If you been trying to stay afloat in the storms of life. . .if you need encouragement for the battles you’re in. . .then. . .tonight’s teaching is just for you.
Mark 4:35-40 in the Amplified Bible says:
“35 On that same day [when] evening had come, He said to them, Let us go over to the other side [of the lake].
36 And leaving the throng, they took Him with them, [just] as He was, in the boat [in which He was sitting]. And other boats were with Him.
37 And a furious storm of wind [of hurricane proportions] arose, and the waves kept beating into the boat, so that it was already becoming filled.
38 But He [Himself] was in the stern [of the boat], asleep on the [leather] cushion; and they awoke Him and said to Him, Master, do You not care that we are perishing?
39 And He arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, Hush now! Be still (muzzled)! And the wind ceased (sank to rest as if exhausted by its beating) and there was [immediately] a great calm (a perfect peacefulness).
40 He said to them, Why are you so timid and fearful? How is it that you have no faith (no firmly relying trust)?”
No matter how spiritual you are or aren’t. . .there will come a time in your life when the storm clouds will fill your horizon, darkening the view of your destination, beating your ship of state. . .making you wonder whether you will survive the winds and the rain.
If you draw a breath. . .you’re considered dangerous to the devil. . .you will face a crisis in life from time to time.
But in every crisis. . .you can find opportunity.
President John F. Kennedy once said:
“When written in Chinese, the word "crisis" is composed of two characters - one represents danger, and the other represents opportunity.”
The question is not whether or not you will face a crisis but rather how you will respond to it.
The ancient Greek word for crisis means:
“a separating, power of distinguishing, decision, choice, election, judgment, dispute” and it comes from another Greek root word meaning to:
“pick out, choose, decide, judge”
In dictionary.com the word crisis means:
“a stage in a sequence of events at which the trend of all future events, especially for better or for worse, is determined; turning point.”
Every crisis we face in life with be a turning point. . .for better or worse. The decision for better or worse. . .is ours.
In fact, Romans 8:28 in the Amplified Bible tells you everything you ever need to know about whatever crisis you will ever face. . .when it says:
“We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.”
It’s important that we understand crisis will come and go. . .just look the changing tide of the ocean.
Psalm 34:19 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Many evils confront the [consistently] righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”
If we’re obedient to the Word of God. . .when trouble comes. . .we have the confidence in knowing that God will deliver us out of it all.
John 16:33 in the Amplified Bible says:
“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]”
I have told you these things. . .but you wouldn’t know it. . .if you weren’t reading the Word. . .spending time in His presence. . .studying to show yourself approved.
In Me you may have [perfect] peace. . .but you can’t possess what you don’t know about.
In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration. . .We have a choice. We can have His perfect peace or we can daily deal with tribulations, trials, distress and frustration.
We will choose whether we will have perfect peace and confidence in every adversity and opportunity. . .or whether to live with tribulations, trials, distress and frustration.
Let me say it again. . .we can choose. . .you choose. . .I choose.
Tribulations (not being able to pay your bills). . .
Trials (being laid off on your job). . .
Distress (wondering how you’re going to provide for your family). . .
Frustration (feeling like nobody will help you or give you a break). . .
If life were a game show and you were offered those choices, you would say thanks, but no thanks. . . yet way too many believers are buying into TTDF (tribulations, trials, distress and frustration) every day through the choices they make.
But be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]!. . .claim these happy choices. Make a quality decision that no matter what. . .you’re choosing the pure, the powerful and the positive from the Word of God.
For I have overcome the world. . .not only did Jesus overcome the world but He empowered us to do the same thing.
Romans 8:37 which says:
“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”
According to Strong’s Concordance the Greek word for conqueror is (G5245) and it means:
“to be more than a conqueror, to gain a surpassing victory.”
I noticed that conqueror comes from the root word nikaō (G3528) which is translated 24 out of 28 times as “overcome.” So it became obvious to me that in order to become a Kingdom Conqueror we must first be a World Overcomer.
Now get ready to SHOUT!
I have deprived it of power to harm you. . .because Jesus made a show of the devil by taking the keys to death, hell and the grave.
Colossians 2:15 in the Amplified Bible says:
“[God] disarmed the principalities and powers that were ranged against us and made a bold display and public example of them, in triumphing over them in Him and in it [the cross].”
I have conquered it for you. . .because I’m the only One who can give you the victory over every crisis perpetrated by the enemy.
Psalm 34:6-10 in the New Living Translation says:
“In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; He saved me from all my troubles. For the angel of the Lord is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him. Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! Fear the Lord, you his godly people, for those who fear him will have all they need. . .and those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing. “
Now here’s an exciting fact. . .every time you face a crisis. . .your faith grows.
The storms of life have a way of showing just how big our God is. . .and how He encourages and delivers us the victory. . .every time.
Here are seven keys to making every crisis a turning point that empowers your future.
First, you keep on tithing and giving offerings even when your mind says you can’t afford it.
If the enemy can ever get you to believe you can’t afford to tithe or give offerings. . .he has the ability to take advantage of you.
The enemy wants you living in fear over the “appearance of lack” in your financial situation.
If the enemy can transfer fear into your mind, he immediately has the ability to take advantage over you.
If the enemy can get you to believe you can’t afford to give. . .he has the ability to take advantage of you.
If the enemy can get you confessing lack in your life. . .he has the ability to take advantage of you.
If you sow words that indicate a lack of faith in God’s provision. . .or over his ability to move in your current situation. . .then you are going to live a life of financial shortage. Life and death is in the power of our tongue (Proverbs 18:21).
If you say, “This is all I have” or “I can’t afford to give” then you are effectively negating the promises of God. . .you are consciously or unconsciously limiting the power of God to bring financial deliverance into your life. . .and giving up your right to the financial last will and testament of our Lord.
God wants you to get your eyes on Him and His ability to create supernatural manifestation in your life. . .it’s time for you to raise your level of expectation.
Nowhere in the scripture does God tell people not to give when things are bad. To the contrary, He told Isaac to sow in famine and hard times in Genesis. . .He told the widow woman to give her last meal to the prophet in 2 Kings. . .
He says: Give and it shall be given unto you”. . .He says that He will give bread (seed) to the sower. . .not to those who think or talk about sowing. . .but never do.
Second, you refuse to let the devil steal your peace even when you have to go against your emotions and feelings.
We now live in an agricultural society where plants, vegetables and even flowers. . .are often grown in a “hot house environment.” The hot houses have a controlled environment where conditions are nearly perfect.
That’s not how our faith grows.
A few days ago, on Rich Thoughts for Breakfast. . .we discussed the woman with the issue of blood.
Luke 13:10-11in the Amplified Bible says:
“Now Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And there was a woman there who for eighteen years had had an infirmity caused by a spirit (a demon of sickness). She was (bent completely forward and utterly unable to straighten herself up or to look upward.”
This woman had suffered for eighteen years. No doubt, the enemy had come to steal (her hope); kill (her dreams) and destroy (her faith) but she was still showing up at the temple.
This woman had been living in crisis mode for all these years.
I’m confident the enemy was laughing at this woman, encouraging her to denounce her faith in God and His Word.
When the enemy discovered this woman was about to meet Jesus in the synagogue he must have gotten very nervous and perhaps even nauseous.
Luke 13:12 in the New Living Translation says:
“When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, ‘Dear woman, you are healed of your sickness!’ ”
This woman was not in the temple by accident. She was there for a divine appointment. In the midst of her pain and the previous 18 years. . .this woman was ready to receive.
Luke 13:13 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Then He laid [His] hands on her, and instantly she was made straight, and she recognized and thanked and praised God.”
Third, you keep claiming your healing even when the lying symptoms try to linger in your body.
If you want to experience healing virtue over a bad report from the doctor. . .the scripture doesn’t say you’re to focus on all the lying symptoms that are attacking your body. . .it says to put your mind on your life with God.
Sickness can be prevented by right thinking. . .also known as the Word of God.
James 5:15 says:
“And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.”
Personalize the verse.
James 5:15 says:
“And the prayer of faith shall save <<YourName>>, and the Lord shall raise <him/her> up; and if <YourName> has committed sins, they shall be forgiven <him/her> .”
Things are not what they seem to be; instead, they are what God’s Word says they are.
Regardless of your symptoms. . .you must know that according to Isaiah 53:5 and 1 Peter 2:24-b, God counts you as already healed.
The symptoms you may be experiencing are just that. . .LYING symptoms.
Here’s Isaiah 53:5 personalized.
“Surely He has borne <YourName>’s griefs (sicknesses) and carried <his/her> sorrows (pains); yet <YourName> esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for <YourName>’s transgressions, he was bruised for <his/her> iniquities; the chastisement for <his/her> peace was upon Him, and by His stripes <YourName> is healed.”
2 Peter 2:24 in the Amplified Bible says:
“He personally bore <YourName>’s sins in His [own] body on the tree [as on an altar and offered Himself on it], that <YourName> might die (cease to exist) to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds <YourName> have been healed.”
Jesus has already paid your sin penalty. You are God’s healed and Satan is trying to kill you. Unless you know that as fact, he will deceive you into believing you are being destroyed by that lying symptom. The Word must have permanence over the attention you give to the symptoms.
Speak the Word to your lying symptoms.
Fourth, don’t doubt God will more than meet your needs even when your bank account is in the red.
Does it seem you’re living in the midst of a financial tsunami . . .with one nostril above the financially troubled waters?
Does it seem your checkbook balance is anemic and needs a cash transfusion?
Do not let what your eyes see determine what you believe in your heart?
Focus on Psalm 84:11 in the Amplified Bible which says:
“For the Lord God is a Sun and Shield; the Lord bestows [present] grace and favor and [future] glory (honor, splendor, and heavenly bliss)! No good thing will He withhold from <<Your Name>> who walks uprightly.”
God’s WORD Translation says: “…He does not hold back any blessing…”
No matter what our current economic condition. . .the Word is clear. . .God will not withhold any good thing from those who walk uprightly.
According to Strong’s Concordance the word good is the Hebrew word towb (H2896) and it means:
“good, pleasant, rich, agreeable, prosperous, understanding, excellent”
Interestingly enough this word towb is used seven times in Genesis 1 where the scripture says “…and God saw that it was good.”
To me, that gives a little more “oomph” to the word good. I mean we’re comparing a good thing with the same word used to define all the good things in creation.
No question. . .God wants to turn our poverty and lack. . .into prosperity.
Fifth, keep believing your household will be saved even in the darkest hours and most trying days.
Please get this next statement. . .down in your spirit. . .not only does God want you saved. . .but He wants those you love saved.
2 Peter 3:9 in the New International Version says:
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
When this verse says “. . .not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” The Greek word for all pas (G3956) that is used in John 3:16. All means everyone.
The New International Version of 2 Peter 3:9 says:
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
If you look at the bottom of the page in your Bible. . .you will see there are no exceptions to this verse.
Take comfort in knowing God wants everyone in your family saved.
Sixth, you keep claiming the promises of God for your life when it seems everything is falling apart.
Nothing has happened on planet earth that hasn’t happened before. The difference is … it may not have happened to you. People overcome and people succumb to the pressure. The difference between the two is what they chose to believe.
Our signature scripture this year is from Mark 9:23 in God’s Word Translation:
Jesus said to him, "As far as possibilities go, everything is possible for the person who believes."
But sometimes we have to offer the sacrifice of praise. That means even when praising is the last thing we want to do!
It’s difficult because emotionally we are so far down in the dumps that when we read the Word of God it seems to fail to reach us …BUT keep praising! The Word works.
Hebrews 13:15-16 says:
“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
“But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”
Our emotions will be tried because the Word is not based on emotions, it is based on His truth. Truth trumps emotions … every time!
Psalm 7:9 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, but establish the [uncompromisingly] righteous [those upright and in harmony with You]; for You, Who try the hearts and emotionsand thinking powers, are a righteous God.”
Seventh, you know that where you’re at is not where you’re going to stay … no matter how things look.
When it comes to your finances you’ve got to know where you’re at. . .because it does make a HUGE difference on where you will go.
When it comes to your money. . .if you don’t know where you’re at. . .then you’ll never know where you’re going! And you most certainly will never arrive. In fact, you’ll end up on the side of the road . . . financial road killss. . .a casualty to someone else’s get-your-wealth plan.
“Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.”
In the Old Testament, wealth was often measured by the size of a person’s flock or herd. It was critical for a person to know not only the location of every animal but also its physical condition.
2 Samuel 12:2 says:
“The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds.”
A careful reading of the reference to “herds” will reveal that often livestock was valued above gold and silver.
Genesis 24:35 says:
“And the LORD hath blessed my master [Abraham] greatly; and he is become great: and he hath given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and menservants, and maidservants, and camels, and asses.”
Notice that in describing Abraham’s wealth. . .the first thing Eliezer listed was “flocks and herds.”
In the agrarian society that dominated the Old Testament world. . .the state of your flocks and herds was the key to multiplying your wealth.
In Deuteronomy 8:13 we can see where once again the mention of livestock comes before silver and gold when the scripture talks about wealth increase.
“And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied.”
The location and state of a person’s flocks was critical to wealth increase. In other words, they had to know … where they were financially.
Now it’s time for you to get out your checkbook and all your bills. You need to know the state of your “flocks & herds” . . . what you have at the moment.
Any increase in wealth begins with an honest assessment of what you’ve got and where you’re at.
God doesn’t want you down and out … or we wouldn’t have been able to list so many scriptures that tell you how to get Up, Right & In! But don’t delay. Begin putting them to work today.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS