Hebrews 10:35 says “So do not throw away your confidence, it will be richly rewarded.” In other words, your encouragement for today comes from yesterday’s victories. Remember that time when your back was up against the wall and there was no way out? Suddenly, God, with all of his grace and mercy came and rescued you. Or, that time when out of nowhere good things just started happening in your life that you could not explain? Or, that time when you were very sick but God has given you more time. Take a stroll down memory lane and you will always end up on a street named GRACE! That’s why our encouragement for today comes from yesterday’s victories.
God’s Word is infallible. In other words, it is without error and since it is without error that makes it true. God cannot lie. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. He is the one who can just think it and it happens, and if He said that ‘you will be richly rewarded’ you will be richly rewarded! However, you must have patience and faith to endure. Hebrews 11:1 says “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” We have to have faith from the beginning to the very end. Faith is continuous; we must walk by faith day by day. The reward, the fulfillment of God’s promise, will be waiting after your faith has been tested, but if we are ever going to receive the reward, we must remain faithful to the end. We just don’t become faithful over night; it’s a growing process. A mark of mature faith is a faith that continues when it seems that there is no answer.
Too many people are throwing away their eternal reward because Satan is bringing doubts into their minds concerning God’s ability to fulfill His promises. The reward of continuing to walk with God far outweighs the alternative that Satan offers, so it is imperative that you do not throw away the confidence you have in God. Confidence is something that we either have or don’t have. It is fully trusting in someone or something with the assurance that what you believe is true. One of the reasons so many people lack confidence is because at the first sign of struggle they give up. What happened to Peter’s faith while walking on water? Little by little doubts set in. In every test we will have to make our decision as to whether we are going to trust God or not. God will not allow Satan to destroy us. He will not allow us to fall. Just as He did with Peter, He will always reach out and pick us up. God not only cares but He has the power to overcome anything that faces us, no matter how hopeless it may seem to us.
Confident people are not controlled by doubt and fear. Their faith changes everything especially the way they live. Confident people remember what God did for them yesterday and are confident that He will do it again. So, live your life trusting God to fulfill His promises in His own time and in His own way and if you do, you will be ‘richly rewarded.’
Are you where you imagined you’d be at this age? And God told them “You have stayed long enough in this mount.”(Deut. 1:6) God wants us to pass through the place we are now to a place He has in mind. Everyone in life has his promised land. Unfortunately, some people will not reach that place but some will reach it. Many people are on a merry-go-round (going nowhere fast) and they are comfortable. Their expectations, or lack thereof, doesn’t seem to be much of a problem for them so they remain exactly where they are. They continue to do what they are currently doing and they are getting the same results.
Some people won’t reach their promised land because they are focused on the obstacles rather than on their goal. Obstacles are the frightening things you see when you take your eyes off of your objective. Your greatest crisis will come because of the fear of the problem and not the presence of the problem. If you focus on the difficulties, you will never take the risks necessary to move forward. Instead of working on a strategy to overcome the difficulties, some people decide that they just can’t do it. They chose to walk by sight and not by faith. When you stop using your spiritual sight you will see only the obstacles in front of you and you will not possess the wisdom to realize that God has a plan. God’s plan is designed to move you from the place you are now into the place He has prepared for you.
God told the children of Israel that they would have to fight for their promised land and that is true for us today. It is not our job to question how God will fight for us. You will never see the blue print of your journey. It is our responsibility to take God at His word and move forward in confidence and not be intimidated by the fiery darts of the enemy. Intimidation sees giants; faith reduces the giants to grasshoppers. Faith pushes you into the realm of the supernatural thus making your battles an uneven fight in your favor. God loves uneven battles because He gets all the glory.
Don’t continue to go around the same mountain any longer. Put your faith to work and enter into your promised land. Your promised land is a place of abundance; a place of prosperity and a place of peace for you.
God takes things we would never dream He could use and He uses them in such a way to mold us into the mature believers He wants us to be. That is why the Bible says that ‘all things work together for our good. (Romans 8:28). The things you wish were most removed from your life are often the very things that God is using to shape and build your character so that you become most like Him.
On earth there will always be opposition of one kind or another. When opposition comes, it’s easy to get your focus off the Lord and onto your problems. That is why Paul told us to “set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” (Col. 3:2). When faced with opposition, you have several options: you can run from it; you can try to avoid the inevitable and pretend that it is not there, or you can meet it head on and work through it. The last option is God’s will for you because God wants you to allow opposition to drive you to a greater dependence on Him. John 10:10 says that ‘Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy.’ Don’t allow Satan to steal the life God has planned for you.
God’s goal is to prepare you for the place He wants to bring you to. You must trust God’s plan for you even if you don’t understand the oppositions in your life right now. Life is not a series of random accidents. There is a purpose and meaning for your life. God knows what’s going on with you. Nothing can come into the life of a child of God without God being aware of it. I am not saying that everything that happens to you in life is God’s perfect will. That’s just not true. There are a lot of things that are not God’s will but God is an expert at bringing good out of bad.
God loves to turn misery into ministry. He wants to use that opposition you have for good in your life. God is in control – never doubt that! Our world is in need of people who have faced opposition head on and rose to the challenge and are now telling others how to do it. Remember, ‘they overcame by….the word of their testimony.” (Rev.12:11).
We all know people who are short-tempered: people who lose patience quickly and blow up in anger. God does not want His children to live in agitation but in peace. God is patient, and His Spirit produces the fruit of patience in us. Patience means the ability to hold one’s temper for a long time. It is the ability that allows us to look at people and not at their circumstances or behavior. A patient person is able to endure much pain and suffering without complaining. Patience has to do with having a fairly long fuse, being able to absorb life’s annoyances without exploding in anger. Proverbs 15: 18 tells us the consequences of being impatient. “A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.” An impatient person is annoyed, intolerant, worried and has a desire to seek revenge. Patience shows self-restraint and allows a person to think before he acts. When we are patient, we leave room for God to work in our hearts and we lay down our schedule and trust in God’s. When we’re patient, we can absorb life’s irritations and annoyances. We can absorb them the way a good thick towel absorbs splatters and spills. Being impatient prevent us from seeing, as our Lord wants us to see, that all things will work together for our good. We should always place our trust in the Lord and not let the temporary things of life bother or distract us from our purpose and call.
God has been incredibly patient with us. 2 Peter 3:9b says “ He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” Since patience is a fruit of the Spirit, we can only possess patience through the power and work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We must “put on” Christ, meaning we must conduct our lives in the same way Christ would if He were in our position. That is how we please God. There are several reasons why we should practice patience. First, patience acknowledges that you realize that you are not perfect. Matthew 7: 1,2 says “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” No one in the Bible was perfect except Jesus himself, and you and I will never be perfect. So how can we judge and be impatient with others? Secondly, being patient shows that you have inner peace because impatience reflects an inner turmoil which should not be so if you have faith. God gives us the power through the Spirit to have great endurance and patience and in light of all that God has done for us, we have a peace and joy not found in the world.
We can only have patience with others if we have faith in God. Our faith assures us that we know that God is in control of every situation we might find ourselves in. If you believe the Word of God, you will not let stress or doubt enter your mind. Allow the fruit of patience to be evident in your life and be patient as God is patient. God wants us all to be like Him and He has given us His Spirit to make it possible.
There is one fact in life that we all know to be true and that is everything must change; nothing stays the same. From the moment we are born we are changing. Our mind and bodies grow and develop as we mature into an adult. We move to different places, the school year ends, we take a job or we change jobs until the day we retire which is a long anticipated change for many. Seasons change; winter turns into spring, spring into summer and summer into fall. The people around us also change. We watch our children grow and become adults on their own. Our friends, come and go and while all of these changes are going on, the world we know is constantly changing. We wish things would stay the same but change will come, whether we want it to or not.
The question becomes how do we cope with change? Just because we are living in a changing environment, we must not become overwhelmed by change. Change per se is neither good nor bad; it’s what we make of it. Change brings opportunities for growth, for learning, for real happiness. We should not fear change but attempt to find out the greater purpose that can come about through it. Maybe a change is necessary to keep you from doing things your way to doing things the way God would have you do them. So, why not meet change with a positive attitude and an open mind?
It’s not what happens to you in life that determines your future. It is how you respond to what happens that determines your future. Analyze what your thoughts, plans, and goals are. Do they line up with the vision and destiny God has planned for your life? If not, renew your mind. Allow God’s vision to become your vision. If handling change is difficult for you, pray the Serenity Prayer and ask God to “grant you the serenity to accept the things you cannot change; the courage to change the things you can and the wisdom to know the difference.” When you change what you believe from I can’t to I can, you open the door for God to cover your weakness with His strength. Philippians 4:13 says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Remember, the life God has planned for you is bigger and better than the one you are living now!