Faith Vs. Fear

In the Scriptures we are told we have approximately 6,000 promises. One of them I am going to share about today is from 2 Timothy 1:7 – “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of Power, and of Love, and of a Sound Mind.” We have many fears going through life. Some may be fears of having not enough finances, no jobs or work, fear for our children getting into things they are not supposed to, trouble in our relationships, or our health, or fear of death. BUT since we have accepted Jesus in our lives, these promises are most valuable to us!! We have the power to exercise our faith versus fear. Now faith is the “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1).
According to that scripture in 2 Timothy, it says that we have been given the Power to exercise Faith in the face of fears. The promise also says we have been given the spirit of Love (and the ability to exercise love in difficult situations).
His promise is to give us a spirit of a Sound Mind, giving us wisdom and peace in making decisions. Fear always comes upon us unexpectedly of course, because our enemy is at work all the time, or just because of our own misdeeds and actions, fear comes.
Having received Jesus in our hearts, we have been made righteous in the presence of the Father because of His sacrifice on the cross. He has redeemed us!! One of the many scriptures I love is “the seed of the redeemed shall be mighty in the land.” That means our children shall be blessed by God. Another is, “if you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ you shall be saved and your household also (children, grandchildren etc.). I heard a great story about a couple who were doctors and they had three children. Their 12-year-old boy in school was not learning too well and he became depressed. He was so depressed that the parents had to take him out of school. They had him tested by specialists and all that and they could not find anything wrong with him; it was just that he was depressed. The parents prayed and had to encourage each other with the promises of God. One parent would get sad and depressed, but then the other would encourage the other with the scripture “the seed of the righteous will be mighty in the land.” This went on for years and nothing happened. The son stayed at home and was a teenager by then. One day he came to his parents out of the blue, and he said, “I want to go back to school.” He finished high school, went through university, got a master’s degree and became an attorney!! He is healthy and well, sound of mind, and a practicing attorney!!
We don’t know how and when our answers will come. All we have to do is decide to exercise faith in contrast to fear in our daily walk and let God do the rest! One of the ways to approach the Father who put these scriptures together for us, is to take Him at his Word:
“Father, YOU said the seed of the righteous shall be mighty in the Land! Father, YOU said no weapon formed against me shall prosper!
Father, YOU said by your stripes I am healed!
Father, YOU said greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world!
Father, YOU said believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved and your household also!”
Once we have approached God from that point of view, we can just thank Him by faith, for the results!!
Jesus is always standing at the door of our hearts knocking. All we have to do is open the door and let him in and Enjoy!! Then His Holy Spirit will be our guide and comforter. Remember, God loves you very, very much!!

Addiction No More

People talk about low self esteem. With low self esteem, human beings naturally try to find a remedy, whether it be alcohol, drugs, causes, work, money, just about anything. My story today is how I got out of my addiction. Growing up in the Great Depression in the 1930s, it was a depressing time, scary, one of people scrambling and scraping for work, money, food, hope. You would think that being unemployed would give parents more time to spend with their kids but, in many cases, that did not happen too much because life was one of misery many times, and every single effort was being spent by parents to search for work and food and the like. They were just too preoccupied and depressed and anxious themselves. So, in many cases in these Depression families, the result was that there was neglect of the children. But mostly in the end, kids would not get what they needed from their parents in the way of kudos, praise, encouragement, support and building up of their fragile self-esteem and self-confidence. Many of these caring and loving parents were too preoccupied with their poverty and depression to be able to invest into their children as much as they desired to. And on top of it, there were not a lot of outside supports. Those were the days when there was no welfare, child services, counsellors, or Dollarland even! Never mind, even no Hydro and no waterworks! This is not to say our parents and our friends’ parents didn’t love us – they sure did!!!!! – and they worked hard for their families to survive!! But the basic need of a child to have their self-esteem and self-confidence built and strong was in second place. The effects of that lifetime in many cases was a lack of self-confidence and self-esteem. But in our late teens, we discovered the Secret Remedy in alcohol.
Alcohol was very good; it gave boldness, confidence and self-assurance. Nowadays there are drugs; in my days there was only alcohol. But after a few years of having fun with it, there is a catch; one becomes dependent on it, and then addiction. Our problem was we became addicted to it, and it was taking over our lives.
I tried to quit. I found there were lots of different systems in place, trying by effort and will power to get rid of it. Or to find God who was supposed to get rid of it. But to me, it was mostly by sheer will power. In my case, after years of struggling, Jesus knocked at the door of my heart and I let Him in. He healed and delivered me from it! No more desire for that addiction to have power over me. He just threw that addiction demon right out and it was replaced by His Spirit in my heart. A Brand New Day.
I heard a story the other day about a married woman with children, who was addicted to cocaine and other drugs for 26 years. One day she heard somewhere to try Jesus!!! Well, it came about that the Holy Spirit came upon her and delivered her cleanly, no more need for drugs! It fired out all the little addictions – all gone. Someone asked her what happened? She said she didn’t even know! She just tried the Lord, and immediately she was delivered! So, my story is not the only one – there are many, many others – and many other reasons for falling into the trap of addiction, not just the low self-esteem. But my point is just the solution is the same for all of it….
There is always, always, help at the end of the tunnel. Always hope. Always always. We never give up. Not by might, not by power, not by sheer will power, but by His Spirit.
Jesus is always standing at the door of our hearts knocking. All we have to do is open the door and let him in and Enjoy!! Then His Holy Spirit will be our guide and comforter. Remember, God loves you very, very much!!

Keeping Our Faith To The End

In life, we go through many tests. Life brings an abundance of trials and adversities. In the story of Job in the Bible, we see probably the greatest testings of all time happen to one man and his family!! But through that, we see that God is in charge of it all! We know the end! And to us believers, the “end” is really the “Beginning” of Eternal Life, spending eternity with HIM!! No matter what the test or adversity may be, the “end” is the greatest future ever!! Job was a rich man with a great family of seven sons and three daughters, and his wife. He was very rich with livestock, servants and everything. He just loved God and God loved him.
One day the angels and Satan came up to God in His presence, and God asked Satan “Where did you come from?” (as if he didn’t know! :). Satan answered Him saying, “I come from roaming the earth” and God said to him, “Have you considered my good man Job?” Satan said “Yes, but he loves you very much because of all that you have done for him! But give me permission to take a few things away from him and let’s see what happens then!” Then he took off and went back to earth to torture Job. All of Job’s belongings were wiped out and all Job’s children were wiped out as well. Everything was wiped out in Job’s life except his wife. But Job, strong in his faith, still worshipped God. Then Satan reappears to God and says “Let me work on him some more and we will see that he changes his mind!” God told him to work on it all he wanted, but “don’t kill him.” So then Satan went back and inflicted him with boils!! Job was one day sitting on an ash pile, scraping his boils because of his itching and suffering, and his wife looked at him and said “Why don’t you curse God and die?” But Job just could not, and stayed in his faith!! He said, “God gives and can take it away; Blessed be the Name of the Lord.”
Then three friends “comforters” came to Job and they counselled him with un-inspired conversation, trying to comfort him. In the end, that didn’t work and God spoke to Job, “Get up and pray for the three comforters, and I will doubly restore everything that was taken away from you!” And God kept His word to Job and gave him double of everything what he had lost, and 7 more sons and 3 more daughters! Job went on to enjoy life with his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren to 140 years!!
We see in this great story the ability and desire of God, our Loving Father to Restore, Re-Create and Reward. We see the love of God in action!! The Lord is still healing in our health needs, He will provide for our needs and restore Joy and Peace in the midst of our losses in our lives. He is able to reconcile our difficult relationships today. He is able to give us the Grace & Mercy for forgiveness of others. He will create love, kindness and patience in our hearts. And on top of that, in the “end” we are guaranteed our great reward of Eternal Life in His presence!!
Jesus is always standing at the door of our hearts knocking. All we have to do is open the door and let him in!! Then His Holy Spirit will be our guide and comforter. Remember, God loves you very, very much!!

More Than Second Chances

The Bible story of Jonah and the whale has been told to little kids and old people and everyone in between in many ways for many years – through poems, songs, cartoons, stories, etc. Well, Jonah was a prophet who God loved, and He preached the Mercy of the Hebrew God to the people. One day God appeared to Jonah and said, “Go to Nineveh, tell them of my mercy and love, because Nineveh will implode in 40 days.” Jonah began to question God and say, “What will I tell them? I have no story! Besides, the Ninevites are our enemies, they come and steal our boats and nets and are always hurting us!” But God said, “Just tell them of my mercy and love.” Then God disappeared.

Jonah, fearful, ran down south in the opposite direction. He ran all night down the coast, away from where God was telling him to go in Nineveh. Then in the morning he saw a ship that was leaving for another country, and he jumped on it. He paid the fare, and went down into the bottom of the ship and fell asleep because he was so tired, from all the hiding from God, being very depressed. When the ship went out into the deep sea, a major hurricane came up, and the captain came down to the bottom of the ship and said “Who are you?” Then Jonah said “I am a Hebrew who serves a Hebrew God but am running away from him.” So the captain took him back up to where the sailors were and they said Jonah was the trouble and was the cause of the hurricane and so then Jonah said “Throw me overboard.” He knew he was running away from God, and felt hopeless, and depressed. But they didn’t want to throw Jonah overboard because they didn’t want his blood on their hands. So instead they threw all the cargo overboard but then Jonah insisted he was the troublemaker, so they then threw him overboard because the hurricane was getting worse!!

The ship sailed away and the hurricane quit. Jonah was in the ocean, hollering “God what have I done!?!” While half drowning… what seemed like the Coast Guard coming, was a whale!!!! One gulp of the whale and Jonah found himself sitting inside its stomach. For three days Jonah was in there and it was dark and smelly, with rotting fish. So he started crying to the Lord – asked forgiveness, repented. For three days! Then the whale did one burp and Jonah was on the beach! Full of seaweed and rotten fish smell! He asked the people on the beach where he was. They said “Nineveh!” So I guess they hosed him down and dragged Jonah to the king. This king was a nasty one, and he was leading his people in their very cruel acts. Jonah told the King of Nineveh his story, and about His God of Mercy & Love, and that Nineveh would implode within 40 days. The king became fearful and ordered a fast and ordered all the people to fast and repent in response to this, and they all turned around to the Hebrew God and got saved!!!! The whole city, 140,000 of them, all turned around and were saved from destruction!! Jonah was angry at God though because He didn’t destroy them, but God was a God of Mercy and Love and He could not destroy them because they had repented.

I like this story because many times it is like the story of our own lives. What we get from the Word of God, is by the Mercy and Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ who redeemed us, Jesus is always our Savior!! He never, never gives up on us. He does not chuck us over the boat for good. He rescues us in our hopelessness and depression. Man, how many times have we been rescued during our lifetimes. His Grace & Mercy are stronger than all the hurricanes in our lives!! What a beautiful Father we have!!

Jesus is always standing at the door of our hearts knocking. All we have to do is open the door and let him in!! Then His Holy Spirit will be our guide and comforter. Remember, God loves you very, very much!!