Today a friend and I were sharing some personal experiences. Things we wouldn’t normally discuss with people. The kind of things that hurt us as children and had consequences into adulthood. Things that God has delivered and healed us of. We all need that kind of kind friend who can keep confidences. We need to be able to unburden our souls to another human being at times, but not only to feel better about ourselves, also to help others.

Acts 14:3, Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.

When we overcome the bad things in our life with the help of Jesus, we owe it to our fellow believers, and non-believers to tell about it. We have to share what God does in our lives because that is the best way to prove to people that there is power in being a Christian.  If I tell someone a story I heard from someone else it will mean something, but if I tell about something that I experienced personally, it is a completely different story. I can tell it with conviction and I know all the details. You will hear the story with all the emotion that I felt when I experienced it.

Revelation 12:11, And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.

This is how powerful our testimonies about the power of Jesus is. Our testimonies are able to overcome the devil. A testimony gives people the courage to face their fears. It’s something like, “if it can happen to her, why can’t it happen to me?” “If God can heal her, why can’t God heal me?” “If he can be delivered from an addiction, why can’t I be?” You get it? Seeing and hearing things first hand are so much more reliable than a second hand story.

Everyone has a story. Every one of us has been through tough times and we all have the scars to show for it. Tough times are tough and mostly they hurt. A lot. But if we persevere and hold onto God and remember His promises through those tough times, we will come out the other side with a lot more character and faith.

James 1:2-4, My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

We have all been through various trials. I want to emphasize ‘various trials’. We don’t just go through one kind of trouble in our lives. We go through all kinds of tests that we have to overcome. It feels like when there’s a test we have to pass that test before we can go on to the next one. And I think we all feel that sometimes we just need a break from tests so that we can have a breather.

We just have to remember that there is value in troubles. God doesn’t bring troubles on us, they are mostly the consequences of reckless decisions, but our reactions, the positive way we handle these situations are what builds our character and our faith.

Job 34:12, Surely God will never do wickedly, Nor will the Almighty pervert justice.

John 12:31-32, Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself

The devil is the enemy and the way we overcome him is the way we overcome our troubles victoriously. We need to get our stories of victory out there. We need to share with our friends and acquaintances what God has done for us and is doing for us. Let’s start today and be a living testimony of the goodness of our Lord and Saviour.

God’s Strategy

I’m listening to a song called, ‘Jesus, Lover of my soul’. The words say,
Its all about You, Jesus, and all this is for you Lord, for your glory and your fame. It’s not about me, as if you should do things my way, You alone are God and I surrender to your ways.
I have discovered that the best way to live is to say, ‘Let Your will be done.’ It’s not the easiest, but it’s definitely the best. When I don’t know how to handle a situation I really do my best to give it to God and ask Him to guide me and give me a strategy. And He does, and it works. Sometimes I only realize afterwards that what I did was what God had led me to do. Unfortunately He doesn’t send an email, or speak with an audible voice. The solutions He has to problems are normally nothing at all like anything I would think of. I remember a number of years ago I was operating the computer for the overheads and music at a church. We bought a new program and the salesman came and demonstrated how to use it. I watched carefully but I didn’t make notes. Big mistake. Always make notes! During that week there was a prayer meeting and I had to display the words on the screen. I went to set up a day before time just to make sure everything was working properly. To my disgrace I didn’t have a clue what to do! Needless to say I prayed. Hard. That night I dreamed exactly what to do. In full colour. With the right terms and everything clearly presented. When I went to the church it was child’s play. I knew exactly what to do. I believe that dream was from God. I had known that immediately. But He doesn’t always do things that directly. I have been battling with something big for a while now. I had prayed and prayed and prayed some more. I wasn’t getting any answers. Then, on Saturday morning I opened up my Bible and my eyes fell on two verses I had underlined long ago. I read them and immediately they sat right in my spirit. It was like the seed that fell on fertile soil. I did not realize that it was actually the solution for my situation until I had thought it over for a few days though.
I am just wondering what kind of stress people go through that don’t bring their troubles before the King. Just like the Israelites in the desert brought their complaints and disputes before Moses daily, we have to do the same. Only we go straight to God, we don’t have to go through an overseer.
Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Don’t put your confidence in your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your path.
Proverbs 16:3, Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established.
Psalm 37:4, Delight yourself in the Lord; And he will give you the desires of your heart.
1Peter 5:7, Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.
Psalm46:10, Cease striving and know that I am God, while I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.
This last verse says exactly what we must not do. We must not strive. The dictionary gives the meaning of ‘strive’ as follows:
1: to devote serious effort or energy
2: to struggle in opposition.
Too often we are struggling in opposition to God’s plans when we are adamant that our own ideas are the best and that we know better.
When Job questions God’s actions, God answers him and one of the things He says is:
Job 38:12-13, Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place, that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth, and the wicked be shaken out of it?
If we can claim to have done that, and all the other actions of Job chapters 38 to 41, then maybe we don’t have to acknowledge God and we can follow our own plans, but I’m guessing there isn’t anyone who can make that claim. We are all going to be better off if we just rely on God and not ourselves.