Stand firm

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
2 Corinthians 1:20-22

I know that the Lord’s promises are yes and amen but sometimes when those promises seem to be taking a little longer to come than I had anticipated I start to feel unsure, I start to waver. It is in these times that I need to remember to stand firm, to stand firm even when the promises seem to be taking a while.

I cannot do it out of my own strength, God is the one who makes me stand firm.

He created me to be strong and courageous and to not shrink back, to stand firm and believe that His promises are yes and amen. It doesn’t say that His promises are now, whenever you like or in my own timing but they are still a yes.

When I feel that I am beginning to waver I remember that God has anointed me, He has set his seal of ownership upon me and put His Spirit in my heart (verse 21 & 22). It does not matter what is happening or what I am waiting for I am still Gods precious daughter, I am chosen, I am loved and I will be taken care of.

This song has been chasing me all week as I process the current situation I find myself in. I am in a situation where I am waiting for God to provide for my family and me in a big way. The odds seem against us and we need a creative miracle. As I am waiting on the Lord to speak, to show me the way, to provide, these lyrics have been constantly running through my mind…

Such a journey walking with you now, when I don’t know what steps to take, when I don’t know the moves to make, this one thing I can’t escape, Your love.
When I don’t have the words to say, when I can’t seem to find my way, this one thing I can’t escape, It’s Your love.

God’s love is what makes me firm. He loves me like a perfect Father and He will sustain me. To know the love of the Father is all that I need to stand firm. He loves me so much that He sent me His Spirit. The Holy Spirit comforts me, guides me, and strengthens me. God is with me always… from the mountain to the valley, from the desert to the raging sea, and in the silence or the city streets, Your presence always covers me.

I don’t have the answers for everything; why there is a delay to the thing that I am waiting on I do not know, but the one thing I do know is that God loves me. He is a good God and in Him everything will be ok. Whether I am here or there I am still anointed as His, I am still loved and in His love I can stand firm.

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God is good : part three

You delight in showing mercyJesus reveals God the Fathers perfect goodness. In the pages of the scriptures we can see Jesus and the outworking of His goodness. Jesus rescues, heals and speaks truth to the broken.

In the book of John chapter eight we read about Jesus and the woman who  had been caught in the act of adultery

…. but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.  Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

“No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8: 1-11)

This event is a perfect example of the outworking of Jesus goodness. The woman had been caught in sin and the religious leaders of the time think that it is God’s plan for her to die because of what she has done. They stand in judgement of her and want to carry out a death sentence by throwing stones at her. They claimed to have known God and believe that this is what He wanted them to do to her.

The religious leaders dragged the woman before Jesus and make their case. Jesus gives them permission to kill the woman but he says “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” (Romans 8:7)

Jesus is saying that they can follow through with their judgment and stone her, but only the one who is without sin can carry out that sentence, only that person has the right to judge her.

Nobody there could even lift a stone to throw. I could only imagine that there would have been a hushed silence that fell upon the crowd as the realization set in. The only person who had the right to judge her was Jesus himself, He was the only one without sin. And the only one who can kill her, forgives her instead. He showed her mercy, mercy triumphs over judgement.

Would you wanted to have thrown stones at the woman? Remember these words, the only one who can kill her forgives her instead.

As followers of Jesus, we should be the kind of people who are like Him – living in His goodness, reproducing His goodness and showing love to everybody. We should be seeking to be a reflection of Him, mirroring His love and affection towards others.

When we read the word of God we come with our own ideas of what goodness is but we need to let who Jesus was define the goodness of God. We need to read what Jesus did throughout the scriptures and invite Him to settle the issue of Gods goodness forever in our hearts.

And when the matter of God is good is settled in our hearts then when we experience hard times or difficult circumstances our faith does not waver. We will have a deep understanding that God is good, all the time, even in the midst of our terrible circumstances God is still good and will work ALL things for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28)

 

God is good : part two

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,who have been called according to his purpose

God is good and He will never stop doing good for us. We know that God is faithful and that His word is the truth so on this promise we can stand firm. I love this verse in Jeremiah…

I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me. I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul. Jeremiah 32:40-41

God rejoices when He gets to do good things for us. It is His greatest joy to do so and He delights in it. When attacks from the enemy come the Lord rejoices. He rejoices because He gets to step in and do good for you.

The enemy is always going to come and seek to destroy. The enemy’s ultimate goal is to drive a wedge between us and the Father and a lot of the time he succeeds. He is successful because we are too busy focusing on the negative things that are happening to us and asking the question “why does God let this happen?”.

Instead we should know that the enemy will come to separate us from the Father BUT the Father delights in being able to come and do good for us in those situations. It is up to us to turn from what the enemy is doing and to look for what God is doing in that circumstance.

We need to remember and retell the good things that the Lord has done for us. God is able and He is willing to do it again, again and again. Lets give all the glory to the Lord for His goodness and not put the attention on the schemes of the enemy.

Ask the Lord to help you align your perspective with His so you can see His goodness and then expect to see His goodness all around you.

God is good : part one

God is good. So many people struggle with this, they struggle to reconcile the God of the old testament with the God of the new. The revelation that God is good and that He is in a good mood was very life changing for me. To see Him with a smile on His face every time I approach Him and every time I read the bible has just increased my desire to know Him more, to love Him more and to be living in His perfect will.

The old testament often trips us up when we are thinking of God as a good God, but I choose to see the times that God showed up time and time again to redeem His people.

Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the Lord. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.” Exodus 34:5-7

This is the perfect example of Gods goodness, He reveals himself to Moses in the midst of his chaos. Moses had cried out to Him and the Lord answered him. God reveals His goodness to Moses, God is compassionate, gracious and slow to anger, He abounds in love and faithfulness and He loves and forgives us when we rebel or when we have sinned. The guilty will have to live with the consequences of their sin but He still loves and still forgives.

Choose to look for Gods goodness in the chaos. Even in the old testament God was still good it is just that we always tend to focus on all the negative things and not on the positive things that are happening. We need to not focus on the punishment they received but on His goodness.

We get hung up on that last line…he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation”.

But instead we should be hung up, zeroed in and placing all our focus and attention on the fact that… the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin”

God wants us to know that we will have to live with the consequences from the choices we make but more importantly is that He wants us to know that He is good. Always.