Tag Archives: Trials

This is Only A Test!

j0255382I wish I had the beep sound which comes on the TV and Radio when there is an emergency which alerts “Beeeep this is only a test.”

Today I want you to hear that familiar beep and know that whatever you are going through this is only a test!

When we become children of God some feel as if there should not be any problems in their lives. But we have never been promised that. What we must know is that we have already been given all the power and authority we need by Jesus to overcome whatever trials we are facing.

Testing is a normal part of life; nearly every moment of our life–is a test. Tests are common to all of us; we all go through what we call “seasons of testing.” And just like when we were in school – we had tests to take to pass to the next school level – we also have tests to take so we can move up in our so called levels in life and in our spiritual walk.

We can pass the tests in life if we know what the Word of God says. Just as we studied for a test in school, we must study the Word of God in order to pass the tests we are enduring in our lives.

Nothing and no one is exempt from testing in life, think about it – even our cars, our appliances and even our computers go through testing in order to prove they are ready for use! The testing you endure is what proves you for God’s use!!!

And as you endure the test, you must realize you are being prepared for promotion! Your test is proving your potential, your maturity in Christ, your willingness to do His will, and thus resulting in a higher level of promotion!

In Genesis 22 we all have read the story of Abraham’s test of faith. God was using his promised son Isaac to test Abraham on his obedience and his trust in God. (Where is your obedience and trust during your test?)

The Bible gives us examples on testing:
Psalm 17:3, Psalm 26:2, Psalm 139:23-24

The Apostle Paul wrote in his final letter to the Corinthians with some very specific instructions 2 Corinthians 13:5

Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves!

The Amplified translations says: “Examine and test and evaluate your own selves to see whether you are holding to your faith and showing the proper fruits of it.”

Did you see that, we are to examine ourselves to see if we are holding to our faith – are we holding to what the Word of God says AND are we showing proper fruit! Proper fruits- so while we are being tested what is our fruit showing?

Your fruit would be your actions and your words.
What actions are you doing in this testing? Does it line up with the Word of God?

What words are you declaring in your testing? Do your words line up with the Word of God, or do they speak of defeat, lack, failure, doubt and worry!

What is your fruit showing and is it proper fruit for your test!!!

James 1:2-4
Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations.

Do you feel enveloped in your test right now, does it seem like you can’t get out?
Well James goes on to say:
Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects],…

(Listen to this)
James finishes by saying –
lacking in nothing!

So when you endure your test, joyfully as James says, or as Paul said, showing proper fruits, as you let endurance and steadfastness do a through work in you – in the end you will be lacking in nothing!

Again here is- promotion for the test- lacking nothing in the end sounds like a promotion to me!

Here are some truths about testing:
1. WE ALL EXPERIENCE TESTS AT EACH STAGE OF OUR GROWTH NO ONE IS EXEMPT! We ask the Father, “oh use me Lord, I want to be a vessel for you,” then when some testing comes up we are rebuking every devil and crying out to God, when He is doing exactly what we asked – testing us and preparing us for His use – to be a vessel used of him.

If you had a huge company and someone came in and said make me the president- you would not, you would first test this individual. You would research them and see what they have done.

So why do we think we in our humanness we should not be tested when we want God to use us. We have a lot of messed up stuff in us which has to be removed. We have to get harder to be the vessel God needs in order to do the job He needs. A clay pot stays as soft clay but must go through the fire, the testing, to be a harden pot to be used properly.

2. TESTING ALWAYS PRECEDES PROMOTION (SAY THAT OVER AND OVER AS YOU ARE GOING THROUGH YOUR TEST, I AM BEING PROMOTED!)

3. OUR GOAL IS TO PASS THE TEST (TELL YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER: “FATHER IN JESUS NAME I ASK YOU TO HELP ME TO PASS THIS TEST, TO COME OUT WHERE YOU WANT ME TO BE WHEN THIS IS OVER. TO BE THAT VESSEL YOU CAN USE!”)

4. KNOW THIS: SELF PROMOTION AND THE PROMOTION OF OTHERS CAN NEVER REPLACE GOD’S DIVINE PROMOTION. HE KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING. HE KNOWS THE PLANS AND PURPOSES OF EVERY PERSON ON THIS EARTH; HE CREATED THEM. SO KNOW THAT WHEN YOU WAIT FOR GOD TO DO THE PROMOTING IT WILL BE LASTING PROMOTION!

Stay tuned for part 2 next week!

{Know someone who is facing hard times? The Drying Pot; And The Refining Fires Necessary To Become A Vessel Used By God}

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What is God’s Will for Me?

What is God's will for me?What is God’s will for my life? It is a question I have asked myself and I am sure you have asked yourself the same. For me, if I am not careful it can become an obsession; the very weight of it and all the question marks can become overwhelming. But why? I guess because I, like you, want to make sure I am in His Will and my Father in Heaven is pleased with me. I do want to hear “Well done thy good and faithful servant” one day!

As I seek Him I have come to a new revelation which has helped set me free – God’s will is not a problem for ME to solve! Now before the lynch mob appears let’s look at the one place where all answers are found – The Bible.

The Word of God tells us plainly that His grace does not depend on our performance. We can do nothing to earn his grace; it is done for us. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” {Ephesians 2: 8-9}

And even though we tend to want to figure out exactly what God wants us to do in that moment, God’s Word says His faithfulness does not depend on what we know; our wisdom does not count here, it is His faithfulness that counts. “The LORD’S loving kindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.” {Lamentations 3:22-24}

Our promise from God is that no matter how our life looks His steadfastness and goodness trumps whatever is going on! No matter what it looks like; His love for you and I endures FOREVER towards us!! {Rest in Psalm 136 for a moment}

We tend to get caught up in what is going on; and I know things get messy and get scary and get hard. Trust me I KNOW! Yet, His love towards you and I endures. And because His love endures and because His grace does not depend on our performance, and because His faithfulness to help us does not depend on what we know – we can rest in this: His will is not so much a path we are to walk on as it is a way of walking. How we walk with Him matters. So how are we to walk out our daily messy lives you ask? Simple; We are to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing. Give thanks in all circumstances. This is God’s will for us in Christ Jesus.” {1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18}

That’s it! We can rest assured that when we continue to pray and give thanks, even in the hard stuff, we are in His Will. Praying though a hard situation sounds something like, “God I trust you, I do not necessarily  understand, but I trust you. Help me to stand even when I feel I have stood  a long time. I love you Father and I simply trust you in this.”

Now you can rest in knowing you are in His Will. Continue to declare His goodness: even when it does not look too good on the outside. Remember, even diamonds got off to a rough start, then a ton of pressure had to be applied to make a beautiful stone. Pressure is not fun I know – but the reward is. And I know this; God rewards trust {Check out these scriptures on trusting God}. Now rest in knowing that as you trust Him you are in His will!

[Read more on trusting God in tough times]

{Want more devotions? I’m A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer; Declaring the Word of God and Taking Back What the Devil Stole from Me!}

 

Am I Praying Properly?

Sandra Hersey. live life out loud. Keys to victorious faithPrayer is vital to our lives, as most of us know. However, most give their “grocery list” prayers I like to call them, which sound something like this: “God, help me pay my mortgage this month. Help my mom to feel better. Send me someone to give me some HELP. Make my spouse understand me more. Please God make my children mind! Thank you Jesus. Amen.”

Though prayer is important, it is of the most importance that we know how to pray properly. And as with anything we must look to the Bible for the correct answer, and who better to look at as an example than Jesus!

When we face times of trials, and storms rise up in our lives, we can seem to be like a tossed ship in raging waters. But God intends for us to chart those “storms of life” with the promises He has already laid out for us in His Word. Jesus knew this when Satan tempted Him in the wilderness. Now you may say “I’m not being tempted to sin, I just need an answer to my prayer.” Think of this my friend, when we are worried we ARE being tempted to sin by not trusting God. God does not want us to worry or His Word would not declare “Be anxious for nothing!” ( Read here for more on why we should not worry). The point I want to show is not about temptation, it is how to follow Jesus when we have Satan bringing on a storm in our life.

Let’s look at Matthew 4: 1-11- 1THEN JESUS was led (guided) by the [Holy] Spirit into the wilderness (desert) to be tempted (tested and tried) by the devil. 2And He went without food for forty days and forty nights, and later He was hungry. 3And the tempter came and said to Him, If You are God’s Son, command these stones to be made [loaves of] bread. 4But He replied, It has been written, Man shall not live and be upheld and sustained by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.  5Then the devil took Him into the holy city and placed Him on a turret (pinnacle, gable) of the temple sanctuary. 6And he said to Him, If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, He will give His angels charge over you, and they will bear you up on their hands, lest you strike your foot against a stone. 7Jesus said to him, On the other hand, it is written also, You shall not tempt, test thoroughly, or try exceedingly the Lord your God. 8Again, the devil took Him up on a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory (the splendor, magnificence, preeminence, and excellence) of them.  9And he said to Him, These things, all taken together, I will give You, if You will prostrate Yourself before me and do homage and worship me.  10Then Jesus said to him, Begone, Satan! For it has been written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him alone shall you serve. 11Then the devil departed from Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.”

Notice Jesus had the same reply to everything the devil threw at Him; He said over and over “it has been written!” Jesus took the Word of God and declared “It is written” then He spoke out what the Word said about His particular situation!  For example when Satan tried to tell Jesus he would give him all things Jesus said in verse 10 “Begone, Satan! For it has been written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him alone shall you serve.” Jesus spoke out it is written and backed it up with Deuteronomy 6:13. Jesus also said, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you” (John 15:7). We must have God’s word abiding in us so we can declare it out when we need answer to our prayers!

It is vital we follow Jesus’ examples and instructions. He knew how to talk with His Father  and get His prayers answered, as well as how to send the devil packing when he showed up!

First, find the scripture which has already been promised to you in God’s Word. If you need healing find a healing scripture like 1 Peter 2:24. If you need help in your finances stand and declare Philippians 4:19. If you have an unsaved loved one; bind up the devil over their life according to Matthew 12:29, and pray the Lord of the harvest according to Matthew 9:38 will send labors into their lives to lead them to Jesus! There is a promise from God to you in His Word for EVERY situation in your life! You must find that promise!

Second, you pray out “Father, in Jesus Name, it is written in your Word….” then add the Scripture you are standing on!

Third, give thanks to the Father IN ADVANCE for doing what He promised He would do. THIS is walking in faith! When we know BEFORE it comes that God WILL do it, THEN we are walking in faith. Faith is NOT hoping God will. Faith is not wringing our hands and pleading with God; it is declaring out of our mouths the Word of God. Declaring “it is written, and in Jesus Name” to the Father. Then we keep thanking Him that it is done, NO MATTER what we see in the natural!

We must come to the point where we know we must declare first “It is written” before we can claim “it is finished!”

Know someone who is facing a storm they can’t seem to get out of? Sandra’s book The Drying Pot; And The Refining Fires Necessary to Become a Vessel Used By God is a book of trials and triumphs! She takes you through her real life trials and how she overcame! See how you can move God to change your situation!

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!

Some of this content is from my book I’m A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer; Declaring the Word of God and Taking Back What The Devil Stole from Me!

How do we endure and fight when we are feeling knocked down?

How to endure when you feel knocked down too many times. Author Sandra HerseyWe all have seasons in our lives; times when we are riding high on the blessings of God and then there are the times we are feeling as if Satan has won the first 11 rounds in the prize fight of the year! We must remember the more Satan views us as a threat the more he is going to come at us with all he’s got! And our Heavenly Father does not always step right in and take over for us, in order that we build up our faith muscles to win the so called “championship” fight in the future.

So how do we endure and fight to the end when we are feeling knocked down one to many times? James 1:2-12 jumps right in by saying, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all men generously and without reproach and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind, for let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. But let a brother of humble circumstances glory in his high position and let the rich man glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away, for the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed. So, too, the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away. Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”

The last verse is the summation of the point here. “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial.” Trials produce blessings-now we can shout here! I my friend am entitled to a HUGH amount of blessings with all the trials I have been through! I am sure this is true for you as well. One of the prize fights of the year for me was the fight for my youngest son’s salvation. Let me share with you a little bit of the story from my book about trials and how we overcame in victory:

“Surrender according to Webster’s Dictionary means to give up, abandon, or relinquish. Surrender is something we all like to think we can do but I can tell you from experience it is very hard to actually surrender something you love more than anything to God and allow Him to do whatever He sees fit to do with it. I had to surrender my youngest son to God. He had been walking on the wrong side, far away from God as possible since middle school. Then high school presented more and more problems taking him farther and farther from God. My son had gotten involved in many different ways of the world on a fast train to hell so to speak! No matter what I did in the natural it did not seem to change him. I would pray over this child every day, I would anoint his pillow while he was at school, and I would lay my hands on his clothes hanging in the closet and declare him into the Kingdom of God. Then one day a very strong woman of God, who had been where I was walking, told me I had to surrender my son to God. I was angry with her. I wanted to surrender him and I had told God “here he is; I surrender him to you,” however I would go back whenever something went wrong and start the ritual of what I had done in the past, trying to bring him to God. I knew I was afraid to give him totally to God because I had just watched my best friend surrender her son to God and her son went to prison! I did not want my son to have to go to prison! I was not really willing to surrender him totally and allow whatever God wanted to use to get to him; even if it meant prison. However, I did give my son totally and completely to God. I told God I trusted Him to take care of my son; no matter what happened in the natural. I would like to tell you once I gave over my son to God’s more than capable hands that all went well and He turned his life to Jesus. But that did not happen- at least not at first. First everything seemed to spin out of control in the natural. Literally it felt as if all hell broke loose and I did not know what was happening in the natural, but I trusted God and confessed I trusted Him every second of every day. Just to give you hope my son did come to God; he did get his life together. Now I watch this former drug dealing, pill popping, rebelling teenager go to his room to study the Word of God. I hear praise music and I hear him crying out to the Lord. He is now in Bible College and an anointed man of God. God has His hand upon him now as much as He had His hand upon him when I surrendered him to my Heavenly Father to mold him and to change him. (He has now graduated Bible College and is an associate pastor, married to an amazing woman of God and the father of my amazing grandson. Now I watch as he touches and changes lives! Blessed IS the woman who persevered under trial!!)” {Exert from The Drying Pot; A The Refining Fires Necessary To Become A Vessel Used By God}

How do you turn trouble into blessing? That’s really the issue here. James was concerned with such matters. In verse 3 he says, with the testing of faith – with you and I being put through a test – it will reveal the strength or weakness of our faith. We all have tests or trials. The Word of God is filled with others who endured tests, they are in there for a reason- to show us how to endure, to show us others had to endure and we are not alone! And to show us victory is always on the other side for those who are in Christ Jesus! (2 Corinthians 2:14)

The purpose for trials or these fights is so that we may know the strength or weakness of our faith and that in enduring through the trial we may be blessed. God has a perfect plan for us through our trials – to grant to us gracious and eternal blessings.

So how I hear you asking? Well strap on your boxing gloves because here we go:

First, the fight is to develop a joyous attitude! We have all heard the saying our attitude determines our altitude. We go up by changing our attitude. You and I were never promised no trials on this journey of life. We were however promised blessings as we persevere!

Second, we need an understanding mind. We have determined the key word in verse 2 is joy, so the key word in verse 3 is knowing. In Greek the word is “ginosko” which means to know, understand, perceive, have knowledge of. Personal knowledge gives us the information we need to evaluate the trial we are in, in order for us to look forward to the joy. When we come to know “this is only temporary” and “this is not the end, this is only the process to the victory!” James said the testing of our faith produces endurance. If you are like me there are many times I do not feel I can endure. However, what I have realized is that I can BECAUSE of my past trials I HAVE developed the faith to endure a little further – and most of the time a little further is all I need to go to knock out the Devil!

The final way  to turn trouble into a blessing is by using fighting words- The Word of God! Would a contender for the heavyweight title fight without training and developing skills? Of course not, but yet as Christians we run right into the ring with the enemy when we really don’t know how to fight. The Word of God is to be applied to our reality of life -it’s not just there to read – it’s to be acted on! The Bible tells us “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

When the enemy has stepped into the ring, that is the time we pick up the Word of God and fight with it! It is a weapon given to us according to Ephesians 6!  Notice Jesus shows us exactly how to fight; when the Devil came to tempt Jesus in the wilderness Jesus said, “It is written.… It is written.…It is written.” Jesus shows us- when the enemy has shown up as the contender for the title – we must get out our boxing gloves – the Word of God – and hit the Devil right between the eyes with it! There is no other way for the Christian to fight! The Word wins EVERY time! Yet it is our responsibility to use it as our knock-out punch!

{Want more devotions? I’m A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer; Declaring the Word of God and Taking Back What the Devil Stole from Me!}

Facing Our Doubts

How to face doubts. Keys to victorious faith inspirational blog

Have you ever thought about what we would do if Jesus walked as a man on the earth today and He performed the miracles that we read about in the Bible?

Many of Jesus’ followers were eye witnesses to the amazing miracles Jesus worked in His life while he was here on the earth.  They watched firsthand as Jesus turned water into wine, restored sight to the blind, healed infirmities, and brought the dead back to life. I believe that most of us today would probably doubt just as most of them did.

Today Twitter would be full of tweets, blogs would be over run with accusations, and the TV news shows would continue to sow seeds of doubt and discord and tell of the lies and tricks of this man named Jesus.  However, in the face of our doubts, no matter how strong or cynical, Jesus is still the miracle worker today as He was then. He is still the one who today heals, frees, and even raises those from the dead!

The question is:
Do we trust that He can do anything in our lives today?
Do we trust that He can and will provide our every need?
Do we trust He can open blinded eyes in the spirit realm and in the natural?
Do we trust He can and will do the miraculous?
In John chapter 11 we read the story of Martha and Lazarus. Martha had spent a lot of time with Jesus; He had been at her home on many occasions and yet she doubted that He could bring back her brother Lazarus once he was dead and in the grave. She had no confidence in this man Jesus whom she knew well. She had doubt that she would see Lazarus rise up from the dead and walk out of the tomb he had been in for 4 days. In verse 24 Martha says to Jesus “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”  She first believed if Jesus was there her brother would not have died, but now he had, and even though she believed Jesus was the son of God, it never occurs to her that he can raise Lazarus from the dead. Or if it did occur to her she did not believe it could happen. It had been 4 whole days that he was lying dead in the tomb. How could Jesus bring him back now?  She allowed her grief and her five sense realm to dictate to her what her belief should be.

What is your situation and your five senses telling you or leading you to believe about a situation you are in?  Martha knew in the natural that Lazarus had been dead too long; too long she thought for even Jesus to do anything about it. A little side note to notice; even though Jesus knew she had doubts, Jesus still called to Lazarus to come forth, and right before Martha’s doubting eyes she watched Lazarus walked out of the tomb alive and well!  I love that- He had compassion on them all – He has compassion on us too. Martha, Mary, and all those who were there mourning with them all saw the power of Jesus. Many of them had heard or seen his power before, yet they did not believe He could do the impossible.

We are like this; we see God do many miraculous things in our lives, yet when we face our hardest trial we do not think He can come through. Martha and Mary both told Jesus if He had been there Lazarus would not have died – they had faith for that, however, they did not ever once believe He could just return life back to Lazarus dead body. And we do the same thing, we can believe God can do one thing but not another.

Doubt according to the dictionary means: “To be uncertain about; consider questionable or unlikely; hesitate to believe. To distrust, to fear; be apprehensive about.” Jesus instructed us over an over in His Word to believe, only believe. Mark 11:24, “What things so ever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”  Mark 11:23, “For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.”

All throughout the Old and New Testament we hear story after story of those who believed God gave them what they trusted Him for. Jesus asked us to only believe He could. When we believe He can, He honors that belief; and that is a key element to victory over your situation! When we choose to believe and not doubt we will see a breakthrough! We cannot let our doubts keep us from experiencing Jesus’ life changing power. We must trust Him and stand back and watch Him work in our lives and in the lives of those around us. We are to only trust Him. That’s what He wants to know – do we trust Him?

Do we believe He is the same Jesus who walked the earth and raised Lazarus from the dead? Is He the same?  Yes! Hebrews 13:8 says “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.” What He did then, He can and will do now, but we have a part to play – we must trust Him by believing He can and will!

{Know someone facing a trial? The Drying Pot; And The Refining Fires Necessary To Become a Vessel Used By God}

How To Slay Your Giants

How To Slay Your Giants. Christian Women Blog

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!”

{Want more devotions? I’m A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer; Declaring the Word of God and Taking Back What the Devil Stole from Me!}