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Psalm 41:10 But You, O LORD, be gracious to me and raise me up, That I may repay them.

God lifts us up. Not only does He lift us up, but He has the ability to keep us up. Through all the political drama, with the rise and fall of the economy, and even the severe temperatures in the weather, God lifts us up.

Staying lifted above all the negativity that’s occurring in the world depends on us. If we’re worried or fearful about how we’re going to make it, our faith is not in God. If our faith is not in God, there’s no guarantee of God keeping us lifted. A negative mouth and attitude doesn’t guarantee God keeping us up. If we’re speaking negatively towards this person or that person, or that business, we’re sinking to the world’s level.

Whatever negativity we see around us doesn’t have to be our fate. God can and will keep us lifted above it all.

Psalm 34:1 I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

We hear this verse a lot in church, but this is not the easiest thing to do.

  • When we receive a promotion, bless the Lord. When we get laid-off, bless the Lord.
  • When we have a baby, bless the Lord. When our child has a difficult time following instructions, bless the Lord.
  • When we have the finances to take a 4-day vacation, bless the Lord. When we don’t know how we’re going to pay the bills, bless the Lord.
  • When we’re full of energy, bless the Lord. When we’re too tired to talk, bless the Lord.

It’s easy and quite natural to bless the Lord during the good times, but it takes disciplined effort to bless the Lord during difficult times. In the midst of negative situations, we don’t bless the Lord because of the situation. We bless the Lord because He is the One Who can instantly change the situation.

So whatever state you’re in, remember to bless the Lord.

Psalm 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all.

When we face afflictions, it doesn’t mean we don’t have faith, we did something wrong, or God is punishing us. Afflictions are a part of life (John 16:33).

There’s a devil, who’s constantly on attack. His job is to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). Regardless of the affliction, we have hope. Our hope is God’s deliverance. Everything from a minor cold to stage four cancer, God guarantees deliverance.

That’s where our faith comes in. We can either believe and receive God’s deliverance from whatever affliction we’re facing or, allow the affliction to unsettle our peace, take our joy, and destroy our bodies. Being a born-again believer doesn’t mean we’re exempt from problems, but it does mean we’re victorious over every problem.

When we face afflictions, just realize the faith fight is on. Put your hope in God and receive the deliverance that He guarantees.

Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Honor, reverence, and respect is also known as the fear of the Lord. It has nothing to do with being afraid of God. When we honor God, we position ourselves for wisdom. We position ourselves to receive wisdom in our finances, wisdom at our jobs, and wisdom in raising our children. Whatever area we need wisdom, it begins with our reverence towards God.

The world may look at God as a joke or think those who put their trust in Him are foolish, but when we’re wealthy, promoted, with a happy family, they’re the ones who will look foolish.

Let’s not participate in the minimizing of God or diminish the spiritual forces we have through God. Let’s continue to hold Him in high regard.

When a situation arises, there are three types of people. There are people with unbelief. They panic, stress, and worry about how to resolve a situation.

Secondly, there’s the partial believer. They may listen to a sermon or two and say they’re healed or all their needs are met but two hours later, when someone asks them how that situation is going, they speak a negative report. They let them know how hard it is and they don’t know what they’re going to do. They let them know how much pain they’re in and they let them know how stressed they are.

Finally, there’s the believer. The believer is all in. They’re all in with their belief and speech. They believe what God’s Word says. They believe that God’s Word will come to pass. Temptation or doubt may enter their minds, but they immediately rebuke those thoughts with the Word of God. They may be feeling pain every time they walk, but they periodically confess they are healed. They may see a shortage in their bank accounts, but they call themselves wealthy.

As believers, we want to be all in. Not partial or unbelieving. No matter how long it takes or how big the situation may seem, be all in with God’s Word, God’s ability, and the finished works of Jesus Christ.

Mark 4:14 The farmer sows the word…
20 Still others are like the seeds sown on good soil. They hear the word, receive it, and produce a crop—thirtyfold, sixtyfold, or a hundredfold.”

In the United States, for the past 34 days, people working for the federal government have not been paid. It’s a seemingly stressful situation. People don’t know when they’re going to get their next paycheck and bills are due.

A lot of people are complaining about the president or congress when in actuality, they never had any control over what they did anyway.

For the believer in this situation or any situation like this, it’s an opportunity for our trust to be put on display. Either we’re going to trust God to provide all our needs or complain like the rest of the world.

Our attitude should be an attitude of trust. When people see us doing our jobs (for free in this case) without complaining, they’ll wonder how we can remain so calm and positive. That allows us to share with them Who we put our trust in. Every day, there will be a temptation to complain, but we must resist.

In whatever situation we’re in, we can either trust God or complain about the situation. For positive results, trust in God.

Jeremiah 17:7 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. 8 They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

John 1:16 (GNT) Out of the fullness of His grace He has blessed us all, giving us one blessing after another.

When we get a new house, we’ll gladly give God the praise. When we get married to our best friend, that’s another reason to give God the glory. When we receive a financial increase, we’ll rejoice all week long. The same enthusiasm we give God on major breakthroughs in our life is the same enthusiasm we should have on the “little things.”

What’s little to us may be big to someone else. Some of us overlook thanking God for that close parking spot because it’s not that big of a deal but for someone else, it’s truly a blessing because they have arthritis in their knees.  Some may see that $100 raise as insignificant but for someone else, that’s a Godsend because that’s the exact amount they need to pay their rent. Even appreciating our house/apartment has dwindled but, someone else must brave the cold because they have no roof over their head.

Even if it’s not that exciting to us or it’s normal routine, acknowledging God’s hand in the situation is vital. Throughout the day, begin thanking God for the most basic of needs and luxuries.

When we have a heart to please God, we’ll want to make sure we’re doing everything He tells us to do. Depending on the task, we may want confirmation that it’s really God. During those times, we can ask God for a sign.

For instance, if we believe we heard God tell us to move to another city, but we’re not quite sure, we can ask God to show us a specific sign. We can ask God to have that city randomly mentioned 3 times to us within the week and God will do it. While watching the news, He may have that city mentioned. That city may be mentioned by our friend in conversation. That city may be mentioned at a presentation at work. Coincidence? I think not. That’s God showing us a sign.

For confirmation in any area of your life, ask God for a sign. He did it for Gideon and He’ll do it for you too.

Judges 6:36 So Gideon said to God, “If You will save Israel by my hand as You have said— 37 look, I shall put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor; if there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that You will save Israel by my hand, as You have said.” 38 And it was so. When he rose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece together, he wrung the dew out of the fleece, a bowlful of water. 39 Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me, but let me speak just once more: Let me test, I pray, just once more with the fleece; let it now be dry only on the fleece, but on all the ground let there be dew.” 40 And God did so that night. It was dry on the fleece only, but there was dew on all the ground.

Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

There are a lot of things that command our attention. We have work, our families, household responsibilities, and more. In the midst of all of that, there’s God. Now, if we say or have a mindset to put God first, our priorities should reflect that.

That means, if we’re not able to do a load of laundry so that we can spend time with God, so be it. If that means we won’t be able to hang out with our friends to go to a church event we want to attend, oh well. If that means, we’ll miss out on watching our favorite TV show that everyone will be talking about at work the next day, we’ll just have to miss it.

God understands all the things we have to do on a daily basis, but that doesn’t mean He should get pushed to the side. If we want God to prioritize us in our time of need, we should prioritize Him.

Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.  

God wants every believer’s light to shine. What does that mean? That means, being a blessing by generously giving to others, helping those in need, and walking in the love of God in spite of how others treat us.

Some people use this as an opportunity to boast. They want to let people know that their donation came from them. They want to let us know how much of a sacrifice it was to help someone else. They want to publicize the charity work they do for the poor. They’re being a blessing, but they have the wrong attitude.

Our attitude should be an attitude of love. We should genuinely want to see our fellow man do and have better. We should want to see them get back up on their feet. It’s not an opportunity to boast, but to show the love of God to all.

Be sure to shine and not show off.

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January 2019
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