The Water That Brings A New Beginning!

The Water That Brings A New Beginning!

This post is a sermon I preached at my church concerning Hope Fellowship’s future. I pray it ministers to you too.

The Water That Brings A New BeginningThe Water That Brings A New Beginning!

I had a dream a few months ago. In the dream there were black gospel singers in a choir on a hillside. They were all over in various places on this hill (not in choir formation). The area was like a Pacific Northwest Camping spot. Someone asked me to direct the choir. I love black gospel music and said, “Sure!” But, I was extremely nervous because I didn’t know the song they were going to sing. As soon as I put my hands up to start the choir, they all turned and looked at me and began to sing with the music that was playing. I directed them with passion. They were powerful! The people that were watching from down below the hill gave a standing ovation, amazed at all the choir did at my direction. I remember thinking to myself, “Wow, I can’t believe I directed the choir so well and didn’t even know the song.” Everywhere I went people were praising the choir and their director. When it was time for me to leave, I walked through a building with many rooms. In one of the rooms a Woman of God hugged me and whispered in my ear: []“Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through deep waters, I will be with you; your troubles will not overwhelm you.” Then I woke up. I remember feeling excited and yet apprehensive all at the same time. I knew the dream was from God encouraging me with a warning.

When I dreamt the dream, in the natural, Hope Fellowship (the church I founded) was going through very deep waters. Giving was low, people had left, and we were left with hardly any funds and hardly any people. Our expenses were high and we couldn’t make our lease payment. We were trying to find a new place to conduct our services. Everywhere I looked online for places to lease were either too expensive, or too small. I looked for months before this dream. We even tried to purchase a 100 year old run down church building thinking the payment would be smaller then our lease payment. But we couldn’t come up with the down payment. I felt like the church was drowning and anything I tried to do didn’t help. I felt like a failure.

I remembered the dream and the scripture verse the Woman of God whispered in my ear. I held onto what the promise was saying, “I will be with you; your troubles will not overwhelm you.” and brought it before God. He showed me all along He was there. He never left. He still is there holding me and guiding me.

Now, Hope Fellowship embraces a new place to hold our services in a Hotel conference room believing God had orchestrated everything to bring us to this place. It doesn’t make sense. We moved from a conference room three years prior into the building we were in. Now we are back at a conference room. Why? I believe God showed me and I want to share this with you today.

Do you believe water can bring or birth a new beginning? I never thought of it before until all that I shared with you that I had experienced .

Isaiah 43:1 – 3a Good News Bible
Israel, the LORD who created you says, “Do not be afraid — I will save you. I have called you by name — you are mine. When you pass through the deep waters, I will be with you; your troubles will not overwhelm you. When you pass through fire, you will not be burnt; the hard trials that come will not hurt you.For I am the LORD your God, the holy God of Israel, who saves you.

These verses are very powerful and so appropriate for where Hope Fellowship is right now. God is telling us, no commanding us, to not be afraid. He is with us and will save us. He already has by getting us out from under that expensive building we were leasing and moving us to this beautiful hotel we are in now. But there is more.

“Pass through” Means: to cross over, transition, carry over, deliver, escape, beyond, and proclaim.

Water can mean various things in the Bible. I want to look at a few and apply it to our life today! Water:

  1. Troublesome times, calamities.

The word “water” is used in a variety of metaphorical ways in Scripture. It is used to symbolize the troublesome times in life that can and do come to human beings, especially God’s children.

Psalm 32:6 “Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them.”

Psalms 69:1 “Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck.”`

Psalms 69:2 “Do not let the floodwaters engulf me or the depths swallow me up or the pit close its mouth over me.”

Psalms 69:14 “Rescue me from the mire, do not let me sink; deliver me from those who hate me, from the deep waters.”

Lam 3:54 “the waters closed over my head, and I thought I was about to perish.”

When thou passest through the waters – This is a general promise, and means that whenever and wherever they should pass through water or fire, he would protect them. It had been true in their past history as a people; and the assurance is here given in order that they might be comforted in view of the calamities which they were then suffering in Babylon. Fire and water are often used in the Scriptures to denote calamity – the latter because it overwhelms; the former because it consumes;

Psa 66:12 Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.

2. Enemy attacks.

In some contexts water stands for enemies who can attack and need to be overcome

2 Sam 22:17-18 “He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.” (Also found in Psalm 18:16-17)

Psalm 124:4-5 “the flood would have engulfed us, the torrent would have swept over us, the raging waters would have swept us away.”

Psalm 144:7 “Reach down your hand from on high; deliver me and rescue me from the mighty waters, from the hands of foreigners.”

3. Salvation, eternal life, and living water.

In both the Old and New Testaments, the word “water” is used for salvation and eternal life, which God offers humankind through faith in his Son.

Isa 12:3 “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”

Isa 55:1 “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.”

Rev 21:6 “He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.”

Revelation 22:1 “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb.”

Revelation 22:17 “The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.”

In John 4:10-15, part of Jesus’ discourse with the Samaritan woman at the well, he speaks metaphorically of his salvation as “living water” and as “a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

4. Spiritual Cleansing.

Following along this same theme, water sometimes symbolizes the spiritual cleansing that comes with the acceptance of God’s offer of salvation

Ezek 36:25 “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.”

Eph 5:26 “to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,”

In fact, in Ephesians 5:26, the “water” that does the cleansing of the bride, the church, is directly tied in with God’s Word, of which it is a symbol.

Heb 10:22 “let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”

Let’s revisit Psalm 66:12 “Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.”

Wealthy place: satisfaction, running over, satiate, satisfy, soak, water (abundantly).

With this definition of a wealthy place we can see that “going through” deep waters has soaked us and brought us to a wealthy place. Not only in the natural, but in the spiritual. We are at a new level in God. We are at a new beginning.

What we experienced in the past (hardship, turmoil, lack of funds, plowing, messy people) is over. God is doing a new thing.

Isaiah 43:16-21 Good News Translation (GNT)
Long ago the Lord made a road through the sea,
a path through the swirling waters.
He led a mighty army to destruction,
an army of chariots and horses.
Down they fell, never to rise,
snuffed out like the flame of a lamp!
But the Lord says,
“Do not cling to events of the past
or dwell on what happened long ago.
Watch for the new thing I am going to do.
It is happening already—you can see it now!
I will make a road through the wilderness
and give you streams of water there.
Even the wild animals will honor me;
jackals and ostriches will praise me
when I make rivers flow in the desert
to give water to my chosen people.
They are the people I made for myself,
and they will sing my praises!”

God has done so much for us in Hope Fellowship’s past. We have experienced good and bad times. Just like in this passage of scripture Isaiah tells of how the Lord made a road through the sea, a path through the swirling waters, and destroyed a mighty army of chariots and horses as they traveled over to possess their promised land, we too have experienced much. Every Sunday ministering to the homeless, which is always messy, to gaining people and letting them go. God even provided Zombies to come and help us pay our monthly lease payment last summer. We have experienced divisions in the church, and people talking badly about us. We have endured a water pipe busting and destroying many things, and God turning it around into a blessing with our insurance compensating for the damage.

But these verses don’t stop at what they went through; good or bad, no it says “Do not cling to events of the past or dwell on what happened long ago. We are to let the last 4 years of Hope Fellowship’s history go and leave it in God’s hands because He is doing a New Thing!

“Watch for the new thing I am going to do. It is happening already—you can see it now! I will make a road through the wilderness and give you streams of water there.” This is what God is doing for Hope Fellowship as a whole, and as individuals. He is doing a new thing in your life.

Are you going through deep waters today? God is preparing you for good things. Know that God is always with you in deep waters. You will not be overcome.

Song: “I am not alone” Kari Jobe

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

Fruit of the Spirit – Joy

Joy

Gal. 5:22 Amplified Bible

“But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].”

What is joy and what is joy based on? Joy defined is: “A shout, a proclamation that can manifest in singing. Joy is defined as a triumph, cheerful and a calm delight.”

 Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Definitions: “G5463, A primary verb; to be full of “cheer”, that is, calmly happy or well off.”

Joy is deeper then happiness. Instead of looking to Jesus, people look for JOY anywhere and everywhere else.

Pretty much everybody wants happiness. In fact, people do what they do for the purpose of “finding happiness.” People work hard to buy possessions that can make them happy. They look for happiness in entertainment, hobbies, sports, passions and various addictions, and even another person.

When you consider that happiness seems to be the main goal, it seems surprising that the Bible doesn’t talk much about happiness. But the Bible says a lot about something that is often confused with happiness. The Bible says a lot about JOY. The kind of JOY the Bible talks about goes much deeper than mere happiness.

Happiness deals with what is happening. Happiness depends on circumstance. In fact, for most people happiness is nothing more than a temporary interruption to boredom. We’ve all heard kids complain, “I’m bored.” That means, “I want some happiness, and I’m NOT finding it!”

Genuine joy, on the other hand does not depend on what’s happening. Joy is an inner sense of well-being that has nothing to do with circumstance.  Joy is an inside Job.

The kind of JOY the Bible describes can’t be found in possessions or entertainment or even in looking deeply into your inner self.

 Happiness vs. Joy

Happiness meets surface needs, But Joy meets your deepest needs.

Happiness is like a thermometer, it registers conditions,

Joy is like a Thermostat, it regulates conditions.

Now happiness many times evaporates in suffering,

But Joy frequently intensifies in times of suffering.

Let me give you an example:

Turn with me to James 1:2

James 1:2 NKJV 

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials.”

In other words, when you are in trouble, don’t start crying when things happen, in stead count it as Joy.

The word translated “various” is the Greek word on which our word “polka dot” is based.

It means variegated or diversified. If you look at a dress or garment with lots of polka dots on it, it can be a reminder that we will experience many trials.

Joy is not the natural response to Trouble. How many of you jump and scream with excitement when trouble comes a-knockin’?

Let me tell you something, Trials are meaningless, suffering is senseless and trials are pointless, unless there is some good purpose for them.

God has a goal in mind. God knows what the good purpose is.

Suffering is inevitable. He does not say, “Count it all joy, my brethren, IF you fall into trials,” he says, “Count it all joy WHEN you fall into trials.

What does that mean?

~ It means Trials are not optional.

~ Suffering is a normal part of the process God uses to bring us to glory.

~We are to rule over the trial and not allow the trial to rule over us.

The word “count” in the Greek means: “to lead, that is, command (with official authority); figuratively to deem, that is, consider: – account, (be) chief, count, esteem, governor, judge, have the rule over, suppose, think.”

Far too often we allow the trial to rule over us and it defeats us. We are to count, rule over with authority, any trial that comes our way because we know:

James 1:3 – 4 Amplified Bible

“Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. [with no defects], lacking in nothing.”

God wants to produce patience (fruit of the spirit) and endurance in us. Don’t be a wimp and crumble under trials. Trials will come. But rule over it with joy knowing God is with you and has the answers when we ask for His wisdom.

James 1:5 Amplified Bible

“If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him.”

This is how we are to respond in trials. Seek God for wisdom.

Often times we do quit the opposite. We try to acquire our happiness in false joy and end up giving up.

FALSE JOY

1.  Acquiring “things.”

I can have things and enjoy them, but if I don’t have them, I can still enjoy my life. We can desire things, but don’t lust after them. You can have things, but don’t allow things to have you. Lust steals your joy.

Hold everything loosely. Be a steward, not an owner. This is why giving our tithes and offerings are so important. If you can’t give it, then it has got you. That is why God will ask you to give up things that don’t make sense to you.

READ: 1 Tim. 6:6 – 12 

When we were born, we brought nothing into this world, and we can’t take anything out when we die.

My husband’s uncle passed away a few weeks ago. Ron and his brother and Mom and Dad went down to California to see after all the affairs and belongings his uncle had. His uncle had a passion for Nascar racing and throughout the years collected a huge miniature car collection. They lived in a double wide trailer and under the trailer was packed with this collection. They loaded a 20 foot U-Haul truck full of this collection and brought it up to Spokane to sale. It is amazing how we collect things, which brings us temporary happiness at the time, and end up not being able to take any of it with us when we die.

Things will not bring joy, it only brings momentary happiness at the time you purchase it and own it. I know of people who spend their time shopping and acquiring things to fill the void of not having joy.

Some people constantly are consumed with money. They want to get it, save it, or as soon as they get it, they want to spend it.

1 Timothy 6:10 NLT

“For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.”

Any addiction other then God will only bring you false joy. It is temporary and will never last.

God loves to bless His kids, but if you have to have it to be happy, it is wrong.

If you can’t get happy in the valley, you won’t be happy on the mountain top. We say things like… “If this would happen I would be happy!” or “If I had this it would make my life happy.” This is all false Joy. Again, things and possessions are temporary. God, and who He is in our life is permanent.

2.  Surroundings

Your joy shouldn’t be based on your surroundings. Our environment changes constantly. One day we have a job, and the next, it is taken from us. One day you have a beautiful home, and the next a tornado took it away. Our surroundings do not determine our true joy.

Isaiah 54:10 NASB

“For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, But My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, And My covenant of peace will not be shaken,” Says the LORD who has compassion on you.”

Mountains have been shaken and removed, but the promises of God never were broken by any event.

We should be able to give it up and still be happy. Love God and enjoy things and your surroundings, but don’ ever let them get ahead of God.

Matthew Henry Commentary:  “Creature-confidences shall fail; but when our friends fail us, our God does not.” 

3.  Relationships

Basing your joy on people and what they do for you, or who they are in your life is false security. It is a false sense of happiness. It is not their job to keep you happy or content. We don’t want to be dependent on people but on God.

If we put all our hope in people, or a certain person, we will be disappointed. People will let us down. People are not perfect.

2 Timothy 4:16 – 17 ESV

“At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.”

If we feel we can’t live without a certain person, we have our dependence on them instead of God.

Emotional or Co-Dependency towards an individual is a trap. Yes, people are God’s gift to us, but not to the point they take the place of God in our lives. What I mean is if they are the first thing you think of in the morning and the last thing you think of at night, chances are you are emotionally dependent on them. If you feel like you can’t breathe if you don’t talk to them, you are emotional dependent. Relationships should be healthy.

It is easy to place a person above God. After all they are there in the flesh. But we have to be careful, especially if you are a person who emotionally gets attached to people quickly. God wants that place.

It is time to get happy. It is time to walk in God’s joy He has already given you. Allow this fruit to develop in your life. Don’t prematurely pick this fruit thinking it is ripe. We do this by basing our happiness on people, places, and things.

WHAT BRINGS TRUE JOY?

1.  Salvation

Receiving the salvation God, provided through His Son Jesus Christ, changes our lives forever. We don’t have to spend eternity in Hell where there is torment and constant burning of our flesh. We are free from any bondage sin had on us to live in this world with freedom and joy. We are never alone because God is always with us. We are His. All this should bring joy.

Psalm 51:10 – 12 NKJV

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away form Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.” 

Jesus rescued us. No matter what happens in this world, and in our life, we know who we are and where we will spend eternity after we die. We have a reason to get up in the morning because we are valuable and purchased with a great price. We are saved. Salvation is a precious gift that we should cherish every moment of our life. This brings a joy that no one can take away from us. Joy to the world the Lord has come!

2.  A grateful heart 

A grateful heart leads to a place of contentment and joy.

Proverbs 15:13 Amplified Bible

“A glad heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is broken.” 

Proverbs 15:15 Amplified Bible

“All the days of the desponding and afflicted are made evil [by anxious thoughts and forebodings], but he who has a glad heart has a continual feast [regardless of circumstances].”

Proverbs 17:22 Amplified Bible

“A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.”

We have a choice to be thankful, which gives us a happy heart, or to choose to complain and be ungrateful. Having a grateful heart brings life and joy. Looking at all the bad instead of the good in your life will bring stress, torment, and weariness.

This may sound very simple and even childish, yet most people tend to look at the negative or bad instead of the positive or good in their life. God is good and He has done great things in all of us. Choose to set yourself free with joy and enjoy your life and what God has done for you.

3.  Trusting in God

We can trust God with every part of our life. He will show us the right direction we need to take. He will help us and give us wisdom for our everyday life.

Psalm 16:11 NKJV

“You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right and are pleasures forevermore.”

This verse sums up. God will show us the right direction we are to take in life. He will be with us constantly, literally face to face. One encounter with God changes our lives forever. But in this case, we are with Him face to face on earth. We are His children and we can come boldly to Him like a child would their parent. No rejection. No fear.

The greatest part of this verse is, “in His presence is fullness of joy.” Not lacking anything. “It is totally full. Not partial joy; not imperfect joy; not joy intermingled with pain and sorrow; not joy which, though in itself real, does not satisfy the desires of the soul, as is the case with much of the happiness which we experience in this life – but joy, full, satisfying, unclouded, un-mingled with anything that would diminish its fulness or its brightness; joy that will not be diminished, as all earthly joys must be, by the feeling that it must soon come to an end.” (Albert Barnes notes on the Bible)

Acknowledging God and knowing He is with us and His presence is there makes us trust Him more and more. It empowers us to live our lives in boldness. It brings such a calm delight within us to know we are not alone.

Romans 15:13 NIV

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Trusting in God fills us with joy and peace. It allows hope to overflow in us and brings such a reassurance that life is good and God is with us. The Holy Spirit fills us with this hope. Wow, what a powerful insight on trusting God!

There are so many verses in the Bible about trusting God and what happens when we do. In the book of Psalms alone you will find over 80 verses on trusting God. Take time to study the Bible on trusting God. It will embed joy deep inside of you that no one or nothing can take away.

Pain, sorrow, trials, and tribulations, are temporary, but Joy is ETERNAL. Happiness is Outside, but Joy is Inside

Allow the fruit of Joy to grow inside of you. Walk in this promise daily. The Joy of the Lord is your strength! (Nehemiah 8:10)

Your Sister,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.krisbelfils.com

www.hopefellowshipspokane.com

www.krisbelfils.wordpress.com