Keys To Victorious Faith

A Place for Inspiration, Encouragement, Equipping And Learning How To Live Life Out Loud

How To Trust God When Your World Is Falling Apart

How to trust God when your world is falling apart. Sandra Hersey Ministries “It is a poor faith which can only trust God when friends are true, the body full of health, and the business profitable; but that is true faith which holds by the Lord’s faithfulness when friends are gone, when the body is sick, when spirits are depressed, and the light of our Father’s countenance is hidden.” These words spoken by Charles Spurgeon are true, yet they sting. It is easy to ask God to do for us and bless us. We certainly do not like to think we have poor faith; at least I do not.

I know walking in times of trouble are hard and it is easy to fall into the “Why me God, and where are you God?!” moments. If it makes you feel any better our Lord and Savior Jesus, in his agony on the cross chose to quote Psalm 22, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” When in fact He could have quoted the 23rd Psalm, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.”

Yet my friend, our promise from God is not freedom from pain, but companionship from our Lord and Savior; “Lo, I am with you always to the close of the age!” When our world falls apart, the great good news is we are not alone; Jesus IS with us!

I once heard a sermon that was prompted by a great skyscraper about to rise up into the heavens. The preacher continued to say over and over in his sermon, “the higher you want to rise the deeper you have to dig your foundation.” So if you want a 50-story skyscraper that’s one thing; but if you want to soar 100 stories, then the foundation has to be deeper, much much deeper.

It’s the same with our faith – the higher we want our faith to be, the deeper we must dig our foundation of faith. But how? Through His Word and prayer! Two very simple things, yet we do not always do it.

According to the Bible, the power of prayer is the power of God who hears and answers our prayer. We must remember in the tough times:

~ God Almighty can do all things; there is nothing impossible for Him {Luke 1:37}.

~ God Almighty hears the prayers of His children. He commands us to pray, and He promises to listen when we do. “In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears” {Psalm 18:6}.

~ God Almighty answers prayer. “I call on you, O God, for you will answer me” {Psalm 17:6}. “The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles” {Psalm 34:17}.

~ God Almighty invites His people to pray to Him. Prayer to God should be made persistently {Luke 18:1}, with thanksgiving {Philippians 4:6}, in faith {Mark 11:23}, within the will of God {Matthew 6:10}, for the glory of God {John 14:13-14}, and from a heart trusting in God {Proverbs 3:5-6}.

When your world is falling apart, after you stop weeping, dig deep; make those foundations deeper, stronger, and unshakable through prayer and His Word. Trust God and wait for Him to move; because He will! Getting knocked down is not the worst thing that can happen to you; refusing to trust God and not getting back up is!

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Peace To Deal With Our Present and Courage To Deal With Our Future

Peace To Deal With Our Present and Courage To Deal With Our FutureIt’s not a surprise to hear we live in a world of turmoil. Wars are being fought all over the world, news reports tell us of shootings, failing economy, and natural disasters. Even as you listen to the news, or even get your news off of Twitter as I do, you hear of so much tragedy. How do we find real peace and walk in peace each day in the midst of such chaos? It all goes back to the words of Jesus; living the Red Letter Lifestyle of His words in John 16:33. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” What is important to know, is that these very words Jesus spoke, came just a few hours before He Himself would be crucified; rocking the very foundations of the lives of the disciples who had come not only to follow Him, but to love Him. They would soon see that the Messiah they had hoped for and believed in, would die a horrible death. This also meant that they would live in fear for their own lives. Jesus spoke these words because He knew that the world was at odds with the purposes of God. But the good news is that both then and now Jesus offers us peace. His very own peace! “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27). He wants you and I to have His peace!

But how do we have peace to deal with our present situation and courage to deal with our future in unsettling times? By putting first things first- gaining peace with God. You can’t have the peace of God until you have peace with God. The fact is that outside of Christ you are not a child of God. That is the lot of all who do not accept Jesus Christ, or refuse to accept His offer of eternal life which He purchased on the cross for everyone! Jesus said we can be God’s child- He wants you as His child, and He sent Jesus into this world to make that happen.

How to live in the peace of God:

1. Understand God is sovereign.

As we give God our lives, He is in control from beginning to the end, and we must remember His plans will succeed. Jesus said that He has already overcome the world in His death. He conquered sin and its power, then He went on to conquer death and its power in His resurrection! He has also given us His Living Word – The Bible. The Bible allows us to find direction and comfort in Him and His promises; and these promises cannot be thwarted by anyone! Understanding He ALONE is sovereign goes a long way to help you live in His peace. Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

2. Pray

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

We are also instructed to “pray without ceasing” which means to continue to be in an attitude of prayer throughout the day. God hears you and He moves on behalf of His people. He is not deaf to your concerns and prayers. I once read that the average person has more than two hundred negative thoughts a day! We have worries, jealousies, insecurities, and the list goes on! It has been reported that those who are depressed have as many as six hundred negative thoughts running around every day! We may not be able to eliminate all the troublesome things that go on in our lives, but we can learn to stop invasions in our mind and have victory over our thoughts! (Read my latest book: Help! I’m Alone With My Mind! A Guide To Having Victory Over Your Thoughts!”)

One of the best ways to reduce the negative thoughts invading your mind is to turn them into prayers. It is important that we also pray according to God’s Will. What is His Will? The Bible! When faced with a concern we are to find scripture to cover our situation in prayer; according to what God has already promised us. Instead of, “God help I am broke!” You pray according to the Bible – “Father you know that I am in need of money right now, but I trust you Lord and I confess your Word that You are my provider and I trust in you Father to look over your Word that you said and to perform it! I thank you that you are supplying even now.” When we spend time praising and thanking Him for the answer before it comes- not just our concerns, we find peace in the fact that God is active in our situation and peace will flood our minds. Look at Daniel 9:23 and what the angel of God said to Daniel about the fact he was praying, “The moment you began praying, a command was given.” Now look at Isaiah 65:24 “I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!” God doesn’t have to check his Facebook inbox or text messages to see when we send up a prayer to Him. He hears immediately and He immediately answers, however those prayers are not always revealed for us immediately in the natural for many different reasons. But take comfort in knowing God hears us and answers us, and it is our responsiblity to trust Him and His Word and wait for the manifestation of the answer!

3. Fix your mind; Having a Biblical Mindset

Ecclesiastes 5:1 (Amp.) “Keep your foot, give your mind to what you are doing.” We are to listen to the voice of God. How? By prayer and reading His Word. Then we will be able to give our mind to Him instead of our worries. People who adopt a Biblical mindset and who are Christ-centered and focused on others can live in peace. Why? Because the world’s value systems do not determine your outlook or outcomes – the promises of the Bible does! That’s not to say that you will never be affected by this world. But by having a Biblical mindset you choose to believe the Bible is true and correct in all it teaches. When you are faced with a time of unsettling, pick up your Bible and read. I like to start with the book of Psalms. I read them aloud as prayers to God. Soon I feel His presence and I feel the weights of worry lifting. Then find scripture to cover your present situation. {Coming Soon my newest book on how to do this: I’m A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer!}  Above all you are to think on what God instructs you to think on – not what the world is dishing out. Philippians 4:8 gives us specific instructions, “Whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].” Then look at verse 7, “And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

4. Keep Moving!

I know when disaster hits we feel like we just can’t continue to get up again and again. I know we wonder why we even bother with moving ahead. Remember God is still God no matter what we see with our eyes and hear on the news. We have a future and a hope the Bible promises us, so we should look to the future. But as we do that, let’s look at Proverbs 16:9, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” We are not to plan for the future in despair, but rather to plan with the Lord’s purposes in mind. 1 Corinthians 9:24, “Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!” Run to win it says! That means keep on running and don’t stop no matter what, and it also says YOU WIN when you keep running! Glory!

5. Live in anticipation!

God’s Promises help us get through the grind of day-to-day living. The best way to have peace is to read those promises on a daily basis. You’ll be surprised what God has for you in there. One of my favorites is Lamentations 3:22-23, “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” God’s faithfulness is always in play, and I thank Him for that. We can live in anticipation that His Word is true and it never fails. If He promised it to you it is yours now! God gave you peace and He promises to never leave you or forsake you. That is something to be thankful for! Live your life in anticipation of what He is going to do in you and for you! You are His child! He loves you!

Peace to deal with your present circumstance and to face your future does not have to be overwhelming-IF we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us into the greatest peace of all- Jesus’ very own peace! John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubledand do not be afraid.”

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Keep on Keeping On

Sandra Hersey. Live life out loud. Keys to Victorious Faith

We don’t have the right or the privilege to stop. We must keep on keeping on. We keep on going after what we are seeking – enduring the storms of life which blow over us all the while.  Matthew 7: 7-8 declares Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, [the door] will be opened.”

We all face the storms of life where we feel we just can’t run any longer. Times when keeping on no longer seems an option. Our spiritual legs are aching and we are out of breath. Our lungs hurt and the finish line is nowhere in sight. Storms are a fact of life. We need to know how to weather the storms and keep on keeping on until the end. I think about a beautiful bent tree covered road. Those trees did not just become bent. They were bent over by the storms of life – yet they are beautiful and strong after the storm has passed! You and I are to be like the strong tree, maybe bent, but now we can be used in a beautiful way by God! But how do we weather the storms life sends us?

Jesus taught us how to weather the storms of life through prayer and faith. Matthew 8:23-27 says Now when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold! A severe storm arose in the sea, so that the boat was covered by the waves; but he himself was sleeping. Then they went and woke him by saying, “Lord! Save us! We are perishing!” So he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” After he got up, he rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became absolutely calm. Then the men were astonished, saying, “What kind of a man is this One, that even the winds and the sea obey him?”” 

Look again at verses 23, 24 “Now when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold! A severe storm arose in the sea, so that the boat was covered by the waves; but he himself was sleeping.”

A lot of Jesus’ disciples were already fisherman on the Sea of Galilee. They knew from experience this body of water was notorious for sudden storms. The storm on this occasion however was especially furious. The high winds churned into vicious waves. The waves swept over the disciples’ boat, spilling huge amounts of water into it, threatening to capsize it and to throw them into the sea. The disciples were very frightened.

While all this was happening Jesus was sleeping calmly in the back of the boat. We might wonder how He could sleep so calmly through such a storm while His disciples were so frightened. Here we see the genuine humanness and faith of the man Jesus. He got tired physically and needed sleep and He slept so calmly because He knew His heavenly Father was with Him and watching over Him. (Most of us can’t even sleep through the night for worry and fear has come upon us.) He simply put Himself into His Father’s hands, unafraid of whatever storm of life might overtake Him. If only we remained so calm and trusted in our heavenly Father’s providential care through our storms of life, right?

From the disciples we can learn to turn to Jesus in our storms of life (v. 25). What troubles or hardships or dangers have swept down upon us? How are we weathering them? Storms are neither pleasant nor easy to cope with! When the storms of life are crashing down around our ears, they are frightful and sometimes painful. What do we do then to batten down the hatches and bail out our sinking boat? We need to do what the disciples did–turn to Jesus. Pray: “Lord, I trust you to save me from drowning. I may feel like I am about to perish but I know you won’t let me!”

As Jesus was present with His disciples in their storm of life, so He is with us in our storms. He does not forsake us, leaving us to struggle alone and to drown. He is with us to hear our pleas for help. Even if our plea must be “help me Jesus to keep on keeping on through this storm!” (Notice I did not say deliver me from the storm, sometimes we must keep on keeping on through it in order to be changed!) Jesus however is there to answer us in the midst of our troubles. He tells us in Psalm 50:15: “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.” So in our storms of life we must rely on Jesus to carry us through them and to deliver us from them.

This requires faith in Him and His promises. This is what the disciples lacked in their storm of life. They allowed themselves to become frightened. They saw themselves perishing in the sea. Think of this – they were fishermen, they knew how to weather a storm, yet this time, even though they were already equipped, they allowed fear to overcome instead of relying on what they had been previously trained to do. Jesus rebuked their littleness of faith in the face of danger. They had nothing to fear. Jesus was with them. He would not allow them to perish. He then acted to still their storm and to calm their fears. Thanks to Jesus the disciples’ storm of life was over. His almighty, powerful word was sufficient for the task. His word was authoritative. His word accomplished what He said and commanded. And His Word, the Bible, still speaks for Him today on our behalf. We however must speak His Word aloud over our storm!

How is our faith during our storms of life? In the face of hardships, troubles, and dangers is our faith strong and as firm as a rock? Are we determined to keep on asking, seeking, and knocking in the midst of our storm- trusting in God’s Word? Or, is our faith no better than the faith of the disciples on that day? Would Jesus rebuke us also for the littleness of our faith?” Would He say to us, “O you of little faith, why are you so afraid?”

How confident are we when we must undergo hardship? How strong are we when we have lost our job and bills are raining down on us? How firm are we when our children or spouse has gone astray? What will build up our faith so we are confident, strong, and firm is the power of  God’s Word. His Word! His Word is authoritative. His Word accomplishes what He commands and promises. He can speak God’s Word and still our storm of life. He can deliver us from danger with the power of His Word BUT you and I must speak out His Word over our storm!

Because of Jesus and the powerful, life saving and giving words He has spoken, we have no reason to be spiritually timid and of little faith. For Jesus with the perfect life He lived for us and the innocent death He died in our place has already delivered us from the power of death. Hell cannot claim us. Death and the grave cannot hold us! We who put our trust in Jesus and the Words of His promises will be able to keep on through any storm! Jesus has atoned for our sins with His Holy, precious blood. He has purchased with His blood the full forgiveness of our sins. (If you have not asked Him to do this for you, do it now!) He has delivered us from the storm of death and hell. We have no reason to be afraid.

Since Jesus has delivered us from the most vicious storm to threaten us — death and hell, we can be sure He will deliver us from the lesser storms of life that sweep over us. Whatever the storm of life may be, we must weather that storm through prayer and faith and keep on keeping on-keep asking, seeking, and knocking in faith believing Jesus and His Word!


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How To Slay Your Giants

how to slay your giants

Almost everyone can say they have heard the story of the young shepherd boy David who against all odds fought the Philistine giant Goliath and wins {1 Samuel 17}. As children it is one of the first stories you learn about in Sunday School. I would dare say it is probably one of the most recognized stories in the Bible. Why is this particular story so retold compared to lets say the story of the 40 Jews who had plotted to kill Paul in an ambush {Acts 23}? Like so many stories written in the Word these are stories of strength, trusting God, and determination.

The story of David and Goliath, like so many others, is a story of overcoming doubt and trusting God against all odds. Forty days and nights Goliath, the Philistine giant, came before the Israelite army and caused them to run away in fright. Goliath shouted challenges and threats to the people of Israel over and over, sending fear thought the army – all the way up the ranks; reaching even King Saul. The constant badgering from this mighty giant caused them to doubt their abilities, run away full of fear, and hey refused to stand up and fight. Then onto the scene walks a young boy who’s job is to tend sheep and bring food to his brothers who are there in battle! Most of those present that day saw Goliath as a giant ready to take them out, with no way they could defeat him. David however, saw a mere mortal man who was defying his God; whom he loved so much. In the natural realm the odds were stacked against him, however David knew God and how faithful He was. His faith in God and God’s abilities gave David the courage to fight. David trusted God because God had shown himself faithful to David in the past.

David could have had several thoughts: 1) “God has been there and helped me against all odds before when I came against a lion and a bear and took them out.” Or even 2) “Goliath was too big of a target to miss, so why not!” I believe when others saw a giant too big to fight; David saw a target too big to miss!

We all at some point in our life come against “giant” odds. Those battles that seem too big for us. However, we are given this wonderful account of David’s life so we can choose how to react.

All the accounts written in the Word of God are true. Not fables, but true accounts of normal ordinary people like you and I. They faced giants, trials, setbacks, and discouraging situations just like we do. However, our giant does not come with a shield and a sword, it can be sickness, debt, sorrow, fear, etc. We may feel as if we are overwhelmed by our doubts. But like David we must remember:

1) God has done it before and He can and will do it again. He is able to help you and bring you out no matter what the odds are!

2) God is bigger no matter the size of our “giant target!” He is bigger than any problem, sickness, disease, or debt you face!

We have a choice, we can choose to run in fear. We can pace and worry about how, when, and why. Or we can do as David did and trust our God; knowing He will never leave us and never forsake us.

“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” {Hebrews 13:5-6}

Through our constant faith in Him – like David had, we too, will be able to overcome and slay our “giant!”

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Are You Coming Out Gold

sandra hersey. live life out loud. keys to victorious faith

Day after day we hear the media flood our minds with pictures of recession, lack, trials, and tribulations. We find everywhere we go, whether it be the grocery store or the department store, people talk about trials and hard times. However, the Word of God never promises us a life without trials. But God does promise us He is our provider and protector! He does promise us that we will have the victory if we know his Word and stand on it!

1 Peter 1:7 says, “that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Our faith is going to be tested by trials and tribulations – God’s instruction manual for overcoming tells us that plainly. But the good news is that the faith we have gained because of our trail is more valuable than gold! We can only gain this valuable faith by walking through the trial. The trial comes in order to remove the impurities of our carnal man; just like gold is refined in order to remove it’s impurities. We go through the fiery furnace and come out as gold; more valuable than gold the Word says!

You are a priceless possession to your Heavenly Father, you are far more precious than gold to Him, He wants only the best for you. As you walk through this trail He is there with you, He is the goldsmith watching over the refining fire to see impurities removed out of you and a pure, precious jewel more valuable than gold coming forth!

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