Saturday, May 14, 2011

May 13, 2011 … Endless Preparation for Trials

[Blogger's Note: On 5/12/11 there was an interruption in service from this site; and I could not post here for two days. My 5/12 blog was posted and stored and is now available for reading. This post, for 5/13, is now being posted on 5/14. Then you will see my 5/14 devotional entry posted as well.]

Passage of the Day: 2nd Timothy 1: 7 … 7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a Spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

My Journal for Today: It is all too easy for Christians to become oppressed by a spirit of fear when we see the strength and cunning of the enemy and we know and acknowledge our own weaknesses. Solomon wrote in Prov. 29: 25, however, that trusting God is the way to overcome the snare of fear; and in today’s verse we read Paul mentoring Timothy (and, by extension, you and me) to be lifted up and away from fear by the truth of God’s love and power, which we have through His Spirit.

Jesus promised His disquieted, confused, and fearful Disciples that in His physical departure from them He would provide them with His peace (see John 14: 27); and Paul instructs Christians on how to capture that peace (see Phil. 4: 6 – 7).

SCRIPTURE: John 14: 27Peace 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.

SCRIPTURE: Phil. 4: 6 – 76 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

To the extent that we can believe and apply the truths of the Apostle Paul, written to fellow Christians, above and the words of Jesus to His Disciples, we will live with that Spirit of love, power, and self-discipline to which Paul encouraged Timothy in today’s verse.

God’s word is loaded with truths and promises to lift us up and bolster our courage in the face of fears produced by the trials of life. I strongly exhort anyone who reads this to memorize and internalize a number of pertinent and powerful passages, which, when believed and claimed, will overcome fears and provide the faith to act with the power that God provides for believers.

May I suggest these scriptures, as well as those above: Isaiah 26: 3 … Isaiah 41: 10 … 1st Corinthians 10: 13 … 2nd Corinthians 12: 9 … and, my personal favorite, the verse which brought me to Christ [long story!], Philippians 4: 13. These passages, as well as today’s highlight passage, I have deeply embedded in my heart; and when I get anxious or fearful, I call them up (or rather God bubbles them into my consciousness) to give me the reassurance I need to handle the trials and troubles of this world and life. I pray that these truths will also do so for you.

But if you’re reading this and you’re willing to take a few minutes, may I refer you through this link to one of my favorite Christian songs, written and sung by Steven Curtis Chapman, who needed God’s perfect strength a few years ago when his teenage son accidently killed his little adopted daughter. Go to this You Tube piece and be lifted up by God’s strength as you worship the God of all strength. Yes, my friend, … God’s strength is perfect to overcome our weakness.

My Prayer Today: Dispel all my fears, Lord with Your truth. Amen

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