know during their time of need.

When your friends, family, or even your neighbors are struggling, you should be there for them. Maybe your co-worker has had a death in the family, or your neighbor has been sick for months; take the time to make them a home-cooked meal, call them, or give them a card and ask how you can help.

People may be reluctant to say that they need help even if they obviously do. It’s up to you to figure out when you can really help without being intrusive.

Hebrews 13:16 ESV
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Galatians 6:2 ESV
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

15. Selfless people know when to stop talking about themselves.

Selfish people go on and on and on about their needs, their struggles, and their desires. The next time you have a conversation with a friend, do a personal recap afterwards and see what percentage you spent talking all about you, you, you. If you feel like everything you said was about yourself instead of the world around you and that your friend hardly got a word in edgewise, then it’s time to turn that behavior around.

It’s okay to ask for advice, talk about your day, and mention your wants within a reasonable realm, but it’s not okay if you’re known to be the person who can’t see past herself in any social situation. For one thing, if you have a reputation for only talking about yourself, people will get the message and won’t want to hang out with you.

Proverbs 10:19 ESV
When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.

Proverbs 17:28 ESV
Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

Proverbs 21:23 ESV
Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.

Honestly it is down right rude to always be talking about yourself instead of seeing and listening to other people and their needs and concerns.

16. Selfless people learn to compromise.

If you want to stop being selfish, then you’ve got to learn to compromise. This means seeing that it’s better to be happy than to get what you want, that other people have needs too, and that you can’t always get what you want. You don’t want to have a reputation for being so stubborn that people wouldn’t even think about approaching you with a difficult situation. Learn to listen to people, to weigh the pros and cons of any situation, and to be able to see the situation from another person’s perspective.

Don’t focus blindly on getting your way. Focus on understanding the situation from both sides. You don’t always have to be right or get your way.

Romans 12:18 ESV
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

John 13:34 ESV
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

1 Cor. 13:4 – 8a NKJV
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.

When you truly love someone you will compromise to make your relationship work. Marriages end in divorce all because the couple was not willing to compromise. Selfish people will put being right or their own needs above the other and compromise never happens. Don’t let this be you. Learn how to compromise. This is a quality of the selfless.

17. Selfless people learn how to say, “Thank you.”

Selfish people think they deserve the best treatment and deserve to be spoiled, and that’s just not the case. If someone does something nice for you, whether they are complimenting you or giving you a ride to class, you should be grateful and thank them for their actions instead of just acting like it’s perfectly normal that they want to do favors for you. Don’t expect kindness or understanding and be grateful when it comes your way.

Selfish people think they “deserve” the best treatment at all times. It’s time to stop and think about all of the people who have really made your life better. It is not too late to thank them. I believe God has placed them in your life to be a blessing. We should be quick to thank others for their kindness, acceptance, and love.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Ephesians 1:16
I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.

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

18. Selfless people have learned to give up control.

Selfish people think that they have to choose every movie, plan every vacation, and get their way in every school or work-related project. Well, it’s time to take a step back and to let some other people do some of the deciding. Sure, it may be scary to go to that new Thai place instead of your favorite usual Italian restaurant, and sure, you may not like letting Mary have so much control over your latest report; but you’ve got to trust that other people know what they’re doing and to let them get their way, too.

Giving up control can help you relieve stress and be happier, too. Think about how much easier your life will be if you’re not obsessing over planning every little thing so that it goes your way.

Psalm 46:10 GW
Let go of your concerns! Then you will know that I am God. I rule the nations. I rule the earth.

Every day, you have to decide who’s going to be in control of your life — you or God. Letting your spouse or friend decide something is easy when you place your trust in God. You can trust God that the decision someone else makes that affects you will work out for your good. You honor God and others when you give up your control. You might find out you even like it.

19. Selfless people spend time with people who are not selfish.

Join others who are kind and reciprocate kindness. Being with other selfish people, will not help you become a better person. We are very much defined by the company we keep. If you spend all of your time with other people who only care about themselves, then you won’t be a very considerate person. But if you spend time around an inspiring, giving person, you will be inspired to act in a less selfish way.

I am sure you can think of someone who is selfless in your life. You might have thought, “I wish I was more like them.” You can. The more you hang around the selfless, the more it rubs off on you. You are the company you keep.

Proverbs 13:20 GNT
Keep company with the wise and you will become wise. If you make friends with stupid people, you will be ruined.

1 Corinthians 15:33 ESV
Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.

2 Corinthians 6:14 ESV
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

20. Selfless people have a heart of gratitude.

Make a habit of writing down all of the things you’re grateful for every Sunday or at least once a week. Take the time to think of each and every individual thing that makes your life really great, and don’t spend all your time focusing on the things you don’t have, or the things you wish you had, or all of the “If only” chants that can ruin your day and your life. Think of things that are going well for you, from your health to your plethora of friends, and feel happy about what you’ve got.

Selfish people are never satisfied and always want more, more, more. If you want to stop being selfish, you have to feel like you already have enough amazing things in your life. Any additional joys or gifts should come as a bonus.

Researchers studied the differences that occurs when people focus on their burdens, or themselves, versus focusing on what they’re grateful for. Simply acknowledging a few things you feel grateful for each day is a powerful way to create change. In fact, gratitude not only impacts your psychological health, it can also affect your physical health.

-People who feel gratitude don’t get sick as often as others.
-Gratitude leads to more positive emotions.
-Gratitude improves social lives.

Psalm 118:24
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Acts 24:3 ESV
In every way and everywhere we accept this with all gratitude.

God is bigger than your selfishness. He wants you to let go of self and cling to Him. We can trust Him with everything.

If you realize you are selfish, now is the time for change. Do some of or all of the selfless things on this list every week. Ask Jesus to be more like him. He moved with compassion and cared about others. He laid down His life for you. That is the ultimate selfless act anyone could do.

Your sister in Christ,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.KrisBelfils.com
www.HopeFellowshipSpokane.com
www.KrisBelfils.Wordpress.com

Sources: Pastor Kris Belfils and http://www.wikihow.com/Stop-Being-Selfish

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 our Disappointments

Disappointments happen to us everyday. We put our expectations into something or someone, and when those expectations are not fulfilled, we become disappointed. Sports teams experience disappointments all the time. One team wins, and the other loses. The one who loses, I am sure, are disappointed at the outcome, they wanted to win. Just this past Superbowl I was rooting for the Seahawks and was disappointed that they didn’t win.

Disappointments may be simple or small, and other times they might seem ginormous.

Disappointment is the feeling of dissatisfaction that follows the failure of expectations or hopes to manifest. (Wikipedia.com)

dis·ap·point  (thefreedictionary.com)
1. To fail to satisfy the hope, desire, or expectation of.
2. To frustrate or thwart
3. To fail to meet the expectations, hopes, desires, or standards of; let down
4. To prevent the fulfillment of (a plan, intention, etc.); frustrate; thwart

Disappointments = Expectations not being met.

Disappointments have the same flavor as regrets. The difference is that regrets usually have to do with the choices you make, while disappointments have to do with the outcome of what you put your expectations in. It means you didn’t get what you wanted or hoped for.

React in our flesh

What do we do when we experience a disappointment? Most of the time we react in our flesh instead of our spirit. The word “flesh” refers to self-nature or human nature or self-effort.

To walk after the flesh is to do your own desires, usually it is the easy way out or it pleases you in an ungodly way. Joyce Meyer states in “Living Beyond Your Feelings,” that “The nature of the flesh is to want what it thinks it cannot have, but once it has what it thought it wanted, the craving starts all over again.”

The one word that the flesh screams the loudest is MORE, and no matter how much it has, it is still never satisfied.” This reminds me of an older movie called, “Little Shop Of Horrors.” In it Seymour has a plant that needs to be fed all the time. When Seymour feeds it, the plant gets bigger and bigger and is never satisfied. It eventually takes over his home. This is exactly what happens when we feed our flesh instead of our spirit. The flesh is never satisfied and the more you feed it, the bigger and more demanding it becomes.

It is natural to react to disappointments in our flesh. We might hold a grudge against someone who has let us down or has hurt us. Holding a grudge has a downward spiral attached to it. Holding a grudge is un-forgiveness. God is bigger than our disappointments. It may seem at the time that He isn’t, because they are staring us in the face, but God is still bigger. We put our trust in Him and not people, or things, or events. All those things will let us down someday, but God will always be there and always has His best plans for our lives.

Things we may do in our flesh when disappointed

1. We put up walls

This happens often. We put up walls and don’t talk to someone or even totally close off all communication. I know because I have done this. It feels “right” at the time and it gives us a sense of control. We felt out of control when the disappointment came. There might not have been any thing we could have done to fix or change the outcome. It is a huge frustration to live with an outcome you didn’t have in your plans. It is very hard to live with circumstances someone else chose for you. But the walls only hurt us.

Steps to lawlessness:
1. Get offended
2. Put up walls
3. Isolate ourselves
4. Become a law unto ourselves
5. Lawlessness sets in and we don’t listen to anyone and do our own thing.

2. We get mad at God

It is easy to get mad at God thinking He could have prevented what happened. Reality is God had nothing to do with it. People are given free will and they make choices all the time. Their choices might not line up with your choices or what you planned. Often authority figures over our life can make a choice that affects us. Our hands are tied as to the outcome. We can easily blame God, quit our job, or distance ourselves from this person. All of these choices are not good choices.

It is amazing how it is the first thing people go to, getting mad at God, when disappointments come. We may even have prayed about the situation and when it doesn’t turn out the way we want, we blame God for the mess. Is it really God’s mess, or is it possibly bad consequences of your own choices we have to live through?

Getting mad at God never helps the situation, but only hurts you and your walk with Him. Stop blaming God for every bad thing that happens in your life. Your life will be much more at peace if you stop doing this.

Romans 8:28 NKJV
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

It doesn’t say that all things are good that we go through, but that all the things we go through will work out for our good. It also says that we are called. You and I are called by God to live our Christian life for His purpose and His glory.

3. We get mad at ourselves

Handling disappointments is a process. Don’t get mad at yourself if you are not over it quickly. It takes time to heal and to regroup after a disappointment. Give yourself permission to relax and allow God to heal you, and learn to worship in the middle of the Disappointment. No one is perfect. If you are a perfectionist, you will never attain being perfect. Give yourself a break. You are human just like the rest of us humans on this earth. We need to do our best, but not at the expense of perfectionism. It is a trap the enemy uses to snare you into bondage.

4. We show emotion or get depressed

Often it is natural to cry or be upset when something happens that has hurt you. There is a grieving process whenever there is a loss of any kind. There are 5 stages of grief when a loved one dies that can be applied to what we experience after a disappointment:

5 Stages of Grief or Loss
1. Denial and Isolation
2, Anger
3, Bargaining – “If only I did this.. or that..”
4. Depression
5. Acceptance

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope. — Martin Luther King Jr

Disappointments are to the soul what a thunderstorm is to the air. – Friedrich Schiller

Our best successes often come after our greatest disappointments. – Henry Ward Beecher

Our real blessings often appear to us in the shape of pains, losses and disappointments; but let us have patience and we soon shall see them in their proper figures. – Joseph Addison

How To Handle disappointments?

Let’s face it everyone will be disappointed from time to time. It is what we do; our actions or reactions, that determine our character. Often disappointments shape our character. It is in these times we need to quickly seek God to help us heal and to learn from them.

Know that disappointments can help you grow. They make you stronger for your future. We can try and fight having disappointments but really it is futile because we can never control people or circumstances. This is not what God wants from us; a bunch of controlling, manipulating people.

Here are a few things I have personally learned when it comes to dealing with and handling disappointments, and I pray they help you:

1. Run to God

Running to God, and venting your frustrations about your disappointments, is the very first thing you should do after being disappointed. Telling Him how you feel is the best way to get it out. Stuffing your feelings inside of you only brings turmoil. God knows and sees everything. He was there when it happened. He wants us to run to Him with our disappointments.

1 Peter 5:7 (NKJV)
“Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”

1 Peter 5:7 (Amplified Bible)
“Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.”

God hears our cry. Crying out to God is a form of running to Him. Here are just a few verses in the Bible about crying out to God:

2 Sam. 22:7 (NKJV)
“In my distress I called upon the Lord, And cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, And my cry entered His ears.”

Psalm 18:6 (NKJV)
“In my distress I called upon the Lord, And cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, And my cry came before Him, even to His ears.”

Psalm 30:2 (NKJV)
“O Lord my God, I cried out to You, And You healed me.”

Psalm 57:2 (NKJV)
“I will cry out to God Most High, To God who performs all things for me.”

Psalm 61:1 (NKJV)
“Hear my cry, O God; Attend to my prayer.”

Psalm 77:1 (NKJV)
“I cried out to God with my voice – To God with my voice; and He gave ear to me.”

God hears our cry and our humble plea moves His heart to action. Just the act of crying out to God brings healing, but to know God will move on our behalf brings security.

2. Worship

Worship in the middle of the disappointment. Worshipping God takes our attention off of our circumstances and ourselves, and places our gaze, our focus on our Creator. Worship frees our spirit of the cares of this world. It puts life in perspective. Worship also helps us to place our trust in God in the middle of the disappointments.

Worshipping God reminds us of how good He really is. It helps build our faith to arise in us to overcome the disappointment.

Isaiah 52:17 – 19
“His name shall endure forever; His name shall continue as long as the sun. And men shall be blessed in Him; All nations shall call Him blessed. Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, Who only does wondrous things! And blessed be His glorious name forever! And let the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and Amen!”

God only does wondrous things! He will do wondrous things in your life as you place your cares upon Him. Don’t try to figure it out on your own. There are many things we can’t fix or change, but God has a plan. Even if it is teaching us to endure in the middle of the process of handling disappointments, we will come out the other side better for it and with much reward.

Psalm 28:6 – 7 (NKJV)
“Blessed be the Lord, Because He has heard the voice of my supplications! The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him.”

Remind yourself of God’s faithfulness.

Psalm 42:5 (Message)
“Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God – soon I’ll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He’s my God.”

3. Forgive

Release the person in your heart. Forgiveness takes away the power the other person continues to wield in your life, and it gives it back to you. Realize nobody is perfect. If you are having trouble letting go of a grudge or to give forgiveness, talk to someone you trust, who will give you wise, Godly, and compassionate advice.

Forgiving is a process, at least it has been in my life. I would go through the stages of grief and then come to a place in my heart I was willing to forgive. Then I would even pray and might say it out loud; “I forgive _______ !” Then, something else would come up that would re-open the wound, and all the forgiveness I gave that person went out the window! I would have to come to the place in my heart to be willing to forgive again and then release them. Sometimes this happened over and over again. I knew the verses in the bible about forgiving seventy times seven (Matthew 18:22). I knew if I didn’t forgive, my sins would not be forgiven (Matthew 6:12). These are things that motivated me to forgive, but the actual act of forgiving always seemed to take time. I finally gave myself permission that it was okay if I wasn’t at the place of forgiveness with them, knowing that was my ultimate goal.

Wounds take time to heal. Allow yourself the time it takes to be made whole again.

Jesus is my hero. He went to the cross knowing what was in the hearts of people, and even forgave them in the middle of the act of being crucified. My spirit wants to be able to do that, but my flesh wins out more than not.

Some people don’t struggle with forgiving others. They look like they just shrug it off and have no issue, but deep down inside a wound was created and only God and time will bring true healing.

I came across a post on Facebook the other day that I think will help us all in the process of forgiving others who have disappointed or mistreated us. The post was from the “Called Magazine” and they stated: “TODAY’S CHALLENGE: Give someone who mistreated you a kind word (genuine compliment/encouragement) or a thoughtful gift. — CAN YOU DO IT?” This challenged me to reach out in the direction of someone who hurt me and say a kind word to them. It was a step in the right direction. Baby steps are better then not stepping forward at all, and even better then stepping backward deeper into un-forgiveness to becoming bitter and resentful.

I could go into a sermon all its own on this subject. This message is to bring us to the awareness that forgiveness may be needed if your disappointment has to do with someone letting you down. God is bigger then your unforgiveness and He will help you overcome if you ask Him too.

4. Break walls down

It is natural to harden our hearts to life, let alone to people. You might have tried and tried to do something and was disappointed every time. Putting up walls and isolating yourself is not the answer. It only makes your turmoil worse.

Life has been given to us to enjoy, not resent. God has blessed us with many blessings if we would just look for them. We have to break down any walls we have built up, or possibly want to build up, or we will dry up and never have a healthy life.

Have you ever been dehydrated? I have. Your body will tell you it is drying up by how you are feeling and the symptoms you are experiencing. When someone is dehydrated they experience many symptoms. This is what happens to us spiritually when we put up walls and isolate ourselves from the real issue that God wants us to deal with. We become unhealthy and the signs will be seen by:

2% body fluid loss:
Thirst
Loss of Appetite
Dry Skin
Skin Flushing
Dark Colored Urine
Dry Mouth
fatigue or Weakness
Chills
Head Rushes

5% body fluid loss:
Increased heart rate
Increased respiration
Decreased sweating
Decreased urination
Increased body temperature
Extreme fatigue
Muscle cramps
Headaches
Nausea
Tingling of the limbs

10% body fluid loss (Emergency help is needed immediately)
Muscle spasms
Vomiting
Racing pulse
Shriveled skin
Dim vision
Painful urination
Confusion
Difficulty breathing
Seizures
Chest and Abdominal pain
unconsciousness

I think you get the point. What happens in the natural is similar to the spiritual. We have to keep ourselves spiritually hydrated, which includes breaking down the walls of isolation and anger.

Dehydration symptoms in the spiritual:
A lack of thirst for God
Loss of hunger for God and His Word
Indifference or lack of compassion or passion
Complacency sets in
Absorbed with self
Faith is low and you don’t even care
The things of this world seem appealing and Godly things don’t
Lack of fellowship with other Christians
Lack of attending church

Isolation or building up walls, is spiritual Dehydration. Our spiritual life is in jeopardy if we don’t break the walls down and get help. We are alert with our natural body and how it functions, we have to do the same with our spiritual life.

5. Be positive

Refuse to allow negativity to become a part of you after you have been disappointed. It is so easy to speak negative words about the situation, people, or life in general after being disappointed. Being negative about your circumstance never brings healing or help. Ask God to help you look at the situation through His eyes and from His perspective. Look to see what you can learn from it. Have a positive attitude that life will change in time. Know what you are going through is just a little bump in the road compared to the bigger picture of eternity.

I am sure you have heard the saying, “ You can either get better or bitter.” This is so true. Be determined to get better and to focus on the positives in your life. These are God’s blessings in disguise. We forget the good when we are faced with some bad. Learn to encourage yourself in the Lord like David did.

Psalm 30:10 – 12 (NKJV)
“Hear, O LORD, and have mercy on me; LORD, be my helper!” You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, to the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever.”

6. Don’t try to get even

Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t speak evil against them.

1 Thess 5:15 (Amplified Bible)
“See that none of you repays another with evil for evil, but always aim to show kindness and seek to do good to one another and to everybody.”

This is very hard to do I know. If you have spoken evil about someone you have been disappointed and hurt by, ask God to forgive you and to wipe away the words you have said. Be determined to stop yourself when you start to speak evil against someone.

7. Walk on

Get to a place you love people but you are not devastated when they let you down.

Know life will have challenges but be determined to keep going, especially in the middle of a challenge.

Move on and keep going in your life. Disappointments do not determine your future if you have the right perspective and determination.

Walking on doesn’t mean you trust the person who disappointed you. It does mean you are willing to move past it and keep going. If you decide you are giving up, the enemy wins and what is life if you choose to give up? Nothing!

Know there is life after disappointments. Even if the disappointment is a life change, God can make beauty from ashes! Remind yourself that God is bigger then your disappointment. Tell yourself that you trust in Him to guide your steps in spite of your disappointment.

Isaiah 61:3 (NKJV)
“To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

No matter what you are going through, God is BIGGER!

God is Bigger than our Disappointment!

Your sister in Christ,

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