One of the hardest things about being a Christian is keeping God’s word in our hearts when things are not perfect. In times of spiritual rain, it’s easy to forget God’s strength and mercy. It is in those times that we need to recall God’s message to us as his children and be comforted by His perfect peace.
Philippians 4:13- I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
There comes a time in every Christian’s life when it appears that all hope is lost and we feel helpless. This verse reminds us that we have a strong help in Jesus, and at times that we can’t stand it is Christ that sustains us. It affirms for us that no matter what the problem is, no matter how dark the clouds may appear, in Christ we can do all things with His immeasurable strength.
1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
As much as it’s nice to think that Christians always do the right thing, it’s just not the reality of things. It seems like everyday we wake up, there is a new form of temptation. It can be a very hard struggle just to live life in a way that is pleasing to God. We all make mistakes and fall short of the glory, but we don’t have to. God tells us in these words that regardless of what den of infirmity in the sense of the condition of being feeble and having a personal failing moment that we find ourselves in, He has already shown up ahead of us and created an escape route. All we have to do is make the choice to take it. This scripture is there to guide us in moments of transgressions because He WILL provide a way out. There have been many times when I’ve found myself in situations where I wanted to get out, but it just wasn’t that easy. In those times I call upon the Lord and I recite this path finding verse and it always ushers me out of the valley of sin.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
It’s not always easy to go through the struggles of daily life and adversity without at least once questioning ourselves and sometimes even God. We want to know why us, why now, and why is God doing this to us. This scripture calls to mind the very thing that we already know deep down in our souls. That God never intends to harm or hurt us, and that everything, even things that are painful, are somehow for our betterment and not for our destruction. There was a time in my own life where it seemed like things were just not coming together. I wondered why everything hadn’t come full circle. I felt like I had been doing everything right, but still, there I was in despair. That’s when God reminded me that I may not know what’s going on, it may be a mystery to me, but He knows His plans for me. This is where faith comes in. When we don’t see a bright light at the end of a hard situation, it is then that our faith must be enacted and remember that God does not break promises and that His every word will be fulfilled.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
We as humans tend to worry about different aspects of life that it seems like we have no control over. The things that we feel as though we need to progress in life, or attain in order to get to that next level in earthly living. We worry that we won’t get the loan, we won’t get into college, or that we won’t get the job. God simply tells us in this scripture that there’s no need to take on the burden of worrying. He tells us that we are to turn it over to Him. This scripture is affirming because God already tells us in Matthew 6:25-30 that we cannot add a single moment to our life by worrying.
2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
Sometimes it’s hard to remember that God does not always say yes to our prayers. The first time I can remember God telling me no was about seven years ago. My family and I lived in Virginia for a time, and I really enjoyed the life that we had. As God would have it, we were not meant to stay there. I began to seek God and ask Him to please send us a miracle that would allow us to stay in Virginia and not have to move, and I fully expected for God to answer my prayers and honor my request. Even as we packed, I remember thinking, surely God will show. He always does. As we settled into our new home in another state, still distraught over the move, I realized God had told me no. At first I didn’t understand. It was years later that God spoke to me and said, “My grace was sufficient.” I saw in that moment that I was a better person for that move. Even now I continue to grow in ways I couldn’t have imagined all those years ago. It’s not an easy thought to accept, but it is in our weakness that God is truly made strong. Sometimes it’s immediately revealed, and at other times we don’t see the glory or God for that matter, in a situation for what can feel like a lifetime. But the most important thing to remember when God denies our whims and desires is that He has not denied us. Not only has he not denied us, but also that when God closes one door He opens up another and pours out blessings that we don’t even have a room big enough to receive.
But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.
There have been so many times when I wanted to give up, when I thought that there was no sense in fighting. This sermon is one that reminds us as God’s children, that we are not defeated. It reminds us of who we are, we are joint-heirs with Christ who is our strength. It boldly declares that we are fighters. As long as we believe in Jesus we are saved. The world will not triumph over us, nor will we be overcome by the things of this world.
These scriptures give us the power through Christ and through God’s many promises. They provide a solid foundation upon which we can build and continue to strengthen our relationship with God. In God’s word, we can find comfort in a weary hour and a place to rest when the storms are raging. God’s word lives in our hearts and and solidifies our faith so that we may cast all our burdens upon Him who is able.