Friday, May 29, 2009

GREETINGS IN THE PRECIOUS NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS

The following word was given to me by the Holy Spirit.  It is for those who need an answer to prayer, who need help in a time of trouble, and who are ready and willing to move God’s heart according to his Word:

 

1.  Lay hold of the covenant promise in Psalm 46:1: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”  The phrase “very present” means always available, immediately accessible.  Faith must rest in the assurance that God’s Spirit abides in you all hours of the day and night, continually.  And because he took up a habitation in you, he listens to your every prayerful thought and cry.  We know that if he hears us, he will grant our petitions.  Indeed, the Holy Spirit will move heaven and earth for any child of God who takes time to pour out his heart to the Father with unrushed, unhurried time in his presence.

 

2.  Read and believe Psalm 62:5-7.  This is the prayer of David that touched God’s heart.  David said, in essence, “Wait on God only.  Expect help from no other source.  He alone must be your provision, your only hope and defense.  Only he can supply you with the strength to keep going until your answer comes.”

 

When you become wholly dependent on the Lord alone – when you stop looking to man for help, and trust God for the supernatural – nothing will be able to shake you.  Nothing can move you into fits of despair.  David declared, “I shall not be moved” (Psalm 62:6).

 

3.  Here is the heart of it all, the secret to prevailing prayer that every saint throughout history has learned: THE POURING OUT OF THE HEART BEFORE THE LORD.  “Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us” (Psalm 62:8).  Hannah is our example.  Desperate for a child, she “poured out” her soul to the Lord.  And, Scripture says, “Her countenance was no more sad” (1 Samuel 1:18).

 

God will hear and answer you when he sees you’re willing to shut off all worldly voices for a season.  Cry out the contents of your heart, pour out your soul before him, and trust he will respond.  The time has come for brokenness before the Lord, for a faith born out of contrite intercession.  Follow these scriptural ways, and God will hear and answer. 

Thursday, May 28, 2009

CHRIST REIGNS!

Often people write to us saying, “I have no one to talk to, no one to share my burden with.  Nobody has time to hear my cry.  I need someone I can pour my heart out to.”

 

King David was surrounded by people.  He was married, with a large family, and had many companions at his side.  Yet we hear the same cry even from David: “To whom shall I go?”  It is in our very nature to want another human being, with a face, eyes and ears to listen to us and advise us.

 

When Job became overwhelmed by his trials, he cried out with grief:  “Oh that one would hear me!” (Job 31:35).  He uttered this cry while sitting before his so-called friends.  Yet those friends had no sympathy for Job’s troubles.  Instead, they were messengers of despair.

 

In his sorrow, Job turned only to the Lord: “Behold, my witness is in heaven, and my record is on high… Mine eye poureth tears unto God” (Job 16:19-20).  In the Psalms, David urged God’s people to do likewise: “Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us” (Psalm 62:8).  David also wrote in Psalm 142:

 

“I cried unto the Lord with my voice; with my voice unto the Lord did I make my supplication.  I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble.  When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, thou knewest my path.  In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me.  I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.  I cried unto thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living” (142:1-5). 

 

I believe in my heart this message is an invitation to you from the Holy Spirit to find a private place where you can frequently pour out your soul to the Lord.  David “poured out his complaint,” and so can you.  You can speak to Jesus about everything – your problems, your present trial, your finances, your health – and tell him how overwhelmed you are, even how discouraged you are.  He will hear you with love and sympathy, and he will not despise your cry. 

 

God answered David.  He answered Job.  And for centuries he has answered the heart-cry of everyone who has trusted his promises.  Likewise, he has promised to hear you and guide you.  Indeed, he has pledged by oath to be your strength.  Go to him, and you will come out renewed. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

GOD IS FAITHFUL AT ALL TIMES

Gwen and I recently spoke to a godly woman who has reached the end of her endurance.  This woman’s family has seen incredible suffering.  She wakes up each day with a black cloud of pain hanging over her home.  She has spent endless hours praying and calling on the Lord for help, and her friends have stood with her in intercession.

 

But month after month goes by, and things do not change.  Just when she sees a ray of hope, things go back to the way they were, yet everything is worse.  She hears a message or reads something that inspires her faith, and she tries to soldier on.  But now she is totally worn out.  She cries a lot.  She can hardly sleep.  She is far beyond asking why there is so much endless suffering and pain.  Now she is simply hoping to see a little light at the end of her dark tunnel of sorrow.

 

She told us, “I have come to the place where I feel I have the right to give up.  I’ve done everything God has asked me.  I have believed, I have sought him, I have been faithful in church and in reading his Word.  Yet I see no relief.  I feel alone and helpless, depressed.  I am numb because of the constant nagging thought that things will only get worse in spite of all my efforts to obey.  Now I have to fight this thought: ‘I have a right to feel as I do because I see no end to suffering.’”

 

We are praying diligently for her and her family.  We believe she will not faint in the battle and that the Lord will send her help and encouragement.  But what she has said in her despair truly touches something deep inside my soul.  Many godly believers have come to the same place of hopelessness, and in sorrow they also cry, “I have a right to quit the fight.  I have a right to be angry.  I have a right to question God.  When will he answer my cry?  Has the Lord passed me by?”

 

In Job’s despair, he cried, “(He) has destroyed me on every side, and I am gone: and my hope hath (he) removed like a tree… He counts me as one his of enemies” (Job 19:10-11).  Job then added: “He has fenced me in so I cannot pass, and he has set darkness in my paths” (19:8).

 

Does any of this sound familiar to you?  Is this your battle?  Is it the struggle of someone you know?  Beloved, God is merciful.  He will not turn from you in your trial.  He will not hold it against you for expressing such thoughts when you are down and hurting.  Job came out of his trial to a place of hope, and so will you.

 

“I go forward, but he is not there: and backward, but I cannot perceive him: on the left hand, where he does work, but I cannot behold him: he hides himself on the right hand, I cannot see him.  But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:8-10).  

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

MAY THE LOVE OF GOD SHINE UPON YOU

These words of Jesus touch my soul: “Be not therefore anxious, saying, what shall we eat?  Or what shall we drink?  Or how shall we be clothed?  For after all these things do the Gentiles seek” (Matthew 6:31-32).

 

Jesus is warning about the heathen tendency to worry.  He tells us that worry – over our job, our family, our future, our survival – is a heathen’s way of living.  It is the attitude of those who have no heavenly Father.  They do not know God as he desires to be known: as a caring, providing, loving Father in heaven.  To all who believe, it is not enough to know God only as the Almighty, the Creator, the Lord of all.  He also wants us to know him as our heavenly Father.  “For your heavenly Father knoweth that you have need of all these things” (verse 32).

 

“Take therefore no thought for tomorrow” (verse 34).  With these plain words, Jesus commands us: “Do not give a thought, a single worry, to what might or might not happen tomorrow.  You can’t change anything.  And you can’t help anything by worrying.  When you do, you’re only doing as the heathen do.” 

 

Jesus then says, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (verse 33).  In other words, we are to go on loving Jesus.  We are to move on, casting all our cares on him.  And we are to rest in his faithfulness.  Our heavenly Father will see to it that we are supplied with all the essential things of life.

 

I wonder if the angels are baffled by all the worry and anxiousness of those who claim to trust in the Lord.  To those celestial beings, it must seem insulting to God that we worry as if we had no caring Father in heaven.  What perplexing questions the angels must ask among themselves:

 

“Do they not believe the One who loves them?  Did he not tell them he knows about all their needs?  Do they not know the Father sends us to take charge of them in times of danger?  Do they not believe that he who feeds the birds, the fish, the whole animal kingdom will feed and clothe them?  How can they fret and worry when they know God possesses all power, all wealth, and can supply the needs of all creation?  How can they accuse their heavenly Father of neglect, as if he isn’t true to his Word?”

 

The birds sing, while we complain and speak of fear and anxiety.  The lilies of the field stand tall in their glory, while we wilt and bend before the smallest wind of adversity.  The following poem puts it succinctly:

 

The very birds reprove thee with all their happy song;

the very flowers teach thee that fretting is a wrong. 

“Cheer up,” the sparrow chirpeth.  “Thy Father feedeth me;

think how much he careth, oh lovely child, for thee.” 

“Fear not,” the flowers whisper; “since thus he hath arrayed

the buttercup and daisy.  How canst thou be afraid?” 

Then don’t you trouble, till trouble troubles you. 

You’ll only double trouble, and trouble others too.

 

You most definitely have a heavenly Father.  Trust in him!  

Monday, May 25, 2009

GOD HAS NEVER, EVER FAILED US

No matter what happens to the economy, no matter what crisis we face, no matter what sorrow or trouble may come our way – OUR BLESSED LORD IS LEADING AND CARING FOR US EVERY STEP OF THE WAY.

 

God had to finally disown those he delivered out of Egypt, because they doubted and limited him after having been so miraculously coddled in his loving arms.  It isn’t simply that God would like for us to trust him in difficult times – he demands it.  This is why Scripture so strongly warns us against unbelief.  We are told it grieves the Lord and shuts us off from every blessing and good work he has promised.  Our unbelief makes every promise “of no effect.”

 

For us in New York City, this is not a dead theology.  We have to practice what we preach just to survive each day.  If we did not fully trust the Lord’s promises and rely on Jesus with all that is in us, we would freeze up with fear and panic.  The streets here are like war zones; people live constant fear and danger, and bystanders are murdered left and right.  Our costs to care for those we minister to are heavy, and the needs of hurting people are so enormous.  IF WE DID NOT REST IN GOD’S STEADFAST PROMISES, WE WOULD BE OVERWHELMED. 

 

But we are not overwhelmed – we are not afraid.  As the problems grow worse, we grow stronger in the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Friday, May 22, 2009

MAY GOD GIVE YOU PEACE AND REST IN YOUR HEART

I believe in miracles! 

 

There is a mother in our church choir who has been praying for her son for years.  He had fallen deep into sin as a teenager.  She prayed, “God, whatever it takes, save him.”  Instead of turning to Christ, he became a Muslim.  For the next seven years, he buried himself in that devilish doctrine.  But his mother kept praying.  Islam sent the boy into a deep depression.  In his awful despair, he jumped from a six-story building, hoping to kill himself.  Instead, he landed on his feet, crushing a number of bones – and he survived.  Last Sunday, he limped onto our stage and told how Jesus Christ miraculously saved him.  His mother sat in the choir, praising God and remembering her many tears and hours in prayer.  God heard her cry.

 

Thank God for miracles today!

 

A teenage boy in our church spoke of praying that God would use him in his high school, which is located near Ground Zero and the demolished Twin Towers.  He and a friend began to stand outside the school every day, praying out loud.  Some mocked them, but others began to join them.  It led to the school permitting them to conduct Bible classes in the school.  The young man is so overjoyed, and now some teachers are attending.  He said, “Can you imagine God using a scared, little nobody like me?  God still does miracles.”

 

Thank God, he is still the miracle worker!

 

A young man in prison wrote us a letter that moved me deeply.  Talk about miracles!  Here is what he wrote, word for word:

 

“David, I receive your sermons through the mail.  I am one of the school shooters.  I’m the one they blame for starting it all off.  On October 1, 1997, I went into Pearl High School and killed two students and wounded seven.  I also killed my mother before this.  After I came to jail I got saved.  If there is any way that I can help your ministry, I would love to.  Maybe I could give you my testimony.  I’ll do anything to help.  I look forward to your sermons each month…”

 

Yes, I believe in miracles!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

SATAN HAS NO RIGHT TO HARASS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. TRUST GOD FOR YOUR DELIVERANCE!

God releases his awesome delivering power to those who completely trust him.   Those who “stagger” in faith, fretting and worrying, will never be delivered from the snare of Satan.

 

The answer is simple, yet many of us just don’t get it.  We go on living in turmoil and fear, while at our fingertips are all the precious promises needed to set us free from crises in this life.  God hates our unbelief, mostly because it ties his hands and keeps us from enjoying his glorious provision.  Make it a priority each day to pray, “Lord, help my unbelief.  Give me childlike trust in you.”

 

WE COULD NOT GO ON HERE IN NEW YORK CITY WITHOUT COMPLETE TRUST IN THE LORD.  The problems are too overwhelming.  Millions of people are living in overcrowded conditions.  The city is going wild with violence, drugs, murder, homicides, a new strain of TB that is airborne, the plague of AIDS.

 

Our workers who minister every day to the diseased street people and homeless who carry these diseases are not afraid.  They trust the Lord to protect them and to strengthen them in this work.

 

I thank God for allowing us to be his channels in raising up a thriving church on Broadway, with thousands of lives being touched.  But we did not come to New York City simply to build a church.  We came to do what Jesus would have done: to minister to the poor, the hungry, the homeless, the addicted, the worst among sinners.

 

We rejoice that God is enabling us to bring Christ’s redeeming gospel to many who once were considered hopeless by every human measure.  A small army has already been saved from the streets, and every day more and more are being rescued. 

 

GOD IS PROVING HIS POWER OVER ALL THE DESTRUCTIVE FORCES OF HELL.  And he will show his power on your behalf, too, in the trial you are facing.  Amen! 

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

THE LORD BLESS AND KEEP YOU

I pray diligently over these messages, and while praying about what the Lord would have me write in this one, the Holy Spirit whispered clearly: “Encourage God’s people.  Tell them how much they are loved by the Lord and how greatly he delights in his children.”

 

I believe this is a special word for many reading this message.  You need to hear deep within, at this very hour, that the Lord is going to keep you, and that in your present hour of testing he delights in you.  Here is the text I believe you need to receive as a personal word from him right now:

 

“My son (daughter), despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction: for whom the Lord correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth” (Proverbs 3:11-12). 

 

Even if what you are going through right now is loving discipline, remember it is a sure sign your Father loves you and delights in you.  If you will receive this word – that he deeply loves you and rejoices over you – you will know all things are working out for your good, and that your steps are truly being ordered by him.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I PRAY YOU ARE ENJOYING THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD

There is a text in the original Hebrew that has blessed me greatly, and I want to share it with you.  “When designing pursuers approached me, who are far from thy law; then you, O Jehovah, wast near with all thy faithful commandments” (Psalm 119:150-151, Helen Spurrell Translation). 

 

Demonic principalities and powers had surrounded David, trying to bring him and Israel to ruin and destruction.  Yet this man of God testified that as the enemy drew near, he trusted the Lord to draw even nearer.  David said that God held him by his right hand, walking him through every enemy assault.

 

Here in David’s testimony is a wonderful promise for you and me.  We can be sure Satan is out to destroy, harass and pull down all who love the Lord.  The enemy will do all within his power to bring us into a pit of despair, confusion, guilt and condemnation.

 

Do you have any satanic, “designing pursuers” coming against you right now?  Overwhelming temptations?  Trials?  Financial burdens?  Marriage or family problems?  Business problems?  When your pursuers come near you with a design to destroy you, take heart: the Lord God Almighty is even nearer.  He is at your side – and if he is near you, he will act on your behalf.  I cannot imagine God being near any child of his and yet sitting by allowing the devil to abuse or corrupt his beloved in any way.

 

Read Psalm 68:1-4 and see what God has promised to do for you, if you will but trust him.  You can claim these four verses for now and throughout the year.  Memorize these verses, stand on them, and God will put your enemies to chase.

Monday, May 18, 2009

REJOICE IN THE LORD AND BE GLAD!

In the book of Jude, we read of a future day so wicked and vile, God will come with ten thousands of his saints to execute judgment for all ungodly deeds.  Jude prophesied men would be given over to their filthy lusts, becoming mockers, sensual, “foaming out their own shame” (Jude 13).  These would comprise a society of corrupt fornicators going after “strange flesh,” referring to pandemic homosexuality.

 

Today, America is not the only nation casting aside all moral restraint.  The moral landslide is worldwide, and it is becoming very evident that Satan is retching the abominations of hell upon humankind.  It is a time, we are warned in Scripture, when the devil will try to seduce God’s elect.

 

Jude looked ahead into those awful, wicked times and saw something else, something most inspiring and miraculous.  In the midst of all the immorality and mounting degradation, he witnessed a people “sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called” (Jude 1).

 

No matter how corrupt this world becomes in the days ahead – no matter how devilish the media, TV and movies become, no matter how much devil worship increases, no matter how far homosexuals force their agenda on society, no matter if the devil himself walks our streets – God is going to preserve his children.  He is going to preserve for himself a sanctified, holy people.  He will keep them from the wicked one, and they will become strong in faith and devotion, while the ungodly race toward destruction.

 

Hear the word of the Lord: “The very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).

 

David said, “The Lord forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever” (Psalm 37:28).  “When the wicked walk on every side…thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever” (Psalm 12:7-8).

 

Let this prayer of the apostle Paul be yours and mine in the evil, troubled times ahead: “The Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom” (2 Timothy 4:18). 

 

Rejoice!  God has covenanted to keep and preserve those who fully trust him. 

Friday, May 15, 2009

GREETINGS IN CHRIST’S PRECIOUS NAME

Just as I was preparing to write this message, the Holy Spirit spoke clearly to me: “Edify the people.  Bless them with my Word.”  I responded, “Lord, I would love to, but what do you want to say?  You must impress deeply upon my spirit the right word for these times.”

 

Here is what I received from the Lord.  I hope you will receive it and be truly edified.  Perhaps you are the very one whom God has prepared to receive such a word of encouragement at this particular time:

 

  • God desires that you believe what he has spoken to you, especially about healing and guidance.  (See John 4:48-50.)

Jesus told a nobleman his son was going to be healed.  “The man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way.”  This man believed the Lord’s word, and his son was healed that same hour. 

 

  • The Lord is going to answer your heart-cry according to the multitude of his tender mercies.  His timing is perfect, so be patient.  (See Psalm 69:13-14, 16-18, 32-33.)

In this passage you must substitute “demonic power” for “enemies.”  Your real enemy is Satan, who hates your continued hunger for a closer walk with the Lord.

  • Here is a very specific word for you personally.  Yes, a number of people will receive this same word in my message here, but the Holy Spirit has a way of applying God’s Word in different ways to many believers.

Go to Psalm 145.  Before you read it, pray that the Holy Spirit will speak to you directly in a verse or two.  I know the Lord spoke this to my heart, that you are going to be edified in Psalm 145.

 

(Verse 14 is one that has been pinpointed to me for you, but the Spirit may pinpoint others to you also.)

 

May God give you much Holy Ghost fight, to resist the devil and put him to flight. 

Thursday, May 14, 2009

MAY THE PEACE OF GOD RULE IN YOUR HEART

The Spirit has been making it so clear to me that all my praying is totally in vain unless I pray in faith.  I could weep, fast, intercede, agonize and travail in prayer, yet make no impact with the Lord at all – unless I was doing it all with simple, childlike faith.

 

God will not act on our behalf without faith.  The Word says, “Let not that man [the doubter] think he shall receive anything from God” (James 1:7). 

 

The Lord commands us to trust him.  Yet often we have so little confidence in him, so little faith in his willingness and desire to answer our heart-cry.  When we get to heaven, we will be amazed to discover all the blessings, peace and power we had at our disposal but did not appropriate because of our weak faith.

 

I AM GREATLY MOVED UPON BY THE HOLY SPIRIT TO CHALLENGE YOU TO INCREASE YOUR FAITH.  Ask the Lord to forgive your unbelief and to flood your soul with confidence in his willingness to over-answer your sincere prayers.

 

Do you want an increase faith?  When you go to prayer again, use the following Scriptures to reason with the Lord.  He will not deny his own Word.  Lay hold upon these:

 

·         Psalm 62:8

·         Psalm 91:4

·         Psalm 56:3

·         Proverbs 30:5

·         Jeremiah 29:10-14

 

Hold on by faith!  He will answer you, and soon.  

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

GREETINGS IN THE WONDERFUL NAME OF THE LORD

I have been meditating for the past few days on Psalms 142 and 143.  I recommend you take the time to read these powerful Psalms to encourage your faith.

 

I was interested in what David was going through when he said, “When my spirit was overwhelmed in me, then you knew my path” (142:3).  He repeats this in verse 143:4, “My spirit is overwhelmed in me; my heart within me is desolate.”  David is actually saying to God, “I am drowning in trouble.  I am under attack by my enemies.  It is bringing me low.”  He cried to the Lord, “Hear my cry, for I am brought very low… Bring my soul out of this prison” (142:6-7).

 

Beloved, these words are written for our sake, for our instruction.  Here is encouragement for all of God’s people who are overwhelmed by troubles and afflictions.  Some are drowning in financial troubles, overwhelmed with debt.  Multitudes of precious believers can hardly make ends meet.  Many widows and elderly couples are barely making it.

 

Often I have been accused of being too gloomy, too negative.  People say nobody wants to hear bad news, that they turn off any preacher who talks about pain, suffering and troubles.  But the truth is, most of us live in a world where life can be absolutely overwhelming at times.  Like David, we face a flood of troubles; we are afflicted even in our righteousness.  We endure sickness, death of loved ones, times of confusion, not knowing what to do next.  We face hellish attacks of Satan against our faith.

 

It is in our overwhelming times we learn to seek God and learn to cry out in our pain.  David said, “I poured out my complaint before him, I showed before him my trouble” (142:2).  “In thy faithfulness answer me” (143:1).  Are you even now overwhelmed by circumstances in your life?   Do what David did:

 

  • “I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsts after thee, as a thirsty land” (143:6).

  • “Hide not your face from me… Cause me to hear your loving kindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul to you” (143:7-8).

  • “Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies: I flee to you to hide me.  Teach me to do your will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.  Quicken me, O Lord, for thy name’s sake: for thy righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble” (143:9-11).

Be encouraged.  God has everything under control!  He will meet your need right on time. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

YOUR BATTLE IS THE LORD’S (see 2 Chronicles 20:15)

The reason I am writing this is to remind you the battle you are facing is not yours, but God’s.  If you are a child of his, you can be certain that Satan will “rage against you.”

 

In 2 Chronicles 20, a great multitude came against God’s people.  King Jehoshaphat and his people set their hearts to seek the Lord and to fast.  The king cried out to God a prayer that most of us have prayed at times in our spiritual journey: “We have no might against these that come against us, neither do we know what to do; but our eyes are upon you” (20:12).  “The Spirit of God came in the midst of the congregation…saying, Be not afraid nor dismayed…for the battle is not yours, but God’s (20:14-15).

 

Isaiah gave this warning to all satanic forces: “Who have you reproached and blasphemed?  And against whom have you exalted your voice?... Even against the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 37:23).

 

God told his people Israel, and he tells us today: “The battle is not against you.  It is Satan’s rage against me, the Lord who abides in you.”  God said to Satan, “I know where you abide, and where you come and go, and your rage against me” (37:28).

 

I ask you: where is your battle?  In your marriage?  Your business or job?  Your finances?  Your health?  Does your battle get more intense day after day?  If you have a heart for Jesus and a desire to cleave to him, you will face the rage of hell.  But that is still not your battle.

 

You can end your battle quickly if you choose – simply by quitting and giving in to your fears and doubts.  Satan will not bother those who give up their confidence in the Lord.

 

Yes, the battle is the Lord’s, but we have a part – and that is to trust and believe his promises in the face of hopelessness and what seem to be impossibilities.  “Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God?” (Isaiah 40:27).

 

Faith demands that I turn over all my problems – all my critical situations, all my fears, all my anxieties – into the hand of the Lord.  When I have done all I can do, and I know my battle is beyond my power, I must submit all into his hands.

 

Our Lord knows the raging of Satan, and we must truly believe he will act.  He will bring us through floods and fires and put to chase all spiritual enemies.  Here is God’s Word concerning what he will do: “Because of your rage against me…it has come into my ears, therefore I will put a hook in your nose, and my bridle in your lips, and I will turn you back by the way you came” (Isaiah 37:29).

 

If you will hold fast to your faith – trusting him, resting in his promises, rejecting all lies of Satan coming into your mind – then expect God to come by his Spirit into your situation and bring an expected end to your particular battle.  He will move heaven and earth to deliver you and make a way.  The way out is to trust, trust, trust!  “He makes wars to cease” (Psalm 46:9). 

Monday, May 11, 2009

MAY THE PEACE OF GOD ABIDE IN YOU

A Christian woman approached me recently with a rather emotional countenance and asked me if I had heard the latest news report.  It was about an upheaval in Pakistan.  “Can you believe what is happening?” she asked.  “Every day is a bad-news day.  Pakistan has nuclear capacity.  Terrorists could take over and some mad Ayatollah could launch us into nuclear war.”  Shaking her head, she said, “I am really scared.  Things are spinning out of control.”

 

Right now, people are fearful all over the world.  We are seeing the fulfillment of Jesus’ warning, that a day would come when men’s hearts fail for fear as they witness the things coming on the earth.

 

Those who have received my monthly messages know that in recent years I have cried out warnings about the coming housing crisis.  I warned a crash was imminent.  Yet I preached it with tears.

 

Now let me give you a clear word from God’s heart, a word of encouragement.  In spite of all the frightening news, God still has everything under control.

 

Here is the Word we believers must stand upon as the storm rages around us, words given to us by Jesus: “Let not your hearts be troubled, neither be afraid” (John 14:27).  These are troubling times.  But in such times the Word of God becomes our strength and hope.

 

  • “The Lord will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.  They that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee” (Psalm 9:9-10).

  • In the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock” (Psalm 27:5).

I believe the most fearful, troubling days are still ahead.  And I see nothing but growing despair for those who are not daily in God’s Word and praying and talking to the Lord.  It is his Word that lifts our spirits and produces faith.  Discipline yourself now to open your Bible in the morning and start your day getting encouraged with his precious promises.  Then talk to the Lord, even as you prepare for the day.  Ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen your faith and hope.

 

There is one Scripture I repeat many times each day.  I urge you also to claim it and believe it: “Cast all your care upon him, for he careth for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

Friday, May 8, 2009

TO GOD BE ALL PRAISE AND GLORY

As I sat at my desk asking the Lord how I could bless you, I was moved simply to give you something from his Word.

 

I offer the following Scriptures, trusting that at least one of them will be a word just for you.  I know God is faithful to send us a special word when we so need it.  And I believe there is something here especially for you.

 

  1. Psalm 32:6-8: “For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.  Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance.  I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.”

  1. Psalm 31:6-8: “I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the Lord.  I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities; and hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room.”

  1. Psalm 41:1-3: “Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.  The Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.  The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.”

  1. Psalm 31:1, 5: “In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness….  Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.”

  1. Psalm 56:8, 9, 11: “Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?  When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.  In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.”

  1. Psalm 86:17: “Show me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, Lord, hast helped me, and comforted me.”

  1. Psalm 88:1-3: “O Lord God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee: let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry, for my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave.”

Please underline the Scripture portion that the Spirit witnesses is yours.  Believe it!  God has sent it to you today. 

Thursday, May 7, 2009

WE THANK GOD FOR HIS MANIFOLD MERCIES AND LOVINGKINDNESS

I am led by the Holy Spirit to write to you about God opening shut doors.  Someone reading this message will relate immediately to this, because you face one or more closed doors.  There it is, right in your face, a door that seems to be continually locked.  It could be a serious financial situation, and you’ve prayed for the door of some opportunity to open.  Yet everything you try seems to fail; the doors simply don’t open.

 

I don’t know what your closed door may be, but for many it seems both the windows and doors of heaven are closed.  The heavens seem as brass, and you can’t seem to get through.  This closed door I am speaking about is some issue, some situation, some need you’ve been praying much about.  It may be a crisis that requires nothing less than a miracle.  And you haven’t yet received an answer to your fervent prayers and petitions to the Lord.

 

In Revelation, Christ refers to himself as HE THAT OPENS AND SHUTS DOORS (3:7).  This was in a letter sent to the believers in ancient Philadelphia, a church the Lord complimented for having kept the word of his patience and never denying his name.  Simply put, in their most trying times, these people stood faithfully on God’s Word.  They did not accuse the Lord of neglecting them or turning a deaf ear to their cries.

 

Evidently, Satan had come against them with lies.  His principalities and powers of darkness, lying spirits pouring out of the very bowels of hell, say that God has shut every door, that he isn’t worthy of worship and faith.  But these believers, whom Jesus said were of little strength, kept on trusting, waiting patiently for God to put the key in the door and open it.  He holds the key to every shut door – and he alone sets before us open doors.

 

Here is what the Lord promised them, and it is our promise as well:

 

“Because you have kept the word of my patience [you did not give up in your trial], I also will keep you from the hour of temptation which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth” (3:10).

 

This hour of temptation is even now upon us.  It holds incredible tests of faith so great and so fiery that many will fall into deadly unbelief.  Indeed, a great falling away from enduring faith is now upon the whole world.

 

But you – because you still trust his promises, and are willing to die in faith even if you do not see the promises fulfilled – you will be kept from this worldwide temptation to fall into unbelief.  God has heard your cry, and he knows the timing, the very hour, to open all doors.  So, never give up.  Never doubt.  Stand on his promises.  He will not fail you.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

PRAISE GOD FOR HIS TENDER MERCIES

I have a short message for those who are experiencing a painful, overwhelming situation.  I am not speaking to those who now enjoy a time of rest from suffering, who are not in any kind of pain or sorrow.  Thank God for those times of quiet rest.

 

Rather, I receive so many letters from precious followers of Jesus who are living with incredible inner sorrow and crisis situations: divorce, children on drugs or in jail, the death of a spouse.  A woman who is so in love with the Lord grieves over the death of three of her children, who suffocated in a fire.  A pastor grieves for his wife, who left him and his children for a lesbian lover.  It goes on and on, as so many godly people are burdened with grief and pain.

 

I have a message for you who suffer sorrow, who grieve or live with pain.  In Psalm 40, David cried, “Innumerable evils have compassed me about… Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me: O Lord, make haste to help me” (Psalm 40:12-13).  “Let all those that seek you rejoice and be glad in thee… But I am poor and needy; the Lord thinketh upon me; thou art my help and my deliverer; do not tarry, O my Lord” (40:16-17). 

 

I have been so blessed and comforted by this one line in verse 17: “The Lord thinketh upon me.”  Imagine that.  The Lord God who created all things, the God of this universe, is thinking about me

 

Even now, at this very hour, his thoughts are about you, in your hour of need.

 

When Israel was captive in Babylon, mourning over the loss of homes and families, enduring grief and trouble, God sent word to them through Jeremiah: “For I know my thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11).  God said to his people, “Your nightmare is going to end.  I have only good, loving thoughts toward you, and if you seek me with all your heart, you will find me” (see Jeremiah 29:11-13).

 

God is not mad at you.  Saintly people do get afflicted, so do not waver in your trust in him.  In times of stress and feelings of loneliness and regrets, go to prayer.  Pour your heart out to the Lord.  He is thinking of you – and he is at work for you.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

THE LOVE OF GOD FOR HIS PEOPLE NEVER FAILS

While reading Psalm 13, I was impressed to send you a few words of encouragement I have gleaned from this blessed chapter.

 

David penned the words contained in this Psalm.  He asked, “How long will you forget me, Lord?  Forever?  How long will you hide your face from me?  How long shall I have sorrow in my heart daily?  How long will the enemy be exalted over me?”

 

It sounds as if David felt that God had altogether left him to suffer, to wake up each day with a black cloud hanging over him.  For a season, David spoke out of despair: “God, will this feeling of isolation go on forever?  When will my prayers be answered?”

 

When troubles assail us though we know we love the Lord – when deliverance seems distant and hopeless – we sink under the pressure.  Right now, someone reading these words is sinking under the awful pressure of a situation that seems to be unsolvable.  They are on the verge of total despair, hoping a calm will come if only for a break in their trial.

 

In the midst of his own trial, David asked, “How long shall I take counsel in my soul?”  He had formed one plan after another, trying to devise ways out of his trouble – but all his plans, all arrangements, had failed.  Now he had nothing else to think of, no workable solution.  He was at the end of it all.

 

How upsetting it is to see a ray of hope, a bit of sunshine, but then despair once again sets in.  Keep in mind, this all happened to a godly man, someone after God’s heart.  David was a man who testified of having great trust in the Lord.  Yet, like us, David went through hard times, as he describes in this Psalm.

 

How did David arise from this pit of despair?  “I will trust in your mercy… I will sing.”

 

Let me share with you reasons to keep trusting your way through your present trials:

 

  • No matter how the storms may rage, our precious Lord will still be feeding the fowls of the air, dressing the lilies of the field, and supplying an ocean full of fish with their daily needs.  “Your heavenly Father feedeth them…”  Not one bird ever falls to the ground without the Father’s eye upon it.

  • What kind of Father would feed all the creatures of the earth and yet neglect his children?  Jesus exhorted us to “give no thought” to everyday needs and problems, “for he careth for you.”

Truly, the Lord loves you, and he will not turn a deaf ear to your cries.  Hold on to his promises.  Move on in faith.  Wait on him patiently.  He will never fail you.

Monday, May 4, 2009

WE EXALT THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD!

Somebody reading this needs a touch from Jesus.  When the Lord ministered here on earth, he went about healing and restoring the afflicted by simply touching them.  When Jesus touched Peter’s mother, “the fever left her.”  He touched the box casket of a dead child, and the boy came to life.  He touched the eyes of blind people, and they could see.  He touched the ear of a deaf man, who could suddenly hear.  Parents brought their children to Jesus “that he should touch them.”  His gentle touch changed everything.  Multitudes brought their sick and infirm, and Jesus took the time to reach out and touch them all, healing them.

 

If you truly know the Lord intimately, you have known and felt the touch of the hand of Jesus.  In times of loneliness, times of discouragement, times of confusion, times so painful and uncertain, you cried out from the depth of your soul: “Lord Jesus, I need your touch.  I need to feel your presence.  Come, Jesus, and touch my thirsting soul.”

 

Some need a touch of Jesus upon their mind.  Satan has come with his wicked principalities to harass and overburden the mind with thoughts that are hellish – unbelieving thoughts, unChristlike thoughts, fearful thoughts, thoughts of unworthiness, thoughts of God’s displeasure.  Honest believers will tell you they have experienced these attacks on their mind.  Satan is determined to destroy our faith and dependence on the Lord.

 

In Scripture, the touch of Jesus came in answer to a cry.  There is no evidence he ever ignored or rejected such a cry.  And he will not turn away from your cry, but will mercifully respond to your need.  In Matthew 8 we read of a leper coming to him, saying, “Lord, if thou will, thou canst make me clean.”  Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be thou clean.  And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.”

 

Find a place alone with Jesus today, and say to him what the leper said: “Lord, you are able.  Make me clean.”  Then expect that he who is no respecter of persons will touch and heal you, in mind, body, soul and spirit.  The arm of the Lord is outstretched to you, but he waits for that cry of need, the cry for help that is also a cry of expectancy.

 

“And the Egyptians evil entreated us, and afflicted us, and laid upon us hard bondage; and when we cried unto the Lord God of our father, the Lord heard our voice, and looked on our affliction, and our labour, and our oppression: and the Lord brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great terribleness, and with signs, and with wonders: and he that brought us into this place, and hath given us this land, even a land that floweth with milk and honey” (Deuteronomy 26:6-9). 

Friday, May 1, 2009

GOD BLESS AND KEEP YOU IN PEACE

The Holy Spirit prompted me to read Exodus 12, which contains the account of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt. 

 

On the door of every Israelite home, the blood of a lamb was stricken on the two side-posts and lintel.  This was to protect God’s people from the passing angel of death.  When the day came, a multitude of Israelites marched out of captivity, including 600,000 men plus women and children.  “The self same day…all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt” (Exodus 12:41).

 

In the next chapter, I stopped at verse 3, which reads: “For by strength of hand the Lord brought you out from this place” (Exodus 13:3).  God’s people were delivered by the Lord’s strength alone, not by human means.

 

David declares, “God is my strength and power: and maketh my way perfect… He sent from above, he took me; he drew me out of many waters; he delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them that hated me: for they were too strong for me…He is a buckler [protector] to all them that trust in him” (Samuel 22:33, 17, 18, 31).

 

Our faith and strength may grow weak, but in our times of weakness God has given us marvelous promises to renew and strengthen us:

 

  • “Thou hast girded me with strength to battle” (2 Samuel 22:40).

  • “They that stumbled are girded with strength” (1 Samuel 2:4).

  • “The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace” (Psalm 29:11).

  • “The God of Israel is he that giveth strength and power unto his people.  Blessed be God” (Psalm 68:35).

  • “Forsake me not when my strength faileth… I will go in the strength of the Lord God” (Psalm 71:9, 16).

  • “Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee… They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God” (Psalm 84:5, 7).

Beloved, do you believe our God is strong?  If he is strong, no power can stand before him.  Therefore, commit everything into his mighty hand of strength and power.  He will make a way.  Most of all, believe this word: “In the day when I cried you answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul” (Psalm 138:3).

 

God love and bless you.