Good Morning Resting in the Lord, Preparing, Persevering, Faithful Followers of Jesus! Amen! May this be us Lord! You know us and call us by name to come rest and abide in Christ. You are preparing us to be used in this life and for our duties in heaven. Thank You! You are allowing the circumstances of our lives and this nation to grow us, mold us and teach us to persevere in faith. Thank You! Help us to always trust You, persevere in faith, choose joy and allow you to carry us to the other side of whatever we face. May we be your faithful servants as we learn to live and love like Jesus more fully and follow Him fully surrendered to You. Thank You! May Your Kingdom come and will be done in, through and around us today. May we be ready and willing to follow You. Come! Amen!
Today as I stilled myself and interacted with God through our devotionals and His Word and in prayer, it became evident of the thread through what He provided for study today. (See devos below and ask God to speak to your heart). He also affirmed to me His call to equip, prepare you and help you to be ready for the promised hard times ahead, yes even persecution that may come because of our faith and walk with Jesus. The way things are going it may not be very long before this nation is taken over by China or some anti-Jesus regime. Heck, it's already being led by anti-Jesus minions of darkness. Will you be ready and prepared to stand up for Christ, persevere, even lay down your life for your faith? Are you ready to stand up and live your faith out loud, even in captivity like Daniel? God keeps impressing on me the importance of preparing for that possibility. In days gone by we could never imagine that it could happen here. Yet here we are. Are you ready? If Jesus would come back next year would He find you persevering in faith and standing firm in Christ?
I don't want to be Donald Downer, but we are commanded to prepare and persevere in faith, to patiently endure suffering that produces growing faith. We are committed to becoming more like Jesus who endured and prevailed over all trials He faced, even death. We are working on growing into our new nature more fully and doing more of the things we were created to do. That's living this life as if Christ is all that matters. And that is the truth that motivates our commitment and obedience. Pursuing that will lead to opposition as the enemy and the culture around us rises up against Him. But fear not! Be strong and courageous! (That's a command given at least 365 times in the Bible so it's doable!) Christ has overcome death, sin and the world! He's already defeated Satan. And His Spirit lives in you to help and direct you. PTL! We are just waiting as we travel through this life representing Him. He is with us and in us! He is able to protect and carry us home. BUT GOD! But God has created us and placed us here to prepare for our next life and to bring people along and teach others how to persevere in Christ. And God spoke today through all our devotionals reminding us of this. Are you ready? Who are you helping to prepare? Be of good cheer! Chose joy as you endure and allow God to mold and use you. He does have great plans for you! What might that be for today? Talk to Him about that and commit to walking by faith and not sight into His future for you and us with His armor firmly affixed to our bodies and guarding our minds in Christ Jesus. Turn off the noise and focus on what really matters in this life--Christ and His good ways. Count your many blessings and choose joy and faith over fear and doubt. We know the Victor and He lives in us! PTL! Come Jesus! Your will be done! Amen!
Abide in Christ! Don't give up! Cast all your anxiety on the Lord. Know His peace beyond understanding, His new mercies everyday an His strength and wisdom to carry on. You can know deep rest for your soul and have confidence to stand firm, live sacrificially and love lavishly more like Jesus. He's equipped you, is with you and cheering you on! He has great plans for you that carry into our life in heaven with Him. Rejoice! This is not the time to coast along, shrink back in faith or turn back to the world in fear of offending someone or being ostracized! We are not of this world! We are in a battle and if we want to see revival, we need to be the bringers of it through Christ in us! Be strong and courageous. You were created for such a time as this! PTL! I'm praying for you, us and God's Body worldwide to rise up and shine bright in this time of darkness. We are overcomers! Pronounce that; believe that; and live like it! Amen
Harvest Prayer, Revival Prayer Blog:
January 13, 2024 - Praying for Revival (Day 13): Hope in Suffering
The apostle Paul knew the secret and the cycle of hope:
“Since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Rom. 5:1–5).
Are we hoping for national tranquility, church/ministry growth, or relief from our suffering? Or is our hope that “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Hab. 2:14)?
Paul wasn’t focusing on tranquility of the heart but on a relationship with God. We may feel more like lamenting than rejoicing in our suffering, but God tells us to persevere and to allow Him to lovingly transform our character through repentant prayer and grateful worship.
Ultimately, we will always cycle back to hope when we recall with Paul that God’s compassions never fail, and He continually pours His love into our lives.
Father, I praise You for the ways You strengthen me and reveal Your character in my times of waiting. In times of suffering, You renew my hope and peace in Christ! I ask You to continue to use my life for Your glory even as You fill the earth with the knowledge of Your glory! May Your overflowing and abundant love permeate every area of my life so that I may be a witness and an encouragement to others. Please give me a deeper relationship with Jesus that gives me hope to persevere and the faith to continually pray for revival and spiritual awakening.
Pr a y e r Po i n t s:
• Praise God for the ways He strengthens you and reveals His character in your times of waiting.
• Pray that in your suffering, God will renew your hope and peace in Christ. Ask Him to use your life for His glory.
• Invite God to fill the earth with the knowledge of His glory— even in our day!
• Pray that God’s overflowing and abundant love will permeate every area of your life—and be a witness to others of hope in Christ.
• Pray for a deepening relationship with Jesus that gives you hope to persevere and faith to pray for revival and spiritual awakening.
--Adapted from Day 13 by Kay Horner: Do It Again, Lord (30 Days of Hope-Filled Prayer for Revival) compiled and edited by Carol Madison.
When I was studying in seminary years ago, we had a weekly chapel service. At one service, while we students were singing “Great Is the Lord,” I spotted three of our well-loved professors singing with fervor. Their faces radiated joy, made possible only by their faith in God. Years later, as each went through terminal illness, it was this faith that enabled them to endure and encourage others.
Today, the memory of my teachers singing continues to encourage me to keep going in my trials. To me, they’re a few of the many inspiring stories of people who lived by faith. They’re a reminder of how we can follow the author’s call in Hebrews 12:2−3 to fix our eyes on Jesus who “for the joy set before him . . . endured the cross” (v. 2).
When trials—from persecution or life’s challenges—make it hard to keep going, we have the example of those who took God at His word and trusted in His promises. We can “run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (v. 1), remembering that Jesus—and those who have gone before us—was able to endure. The writer urges us to “consider him . . . so that [we] will not grow weary and lose heart” (v. 3).
My teachers, now happy in heaven, would likely say: “The life of faith is worth it. Keep going.”
By Karen Huang
REFLECT & PRAY
Who’s inspired you to keep going in your faith journey? How does their example encourage you to endure in times of trial and hardship?
Dear Jesus, help me to keep fixing my eyes on You. When I’m weary and losing heart, thank You for Your example.
For further study, read Going the Distance: Practices to Strengthen Your Faith.
Who are the “witnesses” the writer refers to in Hebrews 12:1? That’s a matter of some debate, but a plausible interpretation is that they’re the faithful believers who’ve gone before us. Now they stand as “witnesses,” while we on earth remain in the arena, competing in our race of faith (v. 1). We accomplish this by “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (v. 2). This means that Christ is our leader as we live it out. The word pioneer in the Greek is archēgos. Other translations render it “author,” “champion,” or “originator.” The path Jesus took was far more difficult than the one we’re on. He bore the sins of the whole world, yet it led to His rightful place “at the right hand of the throne of God” (v. 2). Our race is difficult as well, but we know the joyful conclusion, for He’s blazed the trail for us.
UR: Making Time
Anyone who goes too far and does not continue in the teaching about Christ does not have God. Whoever continues in this teaching has both the Father and the Son. - 2 John 1:9 (CEB)
At our mountain cabin, nestled among the quaking aspen, we have a small pond. Every summer a family of ducks with several ducklings nests in the pond’s cattails, and we spend a lot of time watching them from our deck.
One day I watched as the ducklings played. Some of them explored on their own and then rushed to catch up; several scurried ahead, not waiting for their mother; and a few stayed beside the mama, mimicking her every move.
It occurred to me that their actions resembled my walk with God over the years. Many times I would lose focus, letting my Bible study and time with God take second place to more “urgent” matters. Eventually, I would realize my need to focus on God, so I’d hurry to catch up, hoping I hadn’t missed God’s message for me. Other times, I would be trying to get on to the next thing, so I would rush ahead in my studies, not taking the time to meditate on scripture and its meaning. But when I have stayed anchored to God’s side, following God’s leading and studying scripture, I have been rewarded. Whenever I take time to hear God’s voice in God’s word, I find my faith is stronger and more fruitful.
Faithful God, help us to block out distractions and take time to walk with you, anchoring ourselves in your word. In Jesus’ name. Amen.Charles Stanley: