The word of the Lord stands true, and we can trust everything He does.
Those Predictable Triggers Which Take Our Peace. Do you have people who will steal your joy, and bring strife into your life? They predictably will do the very things that bring agitation to your soul; stirring within you the feelings of unrest, anxiety or bitterness. This is the point were knowledge has power and we have to lay hold of it. The more we understand that the Lord upholds the universe in His hands and by the power of His Might, the more we can manage these moments and our feelings: for we will know and understand that He allows these trials in our lives, to strengthen our relationship with Him, by work everything together for our good and His glory. We will see His glory shine in the dark and difficult times of our lives. We must look to Him and that means turning our gaze from our problems, and letting the mediation of the Lord always be upon our lips. When we know the Lord hasn't abandoned His creation, and that He is working everything for His purpose, we can draw strength from Him.
The Schemes of the Devil. The enemy knows our weaknesses, so he will use everything around us, especially the people closes to us, to bring strife to steal our joy., in these weak areas. This is the great spiritual battle the bible promises we will face our entire lives, and we must fight it. The battle doesn't actually exist in flesh and bone, it's not the person themselves, it's the enemy working through them, even a christian brother, as we witnessed when Satan spoke through Peter to distract Jesus. (Matthew 16:23). So knowing that the enemy is always seeking to come against us, we have to stand against it, with the power of the word that Jesus has already defeated the enemy, and won the spiritual battle. We only have to stand in the day of the evil one. In Proverbs we read, if you sink in the day of your distress, your strength is small (Proverbs 24:10). At these moments, we have to isolate and quarantine them; bringing them under the obedience of Christ's word so that His victory can reign over them. Instead of looking at our problem, we have to look to God. This is why the bible can say, For my power is made perfect in weakness ... For when I am weak, I am made strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-11). For we are turning from ourselves and turning to the power of God, in our weakest times. He is our strength. We are made perfect through suffering, because God took a weak area of our faith, our trust in Him, and turned it into an area of strength, in trust in Him. We will face the same battles, in our weakened faith, until we grow strong, defeating the enemy. So when you finally grow tired of facing the same demon, the same spiritual battle, day after day, then look to God, grow your faith, and be set free from the enemy.
Our Strength is in the Lord, so Enter His Presence. Instead of living in the carnal world, we have to go to heavenly places, and we do this in our minds, where the true spiritual battle takes place. Our access to rest and victory are based upon our knowledge and trust in God to defend us, protect us, lead us, and always do right by us. If we can't get away from the source of pain in the physical realm, then we can escape in our minds. Whenever, we are able to get away and be alone, it must be alone time with the Lord, if we are to gain the victory. We have to submit our thoughts and feelings to God, pouring out our souls to Him, trusting that He will listen, care and act in our best interest. The sooner and faster we can do this, the quicker we gain His peace. I love how after preaching or dealing with the crowds, Jesus retreated, by Himself, to be with the Lord. After pouring Himself out, He would refresh His spirit with the Father. Time away from our detractors, those who drain our strength, if it is time spent with the Lord, will strengthen us. We have to enter the throne room, where absolute peace dwells, by thinking on Him, and asking Him to resolve our issues. Come near to God, and He will come near to you. (James 4:8). We come near to God, through prayer, by talking to Him; for the heavens have been opened, and we can confidently enter the throne of grace. (1 Timothy 2:1-2; Acts 7:56; 10:11; Matthew 3:16; Isaiah 45:8; Hebrews 4:16). In Philippians we read, Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7). We have to turn our attention away from the problem, and turn towards Jesus. Jesus tells us to come to Him, all who are heavy of heart, cast your cares upon His, and He will give us rest. (1 Peter 5:7; Matthew 11:28). We can't focus on the object or person which weakens us, instead we have to turn our attention to heaven, from where our strength comes, from the Lord. (1 Chronicles 16:11; Psalm 46:1-3; Nehemiah 8:10).
Humble Yourself Before the Lord. We are not to be surprised at the fiery trials that come upon us, for they test our strength in the Lord; but we are to rejoice if we share in Christ's suffering, for Christ suffered in the flesh; and if we suffer in the flesh, then we ceased from sin, and we no longer live for worldly passions, but for the will of God. (1 Peter 5:1-2; 12-13). And the holy gospel tells us this season of suffering will eventually end, And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you (1 Peter 5:10). So by God's mighty hand with an outstretched arm, full of his eternal and ensuring love, He will rescue you. (Psalm 91:4; 136:12); His hand will be lifted up against our enemies (Micah 5:9). We must put our trust in Him and Him alone, for He is the only one who can save us. Jesus humbled Himself by becoming a man, a part of the creation that He created, and by leaving heaven, and in His humbleness, He didn't act on His own power, although He had it, He always sought the Father's will and power. Before Jesus wanted a miracle, He would pray a prayer of thanksgiving for having received it. Of all the apostles could have asked Jesus, they asked Him how to pray.
Take Every Thought Captive and to The Obedience of Christ. We do not wage war against these people; as the world does, by talking about them or the problems they create, or by retaliating; instead we battle against it by knowing what it really is - a spirit attack. We demolish demonic strongholds with the divine power of God; by lowering everything that lifts itself up against the knowledge of God, and by taking every thought captive and to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:3-6). Seek strength from the Lord to learn to love your enemy as this is the way of the Lord. Thank Him for giving you the ability to expand your capacity to love. See your suffering as an ability to shine by going to the throne room and getting His grace. Maintain your peace, by entering into the presence of God, humbly submitted yourself before His throne of grace, giving all your problems to Him, and allowing Him to fight your battles. Let only holy and praiseworthiness come from you lips. The Lord will fight your battles, you only have to be still. (Exodus 14:14). Our God is a Mighty Warrior. (Psalm 86:10; Exodus 15:3). Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7 NIV). When we submit and humble ourselves before the Lord, by mediating on Him, and always seeking Him, then we defeat the enemy by giving him no power or stronghold in our minds.
Lift Up Your Heart and Hands. As we collect our strength through faith and prayer to the Lord, we are always to give Him thanks for His mercies are new every morning and His love endures forever. (Lamentations 3:22-23; Psalm 136:1-3). Let us give thanks to the Lord. Let us praise Him for taking away our pain, shame and reproach. Let us always thank Him and proclaim His glory for He will end our suffering; He will not allow our enemies to prevail against us; He will use our suffering for our good. Because He can be trusted, even in the storm, let us praise Him, for we know He will deliver us. As Moses was able to achieve victory against his enemy in battle with lifted hands (Exodus 17:11), let us lift our hands to receive the victory. And with uplifted hands and hearts towards heaven (1 Timothy 2:8; Lamentations 3:41; Psalm 63:4; 119:48; 134:2; 141:2), let us bless the Lord with thanksgiving, praise and obedience to His will. (Psalm 103:1-2; 21-22; 104:1; 134:1; 107:1; 145:21; Luke 1:68).
Dear heavenly Father, help us to look to you, instead of our pain; help us to not look upon the source of our grief, but rather to look upon Your glorious Face; remind us of your eternal and ensuring love; let your victory be the song of our soul's delight; and let us sing with David, 'I will praise You, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify Your name forever.' Amen
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