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Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation” (Hab 3:18). Circumstances ought not to control our rejoicing. Our faith is often strained by the pressures that are brought to bear against us. When the fig tree is full of figs, our joy is because they are sufficient in quantity even with some to store. When the fruit and olives are plenteous, we have the joy of the harvest. The food is plenteous and the flocks are in their proper place giving us a reason for contentment of heart. But the delicate balance may shift in an instance. If all of life depended upon these things being in place, how fragile our faith would be. Some give up on life itself because things are not as we would have them to be. Others resort to desperate attempts to regain what appears to be lost. The most important thing remains and gives us a reason to maintain our faith and joy. The Lord is the God of our salvation and our strength. None of these things are capable of robbing us of the greatest gift we could possibly have. Once we are saved and…

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness” (Lam 3:22-23). God gives us a new day after having learned from the experiences of yesterday, but not carrying the baggage of the many mistakes we had made. The freshness of today is as if we were starting all over again. We awaken to springtime after merely one night of the winter’s cold. His mercies are extended to us at the beginning of each new day, not holding any repented failures to our charge. His grace is before us enabling us to walk down a different path. We learn that Jesus is committed to showing us the way to the Father. Therefore if we are to learn any truth, it must come through fully following Him. We grow in our appreciation and gratitude for all has done for us. We could have died confused not knowing what to do or where to go. We were pulled out of the quicksand of yesterday and placed on solid ground of today. We are on an even footing and enabled to see where we may have made a wrong turn. Now…

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Heb 12:1). The host of heaven gives witness to our challenge. All of the saints that have gone before us give witness to our challenge. They are awaiting us to finish well what we have been assigned to accomplish. Therefore all of the impediments of heart and mind must be dispensed of lest they restrict our mobility and entrap us, holding us as slaves to old habits. Our minds must constantly be renewed in order for us to know what the will of the Lord is. Never should our pursuit fall short of those that have gone before us. We are to build upon the foundation that has already been established by them. The weights are spurned from the sin that would remain as a stronghold. Whatever is our greatest weakness is the sin awaiting the opportunity to be given full expression. Only when we maintain our focus on Jesus Christ could we be empowered to resist it.  Look…

“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content” (Phil 4:11-12). When there is a convergence of our state and our contentment, evidence of spiritual maturity is made manifest. There is a steadiness in the life of the individual who lives on that level of confidence knowing that God is not limited to circumstances. The contentment that Paul speaks of is not inactive contentment. He participates with God in what He is doing. If something is lacking, he is confident that God will provide. If he has an abundance, he know that God as provided. The credit is given to God for blessings received and his dependency on God alone to meet his need settles him down and frees him from anxieties. Yet no condition can hinder God from doing through him what has been assigned. His earlier years were more than likely more frantic. He had to learn how to yield to the Holy Spirit in all things. The rush of life accomplished very little and oftentimes would make matters worse. He learned to wait on the Lord and to be patient. The virtue of faith and patience…

“If it had not been the Lord who was on our side” (Ps 124:1). The possibilities of failure and calamities would have been overwhelming if things had been different. God chose Israel, for no other reason than His love being bestowed upon her. She was protected from dangers and blessed to prosper. The Lord had favored her in opposition to her enemies. Yet her worshipful response to God’s favor was expected. Whom God blesses deserves to be blessed. When He is acknowledged as the Source of every good and perfect gift, He reveals more of Himself and His purposes to us. Even though the tide may swell and the rivers may rise with their tumultuous currents, yet they will not overrun their borders. He regulates the degrees of testing allowed to cross our path, Instead of being used to destroy us, they are measured and their pressures can only prove what He has established within us. We have received from Him the grace to withstand all the fiery darts of the wicked. It is His strength within us that sustains us along the way. He is on our side. Not only that, He is with us and in us and…

“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2Co 3:17). The living Spirit of God frees us to give a fuller expression of His will. We are no longer bound to obey His Law as heavy restrictions levied against us, but rather freed inwardly to joyfully give expression to what we have become. We are made alive to His righteousness while the Spirit reveals to our spirit a standard no longer alien to us. He gives us both the will and the ability to do for His good pleasure. What a life; to please God and at the same time be pleased ourselves! The old nature of sin of which we had grown accustomed, has now be exposed as a slave master. We have now been liberated from his controls and freely ruled over by a Beneficent and loving Lord. He rules by placing His will within us so that there is no struggle between us. We know that He loves us and we know that His will is perfect. As we progress in our knowledge of Him, we surrender even the most stubborn portions of our lives to His government….

“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind” (Phil 2:1-2). The objective of preaching the gospel is for those who are following to have the mind of Christ. Whatever Christ has provided for us is to be provided through us to others. It is with His comfort of love that we become loving. A difference is made in our lives as the result of being loved by Christ. He settles us down and gives us both rest and a peace that surpasses all understanding. The disturbed soul cannot interact with others on the same level as one who senses the security of the arms of Christ. There would be a caution that interrupts that degree of fellowship. But the soul that rests in His love is free to love others because he is not dependent on them but gives to them expecting nothing in return. The Lord supplies all our needs according to His riches in glory. We are complete in Christ thus able to love unconditionally….

“My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Ps 73:26). As we grow weaker physically, and as time continues to make its mark upon our bodies in completing the story of our lives, we all the more declare the strength of the Lord as being our strength. His strength is made perfect in our weakened moments when we have no defense, but also in our weakened state as we grow weak and weary through the years. The flesh sags and loses it resiliency. The heart beats at a slower pace and its rhythm is not the same as in our youth. Yet our heart of hearts or determination is stronger than ever to keep in step with God. He is the strength our resolve and resilience. Time cannot rob us of what He gives. It will outlast our flesh and outpace the distance of all the efforts ever made by us and even others who are running against time. Our portion is forever. When time ceases our portion will still be there. All that He has promised will remain and we will have the wherewithal to enjoy all that God…

“Buy the truth, and do not sell it, also wisdom and instruction and understanding” (Prov 23:23). The price paid for the truth may be the loss of friends and love ones. It may be the loss of the potential for profit requiring the compromise of our integrity. Our integrity is worth more than the things acquired through dishonest gain. Even though they may bring immediate success, but the high cost paid in the end far outweighs its temporal benefits. We must be willing to pay the price for the truth. The price of self-denial and sacrifice for the sake of having the character to stand for what is right. This is accompanied with wisdom which comes from above. God can speak His truth to our hearts and there is nothing within us rejecting it. The lust for things not sanctioned by God choke the Word and it becomes unfruitful. It is the fool that despises instructions. The ownership of truth will deliver us from the bondage of greed and self-centeredness. We can then understand what the will of the Lord is and comply with joy because we are enabled to see the benefits of our faithfulness to Him.

“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the Lord our God” (Ps 20:7). Our strength against the enemy must not be in our boasting. Many may flex their muscles and consider that they are strong enough to withstand the attacks of the opposition. The chariots of old were status symbols representing the pedigrees of the warriors. Some had two horse chariots arrayed with precious metals which were often intimidating to those of lesser position. They trusted in their nobility and the amount of finery they were able to afford. Their horses were the best money could buy, trained to obey their every command. But even the best had the possibility of failing them. The psalmist placed his trust in Lord his God and remembered His name. His name defines His character. He trusted in what God said about Himself. When we who are called by His name remember it, we are able to face every opposition. We take ownership of His name as His people and are protected with His strength. He is reliable in keeping us from falling and failing and gives us victory over our enemies.