When To Rejoice

16 Rejoice evermore.
16 Rejoice always;
If you only rejoice when things are perfect, you may not
rejoice much in this life.
Why miss out on something so pleasant?
12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in
You can rejoice in hope! That means to rejoice ahead of time.
Why? Because you expect deliverance. You know God’s blessing is
coming your way — because God is faithful. So rejoice now!
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
God never changes. He’s always good. Focus on Him and you will
have something to rejoice about.

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Do Not Worry

PHILIPPIANS 4:6 NLT 6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
Worrying can’t accomplish anything. So why do it?
MATTHEW 6:25-34 NKJ 25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 “and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 “Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 “For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
LUKE 10:41-42 NKJ 41 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 “But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
What did Mary choose that was better than worrying? Spending time with Jesus hearing His Word. We would do well to follow her example.

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Expect Favor

PSALM 5:12 NIV 12 For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.
If Jesus is your Lord, then He is also your righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:30, Romans 5:17). So, you are righteous in Christ and qualify for this blessing.
Favor is the blessing of God causing people to like you and treat you well.
Why expect favor?
Because God is your Father. He loves you. And He responds to faith. When you walk in faith you expect blessings.
PROVERBS 16:7 NIV 7 When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him.
Some people always talk of how badly they are treated and how things always go wrong for them. Should we be surprised? After all, Jesus told us in Mark 11:23 that we would have what we say.
Why not begin to say that God surrounds your life with favor?

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None Of These Things Move Me

ACTS 20:24 NKJ 24 “But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
Some believers are tempted to give up on their faith in God whenever the least thing seems to go wrong in their lives.
The apostle Paul suffered many things: beatings, stoning, and shipwreck — yet he called them “light afflictions.”
2 CORINTHIANS 4:17 NKJ 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,
2 CORINTHIANS 4:8-9 NKJ 8 We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed —
We are in a battle for the hearts and souls of men. The devil is against us. While we know our victory is sure, we should not expect to never face obstacles or difficulties.
2 TIMOTHY 2:3 NKJ 3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
If this life was all there was, this would not be a wise way to live. But there is a life in heaven and a future world. We would be foolish to live as if this life is all there is.
So we should not forget eternity and focus only on the present.
We must hold on to our faith in God, no matter how things seem to be going at the present. Because of our limited understanding, our ability to evaluate things accurately is limited. Our wonderful Lord Jesus can be trusted. He loved us enough to die in our stead, so we could go free. Why would He lie to us?
We must be determined not to be moved by things our enemy does to get us off our faith in God’s Word.

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Does Jesus Care?

MARK 4:37-40 NKJ 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” 39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”
All of us have questioned whether God cares for us when we have faced difficulties. It is easy to wonder why things are so tough, if God truly loves us, as the Bible says.
What is the answer? Why don’t things go better for us, especially when we are trusting in God?
Mark 4 gives us a glimpse into how God looks at this.
When the disciples thought they were going to sink in the storm — even though Jesus was on their boat — they cried out to Him. And Jesus did deliver them from danger.
But then, Jesus rebuked His disciples because they were fearful, and didn’t handle the situation themselves.
Why didn’t the Lord take care of the dire situation sooner? Why did Jesus let them nearly sink before He intervened? The answer is simple. Jesus was expecting His disciples to exercise authority over the storm.
God has confidence in His children. He desires for us to grow up, to learn to take responsibility, and to exercise the authority He has given us.
LUKE 10:19 NKJ 19 “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
God told us to resist the devil, and all his works — which is everything that would steal, kill, or destroy. Why should God interrupt and do things for us that He has already told us to do, using His authority?
JAMES 4:7 NKJ 7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Yes, Jesus cares for you — enough to die for you! Don’t judge His love by your circumstances.
If it seems Jesus is not stilling the storms in your life, He has not abandoned you. He is just expecting you to overcome, by using your faith and the authority He has given you.

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Jesus Died For Sinners

ROMANS 5:6 NKJ 6 . . . Christ died for the ungodly.
Jesus Christ did not come to earth to help perfect people, but to help ungodly sinners.
ROMANS 5:8 NKJ 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Jesus already paid the price for the forgiveness of all sins through His death.
EPHESIANS 1:7 NKJ 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace
The devil tries to make people think God does not love them because of their sins. But nothing could be further from the truth. God loves sinners! Jesus died to save sinners.
1 TIMOTHY 1:15 NKJ 15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.
God is against sin because it is harmful to people, but He is not against sinners.
If God could not or would not help a sinner, then He would never help any human. The Bible tells the opposite story. We have all missed the mark of perfection so we all need a Savior. And we all have a Savior if we will but receive Him.
HEBREWS 9:26 NLT 26 If that had been necessary, Christ would have had to die again and again, ever since the world began. But now, once for all time, he has appeared at the end of the age to remove sin by his own death as a sacrifice.
The sacrifice of Jesus was sufficient to deal with all sin. You have been forgiven. Accept that forgiveness. Turn away from going your own way and walk with God.

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Leave Your Case With God

ROMANS 12:19 NLT 19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the LORD.
When people do us wrong, not taking revenge is difficult. It seems natural to fight back when someone attacks us.
But the Bible tells us to let God judge them.
This is not saying you should never defend yourself, or what belongs to you. But do not seek revenge after you have been wronged. Instead, let God handle it.
People who try to take revenge, usually end up committing more injustice. Often a deadly cycle develops. Instead of taking revenge, God’s Word tells us to bless our enemies.
PROVERBS 25:21 NKJ 21 If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;
MATTHEW 5:44 NKJ 44 “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
God is aware of every injustice. And God promises to right every wrong, eventually. God is a righteous judge, but all judgment is not instant, or even in this life.
1 PETER 2:21,23 NLT 21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. 23 He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.

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How Do I Get God To Do What I Want?

Sorry, you have it backward. God is trying to get you to do what He wants, because His way is perfect, and yours is obviously not.
PSALM 18:30 NKJ 30 As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.
You don’t need to get God to do anything. God knows what to do. You are the one who does not know what to do.
Imagine a two year old child telling his parents what they should be doing. It is even more crazy to think we know more than God about what is best for us, and that we need to tell Him what to do.
This attitude indicates immaturity.
If we were so good at figuring out things, we should be running the universe instead of God. But look at what our decisions have produced — a mess. What we need is new management, not just to get God to do something for us.
Even if we were to get God to do what we think He should do for us, would it really fix our life?
For example, many people think getting a lot of money would solve every problem, but the facts show differently. Just look at the record of people who won the lottery. Some people think getting a spouse would fix everything, but don’t think about how half the people who do get married then seek a divorce.
What you need is to let Jesus be Lord of your life. You need to learn of Him and follow His directions. You need to learn His ways. Your ways have gotten you in a mess. You need to change your ways so you can have a change in your life.
God has already done what He needs to do. Now we must learn how to receive His provision and walk in victory.
If you are on the road to destruction, why should God give you a new car and gas money to go down that road? Your decisions have produced wrecks in your life. What you need is a new driver. Let Jesus take the wheel.
You don’t need to argue with Jesus or tell Him what to do. You just need to trust Him.
God knows more than you do, and loves you more than you love yourself. He desires the best for you. You can trust someone like that!

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Forgive Yourself

1 JOHN 2:12 NLT 12 I am writing to you who are God’s children because your sins have been forgiven through Jesus.
COLOSSIANS 3:13 NIV 13 . . . Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
GALATIANS 5:14 NIV 14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
For many people, the hardest person to forgive is themselves.
If God can forgive us, then we can, and must, forgive ourselves. Not to forgive ourselves is to exalt ourselves above God.
If God can decree that we are forgive-able, but we say we are too bad to be forgiven, we are saying we know more than God.
Should your standards be higher than God’s standards? He forgives. Why won’t you forgive yourself?
The devil wants you to stay focused on your past and your failures, so you will not receive God’s blessing.
God wants you to believe His Word and focus on His victory so you will have a better future.
Which one will you choose to follow?

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It Is Written

MATTHEW 4:3-4 NKJ 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” 4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'”
When tempted, Jesus did not use any supernatural powers to resist the devil. Jesus simply quoted the written Word of God to the devil.
You must do the same thing. Jesus was our example, showing us how to overcome the attacks of our enemy.
Notice how the devil came to tempt Jesus — with a thought — a thought contrary to the written Word of God.
Then after Jesus quoted the Bible, the devil also quoted the Bible but twisted the meaning. Jesus responded only with another verse from the Bible.
MATTHEW 4:6-7 NKJ 6 and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.'” 7 Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.'”
If you read the whole passage in Matthew 4:1-11, you will see that quoting the written Word was the only defense Jesus used against the devil. Nothing else.
If you are going to overcome temptation and walk in victory, you must follow Jesus’ example and quote the Bible to the devil. There is no other way.
God’s Word in your mouth is your spiritual weapon. If you neglect to use it, you will be overcome instead of walking in all the victory and blessing Jesus has provided for you.
EPHESIANS 6:17 NKJ 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;
Obviously you must know what the Bible says to quote it to the devil. So it is evident how important it is to read and study the Bible for yourself.
Yet it is not enough to just read the Bible or study it. When thoughts come that are not in agreement with the Bible, we must speak the Word to the devil who is behind those thoughts.

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