Jesus Lives

TRIALS

Consider it all joy when you encounter various trials. You can consider something a joyful opportunity even when you are feeling quite joyless. Some definitions of “consider” are: “to think about seriously; to regard as; to believe after deliberation.” You may need to ponder your circumstances at length before you can view them in a positive light. You need to give yourself time for your feelings to settle down. It’s hard to think clearly with high levels of emotions surging through your brain. Once you have calmed down, you will be able to think seriously about your situation. Invite Me into this process of deliberation, and My Presence will improve your perspective: helping you see your trials in the Light of eternity.

As you look at your circumstances from My perspective, you come to understand that these multiple problems are testing your faith. This is both an opportunity (to strengthen your faith) and a temptation (to let your feelings “trump” your faith).

One of the hardest things about trials is the uncertainty about how long they will last. Usually, you can’t predict or control the unpleasant circumstances. You just have to live with them indefinitely. At times you may feel as if you can endure no more, but you can always reach out to Me for help. As you cling to Me moment by moment, I enable you to persevere. This produces in you not only endurance but also a harvest of righteousness and peace.

Consider it pure joy . . . whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

[James 1:2–3]

But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

[Matthew 19:26]

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

[Hebrews 12:11]

Jesus Lives

HEAVEN

My kingdom cannot be shaken! This present world seems to be shaking more and more, leaving you off balance much of the time. As you worship Me, however, your perspective changes and you regain your balance. To worship Me acceptably with reverence and awe, thankfulness is essential. I designed you to be thankful on a daily, moment-by-moment basis. You need to resist the temptation to grumble when things don’t go as you would like. Remember that I, your God, am a consuming fire. If you saw Me in all My Glory, you would be much too awestruck to venture even the tiniest complaint.

My unshakable kingdom is for all people who love Me, who know Me as Savior. This everlasting kingdom consists of things that no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived. I have prepared infinite, wondrous delights for those who love Me. Moreover, at the end of the age I will come back and take you to be with Me so that you may be where I am. Let these precious promises ignite your thankfulness, till you are aglow with My living Presence—shining brightly in this dark world.

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”
[Hebrews 12:28–29]

The sight of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel.
[Exodus 24:17]

However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”
[1 Corinthians 2:9]

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
[John 14:3]

Jesus Lives

DEPENDING ON HIM

Beware of dividing up your life into things you can do by yourself and things that require My help. The truth is, everything you do—even taking a breath—involves My assistance. I sustain all things by My powerful Word. So recognizing your utter dependence on Me builds a strong foundation on which you can do your work heartily—from the soul.

When you do routine tasks for Me, they gain meaning and even some sparkle. Your efforts become a way of expressing your love for Me. The more you love Me, the more you can enjoy doing tasks devoted to Me. I am less concerned about the outcome of your work than the attitude of your heart. When your deepest motive is to please Me, I deem your work good.

Your best efforts are those that emanate from your soul—where I live in intimate union with you. When you not only dedicate your efforts to Me but also keep looking to Me for help, your soul is fully engaged. You experience the thrill of seeing Me work through you. This collaborative way of doing things is effective and exciting; it is also deeply satisfying—to you and to Me.

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

[Hebrews 1:3]

Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily (from the soul), as [something done] for the Lord and not for men.

[Colossians 3:23]

And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.

[Colossians 1:10]

But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you: to love the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to obey his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and all your soul.

[Joshua 22:5]

Jesus Lives

CONDEMNATION

I assure you there is no condemnation for those who belong to Me. You believe I have freed you through My death on the cross for your sins, yet you continue to struggle with feelings of condemnation. You long to experience the full liberation I have made possible, and My Spirit can assist you with this.

Ask the Holy Spirit to help you find freedom from feelings of accusation. Acknowledge that those feelings have no basis in reality. Then look to Me through eyes of faith. Delight yourself in My heavenly smile of approval. The more you connect with Me by focusing on My Presence, the more you can receive My loving affirmation. The best antidote to feelings of condemnation is experiencing My Love for you.

You can also fight condemning feelings by pondering the truths of the gospel. The devil is the father of lies, and he specializes in deception. Confront his hellish lies with biblical truth. Finally, remember that My Spirit is the Spirit of Life. Feelings of condemnation drain you of energy, leaving you vulnerable. As My Spirit fills you with Life, you are empowered to live abundantly—to the full.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.

[Romans 8:1–2]

By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life.

[Psalm 42:8]

“He [the devil] was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

[John 8:44]

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

[John 10:10]

Jesus Lives

HIS PRESENCE

I am Immanuel—God with you—an ever-present Help in trouble. No matter what may happen, I am sufficient to provide whatever you need. Instead of imagining how you might respond to terrible things that could happen, draw your mind back to the present and take refuge in My Presence. I am much like a mother hen, eager to cover you with My protective pinions. As you snuggle under My wings, you will not only find refuge; you will also discover a growing ability to trust Me. It is in closeness to Me that you realize how trustworthy I am.

Remember that I am both your Rock and your Redeemer. Though I am impregnable in My vast strength, I became a vulnerable Man so I could redeem you from your sins. The more you take refuge in Me, the more aware you become of My overflowing Love. In Me you are utterly safe, for I am your Rock of everlasting Love!

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.

[Psalm 46:1–2]

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!”

[Matthew 23:37]

TThen] He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings shall you trust and find refuge; His truth and His faithfulness are a shield and a buckler.

[Psalm 91:4]

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

[Psalm 19:14]

Jesus Lives

ABIDING IN HIM

I delight in your desire to live steadfastly in My Presence, as if you were a tree planted close to Me. However, unlike a tree that cannot move from the place where it is planted, each moment you can choose to stay near Me—or not. Though I never leave you, you can “leave” Me by forgetting I am with you. When that happens, you start looking for ways to bolster your own resources. You also tend to run away from challenges I have placed in your life.

My Spirit, who lives in you, will not leave you in this compromised condition. He helps you remember who you are and Whose you are. You belong to Me! Returning to Me is not an arduous task. Simply affirm your trust in My unfailing Love. As you thus reconnect with Me, My Love washes over you—cleansing, refreshing, and filling you. No matter how many times you forget Me, My Love for you will never fail. Grow strong in this constant, nourishing Love.

But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.

[Psalm 52:8]

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

[Deuteronomy 31:6]

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.

[Romans 8:26]

To know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

[Ephesians 3:19]

Jesus Lives

WEAKNESS

Thank Me for your weakness. Even better, boast gladly about your weaknesses. Boasting can be either good or bad, depending on the object of the boast. People who brag about their wisdom, strength, or riches are offensive to Me. David was on the right track when he wrote about his soul boasting in the Lord. I want you to express pride in Me, just as the child of a good father likes to brag about his big, strong dad.

People who are well aware of their weaknesses are less tempted to boast about themselves. However, they are more vulnerable to other temptations: indulging in self-pity and complaints. So it is essential for weak ones to take pride in Me—rejoicing in who I AM.

Children tend to feel good about themselves when they are bragging about their fathers. Similarly, you can feel glad when you boast about Me: proudly proclaiming My praises! Awareness of your weaknesses has deepened your dependence on Me and helped you know Me more fully. So, you can be joyful about these afflictions that have blessed your relationship with Me. As you rejoice in your weaknesses, you open yourself to My Power. Let this sacred Power rest upon you, displaying My delight in you.

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.

[2 Corinthians 12:9]

This is what the Lord says: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me.”

[Jeremiah 9:23–24]