Hope

Called to be Fishermen of Men (Part III)

Fishermen understand that to be successful in fishing, they need different kinds of baits depending on the type of fish they are trying to catch.  Similarly, when we try to reach people for Jesus we need to be sensitive to people’s needs and not assume that every person can be reached the same way. The Apostle Paul said that he became all things to all people, so they can be saved (See 1Corinthians 9:22b). …

Navigating through Uncertain Times (Part II)

The word of God is full of hope and reassurance for our daily lives, and some of the passages such as Psalm 33 are powerful in navigating through uncertain times.

Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous!
For praise from the upright is beautiful.
2 Praise the Lord with the harp;
Make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings.
3 Sing to Him a new song;
Play skillfully with a shout of joy.

To read the entire passage click here: Psalm 33

Fight the Good Fight (Part II)

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. Matthew 11:12 

How do we fight the good fight of faith!? Jesus told us that it would not be easy and that it would require us to exert a force in the direction of God’s Kingdom. To possess God’s promises for us, we not only need to believe them, but we also need to act on them and live them out!

In the Lord’s prayer, Jesus taught his disciples to pray that they would not be led in temptation but to be delivered from evil. If we are going to take possession of what God has already bought for us through the precious blood of Jesus, we need to remain alert to the enemy’s devices. If we fall into temptations or offenses, we open the door to the enemy, and we lose the territory that belongs to us. The enemy is after derailing God’s people by causing shame, guilt, and accusation.

Joseph had dreams about God’s purpose in his life, but for many years everything looked opposite of what he had seen in his dreams. He could have grown bitter, resentful, and disobedient to those who ruled over him. To the contrary, Joseph fought the good fight of faith by remaining diligent, pure, obedient, and free from offense. This prevented him from not being baited by the enemy nor to be derailed from God’s purpose in his life. 

But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:11-12

Paul gives another glimpse of how to fight the good fight of faith. He describes that we are to live with godliness, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. These qualities allow a believer to lay hold of the Kingdom of God and bring it to earth. Furthermore, others get to see, taste, and experience the Kingdom of God through those who live their lives this way.

Today, as we remember the work and the ministry of Dr. Martin Luther King, we see a man of God who fought the good fight of faith in pursuit of truth, dignity, and justice! He exerted force and brought violence against the kingdom of darkness, hatred, and racism, but he fought this battle with faith, love, courage, and patience. While taking action, his hope was ultimately in the Lord his redeemer, which brings us to the next point in Paul’s exhortation.

Paul also stresses to lay hold on eternal life! This is an important aspect of fighting the good fight of faith. Jesus bought eternal life for every person who confesses their sin and recognizes Jesus’ work on the cross for the forgiveness of their sins. Jesus did not just die, so we can have a good life on this earth, but He died to give us the hope and expectation of an eternal life with our savior and Lord. If people live their lives as if this life is all there is, then they will live their lives with frustration, anger, compulsion, and restlessness. It is the hope of eternal life that allows God’s children to live with contentment, peace, and joy in this unstable world!

We live in a world where the enemy wants to draw every person, including the believers, into the bait of hatred, division, and animosity. As God’s people, we are called to do it differently! How do you fight the good fight of faith? Do you recognize the enemy’s schemes in derailing you from God’s purpose!? Are you ruled by God’s character in your life even when things don’t go your way? Do you have the hope of eternal life?

 

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

 

 

 

Fight the Good Fight (Part I)

This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; 1Timothy 1:18-19a (KJV)

Mightest (According to Strong’s Dictionary): to make a military expedition, to lead soldiers to war or to battle, (spoken of a commander).

Paul told Timothy that he should wage a mightest war with the prophecies spoken over him. Paul saw Timothy not only as a spiritual son but also as a fellow soldier in the army of God! Paul’s instruction to Timothy shows clearly that some of the prophesies were not going to be fulfilled unless Timothy was willing to fight the spiritual fight!

When the Lord speaks to His people, it is generally two-fold. He speaks about the person or people’s lives, but it is also about His Kingdom purpose in their lives. Similarly, the prophesies over Timothy would not only have been about his personal life, but they also would have been about God’s purpose in his life,  his role in the Kingdom of God, and how the Lord saw Him in the spirit. As Timothy fought for the fulfillment of those prophesies, he was also fighting for God’s kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth!

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. Matthew 11:12 

Jesus told his disciples that they needed to possess God’s Kingdom by fighting in the spirit. This is not a carnal fight, and we cannot fight it with our natural strength! Our authority to fight the battle in the spirit realm is because we know we are God’s children, redeemed, and bought with the precious blood of the lamb. We belong to the Kingdom of God, and we have been authorized by God to fight the good fight. This fight is about standing secure and settled in our identity in Christ!

When we fight, we are fighting with faith and hope in the unchanging character of God. Jesus won the victory over every form of darkness, evil, sin, and principalities. Therefore, we fight the good fight by declaring that we want God’s kingdom to come and God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven!

Are you aware that you will have to fight the good fight to see God’s purpose fulfilled? How do you engage in this fight?

I will continue with this subject in the next devotional.

 

 

Image by klimkin from Pixabay

Called to Hope

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

Chances are that whichever one you are, you have seen the strengths and weaknesses that accompany your particular personality. The optimists are not afraid of jumping into new situations and experiencing new things. The optimists also have a tendency to rely more heavily on assumption and presumption, than facts. On the other hand, the pessimists usually will not get caught on being short on facts. This combined with the endless quest for more information leads to what we have come to know as analysis by paralysis!!!

Well, the Bible doesn’t tell us to be an optimist or a pessimist, but it calls us to have hope.

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:5

This means to me that hope is intangible. It means believing in something that hasn’t transpired but believing it because of who has said it.

I have found over the years that I am weak in hope. I am an analytical, factual, and practical person. This makes me think in terms of the information given and how the problem can be solved based on the given facts. This ability is a gift from the Lord and it is very useful when it comes to problem solving or giving counsel to people. However, the weakness of this gift is that it overrides the intangible for facts.  Life is often about intangibles, requiring us to have hope. One of the meanings for the word “hope” is “not being ashamed”.  We don’t like to be ashamed or look like a fool!!


Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
1 Corinthians 1:25

Our flesh doesn’t want to believe in something that we don’t have the facts to prove.  We feel foolish and afraid of being put to shame by people. We fear that they could ridicule us in their heart because we have believed God’s promises or His word for us. We don’t have an answer for them, and we don’t have an answer for our own questions. All we know is that we have two options. The first choice is giving up on what God is doing and rest in the mediocrity of faith. This helps in not getting disappointed again and again. Our second choice is to continue to hope in God which will painfully stretch our faith!

Faith is stretched when you feel the foolishness of what you have heard and still put your hope in what He has spoken.

 We can’t do life the way the Lord has meant it unless we are willing to be stretched in faith by continually hoping in what He has said. The prophets of old, and the Biblical pioneers continually hoped in who God was and what He was doing on the earth rather than what it looked like at the moment. Paul in 1Corinthians 13:13a said, “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three…

 How is your hope gauge today? Hope is an essential ingredient in living life of faith. Do you find you have hope for others more than you can have hope for yourself? Do you see people or circumstances as obstacles to hope? Find scriptures that speak on hope and mediate on them; allow the Lord to stir up hope again.