Unlocking the Power of God’s Promises

Unlocking the Power of God’s Promises

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

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

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

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

4 Ways God’s Promises encourage and strengthen you

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A similar promise is found…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trust God’s Promises

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your sister in Christ,

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

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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

The Songs Of Christmas: The Song Of Mary

The Songs Of Christmas: The Song Of Mary

The Songs of Christmas: The Song Of MaryWe all know of how baby Jesus was born. But have we ever looked at the expressions of certain key people during that time? Mary is the first character to be approached by an angel, Gabriel, to share how highly favored she was and how blessed she was among women.

She was favored by God. This means that she was endued with grace. She was favored as the Lord was with her. She was human just like you and I. But I believe she received favor because she was humble, quick to obey God, and lived her life doing the right thing. She was highly favored among women. She was beautiful inside and out.

Grace is “unmerited favor,” meaning something we receive despite the fact that we do not deserve it. Mary needed grace from God just as the rest of us do.

God gave His unmerited favor to us when He forgave our sin through the sacrifice of His Son. We can ask for His favor to go before us where ever we go. We are His children.

The word Favor means “to grace, that is, indue with special honor: – Make accepted, be highly favored. This is our portion too.

Sometimes we receive God’s favor when others think we shouldn’t. I love it when God uses the foolish things to confound the wise. When He uses me in spite of what others think I deserve or what they think I should be doing.

God brings promotion not man. We can receive a promotion that we were not even qualified for. That’s God’s favor! When God gives you favor He puts you somewhere you have no qualifications, or maybe even no right to be there and it is God who keeps you there. Trust in God for His favor and His staying power.

Remember when God does promote you that you are nothing without Him. Tell yourself: “I am everything in God and I am nothing without Him!” This will keep you humble which is what Mary was and I believe that is why God favored her so highly.

Mary was told by Gabriel that she would have a Son and He would be called, Jesus. “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:32 – 33 NKJV)

Mary’s response began with a question: “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” (Luke 1:34). Then Gabriel answered: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35)

Not only that but the angel proceeded to tell Mary that even Elizabeth, who was Mary’s relative, has also conceived a son in old age, and was six months along. She was called barren, but “For with God nothing will be impossible.” (Luke 1:37)

Mary then responded, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” This shows quick obedience, humility, and trust. Mary was just an ordinary young lady with an extra ordinary assignment.

She went to visit Elizabeth and as she greeted her and when she did, the babe in Elizabeth’s womb leaped and she was filled with the Holy Spirit. Elizabeth quickly spoke with a loud voice, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears the babe leaped in my womb for joy. Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.” (Luke 1:42 – 45)

The Song of Mary

This leads us to Mary’s response and a beautiful song came forth from her heart and spirit. It truly is an outward expression of what God was doing inside of her.

Luke 1:46 – 55 NKJV
And Mary said:
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His name.
And His mercy is on those who fear Him
From generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm;
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
And exalted the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
And the rich He has sent away empty.
He has helped His servant Israel,
In remembrance of His mercy,
As He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and to his seed forever.”

1. Mary gives God all the praise!

My soul magnifies the Lord…

Mary immediately makes God bigger by magnifying Him with her soul. Her very core of who she was bursts out with praise. She knew who she was and Who God was in her life. She knew it was nothing she had done to receive this amazing favor with God. It was all God’s doing.

When amazing things happen to you be quick to praise God for them and realize it wasn’t you, but God who brought it to you! Thanking Him is praising Him. Don’t be quick to take all the credit. Can you imagine if Mary took all the credit? How prideful that would have been. No, Mary was very humble in her view of herself and what was told to her. God could trust her with this amazing assignment He had for her. Can God trust you? What is your character like? Would you be trustworthy if God gave you an assignment? What are your dreams and desires? Can God trust you if He gave you what you wanted? Would you be quick to respond in praise and magnify the Lord like Mary did?

2. Mary rejoiced!

And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior…

Those who magnify the Lord are those whose spirits rejoices in God their Savior. If you are not rejoicing then look to see if you are magnifying the Lord. Are you making God great and glorious in your inner being?

Not only was Mary quick to praise God in all of this, but Mary’s spirit rejoiced in her God her Savior! Rejoice means to feel or show great joy or delight. Some synonyms: happiness, pleasure, joy, gladness, delight, elation, jubilation, exuberance, exultation, celebration, and merrymaking.

Mary allowed her joy to be seen and heard! She couldn’t keep it quiet. It is a natural thing to express joy or gladness outwardly and in Mary’s case, she did it with her entire spirit. This is worship in action. She was a worshipper and worshippers are quick to express their joy.

We find in the Bible many verses about showing our joy, here is just one…

Psalm 47:1
Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.

In this verse we see clapping and shouting is a way of expressing our joy! God has done great things for all of us. Let us be people, like Mary, who express our joy to God outwardly.

Next we see why Mary magnified and rejoiced in Her God.

Mary magnified the Lord

3. For what God has done for her.

For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me…

She had never seen God so great as He now showed Himself to be to her. How personal to be chosen to give birth to God’s Son.

She was humble. She was capable of handling being the Mother of God’s Son without it going to her head.

Mary speaks of the blessing her privilege would bring her, For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. Mary would not be blessed because of any special or superior worth or perfection of her nature, but because of the Child she would bear. She regarded herself as unworthy to receive this favor, yet, not only Elizabeth but all generations would call her blessed. She realized this honor from God was incredible. Mankind would call her blessed. She was a simple human touched by divine power and presence.

God owes Mary nothing, but Mary owes God everything. She knew she shouldn’t be worshipped but God alone. When generations will call Mary blessed this means they are going to praise God because of the marvelous manner in which He honored her.

Think of that simple young girl in her hiddenness having been told that her name would be repeated, and recognized as blessed, until the world ends. Nobody knew her yet she was destined for greatness. Mary didn’t take any glory for this. She placed the honor at God’s feet with her words and attitude. This is a powerful lesson on how to receive distinctions, honor, and being exalted. We should give all the glory to God when He raises us up.

God cultivates the unseen to eventually be seen for His glory! Get ready to shine for Him when He takes you out of your hiddenness!

~ Pastor Kris Belfils

In verse 49 Mary gives the reason for her blessedness as God’s mighty power and holiness which brought about her conception. For the Mighty One has done great things for me; and holy is His name. Because the All Mighty God had worked in this pure, set apart, and sinless way, His name would be recognized as holy, completely set apart from sinfulness.

Verse 50 not only does Mary exalt God’s power and holiness, she also lifts up His mercy. AND HIS MERCY IS upon generation after generation Toward those who fear Him.

God’s mercy is available to the reverent or “to those who fear Him,” that is to those who in heart and mind are filled with worshipful or devout regard for God. These are the genuinely God-fearing and pure people God does not withdraw His kindness from.

Though God bestows common grace on all, He reserves special consideration, special mercy for those who fear Him. These are those who bow before His holiness and marvel at His kindness. Those who worship Him in Spirit and in truth.

4. For what He has done for mankind.

He has shown strength with His arm;
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
And exalted the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
And the rich He has sent away empty.

To thoughts of how God was towards herself, Mary shifts her thoughts to how God is towards others.

The “arm” is the symbol of strength. God has shown His strength to all mankind and will continue. God and God alone is supreme. No one or nothing is greater then our God. No one and nothing is stronger then our God.

Man can boast and be proud and think they are the best, but God will dethrone them and exalt the lowly and humble. This is foolishness to those who don’t believe or follow God. God did this with Mary, He did this with His Son from being born in a manger to being seated at the right hand of God, and He will do it with you and I as we stay close to Jesus and follow God’s ways.

Keeping our hearts tender towards God keeps us humble. Hardening our hearts towards God and His ways will make us proud and we will go into our own lawlessness.

Mary sings how God has scattered the proud (those who think more highly about themselves in their hearts) like a whirlwind scattering dust, and has put down the mighty from their thrones. God has lowered and will continue to lower those who are proud and arrogant and haughty from their earthly positions and will raise up those who seem insignificant and rejected. Those who are poor will be raised up at their proper and right time. Don’t think the proud or evil doers will not be punished or get away with their doings. God is a God who sees all and responds with justice.

Are you hungry? God will fill you with good things where as He will send the rich away empty handed. The rich stand on their own riches often. Usually riches makes one proud. Sometimes you will find a rich person who is humble. Those who are humble have not puffed themselves up in their own eyes. God can and will work with the humble and broken. It’s the proud and rigid He rejects. Their attitudes are, “Why do I need God when I have everything I need?” I am not saying all rich people are arrogant, but in this song of Mary there are general statements towards the proud and rich because often they are the ones who reject God and His ways.

I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be scattered or be brought down. I have experienced having too much pride in my life before and God always comes and humbles me. It is a promise from Him that He will do this. Do yourself a favor and guard your heart from pride. You will be better off for it.

5. For keeping His covenant promises.

He has helped His servant Israel,
In remembrance of His mercy,
As He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and to his seed forever…

Mary has been praising God in song for His deeds. In the closing stanza she points out what those deeds have meant to Israel and the promises made to the forefathers. Verse 54 lifts our hopes by calling to mind God’s help and mercy. “He has given help to Israel His servant, In remembrance of His mercy,

Through-out Israel’s history God has stepped-in to help the remnant who served Him. The history of Israel tells the story of God’s help and mercy.

God acts and His actions toward His people reflect His mercy. May His name be magnified forever and ever.

Verse 55 proclaims the hope and vindication of God’s covenant promises. As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever.

Mary was aware that the birth of her Child was a fulfillment of the covenant promises to Abraham and his descendants. The blessed seed of Abraham is Jesus Christ, God’s one and only Messiah, who would give His perfect sinless life so that all who believe might be saved.

The God who has helped His people so often in their past distresses and captivities because of His covenant with them, was coming to offer them and all of mankind salvation and deliverance. It is an invitation He still extends to us today.

The Song Of Mary from The Message Bible brings it all down into perspective!

Luke 1:46 – 55 The Message
And Mary said,
I’m bursting with God-news;
I’m dancing the song of my Savior God.
God took one good look at me, and look what happened—
I’m the most fortunate woman on earth!
What God has done for me will never be forgotten,
the God whose very name is holy, set apart from all others.
His mercy flows in wave after wave
on those who are in awe before him.
He bared his arm and showed his strength,
scattered the bluffing braggarts.
He knocked tyrants off their high horses,
pulled victims out of the mud.
The starving poor sat down to a banquet;
the callous rich were left out in the cold.
He embraced his chosen child, Israel;
he remembered and piled on the mercies, piled them high.
It’s exactly what he promised,
beginning with Abraham and right up to now.

It is amazing how one event changed and saved the world. This saving is still available to all of us today. We, like Mary, need a Savior. Let us be people who are humble and quick to respond in obedience and praise to God for all He has done!

Your sister,

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

Fruit of the Spirit – Peace

Fruit of the spirit - Peace (blank)Gal. 5:22 NKJV

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

In this message we are going to look at the fruit of peace in our life. In today’s world, it is easy to not have peace. We can be in turmoil over so many things: Economy, our health, finances, people, jobs, family, church, relationships, and so much more.

The devil wants us to lose our peace and be in turmoil all the time. We have to fight for our peace. God wants us to be in His perfect peace 24/7.

Isaiah 26:3 Amplified Bible

“You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.”

The past few weeks God has been placing things in my path that either I can get upset about, and lose my peace, or I can react or deal with the situations in a calm manner and not lose my peace.

I was at the airport heading leaving for a speaking engagement. We arrived thinking we had a lot of time, but there was an extremely long line to check in and we had to weigh and check in our luggage. Even then, we needed to get into another long line to have our carryon bags x-rayed. Often I travel with my guitar equipment of cables, peddles, and my wireless microphone. I made the mistake of placing all that in one of the carryon bags. We were running late already, and they had to take the carryon with all my equipment and physically look it over, check for bomb residue, and re-Xray it again. I wish I could say I had peace and reacted well, but I was frustrated and edgy. I lost my peace until we finally got to the gate to wait to board our plane.

Many times on my trip it seemed an over abundance of circumstances would come up for me to get possibly get upset and lose my peace. Time and again, I would say out loud, “I will not lose my peace over this!” and would choose to relax instead of being in turmoil. I chose to keep my mind on the good instead of the bad when it was happening.

We have a choice to acquire peace and remain in it. Peace is one of the Fruit of the Spirit. It is already in us when we asked Jesus Christ into our hearts as our personal Lord and Savior. We need to allow the Fruit of the Spirit to develop in us daily.

It is not our circumstances that upset us, it is how we respond to them that can bring strife. We have to respond in the proper way. Let’s look at Isaiah again to get a better insight as to what to do to keep our peace.

Isaiah 26:3 Amplified Bible

“You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.”

One morning I woke up with this verse being spoken in my ear. I knew immediately God was speaking to me that I am losing my own peace just because I didn’t keep my mind and thoughts on Him. I started to think of the last few days of how stressed I was and I realized it was my fault because I allowed my mind to turn from God and onto my circumstances and I started to worry. Throughout the day I noticed how my thoughts would bring me to turmoil and I would have no peace, but this time, I was reminded of this verse God whispered in my ear that morning and it helped me to hold my peace instead of losing it.

We can live in perfect peace

Taking Isaiah 26:3 and breaking it down, we can learn a lot about how to live in perfect peace.

1.  Keep your mind stayed on God

a. How we think

We can put ourselves in turmoil just by the way we think. We have peace and then something comes up, either a circumstance or a thought in our mind, and we turn our focus totally on it instead of who God is in the situation.

Circumstances come and go, but God, and His faithfulness and goodness remains. We can choose to react in peace or turmoil.

There are times I have to say out loud about a thought; “That is not true!” or “That is a lie!” I would find that if I immediately say the opposite of what I am thinking in a Godly perspective, the thought had no power. “God has a plan and He is taking care of this!” “I can trust You Lord that you will provide.” “I leave this in Your hands God and believe good things will happen.”

How do you respond when things don’t go your way? Do you lose your peace over it? God wants us to have patience and self-control (I will be speaking on these fruit in the next few weeks). Far too often we lose our peace because we don’t control our reactions and we get all upset over something that we can’t change anyhow.

Worrying over something doesn’t bring change, it only loses our peace. I know because I have done this in my life, and still struggle in this area from time to time. A negative thought comes to your mind and you start to dwell on it and think about it and believe it will happen. Then you stress over it and talk about it to others.

b.  How we react

Our reaction to problems can bring strife and stress. Too often our reaction makes the problem worse. We can create a problem just by our reaction to circumstances. Choose your battles. When a situation comes up, think before you react or speak. Keep your big mouth shut! At least that is what I tell myself when I experience something that bothers me.

I was in Wal-Mart recently and my daughter and I were looking at and smelling the special lotions they had to possibly buy one. We were having a good time enjoying the smells when a Wal-Mart employee came up to us shaking her head and harshly said, “You can’t do that!” “You can’t smell the lotions because it might bother other customers.” I asked, “But how are we to know if we like one so we can buy it?” She said, “I think you can go to the pharmacy and they should have samples to smell.” Then she proceeded to explain in more and more detail why we were not allowed to smell the lotions. I could feel my flesh rising up within me and I wanted to tell her what I thought of her and her “policy.” I felt my peace leaving me, so instead of giving this clerk a piece of my mind, I chose to remain in my peace and said, “Okay, thank you.” and the clerk stopped talking and left. My daughter and I walked away and we talked about it. It was a good feeling to react in a peaceful way in front of her. I kept my peace and I taught by example how to react. If I reacted in the flesh, and allowed my emotions to run wild the Wal-Mart employee would have stayed with us and the situation would have gotten worse. I’ve seen people being escorted out of the store due to their bad behavior and I didn’t want that to be me. (What a thought of being kicked out of Wal-Mart of all stores!)

We can decide to change our behavior in a split second. We can choose our battles. We don’t have to react negatively to situations. Choose to keep your peace and keep your mind stayed on good things.

2.  Commit yourself to God

When we ask Christ into our hearts to forgive us of all the wrong that we have done, and to allow Him to have control, we have made a commitment. We are saying, “You have control of the steering wheel of my life now and I will follow and obey you.” It is a good thing to give God control. It brings peace. When we fight having our own way we will have turmoil.

Psalm 37:5 NLT

“Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you.”

We show we commit ourselves to the Lord by saying, “I don’t understand all that I am going through right now, but I know You are with me, and You will give me wisdom and help when needed.” I might understand everything, and my questions might not be all answered, but in my heart I know God is for me and has a plan. I can trust God in all situations that He will work it out for my good because I am His and I have committed my life to Him.

Committing your life to God means that you will obey His Word and His promptings. Obedience brings blessing. In this case the blessing is peace of mind, heart, and spirit.

3.  Lean on God and hope confidently in Him

Proverbs 3:5 – 6 Amplified Bible

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

Trying to reason everything out will take your peace away. We will have unanswered questions. We need to be aware that trying to reason everything out by ourselves is a problem. It is a serious matter that we need to deal with, just as Jesus dealt with it in the hearts of those who followed Him. Ask God to help you stop reasoning and being to live by faith, leaning on and trusting in Him and not on your own understanding.

There is a place with God that we have to be like a little child. Children, who are raised in a secure environment, will feel safe and often don’t understand everything, yet they know their parents love them and are watching out for them. They trust their parents. They don’t have to figure everything out, that is the parents job. This is true with our Heavenly Father. He is the one who figures things out. In fact, He already has and knows what we need. Committing ourselves to God and confidently hoping in Him brings peace. It is a faith thing, not a fact thing. Facts may scream at you that there is no hope, but faith arises in us and shouts “With God all things are possible!”

Peace, when your in the Kingdom, is not the absence of conflict, rather its the assurance that in the midst of conflict, the father has things under control.

Stop trying to figure everything out.

There is nothing in the Bible that says we are suppose to know everything. The more we try to figure things out the more confused we can get.

Get comfortable with saying, “I don’t know.” I don’t know, and if God wants me to know He will tell me, and until then, it is enough that He knows.

All this said

Everyday the enemy works to steal our peace. Because when we lose our peace, we start getting into emotions, and then we start making bad decisions, and say things we shouldn’t say. Then it goes from bad to worse. Follow peace.

Peace should rule like an umpire.

Col. 3:15 Amplified Bible

“And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live].  And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].”

The umpire in a ball game decides if a player is “in” or “out.” Peace is to be the umpire that decides if something in your life should be in or out.

Let the peace of God rule like an umpire deciding with finality every question that arises. If any decision is not peaceful, chances are it is not God’s will.

1 Peter 3:10 – 11 Amplified Bible

“For let him who wants to enjoy life and see good days [good – whether apparent or not] keep his tongue free from evil and his lips from guile (treachery, deceit). Let him turn away from wickedness and shun it, and let him do right. Let him search for peace (harmony; undisturbedness from fears, agitating passions, and moral conflicts) and seek it eagerly. [Do not merely desire peaceful relations with God, with your fellowmen, and with yourself, but pursue, go after them!]”

Learn how to zip your lip. Don’t let every feeling you have fly out of your mouth. Self-control. No fruit of the spirit is called others-control. We can’t control others, only ourselves.

Search, seek for peace. Refuse to live without peace.

You want peace, but you have not done anything to get it. You blame your circumstances and people. Stop allowing this to happen. Remember it is a choice to be at peace.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be around somebody that every time things don’t go their way they get mad, or the only way they have a smile on their face is if things go their way. Selfishness is a peace robber.

Peace With Yourself

Another peace robber is the lack of peace with yourself.

A lot of the problems with people is that they just don’t like themselves. They have a private war going on within themselves everyday.

If you ever want to enjoy peace in life you have to have peace with God and peace with others and with yourself (1 Peter 3:11).

You don’t like this about you and you don’t like that about you. This is personal war within.

How can you have more peace with yourself?

-Don’t always take an inventory of everything that is wrong with you.

-Face your faults, but don’t focus on them. (even your own faults and failures will distract you from growing in God.) Learn to talk back to the devil. He talks to you.

-Stop comparing yourself with others.

-Stop putting your confidence in outward things. Position. Work. Family. The creator of the universe loves you! If people don’t like you, maybe they have the problem and not you. If they don’t like you they miss out on a great relationship.

-Stop letting other people run your life and start being lead by the Spirit. You will never have peace with your heart and be bold enough to be lead by the Holy Spirit.

-Listen to what God says about you in His Word and not what people say about you.

-Let go of the past and press towards the future.

You can’t be at peace with people until you are at peace with yourself. How can you get along with others if you don’t get along with you?

You can’t give away what we don’t have. Jesus was full of peace and could speak to the storm. You can’t speak peace to the storms in your life if you are filled with turmoil. When you have peace then you can bring peace to situations everywhere you go. There is no greater witness to your children then to be peaceful in circumstances that are not peaceful.

Do you live in turmoil, anxiety, or strife? Learn to cast your cares on God and let him take care of it.

You can be peaceful in situations where you have no reason to be peaceful. Where common sense says you should be upset. We can do this over and over in our life.

There is hope for everybody to have the fruit of the spirit manifest in our life.

The Holy Spirit wants to teach us a brand new way to live

Do you want peace in your life?

The world is hard and bad, and likely to get worse. It is not our circumstances that upset us, it is how to respond to them in the proper way.

Have a goal to be peaceful everyday, even when the enemy tries to upset you.

No Peace = No Power

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.krisbelfils.com

www.krisbelfils.wordpress.com

www.hopefellowshipspokane.com

Revival Of Our Future

The title of this message seems to be almost an impossible statement. How can we revive something that has not happened yet? The truth is what we do today affects our future. How you handle your life today; emotions, actions, relationships, your attitudes and reactions, will flow into your tomorrow.

If you keep carrying dead thoughts of your life or how you perceive yourself, you will be carrying those images into your future. It will become who you are. I want to plant good seeds now so that in the future I will be harvesting a good crop.

Imagine carrying a dead corpse everywhere you go. Remember dead corpse smell terrible and attract flies and other kinds of insects. This is what happens when we carry our dead thoughts into our future. People see and smell our stench, and like insects invading a dead carcass, the enemy suffocates us with his lies and schemes and it brings even more decay and decomposing. We will end up settling for so much less then why we were created. God has a destiny for your life. Don’t allow your past or present mistakes to infest your future.

Not only can people see and smell our stench, but we are carrying something that will never benefit us. Dead things have no life. There is no advantage of bringing your past into your future. The past is just that; past! It is past away and you will never be able to relive that moment again. If you are constantly thinking about your past it would be like sitting on the ground right next to a dead body. It doesn’t speak to you. It doesn’t help you. It just reminds you of your fatal mistakes.

Don’t misunderstand me, we can learn from our past, just like we can learn from an autopsy of a dead body, but once we learn from it, discard the body and burry it once and for all. Trying to take something dead into our future will only bring frustration and magnify the lifeless carcass.

Psalm 42:2 (NLT)

“I thirst for God, for the living God.”

This verse expresses David’s thirst for God. He was young and strong, yet he knew only God could satisfy him. He had spent time in God’s presence playing his harp and tending sheep (the normal things of life for him). Spiritual thirst is as natural as physical thirst.

There are churches today that want revival but the people in the church seem to think that revival will suddenly appear and affect them. This is not how revival works. Revival happens by us doing our part. We have to eagerly pursue God. We need to develop a hunger for God on a daily basis.  We have to be thirsty for the living God. The Bible says that if we are thirsty we should come buy and eat. What it costs us is our action and our will. What it cost is giving up our control and allowing God to have His way.

Isaiah 55:1 – 3 (Amplified Bible)

“WAIT and listen, everyone who is thirsty! Come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Yes, come, buy [priceless, spiritual] wine and milk without money and without price [simply for the self-surrender that accepts the blessing]. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your earnings for what does not satisfy? [] Hearken diligently to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness [the profuseness of spiritual joy]. Incline your ear [submit and consent to the divine will] and come to Me; hear, and your soul will revive; and I will make an everlasting covenant or league with you, even the sure mercy (kindness, goodwill, and compassion) promised to David.”

I was traveling in 1993 and 1994 to churches all over the Pacific Northwest area of the United States ministering in Churches. Everywhere I went I saw this complacency and lack of thirst. It broke my heart. I felt I was experiencing just a touch of what God was feeling. I wrote a song that I ministered to the churches during that time and the words were taken directly from Isaiah 55:1 – 3. The very first time I sang that song a young man came to the alter while I was singing it. He wept and wept at the alter. He longed to receive the Living Water from God and he also ached to see others drink as well. The song is called; “Come Buy and drink!”

John 7:37 (NIV)

“Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.”

“… let him come to me and drink.” This takes action on our part. Again, revival doesn’t come to you, you go after revival!

Are you dehydrated in your heart, spirit, or emotions? 

It is time you get wet. It is time you dive into the Living Water and drink of God’s goodness and soak in His presence. God’s Living Water will not only take care of any dehydration as you drink it, but as you allow God to saturate your entire being you will be a “living well” yourself.

Others will smell, see, and taste this Living Water from you as Living Water never sits still. Living Water is just that…living! This water can’t help but affect those around you. They are watching your life and seeing your joy and passion and they will want to hang around you. They might not know why, yet they have a desire to talk to you and overall want to spend time with you. These are the affects of your time spent drinking and soaking in the Living Water!

We need to get rid of our dignity. 

It can prevent us from letting go of ourselves to experience something new in God. Who cares what people think of you. We should care more about what God thinks. He sees what truly is in our hearts and what we are thinking. We can’t hide anything from God. Why even try?

Our dignity can prevent us from experiencing more of God and it can prevent revival from coming in the future.

Do you have walls up that are preventing you from experiencing a revival in your heart? We need to see our humanity and His divinity and realize we are lost without Him. We need to get desperate for Him. Who are we to think we can survive without God in our lives, or maintain our life without giving God everything? This is a lie!

Are you tired of how your life is going today? What do you plan to do about it? What you change in your life today will benefit your future. Many people think their life will change by the Government, or by some rich uncle passing away and leaving them a load of money. When will they realize they are just wasting their life away? If you want change to happen in your life, if you want revival to come, do something about it! The first thing and the best thing we can do is pray for God to help bring change. Ask Him what your part is in changing your life. Don’t think you are too old or too young for change to come. Be determined to take the land that is rightfully yours. Caleb, at the age of 85 years old demanded, “Give me my mountain” (Joshua 14:12). That hill country was promised as an inheritance by God because Caleb “wholly followed the LORD God of Israel” (Joshua 14:14b).

Let’s follow hard after God!

Psalm 63:1-8 (KJV)

“ O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.” 

This is a Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah. He learned while in the wilderness how to follow hard after God by thirsting for water, it brought true meaning to thirsting after God.

God will always quench our thirst when we thirst and follow hard after Him. In these verses we can see that David learned how to worship God in the middle of a trial. He knew Who his source was. He remembered when he was laying in his bed who his help was. He praised God and meditated on Him “…When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.” The word; watches” (ashmûrâh)  is translated; “watch, a period of time,” and the primitive root (shâmar) means; “properly to hedge about (as with thorns), that is, guard; generally to protect, attend to, beware, be circumspect, take heed, keep, mark, look narrowly, observe, preserve, regard, reserve, save, sure, wait, watch.”

In Bible times there were four watches (Matthew 14:25, Luke 12:38). David could be referring to the watches in the temple, or he could be referring to the watches at night with the guards which guarded his palace. At this point, he no longer was in the palace but the wilderness. I am sure he is remembering being with the congregation and in the sanctuary praising God. He is remembering on his bed, which could have been a rock for his pillow and dirt for his bedding, yet he is meditating on God and his goodness. David didn’t wait for a revival to come to him. No! He birthed it from his heart as he realized meditating on God, and the things of God, is better than meditating on himself and wallowing in self-pity.  Remember he was running for his life from king Saul. He feared for his life. If David complained we sure would understand, yet this man of God decided to keep his focus on God, even in the night watches. Albert Barnes expresses this thought well in his notes on this verse:

“That is, when I lie down at night; when I compose myself to sleep. Nothing can be more proper than that our last thoughts, as we sink into quiet slumber, should be of God; of his being, his character, his mercy, his loving-kindness; of the dealings of his providence, and the manifestations of his grace toward us, during the day; and nothing is better suited to compose the mind to rest, and to induce quiet and gentle slumber, than the calmness of soul which arises from the idea of an Infinite God, and from confidence in him. Often when restless on our beds – when nothing else will lull the body to rest, the thought of God – the contemplation of his greatness, his mercy, and his love – the sweet sense of an assurance of his favor will soothe us, and cause us to sink into gentle repose. So it may be – so it will be – when we are about to sleep the long sleep of death, for then the most appropriate thoughts – the thoughts that will best prepare us for that long sleep – will be thoughts of God.”

“My soul followeth hard after thee…” (Psalm 63:8) is a revival statement! It implies action. I like how the Amplified Bible states this verse:

Psalm 63:8 (Amplified Bible)

“My whole being follows hard after You and clings closely to You; Your right hand upholds me.”

The word “hard” is translated dâbaq, which means: “properly to impinge, that is, cling or adhere; to catch by pursuit: abide, fast, cleave (fast together), follow close, be joined, keep, overtake, pursue hard, stick, take.”

All these are action words. We need to cling, pursue hard, adhere to and catch God. It is like two pieces of wood being glued together, inseparable! This is revival! It is not settling for the same thing over and over again. It is pressing in to touch God and not caring what the crowd will think (Luke 8:43 – 48).

Your future is bright. You can experience revival if you would start following hard after God today! Don’t let anything get in your way.

Love people into revival

Watching Jesus and his actions will show us how we are to respond to people. He loved them. He showed love when He healed the sick and raised the dead. He showed love when he wept when Lazarus was dead and raised him back to life. He moved with compassion to forgive the woman caught in adultery. He even loved the Roman soldiers who crucified Him with his statement, “Forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).

It was part of His character and makeup. People were drawn to this love.

I believe with all my heart that if we love people walls will come down and revival will come. I have seen this in action where ever I travel and minister. I go in and love on the people, treating them like my true brother or sister that they are. This automatically brings down any walls or preconceived ideas they may have. They see that I am real and a “safe” person to be around. No one will let down their guard if they think you don’t care about them. Love conquers all.

Have you ever experienced the love of God to the point you felt free to be yourself, free to love others with the love He has given you? Within ourselves we do not and cannot love others unconditionally. God’s love is indescribable and yet all powerful. What do you do with a love like this? You fall in love with Him even more. In doing so you will change your character. You will begin to exude God’s love to others.

Revival of our future starts today! Don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today. Let go of any dead corpse you are carrying from your past and reach for the new God has for you to revive your future. Your future awaits for a new beginning.

From one revivalist to another,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.krisbelfils.com

www.hopefellowshipspokane.com

Revival Of Our Past (Part 2)

Endure or bolt

Running away from our problems will never solve them. I am sure you have heard that saying several times in your life. Running away is the easy road out of a sticky situation. How many times have you bolted from something that you didn’t like?

Have you ever waited for something you really wanted and in the middle of the wait you decided it was taking too long and you bolted? Maybe you’ve gone through a hardship and decided to leave because you felt you didn’t need to deal with it. I know of several times in my life I’ve done just that. Waiting is a hard thing to do, especially when you don’t see any results of your waiting. Waiting requires endurance. Endurance shows our character. How do we respond in hardships? What is the first thing you do when you are tried or tested? Do you whine and complain about the situation you are in? Is the first thing in your heart anger towards God for letting the trial come?

Take a ring, or a small item like a pebble, and place it in one of your hands. Curve your fingers around it as if you were making a loose fist. You are the ring or pebble and God is your hand. Nothing comes to the ring/pebble without His hand allowing it to come. Often times we don’t understand why we have to go through hardship. We can find in the epistle of James some answers.

James 1:2 – 4 (HCSB)

“Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.”

How can we consider a trial a “joy?” In order to really understand these verses we have to look deeper than the first few words. We can see that trials test our faith. It would be one thing if God created us all to be robots walking around on this earth just doing the commands He programs in our memory. We wouldn’t need faith for that. God created us with our own free-will and this allows us to make choices. These choices can be good or bad.

God wants us to see and know what we believe. He wants us to call on Him for help and guidance. He wants us to see our need for Him. The more we need God, the more our faith builds up in us! In other words, when we call out to God in our need, and He answers, our faith is built up. Even when we wait for the answer, this builds our faith.

There is power in waiting. I like how the Bible in Basic English puts it:

Romans 5:3 – 5 (BBC)

“And not only so, but let us have joy in our troubles: in the knowledge that trouble gives us the power of waiting; And waiting gives experience; and experience, hope: And hope does not put to shame; because our hearts are full of the love of God through the Holy Spirit which is given to us.” 

The “power of waiting” is endurance. It is patience. Whenever we have to wait for something, we have to endure. Be it a little thing like waiting in line at a store, or a big thing like waiting for God to answer our prayers; it requires endurance.

We know that “good things come to those who wait.” I am not sure where that saying originated from, but it is true when it comes to endurance. We are given a reward for our endurance.

We can see in James 1:2 – 4 that the testing of our faith produces endurance. Endurance and patience are interchangeable. They are synonyms of each other. God wants us to become mature sons and daughters. He doesn’t want us to stay young in our thinking and in our reactions.

When we were just learning to walk and talk, the first thing out of our mouth was, “MINE!” Baby’s are born selfish. They cry when they need changing, they get angry when they don’t get fed on time. You always have to teach them how to share, play nicely with others, and to think of others more than themselves. This is in the natural and it is the same for the spiritual.

When we first become a Christian and ask Christ into our heart as Lord and Savior, we are babies. We have to learn how to walk in the Lord. We have to learn God’s will instead of our will. We have to learn endurance.

Endurance means (Strong’s #5281): “Constancy, perseverance, continuance, bearing up, patient endurance. It is the capacity to continue to bear up under difficult circumstances, not with a passive complacency, but with a hopeful fortitude that actively resists weariness, and defeat.”

Hebrew 10:36 (NKJV)

“For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.”

There is always a reward for enduring. I teach guitar to many students. The biggest complaint is that it is hard work to play the guitar. They have to practice throughout the week to be able to come back to me and have a lesson to progress into the next lesson and eventually to be a good guitarist. Some of my students were expecting to just pick up the guitar and be able to play. This never happens. A great guitarist has many many years of practice behind them and it shows with the reward of playing the guitar well. This is a small example of endurance, but I think you get the idea.

What are you going through right now? Do you have what it takes to endure?

We have to remember it is not what we go through, but how we go through it. Often I find myself in a circumstance I hate being in. Ultimately, my character, and what I am really made of, comes to the surface.

God wants you to see your character and respond accordingly. We have to remember who we are in Christ. We are warriors! We are over comers! We have resources to grab a hold of inside of us to help us stand as we go through the fire. But just think of the silver that is coming out in the middle of this refining fire process in your life! God gives you grace to endure. Endurance is staying even under pressure. Endurance is the ability or power to bear prolonged exertion, pain, or hardship. It is the active, energetic resistance to defeat that allows calm and brave endurance. This will bring spiritual maturity, and we won’t bolt again!

I have a bracelet that says, “Endurance” on it and I wear it whenever I need to remind myself to endure and not bolt. Find something you can do to remind yourself to “keep on keeping on” when the going gets hard. We are over-comers and we will endure and become mature, lacking nothing in Christ!

Conclusion

Jacob learned the hard way that bolting is not the answer. But he did confront his past and reconciled with Laban and Esau. In essence, Jacob’s past experienced revival and reconciliation.

What events in your past do you need to confront? Allow God to show you areas that you need to look at. Not to make you feel bad about yourself, but to deal with it once and for all. Don’t let your past overcome you, but you overcome your past as Christ is standing right with you every step of the way.

I remember teaching on this subject at a ladies Bible study. There was a lady there who became upset over the subject. She didn’t think it was of God to have to go back to something in her past to move forward. In fact, she was downright vocal during the class. All her words were negative about the subject I taught. She expressed that I was wrong and teaching wrong ideas. To be honest, I was a little taken back by her actions and reactions. But realizing now that her violent reaction was a sign that there were things in her past that needed to be confronted and her flesh was acting out. It let me know that I was right on target in teaching about confrontation of our past.

Jesus brought revival to Peter’s past. Peter denied Jesus three different times before the rooster crowed. In other words, Peter was faced with telling the truth of his connection with Jesus three different times before the next morning. All three times Peter denied even knowing Jesus, when earlier Peter said Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:16). Also Peter said if he had to die with Jesus he would, instead of denying him (Matthew 26:35). After Jesus was crucified and buried Peter decided to go back to his original occupation of fishing and Thomas, Nathanael, the sons of Zebedee, and a couple of other disciples went with him. They went out and fished all night but didn’t catch anything. Jesus came and stood on the shore and told them to “cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some” (John 21:6). So they did and they were unable to bring in their nets because of so many fish. John said it was Jesus and Peter plunged into the water to be with Him. The disciples came to shore and brought up the fish. Jesus asked for them to bring some of the fish and come and eat breakfast with Him.

John 21:15 – 17 (NKJV)

“So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” and he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.””

Now this is a scene of restoration and confrontation all at the same time. Jesus asked, “Do you love Me?” He could have asked so many questions that would have been acceptable like, “Why did you deny me?” or “Do you fear me?” He asked Peter of his love and devotion to Him.

Peter was repentant in his answers as he cried out the words, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” Jesus restores Peter right in front of the company of the other disciples.

Jesus was raising Peter up to be their leader and to feed His sheep. He didn’t and couldn’t entrust this position to someone who didn’t love Him. Jesus is so careful to not give His flock over to just anyone, but only to those who truly love Him. For when we, as ministers, love Jesus with our whole heart, we will tend His flock with care.

Ministers who don’t love Jesus won’t have a passion to see souls saved. They won’t stay in the ministry when it gets hard except for those who truly love Christ.  Jesus asked Peter three times if He loved Him. The same amount of times Peter denied Him. This was total and complete restoration from his past mistakes. It was as if Jesus was reaching into Peter’s past and taking the heart that was dead because of sin, and pumped life back into it again. Love will conquer all. Jesus’ love will make things brand new again.

Jesus didn’t leave Peter in his sad condition. It was Jesus agenda to raise him up in front of his peers and place him into leadership again. This is His desire for you and me too. He died on the cross for the sins we committed and He died on the cross for the sins committed against us. What He did is complete. This covers anything in our past that doesn’t bring life to us.

There is a revival of our past that Christ wants to bring to us. Even though it is painful or it might cost us something, it is well worth the revisiting.

Revival of your past may include:

 1.  Regrets

Everyone of us have regrets from our past. Worrying about our past is wasted energy. You can’t change your past, but you can change your present and future. If I try, I can think of many regrets. You have to find a place to make peace with what you did or what what you didn’t do. Remember that it doesn’t define who you are. Our past doesn’t have to devine us if we have a determination to make different choices and a different mindset then before.

2 Corinthians 5:2 (Amplified Bible)

“Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!”

2.  Mistakes

No body is perfect, not even you. We all make mistakes. We are all imperfect. Making mistakes is part of life. That is why Jesus went to the cross; to save us from our sin and past mistakes. Lay your mistakes down at Christ’s feet as an offering. It is what is in your hand. It is what you are aching over. Offering it us to Jesus is the only thing you can do. He has a way of taking our mistakes and regrets and making something new from them. He makes beauty from ashes, even from ashes that was set on fire from your own match!

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.”

It is all for God’s glory the changes He makes in you and I! We are His masterpieces and He is proud of His creation.

3.  Guilt

Once we have asked for forgiveness of the wrong we have done, and mean it, God forgives us. The enemy is the one who puts guilt on us. First he entices us to make bad choices and then, once we do, the enemy will try to put guilt on us. Either way it is torment. Don’t fall for this!

We are all guilty of sin. We are born into a fallen, sinful world. We are sinful by nature. Knowing we don’t have to live this way because of what Jesus did on the cross frees us. He took our place even though we were the ones who are guilty. Releasing the guilt and forgiving yourself brings freedom to your spirit.

Jeremiah 33:8 (Amplified)

“And I will cleanse them from all the guilt and iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will forgive all their guilt and iniquities by which they have sinned and rebelled against Me.”

4.  Shame

Shame is a heavy heavy burden to carry with you everywhere you go. I know as I have experienced it in my life. Shame can be very painful and stressful. It torments us and seeps into every pore of our being to the point you feel your aroma is exuding shame.

Shame can come with those sins we are ashamed of. Sins we would never want anyone to know we committed. Shame can come from an adult figure who might have said to you; “Shame on you!” We can feel shame over a choice or something we have said.

Shame locks us in a prison cell. But the truth is we have the key to unlock the cell door and let ourselves out. Listening to good counsel and heeding what the Bible tells us to do will unlock our shameful prison. When the enemy tries to put that shame back on you, you tell Him you are forgiven and a new creation (2 Cor. 5:2). Remind yourself that Christ took all your shame on the cross and it was crucified there. It is finished!

Proverbs 13:18 (Amplified)

“Poverty and shame come to him who refuses instruction and correction, but he who heeds reproof is honored.”

Isaiah 54:4 (NKJV)

“Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; For you will forget the shame of your youth, and will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore.”

Isaiah 61:7 (NKJV)

“Instead of your shame you shall have double honor, and instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double; Everlasting joy shall be theirs.”

5.  Disappointments

We all experience disappointments in our life. It is what we do with those disappointments that shows our character. Are you rehashing your disappointments and thinking about what could have been? We have to place them in God’s hands.

I am sure Joseph was “disappointed” when his brothers sold him into slavery. If it were me I would have been deeply hurt and probably would have experienced un-forgiveness. Yet, God was with Joseph in every step of his life. God was with him in the pit. God was with him in Potpher’s house. God was with him in prison, and ultimately God was with him when he went to the palace.

Put your expectations in God and not man. Man will let us down always, but God never will. He has the perfect plan for our lives. He can turn a trial into a triumph you just wait and see. A disappointment can be a blessing in disguise. It could change your viewpoint or mindset over something. Our disappointments can be re-appointments as we place them in God’s hands.

So what about you? Is there anything in your past that you are having a hard time getting over? Now is the time to release, forgive, and be revived in your past so you can press forward to what God has waiting for you. No more road blocks to your destiny. Freedom to be yourself and to experience all that God has for you!

Your sister in Christ,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.krisbelfils.com,

www.hopefellowshipspokane.com

How To Handle 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 because they wanted to win.

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 usually means you didn’t get what you wanted or hoped for.

React in our flesh

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 and that is a sin.

Disappointments

a.  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.

b.  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 or cituation. All of these choices are not good choices.

 c.  We get mad at ourselves

Handling disappointments is a process. Don’t get mad at your self 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.

d.  We show emotion or get depressed

Often it is natural to be upset or get depressed when something happens that has disappointed or 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
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

Video: “Stages of Grief

Disappointment quotes:

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 things 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 no body 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.

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. Signs of dehydration are:

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

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. 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.

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 mo9urning 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!

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.”

Your sister in Christ,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.krisbelfils.com

www.hopefellowshipspokane.com