One of the favorite tactics of the enemy is to create an illusion which makes you think that the problems you encounter are unique to you. . .that no one else has to face what you face.
Not true. First, let’s establish three facts.
First, the devil is a defeated foe.
John 12:31 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Now the judgment (crisis) of this world is coming on [sentence is now being passed on this world]. Now the ruler (evil genius, prince) of this world shall be cast out (expelled).”
John 16:11 in the Amplified Bible says:
“About judgment, because the ruler (evil genius, prince) of this world [Satan] is judged and condemned and sentence already is passed upon him.”
Second, the devil is a liar.
John 8:44 in the Amplified Bible says:
“You are of your father, the devil, and it is your will to practice the lusts and gratify the desires [which are characteristic] of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a falsehood, he speaks what is natural to him, for he is a liar [himself] and the father of lies and of all that is false.”
Third, the devil only has three weapons he can use against you. . .the ability to deceive, tempt and accuse.
A deceiver lies. John 8:44 in The Living Bible says:
“. . .there is not an iota of truth in him. When he lies, it is perfectly normal; for he is the father of liars.”
In Matthew 4, Jesus was led into the wilderness where He was tempted by the devil. Jesus saw through Satan's deception, and resisted the temptations by speaking God's Word.
The devil is also an accuser. Revelation 12:10 says:
“And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.”
Through a variety of tricks, traps, lies, deceptions and wiles. . .the enemy takes these three abilities and uses variations of them to create personal problems for believers like you and me.
1. Grudges that embitter us.
The scripture is very clear as to why we shouldn’t hold grudges.
Leviticus 19:18 in the Holman Christian Standard Bible says:
“Do not take revenge or bear a grudge against members of your community, but love your neighbor as yourself; I am Yahweh.”
The Collins English Dictionary defines grudge as:
“a persistent feeling of resentment, especially one due to some cause, such as an insult or injury; to feel resentful or envious about (someone else's success, possessions)”
Holding a grudge makes a person unhappy, unhealed and unsettled.
Jeremiah 3:5 in the Holman Christian Standard Bible says:
“Will He bear a grudge forever? Will He be endlessly infuriated?” This is what you have said, but you have done the evil things you are capable of.”
The verse is clearly stating that if you hold a grudge you will be “endlessly infuriated” which will most certainly hurt the person with the grudge more than the one the grudge is being held against.
As an illustration of what a grudge can do, I would like for you to take your hands and make two fists as tightly as you possibly can. Now I want you to continue holding the clenched fists as long as you can. How long do you think you can maintain the intensity of the clenched fists?
After a short while. . .the clenched fists will begin to hurt you. The clenched fists will become a major distraction preventing you from doing anything else. You won’t be able to work, sleep, drive a car safely, hold a baby or do most anything else.
Not only that, your focus will only be to maintain the clenched fists. It will take an increasing of energy to maintain the clenched fists. . which keeps you from focusing on anything else.
That’s how a grudge works.
Ephesians 4:31 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Let all bitterness and indignation and wrath (passion, rage, bad temper) and resentment (anger, animosity) and quarreling (brawling, clamor, contention) and slander (evil-speaking, abusive or blasphemous language) be banished from you, with all malice (spite, ill will, or baseness of any kind).”
The previous verse tells us what not to do. . .while Ephesians 4:32 in the Amplified Bible tells us what to do. . .when it says:
“And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you.”
2. Jealousy that robs us.
Have you ever been jealous? Was it because someone got a promotion, raise, bonus or benefit you didn’t or that you thought you should have gotten instead?
When a worker . . . even a Christian . . . is found looking at what other people have. . .then that person will not be satisfied with what they have. Jealousy is a trap that will eat your lunch and rob you of future blessings.
Proverbs 14:30 in the New Living Translation says:
“A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones.”
Proverbs 27:4 says:
“Wrath is cruel and anger a torrent, But who is able to stand before jealousy?”
One of the other characteristics of jealous people is they save and savor bad news about other people. . .passing it around like an appetizer at a dinner party.
A jealous person will murmur, complain, grumble, gloat, sow bitterness and discord. . .none of which are Godly characteristics.
The scripture clearly warns against this type of behavior.
Proverbs 24:17 in the New International Version says:
“Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice.”
Remember, Proverbs 14:30 in the Amplified Bible says:
“A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body, but envy, jealousy, and wrath are like rottenness of the bones.”
I can tell you the proper response to others good fortune is to rejoice over what they’ve been given. It will pay you dividends in the long run.
Romans 12:15 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Rejoice with those who rejoice [sharing others' joy], and weep with those who weep [sharing others' grief].”
Here’s a spiritual truth that you should get deep down inside of you.
When you can get as excited about other people’s blessings as you are your own, WATCH OUT because your blessings and victories are right behind you . . . about to overtake you.
Sadly, that spiritual dynamic is lost on many members of the Body of Christ. Don’t be one of them!
Being excited for others’ blessings is a spiritual dynamic that must be satisfied before any of us will walk in abundant blessings.
3. Loneliness that isolates us.
Unfortunately, people experience loneliness for a variety of reasons including: neglect, isolation, intimidation or an unexpected trauma. Regardless of the cause. . .it’s never been God’s desire for man to be lonely.
Genesis 2:18 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Now the Lord God said, It is not good (sufficient, satisfactory) that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper (suitable, adapted, complementary) for him.”
There may not be a single person within miles of your current location but you will never be alone.
Matthew 28:20 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. Amen (so let it be).”
Here are seven ways to deal with loneliness.
First, understand the problem.
Second, accept what cannot be changed….death of spouse, moving away from friend or a change of personnel in your workplace.
Third, change what can be changed….reach out…beyond your own needs to help someone else.
Fourth, create new habits. A new routine or approach to life creates freshness in your environment.
Fifth, make an effort to meet new friends….one person each Sunday…common interests…move slowly into the new friendship . . . don’t smother the person.
Sixth, get a pet if you can…I realize this may not be for everyone especially, if you’re having trouble making ends meet…the last thing you need is to increase your expenses.
Seventh, spend more time with your best friend and I’m not talking about the person you’ve known all your life. . .or the one you go shopping with. I’m talking about the friend who will never leave you nor forsake you.
Jeremiah 33:3 says:
“Call to me, and I will answer you. . .”
4. Sorrows that discourage us.
It’s important to understand sorrow is generally caused by the loss of someone or something. According to dictionary.com sorrows means:
“distress caused by loss, affliction, disappointment, etc.; grief, sadness, or regret.”
Here are four questions and answers that will help each of us deal with whatever sorrows may come our way.
1. Does anyone know what I’m going through?
Exodus 3:7 in the Amplified Bible says:
“And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters and oppressors; for I know their sorrows and sufferings and trials.”
Truly, the Lord does understand how you feel.
Isaiah 53:4-5 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy].
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.”
2. Why do my sorrows make me feel so broken?
Our Heavenly Father is drawn to those who feel broken by their sorrows. . .the pain of dialing living.
Psalm 51:17 says:
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”
Isaiah 66:2 says:
“…but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite (smitten; dejected) spirit, and trembleth at my word.”
3. Is there anything I can do to be delivered of these sorrows?
God brings peace to every troubled, broken, sorrowful, sad and difficult situation when we reach out and trust Him.
Acts 17:27 says:
“That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:”
4. Is there any way for the sorrows I’ve experienced to bless another?
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 in The Message Bible says:
“All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.”
This is the passage God used to answer my prayer about whether or not I was to take chemo.
“. . .we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.”
5. Finances that stress us.
Some years ago I was on an airplane flight when the man sitting next to me asked what kind of work I did. I told him that I teach people how to get out of debt. He leaned back and said:
“I’ve got a lot of debt but I don’t worry about it.” I said: “Really.” He said: “Yep, I sleep like a baby. . .I just wake up every couple hours and cry about it.”
Another man once said to me:
“I can’t sleep. I can’t eat. I can’t think about anything except about how much money we owe with no way to pay our bills.”
I told him that he couldn’t afford to let the stress get to him. He said, “I’m not stressed.” I smiled…then laughed and after a moment, so did he.
If you’re stressed about your finances. . .you’re not alone. I saw a recent survey that said one out of ten people are not stressed about their finances. Notice that I chose to frame that sentence in the most positive perspective.
When stress is high and the bank account is nearly empty . . . some people living in financial stress will often cause a person or family to stop going to church. . .the one place where they can find comfort, relief and strength.
The enemy will even suggest they stay at home because they have little or no money with which to tithe or give offerings.
The worst possible thing you can do if you’re living in financial stress to close the windows of heaven over your life.
Yet, it is a favorite tactic of the enemy. He knows that if you don’t tithe . . . if you don’t give offerings. . .you’ve just restricted, if not eliminated, your ability to bounce back financially.
Financial stress will kill you physically and those you love and cherish emotionally. Remember your relief will come from the Word of God. . .obeying His principles and commands. Forget Prozac. . .that will just make things worse.
Remember the words of Psalm 119:143 in the New Living Translation which says:
“As pressure and stress bear down on me, I find joy in your commands.”
6. Sickness that wears us down.
If you or someone you love has been battling with sickness . . . here are some thoughts and scriptures you need to get deep down inside of you.
First, the very name of God Jehovah-Rapha reveals He is Lord, our healer as found in Exodus 15:26:
“And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.”
It is in His very nature of Jehovah Rapha to bring the healing we ask for.
Second, Jesus Paid A Price For Our Healing.
Let’s look at Isaiah 53:4-5 once again where it says:
“Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses) and carried our sorrows (pains); yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”
Third, Is It God's Will To Heal?
Yes, He has already done it. It is past tense. All that is left is "receiving" it.
Healing is available through salvation. So we can pray in confidence. 1 John 5:14,15 says:
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”
Fourth, will the enemy try to steal our healing?
Absolutely. The enemy will try to deceive you into believing that healing is for everybody else but you. We all know he’s a liar and the father of lies and the truth is not in him.
I’ve even seen people healed and then the enemy will deceive them with lying symptoms to make them think it either never left or expect it is coming back.
The enemy may also try and destroy you as that is his nature.
Acts 10:38 says:
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” As Believers we need not accept anything but God’s ability to bring healing and restoration no matter what the enemy throws at us!”
Fifth, what can I do if someone close to me is sick?
As believers, we should lead the charge boldly when we or someone we know needs healing. We can lay hands on the sick (our part) and they will recover (God's part).
Mark 16:17 in the New Living Translation says:
“These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages.”
God is waiting to display His healing power in and through us.
Go to haroldherring.com and click on the personalized scriptures button where you can personalize eight different groupings of scriptures with your name.
Begin to read and memorize these personalized scriptures until they’re living in you. Even if you are healed and healthy. . .memorize these verses so you can be used of God to bring healing and restoration to others.
7. Tragedy that transforms us.
There come defining moments in our lives. . .when the tragedies. . .challenges we face are forever changed. . .transformed.
Consider the story of the lame man found in Acts 3:6-7 in the Amplified Bible which says:
“A certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily
at the gate of the temple. . .to ask alms of them that entered in. . .Who seeing
Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.
As the scripture indicates this man was taken to the gates of the temple every day where he was placed outside the temple gates. The inference in scripture is that this man sat outside the gates in all different kinds of weather and political decisions in Rome.
Not only did he have to experience the challenge of his infirmity. . .the indignity of being dependent on others to bring him to the temple and the embarrassment of asking for money every day. The man’s life was filled with tragedy. . .but it changed in a defining moment.
Acts 3:4 in the Amplified Bible says:
“And Peter directed his gaze intently at him, and so did John, and said, Look at us!”
There are defining moments in our lives. . .when we come face to face with a truth. . .a Rhema word that will transform our lives forever.
Acts 3:5 in the Amplified Bible says:
“And he [the beggar] gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.”
Did you catch that? The beggar was expecting to receive something from Peter and John. He was looking to a man to meet his needs . . . to put food on his table . . . to pay his bills.
However, on this particular day at the temple . . . the tragedy of the lame man’s life was about to be transformed as he was touched by the power of the Holy Ghost.
Acts 3:6 in the Amplified Bible says:
“But Peter said, Silver and gold (money) I do not have; but what I do have, that I give to you: in [the [a]use of] the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!”
One word from a man or woman of God empowered by the Holy Spirit will instanteously transform a person’s life.
Acts 3:7-8 in The Living Bible says:
“Then Peter took the lame man by the hand and pulled him to his feet. And as he did, the man’s feet and ankle bones were healed and strengthened so that he came up with a leap, stood there a moment and began walking! Then, walking, leaping, and praising God, he went into the Temple with them.”
As we look back at these seven problems. . .tactics of the enemy. . .you and I need to know that God can and will transform our lives. . .in an instant. But we must be expecting our defining moment. And then, grab it when it comes.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS