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The LORD your God is in your midst, a Warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with joy; He will be quiet in His love [making no mention of your past sins], He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.
— Zephaniah 3:17 (AMP)
Dealing with emotions is a fact of life. As long as we live, we will experience a variety of emotional feelings and reactions, and we must not deny their existence or feel guilty because of them.
However, we do need to learn to manage our emotions. This is easier when we understand that we cannot trust them. In fact, they can be our greatest enemy. Satan uses our emotions against us to keep us from walking in the Spirit.
It is so important to know that the Lord our God who resides within each of us is mighty. His might within us enables us to overcome our emotions and be led by His unchangeable Word and Spirit instead of our unstable feelings and emotions.
Spiritual stability and emotional maturity don’t come naturally. You must desire it with all your heart and be determined to get it. When you make emotional stability a priority, God is more than willing to help you manage your emotions.
I encourage you to pursue that today. Enjoy emotional stability and a joyful, victorious life!
“Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but the Lord tests the heart” (Proverbs 17:3 NLT).
You could watch a million hours of television and movies without finding a story as thrilling as the story the Bible tells about Daniel. Think Raiders of the Lost Ark and Mission Impossible all rolled into one.
The Bible follows Daniel’s life from the age of 15 until he’s 85. And every step of his story is breathtaking. Over the next few weeks, we’ll study Daniel’s life and explore key truths that we can apply to our lives today.
When Daniel was still a teenager, the Babylonians put down a rebellion in Judah and took some of the Israelites into captivity. Because Daniel was healthy, knowledgeable, and perceptive, he was taken as a prisoner to be trained for service in the king’s court (Daniel 1:1-7).
And then God tested him because God tests us with stress before God trusting us with success. God had big plans for Daniel. There are only two men in all of history that God told what the end of the world would be like: Daniel and the apostle John. God gave Daniel the job to communicate that message first to Israel and then to the whole world through the Bible. But before God could trust Daniel with this message, God gave him stress. God gave Daniel a test.
The Bible says in Proverbs 17:3, “Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but the Lord tests the heart”(NLT).
If God’s going to use you, he’s going to test you first. He wants to be sure you’re ready to handle the power, the blessing, the influence, or whatever else he wants to give you.
The Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, put Daniel and other young men into a three-year indoctrination program. He wanted to wipe out their memories of Israel and to secularize them. They were taught a new language, a new culture, a new religion, and new habits. The Babylonians were trying to reprogram Daniel and these other young men, and prepare them to serve in the royal court.
But the king faced unexpected opposition when he tried to change Daniel’s diet, which he followed in obedience to God’s commands.
The Bible says, “Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way” (Daniel 1:8 NIV).
In essence, the king told Daniel to forget God and the spiritual values he’d followed his whole life. But Daniel wouldn’t do that, and so he passed the test.
God will give you a similar test. It won’t look exactly the same. But God will test your character. God wants to know if he can trust you with success. And the good news: God is right there with you helping you to succeed.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
When you made Jesus Christ Lord of your life, you became what the Bible calls a “new creature.” Inside, you’re not the same person you were before. You have the nature of God born into you. But it’s not enough for you just to have that new nature on the inside. You have to let it take over the outside as well.
Don’t expect that to happen automatically. You have to make a decision to bring your body into obedience to the new man within you. You must determine to do what Romans 6:12 says and “let not sin...reign in your mortal body….”
I know that sounds tough, but remember, you’re not in this alone. You have a Helper inside you to enable you to carry out that decision. His Name is the Holy Spirit. He’s there to strengthen you. He gives you the power to put sin out of your life and under your feet.
Make that decisive dedication of your body today—and let that new man that’s on the inside of you begin to come out!
"What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31, NIV)
On Your Side!
chapter six tells the story about how the odds were stacked against
Joshua and the people of Israel. They were standing at the massive walls
of Jericho that many thought were impenetrable.
sure as he was standing before the well-fortified walls and gates of
the city, many around him didn’t think his future was too bright. But
you see Joshua had something others overlooked; he had the promise of
Almighty God. Joshua had faith because He knew God was on His side, and
God had already determined the victory. Sure enough, just as God
promised, the people marched around the city for six days, and on the
seventh day, they shouted the victory and the walls came tumbling down!
don’t look at the walls in your life; look at the promise of God. He is
for you, and if God is for you, nothing can stand against you. Get a
vision of victory and don’t let it go. Keep moving forward in faith and
obedience knowing that when you do, the Most High God is on your side!
A Prayer for Today
God, thank You for Your favor, grace and victory in my life. I choose
to trust You. I choose to follow Your leading. I choose to be faithful
to You because You are faithful to me. I love You and bless You in
Jesus’ name. Amen."
When all the jars were full . . . the oil stopped flowing. 2 Kings 4:6
A popular children’s book tells the story of a poor, country boy who took off his cap to honor the king. An identical hat appeared instantly in its place on his head, inciting the king’s anger for what appeared to be disrespect. Bartholomew removed hat after hat while being escorted to the palace for punishment. Each time, a new one appeared in its place. The hats grew increasingly fancy, bearing precious jewels and feather plumes. The 500th hat was the envy of King Derwin, who pardoned Bartholomew and purchased the hat for 500 pieces of gold. At last, Bartholomew’s head was bare; he walked home with freedom and money to support his family.
A widow came to Elisha in financial distress, fearing her children would be sold into slavery to pay her debts (2 Kings 4). She had no assets other than a jar of oil. God multiplied that oil to fill enough borrowed jars to settle the debts plus care for their daily needs (v. 7).
God provided financially for the widow in much the same way He provides salvation for me. I am bankrupted by sin, but Jesus paid my debt—and offers me eternal life as well! Without Jesus, we are each like the poor, country boy with no means to pay our King for our offenses against Him. God miraculously supplies the extravagant ransom for us, and ensures that those who trust in Him will have life abundant forever.
Thank You, Lord, for paying my debt through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I had nothing; You paid it all for me.
In today’s account of the never-ending oil, the woman and her sons follow the prophet’s instructions without question. They were in need and knew God could provide. Many of us may wish we had that kind of faith—faith that doesn’t doubt or question.
Some background to their inspiring faith helps put this story in context. Verse 1 tells us that the widow’s husband had been a member of “the company of the prophets”—a group of men who had remained faithful to the true God in a time of paganism. They had also seen God do miraculous things through Elisha, so they knew nothing was impossible. Their faith was the logical conclusion of their experience and gave them the confidence to obey.
God often provides in ways we don’t expect. Is there a situation you need to trust God for today?
“This happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us . . . and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us” (2 Corinthians 1:9b-10 NIV).
Paul knew that God works in our lives according to our expectation. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 1:9b-10, “This happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us . . . and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us” (NIV).
The purpose of the dead end is to teach you to trust in God. Why does God let things get so bad and so out of control? So he can force you to learn to trust in him instead of trusting in your own ingenuity and cleverness.
What’s the promise when you trust God? He has delivered you, he will deliver you, and he will continue to deliver you. God uses three different kinds of deliverance:
1.God uses circumstantial deliverance. Sometimes God miraculously alters the circumstance, and the Red Sea splits. That will happen many times in your life, but it’s not going to happen all the time.
2.God uses personal deliverance. Instead of changing the circumstance, God changes you from the inside. You get a new dream, a new vision, a new attitude, and a new perspective.
3.God’s ultimate deliverance is Heaven. God has not promised to remove all of your pain in this world or solve every one of your problems. Because we are on earth, there is pain and sorrow and suffering. The ultimate deliverance will be one day in Heaven where there will be no pain, no sorrow, no suffering, and no heartache.
There is only one way to get to Heaven. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6 NIV). When you’re at a dead end, Jesus can take that hopeless end and turn it into an endless hope.
Are you at a dead end? I invite you to take that problem, that situation, and your own life and give them to Jesus Christ. Jesus always looks out for your best interests.