Scripture: "May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and piece in believing, through the experience of your faith. That by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope." (Romans 15:13 AMP)
Good morning. Let's invite the Holy Spirit into this moment. Come Holy Spirit and break open the Word of God for us that we may be changed, encouraged, inspired and transformed into living words of Jesus, our Lord.
In our current physical world, we are being forced to experience a new normal. In the midst of all that an international pandemic brings, would you say that you are filled with all joy and peace in believing? What IS the current experience of your faith? Right this moment, are you overflowing and abounding with hope? Don't rush through these questions. The Word of God is God's great gift to us to inspire, instruct, correct, convict, and give us training in being able to conform totally to God's will in thought, purpose and action. (2 Tim 3: 16-17) We are to be conformed to His Word. It's NOT the other way around! This takes two things: a decision and perseverance. We didn't choose this new normal in our physical reality, but we CAN choose a new normal in our spiritual reality. We can make the decision to put our faith in what HE SAYS rather than in what we see. And in our current climate, what an opportunity for practice!
Scripture is a treasure trove of over 7700 promises from the living God to YOU and to me. Every Word from God is an invitation to engage with Him. We can learn to take His Word and apply it to every situation in our lives. This is exactly what He wants! He wants us to pursue Him, to ask for what He promises. He intends that we be part of bringing this promise to birth. We have a part to play here and it's a bigger part than you can imagine. But, there's a pre-requisite. We MUST start from a place of believing that God is good, that He is ALWAYS faithful, and that He is FOR us. And yes YOU. If you are struggling with any one of these, stop here and ask Him to show you who He is, and who He says YOU are. Make a decision to wrestle yourself into a place of believing. (Gen 32:22-32) It is not an instant fix. For many of us it takes a long time to change our default thinking. But God promises to give us everything we need, and that HE will complete this work in us. (Phil 1:6) It’s also very helpful to talk to someone you trust and let them pray with you and walk with you until new insight and freedom comes in these areas. Lastly, just don't quit. EVER. (There is a very real enemy who never wants you to know who God really is, and who you are in the Kingdom.)
I think it is safe to say that most of us never dreamed we would be in the situation we are in today. How is it possible to be walking in joy and peace, abounding in hope when everything we see and hear forecasts doom and gloom with no determined end in sight? We have to start at the beginning. What is the "experience of your faith" spoken of in this Scripture? Have you had an encounter with Jesus that has changed your life? So very many know ABOUT Him, but they've never had a life changing experience with Him. Ask Him for an encounter with Him that will change your life! And it's not a one-time thing. Ask, seek, knock. And then repeat! Do make that your constant prayer. One of the main reasons He came was to re-establish God's original plan of family, of being in relationship with His children...beautiful, intimate relationship. (John 10:27-30, John 15:15, Romans 8:17)
There's an opportunity in this crisis to sharpen our focus, gives us new eyes to see, to improve our hearing, and to gain a healthy "fear of the Lord" and a very clear knowledge of our littleness and total need for a Savior. This is called GRACE. And even today, we are called to a divine decision to make His Word our new default. Paul tells us to "Let the Word spoken by Christ have its home in your hearts and minds, and let it dwell in all its richness, as you teach and admonish and train one another in all insight and wisdom in spiritual things, and sing psalms and spiritual songs..." (Col 3:16 AMP)
"May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing..." (May our decision to take God at His Word and BELIEVE that what He says is true and true for us,) may THIS deep knowing bring us to a SUSTAINED place of joy and peace. This peace, the kind that doesn't make sense in your particular situation, will guard your heart and mind. "And let the peace which comes from Christ, rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts, deciding with finality all questions that arise in your minds (in that peaceful state) to which (as members of Christ's body you were called to live). And be thankful, appreciative, giving praise to God always. (Col 3:15 AMP)
So for today, dear ones, we ask the Lord to transform us by renewing our minds. (Rom 12:2) We ask Him to give us an experience of His Presence, and we EXPECT Him to answer. The Promiser keeps His promises. We go to war first with every area in us where fear and unbelief have a stronghold. "We take every thought captive in obedience to Christ." (2 Corinth 10:5) We create a soft space to be with Him, to soak in His Words, to take hold of the peace He imparted to us as gift (John 20: 19, 21) We can't earn it, we can just receive it. The question is WILL WE choose to receive it? We ask the Holy Spirit to stir up our faith, our hope and our joy. We engage our faith through His Word, through worship, through remembering how God has been faithful in the past--throughout salvation history AND in YOUR personal life. We also make a decision to pursue Him with the tenacity of a pit bull. Some days it's harder than others. So, we must be intentional about staying close to those who help stir up our faith.
We are called to be missionary disciples. So, let's choose engagement! We are in warfare mode. Our victory is SURE. And our God gives us a strategy to take down every fortress the enemy puts up. We may get beaten up a bit, but we know who has the final victory. His Word is a powerful weapon. Let's begin to wield that sword of the Spirit, because we know that we are destined for Ballistic Breakthrough, by the power of His Name and the power of His Blood.
And tomorrow Daniel will take us deeper on this journey in Chapter 9.
Scripture: By the power of the Holy Spirit I am overflowing with hope, joy and peace. There is nothing I am facing that is too big for you. You are my Savior, my shield, my fortress and an awesome God! You love me and You are FOR me every minute of every day. There is nothing impossible for YOU. Jesus, I trust in YOU! (Say out loud and many times today.)
All glory to the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. May every grace and blessing be multiplied to you.