Today, God's word mentioned discouragement - something I've been hounded by lately but haven't given in to, thank God. I've shed a tear or two, but nothing has grabbed me like the forces of evil desired, and I have God to thank for that. God's prophetic teaching admonished us to have nothing to do with discouragement. God called it a cancer that desires to drag us away from everything He has intended for us in every direction of life. That is so right. God's words are so timely, Saints.
What came to my mind as I thought about His words and, in praise and worship, resolved yet again to take His path and hold on to His hand was Paul and Silas in that prison in Philippi. You remember, right? Amid chains and all that stench and filth and discomfort, they were singing... not the top 40 hit parade, either... they were singing praises to their God. To their God Who is also OUR God! We all remember what happened after that, too, don't we? Let's see...
"But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were loosed." (Acts 16:25-26)Focus on God in praise and worship releases all chains - particularly those of discouragement. I also think it's really cool that God called discouragement "cancer", because that strikes a note in me that other vernacular wouldn't. Friends, who in their right mind wants cancer? Certainly no one I know, including me. Admitting discouragement past the doors of my mind and heart, spirit and body is just like swallowing live, active, cancer cells and letting them rob my life and health and strength... I wouldn't do that in the natural for any amount of promises or money. Why on earth, then, would I even consider giving in to discouragement's plans for my spiritual demise? No way. I've decided, y'all. Not me. Thank You, Jesus.
Look up to our God in Heaven and thank Him for all He's done for you in every way. He is our help and our life and our strength; He is our Source and our JOY forever, Saints. We can't look at things that are not as though they are not... that's NOT faith. We always want to hold on to Jesus and, with a smile in our hearts (not just on our faces), call those things that are not as though they ARE. God will honor that. He knows it's not easy down here; He's been down here, too - and He's also with us every day, remember?
"For I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God Who loved me and gave Himself for me." (Gal. 2:20)I want to honor that in Christ. I want to honor that truth of my relationship with Him, let Him live His life in me, and allow discouragement no part nor lot with me. Amen. Father, today I resolve that - like Joseph ran from the fiendish flirtations of Potiphar's wife - I WILL RUN FROM discouragement, I promise, because I don't want cancer. I want to live and not die.
Don't you want that, too?
Then lift up your heads and sing, for God's deliverance is upon you. It's for you and even those with you who have not known the Lord, like those prisoners who were listening to Paul and Silas sing, and like the Philippian jailer. Glory to God. People searching for answers watch to see if you will live what you say, Saints, so that they can reach out to Christ and start living, too! I thank God for that jailer and for his entire household. God set the jailer free that day, just like He's set me free from discouragement's cancerous intents. I choose to take the hand of Jesus and say no to discouragement, and I've got my Daddy's permission to do so. Hallelujah! Thank You, Lord!
By Christ's power, I choose to move forward in God's Hand. In Christ's Name, beloved, I'll pray for you and you pray for me. Amen.
Rejoicing in Jesus,
"... fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."