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Posts tagged ‘encouragement’

Freedom

 

  ~ John 8:36 “If The Son therefore shall make you free, Ye shall be free indeed.”

We recently celebrated Veteran’s Day. I honor veterans, those in active service, and their families for the sacrifices they make. I am reminded of the phrase, “Freedom isn’t free.”

I want to reflect on a different freedom today. I am talking about spiritual freedom. One definition of freedom is the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved. There is financial bondage. We can be free from this worry when we remind ourselves that God said He would supply all of our needs.

Physical and emotional pain can hold us captive.  During suffering, we can find comfort in knowing that Jesus is our healer. We can be victorious in mind and spirit even before we experience it in the natural. We find hope during depression, by knowing that Jesus said He is our peace.

This kind of freedom also isn’t free. Jesus has already paid the price, however. In hard times, especially, our prayer life should be determined and focused.  Worship, praise, and spending time with God are essential. It is important to study the Word. Be diligent to meditate on scripture to build faith. Listen to teachings from mature, proven ministries. They can offer valuable tools to use in spiritual warfare.

I know many who have had challenges this year. I myself have experienced them. We, at Gateway Believers Fellowship, have also faced some as a whole. We have stood together during this time.

Corporate prayer is a part of the strategy we use against the enemy. Encouragement for one another has been evident. Apostle David Coker and other wise leaders have brought timely messages. We are now celebrating many victories. This is due to the stand we took, and being obedient to the leading of Holy Spirit. You will reap in due season, if you faint not.

Maybe you are imprisoned in some way. I urge you take the steps that we, at Gateway Believers Fellowship, have taken. Holy Spirit directed us through this process. We will continue to follow His leading. He desires to do the same in your life. He will guide you to victory. Remember, who The Son makes free is free indeed.

~ Connie Robinson

Image Credit: Freedom © Jess Hall via freeimages.com

Be Encouraged

“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort. Who comforteth us is all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted.” ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Some people act as if they have an answer or solution to any situation others are going through. I call that presumption. How can someone assume they have an answer for everything? Usually it’s rooted in pride or arrogance. If you have never driven to California, how can you tell me how to get there? We have all faced situations needing an answer. Just be careful who you ask for help or advice.

I have dealt with depression for a number of years. Reflecting back, before I was faced with it, I use to tell people, ” Get over it, Shake it off. It’s not that bad”. If you have never suffered with depression, you just don’t know. We should pray and ask for the Lord’s help before speaking.

The scripture I wrote at the beginning of this article means a lot to me. God is my Father. He is the God of all comfort. He is able to comfort your mind when turmoil and anxiety are raging. He is the Peace Speaker when the storms of life are blowing. He is that small, still voice when anxious thoughts are bombarding your mind. He is a friend who will never leave or forsake you. He is that abundant, available help in the time of our need.

I find strength, hope, and comfort in reading and meditating in His word. “Heaviness or anxiety in the heart of man causes depression; but a good word maketh it glad.” ~ Proverb 12:25

God’s Word will get you through it.

~Ricky Robinson

Image Credit: Fire in the Sky © Brett Theriault via freeimages.com

The Word is my Lifeline

The storms of life have been swirling around me lately. When storms come to most people, they retreat. They quit doing what they know they should. Let the whining and complaining commence. As for me, I have been hanging on to the Word of God.

When you think about it, the Word of God is your lifeline. With the storm I am in, I can’t rely on my intellect. I can’t rely on what other people have said. I have to grab ahold of the Word and not let go.

God’s Word has been a safe haven in the midst of my confusion, questions, exhaustion, and sickness. Even when I haven’t had the strength to do much of anything, I have been clutching a book filled with scriptures on encouragement, faith, and contentment because those are some things I desperately need.

That sounds a little ironic, doesn’t it? It’s confusing to the human mind when you do the opposite of what circumstances want you to. It confuses the enemy when you stand strong in the face of opposition. It confuses him when you release faith-filled words!

The more you feed on God’s Word, the stronger you become. Even though you are still battling the storm, things are changing. I can say that because I have witnessed it in my own life many times before, but especially this week. All last week I had no energy. I couldn’t even put my clothes on. Today, I am starting to feel like myself again. I have a burst of energy that I deeply appreciate.

If you are going through a storm, hang on! Get in the Word and don’t forsake it. Let it be a guiding light in the midst of chaos. God’s Word never changes! I challenge you to humble yourself and admit, “I can’t do this on my own. I need you, God.” His Word is there to rescue you from whatever hell you are facing.

~Madison Sanders

Image Credit dark lifelines © Andy Barton via freeimages.com

– See more at: http://www.gatewaybelievers.com/articles/word-my-lifeline#sthash.gtYXua7J.dpuf

Get Up!!

“For I’ve said to you many times that there are places in My Spirit that I want to take you,” saith the Lord, “and I’ve taken you as far as you would allow Me to, and you’ve suffered, and suffered and suffered, partly because you would not surrender. But your spirit kept crying out, and you kept praying in other tongues and kept asking Me to bring you into that place, no matter what it would take, because you wanted to enter in.”

“So, I permitted certain things. I allowed certain emotions, circumstances and situations. I even gave you what your flesh desired for a season, so that you would realize that what you’re really hungry for is not in the flesh but in My Spirit. So therefore, I have brought you to a place by My Spirit, even to the threshold, this night. And those things that I’ve spoken and those things which I have promised, those things that I’ve said in order to give you vision and to encourage, edify, exhort and comfort you, yes all those things that I’ve said surely do belong to you.”

“Until now, you’ve seen them afar off. You’ve put it too far in the future. And you say within yourself ‘I am not worthy,’ and it is true: you’re not worthy in your strength, or your holiness, or your purity, or your works. But I have brought you to a place in which you’re not depending on your worthiness in the flesh, but you have to totally and completely lean on and trust in Me. For you see, My strength is made perfect in your weakness.”

“So fear not the circumstances, neither those things that would arise in your emotions and your mind. Don’t tarry and look at those things that have held you back. But behold Me,” saith the Lord. “Look at My Word. For I am not holding you back. I am not he that condemns; I am He that encourages and strengthens. Don’t you know that I knew you before I called you? Don’t you know that I knew your weaknesses? Don’t you know I already knew about the mistakes that you would make?”

“But know this:” saith the Lord, “I prepared a way by which you could arise and confess before Me so that you could walk totally and completely free. So, why don’t you go on? Why don’t you come on in? Why don’t you step on over? Quit listening to the accuser of the brethren, because his voice has been loud. His voice has been strong. But I’m bringing you to a place, even this night,” saith the Lord, “where his voice will pale in comparison to the voice of My Spirit that speaks within you and speaks through you.”

“So, I have a command for you this night,” saith the Lord. “Arise! Arise and shake yourself, and be strong in Me and in the power of My Might and you will begin to see My Glory and the manifestation of My Power. There will be transformation, not just in you, but even in the circumstances and in those places and in those regions and even in those territories where I have planted you. For don’t you know that this process that I’ve taught you concerning mortification had been an on-going process of dying. You think this is going to die and that’s going to die, and you’ve looked at this, that, and the other. But you see, what I have worked on are those things that have kept you from my purpose and from my assignment. So, as long as you’re in this flesh, you’ll never be perfected in every thought and word and deed. But I can tell you this: you can walk and will walk in everything that you need to walk in to fulfill my assignment. And hear this,” saith the Lord, “everything that would stand between you and the purpose for which you were given life, it shall die and I shall live in you!”

Failure-A faith supporter

 

Ever notice how we so easily enter into a state of coasting through life, deceiving ourselves (subconsciously and consciously) into believing we have somehow arrived, only to have the wonderful assistance of failure to jerk us back into reality? This phenomenon tends to be heightened when we try to use the old way of doing things while in a new place.

A few days ago, I had to present a scientific paper in front of my class. I, of course, having presented scientific papers and data previously, thought, “Oh, no problem. I’ve done this a million times! I will show my classmates how this is done.” Well, as you might already have figured out, my pride and method of preparation left me sorely lacking. The presentation wasn’t a complete disaster, but it was, let’s say, a painful experience for most everyone involved.

I was then faced with the wonderful opportunity to focus on my weaknesses and question why I was even in graduate school. However, I decided that I would allow my failure to be my teacher and not my tormentor. I realized the presentation had gone the way it had because I had failed to recognize the new environment of excellence in which I am now being trained. The lackadaisical elements of my old approach to the presentation showed up for everyone to see…especially me! It was then that I realized a couple of things. First of all, I have developed a reliance on ME that has to be replaced by a complete reliance on Holy Ghost. Secondly, I realized anew that following after God’s plan for my life means that there are giants in this new land that have to be dealt with: giants of pride, apathy, and fear of failure.

We all have crossed over the Jordan spiritually, but this is also manifested in our own personal lives. God is calling us to higher levels of stewardship, discipline, and excellence. Unfortunately, the idiom of “you’ll never change until the pain of change outweighs the pain of staying the same,” still applies. I realized we have to make some adjustments in our spiritual, as well as physical, daily /walks, if we are to prosper as God has destined us to in this new land. So be encouraged! Embrace the pain! Embrace the failures! Embrace new ways! Embrace the change! Let them be your compass to success in the new place God has brought us!

Q: Think about some area in which you have failed miserably lately…. now, how can that help propel you forward??

Fight to the Finish

Endure.

I just feel burnt out. I feel stretched thin. I need some time. I’m overextended right now. Work’s not going well. My family is making me crazy. I can’t do all of these things that are being asked of me. The list goes on.

Hey, we all make mistakes and say foolish things. To further complicate our lives, we often don’t know when to say yes and when to say no; we confuse good for God and end up doing too much. While these things may be true, we also need to remind ourselves that we must learn to endure. In fact, it could be that our inability or unwillingness to endure is what draws out all of our complaints and murmurings in the first place.

It is safe to assume that endure is not a buzzword in society today. It’s certainly not a popular catch phrase. Can you imagine a prophet of God standing up on New Year’s Eve and proclaiming, “The word of the Lord for 2009 is Endure!” He would be called a false prophet immediately! Especially since it doesn’t even rhyme!

Webster defines endure like this : 1. to undergo (as a hardship) especially without giving in 2. to regard with acceptance or tolerance 3. to continue in the same state 4. to remain firm under suffering or misfortune without yielding

“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” – 2 Tim 2:2-4

Paul was writing his last letter to his spiritual son Timothy. He was encouraging him to hold fast to the gift that was in him and to stay true to God among a church world that was falling into all manner of false religion. He didn’t tell him to avoid hardness or to abstain from difficult tasks. Paul said endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. A soldier! Now I’ve never served in the armed forces, but I have enough sense to know that they don’t coddle you and pamper you. It’s hard. It’s demanding. It’s tough! Maybe we need to learn to be tough when we have to endure.

I’m not saying we lean on the arm of the flesh and trust in our own strength. That’s as foolish as saying I can’t make it; rather I’m saying lean into the Father. Lean into the Grace He has given you. Lean into the Family of God. Find the strength to endure that can only come from the Lord Jesus Christ.

We are praying for change. We are asking God to reveal things to us. We are asking to be trusted with things that are far more precious than silver and gold, and yet we often refuse to endure the process that brings us to God’s ultimate plans. We ask for the Gold Medals of the Kingdom but refuse to train and suffer under the hardships of growth and self-evaluation. We seek the rewards of the treasure but refuse to accept the responsibility of stewardship.

God rewards those who diligently seek Him. Let’s seek Him for a renewed ability to endure, knowing there are great benefits that come with endurance.

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. – James 1:2-6a

Q: What is it that you are facing right now that you need strength to endure? Are you crumbling under the weight of it, or are you seeking for strength to overcome it?

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