How to Triumph in Trouble

We triumph even in our troubles, knowing that trouble produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope — a hope which never disappoints us, since God’s love floods our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5 Moffatt

1. REALIZE JESUS HAS TRIUMPHED. The Bible makes us aware of a couple things: (1) the inevitability of problems here on earth and (2) the certainty that God will work things out. Because of what Jesus did for us on the Cross, we are not only saved, but we have abiding victory. And we triumph even in our troubles!

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Faith for the Future

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4

1. FEAR NOT, ONLY BELIEVE. God has called us to this life of faith. We build endurance as we learn to walk by faith and not by how we feel. Our emotions can change from morning to night or in a split second — that’s why we don’t rely on them. Instead, we get our eyes fixed on God, who has covered everything from the cradle to the grave and from eternity to eternity.

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New Year — Same Faithful God!

“Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon, even as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and as far as the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun will be your territory.” Joshua 1:3-4

1. TAKE YOUR PLACE. In Joshua 1 we see a transitional moment for Joshua and the people of Israel. Joshua was in his seventies when he became the leader of the people of Israel. But God imparted something fresh and called the people to go out and take their places. We too have empowerment from God. Young or old, God has something fresh for you in 2018, and as you seek Him, He will order your steps (Proverbs 16:9).

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Life in Jesus

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1

LIVE DEEP. Have you ever noticed how your thought life can get bombarded with negativity? That’s why God invites us to study, ponder and meditate on His Word. I love to marinate foods, and the longer a steak is marinated, the more flavorful and tender it becomes. You and I are invited to soak in God’s presence and in His Word and let the truth go deep into our hearts.

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Jesus Brings Freedom

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

1. THE FORETELLING. When humanity first sinned, it was promised that a Savior would come. God is really good at following through, and all the prophecies in the Bible have been or will be fulfilled. Hundreds of years before Jesus’ birth, Isaiah, the Hebrew prophet, foretold of a Messiah in such specific terminology that, as we read it today, it produces faith, gives us bearing, and shows us God’s plan.

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You’re Covered!

He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. Psalm 91:4

1. GOD’S PROTECTION. Though Psalm 91 was written for Israel thousands of years ago, it is just as pertinent for us today. The Bible informs our faith, shows us who God is, what He will do, and how His amazing provision covers us. God’s pinions (v. 4) represent His arms which are your refuge and your shield. God has your back!

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Ten Ways to Enjoy the Holidays

From Pastors Jeff & Patsy
Be hospitable to one another without complaint. 1 Peter 4:9

1. ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR FEELINGS. We love the beauty and togetherness of the holidays, but this time of year can also bring up feelings of loss and lack. Understand you are human and keep everything in perspective. Lift your eyes to Jesus the Rescuer who came to push aside the darkness and set us free from sin.

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The Real Deal

For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. 2 Chronicles 16:9a

1. RESTORATION. A life with God is the most wonderful life. God sent Jesus to redeem sinners and to restore that close connection between God and humanity. When we humble ourselves and commit to following Jesus, He sets us free, gives us a new nature, and shows us His purpose for our lives. It’s really amazing, isn’t it!?

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Thank God

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19

1. REMEMBER WHAT GOD HAS DONE. God is inviting us into a lifestyle of expressing thanks and praise to Him. We have a lot to be thankful for! God sent Jesus to rescue us from sin and death. The most precious gift you have is your fellowship with God. When we give thanks, we’re acknowledging God has done something for us!

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Eight Things God Does for Those Who Love Him

“Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name. He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With a long life I will satisfy him and let him see My salvation.” Psalm 91:14-16

Faith, love, and confidence in God grow with the continual confession of His Word. Take time to read Psalm 91 out loud and see the amazing promises distilled in this chapter.

1. HE WILL DELIVER YOU. God has designed and fashioned us to love Him. As we love Him, He will deliver us — even from temptation.
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Living Water

Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit. John 7:37-39a

1. GET IN THE FLOW. God’s flow is life-giving; it’s deep and beautiful. When Jesus offered the Samaritan woman living water (John 4:10), He looked past ethnic, gender, and religious divisions. He knew her condition and offered her eternal life. He knew her sin and was there to forgive her. The Holy Spirit never changes and the New Testament truths are for us today. Jesus is calling out to all of us, inviting us to partake in His flow.

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Stable and Fixed

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand]. Psalm 91:1 AMPC

1. THE SECRET PLACE. We have a breathtaking invitation into a close relationship with God. There is a secret place where we can draw near to Him and know Him; where we will become stabilized and immovable against any pressure or enemy.

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Guided by the Holy Spirit

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Acts 1:8

1. THE SPIRIT IS LIFE. “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I [Jesus] have spoken to you are spirit and are life” (John 6:63). Living by the Spirit gives life and peace, but the mind set on the flesh leads to death (Romans 8:6). The Spirit raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 8:11), led Moses and parted the Red Sea (Isaiah 63:11-12), hovered over the water at Creation (Genesis 1:2), and visited the disciples on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:4). And He is the same Holy Spirit who is available to us today!

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From Fear to Faith!

Peace I [Jesus] leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:27

Jesus told us not to let our hearts be troubled or fearful because He knew there would be opportunities to do so. The cure for despair is to take practical steps to move from fear to faith. When confronted with a challenge, we have a few options: (1) be apathetic; (2) freak out; or (3) get busy in faith.

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SAFE

HOW GOD IS OUR REFUGE

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah. Psalm 46:1-3

GOD IS . . .

STRONG AND SOUND. When circumstances get weird, you can run to God and find safety. He has not given you a spirit of fear, but He has given you a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV).

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Help Is on the Way

But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I [Jesus] have told you. John 14:26 AMP

SIX WAYS THE HOLY SPIRIT IS OUR HELP:

1. COMFORTER. When we receive comfort from the Holy Spirit not only do we benefit, but we are also activated to go out into the world as shock absorbers and comfort others with that same comfort we have received (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

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How to Detect and Avoid Snares

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust!” For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence. Psalm 91:1-3

1. BE AWARE OF THE SNARE. The devil is the enemy of our souls and he wants to keep us from doing God’s will. Just knowing there are snares to avoid puts us in touch with reality and reminds us that we can’t save ourselves. Thankfully, God is our deliverer! He is trustworthy and has a plan to protect and guide us.

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Jesus – Your Help

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2

HE IS YOUR ANSWER. Mountains represent whatever is looming in your life—they are images of problems or difficulties. So whatever you are dealing with, look at it and ask yourself, “Where does my help come from?” It comes from the Lord! He is your answer. He is your help. He will never leave you or forsake you.

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Lift Up Your Light

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16

1. LIFT UP YOUR EYES. Sometimes we put our noses to the grindstone trying to figure out the intricacies of a problem, when what we really need to do is take a step back and look to Jesus. When your eyes are focused on Him instead of on the problem, you aren’t denying reality—you are looking to the One who has the answer.

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Look at This

Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, the One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, not one of them is missing. Isaiah 40:26

1. LOOK AT THE STARS. When you look up at the clearest and brightest starry night, remember that God has named every single one of those stars. God told Abraham and Sarah, a senior childless couple, that He was going to create a nation through them as numerous as the stars in the sky. Abraham lifted up his eyes to a faithful God, and the Jewish nation was born out of that moment of obedience and faith.

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Walking with God

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Psalm 23:1-3

1. FIND REST. God has called us to a life that is different than it was before we knew Him—to a life of joy and abundance (John 10:10). If you’ve been distracted and things have gotten bland spiritually or you’ve been so filled with anxiety that you can’t rest, be assured that God wants to bring you into a place of focus and peace.

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Biblical People Skills

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Luke 6:35-36

1. DRIVEN BY LOVE. God is interested in our growth. He wants us to be relatable, loving, genuine, and effective through the course of our lives. When Jesus was on earth, He gave us an example of how to walk out this life — not driven by the dictates of our flesh, but by the promptings of the Holy Spirit and the direction of God’s Word.

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The Cure for Worry and Anxiety

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14

1. WATCH YOUR WORDS. Life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). If we guard our mouths, we can actually guard our soul from trouble and worry (Proverbs 21:23). We will have to give account for every careless word we speak (Matthew 12:36-37). So, let’s carefully consider our words, and speak life instead of worry and fear.

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How to Live Ready

For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:16-18

1. AVOID STRIFE. Strife is a weed and can quickly take over to become a lifestyle of resentment, jealousy, unforgiveness, and quarreling. But God is calling us to pull up any weeds of strife — forgiving quickly, resolving issues, walking in love, and stopping quarrels before they start (Proverbs 17:14).

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