Praise the Lord! I have a burden on my heart to encourage the saints of God who are dealing with disappointments and frustrations. This is a time when many of God's people are literally going through hell in their lives. Oftentimes, believers feel they are being punished or forsaken because they have problems. We often become discouraged and concerned when things are not perfect, fearing that we are somehow cursed or not pleasing God. Well, I believe God would have His people encouraged in 2005. While it is true that we reap what we sow, the mere presence of failures and frustrations in one's life are not at all indicative of a failed or strained relationship with God. We all have good days and bad ones. People of God, we are often "Hell Bent," but praise God that we are still Heaven Bound!
In this passage of Scripture, God refers to Job as a perfect and upright man. However, Satan challenges Him, accusing Job of living a righteous life only because of the blessings he receives from God. Satan cannot do anything to Job, or any of us, without God's permission, so the Father grants him the opportunity to tempt Job. Nevertheless, even the devil has restrictions. God forbids him to touch Job's life. The point here is that Job was upright in the eyes of God, yet he lost everything he had. Later in the book of Job, though, we learn that his loss is only for a season. In fact, he is restored everything he lost, plus more. Isn't that just like our God? People of God, if Satan is tempting you and you have lost some things in the battle, look for God to restore, in Jesus' name! Temptations and disappointments may have you "Hell Bent," but through His mercy, you are still Heaven Bound!
2 Corinthians 4:8-18
Hallelujah! The Word of God proclaims that we are broken, but never destroyed. Amen! Hell comes in our lives, but it doesn't contain us. We go through, but we will be victorious on the other side. Hallelujah! People of God, we will endure afflictions in this lifetime, but our glory in heaven will far exceed anything we experience in this life. "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers us out of them all."
It is so important to remember that while God allows us to be tempted of Satan, much like Job, our Father is not the one who tempts us. Instead, we are tempted by our own fleshly desires. Nevertheless, we are called to endure this temptation. When we do, the Bible says that we will be awarded the crown of life. Only temptation that is fulfilled leads to sin. Think it not strange when you are tempted, but flee all appearance of evil! You are a victor through Christ!
Many [are] the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
1 Corinthians 10:13
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].
1 Peter 5:8
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue [that] shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This [is] the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness [is] of me, saith the LORD.
In Psalm 23, David says, "though I walk through the shadow of death, I will fear no evil." I submit to you that David was in a dark place with a stench. Everything around him symbolized death and the loss of hope. Perhaps things in your life appear dead right now - your marriage, your finances, your prayer life, your self esteem. Nevertheless, God allowed him to acknowledge a shadow. Saints of God, a shadow cannot exist without life. Even in the valley, God shines a light on His people. No matter how bad things get, if you can see a shadow, God is present! If you can just say a word to that husband or that wife, you can see a shadow. You may not be able to pay the entire light bill, but if you can still buy bread to eat, there is a shadow. You may not feel that you're reaching heaven, but if you can just open the Word of God, there is a shadow. Perhaps you're not happy with your weight. Skip the elevator and take the stairs, in Jesus' name. There is a shadow! Do not be weary in well doing. In due season, we will reap, if we faint not (Galatians 6:9)! Due season is nigh. Count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations (James 1:2-12). God is just working patience in you. He is perfecting you. Endure, and you will receive the crown of life!
Be encouraged. God has said through his prophets that 2005 will be a year of increase for His people. Find the source of the shadow in your situation. Locate that one speck of light, and grab it. Expect great and mighty things. Your expectancy shapes your faith, and God moves based on your faith! Take heed, and seek the Lord while He may be found. Take inventory your life and be certain that your relationship with God is strong. Nevertheless, don't allow Satan's devices to discourage you. You are who God said you are, and what He has for you - it is for you, in Jesus' name!
Praise God, you are Hell Bent, but Heaven Bound, in Jesus' name. Rejoice and prepare your testimony!
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