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Judges 6:3 Gideon said to Him, “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.”

The biggest question people have is why. Why did my mom get cancer and die? Why didn’t God save my marriage? Why didn’t I get that job I prayed for?

The question of why can cause people to doubt God’s ability, question God’s existence, and lead them down a path to unbelief altogether.

Why, is a valid question. Answers for why can vary from, disobedience, to unbelief, to basic trials of life. If God can’t answer the question of why, He should cease to be God.

The questions we should ask ourselves is, are we willing to listen to the answer, wait on the answer, or accept the answer that is given to us? Our emotions may be so involved until we’re not willing to calm ourselves and listen to God’s answer. Someone may have prayed for their mother to be healed of cancer, but what they didn’t know is their mother was in so much pain until she would rather be pain-free with the Lord. Our prayers can’t override another person’s desire.

Some answers may not be given for another 5 years. Are we patient enough to wait on the answer?

Finally, are we willing to accept that God may have something better for us if we didn’t get exactly what we prayed for. Psalm 84:11 says, no good thing will he withhold to those who walk uprightly. If He withheld something from us, that wasn’t a good or good enough thing for us.

Trust in God’s answer. Know that whatever we go through, God has our best interest at heart. We can ask why, but don’t let that why turn into unbelief.

Revelations 2:17 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”

There must be a willingness to hear and receive God’s Word in our lives. If we listen with reluctance, skepticism, or doubt, we won’t reap the full benefit of the Word.

Skeptics listen to find contradictions and to scoff at things that seem illogical. There’s no benefit to that. Our willingness to hear can provide revelation, direction, and guidance in areas that we can’t even imagine.

Secondly, we all are different and we get inspired differently. You may get inspired by the teaching style of one minister and I may get inspired by the teaching style of another minister and that’s okay. There’s different types of people, therefore, there’s different styles of teaching. Just as long as we have a willingness to hear.

Let’s open our hearts to hear God’s Word to receive inspiration, revelation, and guidance to navigate this thing called life.

Colossians 1:23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

Every obstacle we face is designed to get us into unbelief. Everything from sickness in our bodies, financial shortcomings, to a problematic marriage are all designed for us to question is God’s Word real? Does it really work? Is it for me? The answer is yes.

Despite the situations we face, our responsibility is to believe God’s Word. Some of us start out in faith, but due to fatigue or not seeing results quickly, we begin to doubt God’s Word.

Hold on and keep the faith. Don’t let situations sway you from one side to another. If God said it, that settles it. Even if we have to wait for years, God’s Word will come to pass. Keep the Faith!

Numbers 20:11 Then Moses raised his hand and struck the rock twice with his staff, so that a great amount of water gushed out, and the congregation and their livestock were able to drink. 12 But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust Me to show My holiness in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this assembly into the land I have given them.”

Moses was with the children of Israel for years. They complained and were constantly disobedient. After so many years with them, Moses was frustrated. He was frustrated to the point of disobedience. When God told him to speak to the rock for water, he hit the rock. That one act of disobedience due to frustration cost Moses the opportunity to enter the promised land.

There will be times where we’ll experience frustration. We can be frustrated at our jobs, at home, and within ourselves. During these times, God will continue to give us instructions. God’s instruction may be unrelated to what we’re frustrated about. Here’s 3 steps to overcome frustration.

Frustration Elimination:
1. Recognize the areas of frustration.
2. Ask God to give you a plan of action regarding overcoming frustration.
3. Despite your feelings, continue to do what God told you to do.

Don’t miss out on a blessing because of frustration.

Just like it’s beneficial to do physical exercises, it’s even more beneficial to do spiritual exercises. One main spiritual exercise is exercising our authority to use the name of Jesus. When we use the name of Jesus everything must bow. Everything must comply with the Word of God. This includes, sickness, lack, negative experiences, and insecurities.

Also like physical exercise, a good way to spiritually exercise is to exercise with music. Put on your favorite worship song and speak the name of Jesus over every negative situation. Speak Jesus over the hurt that was caused from that divorce. Speak Jesus over not knowing what to do next. Speak Jesus over our children who are trying to find themselves.

When the name of Jesus is called, things have to change. It’s not a possibility, it’s a guarantee. They have to change. Ready, set, exercise!

Philippians 2:10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.

Christ is bigger than tattoos, piercings, and wardrobes. Christ is bigger than cigarettes and alcohol. Christ is bigger than gold jewelry, weaves, and makeup. Christ is bigger than homosexuality, abortions, and adultery. Christ is bigger than secular music, movies, and TV shows. Christ is bigger than church attendance, giving of tithes, and baptism.

There are believers who will condemn others for one or some of these categories above. They’ll say God is not pleased with us and some will say they’re going to hell. Based on the correct context of the Word of God, this is not true. Christ is bigger than it all. The sacrifice of Jesus redeemed us from ALL sin. There’s not one thing we can do that Christ didn’t suffer and die for. When people condemn others, or tell people they’re going to hell because of this or that, they’re essentially saying, Jesus didn’t pay for that sin. Who are we to tell others the extent of God’s grace?

As believers, our responsibility is to encourage others to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Legitimate salvation teaches all of us how to change our behavior to better the quality of our lives (Titus 2:11-13).

1 Timothy 2:1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,

Have you ever dreamed about a person you haven’t spoken to in a long time? Has someone randomly came into your mind and you wonder how they’re doing? This may be God prompting us to pray for them. People post happy pictures on social media and smile in our faces, but we never really know what they’re going through.

We can pray for their well-being, their family, a better relationship with God, and their salvation. It doesn’t have to be long and drawn out, but a quick prayer over their lives will work. Even if it’s someone who hurt us, we can use this time as a maturing process to pray over their lives.

Be a blessing to someone by sincerely praying for them.

Having intelligence in math, science, and history can be beneficial. It can provide better ways of doing things and make life easier for all of us. However, there are individuals who are ruled by their intelligence. Their intelligence is their god. At the same time, they look at individuals who believe in a God they cannot see as ignorant. They see people who follow an ancient book with “multiple inconsistencies” as fools.

Some of the questions they have and some of their ideas about the Bible are valid. If we listen long enough, it will make us question why we’re believing what we’re believing. It’s just a difference in what each of us choose to believe. Believers choose to believe in a book (the Bible) as the truth while, intellectuals choose to believe in books based around math, science, and history as the truth. There’s not 100% factual evidence that either book is 100% true, but it’s what we choose to believe. There’s only one difference. What we choose to believe, even if we’re wrong, won’t hurt us. In fact, we can be intelligent in math and science and still maintain our belief in the Word of God. But for most intellectuals, what they choose to believe accompanied by the rejection of the Bible, can have them spending eternity in hell.

Don’t get persuaded by teachings that appeal to our logic and reject the Bible. It can be devastating to our lives here on earth and disastrous for our eternity.

1 Corinthians 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 2:14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.

Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

People may see our house, our cars, the happiness in our families, or know our financial situation and say, “we’re blessed.”

What they didn’t see is what I like to call “the trenches.” In times of war, the trench was a hole in the ground that sheltered soldiers from artillery. It was a hectic time. Shots were being fired at soldiers and within that trench, they had to learn how to fire back.

In our own lives, the trenches are times of spiritual warfare. It’s when the enemy (Satan) may be attacking our health, the peace within our family, or our finances. We must spiritually fight to keep our trust in God, our sanity, and remain in faith for what we’re believing God for. People see us now, but they didn’t see when we had to pray over our child for divine healing. They didn’t see how we had to confess our marriage is blessed when our marriage was headed towards divorce. They didn’t see how we had to meditate on the promises of God when our finances were in disarray.

It’s a fight to maintain this blessed life that Jesus provided for us, but the best part about this fight is we win. If we remain in faith, confess God’s promises over our lives, and praise God in advance for the victory, we win (1 Cor. 15:57).

If people compliment our lives or inquire about how we got to a certain place in our lives, give them the whole story. Be transparent. Let them know it was God Who brought us through the trenches.

We can’t tolerate curses in our lives because we are blessed. For those who are in Christ Jesus, we are blessed. The most common curses we see today are defeat, financial hardship, and poor health. According to Deuteronomy 28:15-68, these are considered curses.

Why are these curses tolerated? Because we don’t want to do the necessary things to remove these curses from our lives. The necessary things are not positive thinking, working harder, and healthy eating. It’s deeper than that. These are spiritual forces attacking our lives. The necessary things are resisting those forces with the Word of God. It’s confessing daily that we are blessed, healed, and prosperous. It’s feeding our souls by reading/hearing the Word of God. It’s being in tune with the Holy Spirit to determine what He wants us to do to experience manifestations of God’s Word. The negative experiences we see may not leave instantaneously, but if we remain consistent in the things of God and know who we are in Christ, the curses must leave our lives.

Believe and receive all that God says we are and expect the curse to leave our lives.

Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us. For it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing promised to Abraham would come to the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

God is and has been so good to us. He took some of us out of a pit of despair. He removed our fears, got us out of depression, and prospered us. With all that God has done and all that we expect Him to do, we should praise Him.

For those who are in a rough place right now, everything in our flesh will tell us not to praise God. The enemy will magnify the difficulties in our lives and pose the question…“What’s the point?” The point of praise it to keep our souls in check. It’s to get us out of that funk. It’s to remind ourselves of God’s ability. It’s to live in expectation of Him doing great things in our lives again.

Wherever we are in life, open up your mouth on a consistent basis (not just at church) and praise the Lord.

Psalm 150:1 Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty firmament! 2 Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness! 3 Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp!

John 8:32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Notice what it doesn’t say. It didn’t say reading the truth shall make us free or hearing the truth shall make us free. It said knowing the truth shall make us free. That means the truth should be understandable and easily accessible.

Now, let’s determine what is the truth. John 17:17 tells us God’s Word is truth. So, anytime we have the Word (in context), we have the truth. The truth is, we’re righteous, we’re healed, we’re blessed, and whatever else God’s Word tells us we are. There may be facts in our lives that are contradicting the truth, but as we continue to apply our faith towards the truth in God’s Word, the truth will override the facts.

Just like we know how to operate our smart phones or operate our social media accounts, know God’s Word and know how to apply God’s Word in every area of your lives.

2 Timothy 2:13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.

God’s faithfulness has nothing to do with us. It has nothing to do with our behavior, our performance, or our abilities. His faithfulness has everything to do with Himself.

God wants to establish a reputation of 100% faithful. Regardless of what we’ve done, He’s not going to remove His faithfulness from our lives. That’s good news. That means no matter how far we’ve strayed or how many times we’ve missed the mark, His faithfulness remains available to us.

Whenever we miss it, know God’s faithfulness remains. Grab hold of that faithfulness and receive God’s forgiveness and continue on with life.

Psalm 107:17-19 Fools, because of their transgression, And because of their iniquities, were afflicted. Their soul abhorred all manner of food, And they drew near to the gates of death. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, And He saved them out of their distresses.

Suppose, you were disappointed with your child. They’ve been making poor choices in school, having bad attitudes, and they have tested your patience. You tell them to take the trash outside. As soon as they get outside, they scream…Dad! or Mom!… SNAKE!!! Out of love for your child, you run outside, grab a shovel, and kill the snake. You may have been disappointed with your child’s behavior but when they cry out, you run to their aid.

God’s the same way. We may have strayed from His will but any time we call, He’ll hear us and come to our rescue. He’s never going to forsake us or have us figure it out on our own. He’ll always be there to hear and respond to our prayer.

Deuteronomy 10:21 He is the one you praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes.

When we face negative experiences, we have two options. We can complain and worry about the situation or we can praise and worship God. Complaints don’t create change. but praise is associated with the promises of God.

It’s important to praise and worship God during trying times because it reminds us Who God is in our lives. It lets the devil know that we know where our blessings come from. It allows us to get into God’s presence. It forces us to meditate on His promises. It allows us to recall all the times He’s brought us out before.

On the other side of praise and worship, is a positive attitude and strength to endure another day. You may not feel like it, but worship God in the middle of your negative experience.

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Scriptures of the Day

February 2019
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