One of the greatest lessons that you will learn in your lifetime is how to wait on God. Waiting on God is tough on some people. Waiting is never easy. Waiting is challenging but it is always rewarded. The truth of the matter is struggle is always there when you are waiting upon God because you begin to understand it’s his timing and not your timing. We have a tendency to think that we are ready for every blessing God has for us. Little do we know how much we must grow before we are positioned to receive God’s best for us.
Waiting is designed to increase our faith. If God instantly gave you what you wanted, you would never learn to live by faith. Just give me that car. Give me that house. Give me that job. Make me great. Your faith has to be tested. In the middle of unfavorable circumstances, God finds out how much faith you really have and how much you trust Him. A lot of people don’t yet have the type of faith that anchors them while they are going through the impossible. They let their doubts take control instead of allowing God to take control.
Waiting is also designed to teach us endurance. A mature person who has developed endurance trusts in God more than they trust in their circumstances. They have learned that trouble doesn’t last always and that God has promised never to leave or forsake us so they are able to wait. Endurance enables you to do everything you need to do without giving up knowing that beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is faithful.
It’s imperative that as a child of God you learn to wait upon the Lord.
Because nothing is impossible with God
Because God is in control
Because God is working behind the scenes on your behalf
Because God promised to reward those who wait on him
There is an old legend about a man who found the barn where Satan kept his seeds to be sown into human hearts. He saw piles of seeds of lack, seeds of addictions, seeds of hatred, seeds of jealousy, seeds of lying. He came upon the seeds of discouragement and noticed that there were many more discouragement seeds than any other kind. He asked Satan ‘why do you have so many discouragement seeds?’ Satan reluctantly said ‘there is one place that I have not been able to grow these seeds.’ The man asked ‘where is that?’ Satan replied ‘in the heart of a grateful person.’
Well, it’s that time of the year when we set aside time to reflect on the blessings of God. I suppose that there are some who believe that in our society today there is very little to be thankful for especially when terrorism seems to be at an all time high. So, one may ask ‘what is there to be thankful for? In 1621, the Pilgrims set aside a day of thanksgiving despite all the hardships they had to endure. They could have become bitter. After all they had to make seven times more graves than they did homes. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” This is a tall order because the word ‘everything’ means just that – everything! Nothing is to be excluded. Since we are told to give thanks, if we fail to do so, we are violating the will of God, and if we are doers of the word, we should constantly be giving thanks to God; but giving thanks is probably one thing that Christians do not do enough of. We do not always get what we ask from God, but we always have reasons to thank Him.
Many people would rather complain than give thanks. Thanksgiving Day is one of the most celebrated national holidays in the United States. Other countries also observe Thanksgiving but on different dates. Traditionally, Thanksgiving is meant to be a time to give thanks and express our gratitude to God. But for believers, Thanksgiving should not be limited to only one day in the year. If we are to give thanks as we have been commanded to do, one day in the year simply isn’t enough. Happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have; but rather we need to recognize and appreciate what we do have!
With little effort, all of us could create a list of reasons why we should give God thanks. We our thankful for our freedom; Americans enjoy a lot more freedom than people in other parts of the world. We are thankful for our families, our friends and the fact that we have a roof over our head and food to eat. We need to thank God on a daily basis because we enjoy these things only because of the goodness of God. God is good; He is patient and He is kind; He is slow to anger. He promised never to leave or forsake us. Thank God for who He is and honor Him for what He has done for you. During this past year you may have suffered loss of one kind of another, and you might be asking deep within your heart ‘what do I have to be thankful for?’ If you are not satisfied with what you have, be thankful for what you have escaped! Look around you. There are people going through much worse than you. You don’t know everything that God has spared you from. When you compare what you want with what you have, you will be unhappy. But compare what you deserve with what you have, and you will be happy!
Question: What do you have to be thankful for?
Do you have a situation in your life that has been going on for a long time and you would like for it to change? The first thing you must do is ask yourself ‘do you want to be made well?” It’s not unusual that some people really don’t want to be healed. They want people to feel sorry for them. They love being a victim. If God changed their situation, they then have to ‘take up their bed and walk.’ They would then have to leave the past behind and live the life they should be living. The fact is that some people will go to extraordinary lengths to avoid unwelcome changes in their lives. Their lives are dysfunctional. They are paralyzed in heart and mind. They have never considered that God might have something for them to accomplish.
Even after we are saved, we continue to be confronted by issues in our lives that need to be changed, like bitterness, unresolved conflicts and things that have lie hidden within us for years. The question is, “Do we really want to change?” You must decide not to continue making excuses. That is the victim mentality. It is only when we stop making excuses that we discover that we have the power to change. When Jesus told the lame man to take up his bed and walk, the Lord was telling him not to go back to the way he had been. In other words, anyone who really wants to change must forget the past and move forward. You must not look back because the past has passed and you can’t use it or see it as a crutch anymore. Once you have made a decision to move forward you must stick to it and let go of anything that might hinder you from seizing the opportunities that lie ahead of you. No one drives looking in their rear view mirror. The front window of your car allows you to see what is in front of you. Your determination and faith in God is your front window in your life and the possibilities are unlimited.
God not only cares about you, but He also has a plan and a purpose for your life. God wants each of us to fulfill His destiny for us. The Bible says that Satan comes to ‘kill, steal and destroy.’ Satan can steal from you in so many ways. Not only can he manipulate other people to steal from you, but he can allow you to get caught up in emotions and situations that are not of the Holy Spirit that they hold you in bondage and keep you from receiving God’s best for you. Activate the power of God that lies within you and keep moving towards the mark of the high calling on your life. God loves you and in Him you can do all things.
There is one thing that I have learned in life and that is everything begins with God, is controlled by God, and will one day end in God and if you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you cannot, and will not, be successful without turning everything you love in this life over to God and submit to His will. Someone once said that ‘if you want to make God laugh tell Him your plans.’ Well, it’s time to put our plans under the will of God. Every day rise up and thank God for a new day. It wasn’t promised to you; every day you wake up is a gift. Don’t plan your day and leave God out of it. Put your plans under the will of God, not above them! if our plans fail; even if our dream doesn’t materialize; even if we lose someone we love; we must take a stand and declare that God is God no matter what!
God has given each of us a measure of faith but has your faith grown any? Do you trust God more today than you did yesterday, last year or five years ago? If you don’t, something is wrong. You are not focusing on the right things. Maybe you are stuck – stuck in unforgiveness or bitterness or stuck in the pain that someone caused you 20 years ago, but you must move forward. You will not have victory in this present day if you don’t release anything that is holding you back from being filled with the Holy Spirit.
We live and learn, and if you are close to God, God will let you know when you do not have the mind of Christ. It’s important is that we learn from our mistakes; we are to learn but not to get stuck in the past. So you made a bad decision – learn from it but let the mistake go and keep the wisdom. Embrace the grace of God and thank Him that He got right in the middle of your mistake and worked it out so that you can fulfill His plans for you. Your destiny doesn’t change – you change! No one can keep you from what God has planned for you except you, but, once you have an ‘aw haw’ moment and you realize that you just might have missed it on some level, repent and submit.
God loves you and wants to give you His best. God’s power is manifested in our weakness and He wants nothing more than to show you who He really is. Keep believing; hold steady and submit to God’s will for your life. Your best days are ahead of you.
Has life ever thrown you a curve ball – something that came suddenly and unexpectedly and changed your life forever? Very seldom does life happen exactly the way we’d like it to. It’s good to make plans, but often things happen and circumstances change that remind us that we are not in control. Our response to curve balls can range from being miserable, frustrated, unhappy and even angry, but even when our circumstances are not favorable, there is a grace in God that can sustain you until your breakthrough arrives. God is never going to put us into a situation or permit us to be in one, without giving us the ability to stand firm with a peace that passes all understanding. This grace causes other people to look at us and wonder how we are able to handle it with such dignity and faith. Our attitude will speak to the people around us much more than if we try to preach to them. It’s about how we live our life in front of them, especially when things are not going perfectly. The grace of God empowers us to do whatever we must do when we are called upon to do it.
Grace comes to us through faith. The Bible tells us that God has given each of us a certain measure of grace. We must use this grace to overcome and not rely on our own strength to see us through. God’s grace will enable us to do with ease what we could never do on our own for God’s grace is sufficient. We won’t have to struggle and hope that whatever we do will be good enough. Faith in God places us in position to know that there is nothing impossible with God, and if we allow God to work on our behalf, everything will turn out for our good. Don’t force God to watch you try to solve your problems on your own. God will wait until you come to the end of yourself and ask for His help before He steps in. Depend upon your heavenly Father for everything. God will give you the victory every day of your life.
The grace of God is sufficient and it is truly amazing and it is there for each of us who know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. There is no price tag to be put on grace. It can’t be bought. The blood of Jesus has made it available and God loves us so much that He gives it to us – many times when we don’t deserve it and that is why it is called God’s unmerited favor. I don’t know about you but I would not be here today without it!
One of the amazing things about God is that He can bring blessings into your life out of nowhere. When it looks like everything is going against you, God can, in an instant, bless you in a way that you least expect. Something that might not look like much can all of a sudden turns into something great after God places His hand on it. God is good at taking you out of nothing and putting you into something bigger than you could imagine. You can’t image how quickly God can bring you into your destiny. You might feel like you are going nowhere fast. You might think that God has forgotten all about you. But God’s ways are much higher than our own and you can trust that He is in the background doing what needs to be done to bring you into the brightest season of your life.
God is not obligated to tell any of us exactly what He plans to do, nor how He plans to do it, nor when He plans to do it. His ways are His ways! Sometimes we have to get over some stuff before God will allow us to walk into His blessings! Don’t hinder God. Ask yourself ‘am I still holding onto something of the past that I need to let go of?” God will choose you long before He lets you know what His plans are, and then He will anoint you so that you will be successful at what you are to do. Sometimes we think that God doesn’t have any plans for us, or we feel like God has forgotten all about us, but God is actually protecting us and preparing us out of the spotlight for great things. Sometimes God holds back on our next blessing because He knows we would lose our mind if He gave it to us right now. God waits for a particular time to allow us to become prepared for our next level, and when God is ready no one can stop it.
God will anoint you in the midst of the people who think that you are not qualified to be promoted. God will raise you up to make others around you ask “why him or why her? You might not look like it now but that doesn’t mean that God hasn’t placed greatness inside of you. That is why we should not go around judging people based on their present position. You don’t know what position they will be in tomorrow. Greatness will be found in the position you are not yet in! We were born to fulfill our destiny. Everything that happens to us works together for the good of helping us move to our place of greatness. When God feels that it is time to move you to your next level, He will anoint you. This anointing will enable you to do things that even you thought you could never do. This anointing will be the gift that will make room for you and put you before people that you never could have stood before on your own.
God has already imparted a good and perfect gift inside you. You might not even recognize what it is yet. You might even think that you will never do great things because you are not as charismatic as others. God is no respecter of persons, and He will make sure that when it is time your gift will be a blessing to you and to others. Your gift will cause you to blossom and become the man or woman God has destined you to be. Be patient. What you are going through is for a pre-destined purpose and when it is all said and done – IT WILL BE AMAZING!
Do you consider yourself a strong person? Maybe you are an emotionally strong person. Maybe you can handle a lot of pressure and work 12-14 hours a day. Maybe you are the anchor in your family that everyone leans on for support. There are many kinds of strength ,but the most important one is the strength you have in the Lord. Strength for the Christian is in the spirit and it is measured in faithfulness, trust and perseverance. Everyone needs strength because there are so many things we must fight in this world. Remember, this is not Heaven and as long as we are on this earth, we will be called upon to fight all sorts of things. For example you will have to fight sickness, depression, the death of someone you love or losing your job or business. We even have to fight when our plans don’t turn out the way we had hoped.
As a Believer, you will also be called upon to fight spiritual battles. Spiritual battles are diverse but include unforgiveness, bitterness and pride. The word of God tells us how we are to fight our spiritual battles and it tells us how to have the strength we need. These forces of darkness weaken you and they will cause you to stumble if you do not fight with the weapons that your heavenly Father has provided for you. Those weapons consist of truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation and the sword of the spirit. God gave us these 6 things so that we may be strong in our faith; so that we may be rooted in His Word and live by faith and in truth. God’s armor is what will keep you safe and strong. It has already been tested and proven. To trust God’s armor is to trust God. God knows that our human strength is not enough to out beat, out smart or out last the fiery darts of Satan. God not only gives us our daily provisions for life, but He has also given us provisions for battle. Don’t try to fight the enemy of your soul without the armor of God or you will lose every time. You are NOT that strong!
If you are going to be a strong person, you must be strong in the Lord. You must put on faith, righteousness and salvation. You must obey the Word of God, live in truth and you absolutely must pray. God’s armor will enable you to fight a good fight of faith. Every day, put on the whole armor of God – don’t leave home without it!
Each and every person who accepts Jesus Christ as their personal Savior is chosen to possess a very powerful tool. This tool is called spiritual authority and it is the master key to the kingdom of God. As Christians, we have been chosen to possess the key to the kingdom of God which means we have authority over everything that would hinder us. That means we even have authority over Satan. Nothing that the enemy puts in our way should deter us or slow us down or cause us to give up. Why? Because we have been chosen to have the keys of authority, and that authority is the power of God that raised Jesus Christ from the grave. Some believers think that spiritual authority over the enemy is something that is reserved for only a few people, the pastor, and missionaries and evangelists and church leaders. That is simply not true. The truth is that spiritual authority over Satan belongs to every person who has accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
God has chosen us to receive his “power of attorney” to use his name and his resources in this world, but the only way you can do it is to remain humble before God and other people. Humility comes before honor. It came first with Jesus. Jesus wants us to have the mindset of a servant. The more you rise up in the things of God, the more humble you must become. The more position and influence you have, the more you’ll be tested. The more you know the more responsibility you will possess. To whom much is given, much is required. When you are able to say “not my will but your will be done” you have proven that you are worthy of the authority God has given you.
Exercise your spiritual authority; don’t be afraid of it and don’t let Satan steal it from you! Those who would be trusted with God’s authority must abide in his presence, and it is in the presence of Almighty God that you will experience divine authority to break every yoke. Matthew 16:19 says “And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Don’t lose your authority. Jesus Christ shed his blood so that you would not be a victim but would have victory over every weapon formed against you. You have the spiritual authority that can change the world – use it!
Patience is defined as having the capacity to accept misfortune, trouble or pain without complaining or becoming angry or upset. When we’re clothed with patience, we can absorb life’s irritations and annoyances. We can absorb them the way a good thick towel absorbs splatters and spills. Patience also involves the ability to endure and persevere because a patient individual has a confidence fueled by hope and not desperation. The Bible lists patience as one of the fruits of the Spirit and associates it with love and hope. Believers must conduct their lives in the same way Jesus Christ would if He were in their position. We are to practice His way of life because it is eternal life. It will help prepare us for His Kingdom, and it enables us to glorify God here and now. Patience is a vital part of the process that enables God to produce in us aspects of His image so that we “may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” God is the source of patience and His Spirit is the means of possessing this very valuable virtue.
Patience is required in our relationships with other people including our family and friends. As you know, people can irritate, annoy, and exasperate us but God wants us to be slow to anger. Jesus showed us how to have compassion with one another. Jesus showed us how to love and forgive each other as well as to bear with each other. Unfortunately, we live in a society that all too often doesn’t know how to patiently wait. Our generation has become the “I want it now” generation. We’ve become so accustomed to immediate self-gratification that we have lost our appreciation for the gift of patience, but patience has its own rewards. Patience wins the approval of God. Patience makes us a good example for others. Patience perfects our character. Patience provides health for our soul , gives us hope and enables us to inherit God’s promises.
Patience is an essential aspect toward maturity and growth as a Christian, yet it is not a fun thing to obtain. Patience will allow us to endure and go on, even when we do not feel like it. It will see the hope that is ahead, when the clouds of our lives and experiences block its view from our sight. Patience will allow us to cling to Christ no matter what happens. Patience is hanging on to what is good. If you lack this fruit of the Spirit, go to God in prayer and ask Him to allow this gift to grow within you. It won’t be easy, but the end result will serve you well in every aspect of your life and God will be glorified.
Imagine for a moment that you have all the money in the world and you are able to buy anything you want. What would you buy? Would it be a house, car, boat, private jet, maybe a private island? It’s even possible to buy talent, hire people who know more than you do to work for you, so in essence you can buy knowledge. But there is one thing you can’t buy – you can’t buy character. There is nothing is more important than godly character. Either a person has it or he doesn’t, and, it’s better to keep your character than it is to lose it and then try to recover it. Character is manifested in great moments, but it is made in the small ones. Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation. Your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely who others think you are.
How a Christian deals with the circumstances of their life speaks of their character. Crisis doesn’t necessarily make character, but it does reveal it. Adversity in our lives is a crossroads where a person chooses one path – character or compromise. Character is who you are when no one is looking. Character is more than just talk for anyone can say they have integrity but action is the true indicator. Your character determines who you are. People that always seem to be at war with themselves have a problem in their character. Proverbs 20:11 says that “even a child makes himself known by his acts, by whether his conduct is pure and upright.” Your walk talks and your talk talks, but your walk talks louder than your talk!
Talent is a gift but character is a choice. There are a lot of things in our life that we have no control over. We don’t get to pick our parents, our upbringing, our talents, our IQ, but we do choose our character. In fact, we create it every time we make choices, and our choices will reflect what’s inside of us. Do your choices reflect someone with a godly character or are your choices determined by your flesh which is by its very nature evil? A person of godly character will always take the high road which is the one less traveled but one that will bring lasting success. Success without a good foundation of character is bound for failure.
Examine every aspect of your life; your relationship with God, your spouse, your children, your peers, your employer. Identify short cuts and short comings in those areas. Pray about each one. Look for patterns. What patterns of weakness do you see? These are character issues. Ask God to deliver you from these patterns. Face the music. The beginning of character repair is when you face your flaws, repent and deal with them. People with godly characters are described as those who are honest, loves people, works hard, keeps his word, is humble and seeks to serve others at every opportunity. Have I just described the person you are?